I think, therefore I write

Category: I OPINE (Page 6 of 14)

The art that is communication

Remember those days when communication between two persons in different places meant writing letters, waiting for the letters or maybe for the privilege of an occasional telephone call? Yeah, I know that I sound cliched. But today I want to talk about this exact cliche.

I have lived in times when there was no mobile, no phones that are smarter than humans, no internet. I have lived in times when mobiles, smart phones, internet, computers were not so easily available to the common man and I am glad that I was part of a common man’s family then. I have experienced the thrill of writing letters and waiting for a reply. I have had my first rush when I got the first phone call from a friend. It made me feel important in the family to be able to give our land line number to a friend and to have her call it. We didn’t have anything to talk though. But I can still remember how we both giggled into the receiver of having done something grown-up.

And writing letters, ah! The feeling is indescribable, especially if the letter is to a budding crush/romance/love. My hubby and me were childhood sweethearts and were best friends right from the KG classes. So in the early teens, we had a gang of our own and all the usual drama in the class. So we had a code for writing letters among the members of the gang. Though there were other members in our gang, we two really hit it off with the letter writing, sometimes in code and sometimes normally. Starting from the silly “Have you done your homework?” to the then important “How is our enemy gang planning to prepare for the test?”, we have seen it all. The funnier thing here is it was almost always the action of writing and exchanging the letters that piqued our interest than the content itself. After all, what could a couple of school kids write about? 😛

Example of handwriting with gold pen
Anyway, I still have that feeling in me when I sit down and write something. If not physically, the closest feeling is typing up my thoughts. I know such is the case for many bloggers around here. My point in writing about this today is how the ease of communication has actually removed/replaced several prized feelings that still send a thrill coursing through our entire body. Today, we can reach anyone, anywhere at any time. The prerequisites are a smart phone and internet. Maybe even just a mobile phone. While all this has certainly eased our pain points of reaching someone, I feel sad. I feel sad that I cannot show my kid how “that feeling” would be. How the feeling of exchanging letters with your crush would be, how the feeling of waiting beside the telephone for a call that a friend promised you would be, how it feels to exchange coded notes with co-conspiring friends right under the nose of those who are busy trying to figure out what you are talking about, especially when all you would have been talking about is that your mom has packed aloo subji for lunch and that you would be willing to trade some for the delicious omelet that your friend’s mom packed.

Keeping in touch has now become so easy that the pain of farewell is diminished. When it is good that we can keep in touch with our old school friends to this day, we are missing that high which comes when you stumble into an old friend at the supermarket whom you have tried to keep in touch so hard but over time, lost it. Can any of the WhatsApp kind messengers or Facebook kind social media beat that feeling? I don’t think so. Today, the internet has changed the world into one big open book where anyone can peek into my page and read my personal feelings with no consideration whatsoever. Social networking was supposed to re-create the long lost bonds between friends and make them connect. But it went a step ahead and told us stuff about each other that we actually wouldn’t want to know or shouldn’t be knowing anyway.

As all this is taking us ahead, all we can do and are doing is sit back and reminisce about the times when we had more prized possessions in the form of memories and how all those would not be passed on to our next generation. The precious feelings are cursed to stay frozen in time while the human race races faster than ever.

Until later 🙂

Woman of the house

*This post is inspired by my mom and this advertisement. A lot of people don’t give due credits for the woman of the house. I am not taking up the feminist card and talking here. In fact,I see a lot of women discarding the duties of a house saying that they have better things to do. A lot of people ask me when I can afford a maid, why won’t I hire one? My reply is that I don’t need one. This is in no way a feminist post. I am not going there now. I wrote this by observing my mom and extrapolating a few of my ideas. This one is for her, the woman of our house*

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I am a woman, a proud one at that. People judge me for various reasons, I don’t care. I have a family that loves me and I devote my life for them. Some of my friends don’t get me, why I should take up the typical household work instead of engaging a maid. I have my reasons. I have my situations. Moreover, what’s wrong in doing the chores when you can. I agree that I may not be that pretty woman with manicured nails and make-up intact. I am that woman who you never gave a second glance or maybe you did, only because she looked funny trying to balance her two-wheeler loaded with grocery shopping for the home she is making.

I am that woman who makes a house into a home. You can see me being tired but you can never see me sit down for that. My only thought throughout is I must take care of my health becaue only then I can take care of my husband and kids. My hands are rough and dry with all the work, sometimes they crack. But I have no time to pamper them, I let them be. They get used to it and rough hands speak of my life with pride. They speak of my love for the family. I understand independence and am protective about it but that doesn’t mean I can ignore the things I should be doing. It’s not something that I took up because the society says it’s a woman’s job but because only I can.

At work, there are a lot of men I compete with. They don’t get why I work so hard, but neither do they get that I have to work so hard to balance my work and personal life and still reach the heights I deserve. Society is biased a lot of times, but I don’t have time to crib when there are things to be done. I do my bit and keep trudging forward. There’s still a lot of gender bias in the society. But I know things don’t change by words and placards. They change by actions. I prove in action to the world that I am no less a person, the world would look back. I will make it so.

A lot of people who see me doing everything ask me mockingly, “So, you are the man of the house?”. I proudly reply, “No, I’m even better. I’m the woman of the house.”

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Until later 🙂

To the idiots on the Bangalore roads



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To the idiots on the Bangalore roads,

I have a bone to pick with you. In fact, given the nature of your actions on the roads I would like to break your bones but being the self-centered, concerned Indian that I am forced to be by my survival instincts, I would suffice myself with writing this post on my space and yelling at you on the roads when your actions irk me.

– What is with that inadvertent nature of driving a huge ass car for a single person on those narrow roads like you own the road? I can understand if you are picking up a few generations of your family from the airport but you drive your monstrous car even if you are the only person travelling to a few km away. What’s with that? You know that navigating the traffic in bangalore is like navigating through a hellhole for people? Even you must find it difficult to reach your place in time. So why contribute to it?

– Some nincompoops of your kind seem to think that roads are meant for practising their stunts with bikes. I saw one of your kinsmen doing a wheelie on the K.R.Puram bridge with a pillion rider. Roads are not for you to show off your skills. Practise in the playgrounds and break your head, who’s gonna care? Why do you need to do that in the middle of a heavily used bridge causing imminent danger to others?

– I don’t understand your aversion to indicators and attraction to horns. You don’t use the indicators but just cut in when ever you feel so but yell your lungs out if it results in a crash. Even if you use the indicators, you turn it into an amusement tactic where you switch the left indicator on and go right. Are you nuts? While you show this ignorance to indicators, you seem to have developed a love-hate relationship with the horn. Pressing the horn so hard while at a signal? DOES NOT WORK. It will only give you angry stares, which of course, you don’t care about.

– Barriers on the roads are meant to wake your brain up to the possibility that this route is not for heavy vehicles. There might be a million reasons for it, like for instance your vehicle might be too big for the road bends. Why not try respecting the barricades once instead of forcing your way in through them and blocking the entire road with you wedged in the middle? I could even understand if it gets you through faster. But you get stuck like a trapped monkey in the narrow bends of the narrower roads thus effectively rendering the entire road unusable and blocking hordes of smaller vehicles along with you.

– For gits who didn’t get an opportunity to perform in circus and so fulfill that desire by travelling with a wife on the pillion, 2 kids wedged in between and one baby on the head, read point #2. We don’t have time for your circus performances while rushing to work, so why don’t you put up a private show and we’ll visit. Deal?

– Idiots who drive with a cell phone in one hand, I have a variety of colorful names for you. I do serve them to the pleasure of your ears but you don’t care. We know you are good at multi-tasking, but there is no need to show off by texting with one hand and driving a bike with your wife and baby on the pillion. I so wish that I could super glue your hands to the steering/hand grips of your vehicle so that you wouldn’t attend a call or even worse text while driving.

– To those brainless existences who think there is a spitting competition on who spits the farthest, I wish I could sue you or rather sew your mouth shut so that you don’t treat the road like your private wash-basin.

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This list could really go on but I know not one of you will care. Still I couldn’t resist. So you continue your out-of-the-world antics that will one day really send you out of the world and orbiting into space and I will continue swearing at you and blaming God for forgetting to give you that thing called a brain.

Yours truly pissed off,
An Indian on the Bangalore roads.

Until later 🙂

P.S: Came across this in Google, maybe we all need it soon

Book Review: Private India

What made me to click that sign up button for reviewing Private India was the thrill it promised and I would say it delivered most of it. However, while doing that, the book lost out on a lot of other basics. That being my short review, let me get straight to my take on the book.

privateindia

What kept me reading?

– The plot that was slowly built up keeping the readers’ interest intact. The build up ends in the fitting climax that comes as quite a surprise. Unlike most suspense novels, where you can kind of guess where it is going, this book doesn’t allow you to break it’s suspense.

– The alternate perspective lines, one chapter on the events and one chapter from the killer’s thoughts. This style comes in handy because if you are getting irritated with how a chapter is framed, you need not be irritated for long. The change in scene helps in distracting your mind to something else.

– The entangled mysteries, the sub-plot concept. It keeps you guessing about what the book is about. You frame a story based on the main plot in your mind as you read and then there is another plot line which will give you something to think about. This helps in keeping the question “What’s next?” alive in the reader’s mind.

What made me go “Awww, man, you shouldn’t have done that!” ?

– The main put off for me was the mixed styles. Whether this was due to the fact that the book was authored by two people or something else, I don’t know. Throughout the book, you can clearly feel two people talking to you about the story. The language, the style, the presentation, everything appeared to me in twos as if I was having a bad hangover. It disturbed my imagination as I read the book.

– The thought patterns of Santosh Wagh, one of the leads, as he thinks about the killer’s motive are funny. Yes, funny! Questions like “Why Lara Omprakash was your fifth victim?” and “What are you thinking?” made me feel like I am watching a bad episode of those CID types TV shows.

– The lack of class. For example, the killer’s thoughts. We are nowadays used to classy villains (The expectation keeps in pace given that James Patterson is one of the authors). However, the killer is portrayed as kid who was denied a lollipop, in places where the killer is upset because the police is avoiding revealing details about the murders, thereby taking away his publicity.

– This book could have done better with compressing, removing unnecessary descriptions here and thereby ending up in a 50-100 lesser pages.

I would not say this book is a bad read because it has some very good foundation as plot, holding the readers’ interest, an open ending for it to evolve. But there are certain things that fly around your head like that irritating bee with the buzz that you want to slap off. Especially when the book feels like a bad mocktail which has two things that shouldn’t be mixed.

My final verdict for the readers is you can pick this book for a engaging read on a train journey but not for satisfying a craving for an excellent read. So here’s how my rating goes : 3/5

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Until later 🙂

P.S: I have not described or even used the character names and behaviours except for making my point because if I give you glimpses of them ahead, I might just deprive you of the thrill/suspense associated.

This review is a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!

Are you a water person?

swimmingImage Source: favimages.net

Do you know swimming and enjoy it? Then you will get this post, totally! You don’t know swimming or you have never felt that swimming is fun? I hope this post makes you interested enough to learn. I have never been a record athlete. I was a decent table tennis player (I hope I can regain my decency if I am given a chance to practice enough) and a good runner as a result of the summer camps my dad sent me to. When I was at school,I had a good stamina and even beat the class record holder in running once. I was a good swimmer(again with practice, I can gain more stamina and better at it).

Of all the sports I ever participated in, swimming is one thing that refreshes me like anything. If I have a good swim, I feel like I am reborn. I was introduced to swimming in 2nd grade and I learnt it for around 5 years every summer. After that, there was no stopping as it rejuvenated me like no other activity. I learnt all the common styles and even attempted the dives in swimming except for the butterfly diving which made too much enter my head and made me miss subsequent swimming sessions. But I never tried to excel as an athlete in swimming. Of course, I won all the local competitions and races but never once did I think about making it professional. The reason being I was having too much fun swimming to care.

I hate the routines – the warm-up, the strokes and then the rigorously planned laps. Once I take that cleansing bath before entering the pool and reach the pool, all restraint and responsibility breaks free for me. I dive straight into the deeper end of the pool without bothering to warm-up and do what I feel like doing on the fly. My coach tried to restrict me for a while but gave up after seeing how much fun I had in breaking the rules of this sport. The pool I practised was the deepest in our district with the maximum depth at the diving end being 22 ft. There were different levels of diving boards for swimmers at different stages of learning. The first time I attempted diving, I went straight to the top and jumped. Yes, it hurt! Like hell! It hurt because, in the excitement, I missed my coach’s advice to stick my hands close to my body. That was my first encounter with the fact that water has so much force and would hurt you if you are careless.

I learnt by experience and followed only 2 rules – 1. Never underestimate the force of water. 2. Running water is different from still water. If you want to experience wildness, go to the highest diving board and dive with my eyes closed. The rush as you tear through the air and break the water surface is enough to give anyone a high. Ever felt what it is to be truly tranquil? Try floating on your back spread-eagled with eyes closed, letting go of every weight in your mind and body. Just float! I call this water meditation and you can even sleep in this position. Are you a control freak? The inverted position in water is for you, i.e, Reaching the depth where you can stand comfortably and bend down to stand on your hands with feet above the water. Your nose and ears will protest until you master them. If you want the force of water to challenge you, walk against the water as you would walk on the ground. Something as simple as that would show you how much force water holds. If you want to experience out of world serenity, reach your comfortable depth and exert your weight downwards and sit cross-legged on the pool folder holding your breath as long as you’re comfortable.

These are just some of the experiments I learnt from my coach and enjoyed it to the core. I have tried swimming in a river and in the ocean when I went for a catamaran ride (with supervision). Swimming in running waters is nothing like swimming in a pool. If you think what I experiment in pools is wild, then swimming in running water is just out-of-words kind of wild. So I don’t play break-the-rules there and instead be an obedient child. I wish I had a private pool but yeah I am practical about how much it would cost and how much water it would use. So I take every opportunity I get to swim, hoping the opportunities would increase once we move to our own apartment. Seeing how much I enjoy swimming, some of friends wanted to learn and I taught them a bit too. Also I never play when I teach others, I know how play can turn wrong and I don’t want to be there.I experiment on my own because I know what I am doing and I don’t dare nature. So I guess I can consider a hobby as a coach in the future if people are interested.

Water is such a chiller for me that any time anywhere I see a swimming pool or prospective water body for swimming, I want to jump in impulsively. I feel that water is the best teacher there is, it teaches you to play, it teaches you to follow rules and then break them, it teaches you to let go and it teaches you to hold on where needed, it teaches you to survive, to battle and overcome the downs, to enjoy the ups. In short, water teaches you to live.

Until later 🙂

P.S: One more common lesson for swimmers out there, if ever you are trying to save a drowning person or someone who thinks they are drowning, never approach them from the front and save them by catching hold of them from behind or by giving them something to hold on to. Once when the coach was trying to teach my younger bro to forget his fear, he made me stand in the water nearby so as to reassure him. As soon as he was into the water, the moron thought he was going to drown even though he was perfectly safe, so I held out my hands to assure him and you know what he did? He pulled at me, kept one hand on my head, pushed me down and tried to stand on my head to save himself!!! Yes, fear does that to you. Thank god, I was quick enough to realize my folly and get a grip on him and get him out of the pool.

P.P.S: If I had been Archimedes, Eureka would have never happened. I would have just enjoyed an awesome bath in my tub without bothering about mundane stuff like Maths 😛

DISCLAIMER: Every attempt/experiment I have mentioned here, I learnt it properly from a qualified coach and improvised. I don’t advise anyone who hasn’t learnt swimming well to try this. Nor do I recommend anyone, even if they know swimming, to attempt anything I have said without learning it from a qualified swimming coach. The fun lasts only as long you are safe!

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