Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Keeping Promises

The previous post was written on a day that changed my life forever. Its a long story....

I have been meaning to restart this blog ever since I found out last year that I was pregnant. This blog was meant to be a chronicle of my journey through this unique phase of my life. My own laziness prevented me from spelling out those ruminations. In those days, I had a lot of routine visits to the doctor and everything was going fine. January 2nd, the day I wrote the previous post was yet another routine visit. It was my 37th week and I was a day away from going on maternity leave. Soon after writing the post, I went to see the doctor. The visit was eventful because the doc found a complication and recommended that labor be induced as soon as possible. Two days later I found myself in the hospital and a day later my little baby girl was born.

Here I am five weeks later, sleep deprived, exhausted and at the brink of falling apart. Yet, I could not have been happier. She has given all of us so much joy that words are not enough to describe. It is hard to explain the feeling of knowing that a tiny person who cannot communicate in any other way but through crying is dependent on me for everything. Each cry means something different and I cannot decipher it all. Despair sets in and I try my best to help her. It works. And then when she smiles, I feel like I own the world.

I am going to call her Lio - why? That's another post. Right now, all I can say is that she is the best thing that happened to me!

Thursday, January 02, 2014

I promised myself more than a year ago to get back to blogging. I even wrote a post but never posted it. This time, its is not going to be like visiting the gym five days a week for the first three weeks of the year and then forgetting it. This is a fresh start to blogging after more than two years. Life has changed a lot since the last post ~ for better or for worse, I want to chronicle it all.

New beginnings can be quiet, short and unnoticed. But as they prolong their lives, it becomes a habit that one cannot let go. That's what I want this blog to be once more.

Like the courageous little hobbit Bilbo Baggins and the ever ridiculous anti-heros of Dhoom, I promise to be back.....

Monday, August 23, 2010

The rise and rise of the shower curtain industry

The rest of the world has suffered from recession, job cuts and all sorts of miseries, but there is one industry that has quietly gone from strength to strength. The shower curtain industry. Whoever talks about their Return on Equity or Asset Turnover? Do we see their ads on TV? Do they feature in the S&P 500 index? No, no and no. Yet, this industry is booming thanks to strategic alliances, partnerships and ignorant buyers like me.

Here's how it happens. You buy a shower curtain because it looks good and because the leasing office made a surprise visit to your apartment a day after you moved in and reprimanded you for not having a shower curtain. Now, you fear another suprise visit, so you end up buying a really expensive shower curtain. Then a friend of yours tells you that you should buy a liner to protect your expensive shower curtain. You go ahead and buy that too. Observe what happens after 2 years.....

Strategic Partnership A:
In a fit of sudden philanthropy, the leasing office offers to upgrade your apartment. You get a brand new bathtub, which shines so much that you can literally see your face. You do not realize that the bathtub has been polished and so now, it is super slippery. Soon, the inevitable happens. You slip and fall while taking a bath, taking the shower curtain along with you. It is ripped apart. You need to buy a new shower curtain. The bathtub industry gets a cut from the shower curtain industry's profits.

Strategic Alliance B:
You have not been analyzing the price changes in the shower curtain industry, so you realize to your dismay that the price of your old shower curtain has now doubled. So, you buy an inexpensive shower curtain to defray your losses. Now, every time you take a bath, you look at an inferior curtain and sulk. Then a second time, you fall deliberately in your bathtub, taking the shower curtain with you. You end up buying the old (read expensive) shower curtain by paying through your nose. The shower curtain company makes 2 sales instead of one.
Then one day, a friend who has been hearing about your habit of crashing into the bathtub regularly, offers a suggestion. Buy a bathtub mat. That would save you from falling. You buy a mat. It has to match with the shower curtain color. The bathtub mat industry gives a cut of its profit to the bath tub industry and to the shower curtain industry.

And so the industry booms. And we try to learn from our mistakes....

Thursday, August 19, 2010

How often has it happened to you that you are in a group of people who are so much more smarter than you are that you feel stupid? That you feel lost and are overcome with hopelessness?

Don't ever be overwhelmed by anyone. If somebody knows a few things that you don't, chances are that you know a few things which they may not know. Like making the perfect spanakopita or singing a raga perfectly or even helping strangers in the middle of the night.

The trick is to absorb the positive energy that smart people emanate. To use that energy to strive for improvement. After all, being with the best makes me better"

Sunday, August 08, 2010

So long and thanks for all the fish

Good-bye sweetheart. It was nice while it lasted but all good things must come to an end. I have now found someone else.

I cannot say exactly when we first met; because I have heard my friends talk about you since time immemorial. We were those young, reckless, carefree souls in college that adored you. I never imagined that of all of my friends, you would choose me. I was very shy in those days and although I knew so much about you, I did not venture to reach out to you myself. Then one day, a friend pushed me into doing it. I simply walked into your life and asked for friendship. You took a while but offered me much more than that.

We’ve been in this love-hate relationship for six years, so it feels difficult to leave. But I have to go – its better that way for both of us. I loved you when you introduced me to new friends, your work and your life. You gave me the recognition that I had been yearning for. I felt secure because I was with you. I felt proud to be associated with you.

Sometimes we fought; over misunderstandings, over how you treated me and how you cheated on me. I felt I deserved more and you did not always think so. I used to feel stifled and you insisted that it was the best thing for me. Sometimes, you were rude to my friends, you walked out on them – it was me that was hurt.

But there were times when you showered me with gifts, took me places and let me a live a life that I had never imagined. At every step, you cared for me, ensured that I was looked after. To me, you were a parent, a friend, a lover. To me, you were my identity.

Good-bye TCS – my first job. Because of you, I have made friends for life. From being a shy insecure young girl, I am a confident professional. I loved being with you and I am sorry to leave. But life does not wait for anyone – I have moved on to greater challenges. In the coming years, I shall try to be a better person, resilient and worthy of you. Perhaps one day, you’ll find me so attractive, that you’ll want to court me back into your life. Until then, I will wait….

Monday, June 28, 2010

Living life by quarters

Some people, such as my boss, live life by quarterly targets. He knows that he needs to meet his sales targets in order to keep his job. I have no such qualms. Yet, I live my life by quarters too! Twenty five cents at a time. Five of these can give me one load of washed clothes in the laundromat. Another five can help me dry those clothes.

Ever since my room mate and I got rid of our washing machine, life has not been the same. About three months ago, both of us decided that we needed to move into a different place. The first thing we did in the pack-up process was to get rid of the washing machine and dryer. We were consigned to using the local laundromat for washing our clothes. It was temporary we thought. After all, we would move to a new apartment that would have a washing machine and a dryer. Then our plans did not work out and we stayed on, sans the washer/dryer. At first, I found collecting quarters such a tiresome activity that I resorted to washing clothes by hand (like the good old days when there were no washing machines) but I could not keep up with it for very long. Soon I had a pile of clothes and no time to wash.

Now, having exactly ten quarters every week is not easy. It means getting rid of plastic money and using cash for all your transactions. I have not done this for more than a year. It boiled down to going to the bank on Sunday morning just to withdraw money and have it changed into quarters. It meant buying coca-cola from the gas station on late nights only to ask the cashier to return all the change in quarters. It meant putting dollars in the vending machine and asking for coin return (this almost never worked).

Woe betide! One day, I had managed to collect exactly ten quarters by 11pm at night. I loaded my clothes into the machine. I was supposed to leave on a flight the following morning, so the clothes had to be washed. As I put the coins and started the machine, something jammed inside and the machine would not start. I was left with only five quarters and a choice between not washing any clothes or washing the clothes in a different machine and hunting for quarters the next morning so that I could dry them. I chose the latter. Even badly begun is half-done.

These days, I had started maintaining a quarter bucket - a plastic ice-cream bucket. Whenever I get a quarter, I drop it into the bucket. I wake up in the morning and check my bucket. If the coins are any more than 10 at least, I am happy for the rest of the day. I can spot the glitter of a quarter from a distance. I don't like the look of any other coins, I hate it when people give me 2 ten cents and a dime - I grin sheepishly and ask for quarters. In the interest of humanity, all the cashiers of my grocery who know my obnoxious habit of asking for quarters ( I do it so that I may wear clothes that do not stink!) have now started refusing me all the quarters that I ask for. I usually get 2 less than what I need. We call it the law of demand and supply.

I have realized that I am living life by quarters

Saturday, May 15, 2010

A bad day in office

I lost all the games that I played on the computer. My win percentage is now at 26%

I seemed to all but lost interest in this blog that I started nearly six years ago. It may not augur well for my readers (do you exist?) and me, but I am trying to make amends. I have just quit the job that I started six years ago. It was out of boredom in office that I had decided to chronicle my life and everything surrounding it out here. This blog was my outlet, because when I looked out of my office window I saw concrete buildings instead of the great blue sky. Now that I have quit that job, I somehow feel that this blog and everything that tied me to the umbilical cord of that job are being torn away. Three of us started blogging together and two of them gave up eventually. The burden of carrying the practice has fallen on my unworthy shoulders and I find the cross heavy to bear. Hence, this reluctance to blog, to ruminate and to write.

This blog was my lifeline, but recently I found another one, a better one - a husband. And a new beginning. Not a new job, but I am finally doing something that I have wanted for the last seven years - to go back to school. In an ironic way, my posts were a constant reminder to me that life would go on..ob la di..but I was not chasing my dream. Now that it has been fulfilled, should I shut shop?

I am still wondering...