mind depth..

365photos 2011, Life in India, musings, photography, Rants

I’m bothered by the contemporary need of keeping everything light. I have nothing against humor and that’s not what I’m referring to. The incessant effort made to stay away from any topic, event or person who makes one think and feel uncomfortable is my problem. Anything deeper than a reality show is now considered boring. Movies dealing with serious real world issues do not get patrons whereas mindless drivel makes millions. Let’s not even get into the kind of authors who are getting recognition today. I miss the times when shows like M.A.S.H were considered quality humor and newspapers discussed news and politics instead of making a hullabaloo about a politician being slapped and an entire state being shut down for business . Is this a price of progress? Have we reached a stagnation point for good taste and intelligent development of the mind? Or have we gone in denial?


Ingredients of a quiet weekend

365photos 2011, Life in India, Rants

My sincere apologies for disappearing so much lately. I hate that I am not able to blog as often as I want. And more so that not a single photo I take makes me feel happy.. so for now I’m content on the process of taking the photos.

And thank you so much for supporting our little experiment 🙂 Thank you so much Charlotte and Ayushi!

and this is how I spent the weekend..
I know it’s not much of a photo. Just a lot of empty space..

What? Is the jay more precious than the lark because his feathers are more beautiful?

365photos 2011, photography, Rants, Self

Why does our heart go out to beauty?
Think of a little white puppy with floppy ears and big eyes. The protective instincts flare up in all their glory. We instantly imagine ourselves to be the savior of the little one in need of love and keep him away from life’s vagaries and whims. But what if instead of a cute little puppy it is a woman. Not beautiful by standards defined by society. Maybe dark skinned. Maybe fat. Maybe with a scar on her face and graying wispy hair with no make up. Our first reaction is repulsion at the perceived ugliness. Second is of judgment.. she ‘let herself go’. And the third is indifference. The puppy maybe rabid with the capacity to kill and the woman may be the kindest person you ever met. Or she could be very rich and beneficial to you if you were to be nice to her. But a quick judgment call is made.

What irks me most is, we do agree there is beauty in the wrinkles of our mom’s hands. Or there’s beauty in an arid desert landscape. Or in a wild thunderstorm. Or a snow covered mountain. A sunny day with blue skies and fluffy clouds is beautiful. A snowy day is beautiful and a wet day in Venice is equally beautiful. Even a pug is considered adorable. Nature with her inconceivable antiquity and incredible and inhabitable extremes manages to make herself beautiful to us. In all her forms. Then why are the standards so stringent and narrow minded when it comes to human beauty and then especially physical beauty for women? Everything in nature is considered exquisite. Everything that tries to mar it is ugly. Then how come we have the exact opposite standards for ourselves. Everything that we are born with, we are hell bent on changing.

It’s not something that I talk about but something needs to be said. Only so that I can put it behind me. (Did you forget, it’s all about me! :D) Well, I had the worst classmates in engineering college. We were about 5 girls in a class of 60 with the rest of them being mean spirited, competitive guys. And I was the butt of relentless jokes. In all forms. Why? Because I was not one of the pretty girls. So I did not hold the attraction. So what to do with me? But make fun. I had a friend tell me that no guy will ever date me. And as a starry eyed 19 year old, it was quite a devastating statement coming from someone who was among my favorite people up until then. But times change, we grow up and things change. I learnt to forgive the careless remarks. What I never learnt was to forgive myself for being something less than what a woman is expected to be. And to actually realize that what he said was his opinion, not the truth. All the way up till now.

And now, I don’t care. I refuse to live by the ideals that society forces upon women. More often by women themselves. I refuse to have body image issues. I refuse to feel inferior to anyone else because I don’t fit in the cultural definition of beauty.
I get one life to live. It’s wonderful. And I refuse to let so-called social definitions to ruin it for me in any way..

PS: I have had this post in my draft box for a couple of days now. Worried whether I am sharing too much. Especially because a lot of people who I know in real life read this blog. But to hell with it. And as a disclaimer, I am not sad or depressed or dealing with self-esteem issues. I am just plain angry that I let this bother me for so long.

People who bring me chocolates are alright

365photos 2011, photography, Rants

My life officially sucks this week! And I realize I’ve said that at least 3 times in the past 6 weeks. Posting daily pulls a magnifying glass over our life.. and it can be surprisingly.. well mundane. Anywho.. working 14 hour days is taking a toll. Have you ever felt unnecessarily angry wanting to burst into tears when actually nothing sad has happened. Please don’t say hormones. I’ll kick anyone who says hormones! I haven’t checked my favorite bloggers..haven’t even checked email.. haven’t done laundry ..not unpacked from last weekend yet and not had a decent home cooked meal in a week!

Ok end of rant.
The weekend is near.
cause enough to cheer..
send me love… and chocolates if you are so inclined

kill me..kill me now


I hate people. This email was sent by a prospective husband’s mother in response to my, ‘Can you please give me his email address or phone number so we can find out more about each other’ request. Its not new. But I had a deja-vu experience with a guy’s dad this time..and since it was a verbal interaction, I don’t have proof of it. But go ahead..read..
and kill me.
Dear Dhaami,

Thanks for your prompt answer. But the solution won’t be that prompt. These coming 15,20 days Naren is extremely busy. This weekend, we all are very busy in the Iskon Temple here, where Ram Janma, and before that Ram-Seeta Vivah is celebrated for 4 days. Naren takes very active part in all temple activities. In the sat mornings, he goes for bicycle training. This sat. is very hard , it is 50 miles in the mountains. It takes nearly 4 hours for actual ride and one hr. to reach there by car.

Week days evenings are spent in reading all papers regarding the transactions. All Friday evenings is Geeta Class. Sat, evenings is Vishnu Sahastranam and Geeta in temple, Night 8 to 10 he plays Tennis or squash and when he returns, he is tired and it is late!!!

I described his routine to you. You may tell me your passtimes and hobbies and I can convey it to him. He can call up once we shift to our new house and we settled a bit.

Take care,

Mrs. K.

divide and conquer


End of a long grueling work day. Me walking out of the office. At the top of the stairs, I hear a tentative voice behind me saying hi. When I smile back, he asks me where I was from. Upon my answer his wrinkled face changes ..laugh lines appear around the cheeks and his grey eyes twinkle.. he has a lot of family there. We exchange a few pleasantries of how nice it feels to hear Hindi away from home. Out of politeness, I ask the same question back. Where are you from? His hesitation at the question, then taking the time to assess what my response could be and a slight hint of a deep rooted pain before saying ‘Same as yours but my father moved to Karachi in 1947 due to ..you know.’ His eyes fall for a second.. I fight back tears. Then he goes on to tell me that he had to leave Karachi as well because of the current situation there and now trying to settle himself and his family in another foreign place.

He was easily 65…
I cried all the way home.

The first time I gave any thought to the issue of India-Pakistan enmity was when I read ‘Train to Pakistan‘ . It had left me numb for days..to get beyond the idea of a ghost train filled with corpses.
The communal riots and the constant enmity between these countries is almost an everyday topic in that part of the world. People have not forgotten the scars of those days. Wars have been fought. Lives have been lost. Poverty is rampant. But the terrorism, the violence, the hatred has not subsided. I still don’t know what I think about it. Especially because looking at the big picture, it is easy to generalize. But on the micro level, does a common man in either country have the time to hate the other or the inclination? People in both countries are still struggling to have a steady day to day life..then why are their lives turned upside down? Why do people in Mumbai have to leave home thinking they might not make it back in the evening and yet leave running every day to catch the 8.17 local train? Why isn’t war ever the sum of its parts?

age old story

Rants, Uncategorized

My dearest and best friend for the longest time..lets call her M. Now M is a fun loving girl..loves music..sings beautifully..plays a myriad of musical instruments.. plus she is a smart ass engineer..amazing at her job and the most loving and non-judgmental person I know. No its not a personal ad. Lemme finish..I’m verbose. Now this chica got married. To a nice boy, from a good family, with both parents’ blessings. The honeymoon lasted a few months and then started the rigamarole of the sas-bahu battle. The craziest reasons like where to keep the salt, what time to wake up in the morning and how many date nights the couple should get. Plus she is now practically a house maid because no matter how accomplished you are professionally, if you wont cook and clean, your worth is zero. So we, who used to discuss philosophy and music and automation in nuclear power plants and how to ensnare my latest crush (you can see why this concerns me directly), now talk..rather she cries and I listen..about her mother-in-law. I have never given so much attention footage to one single person. Plus there is nothing I can say to comfort her. Except offer to abduct her and bring her back to the US with me. But that’s no solution, because she wants her husband too. And frankly I can’t afford a 2 bedroom apartment. California is freaking expensive!

But to get back to the point..It sucks and hurts to see her helpless like this.
How does this happen? Rather why does this keep happening? The mom-in-law is someone who has worked her whole life and raised a family. She knows the very real problems women face, she has had a similar mother-in-law. Wouldn’t she want to shield her daughter-in-law from that pain? After all, the girl has left her family, her safety and comfort zone. She is here to build a family for your son…to love him and take care of him and you. She is learning to accept this new family as her own. Isn’t it the responsibility of the elders in the family to make her feel welcomed and included? The new woman is supposed to shape the family in the years to come. Isnt her well-being..emotional and physical as important as anyone else’s? Why is it still a power game? Why is it still about losing the son’s affections to his wife? There is a reason why he got married, right? I mean can the mother be every woman in the son’s life? Why the megalomania?

Too many questions and no answers. My ma’s answer is ‘This is what it is. Its better to accept than complain’. My dad’s answer is ‘Not every family is like that.’ But I’m not so sure.. a lot of my friends seem to go through this. Vivacious, intelligent women who had dreams..all they talk now is the upcoming family function or complain about married life. All these years we spend building ourselves into unique individuals are just a non-related prologue to the lifelong binding to an arranged marriage? To become a caricature of a stereotype? One of the main reasons why the idea of getting married makes me run for the hills.

Am I totally off-base and delusional? I’m open to enlightenment and opposing points of view..