Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Story of a wallet


A wallet apeared at the coffee table
seemingly ordinary and mundane.
Multiple hands pried at it
something wasn't right.

It contained all the ordinary things
money, coins and cards.
Not a thing was out of place
but something wasn't right.

It was brand new;
It wasn't torn, it wasn't soiled,
neither stuffed nor overused;
but something wasn't right.

It wasnt the only wallet there,
it didnt contain riches
It wasn't branded, infact, the opposite.
 Yes, something wasn't right.

It wasn't flashy, it wasn't cute,
it didnt have diamonds;
it even wasn't pink.
And that was what was wrong.

A woman carried a man's wallet
that was what was wrong.
A wallet was genderized
That was what was wrong.

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Emotions

I was reading something the other day and it caught my attention. 
How many emotions can you name? Think about it, 5? 10?

Are those the only emotions you feel? 


Do you have the vocabulary to describe all the emotions you feel?

Do you know the meaning and exact feeling of all the below emotions?


Adoration
Alarm
Anger
Anticipation
Anxiety
Awe
Boredom
Compassion
Contempt
Confused
Curiosity
Despair
Disappointment
Dismay
Disgust
Dread
Eagerness
Embarrassment
Envy
Exasperation
Excitement
Fear
Fondness
Frustration
Gratitude
Grief
Guilt
Happiness
Hate
Hope
Horror
Hostility
Humiliation
Hysteria
Irritation
Irk
Joy
Love
Lust
Loathing
Misery
Panic
Passion
Pity
Pride
Rade
Regret
Resentment
Sadness
Scared
Shame
Shock
Shyness
Sorrow
Spite
Surprise
Suspicion
Terror
Vengefulness
Worry

Does English even have words for all the emotions that you feel?

What about the feeling you get when you have to get on stage to talk in front of hundreds  - My daughter calls it "nervous-cited" - Nervousness + Excitement. Just those two feelings ? That's an understatement. 

What about the feeling that occurs from a sudden realization of a grave mistake? The feeling where your heart seems to have dropped into your tummy and your body is all tingly? Is there a word for this feeling?

There are even many words for feelings in your mother tongue that you cannot translate to English. 

Then how do you communicate?

Friday, 27 May 2016

Dreams, Stories and Mr. Murakami

Have you experienced something that you cant explain?

I have been able to successfully explain everything that I am feeling, everything that I want to say. I can put my thoughts to paper and convey the intent, may be not very eloquently, but pretty much. We all know that one person who very passionately explains something for a long time but then you have no idea what he/she is talking. You just don't get it. They ask "You know what I mean" and you nod, just not to be rude.

But I have something that I am not able to explain. This book - Blind willow sleepling woman by Haruki Murakmi. I cant explain this.
When I read a book I must be able to answer few simple questions.
"Is the book good?"
"Would you recommend it to someone else?".
I cant explain this. The answer should be simple - yes or no. Sometimes a "may be" followed by reasoning.
But Mr. Murakami? I don't know. I don't know.

I was drinking coffee at office with a friend and she could tell I was preoccupied.
I tried to explain this to her "I am reading a book, its a collection of short stories. You know its so frustrating to read". She stated simply, "Do you have to finish all the books that you start? Why dont you stop reading it?". I couldn't.

I went on to explain.

Very roughly speaking, a short story has a beginning, story buildup and an ending.
This book collection have stories that are like this. Follow me for a while please.
1) Just the beginning: The "story" goes on randomly for several pages but just 6 lines about the title itself, the story begins and that is it!! THATS IT.

2) beginning and build up, but no ending: They abruptly end without any closure. And then you are frustrated because you did not get your closure. And you read more, hoping that some other story has answers and you end up getting even more frustrated.


3) what's-the-point stories:
There are some stories that were so painful to read and I was wondering what was the point of writing it. Mr. Murakami is a critically acclaimed author. So there has to be something, right?

Story: A Perfect Day for Kangaroos
The whole "story" is about a couple who goes to the zoo to see a baby kangaroo in its mom's belly pouch. They buy some food and then they see the baby and mother kangaroo.

Story: A year of spaghetti.
A lonely man eats spaghetti every day of the year alone. 


OK .. 

Mr. Murakami seemed to be smiling through the pages and saying "There, you have a beginning, build-up and ending. Why are you complaining?" 

Are we being mocked?
This was crazy, I thought. Offcourse there has to be something, some more meaning to the story. Something intelligent that I just dont understand.


My friend looked at me like I was going crazy over a book. 
She didn't get it.

Are you one of those that remembers your dreams?

Dreams. 

You know those dreams that start safe, warm and slow; with people you know and then branches out, literally. 
To a place you have never been, to a situation that you are absolutely sure is dream like. 
You see people you have never met, places you have never been to, creatures you have not imagined.
You fight a poisonous multi limbed monster; you fear an ant.
You brave a huge wave in the sea; you drown in a pool.

Dream that makes you think that surely cant be happening, you are just in someone else's dream.

But you are in the dream, you are orchestrating it. You understand it. 
It all makes sense. But not after you wake up.

Dreams. They are not connected, they do not have a structure, they do not have a story. They are just random frames pieced together.
Or is it not? Is there a meaning?

Do you understand what I am saying?

Friday, 22 April 2016

I was wrong about Kindle

I was wrong about Kindle.
I was wrong about not wanting to buy Kindle. Here is why:
  • Books are one-click away from reading, at any time of the day. I didn't realize it was this convenient.
  • You do not have to wait to find a bookstore or go to the library to get your favorite book. 
  • Kindle editions are much, much cheaper compared to the paper edition.
  • Love the vocabulary builder feature of Kindle. Simple tap to lookup a word in dictionary and it is stored in your vocabulary builder. 
  • Some books can be very heavy and a pain to carry around in handbag. Kindle is very light to pop it in handbag and pick anytime to read. Waiting in queues has never been so much fun.
  • It is much more ergonomic to read with my new kindle. I do not have to stress my wrist to scroll pages. All it needs is a light touch of finger to navigate. 
  • My new kindle even comes with an experiment browser that lets me check my mails and do quick google searches!! 
  • I can share my amazon account with my family and friends to share books with each other. 
  • Kindle comes with my favourite book social website - Goodreads. I can read and write reviews, share my books and find my next goodread from my kindle. 
Bonus: I got 5000 free e-books with my purchase which includes a lot of books from my to-read list and much more.

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Tales of swimwear shopping


I was out shopping for a swimwear last weekend. Even before I left home I knew that I was going to spend an awful lot time in shopping for that one perfect swimsuit. Since I am regular at swimming, my utmost requirement is comfort. How hard can it get, you say? Well, Very!

I entered a small shop that welcomed with a colorful array of skimpy swimwear for women. There were a plenty of options to chose from, from the chic and sexy 2-piece suit to athletic to conservative full-limbed suits.

First, there were dresses with jewels and gems; those were the party wears. Then come those with the breathtaking (literally) underwire (google for it means if you don’t know).  Then there are the ones with a tiny skirt. I don’t even get this; why have a skirt that floats on the surface of the water once you are inside. It is to give you the allure, I suppose. Just not for me and I move on.

There were swimsuits in conservative category. These swimsuits do not show any skin but leaves nothing to imagination. They were dangerously thin, flimsy and hug the contours of one’s body like second skin. All the above options are available for little girls starting from the size of infants. Why does an infant or for that matter, a 5 year old needs a bikini style 2-piece suit, I can’t fathom.

That’s when I spotted the rack of fully comfortable and functional swim shorts on the farther remote corner of that shop. The salesgirl was quick to point out that it was the men’s section. I told her that I would still take a look. She gave up on me and turned her attention to other shoppers.

This rack had the short, flimsy, body hugging material of swimsuit (competition category suits). But it also had a lot of other comfortable options. Most of the swimsuits were not body-hugging kind yet tight at the required parts. The material was thick and durable. They even had inner lining material. I almost cried out at the unfairness. Those shorts could easily pass off as casual outdoor / sports shorts.

These are my requirements in a swimwear.
1.     Underwire should be banned.
2.     No thin, flimsy and clingy material.
3.     Thick fabric and durable material (Inner lining is an added bonus)
4.     Something that I can wear comfortably to a grocery shop and jump into pool afterwards. (What? Is this too much to ask? My husband does this all the time.)

I ended up buying one of the shorts from men’s section that passes all of the above criteria. I also bought competition category women’s swimwear. It didn’t pass any of the above criteria but over time I have learnt to be comfortable wearing it to the pool.

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Party ke side effects

First of all, Happy New year all you lovely people!!

I have something really important to share. Being an Indian and a girl, I really have to talk about this and share my experience.

Being outside India, I have been leading an absolutely harassment free life here. I do not worry about what I am wearing, what time of the day it is, where I go and how late I step out of the house. I am usually with my husband or other friends, so I feel very safe when I am outside. Partying till very late is the normal lifestyle of every 20 somethings and above here in Singapore. Nobody makes a big deal out of this. Even families with young kids stay out as late as 12AM.

An incident happened this new years eve when I was out with my husband and a few of my very good friends in a beach party. One of the parties that night was a foam and shower dance floor with great DJ. Naturally that was the most popular and crowded of all parties that night. We entered the party after midnight and the foam had stopped for some time. The crowd was waiting for the foam rain to start again. And so it started, as promised, with fantastic music. The crowd went wild.

As if out of nowhere a hand appeared to pinch my belly. I looked around but couldn't spot anything funny, so I dismissed it and went back to dancing. And then I felt it again. This time I was fast enough to catch the hand that was pinching me. I started pinching the hand as hard as I could all the while holding tight onto the re-treating hand. In no time, I spotted the face associated with the hand. Without thinking anything else, as a response, I started slapping the face just about everywhere that I could reach. I must have easily hit the face about 6-7 times.

At that moment I didn't think all these but thinking about it now, hitting him across his face felt good, real good. I was not afraid. I was not worried that he might challenge me. I was glad that I hit him right across his eyes and nose and on his head. Right then, I was high without any drink.

The person (he was of Indian origin, I can tell that much), disappeared into the crowd soon after that. I was back to enjoying the party with my husband and friends who were close enough to see all this. Everything happened so quickly that they couldn't react. Once we were out of dance floor I spotted the face again and I tugged at my husband's hand "It's him". I didn't expect that my husband would make a mad dash towards that guy who had starting running away after recognizing me. My husband confronted him and I vaguely remember my hubby holding his collar. I felt extra brave with my dear husband backing me up and I pushed the guy a couple of times as if to challenge him (dhakka marna). But when the guy didn't make sense and appeared scared I asked hubby to let go of him and pulled him out of the scene. I should have let him continue so that the matter would escalate to security personnel.

This sounds too cliched but there is some charm in your man fighting for you :) I had a new-found respect towards my hubby dear that night. My husband was worried slightly that the incident would spoil my mood, he wasn't sure how I would react. When I was very casual and told him that I actually enjoyed all these (who wouldn't enjoy hitting the wrong-doer!) he was relieved.


The rest of the night passed without any untoward incidents. For such a huge party, stray incidents like these are expected, unfortunately! Will this stop me from going to the night party next time? No way! Next year we will make sure to get such guys expelled.

Thursday, 27 June 2013

10 life lessons

 
1. Life is too short to waste it by hating someone. 
2. Every problem has a solution.
3. You will cross the bridge when you come to it.
4. If there is something to crib about, it has to change.
5. Eat. Delete.
6. Don't compare yourself to others."Why would you compare how tangy an orange is compared to a beach? They’re not similar things."
7. Simplify your life, relationships, expectations and possessions.
8. Change is the only constant.
9. What other people think of you is none of your business.
10. You can love unconditionally.