Thursday, January 28, 2010

Blogs I like

Here are some blogs that bring a smile, a tear, or just plain confusion because I know so little of the world around me. All written by friends of mine, so here is some shameless promotion: the whimsical diary of a single mom bringing up an adorable kid. Aww factor: immense. Special bonus: good recipes shared. the anti- hero with a twist. Irreverent at most times. If people get too sick of all the sweetness on this blog of mine, head over to the dark side. I do so myself!

www. (Plain Chex): eclectic writing includes trips to the konkan, philosophical musings, and other things. Makes you think more than necessary- so very good!

www. (Rapid Uplift) : a green blog, makes me confused at times as to what the truth is. But it is out there. On the blog at least. : food, restaurants, pune.... written by a foodie and updated regularly.... what more do you want?

I'm sure I'll discover more, but when you are in a browsing sorta mood- read through them and I'm sure they won't disappoint.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

No Rain on this Parade

I don't feel very nationalistic on most days. (Unless we are playing a cricket match). But I did something that made me feel special as an Indian yesterday, courtesy the kids.

We were seeing the Parade on TV (which was nice, although I suspect Manmohan Singh was sleeping for a while and the South Korean premier was desperately trying to look interested). The kids led the whole family up to our terrace. We hoisted the flag and sang the anthem. I felt goosebumps as we did it.

I spied a couple of neighbors wondering what's going on- but if they were smirking at us, well, the joke is on them in this case. We celebrate so many meaningless days ( friendship day, rose day, etc etc) and don't connect to what can be truly a cause for joy. Isn't it?

I'm not letting anyone rain on my republic day parade.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Milton's Secret

It is very tough to write a philosophical, self help book that is an easy read. Any book of this kind has to be as easy at it can get to be really effective. I should know. When I read some parts of my first book, I wonder if I could have explained something better.

To write a philosophical book for kids is even tougher. Kids and philosophy don't mix well. Kids have too much energy, too little experience and a short attention span to boot. And mostly- they don't need any damn advice.

Which is why I thought "Milton's Secret" was a very good bedtime story book. It doesn't talk down to kids. It makes them curious about the principle that is being shared. It engages them to discover a way to be less fearful and think for themselves. It is as fun as it can be too.

If you have any kids- I would recommend this highly. You could get it at a decent bookshop. And while you read the story to your young one, perhaps, Milton's Secret could be useful to you as well.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Finding Candy

Candy is my sweet, idiotic Labrador who couldn't find her way home from this Friday when she'd stepped out. A big, six year dog, not much of a scalp for fortune hunters, we thought. Labradors- keen sense of smell, she'll come back, we thought. And when she didnt- needless to say, when a much loved pet goes missing, your life goes a little haywire. You try hunting, praying, cursing the dog and everyone else.

Finally, we found her- she had camped with the cows at Sane Dairy, Bhandarkar Road, of all asinine things. I hadn't slept much the night before- so when we finally got her back, after visits all over Deccan and the Blue Cross as well- I could rest my weary head on the pillow. As I did that, a few thoughts came to mind:

1. It is very difficult to find a dog who refuses to be found.
2. Everyone feels guilty about something or the other about the entire thing.
3. You only realize how much you loved the dog after you've lost it.
4. There is very little that logical deductive intelligence can do in a situation like this.
5. Praying is not very comforting at the time.
6. You see dogs all around, but not your dog.
7. The Blue Cross does a lot of good work and needs more support.


8. When you do find the damn dog, you start cursing it in joyful relief.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Celestial Irony

Right. So the moon obscures the sun from our vision during broad daylight- something that geography teachers and school kids will tell ya. Some won't travel, eat or even(fill in the blanks here) during this solar eclipse.

I was wondering what the big fuss was, when a friend posted something about it being a celestial spectacle on FB. That's when I lumbered from my desk to the nearest window and saw the thing. It was the sun looking like a crescent moon through some clouds (thank god for that, since I forgot about the sunglasses factor).

The sight was truly like a Zen joke. On all of us. The sun looking like the moon makes you wonder what the heck its all about. Suddenly you don't trust your senses so much- and the geography lesson about space, time and the rest of the thing comes alive in a scary but funny fashion.

You also get a philosophical lesson, as another friend put it. She said that it just makes you realize how small you really are, and how important you really are. Celestial irony: I don't need to protect my vision only when there's a solar eclipse. :)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Make Your Journey Sweet

My new year's day was especially unique. Woke up and saw a lazy beach. Went for a swim, had some breakfast by the sea. Then ditched a really bad hotel that we'd spent the night in and headed out.

Drove to some high mountains in Mahabaleswar to have some great Parsi-style lunch in venerable old Dina Hotel. Came back home in the evening to sleep in my own bed, weary but happy.That's part of the Pune charm I guess- lots of beautiful, offbeat places at a car's hurl.

And while I was nodding off,wondering about it all, I asked myself what the best part was. It was the journey, of course.If anyone has done this, you'll know. Its lush green all around when you start and you keep staring at the calm blue and palms as you whizz by. You dont even realize when the green of the palm becomes the green of the oak. The moist sea air has become cool dew. Wild.

Life can be an awful, continued, hotel experience or a wonderful, unplanned journey to make something out of nothing. Happy Makar Sankrant to all: make your journey sweet.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

It Ain't Over Till It's Over

My neighbor- friend is a guy who cares a lot about animals in general and strays in particular. He'd posted some snaps of a stray bitch who was involved in an accident and had injured her paw badly. This was a dog- mom; she was also nursing a couple of real cute looking pups at that time.

(On a side note: why do mongrel pups look fat and cute and then become all lean and mean when they grow up? Maybe the answer is evolutionary: a dumb human might take them up for pets when they look so cute. On the other hand, if there's no such luck, then its back to an aerodynamic, street smart body!)

Back to the injured dog- mom, then. My friend had gotten her operated, and was kind of nursing her back to health. The situation looked iffy at best at that time, at least to me. I didn't dare to ask him what happened anytime I bumped into him.

Today- I saw him feed the dog-mom, now on her way to recovery and playing with her pups. It was a real nice moment. It ain't over till its over, when you've got some fight in you.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Counting Murders

I've discovered a new way to fall asleep, which I must share with you. The method is to go to a bookstore and buy yourself a slim volume of short suspense stories. I think it works really well. I did so recently(Alfred Hitchcock's collection) and I'm ever so grateful. Sherlock Holmes classics work well too.

I don't know about you, but any sort of suspense writing allows me to hang my disbelief, knife my logic and slow poison any loop in the story. To generate sleep,of course, it can't be a novel. It has to be short stories, other wise it doesn't work. Suspense set in Americana, Europe, or quaint other places, where people wear "overcoats" and go to the "lavatory" perhaps and smoke bitter cigars. And then find bodies in the library.

The moment you have relaxed into the charm of the book and feel like nodding off- you can! Of course, as soon you find out who did it, which isn't too long.

The story count was two before I nodded off. Much better than millions of sheep.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Unleash Your Inner Wangdu!

A happy new year to everyone! Anyone who has seen 3 idiots will concur: Wangdu is the man to be. (For those who haven't seen it yet- start the year well, see the film and I won't spoil the surprise)

Ever since I saw the flick, I thought: all of us, potentially, have a guy like Wangdu within us: a person who strives for excellence, goes with his heart, loves what he does, and enjoys the journey as much as the outcome. He doesn't play politics, is least affected by comparisons and still very human and not holier than thou :)

Somewhere down the road, we tend to forget this person within us and become very Chatur (or so we think). But cleverness isn't always intelligence, and it definitely won't give you peaceful sleep at night.

So to all who read my blog, and especially this blog post, I wish that you unleash your inner Wangdu on the world.

This year. Now.

May this tribe increase!