Hello 2016!

Hello 2016!

It has been quite an interesting 2015 for me, given that all sorts of ups and downs happened, and I managed not just to survive through it, but to thrive through it!

Continue reading “Hello 2016!”

USA Bound!!

Hey, just a quick post to tell you all that I got my Green Card approval on the 31st of December, 2008.

I shall be leaving India for the US of A after some 20-odd days.

Hum to chale pardes, hum pardesi ho gaye…

Choota apna desh, hum pardesi ho gaye…

My ticket has been booked for the 28th of January, 2009 and so I shall be leaving accordingly.

Happy New Year – Or Something Like That!

Well, here comes another New Year! As is customary, let me wish all those who read my blog with a “Happy New Year” and get on with whatever I want to write.

A New Year is always marked by celebrations, New Year resolutions and basically a stock-taking exercise which involves what you learnt and what you want to un-learn. Ah, well! I have done that for myself, I think. Somehow, this New Years Eve was somewhat of an anti-climax for me. Honestly. I don’t know much about the ‘Happy’ part, but it sure was busy, busy, busy….

So I guess, I am going to subject all of you with some more of my thoughts…so be prepared!!

According to Numerology, 2007 (2+0+0+7) adds to a 9 year – which essentially talks of endings and completion of the cycles, or circles – or whatever it is that needs to be completed or ended. The Tarot card number 9 is ‘The Hermit’ which talks of looking within and learning and so on. So this year turned out to be just that for me. Those things that needed to be completed or ended or both – have been done. In a way, it’s like a giant clean-up session where you end up with 2 or 3 bags full of trash which gets dumped unceremoniously. My 2007 was the giant clean-up session.

Such as it is, 2008 (2+0+0+8) adds to a 10 or a 1 (depending upon your perspective of Numerology. I for one like to see all possible interpretations, and include my view of Tarot into these calculations as well). So a 10 translates to ‘Wheel of Fortune’ and 1 is ‘The Magician’. Besides which, 1 also talks of new beginnings, and of the power of Singularity, and the 10 talks of transcending from one level of existence into another. I guess, if you take it all together, this year looks promising, full of wacky twists and turns of the wheel and full of challenges for individualistic notions and ideas, full of opportunities for me. I guess, I shall find out over the next 12 months, now won’t I?

I still have to do my reading for the year (my thanks to Jaideep for reminding me!). So I guess, I shall do it and post about it on my Tarot blog.

So here comes the ‘deep and meaningful’ bit – the stock taking review.

The year began with me being on my own, with the so-called ‘best friend’ D out of the picture of my life. A stumbling block which I overcame and became more confident of myself, and learnt how not to get involved too much into the lives of other people even to the exclusion of my own self. I do have friends now also, but I try very hard not to get too involved with their lives and them. I know it is appreciated by them on some level. In my experience, women don’t (and can’t or even won’t) really like me, because they think that I am controlling, dominating, judgmental, and too critical of them. Ah well.

I moved into a new place – a smaller one-room scenario where I felt constricted and restricted every step of the way, and somehow, the mind and the soul discovered that these were not the limitations for them and they began to soar and fly. I learnt that adversity is always a learning experience and a stepping stone towards prosperity. And prosperity is always in the head or the mind, not in the surroundings. For surroundings can change. And they did. I moved into a place of my own (rental, of course) which seems palatial compared to that room. Prosperity gets translated from the mind into reality when one is strong enough to pursue it.

The boyfriend moved to Chennai because he got a job there. Now, I discovered that I had more time on my hands because I did not have to be there for him and do all the things that I would normally do for him. Don’t get me wrong, I do love him. But love changes its shape, size and form over a period of time. I discovered that my love has changed as such. Not that he was very happy with what I had to say, but I guess he did not have much of a choice in the matter. I hope that we can still remain friends. And I don’t mean that in the typical sense of how these words are often bandied about. He is my friend. I just hope that this blip on the radar (in the big picture of life) doesn’t make him dislike or hate me. Because I love him and will continue to do so for the rest of my life. Because he is the only person who actually tried to understand who ‘I’ was underneath all the veneer and the masks I had put on over the years. No one else has even tried.

Eventually, it all boils down to the fact that this year became a symbol of a different kind of change – a change from within and from without.

I have come to understand something within me – something which had eluded me for quite so many years and especially during those ‘quite a few men’ that I went through. I used to wonder why I never gave up on men, despite the fact that I, well, don’t like them so much, or find it really hard to respect them. Now I know. I am searching for something which keeps eluding me and that search drives me from one man to the other. Perhaps it is the hope that the next fella will provide what I have been looking for.

For a long, long time I was unable to actually put my finger onto what it is that I wanted from the men. Now I know. In one word it is ‘Romance’. Sounds silly. Sure it does.

I can picture all the men (perhaps even some women) who read this blog, just thinking: “Blah! After all the (so called) intellectual BS spewing on this blog, all this woman wants is ‘Romance’! Phew! Women! When will they learn? They are all the same…” – and so on and so forth.

I guess, on some level these men and women would be right. At the end of the day, this woman wants ‘Romance’. And the fun bit is that I am not even one whit apologetic for wanting it. Why should I be? I mean, I FINALLY know what I want from a guy. I finally know what I have never got from a guy.

A very long time ago in my life, I learnt that the mind, the heart, the body and the soul are four separate things. These things live, work, react and control separate aspects of my life. And the best part is that they seldom agree with each other. So to make matters simpler for me, I divided each aspect of my life into these four parts of my ‘self’ and let each control and run their own domain. This made things simpler and easier for me to manage in my life.

This compartmentalization took some time to set in, but when it did, it sure made my life simple. They say that this is how men think. I don’t know. Do men ‘think’? Probably some do, but they are very few. I haven’t met many such men.

The typical pattern in my life regarding men has been that I have been the one who is, well, chasing them while they have been hung up on issues from their past, chief among which have been their ex-girlfriend and their parents and their imagined failures, in that order. How could I ever fight with those shadows and demons? My ‘love’ could never compete, could it?

A little bit of Freudian analysis: My father always used to show his love more openly towards my younger sister and I always did all sorts of (rebellious or academic or intellectual) things to get his attention. Which I never got.

See the pattern? That hasn’t changed, has it?

At one point of time, one guy asked me how is it that I never got emotionally involved during sex. And another guy even asked me what ‘Madhavi, The Woman’ wanted in her life.

My answer is a bit complicated. Perhaps ‘Madhavi, The Woman’ was stillborn. She never could evolve. Perhaps the ‘Compartmentalization’ happened because of this stillborn birth.

After all, how could ‘Madhavi, The Woman’ ever be born and evolve? Was she killed by the 85 year old, old man who molested her when she was 13? Was she killed by the 4 boys in the car who tried to sexually assault her when she was 16? Has she been killed by the fella who decided to rape her one morning when she was 24? Or was she killed by the male-relative-who-was-like-a-father-figure-to-her who decided to ask her to have an affair with him and then pretended that he was just ‘testing her morals and ethics’ when she was 27?

I mean, after all this, I think that it is a miracle that I enjoy sex the way I do. What a barrier THAT was, to overcome and conquer!

I guess emotions (the domain of the heart) got compartmentalized somewhere down the line. And they got protected by a hard and thick layer of thorns. And I don’t regret it.

And the fun part is that when I do state what I want, which in this case is: ‘Romance’, each guy I meet has absolutely no clue about what he is supposed to do!! I don’t want to go on a ‘Why Me?’ trip here, but then I wonder ‘What the f**k?’! How come you don’t know? You Men – You Who Claim To Be All Knowing! After all, you know it all when you want to talk down to me or try to dominate or control me or want me to ‘change myself’? You know THAT. But you don’t know the way to my heart, even when it is spelled to you so clearly? How do you want me to respect that? How can I even be accepting of that?

Especially, now that I know what I want!!

So for all the doofuses and dodos out there, here are some tips for Romance! A disclaimer though: These are just generalized suggestions and tips. Not an invitation for seducing me. These are specifically aimed for those who claim that they don’t know what ‘Romance’ is all about. After all, since my target audience for this bit is men, I have to really spell it out, because in my varied experience, men are DUMB when it really comes down to it…

1. It is not corny when you buy flowers or chocolates for your woman – sometimes corny can be nice, when not overdone. Occasions such as birthdays or anniversaries apart, you can do it anytime. But don’t make it an everyday or an every week routine which is predictable. Surprise is always a good idea.

2. I have recently discovered the magic of romance in ‘a walk’. Do that. Take a walk with your woman. However, don’t choose a road full of traffic as that can be a deterrent for romance. Also it pays to remember that it is a romantic walk. Don’t make it a race or a hike or an exercise routine.

3. Say nice things – appreciate her mind, her beauty and her feelings. Say them out loud.

a. When appreciating her mind: Know what she does for a living or what she studies or likes on an intellectual level and talk about her accomplishments in the area and don’t belittle her ideologies. Tell her that you are proud of all that she knows.

b. When appreciating her beauty: Tell her how you like her eyes or nose or lips. Tell her that she is beautiful and wonderful. Don’t try to make it sound like you are only horny for her, rather just tell her and leave it at that.

c. When appreciating her feelings: Tell her how you like the fact that she is loving / caring / emotionally available to you. Tell her how it makes you feel when you know how she feels for you.

4. Greeting cards with interesting poetry (if you can, write your own poetry) with a bunch of flowers or candies are a good idea. You can have them sent to her house.

5. Hold her hand while walking on the road. Or put your arms around her waist. This depends on the level of comfort you have with your woman.

6. Smile to her often, especially while you look deep into her eyes. Say something like ‘I Love You’. It is not corny. Trust me. Do it at least once every time you meet her in person, or communicate with her on the phone, e-mail etc.

7. When you are hanging around at home, sing her a romantic song and pull her to her feet and dance a slow number while holding her close. Look into her eyes while singing the song, mean the words you sing and hold her gently but firmly while dancing.

8. Feed her a bite of the dessert when you are having dinner somewhere. Take her somewhere nice for dinner once in a while. Make sure the service is good, and the ambience is perfect for her and you. And while you are at it, don’t be rude to the waiters or the staff in the restaurant, please.

I hope that these suggestions or tips are giving you the general idea. There are many more along the same lines, but at the moment the thoughts elude me. So use the brain. Get the drift. Act accordingly. These and such things don’t really cost much on the pocket, only on the imagination. Sometimes, it can be worth it to use the imagination while trying to ‘romance’ a girl. Isn’t it?

This New Year is something that has begun interestingly for me. Now that I am finally moving on – out of the past and into the future – with some unshed tears and a lot of anticipation, I wonder just how it will all turn out. Don’t you?

Diwali :: Jab We Met :: Work :: Om Shanti Om :: NaNoWriMo

Ah well! Regular readers of my blog (I have been told that there are some of them out there!) ought to be used to something like this by now – so this one is also something like 5 different things in 1 single post.

So first off, let me start out by saying “HAPPY DIWALI AND A PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR” to all my friends out there in the net-world. The festival of lights brings in so many new things to life…we celebrate it by bursting crackers and by lighting lamps. I am sure that there is some mythological story behind the festival (there always is one), but that’s not what I am going to dwell on in this post.

To me, this Diwali signaled something else. I saw the lights in a new way. I heard the crackers with a new sound. It seemed to me as if the lights were there to show me the way in the darkness of the soul. And the loud noise of the crackers talks of the sudden burst of insight that comes when you see or hear or feel or sense that you are finally on the right path! It was totally a celebration for me this Diwali when I suddenly realized all this. If I were to talk of 3 Tarot cards which summed this up for me, then they would be Devil Reversed, Tower, and Sun.

And plus to top it all off, my landlord’s son, daughter-in-law and their kids came to visit them! It was great fun. They built a small mud fort near the gate and painted the diwali ka pantis and had a rocking and gala time! Alas for me, their coming signals that I have to eat my meals outside. So….I took the opportunity and met up with old and new pals and generally hung out and ate out.

Amidst and along with all this, this Diwali I was working my ass off. Normally, Diwali is a time (4 days approximately) when everyone takes a holiday. No one WORKS. But I did. And I loved every moment of it. Even I could not believe it. But I was, and I still am totally happy about it. I think I like this way of spending my Diwali festival. After all, when all the darkness is going away, light has to come in, right!!! And what better way to let the light shine through than to see Goddess Laxmi (the Goddess of Wealth, mind you) find her way to my doorstep! I welcomed Her and asked her to bless me!

See, on my altar I have an idol of Goddess Saraswati (the Goddess of Knowledge). As myths go, the Goddess of Knowledge and the Goddess of Wealth, apparently, don’t stay in the same place at once. But then, I prayed to Goddess Laxmi this time to come and visit me. Why? Well, simply because that is the only manner in which my Knowledge attains some amount of measure-able value in this world. And I welcomed Her to my home. What’s more, She did come to visit me!

See, to me, knowledge is valuable, but then money is a way of measuring that value as a viable mode of exchange in the world. So I welcome both these Goddesses into my house. Bold step? Sure! Does it work? Well…..Don’t you see me smiling?

Oh and guess what! Buzzle decided to reward me with a Bonus for Diwali! Apparently, another lady writer and I are the only two freelancers who got this bonus! Wow! I felt so honored and so great! I mean, its not something I take lightly, because when appreciation comes for your work, then its too humbling and too elating an experience for me!

And so, amidst all this hustle and bustle I went and saw ‘Om Shanti Om’ – the latest ‘blockbuster’ release. The stars of the movie were Shah Rukh Khan and newcomer Deepika Padukone.

To be quite honest, I liked the movie. Not loved it, but liked it. As reincarnation-themed movies go, somehow, I have never found any movie to be better than the oldie-goldie ‘Karz’. In fact the title of this movie is a take off on one of the popular songs from Karz itself!

I do give OSO a 4 out of 5 though. I think that it was fairly well done. Except for some parts where I felt that SRK was dedicating the movie to his ego, the other parts were good. And SRK’s efforts at body building are quite commendable. Especially in the song sequence for ‘Dard-E-Disco’ I found myself shamelessly ogling his abs! The other number which deserves a mention is ‘Aankhon Mein Teri’ – quite a tune! Deepika Padukone has done a fairly good job for her first movie. It didn’t quite seem like it was her first movie, if you ask me. More like a third or fourth movie for her. She looked so damn comfortable on screen! The plot and the story revolve around the reincarnation theme, so not much to be said there. But Kirron Kher as SRK’s ‘Filmy Ma’ really rocked!

I must also mention Jab We Met, albeit in passing. The movie is just good, clean fun. Yes, it is a love story, so not much we can do with that. Kareena sucks as usual – she really doesn’t need to get ‘in character’ for this one as I think she is very much herself in the movie – stupid and inspid and un-inspiring. Shahid on the other hand, was soooo cuuuuteeee! And he displayed a fair amount of acting skills which surprised me a lot! This lad is going places, I think. This movie gets 4 outta 5 too!

And finally let’s talk about NaNoWriMo. Yes. Let’s. I haven’t written any more than 3000 odd words of my novel. I am admitting it, so go ahead and lynch me. Read the post again. Do you think that amidst all this madness, I had any time? Give me a break! Yeah, so I really AM working this time and I am not lying. But I should have written something. At least a page or two, na? I think I am going to do just that from tomorrow. It doesn’t matter if I win or lose, or if I can’t get the novel done in a month’s time. I am going to write at least one page a day. How does that sound? Slow and study wins the race – every Capricorn knows that!


Happy New Year 2007!

It is the end of 2006 and 2007 will begin tomorrow (technically). It is past one a.m. in the night and 31st of December has begun. The year will change and with it so many things will become things from “last year”. How simple life really is! And how fast things change! They say that change is good for you, but they do not know the pains and the happiness that change involves.

In this year just to be over, so many things happened that have now changed my life. I have gained and lost so much and yet, so little! One may say that life has taken a leap forward for me after being in stasis for so long. Yet to the naked eye, nothing much has changed.

Perhaps the change is internal and somewhat external. But whatever or wherever the change may lie, the change has happened. Life, such as it is will move on. I know it. That is inevitable and unchanging.

Let’s see – the beginning of this year saw me joining a company where I was to learn how to be confident of my skills as a writer on a professional level. This was also the organisation where I was to meet the man I would eventually fall in love with – without my wanting to be so. Still, so it was and remains to this day. Then towards the middle of the year, I had left the organisation to strike out on my own, knowing fully well that I had no fallback plan or safety net to hang on to, except for the will to go on. Yet I took the leap and did not look back. I am very nearly broke now, by the way, but that does not matter now. I am still here and going strong. Soon, I shall bounce back to where I was and then there really will be no turning back professionally.

Personally, this year has been a roller coaster ride. This man I met and eventually fell in love with, turned out to be a really good man. He is caring and loving and at the same time a creative and intelligent soul, who understands many of the pains that creative people suffer with. I have also lost someone dear to me. She was my friend from the past 10 years or so. I finally took the step that I was afraid to take. She always underestimated me – I always felt it and knew it. But I was afraid to let go of her, because she was my only friend. Somehow I realised that she did not share the sentiment. We fought because I finally vented and told her some truths about the way I felt. Of course, this is painful, but then, partings always are. Maybe we will meet someday, and then I shall see if she does treat me with respect. If not, then I shall not regret this decision. And if she does, then I shall welcome the humility in her, but I shall not let her in my heart again. It is only a fool who repeats mistakes so grave.

This year, I also gave up something – a dream, a wish of mine that came true. It was the time to be practical. This was the thing I had been wanting for quite some time. I had it in my grasp, but I had not the means to manage it well. I gave it up – I became practical. Yet this is the thing I regret the most. I had wanted this so that I would never be alone again. And yet by giving it up, here I am – alone. Truly alone.

Oh – I know there are several people in this world, far and near, who do care for me. But then, I am truly alone – as is everyone else in this world. It was about time that I acknowledged it and accepted it, I suppose. And this process is quite revealing.

It reveals all our fears to our own self. And in facing those fears, one truly evolves, I think. I am facing them now.

On a spiritual level too, many things happened within the year. I glimpsed many things from my past lives when I went through a regression seminar in August. Many things became clear to me and still are becoming clear day by day. Life becomes simplified. Tarot has helped me see things more and more clearly too. I have discovered a tool of accessing hitherto inaccessible domains and I am thankful to existence for providing them to me.

Well, the next year will be yet another journey into the unknown. I begin fresh and yet a little more mature than before. New paths open up to me even as I write this down. More and more will come, and some more will be gone. I wonder how this will unravel in front of my eyes. Alone I walk in this, and yet not alone – for the memories and the lessons from the past keep me company. Some people will join me on this path, and some won’t.

The blessings of the universe are with me, as they are with all of us. Life moves on to the next step – 2007 here I come!