September 13, 2009

Not Disable Friendly!

Original Article: Not disable-friendly -

Recently, I met with an accident, which left my right foot fractured. The Orthopaedic Surgeon put my foot in the cast and, with that, put brakes on my normal life. What I have, however, is a temporary disability, where I have to walk around with a crutch for the next few days. I have lost my freedom of movement, and it’s already beginning to drive me nuts.

This state of mine got me thinking. I have a disability which is temporary – for just about 6 weeks – and I am finding it very difficult to deal with it. What about people who live with a disability for their entire lives? In the past few days I have found it very difficult to move around the city; I can’t get from one place to another without the help of a friend or family. All this has made me wonder why the public transports system, buildings and roads in India are not disable friendly?

As per the 2001 census, 21.9 million or 21,906,769 people are disabled in India. How many these 21.9 million people have a shot at normal life in India?

Let’s start with my experience at the doctor’s clinic. The clinic of the Orthopaedic Surgeon was not disable friendly. I had to use the stairs, with a broken foot. It was with immense difficulty that I accessed the clinic.

The story is the same all over India. For a disabled person, not only getting on board trains and buses is difficult, but even walking on the streets becomes an herculean task. Just a few days back, while driving, I saw an old man in a wheel chair trying to cross the road. The poor fellow got stuck in the traffic, and instead of being nice to him and helping him out, people were being impatient, angry and some even hurled a few abuses at him. Everyone was honking, but no one came forward to help him. In the end, the poor man managed on this own.

Recently, the Archaeological survey of India, with the help of guidelines from NGO Svayam, made Qutub Minar accessible to people with disabilities. Due to the efforts of ASI & NGO Svayam, people with disabilities can now visit the Qutub Minar. But there are so many more historical sights and places of importance in India which are still not easily accessible to anyone with a disability.

In India, people with disabilities are treated as second-class citizens; they have no proper access even to the basic facilities of life. In sharp contrast are the western countries, where the roads are friendly for these special people. If they are in a wheel chair, they can easily cross the road, no assistance needed. In western countries, we also get to see blind people walking down the streets with the help of their guide dogs.How many blind people can have a normal life in India? How many people in a wheel chair can move around without any assistance?

The answers is anyone’s guess!

It is important to understand that the disabled people are just like the rest of the citizens of this country. As a citizen of this country, they have the right to lead a normal life, just like any of us. It requires awareness and determination on the part of all of us, not just the government and civic officials. We can do our part by raising our voice for our fellow citizens; next time we see a person in wheel chair crossing the road we should stop to help him, and not yell at him for delaying us by a few minutes. The government and the people in authority also need to immediately wake up to this issue. They need to take steps to build roads & footpaths that are easy to navigate. The trains, buses and even the foot-bridges need to be made disable friendly. There should be lifts to access the train stations and foot-bridges. The offices, public buildings and even private buildings should accommodate the needs of every citizen. Lastly, the government needs to put in place, and implement, rules and regulations to make this country friendly for every citizen.

I know my disability is temporary. In a month or two I will be back to my old normal life, a life where I don’t have to struggle to get around. Bu,t it has made me think about all the others who are not as fortunate as I am. Isn’t it time we all stood up for our fellow citizens and made this world a better place for them to live in?

Source: Census India

August 19, 2009

New Realizations

Back to back tagging happening in my blog. Now this is for Sree. So I was to do a lot of introspection for this one, but that got my rustic mind running….

1. I've come to realize that my boobs...
...are where they should be

2. I've come to realize that my job... something that I don’t hold currently.

3. I've come to realize that when I'm driving...
...people would clear the streets, but let me drive first.

4. I've come to realize that I need....
...more time to spend with my loved ones.

5. I've come to realize that I have lost...
...something precious in life but I can’t ever get it back.

6. I've come to realize that I hate it when...
...people are pre-judgmental about me.

8. I've come to realize that money...

9. I've come to realize that certain people...
...are just too stuck up on their ideas that they will never listen to you.

10. I've come to realize that I’ll always....
...have the love and support of my family, no matter what.

11. I've come to realize that my siblings... (just the one for me) is the best thing that has happened to me in this lifetime.

12. I've come to realize that my mom... the most amazing lady I will ever know.

13. I've come to realize that my cell phone... something without which I feel totally handicapped.

14. I've come to realize that when I woke up this morning...
...i wanted to crawl back into the bed again

15. I've come to realize that last night before I went to sleep…
...i went over the to-do list for today

16. I've come to realize that right now I am thinking....
...that I will miss my tennis because of the rains, but I don’t mind the rains.

17. I've come to realize that my dad....
... is my Hero.

18. I've come to realize that when I get on Facebook...
...a lot many people in my friends list always have something interesting posted.

19. I've come to realize that today...
...i am on seventh heaven as always

20. I've come to realize that tonight... like many other nights when I sleep very very late

21. I've come to realize that tomorrow... another day where I have a lot many things to do

22. I've come to realize that I really want to...
...fulfill my dreams and goals in life.

23. I've come to realize that the person who is most likely to repost this is...
...don’t want to force anyone, individual choice

24. I've come to realize that life... without my loved one is nothing

25. I've come to realize that this weekend...
...will be the Ganpati festival weekend, my best friend Ganesha

26. I've come to realize that the best music to listen to when I am upset... Punjabi music, instantly lifts my mood up

27. I've come to realize that my friends...
...have never been my true friends, except for just a choicest few

28. I've come to realize that this year... a beginning of a new phase of my life

29. I've come to realize that my ex... past and past should be forgotten.

30. I've come to realize maybe I should... less of people.

31. I've come to realize I love.... freedom.

32. I've come to realize that my past...
...can never be changed but I can learn from it and move on towards a better future.

33. I've come to realize that parties...
...are the places where you go to socialize with people with whom you would not really like to hang out with otherwise.

34. I've come to realize that I'm totally terrified...
...(good terrified) of starting anything new in life

35. I've come to realize that my family...
...are my constant source of inspiration and undying support in my life.

36. I've come to realize that my life... moving fast and if I don’t keep up then I will be left behind

I would like to tag all my friends here.... so here I go, the list could get long, warn you :P

Manushee, Chetan, Sree, Kinjal, Nabeel,Vivek(@viveksingh), Nadhiya(@nadhiyamali), Meeta(@kyrasinging2), Danish (@danishctc), Ashwini(@ashkd), Shweta(@smilinggal), Aanchal(@AanchalM), Kanishka(@kp1200), Mohini (@spicychutney), Srushti(@srushtirao)

August 16, 2009

Tag...Tag... Baatate Chalo Tag

Shamrez... Tag is done... This was a long one... next time a little shorter one

so now sound...roll camera...action... "Main Ye kehna chahti hu jee... Mere dil se hai ye sab jawab..."

1. What time did you get up this morning?
Got up 8 a.m. – thanks to Mom. Then again at 8.55 a.m. – because I had to answer a call, who calls so early on a Sunday morning! And then finally got out of bed at 11 a.m. – that’s the time to get up on Sundays

2. How do you like your steak?
Unless you are talking about Chicken, spare me the menu details

3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema?
In the Cinemas, it was Love Aaj Kal… Thanks to my stars it was not a totally pathetic movie, I actually liked it. But the last movie I saw was just yesterday, 27 Dresses, a total chick-flick (a genre I totally love!!!)

4. What is your favorite TV show?
FRIENDS (I can watch it any number of times. It always brings a smile back on my face and reminds me of all my awesome friends.)
I know I am suppose to have just one here, but can’t leave this one out:
Grey’s Anatomy (I fell in love with this series from the word go. There are shades of real life in the life of these TV characters, lives I feel connected with)

5. If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?
Anywhere in this world, in the company of my loved ones.

6. What did you have for breakfast?
Today, wrong day to ask for breakfasts. Considering the time I get up, Sundays are normally breakfast + lunch together, which was out normal roti, sabji & daal.

7. What is your favourite cuisine?
I am total desi person, Indian cuisine is the best!!!

8. What foods do you dislike?
I can eat any kind of food but what I really really dislike are Mushrooms, Peas, Mutton….

9. Favourite Place to Eat?
The place doesn’t matter, as long as it has good food.

11. What kind of vehicle do you drive?
Can I get my on jet-plane or bike? Car is not my thing.

12. What are your favourite clothes?
Casuals clothing works perfectly for me!

13. Where would you visit if you had the chance?

14. Cup 1/2 empty or 1/2 full?
It’s always ½ full – optimism is the name of the game!

15. Where would you want to retire?
I don’t see myself retiring, the hyper-active person that I am.

16. Favorite time of day?
Early Morning! It’s totally calm, serene and my mind is totally fresh.

17. Where were you born?
A beautiful place somewhere on the world map!

18. What is your favorite sport to watch?
Cricket, F1, Football, Tennis, ……….. (The list can go on, so don’t make the mistake of asking me again!)

19. Who do you think will not tag you back?
We will soon get to know the answer, so let’s wait a little while

20. Person you expect to tag you back first?
Refer the answer to Q.19

21. Who are you most curious about their responses to this?
The friends who actually respond back…

22. Bird watcher?
First, define bird-watching!!!

23. Are you a morning person or a night person?

24. Do you have any pets?
None. But would love to have a pet dog. Mom are you listening!!!

25. Any new and exciting news you’d like to share?
Yeah, Next month I am moving to London for my studies.

26. What did you want to be when you were little?
Army Officer. I felt they are the strongest people in the world!!!

27. What is your best childhood memory?
Family vacations!

28. Are you a cat or dog person?
Dog Person.

29. Are you married?
Don’t be jealous of my freedom

30. Always wear your seat belt?
Yes. I like to be a law abiding citizen.

31. Been in a car accident?
Let’s not remember the bad memories. I prefer to forget those accidents.

32. Any pet peeves?
Let’s not open the pandora’s box here!

33. Favourite Pizza Toppings?
Cheese!!! Cheese!!! And Lots of Cheese!!!!

34. Favourite Flower?
Genda Phool!!!

35. Favourite ice cream?

36. Favourite fast food restaurant?
Anything that serves me the food fast…

37. How many times did you fail your driver’s test?

38. From whom did you get your last email?
Reply to my email to a good friend.

39. Which store would you choose to max out your credit card?
Never ask Shopaholics to pick just one store, you will regret it. But now that you have asked, Macy’s, Blomingdale’s (NYC) for everything from clothes, to accessories to whatever you can think of and Barnes & Noble (NYC) for Books.

40. Do anything spontaneous lately?

41. Happy with your job?
I am one of the lucky ones who is not working currently

42. Broccoli?
Just another veggie that I Love!

43. What was your favorite vacation?
Other than just one vacation, I have loved all the ones I have taken.

44. Last person you went out to dinner with?
My family.

45. What are you listening to right now?
TV – News!.... Ipod – Kaminey (Dhan Tan Naa)

46. What is your favorite color?

47. How many tattoos do you have?
None at all.

48. How many are you tagging for this quiz?
As many as I can!

49. In What time did you finish this quiz?
I finished it… That’s important.

50. Coffee Drinker?
How do you think then I finished this quiz??? Where is my Kaafi for the day!!!!!

Am tagging this to my buddies... Adee, Manushee, Chetan, Sree, Kinjal, Nabeel, Sherin, Diggi, Shradha, Narain and everyone else who would like to give it a shot :)

Forgetful me forgot some amazing friends. So without much adieu here is the people I would love to hear back from :) Vivek(@viveksingh), Nadhiya(@nadhiyamali), Meeta(@kyrasinging2), Danish (@danishctc), Aanchal(@AanchalM), Kanishka(@kp1200), Arnab(@arnab_das), Mohini (@spicychutney)


August 15, 2009

Darkness to Light - a journey..Pledge your eyes ad lead the way - Let's all join in this noble cause

Thanks to my friend, Meeta Maheshwari for letting me make this post. Link to the original post (

Have you ever wondered what makes our life so beautiful, so meaningful, so enriching...what is it that makes every day with all it's toils so bearable and gives us the strength to keep going.......for some it is to see their children grow, for some it's the beauties of nature, for some it is to see their loved one's smile....the list is endless....these moments make life such a beautiful and seemingly unending journey..but to enjoy all these precious moments we need our 5 senses- seeing, hearing,smelling, speaking and touch....

but out of these it is the gist o' sight that defines our lives, our actions, our feelings....just imagine a life imprisoned in a dark room without a single window and listening to sounds of children laughing, people talking, life passing by....but without seeing them... frustrating isn't it.. would want to tear down those walls...won't you?????

But their some people who are imprisoned in this darkness not by walls but by the absence of the gift of BLINDNESS.Their are many causes for blindness, some being congenital, some acquired like injuries, infections, accidents, cataracts, glaucoma' all these cases some or the other part of eye stop functioning throwing people into the world of darkness.

Some of these causes like cataracts, corneal blindness, glaucoma's can be treated and these lucky people can enjoy the beautiful journey...out of these next to cataracts, corneal blindness has the highest chances of treatment success all that is needed is a donor corneas.

In India we have about 10 million blind people out of which 2 million suffer from corneal blindness easily treatable by corneal transplant...among these 2 million a massive 60% are children...and the number increases every year, as against an annual
corneal donation of a mere 40000

let me explain what is a cornea? does it function??..and how does corneal transplant work?

when you see your eyes in the mirror you see the white sclera in the middle of which u see a round coloured iris and a small dark pupil, but covering these two is a transparent layer of cells called "CORNEA"....light has to pass through all these structures to reach inside the eyeball and our retina and then the brain for us to see.If the cornea gets hazy, opaque or scarred light entering the eye is either distorted or blocked depending upon the damage...just imagine a smear on the lens of your camera while clicking a photo..what happens to the photo happens to what we see when the cornea gets damaged.

How does the cornea get damaged??...sometimes by accidents, injuries , chemical injuries, some infections like herpes can lead to severe corneal scaring etc.

How can we treat them and bring the sight back?? simple you remove the scarred cornea (like you would wipe your stained camera lens)..and replace it with a new one i.e. " CORNEAL TRANSPLANT"..easy as it takes a exquisite amount of expertise to perform the operation but the toughest part is to get a "DONOR CORNEA"..i.e a cornea from somebody who has donated it to the blind for transplant.

The process of corneal transplantation begins with :

a "DONOR" who fills a pledge my eye for donation form either, at a "EYE BANK" or a "Hospital"..where he gives his consent that after his death his eyes can be removed and used for transplantation purposes...he's then given a donor card which after the death of the person is given to the hospital, doctor or the eye bank....but even a pledged cornea cannot be taken without the consent of the relatives of the deceased ( a major hurdle..'cuz in their grief the relatives at times refuse).
another way of cornea donation is that some Hospitals have a "Hospital Corneal Retrieval Programme..wherein a terminally ill person and his relatives are counselled by counselors to donate their eyes after death.

Cornea needs to be procured within 6-8 hrs of death of the donor to be useful for transplantation after that they undergo timely information to the concerned doctors is very essential.

The procedure of corneal extraction need not take place in a hospital..eye banking teams come to the homes for extraction and the process takes just 2o minutes to complete so there are no hindrances or delayed in the last rites of the dead person and is an absolutely non mutilating surgery, the extracted cornea is replaced by an artificial cornea that their are no harms to the physical appearance of the deceased .

After extraction the corneas are examined for any infections like HIV, HepB , herpes etc and are graded according to their conditions over a spectrum of excellent to poor.The high grade corneas are used for transplant purposes and low grade for therapeutic purposes.They are stored in a preservative medium till they are transplanted.

WHO can donate?? any person above the age of 18 (those below 18 need the consent of parents or guardian's) not suffering from HIV,HepB,HSV or metastatic CANCERS, or any infectious eye disease can donate. To donate you can contact your nearest eye bank (plz check the Internet for eye bank near you) or any Hospital or Doctor and can get information about the process. Once you become a donor kindly inform and explain your discion to your relatives and requesting them to carry out your wishes.

By this small act you can make a persons life beautiful and this a way continuing the unending journey of life by seeing the world through another person's eyes.It doesn' cost you anything apart from few hours of your time to donate your cornea...we all love getting gifts we want don' we???...

How about gifting a blind person the gift he covets most out of life and God- The Gift of SIGHT.

Please Pledge your Eyes for donation.

(P.S. 25 Aug- 5 Sep is the eye donation fortnight, where in multiple camps are held for eye donation all over India.)

August 5, 2009

To My Dear Bro... With Love

I was just a kid, when God gifted me with this beautiful bundle of joy. Everyone said he was my younger brother and he will be my constant companion for the rest of my life. They were so true! For the past 23 years, we have shared beautiful memories, been there for each other and always emerged triumphed through crisis. It’s all because we have had each other and we always knew that no matter what we are there for each other forever.
I remember fights we had as kids, mom had to actually shout on us and give us lecture on how we should not fight & take care of each other. We have take care of each other oh so well. From childhood fights to masti as adults, I have shared the best memories of my life with you.
You might be younger to me but you are more mature for your age. You have stood by me as solid as a mountain, always encouraging me, loving me unconditionally but also stopping me whenver I make a mistake. You are a total rockstar and I just love how you can to many things perfectly well at the same time. I love listening to you play the guitar, or you always troubling me, doing all types of crack-pot masti and making me smile.
You have so many hidden talents, you yourself don’t know. Some you know well and I so love all the ones you display. With you around, I know I will never be short of smiles. Love you loads for being such a wonderful brother and friend. Happy Rakshabandhan to you.

August 2, 2009

My Best Pals

This blog is dedicated to my friends. Friends who are close to my heart and who have been the true friends in my life. I treasure their friendship and love them for being there for me. Today, for some reason I was inspired to write about them here. You can call all of them my best friends.

S.S.: My all time favorite person and best bud since school times. I forgot to add she is the most amazing person I know. S.S. is very strong-minded and she knows what she wants. She can be a very traditional bahu and still maintain her identity of a today’s women. Despite the distance that has always separated us, she has stood by me, been there for me whenever I need a friend. Now, she has given me the most beautiful person in my life, my angel.

M.Z.: She is part of the original girl gang. Me, M.Z., S.G. & P.C. have been together since junior college days. M.Z. I have known since school times but were never good friends then. Darn! I regret it so much! I wish she had walked in my life earlier. Anyways now that she is here I am not letting her go anywhere. If you ever want to go looking for inspiration then M.Z. is the person where your search stops. She is a loving, determined person always approaching everything with a zest of energy that might just leave you wondering.

S.G.: The original chatter box and the guru of M.Z., me & P.C. She is smart, funny and intelligent. I always love our heart to heart conversations. She patiently listens to whatever I have to say, and give me the honest advice. She can be a very strong-willed person and achieves her targets. She always knows the right things to say to me; she knows well what’s going on in my mind. It’s like she can read it. She can match my craziness along with M.Z. & P.C. We have had endless chats about any random talk, without making sense and still enjoyed every bit of it. She is one heck of an awesome friend.

P.C.: She is the nice girl amongst the 4 of us. She has been at the receiving end of all our leg-pulling and she has taken each one of it with the best sense of humour. Mind you she is very good at even giving it all back, every little penny! She is the girl with the golden heart, never seems to want to hurt anyone and that’s why she is such a sweetheart. I still can’t forget my first meeting with her, she sitting like a sweet girl, when she visited my place with her cousin. I thought she was the quietest & simplest girl. She is right on the simple part, but quiet…Oh no!!!! I was so wrong and I am happy that I was wrong. She one heck entertainer and I love you P.C. for being you.

P.V.: I call her my Di. She is the angel in the disguise of my best friend. She is the most wonderful friend and sister I could ever ask for. She has stuck by me like a fevicol for the last 11 years. The distance has never made a difference; I always know that whenever I want a friend, she is around. She is an artist in a disguise of a techie. She has a smile that can cure you of your darkest pains. She is a level-headed person who has always given me the most sound advice whenever I have needed her. She is passionate about things that she does and excels in whatever she does. She is the angel of my life and I am blessed to have her as my friend.

N.V.: So I finally a guy has made entry into this list. I met N.V. during the first year of my engineering days. I distinctly remember talking to him on his birthday. That was the start of our beautiful friendship. We always have a cat and mouse relationship, just like Tom & Jerry. We always fight, we argue but I know he is still my most dependable friend. I still remember our famous fights in college; we would fights like small kids and then patch up also like kids. There is innocence of children in our friendship at times and the maturity of adults at times. He is caring, loving and a true friend. We have gone from being just friends to best friends and I have truly cherished this journey.

A.J.: A.J. has been my pillar of support during my life in USA. I met his as a total stranger who had joined with me in my University; the journey that began in 2004 with a casual meet has now become a friendship I truly value. In an unknown land, he was the person I could always rely on. He has made me smile when I needed to, supported me through all my problems and always had the rock-solid patience to listen to my problems. He has been my support system, always there to tell me when I am wrong or right. We both have shared some amazing moments in USA that I will cherish forever.

U.S.: I call U.S. my perfect girlfriend. She is super cool, sexy, loving, caring, intelligent & totally independent. We have shared our good and bad times together and with each passing day our friendship grows stronger. As friends we have talked for hours, bitched about others, shopped like crazy, had awesome tiramisu all over NYC, supported each other through our tough times, enjoyed our good times and become the bestest of friends. She is the girl, I have gone from thinking as a total spoil brat to someone I have come to love and adore as a person.

N.C.: I can actually see N.C. falling down from his chair, just at the sight of his name here. I bet he is thinking I have written this post half-sleep but no it’s true. This creature I met just more than few years back as an acquaintance and whom I came to know well about more than a year back has become one of my closest friends. I have come to depend him on as a friend, we fight like we are enemies but we both know we are always there for each other. He is a person with whom I have countless arguments, discussions with no end in sight. We would sit for hours discussing something and the only way the discussion or argument would end was that we both we tired & had to call it a day. N.C. is a crazy guy, that’s how I would describe him. He can do endless bakwas without making any sense and at times talk like a total mature person. I can just say that, love him or hate him you cannot ignore him. Just happy that our paths crossed in this lifetime and I look forward to a lifetime of friendship with him.

S.R.: S.R. is my Rockstar!!! She is my alter ego, my better half and my partner in crime. Let me think what all we have in common; love for shopping, talking, books, movies, food, coffee, cheesecake, adventure, and the list goes on. But the love that is above all this is the love we have for each other as friends. She is a totally amazing person who is never judgmental of any of things I do or share. She will first be my friend, hear me out and then tell me the right thing to do. I miss the days when we both would go around NYC exploring new places for coffees and cheesecakes or how we would try and control each other from shopping but end up letting each other just a small thing. She has a child-like innocence in her words and actions; which makes me love her even more. Our endless conversations, on anything & everything under the sun; conversations to which there was no end to. She is a friend, a sister and best pal for me.

D.A.: D.A. is my oldest and the closest pal in this whole world. He has been my best pal from the times when I did not even know what a friend is. He came into my life when I was just a tiny kid and has been my closest companion in this world. Technically speaking, he is my younger brother but he has always been a brother and a best pal, all in one. My best and most fond memories are all shared with him, he knows my thoughts better than I do, he knows me like a best pal should know his friend. He is the best thing that has happened to me in this lifetime and I will always thank the Almighty for giving me the blessing that I call D.A.

These guys are my bestest pals. Without them, I would not have been where I am. I thank my stars that these special people are part of my life. I am truly blessed to have them as my best pals.

July 26, 2009

Salute to the Heroes

Today is Vijay Diwas, the 10th anniversary of the Kargil War. Today we remember the brave soldiers who laid down their lives for the motherland. The official estimates say that 527 were martyrs, 1,363 soliders were wounded. We attained victory at the cost of losing our bravest soldiers and destruction of countless families. But these are the harsh realities of war, we accept it or not we have to live with the loss of these heroes for the rest of our life.
Kargil war was the first war that my generation witnessed. Wars of 1962, 1965 & 1971 were just stories we heard from our parents and read in our history books. The 1999 Kargil war was our reality. The television bought the war in our drawing rooms; for the first time India witness the atrocities of war and none of us liked what we saw. But that's the reality of war, we like it or not we have to live with it, live with the guilt that while our brave soldiers were fighting to keep us safe in our homes; we were just sitting and watching it all unfold on television.
For us, Kargil was a war fought on far away land in the mountains of the Himalayas. The reality of this war has never hit us hard. But for the soldiers who scale these mountains, it's a hard everyday reality. The families of the soldiers live the nightmare of losing their loved ones. But the brave soldiers fight all the odds; their family have sleepless nights, so that we all sleep well in the comfort of our homes.
Sometimes movies do show the reality of life; LOC Kargil showed how difficult the battle was; Lakshya portrayed the determination of a soldier; Dhoop showcased the life of a family after they loose their son in the battlefield. But we never seem to understand the grimnnace of the wars. Maybe because we are not losing part of ourselves in it. We are so used to the comforts of our air-conditioned homes that we tend to overlook what exists even outside it's realms, then how can we look at the mountains and see what the soldiers are going through?
And what about the government? Are they not responsible for providing the soldiers with the best of facilities? Shouldn't it be the top priority of a government to take care of it's soldiers? Do they just care for the people who actually go and cast votes for them? It pains my heart when I see images of army officers camping in Delhi to get equal pay as the officers of their ranks in civilian duty. It's a shame on the government and all of us that our soldiers have to struggle for what is rightful theirs.
Peace always comes at a price. The price we have paid for peace after the Kargil war is the lives of our brave soldiers. But was their sacrifice really worth it? I don't see any peace around; I don't see the families of the martyrs feeling proud of the country for which the heroes laid there lives; and the tensions on the border is no where close to an end. People hold the military men in high esteem; army forces are one of the highly respected around but still do not give them what they deserve. It's my sincere appeal to everyone that in our own small way lets do what we can for our brave soldiers. Lets fight this battle with them, so that next time there is no Kargil. Lets work together to build a better India, India where no brave soldiers are lost. Let there be peace on earth and let it start with me.


As I sit at my window, watching the rains I can feel nothing but a feeling of joy. With every drop of rains falling, it seems like the world around me is getting a new life; the earth is totally refreshed. As for me, I am totally lost in the music of the rains. The rainy season bring with it, a feel of joy, new beginnings and pure happiness. The rains make me want to become a child again, go back to those carefree days when with the first showers we all kids would rush out of the house to soak in the monsoon madness. We did not care if we would get sick, catch cold or dirty or clothes; all we knew is that we wanted to be the first to experience the joys of monsoons. I have happy memories of my grandma telling us to go and get soaked in the first showers; according to get it was good to let the first drops from the heavens fall on your body and she was so right.
Mumbai and Rains have an integral bonding; the monsoons brings with a feeling of joy, it gets with it the message that now you have got a break from the summers and now you can enjoy the beautiful rainy season. The walks on Marine Drive and Worli Seaface are a must to do during every monsoons. As the waves rise above its embankments and shower on you, you cannot but help feel eternal bliss. The thought of a group of us trying to shelter under a tiny umbrella always brings smile on my face. We all know well that the umbrella is too tiny to accomodate so many of us but the joy of sharing the umbrella even though it means that we get totally soaked, is an amazing experience. It brings us all closer and connects our hearts.
Hindi Movies have used the rains to their atmost potential. Rains have shown love blooming between two people like in Hum Tum or 1942-A love story or the feeling of complete bliss expressed by Kareena in Chameli. Rains have a certain degree of romantism attached to them; just the thought of rains might bring the memories of ones loved ones to our mind. How can one ever forget the song "Pyaar hua, Ikraar Hua" in which Raj Kapoor & Nargis declare their love for each other while standing under an umbrella, caring only about their love for each other, with no concern about the rains around them. They were lost in love for each other and the rains provided the perfect set-up for this union of two hearts. The naughty side of love is also seen in the rains through movies. I love the song of Namak Haram "Aaj rapat jaaye toh humein na uthayo" picturised on Amitabh & Smita Patil. There is full masti and love in the song. The couple in the song just cares to have fun in the rains while they declare their love for each other. Rains through their beauty work wonders at bringing heart closer. If your loved one is mad, try taking them on a long drive in the rains; I bet s/he would just forget all their anger and come right back in your arms.
I am a rain baby. I was born during the rainy season and according to my mom the day I was born it was the first rains of the season. So for me there is a double attachment to the rainy season. Rains bring with it the feelings of happiness for me. I can just get completely soaked in the rains and forget all my troubles. I can become a child again when I feel the rains falling. One cup of hot coffee with my favorite book is a perfect rainy day for me. I always wish to sing the nursey rhyme (with a little twist), "Rain Rain don't go away... Come again and again... I always want to play..."

July 17, 2009

Looking back....

Today I complete a year of being back in India. I moved to India from USA exactly on this day in 2008. WOW! I can't believe it has already been a year. The year that went by has been an amazing one, filled with a new learning experience. When I left India, I was just out of college, high on life and totally a free bird. But over the years of living abroad, I matured and changed a lot as an individual. Now I feel that I have grown-up as an individual, a person who has a gained a different outlook towards life.
Today I want to look back at the year that has passed by. I was born and brought up in India, I have lived most of my life in this country, yet when the time came for me to make the shift back home, I was totally apprehensive. On one hand I was happy that I was going back to my family but on the other hand it was with a heavy heart that I was leaving my life in USA. I was now a changed person and I was scared of how I will accommodate life back in India. My life in USA had changed me, my approach to life had changed, my outlook of looking at things had changed and more importantly I was a much more independent person.
I would be lying if I say initially I had a problem adjusting back in India. I would find fault in everything around, the way people drive, the way people talk, everything everything. I still remember I would close my eyes when I car would come too close, shut my ears because of the excessive honking and always tell the driver to be careful. But then I realized that's the way we drive in India. I had a bad time dealing with the bureaucracy in India, the red-tape got onto me. Everywhere I went, I was asked for bribes. These were things I was totally used to while living in India but now these things seemed so alien to me. But this time, I was more adamant and determined to fight such evils. If I felt, there was something wrong happening with me, I stood up against it and made myself heard, no longer was I the subdued kid who left the Indian shores.
The attitude of people towards me also changed, in a good way and a bad way. For some people I was a smart, intelligent girl who had lived in a foreign land but for some people had a cheap attitude of looking at a girl who has lived abroad. I never cared for such scum-bags as I know they are there to just pull you down. The people who made this transition easier was my family and friends in India. My family was always there for me, even when I was not there for them. The understood me, supported me and loved me always. In this past one year, I have grown to love and respect my family more than I ever did. My other support system were my friends back in India. The many years of USA had somehow meant that I had lost touch with my friends. It doesn't mean that we never spoke or met but somehow were not a big part of each other's lives, distance seems to do that to relationships. I always knew that they were there for me and they new that whenever they needed a friend I was just a phone call away. But my move back to India gave a new meaning to my friendship with them. I feel that we have rediscovered our friendship and the bond is grown even more stronger.
My life in USA and this last one year has taught me a lot of things. I have become an independent, strong-willed and caring individual. I have learnt the value of family and friends in my life. I cherish the time I have spent in USA but I am happy that I am back in India. Like the say, a bird can fly anywhere but at the end of the day the bird returns to its own nest. India is my home and wherever I go in this world, I will always come back home.

July 12, 2009

Let's there be freedom to choose...

Everyone around seems to be talking about the Section 377. The Delhi High Court ruling said that section 377 is against the right of citizens. The Supreme Court has asked the government to take a stand on this issue. People who want the law to be abolished say that the ruling of the Delhi HC is historical and in with the changing times. Others like religious leaders who are against rights for homosexuals are shouting that these laws are against the grain of the Indian society. Then there are TV channels that are cashing on this by having debates for days without any concrete conclusion to the debates. But amongst all this we seem to forget that a person gay or straight is still one of us. He has the same right to lead his life as per his or her wishes just like you and I do. Karan Johar makes a stupid movie like Dostana and we say that the Indian society is opening up to the idea of homosexuality. But according to me we are miles away from making and accepting a Brokeback Mountain. My view is that a court ruling, few protests marches across the metros or making movies on this issue would not really solve the problem. The law is the problem but a bigger problem than the law is the fundamental attitude of the people. Unless people in the society are ready to accept the fact that not every man loves a woman or every woman loves a man, I do not see an end in sight for this issue.
We as Indians proudly say that we are a democratic country; people here have the freedom to do as they wish to. But we do not give the basic right to some of our citizens, the right to choose whom they wish to love. It’s like saying to them; you can live your life you want only if you follow the norms set by the society. If this is not double standard then what is? The sexual choice of a personal is a deeply personal matter. A person has the basic right to choose whom they want to be with, who is the society to dictate the terms of someone’s bedroom. Do these so called protectors of our culture ever go and stop a husband from sexual abusing his wife; Do they raise their voices and stand together when a husband or wife has cheats on their partners; or Do they ever make so much noise against child abuse? We have so many real issues that need a united front, why is that we cannot stand together to fight these issues?
Just because someone wants to be with the person of their own sex, does not mean that we cannot accept them in the society. They are just like us; they too have feelings. They feel love, anger, sorrow, happiness and all different emotions that we feel, so how can they not be part of our society. God never says just because you are gay, I love you any less. He takes us the way we are and as children of the same almighty we have to accept each other as we are. In today times, as we look around, everyday there are things happening that normally the religious leaders should stand up against. The Babri Masjid, Godhra, Polygamy, Forced Conversions, Terrorism, Religious extremism, Killing of innocents in the name of God, Child –Abuse, Rape, and so many others ills in the society; but I never see the religious leaders coming together, under one roof and say that we stand united against such mindless acts. Baba Ramdev never says that Yoga can cure religious hate. Then why single our own brothers and sisters? They are just trying to fall in love and be with someone, like any of us.
Delhi HC ruling on section 377 or the gay parades are tiny steps in the direction of changing the overall attitude of the society. It’s like our we just learning to crawl towards a more open and tolerant society; a society that does not discriminate a person based on his or her sexual orientation. This is the strangeness of our Indian society; we can do whatever we want behind close doors, no one will say a word but when you come out in the open and demand the right to do the same with all legal rights, people from all corners of the society will suddenly become the guardians of our culture. People say homosexual culture is not part of the Indian system; to such people I just want to say isn’t our culture the most welcoming culture in the world. Over centuries we have welcomed people from all over the world into our culture, made them feel at home and they have perfectly blended in the Indianness. Then why this discrimination with our own people; can’t we accept them the way they are? Indian culture teaches tolerance and love for all, then but discriminating aren’t we actually going against our own culture?
To the people who say homosexuality leads to diseases like AIDS, I just want to say please go back to the science class and get our facts right. If you are so concerned about the spread of AIDS then why not do something about prostitution, rape, child abuse, and drugs. I would like to see them work to curtail the spread of AIDS in all sections of the society. Just going on television channels and projecting yourself as guardians of the society, is not the solution. If you really believe in the issue, work for it. Why not work on tougher laws for child-abuse? Most cases of child-abuse take place in families and never get reported. These people should actually work on making the government pass the strictest laws against such un-punishable offences. Majority of the rape cases in India go unreported. Are we doing enough to save the females of our society? In Indian culture we place women on the highest pedestal, we give them the status of goddess and we rape the same female we call our mother, sister or wife. We love our daughters, wife and mother at home but once we go out, most of us would not think twice before maligning the “izzat” of women who are total strangers for us. If this is Indian culture then God also cannot save us here. If we want to protect our Indian culture, then fight for the right of our mothers, daughters and children. Work to protect them and then will you be hailed as the real heroes, the guardians of the Indian culture the way God wished it to be.
I wrote this only because I genuinely feel that it is time we change out attitude towards the people who have always been part of our Indian culture. It’s high time we open our minds and hearts to them, take them with in with open arms, as they are one of us.

June 30, 2009

Battle between Love Marriage & Arrange Marriage

So I am going to try and talk about the eternally ranging battle in society, Love vs. Arrange Marriage. Which one is better for today’s time? Why do people prefer one to another? Why does one method work for a person and other for another person? I always have had long arguments and discussions with friends over the way I feel works for me. But today I am going to try to keep a neutral opinion and talk about this.

With whom we want to spend our life with should be an individual choice. Family, society and the world at large come much later in the picture. It is the two individuals you decide it because it is their life; how they choose to get married is their choice. Love is a beautiful feeling. They say when one is truly in love, the whole world seems beautiful to you. I remember the old songs where when two individuals fall in love, the birds start chirping, streams start making music and there is happiness all around. If love is such a beautiful feeling then finding the person you love is the most beautiful journey you can take in your life. When two people meet, it is not always love at first sight. People meet as friends, get to know each other, spend time with each other and this way know if they are right for each other. In Love marriage you always have the time to get to know the person; the real person. When people meet for arrange marriage arrangement, they always know this that they have to make a good impression. It is all love-dovey, hunky-dorry in the start. Whereas when you are in a relationship before marriage, you get to see the good and the bad side of the individual. You know each other on a more intimate level; you are aware of the likes and dislikes of that individual. This would mean fewer surprises after marriage. The more time you spend with someone the more you get to know that person. Love marriage is all about the decision of an individual; there are no parents or relatives involved; they come into picture at later stage of the relationship. You are making decisions about your own life, as two grown-up individuals should do. There are no chachis and mamis trying to convince you for some random guy they feel is so very well suited for you. When you are in a relationship, you get to know each other’s deepest, darkest secrets and come to accept each other the way we are. You are responsible for your own actions, of the choices we make and if God-forbid things go wrong in a relationship then only you are to be blamed. You would not be saying to someone else that you choose that guy or girl for me and see where I have ended. Before your relationship ends in a love marriage, you have the dating and courtship period. The time when you and I are the only two people who exists in the world. The person you are marrying is no stranger for you; you actually have got time to know him/her before you two decide on getting married.

Arrange Marriage, just the thought of it send shudders down the spine of a lot of people. The idea of marrying a total stranger is completely alien in the western world but in India it seems to work. My parents had a typical arrange marriage and after so many years of marriage they are still going strong. There must be something in the arrange marriage that makes it tick. People must not be fool to go for an arrange marriage; they would be having a belief in this system which makes them choose it for finding their life partner. India is a collective system and not an individualistic system. Here people are attached to their family, friends and society. So when the decision of marriage takes place, people look for consensus from all direction before taking the plunge. When you get married in India, you just don’t marry a person, you marry the family, relatives and the society that individual lives in. So when an arrange marriage takes place, it is perceived as a joint consensus from all the spheres of an individual’s life. Arrange Marriage is backed by the society; you have a strong family support; you are not on your own here. Society & family aside, if we look at Arrange Marriage from an individual point of view then also you can see good points in it. The idea of starting a life journey together with a person where you both are in the process of knowing each other, learning about each other and in the process falling in love; is divine. In India when you get married, you just don’t marry the person but the whole family. You have to not only mould your self to the life of the partner but also that of his or her family. Arrange Marriages normally take place between people of the same cast and religion. The husband and wife are aware of each other’s customs and traditions and adjusting to it is easier. Arrange Marriage take place with the consensus of the family and society, so there is more acceptance of this kind of marriage in an Indian society.

So done with all the goody-goody points of both Love and Arrange Marriage; now for some bashing. Love Marriage when taken place without the consensus of family, can lead to unhappiness in the long run. You don’t have a family to support you during tough times and to share your happiness in good times. Even if the marriage takes place with the consent of parents, there can be clashes due to couple coming from different cultures. The belief systems with which they both are brought up with are different. They might differ in opinions on food habits, religious beliefs or what value system to impart in kids. Now lets talk about Arrange Marriage. Arrange Marriages are fixed through families; the couple actually get less time to get to know each other. Even if they do spend time with each other what is the guarantee that you will truly know the real person. No one wants to show the bad side of him or her. In today’s times, with individuals getting more and more independent, the idea of Arrange marriage seems a little old fashioned.

Marriage is the union of two souls. It is a beautiful commitment that two people make to spend the rest of their life together; to be with each other in sickness and health; happiness and sorrow. Whichever way one chooses to marry, we just have to know that there is someone out there that God has chosen for us and he will lead us to him. The path he chooses for us all may be different but the destination is the same; to finding our soul mate.

June 25, 2009

Horse Riding Camp

I bet the title itself has given shock to a lot of people around. Someone must have definitely said, is this female mad or what!!! I got a reaction from a friend saying were you not scared to get on the horse. I just said that horses are one of the most gentle creatures. Like anyone of us, give them love and they will give you back the same. I have always wanted to do Horse riding so when we got the opportunity I decided that this is it. I decided to seize the day, not let go of this chance. A lot of times I have just let go of a chance to do things like this. Every time I said to myself, next time we will definitely do it. I would come up with reasons for not doing it. That a beauty of human beings, we can come up with thousands reasons not to do something and these reasons can be as silly as oh!! I can't get up in the morning or stupid thoughts like what if I break while I am on the horse or something else. But then these are just reasons; I have come to a conclusion that if we really want to do something then we will find ways to do it. I remember this dialogue from Swades, "Jaha chah ho waha raha nikal hi aati hai", which is as simple as saying in English "Where there is a will, there is a way'".
Back to the riding camp, the camp is for 10 days starting today. It is everyday in the morning from 6.00 a.m. - 6.30 a.m. at the Mahalaxmi Race Course. No-No, we don't run amok on the race course, we have a proper riding school which trains us so that later we can run on the race course. On the first day, the lesson were basic like how to get on the horse, how to trot and then naturally how to get off the horse. Made a few mistakes but overall I think I did pretty well for my first day. The perfectionist that I am, it has to come naturally to me. Anyways jokes apart, the first day was super fun and I just can wait to other days of the camp. Till my next blog, Keep Riding!!!

June 21, 2009

Dear Dad, Happy Father's Day

Today is Father's Day. I wanted to express my love and gratitude to my father. I am doing in the way I know works best for me. I am writing this letter to him. I wish this letter does justice to my feelings for My Hero. Here wishing all the wonderful fathers in the world a very Happy Father's Day. Dad, we kids would not be anything if it were not for your love and support. Thanks for everything you do for us. Love, Love and Lots of Love.

Dear Dad,

Happy Father’s Day. Today and everyday of the year I would thank God for giving me the best father in the entire universe. I am the luckiest kid around. A father is a child’s hero, he is the one a child looks up to for inspiration and you are My Hero. You and Mom brought me in this beautiful world. You held my hand as I took the first steps in this world. Your touch always made me feel that I am safe; with you around I have nothing to fear. You took care of me, feed me, bathed me and sent me to dream lands in my sleep. You were my first teacher, you taught me about plants, animals, nature, people and life. On my first day to school, you came to leave me and make sure I was at home there. I still remember that first and last slap you gave me when I cried that I don’t want to go to school. Maybe that slap served as a lesson for me, a path to guide me on my future education. I feel that slap was your way of telling me the importance of education. The memories of you buying me every toy I laid my eyes on are still fresh in my heart. Every time I would say this is the last toy I will buy Dad, to which you would say remember this for the next time we are in the shop. But the next time never came, and you happily continued fulfilling my every desire. You never made any distinction between my brother and me. You always worked hard to give us the best in life. They say a father always has a soft corner for his daughter, and you are the epitome of that. I know well that I will always be my Daddy’s Little Angel.
Your life serves as an inspiration for me. You are a gem of a human being, you care for others more than you care for yourself. You have endured hardships at every stage in you life and through it you have emerged victorious always. That for me is the mark of a noble human being. I still remember how would help out any person who knocked on your door. I did not like that you help everyone because I felt that these people were just using you. But now I realize that you did it without any expectations and it is the good will of the people that was important for you. As they always say, when you help others the most important thing you can get in return is their heart felt blessings. I count my blessings everyday; thank the Almighty for making me your daughter.
You and Mom have made the journey of my life memorable. Every moment shared with you is precious. You unending love for me is truly amazing; you love me even when I am wrong. What more can I ask for. Baba, I am proud to be your daughter. I am proud that you are My Hero. You have given me everything that I have desired for and never asked anything in return. I wish to make you proud of me, as I am proud of you. That is my ultimate aim in this life. Today and every day of my life I pray to the Almighty to give you good health and all the success in life.



June 17, 2009

Experimental Self-Analysis

Seems like I am on a self-analysis phase on my birthday. As the saying goes, "As you grow older, you grow wiser." I don't know if I am getting wiser, but I am certainly thinking a lot more. I guess after some time you will always find me in the "thinking woman" pose. Anyways this experiment was done in our Art of Living course. We were made to answer a simple question "Who are you?" We had to answer with the first thing that came to our mind. I am going to reconstruct this here on the blog. This is just an attempt to define who I am. Good Luck knowing me!!!!

  • Who are You? I am Pallavi....
  • Who are You? I am a person who loves her parents
  • Who are You? I am a sister & friend to my brother
  • Who are You? I am my Nanaji's daughter.
  • Who are You? I am a person who loves her friends
  • Who are You? I am a person who defines her life not only by who she is but also by the people she loves
  • Who are You? I am a person who likes to dictate the terms of her life
  • Who are You? I am a person who lives in Mumbai
  • Who are You? I am Geminian
  • Who are You? I believe in Destiny.
  • Who are You? I am a person who follows her heart
  • Who are You? I am a person who doesn't like confrontations
  • Who are You? I am a person who believes in her sixth sense & gut feelings which are normally right
  • Who are You? I am person who believes that every human being as the brains to think what is right and wrong for him/her
  • Who are You? I love to write, always wish to pen down my thoughts
  • Who are You? I love to learn, learn about anything & everything in this universe and beyond. It can be about people, cultures, animals, stars, you name it and I would like to know about it.
  • Who are You? I am a happy go lucky person
  • Who are You? I am a person who would go crazy on a deserted island
  • Who are You? I am a person you would want to have with you if stranded on a deserted island
  • Who are You? I am person who stands up her loved ones in good and bad times
  • Who are You? I hate animal sacrifice in the name of God
  • Who are You? I am person who strongly lives by principles
  • Who are You? I just don't like driving. I would prefer to sit in the back seat relaxed while I am driven around
  • Who are You? I am a person who loves to talk, talk, talk
  • Who are You? I am person who loves to meet new & different people
  • Who are You? I am person who appreciates honesty & straight-forwardness
  • Who are You? I am a person who hates lies & liars
  • Who are You? I am a person who hates Hypocrites
  • Who are You? I am a person who loves adventure
  • Who are You? I am person who loves to laugh a lot
  • Who are You? I am person who loves to read, read and read
  • Who are You? I am person who loves to travel
  • Who are You? I am a person who loves to art and architecture
  • Who are You? I am a person who loves to listen to different kind of music
  • Who are You? I am person who would prefer a bike than a car
  • Who are You? I love romantic movies
  • Who are You? I am totally western wear person. Jeans & Tees work for me
  • Who are You? I love Bollywood music & Punjabi music
  • Who are You? I am a person who loves sports especially Cricket
  • Who are You? I love cooking when my mood permits
  • Who are You? I hate packaged and canned ready to eat food
  • Who are You? I am a person who loves Maggie
  • Who are You? I love walking in the rains
  • Who are You? I am a person who loves the winters and snow
  • Who are You? I am a hyper-organized person
  • Who are You? I am person who loves animals
  • Who are You? I am a person who has a very good sense of direction
  • Who are You? I am a cleanliness freak
  • Who are You? I am a person who believe in the sanctity of marriage
  • Who are You? I am a person who loves watching off-beat movies & theater shows
  • Who are You? I remember the good as well as the bad that people do to me
  • Who are You? I don't like people who make other people feel bad about themselves
  • Who are You? I am person who hates nagging
  • Who are You? I am a person wants to live in & travel to different parts of the world
  • Who are You? I am a person who loves mountains more than beaches
  • Who are You? I am a person who values honesty in a relationship and hate men and women who justify cheating in their relationship
  • Who are You? I am a person who gets very restless when caught in traffic
  • Who are You? I am a person who hates smoking
  • Who are You? I am a person who has interests in fashion & interiors
  • Who are You? I am a person who loves shopping
  • Who are You? I am a person who loves gadgets
  • Who are You? I am a person who does not go ga-ga over Actors & Actress
  • Who are You? I am a person who is a news-junkie
  • Who are You? I am a person who loves food,I don't care of cuisines it just has to be food
  • Who are You? I am person who loves black coffee
  • Who are You? I am person who loves to sleep
  • Who are You? I am person who cannot stand double-standards
  • Who are You? I am a person who who believes right & wrong are quiet relative terms and it totally depends on the judgment of the person
  • Who are You? I am a person who hates back-stabbers
  • Who are You? I hate eye-teasers
  • Who are You? I am person who believes in enjoying the journey of life and not worry over the final destination
  • Who are You? I am person who loves dark chocolates & cheese
  • Who are You? I am a person who loves learning new languages
  • Who are You? I am person who is addicted to the internet and phone
  • Who are You? I am a person who hates people who bitch & gossip
  • Who are You? I am person who loves interesting and heart-to-heart conversations
  • Who are You? I am a person who loves flowers
  • Who are You? I am a person who loves to give surprises and receive surprises
  • Who are You? I am a person who values her relationships
  • Who are You? I am a person who respects the thoughts of other people
  • Who are You? I am a person who lives by the motto "Live and Let Live"
  • Who are You? .......................................
This exercise took a lot out of me. I was surprised at some of my findings about myself. I like that I surprised myself too. But over all it was fun knowing myself. :)

Start of my New Year :)

You might be wondering why does my New Year start in the middle of the year!!! When the world is already looking towards the next year, why is my new year different from other people around. Because this is the day I came into this beautiful world. Today, is the day God decided to start my life in this world. New Year is normally a start of something new and what better day to make a new beginning than own birthday. Happy Birthday to Me!!!! :)
I want to take the opportunity today to thank everyone who has contributed to making me who I am. Starting with the Almighty, my Parents, my grandparents, my brother, my friends and every other person I have met in this lifetime who has contributed to my life. I would like to thank you all for making me who I am.
Life is full of ups and downs and I have faced my share of it. But when I hear about other people's life, I feel so belittled. People face adversaries of all kinds and still bounce back to life. If you ever want to experience the beauty of Human Spirit, just look carefully around and you will discover it. Life is truly wonderful and every day we can find people who make the most of their lives.
I thank my parents for making my life so so wonderful. For always supporting me through my good and bad times, never forcing anything on me. You are the best parents in the world. I am sorry if I hurt you intentionally or unintentionally. Sorry for ever wrong deed I have done. Thank you for loving me with all your heart. I know well that if I have to see The Almighty, I have to just look at you both and I know I am taken care of forever. A big thank you to my great brother. He is the most amazing person in my life. I feel I will be completely lost without him around. Thanks Bro for being who you are and supporting me always. You mean the world to me. This list of my loved ones would not be complete without my grandparents. It is because of their love and hard work which has contributed greatly to shaping my life. The love of grandparents is truly unconditional and it is this love which has shaped the most beautiful & memorable moments of my childhood. With Dada, Dadi & Nani not around, Nanaji it to you to whom I look for inspiration. I wish I had the time to tell my lost grandparents how much I love & respect them. This love note would not be complete without my friends. I am not going to mention any names, because I don't want to sound biased here. But my true friends will know that it about them that I am talking about. Without the love and support of my friends, I would never have withered the storms in my life. It is with these friends that I have shared my joys of life. Thank you my friends for making me part of your life.
I seriously feel like doing introspection of my life. I want to make a new beginning of my life. A life where there are no regret. I want to be happy and make my loved ones happy. I want to be a better person, amazing daughter, loving sister, obedient grand-daughter, friendlist friend, and a responsible citizen of this world. I know that I get this life only once, I should make the most of it. From today, this moment onwards I am going to strive to achieve my dreams. I will remember that my happiness is of atmost importance and I won't let any person in this world take undue advantage of my kindness. Every day, starting today, I will strive to excel. I will not feel bad over my mistakes, but I will learn from it and move on. Today, I will avoid saying the words "I am bored", "I can't do this", but I will always say "Yes!!! I can". I have decided that I will make plans for my life but won't be rigid in following them. I mean plans would be there to give direction to my life, but if the flow wants to take me somewhere else for good, I will not resist. Happy, Happy & Happy is all I am going to be. Live my dreams!!! Carpe Diem!!!

June 6, 2009

30 best foodie joints in Mumbai

Off the top of my head, here are the 30 places I love going back again and again to satisfy my taste buds. All you Mumbaikars are welcome to make your own addition to this list.

  1. Elco Pani Puri, Bandra (W) - for what else but the famous Pani Puri & also some awesome chat.
  2. Shri Krishna Vada Pav, Dadar (W) - go here to try out Mumbai's all time favorite dish, Vada Pav
  3. Sardar Pav Bhaji, Nana Chowk - the mouth watering Pav Bhaji covered with dallops of butter.
  4. Merwan's Bakery, Andheri (W) - Try out the different kind of puffs, variety of breads and cakes for the sweet tooth.
  5. Mani's Lunch Home, Matunga (C.R.) - Drop by for a morning breakfast of amazing south indian food.
  6. Trishna, Fort - For all you sea food lovers, this places is a must try.
  7. Mocha's, Juhu - Coffee and Conversations with your friends.
  8. Bade Miyan, Colaba - If you are complete non-veg freak and love Kababs, don't forget to eat your to your heart's content here.
  9. Gaylord, Churchgate - try out the Bakery shop attached to this restaurant.
  10. Cannon Pav Bhaji, CST - As the name suggests, the Pav Bhaji here is for you to try and know what you have been missing uptil then.
  11. Jay Sandwich, Bandra (W) - treat your taste buds to the sandwiches here.
  12. Rajdhani, Crawford Market - Pure Veg Rajasthani Thali.
  13. Swati Snacks, Tardeo - home-style, pure vegetarian eatery. You will be spoilt for choices here.
  14. Bachelor's Juice Center, Girguam Chowpatty - Must try if you love to try different kind of juices.
  15. Haji Ali Juice Center, Haji Ali - This one again is famous with Mumbaikars for the array of lip-smacking juices served here.
  16. D. P's, Matunga - Favorite with college crowd, you can try our anything from Indian, Chinese to continental food, all with Indian's touch added.
  17. Cream Centre, Girgaum Chowpatty - try out this place and you will know why I have it here on this list. The food here is awesome.
  18. Shetty's, Andheri (W) - Awesome Chinese food, complete college hangout.
  19. Yokos Sizzlers - go here for what but mouth - watering sizzlers.
  20. Juhu Chowpatty Food joints - Golas & Chaats, Mumbai Style.
  21. Tibbs Frankie, Lokandwala - You want to try out frankies, this is the place to go.
  22. Just around the Corner, Bandra (W) - Hog, Hog and Hog on plate full of awesome food.
  23. New Yorkers, Girgaum - Awesome Mexican food.
  24. Snow Point, Breach Candy - Try out the big serving of ice-creams in waffle cones. You will not need food for the whole day after having ice-creams here.
  25. Mainland China, Saki Naka - One of the best Chinese food in town.
  26. Meals at Hare Rama Hare Krishna Temple, Juhu - I know that you should go to the temple to pray but the meals served in the temple to the devotees is amazing.
  27. Marine Plaza, Marine Drive - Go here for the mid-night buffet.
  28. Khau Galli, Churchgate - Fast food on the go.
  29. Urban Tadka, 7 Bunglows - Punjabi food fanatics go here.
  30. Delhi Darbar, Colaba - The best tandoori food in town.

June 2, 2009

Start of New Experience - Art of Living

Today was the first day of my Art of Living workshop. I have been wanting to do this workshop for a long time. My bro had done this and he speaks highly of his experience at this workshop. For some or the other reason, I could never attend a workshop. But this time, it was right near my house so I thought this is my best chance. Hence I registered for it. I am not a morning person, I hate getting up in the morning but I got the morning batch of 6-9 precisely for this reason. I wanted to go that extra mile for this workshop. I got up at 5 and was there on time. Wow!!! I surprised myself by getting up so early. Anyways Ms. Shashi Garg is out instructor. At the start of the session, we had a introduction round where we talked about who we are, what we do and what are our interests. Then we were split into 2 groups. We choose a teacher as our leader. We were taught breathing techniques and yoga asanas. I never realized how relaxed you feel by just concentrating on our breathing. At the end of the session, my mind and body was completely relaxed and fresh for the day. Looking forward to another great day tomorrow.

May 31, 2009

Attacks on Indians in Australia

For the past fews days ,there has been an upsurge in the attacks on the Indian students in Australia. Shravan Kumar is still in Coma while Baljinder was stabbed in his stomach. These incidents among others has bought into picture the debate of "are foreign countries racist towards Indians?" I have lived in USA for about 4 years. I lived in around New York City for the whole time I was there. I would like to say I never encountered any racial discrimination acts against me, atleast not which were obvious. People were in general friendly and accomodating. I have heard stories of friends facing discrimination but honestly I haven't experienced it. It might be because I lived in a metropolitian city like New York City and people here are seen more open to other cultures. Residents of cities like New York interact with citizens from all over the world ona daily basis and this might just bring out a positive change in their attitude. I faced discrimination only on British Airways. The attitude and manner of speaking of the air hostess was not friendly towards me while on the other hand she would talk to the white man besides me with all the love she has. That when I have decided never to travel by British Airways. People feel there is a underlying current against Indians because we are seen as taking away their jobs. There are the specific "curry bashing" which is said to take place in Australia. Stories of racial discrimination in UK are known to all. Haven't we heard of stories of Indians in Middle-East do treat us Indians as second class citizens? Just today a friend told me about someone who had garbage thrown on him while walking on the street. These incidents occurs and there is no denying that fact. Indians tend to ignore these incidents, not lodge any complains as they azlso want to create a better life for themselves in those countries and they don't want any problems in this process. But then these people are just rotten apples who are not welcome to change, who see Indians as a danger to them in some way. Maybe it is just their own frustration which they are venting out on our people. I don't know if there is any way to explain these people our side of the story because such people are too blind-sighted by their own faith to accomodate any new ideas. It is upto us to be careful and try and lead a normal life. We are a new country which is not our own country, we have to always remember this. Mahatma Gandhi himself was a target of racial discrimination. We just have to make our voices heard to the authorities and let them know we are not soft. As we live in their country, our security is their responsibility even if we are not the citizens of that country. Lastly, I would say that be it USA, UK, Australia or any other country there would be some things that are good and some things which are bad. We need to always remember why we are there, absorb all the good and discard the bad.

May 29, 2009

Movie time

I stumbled upon my thing for today just by accident. It was already 10.30 in the night and I still had not figured out anything new to do for today. Just then as I was surfing the channels I came across the movie "The Battle of Algiers" being aired on UTV movies. I have heard rare reviews of this movie and have always wanted to see it. Luck was with me, I reached this channel just as the movie was about to start. So I found my new activity for today, watching a foreign language movie, also a movie that I have wanted to see for some time now. This movie is in Italian. It is a movie which showcases Algerian War of Independence. This war was a conflict between France and Algerian independence movements from 1954 to 1962, which led to Algeria gaining her independence from France. The film depicted the scenes of Algerian city life with stunning realism. The movie was realeased in 1966 and completely in Black and White; that adds to the beauty of the movie. The cinematography and screenplay of the movie is outstanding and so are the actors. I love foreign language movies, not Hollywood types but movies of Iranian, French or Italian origin, these movies are realist in their approach. The technical details which go into these films is world class, be it the screenplay, camera work or direction. Most people complain that you have to concentrate to your lst breath as we hardly understand these languages but then there is fun in watching a foreign language movie. If want a fun filled, happy go luck, time pass movie then please don't watch this one. It is not for the faint hearted. I would recommend this movie for any true movie buff.

Mumbai Meri Jaan

Welcome to my home. Mumbai is the place I call home. A city full of life, a city that never sleeps. The heart of Mumbai is its people. The people who give you a feel that life stops for nobody; one always has to be on the move. The people here are always trying to get somewhere; where do they aspire to go is something only they know or maybe even they don't. I have lived in Mumbai for most part of my life. Like many Mumbaikars, I came from a different part of India to this city for better opportunity. I did get many opportunities here to advance in my life. This city makes or breaks you. This city has given me a lot that I have today. I have traveled around the world, visited many places, even lived in different cities but my heart belongs to Mumbai. Every time I land back in Mumbai from my visits, I feel alive. There is something in the air of this city that makes you want to come back. I would love to share this love for my city with everyone around. If you haven't come to Mumbai then you should. It is the city that will get your heart racing. Welcome to Mumbai...Welcome to my home...
Mumbai is home to the oldest stock exchange in Asia, the Bollywood film industry, slums of Dharavi and some of the priciest real estate on earth. If Delhi is the administrative capital of India then Mumbai is the financial capital of India. From the glitz and glamour of South Mumbai to the slums of Dharavi, you will find a picture of Mumbai to suit your interest. From watching the sunset over Marine Drive, to hangout with friends on Bandstand or going for a stroll on Juhu Beach, the Arabian Sea is intergral part of your life in Mumbai. I always loved going to Marine Drive or Bandstand and watch the sunset on the horizon. It gives you a feeling of oneness with nature. Even going for walks on Marine Drives during the monsoons is the most thrilling experience. Rains and Mumbai; you can’t imagine one without the other. I still remember being stuck in the torrential rains that lashed Mumbai on 26th July 2005. I was coming back from work and my car broke down. I met two good-hearted strangers who dropped me home helped me. The soul of this city is its people. Strangers who will come and help you in times of need, they won’t think twice before offering a helping hand. Mumbai would never think if you are from Gujarat, Bihar or Tamil Nadu. The city will welcome you will open arms. There might be no place for the existing people here, but still the city will take in whoever knocks on its door. It never turns anyone away. Mumbai is home for anyone who wishes to call it home.
I already told you guys how much I love walking in the rains, hanging out at Marine Drive or Bandstand. But the best thing of about Mumbai is its trains: the lifeline of Mumbai. If you haven't traveled by trains in Mumbai then you really haven't experience the real city. But do it on your own risk because it is not for the faint hearted. We all friends use to take the trains for college and always struggling to just get into the trains. Forget place to sit, if you even get a place to stand properly you are lucky. The best part was trying to get off on your station. You start preparing for this battle well before your station comes. We loved to just stand on the door even when the trains were empty. It was to feel the air of Mumbai brushing against your face. Oh, how I miss those days. I love driving through Navy Nagar and then going to Bade Miyan for awesome food. If you ever go to Bandstand, then I would say walk a little uphill and visit the Mount Mary Church. Just being here gives me complete peace of mind. And how can I forget Elco Pani Puri. I have seen this place grow from a small roadside stall to a full-fledged fast-food restaurant. Now that what I call business development. You will find numerous success stories like this in Aamchi Mumbai. There is an array of things one can Mumbai. You can never get tired of this city. If you do, then it is entirely your fault. Just open your eyes and this city will present you will place in front of your eyes its real beauty, you just have to have the heart to take it all in.
I might move to any corner of the world but Mumbai will always be my home. I always leave a piece of my soul back in this city; I am always longing to return back to my home.