Sunday, April 29, 2007

Coming undone...

I have been thinking for a while now about writing something about myself. But then, I wasn't too sure as I didn't want to go "public" but then I am comfortable about being me, so feel free to bitch in the comments section. This is only a small part of me. So don't you dare think "Bah! She is shallow."

The things i like (on a "deep" level) :

  • People . All kinds. Snooty, bitchy, innocent, raging alcoholics, serial killers...all of them. Why? Maybe because I did Psychology and I believe that we are what we are purely because of circumstances. The genes can be blamed a little; which means that the individual per say, is not "bad". I like seeing the other side of people which I strongly believe exists in each and every one of us. So, according to my "theory", everyone is good. ( You are free to exclude me though :P )

  • Music. Why is that "deep"? I associate music to people and events in my life. Every single day and every single person I have come come across. ( Now you know why I loop songs ). Music gets me highly nostalgic and I enjoy it, it freezes that person/ event in my mind. If I do listen to new songs, I connect them to people from my past/ present. So, every song on my playlist holds some meaning to me.

  • Home footwear. You think I am crazy. I am not going to defend myself for you might be right. I think it shows how guarded I am. I might seem like I let go with many people but I realyl don't. My past experiences have taught me how dangerous it can be to do so, although I don't like the idea of holding back. I need footwear 24/7. I can't walk barefeet. This is a habit I developed a few months back and it shows I have learnt.

  • Love. Yeah, yeah sounds supremely cliché. Love, to me in something purely internal. If you feel it, that will do. It does not need any justification or meaning. The person you love might hate you, and that inturn might hurt you. That hurt is superficial, it will go away (without alcohol as well). But at the end of the day, you feel love. I think any human being who feels love is blessed.

  • My face. Yes, I am self-gay despite all the flaws i possess. But this is not what you think it is. The way I look everyday reflects my mood. People who know me very well, which a hand full, can read it. It is not about a bad hair day or the lack of make-up. My face is highly transparent (or so I think). I like the way I show the world what I really am (although I have not been this way forever). They have to be smart enough to decipher it :P

  • Movies. I watch movies that I can relate to on some level. If I don’t know what the movie is about, I seldom agree to watch it. When I watch a movie, I become the character that is the center of attention in a particular scene. I feel exactly what they feel and I cry and laugh with them.

  • Beauty. I see beauty in every single thing around me. I might call something hideous just to seem “normal” and go with the group’s ideology. But in reality, I see a hint of beauty in the most “ugliest” object as well. I guess that is in artist in me thinking.

The things I like (on a "not-so-deep" level):

  • Autopsy. Yeah, you heard it right. And like I said, you are free to call me crazy. The first time I witnessed an autopsy, I felt more alive than ever. You see a baby smile at you and you feel warm from within, you see a dead body being chopped into tiny pieces, what do you feel then? I felt like I was evolving into a stronger person.

  • Ocean. Again, pretty cliché. I am a water sign, to start with and the ocean speaks volumes to me. After a tiring day in the city where you find all kinds of people everywhere and you interact with then constantly either directly or indirectly. At the end of all this drama, when I sit in front of the ocean, I feel like it’s been waiting for me to arrive. My moods sway according to the tides and we share an unbreakable bond.

  • Clothes. Woman thing. I am very keen about dressing in comfortable clothes that are stylish in their own way. I do not like repeating clothes. The clothes I wear mostly reflect my mood but then, I don’t think that is very noticeable. I don’t like brands, partly because I can’s afford them on a regular basis :P Off late, I have been trying to change my wardrobe due to the sudden weight gain which upsets me greatly.

  • Planning. I am not a very systematic person. But that does not mean I do not like planning. I think plans motivate me to act. That’s about it. I like knowing I have something to do; whether I do it or not, is a totally unrelated issue.

  • Analyzing. Should this be in the “deep” level section? Ah well. I try to analyze and rip every situation into tiny pieces and reconstruct them with various “what if” clause. This is pretty enlightening as well as entertaining at the same time.

The things I don’t like:

  • Hatred and any associated negative feelings. See? I can be normal. I think that the world goes around because of the energy that we, as human beings give each other. I guess you see where I am going with this. In a nutshell, passing of negative feelings from one person to another prevents one from evolving.

  • Hype. I dislike anything that creates hype. I think many people play along because they think they have to or they might be considered untouchables or something. For example: I seldom watch movies that create hype and unwanted drama, be it because of the story line or the cast. I do not appreciate hype.

  • Sun. If you live in someplace where you seldom see sun and hate that, please do visit Chennai. I am pretty dusky myself, under normal temperatures. And in Chennai, we are gifted to experience the joy of summer 8 months in a year. The maximum temperatures shoot up to anywhere between 40 to 45 degree Celsius and we are a developing country. Not all our buildings have air conditioning facilities. End result- I look like I had a freak accident at the tan salon.

  • Math. Something I will never learn to remotely like. I have tried all the possible strategies to get away from it. I took up Psychology hoping I won’t have to face the horror that is numbers but noooooooo..I had statistics. Bleeeh! I will continue my fight and I hope to lead a math-free life soon.

  • Not disliking too many things. Weird eh? True though. I don’t dislike too many things. I either learn to like or have a neutral stance about most things I dislike, which makes it tougher for me to make a distinction between the good, bad and ugly.

My life has been one great big joke,

A dance that's walked,

A song that's spoke,

I laugh so hard I almost choke,

When I think about myself.

~Maya Angelou

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Thursday, April 19, 2007

Am I making sense or is it the migraine?

Scott and I went to Ernavur ( a fishing community outside of Chennai) and spoke with several women who sold their kidneys to brokers and were cheated out of the majority of what they were promised. From there we followed the leads until we ended up in the office of someone who sits on the Transplant Ethics Committee who told us that they had unofficially sanctioned the organ trade for the last 13 years.

More than 500 people across the state of Tamil Nadu say they've sold their kidneys to organ brokers, in violation of a ban enacted in 1994. Since then, however, the agency responsible for enforcing the ban has frequently turned a blind eye. As a result, they were not able to take proper post-surgery care and were affected by severe health problems.

"We do everything in accordance with the letter of the law on paper, but we know that almost all of the documents we see are false," said a member of Tamil Nadu's Transplant Authorization Committee, who spoke to Wired News on condition of anonymity. "It is an open secret. It is either, approve a transplant with forged documents, or a patient is going to die."

Well, why do you think these people are driven to sell their kidney? Yes, they are absolutely poverty striken. Mostly, because of the Tsunami. It is very clear that the "dealing" is illegal. But how do you think this issue came out in the open. The Social Worker of this particular community , Eranavoor, where 36 women had sold their kidneys came forward to demand the cash they were promised. Even then, the (il)legality of the issue was not considered by the "victims" or the "Social Worker". I guess priorities change when one doesn't know if they are going to have the next meal.

Having said that, let me tell you the next scenario that I worked at- the nephrology department in a hospital. Here, majority of the patients, of all age groups, were undergoing dialysis. They mostly belonged to the lower socio economic backgroud, like the pwople who sold their kidneys. I came across the caregivers (mostly parents) of young patients who were desperate for money (one time dialysis costs Rs.900 and they had to undergo this procedure thrice a week till they find a kidney donor).

If you are still thinking what my point is, c'mon admit it. You are slow. I was in two scenarios- one in which I was trying to help children who were fighting for their lives and second in which I was trying to play my part in fighting against illegal organ (kidney) transplant. All of a sudden, I realized that I was supporting two causes that are against (almost) each other. What should really be done about this? Is there even a solution to this dilemma?

Scene 1-

What would you do if you became a mother at the age of 13 and 13 years later your daughter began having children? How would you respond when your daughter attempts to commit suicide by taking rat poison because her in-laws were harassing her for dowry she couldn't afford? When your daughter had medical bills she couldn't pay and the hospital threatened to kick her out on the street how far would you go? Would you sell a kidney to help her? How would you feel if after the procedure the broker you contacted absconded with most of the money she promised you AND you can't do anything much for a living as your body is faced with numerous complications?

Scene 2-

What would you do if your 12 year old son is struggling for his life? How would you react if your son was given a kidney that was NOT legally operated? How far would you go to save your son's life? Would you rather try to pay for his dialysis all his life or would you find a kidney broker and beg him to save his life? How would you feel if before the procedure you found out that hundereds of women are being cheated (financially) and have many physiological ailments because of the same broker?

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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Flash(y) News...

I was shocked, like many others to know about the shooting rampage that took place in Virginia tech on 16th April'07 which has left 33 people, including a gunman, dead . What shocked me even more was the sequence of events telecasted on many Indian "news" channels.

This is exactly how it goes. First, was obviously(?) the news about the incident in Virginia. The news that followed that was about Richard Gere kissing Shilpa Shetty on her cheeck on the stage during an AIDS prevention programme and how the actor's conduct didn't go down well with the Shiv Sainiks who demonstrated in Mumbai on Monday where Shilpa was shooting for her film Metro.
After 15 minutes of interviewing Shilpa Shetty and playing the "video" a hundred million times, the news reporter decided to go to the next important news which is undoubtedly an even which decides the future of our nation- Aishwarya Rai and Abhishek Bachan's wedding. What about the wedding, one might ask. It is not about how pointless this news or for that matter, this wedding is, it is not about how Indians give importance to the lousiest of events. It is about the place from where the ladoos for their wedding is going to come from. Shocked? Better be. And it is not like this news lasted for two or three minutes. 20 whole frikking minutes! It was carefully broken down into a series of sub-"news" scenes.

Firstly, the history about choosing this ladoo shop in Kanpur was highlighted after which the owner was interviewed. He says in Hindi, pretty shamelessly actually, about how, even if he is not allowed to remotely participate in the ceremony, he would send in 51 kilos of ladoo. Then, some random people expressed their happiness about the ceremony. Next, a few people spoke about how heart-broken and chronically depressed they were because the ceremony is being made an extremely private affair.

Wow! And we think about the "development" of our nation. It doesn't really take a rocket scientist to realize that our nation is going down the drain at a rapid rate with such indifferent and callous attitude of its citizens.

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Monday, April 16, 2007

She's breathing...

His thoughts struggle to stay in her memory,
As the dawn breaks, his face she will see,

He is safe in her head, his new adobe she thinks,
She will not let him go this time, in his arms she sinks,

His touch, his taste, that smile she sees again,
She misses him no more, his presence makes her sane,

He never loved her; she didn’t deserve his love,
His stare so cold, she still felt warmth, she wondered how,

All the sadness, all the pain, is all this fair in love and war?
He won’t look back, won’t love her back just like before,

Distance is not her enemy; he might be oceans apart,
Holding him in her heart, a new life she will start.

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Sunday, April 15, 2007

A for Apple, B for Bat...M for Money!

I have been in a pretty lousy mood as I hate studying for exams. I don't study but I hate the very idea of it. This was not true until I finished my undergraduation in Psychology. Is it because I am getting old to write exams? I think not. I believe that the drive to hate exams and college life in general was instilled by the college I stepped in for Masters in Social Work. I am 22 years old (chronologically. Mentally maybe a few a years younger under certain circumstances). But from the time I joined this "educational institution," I was made to feel like I was either 2 years old or 40 years old. Initially, I would do all my work on time and yet "get into trouble" some some trivial shit which I didn't even know existed! And then, I slowly stopped doing my work on time because I couldn't care less. Then, I almost stopped attending classes. I would go to college once a week, on an average. And then, I got into trouble. This felt a lot more satisfying. I earned it!

The professors are a whole other story in this college. This is how they converse and I am not exagerrating one bit to make this post sound funny or whatever.

Me: Sir, May I come in?

Prof: Es, fleese. ( Translated in human lingo as "Yes, please.")
Me: Sir, I haven't been keeping too well, the past week. Here is my leave letter. (YES! We give leave letters. The last I did that was when I was 12!)

Prof: I am not be care why you are can't able to came to callache. If you are be die, you are be die here. Attendence is be low for you and we are can't able letted you to sat for exams of yours. (Whew! Yes, I have to translate this into sane lingo in my head all the time and now I am proud(?) to tell you that I am an expert at it. By this he means, " I couldn't give a rat's ass about why you don't come to college. If you fuckin' die, you die here. You have low attendence and we cant fucking let you write your exams." Minus all the profanity.)

Me: I request you to excuse me this time, Sir. This will not be repeated.

Prof: Getted out! You are wrote a letter saying you are came to callache in regular from tomorrow. (" Get out! Give it to me in writing that you will be regular to college from tomorrow.")

This is only one of the many similar conversations between the professors I try to ignore and me. So this one time I ask for a recommendation letter and guess the hell what? They ask me for Rs. 1500 for 10 reco letters! Have you heard of any "educational institution" that does that? Hell freaking no. That is not even it. I was not carrying that much cash then so I told them I'd pay them the next day. But noooooo! The baby wants candy NOW. Even if they thought I would never pay them, that's insanely..umm..what's the word I am looking for? STUPID. Because they have all my original certificates and I intend to get my Masters degree. So, I borrow cash from a friend and pay them because I want to letters ASAP. And what happens? They won't give it to me right away. And they ask me to come the next day. So finally, I paid them the cash and didn't get my reco letters on time. This, again is only one of those incidents that highlight how insanely money-minded my college is.

Also, before I joined, it said in the handbook that admissions were purely based on merit (and quota system, of course!). I hope the word "purely" means what I think it does because half of my classmates i.e., around 25 of them paid their way into college. It's funny to think people are willing to pay for slow death. Seriously though, where does all this money go? We do not have a canteen , nor do we have water in the toilets. Oh oh but what we have, is a headmistress who owns an awesome awesome car. How did that happen?

One of the boys who is supposedly a junior almost made a physical move on a girl who also belongs to our college after having passed vulgar comments. He was drunk. In college premises. So this girl goes to the principal for help. Bad move. Why? Because this boy is the son of an obscenely rich prick who runs an NGO and well, let's just say this a-hole got himself a big house a few months after tsunami. So obviously, this rich prick "helps" the college. When this girl went for help to the principal, the boy was made to apologize. Period. When this girl brought in her parents, the principal begged them to let it go. We, as students protested against this. What happened? We were asked to shut the hell up.

Once I am done with these goddamn exams, I am planning to burn that place down (after getting back my original certificates, of course). Anyone who wants to join this noble cause or support it, may do so.

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Friday, April 13, 2007

Uncyclopedia unraveled!

What is Uncyclopedia?

The word "Uncyclopedia" comes from the Bad Latin word "Uncyclopædium", and originated in Time II. Three more-commonly-agreed-upon etymologies and four less-commonly-agreed-upon are commonly-agreed-upon.

From "Unus Encyclopædium"

The word "uncyclopædium" is said by some to have originated from the words Unus meaning one, and Encyclopædium, meaning an encyclopedia.
It therefore means The Only (authorative) Encyclopedia, which, according to various estoric sources was the original name given to the land of Uncyclomedia by Oscar Wilde.

From "Un-" + "Cyclos" + "Encyclopædium"

The word "uncyclopædium" is also said to be a portmanteau of the words "uncycle" and and Encyclopædium, meaning simply an encyclopedia with decreased number and impact of cycles on computational tractability.
The proponents of the theory (mostly computer nerds and programmers) say that leading "un" in the Uncyclopedia name is sometimes interpreted as coming from the word Unus meaning one (and say that it is actually an example of linguistic false friends) to give the expanded versions like "The Only Encyclopedia", "One Footed Tornado", or connection of the word with unicycles, either those of the graph theory or those of real world.

From Doctor Who

The occasional loon in the psycho ward has claimed that the word, in fact, came from an episode of Doctor Who. In the episode, The Doctor used a device called an "Uncyclopedia" (or occasionally "Oncylopaedia") to scramble all history in time and space to the user's advantage.
It has been considered one of the most worthwhile moments in television history, apart from the infamous Donny Osman Dart episode of the Rosie O'Donnell show. This is the most popular explanation for the site's name by Doctor Who nerds, but not by any sensible people.

What does Uncyclopedia have to say on Men?

“I think that God in creating Man somewhat overestimated his ability.”

~ Oscar Wilde on men

“There are two kinds of men. The ones who pull their cock out on the merry go round, and the ones that masturbate when their cock is out at the merry go round.”

~ Possibly George Carlin but im too buzzed to be sure on men

“What the hell... men went WAAAAAY better than women... Besides, I am one!”

~ God on the creation of men

Men are defined as a breed of dog that oddly resembles a human, nonetheless, more civilized and intelligent than "women", as women are a type of demon. The distinguishing trait being penises, unless they're she-males, in which case they're women. The penis is a tube-like object that is the cause of much distraction to men, especially when it comes to deciding whether to go to work or touch the penis all day. Men are factually known to be less intelligent than a half eaten dog brain. Their natural habitat is in front of the TV, where they watch football games and drink beer, sometimes emerging from the musky depths of their living rooms to die (if they can be bothered). A majority of men suffer from erectile dysfunction and are bald.

What Uncyclopedia has to say about women?

A woman is not a womyn or a wyf or a wyfman. She is someone who has not decided to affiliate with feminism or Middle English in any way. She is probably very normal, but in an attempt to prove male dominance, only one out of ten (male) doctors agree with this assessment.

For thousands of years, men have been searching for a final solution to the women problem. They have yet to execute any permanent measures and experts are beginning to admit grudgingly that women might be here to stay.
Notable characteristics include chocolate blood, 15 GHz multi-tasking capabilities, and an innate hunger for shopping.

I know this is one pointless post but thats how I abuse free web-space AND thats how much I am in love with NOT com. Sigh...

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Saturday, April 07, 2007

Unborn melody...

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Friday, April 06, 2007

Rescue her...

Flashes of the past haunted her mind again. This time, she felt every moment of it, when they went wrong, when they touched her. She thought back , one of those incidents prominent in her mind.

She was playing with her dolls. She loved them. They loved her back, she thought. She lived in her own little world with her dolls. The world where she was happy with them and chocolates and ice creams.

Her mom started working when she was 3 months old. She barely got to see her. Today, she felt extra lonely, a feeling no 6 year old ought to feel. She ran to her dad, "Daddy, play with me." He looked at her and said what she always heard him say , " They are watching me. They will get me." She never understood what he meant. Disappointed, she ran back to her room, where her dolls were waiting for her. She heard a knock on her door. Petrified, she hid behind the curtains. She knew he would open the door and come in, anyway. She could hear footsteps nearing her. She held on to the curtains as though it was a cloak of invisibility. She closed her eyes real tight that it actually hurt. She heard him pulling the curtains, he was getting closer. She froze like always. She knew what was about the happen. She knew what she was about to feel. Again, she wished the ground split open and she fell hundred feet below like she had seen in some sci-fi flick. Again, that did not happen.

He touched her shoulder. Suddently, she felt like she wasn't herself. She left her body, now she could see herself feeling ugly, helpless. She wished she could help what she was witnessing, what her body was undergoing. She stayed away from her body, in a dark corner of the room and watched. After a while, she saw him say something to her body. She did not want to hear it, but she moved closer. He said "Thank you, dear. Don't tell anyone what happened here. I love you and this is how people express their love. I will be back soon." She stood there, naked and used. Her body still shaking, she managed to get her clothes back on.

For the first time, she felt inner pain, growing inside her and what was worse? She knew this was not the end. She realized this was the beginning to her end. She stared at her sweaty palms, the ones he had used to touch him. "Am I a bad person?" she thought to herself.

She looked outside the window, saw children of her age playing, they seemed happy and carefree. Her innocence had been stolen forever today. It had been snatched away from her and thrown into the wrecks of humanity. Tears filed her eyes and for the first time, she cried all alone. Cried for her soft body that had been bruised by rough hands. Cried for her childhood that had been tainted with filth for the rest of her life.

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Sunday, April 01, 2007

Yes / No...

Ok, so today the man's folks AND the man came home. You are thinking "Who man? What folks?" Here is a quick run through of events and facts, for people who do not belong to India.

The concept of "Arranged Marriage" in Brahmin Community.

According to me, marriage is just a formality in which the couple tells the whole world they are together. It is a social institution. Only, if my family members heard me say this , I d be disowned or even worse, treated as an outcast.

"Arranged Marriage" is probably an alien term to a lot of you out there. In India, even in the year 2007 , it is sadly not. So, this is what happens. Traditionally, Hindu parents look for a prospective match for their son/daughter from their own community also known as arranged marriage. Elders in the family and parents seek the prospective match through word of mouth within the community. The use of jathakam (astrological chart at the time of birth) of the son/daughter to match with the help of a priest is common, but not universal. Parents also take advice from the brahmin priest who has details of many people looking to get married. Some communities, like the Brahmins in Mithila, use genealogical records ("Panjikas") maintained by the specialists.

Jathakam is drawn based on the placement of the stars and planets at the time of birth. The maximum points for any match can be 36 and the minimum points for matching is 18. Any match with points under 18 is not considered as an auspicious match for a harmonial relationship. If the astrological chart of the two individuals (male and female) achieve the required threshold in points then further talks are considered for prospective marriage. Also the man and woman are given chance to talk and understand each other in the duration anywhere from 15 minutes to one hour. Once there is an agreement then an auspicious time is chosen for the wedding to take place.

Here is what happens in a Brahmin community besides the above. The man and his parents visit the woman's house . She is made to wear a saree and serve coffee ( a beverage brahmin's cannot live without and I am not even exaggerating). And of course, act coy and the works. After which the man and woman are allowed to talk for a few minutes and confess their "undying" and "eternal" love for the stranger sitting next to them. Now, where do I feature in all of this? That is right, smartypants. I was the "woman" today. How did it turn out? Your guess is good! Disastrous. Why?

1. I do not believe in getting to know a person in a matter of 15 minutes which I think is the sanest part of me.

2. I cannot "act" shy to save my thumb.

3. I have not yet mastered the art of fake smiling without making it obviously fake.

4. I do not believe in a male dominated married life since I have been a witness to it all my life (No, I m not a raging feminst either. Equality is good).

Anyway, so my parents ordered food from outside for the "guests" and guess what? They won't eat till I say "Yes, I will marry him" while thinking "What's his name again?" So they sit around waiting for my answer for about an hour . You may ask why I did not tell them I m not up for this. Well, simple. This is how it works in our family and if I do something like that my family gets a bad reputation or something like that. I tell mom to tell them I say "No". But my mom wants me to say otherwise. I lock myself up in the loo because I am so frustrated with all of us. Thanks poopy ( thats my friend Preetha. I know loo and poopy in the same line cannot have two meanings to it. But hey, what do you know!) . Anyway, I was talking to her over the phone in the loo while my mom would not stop knocking.

Finally, they left abruptly. Sigh. What followed? Emotional talk, subliminal emotional blackmail and the like which also includes their concern for "leftovers". I asked my family not to follow this ritual anymore. My horoscope (which I do not believe in) apparenly says it is ideal for me to get married before November'07. So my grama asked me to find a guy for myself and let her know ASAP. Which is equally funny considering..well, my state of mind right now. At the same time, my family is very important to me.

I am sure you guys had a good read while my life gets twisted by the day. Proud to be a Brahmin! Woohoo!

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