Friday, December 24, 2010

Paani puri ke side effects

I am finally done with attending all the weddings. I was supposed to go to Pune to attend my friend's reception, but health finally gave up. Bad throat and cough thanks to the food and drinks I had for the past one week!

Now, I am highly allergic to mint. This is the reason I cannot have any food item which has mint. We do not use mint in most recipes, so I do not miss much; but one of my most favourite chats - Pani Puri or Golgappa - it has mint. And I cannot eat that :(

I usually have good control over my taste buds, but this time around, when you have 5-6 bhukkad friends around you, it's difficult to control!

For each of the three weddings and various functions that I attended, I had a group of friends around me. We were hogging onto the starters as if we had not eaten for years! Whatever was coming our way, we were eating that in HUGE quantity! Be it some mughlai starter or a chinese one, regular veg koftas to juices-mocktails-soft drinks name it and you see us having it!

And Lunch! One poor guy took Basundi at least four times; each time he was unsuccessful in even tasting a drop! Someone or the other was taking away the bowl the moment he refilled! Reason - just for fun!

Then there was Paani Puri counter! We went there, thinking we would simply taste one or two! It started flowing in and without realizing, we had quite a few of them.

I got an upset stomach and bad throat thanks to all the hogging that we did over a period of four days! And thanks to that, I could not attend my close friend's reception at Pune! Ah, missed one hogging party!

I am off to MP tonight. A mini vacation I deserve. And it may sound strange, but this is my first ever vacation of my own money! So far, family sponsored the vacations even though I was earning. But this time around, it's different. It's going to be a budget trip - not because it's my own money, but because that's the fun part of the trip according to me and three other friends who are accompanying me. We are going to travel by train and stay in non star hotels! I am very much looking forward to it. Those on my facebook will see the pictures soon. Those who read me may be disappointed a bit as I am pathetic at writing travelogues. Nevertheless, if I come across interesting people on the tour, they will surely be blogged about!

So, until next week, ciao!

PS: For my convenience, I have removed comment moderation. So be careful while posting any love messages :P

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


It's wedding season all around us. Each day, there is some or the other wedding happening. First, people spend money to get married, then they spend money to raise the reason behind the marriage. Some times, the reasons are more than one! 

Don't get me wrong. I love kids. I am very fond of them; but when I see the ever exploding population, my mind tells me to give gyaan to all those who are yet to know the meaning of family planning and who strongly believe in "hum do, humare do. zyada ho to phek do". Isn't it better if one plans for one kid only so as to do one's bit to control the population a bit?

Anyway, this post is not about the gyaan on population either. I have to attend a few weddings and receptions in this week. I went for a very close friend's Mahendi function today and applied mahendi on both the hands! I love it. It always make me feel very happy. I love the smell and the look of it on hands. Here is a pic for you!

Isn't it lovely? :)

Now, a typical Indian wedding has many advantages - good food, happy and cheerful people around you, mahendi, meeting old friends and such. But the worst part of it -! A few aunties are always ready with numerous proposals for you even before you open your mouth to say that you are already married! Prospective brides and grooms will be bestowed upon you the moment you enter the wedding hall (hole if it is a gujju wedding!)

I have to attend such weddings in this week! And I am planning to carry a board with me which says - Not available for! Hope it works!

PS: Busy time ahead. After attending 2 weddings and 4 functions, I am going on a mini vacation I truly deserve. I will be back before the new year and another outstation business trip to a hill station awaits in the first week of January. I will try to be as regular as possible on this space as I miss blogging so much!

PPS: It was my birthday on the 14th of this month. But I am still accepting belated wishes (even advance ones for the next year for that matter!). 

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Mother's "Love"

Don't we all love our mothers? 

But most of us get scared when our mothers express their love for us in the form of food, pampering in public, praising us in front of "marriageable prospects", choosing clothes for us - the list is quite long!

I get scared too sometimes when my mom starts talking about my qualification in front of those perpetually gossiping aunties. She even mentions the courses I left mid way or still pursuing. Ah it does get embarrassing some times as it's not a big deal to be a double graduate and double post graduate; is it? :P

Luckily for me, her habit of stuffing my stomach till it bursts is no problem at all as I am blessed with high metabolism (thank god!) and thin/fat kind of things don't matter to me much. But it does make me very much lazy! Like I have this typical gujju habit of taking a nap in the noon. Since I have my own firm and my work is not time bound, I can do that. But such a habit proves tricky when I have a client meet or a visit to retainer clients.

These days, she has made a Saturday night schedule for me. She oils my hair each Saturday. There is some home made oil she has got from somewhere. She empties at least 200 grams of it in my hair and makes me a champu! No matter at what time I return home, I have to become champu once a week! Poor me!!

And those stories of their times about how they listened to their mothers and never cribbed about the quantity of food, or the oil in hair, or even the gossip part for that matter. Ah, talk of the times 30 years back and now. But I do not mention that out of fear of starving myself for an hour! After that, she is my mother and she will give me food anyway :P

And that's the most beautiful thing about her and all the mothers. Whatever they do, they do for us. Unconditionally. Since the time we are born, they make us their priority. They make us cry but cry for us too, they sacrifice their career, lifestyle, social circle, outings and many more things just to give us a perfect upbringing.

Ah, there is no special occasion today. I just felt like sharing something emotional, thus this post. What does irritate you in a nice way about your mother or father? Do share it in the comment box :)

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Tweenhood Tag - a Recap

I took up this tag more than a year back. At that time I was very new to blogging. I had a handful of readers (which is still the case though :P) but somehow I felt that my writing had a kind of magic which I lack these days. Well maybe a year down I will feel the same way about these posts too. Older they become, more magical they seem. Now, I have the habit of reading posts I wrote in the past just to see what I thought about a year or so back, how I reacted to a situation, how different I am right now. This helps me introspect many things and thoughts.

To read the original post, click here

my take 12 on things I would like to achieve in my twenties…

1. I would like to write a this moment, i am exploring few subjects...will zero on one soon...

I already wrote a law book. Achieved :-)

2. I want to be the world ambassador for all kinda sports so that i can view whatever sports I want to and be a part of it.

LOL. This point came after a "who-gives-a-better-answer" point about sports. Not too practical for my 20s, but not an impossible wish too right?

3. To remove the reservation quota from everywhere (sorry for hurting the feelings of those who favour it)...but it decreases the number of seats everywhere for the deserving let's not only believe, but apply the principle of equality...

Again, an impractical thing to aim for for 20s

4. Be a part of last harry potter movie...

I wish I could have been a part of it :(

5. To be a part of our politics as an honest leader...

Work will soon be in progress :P

6. own the largest book and movie library....

As per my standard, I am almost there with around 1000+ DVDs and books

7. ok, a realistic take, which i sure will achieve before going into my 30s - to make my law firm very well established as a first step to reach on the top..:) and start an LPO..

Again, almost there :-)

8. A fun holiday to Australia and an adventurous one at NZ...

Again, it will happen before I become 30

9. spend one whole month at mum's..i really miss her n dad n bro...n post marriage the longest period i have stayed there was for a week...

Achieved :-)

10. go back to college and have a grand reunion party which lasts for few days...i miss my Sydenham days :(

I met quite a few of them recently. So, almost achieved.

11. own a property in tht place...

I don't know when will that happen as my priority has been shifted to another location for now :P

12. end of terrorism and corruption - everywhere...and yes World Peace (beauty pageant ishtyle!!!)

I SO wish to achieve it! Don't know when will that happen though!

Ah, it feels nice to have achieved a few "practical" things while I am still in my twenties. What is your wishlist?

Friday, November 26, 2010

Year two - 26/11

It marks two years today! City of Mumbai still remembers the whole incident very clearly. Only remembers! The 26/11 Terror Attack! Not only on Mumbai but on the whole country.

What exactly changed after 26/11? Many things actually. We now have more number of non-working metal detector doors at major railway stations, more number of corrupt officers - a few of them are directly related to the terror attack. One officer was caught for making cheap quality bullet proof jackets! More number of sacked CMs for one state, more controversies, scams and  corruption. But the lag in security system still remains. Each day a new scam comes out, each day people wake up, crib and move on. Some even blog, but that's that!

Yes I feel angry. Not only for or on this day, but whenever I remember this day, whenever I pass by any of those areas or whenever I see somebody being negligent or security systems not working properly. 26/11 and 11/7 are the two days that have affected me the most. Like lacs of Mumbaiites, I too commute by local trains - in the same first class compartment which was targeted in the serial bomb blast four years back. Maybe it affects me more as I knew a few victims personally who lost their lives in these attacks!

But what have we done? Quite a few pay tax (the only good thing I guess), we go to work and come back, we do not pay attention on our surroundings all the time, we do not check the area below our train seats or luggage rack, most of the times, we do not bother to report to any suspicious parcel, we abuse cops standing in the middle of the road at the time of naka bandi as they increase in already pathetic traffic, we still don't oppose those who give/take bribe in front of us, we still keep quiet when our state CMs keep changing all the time, we still encourage our children not to study as we can get them admission through paid seats - the list will go on and on.

People around me always tell me that I overreact to things, or one person cannot make a difference as we will never be able to convince Mumbai people to be alert in this face pace city and busy lives! Time kaha hai humare paas? Or the excuse is - why do we have a Government then? Why do we elect them and give them power? But we so easily forget that 20 odd years back, they were like us only - the same chalta hai attitude, the same busy life, the same question too - how will one person make a difference?

Yes, we cannot make any difference - not as voters not as leaders. We can only crib and cry, see people dying. So far as our family is safe, who cares! And if we lose someone from our family, still we keep quiet to safeguard other members of our family! Proud to be an Indian!!!

And yes, I am very angry. Angry on each one of us for being us. If this post has offended you, then kindly leave  this page rather than posting abusive comments!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Blogging and Me

Extremely busy times worry me all the time. Not that I have been occupied round the clock, but sometimes even when you are not too busy, certain things still take a back seat. Like blogging. It relaxes me a lot, but these days, I have a lot of other reading and researching work and this is resulting into less blogging. I do not like it, but well, I do not have any other option either.

Come to think of it, blogging plays a very important role in my life. I have made amazing friends thanks to the blogs. A few of them are even closer than my real world friends. I can talk to them about anything and everything. I feel more close to them even though I have never ever seen or met them. To an extend that these days when I have something to share or when I need to talk to a friend just like that, my blog buddies are the first people who come on my mind.

Those I speak with already know that I am talking about them :) Beauty of blogging - you write about people here and they are the one to read this too. It's so easy to make them happy here :P 

Apart from getting a few awesome friends for life, blogging has helped me in my profession too. I teach Business Communication to the students. In this, they have to study about various methods of communication. Since my blogroll has bloggers from across the globe, I am aware about their formal and informal culture at work, at home or in their social circle. This has helped me to make my lectures interesting. I keep giving them gyaan about my knowledge and they get very impressed :P 

It's always wonderful to read blogs. For, you get to know about so many things happening in the country you may never heard of, or the custom or culture completely new to you. Even in India, there are so many festivals which I read about for the first time after blogging happened to me.

I have even learnt what to disclose and how to write on a blog. I have had my share of happy as well as sad as well as angry moments here. But they all have been fun at the end of it.

Errrrr, did the last para sound as if I am quitting blogging? No this is not a closing speech. You cannot get so lucky so soon. Lack of time or not, I will find time to blog. I love doing so. It rejuvenates me completely. Well it makes me angry too when people take my sarcasm as compliment (lol), but that's fine. It makes me feel more intelligent and boosts my ego which does a lot of good to me all the time :P

By the way, a note written by me on facebook made me pretty much (un)popular in the blogging circle. If we have common friends, then you will be able to view it. Click here to read it. If you are unable to view it, then leave a comment and mention your mail id. I will e-mail it to you. It's worth the entertainment!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Children's Day

Children's Day a few years back meant getting importance everywhere - in schools, in your area, on TV and such. Since I spent my childhood in a small town where people still have time to celebrate these days with children, we got a lot of goodies and chocolates on this day. In school from organizing plays and other competition, taking part in singing, elocution, drama, drawing etc activities, our teachers explained us the importance of this day, Pandit Nehru, his love for children and reason behind celebration of this day.

Now the times have changed. Children's Day is still celebrated, in fact with much more enthusiasm than it used to be in my town. Maybe the difference is that of cities. Small and Big. Umbergaon and Mumbai. But there is much more said than done here than other way around!

These days people are more tech savvy. Which has changed the way this day is celebrated. I am active (??) on two social networking sites - facebook and twitter. Since morning, at least 50% of people on my timeline have changed their profile picture (popularly known as display picture or DP) to their childhood image or they have their child's image as their DP. Sweet. People are posting status messages like - "when I was a kid, ............." - everybody is mentioning about their experiences, memories about childhood, from Doordarshan to Dennis the menace everything was mentioned in one hour.

Ah, that was some life indeed - without the internet. I started using internet in the year 1998. But it became necessity since I started working. I still remember those days when I used to check my mail once in a month and my inbox used to be flooded with at least 100 forward mails. I used to forward them further to another 15 odd internet users.

Now I cannot imagine a life without internet. I get 100 odd mails across my accounts - I have 5-6 mail accounts like personal account, official account, blog mail account, N-zine account and such - sigh! life is indeed complicated.

After digressing completely from the original topic, well, the celebration methods have indeed changed. 2-3 days back I read the tweet which said - Please join us in Goregaon when we distribute clothes to children, or please donate something on so and so NGO for orphans, or please encourage the street play by your presence. Many are uploading videos of "hum bhi agar bache hote", "tera mujse hai pehle ka naata koi", "yaado ki baarat" etc. The leading newspapers have full page image of Pundit Nehru on his 121st birthday.

But none of my neighbours' child mentioned about getting any chocolates from anybody, or organizing any event. Rather, my adult friends on twitter are more excited about today's day. #whenIwasakid tag is doing rounds. Each and every person (including me) has tweeted about it to make it a trending topic! Those who are not on twitter will not understand this, but those who are regular on twitter, to them, a trending topic started by them is everything.

But I just have one simple question - do we require a specific day to celebrate any occasion? We celebrate Woman's day, Teacher's day, mother's day, father's day and 100s such days. The hypocrite me thinks that except for birthdays, we should not have special days for such things. Celebrate humanity each day!

But, we will continue to have such days. so Happy Children's day to all of you who are age wise adult!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Lucky Lips

I was tagged by Insignia. And the tag is simple enough. I just had to switch the shuffle on and click next as all my playlists have more than 25 songs. Here are the rules for the tag:

1. Put your iTunes, Windows Media Player, IPOD etc. on shuffle.

2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer.


1. If someone asks you, “are you okay ? ?” you say:
Buffalo soldiers - Bob Marley

2. How would you describe yourself ?
Always a woman to me - Billy Joel
Now people who are close to me can confirm whether the lyrics are apt for me or not :P

3. What do you like in a guy/girl ?
Blue Night - MLTR
You are the one I love - well, that's not a quality right? weird!

4. How do you feel today ?
Words - Bee Gees

5. What is your life’s purpose ?
Leaving on a Jet Plane - John Denver
This is going to be a vacation and not a mission. Don't know when I'll be back again :P

6. What’s your motto ?
Cocaine - Eric Clapton

7. What do your friends think of you ?
That thing you do - The Wonders
I don't break their hearts into million pieces!

8. What do your parents think of you?
Winds of Change - Scorpions
Huh again!

9. What do you think of often ?
With or Without you - U2

10. What is 2 + 2 ?
Uptown Girl - Billy Joel
I love this song.

11. What do you think of your best friend ?
Staying Alive - Bee Jees
Another nice song!

12. What is your life story ?
18 Till I Die - Bryan Adams
Oh yeah!

13. What do you want to be when you grow up ?
You took my heart away - MLTR
staring at the moon so blue - is this what I am going to do when I grow up? sigh!!

14. What do you think when you see the person you like ?
Stand by me - The Temptations

15. What will you dance to at your wedding 4th anniversary?
Ain't no mountain high enough - Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell
Dance and me? high hopes :P

16. What will they play at your funeral ?
Making love out of nothing at all - Air Supply

17. What is your hobby/interest ?
Honesty - Billy Joel
I am a lawyer after all :P

18. What is your biggest fear ?
Can't buy me love - The Beatles

19. What is your biggest secret ?
Rivers of Dreams - Billy Joel
I so love this song!

20. What do you want right now ?
A Groovy kind of love - Phil Collins
one of the most romantic songs. I want someone to sing this for me :P

21. What do you think of your friends?
Tears in heaven - Eric Clapton

22. When you want to rush to the toilet, what do you think ?
Bachelor Boy - Cliff Richard

23. Person you hate the most is in front of you, what will you tell the person ?
Crazy - Aerosmith
you drive me crazy - in a literal sense!!!!!

24. You have just won a lottery. What will you sing ?
How deep is your love - Bee Jees
certainly not!

25. What will you post this as?
 Lucky Lips - Cliff Richard

Whoever wants to take up this tag, can take it. It was fun doing it :)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Once a Sydenhamite, Always a Sydenhamite!

Disclaimer: This post is about my College and my love for it - Sydenham. You must have already read some part of it on my blog if you read me regularly. For the others, it may be boring and dragging. You can simply skip to read it. It does not have a single sarcastic statement about you!

I hate it when I don't have time to do nothing. It is very important for me to waste at least half an hour to an hour a day doing nothing, but it's not happening these days. Before I realize, I already have a backlog for many things. There are so many posts I have not read, so many people I have not spoken with, so many documents pending for review, so many queries unanswered, so much so that I feel I need more than 24 hours a day. Next month is going to be the same for me with teaching deadlines to meet as the exams are approaching, then I will be busy with my Masters exams. PHEW!!

But what disturbs me the most is that I do not find time to blog. And it's not only about writing, but reading too. It disturbs me when I don't even find half an hour each day to do something I have a passion for. Ah, I hope some restless people don't attack me again for this post :P

Coming back to the title of this post - my regular readers know (and already bored and irritated by now) about my love for Sydenham college and Tea centre. Since my lectures are at South Mumbai, I do get a bit of time to take a walk on my favourite roads there. Now, I happened to take a walk on B road where Sydenham is located. Ah, the memories, the time, the people - nostalgia all over again! Nostalgia is a kind of feeling that makes you happy and sad at the same time, and you want to share your experience with people who are associated with that place or memory you are feeling nostalgic about.

I did the same thing. I uploaded a status on facebook. And to my greatest surprise, at least 15-18 sydenhamites commented and liked the status. We all could relate to what I mentioned there. We all got nostalgic and remember our time spent there.

For most Sydenhamites, Sydenham was our first home. We reached there at 8 in the morning and left not before 8 or 9. We spent most of our times either in our society rooms, or common rooms or canteen. Likes like me even spent hours sitting on car bumpers. Morning started with a yell of "JK, chai lao" in the first year. Then the names kept changing from Lancy to Nagesh, to Manju to chotu. I loved to interact with the canteen people. They always had interesting stories to share. I so wish I was blogging at that time. I could have preserved all those memories then.

For commerce students, college is five years of pure fun. For us, it's not a big deal to score minimum passing marks, percentile matters only in the last year and one week study is more than enough to score a first class. This was the reason we indulged more into other activities like organizing festivals and various events, taking part in script/skit writing, discussing guys (lol) and any other activity which could help us stay in college from morning to evening.

I have very fond memories of Sydenham. I remember watching so many cricket matches in Canteen, staring at S who used to be a football player and crush of most of us :P, having 7-8 cups of chai (that's quite normal, during exams, I never even counted the number of cups!), solving crosswords, preparing posters and doing so many other useful and useless things.

Sydenham canteen is very famous for the Chinese food we get there; typical Indian Chinese (which tastes a lot better than an authentic one!). Every single day I survived on Schezwan rice or veg/chicken chilly dry with bread slices. Even students and professors from other colleges came to Sydenham canteen to eat. For years and years down the line and even today, the taste still remains the same.

Today, I teach students. When I come across a Sydenhamite, I cannot stop myself from asking that student questions about the college, canteen, people, events, festivals, alumnis, magazines and ten other things. This is not the case only with me. Pick any Sydenhamite from my list, and you will see them going crazy about it the same way! We are too connected with it. Maybe everyone is with one's college; but Sydenhamites are a bit crazier than others. You can get anything done from them in the name of Sydenham and they will do that with a broad smile on their face. And it will not be considered foolish :)

We all use this tag-line for ourselves - Once a Sydenhamite, always a Sydenhamite!

PS: I can in fact write 10 posts on my love for Sydenham and not get tired. But I will spare you guys. :)

Saturday, November 06, 2010

About Bloggers etc.

I have been planning to write this post for a long time now. I was procrastinating as it is not so relevant for most of my readers. Ah, call me fortunate here, as most people I read and who read me don't indulge much into contests and likes! So far, I have participated in BPL (and our team won that. Such a big show off I am :P) which was also way too taxing for me. That was probably the last time I took part in a contest.

The shy me runs away from popularity. I somehow cannot ask people to even read/comment on my post. Imagine asking for votes from them! I prefer to stay in my shell than going to people for reading/acknowledging my work.

But not everyone is as dumb as me, especially when the stakes are as high as 50k! People can literally go for a kill. Trust me, I am not exaggerating at all! I have seen people abusing, disgracing, reporting and blocking others just to win contests. Fake profiles are created, groups are made, others are harassed and what not is done just to win a contest. Rather, win 50k. There have been such contests in the past with smaller amounts at stake, and nobody even bothered to participate. Now suddenly there is an outburst of participation! Money talks!

I have nothing against those who participate, but it is not a right thing to torture others for votes and comments. I am too blunt to tell you not to do so, but there are others who do care about maintaining good relationship with you. Thus they never tell you even if you spam their mailbox with vote appeals.

Those who are not affected by the vote appeal, let me give you a fact: Each day, we receive 50 to 60 mails asking for votes from different people! I envy most of you as I know nobody bothers you with such nonsense.

I so far never uttered anything about the spamming part too; but when a few bloggers started behaving like a bunch of mean and hurt hypocrites, I lost it. I don't even want to get into the details, as I prefer to name them directly, but they are all "respected" bloggers and I do not want to start a war as my peace of mind is more dear to me than getting into their immature turfs!

All I want to request (read: warn) you guys that please don't bother me with such nonsense stuff. I am not interested!

Today only I came across another contest organizer who gave a slightly biased decision which according to me was unfair. But more on that, later as I do not yet have all the details of it. I prefer to play safe unlike others who say things without confirming the facts (remember Restless and her post bashing me? :P)! Ah, I love to drag this thing again and again in my posts! I do give people so much of free publicity! This is the major reason I have stopped giving linkback to people. I don't even want those 10 people who read me to click on their page and give them more hits!

Monday, November 01, 2010

What's in a name?

No I am not a Shakespeare junkie like many people close to me are. I never even tried to read him. I can be too biased at times. Or maybe I am biased when it comes to Shakespeare as his statement "What's in a name" according to me is not a wise thing to say :P

I have my own reasons to believe so. My name is way too common. You call out Neha and 6 out of 10 girls will turn around. Out of remaining four, three will be Poojas! In my phone book, I have 8 Nehas stored. I sometimes get confused too about their identity. I forget their faces and cannot recollect them when they call me. I have to talk to them for 5 minutes to actually recognize which Neha called me! I am sure this must be happening with you as well.

Worst thing: When someone does not have my number stored and I happen to call up that person, I literally have to remind them about my past encounters with them as unfortunately, my surname is too common as well! My college had 3 Nehas with the same surname.

I so feel like whacking the person whoever says what's in a name. Damn, have my name and you will know what's in a name. The only advantage I have with my name is that every second client I meet has a daughter/sister/mother/wife/niece/any other relative whose name is Neha. I usually crack that deal. But I am capable enough to crack it otherwise too people! It is not a "wow" thing for me when you say that I am your xyz's namesake!

I know people who love this name. My neighbour Uncle is very fond of me. He named his Russian daughter in law Neha because of that reason. She is the 4th one in my building!

But one thing is there. After seeing the image below, Shakespeare would have changed his statement for sure!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

"Interesting" People

Sometimes, you become a part of a conversation you so want to avoid. You look here and there, feel so damn awkward and embarrassed, even angry sometimes; but you cannot escape. Such a thing happened with me too today.

I have taken part in an intra college competition. I am a part of a team of four. We have been given a case study and have to prepare our case on the basis of that case study. My group has two juniors and one peer. We are expected to take the lead and guide them (ah!). Now, my law school is going to host a national moot court competition. For that purpose a few more juniors came where we were preparing for our case.

Now, these juniors had a few posters made by them. They were to stick them on the wall so that people could have a look at them. The theme was global warming. And I must say, they had done a brilliant job with the paint brush. One junior started the topic of marriage. She was shocked to know that I was married for almost six years and my friend was married for 2 years. The bigger shocker came when she said that I looked more interesting and the other one boring! I don't know why she said so, what made her believe so and why she had to be so upfront about it! I didn't know where to look! Ah, Girls!!

Now, the above stanzas were typed last night. I didn't feel like editing them. The update is that we didn't win the competition (that's ok), though we did a brilliant job even though we had not prepared for it much.

I have been crazy busy. But the irony is that the output is less compare to the time I have been giving to a particular assignment. I have been visiting a Government office as one of our important documents is with them. I have been spending the whole day out there, waiting for the officer to oblige me with some calculation so that I pay the fine and get my document released. Yesterday while doing so, I spotted a boy doing shoe polish for 5 Rs. 

While he was doing "his work", I was talking to him. He stays in slums, has 6 siblings and no money to even eat a full meal twice a day. This shoe polishing at least gives him enough money to buy a vada paav for his siblings. I know it is a story of many people around me, who lead such a life. I have spoken with them, I try to do whatever I can for them, but still the number of such kids is not ready to come down. Each day I spot at least 2-3 children doing some or the other kind of labour at the time when they are supposed to be in school. only because they do not have money to study. Labour will at least provide them regular meals. Will we ever be doing anything about it to stop this in any way and at any point? This question always haunts me!

And I know the answer too!

Too much of ranting and serious discussions scare me sometimes. Here is another picture I clicked in the auto I was travelling by.

Interesting indeed! :)

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The finicky me!

"I don't have a heart" - my mother usually says this to me. Well, this statement is made when she does not have anything else to say about my "logical" reasoning :P. My mom loves to win the argument against me, but she seldom succeeds. Well, that's altogether another story and post.

I have this habit of analyzing people and thing around me. I love to know them, observe about them, their behaviour in different situation, their reactions to certain things, their love and hate for the same thing at different time, the list goes on and on. Now I don't only observe people, but I even try to find logic behind their behaviour and reactions. And no, I am not vella in life, I love to do it. This answers why I usually win argument against my mom - I KNOW her well, rather more than she knows herself :P

And I have my weird traits too. More than one!

Last evening, I was talking to a friend of mine. He is going out of town for a business meeting. Now, when it comes to packing, I can be VERY irritating about the cross checking part. I check and recheck each and everything at least ten times. Clothes, extra clothes, brush, comb, deo, perfume, facewash, towel (yes, I carry that too :P), torch, charger, plastic cards, book and fifty other things. I do not keep anything to be packed the next day. I have a separate toothbrush and toothpaste kit for travel. Coming back to my friend, I controlled myself a lot not to keep poking him with my mindless questions about packing. But he kept probing me about what he should be packing. I sent him 2 smses late night and early morning about reminders of what he should be taking which he maybe likely to forget!

That's his story. But people who are travelling with me get so very irritated with my constant nagging about such things. I keep thinking about what I have packed and what I forgot till the time I return home. Yes, as the packing part does not end once I leave for the trip. When I am staying somewhere, and a day before the check out, I am again the finicky self, looking for stuff in all possible places, opening each drawer 5-6 times - PHEW!! I would not have tolerated myself for such a thing!

Second thing that triggers my panic button is extra clean rooms! I cannot stand that. I feel sick and get the hospital room feeling when I see clean rooms. A couple of years back, I went to Pune with a friend. She is a cleanliness freak. Her wardrobe is also arranged in colour coordinated manner! We stayed together for five days and only we know how it was for both of us. She even arranged my stuff thanks to her weirdity, and I kept creating a bit of mess here and there!

There are many more weird traits in me. But more on that, later :)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Childhood Musings

Does it happen with you when you read a post by a fellow blogger, you remember something similar, or you want to blog about the same subject too expressing your views about that topic? It happens with me all the times. Most of the times, I rant on their blogs and use the comment form for my post, or simply write a post on my blog. Today is one of such times.

Last week, Kavi wrote a post about Harihareshwar and that post reminded me of my childhood I spent at Umbergaon. I mailed him a few pictures of that place. But my fingers itched to type out the memories and publish them here. Though in my various posts, I have mentioned about my childhood and Umbergaon, but when my childhood friend Jigisha shared an album with me, I immediately smsed her to take her permission so that I could share those images on my blog.

Umbergaon is a small town located near Gujarat Maharashtra border. Not too crowded town with majority Gujarati population, it welcomes you with a warm village feeling minus the huts. Huts are there too, quite a few of them in the interiors of this small town. But rest of the things remain the same. Narrow lanes, kachi sadak (dirt road), wells, temples at every 100 yards, rangoli outside every house, neighbours talking to each other while cooking or working and such. each and every person has time to at least wish you good morning. Almost everyone knows everyone. 

I spent my childhood there. I was born to my parents, but was brought up by the neighbours. Now, that's how it works there. My parents have parented so many kids too but their own. My brother and I even had our meals with neighbours. And it was considered very normal.

This was the bungalow with five houses where I was brought up. It is just the half portion that you can see. The other half was demolished when this picture was clicked. Now it is fully demolished. My house is very much there, right opposite to it; but for me, this was home. And I will always miss it as my entire childhood was spent here. These poles witnessed so many games played by us. Old people sat on that bench in the far corner in the evening. My first ever friend stayed in the house you can see now. All the houses had swings.

This is my school. The ground that you can see, it was our volleyball ground. There are corridors on the both sides of the main gates. That's where I usually stayed during school time. I never did my homework, and my usual punishment was to stand outside the classroom. But well, it still never changed anything. There was not a single day on which I must have done my homework.

On the left hand side of the volleyball ground, we had our drawing class, which is of course not visible in this picture. I loved to paint and I always managed to score pretty decent in the subject. Another advantage I had was that my mama (maternal uncle) stayed bang opposite to my school. Many times, I went there for lunch or just to show off at the time of lunch break. People envied me as I got to eat hot and fresh lunch. Ah, I have always been a show off :P

Now comes the most beautiful part of the town - the beach. Umbergaon has a wonderful beach. And it is right behind my school. Each day, we enjoyed the beach view from our classroom windows. In the picture above, you can spot the photographer and another girl who was brought up by me. She is my first friend's cousin. That's how it goes.

Ah, I miss this place. It's been 12 years since I shifted to Mumbai. I love this city and those who read me regularly know that very well. But somewhere deep inside me, I am still a small town girl. Given a choice, I will settle in one of the small towns of India. Umbergaon is definitely an option, but most of the places with which my memories are associated are no longer there or even if they are there, they are modified or renovated. But still, it is an option. Maybe when I retire (if at all I do! I am a workaholic!), I will settle in one of the small towns. Do I have any company in my neighbourhood? Any bloggers? :)

Friday, October 08, 2010

I am tired

I am tired
Tired of the words they say

They please you, they praise you, they win your heart
They admire you all the time, making you blind;
They make sure you trust them from the start.

I am tired
Tired of the games they play

They catch you, they push you, they rip you apart
you lose faith, you lose friends, you lose it all you have
They leave you all alone, with a broken heart

I am tired
Tired of the things they do

they stab you in your back and come to console you
They command you, they possess you
you are left at their mercy, they have the last laugh.

You are all alone, nowhere to go
You cannot run, you cannot hide
they make sure you are not even left with the option to die

you are in total darkness, scared of yourself
they have won! won the game they played

Yes I am tired
Tired of losing all over again..

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Tweet it out loud

Two days, three posts and one discussion inspired me to write this post on Twitter - a famous social networking site. Saroj wrote about how models and actresses are inspiring ladies in their 40s to have a perfect body by using their pictures in a bikini as a background; while Sammy's post spoke mainly about the new twitter's (less) pros and (more) cons. 

I have been on twitter since April 2009. I joined it as a friend from Sydenham sent me an invite. Now, it is an unsaid rule that any invite sent by a Sydenhamite must be accepted. Nobody made the rule, but everybody follows it. So, there I was, on this site when I didn't even know what was it all about. Slowly I realized that all you have to do here is update status. You don't have to share anything else. Just write what's happening with you and that's that! As if facebook was not enough for people, that twitter started to write about "what's on your mind?"!

Now, bloggers have phases too when it comes to networking. There was this time when bloggers suddenly appeared on facebook. Each day, I got at least 3-4 new friends' requests even from bloggers I had never read or heard of. Then came the era of making fan pages for blogs. That phase is still going strong. It is a ritual to have a fan page of your blog and make all the bloggers join those pages.

These days, people follow you on twitter. You will find many bloggers contacting you ONLY to read their posts and comment. I even get tweets which is a kind of USP for their posts. The tweets say things like - "do you know why girls find Brad Pitt hot?" or "what to do when your account is hacked". Yes, no exaggeration here at all! I can send you a snapshot of those tweets and you will know exactly what I am trying to say.

Why should I drag only bloggers here? Our famous bollywood and hollywood celebs are on twitter too, that too, they are very regular there. More regular than they appear on screen. They give you information like what time they usually brush their teeth, or when their burp sounds the loudest, or just a plain and simple promotion of their upcoming movie or project! There are those who even retweet such tweets. Retweeting simply means posting their tweets on your personal profile.

Some people post good one liners too. I follow a few people who post one liners. I enjoy reading those more than about the ankle sprain of a film star. But as they say, you have weirdos in all the breeds. You will find many just tweeting profanity to gain popularity and mind you, they are pretty much successful at that.
The dumb me so far thought that only bloggers are mad about followers. But the same trend is on twitter too. Here as well, people die for followers. They will do anything and everything to please their followers. From posting cool one liners to abusing ten people to writing about sex or other provocative topics. They get dead depressed if one person unfollows them. They celebrate when they get 100, 500, 1000 followers. Some even want twitter to notify the names of those who unfollow them!

Now, if you like a guy/girl and want to stalk them, then follow them on twitter. Here, people update things like what they are eating, what's their favourite colour, which movie they are watching and which song they are listening to, how their mood is, what time they get up and go to bed - everything you will know about a person at one place.

For me, it comes to the same thing again - unless I am madly in love with you, I would definitely not like to know about your gas problem or no traffic on your blog problem. It's your choice - you can update such things and I have the liberty to block you. And I will do so soon, as a couple of tweeple have been getting on my nerves with their constant nagging about reading their blogs. I am a mean person and I will never ever read you if you are going to irritate me. Now all I am doing is praying that those people read this post :P

Now let's see how many unfollow me!! (like I really care :P)

Monday, September 27, 2010

Another side of Mumbai

I am seriously considering to rename my blog to Mumbai Blog. I write so much about this city. The reason is simple. This city has never ever failed to amuse me. Each single day, I experience something new. Each time I step out, I spot something new, lively, beautiful, irritating, thought provoking, annoying but at the end of the day when I ponder about those events, I always find them amusing.

And I have already boasted a lot about my teaching, so I will not repeat that yet again. But I need to mention this - I stay in the suburban part of Mumbai and I have to go to South Mumbai to teach. It is approximately an hour long journey. I travel by Mumbai lifeline - local trains. Now, if you live in Mumbai or you have ever visited the city, and travelled by the local train, then you will agree with me when I say that it is not an easy feat to travel by one especially if you are new in Mumbai.

In my case, I have always been fond of South Mumbai or town as we call it here. When I shifted to Mumbai in 1998, my hostel was at CST (VT then) and college at Churchgate. After a year, my parents shifted to Mumbai permanently and I moved in with them in the suburban part of Mumbai. But my heart was still at town. I completed my graduation and post graduation from Sydenham college and Law from KC law. All these years, I travelled from Suburb to Town by the local trains. First class, second class and general compartments - I have experienced all even during peak hours (and trust me, it requires guts to travel by general compartment at 6 pm!). Trains are so crowded that you cannot even move an inch from first stop to the last stop. Still, people keep getting in on each station, crushing you even more, fighting and abusing at those stamping their feet or maybe just for fun.

Travelling after a gap of  three years was no different except for the fact that it was Sunday and trains were comparatively less crowded. Now, apart from the mad rush and crowd, another common site is the Vendors who sell various stuff in the compartments. These stuff include from a needle to comb, from hair clips to cosmetics, from bags to clothes, from mobile covers to railway time tables, from flowers to vegetables - anything and everything is available in the train compartment.

So many times, I have seen ladies selling such things for living even at the time of their pregnancy, or with an infant tied down to her back with the help of a piece of cloth, struggling to earn the bread to feed her child/children/family. 

But the worst thing is to see small children selling stuff like that. One side, we are talking about stopping child labour, passing various laws to prevent the same; but nothing helps. Still children have to work. Either those children are compelled to work or they do not have any other option but to work. 

I have spoken with many such children in past. But those stories I will share in a separate post. Here is another picture of children, school children enjoying some music on a mobile phone.

Some things have changed so much, while some things are still the same. Life goes on in Mumbai for all - for those who are deprived of education and those who travel from Virar to Malad to study in a Government school as they do not have money to take admission in private schools; carrying a mobile once in a while which is a great deal for them. And there are those children who are gifted a blackberry on their 8th birthday! Such is life!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

On the other side of the table

I am enjoying teaching. I teach three different subjects to undergraduates who are either pursuing their bachelor degree in commerce or appearing for professional exams. The subjects I teach are Business law, Business Communication and Management. The most interesting of all is Business Communication where I get to give all the gyaan that I have about English language, Effective communication, how to write an essay, how to avoid using jargon and how to use your vocabulary in the best possible manner. 

Today's lecture was about essay writing. Now, last night I happened to have a conversation with a blogger - NH, who is in the same batch as a few of my students. When I told her that I was taking a lecture at 8 am on a Sunday morning, she gave me an insight to a student's mind (well, I was a student of this age too errrrrr 10 years back :P). Her accusations on "my kinds" were:

"Why do professors always spoil students' weekend?"

"Can you explain why such outrageous timings on a Sunday morning! students par anyaay"

"Ah, even I have to get up early, travel for an hour to reach there and give a lecture for 2 hours on how to write an essay!" - this was my explanation to her as I couldn't have said that I understood her point. After all, I am now on the other side of the table where I have to be "cruel" :P

When I entered the classroom, each and every person was looking sleepy and dreamy. If it would have been a law lecture, I am sure all of them would have zonked out in 5 minutes flat! But the topic was about how to write an essay - a fun topic as the subject matter I chose for them was "Social Networking Sites" - something all of them (and us too) love. My first question to them was - "Do you guys know what is a Blog?"

To be honest, I was not expecting any of them to give me the exact picture as there are very few teenage bloggers around. But one student did know what blogs were and what blogging was all about. When I asked him whether he reads blogs, he said, "Only celebrities blog!"

Now I did not know whether to feel proud or offended about this statement; but I did not tell him that I blog as well! In the train too, two ladies were discussing blogs. They were talking about what kind of blogs they prefer to read. According to them, personal blogs are boring. How youngsters only rant on personal blogs - about their job, life, husband and wife, friends, lover, food, traffic, travel and every possible thing! 

It's always interesting to know what others think of this blogging world. Actually, for me it's always interesting to know what people think about even smallest of the things. I have heard so many opinions about lawyers, bloggers, students and now professors. Standing on a stage addressing on a particular issue to students who may start looking upto you if they can relate to you. You are standing at a place which you always respected when you were on the other side of the table. Pardon me if I am sounding conceited, but this is what I always wanted to do; well apart from 10 other things in my professional life :P.

Here is a small incentive of being a Professor that brings a smile on my face each time I see it:

Friday, September 17, 2010

About festivals and Kids

It's festive season all around Maharashtra. At least in Mumbai, people are celebrating. Loud music is playing at every corner. An NRI friend called me and became so damn nostalgic after hearing the loud music that he didn't even realize that he was on phone with me! But well, I can give him that liberty when he is already missing the Ganesh Utsav in Mumbai. 

I visited a few friends' too who had Ganeshji at their places. It's always amusing to see the decorations, enthusiasm and spirit of Indians when it comes to celebrating any festival. This time around, Ganesh Chaturthi, Eid and Jain festival (Paryushan) fell on the same day. Each and every corner of the city was decorated with lights, there were smiles everywhere and no rains. Now, it's difficult not to feel happy in such a festive mood. Yes, the heavy rains, gloomy weather and bad mood turned all happy happy thanks to the festivals.

But the happiest and most enthusiastic person is my niece. She is too young to even know the difference between human and God, but still, each time the music plays, both her hands go in the air, and each time Aarti starts in the neighbourhood, she starts clapping. If she sees Ganeshji, or any other God, she lowers her head and folds her hands. She does the same when we switch on the lights. None of these has been taught to her. She does it after observing people. This has made all of us very careful. We make sure we do not shout at anybody or or use bad words (we anyway do not use bad words, but we do not even use the words idiot and stupid), we talk to her about everything and she even understands quite a few things! Phew!! Kids today are damn smart!

But my mother has taken her "understanding" to a different level altogether. My niece is now a days hooked to some TV serial called Utaran (pardon the spelling mistake, if any!). She becomes so very happy the moment she hears "kya hoti utaran"! I didn't know what to do about it, so I got her hooked to wavin' flag by K Naan :P She even enjoys CID (which I love watching) and Cricket. She is not an avid viewer of TV though. She watches it for a few seconds. If she smiles, that means she likes it, if she throws tantrums for no reason whatsoever, it means that you are supposed to switch off the television as she does not like the sound of whatever is playing!

Any age group, kids are very smart these days. I happened to visit a mall a few days back. There were many rides like train, horses, cars and such rides, but the maximum crowd was near the bungee jumping board for kids. Kids were going mad there. First they were crying for their turn, and then they were crying to come down. I made a friend click a few photographs of that place. I use a non-blackberry business phone with no flash in the camera. Thus I had to ask him to click those snaps :)

Above: the empty train and Below: the empty horse ride

Ah, the kids gaming zone had the heart game too. Aim and win :D

Toddlers also wanted to bungee jump :)

Friday, September 10, 2010

Monsoon Effect

How strange it seems when your mood changes as per the weather. If you live in Mumbai, you will surely be able to relate with me. Last ten days have been really gloomy for most of the Mumbaites thanks to the rains. There is traffic, mud and darkness all around you. Even if you love showers, you will for sure feel depressed in this weather. The sun plays hide and seek more often these days. A bight and sunny afternoon turns lifeless within seconds, making you feel low and depressed. But, as they say, in Mumbai, we do not even have time to notice our own mood shifts. We tweet about bad weather and move on to doing our regular stuff, but it does affect us. The mood is snappy, or quiet or irritated all the time.

Yes you guessed it right. I am in a not so good mood. Weather is playing a big part in my mood to be honest. Thanks to my profession, I have work in extremities. Either I am working the whole day and night and still have a lot of work pending, or I am busy doing nothing at all, which includes occasional spans of lazying around and talking to 2-3 close friends on gtalk. I even enjoy reading blogs. I read a lot, but when it comes to commenting, I comment only when I have anything to add to the post. This reminds me of something I have been pondering upon for quite some time.

I am close friends with a few bloggers who happen to be very popular on blogsphere. They are I, S and G. Now, all of us read and comment on the posts we feel are good. We do not comment for the sake of it or to receive those comments back. But everyone cannot be so good as us right? It will be crazily insane (if such a term exists) to expect anybody to be like us. So, the best way out is ignorance. We ignore those comments which ask us to comment back on their blogs, we even ignore mails and tweets from such people. It will happen as it's a part of this blogworld right?

Ah, this post is turning out to be more of a cribbing post. But you cannot help but to crib thanks to the dull weather. There is no light outside my window. Thanks to the ongoing repair work at my place, we all are sitting in one room, thanks to the unexpected showers once in a while, we are surrounded by clothes drying around us, furniture scattered everywhere and my niece is not keeping well too. Ah, the weather has got into all of us it seems.

Enough of sad things already I guess. Ganesh Utsav starts from tomorrow. Many of my friends and neighbours have Ganeshji at their places. Thus Sunday is going to be the day for paying a visit to their place. I am kind of looking forward to it. It always feels nice to meet old friends who are busy in their lives once in a year. Luckily, the festival is falling over the weekend. Thus everyone will meet at the same time. This will even mean more pollution and traffic, but well, as they say, God is exempted from everything. I am even invited at my Muslim friends' place to celebrate the occasion of eid. An eventful weekend to look forward to this time around. If I happen to click images there, then will share on this blog. But for now, enjoy a few random clicks:

Monsoon effect at Andheri Link Road

Almost everywhere on the roads,this is a common scene

Work never stops. With or without umbrella

Even with a plastic bag on the head for that matter

A scene at a Government office at Bandra

Somewhere on the Western Express Highway

Monday, September 06, 2010

Being a Teacher

Back in school, teachers' day for us was like a chocolate day. Apart from birthdays of any classmate, the only other time chocolates were distributed in the classroom was on Teachers' Day. I remember directing plays each year for our teachers, I even participated once in a play at the time of Annual Day, but that's a different story (rather a post) altogether. 

In school, we treated each teacher at par, greeting each of them - whether they taught us or not. I lived in a small town, where everybody knew everybody. A smallest of misconduct and your parents would know even before you reach home. Thus occasions like Teachers' Day, Independence Day, Annual Day etc. were the times when I tried my level best to be in their good books so that my "not doing homework" routine was taken care of within school premises itself. I was too lazy in this case by the way. 4 days a week I spent outside my class or outside staff room as I never did my homework. But well, I was an intelligent student (ahem!) and managed to secure second rank each year (ahem ahem :P), so most of my teachers just gave me "not so severe" punishments like throwing me out of class for 15 odd minutes or speak with Vice Principal and take his permission for attending the lecture, or write the homework three/five times (ah, they were always so hopeful :P) and such; but nothing worked. 

School life got over and college life began. Different city, different environment and different attitude. In the five years of my college life, I hardly knew a few professors. I rarely attended, second rank was forgotten long back. Passing the year was the only target. I didn't even study for my 12th board exams as I knew I would not change my college, thus scoring never mattered there. But somehow, Teachers' Day was never forgotten. I used to wish my school teachers, couple of professors in college and classes I attended. Ah, call it the "school effect", but I did believe in this day a lot.

Change in the scene yet again. Now I was working and no college for a year as I didn't know what to take up as a career option. Actually, there was M Com for which I had enrolled; but it was purely to be a part of my college for two more years. Now, to be honest, I have no idea why I decided to take admission in a law college, but well, you can say that Law happened to me out of nowhere. No inspiration, no family background, no interest and no knowledge whatsoever, but I was doing law. The scenario more or less remained the same when it came to attending lectures. Here again, even though I knew the names of three main professors (there were more, which I learnt in the last year :P), out of the three, two loathed me due to various reasons. But they passed me each time in internals. 

Now I am doing my masters in law. I do attend more regularly than I had ever attended in college. I do have a professor whom I really respect and I wished her first thing in the morning. But this Teachers' Day was special as I was wished too. Yes, I am a professor now and my students wished me "Happy Teachers' Day". To be honest, I wanted them to wish me and I was hoping that they do. The moment I entered the classroom, they greeted me with the wish. It was an overwhelming experience. I know it will sound stupid to many of you, as this is not something one should go ga ga over or flaunt so much. But to me, it really mattered as it was a kind of respect that I got and that usually matters to me more than the "other" benefits of teaching. 

In the evening, I went to Tea Centre where we spotted a small group of a few junior college students and two professors enjoying tea and snacks. It felt wonderful to see them together celebrating one of the most special days for them at this stage. I do not believe that college life is all about celebrating valentines day and rose day, chocolate day and traditional day. There are other occasions too. And no, I have not realized the importance of this day after becoming a professor. I wrote a post on this day last year around too. It has always been important to me and I will try and make it all the more important.

We all have favourite teachers at some point in time. I have one too, Professor Chandrakant Saave, my math professor in school. I always looked upto him. He was a very strict professor, but never with me as I was his favourite student. I still remember him well though we have not been in touch with each other. He was made my school principal a few years ago and now retired. But I will soon go and meet him. It's been on my wishlist for quite some time now. And I hope to meet him soon.