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If I could rewind…

Sorry! I’ve been AWOL for the last 5 years. What can I say?! Life came in the way! Life took over everything – changed job, moved house, moved house again, changed job again. Its gone by so fast, within the blink of an eye. My once-upon-a-time-toddler is now taller than me!

Sometimes, all I want to do is rewind about 20 years back, to the days when I was safely ensconced in the little 2 bedroom apartment where I lived, like most Indian grown-up-adult-children, with parents. All I had to do was make plans, work, dream and hope those would come true. Most of it has, to be fair. But if I could rewind, I might just do a few things differently. Like for example, stayed back in India and not moved abroad. Or spend much more time with my cute little grandma. Or just eat a lot more Chaat from Gangotri, blissfully ignorant of ugly words like ‘triglyceride’!

Anyway, I am back now. Been thinking a lot about the CRAZY way 2020 has turned out for everyone. Some lost jobs, some lost lives. One of the things I can’t get over is the death of Sushant Singh Rajput. The really untimely loss of a wonderfully intelligent, charming, handsome yet child-like soul. I hope he gets justice.

And yes, I’m back. I hope I can write a little every now and then. Even if nobody is reading. Atleast so in another 20 years time, I don’t end up wishing I could rewind to this date, and wish I had got back to blogging!

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Books are for smelling!

Have you ever opened a book, just to smell the newness of the paper? Oh yes, several times.

There’s something about books normal paper books) that is beyond comparison with any digital reading device. It is quite uncommon these days, to find someone whose nose is buried in a real book, while traveling on the train. All you see is a variety of small flat (dull and boring!) devices that people are glued to.

Gone are the days of turning crisp pages, and equally so, the therapeutic feel of turning well worn out pages, that you know have been read and re-read several times over decades. I had a red bound book like that once, think it was a book of Grimms Fairy Tales. I’ve read that little book so many times, that its edges are frayed and the binding is in tatters. I have lovely memories associated with that book. There was a time when my family lived in a tiny one-bedroom apartment. Come weekend, and while my family enjoyed a little siesta in the hot Chennai summer (which, by the way, is nothing compared to the heat now!) I used to settle myself on a corner sofa overlooking the window, and enter a magical world of flying horses and Princesses!

I love my iPad but there’s no way I can have the sentiment I have for my tattered red book, for this shiny new device.

Apparently, kids these days prefer e-books to print books.

I asked my 8-year old this question, and pat came the reply… ‘Kindle… cos you can just swipe with a finger!’  Kid, I promise I will introduce you to the smell of a newly bound book soon.

Well, its a new world, and our generation is kind of stuck in between two worlds…one where we smelt and devoured books, and the other where we silently flick through screens.

I don’t mean to be a wet blanket, but this is why I think paper books beat e-books any day!!!

* You can smell them!
* You can freeze your first red rose in them for posterity
* Pass them around to friends  (and refuse to lend them to ‘enemies’!)
* Make a little library and enjoy looking at your collection
* Seen the movie ‘The day after tomorrow’? Yeah, burning e-readers are of no use!

So, what do you prefer? eBooks or REAL books?

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Sunday Melancholy

It is weird. This feeling of homesickness.

No matter which country I am in (even if I am in my hometown), come Sunday evening, and I feel a strange sense of melancholy and homesickness. I cannot understand why it is so.

Perhaps in my childhood, it was pre-Monday blues that dampened the excitement of a Sunday evening. Or maybe it was because everything was shut on a Sunday evening as we retired to a quiet, almost isolated existence, in contrast with a normal day that bustled with activity and with the company of friends and neighbours.

Still, that simply does not explain why two decades later, I still feel strangely sad and homesick every Sunday! Even when I am at home. Even when I do not have to go to school or work tomorrow.

For no obvious reason, I have this weird feeling on Sunday evenings. Its like I am choked. Like I’m scared. Of what? I have no clue.

Do you feel this way any time?

Any pointers?

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The Men Who Don’t Celebrate Women’s Day

The men that I know (friends and family, that is!) don’t actually celebrate Women’s Day!

They’d probably wish me aloud (if I happen to remind them of the ‘occasion’ that morning!).

They’d probably say nothing if I wanted to do some spontaneous shopping.

They wouldn’t change their daily routine to make things a little ‘different’ just for that one day.

 

However, they are the kind of men who make me feel glad I am a woman in their world 🙂

Is ‘Women’s day’ about pampering only your loved one while treating others (men and women alike) shabbily? Is it about a quickly buying a greeting card or an expensive gift? Do you just wish someone, do the dishes that one time and post a picture on Facebook?!

Imho, it is about having respect for all women, whether she is your wife/mother/sister/friend. It is about believing that men and women are truly equal and that no one gender is in any way ‘better’ than the other.

Apart from being a good marketing gimmick (well, someone must have wanted to sell truckloads of greeting cards and red roses 😉 ), it is also a gentle reminder to both men and women that women are to be treated well, especially in a world where countless women still get beaten up by drunkard husbands, are illiterate just because they are women and are not sent to school, or suffer the humiliation and fear of marital rape… the list is endless. If you haven’t read Kalki’s raw and powerful post yet, please do read it.

Coming back to where this post started, the men I know do not celebrate women’s ‘Day‘. They celebrate the essence of it, every day of the year! They treat every woman with respect, not just the women they love.

The world needs more like them.

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The eccentric stranger

So, it was a particularly stressful day at work, and this guy walked into the office. He seemed a little fidgety and kept making funny movements. I got up from my place and walked towards him. Only to realise that he wasn’t fidgety, but was only enjoying this wonderful strain of music that floated from his iPod 🙂

It was a song from nearly a decade ago. A lovely song that brought back delightful memories of my when my parents visited me in London. A time when we were younger and more enthusiastic about everything, less serious about most things. Overall, a beautiful phase in life.

Eccentric stranger – well, definitely not! Stranger who brought about a smile – absolutely!

And, I didn’t stop smiling that day 🙂

I hope you like this song too…

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Picking up where I left off…

So, it’s been a loooooong while since I wrote anything at all on this blog. If there is anyone out there, still reading this blog, *yippee* ‘thank you’ 🙂

 

It’s been so long because I’ve being doing other things. Last summer I took up an internship in SEO/social media, loved pretending like I had a proper job 😉 and thoroughly enjoyed meeting new people and re-discovering my love for a ‘career’ of sorts! Then I got a second change.. to pick up my career where I left off seven years ago. Yep, I’m back to a full-time job, quite similar to what I had before I took a long and well-enjoyed break.

I miss blogging, miss the enviable camaraderie that all of us shared during our active blogging days!! I miss writing fiction!! Someone once told me that most of my fiction was tear-jerking and asked if I could write a ‘happy’ one for a change. He he, that day shall come too!

So yeah, this post was just to say ‘Hello’ and hope you have a fantastic 2014.

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Life in just 6 words!

This post has been published as a part of the Chennai Bloggers Club’s ‘Six Word Memoir’ tag. A big ‘Thank you’ to the very talented Gopal (aka Gopalakrishnan Krishnasamy) for passing the baton on to me (er, also for the gentle reminder that it is now my turn ;-))

CBC Picture

Imagine summarising your life in 6 words? Quite a challenge, isn’t it? I don’t remember what I had for breakfast this morning, and yet I’ve taken on the challenge of writing my life’s story in just Six words!!!

Here goes…

‘Far from perfect, yet perfectly beautiful’

Naaaice, eh?

And now, for some completely FREE gyaan about my 6-word-memoir  – I have recently come to realise that nobody’s life is perfect (‘about time’ you say, hey?). Yet, I feel it is these imperfections that make life so perfect. Imagine a world where everything is in abundance, nobody is ever in want of anything… it sounds nice, but it would be incredibly boring beyond a point. So there…. it is the perfections that add beauty to life, and make it so beautiful!

And now, I pass on the Olympic torch to Sulaiman Sait – a medical student who writes poetry even about the most sensitive and difficult topics (ranging from euthanasia to female infanticide!). Would love to see your 6-word-memoir, Sulaiman.

(PS: Thank you Susan Deborah for bringing Chennai Bloggers together :-))

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Snip snip…

Snip snip...

(Photo of a baby girl at her ‘mundan’ ceremony). This was a prompt on a lovely Facebook group that I am fortunate to be a part of. This is what I came up with (an attempt at Haiku).

‘Snip..snip.. Curly locks fall gently to the ground.
Baby girl, you have no choice!
The first of many sacrifices.’

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Eggcelent snack

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Stumbled upon this lovely recipe on a Facebook group page. Utterly simple. Crack an egg into a little cup that is oven proof. .don’t let the yolk break. sprinkle a cup of fresh chopped spinach. Add a pinch of salt, dried herbs, pepper powder and drizzle with half a teaspoon of olive oil. Bake in a preheated oven for about ten minutes. Amazingly healthy. . Smell-free and yummy too. Please try! !

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Nilanjana Roy’s BRILLIANT article

A brilliant article by Nilanjana Roy. A must-read for any Indian. Particularly, those who resort to ‘behind the Lakshman Rekha’ paradigm.

nilanjana s roy

(Published in the Business Standard, 8th January 2013) 

In times of trouble, turning to the great epics is always useful: their ancient bloodstained lines are reminders that we do not have a premium on violence, rape and corpses.

Over the centuries, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata have become India’s default epics, eclipsing the Rajatarangini, the Cilapatikkaram and other equally powerful legends in the mainstream imagination. While this is a loss, both epics offer an insight into the way rape works in India.

Five stories of rape and sexual assault from the epics are particularly useful. The Ramayana has the abduction of Sita by Ravana, and running parallel to it, the disfiguring of Surpanakha by Rama and Lakshmana—two atrocities, not one, that trigger a war. The Mahabharata has the public assault on Draupadi at its heart, the abduction and revenge of Amba, and and the sanctioned rapes of Ambika and…

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