Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Everything happens for a reason

I firmly believe this. Everything really does happen for a reason. I also believe that something good happens out of everything.

We got burgled. Our privacy had been invaded. Our wealth had been taken away. But we got something in return. We got to meet our neighbours. And become friends with them. Leftover dinners are more fun because of the people we can share them with.

We went out for a picnic with some friends and friends of friends. S slipped and hurt his ankle. I thought, "What next? How much are we being tested? And for what?" But I've been a reluctant driver for most part. I love zooming on 2 wheelers, but I've never had a connection of any kind with four wheelers. And I had to drive S back from the hospital. And take him there again and bring him back. And I figured I can do it.

There is a reason why something happens. That reason may not be apparent to us. Maybe it will be after a while, maybe it won't. But that doesn't take away from the fact that there is a reason.

I've felt pain in the past when a relationship fell apart. But the guy did something that showed me it wasn't worth it in the first place. That was my reason. That took a part of the pain away.

Maybe I'm a die hard optimist or maybe I'm just a realist. But seeing the good that comes out of any bad just helps me deal with life better. The good incidents do help me enjoy life, the good that I see in the bad, helps me cope.

With all the ups and downs that life threw our way, S and I complete 10 months of being husband and wife. All I can say is that it has been loads of fun.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Sense and Sensibility

I've not been a great dresser. Not ever. And this post isn't about the great novel. It is about the dress sense of people and how it affects my sensibilities. My clothes have always been what I'd call comfortable. My friends at one point had threatened to disown me if I ever bought another piece of vegetable dyed Gujarat block printed material. I still do. I find them very pretty and, most of all, comfortable. And I can't ever coordinate my ear-rings and shoes and handbag to the clothes I am wearing. So, I tend to carry the same handbag everywhere. I wear the same set of ear-rings and almost always am wearing the same comfy footwear.

A proper down to her little toe Delhiite once asked me in typical Delhi English, "Don't mind, I want to ask you something. I've noticed that you wear the same footwear with jeans, trousers, suits and sarees. Don't you have any others?" I said, "I said, 'I have another pair at home for when this wears out. The look on her face was saying, "Oh you poor thing. I didn't think you were that hard up for money." But what she said to me was, "Here, whenever we buy a dress, we buy all matching accessories for that."

Thanks to my never ending skin allergies, I can only wear cotton, silk, or a combination of the two. In Hyderabad, I was once told by a colleague, "You don't wear synthetics, you don't know what you're missing!" And I thought "Fine! I live a sorry sad life."

I've always traveled comfy. Track pants instead of jeans for long train journeys or overnight bus journeys. Casual and comfortable. The same goes for flights. I find it amusing when people dress up in their finest clothes for a flight. My husband and I were once aboard a flight at Delhi, and I felt like a beggar. I'd just woken up, had a bath, put on a pair of jeans and a kurta over it. People were dressed in chiffons, or silks... had loads of jewellery, make up... the works. Even some men were so overdressed that I can't find words to describe what I felt. It was evident from their conversations that they'd spent the day sightseeing. It was like they became sights for others to see.

Somewhere else, maybe! But in Delhi, I've found that dressing up like that isn't exactly unusual. Most of the places that I go to, I see people dressed in totally "dhinchak" colours. There's a special pink. And on any given day, you're bound to see that pink paired with orange, yellow and the brightest blue you can see. A colleague once joked to me that people dress this way so that they can be spotted from a distance. But if every one's dressed in these colours, then how does one tell the difference?

During a college trip to Kodaikanal, that involved endless walking during field trips to study plants, I noticed that some classmates had come in flowing chiffons and high heels. And I thought, "How are they going to climb the mountains with these?" Three weeks ago, S and I went to Mussoorie. And half of Delhi was there. And believe me, it was a sight. Pinks and blues with loads of zari and stone work everywhere. High heels that were stone studded. All this for a day picnic!! And there I was... in a pair of jeans and a T-shirt.

But I can't help but think: is it them? Or is it them? One more of those things that remain beyond me and my comprehension.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The male of the species

I always commented to my mother about guys peeping into autos. Just look around you. If you're a woman and you're on the road, you may look all around you, but you wouldn't necessarily peep inside another vehicle. Men do that. All the time.

I am tired of men ogling and worse still leching. Earlier this week, I took a bus back home. It was not exactly empty, but I managed to find a seat after 5-10 minutes. There was this guy. The typical Delhi local. Kind of like Salman Khan in Tere Naam... but only the variety that identifies more with Leonardo than Salman. Anyway, the tight T-shirt that shows off non existent muscles, coloured hair that needs vigourous head shaking in order to allow for normal sight, skin tight jeans... and a handkerchief stuffed inside the pocket, half outside. This guy kept staring at my chest. It must be true that most men think with their 'you-know-whats'. And then he kept repositioning himself to peer more. The thing is, one way or another they're not getting any views. But they don't know that. I come from supposedly 'conservative' Chennai and hence know nothing about being fashionable (read fashionable as showing various parts of my anatomy to the ogling public). Then this guy tried the cheapest trick in the book. He crossed his legs and stood in such a way that if the driver were to brake all of a sudden, he'd fall directly on me. Too bad for him that the driver did no such thing.

When I travel in a cycle rickshaw in Gurgaon, random guys whistle at me. This morning there was this guy in the bus. He turned his face to look at me. Then when I did the same back, he started looking away and was totally uncomfortable. Guys lech even when I am in the car with S. It's almost like it's their birthright. Once, I was traveling with my mom and a guy kept leching at her and she said to me, "Even when I am almost 60, if these looks don't stop, they probably never will". I agree. I am not exactly Demi Moore. Far from that!!

Has any of you seen women do such things? I'd really like to hear from you if I'm biased. I've seen girls teasing a supposedly innocent guy in the movies, but in real life, not to date.


Music sure isn't what it used to be. Many a time, people tell me I've not moved with the times. OK, so I still listen to film music from the 50s and can sing along to most of Lata's and Asha's songs, not to forget Geeta Dutt.

In the early 90s, I remember my parents commenting on some music I was listening to. And they said, 'Is this music?" If they are, today, subjected to Himesh Reshamiyya's numbers, they wouldn't be talking about Jatin-Lalit, Nadeem-Shravan and Anand-Milind that way.

I think it's quite the same all over. Give me Abba any day. But give me Brothers Four or Joan Baez or Ralph MacTell and I won't complain.

About 2 days ago, I was traveling back home and was subjected to some song which went "Aa bhi jaa". That's all I could catch in that song... wait... that's all there was. In a lousy monotone, the guy went on like a stuck record. He must have sung "Aa bhi jaa" about 100 times in that song. I wanted to scream and jump out of the cab. What rubbish plays under the umbrella of "Super Hit Hour".

We watched Cheeni Kum and it was a pleasure to listen to Ilayaraja's old numbers reinvented. Such hummable numbers. I know I will incur the wrath of several people on blogosphere when I say this. But I will anyway. I don't think very highly of ARR's music. I find it highly repetitive. And the guy copied music left, right and centre from Western Classical music. Sorry, in my book, geniuses don't resort to plagiarism.

My Tamil music is limited to Ilayaraja's works and I hope to, someday, own all the music that the man created. I do own ARR's works as well: Roja and Bombay. Someone gifted me the cassette of Rangeela and so I own that too. But that's it. Deva is another story altogether. He will need a book, not just a mention in a blog post.

Why this random post about Music? Just like that. Because I was tortured... because I've loved the songs of Life in a Metro... because I can't get Jaane Do Na (the remake of Vizhiyile) out of my head.

Sunday, July 01, 2007


We live in DLF City Phase V, Gurgaon and because this is a DLF zone, we pay through our noses for things such as maintenance and SECURITY. On Friday, at around 3 p.m., we were informed that our house had been burgled. As we reached the apartment, we came to know that 6 other apartments in the complex had also been burgled. The burglars struck between 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. and camped away with as much jewellery, cash and forex that they could stuff their pockets with. More than the fact that I lost my jewellery, including the mangalsutra, what is shocking is that someone broke into my house, that our security has been compromised.

All the doors had been forced open using a crowbar and one of the apartments even had a grill door, which had been broken. The police claim that DLF City Phase V is such a secure zone that they never felt the need to make this a part of their beat and was never under their radar. But they are investigating this case. The agency to which DLF has outsourced security of Phase V, LE Security, has not done anything since the incident occured and when questioned by the residents, the representative walked away from the meeting saying that he is not answerable to any of us.

All the while, we have found that the security situation in DLF properites has left a lot to be desired. Over the last few years, there have been several burglaries in these properties, but nothing ever happens and everything gets brushed under the carpet. The head of LE Securities, however, gets to take his family on vacations abroad, all sponsored by DLF, for exemplary security services provided.

It is very clear that the security guards have a hand in this. It is next to impossible for someone to break open 7 doors in broad daylight without anyone smelling a rat. Moreover, it seems too much of a coincidence that the security incharge for DLF V was on leave on Friday. Quite the same way that he had been when the earlier burglaries took place.

DLF mints money at our expense. And so does LE security. We pay them month on month, and we also pay them through our losses. Because at the end of the day, they also get a cut from the loot.

I want to be able to spread awareness about this incident, about the indifference of DLF staff and LE Security. We would like to get compensated for our loss. We would like to ensure that DLF, as big an empire as it may be, doesn't get away with this. Any suggestions and help would definitely be welcome.