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Monday, September 22, 2014

TIL

Ugh - blog hiatus, and its only getting worse. :X

So many creative projects started and lying in the dust, but I'm getting better at saying yes and no to ideas, so that's a start?

Some thoughts from the past few months:

1) I am feeling awful about being srongly disinclined re writing anything important on paper. I wanted to buy a small book to jot down ideas but the lack of proper indexing + search put me off. Yuck. So annoyed with myself.

2) I spent a good part of today learning about all the quotas available on IRCTC. Truly mind-boggling. (PQWL, RWL, RQWL, GQWL, CKWL, Ladies Quota, HP, DP, DF, HO, FT) SO MUCH INFO.

3) After many years I thought of the word Gulbarga. And Jolarpet and Renigunta. Ah, Renigunta

4) I have had YET another fabulous haircut. Bliss.

5) Life is pleasantly filled with nothingness and it has been a struggle to learn to enjoy. But I am trying :) and failing less.

6) Stuff is hard - stuff like coding, and reading new things. Statistics is hard.

7)  To thine own self, be true. THIS IS HARD. I have been trying, especially in my quest for meaningful _____ whatever (it used to be employment, but now is a blank) to be true to my interests and motivations but there is so much white noise where I should find faith.

Ah well.

More later and await news on the professional front, which I promise you will be interesting!

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

My thoughts on having it all

DF and I have an email chain where we send each other one incredible article a day to read; the chain is titled " If you read only one thing today, let it be this".

Over the months that we've had this chain, we've sent each other articles on sport, politics, science and feel-good advice. I once sent an Oatmeal comic to DF because we were both going through some puppy-longing - and he immediately shot back with "Oatmeal doesn't count: stop polluting the thread!".

So you see - we apparently have standards, and those standards demand >Oatmeal level of awesomeness. 

Anyway and onwards DF today was at home between meetings and I heard him chortle while he read an article in the loo, and then he sent it to me - NOT as a regular email, but as part of the thread, so obviously I immediately clicked on the link ignoring all my open tabs re GoT conspiracy theories on who Jon Snow really is!

<drumroll>
http://www.businessinsider.com/pepsico-ceo-women-cant-have-it-all-2014-7?IR=T
<wtf>

A few seconds into the article, I was wrinkling my brow and as I reached the end, I was very deeply disappointed. It was an article about Indira Nooyi and her mum and her husband and her Nintendo loving child and having it all.

<I AM GODDAMN SICK OF HEARING ABOUT WOMEN AND HAVING IT ALL.>

I turned on DF with righteous fury as he emerged - demanding to know what he meant by sending me an article so obviously disguised as 'empowering and practical' but is all too likely YET ANOTHER piece of writing that firmly defines success as also excelling at childcare for women?

DF backtracked after a bit of yelling back and forth, claiming, with little success that:

1) The headline is misleading - its obviously meant to grab eyeballs
2) Don't read that bit about her mum asking her to get milk- that's not why I sent it
3) Don't read that bit about how she says she can't have it all - that's not why I sent it
4) Don't read that bit about her child and how she feels guilty - that's not why I sent it
5) Yes, that bit RIGHT AT THE END - about her priorities - it was funny and refreshing - that's why I sent it.

Really? I asked DF? You sent me an article on this thread about how her career is her top priority as some kind of MAJOR AWESOMENESS that I should read?
(Lingering Oatmeal-burn hate remained).

 He shot back some rationale and I out-screamed him, with good reason: I make excellent feminist rants and plugged in my earphones to shut him out (worked too - he apologised loudly, patted me on the shoulder and went away to his meeting - chastened and a little confused but probably unsure of where exactly he screwed up and thinking to himself that he really did not, but apologising was the quickest way to exit stage-left).

But this is where he screwed up: He sent me an article with these words "I don't think women can have it all. I just don't think so. We pretend we have it all. We pretend we can have it all."
  
Says who missy?

I asked DF if he'd ever read an article or followed an internet debate about men and whether they can have it all? Did the head of GE make such a statement? KKR? Google? What about Goldman? Or Linklaters? Surely they're parents too? Surely they strive for balance in the same way every human does?

SO what's this fuss about having it all, then? Is it about the invisibility of childcare as a metric for success - which only women are graded on? Why's that? Is it questioning the metric? No - its using the metric to claim limited success by one gender in playing off that metric against a more conventional success index that pits women as having to achieve awesomeness in all spheres while not even having a conversation about the conventional success index for men. 
 
Try it yourself: Do a quick google search for "can men have it all". The articles that pop up - read them carefully not for words re men and women, but men only -  NOT ONE will say only that men can't have it all. NOT one article will explicitly state that 1) only men are faced with a choice,  and 2) only men can have one or the other, NEVER BOTH and 3) men should stop kidding themselves.

NOPE. They'll all be variations along the lines of ...life is full of trade-offs.... not possible to "have it all." ...never was.... women or for men...both...equally....

All of which is of course true, but nothing I can throw back in DF's face to say ha - here you go - "Mr. XXX thinks YOU can't have it all - go suffocate in the implausible fumes of your burning dreams" - which made me sad/grumpy.
 
:(  Can you send me a link to one such if it exists?

Maybe that's my problem - I've grown up with such unusually STRONG female influences and such unusually WEAK masculine influences that its impossible for me to think that someone can't have it all merely because she's a woman and she has kids and she has to compromise on one for the other constantly. I think being poor is more likely to make you 'not' have it all. But tons of Americans clearly think otherwise?  (Don't even bring up SCOTUS).

I think people who have some money and freedom choose how to live their lives and in that choice-making, priorities help inform that decision - so to the extent priorities are different, choices will be too. Priorities are all too often determined by primary socialisation - but surely if one wants to step outside these boundaries, it shouldn't be too hard? This is a way of saying trade-offs etc.  But no one seems to be questioning primary socialisation that is so dificult to shake-off, esp for women in terms of maternal guilt and children - no one is outraging that the debate is hijackd by the choices that socialisation makes you believe you have. Amirite?

Unless - red pill? (Not a pun guys, I swear).

Maybe the reason why the article hurt was because DF and I scheduled a lunch-talk to discuss some important life issues that I felt I had the disproportionate burden of having to shoulder. As in football commentary, or life in general, context is everything. 

The article hurt. Finger in wound.

So let me make it clear.  I've never had anyone tell me I can''t have it all - if I want to, I will. And I'll define what 'all' (cake + abs anyone?) means to me and that definition will likey change everyday and that's totally ok - primary socialisation be damned.

Better a simplistic belief than a complex despondency/life devoid of cake. 

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Gory details (or How I become a better person when DF is away)

So gentle reader, as you may  know, DF (being a usefully employed person with a fun job) went away on a work trip to London (I made him promise he would buy me toothpaste pumps).

Now, I don't know why, but Delhi makes me the kind of person who has things done for her. For example, I have a maid who cleans and cooks and does most household chores. I have a husband who runs errands, bakes a mean lemon pound cake and generally drives me around ( bless him) and in-laws who send packets of home-made goodies and podis frequently.

Plus, living with someone in a relationship (and not just as a roommate) means that you get very used to having conversations about daily habits (poop), bodily parts and fluids - none of which are easily had with other whataspp contacts. You also get used to the companionship, the soothing away of irrational panic and the always-readiness for cuddles. In sum, you become an accepter, more than a doer. Well, I do anyway, and I look at DF with puzzled naivete when he says the same, but its time for the truth - because the truth leads us to today's story.

Stardate whatever, Day 2 of period, which, many years down the line, I have made my peace with as a monthly occurance. During course of day, tampons are used. All well so far.

At around 5 pm, I decide to step out to run an errand ALL BY MYSELF (DF will thank me, I'm sure and I like surprising him by being un-lazy). I make a list of things to buy (slippers, coffee powder, new pillow covers and yoga mat), take a quick shower, change, get interrupted by phone call, throw on thinnest possible clothes and leave house before next bout of laziness takes over.

I run errands successfully - except the slippers and the yoga mat. But I bought fruits.  (WIN).

I trudge home, dripping with sweat and telling myself DF better be grateful for tomorrow's coffee. Because it is so hot and gross in Delhi, I decide to take another shower before dinner.

Moment of truth. I can't find a tampon inside of me.

PANIC PANIC PANIC

I totally freak out - and realise there is no one to project my panic upon, thus requiring that I tone it down and BE RATIONAL AND CALM omg I am going to die. Sit on bathroom floor looking wretched for few mins.

Make list of possible scenarios:
1) I was time-napped, so that a few years have passed me by and I went away through a portal and came back but the adjustment wasn't fine enough so I came back during period time but obviously the tampon was gone.
(Too many flaws).
2) I forgot to wear one.
3) Its stuck inside me aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

Idea.

Quick rummage through bin and matching of discarded wrappers and used tampons confirms my suspicions - that I forgot to wear one - but niggling HYPOCHONDRIAC DISASTER BRAIN DEATH AND GORE feelings don't go away.

HOW, I ask myself, is it possible that I _forgot_ to wear one? It simply seems ridiculous! I panic again. Must check if its stuck inside - BUT HOW.

Internet confirms only one way (other than going to OB/GYN and having him/her check). And most instructions begin with word 'relax'. Yeah right.

I follow instructions - except the 'relax' part and I can't find it - but now I can't remember what anything is supposed to feel like anymore. Life has become Kafkaesque. I feel light-headed. I require a list.

1) I find a corner and sit in it.
2) Take deep breaths.
3) Decided to await DF's arrival for coffee and have TRAUMATIC CONVERSATION ABOUT MY LADYPARTS and ADVICE.
4) Make plan to go to Ob/Gyn and waster her time and earn her wrath for false alarm.
5) Pat myself on back for handling this so calmly.
6) PROMISE myself to not google 'if tampon stuck will i die'
7) Blog about it
8) Shower.


There you go - moment of growth all recorded in gory details for posterity. You may now feel much better about your well-organised life.

***

Tampons should come with gps bio-devices stuck on them. #jussaying#million$idea

Friday, June 27, 2014

My Hobby

I alluded to this earlier on, but My Hobby these days is reading most things in a Toby Ziegler voice.

My reading all of today (neglecting what I was actually to read) was about the Arab-Israeli conflict. Boredom + DF in London + summer vacation mood = TV shows from Israel, Sweden and Canada.

Hatufim, the Israeli series upon which Homeland is loosely based (I say loosely because I am in Season 2 of Hatufim) is a complex and finely-tuned drama about 3 Israeli POWs who return home. It has none of the raciness and the sexiness of the US drama - and is all about characters and detail  - Im enjoying the pace so far, though I definitely mute the dialogues sometimes (there's only so much blood and gore I can take - usually about a teaspoon or so).

The necessary corrolary is of course a neglect of co-ordinate geometry and an obsession with Middle-East history and conflict.

My googling also yielded some excellent Persian food blogs, so that's a plus. ( Though this is more what I'd expect Leo to say).



Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Yo

Have you heard of Yo?, and if yes, have you read this article?

I'm sure you have gentle reader, for you are smart (and you are likely following the World Cup coverage of the Guardian which is SPECTACULAR and makes me wish there was a "I would pay for this if I could, but since I can't take my cookies and show me ads" button) and this article is representative of some points of view of the app.

There are a couple of articles (and people) who see benefit in pinging each other randomly all day long with nothing of any substance to speak of.

I fully agree. 

One day, I want to write to Airtel and let them know that I have experienced much love, heartbreak, hapiness and sexting because of their 'unlimited-messaging' reharge pack, and for that I am muchly grateful.
 

***
Everytime I binge-watch White Collar I am tempted to learn how to pick a lock. I have always wanted to. How hard can it be? Except that I am a serial un-opener, sort of like an anti-Door (Neverwhere reference guys!) if you will.

This, will be a CHALLENGE.

***

FYI - I think an app that senses when you're in the bathroom and accordingly modifies the tonal quality of your voice so that it sounds like you're at your desk would be a killer. Or one that lets you add rain/train as background so you can get out of a call, or add some party buzz to pretend like you have a cool social life when you are really sitting at home and experimenting with cheap whiskey on a Friday night. Anyway, ideas, ideas.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Sex with Patrick Stewart

A few days ago, we had an impromptu party at home. A bunch of friends dropped by (not one of them was a lawyer! ha!) and we decided to drink a little, chat a little, and then play Cards Against Humanity.

If you haven't yet played the game, I would urge you, nay, I beseech you, to gather around a group of terribly funny people and PLAY PLAY PLAY - this game, with the enticing tagline "The party game for horrible people".

The simplicity of the game is matched by just how easy it is to play (very easy), to get (download and cut into squares) and bring out the repressed bitchy horrible person inside you!

 For more inspiration, check out their Tumblr here.

Apart from providing entertainment, and a window into your friends' minds that you sometimes wish you'd rather didn't have, Cards against Humanity also proves to be an educational experience.

(I learnt what Smegma, Queefing and Bukake meant, yesterday, and I am  more than a little intrigued that certain people knew ALL these words.)

#jussaying #reallygross #deliciouslyhorrible

Thursday, June 12, 2014

All of life's a circle what

What <yet-to-be-determined-punctuation-mark>

It's my new thing these days. My new word accessory of the -till-whenever-I find-a-new-one.

For the past many weeks or so, it was 'and so on and so-forth', and you would think adding it to every other sentence would induce a rather overwhelming sense of elegance and a wisp of nonchalance when I speak, but sadly, it turned into a crutch I clung to while refusing to let my on-holiday-come-back-later brain really try to accomplish more than mango-eating.

My new word therefore is what. Its not said as a question, as in "What is wrong with you?" or even an exclamation "Whaaaaaat." its more of a mocky-sarcastic, drawl that cool people have and that I am now going to try to emulate. What.

***

I have eaten many mangoes, but none have come close to achieving the perfection of the Banganapalli mango from last summer. Just saying.

***

Suddenly feeling much deja vu. As I sit on my living room floor in front of the TV and type this out, its raining outside, and I am suddenly transported to Spore just after I quit when all of the city was rainy and I was sitting on my living room floor and writing a blogpost about quitting. :)

I was listening to Samba Noir then, but for now, I feel this is an age+ time -appropriate piece of music. Failing which, we'll always have Toco.





***
I've had the time of my life the last few weeks. I don't know why more adults don't take summer vacations, and I have to say, truthfully, DF has been the best for sponsoring this break of mine. Totally - ja, jee le apni zindagi type moment, and all I have to show for it, is a long list of youtube videos we have to watch when he comes back home everynight.

FYI, this marriage rox.