Sunday, April 18, 2010

This blog has moved!

Have packed my bags and established camp in a new frontier: Wordpress.

Follow my writings now at: E tu Vida?


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Personal Definition of Success

I was recently asked to define success:

To many success is defined by a number or a title. My experiences have taught me that no matter how coveted the number or the title is, if one has not grown mentally, not vanquished fresh new challenges, then one cannot be deemed successful. There has to be a sense of self-achievement, a surge of happiness as each professional goal/target is reached. The remuneration and the title that may come are just positive reinforcements of that unselfish success and should not be treated as the definitions themselves. This is my idea of success - a personal desire to achieve goals for the quenching of one's own mental state as well as the company's well-being.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Perpetually Alone

Snippets of my mind

Lately, I’ve realized a big thing about my future life. I guess you can say that the realization didn’t come as a total shock considering the manner in which I’ve been acting all along...

...I am destined to be perpetually alone. I might get married sure—but it will be a marriage of convenience. I would do it because, well, it’s required off of me. But in my heart, mind, and soul, I will be alone. Or rather, disengaged with the present as I’ve already fallen. And once fallen, you can’t fall twice...

Perhaps this is born from my childhood diet of Austen, other romantic narratives, and Sandra Bullock movies. As soon as my eyes befell on any of these perpetrators of mind, they would light up; my mind start thudding and my imagination furiously churning. Little known to my immediate consciousness, but for the last 12 years, I had been falling in love. Totally, madly, deeply in love. Not just with anyone. But with the big, massive behemoth Love. Yes, I was and am in love with Love!

Over the years, what started out as an innocent doe-eyed fascination with this Heaven of all Heavens has progressed and matured into a full-blown, faithful commitment...

Oh, it’s a terrible place to be in. Being in love with an idea, that too with an idealistic version of that idea, a Utopia of sorts, creates a want that nothing can satisfy..

Anyone else in the same boat?

Monday, April 27, 2009

The unsung band: Travis

Because my inside is outside,

My right side’s on the left side.
~Writing to Reach You, Travis

I should have been jumping up and down, heart throbbing in the presence of not just sighting but talking and interacting with the only band that I absolutely adore. Perhaps this ambivalence was brought on because our group had people who don’t quite love Travis like my sister and I do. And even as they converted to worthy fans post-concert, something still seemed amiss. I felt sad for Travis. That such a great band has been appreciated so little by the masses. I wanted it to be a full house yesterday, and it wasn’t. I wanted all the people to be head-over-heels into the music, and somehow felt that they weren’t. Adding to the situation was the sadness brought on by seeing Fran and the boys not relish their last gig in USA due to the souring of the mood by some assholes. And then there was time. I felt like I saw the end. The group hadn't aged considerably since 2007 and their music remained as good as ever, if not better. Yet somehow, when Fran mentioned coming back again, it somehow made me realize that sooner or later one of their future tours (whenever it is) will be their last. And I don’t want them to call it a day. I am selfish in that I want them to keep performing, with Dougie sexily strumming the guitar, Neil passionately drumming, Andy escaping into his own world of strings and melodies, and Fran pouring his heart out into each and every number.

*Saw my greatest band, Travis, front and center at the Boston House of Blues on April 26th 2009.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Simplicity of Worshipping…

Author's Note: My writings will be eclectic. This one touches on the topic of religion and idols.

About the entry: Thought about on an hour-long bus-ride from the NGO hospital that I volunteered in to Vadodara, India. Year: 2005.


“Buy these lovely flowers,” shouts a woman next to me. “No! Buy these beautiful garlands,” screams another woman sitting across from her. They are vying for the attention of the many pilgrims shuttling back and forth from the local temple up on the hill. Inside the temple itself are many signs that blatantly ask for one’s donations: Feed God this item and you will have success in your life; feed him this other item and you will have financial gains. And to make matters worse, as one enters the inner sanctum of the temple, their heart flutters when it sees the ornate, expensive decorations that adorn both the architecture and the idols. Their jaws open in awe as they are taken away by rich beauty and they come out “enlightened.” Funny that the enlightenment didn’t come from the actual reason why one made the trip to the temple—God.

Temples in India have turned into such commercial institutions that oftentimes the whole meaning of going to a temple is driven by buying the best of the flowers, the costliest prasad, and the prettiest of souvenirs. The whole message of going to a temple to be one with God is so easily lost amidst this wrongly situated bazaar.

However, one wonders whether this interconnectedness is more a result of attending a prettier building for services rather than an unselfish manifestation of one’s religious fervor. After all, is it really necessary in having showy, ornate decorations as part of one’s place of worship? Isn’t the opposite more rational—for gorgeously carved walls and gilded idols would in fact distract one from one’s religious mediation? Simplicity of area evokes rawness of one’s emotions and therefore a singleness of purpose.

The issue came upon me when I undertook a road trip between two Indian cities. Besides encountering quaint instances of farming life, expected potholes, and erratic driving, I also noticed quiet shrines staking their own claim in the diversity that is India. These shrines popped up every 15 minutes or so, either under a tree or next to a haystack, and would have been fairly indistinguishable from a nearby rock had it not been for the mass garlands and stubs of incense sticks that decorated their surroundings. Simple, naked worship in the strictest sense is what comes to one’s mind when such shrines are viewed. It also gets one thinking that honestly, people do not need the pomp and glamor to find religion—all they need and have ever needed is faith. So why spoil the temple-going experience by making it a churning business outfit? Why try to lure people to come to the temple created by your family’s patronage through precious artwork and gold idols? The worshipers will come if they believe—trying to buy their belief is undermining the whole concept of religion itself.


Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Tham ja, zindagi, tham ja. (Slow down, life, slow down).

Author's Note: Apologize for posting after such a long time. I didn't have a writer's slump--instead my writing had become more personal. Now I write for the pleasure of writing, to capture the joy I get in weaving words so that a visual image emerges. The brilliant capturing of emotions, colors, etc that only words can bring about. Hope you enjoy it. I will try my best to be frequent (at least one posting a month). Criticisms and Comments are very welcome.

Slow down, life, slow down. I am not ready to move on, I am not ready to move on. I cannot move on. Each moment is filled with countless sights and sounds and I want to taste every bit of it to my utmost satisfaction. Only then should you move. Only then do you have my permission. Otherwise, desist. Freeze. Like the game of “Fire N Ice” that I used to play in my childhood. Until I touch you, do not move.

Frozen raindrops. White droplets. Sparkling, shimmering. So light as they fall and yet so heavy on the foliage. Solid as they drop, liquid as they touch my bare skin. What a dazzling metamorphosis. Beauty. Precipitation. Nature. Smile. Love. Breathe. Experience. Feel. See. Touch. Taste.

A long road. Trees, white, form a canopy. Alluring, they reach out to me, beseeching me to travel the winding strip. I longingly look. Not a step do I take in its direction. I cannot see the end. It is hazy, vague. I cannot travel it. Fear. Doubt. Uncertainty. Risk. Too much. For now, I remain on its cusp, hoping that one day, I will have the heart to take that step. That I will give into the allure of the White Trees. That I will relent to Father Time. Until that moment, I wish to wallow in this moment, in this time. While the world around me freezes. And only when I say Fire does it melt and move.


About the entry: Composed on the Boston Subway after experiencing snowfall at its best.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Series: The Death of Morality--Gentlewoman

Ever wonder why the word “Gentlewoman” never truly caught on? It is because the word “woman” itself implied gentlewomanly manners (unless otherwise stated), thus making the actual “Gentlewoman” superfluous. And, yet with the birth of 20th century, it became imperative to create newer labels for the rapidly changing notion of what it was to be a woman. Thus words along the lines of “slut, whore, etc” became mainstream as looseness of behavior began skyrocketing the more women gained freedom of thought and expression.

So shouldn’t these past eras (WW1, WW2, the groovy 60s, etc) be labeled more as eras of Amorality? Not quite. Sure they set the trend for future behavior, but only in recent years have such negative labels actually been re-classified under “cool” category. Yes, girls don’t go boldly proclaiming, “I am a slut!” but their conduct all but accounts for their lack of vocal announcement. And everything in society is encouraging them to continue their behavior. Go to the “Juniors” section of a clothing store, and it is tough to find jeans that actually embrace one’s waist instead of slipping off of one’s hips; go to the magazine section of the local bookstore, and one sees cover pages worshipping teen role models who have just recently gotten pregnant or exposed themselves on the ubiquitous Internet. Furthermore, Daddy’s little girls who grow up in such a society only worsen when put against the pressures of adulthood.

With this in mind, I dive again into the crazy water-hole, now assessing this adult Woman of the 21st century and measuring just how far the apple has fallen from the tree of the “Gentlewoman” of yesteryear.

There are usually two types of women that one encounters at the water-hole: The Queens and The Greens. The former are women who realize their power with men and utilize it with relish while the latter are usually jealous (thus, green) of the former group and will do anything just to get male attention. Despite their physical and mental difference, both groups find agreement on one issue: They both dreadfully want men. Nothing wrong in that thought—women since the birth of time have wanted men and a good part of their actions have been driven by how much they can impress this strapping, strong counterpart. They just had an extra ingredient: Restraint.

Entering the water-hole on a normal night, the woman (be it a Queen or a Green) quickly scans the area, trying to gauge just how many eyes are on HER. She lives for the attention, devours it, and wishes to remember it come next morning so she can brag about it to her girlfriends. She knows she has spent hours in her bathroom getting ready and wishes that her perseverance doesn’t go unnoticed. Acting nonchalant (or trying to), she casually makes her way to the bar. But she doesn’t order—no not just yet. Now she finally looks around, first along the bar and then a bit beyond, trying to catch the eye of a stranger who is willing to spend good money to buy another stranger a drink. If she succeeds (branding her a Queen), she mentally adds the drink to her ongoing “drink tally” for the night; if she doesn’t (a Green) she’ll buy herself a little something and move on to the Dance Floor.

No Restraint. No Control. No Shame. That denotes the Dance Floor of the 21st century water-hole. Here, the Green, will gyrate to her maximum capability, pumping her chest out, twirling her ass, all for the sake of a stranger’s attention. The night ends triumphantly for she is finally asked her number by the guy she was grinding with. The irony of the whole situation comes out when during the day, she proclaims her disgust that women are looked on as purely sexual objects while here, night after night, she is desperately putting herself up for sale.

That women of this Era are liberated is true. But too much of ANYthing is harmful.

Personal Insight: What does the word “Gentlewoman” mean to me? Most people misinterpret this term as well its other synonyms (ladylike) as negative words. To them, these terms imply docile, submissive women that are imprisoned by society and men alike. I, being the child of the free era, take the term in a more positive light—to me it is the feminine counterpart of the male “Gentleman.” Now since it is proven that “men are from Mars, and women from Venus,” there will be stereotypical differences between the meanings. After all, women are not expected to hold the car door open so men can gracefully get inside. Accordingly, a Gentlewoman of the 21st century is one that is financially independent and mentally astute. She holds herself with dignity, displays modesty, lacks vulgarity, and above all, is fairly impervious to the alluring underbelly of society. That is not to say that she lives a sheltered, veiled life but rather a life where she upholds a laudable moral code. Note, sexual restraint, to me, does not determine if a woman is morally sound. In fact, it just tells me that a woman is Nun and thus chaste. Women still have the same animalistic desire, albeit, much toned down when compared to that of men. Sexual promiscuity, on the other hand, is what determines this distinction between a moral vs. and immoral woman.

Do I view myself as one of the last standing examples of this evasive “Gentlewoman”? Yes, as a matter of fact, I do. And trust me, there are a few others too :)

Next topic: Love