Support a Cause - Hopenhagen

And this time dont ignore it and tell yourself that you are giving enough money for the orphans and girl children of the world.

This cause you will support for yourself, for your near and dear ones, for your progeny.

Go to http://www.hopenhagen.org/ for more information and to pledge your support to change
Tweet about it to your friends : http://twitter.com/Hopenhagen

Last but not the least, thank yourself for taking a step towards a better planet.


Fixed Price. No Bargain. No discount.

As a child, walking along beside my mother on our walks every evening, the thing that used to fascinate me a lot was stopping at various sellers and looking at their wares. I had ample time to look and touch because my mom would take her time to haggle for the best price. She, I think, is the world's best bargainer. At her peak she could bargain the cart off a push-cart vegetable seller! I never noticed then that my dad would never be around until the time came to whisk out some money for the purchase. Growing up brought it own woes and one of them was feeling uncool to be seen in public with one's parents in tow. I think every kid goes through this phase of wanting to look cool in front of peers which meant no chaperoning. I still accompanied my mum on those odd shopping trips to the market, but found it extremely embarrassing to be associated in any way with the haggling. I maintained a decent distance enough so that a casual observer would think I am waiting for someone instead of noticing that I am with someone and that someone was trying to go home with the cart and goodies.
I could never pick up the thread of bargaining from my genes and always prefer to pay without protesting. I wizened enough to move away without making a purchase if I thought the price was exorbitant but I couldn't get courage enough to demand an explanation. Super Markets was for me the best place to buy stuff because you dint need to get personal about your purchase. I knew very well that every person in that shop was paying the exact same amount as I was and there was no need to feel jealous or guilty.
Over the years, my mum's passion for bargaining has also decreased owing to the fact that she starts to feel sorry more often for the seller and his family. I think everyone reaches a stage in life where he/she feels philanthropic. They move away from the "i work hard so i need to get value out of every rupee" philosophy to "the other person works equally harder and if one rupee isn't going to pinch my pocket then i might as well give it to him". Now my mom sometimes buys stuff which she absolutely doesn't need only so that those few rupees would help the seller get a meal.
But lately, my bargaining genes have fought their way up. Every morning sees me haggling with auto drivers about the price to bring me to my office. There was a time BV (before V was born) when I abhorred taking an auto who wouldn't take the meter fare and would charge extra (Read). Necessity is the mother of all submission so I have succumbed to the habit and ease of taking an auto to work in the mornings so as to ease my morning rush.
Though Bangalore, by and large has not reached the Chennai limits of fixed fare, we are getting there very slowly with autos charging extra even to drive you to a destination outside the city limits (the auto drivers stick to Kempe Gowda's Bangalore map to determine the limits). So it is that I bargain for every 10 rupees (1 rupee is guffawed at these days) and I must say that I am building up my skills well. Look out vegetable sellers (if there is any in urban India who cares for bargainers)!


The li'l ad-guru in my house

Today, TV is reality and reality is in TV.
I really want to talk about the brands that V recognises on TV but for that I will have to tell you about the evolution of V-TV watching rt?
My baby got introduced to TV when she was 2 months old (dont judge me, but those swig taking sessions can get boring when your baby is concentrating). Very soon, V had started recognising when the TV was switched on and would stare at the screen. The bright colours attracted her. The sound was never too high and I am thankful to Zee Studio for bringing in subtitles! A few months later she had mastered the remote controls of all the TVs in ours as well my parents' house enough to know how to "Aan-Aap". She then swiftly moved on to changing channels and volume levels. By the time she knew how to walk she had become an adept watcher of all the serials that her grandmom watches mainly the introductory songs. Being on her feet gave her new found freedom to dance when the songs come on.
I have to tell you that she is also a chota bada cricket fan. Every time the commentator's voice sounds excited she jumps up and puts her hands into the air and shouts "Thikther". And she wont have her dad sprawled on the sofa when she does this. She goes upto him and says "Appa Thikther" and will keep repeating it till he also stands up, and exults :)
Continuing with the TV saga, V started to recognise the ad breaks between whatever comes on TV. This got started with the "Joojoo" ads. As soon as the ad used to start, she would leave whatever she was doing behind, to watch the big-heads. Great concept I must say if a 11 month old's attention could be captured for that long. Then came the Santoor ad when she turned 1 where she would go "Thantoo". I wonder what it is about the Santoor ad, V is not the first kid I know who started singing along with its jingle! The latest favourite is the "Doo doo" ad. The other day we were driving through a crowded road with intermittent stops. All of a sudden, V sat straight up in my lap and shouted "Doo doo". We were surprised because the ad was not playing on the radio. She then started pointing and shouting "Doo doo". Following her finger we looked up to see a giant hoarding of DoCoMo! Brand recall at its best. If a 15 month old kid can recognise it, imagine what it does to the target audience (which doesnt involve toddlers who say "haooo" on the mobile) it is trying to reach out to!


Appy Appy

Drifting away with the clouds

Living eternally in the vaccuum

Smiling without knowing

Breaking out of the glass walls

Somersaults in the mind

Happiness in the heart

Eager anticipation

Just like that

For once, for ever

Happy Anniversary to you T

Happy Happy to you V

Happy Diwali to us


I am down with the phone upgrade flu

I am in that phase of life again.

Where the quest for a new phone becomes endless.

Multimedia or Business phone?

Touch or No Touch?

Found a useful article in the multimedia phone category, you can view it here

The website itself is very informative and I like the precise reviews in common man language. Check it out http://mymindsays.co.cc

You know you are Mommy material when

You realise there must be a zillion kids in your neighbourhood.
You get more excited looking at the kids section in the mall rather than the ladies section
You start waving and talking to kids who spare you a glance
You time all your activity to last between two feeds
You expect your husband to be your personal assistant
You look forward to coming home early
You exchange kid stories with every parent you meet
You share best practice swig-taking guidelines unabashedly
You start socialising with the neighbourhood ladies only to get your kid acquainted with theirs
You become a speech and action policeman at home
You dont cringe when changing a poopy diaper while you are half way through your meal
You take washing poopy diapers as naturally as you would take bathing
You become a Schumy paced work doer at home
You become a bedroom singer instead of the bathroom variety
You start packing a baby bag as soon as you hear plans of a romantic dinner outing
You think you know more about raising kids than your mother


The movie 13B reviewed

and found to be a sadistic revenge wreaked on the non-suspecting, highly-critical, higherIQ-claiming mass of people who condone Indian TV soaps (anyone tell me why it is called this instead of the self-explanatory "serial" these days?) as stupid, no-brainer and fool-making medium in the garb of entertainment.

If one wants to see the positive side to it -
It is also an anticipation generating mechanism. It's the perfect example of "Hope". It instills in the audience a want to live and ofcourse wait for "what happens next" albeit in someone else's life. Maybe the TV soaps have been able to achieve what God and one's inner self couldnt achieve - hanging on to the thread of Hope?


I've grown up? Ja?

All through my career I have been a firm believer that feedback from juniors, peers and managers should come voluntarily and not from asking. I can extrapolate it to my life as well and can claim with enough honesty that I have never tom-tom'ed my abilities and achievements ever. Getting back to career, my belief was so strong that my year end self-appraisal used to be the briefest. It took a lot of goading from my managers to put down all the achievements (to the last small thing) in a categorical manner. I did not realise the potential of it back then but most of the managers do not keep a list of all their direct reports' doings. He/she will only add on to what the employee writes as his/her achievement and rate the employee. So the employee is the loser if he/she doesn't jot down all the points explicitly since in a good enterprise all the past performance documents are available for view by current managers and potential recruiters within the company. Ofcourse it took me time to understand this nuance.
It still takes an emotional toll on me to fill the gaps and holes in the self-appraisal with a lot of positive adjective mortar. At the end of the exercise I am left feeling like a total narcissist which I absolutely abhor. There is no need for me to expound on the fracas in my mind when I have to repeat everything at the actual "meeting" which would decide my rating.
Getting back to work after maternity leave has not been an easy transition for me. There are lots of issues to be resolved and its easy to get depressed. I resolved not to wallow in self pity (I dont know why but I seem to use this phrase a lot) and instead turn to positivities. I decided to find out what people I have worked with think about me. And the easiest way to do that was to ask for recommendations on LinkedIn, a site which I have come to appreciate now. A virtual war was won with the repressive inner self and a new confidence has started taking birth. There is a chance of it dying at birth if nobody responds but what the h*** I tried. Positive. La la la.


I'll do my crying in the rain

Glum mood
Inner storm
Buckets of water waiting near eyes
Love this song : A-ha's Crying in the rain
(I wish there was a utility to post songs instead of links)

I'll never let u see the way my broken heart is hurting me
I've got my pride and I know how to hide all my sorrow and pain
I'll do my crying in the rain...

Ironically my mood has nothing to do with my heart.


Dear Mr.Obama

On becoming the President of the USA, I congratulate you for giving the world visually tolerable images of the so called "world's most powerful man" which was hitherto a very depressing affair given the fact that the person who occupies your esteemed office takes up half the bandwidth of world television broadcast.
You have lent a mighty voice not only to the generally intelligent folks of the United States but also to some shy denizens of our great country India, in particular to some narcissistic individuals. You may not be aware of the various appellations in our great land but one would definitely interest you – Obamma. We, in our locality (details of which I don’t mention for fear of brickbats) are pleased to inform you that we have a lane bearing your name or nearly so. Last week we named one of the by-lanes in our locality as “Obamma Lane”. The bearer of the name “Obamma” was definitely shy about her name being painted in bold, font 400 and bright blue on the signboard since it is not one of the most fanciful names we have in modern India to the extent that one might hear a snicker or two. This was until you came along. You have increased the significance of her name . I don’t subscribe to the school of thought which creates biases on the basis of a name because I do believe “What’s in a name?” but it gives me great joy to gratify you by informing you that your name itself is becoming a kind of status symbol.

Yours’ Sincerely,
A Wellwisher

Happiness comes from Banana

There is many a thing that the poo-poo-pee-pee kid can teach an adult. One of the lessons I learnt yesterday was a reminder to me of all the simple things in life one forgets as one trudges along grumbling about everyday life.
Yesterday dotzy was subjected to the shock treatment of gunshot. I categorically deny us having anything to do with terrorists except when its meal time and I have to terrorise my dotzy with a bowl and spoon until she finishes every last drop. We decided that it was time to get dotzy a pair of earrings and set out to accomplish this yesterday morning. One small hitch though - she did not have holes in her ears yet. Nowadays the horrifying process of punching a hole through one's cartilage has been given a painless updation in the form of a gun. The "gun" is an ingenious contraption which punches a hole, inserts a stud from the front of the ear and clamps the stud from behind the ear all in a matter of one sec and one well-aimed shot. Well, that is if your kid is sitting still, not crying and more importantly not being jerky. As can be expected out of a wee 7 month old, a choked howl-cry started as soon as the first shot was felt and lasted for a full 3 minutes after the second shot ended. As soon as the studs were in place I whisked her outside onto the pavement, in order to get the villain hole-puncher out of her line of sight. But that dint deter her one bit and she continued to howl and look at me balefully and make my soul shrink with guilt. At that moment an angel swooped down on us in the form of a banana seller. All she had to do was cluck at dotzy and offer her a nice yellow banana. Dotzy (she seems to be well mannered beyond her age or as suspicious as a spy already) after a lot of encouragement from me accepted the gift through her tears. The very next instant the pain, the shock, the tears were all abandoned in the joyful vigorous swinging of the banana in her hand. The sun was back and shining on her sweet face and there were no words with which I could thank the banana lady. I would have walked away with overwhelming gratitude had T not nudged me to tell me that I could thank her better by buying bananas from her.
Happiness comes from a banana...


Gandhigiri and the cellphone

As the competition hots up I decided to blog about it to gain mileage among my sympathisers. T and me are into Gandhigiri these . So dotzy's attempts tp vandalise the cellphone is met with a smile and the offer of another. Want to know why? Here's my side of the story...

Background :
2007 - It was time for me to replace my aging Nokia. I had been waiting for more than a year for the perfect phone. Then came the Abhishek Bachchan Motorokr ad. I feel like a moron now but full credit to the advertisers for the campaign. It was uber cool. A groovy and humorous story line was all I needed to make up my mind (I dont want this post to be a confessional about how big a a fan of AB Baby I am) and I was hooked. I started dreaming of Rokr being the most appropriate successor to the sturdy (trust me, I have stress tested it to the max) 3310. I went ahead and bought the phone via a friend who works at Motorola (I am a sucker for discounts) and discovered with shock that the wireless stereo headset (the main reason for buying the phone, yeah yeah not AB Baby) was out of stock. I was thus stuck with a phone without its coolest feature. That is not the worst part though as I later bought one and found it to be inconvenient to use. I feel technologically challenged with the Rokr because I do not understand Linux which is the OS on that phone. I have never been able to install any application on it simply because I have not understood how. Looking through innumerable number of Motorokr forums is not helping my brain. I also discovered with time that the screen scratches easily in the hands of a not so delicate user like me. I am now at the end of the disillusionment tether. I want to buy a new phone and am waiting for the perfect successor!

Cut to 2009 :
My dotzy has made drumming her new hobby. She drums on and with anything. Give her a soft toy, a rubber book, her own hand or a cellphone! She goes on her "Atha atha atha" ("hit hit hit" in baby lingo") routine relentlessly and with more vigour with each hit. She has to just see a cellphone lying aroung and she will swiftly glide to it and grab it. Last week I realised that this could be a God-sent to get rid of my phone. How many hits on the floor does it take for a cellphone to stop working? I dont know, am still counting at 220. But to my dismay I found another competitor in the endeavour. T! He also has decided that he wants a new phone and is keen to expose dotzy to variety! So in an evil usage of Gandhigiri we voluntarily submit our phones to the rowdyism of dotzy.
If she hits one cell we calmly and gleefully show the other.
Will keep you posted about who wins.
Happy Valentine's Day T ;)
( I shall cherish these times when my dotzy couldnt tell anyone the truth)


A day for love - coloured with Pink this time

So Pink is the flavour of the season for this valentine's day. Especially if you are sending a gift to the Sri Ram Sene and the gift happens to be one's underpants.

You can find all the details at the Pink Chaddi Campaign Blog

Do it for the fun of it. Its the best way to dispose off all those overused innerwear you might have hoarded!

An update on the previous post [LIKELY JUNK]

After I wrote this post complaining about my mail server in a public forum, the mail server has mended its ways and now does not attach [LIKELY JUNK] to T's mails. If anyone else (who has my office id, which ofcourse I will not give out here) is interested in testing the temperment of the mail server, please send me a mail to my office id.
Thanking You,
Yours Sincerely,

"stop@nothing" says A-star

Seriously? Is that a punch line for a car? Stop at nothing? Did the punch-line-thinking people realise they are in a serious business called advertising? Or were they in a real hurry because they forgot the deadline to deliver the line? A-star, the new offering in the Maruti Suzuki stable has an advertising punch line which says "Stop at Nothing". Hmm...how about crossing pedestrians? Or the RED TRAFFIC LIGHT? Or for a cow which decided to cross the main road at Brahma's speed? Does A-star come with brakes which get spoilt from overuse? I tell you, its a dangerous line that. Especially for most people who drive in Bangalore who dont stop for anything anyway. Its a bad social message being sent out. I think the censor board should take objection to the fact that the A-star ad promotes violence. Whats that you say? Nobody takes ads seriously? Well there are people like me who take some at face value. Thats the story behind my Motorokr, more of which will be in my next post. I think the Maruti folks should take a leaf out of the book of Bajaj Advertising. Did you check out the latest XCD Ad? They have always had impressive commercials starting from their Hamara Bajaj pitch. If its only cars we talk about then Tata Motors has put up good commercials especially the zany Indica ones. Advertising shouldnt be about star value (I dont think Farhan Akhtar even does justice to the "star" value that the advertisers of A-star might have been obliquely referring to) but more about the sellability. Companies should stop assuming that a celebrity can sell products with a song and dance or a smug expression. There needs to be a storyline, a build up behind the ads. Motorola (my sob story aside) did not just depend on Abhishek Bachchan to sell their phones but made him part of their storyline. Thats the kind of interesting advertising people will always remember thus enhancing brand recall. Unless ofcourse one doesnt stop at anything ;)



That's what my mails are awarded with these days. No matter if they are from my best friend or from a viagra seller. The junk sorter at my work place is taking no chances. At a time when my self-esteem feels very much like the subject attached to my mails, it comes as no surprise to me that the mailbox is dolloping hints. A few people I reply to have registered their complaint at their mails being called junk by the inanimate mail server and have threatened to sever the communication thread if their respect is not restored. I dont really have the perseverance to change the mail subject just for their gratification. Unfortunately.

T has now reconciled to the fact that my mail server shouts atop the roof that he is adding to the already large amount of useless and unwanted bytes flowing through it. Thankfully it does not deter him to ignore me when am at office.

His latest mail epitomised it as : [LIKELY JUNK]chill



Thutty is not a passing phase

I turned 30 and there is nothing in my reach to turn it back. Oh God, can I please get another chance to start from my school days? I now know that I should have shown immaturity as a kid and gradually increased the maturity hormones. I can see that I was totally wrong in being an adult at school. (Slap on forehead of self)
I turned 30 recently and announced to the whole world that now I have the fundamental right to not be accountable for anything. Pushing aside the snide remark from my mother that I got this right when I turned 18, I plunged into giving details about this new found right. I dont have to call home every once in a while if I dont want to. I dont have to consider anybody's opinion for doing what I would like to do. I dont have to care what people around me would think if I went jogging in shorts. I dont have to start driving. I dont have to work on work that I dont want to work for. I dont have to care if my parents are going to read my blog and hence I need to self-censor my posts. Am sure you get the drift of where I am going with the new found liberty loaded with a lot of "idonthaveto".
Alter Ego
I turned 30 recently and realised that my responsibilities have only increased if anything. I am more accountable than I have been my entire life. My dotzy looks up to me craning her neck even. I realised its high time I got some ideals and principles incorporated into my daily life fabric which has gotten so loose woven that anything and everything will fall through it without being seived. I have to shake up and wake up before I sleep through for the next ten years which would again provocate such a sad post of pretense.
Lately my only worry has been about how to position myself. No points for getting ideas about my obligingly spread base area or any other wicked thing. I have turned 30 without having any inkling about selling my ideas or skills which is a very important catalyst to ambition. And ambition is my claim to glory in my ego-"ed" dream world. Instead I have a skill to continuosly blabber my way through any time frame without alleviating any doubt the people I am meeting might have in their minds as to the purpose of the talk. I almost have the gift of the gab. Whether it is about convincing my mother-in-law to start dotzy on a lot of solids or about convincing my boss about my career intentions I can only better myself at being haphazard. I seem to have a strong power of "No" (unlike most people who have to be taught that via motivational books) and an almost scared acknowledgement of "Yes". I should have been a movie critic with the skills I have that I just discovered with this post. I think its high time I stopped whizzing past the self help books in the book store, with a look of indignation on my face for the people actually browsing through those.
What am I talking about in this post? See, I told you so.
Turning 30 means I should opine more!