Apprentice 2009!…Start of season!

My wed evening fix of prime time television has arrived. BBC 1 is now airing this years Apprentice-a reality show series that I have been following for the last three seasons-almost religiously!And people like me will be responsible for another season of the same rather unreal reality show!

Unreal because I suspect day-to-day business, even in glossy Alan Sugar world , has noroom for the amount of hypocrisy, unprofessionalism and stupidity that contestants on the show are allowed!
Having said that, its good entertainment! Where else can you see so many hot headed, shamelessly selfish, pompous fools acting like a conniving pack of hounds fighting for the last bite of the meat!

For the uninformed-The Apprentice is a BAFTA award-winning British reality television series in which a group of aspiring young businessmen and women compete for the chance to win a £100,000-a-year job as “apprentice” to the British business magnate Sir Alan Sugar.

More about this years show here-Apprentice 2009 and more about the mud wrestling that is typical of the show, here on this blog in days to come.

GNP…Well done Me! ;)

Naah…no good news on the weight loss front…not now …not ever by the look of things! 😦

But some congrjulations to myself on the work front. Got my first ever UK annual bonus this year…and though it doesnt add much to my bank balance after the taxman has had a go at it…its still nice to get that extra something in credit crunch times!

And I also got an award last week from superboss for outstanding performance! Its been such a long time since I got any award, that I am quiet smitten with this one, even though its simply a meal for a couple that the company will take the tab for!

So…well done me!

Oh but then again…a silly award that I earned because I have been spending lesser time with Arjun than I would like, have had no time to visit the gym or friends or to read books and watch movies and speak to family…

Naah…the award doesnt make up for any of that…something for me to keep in mind the next time I snap at Arjun because I am distracted reading a mail on my Blackberry!

We are doomed, arent we. On one hand we have the convenience of being able to work from home.  On the other hand we have lost the ability to separate our professional life from our personal lives and the lives of those dearest to us!

Better stop…was probably just as well that I wasnt writing for so long!:)

Back…

I am back…not so much with a bang…more the cat with its tail between its legs!

This blog geared up full throttle…and gradually lost steam. Actually thats not true…there was nothing gradual about it. It really just vanished from cyberspace one one uninspiring Valentines day…

But we are back now…more mindless than before because the mind is really being used up in various unintresting quarters! There is work…which seems to be taking up all my time these days, then there are the household chores which I cant escape and then there is more work…and some more!
Mondays are blue, Tuesdays look up a wee bit better, Wednesdays prove never ending, Thursdays I waddle through…and then the weekend comes and it goes in a jiffy!

There…I have made the excuses and now just incase anybody does visit  this blog…expect to see a bit more from me than you have done recently! 😉

Happy Valentines Day!

Everybody from the older generation-Please! No arguing about ‘Valentines Days are not an Indian culture and there were no such “days” in your times’.
Well, your parents probably never celebrated birthdays and anniversaries, but you do today, so just accept that your kids will be celebrating things and events that didnt exist in your youth.
And dont let an odd sight of an irresponsible young couple making out on the beach rankle you and make you worry about which cultural dump we are leading India into. Most of us remember where we come from and are not likely to cross over our boundaries. As for the ones who have totally forgotten…they will have to be reminded…but all in due time. And rallying against a ‘day’ is unlikely to be a solution!

All my friends who are now parents – Hey, Valentines Day…!! Remember?!! Three years back you were giving gifts and exchanging flowers with your partner ? Perhaps planning a cosy romantic dinner or a getaway holiday? What plans this year? Let me guess…a gift for the kid? Or maybe like me a movie date with the baby?
No, no!! Its not the kind of day you celebrate by leaving the kid in the company of your spouse and having some time off by yourself for a change! It the kind of day you are ‘expected’ to celebrate ‘together’!! God, somebody help me remind this parenting lot
(Quick reference glossary-:
Husband-that man who occasionally helps  you with the nappy changes and tantrums and often pays the bills. Usually demands food, TV and laptop at regular intervals ;
Wife-that lady who weights twice what she did few years back and looks old enough to be your mom…but is actually just a mum to your own kid.)

All my friends who got married recently– Hey! Have fun today! Another day to celebrate! Married life is wonderful isn’t it…there are birthdays and anniversaries to celebrate. When life itself is such a celebration, you could use any excuse to show your soul mate how much you love each other, isn’t that right? Choo chweet and oh sooo romantic!!
(You saccharine Fools…Grow up!! Get Real…MARRIAGE…has it still not sunk in??M – I- S- T- A- K- E…what are you still celebrating??)

All my friends who have still not found ‘The one’You have to keep believing that there is someone out there who is meant for you and you will find that person when the time is right. But in the meantime you have to keep believing in love and in the dream that one day you will be with your special Valentine.
(Anybody who believes all that load of crap from Dil to Pagal Hain…bole to… truly ‘Pagal’ Hain! Loser, if you haven’t managed to find the love of your life so far, chances are that you suffer from bad breath or have a high repulsion factor or are simply not ‘sexy’ enough. Either ways, stop ‘dreaming’ and get real …you should be burning the midnight oil outside the marriage bureau)

The rest of you- Happy Valentines Day! Make the most of it with your loved ones!

(By order of elimination you are those friends who have found their love and are not yet married…very wise decision…don’t let evil society co-erce you into tying the knot :p)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Achy Breaky…

Naah…nothing to do with the heart…nor to do with the fact that its Valentines day…really truly achy breaky!

 

Well, there was a slight snow shower last evening and well it was a bit dark and errr…the roads were a bit slippery and I suppose I was a bit tired and..hmmm…and then again it could happen to anybody…infact I am very sure it happened to a lot of people last night and well it wasn’t such a big deal; infact I am sure nobody noticed it…the only reason I even mention this is well because…er…ahh..well…. OUUCHHHH!! It hurts!!

 

I do the Humpty Dumpty so often in my life, its not even funny anymore…and I did it yet again yesterday…I slipped and fell! L On the footbridge across the Thames this time around. The roads were slippery and well…it just happened!

If I had been pushing the buggy as I normally wld have been doing, Arjun would have found himself floating in the water in a matter of seconds, buggy et al, perhaps with me tugging at him as well!

 

It neednt have been half as bad though. I could have gracefully tripped and caught myself by the railing and could have basked in Santos anxious attention. Instead I plunked on the bridge making enough noise and causing enough impact to scare the ducks and gulls away and had Santo barking orders for me to get up as fast as I could.

 

Now don’t get all judgemental about the poor husband. In his defense, he used not to be like this. The first time he ever saw me fall he was the perfect gentleman and offered help, sympathy and all the consideration thereafter.

But now we know each other for almost 7 years and in these last seven years Santo has seen me fall at the slightest excuse(or even without one) atleast a dozen times! And every single time he has watched the catastrophic falls with a mixture of horror, humour and helplessness!

Eventually he has accepted what my parents accepted long back…no surfaces are safe for me and no footwear slip proof enough!

 

Now, if I had to pick the most embarrassing fall I have ever had, that would be a tough one! Without thinking too far back, there are various incidents in the last two years which stand out!

 

Last year we were at the Mudchute Farm for a childrens concert and an one and quarter year old Arjun who had barely mastered the art of walking challenged me to a game of Catch-Catch(Pakda Pakdi). So I was chasing him in circles and while he was doing us proud by his tiny legs and keeping a good pace, I embarrassed both Arjun and Santo by falling down with a huge thud. I have never been able to look the sheep in the eye since that day…imagine the nightmares their poor lambs must have gone through on my accord…they probably weren’t sure what hit the ground!

 

On numerous occasions I have meant to occupy a seat on the tube, have missed a step and have landed on a poor unsuspecting co-passengers lap…well almost that is! But this surely doesn’t happen only to me? Do you not also sometimes end up on other peoples laps? No??? Kidding…rite?

 

Oh well, I am not going to keep talking about my follies! Not so much because I care about embarrassing msyelf…but thinking about each of those silly stumbles-in buses, on steps, in peoples backyards , on treadmills, even on a podium when I was acting as the master of Ceremony…reminiscing about these things makes me laugh…

 

Laughing causes movement and movement HURTS!!

 

(A good opportunity to thank Rama who was walking with me at the time-not only did he manage to keep a straight face, he even offered a hand to pick me up, which was a very very brave act indeed!)

 

 

 

 

Black Car…

In case you were wondering what Santos birthday present was-one humble collection of World War 2 DVDs titled World at War(He has a huge interest in the world wars and I am trying my best to fuel his passion for studying a subject he finds interesting).

And two and more important-a Brand new Vauxhall Zafira! Well, not really brand new as its a used care, but brand new in our household anyways! 🙂

The car only arrived on the 4th and we were busy getting insurance and other bits sorted, so havent taken it out for a spin yet. But we are all awfully excited about getting more mobile and being able to visit some places that seemed too much of a hassle on public commute!

No points for guessing who is the most excited among us all. ‘Black Car’ was one of the first pair of words Arjun learned to speak. As far as he is concerned, one may have a car , but unless its black it doesnt warrant any attention!
As luck would have it, our search for a good vehicle also happened to end on a black one. So we have just about managed to keep li’ll champ happy!

Shall try and post some pics on this site later…

Happy Bday Dadu…

This time its Arjun singing the song because its ‘Majha Dadu, Santo Dadas’ birthday. ‘Santo ‘ is what Arjun calls Santosh when ‘Dada’ doesnt get enough consideration! Infact he has mastered just the right pitch of delivering his call for attention and it seems to work-I am still nowhere close to mastering the technique!

Anyways Arjuns Dada and my much better half turns 32 today-the happy age!

A few surprises in store, but I am not talking about them now.(Look up ‘surprise’ in the dictionary to understand why). Infact I am not talking about them at all on this page, because they are silly things you dont really want to know about. But I shall let you onto one of the secrets. I have taught Arjun to play ‘Happy Birthday to you’ on the guitar and though he was fast asleep when we cut the cake at midnight(Rama bought the cake from Asda and cycled all the way in sub zero conditions…Rama, Tussi Great ho!!), I do hope he puts up a good performance tomorrow.  The measure of a good performance being that he sings for Santo and not for himself and that he manages to refrain from smashing that previously abused guitar against the wall!! Its a tall order!

More on the birthday celebrations tomorrow!

For now, I need to hit the bed, so I can get up early and cook Santo  a decent breakfast  atleast on his birhday!!

As for the gifts, we both sort of stopped giving each other gifts since after Arjun was born. Didnt think we could top the best gift we have given each other(Arjun that is)  and secondly we dont seem to have any dough left as most of it goes towards the ‘bad for the enviornment’ nappy fund!!
Anybody who has kids, will know just what I mean -on both counts! The rest of you-try putting your money where your mouth is. I can bet your first few years as parents will be as kidcentric as ours are!!

Must go…slumber beckons! 

Snow, slush, slip, slide, skid and such!

What a memorable Sunday it was! Lovely, flaky, light, feathery snow…the kind one rarely sees in London and for most of us it was the first time ever! Have been on top of the Jung Frau and have been on the Highlands and have seen and touched snow before…but none of that measures up to experiencing an actual snowfall!

My friends in US reading this are definitely wondering how I can get so excited about something so commonplace. But hey!! It is not commonplace in this part of the world and is certainly not commonplace where I come from-the land of the monsoon, of diverse weather conditions-scorching hot summers, welcome thirst quenching rains ,crisp pleasant winters…but Alas no snow! But in India one doesn’t wait for a snowfall, so isn’t disappointed when it doesn’t happen!

Whereas in the UK, year after year people wish and hope they have a white Xmas-all in vain! So when you do look out on a sunny Sunday afternoon and see the first flutter of the snowflakes, then you are allowed to get all excited, silly and juvenile!
And juvenile we played to the hilt-snow fights, snowmen, snow cones, snow boarding…we even had a day off work…what else can one ask for!;)

But almost a day and a half since it stopped snowing and faced with the slush and slippery slew that the snow has left behind, I think we are a tad less excited today. The bright white cover has been replaced by a murky grey of ice and sleet and I had a treacherous journey to work this morning-trying to push the ‘not-so-all-terrain’ stroller through inches of thick ice and keeping my footing along slippery side rails.
On a normal day, I have the carriage of a camel suffering arthritis. Faced with skiing rink conditions, I am an accident waiting to happen. I am pretty impressed with todays track record where I didnt manage to fall flat on my face, buggy et al; I can only hope my luck doesn’t run out tomorrow when more icy conditions are predicted.

And the news this morning was a rude awakening. They were discussing some problems that the snow had caused-elders being trapped indoors, emergency services being overstretched and therefore ambulances only being available for life threatening situations, pregnant women panicking about not reaching the hospital in time, people waiting endlessly for  their flights back home, missed contracts, missed deadlines, billions of pounds lost by small businesses…Hmm, too much of a good thing somehow always finds a way to become a bad thing doesn’t it L

But I am not gonna despair. Its unfortunate that our lives run as a clockwork and therefore any deviation has effects of high magnitude. But beyond the obvious anguish, there were many moments of snow filled madness that will make the memory of this wintry weekend a special one-of watching Arjun get all excited and dressed to play in the snow, of reliving memories of the first snowfall I shared with Santo way back in 2003, of missing all the friends whom we have shared similar white mornings with,of walking hand n hand on the same familiar trail around the river, but feeling like we were taking a new journey together…the 3 of us,.

I couldn’t say whether I want more of this weather or that I want the chill to end. I can however, safely say, that we made the most of this rare treat!

Anybody who thinks I am overreacting-Please Freeze off!! J

Wall-E!! Help Please!

One for the Swadeshi brigade!
Mr Mutalik, forget about cleansing the society of western influence. First try and do something about this, happening very close to your state.

The westerners are dumping their waste on our mainlands and quiet literally in this case. Funny I havent seen any politician reacting to this bit of shocking news!

Shocking to me anyways because I think I do the environment a huge favour by recycling. Little do I realise that some of this waste is going back to my own country! As if we dont have a high enough population density already, we are now importing waste?

I thought Wall E was dreary and sad….but perhaps its the unavoidable reality of a distant future…a planet covered by man made waste produce.

Perhaps if I took some small steps-such as avoiding use of tissues, or avoiding  printing paper, reusing  plastic bags…small bit, which may not help improve things, but atleast I can do my bit to stop them from getting worse!

I owe it to Arjun to save the earth from atleast two feet of wasteland; two feet of land that he can then occupy! And if each of us thought this way we could perhaps stall the inevitable conversion of the earth into a huge waste bin!

This is one cause that Arjun can also contribute in-time to stop using Nappies!!

Ravan in Rams clothing…!

I was shocked to read about the Mangalore attacks on Pals blog. I couldnt put it better than her-this is indeed a complete breakdown of morals and humanity. For those of you who havent read the news, you can read it here.

Some fanatics beat up women who were present at a bar for these reasons-“involving themselves in immoral activities, including consuming alcohol, dressing indecently, and mixing with youth from other faith.”

I am so angry I cant get my thoughts in order to be able to comment on this today.

Hasnt moral policing gone a bit too far? As if its not bad enough that we have to deal with terrorism and war for reasons such as religion and land, do we want to go a hundred steps back and also start putting our women where they traditionally belong-inside the kitchen and behind the veil?

I am not a feminist, nor am I  ultramodern, but I do believe in humanity and so does atleast 50% of the population of my country. And as lawful citizens, we do not expect our women (or men) to be beaten up in broad daylight for reasons of morality(or otherwise). So what gives these moral police the right to taint the image of my country and its people in a wider international community? How do I fight the argument against anyone who says that Indians are still backward and overly conservative, when their offensive can be proved by  todays news headline? How can I counter that such incidents are very rare, when I can see that the ‘Related Articles link on every news website points to many such similar incidents in all our metros!

I thought the generation that my mother belonged to, had already fought the battle of gender equality for Indian women, and though I know the women didn’t win it, I liked to imagine they atleast made their point. But apparently I was wrong and we have to fight the battle all over again! After an entire generation of working women who excelled in all walks of life and did our country proud, my generation of girls has to fight for its right to lead her life on her own terms?

All this because a very small section of the society, led by ambitions politicians, has fuelled extremist behavior in wayward youth. In times of economic uncertainty and unemployment, 40 young men have found a cause –to save the countrys culture by terrorizing its audacious women.
What kind of anger must they feel on seeing women who are indecently dressed and consuming alcohol? Perhaps the same kind of anger that they experience when they hear about molestation and abuse of women in our society, or when they see proof of terrorism such as what we saw in Mumbai recently?

Surprising then, that we never hear stories about how the moral police brought molesters to justice or led a confrontation against extremist groups who taint the integrity of our society at large.

Thanks, but no Thanks Sri Rama Sena and all your brother (daren’t say sister) organizations elsewhere in the country!
I am a proud Hindu and a Desi, and I DO NOT need you to act as a protector of either my religion or of my national ideology!