Sunday, August 30, 2009

Kismet Connection

The title is to distinguish from the Shahid-Vidya starrer. And I hate the Ekta Kapoor and KJ fixation of force fitting “K” into everything. But hey...I usual...
The point I am trying to make is Connections and how our Destiny or Kismet makes us come in contact with them.

· Why does it happen that even if you barely know someone, you feel you have known them all your life?

· Why does it happen that your paths cross with people who have had such similar life experiences as you, that it gives you solace knowing you are not alone?

· Why does it happen that you can meet someone after a decade plus, you can start off just where you had left off?

· Why does it happen that at every twist and turn of life there is a person waiting with a surprise for you?

· Why does it then happen that that person does not stay and be a part of your life?

· Why does it happen that people, who have been a part of your life forever, drift apart?

· Why does it happen that things said and done by random strangers can bring tears to your eyes?

· Why does it happen that certain people have the power to make you smile every time?

· Why does it happen that something that is so wrong, feels oh-so right?

· Why does it happen that something that should so obviously be right, feels so wrong?

· Why does it happen that one chance encounter transforms into a lifelong friendship?

· Why do certain people make us feel that there is a connection beyond the obvious?

Sigh...I can only ask the questions and don’t think anyone has any of the answers. So my conclusion is that there is a higher power than all of us. A power I call Krishna and you could call Jesus or Allah or Guru Nanak.

But it’s that mighty power that decides at what step of life, what kind of person we shall need. And He* transplants that person in our lives to give us the push we need, the sympathetic ear we were craving for, the sense of humour we had lost along the way or simply to be there for us to reach out whenever we need or desire to.

What we make out of these connections is up to us. Sometimes we make the wrong connection with the right person or a right connection with a wrong person. Sometimes it’s a cross-connection** and its takes time to figure it out and get out of the entangled web.
But at all times, there is the connection. That’s what makes us human- the ability and power to connect with others around us and influence their lives while they touch ours.

Let’s open our hearts and minds to these connections and embrace them. You never know which one connection might change your life forever!

* Who decided God was a man? With intense fear of my feminist friends, I do think He is. God cannot be a woman. A woman’s heart would never be equipped to see all the pain in the world and still manage to run it.

** Cross connection- a concept that’s probably known in India and to Indians alone. When your phone line “crosses” with someone else’s and you can hear the other party’s private conversations, while trying to hold your own. You never know who and what you might overhear. Life’s little surprises, which since the advancement of technology have probably ceased to exist.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


For the ones alien to this term- it is the Indian equivalent of cutting classes. "Let’s bunk this lecture”. Ummmm brings back such sweet memories.

You bunk a lecture and the possibilities are endless….

- Matinee (morning show of a movie for the uniformed)
- Chatting over “cutting” (or Nescafe for moi) at college canteen coupled with inane conversations
- Popping by to nearest fast food joint for a not-really-needed meal
- Whiling away hours at Prithvi Café
- Standing at the bus stop and watching cute guys go by (shoot! I still do that!)

So this morning when I was walking back from my client meeting, I decided to stop over at the Starbucks for a coffee with a colleague. We sat outside as it was a pleasant morning. And when I looked up, I could see the horizon past the tall buildings, beautiful green trees and feel the lovely soft breeze blowing.

At that instant I knew if this was 10 years ago (give or take a few years :) I would have definately bunked the next lecture and made my friend do the same, and just stayed outdoors.

Sigh! I so wish I could do that this morning as well. It took all the will power in the world to drag myself into work. The price one pays for being a grown-up right?

But all day I could not shake the feeling. So when I stepped out for my usual quick-salad lunch, I took a detour back to office and stopped at the same Starbucks. Indulged in another coffee and added a chocolate hazelnut muffin for good measure.

I sat outside with my book- Chicken soup for the coffee lover’s soul (so apt!), and simply idled the next 30 mins away. Then it started to rain and the trees looked greener, the weather turned cooler and the desire to just stay there even stronger. But once again, made my way back to work.

However felt rather rejuvenated after those small stolen moments.

Now if only those moments could have been in the college canteen with my dearest friends…life would be so much sweeter…

Friday, August 14, 2009

British Raj Indians

…are the ones who believe that the British Raj was probably one of the best things to happen to India. They have a white fixation, prefer fish and chips to “kanda bajiyas” and speak with a put-on American accent which they get after one visit to the passport office.

They find Bombay dirty, Chennai hot, Bangalore noisy and Delhi polluted- does not matter that they lived there all their lives and have been living outside India for last few years only.

They snub their noses at local trains, look down on rickshaws and always have at least 3 “horror stories” about traffic jams on Indian roads.

They celebrate Singapore’s NDP and the 4th of July with gusto that makes you wonder about their origins. Their Indian-ness seeps out only when celebrating festivals which made a resurgence post Karan Johar movies and Ekta Kapoor serials like karvachaut and navratri.

They discuss Indian politics (in a know-it-all tone) - but never vote.
Watch every Hindi movie (on pirated DVD that too) - but insist of speaking in English only when in India.
Dance to desi tunes at night clubs (really bad dance moves too)- but want to make their daughters learn ballet over kathak.
Ok don’t get me wrong- Bombay is dirty, Delhi is polluted, ballet for little girls is lovely and I have plenty traffic jam stories too. But is that all what India and Indians are about? Do we define ourselves with Bollywood (HATE that term) movies and corrupt politicians?

I don’t want to get all sentimental via clichés but a country that gave Gandhi, Mother Teresa and Narayan Murthy to the world, has a lot more to be proud of.

We are today because of what our nation made us. None of us could have done it on our own. And if we belonged to any other country, we would not be the kind of people we are. Never forget that. Just the way we owe our upbringing to our mothers, we also owe the same to our Motherland.

So this Independence Day, remember your humble beginnings first and be proud of where you and India has reached today. Refrain from criticizing and find at least one good to say about India. And yes, wherever in the world you are, make your way to the Flag Hoisting Ceremony at the local consulate. It’s only once a year- find the time.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


This was a message painted on an ugly board in yellow letters outside the elevator of my Bombay building at least thrice a week when I was growing up.

People sighed when they saw it and proceeded to scream at the ‘liftman’ (person employed to press the elevator buttons, be yelled at on such occasions and run errands for Kapoor aunty on the 5th floor).
Alternatively they climbed up the stairs.

I used to always imagine the elevator smirking at all of us huffing and puffing up the stairs and thinking “Now you know how it feels riding up and down all the time”.

Wish I could get my hands on that ugly painted board in yellow letters and add the word “mind” before “out of order” and then strategically place the board next to my desk.
Having the message acts as a deterrent for anyone coming to me with inane requests and expecting sensible replies. My mind is out of order, remember?

So when you see me ploughing through 500+ emails and ask me at 10.50 am “Did you see my latest email asking you to attend the 11 am meeting”, I can say “Of course I did sweetie. And I chose to ignore it”.

Or when it’s known that I am handling 10 over projects at a single time, when am asked “Can you take this new brief on”? I can say “Oh yes! Just give it to my clone who sits on my right. I am the prettier one by the way”.

And my favorite, “The timeline is very tight”, and I can say with a very innocent smile “Tighter than that blouse you wearing?”

I know, I know, am being bitchy. But it’s so much fun than being nicey-nice all the time.

There is a land out there….where I can speak my mind, tell idiots off and stomp my feet and spin around when annoyed. As Tina Fey would say “I want to go to there!”