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Ash. Spiritual. Happy in my own way. Writes Random Stuff. Ice Cream. Night owl. Ice Cream, again.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

From Cards to Words & Beyond!

My mom has this annual cleaning activity, and she insists that I participate every single year. Honestly, I love cleaning my bookshelves and wardrobes, provided it’s done occasionally. I’m no Monica when it comes to cleanliness but I like how the activity involves running through stuff which might probably be decades old, and reliving the memories associated with every simple little thing. It helps me go back to the person I was earlier and realize how fast time has flown by.

Image Courtesy : FreeDigitalPhotos


Of all my treasured possessions I’ve carefully maintained these many years, I pride over my collection of Greeting cards. I’m not sure if the current generation would understand why a thick sheet of paper with some roses and words in random fonts, with some personalized messages, is such a big deal. I’m grateful to my parents for very many things and I’m particularly thankful that they instilled in me the habit of gifting greeting cards and collecting them. As far as I can remember, all the cards which were exchanged in the family were primarily from Landmark. It’s not as simple as just walking over to the store, choosing the occasion and picking a random card. I’d spend hours reading every card that had a nice design and then read the words to see if I could connect to it or if the receiver would be able to relate to it. It was a very elaborate affair, yet no one complained.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Does everything happen for a reason?

You are on a mission. You want to get a nice silk saree. You are guided to a particular section of the store based on your preferences. You randomly tell your colour and design preferences and then you are shown numerous sarees that match your description. Beyond this people proceed in a different way. Some narrow down options by elimination, while some others do it by careful selection. A lot of thinking goes behind the scenes.

Consider another scenario. Your mom asks you to get a packet of Gulab Jamun mix. She specifies that she wants only the MTR packet. So you go to the store and head to the appropriate section and look out specifically for what you have in mind. And then you get to the section where there are hundreds of other packets, with the same name. You just pick one at random not worrying about which of the 100 packets you need to pick because they're all the same. 

So, some things happen for a reason and for some other things - they just happen. 

Monday, January 11, 2016

2015 - The Year that Was!

Keeping up with the tradition of posting the yearly round-up, I decided to analyse and write about how 2015 had an impact on me. Before I could delve any deeper on the events, I was sure of one thing though. I had no idea on Jan 1st, 2015 that this is how my life would shape up. On Jan 1st 2016, when I was thinking of how the previous year went by, the first thing that got my attention was how different my original plans were, and despite going-with-the-flow and taking very many diversions, how grateful I am to be here.

If I had to describe 2015 as briefly as possible, I would have to say that it was the Year of Risks. Some of them paid off, thankfully; while some of them didn’t (giving me more topics to blog about, talk about silver lining ;-)).

Image Courtesy : FreeDigitalPhotos

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Of Fixed Mindsets & Prejudices!


I never understood why people in escalators start climbing the steps that are already moving upwards. 

I never understood why people would go through the torture of getting their ears pierced again, just to wear a small stone.

I never understood how people appreciate Sambar Vadai even when its USP - It's crispiness - being completely lost.

All of us have our own unique ways of doing things. While some of us are open to experimenting with different methods every time, some of us stick to what we know the best even at the cost of not even attempting another easier or better method. While some people believe that there are many ways to perform something in the right way, some people believe that there is just one right way to do anything and it's their way. Though we might not belong to either of these extremes our mind constantly juggles between any one of the two states.

One such day, my mind was somewhere along how could people do this, to do people actually think doing this is better than doing it the way I do it. I kept wondering why certain people would do the aforementioned things. When I mentioned about this to my mother, who is an ardent fan of Sambar Vadai, she asked me how I could come to a conclusion without trying any of them. Having realized that the problem was with my understanding, I tried to attempt the said activities.

Monday, December 21, 2015

A Son's Vengeance!

Murderer! He shouted.

I was caught unawares as I heard the sound of my door getting slammed. I turned around and was shocked to see who was standing in front of me. A mistake that had grown up due to my reckless nature, and a mistake that I had failed to have taken care of at the right time. There was no one else at home, the maids were off and there was no way out of the room. I was cornered. He had timed it properly and waited for the right time to pounce.

Masterstroke. 

‘I’ve not come to ask you why you killed my father. I’m here to seek vengeance’, he said, his voice loud and clear in the close room. 

I knew it was of no use trying to reason with someone who had made up their mind, rather trying to reason with someone who had lost his father because of me. Still, worried about my immediate future I tried to say something but he dismissed me.

‘Please, listen to me! I accept that I was the reason your dad is no more, but it was not my decision. I was forced to carry out the orders from up above!’

He knew that the blame game would start and people would start pin-pointing others. He was prepared for this. But his investigations and sources told him that he had found the right person and that if he spared the culprit tonight, the next day his own life would be at stake. He tried not to listen to what the culprit (I) had to say and wanted to get his work done and leave at the earliest. But then his instincts told him that making this man speak would help him get some more information on the dastardly act that was committed and the injustice that was done to his father. So, after a split-second decision, he gave the culprit a chance to speak.

‘Go on, tell me who all were involved in this!’

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

The Spirit of Chennai!

No one can really be prepared for an emergency. Mainly because we somehow think that in the event of a calamity (god forbid), we will be spared of impact. But does luck favour us every time?

Nope.

Last Tuesday, It started pouring. Continuously. Badly. With Vengeance. The highest ever in over a century. This went on till Friday, forcing all offices to close operations bringing the entire city to a standstill. Streets were water logged and power was out in many places; mostly as preventive measures, network was down and reaching people even through landlines became an issue. Ground floors were badly damaged in many areas, forcing people to move to higher floors and in places where that luxury wasn’t available, they were forced to wait in knee/waist/neck-deep waters till help came by.

My 78 year old Grandmother said this was the worst ever floods she has witnessed in her lifetime. The damage was too much, emotionally and financially. 

Just imagine this. You are forced to live without any dependence on technology, without much human contact, learning to use every drop of water wisely, and being forced to sit in one place because of the difficulty in venturing out. Or even worse, being forced to move to another safer, higher level accommodation under someone’s mercy, leaving behind everything that was yours till a few minutes back. Imagine how it would be when you’re desperately waiting for someone to give you a piece of bread or biscuit or anything palatable. Imagine how it would be to see everything that you saved and built over these years slowly sink in the waters, in front of your eyes.

Image Courtesy : Google (Not mine!)

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Home is where the heart is!

My father had planned for a vacation right after my sister completed her 12th exams. Dad wanted her to chill out after a hectic year of preps and exams and preps and exams. We were in Goa, in a wonderful villa overlooking the sea amidst a beautiful property. It was around the third day of our holiday, when we were relaxing after a para-sailing experience that we noticed my sister was slightly down. When dad asked her what was wrong, she said that she was home-sick. Mom, Dad and I were surprised and did not know how to react, considering that the very people who were at home were present at that moment. She said she liked the holiday but was beginning to miss home. 

Image Courtesy: FreeDigitalPhotos
There was this friend of mine at work who never looked forward to the holidays like how other hostelers do. She had opted for an individual room and though she preferred staying away from the hostel gangs, she was someone who would keep herself occupied some way or the other. She always used to tag along with us city dwellers and despite the considerable distance involved she used to manage and ask us not to worry. She used to come with us for movies and shopping and for anything and everything. Sometimes she used to spend time by herself cooking and reading and inviting us to her place. She maintained her place very well and she took special care in decorating each and every corner. She even told me that she looked forward to spending time in her 1BHK room than her hometown because this place made her comfortable and made her look forward to going home after a hard day’s work.

Home is where the heart is. But is it your home or home away from home?

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

A Spell of Rain, Whose Mischief Couldn’t be Managed!

I really wish I’d received my letter from Hogwarts. I know I would have had to wait for 6 to 7 years to learn to apparate, but at least I would’ve been able to fly on a broom till then. Considering the current road conditions (the small stretch of concrete or tar amidst the potholes), I’d prefer to apparate or fly rather than ride, drive or walk in/on/around Chennai roads.

When my mom warned me about the possible rains in Chennai a week back, I didn’t give that much of a thought. Riding during the first day of the rains turned out to be a very difficult affair with reduced visibility, and with the eyes constantly trying to find a way among the vehicles, pedestrians and water puddles. On top of this, care had to be taken to avoid getting drenched by the water splashes from bigger vehicles, which could have been wonderfully Instragramed through Slow-motion video in my camera. I was skeptical about riding right through the puddles since it proved difficult to guess how deep the puddles were, so I had to avoid all the short-cuts and take the main roads. Somehow I managed to reach office and vowed not to take my two wheeler to work for a few days.
Image Courtesy : FreeDigitalPhotos

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

4 Years and Counting...!

What a journey it's been so far! :-) 

It's been 4 years since I stepped into the corporate world. I remember by first day very well. Mom and Dad dropped me at our Training Center and I stepped into the building with a bunch of documents and a truckload of dreams. And here I am, 4 years later, standing with considerable satisfaction looking back at how things have gone so far, how incredibly lucky I’ve been and looking ahead, looking forward to the rest of the journey.

Image Courtesy : FreeDigitalPhotos
Over the 4 years, I’ve switched between teams and this is my 3rd team.  I’ve jumped to completely different streams, which is not quite common in a predominantly technical oriented organization. I started off as a developer in Java (hey, I am an oracle certified programmer in Java!). After a year of working in Java, as much as I got to learn I got bored because I knew I’d have to keep doing the same thing over and again and I moved to a non-technical role. I had to take up an interview and some written tests and then I was ready to become a Technical writer.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Festive Spirit - Here, There and Everywhere

During the Diwali weekend, I was riding back home from work through the commercial hub of Chennai - T Nagar. As I crossed a flyover, I couldn’t stop to admire the brightly lit buildings. I could sense that festive spirit that was around. Scores of people had descended on the streets of Chennai to shop for themselves and their loved ones. The lights, the noises of the crowd and the 'Sale' signboards everywhere, did add to the festive spirit and from nowhere I had started feeling excited.

Commercialized Celebrations?

Many people cry that a lot of festivities have been commercialized. Considering that they are done to keep customers (citizens) happy, I don’t see what's wrong with that. I get to wear new clothes, make/buy sweets and savouries, watch special programs or movies and burst crackers (depending on my budget). But when you step back and take a look at the big picture, it's about sharing these moments with our loved ones that makes it all the more special. I see it as a way of expressing our love and affection for those around us.  Buying new clothes for the family and extended family, bonding while preparing special sweets or enjoying a good conversation while eating them, bursting crackers with the tiny tots and the elders; all this gives us an opportunity to spend time with our fellow beings, something which we might not be able to do on a daily basis. So on these days, when you have options to pamper your loved ones with stuff apart from your love and affection, what's wrong, I ask.
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