Wednesday, January 30, 2008

If wishes were horses...

The life that I want:
A hill-top house overlooking the ocean. A huge bed with Egyptian cotton sheets and a balcony with lie-back chairs. Wake up in the morning and shower in a black tiled bathroom. Have breakfast in an airy, sunny kitchen/dining and head off to work in my sleek-black car (the make and model of which varies in my head!). Work is on the top floor of a high rise and even though the details of the job are blurred, everyday I do something I love and so the time passes quickly. The weather is sun with a cool breeze, I don't even mind the occasional drizzle or clouds (no heavy rain!). There are parks and people and the bustle of life to weave through on the way back home and once home there is a warm cup of tea, maybe a hot-bath with some good music. Dinner is home-cooked almost always and ranges from Indian to anything else exotic. Some TV on a flat-screen before heading to bed.

The life I have:
Bottom-floor apartment where almost all the sunlight is blocked off by huge bushes. No bed - just two mattresses piled one on the other. Struggle to wake up each morning, no time to make breakfast or eat it. If I have bought Up 'n' Go then that is breakfast! Rush to work in my bottle green Suzuki (which is the highlight of my day) with good music playing. Work is in the middle of nowhere and usually involves spending the day in the lab in the basement with no windows. Weather is either scorching hot or freezing cold with a few pleasant days thrown in. There is barren land, no people and no bustle of life. Once home there are dishes to do and bathroom and kitchen to clean. Dinner is usually last night's leftovers or takeaway (I try to cook as often as energy permits!). Some DVDs, on a Dick Smith DVD player bought for $60 which stops working as and when it pleases, to watch before falling asleep on the couch.

Now that I read the life I have - it doesnt sound half bad!

Friday, January 25, 2008

My hair is, as of yesterday, officially a vector! It not only has magnitude and velocity but it has direction! In fact more so in life than I do at the moment!
Chemical straightening y'all - do it and take the stress of the hair and yourself!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

For the love of the game

Do you think in blogs? Of late I do! Any event that I think is worth writing about translates itself into a little story.
So, last weekend was blissfully spent in Melbourne at the Australian Open! Amidst the brilliant atmosphere, good seats and heaps of junk food. Watching tennis live is an experience in itself. So this year the list of sightings included Sharapova, Justine Henin, the Williams sisters, Nadal, Sania Mirza and Leander Paes (to name a few!) Bloody brilliant!
Next year it will be Fed, Roddick, Djokovic and (by the looks of it!) Tipseravic!
Speaking of lists - another blogger wrote about her list. You know the list.
Here's mine: Not in any order, just off the top of my head

Roger Federer - For sheer effortless power
Prince William - understated regality
Matthew McConeghey - rugged good looks
Hrithik Roshan - the moves!
Hugh Jackman - Have you seen 'Scoop'?!!
Will Smith - That smile
Kyle Chandler - The looks again
Matthew Perry - actually the character he plays 'Chandler'

Of course this list, like all others is subject to additions and omissions but Im happy in that it is fairly non-standard, what say?
Would love to know yours!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Shoe woes

So my blog sidebar now proudly sports 'Shelfari' and a small collection of what I've read so far and my feet proudly sport the cheapest and most comfortable shoes I have ever owned. I buy expensive shoes - i.e running shoes, trainers etc. All branded and all utterly comfortable. Ever since I can remember I have had trouble with two pieces of attire, shoes and jeans. My father solemnly vowed never to come shoe shopping with me but had to, very reluctantly, every birthday. My mother is vehemently opposed to shop for jeans for me and luckily for her my friends and my sister (half!) willingly oblige.
I have strange feet. Long and narrow. For some reason shoe-makers in Australia and New Zealand decided that long feet must be wide, same goes for jeans. Luckily Indians were smarter!
The comfort factor rates very high on my list when buying shoes. Hence, I only end up spending a bomb on sneakers/runners. The width of which can be fixed by tying the laces on nice and tight.
My feet are, more often than not, clad in socks and stuffed into a pair of Adidas/Nike/Basics runners.
Canberra summer decided that socks and runners are for the faint-hearted and when I was all but ready to pass out from the oven that were my shoes - I decided that I needed to buy a pair of slip-ons for summer (I am not allowed to wear open-toed stuff to work). A quick trip to the shoe shops revealed that nothing had changed - not the length of my feet nor the width of the shoes. I finally decided on a pair and bought 'em only to find myself limping in them the following day. 'It happens' they said. 'New shoes always bite, put a band-aid on it for a few days' and I did. I also gritted my teeth and endured the fact that the shoes although the right width didn't seem to be long enough for my foot and prayed hard that somehow they would grow into my feet!
Well 10 days later, here I am, proud owner of a pair of slip-ons that, magically, seem to have grown into my feet (not to mention the nights of stuffing them with balls of paper and cardboard!). Unfortunately a pair of jeans purchased a year ago refuse to concede.
Incidentally, on a completely unrelated note, does anyone know how to eat a kebab without making a mess. If you do I need some pointers. Why is it that kebab vendors do not understand the meaning of 'little sauce'. Generosity is not appreciated in these matters. I wish I had taken a picture of the godawful mess that was my kebab-lunch this afternoon. If any one of those kebab-vendors can eat one in front of me without making a mess - I'll eat my newly grown shoe!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Offs and Ons

The only thing sadder than window-less labs is finding out that -1 people read your blog. Judging by the comments left, or lack thereof, I can only assume that my writing has gone to 'heck in a handbasket'. Pray tell me what happens to them creative juices when they are forced to reckon with the likes of a PhD, the related thesis and the aforementioned window-less labs - they too go to 'heck in a handbasket'.
I was going to say that today I shall don the garb of entertainer while discarding the disguise of a Physicist - but that will do nothing more than raise the bar and that I don't need right now.
On the reading front, apart from the lack-lustre journal papers, to which I am about to add my own lack-lustre contribution, I have managed to read The Alchemist and Shame. The former needs no introduction and the latter is by an author of Indian origin, Jasvinder Sanghera. Rather than writing about sugar-coated Indian things like 'smell of camphor, spices and flower coupled with dung and despair' and how 'the demure Indian girl adjusts to the western lifestyle', Sanghera writes about the harsh reality of western vs. Indian conventions and the (mis) treatment of women. What intrigued and interested me most was that the story (true as it is) is set in a conventional Sikh household and not a Muslim one so the stereo-types are the same with a different background and therefore a new perspective.
As 'feminist' books are being thrust at me from all angles I feel the need to clarify my stand on this issue - I will say this and only this - Feminism should be a cry for equality not female dominance. Many 'radical' feminists of my generation seem to miss this very basic point.
On a brighter note - I am off to watch the Australian Open this weekend - hoping that the weather keeps its promise yet manages to spare us its worst. I love Melbourne. Its a beautiful, vibrant city and it has treated me with the respect I think I deserve, with every visit.. It is a place where one can be creative, very unlike Canberra, where one must fight to keep one's spirit alive. With tickets in hand to, what I am hoping will be, a Federer vs. Somebody game one I can barely contain my excitement. My cousin said to me today that watching Fed play is so boring because he is too good. Granted. BUT it is the effortlessness he exhibits that I find thrilling. I cannot forget a Fed vs. Roddick match I watched some years ago - while Roddick was melting Fed had barely broken a sweat!
Much awaited rain has finally wet the Canberra earth and so celebration is called for, I reckon. Hot tea and some of my mother's chocolate cake (that is currently being eaten in slivers!) is warranted.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Can't think of a title

On Tuesday, 27th of March, 2007, I wrote a blog entry about the Indian Cricket team and the fiasco that was Cricket World Cup 2007.
10 months on and here I am trying to gather my thoughts about the abomination that is the India vs. Australia series. Sports columnists, youtube and the public have all voiced their opinions on the disgraceful umpiring, Australian arrogance and general mistreatment of the Indians on this tour and for once I agree with them. Any monkey could see that Dravid was not out (no pun intended!).
Personally I have never agreed with sledging in a game. I think it kills the spirit of the game and there is a fine line between what is acceptable and what is not. How can one adhere to a set of rules regarding sledging on a playing field. There are racial barriers and then there are personal barriers both quite easy to cross, maybe even unintentionally.
Similarly I find it hard to agree with the fact that a fielder knows best whether or not he took a fair catch. Under situations of immense stress and pressure (not to mention the financial consequences!) the brain does not function normally (again any monkey knows that!) . The last thing a player can do is judge whether or not he is right. As far as he is concerned he is right unless proven wrong. The facts are right there people - make your decision.

On another note: it is mid January and time to summarise lessons learned from last year:

1. A driving licence (read hundreds of dollars expenditure!) is just a pass to put reckless people on the road- in a car!

2. People treat speed limits as a challenge.
3. I have road rage
4. Canberra weather and the city itself is only suited to masochists.
And finally perhaps the most important lesson of all:

5. To have a successful relationship one must share, not their likes, but their dislikes!

Monday, January 07, 2008

And what a holiday it was!

Ive been hit hard by the 'after holiday' blues. After two weeks of (mostly) sun and sand and more sun, a badly tanned I am finally back to Canberra and back to work.
No dearth of sun here though with the earth baking in predominantly high 30s temperatures. What is lacking is my home and my family. I had not gone home for one long year i.e all of 2007 and leaving home once again to face, what will decidedly be, a year of hard work and sleepless nights, was possibly the worst feeling.
However, whenever I feel the tears coming on that I must choke back, it makes me more determined to finish this blasted PhD and head home!
In my dazed state at the airport, having bid farewell to my mom and sister, I bought a New Zealand souvenir calender and it has done wonders to brighten the day. I am seriously contemplating covering every inch of the white walls of my office with scenic shots of NZ - just to show these pale, life-deprived people what they are missing.
Its amazing what the sight of clear blue water, rolling hills and blue skies will do to cheer up the dull mind. Try it! [consider that my handy hint for 2008]