Saturday, March 03, 2012


When I was in 6th grade, I fought with a boy in my class - I cannot recollect what it exactly was, but in the fight, the boy said something rude to me. Now, fighting and getting upset were both rare occurrences for me so I remember what followed, in great detail. To show my condemn for how the guy behaved with me, I skipped eating my lunch. When my science teacher walked into the class post lunch break - someone broke the news to him that I was on a hunger strike. What my teacher told me that day stuck to me till this very moment. He walked to me and asked me a series of questions. I answered all of them and so he could gather who was at fault. The boy volunteered to come and apologize to me and all was about to be forgotten when my teacher told me - "If someone upsets you, why do you have to go hungry? You should have snatched that boy's lunch and eaten it so that he could go hungry!" His humor worked - I laughed out loud and so did every one around me. It was all one happy class of middle schoolers. I am sure he did not mean to tell me the 'eye for eye' philosophy but it probably was how I instantly lightened up after that, or the very fact that if one person hurts you, your hurting yourself will not help, dawned upon me that afternoon.

Often, we forget how to deal with our hurts. We brood in the sorrow and immerse ourselves in the wrong doings of others. We also pay way too much value and attention to what people think or say about us- be it approval or disapproval. If we'd all put aside the reactions of the world and do what makes us happy - if we come to that level of comfort with ourselves where we don't seek approval from other sources, we have arrived.
Last night, Leslie Blodgett, The CEO of Bare Escentuals, a makeup revolution that hit the USA with it's break through natural products put a status message on her FB page reacting to the message alerts she received form a shopping channel's community forum, dissecting her Stella McCartney dress, I just had to go to the website and see a video of her presentation just to see what was so scandalous about her dress - This 49 year old woman who looks no bigger than a size 2 and no older than 35, carried the figure hugging black and white number with great aplomb. She further went on urging her fans to tell her why they did rude remarks about her dress - if it was that she was too old to wear the dress or if it was too revealing. Actually, it was not any of those things at all - as a conservative dresser myself, I found Leslie's outfit very appropriate for a Beauty guru hawking her products on a renowned teleshop. This woman who had built on a 'non existent on the make up map' company making it a phenomenon with her Mineral mantra - to the extent of making Estee Lauder, MAC and other make up giants flatter her most sincerely by imitating her producrt philosophy, succumbed to the pressures of people who take it upon themselves to keep others grounded - so one can only imagine what such attacks do to lesser mortals . A couple of years ago, she'd sold BE to the Japanese giant Shiseido for a whooping 1.7 billion dollars. She is still the creative and business head bringing in her unique way of marketing and products to millions of loyal fans that are now expanding to all parts of the globe. This success personified woman, easily the most famous business women in the present day  make up arena succumbed to the hurtful words of a few haters or just cynics that exercise their prerogative of freedom of speech to put someone down. As I grew older, I'd learned one thing - or actually I should say, that by observing a friend of mine that always turned criticism and mean remarks made against her to ashes, I learned a very valuable lesson of life. She didn't fight, or argue or explain herself - instead, she just used to ignore what was being said to a point where I wondered if she had hearing impairment. Most people around us rub us the wrong way because they get sadistic pleasure to see us get hassled and react in a defensive way. When we keep quiet, it rains on their parade of ridicule. As a young adult, I heard my father's cousin say it once - that "Ignoring is the biggest insult"

I look back upon my own insult and criticism handling history and I must say, I do the occasional succumb to them like most human beings do - but, there were instances when I'd shut up the meanest of them with one weapon - silence. I reflect upon my middle school teacher's wisdom on handling bullies - there are two ways, the one that requires some elbow grease in the form of retaliatory action or the other, effective, fool proof and peaceful way - Silence. When we don't cry - it is not fun for them to keep at the attempts to make us cry. Keeping a straight face when faced with such situations in life is the best policy of all.

Friday, March 02, 2012


(Revisiting a saved draft - there might be a change of tone in the latter part:-)

My childhood existed in the peace and quiet of nature and outdoor play - entertainment wasn't sought in Pods, Pads or Touches that precede with a insignificant small case 'i". In fact, my introduction to the TV happened when my dad bought home a cube like portable black and white television to catch the world cup action in 1983. I still remember how the wired tape cord that made the TV portable in our vast home was coiled in the diameter of a small hoola hoop and the width of a cumbersome hard bound encyclopedia, secured with country twine and hung obnoxiously on the tip of one of the doors that opened our bedroom into the open roofed living room that housed the elements. The television was used very sparingly - and aired a language that was as foreign to me as the ancient Latin - but to the wonder of many city bred, cosmopolitan people I come across on a day to day basis - I being the small town south Indian girl I am - somehow managed to learn the National language - thanks to DD1 that introduced the purest form of Hindi to my little, undeveloped language palette.
Back on track - i fondly remember running around in the streets, lip syncing to the latest Telugu numbers that were played in a static bearing music system that resonated in the whole neighborhood. The bedlam of random hawkers selling wares and the occasional honks form the traffic nearby added so much of layer to the background score. Movie watchings were few and far between. It is during those days that gaudy colored hoardings of pretty women dressed in florescent leotards and ring masters in longs hats and asymmetrical Abraham Lincoln like coats blinged with sequins the size of a old rupee coins adorned the concrete municipality garbage bins. The speculation started among the rickshaw mates - a gang of six, 7 years and under kids that commuted to the school and back in a manually pulled wagon - "The lions dance it seems!" - added a six year old with dilated eyes while her older brother went on and on about the gig of the clowns who pull their pants off trying to perform trapeze after the trained artists. This was enough information to tickle our collective imagination and thus the canvassing for going to the ostentatiously named "New Grand Circus" launched in the household.
The circus tent was humongous - at least to the 8 year old's eye. There was a stench that lingered in - probably from the droppings of the animals that were left in cages around the tent - much as a display for curious children. The opening act was the Lion show - where the ring master makes ferocious looking beasts behave like tame cats - jumping through hoops of fire - and then the clowns enter - dancing to the then famous disco numbers while a not-so-well built guy holds a bycycle, a table and then a ladder on his lips when the audience applaud in awe. Then the gymnasts enter - the young women glistened in azure glittered eyes and leotards to match.

A couple of decades down the lane I'd been to the "Circus Vargas" show that came to the town, just around the block at the end of my street. Needless to say, it magically transformed me into a time and place that I'd often wish that I had frozen in. The experience hadn't changed much - except that this Circus I went to didn't have any four legged performers. May be it is the new PETA regulations, could be the increasing overhead costs - but it was a good thing that there were no animals. There was cotton candy being peddled along with Coke and nachos and there was an intermission where the clowns sat for a chat with the children in the audience. To my utter amusement, most of the acts were repetitions of the shows I'd seen as a child in a different time and place. At the end, the performers lined up for a meet and greet with the audience outside the gate. There is something magical about entertainers - I remember, that as a child, when I was in awe with the circus show, I used to envision myself as a child in the troop, travelling from one place to another leading a nomadic life. The experience brought back a glimpse of my childhood in a very endearing way - I could not but wonder how such performing arts are faring in the generation of internet entertainment at the punch of a few buttons. Ironically, the seats were sparsely occupied and the IMax complex opposite to the tent on the other side of the road was busting at seams with cars that looked like a car factory had thrown up there. I know, I know - it is a graphic description - but my ever thinking mind could not but wonder if these performances would stand the test of time. No matter how we advance in communication and technology - the old world charm of snail mails, circus performances and county fairs are an experience every child should go through. I would totally date myself but it just startles me the kind of insight I got into the world when I watched puppet shows and small time bands performing movie songs in the neighborhood temple. It was like a glimpse of the world, animated, full of life, real - I sometimes sit and wonder if the future generations would miss out on the hands on experience I had as a child.

Circus Vargas represented life to me - a constant struggle to survive, fighting against odds, Laughing, thrill and fear all amalgamated into a show that is painstakingly prepared - all to cater to one means - the stomach. I walked out of the tent rejuvenated, in a reminiscent mode feeling a tad bit happier and maturer.

Thursday, March 01, 2012

A link to my new born FB page. Much thanks to the Admin Arpna Singh :)


Being the quote collector I am, I look for thought provoking ones all around me from famous quotes to the ones that I encounter on a daily basis. Many years ago, in my language class, my teacher wrote a quote on the black board which read - "The end of education is Character." I was a little too young to understand the depth of the quote but it came back to me in my evolving years. And then I came across the quote which told me that 99% perspiration and 1% inspiration makes a genius. I remember getting very influenced by that saying in my middle school. As I grew up, I realized that most talents in life thrive on encouragement. Encourage a child and he would reach his potential  - and most importantly a word of encouragement during a failure matters more than a day of praise after a success. Life becomes lovely when we have people around us that notice us for what we are, show interest and give encouragement in the little things we do. And then, I stumbled upon the quote that said nine tenths of education is encouragement. So, most human successes depend heavily on the encouragement and support they get from people around them.

A wonderful well wisher of mine had taken it into her tender hands the expedition to encourage my banter and doodling words. She created a FB page for my blog and invited all her friends to come read my work. I am not sure - and I don't say this in false humility - if I deserve all this and if my work is really worth people's time, but I am immensely touched by this gesture. I'd written all my life. I'd thought all my life and I'd blogged for long enough. I get some really uplifting feedback from complete strangers about my work. Not once do I feel that I deserve it but every time a kind gesture comes my way, my head bows in gratitude and my heart gets the encouragement to keep at my writing. I want to welcome all my new friends into my blogging world and take this as an opportunity to thank each and every one of you for the time and encouragement. I am sure this shall make me realize, all the more, the importance of kind words and kind gestures in life. Each one of you shall keep my love for writing alive with each click you make on my blog. While you are at it, please feel free to tell what you think about my work. I am always on the look out for suggestions and ideas to improve myself.

Encouragement is to the soul what water is to plants. To all the wonderful friends and family that believed and stood by me, cheered me - Here's a humongous Thank you. :) Actually, Thank you seems to be a very little word - but words are my world :)

God Bless.