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Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Time and Friendships..

Time changes a lot of things, it changes how we look, how we think and even how we process information. Heck, it changes what we want/desire as well. 



What has also happened over time is the changes in technology , the influx of social networking websites- twitter, Facebook, instagram, pinterest, whatsapp, telegram, hike, and so on.. All of these has made it so much easier to reach out and connect  with. We dont ever need to lose touch with anyone, ever again, as the number of "online friends" grow by the day. There is something wonderful about reconnecting with an old school friend, or finding an ex colleague on one of these platforms. It gives us such an adrenalin rush that we bask in its glory for a while. Now I know a lot of people who show off how many Facebook friends they have or Twitter Followers. While on one side you boast of this, on the other side there are brands who are keen to connect with these very people, cos they seem to have moved to a category called "influencers" [whatever that means...].. But then, what is the point of having so many friends, if you are in touch with a handful on a regular basis? So, it actually looks like having the gazillion friends is not a good thing after all.  What is surprising is that there are quite a few of our "online friends" we haven't met ever or spoken to more than once.

It has come to a point where when we met someone, the first thing they ask is "are you on Fb?".. A guy you connect with on a  dating site asks if he can add you in on Fb.. Oh, and I have actually had guys from dating apps find me on Fb and send me messaging asking for a connect.. I mean, WTF~ Why this obsession? I know it sounds like am anti social networking sites, no way.. I love it, and have my moments on it but don't get this whole "need to be connected for the sake of it" phenomenon...I had recently written another post on how people have become addicted to these apps and I am not really kicked about the whole "being in touch" all the time concept. 

Again, am not saying Social media or online world is a bad thing, just wondering what is the point of it all. Therefore, it seems quite natural that time also affects the relationships we have and the bonds we have built in life. Over the past few years, I have noticed that the number of "friends" [people am close to, in confide in, I meet/hang out with often and of course trust] has dwindled in numbers. But this is a good thing. I am quite happy with the few that am close to, i have around me and don't really miss the others who were left behind. 

Yes, I do get the occasional message asking if am alright, how come no messages etc, but then those die out with time as well. 

It got me wondering- why does this happen? Is it something that everyone goes through or something that is just me... Within few minutes, I stop wondering and move on in life. 

I guess its just that over time 
our tolerance for drama goes down, 
we stop staying in touch with those who add no value to our lives, 
who have no major aspirations or dreams.... 
And those who drain us of energy with their emotional drama/mess...

It is only fair to me to have people who mean something, who care, and who are true blue friends... Otherwise, I would just be unfair to myself.. Am happy with the 4-5 around, eternally grateful for them as well. So, who is your 5? 




Friday, November 4, 2016

Battle with the body - VII

So am on a holiday in a different city now. A city that has a reputation of being ultra cool and the place to be in if you wanna have fun. Well, it beats me but still the world believes it is so… What do I know, right?!  

Anyways, today I was at a mall where there were these two girls and a guy walking ahead of me. One of the girls was on the plus size side, the guy was skinny and the other girl was petite. I commented to my friend on the dress one of the girls was wearing that it was pretty and I was tempted to ask where she had bought it. They soon walked away and we lost sight of them for a while. Eventually, we went into Krispy Kreme as my friend’s hubby had picked up coffee for us where I saw the trio seated chatting animatedly.

In the table beside them were three guys who were laughing and talking aloud, in tamil. They were passing comments about the girl who was on the bigger side and connected her with the guy, saying crass things- about who would be on top, and if the guy would get crushed under the girl, if they were into threesomes and so on.  It so happened that I got a call at that very moment from home and spoke aloud in tamil. One of the guys turned when he heard that looked at my face and immediately dragged his homies and they rushed away. He stopped laughing and face changed expression instantly. I wish I had captured the moment.

How disgusting. The trio was oblivious and chatted away in Kannada, which got me thinking that language too plays such a big role in our lives. If they had understood these guys or if the guys had commented in Kannada there would have been a fight [atleast I hope there would have been one]. It hurt me that people behaved in such a crass manner, without an ounce of compassion towards their fellow humans.

Are they just jobless or do they get some kick out of behaving this way? Why does someone else’s body become a matter of discussion? When did this become the cool gossip? I was also ashamed that they were tamil….


Why are people so shallow, so dirty minded? Is it age, or is it their upbringing or do they think it is cool to talk like this? Beats me…


Sunday, October 30, 2016

Battle with the body - VI

Imagine the worst thing you have gone through in life and then in the same breathe read this...

A girl [of about 16 yrs of age] is walking on the street to the post office in a metropolitan city when few other kids [school going girls] who are heading home look at her, point, sneer and comment something to each other before bursting into giggles. This girl halts in her steps and slows down, not wanting to be seen out in the open. She intact starts lurking in the shadow and waits for the girls, and everyone else on the street to go before heading on her way. 

And then come these two guys on the bike, who are staring at her, slow down as they cross her and laugh as they sing "Kaththirikka kaththirikka gundu kaththirikka .."

While these might just be passing moments in the passer by's life, it leaves a lasting scar on the girl's mind. She is left feeling so bad about herself, wondering why she is the way she is and if this is how her life is going to be. Not to forget the gazillion people who under the pretext of being nice and caring tell her she is fat and fugly and nobody would want to marry her. She becomes a recluse, stops going out other than to college, does not have any friends, does not talk to anyone, just sits in her room reading or drawing .... She hates going out with family cos they are embarrassed about her, she doesnt get clothes her size and needs to go to one of the plus size stores and there are people constantly giving her advice on how to lose weight, and why it is not nice to be big.  

At a family function recently, an uncle [about 45yrs of age] came, sat next to her and initiated a conversation, asking her what she did, where was she studying etc. And then few minutes later asked her if she could get him some coffee. She got up and went towards the dining area. Suddenly she feels a hand under her kurti, turned around and saw it was the same uncle there groping her. She started protesting and wiggling out, but he held on tight and tried to push his hands up her breasts under the bra. She threw the cup of coffee on him and bolted back to the main hall looking for her mom. When she told her mom what had happened, her mom promptly gave her a reprimand saying she must have said or done something to provoke him. She writes that she started crying, but had to hold back tears till they got home an hour later... Says she felt alone and lost. Oh and few weeks before her 17th birthday, she even thought of committing suicide.. Why? Because clearly no one in this world loves her or cares about her... She managed to get through her birthday but says everyday is a struggle. 

Born in a family where almost everyone is big built, she says it is surprising that nobody seems to understand what she is going through  or empathises with her. She has joined a gym two weeks ago and goes early in the morning, finishes workout, showers changes and heads to college. Few days ago, a guy who works out there started talking to her, sharing his personal battle with the bulge and she says he is nice, we share our horror stories, laugh over it... maybe there is a friendship brewing there. 

Well, if you think this is a cooked up story and such things don't happen for real, let me stop you right there.. This was an email I received few days ago.  I read, and re-read this email to make sure I was reading it right.. Could not believe that a mom would act this way with her own child.. I mean, wtf is wrong with the world. Why this obsession with size, why this assumption that big is fugly, why this discrimination? 



Sunday, October 23, 2016

Dear Diary... mind wanders

Hey There,


Yes, I do agree.. Am sorry for abandoning you for so long. But well, in my defence I was busy living it up. 

Say what, you don't believe me, is it? haha.. well, what can i say.

I manage to revisit a town I had nearly taken off my list of "fond destinations I have been to" and well, it just might be sneaking back into the list, atleast somewhere at the bottom for now. And whilst there, I had some kind of light bulb moment as well. It dawned on me how much I have changed over the years. Not sure if it was cos of life, or just generally, you know the whole "matures with age, like wine perhaps..lol"

The conversations, the moments, the way I was thinking, the kind of things I wanted to do, the people I connected with- they were all very different from what I would have done few years ago. So I guess somewhere I grew up.. That said, I was glad I still have a bit of the kid left in me. A friend told me I was good fun to talk to- have serious conversations, bounce off ideas, and yet crack up and have quite a few laughs.. Well, I will take that as a compliment and smile away. 

Over the course of months, there have been a few friendships that have become stronger, some have faded and others well they are just there... I guess as with most of us, time is a test for many things in life- work, friendships, memories, pain, la la la, the list is endless. 

I continue to be happy being on my own, I don't long for company, there are very few I miss talking to, some conversations tire me out [they are invariably like the hamster on the wheel, go round and round with no end in sight] and some leave me energised wanting to go conquer the world [or what little I can]



While I sit here waiting for a friend, I look around at the many faces, some waiting for company, while others are focussed on their gadgets, and some have a forlorn look on their faces. A few look up, make contact and smile, while one just turned her face away. This reminds me of the book I love-  Phantoms in the Brain: Probing the Mysteries of the Human Mind  by V. S. Ramachandran .. What can I say, Human beings never cease to amaze me!

Well, ok, enough rambling, might as well go get a start on work ... until next time! 

Love
me

This Monday.. Jump into the deep end


Sunday, October 9, 2016

In touch..

I grew up in Madurai and Tirunelveli before landing in Chennai, so my growing years were quite different.. heck, we dint have a phone at home till I was in my 7th and the same applies for a TV. But then, I never missed them. I was out almost all the time, until mom was yelling out asking me to come back home. School was around the corner, I would go walking and since we lived in a small town, there were a few streets around our home where most of my friends lived in.  We used to go to an aunt's house nearby to watch TV shows and same went true for phone calls, someone from there would come over to tell mom she had a call, and it used to be called Trunk call.. :) 

It was one of those ideal childhoods, I dint have to worry about being out late, did not have to worry about being groped or raped [ I don't think i even knew the meaning of these words back then].  Come holidays, I would be in Chennai at grandparents home , being spoilt by all.- books, tv shows, outings, etc... I was the 1st and only grand kid [grand daughter] for a while.. :-) 

I used to receive post cards from grandpa and uncles whenever they travelled and I still have most of them. I hadn't been introduced to letter writing then, and so the only way to keep in touch was the occasional phone call or during the holidays. And I was more than happy with things the way they were. Infact, my uncles used to visit us with bag full of cassettes and books, they are the ones who got me hooked on music & reading..

Today I woke up wishing I could rewind time..


[Image courtesy www.justretweet.com]


[Image courtesy: www.edutopia.org]

With all this Social media and WhatsApp, I feel there is way too much "contact" and am not too kicked about it. Yes, we do need to keep in touch with our loved ones, but do we need to be in touch all the time.. Do we need to tell them whats happening, whats going on, what we are doing, ask what they are upto etc etc.... It sometimes suffocates and I just switch off Data /wifi and run away [metaphorically] 

The apps I have on my phone were Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp, Amazon kindle, Duolingo, Tinder [had few others but deleted them along the way] apart from few other utility based ones [bank and bsnl] ..  

I deleted Facebook about 2 months back and use only Page manager [ my page and client accounts] and it has been quite peaceful.. But yes, I do see there are certain events I am missing out on cos am not on FB, but then its ok. I do check it once in a few days to see if anything earth shattering is posted... There are a few characters who not only post fwds/images/videos on their wall, but feel the need to message me the links and if i havent responded within a few minutes I get the same on whatsapp.. i mean, seriously, chill won't you!..It reminds me of this guy I went out with very very briefly- he would msg on fb, follow it with a text and a whatsapp and even a mail [no am not exaggerating].. it is called stalking, not reaching out :-) 

Twitter - was a fun app few years ago and now seems to have become a place where people wake up looking for something to outage on, or thrust their opinions on.. And then there are those who are looking for ego massages.. [ no am not generalising, but you agree with me...admit it ]

Skype is another app that I have used ages ago, but then stopped and deleted. There are times when guys am talking to insist on doing a Skype call and again I just say no!! Phone works just fine, Thank you! 

Kindle - was telling a friend am tempted to buy one esp since there is an offer going on. But then the whole idea of carrying one more device, worrying about charge, etc just killed the temptation..yayyy

When friends tell me to try  Telegram, Snapchat, Alo or any of the other apps, I blatantly deny cos I have no use for them. Am sure there are gonna be new ones cropping up daily.. Somehow feel we all either have too much time on our hands or just become so lonely that we need to keep active on these many apps so the world doesn't forget us.. Guess we need to draw the line, get our priorities in place and move ahead... :-(  

While I do love it, esp cos it is part of what I do for a living, and am always curious about whats new, I sometimes feel it has taken over our lives.. 

Technology - I love it and gotta learn to live with it ~!! 

An interesting article about why people use social media

Monday, September 19, 2016

No means No.. always!


Well, for those who have seen the movie Pink, you will identify the title of the post and the image above.. as for others, am glad you haven seen the movie yet! While I enjoyed the movie, loved every dialogue and nuance, it left me baffled..

A quick synopsis of the movie for those wondering what am talking about...It talks about how ...
  • just because she wears modern clothes doesn't mean she is easy and will sleep with the guy
  • just because she is friendly with guys doesn't mean she is easy and will sleep with the guy
  • just because she has a drink with a guy doesn't mean she is easy and will sleep with the guy... 
The movie is about respecting a girl , her wishes and words...When she says NO, it means NO.. It does not give the guy the right to force her into getting physical...It has to be by invitation only and with mutual consent. While the girls in the movie are all single, this rule applies to married/other status women as well. Husbands also need to respect their wife's wishes and leave them be... its the basic!!

When I walked out of the theater, the only thought in my head was --- 

  • Do we actually need a movie to scream out to the world "no means no"?? 
  • How many people will actually change watching this movie?
  • Will it make any effing difference?
Heck, there was a group of guys sitting next to me in the theater and at a point one of them actually commented "abbeyaar, stop preaching already".. :O 

Maybe I have become cynical or just lost hope of this society ever changing~ And that is what pisses me off the most. It all boils down to the girl[single/married/others], at the end of the day she is blamed for anything the pricks do. She wears revealing clothes, she must have smiled at the guy, she hangs out with guys at bars/pubs, she is out late in the night, she lives alone/with roomies... la la laaaa....

I remember few years ago I wanted to move out and live on my own. I had a tough time trying to find an apartment cos most places were not open to renting it to a single gal.. Some just gave random excuse, while others asked questions "will you have guys visiting? will you work late? and when I told them I mostly worked from home, they were all the more sceptical.. They dint understand the concept of freelance and weren't sure I was going to make enough money .. Or maybe the thought I had a sugar daddy who would pay my bill...lol.. But luckily I found a place [my Bff moved to bombay and her dad rented the apartment to me no questions asked] :-) The society is always ready to point a finger at us gals, but never pause and think otherwise.. 

I do have guy friends, I am quite independent and don't mind going out with friends [guys/girls] and can take care of myself. Yes there are times when I get home late in the night... Well, am this angry cos I could so identify with the movie and the crux of it all cos I have experienced it myself. I had once met a guy who did not understand the meaning of No, inspite of me repeating it a gazillion times. He would say I hear you, I respect you but he kept touching and it came to a point where I literally had to bolt from the vehicle at a traffic signal... I was angry and sad not at what happened with me, but that such men exist in this world and seem to be the majority. What is worse is he messages the next day asking when we were gonna meet next.. $#@#%@%#%. I replied saying never! [am sure he would move to the next girl on the list and it din't make a difference if one girl turned him down]

It disgusts me when I read news of girls being raped, heck they don't spare babies even.. Oh let's not forget cows and horses and dogs as well.. I know I shouldn't generalise, but then everyday when you read such news it disgusts me that men are allowed to even exist in this world.. Why doesn't a tornado or some such wipe em out?..lol.. I am not against men, I have quite a few good friends who are guys but these incidents and behaviour has me questioning the logic of it all..

I know at the end of the day, the society the mind set needs to change, but someone needs to make a start somewhere.. At home, I know people trust me but they still cave in to the so called society and advice me constantly not to stay out late, or hang out with guys here and there. It gets to me, but I just nod and smile [gritting teeth inside]. Why are all so ready and find it easy to point fingers at the girl?Why don't we blame the guys? Or worse is there are statements such as "men are like that, they think and act only with their d*, so it is you girls who need to act wisely and safeguard yourself.." are you serious? Wtf... I want to scream at people who preach, who say grow your hair out, cover your tattoos, wear full covered salwar pyjama etc...I have lost track of the number of times I have turned back and asked " Err, havent you been eating news? all kinds of girls get raped and killed, it does not matter what you wear.. The mentality is what needs to be sent to the laundry... "

I am gonna blame it all on Adam & Eve.. I wonder if Eve said No when Adam made advances, if he neglected that and that is the place where it all began.....

[incidentally this is used as a dialogue in the movie as well]


Me

My photo
Am a contradiction of sorts. i love going out and having a good time with friends, and i can also stay home chill out over a book or a movie.. Am very passionate about writing, so give me a topic and watch me float away into wonderland... I Am crazy about music,books,friends and my doggie... :)