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30 Oct 2009

Life Shouldn't Be A Journey To The Grave...

I don't know who deserves the credit for saying this but I find it really worth a mention.

Life shouldn't be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive & well-preserved body
But rather skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out, screaming "Woo Hoo"

I have it on my Office Communicator as a 'Note' and also on my signature. Not surprisingly, it seems to have caught quite a few people's attention. Guess what? It also got me a free beer date for next week. I can't help wondering how nice it would be if all my beer-loving friends made me this offer... I could have free beers for the rest of the year, without any worries. Greed strikes!

25 Oct 2009

Lucky - 10 yrs (66 dog years)

Old age has caught up with Lucky. She is all of 10 years but still our little baby. Adorable and cuddly as ever.

Come cold season and her arthritis acts up. Being heavy as she is and a big dog, doesn't help at all. She's being quite strong and taking it well. If she can manage it, she's up for a short game of ball and when possible, takes a short trip to mum's. She definitely won't let it stop her from being the food monster.

She swallows half a dozen tables twice a day, cannot sit & stand as she pleases until the legs get better and yet, she won't let that affect her lifestyle. A little more hours dedicated to sleep but that's okay she thinks, life gives out shit and I don't have to wallow in it.

Shoes and a shirt - something she hates but she will do it, if that's what it takes to fight the bad cold season. She's the same shirt size as the husband, so there's no dearth of clothes. When she wants to look cool, there's my lot of spaghetti-tops for her. Now, that's some wardrobe for a cute chick.

Pee-ing is a chore that she dreads, for she has to walk down two flights of stairs. With a little persuasion and a little help, she manages it, hard as it may be. That's my baby, the fighter!

A pair of each

Xigris and George

Sisko and Dax

Rosie and Seelo

24 Oct 2009

The Tataka Saga

A couple of days ago, a friend posted a link to a YouTube video on Facebook. It was a poem in malayalam (there's only so much I can understand, what with all those epic-style words et al), describing Tataka (spelt Taadaka in typical mallu style). I listened to it and got not a word out of it. I failed to understand why there were comments complimenting a song so badly sung.

We discussed it in office the next day. It turned out that one needs to know who Tataka is to understand what the poem is all about ("poem, hence badly sung", Abhi claims). As the discussion continued, I learnt that Tataka is a female character from the great epic 'Ramayana' and she is a Dravidian Asura. Abhi has posted a comment on Facebook, making fun of me asking if Rahul "Dravid" was an asura, when Abhi said dravidians are asuras. (Asura or rakhsasa means a demon). I digress here.

The next few moments of the discussion were as embarassing as it could get, for everyone but me (and Naresh, thank God for him) knew who Tataka was. When I came back home, I posted the question on Facebook, trying to find out how many ignorants lived out there. Some responded and some didn't - those who didn't, I shall safely assume that they are clueless. The responses I received were quite hilarious.

Mahtab thought it was tadka spelt wrong and insisted it was something you add to dal. He also wanted ghee in his dal! Gautam guessed that it was a short Bangladeshi grandfather! Sorry, what? Who? Sowmya sort of got it right when she said a demon in skirt but Prada skirts? Really? Some classy monster that! Then followed Abhi's post in a drunken stupor, explaining that there was no electricity at home because he had not paid his bill in three months. So? Tataka did that?? He deleted the post later and posted equally crazy ones but I won't go into it. One person gets a mention only once. Jeena couldn't take it anymore and found a wiki link which explained who Tataka was. Even after that post, Mahtab took off on another wild goose chase. He wondered if it was another 'Tata car' venture. Guys are crazy, that's what makes them fun I guess :)

Now that I learned who Tataka is, I went back and listened to the poem again. Abhi said I ought to be able to understand the poem now. I tried, did not understand. I give up!

Moral of the story: Buy a copy of the Ramayana and Mahabharata and read up!

19 Oct 2009

Lucky @ Diwali

Although I have very fond memories of Diwali from my early childhood days - sharing crackers with the kids in our colony, all the lights, sparks & colours, the dangerous tricks we tried behind our parents' backs - I haven't quiet celebrated the festival since I was about 15 years old.

Reason? I bought an adorable little puppy home then and although he didn't mind Diwali so much in the initial years (in fact he loved watching the sparks fly about), he grew up to hate it. The noise terrified him and he would climb all over us, scratching us generously with his paws and snapping at the slightest touch. He loved mum so much that if she went alone, he'd have to follow her, no matter how scared he was and he would bark at the top of his voice until she came back in. He worried that something would happen to her and that was a greater concern for him than his own fear. It's heartening to see that kind of love. I wonder if one human can give another that.

Three years ago, he passed away. It was just a month before my wedding and for a couple of years after that I did not want to participate in any celebrations. I still miss him sometimes but the number of times has lessened as the days roll by. I think of him often. Well, this is not a blog about Sonu, so I will move on. Maybe I'll write one for him later, there's so many memories I carry!

I say it like a joke but it could just be true. Lucky came to stay in my house almost like a dowry, a few months into my marriage. Like the maid-in-waiting of a princess who follows the young bride, to serve her in her new home. Although she was jealous of me when I first moved into my in-laws' place, she adjusted pretty well once she moved into my own place.

The year before my marriage, she had had a bout of fits during Diwali. All the noise had freaked her out. Ever since, we had been worried about her, especially around this time. It's been 3 years since then and she has shown no signs of relapse (thank God for that). On the other hand, she has grown to be curious. This Diwali she went down to the garage with the family, where they lit crackers - sparklers, flower-pots and the like. I missed the party but I heard stories about her that pleased me!

Instead of being scared of the noises or the 'fire', she was intrigued. She was excited about the sparks that flew about and went searching for them on the ground as they disappeared. She is the only dog I've heard of who would do such a thing.

However, I'm not too surprised. She seems to implicitly trust that anything that one of us in the family participates in, cannot hurt her either. She watches me light the lamps in the pooja room on some days and sits down to watch. She doesn't understand it but she knows it is harmless because I'm right there, doing something with it.

They have so much love and trust for us! No wonder they call a dog man's best friend. They give and they give and they give, no matter what. They forget the times you have been angry with them or the times you didn't let them have the treat they thought they deserved but they will not forget that you are family and they love you relentlessly.

17 Oct 2009

Chick Lit & Dude Lit

I read and love chick lit. I can't remember where I got that word from, somehow I knew it when I picked up one book in that genre. From answers.com: Chick lit is a term used to denote genre fiction within women's fiction written for and marketed to young women, especially single, working women in their twenties and thirties. The genre sells well, with chick lit titles topping bestseller lists and the creation of imprints devoted entirely to chick lit. It generally deals with the issues of modern women humorously and lightheartedly.

The other day I picked up a similar genre of book but didn't know what to call it for it was guy stuff, instead of girls. I wondered what that would be called. Guy lit? Men lit? Finally, I searched for 'dude lit' on an impulse. Answers doesn't really have anything for the term but a few sentences cropped up in my search with 'dude lit' used in the context. So, I guess that's it then.

Here's some dude lit for interested people - http://www.salon.com/books/feature/2000/07/13/guylit/index.html

I'm currently reading 'A Brand New Friend' by Mike Gayle. As much of a fun read as a chick lit, no less. I love it. Looking for some light reading? Fun? Love chick lit? Try this. A guy's perspective and how differently they think, it's all there for you.

No Excuses

It's been a while since I wrote anything. Twice I had something to say but time cheated me. Okay, I admit, I was a slacker. Just hoped I could blame 'time' and get away with it.

However, I've tried to keep the blog alive with some links that I'd like to re-visit someday and which I hope will be useful for anyone who cares. Okay, again, another excuse.

Someone told me today that I do that a lot these days. Make excuses, I mean. I can't, for the life of me, figure what made the person say that for I always hated the very word. Now I see it. Sigh!

This is a frail attempt to break the silence. A long weekend up ahead, Diwali celebrations, cricket match with the boys... I have enough things to write home and maybe I will.

Only time will tell. It all comes down to time, doesn't it? So, I wasn't really making an excuse. Time is the root cause of all. Phew!

Calvin & Hobbes

Love the way he goes about this.


My fave are the last two... never seen the sentimental side of Calvin before, how did I miss that?

4 Oct 2009


  • "Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming WOO HOO what a ride!"
  • The success of a lightly tossed off joke lies not in the tongue of the teller but in the ear of the hearer.
  • Time can make us forget some memories, but there would be some memories which make us forget the time and those make the life worthwhile....
  • The only things you really own are your actions
  • I hate people who steal of my ideas even before I can think of them
  • Mark Twain once said - "Habit is habit, and not to be flung out of the window by any man, but coaxed downstairs a step at a time."
  • You're supposed to trust friends. You have no reason to be his friend? That is part of the pleasure of friendship: trusting without absolute evidence and then being rewarded for that trust. David Shore, House M.D., Not Cancer, 2008
  • "Believe it can be done. When you believe something can be done, really believe, your mind will find the ways to do it.
  • Believing a solution paves the way to solution" in 'Magic of thinking Big' by David Schwartz
  • For oft, when on my couch I lie
    In vacant or in pensive mood,
    They flash upon that inward eye
    Which is the bliss of solitude;
    And then my heart with pleasure fills,
    And dances with the daffodils.
  • People often say that motivation doesn't last. Well, neither does bathing -- that's why we recommend it daily.
  • It's not the mountain ahead that wears me out but the pebbles at my shoes - Mohammed Ali
  • The secret of joy in work is contained in one word - excellence. To know how to do something well is to enjoy it
  • Expecting life to treat you well because you are a good person is like expecting an angry bull not to charge because you are a vegetarian
  • You see things and you say, "Why?" I dream things that never were and I say, "Why not?" - Bernard Shaw
  • Life’s filled with possibilities
    That challenge us each day… To take a chance
    Try something new… See things in a different way
    And as it’s through, we learn to change and grow
    To explore who we are and what we know
    For it’s not until we try
    That we find out – WHAT WE CAN DO…
  • The ability to change is a second chance to succeed
  • Never argue with a fool, onlookers may not be able to tell the difference
  • Never argue with fools; First they bring you down to their level and then beat you with experience!
  • Guard your heart above anything else you have, because it determines the kind of life you will live.
  • Brian Hartzer: "It’s about removing barriers to their success by giving them the resources they need, reducing bureaucracy, and making sure that your processes and the way you measure and reward success lines up with what you’re asking them to do."
  • A successful person is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks that others throw at him/her
  • Some people don’t look up until they're flat on their backs.
  • A turtle makes progress when it sticks its head out.
  • The difference between democracy and dictatorship is that in a democracy you vote first and take orders later, in a dictatorship you don't have to waste your time voting
  • "The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt" - Bertrand Russell
  • Sometimes we must be hurt in order to grow...
    We must fail in order to know...
    We must lose in order to gain...
    Because some lessons are best learned through pain
  • "Stay away from the pigsty if you don’t want to stink."
  • "Good manners are spoiled by wrong relationships; don’t make friends with pigs!"
  • "I am fond of pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals." - Sir Winston Churchill, attr.
  • Two thoughts decide your attitude - (1) What you think of yourself when you don't have anything (2) What you think of others when you have everything
  • Never explain yourself to anyone - the one who likes you doesn't need it and the one who dislikes you won't believe it
  • If you can't see the bright side of life, polish the dull side
  • The pain of discipline is much better than the price of regret
  • Execution is the missing link between Aspirations and Results
  • Logic is a systematic method of coming to the wrong conclusion with confidence..
  • If builders built buildings the way programmers wrote programs, then the first woodpecker that came along would destroy civilization.
  • An expert is one who knows more and more about less and less until he knows absolutely everything about nothing.
  • Tell a man there are 300 billion stars in the universe and he'll believe you. Tell him a bench has wet paint on it and he'll have to touch to be sure.
  • A meeting is an event at which the minutes are kept and the hours are lost.
  • The first myth of management is that it exists.
  • Nothing motivates a man more than to see his boss putting in an honest day's work.
  • The more cordial the buyer's secretary, the greater the odds that the competition already has the order.
  • Walt Whitman's beautiful words: "The habit of giving enhances the desire to give."
  • When you see good work, say it, and say it from the heart, just as you thought it. Free up the thought, and let it breathe - let it fly out there in the form of generous words, and watch what you get back. Giving is ultimately sharing.
  • Worrying is like a rocking chair, sure it gives you something to do, but in the end you never get anywhere - Dorothy Galyean
  • Never argue with fools. First they bring you down to their level. Then they beat you with experience.
  • A great woman - Marianne Williamson once said: "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate, our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us; it's not just in some of us, it's in all of us. And when we let our light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same"
  • If A is success in life, then A equals x plus y plus z; x is Work, y is Play and z is keeping your mouth shut
  • As a child, a library card takes you to exotic faraway places. When you're grown up, a credit card does it - Sam Ewing
  • "When written in Chinese, the word 'crisis' is composed of two characters. One represents danger and the other represents opportunity"
  • Motivation is like fire; Unless you add fuel to it, it dies
  • Being employable is better than being employed
  • Life is not about how to survive the storm but how to dance in the rain!
  • "It’s not the strongest of the species that survives, not the most intelligent but the one most responsive to change" - Charles Darwin, Origin of Species
  • A man can't ride your back unless it's bent
  • The only person who can limit your growth is YOU
  • It's amazing what you can accomplish, if you do not care who gets the credit - Harry S Truman
  • Don't limit your challenges; Challenge your limits
  • Murphy's Law of Work: There is never enough time to do it right the first time; there is always enough time to do it over!
  • I've learned that opportunities are never lost; someone will take the ones you miss
  • I've learned that to ignore facts does not change the facts
  • If you want to see the rainbow, you need to put up with some rain!
  • "We should not let success go to our heads, or our failures go to our hearts"
  • As I look forward, I'm very optimistic about the things I see ahead. As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others
  • To work without attachment is to work without the expectation of reward or fear of any punishment in this world or the next. Work so done is a means to the end, and God is the end.
  • You learn more about a person in 1 hour of play, than in 1 year of conversation - courtesy EJ
  • "When you have eliminate all which is impossible, then whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth" - Sherlock Holmes
  • If you can't love someone without feeling afraid, it's time to get out of the relationship - fast
  • Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge embraces all we now know and understand, but imagination embraces all there will ever be to know and understand.
  • If we cannot do great things, we can do small things in a great way
  • "It is the cheerful mind that is persevering. It is the strong mind that hews its way through a thousand difficulties" - Swami Vivekananda
  • "It is not only for what we do that we are held responsible, but also for what we do not do." - Moliere
  • If you're bored with life -- you don't get up every morning with a burning desire to do things -- you don't have enough goals.
  • "The Greatest Gift you can give someone is your time, Because when you are giving someone your time, You are giving them a portion of your life that you will never get back."
  • "Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending" - Maria Robinson
  • One of my favourite quotes about growth goes like this: "Some people look at a glass and see it as half empty.
  • Others look at the glass and see it as half full. I look at it and say the glass isn't big enough."
  • I have not failed 100 times, I have just found 100 ways that won't work
  • Growth is sustained by creating room to grow
  • The hours your work are not as important as what you put in those hours.
  • David Cartwright – Group Managing Director, Operations, Technology and Shared Services
    I know I have only been here a very short time, however I figure that puts me in the ideal position to offer an outsider's view.

The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown

Read 'The Lost Symbol'. Had to finish it in one sitting, not because it was so good but because I did not want to give the book more than one day of my life.

I did not enjoy it at all. It was too descriptive, there were fewer dialogues and more of explaining the scenes. It came across to me as being very movie-ish. I would suggest one to give the book a miss and wait for the movie instead. It might look a lot better and there will definitely be more clarity of picture. There's more to be enjoyed with the visuals than there is to say or read.

It's not too different from his other books - the strange symbols, ancient history, the usual stuff. At the end of the quest you find out that what everyone has been searching for was right there and was something pretty obvious/uncomplicated. Think of solving puzzle after puzzle, putting your life at risk, crossing difficult hurdles and then ending up where you started, only to watch the sunset or something equally 'normal'. The book is something on those lines.

Priced at Rs. 650, give or take a few bucks, I did not think this book was a good investment.

3 Oct 2009

Mark Lowrie

Mmmm. Dropped by to leave a note on his wall and ended up checking out the links on his profile.

He is so fabulous! I fell in love with the song 'Hold On To Me' right away.

I'd love to hear him live some day... maybe if I ever get to go to Melbourne.