Monday, January 24, 2011

Down Time

The weather's got me y'all :(

I have no voice left and guess who's very happy about that? The Boy, of course!

It's got to a point where I had to beg and plead with the doctor to gimme some anti-biotics. He wasn't relenting so I had to go to the extent of threatening him - "I'll have to ask some pharmacist then, or worse still self-medicate. So you better give it to me yourself!" Finally he relented, good doctor that he is :D

There are also a million work-related things lined up and a trip to Dilli later this week, so I may be out of action for a while folks. But I hope to be back soon...hopefully with a voice! And the happy days of The Boy will come to an end again....*evil laugh*

Till then, stay outta trouble!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Voice Within

Hey You,

Yes you...the girl sitting at the computer, working away furiously as if your life depended on it. Ignoring the hunger pangs, the tired body and mind that are crying out for a break. Yes, I'm talking to you.

I'm back as you can see. So let's have another chat, shall we?

Really, I thought you were a girl that wanted a job, not a career. Or were you?

You're spending ten hours a day in front of a computer in an artificial, closed, air-conditioned environment while the sun is shining in all its winter glory outside. You don't even have the time to open the blind to let some of that soft sunshine filter in.

Is this what you wanted out of your life? Do you even know what you're running after? Are you really looking forward to reaching the point where your life is all about targets and sleepless nights because you fell short by an arm or a leg?

What about your love for the outdoors, your dream of traveling the world, your desire to know when you look back at your life that it's been about more than spreadsheets and PowerPoint? What about that language you wanted to learn, the book you wanted to write, the trip you wanted to take across Europe, the commitments you wanted to make to your health and fitness...when do you plan to do those? If you haven't had time for them in the thirty years of your life gone by, you won't in the next thirty either. And then will regret the life you've let slip by your fingers just as you regret not having made the most of the six years you've been working.

So, give me an answer. Do you want a job that let's you experience things in life that you need money for, and still gives you the time to experience things that money can't buy? Such as time to soak up the winter sun, to write that book you always wanted to write, time that you can spend with The Boy and your parents (who by the way aren't going to be around forever, in case you didn't realize). Or do you want a career with more responsibilities and more stress that leaves your pulse racing, your mind hassled and cluttered, leaves you with an irritable mood and with no time for loved ones?

I know you're going to ignore me again. Shoo me away. Ask me to leave you alone. I will for now. But you know what...I'll keep trying. Till the time you decide to listen to what I'm saying. Because I know it's not your fault...I wish the world was nicer to its people.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Maa Exchange

A shitty weekend followed by a super Manic Monday. There are a million things crying out for my attention at work, a zillion proofs of investment I need to gather so I can claim a good part of the money that I have slogged to earn through the year from the taxman's claws (and that would otherwise go into some fatass politician's pocket, not into improving my country's infrastructure) and a gazillion people who're pissing me off with their sheer idiocy. So while I fret and fume, and figure out how to survive the madness, read this post on a new reality show that I wrote last week.

What...don't you know we love talking crap here?


Reality shows on singing and dancing. Shows where people answer questions to become millionnaires. Shows where a bunch of 'has-beens' and starlets who are complete strangers to each other are thrown into a house together for 90 days. Shows where celebrities are left to camp in scary jungles. Shows where celebrities participate in death-defying stunts to ostensibly conquer their fears. Shows on cooking skills of wannabe "masterchefs". Shows where a bunch of women squabble, bitch, plot, plan and disgrace themselves in public to win the affection of the sole guy. Shows where a celebrity couple without kids is made to care for someone else's child for a month. Shows where people are willing to reveal their deepest, darkest secrets on television even though it may ruin their lives forever. Shows where people are more than willing to lie down on the couch and let the shrink regress them to their past lives. Just when you thought Indian television had exhausted all possible reality show formats comes another reality show. Of course, most of these formats are borrowed from the West but there has to be some saturation point, innit?

The new reality show on the block is 'Maa Exchange' - the Indian version of 'Wipe Swap'. The original format would apparently have been too risque for the Indian audience given our concept of "family bonding" through television.

In this new reality show they take women from two disparate backgrounds and put them in each other's homes. These women have to run each other's houses for a week. The focus is on motherly and home-maker duties. For instance, a cleanliness freak woman will be put in the home of someone who thinks hygiene kills.

Week 1 saw Pooja Bedi "who runs her house very efficiently with the help of 3 maids" (their words, not mine) swap places with a woman who feeds her husband chapatis straight off the griddle, serves him hot tea whenever he wants and generally waits on him 24x7. I don't know if the show is stage managed but this woman was really bizarre - she believes dining tables belong at hotels, not at homes. That a house that's clean looks like a hotel. That it's OK to have breakfast at 3pm, lunch at 7pm and dinner at 3am. That kids who express their opinions infront of their parents/elders have had a bad upbringing. That people who thanks their drivers or house helps are being fake.

Next week will see a woman who's a cleanliness freak go into a home where the toilets have never seen a toilet cleaner.

It's a scary show, this one. And something I wouldn't do for even a lot of money (I don't know what my breaking point would be though. I'd like to say there won't be one's money, honey). Rationally though I can't imagine being part of such a thing. It's not about stepping out of my comfort zone - just the thought of going to live in some stranger's house for a week and letting her live in mine and manage my house is kind of revolting to me. Kind of.

What about you? Can you see yourself participating in such a show?

No One Killed Jessica


Thursday, January 13, 2011

Should We Become Less Uptight About "Going Dutch"?

Stumbled upon this article that talks about Dutch women working less, having a big gender pay gap and loving it.

According to this article, most Dutch women work half days, meet their friends for coffee at 2 p.m., and pity their male colleagues who are stuck in office all day!

Now that's a life any working woman will be willing to trade her present life for (working beyond office hours, not being able to meet friends for coffee even after work, and still having to crib about sexism at work). The flip side, of course, being that we'll have to depend on the male species for money. Is that something I'm willing to make my peace with? I don't know. What I wouldn't mind of course is working half day, making enough money to be able to meet my personal and very important shopping needs :D and the rest can be taken care of by the man! They are genetically programmed to be ambitious, ruthlessly competitive, and more objective about work than women, anyway.

What are your views on this article?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

All About Bollywood

Disclaimer: If you're not into Bollywood you're advised to skip this post. This one's a complete timepass post. Don't say I didn't warn you!


Bollywood gives us so many reasons to laugh. First there was Rishi Kapoor taking up the cudgels on behalf of his son because some girls that Kapoor Jr. messed around with hung him to dry. In public. On national TV. The son has maintained his silence so far, but daddy dearest fighting with all & sundry on behalf of him makes it look like the grown up son can't fight his own battles.

Then I came across this quote from Kajol: "AIDS is just a little more worrisome than a common cold and it's curable, so just go out there and get it done."

Don't believe she said that? Go here.

I've always found Kajol to be dumb. By her own admission, she's a romance novel junkie. Anyone who thrives on such trash well into their 40s has got to be surviving on a limited number of brain cells. She may be a good actress - I think she's over-hyped - but intelligence isn't one of her assets.

On the other hand Shilpa Shetty's PR Manager (don't ask me how she came into the picture) said this when reacting to Kajol's statement: "Everything is curable with love and 'real' happiness. Cancer, AIDS or common cold does not stand a chance to affect anyone if the person refuses to be affected. Rather than getting immune to deficiency syndromes, the human race needs to attempt to get immune to Dis-Ease. After all, what we dread as "Disease" is actually 'Dis-Ease'. Ease yourself with magnanimous doses of happiness, cheerfulness, abundance, love, and all 'dis-ease' will cease to exist. Even common cold!Our bodies have a natural ability to heal themselves. I guess, abounding love and happiness is Shilpa's mantra too. It's always worked for her; and worked wonders. This year, it's attracted the affection of nations all over the world and come back to her manifold."

We'll move on when you stop laughing. But not without saying this - what's worked wonders on Shilpa Shetty isn't the "abounding love and happiness" in her life. It's her husband's bank balance. Such a whole load of $$$$$ in the bank that can buy us a massive rock, honeymoon in the Caribbean, a mansion in London, a cricket team, and a flat in the tallest building in the world - all within a year of marriage - will work wonders on us too.

Then there's Priyanka Chopra. I thought that woman had something up there but seems like there's no exception to the in-Bollywood-must-be-dumb rule. After returning to Delhi from Srinagar where she was shooting for Vishal Bhardwaj’s 'Saat Khoon Maaf' she said that she was very happy to be back to ‘civilization’. She's still trying to explain that one.

While we're still on 'Saat Khoon Maaf', have you seen the promos? They're scary! Priyanka Chopra almost freaked me out. I'm really really looking forward to the movie.


One celebrity who's pouting incessantly at the cameras, irrespective of how idiotic it makes her look, is Kareena Kapoor. Don't believe me? Check this out...

Truth be told, it's very tough to get the pout right. One needs to suck in one's cheeks just the right amount to highlight the cheekbones and accentuate the mouth, but when done excessively it can make you look like a moron. A la Miss Kapoor.

Her obsession with pouting aside, have you seen how obsessed the woman is with herself? She thinks no end of herself, is always running down her contemporaries, and can't stop singing peans of her acting abilities. This is one narcissistic woman. I don't understand how anyone can date someone who's so full of themselves. But let's not get nasty :)

According to psychoanalysis, 'narcissism' is the erotic gratification derived from admiration of one's own physical or mental attributes, being a normal condition at the infantile level of personality development (

Looks like someone forgot to grow up.


Those of you who think the promotions of 'No One Killed Jessica' with the fake lesbianism angle were highly idiotic, please raise your hand (yes, we're finding everyone & everything idiotic these days....must be a phase).

First there was the mock kiss between Rani Mukerji & Vidya Balan. So passé. Besides, if you don't have the balls to go all out and kiss for real, just leave it alone. Then there were the non-stop interviews on radio & TV talking about how they pacify each other with flowers, chocolates, lingerie etc. after a lover's tiff. And then came the thumb sucking on Karan Johar's chat show. Gross.

The reason I found this entire thing idiotic is that it was completely unrelated to the movie! There's no lesbianism angle in the movie whatsoever. So this promotional strategy came out looking like a cheap way of attracting audiences to the theater. Takes away from the credibility of the movie, don't you think?


There's a new show about to be aired on Sony TV. It's called 'Maa Exchange'. Basically the Indian version of 'Wife Swap' which has been suitably toned down to make it fit for "family viewing" in India. In line with this tempering down the focus will be on motherly duties rather than wifely ones. I think it will be quite a bizarre and entertaining show, but I cannot imagine participating in it for even a million bucs.

Picture courtesy:

Friday, January 7, 2011

My Year in Blogs

I thought of taking stock of the events that happened in my life last year through the blog. So I went back and read all the posts I wrote from January through December 2010. The story of my life was hardly there! I was surprised.

Well, I had never intended to discuss or document my personal life on this blog, so I don't know why I was taken aback. The blog was always a place where I could come for some time off, rejuvenation, venting, cribbing, random babbling...that kinda stuff. I'm too queasy about putting my personal life on the web. Besides, I'm not an anonymous blogger anymore!

Still, it was fun to track all that I wrote about last year. I wrote a hell lot of stuff, mostly random, but here are some fun things I found:

January - I went to Mainland China for the first time!!!

February - Fretted about turning 30 in March :(

March - Turned 30!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

April - Got a bob for the first time - an asymmetical bob at that. Got the Cherry on Top Award from Chanz (for beautiful blogs with that little bit extra). JK Rowling declared that Dumbledore was gay!! Developed a crush on Shane Bond.

May - The last Shrek movie came out :( Read one of the most depressing books ever - A Thousand Splendid Suns. Took me a while and many Vogues to get over it. Wrote one of my favorite posts - on coffee shops.

June - Got swept by the FIFA World Cup!! It was the month developing of new football favorites - Espana and Barcelona! Did a number of posts on football hotties - with & without clothes. It was a month of total football washout. Developed a crush on Fernando Torres. Was reminded once again that David Beckham is THE.ORIGINAL.HOTTIE :D

July - Spain became 2010 World Cup champions!! 'Inception' blowed away my mind - literally.

August - I started watching cookery shows and getting interested in cooking. Discovered a quaint Italian restaurant in the heart of Calcutta. This is the month Masterchef Australia started pulling me into its hold.

September - Started planning my vacation.

October - Went on vacation!! :) Visited Bangalore, spent time with the awesome Moonshine and her cool as a cucumber husband (that's a compliment, right? :) Visited my parents.

November - My 500th post!!!!!!! Diwali!!!!!!! Masterchef Australia mania reached a crescendo!

December - New role at work. Marion got eliminated from Masterchef Australia. Had my most amazing dessert till now - chocolate fondant with crushed peanuts and butterscotch ice cream with peanut & salted caramel. Divine. Christmas!!!!!!!!

The things I wrote about the most in 2010 were:
  • Food - Take a bow, Knife! :)
  • Hitting the Big 3-Oh!!
  • Weight issues :(
  • Social/current issues
  • Movie reviews
  • Cribs about life (sadly not so much about work or people at work...not being anonymous sucks!)

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

My New Year Post

We're on the 4th day of 2011 (already!!!)

The year got off to a wrong start - my laptop stopped working and I've come back to so much work after my mini new year break that posting from office has been difficult. And I can see a hell lot of work coming my way this year, so my posts may be few & far between. But this is the place I come to retain my sanity, to push all the hassles of life outside my mind for some time, so I'll make sure I blog as much as I can.

How did you bring in the new year? I brought it in in a way that I think makes me old but people in my age group (30-45 years!!!!!) think is a wise thing to do on New Years' Eve - stay home surrounded by people you love.

Really, I stopped partying on New Years' Eve many years ago. What's so attractive about over-crowded parties, headache-inducing traffic jams that ensure you wish each other Happy New Year! in the car itself never mind the fat cash you paid for entry to the 'it' party in town, and massive holes in the pocket? I'll keep that cash to buy myself a new bag & shoes, and save myself that headache that would come in the way of some rocking sex later on in the night, thank you! (Just so we make sure that we get enough bags and shoes and rocking sex during the rest of the year, you see :)

I've decided not to do the introspecting-retrospecting-stock taking shit this year. Maybe the 30th year has finally brought me some wisdom! But mostly because there's nothing to take stock of...HA HA!

I casually checked my post from a year ago - my new year resolution post for 2010 - and what I realized was past shocking. It was comical. The 7kg weight loss that was supposed to happen has turned into a 5kg weight gain, fitness levels are abysmally low, spending habits have gone from bad to worse, and investments are way below the levels they should've been at.

So I've decided I'm going to be conservative in my resolutions for 2011. Here's what I plan to do - and hopefully will be successful in doing - in this brand new, shiny, new year (grammar freaks please excuse):
  1. I'll stop fretting over losing weight and will instead focus on overall fitness. That means I'll eat healthy, eat 5-6 small meals every day and work out as frequently as I can. Which should do the job. Isn't that the approach that glamazons like Bipasha Basu, Kareena Kapoor and their multi-millionairess fitness consultants advise? If that doesn't work I'll try yoga, power yoga, artistic yoga, Pilates, Tai Chi, Thai kick boxing, kettle bell, circuit training, resistance training, calisthenics...there are plenty of options out there. And if I die while I scurry around like a headless chicken doing all of the above, I'll know whose dreams to haunt. Those glamazons'. And no Mr Reebok, I don't want your Rs 8000 ass-tone shoes.
  2. I'll cut down on my expenses (swear to those luscious Aldo shoes I saw the other day, I will) and increase my savings. Mango & Promod will continue to exist without my charity. I'll make a budget every month and stick to it. I do not need new clothes every week. I do not need to eat out every other day. I have enough bags & shoes. I do not need to build a stockpile of imported shampoos & body washes in my bathroom. I do not need to stock up on imported sauces that cost the GDP of a small country and lie unused in my fridge till even the fungii refuse to colonize them. I do not need to randomly buy people gifts b/c no one buys me any gifts anyway :(
  3. I'll get over my fear of driving and learn to bloody drive!!!!!
  4. I'll go on 2 long vacations during the year. And at least one mini vacation. I'm reclaiming my life.
  5. I'll spend more time with my parents.
That's it - short & sweet.

I tried to find a word that I can use to most aptly define the year gone by, for me. The only word I could come up with was 'MEH'. That's what 2010 was for me - meh. It was a year of status quo, personally and professionally.

The prognosis for 2011 looks bleak - an impending relocation, bigger job responsibilities, and emotional challenges that are going to be difficult to overcome. But I'm determined to sail through - by taking one day at a time, by not worrying about things that are beyond my control, by focusing on my goals for the year and blinding myself to everything else. 'Coz I've got to see you on the other side of 2011, yo.

A very Happy New Year to you :)