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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... :)

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Dear Diary, memories linger

Dear Diary

I know, I know, this year too is drawing to an end and today is the last day... Gosh, where did the time go? Everyday was quite difficult, challenging, painful even and now all I am left with are memories...



Today while on the road, the cab had a pic of Velankanni Mother and that brought back so many memories. I realised I should send them a cheque and a letter, maybe even mention Thatha's passing away. If there was one God he believed in outside of our Hindu Gods, it was to the Mother. An incident changed his belief decades ago and since then overtime someone would fall ill, go through a big transition, he would instantly and silently send a cheque and a letter seeking blessings.  The letter was scribbled on his letterpad and put in an envelope that had a stamp on it and shipped out. Few days later he would receive an envelope from Velankani with a Mother's Photo and a letter saying his request has been placed at the Mother's feet and wishes were with him. 

Sigh.. in another month it would be a year since he left us.. Everytime I walk into the front room, I half wait for him to come out in his veshti smelling of viboodi with a big smile on his face asking me if i wanted anything. There would be times when he would come give me money and say "keep it, you keep spending for the house". And then there would be times when I would be working or on the phone and he would barge in and say something, oblivious to what I was doing.. Yes, there were times that were frustrating cos he dint understand boundaries and space, but then  now I actually miss them. we would be at logger heads more often than not, there would be verbal battles, arguments, disagreements but at the end of the day none of it mattered. 

Whenever I travelled, gramma would call daily to ask how I was doing. And when I come back, she would be like "your thatha kept saying the house is too quiet".. 

What a difference a single person makes.... 

OK, ok, signing off before I go all teary eyed and melt in a puddle.. Well, here's hoping 2016 is better, and brings forth many new challenges and ventures... 

See you soon
Adios
Me

Saturday, December 19, 2015

When the going gets tough, the tough gets going…Chennai floods -III

When the going gets tough, the tough gets going…Chennai floods -I

When the going gets tough, the tough gets going…Chennai floods -II


As mentioned in both these posts, I relied heavily towards the Online world during the recent floods.. There was no news that was right or accurate elsewhere... Here is an article I wrote for DNA based on the same..

Next time someone tells me “you are spending too much time online” I shall give them OTS [one tight slap]. Why? Well, that is how awesome the online world has been the past few weeks. When the rains hit Chennai late November, I was following the action across the city via Twitter and then I discovered the forums on Facebook- Tamilnadu Flood- Support and Chennai Rains relief group. Soon after I found #chennairains and #chennairainshelp on Twitter. I live in Chetpet, an area that wasn’t too affected, so after I was done making sure our household help were taken of, I headed out to buy some pedigree, biscuits and bread and fed every possible stray that I found. I have also been leaving food and milk out daily, a couple of times along the streets in my area. I sent out about 20kg bags of rice, and 40 kgs of dal to a relief camp yesterday. For the dogs, I sent out bread, food, bowls, newspapers as well..
On the second day, I began connecting people who had relief materials with those in need, helping update the Google doc that had been put together and that is how the ball rolled. Teamed up with a best friend, Radha Srinivasan and her husband Jaishankar, we put a plan to collect material from all over the city and head out to see who needed what. Twitter was a big help in this. We tracked, we hunted and we went out into knee-deep water to give people basic necessities, food and everything else we thought they needed- clothes, medicines (especially for fever, headaches and Cybol for fungal infections), blankets, mats, juices, milks (tetra pack), water and soaps as well. 
Day before yesterday, we loaded their Ertiga with these items - 300 packets of food, equal number of water, some clothes, medicines and headed out towards the OMR area. There we found the Fathima Child welfare centre- with about 100 kids, and gave them water. A kid from one centre took us to their two other shelters, where we distributed more stuff. On a whim, we decided to drive down and find more places to help. We found Tsunami colony [road opp TCS], Chemmenenchery and gave out nearly 300 packets of biscuits, water and food packets. We also nearly got mobbed there, but managed to survive. We heard later that there were nearly 20,000 people inside and that some hadn’t received any relief. So we put a team together. 
Article source: http://www.dnaindia.com/india/comment-chennai-rains-how-the-social-media-helped-chennaites-reach-out-to-people-in-distress-2153424

Thursday, December 17, 2015

When the going gets tough, the tough gets going…Chennai floods -II

I did what I knew best.. took to the online world, which is where I got all information from and where requests/updated flowed faster than the #Chennairains.. 

I began sharing updates, images and videos from home and around... But the one thing I stayed away from was sharing pictures of people receiving relief. Now, this is something I don't understand.. People want to see others come begging for relief/for help.. what kind of sadistic pleasure do you get by that is something that beats me!  Yes, we did have a few donors ask for photographs as proof of their funds being rightfully used, but here too we clicked pictures only of relief material, the lorry and things like that. It was never of people actually receiving them.. We have no idea what they are going through, what has driven them to literally putting their arms out and begging for things. So, it is not right to take pictures of them taking the materials. 

During one relief distribution outing to Tsunami Colony, Chemmenchery, I was chit chatting with a people around there. A girl looked at and said "akka, ethavathu velai irundha sollunga". I then asked her "have you worked somewhere, what have you done?" And she replied "we have completed Bcom and are stuck here". They used to live in Perambur, but their house burnt down and the Government relocated them here to the houses in this colony... Felt so helpless and depressed.  This is just one story... there are so many... Shall share them in coming posts..just to give you an idea of what the floods did to the amazing folks in our city... 

Here are a few posts I shared on Instagram...









Sunday, December 13, 2015

When the going gets tough, the tough gets going…Chennai floods -I

When the going gets tough, the tough gets going…

Well this is a song I love and true to the lyrics, I saw the city of Chennai come together during the recent rains. I know a lot has been written and said about this deluge... But I wanted to do a series on my blog where I share my personal experiences. This blog was born few days ago, but have been overwhelmed and just unable to get to it... 






Had it been a few years ago, I would have just stayed at home, and enjoyed the rains, worried about power cuts and whether stores would be open…  But now I realised I have changed. I was restless from Day 1, I was online checking on updates. I discovered #chennairainshelp and #chennairains and decided to get on board, and kick into action.

I would share posts, I would verify numbers and requests, update people on what was happening and so much more. I also received tonnes of requests from others asking me to help trace their loved ones, or send relief to inundated areas. It was heart breaking. Most cases the phone lines were down, and that is when we realized Whatsapp calls worked, and I started using that mode to reach out.

Apart from these, I joined hands with few other friends who were keen on helping out. We started gathering momentum, invited volunteers, scouted for places with supplies and thus began our journey towards getting our city back on its feet.

Alongside sourcing materials for people, I began collecting food and utilities for our 4 legged friends. I began feeding the strays on my road and neighborhood. People at home were constantly wondering what kept me out even when it was pouring, but that did not stop me.. I also sent out messages to my circles, inviting donations and resources.

Today when I look back, am amazed at how people came forth instantly ready to help.. My uncle in Delhi connected me to a friend of his sending stuff from Bangalore, my other uncle in USA connected me to his friend who was doing some relief and wanted some help. And then there were cousins and friends abroad who were itching to help but did not know how. They sent me money that I used to buy materials. Best part was they did not question me on what I did with their contributions.

Another guy I had connected with on Facebook sent a message that his dad was bringing quite a bit of medicines, was old and so requested if I could have them picked up. I sent out a message and one guy from my team went and collected them.

I could go on and on… The days have rolled on, the rains have stopped, the streets have dried up [ except for a few] but we are still at it… Am still working with friends sending out relief materials, teams and information.. It has been one of the most distressing times, but glad to have contributed a teeny bit…

To be continued..




Wednesday, November 4, 2015

10 Things You Should Know About Dating The Woman Who’s ‘Forever Alone’ [http://elitedaily.com]

I came upon this article on http://elitedaily.com and found it to be bang on.. Sharing it here-

Certain women always have people by their sides, whether they’re boyfriends, friends with benefits or both.
And if they don’t, they keep looking.
On the other side, there are a bunch of women who haven’t gone through the whole “dating” phase of their lives.
I am one of those women, and I haven’t found someone I want to be with, someone I want to have on my speed dial and someone I won’t be ashamed of making out with on the road, in the mall and everywhere else.
This is for all those other women out there who are like me.
Maybe we haven’t found the right ones, or maybe we aren’t ready for them yet.
Or maybe, we’re waiting for the best ones to come into our lives.
We’re waiting for people who will make us understand why it hasn’t worked out with anybody else.
Here are all the things people need to know about dating the “forever single” woman:

1. She doesn’t want a guy just to complete her.

She doesn’t need you; she wants you. She wants you to her encourage her, empower her and make her the best she could be.
She knows she is complete, and she just wants you to inspire her to keep going.

2. She isn’t single because no one wants to be with her.

She isn’t not liked by guys or unwanted. She definitely has a lot of eyes on her.
But, she just hasn’t found anybody she would want to be serious with.

3. She likes her alone time.

Just because she sometimes doesn’t want to meet up with you, it doesn’t mean she’s done with you.
She just likes spending some time by herself. She understands the meaning of riding solo, as she’s been that way for so long.

4. She’s independent and likes being self-sufficient.

That doesn’t mean she’s egoistic.
She wants to pay for herself, and she likes splitting the bill with you.

5. She isn’t needy.

She knows what and how she is. She isn’t going to pester you for updates about what you’re doing and the people you’re with.

6. She may not show it, but she wants to be with someone.

Sometimes, she does want someone by her side. She’s just waiting for the right one.

7. She understands and respects privacy.

So, there’s absolutely no need to tell her about every text you sent.
She trusts you and knows you need your own space, too.

8. She’s very strong.

She’s been through all the best friend breakups, weight gains, mood swings and everything else in her life without having a boyfriend to talk to about it. She’s survived it all alone.
So, she doesn’t need a boyfriend to vent out all her issues to. She’s strong enough to walk through the storm, and you should know it.

9. She knows how much you need your own friends, and she wants you to have them.

She has a life and knows you do, too. She isn’t going to be irritated you didn’t meet her on time or text her back when you were playing PlayStation with your guys.

10. She’s going to be the best you’ve ever had, if you treat her right.

She knows her worth, and she totally knows how much you mean to her.
She doesn’t fall easily, so you better know how to treat her.
She doesn’t expect you to be all over her or around her all the time, but she wants you to be the best you can for her.
This is especially true considering she’s been waiting for someone like you for years.
Article link: http://elitedaily.com/dating/dating-the-forever-alone-woman/1244729/
ar

Monday, November 2, 2015

Dear Diary, we move on, right?

Dear Diary


Am back... I know its been a while, just that I have been busy.. With what, you ask? Well, life ofcourse!! 

It is November already and am once again wondering what have I done this year that I haven't done before!! What have I done differently.. 

I have learnt I don't have to say "yes" to all who ask me a favour/request..well there are  few grey areas where I am left stumped [more so cos of those around me & the way they react/or rather don't]
I have grown mature to not react and stay silent.. well almost all the time! 
It has been a few interesting months, exploring something new and finding things that jolted me a bit..
I have managed to make a few new friends.. especially when I thought I couldn't make any more friends..
I still seem to have most of my sanity intact.. yes, I still do ;o) 
I am back to learning Spanish, even if it is on my own.. heck, gives me a reason to stay in touch with what I have learnt earlier.. 
I dont trust 99% of the people around me.. lessons have been learnt and boundaries have been cemented. 
I don't get affected by remarks anymore.. 
It is good that I have a solid head on my shoulders that lets me remain calm and sane even when the water is brimming over.. 
I am happy I havent' asked too many favours from friends.. I am one of those who would rather find a way to get things done than go to others... 
I take my own time and work on things witty rushing in head first and then regretting rushing in. 
I am enjoying my company more and more.....  :-) 
And finally
I love ME :D 

Well, all in all I must say it has been a good few months, right? Am sure you can see the change in me.... 

Here's to fun times ahead..
Adios for now
Me



Friday, October 9, 2015

G for gratification? -Part I

There are moments in life that leave you stumped- it could be good /bad/ ugly or just weird things... Off late I have been coming across people who seem to be doing things just for a few minutes of attention.. I call it instant gratification!! Once they know they have got the attention from a certain number of people they move on! where? I am guessing to greener pastures.. lol.. Mind you, this applies to both genders~!

While I believe the sole reason people post pictures, selfies, updates on social media sites is also for Instant Gratification, there is much more going on.... Read on... 
 



A couple of months ago, I was asked to write an article on the newest "dating" app in town- Tinder.. Yes the very same that is now on everyone's mobiles, lips and everywhere else.. So, I downloaded the app, and started playing with it to see what it was all about.. 

How it works is, it signs you in with your Facebook account- yes you need an Facebook account..

What you don't have one? 

Come on out from that rock you are living under I say!! pch pch.. You want to date, but dot want Facebook means what nonsense, I Say!

OK, so once you sign in, it gives you the chance to create a profile for yourself.. The space where you go all narcissistic and just go all out, showing off.. I am hot, I am what you are looking for, I am gorgeous, I am a health freak, I am married but here to have fun, I am looking for 'like minded people' and all that jazz... Done?Soopa! Now when you go to the main page, you will suddenly see photos/profiles drop down from the sky... 

Below em photos, you have a X and a Heart symbol... It is for you to either kick the person out or like it .. Either ways, the photo will disappear into the oblivion... 

Swipe to left and it disappears, swipe to right, it disappears... Ya ya I know!!  and then you are left sitting and staring into empty space.. 

But but.. you just might get lucky, the person who you liked could also like your profile and that is called a "match"... and then you begin you hi hello how are you, sky is blue, your eyes are pretty, you are sexy, I am married with two kids but am looking for some fun- want to make out kinda chit chat.. [Oh yes, these are all real stuff, haven't made em up]

Then it is upto you to either continue or unmatch and make them disappear [ but then wait, their profile will reappear in your main page when you login to tinder again... so much for that! ] - I wish Tinder comes up an option of sending them flying into space never to show their face again option soon! 

Again here too I realised it is predominantly about "gratification", the whole concept of being liked, being wanted... There are many who I have chatted with who aren't looking for anything more than a friend.. But why are they on Tinder? Well, a few were honest enough to tell me "I only wanted the  gratification of knowing that I was wanted, that someone else found me attractive. Beyond that, I didn’t want to socialize. I never wanted to know about someone else. I only wanted to stare, chit chat and have some harmless fun" and then there are others who say "am looking to make friends"[they actually mean it :)]

How about that? And then there are those who are on these apps only to hit on someone from the opp/same sex and look for quickie/one nighter/fling/call it what you will.. It is all about sex for them! 

Another question that came into my mind was "Just because a girl chats and is friendly, why do guys assume she is ok to have sex right away?" ... Are men that perverted that they can't think of anything else or is that all they are looking for in life? But then, the other side of the coin is that - am sure there are women out there wanting the same thing, which is probably why some of these men are so upfront and straight on focussed on that one thing.... 

Oh and there is this one other incident I should share - A guy has seen my profile, and liked it. But since I dint like him, it wasn't a match.. now this Mr Hotshot snoops around, finds me on Facebook and sends me a friend request... "ARE YOU SERIOUS?"... I sent him a message asking if I knew him from somewhere.. he then replies " I saw you on Tinder, saw the two common matches, and so decided to connect on FB, wanna chat?" ... I laughed for a good 10mins!! Men are so despo and sad...  
{I declined his friend request and told him not so politely that I don't go around adding random !@$#%% on Facebook".. adios..}

And when you are at the age where I and many others are, you know the people who are on these sites/forums/apps are bound to have been around the block/married/separated/divorced.. but what amazes me is that most men when I ask "So, are you married?", reply "Yes, but it is complicated" errr ummm what do you mean by that? Your wife/spouse is a chimp or is she up a tree and you can't get her down for a decade or you are a strayer and therefore your marriage is on the rocks... Complicated is such a overused, abused word- doesn't make sense! very few are open enough to say "yes" or "in the process of divorce, we are separated"... Cmon guys, be honest, it is a quality us gals appreciate.. 

Nah, I’m not a prude, but I know what I want and I am clear on it!. I could care less if you use it as a hookup app, or whatever else floats your boat.... 

All said and done, I do admit - I have come across some very cool guys as well... and we have hit it off instantly~!! So, there is HOPE!! :-) 


All I can say-  learn to respect people, be open & honest, but don't be pushy and push the other person away without getting to know em...  


This is an article I came upon, quite a good one- http://guff.com/your-brain-on-tinder-will-likes-replace-relationships..


Update -
Over the past few weeks came across one more kind of men.. The kind that claims they "don't judge" but they do just that.. They hop skip jump and judge all over... They don't hesitate to voice their opinions, call you names and go off the cliff for nothing.. 

This guy "Super likes" my profile [ Now i have no clues why or what it even means].. Curious, I like his profile and we are a match.. Now begins the chatting game... After the initial hi hello how are you, I came to know he is of Swiss origin and is currently working/living in UK.. Divorced with a teen son who lives separately. 

After a few minutes, he shares " I am the jealous, possessive kind, so if you are in a relationship let me know, I don't like to be the second guy".. I told him I wasn't in a relationship, which he kept harping on for a good 10mins... Phew!! 

Next came the discussion on why I don't have a surname.. South Indians don't have a surname, we take on our dad's name and then husbands's name i guess.. I did not have a surname, I was just "Aarti.K" until few years ago when I decided to add dad's name to mine, just so people can find me online and know who I am...  This guy just did not get it, he kept at it, making it sound like I was hiding my real name.. [damn, how screwed up are guys?]

That was done.. Next came the two days off we had- Saraswathi Pooja and Vijayadasami..  I told him I was off, he then said "Oh so India is off is it?" .. I said "No, only certain pockets celebrate and they are off"... A good hour went in this... 

Damn, this was tiring!! Agreed he was interesting but I kept asking myself "where is this headed?"... 

Now the icing on the cake came on Thursday... I had told him I was going for the match with friends... He quizzed if I was going with men or women and la la la... I was irked but very amused.. Left it at it..

The night after the match he messages asking how it was, if i had fun.. I answered incorporating as much excitement as I could in the text... lol .. 

And that was when I was in for a jolt..  he goes off on a rant "You did not care that there is someone who cares waiting for you here.. you are away happily enjoying the match.. you Indian women are freaks.. you have no compassion.. you are wasting my time.. la la la tra la la aaaa..." 

I kinda lost it, told him I ain't gonna justify nothing and since he has so many issues, I wished him all the very best in life and clicked on "unmatch" ... over & out! [Talk about weirdos....]


Off I go to see the next lot of possible matches that Tinder throws for me... ;-)


Sunday, October 4, 2015

Another Birthday went by...

The minute the new year is born, the first thing I look in the Calendar is "What day is my Birthday".. Little pleasures of life, right?

Well, over the years the day has come to become synonymous with "Spending time with friends".. But over the past few years, one by one my friends have been moving away [ not figuratively, but literally].. one moved to Bombay, another to Bangalore... Sigh!! What this means is I don't have these jokers around to hang out with, spend time with.. But then that is life, right?

This year, on 3rd I was home, feeling slightly Blahed out when a group of friends messaged, followed it up with a call and we met for a quick bite and some chit chat.. It was one fun evening indeed... Did not stay out too late, but had a good time.. Tried out pasta and garlic bread with Beetroot mayo at this new place, had ice cream at a small local joint, laughed quite a bit & had a whale of a time... And then of course there were the sweet ones who called to wish around midnight and made sure I was in high spirits..hehe... 

What do I look for this year? 

  •  Me - Stay the same, keep myself as top priority and live life my way! [as I have been doing so far]
  • Keep health as top priority- try something new
  • Travel- A friend sent me this minion video about travel and wished me more travels this year..  Yes, I want to travel lot more, explore new places and enjoy it while I can
  • Work - See what needs to be done to become a Digital nomad.. 
  • Photography - learn few tricks, tips and click more... 
  • Finances - Invest more, plan better... 






Happy Birthday to me!! :D