The Contradictions in the World We Live In

contradictions

Our world is so full of contradictions, it isn’t funny.

Granted, everyone has the right to their opinions, but will “Society” please stand up and publish a list of rules or something, somewhere, just so we mere mortals have a reference point. Even if it is for breaking the “rules”, we need to know what those “rules” are in the first place.

A recent piece of news sparked this post, actually. I wonder what’s up with the world. Especially, when it comes to Sex. We fall over ourselves in our efforts to contradict ourselves. Really! We do!

India: This is Our World

Khajuraho TemplesIn India, the land where the Kamasutra was written, where we have temples dedicated to sex, where sex is also a highly evoloved Yoga practice – we don’t talk about it to our kids. If they want to conduct Sex Education classes in school, the parents protest outside the schools, claiming that these classes will make their kids want to have sex!

In India, where no woman goes unmolested (from creepy uncles and neighbors, to random loafers on the street and greasy pawing on buses and trains, to full-blown beastly gang rapes), we prosecute only the women for prostitution.

Sunny-LeoneIn India, where a random porn star with little or no ability for acting, becomes famous for shaking her booty to raunchy numbers, where ”item songs” are added to every movie so that they attract more audiences, the police arrest a woman who is forced to enter the flesh trade because she isn’t left with any options, while the perpetrators of the crime roam freely, unscathed.

I think, prostitution is considered to be a crime in most cultures and countries (correct me if I am wrong here), and only the women are held guilty for it.

Why is it that only women are considered to be the guilty party?

Why is it that when they are down and out, selling their bodies is the only option made available to women since the dawn of time?

USA: This is Our World

The US is slightly more sophisticated than that, I suppose. Here, things have turned on their head. We have mass media feeding us all sorts of wrong image archetypes, blurring the lines of morality and confusing the standards of right and wrong.

KardashiansA noted celeb family in the USA started its journey to fame and fortune (oh yes! Hundreds of millions of $$s) when one of their daughters slept with someone, and made a tape of it. Then they got featured on a reality show, and began their journey to achieving their celebrity status. Everywhere they go, crowds cheer them on, and buy stuff they sell in their stores, and make them their idols. Blogs are rife with gossip about them, and glossy magazines pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to photograph them as they marry someone, only to dump each other months later.

Teen MomAnother reality show glorifies teenage girls who got themselves pregnant (oops!) and are now going through their unique issues and troubles, while making them famous. This inevitably contributes to making other girls feel as if it is all right to do what these girls did. Are these kind of idols even supposed to be present? But they are.

Prostitution is still considered to be a crime here though. Although, from what I’ve seen and heard, both parties are held accountable for it. Regardless, it doesn’t really carry much of a penalty. You can pay a fine, do a few hours of community service, get a few counselling sessions, and you are off the hook.

Mass Media Creates Mass Perceptions

Mass MediaI do believe that on various levels Mass Media is responsible for keeping such antiquated and wrong perceptions alive and well in the psyche of the world.

Whether in India or in the US, it is the Mass Media that keeps the hype going, while cashing in on the trend. Throw in words like “moral values” and everything is all right under the sun, isn’t it?

The Mass Media, while having the responsibility to report the facts as they are, also has the responsibility of talking about the current social problems and uncovering the dreadful hypocrisy that lurks behind these closed doors. It is their responsibility to educate the masses, and to cultivate a certain level of understanding among the mob that eats up their prose.

Calvin N Hobbs Mass Media Worship
They have no right to distort the facts just so they can sell a few hundred thousand copies of their magazines and newspapers.

In fact, the world (by this, I mean the real world) is changing all around them, but they don’t even seem to have noticed. With the passage of time, and due to the growth of scientific knowledge, our lives have evolved from the stage of primitive man hunting in the jungles to men and women battling it out in lives rife with modern day existential issues.

While a certain level of society achieves a celebrity status thanks to the Mass Media, it is worth noting that their only claim to fame is their debauchery. Whereas, real issues and real people with real problems are simply not highlighted at all. They don’t get as much exposure simply because they don’t bring in the ratings and the sales.

Granted, no one wants to read sad stories all the time. However, there are stories of normal people with extraordinary lives, who have proved without a doubt that the gender bias perpetuated by ‘society’s morals and values’ doesn’t really exist. Or rather, it is on its way to changing for the better.

In Conclusion…

Modern WomanPushing ghoonghat clad, obedient bahus into the television screens needs to be replaced by women who bravely conquer the world, sans ghoonghat but with dignity and pride.

Stepping away from celebrities who only flash their bodies to get publicity, the mass media ought to focus on the real women who handle their day-to-day with sense and acumen.

The Mass Media and the so-called ‘Society’ needs to get their collective heads out of their asses, and start doing the right thing by promoting the truth, rather than the hype.

Rather than adding their helping hand to the process of dumbing down the minds of the people (all this, while Curiosity Rover hurtles down the surface of Mars), mass media should become the channel through which intelligence and open minded discussions create a pathway for waking up the masses from their decades long slumber, and awakening them to the reality of a changed world.

Hopefully this will slowly work towards changing the mindset that exploitation of women is somehow allowed and acceptable. Those concepts need to be slowly eradicated from the minds of the people by educating them about how to treat women respectfully by setting the right example – both on our television screens and in our households .

Math and I

math problems

Math and I

Schrodingers CatAs a child, Math was something I simply couldn’t understand. Give me complex ideas of Physics like the cat fellow whose cat was both alive and dead, and I’ll get it right away.

Schrödinger – yeah, that’s who he was!

But put an x in an equation and ask me to solve it – I’ll break out in hives.

Talk to me about the elasticity of demand and I’m all ears. But why does it have to be expressed mathematically? Why? I mean, the concept is clear, just as it is! Why bring Math into it, huh?

Stuff like this video makes absolute sense to me. But math problems! They scare me more than the fact that in some parallel universe, Schrödinger himself would be the cat AND be dead and alive at the same time. Get it? Get it?

I firmly believed (and sometimes still do) that Math was invented to make people like me feel nervous.

Hey, every character has a flaw, a weak point, an Achilles Heel, if you will. And Math is mine.

Why, oh why, I used to wonder, do they even teach all this stuff in school. I mean, after all, who was going to use it after we left school anyway?

I mean, come on! Algebra! Shudders! At first, there was x. But then he was so alone, they got y to give him company.

Algebra is ScaryBut then, x had to go and plus this stupid y, and in a bracket and everything. Not satisfied with all that plus-ing, they decided to square them! And when they weren’t even done with figuring that out, they went and cube-ed them!

While I was just about coming around to figuring out what all of it meant, they decided enough was enough and lets square-root and cube-root the shit outta them!

Jeez! It was a miracle I came out in one piece!

And if that wasn’t enough, they had other forms of Math problems to torture me.

water-bucketWhy do you bother filling up a drum with water (after explicitly detailing the drum’s dimensions to us) , only to have a hole drilled somewhere in it to let the water out? I mean, seriously: what gives? Why do you want us to figure out when the drum will be full, or how long it will take for the water to drain out? Why are you filling a holey-drum with all that water anyway?

Two Trains in Opposite DirectionsAnd why, for God’s sake, do we need to know when those two trains who left from a nameless point A and nameless point B would pass each other, especially when they travel at some weirdly different speeds. Is someone going to jump from the top of train A onto the top of train B perhaps? Hey, in India, it was possible. But still, why do Math for it. Just wait, and the train ought to pass by some time, right?

pole and shadowIf that wasn’t enough, they began teaching Trigonometry, where everyone was measuring the shadows of poles and deriving formulae about some Theta and looking at Log Tables – none of which had absolutely nothing to do with the real problem, (or logs for that matter). All they wanted to know was how tall the pole was? Who gave a shit? Didn’t you know it when you ordered those poles and stuck them in the street? Who signed the contracts anyway? That guy is a dingbat!

And why, for fuck’s sake, is K the constant. I mean, why K… Why not Z or D or something else? Why only K for crying out loud? Why?

So far, in my life, I have never really seen or used any of the stupid stuff they shoved down our throats in Math class.

I know, I know. Perhaps, this stuff can be useful to some people. Just not me. I have no earthly use for it.

So why am I ranting about it?

Just because…

Actually, I Can Only Feel Sorry For Them

Shoulder to cry on

Recently, I’ve realized that, for some people I am either a shoulder to cry on, or an easy prey for their petty games.
Simply because I am caring and compassionate, and because I am honest and upfront, it doesn’t mean that they get to lean on me when they are in trouble, or take me for a ride just because they feel like it.
I’m not going to change who I am, or become like them, simply because they hurt me.
It’s not that I don’t feel the hurt. I do. Probably deeper than most.
When it hurts, I cry too.
In the end, I only end up feeling sorry for them.
Why?
Because it is harder to hate. It is easier to love.
It is heavier to carry the hate.
That’s what makes it easier for me to move on. To let go.
While I can and do let go of my burden, they are still at the mercy of theirs.
It is unfortunate, but true. They can’t help yourself, but I can. And I do.
These are the people who lean on someone, burden someone with their suffering, and then walk away feeling light.
These are the people who think they can hurt someone and get away with it.
The vulnerability that honesty requiresThese are the people who can’t seem to let go of their compulsive need to be energy vampires.
When I let go, I also let go of the cord that connects them with me.
When you hold on to the anger and the pain, these people keep getting energized from it.
The best way to get them to be deflated is for me to let go of the connection.
Once the connection is severed, they seem to flounder about for a bit, but they do manage to find someone else to leech off. It’s like an addiction for them, and they are powerless in its clutches.
It’s actually quite sad to watch them do this to themselves. That’s why I can only summon up a bit of pity for such people. Nothing more. 
Even with all the compassion in my heart, I can’t seem to feel anything more for these people.

Why are People So Mean?

When people are mean to you even when you haven’t done anything bad to them, usually it is because they are unable to cope with some quality within you that they aren’t able to generate within themselves.
the-way-people-treat-youDue to whatever their personal life experiences may have been, they find it extremely difficult to retain their ‘good’ self, and thus, they evolve into hurtful people.
Then, when they meet someone who is nice and kind despite all the bad stuff that she went through, some sort of trigger just goes off inside them.
Sometimes, they aren’t even consciously aware that this is happening to them. 
They just can’t stand being around the person who makes them feel like a volcano about to erupt. They have to do something hurtful and mean, just so they can feel good about the choices that they’ve made in their lives.
With some people, it is almost compulsive. They can’t seem to help themselves.
They have a low sense of self-worth to begin with, which makes them stoop to such levels to raise their own self-image. Without doing these and other similar things, they can’t seem to find any sense of accomplishment in their lives.

I’m NOT All That Awesome to Begin With

Hey! I’m not saying that I’m an all round ‘goody two-shoes’.
Far from it!
I am made of flawsI have my flaws too:
– I can be quite lazy.
– I procrastinate – A LOT.
– I babble when I’m nervous.
– I pretty much wear my heart on my sleeve.
– I am very fixed in my way of thinking. Once I’ve made up my mind: I. Won’t. Budge.
– In a very King of Pentacles way, I like things done a certain way only.
– I am quite the couch potato.
– Unless I’m sleeping, I am pretty much glued to a screen of some sort at any given time.
– The Writer inside me is always pecking away at my insides, which makes me very fidgety and short-tempered, especially when my writing is not going my way.
– Once I’m done with someone, or something, I’m done. I don’t ever go back. I can forgive. But I can’t do a memory wipe.
Man, I could go on and on about my flaws! 😉
However, just because I’ve been hurt by people and then some, do I have to become a person who also hurts people or is mean to people in return?
Do I have to hurt the people who hurt me?
I don’t think so.
I recognize the fact that I don’t have to.
And that has given me the power to remain steadfast to my core beliefs.

Law of Attraction

Just as like attracts like, the law of attraction ensures that the opposite will also hold true. In short, I am just as likely to meet the nice people as I’m likely to meet the not-so-nice people.
Just Because I Forgive People...However,
– By choosing to walk away from people who have decided to hurt me or were mean and hurtful to me, doesn’t mean that I am stopping myself from being a caring, compassionate and honest person.
– By the very fact that I choose not to end up becoming like them, and by the very fact that I choose not to take any kind of ‘revenge’ on them, I essentially end up retaining my core self in a stronger form.
– I’m simply walking away from people who created bad vibes in my life. I’m walking out of a relationship that is not good for me, will not be in any way enriching and fulfilling for me.
And yes, while it may hurt, in the long run, it is for the best.
For me, as well as for them.
– For me, it means that I won’t be around people who are not aligned with my life’s energy flow.
– And for them, it means that their weird triggers won’t get set off because of me.
I see that as a win-win all around.

Oh Yes, I Rant

I am become Medusa

I scream. I yell. I screech like a banshee.
I cackle like a withered old crone.
Rub the snot off my nose. Hot, angry tears spring forth.
I curse like a sailor till I’m blue in my face.
I let go so I can let it go.

I’ve held it all inside of me.
This anger. For years. Millenia.
Didn’t utter hurtful words.
Always thought of your feelings first.

The gloves come off.
The shit hits the fan.
The lid blows away.
The masks crack open.
Revealing ugliness within.

Regrets come unbound,
This pain has no sound.
Words that now hurt you.
Tears that now fall from my eyes.
This ache that sears my insides.

Things I couldn’t say before,
Finally burst out of my mouth.
The hurt I kept inside
Eloquently finds a way out.

I am become Medusa,
Punished for loving.
Turning what I see into stone.
Snakes fall from my hair,
Spew their poison everywhere.
I wander about, waiting for the end.

It hurts you now,
These words that I say.
It didn’t hurt you then,
As you gave me the pain.
All of you made me this way.
Now you want me to walk away.
You warn me, snidely,
Counsel me not to rant again.

I am not allowed to say what I feel.
A dog on a leash, you call me to heel.
All of you forget, how one by one,
You rend the bonds, kicked me, made me run.
You cut me loose. Now you would tie me down.
How funny! You can’t even reap what you’ve sown.

Oh Yes! I will rant. And I will rave.
For all the love that I gave.
This is the epitaph,
Scratched upon this grave.
I gave up. I lost. I withdrew.
These were my reasons.
This was my hurt. This was my pain.

I have to mourn. To set me free.
The ugly truth. That painful story.
Now only words written upon the wind.
Fluttering away, scrawled on the sand.

My Desktop Dashboard

Quotes on my Desktop via GeekTool

With all the crazy productive stuff going on in my life, it has always been GeekTool to the rescue!

The UNIX Connection

The easy explanation is that the Mac OS is built on the UNIX core. So you can totally use a bunch of Shell Scripts on your Mac, either via Terminal on your mac or via GeekTool.

I will be the first one to admit that I do not know much about all these things. Heck, I am NOT a coder. But then so many people out there, are! And they are sweet and kind enough to put their scripts out on the Internet for people like me to use. To them, I say:

Thank You! You guys and gals rock! Totally!

GeekLet IconA great resource for finding these Geeklets, as they are sweetly called is: The Geeklet Repository on MacOSXTips.

Before You Begin…

GeekTool IconFirst things first, in order to get the basic stuff of GeekTool running, you will:
– Have to be on a Mac (Duh!)
– Then install GeekTool.
– If you want to have your Calendar schedule and Reminder lists up on your screen, then you will also need to install icalBuddy.

Once you’ve done all this, you are ready to begin!
I also suggest, giving this GeekTool tutorial a look-see. It covers the basics, so I don’t have to.

My GeekTool Setup

Yes, I know I kinda looks like all I do is watch TV and throw out the trash, but that isn’t the case! I’ve excluded a bunch of calendars from the list. Those contain my regularly scheduled writing blocks.

Rest assured, I still get all the alarms buzzing on my iMac, iPhone and iPad at all times!

Technology works strives to keep me working! LOL

Now if you want to have your desktop look like mine, here are the scripts for you to implement, and enjoy!

  • Date: Date +%d
  • Day: Date +%a
  • Month: Date +%b
  • Time: Date ‘+%I:%M’
  • AM / PM: Date +%p
  • This Month’s Calendar (with Today’s Date in Red): cal_head=`cal | head -1`; cal_tail=`cal | tail -7`; today=`date "+%e"`; echo "$cal_head"; echo "${cal_tail/${today}/33[1;31m${today}33[0m}”;
  • Next Month’s Calendar: cal $( echo $(date +%m)+1 | bc ) $(date +%Y)
  • Weather: curl --silent "http://xml.weather.yahoo.com/forecastrss?p=your-zip-code-here&u=c" | grep -E '(Current Conditions:|C<br)' |="" sed="" -e="" 's="" current="" conditions:="" '="" <br="" \="">//' -e 's///' -e 's/<\/b>//' -e 's/
    //' -e 's///' -e 's/<\/description>//‘
  • To-Dos and Events: Echo TO DOsEcho/usr/local/bin/icalBuddy -nc -stda -sd -ss '' -b '- ' -nrd -df '%RD : %a, %d %b' -po datetime,title,notes -ps '|\n|\n|' -etp priority,location,url tasksDueBefore:"tomorrow+2”EchoEcho EVENTSEcho/usr/local/bin/icalBuddy -nc -sd -ss '' -b '- ' -ec ‘names-of-calendars-you-want-to-exclude’ -nrd -df '%RD : %a, %d %b' -po title,datetime,location,notes -ps '|\t|\n|\n|' -eep url eventsFrom:"today" to:"today+2”

I hope this is useful.

It certainly is for me.

Special Thanks to Eric for asking me to do this post!

Being Selfish

As a child, I was taught to be un-selfish. I was supposed to share everything I had with my little sister, with my friends and so on.

As I grew up, being selfish was made out to be among the worst things you could be.

But today, I am forced to ask this to myself: what is wrong with being selfish?

I mean, everyone else actually is being selfish all the bloody time. Of course, the hypocrites that they are, they don’t / won’t / can’t just admit it. Neither to themselves, nor to the world.

Frankly, I’ve lost enough faith in people to realize that I can’t expect them to do so either.

Which brings me to another question that I am forced to ask myself: if these people are, in fact, being selfish, how is that wrong – especially if I take the effort of seeing things from their perspective?

The Dilemmas in the Real World

In the real world, we come across a variety of situations where it is relatively easy for us and for other people to be selfish.

People only do things and say things which are right from their point of view. They don’t / can’t / won’t consider the other person’s feelings. They just aren’t even wired that way.

In such situations, would it be right to see things from their perspective? Even when it hurts mine? Do I have to do that?

Do I really have to be all understanding and stuff to put myself in their shoes and try to see things from their point of view? Doesn’t that pretty much go against the whole concept of being selfish to begin with?

I mean, I can’t be selfish and try to see things from their point of view – both – at the same time, can I?

It kinda defeats the whole purpose, doesn’t it?

Solving Tricky Conundrums – C’est La Vie?

I guess, solving such sticky questions is part of life’s little tests, right?

It is one of those trick questions that life puts out. You’re damned if you do and you’re damned if you don’t. Either way, you are pretty much screwing yourself over, regardless.

I guess, the only solution for these types of situations is to pretend that I didn’t realize it and go about my life, but with a certain level of awareness that these thought processes do exist in that person’s mind.

today I choose meIn all honesty though, it is hard. And it will continue to be hard for me. Because, the kind of person that I am, I simply find it so damn frustrating to be that way myself.

But, I guess if I keep doing it over and over, it may become involuntary, just like breathing, right?

Right?

India Trip Recap

The idea of posting stuff on this blog about the years gone by and about my India trip was awesome.
Predictably, I began writing about it. Long, lengthy rants. But then, suddenly, I realized something.
All of this ranting would practically achieve nothing. Nothing for me, that is. I read through the stuff I’d written and realized that none of those rants held any power – any venom. They were just matter-of-fact statements about all the stuff that happened.
So, with a smile on my face, I quickly discarded those drafts, and here I am doing what I do best – being honest and straight with my information. 😃
So, let’s begin with the India trip recap.

The Good

Here’s the good stuff that happened while on the India trip.

Meeting Friends

I met up with some really good friends of mine, caught up with them face-to-face and had some really great conversations.

Rachel

Rachel was one of the first of my friends to come over and meet me. I was so happy to meet her. She’d gone through a lot over these past few years, and it was real nice to sit down and listen to her talk about it. We went out to Prems and had dinner and had a jolly good time of it!

Pranita

Pranita came over several times, and we ended up having so many wonderful conversations. She truly believes in learning constantly, and has kept herself busy learning a lot of stuff! Gosh! I really admire her for that.
She is an awesome Tarot reader herself, and we did exchange readings for each other. She also had a bunch of interesting insights into a certain issue that I had been grappling with over the past few months, and I really appreciated it! Thanks Pranita!

Radhika

IMG_0621Radhika is an awesomely nice person, in every way that counts. She is also one of my Tarot students. But now, she has become a Past Life Regression Practioner.
Of course, we did a couple of sessions (apart from hanging out at Prems and at her home, of course). Those PLR sessions were truly awesome, and Radhika is a natural at it. Truly!
The insights I gained from these sessions coupled with Pranita’s insights really gave me a whole lot of clarity about my life purpose and goals and hurdles etc.
Thanks a million Radhika! You are truly awesome!

Gulshan

Talking about Gulshan in a few words is simply not enough. She is like a second mother to me. We spent a bunch of time hanging out with each other, having conversations about all sorts of things (spiritual and non spiritual).
IMG_0693We also went to Meherabad together! It turned out to be quite an adventure because on our way there we were beset by a bunch of Shiv Sena people shouting slogans and generally stopping traffic. Sometimes I really wonder if I miss India or not. That moment was a total not. LOL
The experience at Meherabad was awe inspiring too! It is so easy to feel Baba’s presence near the Samadhi. It is as if He talks to you in your mind when you sit there and listen silently.
I can never forget Gulshan’s kind heart and soothing presence. Sometimes, all you need is a hug and a kind word, and all your troubles melt away. Gulshan is probably the most open hearted person I’ve met in my entire life.
Thanks so much for being in my life Gulshan! You are awesome!

Prashant

I used to freelance for Prashant, writing SEO articles and what not. Over time, we became friends. This time round, we hung out a couple of times. He even accompanied Gulshan and I to Meherabad.
We chatted about this and that. Prashant is an expert in SEO things (stuff that even I don’t know much about), and I totally respect all his knowledge and experience. He gave me so many interesting tips and ideas, and I dutifully wrote them all down. And of course, when the time comes, I plan to implement all of them! Thanks Prashant!

Rohi

IMG_0613Rohi is a writer friend of mine. And he is such an awesome person! So calm, so quiet. Intelligent. And a very talented storyteller.
We had some very interesting chats about all sorts of writerly stuff. I totally enjoyed all the time we spent together. And I really appreciate you being my friend Rohi! Thanks for being there for me whenever I reach out, Rohi!

Yogini & Shalini

IMG_0637Back when it wasn’t cool for girls to go see the night show at a movie theatre and back when there weren’t any of the hi-fi movie theatres in Pune city (yes we are that old), Yogini, Shalini and I would go do all these things and have a grand ole time of it!
Meeting my old pals after such a long time felt so nice! Both Yogini and Shalini are now married and have one kid each. So many things have changed in their lives, but they are basically the same people I used to hang out with way back when!
We had such a grand time, reminiscing over old times, and catching up with all the new developments in each others lives!
Totally awesome time Yogini and Shalini! I miss having you girls to just do weird and wild things with!

Sanjyot

IMG_0647Sanjyot is my sister’s friend from college. She used to come over to our place often when she and my sister were studying. We met up after all these years and caught up with each other and gossipped a bit about my sister! LOL
It was fun! Thanks for meeting me Sanjyot!

Anisha

IMG_0728Anisha is also one of my Tarot students. We managed to meet up towards the end of my stay and got on like a house on fire! She is such a charming and sweet person! Her kindness shines through her eyes! And yes, we managed to squeeze in a bunch of exchange readings too, and I must say I was so very impressed! Anisha is truly an awesome Tarot card reader!
Thanks for everything Anisha! You are awesome!

Madhavi

IMG_0669Yes, I have a friend with the same first name as mine! Isn’t that simply awesome! Of course, we have different personalities, but we truly connected. I met her while in the US, and then she moved back to India sometime last year. So we caught up and had a bunch of fun hanging out at the mall and generally having fun!

Ratna Kaku

Ratna kaku is my Tarot student Amruta’s mom. She is such a sweetheart! When she visited me, I was totally in such a bad shape with loosies! And she took such good care of me. She made sure I was all right and even went and got meds for me from a pharmacy.
Later on, I visited her and she fed me the most delicious home cooked meal I had had in my trip! Wow!
Thanks for everything Ratna kaku! You are awesome!

Apurva

Apurva has become an RJ! She had always wanted to do that, and now she has! Kudos! You go girl!
And she’s come through a bunch of stuff in her life as well…
I must say one thing though – Apurva is one heck of a brave, and beautiful person. And to top it all, she is an awesome, awesome Tarot card reader too!
I am so very lucky to have her in my life as a friend. Thanks for meeting me Appu, and am so glad you made it!

Swati

IMG_0629Swati is one brave chick, all right! She’s a tough cookie, and if anyone messes with her, they will so have it!
Swati is studying to become a lawyer, and I pray that she is able to acheive her dreams in life. I truly wish nothing but the best for you Swati!
I really enjoyed spending time with you Swati – although no matter how much time we spend together it only seems too short a period. I am glad to have you on my side!

Chandan

IMG_0737Chandan and I met after a very long time.
And for the longest time, he was harboring a misunderstanding about me. He thought I was angry with him about something that he’d done.
So, we talked about it. And although I do understand the reasons why he did what he did, and although I don’t agree with his method, I just accepted his explanation and things went smooth from that point onwards.
We talked about a lot of things. And Chandan is a great person to hang out with – witty, charming and as he likes to say it a nice guy!! Thanks for being my friend Chandan. Its always great to talk with you.

Prachi

IMG_0683I stayed in Prachi’s place via AirBnB and I was so glad that I did! She is an awesome person, and I am glad to have met her. Not only was she a wonderful host, she was also a great conversation partner. There were many evenings when we sat in the beautiful balcony of her home, swigging down beer and chatting away about this and that… Thanks to her, I also found this real nice salon so I could get a real smashing haircut. Thanks Prachi, for being such a wonderful host, and an even wonderful human being! I wish you all the best for your life!

Finishing Tasks

I ended up completing all of the various tasks assigned to me by my mom.
I got a brand new, awesome looking diamond ring made (there’s an entire blog post about this one), and fixed my other ring which was getting too tight.

Let’s Hang Out…

IMG_0675I visited a bunch of my favorite restaurants, the best being several trips to Prems! 😃

I also visited the newly reconstructed German Bakery.

And of course, I could not give Starbucks a miss! LOL You know, the baristas at the Starbucks in Pune (Koregaon Park) are actually nicer than most of the (very busy) baristas here in the NY / NJ. Isn’t that funny!!

Main Task

On my return journey, I brought my grandmother (mom’s mom) along with me. She will be staying with us from now.
All in all, it was quite a successful trip on those counts.

The Bad

There were 2 bad things that happened to me during this trip.

Getting Ditched

The first one was being ditched by a ‘friend’ of mine who had invited me to stay with him in Mumbai as soon as he had heard that I was coming to India. He had insisted that I plan to stay with him in Mumbai for at least a week to 10 days. And then, he got sent off to some place in the middle east on work. So I changed a few dates of my trip so I could do as he had asked. And then, he failed to tell me that his company had asked him to stay on for a couple of months. Wow! I guess I should be greatful that he at least informed me a couple of days before I was supposed to land at his place. Since my return ticket was already booked there wasn’t nothing more I could do, except for extend my stay at the place I was renting out.
I didn’t appreciate this last minute thing, and I am not even talking about the extra, unplanned expense that suddenly popped into my bank account. I just hope that someday he doesn’t get ditched in this same way.
Of course, he hasn’t apologized to me so far. So yeah. Some people can be real bitches – and it doesn’t matter if they are guys. Bitches be bitches. And I call it like it is.

Meeting the Ex

The second bad thing that happened was when I met my ex. Granted that he is the ex, and that, all those years ago, I chose to walk out of the relationship. But for the past 5-odd years, he had been systematically telling me how much he loved me and missed me and so on.
When you break up because of all sorts of practical reasons, and then when you are trying to get over someone, and then the guy keeps apologizing and telling you that he still cares etc, you tend to think that maybe you took a hasty decision. That’s exactly what happened to me. I began to think that I had while I had made a very practical decision, my emotions weren’t perhaps agreeing with that decision.
And then, boom! A few months before I went to India, he tells me that he’s been seeing this girl (who happens to be a common friend of ours from way back when) since the past couple of months. And the only reason that they were telling me about their relationship was because they didn’t want me to find out from someone else!
Yeah, right!
In the end, though, when I asked him about all those phone calls and so forth, he was like: “yeah of course, I missed you and I love you, but (and get this) not in that way!”
Wow! Just wow!
I guess a part of me was just astounded by how easily he could do that. He was one of the people who contributed in me feeling that I couldn’t trust the words people spoke. And now, more than ever, he was convincing me that his words weren’t trustworthy on any level.
I was also upset about another thing. I discovered it after a whole lot of self reflection. And I am being upfront and straight up honest here: I was upset that he’d moved on before me.
In either case, he tried to put me on a guilt trip, when he inadvertently brought up some really gritty parts of our relationship which had moved me to become all practical and all, all those years ago. I really didn’t appreciate it when he tried to absolve himself of all the guilt, and tell me that if I even tried to make him feel guilty he would start drinking again. Wow!
An alcoholic will come up with n number of reasons to drink. I just didn’t think that he would come up with such an hurtful one.
Either way, I saw through it and decided that it just wasn’t worth my time and trouble to even discuss it with him. Let him do whatever he wants to do with his addiction. The most refreshing aspect of this conversation was that I realized that it just wasn’t my problem any more!!

The Heat! OMG The Heat

One thing that I really didn’t like during my trip was the heat! Of course, since I had landed there in the month of May, I don’t think I have much right to complain, but boy was the heat bad!

I was sweating buckets every single time I stepped out of the shower, and even stepped out of the house for all the different tasks that were on my To-Do List! The heat was so bad! 

The whole time, I actually missed the cooler weather of the US. LOL

The Ugly

And yes, finally, I come to D. I’ve ranted about her on this blog before. So I am not going to give her any more footage. But since all sorts of memories came back to me, I did manage to piece together some nuggets of the ugly truth about her.
I realized that she had been lying to me about certain aspects of her life from the very first day since we became ‘friends’. After going through the predictable reactions of surprise and anger, I came to one ugly (and sad) conclusion: this is one woman who has the capacity to lie, consistently and constantly, for about 10 – 15 years, to someone who thought of her as a best friend.
I shudder to think of what other nefarious capabilities this woman may posess. It is deeply disturbing. Some may even think this is a pathological trait.
Another thing I realized is that I am a total fool! I take people on their face value and never think that they may be anything but genuine with me. I guess that it is my fault for being so naïve and blinded to the reality.
In short, while going back to India did have its nasty flashback moments, thankfully, they passed as quick as they came.
One thing is for certain though – I’m glad she’s not my problem any more!!

Phew!

Finally, the quick recap is done (at some 2500-odd words), and I am so relieved!
All in all, the takeaway for me over here is that time passes, and people move on. But friends, true friends, live on and love each other no matter what. Regardless of any of the external factors, we come to know who our true friends are only when we see them go through things in their lives, and when they are (or aren’t) around when we go through things in our lives. Only time and experience, coupled with the rocks of Existence do we understand the real meaning of our lives, and the real value of the people in our lives.