Category Archives: Family

I cannot ignore.

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It pains me to see parents suffer. I might have had numerable fights/arguments with mine, and I might snub my arguments as something which is part of every parent child relationship, but I would like to believe I have never taken advantage of them in a way I shouldn’t, nor I have ever respected them less.  I loathe people who knowingly/unknowingly take advantage of their parents, at an age where they need to be supported by the children, they end up supporting the children and all their unplanned and idiotic moves.

I am yet to be convinced that worldly matters do not matter. Money does matter, because we cannot survive without money. When we reach a stage where our income stops, i.e we retire, our expenditure does not stop, however our income does. When most of the retired people leave out of their savings, it becomes extremely important for them to manage their assets, and the kids even more important to make sure they help their parents by adding to their assets and not taking them away.

I know no one really plans financial disasters, but  I guess somewhere people should draw the line and say, no I can’t take any more from my parents and move on, because if god forbids the adventure fails, then the kids have a way of surviving, but think of the retired parents, who do not have an income, and if the savings are lost, what should they do?.

I wanted to blame the parents, for not thinking enough before helping their kids, for not securing their future. But I guess parenthood does that to people, when your kids ask for something, you would try your level best to provide that to them, however old you get, the idea of being a provider never goes away.

I came to know about a news which I could have totally responded with something like “I told you so”, because I kind of suspected that. Unfortunately, I felt really sad for all the people involved, both the parents and the kid. I knew I could not do anything, I could have never stopped the son from taking the risk, nor his parents from letting him. It just pains to know the consequence, and specially the future of his parents. I know they wouldn’t show their sadness, nor would he accept his mistake.

The sad part is the ignorance that is expected out of me, the next time I meet the son or the parents, because its none of my business, and its their choice. Sadly I cannot ignore, I simply cannot ignore.

Random Randomness #09/09

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Random Thoughts:

The other day I had this thought, how it would feel to be stick to a person when he/she is happy. Happiness kind of rubs off, you know, however low you might be, you kind of feel happy for the person, and the positively spreads, and you would no longer be low. Unfortunately the converse is also true, the lows and the blues are contagious too, you are with a person who is kind of low, and moping around, and bam, you too end up being low. It sounds too mean, to even think like this, but then not all people are “correct”, many of them are “practical”, being practical even though it might be a tad selfish. Have you ever run away when the person tries to cry, and stick with him when he smiles?

Random One Liners:

I heard this in the movie “Luck by Chance”, and have ever since been thinking about this. It does make a lot sense, “MeeTha banana hain, to shakkar to dalna padega” .. [If you want to make it sweet..you have to put some sugar].

Random Realizations:

You know you are missing your home, when you dream of a large feast at your home, with all your relatives, not once but two consecutive nights. I woke up twice last week from a dream, feeling disgusted that I wasn’t served my fav dish during a feast at home. Guys, its official, I miss my lunch, I miss my dinner, I miss the Vidyarthi bhavan dosa, I miss the chats around the corner, I also miss being able to get a cup of coffee ready when I feel like drinking it. I miss my home.

Random wondering-s:

I remember last time around when I had to stay away from known things for a long time, I had a unique fear, the fear of the known,. I was afraid about, how I am gonna take it, when I am back to my known. It kind of made one of the very first posts on my blog here.
But this time around, I think I am missing ‘familiarity’, no not only the ones which I had towards things in Bangalore, but even those towards things which I had here in states during my last visit, the club I used to frequent, the people in my work place there, things I did back then. Why is that I am missing familiarity.

Random movies:

I happened to watch one of the movies titled “Henry & June”, its about the life of a highly controversial author Henry Miller [Tropic of cancer ] . Apart from the NC-17 rating, which kind of prevents people from watching it, the taboo nature of his book puts inhibitions in the viewer’s mind. This movie was recommended highly in a talk show on the channel IFC, and I tried to get hold of this one. One statement about the author sums up his whole life, it goes “He is a man, life intoxicates.”. Leave aside everything else, I would love to be that man, man whom the life intoxicates.

Random theories:

I read this somewhere, not sure where it was. “You fall in love with people’s minds”. Interesting isn’t it?. I have had this feeling many a times, you are speaking to a friend, and he/she makes a statement, and you just fall for the thought. It has made me wonder many a times, how much I have liked the thought, and the mind which actually thought of such a thing. More than the people, its always their minds which we fall in love with.

Random Randomness #1/09

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Random irks:
A very common notion about people who work in the IT wing, is that they work very late, they are always busy, they never come home on time, and they always miss a social gathering, or make a customary late visit. In fact, even people who work in the IT industry and know what goes on in our lives, believe that this is the case. Even though I do not deny it fully, I think this is not really true always, we have a lot of work pressure and even work at weird times to match our clients, but then its untrue that we work late everyday, or cannot make it to a social gathering. I have taken this wrong notion to my advantage many times, to avoid going to places where otherwise I would be obligated to go. Sometimes it annoys me though, when you go to attend a birthday party, or a marriage reception of people who matter to you, or sometimes you are bored, and just want to meet people, and they come up to you and say, how come you are early today. GUYS! 8PM is NOT early, and no please don’t give me a look as if you think I am jobless.

 Random troubles:
There are people who can be totally grumpy looking, or if not grumpy just not happy looking, and then you put them in front of the camera, and they can fake amazing smiles, OK I know not all people fake, so lets say some people can just smile heartily in front of the camera. There are others like me, who have not been taught how to smile for the camera, you put me in front of it, and the stiffness automatically creeps in you know, the kind of look on your face when you get summoned into the head master’s office or something. And then the photographer would go, sir smile please, as if I didn’t know I had to, and then I try the best I can, and then the adjustments with the frame begin, sir look straight, down a bit, a little left, a little right, at the end of all this, he expects me still remain smiling?, what am I? Jim Carry?.. Anyways, so at end he asks me to smile again, and I try my level best, and there he clicks. Worst 10 minutes of that day I suppose. No wait, the worst is yet to come, in a small pack of 4 replicas, and the worst, me, smiling like a cartoon.

Random visualizations:
We all have a vision, or ought to right?, but there are some visions we get, for which we have no clue, what they mean, or what they are supposed to mean, or why are we seeing them. 
Every night, I have this practice of closing my eyes and then trying to see things in the dark, before I sleep. And invariably every time I close my eyes, I see a tree, or something shaped like it. 
A single guy like me, is supposed to be seeing lsomeone ike a film star or a celebrity if not naked ladies, or a woman he likes, or atleast the girl next door, but no, every time I close my eyes, I see a tree. 
Try this at home, close your eyes and try to see in the dirk, lets see what do you see.

 Random Realizations:
Speaking of birthday parties, I recently attended a 60th birthday of one of my uncle, and one thing that struck me was that, for as long as I can remember I have never cut a cake, lets leave out first seven years of my life, I don’t remember much as to how I celebrated my birthday back then, but then onwards I don’t remember a single occurrence when I cut cake. Well actually I am not repenting or either hinting that I missed out on things, but just realized that I haven’t. 

 Random wonders:
What is this thing with women and haircuts, no I am not bothered about the haircuts women get themselves, it’s the constant nagging of women to get their husbands get one, actually its generic, not just husbands, to guys in general. I have had this umpteen occasions when I have heard from my mom, why don’t you go get yourself a haircut, ok I agree its not MOM like if they leave us with a long hair, but then you know I don’t sport long hair, Infact throughout I have had short hair, but then if I let them grow by a weak too more,  she is behind my back. Its not just her, every one of my female cousins, and wives of my male cousins who are generally very close to me, come up with this line time to time, “why haven’t you gone for a hair cut this time”, or something like, why don’t you both get a hair cut done [This is a collective proposal, throwing in my cousin, their husband along with me]. I always wonder, what’s with women and haircuts.

Random thoughts:
Why are kids wired this way?, you know you look at them and they can be so pleasant, almost adorable, and the same kids can be at times the worst nightmares, you know how much they can trouble you, what must go on in their minds I wonder, what makes them do things they do, what makes them to be so stubborn for things. Every time I see a badly behaved kids, invariably my blame goes to their parents, and I at times pity them, you know it must be really embarrassing for them having to put up with really badly behaved kids, and how bad they must be feeling when they are outside in other’s house, and kids kind of screw up their image. I have a bad tolerance level when it comes to people, even grown up adults, I wonder how, I would handle, a badly behaved kid, if I were to be responsible for them.

Contentment..a lovely feeling

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I have wondered from time to time what contentment would feel like?, you know its like trying to define your Utopia, or your idea of it. 

 

Being from one of middle class traditional hindu families, I have never celebrated festivals like Id or Christmas, not even socially have I got to celebrate these, as my circle of friends which was almost non existent did not celebrate them either. So holidays to these festivals was spent at  home doing nothing, or just doing the left out errands. This time Christmas was slightly different.

 

One of my cousins had come down to India, from the US. He is one of the people whom I have been very close to, he lived with us for about an year, and also as kids we have always bonded, over games and the innumerable fights we have had. Anyways, he had come down, and we decided to host a get together party for him and his wife at our house. It was supposed to be just our first relatives, all my father’s brothers and sisters and their families. With few people out on their annual vacation, the count had come down to around 20 of us. Me being a little too held up at work, was kind of not in the party mood.

 

People started trickling in from morning, even though the plan was to meet for lunch. Its fun talking to my uncles, and aunts, I have always loved my conversations with them, its always filled with laughter. There is something amazing about a loud laughter coming from old people, its like telling us whats wrong with you, when we after seeing so many ups and downs in life can laugh our hearts out, why can’t you young ones do it.  There is this is mystical feel to the laughter, when it is around people you care, you begin to get sucked into it. So the grumpy me kind of eased into the day, with chuckles and by mid day I was laughing out loud.

 

Food is always a big thing in our households, as most of us do enjoy eating. You can be eating a common dish, something you eat everyday, but you put some 20 laughing mouths in a hall, and feed them something even ordinary, it begins to taste heavenly. And when it comes to good food, in such an environment, the feeling you get is just truly unexplainable. So there I was eating an extra helping out of my plate, a dish which I generally do not prefer, feeling the taste on my tongue. As I was looking at people whom I have hated and loved at times, with kids around enjoying one of the odd occasions when they get to be pampered by us, lunch kind of just moved up a couple of notches in my view.

 

The evening too ended up being an open court, for hot topics, ranging from religions beliefs, to finance, to even gender bias and divide. Of course nowadays none of the discussions at my house can end without bringing up the topic of my marriage, or the idea of possible suggestions for a suitable bride. Anyways it so happened that this day, it kind of hardly bothered me.

 

At the end of that day, when I went to bed, I had a thought in my head, how amazing contentment feels like.

Rajasthan vacation tidbits #2

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Guys I am back to bore you with more vacation tidbits, this time its the two days which we spent in Udaipur following our two days at Jaipur. You can read the first part of the post “here

*We were supposed to leave Jaipur by around 8, I got up at my usual time of 6am, and discovered something, my stomach, excruciating pain that ran through my body, I rushed to the restroom, but all the eating I did at chowki Dani the last night had taken toll on me, and man it was bad. I skipped breakfast and just had couple of glasses of orange juice. Couple of trips to the restroom and few pills later, I was ready to leave Jaipur. The plan was to visit Chittorgarh, a big fort on the way to udaipur.

*One thing that strikes you during the journey from Jaipur to Udaipur is the road, the highway is just too good, huge 4 lanes on both the directions, and smooth with no path holes, we just cruised along in our innova, Just loved this aspect of the travel

*When we reached Chittorgarh, I was floored by the hugeness of the fort. The best part was that you could take a tour around the fort in your car, and this helped a lot especially with my bad tummy. The guide we took was extremely knowledgeable and well past his middle age, this meant that he spoke a LOT, he started with the history from loooooong ago and began telling us, we spent first 30 mnts learning when the fort was built, by whom, and when he moved out. The bad part was the scorching sun, and my bad tummy. The sun meant that along with tummy, now I had a bad headache, which made it impossible for me to stand at one place. You could easily spot a restless rambler hoping for the lecture to end. This has to be easily my worst day of the vacation.

*We moved along and checked the Rana Kumba palace, the meera temple, the vijay stumbh couple other places in the fort slowly, and tummy was a little better now, but the headache, and no lunch had made my condition worse.

*We finally reached a dhaba at 4pm, imagine me, and no food till 4 pm, just two glasses of juice, I was really miserable, all I wanted to do was sleep, so for the first time I just choose a bench slightly away from where others were sitting and ordering food, and just dozed off.

*food took a long time to arrive, and by then I was up, a plate full of curd rice is what I had, and was just hoping to reach udaipur.

*We reached Udaipur by 6:30PM and we didn’t have any plans for the day except boating, we learnt that boating gets closed by 6, so we were late. Our hotel person suggested a place called “Bagore Ki Haveli”, this is a place where they showcase all the traditional dances from across Rajasthan. The show was to begin at 7, so we quickly freshened up an got into the car. We reached the place by 7:10 and the show had already begun. We rushed in, and tried to find seats.

*Bagiore ki Haveli, is very different from normal places, its just an old haveli with a big courtyard, where they perform dances. They have put these carpets around the court yard where you are supposed to be seated, and they perform various dances in the middle. This was an surprise, we liked this a lot. The strange thing was that there were very few Indians at this place, and we were surrounded by huge number of non Indian travelers all enjoying the dance. The ticket price is just 30Rs, and this is very close to the Lake Pichola. The only drawback though are the dancers, most of them are really old :)

*After a nice hour spent at that place we came out to the main market which is close to the haveli, and started searching for a place to have dinner. That’s when someone suggested a pure vegetarian restaurant called “baba palace”, we went there and found out that they serve pure veg chicken biryani. Well we had been totally mislead. As we had already gone inside, we decided to order food. This was a roof top restaurant, so I decided to go up further to get the view from the watch tower. The view of the fully lit Udaipur palace was just amazing, this was a day before diwali, so the jagadish mandir too was well lit, the view was just too good.

* I met couple of people from Isreal while at the top, and we have good fun discussing Rajasthan as I tried to help them set up a make shift tripod for their SLR.

*We had a huge fight with the management at the hotel as they took almost 90 minutes to deliver our order, all of us lost our cool, and infact my aunt barged into their kitchen to check if they were really cooking our order.

*I woke up early next day to take a walk around the place we were staying. We stayed very close to Fateh Sagar Lake, so I wanted to have a early morning view. I went to the terrace of our hotel, to get the gorgeous view of the sunrise and also the garden surrounding the lake, A morning totally well spent.

*This was supposed to be a busy day, as we were supposed to do sight seeing all day, we went to the Udaipur palace which is a very good spectacle, we also saw the jagdish temple and garden of fountains called “Sahelioyon ki bhari” which was a waste of time, and then we went to shilpagram which is like a place where they exhibit and sell Rajathani art and handicrafts. It too turned out to be not so good.

*We had a great great lunch, gujrati thali at restaurant called “natraj”, god bless the owner. Just loved the food there.

*I forgot to mention that this day, was the diwali day, and we could hear firecrackers bursting all around. Our driver wanted to take the evening off and celebrate diwali. All he had to do was ask that in a straight forward manner, instead he kept beating around the bush, saying we couldn’t do anything in the evening and stuff like that. People around me kept pushing him to take us do the boating, he reluctantly agreed, we found out that the boating is just till 5, and he had mislead us that it is till 6, so there went our plan. He was supposed to pick us up from the central place, but he gave some excuse and we had to take a rickshaw.

*I got the best ride of my life here. As its diwali time there were no rickshaws at all and all we could find was one three wheeler. 9 of us, including the rickshaw driver all got into that small automobile and reached our hotel. I cant believe 9 of us fit into that.

*The driver was still not spared as all people with me wanted to go to the same place for dinner. I was so embarrassed, all I wanted was just to let him go, poor guy wanted to celebrate diwali. I was just sick of the people

finally we ended the Diwali day at Udaipur, with all of us taking a sound sleep. 

more tidbits to follow…

Rajasthan vacation tidbits #1

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Guys I am back, I came back on Monday and have been a bit busy after coming back. I did go around the blog world reading things I missed over the last ten days, and here I am today sharing some of the tidbits, few thoughts that sprang in my mind during my vacation. I promise there will be more to follow.

*Indian railways has changed so much over the years, I remember the old days when we used to travel to Rajkot/Ahmedabad, the problems we used to have during the journey, the dirty toilets we had to put up with and the filthy seats/berths in the coaches. What surprised me most during this journey, was the outlook of the people which has changed, long time back I used to find people playing cards, gossiping, reading newspapers or simply eating through to their destination. Look what the IT world has bought, I see people watching movies on laptops and Ipods now, I see people playing solitaire on their ipods, portable DVD players, I hear mobile phone ringtones every few seconds. Cleanliness too has improved a lot, stations have been designated as cleaning stations, where people wearing jump suits wait for the train to come to a standstill, they bring on automated cleaners to clean toilets and wash basins, and even mops every now and then inside the coaches. Food is delivered on demand to the travelers, all packed in aluminum foils and disposable trays.

*Even though I spent most of my journey time playing cards with my family and cousins, [almost at one point I had won 270Rs], the best part of the journey was the 20 minutes I spent alone sitting on the steps of the coach, with the door open and wind running onto the face, man that bought some clarity to my mind, and a great deal of satisfaction.

*It appears that no recent train journeys seem to pass without my encounter with a female, remember this?, this one too had its fair share. My gaze seem to catch more women these days, I saw this shy female in our coach, sitting a little far from my place, you know the kind of instant attraction, great choice of color for dressing, the right amount of smile, and a book in hand. Sad I am a coward, didn’t even walk up to her and ask her name.

*Another thing which annoys me on almost every single journey of mine, is a crying baby near my seat. I mean I have traveled on air, on water, on road, everywhere I get stuck with a crying baby which annoys the hell out of me. This time for a change there was none on the first day and a half part of my journey, just when I thought the spell is broken, I see a lady coming in with a small kid, there went my night’s sleep. Whats this with crying babies and me.

*As we landed in Jaipur and entered our hotel, one thing that struck all of us was the way rooms were organized, we had a common living room into which all three rooms opened up into and a small kitchen to tag along, almost like a service apartment. We had booked three rooms, so no one else could come into the living room, we had it all for ourselves, it had a nice sitting place with couches all around, and antique furniture around, we just loved the place. All of us used the room just to sleep and use the bathroom, rest of the time you could find us sitting on the couch talking and laughing. God!, all of us loved the place.

*First place we visited in Jaipur, was the Birla Laksmi Narayan temple, a beautiful structure all built up in marble, the day was extremely hot, and we were asked to remove our shoes, prepared to perform the brake dance through hot sun, we stepped onto the temple premises, what a surprise it was, cold slabs of marble even in that hot sun. A lovely experience.

*City palace and Jantar Mantar were really tiring, long hours spent walking up and down the palace, the museum and lot of other places, The astronomical tools in Jantar Mantar are mind boggling. The rajasthani mataka kulfi sold all around was a pleasant relief in that high temperature.

*Evening was spent shopping in Johri Bazaar, walking through highly crowded Diwali shoppers, all I could see were glittering dresses, and handicrafts. I found the LMB a mishtan place, supposedly a very famous sweet shop in Jaipur, well that was fun. I did buy a pair of Jodhpuri shoes made of camel skin, which I later found out was fake and each shoe of the pair looks of different color. All in all a tiring day.

*Next day started with a heavy breakfast buffet, a couple of boiled eggs, alu parathas, and toasts. My mom could not believe how much I could eat. She hardly gets to see me eat that way at home

*Amer fort and Jaigarh fort were to be our main destinations of the day, and man they were huge. The best part is how clean they have maintained the fort, and views it has to offer. The royalty of the place is clearly visible. I chose not to ride elephants, nor camels en-route.

*For the first time in India I got to see use of Radio guides in these forts, I was impressed, so I went and rented one for myself. The rest of the gang chose to opt for the usual human guide. Radio guide meant that I was stuck long behind the rest of the gang as I wandered the palace alone, that was real fun. You know the laid back kind of stroll, listening to the history of the place. But one thing though, radio guide was a real flop in places because, the numbers are so difficult to find, you end up searching a lot, and getting frustrated at the end. The directions need to be made more clear, and the path to follow from one place to another as the fort is huge.

*As I said earlier I chose not to ride the elephant, some people in the gang wanted to do that, so they decided to ride upto the fort once again, as I along with few others waited at the foot hills of the hillock. As we were waiting, we chose to go visit a small garden which was being built near the foot hills, glad we did that. The place was very beautiful and view of the fort from the garden was excellent. I also got to see the new marble fountains being installed there.

* Lunch followed the visit to Jaigarh fort, in a local restaurant. This has to be top two worst meals I have had in the trip, the taste was bad, and was extremely filthy place. The fact that I overheard a customer complaining that the roti’s were being prepared close to the toilets, made me feel even worse about the place, a forgettable experience.

*Last evening in Jaipur was spent in Chowki Dhani, a resort of types which offers a close look into the rajasthani traditions, a little expensive by general standards, but I think it was worth the money. Arts and handicrafts, A local mela kind of atmosphere, and the authentic rajasthani speaking people around. The jewel in the crown was the dinner we had there, filled with all Rajasthani delicacies, mani types of rotis made out of local cereals, sabji’s made out of things which I cannot name, Dal bhati and choorma made out of pure ghee, the Malpoa a superb sweet dish, and lots and lots more. I ate so much that my stomach got hit with indigestion the next day.

more tidbits to follow……………….

Yours, Mine and Ours

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Last week there was an article about sharing money in a relationship, you know being able to take money from your partner, or parents. About how people like to be able to be independent and not want any financial support from the close ones. It spoke more gender biased, more from the female perspective, borrowing money from husband/father. I remember writing something on the subject a long time back under “Random realizations” here .

Ever since I read this thing, the topic has been on my mind, with stray thoughts developing around the subject. 

It should be cool to borrow right?

I figured it should feel lovely to be able to have another source of income right, why would I feel shy to ask my woman, money?, as long as I am aware I am not wasting the money, and I am gonna use it for good of myself or my family, whats wrong with asking money from my partner?. I guess I would choose to ask her first before going to my dad. I mean it should be ok to go back to my father If I am in real need of the money, and I would expect him to come to me when he needs some as well. It feels really great to have a feeling that someone is there to get your back when you need something, I guess be it your woman or your father really does not matter much. 

Is ego the factor?

There must be a factor which prevents us from going to our loved ones when in trouble, especially when it comes to finance. What makes us think less of us?, is it ego?. Its not entirely true, by that I mean its not entirely false :). Its really a bit of ego, when we hesitate to go to a partner and borrow money, its like when you go out to dinner, its expected for a man to pay. Coming to that I think this should change, in an equal relationship, why not let the woman pay once in a while?, why not ask her to take care of the bill?. Is there a sense of loss when one asks his/her partner to pay?, may be for the dinner or for something else?. Because if there is, there must be something wrong, because this isn’t a game, or a sport where there is a winner, or a loser. Is ego a big blocker even in case of relation with the parent?.  I guess yes, a fear of looking incapable, or not being able to support oneself in front of your parent can be ego hurting to many people, may be the notion of borrowing money being an indication of incapability itself is the biggest cause for ego issues between partners and parents.

Can time be the change factor?

In a relationship, if you are still not comfortable with sharing your financial troubles, what do you think would make you change your mind, is it something like you would never change?, or may be it takes time to change your mindset?. Can time instrument a change in your stance regarding being able to accept money from your partner?. I think with time the level of comfort would increase with the partner, and one would more open, and with lesser ego/fear to borrow money. Again it depends a lot on the person and the relationship, some couple might take forever to be able to reach this stage, and some might reach this during the courtship before marriage itself. It also depends on the person, how strong his repulsion towards sharing finance is.

What about repaying?.

I really have a hypocrite view on this matter, I had a strong feeling that I need to pay back money if I borrow it from my father, but do not have that strong a feeling when it comes to returning it to my partner. In case of father, firstly he would be retired, so its my responsibility to make sure he does not face any financial problem, and also somewhere the idea of being a team is not so strong when it comes to father/parents. You do have a strong feeling of being on your own. With the partner it is different, I feel more of a team, and I have a feeling I might not be so keen of repaying, may be I would in a different manner, but the idea of borrowing money from the partner as a loan does not appeal to me, I think it should never be that way, if it is, then I guess the idea of sharing does not come in at all.  

That thought makes me move onto the next big question, should couples keep track of money flow between themselves?

I guess people should really keep track of where their money is going, you know keep a check on the outflow, and areas of outflow, but would you keep track that my partner borrowed 1000Rs for that nice shoes in the mall, or she bought my ticket for the movie?. I am really clueless on this topic, may be I would know better when I am actually in that role.

What say you people?