What would yours be?

Someone asked me today, if I could have one superpower, what would it be? Its a fantastic question, isn’t it? Gets you thinking about what would you truly really want that you cannot have with your normal skillset & talent. Now, some greedy people may have an unrealistic answer to this question, but mine is pretty reasonable…read on and tell me what you think?

If I had one super power, it would be, to have a small tiny little remote control with one button, that does the following on my wish:

  • One click and the whole house goes silent for a few minutes – nada sound from the laundry, or the dish-washer, or the refrigerator, the doorbell wouldn’t go off, that Avenger movie my daughter is watching for the Nth time shuts, the phone wouldn’t utter a beep, the snoring would mute, those people on that yet again Skype meeting would go quiet. How cool would that be, our very own surround no-sound button!
  • Click & hold and the whole world goes into a blip – Now I am no Thanos but just saying it wouldn’t hurt to get rid of all the bad nasty mean people on the planet, people who treat earth like trash, people who treat fellow people like trash, people who treat animals like trash, the racists, the sexists, the bad-ists in general, should get going!!
  • Double click for all the master-chef creations to magically appear in my freezer, the house becomes sparkling clean, no, wait, why only my house, everyone’s house, the whole planet becomes rubbish-free and everyone has good food and drinking water.
  • Triple click and the morons hoarding up on toilet paper and kitchen towels get a big tight slap on their face
  • Nod my head to turn Monday mornings into Friday, evening to be precise!
  • A quick touch to reduce all the weight I’ll gain during this lockdown and ever after
  • Rotate the control in the air to create a window to go into different timezones, near loved ones, with no dreadful flights and immigration checks!!
  • I think that should do it. Told ya mine was pretty practical, eh!

Oh wait, it wouldn’t hurt to have this remote control in rose gold, and very importantly,  it should be able to fit in my chubby but tiny hands as for some reason not all women’s dresses come with pockets..aargh! (wait, I might as well add this to above functionality, Thou shall always make pockets for women’s dresses!). I am pretty darn clear as far as my system requirements are concerned, aren’t I?

Go ahead, tell me yours…

Love

R

C for … Pandemic!

The C*-word has penetrated our lives! What we first thought was only a new flu strain contained within the Republic of C*, has now made to the whole globe, effecting the rich and common alike. A few seemingly unconnected words have almost become synonyms – Lockdown, Pandemic, Sanitiser, Toilet Paper, Essential and Wash-Your-Damn-Hands –  I suspect I’ve heard these words more in the last 6 weeks than my own name or the word ‘sale’ .

Many of us are in lock down, in our respective homes, well, at least those lucky ones who have one and can stay home. Many things are different now. Never before would a couple have fought for who gets to put the bins outside, never before would grocery shopping been so glamorous and never before would have children helped as much with household chores! The cars sit in the garage, confused if they’ve been sold by the master to a dump-yard. The weather teases, seducing us to come and walk outside. But the police guarding your street is waiting to pounce.

There’s fear, there’s fun, there’s despair, there’s family time, there’s healthy home-made food, there’s more time to read or pick up that lost hobby, there’s frustration, there’s a lot of shit going on too!

We are very thankful to the medical community and will always be! They are definitely on the front line, standing tall courageously, for all of us.

May I suggest that we take a pause and thank our very own self too. Be kind to ourselves and our loved ones, as we survive and even thrive through these unprecedented difficult times! Lockdown doesn’t have to mean turning further away, lets use this time to come closer (virtually), to each other and most importantly to our own selves!

And yes, lets ensure this C word doesn’t turn into the D-word of draught! I know we are washing our hands religiously, we are washing more clothes, we are at home so perhaps washing our cars just out of boredom, gardening more, taking more showers/baths to keep ourselves clean or just because we can! Lets make sure we continue to use the water wisely, we only have as much! Our planet is reviving, they say. I’m glad, but we humans are notorious for breaking something else while fixing one! (You can tell I’ve been a software developer)

Lets be careful and pledge that when all this is over and we go about our ‘normal’ life, we only return to the good habits of our ‘normal’ and eliminate the ones that hurt us, our loved ones or our home, this planet.

Stay safe everyone, hugs to all

R

The year that was!

A very capable colleague at work suggested we all celebrate one achievement of ours from 2018 in our first team catch up this Jan. Well, that’s what a new year is for, isn’t it, reflecting upon the year that was!

The task was simple. We all had to think of one highlight from last year and talk everyone through it at work. Now how hard could that be? Turns out, very!!

Not because there was none, but because I had 365 highlights, okay fine, 200 highlights, or is it 180 days that we work….why do they pay us so much for not working half of the year……shhhhh!!

Back to the thought under process, work – wise, it was quite easy. Cause-and-effect comes naturally at work….higher duties + delivered commitments + organising awesome cultural events = Smashing IT (no pun intended)!Success!!

What became interesting was how this task got me thinking about what I achieved personally in 2018. The rest of the 180 days in the year were, afterall, personal.

Hmmm…

Funny how my brain shifts towards ‘what did not go well’ when I look at my personal life. Agreed its only human. But then again, the more I think about it, the more I understand that that is exactly how life works. It’s not a party and doesnt give you goodie bags all the time. Its a series of events, presenting you with challenges (opportunities, I say) one after the other, and depending on how you face them, you earn experience, strength and wisdom, as each goes by.

Of course, things dont go as planned sometimes, because you are not the one running the show, you are only a participant and sometimes, the Organiser likes to have a little fun by throwing some curve balls your way, and truly, thats what makes life fun!

Did I plan for hospitalisation, or to get my car hit, or to have some people around me who I cannot stand and the ones who are the light of my life away for too long…..Nah…Not at all. But when I look back I see not the negative events but only the positive lessons I learnt from each. Staying a night in a hospital taught me to be more careful of my health, showed me what could it get to if I dont take actions right now to bring my health back on track. Well, having my car hit taught me…err…what to do when that happens…and that sometimes bad things happen to you for no fault of yours and that is absolutely fine and that sometimes tiny bad things happen only because the Organiser tried to avoid a bigger bad thing. So be grateful for the life you have, and ultimately that is the biggest achievement of 2018 – I survived!! Living away from loved ones for long periods of time makes you self dependant and leaves you more and more in love.

Apologies 2018, if I have portrayed you all gloomy and sad. Of course, you weren’t all bad. You brought me quite a number of fortunate events as well…like (finally) my first ever trip to the U the S of the A. (Now, I know that I really wasnt missing anything). Be it the chance to celebrate Diwali with family back home or catching up on new gossip with my bestie half way across the world, over a glass of old wine or simply celebrating my tiny family’s little big achievements with a slice of cake (no wonder nothing fit me at the end of year party)..Oh and the many chances to sit in the audience and clap and whistle (dont tell her it was me) in applause for my lovely daughter’s performances…you sure did give me enough joy 2018!!

And with some perfectly framed memories and wise lessons learnt, 2018 came to a wrap and so has this first post of 2019.

Love

R

#RealOverVirtual #OfflineIsBetter

On Why I am craving for Nokia 1100 & Why I quit social media today…

It is believed that if you dream of your childhood classroom, your mind is craving for simpler times. I dreamt of Nokia 1100 last night, my first ever mobile phone gifted by my parents in my second year of Uni. I am assuming this is my twenty-first century brain trying to remind me of simpler times in my life. In this modern world, we are so connected to our virtual ‘friends & followers’ that we are totally disconnected with the ‘real’ ones. Today, after probably a decade long love-hate relationship with the social media, I quit, and here’s why:

  1. Consider this:

 On seeing his beloved wife online on watsapp, husband types:’Having a bad day at work

Wife replies in a nano second ‘Busy, will ttyl

Well, we can give her benefit of doubt here, she was probably only online to tell her watsapp friends that she’s busy.

At home that evening, husband ‘Hun I am feeling very restless because of what happened at work today

Wife <not moving from eyes from her screen for a second>  ‘Hey I saw a video on the train back home about how to relieve one’s mind off anxiety, restlessness etc…, I will forward it to you straight away’…<her phone trings>

I, for one, love my husband and respect my marriage too much to put it through any risk of intoxicating it like that.

2. Because I want to kill my need for social validation before it completely kills my self-confidence. The day I stopped getting less than 3 digit likes/comments, I thought I am doomed. My life ain’t stunning anymore to anyone. Well, my life should be beautiful because I deserve so, not because people would judge if it ain’t.

3. Sibling rivalry is a thing of the past. Kids today aren’t as jealous of their smart sibling as they are of their parent’s smartphones. My kiddo, being the one and only child, has all her undivided jealousy focussed towards my phone. I reckon she should win!

4. ‘She doesnt read much, her reader’s diary record is low’, her teacher tells me. And I wonder why? I used to read a lot of books when I was a child and I keep telling her to read books while I am super absorbed with my phone. Well, I wondered only because I had forgotten, children don’t hear us, they imitate us.

5. Because I want to have both my hands free, to hold hands with my husband and my daughter at the same time, to dance whenever I wish to, to be normal again. God forbid the world fall apart that our phones aren’t looked at the second they tring! And no, this wouldn’t change even when they start making all women’s dresses with pockets!

6. Because I am afraid that we are on the reverse path of evolution, Remember the ape to human posture diagram they teach us at school, yeah, we definitely are tracing that back now and No thanks, I don’t wanna be a part of that. I am pretty sure none of my dresses would look nice on a bent spine me.

7. Because no one saw the beautiful rainbow on the train ride to work today. And I would’ve missed it too had I been suffering from the oh-my-eyes-will-stop-functioning-properly-without-a-dose-of-vitamin-c(ell) blindness syndrome too. There was one more thing no one noticed…A disabled teenage boy needed help when his metro card fell to the floor when he is was trying to adjust his wheelchair position. He probably would have had a hard time getting off the train without the card. Thank God someone wasn’t completely engrossed in their phone and saw it fall, and handed it back to him.

8. Watsapp – More like ‘whatcr*p’ – Seriously, like who has a group of 67 family members, and who would give a rats to check out the photos from your second cousin’s child’s friends’ first birthday celebration just because they have an oh so cute Incredibles theme balloon decor! Spare me the horror please! And seriously, that teenage girl in that ‘missing person’ photo circulating from 3 odd years now, is unable to go to school. The moment she steps out of her house, some good Samaritan escorts her back to her home because he saw the ‘very urgent and for a noble deed’ forwarded message from his aunt, not realising the poor girl had come home the same evening after, upon spending a little extra time at her friend’s place, her missing person message was forwarded to her own phone by 13 of her whatsapp groups. And don’t even get me started on the 76 good morning messages I receive from my family back in India when it is 12:30pm my time. I almost opened my preso with a ‘Good morning everyone’ in an evening session the other day. Talk about global time zone eh!

9. Because ‘speaking’ has shifted to an ‘unknown skill domain’. We prefer to chat/text/Skype message/ written word in short over verbal, if we have a choice. Have you noticed we struggle now-a-days to look directly at a person’s face while talking to them. We’ll look everywhere but at the person we are talking to. In olden days, it was the body language sign for hiding the truth. Either everyone is lying or I should probably stick a tiny screen between my brows to get people to look me in the eye when they are talking to me. Wouldn’t that be fun!#AlienTrendAlert #ScreenBrows

10. I do not want to receive ads for ‘cheap flights to best holiday destinations’ on my facebook feed when my husband texts me ‘Lets go for a vacay’. Hello!! What part of the word Privacy was left unexplained to these people at their school. And how creepy it is when your phone knows exactly where you’re headed the moment you get into your car and will try to win the race by telling you which route is the fastest even before the car GPS can turn on.

11. I don’t want technology to cripple me. I’ll use it when I need it! I’ll not allow it to use me!Period!

Love

R~

For no reason…

He offered to help the old lady in picking up the groceries that had spilled out of her green bag all across the staircase when they bumped into each other this cold winter morning. The lady, who was new to the building complex, on the other hand, had a few foul words to speak of youngsters who have no respect whatsoever for the elderly, how a child may have played with the elevator to break it and how painful it was for her to walk up the two flights of stairs. He adjusted his shades while he picked up her groceries and listened to whatever the old lady chose to say and then, apologised again, with a smile. The lady finally smiled too and offered him a warm cuppa at her place. ‘May be, I’ll drop by after work, I am kind of running late‘, he replied politely, ‘what’s your unit number?

213, drop by when you are back in the evening, where do you work son?‘ the lady tried to make up for coming out as a rude person a few seconds earlier.

I sure will, oh, I work at the aged care center just two blocks from here, I am really grateful they let me continue even when I lost my eye sight last year in a road accident, I am lucky I have lived here all my life so I practically wasn’t impacted. Anyway, I’ll see you in the evening…. and really sorry again‘, he left hurriedly then cruising through the rest of the stairs, while the lady stood still, as darker memories came rushing back to her.

The person on the other end of phone had said, almost a year ago now on a cold winter morning similar to today, ‘I am really sorry Mrs Stevens, Mr Stevens was in a road accident this morning, I am afraid he couldn’t make it, His car ran over a traffic signal and hit a pedestrian…”she barely had heard anything more. She was informed by the police later that week that the pedestrian her late husband had hit was out of danger but has lost his eye sight. The pedestrian asked for complete privacy thereafter and any efforts that she made to get in touch went in vain.

I told him to uber that morning. The doctors had clearly asked him to refrain from driving, his eyesight was getting weaker everyday, reflexes getting slower and he couldn’t differentiate between the traffic signal colors….if only we didn’t become so stubborn with age….Mrs Stevens thought, as she slowly climbed up the stairs.

~

R