Saturday, May 31, 2008

Question on A's IM

"When you pray for success, does god give you success, or does he give you opportunities to be successful?"

Friday, May 30, 2008

Acme of Acne

I have been thinking about this one since quite some time, more than a year actually. I still remember the days in 2002-2003 when S and I used to discuss our daily issues of pepperoni-pizza-like faces and necks and backs and get frustrated. I remember we both were using Proactiv stuff regularly. And one would think that if something was making Jessica Simpson, Vanessa Williams and Jennifer Love Hewitt look like they were, it must be awesome!! Bad news was, it wasn't doing it for me or for him and I was sure there were many people in the same boat.

We would talk about the woes of using products that caused so many other side effects, dry skin, every day of applying something on your face/body with no significant results to get rid of the ever-crazy-acne, and not to mention waste of money, time and energy. He was so frustrated he actually went on to try the heavy-duty accutane (antibiotic) too! I had a coworker who had tried it too and I didn't like what I saw as a result of this product. Moreover, the side effects were dreadful. I didn't want to give it a try. I gave up on this whole thing altogether. R would come up with suggestions every once in a while, do this do that but I didn't want to do anything any more. I had had enough. I was sick and tired of it.

Until P aunty came over to visit us that summer... She was like "why don't you try some of the haldi-water thing that I suggested to D. She tried it and now is looking so pretty with clear skin. You should give it a try." I didn't like the idea of drinking a glass full of water with a tea-spoon or two of turmeric added in there every single morning, not for the taste, I can chew on the Zandu sudarshan ghanvati like a jolly rancher, but just the required dedication was holding me. I truly had given up on it. But since R convinced me, I decided to give it a try. There were days when I just felt like giving up again and I wouldn't drink it at all. There were days when I thought "I drink a huge glass of water as soon as I wake up any ways, and to top that I have to drink another one with turmeric in it? Nah! too much water." But R was very persistent and would remind me of it before I had that glass of milk.

After about one and a half years, I started seeing it. I was so pleasantly surprised what that daily dose of turmeric did, it was amazing! I did stop the regime after some two years as I didn't need to continue it any more, but I was happy and thankful to the lovely ladies I know who suggested and helped me keep up with this routine to help myself and the best part is, now I get to share the secret with everyone after my first hand experience. So the answer to getting rid of nasty acne is here! I also recommended it to S as soon as I saw my face glowing fair and bright with no pizza-like symptoms. Best part is, when people come up to you and ask you "wow! what did you do to your face?" in a pleasantly surprised tone. That brings a huge smile on me face. :D

Over the years I've learned that acne is caused by totally random reasons and they differ from person to person. There's too many of them but here are some of them:

  • too much stress/frustration (I think that's #1).
  • upset stomach/constipation.
  • oily skin.
  • hormonal imbalance.
  • lack of exercise.
  • lack of good sleep (7-8 hours every night).
  • ...

    (list continues)

    But the answer to the problem is: patience, dedication and a daily dose of little bit of turmeric powder with water first thing in the morning. Indeed, any cleansing starts from the inside.

    PS. I forgot to mention that in between, I also tried drinking like a gallon of water a day, which I have reduced to half a gallon now, but that helps a lot in general. Remember though, drinking too much water can cause life-threating conditions so do it in moderation and as much as your body can take.
  • Wednesday, May 28, 2008

    Silent conversations

    Scenes and music like the one here amaze me! So much unsaid yet said; so many emotions conveyed in those moments of silence. One of my favorite scenes from the film.

    Amitabh Bachchan and Jaya Bhaduri in the scene at dusk; harmonica background score by Panchamda (R. D. Burman); film Sholay (1975):

    Friday, May 23, 2008

    Free Training by Life

    Often times we observe others and learn what we should do; at the same time we also come across incidents in life where we learn what NOT to do. Recently, I came across such an incident and I got to learn some important lessons of life. Some of them I already believe in, so my belief has become stronger towards those, the others I got to learn for the very first time.

    I have learned that...

    • it is easy to think someone is wrong just because they act/behave differently than you.

    • it is easy to find faults with others' thinking specially when it is different than our thinking.

    • it is easy to give advice to others without realizing they did not even ask for it.

    • it is easy to hurt/upset someone than to apologize to them for our mistakes.

    • it is easy to assume and judge people. When in doubt, ask questions first.

    • there are better ways to give your opinion to others than just be bitter and frank.
      satyam bruyaat priyam bruyaat; maa bruyaat satyam apriyam [Translation: speak the truth that is pleasing; do not speak the unpleasing truth]

    • there is no way to undo the damage done by words.

    • drinking ruins people's lives because a lot of times when a person is drunk he/she doesn't realize what they are doing and quite often they end up behaving in a way that they will regret later. One of them is, sending emails when being drunk.

    • it takes more effort to dislike somebody than to be indifferent towards them.

    • life is too short to waste on things we don't like; Better let them be and move on with life.

    Thursday, May 22, 2008

    Visit Museums for Free

    D just reminded me of this again today, and I thought it was a good idea to spread the word around to the art-lovers.

    Bank of America has this promotion called Museums on Us 2008, with which if you're in any of the following states in the US, then there are a select few museums where you can get a free admission all year long on the first weekend of every month with your Bank of America card.

  • Arizona

  • California

  • Connecticut

  • Delaware

  • Florida

  • Georgia

  • Illinois

  • Maine

  • Maryland

  • Massachusetts

  • Michigan

  • New Jersey

  • New York

  • North Carolina

  • Pennsylvania

  • Rhode Island

  • Texas

  • Washington

  • Now isn't that the coolest!?

    Click here for more info.

    Monday, May 19, 2008

    "Man ka ho to acchha. Man ka na ho to zyada acchha."

    Something wonderful I read today, so thought of sharing it.

    The above were the words of Shri Harivansh Rai Bachchan.

    More below in the words of his own son, Amitabh Bachchan.

    We remained like that for some time. We didn’t look at each other. Just stared out through the window.

    And then I heard his voice -

    “Man ka ho to acchha. Man ka na ho to zyada acchha !”

    If things happen according to what you wish. It is good.

    If things do not happen according to what you wish. Then it is even better.

    And for the entire duration of the Play my father understanding the pain of my mental condition, sat next to me in that Hospital bed explaining to me the meaning of these golden words, not allowing me for a moment to get distracted by the goings on in Millman Hall.

    If things do not happen according to your wish then they happen according to the wishes of the Almighty. And the Almighty always does things for your good, hence His wishes will always be better.

    I argued against it. It was not logical. How can this be true. How can something that does not happen according to your wish be better.

    But he persisted and explained and gave examples and persisted again and again and again. Till I succumbed !

    It has been the greatest lesson of my life. One that has stayed with me in every situation. It has been my strength in adversity, my companion in pain and tribulation and my dearest friend in moments of glory and joy.

    I shall be in Sherwood for Founder’s after 50 years. I shall walk past the School Hospital to Millman Hall again and time shall stand still as the strains of my father’s words come back to me, strong and resilient.

    My father is no more. And one day I shall go too. But I have left these words with Abhishek for him to follow and pass on.

    Humans perish, not their words. They are eternal.

    ‘Man ka ho to acchha. Man ka na ho to zyada acchha !’

    My love and more to you always -

    Amitabh Bachchan

    Source: Day 31

    Thursday, May 15, 2008

    How Do I Know You?

    All those folks whose sites are linked from my blogs but don't know why, this one's for you!

    Since Soham asked today, I realized a lot of you might have this question so decided to make a post on it.

    Well, first and foremost, your site wouldn't have been linked to mine, if it weren't for my googling skills! *ahem* ;) Also, many thanks to Google! And last but not least, it is because I find your blog a cool place to hang out. :)

    So it all started back in Feb/March 2007 if my memory serves me right. Actually this is how I was introduced to Google Blogs/Blogger/BlogSpot as well. I was searching for something related to Saptak (Ahmedabad) after having a music related discussion with my cousin who happens to be a fan of the organization too, and landed on the musical posts on Ami's blog.

    Maulik and Kumar were also linked from hers so became a regular reader of their blogs as well. Then one day I saw a comment by Neha on Ami's blog and just clicked on her blog too only to discover the music fan in her. OMG! that was awesome to find another Hindi golden oldies lover. You see, we are a rare breed ;) so I was super excited and linked hers to mine too. Now with Neha, you know how it is... she's one of those folks who defines the concept of six degrees of separation. You'd know what I'm talking about if you've read The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell.

    I remember Bhavesh's blog turned up when I was searching for something related to Vanechand and Shahbuddin Rathod. Then found Jigar's blog from there (I think) and saw that he also shared the love for Gujarati poetry so bookmarked his link. Found another cool person Chinmai from Bhavesh's blog - a photographer and person who believes "life is cool"! :) Eventually, we ended up creating one common Gujarati blog - gurjar-dhara.

    Jaydip: I guess he ventured on the gurjar-dhara blog so went to his site from there. I'm still trying to recall how exactly I landed on his blog.

    Sayesha: I was searching for a dialog from film Aandhi and google sent me to her blog post.

    Snehal: I think he commented on my blog post once. Now I do wonder how he found my blog in the first place. :)

    Prajakta: I think she also commented on my post, which led me to hers and Priyanka's blog. Not sure how she stumbled upon my blog either.

    Zahida: I know her from the Orkut world and Zee Sa Re Ga Ma Pa days.

    Nishit: Found his blog from Neha's and linked it for his Harry Potter/Bollywood/Gujarati posts.

    And now for the person who led me to initiate this post in the first place - Soham. He visited the gurjar-dhara blog and posted comments and link to his site so his site got linked too!

    For the bloggers linked on the lyrics blog:

    Richa's blog post came up on google when I was searching for the correct wordings in lyrics of yeh teri saadagi.

    Ruchira's blog too came up while I was looking for some Hindi song words. Unfortunately, I can't recall which one.

    As for the rest of the linked bloggers, I know you even before these blogs came to exist so I'll not bore you with those stories now. :)

    Quite a lot of other blogs are linked because their websites have informative/funny/Bollywood gossip on them ;) and the rest are my crazy blabber blog sites.

    Thank you for reading and clicking on so many links! :P

    Wednesday, May 14, 2008

    Are You Listening to Music Today?

    Then this just might be the tag for you! ;)

    Found another fun post - a Musical Tag - on Solitaire's blog and thought since I'm listening to songs any way, I'll list down the songs that play on my list and then add them in later on. This is just too crazy! maza aa gaya...

    Rules: 1. Put your MP3 player/Media player on shuffle 2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer. 3. You must write the name of the song no matter what.

      ladki kyon na jaane kyon ladko si nahin hoti
      Sounds like my male alter ego talking...

      yaad mein teri jaag jaag ke hum
      Ooooh I didn’t know that ;)

      jab chali thandi hawa(...)
      LOL! Another case of Sameer hawa ka jhokhaa?

      rishte bharose chaahat yakeen un sab ka daaman ab chaak hai... yeh hauslaa (sad)(...)

      goonji si hai saari fiza... aao na(...)
      I guess so... Nirvana calling!

      dekho dehko hai shaam badi deewaani... deewaangi deewangi
      Waah waah! Kya baat hai... :D

      saanso ko saanso mein dhalne do zaraa
      I’m so lucky! ;-)

      aaj furqat ka khwaab toot gaya... tum se izahaar-e-haal kar baithe
      Yup, very true, they know everything.

      haan hai koi to vajaah... yeh ishq haaye baithe bithaaye
      Meri pol khul gayi... ayyo!

    10. WHAT IS 2+2?
      aankhon mein teri ajab si ajab si
      Hahaha! Reminds me of the math class scene of Mean Girls where Cady Heron acts like she doesn’t know Math just so she can befriend Aaron Samuels.

      ho jai jai jai giriraj kishori... jai gauri maa(...)
      She’s gonna get mad at me for calling her mataji. hehehe...

      saathiya saathiya madham madham teri geeli hasee
      Of course!

      kuch mere dil ne kahaa(...)
      Oh the typical baaton baaton mein! story

      na jaane kya ho gaya hai
      I wanted to be a mechanical engineer but software pulled me... sachi mein na jaane kya ho gaya hai... *sigh* :P

      mujhe haq hai
      This is bad. One after the other all secrets are out in the open!

      idhar chala main udhar chala(...)
      I am sure they do think so!

      paidal ho tum manzil hai door... maine kaha mohataram
      Absolutely! I'll take him along to join me. ;-)

      aaj jaane ki zid na karo(...)
      Oh oh! *getting all senty* :P

      dheere dheere aap mere dil ke mehmaan ho gaye
      Yup, almost all of them have become hobby like that... dheere dheere.

      ni sa ga ma ni dha pa... piya baanwari
      OH NO! *goes and hides under the bed*

      hum the jinke sahaare
      *sob* *sniff*

      o ho ho ho ho... khoya khoya chaand
      Sounds like a hopeless daydreamer case!

    ROFLMAO! oh my!! what fun this is!! Waiting for other pals to share theirs now.

    Ten Things I Like About Men!

    It is an ocean out there, I tell you.

    Today, while reading recent posts on Soham's blog, I came across Solitaire's Ten Things I Like About Men!, on Warm Fuzzies, she claims, are "guaranteed to make you smile!" Okay now getting to the point, so I too started thinking what it is about men I like.


    That was my first reaction. Sorry. :P

    Don't be disappointed yet! This post is to be updated as I can think of things to add here.

    Okay so it's been a couple of hours (four and three quarters to be exact) since I started thinking about this and I admit, it wasn't hard at all. :)

    1. When they admit their mistake and laugh at it thinking it's okay.
    2. When they don't hide their tears when their hearts overflow with emotions.
    3. When they spoil us rotten by not letting us do things that we're supposed to be doing. e.g. cook, drive, clean, etc.
    4. When they sing to us even though they know they terribly suck at singing just to woo us.
    5. When they don't say they love us but let their actions say it for them.
    6. When they don't feel shy in asking for help, for anything.
    7. When they give us their hand to support us while climbing up/down from somewhere.
    8. When they are able to carry us on their shoulders given the fact we are carry-able. LOL!
    9. When they ask us to pick out what to wear today.
    10. When they grow a mustache/beard even though they hate how it feels on their face and know that it makes them look ten years older than they actually are, just because we like it.

    Guess what!? I can keep going on with the list, but that will make some of the audience climb up on some tree from where they wouldn't want to get off for a long time so I'll stop for now. ;)

    So what are the ten things you like about the opposite gender?

    Tuesday, May 13, 2008

    On Blogging

    Know anyone who still doesn't have a blog? I do! I do! :D

    Monday, May 12, 2008

    Mine vs. Yours

    We have a lot of relations in India and many different names for them, which is really great because it is so much easier to figure out who exactly we are talking about. e.g. in Gujarati, mother's sister is called "maasi", dad's sister is called "foi", mother's brother's wife is called "maami" and dad's brother's wife is called "kaaki", and so on. The list is endless, well almost. Whereas in English, all of these are just aunts. You have to ask, which aunt in particular they're talking about. But that's not the point I am discussing today.

    Ever talked to a person who refers to a person from your point of view instead of their own? For example, if I am talking to my father, and say he wants to talk about my mother, he would say "your mother" instead of saying "my wife". This is just a sample of the point I'm trying to make. You talk to your cousin and he/she refers to your mother as "your mother" instead of "my aunt". Now is it only me or this sounds rude to almost everyone on here? I experienced something similar last year and it made me quite upset. I shared my thoughts with a person who is quite close to me and they said I was being over analytical about the situation, but I felt insulted, not for me but for the person they were referring to. Why is it that people refer to others like so? Specially when it is your relatives. Is it because they've never been taught or they are just ignorant or they are plain rude? I mean I can understand if it's your friend's mother and you might not want to call her "aunt" or "Mrs. whatever" and you refer to her as "your mother" but how about for people who are related to you?

    Am I thinking too much or do you truly think it is rude to refer to someone like that?

    ps. I personally feel that referring to someone as "mine" is much more polite and pleasant to ears than "yours", specially when you are related to them in some way.

    Is Reliance stupid?

    While I was in India, I was using a Reliance mobile phone. As opposed to the US, in India we have the prepaid cards so once the money runs out, you no longer can initiate phone calls. In some cases, you no longer can receive phone calls either. Another thing to note is, each of these prepaid phones have what they call validity and talk time. Validity meaning they will not give away your phone number to someone else as long as it is valid and you have made the payment for its validity. The validity period could be anywhere from a few months to lifetime depending upon the amount of money you paid for it.

    Since the phone I was using also had a prepaid account, every so often I had to add the money to the account as I ran out of funds. So as usual, this once I had a cousin of mine go to local Reliance office and add Rs. 200 to the account so that I can continue to use the phone. Little did I realize and know that the amount will be one rupee too short.

    In general, with Reliance after the money is added to the account, the phone is sent two text messages - first one stating that you are trying to add talk time to your account and the second one saying the amount has been credited to the account so now your talk time has been increased by that new (increased) amount minus some taxes.
    Now after the payment of Rs. 200 was made to the personnel at their office, I got the first text message saying you are trying to add the money. Fine. I waited for the second text message but it never did come through. I thought may be since I was traveling right after the amount was added or the phone could have been on roaming or whatsoever reason may be... but it was taking longer to come through. Guess what! the money never made it to my account. Why? Because Reliance has this stupid rule, if the amount you give is Rs. 200 then they add it towards the validity of the account vs. Rs. 201 would be added as a talk time. This I found out after more than 24 hours of charging the account and by that time they said it was too late to reverse the transaction. Moreover, I was no longer in the city where the account was charged so it became increasingly difficult to get any of my money back. Also, my cousin who helped me charge the account was no longer available to visit the same office again to reverse the transaction. They had not even given a receipt for the transaction so how can you even show a proof that you just gave money at that office? Headache!

    Irony is, the phone I was using had a lifetime of validity and those idiots don't have a computer system that shows what services the account already has to add yet another Rs. 200 to the account towards its validity. To make the long story short and on with the rant, the whole thing was a mess and I lost my Rs. 200.

    My question is, why would Reliance do something like this? How stupid is it to assume that if it is an even numbered amount it must be applied towards the validity and an odd numbered amount towards talk time? I thought Reliance guys were better. So much advancement yet so little common sense. Why is it so hard to do simple little things? Why do they make it so hard? Even though you are ready to pay, you do not get the service. I found it very frustrating. I am still ticked off at quite a few things about this whole experience I had, but may be I am overreacting... I don't know. I still don't understand this ridiculous rule of Reliance. Can someone please explain?


    Friday, May 09, 2008

    Scrubber Gloves

    Just recently S recommended something awesome and I realized how these little valuable experiences of ours can help each other when shared. So it prompts me to start this new tag on my blog for beauty tips. This way we girls can benefit and the guys can have some cool tips to share with their girls if they didn't already know about it. ;) *brownie points*

    So what was it that she suggested? Well it is these scrubber gloves. As soon as she told me about it I went to buy a pair for myself and M as we both needed it desperately. She also told me how when they are used on regular basis (daily) they exfoliate the skin, remove the dead cells and not create those in-grown hairs that we often suffer from as a side effect of waxing. She also mentioned that it will be a few weeks before you start seeing the results but I am fine with that as long as it can help rid of those hairs and the ugly spots they leave behind. I also read the reviews of these things and the users are quite crazy about them. Hoping I would be one of those eventually! They feel great as well.

    Almost all of the local bath/body shops carry these and you can buy them online as well. I think they make a perfect gift for mom day too, which is just around the corner. :)

    Thank you, S! Love you girl.

    PS. I just realized some of the audience might protest and/or wonder about how to use these things so I'm adding this new section to bottom of the post.

    Use: So once you hop in the shower, you put these things on and wet them and use your favorite shower gel or soap and gently scrub it all over the body. It practically replaces the loofah/shower sponges.

    Wednesday, May 07, 2008

    Random Thoughts

    Yet again, there are wild storms in this place called my brain, so hold on to anything you can.

    Parents & Teachers

    Back in May 2007, while discussing many things with Pradyuman fuva, I realized how important it was for any person to have good parents and teachers in their lives while they are growing up. Parents and teachers are the key people who affect our life. These are the people who practically make us who we are. They influence and form our being, sort of like how a potter makes pots or other objects from clay.

    Then it made me think of those who grew up in a household with one parent or none. It was very difficult for me to comprehend what their situation might be like.

    I see my coworkers coming to work, leaving their kids behind at a daycare or at home with a nanny to take care of them. It makes me think whether it is really worth earning that money? If yes, for whom? I have seen in my generation that when the mothers left their work to raise the children at home, those children truly appreciated it when they grew up and the ones whose mother was working away during the day and only spending evenings and weekends with them didn't have many special memories or rather didn't recall their childhood so fondly as the other lot did.

    It is not just the physical presence but the role that the parent plays while staying at home also affects the being of the child. To have a parent watch you while you play out there in a park or yard and to have someone else do that are two very different things.

    A coworker of mine once told me how mischievous her toddler kids were and that they love jumping around the whole house. She was so tired of it she didn't know what to do about it. So another coworker asked whether they had seen anyone jump around? Guess what she admitted!? one day the parents were too excited and started jumping around without realizing the kids were watching and ta da!!! there you have it two bouncy balls that just won't stop any more. Why? Well, because their parents do it too. It was too hard to make them forget that. Similarly, the good behavior also gets imprinted on the screens of their minds and they remember it for a longer time than anyone can ever imagine.

    Coming to the other important role models in our lives - our teachers. How many of us distinctly remember our favorite teachers? And the way we liked to do things that they did. I remember my baby cousin when she was around 4 years old, she went to kindergarten and wanted to comb her hair just the way her teacher did. I found it quite silly back then when I was a teenager, but when I think about it today, I realize that even I used to observe and learn things from my teachers that I never really was aware of until I grew up and started thinking about it.

    Being a teacher is a very important role, because you are affecting the lives of others whom you might not even know or know just for a few months and then move on. I have read incidents where students are grateful for their lives to their teachers. Imagine up to what extent that teacher must have influenced the students. Of course it is up to the student to feel so, but when a teacher sets a good example to his/her students, the effect of it goes very long way; way beyond what he/she can ever imagine.

    You see obedient people behaving in not-so-right way when they are away from their parents or no one else is around to stop them. Eventually they realize it, may be regret it and stop doing that. May be because of what they were taught as a child stays with them, no matter how much they grow up and move away from home/parents. Just that once in a while they need a reminder of who they really are. Is it wise to judge the character of these people when they behave so? Nanu and I discuss this sometimes.

    Monday, May 05, 2008

    Addicted to Piano Music

    I had this music for years but never cared to listen to it until just couple of months ago. When one night my nephew just refused to sleep and we couldn't figure out a way to make him fall asleep. My cousin finally put this on and it calmed the kiddo down like drinking a glass full of warm milk makes you fall asleep at night. Ever since then I've become a fan of Ernesto Cortazar. In fact, I am getting so addicted to listening to piano since then that I've started listening to more and more piano songs in Hindi film music as well.

    Most of Ernesto Cortazar music is instrumental & piano music. Here's some info I found on the composer and some of his beautiful pieces that some folks have incorporated with their favorite photos and created videos of.

    Ernesto Cortazar was a Mexican Pianist and composer. He was born in 1940. He started his music career in Mexico at the age of 18 composing the background music for the motion picture “La Risa de la Ciudad”. Since then, he has created the background music for more than 500 motion pictures. He has traveled to more than 25 countries to perform as he only knows. He gave concerts at very important places as The Kremlin (USSR), The Mexican Presidential House and others. He also has performed for very important people as Charlton Heston, Danny de Vito, Michael Bolton, Octavio Paz, The Rolling Stones, President Menem (Argentina), Nikita Krushev (USSR) and more.

    Click this link for more Ernesto Cortazar music.

    Some of his albums:

  • 9 Lives of Innocence
  • Ballerina
  • Blue Waters
  • Concertos Vol. II
  • Fiesta Americana G. Los Cabos
  • Just for You
  • Leaves in the Wind
  • Maja
  • Mascarade
  • Moments of Sol'itude
  • On the top of the world
  • Reflexions
  • Tic Tac Blues