Sunday, August 30, 2009

Normal Day

Normal in the context of a day is often used to mean uneventful / boring . To someone ailing in a hospital a 'normal' day is a gift to be cherished . If you are healthy , global warming hasn't radically altered your part of the planet , you have family / friends....then 'normal' is special.

Loved this quote by Mary Jean Iron...."Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are. Let me learn from you, love you, bless you before you depart. Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow. Let me hold you while I may, for it may not always be so. One day I shall dig my nails into the earth, or bury my face in the pillow, or stretch myself taut, or raise my hands to the sky and want, more than all the world, your return."

Friday, August 28, 2009

Fake plants

My fake plants died because I did not pretend to water them - Mitch Hedberg

Analogy applicable to some social interactions and relationships .

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

On flowers..

Why do people give each other flowers? To celebrate various important occasions, they're killing living creatures? Why restrict it to plants? "Sweetheart, let's make up. Have this deceased squirrel."

~ The Washington Post

Saturday, August 15, 2009

What then ?

This one is from one of my school books . Included in the syllabus by an optimistic person who thought school kids would get the question..

What Then?

His chosen comrades thought at school
He must grow a famous man;
He thought the same and lived by rule,
All his twenties crammed with toil;
'What then?' sang Plato's ghost. 'What then?'

Everything he wrote was read,
After certain years he won
Sufficient money for his need,
Friends that have been friends indeed;
'What then?' sang Plato's ghost. 'What then?'

All his happier dreams came true -
A small old house, wife, daughter, son,
Grounds where plum and cabbage grew,
Poets and Wits about him drew;
'What then.?' sang Plato's ghost. 'What then?'

'The work is done,' grown old he thought,
'According to my boyish plan;
Let the fools rage, I swerved in naught,
Something to perfection brought';
But louder sang that ghost, 'What then

- W.B Yeats

Happy Independence Day

There are no boundaries in the real Planet Earth. No United States , no Russia , no China , no Taiwan. Rivers flow unimpeded across the swathes of continents . The persistent tides , the pulse of the sea do not discriminate; they push against all the varied shores on Earth

- Cousteau

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Today I can complain because the weather is rainy
I can be thankful that the grass is getting watered for free.

Today I can feel sad that I don’t have more money
I can be glad that my finances encourage me to plan my purchases
wisely and guide me away from waste.

Today I can grumble about my health
I can rejoice that I am alive.

Today I can lament over all that my parents didn’t give me when I was growing up
I can feel grateful that they allowed me to be born.

Today I can cry because roses have thorns
I can celebrate that thorns have roses.

Today I can mourn my lack of friends
I can excitedly embark upon a quest to discover new relationships.

Today I can whine because I have to go to work
I can shout in joy because I have a job to do.

I can complain because I have to go to school
eagerly open my mind and fill it with rich new pieces of knowledge.

Today I can murmur dejectedly because I have to do housework
I can feel honored because the Lord has provided shelter for my mind, body and soul.

Today stretches ahead of me, waiting to be shaped.
And here I am, the sculptor who gets to do the shaping.
What today will be like is up to me
I get to choose what kind of day I will have!

(Ruhi - thanks for emailing this beautiful verse )

Monday, August 10, 2009

Zero baggage

Travel (for many ) involves packing bags of clothes . A new service to be launched in Australia next year will make it possible for travellers to hire clothes for their holidays rather than lug heavy baggage to the airport.

You can book clothes on-line and they will be delivered to the hotel . Quite a radical idea . It would definitely find enthusiastic takers for the sheer novelty of the idea.

Quite impossible to do something like this in India - unless the garment in question is a sari , dupatta or dhoti . Sizes vary across brands . Fits vary within styles of a brand. The brave who attempt something like this in India should keep a spare set of (own) clothes or a few metres of fabric handy :)

Friday, August 7, 2009

Rent a friend

In India one has heard of hiring people to mourn death of a loved one . In China there were cases of women hiring boyfriends to take home during holidays - to ward off pressure from the family to marry. In Japan , people are being hired to pose as friends in weddings. Either way it's unfortunate .As individuals and societies change - it will reflect in various forms . Seeking to hold on to rituals like weddings attended by a certain number of people serves no purpose (other than the enterprising entrepreneur who started the business of 'renting friends').

One wonders about the brides and bridegrooms in locations other than Tokyo who may be facing a similar dilemma on their wedding day without the luxury of a company from whom to rent friends (or those who can't afford such a service even if it is available ).Instead of focusing on the joy of the marriage they would agonize over the unnecessary stress of the guest list. The Japanese are quick to follow new trends. Time to start and promote a trend of private weddings attended only by close family and few friends. It would be easier on the couple - emotionally and financially.

Approach to taxation

India's commerce and finance ministry should learn a thing or two from China's approach...

“Such wealthy consumers exist and instead of them spending their money overseas, why not keep them in the country,” Jiang said in a commentary published in the People’s Daily today. “Lowering the duties will boost the imports of luxury products and that will spur domestic retail sales.”

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Next time..take-away

Visited an upscale Italian restaurant in Mumbai . It was my first visit to this place. Quite a large restaurant. The attempt seems to have been to create a cozy , intimate kind of ambiance. Vintage looking walls , chandeliers (hanging at perilously low levels) , lighting dim enough to induce sleep (personally I prefer good, diffused illumination in a restaurant ). All of these features are at loggerheads with what seems to be the core clientele of this restaurant ( based on what I witnessed in my visit ) - large groups of people most of which often have 1-2 toddlers in tow ! By 8.45 pm the din in the restaurant would have sufficed to attract the attention of inhabitants of neighboring planets. Not many (standalone) restaurants in India pay adequate attention to acoustics and the inter-play of the sound with the visual scene. Perhaps it is lack of expertise in interior design or it's a non-issue for the restaurant. There is undoubtedly a cultural aspect to it . And the fact that a restaurant with 100+ people is bound to be noisy. I do believe that the overall it could have been made more bearable by attention to detail.

The food thankfully was amazing. Though a next time I'd be more inclined to order a take-away.

Home grown

Received an unusual gift from a friend . Home grown vegetables :) Grown in a Mumbai apartment.Cooking with home grown vegetables makes the food and the whole experience somehow special.

After some thoughts on the food crisis , it was lovely to see a mini-farm in an apartment :) Inspiration to expand my little garden at home beyond herbs .