Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Tattered lover !

I finished Lady Chatterley's Lover by D.H Lawrence -after putting it down many times ! I'm an avid reader yet I had avidly avoided this sensational almost a path breaking novel about one woman's extramarital affair and all her escapades in late nineteenth century !

Her husband returns home wounded confined to a wheelchair! Predictably, there enters the game keeper working for Lord Chatterley. Sexual tension between 2 people from different classes in society !
While most love making scenes were crude there were some which were sensual due to mere play of words.
I like intricate play of words maybe that's why those remained with me far longer than any other scenes.

D.H Lawrence has always displayed women characters as strong,soft sensual yet sexually aware - scandalous best for nineteenth century !
His novels like those of Thomas Hardy faithfully portray real women and not the pious goddess like creatures we are made out to be !
Along with niceness, real women could also be uncharitable, nagging, downright bitchy,possessive, flirtatious [even if she is married],hog the limelight, manipulative,significantly ambitious and believe me, even ruthless !
So even though the 'dance' may continue between man and woman, wise people only hope that for the best man/woman to win ! That is how it was meant to be !

Walking on the Road !

There are arts and there is one art- the lost art of walking on Pune Roads.
I'm an ardent fan of walking. I can walk alone and most definitely love to amble with friends.I have mastered the the art of walking on Pune roads.
Or so i thought !
Now ,pune roads are not any regular roads that you might have seen in countries galore. They are unique - each bump, gaping hole has its own unique character. The icing on the cake ? No pavements or footpaths for mortal pedestrians like me. No SIr ! Pune holds the topmost distinction of rare pavements and most of the pavements which resemble pavement either house hawkers or are broken wedges on the sides of the road.

I have the priviledge of staying near a long winding ,dark ,perilous, mysterious highway flanked by a race course.
Now usually I've paid my respects to this 'dark' highway by saying my prayers before i venture out of my apartment however these days i don't bother to do that.
PMC is zealous so much so that it digs up roads ,the sides of roads as much as 6 times a year ! That is the maximum i've counted for the bursting lane near my apartment. Its one merry synchronous job ! Dig up the road, put a pipe , let 2 months pass, then dig up again ,put in a cable and then rest till rains arrive in their thundrous applause.
When yours truly stays in Pune how can she not pat herself on the back for the marvelous job she does in hiking on Pune roads'.

Thursday, 11 December 2008


I watch news channels - a lot of it nowadays ! Today ,on one of the channels a news flash said Cong. has yet to decide the CM for Rajasthan post victory .
There was a footage of a swarming crowd chanting . The news reader specified that the Jath majority wanted the CM elected to be from their caste.
A group of majority wanted a leader from their caste. That's comfortable !

If we continue to elect CMs on basis of caste and under pressure of the majority and if that is the sole criteria how can we expect leaders who are meritorious and capable?

When do we elect capable people? After terrorists attacks?
Isn't a burgeoning democracy with children dying of malnourishment ,farmers' committing suicide annually, people -around 50% below poverty line and widespread illiteracy in many communities -just like a predictable bad movie , enough reasons ?

Saturday, 8 November 2008

What you see is what you get !

"What you see is what you get" used to be an identification sign of the evolved,upright and uncomplicated individuals. There was this notion that such people don't play games. This term is also wildly confused with people who carry their thoughts ,feelings and sometimes harmful attitudes on their sleeve. They make no show of hiding and even improving their defects/shortcomings.

However ,recently, I'm pushed to reflect whether perception of one by the people he/she comes across determines his/her realities- the push and pull in relations,success in money and relationships ?

Some people I've talked to really stress on how appearances matter more. You may be talented,smart and even nice but all that is secondary to how well you are turned out ( read: latest haircolour,fashionable,good figure,fair.) how you talk (read: diplomatic,confident, brag,good mixer in social structures), how you spend your money ( parties,renovating homes according to latest styles or to keep up with Jones,clothes,gadgets- in short everything you can flaunt).

There are people who judge since time immemorial only by looks- arranged marriages where guys come to see girls, love marriages - where only pretty and stylish girls will get a guy.Interviews for jobs where how well you turn out will determine your pay if not the job itself.
Its all about how one looks or how one comes across.Then other things like castes,religion,marital status,age etc come into play.

That's perhaps why sometimes people hire unsavory people to work for them .They pollute morale of truly straight people- the sincere, honest ,unmanipulative, God- fearing lot !
That perhaps is the reason why divorce rates are going up and people think more about themselves than the children they have brought into this world. Of course there are situations where divorces are absolutely warranted however a good many of them would have been averted if people would have taken getting married seriously and stressed not on the looks and what prospectives grooms/brides say but who they are.

Or i may be all wrong. Success and money hides all follies and failure and lack of wealth makes even good intentions,words and actions vulnerable and instigative so that one attracts loneliness and misunderstandings !

Thursday, 21 August 2008

So false ! True !

In this age, of glitzy ,expensive marketing and advertising ,the worst hit is the area of personal use products and cosmetics.
I admit, i've gone through my share of hopes dashed by a cream, shampoo and latest sunscreens.They almost never do what they proclaim to do. I've been most conscientious of the fact of choosing stuff according to my skin type and budget.Thankfully, I've never bought into the thinking that costly and expensive products mean necessarily better ! Though , I've come across many educated ,young women who simply have lazily accepted this fact. Being a microbiologist and a science student have always made me ask questions and of course Internet has been very useful in answering many questions of mine.
One such neutral and wonderful site I came across is :
Paula Begoun , I think is the lone fighter against the cosmetic industry and busting so many myths which have been propagated by this industry over so many years that we have come to believe them to be true.

Check this link :

I encourage to use your own judgment and commonsense against the onslaught of false,gimmicky adverstising and marketing claims for almost everything under the sun.

Monday, 30 June 2008

George Carlin

Just about the only person in media and on street whose stream of foul words i can ignore, pretend they don't exist and move on to hear what he is actually trying to say !

The following piece i came across from and am reproducing it here :

Life is not as difficult as people think; all one needs is a good set of rules. Since it is probably too late for you, here are some guidelines to pass along to your children.

1. Relax and take it easy. Don't get caught up in hollow conceits such as "doing something with your life." Such twaddle is outmoded and a sure formula for disappointment.

2. Whatever it is you pursue, try to do it just well enough to remain in the middle third of the field. Keep your thoughts and ideas to yourself and don't ask questions. Remember, the squeaky wheel is the first one to be replaced.

3. Size people up quickly, and develop rigid attitudes based on your first impression. If you try to delve deeper and get to "know" people, you're asking for trouble.

4. Don't fall for that superstitious nonsense about treating people the way you would like to be treated. It is a transparently narcissistic approach, and may be the sign of a weak mind.

5. Spend as much time as you can pleading and impressing others, even if it makes you unhappy. Pay special attention to shallow manipulators who can do you the most harm. Remember, in the overall scheme, you count for very little.

6. Surround yourself with inferiors and losers. Not only will you look good by comparison, but they will look up to you, and that will make you feel better.

7. Don't buy into the sentimental notion that everyone has shortcomings; it's the surest way of undermining yourself. Remember, the really best people have no defects. If you're not perfect, something is wrong.

8. If by some off chance you do detect a few faults, first, accept the fact that you are probably deeply flawed. Then make a list of your faults and dwell on them. Carry the list around and try to think of things to add. Blame yourself for everything.

9. Beware of intuition and gut instincts, they are completely unreliable. Instead, develop preconceived notions and don't waver unless someone tells you to. Then change your mind and adopt their point of view. But only if they seem to know what they're talking about.

10. Never give up on an idea simply because it is bad and doesn't work. Cling to it even when it is hopeless. Anyone can cut and run, but it takes a very special person to stay with something that is stupid and harmful.

11. Always remember, today doesn't count. Trying to make something out of today only robs you of precious time that could be spent daydreaming or resting up.

12. Try to dwell on the past. Think of all the mistakes you've made, and how much better it would be if you hadn't made them. Think of what you should have done, and blame yourself for not doing so. And don't go easy. Be really hard on yourself.

13. If by chance you make a fresh mistake, especially a costly one, try to repeat it a few times so you become familiar with it and can do it easily in the future. Write it down. Put it with your list of faults.

14. Beware also of the dangerous trap of looking ahead; it will only get you in trouble. Instead, try to drift along from day to day in a meandering fashion. Don't get sidetracked with some foolish "plan."

15. Finally, enjoy yourself all the time, and do whatever you want. Don't be seduced by that mindless chatter going around about "responsibility." That's exactly the sort of thing that can ruin your life.

Friday, 6 June 2008

Letter to the Editor

The following is the letter that i sent to Editor, TOI ,Pune. As expected, they printed after deleting and/or shortening few lines. The omitted ones are in red.

This refers to the article ' Anticancer drugs show a strong signs of growth '(May 20).
Anticancer drug market showing growth maybe 'hallelujah' moment for pharma cos, chemists and ,doctors. However, from a patient point of view its disastrous. Those people who have undergone chemotherapy and radiation and paid huge hospital bils and bought costly chemotherapy drugs must be wondering why government and NGOs are silent on huge profit margins that pharma cos make on selling anticancer drugs.

Why are anticancer drugs so costly and actually beyond the reach of many sufferers? Its not that Indian pharma cos are innovating and trying to find a less toxic alternative to chemotherapy. Most of the anticancer drugs in market are molecules imported from outside the country. The only cost that these MNC and Indian cos have to bear is manufacturing cost in bulk. Cancer is a chronic traumatic disease whose treatment should not only be subsidized but a huge emphasis can be made on not making it out to be a 'huge money making machine'.

Thursday, 5 June 2008

Alaska Impressions

I'm just back from an 8-day trip to Alaska; weary, jetlagged and disintegrating with this ache to go back; not to mention insanely jealous of the people who are yet to experience it for the first time. Because Alaska, the Native "Aly-eska"..."the great land" is not only the Last Frontier as car license plates proclaim; it is a place where all things begin and end, and begin all over again in a timeless cycle. It is a place where the SCALE of things exceeds all imagination, uplifting and humbling us at the same time. Picture the biggest thing you have ever seen..waterfall, mountain, sea. Picture it 100 times bigger. Not enough. Now think about the oldest thing you have seen. The oldest thing I just saw? ICE. More ancient than Egyptian mummies, the Ramayana, that dinosaur skeleton in the Chicago museum. Ice...gleaming a hypnotic, unearthly blue from deep within a 600-foot glacier. A boatload of people riveted to the deck by its slow passage into the freezing ocean where its life began as water vapor, eons ago. Open mouths as the ranger explains its source...the Harding Icefield, tucked out of sight in the mountains, tantalizingly, an ancient blue mantle dating back to the last ice age.

Alaska at once makes you proud and frankly disgusted at being a member of the human race. Proud because never before was I struck full force with the odds our distant ancestors conquered to survive as a species. Disgusted, saddened, frightened, and outraged at the way our modern way of life is poised to destroy this world. Sure, the Natives hunted, fished, chopped trees, wore fur, took from Nature...but no more than what they NEEDED. And they found a use for everything. Seal bladder water carriers. Salmon skin rain gear. They considered themselves a part of the ecosystem, not something above and beyond. Circle of life.

Us? We guzzle gas, breeze through mountains of paper, don't care if that plastic bottle we just tossed into the garbage will stay forever in a landfill. Today's "its all about ME" culture fed by media, insipid reality shows, even the Internet..instant gratification in a bottle of pills.

And out there...all this timeless magnificence, all this generosity. The quintessential shiver of joy and purpose in Alaskan huskies...born to run, pulling a sled mile after treacherous mile through a minus-40 degree winter blizzard, narrow mountain trails, carrying vaccines to a remote town quarantined by diptheria. Not having the FAINTEST idea of their heroism, the lives they save, the sheer GOOD that they do. Here we have housewives washing their dirty linen on Youtube, scandal-seeking paparazzi, "super-sizing" nations accusing struggling populations of eating all the world's food, debates over a star's "wardrobe malfunction" outlasting even California wildfires. Pride in being half a pound lighter than friends, a fast car, designer handbag or shoes. We live our lives teetering on the knife edge of the hands of a clock, running harder, faster even to stay in the same spot.

But the wilderness carries life, death, courage, humor, freedom, LOVE in a beautiful, fluid cycle. The thrill in watching moose shield their young from predators, a mama grizzly bear grazing with her cubs on a hillside, one eye on the sheep...a red Arctic fox suddenly bursting into view out of the bushes, wolves crossing a braided river, a bird of prey scanning, in great arcs, the sweeping landscape of mountains and valleys. Unexpected echoes sound in some primordial, buried part of my core. Unearthing a deeper memory of once being part of this world, not a spectator. What is wrong with this picture? Why did we ever leave?

Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Battling with Cancer Part 1

Actually this post was meant to be posted on Feb 16 when my Mom was diagnosed with Stage 2 Breast cancer with more than 70% spread in lymph nodes. However, it hadn't sunk then. Now it has become a part of my life. Its only end of April however sometimes I forget my Mom has cancer.How ridiculous is that ! Yet, its true. I want to forget my Mom has cancer. i wish I could erase it but my inherent temperament just allows one thing- either completely deal with it or push it into the recesses of my mind , hoping I'll forget it.
Yes , it has sunk in now !

My Mom got operated on Feb 18- lumpectomy. Her first surgery in her entire life ! And a first surgery in my life too. I've grown up in a nuclear family- all i ever had and trusted is my parents .

My daily life is quite bizarre and boring and routine at the same time. Cooking, taking care of the house has become a full time job. Taking care of Mom's chemotherapy moods has become full time job. Taking care of my depression has become full time job.

Life's like that ,i guess.Thankfully, i can atleast blog about it. I used to fill diaries while I was growing up with every fear, setback,hope,crush, new dress. Around 7-8 years ago i stopped writing diaries so i was venting by buying things i really don't need.
Now, blogging helps !

Tuesday, 26 February 2008

Few things

Not new things ! However ,to hear from a terminally ill professor who had only few months to live -it struck somewhere in me !
I'm not an optimist- I'm anxious and fearful at present .At best i'm skeptic if not cynic !
  1. The most important thing is to have FUN. No matter what you do, have fun. Have fun in relationships, when you are working hard.
  2. Don't complain and whine when things don't turn out the way you want or imagined: just work harder !
  3. Advice to women who want a life partner: Just ignore everything the guys say when they are trying to date,woo you -pay attention to what they do when with u ,to you ! That way you'll avoid major mistakes !
  4. For parents: let children scribble on the wall. Better still, designate a wall for them to paint /scribble
  5. People vs Things: People close to you and those whom you love matter over things
  6. Tell the truth : Always. Tact is when truth is spoken when asked,or when consequences are weighed for not speaking the truth and finally when truth is spoken for another person
  7. Mental attitude is all that matters
  8. Apologize : 3 parts of apology:
      1. I'm sorry
      2. I screwed up ,its my fault
      3. how can i make it right for you/ how can i make amends ? [this last question will show how sincere you are ]
  9. Life is 10%white ,10% Black and 80% grey: Therefore see always the positive to everything and accept reality no matter how hard it is
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