Sunday, March 11, 2012

Egypt.

This is one place in the world which amazes me. No, make it - AMAZES me. Who knows? Maybe I've got a previous birth bond with the country, but since the time I can remember I've always wanted to go there. Once, at least. :) It's the Great Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx which make me go in awe. There's something mysteriously spectacular about the pyramids, the Mummies, the Emperors who reigned Ancient Egypt and the history of this brilliant country. I'm not entirely sure why, but I'm attracted to Egypt like the nettle to light! I've seen this unique destination in movies, I've seen it in Tamil songs like Poovukkul (Jeans) and read about it too. The inspiration and adoration never seems to cease.

Ajooba Ajooba!

I remember that once I had a funny dare with Aarthi on whether Rome was in Egypt or Egypt was in Rome. A bet on something in that effect. I think I said that Egypt was a part of Rome while she said that was not true. Okay, I lost. Rome was nowhere in the map when you're talking about Egypt. The bet was that I had to buy a Falooda for her (and Madhu too, since she barged into the bet just like that!) if I lost, but I never kept it till date. Hehe! :-D Come to think of it, maybe I should visit Rome too, you know. Some day. :-D Traveling around the world (Just a few places) would be something I'd like to do once I've saved enough. I can hear you saying "India laye evlavo places irukku.. Adha vitutu adhenna Rome, Egypt nu scene podra iva?" :-P Well, on an international level, there are a few tourist destinations I'd like to go to, Egypt being amongst those.

Travel Wish-list:
1. Egypt.
2. Rome.
3. Switzerland.
4. Amsterdam, the Netherlands - for The Flower Festival in spring!
5. Australia.
6. Jaipur/ Agra (The Tajmahal) - I've been there already, but wouldn't mind going there once more!
7. Madam Tussaud's, UK.
8. Disneyland, California.
9. Universal Studios, LA
10. Kochi, Kerala.
11. New Delhi.


This is a very random wish-list and more places would surely get added, depending very much on my mood and passion. For now, these are the places that I can think of. :)

P.S.: Dear Future Husband,

If you're reading this some day to know better about me, then you'll know what are the places that your wife would like to visit in her lifetime. Try to plan a get-away/ give her a surprise and she'd be overjoyed. :)

Sincerely,
Your Future Wife. ;)

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Quarter Life Crisis.

This is one serious topic that I've been meaning to post about for ages.

Where am I?

Amritha and I have discussed on this so many times. When you're into your twenties, this Quarter life crisis kicks in. This form of living/ thinking etc last only as long as you're in your twenties, I think. If you're unlucky, it might follow you even after that. The cause or source is because of your undecided life. Say, you're in the early 20s and you don't know where you're heading next. By being undecided, I mean - You don't know what sort of universities that your GRE score is going to fetch you, or you haven't got a clue about giving GRE at all. :-D It could also be that crisis moment in your head when you're bored with your work life and you want to do something fresh. It could be that you want to do something more liberating and what comes to you easily, but you can't or won't do it because of 'Society pressures'. Like, you might've wanted to go into Arts line and then your parents came behind you and said "No No No! That's not a fitting thing to do at all. Doesn't sound one bit professional too. Choose something else. We're not allowing you to get into this". So ultimately, all you get to pick is 'CA', 'Engineering' or 'Medicine'. Talk about so much variety of choices being offered, I tell you. :| I'm going through one such quarter life crisis wherein I haven't "decided" what's next in life. I thought I had a decision made, but I'm re-thinking because I think there might be something else in store for me that I'm not aware of. Not yet.

Which one should I pick?

Everyone goes through this phase of life. It isn't unusual. Some people choose to ignore this "gut feeling" that something might be misplaced in their life. They think that whatever they're doing at present is what they were desiring/ meaning to do, all along. Reassuring the self. I wouldn't do that. Yesterday, I had this one-to-one meeting with my leads. They were criticizing me over a lot of points, as I put on the goal sheet. Not that I wasn't expecting to be fried. But there was this one point my PL said, which I felt had a strong point - "You won't be a fresher in this industry another 3-4 months from here. When you look back at what kind of a career you've painted, you shouldn't regret it or think there are a lot of empty patches. Carve the future in such a way that you feel that you've left no options unexplored. This is a competitive world, and every bit of your efforts count." :) I've been thinking that I'll strive and work hard on this. World's mean, after all.

Another point of view to assert on Quarter Life Crisis is how much you suffer at workplace, because you're so new and naive to everything around you. I went through this pretty bad at the start. I didn't know how to talk with whom, and what was expected from me. There were moments when I messed it up very badly at work and received acidic comments from my leads. Well, I've crossed all that now. I didn't know what was expected and that was really difficult part where I was asked/ forced to do things that I didn't know of. This is the phase of life - Your early twenties - when you're tossed around for everything. Your friends give GRE and talk on getting into the Ivy-League set of colleges, some talk to you about MBA and earning big money, some get married, some of those people have kids, post photos on Facebook to prove that their life is quintessentially complete - And you're seemingly confused and feeling the void. You aren't settled in your career.. YET. You don't know if you fit in your team. You aren't sure if you're like what you do at work. People don't explain everything, yet they expect you to understand and deliver seamlessly. You are forever underpaid and over-worked. People with 2-3 years experience look down upon you as a midget. They 'order' you around. Some of them help and understand your blankness. But most of them don't. You're sitting at work for more than 10-11 hours a day when everyone's left already. I've been through most of these situations. Hopefully, the QLC would lift and I'd have a clearer view of the path ahead in a while. Let's see.

To wind up, I proudly state that I'm labelled as a 'Fresher' and a victim of the Quarter Life Crisis. Oh well, this reassures me that I'm young too.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

A bubblegum to chew upon.

Excerpt from Preeti Shenoy's 34 Bubblegums and Candies:

I remember feeling alone. For days, I could not sleep. Each day when I woke up, the first thought that would occur to me was that my dad is no more - and it was like someone had slapped me hard. I would often break down and my kids and husband got very used to it. I didn't feel like going anywhere, yet, I so badly wanted to talk about it to people.

People don't know how to respond when someone talks about death. There is usually an uncomfortable silence. Most people don't even want to hear. That was a shattering discovery that I made. Till then, I had had so many friends - I was jovial, funny, smart and great fun to be with. But when this happened, people were seeing a different side of me for the first time - they saw my tears, they saw my pain - and I was totally broken when I discovered that people who usually talked to me were now avoiding me completely. One friend told me, "I am not ready to talk about this. Please don't tell me anything". I could not believe it. This was a friend I used to chat with, laugh with and have hours of fun, when things were fine. For the first time, I realized what a naïve fool I had been. People wanted me only because I was a source of amusement, an entertainment to them - not because they really cared. For the very first time in life, I realized that not everyone who laughs with you is a friend.

I remember waking up and functioning like a zombie, sending my kids to school and after my husband left to work, I would log into the Internet, desperately wanting to talk to someone about my pain. Most of my friends said things like 'You will get over it'. 'May his soul rest in peace' and 'At least he did not have to suffer'. Then they clammed up and suddenly went offline. Laugh and others laugh with you; Cry and you cry alone. I was rapidly discovering that this much-used idiom is indeed true.



 .. And before I knew what this bubblegum was doing to me, tears were rolling down my cheeks.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Appetite. Dieting. Etc.

I'm pretty inspired to write about my dieting story, of all the things I've scribbled upon this blog of mine.

It all started some five or six months ago. That's when I'd gained plentiful weight owing to the medicine I was using to counter my skin allergy. My skin allergy didn't recede as well as we'd expected it to, and along came the obesity. Now when I utter 'obesity', don't go too far into imagination. I'm talking about those extra pounds that start showing up in the form of puffed up cheeks, broad arms that refuse to fit your clothes' sleeves any longer, wider-than-it-was-earlier waist (Sigh, yes!) and the perennial uncomfortable sensation you go through when your clothes don't give you breathing space anymore! I went into THAT sort of an obesity. After a couple of appointments with the doctors in Chennai, I was advised to do regular walking, strict dieting etc and get the weight back to below 60 kgs. Now that was ONE HUGE DAUNTING TASK because I was in the late 70's back then. (brave right, revealing all the details?) I didn't like the concept of 'diet regime' one bit. But did I have a choice? NO. For the greater good some sacrifices had to be made, Dumbledore would've said. :-D

Love your body and care for your health :)


And from there, my routine changed gradually. It chiefly included having all-home-made-food, no-outside-food habit. To control the hunger pangs in the evening, all I had was a small packet of biscuits. This was the phase when having lunch with my office friends turned into an agonizing experience. Not in the serious sense! The food that they used to have and bring would tempt me into having a bit as well. But since I was trying to hold the regime very strongly, I couldn't. And after a couple of days, THEY stopped offering as well. Shucks! I was forced to bid adieu to namkeen that we'd have along with our lunch (Murukku, mixture, thattai, seedai, chips, verkadalai etc. Makes me drooly just by the thought of it.) as side-dish. And yes, how could I forget to mention? I stopped taking the lift as well. It was plain taking the stairs hence forth. I'm still using the stairs whenever I can even now. It's worth my investment and time, because all we do at office is rest and sit in those cozy cushion chairs of ours. Imagine getting all sorts of ailments when you're 30-35 because of your lifestyle now. Spooks me even at the thought of it. :-| The toughest part was following these things at the start, and with time I learned to cope with the miserly eating. Even having cornflakes day after day can get on your nerves unless you're getting used to the idea of having it everyday. Well, I've been there; Done that. Have you?

It's been a long and  painful journey. I'm not entirely sure as to how far I've succeeded. Or whether I succeeded itself! I know I have a long way to go in terms of losing weight. I could lose more, you know! That perspective. But yes, the effects did start to show. And I'm glad. I still feel obliged and grateful to that good Doc who put me on the right path about four months ago. :) God bless.

Persevere. And you shall achieve it. Be it losing weight or getting close to your dreams. :) And count your calories before you eat. Better safe than sorry.

Afresh, Anew and Alive!

Though New Year 2012 started on a very normal note, I vowed somewhere around the time of my birthday that I'll do something new for each month. Not each fresh day, not each week - those are difficult targets to set up for oneself. :)

Whether or not I can tread through this entire year doing new things - I don't know. I am just looking at one month at a time. In case I don't, it's okay. At least, I've tried. There's a guy from office who entered this as his new year resolution and it won under "Most Innovate & Fresh Resolution for 2012" category! Okay, so this post is just an analysis of sorts into the perspective of doing new things. Why, you could ask. Simply put - I don't want to drag through every other day as yet another monotonous day. Okay, I work, I earn and everything. But life shouldn't reach stagnation. I know that I want to do SOMETHING with my life - Not sure what. I'm still undecided as to whether I really want to do an MBA. It's become passé. Weird, huh? After plotting on cracking the CAT for months together - Writing blog posts about "What am I looking forward to next in life? Doing MBA?" etc etc etc, I suddenly feel put-out about doing MBA. No, it's got nothing to do with financial reasons. Almost every person I meet on the street or talk to on phone is enumerating about joining Top B-Schools/ Cracking the CAT XAT MAT SNAP/ Discussing on how little one sleeps or enjoys in order to cope with the unforgiving two-year course and everything. Do I want to endure all this? Am I into some sort of a Comfort-zone that I'm unwilling to step out of? *shrugs and thinks for a minute* 

That's not really me. I TAKE challenges. I stand up to challenges. Heck, I'm not scared. But *yawn*, it's boring. Maybe - JUST maybe - MBA wasn't my thing all along! I've started to think that I've been chosen for something else. Journalism, creativity spouts, teaching - These fields invoke the spark within. Never mind that I never took up the related jobs as career choices sometime ago. It's never too late to become what you might've been! :) Anyway, I won't regret on not being able to decide what I want to do with life standing at the verge of 23. Ever. 

Uh, I guess we're moving away too much from main point why this post was penned! :-D About doing new things. Well, for January I went ahead and ordered Terracotta jewellery from an online store that operates from New Delhi. It was quite risky, but for all it was worth, I got a shipment of the most beautiful accessories I've laid my hands on till now. :) And then I wore a transparent sleeved tops for my birthday - Something that "Sensible and extremely cautious Nandhini" wouldn't have done in a decade! And there was birthday happiness and surprises from a loving group of friends. Slogged more than ever at work, had an office version of potluck, decided that my personal life photos and maximum details wouldn't appear on Facebook (Sticking to it by all means) etc.

February 2012 - A gang of us went to Ampa Skywalk, (Never been there before) I shopped birthday gifts for two of my best friends by myself, went to Marina and met my best friend Amritha and Govind. He turned out to be a very friendly and nice person, though I'd never met or talked to him before. :) Imagine, getting yourself a friend like that out of nowhere. There were a lot of cake cuttings - For Sarasu, =D Deeps and Thala. Then there was the devouring of plentiful cake, as you can understand. He he! 
 
March 2012 - So far, we're only three days across this month and I stepped into British Council for the first time yesterday. #FeltLikeAChamp I've borrowed a couple of books that I'm hoping to finish in three weeks. Not much, this apart. For the very first time, a DSLR Camera picture adores my Facebook display photo. I don't think you'd ever notice - But thanks Govind! Getting a DSLR Camera photo of myself was a long-run wish for me. Oh, did I mention? I got an award from the office team. It's a lovely trophy for Fabulous February Release. Whee! #PrideMoment

I'm pretty sure that I wont be updating more than this here in this post. So whatever happens in March after now and the rest of the year will not be featuring here. But I'll keep plodding on new things for each month. I just hope and pray that whatever I'm destined for unfolds itself soon. And in good time. Amen. 

Found this picture on Facebook. Loved it completely. You might too. Good luck at staying creative, people! =)


Does it really matter?

I was talking with a friend recently and we were touching on some serious (personal) topic when he said, "There exists an age difference between me and her. I'm younger by x months. This wasn't okay."

I decided THAT moment that I want to write upon the issue. I'm not completely sure of what context he meant the "Not okay" part. I think they were okay with it, but both families weren't, despite being the same caste. This is one thing about India. Here, it doesn't work like "I love him. He loves me. Then we're all set to get married." It's a long complicated process. He loves her. She loves him. His family loves her. Her family would love to accept him. Only after this, marriage talks begin. Phew! Not to mention - the well-wishers, the friends and cousins are covered along the way. :-P This aspect of Indian marriages is highlighted in Chetan Bhagat's Two States. The family-accepting-each-other factor. I've also seen this crisis featured in the movie Abhiyum Naanum where Abi's father (a Tamil guy) struggles and faces difficulty in accepting a Punjabi son-in-law. There are more movies which touch upon the age difference - Vinnaithaandi Varuvaaya, Engeyum Eppothum etc. Well, just felt like dissecting the debate a bit so that I'll reach a consensus in my own head.

Now, scientists have proven that it's logically and practically advisable that the bride is younger than the groom in a nuptial. Why? Because a girl matures faster than a guy both physically and mentally. So it's better if the one who is marrying her is a little older. I've seen marriages where the age gap is a whopping seven years. (Works either ways - the guy and the girl could be older than the other) Personally, I don't go in favor of such *wiiiiide* gaps, but again - if the couple are comfortable with it then all cool! The age difference plays a role in understanding each other and avoid confusion and soaring tempers around the house. Since the girl is younger, she'd tend to be a bit more wielding and accept the husband's point of view, as it is perceived. I'm VERY clear that I'd like to marry someone who's older than me by at least a day. World's moving, opinions changing, rules are relaxing - I know I know. But when it comes to my choice - this is how it is. AT LEAST A DAY and so be it! AND taller than I am. Six feet tall fellows sure do interest me for reasons that I'm not clear of. (I'm an average 5'5" tall - Just saying. :-P ..)

Anbil Avan..

I was pondering on whether the age difference really does matter to a couple who are in love with one another and are willing to accept the age gap just as they accept each other. It actually doesn't. Let's face the fact - It doesn't. It's quite an embarrassment when couples find this to be "the odd factor" that stands in the way of getting married to each another. We love watching and witnessing the marriages of Star couples having the age difference. Examples of real-life couple are Aishwarya-Abishek, Sachin-Anjali, Dhanush-Aishwarya, Farah Khan-Shirish Kunder - to list a few of them! But when it comes to kids from our very own household getting married - there's so much hue and cry upon the topic. It's truly sad for those who are in love and unable to look at the age difference as a denial factor. It actually isn't such a taboo after all. At least when the couple themselves have accepted mentally. 

Marriage is a long journey of togetherness. And trivial details like these are best ignored and accepted.