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Friday, January 14, 2011

Delightfully quirky habit of Mumbaikars

After being in Mumbai (Mumbaikars would never agree that Navi Mumbai is a part of the Mumbai experience) for almost a year now, I have found some delightfully quirky habits of Mumbaikars. The first one of course is the constant reassurance they need that being Mumbaikar is a very prestigious matter.

I've realized that Mumbaikars have a huge need to be reassured that Mumbai and Navi Mumbai, although they share the same name (partly), would never converge to be one entity! It  truly would probably never become one entity but there are glimpses of the Mumbai life in Navi Mumbai and considering they are across each other's borders, some of the life experiences have rubbed off into Navi Mumbai. While this is no reason to draw parallels, do not even for a moment or in passing, mention to a Mumbaikar that a person from Navi Mumbai is also a Mumbaikar. You will not hear the end of that argument. On a serious note, I understand the feeling because I do not appreciate the reference of a Kanndiga to a 'Madrasi'. . . you know, the whole story of 'fine feathers make only a fine fowl and not a peacock' :).

The second one that stood out for me was the wait at the railway station - Mumbaikars are very proud of their local train network, and they should be. Waiting at the railway station however is a very interesting pastime. You'll see more than half the crowd who are waiting for the train, leaning into the track to see if the train is arriving. I wonder if in their minds, the train is so tiny, that if they do not constantly keep checking, they could miss it?! Considering the number of people leaning out of the train and jumping off of it when it arrives, it is unimaginable to me that they'd miss the arrival.

The crowd management technique is unique to Mumbai - People are so used to maneuvering and hustling in a crowd that even when they find enough space to walk around others, they tend to bump into you! After a while, you go with the flow and bump into a few of them on your way!

I'm sure I will be acquainted with more fascinating habits in the days to come and I can't wait to get to know them! It is a part of the whole Mumbai experience! Oops. . . here I go again, calling my meager 'Navi Mumbai life' as the 'Mumbai experience' ;)

Note: Mumbaikar in this post is a simple reference to a person staying in Mumbai and in no terms does it refer to a person from any particular community.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

What am I waiting for?

Everyone in this world is waiting for something or someone, at some points of time. I find myself held in the grip of this feeling, especially the last couple of months.

When I moved to M'bai and joined a new company, I had accepted that it will be a new environment both personally and professionally. I had made up my mind that I would use this time to build my professional capabilities, take up actions on my long pending activities, restart my studies, explore the much hyped M'bai... and the list was, and is endless.

Reality however is starkly different. I am regrettably in an interminable vicious circle of work, home and dreams which are in "pending state". My personal to-do list keeps increasing and I blame it all on not finding time. I need to wake up from this self-induced stupor. Who do I expect will change the circumstance for me?What am I waiting for? I know this is what go-getters do - they wake up from their brief stupor and take the step and I know that for me, day is not far off.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Nagging wife

Today's amusing musing:

How does one become a nagging wife? To what extent of being involved in your spouse's life get you to the 'nagging' state?

Does checking on your spouse every hour of the day make you a loving, caring person or does it make you a suspicious other (better??!!) half? Is this suspicion called nagging? Or is it when you know your spouse is uninterested in certain topics, you still bring them up and hope there will be a honest, from the heart feedback?

If this is nagging, do you give enough space to your spouse? How much space is 'enough' space? Does that make one person's nagging wife another person's muse?

Questions and questions. . . No wonder, we are moving to a phase of robots because relationships are so difficult to understand!!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Life - hoping for technology

A time comes in everyone's life when we take pointers from our technology driven life and hope there is a "restart" option!! Imagine the ramifications of having a format and reboot option!! How much of our lives would we change if we had this option?

A year back, around the same time, there were so many changes happening in my life that I wished I had a 'Pause' button in my life and I could take a breather and understand the ramifications of the events. Today, I wish I had a fast forward button which could add some action in my life. Is this what is known as the ups and downs of our life? Did the Lord above hear me and instead of the 'Pause' button, hit the 'slow motion' button? Lord, if you are hearing my wishes, then here I go (Chandler Bing, pardon the copy+paste) - "Wish I had a million dollars to spare" !!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Children will choose their own

The lunch table conversation at office today was about how fast paced today's world is and how children are way ahead of where we were when we were their age. I could only comment based on my experience in interacting with other's kids and some of my interactions was when these kids put their best foot forward. However, some interesting thoughts were being thrown around and I was amused.

While one of them felt that she would be well placed today if her parents had provided more guidance during her childhood, another felt that everything in her life was dictated by her parents - what she chose as her hobby, who she played with, what subjects she studied - everything. I was left to wonder if she understood at that time that she was being guided or did she just feel stifled? Did she realize that she did not have the liberty to choose only later in her life?

Now in her own parenting days, she has decided that she'll let her child choose his/her own way. This led to another stream of interesting discussions. Is there any exemplary instance that can help establish the notion that children who were left to choose their own have been able to judge and choose right? Who decides what is right for the child? Is it the prerogative of the parents and society to ensure a child grows to respect the community, the system and what is generally acceptable behavior or does a child in today's fast paced world already know what is right for them? By choosing not to choose for her children, hasn't she already made a choice?!! Messyyy!!! Now, whether she will really let her children choose their way or will a dash of her guidance let her children choose the right way is left to be seen. Nevertheless, parenting is a sweet nightmare. Wish there was a step-by-step manual to guide us - which begs the question again - do we need to be guided at all times or do we know enough to choose right?