Monday, January 28, 2013

Questions that trouble me

What happens to the man who practices?

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Fire in the pan……………….

The day began like any other day. No signs of things to come. No fluttering of left eye, no sight of a single crow on the branch, nor did I wake up on the wrong side of the bed. I, obviously get up from only the right side of the bed, for I sleep that way after my surgery. Any side that got cancer (in my case the left breast) should be the wrong side, right? I don’t sleep on that side anymore.
The day progressed as usual. Lunch time arrived as usual. I wanted to fry papad for myself which was not usual, as with the weight problem I try to avoid it, but then it wasn't unusual either. I kept the pan with oil to fry the papad on the stove, and left it alone for a while (on very low flame) to do something absolutely necessary, which if delayed for too long can lead to a watery mess. When I came back, something very unusual had happened. The pan was burning hotter than Munni, Sheila, Jalebi Bai, or whichever item girl you have come across lately. It was not only on fire, but I also heard a boom… like something bursting. I nearly panicked, but then said to myself, “Panic will lead only towards disaster, stay calm and do what you should”.
With both kids not home, I was not scared of ‘what if the house caught fire?’ Our kitchen roof has tiles, and it is low enough for a tall person to touch it easily. The fire flames were licking the wooden frame and I got scared it may catch fire. I had to approach the pan and switch off the stove first. I did. I had to bend down and disconnect the LPG cylinder. Scary to take off your eyes from fire when you are at close proximity to it, but I did. I stepped back a little relaxed when I heard another boom and flames flew out of window, terrifying my neighbor, who wanted to know what was happening and whether I was still alive. I told her I was OK. The wooden frames were wet due to heavy rains of monsoon, so I realized they may not catch fire immediately.
The rain… hah! As soon as my tiny bit of panic connected to the word rain, there were calculations galore going on in my mind. Rain is water and water douses fire. Therefore accordingly
rain should douse the fire. I calmly picked up the burning pan, and walked out into the rain. How smart of me I thought just for a second until … the rain water hit the pan. Immediately there was a loud BURST, and flames were flying everywhere. I did not know when I threw the pan away. The oil was burning on in the backyard; it was kinda weird as the ground was flooded with rain water and water was pouring from above, midst of that there were flames licking water as though they have found a immunity to their killer. It looked for a while as though the rains would catch fire and burn the whole world….which did not happen. Nothing caught fire as there was nothing around there to catch fire and also the rain was pouring down in torrents. With my wet cotton dress, I was saved. My foot suffered though. The flames licked it greedily before dying out. First, I rushed into the kitchen to be sure everything was safe, and then off I went into the bathroom and had water running down my foot until it cooled down.
When I walked back into the kitchen to sort out the damages, and check what had caused the fire; I found out there was a leak just above the stove and the angle of the rain had poured water into the pan causing the fire. I had learned my lesson, that water is unsafe for the burning oil when I walked out calmly into the rain. The booms I heard earlier were caused whenever the water leak directly hit the pan.
So here is my lesson to everyone. You should know that if you goof up big time, even without panic there are going to be damages. With all my reading of trivia's and science books, the fact that water cannot douse fire burning on oil had escaped my knowledge.
Not allowing the great experience and a burnt foot go to waste, I studied the scenario and came up with some theories about fire in the pan. After great deal of evaluation I found out, ‘what should be done to avoid fire in the pan, from burning your foot’. My foot is scalded but same need not happen to you. Any one of the below tip would work for you.
  1. Marry a rich person who does not own a house with tiled roof
  2. If you fail, then find yourself a husband who loves you enough to take care of repairs
  3. If that doesn’t work; don’t eat fried papads
  4. If you really love papads, don’t ever take your eyes off the pan
  5. If you are the wandering kind, find a cook to handle the kitchen
  6. If everything fails and the pan catches fire, just close it with a lid to cut off air.

There, now all of you should be safe with those tips from my experience to help you. Don’t play with fire. Be safe.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Original v/s Phony Blogger Meet….

The original bloggers family
The third Indiblogger meet since I shifted to Bangalore last June… WOW! We are lucky people. It was nice to once again to meet all the Indibloggers, inditeam and friends, in addition to spending wonderful 4 hours of a lazy Sunday winning freebies. What I loved the most about the Original IndiBloggerMeet with HP was the agenda itself… originals v/s the phony.
As a blogger, writer and above all a consumer, I know the value of originals. For a writer it is very hurting when someone imitates your work without giving proper credits to you, moreover when they change the style and main purpose behind the article so that they will escape the accusation of plagiarism, its burns you in anger.
The original copy presentation from HP representative was informative, not imposing and came with a clear message that was accepted unanimously (or that is what it seemed like to me) by the people present at the event. I always like people who make a statement, instead of forcing the consumers to accept a fact that they find hard to believe. Acceptance of the agenda was easy because bloggers do not like their work to be copied either. There would have been a lot of issues if the event was held for Bollywood stars with Anu Malik leading the gang ;).
New things I learned were using the QR code to determine the authenticity of the product. So now we have a choice whether we want to go for a counterfeit product or not. Gone are the times when consumers were taken for ride with those perfect imitations which were hard to tell.
The Original Order
For the HP consumers, the products like cartridges are available for doorstep delivery now. HP order-a-cartridge allows consumers to conveniently order and replenish ink, toner, paper and printer supplies from the comfort of their home. Depending on our location, we can easily order our print supplies via the internet, email, telephone or HP reseller.
The HP representative also explained how the original authenticated products are cheaper in the long run. This is something I had already learned some years ago.
 I have to confess that it was through my son that I learned the lesson of opting for originals rather than going for cheaper ones as a consumer. Unbelievably, it all started with jeans. Rayyan loves jeans, therefore, I often buy 3 -4 jeans for him at a time. I used to look for offers, sales and opt for different types of jeans for him that would last at most for a year or less. Most of them stained and spoiled a lot of other dresses when washed. One day, Rayyan told me that I should buy him just one good branded jean instead of all those imitated Lee, Levis and CK. I argued that if we get 4 jeans for the cost of one, why we should go for an expensive one just for a brand name. The wise one then went on to show me the difference in the cloth, stitches, buttons, 
The original Beta
zipper and even the style by comparing his 4 year old jeans with a new imitation of CK jeans I had bought for him. The original jean which was 4 years old looked much better than the new once washed jeans which already had a loose button. Sheepishly, I had to admit that he was right and I was wrong. Later on, I went on to learn the lessons with the China mobile my husband sent, a HP printer that failed to work after someone convinced us to opt for a cheaper cartridge, and many more. So finally, now I go for originals and save money in the final run. So, there was no clash of ideals with the agenda because I whole heartedly agree that originals are better than phonies in every way, especially after getting two feet full of blisters as an after effect of wearing cheap sandals just few months ago.
The original show stealer
Now back to bloggers and bloggers meet from the agenda.When we entered the Fortune Park Hotel, wondering whether we were late, we found Gyanban and gang, loitering on the sofa in the lobby. Trying to catch seat in the front row, I hurried to register myself, where we were welcomed by Vineet and other Inditeam members, which is always a wonderful experience in itself.  Then it was time to identify the familiar faces among the people sitting, getting introduced to new bloggers and catching up with friends. I got to meet Mohan after reading his blogs for nearly three years or may be more. I was introduced to RAJ, but forgot to connect him to the blog which I often visit because of the glasses he wears which is absent in his profile picture. 
There was the young Siddhart, who is star of the meets, along with friends Pooja, Vidya, Rachna, Indrani, Bemoneyaware, Naba, Shweta, V.Shenoy, Raghav, the jaded maruti men, and many other bloggers which meant this was going to be great event.
The Original Indiblogger Showman
The excitement mounted as Anoop held mic in his hands, which was a green signal for the fun to begin. The Indimeet welcomed the bloggers with an original copy of Deep Purple song ‘Smoke on the water’ which had a youngster on guitar and singer N….. humming the tune. With red palms (Anoop made us clap hard over our heads) we the bloggers by choice enjoyed the beats, and later settled down to enjoy the fun that would follow. Then it was time for the 30 seconds of fame where Anoop corrupted the bloggers to stray away from being originals to imitating someone. I have no clue what it was all about, maybe he was trying to make everyone realize how bad imitations can be. There were some gems from our bloggers team, especially Balasubramaniam’s witty “I am great fan of Man Mohan Singh, which means I don’t have to say anything”. There were dialogues, mimics, songs, king Leonidas, and lot of original on spot creations from the bloggers, though sadly not everyone got to be famous due to shortage of time. I got my chance, had nothing new to say, but threatened Anoop to give me a pen drive and got away with it. Though I know most of the bloggers, I enjoy the introductions a lot, I wish the Inditeam would spare more time for introductions next time.
I was hoping for something more of GetPublished feature in the Bangalore  HP’s Original IndiBlogger Meet, but other than getting books as gifts, there was nothing much on part of Harper Collins.
We learned to use the QR code to access internet and create quotes. I and Bemoneyaware had two parts of the quotes, but the other person went into hiding never to be found. We looked under the tables, in the toilet, behind the screen but it was just mission impossible. So we had just 2/3 of the quote which did not qualify for a freebie.
The high tea was good. Wish we had some more time to talk with food in mouths with fellow bloggers. I agree it is gross, but we bloggers love it. Meanwhile, HP allowed us to give an original pose and win prizes once again. I wanted to give the traditional Indian lice picking pose with two kids and Rayyan wanted to go topsy turvy, but Farheena reprimanded us and said ‘BEHAVE’. So we ended with a decent picture which will become a great memorable family photograph for us.
The Original Family
Next was a game handed over to us by Siddesh Raavan Kabe. We were supposed to form groups of 15 bloggers and mimic a title of the movie without words. We got the theme ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’, the one Johnny Depp movie I have missed. To start with there was confusion among the team, then it spread to inditeam and finally to audience. The result -  no one could guess the name of movie. The rest went smooth with smart bloggers guessing names of the movies, with only an odd case of a team being disqualified for making sound.
The originality of the event came from the fact that prizes were given away for the youngest blogger, the blogger who coughed like a old hag, a blogger with no hair, a blogger with broken wrist, the team that performed the worst mimic, for a original pose and for answering the question ‘why this Kolavari di?’  Could anyone imagine winning prizes for such achievements? I guess not.. because this is one of a kind original event full of entertainment, which was mostly spontaneous creation, which made it virgin original meet.  Can’t wait to be in another meet….
There was a touching moment for me when a cute fellow blogger who shared the table with me, was happy
with my survival of cancer and gave me hug for it. That came directly from heart and I could feel it. Thank you young lady. Apart from love and kindness, I got two 8GB USB's, one T-shirt and a book to read.
Thank you Indiblogger, HP and Harper Collins. I refuse to thank Fortune Park hotel because the flush in the toilet was not working. J
  More pictures from the Original Copy Indiblogger Meet of Bangalore. 

The original blogger art

The Original Fool

The original couple

The original back benchers gang of Bangalore

Original quick wit...

Original innocence of a child which can never ever be imitated
Photos courtesy Indiblogger Facebook Page 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Book Review: Jack is Back in Corporate Carnival

Jack is Back in Corporate Carnival is a book full of witty humor, which makes you laugh out loudly at times, as you glide down through the pages. You are given a parachute, so that you will not fall down hard while reading this sarcastic take of P.G. Bhaskar who is a chartered account, working as a banker in Dubai.
Recently I have discovered the new language with which the Indian English writers express themselves. Is it a new way of rebelliously telling the British, that you left your language behind and now we will handle it the way we like it? I am not sure how any foreigner will understand the sentence, ‘Arre, bakwas! Don’t be a cartoon yaar!’ or Abhe gadhe’, but being an Indian I feel connected to the characters and love it.

Unfortunately, I have missed the first novel of Jack Patel – ‘Jack Patel’s Dubai Dreams’. I have to find time and the book to go through it sometime later. No regrets for now, because the book which narrates how young corporate handle their challenges, with an insidious, tongue in cheek humor has given me enough to smile about for a while.

The book begins with witty digs at cricket and cricket loving Indians. I could help but feel a guilty shame when the author brings how Indian’s want the Pakistan to lose to Australia after India’s loss in the WC. I would go through those emotions too. In cricket, there is no subcontinents; joy is India winning or Pakistan losing. There is no shame in it for cricket fans either.

A former colleague offers Jack Patel and his best friend Kitch with a conservative British Bank in Dubai. Jack takes up the job as though he is embracing his dreams. Like every corporate structure, there are power struggles, hurdles, problems to be solved and quite a few nearly impossible tasks posing a challenge to this ambitious young man.

One of the witty highlight is the way Jack handles an interview about football, naming Pele as his favorite player, when the world cup 2010 is going on, that too to a diehard Spanish fan, who had enough power to make or mar his career. The quiz is one of the most hilarious events happening in the book, especially if you are a football fan.

As the football world cup turns this world of cricket lover topsy-turvy, he jumps from one hilarious situation to another tickling your ribs all the way. What amazed me about the novel is the way the writer has handled the topic of recession, unemployment and corporate problems, all quite serious issues of today’s business world in a way that makes you laugh at it. Starting with the 1st chapter of ‘Déjà vu Dubai’, the story snickers down to the 20th chapter ‘The End? Or the Beginning?’, the story is a witty delight that makes you cherish and savor all the 300 pages of fun, excitement and adventure of Jack Patel.
The novel is full of Indianisms, love for cricket, the silly poems, die hard friends, grand weddings, well wishing uncles and aunts, high emotions, tears and ghosts, all narrated in the humor with great Indian touch. I am really beginning to love the books written by the new generation of Indian authors, who have put aside the traditional style and developed their own style which is endearing. I am already hunting for the first book by P.G. Bhaskar and also looking forward to read another book, which I am sure he is already writing.

Those looking for something light to read and enjoy, I strongly recommend this book.

 Book Review: Jack is Back in Corporate Carnival
Author: P. G. Bhaskar
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers India
ISBN: 978-93-5029-351-5
Pages: 305
Price: - Rs 150

A Visit To My School....

Yesterday, I was in Whitefield for some work. As I was passing by my school, I could not help but visit it, as most of my childhood memories are connected to it. It was the time the students were walking out of the school gates at their own pace, eagerly heading for home after a hectic day in school. As I stood on the path I had practiced my running, prodded and encouraged by P.T. Sir, I felt an urge to walk down that path once again.
 Without any effort from my side, my legs were carrying me down the path, as at the same time I started down the memory lane which was connected to every spot in the school premises. This was the place, which looked almost the same even after 30 years. There were changes, but not much.
The school where I studied up to VII std. means a lot to me, because here is where I picked up a lot of confidence, overcame the disability called club foot, learned to express myself in a right way, in addition to finding unconditional love and support from few of my teachers. I cannot recall any negative impact the school has left of me, but luckily it left a lot of positive effects on my life. This was the place where I had first tasted success.
As I walked down the road, I saw two of my teachers (one of them was my class teacher for Std. VI) walking down towards me. Even as I strained my eyes to recognize them, they had recognized me, welcoming me with a warm smile. That was incredibly unbelievable for me. Here I was an ex student of the student of the school, who had left school nearly 30 years ago, who had gained weight, aged, dressed differently, but they could recognize me immediately. Before I reached and greeted them, my heart said, all those Indian movies where people do not recognize their own kids or kith and kin, until they sing a song, see a tattoo, or wear a typical locket is bullshit. Every teacher has nearly 45-55 students in their class, who keep changing every year, yet they could recognize me. Back then I was 13, scrawny thin girl, with two plaits, thick eyebrows and dark complexion (which has lightened up a lot due to my staying indoors after my teen years), nothing like I am today. It warmed my heart.
They remembered my family, and asked about my dad and mom. With a heavy heart I informed them that I had lost my sister, mother and father. One of the teachers also remembered how my sister had guided her to school when she had come to join for her duty. I walked around the premises for sometime; before walking out and coming back from the reverie to my present life.
I can proudly say once again, I am proud of my teachers and my school - St. Joseph’s Convent School, Whitefield. 
This was my most favorite spot in the whole world...

The path I ran down training for running competitions

This was another favorite spot where I would sit and read
under the shade of the tree.. 

How often I had climbed those steps to have a direct talk
the H,M. herself... ;)

The part of the school that overlooks a hill... 

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

From the Land Where Draupadi was Disrobed

Today, the men of the land where Draupadi was disrobed have spoken, openly, honestly and with bravery.
Rapes are prevalent in India, not in Bharat said the RSS chief, Mohan Bhagwat. Vishwa Hindu Parishad, blamed the western model of lifestyle for growing incidents of sexual assault on women including rape, saying cities were losing the values.
Someone had to hold the truth to my face for all the follies I have committed. The brave men did it, when all the humans in India were shocked and hurt by the brutality of rape in the moving bus of Delhi. They could not have chosen a much appropriate timing! I, the woman of India, hang down my head in shame and agree that I am the one who is to be blamed for all the atrocities committed on me, like rapes, infanticide, sati, nude worship, devadasi system and dowry deaths. Off course everything happened only after I willingly migrated away from the safe Bharat, to the crime country India.
All the Americans should also stand with me and hang down their heads in shame as they are equally responsible for what is happening in this country I have migrated to. According to Ashok Singhal, “This western model is alarming. What is happening is we have imbibed the US. We have lost all the values we had in cities,”
President Obama, no matter how much you respect and love your wife, you need to be ashamed of yourself for not stopping the crime against women taking place in India.
I wonder who did the Americans meet during the Draupadi vastraharan? Was it the Kauravas or the wife of Pandavas? As the Kauravas were men, it must have been Draupadi who must have been influenced by the western culture. Was it her waist hugging tight jeans that Dushasana failed to pull off? Vyasa made a typo, I think, as he clearly said it was her sari that was pulled off in front of her 5 valiant husbands and a court filled with honorable (????) men.
Though Columbus yet had to discover USA, the honorable men and women of the past India, had been influenced by the Americans through some mysterious means. How else can I explain the erotic temple architecture of Khujaraho and the Kamasutra?
The problems of India began when women like Draupadi ventured out in night, all alone, wearing western clothes. Until then all the women, surrounded by the strong protective walls of Bharat were safe. Don’t ask me about Sita haran, because Kailash Vijayvargiya has answered that already so diplomatically. The arrogant woman had crossed the line, allowing Ravaan to kidnap her.
Yeah, there is one more case of the woman Renuka, who had committed grave crime of looking at a man. Off course the sage (????) was so angered by the misconduct, that he ordered his sons to kill their mother. Parashurama obeyed his father and beheaded his mother. After all father is the head of the family, what is the head of a mother after all? That was our great Bharat. And now we have this weird India in its place.
 How good were the Men in Bharat, the people who respected women so much that they burnt her alive with her dead husband, but they never bothered about the men whose wives were dead. After all it is the woman who should be protected and taken care of, not the men; what other best way can you suggest then burning her with her husband. She can then be given a status of goddess and worshipped. What more should a woman ask for?
We had Gods too in Bharat, who were very eager to please women even against their wishes. May be Indra hails from Bihar; I may have to ask Raj Thackeray and confirm this. All people were worried about the young girl who lost her life, without paying attention to Raj Thackeray and saying how right he was about the Biharis. How the people can be so mean to him? Coming back to Indira, it is said he disguised as the Ahalya’s husband and raped her. Who else would disguise himself as a husband and molest a good wife Ahalya other than a Bihari? If Indra was from Maharashtra, would he behave thus?
One more politician Mr. Botsa Satyanarayana found the brutal rape, torture and unthinkable barbaric act of six men on a helpless young woman to be a minor incident. What if she lost her intestine? There are many more young women still left in India, even after killing the girl child in the womb, who can be tortured again. The major event was the UPA president showing her sympathy to the girl. The badly wounded girl, who lost her life must have sure landed in heaven, now that she had direct connection with the center government. What a lucky girl? A minor incident and she got attention of Sonia Gandhi herself.. in Botsa’s own words ” It is highly commendable on the part of Sonia to respond to the situation so quickly”. 
No wonder we shout at the top of the voice, ‘MERA BHARAT MAHAN’.
Joining the enlightening men is a woman, Dr. Anita Shukla who knew what to do best when surrounded by six lusty men who wanted to rape a woman. Take her advice people as she is a well educated woman, Secretary of Lions Club and an agricultural scientist by profession. Don’t be on roads after 10 p.m., don’t instigate men and finally surrender and beg the rapists to stop and save your intestines. Noted madam, on stone.  
That should have been enough, but can an elephant be left behind without speaking. Yes, Spiritual Guru Asaram Bapu who claims he is an elephant, whereas anyone speaking against him is a dog, did not need all those lawyers and courts to pass his judgment. Must be a Bharatiya Nar. In a jiffy he knew that the Delhi gang rape victim is as guilty as those responsible for the barbaric sexual assault on her. "Only 5-6 people are not the culprits. The daughter is as guilty as her rapists...
She should have called the culprits brothers and begged before them to stop... This could have saved her dignity and life. Can one hand clap? I don't think so,"  
I bow down and rub my forehead on the ground this wise man has treaded upon. What wise words from a spiritual guru. He is sure going to leave behind a legacy of many wise people who must have been thus enlightened by his wisdom. My hand is itching and saying, one hand cannot clap, but it can slap. Wonder why?
All said and done, now somebody give me a ticket and passport, so that I can go back to the land called Bharat, where I will be safe and protected by its men.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Wishing you a MINDFUL New Year, 2013!

Let's have a new year full of many, many moments of mindfulness!

What's that? Nothing about happiness? Nothing about resolutions, goals, becoming better and so on!!
But, don't we have enough of being asked to (by others and ourselves!) improve ourselves, doing this, learning that or getting somewhere?
So, here I am talking about mindfulness (or, living in the moment) - it is just about experiencing or being aware of where we already are. It's about being more like a child totally engrossed in whatever she is up to.
The beauty of mindfulness is that I can become mindful anywhere, anytime in the simplest of ways.
Read more about the post HERE


Rayyan Lost in Laptop

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