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Showing posts from February, 2005

State Of Confusion

While the term ABCD is typically meant for the born and raised in the US desi, the state of confusion is not confined only to desis of that vintage. In my experience, FOBs are often a lot more confused when really that have little reason to be. Upon arriving on F1 visa and the pocket full of dreams they appear to force feed themselves on the American experience like the famine would be upon them as soon as the stopped gorging.

In the few years that it takes to graduate and step into the real world, they manage to surpass ABCD levels of confusion and identity crisis. Instead of the twenty plus years that a real ABCD has to come to terms with the state of being desi in Videsh, these folks are already there in a less than five.

All of this has to do with getting there first. Often these young people have been high achievers all their lives - academic and otherwise. It is also likely that they come from affluent and influential social circles in India. To turn into an arriviste in the US is…

Thoughts Of Old Love

Just wishing it away will not make the two decades of him disappear. He is getting married next month. I feel a peaceable numbness descend upon me. I know that I will be able to live with this. I have written reams about the our quasi-relationship from my point of view.

I wonder what his perspective might be or even better what S his wife-to-be may think. Will she be able to tell the tenuous strains of love that overlay the gentle glide of my pedestrian e-mails to him ?

Will she able to tell of that the glow on his face is in someway related to the sound of my laughter on the phone or of the many memories it stirs in both of us ? I would like to believe that he is utilitarian and unromantic and that I've read too much into the relationship (what relationship?) because that is what he truly wants me to believe. Maybe that is the only way he knows to save himself and me. I am curious about how the marriage will turn out. Of course I wish him and S the best.

The Lean Review

At the end of a long shenanigan that my annual review was N, my manager asked "So would you like a Sandwich or a low-carb evaluation ?" Even past Atkins-mania that made perfect sense. N was asking if he could cut the crap and get straight to the point. I replied "Atkins".

He made me suffer though prolixity, obfuscation, business-ese and manager-ese for another hour before I was set free. Since N is more buddy, less boss I had to ask how the hell he called that hoopla "low-carb". He explained that was merely the "bed of greens to cushion the landing"

Moral of the story - Atkins does not equal lean. All ideas start simple and gather fluff along the way. Zen equals starkness.

Sound In My Head

Almost close to the din Shelley described in "Mont Blanc" about the River Arve: "A loud, lone sound no other sound can tame." I can't believe it's been so long since I heard his voice that I would not even recognize it now.

From Clinton's "My Life"

That brief sketch is about all I ever really knew about my father. All my life I have been hungry to fill in the blanks, clinging eagerly to every photo or story or scrap of paper that would tell me more of the man who gave me life.

Will J crave equally for shards of R(my Ex) that I have so thoughtfully locked out of her reach. Snuffed out his very existense lest she feel curious and learn only to be so terribly hurt...I can churn thoughts of R in my head until they froth but I would not whisper a word to J

Another perspective (closer home yet far away) from Antara Mali of Bollywood. I could be vindicated thus

As Antara Mali says, One loving person is the family norm today. Instead of warring parents or …

Of Drying Hair And Such

Women once used incense smoke to dry hair. Wondered if this was a practice anywhere in the world any more. While looking around I found this about Frankincense and Myrhh - unrelated but interesting. Wandering some more I read about "Olfactive epiphanies" which is an interesting turn of phrase. Thinking of how new words are forged from old ones I think "latte factor" and smile at a memory it brings up.

I use the word decisioning a gazillion times a week - and MS Word refuses to believe it's a legit word. I look it up on Merriam Webster - same deal. I refuse to give up. Collective intelligence and common use have to count for something. It does. I'm surprised that Wikipedia does not have anything on it.

How I Turned to Tea

I was never a tea of coffee drinker. Of late I drink as much as a gallon of green tea every day. Like to imagine that it is rich in anti-oxidants and will keep my heart healthy - my teeth and gums will benefit as well. I also like the ones that come with honey and ginseng added - but that's a little too "designer" for my quotidian keep-me-awake needs.

Even at the height of dot-com my work load was horribly erratic. More often than not I had only enough for a couple of hours each day. Of course there were days that seemed to never end but only rarely. To stay up and look busy after that point called for stimulants. Enter green tea - which I figured was the least evil of the choices that I had. The curve has gone only upward from what started out as a couple of cups to get through the day.

Talking of tea and dot com reminds me of the job I landed in a boutique e-commerce company that held out fresh baked Italian bread and a tall Starbucks latte as an inducement to join...But…

Some Other Tales

What I really meant to write about was love and loss and the state of being alone when every pore of me craves for the other - the other who was almost mine but not quite. Until, then some things else.

I am recovering from heart break. I realize after five years of love-lessness and single-motherhood later, I am still capable of being heart-broken. I had thought I was over all that. Not quite. I was caught off-guard and I suffered royally for it.

I sought succor in the most obvious place self-affirming chick lit and am not ashamed to admit that it worked somewhat - even temporal is good when you are feeling ultimately miserable. I promised myself that I would bounce back - be good as new. That is a work in progress. I will tell my story in it's entirety once I feel healed and whole.

Heady Heavenly Perfume

I have always loved perfumes. But it's been a challenge to find one that is "me" and will meld in perfectly with my natural smell - and do what a good perfume should - make it sweeter - piquant.

One that has worked is She by Emporio Armani. I chanced upon this story about heavenly origins of perfumes from Capri They may have just the thing for me...White Linen by Estee Lauder used to work great for me but that was when I was younger and more impressionable. I wonder if there is something like an olafactory aura that changes as the person does. Or if were indeed possible to track those changes..

Shopping Cheap And Tired

We were out of groceries and went shopping. The place was crawling with melons of all persuasion and cheap as dirt. The honeydew was bland as can be. J kicked a royal fuss as usual. I deferred disciplining her for another day.

Failed to be the text book mom. She had a bar of Whatchamacallit - actually half and before we got home. I'm very very tired today. Some days like today, the memories of he who is now officially Ex hovers around me like a vulture over a dying body. I feel like I'm the carcass he's after - just that I have infinity of life...

About Two Loves and I

I, Ananya, am a suburban single mother minus the SUV that often comes with the territory. Ten years ago, I would have been awed by someone in my situation, my cultural sensibilities doubtless challenged. It was about "them" and "us" being different. Having crossed over to the other side now, I find it difficult to appreciate the "us" perspective that I once had.I may have lost the comfort of familiar things like a husband and a home, but what I've gained is incomparable. I can look at marriage and love from an aesthetic distance -- my own as well as another's. My illusions are fewer, but I haven't lost my romanticism, my ability to dream a perfect world amid contrary evidence.I have learnt that love and hate can co-exist in exuberant confusion and is not necessarily wrong - that, in fact, there are no rules to love at all. Sometimes one grand passion is what it takes to find happiness in an utterly ordinary life instead of being miserable in i…

Love Letter

Rex, It seems like infinity since I last called you that -- do you think of me sometimes? Has hate wiped it all out -- the thirty million e-mails, wanderlust, and all of that dream stuff? You haunt me with a furious energy that will devour my life -- if I do save myself and learn to love again -- I don't think it will be quite like what we once had.I wish I had known you more, tried to understand the heart that remained hidden in dark, mysterious shadows -- maybe I had what it took to save you from yourself. I don't know where you are, how life has been since we met last -- would I know you if I saw you someday? How would that feel? I have no memories left of your touch -- I do try to remember, it used to be beautiful and the only I've ever known -- maybe you wouldn't be able to believe that anymore.
This year on your birthday, I thought I had finally banished you from memory, the hardest and the most final exile of all. It was an ordinary day. Snow had covered the gr…

Second Coming to America

Thirty years ago, on a night such as tonight I was conceived in Mumbai. Back then, my parents lived a postage stamp sized home. The kitchen was in the living room which was in the bedroom and so forth.

At nineteen my mother was too starry-eyed to notice much except the hopelessly lovely spell of new marriage and living independently. She was the mistress of this brand new household for whatever it was worth. There were carefree evenings at Chowpatty and Juhu - the raw tangy taste of new found freedom. She always speaks of Bombay with acute nostalgia - the time of impossible dreams, fierce optimism and impending motherhood.

I have clear memories of all the places that I've ever lived but not of where I first came to be.I was in Bombay for a year after I was born - and like the umbilical chord, those early memories have just dropped off. From the window of an airplane, many cities shine like a rich jewel, holding promise of something as intangible as that of intelligent life in planet…

A Month In A Motel

[07/02/2003 12:56:49]

I've been here three weeks now. My home away from home - I invariably feel miserable on Saturday mornings and I wonder why. We had lasagna and beer at Hendrik's last night. That was the high point of this week - besides feeling sick from watching "Hannibal". All the gooey saccharine of "A Message in a Bottle" would not take the bad taste off my mouth.
Besides, the TV and the Internet there is precious little to do. The weather has been lousy ever since I got here - morose and bleak and that helps my mood plummet further south. I was watching Larry King Live - amazing show, amazing man. By when you are my age he would be dead and gone as also the many bad memories in my life. Time is powerful isn't it ?

[08/02/2003 18:33:07]

AV loaned me "The Fugitive". Little does he know that I am one too - in more ways than one. Escaping from memories - the bad overpowering the good. I can't believe that this is the fifth straight year …

Short Journey, Big Change

I take the last bus out of C heading to Philadelphia. The cabbie is an African American. He dropped me at the hotel from work on my last day at there. Very chatty and tells me that my husband must be very lucky man to have such a beautiful wife. I smile inwardly say nothing thinking to myself if only he knew how lucky.

However, as I came out of my cube the very last day, I make it a point to say "I'm outta here" to a certain bloke by name S. And he almost prophetically responds "Famous last words , huh?" He is the kind of Desi dude that gives their ilk their bad name - did his Masters in US from some no-name mid-western university, went through the H1-B trial by fire attained "Moksha" in six years through the Green Card.

He now feels like he is a twice born American more regular than the regular WASP if you will. He's been there, done that, owns two cars a 1990 Eclipse that has over a 150,000 miles on it and a Lexus with fewer miles but not much new…

On having missed by more than a whisker..

My friend, Pritha may well have been the first to conceive of a concierge service in India for NRIs but her time to market left her well behind the competition. As a technical architect she is almost visionary and truly understands usability. Yet the combination does not make up what she lacks - the ability to create and sell a viable business plan. She enlisted my help on this venture which did not bring to the table what it took to turn pipedreams to reality.

We were excited about the potential of the idea. As we talked about it, we got all caught up in the architectural /technical fine print to the point that we lost sight of how to market it. Truth be told we didn't have a clue. This was early 2002, a time when pullulating dot com ventures cloned off each other were going bust at an alarming rate. Being a nerd was becoming an uncool and potentially dangerous thing.

We dared not take our idea to a buyer. We smothered it quiet under design patterns, application frameworks and reus…