Friday, May 29, 2015

Deserved Respect

Today I fired my servant maid. Not a great start of the day, is it?

The conversation touched a topic that I have always found very unfair and irritating.

She took up another house’s work at my time slot and told me she cannot come before I go to the office anymore. The reason she gave is that the people who had asked her to do the work were older than her, and hence out of respect, she could not deny. Apparently, they are older than her, hence it is her duty to do whatever they ask of her, even if it is unfair, but I should not ask her about delays coz I am younger than her!

This is the thing with our country, isn’t it? The word RESPECT is not defined correctly. They call it culture. They call it values. They call it tradition. I call it b**l s**t. 

Respect is something every human being is entitled to. The amount of respect a person deserves may depend on – being human, outward cleanliness and personal hygiene, social ethics and one’s beliefs & acts. In a professional setting- one’s education and position, and in social setting- senior citizens, handicapped people, pregnant women and sick people get higher preference. I say preference here, and not respect though it is misconstrued a lot in our country. Isn’t a Janitor as much of a human as a firm’s Partner. Doesn’t a child / teenager deserves as much of respect as senior citizen in a bus / train / party?

NO ONE is entitled to be unfair or arrogant or manipulative and take the world for granted because of age! The time ticks the same for all and the world revolves the same for all. 

Below are some of the social thoughts around the older generation, and my personal beliefs.

Older people are Gods, they should be worshiped – they are humans just like everyone else. 

They have the right to take all decisions – only when it concerns them, and to an extent, their dependant under-aged children. Above 18ers deserve to make their own decisions. Older generation can guide, consult, and support if they wish to. 

They know the best, they know it all, they are always right, they don’t make mistakes – they, like any other human beings, they can most definitely be wrong and should have the humility to accept that. Their experience can definitely be a perspective to consider, and might bring many new angles to the table, but that doesn’t mean they are always right. 

It’s ok if they are unfair and unjust, they don’t have to be brought to justice, they should not be challenged, they should not be questioned, they need not apologize as they are older – No one has the right to be unfair or hurtful or unjust to anyone – age no bar, caste no bar, religion no bar, sex no bar. Anyone who does a mistake can be and should be held responsible and brought to justice, and at the very least, apologize for their mistakes.
IT IS NOT SAD IF SOME ONE OLDER THAN YOU MAKES A MISTAKE AND APOLOGIZES TO YOU! It is the right thing to do! YOU DON’T HAVE TO FEEL GUILTY FOR BEING APOLOGIZED TO! A person apologizing doesn’t look bad, in fact earns more respect by acknowledging their mistake.

Younger people around them have adjust to them, they don’t have to adjust to anyone – I don’t have to adjust to ANYONE beyond my tolerable point. My daughter doesn’t have to adjust to me beyond her limit either! And I shouldn’t expect her to. In fact, the older I become, the more understanding I should become, and more tolerant and adjusting that should make me. Adjustment is mutual, if someone doesn’t adjust to me, I am NOT OBLIGED to adjust to them because of their age – and this is NOT DISRESPECT. 

Raping is a sin (also a crime); But so are others like  insulting someone, depriving any human being of freedom, fundamental rights and self-respect in the pretext of being older, hurting anyone – be it  a child or an animal, considering oneself superior and others inferior, being arrogantly proud and egotistical. God doesn’t weigh good and bad based on age. Law doesn’t change no matter what the age of the convict is. 

Old age can be entitled for a separate queue, sympathies and support; NOT an excuse for boosting self-egos, making mistakes and stomping over youth on the grounds of culture / tradition / values. 

Respect is earned, not forced out using threats and blackmails. Respect should be given at will, not under pressure. Respect should be deserved.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Big Change

For the world population that is not following up with my super-fast changing life, I am now married! Yes, went through all of the traditional arranged marriage routine.

Past few months… So much has happened!

Numerous heavy bull fights with parents when the tabooed topic of marriage was initiated; mom’s strong persuasion; crying out to friends on how painful and irritating the discussions were; Progress in career and hectic stressful 16 hour working days in office; Finally mom’s victory in finding ‘The Guy’ for me and days of convincing me to get married; my first retaliation to the very idea of marriage; Dad’s pitching in on the project of convincing me for marriage; my first embarrassed gtalk chat with Him at 12 in the night; our first few hesitant and awkward talks over the phone; our first meet in McDs’ in Velachery; His first gift of a Fasttrack watch; nice McDs' Burgers and ice tea :P; Both of us nodding a ‘Qabool’ to “Us”; Our Engagement; His visits to Chennai and mine to Blore; Wedding plans n shopping; More and more office work in the peak; Kadalai with fiancĂ©; More Shopping; Advices from every Tom Dick and Harry; More work; Driving in Chennai heat and increasing traffic due to Chennai Metro; More kadalai; More and more unending shopping… and it went on till the end on my bachelorette life!

The marriage itself was a blur. Lots of people telling me when to do what, what to do how, how to do why, why… there was almost never an answer to that other than – “That’s the tradition, and it has to be done that way. End of discussion.” I was specifically instructed to bundle up my rationality and logic thinking and throw it away until the marriage got over. Rule number 1 was DO NOT ASK QUESTIONS.

Though a lot of people came to the wedding and told me that the food was great, I was hardly able to have a bit of it. Loads of controversies; several rituals – both meaningful and meaningless; many Saree changes; numerous pics – by professional photographer and relatives/friends; now and then pampering :P; parlour ladies and their resolution to make me look unrecognizable; Flowers everywhere; And Jewels too; Hymns, Chants and Holy Fire; Buzz in my ears; People colorfully dressed, running around; Total chaos and noise; People saying “Aww she looks so beautiful” though I felt that I looked like a stuffed goat with Jewels and flowers; Continuous ‘Cheese’ and ThanQs in the reception for full 3 hours… Sigh!

These are all I remember! The rest of the picture, I got only from the photos!

It all blew so fast, with hardly any time to stand aside and breathe. After a week in Andaman (yeah, nice break, but not planning to elaborate on that :P), here I am in Bangalore, settling down - back to eating eggs, going on facebook and GMail as and when I want, blogging, sitting in a silent office that the Bangalore branch is (dead-silent when compared to the Chennai office, which is much more friendlier, casual and noisier), wearing sober cotton kurtis, watching Dexter and House, driving my pep+ (which was taken away from me in the month before marriage for ‘my safety’), eating corn flakes, sight-adichufying good looking guys in Bangalore (;D)… slowly settling down…

Sunday, October 3, 2010

The Challenge

I woke up on Saturday morning to find out that there was a ticket to the second day second show of Enthiran. The movie unexpectedly turned out to be pretty good. The theatre was about 45 min from my place and considering the traffic on mount road n all, I was looking at an easy 1 hour drive. But I was not really worried about it. I love driving! So there I was, returning home after the show, and you know my driving skills, when I was challenged.

I wouldn’t have crossed a few of blocks from the theatre when a couple of guys driving a bike stopped right next to me in a traffic signal, right behind a huge truck. The signal turned green but without the truck moving, neither of us could move. I, not usually a patient driver, sneaked through the side making the car coming in the side brake and honk like crazy, but hey, I was gone by then. But I guess this impressed the guys.

I saw them watching me while I cruised through the continuous vehicles with speed and smartness and in the next signal, they again stopped right next to me. Though I was doing my best to ignore them, it was hard to do so when a couple of smart looking guys standing next to you are staring at you. So I looked back to see what the hell were they starting at (hoping it wasn’t me).

The green signal turned on and the cars in front of us rolled, and the guy in front gave me a look that screamed out “Go on, let’s see who is better!” Right then, I heard Ross Geller’s voice saying “Challenge extended.” and I accelerated, overtaking the car and them, which I think they heard in Ross Geller’s voice as “Challenge accepted.”

So there we were, driving in and out, overtaking as many vehicles as possible like crazy people all through the Mount Road, both of us enjoying the little competition, when it suddenly struck me that these guys were total strangers and I was almost nearing my place and I definitely didn’t want them to stalk me forever! So then I tried to slow down and let them go ahead, but they just wouldn’t! They slowed down too, and in the middle of the road with vehicles at high speed right behind them, they both (including the guy driving) started turning their heads and searching for me. It was so creepy (but in a weird sort of way, flattering too :P).

So after some time of this hide-n-seek of me slowing and hiding and them slowing down and seeking me out and me eventually catching up with them, I found a perfect way to outsmart them. As I was nearing Kathipara flyover, I slowed down and stuck to the right side so that I could climb the flyover. FYI, people who need to go towards the airport do not climb the flyover, they go left. So these guys, just a few vehicles ahead of me, turned back and saw me trying to climb the flyover and decided to extend their chase and took the flyover. When it was my turn, I took a sudden left (making the car behind honk like mad for which I was really sorry), and went down the flyover. These guys got a shock and applied sudden brakes, but they knew just as I knew, that the flyover was a one-way and it would take them more than 20-25 minutes to come back to the same place by when I would have safely gone. They knew they were outsmarted. So they started their engines, waved a goodbye, while I shook my head, laughed out at the ordeal and came back home!

What an adventure!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Long Process

The worst time to run out of petrol in your two-wheeler, esp the one where the petrol tank inlet is below the seat, is in the morning, when there is a heavy downpour and when you are already late to work, when you are wearing multiple layers of rain proof clothing to protect your office laptop and your clothes so that you wouldn’t look wet, filthy and stupid in a monthly meeting with your superiors.

But when Murphy strikes with his world class law, there is simply nothing you can really do but brood and swear under your breath and well, fill petrol!

Now here is the process it goes through. While standing in the queue, first the helmet has to be opened and removed as the raincoat’s hood is stuck under it. Then the raincoat’s hood is untied, and the raincoat is unzipped and removed. Then the bag is removed, unzipped and the purse, which is placed inside a plastic cover (for water protection in case there is leak into the bag), is taken out from the cover. To avoid the other contents and the bag itself from getting wet, they are again zipped and hung back on the shoulder, and the raincoat is worn again. Then you get up, open the seat, and fill in the petrol, by when the wet helmet slips at least thrice.

You pay the guy, move forward, close the lid of the tank and the seat, and again the raincoat is unzipped and removed. The bag is removed, unzipped and the purse is placed back into the plastic cover and safely tugged in, then the bag is zipped back and hung on the shoulder, the raincoat is worn again, zipped, the rain coat hood is worn in the head and tied tightly, then the helmet (finally) is placed back on the head and finally, you get to sit back and drive away!


Sunday, August 8, 2010


I was driving back home at around 8 pm a few days back, in fact to be exact, on 31st July, after a really long tiring Saturday, with lots of multi tasked work and weekday-pressure-spilt-over-weekend. Work that should have taken ten minutes took half an hour, work that should have started was not even remotely close to starting and work that was planned to have been completed was nowhere near the end.

Above all these, I was damn sleepy!

About my current sleep pattern -

The more I sleep, the sleepier I feel.
The less I sleep, the sleepier I feel!


So there I was on my pep, trying to safely-drive-rashly (yes, I find rash fast driving very soothing, but I tend to drive cautiously all the same, n hence I call it a safe-rash-drive), when I saw something that made me smile.

I have this habit of looking at the cars, if a really royal cool looking car, look at the driver (it is my belief that the coolest of cars mostly get horrible looking drivers) and any vehicle, look at the license plate to check out the numbers and their pattern.

So back to my story, I saw a really cool Honda City, in royal red color. But I did not even go to look at the driver, coz I was too busy staring at the license plate. It was 6117.


That was my first year’s room number. 6th block, ground floor room no 17. 6117.

It brought an instant smile on my face, and brought back a series of memory flashes. I had shared the room with a Delhiite, who hated South Indians, esp. Tamilians.

We hardy used to talk to one another, since both of us were a part of totally different worlds and had complete different attitudes and absolutely no roads crossing each other’s paths. But surprisingly, we kind of got along pretty decently.

I was thinking of all these things when an Innova crossed my track, with the number plate 6320, my third year room!! Boy, would you call that a titanic coincidence or what?

6th block second floor room no 20. That was the best year, my third year.

Filled with hopes of future and beliefs in present and loads of extracurricular activities and positions and fun in labs, lots n lots of friends and what not!

I just can’t remember the last stretch of my drive home. I was drowned my pensieve filled with memories of my past, my insides happy and sad at the same time.

I am afraid I might never, you know, be there, ever again.

Last July 31, our ID cards expired and we officially became the BITS Alumni. This July 31, it was like the world was reminding me about my one year of having been a part of BITS Alumni.

I was truly overwhelmed and came back home and watched a couple of college videos. I truly felt like back in Summer of 2004. :)

Friday, June 11, 2010

Yelagiri Part II

Do you know that climbing down hill is exponentially more difficult than climbing up? Yeah.. we had heard about it too, but got to experience it in Yelagiri.

At least on our up-way, we were able to control out movements and the thorny bushes. While climbing down, the thorns were as much of a problem as the gravity! And the place was becoming cloudy and dark so fast, and the guide kept taunting us by barking like a wolf or a bear now and then when She, the meek docile female, immediately clung on Her who in turn held to Her-Bf for her life. It was hilarious when the guide hid behind the rocks and I went a little ahead on the path. They followed me, trying to wrench their way out of some bushes, when the Guide jumped out of the rocks on them barking and freaked them all totally! She was nearly going to have a heart failure! :D We all reached the resort, laughing big time about it.

We were back just in time for dinner, all feeling so great about our achievement, and planned for a night safari in the jungles too. But sadly it started raining so heavily, that we could go, as the resort owners said that there would be too many poisonous snakes prowling and the forest was not exactly a neatly paved tar road with neon lights, and they were bound to be extremely slippery. So we didn’t really want a snake hanging on our framed-photos instead of flowers and just went back to our rooms and slept soundly.

The next morning was one big comedy. Before I go on with that, there is a side track you should know.

Yelagiri is the name of the entire mountain as such, which includes a number of villages (basically just a few houses put together) once every few kilometers. Our resort was in Athanavur, the biggest ‘town-with-an-ATM’, with a single road with about ten or so shops here and there, and the rest of the buildings were other resorts. So the previous day, we decided to go cycling in the mountain side in the early morning, in the cool breeze. Aaah, it all sounded so good… But trust me, BAD IDEA!

We had gone to one of the other resorts- Yathri Nivas, and booked three cycles for rent at 30 bucks/hour/cycle (She couldn’t ride, so we all took turns in taking her doubles). We picked up the cycles at 8 in the morning, with the idea of returning it by 9. Horrible planning!

It was awesome fun while riding downhill. The cycles were completely out of control, moving at like a 100 km/hr (or so it felt) and there were 2 hairpin bends too, where gravity overtook our breaks and even I started praying (funny, when science and rationality lets us down, the only thing anyone can do is call the ‘God’), but well, I could hear Her screaming out to Her-Bf with her hands and feet in the air, and Her-Bf too was helpless and in quite the same state.

We could come to a stop after half an hour of the downhill slide, our hands and feet and all wrong parts were all sour and we all wanted a break. We found this small rocky hill in the side, and decided to lock our cycles in the roadside and climb it. Later after a 45 min climb up and down, we kind of didn’t know which way to take to return, We couldn’t take the way we came coz It was too steep to climb on cycle, but a passerby told us that the other way would lead us to our resort after some 2-3 hours!

We decided to take the route we came and climbed. The cycles started rolling backwards, downhill even when we were putting in all our energy trying to peddle the other way! We got freaked, and decided to push it and hopefully reach the city within an hour. The sun was soaring up and we were barely prepared for such a scorching heat. We didn’t have a cover for the head, not a bottle of water. The place was completely desolated from any civilization and we were stuck, without as much as a tree to take shade, in the middle of nowhere, unable to climb the steep mountain roads, with or without the cycles. We found some rocks under some bushes in the side of a huge valley, and decided that we couldn’t take one step more, and sat down, waiting for someone to walk by to guide us.

So there we were sitting in the valley side not knowing what to do, when a shepherd, an old lady sympathized with us, took out her Nokia handset called the auto-stand in Athanavur, told them to get a tempo big enough to accommodate four people and three cycles and thanks to her, a tempo with an open back arrived to our rescue! We piled up the cycles, stood like politicians in the back of the tempo and in the scorching sun and three cycles tied in front of us and no place to hold to, we climbed the mountains thus! What a roller coaster!

We returned the cycles at around 12 noon, completely exhausted in the heat, went back to our resort, washed up, ate our lunch, played chess (and FYI, almost won) and finally, took back a cab to the station at 3pm. The return journey was pretty uneventful, in the train filled with bickering and bitching families and irritating mamas n mamis.

But as we returned home with sour legs and sun burnt hands and tanned faces, we were thinking… What a weekend!!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Yelagiri Trip - Part I

The talk of a trip had been going on for quite some time now. With parents, sister, friends, colleagues… They all mostly vanished after the planning stage. After Jaipur, Jaisalmer, Bikaner and Jodhpur, Darjeeling, Sikkim and Nepal, I now got a chance to take a weekend off in Yelagiri.

About approximately 350 km away from Chennai, Yelagiri is supposedly a hill station. I had expected something like Ooty, cool and commercial, but it wasn’t. It was as hot as 9 am or 4 pm in Chennai, not as sweaty and irritating though. There was a cool breeze all through the day, compensating for the hot sun.

The trip as it is wasn’t exactly a ‘planned’ one. It was more like a last minute idea. Wednesday morning, we discussed about how nice a trip would be, Wednesday evening, we browsed and thought of Yelagiri, Thursday morning we booked the tics in tatkal to Jolarpet (Thanks to pathetic speed of irctc at 8 am, managed to get only waiting list tics), Thursday evening called some resorts and ended up getting one- Auro Ville with two single rooms available and booked it, Friday morning booked the return tics to from Jolarpet to Chennai again in tatkal, Friday evening left office at 9.30 pm, went home and slept off, got up at 4 am on Saturday, got dropped off in central station by dad at 5.15 am.

The unconfirmed onward tics were the least of our problems. The seats actually got confirmed, and we all, Me, She, Her and Her-Bf successfully boarded the train at 6 am. Our main impending problem was the fact that Her father did not know about Her-Bf coming along with us. She had told him that the fourth person was a girl named ‘Divya’, whose seat was in some other coach. So Her inquisitive father came and sat with us until the train started, and enquired about the ‘fourth girl’ and about her seat and where she was n all. Little experience that I had in lying, my BP was rising with every question of his. After a point, I just got up and went outside in the pretext of getting water, and returned only as the train started moving!


Her-Bf came and sat with us only after the train left the station and the coast was clear. We got introduced, had our breakfasts (She thought she could survive on biscuits) talked about everything from religious beliefs, purity of Ganges (much to the irritation of the old mama n mami sitting with us in the same bay) to office politics and movies & series. We then played rummy and ace, and finally reached Jolarpet about an hour late.

As we had missed the bus that was supposedly at 9.45 am, we took a share auto for 300 bucks and climbed the mountain at the speed of ooty toy train. On the up side, we got to take a lot of snaps on the way.

We finally reached the resort, got freshened up, had lunch, made friends of Nala (the dog), and fixed up a guide for trekking.

We started at about 4.30 pm from the resort and went into jungles in the mountains. IT WAS AWESOME! Initially, we were all so highly enthused and the slopes were quite easy to walk on. We went on taking loads of snaps and enjoying every small thing like the touch-me-not (or so we think) leaves, and watching huge termite hills and everything.


Our guide was equally enthused about climbing the mountain with three girls (and a guy :P), and taught us to suck nectar out of small flowers, to walk on wood splinters on the ground without falling on them and getting killed, showed us the holes that bears had dug to eat the roots, dead scorpions, how soft the nest of birds felt and how a forest looks after a wild fire.

We were amazed by them all!! The path was so difficult to cross, with the thorny twigs scratching our faces and our skins, getting caught in our hair and our clothes. The mountain became increasingly steep and rocky and thorny and slippery and hence, more and more interesting to walk.

We passed all our obstacles and finally reached the mountain top, and sat there, panting like Nala. We had forgotten to take a bottle of water. If only we too had a bucket of water to plunge into!


We took some rest up there, talked about the jungle life and wild fires and emergencies and bears and snakes for a while and finally as it was getting dark and cloudy, decided to climb down. We took a long shot of the projecting rock on the right opposite mountain peak, and started off.


Our return journey and the next day events in Yelagiri Part II