Facebook Fatigue


Gorgeously dressed bodies lolling about on beaches, canoodling in night clubs, more selfies

People I remembered as hunks having balding pates and bigger paunches strolling down beaches and puffing up hill

Once hot women trying to look hotter and younger

Ibiza, Shanghai, Scotland, Paris, Tanzania, Ivory Coast, Washington, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Macha Pichu, New York, Himalayas, Ladakh, Uttaranchal, Uzbekistan, Gobi Dessert, Dubai, Turkey, Afghanistan (yes that too)

Lovey dovey couples striking poses, once-self-proclaimed enemies now bffs

Change the world, stop the war, stop rape, conserve the environment, feed the hungry, liberate the inner child

Sign a petition

Join a movement

Like even if you don’t like to



even it just means telling the whole world and the Martians (like they care, yes they do exist havent’ you read, really where were you) that you are happy/sad/lonely/hurt/intelligent/bitch/asshole/loaded/mental

that you burnt your biriyani

that you can boil water

that you can cook maggi noodles

that you woke up early to make breakfast for your lovely wife

or you stayed up late to make out with your doofey husband

Ah facebook

life doesn’t exist outside of it

friends don’t exist without it

you fart, you sneeze, you orgasm, you burp, you are alive

Yay facebook

So what happens one fine day when you wake up and see your life has passed you by on facebook

where everybody has travelled everywhere


had kids

got divorced

got promotions

lost jobs

lost lives


RIP facebook


Still Alive










Work Ethics

The earliest memories of my demure, 5’4″ mosima (grandmother) are always associated with sunrises, woody smoke, cotton sarees and the fragrance of Charmis cream. 

I’m nearly five I think, my summer holidays have just started and I burrow myself deeper into the thick blanket mosima has wrapped around me.

No books to be bundled inside my canvas bag, no homework to be checked by a hawkish uncle, no poems to be learnt by rote and no tests around the corner.  I will away the chirping of the sparrows, the woody smoke from the kitchen and the  morning light I knew awaited me. The chill of the morning along with the rhythmic snoring of my grandpa was enough to make me glide back to sleep where I knew I would dream of books piled high along with hot samosas and Boost.

But rain or shine, holidays or school my dearest would be up before the cock crowed. Yes, we had roosters at every corner in Bangalore then along with cowsheds. My city was truly a garden city. My road was lined with yellow and orange champa trees, their fragrance intoxicating and heady in summers; gulmohars in resplendent red during the monsoons and always, mosima pottering around the house like a goddess. She was omnipresent.

In the kitchen, making breakfast and packing lunch for a family of 8 that sometimes expanded to 15 and more. In the garden, watering her beloved papayas, pomegranates, banana, jasmine, hibiscus and all the other myriad bushes and trees that dotted our small plot. In the veranda giving a bowl of egg and milk to a stray dog we had adopted. She wasn’t a dog lover but there was just no way she could refuse to care for yet another creature. To her all of God’s creatures were to be loved and nurtured. She would be in the backyard serving coffee to the old lady who helped with cleaning vessels and washing clothes. To the market she would go with her cloth bag and me in tow. At times, I would accompany her on a 6 km hike to our ration shop to buy the monthly groceries of rice, dal, oil, sugar and wheat.

Till the day she was admitted to the hospital where she breathed her last my dearest never wearied of fulfilling her duties to her family, her neighbors and the ones she cared for. 

Always the first one to wake up and the last to sleep. Non-complaining, ever-smiling, quick with a hug and a patient ear. Non-judgmental and driven, to be the best she could for us, her thankless brood. 

Now as I pour over management books and read articles galore I realise my dearest had the traits of a successful entrepreneur and an inspiring leader.

  1. She worked harder than the rest of us, whom she united as family
  2. She never asked but gave willing of herself and commanded us with a gentle smile, never a tear or a threat
  3. She was always willing to give a second chance and yet another chance till proven wrong
  4. She was driven by an inner moral compass and higher principles
  5. She never advised without being sought
  6. She never sat on judgement but stood by your side to pull you up and get you going

As I look around me at  papers piled high, clothes strewn around, empty bottles of water and the clock ticking by I see a sweet lady pick up and arrange with nay, a murmur nor a rebuke.I hear her sing, cook and clean with never a care for her aching body or thankless brood (smaller though it be) and I think to myself, I can’t go wrong. For my mother carries on where mosima left off.

I have a long way to go but I know the work ethics I have imbibed from the women in my family run deep within me.

As I trace my career,  adventures in living, challenges and triumphs I realise it is my mosima I look to for inner strength and retaining my authencity of who I am and being the best I can be; of staying true to myself and bouncing back every time I fall.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be gorgeous, brilliant, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. …As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love






C gets me to introspect a lot, a lot more than I want to.

Today’s Q: “Why do people blog?”

I rambled on about how blogs were a good way to promote brands, talk about beliefs, a personal journal, etc etc….

“Ah, self expression,” she nodded sagely.

Hmm, yes, absolutely I said.

Earlier in the day, a colleague asked: “What’s your pet peeve?”

Even before I could  think of a politically correct answer, Coll. continued, “Well, you know what’s mine. I do not like being dis-respected. Don’t get me wrong. It’s not that I’m snooty or conceited. It’s just that I don’t like people who are unable to keep their commitments or call only when they need some work done or expect everything done but never reciprocate.”

Later in the day I sent a carefully-worded missive that would have even put an intelligence wing to shame with its cryptic content because I was too scared to say what I want.

Then the two striking conversations floated through my mind. What struck me was the clarity of thought and their self-awareness.

I realized that blogging is my attempt at imbibing this self-awareness and clarity of thought that will give me the courage of my conviction to be the best that I can be. It is this self-introspection that will help cultivate a honest relationship with myself, before I can even strive to have an honest connection with someone outside.


It is easy to cultivate relationships with colleagues, acquaintances and strangers because it is the best foot forward.

For this secondary circle: Exemplary behavior, Others before self, Common courtesy,  Rapt attention, Inordinate Patience, Civilities and a myriad other qualities straight from the ‘Dummies Guide to being a Gentleman’ is practiced.

Now how easy is it with family, close/childhood friends, yourself?  Should be easier than eating chocolate, eh?

Not quite!

For this primary circle: Impatience, Judgement & Prejudice, Disrespect and a myriad other negative qualities straight from a kindergarten playground where kids turn bullies.


Lack of awareness of what triggers reactions to situations; to people

Lack of understanding of what motivates/drives/spawns actions

Superficial knowledge of the self

Self deception

Self aggrandisement


Perhaps some day I will conquer at least some of these demons but for now I’m consciously cultivating a relationship with the self. I’m learning to love a little more today that what I did yesterday, and perhaps a little more tomorrow than what I do today.


Moral science classes in school always focused on imbibing moral values, of good vs evil, of right vs wrong, responsibilities vs rights but they never focused on finding oneself or creating self awareness. Perhaps, it is time our education system included a subject on development of the self!!

To Sit or Lie


Ok, so a while back a close relative commented: “Why do you share your private life out there? You facebook, you blog, you twitter, you comment, why you twit? Why do you randomly seek attention instead of just living your life?”

Ok, so admittedly I was perhaps going overboard. Not that I was tweeting or facebooking about every single loo stop or vocalising the existential angst that hits you living in a city that corners you with its filth, aggression, numbness, insensitivity and so on and so forth..

But yes, I was quick to share my thoughts, and happiness and the angst that came at times as I see a (sane) society I once knew crumble and erode.

No longer was I safe to take my nightly strolls alone or even accompanied by my mum or go out for a drink with a male friend or catch up on a movie in a dark cinema hall or visit the coffee bar down the road or go jogging in the neighbourhood park.

2 eyes weren’t sufficient any more.

I needed compound eyes.

I was equipped with a pepper spray, a taser gun (i wish), a marriage certificate, a mangalsutra, toe rings, a ferocious dog on a long leash, headphones to plug into my ear, coolers, a bottle of bisleri, a heavy handbag…..

And no items listed above were not for seeing/quenching thirst/pleasure/answering curious looks/questions/exercise.

Oh no, these survival articles were to maim and mutilate; to deaden the senses; to ward off any male that leered or pounced in the dark or otherwise.

And I did go off facebook and twitter and didn’t blog as much. After all I’m a girl, ok, a woman – the weaker sex….and I didn’t want nor crave unwanted attention.

5-year old girl raped; 23-year old brutalised, raped and succumbs; 25-year old raped; 3-year old molested; and I lost count after a spell. Age didn’t matter and neither did the fact that they were ‘accompanied by male companions’ or were ‘decently dressed.’

Skewed sex ratio across the country; increasing rich-poor divide; mass migration to urban centers and exposure to urban culture resulting in culture shocks; shift in male-female roles; lack of education; north vs south; societal change; changing moralities; regressive society; confused rural male/uneducated male/unemployed male; changing female mindset; independent women waving a red flag to CRM/UM……and so on and so forth went analysis after analysis on the sudden explosion in violent sexual crimes against women.

Part II – To Sit

Do I join the protests?

Do I vent my anger?

Do I sign up and share links?

Do I pray to God that when I get pregnant it shouldn’t be a daughter in my womb so I don’t unleash this insane world on her?

Or do I harness my strength as a woman and unleash the generations of collective wisdom and empower my child irrespective of whether it has a XX or a XY chromosome?

Teach them the to Do the Right Thing, Stand Tall, Believe, Be Good, BE A MAN (in Kipling’s words) and Be the Best of whatever they chose to be or do

Sensitise them to a new world order where gender equality can be real and not dictated by khap panchayats and politicians seeking to bank roll their votes playing (preying) on increased crimes.

That it is ok to iron blouses and buy sanitary pads if she is unable to without being hush hush

That it is ok to do the 3 am call when the cries wail out in the night and not roll over and play dead while nudging the better half out of her sleep to play care taker.

That it is ok to wash plates and keep the house clean and take the garbage out and shop for vegetables and plan the evening dinner so the lady can get some precious me-time too.

That it is ok to not get married, travel the world instead and opt for a high powered job, buy a house, and pursue dreams

That it is ok to bring home someone from the opposite sex or the same sex as a life partner if they mutually respect each other and Trust each other and can live a life in harmony

THAT IN THE END ALL THAT MATTERS….is what you made of life for yourself and for others in the short time you had
….that someone somewhere sheds a tear or sports a smile or passes a sigh when you are no more in fond remembrance of all the nice things you did
….and that is all there is to it

The Me and Mice

Of late, the ‘I’ had crept into conversations more often than it used to.

At first, I thought the I’s reflected a heightened sense of self and self-achievements.

I felt comforted with the I’s and my’s.

I believed I had arrived.

After living a life with no sense of self, this heightened consciousness of self was intoxicating to say the least.

The world revolved around what I did, thought, felt, wanted, needed and so on…

The world was monochromatic…

And infuriatingly the I soon turned into a conundrum….

I was lost amidst all the I’s.

A hard knock came from unexpected quarters, or perhaps it wasn’t as unexpected.

A bout of illness and forced imprisonment brought on introspection as life was looked at through a microscope.

Unsung heroes there were aplenty…

From the hibiscus tree withering away in the balcony but still holding strong, a sad shadow of its former self when it sported glorious red blooms and swayed gently in the breeze to mum, working nights and days to feed the family and keep a spotless house.

The small gestures that were taken for granted were received with gratitude.

Silence spoke volumes.

The I’s dissipated and I have started learning to let go….

let go of preconceived notions

let go of heart-ache and heart burns

let go of memories and nightmares

let go of limitations and all the geometrical patterns that form (boxes, circles…..)

I realize that life with all the Me and the I’s is only for the Mice, who are caught in a trap of self deceit….

I hope never to go back to the cage, and if you find me doing this dear reader…KNOCK hard..

Dream on and achieve the impossible for only you stop yourself from reaching and touching…..for the stars and beyond!!

Have a great April…



Staying Unconnected

I have practically lived in a cocoon these past 3 weeks strapped to a bed with a white ceiling and a whirring fan for company, if I don’t count my family, the reliable i-pad and books.

Cut off from the outside world the internet was my gateway to the world since the daily paper brought with it the daily dose of rape and mayhem, corruption and petty politicking.

Predictably, I have piled on the pounds.

I have also been hit by the need to know, a child-like curiosity about everything.

How the concept of time came to be?

Why is it I remember anything related to movies but nothing with maths?

Why do kites come out only between 10 and 1?

Why is it that my neighbor’s baby quietens when it is wrapped in her bosom and starts yodeling when he goes to his dad?

How technology has evolved? Where once I used to dial in to numbers whirling the numbers around the phone now I touch a contact and the dear one is on the other end, both audio and visual and as live as virtual gets?

Why Linkedin brings better job openings than a monster does?

How a chip inserted into the skin can track and monitor your vitals? A boon, considering that we will in less than 2 decades become a fast aging population and geriatric care will be the need of the hour. Scary, if this same chip can trace my every move; know my DNA structure; the number of times I have donated blood or visited hospitals for illnesses; the mind boggles at the possibilities.

How children staying in very remote areas can still get access to quality teachers thanks to initiatives like Skype in a Classroom and Coursera? Surprisingly, high speed connections are not even required!

How is it that initiative not experience lets you surpass your current economic or social limitations?

How the world is filled with infinite possibilities?

How the world is limitless?

And it all starts in your mind……..


The Portrait

This is a tribute to one of my life’s endearing fixtures, my bong babu and his adorable wife. This short story was a long time coming. that misty morning when i stepped into their abode and saw this painting,well.. i was smitten. and between the endless cups of tea, that never ending laffter, their LPs and Anju….this tale has been cooking since then, i hope you like it.


It hung on cream colored walls surrounded by elegant drapes and long bay windows. A three-focal light hung above it. It seemed to look on with interest at all the comings and goings in the house, yet stay far removed from it.

People came in and went. The same faces but always their expressions varied.

Sometimes a face would stop in front of the portrait as if looking to see itself better. The glass framing the portrait reflected back images, happy, sad, thoughtful, lost and sometimes blank.

But this was only sometimes.



Most often people walked by without seeming to notice it.

Only the evening hours seem to give life to the still image looking in, looking out.

In the afterglow of the sun you could actually see the eyes look back at you, waiting.


The house was filled with laughter. A dog barked in the distant. Sunlight streamed into the normally shuttered room. A chest of drawers was placed beneath the portrait.

A vase filled with wildflowers, a candle holder and a small lithograph were placed on top of the chest.

The elegant hand making this arrangement removed the lithograph and looked up at the portrait.

A soft smile curved the lips.

Did it just look back and smile?

A nod of the head and the sound of a sitar strumming softly in the hallway had her hurrying out.

Was there more?

A single wooden bookcase was placed in the alcove. The sitar played on softly.

A bronze warrior and a gramophone that looked like something from a 1960s movie took center stage and below racks of LPs were lovingly stacked.

Screeching sounds of wooden chests being drawn across the marble floor, books tumbling down and more laughter, the house had come alive.


Slowly, the routine settled in.

A candle glowed gently reflecting the haunting expressive eyes.

The pleasant fragrance of lavender wafted the air. Those gentle hands wiped the portrait clean, always taking time to stand and watch.


A smile reflected on the portrait.

Sometimes, images of a huddled couple with mugs reflected. Standing thus, for minutes on end, just watching in contentment.

It seemed to take on the aura of a shrine.

Sniffs and whispered hurried words, always the hands around each other, warmth pervasive.

Months passed by.

Those hands would lovingly wipe the grime of the portrait and look with a smile, a knowing smile.

Spring had arrived.



The rooms were bereft of the familiar book case, the chest of drawers, the strains of the sitar, the fragrance of lavender…..Silence.

The melancholy had returned. There were no images now.

Cobwebs gathered around and damp, musty smell. It hung there gathering dust.

Watching. Waiting.


The sound of footsteps and that old familiar scent of lavender.

Windows were opened and the sound of spluttered coughs.

It lay amidst rolls of paper.



The chest of drawers with the vase of wildflowers the candle holder stood where it always did.

Loving hands dusted the grime and hung it on red walls.


He was home.


So what?!

So I find myself becoming a prolific writer. So what?!

So it means..

i’m in my angst mode

i don’t have much to do

i’m introspecting more than i usually do

i think people bother reading what i write

i’m experiencing new situations and finding new solutions


actually yes to all of these but there is more…

this fortuitous article seems heaven sent but it got me browsing through the site and a few others i had lost track of. it also got me talking to people around, ‘why do you work for someone, so long when you can work for yourself.’ ‘Why do you work for an org for so many years when you could skip jobs and earn a lot more.’

gratification at seeing the monthly paycheck even if not so many zer0-s as you would like it to have; gratification at not having to beg/borrow/steal/murder for the few rupees that will tide you through the month; gratification that you know the processes and the people and  can steer your way through all the potholes and stink; gratification that you are looked up and not down since you have mastered, well nearly, all that there has to/etc..etc…//YOU GET THE DRIFT

now, what i was also offered were 2 different perspectives:

‘Would you leave your family because you got bored after 2 years? No, you stay on and you learn and you find new things that strengthen the bond. You buy a house, build a fence, plant a garden and whatever else that nurtures the team or rather, we are family spirit. You do the same thing at work. You don’t have a task list that you tick off daily but a slightly bigger picture that tells you what needs to be achieved over 3 months/6 months/whatever works.’

‘You learn all you can in 2 years but after 2 years you apply that learning. You give back, you nurture and you are confident of having mentored/groomed something or someone. Than look around there must be something else within the organisation, perhaps, a different department that has something of interest. Be open and be willing.’

Anecdote: A gentleman has been working with a leading hardware firm for 20 years with the same designation but progressively higher pay (I’m hoping). After 20 years when he was asked he said, ‘I don’t care about the designation it is all that I got to learn and all that i have to learn that motivates me. I find that even after 20 years in this organisation there is still something(s) that can be done better or improvised.’

Hmmmmm… Really…. Wow,  I thought to myself. I googled the gentleman’s name and he is a remarkably prolific patent holder. WOW!!

Tall order indeed.

Now, I have probably read hundreds of articles and self-help books on staying happy and motivated at work to go back to the same office and same faces day in and day out. I’m sure so have you. None of those help (ed) me since I find myself at the crossroads sooner rather than later.

These chance conversations and this write up gave me food for thought.

I realise and finally accept that familiarity is a deal breaker. Perhaps, that is why I stayed on with journalism for more than a decade, which too me is a rather lengthy time. I met new people, explored new topics, mentored and got mentored, probed and analysed…there was always a story around the corner.

Ask yourself, what gets you going…. you will realise you are closer than you think to finding what you want.



of, relating to, or characteristic of the basic or inherent constitution of a person or thing; fundamental a radical fault
2. concerned with or tending to concentrate on fundamental aspects of a matter; searching or thoroughgoing radical thought a radical re-examination
3. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) favouring or tending to produce extreme or fundamental changes in political, economic, or social conditions, institutions, habits of mind, etc a radical party
4. (Medicine) Med (of treatment) aimed at removing the source of a disease radical surgery
5. Slang chiefly US very good; excellent
6. (Life Sciences & Allied Applications / Botany) of, relating to, or arising from the root or the base of the stem of a plantradical leaves
7. (Mathematics) Maths of, relating to, or containing roots of numbers or quantities
8. (Linguistics) Linguistics of or relating to the root of a word
As I flip pages devouring all I can and flipping back to understand what I did not, this word jumps to my mind, specifically in context of meanings 2 & 5. The book also got me jumping out of bed at 4 in the morning to write this post before I lost track of the random, non-linear thoughts.
ABUNDANCE, the future is better than you think by Peter Diamandis & Steven Kotler is The New York Times bestseller.
Disclaimer: Now, I’m not one to rush and buy books off the Pulitzer, Booker or Bestseller list as they seldom live up to the hype or mayhaps, they are too intellectual to one brought up on a steady diet of Bill Bryson, PG Wodehouse, Georgette Heyer and  Economist (though not necessarily in that order).
Book courtesy: Bambubhaibatliwala & Flipkart.
Amidst daily feeds of pessimism, doomsday prophecies, meltdowns and what-have-you here is this book that talks of a future that is bright, and even worth aspiring for. That gives hope that man is not ecociding towards no-man’s land and denuding Planet Earth in the race to feed on ever-increasing greed.
Anecdotes there are aplenty but this isn’t philosophy, it is hard facts that have you sit back and think. Perhaps, we are not lost after all.
Read the book, for I stop writing about Abundance by P&S here.
On a personal note, I’m going through a radical moment though by no measures as epochal. I’m in the process of exorcising fears and memories and seeking self-discipline to start a new journey. No, I don’t plan a trip to the Far East to pursue the arts of the Ninja nor am I trekking to the Himalayas.
I’m learning to drive a car without having an instructor sit next to me with the controls at his foot and his head in his hand as he tears his hair out in frustration and grits his teeth in agony at having to teach a woman with zero motoring skills and the stubbornness of a mule.
Instructor-Madam, first gear is when your car stops in traffic and you need to start it again but at signals you can still drive using second gear.
Me (having switched off the car and restarting in first gear) – But you just said I had to always start in first gear. Instructor- Yes Madam, but you didn’t need to switch off the engine now, see the signal is green already. Madam, start now people are honking.
Me: Ok, ok (Desperately tries to start but for some strange reason the car refuses to start)
Instructor: Madam, press the accelerator when the car starts to vibrate
Me: But you asked me to start in half-clutch mode (See, I know my motoring words well)
Instructor: MADAM
Me: Ok, ok
And so, I have stopped taking classes, and praying to the zillion plus Gods we have I have taken my steering wheel, controls and faith in my own hand. Of course, not wanting to take other people’s faith in my hand and the even more tempestuous temper of Bambubhaibatliwala I have wisely and ahem, cowardly, chosen to drive in the wee hours of the morning (Ahem, another reason why I’m posting this at 4 in the morning so I don’t doze away and skip today’s drive).
I have also decided to stop ogling starlets in their size zer0 figures and  their teeny weeny bikinis wishing I were like them; and routinely cursing my south Indian upbringing that makes any meal without rice unthinkable; A Sweet Tooth that is actually sweet teeth with cavities that can never say NO to chocolates, pastries, indian sweets and even a sachet of diet-free sugar when there is nothing else; and GENES that make me unfitting for jeans as lard and barges roll out of all ports.
It is now or never, said a friend as he took the plunge from a secure 9-5 job and a paycheck to full-time entrepreneurship this past week.
I can’t follow suit as I still fight my bingeing impulse and the Credit Card devil in me, but I can do IT, get FIT at least physically. So I have enrolled myself in a kick boxing class.
So all ye faithful readers, cheer me or jeer me, at least I shall know I have company on the way…..Have a great weekend and cheers 😀

Lessons from the trenches

“High time. What is the purpose of living? Who is going to continue your family line? You aren’t getting any younger,” and so on and so forth.

Just another conversation with a overtly concerned parent, an extended family member, a well meaning friend…

Now you know what I’m talking about.

How do I explain something that I’m just figuring out?

How do I explain the complexities of the new age relationship or the psyche?

How do I explain the fear and the anxiety?


I’m not ready yet.

I don’t want the responsibility.

Yes, I do but do I want to bring a child into this crazy world where I would probably smother it with my over-protective urge.

Will I be a good parent?

Will I have the dough to afford a 2 lakh per annum pre-school?

Will I end up working till I’m toothless to sponsor trips to snow-clad lands as the fridge is no longer authentic enough to show snow?

Will I hock life to sponsor another life?

Does the world need another narcissistic human?

All of these logical arguments meet frozen stares, angry looks and fury that even Lord Kama would burn out.

How do I explain that work leaves me with no energy to procreate for progeny? And money worries kills whatever energy I manage to muster over the weekend!!

Credit card bills

Housing loans

Personal loans

Sundry expenses


Medical emergencies

Crisis situations

Huh….did I miss anything here?

Travel, huh, what’s that?!

Entertainment, huh, come again.


Hark and behold


I can do all the crazy things I couldn’t when I was a hormone-charged teenage delinquent or a raging 20-something.

I can trod a path that is laced with wide open, spaces and the sweet scent of nothingness

It’s all about me


Lessons from the trenches….

Find what works for you and be true to thine own

Remember, what you give is what you get, and what goes around comes around

Question yourself and be convinced before you get out to influence others

It is one life, but find what that life means to you

It is alright to be confused and stay confused because out of that clutter comes clarity….clarity of thought and action