Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Virtual Friends - Life today!

Hello blog friends!!! How many friends do you "really" have? You say 20? 40?100? Well, I have none! Surprised?  Let me explain. I have at least 200 "so called friends". But when it comes to friends who will be there for me through thick and thin, it boils down to zero! You know, living in the United States I have learnt that it's not worth making efforts to put time into building a friendship. Specially if you are married with children. Everyone has their own schedule, with kids activities,work, hobbies, etc. and trying to coordinate events together is a nightmare. Therefore, people like me have now turned to digital social networking. Thanks to Facebook, Blogs, Twitter, Myspace etc., it's easy to connect with people from the comforts of one's home. It is this age of great digital connections, we increasingly find ourselves clinging to illusions of intimacy, adrift in a sea of anonymity. The support is instant and unconditional.  This reinforces the fact that you don't have to necessarily meet someone face-to-face in order to form a true and lasting bond. Many deep friendships are made online. They never have seen each other except for photos or on webcam.  These lasting relationships withstand time and distance. It happens everyday. It has happened to me. Have you experienced this? Has anyone online changed your life ?

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Flirting - A good thing?

"I know milk does good for the body but DAMN how much did you drink? "
"Can’t wait until tomorrow, because I bet that you get more and more beautiful everyday"
"Are you tired? Because you’ve been running through my mind all day."

These are some flirtatious one liners that some of you might have heard before.

Hi friends, have you noticed that flirts are more popular then non flirts?  Flirting can be fun if done with finesse. It requires a carefree heart. Everyone enjoys a little attention every now and then. Flirting is one way of giving another person some well deserved attention. Flattery is the best form of flirting. It's nice to know that your perfectly manicured nails are looking beautiful to someone. You feel appreciated. You automatically blush. It's natural I think. There are advantages to flirting too. I was at a doctor's office one day to treat pigmentation of skin on my face. The young, good looking Doc. asked me my name. He complimented me by saying my name suits me so much. We followed this up with a nice 30 minute chat. Not only did I get to know my Doc. a little better, I saved $200.00 that day. Nice! He gave me a sample of the cream that he prescribed. He said he only gave it to the patients he really liked. Hey, worked for me!. The pigmentation is still there tough. That's another story. I have noticed that both married and single people flirt. Those shy smiles, playing with hair, raising eyebrows, fluttering eyelashes, rubbing arms are all subtle ways of flirting. It can be good as long as the other person is also enjoying it. There is a fine line between flirting and being annoying. The men who whistle and ogle at women and pass nasty remarks are more of eve teasers. Please! Leave that for the road side romeos. Flirting has to be done with a certain class. It requires skill. With skill you can make it very enjoyable. I am sure most women would agree with me. I have seen men enjoy it too
So, flirt a little. It will only make someone's day!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Spring in full bloom - My rose garden!

Most women would love to receive a bouquet of roses from their loved ones. I am one of them. As a student in college I was lucky to receive roses from some good souls of the opposite sex. I saved it till the flowers got dry and withered away. The perfume lingered for so many days. I remember feeling sad to have finally had to throw them out. Even today, I can't stand to part with those beautiful flowers. I had a dream to one day have a rose garden of my own! Therefore I decided to only plant rose plants in my garden. The plants  are so low maintenance and give me so much satisfaction when they bloom to the fullest. The 3 colors I have in my garden are Red, Coral and and Lavender. We all know Red rose is associated with romance, love, beauty, courage and respect. Had to have this color. Coral happened to my garden by accident. I bought the plant from the store thinking that it was yellow (my fav. color). Only after I got the first bloom I realized that it was coral. What a lovely color! I can't imagine my garden without it. Coral stands for desire. Hm mm, all of us have desires correct? I had to have one unique colored rose in my garden so I can say "neighbors envy, owners pride". It has definitely served that purpose. Even passers by stop and look at these attention drawing flowers. They scream love at first sight, enchantment. This is just the beginning. I hope to add more colors to my rose garden. I am fortunate. Today, I still receive these beauties from my beloved husband. A big thanks to all those who have presented me roses so far in my life. If not for you, I would not be a proud owner of a beautiful rose garden!

Friday, May 20, 2011

"High" on Alcohol?

Karan Johar’s movie: Kabhi Kushi Kabhie Gum
Dunkard’s take : Kabhi Wishkey Kabhie Rum.
I have never understood a drunkard. What does it mean to be ‘high’ on Alcohol? A friend explained it to me.  He says one tends to relax when you consume alcohol.  According to him it should be a mandatory "add-on" to a party. That’s when the people in the party “really” feel comfortable and open up. I can relate it to sharing a cup of coffee or tea with a group of friends. The stories that I have heard over a cup of coffee range from hilarious, sad, horrific to scandalous. I am sure most of the Hindi movie plots gave birth over a cup of coffee. Karan Johar has so rightly named his show Koffee with Karan. The question arises - Do you really need alcohol to chill? My friend and I who do not drink can talk about anything under the sun at any time if the group is known to us. I think for some people alcohol acts like a catalyst to bring out the ‘silliness’ in them. We have to agree, that the more a person is being different/silly, the more attention he/she attracts and it is enjoyable at times when the mood calls for it. It is that special ingredient in that alcoholic drink that causes this “high”. Enjoyable to some but dangerous to all. Let it not be an addiction. So my dear friends, next time you want to know someone’s deep, dark secrets invite the friend(???) for a cup of coffee instead of an alcoholic drink because drinking is dangerous to health! Coffee they say has lot of healthy benefits.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Chocolate - Havenly bliss or Sinful indulgence?

Let's face it, we all LOVE chocolate! The rich brown, creamy, sweet square is a quick fixer upper for broken hearts, broken friendships, foul moods ... you got it! It leaves us crying for more every time we start eating a small piece. Yes, it becomes a sinful indulgence sometimes when we realise we just finished a whole bar of chocolate under 5 minutes. Chocolatete here today --- Gone today! I am guilty of that too. But guess what? Who cares? It made me feel extremely good when there was no one else or nothing else to soothe me. I chose it as an act of intelligence I would say. No sunshine? No problem. There is chocolate. Always! Simply put, everyone has an addiction. Mine is chocolate. Don't count calories when you eat it. Just enjoy the moment. I visited a chocolate factory once. It's amazing how the bitter cocoa beans finally turns into this amazing piece of  bliss called chocolate. Every once in a way go ahead and indulge in this simple pleasure of life. It has helped me maintain my sanity. Hope it helps you too!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Train "Yaatra"

"kripaya dhyaan de dilli se mumbai aani waali gadi platform number baarah ke badle platform number chattiis pe aayegii..aayegii ..."

I had the pleasure of embarking upon  a train journey in India couple of years ago. My friend Sujatha and I were to take a late night train from Bangalore to Mangalore. We had booked a first class AC tier. We arrived at the railway station an hour early for the 9:30 PM train. I was taking in the typical Indian platform scene with elan. I was so excited to be a part of the liveliness of the station. The routine loudspeaker announcements regarding arrivals, departures, coolies carrying luggage, etc., continued almost non-stop. People were so busy trying to reach their destinations, that being pushed and shoved did not matter to them.  Part and parcel of the whole station experience I guess.  It’s only later when they get home to find out their wallet is missing that they realize that they should have paid attention to the people who were pushing them. One of them might have been a pick-pocket. The Shatabdi arrived on time. My friend and I found our “bogie’ and quickly settled down in our AC Coupe nothing less than a private hotel room. I was impressed! Soon the Express chugged away. The aroma of homemade sambar and rice quickly filled the compartment. We knew it was dinner time.  We missed the chatter that was going on outside our Coupe.  We decided  that to fully experience the train yaatra, we should travel by 2 Tier AC. We did just that on our way back to Bangalore. After the confusion of seating was finally resolved by a stubborn and arrogant ticket collector, we decided to introduce ourselves to the inquisitive families who were staring at us with great curiosity. Two of them turned out to be engineering students. Fun loving girls of today's generation.  They knew exactlly what they wanted for themselves. My friend and I immediately connected to their hilarious and brave adventures in college as we are ex engineering students ourselves.  Vendors came in selling all kinds of goodies.  One vendor even allowed me to use his mobile for free. I bought some cream biscuits from him and quickly saw a smile on his face. The biscuits worked well with “garma garam chai" that we drank out of an earthen pot.  Only wish we had a pack of cards at that point. Nonetheless we settled for “Antakshari”. After playing Antakshari for an hour or so, we decided to call it a night. We had to climb up to the second birth to our respective beds.  It was a pleasant journey. Ours was the last stop. We woke up when the train slowly pulled into the busy Bangalore railway station at the crack of dawn. I want to go again on a longer journey sometime in the near future. Till then, here is wishing you all a “Sukhad yaatra”…

Monday, May 09, 2011

Shahrukh Khan - King of Bollywood

Anyone who knows me can tell you that I adore Shahrukh Khan (SRK). He has reached such heights now that people lovingly call him King Khan and rightly so. He has worked very hard to earn this tile. SRK is a self made man. I remember  first seeing him on TV (Doordarshan days) when I was in 12th grade. He was acting in a serial called “Fauji”.  Instantly fell in love with him. The perfect man that I had painted for me in my brains. His energy lit the screen every time he appeared. It was like magic. It lifted my spirits instantly. By the time he started acting in hindi movies, I was married to my real life SRK and was here in the US. DDLJ had become a super duper hit and SRK had become a hero. I did not even know about it. Those days I could not get easy access to bollywood movies. Baazigar was the first full fledged SRK movie I saw on VHS tape. Inspite of it being a bad copy of the movie I enjoyed it. I decided to watch Kuch Kuch Hota Hai on big screen. What a wise decision it was. I fell in love with SRK again! The dimpled darling had won my heart with his romantic “andaaz”, head full of silky hair and those beautiful brown eyes, the kind that you can look into and feel like you are lost. Every movie after that, this man has emoted so well that he had, has and will always remain my standard for romance. SRK Ishstyle! He is a great example of balancing family and professional life. Man with dignity. Got to love his witty interviews. Always comes out a winner! He shares his Birthday month with me. Maybe it has got to do with that. We Scorpios rule the world he.he.  SRK is also the perfect family man. Had the perfect fairy tale marriage. Today we see an aged (early no?) SRK (thanks to his puffing habit - yikes!). The fan following is increasing by the minute. I will always be an eternal SRK fan. So, catch you at the movies. Ra.one anybody? (Interesting)!!!

Sunday, May 08, 2011

What is in a name?

"What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet."

It was the happiest moment of my life! My first son was born on January 27th, 1997. Time came to name him. I was so lost. We wanted a name that was short, unique, easy to pronounce, had good meaning and  was modern all at the same time. We had a list of names that took us months (9 to be precise he he) to prepare. Yet, we could not decide on that ONE name for this cutest little bundle of joy that was now staring at me with those innocent eyes, as if telling me "you better not screw this up for me". At that time my parents were with me to help me with post delivery recovery. My Dad then narrated the above mentioned quote by Shakespeare to me. It made complete sense to me then. So we named my son "Sanil" means "gifted" a name given to him by his Grandma. Well, luckily as he grew up, we realized that he liked his name too! But many times I have seen that people do not really like the name given to them by their parents. It either makes or breaks a person. This was captured very clearly in the movie "The Namesake". I have noticed that people with modern names tend to get noticed more. For example a person with a modern name like Samaira is more likeable than a traditional name like Padmalatha. How many times have we seen Indian movie starts have a different screen name than their real name? There is a reason for that. Popularity with the audience. Now people changing their names based on numerology for "luck" is a whole different ball game. All I am saying is the next time you want to name someone think twice! I LOVE my name. Do you like your's? Please let me know.

Friday, May 06, 2011

Bollywood Music and Generation Gap

Time and again we hear “Old is Gold”.  In my opinion when it comes to Bollywood songs, neither are old songs gold nor does the gold glitter. I simply think when people say “Old is Gold” it reflects the generation that they belong to.  They are basically stuck in time. My Grandparents talked about K. L. Saigal & Samshad begum , my parents - Mohammed Rafi & Lata Mangeshkar,  My husband - (now that’s another story), my children – Mika and Hard Kaur.  “Old school “, like they say here in the US. I am not saying Old songs are bad. I think it is important to keep ourselves current and involved with what is happening today while we keep enjoying songs of our times.  I have heard older people criticize the newer songs.  Songs of today are equally good. The lyrics are fantastic and many of them have the capability of elevating your mood instantly. People accuse music directors of using computers to alter the voice quality of a singer or the tone of the instruments. So what? The end product is what counts.  A R Rahman is a great  example of that.  He has been widely criticized in India for the syncretic mix of modern and traditional Indian instruments. He went on to receive an Oscar award. Trying something new is a good thing for all of us in any field. Otherwise the world would be stagnant.  Every music director/singer wants their song to be a “hit” in the end.  So, Kudos to music directors like  Anu Malik and Pritam! Keep doing what you are doing. Like they say “Nakal so bhi Akal ki zarrorat hai”. And those  remixed, revitalized songs? Why not? I love them! Old wine in new bottle types.  If it makes you happy listen to it!

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Indian Restaurants in the U.S.

Sardar Gusse se: Waiter, Chicken Biryani mein Chicken kyon nahi hai?
Waiter: Sahib, Gulab Jamun mein kaunsa Gulab hota hai?
Sardar: Oh, Ok.

Such is the plight of the Indian restaurants here in the US here. Over rated, high priced, glorified places serving garbage. The "Goras" fall for it and are prepared to pay for the so called "ambiance" that these restaurants provide. For them it is an "experience" that they can now share with their colleagues at work. "Oh, it was so spicy! How do the Indians use their hands to eat? Is every dish called Curry? The meatballs were yummy (they are referring to Gulab Jamun here) are some of the common comments that I have heard so far. I always tell them to visit India and eat at the Dabhas for the "real" Indian experience. he.. he.. There is more to India than the Taj Mahal. Don't get me started on the whole "Yoga" experience. That's a whole new post!

Monday, May 02, 2011

Front Benchers Vs. Back Benchers

I know what you are thinking. I must have been a back bencher in class. No, I was not. I was a front bencher wanting to be a back bencher. The BB's made you feel like you missed out in life if you were not a BB. We passed chits to students next to us. That was fun. The little surprise message in the chit was always exciting.  I have heard a lot of BB stories. Some funny and some horrifying. I have seen BB's being punished too! At that time I did not think it was cool at all. But now that I have grown up, I think I have understood that it is part of growing up and somewhere I regret not having done those type of silly things. The same BB's today are doing very well for themselves. It was not that they did not study or wasted their time. It was about being part of a group that wanted to have a little bit of fun in the otherwise serious life of a student. Some plain, simple fun is not all bad as our elders make it out to be. In fact, I think it is healthy. It teaches you how to come out of a difficult situation that you are in with the teachers and your parents. They did get punished. Of course, looking at it from the teachers point of view would mean something else altogether.

Wonder what happens these days in schools and colleges. I can only imagine. Passing chits sounds so passe now. With the ever growing social network sites and cell phones it might be more serious. Like they say everything is moderation is good. In my opinion, so is a little "masti" as a BB.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Visit to the Creek - a perfect Bollywood location

It was a nice day outside. Just came back after visiting a creek with some close friends. This was my first time visiting a creek. I have been passing this spot for 10 years now. Every time I visited my friend who lives close by. The thought of stopping never occurred to me till my friend casually suggested it. I had no idea how creeks could be such a nice spot for a Sat. afternoon picnic. The sound of the slight movement of water was so calming. For people who love water, it is the next best thing to being at the beach without the crowd that normally spoils the whole beach experience. The slight breeze touched your face oh! so lightly. Perfect romantic getaway. I was imagining Shahrukh Khan romancing a young Saree clad heroine. There were beautiful strong trees too around the lake. In a few weeks these trees would would be at their Spring time best with full bloom. My friend and I became little kids again when we saw water and stones together. Yep, we started to throw them in the water and enjoyed the spirals that they created. Unfortunately, we did not have much time to spare.  Families could come out and have some fun here. We decided to invite more people next time so we could have an official cook out.