Simbly Bored

It's me that's bored enough to blog. The posts are interesting enough.

Goddess or Agony Aunt? October 20, 2009

Filed under: Randomness,The Way I Say It,Through a Woman's Eyes — The Goddess @ 2:57 pm

Here’s a comment I recently received:

Dear Agony Aunt,

How should I decide if I am ready to spend the rest of my hopefully long life with someone I met a couple of times when I take months, sometimes years, to choose my friends?!

What would I ask her? “What are your hobbies? Who’s your fav actor? What’s your fav movie? So, will you marry me?”

How would I buy her a surprise wedding gift when I dont know her taste?

How would I romance an almost stranger? And now it’s almost scientifically proven by Nature that I have no luck with a love marriage! Am I going die single? 😦

Dear Distressed Desi Male,

Unless the most important decisions of your life revolve around watching movies, building your DVD collection and planning how to use your spare room, may I suggest you ask more meaningful questions such as what marriage means to her, whether she considers an arranged marriage a last resort and what plans and/or dreams she has for her future?

May I also gently point out that we no longer live in the dark ages and you could possibly write her an email or two even if you can’t meet her in person?

And Beta, correct me if I’m wrong. When you run around dating that cute girl you only met that one time at a party, are you not romancing a stranger till you decide you love her?

Louve Shouve is all fine Beta, but you must remember, arranged marriage is our Sanskriti. It is our Baratiya Sabhyata. It is also our last resort.

With Best Wishes for a Happy and Prosperous Married Life.

Your Friendly Agony Aunty

ps: Diamonds are the best surprise


to all readers – please note the sarcasm…

 

Accepting Applications April 24, 2009

For the post of onsite best friend.

Requirements:

Must willingly spend time with me instead of succumbing to academic, social or personal pressure and spending time for the sake of future gain.

Must not complain when I call in the middle of the night with intellectual, emotional, philosophical, nonsensical or whimsical demands.

Must be able to appreciate the concept of a sense of space and gauge moods.

Must consume occasional doses of gyan with a teaspoon of salt (or preferred seasoning).

Must be capable of sustaining intelligent conversation not centered around “Academics” or “People Around Us” or constantly compare life with “The Way it Was”.

Must understand that a friend is not someone who fills up time when the significant other can’t be there.

Must live within walking distance of my apartment.

Perks:

Unwavering loyalty

A shoulder to cry on

An ear to crib to

A person who cares

Endless conversations

Amazing coffee!

Closing Comments:

Individuals holding this post in the past will be able to provide further inputs regarding the post and perks

 

Caution! Web Ahead! March 23, 2009

Filed under: Blogging,The Way I Say It — The Goddess @ 1:13 pm

Keeping a clean web presence and checking what is said by and about you online is evidently about as important as resume building. Recruiters would not be particulary impressed by racist or judgmental comments on your blog, pictures of you drinking or drunk posted on Facebook and of course, they would raise an eyebrow when they read a bad quote attributed to you on a friends blog or an ancient newspaper crawl (remember the “teen-speak” columns all those newspapers do that you might have featured in long, long ago?). And lets face it, the recruiter wouldn’t want any potential interviewees seeing something compromising about them either.

There is a new tale about how to lose your job in 140 characters or less circulating around about a real life story of someone who published a rather unfortunate tweet. The post I refer to above also talks about the need to be very, very cautious when posting something on the internet (like this blog post, for instance). Everything you post on blogs, twitter, facebook and anywhere else will come back and haunt you 10 years from today thanks to search and archives.

There are, of course, some things that you just don’t do. Posting a questionable comment about a job you managed to land (no matter what the economic landscape) is one of them. It’s again, not the smartest thing in the world to express extremes of opinion or say nasty things about people very publicly.

With the advent of social media, however, I think it’s become increasingly difficult to draw the line between what is should concern employers and what should not. Read this story about someone who posted unflattering comments about a city where he was going to make an important presentation. The tweet was probably in bad taste but I wonder if it was directly relevant to his professional life. Surely a person is entitled to like, dislike or absolutely hate a city he lands in and tweet about it!

What about someone named in a nasty goodbye email that finds its way onto the internet? What if a friend, in a moment of anger posts something nasty about you on their blog, then deletes it but the cached version lingers forever? What if a picture of you snapped at a party finds its way onto someone elses facebook album? What if you express a strong opinion on an issue and it gets pulled up – out of context – years from today? What if you forward something harmless to a friend who, in all good faith finds the stuff interesting, posts it on her blog and attributes the forward to you? What if you tweeted about an article that was once considered rather harmless but is now controversial? (imagine how a decade or two from today we’ll be really feeling the effects of global warming and low oil reserves and a record of all positive reviews of Hummers and SUV’s and their authors will be available)

Just because everything is searchable and archived and tagged and labelled, does it mean that we should actually search and probe and draw inferences from every piece of information available about a person online? Should a person be judged by what the web shows about him than what we see, hear and experience in a conversation? And finally, how relevant is most of the stuff thrown up in a web search to one’s professional life? I think it’s time someone came up with guidelines in that regard…

 

Acculturation March 17, 2009

Filed under: Life in Amreeka,The Way I Say It — The Goddess @ 6:37 pm

It’s been almost two semesters since I moved here. And I’ve begun to understand the concept of ABCD and DCBA and something in between a little better now. In all this time, I’ve heard the word “acculturation” thrown around so much that I am quite sick of it.

I’ve heard it used by Americans, by Indians, by Indians who’ve “been there” and everyone else you can think of. At the risk of generalizing to the point of sounding racist, I would say it’s the Indians who make a bigger deal of it than the Americans. All Americans I interact with seem to happily take me in stride, accent, appearance, kurtis et al. It’s the Indians who more secretly wonder – some about the kurtis and others about the lemon pickle and curd rice.

What is culture anyway? Is it just about language, accent, manners, the way we greet each other, the questions we ask and do not ask each other, the nicities of living, the intricacies of human interaction, food, entertainment and other miscellany?

Or does it go deeper into the way we think, our priorities, our interaction with others, our respect for cultures not our own, the need to have a “cultural identity” and so on?

How do you define the culture of a country that derives its identity from being a melting pot? How can you define what is American, what is Indian and what lies in between?

If I refuse to change some things about myself, does that negate the impact of the changes that I do make? If I greet the cashier and make small talk with those who come in at the helpdesk before getting down to business, that is evidently a good sign. But if I insist on driving all the way to the nearest city just to get sona massorie rice and I carry a lunch box to school that’s devoid of sandwiches, pasta and meat and instead resembles the lunch mom made, does one neutralize the effects of the other?

Should I, and my level of adaptation be judged my the contents of my lunch box, the western-ness of what I do in my spare time, what I wear, my accent, the language I speak at home and my choice of profession? 

Or should I be judged by how I behave, how comfortable I am in new surroundings, how much I glorify my “motherland”,  how intolerant and judgemental I get and of course, to what extent I feel that my material life hinders me from following my spiritual dreams?

Better still, should I not be judged at all?

Acculturation as a technical and anthropological term seems fine. But in a more social setting, it seems to reek of snobbery.

 


 

 

 

ps: for “the one who judges”

 

Fame and Glory March 12, 2009

Filed under: Blogging,The Way I Say It — The Goddess @ 10:03 am

Sometimes, I wonder if I should aspire for blog-star status. Here’s where you can find a list of popular Indian blogs (Meenakshi Reddy Madhavan and the joys of sex included) and it seems to me that blogging is about more than a personal space these days.

I wonder, if my general lack of ambition in all spaces and my dreamy way of dealing with life in general is reflected in my attitude towards blogging too… I feel little responsiblity or actual ownership towards this blog. I feel no compelling need to post just to keep up the hits. I feel no need to cash in with ads, no need to have a zillion people link to my blogs (but, yes, it would be nice if all the links that I know exist showed up in the google search) and I absolutely cannot imagine having (shudder) fans.

All this of course, was not prompted by serious thought on my own part. It was a long lost friend who declared that my blog was nice enough but not famous enough. And he pointed out that I have no fans who treat me like a star.

Hmm… I never thought of myself as a potential star. This is the era of 5 minutes fame, of course. But famous for writing a blog? Famous for cribbing about people, making fun of things, throwing up the odd insight or two and attempting to be funny? Really? Is that all it takes?

I prefer to think my readers are smarter than mere fans. And I want this blog to do more than chronicle the mundane and glorify the ordinary. I do not want this space to be embarrassingly personal or explicit. Not an attempt to make my life appear grander and more happening than it is. Not a way to exact revenge, not inflict unsought for opinions, not pseudo-intellectual, not outrageous, not opinionated and not commercial.

This blog, in short, is all about me. My life, my thoughts, my sudden insights, my ideas, me and all about me. And I wouldn’t want it otherwise!

 

 

 

Making a Difference March 5, 2009

Filed under: My Political Stand,The Way I Say It — The Goddess @ 12:58 am

It’s election time again. It’s time for all those in India to register, get a vote, get a voice and speak out.

Don’t say you don’t think there’s anyone worth voting for. It was political and bureaucratic will that built Bangalore and Cyberabad and the rest of India as much as it was the spirit of the entrepreneur and all the rest of it. Remember that you have no right to complain about bad roads and poor infrastructure and power cuts in the summer if you don’t think it’s worth your while to vote.

If the economy looks gloomy, go vote! If you think there’s too much corruption, go vote! If you think a little corruption is worth the price of development, go vote! If you think you’re an Aam Aadmi, go vote! If you think there’s opression of the lower classes, go vote! If you think Mumbai is full, if you think the moral police suck, if you think there’s too much terrorism, if you think the railways are something to be proud of… Go vote!

Everyone gets a voice, the socialist, the so called opressed minority, the actually opressed minority, the majority, the Hindu, the Muslim, the Aethist, the maid, the auto driver, the CEO… Everyone gets a vote!

The more I think about the world and the state it’s in, the more I fret about unemployment and oppression and illiteracy and global warming, the more I realize I can’t be a passive observer anymore. I know, some day I will end up working for a non-profit. Maybe make money maybe not. But I feel I cannot bring myself to watch from the sidelines anymore.

It’s ironic, sad and kind of hypocritical to sit thousands of miles away and urge people to vote, I guess. But I assure you, I did my best to get a voter ID when I was back in India. And suddenly, bureaucracy interfered and no one was able to figure out of it’s my parents’ home I need to register from or my in-laws’… Yet another reason to go fight for the ID and vote. I wish I was back in India right now…

 

 

Just the Right High February 12, 2009

Filed under: The Way I Say It — The Goddess @ 3:28 am

So, as the husband sips coffee at the conference, I am left to figure out what I want to do with myself. Yesterday it was Sea World (more details after a second visit) and today, I decided to grab some lunch and head out sight seeing in around the Old Town of San Diego. But temptation prevailed and I ended up ordering a glass of red wine with my pasta at lunch. I’m not much of a drinker and for some weird reason, wine hits me higher than pure alcohol does. Last time I went out drinking, I had six or seven varied shots without really acting weird. The wierdest thing I did (as I was telling a friend today) was to loudly voice my opinion that a guy (everyone knew) was more bisexual than Shah Rukh Khan when someone else (quite drunk) said he was gay. I have no clue what more bisexual means. It was a slightly drunken opinion. But then of course, given the guy in question, no one realized I was high. They just thought it was the random madness that strikes when people go out drinking whether they actually drink or not. And most just agreed with me… 😛

So, where was I? Hmm… Yes. The right kind of high. The right kind of high is one where you can be perfectly aware of what you’re saying but still get away with it by claiming to be drunk. You have to be a little high to do that. You can’t be sober and claim to be drunk. No one is that good an good actor… 

So the right level of high is (as determined today) when you make constant typos but you go back to correct each of them. That means its up to you. You can either choose to be sober or choose to be drunk but save yourself some calories along the way 😛