Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Its that time of the year!

How is the performance review going to be?
Bonus or no bonus? Is the bonus worth the hard work? 
With recession bonuses are less these days .. But is it motivating enough?
What else is better than a dilbert comic strip for the situation?

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Thankful on Thanksgiving

A friend asked at lunch table "Some say life is good while others say its tough, why is that?". Everyone pitched in with their answers. However, we all agreed that the basic things that you need to lead a good life are love, money and health; not in any particular order. Having all of these is the key. Abundance of one and absence of the rest doesn't balance your life.

Family love and support
Supporting parents/in-laws/siblings, loving husband, content and happy kids who love you and are there for you through good and bad times form the backbone of your life. Like-minded cousins and friends who can be reached at any time of the day, who are ready to give you a shoulder to cry on, who are sometimes the punch pad for all your frustrations contribute to the happiness quotient of your life. Support of family and friends also translates to freedom of thought, expression and decision-making. Close your eyes and think of all those people you would reach out first to share an important news. Imagine your life without these people! 

A healthy body, free of any life threatening ailment is a basic necessity. A healthy body free of aches, pain and discomfort gives you time and energy to spend on meaningful activities. A fit body helps you lead an active life even after growing old.  
A healthy mind, free of mental stress and pressures of work is also important to increase the quality of life. Having a positive attitude takes you a long way. Getting regular exercise keeps your body fit and helps to relieve mental stress.

This one is debatable. Some argue that money should not feature at all in this list. However, I believe that money is essential to lead a stress-free happy life. You cannot be happy when you are struggling to get yourself a plate of meal!
But, how much is enough money?If your family income is good enough to make ends meet, chances are that you will lead a good life. More money does not necessarily mean more happiness, but lack of money definitely lowers your quality of life. Food, Clothing, job ambitions and material comfort are covered under this broad umbrella.

On this thanksgiving, I am thankful for having all the above - lots of love, good health and money. I am thankful for a whole lot of other things in my life too. It's an astronomical effort to list all the things that makes me happy and those that adds quality to my life.

However, a couple of things deserve special mention in this post. 

I am a hard-core iPhone fan. I could give you 100 reasons for why I love my iPhone. Call me addicted to mobile, but a smart phone does make your life easy. You no longer have to wait endlessly in the bus stop, you don't have to wait to reach a computer to do that quick google search or to make a reservation, you won't forget a birthday again, you don't need pen and paper anymore. Most commendable is that you can talk and give orders to your phone!! 

Morning Coffee
Strong filter coffee(/kapi) freshly brewed early in the morning awakens every cell of my body. There isn't a single day that starts without filter kapi routine. And I have managed a continuous stock of filter kapi powder supply in our fridge. I am a cranky person to talk to before I have had my dose of caffeine.

How many things like these do we take for granted? It's these small things that make difference in life. A plate of simple meal at your favorite joint, a walk in the rain, a book, an extra serving of dessert, a good workout session - a few little things that gives immense happiness.

Aaj mere paas building hai, gaadi hai, bank balance hai. Tumhare paas kya hai. Kyaa hai tumhare paas................. 
Mere paas ... Maaa Hai.

Saturday, 17 November 2012

10K Run Experience

Just 3 years ago, I remember calling a friend crazy for running 10Km at such wee hours of the morning. I couldn't fathom why one would want to run such long distance for nothing in return! And here I am today, having completed two 10Km runs and looking forward to take part in many more. I finished my second 10Km run last week. I am glad that I completed it with better timing compared to my first run. And yes, it’s just a run, not a marathon. Only 42Km and above is considered a marathon.

I registered for the first run because my lady boss called to sign up; it was obligatory. At the start line, I didn't believe in myself that I would complete all of 10Km. I had resolved that I would return back in 15 minutes. But,I was in great spirits even after 5Km. This was the moment when I started believing that I would actually complete 10Km. I was halfway there. I decided that I would finish it, even if I have to crawl back the remaining 5Km. I took my own sweet time to complete the race. I didn't set any targets. I completed the run in 2:10hrs.

The environment of a marathon is usually loud, cheery enough to lift your spirits high. There are comperes motivating you on loudspeaker, warm-up sessions from fitness experts, elite athletes intimidating you with their pre-race preparations and hordes of ladies in identical T-shirt waiting for flag off. The motivational quotes at each level mark really works.
"You made it to the START, you will make it to the FINISH" “Think bragging rights".
Volunteers cheer you to run faster “Come on, you can do better”. There is nothing more disappointing than letting a group of old women take you over. I even spotted a pregnant woman with “baby on board” proudly displayed on her T-shirt. What excuse do you have to not complete the race?

The second time was easier as I believed in myself. I had targeted to complete within 100mins and I achieved that. I did feel high again; I did feel proud of myself. I was smiling wide when I reached the finish mark. The very thought of completing 10Km gave me runners-high. The feeling after completing the race is something that has to be experienced. It’s exhilarating. It empowering. It gives you a sense of accomplishment.
"The person who starts the race is not the same person who finishes the race."                   

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Deepawali decoration

I have this tradition of picking up new diyas every deepawali and make an elaborate rangoli/flower decoration with new and old diyas.

Here is this year's deepawali decor. Inspiration: Here

This below snap is from last year decoration.
I bought this lovely lamp from a diwali mela. I used a rangoli stencil for the rangoli design.

May the joy and merriment Of this divine festival surround you forever.
Hope the year brings you luck and fulfills all your dearest dreams!


Thursday, 8 November 2012

Four more years: Barack Obama

Obama is the commander-in-chief for four more years.

The whole world debated, waited and witnessed the reelection of Barack Obama as the president of the U.S. Every major news paper scrutinized the election strategies of both sides, weighed up what went wrong for Romney and, of course, his political future. Major newspapers in every country carried editorials on the subject of what four more years means to them.

On the other end of spectrum, the fashion critics analyzed what Michelle Obama and Ann Romney wore on that day. Spoof video of Mr. and Mrs. President’s Gangnam style dance went viral on the internet. Obama’s office tweeted the picture of Barack Obama embracing his wife celebrating his victory. This has become the most re-tweeted picture till date.

What interests me is that there is so much limelight on Michelle Obama as the companion. Why is it not the case in India? I don’t remember seeing Mr. Singh’s wife at all. For the sake of this write-up I goggled about her. I don’t have to make that effort for Michelle Obama or even Ann Romney. I just have to read newspaper headlines to know about them.
Source:  topnews.in

To run for presidential, or for that matter, any elections in the US it is very important to have that family-man image. A broken marriage or even a casual affair is enough to tarnish the image of the candidate. Talking about candidate profile with a fully functional family, this holiday photo of our ex-chief minister with actress Radhika floats in my memory. 
He has a fully functional family. 
And a fully functional second family?  
Source: Here

Monday, 5 November 2012


My sis buzzed me, the other day, while I was having dinner. She told me that mom wants to video chat with my kiddo. I assured my sis that I will go online once I am finished with my dinner.

One thing led to another, and it completely wiped out from my memory that I was expected online. What’s worse, I didn't even recall it until mom reminded me the next day when I called her. She told me that she waited for a long time. I was helplessly overridden with guilt.

My sis called it absent mindedness. I termed it preoccupation. That incident bugged me a lot. How could I not keep track of what had happened just 5 minutes ago? Can’t I survive without my lists and reminders?

It haunted me, that night, in my dreams too.
My flight to, err somewhere, returned back and landed just 5 minutes after takeoff, to desert me back at the airport. The captain of the plane had received signal from the ground that a certain passenger was flying in that flight without a valid visa to enter destination!!

Now, that’s expensive - to be thrown out of a flight. It’s time to write reminders on my body, a la Aamir Khan from the movie Ghajini.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Gambling : Diwali Taash

It’s a tradition in few parts of India to gamble as part of Diwali festival. The tradition is to play gambling games around the time of Diwali, only once every year, to get attention of Goddess Lakshmi.

I got an invitation to one such party. The culture in which I grew up considers gambling as taboo. So it was a bit awkward when I got the invitation to gamble as part of festival celebration. I accepted the invitation to be open about other cultures. We accept mothers’ day, Santa Claus, Halloween and other such western practices. After all, Diwali taash is a tradition of people of India. The stakes were low and I was going to play just for fun with a group of friends.

I saw it as just another experience. I enjoyed the game.

There was one game that we played, a game of probability, which was real close to serious addictive gambling.  It was a game where luck matters and nothing else, no brain required. I realized how alluring it is to gamble at higher stakes, how easy it is to get lost in the game hoping to win more.

Oh, by the way, I did win a game. But overall, lost some money.
Losing gets attention of goddess Lakshmi or winning does?