Girl Talk: Men and mood swings

Though the title might seem a bit odd, given that it is the women usually blamed for the mood swings and the PMS owing to their hormonal changes routinely, I feel that men are no different. Perhaps their cycles are not as regular or attributed to some definite physical changes, but they do go through some mood swings in a definitive pattern.

What can explain the sudden outburst of anger or hate, sudden words full of spite only to be followed by they wondering themselves why they said or did what they did. Tell me then, how is it any different from the female mood swings? How many times have I seen sudden shifts of mood from extreme love to hate or anger with no external stimulus? If they blame the women to be unpredictable and moody, let me ask, arent they of the same nature too?

What else can explain the sudden outburst of philosophy at the dinner table or suddenly disappearing from the horizon only to return eons later to say “I just didnt feel like talking”. If a girl should say the same thing, she is branded eccentric or crazy. ( Well, boys should know they are too! 😉 ). How does one react when you give  the same opinion you normally do, only to be reprimanded suddenly “You shouldn’t say that you know , it is just bad”, only to get back to the usual the next day and you are left baffled. It is not that guys do not ask complicated questions whose answer in any way will ultimately lead to an argument or doom. This branding of the sexes is just prejudice. It needs rethinking.

Though conventionally considered the more “stable” or “balanced” among the two, I think the similar circumstances and education of both boys and girls makes the boys as vulnerable to emotions as the fairer sex. So, it would be definitely unfair to blame all the sudden anger, mood swings and all the other hormone related outbursts solely on the women.

So next time your friend (male) suddenly gets irritated or angry, goes into deep depression or says weird stuff out of nowhere, tolerate it.
Its his hormones at play. 😛

The Century: Post No.100

My first century of posts is complete. I take this opportunity to look back fondly at the 100 posts written, the numerous blogging friends I made and the plethora of comments I received.
Going back to post no.1, I remember sitting at my Uncle’s place in Chennai, with Momo (a cute boxer) occasionally biting my toes, typing out the post as I made my blogger profile and gave it my then- Dc nick to today, where I am sitting on a battered computer in an office in Pune. It was a return of sorts to blogging after my short stint in school. I was in PS then as I am now. But both are a world apart. Nearly two years have relapsed since then which were interspersed with bouts of fervent blogging then long null spaces owing to a rather non-existent internet connection back in college. I have blogged about my life as I went through it, college fun, serious stuff, relationships, friends, fun, girl-talk, my pooch , PS, acads, Pune, Goa, Chennai and everything I have experienced. This blog has become my friend and confidante as I pour my heart, anger, frustration and narrate my experiences to it and I can always read my posts and re-live those moments as and when I went through them.

Of course, no blog is complete without its readers. I take this chance to acknowledge my readers, some of whom who have been with me right from the first post like Oink (now Tata Birla), Tangram ( Taffeta-Twinkle for a while and now Fiddle Sticks), Gizmo (who stopped blogging mid-way and now is back again!), Gowcow ( a brilliant writer herself and rare blogger), Vaishu (who began blogging but later discontinued and is now back on blogosphere)and many others who soon become my regular blogging buddies like Amrit Vatsa ( a fastidious reader and owns his own magnificent and very popular blog Vatsap) and Nirmal ( Marlin Jar) . Of course there are many many more who occasionally comment; new bloggers on the block (thanks to good internet now that they are out of college) and many others who keep commenting and giving valuable advice. I am eternally grateful to every one for their continuous love, support and encouragement. Many I know are silent readers, many choose not to comment for political reasons and no matter what I have written, bad, good, funny or crazy, they have always patiently read through and supported me to write more. I have no proper words to express my gratitude and only wish that they continue doing so. It is only the readers who inspire me to keep writing.

Of course, I have seen a change in the mood and tone of many blogs in tandem with mine. During GRE preparation time, last summer, all blogs were flooded with 9-lettered words just out of Barrons which required constant dictionary reference or the farewell times when everyone bid emotional good byes, then there are the PS blogs (current) where everyone is getting used to their new lives and places and blogging about them excitedly or during one of those terror attacks or calamities where everyone protested in their own creative way. This blog has been my companion when I had no work to do (like now) or when I had a story to tell or even at-times when I had a message to convey.
There are certain posts which went without comments and many others which became almost-chat windows. Some posts became exceedingly popular ( Singaara Chennai for one) and others which were boo-ed. Reading everyone’s posts is not only informative and funny at times, but it has definitely improved my vocabulary and writing skills by leaps and bounds.
This is not a good-bye or a vote of thanks ( 😛 ). This is infact a new beginning. I’ll continue writing tales of my life and the nuances of everyday existence apart from social issues which continue to amuse, anger, sadden or inspire me. I might not have been able to take each and every reader’s name on this post, but every comment is as valuable as the other to me.

Keep reading folks!

PS: I might change my name now, that Full of Life is a tad (100 posts) old!

Road-craze

It is ironic indeed. Pune is one of the most-industrialized cities, the smaller brother to one of the largest metropolis and houses the finest and the biggest industries. But there is something that goes beyond the infrastructure that tarnishes its image in less than an instant. For Pune, it is the crazy traffic.

For starters, the traffic signals are mostly disobeyed. The number of two-wheelers are in such abundance (thanks to the lack of public transport) that it is virtually impossible to drive without losing your cool or completing one auto ride without praying to God. People, however educated they might or might not be, seem to have NO sense whatsoever about traffic or roads or any rules or regulations of that sort. Pathetic is the only word that strikes me. In all the places I have lived in so far, Pune’s traffic is perhaps the WORST. The traffic sense here stands right at the bottom of a long list.

I was jolted out of my thoughts one morning on my way to PS as a PMC bus zipped past me at more than 40 kilometers an hour, a mere 4 inches away from my shoulder (with me walking outside the road on a mud-track), motorcyclists regularly brush past despite having the whole road to themselves and the ride in an auto is really very scary since the trucks and buses seem to appear like giant monsters ready to crash into you anytime. People verve, swerve, turn, stop, walk simply anywhere.

The old Mumbai-Pune highway is full of huge circles, squares and crossings and people seldom bother to stop at signals despite them being fully-functional. It makes life for pedestrians like me total hell and the mere task of commuting a real pain. I wonder if people missed out some crucial lessons on road-sense. I just hope someday they get atleast a little of it!

Till then, I will continue to pray everytime I travel in Pune.

The awakening

As I sat with my PG mates yesterday, watching a local channel play an interesting plethora of songs both old and new, I realized what I have never explored. Old hindi movies and music. My knowledge in this respect is close to zero ( approaching zero from negative infinity perhaps 😛 )and it was only yesterday when I saw one yesteryear beautiful song “Pan kayo Saiyaan Hamar” starring Raj Kapoor and Waheeda Rehman in black and white followed by a crass latest song with nothing but skin show, I realized how glorious and truly entertaining the old hindi movies were.

As I sat asking them repeatedly “Who is this”, “Which movie” and they most happily obliged telling me the cast, the story with delight, I thought that probably the best years of hindi cinema are behind it. An amalgamation of those storylines, performers with the technology of today would have probably made us the biggest and best in the field of cinema. Hollywood would probably have come a distant second.

To think of it, Hollywood has had few themes to experiment with. World Wars, Mafia, Vietnam struggle or racism make up most of thier plots. Compare it with the plethora of ideas we have. Our themes outnumber them fair and square. It is just plain sad that today our movies are flimsy with lots of unwanted glamour and no themes at all. All we do is ape the west or make more glamourized versions of our own old movies.

Who can forget Chupke Chupke, Barawchi, Abhimaan, Padosan, Golmaal, Bombay To Goa, Victoria No.203, Mughal-E-Azam, Naya Daur, Boot Polish and other phenomenal pieces of work? Who can miss the beautiful lyrics of old songs which made perfect sense and are sung and re-sung even today ? Which contemporary song has meaning I wonder ? Love mera hit-hit I ask?

Maybe the older movies were slow (pre-1965) and had tacky production in comparison to today’s technology, but still it makes amazing viewing. Each actor has his or her style, be it Manoj Kumar’s single-expression-for-every-emotion, or the AB’s forever angry young man or Shammi Kapoor energy which made them icons in India. Which hero/ heroine of today’s times has that charm?

I realize today how much I have missed out on. I will try my best and make up for it. Though I can never catch up,I’ll give it a shot. I also want to savour the charm of old hindi movies and those phenomenal actors of the older generation. I wish I could re-catch Chitrahaar or Tarang again. I dont think too many would complain either!

Jai Bhim!

Having grown up outside Maharashtra, I never bothered to look beyond the Tamil new year and goodies to eat on this holiday of 14th April. Tamil New Year, Bengali and Assamese New Year, Baisakhi etc are commonly celebrated. But Ambedkar Jayanthi was nothing more than two words written on a calender under the date marked in red. That was until today.

The creepy, industrial district of Pimpri-Chinchwad came alive. Usually the first to empty out after the industries give over and then echoing with the whirring of the huge trailors and trucks taking out consignments to different locations, things were unrecognizable today. As I walked back from the city, filled to the brim with Mocha’s Chocolate Avalanche (being my friend’s brithday) my eyes widened in wonder. There were multiple processions, colourful and bright with blaring music and people dressed as if a carnival was on. It was in fact. Women, children, men and entire families dressed in their finery, dancing, singing, celebrating. As we walked back, processions after processions followed and it was truly entertaining.

Ambedkar’s photographs were in collage with Shivaji, Gautam Buddha and a host of other deities/ leaders. Entire statues of his carved in plastic, fresh huge garlands of flowers draped around them, little replicas of his stupa in Nagpur were distributed all over the place. Traffic jams ensued for kilometers on one of the busiest highways in the country. Professional DJ’s were called and dard-e-disco and I am a disco dancer blared from powerful loudspeakers, disco lights were set up in the middle of the streets and the most unruly sect of our country was dancing. It got scary after a while to see hooligans jumping up and down on the road.

A little anger started creeping up inside me. He is the sole reason for this reservation crap in our country. I’m not even starting on that topic since I lose my cool every single time I think about it. It was perhaps needed then but in today’s times, reformation of those laws are what is most needed. But then, I decided to empathize. Maybe, if there was this individual because of whom me and my three further generations can blissfully enjoy special rights in all the right places, I might as well join that gala procession.

In the midst of this, my Tamil New Year lay forgotten. A lot of unexpected things to come this year and all I can hope for is that it all works out well.

I still can’t get over the sight of Ambedkar’s photograph morphed with that of Shivaji and people dancing dard-e-disco under it with disco lights on the highway with a near 4 kilometer long traffic jam behind them.

I love my country. It surprises me no end!

Girl Talk: : Locus of my Identity

“Your locus of identity lies exterior to yourself”, said a character on the popular TV series, The Big Bang Theory. This particular line stuck on and I wondered if that was actually true for most people including me.

Does our whole being exist for ourselves or for the justification by others? Do we define ourselves as what others think we are or do we believe in what we are irrespective of the world’s opinions? The former struck me as particularly true in many people I have met so far. They vanquish their opinions only to replace them with the more-socially accepted ones. They like something or choose a particular path just because the world approves of it. More often than asking themselves” Do I like it ?”, They often think of “ What will the world think of me if I do it?”. Do we mould our behavior because we are perceived to be of a certain type? Do we hide our anger, fake compliments or even do things because the society usually demands this of us ? In some cases it may be required, but till what extent?

I do agree that we are social beings and have to be accepted by society in order to survive. But in many cases, this question of being accepted by society gets to such levels that a person loses his/her identity. As far as I go, I have always been very independent in my thoughts. Worn and spoken whatever I have liked to, told the people I admire that I do and even openly confessed to liking people and telling them bluntly despite the societal norms being otherwise. This has led to many sticky situations, finger-pointing and embarrassing moments between me and the people concerned but I do not regret any of them. I do listen to people, take people’s advice and take a calculated decision when it comes to the greater things in life, but I seldom seek the approval of the masses for trivial things.

The reason I have tagged this post as a girl talk, is because more often than not, I find women succumb more easily to this habit. They are more influenced by peers and often take approval of their friends in matters where it really depends on the person concerned only making it very difficult for the person at the other end. From simple things to choosing what clothes to wear to whether they should go out on a date or talk to a so-n-so, they take the approval of their pals. I wonder in such times, is societal recognition the sole purpose of our existence? I want to ask them that is it not them who the person is interested in? Does the person at the other end really want your friends’ opinions or your choices?

‘The mark of an educated mind is to entertain a thought without accepting it”, says a popular quote. This is one thing I want to implement within myself.
I think we all should try and keep this locus of identity within ourselves. It is only then everyone will know the real you and not a mish-mashed,garbled version of the opinions of a hundred others around you.

This xkcd strip sums it up brilliantly!

PS: I just remembered, I think I have read a similar post on Pankaj’s blog a while back. No wonder the words in Big Bang sounded so familiar!

Goan Escapade Part -2

I spent the first day back meeting everyone. Friends I had not met over last semester, other juniors who made my life in the last semester in campus worth living, ate in the familiar Insti-cafeteria only to be greeted by those working there with warm smiles. Teachers who otherwise were never-communicative or considered very strict came up and spoke to me. I never realized that these people whom I never interacted with on a regular basis would notice that I wasn’t on campus anymore! It was a surprise! It was a different feeling to go back to my department and meet the teachers who helped me in my long struggle to get an admit. They were full of suggestions about what I should do in the future, what line of study I might take up and even offered me teaching positions back in campus after completing higher studies! Delightful indeed!

I had this huge stash of treats to give, a lot of things to tell everyone and also personally listen to everyone’s PS adventures. Everyone seemed a little different, slightly grown up having got a taste of things to come. Gamers had stopped gaming, people were studying with zeal and few others who were stuck to their books for the last three years were happily loafing around. My batchmates were almost fully jobless and we chatted up no-end. The DC was as resourceful as ever and my downloads went on non-stop.
But things were not the same as before.
It was weird not seeing the familiar faces peeping out of the rooms anymore. A lot of people, the majority infact were unknown and this felt a little odd. It felt like the campus is indeed throwing us out of its system and though the college times were great fun, time has come to move to the next journey of our lives. There was this undercurrent of sadness interspersed with the bouts of delight at the thought of starting afresh in a new country, new place and with new people.

The evening was spent in my favourite beach, Bogmalo. Though it might not have the sparkling white sands of Palolim or the exciting features of Calangute or Anjuna, there is something about this beach which draws me to it everytime. Maybe it is the beautiful rocks in the sea, or the yummy cheese-omlettes at John’s Seagull or the quiet crowd of this beach. But it definitely is my favourite. It is not too crowded, not too empty. Just perfect. I ate my cheese-omlette delightfully savoring every bite. Blissful.

I spent the next two days meeting up more of my friends, teachers and doing things I wanted to for the last time in campus. I met those I had spoken only on DC for two years now and had never gotten the chance to meet them in person.

I left the campus with a bag of mixed feelings. I had met everyone for the one last time before everyone sets off in different directions and was raring to go and face what lay ahead of me. It felt good to be back but it also felt good to leave. I can’t wait now for what lies ahead of me.
It recharged me completely. Adios BITS-Pilani,Goa Campus.

I’ll see you sometime again.