Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Belated birthday learnings :)

Yesterday was my husband's birthday- (you know I really find it weird to call Saurabh "husband" especially when there are so many cliches attached to this one word- but anyways that's what we are- Husband and Wife!!). So being the kind of person he is, understated and NORMAL, he does not believe in mentioning his birth date on a medium like Facebook- which is a window to all the superficiality that exists in our times (in his words).

Everyday our news feed is flooded with birthday wishes followed by a "Thank you all for your blessings and wishes. You guys made my day" message by the birthday boy/girl. Isn't the number of wishes that a person gets on his best day, a sort of a measure of how loved he/she is? Oh c'mon please admit that when suddenly at least 70 people flood your wall with ultra sweet wishes, you do feel very loved, very important! I do! Everyone who have had no intention or time to connect with me throughout the year wake up to FB's notification of my birthday, click on my name, type a few words proving that they still remember me and I love it when I see the messages and realize- Oh yes, this one is also on my friends list.

This is NOT an attempt to lessen the significance of FB- being an ardent FB addict, I will be blasphemous to even think like that. But at the same time I learnt something yesterday. Since it was not on Facebook, Saurabh was not flooded with any messages there. What did that mean? Only those got to wish him who remembered his birthday. Who had either put a reminder on their phones or just simply remembered it in their heads because Saurabh mattered to them. Throughout the day he was as flooded with calls as I am on my birthday (despite my birth date being flashed on FB) and that humbled me so much. His family, his cousins, my family members who love him as much as they love me and some friends who he truly and rightly values- All these people did not need anyone to remind them and whatever their schedules, they HAD to pick up the phone to SMS or call him. Somehow all these people seemed more important than the ones who were aided in recall in my case or anyone else's.

It made me think. Hence I shared. Saurabh-There is no need to reiterate or claim that I love you but these are small things that make me respect you more and learn in the process :)

Friday, 14 September 2012

Whose time is it to visit Melbourne?

Interesting contest I must say. Not just because it promises an opportunity to the winner to visit a magnificent place but also because it tests imagination! We bloggers, I am assuming most of us, are blogging because we are creative. Whatever we write about- our travels, relationships, food or kids, at the end of the day we are doing so because we believe that we can express ourselves through our writing better than those lesser mortals who cannot. Some of us click- some do not! But we still write and write because.....well again- we have a unique ability to articulate thoughts, structure them into words/phrases/poems and have an urge to share it with a significant number of people- be it for publicity/acceptability or (I don't know what?)

Okay so why am I writing about this contest? And what is it that I am doing different? I (maybe like no one else would) admit that I read through some of the other submissions. I mean please tell me if they are published before the submission deadline then we ARE supposed to read them right? Ya so I was saying that I went through a couple of submissions and I saw one thing common in them. Lets say they are all under 2 categories:

  1. Those who have been there- so they are talking about how wonderful their visit was and how much they would love to go there again. Fair! If your talent (in this case your writing) can take you there again- why not? For that matter, if I can write and win tickets I would love to go to Shimla or Manali too. Wont I ?
  2. The next category are the people who have not been there and are imagining the experiences. So what are they doing? They are either googling or talking to friends who have seen the place. Then they are carefully listing out the "touristy things to do" and detailing how wonderful it will be to do all that.
In both the above cases what is common? The excitement! The exaggeration of how 'beautiful' and 'a must do' city Melbourne is and ofcourse how something would be amiss in their lives if they do not get this opportunity. But given this commonality and repetitive tone and thought- hats off to the judges who will HAVE to device new parameters to judge the best entries (trust me after reading a few only, I feel I have already been there!!)

The above observations have definitely thrown me out of the race of "Its your time to visit Melbourne" because I am not confirming to the popular way of approaching this contest but what to do! I owe these admissions to ......what is it called? Conscience? No lets call it- Observations (its less controversial and more believable!)

Because if I would approach it I would think about it this way- I have an Aunt living in the city of Agra. Agra, for the world , is on top of the list of the "must visit" places when one even thinks about India. It houses The TAJ MAHAL. Now I have obviously seen it but that was when I was very small. The aunt keeps inviting us to her place often making us emotional by saying :"Atleast come for the TAJ if not to see us!". We are ashamed that due to our busy schedules we disappoint her so much because technically its just 3 hours drive from where we live! But the only thing that doesn't take us there is the thought " Oh its so close. We can go there anytime". However when we hear in the news that whoever visits India from Princess Diana to Obama to Oprah to Clinton- All may or may not eat our food, but will definitely visit the TAJ- we do wonder why we should not visit it monthly. If I understand it correctly, the beauty of TAJ is what draws them to it. The stories they have heard about how it was built, the rich culture and heritage that it reflects is magnetic. Hence the curiosity to see it.

So as an Indian, if I want to visit someplace outside my culture and heritage, and think about what experiences I want to get back from there- its very simple. I am also like these hot shot celebrities in my take aways- I want to closely touch and feel and experience, the true essence that makes that place! Isn't it extremely simple and fair? Who am I to google and see what are the popular places to see and do at any city. I am supposed to be served that experience by the city itself- whatever it wants me to come back home and talk about with my peers, family and friends. 

Hence I am taking this risk. Instead of being diplomatic, I will be truthful. I will not visit the official Melbourne website ( have just typed it here and not clicked  it at all!

Bring on the experience to me which you feel will best showcase your culture, your spirit, your dreams and your ideas of a great and  best Melbourne experience. Post that I promise a blog which will also have pictures of all your famous landmarks- difference is- I will be in them too- Happy and contented :)

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

There's a lot in a name!!

The morning newspaper for me is an absolute essential! I can do without tea (very rarely but still can manage) but if there is no Newspaper- my day is ruined! I am not complaining about this habit as I would love my kids to pick it from me. So why am I mentioning it? Because yesterday's newspaper is stuck in my head and I must vent it out. Blogging is a good way to vent I must say. For the very same reason I waited a day as I don't want my 'venting' to be someone else's 'fainting'! How? This is how-

So you all read about the Nicknames story of Delhi Times front page yesterday? Those who did- know what I am talking about and those who didn't- will know. It was a story on whether calling your partner with a special name is testament to the depth of your love for him/her. In a nut shell whether "Shona", "Baby", "Jaanu", "Buttercups" are your entries into your loved ones heart or not? I am nobody to say they are or they are NOT (stressed it just like that- no puns intended), but I am everybody to say that I am with them or against them- right? 

All those who know my husband do not even need to read any further. Even if you gave him electric shocks to 'express' himself, you will fail. But when it comes to labeling each other with our self stylized proper nouns, you can try giving me those electric shocks too. I mean I literally get a bad crawly sensation under my skin when I hear someone say on the dinner table- "Sweetie pass the Achaar bottle na!"- I could throw the Achaar bottle on Sweetie's love interest at that very moment. Why Why Why are some people so eager to display their love on dining tables, weddings, parks, malls,parties, markets? Yeah I know to each his own and like I believe in taking care of Saurabh or making good food for him as my way of showing him love- others might not be realizing that 'sweetie' is being blurted out of their mouths almost like a habit! 

 Along with calling your loved one with a creepy name there are other things under this category which again give me goose bumps- 
  • Like holding hands while walking (Aaarghhhh it kills me!!). Or holding hands even while sitting with each other in a party!
  • Eating in the same plate at a wedding (unless the hosts tell me that every plate is costing them 2000 bucks and that I must 'help' by making 5 of my family members eat within 2000 rupees- I never do that!) 
  • Winking at each other while they are with 50 people in the same room (trust me I have seen people do that- it insults me dude and dudette!!)
  • Discussing silly details like "You know he cant open his eyes unless he sees me every morning"/ "you know I iron his shirt and socks and underwear- that's how much I love him"/ "She is my lifeline- the best wife in the world" (Why say when you know? Its like me telling someone how V and N came into my tummy!!)
  • Tagging your partner on FB photos as "Aww hottie"/"My stud" (We know!! We too feel the same for ours but we believe that if we say it we don't mean it!!)
  • The behavior that definitely tops the list in irking my senses is this display in front of your elders. I think its not only derogatory and shameless but also "so not required" ( You think I am a behanji to think like that? Then behanji I am because I was raised to maintain a line of decency in my speech and conduct by my parents- they maintained it and I will never cross it too because my love for my husband is not a point I need to prove- Its in the fact that we laugh uninhibitedly in each other's company and our eyes light up at each other's sight)
The list can keep growing but I think I HAVE made my point and I HAVE attracted enough scorns :).

I am only saying- get rid of these habits. Love - but show it to THE one. Others either aren't interested (atleast we are not!-so try and tune your system accordingly when you are around because we laugh at it till the next morning) or are disgusted (Yes we are and many others too who smile it off in front of you).