Sunday, November 05, 2006

I am


People often express surprise and a certain amount of "concern" (dripping with sarcasm) at the fact that I am wasting my education as an Engineer by giving up on a fledgling career in the IT industry , to be able to live with my husband at his various "way-out-of-the-way" postings. They "wonder" how I can stoop to being "just" a school teacher ," I mean the money's nothing". Well meaning "seniors" warn me that I might reach middle age and covet the success that career woman of my generation have.

A married friend of mine takes great objection to being called Mrs XYZ, because she feels that her identity and individuality is threatened by the "Mrs" tag. I on the other hand, have no qualms about being known as Mini/Monishikha/Mrs MRC depending on who I am speaking to.


Needless to say, these things do make me question, whether I will actually regret it, and whether I am just parasiting off a successful husband. I wonder, and I realise that I didn't mind leaving a prospective career behind because

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Continued

From

  • That I "hide" his wallet and I-Card in his cupboard, rather than in plain sight on the Dining room table/drawing room sofa/bedside table, i.e. where they were supposed to be,since he dumped them there......


  • When he wants to eat Maggi /order out, even though I've made some sabzi and roti for dinner, I don't (always) throw a full-blown tantrum (just a medium strength one) about how I slaved in the kitchen (for a change;) and that a meal minus chicken is edible......and after that I filch just a teeny tiny bit of his Maggi-dinner or order my own Chicken dinner sa that he may have his in peace;)


  • That I (generally) skip the nail polish part when I am getting ready for a party.....JUST so I can tuck in his shirt properly and we can be there EXACTLY on time , by his watch... 5 minutes before time by mine...since he sets his 5 minutes ahead of mine in a misguided attempt to panic me into hurrying up on the rare occassions that I might be having a disagreement about elevation and draping styles, with my Sari;)
  • After he has a LOOOOONG day at work, and he STILL wants to drive to town ,( which is 35 kms away ) for a "Tafri and Dinner", I bear Mr. OOOOOOooooooooooooooooooo Reshammiya with grace and dignity, for the first ten minutes.....(After that he's too busy talking to notice when I switch CDs;)


Wait a minute....I think that's him at the door ...got to close and run otherwise it might be premature star gazing time;)

Saturday, September 30, 2006

My Husband...

needs to thank his stars for the following (maybe)


  • My job, which takes up a few hours of my day, and most of my mental energy...gives him respite from routine "after-his-long-day-at-work-and-my-holiday" evening cries of "Im BORED and/or Lets go out somewhere"

  • Books that I read...they allow him his much needed horizontal snore time..
  • Painting/Sketching.....keeps my imagination engaged....and him nag-free.
  • This Blog...which is beginning to scare the h*** out of him,apparently,it keeps me out of his hair a bit TOO much and he's claiming that if things don't change soon enough,I am "going to turn into a screen saver and vanish into the world wide web" ...which would make him sad and itchy because then he would no longer have access to an automatic back-scratching-head-and-neck-massager:(


To be continued....

Monday, September 25, 2006

Colours of the Night

This has been sitting in my drawing room for some time now.....a new digicam makes it so much easy to show off ;)...both the picture and the subject are home made :-D

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Just Push Play















Ninety percent of the music I like, is easy on the ears, composed/arranged/sung by someone of non-Indian origin, created anywhere between three decades B.M.bd (Before My birthday;) till two and a half decades A.M.bd(After My birthday;). hindi film music takes up all most all the rest of the 10%. I cannot appreciate Indian classical music (I've tried, and I respect the vocal prowess involved) and somewhat appreciate the better known pieces of western classical music( i.e. I may or may not go to the other room and close the door when that stuff is on ;) .


My husband , on the other hand, listens to( and enjoys) anything from Beethoven, Mozart, Handel, to Def Lepard ,Judas Priest, Van Halen, Chris Rhea, Dire Straits, trance and all the 90's stuff, to Mukesh , Hemant and to my great horror ( and sneaking liking;) Hindi film remixes and ooooooooooooooo Himesh Reshammiya!!!


A few days back, we were driving back from somewhere, and as usual ,the music was on full blast ...In the (rare;-) intervals of musical quiet , we had the following conversation--


Me: I wonder, is it "unpatriotic" of me not to like Indian classical music at all, and somewhat appreciate the western classical stuff?


He: A taste in music should have nothing at all to do with patriotism or the lack of it...tell me , why don't you like the Indian stuff?


Me: Basically , because I just don't.....its not as if I haven't given it a chance , but somehow, I just could never appreciate it.


He: Then where does the question of patriotism come in it? You don't, so you don't.


Me: Well...its just that till now, with a number of people I've met , a discussion about music, often leads down the path of Indian vs. Western music, and I've often been at the receiving end of "she's-such-an-unpatriotic-so-and-so" because the only music that I can discuss with any amount of "knowledge" happens to be of non-Indian origin.


Why cant it just be about the music?


He: Does it matter what anyone else thinks?


Me:...hmmmm, so which CD ,which track is that "Lady Godiva" number on.....and DONT you dare put on that "Pirates of the Caribbean" soundtrack again!!!!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Rain.......Rain.....GO AWAY!!!!


The last few days have been dull and gray...miserable ,pouring an endless supply of cats,dogs ,elephants etc..., wet clothes musty smelling house............so today I decided that if the Gods didn't oblige with some sunshine soon, I'll take matters in my hand....listen to some music at the LOUDEST volume I could stand (and get away with)....and funnily enough the sun's peeking out coyly too, looks like its likes my taste in music ;).....to entice it further I am going to keep the music on till the neighbours bang the door down...'cos at this volume there's no way I can hear a door bell;)

Mr SS




An Eternity ago, I woke up with a mildly scratchy throat...and decided to leave it alone, maybe ignoring it would make it non-existent ....alas , Mr. Scratchy Sandpaper a.k.a. Mr. SS disagreed...and with all the injured pride of the unwanted pest , ignored my heated efforts (at 102oC to 104oC) to beat him into leaving....Ulimately my long suffering ,care-taking hubby, marched me to the hospital (read propped and propelled into the car ,out of the car) for some external ammo .However, since Mr. SS had commandeered my oesophagus and decided to permit extremely restricted movement of rations to the central pit, the said pit refused to retain the ammo and sent it back up the way it came, along with a lot of other things (some of which I don't recall sending down at all :( sigh..) and kept sending up...sigh...Paet Paet na raha....


After 48 hours of this battle royale , the doctors stepped in and I stepped out ...of home...to hospital (prison)...only to be let out on parole intermittently, as a special favour, for meals and baths ...Another 72 hours and countless injections later (believe me, I counted the seconds too )..here I am ...Mr SS has been kicked out with a vengeance and all that's left are the metallic remains (of the strong ammunition ) on my tongue...


Thanks to Mr SS I now realise how precious my home ,health and hubby are (not necessarily in that order;)

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

ZZZZZzzzzzzzzz.......its a pome..not its not..wth..who cares.....


REALLY LATE NIGHT blogging

6:45 AM: Insistent door bells



Undeserved curses to the maid


An uncharacteristically EARLY visit from the
plumbers...JUST three weeks after putting in the complaint



7:00 AM: Insistent door bells


Undeserved curses to the maid


An uncharacteristically EARLY car wash guy


7:25 AM : Insistent door bells


Well deserved curses to the maid


Characteristically LATE maid!!!


Rushing through breakfast-


send off hubby-bake birthday cake for hubby's cadet-


bathe-put-on-any-suit-pick-up-bag-lock door-kick
scooter-mad rush to work-



3 sets of unripe homo-simians in batches of 34-


break-


vegetable shop


dump in fridge-


visit loo-


rush back to the zoo--


back again after 1 more set


-at one-


chit chat with friend/neighbour/crib buddy/confidant


cook lunch-


eat with friend/neighbour/crib buddy/confidant


back home-whip cream-aim for fastest ever cake icing-


disaster with running cream which refused to take a whipping


clean up the mess-


take a bath-


put on the war paint - spike heels-sari in 5 mins


rush to ladies club-


panicking as short order Mistress of Ceremonies


3 hrs on stilts on slippery tiled floor--Faux Pas
galore-



back home-


tired hug to hubby


Don old soft torn dress-manage maid-whip more cream-damage control icing done-


take a bath -


change-car ride-meet and greet cadet-order food-hubby
serves-change again into another old soft nighty-hog-brush-make bed-is the net
on ----AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH
Itch Scratched
Tomorrow's another day , Im azzzzzzzleeeeep now:)

Monday, September 11, 2006

Rules are meant to be....

Ever since I was a kid, a visit to the railway station meant the acquisition of at least ONE new book, if I was just meeting someone, and at least two or three if I was going somewhere, anywhere, on a train.



On a train trip back to the grind at Delhi , ( from a too short weekend at home), around eight at night , I was knee deep into an Agatha Christie, when my peripheral vision and hearing latched on to two young men who boarded the train at a minor station. Apparently they had to travel on extremely short notice to Gwalior ( which was just 4hrs away ),and after much wrangling with the TT for last minute seats in that 3rd AC compartment, one of them came and sat on my berth.


By this time, due to my trusty peripheral vision and the fact that he was in camos (camouflage uniform and heavy boots) , I had correctly recognised this guy (and his friend) as a Y.O..i.e. Young Officer( in army jargon) or, "hmmmmm...Interesting, I wonder if he's a bachelor" in grown-up-still-single- daughter-of-army-officer parlance ;).However ,in accordance with my self imposed rule of minimum contact with fellow passengers, (applicable to solo train journeys only), I continued to scan the greek book in my hand, pretending that I was the only one sitting there.


After an hour or so, he commented politely-


“Ma’am , whenever you’d like to lie down, please let me know , I’ll go up to the middle berth.”


As I was at an interesting point (in the book;), I told him that he could continue sitting for some time to come, since I had no plans of going to sleep just yet ( I was and still am a late bird and an insomniacal train traveler ).Since the ice had cracked a bit, he asked what I was reading (of course he couldn’t read the inch high title of the book;)…and thus began a conversation ,during the course of which he discovered that I was a card carrying member of S.O.D.A i.e "Senior Officer's Daughters Association" ( an imaginary sorority whose existance I deny ;) and I discovered that other than being a Y.O , he was also a member of S.O.S.A (again ,an imaginary organisation as according to the members;) and many an interesting similarity in the lives that we had led so far.


A few hours later , we had exchanged numbers , and he had left the train at Gwalior. We haven't spoken or met each other since, however the ease with which we could converse, helped me take a decision that I’d been mulling over for a while , namely whether I should marry back into the services or not .


As of now, I haven’t regretted my decision for a single moment.

Mirror-Mirror

A chain of thought catalyzed by Trishna's Blog

Intelligent, artistic, friendly, well behaved, happy....these were the masks that I wore for a long time to hide from the world, the insecurities that stemmed from being a fat kid and... the butt of many a fat joke ,at the recieving end of insensitive behaviour by many of my peers who would turn to me for help when they needed notes, and run away shouting "Moti" when I appeared in the playground....the "no boy will ever ask me out" insecurity of my teens and early twenties.


The masks ,however, always came off before my parents, so with a lot of love and common sense , they tried to teach me to accept this, learn from it and look beyond it. They reassured me that I was a good person, praised my other talents and said that people who couldn't see beyond the weight, weren't worth worrying about .I didn't always believe them , because I thought they were naturally biased in my favour…but a consistently good academic record, an artistic bent of mind , a fondness for books, winning a few speaking competitions at school, and supportive parents ensured that my weight was the only thing gnawing at my self esteem....




Some time in college, when I decided to lose the weight, my mother was there walking with me, cooking low cal food for me...as I lost the weight, I gained the beginnings of confidence in my ability to face and overcome a challenge.




When I began to work, I gained and lost weight
and self esteem with the regularity of a yo-yo. I also formed a romantic attachment or two, partly out of the loneliness of being away from family, partly because I was a young woman(still am;)....and partly in a misguided effort to prove to myself that I was attractive too...All the old familiar masks were on at work, and with most friends/acquaintances...except for three close friends, who told me the same things about myself, as my parents had, all my life.




Eventually, I married a wonderful person, and over many an interesting, honest conversation, heated fight and make up session with him, I finally realized in my heart ,whether the world sees it or not.... Iam a good person, who is ,physically and mentally intact , sometimes witty, often crabby, a "foodie", an average cook, generally intelligent with good taste in music, creative, mostly judgmental and opinionated but somewhat tolerant too , loyal and choosy about friendships, lazy, egotistical,somewhat tactless,generally honest, a nagging and loving wife ,a good as well as bad offspring and sibling, lucky to have a well adjusted,caring family and friends .... far from perfect, yet at peace ….and yes, I am still obese BUT I no longer cry about it, I laugh at how stupid I was to care about what anyone else said, eat the pastry I want to, then put on my walking shoes and take a LONG walk , because I dont want to keep spending money on tailors and new clothes
:D

Monday, September 04, 2006

Any Good News Yet ?


Somewhere towards the end of January 2004, I added another 12 alphabets to my name, thereby tipping the (alphabet) scale at a petite 34 alphabets. Exactly a year later, I was slogging it out in the kitchen ( notably,with a few onions who had an aversion to turning brown in a wok) in preparation for the dozen odd friends who had hinted that they'd be dropping by in the evening to remind us of the fact that at this time last year, we were on a holiday from real life ;)


Since there was no sign of the two of us expanding to two-and-half-of-each-of-us anytime in the future, we were prepared for the possibility of either or both sets of parents, reminding us that this was something we might need to attend to sometime soon....They were beaten to the finish line by a close friend of mine who called up, and after the obligatory Best Wishes etc.. popped the question (NO NOT THAT ONE!!!), namely


"Any Good News Yet?"


As it was a day when uncharacteristically good behaviour was expected of me, I replied rather sweetly that


"Yes, I've been married for a year now to this phenomenally great guy!"


I fail to understand why this was greeted with the rather uncomplimentary promise to strangle me for being cheeky!


PS: The first person to spell my ENTIRE name correctly is the winner of the MBRC Bengali-English spelling competition. Phameely of blogger is NOT allowed to participate;) and answers from said phameely members will not be commented upon

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Eggs And Crumpets...


When I was a kid , any book that I wanted to read ,had to be first read and approved by the MomPop Censor ( atleast the ones that I told them about;) . So it was, that "Archie" and me were not allowed to meet till I was a teenager. Unfortunately for Archie, by the time I was 13, I preferred older men such as a certain mad English gentleman known as Bertie Wooster and a few odd Eggs and Crumpets here and there.....all of whom, resided somewhere on library and book store racks marked Wodehouse, P. G.



Some of the reasons why I am still captivated, may be found in the following quotes-





`She had wanted to borrow my aunt's brooch,' said Ukridge, `but I was firm and wouldn't let her have it - partly on principle and partly because I had pawned it the day before.'






There is only one cure for grey hair. It was invented by a Frenchman. It is called the guillotine.

The Old Reliable (1951)





There is no doubt that Jeeves's pick-me-up will produce immediate results in anything short of an Egyptian mummy.
The Inimitable Jeeves
(1923)






He had the look of one who had drunk the cup of life, and found a dead beetle at the bottom.





I have only two things to say to you, Lord Tilbury. One is that you have ruined a man's life. The other is Pip-pip.
Heavy Weather (1933)





``You can't do shorthand, I suppose?''

``I don't know. I've never tried.''

Eggs, Beans and Crumpets
(1940) ch. 7 ``A Bit of Luck for Mabel''






The only thing that prevented a father's love from faltering was the fact that there was in his possession a photograph of himself at the same early age, in which he, too, looked like a homicidal fried egg.
Eggs, Beans and Crumpets
(1940) ch. 4 ``Sonny Boy''



It was the look which caused her to be known in native bearer and halfcaste circles as 'Mgobi-'Mgumbi, which may be loosely translated as She On Whom It Is Unsafe To Try Any
Oompus-Boompus.



`Any moment now, he may get a vicarage, and then watch his smoke. He'll be a Bishop some day.'

`A fat lot of bishing he's going to do, if he's caught sneaking helmets from members of his flock.'

The Code of the Woosters
(1938)






Mr Waddington's expression was now that of a cowboy who, leaping into bed, discovers too late that a frolicsome friend has placed a cactus between the sheets.





Poets, as a class, are business men. Shakespeare describes the poet's eye as rolling in a fine frenzy from heaven to earth, from earth to heaven, and giving to airy nothing a local
habitation and a name, but in practice you will find that one corner of that eye is generally glued on the royalty returns.



Uncle Fred in the Springtime (1939)

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

T

At 21 , fresh out of college, wide eyed and rose spectacled, I left home (not in a huff;) , to live and work, on my own, in the big bad ole city .Like many before me, the experience made me grow up (my parents might disagree) ,spread my wings, broaden my horizons, and exchange the rose tinted glasses for occasionally jaded ,but mostly clear ones. During this time , I lived as what is rather optimistically known as a PG (it was more like I was paying a series of snooping ,generally frustrated, middle aged "aunties" to step-mom me ;). Two and a half years ,and as many PG digs later, I was the veteran of many a room mate, some nice, a few who are best described as female,bi-pedal members of the canine species, and three who were more like sisters than roomies :) This blog is about how I met the last of the trio, and since she might not take kindly to being named , I'm going to call her T for now , so here goes-

One cold winter Sunday morning , PG "auntie" (better known by an unprintable nick name;), called me downstairs to meet a potential room mate and show her around the "palatial" room that I was living in. So down I went wondering why auntie had called me downstairs instead of barging in as usual when she wanted to show the room to someone...(Had I managed to train her after all ;)...Three hopeful flights of stairs later, I came face to face with the reason for her unusually homosapien manner. Perched on the edge of the best (least gaudily carved) sofa in the drawing room, was this very pretty ,ultra hip looking ( chic silk kurta on jeans with a nose stud, double-pierced-quadruple-ear ringed ears , zillion jingling bracelets on both wrists, expensively perfumed, with a loaded-looking-boy-friend-in-attendance...) girl/woman. My first thought -OH NO!! AIRHEAD SNOB ALERT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!... prompted the rather cool, first words to T , "Hi, I am Mini". Her equally cool response did nothing to switch off my internal snob alert.


Anyway, she moved in that evening, locked herself in the bathroom with her mobile, and spent the next hour grousing to someone ( possibly the BF) about the dump with the ice queen roomie he'd forced her to move in with. What she didn't know was that the physical boundaries of the bathroom were as soundproof as a sheet of paper! Neither of us really acknowledged the other's existence after that .


The next evening I came back from work to find my rather neat but boring room warmed with lots of yellow and orange cushions, a lamp or two, some wrought iron knick knacks and the odd mirror, with a rather subdued looking T sitting on the bed. Since she'd also taken the trouble to pretty up my side of the bed, I decided that a tentative, Hi, how was your day was in order, to which I expected a slightly thawed , non-committal response....What I got instead was a flood of tears which in turn prompted an instantaneous melt down and left me sitting down next to her with an arm around her shoulder ( this is why many a weepy movie producer has hit the jackpot by targeting a mostly female audience ;) Since she was incoherent for the next few minutes, a few fantastic reasons for her outburst came to mind, notably a squabble with the resident tyrant and/or BF....so while I was thinking up appropriate soothing responses to give when she ran out of
tears, she put an end to my agony aunt aspirations by showing me her bleeding ear caused by a snagged ear-ring and an almost ripped off toe nail...both of which had apparently happened in quick succession about an hour before I came home.



Two hours and a trip to a nearby hospital later, both of us were laughing over our initial reactions to each other....and somehow, even though we had very little in common we became the kind of friends who can rely on each other for a hug or a kick in the rear end, as and when required :D


PS: My internal alarm wasn't that far OFF, she isn't a snob ( far from it!) , but sometimes she's a big dope (note that's different from Airhead ;) , Infact one of the few things we have in common is that she would probably say the same for me .....Don't kick me too hard T if you ever read this ;)

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Ctrl C , Ctrl V

Today, as I was flicking through the channels on TV, one Hindi movie song called "Pal, Pal, Pal" (from that sequel to Munnabhai MBBS) made me stop and yell for my hubby to come to the bedroom...(No, it wasnt that kind of song;)...to try and tell me why the song sounded so familiar...he did, Can you ?
If you can, then try identifying the "inspiration" for the tune and or the lyrics, behind these "gems" from the batons of some highly paid, highly inspired Hindi film music "composers"
  • Kya Kehna
  • Maine Pyaar Kiya
  • Gupt
  • Bichhooo
and many many more, whose name/lyrics I cant remember ,mainly because I found the original much better and couldnt be bothered to listen to rip offs....Incidentally, a lot of latter day western pop stars also do the same, but most of them atleast have the decency to call them cover versions!

Friday, August 25, 2006

Teaching By Example

Recently a friend of mine,who is a teacher, realised just how much "Actions speak louder than words" ....when at the fag end of a long day at school, she found herself faced by a class of about thirty hyperactive five to six year olds. As part of a continuous effort to avoid being hospitalised for acute laryngitis, she decided to draw attention to herself by rapping the top of the "teacher's" table with a wooden ruler lying nearby. After the first two-three raps on the table, she retired with a not-so-straight face and aching jaw muscles to a chorus of thwacks emanating from the violent and repeated contact between thirty wooden desktops and rulers.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Monday/Friday




Four nights of patiently searching and downloading bit by bit ,literally.....song for a Monday morning or Friday evening ? Couldn't get this song out of my head, Thanks to ABBA for the music;-)





Nina (Pretty Ballerina)


Every day in the morning on her way to the office
You can see her as she catches her train
Just a face among a million faces
Just another woman with no name
Not the girl you'd remember, but she's still something special
If you know her, I am sure you'd agree
'Cause I know she's got a little secret
Friday evening she turns out to be


Nina, pretty ballerina
Now she is the queen of the dancing floor
This is the moment she's waited for
Just like Cinderella (just like Cinderella)
Nina, pretty ballerina
Who would ever think she could be this way
This is the part that she likes to play
But she knows the fun would go away
If she would play it every day


So she's back every morning to her work at the office
And another week to live in a dream
And another row of early mornings
In an almost never ending stream
Doesn't talk very often, kinda shy and uncertain
Everybody seems to think she's a bore
But they wouldn't know her little secret
What her Friday night would have in store


Nina, pretty ballerina
Now she is the queen of the dancing floor
This is the moment she's waited for
Just like Cinderella (just like Cinderella)
Nina, pretty ballerina
Who would ever think she could be this way
This is the part that she likes to play
She would like to play it everyday


Nina, pretty ballerina
Now she is the queen of the dancing floor
This is the moment she's waited for
Just like Cinderella (just like Cinderella)
Nina, pretty ballerina
Who would ever think she could be this way
This is the part that she likes to play
She would like to play it everyday

Vocals:Agnetha, Frida
Music: Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson
Lyrics: Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson, Stig Anderson
Year: 1973

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Speak your mind..or not


We have this monthly thing called a "Ladies Club" meeting.It's peculiar to the "services" in that it's not a "kitty party" but a get together for all the ladies (wives of officer's posted to that organisation),something with a different theme every month.Generally,its rather much of the same old same old...but this month, we're organising something called a "Husband's Nite",which is basically a gala party thrown for -obviously the husbands (and bachelors are invited too;)

Anyway,today I was just watching one of the dance practices ( I have two left feet when it comes to synchronised dance), and tapping along....when I made the mistake of actually giving an honest answer (I generally do) when asked for feed back by the lady who's teaching that particular bit....I was quite categorically told that it was very easy to judge!True, but then what riled me was that why ask for feed back if you cant take it!

Which is what I was ranting about to my long suffering hubby, when he pointed out that most of the time we ask for "feed back" when we 're actually looking for praise....and that probably I would've also found it very difficult to put a smiley face on it if someone offered "constructive criticism" no matter how well intentioned the crtic was...It's conversations like this that make me feel that my marriage is a lot about a wee bit of course correction every now and then...Maybe the next time someone asks me for an opinion and their life doesn't depend on it, I might just keep the peace and say that Im not really qualified to comment,and then again maybe I might start a war;)

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Dual Duel

There's this book called "Why Men Don't Listen and Women Can't Read Maps" written by Allan amd Barbara Pease......(no ,its not like "Men are from Mars..") . Now, I'd normally hate to own up to reading any remotely "relationship" guide type of a book, but this one's a good read.....If you're married/in a relationship/maybe going to be in a relationship/whatever....just because a lot of the stuff in it has actually happened to all of us or a friend-of-a friend, at some time or the other....But the reason why I read it was this line on the first page of the introduction -- "Men and Women are different.Not better or worse-just different."

Provocative?The book is that AND quite humorously written .So, if you're reading this, I'd say go ahead and read that book...it just makes one think again....if only for a moment..

As far as I am concerned, both me and my significant other have read it and had a lot of "AHA!!!" moments reading it...unfortunately though, the "AHA" moments were just that...moments, I still get miffed about my husband's less than sunshiny face over my teeny weeny bit of (a few hours according to him) drooling window shopping at stuff that I am never-going-to-buy-but-always-moon-over-anyway.....and he's still shaking his head wondering whether I will ever learn how to park the car in our shared garage without a minor disaster ;)

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Unfair Deal?

Much is being written and talked about women or “Lady” officers of the armed forces
and the raw deal that they are getting from the latter. By virtue of being a woman closely
associated with the services all my life ( I am a so-called Army brat and married to an Air Force officer) , I felt very proud when women of my generation were given the opportunity to join the services not only as doctors, but also as engineers, lawyers and administrative officers.

However, the downside to this was that other than doctors( who can opt for a permanent commission) , lady officers were allowed to join only as “Short Service Commisioned” officers, which means that they were allowed to serve for a period of 5 years, with two possible extensions of 3yrs each , that is for a period of 5 to 11 years( at present, they are allowed to serve for 10 years extensible to 14) .In addition to this, lady officers are also not allowed to serve in roles where there is the slightest chance of their being exposed to a war zone.

On the face of it, restricting women to a short service commission does seem unfair, but I’d like to think that maybe there is a logical reason (or two) behind it, like the fact that there was and continues to be a major shortage of officers at the junior level in the armed forces, and short service commissioned officers are generally recruited to make up for the same. Any officer, whether male or female, who joins the services as a short service commissioned officer is made aware of the following before joining-

a.) He or She will not get a pension at the end of their employment from the armed forces.
b.) The duration of service and possible extensions


Coming to the second fly in the ointment, women officers aren’t allowed to serve in combat , because of the probable risk of capture and subsequent torture or rape by the enemy, during a war. While it may be politically correct to argue that women should be allowed to take such a risk , but at the risk of sounding positively medieval and absolutely politically incorrect, I would like to point out that even in this day and age, most women still think twice about going out for a walk, unaccompanied, late at night….because of the probable risk of getting mugged or raped.

Another issue , which is widely speculated about these days, is that of pension and employment prospects left to women officers after retirement. Lady officers are entitled to all the benefits that any other male SSC officer would be entitled to. And as far as not getting a pension is concerned, as mentioned before , this was known to them before joining the service. In addition to this, it is worth mentioning here that even the male SSC officers don’t get a pension after retirement ,so where is the scope for unfair treatment that the media is crying foul about?

As far as employment prospects are concerned, I would just like to point out that I personally know many male officers, who have retired after 20 to 30 years of service ( mostly in their 40s to 50s) in the armed forces, and are employed at managerial positions in both private and public sector organizations, on and above par with their status in the armed forces at the time of retirement, in their field of expertise. So, why should a lady officer have a problem in doing the same ,considering that she has the option of retiring anywhere in her late 20s to mid 30s! The key word here is “choice” because by the very nature of their employment with the armed forces, lady officers effectively choose at what age they want to leave. This choice is not so easily available to permanent commissioned male officers who have to furnish a very strong reason for being allowed to leave the service at that age.

Before any “politically correct” reader decides to blast me off the face of this blog for being a woman “betraying” the cause, consider this- would any fair thinking, open minded ,reasonably competent and self respecting woman(or man) ,regardless of which organization she (or he) works in, feel the need to complain about the organization adhering to the terms and conditions of employment that has been agreed to by both parties at the onset of the said employment.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Age

This morning, I was listening to some "old" 80's songs,which just started me thinking, sometimes, just because some singers have been very famous for a long time, they just appear to fade in the face of younger , more visible ones....which is a very natural thing, but when you do listen to some of the music from their best years, it just seems like they were really streets ahead of most of the new lot ....hmm...I think I'm getting old(...'cos I remember my folks saying something similar about music from their teens to 20s/30s )!

And its not just the music that I like, just a few days back, I was trying to explain to a class of 11-12yr olds , the concept of sectors and tracks in a floppy or a CD, when I came up with the bright idea of asking them to recall the grooves on old vinyl records, ( which were on their way out in the mid-80s, when I was a little younger than my class)...the total blank looks that I got in return made me feel ANCIENT! For God's sake, Im only in my late 20s! the world is really changing fast....or was it always like that?

Thursday, July 13, 2006

What A Feeling!

When the "Ms" in front of my name meant "Miss",

My humble stereo would mainly play the likes of ABBA,Cliff Richards ,Assorted Oldies, some of the latest songs on TV...Oh OK just a teeny weeny bit of Britney Spears;)

Now that "Ms" is "Mrs" (ok ok I am in the "aunty" category...)

Courtesy of my significant other (and his HUMONGOUS CD collection), I've come to think that hard rock, all the 80's pop etc. also have their merits , and well I know about the existence of some one called Judas Priest...Not to mention all the cheesy Hindi movie remixes that I used to wince at......well, I no longer wince at ALL of them...

When the "Ms" in front of my name meant "Miss",

My book shelf and the odd carton or two , mainly had loads of Agatha Christie, Wodehouse, a few Alistair Macleans, some Asterix-Obelix, lots of Erle Stanley Gardner ( remember Perry Mason).....maybe a few Danielle Steele's( c'mon I am a woman after all!)

Guess what -Now that I have a hyphenated sirname,If someone mentioned, "Dirk Pitt"(Clive Cussler) or "Sean Dillon"(Jack Higgins) or "Creasy"(A J Quinnel) I wouldnt look blank.......but what would really make me smile with satisfaction would be any one of Dick Francis's books....the "hero" in all the books that I've read so far...is just my kind of guy....real, sensible,calm, intelligent, loyal....in fact , I married some one who's like that ( He's also a lot of fun:)

So guess why I wrote this one.....ok, I'll give you a hint, have you heard of a song called-"Top of the World".....

Hello...helloooooo...ahem...Hi :)

Hey there...In case you're wondering, yes this IS the Firstever Post of my Firstever Blog.
Still interested? Well if you are ,then read on , although I am not much of a writer ,but as I do love to just generally ramble on
(as my long suffering and mostly silent friends and family would confirm)....and since there seem to be a lot of like minded bloggers out there, well ....here I am :)

So what should I talk about hmmmm.......ok, lets see....how about some of my favourite things such as Food, Books and Music...(not all of them and not necessarily but generally in that order;)....Well, I am what is fashionably known as a "Foodie"....as long as I dont have to cook it! Which basically means that restaurants do better business If I am in town at the begining of the month;) Don't believe me? Well ask my spouse what we did most when we were dating (imaginatively inclined minds please go surf where else for porn;).

Next, Books....yes I HAVE read the "Da Vinci Code", and NO I havnt seen the movie yet!Personally,
I feel that the people earning anything from the book and the movie really know that there is no such thing as bad publicity.....I wonder how many people would remember the book and (I assume) the movie as anything but a good murder mystery unless there was such a big "controversy" about it?

Ok, so now that I've expressed my two paisa worth of opinion on THE controversial book of this year, lets talk some more about books....does anyone remember PG Wodehouse, and the televised version of "Jeeves and Wooster" .....well, If you do, check out "Bertie Wooster" playing a crabby, cynical "Dr House"....I guess I am old fashioned and actors have to "evolve" but I wish he hadn't played this character...he was just sooooooo adorable as Bertie!

Well, I guess I am out of opinions for today.....Oh, I almost forgot, yes I will be posting some boring tid bits about my days, eventually......:)







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