Monthly Archives: February 2017

Sharing my world

Share Your World – February 27, 2017

Ever run out of gas in your vehicle?

Never, and may it stay that way.  I am super paranoid about running out of petrol, so I get the tank filled when the sign shows a third full.  I have had a tyre puncture once when I was driving.  Thankfully I was driving super slow because I was nearing a red signal, so there wasn’t any mishap.  I slowly drove to a parking space and called the service centre to tow the car for repair.  I took the auto back to my house.

Which are better: black or green olives?

Olives are an acquired taste.  The first few times I had olives, I hated them. Now I like them.  Not as much as my daughter whose face lights up when she sees olives, but I wouldn’t mind nibbling on a few now and then.  Both are equally good to me.

If you were a great explorer, what would you explore?

My mind.  It is such a jungle in there, and I have constant trouble navigating its capricious depths.

Quotes List: At least three of your favorite quotes?

  1. Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional
  2. This too shall pass
  3. Karmanyevadhikarasthe maa paleshu kadachana, – Do your duty without expectation.

Optional Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? 

Grateful for the lift of the hormonal veil.

I am looking forward to an imposed holiday.

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Busman’s holiday

I am taking this week off work.  Of course, I do have a little bit of work to do, but I figured that my stress comes more from the time I think about the work than the work itself.  So, I am not going to think about the work.  Except now, when I am typing this post and thinking about it.  I won’t think about it until I actually do it tomorrow.  I should stop thinking about it now.

Like now.

The first day of my busman’s holiday started with a phone call from my maid announcing her absence.  But that’s ok.  When I was a little girl, there was a lady who lived next door, with a wonderful attitude.  Whenever her maid took off, she would say “ah, my house is lucky today, it gets to be cared for by me instead of the maid”.  Every time my maid bunks announced or unannounced, I remember my neighbour. That aside, I love hand washing clothes.  I don’t have the energy and time to do it every day, but I look forward to leisurely days such as today that I can do it.  The chore I hate is washing dishes, because, as I have mentioned innumerable number of times, the kitchen is my least favourite room in the house because it is associated with cooking, my least favourite activity in life. That said, today’s lunch had me sighing in almost orgasmic pleasure.  The aloo parathas were melt-in-the-mouth perfect  and the green gram daal was exceptionally satiating.  Rarely does my cooking reach such levels of perfection.  I hope my family does not expect this to become the norm.

I finished Dirk Gently and started Gutenberg Elegies by Sven Birkerts.  Gutenberg Elegies is something along the lines of Nicholas Carr’s “The Shallows” but I am being sacrilegious in mentioning both books in the same sentence.  G. Elegies is the best written book I have read in a long long time (unlike The Shallows, which, while functional, is very ordinary, bordering banal).  While I think Birkerts maybe exaggerating the ill-effects of technology (I am not saying “imagining” – he is right in that the Internet age has indeed corroded the art of reading, but I wonder if that amount of hysteria is necessary), the lilt of his language is mesmerising. I catch myself stopping every so often to admire the use of a particular word or phrase and imagining scenarios where I would use the word/phrase myself.  Lovely book.

Delicious lunch done.  Blog post done.  Now to cuddle up in the couch with more of the Elegies.

Have a good week, folks.

 

 

 

The weekend begins

So far so good.  I am consciously staying off work.  Isn’t it pathetic when someone has  to “consciously stay off work” on weekends?

The hormonal tempest ends finally.  (Relative) peace for the next 15 days before the shebang starts again.    Is it a little icky that I talk about intimate matters such as PMS and aunt Flo in this blog? Ah, but you see, I am anonymous.  At least to people who don’t associate gobblefunkist to me (nearly all the people who read this blog know me, though).  Thankfully (or is it?) I suspect most of the regular readers here are women and if any, they’d fall over my shoulder and cry in empathy.  For the few men (actually, TWO men) who read this blog, well, you guys rock (not to mention, are effing lucky).

The kid is off to a course in journalism.  I wish I could attend it too.  Too bad we never had this much exposure to different things when we grew up.  Oh well.  I can always learn from the kid can’t I?

I haven’t done any drawing or painting since I took off yesterday, but that’s ok.  I have been reading and generally relaxing in quiet solitude (in the mind i.e.).

One of my friends’ favourite nephew came out of the closet (isn’t that the phrase?) as gay a few months back.  My friend was fine with it, although the boy’s mother was hysteric.  Recently he came out of the closet as a trans-sexual.  My friend is not sure how she feels about it, but she is definitely not unduly upset – more concerned about how the nephew (niece?) would cope in a largely conservative family.  I know someone whose 5 year old daughter is convinced that she is a boy – she has been claiming that ever since she could talk and nothing would let her believe otherwise.  The kid’s mother is disturbed about it, and I can see why.  Transsexuality is still a sensitive issue here.  There are transsexuals commonly seen in India, but they are not respected at all, not even as human beings.  But then, the trans people who often beg at street signals are a bit bothersome – they are bullies and can be downright unpleasant.  I am not sure what has created what – has societal disdain created unpleasantness in the third gender, or is it the other way around?  I suspect it is the former.  But considering that even the predominant genders – male and female can’t seem to get along with mutual respect in our country (or perhaps the world), it is wishful thinking to talk of an inclusive society with no gender demarcations.  Carol once commented that the female reproductive system was not thought through before design, I think this whole gender demarcation is a less-than-optimal design too*.  Hermophroditic humans may have faced extinction through in-breeding earlier, but may have been saved from a lot of trouble on the gender issues that plague society today.

*And not just for humans.  Have you observed cats?  There is an un-neutered female cat in our neighbourhood, who becomes pregnant every six months and the whole reproductive process is so skewed. All the tom cat does is gherao the woman until she relents,  has his way with her and vamooses, while the woman is literally left holding the kittens until they grow up, and then the whole cycle repeats.

The law of karma

I used to be religious.  Not any more. My spirituality waxes and wanes.  The philosophy I have subscribed to over the years has changed from “Vishishtadvaitam” (“special oneness”) to “Advaitam” (oneness) to nihilism to the current I-don’t-care-a-dang-about-philosophy-ism.  However, there is one philosophy I have always believed in fanatically – you may even say rabidly – the law of karma.  The law of Karma is beyond human intervention in that the only human touch to it is is the action, the returns of which are guaranteed at the time of the action itself.  The returns may be immediate – I eat a meal, I feel good, or distant – I do bad, I get bad.  All my life, I have seen the law of karma in action – both good and bad.  My subscription to the law of karmic returns has given me a lot of balance in one aspect of my life.  I now fully believe that I am only responsible for my actions and thus try to focus only on actions, because I know the returns are inevitable , whether or not I expect them – I fail sometimes, but the realisation counts.

Sometimes the karmic returns are unexpectedly immediate.

Somewhere in my last post, I had briefly mentioned the 3-year old niece of a co-parent in school who (the kid) asked me for cake.  That is not how the story began.  A couple of days back, attempting to engage the kid, I asked her what she liked most, and she said “jelly” (which is the Indian equivalent of jello available elsewhere in the world). The next day, I made some jelly (or jello) in a box and gave it to the friend to give to the child at home.  The day after, the child asked me for cake, and I baked the cake and delivered it to her today.

A small digression.

For the past two days, I have been craving for grapes – the seedless green variety.  I don’t buy grapes because it doesn’t agree with my kid, my husband is not a great fan of grapes and you don’t get anything less than 250 g of grapes in the market – If I got 250 g, I would have to eat it by myself and feel a little sick afterwards.  When I was in the grocery store on my way to school an hour back, I ogled at the grapes but didn’t buy it after deliberation.

Next digression.

I go to school, give the box of cake to the friend to be  given to her niece, and she returns the box in which I had given her jelly (or jello) a couple of days back.  I put the box in my bag and return home.

At home, I open the box.

Grapes.

Stream of Consciousness

Perhaps I should say semi-consciousness.  I slept badly for the third consecutive night last night, thanks to the hormone-induced Kafka dreams throughout (or what seemed like throughout).  The hormones are out of whack these days for nearly ten days before D-day, and by the time D-day arrives, it feels like my head and innards are a war-zone.

The stuff (read: junk) I ordered with the reward points on the credit card arrived.  I felt a little sick when I saw them, as I usually do, when I have bought stuff I don’t need.  Even when I didn’t have to pay for them.  It seems nauseatingly consumeristic.  Of the things I bought, the bedsheets and pillow covers were the only items that I really needed, and if they had not been part of the reward points, I would have paid money to buy them.  A single word kept going on loop in my head as I unpacked the boxes – junk junk junk junk.

Today is the kid’s last day of eighth class.  Her final exams begin Monday and go on for two weeks.  I hate end of academic years because it tells me that the kid is now one class ahead, and one year closer to flying the nest.  She can’t wait to grow up, I don’t want her to.  But time is quite the dog.    She has class-community lunch today, and I made her a truckload of spaghetti.  It’s interesting that when she was younger, she would want non-Indian food all the time, now she specifically asks for simple Indian food at home.  Yesterday, she asked for vepampoo (neem flower) rasam (which takes about 3 minutes to make), and drank it by the tumblerfuls.  Another day in the recent past, she polished a cup of green chilly chutney – neat, not with curd rice or anything.  Made me resolve not to make that blessed stuff too often anymore.  I can almost imagine ten years into her future as she is at her dorm or grad student house by herself, calling me and asking me how to make vappampoo rasam because she is homesick.

I have an hour’s work today and then I am taking the rest of the day off.  I’ll be baking a cake for a 3-year old kid who was brought to school by a parent yesterday, who, for some reason came up to me and said “will you make me cake?”.  The parent was amused as well (the kid is her niece, whose mother has been hospitalised and she is taking care of the child).

I will also be finishing up Dirk Gentley and perhaps doing some sketching.  Ooooo, I might even take a nap.  Whoa.  Gotta finish up that article soon.

 

 

 

 

Lady of leisure (not)

I feel a little hysteric today, it seems that life is going full throttle on autopilot and a little out of control. I don’t have any specific work-deadlines, but there is a steady stream of work with no let up at all.  I tried taking the day off yesterday but felt very uncomfortable by the end of the day, I got back to work today.  My inefficiency and poor time management have reached new highs.  I was hoping to take next week off, but I already have two jobs that I must work on. One of them is the tech article for mobicip, and the other is a paper for a Chinese client.  The former would take a couple of hours, and the latter, perhaps a day, but they are there.  Maybe I will work on them over the weekend and take the week off.

I also feel like I am unable to find personal time and space to breathe.  There is always something to be done.  Someone to be taken care of, some chore awaiting.  “Leisure” has become a painful yearning inside me, and it feels like I would never be able to experience it ever again.

I went to my husband’s office today to work, because I really wanted a change of scene, and I found a glass painting I had made for him years ago.  Yeah, I have seen it before, but today I felt an intense longing to paint something like that again. I have been yearning for quite a few things in the past few days, and I really need to be able to do them sometime soon:

  • glass painting
  • do some colouring in the adult colouring book I have not touched in a  year
  • chant the Vishnu sahasranamam – not as much as a religious exercise, but as a mental exercise to sit by myself in one place and do something other than work.  Why sahasranamam?  Because it would take a good 25 minutes to chant it fully, and I want that much of uninterrupted time to myself.
  • meditation – the breath is going haywire. And I have not been able to meditate in a week.  The distraction is hormonal, but I really need to tame that beast.
  • finish reading Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency.  Am 50% done.  Would love to lie on the couch after lunch, read it in stupor and fall asleep right there. Ah, there’s that word again- leisure.

As I type this post, the kitten that drops in and out of our home is in front of me, telling me that this is what I need to do.  Will I take the hint?

cat

Crazy idea

I am having this crazy idea.  Take the week off. Tell all clients to go jump, so I can brush my teeth in the morning without simultaneously listing all the documents I need to work on for the day. Spend the days maybe meditating, sketching, painting, reading my kindle and throwing in a siesta for good measure?  Hmm…sounds divine.

I can’t fruitily the crazy idea because

(a) I’d kill my career – my clients work on deadlines and letting them down in the last minute would effectively alienate them.

(b) My brain would kill me without having something objective and tangible to hold on to.

Am I hanging on to a tiger’s tail?