Friday, August 29, 2008

Random weekend plan - IV

Updated inline.

I'm putting it here so that it compels me to stick to it. The plan, of course.

First and foremost, we have 3 movies lined up, starting this evening. In a couple of hours to be precise. That's because 2 possibly good movies (Rock On and Wanted) and 1 definitely great movie (Wall E - what else do you expect from the makers of Monsters Inc., The Incredibles, Cars, and Ratatouille?) are releasing this weekend!! And also because while I am in California for 3 weeks, my darling husband won't venture out anywhere without me, except possibly for food.

Rock On was brilliant. Why the hell did Farhan Akhtar not oblige the camera all these years? He sings well too. I liked the way he played the part of a performer on stage when presenting Pichhle Saat Dinon Mein. Four words for Arjun Rampal: Aankhen, Don, Om Shanti Om (although the wig was ridiculous), and Rock On (please try to pick roles / scripts like these). Purab Kholi and Luke Kenny played their parts to perfection. Prachi Desai was a doll, not an actress--could have been better. Shabana Goswami as Debbie kicked ass. The music inspired me to finally get an audio system fitted into my car. A year since I bought it, and all the poor thing has heard is me cackling.

Wanted was passable, although, any James McAvoy fan should not miss it. He was very different from what he looked /played in The Last King of Scotland and Narnia.
Well chiseled body. And the twinkle in his eye. Oh my!

Wall E was our treat. Perfect Pixar entertainment. The way Wall E and Eva called out to each other was absolutely adorable (me and hubby tried to mimic them all through the remaining weekend). So was their attempt to clean up and rehabilitate the earth. The movie was so cute and funny all throughout, that I could successfully keep myself from crying inspite of all the mush. I know I'll be watching it at least 5 more times within the next year.

I'm never sure whether to be glad about it, or push him into being a bit more social. Mostly I settle on letting him do what he likes most--play games incessantly on my laptop (which, I believe, has seen more action with him that I have :P), watch TV like there's no tomorrow, and SLEEP for as long as he likes with the bed all to himself.

Between Wanted and Wall E tomorrow, we have 6 hours during which we plan to get laptop's USB ports fixed, and also help my colleague at office settle into my parent's house, where we lived last year. She's renting it out for a while. As I said, these absolutely boring details are being laid out here so that I am pushed to follow through the plan.

The night after Rock On, I couldn't sleep. Socha Hai just didn't leave my brain until I put the plan (of buying the car audio system) on paper, besides listing a few other tasks, so I wouldn't forget. And guess what? The next morning, I forgot to take the To Do list along with me. Beat that.

Thankfully, we did most of the chores we planned to, and more. We upgraded the laptop's RAM and got the USB HDD's casing replaced to fix the loosened port. Then I left the hubs at my grandmom's place, conspired with my uncle and his kid, and asked them to drive me around while I left the car at the accessories store to get the audio system fitted. It's a smart Sony Xplod MEX-BT 3600U with Subwoofer / Speakers, which accepts USB and Blutooth input as well.
This was my surprise for hubby, and for a change, I was sure he'd be pleased, not shocked with it. Besides it would save me the trouble of singing for 6 hours straight while we made the long trip tomorrow.

Sunday still seems a little daunting, because of my own idea to drive to Panchgani / Mahabaleshwar and back. That'll be the farthest I've planned to drive so far. Between 100-120 kms one way. The only thing that makes me look forward to it is that my sweetest, cutest hubs agreed to the idea without a second thought, in a split second. It's so rare to get such a quick response from him that I almost did a double-take. But I like it :) I might even let him drive :)

Although, the factor that might keep us from executing this plan is the condition of the roads. If they're not good, we might be tempted to turn back even if we're half-way through. I'll upload pictures if we make it, and share some virtual strawberrys and ice-creams with you ;-)

Yes, yes, we made the trip. We started at 7:30 instead of the planned 6:30, but it was only because Angels and Demons kept us awake well past midnight. I'm reading the illustrated, hard bound version to the hubs these days, thanks to a colleague who lent it to me. The beginning of the trip was slightly rocky, because we fought about how much cash we should withdraw from the ATM. Once that fight was out of our way and we hit the highway, things chilled out. We had a good breakfast, and that possibly calmed the hubs down even further.

I drove all the way up to the table top, halting intermittently for pictures. Once we reached Panchgani, and before we headed to the volcanic plateau, we made a pit stop for some deliciously perfect strawberry and fig ice-creams. It was mostly cloudy when we reached the top, so the shade helped us explore in peace. There were a lot of monkeys and I was thrilled to see them, but they didn't give me much bhaav, possibly because I wasn't carrying any food, and wanted their pictures for free. A while later, the sun began beating down on us, but we found respite in one of the cool ponds. Within an hour or less, we turned back to the parking lot, where we had a fresh nimboo sharbat before plonking our arses into the car. I wasn't really sure whether we should spend more time driving 20 kms ahead to Mahabaleshwar, and spend more time in the sun, visiting a couple of popular tourist spots. We turned back instead, and I let the hubs drive. A full 60 kms and 2 toll booths later, he did the mistake of asking me if I wanted to drive. I have a bit of motion sickness, and even sitting in the front passenger seat can be nauseating at times. So I galdly accepted.

Once we were home, we spent some time reading (obsessed that I am, to finish the book before I leave for the U.S.), then showered, and dozed off. Then my uncle who had been on the same route as us since morning, only traveling as far ahead as Kolhapur, called up to warn that heavy rains had disrupted traffic close the Katraj ghat, the southernmost tip of Pune city. We were happy we got home before even the first big hint of rain showed up (if I let go the exact 2 drops that pelted our windshield, out of the blue). Ha! Here are some pictures...

That's Pratapgad, a grand view from the table top.

The ridge of the volcanic plateau and the town below.

We did enjoy some walking-on-the-grass.

Yes, those are white tiger statues (or probably stuffed toys) on the roof of the entrance to the theme / water park. They also had blue water fountains. No idea why.

The father, son, and the holy white cotton balls. :P

My lovely Sahyadris.

Today's fortune

Not that I believe in a shred of all these predictions that appear in various publications or on the web, but here's the gem that was thrown at me today: "You are soon going to change your present line of work."

Right. And do what? Work as an entry-level call center associate ('cause I have no epxerience) or a bar dancer (no experience there either, but who at a bar cares about the dancing anyway)? Don't be shocked. How else am I going to pay my EMIs? What occupation other than one in the software industry pays beginners (assuming I have no knowledge whatsoever of anything else) enough to sustain my kind of lifestyle?

So, much as I would love to get into education or some kind of arty profession, I'm stuck in here. Unless the hubs starts earning more than double his current pay, takes care of the EMIs, and still allows me to splurge on things I want. Hmpf!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

A midnight encounter

It was TV time like every night (after office)
He lay on the sofa, flipping channels, unblinking
She sprawled across the bean bags
Thinking, as always, in stand-by mode
About the day gone by, the resolution they made yesterday
And how it might go outta the window tomorrow

He kept hopping between frequencies
Pausing at whatever got lucky enough to hold his attention
She watched some with him
And disapprovingly clicked her tongue at others
Some shows made them laugh
Others left them gaping in astonishment

Gradually they settled onto Great Expectations
Just because it intrigued them
For him it was a story whose conclusion evaded his logic
She saw it as a dream she wanted to lose herself in, without purpose
To participate in the story, to accept the author's conclusion
And build a proof in her mind of how it was the only logical outcome

Along came a commercial break and broke the spell
He got up to have a sip of water
And moved around, relaxing his stiffened limbs
Her laid-back, comfortable position caught his attention
She was a tad surprised to see him eyeing her
But happily let it happen as he came closer and stood by

Then he lay over her in one swift movement
And kissed her forehead (or so she thought)
In her eagerness for what-lay-next, she usually lost the present
But today she was alert enough to not let the moment slip by
And so she savored the experience, as they kissed and embraced

What she did a little different today
Was not expect some more
That took away the disappointment she usually felt with him
And what she gained in those few moments made a lovely memory
So she prompty put it in her journal, to revisit on another dull day

PS: I simply couldn't pass this off as poetry, and hence it's here instead of there.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Random weekend plan - III

Again, this is an update, not a plan. But I like to reuse the title.

'Twas a leisurely day. Me and hubs woke up just before noon. While I washed the kitchen platform (yes, I do that often... obsessed with cleanliness that I am), the hubs began his daily dose of lounging on the sofa and watching TV. Then, while I bathed, the darling picked up the broom and swept the house!! I almost fainted in the bathroom. I will keep wondering whether it was (a) the guilt of doing less than his share of work, or (b) the fear of my sarcastic remarks about the affinity between the couch and his pretty ass, or (c) the genuine recognition that the floor was dirty and needed to be cleaned up. It's these random and rare acts of concern that still keep me bound to him. Other than the fact that he is completely loyal to me. Bugger. Tedha hai, par mera hai! Sorry, couldn't help quoting the Kurkure ad ;-)

We had corn flakes for breakfast and watched absolutely random crap on TV. My friend Gudiya, who's living with us for a month, woke up at 3:00 or so. Hubs then turned his attention to his favorite task these days. Fixing the display on her laptop. Meanwhile, I backed up the data on my laptop, so that we could clean it up and reinstall the OS. Been more than a year since we did that. When we had enough of the gizmos and the stomach began calling for attention again, we out for a really late lunch. Smokin' Joe's pizza @ 5:00pm. We tried the Schezwan and called for our usual Woodcutters. The mistake we did was to finish the Schezwan before the Woodcutters. It was like having curd-rice after a tear-inducing pani-puri. Anyone reading this, please make a note not to try this.

The hubs craved for his rounds Age of Mythology, so Gudiya and I went for a long drive through drizzle and scenic beauty. We halted for bhutta at a spot where we could turn back homewards. As we sat in the car boot munching on the perfect monsoon snack, we noticed that we were directly facing a lovely sight: water gushing out through a dam, with the lighting on! I wish I had taken the camera along :( It was good drive home through the (absent) night lights.

By the time we reached, we both had made up our minds about some piping hot chai. The hubs, a direct descendant of Murphy (yes, the Murphy's law-maker), had finished all the milk in the household. I keep barking at him that he was a cat in one of his previous incarnations. Yes, you got the hint. I might have been an ungrateful dog back then. But he did pay for his misbehavior by fetching milk and some potato chips for us. The chai freshened me up so well that I dropped all pretences of not wanting to go to office (something I kept postponing since morning) and begin something I had planned to complete almost a quarter (of a year) ago!

Oh, and happy independence day, y'all. I don't actually believe we are independent (there's so much mental slavery yet). But, as a small tribute, the least microbit I can do, to pay regards to those amazing freedom fighters who made it possible for us to live in a democratic country, I sit in silence for a minute, and bow my head to their valor and sacrifice. Vande maataram!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Rambling again


I've got exactly one month left before I begin my second trip to California. It'll be over even before I know it, but this time I plan to do all that I didn't do during my last trip. At least, I keep saying that to myself. And yes, this includes losing weight to become more fit and also to fit into my old jeans. It's not related to traveling to a foreign country at all. Any event on the horizon is a target for improving my fitness. The first was my first California visit in Feb 2006, the next was my wedding in Dec 2006, the next was Diwali of 2007 when we were supposed to visit the hubs' hometown, after that it was the beginning of 2008, now it is the second visit to California. And I've NEVER met any of these deadlines. Gah!

But that's not what why I'm here tonight. I'm here simply because I want to make a fresh start. I want to reboot my current mental OS session and have a fresh RAM to work with. I never thought that I'd carry so much baggage ever again once I took back my life in control, after my first long and strong relationship broke down. For a couple of years after that I was slowly moving towards an improved, confident, and stronger me. Then along came my next boyfriend and now husband, and everything went downhill from there.

The wonderful control I had started getting over my mind, slowly slipped away from my hands. The tables were turned. Often, I experienced sparks of realization that something was going wrong, but I thought I could put it right any time I wanted to. How foolish of me!

Anyway, without dwelling too much on the past, I'm just making a mental note of where exactly I went wrong. I need to avoid making the same mistakes. What's worse is that I can clearly see the events when I'm about to go wrong, but I don't do much to not step into the turd again.

This moment, here, I want to conspire with myself to keep my eyes open, and my conscience aware, so that when I go down that wrong path again, it pinches me hard and drags me back to do what's right. So, dear self, after a lot many days of being a believer, a non-believer, and sometimes a fence-sitter, I bow down and pray: "Please help me each moment hereon to remain alert of my surroundings and perform my actions consciously. Help me to keep my sense of purpose intact, and not let me lose it in some forgotten corner of the mind. Otherwise, there's no reason I'd feel like waking up to face each day. I want to be a bird who flies with the wind, not a stray leaf that blows around aimlessly."

PS: Yes, hubs, I wrote this while you were snoring away to glory that night. I planned to wake up at 5:00 the next day and set a schedule for work and looking after our home. But, I ended up snoozing the alarm endlessly to finally get out of bed at 9:30, and fall right back into my lethargy-driven excuse of a life.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

So much for plans and fleeting inspirations

This is something I wrote long back. I don't even remember when. But I guess it was within this past year. Anyway, just putting it here for the record. To remind myself what a loser I've been.

I've got to write. What, I do not know. But, there's something waiting to burst out of me since some months now. I've shoved a lot of stuff under the carpet. And it's showing now. Smelling too. The past six months seem like a blur. Six years, actually. All through the day, there are zillions of thoughts zooming in and out of my mind, taking me through highs and lows. There are moments when all I want in the world is to talk about them, or pen them down. And all I will be doing is staring at my computer screen. Working, chatting, playing games, trying to convince myself that I will find time to be all by myself, conjure up an idea, toy with it, see if I can stretch it, manipulate it, develop a generalized principle from it. Everything but doing it. I push back so many thoughts, ideas, emotions into dark corners of my mind, imagining that I will find time to draw them out again and do what I was supposed to do with them; but that never happens. What happens is that I lie wide awake at night, and none of those dark corners are accessible any more. I lie lost. I lie helpless. I lie depressed. I lie frustrated. Because I didn't act when I had the opportunity. It's not as if I have great ideas that could change the world. But some of them could, at least, change my world. And as I have said to myself countless times, I think too much and act too little--in fact, I don't act at all. All I do is think, then I think about something else, lose track of what I should be thinking, I talk, and in the process, lose track of what I should be doing. Exactly in that order. I'm good at making plans. And that's all I'm good at. There's probably only one thing I planned out well, and acted accordingly. That got me where I am today, professionally. But the rest is just a blur. A blur of events. A blur of people. A blur of thoughts. A blur of inertial moments. Till, one day, I get shaken by an event, or a person. Something happens that makes me sit down and write some crap, like this one, about how hopeless I am, inspite of all the intellect I have, the abilities I acquire, and the opportunities that come my way. And that's about it. This must be the third or fourth time in the past two years that I have chided myself. But, I never seem to go beyond this chiding and actually do something, with determination, regularly. I lack consistency. I lack perseverance. And, I hate to say this, but I lack passion. I wasn't like this. I get tears in my eyes every time I think of this, but it's true. I was a very passionate person. Over the last two or three years, however, that emotion has been smothered inside my mind. I don't know how I did it, or why I did it. Now, all I do is sit and cry (or worse, feel nothing) when I remember who I am, what I am capable of, and what I am (not) doing.

In the midst of all external changes and enhancements in my life, my spirit lies neglected. The flame is slowly dying away. I may not be of any use to anyone, or the universe in general, but I would not like it if I'm a hindrance. I do not like the feeling of being just another rock on the face of this earth. I am a human being and have been given this gift of life for a reason. It may not be contributing to anything, but there's a reason I live. I've tried to find the reason, at times, by following the path others have trodden, at times, by developing my own theories. But, what went wrong, I know for sure, is that I have given up before I reached the destination. Like I said before, I lack perseverance.

I don't know what more to write. I'm gonna leave this half-way too. But, for a change, am not just giving up. I'm turning to something that will give me inspiration. A book. What book? Doesn't matter. I know I'll find inspiration there. There's plenty of it anywhere I want to find it. What I am actually giving myself is another opportunity. To start reviving myself. It's like CPR.

Pray that I never give up this time.

Friday, August 01, 2008


Found the following description here, and absolutely loved it. Though I can't call myself a feminist, reading related, sensible articles never fails to surprise me with how much we have come to accept men as superior to us, or their decisions or thoughts being more "correct." Yikes!

Even more than Satyavati, Kunti is a virgin in the Jungian sense. Originally, this word connoted precisely the opposite of what it has come to mean. Ishtar and Aphrodite, the goddesses of love in ancient Mesopotamia and Greece, were called virgins. The later patriarchal cultures denounced them as immoral and wanton. The boon of virginity is not just a physical condition but refers to an inner state of the psyche which remains untrammeled by any slavish dependence on another, on a particular man. She is one-in-herself, an integrated personality who "belongs to herself while she is virgin-unwed and may not be compelled either to maintain chastity or to yield to an unwanted embrace… This liberty of action involves the right to refuse intimacies as well as to accept them… It may be used of a woman who has had much sexual experience; it may be even applied to a prostitute. Its real significance is to be found in its use as contrasted with married."


PS: Found this link thanks to Thought Room who left a comment on Unmana's blog.