Thursday, 19 February 2009

Shaadi ka laddoo

I won't be able to update my blog for a week. And that will make me miss my blog and all you gorgeous readers who make my day by reading it. I am off to Lucknow to a big, fat family wedding which seems straight out of Bollywood.

My cutest nephew in the world is the 'sona mundeya' who is tying the knot with his American girlfriend of five years who is an absolute sweetheart. The soni kudi will have 10 of her gori friends over, all in the heart of conservative, old world Lucknow. What fun! And I shall play the doting aunt to the hilt!

The mehendi, sangeet, manjha and DJ night are something that all the young ones are waiting with bated breath (not to forget the oldies....70 guests from the extended family) and everyone and her in-laws will be present.

But on a sober heartfelt best wishes to the bridal pair for a long, happy and blissful wedded life, which is now so much a rarity.

Seriously, I feel Indian marriages are long, but may not be happy. To go in for a lifetime commitment, it is really for the lion-hearted to make a go of it.

My take on this is : Those who must marry must qualify for it. Pass an endurance test...for tolerance, patience, strength, disappointment...betrayal. Only after passing such a test, must they go in for the long haul, which may turn out to be a life sentence....certainly not for the faint hearted.

So I will be back after a week and do watch out for updates...Till then, I will miss you all. Till then dream on.....

Sunday, 8 February 2009

Happy despite everything

This post should be the most appropriate for today's zeitgeist. Depressed markets, pay cuts , eroded investments and pink slips'...we are learning to live with it.
Shahrukh came up with something original by saying : "Its not recession, it is a correction of figures"...this guy always come up with the unexpected...(now what did I say about the thinking woman's fantasy.?..Ok Ok will shut up!)
About two weeks back I came across this article which spelled out ways of becoming sunshine happy (what's that?). Its easier said than done, but give it a try, maybe it works. I know for a fact making up is irrevocable:
A flower crushed
A mirror broken
You cannot put the clock back...
But for die hard optimists it might help, so here goes and take a chance at being sunshine happy:
  • Dont label situations as good or bad
  • Empower yourself to be happy
  • Look within for happiness
  • Don't get affected by bad news
  • Choose your emotions. Keep saying 'I choose to be happy'.
  • Conserve your energy. Don't let people sap it.
  • If you're hurt, don't depend on anyone else to heal it
  • Don't indulge in hurt.
  • Don't be imprisoned in your past or have self-pity

All the above are so darned difficult. Have made several not-so-successful attempts. You have to school your thoughts and control them before you can do anything of the above. And the key to it is reading 'The Power of Now' by Eckhart Tolle.

Reading the book, I could identify with it so much. Especially the part where he talks about the 'pain body'. The same point which asks you not to indulge in hurt above.

I know for a fact that I nurture my pain body like a plant. I never allow it to heal or die. Even when I am relaxed, I go back and keep it alive in my mind by going through the written evidences which gave me so much pain in the first place. So much so, I cling to my pain body and will never let it go...My pain body is now me.


Now I am getting prolific...three posts in three days...not bad. Before I get caught up in the daily mundanities of life, here's one more from me. While I was into frenzied last minute shopping at the airport, my eye caught a catchy title at a bookstore called 'Affluenza' by Oliver James. I raced through the cover with the corner of my eye, trolley in tow and the latest edition of 'Hello' (UK) in hand to line up to the cashier. The book was about today's men and women and their constant craving for the 21st century trappings of wealth and power. I could either buy the book or miss my flight so I chose to be sensible. Whoever has read the book, please fill me in whether this is going to be a sensible buy. Reviews at Amazon say it is a let down, although it has a sexy title. So write in and let me know.....

Saturday, 7 February 2009

Dim sum days

My journey back was pleasant and as usual in Bangkok, many thought me to be a local and tried to speak in Thai...and I felt like a complete fool. Around 8 years back while en route to San Francisco, I was standing behind an abandoned counter at the Bangkok airport and was trying to settle my things, when suddenly I realised that a small queue of people holding their passports had materialised out of nowhere, thinking me to be part of the local ground staff. I could see my sis-in-law at a distance, almost rolling on the floor laughing at my chagrin while I explained I was a transitting passenger!
In my recent trip, I came across a few known and some little known facts and thought would share:
- Jimmy Choo shoes always have a red sole. If the soles are not red, they are NOT Jimmy Choos. (Sighhh..will I ever get my dainty feet into a pair?)
- All Louis Vuitton fakes are gone from Hong Kong's street markets. But you can get fake Burberrys and Guchhis.
-Most of Hong Kong's busy streets remind me of Time Square, New York.
-The Far Eastern music that blares from street corners is about the most soulful I have heard and can healthily compete with Middle Eastern melodies. Someone has so aptly said music has no boundaries.
-One tends to get ripped off by taxi drivers and restaurant staff in better watch out. Me and my colleagues almost were..
-I may have travelled across most major countries in the world, but the shadiest crowd is found in the Kolkata-Bangkok stretch. Yew! This is the third time I have travelled on this path and the crowd has never improved. I know I sound like a snob, but what to do. One has to call a spade a spade, na?

Friday, 6 February 2009

Hong Kong highs and lows

Now for some prose...Am taking a break from my dreamy, poetic self and in this post you shall find me at my usual prosaic and sometimes vitrilolic self (Wonder which is the real me? Me too!). I promise to be short because most people dont have an attention span of more than 500 words. And yea, I promise to post some nice pics in my next entry. While I wait for the airport coach to pick me up for the flight back home, I am sitting at the hotel's internet bar and keying in my HK memories while still fresh.

I don't want no freedom' ...George Michael's soulful voice sang. That was some years ago in my teens when we went ga-ga over the guy and his songs till it was discovered he was gay! But yes, my more knowledgeable friend those days, told me that this song was written for Hong Kong...about being included in the People's Republic of China and separated from the United Kingdom. I did'nt know whether to believe her and I still have doubts. But this thought definitely revisited me when an Indian colleague, a fresh joinee and a little wet behind the ears, remarked somewhat unpatriotically: "Imagine what would have happened if India would have got freedom forty years later, say in 1987? Would'nt India be like HongKong?

This remark hit me real bad. I was not even aware that a section of Indians would think like this. What has the youth come to? For me, family and friends it is very important to love one's country...Didn't we go crazy when Sania and Mahesh won the mixed doubles for Australian Open just a few days ago? And aren't we so very proud of our software industry and Bollywood and our Miss Worlds and Universes? I remember feeling real good when a British male colleague in London said he know where Kolkata was, because Bipasha Basu hailed from there!!!! giggle! giggle! but great!

Hitting HK was good. Excellent arrangements (Langham Place Hotel is a dream), rigorous training from world class trainers and fantastic networking opportunities from colleagues all over the Asia Pacific and Africa.

But I knew the drill...Desi and chinky babes doing their best to charm some of the Brit diplomats they had set their eyes on. It was almost laughable. Where was I? As usual, the amused spectator ME!

In the days of India 'mallicious mallisation', I had forgotten the joys of bargaining and street shopping (I did the brands here too...Zara, H&M and Esprit are the three guilty pleasures I fell for at the malls this time!). Kids things, muted gold shoes and a maroon and gold clutch purse ( for the forthcoming go with my heavily embroidered bottle green and maroon sari and gold and maroon brocade blouse) were some lovely buys from a place aptly named Lady's Market at Mongkok.

And yes, the food. Steamed Bok Choi (green, green veggies) with plum sauce emerged a clear favourite. With such elaborate lunches and dinners, I tried to take the low carb route concentrating on the veggies and steamed chicken and not eating any carbs for two whole days.

But whatever, I still did not take to this place much. One week is ok for a visit but nothing more. I would prefer the UK anyday. The minute I land at Heathrow, I feel energised. I wonder how a cousin of mine has opted for permanent residency here and he has even started to look like a resident!!!. He is one of the most happening DJs in the club circuit here...imagine!! and he was busy with organising the HK Salsa Festival...but I gave it a miss.

But yes, it did feel good when yesterday a young Chinese girl at a shoe stall (where the gold shoes came from) told me "Thank you Miss India'. It was late evening and she hadn't sold a single pair all day...and yes, I did feel like Miss India, if only for that moment....

Please write in your comments and share your HK experiences with me. I have given all my readers enough food for thought. And hopefully will come back soon...and with the promised pics.
Love you..muah!