Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The year coming to an end

Finally this year is coming to an end. Got to say its been more peaceful than last year. Last year this time I was fretting on what would happen to someone in my family and of course what was going to happen to me. While I achieved nothing this year I had some challenges to go on with. I started a new job and that too a different one. I realized that I am better than most people when it comes to work. And I still am a good writer. Even if not an award winning one.

Since I am now left alone with no one to interfere in my life I am much better and almost back to the person I used to be seven years ago. Things might have been wonderful for me had I not got into the software profession so many years ago. How was I to know what lay ahead of me?

But all said and done I have gotten older. I am stuck with dead weight that never seems to leave me. No matter how sporty I become I cant lose all the flab I have gained because of my depression.

I don't have any resolutions as yet. I am not good at keeping any. I just hope and pray to God that 2011 will be as good as 2010 and not worse that's all.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The best day of my life!

So, the title of this post is slightly exaggerated. But it definitely was one of the best days of my life yesterday. Borders at the Mirdiff city centre had a sale and we were getting books for AED 10. Some of the books were made of recycled paper I guess. But some of the hard-backed editions were original albeit a bit old. But a sale of this kind almost never happens in Dubai. So I had to make the most of it. And I picked up close to 20 books costing 10 dirhams a piece. And some costing more of course. Some really rare ones at that too. And what's more the Sharjah book fair is about to start this week and maybe I will get good books there as well. Although my husband is a bit fed up of me and my reading now. Its the only hobby I have and I dont want to lose that as well.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

@Random

Saina Nehwal won the badminton gold today getting India the 2nd place in CWG, for once India has excelled in things other than cricket.Second , India won a test series yesterday, with the introduction of a rank newcomer Pujara higher up the order becoming one of MS Dhoni's successful strategies.
There is no dearth of Indian athletes today. In almost all forms of sport. And the seniors or the veterans seem to be taking the right attitude in promoting them. I have got a new-found respect for Sachin Tendulkar today. I know I always admired him. But even more so now with so many talented players getting into the foray, he is still holding his own and how well he is doing it.
Some time back , when one of my cousins scored a better mark than me in his board exams I felt jealous. Up until then I held the record. But now when I look at Sachin and think, I dont think I set any great example to any of my junior cousins to follow.
I always wanted to become great, but now that's the last thing I am. And now I think this dream of mine might always remain a dream. I am not just able to come to terms with this fact.
Not one dream of mine has been realised till now. Sachin realised many and still has one dream of winning the World cup for India. Something that never happened despite having great team lineups. I dont even know what the equivalent of such a world cup is for me.
I dont have an aim , a target. A target that I want to achieve by say 2012. Is it because I was born a girl? I am still wasting my time doing rubbish work.
The worst thing is I dont even identify myself with any of the members in my family anymore.I simply cant get along with them. I was an epitome of patience 5 years ago. Now that's the last thing I am. I can talk to them, but I dont agree with any one of their views. The US of A was my dream destination. I guess even though I deny that verbally , on some levels it is still the type of place I want to settle in. Cos I simply hate people meddling with my life. A huge amount of success in life comes from family support, a thing I never had either before my marriage or after. I only had rules and examples to follow always. I am a wastrel of a person because I dont know how to cook. (This tops the list by the way, all my mother ever asks me is what did you make and eat today, and she spends 10 bucks a min just to ask me just that).

I have to admit Dubai has been a good escapade for me from my family. I might have even fallen in love with this place if it hadnt scr---d my career. But then again its not the fault of this city, its the fault of the Indians living in it. The greedy people in every company I have worked here is an Indian. If God gave me a chance I would want to live my life starting from the beginning in Dubai. It is a place that taught me a lot more than my hometown Chennai ever did.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Swami Vivekananda's saying

Take up one idea, make that one idea your life, think it, dream of it, live on that idea... be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Have I lost IT?

After nearly one and a half years away from the IT industry , today I think I am missing it. Reading today about the necessary skills that should be acquired by the IT professional made me feel low. I didnt have nine out of the eleven required skills mentioned there. Much worse I havent even heard of a couple of technologies mentioned there. Its true that I was not born a software engineer and I always dreamt of getting out of programming. But now I feel I should have atleast stayed on in the Industry even as a secretary or a receptionist maybe. Atleast I would'nt have totally lost my knowhow of the field if I had been working in the IT department of a company. I dont really know if I am doing the right thing these days. Most of the time is being wasted on Facebook, God alone knows what I get out of it.
On the brighter side, Kaun Banega Crorepati has started. I remember the first time the show started ten years back. I was still a fresher in engineering college. Although I dreaded studying there, there was still this element of fun. Of not having any responsibilities yet. Cos' grown up life totally S---s. So atleast one of my hobbies i.e quizzing can be restarted. I have also started enjoying the Weakest Link and the MasterMind Quiz on BBC entertainment. Maybe I should get back on track with my reading habit as well now.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Another vacation to dread.

There is this scene in “All about Steve” where Sandra Bullock goes to a school and talks about her career as a cruciverbalist (Basically a person creating crosswords). And the kids at school starting firing questions at her. How she is able to make a living? Can she pay her mortgages etc? Finally she replies saying that she lives with her parents. They mock at her because she is staying with her parents. Now in America such a thing as living with your parents is looked down upon and old parents are normally left to fend for themselves. But in India till now we are left with this obligation to look after our parents. I like my parents. But to be honest they are very set in their ways and now having lived apart for four years I prefer living alone.

I have started dreading going on vacation to India because I don’t know how I am going to bridge the gap between them and my husband and I land up getting shouted at by both. This increases my Blood pressure and spoils my very idea of a relaxing vacation. It is better to stay back at Dubai despite the harsh climate because here at least I can do what I want without having to answer prying questions by too many people. I am American in some of my ways although I have never really been to America. I hate comparisons which actually my parents don’t do much of, but my in-laws are expert at it. But at least in the US you might find some like-minded folks, back home in India you wouldn’t. At least not in my lousy home-state. Of course people living in Chennai where I grew up are far better and more understanding than I could ever ask them to be. For the first time in my life I am dreading this vacation and I am hoping this won’t be as bad as I am imagining it to be.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

A good one

It is uncanny that most often those who have an opinion on your life don’t matter and those who do matter, rarely do.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

I got my license...

My diet stopped in 2 days flat. But then I had no time to grieve about it. Because the next day I got my license when I least expected it. Phew a license on a second attempt in Dubai is like a big achievement (of course there are the rare first attempt people). Finally I can hit the road with a well-deserved license.

I wish I could do something about my job. Somehow my career is now going nowhere. I should have known that it was flawed right from the beginning. But I still had hopes. Now that all the hopes have dwindled I have effectively stopped thinking about my career. I dread going to India because I dont know how to explain to them about the job I am doing. As a matter of fact I am not really sure what I am doing. Is this called a career?

Not to mention all other embarassing questions coming my way. I am wishing for the first time in my life that I dont have to go to India for a vacation. I am actually thinking of ways to get out of this trip once and for all.

And what the hell is happening to my English. I used to write well. And now I am doubting every sentence and every word I write. Is this the effect that a boss who is quirky on English has on you!!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Diets and me... Day 1

My biggest problem and the battle I have been involved in for years has been the battle of the bulge. Let's face it I am a thorough foodie. I love food in all forms (except for the bittergourd or karela). I myself dont really relish cooking, but when I do I manage to empty my plate of the food no matter how good or bad it is. All of a sudden when I passed through the salad section of the Lulu hypermarket yesterday, I picked up the fruit salad and decided on eating it for dinner. Reached home and saw the other food stuff we bought from the restaurant, and I decided to eat that instead. This morning when I woke up the guilt struck me. I always felt offended when somebody called me fat, but why couldnt I take that insult as a challenge in order to diet!

So I have decided to change, atleast temporarily. Since morning I have surved on one piece of pineapple, half a glass strawberry milk, and the fruit salad purchased from Lulu yesterday. So far so good. No headaches and no tummy aches. I am planning to drink some soup at night. Let me see how far I can carry this diet and more importantly how much weight I loose as a result. As for the leftover cake I am gonna have it thrown away , if in case it tempts me too much. I will surely lose some money as a result but the benefit of hearing finally that you lost weight far outweighs the cost of that cake.....sigh! The things we do to look good.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Drowsiness.........

One month of Football, and its not even a sport I am interested in! I have hardly slept properly in the last 1 month. My whole body is in this feverish wake almost as if I have some deadly disease or something when I know that all I am is a little tired. I just dont feel like exercising even though I know I should be exercising. I want to have a diary, I just havent found a decent one.....grrrr. Why am I like this nowadays. Nothing appeals to me anymore no dresses, no food, no people......sigh. I want to change myself but I am not able to. And I cant believe I am wasting half my time and life in reading stupid Facebook status messages, other's walls, watching photo after photo and yet not do any of these things on my own. Heck I dont even have a decent profile pic because of fear that somebody may comment God, look at yourself you are now twice the size you were ten years ago. Yep, I am twice the size I was 10 years ago and I am definitely not happy about it, and yet I have done nothing to improve that situation of mine. Today for the first time in months or even years maybe somebody says I have lost weight. I am still not motivated to making that " Wow , you have lost a lot of weight"... GOD, please give me some inspiration!

Monday, June 21, 2010

How films influence our view point!

Sometime ago I had written about the water shortage in Chennai and how I had hardly faced any in that city. What was most amazing was the number of people who had never been to Madras seemed to know about acute water shortage and I who had lived there for 23 years didnt!. Irony isnt it. Recently saw a couple of Malayalam films on TV, Mukunda etta Sumithra Vilikunnu and one more not so heard of movie where the main highlight is this endless queue of pink, yellow, green and myriad color pots behind the lorry. Ok ...gotcha now I get the source of information for all these people, it is the movies!. Ever wonder how much it influences our thought process of a place! Now I do, I definitely do. But before we make a viewpoint about it, the least we could do is to actually check with people who have suffered this severe shortage. The next time we form an opinion about people or places, let's take into consideration atleast a second viewpoint from people with firsthand experience.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Another day has gone..I am still all alone

Another b'day has gone past. Several emails and facebook messages later I am still clueless as to what I am doing with my life. I have no aim, no dream or aspirations. I still havent done anything to enhance my writing skills. I am trying to run a house yet I am miserably failing in it. I badly need a break and go back to India, but I am not getting it. I cannot throw this job away and run away because for once people actually think I am good at this! Which was definitely not how I was perceived in my IT job. But I still feel so wretched, why!! Why is this happening to me alone?? ...............................................

Thursday, April 1, 2010

At the crossroads .......

Every once in a while you reach a situation or a point in life where you are confused about some of the choices that lie ahead of you. I am right now in a job that is not too demanding, but at the same time has little or no future. On the other hand, a job related to my degree beckons me. But with the same old story of coding, testing, bug-fixing and never ending new-releases which anyway dont excite me anymore. But I am a computer science engineer. How can I forget that. 4 years of painful learning with a high fee at a private engineering college. And it is still the highest degree I posess.
I was offered a job yesterday in a PR firm for doing what I like doing the most which is writing. But quite frankly speaking, I am scared of taking it up. Why ..... There are many reasons for this. I am not sure I can start a career all over again. Primarily because I am not getting any younger with every passing day. I might have taken it up 4 years ago when I first came to Dubai, but now having lost a job once has made me lose some of my old confidence. Similarly, everyone around me including people younger to me seem to have accomplished more than I have and this is not helping my ego in any way. I hate it when "12th pass" kids are getting jobs faster than a well qualified engineer like me. Not that I hate the kids. But I am left to wonder, is there no value in my engineering degree for which I spent about Rs. 3 Lakhs at the end of 4 years. Of course it was my Dad's money. But it was a fairly big amount for him back then. And it was not because I was a bad student. A combination of illness and laziness before the engineering entrance exam and the bad luck of being born into an "upper caste" both became my undoing. (Ya it is bad luck nowadays if you are not an SC/ST or any other minority).
On the other hand, the fact that I even got selected for a content writer post has given me some confidence in my writing skills. Atleast there's one thing that I am atleast marginally good at. Phew , I have identified one skill of mine. For a long while I thought I didnt have any. But coming back to the topic, which job should I go to now? I am not good at managing people, that is something I have come to understand after 6 years of corporate life. So any job concerning managing people, especially ones who are older or of the same age will not help me. I am too nice to people to get back at them. But I tend to remember the details of bad things done to me even if they are very petty things.
Or should I stay on in the same job, finish my post-graduation and then Phd. And then start to teach? The business of education can bring in a lot of money if you know the right way to go about it. But I am not sure I am the best person to go about it the right way.
And about back to Information Technology, phew that would take me a lifetime for even a small promotion there. So I dont even want to get started about the troubles involved. But atleast we will have a better designation and the most important aspect : better salary!!

Now which road should I choose??????????

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Water, the elixir of life

Phew, last 3 days have seen a spate of articles about water conservation with Mar 22nd being World Water Conservation Day and all. Everybody underestimates the value of water. I remember one of my relatives who went to Chennai more than 30 years ago (or maybe even before that) remarking as if even now there is no water in Chennai and as a result people have a bath only once in a week, and there are still people defecating on the road. I wanted to shout at him at that point of time. I was literally born and brought up in that city. Of course he was fully aware of that. And I (touch wood) never faced any water problem in the 23 years that I spent there. Yes , part of it because we lived in a water-rich suburb called Thiruvanmiyur. But also in part because of rain water harvesting being taken up very seriously in this city. Even today the well that was dug at my home more than 20 years ago hasn't dried up!. A few years back there was very little water in this same well.
Now this relative hails from the state that is abundant in rain, literature, culture, scenic beauty etc called Kerala. The irony of his statment now is that many districts in Kerala have a serious water shortage issue, and many housewives went on a strike for this just last week! Now I should ask the same guy what he has to say about this. At least, in Chennai they reacted to the water shortage situation in time, because they were always aware of the lack of rain in TamilNadu. But in Kerala , they had enough water from rains, yet didnt know how to save it. So guess who has the last laugh here? It is not enough to say something for the heck of hurting others, substantiate it with good examples! And if you cannot do your bit to save water on this planet then dont talk about others and their lack of it.

Thought for the day:
I love talking about nothing. It is the only thing I know anything about. Oscar Wilde.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Thought for the day.

The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.
ALVIN TOFFLER, American Writer and Futurist.

Metroplus

I have been reading the metroplus section of The Hindu for many years now. Even though I shifted from Chennai to Dubai nearly 4 years ago, I still make it a point to read this paper online wherever I am. These 2 articles I read today were really good. And it really lifted my spirits:
http://www.hindu.com/mp/2010/03/23/stories/2010032350170500.htm http://www.hindu.com/mp/2010/03/23/stories/2010032350160500.htm

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Blah Blah Blah.......Part 1

I don't want to start another blog post with the same sentence that its been a while since I blogged. Somehow in the mundane humdrum that my life is I don't do much blogging. I have lost the will that I had. The enthusiasm to somehow move forward. A total lack of direction, and a constant question that nags constantly What Next? Why on earth did I ever leave the comfortable existence of mine in Chennai. So Dubai is a world class city. But not all world class cities are meant for everyone. And definitely not for people like me for whom less is better. When you go into a ahopping mall you are left with this feeling, ok if you purchase this dress it will look good on you, people will take note etc. But do they really? Of course a faux pas will be noticed really quickly. But a normal dress is almost never seen. Likewise unless you throw your weight around nobody notices, but once you act unbearably everyone sits up and takes note.

Another interesting thought I read in a campus journal about how guys make better teams and work together than girls. I agree with this to a large extent. From my experience this is indeed true. Very rarely do your girlfriends stick up for you and give good advice. But the minute you are close friends with a guy it is perceived as something else altogether. What kind of a world is this?

Sunday, February 14, 2010

A wake-up call!

Every once in a while, an event happens that jolts you out of your dream and the castles you build in the air. And one such event is death. You never know when it can happen. When it will strike. How young or how old you will be when you die. But it is something that keeps us grounded. The only thing that you can do is to pray to God to keep you alive to do atleast the one thing which you always dearly wanted to do. Since we dont know how long we would live on this earth. Let us not waste time in putting away things which we are so passionate about. I have decided the one thing I love the most in my life are my books. I love reading them. I love the world behind them. I want to be a part of them. I will be a writer. Even if its an ambition that sounds lame to most people. It's what I am going to be. I don't want to be one of those people who lived with many regrets in their life. I am going to take charge of my life from now on.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Fiction writing.............


Wow, I totally dig this piece I found recently in a blog that I follow:

ON BECOMING A NOVELIST

If you go to dental school you will take a state exam when you finish and, upon passing, you will be given a license to practice dentistry. In order to take the test, you must have first submitted to a rigorous course of study, done thousands of hours of supervised work in people's mouths, taken hundreds of exams, and paid a lot of money. When you're finished, you will be called "Doctor," and your cup will runneth over with drilling, filling, and billing. If you do good gold crowns, play soft music in the waiting room, have a receptionist with a sympathetic smile and a soothing voice, you may even become rich.

In the course of your studies you will have been transformed from an ordinary citizen into a Doctor of Dental Surgery. You will even begin to think of yourself as something more than an ordinary citizen. Someone will ask you who you are and you will say, "Sam Smoot, Doctor of Dental Surgery."

For novel writing, unlike dentistry, there is no course of study you can pursue and, when finished, say "I'm a novelist." You can get an M.F.A. in creative writing, or a Ph.D. in the modern novel, but that won't make you a bona fide novelist. To be a novelist, you have to get published.

Being an unpublished novelist has about as much social acceptability as being a shopping bag lady. Should the word get out about you, your friends will snicker. Your neighbors will whisper about you. Your Uncle Albert will try to talk you into becoming a chiropractor. Your Aunt Bethilda will take you aside and lecture you on the grim realities and responsibilities of adulthood. Your creditors will break out in hives. Your mother will be sympathetic, but late at night her eyes will flood with tears as she tries to figure out where she went wrong.

It's a sad fact of life, but to be an honest-to-goodness novelist you must have that honor conferred on you by a publisher. But remember this: each and every bird is first an egg, and each and every published novelist is first an unpublished novelist - even the great ones, Ernest Hemingway, Leo Tolstoy, Virginia Woolf, and James Joyce included.

There are several strategies for avoiding the stigma attached to proclaiming yourself a would-be novelist. One is to tell people you are a writer, but not to admit that what you're writing is fiction. Suppose you're writing a murder mystery in which the victim is a prostitute and the murderer is a college professor. You can tell everyone you're writing a book about sexual mores and morbidity in academia. That sounds like a good subject for a nonfiction book. Your friends will be impressed. It's okay to be a nonfiction writer because it's assumed that nonfiction writers are hard-nosed practical people who take life seriously. Besides, it is popularly believed - possibly with some justification - that anyone who can spell well can write a nonfiction book, so no one will doubt that your project has merit.

Another way to camouflage your novel-writing pursuits is to enroll in an English Literature degree program someplace and take only snap courses. As long as it looks as if you're working for a degree no one will ask what you're doing locked in your study all day and half the night. If they ask why you're banging away so hard on your typewriter, tell them you're writing a thesis. Everyone knows that's a sensible thing to do.

Some novelists at the beginning of their careers go completely underground. These "closet" novelists tell no one. They hide their manuscripts behind the refrigerator. They write in longhand so no one will hear the clacking of typewriter keys. Nobody knows the closet novelist even reads novels, let alone wites them. Their spouses may think they are keeping a lover in the basement or garage, or wherever it is they "do it."

Any of these methods will work. The alternative, the "John Wayne Solution," is a bit tougher. The John Wayne Solution is this: grit your teeth, rock back on your heels, stick your thumbs in your belt, and just say it - I'm writing a novel, nad if you so much as smirk I'll punch your lights out, pilgrim.

You get the idea.