Thursday, August 25, 2011

Yours Truly!

I spoke about Mélange here. It's been almost two years now and we have had reasons to pat our backs :).

One fairly popular section in the newsletter is called 'Yours Truly'. The editorial team chooses a person every month and interviews them - questions range from anything related to work to personal life, and so on, making the "interrogation" sessions quite engaging! 

This month, yours truly was picked for 'Yours Truly' - it was a tad bit embarrassing to have myself interviewed - though I assure you that the questioning team ensured nothing short of a ragging session - having known me pretty well, they knew exactly what questions to ask and what answers to get. It was fun, and yes an honor :D. 

Reproducing the published piece here...

Mélange: As the quintessential 'Hill girl‘ you have been caught many a times complaining about Chennai heat, the crowd and your fear of tan. But Chennai usually grows into people, did it for you? Why?
Yuvika: I share a love-hate relationship with Chennai. It has grown into me to a certain extent. To enjoy any  place, you just need to be with the right people!

Mélange: Your claim to fame?
Yuvika: I would like to believe that I am an “awesome” technical writer – my primary role in the  organization.  I have been quite infamous for my conversation skill and the volume associated with it ;)

Mélange: Secret of your energy?
Yuvika: Definitely not Boost! I am a very energetic person – was born  that way ;). Early to bed and early to rise is a good mantra too!

Mélange: How do you hail autos?
Yuvika: I don’t need to hail! They come to me :P! I have improved my bargaining skills over the years. Once I paid ‘nooru’ (100) instead of ‘enbadhu’ (80), which was quoted by the driver. ‘Nooru’– the standard rate.

Mélange: What were the gains and the pains about Mélange?
Yuvika: Gains - We were the first to come up with an organization wide newsletter - a lot of communication  has  been  enabled  ever  since. So I’m very proud to be associated with Mélange.
Pains - Coordination between the two centers has been difficult. Keeping everyone interested every edition  has always been a challenge and will continue to be so.

Mélange: Your most memorable moments at Chennai?
Yuvika: There have been many memorable moments. The late nights and even over nights, thanks to AnalyticsSuite, have been  so full of fun (and work!). I have enjoyed the out-bound training trips to the hilt – have got to experience new adventures. And of course, dare I say, the most important one would be, learning all the tamil bad words.

Mélange: Delhi or Chennai?
Yuvika: Both are home for me now. And I crib about both equally!

Mélange: Penchant for “dapankuthu”? Favourite “kuthu” song?
Yuvika: The songs are full of life and energy. I don’t need to understand the words. They are very relatable. I love “Naa adicha thaanga maata” (Sings a few lines of the popular Vijay number)

Mélange: You have time and again played the role of a pacifist in highly charged situations in the making of Mélange  issues. Where does this come from?
Yuvika: I like to get things moving. I feel some conflicts are a waste of time and not worth the energy and time that goes  into them, and hence try my best to pacify the situation!

Mélange: Ericsson jargons that you hate?
Yuvika: I usually hate jargons such as ‘paradigm shift’ and the likes that are often used out of context or way too frequently to  convey  anything  of  great  value. The one phrase I would really like to change in Ericsson  though is “man-hours” – Quality and Process manuals around the world are changing to person hours. We need to do that at Ericsson too! We need to acknowledge the women-hours, don’t we ;)?

Mélange: If Google offered you a job on the condition you stay quiet for 5 hours, would you do that?
Yuvika: No, I wouldn’t. If an employer cannot appreciate a defining aspect of my personality, there's no point working for them! :P

Mélange:  5  things  you  would  carry  with  you  if  you  were  marooned  on an  island?
Yuvika: Sunscreen, Hat, Sunglasses, Lip Balm, and ofcourse my Blackberry to live tweet and post FB updates!

Mélange: Can you tell us one full line in tamil and translate it?
Yuvika: Naan unnai romba kaadhalikkiren - which translates to I love you very  much.

Mélange: What will you miss most about Mélange and your most memorable moments?
Yuvika: I will miss the happiness and the almost bloated sense of achievement when I see Melange open on most screens the minute each  edition goes out!
As for memorable moments: The first issue was very special. The first anniversary gave a sense of achievement.

Mélange: How would you rate your tamil pronunciations?
Yuvika: I have always been ‘bang on’ with the pronunciation of all the bad words. Favorite: ‘Ootla sollitu vandhutiya’

Mélange: Five Favorite places in Chennai?
Yuvika: Kodambakkam train station (there’s so much ‘life’ to observe at a station)
Grand Sweets and Snacks (am addicted to their kuzhi panniyaram)
Khader Nawaz Khan Road (the shopping options and eateries are wonderful there)
Mahabalipuram (love the temple architecture and the relatively clean beaches)
Zara’s (this one for fine dining ;))

First Tamil Movie: Kandukondein  Kandukondein (with subtitles!)
Holiday destination you would like to visit:  Greece
Fav cuisine: Italian
Fav movies: Lovey dovey romances, candy  floss love stories and most of the chick flicks
Fav Author: Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Anti Corruption and Anti Hazare

A couple of friends posted the following on FB, and I couldn’t agree more. Exactly my sentiments on the issue currently broadcasted on national television 24/7.

1. I'm anti-corruption.
2. I'm anti-Anna Hazare.
3. Hazare is a sanctimonious right-wing tyrant so cloaked in his own virtue that he believes he is above the law.
4. The law is frequently an ass.
5. Nevertheless, the law is frequently our only hope.
6. Better the elected asses than the dictatorial unelected.
7. The government is playing into Hazare's hands with its idiocy.
8. Yes, these views can be held simultaneously.

No denying the fact that corruption has assumed epic proportions in our country (India) and if nothing is done now to contain the contamination, we will never be able to redeem ourselves.
And, no denying the fact that Anna Hazare is a genuine social activist with the most noblest of intentions – his clean image and spotless career do provide an ideal anti-corruption voice.

However, we cannot deny the fact that we are living in a country, which is led by democratically elected representatives under a constitution that dictates law and civil behavior. Yes, it has loop holes and it is misused and misinterpreted, and hardly implemented in the right scenarios – yet that is our only hope. Because law enforcement is weak, you and I cannot proclaim ourselves to be the highest judiciary to whom all should abide.

Many argue that peaceful protests are within the peripheries of our civil rights – yes, provided they are done responsibly. While I agree that confining Anna Hazare to Tihar Jail was a knee jerk extreme reaction, protesting that Anna knows it all - is also not right.

How does fasting help the cause against corruption? The first time Anna went on fast – everybody sat up. It was a bold step to awaken the collective consciousness of a billion people – I will not argue with how many support and how many don’t. Of course, all of us are frustrated with the current state of affairs, and at this time a person like Anna Hazare does emerge as a larger than life hero. Though I was skeptic of where this would take us, as long as the government was forced to take a more serious look at the lok pal bill and implement it, I thought I’ll keep my cynicism in check.

But once the awareness has been created, media attention has been focused and the government has been trying to implement (so what if only a rudimentary form of) the bill, I feel Anna and his supporters should have proactively facilitated the process. In a democracy, nobody gets everything that they want – there is compromise – so many times even on the rightful demands. You tell me, is it not better that we start somewhere and take it from there, rather than fight as to where the start point should lie?

We are simple going overboard now. I am not for or against any political party – the party in power is behaving like any party would and the opposition is behaving like any opposition would – I do not attribute any morals to their words or beliefs.
It is the common people who are seldom affected by the changing power reigns that I feel are let down in all this. Who decides the righteousness of the independent body of the jan lok pal bill. Anna? In a country, where religion and technology, money and power, all are dictated by the electoral vote bank supposedly, define “independent” for me, please.

And, for god’s sake, don’t bring Gandhi into the equation. Gandhi adopted satyagraha as a means of protest against a forcefully constituted foreign government that made rules only to oppress the people of this land for their selfish interests. He was not fighting against a democratically elected government, which has been elected by us.
If we cannot find the right people to vote for, and we who consider ourselves right don’t stand for elections, please justify the success of this ideal independent body to form the jan lok pal bill.

Holding a government to ransom by fasting in today’s times is blackmailing the rule book of law and subverting the fundamentals of democracy –– My way or the highway is hardly a done deal – Means is as important as the end. That is why Gandhi fasted and Anna should not.

[Image source:]

Saturday, August 13, 2011

R.I.P. Shammi Kapoor

And thus passes away a legend of Hindi cinema.

Though the magic of Shammi Kapoor was experienced by generations away from the one I grew up in. His songs, and the stylish, light-hearted portrayal of the romantic hero was quite popular during my growing up years too thanks to weekly movies and the chitrahaar sessions on DD.
In the later years, his warm grandfather image in ads like Pan Parag and a few movies was also quite endearing.

May you rest in peace!

Leaving you with some super awesome, unforgettable, evergreen melodies that have been synonymous with the epic that is Shammi Kapoor. And this is going to be one long play list - a good companion for your Sunday...

- Tumse achha kaun hai...

- Badan pe sitaare lapete hue...

- Yeh chaand sa roshan chehera...

- Deewana hua badal...

Baar baar dekho...

- Kahin na kahin...

- Akele akela kahan jaa rahe ho...

- O haseena zulfon waali...

- Deewana mujha sa nahin...

- Tumne mujhe dekha...

- Aaj kal tere mere pyaar ke charche...

- Aaja aaja main hun pyaar tera

- Aasman se aaya farishta...

And I could go on and on...what are your favorite Shammi Kapoor numbers? Some big ones that I'm forgetting?

[Image source: Google Images]

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The ABC Song!

Seems like it’s the tag season. Picked up this one from Bikram’s post here.

All those who have time to spare, consider yourself TAGGED!

Here goes me…

- Available: No – occupied and busy, very busy…
- Age: At the wrong end of the 20s
- Animals: Horses

- Beer: Not for me, bring on the wine though!
- Birthday: Just round the corner
- Best friend: Hubby dearest
- Body Part on opposite sex: The grey matter in that cranium!
- Best feeling in the world: At the beach, where I can hear the waves crashing on the rocks and feel the balmy breeze on my cheeks
- Best weather: I mind the sun. Rain, thunder, storm, hail and snow – all make my day.
- Been in Love: Yeah yeah, been there, done that!
- Been on stage: Yes, loads of times – for debates, JAMs, dramatics, compering and even dancing!
- Believe in Magic: Umm would like to believe in magic but reality bites hard,
- Believe in Santa: Ofcourse – in Santa and Rudolf and all such stuff that magically gets you gifts!
- Brand: Identity crisis!

- Candy: Melody and Hajmola Imli ;)
- Color: White, Blue, Peach, Pink, Violet, Red, Black – actually all of them depending on what mood I am in.
- Chocolate/Vanilla: Chocolate brownies with hot chocolate fudge on a generous helping of light chocolate and vanilla ice-cream – and a double helping of that pls.
- Chinese/Indian/Italian: Italian
- Cake or pie: Cake
- Cheese: In any form and all kinds!

- Day or Night: Depends for what!
- Dancing in the rain: Makes living life worthwhile

- Eyes: Clear and transparent
- Ever failed a class?: Nahiiiiiii
- Enemies: I am sure I have many, I like to believe I have consciously made none
- Exercise: Much needed - Wish was more regular at that

- First thoughts waking up: How many more minutes can I laze around before it becomes too late to wake up
- Food: Another reason that convinces you the world is not such a bad place

- Greatest Fear: Darkness
- Goals: None, I just kick around
- Get along with your parents: Yes, pretty well and to add, they are managing quite well too ;)

- Hair Color: Black
- Happy: Happy!
- Holiday: Nothing as holier as the day that’s a holiday!

- Ice Cream: In all flavors with lots of nuts

- Jewelry: Minimalistic
- Job: That pays bills

- Kids: Love them! Hope to have my own someday ;)
- Kickboxing or karate: Karate – a senior green belter, mind you :D
- Keep a journal? In the stone age when Internet had not invaded our lives and then blogs happened.

- Love: Makes the world go round
- Laughed so hard you cried: Yes yes, so many times!

- Milk flavor: Chocolate – latest is cold milk with Hersheys chocolate syrup.
- Movies: All lovey dovey romances, candy floss love stories and chick flicks.
- Motion sickness: A bad case of that I am :(
- McD’s or BK: Mc Donald’s in India – anywhere else, it doesn’t matter cos both have nothing to offer vegetarians!

- Number: Infinity

- One wish: That I could get some more wishes!

- Perfect Pizza: Domino’s thin crust – Mexican green wave with an extra helping of olives – spruced up with oregano and lots of chilly flakes
- Pepsi/Coke: None
- Perfume/Cologne: Perfume – Dolce Gabbana Gold

- Quail: Reptiles

- Reason to cry: movies, books, unfortunate incidents, memories, nostalgia , too much off love and happiness, self-sympathy trips…
- Reality T.V : A haven for desperados
- Radio Station: It’s been ages since I tuned into one

- Song: So many…all time favs would be
English: Stairway to heaven
Hindi: Yeh honsla kaise ruke
- Shoe size: Among the smaller ones
- Salad Dressing: Thousand Island
- Skinny dip: Leave it t the skinny people to have!
- Strawberries/Blueberries : Strawberries…!
- Sport: What is that?

- Tattoos: Too painful for me!
- Thunderstorms: Make for shady pseudo romantic moments in Indian cinema

- Unpredictable: Me Me Me

- Vacation spot(s): Would love to see all the famous tourist spots in the world – Greece and Venice are up on my list!

- Weakness: Emotions rule the head.
- Who makes you laugh the most: rather what - Life and its vicissitudes
- Worst Weather?: Depression

- X-Rays: A pain at the airports

-Year it is now: 2011
-Yellow: Sunflowers – bright and cheery

- Zoo animal: Love the Giraffe!

[Image source: Google Images]

Friday, August 5, 2011

Tagged: Why I Read!

Tagged by Aparna here to do a post on why I read.

My first reaction was this would be a breeze cos I do read a lot, but getting down to it, I am at a loss of reasons really.
I don’t even remember when I started reading or if ever it was a conscious decision.
For as long as I can remember I have derived the distinct pleasure that only books can give. Maybe it comes from my mom – she introduced us to the joy of reading way way back.

A voracious reader from childhood, I had graduated from Noddys and Enid Blytons to first abridged and then very soon unabridged classical and semi classical literature much before an average child my age – As soon I was done with Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys in Class 5 and 6 , I was onto Jane Austen, the Bronte Sisters, and the likes.

An English literature degree was the ultimate treat as I was exposed to so many authors from different periods and geographies. The education in literary criticism and appreciation brought a whole new dimension to the act of ‘reading’.

Though thanks to the IT madness I have gotten myself into, I do not get to spend as much time and energy as I would like for reading, books remain my greatest passion.

Reading opens up new horizons, new perspectives – it broadens your thinking – making you a more holistic and inclusive individual – the awareness of the world in the sense of its diversity is a revelation in itself.

And so I continue to read to...
…fuel my fantasies and imaginative flights
…forget my worldly worries
…learn about the varied cultures, countries and peoples
…be able to understand contexts better
...appreciate the beautiful weaving of words that create linguistic magic

I read an assortment of genres – none to specify as my favorite – but as a rule I like what people usually call “heavy reading”. I like detailed, long, drawn out accounts with an overplay of drama and emotions :)!

In keeping with the tradition of “The Tag”, tagging a few co-bloggers who I feel would have something interesting to talk about…

So, waiting to hear from you guys – do this if you have the time! And if somebody else wants to pick this tag too – most welcome – point me to your post when you are done!

[Image source: Google Images]

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Living ‘Life’

The calendar dictates my days,
The clock my time.
I snooze between alarms,
And dream through the commute.

Blinded by my false sense of self worth,
The beauty of the newly blossomed gulmohar
On the path I rush through, escapes me.

The mornings are maniacally hurried,
And the evenings pass in a daze.
Of the afternoons I remember nothing;
The nights are long and silent.

I like to believe that within me,
Lie the depths of the ocean.
There are oysters with hidden pearls.

I don’t have the luxury of deep diving,
I console myself, and then I sigh in relief;
This fear of searching within, only to
Stumble upon the silence of the hollow years.

The lack of profound sorrow and
The absence of any exhilarating joy
Am I blessed or just plain cold?

At the shore, my heart aches for the
Electrifying currents that run deep;
And the sinking ship, in the middle of
The blue, envies my sanctuary at the coast!


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