Tuesday, March 29, 2005


A lot of my friends are moving on to a new phase in their lives. Some are getting married, some are moving to new places, some are starting a new job; the common thing that faces all of them is change.

Everytime I encountered something new, I used to panic: new people, new places, new customs and norms; the very high learning curve in all areas; the feeling of being the "outsider" in a land of natives. I never got any mollycoddling. If a school bully harassed me at a new place, I used to run to my dad crying. He used to say that I should take care of it myself. Not much comfort when you are totally scared and want someone to take care of you badly ( I used to wish I had an elder brother)!! Of course, now all that seems ridiculous and trivial. But back then, it was of paramount importance. In retrospect, I think my dad's approach was the best.

I remember the number of times when I had to learn stuff the hard way just because I was new to a place. It hurt; it was painful and not at all welcome. But it taught me to adapt and to learn. It taught me that no matter how difficult a situation is at first, it gets better as time goes on. There's no place on this earth that you can hate forever and nor are there people whom you can despise always.

Change is scary. But I've found that it is the tool that forces us to confront new things and master them. Without change, we are doomed to be static beings. Changes and problems call forth our wisdom and courage. Pain is the precursor to progress.

I am not that wise or old enough to give out suggestions. But, those out there fearing where life will lead them in the near future, you can discover new lands only if you lose sight of the shore. All the Best.

"The tree that never had to fight
For sun and sky and air and light,
But stood out in the open rain
And always got its share and rain,
Never became a forest king
But lived and died a scrubby thing...
Good timber does not grow with ease,
The stronger wind, the stronger trees."

Friday, March 25, 2005

I think...

"Loneliness and the feeling of being unwanted is the most terrible poverty."- Mother Teresa.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

I think we become less embarassed as we get older. If we live long enough, I suppose we'll all become "soranai ketta janmams". Stuff that used to embarass me when I was younger fails to do so now.
Anyways, there were lllooooots times in my life when all I wanted to do was bury my head in the sand and wish that I'd just vanish off the face of the earth! One thing I really vividly remember was an incident in high school. I had just started Grade 11 in Vancouver. I was kind of like a "thiruvizhala tholanja ponnu" (kid lost in a fair). A guy called Dennis and I used to have a lot of classes together. He used to guide me through a lot of stuff and put up with me a lot(You wouldn't believe that I didn't even know how to get to classes right because they had a complicated block system..)!
One day, after class, he came upto me and asked me if I'd like to go to dinner with him that night. I was so ignorant of such things at that time and the uppermost thing in my mind at that point was that I never get veggie food if I go out in Canada. I casually replied: "Sorry Dennis, I eat only vegetarian food." He had a puzzled look on his face and said that it was okay with him. The fool that I was, I still didn't get his meaning and I was like, "you might want to eat meat but I don't". He simply looked confounded and told me that I could give him an answer tomorrow.
When i was going home that day, I confided in my friend M. I told her casually that I told Dennis I didn't eat non-vegetarian food. She was shell shocked and started rolling on the ground with laughter, "You idiot, he is asking you out on a date and here you go talking something else!! I can only picture the look on his face." Well, I was so embarassed about my gaffe that I wanted to just vanish off the face of the earth that night! I thought I'd just burn with embarassment if I even saw Dennis the next day and was picturing what a laugh he must be having with his friends about my stupidity! And I was even more petrified because he was a good friend of mine and I thought he'd not even talk to me after this.
Well, the next day, he came to my locker at lunch with a big grin on his face. He asked me if I was ready to get some vegetarian food. I said no anyways but we remained good friends till I left high school.
Then, I thought I'd never live it down.Looking back, I think it was really funny and pretty interesting. Of course, I had many more such gaffes but more on that later...

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Yesterday night, K was talking about his friends network. He said that almost every other person his friends know happens to be his classmate/friend/acquaintance either through school or college. How lucky! I've never been in one school for more than 4 years. I've been in and out of all sorts of places-cities/towns/mofussils.Sometimes places challenge you to change your perspective. The one thing I always used to hate about moving was that I had to adjust and make friends all over again. The change (at that time) was painful but in retrospect, very interesting and rewarding. I've had all sorts of experiences and got to meet different people,places and cultures.
I guess the downside is that I can't talk about friends' friends and school alumni like Kay does. I always used to feel envious when two totally unrelated people started talking casually and suddenly they'd say, "hey, unakku avanai theriyuma? namma senior.."..I think that's a great feeling.
There are lots of people who envy me and say they'd rather have spent their childhood traveling than be in one place. I guess the grass is always greener on the other side.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Get "Hitch"ed!

My friend and I went to see "Hitch" yesterday. Guess it was a way of celebrating Women's Day. Really enjoyed the movie. Will Smith plays the "Date Doctor" who knows all about women. Helps guys who are otherwise shy get their dream girls. Eva Mendes is Sarah Melas, a gossip columnist. The movie sort of reminded me of "How to lose a guy in 10 days". Eva Mendes didn't look all that hot but Will Smith positively lights up the screen with his presence.
The dialogues were awesome. Some dialogues that made me sit up, giggle and take notice:
"Don't ever lie, steal or cheat; but if you must, lie in the arms of your beloved; if you must steal, steal your lover's heart; if you must cheat, cheat death;"

"Without guile or a game, there is no woman. To win a woman, you have to have a game, a plan;"

"Women always think they know all they want to know in the first kiss;"

There were a lot of other good ones that I forgot. But anyway, you can get "Hitch"ed to the movie for a good 2 hours and not know time passing by. But does this happen in real life? Would be cool if it did but I think not....

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Why are men uncomfortable with powerful women??! I've seen this syndrome from middle school till now. For some reason, men tend to view women who are smart, independent and quite willing to take a few knocks as haughty, proud and shrewish. In fact, these sort of comments in college corridors used to drive me mad. Another thing I found was that if a girl doesn't cry in response to some problem, then she is considered a shrew. And somehow, men derive satisfaction and are willing to help the same girl when she breaks down under stress. It is as if men prefer women to be vulnerable, helpless and dependent! Hillary Clinton was viewed as a bitch till she accepted and played the role of a victim of Bill's philandering. And she won a seat to the senate just on that score! Ditto with Martha Stewart. Somehow, going to jail has softened her bitchy image and made her more palatable.
And another thing I find often is that men find disorganized, scatterbrained (at least a bit) and tantrum-throwing girls much more attractive than a very cool, organized and independent girl. If a girl intones in a overly honey sweet voice over the phone that she can't drive her car to the supermarket because she is such a horrible driver and she can't get her shopping done without him, a guy will drop every important thing he has to do and rush over to her help. But if the same girl tells him in a cool voice that she is going to shop at the supermarket, she could pick him up and would appreciate some help, the guy is probably going to refuse.
Beat that!

Saturday, March 05, 2005


Someone asked me which book deeply influenced me. My first brush with books was way back when I was in the fourth grade. I came across my dad's classic edition of Bulfinch's Greek Mythology. I was thoroughly fascinated with stories of vengeful gods, goddesses, romantic trysts, heroic deeds. In Purasawalkam, Chennai, there was a lending library called Kumaran's. I remember reading a LOT of comics from there (Mickey Mouse, Amar Chitra Katha, Tintin, Archie etc..) Then I chanced upon Mario Puzo's Sicilian. Not that I understood anything from it when I was some 9 years old but nonetheless I plodded on for some pages before I threw it away in disgust! Then came a period of Enid Blytons. I really enjoyed the Secret Seven stories. After that, it was Agatha Christie for a while (and still is , in some respects). Of course, later I branched on to other books.
But if there was one book that really fired up my imagination and encouraged my reading, I should say it is K.M. Munshi's Krishnavatara. I chanced upon it over a summer vacation. I started reading with not much idea. Till then, Lord Krishna was a distant, awe-inspiring god prone to take revenge if I didn't say my daily prayers dutifully (and not eat my vegetables properly!). I guess this book changed my entire perspective about Krishna and his life. Written in simple style, lucid even to a child of 9 years old, it beautifully brings forth the god-like yet human existence of Krishna, his childish exploits, his growth into manhood, loves of his life and his struggle to always uphold Dharma at the cost of many things in his life. The vivid imagery and simple style caused my imagination to fire up and I could image the scenes before my eyes in great detail. I guess I could say I truly fell in love with the characters in the book, especially Krishna. From a distant God, he became a warm friend with his usual share of problems, dilemmas, troubles and happiness.
It is easy to capture the imagination of an adult because by then we have greater powers of analysis, understanding and taste. It is much difficult to hold the attention of young minds, much less inspire them to read more! Hats off to K.M. Munshi-ji for an awesome treat!

There are seven volumes in the book: The Magic Flute, The Book of Krishna, The Five Brothers, The Book of Bhima, The Book of Satyabhama, The Book of Yudhistra, The Book of Vyasa, the Master. They should all be truly part of a child's bookshelf.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Deja Vu

Have you ever had this feeling that you've lived this exact same moment before sometime??! I was talking with my friend today. He was telling me something that had happened today. At one point, I felt as though I knew the exact thing he was going to tell me. And he did!! It was a weird, disorienting feeling. Funny thing is, in The Matrix, a deja vu means that something is not quite right in the system...
Anyway, other funny thing is that V finally started a blog. Funny because not too long ago, he was the first in reviling me for writing a blog. V, if I remember right, you said it was a "vetti" person's work? So, do I take it you are totally vetti now?