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.

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