Things I need to write about

Posted March 11th, 2006 by Deepa and filed in Personal
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Here is a teaser…

•  Is Pregnancy An Epidemic…

There was a week, sometime last month, when I had one or another friend calling me every single day to share the “good news”. This sudden urge to procreate among my friends got me thinking…Is there a bug going around this season…Is Pregnancy an epidemic….The clock ticks awfully loudly as you approach 30.

•  Will Deepa’s Apprentice Trump Donald’s….

I have been telling everybody that calls me as well, that we are expecting a “teesra” member in the family. No, I haven’t been bitten by the momma-bug but I have Seejo’s cousin staying with us for a couple of months. He is working as a temp in my office helping out with several routine actitvities. He gets an exposure to American lifestyle and work culture and I gain an apprentice.

•  The secret workings of corporate America …..

Don’t want to speak about work…but gosh have I learnt a lot of stuff at work.

•  I am a workaholic

As I copied assignments, muddled my way through last minute assignments, barely competed projects and generally lazed my way through engg college, I never realized that I liked work. Until the fatal night when I had an epiphany….I am a workaholic. I stay up regularly past 1pm to finish my office deadlines, work on weekends without a “proper boss” to keep tabs on me. And I seem to do all this because I want to…Someone please call a psychiatrist…

Weep and Weep Alone

Posted May 27th, 2003 by Deepa and filed in Books
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I am not the type of person who gets teary eyed while seeing a movie. But while reading a book is totally another matter.

Right now I can think of the following books that had me reaching for my pillow ( to sob into!)

The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot:
I had a hard time stopping my tears all throughout the book but at the end when Maggie and Tom Tulliver die, I just could not restrain myself and I had to let myself go. The character of Maggie Tulliver and her love for her brother was sketched very well that despite the fact that the story was set about a century ago, the characters seemed very realistic to me.

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
“It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to, than I have ever known.” Sydney Carton’s speech at the end of the book. Very very touching.

The Diary of Anne Frank by Anne Frank
I defy anyone to read this entire book with a dry eye.

Princess by Jean Sassoon
Sometime tears spring out of your eyes when you are sad and sometimes when you are really really angry. While reading this book, I had both kinds of tears in my eyes.

What Katy Did by Susan Coolidge
This is an unusual book to make you cry. But there is a particular scene in which after Katy has her accident and is bed ridden and Elsie (Katy’s younger sister) approaches her hesitantly…there was something in the way that scene was written that made me weep buckets!!

Cry the beloved country by Alan Paton
I think the title says it all. …I felt my eyelids moistening when Stephen Kumalo goes to the mountains after his son has been condemned to death. Very poignant and very very sad.

Love Story by Erich Segal
Despite the fact that the first line of the book reveals the end of the book…, the very first time I read it I could not resist a lump on my throat when Oliver Barrett hugs his father after Jenny dies.

Current Top 10 pet peeves

Posted April 18th, 2003 by Deepa and filed in Personal
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»People who assume that every David is a Dave, and every Edward is an Ed and every William is a Bill!!

»CNN reporters who smugly inform the clueless American public that the war on Iraq was a big success…. although they could not get Saddam or WMD.

»Guys especially students, who moan about lack of aid and job prospects and yet insist on being “chivalrous” and paying for dinner for a female even though she is earning and offers to pay!

»Having 5 deadlines in a space of 15 days.

»It is mid-April, the flowers are already blooming and yet the temperature outside is still 40F.

»Sight of a female who is young and has a baby on one hip and a cigarette in her other hand, puffing away to glory

»People who take a look at my bookshelves, observe all my books ( it is categorized into various sections like thrillers, poetry, feminism, humor, romance , writings from Indian subcontinent, inspirational etc) and then pounce on the one silly romance novel that I have and comment disparagingly “Ah!! So you read this kind of trash do you”

»The “you have got mail” sign on yahoo that make me check the inbox eagerly only to find it is from Editor Bob…Damn him he sends me a mail twice a day!!

»The statement on my colleagues table which says “”Americans have the right and advantage of being armed unlike citizens of other countries whose governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.” Bullshit is what I reply to that….That’s what causes sniper attacks, columbine tragedy and several other “accidents”.

»People who get babies to a crowded theatre /concert and look around with a “what to do expression” when the baby decided to exercise its vocal chords

Best of Times…..Worst of Times

Posted May 26th, 2002 by Deepa and filed in Personal
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I don’t want to write what I did this week for the simple reason that I didn’t do anything other than routine chores. So I am going to talk about something else. This weekend is a long weekend here because on Monday the Americans celebrate Memorial Day. Memorial day is a day when Americans honor the people who died fighting the Civil war. I am not sure whether now the  ’honored’ people have extended to being war victims. Long weekends hold special charm for the Americans. Not that they don’t for Indians but we have so many more holidays. What I find funny about American holidays is that they shift around?..

What I mean is that most holidays, other than Christmas, New Years and July 4, always are celebrated on a Friday or a Monday so that there is a long weekend. So Memorial Day is not celebrated on 27 May but on the last Monday in the month of May!  But sometimes they take things too far.Like Washington’s Birthday is celebrated on 3rd Monday in February. It really doesn’t matter whether that actually falls on 22 February, which was his real birthday! But they changed the day to President?s day and continue to celebrate it ???

Well Indian festivals also change days but then they don’t follow such a logical approach? Remember the frustration when you realized that Diwali or Holi falls on a Sunday. Although American holidays are far less fun (other than the clearance sales held by the major super stores) they are far better structured.

And that gives me a topic for this email:

In one of the mails I had written when I first came to US I had listed the TOP 5 things I hate and love about America?.

That was when I just came to America and my favorite things consisted of the availability of fruit juice and the fact that there is unlimited Internet and automatic doors that open in front of you.  The things I deplored was the lack of newspapers and absence of mumbaiyya slang. Now that I am a veteran in America here is a fresh list

TOP 5 things I like about America

1.         Ease in travelling from one state to another. And the fact that you can afford it on even your student salary. And the fact  that you can even consider travelling to Europe.

2.            Research . You do feel that most of the work is unique and directly applicable to people.

3.             Food! Different cuisines aaccesible and affordable ( lets not consider the pounds that come along with it!)

4.            Attitude of people here . People are generally pleasant to you. Who doesn?t like a friendly smile? I like the fact that people  here treat all workers with respect. Like the waitors or the plumber or the bus drivers. How many of us wish our B.E.S.T driver a good day and thank you ( I guess they would yell at you saying ?bas zyaada shanpana nako karu?). I admire the don’t care attitude of the people here and the fact that they can switch anything from hairstyles to careers to life partners at any time.

5.         Natural beauty. It?s a huge country and hence encompasses a lot of geographical freatures . Canyons, mountains, forests, lakes, beaches… 4 distinct seasons and each of them is beautiful, the freshness of Spring, the colors in Fall, the snow covered landscape in winter and the pleasant warmth in summer. Obvioulsy I hate not having the rains..but one can’t have it all , can they?

WORST 5

1.      Terrible public transportation other than in major cities. A car is a must and the fact that I have seen the weirdest of accidents here (deers and numerous upturned vehicles doesn?t really make me feel thrilled about driving)

2.            Attitude of the people here. Excessive formality .  Very few people would take kindly to a just a drop in visit. And this sort of formality extends to work as well.  I mean a lot of thing depends on your presentation. Your matter may be zilch but half the battle is won if you have sugar coated it enough. Of course it wouldn’t work for ever?!! Also most Americans are pretty self-centered. I mean the average American does not think anything beyond their country. It is as though the world begins and ends with the boundaries of America.

3.            Weekend night activity . Have to say it. I am sure this is not true of a big city but one thing I really really dislike is how the whole place looks deserted at night.  Yesterday night , Atha and I thought of going for a walk at night…Atha is normally a cautious person and warned me against it. But I was reckless and insisted saying that after all there were two of us. But a few steps later I realized that both pedestrian and vehicular traffic were so scarce and it was far better to retrace our steps back home. Even in a small place like Charlottesville, we have to be wary of muggings and shootings. And try getting a midnight snack or go to a decent restaurant after 10 pm. I can’t make up my mind on what to eat and my stomach can’t start producing sufficient gastric juices till its past 10 and by that time all the restaurants have a big CLOSED sign on their doorstep

4.         The do it yourself attitude. It might be ideal or whatever but give me my kachrewali-bai who takes my trash out and the maid/manservant who sweeps the house and the dhobi who washes and irons my clothes.

5.         I hate the sight of old ladies who seem to need help even to stand trying to push these huge carts alone at the stores or the feeble grandmothers waiting to greet you at Wal-Mart ???(but perhaps that is a good thing that they can be independent even at that age??)

Disclaimers

This is my observations after being in Charlottesville. People can agree or disagree.!!

Notice that I just mentioned what I like and dislike. I have tried not to compare the two countries ( other than the subconsious ones). I really didn?t want to say I like US because of its clean roads, when it is the same dirty bylanes that make me feel comfortable back home. I am not saying anything about the fact that I like the festivals at home and dislike its absence here. Or you can earn more money in US whilst you have your family in India. Those are obvious. Everybody knows that.

Books

·           Lincoln  : Gore Vidal

·           Ah! But your land is beautiful:  Alan Paton

Movies

·            Namumkin : Another Hrishikesh Mukherjee film.

.            Riding in Cars with Boys : Review …Bah!

Websites

·            http://www.holidayfestival.com/USA.html  :      Learn More about American holidays!!

·            http://rinkworks.com/said/                         :Totally terribly amazingly incredibly funny!

·            http://www.rinkworks.com/brainfood/discrete.shtml  : And something serious!!

TOP 10…

Posted August 30th, 2000 by Deepa and filed in Personal
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In tradition with all the countdowns here is a list of my top 5!!

5 Things i love about America!!

1)     The automatic doors! Absolutely the best thing! It really feels very welcoming and you feel really royal when doors open in front of you!

2)      The libraries..Till now all the authors i have given in Search have always returned me some answer!

3)      Fruits and Fruit juice ..plenty available and as cheap as drinking water!

4)     Of course the free internet..how can i miss that!

5)      Labs …really cool and everything available and soon! no wait period of 1 month!

5 things i hate about America

1)     no newspapers…yahan pe woh habitich nahi hai

2)     Have to have a car for roaming! and the roads are uphill downhill most of the places…so walking is tough!

3)     U go to a restaurant and try to find a non carbonized non alcoholic drink….no way!

4)     Everybody seems to be alone …its like each man for himself!

5)     No baambaiyya Hindi!!! no sick jokes …That’s bad