Thursday, September 29, 2005

Family-Global and mine

A colleague sent this email at work and i thought it was nice to share:

If you have a moment--this is very touching and shows how linked we all are in this global family...

The director of a wonderful organization formed by American adoptive parents to introduce early childhood, infant nurture, nanny and foster programs for children in orphanages in China, Half the Sky Foundation, just sent an email which contained the following comments....
"The children, from Hainan and also from other institutions (orphanages with Half the Sky programs) across China, have been sending drawings and cards to our Beijing office, all of them bearing good wishes for hurricane survivors on the Gulf Coast. They are delightful! We'll definitely be including some of them in our next newsletter.

One wonderful side benefit of our programs is that the children have begun to look out beyond their own small world--just as you have, in some cases, looked across oceans to help them. We truly are a global family!"

On a totally different note, significant other's parents are landing from India tonight.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Gender-Equality Inheritance Laws in India

Recently, i got to read about the changes that have been made to the Hindu Succession (Amendment) act. For those who aren't familiar with the act, the goverment of India issued the Hindu Succession Act in 1956 and effective Sept, 9th 2005 the Amendment to this act has been made.

Purpose of the act: The Hindu Succession (Amendment) act is mainly to eliminate gender discriminations from its earlier act by providing several rights to daughters or females that weren't there before.

It covers the following areas and provides benefit relief for women under several broad circumstances.
  • Agricultural land: The new 2005 amendment declares that all agricultural land can be inherited equally by women, irrespective of the different state laws and can thereby benefit all those women who are dependent on agriculture for their day to day survival.

  • Mitakshara coparcenary property: This includes daughters as co-parceners (A coparcener is one of two or more persons sharing an inheritance, a joint heir) with same birth rights as sons to share, to claim partition and also share liabilities in a joint family property.

  • Dwelling house and Widow's claims: All daughters can from now on have the same rights as sons to stay in or seek partition of a family residing house. In the past, married daughters were denied residence rights in parental homes while unmarried, separated, widowed daughters could stay but not have parition rights.

What this means for a common woman living in a village in India:

This means a lot for daughters and widowed women, especially the poor and abused. By getting equal rights in agricultural land, several poor women have the opportunity to bring in a steady income to the household, improve productivity and also gain independence from drunk and abusive husbands. I can only think what a blessing it would be for an uneducated, poor, ill-treated nari from a remote village in Andhra or Bihar to own a small field. The coparcenary laws bring a new vision to the male-dominated Indian society by treating daughters and sons equally. This also drives home the hard lesson in a society which thinks that after marriage a daughter belongs to only the husband's family. Finally, the dwelling house rights would come as a boon for the women who suffers domestic violence as she will have a place to go.

I am sure that all this has taken ages to implement and work on both at the Rajya Sabha and a lot of effort on the goverment and several committee sessions. Women seeking right to own property and rights for land is only the beginning light to a dark tunnel that millions of women in rural India are still groping in.

Friday, September 23, 2005

The Solitary Teacher

She was a teacher who took pride in her kids. Rays of sunshine filtered through the window blinds and lit up the desks in the front row. Everything was so familiar and yet felt strange to her. She felt strange, really. As if she'd never seen anything before and now it was all suddenly clear.

What was she thinking about?

Thursday, September 22, 2005

The Hassle of Moving

Today is a day that i will remember down the memory lane, not because its my birthday or anniversary, but because its moving day, yup - My significant other and i are moving to another place within the same street. Its been one year and 2 months since i moved to the Bay area and this is the first move for me after my relocation to the west coast. The reason we are moving-need for more space as special other's parents are visiting from India next week.

Its been such a hassle doing the packing, calling the movers plus the domestic chores of cooking with the limited time that we have after work on a weekday. I now fully understand what it actually means when people tell me what a pain it is to move, i can't even imagine folks with families-kids etc-how they manage to do it, its still ok to move when you are single-not that much of a bother- but with all the stuff that one has accumulated within the past year, it is indeed stressful and tiring.

Plus, for me, letting go of the memories -both the good and bad, that have been made in this first residence is so hard. I am this person who values stability and loves a routine in life. Change, especially in having another roof under your head is something that is so uneasy. The fact that i couldn't even think of moving to a different apartment in another street within the same area speaks volumes of my so-called "stubborn" Taurean nature.

Anyways, am just nostalgic about the last evening that i will be spending at my first home. Can't wait for the moving in and settling down to take place ASAP. That's it for today-folks.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Blogging- The Writer in all of us!

What is the common thing that all bloggers have? What is the one uniting factor in people all over the world interacting on a forum?

The answers to these questions form my thoughts for today's blog. Each of one us here have our own writing style, we have different content material-some of us like to write about movie reviews, books, music, photography, family, science, religion, politics etc. The list of topics are endless, but why is it that even though many of us haven't been great English subject lovers in school, have turned out to be different now?

This is because we all have a writer within us who hasn't had the opportunity nor the time or interest to sit down with a paper and pen and write. Long ago, people use to write daily dairies, memoirs etc but with the advent of rapidly changing technology and computer, everything has moved to typing. Nowadays, we even type up a letter in Word instead of taking the traditional way of writing with a pen. Of course, there are still a few of us who still write an occasional letter to their grandmother or someone who doesn't have access to email and computer back in India.

But, the good thing about this whole blogging thing is that it enables us to express ourselves in ways that we haven't had a chance to do so before, thereby bringing out the hidden writer ina ll of us. Of course, there are some bloggers who have wonderful writing skills which makes their blog more appealing than others, but there are others who also write more for their personal reasons than for public comments.

The lesson and positive note for everyone is write, improve grammar, style and content for better blogs- who knows, someone may turn out to become a writer after blogging for a while..........happy writing folks!!!

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Sappy Stuff- Kathal Sevvai

Found this piece in a book that i am currently reading and thought of sharing this sappy stuff for today.....

We are all seeking that special person who is right for us. But if you've been through enough relationships, you begin to suspect there's no right person, just different flavors of wrong.

Why is this? Because you yourself are wrong in someway, and seek out partners who are wrong in some complementary way. But it takes a lot of living to grow fully into your own wrongness. It isn't until you finally run up against your deepest demons-your unsolvable problems-the ones that make you who you truly are-that you're ready to find a lifelong mate. Only then do you finally know what you are looking for.

You are looking for the wrong person. But not just any wrong person: the "right" wrong person- someone you lovingly gaze upon and think, "This is the problem i want to have."

I will find that special person who is wrong for me in just the right way.

----- Andrew Boyd
Daily Afflictions

Monday, September 19, 2005

March of the Penguins- Lessons learnt

Had watched "March of the Penguins" this weekend. A well-regarded documentary film that was narrated by Morgan Freeman, this 1 hour 45 minute no human being featured movie is all about the life of penguins shot in cold Antarctica.

The movie starts off with a zoom in on to the emperor penguin's life's journey and goes into vivid detail about how the penguins march to their ancestral breeding ground, find a mate for breeding and survive amidst the harshest imaginable weather conditions in this world.

Once the female knows that she has an egg, she needs to transfer the egg to her male counterpart before she walks the 70 mile ice path to reach the ocean where she has to feed herself in order to survive and also to feed her baby. The part where the male and female reherse with painful accuracy the egg transfer from the female to male is truly a moving moment to watch. Once, the tired mother uses all of 3-4 months to make her long walk, the father survives nature's brutal test on snow storms and protects his egg by starving himself for those 3-4 months.

Once the female returns, the brief union of the surviving penguin family is truly a symbol of togetherness. It is now the male's turn to take the 70 mile trek to feed himself while the female protects and bonds with her new born. Finally, the movie ends with the baby penguins growing up by themselves after a few years and finally undertaking their ancestral march.

No descriptive or narrative reviews would do full justice to this well made documentary film that is worth watching. The harsh winters and bitter cold of Antarctica cannot be fully understood without it on screen. It is truly a lesson on survival, togetherness, teamwork, love, sacrifice, sharing responsibilities, a test of strength and growing up.

The March of Penguins- A March into Realities and Hardships that man can only empathisize with. Hats off to National Geographic and Warner Brothers for coming up with this wonderful theme and message to the human race.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Katrina in Alabama- Photos from a colleague- A HOAX

These are live photos taken by a colleague's sister of the hurricane Katrina as she was "coming in"- thought they would be worth sharing....................... sorry folks-please look at this link to see what these actual pictures are:

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Multi-Tasking at work - a skill or a necessity?

Its just been one of those crazy weeks at work with tons of stuff happening and suddenly my office is swamped with all these mounds of paperwork, tons of emails and calls that i need to attend to and newer employee issues that constantly keep springing up.

I find myself speaking to 2 people on the phone, printing out a resume for a candidate whom we want to bring in for an interview, skim thro my emails and reply to the ones that need my utmost attention and also crunch on my cereal bar on the side. Am i multi-tasking or what?

I do this every minute in a 8 hour work day during hectic days and sometimes for a few hours in a less crazy day. I know that i always used to multi-task even as a kid- i would want to eat that special dish made by my mom and also want to try out a new dress and play with a toy too. During high school and college days, many times a group study or record-writing process involved the TV or radio playing in the background and some snacks at the side. I was multi-tasking then too. Now, at work and even at home, with the number of chores that need to be done in a DINKS (Double Income No Kids) home, i know not how i can manage to multi-task. I think thatz the best part of my job that i like to do. If i were to sit at a desk and think of writing code or designing a chip or thinking of one problem to solve, i can't see myself in that position.

Some of my girl-friends tell me that this is how they function too by managing both careers and family and having a social life too. I wonder what the male counterparts think about this trait-I know from my "better half" that to him the challenge of his job is to concentrate and focus on the fundamental aspects of electronics in designing chips. He says that the greatest satisfaction comes in delving deep and finding that fundamental bug that causes his chip not to work.

Is this multi-tasking a woman's arena then or does it come as a second-nature to them? Makes me ponder.....................

Monday, September 12, 2005

Antha "Seven" Things

I have been tagged by ttg and after a lot of brain racking as i'm sure that several things down in this list are subject to change as years pass comes....

Seven things I plan to do before i die:

  • Become HR Director of a well known company that has operations in Chennai, India and in the US.
  • Motivate and help my "significant other" to start his own company.
  • Inherit family owned property and assets in prominent locality in Chennai.
  • Travel to Swiss, Paris and parts of Europe.
  • Make my family happy by becoming a better person.
  • Build a huge palatial house with all the modern amenities, have a nice lawn and garden and great cars.
  • Make sure that my children, parents and significant other have all the financial security and emotional independence to take care of themselves.

Seven things that i can do:

  • Always be there for my loyal friends and family.
  • Mimic/Imitate people.
  • Stay alone and be happy with the solitude.
  • Cook tasty food and enjoy eating different cuisines.
  • Be direct and too out-spoken about people and their behaviors irrespective of the consequences.
  • Read Harry Potter books infinite number of times.
  • Get extremely biased and passionate about certain things to the point of being close minded.

Seven things that i can't do:

  • Pretend to show affection and niceness to mean people and tolerate dishonesty.
  • Going to the gym or working out regularly or even once in a while.
  • Put up with domination and control and bear with injustice.
  • Losing freedom and feeling a lack of control over things.
  • Holding my tongue and controlling temper.
  • Trust someone completely.
  • Writing/learning to write code or a program in even the simplest of computer programming languages and sofware.

Seven things that attracts me to the opposite sex:

  • Sense of humor that appeals to me.
  • Striking looks with good height and physique.
  • Nice personality with good manners.
  • Respect and appreciation for modern women.
  • Enjoys doing share of household chores and cooking.
  • Protects and cares with sincerity and honesty.
  • Ambitious, intelligent and hard-worker who balances life.

Seven things i say the most:

  • Whatever!
  • Oh Mane....
  • Just can't take this crap anymore
  • 'H' alo!
  • Muruga and Sairam
  • Enakula thoongitu irukaratha thatti ezhupathey-
  • Ummm

Seven celebrities i want to meet:

  • Madhavan
  • Revathy
  • Bill Clinton
  • Sachin Tendulkar
  • K. Balachander
  • Jayalalitha
  • Another person in this world who looks like me

Seven people whom i would like to take this seven tag:

  • IdeasinCA
  • Sundar72
  • Anonymously Yours
  • Priya Madhan
  • Gp
  • bb thots
  • brags

That'z it for now.................

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Vinayaka Chathurthi- A True Celebration

Today is "Ganesh Chathurthi" aka Pillayar Chathurthi all over India. This is one of the most sought after popular festivals where controversies from other non-Hindu political parties etc may be expected.

In South India, Lord Ganesha is invoked at the beginning of every major venture and is considered the "remover of obstacles" and hence takes the name "Vigneswar". Colorful umbrellas and garlands adorn the small mud or clay Vinayakas in homes. The day is a government holiday and every member of the family is home to celebrate the birthday of Lord Ganesha. Mouth watering rice balls named as "Kozhakatai" is prepared along with favorite fruits that are kept as offerings to this Lord.

In Mumbai and Pune, this is a major festival- an event marked for a 10 day celebration. Huge Ganesha Idols of about 20 feet of clay are mounted and people chant "Ganapathi Bappa Morya" and gather in huge groups to perform puja and aarathis for this Lord Ganesh. The Vishva Hindu Parishad and Shiv Sena are most proud of this event and flant their religious passion amidst the rest of the nation. After the 10 day celebration, a grand procession marks the carrying of the Vinayaka Idols to the sea where they are drowned in the waters.

On this festive note, i have to bring in my personal experience with this God. For those of you who aren't familiar with the famous Alsa Mall shopping complex in Egmore, Chennai-there exists a shop called Santa Claus 88 owned by Santosh Shivaraman. The shop cells beautiful glass items amongst other gift handicrafts and one such piece is the "Lucky Ganesha." (first picture on this page)

This Lucky Ganesha was once gifted to me by my friend saying that it brings good luck for the person who gifts it as well as to the one who receives it. From then on, i have developed this habit of visiting the shop often to buy this piece and gift it to all my friends and well-wishers. Although, the Ganesha is available in several other stores now, i find the atmosphere and the significant story behind the "Lucky Ganesha" told at this shop to be impressive and personal. The shop has Ganesha in various forms such as playing drum, cricket etc, but the small and simple glass Ganesha is indeed a precious belonging that i always treasure.

Happy Ganesh Chathurthi and may luck and prosperity be with all who atleast remember this day exists....

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Back Home ?

It was a hectic but happy vacation time for me. Although, its not fun flying across the country for a brief 3 day visit to be with your family, nevertheless, it is good to come back refreshed.
The time was spent catching up on family gossip, playing with 2 adorable pets-a dog and a cat living under the same roof as "friends" and eating some wonderful meals made by grandmom and aunt.

The nice part about going away to one's so called "porantha veedu" is that you are the center of attention for the time that you are there and when you come back, you get loads of gifts and food packed. My significant other couldn't believe his eyes when i brought upma, aviyal, puli rice and kothmalli thogayal on a plane across the country. Not to leave out the number of shirts and gifts that every member of the family bestowed on us.

On the journey back, my thoughts on returning where kind of bittersweet- "Where is home"-

Does home mean going back to Bayarea to the place shared by my husband and me in the past 1 year or

Is New England- The place that i first landed when i came to US to go to school 4 years ago and where my aunt's family lives qualify as home or

Does Dear Old Singara Chennai- where my parents live is home for me?

Even though, 21 years of my life was spent in Chennai, people tell me that once you are married your husband's home becomes your home and family. Home is a place where i feel most relaxed, comfortable and welcoming. Even if it means coming back to work, to do your own chores-cook etc. home to me now is this new bayarea where i landed 1 year ago to carve a life.

Does every woman go through at some point in her life???

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Happy Long Weekend!!!

I am off this evening for a blissful 3 days of vacation to visit my family back east. Although, taking the "Red Eye" from coast to coast and flying all night to get to another part of the same country isn't appealing- the happy feeling of seeing my grandparents, who are visiting from India, my cousin and his parents and their dog and a cat is truly welcoming.

And, the thought that my siginificant other is going to be spending time here entertaining his cousins who are flying from the east coast is ironic.

Will be back to the blog world on Tuesday next.............until then, happy long weekend, safe travel to those who are travelling and relax !!!