Monday, May 30, 2005

The five people you meet in Heaven

Some excerpts from Mitch Albom’s book, The five people you meet in Heaven.

“There are no random acts. We are all connected. You can no more separate one life from another than you can separate a breeze from the wind.”

“Strangers are just family you have yet to come to know.”

On Sacrifice:
“Sacrifice is a part of life. It’s supposed to be. It’s not something to regret. It’s something to aspire to. Little sacrifices, Big sacrifices.”

On Forgiveness:
“No one is born with anger.” (We accumulate it in our lifetimes.) “And when we die, the soul is freed of it.”

On Anger:
“Holding anger is poison. It eats you from inside. We think that hating is a weapon that attacks the person who harmed us. But hatred is a curved blade. And the harm we do, we do to ourselves.”

On Love:
“Love, like rain, can nourish from above, drenching couples with a soaking joy. But sometimes, under the angry heat of life, love dries on the surface and must nourish from below, tending to its roots, keeping itself alive. “

This is an incredible book. The storyline, the language, the examples used are so straightforward making it easy to understand, relate to and apply to ones lives.

Childhood Memories

Ask most Americans about their early memories and they will usually say something about their first kiss or some such thing. Contrast that to Indians, where its bound to be a family related memory. Most of my earliest memories involve my beloved grandparents. I remember being scared of a mighty thunderstorm and nanaji (my maternal grandfather) laughed it off and said it’s only the rain, it is good for us and since then I have loved the rain. I have numerous memories of naniji (my maternal grandmother) but one of my fondest memories is of her teaching me how to knit when I was about 3 years old. She would put the stitches on the needle and show me how to do it right and within 10 minutes when I had made a mess of it, she would calmly undo the entire thing and show me again. It carried on for quite a while like that!

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

The Feedback Generation

Getting comments on ones blogs really makes it all worthwhile. Since Blogger's turned off their stats collection, I was wondering if anyone was even reading my blogs, but its nice to know that people are interested in what I am writing. Thank you anon from Bangalore for your sweet and heartfelt comment on A place to call home.

Feedback is the one thing that defines the generation of today. Everyone feels they have a right to write/comment/approve/disapprove on anything and everything. Internet has simplified so many things. It so easy to find the email address of any company you are not happy with and shoot off an email to them. Its not only made things happen faster but made a lot of people accountable for their jobs. I had a nasty experience at a Subway and when I went home I immediately looked up their site and complained. The matter is under investigation now!

When I was in college in the US, there were a number of ways to do research work for our papers. There was microfiche, microfilm, old fashioned index cards and a local network on the computers. Internet was known to only the few forward thinking architecture, engineering and IT students.

For me, the greatest boon of the internet besides communication, is finding information. I can't remember the last time I actually used an encyclopedia, thesaurus or a dictionary. Its easier and faster to do a search on the web and use the Word SpellCheck. I find it ironic that even someone like me who is so fond of the physical aspects of books would rather use a computer rather than the real thing. And I am a person who loves everything about books, the smell, the feel, the crispness of the paper, the weight and of course the knowledge gained. I guess, the web has overtaken all other forms and become the real thing!

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Sudoku!

Check out Sudoku, the new and addictive puzzle from Japan. Keep some time free before starting, else you will not be able to get away.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Thoughts

"Deliberately seeking solitude—quality time spent away from family and friends—may seem selfish. It is not. Solitude is as necessary for our creative spirits to develop and flourish as are sleep and food for our bodies."
— Sarah Ban Breathnach
From Hold That Thought by Sarah Ban Breathnach (Warner Books)


"To be happy at home is the ultimate result of all ambition."
— Samuel Johnson
From Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach (Warner Books)

Friday, May 13, 2005

My beloved A2

Initially, one of the worst things about living and working in Bombay was the terrible commute. So much time wasted each day going and coming, that could be used more productively. I used to dread the commute so much that it overtook my life and my job as well. I just could not deal with the crowds, the smells, the heat and the endless traffic.

The AC bus has been my savior. Now, I look forward to this part of my day, as it has become my reading time. Since I started traveling on the A2, I have been able to finish a book every 2 weeks. Its incredible how this turnaround happened. I love my 40 minutes of private reading time that I get each way to and from work. It is what makes me realize that after all the initial struggle, I too am beginning to balance and juggle home and work in this chaotic city.

Reading is my passion and not being able to read on a daily basis makes me cranky and irritable. My other passion, Crosswords, have not fared as well, as the roads are too bumpy and traffic too chaotic to do them.

I just finished reading a very interesting book called Ragtime in Simla by Barbara Cleverly. Its in the vein of MM Kaye's Murder in Kenya. Set in the 1920's, the events slowly unfold to tell the story of a murder that takes place on the road to Simla at Devil's Elbow, just after Tara Devi, where one gets the first sight of Simla. I particularly enjoyed the descriptions of the landmarks and buildings of Simla as I am familiar with them and it brought back lots of memories. The people of Simla, the culture, the levels of society, the importance of gossip to this town have come through well. Overall, a recommended read.