Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Living under an illusion....

I have always heard people talking about someone else being on drugs or being doped.
I have seen on TV and movies junkies snorting cocaine or smoking marijuana.
However today i got to witness firsthand some one actually under the haze of addictive stuff.

This happened on my way to work while traveling in an auto rickshaw. While we were waiting for the traffic lights to go green, i noticed this person sitting on the sidewalk,inhaling from a bottle. On close observation i realized that it was a commonly used correction fluid called Erazex. It is cheap and easily available and the most common addicts to such stuff are the urchins and people living off streets.

They probably see it as a means of attaining quick relief from the harsh life that reality offers them. They would rather be living under an illusion than be faced with hunger, homelessness and the generally desolate life they lead.

I looked up for more information on this and found an article relevant to the city i live in. You can read more about it here . It was published sometime last year.

In comparison to this, it left me wondering why people who seem to be relatively doing well in life end up doing substance abuse.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

150 Things To Do Before You Turn Thirty

Took up this tag from here. Though i am not 30 yet, i though i would take up this tag. That way i would still have 5 years to catch up on things i have missed!

Feel free to take it up yourself! You are supposed to highlight things you have done.Some of the things are really weird!!

01. Bought everyone in the bar a drink

02. Swam with dolphins

03. Climbed a mountain

04. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive

05. Been inside the Great Pyramid

06. Held a tarantula

07. Taken a candlelit bath with someone

08. Said “I love you” and meant it

09. Hugged a tree

10. Bungee jumped

11. Visited Paris

12. Watched a lightning storm at sea

13. Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise

14. Seen the Northern Lights

15. Gone to a huge sports game

16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa

17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables

18. Touched an iceberg (Does a glacier count?)

19. Slept under the stars

20. Changed a baby’s diaper

21. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon

22. Watched a meteor shower

23. Gotten drunk on champagne

24. Given more than you can afford to charity

25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope

26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment

27. Had a food fight

28. Bet on a winning horse

29. Asked out a stranger

30. Had a snowball fight

31. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can

32. Held a lamb

33. Seen a total eclipse

34. Ridden a roller coaster

35. Hit a home run

36. Danced like a fool and didn’t care who was looking

37. Adopted an accent for an entire day

38. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment

39. Had two hard drives for your computer (I think K had it at one point :D )

40. Visited all 50 states

41. Taken care of someone who was drunk

42. Had amazing friends

43. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country

44. Watched whales

45. Stolen a sign

46. Backpacked in Europe

47. Taken a road-trip

48. Gone rock climbing

49. Taken a midnight walk on the beach

50. Gone sky diving

51. Visited Ireland

52. Been heartbroken longer than you were actually in love

53. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger’s table and had a meal with them

54. Visited Japan

55. Milked a cow

56. Alphabetized your CDs

57. Pretended to be a superhero

58. Sung karaoke

59. Lounged around in bed all day

60. Played touch football

61. Gone scuba diving

62. Kissed in the rain

63. Played in the mud

64. Played in the rain

65. Gone to a drive-in theatre

66. Visited the Great Wall of China

67. Started a business

68. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken

69. Toured ancient sites

70. Taken a martial arts class

71. Played D&D for more than 6 hours straight ????

72. Gotten married

73. Been in a movie

74. Crashed a party

75. Gotten divorced

76. Gone without food for 5 days

77. Made cookies from scratch

78. Won first prize in a costume contest

79. Ridden a gondola in Venice

80. Gotten a tattoo

81. Rafted the Snake River

82. Been on a television news program as an “expert”

83. Gotten flowers for no reason

84. Performed on stage

85. Been to Las Vegas

86. Recorded music

87. Eaten shark

88. Kissed on the first date

89. Gone to Thailand

90. Bought a house

91. Been in a combat zone

92. Buried one/both of your parents

93. Been on a cruise ship

94. Spoken more than one language fluently

95. Performed in Rocky Horror

96. Raised children

97. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour

98. Passed out cold

99. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country

100. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over

101. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge

102. Sang loudly in the car, and didn’t stop when you knew someone was looking with the windows open

103. Had plastic surgery

104. Survived an accident that you shouldn’t have survived

105. Wrote articles for a large publication

106. Lost over 100 pounds

107. Held someone while they were having a flashback

108. Piloted an airplane

109. Touched a stingray

110. Broken someone’s heart

111. Helped an animal give birth

112. Won money on a TV game show

113. Broken a bone

114. Gone on an African photo safari

115. Had a facial part pierced other than your ears

116. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol

117. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild

118. Ridden a horse

119. Had major surgery

120. Had a snake as a pet

121. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon

122. Slept for 30 hours in a 48 hour period

123. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. States

124. Visited all 7 continents

125. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days

126. Eaten kangaroo meat

127. Eaten sushi

128. Had your picture in the newspaper (it helps if your friend is a journo)

129. Changed someone’s mind about something you care deeply about

130. Gone back to school

131. Parasailed

132. Touched a cockroach

133. Eaten fried green tomatoes ???

134. Read The Iliad and The Odyssey

135. Selected one “important” author who you missed in school, and read

136. Killed and prepared an animal for eating

137. Skipped all your school reunions

138. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language

139. Been elected to public office

140. Written your own computer language

141. Thought to yourself that you’re living your dream

142. Had to put someone you love into hospice care

143. Built your own PC from parts

144. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn’t know you

145. Had a booth at a street fair

146. Dyed your hair

147. Been a DJ

148. Shaved your head

149. Caused a car accident

150. Saved someone’s life

Friday, November 14, 2008

Foot in mouth.....

There are times when i talk about something very vehemently, especially if it is something i am very passionate about or something that i strongly believe in. I usually talk openly about what i feel about things. Often in such situations i come about as being opinionated,hopefully not over bearing !
One such incident happened at office today. We were all talking over our morning coffee at the pantry, boss included.
There are a series of events happening in office as a run up to the annual day.I found that the activities were not as well-organized compared to the previous year and expressed so.
The minute i said this , the boss said , "I approved the mail that was sent out".
I should have known then to keep my mouth shut then and not go on, knowing that he was part of the organizing committee. But no, I had to go on and elaborate why i thought it could have been better.

Sigh! Next time hope i think hard before i blurt out something.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Indian culture can be funny sometimes.....

It was Diwali and i was standing in my balcony in the evening,looking at the neighborhood kids bursting crackers. I saw this 12 year old boy who lives next door, lighting flower pots using a sparkler. His mom was supervising the activity and before he could go light another flower pot, she asked him to move his arms in circles with the sparklers in his hand.

I am sure we have all done this when we were kids. Swinging our arms with sparklers in hand and be delighted at the play of lights by the sparklers.

The lady wanted her son to experience the same joy that she had ,when she was a kid. Sadly by the tone of the voice, the kid mistook it to be some kind of a ritual which is performed before one lights a flower pot.
So before lighting every cracker, the kid would move his arms in circles once or twice with the sparkler in hand.

This got me thinking as to how a lot of such inane activities have come to become strict norms in the Hindu culture.

How many of such things we follow without ever questioning the rationale behind it?

In South India, we are still not allowed to cut our nails after dark.Its the same when it comes to plucking flowers or leaves. The way i see it, back in those days when there was no electricity ,you wouldn't want to cut your finger accidentally or be bitten by insects when you were out picking the flowers!

The Rangoli\Kolam was drawn in front of the house to ward off insects. So was the thoranam of fresh mango and neem leaves which adorn the main door of the house during festivities.

I can think of lot more such examples but i am sure you must have got the drift by now :)

Of course not all rituals are without logic.I am sure most of them have some logical explanation. But over centuries , the meaning behind the rituals have been lost and they have reduced to a set of meaningless activities.

Monday, November 3, 2008


Each time she picks up the phone, something holds her back from actually making the call.
Is there anything left to talk? To make up for the years of silence?
The words had never flowed easily. There was never a feeling of kinship. They had never been giggly teenagers who had shared secrets ,talked about crushes,gossiped about others.
She always felt she didn't measure up to the standards.
Why then did she feel that she still had to hold on to this one?