Jan 29, 2010

Whales or Mermaids...

Got this in a forwarded mail.... just HAD to share it... 

Recently, in a large city in Australia , a poster featuring a young, thin and tan woman appeared in the window of a gym. It said, "This summer, do you want to be a mermaid or a whale?"

A middle-aged woman, whose physical characteristics did not match those of the woman on the poster, responded publicly to the question posed by the gym.

To Whom It May Concern,
Whales are always surrounded by friends (dolphins, sea lions, curious humans.)
They have an active sex life, get pregnant and have adorable baby whales. 
They have a wonderful time with dolphins stuffing themselves with shrimp.
They play and swim in the seas, seeing wonderful places like Patagonia , the Bering Sea and the coral reefs of Polynesia .
Whales are wonderful singers and have even recorded CDs.
They are incredible creatures and virtually have no predators other than humans.
They are loved, protected and admired by almost everyone in the world.

Mermaids don't exist.
If they did exist, they would be lining up outside the offices of Argentinean psychoanalysts due to identity crisis. Fish or human?
They don't have a sex life because they kill men who get close to them, not to mention how could they have sex?
Just look at them ... where is IT?
Therefore, they don't have kids either.
Not to mention, who wants to get close to a girl who smells like a fish store?

The choice is perfectly clear to me: I want to be a whale.

P..S. We are in an age when media puts into our heads the idea that only skinny people are beautiful, but I prefer to enjoy an ice cream with my kids, a good dinner with a man who makes me shiver, and a piece of chocolate with my friends.

Jan 26, 2010

Alexander The Great

Every time I read any historical fictions, I always feel like my knowledge is soooo very limited. European history is something they didn’t teach me in School, and I hardly paid any attention to Indian History (though, I would like to believe that I do remember most of it)....

Was reading Will Adams' Alexander Cipher last week. Did you know that they actually have NO IDEA where and how he is buried, and that NO-ONE knows anything about his resting place. The great Alexander''s body was literally dragged through Europe and Egypt for a race to the throne? How sad is it? That a guy, who strove to rule the world, was dragged through all those places he conquered by those very people who helped him in those battles....

Did you know that he was actually called, Iskinder... which would have why, we in India generally refer to him as "Sikander".. funny how names are altered depending on the region they are pronunciated in. Couldn't really stop reminding me of that old story of "Sikandar and Porus".

once again, coming to old cliches... "Reading books is dangerous thing"...

I'm now, pouring over any information that I can get my hands on abou Alexander. (And wondering would taking a college course in European History would help...)

well... its time to log off now... Will keep you updated, if I manage to find something INTERESTING....

Jan 20, 2010

Musical driver....

Ohh BTW, passengers are not the only source of amusement in Mumbai locals though... as I was reminded today morning. sometimes amusement comes to you from unexpected sources.

It’s typical to hear earsplitting announcements when you board a local train from its starting point. most of the times, its the train's driver announcing either that "train is a slow train for town, will halt at all stations" or "train is fast and will halt only on..... Stations". Occasionally a recorded lady's voice reaches you to be vigilant about unclaimed objects around you... We the passengers and train drivers pay equal amount of attention and heed to these announcements. Both equally bored and feeling "yeah, right... as if we really care about all this". Thus, when once in a while it’s rather surprising to the passengers to hear....

When I boarded the train today, I wasn't in a great mood (though, that can be said about MOST of the days I get into train for office)... while I settled in my regular, by the window seat.... I heard the unmistakable cracking of the overhead speaker... and with horror realised that the seat was directly below the speaker. I closed my eyes in silent prayer for the safety of my ears... the driver's shrill, high pitched voice trailed to my ears... and my face lit up in smiles...

its rather surprising to find someone who so clearly enjoys one's job, that even a mundane task like making an announcement about the speed of the train (which I’m sure he has to do at least a dozen times in his 6 hrs shift)... the unnamed driver's voice was so chirpy, happy and musical... that it not only bought smile on my face... but also on all the faces in the compartment.

Lady in Red

Mumbai train offers some of the most entertaining things for my mornings. I travel too long to reach a place that I’d been hating for too long on a daily basis. The only solace to my life is the exciting and interesting mix of people that I encounter in trains.

Take example the dull Tuesday morning. A female, wearing a loud floral print red kurta and stripped black trouser, tousled just out of bed hairs, modest try at making herself presentable with help of make-up and failing miserably at it; walked in the compartment with her mobile glued to her ear. (Which is pretty normal for people nowadays...glued to mobile, I mean). the lady in red was on phone with someone at the other end wailing a long drawl of profanities for someone, I can only assume was her boss, making sure every single soul in the train can hear her and her disgruntled rant.... and as if her voice wasn’t enough, she sat right opposite to yours truly. I tried my best not to listen to her rant (I don’t think I have any other word to express her talks).... but it was as if, she knew I was trying to ignore her voice...she started with a pitch too loud to ignore...

its been a fair game, which I play to myself these days in trains... try and guess the profession of a person...preferably sitting right in front of me... check appearance.. Not what a person is wearing... but HOW the thing is worn... whether colors are in synch, do they complement each other, whether the dress is ironed, what accessories are donned, the footwear... all and all.. The total appearance. In addition to that, I also like to do a bit of eavesdropping... listen to what they are talking on phone... (Which 95% of them do) and take a shot at what profession or field of expertise they hail from... to your utter surprise... and my utter disappointment, these observations have made me realised, that people HARDLY ever behave and talk as you might expect from their profession....

So, coming back to the lady in red.

The female is too loud to ignore. so instead of trying to avoid her for continuing my reading...I eavesdrop (though if someone is practically shouting at you, should that be considered as eavesdropping, is a matter of further discussion)...

In my usual struggle to place what she does... her dressing style, her purse and extra bag... says she doesn't hail from corporate world; no way would her loud colors go in a corp. grey house... I rule out media, owing to her attempt at make-up... I’m considering school... but profanities pouring out from her mouth make me laugh at myself... I’m pondering what and where to fit her... she's complaining abt a lady making her life miserable.. And acting as a monitor in class, and I begin to reconsider my school theory. Then she starts talking about roasters and my brain grabs the word as exhibit no 1... But when this potential TEACHER blurts out "I swear, I’m gonna screw her happiness".... I begin to dread the kind of effect the female might have on the kids in her class...

After some 10-15 minutes of pondering, I finally here the nail in the coffin... "Did you see the results? The kids I gave a distinction are given PASS grades... those poor little souls... how devastating for them..."

And I silently pray to god, to have mercy on the "poor little souls"

But my surprising morning doesn’t stop there.... to top it all off... she FINALLY ends the conversation. (Which if I recollect properly was her 4th phone call... since she got into the train)... and to blow me over the top, opens the bag and takes out a book to read.... 

"How to win friends and influence people" - Dale Carnegie

Jan 19, 2010


Day-to-day things, the ordinary, the mundane is what keeps the motor running. How extraordinary the ordinary is, a tool we all use to keep going, a template for sanity.

Joyce thinks for stopping herself from crying - Cecelia Ahern ( Thanks for the Memories)

Jan 18, 2010


Henry on pottering....
"'There's a lot to say about pottering. You know, Thomas Berry once said that gardening is an active participation in the deepest mysteries of the universe? There are lessons in pottering."
"Like what?"
"Well, even a garden grows stranglers,love. It grows them naturally, all by itself. They creep up and choke the plants that are growing from the very soil as they are. We each have our demons, our self-destruct button. Even in gardens. Pretty as they may be. If you dont potter, you don't notice them."
- Cecelia Ahern (Thanks for the memories)

Its like Garden

Its like my garden, love. Everything grows. including love. And with that growing everyday how can you expect missing her to ever fade away? Everything builds, including our ability to cope with it. That's how we keep going.

Says Henry, when answering whether he misses his wife who's been dead for 10 years.
- Cecelia Ahern (Thanks for the memories)

Thanks for the memories...

  • Sometimes we need all the glue in the world, just to hold ourselves together
  • "Perfer et obdura; dolor hic tibi proderit olim" ( i.e.Be patient and tough; someday this pain will be useful to you.)
- Cecelia Ahern (Thanks for the memories)

Without love

Without love, we all are birds with broken wings. - Mitch Albom (from Tuesdays with Morrie)

Jan 16, 2010

the latest "IN" thing.... Reading

I happen to meet a few people today, who thought that reading is back on the "IN" list.

I was addressing a group of some 2 dozen people, introducing a very interesting course for proficiency in English. (You dont have to remind me that proficiency is not really a proper word... but it seems to work properly here)... and while I was halfway into my ramblings about how to use simple methods to build vocabulary....complaining that people don't like to read...

At which, to my surprise, I was told... that my belief is actually wrong. It was kinda unpleasant to be told that to my face... being a Sagi, its hard to be told that I'm wrong. :) But good part of it being that I was explained why people tend to loose interest....

More pointers for tomorrow's pitch... Wish me luck.

Jan 15, 2010


Me and my darling sis... were up till 2AM last night...

Nope, not for partying... TV or even chick-chats.... We were playing a game on her laptop. The game's called ancient civilizations.. or something of that sort. Its a pretty simple, designed for children below 10 yrs games... But even then, she and I were up well past midnight, solving puzzles, hacking jungles and making pegs meet...

Partly, because we were meeting for the first time after the new year... Partly coz mom had left us to be by ourselves, partly coz I've been missing hanging out with her since I got married...

well, whichever you pick... last night was one of the most fun nights I have had in recent past...

Jan 14, 2010


One of t most unfortunate thing abt reading multiple novels at time,
is the confusing state they can leave you once in a while.
Especially when two of those novels have a female in one or the other
state of pregnancy, one jst delivered while other jst had miscarriage.
Add to it a close friend tripping you in talks asking you whether you
are pregnant. The confused state that you are left with is simple

Books and Me....

Did you ever believe that life could be touched by mere words on a paper?

I'm an avid reader.... I use the word avid, coz i cant really find any other word to express the ferocity with which I read. On the good days, I spend most part of my day reading. 10-12 hours of going through words written by people I've never met, and never would meet. I read when I travel daily (and I travel almost 4 hours every day); I read when I am at home, before I sleep, after I wake up, during the window I find between getting ready to leave for office and actually getting out of home, while I'm having my breakfast (I used to read while having dinner also, but I stopped having a sit down dinner recently...so I miss out on that opportunity). I even read while I'm sitting on the platform waiting for the local train to arrive, while I'm in the train waiting for it to move, waiting for it to reach the destination, while I'm waiting for the office pickup to come.... I read when once in a while, I find my workload dipping below its normal weight....

to make the long story short.... I read more than I do anything else... the only thing I can think I do more than reading is breathing... and buying books.

Most of the times, I find people asking me..."You BUY books? Why?" or "What do you do with books once you finish reading them?" or "Why not join a library?"... 
How do you explain why we don't hire people to be your friends? How can I make someone understand that there is no "READ ONLY ONCE" sticker on the books... How do you explain a blind person, what color is???

Another typical response comes when someone jumps up asking "Recommend something for me to read na..."

Its not possible to help someone to discover what joy of finding your call from a book. The right book, is not something you can receive from someone else. What you like, what you won't like, whether you would enjoy reading about rainy days in the mountains of Mussoorie or whether you find joy reading about treks in Amazon jungles; whether fiction about chromosome 6 holds your interest or sanity clouded in insane talks of a space traveler captures your heart.... its something YOU yourself should figure out. At least specify what your areas of interest before you pose a question.... Right?? :)


Books can be dangerous.  The best ones should be labeled "This could change your life."  ~Helen Exley