Tag Archives: Friends

Bloody Racists

I have a friend who is extremely insistent on the point that Indians are one of the biggest racists. I have always wondered if a word as strong as racist is appropriate. I agree we are the ones who would stereotype faster than anybody else starting from “Gora”, “Kala”, “Chinky”, “Thulla”, “Software Wala”, “Sarkari Babu”, “North Indian”, “South Indian” are some of the most common stereotypes you would find people using.
I believe the key component which makes racism a negative trait is the belief or actions that a race or a stereotype in a way is inferior to others. The negativity of the racism stems from the fact that when the person stereotyping start treating himself as superior or inferior based on the race. The places or system starts differentiating people or the laws change for the people based on the race. As far as I know this negative kind of Racism is very limited in India; though we are involved in a different kind of phenomenon called Castism which differentiates based on birth but not on race/color of skin/ ethinicity.
Coming back to the point of Indians being racist, I have my doubts that people I interact with or myself are racist, though a lot of us including me can be accused of stereotyping and grouping people based on one way or the other but then do we get prejudiced against people of different race, or we bear unnatural hatred towards them? I don’t think so. We might group people, habits, culture and refer them with our stereotype but then we do not perpetuate hatred. I believe there have been some instances that these kind of sentiments are propagated but then it is not in lines of what actual racism is. We as a group of people might be conservative on who we marry and bring in family but that is more due to the cultural differences rather than the fact that we think that some other race is inferior to us in some way.
On the contrary I feel in a country like us it is close to impossible to be racist when there is a potpourri or cultures amalgamating and coexisting with one another it is very difficult to be racist, to feel hatred and superiority against the other. So what do you feel, are we Indians as a population primarily racist as my friend believes it to be or we are a bunch of people who are a tad too quick while generalizing and stereotyping?

Love, Friends & A Little Chocolate Cake

I think this commercial totally cuts across the human mindset. I could so much relate to the fact that how we can get so involved with our future aspirations that we always forget to indulge and enjoy the present. The fact that aspirations keep on rising and so does our age; sometimes we find that the time has simply passed and we didn’t even had a glimpse of how it.
Recently I celebrated my 30th birthday, which made me realize that it has been a long time since I have been gracing the mother earth with my esteem presence. I feel that I too have been responsible for trying to run the rat race behind the perfect life. It started from the first position in the class to percentages in the board examinations, lead me to fight for an engineering seat and then an MBA degree. When I thought the fight was over it started all over again for the high paying jobs, better designation, buying a car and a house. And after all that it still continues for a better car, second home, exotic vacations, larger pay checks, and still larger egos. I was wondering is it all that my life has been about? Are these the things which define me, me as an individual as a person? Are these the most significant things in my life?
Surprisingly the answer to all the above questions is a big NO, surprisingly these things are which matter the least. If you have made the right choices and been sincere to what you have done in life, sooner or later all these things fall into the place. What make the life different is how you made the people around you feel, and how the people touched you and your life? The fact that you have felt love and friendship in your life; the feeling where you know with or without the “social perks” you would still be loved and cherished for who you are make all the difference in the world.
I can’t help feeling so blessed and lucky to have felt all of the above in these 30 years. On this birthday, Wifee and my friends planned a surprise where they all will come at 12 in the night to wish me. They meticulously planned almost every detail and people re-arranged their schedule to make it at the right time. Now, being one smart a** that I am, I had already got a whiff and was able to predict almost what was being planned by Wifee & the friends. As soon as they all gathered outside the hall, Wifee had left the door unlatched when everybody dashed in startling me while wishing Happy Birthday. It was such an over whelming moment and a very happy one too. Life is not worth without love & friendship surrounding you to make you feel special.
Though I claimed that it was my instincts and eye for detail that I actually was able to guess they were coming. But one thing which I didn’t confess was that more than the instincts and eye for detail it was my longing and faith in them that helped me do it. I was so sure that neither the Wifee nor my friends would let my birthday go by without making me feel special. I guess it was my anticipation of them as a part of my life and my trust in them, which they not only kept but also pushed it higher than I could have thought, that made me sense their plans.
So there was a bash and a lot of fun, and yes I was not surprised as the Wifee and the friends have expected it. But then sometimes not being surprised can be much more rewarding and comforting than anything else in the world. Having a Wife who would love you beyond you can imagine, having friends who can make a dull evening to a bright sunshine. With pleasures like these life is good and then sometimes we add a little extra chocolate cake to it.

Teletiquette

The cellular phone has been a part of my life since year 2003, and life with the cell phone has never been so irritating as it is now. Firstly I don’t know how and why but my cell phone number is available with everybody in the world starting from my bank to the random people calling me to sell cars, insurance, potency enhancement creams and even children. As a matter of fact I got a call from UNICEF offering me to “Buy a child scheme” where I was supposed to pay some money which would go towards a child; my telling them “No one in my family eats children” supposedly didn’t go too well with them and I haven’t heard from them since. All this when I am already registered for DND which I think in this country means “Dial & Disturb”.

So lately my share of irritation has not only been the telemarketers but also a set of people who have been testing me to my wits end; and here I categorize these tele-irritants:

1-      Lockers– Actually they are the folks who miss the “C” part of the Clock and don’t mind locking your number in their cellphone Big B style at any time of the day night. Apparently they don’t have anything significant to talk, and they might have just called to ask if you would wake up next morning.  Answer to which is ‘No’ as they would ruin your sleep, so the question of waking up is irrelevant as its answer.

2-      G-Pee-Yes-ers– These are the folks who would give you a call to find out where are you. There is no response which can satisfy their urge of tracking your location. Even if you tell them that you would reach a certain place in next fifteen minutes, they would call you back after five to ask “Till where have you reached?”

3-      Abhor-Ringers– They are the ones who do not understand the meaning when your phone goes on call waiting or is disconnected, they would keep on dialing back again and again until you reach your wits end and pick their call. Once you pick up they won’t even let you complete “I’m busy” but would say whatever they have to say like someone dumping the crap out after three weeks of constipation.

4-      Boomers– These are the ones who have their phones setup at the loudest level of ringtones to match the big boom boxes, irrespective of the fact that they are in office, meeting, hospital, or library. Also they would be the ones who would have funny, loud and irritating ringtones, so if you have a ringtone like this probably you belong to this category.

On second thoughts if you have this as your ringtone then perhaps you don’t deserve to keep a cell phone.

5-      Chew-Talkers– These are the ones who would be eating something and would suddenly have an uncontrollable urge to talk to you. They would simply call you in the middle of the meals and will talk while making chewing sounds on the phone, indifferent of how irritated you are with that sound or you can actually decipher what they are trying to say.

6-      Mid-leavers– These are the people who are having a serious discussion or a casual talk with you, and suddenly they would abscond when they get a call. Without even indicating or telling you if it would take time, or if you should wait. They leave all that on you to figure out.

So these are a few species of cell phone users which irritate me to my wits ends;  I am sure there would be some more which I might have missed. So how do people with cell phone irritate you?

How I Got Tricked

I generally have an eye for details and not a person to be fooled or tricked easily. I sense pranks or any conspiracy theory happening around me. But this time the planning was impeccable and very well executed; the result was a jubilant surprise birthday party thrown for me by the Wifee. She being the clever woman she is, planned the party one day before the actual birthday so I am not able to guess it and also the day being Saturday allowed all the guests take time out for the party.

Though as I have been told after the party the planning was going on since many days but I was involved only a week back when my sister in law called me that she had received a complementary couple tickets to a Hindi play happening near our house and if I would be interested to go. Given my liking for the theatre and movies it was highly improbable that I would have refused an offer to watch a play and that was my first step into the well planned trap of the Wifee.

For the second round she conspired with my chaddhy-buddy or langotia yaar as you may call us. He offered full help to her and called me just a day before telling me that he had to discuss something really urgent and couldn’t wait. Since I had already committed to the play and his place was en-route to the theatre I agreed to visit him 2 hours before the play starting time. And with this the perfect window of opportunity was created for me to be out of the house for good four and a half hours.

Now the morning started on an unexpected note, both for me and the wifee. I felt completely sick with the weather allergy and insisted that she drove me to the doctor. With all her plans in place and work to do she had to drive me to the doctor; which consumed 3 hours of her preparation time. But then my illness also ensured that I neglected the deviations from the normal behavior like too many calls and her extra effort in cleaning the house and putting everything in order; which in retrospect connects the dots very well.

By the evening I was running fever and didn’t felt like going anywhere but then I had already committed to the friend and then there was the play also. So I somewhat pushed myself out of the house for the appointments with the wifee as it was planned. My sister in law and mother in law took charge of the house through the spare key which was already shared. I spent some great time with my friends and then went ahead for the play. The play was fabulous and I must mention the actress was really gorgeous. And I digress, more about the play sometime later; now coming back to the story of How I Was Tricked.

So after the play we came back home, while driving inside the society I spotted the cars of my in-laws and some other relatives. I initially ignored them; since my co-brother and sister in law live in the same complex; I thought they might have guests. The unsuspecting me went ahead and parked my own car. While going from the parking to the house I also spotted the car of the friend whose house I had just visited by the time I concluded that there might be something fishy inside the house the Wifee opened the door and amidst the candle light I could see some faint shadows. As soon as I stepped inside the house there was huge bang and shout of “Happy Birthday”. All the lights were switched on simultaneously. When my lights adjusted from the darkness to the bright light I could see this one was a massive party. Almost everyone I and Wifee knew in Bangalore was invited and present. I had an expression of shock, awe and the most childish form of joy. I could spot my school friends, the entire in-laws clan, my buaji and my cousin, our entire gang which went for the New Year party. I was showered with flowers, party poppers and gifts; and finally amidst all this surprise & chaos I went to cut the cake.

Now when the cake is cut there is always some smearing which happens.

And when you yourself are smeared with cake it doesn’t harm to smear others does it? And It’s all the more fun if the one you are smearing are your SILs.

So this was the story when the Wifee managed to trick me the second time, I am sure you understand when was the first time ;-).

However, the end of the party wasn’t as expected. The allergy and fever were consistently rising and create a lot of difficulty for me while breathing. As soon as we bade goodbye to our guests; I had to be rushed to the hospital. There they found that the symptoms had highly accentuated and the oxygen level had gone down. I was immediately admitted oxygen artificial in the hospital. So that’s how my birthday started at 12:00 clock with the mask attached to my nose.

Now that I am out of the hospital and well enough to breath without any medical support, I would like to thank everyone for the wishes. Also I would like to apologies to everyone who called/ smsed/ tweeted/ fbed me on my big day to wish me; I was not able to reply or receive your call due to my condition.  Thanks again for your support and lovely wishes; I plan to live longer as you have suggested and keep bugging you with irritating posts on my blog. Till then enjoy La Dolce Vita.

Blog: Dead & Alive Day 30

I am not sure, if I should be happy or sad. It was on June 1st 2010 I undertook NaBloPoMo. Though knowing that this month was expected to be particularly crazy with parents coming in and a lot of pressure from work, I still felt I should do it because I needed to get into regular writing and blogging. The blogging has taken a back seat post my move to Bangalore primarily due to majority of my productive daily free time is spent in commute. However, this post is not about the Bangalore traffic, this is about what that commitment meant to me. However, given by the rules I have not completed successfully the NaBloPoMo this time and at this happened towards the end and the time when it was least expected.

My blog was giving a bit problem while opening at work on Friday, so to be on the safer side, when I wrote the post for Sunday; I also scheduled two posts for Monday and Tuesday so as not to miss the deadline. However, the blog did not open on Monday and I had logged a ticket with my Service Provider on Sunday this is the reply I got-

Dear sir,
This is to inform you that, some security work is going on the server. During this process, your site may not respond or become slow. We have put the server on Cisco Guard. We are working on this and will update once the work is over. Thanks for your patience.

Then the next update on Monday from the was a bad news and the blog was completely down-

Dear Sir,
We are facing a serious issue of Sync_flood attacks at data center.So websites are not able to resolve properly. We have applied all the solutions to stop this attack.As the attack is so intense that we need some time to actually come to terms with it meanwhile we are migrating the entire server to the new one without any data loss.We are expecting a downtime of 6-8 hours but the maximum will be 24 hours.So thanks for your patience under such tough time.

So I missed the Monday & Tuesday posts as the blog and even the scheduled posts were not published. Out of the blue Wednesday morning the two scheduled posts appeared on the feed and the notification on twitter. However, I was able to access the blog but admin panel was still inaccessible. Finally Wednesday at 5:00 I got a mail from them that my blog and admin are up and running. I am grateful to Znet for the quick response and the work they have done; thankfully they managed to migrate the site without any glitches and data losses.

I personally feel that I missed two days of NaBloPoMo cannot claim the successful completion, though I gave my 100% but situation were beyond my control. However this would be last post for the month of June and I would love to take the opportunity to thank all the readers of Ginger & Cardamom to bear with me and my writing and apologies for all those filler posts and tags done out of desperation of not missing a day.

However, for Ginger & Cardamom this marathon was very successful, for all the love that was bestowed on the site, For the month of June 2010 there were around 6000 unique visitors, with more than 200,000 hits almost 40% higher than the usual. And consuming a bandwidth of 2.4 GB which is almost double than usual. All these stats are excluding bots and the feeds & Facebook readers which read the entire content off the website. Thanks a lot for showing so much of love, I feel humbled with gratitude and a responsibility to write better and often than I usually have been.

Special thanks to fellow bloggers who supported me through the NaBloPoMo and kept the motivation levels high, Preeti Shenoy, Monika, Neha, Swaram, Meira, Aarti, Iya,
Kudos and congratulations to all you folks enjoyed your posts everyday. And I close this NaBloPoMo with a Hope that the fun and insanity on our blogs never die. Amen.

First Girl-Friend Day-24

The credit to this post goes to Ojas. For those who don’t know him, he is the son of a very dear blogger friend Monika. So to set the backdrop, we were discussing about how Ojas is reacting to his school which he started going only last week. She told me, that he likes the school but always wants her to be around.

My reaction was “Wait till he finds a girlfriend in school”, which I am sure he would, given the handsome little dude he is (Ps. Ojas, remember one of the first few people to use handsome & dude in the same line for you was Prats Uncle Bhaiya:-D). Coming back to the point it actually sent me down back in my memory lanes, when I was a kid would and recently started going to school in LKG may be around 3 yrs of age.

I studied in a Catholic convent school till class 4th where sisters used to teach. Thank god, I changed my school after that, otherwise the “important” classroom discussions like “Amrita Ma’am is so hot” would have towed a line of being incest if the Amrita ma’am in question was replaced by Sister Nancy and the b***ard principal would have been b***ard father. However I digress, so the point being the sister decided who would your seat partner be.

My seat partner used to be, a girl names Ruchi. Sadly I don’t remember her last name I am not sure if she was a bully or I was simply trying to impress her. I always used to come home and complain to my mom that she ate a part of my lunchbox, and especially the sweet & sour tamarind chutney, if it was present was completely savored by her. So technically looking she was my first girlfriend.

I don’t know the schools changed, paths changed. I never met her and as of today I don’t even remember what she looked like but then the name and her acts of bullying me for my chutney do leave some smiles on my face. But sure would be interesting to know how she is doing after so many years. Ruchi, If you are reading this please do leave a comment here and Ps. I have stopped eating tamarind chutneys, you know the jar mom brought when she came this month is just an empty jar 😉

So Ojas, remember this advice from this uncle bhaiya, when you make your first girlfriend do ask mommy to note down her complete name and address. So when you grow up you can at least find her of Facebook (or whatever is the social networking thing in your time) and flaunt it to other guys look she was my first girlfriend (I know sounds weird but we guys do get a kick out of discussing the hotness quotients of our ex(‘es))

Apologies – Day 12

Apologies are something which are one of the greatest blessings of human nature, a simple and sincere apology can cure guilt, ease tension and pressure making one feel a lot lighter.

Some really important people in my life, I owe an apology to-

1- My Parents- for numerous tantrums I have thrown pointlessly, not listening to advices which were for my god and I should have listened too and taking them for granted at times.

2- My Library Teacher in School- She always wanted me to read more books, and I always evaded the library periods. I didn’t realize she was just trying to introduce me to one of my favorite activity.

3- One of My Very Good Friend- for not able to choose what is important, and ditching him for priorities which were not important

4- City of Kanpur- I left you to pursue better opportunities and a career. I always believed you had great potential but I never worked for you. I owe a lot of myself to this city but have been guilty of being selfish and not giving back

5- My IT Team in SIBM- One of my tantrums and way of opposition caused them embarrassment and troubles which was not necessary. Though I didn’t agree with the system but still these were one of the most amazing bunch of people I worked with and I would always feel sorry for being the one to be one their opposite side.

5 Not So Friends – Day 4

No this post is supposedly about the famous TV series involving Chandler, Monica, Joey Rachel etc. which I am a great fan. You can read the quiz about them here. This is about the word friendship and they way it has been misused raped by the hands of the social media and networking.

Friends and friendship used to mean a lot, but with the ever increasing place of social media in our life the word friend is actually losing the value and effect it used to have. I mean I have 500+ friends on almost every social networking site I am a part of. Am I friends with all the people? Friends, as per the orthodox and traditional usage in the English language.

The kids and the teen who are exposed to this storm of social media and networking, would they ever be able to relate to the depth and meaning of this beautiful word?

So here goes a list of people who send friend request but are totally #fail

1- Money Makers- “I just made $466 this week working from home for google. I cant believe how easy this is. Im recommending this to everyone, check out this guys google blog www.howimakeinternetmoneyandIamajerk.com”

2- Naukri Spammers- I noticed you work for XYZ company can we be friends. What salary you are getting there, what is your designation and which client are you working for? Would you forward my resume to your company?

3- Orkutiyans- Though being a guy, I get spared from a lot of these requests but when I see my female friends getting bugged by the morons approaching them. For them Friendship = She will sleep with me.

4- Site Inviters- We exchanged a mail some 3 years back and now they would assume me as a friend and send me friends request from a gazillion new sites expecting to accept. If you don’t realize I might not even remember you, if you haven’t referenced the conversation.

5- World of Mouth Mongers- I formed a startup and which does an extensive research on the effects of social media on reproduction of cockroaches. You ask spam me to like your facebook page, tweet about you. Really??

I believe its high time for Oxford to add a word like Onquaintances = Online + Distant Acquaintances to save the sanity of the beautiful word that friendship was.

Being a Panelist-II

One of the fabulous movies I have seen, Dasvidaniya would make it to the list for sure. The concept was simple and message penetrating. A perfectly healthy and hearty Vinay Pathak comes to know he is about to die in 3 months of an ailment. There on he tries to live reclaim his life and makes a 10 points to-do list as targets to achieve in next 3 months to feel his life satisfied. It was entertaining as well as emotionally connecting at a deeper level on what he made as the list. I could find myself relating to a lot of points on that list, one of them was getting his photograph being printed on the newspaper.

Though I belong to the new age media and read most of my newspapers and magazines online, still there is no feeling like seeing your name and photograph in the traditional real newspaper. I discovered this recently, this is how?

Article Mentioning Ginger & Cardamom With Me in Pic

Article Mentioning Ginger & Cardamom With Me in Pic


As you would know I was invited to be a panelist at this book reading event. It was an entertaining day where I shared the stage with Ahmed, the author of Love Life & All That Jazz, Paritosh, the author of Dream in Prussian Blue, and Priya, who runs Chrysalis Counseling. The event was an absolutely fun event and an engaging one too, where we discussed myriads of topics including relationships, careers, youths, marriages, books, Indian publications and Indian authors.

We had a meaningful discussion being constantly engaged by the audience with pointing question, insightful observations, and some delight experiences. I would say that day when I got off that stage, I did after being a more learned person than who had actually stepped on it. With the panel so distinct in areas of expertise and an audience with a great interest and understanding, the event didn’t seem to end at all.

It was a big day for Ahmed who was reading out his second edition of his book. And for Paritosh whose book The Dreams in Prussian Blue was being launched. I had a lot of fun being with the entire panel. Ahmed, who is a brilliant & eloquent speaker, actually managed & steered the whole show with constantly involving the panel and audience. On the other hand Paritosh, provided brilliant insights on what goes inside writing a book and how it actually works out in the publication industry. Priya, brought a note of vibrancy to the entire discussion with her quick and enriched comments with years of counseling experience behind them.

The pictures from the event are as following.

Ps. All those who would like to point out that I have gained weight after wedding, I already know and the plans to shed it already in the forming 😀

TweetPals: Story of @Fraands

I was recently saw a video on CNN IBN featuring twitter. I have been using twitter since quite some time and I have my own set of experiences some good some bad. The thing which has kept me on twitter and addicted to it is my good experiences outnumber the bad ones by huge margins. Courtesy twitter, I have had some amazing experiences in the virtual world and I thought that I have got far more to share about my experiences on twitter and my journey on it. As I wrote here that my twitter experience have been enriched by the people I have met. I have started this series called TweetPals where I am going to document my moments (Pal in Hindi) of twitter and my friends (Pals in English, thankfully for the pun) of twitter.

The TweetPals Series #1 undoubtedly goes to @Fraands

In the initial days of tweeting, when twitter was still a very new phenomenon in India. Almost none of the high profile Indian celebs were there, there were some enthusiasts like me who were there vociferously tweeting. Generally despite the conversations being on an open time line on twitter, there are silos are created based on conversations, locations, interests, ethnicity, sports, News and what not. I too had a a set of people I interacted most with, our silo was basically what we can call as YUP (Young Urban Professional) and we had common taste in humor and satire. Primarily the group consisted of @brainstuck @CruciFire @crazytwism @Tweepak @fossiloflife @radha_ @prateekgupta @keeda @rush_me

We used to mark each with @replies when we were talking as a group. Eventually we reached a point that marking all of us consumed more than half of the 140 character limit on twitter, leaving us almost no character space to write anything. This was when @brainstuck came with this brilliant idea of having an id for us. The name of the id was decided when @Rush_me suggested friends @crucifire orkutised it as @fraands and then @tweepak RTed it and finally @brainstuck used it in the id which we could all relate to.

I can still remember the string of conversation/events after which we actually formed the entire @fraands group-

1- @Crucifire was our top contender for a contest called Yaymen organized on twitter. He was tweeting for people to vote for him in the contest.

2- @Crazytwism with his satire jumped in with an Idea that he should be distributing sarees as done by some politician who was in the news.

3- The laugh riot started with @brainstuck started taking case of @crazytwism that he wanted to wear a saree.

4- The conversationw as soon joined in by yours truly, @radha_ where we took to such an extent that the simple saree turned into suhaag ka joda for @crazytwism and @crucifire

5- Then somehow the direction shifted to @Radha_ and who mentioned about her stilettos, which comfortably turned by @brainstuck to Weapons of A** Destruction.

6- The situation was out of control everybody had joined and we actually had no space to name everyone and have our jibe too.

7- It was then @fraands was created.

A lot of things have changed since then, Twitter grew leaps and bounds. The users increased, and with them came the consciousness of too many people watching, it also grew new silos with more specific area of interests. Also a lot of change in companies where twitter got blocked and the bosses joined twitter, that the common leg pulling and satire mellowed down a lot. But still the bonds formed and the moments of tweeting then remain unparalleled in my hearts. All said and done we all tweet, discuss things and still laugh over the jokes often obvious and sometime hidden subtly beneath the tweets.

I must say that was my first and the most remarkable experience on twitter, I can proudly say till date my best on the Virtual Social media experience. 8 people who I have never met in my real life, but know them as if I have been friends with them for ages, I call that the Power of Social Media, my Tweetpals.

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