Thoughts on Independence Dayย 

Everyone wishing each other a ” happy Independence Day”. As a friend pointed out, irony is us wishing each other in a language left by those from whom we got our independence. At least one channel showing Gandhi. “Patriotic” few pinning flags on their clothes, raising the flag in housing communities, some listening to the PM’s speech ( eloquent orator he is… Some complaining he is doing it in Hindi! ). A few looking at Independence Day sales. That is the day here. 

We here are a hypocritic nation. We take pride in knowing English and getting business. The same hate it and ridicule those who speak English ( call them Peter & Philomina… May be it is a Tamil thing… Still ), hate it when people say learn a different regional language other than your native tongue.  A nation that loves love stories like the one on titanic of glorify love without boundaries but have moral policing! A nation that bows to the divine female say that even God is Ardhanarishwara but treat women like doormat. A country where sports is just a free period that is taken over if other important subjects need to be completed! Yet the few who fight the odds and go represent their country in events are expected to perform miracles, rake in medals!! Let me not even get started with this division based on caste, religion. I am in a country where laws are there to be broken and one can get away with it if you have the clout. I live in a country where you follow the law get in say an accident when not at fault, you speak out and be chided ” hey how can you speak out being a woman?!” Yeah the country where the woman is glorified as “maa” ” Shakti” and what not!!  You have to mention your father’s or husband’s name on every official form!! Why?? 

The permission slip at the kid’s health room has “father’s/guardian’s signature”. I refused to sign saying am the mother or to be generic a parent. I get the nonchalant answer, strike out and write mother or parent as you please & sign. 

May be I have become cynical. May be I am just speaking my mind which others think but not say. Stuck in a country quite backward but thinks it is quite there in being developed. If this is the case in a metro don’t know how it is in other truly backward areas.  Living in a country that suddenly becomes patriotic two days in a year. 

Oh I have to relate this incident here. On the way back home in the local train… A couple of college gals. One asks you coming to college on Monday? The other says no I have to go to church. The former says on a Monday?? She says yeah I go on republic day! Seriously!!! ???? Patriotism rocks!! ๐Ÿ˜

Am sure there has been enough of a rant about how people are so ready to enrage about things happening around the world (not all) but forget or ignore what is happening in their back yard or even in their own homes. 

Yes, I have heard that everywhere there are problems. I just wish we did not turn a blind eye to what happens here or create a furore when something is portrayed on media while things like that happen almost every other day! Forget it when the media does, then if it is a slow media day it gets highlighted as say some anniversary of the event. 

Gandhiji said when a woman can walk alone at night with no fear we have got Ram Rajya. No thank you! I don’t want Ram Rajya where the King ousts his wife just cos someone doubted her!! 

Rant over?? For now!! 

Edit: came to a movie and saw this caption ” Be proud to be an Indian not just on Independence Day ” ๐Ÿ™‚

Selfless or …?

First post of the year 2016!

A question to all the parents (especially mothers out there…) Have you at some point of time even for a minute thought…sigh wish I didn’t have that child of mine?ย Confession: I have…many times over!

I have wondered how life would be without A. I have wondered if he would be better off without me in his life. I wonder how life would be once he goes off to pursue his own in a few years. Wondering how it would be if he were living in a home which is perceived as normal by society…so on… All this sometimes just during reflection and most times during despair/exasperation (sometimes forced upon …).

So, does just thinking such things make one a bad mother? Does voicing this out to a friend amount to him being a burden on me? Suddenly, all the efforts I put into him being happy/healthy (the best I can at least given my circumstances) fizzles out! “Why don’t you send him back to his dad if you think he is so much of a burden?!” . Wow!! Really?

I stumbled on this post on the Onion : ย Jessica Drexler mentions her kid is the second-most important thing in her life. Intrigued I read further and she ends saying “It’s mostly about you”.

That sort of thought would not be welcome here…. Mothers should be selfless, sacrificing! What is this talk about “me”?!? ย It should always be kid first (or so I am given to understand….else the kid is a burden!)

Lesson learnt! Either put kids first or just don’t voice any idea otherwise ๐Ÿ˜€

This is a world of only faรงades….you must not displayย anything out of the norm. Everyone is and should be the ideal perceived person ๐Ÿ™‚

In the wake of this revelation: I hereby declare….I am nothing without A. He is and always be my life, my breath and my all. I am a nobody and he is my be all & end all ๐Ÿ™‚ There is nothing called self-love once you have a kid!

Crossroads – again?

Yeah!! At crossroads again. Wondering if it is all me and I must not blame circumstances any more? 

Life has pretty much been work- home and back to work – meaning there has been no life really!! I understand it is the scenario for many. Point is, I don’t want it to be. For a person who has now come to terms that work is all I would have in life, I understand that it is a bit of an anomaly to say I want something more. Oh boy!! Is my reaction when I read that statement. 

I am irritated that people don’t even stand up to wanting to have a life outside of work. I don’t like it that if we do speak up, one becomes an outcast. Since when did work become unwritten bond to slavery? Why is it taken for granted that we would be at the beck & call of leads at work?! If one refuses, it is taken as being inflexible!! 

Same people who speak of individual rights, fair play, team (and all other buzzwords you can think of) are those who just don’t bother to adhere to those. 

Been following conversations of loyalty to companies. Yes, comes into play when the company is good to an employee. 

Anyways after all the random rumination in the post ( going in circles now), I am wondering if I must continue at my current position. Work has become everything to me ( realising that is all I will have in the coming years). I don’t know if I would land another job. So here I am at yet another crossroad. Do I quit ?( heart tells me I must – enough is enough). Do I stay on & endure crap? ( mind says may be wise since I have no other offer & no sign of one). 

Heart over mind or vice versa?! I am told to get an offer and then quit by a good friend of mine. Told him that the line of job offers is as solid as the line of supposed suitors for me ( he does keep asking me to find a person too)!! 

I am just really tired of this among many other things. With my health having gone for a toss, my trust factor at its all time low, self confidence non-existent…. Wondering if it is the end of the road ?! Wishing it is. May be I am just not cut out for anything!! 

I really have no clue! Am confused, depressed, demotivated, lonely and lost! 

  
Days I feel like Calvin – everyday ( thanks to google image search ๐Ÿ™‚ )

Post by Sukanya -> Splendours of the Hoysala Empire: Belur (Part I)

Last weekend, my mother and I attended a rivetting lecture by none other than Dr Chitra Madhavan, renowned historian and scholar in history and archaeology. We had earlier attended a day long seminar in late 2013 at the Chennai Mathematical Institute by Dr Madhavan and this had actually opened our eyes to a lot of [โ€ฆ]

https://sukanyaramanujan.wordpress.com/2015/02/27/splendours-of-the-hoysala-empire-belur-part-i/

Happy Deepavali!

A Festival of Lights – well more of noise & smoke and diets going for a toss!

IMG_0658.JPG
A enjoyed his Deepavali. I tried to get him to say no to crackers & failed miserably – it was mixed emotions felt wonderful to see the joy on his face and horrible at not being able to convince the kid to be pollution free.
I felt sorry for my neighbour’s dog who was going ballistic.
For my part, I cooked yummy snacks. Our forefathers were good at planning. Make all this…while it rains outside, eat with tea/ coffee. Maybe they could have foreseen a bit more and went lax on the crackers?!
At least it is good to keep the mosquitoes & other insects away ( may be that was their thinking and we in our generation go overboard?! )

time lapse video of A and a flowerpot
Also puts us into perspective that all things come with pluses & minuses. It is definitely a festival that brings all together!

Those who like fireworks , those who don’t. Those who love food, those who don’t. Those who watch all those special programmes on TV channels ( read new movies), those who don’t – well you get the picture ๐Ÿ™‚
Happy Deepavali all!!
PS: update on day 43 of 100 happy days (next post may be on that?? ๐Ÿ™‚ )

My woes!! yeah I know…

A post after a really long time & it is a rant!! *sigh*

2 weeks back I went for my vacation with A to Thailand. Yeah good times :). I make a purchase with my “international” credit card. Things are fine. Go to another shop, extend my card, it gets declined!!

I call customer service, they say it is Sunday and they would forward a mail to the concerned department. I should be able to use the card the next day & I could try that evening. I try the next day & yeah, it gets declined again. Again called customer service, mail forwarded again.

I was told I had to inform the bank about my travel. I am like I have a valid passport, I get a visa on arrival even. So I cannot assume a VISA credit card will work without problems!! I have to call & inform them prior.

Fast forward a week, I try use the card for buying an app, it gets declined (my default card for payment was this!!). Didn’t think much of it, I forgot & used the card to pay for petrol……Oh yeah!! declined!! I call, furious to hear they will forward the mailย  to the concerned department!!! 2 hours is the turn around time for this kind of request apparently.

Today I use the card. Yup….declined. Again call. Again the personnel says she will forward the mail!! I ask for the manager, she says usually card gets declined on suspicious activity.ย  (FYI: There are countries where CC fraud is rampant & banks do take precautionary measures I am told – Sri Lanka, Thailand are a couple like that!) I asked if she was aware of all the previous calls, whether they had a log maintained. She then asks for time. 4 hours now. She is going to call me to let me know my card is activated or what the status of the card is. I told her I need an explanation about what happened the last 2 weeks & all those mails that were forwarded!!

So my woes (yeah isn’t that why this post is being written?! :D)
Why must we inform the bank when we supposedly have an international VISA or MASTERCARD?!? This particular bank’s policy (btw, it is an international bank too!!! – your right partner ๐Ÿ™‚ ) I am told. I said fine, I will accept the block…but what about the unresponsiveness even after calling & asking for the activation. 2 weeks & an escalation right now!!!

Next, this particular phone-banking service gives you the mini credit card statement of how much credit balance you have, what you owe, when the due date is at least twice!!! In this particular case, all I wanted was to talk to an executive to get this sorted not listen to my statement and twice at that!!!! Why not have an option in the IVR to ask if we need a statement if we are calling for that?!

Wondering if I need the hassle of such a card!! Guess I have not learnt the lessons!! ๐Ÿ™‚
Oh I must mention here, that all my other cards worked (knock on wood!! hope I am not jinxing it) without informing the respective banking institutions.

PS: I guess I probably am the only fool who has a credit in the credit card account!! (would be great to know if there is anyone else out there like me!! ๐Ÿ™‚ )This thanks to listening to my mini credit card statement each time I called!!! Just made me more furious.

I need anger management!!! Or we need a revamp of the customer service system here in India! Guess the former is more feasible & would get a better result! (I can almost picture people who know me really well grinning & not agreeing ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

Lesson learnt: Whether you inform your family or manager or not about your travel; don’t forget to call your bank to let them know your itinerary!!

Navarathri

This is my third post of the same title!! ๐Ÿ™‚ Trivia…

This made me look at what I had written earlier & when… 2007 & 2008. 2007 I have written about going back & following the tradition (don’t know if I have to laugh or cry at reading this!). 2008 just a wikipedia like note with pics taken from kolu at home. Then 2 years missing & this now!! ๐Ÿ™‚

Got no new dolls this year…yet. Think I got a proper Bengali Durga doll the last 2 years when I had not posted. Mum tells me that I had asked for a similar doll better looking one ages ago – but was expensive & we could not afford it then. I like this doll too.

Every year, as we keep the dolls on the steps, we reminisce about how we got the doll. Other conversation invariably revolves around how the quality of the dolls are not up to the mark. I can actually see that here… the dolls we have inherited from my great grandparents look so good even after all these years, but those we got recently are broken, faded. It feels like the artisans of yore actually took pleasure doing the dolls while the newer ones are more of a commercial venture?! Or is it just my random thought?

This year, one small doll is missing (we are in the process of finding out where she is gone…) It is Ganga in the Bhaghirath story of bringing her on to earth! Aside we are laughing at how even he cannot do that now if he tried & may be it is symbolical that Ganga is missing ๐Ÿ™‚ The weird conversations we have at home!!!! It is coincidental that in the 2008 post, one of the pictures is of the same set!!! So, we have her at least on that ๐Ÿ™‚

I noticed some broken dolls. Was wondering if we discard them… and lo behold Mum & I had a debate ( been a while since we even spoke to each other – we used to have so many of these nice debates – not fights/arguments…but debates ๐Ÿ™‚ ) She quoted “maha periyaval” saying He said that something to the tune of do we throw away old people if their limbs are broken or don’t function. My view was…hey these are dolls, we need to recycle. If they are broken, replace them…gives a boost to the artists when you buy, keeps commerce going. This got the response – well look at the dolls these days! ๐Ÿ™‚ Guess what in the end, I did succumb and decided to mend the mendable old dolls with quickfix cos they still look good. Even the paint of the old dolls look good!! What did they do – use vegetable paint I suppose?!

Anyways it was one “ok” day. With some work done, debates (& some arguments) – the kolu is up…hope to improve on it the next few days , may be go against my parents get a new doll or 2 or 3 …(and of course find Ganga ๐Ÿ˜‰ ). Must start calling friends and asking them to come over for the “vethalapaaku” . I keep saying I don’t believe in God & I do all this just cos this has been done all these years. I don’t want to influence my son with my views! He has to form his own ones… lets see!!

Happy Navarathri to one and all!

Lesson Learnt!

Rant Alert!

Situation Saturday night: Lost my wallet with all my cards, cash & a few other things! (had withdrawn some money just earlier that day )

Having decided that I would not get my wallet, I sat down to call all the institution to block my cards reporting them lost. This was after 19:30 hrs IST. I call Bank#1 the “one that understands my world” Yeah right! I am put on hold forever and ever. So, while on hold I call Bank #2 – my “right partner”; managed to block both the debit & credit card I held with that bank & got the cards to be put in for re-issue. Still on hold with bank #1 on the other phone. Called Bank #3 with the tagline “hum hai na” ; after a short hold -blocked the card, requested for re-issue. I was told that I must go to the nearest branch with photo ID to get something called an insta-card. Still on hold with Bank #1!!!!! Lastly, called Bank#4, “Surprisingly” it was a breeze to block and request for re-issue of the credit card I held with them!

Finally Bank#1 phone banker comes on as I was finishing my call with Bank #4.ย  Got the card blocked (it was around 20:45 hrs! ๐Ÿ™‚ ) and requested re-issue. The guy said call phone banking again and get it cancelled! Flabbergasted…I was wondering what I was doing right then if not phone banking?!?! I concede and call back, and was informed by the automated voice that I must call between 8am and 8pm for phone banking ๐Ÿ˜€

Next day: Around noon, I call Bank#1 again. Phone banker 1 answers and says you must have requested it before midnight yesterday for re-issue if you wanted this done over phone banking! I said…yeah I did!!! I recounted everything and the guy says you must have chosen the wrong option!! I said well, if I don’t find the option I am looking for, I opt to talk to a phone banker who was available only between the said times – hence the call then! He says you must have hot listed!??! I was like huh?! what is that…he started giving me lessons on jargons! I lost it and told him to just enable the re-issue, he repeats saying can’t be done on phone banking! I hung up. Called again, had to explain everything again to phone banker 2, who put me on to phone banker 3 saying she would do it. The lady said, no can’t be done, you must have requested it yesterday!!!! Asked for the supervisor…who said the same!!! I (with my sore throat!) said this was the limit! He apologised for both phone banker #1 who said I was wrong for not “hot listing” and for the fact that they could not re-issue the card then by phone banking. He asked me to head to my branch or the nearest branch to get it done. I must say the guy was calm, polite and friendly (sounded knowledgeable too) unlike the rest of the morons I had dealt with!

Was caught up with other problems on Sunday & Monday. Though did get an interesting call on Monday from a division of Bank #2 that dealt with credit cards. She asked questions to confirm stuff. Then was asked what was my last payment for the card. I did not know and did not have the bill/ receipt on hand at the moment. So, she continues; asked me what was my last transaction on the card!!! This stumped me! As you see, I do have quite a number of cards (thanks to my various job stints & salary accounts had to open them, lazy to close them out!) I asked the lady how could she expect me to remember every transaction and the amount!?!? Her answer was these are security questions! I said I wonder how someone who has 10 cards or more can answer these…guess they would get VIP treatment ‘cos they probably will be stinking rich! She succumbed and said that I could call back if I did not receive the replacement card in 5 days time!

Tuesday: Visit to Bank#3. Take a token, wait for close to half an hour. Was asked to sit in front of an officer who goes, I am helping the other lady sitting in front of the other desk, so please wait! Told her politely that I was asked to come sit there, and yeah I would wait. Soon (about 10- 15 minutes later) her attention turned to me. Told her that I had blocked my card, reported it lost and needed the insta card. She looks into my account details and says that since I hold a different kind of account (supposedly privileged one!) I cannot get the insta card!!!! I just did not get it. I asked her if the phone banker had the same access to information and knew what type of account I held. She answered in the affirmative. Asked her why then was I misled into thinking that I could get an insta card?! All she did was apologised for the wrong information given & handed out the form to be filled out & told me I had to wait a week to get the card. Headed over to Bank#1, filled in the form; was told I must get the replacement card in a week’s time.

So situation now: Still no cash (fool that I am believing I would get the instacard did not take a cheque book to withdraw money!) and waiting for the replacement cards to come. So, borrowed money from dad to fill in petrol for my bike :)and no spending on anything at all for that last few days (way to cut down on that right?! ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

Lesson learnt: Do not lose your wallet (btw, yet to get a nice new one ๐Ÿ˜ฆ ) If you do, do not believe to get help from phone bankers! Customer service sucks!!

Republic Day 2010

Vande Mataram!

Woke up to watching the news featuring the new “Mile Sur Mera Tum hara” rather named “Phir Mile sur”

Check it out here

The older version or the original is here

I like both the versions. The previous one was simple, melodious while the newer one has more variety musically. Though both videos I think capture India.

As I was doing this, I read through some of the feedback on the new version. I see comments on how the new version has a “western” feel, about the clothes worn by an actress & how she must have worn more!!!!! The absence of people like Lata Mangeshkar who was there in the original. Is it just me?! Or do others also think these are harsh.ย  I suppose it is the same comfort zone factor. I don’t want to step out of what I am used to!! feeling?! Personally I felt that the new version depicted for want of a better phrase the “new” India – a blend of the old & new. I suppose the video link above does not the have the complete version of the song as I did see certain others featured in the news item on NDTV. On the same note, reading about the controversies surrounding the awards given out today also bugs me though I guess it is the same with any honour awards that are given out in any country! ๐Ÿ™‚ Guess any one can get awards if people get a Nobel award just for intention!!!

Just wanted to add a note that it was a pleasant surprise that one of the tamil channels was not all cinema & cinema based special programmes today!! It is now telecasting a recorded show byย  Taiwanese physically challenged artists. Amazing!!!

So typing this in as I switch between watching the Republic day parade & the dance/music show. ๐Ÿ™‚ Waiting for “Beating the retreat”. Something I loved watching every year growing up ๐Ÿ˜€

Jai Hind!

Edit to add the complete video of Phir Mile Sur

I read more comments about how the video is more Bollywood than to show integrity. I just see the video as I would any other remix ๐Ÿ™‚ I never ever thought that a remix(even a remake for that matter) ever matches the original. The point here is that intention is to sell India and Bollywood sells! I has more Bombay shots, less of all of India or cricket, not all the stars featured in the old video, many new ones here ! – so what?! Well, ย as I said before my take! Why not just take this as it is and not compare?! Or like I generally deal with remixes let it grow on you ๐Ÿ™‚

Stereotyping &

This has been in my drafts for a really long time. ย I was just waiting for my aunt to send me the pictures to post along with this.

I never liked stereotyping but as I am experiencing some things off late, I now understand the reasoning behind it. ย Though some border around ridiculous. There was this one time when I was talking to some one in the US ( back in those days ๐Ÿ™‚ ). I distinctly remember this conversation because it made me wonder. Is this how people still think of India? This lady I was talking to had this weird impression that elephants roamed around on the streets of India. The typical elephants, snake charmers image. It also made me wonder how ignorant she was. Of course, I was polite enough to just tell her that things were not so …blah blah…ย Yet in the back of my mind I kept thinking that this was weird!ย 

Anyways, on that note, I wanted to say that after close to 2 years and immense effort, I finally showed an elephant to A! ๐Ÿ™‚ On my trip to Tirunelveli late last year, we went to the Nellaiappar temple. There I was told not to take any pictures. Then how do I now have pics to post? Well, money talks. One could sit on the elephant and go on a ride in the corridor for a price. The mahout said, give me a little more money and you can take pictures too. So, there you go! ๐Ÿ˜€ A glimpse of the elephant in the temple.ย 

ย ย 

By the way, the one other time A might have seen an elephant would have been at the Bronx zoo. Though I have a feeling he took a nap just around the time we were near the elephants.ย 

So much for being in India the land of elephants supposedly roaming on the streets!!! On a parting note, I am yet to see a snake charmer in all these years I have lived here!!! Hmm….next post? May be I should make a field trip to go in search for one now that A’s school is on summer break till mid June! ๐Ÿ˜‰

ย 

PS: I am sorry that I have not been very active on the blogosphere due to various circumstances. I know that that is just an excuse…pardon me. Hope to get back to commenting and replying to comments – get a semblance of normalcy in my life too that way! ๐Ÿ™‚