A destination I seek

IΒ  don’t know where my life is headed. I watched the movie Jab we met to change my mood. Guess what? It did not change it much. I felt horrible watching a sappy love story. More so what hit me was how many times I wanted to live a life with gay abandon. Take off somewhere, no destination in mind. Lead life as it comes.

Doing it now…just that it is not as gay as I wanted it to be. I am plagued with doubts for myself and my son. I do not want this. I want to know where I am going. I don’t want to feel like I am right now. I am tired of the surprises (shocks rather) that life has been throwing at me. I really cannot stand it any longer.

I hate myself now more than ever. Activities I used to enjoy now just make me feel worse. I want to quit; funny thing is, I do not know what I am quitting even if I do. I guess I want to quit existing. I do not want immense happiness but I do not want to feel the way I have been. I used to cry a lot – to the extent there were friends saying don’t cry in front of A. I used to get irritated and say let him know the pain I am going through. Now I try to restrain those tears. Off late, I just softly cry myself to sleep. I don’t even understand why I am crying!?! I did not feel like celebrating deepavali but also did not want to make it bad for A; so made the mandatory things for him. Saw the joy & excitement in his eyes. Morbid thought – I was like, damn this happiness for him is short lived. He will be facing so much trouble.

I really don’t want to wait any more. Wait for what? I don’t know. What can I do? I am tired of the mails I send to P to finish what he started. He is “busy” it seems. I am tired of waiting for at least a call for an interview so that I can crib about how I failed in it πŸ˜‰ I am waiting to have a place to call home, to live there with loved ones. I guess the last one is something that probably will never happen. I just don’t want to wait! 😦

Quirks?!? Me?

Dinesh of 18,000 RPM tagged me.

Edit: Reema of My Random Thoughts has also tagged me for the same πŸ™‚

The tag is to list 6 quirks of mine. First off, apologies for the delay…reason?! I had to think a lot (been quite a bit out of touch with the concept of thinking too πŸ˜‰ ) and I came to the conclusion that I am as normal as anyone can get πŸ˜€ but with extreme difficulty; I ended up with a list….here goes….

#1 As Nikhil said, me thinking of what my quirks are for so long itself is quirky ( I suppose!)

#2 I am way too honest and straightforward that I refuse to cook up my resume much to some people’s chagrin. Is that my quirk or theirs?!

#3 I am patient enough to do 1000 or more pieces jigsaws, separate a mixture of toor and chenna dal (a kg each) but am way too impatient when it comes to knowing what is up in my life!

#4 When I am in charge of the household (the chores rather πŸ˜‰ ), I hate having a sink full of dirty dishes to wake up to…so always washed them up before going to bed. Talking of chores, I love washing clothes (the smell of freshly done laundry…love it) but hate folding them…quirkiness; I love pressing clothes.Β  I would rather sweep & mop the old fashioned way than plug in the vacuum cleaner.

#5 I play more with my son’s GeoTrax and Lego sets than he probably does πŸ˜€

#6 A has more quirks than I do (May be I should list his instead of mine like I put up his pics instead of mine for Vimal’s tag πŸ˜€ )

Now to tag 6 other people as required. I tag those whom I had the opportunity to meet with A last saturday ( a few absentees from the planned meet …but then we are not talking about those especially those who had really lame reasons!! )

Aaarti
Bhargavi
Nautankey
Praddy
Sharada
Vimal

Did not tag Aparna as I already have tagged her and to remind her, she is yet to do it πŸ˜‰

A & I had a wonderful time that day. Thanks a lot fellow bloggers πŸ˜€ We definitely should do that more often.

A face to a letter! ;)

Vimal has tagged me in this photo tag. It is to publish a candid and not posed photograph which was taken about 10 years ago. Vimal says “childhood snaps (a snap atleast 10 years old)” All I can do is smile at that.

Honestly, I was going to pass doing this one. One major reason, I don’t quite have pics from 10 years back. Even if I do, the only ones that were not really posed for would be those taken during dance performances. Actually, I don’t have that many pics of mine ….hazard of being the second kid (parents did not have time to take pics!! or so they say πŸ˜‰ ), growing up I did not like my pic taken cos I felt concious of my braces, eventually people did not take photos of me. πŸ˜€

So, after the long preamble…what am I going to do with this particular tag?! Thought I would put a face to the letter…so here goes…some candid childhood (hehehe) shots of A (sorry! I did not satisfy the 10 year old condition, he is not even 4 πŸ˜€ …well few years down the lane, these will be 10 years old πŸ˜‰ )

The pics range from his scan, a couple of hours after his birth to those taken about a few months back.

Now for the next set of scapegoats!! (Muahahaha … )
A-kay

Laksh well, both A-kay & Laksh are kinda my constants…:)
Indian home maker
(have not tagged her yet…)
Scorpria (have not tagged her also so far…)
Rajitha (to get her out of her blogging slump πŸ˜‰ )

An evening at the park

After a tiff at home, I just wanted to head out. So, took A and left. Did not have a destination. On the way, called a few friends I would have been comfortable spending time in that particular mood. There was either no response, or they were busy. Saw the public park on the way. Just parked there and took A in.

He played on a few things – the see saw, the monkey bars (he was so proud when he climbed to the top! πŸ™‚ ). He queued up to the slide…of course giving way to all the kids who pushed their way in πŸ™‚ Then I told him let us just walk around the park. He agreed…and then I gave him the go ahead to run around. On the walk way were puddles of water. It had rained the previous day and all morning. At first sight of the puddles, A stopped, turned around. When I egged him on, he just went amok πŸ˜€ Ran through the water puddles. I followed him at first walking. Then, as we kept going round and round the place, I found myself running behind him. Saw other parents asking their kids not to step onto the puddles, the adults themselves avoiding the water, some onlookers looking at A and me as if we had gone mad shaking their heads in that characteristic disbelief. I just looked at the joy in A’s face. It just lit up with happiness. He would stop by the small waterfall on the side. Point to it asking if he could wade in, then proceed. Two times around, he stopped and said “Amma, waterfall. We cannot go in” and then went on running. Not a care about what others were going to think. As I started running behind him, I realised I did not care either. The world was just me and A. How it was then, and how it probably will be for a long time. I got the much needed (and something I have been procastinating) exercise. We both were wet because of the water puddles and sweat πŸ™‚ We were tired but a lot happier than when we had left “home”.

I guess I needed that more than A ever did. A lesson that we have only each other and we should make the most of each moment. Back here in the confines of the four walls, I am back with resentment; waiting to break free…run around in the water puddles with abandon. Live life with my son not wonder when my papers would come for me to sign, when I am going to get a job, when A & I will have a place to call home,whether I would be able to take care of A’s every need…

Guess I should be thankful for that couple of hours of respite from reality. I hope A grows up with the same sense of abandon. Let not reality ever strike him. Let him be oblivious to the stares and words of others which he will have to hear.

When one village can, why not the world?

This article in The Hindu makes me think…if one village can ban smoking and hold it for 90 years, why not the world. I know people will say well, it is a small area; and those who smoke go out of the village boundary and then do what they do. If it is all over the world, where will those go?

I have always strongly opposed smoking. Keep bugging my friends who smoke to quit (well made P quit…despite the “great” relationship we have, I should commend him for not smoking. It has been close to 8 years!)

Please quit smoking. There has been enough research and publications to show how harmful it is. I will keep to my way of asking my friends to quit, like a friend of mine said to me; you are doing your job which is to keep telling me to quit. Hope he quits sometime and soon. πŸ™‚

Story of my life!!

There have been posts after posts, articles after articles and news items after news items -the topic being the economy! Well, I guess it is common knowledge that I am in the job market…. the response I get “oh! The economy is so bad, companies are not hiring…they are laying off….”

I just felt oh! man..this is the story of my life…each and every time I have looked out for a job; the economy was bad. It was recession time. I left my job and followed P to start my life. Then people were being laid off, getting a work permit was just not possible. As time went by, getting that H1B was even more tough with the lottery system et al. Fast forward to this year….I have a huge gap in my career. The previous experience supposedly is invalid. I don’t mind starting as a fresher….but then again; the great economy.Β  Am I following its luck or is following me?! There are no jobs there for a person like me.

I am worried…as time goes by, the gap in my resume just gets bigger; I am older. I just don’t know; I feel like I am falling back into the pits (as if I ever got out! ) I am trying and hard; with hope. Hope is fading as time passes by. Feel like if my resumΓ© were printed out at every place I have tried or my friends have tried for me; then it is being used as paper for peanuts on the beach here! Time has all the answers right?! Right now; I feel like it is laughing at me and has been for quite a while. Wonder when this will end?! When my life ends ?There are times I wish it were sooner than later!

Bad salespersonship!?

My dad, A and I went out shopping today; majorly to get school supplies for A. Remembering tomorrow is Saraswathi puja; we decided to get some flowers for the same. Stopping by a flower lady; enquired the rates for a string of yellow flowers (“samandi poo”) Found it to be a bit exorbitant (well, guess the lady wants to make hay…) Asked her what the loose flowers would go for…she had a pile nearby. She was curt and said she does not sell those. Got a couple of measures of the string of flowers. Dad then looks at the sting of jasmine and started to ask for the rates. I told him; that they had already bloomed. The sales lady pounced on me; saying well, nature of flowers is to bloom…blah blah. I was pissed off. Told her, I spoke to my dad and that was nothing to do with her. She retorts I was talking about her flowers. I asked her would those flowers not be worth it the next morning. She replied yes…and then I was like then what is your problem. She yelled back at me saying I was rude, and that I lost my temper!! She made such a scene that people around started looking at us!

oh boy! Am never going back to that lady for flowers!! Thing is we had to walk out of the place with her screaming we were showing attitude cos we had money!! Don’t really know where all this comes from…we had not even complained or said a word to her about her exorbitant rates! Well may be we were the bad customers!! πŸ™‚

Navarathri

Navarathri(9 nights) or Dusshera is celebrated in various ways in different parts of India. Had read Reema’s entry on Durga Pujo. Decided to write this on how it is in South India, especially Tamil Nadu.

This Hindu festival is celebrated in Purattasi month (tamil lunar monthΒ  around Sep -October) starting from the Mahalaya Amavaasai (no moon day) for 10 days(Dusshera). During these 10 days Goddess Durga (Ichcha Shakti) , Goddess Lakshmi (Kriya Shakti) and Goddess Saraswathi(Gnana Shakthi) serve as the main deities and are allocated 3 days each.Β  The first 3 days are specific to Goddess Parvathy. The next 3 for Goddess Lakshmi. The last 3 for Goddess Saraswathi. The 9th day is “Saraswathi Puja or Ayudha Puja” when everyone gives their tools of the trade — pens, machinery, books, automobiles, school work, etc. a rest and ritually worships them. On the 10th day, all of these 3 deities are worshipped together to culminate the puja. The 10th day is “Vijayadashami” ; an auspicious day to start any new endeavour, the day when gurus are paid homage by all the students.

Why do we celebrate this? In the south, it is to acknowledge the victory of good over evil by the killing of the “asura” Mahishi by the Goddess Chandika (who then on was called Mahishasuramardhini). Goddess Chandika is an embodiment of the 3 Shaktis.

In Tamil Nadu, we celebrate the festival by arranging dolls on steps, inviting friends and family. Traditionally, the women and girls invited are given the “tamboolam” that consists of betel leaves, turmeric, betel nut, the day’s offering to the Goddess (usually a “sundal”), fruits, coconut. Off late, a small gift is also added. This festival enables the mingling of friends, neighbours. This is a social festival. The women and girls invited are asked to exhibit their talent in singing or even dancing. The arrangement of the dolls on the steps allows the exhibition of the artistic aptitude. Even if one just arranges all the dolls on the steps, it encourages the artisans who make the dolls which could be of any material – Clay, papier mache, wood, wax, plastic, paper….Obviously, it also includes dress up. Small girls even dress up specially (I remember being in the traditional madisars, wore mundu, and just experimented….rather I guess my mom had fun with me not really complaining up to an age πŸ˜‰ ). There are households these days which base the arrangement on themes. A friend of mine has alien invasion, another has handmade dolls by her 80 + year old grandma portraying Ramayana & Krishna katha. Global warming, pollution, current affairs also find their place. There are competitions in neighbour hoods under different categories.

The number of steps are supposed to be odd in number (3,5,7…). One adds a “park” alongside where in the kids pitch in with their imagination. On the religious side, apart from the two major pujas mentioned above, a fast or vratham is followed with a diet of no onion/garlic; those who take meat avoid it. Daily pujas are done with emphasis to the Goddess – slokas like the Lalitha Sahasranamam, Soundarya Lahiri are read. Daily offering is made in the form of “sundal”. Lamp is lit by the “kolu” (the steps arrangement).

Below are a few pics of the kolu we have at my place this year. It is a smaller version; thanks to space constraints. Supposedly, A and his space take precedence…so the kolu has shrunk πŸ™‚ I posted the pics just to give an idea of how the kolu looks like in most houses. This year, we just placed the dolls on the steps, no themes or anything…more keen on taking care that A does not break the dolls that have come down generations even πŸ˜€ Though, credit to my dear son, he is a gem…he loved placing them oh so tenderly on the steps.

Ooh…I forgot…placing of the kolu…usually, people place the kalasam first. The Kalasam is usually a pot made of silver filled with either water or rice. Some put a set of tamboolam inside. And end up putting mango leaves around the rim with a coconut on top. We at my place for some personal reasons, don’t do the traditional kalasam but place a doll replica. Then Lord Ganesha’s idol is placed. Followed by “marapachi” dolls. These dolls can be decorated (or buy those that already are πŸ˜‰ ) A and I have that as our next project – decoration of the marapachi pair :D. Then the rest of the dolls are placed. Usually, most houses would have the dasavatharam, chettiar-chettichi selling their produce, dolls depicting a traditional wedding, along with dolls of other deities like the 3 Shaktis, Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu, Lord Muruga. We get various sets to depict the various mythological stories (My mother reminisces how her grandma used to actually position or make various dolls to depict these stories…whereas we all have it so easy; yet we crib about doing the kolu thing!!)

You can click on the picture for larger/album view.




Edit: Vishesh – This is this year’s park πŸ™‚

part of As train set & other toys thrown in.
part of A's train set & other toys thrown in.

How to Blacklist the trolls?

Having read this entry, I decided I should put this up for those who might want help in doing the same.

Here is how.

1. Click on the Settings link (upper right corner of page, next to Users link)
2. Click on Discussion link at top of page

3. Scroll down to Comment Blacklist box, paste the IPs in it. You could also type in words (words in its content, name, URL, e-mail, or IP.Β  It will match inside words, so “press” will match “WordPress”.) you find offensive too

4. Don’t forget to hit button on the page. πŸ™‚

Let us all do away with trolls πŸ™‚

Edit

To add the image to your side bar:

1. Click on Design link on the settings page.
2. Click on the Widgets link.
3. Add text from the list of available widgets.
4. Then click on the edit link provided in the text widget that is added to your sidebar
5. Copy paste the following to
<span><img src=”http://mirrorcracked.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/trolls.jpg&#8221; align=”center”><br/></span>
6. Click on the save changes button.

Prejudice, Fear & Resilience against Terrorism

I was chatting with a friend of mine. He is a smart, really friendly person who told me about an experience of his. I asked him to write about it; he being a bit lazy πŸ˜‰ asked me to pen this down.

Imagine Peace
courtesy: The Pixel Garden Blog

He was travelling on a bus from Ooty to Bengaluru some time after the terror attacks. His neighbour on the bus was a Muslim who was holding a plastic bag on his lap. For some reason, my friend says he felt very uncomfortable. He had this sense of fear; prejudice was clouding his thoughts. He felt unsafe and could not sleep a wink through out due to this manifestation of paranoia. When he was telling me about this incident, he felt sheepish. He realised how much he was stereotyping the co-passenger.

How many of us do this? Stereotyping, generalising…call it what you may. All of us know it is not right. Not just in the wake of these terrorist attacks but life in general. It is definitely more prevalent with many of us categorising Muslims as terrorists. There will be many a Muslim for every irrational fundamentalist who abhors such acts as much as we do. The reality though is, we as a herd end up categorising every sect. Muslims do this, Christians do that and so on and so forth. Not all of us are non-violent Mahatmas nor all being hatred spewing Hitlers.

I just hope that we do not fall into this trap. We must be cautious but not paranoid! Let us spread love not hatred ( I sound like a hippie from the 70s probably…but it is what is required.) We must learn to co-exist. Violence is certainly not the answer. Let us not get the terrorists get to us, cloud our judgements, make us live in fear & prejudice. We must not let them win. Condemn these terrorists; we are a lot stronger!

Taking the cue from Nikhil (usingthe image used by him : thanks! ) who was tagged by lifeofhues; I will light a candle.

Edit: Anyone interested in lighting the candle sure is welcome to do so and is much appreciated. Thanks Imp’s Mom for reminding me to do this! πŸ™‚