Monday, August 28, 2006

The Break-Up

Caution: If you haven't watched the movie 'The Break-Up' *ing Vince Vaughn & Jennifer Aniston and are planning to watch it, stop reading this post now.

I watched 'The Break-Up' last evening and quite liked it. It's different from the usual romantic comedy. More real than most.

It's about this couple, Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Aniston, who live together and how their relationship breaks down. Vince is this typical guy, untidy, comes back from work and watches TV while Jeniffer is the one who handles a job, manages the house and cleans up after him. Things spiral out of control one evening when their families go to their place for dinner. Vince screws up by not getting what Jeniffer asked for and one thing leads to another. Jeniffer breaks up in the hope that Vince will come around. Instead, both of them take a hard stand and refuse to budge. A lot of things happen until Vince realises he is also to blame for the situation. He comes out of his shell, tells Jen how much she means to him and apologises for screwing up and not appreciating her. But it's too late. Jen decides she's had enough and the two go their own ways. That is how it ends.

I identified with the movie a lot. Having been in a relationship for over five years and broken-up, I know what a big break-up feels like. There are many things that I learnt from the movie but I'll just touch on a few points.

First, I realised how selfishness and looking at everything from the 'my' perspective can reduce all your good qualities to nothing. For whatever good qualities I had when I was going out, I screwed up by taking a hard stand. And by the time I realised, it was too late. I didn't appreciate how much she did for me and even when I did, I probably didn't express it well enough. I was too self-involved and in the process lost someone that meant a whole lot to me. And it all came out of my fear. My fear of being taken for granted. I was so scared it would happen that I didn't give even what I should have, forget going beyond that. I never want to make the same mistake again.

The second thing that strikes me is that in most relationships where there are problems, both people are equally responsible for a break-up. In our eagerness to point out the other person's follies, we forget all that we do wrong. Introspecting is a difficult thing but it always helps to ask yourself 'Could I have done anything to make things better?'. More likely than not, the answer is 'yes'. I can definitely say that I could have and should have done better.

The last point that strikes me is a theme I have read about on many of the blogs I visit, that relationships come to an end some time or another. That every thing and every person has its/his/her time in our lives. And sometimes, you can do nothing but watch while the person walks out of your life. I experienced this first when my girlfriend and me broke-up and again when my father passed away. Like I said before, I could've changed things around in the first case but in the second, there was just nothing I could do. We tend to feel life has given us a raw deal but it is never so. What would life have been if I hadn't met my ex-girlfriend at all? How would life have been if I hadn't had the chance to spend wonderful years of my life with my father? It would certainly have been poorer. Both experiences strengthened my faith in that Higher Power that ordains the laws of life. Losing a relationship is never easy. But with faith, the pain becomes softer and the experience, one you can learn from.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

How do you...

...tell someone just how much you love her/him?

...tell an old school-teacher the impact s/he has made on your life? your gratitude to God for everything you have been blessed with when there is just so much that you have? when someone you care for is making a bad decision and there is absolutely nothing you can do about it?

...describe what you feel when you see the colours of the morning sky as the sun rises?

...tell someone what it feels like to lose someone you love immensely?

...explain what a great book/movie does to you?

Actions and words are so pathetic at times. Because our deepest emotions and thoughts can never be acted out or expressed. They can only be felt by another heart.

I'm reminded of this scene from Jerry McGuire where Jerry (Tom Cruise) is pissed off with Rod Tidwell (Cuba Gooding Jr.) for not playing well enough after an American football game. He calls Tidwell a 'paycheck' player with no heart. and this is what Tidwell says in response. I'm not sure you'll get the drift if you haven't watched the movie, but I'm hoping you have...

"(Repeating what Jerry has said) No heart. (Beginning to yell) No heart??!?! (Pause) I'm all heart motherfucker!" (Storms into the team bus)

What a moment! See what I mean? I'll never be able to explain to you what that one line does to me. But if you've watched it, you just might know what I'm talking about. Just might.

Friday, August 25, 2006

The Party's at My Place Tonight

Mom's out of town, it's Friday night and it's time to unwind. IInd edition of the 'rave' (as my friends like to call it) at Ajeya's. Last Saturday was awesome. We had a some great cocktails made by a friend who went to this cocktail-making workshop, played 'Taboo', listened to good music and had fun people over. Some of the gang stayed over while the others went back to their respective homes. The Taboo was out of control. Fully competitive and, with most people being a few drinks down, elicited some interesting responses. :-D

Today's going to be bigger, better, badder! muahahahahahaha...

More people, more fun! You're invited! :)

A little joke to end with... The Ed Zachary Disease
A woman was very distraught over the fact that she had not had a date or any sex for over 5 years. She was afraid she might have something wrong with her so she decided to seek the medical expertise of the well known Chinese sex therapist, Dr. Chang. Upon entering the examination room, Dr. Chang said, "OK, take off all your crose." The woman did as she was told to. "Now, get down and craw reery, reery fass to odder side of room." Again, the woman did as she was instructed. Dr. Chang then said, "OK, now craw reery, reery fass back to me." As she did, Dr. Chang shook his head slowly. "Your probrem vewy bad. You haf Ed Zachary Disease. Worse case I ever see. Dat why you not haf sex or dates. The woman asked anxiously, "Oh my God, Dr. Chang, what is Ed Zachary Disease?" Dr. Chang sighed deeply and replied, "Ed Zachary Disease is when your face look Ed Zachary like your ass."

:-D Have a great weekend! And don't forget your party hat ;)

Monday, August 14, 2006

Turning 59

Yes, the Republic of India officially turns 59 tomorrow. We celebrate our freedom from the oppressive rule of the British who plundered our country for nearly three centuries. Yes, they gave us a lot but they took away much more.

As we look back at these 59 years, we can take pride in what we have achieved in the short time we have enjoyed our independence. Yet, there is a long, hard path ahead. And the magnanimity of the task is so enormous that there are times when I, as a citizen of the country, feel so helpless. Helpless about the bad roads, the rude bastard who sits across the counter at the government-owned telephone company telling me that I should have clipped the cheque instead of stapling it and throwing my payment back at my face, the corrupt politicians who milk the government of my hard-earned money to buy cars they don't need and homes they will never live in... beyond helpless, frustrated, pissed off that I have wait in line for everything, from getting admission in hospital for an emergency case to getting admission to kindergarden. Yet, there is much that I owe to the country.

The fact that I can type this, use the Internet, have access to water, sanitation, electricity, the best education the country has, a roof over my head, a safe place to go to after work, a safe place to work at... is glaring proof that I have received more than at least 800 million Indians. I have got the best that country has to offer. Yes, it may not be what I would ideally want but it's still the best. And with all I've got, if all I can think of is buying a bigger apartment, a fancier car and a megapixel camera cellphone, I'm probably doing myself the greatest disservice. Giving up my chance to give back to the country. There's nothing wrong with having my playthings. But it can't be the be-all and end-all of my life.

As a citizen who has received the best, it is a duty to give back my best. I have a responsibility to the nation. To give back. And I'm not talking about writing out a cheque. I'm talking about committing time and effort to do something about a cause that is close to my heart. If Mahatma Gandhi's dream could give us Independence, then what can't you and I achieve working together? On this Independence Day, August 15, 2006, I pledge that I will do whatever I can to do my bit for the country. I may not have the money to mobilise a huge movement, but I have ideas, dreams and some talent somewhere in me. It may not be a lot, but that's all I've got right now. And, for now, it is what I will give.

One quote that always inspires me is this one by Nehru, our first Prime Minister...

"A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new, when an age ends and when the soul of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance."

Happy Independence Day India!

Friday, August 11, 2006

Nature's Child

I'm a big nature lover. Not in the conventional sense. I don't know much about nature in terms of specifics but I love being outdoors, looking at the sky, the hills, the rain, the trees, grass (the real stuff!), birds, wildlife, the ocean... all of it. I'm reading this book on Sufism and I found this amazing letter believed to be written by Chief Seattle, one of the last spokesmen of the Native Americans, to the then President of the United States, George Washington who wanted to buy their tribal land. It's kind of long but if you have patience, I'm sure you will be touched. Here goes...

The President in Washington sends word that he wishes to buy our land. But how can buy or sell the sky? The land? The idea is strange to us. If we do not own the freshness of the air and the sparkle of the water, how can you buy them?

Every part of this earth is sacred to my people. Every shining pine needle, every sandy shore, every mist in the dark woods, every meadow, every humming insect. All are holy in the memory and experience of my people.

We know the sap which courses through the trees as we know the blood that courses through our veins. We are part of the earth and it is part of us. The perfumed flowers are our sisters. The bear, the deer, the great eagle, these are our brothers. The rocky crests, the juices in the meadow, the body beat of the pony, and man all belong to the same family.

The shining water that moves in the streams and rivers is not just water, but the blood of our ancestors. If we sell you our land, you must remeber that it is sacred. Each ghostly reflection in the clear waters of the lakes tells of events and memories in the life of my people. The water's murmur is the voice of my father's father.

The rivers are our brothers. They quench our thirst. They carry our canoes and feed our children. So you must give to the rivers the kindness you would give to any brother.

If we sell you our land, remember that the air is precious to us, that the air shares its spirit with all the life it supports. The wind that gave our grandfather his first breath also recieves his last sigh. The wind also gives our children the spirit of life. So if we sell you our land, you must keep it apart and sacred, as a place where man can go and taste the wind that is sweetened by the meadow flowers.

Will you teach your children what we have taught our children? That the earth is our mother? What befalls the earth befalls all the sons of earth.

This we know: the earth does not belong to man, man belongs to the earth. All things are connected like the blood that unites us all. Man did not weave the web of life, he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself.

One thing we know: our god is also your god. The earth is precious to him and to harm the earth is to heap contempt on its creator.

Your destiny is a mystery to us. What will happen when the buffalo are slaughtered? The wild horses tamed? What will happen when the secret corners of the forest are heavy with the scent of many men and the view of the ripe hills is blotted by talking wires? Where will the thicket be? Gone! Where will the eagle be? Gone! And what is it to say goodbye to the swift ppony and the hunt? The end of living and the beginning of survival.

When the last Red man has vanished with his wilderness and his memory is only athe shadow of a cloud moving across the prairie, will the shores and forests still be there? Will there be any spirit of my people left?

We love this earth as a new-born loves its mother's heartbeat. So, if we sell you our land, love it as we have loved it. Care for it as we have cared for it. Hold in your mind the memory of the land as it is when oyu receive it. Preserve the land for all children and love it, as God loves us all.

As we are part of the land, you too are part of the land. This earth is precious to us. IT is also precious to you. One thing we know: there is only one God. No man, be he Red or White Man can be apart. We are brothers after all.


I have yet to read something in which man speaks more respectuflly and lovingly of Mother Nature. And we should all be grateful for being one of Nature's children.

Monday, August 07, 2006

My Time

My favourite time of the day is the early morning. I love waking up after a good night's sleep around 5 am. I usually spend the first hour reading and reflecting. Reading something inspiring, drawing a lesson from it and finally, figuring out how I can integrate the learning into my everyday life.

It's a time I cherish. Being with myself. Free from the beeping cell phone, the pop-ups of the Internet, the doorbells... everything. Somedays I wont even read anything. If I catch an inspiring thought going through my head, I try and just stay with it.

The early morning rejuvenates me. It equips me to face the day ahead. And when it's followed up with a good game of football or a refreshing workout at the gym, I feel like I can walk on water. I'm two steps ahead. Of me.

Of course all this means I'm asleep by 10 pm. It feels like a sacrifice sometimes when I'm missing going to the movies with friends. But when I'm up the next morning, I usually feel like I made the right decision.

There's always the weekends when I let go a little. A good drink at Ghetto, a night out dancing. the late night movie on Saturday night or just coffee with the gang.

As someone once said, 'eternal vigilance is the price of liberty'.

My friend's make fun of me sometimes. But it's all good. I think we respect each other's lifestyles. I don't think the way I live life is the way other people should. It makes me happy and therefore I do it. If waking up late works for someone else, that should be cool. What's most important is that each one finds his or her space and pace.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Keep On Keeping On

What is it that motivates me to get out of bed every morning? I'm not entirely sure. But one of the things that keeps me going is this a question I try and ask myself every morning. And that is 'Am I a little better than I was yesterday?'

It's the one question that has always helped me change, remain open to new ideas and thoughts and improve as a person. I've heard all this talk about Kaizen and continuous process improvement in manufacturing but how about some Kiazen for our souls? Don't we need continuous process improvement at every level.

At the physical level, I'd like to be fitter with each passing day. Emotionally, I'd like to stop judging and accepting more people as they are. Intellectually, I'd like to be a learner for life. Spiritually, I'd like to overcome my ego.

Some days I do real good, some are OK and some are downright crappy. You know the type when you're lying in the bed, looking up at the ceiling and thinking 'What was I thinking?!?!'

But it's part of the process I think. The important thing is to keep on keeping on.

What motivates you to get out of bed every morning?