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Indian-NESS August 10, 2009

Posted by deewane in Uncategorized.
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I think I am a little late to the party, everyone  else already seems to have seen, loved and forgotten this commercial which encaptures the madness of being Indian (that too in under 2 minutes). But if you aren’t late, are you really Indian?? (IST = Indian standard time :P)

Three August 9, 2009

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I want to declare once and for all that I am in love with three men. Unfotunately all of them died a long time ago. All three had a consuming passion for their art (oh and isn’t ‘consuming’ such a complete and beautiful word when used in the right context? Consume Consume Consume). The kind of passion for which people crave for, a passion which drives you to insanity, coz may be that’s the ultimate joy, nirvana.

Sahir Ludhianvi

Munshi Premchand

Saadat Hasan Manto

Lazy Sunday (Or writing about whatever the hell comes to mind) August 9, 2009

Posted by deewane in Uncategorized.
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Eating frosting straight out of the can with a fork, after a 39 hour fast can not possibly be a good idea. But I love (may be an illusion) how relatively flat my stomach feels.

I didn’t starve myself with the end purpose of having a flatter stomach, that was just a pleasant side effect! The starving happened because I have been planning to order some Indian food for the last 2 days (since my unassuming, simple and trusting brother gave me his credit card number for something important and true to nature now I want to misuse it [:D]) and as if right on cue, fall asleep early in the evening i.e. before ordering and wake up at 2:00 AM, inconveniently after the restaurant has closed down. Add to that the fact that I have practically nothing in my refrigerator, except for a couple of old, wrinkling apples (and the now history can of chocolate frosting which had about 3 whole tablespoons of the sweet stuff, charitably given to me by my neighbour when she moved out of the dorm), and about $3 in my bank, and that explains the 39 hour long fast. (Now I understand why any sane person would suggest that I borrow some money from family, since I can’t work (remember I am not American, am a student and don’t have the proper authority etc..), but the idea of doing the “asking” makes me all squeamish, so instead I often launch in to lores of my desperate situation till Dad gets a whiff of what I am hinting at and proceeds to ask me point blank, and then I go on to deny need of any money whatsoever. Before this I never knew I was so complicated!)

Mom is meanwhile making Dahi-bhalle back home and I hate her for having the motivation (besides the ingredients and resources)  to indulge in cooking that when her ONLY daughter is thousands of miles away from home pining for food, any food let alone the Indian kind.

I mean the craving was so intense that after googling images of kadhi I felt faint with longing and hunger (have I ever mentioned before that I haven’t been home in 3 years and last saw Mum about 2 years back and am still single? At this point I am ready to take any man who can follow instructions from a cook-book! I promise I’ll live to feed him if he lives to cook for me)

Since it’s only 11:00 in the morning and I have already dubbed the post (and the day) lazy, I think we can all sit back and relax and safely assume that nothing earth-shattering would be accomplished by moi today, like exercising may be!

But it’ll be completely dishonest of me if I were to lead you to believe that I am living a lifestyle equal to a health-nuts’ worst nightmare. Infact I have been quite disciplined about trying to meditate and trying to work out for atleast an hour everyday for the past several days. I have cut back drastically on carbs, sugar (err..well except for the frosting) and completely cut out milk, and milk only coz acne isn’t the hottest accessory someone can sport and I genuinely see a difference to deprive myself of something that I used to down like water. And can I just say that those Dole’s salad bags with the dressing (which I don’t like), nuts and all sorts of fun toppings in their own separate pouches are the greatest things ever! I never knew salad in a bag could be so much fun, those crunchy leaves and the dried pineapple chunks yummmmmmm, and let’s admit it, besides doing good things for general health it surely is also helping my body release endorphins by bucketful, how else do I explain the maniacal grin and the smugness my face contorts into while I am devouring the leaves, the almonds and the pineapple chunks along with the bag itself.

Now even though I had promised that today was going to be L-A-Z-Y, which for me translates in to spending the day short of peeing in a bag for fear of moving, I still have some agendas lined up for today, like spend some quality time trying to find a link streaming the latest bollywood release (do not judge, didn’t I already mention I have $3 in my account?)  and figure out what I want other than matar-paneer for dinner. Also ofcourse, keeping in the vein of my new and improved life I’ll again attempt to meditate for atleast 20 minutes. I never realized it’d be so damn hard. I mean I had known it would be hard but not hard for me, you know! I imagined all I’d have to do is sit cross-legged and will soon be floating away in the sea of enlightenment. Alas, once again my cockiness had mislead me about my own abilities. After spending the first two days of peeking at my watch at a regular interval of 2 seconds I have now graduated to keeping myself motionless for a total of 7 seconds at a stretch. Apart from the desire to develop a photographic memory (related to which a story Dad tells me often, the gist of which is that Swami Vivekananda when asked knew exactly the contents of page x of book n, and he credited the practise of meditation as the culprit!) another motivational force is based on hearsay, the attainment of perpetual bliss.

I believe with all my heart that we as human beings are complete in ourselves, capable and responsible for our own happiness, and while “other” things that usually keep a person busy throughout life like work, family, hobbies and charities etc. are all well and good but they may or may not form a part of everyone’s life. They may or may not keep you happy, they may or may not make you suffer. But the stillness of thought and mind that a person is promised through meditation (apart from the aforementioned perpetual bliss) supposed to help you sail through the tough times as easily as wading in a pool of noodles (Patch Adams 🙂 ) is just too attractive a prospect to not devote just a measly hour to in a day. I also realize that it also sounds just as good and kooky as the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow, but the day someone, with the credibility of Gautam Buddha, says that there indeed is a pot of gold at the end of every rainbow I would be on the next bus to Niagara Falls and the sure-shot rainbow that place has :).

So ummm…yeah , movie, dinner and 30 minutes peering at the watch out of the corner of my eye should take care of 4 of the 24 hours. Rest of the day I’ll sleep! Sounds like a good plan to me.


Oh Mac how I hate thee! August 5, 2009

Posted by deewane in Uncategorized.
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I never wanted to close the comments on my post titled ‘Letter’ quite the opposite actually but it’s the Mac in my university library computer that’s doing things that I don’t want it to do. Can I say once and for all that I hate Mac and LOVE PC?!?
Thank you

P.S. May be Macs aren’t so dumb after all, it wouldn’t publish this post after several attempts!

Letter August 5, 2009

Posted by deewane in Uncategorized.
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Dear Dad,

Let me start off by saying that there couldn’t have been a father more concerned or wrapped up in his children’s future and success than you. The thought of seeing his kiddos lead a comfortable and cushy lives almost consumes every second of your existance. I also undertstand that you can not help it.

Let me also add that I appreciate how you have the ability to calm me down when I am hyperventilating over menial things. How you stand with a brave face when I assault you with my honesty about my feelings, every movement, each nuance, something that not many parents have to face I think (well an example of that is my brother, from whom it’s difficult to get out even a whoop of joy for something as simple as winning a game on Wii, as well as something as grand as winning the lottery!)  I realize that I definitely lie on the other end of the spectrum of being stoic when it comes to expressing how I feel, especially to you. Many times I don’t realize that instead of telling you about the actual problem I just tell you about the anguish it’s causing me. But I do realize how utterly confused and helpless it must leave you feeling, especially considering the distance between us and how used to you are to taking care of things that trouble us (your family) and well, how used to we are to you taking care of things for us!

I don’t think I want to apologise for that. Because I feel it’s my prerogative to tell you all that stuff. You are, for want of a better term, my punching bag, someone to whom I express all my frustrations and disappointments, my anger, my fears and also my joy.(And to be perfectly honest you asked for it :P)

Now I realize that it’s been a long time since I have given you any reason to smile. It is but perfectly normal for you to assume that I am spending my days here digging my grave and readying my self to lie in it. Let me assure you that is not so! I am for better or for worse a person sturdier enough to withstand the storms. I won’t do it happily, I will allow myself to get resentful toward the “whatever” who is making me go all through that, I will rant and rave, but I will try. And that’s all I am capable of doing at this moment.

But I am learning. I don’t think smiling through ones troubles is an ability we are born with. We learn from our mistakes and our experiences and need the support of our loved ones through that learning process.

But, may be , what I have failed to see all through my learning process is how rapidly that is draining the energy from you. So here is my appeal to you can you continue to be there for me, telling me how awesome I am, how an absolute genius and still not get perturbed my how I burn myself over every little problem? I am 25 remember? I am allowed to be stupid and naive simply because i don’t know any better. And I know that you think that I don’t need to go through that phase of learning since you have already done it for me, but believe me I do. However much you tell me about your own experiences in the hope that I will absorb all that and emerge radiating the knowledge but the truth is that your stories make me hungry to have my own! Something that I can share and laugh over and learn from!

And now coming to my current state of melancholy, you know I don’t believe in religion, in fact I have a perversion toward it, because so far I have only seen the negative side effects of it more than the good it does. But I do believe in God, or the Power or whatever it is (and yes I do think it is highly unfair that we are not all born knowing what the heck we are doing on this earth, that would just make things so much more simple!) and owing to all that our recent (and not so recent) conversations have been about, the books that I am reading (which almost fall in to my hands) and the stuff that i have been thinking about, I think it is necessary for me to may be brood. Like you say, only when things get so uncomfortable that we can no longer bear them do we actually get up and do something drastic to change them. Now that should not lead you to think that I might not do what seems right in the physical world because I am so drawn in to the meta-physical. It may take me longer than normal but I will do the “other” stuff as well. But in the process I don’t want to let go of the urgency and the misery that I am going through, because even though frightening and painful, I do believe that it is leading me somewhere wonderful. I read and hear about people who have achieved absolute salvation and are in a “happy” state ALL the frikkin time. I want that for myself Dad, I want that desperately.

Now all this just might be my imagination steering me in to thinking that enlightenment is what I should be working for when in fact I should just be worrying about the submission date of my next assignment. Let me reassure you that I will worry about the submission date as well but I also want to make something of the feelings that come of all that worrying. Mainly I want to convert all those feelings of worry and panic in to something wonderful i.e. a state of constant bliss. And I am doing that. No let me correct myself, I am TRYING to do that.

I read in a book that there are three ways of telling that we are truly blesses:

  1. That we were born as human beings capable of conscious thought;
  2. That we are born with or develop a desire to sought out the eternal truth, the path to enlightenment;
  3. That we find a Guru who can help us on our journey.

These might not be the exact words but definitely contain the essence of those words. And for better or for worse, and atleast for the the time being, you are my Guru Dad.

Now why do I want you to trudge through all these 1000 odd words of nonsense that I am spouting? This is just another attempt from me to tell you how I feel and also how I want you to feel about me. It is difficult to control what others are going through, but as a part of this universe I have a duty, nay, a right to attempt to change the things my way! So I am telling you to stop worrying about me Dad even though I won’t, but I have to worry about me don’t you see? How else will I change that if I don’t even experience it? And I have to change it. I know it, You know it and whoever it is that’s making me worry knows it.

You have to work with me Dad, understand that what I am trying to achieve or want to try to achieve is not easy. It’s surprising that we as human beings are ready to endure all the pain and problems that a simple surgery (like getting your appendix out) might cause, we anticipate and expect it, ready ourselves for it and when it happens we just sigh and say but that had to happen. But a surgery as major as changing how our brain works, we want it to be completely pain free! Now that’s just not realistic now, is it? So it is all good, it’s all going to be good, I am working on it, on being happy ALL the time. Now what’s more comforting and cheerful than that 🙂

Love always,


P.S. I am sure you read that post titled Sharabi, now I understand that that concerns you, no parent would ever want (or want to know about) their child being in that situation, add to that the onus of being Indian, I can undertand what a shcok it was to you. But Daddyji I am 25, human and in the U.S., such things are waiting to happen! Don’t get too worked up about that. Rest assured I am being safe (like ensuring that we aren’t driving around and at home with a person I trust aka Bhai) and definitely NOT doing it regularly, in fact it was the first time in the 3 years over here. We are good kids 😛 and that’s all that I want to say. I will leave a comment in this post so that reaches your mailbox and you get around to reading it ASAP.

Another thing I wanted to add was that all that I throw up in my post in this blog, that’s almost like purging for me so you end up seeing the worst of what I am feeling (and will hopefully also see the best of it). I write when I am desperate, I force myself to write then because it makes me feel better but that doessn’t mean that that’s all happening around and in me. Like did I tell you that I had my ipod on at full volume and was dancing away like a mad woman in my room just the other day? Well I was!