Tuesday, September 7, 2010

online shopping?

I might sound outdated but a few days back i "introduced" myself to the world of online "window" shopping as I never trusted or cared about what was making it such a big thing today. A friend of mine sent me a link www.fashionandyou.com. I was getting worked up with a project proposal and thought of unwinding briefly with this link (as there was no friend online to chat with and no interesting updates on FB!). The site was interesting with a lot to offer specially all the stuff thats not available in a small town ranging from designer perfumes to fake jewellary to western wear to lovely phulkari duppatas...
Chatting with my best friend I asked her if these sites were safe and whether its okay to shop online. She being a part of this communications business and being very well versed with the advantages and risks recommended to go ahead. She also suggested many new links like www.99label.com and burntsienna (the latter has lovely silver jewellary which are not available in my city at all).

I finally decided to buy some cosmetics from one of the sites but I dont know what went wrong with the payment gateway, it simply vanished after I hit the pay tab! My transaction was not approved. Then a few days later I tried buying books from flipkart and besides numerous attempts my transactions always ended with error messages. I have been browsing and window shopping but nothing has actually moved from the wishlist to my wardrobe! I wonder if my location has something to do with it or may be its some server issues. However I must say that I am amazed at the deals offered online and at the ease with which one can access all the stuff in the world with the click of a mouse!
Its really fun to be shopping sitting on my bed, doesnt exhaust me at all :) yet I wonder when my wishlist will turn in to real stuff that I can actually use.

Friday, August 20, 2010

A hilarious encounter

The other day I had a meeting with a very senior IAS Officer at his office in one of the departments of Government of Jharkhand. He wanted to the review the project for which I had been a short term consultant. He asked me and the nodal officer for project to wait outside for 5 minutes. That was when his PA “introduced” us to him as he has been newly appointed. The PA asked whether we had been asked to wait for 5 mins. and added that "you wont be called before an hour." He gave us a lot of extra information alongside like there has been no work happening since this IAS has joined and that he is an embarrassment as he does not take phone calls even of senior officials.
Everytime the man inside rang his buzzer we thought we would be ca
lled in and after a long wait we were finally called. As I entered I saw a man buried between loads of files and writing on a green note (government office speciality!) in a particular fashion with his fingers twisted at a certain angle. So horrible was the hand writing that even doctors would take pride on their handwriting. We were asked to sit and we waited in his cabin for another half an hour. It was in this half an hour period that I noted all the peculiar actions of that man and battled with myself to control my laughter. He gulped glasses of water in one go and then picked one phone after the another to fire someone or the other and the receiver somehow always refused to sit at the right place! At one point of time he got up and pulled his trousers up along with himself almost up to his chest (a la Boman Irani from 3 idiots)!
He suddenly looked at us and asked if I was the consultant named so and so. I said yes sir and then he was back in to his files. He tore off several pages from some of them and deposited them under his table. He shouted at his typist for poor Hindi language skills and then suddenly asked us, “yes tell me what is your business here.” Taken aback I wanted to tell him at that moment that its you wanted to have a review! However, I had to refrain from opening my mouth while the nodal officer took out another ragged file which was our project file. The IAS officer pulled out an ancient diary in which he had scribbled 1000s of numbers in his ugly handwriting and asked us for contact details of the project donors.
Then he perused the file and folded some pages to be photo copied for him. He then shifted his attention to me and asked where was I working since my consultancy period had expired. I gave him all the details. He then declared that the meeting was over (and so was the review!!!!).
I turned towards the door and he asked me to stop and interviewed me on my education, work experience and family background. He noted my number and asked me to leave. I was greeted by the PA outside who quickly asked me if I had been asked for my mobile number and provided free advise that I should now keep my cell switched off at all points of time (whatever it implied)!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

a quick update

I am back after a rejuvenating trip to Delhi. It was official work mixed with some unwinding (and of course loads of shopping!). Got to meet friends who are more than just friends and the best people I have ever met. The biggest surprise package was my ex-roomie landing up in Delhi at the same time for office work. Our get together needs special mention because it happened after a number of "adventures" like changing of the venue at the last hour and me not knowing about it!, standing in queue for getting entry in to the mall (ever heard that before? i hadnt!), escalators not working, lifts taking ages but finally we got together and I m sure all of us cherish every moment of it. This time our kids were with us and they enjoyed too!

Back in Ranchi my deputation to the government has ended and I am back to CINI. The biggest learning is the apparant difference in working with a good NGO and the government, the former being enthusiastic over every encouragement recieved from the latter while the latter waiting for the former to make things move for them!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

my love

Being a mother is one of the biggest gift God has entitled a woman to.

This is something that had heard and read several times but never related to it till today. Being "mamma" of a 2.7 yrs old is definately more fulfilling than anything else in the world! The little soul makes you feel so special (and he enters the room while I blog :)).

The first words uttered every morning is mi mi, mi mi which means mamma I am awake, come and hug me :) and noone can bathe and feed my little one besides mi mi. He proudly perches himself next to the driver's seat in mamma's car wearing his sun glasses and raising his head slightly with loads of attitude. The best part is the way he greets me when I am back home after work. That look on his face, the glitter of his eyes and the hug he gives me rejuvenates me totally.

Now I know how important a child is to his mother and vice versa.. and that the labour pain, sleepless nights, weakness and exhaustion all hold no place in my memories today.

Let me also take this opportunity to share what my little one is up to these days. He observes and records all minute details of things and people around him and in case he "misses out" on any piece of information or does not understand something he will quickly shoot a precise question and the resultant information will be stored forever with an "ooh"!

The latest joke in this context is - Ansh went visiting his Nani. He asked her to play a bike and sat on her back. Poor Nani after sometime gave up and said "Nani is tired now. All petrol is finished!" and the grandson quickly retorted waving at someone "500 ka petrol dena...NORMAL"!!!!

kids of 21st Century eh!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Babus rule!

This is not about the Bihari Babu or the Bengali Babu but our very own babus who rule our government offices - the sarkari babus. Noone can ever win a prize for locating a sarkari babu in a crowd.
Now that I am a part of the system (though temporarily) I am getting a "hands on" experience of why things move at a slow pace. While corresponding to a donor agency is as simple as clicking the send button on your email, its not easy when you are a part of the system. On one hand the funding agency is always in a hurry and on the other the sarkari babu is just not able to move! You can very well imagine the state of someone sandwiched between a donor agency and the "system". The letter that you could simply send through the "send button" still follows the centuries old route of sitting in files and moving from table to table till the issue dies its own death! An example is a letter sent by my funding agency on May 5 and reaching me on May 22! So even if you are prompt and sincere and particular about meeting deadlines you are "not required" to the same under the "system".
The babus "work" from monday to saturday (a day extra as compared to any NGO or corporate) yet things are the same from monday to saturday. Its not that all babus are the same. There are many who actually work and are prompt but are marred by the weight of files and number of portfolios they are supposed to handle.
The bottom line is that before talking about globalisation the government should go back to the office where it sits and globalises it first cum first! Some of basic capacity building issues are:
Computer skills, introduction to the world of internet and email, introduction to the choice of language be it hindi or english and last but not the least, some sense of "fashion" and "whats in". Now the last one is tooo much to ask for yet we can try for the best!
God bless the system!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Menacing with mosquitoes?

This is about a hoard of unwanted intruders who are found everywhere in my household! They are in the bed room, they are in the kitchen, they are in the verandah, they are in the living room and most importantly they are the bathroom too. No amount of baygon, HIT or any other pesticide is of any help. They seem to be increasing in numbers everyday to the extent that a late evening chit chat in the lawn becomes a dancing session trying to avert the irritants. You cannot concentrate on anything but the head of the person you are talking to over which hover hundreds of them. Well someone told me that these dancing mosquitoes in groups don’t cause malaria as they are all males trying to attract the female anopheles. Don’t know about the anopheles but that dance definitely causes the worst form of distraction to me.

They gaze at you while you lie inside your mosquito net reminding you of what could have been your state had this wall of net not been there. One or two of them manage to get in once the lights go off. Suddenly you are awakened by the most annoying song on earth, a humming sound which is enough to drive you crazy when you are in a “half alive state”. This annoyance turns to anger in my case when I realise that the creature has bitten my little son and I turn on the lights and don’t go back to sleep till I “hunt it down”.
Surprisingly every morning all of them are found sitting on the nets, installed on the windows to keep them off, trying to find a way out. Guess they prefer a morning walk and outing in the day only to return back and transform our evenings in to hell. A few days back a brilliant idea struck my brain. The window nets were sprayed with ample amounts of Baygon and wow every morning I found all of them dead on my window. I know this sounds bizarre as marvelling at a mass murder is not acceptable but this is being done for the safety and well being of family and guests. However they still keep coming and coming and coming, hundreds and thousands of them. I get bewildered when I see some people carry on with their work undeterred in a crowd of mosquitoes. They can even sleep in their presence and I cannot even slice a lemon! I don’t know what stuff these people are made of.
There is an urgent need to do something about these unruly creatures as no research has been able to produce a fool proof solution against them. I often get to read sentences like this - Of the 5 million confirmed cases of malaria reported each year from countries outside Africa, nearly 3 million are from India and Pakistan. There are so many huge programmes to combat this disease like the WHO’s Roll Back Malaria programme. I don’t know how successful these are but my life has definitely been made difficult with the mosquito menace

For now, I have already smashed atleast 6 or 7 of these menacing creatures while writing this up! God Help Us!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

long weekend?

Long weekend with no exciting plans.... well this can be very very detrimental to mental health specially of a woman who works 9 to 5 and does monotonous and tiring household chores the entire week! Me being one of these "women" is deperately planning to avoid a bad mood swing.

The first good news at this end was a call from a friend who has come visiting Ranchi from Hyderabad. So that will mean a few hours of nice chill out. This is what I am envisaging and hopefully it will be executed as desired. Another day might be spent at a movie hall watching "any god damn movie"just to spend the day differently. Now you must be wondering whats wrong with me. Why is this such a big issue? So let me clarify, hubby dear does not subscribe to my idea of entertainment and would prefer watching TV or a nice nap any day. So I make these individual plans to break the monotony of life.

But on the third day hubby dear's nap or TV is surely to be sacrificed for another outing and that too at his expense! He being a lawyer has been warned of keeping divorce papers ready if the third day is not executed as per instructions! lol.....

There is another proposition that gives me some excitement and its called cooking. So a delicious spread of chole bhature has been planned and hope fully will be executed well.

So here is my list for the long weekend -

1. Freaking out with a friend

2. Watching movie

3. Freaking out with hubby

4. Cooking

Shall get back on Monday on my report on this check list! Till then enjoy the weekend everyone and pray for my mental health!!! lol..

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Earth Hour?

Earth Hour, the WWF initiative is indeed laudable and innovative. However I dont know how many of us switched off the lights of our houses. In my case, well I had no choice, the Jhk State Electricity Board celebrates unnumerable earth hours in our state. So we do our bit everyday voluntarily or involuntarily. Interestingly, in Jharkhand you dont need to blame on anything for forced "earth hours" we have a special custom here unheard of in any other state! On festivals like Ram Navmi and Sarhul (tribal festival) we all are prepared for half a day long power cut which runs late in to the night. The reason? There are massive processions on the streets and such is the religious fervour that people dance and (are perhaps drunk) on the streets for hours not caring about live wires on their heads. Hence the electricity board snaps power for safety! Such is the uniqueness of Jharkhand!

Coming back to this Earth Hour. Seemed like a very glamourous event with Junior AB as the Brand Ambassador. Though the objective is deeply appreciated but I doubt whether it actually served the purpose. Why I am saying this is because I caught a glimpse of the "earth hour celebrations' in New Delhi. Please forgive me but I think it was simply hilarious! The India Gate lights had been turned off and in front of it there was Indian Ocean performing which meant lots of electricity being spent on sounds, lights and mikes. While 100s of people were enjoying the band it seemed ridiculous to blacken the pride of India and celebrate in front of it spending the same amount of energy! I really wish I could do the exact plus minus calculations!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Atithi come again!

A nice evening on a weekend is something that sets your mood right for the entire week. So determined to have a "nice evening" I got my brother on the job of getting me tickets of "Atithi..." and he obliged. Me and ansh along with my bro reached the only multiplex that our city offers as of now. My only worry all the time was that after half an hour of the movie I would find myself standing in the lobby as my son just dusnt like it inside the hall. Well we went inside the hall and this was the first time my son was actually aware of this new ambience and he looked quite surprised. I told him we have come to watch a movie and the curious question was "to TV kahan hai mamma?" and that very moment the movie began. My son hid himself in my arms saying he was scared! I got so worried but the moment the actual movie began and he could see people around him laughing he followed suit and laughed with them! He even danced on his chair to everyone's amusement and loved the pepsi and pop corn.

The movie was good, you can always trust Paresh Rawal for a good laugh and I also liked other small players in it like the "watchman" (who always acts well and is incidently from my home town Bihar :)) and satish kaushik as well as sulemaan bhai. I think it was a well made movie and a litte "different". The songs were so so but then the movie's selling point was always the comedy and Paresh Rawal.

I am glad I went to watch Atithi.... and all thanks to my son I enjoyed it more to see him happy and enjoying. I guess we need doses of humour like this every weekend to rejuvenate ourselves. So go watch Atithi..... if you havent :)

Friday, March 12, 2010

so whats your song?

While driving back from work I switched on FM and the song that was playing was one of my favourites. It amazingly changed my mood for better. On deeper thinking I felt that it was not just the song but the memories associated with it. This song was from a movie released when I was in school and instantly happy school days visions flashed in front of my eyes. I dont know if everyone goes through such pangs of nostalgia and may be being an emotional and over-senstitive CANCERIAN I was over reacting to a "mere song". But I could related my thoughts to how my mother used to start humming even though she was buried under household chores as soon as vividh bharti or DD played some black n white era song unfamiliar to me. I guess everyone has a list of such songs which lift their spirits.. :)

Its amazing how small things in life keep you going and give you the boost to go on and on. (like today morning my son waking up alone on his bed and calling me..."mi mi mi mi aa jao merey paas") :)

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

random thots

I guess this is the most random blog I had ever written. Had been wanting to blog since long and yet again office, home and my little one kept me away. Everytime a particular thought crossed my mind I want to put it up on my site but loss of energy failed me (reminds me of the ad I watched in childhood- "ye bechara kaam ke bojh ka maara, inhey chahiye hamdard ka cinkara!!") I wonder what happened to this product!

Holi fever is just over and my son (now 2.4 yrs) enjoyed this day to the fullest and understood the colors for the first time. He went to his nanu and nani's place and painted their walls pink with his pichkari. But the best was the fervour with which he danced when passing by band walahs stopped to play at our gate. Every one was rolling on the floor with laughter! The naughty boy simply didnt want to come back home.

Its amazing how this little bundle of joy takes away all my pains and it gives me such a pleasure to hug him close to my heart and shower him with kisses.

Shall get back to my page with something more meaningful!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Jab We Met

(To begin with...............
................Kanu I will NOT apologise for shamelessly lifting your tag line for our quick short meeting!)

This is about confusion turned to bliss!

I boarded the Ranchi New Delhi flight to get on to the connecting flight to Pune. As luck would have it the flight got diverted to Jaipur owing to thick fog over New Delhi. So 1 am in the morning we were sitting on our seats at Jaipur airport and surprisingly I was totally calm. We got to know that 4 flights were hovering over New Delhi and 11 over Lucknow.

Suddenly the captain announced that we were heading to New Delhi! The captain was lauded with claps as we landed in zero visibility at New Delhi. The plane stood on the runway not knowing where to go and voila a big bus with lights at the back reading FOLLOW ME took us to safe parking!!

And now comes the best part. The flight to Pune never departed and hence my sister's hubby Siddhant came to pick me and my son Ansh. We went to Noida to my sister's place. The icing on the cake was that Kanupriya my best friend coincidently was there for official work. I got to see her after 3 years. We had a lovely but vvery short time together though we lived it to the fullest.

I also met another ex-colleague Neha and her daughter, Mehar. Ansh played with Mehar and loved the swings and see saw! Sister and Kanu showered gifts and I got to hog on all the food that's not yet available in Ranchi :)

This was a much needed rejuvenating experience for me! Thank you God!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A strange dream

Though my day today is as occupied as ever but I just could not keep myself from writing this account of my dream last night. It seemed so real and wierd at the same time that its still haunting me!

It began with me reading an email that talked about some box (may be a treasure) lying buried near a well at my in laws native home in Deoghar (a place near Ranchi).
Keeping abreast with the interesting facts that I have started with, I would like to add that this email was from a relative of mine. I forgot about this email totally (in my dreams) and after a few days this relative passed away. As per Hindu traditions the rituals for the dead last for 13 days. The same was going on in our house and every possible relative had come to join in. I was sitting among them and suddenly the entire email got printed on my palm! Then there was warning message which said that I was supposed to go look for 3 "link people" at Deoghar who had a clue about this box. I was given a time line to finish this job and then imprints on my palm vanished.

I then found myself sleeping in my bed in the room where I spent my child hood i.e. in Patna the capital of Bihar. I opened my eyes in the middle of my sleep and saw this dead relative standing in front of my bed with a look that scared me to no ends. Then I got kicked!

It was no one else but my toddler son Ansh who had "escaped" from his quilt and was sleeping with his feet on my face! I tucked him back in the quilt and went off to sleep again hoping for the dream to continue but it never came back yet haunted me till morning!

Friday, January 1, 2010

our world this year

Yet another year has finally begun and has brought with it mixed feelings of hope, triumph, despair, uncertainty ....Coming to think of the focus this year I guess it would be the food inflation, industrial development, global warming, the increasing divide between the cosmopoliton and the rural areas..Wow god must have researched very well before creating this breed called homo sapiens who can effect the world so much with their actions! Its amazing how every other species however ferocious it be lives at the mercy of MAN!

An guesses where are we headed to this year?? I guess more price rise yet the urban man will continue his usual lifestyle and urbanisation and malls, pubs, multiplexes will spread their wings further. There will be more industries but no employment as the labour force today is slowly being replaced by computers and machines and of course I dont need to tell you how more industries can effect our climate and take us towards nostradamus's predictions.
Yet the whole point is that life is much better in many ways than it used to be decades back. Ofcourse everything has its own repurcussions but the face of the world has changed for better (ignore the negativities please!). Today people specially women have the right to live their lives the way they want and kudos all these women of the new age who juggle work, home and kids and are so full of life!
So lets welcome the fresh year with positive thoughts and try and make the world a better place. Amen!