Tuesday, 25 December 2007


There are some lessons which you learn only by a blow to your head - so hard that it'll probably knock you out cold.

Since its almost the end of 2007, its a right time for introspection.End of the year retrospections are suitably light,frothy and usually nostalgic however not mine.

I came across the following quote by Richard Feynman.
I quote,"You can know the name of a bird in all the languages of the world, but when you're finished, you'll know absolutely nothing whatever about the bird... So let's look at the bird and see what it's doing -- that's what counts. I learned very early the difference between knowing the name of something and knowing something."

I didn't learn early the difference between knowing the name of the bird and knowing about the bird !

Infact, i learned quite late when i was 23 and at my first job how shallow my thinking and learning has been. i usually knew all the correct names,styles and knew little of everything. But it was useless ! I didn't have the know how to convert anything I knew into tangible results.Unfortunately for me, I'm still searching for a mentor who can groom me!

However,now,I've learn't to think realistically,cause and effect and sow and reap rules which I just didn't know because of my myopic,rosy and beautiful point of views.

The other thing which I've managed to learn effectively is forgiveness. It took me four years to learn to forgive because of the way I'm. Forgiveness is a virtue most people aspire to however its not easy ! Just sit back and think- in this whirlwind of the world,with cut throat competition and shallow relationships there must be atleast one incident everyday in everyone's life where forgiveness and mercy is a must to move on !
Yet, how many of us can truly say, that we've put an end to festering wounds !
To forgive does not mean that you have to repair relationships though you may,it doesn't mean you are the weaker person,and it definitely does not mean you lower the standards for another person !
Forgiveness and compassion is a habit like any other that you have to teach yourself and practice ,practice,practice.And yet, when the blows come,you may falter and not be able to forgive !
From my personal experience I can vouch for the usefulness of forgiving others and yourself and showing mercy because as James Ray put it - I quote "Being unwilling to forgive is like drinking poison expecting the other person to die."

Happy New year !:-)

Sunday, 16 December 2007


Caste based reservations has always remained at the back of my mind since the time i graduated from school. Mandal commission decision,the debates and fiery and deadly demonstrations were still fresh at that time.However ,i was too rosy eyed to be bothered.

The uselessness of caste based reservations hit me a few years ago when I personally witnessed an OBC status colleague carrying a high end mobile and living a carefree and moneyed lifestyle when it was made to believe otherwise

The recent violent demand by Gujjar community to be included in OBC quota took me by surprise.
After all, the main reason cited by quota politicians and people who enjoyed quota reservations was upliftment and inclusion in mainstream society. It took me very little time to understand that I now belong to 'underprivileged' group !

Caste based reservation has created more offence especially the OBC quota where all and sundry have been included and have benefitted through many generations.
The moot question the sociologists can probably help with - Has the 50 yrs + of reservation helped in inclusion of lower castes into mainstream society ? Have the caste based prejudices disappeared or have they turned into more subvert and schizophrenic mindsets ? Have they made racists and uppercastes fiends more humane ?

Affirmative action which is touted as possible route is applicable virtually to any underprivilege section of society- womem,Muslim women,disabled,poor muslim/christian/parsi/hindu man and SC/ST/NT muslims,christians and hindus etc .
Why is that so difficult to understand !

Sachar committe report which came and went away,brought a few facts to forefront. The fact is Muslims are considered last when it comes to selection via the usual reservation route.It is simply because of the 'Us vs. Them' mentality which crosses even the caste based bias.That's the reason there are very few Muslims in Government jobs which are still sought after because of the perks they ensure.
As usual, political groups which consider Muslims to be 'outsiders' will do nothing for Indian Muslims. Indian Muslims will always remain a bone of contention because of it being the largest minority in India.

What are we waiting for to scrap the untenable caste based reservations? More violent and demanding inclusion in quota system so that the next generation of that caste get easy jobs,education opportunities etc ? If the fight is about better jobs,education and more money then are we waiting for the 'open category' to reduce to poverty,not have access to education because there is 'competition'and reserved seats which are later 'sold', to improve and adopt a different route towards a truly egalitarian society !

Monday, 10 December 2007

Mix for a Thought!

New year in on its way- just like previous 'new years'. The most famous way is to party , get drunk and usher in the New Year.

I'm pretty boring and am not partying kind. My family usually has get togethers with friends.Unofficially i gained the reputation of 'cocktail mixer'.
I don't drink but being a microbiology student i've always been interested in 'fermentation'. Idli batter,bean curd, wines,whiskey- you name it.I've undying curiosity to know as much about the various techniques and how it majorly affects the 'taste'.

Serendipity called in and few New years ago,I mixed my first martini.

Here is the recipe,

Kiwi crush
Vodka (about 20 ml)
Salt a pinch
Whole berries[any berry of the sweet kind you can find- i used strawberry)

In a huge glass dump 4-5 berries .crush them well,add vodka, about a tbsp of kiwi crush ,lots of ice,salt.Cover it with another tall glass .Give it a good shake for 5 mins [since you and me are not professional bartenders- we do need to shake it for 5 mins. You can add lemon juice if you like.

Strain and Serve it in a martini glass and test it on your favorite scapegoat !

Now, yours truly experimented with 3 recipes on that New year to serve eager uncles,aunties- their sons and daughters.I've since recommended mixes for my colleagues at couple of office parties.Most of the time i got pleased look on their faces. I'm still not sure whether it was the alcohol or they truly admired my recipes ! :-))

I keep trying various cocktails and mocktails with regular fruits ,squashes and crushes with water and soda.As usual, like anything else, some are hits while others are plain grotesque !

Perhaps, now that Supreme Court has allowed 'women' bartenders ,I can think about applying for the job ! :-D

If You Forget Me

Ok,now, this is still my favourite poem,besides 'If' by Rudyard Kipling and 'How do I love thee ?' by Elizabeth Barett Browning..Funnily ,once upon a time, I knew both of the latter poems by heart. Now, i barely remember 2 lines yet they are favourites.
This poem by Pablo Nerudo may not be one of his greatest or most famous work but this poem speaks of my ideology so that's why its still a favourite.

I want you to know
one thing.
You know how this is:
if I look
at the crystal moon, at the red branch
of the slow autumn at my window,
if I touch
near the fire
the impalpable ash
or the wrinkled body of the log,
everything carries me to you,
as if everything that exists,
aromas, light, metals,
were little boats
that sail
toward those isles of yours that wait for me.
Well, now,
if little by little you stop loving me
I shall stop loving you little by little.

If suddenly
you forget me
do not look for me,
for I shall already have forgotten you. If you think it long and mad,
the wind of banners
that passes through my life,
and you decide
to leave me at the shore
of the heart where I have roots,
that on that day,
at that hour,
I shall lift my arms
and my roots will set off
to seek another land.

if each day,
each hour,
you feel that you are destined for me
with implacable sweetness,
if each day a flower
climbs up to your lips to seek me,
ah my love, ah my own,
in me all that fire is repeated,
in me nothing is extinguished or forgotten,
my love feeds on your love, beloved,
and as long as you live it will be in your arms
without leaving mine.

Saturday, 8 December 2007

Tickled pink !

Oh gosh ! This is easily one of my favourite things ! Right from the time I was a shy teenager, I've always known there were some things more than the others which gave colour to my cheeks,brought on my wide blinding smile [yep,that's what i think of my smile] and brought a warm rush of feelings and made me cosy and feel that all's right with the world.

I'm going to share a few here which have stood the test of General Time.

  1. Ooh, Chocolate.chocolate cake,chocolates,dark and bitter.chocolates in any form,shape,flavours.
  2. Hmm, the second is 'Gone With The Wind'. I've seen the movie only once and have the read the book too. However, its the character of Scarlett O'hara which makes me feel strong and harbour a faith that one day i can be a good bitch and be someone who can fight through anything and survive.....Ah well ! Its also the wonderful character of Rhett Butler. I've yet to see a full grown man actually behave like a Man ! I've been mooning over the character of Rhett Butler like a star crossed teenager ever since i can remember.
  3. Well cooked prawns ! Hmm,..if prawns are overcooked they become rubber like .So,like all good things ,they have to be cooked just right.
  4. Kindness. Its a real turn on for me.Especially spontaneous kindness to people when they least expect it.
  5. People who can laugh at themselves ,knowing they have goofed up real bad and have probably incurred a loss because of it.
  6. Another thing which makes me feel like a warm blooded animal- when someone succeeds after many failures,goof ups and hard times.
  7. When my mom cooks something and says ,'zahra, I made this for you '
  8. It gives me hope when a toddler asserts and says no to his mother,We need more independence in Indian children,instead of checking how they fared compared to Hari, Ram and Lily.
  9. When a baby giggles. I like people who giggle .I know most adults don't giggle because bosses,colleagues,husbands,wives find it most suspicious.
  10. I feel especially good when i visit green mountainous regions,the more rough the better and beaches. I can do major timepass alone by just sitting/walking at the beach.
Actually, this is an incomplete list.There must be more instances than i've mentioned .However, i don't recall all of them .I think it maybe a kind of hormonal rush- probably oxytocin.

Thursday, 6 December 2007

Changing people

Oh well ! Like You [the reader] I've heard oft enough how you cannot change people. Not through words,not by sticks and stones and definitely not by shaming or inducing guilt in them.

However, I truly internalized this only now.
Being a partial control freak, i usually had a list of people. If only X didn't do this ,if only Y was kinder and more understanding...,blah and blah.And i actually told them do this,don't do that.

Oh well ! I failed changing them .

So i'm going to do the next best thing - Change myself ,my attitude and decidedly have strong boundaries so that i can keep mean,selfish,narcissitic people out of my life.

Tuesday, 27 November 2007


It was my first time at the airport. I was going to Hyderabad. With my new husband. Since last 5 years, I had seen so much melodrama in my house; there was generally a heightened palpable tension in my house when my parents talked about me getting married. Every time, a suitable rishta arrived which was really rare in my case for some unknown godly reason, my parents would pray fervently hoping this time I’d strike lucky. Now, at 30, I finally got married.

I thought I’d be happy because getting married and getting out of my parents way was my primary pray too. I was tired of seeing disillusionment in their eyes and blame. They didn’t have to speak cruel words many times but during heated arguments they made amply clear that I should have been married by now and since I was not – it was all my fault! After sometime I didn’t care what anyone felt or said about me.

Flying within the country had become cheaper yet this was the first time I was traveling by plane. Ten years ago, I would have been thrilled to bits to travel by plane. Now, I just felt obsolete. I entered the airport lounge clutching my ticket .I was supposed to wait for the husband to arrive from work. The flight was supposed to leave after one and half hours. I walked to the row of empty seats, anxious.

Anxiety had become a part of my personality. Of course, no one who looked at me would call me anxious.I never looked anxious !However, from last 7 years anxiety over new things and over my abilities had somehow crept into me.

I sat on the chair, and kept my shoulder bag on the adjoining empty one. I opened the bag and rummaged through it for the book I was reading. After a good ten minutes of thoroughly searching the bag, it occurred to me that I had forgotten the book at home. Annoyed, I sat looking around. There were not many people in the lounge, waiting. Not having anything to occupy me, I sat glum, trying to make sense of what was happening around me.Suddenly,I saw a newspaper and magazine stall and immediately I straightened my bag, zipped it and was about to go there when I saw a familiar sight.

I’m a pretty tall girl and that time I wished I wasn’t. With a jerk, I turned my face away and slumped in the chair. My eyes looked at the familiar sight, far away, yet in my line of vision. For a second or two, I nearly made up my mind to run out of the airport. When my quickened pulse and thudding heart assumed a steadiness, I realized he probably had not even recognized me. He adjusted his hair and went back to reading the magazine.

He just looked older, that’s all! .I never thought I would see him again. In my heart, I wanted to. However, I would never have tried seeing him again. My hands turned ice cold while I sat there .The memories came rushing back which I thought I had firmly pushed away. The pain of being dumped and informed of being dumped through the sms seared at my heart. No reason was given- I had asked, demanded and sweared to be given the reason for being dumped. I fought for it.Ah ! How terrible those years were! I covered my face trying to blot out the pain.

He was the only person I had loved selflessy. My first and last love! I still remember the cold November morning when I got up –stark awake while sleeping .I had sat on my diwan thinking – I will never be able to love anyone the way I had loved him. I had loved him with a certain innocence, naivete, passion and selflessness. And he had taken that away when he dumped me!

The day he dumped me I couldn’t sleep the whole night. I was angry. I had been angry for last 5 years now. I was angry at myself- for loving and trusting him.For not being ‘smart’ about it the way he had been. He had worked and gained promotions and the last he informed me –he was doing his Executive MBA from IIM.

I was not jealous about the way he went on with his life after dumping me.
I just felt stupid that I had wasted my time on him.

I still remember how hard I was on myself for 2 years called myself stupid, my emotions were a waste. I couldn’t trust my ability to make good decisions- infact any kind of decision. I had lot of faith in my choice of friends and was proud of the fact that I had never wasted my time in ‘puppy love’ relationships.

He had committed to me and had expressed his desire to marry me. I had believed him. I wanted to marry him because I loved him. Just imagine! It is so difficult to find someone who wants to marry you just because he/she loves you. Not because your figure, face, money, status, business, caste, religion fits into their scheme of things. I loved him enough to lay down my life for him if required.

I was not perfect and thank god, I got tired of changing myself to fit into his ambiguous excuses. Of course, I realized all that later, when he was avoiding me. He took advantage of the fact I loved him because it took me a year of negligence from him to realize he was avoiding me. All that was drama he created so that he could escape the responsibility of hurting me.

Suddenly, the airport felt cold and I shivered as I looked at his bent head. Good! He hasn’t recognized me! I don’t particularly want to act friendly; I smirked. I felt cold because of the anger welling up inside me. I was hurt but that I could and had dealt with long ago. It was the anger that I was fighting since last 5 years.

I was angry that I had chosen a cruel, merciless person to love. I was angry because he had lied, made excuses and messed up my head so that he could escape manipulatively. I was angry that he had said he loved me when all he actually did was use me. Since last 5 years, all I looked around is for ways to deal with anger! My proud heart was made to look like a fool. No one understood my pain. I lost my spirit, motivation just because I had loved a wrong person. I taught myself new rules and saw to it that I never felt pain again. I dropped the expectation to be happy in my life.

While this drama was on, I had lost the track of my career. I didn’t have fulltime work for two years ,I had receded from acquaintances and friends and didn’t make any new friends.
And on top of all this, I couldn’t get married through a traditional arrange marriage system. I couldn’t find a suitable boy while I was still ‘young’.
All because of him!
And yet, I hadn’t learned to hate him.

The announcement of the impending flight broke through my mad confused reverie. I sat there clutching my bag, a shadow of my happy go lucky, innocent simple and easy to please self. I looked at him while he stuffed the magazine in his satchel.

From the corner of my eye, I saw an elderly man, pushing a wheelchair, waving at him.
I saw the old man, helping him into the chair.
Dumbstruck,I bolted upright ,still clutching my bag ! I stood there, worried as the old man adjusted the wheelchair while he gathered the bags and put them in the trolley as ably as he could.
I wanted to run and help him but I stood there biting my nails. After he had finished loading the trolley, he swiveled the chair while the elderly man pushed the trolley.

For the next thirty seconds, he looked at me. The same look he used to give me when he was helpless for words. He pursed his lips and I knew at that moment he had recognized me all along as I sat there. Before he wheeled away,I thought I saw his eyes glistening and I stood there fighting hopelessly to hold back my tears.

Thursday, 8 November 2007

Men and Machine

Just look around and there is a good chance that someone is either selling a fitness machine,gadget -call it whatever you like or a hope of youth and beauty in a tube and a jar .

Usually the price is for asking !

Do our lives run on hope ! or is it that our realities and what we want run on two separate tracks ?
Or do we know all the facts and reality yet succumb to a Fatcutter or latest cream !
I think for most people its latter.

Exercise machines overhelm me. The thought of going to the gym is giving me anxiety attacks ! I need to lose weight because being round and plump is really not in fashion nowadays.
Walking is the only thing i do with aplomb .I can amble easily to the ATM, to the shop or markets and don't fret to walk a kilometer or two.

And thank God, right from the time I was a nice brown ,langly teenager - it never crossed my head that I wanted to be fair and hence had to hop onto the bandwagon of "FAir and Lovely'.

Even now when i do put on makeup, its always to accentuate my best features and not to hide anything ! I love my body and colour even though its fatter than before !

I wish many Indian girls would be able to say that proudly and know that 90% of the cosmetics you really don't need !

Thursday, 9 August 2007

Reality is my friend

You gotta face life’s storms

Small storms come usually,
When you ain’t looking.
The big ones have probably
Tolled a bell or two in your face.
Both take you by surprise.
What can you do?
Just face them

You’ll break if you don’t bend,
And walk against bare cold winds.
If you do pile up
And allow the desperate moments to rule
You can be sure they’ll decay you.

When thundering clouds threaten to burst
If you are drop dead lucky,
There’ll be few true souls holding you,
If not, you can be sure
You ‘d probably be alone !

Either ways, by hook or crook,
Whether you like it or not,
Even though, the storm destroyed
Your pretty life and ruined life’s work.

You gotta thank it.
It removed the chaff from grains.
And taught you to bend humbly.
Reminded - you are
Clay boned cracked china
Who’s alive and well now
Whose end must come
Being no more


Narcissism ??

I laugh too loud and hard

years ago, when i was a little girl
I laughed heartily
Too loud
Too hard
Sometimes my eyes watered
Most of the time
I had to hold myself
Lest i fall

Lousiest joke and lamest lines
Were enough !
I never needed
Depth in Humour
Usually i laughed
at people who slipped in rain
and at those who tripped
And fell
though i got angry glances
I laughed

when i grew up
Apparently mature,wise and smart !
I never saw people laugh
At work,all i got were smiles
as Dead as my plastic debit card
No one laughed loud or hard
Rarely did i see
A full grown man's jiggling belly
and watery slanting eyes

And me ?
I laughed loud and hard
Too less !
Too infrequently !
Too ladylike !
And i never forget
To invent a reason
For unforgiving serious adults
Leading Difficult
Somewhat Poached life
But then ,Its me
I still laugh too loud and hard

So i lose stuff !

I created this blog for my ramblings. I've lost my poems and lots of earlier writings because my computer's hard disks' crashed not once but twice in last 6 years.Lost lot of data !
I didn't mourn the fact that i lost my post graduation assignments, my favourite music or even my photos. However ,i mourned the fact that i lost many of my poems.
I'm not a blogger.
Primarily, i don't have time and energy to put up inane, whimsical and sometimes plain nonsensical stuff i sometimes do. And secondly i cannot write intelligently or even say anything intelligent or intellectual.
So , here i am , to put my poems and hopefully someone might like them !
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