Monday, September 29, 2008

365 and still knock out in Ulm!

Yes, today I and Parisa graduated from being barely out of the womb, to happy one year oldies in Ulm.

Describing the year bygone might not do justice, for keeping the memoir as honest and raw as the experience was, is impossible. Hence, I will do away with it.

All I would say is that the place has given me more than I asked for.

Despite of a 6 month long stomach flipping roller coaster ride of finding a house, we finally stumbled upon one, a home we absolutely adore and love coming back to.

Despite of a foolishly life threatening work schedule (for which I give myself and Parisa a pat on the back), both of us are still very much sane, up and running(invariably after bus no.3) each day to our work. And yes, a big round of applause for my colleagues, who still condone me for my pathetic sense of humor. How sweet of them!

Despite of faking it to myself that I’m far too invested in work to acknowledge my emptiness, God bestowed me a family outside my home, to make up for the agonizing void of my folks.

Despite of my ex-convict temperament, I finally found a friend (read best :)) who is unlucky to land up with me and stupid enough to still put up. Life without Parisa would not have been the same. I thank God for her.

And last but not the least, living here taught me that the best things in life are NOT free!! You first need to get smacked real hard on your head when you least expect it, so that you realize the true value of all that is given to you.

But in the end it's all good, for the journey from the first page to the last teaches you to always tie the loose ends and have happy endings.

P.S. To celebrate the good old arbitrary times, we hit our favorite hang out to grab a bite. (Yeah a big time excuse for two lazy bones to escape cooking!).

Catch hold of Parisa slaying off the Doner. Bhookadd kahin ki!!!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

An aunty with a jiiii!! picture this.

A bright sunny weekend. With all that oooomph, you are just dressed up to kill. You get off the bus, and maaro those akhiyon se goli waale killer looks and a few gabroo-jawaans do turn their heads to catch a glimpse of you.

Ab kahani main twisht. Suddenly a cho-chweet rolly-polly, cutie pie bangs into you and says “Aunty”.
Aunty ji!
Auntyyyyyyyyyyyyyy?????? AND jiiiiiiiii????

All that oomph goes poof....

In a flash the cuto transforms in to extremely badtameez 5-6 year old angootha-chaap kid, to whom you want to blurt out “Abbe?? Aunty hogi teri Ma”!! (I know I’m being very-very nasty, but an aunty and that too with a ji???? Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!)

Thank God the girl’s Punju 40+ mom turned up soon, shouting “ Kunnu puttar ” (or some other frikkkin name on the planet..whatever..I don’t care), else I would have beaten her to pulp! But to my horror, Mommy darling was no less either, while walking away; she said “Beta, aunty-ji ko bye bolo!!” and smirked. (Alright, I’m exaggerating, she didn’t smirk but she giggled. For sure!)

I know my hair is going a little salt n pepper, the sunshine glow on my face has faded a bit and I don’t hop around in the same energetic gate anymore. So what? Even then, people don’t have to be so generous with the term "aunty".

Makes me kind of recall that Godrej hair dye adverstisement where they kept echoing “Aunty..Aunty..Aunty ”!!! And the woman (aunty) gets hold of the product to paint her hair black and impress her Patidev and the rest of the battalion of weirdos! I know that after marriage every female is taken for a default aunty by the Indians (be it in India or Indians in Germany!) But excuse muaah? There’s no mangalsutra or sindoor on me to testify the matrimony, then mujh kuwaari kanya par yeh atyachaar kyun?

Which reminds me that the last time I visited my Tam aunt (chachi) in Chennai, her maid Sundari used to address me as “Amma” :( And as obvious as it can get, Sundari was no longer sundar in my eyes !!.

BTW I could not care less what they call me, but just for the sake of the “feel good” factor, I ask “Knock …knock..Upparwaale, if I’m aunty(ji), then Madhuri is Madhuri Aunty and Madonna is Aunt Madonna too...right? Insaaf is all I seek!! Amen”

Saturday, September 27, 2008

My crush

Someone asked me the other day about my share of “crush”, if at all I had any!!

Howard Roark. The Fountainhead - Ayn Rand.

Need I say more? I rest my case.

P.S. Thanks Anand ;)

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Last fortnight taught me....

1. You are stronger than you think you are. You can walk miles, long after you think you can't. It’s all in the mind.

2. No matter how hurt or disappointed you might be, the world doesn't stop for your grief. Time and tide wait for none, so move on.

3. If you enjoy what you are doing, you will invariably do it well. If you don’t, just quit or stop complaining and give it your best shot.

4. Insist upon telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Even if it kills, you won’t remorse the pain.

5. You are good but not as good as you can be. There’s always scope to learn and improve.

6. When you loose, don’t loose the lesson.

7. To err is human. Learn to forgive yourself first, others will follow soon. Salvation lies within.

8. Take responsibility for all your actions, no matter what you get or how you feel in the end.

9. No one can take away what you have, until you give it away. Being insecure is futile.

10. Anger ends up in shame. When you lose your temper, you already loose the argument.

11. Humour is vital.

12. Shared grief is half the sorrow. If not anyone else, confide your pain to yourself. It helps.

13. Your choices and opinion in life deserve respect and so does everybody else's. Be fair, to even those who can do you absolutely no good.

14. It’s easier to fight for principles than to live up to them. Stand up for what you believe is right, even if you stand alone.

15. When you do good, you get good. When you do bad, you get bad. That’s (MY) religion. You will always reap what you had sown in the first place.

16. People you assume will leave you, when your life has dipped to an all time low, are the ones to pull you through it, take care of you, love you and teach you to trust again. Families aren’t always biological.

17. When you sigh “life isn’t fair”; ask yourself “compared to what?” The true value of things depends entirely on what you are comparing it with. Count your blessings.

18. Loved by few, envied by many, hated by most. Reasons not enough for a pseudo-transformation. Be yourself. At the end of the day, YOU have to face the real you.

19. The one who expects nothing will never be disappointed. Don't love to be loved; love just to love.

20. Nothing endures but change.

21. You are unique and so is everybody else. Nobody can be exactly like you. You might as well have trouble doing it. So, see people as God made them. Love and respect them for what they are and not what you want them to be.

22. You don’t loose unless you give up. And it's always too soon to quit.

23. Life is the best teacher.

24. Time is the best healer.

25. Smile, it’s the second best thing you can do with your lips.

A night I wish to forget.

Last night shook me for good.

All my life I have lived in Delhi. Even the most ignorant of the crowd, is aware of the safety of women in the city, thanks to the media people who cry themselves hoarse describing the city’s perverse acts. An average Delhite male is claimed to be as disrespectful to women as one can get. He is someone who doesn’t hesitate to pass a casual, lure comment or make a sexual advance towards the most prudish girl.

Sounds filthy? Isn’t it? But yesterday, I realized that this sort of filth exists everywhere. Even in a place like Germany, where you are not on your guards, for the simple reason that you never anticipate that it can happen to you. At least out here.

Life gave me some serious jolts lately and consequently I have not been acting my own self for the past few days. Sick and tired of being whiny and sulky all the time I visited Ulmer Munster (the tallest cathedral in the world),to gather myself up a little bit. The only mistake I did, was taking the liberty of going at 9 in the night, alone, all by myself.

While I was trying to count my blessings and all the good things that life has to offer, I realised, I wasn’t the only one sitting on the bench, on that cold, dark night. The revolting stench of alcohol emitted by a man in his late twenties made me aware of his presence too. A kind of guy with very urban..supposidely modern outlook..a respectable composure. Someone with whom you would not think twice before having lunch in mensa, cracking a joke or two, the one who will probably get a decent job in the near future. A man who makes his girl proud for what he is and would even stab if someone tries to touch the womenfolk in his family.

I have no reasons on this earth, then why he chose me, to witness the disgusting lecher within him.

Since I was sobbing, he thought I was weak and vulnerable. He started off with extending his help to “ease my suffering” (first in Deutsch and later on graduating to English when he realised that I didn’t get the language).

I will spare you the unsavoury details but I was too shocked to retaliate in the beginning. All I heard at that point of time was a noise, of a very strange kind. It was like a mixture of wounded soldiers screaming out in a battlefield, whining of a distressed woman, howling of an animal in pain. I just can’t explain it. But when I gained my senses back, I reacted sharply. He smirked and I completely lost it, so much so that I shouted out a deafening shriek. No exaggerations intended, but trust me, half a minute more and I would have killed him, then and there.

My momma didn’t raise me a dummy. That bastard took me for nuts to think that at 10 in the night, I would be floored, thinking about his genuinely selfless gesture and altruism to gladly do a favour for a stranger like me. And to emulate his benevolence, I would comply with his request to get laid with him.

On realising that he was wrong in taking me for a cheap knock-off of a Moulin Rouge beauty, he left, grinning like the true asshole that he was. The corny, vulgar stuff he blurted out, his sickening breath, the thought of him, all of it, still makes me want to run to the loo and throw up. Fucker.

I don’t want to make this post sound like a cluster of swear words stringed together by a wailing, frustrated woman who is either too ignorant to express herself properly or too lazy to look for subtle expressions. This blog isn’t a mere shout-box for me.

Nor do I intend to pass on a holier-than-thou judgement on men and make a gross generalisation. That’s the last thing on my mind. In fact, throughout my life, most of my good friends have belonged to the opposite sex, and I still maintain that belief.

I just wonder what makes some men the way they are. I’m sure none of them ever wish to humiliate women out of their own volition. Then what is it? Which societal norm, which school of thought makes them subject their female counterparts to such huge mortification?

There are no boundaries that define the group of people who deserve to be respected. Disrespect for any living being is against the very principle of existence. Although unacceptable on any grounds,whatsoever, but for once I can gulp down, if I see this orthodox malice coming from an uncouth man. But it’s surreal, that more often than not, women are subjugated to such oppressive behaviour by the so called “educated” fraction of the society. And this makes me reckon the literacy rate of the world.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

The aimless wanderer

"Not all who wander are aimless.

Especially not those who seek truth beyond tradition, beyond definition, beyond the image

- From the movie Mona Lisa Smile.

The days when I question myself too hard..when I'm on the verge loosing my own self..the bohemian Me seeks refuge in the above string of words.

I find myself all over again.