Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Fear of flying

I am acrophobic or batophobic, that is, I am afraid of height or depth and this had always kept me away from the parapets and giant wheels. I still remember how every day I use to fight my fear while climbing the stairs to my classroom which was on the first floor; walking as close to the wall as possible because the veranda was narrow. All the time I had the feeling as if the building would tilt and I would fall, or maybe accidently I would slip and fall. I hate mirrored elevators and malls with glass boundries, though they look beautiful but they show me the depth and in my head the floor starts tilting and I start slipping towards the edge, for me it is horrifying.
In spite of living with this fear for all my life I loved my first air travel from Delhi to Banglore back in 2006. I liked the ripples inside my stomach when the plane took off and seeing the cars and building getting smaller within no time was breath taking. Clouds that always seemed 2D were infact huge 3D mountains, as of cotton, were awe inspiring and so were all the geographical figures from above. It was like viewing a large topographic sheet. To see some of the known and unknown places from above was amazing. Through out the journey I kept thanking the Wright brothers for inventing this terrific machine. Over all it was the journey of my life and I loved it's every bit from take off to landing and the fear of any kind was hid somewhere.
The fear came back with my first flight to the US in April 2008, on the screen when the position of the plane was shown just above the vast abyss of ocean with no sign of any land nearby the hidden phobia pricked me and surfaced once again but this time with a new name 'aviophobia' or 'aviatophobia', that is, the fear of flying. Hitting me hard were all sorts of death throes, what if .......what if......not even a land near by, monstrous sharkes, I can't even swim plus my darling little eigth months old boy with me............what if ? how will? Oh no GOD! HELP GOD. BLESS US GOD. Finally I started seeing the land and soon we landed safely but the fear always stayed because we were not here to stay for long and some day we will have to make a journey back to our sweet home.
During my over an year long stay there were a lot of air mishaps one of it taking place just few kilometers from my home when the Airbus A320 had to make an emergency landing on the freezing waters of Hudson, hopefully with no casualties the job of the pilot was commendable. But like those 155 everyone is not lucky as there were other accidents in which people were dead. After a long wait finally my husband, Vikas got a 3 weeks off from his office and we booked our tickets for a vacation to India. I was very excited, home and all my loved ones, I was eager for the reunion but these joyous feeling also got with them my fear of flying that always left me lamented.
To aggravate my fear came the news of Air France jet, from Brazil to Paris, missing with 228 people on board, later declared all dead. After few days some of the bodies were recovered with no clothes and multiple fractures. They say that the plane had entered a very heavy turbulence which caused the fortuity. Now I heard a similar case with the Qantas plane flying from Singapore to Perth carrying 313 people which suddenly climbed 300 ft and then abrutly nosedived; leaving 74 passengers with fractures, lacerations and spinal injuries. With just two days to fly I am in a bad state of mind just wishing to skip the journey some how or maybe to take some other means alas, there is no other way except by sea which is worse.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

The monk who sold his Ferrari


Finally I finished reading the book and will recommend it to all. It's a must read. Though the author, Robin S. Sharma, has repeated many words many a times which makes reading a little boring, also after few pages the book starts getting a little dull but slowly as you will proceed you will start enjoying it. His repetition at times is intentional so that we would remember the main points, it's a kind of a revision of the older chapters. The way he has used a simple fable to memorise the points is commendable. It is full of messages for making your life beautiful. Books of such ilk should be read slowly, absorbing every line and taking the message that the book is giving only then will you get good results. Remember such books are not for enjoyment, they are meant for special purpose; self improvement.

Some of the quotes from the book are here;

When you control your thoughts, you control your mind. When you control your mind, you control your life. And once you reach a stage of being in total control of your life you become a master of your destiny.
Having the courage to say no to small things in life gives you the power to say yes to big things.
Laughter opens your heart and soothes your soul. No one should ever take life so seriously that they forget to laugh at themselves.
Act as if failure is impossible and your success will be assured.
The quality of your life will come to the quality of your contribution.
Happiness is a journey, not a destination.
Read it if you still have not, you will feel the positive vibes.


Friday, June 12, 2009

Stop using plastic bags

"Americans throw away almost 100 billion plastic bags every year, and only one percent to three percent are ever recycled."

I read it some where and now living here I see it, plastic is so much in use here that I hate seeing them in my home now. One day of grocery shopping will end up giving you over a ten bags, so in a month you have more than 50 bags for sure; this is for a family of 2½, guess what a stock the bigger families would have? With no proper system for recycling, I had my cabinets stuffed with them. When new to the place I use to think that the trash taker takes care of the recycling part, wao! America what an efficient system. Good that though these people are using so much plastic but they have an efficient system to recycle it. Only when the trash takers took the card board and plastic cans but left my bundle of plastic bags that I realized the damage being done. I looked on the net for the recycling thing and got to know that Macy's, Stop and shop and some other participating stores collect them and give them for reuse or recycling. For my luck five minutes walk from my home takes me to Stop and shop where I shop for grocery and this was the place that had given me most of those bags. On my next visit I looked for the can earmarked for this purpose and there was one white trash can with just a few bags dumped into it. The ease with which people get them same should be the way of recycling. On the same visit I bought a reusable bag for me and I have stopped bringing plastic bags home no matter I bring my stuff bare in hand with people staring at the butter or bread I have bought. If I do not take reusable bags for shopping that is my mistake. I have bundled up all the bags all ready at home and will take them to the store on my next visit. Though tough but to save the earth we have to work, already it's too late.

Amongst myriad people just a handful doing this stuff will not help at all until the Government across the planet is ready to take giant steps toward this problem. Stop the manufacturing of plastic bags and other useless stuffs, if not manufactured how will they be used. States like Maharashtra have banned the use of plastic bags, the city is still working so why cannot other places follow the suit. Not alone plastics but there are a lot of issues that only Government can handle like deforestation, over catching of fishes, saving wild life, underground water level, rain water harvestation, use of solar and wind energy, cars and houses using mainly sun for energy, so much use or paper towels and aluminium foils and many more........they need to take out laws and people will follow it, they will have to and one day this all will came into our nature. But the greed for vote and money will not let them take this step because power is more important to them. If nations around the world are so worried about the environment, as they show they are, then why not they chalk out rules at once, what are they waiting for?
Everybody knows what a harm plastics do to the environment. Also everyone can feel the change in the weather every year around them. I do not think that even efficient recycling will help because every such process has a byproduct and I do not think that this process is free of harmful byproducts. The only way is to stop using them.

There was an interview of Daniel Goleman the writer of Ecologocal Intelligence in the Reader's Digest where he said, 'Remember: Industry and commerce developed basic processes when nobody knew or cared about ecological impacts. Today we do know and care.'. He also told that the ingredients in sunscreen washed off the swimmers have threatened 10% of the coral reef.

Time is running out, take quick steps.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Places I liked

I haven’t been to many places in my life but to my luck I have been to some of the amazing places, one of them being Mumbai. Though I stayed there for a very short period of just 2 days but believe me I loved it. The entrance of the city itself is so breath taking. The wavy sea, still mountains, breezy coconut trees, flagged old working boats, moving black clouds, big drops of rain; it was a mix of the repose and the zing. That rush hour life, those clouds, that water, packed places, lovely buildings; it was love at first sight. Note that the buildings I loved were not the skyscrapers but the old ones that come along the way when you walk from Church Gate station to the Gateway of India. Those made up of large rocks, well I really don’t remember the names that they bore but I do remember the design. I was there at night so the street lights and the fading sun was showing an impressive silhouette of the edifices on the way. I was so tired when I reached the sea but just looking at lovely horizon and the cycle of waves in the vast body and the movement of large clouds over it made me relax some how. I was there for my job interview, after clearing the 1st round I was kicked out of the second, yes Mumbai also brings that prick of rejection along.

The next place I loved is the Wall Street in the lower Manhattan. It is awe-inspiring. I hardly find words to describe it, it is incredible. The road is thin and dark with tall antiquated buildings on both the sides preventing much of the sun to touch the ground. It will make you think of the times it has seen and in a glancing moment you will even see yourself in that era. Times Square I liked just for the first time but Wall Street that’s my love I would like to go there again and again to feel and absorb the richness it has of the past. The dark black street attracts. It is a ‘jungle of buildings’ in a true sense.

I also like Chandigarh it is one of the most well laid and well kept cities of India. Broad clean roads, lots and lots of trees, flowers here and there, clear-cut footpaths, superb drainage system, traffic well controlled, good parking lots, children parks, no electricity problems, nice places for weekends, it has got every thing a person wants his or her city to be like. The only thing I disliked was the ‘goal chakars’ on the main crossings; yes and also most of the markets and sectors seemed pretty much the same so being new to the town and finding places was like treasure hunting, you keep coming to the same place again and again when you can’t find the right clue. 

Even Jersey City is a good place but then most of the places in US must be good to live in, so no discussing this place.

Also Delhi comes in my list but don’t have much to write about it.

Last but not the least, my home town Dehra Dun would always be my love, I really adore that place. Though after becoming the capital of Uttrakhand, it’s population has increased by leaps and bound because population and pollution goes tandem so this place has lost its beauty with time. Though things are done but the skeleton of the place being that of a valley, which was never supposed to be inflated so much, is almost breaking under the burden of heavily packed smoke puffing traffic, growing colonization and deforestation. Now it has a colossal size and tarnishing beauty. Still I love that place because I grew up there and have spent some of my best days in that amazing place. That lovely weather with summer never so hot, winter never so cold, at times surrounded by snow clad mountains, a little fog, lots of rain, cool breeze, those bushes of wild roses and blue bells, birds singing, kids playing; I miss it so much. “…I wish I could, turn back time, impossible as it may seem, but I wish I could…”

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Just like that

I was eagerly waiting for the spring to come; it came and I hardly saw it. Maybe this was the case with most of the people here after all trailing that long snowy winter should always be a long beautiful spring. But to the disappointment of many people the early rain took away the colored beauty and marked it with green. Though green is a peace for eyes but red, white, purple and pink would have been a much awaited treat. I was ready with my fat little old camera, which is so lethargic to my actions, but alas its summer. Why do I care so much about the short spring?

I am living in a beautiful place with lovely people around. People who are so much aware of general courtesies that words like sorry, thank you, excuse me, you first flows so easily from their mouth. They know that life can be lived walking rather than running and panting all the time. Leave alone weekends; on week days too you can find people just loitering around, daddies playing with their sons and daughters, old people shopping around in fancy dresses, even grown up kids playing in parks and swings, girls and women frequently visiting beauty parlors, people jogging around at almost any time of the day, chirpy little birds, silently walking dogs and lazily sleeping cats. Every day seems a Sunday. Then if all this is not enough you can go to New Port where you won’t believe your eyes, can life be so cool and simple? People just walking, talking, sitting, reading, kissing, eating, watching, sun bathing, sailing, cycling, skating…by the banks of the river without any rush, just to enjoy that one life which they have got. Do they ever work?

Even I have ‘One life to live’ but what am I doing? Even byword like ‘Live each day as if it were your last’ does no wonders to make it a little better. Though late but yes finally I started reading ‘The monk who sold his Ferrari’ and it clicked a little, a slow but a wonderful book. Will it bring something good out of me?

Congratulations, MP-elect Mr. Shashi Tharoor

Yes! We have done it.

Shashi Tharoor won fromThiruvanathapuram by a margin of nearly 100,000 votes. We have played our part and now it’s your turn Shashi. The victory that you much wanted; maybe the loss would have brought back the memories of UN election. Not just you alone, even we wanted a qualified leader, just short of the learned ones in this profession. So it was the barter system and now your side of the deal is left. After seeing your background and now realizing that you are actually going to lead that part of India, even I have a doubt… how will you and your family take all of this? You being novice will you be able to meet our expectations?


Congratulations on your win, it is not just a win but a record breaking win, for you have become the highest vote collector in the last 20 years. Hope that you will set up more bench marks and create more records but this time as an Indian politician.


All the best.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Shashi Tharoor

Written on: 1st May '09
Edited on: 2nd May ‘09

When I first read about him he was India’s candidate for the UN Secretary in 2006. I think he was the first Indian candidate for that particular esteemed post, if not so, I had a very strong notion that he was the first one and so I was more excited about it. Reading all the write ups about him in the daily newspapers (was not lucky enough, back then, to have an internet connection at home) I started following the advancement of the process. I was eagerly waiting for the elections, to see what the outcome would be. Yes, of course I wanted him to win; he being an Indian and me too an Indian, can’t give you all a better reason why I was biased for Mr. Shashi Tharoor. Then I got busy with my upcoming marriage which being of utmost importance to me, I gave up the follow-ups on the elections.

My new life and the birth of my lovely son, Shivansh, kept me so busy that I completely forgot about Mr. Shashi Tharoor and his electoral race in the UN. When just few days ago while reading news I came across an article heading something like ‘Shashi Tharoor, Indian National Congress contestant for the Trivandrum constituency in Kerala’; I don’t remember exactly what the heading was but it mentioned him as an INC candidate. Elections were close in India, I knew that and so many Indian bigots were in the race but how come Shashi, and what of his UN elections. Is he the same man I am thinking of? So many questions popped up in my head and I clicked on the news to read more. There I saw him in a picture; bowed head, smiling face and hands joined in front of an elderly woman, wearing a white dothi kurta. Just like any other Indian politician before the elections, he seemed nothing different from the people he was running this new race with. I was happy and I was disappointed. Happy because according to me a brilliantly qualified man like him entering Indian politics can bring a long awaited change in India. Disappointed, what if he turns out to be like the rest of his colleagues? The article read - Shashi a rich, educated but humble political candidate of India.

Today I was reading one of his interviews for Economic Times and the comments on that write up. They were comments for him and against him.

People were basically against him because they thought, how could a man of his profile know about the problems of a common man? He has lived most of his life out of India, how will he be able work here. “I got my formal residency here, dropped the ‘N’ from the ‘NRI’ tag I’ve been carrying all along, got my ration card and voters’ registration card well before contesting the polls.”, was his reply when asked, ‘what his home address was now after having his base in so many cities around the world?’. Not wrong for a person to think what good Mr. Shashi, as a MP, is for a country full of people living below poverty line and in the middle class section. Will he be able to work with them and for them? Will he be able handle the hard core politics of India? Will he ever get to understand the system and upon knowing it will he be able to work for it his own way?

There is a point in all this, it matters when an outsider stands in the polls. After all, election is not a joke.

On reading his resume one thing is clear for sure that he can work for the poor and needy because he has worked for ‘boat people’ and he has worked as a peacekeeper in the UN. If he can work for poor, he can also work for the middle class and above. So the main reason for not liking him as a politician is omitted. Ok, if you don’t find this point of mine strong enough just think of this; a highly qualified man, who has seen the world, has experienced so many cultures and worked in so many systems. He has set so many benchmarks and worked hard in his life, to come up to this position. He, who is a renowned author, peace-keeper, refugee worker, human rights activist and now if he is becoming a political candidate for the Indian parliament, is he not bringing a change with him.

A baby step maybe but yes it would be a step towards a bright future, only if he wins. Just think what if more people like him start joining politics which till now is a taboo for people of his stature. Won’t we have more people who will think of development of India rather than their own development? Won’t we have more sensible and deserving people to vote for? Only if he is able to bring a little change in the small constituency he is representing, then a little change in Kerala and then some day a little change in India. From these small ripples maybe a wave of such changes will start and then maybe politics in India will not be associated with ‘goondaism’. Maybe then people may have politicians as their role models.

He who had the whole world in to go but he left all to enter into the dirty politics of India for some good purpose. Support him and vote for him. Give him a chance.

To read more about Mr. Shashi Tharoor go to:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shashi_Tharoor

http://shashitharoor.in/english

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Success in the eyes of people.

A common man says, "It's hard to achieve success."
A successful man says, "It's easy to attain success but hard to maintain it." - Dipti

Experience

If it is good I call it 'experience'
If it is bad I call it 'experience'
My life is a sum of 'experience' - Dipti Malik

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Being a parent

Written on: 21st January '09
Edited on: 1st April ‘09


"An angel in my home stays,
A spirit of good in him,
A smile full of power he has,
A power which help me swim."

–Dipti


My life was so different when I was not a mom, the same world has altered after being one; a walk through the market was just about me before and now it’s all about him. The entire course of my life has changed and now it is revolving around my son, Shivansh.

Blessed are those who have healthy children but sometimes you really can’t enjoy much of this blessing because you are so taken by the drastic changes that comes along with the sweet blessing.

Small children are tough to handle and doing every bit of their work is a tiring job, and that too doing it day and night with just a little help and a little rest with practically no time for yourself. It’s baffling. There are times when you are already exhausted and they want you to do something, maybe the same thing or maybe they are again calling you for those silly rescue missions and you want to shout your lungs out because you can take it no more; but still there is something that makes you answer their calls, time and time again.

Shiva, that's what I call my son, has very simple demands but those demands are so many that the whole day I am giving him one thing after another till almost my complete kitchen is on his table, which is annoying. He knows not about safety; plugging things in the sockets, crying for knife, playing with the strings of curtains, chewing stuff, walking on the edge of table, climbing on boxes...…..STOP Shiva, NO Shiva, LEAVE IT Shiva, SPIT IT Shiva, BE CAREFUL Shiva, GET DOWN Shiva.

Tired, yes you are but what is it that makes you work effortlessly for them and love them endlessly?
Maybe it is the innocence and the good spirit in the child. A child’s face is always full of love no matter what they are doing; smiling, laughing, crying, playing or sleeping you will always find a Godly touch on the face. No matter how tired and angry you are their face will always melt your heart. The only realization that the little child has no one but you alone, gives you enough strength to keep standing for them anytime and every time. A child knows how to make things work either by crying or smiling, that’s the way God taught them to workout their ways.

Sweet is the fruit of labor, so are you paid for your hard work. When their say is duly respected just look at the blooming face, yes that’s how they pay for your services and believe me it’s worth it.

After reading all this one will think that I am a mother who can be given 4 out of 5 but
no mostly I deserve 2 out of 5. I work like that sawtooth wave which starts from -1 immediately goes to +1 and then starts declining constantly till it reaches -1 again, and this cycle goes on. I want to stay at +1 but it’s hard, no matter how hard I try I always slip and when I am at my lowest , I feel guilty for not giving Shiva enough attention and love, so instantly I jump to my maximum value of +1.
I shout at him and at times I give him a good thrashing but then I’ll love him to compensate but all this is making him into a more naughty kid because he is so used to my yelling and beating that he is no more afraid of it. I so much want to change but I fail again and again.

Monday, March 23, 2009

May be a hope for all - January 20 '09

Written on : 20th January'09
"A new sun rose today, so was the air all new.
 An old dream came true today, but the faith was all new.
 Free to see new dreams today, so free to do all new.
 Feeling to start afresh today, my strength is all new."  -Dipti

"...the dream that once echoed across the history, from the steps of
 the Lincoln Memorial has finally reached walls of the White House...", how appropriately expressed by the Senator Diane Feinstein. Today was the Inaugural of the 44th President of the USA, Mr. Barack Obama, and the first African-American to be so. His journey from the son of a white mom and black dad to the White House was next to impossible and only he fought against all odds to make it a new history and a new beginning.
Maybe this day, which is called a history in the making, means not much to me but the tears in the eyes of millions, when Mr. Obama spoke, were telling the tales of the ancestors of many who were once slaves. This day was something like the freedom that a country gets after a long non violent fight. Just witnessing this function, not being a part of it in any sense, overwhelms you. So his win was a sign of the defeat of racialism, if not in streets but in the White House. A man just from the streets, so strong of will and determination that he has conquered the world (in a sense).............Then what is impossible? Nothing or maybe something still is.
Terrorism, a blood cancer which cannot be treated with blood transfusion, only when the body dies it goes. Some mere psychos, who in the name of Islam, are killing people and tarnishing the name of their own God, Allah. Jihadists who have ruined the name of Muslims and the meaning of the word 'Jihad' are the biggest threat to the whole world today; they are eating the peace of the world like termites. Growing in certain nations and being backed by some mean politicians they are spreading fast. If not controlled soon, they will be the reason of the next and the last World war and hence the end of the world. Where the whole world is seeing building of a new hope in today's ceremony, the Jihadists are busy planning destruction of hopes, homes and harmony in the countries of others and their own. Getting rid of these psychopaths I feel is impossible.
Now let us see what Mr. Barack Obama will do towards the weakening economy and the growing terrorism, both equally major challenges.
Best of luck .
----------------------------------------------------------------------
I wrote this immediately after the inauguration ceremony of the President, I felt so positive for so many things at that moment but now after his policies about outsourcing I am not feeling that good about him. Will write reasons some other time, not in a mood now.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Daffodils

- William Wordsworth (1770-1850)

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,

A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of the bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.
The waves beside them danced;
but they Out-did the sparkling waves in glee
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company
I gazed -- and gazed -- but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:
For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.




This is one of my favourite poems, it gives me a sense of peace. Though I always have a feeling of loneliness when I read this but the image of dancing yellow daffodils brings a smile along.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Smile

I wanted to change something about my life so I thought maybe I’ll change my face. I added a smile to it. I knew how to smile but I usually kept it at the back of my mind, using it seldom. Now a days I am using it and believe me I have started loving my life, once again.

I think that the best way to start my blog is with few quotes on smile.

Everyone smiles in the same language. ~Author Unknown

Smiling is infectious, you can catch it like the flu. Someone smiled at me today, and I started smiling too.~Author Unknown

Today, give a stranger one of your smiles. It might be the only sunshine he sees all day. ~Quoted in P.S. I Love You

If you smile when no one else is around, you really mean it. ~Andy Rooney

Smile - sunshine is good for your teeth. ~Author Unknown

Keep smiling - it makes people wonder what you've been up to. ~Author Unknown

A smile costs nothing but gives much. It enriches those who receive without making poorer those who give. It takes but a moment, but the memory of it sometimes lasts forever. None is so rich or mighty that he cannot get along without it and none is so poor that he cannot be made rich by it. Yet a smile cannot be bought, begged, borrowed, or stolen, for it is something that is of no value to anyone until it is given away. Some people are too tired to give you a smile. Give them one of yours, as none needs a smile so much as he who has no more to give. ~Author Unknown


There were many more but these were some of my favorites. While looking for these quotes I noticed that most of the lovely and meaningful ones were written by unknown authors. Some people live their life out doing great work and still the world knows about them as unknown or anonymous. Maybe blogging is one way to bring those unknown people out to the world with their work having their name under it.

So the last quotes are from me with my name along:

Don’t fake smile, learn from babies they are masters of genuine smile.- Dipti Malik

If you want a real smile think of a baby’s face, one will naturally come to you.-Dipti Malik

Babies are blessed because they have a pure soul which gives them that smile.- Dipti Malik

It all started with my post partum depression. I just forgot how to live and my life was a living hell. LOST, that was the word for me. The only person who brought me back in this world was my little son. Yes, he did it with his amazing smile. He taught me how to smile and love life once again.
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