Sunday, September 18, 2011

Husbands vs Bachelors

The transition from becoming a bachelor to a husband must be really so different for the men.

Bachelor: I am going to sleep all day long on Sunday!
Husband: I want aloo paranthas for breakfast today

Bachelor: I think I will chat with Nina, Meena, Tina at night
Husband: I think I am just going to sleep early. have to get up early tomorrow.

Bachelor: I need a new shirt. ASAP.
Husband: Wife's birthday's coming, need to buy her something.

Bachelor: I can pool in with the others to give a party to so and so.
Husband: We already spent on this month on buying ourselves a washing machine. The party can wait.

Bachelor: I am going home for chutti.
Husband: I wanna plan a huge vacation for both of us.

Bachelor: I think I will meet up with friends in chutti.
Husband: I would watch sports of all different kinds on TV

Bachelor: I dislike bhindi, gobi, aloo...
Husband: Yay! home cooked food tonight (even though its baigan bharta)

Bachelor: I really haven't kissed someone recently
Husband: Oh, the sex can wait!

Bachelor: I am waiting for someone special
Husband: I think I have had my share of special-ness when i see her shave her legs and floss her teeth.

Okay, jokes apart.

Husbands are this really special things. They have loads of patience and they love to be pampered and in turn pamper us. This makes a really good survival tactics to sustain a marriage of a lifetime.

Friday, September 16, 2011

What I learnt from Ms Sudha Murthy?

I am not really a fan of short stories. I think I started my portion of them back in college and ended up with being an avid fan of long and fat novels. Short stories just had no appeal to me. I remember having read the O Henry ones which I liked though it didn't really encourage me to pick up the others.

I came across Ms Murthy's book WISE AND OTHERWISE. I didn't touch the book for two days wanting to delay as much because I knew I was going to be bored to death.

How wrong I was!

I have become so prejudiced about this book that I just want everyone in my family to read it. Its not exactly an autobiography but there are incidents of Ms Murthy's life with various types of people, some happy and some sad but in all of them you learn to become a better human being of today. Unlike a novel it left me feeling good about myself because she talks about various people who have different backgrounds with different temperaments. Not all people we meet are perfect. But they leave a mark on you either making you feel happy or bitter.

What you do is take the best of the situation and be aware that sometimes you cannot change people even though your heart wants otherwise but you can make a difference in the lives of people though you cannot expect them to remember what you have done. You have to keep doing what you think best and be your best.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Feeling at home

Its still raining outside and I am all cozied up in my blankie thanking God than I have a home where I feel safe and happy. Its the same feeling every season. I like the summers (maybe coz I am a April baby) but then the sun gets too harsh on me in the afternoons, I love the autumn but then the leaves make such a mess around, I like the winters too because then I wouldn't have to spend my days in the air conditioner but I hate the nights. I just feel so frozen.
So the point of all this?
Yes, I am coming to it.
I have a beautiful home. Every part of it dear to me. I spend my time looking after it, sometimes I ignore it too. But its times like this when I realize how important a home to me. I sit on my jhoola and stare outside from the balcony, the water dripping down the trees and I waive at the people who are running away from the harsh droplets of rain. They all just want to get home.
I open my book and peek into it, the rain making a happy sound behind me. I wish I had a cup of tea in my hands now as I say this but alas I just sit and stare at the water outside, feeling safe in my own little haven I have made for myself.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Dealing with difficult situations and people

Only you can make yourself unhappy.
People will try to make your life difficult, maybe they find happiness in hurting someone but as long as you hold it all together and think positive then you have the ball in your court. You have to remember that suffering is a part of life and if there is no suffering then you wouldn't enjoy the fruits of life.
No matter where you go you will meet people who dislike you, want to challenge you and perhaps even make you hate your life.
No excuses for that.
But if you cannot change the situation then encourage yourself to focus on your positive energies and keep that person out of your life and mind as much as possible. You can just keep a professional front that satisfies him but if it disturbs you to be around such a person then become your own person. Stand up for yourself and make sure that nothing that he does scares you off. You have the decision in your hands. I think its very easy to forget a person who holds a grudge against you because to be at peace, keep your mind open away from all the negativeness and cut off from them to create a happy environment around yourself. Listen to music of your choice, read a good book, watch a cheesy movie or just plan a vacation that you might take a little later maybe but do it now by going online and checking the websites. Happy thoughts create happy people.
Be that person and make your own life beautiful and worthwhile.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

In Conversation with Mr A K Kundra, the President of SimplyGive Foundation, NGO

AK Kundra , an Educationist and Social Entrepreneur is the Founder at The City High School, Hyderabad. It's philosophy includes pace-based learning, utilizing community resources and issues as tools and context for education. He is the inspiration behind, to make this dream come true.
The School is a realization of his values and belief that investment in education is always for generations to come.
He is also the President at Care4 Autism Center & The Autism Friendly School, both centers of Excellence, in Hyderabad and gives his time equally to all his endeavors. His experience in running a NGO made him realise the financial constraints with which small NGOs in India work and sowed in him the seeds of providing support to them thru an online giving portal. Being tech-savvy, he wants to harness the power of the internet thru & , connecting large-hearted Donors to NGOs.
So lets us know a little about SimplyGive Foundation, the Fundraising division of CFA Society , an NPO, to work for the under- privileged in every sphere of life.

How does your organization differ from its competitors?
Our organisation differs in the sense that we reach the smallest NGO rather than cater to top NGO’s flush with funds. This is the major difference in our approach when compared to our competitor.

What are the company’s plans for future growth?
Our NPO plans to reach every NGO in rural India and ensure that they reach out to donors all over the world, thus making a difference in the lives of the under-privileged.

What problems is your organization facing?
THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE IS TO REACH OUT TO THAT SINGLE VOLUNTEER NGO in villages, who has his Feet-in-the- Street, and help him fund his single-minded mission in making a difference at the grass-root level.

What do you like most about working here?
THE BEST THING ABOUT WORKING IN SIMPLYGIVE is that  positive things can be done for the community/society thru our reach and how we are harnessing the power of internet to bring donor support to the rural NGO.

How would you describe the corporate culture (or work environment) here?
The work culture here is simple : Make A Difference

What is the Organizations mission?
To harness the power of the internet to enable people to raise funds  for charities, easily and cost-effectively, particularly for charities working in the field of Child disability. They chose to help and support those working in the unique area to make these children independent and educated will mean a better world for them and their families living and struggling with disabilities.

What group benefits most?

How to you deliver your services?
TO MAKE THE NGOs come on the world map of Charity giving, harnessing the power of internet simultaneously bringing the donor reach out to his favored community working in causes close to his heart.

What is your source of fund raising?

How do you recruit volunteers?
From colleges, we make students understand how working for the community can make a difference in their lives too. Also, working in community for underprivileged will help enhance their cv, thus enabling them get better jobs.

For more details on SimplyGive Foundation, log on to its website: 

"Nostalgic Moments"

There are many things in my life that when I think about only makes me want to go back.

I was getting married in two months time and my dad decided to give me a travel experience to UK to show the other side of the world before I confined myself in the world of Army. I didn't know whether it was a bribe to change my mind. Dad being 'Dad'.


Perhaps one of the best times of my life was to be totally unaware of  culture of a different country. It certainly changed my perspective on looking at India as a developing country. I wonder when it would be at par with any country.

Manchester and London as a city were a very busy place. Its was perhaps the only place I found some activity going on. The other places that I stayed in i.e Preston, Lake District, Cambridge, Milton Kyenes and Buckingham were quiet in comparison.

UK is a flurry of activity. There is the daily chores that people do yet I felt like I was in a silent movie. There were no people honking on their fancy cars as I crossed the road. Even if I was slow. I enjoyed being slow here.

My dad had already traveled a lot here so he had some clue about the places around and the London Tour Bus we took and the enthusiasm among the other tourists was infectious. I had a gala time, taking pictures of the high street and spending some time at the National Museum and Trafalgar square. There were some locals chalk painting on the street and there was written, "Pay 1 pound to take pictures", I took some pictures without paying him and he actually smiled at me. Probably thinking what a cheapskate I was :).

The food was marvelous and I had my fill of fish and chips everywhere I went. I did miss the home cooked meals like a typical Indian but I compensated my greedy palates with some Kebabs made from a Pakistani stall.

I had always heard rumors about Cambridge University. There is certain thing called Cambridge University Press but no such thing as a university in itself. And Oxford was a street of universities. Again no such thing as Oxford University.

Oh, yea I did i mention I lost my way from Cambridge to Milton Kynes? Well it so happened I had to go shopping at the oddest hour. The mall was open and I thought the buses run all night long. But it was only till 8 and i came back to the bus station at 8 30 hoping to find a transport back to my hotel. I couldn't get any. The tube was ridiculously expensive and the only option was to take a cab. I spent 6000 bucks for an hour drive, my heart cried but i had to reach before my dad came to know what I had done. He was at the University meeting a few students of his and when I told him what  I had done he laughed out aloud.
uh ho- Not the reaction I was expecting.
Apparently he had missed his last bus too and had spent some unmentionable amount on a cab too.
Like father like daughter :)

Lake District, another heaven planted on earth with care by God I think. Preston being a small sleepy town with only University (UCLA) as a main focus and students as its main crowd, we hopped on a bus (courtesy from work) and since it was snowing so bad that morning, we had to delay our trip by a few hours. It was worth well the wait when we reached the place. We were welcomed to the sight of glowing sun and a ferry ride around the lake. Indescribable feeling of calm. All we had to do was jump on the ferry and take the sights in. It all kept pouring in me and I stood  by the railing watching the waters go by me. Something on a ferry always triggers happy pills in me. We also visited the underground reptile and fish aquarium though this being the end of our trip I didn’t have the heart to buy anything else. But the memories stays intact.

 The traditional dress for the Scottish 
 Our guide to the reptile museum. How fondly he looks at those disgusting creatures!
 Aimless wanderer 
 Diamonds at the lake
 The lighthouse 
Definitely planning to take more those ferry rides

We walked a lot, did some daughter-dad talks, discussed the history of UK- the evergreen Shakespeare and my favorite Jane Austen. Then while returning home I got a good feeling inside me. I still think I missed out on being someone else in life but my today is equally beautiful and fortunate.

Some great moments with dad....we are two restless souls who love travelling

Monday, September 5, 2011

Goa- every man's vacation

I have visited the same old shores of Goa and felt like a new person- rejuvenated, stress-free and useless. Yes, that how you should consider your time at Goa. The only useful thing you should be doing there is perhaps a little sightseeing and lots of eating. It's my second time in Goa and that was some ten years ago. So this was a whole new experience to me perhaps because I had someone to hold my hand and walk on the shores of the pristine white beaches.

 So I began my journey taking a bus from Hyderabad to Panjam. It was a round 12 hours drive and a little uncomfortable if you want a good nights sleep. We did reach our destination at last and there is something magical in the air of Goa- a laidback-ness, a calmness that no other place could give you. Dumping our backpack in the fauji guest room (which by the way is the best thing that can happen to you for a mere amount of 350 bucks). Not wasting time loitering in the room we headed straight to Calungate Beach taking the local bus from Panjam. Its great to interact with the locals as you go because to know Goa, you have to know the Goans. We tried the local adventure sports, which was a way big decision of my life. You see I consider my life very precious and I really wouldn't understand why people do this - i.e- para sailing, banana ride, para gliding, speed boat ride. Its just brutal truth that then we realize how much we want to be safe. My views changed as soon as I came back from an mind blowing (yes, Archana Puran Singh is not the only person who uses this word!) and fabulous feeling to come back to ground. The salty water still burning my eyes and spoiling my salivary glands. Later part of the day we tried prawn Goan curry. It tasted like heaven with white rice. The evening came too soon. And I couldn't feel tired, lying around the shacks with people taking care of you, i felt like a better human being and wanted. We did pick a few things from the Calungate market and its worth window shopping too.

 Our next destination was the Baga Beach. After the excitement of yesterday Baga was quiet family beach and we lazied around for sometimes, taking out time at the shops around. I even had the local girl braid my hair witha piece of string.

Anjuna beach, the much talked about and a favorites of the foreigners is slight over estimated place. No Indians are not given priority coz we are stingy people and like free stuff. Annyways the night was beautiful there where every shack was given an ethereal look. I wanted to go and spend time at each place. The food is not marvelous there though. so we took our culinary palates and headed towards the city.

 Tito's another favorite where we stretched our alcohol limits with all the free drinks you get. Also like a typical woman, i wanted my money's worth! We tried the X Sports Bar opposite to Titos that has some very interesting drinks, a pool table and a karoake. The owner of the bar was a localite and had some interesting stories to share about the rave parties. We sadly didn't have too much of time left to go to one (That's left for next time). We did take our feet out of the water enough to sight see the last day. The Dona Paula Beach, The Aguada Fort, the St Francis Church and the ferry ride, we did it all. Its fun to be a tourist in a place like this one. And the excitement you see around is infectious.

You really don't have to come home at night...Goa is alive 24/7

 Some tips:
 1. Always have loose clothing when getting into water
 2. Have a light wrap for the evenings
3. Be careful of the hawkers and carry minimum things at the beach
4. Its better to carry a water proof bag at the beach and zip it when you both want to try the waters
5. Buy your alcohol from the local shops to avoid excessive spending at the shacks
6. Try the local cuisine away from the beaches. They could be cheaper than what they provide there
7. Bargain if you are shopping, move on if they irritate you. You will find the same stuff everywhere.
8. do no spend more on a hotel if you plan to spend your day at the beach but do not go for sleazy hotels either.
9. try walking around the shops at night. Its simply delightful.
10. When trying alcohol, have enough to be aware of your surroundings. Or make sure the one who drives stays sober

Likability quotient. Do you have it in you?

Why is this restlessness to find more in life of what is already giving me immense happiness?
I have realized I do not need too many things to make me happy. A kind word and a kind thought is enough for now. And even if people hate me, think i am arrogant for thinking that I am the best, I take it in a stride. In true honesty I have realized that when people tag others as arrogant its just when they want to hide the flaws in their character.
If they blame the other person for being a under-performer then they are just being prejudiced and not open to new ideas. Because if you are open to new things and when you encourage another person to become a better person, you are in turn making changes in yourself and being more likable.
There isn't a magic formula to make people to like you. Its mostly how you treat them. Haven't you heard the saying again and again, "treat the person the way you want to be treated?" Here we go then, make sure that you give that person equal opportunity to prove himself. If you have something against him then ask yourself "why?"
I cannot say that there are evil people out there. Yes, there are some people who forget their standing and do not know how to live in a community. If you are rich, gorgeous and thin then life would be so perfect, right? But it isn't like that always. If you are rich, you could be fat, if you are thin, you could have the bank balance of a pauper. But then money and the things he possess does not make him the man of the world. One does not like someone for how many things he has got at home. A person is only likable if you give the other person priority of thought and a chance to prove your worth.
So if you want to be likable now, prove your worth equally, otherwise you are just living in an illusion of comfort and power. It doesn't give you much happiness nor friends in the end.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

I had a dream

It was late and I was informed with a circular, "All ladies to attend an exam for tomorrow morning".
Exam! What exam?
The morning comes and I quickly wear my best sari and pack all my make up stuff. In goes my koel pencil, lip liners, lipsticks, compact powder, Blusher and so on.
I find myself in a examination hall and all ladies are dressed in their best garbs. It was just going to be a tough one. I see familiar faces looking confident as if they knew this exam was going to come any day.
I see the paper and here I see the mathematics paper in Hindi. Both the subjects I never excelled in!

I got up with a jolt. The feeling of failure sinking in as I try to make sense of what I had just dreamt. I have this habit of going online and finding a reason behind dreams and it always makes me feel restless if i do not know meaning to a few things in life.

Here is what I found from Google (god of all answers)

To dream that you are taking an exam, indicates that you are being put to the test or being scrutinized in some way. These dreams highlight some anxiety or agitation that you are experiencing in your waking life. 

I know I have the same feeling of anxiety as if life is going to end if 'this n that' does not happen but I have decided to cope. I know nothing is going to be put on a platter for me. I have to work hard to understand the nuances of human nature and be satisfied with today. Having said that I do not say that I have answers to all what is happening in the world because for me my own little world has taken a priority.