Saturday, September 29, 2007

kuch kariye kuch kariye nuss nuss meri khaule…hoye kuch kariye - chak de, india

so the movie of the week is chak de. normally, in sports genre kind of movies, the worst team miraculously ends up winning in the end. this is far far from reality. the opponent is usually the bad guy, its never ourselves or anyone within our team. its usually depicted that a team is rock solid with no internal problems of their own. i think this movie tackles all these issues, in particular, that sometimes one becomes so focused at achieving ones own personal goals, that teamwork takes a back seat. and we all know, you can never win a battle on your own.

i think sharukh khan is subdued, powerful, inspiring all at the same time. and i normally think he is a little over dramatic. but here he is very very good, the heart and soul of the movie. there is no moment in the movie that i feel when is this going to stop. the girls in team india have done a great job, especially the actresses who play komal, preity, balbir(sp) and bindiya. i think the emotions are very real. after a lecture one doesnt really suddenly become" good", the realization doesnt suddenly dawn on them, like in most hindi movies. in reality, there is still undercurrents of tension and being irritated at one another. this is realistically captured in the standoff between the coach and the senior player, where the senior player has to deal with ego or love for the game. and sometimes its hard to change. and how one has to deal with these kind of personalities, it comes across. i.e when sharukh khan tells her shes the only one who can help them win this particular match.

not only is this movie about winning, its about religion as well. but subtle not being too preachy. how sometimes, in fact i think we are the only nation that mixes sport with religion. so ridiculous.
then the movie is also about how pple still view what women can do and cant. and itsnot just some remote villagers who think that, but pple who live in the city and are supposedly "progressive".

all in all a great movie, with some great performances.


Friday, September 28, 2007

the battle of the overeducated versus the "adequately" educated

so this is the age old question of how important is education to be "successful". everyone agrees to the point that every child has a right to education and its impt they should be educated at least upto high school. but what happens after that, at what point does your education stop adding that extra marginal value to what you end up doing for the rest of your life.

forbes magazine listed 7 of the top 15 richest pple are college dropouts. they probably just didnt see the point of studying things they werent interested in. a colleague of mine, outrightly asked me whats the point of me giving these professional exams. and why phds were giving it too, since they were overtly qualified for it. and his advice was that i should spend my time working longer hours, doing extra work for my boss rather than studying for this exam.

maybe. hes right in his own way. he started from ground up and has a substantial amount of experience, which in a way is something that cannot be measured no matter how many degrees one rakes up.

however, i do believe there is value in education. and true there is only a small percentage of what you studied that you actually use at work. and once you climb higher up the corporate ladder or decide to open your business, the further away you move from "real work". you move into manging pple/the business. experience, people skills and being able to see the big picture is what is key realy. even then i think there is nothing like the experience in being in university, there is no other environment where you have the opportunity to learn what you like, to make mistakes without being fired. most importantly its where pple actually want you to learn and will help you whole heartedly.


Thursday, September 27, 2007

"Meredith Grey: At some point, you have to make a decision. Boundaries don't keep other people out. They fence you in. Life is messy. That's how we're made. So, you can waste your lives drawing lines. Or you can live your life crossing them....." - Grey's Anatomy

so today i went to a lecture of someone whose considered as one of the "celebrities" in the math world. and i was kind of looking forward to it, coz the trio who created this famous model, one of them was teaching at our university. and this guy was another one of the trio. anyway, so the only thing which was kind of deterring me from going was that the event was in the office of this firm i had interviewed with. and it was a full blown 6 hour interview. which i had bombed.

so i thought what are the odds of meeting one of the 6 interviewers. (yes, i know pretty high since it is their office, but still they have a gazillion employees) and then what are the odds of them recognizing me. given that im the part of the not so elite back benchers and strategically choose a seat where i can quickly sneak out once i get bored. but like everything in life, if you try to run away from it it will find you. and it always has to happen to me. whatever, or whoever i want to avoid, i simply cant.

so not only do i see the head interviewer as soon as i get out of the elevator. but i quick thinkingly duck behind my friends (close call) , so he doesnt see me. i think ive saved the day. the interviewer walks rite upto the front row and is seated there. me thinking, i can so survive this. 20 mins into the lecture, interviewer gets up and goes outside, comes back and lo behold sits at the back, right next to me.

so ive managed to look down and scribble frantically in my notebook when he initially went outside, so he doesnt notice. but there is no way i can hide when he is sitting rite next to me. from the corner of my eye, i can sense hes looking at me trying to place me. meanwhile im still scribbling in my notepad, and as soon as the lecture is over i rush out, without taking math world celebrities autograph.

im sure its going to hit him in the middle of the night, who i am. haha. too late.


Wednesday, September 26, 2007

can you have it all?

so these two weeks have been gruelling and i was not sure if i would like the rush, the stress, the excitement of doing things on the fly, or rather 10 mins before a crucial meeting. im surprised that i do like it, its completely the antithesis of my personality. now if only i can think of bullshit answers to tricky questions on the fly and still come off as smart. (the last part is the catch)

anyway, i was wondering its not easy to ahve it all. you may be really smart and be a real team player but if you arent arrogant about it, its hard for pple to take you seriously. im really not kidding on this. intuitevely you would think no, thats not true. but its so easy to be taken for granted.

my biggest pet peeve at work is picking on someones error and ccing it to your boss. sicne when does niceness take a back seat, we are only human and coming and talking to the person might be a better approach. and goodwill does take you a long way. another annoying thing is making sure the whole wide world knows whne you did one really small thing for another person. a favor given is a favor in return. but not this way.


Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Jeevan hai, jaan hai, ya parchaayee hai

so this weekend, me and a friend played cupid to another friend of ours. there seemed to be a lot of common stuff between both of them and i was quite excited that i have officially become a "rishtawali aunty" now. (haha - NOT). me and my friend both were there as the "body guards". anyway it wasnt a complete lost cause. coz both pple, who were being introduced, (not in an obvious way of course) are friendly and good pple. sadly, they hardly spoke to each other. and the guy was more interested in getting his hair cut then talking to us. and he kept looking at his watch too. not a great sign. but in the end, both parties when questioned, individually of course, agreed that they would rather just be friends.

sometimes first impressions are everything. sad, but true.

neway, ramadan has been going along fine. just miss home a lot. and i mean a lot. and it has nothing to do with the special food cooked during iftari. (ok maybe a little) .

but theres something missing. and i cant explain the feeling.

on the other hand, sometimes someone says something or does something and then it feels like home.

at a turkish restaurant few mins before iftari, waiting (im)patiently for my takeout.
waiter: sister, are you fasting.
me: yea
waiter(big smile) *goes and brings a bowl of dates*



Friday, September 14, 2007

ramadan kareem

"The gift of hearing and sight are each a trust from Allah." Similarly, the gift of speech is a trust, for if it were not so the Messenger of Allah, praise and peace be upon him, would not have said: "If anyone disputes with another and swears at him, let the latter say 'I am fasting, I am fasting."- Imam Al Ghazali

"O who believe, fasting is decreed for you as it was decreed for those before you; perchance you will guard yourselves. (2:183)-The Holy Quran


Saturday, September 08, 2007

waqt ki qaid mein, zindagi hai magar..chand ghadiyan yehi hain, jo aazad hain

Started reading Dante Alighieri again. one of my biggest regrets is selling my norton anthology of literature. but it was a time when i was a student and after having blown up my budget in the beginning of the month i was left with zilch for the last 10 days. hard lesson to learn. and a new copy is just not the same as my scribbled on, highlighted, note written on the side, tageared comfortable version. nevertheless, the matter doesnt change and here is some excellent wisdom from "Divine Comedy".

There is no greater pain than to remember, in our present grief, past happiness.

Be like a solid tower whose brave height remains unmoved by all the winds that blow; the man who lets his thoughts be turned aside by one thing or another, will lose sight of his true goal, his mind sapped of its strength.

Your earthly fame is but a gust of wind that blows about, shifting this way and that, and as it changes quarter, changes name.


p for politically correct.

so the latest thing ive been hearing at work from fellow colleagues is the p word. p for politics. everything gets explained with that word. everything. and sometimes drafting an email, a simple email that explains how things are, (without having to step on anyones toes or to put it euphemistically and literally (both not) without pushing them out on the street (i.e without getting them into trouble) becomes a complicated process. simply put, how transfer of blame can occur without actually taking names, but invisible fingers point, coz everyone still knows who you are.

email can get quite tricky too, since something like "have a nice weekend" can become "heres a boatload of work you have to do, but hey have a nice weekend". pure sarcasm. but sugar coated. ive never really thought of it that way until recently when i was writing an email together with a colleague of mine. and it took us 20 mins to write 3 lines. and it was my first peek into the world of office politics.

and yes, im quite aware of my surrounding, i know this is prevalent everywhere, even though i prefer to live in my little bubble. but i firmly believe if you work hard and do your work correctly because it is YOUR work and because you have pride in it, you can happily live your life without the p word infilitrating your bubble.


Tuesday, September 04, 2007

wish it were a sunday.

so this weekend we took a road trip to the land of beaches, casinos, and buffets. in other words, atlantic city. i have to say though, the beaches are not very clean. and the highly touted trump taj mahal is really gaudy. and i really sincerely hope pple who havent seen the real taj mahal dont mistake this for the real thing. it is far far from it. but its still good fun and there are lot of fairs and its like a night long mela. still, worth a visit.

the other weird thing we found was : in a small antique shop in atlantic city we saw a framed picture of divya bharti. the lady who owned the store was an american middle aged lady who had a poster of aishwarya rai in her backstore, and exclaimed to us that divya bharti was an actress in the 80s who apparently fell to her death from a high storey building, some say pushed by her husband. and when we acknowledged that aishwarya rai is a bollywood actress, the owner of the store exclaimed angrily no! she was in bollywood now shes in hollywood.
okayyy..if only the rest of america knew that too. (just kidding)

neway my overall feel about the place. despite the bright lights, i still feel a sense of sadness. especially when you see elderly pple gambling away at mindless slot machines. there is really no level of skill involved in slot machines. and the overall probability of losing is much much higher than winning. but we are all driven by hope, hope of winning even when we are losing, hope of getting better at work, hope of belonging, hope of hope. perhaps its not the addiction that causes downfall, perhaps its the hope that sometimes drives us to the extreme. hope can be a double edged sword.
so anyway we nearly got kicked out of the casino as we decided to stop and stare at some pple playing poker or roulette or something i dont even know what it was. we werent going to play we were just looking. we dont even know how to play. however the dealer wanted to be mean about our existence and asked for our IDs and then the "executive" of the casino shows up and asks us for our IDs too. and as luck would have it, im the only one who didnt have my ID. and so he kicked us out.
i wonder if i should be happy that he thinks we look under 21 or i should be sad that racial discrimination is still existent even in happy-g0-lucky-atlantic city.


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