Thursday, 29 December 2011

The New Year Resolution Virus

There is a new virus in town specific to only this time of the year. I call it the resolutions virus. Just as New Year looms up we find the word 'resolutions' on many people's lists. There are a few fairly common ones; like losing weight, eating right, waking up early, quitting smoking and the like.

How long these resolutions are kept (if they are) is amusing as well. Though some people do have the determination to carry forwards their's for years at a stretch. One does wonder however what is so interesting about the end of the year that causes such a resolution frenzy.

Like a friend of mine who recently decided to forgo having pizza. She had a pizza fest everyday as she's decided not to have any in 2012. Whatever the resolution however, one must to make a resolution to follow it a bit, if not religiously.

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Vampires - the new gods?

Vampires have become our new idols. They are supposed to be strong, intelligent, beautiful, immortal - - - what more can you ask for? They are gods and superheroes all rolled into one. The greatest fantasy obsession of our century. No more are the gothic elements to be feared of, they are the age-less denizens of the Utopian species.

Why are we so focused on them? Is it because they are a dream come true? Judging by the anti-aging advertisements, it would be a welcome change to stay frozen in time. No surgery, no botox. We have embraced this shift in idealogy. the internet abounds in sites offering books on how-to-turn-yourself-into-a-vampire; to cults and even information on how to deal with the vampiric changes in your system. You'll find people actually trying to drink blood or asking for a vampire to bite them.

Does that mean that being human isn't the top of the scale? We may be above animals but then the vampire is above us? Or is the grass greener or the other side?

Forget religion, forget even humainty, the question is - How far would you go to become immortal?    

What is it like to be alone?

Loneliness has had many songs penned down on it. Paradoxically, in most Tarot decks, there is a card called 'The Hermit'. That card calls for solitude. It counsels that solitude (self-imposed, for short durations) is required. One cannot hear the inner voice of the soul if one is forever caught up in the bustle of friends and family.

Is it easy to be alone? We've all got so used to this inter-connectivity. Dial a number and you can speak to anyone anywhere(provided you have the balance) or text a friend or simply chat for free using the internet. If that won't do, pick up a book, watch tv.... it's an endless list. Can one sit with just one's own thoughts? 

The mind is both paradise and hell. To introspect is to threaten a deluge. If you are unhappy your mind can be the worst enemy. But still, isn't it necessary to listen to yourself? How else will we know what is going on in our heads? Mostly we are so interested in fathoming what others think that we become strangers to ourselves.

Taking time out to think isn't a waste of time or selfish or crazy. Just five minutes is enough. Just like you need to spend time with your loved one to know them or spend time with friends to remain friends - it's important to spend time with yourself. Otherwise, you'll never know the beauty or soridity within.

The oracle said to Alexander the Great - Know yourself!

Her words still hold true.

Monday, 12 December 2011

The 'Root' of the matter - How adaptation counts

Psychologically speaking, adaptation is a crucial factor. Not just for a species to survive but also so that it can 'live' in its environment. If any of us weren't god adapters we'd have a harder time dealing with situations ranging from changing schools or jobs to things like facing life's challenges.

Take the money plant for instance. I mean the plant really. If you've noticed, when that plant is planted in soil, its roots are thicker so that it can easily absorb the nutrients etc etc. But when we leave it in a bottle of water for instance, within a week you'll notice a change in the roots. The roots will become thin like hair and be translucent white instead of the thick solid white it had been in the soil. Aside from this, if the money plant is in the soil and let's say there is a wall near it. As it grows the roots also grow along the stem and the roots at times will attach themselves to this wall.

There's adaptation for you.

Make you wonder doesn't it, that if a plant can handle change so well, why can't we be as resilient? 

Monday, 5 December 2011

What's in a Name? - - - Then why wasn't Shakespeare anonymous?

I almost thought I'd opened my Dad's e mail account by accident. An email from a publisher read 'Dear Sir'. I had to look twice at the page to believe that it was me they addressed this way. I had even taken the precaution of writing 'Miss Joy De Costa' in my letter. It was amusing. When would people learn that Joy is a girl's name fundamentally?

It could have been worse though. Like what happened to Rajendra(Raju for short). His name is short and sweet. Rather too sweet it seems for we have, Raju Panwalla, Raju Cyclewalla, Raju Mechanics, Raju Samosawalla... the list goes on. Recently his name acquired even further recognition. There was a dog named after him!

Ah, the humble name and the humour it can provoke! Like my dear friend Sheeja Philip. The announcer obviously must have been confused and thus, called out for 'Mr Philip'; when Sheeja valiantly stood up the announcer unable to comprehend that this was the one called for repeated 'Is Mr Philip in the house?'    

Perhaps the rose by any other name would smell as sweet... still, names do matter. Don't they?

On My Arch Enemy Sinusitis

I'm very attentive to my nose. It have to be. If I'm negligent I land up in bed with a handkerchief attached to the end. It's rather unfair for I have a button nose. It is an enigma that such a lot of matter can accumulate in it. 

Being a restless person I can't bear staying ill. Actually no one can. It's fine if you are ill and have people to wait on you hand to foot. For those of us who have to rustle up every meal it is trying. Thus, every time I sneeze I'm worried. Does this sneeze portend a sinus attack? Horrid thought! For worse than all the medicines is the task of washing those soiled handkerchiefs.

The worst of it is that the doctors can't fathom why I get this. Perhaps its an allergy one said. Another muttered about seasonal change. Whilst the other one gave me a list of tablets to consume each day. That did it. I would rather use my nose as a sinusitis vane than swallow tablets every day!

One day I hope to overcome this irritating enemy. Till then I'll monitor my nose as accurately as the earthquake gauges monitor the ground waves. Do forgive the lack of geographical detail, it is an enigma to me on how I passed geography.    

Friday, 2 December 2011

On WHY Printers (I mean the machine) are Living Things

Sometimes I feel inclined to believe in science fiction movies. Machines do seem able to think on their own and have their own language. At least my printer does. It was rather a bother at first. picture me proud at finally being able to install it (on my own mind you; yes, it's an achievement) and then I realised that the war hadn't ended. The battle had clearly just begun. 

Firstly, it took so long and made such a lot of protesting sounds before it began printing my manuscript that I was half worried the spirit of literary critics had entered it. Just as I began to wonder when it would eventually begin doing its job that it began whining as it swallowed up the paper. Paper jam my computer screen announced.

It took time for us to get acquainted. Understatement. It was more like my trying to fathom the ways of that moody device than that device catering to me! Moody is the right word for it wasn't always a journey to Hades to get a simple print. Though there were some shudderingly bad days.

If you were to see it in repose you would think it to be as mild as an angel. It is only when you get to know someone that the mask slips off. At least the printer was direct enough in bratness from the very beginning though now I wouldn't part with it for a brand new one in an exchange offer. Why? Well, printers aren't so bad, they grow on you; eventually.  

A Study on Worry
Making a mountain out of a mole hill aptly sums this up. Being a worry-a-holic I can't imply that all of us who do the same are lacking in common sense. 

Being a student and since most of us have been students and have awaited answer sheets I'm sure most of you are aware of the butterflies in the stomach feeling. Sadly, this is one thing that doesn't seem to decline with age. Infact, it increases.

Even my professors (well some of them) own up to a case of nerves. This is far from reassuring. I wouldn't want to think that next time when I'm say fifty and perhaps going on stage I'll trip over the mike wire or something equally mortifying to me but entertaining for the crowd.

One short stop cure when the worry blues is on is to distract yourself at once. Don't let the depression sink it. Busy yourself with something else. However, if you are someone capable of using meditation to your advantage even in such times then that's one good time to try it.

Thus, whenever you feel the need to see the end of the world in a fallen apple (like the timid rabbit) just remember the saying "this too shall pass". Only don't recall it in happy moments!

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Clothes Matter - Traditional vs Indian

I attended a wedding recently. For those who care to know, I had a spaghetti top with a jacket and jeans. "Oh so daring!" an old friend exclaimed seeing me. I couldn't help doing a quick inventory on what she was wearing. I felt rather cocooned next to her backless number. Seriously, who says traditional wear is more covered up than Indian?

Take the saree for instance. Midriff baring leaving the contours of your stomach (or the lack of a decent waist) open to all eyes. Or the backless blouses leaving little to imagination. Besides this, we do have sleeveless blouses or halter necked ones. Plus, now that pallu will not cover the inadequately small blouse; it either keeps slouching off or you'll find the transparent or rather translucent kind being sported.

After such skin shows which I have been dosed with in garba grounds I'd say a skirt with leggings or a sleeveless vest is no eye drawer for is seems puritan compared to what our desi divas care to sport! 


Being Two Faced Pays - A Little Butter is a Must

The truth only matters fundamentally in storybooks. Or perhaps one day we will find it existing only in myths. Power is important and thus, those who have power also win the right to be buttered. Why? Because it is really difficult to win any battle if you are the more vulnerable party.

Flattery does get one far and so does having connections. It's rather hopeless so since if when one lives in Rome one should be a tad bit like the Romans - we should at times adopt these measures repulsive as they seem. It just won't do to be at a disadvantage due to some petty thing like this. Nor can one let others take advantage of such a situation.

There is a line to draw however. It would be good if we too like the wise pig Ace know when to be humble and when to assert ourselves.