Friday 18 November 2011

"Stained"

Some people got fired at work today...am in a dark mood and came up with this..well poetry doesn't seem half as interesting when written in a good mood, does it?

"Stained"

I have blood on my hands
Pains that won’t go away
Wash as hard as I might
Stains that won’t go away

The heart quickens now, and then more
Worry first, then rage, then tears
Swimming in a pool of disbelief
There is no place for my fears

Is sorrow what shapes us
If yes, what use is glee?
If trial is what makes us
What use of being free?

Send me to the gallows
Let me my time bid
In trial I may learn
What in freedom I never did

Reflections of why this, why me and
Wish I could have changed fate
Wash as hard as I might
I have blood on my hands mate

Thursday 3 March 2011

Tit for Tat Strategy

Was reading 'Games Indians Play' the other day and was quite taken up by it. V. Raghunathan talks about game theory and Indians, and how even the most instinctive actions displayed by us translate to our need to be a step ahead of everyone we know. How we are privately smart and publicly dumb. He talks about the classic prisoner's dilemma and how we have a constant need to break traffic rules, jump the queue, or litter public places, because in the end..how does 'my effort' in abiding rules, maintaining decorum, cleaning up etc. make a difference to a country teeming with millions? And how does it guarantee that I will not be left out cold - that if I abide, maintain and clean, some other guy won't come along exploiting my genuineness? The base assumption is that everyone will cheat, so I must take care of myself by being smarter lest someone takes advantage of me. Tit for Tat Strategy – always rewarding the defector who is smart enough to start cheating first!

Is VR wrong to paint us all with the same brushstroke? Stereotyping and prejudices are not just the forte of old aunties sitting in a kitty party. It persists in society so we can quickly scan the unknown, form opinions where detailed analysis is either herculean or unpragmatic. So I don’t blame old man VR for saying the things he does, because he is right about the majority of us. We have this innate pressure of one-upmanship within us. I tend to link it to the warring nature of our ancestors and the struggle to survival that our peninsula has seen over the years. Add in an accelerated population growth and a hot climate, lo and behold, we have people jutting out legs to fell the ‘over’smart ones trying to overtake!

The country’s public goods are often the severest casualty. Classic case of the free rider problem. Auntyji will make sure her house is spic and span, but where should she dump the ‘kachra’? Aha, maybe the playground next to her when the municipal garbage dumpster is just a few blocks away? It’s not her job to take care of the ground, she says. Well, I don’t intend to list out the other vices we are prone to. Read VR for that. And take your pick..blame the Indianness in us and move on...or maybe try to do something small from your end, thinking it might make a difference?

Wednesday 6 May 2009

The walk home...

It is a walk alone that can do it to you. In a fast paced world where you are constantly fighting the urge to switch off that ringing noise in your ears, and drown out the clutter in your brain, it does good to take yourself for a walk once a while.
When i walk in my flat shoes, specially bought with an intention to walk back home from office, I feel free. The reason is simple. The walk lets me think, think about life so far. It cheers me, makes me laugh, condemns and then condones me, makes me reflect, not without the occasional pang of regret or the silent pat on the back. Noise enters, but finds a different pattern, the same car that bothers you with its honking becomes an object of curiosity. You attach new meanings to things around and may even beget new ideas, some disruptive, some absurd and some enlightening (absurdity is not new to me, btw).
Apparently, the loo is not the only place where the bulb lights up! But surely, keep your worries at home if this has to work.
Try it. You may get smarter!

Wednesday 8 April 2009

Chicken stew for the hungry soul...

Well all my family and friends would vouch for the fact that i can spend the rest of my life eating, talking about eating or dreaming about eating. Recently, I've taken up cooking, more so to satiate my taste buds and those of an equally foodie hubby. So here goes a recipe I felt like sharing. Well, i don't like sharing recipes (though they can most definitely NOT be classified as rare!), but i thought, well, how many read my blog anyway?

My version of Mallu Stew :

Heat coconut oil. Put in jeera (cumin seeds) and curry leaves and slit green chillies. Slice onions, put in, cook till translucent. Mix in ginger garlic paste (though whole ginger and garlic chopped are better). Then put in elaichi (cardamom), dalchini (cinnamon sticks:key ingredient), black pepper whole, cloves, 1 bay leaf, nutmeg if you have.
Make sure onions remain translucent, should not get fried too much. Pour in coconut milk generously. Chop tomatoes, quarter size and put them in. Add a pinch of haldi (turmeric). Put in salt. Gravy is ready.
Now in this, you can put steamed chicken (with a lil salt), or steamed veggies (potatoes, carrots, broccoli, babycorn etc). Simmer till the flavours enter the chicken / veggies and the stew is ready. Serve with rice or appams!
SLLLLLLLLLUUUUUUURRRRRRRP!

Wednesday 14 January 2009

Til and Gud

Makar Sankranti, means so many things to so many people. Kite flying for some, "til gud ghya, god god bola" for others. For me, it's a new ritual of takin 'gud' with 'til', 'chuda' with 'dahi' on this auspicious day, something I married into. Sometimes you mock at rituals and meaningless paraphernalia, the umpteen customs that don't really identify with your current lifestyle. But then, there are some others...The til gud, or the early morning oil bath on auspicious days, the flower rangoli made for 'Onam' or the rakhi tied on rakshabandhan, why, even the daily lamp I light at sundown at home... All of it brings a great sense of tranquility to me. I don't do it because i'm told to, but because somewhere my soul identifies, embraces and loves it.

Friday 28 November 2008

Fear Map

Fear is a strange thing. It makes you helpless and cripples you. But somewhere in the midst of all that dread and weariness, there is amazing clarity. Clarity about what is most dear to you and what is most valuable to you. You fear loss. Loss of life, loss of security, loss of love, loss of freedom, loss of peace of mind. The less you are in control of a situation, the more you fear. The more you fear, the less you are in control. It's an experience. Specially the fear of something that you never envisaged, something that you never had a hand in but still threatens to ruin your sanctimonious existence. It’s a feeling of shock, then slow rationalization, then fear, then extreme fear, then spirituality and then some more fear. All interspersed with a zillion unwanted thoughts and another zillion rebellious, revengeful actions played out in the intricate map of a fearful mind.
I wish I could be age 1, and fearless again.

Wednesday 16 July 2008

The lying mirror...

My carpenter is a mastermind. He had a strategic vision and foresight that even a Gary Hamel would applaud. The task: Get me a dressing table. Constraints: It should have inbuilt storage and must fit into the small corner allocated to it.

He gave me a nice looking dresser, with a full length oval mirror attached on the door. The door swings open to reveal a cabinet ready to be filled with the choiciest cosmetics that i would never use.

But the stroke of genius was this: The mirror was a slimming mirror! Look into it and you look 4 kgs lighter and 2 inches taller! No wonder i lived through all those cheese burst pizzas and felt nothing ever showed on me!!

As i look at myself in the office mirrors, i sigh and convince myself that these mirrors are clearly faulty...the only true mirror is the one on my dresser...no arguments please!