Wednesday, 5 December 2012

'Job Interview' Reference Guide

I was having a tough day today, and thought would publish one of those posts that I have written in advance for days such as these. And then, I checked the calendar, to realize that today is Wednesday, and no other but Work could go today. So yes, a little less enthusiasm and more of a home-work-feeling is what I am feeling as I type.

So whether you are appearing for campus, or heading for an interview for your next switch, here are quick pointers of what you must always keep in mind.

  • Dress for Success, because as everyone knows, the opposite person makes your first impression in the first three seconds of when he sees you, and you sure wish to make that first imprint sharp enough.
  • Be on time, no matter what. No one would like to wait for conducting an interview. In case the reasons are unavoidable, make sure you call and clearly communicate that you are delayed. Mention the approximate time of arrival too, so that the other side can re-plan accordingly.
  • Sit straight throughout, even when waiting for the interview to start. Everyone wants to see smart, attentive employees at work. A slouchy posture would make you look lazy, and that is not what they wish to hire you for.
  • Behave sharply on the way - while you park your car, in the elevator, at the reception. You never know who may notice you, and gather an image.
  • Always have a spare Resume copy and a  pen with you. Makes you look prepared.
  • Do your homework before arriving. About the profile, about the company, about the hiring process. This reflects on your interest, and goes to show that you are keen on taking up the job.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Mobile Phone Etiquette

  • Keep the volume acceptable – low is best, medium is acceptable, high a total No. And switch the phone silent at Concerts, Cinema, Dinner table, any other closed or personal space.
  • When in middle of the conversation, do not automatically give your phone the First priority. Pick if you must, and tell them you are in middle of something, and that you would have to call them back.
  • For office, set a formal tone. You don’t want to be identified as that person who has the latest dance number as his or her ringtone.
  • Just as was the case with looking at your watch in the middle of a conversation, looking at your mobile phone or worse still, checking on your messages sends the same signal to the people you are keeping you company. That not only are you bored, you are getting rude as well.
  • Call back on the same day, for any call you have to interrupt or cut short on.
  • When texting someone you are not on regular texting terms with – be a little formal, and include your name at the end. It’s a little too much in this fast life to expect of someone that they will save your number across years. And anyways, a little formality never killed anyone. Right?

Monday, 3 December 2012

Dismiss the Greys

My day today did not really kick-start, and I took the complete morning to let the grey clouds to finally move past my mind. December always does this to me, makes me feel like I am not doing enough in life, not going at the right pace with it, and not acting to the best of my potential. I am not even sure if any of it really is true or is it just the fear of time slipping out and another year passing by.

What got me out of my trance is something good, though. A simple sentence, which just lifted my spirits. 

Something close to this -

Someone else - "Do you miss being with someone?"
My friend - "Oh yes, I do. Just like I miss taking exotic yearly vacations, not having a restaurant of my own, or even winning the Olympics in weight lifting category"

Well put, I must say. 

You cannot let life pass by, waiting for something wonderful to happen to you. Instead, you have to live it to the fullest despite all the deltas. May be everything in Life is not for you. Should that stop you from making the journey worthwhile? I guess not.

Coming to the post of the day, which I have not yet started. I am losing just a bit of motivation for writing for the lack of feedback on this blog. I mean, hardly anyone is commenting, liking or even criticizing this space or its contents. Come on people, I know you are visiting. (Thanks to Blogger stats). Won't it be kind to leave a comment, or say a Hi on Facebook. Rather than just coming in, staying for a minute and silently saying ta-da. I really would understand even if you have no kind things to say to my baby (AllThingsSixx), but please, please speak up.

Now, moving on to the Sixx things for the day, since this has been a largely personal post so far, I would disclose you some secrets about myself. On how I lift my spirits on days when God does not make me read any of the inspiring text like the one above. 
  • Put on some perfume - yes, may be the most expensive one in your collection. No one deserves it more than you today. By the way, putting on red or fuchsia lip color has the same effect.
  • Listen to your favorite music, may the one that can make you think of brighter things or days.
  • Food is my savior on such days. Ditch the rules, and eat all the yummy things that you can manage until there is no room for more. If you are not into eating so much, then cooking is the next best thing. Cooking, as the wise say, is therapeutic.
  • Call up anyone you do not feel close to and get them to talk - about the weather, about their domestic help, about the latest trends, about movies. Anything impersonal, basically.
  • Watch reality television, just for the senselessness of it.
  • Take on house chores. Get it in order, clean the hidden corners, DIY some art.

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Better your Shopping Spree


We have talked of sale time blunders to watch out for earlier on AllThingsSixx. But of course, we all know that Sale is not what lasts all twelve months. It is Shopping that does. And that is one exercise, we all, at all points, think about optimizing. To make the most out of it, get everything we would like to while still staying in budget.
  • Make a shopping budget. Depending on your shopping habits, break it up into weekly, fortnightly or monthly amount and stick to it. I usually use my phone to key down whatever I spend and reduce it from my budget for the fortnight.
  • Rely on different places for different kinds of items you usually shop for. Within the same city, there is bound to be a mix of expensive and not-so-expensive outlets or markets. Try and mix them both by relying on different places for different kind of clothes. I usually buy my flats from all over the place, but stick to the shop whose make fits me the best for high heels. Get the idea?!
  • Buy basic items like lingerie- tights- tanks etc. at Sale. More or less, there is nothing like trend in this area, and sooner or later, you would need these. So why not make the hay while sun shines, that is, shop for it when the sale is on.
  • Mix both expensive and inexpensive buying in one trip, so that there is room for more in your next one. Mix expensive items like bag, with lesser expensive items like scarves, accessories etc.
  • Look for deals on make-up products, which is almost always the case, even if it is not advertised. Try and haggle, (yes, even on  the most expensive product stores), and you would end up getting makeup brushes, kitties, nail paints, or foot creams for free.
  • Be proactive and look around for options in advance specially for items you know you will wear only once or twice like wedding wear or that white business suit which you indeed would wear only once a year.

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Three Mistakes of My Life

about 
Written by an Indian writer Chetan Bhagat, the book is a work of English fiction.

rating
1/5 

up(s) 
The Only saving grace of the book is its cost; Rs.100 for the original copy, at least the reader does not end up feeling cheated on money, only the time.

down(s) 
The author has written this book with a clear intention of selling the most rather than writing the best.

the plot 
The story belongs to 3 friends, Omi, Ish and Govind and the last character doubles up as the narrator. The story is set in a small town in Gujarat, and is given as a justification for Govind’s incline towards making money in the early half of the book. The other 2 characters are shown as typical 20 year old, without any direction or concrete plan for the course of their lives. These friends share a common interest in cricket, a sport close to the heart of most men born Indian. The story unfolds onto some basic ideas – business, love-lust and Communism.

To make the first mistake of the life, the narrator invests all his and his friends’ savings in an over ambitious deal of a shop which is destroyed in a massive earthquake. This mistake makes Govind feel guilty for an incorrect decision made. The second mistake is made when Govind gives in to the persistent passes made by Ish’s sister, and sleeps with her. As both his friends find out one after the other, accusing him of crossing a moral boundary, the first point in the bible of code between friends, Govind finds himself falling in the eyes of both his friends as a show of lack of character and chastity. The last mistake is set amidst Godhra riots when to save one of the Muslim kids being trained to become a cricketer by Ish, both Ish and Govind become witness to Omi’s death, who is bound to a communal Hindu party, as payment for a debt taken from his uncle.

The glorified mistakes in the book lack strength – why would one blame oneself for a natural calamity which has taken away your lifelong investment? And there is something called insurance which the self professed intelligent Govind has chosen to ignore completely. Still, this is the only mistake which still portrays some life. The next mistake, when Govind falls for Ish’s sister Vidya, there is hardly any love shown between the two. The only facts mentioned are that the female is very beautiful, and is more than ready to get active in the protocol for making babies. Some intimate and first love moments are thrown in here and there, but I fail to understand who smiles these days reading that ‘she touched my hand gently’. The easiness of making advances at her maiden home for a girl lacks practicality, and is very story like. The 3rd mistake is not very convincing either, when one of the friends dies in the riot. This is a bit of a saving grace after the shallow second mistake, but I could not comprehend how Govind holds himself responsible. The narrator sustains the first couple of years with these mistakes, and one day after, overcome by guilt and grief, pops up sleeping pills, and is rescued by our dear writer, to whom he has been narrating the story. The story ends like all such novels do, all the live characters coming together and hugging each other, thus forgiving and forgetting the past.

The language of the book is plain English, with no difficult words or literary phrases. The ingredients of friendship, cricket, love or lust and the great Hindu-Muslim divide in India is used to touch the feel-good and feel-bad points of the common man. To add a lit of glitter, there is even a short trip to Australia, featuring a line or two about inexhaustible cricketers and topless women.

verdict 
A total thumbs down.

Friday, 30 November 2012

Winter Love

Untitled #14
#1 - Mittens are a rage in winters. Choose bright ones to bring in some cheer to the grey skies.

#2 - Aren't these printed closed boots an eye soother from their plain leather cousin? Delightful.

#3 - A striped muffler is a must have to add some drama to your old plain sweater. The multicolors in this one just make it sweeter.

#4 - Ear mufflers are cool, suave, and would keep you warm when the temperature dips its lowest. The rich colored velvet adds sheen.

#5 - Head gear in winters is a must have because I am so sure you will have more of no-head-wash days.

#6 - A overcoat in a feminine color would make all other heads turn in either admiration or envy.

Thursday, 29 November 2012

DIY Files - Part III

This month's DIY brings to you something from my mother's kitchen. 

This chutney tastes best in all seasons, specially in Winters and is a great accompaniment with anything and everything under the Sun.

You need - 
Put all the ingredients into the jar and beat using the bar until a viscous paste is formed.
  • Aamla
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Green chillies
  • Onion
  • Salt 



Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Offices vary, this stays

Across professions, people, organizations and generations, there are some things that always remain the same no matter which workplace you head to. 
  • The water cooler gossip - the most important area where all the news would originate, and then circulate. Be it a fresh spat your coworker has had, or a new policy which is coming in soon, Water cooler is the perfect place to keep your information up to date.
  • Bunch of fresher girls for the year - most of whom will have a brand new wardrobe. They would be younger, fitter, chirpier, sweeter. Of course, the world is yet to dampen their energy.
  • A posh old man with an air of authority about him - usually a senior guy in the area, who has grown up the ladder and stuck for a while. Everyone respects him. He is quiet, and reserved. Each time he is seen around, people adjust themselves, and sober up.
  • Brand posters that don the pillars and walls - of course, every workplace, big and small has brand posters, about the capabilities, processes, values, their products, the brand - it is an endless list. 
  • One super hot woman the whole office eyes - who would dress very sharp, have perfect makeup and would around clanking her heels. Yeah?
  • A noisy team that will always make much ado about nothing. Most likely the one who has the most easy work to resource ratio.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

~.~.~Its a Happy, Happy, Birthday!~.~.~

Every since AllThingsSixx started, you have supported it by taking time out to read it, providing the most valuable feedback, and even contributing to it in the Sunday guest series (here, and here).

It is your birthday today, and AllThingsSixx wishes to you the best year ahead.






Happy Birthday, Dude! May God make your coming year the best one. :-)

Monday, 26 November 2012

Life of Pi

Having read Life of Pi exactly two years ago, I have waited for the movie to release as soon as I learnt it is being made, and boy, am I impressed.
  • Direction is crisp, the pace is just right. Neither rushed nor slow, at any point. Depiction of Pondicherry, India, especially the opening of the movie is very warm.
  • All the actors have done an outstanding job. I am in love with both Irrfaan Khan and Suraj Sharma at the same time. Tabu reinstates that Hollywood is where she truly belongs. Adil Khan depicts an Indian male and father is true colors as Pi''s dad. His performance is powerful, and moving.
  • Movies made out of Books more often than not loose out what the author intended to put across but Ang Lee surprises you. Every important event and emotion conveyed in the book is put across in the movie - visuals, dialogues (though minimalistic) and performances all come together to bring out the text alive. 
  • Two instances from the book were not present in the movie, and I was just a little bit disappointed there because I could not wait to see how would the director depict those. Not sure why he omitted them?  Trivia : for those who have read the book, can you remember which of the two were those?
  • Much of text has been expressed concisely. Like the emergency in India from back in the 70s announced on radio. The character of Pi is also given ample time to build, and relate to.
  • Some of the scenes may come across as gross, specially for herbivores like me. Some amount of flesh and blood and carnivorous-kind-of -things are depicted. But that is expected from a movie with a Bengal tiger, right?

Life of Pi is a must watch.  

The book had become one of the best books I had ever laid my hands on. Personally, the movie too has made its way to be one that I know I will watch time, and again.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Striking a Balance within the Mad Rush

This year has been a great year for me in sixx aspects.
  • Great Show at work and climbing up the ladder kind of stuff.
  • My first 21K.
  • More quality Time with my family.
  • Enjoying doing up my new home.
  • Lucky enough to make a few quality relationships.
  • And a perfect weekly routine coming together.
Boy, believe me that is a LOT of hard work, especially if you have a demanding job like mine and a growing son. But I have constantly believed that you can have the cake and eat it, as long as you learn to time-box the whole thing. :-) 

So without wasting much time.., presenting here are the sixx learning’s of my life about work-life balance.
  • Time box every activity. 
Never do anything beyond one hour. Whether it’s cooking or doing a presentation for your boss or fixing a P1 issue at work. And most important, time-box Facebook - not more than 15 minutes in a day.
  • Plan, Plan and Plan
Especially the cooking schedule. I love to cook for my family. Hence I put together an excel clearly stating what type of food we eat every day for a week. Once I had this template, it was easy for me to make sure every meal was healthy and well balanced. At work -Always have a weekly plan and weekly milestones, Never start work without a plan or a tangible target.
  • Innovate,Problem Solve and Improve
Whatever you do, constantly innovate and problem solve and help others. The quality of our work goes a long way in making up for the fact that we as working mothers are available only for about 8-9 hours in a day. Always try and make a home at work. A woman can make a big difference when it comes to building great teams. Humility and a nice smile should be the ingredients to make our days brighter at work.
  • Delegate and Outsource
Keep only the core with you and outsource the rest. Get a maid to completely take care of the house, and have a set routine for her. Focus only on key activites like cooking and planning.
  • Fitness Routine both Mental and Physical
Running works the best for me. It clears my head and makes me more productive. Choose whatever suits you the best. But 45 minutes of physical activity in a day should be no-compromise area. Read 30 minutes a day and meditate fifteen minutes daily.
  • Socializing
Limit it to 5 minutes a day at work. :-) Believe me it works.The lesser you talk, the more you work and the more people respect you. Look for quality relationships and not quantity.

Well, I am still not there yet. I still need to look at my perfect plan for the week. And I am hoping the list above will serve as a time tested tool for one and all, specially the many gorgeous women out there. So just go for it..!!

Today's guest post is brought to you by my friend Saambavi who I have known since September 2010. Extremely diligent with her work, she is one of the most productive working mom that I have (and probably will) ever met. She loves what she does, does it better than the rest, all with a smile, exceeding expectations on all fronts - personal, professional, social.

Every Sunday, the forum is open for you all to share your views to the rest of the world through this blog. The arena is unlimited, the theme similar - anything that touches you, and can help someone else, in six points should make up a post. 


Saturday, 24 November 2012

Safety measures in a Cab

I live in New Delhi, India. Known to be one of the most liberal, and the most unsafe city for women to reside in. Every female here, educated , illiterate, working, non-working, smart or naive have their own set of safety protocol that they follow.

Being a working woman specially means that you would have to take a cab at some point or the other, for work or otherwise. And cabs are one of the most vulnerable places to be in as far as crimes against women are concerned.

Here is my checklist that I keep in mind when I am in a cab.
  • It is a good idea, always, to know the route, if not exact, then at least approximate. Would help you against being duped or being taken elsewhere other than your intended destination. Of course, this precaution is of little help if you are in a foreign land. Foreign here is any unknown area and not Only outside of India.
  • Do Not Sleep to save yourself. While this may seem obvious, I have witnessed many people who sink into a slumber as easily as they do in the vehicle's back seat, specially in their office cabs. While your office may have you covered, your safety is your own responsibility first.
  • Be attentive to the driver's actions, specially any calls that he makes. These are some of the perils of the mobile phone, when he can inform someone where is he headed. His informing anyone over the phone of the end point or probable route of the journey should alarm you to some extent.
  • Don't curtain your ears with anything - be it music with the ear plugs or that phone call you wish to make - postpone it when your commute is done.
  • If traveling at night, always keep a defense prop handy - it could be a pepper spray, a knife or even an umbrella. Like they say, 'Better Safe than Sorry'.
  • Look aggressive and sharp even if internally you feel soft like a pulp and scared for life.When you cant fight them, it is better to scare them.

Friday, 23 November 2012

Love affair with a Saree

Known as the longest piece of clothing that can be worn without a single stitch, a Saree has become a symbol of Indian woman across the globe. In today's fast blending culture, as Indians move towards more practical every day wear, Saree still remains a go-to attire for all events formal and semi-formal.

Every woman in India, has a basic plain Saree with a simple border. In case you do not, ask your mom.mom-in-law. I am 100% sure they would own one. I shall style such a Saree today, and make it stand out for a variety of occasions.

Look One
Depending on the color of your saree, pick any other color to go with it. I picked hot pink to go with peach because this is my favorite combination of all times. Blue and Green (like the peacock), Turquoise and Brown, Yellow and Purple are some alternative color combos you could experiment with. Basically, pick a color different from your saree as a theme, and use it in everything - your jewellery, accessories, nail paint.

Look Two
The most important piece of this look is One Statement piece. It could be a necklace, a waist belt, or like I have picked a clutch. Style all other jewellery around this main item and you are sure to make heads turn.

Look Three
In case it is an occasion you wish to play safe on, the conventional look can never disappoint. Pick either gold or silver (depending  on whether any of these two hues are present in the saree). In case there is neither, pick the one which looks more in tune with your saree's base color. Use different pieces in same (or similar) color. The one-set look with same earrings-necklace-ring is extinct with the dino's, and is a total No.
 Look Four
Best for day events, this is an easy-breezy look when you wish to stand out, by blending in colors in one look. No piece is big enough to attract attention, and the look is minimalistic, yet classy.



Look Five
If drama is what you like, this is your look. Big chunky pieces in contrast colors, each breathing a life of its own. Word of caution - This look may need a lot of panache to carry.


Look Sixx
 Best for those who love to experiment, this look may need some thought to create from your existing jewellery. Pick the pieces you like and connect them in color or style. For example, here, both the cuff and the clutch have hues of peach or orange (which goes with the saree). The blues in each of these pieces are connected to other jewellery (ring, earrings).

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Get Happy High - Not Horrible High

Friday is the busiest day in its own way, for the world is making merry for the weekend that has almost arrived. Plans are being made in every bay at work and the possibilities of drinking joints are being argued. 

Inspired from some of the most unusual tales that I have heard in my circle of friends and colleagues that can happen only post an alcohol night, I thought its best to summarize all the lessons learnt to have a Happy High and not a Horrible High experience.
  • Giving your credit card to someone else for paying. You may surely regret it later.
  • Dialing your ex to let them know how much you miss them
  • Telling your friends the nitty-gritty details of your love life.
  • Puking right where you are (or worse, on the person closest to you). Now seriously people, get familiar with the way to the restroom before hand so that you may rush there if need be.
  • Getting eccentric like constantly speaking about yourself. Trust me, no one cares. They too are almost as drunk as you are.
  • And Driving, of course. Though DUI in India is not considered even close to as serious an offense as in most other countries, but that by no means, makes it acceptable. Respect others' and your own Life, and call a cab.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

You new, in here?

IT & ITES industry are two out of many others that have the highest iteration rate. It is arguable how healthy a practice it is. Personally for me, it is all about what an opportunity has to offer, and whether there is a pressing need which is forcing me to move out of my current organization.

Across organizations, roles, and the level, here is a quick checklist to refer to when you find yourself with a new employer.
  • Get to know the policies and procedures  because they are the backbone of any organization. Many people, I know, never invest any time in this activity, and depend on older employees for a offline knowledge transfer. In my experience, it is best to read the book first, then ask for a synopsis, and finally make your own judgement.
  • Observe environment and tune your radar Coming in from a flat hierarchy, I greeted my new manager with a "Hi". It was only some days later that the expectation here is more towards "Good Morning". All organizations these days profess an open culture, but people make organizations, and they may not all be comfortable with the new age "Heys" and "Hi's". Observe the environment keenly for first few days, and tune yourself to the wavelength which is most accepted.
  • Acquit yourself with palpable areas like the general management style, growth rate, management expectations etc. This is best done through observation, or discussion with your own senior or fellow team mates.
  • Email signature is your identity in the distributed world. Most of the times, more than half of the people that you would be working with would never get to see you. And to them, your email signature is your strongest reflection. Have a crisp signature which states your name, designation, role, and contact details. If the role demands so, you may state your technical expertise, or any certifications that you have taken. In case you work at specific timings, it is a good idea to mention so in your signature.
  • Time slot your office hours. Coming in and moving out at same or similar times gives a good impression and makes you a more dependable employee as most people would soon observe whichever time you are following and will get used to your being available in that slot. As you may have noticed too, it is all about impression.
  • Get to know people within and outside the team because networking is always a good idea. Don't box yourself within your own team. It is outside that you will get fresher perspectives, ideas and opportunities.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

P.S. I Love You

about 
Cecelia Ahern in first English book touches on Love, but ends up writing a book on dealing with the unexpected pains of life.

rating
2/5

up(s) 
It is a light read, and an undercover self-help agent, as one step at a time, each chapter entails overcoming grief in some little way.

down(s)  
The traces of chick literature thrown in here and there lack spark.  The language is overtly simple, making the book a shallow read. The expected turns the story takes after first some pages turns every upcoming chapter predictable enough. To make matters worse, the story line has a little too many characters, most of who do not add any value and could have been easily omitted without making a difference to the book.
the plot
At 30, Holly is dealing with the loss of her lover and husband, Gerry, and not only is her heart in pieces, but her mind knows no way in which she can handle her days. Her world consists of a large family, a group of friends, and memories of her perfect yesterday which seems to be lost. She is without job, and worse still, she is without hope, when one day, she stumbles upon a series of letters her husband has written for her. He instructs her to open one letter every month, thereby guiding Holly to overcome her grief, and start afresh with life. The rest of the book spans these letters, and how Holly comes to terms with herself and gets her life in order.

verdict
If you must, go grab the movie instead – the 500 pages of read is hardly worth as the book lacks any takeaway thought.

Monday, 19 November 2012

Someone, Somewhere - Really?!

About a month ago, my first ever published work went online for DW's blog Women Talk Online.
 
Because birthdays are a perfect time to recall of experiences and lessons that life brings along, what could be a better time than today to re-post this on my blog. A first in its history, the blog is going to post written out of experiences of a purely personal kind.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

As I pick my tablet, the glass surface reflects back a familiar face. A “been there, seen that” expression has crept in. Wisdom has arrived, a little each day.

I am completing my last year in the twenties next month, and if I were to ask everyone for their reactions, they’d see me as unsettled- unsettled in a womanly way, without marriage or children. Having a job for which I had slogged from my kindergarten days until around my twenty first birthday is a side-dish: good to have, but not all that important.

Over time, I have realized that marriage in India is not seen as a choice you make, or a chance that you stumble upon. It is a rule you have to live by, whether you believe in it or not.

Today, I shall tell you about the lessons I learnt during my encounters with six potential husbands.

Candidate One - was at a time which now seems like ages ago. I was still a junior at work, struggling to find my feet in an industry steeped in recession. I met him when both our families were present. I was in traditional attire holding a tea tray (yes, it is difficult to believe that it indeed was me) and as you may have guessed, there was hardly any time to talk or get to know or for that matter, even get comfortable. Forced to give an answer based on the brief five-minute encounter, a “No” from my end seemed like the easiest escape. No one involved, including my mother, was amused. 

Lesson: I need more time than five straight minutes to decide on my life partner. 

Candidate Two - was at the oh-so-right-age of 25. Everything seemed right at the surface, the background, the education, the flair. Only the guy was a suffering from commitment phobia and it took too many meetings to figure it out. 

Lesson: Just because someone is meeting potential partners, does not mean they really are ready for marriage. Spot the phobic ones early. 

Candidate Three - met him through our familiar circle- very sharp and sophisticated, but totally self-obsessed. Thankfully, did not take long for me to figure this one out. I think it was our second meeting, when he ordered a dessert, only for himself, totally forgetting he was not dining alone. 

Lesson: While a knight in shining armor is what we may really want, compassion is what takes life through, especially when two people are not in love. 
 
Candidate Four - never met him in person. This is how the phone call went:

He – When can we meet?
I – Saturday?
He – I was wondering if we can meet on a weekday, en-route to work.
I – (Really!) Hmm, sure.
I suggest a place.
He – Oh, that place is off-route.
I – Ok, then you tell me where we should meet.
Suggests a place near the Metro station.
I (deflated) – Ok, I ‘ll see you there at 7.
He – Can’t make it before 8 30.
I – Silence (already made up my mind against him)
He – Hello, you there?
I – I don’t think this will work out. 

Lesson: Being liberal in “bigger” aspects like education, work and responsibilities is the easier part. It is the smaller, everyday things which matter. 


Candidate Five - was three hours away by flight from where I stay, he was good, but not good enough to leave my whole life behind. 

Lesson: Just because I am a woman, does not mean I am really ready to leave my life behind. 

Candidate Sixx - knew him since our days at school. There was hardly anything to think about, or doubt. Only, our horoscopes did not match.

Lesson: No one wants to take a risk, when it is about a lifetime. If the stars call it a bad match, it is for the best to believe so. 

The last lesson surprises me, as much as it makes me smile. Like the famous Indian actress Shabana Azmi says in her movie, Fire,”We’re so bound by customs and rituals. Somebody just has to press my button, this button marked tradition, and I start responding like a trained monkey.”

The latest I hear is that it will happen when it has to.

I wonder who has asked the world assume that it matters. May be deep within, it doesn’t.

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Surprises, all the way.

As I switch off all the other lights and sink into my bed with the laptop on my lap, I realize tomorrow is Sunday. It saddens me a little that till now, no guest post has arrived. But this being the Deepawali week in India, I think it is understandable that people are busy. And I did not want to bother my friends to write me one amidst the festivities, though I know at least a couple of them would have helped me out had I pestered them even a bit.

So I thought, let me write a personal post today. Through which you will know a bit about me. Since I anyways don't talk on this blog much at a personal level, it would be a guest-entry of its own kind. What do you say to that? Fair enough?


Sixx of the awesome surprises of the pleasant kind that God Life has given me in last few years.  
  • October 2009, it was one of 'those' days. You know the kind when all you want to do is feel terribly exhausted, drown in self pity, question existence, alienate friends and family- basically be a totally shitty version of yourself. Sorry to paint such a miserable picture, but I hope you get the idea. At moments such as these, it is very natural for me to start to cry, specially when I am driving (may be because driving time is my me-time). And that day, as I cried in my car, I suddenly looked in the sky and yelled (like Jim Carrey in Bruce Almighty) "God! After such testing months, the least you can do is get some travel plans for me." Lo! The very next day, out of nowhere, and I really mean it when I say out of nowhere, the onshore project partners sent me an email invite to visit them in Texas for six weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas. What better travel plans could I dream of but an all expenses paid work trip in the other half of the world amidst their festive season.
  • July 2010, after giving about four grueling technical rounds during an interview (all of which, according to me, which had gone very well), the HR contact informed me that I have been dropped. I cried my heart out the whole of evening, more so because I thought I had done really well. Couple of days later, the company called back apologizing for the miscommunication, and told me tat my offer was in progress.

  • March 2011, I was meeting this person over coffee after a hiatus of two years. For the lack of conversation topics, I told him that I have invested in a HP Mini the day before. It was just the time when the tablet market was experiencing the high tide. He, like many others, ridiculed me for not picking the In thing. I smiled, salvaging my bruised ego, and answered that I am hoping to be gifted an iPad soon. Not many months later, one of my uncles, totally unaware of any of the above, was kind enough to gift me a brand new iPad2 on Deepawali. Life, sure, has its own sweet ways.
  • September 2011, I was still at work when suddenly I felt my BlackBerry warming up. In a couple of minutes, it became too-hot-to-handle (not just figuratively, but actually) and then just switched off on its own. As I sent it back to the service center for diagnosis and repair, the company replaced it with a new boxed set. A brand new replacement for a two year old phone. I was impressed, happy.
  • April 2012, I had been worrying a lot for not being regular with wearing glasses. Finally, I decided to give my optician a visit. As he checked my vision, he surprisingly announced I no more needed specs, and that my eyesight had returned to normal. Can you believe it? I could not for quiet some time. 
  • October 2012, I was taking a walk in my neighborhood. It is very tough for me to decide whether it was out of impulse or intuition that I walked into this very small branch of a National Bank, and casually asked if they had a vault available for lease. And Yes, they did. If you stay in India, and especially in a metro, you would know what a big deal it is with the rising population. My application for a vault in my regular bank is still in queue, and has moved from #162 to only #149 in last three years. And I got this vault on the same day I decided to inquire about it.
 
Has Life surprised you in some way? Share your memories with me.

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Shopoholic Signs

  • Your destress idea is to shop without a budget.
  • There does not exist a thing like the shopping list in your mind/phone/anywhere else.
  • You end up picking up two same items when having to choose out of two great colors.
  • You own more than one pair of red shoes, each of which, you hardly wear once a year.
  • The day that you organize your closet and realize you really have enough for the next two years, you still go out and shop, only, this time for others.
  • You cannot compromise between white and nude even for basics (such as tanks and stockings). After all, White is White and nude is nude.

Friday, 16 November 2012

Winters & Scarves - the BFF



Untitled #7
With an addition of a scarf, every winter related problem can be solved. ~ Anonymous

Thursday, 15 November 2012

For One More Day

about 
Mitch Albom, the author, like all his other works, professes the importance of childhood, love, family, and choices.

rating
4/5

up(s)  
The book is a journey, where you may keep the book down and close your eyes to reflect on your own childhood and the present, and understand yourself and your loved ones better.  
 
down(s)  
Not for the practical lot who are not into reading of the self-discovery kind.

the plot
The story starts with a man coming to a point where he has let his professional failure in life mess with his personal life, and believing that he lives without reason. Unable to take his conditions any more, he decides to end his existence. In the gap between his life and death, he is met with his dead mother. He has gotten a chance to be a son for one more day, a time he has got to mend, rebuild, and gather what was lost. He reminisces over his childhood, several events, one after the other, interlined with the notes his mother had written him throughout, along with small chapters of ‘times my mother stood up to me’ and ‘times I did not stand for my mother’.
  
verdict
A short book, I recommend this to anyone who needs to take a trip with self.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Towards a Lighter Stomach

So Deepawali is going to be done with today, and I am sure many, if not all, of you will have some post-festivities guilt about having consumed a lot of fried and sweet stuff. 

Here is a quick guide to giving your stomach a break for some days and help it recuperate. Following one, some or all of these would help you feel lighter in only some days. Yes, it is tried and tested.
  • Replace one meal with Fruits, the best is dinner, because most of us hardly move after the last meal of the day.
  • Snack on dry fruits instead of fried or even baked snacks. They have healthy nutrients, and will keep you both full and warm.
  • Sip on Green Tea to detox. Many people I know swear by it. I think the best part is that it does not need any sweetener, which definitely cuts the calorie intake compared to regular tea and coffee.
  • For those who cannot do fruits, try some soup and garlic bread for dinner for they do make a light, nutritious meal.
  • Cereal in breakfast, is both quick and healthy, thanks to the fiber rich contents along with many added seeds.
  • Move that bum because a low calorie diet can only 'aid' fitness - there is still no alternative of physical activity.

Monday, 12 November 2012

Lesser known Hindu Festivals

Diwali, one of the most important Hindu festivals is tomorrow. 

Diwali is a name which has evolved over the years from the original 'Deepawali', meaning Festival of Light. This day celebrates the return of Lord Rama, along with his wife Sita, younger brother Lakshman, post his 14 year long exile to his homeland Ayodhya, after vanquishing the demon king Ravan of Lanka. Because the day of return was no no-moon night, the residents of Ayodhya lighted the entire kingdom to welcome back them back. Since then, Diwali is celebrated across India. The day is marked by decorating the home and eating sweets in the day, and lightening lamps during night. Through the years, fire crackers have made their way into the celebrations too. 
 
While Diwali is now known to one and all, there are other Hindu festivals which surround Diwali, which are not as popular across the world.
  • Dussera Marks the beginning of  festivities, and was the day when Lord Rama killed Ravana, thus marking the end of his exile, and acquiring Sita ji back. This day is marked as a win of the good over the evil, and even today, the win is repeated in every nick and corner with mannequins of Ravan being burnt. The day is celebrated by eating motichur laddus, and jalebis.
  • Karvachauth The most difficult fast in the Hindu tradition is observed by married women to pray for her husband's long life and well being. The fast is observed without food and water, that can be had only after witnessing the moon after it rises in the sky. 
  • Hoi Ashtami Similar in some ways to Karvachauth, Hoi Ashtami is observed by mothers for the long life of their sons. The fast is observed without food, though water and fruits are permissible. Food is had when the first star becomes visible in the sky.
  • Dhan Teras Celebrated two days before Deepawali, it is the day when buying metal (gold, silver, utensils et al) is considered very auspicious, as this is the day when during churning of the ocean by Gods and Demons, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu appeared with a jar of elixir in hand.
  • Govardhan Lord Krishna, defeated Indra (the Lord of Rains), and protecting Vrindawan from fierce rainfall, by lifting the mountain called Govardhan. Since then, this day is celebrated by praying to Lord Krishna, and eating his favorite food, 'ankut' consisting of yogurt curry, and egg plant veggies.
  • Bhai Dooj Observed the second day post Diwali, this fast is marked by sisters praying for their brother's long life and safety. The brother too showers his sister with love, blessings and gifts.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Signs that He is ready

.. to be your +1, forever, and ever.
  • is all ears – He listens and by that I mean he really listens. He hangs to every word you say, every thought or opinion you have. It is because he really wants to get to know you better. He wants to memorize the way you laugh even the way you snort while you laugh. He listens to you because he wants to become your best friend. He wants to become your tree. The tree you can run to for shade from the scorching sun, the tree that will give you shelter when there is an ugly storm out there, the tree that will hug you when you’ve had a squabble with your best girl. 
  • Makes you laugh – He becomes an ape for you. Just to see you burst out with laughter. He loves to make you laugh and to making you happy has become has his agenda. 
  • Has a calming effect on you -  You feel like you are in a bubble and that nothing can rattle you anymore as long as he is standing by your side.

  • Makes you breakfast – He is pampering you and building up daily rituals with you. Its not just about the fancy dates anymore or the sex. He loves you just the way you are, without makeup or messed up hair. 

  • Has left his toothbrush at your place – And a bunch of other stuff. It clearly means that he is here to stay. He is also giving you a clear signal that he wants you exclusively just for himself. 

  • Starts fixing things around your apartment – He notices that creaking door or that leaky tap in your apartment and even before you know it, he is standing at your door with a toolbox in his hand. This is a clear sign that he is taking charge and that he really cares for you. He is ready to take responsibility for you and your problems. And when he can he will do everything to help you solve your problems.
Today's guest post is brought to you by Roma. This is not her first time on this blog - you have read her here before today.

Every Sunday, the forum is open for you all to share your views to the rest of the world through this blog. The arena is unlimited, the theme similar - anything that touches you, and can help someone else, in six points should make up a post. 


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