Friday, December 21, 2007

Happy New Year!

My year in 3 sentences - '2007 has been a year full of pleasant and unpleasant surprises. Fulfilling in terms of seeing the world and exciting in terms of meeting old family and new people. While some aspects of my life are back on track others still wallow in the depths of despair'.

I guess there is always 2008 to pull those wallowing ones out and put them on track. Thank you to everyone who has been a part of my life over the last 24 years. I trust that some of you enjoyed it enough to stick around for the next 24 years.

It is the last day at work before the Christmas break. Of course this would warrant early closure and one would half expect everyone to just mingle happily and talk about plans for the festive season and so on. Well, not physicists. They would rather discuss what they will do when they get back the official second offices open.
I knew early on that this was not for me - and it has been confirmed now. When I began writing this blog (in my head last night) it flowed easily. It was filled with humorous anecdotes of the year gone by. Somehow those thoughts elude me now.
So Merry Christmas everyone! and a Happy New Year!

Monday, December 10, 2007

'One could not count the moons ...'

...that shimmer on her roofs, or a thousand splendid suns that hide behind her walls“. - Tebrizi
As mentioned in my earlier post (and therefore you were forewarned!) I have here a book review - as promised. On saturday I began and finished reading 'A Thousand Splendid Suns' by Khaled Hosseini. From the, now acclaimed, author of ' The Kite Runner', this book traces the life and times of two Afghan women. This book is a woman's book. It captures the essence of being a woman more so in a political atmosphere where being female was nothing short of a curse.
Hosseini demonstrates a unique and tremendous understanding of the female psyche. It seems like a woman's story from a woman's perspective. The insight provided is brilliant!
'...Splendid Suns' is in a very different vein to 'The Kite Runner'. While the latter might be characterised as gripping the former is riveting. Both books, to me, were equally haunting.
Several books have been written about the plight of women in Islamic, war-stricken countries but none so written in so beautiful and poetic a manner. It is gruesome without being gory and terrifying without being graphic.
This book is almost a painting. It has hues and texture is as much as it has words and a story. Buy this book, read it and cherish it as a memoir, an ode and a tribute to all those women.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Back

There is plenty to write about even without breaking down the year in three sentences (I am going to try to do that for the blog at the end of this year - 'My year in 3 sentences' - why 3, I don't know!).
So I went to India for my sister's wedding (and before you start bombarding my 20 yr old blood-sister with queries, it was my cousin's wedding!) and for once the whole family would be there. No I mean the whole family. Brilliant!
So after an exhausting day of air travel and more air travel within the land where i was given birth, the land that gave me my skin-colour and immunity to harmful virus and bacteria (do you know HOW immune we Indians are!) we finally arrived in good 'ol Bhopal. I say good 'ol because that city has not changed since I was about 10. Well it has changed a little in that some paan shops might have been replaced by shopping malls and you can buy everything from an Irish pin to an Italian piano there!
The wedding was fantastic to say the least. I never thought of myself as a wedding person but needless to say we all got caught up in the excitement of things and after one impromptu 'musical-skit' and several pats on the back for carrying on the family 'drama' genes, I was well and truly in.
Good food, good wine, good music and excellent conversation.
My family is, for want of a better adjective, stimulating. We fight, we argue, we laugh, we cry and then we hug and bid goodbye only to do it all again at the next gathering. Stick us all in one room and give us room - we will change the world!
I miss my family. For better or for worse we are who we are and we are related to who we are and nothing can change that.
Memories of this trip will last forever. So P and S - Wish you both a very happy married life!

Of other things. I am back in Canberra as of Friday last and since then things have gone from dull to duller. Watched Aaja Nachle, as I had to pay my tribute (and $12) to MD - she being my all time favourite actress 'n all. One must give her full credit for making a comeback and what a fantastic figure she cut after having two kids! Very commendable!
Have brought back a ton of books from India and am making my way slowly but surely through them. So watch this space for some book reviews.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Chak De!

It is easy to lose a good'un amidst all the rubbish doled out by Bollywood. One such is 'Chak De' . Even though it is c/o Yashraj Films it is very much minus a mindless love-story, no plot and white-clad heroines running around in the Swiss Alps. Turns out the director, Shimit Amin, has worked on several Ram Gopal Varma movies and was indeed discovered by RGV himself. Good on Aditya Chopra I say, for giving him his directorial debut. And what a debut it was!
I personally hold that any director who can make SRK act - and I mean really act - not just 'overact his way across India' stuttering and bleeding, is due some credit.
Ashutosh Gowarikar did it in Swades and now Amin has managed to it in Chak De. Restraint makes an actor.
I loved the moment in the movie when the women's hockey team mercilessly beat up a bunch of rowdies teasing their team members. Indian men are disgusting. While I am in India I am oblivious now to men looking at me, making lude comments. Boys aged 14 and men aged 40, all do it. It is not like I dress less. I am covered neck to ankle, trust me, I wouldn't leave the house any other way in India be it scorching heat or blistering cold. Still, no respite from cat-calls, whistles and the like. It is plain disgusting. What I would not give to just pick up a hockey stick and whack the living bejeezus out of those men. When I watched it happen in this movie I felt like jumping from my seat, pumping my fists in the air and shouting 'hooray! you go girls!'.
Needless to say this movie appeals to the female-chauvinist in me.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Tag!

So here's a questionnaire that has apparently been doing the blogger rounds. So I thought I'd answer it and Tag a few friends too!

Tagged: Megz, Ashanka, Vatsa, Amruta and Abhilasha (if and when you read this blog!)



1. Have you ever been searched by the cops?

No

2. Do you close your eyes on roller coasters?
No, I like to see things coming.

3. When is the last time you went sleigh riding?
Never. would love to though.

4. Would you rather sleep with someone else, or alone?
Someone else is not an option right now

5. Do you believe in Ghosts?
No not really.

6. Do you consider yourself creative?
Depends...

7. Do you think O.J. killed his wife?
No freakin idea

8. Jennifer Aniston or Angelina Jolie?
Jen.

9. Can you honestly say you know anything about politics?
Honestly, no.

10. Do you know how to play poker?
Yes I do.

11. Have you ever been awake for 48 hours straight?
Yep. And more.

12. Do you kill bugs that are in the house?
Yes, its MY house dammit.

13. Have you ever cheated on a test?
No

14. If you're driving in the middle of the night, and no one is around...do
you go through red lights?
No, I would want to but I wouldn't.

15. Do you have a secret that no one knows but you?
Yes, I thought everyone did.

17. Have you ever Ice Skated?
Yes and I don't intend to do it again in a hurry.

18. How often do you remember your dreams?
Half the time.

19. When was the last time you laughed so hard you were crying?
Quite recently. After watching a Kannada song on YouTube

20. Can you name 5 songs by The Beatles?
Heck Yes! Yellow Submarine, Love Me Do, When I'm 64, I am the walrus,
Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.

22. Do you believe in love at first sight?
I don't believe in love.


24. Do you always wear your seatbelt?
Always

25. What talent do you wish you had?
I wish I could run on the treadmill without holding onto the sides for dear life.

26. Do you like Sushi?
No.

27. Have you ever narrowly avoided a fatal accident?
Not yet and hope I never have to

28. What do you wear to bed?
Tracks and t-shirt

29. Have you ever been caught stealing?
No

30. Does size matter?
Yes, I like my houses big and my cars small :-D

31. Do you truly hate anyone?
Yes

32. Rock and Roll or Rap?
RnR anyday!

33. For love or for money?
For the love of money.

34. Do you have a relative in prison?
No, but Im sure there is atleast one that deserves to be in there.

35. Have you ever sang in front of the mirror like your favorite singer?
Sure

36. Do you know how to play chess?
Yes

37. What food do you find disgusting?
Snakes


39. Have you ever made fun of your friends behind their back?
Yes and to their face too.

40. Have you ever stood up for someone you hardly knew?
Yes.

41. Have you ever walked out on a movie at the theater?
Oh yes.

44. Do you ever sit through a bad movie, just to see how bad it can get?
Yes - bollywood movies.

45. Would you consider yourself obsessed with anything?
Yes I would, and if you knew me you would too.

46. Have you ever met someone famous that you really wanted to meet?
No, I really wanted to meet Einstein.

47. Have you ever been stood up?
Yes

48. When's the last time you screamed at the top of your lungs?
I don't scream at the top of my lungs.

49. Did you ever do something that you didn't want to, just to fit in?
Not that I can recall.

50. Do you consider yourself "the biggest fan" of something?
Probably not.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Also watched 'Laaga chunari mein Daag'. It adds on to the ever continuing list of 'controversial' different films that Bollywood is aiming to make. However the story is done and dusted. But for the picturesque portrayal of Benaras the movie is found lacking in many many aspects. What irks me most is the ultimate message of the movie which seems to be that any woman, a callgirl, a prostitute, an escort, anyone, is 'forgiven' all her 'sins' if she gains the acceptance of a man and - here's the clincher- if he marries her! If he (HE!) is ready to overlook it - who are we to point fingers eh?!
When oh when will we get over this inherent obsession that a woman needs a man to validate her. Or maybe I completely missed the 'deeper' point.
As an aside, I bought the DVD of this movie at an Indian store here and as always the subtitles are hilarious! The conversation between Rani M and Jr. AB when she reveals why she absolutely cannot be with him went something like this:

RM - main koi event manager nahin hoon (Translated: I am not any event manager)
RM - Main ek escort hoon (Translated: I am Scot)?!!!!!!!!?!!!!!!!!?????!!!!

Needless to say I almost fell off the chair laughing! Enjoy!

Memoirs

Nobody had anything negative to say about 'Memoirs of a Geisha' so at the Fyshwick markets last weekend I bought the book (a bargain at $1, I must say!). 'Memoirs...' is an exquisite book. All my knowledge of Japanese life prior to reading this book came from Samurai-type movies and reviews of Japanese cartoons, which really does not reflect this rich culture.
Imagine walking into a shop full of the richest silks and lace - imagine sitting down while each piece of absolutely unique fabric is laid out in front of you and unfolded to reveal a more intricate and beautiful layer underlying the previous one. You can marvel at them and you can even run them over your skin and feel the lush, soft fabric caress you - yet you cannot have it. This is precisely the 'feel' of this book. It is a whirlwind of emotions narrated with such poise, grace and restraint that you don't realise that you've held you're breath all along. It is a cool breeze that leaves you as breathless as if you were just hit by a tornado!
I do not really want to talk about the story. The synopsis really tells the gist of it, yet one must read it to truly experience its brilliance.
Enough said I think. All that is left is for you to do is to read it.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Fun n Games Room

Today's fortune on Orkut says 'Good things are being said about you'.
Makes me rather uncomfortable that somebody, somewhere might be talking about me as I type this. Even if they are saying good things.
It is Friday and it seems like a decent weekend to look forward to. I discovered the 'games room' at work yesterday. Not sure how long it has been operational but it is complete with pool table, TT table and dart board. A good diversion if not distraction from work I say! And many might mistakenly think that the reason it went undiscovered was because I have been working too hard. In fact nothing could be farther from the truth. The truth being that as soon as my rear hits the office chair my body and brain go into a vegetative state in which they remain till about 5.30 pm, when I painstakingly hoist myself away from Orkut, Gmail, Facebook and other such and head home.
Of other goings on - there is not really much to talk about except the weather! Those that know me know that complaining about the weather is my favourite pastime. I was born in Gwalior and raised in Bangalore for the first fifteen years of my life. The Bangalore climate is excellent, or atleast it was all the years that I lived there. It is not too hot, not too cold - its just right! (sort of like that Maggi hot 'n' sweet tomato chilli sauce, I like hot 'n' sweet chilli type sauces, but that rant for another day). So from this 'just right' haven we moved to New Zealand where I spent another ten odd years. New Zealand is a far cry from good weather. It was a shock to the system how that island went through four seasons in one day. And now I am in Canberra. Summer is here now. Yet last night the temperature hit below 5 C. Kindly explain for I am at a loss!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

...in the air

Summer is here! Its the festive season and the atmosphere reminds me of holidays in India. Dusshera/Diwali was time off from school. The air was filled with the fragrance of incense and flowers and camphor. The weather was a pleasant warm and we kids would eat, run around and be merry!
It is hard to believe that a cynical old cow like me would enjoy anything traditional - but I love festivals. Most of all I love the 'festive air'. It fills me with hope and joy.
I bought a car two weeks back. I am yet to see if my meagre PhD pay permits such luxuries, however thank the Lord God for my parents! After picking it up I wanted to take it to the temple. Canberra does not have a 'Vahana Ganapathi' and such conveniences so we have to make do with the standard God at the standard temple. Anyhow, since we got there after nightfall, turns out the Gods do not look kindly upon poojas done in the dark. I was content with having the car touch temple ground and smearing some 'kumkum'.
This got me thinking again. I am a physicist (on paper). Every single day at work I am supposed to unearth the mysteries of the universe. I read Maxwell, Einstein and the like. Yet every time I move house I boil milk, I say a prayer every morning on waking up, I take cars to temple and do pooja to my bike on 'Ayudh Pooja' day. All very contradictory really. So I asked myself that question - Why?
In a single word the answer is - reassurance. For me it is as simple as hoping that outcomes are out of human hands! That my efforts will be rewarded, even if by 'divine' intervention! That something/someone watches over my loved ones, because Physics certainly does not ensure that!
Of late life has been passing me by at a phenomenal rate! So much seems to have happened that I was definitely a part of, yet I feel like I stood and watched it from afar.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

I - the robot

I don't like eating alone.
For the first time today I gathered the courage (and was hungry enough!) to run down to the cafe in the adjacent building, sit down and eat lunch - all by myself. For the first time in 24 years.
The cafe has Hollywood gossip magazines that one can flick through as one waits for food. I like Hollywood gossip. It makes me feel better about myself, my career and my life in general. So I wondered what kind of a tabloid headline I might make if I was interesting enough to write about.
'Amrita admits to feeling lonely!': In a shocking new revelation, 24 year old laser physicist Amrita Prasad, who was recently in the news for travelling to locations like Paris, Scotland, England and Germany and the US, yet claiming to have an uneventful life, revealed that in fact her move away from home had left her feeling lonely at times! ' I don't like eating alone' the 24 year old said as she admitted to regularly eating in front of the computer in her windowless cubicle 'sometimes there is no one to talk to'. Amrita now lives with her sister in a suburb in Canberra. The two have been spotted shopping in the mall and buying groceries.

Yes, I wouldn't make the news. But its fun pretending. Ok its deranged.
Well for those interested, Nicole Ritchie's boyfriend was caught cheating on her, Britney Spears realises she is as 'fat as a pig' and Brangelina never stopped making news!
And yes, I do feel lonely at times. I feel like the weight of the world is on my weak shoulders and that in doing, day in and day out, what I have to do, I have forgotten what I want to do. I am the robot at times and some weeks pass by in a daze. Some days I wish I could go back home to my parents, who I miss and don't get to see everyday anymore. At times I wish I had someone to eat with or even somebody to say hello to me when I walk in to work, or someone to have a chat to over coffee. People say I have hardened up post moving out and PhD. Im glad I have my guardian angels - (dark) humour, cynicism and sarcasm - without these I would be lost.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Be the change you want to see!

I want to be controversial today and write with the intention of sparking debate, so if anyone wanted light reading then please scroll down or read another post - thank you!

Lately I have been involved in a lot of talk of marriage, relationships and the like. Not my own but those of near and dear ones. Anyone who knows me well enough knows that I have extremely strong opinions about this topic. It is a no-compromise zone for me and therefore a no-go zone with me for several people (you know who you are!).
One can wax philosophical about things and say 'it has been this way for hundreds of years and I see no reason to change it!' - to them I say ' I see reason to change it unless you convince me otherwise'.
I and a lot of people I interact with, have been brought up in a very liberal manner - in thought and action. I have been taught and in fact encouraged to make my own life, plan it and live it!
In the course of my life, if I choose to wed (unfortunately as my father would say!), then I can do so knowing full well the consequences of my actions.
I am Indian by birth- and a lot of my friends and all my family are Indian. Having lived in the society I can appreciate the reasons for marrying off a daughter when she turns 20 odd years. The Indian society, even to this day, is not congenial to a single woman - regardless of her age and social standing.
However, in saying that I cannot agree that the same applies to somebody who has left the system, a girl/woman/female who does not live in India and has not lived there for most part of her life. We were shipped out, given independence, motivated and encouraged to think and live an independent life. Nobody told us not to plan past 25 - and so we did!
No one has been able to convince me that it is feasible and correct to uproot a woman's life just because she has turned a certain age. I will never agree (depending on the argument presented!) that it is OK for a girl to have to move countries, jobs, families because some archaic system said so or some biological clock decided to tick.
So, I can see you ask, what do you think? - Here is what I think, believe and practice:
Every individual must go about their life. Plan as far in the future as they want to. In the course of their natural life, without any pressure or deviation, if another person comes along that seems interesting, loving and caring, somebody who just joins you're life and makes the transition smooth and natural - THIS to me is marriage and a relationship!
I will in fact take this opportunity to thank my folks - thank you Ma and Baba for giving me the reins to my life and for helping me to be the change that so many of us want to see!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Hard day's night

This week is best described by the lyrics of the Beatles' song 'Hard day's night' - mostly for the 'working like a dog' and 'should be sleeping like a log' bits not for the 'come home to you' and 'be alright'!
Ive been working only to find myself at multiple dead ends. This maze of what is to eventually be my first, first-author journal publication must have a way to the centre. Im just praying that the cup is not a portkey!
Isn't it great that we can now do Harry Potter sayings!. 'Let's hope you're cup is not a portkey!' ,'I hope my wand has the right feather!', 'Don't get you're robes in an uproar!' - you get the drift!

Anyway - amidst paper writing, experiment re-doing and car-hunting, last week I managed to read "Longitude - The True Story of a Lone Genius who solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of his Time". This book is by Dava Sobel and follows the life and time of John Harrison, an English clock-maker who devoted his life to, not only creating an extremely precise and accurate time piece, but also to perfecting the art of precision watch-making to aid in measuring longitude. To us in this day and age longitude is something Google can possibly spout out at a click or others who can be bothered might want to look it up in an atlas or a book. Back in the day such ways were non-existent and turns out poor wanderers on sea either hit land unexpectedly or lost their way and died of scurvy on the high-seas for the want of a method to measure the longitude. This book is a great read and very concise and I would urge one and all to discover 'Longitude'.
In other goings-on, as the world and its father knows, the All Black's lost to France. Taking with them the hopes and dreams of that nation- New Zealand. We heard news of the mourning, the accusations, the aftermath. All very sad. Yet there is hope of winning the big one at home - in 4 years!
I have a weekend not-worth-looking-forward-to coming up, although I just heard from a friend that the oktoberfest is in town. Beer and sauerkraut might be just the thing needed after a hard week and weekend of labours! - Auf Wiedersehen then and wish me Viel Gl├╝ck!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

In the land of dreams!

I have often wondered why my dreams are so benign. Not that I want 'malignant' dreams of world domination or violent outbursts, but I often wonder why my dreams are not grand. Aside from the usual 'teeth falling out' or 'room full of snakes' that recur frequently, almost all of my dreams have me running errands for somebody else, or studying for an upcoming exam - you get the drift. I have never dreamed the cliched 'naked in public' dream or 'winning a beauty contest' for that matter. It may be that my conscious being does not permit these thoughts. It might well be that I am far too sure of never being caught without clothes or equally certain of never participating in a beauty contest! I don't really find solace in this. Are dreams not meant to be exactly as the word suggests - exciting and sometimes unachievable, fantastic!
Speaking of dreams - I am now (almost!) recovered from my trip to the US of A. LA and San Jose all in a week's work. Exciting stuff. 'So... how was it' you ask? 'Wonderful' ... I say.
The best part being that I caught up with my cousins whom I haven't seen in a very long time, far too long really. Do not nurture dreams of Californication yet, however it is a great holiday 'desi'-tination!
This visit has made my family members very happy. In particular my grand-father who has relentlessly tried to make me see sense and move to 'the states'. 'Aun noDo, software engineering maaDi, America li tumba sambLa ante' (look at him, he did his software engineering and now earns a fat sum of money in America). Although I let him down by not doing Software Engineering, he still hopes that I will move to America and strike it big.
Maybe, it is after all 'the land of dreams' is it not?

Friday, August 03, 2007

Odds n Ends ... again!

One can spend one's life on YouTube. Im hooked, more so since my tv has terrible reception thanks to the internal aerial that does not do its job. My sister, who is ultra-informed about reality show goings on told me to watch Paul Potts on Britain's Got Talent. From what little knowledge I have about American Idol, I know that Simon 'Cow'ell is trouble and when middle-aged, unassuming and very unsure-of-himself Paul walked in for his audition and announced 'Im going to sing opera' the skepticism did not go unnoticed. In fact the judges did nothing to hide it! And then it happened! He started to sing - what melody, what a voice and how totally wonderful the experience. The audience was on its feet a few seconds later and Simon 'too-blunt' Cowell was almost speechless.
I have a Simon Cowell attitude towards lack-of-talent. I believe that people who have no talent for a particular something should not attempt that thing in public and certainly not on TV. There was a show on Sun TV, I think, many years ago where little talentless kids would come and sings songs and recite rhymes and the like. Utter rubbish! It is unneccesary to put your child or yourself through humiliation of such sort. I believe that all human beings are good at something. In fact very good. One just has to introspect. Back to Paul Potts, he went on to win BGT and rightly so!
And speaking of talented/talentless - Himesh Reshammiya of Aashiq Banaya fame. HR featured on Koffee with Karan sometime last week methinks. I never categorized Reshammiya as having talent. I figured he either copied that blockbuster tune or got lucky. I was also of the notion that he has a bad temper, never smiles, was not very educated and his fame was very much undeserved. The interview however, completely changed my perception. HR is a very well educated, god fearing and spiritual person. He knows that he is not very talented and even admits that he just got lucky! It is a story of bad times falling on a good person and even though I am still not a big fan of the music (must admit it is catchy!) or the movie (good heavens what was he thinking!) I have some new found respect for the man.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

On reading the final HP - SPOILER WARNING

SPOILER WARNING: Do not read this blog if you have not yet read the 7th Harry Potter book or are in the process of reading it.

I read the final book, 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows' last night and my reaction to it is two-fold. One the one hand I feel a sense of loss as the world now has one thing less to look forward to. One the other hand - I guessed the plot fairly accurately at the end of the previous book. Believe if you will my guesses:

1. Snape was the good guy - tick
2. Snape killed Dumbledore on the latter's orders - tick
3. Harry Potter was a Horcrux - tick
4. HP does not die at the end of the last book - tick

What made HP-7 an interesting read for me was the introduction of the 'Deathly Hallows', another new concept and just as interesting as everything else that makes up the world of 'witchcraft and wizardry'!

Shocks to the system:
1. Death of Hedwig just when I got a plush owl free for pre-booking the 7th book at Borders.
2. Death of Lupin and Tonks - I guess the cycle repeats!
3. Use of expletives! - To my recollection JKR has never used such language in the previous books (I might be wrong here!). Im not big on profanity of any sort and personally, if I were to write a book that was read by everyone from the age of two to two hundred, I might choose to be a little careful. Although, who cares what I think, JKR could buy my alliegiance now!

I am unsure as to whether I liked this book. I loved the last six books without a doubt. They got consistently darker and twisted in ways, yet I liked them. This one, im unsure and HP fans might have my head for this but I cannot really pin point what did it. Now, the main reason that I find HP appealing was that it was so closely knit with the 'real' world. School, books, sport, exams, ministers, laws, family and finally good vs. evil. Things that we encounter in everyday life were just turned on their head and given a new perspective in a new world. JKR has also written 'Magical creatures and where to find them' and 'Quidditch through the ages' and these books were ...strange. I could not really identify with them because, quite simply, they are complete fantasy, make-believe in their entirety. So also, some aspects of the 7th book.

The magical world appeals to me much more than the world that we inhabit. Unlike our world, in the magical world nothing is without almost immediate consequence. In fact, if a person breaks a vow, or goes back on a promise, or does not do their task, they are punished by what seems like the forces governing the world right there, right then! Bravo! I say.

In my opinion Deathly Hallows is by no means a children's book and JKR has long since moved on from being the author of a best-selling children's book. In fact the only 'child-like' aspect of it is that it is in the realm of magic that events occur. It does not have the innocence that characterises Enid Blyton and a child's innocence is what we lose in adulthood. In saying that, JKR does beautifully to capture the fear even terror at times of someone as powerful and sadistic as Voldemort. At times, I was afraid to turn a page and in the final duel between the Dark Lord and Harry, his feelings never felt so real. What amazes me is how the story comes together. Through seven books, this tale of massive proportions never loses the plot! To those supreme powers of plot-building and intertwining, I bow!





Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Is it worth it?

This blog is not as expected, expected would be some exciting story about my travels through Europe - yes it was pretty exciting!
This blog is about whether it is really worth leaving home to come and study in a foreign land, in sub-zero temperatures where one can barely walk let alone think of new ideas!
So what brings on this rant?
We bought a new home. This is my parents did and my sister ( who is a lucky undergrad and only has to study on university working days and gets half the year or some such absurd amount of time off!) flew back for holidays and is moving into the new home as I type.
Home is my refuge, my stability and I am OK with travelling the world as long as I know where home is (not just the suburb but the position of every table!).
After nearly a decade of hard work and determination my parents have finally got our haven, the perfect beach side home that we dreamed of (I think that is what it is, since I have only seen the top of it on google earth so far!).
Last night the emotions took over and I wept for not being there for the 'pooja'. For the first time I am not there to go shopping for 'pooja' things with my dad. Not around to pick the flowers, buy the umpteen things on Ma's shopping list, go back with dad to exchange things and laugh because we always make the same mistakes. Not there to make the calls, take the calls, return the calls - just not there.
So now you think to yourself - 'she's in Australia for Pete's sake, hop over to NZ and stop the moaning' - well not to simple. There's this monster called 'paper submission' looming over my head and since this whole Tour de Europe, now seems ill timed - well there you have it.
And ill-timed not just for the reasons stated above but also for the weather! Canberra is freezing and I am frozen. My aged symptoms are back with a vengeance and are wrecking havoc on my already weather-beaten body. Inhuman I tell you! Gods have mercy!
So you tell me - is it worth it or should I just gun it back home, double speed?

Saturday, June 23, 2007

There was a nomad in me waiting to be unleashed. That nomad is satisfied now.
This is my last night is Munich before I fly back to Australia. Its been a whirlwind European tour and Ive seen English tradition, French indifference, Italian hospitality and German precision. There will be a few photographs in blogs to come - UK, Southern France and Italy, Germany. All in a month's work.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

My day of reckoning

It usually only takes one thing to go right or wrong to turn a day from good to bad. Ive been battling the light at work the last few days. After recovering from a bad case of inflamed tonsils, I returned to a pile of work to be done in two weeks, before I head off for my big OE - and as fate would have it nothing worked like it used to.
So with low energy levels, im still pumping iron supplements and Multi-V capsules, and absolutely no inclination to do the hundred odd things that I have to do during one day - I continued to fight. Finally I gave up and pleaded with my supervisor to provide the experiment with the one thing that is guaranteed to make it work - his magic touch. In doing this I was expecting that he would find no mistake in what I had done - after all I had covered my bases twice over!
Alas! I was let down by a stupid camera! A camera!!! The shame of it all - oh well each day is a learning experience and this is why two heads, four eyes and four hands are better than one, two and two respectively.
A bit of introspection never hurts, nor does a bit of sing-song while walking the corridors for that matter. Keeps things interesting.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

A PhD can go one of two ways. I dont mean rather well vs. terrible failure. I mean two ways for the person doing it and their notion of the world of academia and the, hitherto thought of as, big bad corporate world.
All my life, previous to the last year and a bit, I have wanted to be an academic. Not just because that is what the family did or wanted me to do. Not even because I spent a rather large part of my time as a child scribbling on the walls of my home and pretending to teach a classroom. Ok, maybe largely because of those things and partly because I think that if you can teach something - you know it!
One might fake knowledge to a certain extent but there will come a student who will ask 'why?' and will not rest in peace till the question is satisfactorily answered.
So post the Bachelor of Technology and Honours, a PhD seemed like the obvious next step. I had hopes and dreams that upon embarking on this utterly honorable doctorate, the noble and exciting world of academia would welcome me with open arms. I would walk the harrowed hallways where genius resulted in inventions. Where age, gender and identity melted off into nothingness in the wake of discovery and basic truths that created the world and that make it go around. Unfortunately it was a, rather rude, shock.
What makes this world and any other world go around is money. Even academia is no longer about doing the work but rather about showing the people with money that the work can be done - by you and so they should fund you!
Some college drop-out type in a government job who got stuck with a stack of papers and knows nothing about the science in them, now governs what gets the moolah and what gets the sack. Pity really.
So I might get a move on it. Finish with it now. Move ahead to, what now seems, like greener pastures.

Monday, April 30, 2007

F.R.I.E.N.D.S

'How was your day'? I get asked this question rather often. Today I would reply comme si comme sa. Started off beautifully - I made it, in good time, to my morning meeting and managed to finish off everything on the morning 'to-do' list. It is yet afternoon so I cannot foretell the rest of the day but already I feel a bit blue.
See, friendships can be tedious sometimes. They can make one feel down just as they can be uplifting. I adore my friends, every single one of them. We all can be a handful at the best of times and we all can be demanding and obnoxious and pathetic and painful, downright rude and terribly thoughtful and sweet. It really depends on which day you choose to take your poll.
One thing I've come to realise though. We are not friends because of our interests or our likes and dislikes - we are friends in spite of all that.


Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Feel Good

I like the summer. I like the smell of the earth after the rains. I like autumn leaves strewn on the ground and how they crunch beneath my feet. I like a warm cup of cocoa on cold winter mornings. I like piled up clothes in my room and books strewn on my bed. I like walking slowly amidst the evening rush. I like the strong breeze blowing through my hair.
I like mountains and beaches, small purple flowers, open fields and large shady trees. I like the drizzle and then the rain that beats down on the roof. I like attics and the smell of books, new and old. I like holidays and sleeping in, the feeling of home.
I like raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens....

It is the little things that make us feel good.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Darwin be damned!

In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move. ...


Are you not outraged at the Virginia Tech shooting, at the pathetic display of 'democracy' by Indians and at the human race as a whole - I know I'am.
The more I live the more certain I become that evolution was a mistake of massive proportions and its repercussions echo till today and will for aeons to come. Us humans, we are the epitome of evolution. We are here to prove, in all our glory, how complex and elaborate this universe can be. In our form, shape and size we exemplify evolution. We are as evolved as it gets, till date.
So what do we do with all this 'abstract thought' and 'higher sense' that evolution has given us?
Of course, we shoot people and burn effigys for isn't that what all beings evolved would do?
I have lost faith in the human race. They cannot be trusted with 'higher' things like power and the correct use of it thereof. They seem incapable of rationality and even basic things such as telling right from wrong.
We cannot do justice to our state of evolution till we can access that little part that came with all the rest - the courage to do the right thing.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

THE World Cup

The cricket world cup has taken the (cricket-playing) world by storm. It seems to be all that Indians can watch, think and talk about. No morning is complete without an update of the team standings etc. and of course no morning is complete without more on Bob Woolmer's death investigation.
This world cup seems to be like the cricket version of the Munich Olympics (albeit on a smaller scale) surrounded by death, scandal and inexplicible losses.
My interest in cricket can be described as moderate, at most. Being Indian one is generally swept away in the mood of things. I still remember a world cup match from the years past. The Indian team was playing in Chinnaswamy stadium in Bangalore and of course the top order had crashed (or had it?!). Javagal Srinath and Anil Kumble (designated bowlers!!) were at the crease, they battled it out and won the game for India. The game ended after 10 pm and everyone went crazy! People were gathered on the streets, distributing sweets at traffic lights. No, it wasn't like India had won the world cup, we had merely won our way into the quarter finals (I think it was) but the Bengaluru boys had done us proud and we were going to make sure they knew it!
That is my most distinct cricket memory. Since then I have never felt such pride and triumph. After moving to New Zealand my interest in the game withered. Although, I was happy to stay up to date with current goings on and every so often got a chuckle out of listening to my friends bicker about the ODI rankings, I never really felt much for the game.
Cricket is India's national game and I will not let anyone convince me otherwise (Hockey?! you can't be serious!). Nothing else could explain the fanatical actions that follow a win or a loss. I have lived in Australia for over two years now. Australia is the undisputed champion of cricket (as far as I am concerned). They have exhibited skill, resolve and sheer determination to seal their position as the world's best. Yet, I have never seen the Australian people burn effigies of their players when they lost to Bangladesh. This fanatic streak, I have seen predominantly in the sub-continent (and maybe English soccor fans!).
However, I digress.
There was much speculation following India's loss to Bangladesh and from the snippets of information I gathered that India had.... wait for it... a bad day! A top-ranked, world class team is beaten by a team (Bangladesh) that played very well and everybody says India had a bad day. Alright, granted.
I do not discuss cricket with my friends anymore. They all are of the opinion that India is a great team with a lot of bad days. They pull out age-old statistics and are more than willing to sit me down for hours and explain to me, on the basis of statistics, that the Indian cricket team is a good cricket team and anyone that thinks otherwise does not know a thing about cricket.
I cannot argue, I do not know statistics, I do not carry match scores around in my head and I cannot rattle off Tendulkar's average per game or what-have-you. All I know is the opinion of a country, of course that is not good enough!
However, this world cup has changed all that. These 'ardent fans', these 'true fans', these people that know cricket, live and breathe it have been taught that one cannot expect much from somebody who is really without much potential. If we are good, they are better.
Actually, that is a fact of live. If you expect nothing, something is good enough. If you expect something, nothing is good enough.

Monday, March 26, 2007

I pride myself on the fact that books and movies don't make me cry. But this is not without exception and it goes to show that I am not dead inside.
The first book, if my memory serves me right, that brought tears to my eyes was Anne of Green Gables. It is impossible to keep those tears at bay when sweet ol' Matthew Cuthbert dies.
It was nearly 12 years later that I cried again. This time it was a movie, 'Life is Beautiful' no less. I will make the tall claim, that is this one of the best movies I have ever seen. I found it very hard to get through it. It filled me with a void in the pit of my stomach, one that returns every time I think about the movie. I felt despair, hopelessness and helplessness and at the same time joy at the triumph of the human spirit (spirit, not life).
One could cry at the plight of the Indian cricket team or the waste of man-power, resources and time put into making some Bollywood movies, but this would be a waste of good tears that, if we must shed, let us shed on the countless lives lost in war, massacre and discrimination.

It is a very dull and dreary day outside. It is freezing inside my cubicle at work. I have tried to be nice about it and request them to turn up the heating. My request was met with an incredulous stare and retort saying 'its centrally controlled'. I was tempted to say 'by whom? a penguin?' but bit my tongue. Turns out they dont turn up the heating until it is officially winter. So some weather-man-type has to officially 'pronounce winter open' and everybody will say 'oh! ok then lets turn up the heating'. Till then the likes of me will have frozen twice over!
So I take the only alternative, wear full eskimo gear to work and am ridiculed with snide remarks like 'cold enough for you already' to which I usually dead-pan, 'yes it has been for the last two years'!
It is very difficult to stick your hands in an optical setup, complete with mirrors and all that can scratch if you breathe too hard, with a sweater and a jacket on.
My fingertips hurt with a few hours of typing, and my head hurts the minute I walk in the door. The only consolation is the hot tea that is provided twice a day.
Weather man I beseech you. Pronounce it winter!

Friday, March 16, 2007

Poetry - Literature in metrical form. This is how poetry is defined (in a dictionary).
Such a description could only have been coined by a human being so utterly devoid of emotion and so terribly vain as to take on the task of defining 'poetry' in four words.
In saying all that, I personally prefer poetry that rhymes. Rhyme, rhythm and metre are more the tools of poetry rather than the defining quality.
I read/heard/recalled a few lines of a shayirii (couplet).

Khud ko kar bhuland itna
ki har taqdeer se pehle
khuda bande se khud pooche
ki 'bata teri razah kya hai'

Loosely translated, this means

Raise yourself to such great heights
that God himself, before he pens your destiny,
asks you 'tell me mortal, what is your wish'.

Now this is profound! In four lines this shayar (poet) has managed to describe an impossibility (not just because God himself is a debated concept!). What amazes me is the sheer magnitude of thought. When I am sitting at my desk eating lunch in front of the computer, thinking about how all that awaits me for the next 6 hours is endless darkness and scans of one kind or another, I question 'destiny' too. I also thank destiny when good things happen, but that for another day. So amidst all this questioning it never occurs to me that maybe, just maybe I could rise above it all and think 'darn it! I'll do these scans and not question anyone or anything because these scans will not define my whole life, I will'. Lo and Behold! one tiny thought for Amrita and a giant leap over destiny!



Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Odds n Ends

The strangest thoughts come to me in that semi-conscious state just before I fall into deep sleep. In fact they would make for the best blogs, sadly they are off and gone by the time I wake up.
I tick off in my head the things that tick me off (or what really 'grinds my gears' as Peter Griffin would say) -
Right up on the list would be Canberra weather, it seems to want to make an example for the rest of the world by going through more than four seasons in 24 hours!
Coming in a close second would be my persistent allergy/cold/blocked nose, whatever the heck it is that has come and decided to stay indefinitely. Making me want to sneeze at the most inappropriate of times and causing me to try all sorts of tissue from Eucalyptus scented to Aloe-Vera, to no avail. Homeopathy, aleopathy, spritual healing or natural healing, im willing to try it all just to get rid of this blasted nasal irritation.
Third on the list would possibly be 'An year' and 'leaving to so-and-so place'. I do not claim that I am God's gift to the English language, however when I am wrong, I do my best to correct it.
Fourth would absolutely have to be bawling babies. I feel that requires no further explanation. Everyone has had an annoying 'bawling baby' moment (or hour!).
Other than all that, life is beautiful.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Such goings on...

So the heartiest congratulations are in order - to Helen Mirren and Forest Whitaker :-D
It is strange this Oscar business (otherwise known as movie-making). The winners are not necessarily winning for 'best acting' per se, its more for 'best portrayal' of someone else.
Gandhi was immortalised in film, as was Jack the Ripper! So it seems as if a movie will be made for a life-less-ordinary - good or bad no bar. You dont have to be extraordinary - just uncommon.
So if Spielberg or Scorsese came knocking one day, I would say :"Yes, where do I sign?!'.
"And pray tell, why would they come for you?" you ask. Agreed, I am no Ugandan 'ruler' with a (unconfirmed?) fetish for human flesh nor am I the Queen. Agreed that nobody would want to make a movie about a twenty something year old student living, of all possible places, in Canberra on (nearly!) minimum wage. Can my current existence be turned into a 'life' by any stretch of the imagination - I ask myself. Any suggestions? I did'nt think so.
To digress: I finished reading the Kiterunner. I will take a moment to describe the atmosphere. A storm was brewing outdoors. I settled into bed, prepared to read for quarter of an hour, no more. I was halfway through the book and things had just turned very interesting. Soon the storm turned well-brewed and hail beat down on the tin roof of the carport outside my window. Any last 'ambitions' of sleep were lost and I continued reading. Emotions continued to rage within the pages as did the hope for redemption. My sister knocked on the room door and informed me that she will be sleeping on the couch for all the racket outside. I mumbled in acknowledgement. Last pages, it is turmoil, calm followed by storm and the cycle continues.
The Kiterunner is a powerful book. In the same league as 'Diary of Anne Frank' or 'Life is Beautiful' in its portrayal of atrocities on mankind, but told with a slight tinge of detachment which, by some twisted reverse psychology, makes it more real. I guess the trick is in adopting the same point-of-view. The writer is as much a bystander, a witness to the goings on, as the reader. While the events are described in the writer's language, his feelings and reactions are not imposed on the reader. So one is free to choose - react, feel and conclude. It is uniquely interactive, for a book. Read it!


Tuesday, February 27, 2007

This is me - Right here!

Some interesting facts that nobody (including me) knew about me and I was blessed enough to learn from www.blogthings.com

My Russian Name is: Parashie Galina Morozov
My wrester name is: Jade Wildcat (!!!)
If I was one of the Brady Bunch I would be:
Marcia Brady- Confident yet kind. Popular yet down to earth. You're a total dream girl. You've got the total package - no wonder everyone's a little jealous of you.
The planet I should rule: Saturn - Saturn is a mysterious planet that can rarely be seen with the naked eye. You are perfect to rule Saturn because like its rings, you don't always follow the rules of nature (damn straight!). And like Saturn, to really be able to understand you, someone delve beyond your appearance (Ahem!). You are not an easy person to befriend. However, once you enter a friendship, you'll be a friend for life. You think slowly but deeply. You only gain great understanding after a situation has past. (On some planets that is called 'slow').
If I was a cake I would be: Marble Cake - Eclectic, inventive, and peaceful.
You are never willing to accept what's "normal." You live to push the envelope.
You find it hard to make up your mind. You prefer to have everything you want, right away!
(I was really hoping for Tiramisu, but I guess it doesnt count as a cake!)

If I was a flower I'd be: Yellow
What kind of pie I am: Pumpkin (Yuck! for my sake I hope it is butternut) -
Which English speaking country am I: New Zealand (Yippeekayayyy!! and a tad scary how accurate that is!)

My Inner Blood Type is: A (and other 'famous' personalities with the same inner blood type are ...wait for it... Britney Spears and Hitler. Now I am going to take this as a sign, because this 'Hitler' thing has come up one time too many. I did a test online to see which famous someone-or-the-other my personality was most like and it came up with Hitler. I am more than a little disillusioned.)

My brain colour is: Purple (and this has nothing to do with 'preferences', on the contrary it had very nice things to say about people with purple brains!)
My French Name is: Louise Faure

So there we have it, simple yet very complicated. Im rather glad I have a simple name and didn't choose to become a wrestler. I am also thankful to whatever determines the odds that I ended up as me and not a perishable, flora or a dictator! However, Louise Faure does have a nice ring to it, I might use it as a pseudonym under which to publish.

Monday, February 26, 2007

It ain't over till its over...

Watched 'Rocky Balboa' over the weekend. I was very sure this was the fourth in the Rocky series but now I know better!
Verdict - I liked it! Especially these lines.
The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very rough, mean place… and no matter how tough you think you are, it’ll always bring you to your knees and keep you there, permanently… if you let it. You, me or nobody ain’t never gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard you hit… it’s about how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forward… how much you can take, and keep moving forward. If you know what you’re worth, go out and get what you’re worth. But you gotta be willing to take the hit.

So true, so true. Even though Stallone delivers the lines with his usual Italian drawl (overly exaggerated with age this time!) the message is loud 'n' clear. In fact I think this is time it has been spelled out - the 'message' was present in them all!
We left the movie thinking it was worth the money and wondering if we should wait with baited breath for a Rocky vs. Terminator.
Anyhow, so I am progressing with 'The Kiterunner' and slowly the pieces of the puzzle are falling into place to reveal a very gory and disturbing image. The book tells a tale of fathers and sons, relationships amidst the growing turmoil of the final days of Afghani monarchy to the present day atrocities. I was very curious about whether this story drew from the author's life and so naturally, I googled it. Turns out, this is KH's first published novel and he is a medical doctor by profession. His second novel is due to be released in May '07. No mention of disturbing goings on such as in the book but it does not take a great deal of imagination to understand the horrors that people of that land must have been subjected to during government coups.
I would completely recommend this book but it is not for the faint hearted. I wonder immensely at hearts and minds of people that cause war and hope to draw from it a victory. Nobody emerges victorious from war.

Friday, February 23, 2007

How much land does a man need?

Just read a short story by Tolstoy (ref: blog title for title). Who am I to judge the works of such genius - but for whatever its worth, it is brilliantly written. Tolstoy writes with such vigour and passion. It is almost like somebody shaking the vices out of you - revealing so basic a truth that you wonder how you missed it.
I have had a wonderful week thanks to the Annual Workshop. I am not at liberty to give away many details but I can say this. Once again we were driven off to exotic Murramarang Resort near Bateman's Bay (South Coast) for three days and a night. We wined and dined with some bright minds in the business.
The South Coast is beautiful and teeming with flora and fauna. Wallabies frolicked outside my cabin which was amidst the wilderness (the big wigs had the beachside cabins!). So late last afternoon I set off armed with some towels and a book to read on the beach. It was peaceful (relatively) but for some crazy Danes snorkeling! I read The Kiterunner, while I still have a long way to go, the first quarter is very well written. I also proceeded to fall asleep on the beach - sun surf 'n' all! Something that counts as a first, in spite of having spent nearly a decade in New Zealand. Try it, you'll like it (New Zealand and sleeping on the beach on a warm, sunny afternoon).
Right now I am experiencing withdrawal symptoms. Oh! to be back there ... 'No worries' however, Ill be off on another conference soon. C'est La Vie.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Confirmation

Disclaimer: The writing below is not my own work. It has been copied and pasted here for your reading pleasure. The views and opinions expressed are in agreement with my own but need not be in agreement with yours. The gross generalisations apply to many - dead and alive however they might not apply to you. Especially if you are female. Enjoy!





"Lord, I have a problem."

"What's the problem, Eve?"

"I know that you created me and provided this beautiful garden and all of these wonderful animals, including that hilarious comic snake, but I'm just not happy."

"And why is that, Eve?"

"Lord, I am lonely, and I'm sick to death of apples."

"Well, Eve, in that case, I have a solution: I shall create a man for you."

"Man? What is that, Lord?"

"A flawed creature, with many bad traits. He'll lie, cheat and be vain; all in all, he'll give you a hard time. But he'll be bigger, faster and will like to hunt and kill things. I'll create him in such a way that he will satisfy your physical needs. Well, more or less. He will be witless and will revel in childish things like fighting and kicking a ball about. He won't be as smart as you, so he will also need your advice to think properly."

"Sounds fabulous," says Eve, with unmistakable irony, "but what's the catch, Lord?"

"Well... you can have him on one condition..."

"Yes, Lord? "

"As I said, he'll be proud, arrogant and self-admiring. So you'll have to let him believe that I made him first... but it will have to be our little secret. You know, woman to woman."

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Doom 2 and the Holiday

Many a night I have fallen asleep on the couch with the TV blaring some inconsequential nonsense. It is just a co-incidence that this always happens when Im home alone, although I still firmly hold that the two have no correlation. So one such fateful night I watched Dhoom-2 while working my way through a dinner of fish 'n' salad (fish 'n' chips is so much tastier!). Only a handful of movies, even in the history of Bollywood, could be categorised as utter and total disasters. I was willing to put 'Snakes on a Plane' in this same category till I found out that the concept was rather unique (Google it!)
There is only so much that the Greek-God like masculinity of Hrithik Roshan can do for a movie and frankly I think he did all he could for Dhoom-2, Alas! the inclusion of Ash meant that this was doomed from the word 'like'. Dhoom -2 has nothing going for it, people. Watch it just for HR - mute the sound and shut it off as soon as Madam Ash makes an appearance.
On a much much brigher note, I went to Melbourne for the weekend! I love the city, it has it all! The feel of old, churches, a river runs through it. MCG and Tennis arenas, beaches, trams, horse driven carriages and shopping!
What makes it tick for moi - Max Brenner, Nandos and of course friends! This weekend truly made me live the saying 'Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention to arrive safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, loudly proclaiming: Wow!! What a ride!"

Thursday, January 25, 2007

The Art of Living

It must already be clear as crystal that I write quite a lot about what I read.
One the flight home for the holidays I read Micheal Crichton's 'NEXT'. Crichton readers would know that all his books are very scientific and tackle many sciento-economic issues, in a manner of speaking.
NEXT tackles the genetic modification problem. The book is well written, I read it all the way from Sydney to Auckland. It is also substantial! MC, as always, does his homework.
On the flight back to Sydney I read 'The Art of Living' which is based on the 'teachings' of Greek philosopher Epictatus. I'm all for self-help and 'clean up your life' type books much as I would like to believe the contrary. No, I do not have a drug problem and have not been subjected to abuse of any form or shape still I find myself, from time to time, questioning the nature of things.... simple, everyday things. Things like 'why do I always get a raw deal', 'why doesnt God like me', 'why is it so hot today'. You get the drift.....
For some strange and inexplicable reason certain books almost come to me exactly when I need them.
Dalai Lama's writings came to me and though I would like to say it changed my life I cannot as I didnt really follow it through completely. It did make a huge difference in that it changed my frown to a smile for several days to come.
In the same vein I happened to read 'The Meditation's' by Marcus Aurelius.... good book, hard read. And now Epictatus.
"Happiness and freedom begin with a clear understanding of one principle: Some things are within our control, and some things are not. It is only after you have faced up to this fundamental rule and learned to distinguish between what you can and cannot control that inner tranquility and outer effectiveness become possible. Within our control are our own opinions, aspirations, desires, and the things that repel us. . . . We always have a choice about the contents and character of our inner lives" says he. He also goes on to say "circumstances do not rise to meet our expectations. Events happen as they do. People behave as they are. Embrace what you actually get. Open your eyes; See things for what they really are, thereby sparing yourself the pain of false attachments and avoidable devastation. . . . When something happens, the only thing in your power is your attitude toward it, you can either accept it or resent it." When you accept it, you can do something with it. If you resent it, you will try to do something about it. But history, even immediate history, cannot be otherwise. It is futile to decry it. Do something new with it instead; be active, turn it into something positive, if you can".
Hear hear....

Thursday, January 11, 2007

New Year Revolutions!

So its the new year, time to be out with the old and in with the new. The end of last year for me can only be described as tumultuous, no less. I am still trying to clamber out from rock-bottom. Whoever said that once you hit rock-bottom the only way you can go is up, didn't consider the possibility that once you hit rock bottom you might wander down there forever!
I take refuge in sarcasm and causticity (if that is a word!), it is the one constant in my life and something that can be called upon in any circumstance good or bad and it will never let me down. It is my sanctuary. More so because my options for coping are limited - laugh like a moron, cry like an idiot or lace everything in sarcasm to the point where everything only elicits a callous, non-committal and non-caring reaction.

Some things I have come to realise from last year's events:

1. Caring unconditionally for anyone/thing will only lead to heartache, headache and muscular fatigue.

2. When you have to literally pick up your flatmate's dirty linen you should rethink the whole 'end of lease clean up', listen to good advice and torch the place.

3. No two people are compatible - the making of relationships is a fundamentally flawed process and the only way two people can live under one roof (and emit a sense of harmony and well-being to the outside world) is through total dominance and/or subservience.
Compromise is a myth as is compatibility.

4. If you have children under the age of 3 please have the good sense not to travel half the world (on an aircraft) with them till they are old enough to realise or listen to you when you tell them not to kick the seat in front of them and bawl like there is no tomorrow. Because invariably it will be me in that seat in front!

5. It takes more strength of character to stand up to your friends than to your enemies.

6. It is always better to be the exploiter than the exploitee (if those are the only two options!).

7. I have also learned that realisaton and learning are two completely different concepts.

Happy New Year everyone!!