Friday, July 27, 2012

Where was I?

very much here..Buried with work on weekdays and two weekends were spent travelling. I wouldnt say I simply didnt have the time to blog, if I'd been determined to write a post every day as I'd decided in the beginning of the month,I would have done. Once I missed two days due to travel, the mind started making excuses to slip every single day thereafter..But, I need to mention that I was working like crazy this month..There is an impending project milestone and too many issues to tackle at work front..And with two maids bunking and quitting jobs even without informing, took a toll on physical energy too...

It was Guruvayoor one weekend and Kanchipuram, the next..Yes,the trips were for visiting God at various places :) and seeking His Blessings ! We had early morning darshan (Nirmalya Darshan) at 3AM in Guruvayoor for which we queued up at 1:30 AM. The route that we took was pleasant, through the ghat section via Mudumalai and Wayanad district.Spotted few animals on the way..
Kanchipuram trip saw us with a driver who had to be constantly reminded not to doze off and who drove the vehicle at 60kmph when the entire highway had only one vehicle, which was ours. We had planned to visit 4 temples, but could visit only 3 from that list, since the 4th one was closed and there was no clarity on if it would open that evening. It was a day trip and we had not planned to stay over the night. So,came back , but I was upset and pondered over as to why God had decided not to give His darshan that day. My husband,S, is not a temple person, meaning, he doesnt believe in praying to specific God's in specific temples, and I'd almost given up in asking him if we can go visit temples. S told repeatedly that this was the list list of temples (Guruvayoor : S's mom has been asking him to take a trip to Guruvayoor for last close to year and a half or so) that he would accompany in this pursuit of pro-creation. With this being the case, why did God not give His darshan to us that day, when we made this trip after months of debating.

The silver lining in this is I got over my moodiness in considerably short time , after all the voices and conflicts that was ongoing in the mind and heart came out in form of tears..I decided whatever has happened as happened and that I will move on and was praying for strength to accept things that come my way.

And I know that I havent kept up th eone-day-a-post which I thought of trying..Let me see if I can do this at a different time.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Post 6: Where are you from?

Had a very loong day at work today..I actually wanted to leave work-place a liitle early , but exactly how things turn out the opposite whenever I voice out any of my plans, the pattern followed today and I left only after 7PM!

So, I crashed on the bed on reaching home and as I opened the laptop to check emails and stuff, I was finding myself very tired and had nothing to post...Just while I was about to just close blogger, S took out a print out of driving directions on a map, and lo behold, my eyes caught the name of the town I grew up in in the crowded sheet of paper and it felt like as if I have been given some rejuvenated drink and the eyes woke up from sleep right away..and here I'm typing..

I was born at the capital of TamilNadu and we migrated to a nice little town in the center of TN when I was about 8 years old and all my memories of growing up, of being a family , of making friends happened at this place.In fact I lived there continuously for about 8 years and thereafter, college happened, so had to move out of the town , then , work happened and marriage happened, never got to live in the place at a stretch for a longer duration, though I regularly visit my parents there. Whenever people ask which is my native, I never have any second thought in answering the place I come from. When the level of questions go from where your native is to "do all your relatives stay close by? are your grandparents too from the same place etc", I answer in the negative, but cant think of any other place to call my "sontha oor" other than this one..Cant point a finger on one reason or the other, but my "sontha oor" is this textile city..Inspite of S teasing many a times that there are only four roads at my place(dont believe him, Ok, I can proudly say that roads in our town are well maintained all round the year and there are more than 4 roads at a stretch than what S claims :)), and that if people travel via bullock carts and since the railway station is maintained neat and tidy, he claims there is no reason to rejoice or be proud of it as there is hardly one or two trains everyday and passengers alighting and boarding the trains from this station and few..

Even at college, I've had friends make fun of me by calling me a "oor ponnu" and asking various questions ranging from "do people brush their tooth using neem stems". Sometimes, I've come across people from cities who cant even begin to imagine how life is like in a town , down south..They were stunned to figure out that there were certain "unsaid and not-printed" rules both at school and at home for both boys and girls , if they have to mingle ..I have a friend from school-days who didnt and still doesnt refer to me in singular..They have also surprised to hear that even elders give respect to toddlers and little children while interacting with them.

The roots are firmly ingrained and I never give up my "ooru" at any point during any conversation.."Entha naadu endraalum , adhu nam oora pola varuma". Many of us will cherish one place or the other and will have a special corner in our hearts and minds for the place..S, for one has a special love for Chennai .Though he has lived there only for about 10 years or so, and though he doesnt visit now-a-days , his eyes light up at the very mention of Chennai..To each , his own..Places, like people also attract us and  place(s) also become lovable and the soil also loves us back ! Happy weekend!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Post 5: God's particle and such..

Every single time I cut a  banana flower, I get transported to a world filled with wonder and amazement. While I peel one layer after another , the wonder only grows multifold..Atlast, when I reach the tiny little cone piece, I wouldnt have the mind to chop it, and would simply feel happy at merely looking at it with no specific reason at all.. The thought process while I'm engaged with the act of chopping include , in no specific order :- "How did the banana flower get formed? ie, who or how was it created or came into existence for the first time? Look at the layers, how was it decided that it would be formed in this manner. salute to Mother Nature!etc".Marvelling at this piece of creation has become a common routine with me..I agree that there are innumerable(in fact, every single creation, every single stuff on earth is a marvel only!)  creations which induce curiosity, which gives us joy on merely taking a look ,gives us peace within .  But, for me, I've come to realize that this simple act of chopping a banana flower provokes a flood of thought and gives a sense of calm by diverting my thoughts towards a supreme force/mother nature..I get a child-like enthusiasm , though for fleeting time, to have a desire to know how it was first formed..During this period, the theory of evolution and all that science is pushed behind and somehow the belief of existence of a greater power sets within my mind.
I think I'm rambling here, sitting and typing out after  chopping a banana stem. Though it was stem today, my thoughts were towards its cousin, the flower and  so am I rambling here..
Newspapers and news websites are filled with news about the discovery of God's particle. Is'nt every creation a God's particle?

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Post 4: The crest, trough and the median..

Let me do some career/work/work place related post today..

When I began my career, like the thousands of fresh graduates who join the work force, I was also very ambitious, full of energy and all set and willing to put in the hard work to learn, earn and grow up in the ladder..I have put in many late-nights while I was single and even after I got married, I made sure to give in as much as I could without disturbing my personal life to a big extent. Along the way, I also started comparing myself against my peers, my batchmates, the competition grew bigger and tougher, politics was being played at the work-place.

 At a certain stage, there used to be so much of talk/discussion/gossip about how one person is being paid more while he/she doesn't do half the work that the other does, how the manager is favoring a certain individual, how tactically that one needs to project their achievements  when it comes to appraisal, how one needs to convince the manager , how we'll have to fight it out or in better words, how one needs to play it smart to move up the chain..Added to all this is when a new person joins the team , how certain work is allotted to the person which is not given to another who has stayed in the team for a longer duration, and how much people who are recruited are paid more while employees loyally working for the team are given peanuts would be the talk/buzz in the team ..While  the work  environment being filled with such not-so-obvious-but-still-something-hovering-around atmosphere, it is quite natural that any employee would be dragged into such talks and thoughts of all these would keep lingering in the mind even after office-hours..It required great amount of strength, grit and a strong I-know-what-I-want-from-work clarity of mind to stay away and to not let these affairs at work not affect an employee..Since I didnt belong to the above category, obviously, I fell in the trap and also got the opportunity to see that side of the coin..Though everything would look perfect from outside, each team member was recording  instances when he/she helped another team member and brought this up while giving feedback ..There are a few who would act smart and talk technical stuff only when the manager is in vicinity and try to put down others, there are some who would do the same job allotted to you and always try to compete with you and prove that he could do the same job faster than you..Since I was also in the rat-race trying to move along, all these used to trouble me so much and I used to wonder if I should also behave tactically. But , soon I realsied that I couldnt, it only increased my frustration..
I also have to mention here that while working under the same environmental conditions described above, I've also had instances where I've excelled, not once or twice, but many times..I've tried my hand at innovation, writing /publishing papers, handling multiple responsibilities, mentoring , deep diving and becoming an expert in a paritcular domain..I've also experienced phase where things were not just going my way, the code broke down, i sought help from my team member, a particular issue was blown out,I was pointed fingers at..I've also had the experience of getting up from the fall, re-proving my skills and talent..

When things were going well, naturally, I was happier, was motivated, worked harder. when things were not good, it affected my confidence levels (this happened when I was undergoing personal crisis as well,), my self-esteem was at its low, and it affected my mental and physical health..having gone through the crest and trough, I've realised , its not worth the pain..meaning, taking work way too seriously , having the burning desire to compete and win, always aiming for that promotion or hike doesnt help or work out in the long run and doesnt give much returns back to you..That doesnt mean, I believe in staying relaxed, not meeting deadlines, not doing a good job at work..For the last one year , I've been trying to have a equanimous state of mind, when it comes to work and work-place.

I go to work, trying to learn , trying to contribute my best, doing a good job at what I do..I dont anymore care about what others think about my skill-set (earlier, when there was an instance when my work wasnt upto the mark, which I've mentioned earlier, I felt so bad about myself..I was more concerned about what others would think about my skills and when people made remarks , it hurt me badly and I was in self-doubt).I'm not  a super-duper genius and I accept that there are many  technical aspects in my domain that I do not know and I'm ready to learn if my job demands it..Especially now, the worries about career growth, competing with others dont bother me..I only try to set goals for myself and try to achieve them..With this state of mind, I'm contended than before .Touch wood and kala Tikka!!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Post 3: How time flies..especially faster on weekends

Yes, during my everyday ritual of blog-hopping the various blogs that I've book-marked, came across this recent post by the multi-talented blogger Preeti Shenoy :   as to how weekends pass by within a wink of an eye..

Yes, especially ever since I changed jobs last year, being busy , very busy during weekdays make me do all the other house-hold stuff, shopping etc only on weekends . And weekends also are the only time I get to sleep late and wake up very late in the mornings and by the time lunch is over, it gets past 12, and you dont want to hurry up- ie, conscioulsy make sure you dont do things in a hurry..So, relax after food, and if there is any post-office /bank chore that needs to be done, you better run before they close in early in the only day that you get to catch hold of them..
Even otherwise, considering the traffic in Bangalore , and consideirng S and I who hate driving or shopping when the crowd is at its peak, its better we start in the early hours of evening..So, day of the weekend is gone even before you realised it started..Sleep late and wake up late the next day..Do the lunch stuff, and have a good hair massage and hair wash only to have a good and a much wanted nap in the noon, wake up to get the opportunity to try out some evening tiffin , read a book, reply back emails, surf, and start thinking about Monday morning and yet another week at work!

Why cant we be given a mid-week holiday or atleast half a day off in the middle of the week, just to take a break..A topic for another post as to how organizations really allow "flexi-time" and work from home options and  my take on those later..

Monday, July 2, 2012

Post -2: Astro

not about astronauts or astro physics..This post is about astrology and the effect that it has on me..
I dont remember believing too much on astrology or horoscope reading while growing up. Neither do I remember seeing my mom doing such consultations..Both my parents are God-fearing, spiritual and religious. Our association with astrology started before my wedding , more specifically when the alliance of S came to my parents..The astrologers words were taken very seriously once he did the match of S's and mine and the rest is history...There were many obstacles before S and I were united, but finally, we tied the knot.In hindsight, I'm not sure whether to call it destiny or whether to believe in horoscope reading and astrology..And I'm still not decided, even now..

Ever since, our families have consulted so many astrologers that I 've stopped counting the number. May be, just for the sake of recording and to read about all these years later, I need to document the names and the circumstances that led us to these astrologers..And the total that we have paid for astrology section of our lives so far is huge .(If S reads this, he would say: You are talking as if these astrologers forced you to consult with them..Its your fool hardiness and you pay price for it!..Hmm I agree with you S, but..there is always a big BUT..) .Ok, back to the main topic..

A little over our first wedding anniversary, my mom took out the horoscopes of mine and S and sent it to her sister to find out when we would become parents. The man looked into our future and had advised my chitti to ask us to try and conceive sooner, else we might face issues for the next year and a half..This was duly conveyed to my mom and it so happened that the same cycle my periods got delayed and my mom started pestering me to consult a Dr , for which I didn't budge and so she called up my MIL to take me to the Dr. This created a mini drama in the house and all came to rest in about a few days time ..Phew!!

Now, after a few months, I miscarried for the first time and I was in such a state after the unfortunate event that even if someone came before me and said I'm God incarnate or I can tell your future by reading your palm, I would have accepted and obliged..Such was my mental state at that time!! So, I also played along with the astro consultation and checked with my parents every now and then as to what each person had to say. The ever curious relatives got hold of our horoscopes and went about their consultations as well (a few joined along with my MIL and a few took the sheets and told that they would visit the person and let the mil know later)..If someone would tell about the miscarriage without us prompting or asking anything, then, my trust towards them increased ..So, one after another, every consultant started giving prophecies of a time line, a window from one month to another month, started giving suggestions of temples, poojas (pariharams) to be performed, and so it went on..I waited, as days passed by, the timeline that each one would give also moved in the future..I miscarried the second time and now, we started moving out of cocoon and started looking astrologers outside our "regulars" . One of my colleagues suggested an astrologer in Mysore whom she consults regularly (once-in a month, that is). Now, I took a DD , and the consultation happened over phone. He is a little different from those who suggest "Go to this temple, do this pooja" types..He suggested keeping away some portion (a handful ) of pulses which he suggested every day and when the quantity is equivalent that it can be donated, give it away in temple or offer it to cow or if these two are not possible, just throw away (the concept is you are trying to put away your sins using these pulses which go away from your hand..Just that they should not stay with you) ..There were many curious well-wishers who claimed that they knew one person or the other who professed accurately for them or to their relatives ..The list went on and its a different blog post about how S and I ended up fighting every day with me trying to force him to visit temples with me and he asking logical questions and calling me a fool to go behind these so called people who claim to know the future..

I miscarried the third time and now, its time for serious look at whats going wrong..Now, I have to mention this: I called up the Mysore astrologer from the hospital when I was recuperating (because he told that I wouldnt miscarry any further) and told him about the event and asked him that things have happened the opposite of what he said..He replied back telling I asked you to try conceiving after March and why I'd panned to conceive before that (It was december then) , for which I replied he didnt specifically mention anything of that kind and thereafter there was no point in arguing or extending the conversation with him, for I was in the hospital bed and helpless..

Now, my  mother starts to consult with astrologers who appear in Television, who write in magazines . My aunts family suggest an astrologer whom they consulted for their 38 year old niece and she got married after doing the pariharam that he suggested. Another nephew of my aunt got married after following his suggestion (looks like they have been searching for a bride for a long time and it clicked only after they did whatever pariharam this astrologer told). My dad went there and I also did what I was asked to do! The most recent one I consulted has suggested a couple of temples for us to visit (thankfully all in the same place) and infact put his foot down and sounded so positive that he called me for a bet and proclaimed that I would have a biological child very soon..I'm waiting to see if his prophecy would come true..

Ok..After these experiences, I'm ambivalent about my attitude towards astrology and astrologers..While I do agree and accept that not every one of them who have a board or claim themselves to be future predictors are not true and at the same time, I also know quite a few of them who have benefitted from this future-prediction stuff..Many of my relatives have found an astrologer for themselves (whom they call "enga veettu josiya karar" similar to family deity!!)  who tend to help them in tough times or warn them appropriately..Why is it that I havent found one for ourselves even after such a long search? Is it that the time of our births is not correct and that the reason whats happening and whats been told by these people are not matching? Whenever my mother visits an astrologer,I've even asked her to tell that we are unsure about the exact time, but somewhere in this 1/2 hour window..Is this whole thing true? is it a science? As much as we believe in God, there are a few who cliam that it is God who has created this shastra and that this is blessed by the Divine himself..As much as I want to move away from this whole stuff, there is some part of me which still feels and thinks that if it can come true to so many of them, then, why cant I be shown the way. If this parihaaram and all that is true, then, why does God want us to come to a particular temple, do the pooja so that we 'll be cured of our sins or reduce the effect of our bad karma? What do people of other faith/religion do? Is there a similar concept in other religions also? Do you believe in astrology? Whats your take?

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Give it a Try what I'm thinking right now..Try what? Try out writing one post every day of this month..I've gone  aww  at many bloggers whom I visit regularly when they have participated in this blogathon and have posted interesting posts all through the said month..I'm not sure if I can write interesting posts ,but nevertheless, I'm going to atleast try and write one post every day this month..On days that I'm out of town and dont have access to internet, probably I can excuse myself, but otherwise, let me give it a try..

29th of June was spent deciding whether to do the loong pending trip to Guruvayoor this weekend or postpone the trip to the next weekend..S decided that we would do the trip the next weekend and I agreed too..Rather, I also felt somewhere in some corner that we would do the trip the next weekend...But, as time flew by, my monkey like mind started changing and I started thinking if we should do it this week itself..By the time S came home, it was quite late and he was quite pissed that I never stand by any decision..But, I had my own reasons why I wanted to do the trip this weekend..So, Saturday, 30th of June was spent over brooding in the initial part of the day, later, went to post office to do the PPF stuff which was also loong pending..Then, from I Nagar, we took the Metro to MG Road , then walked to Com-Street.. The Metro was surprisingly less crowded than the other weekends that we've traveled.. We are looking to do a cover for the Sony as its accumulating dust, our intention of going to Com-St was to buy some material with which we can get the cover stitched..Only after we checked a couple of stores, I realized that we already have a bundle of material , which could be used..So, we went around aimlessly towards Safina Plaza where some art and craft exhibition was going on and picked up some beaded jewellery..God knows when I'm gonna use them..

Anyways, the purchase was made and we also bought some figs and star fruits from a vendor there and proceeded to 1 MG Road, the new mall on the junction of Trinity circle..(I'm on a spree trying different varieties of fruits..It started with S buying litchies and plums on Thursday, 28th June) Other than the usual branded stores that we see in every other mall, we proceeded directly to the Food Hall..Picked up blue-berries, peaches, droolled over the other exotic fruits from different countries , some veggies, tortilla chips , ate mini pizza, spinach and mushroom quiche and mushroom calzone..The calzone is simply not worth trying one another time, it was just a bun, which costed us 70 bucks..We almost came outside the mall, only to go back again to Hagen Dazs icecream parlour inside the mall..S and I shared a banana split with vanilla, chocolate and strawberry ice-creams ..Yummmm it was..It was the first time I am having a taste of this brand of ice-cream and now I'm in Loveee with it!! A little steeply priced, but the quality is awesome..I never thought I would like Vanilla flavour soo much!!
After relishing the ice-cream, we called it a day and returned back home!

At the end of the day (and when while we were aimlessly walking in Commercial Street), I couldnt help but think about  my colleague  (and many like her , some of my accquaintances , relatives included..) who will visit Comm Street or any shopping area almost every week, not to purchase, but for time-pass and generally look at what each shop has in store, etc..I wonder how they have the patience and the interest they have in window shopping..Kudos to them..I feel its a skill by itself to have the interest in engaging in window-shopping..