Swimming in an ocean of thoughts.....

Ask me no questions and i shall tell you no lies :)

Friday, April 29, 2011

Habits, mood switches, Fleeting thoughts etc... ~ Mind-full Musings

29th April, 11:45 PM:

It is 15 minutes to 12 in the night. Sleep is elusive and mind is clogged. In simple words, I am not sleepy and so just thought of de-cluttering my mind. A new day would start soon, though these days, there is nothing such as a new day or a holiday or a blue day for me. All days supposedly are the same, provided I try to do something different, by picking up small fights with mom out of deliberation or by not allowing dad to use his computer when he needs or sulking away as usual when husband doesn’t call everyday pertaining to his weird work locations and job constraints! Sometimes, anticipation is a royal pain and impatience is like an unseen demon chasing you, leaving you distraught with nowhere to go! It just does not let go off your back for oblivious reasons. However, these days social networking, blogging, reading and playing my keyboard manage to keep my idle mind from churning irrational thoughts, apparently an outcome of illogical fears which now seem to be a part of life. And my addiction to Internet has been a perfect gateway from such bouts of trepidation, definitely for good. Not that I don’t read books any more, but I prefer reading blogs to books. May be, because I love to read personal experiences and short stories written by some of my blogger friends who are gifted writers. Many of them are not even aware of what an inspiration they have been for me when it comes to writing. I wish I could write like them. Perhaps, some day I would.....

And when it comes to writing stuff, it reminds me of days when I used to work as a content writer in a small firm. There I was required to write approximately 3 articles a day, each containing at least 600 words. Those days I used to think, after writing so much, blogging would be fun! And after office, when I voluntarily sat down to blog, my mind used to stare back at me like a stranger who had absolutely nothing worthwhile to share with! Though there were a jillion moments that I would have wanted to pen down then, never did that urge fortify enough to push those thoughts into an MS WORD document or a diary! And I am so used to typing now that diary writing is something that I seem to have retired from, ages ago. Even the word sounds like an echo from another world! I used to write diaries when I was in school. And as I scour through them today, I wonder whatever has happened to that habit! Where did it go? Habits die hard, but somehow this habit disappeared even before I knew it was with me. A couple of days before, as I tried writing a sample letter (after much coaxing from my sister to resume my at least one good habit!), all I could see on the paper was some gibberish, which was more unintelligible than what toddlers of today scribble (that might still be comprehensible). Perhaps the mind musings are churned at a rate faster than the speed of the electronic pulse racing from the brain to the fingers! Now, I do not even remember having used a pen in the last 5 years, except when I had to make some signatures or had to fill up some forms! Perhaps I have to start from scratch, the art of holding a pen and writing on paper……looks like I would be pre schooled very soon…..

30th April, 12:40 AM:

.....and it is already the next day and I will be hitting the bed in the next few minutes. The last day of April '2011 has already started and I wish the next month starts on a good note soon, and may it arrive with fresh juicy mangoes as a treat! And that’s all for now…bbye.....


Thursday, April 28, 2011

A milestone crossed! ~ Pune Diaries

5th Feb ‘2010: The day, when the wedding bells were ringing….., when people cheered and clapped to that new beginning…..and prayed for all the good times to keep coming…..’

5th Feb ‘2011: An year of marital bliss that continues, with a certificate added to it – Successfully completing an year of peaceful coexistence in harmony!

Marriage can make you a person you never imagined being before! All said and done, it is a life that does change you without letting you know about the fact that you are changing or have changed, merged with a new environment and probably have a different perspective towards everything in life. And all of it happens continuously like a season change without letting you know when the inevitable change started. In my case, it happened without a bang, sobering me down from the hyper reactive person that I was before. Post marriage, jargons of life like ‘responsibility’, ‘adjustment’ and ‘anger management’ which I had read somewhere ages ago (never tried to understand concepts that failed to enter my head in the first attempt!) got to me better than I had anticipated. In the past 1 year, the changes in me surprise me, but rather in a pleasant way! More because, I have an adorable husband who calms me down when I switch to a hyper impulsive mode especially when things do not work ‘my way’, and an extremely patient father in law who is patient enough to listen to my persistent blabbering about office, colleagues, work, friends and what not, a brother in law who is more of a brother to me, with whom I fight very often over TV and deciding what has to be made for dinner, and win over as I have the privilege of being the elder one ;) And not to forget my parents, who have been my pillar of strength all through the rough patches of my life. These are the very people for whom I cannot thank God enough.....

Having entered a saas bina sasural where a home had been bereaved of a female presence for more than a decade, I had a tough time converting my 440 sq feet 1 bhk flat into a home, sweet home. Since my mother in law passed away 15 years ago, my sasural reeked of having been a bachelor’s den for more than a decade! The day I entered, I could feel the physical absence yet a virtuous presence of my late mother in law, whose photo frame still adorns the wall of my cute little home now. But it definitely took me time to adjust with my new relations, my neighbors and the new life above all! It is said, the beginning is always difficult and even more is that thinking as to how the beginning will be, the anticipation that drives it, which almost convinces you that the beginning is impossible! My father always reminded me in those days, ‘Do not waste your brain in areas where certain anticipation and expectations debilitate you and make you feel remorseful. ‘ And his words of wisdom made me see the brighter side that awaited me, of which the primary responsibility was to make a home out of a house first! And it definitely was a successful changeover, not forgetting to mention, with the help of my parents and all of this did take its own time of course!

Then came the transition from a working woman to being a home maker that was surely an exhausting yet an amusing changeover for me, as I come from a home, where I had never been a part of any household chores, where I was even oblivious to the worlds of cooking, washing clothes and cleaning floors. And later after school, where I spent almost 10 years and more staying away from home, I got adorable roommates who never much encouraged me to do the hard jobs (now I did not question them why? As I don’t want to know any reason for reasons best unknown). And the pattern followed when I joined CTS, Pune. The only work I was ever given, living my life as a free bird with my friends, was washing vessels which I probably did so well, that it still tops the list of my household chores. And adding to all of the above I did not know how to cook then (though now I cook moderately well, as I am perpetually awarded a 5 star by my sasural for all that I make: P) thanks to my roommates who gave me some initial training that I practiced over and over to become a moderately good cook! Since then, my cooking skills have only got better with time, though it is still an area that needs improvisation and unfortunately towards which I still have the least inclination! The only reason for the little interest that I have in the gourmet world is because, my husband hates to have anything to do with the department called kitchen, except for what comes out of it!, my father in law comes only on weekends and though his cooking skills are unquestionably good, I never have the heart to let him cook and my brother in law who is an excellent cook unlike me, shares with me the undesirable traits of delegating work to other people (so very much like me) But looks like, my cooking skills are going to cling to me for all times to come.....

And now 14 months post marriage, I look back and wonder ‘oh my! I have crossed a milestone and what have I learnt?’ Well, the learnings have been many! But the most important one is being patient! Not that I am ideally patient with everything life has to offer today, but would say, have accepted it just fine! And patience like madness, too takes its toll (needless to say!). I would relate patience to trying to swallow something that just won’t go down your throat for no reason! And such moments were just too many for me post marriage when I was actually staying all alone with father in law working out of Pune, husband posted across LOC and my brother in law still studying in Chennai. Amidst all that loneliness, calls from my husband (which he managed to make fortunately with a phone connection at 14000 feet), visits to Landmark, Shoppers Stop, Dorabjee and the occasional fun filled outings with an adorable sister in law made it a little easier for me then. Apparently there was no joy of having stayed alone right after marriage and the most excruciating phase was when people used to add to my woes by offering unsolicited sympathy. But as my husband puts across, ‘Narayani, make the best use of your ears! Make sure certain musings never reach your brain but are bypassed over and out from the other ear!’ Initially that was difficult to follow but that was the only way I could choose to be happy with life! And the kind of that emotional support my husband had given me, even if it was over phone by listening to my persistent ramblings patiently is something that kept me alive and kicking in those times of madness.

So after 1 year and 2 months, I feel like some creature evolved and rejuvenated! But well, so far the journey has been good, trying, testing, painful, and adventurous but at the end rewarding! I just hope from now onwards, life opens those Chinese boxes to me with pleasant surprises..... :)


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Innocence personified : Sahana Tales.....

Sahana tales, as my 2 year old niece tells.....
'no tension, take care!'

I do not have vivid memories of holding any baby or playing with toddlers. I do love to play with children about 4-5 years old, a time when they are naughty, moody and adorable, all at the same time! And I usually never approach kids, or hold them or pamper them, not that I don’t like to, but I like to see them free and most of all, I love to observe their actions closely, which is only possible when their actions and attention are undisturbed 

And then there are some toddlers who make you feel young as they are and all you want to do then is rewind time and become a toddler again in the real sense! My 2 year old niece Sahana makes me feel that way! Every action of her speaks volumes of innocence which includes every word she speaks, every expression emoted by her that many a times confuses people around her, her instant and sudden change of moods, her constant demand for undivided attention from her adorable mom, her constant tantrums at tummy time and her countless tactics that brings a smile on one's face instantly! My niece is absolutely a 101% innocence personified! This time when she had come to my home, I was just overwhelmed by whatever she did! Being a would-be-mother myself, I could see and sense the sweetness of all her actions that just attracted everyone around her, towards her! The way she walks, talks, recites rhymes, identifies colors, flowers, trees around, and trying to strike a friendship with every animal on road and talking to everyone in that sweet soothing mazhalai tamil, was so so alluring that one could just sit and spend all time just looking at her! Such are the mysteriously divine ways of God and such feelings cannot be expressed in words, they are just meant to be felt profoundly…..

Her stint in Bharuch was for 2 days, and I have no idea how time flew! I felt, I became a toddler again by playing with her and at the same time teaching her a little mischief too (of course! Harmless ones!). Also perhaps as Sahana doesn’t see me as her chitti (maternal aunt), but relates to me more like a sibling! Of course, I like bugging her time and again by playing peek-a-boo with her and trying to act as if I am going to take away her coveted DVD playing cartoons! Well, I did that once for once and for the next 2 days she was hovering over her DVD bag taking it along with her everywhere she went. The other day while I was drinking water, she went inside the kitchen and demanded my mom give her a similar big glass to drink water, like the one I was holding then! Aah! I couldn’t help giggling to myself and nothing beats that pleasure when the kid voluntarily starts playing around with you with a new competitive spirit! Intermittently while I was hooked on to facebook or blogs for some time, she used to come around, look at me, knit her brows and give me that angry look and go away! It took me a while to figure out; she wanted me to play with her! My sister told me then, ‘you can conveniently forget about a virtual friend called computer, a diversion called keyboard, a friend called book and about people around you, once a kid comes into your life! It will never consent to a divided attention!’ and I could see that for real!

Somehow the whole experience I was going through and at the same time was looking at, was so endearing, that I could keep feeling it even after my sister and niece went back to Mumbai! After their short hiatus in Bharuch, I could feel deafness ringing in every crevice of my home. And all of a sudden I would just get a feeling out of nowhere that Sahana is just going to pop out from behind the curtain in an attempt to scare me (which she thought she could :P)! I am definitely missing her! Sometimes, I feel I wish I could book my tickets for Mumbai right away, just to go and play with her! And the very fact that I am enjoying motherhood more than ever could be attributed to playing with my adorable niece! Children fill up your home with untold happiness that is a priceless gift which you get in life only when God wills it!

Bringing a life into existence, getting to know that life closely, adjusting with its lifestyle by switching to uncomfortable sleeping patterns and having limited choice to eat when it comes to food, and the whole experience right from bringing the baby into the world till it starts going to school is a new yet enjoyable, exhausting yet adorable and crazy yet a funny experience for parents, that will be cherished for a lifetime! It is this experience that puts a parent’s patience, perseverance, adjustment skills, self control and every tough aspect of human behavior to test. Just can’t wait now to see myself getting into the forthcoming phase! God bless…!!


Saturday, April 23, 2011

Tales of a fresher : Boarding the MNC bus (Part 2)

'Pune Cognizant welcomes me!' - well that was the year of 2007, the year of YES! I came as a stranger to a city called Pune and needless to explain why! Finally destiny thought it was better to engage the impossible 23 year old underdog in an industry that fitted her educational qualification best, finally relieving my mom of her ‘rational’ tensions of ‘what will happen if she doesn’t get a job?’, ‘will she get a bride groom?’, ‘everyone is getting a job, why isn’t she?’ and so on and so forth! My father on the contrary was cool, perhaps either believed that as long as my limited cerebral matter was of some use to the society, it was all acceptable, or he had accepted I might just be an underdog of his hyper brainy family tree all my life! And there I was, joining CTS as a programmer analyst. I too was at peace with myself, as I no longer was required to be patient enough to hear out cribbing, hovering and irritating maamis and mamas, as to why I was ‘jobless’ for 6 months post my graduation, while I was working as a CAT instructor in Professional Tutorials at Baroda (working in any other industry other than IT is probably rendered as being jobless/waste/vetti, for a breed of people).

It was on 17th Jan ’07 I came to Pune. I still remember the day I stepped into the city and was repulsed by everything that had to do with it! The station was under construction, probably getting renovated and for all I cared, the renovation continued for long, making it look like a building shattered by an earthquake! The roads leading from the station to the main road were dingy and I could feel an array of roving eyes behind me, as I walked with my luggage. Also I could sense, I was not alone! The disgust was afloat in the air, with many females like me trying to pace up faster to get a bus to Hinjewadi, the IT park. My joining date was 22nd Jan ’07 and there was a weekend in between, where I had to look out for my accommodation. A new place, a new job and the new friends I was going to make, all brought back the positivism in me, the same feeling I had felt 4 years back when I had gone to hostel to study engineering. And that optimism just kept me going. My stint with CTS of 3 years was sure waiting to unravel a roller coaster ride with a lot to teach me in the process!

The evolution that had started then continued..... My stay with this MNC definitely brings a smile on my face even today! Cognizant Technology Solutions! This name will always be a memorable cherished word in my memory! Apart from the incredible learning experience on professional front, life also delivered lessons not-to-be-forgotten on a personal level. I met kinds of people, some of whom who became friends for a lifetime, some who came across like impressionable folks but left little behind, some who I would not like to remember at all for reasons better not stated, some who were quite funny and insane at the same time and some who still float around as acquaintances! The learning continued and I continued to evolve with time. The best thing that happened and which deserves a mention here is, I started blogging! Initially I was not much inclined to it, but with time, I felt I expressed better when I wrote! It was a release for me at times, when I had to vent out my frustrations, my experiences and a lot more! And thanks to CTS blogs, I also made a few blogger friends who, I still follow till date! After 3 years and post marriage, I changed my profession (don’t ask why? Of course, for a change) and I switched to content writing which I enjoyed to the core! I would still like to freelance, given a chance, but yes, now the chance has to wait for a while!

But the bottom line is I am happy today. A major learning that came with all these phases was, ‘Trials and tribulations are a part of life! Either you can challenge them and give them a tough fight or pretend as though there are none!’ But the fun lies in the former, and I thoroughly enjoyed it!


Friday, April 22, 2011

Confessions of a shopaholic : Pune Diaries

I was not a shopaholic before I came to Pune. May be, my salary as a CAT instructor, about 4 years back, just allowed me to pay my house rent, plan my trips home twice a month and eat twice a day at a mess, leaving me with not much choice, but to lead a frugal life. I used to visit malls even then, stare at branded stuff with wide eyes, check out the prices and then leave the place with a heavy heart and a wallet which chose to remain light always! Ever since I started earning, I could not bring myself to buy a stuff which I could not afford with my hard earned money. Thankfully, until today I don’t have a credit card, coz I don believe in that system at all, which my dad feels is one good trait I have inherited from him! And I absolutely agree to that! However, I did decide I would shop a lot, once I get a better job. The pleasure of joining IT industry was partly because of that too, to buy myself the stuff, I had refrained from buying because of my meager 4 digit salary per month, then!

And when I joined CTS, there was a limitless joy in replenishing my wardrobe and my personal items. In 3 months, my wardrobe, my shoe rack, my book shelf and personal rack containing other paraphernalia increased almost 10 times their size! Well, when I watched Confessions of a shopaholic recently, I was not surprised, to the extent I related to Rebecca Bloomwood (the protagonist of the movie), though I was not an extreme case like her either! But somehow, the shopping habit clung to me like a betal on my back and I indulged in shopping almost every weekend. And when you have a good company who is as crazy as you about shopping, nothing like it! I might have spent a great deal of my salary on books, clothes, handbags, shoes, cosmetics, accessories and so on, much to the chagrin of my parents and disbelief of my husband, who was then my fiancée! Not that they were surprised or perplexed at my shopping spree, but they were appalled by the size of my cupboard which looked as though it was going to burst one day! My cosmetic collection was much enviable then, with every brand taking its due credit on the day it was used. But the most interesting of all was my mammoth shoe collection, which actually surprised me too! Only when I started counting them, I had doubts if I was suffering from shopaholism. I would refrain from giving a number here! My father was sure, I had shoplifted and my mom mocked at me saying, I could possibly run a shop with that collection! Karthik made it clear that those shoes were not entering his home, (our home) after marriage! I have not yet given them away, and so found a suitable shelter for them, Bharuch – where I had packed all those shoes in a huge bag and carried it home!

Now past an year and more after marriage, I am a rehabilitated shopaholic. I can advise people on how to shop frugally, but am not claiming that I have been cured permanently as currently am at a stage, where shopping is of little use to me  So till then, the Devil has all the privilege to preach the Bible!


Tales of a fresher : A flashback (Part 1)

Jobs, woes, trials, errors, rewinding time.....

4 years back, a lot of things happened, and a lot was decided, not forgetting to mention, from my side of course!

• I was declared a competent computer engineer by a deemed university.

• I was NOT going for higher studies. (I could feel then, the disgruntlement and the disappointment in my parents, who had already assumed that their only difficult daughter would make them proud by cracking CAT or GRE and do MBA or an MS from a reputed university! NO! SORRY! THANK YOU, was all conversation I had with my parents in those months.)

• So there I was a free bird, now ready for a job! (Little did I know, it was going to take me a while to go through some trials and tribulations, before I get one!)

Not all what I had decided happened immediately! 2006 was supposedly a bad phase in my life, excluding the good times I enjoyed in my college. Once I graduated, the ground reality hit me hard that getting a job was not a cake walk! I found myself, one measly tadpole swimming in an ocean of experienced job hunting frogs, all waiting to get a decent job! A lot of rude coaxing from different sources (my parents, my neighbors, my relatives and a lot many whom I did not even know personally) forced me to think about belling the CAT. Not that I was going to do MBA, but the attempt to think so helped me escape the ‘disturbia’ of being labeled as ‘jobless’ and being plagued by annoyingly meaningless questions like ’Why beta?, 'Are you not attending the campus interviews?’, ‘Arre tumko pata hai, #^$&*&$ ke bete ka TCS me ho gaya hai!’, ‘Tumko thoda aur try karna chaiye!’, ‘arre, aise kaise nahi hua tumhara campus interview me? Sabka ho raha hai!’,and blah, blah, blah! Sometimes, excessive concern becomes a royal pain, especially when it starts hunting and haunting you day in and day out! The funny thing was I did appear for CAT (wherein my scores are highly confidential, they cannot be shared!), but to make myself ‘useful’, I joined the same institute as a CAT instructor at Baroda center.

Surprisingly, I was doing well for myself! I enjoyed teaching as much as I loathed preparing for CAT! The experience was grueling but fun. Learning different brain teasing aspects of my favorite subject Math, exploring new fields, making notes before the class, facing a batch of strangers and trying to make sure the knowledge transition is successful, conducting group discussions, reading a lot of books and getting drained at the end of the day was something that I had started enjoying. It was a time, when I totally forgot that my job as a CAT instructor was only going to be a temporary phase, and I was duly reminded one fine day by my father that I had to appear for my CTS aptitude test and interview! A strange dilemma that was! After getting rejected successively by TCS, INFY and TECH MAHINDRA, I was not even sure if appearing for CTS campus would be worth my precious time?Somehow, I went ahead, driven by instinct and the mysterious Chinese box opened out to pop out with the ‘Year of Yes!’ Oh well, I was soon to become a Cognzitian!


Sunday, April 17, 2011

Freedom and fear, should it be tested and if yes, how much? ~ A Perspective of life

What makes me write today? I don’t know. But since such positive urges come rare to me, I never question the intent. Perhaps, when my mind is clogged with a plethora of thoughts and they just need some wings to fly away, my indolent fingers spring into action to release them so that my mind can spare some more bytes in my RAM for more junk to fill in ;)

Jokes apart, that’s not the reason why I feel like writing today. A couple of days back, a fleeting thought crossed my mind and I put it as my status message on FB. It read – ‘People who suddenly enter the highs of life, often forget their self, until one day, when there is no deeper place to drown in, they realize they have hit rock bottom..... and all of a sudden, they search for that light at the end of the tunnel, which now appears nothing more than a mirage.....just a passing thought!’. There were a bazillion reasons for why this thought made its way into my mind, but there was one significant reason for it, which I would call – abusing freedom and abandoning fear to wrong. Food for this thought came as a result of reading one old edition of Reader’s digest. (I love reading this magazine no matter how old it is and no matter how many times I have read it, line by line and between the lines!). And there was this article about a 14 year old girl who had everything going good for her, right from getting straight A’s in academics to getting accolades in all extracurricular activities, until the day she got introduced to a world filled with smoke, drugs and cacophony. However, her story ended on a good note, with her coming out of her mess, after a tirade with herself, fighting the self, fighting the society and fighting with all her spirit against the demonic urges which only tried to pull her back into the seemingly high world, in spite of which, she did manage to make a surprise comeback and is probably some practicing lawyer today. I am not sharing this story indicating what drug abuse or smoking pot could do to a person. We all know that! But to get into a bad company or probably to indulge in ecstatic highs of life does not need an age factor! What happened to this 14 year old, decades back could still happen to a 40 year old today! My point here is, why do people do it or say, succumb to pleasures which are more of a pain in the real world? Questions like ‘Do we, as adults, understand our limits, our weakness?’ or ‘Do we at least try to comprehend the repercussions of abusing our freedom for our own pleasure (which is more often a mirage), hurting many people en route?’ are definitely worth pondering…!!

These questions need some more soul searching to get the answers straight and right! There are N reasons for a person to drift away from a banal yet normal life to a seemingly attractive hippie life, to get away from worries and heartaches, to escape the madness of work and perhaps to free oneself from battling a few biting family issues! All these reasons often point to one stark reality – failure to detect the thin line of difference between what is genuine and fake. And this often happens when people trust their surroundings and the conditions factoring them, completely without any inhibitions and fear. I would term this kind of trust as incredibly dim-witted, nothing more nothing less! I was taught when young, ‘It is good to be fearless, but it is insanely stupid to be so, when you are on the wrong side of the road, knowingly or unknowingly’. People often do not understand the importance of fear and freedom by birth, until the day, their world comes crumbling down and they ponder, whatever happened. Any attempt to retrospect? Well the word, its meaning is ignored post the consequences of every problem, as much time is spent in fretting and ranting about the events bygone, trying to fix the cracks in a relationship which only get wider and wider with time and then finally escaping the trauma by ignoring the root cause. Then the cycle repeats, viciously drawing the person deeper and deeper into an abyss where the ability to think sane gets distorted and the energy to sustain the ramifications diminishes, leaving behind only pain, more pain and more…..

It is difficult for such a person, undergoing such trying times to see through people and circumstances hounding him or her. The much awaited self awakening can only happen, if the person attempts for once, to sees through himself/herself and then try to detect the flaws! For that he needs to believe that something definitely is not aright with him. Often self questioning is the best way to bring in that belief and it is the only mirror in the world that can give the person the right picture, no matter how deep the shit he has fallen in, is! Sounds blunt, but true…..

Abusing freedom and recklessly abandoning fear is a cataclysmic combination of hazards that can wreck a life in no time without warning. Conservativeness and limiting freedom in our society is often mistaken for a physical fence, which in the real context is an imaginary boundary that prevents self from faltering. Unfortunately, many people erase the boundaries or jump over it, only to realize later in life, there is never going to be a turning back, time will never rewind and life does not give everyone a second chance to redeem self and be good again! After all, every person is responsible alone for his decisions and actions and he alone will endure the consequences of his actions! Sad, but true!