Sunday, September 14, 2014

This is goodbye

I feel like I need to clean up my blog. Or that I need to hide it from...people? Real life? The world? (The one outside of the computer?)

And that's just not acceptable to me.

So, until further notice, this is goodbye.

P.S. It was a great love story, this blog, if there ever was one, and that love is still well and alive and strong. It's just going newer places. 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Don't we all deserve a savior?

I recently told someone, in a fit of anger - "You can take something innocent and ruin it completely". In retrospect, the quote has a much broader application - to life and to growing up.

Call me pessimistic if you will, but that's how this week has been. Suffice to say that all rose tinted glasses have come off and shattered into pieces.

How is it that we as adults end up spending most our lives either massaging other people's egoes and/or our own? How is it that every possible determinant other than hard work (diplomacy, flair, good looks, monetary status, cunning) adds up to your eventual success in life?

How do you deal with people who hate you or hold a grudge against you just for being yourself? I mean, is there any solution to that! What if you're in a situation where you have to deal with that particular person on a day to day basis? What escape do you have then? The only recourse is to change your own attitude. And that's how it all starts.

That's the only advice people have to give you in such situations - "Learn to be diplomatic. You have to be strong. Don't let all this affect you. Don't get too involved. Don't work too much. Be smart."

What happened to the golden rule, of what goes around comes back around? I guess there's no one in the universe sending out any good stuff any longer, so now there's only poop going around everywhere. Bah.

I've heard people around me say a million times, that all you have to do is make it through a few years in this place, all these people are not going to come with you or do anything for you; and to that I would always think, no, I will make a difference before I leave. In retrospect it all seems very juvenile. Talk about childish beliefs which you grow out of as you grow up.

But I swear this week has been even more traumatizing than finding out that the tooth fairy doesn't exist.

(My blog is fast becoming a pothole for me to dump all my negativism in, but hey, that is how it is. You gotta stick through the good times and bad times.)

More than anything, when I observe myself, I hate to see the changes. I hate to see the little girl in me disappear. The idealist in me screams in protest, but my common sense most often keeps a tight lid on it. And then, when the lid blows off intermittently, the world goes kaboom!

I understand that everyone makes mistakes, what I don't understand is why does intention and regret never count for anything out there in the real world? Am I the only one who struggles with these things?

How difficult is it really to see the better side of someone, along with their worst, just see them for what they really are, and accept them as they are? Where does the need for constant judgement arise?

And who saves you when you're in too deep, flailing and falling? Doesn't everyone deserve a savior? (Note: Irrespective of gender). Doesn't everyone deserve a believer, a champion?

I understand that we aren't children anymore, but how I wish we could be.

There could be nothing worse than being blamed for things you never did or even imagined doing; nothing worse than being held at sword-point and punished for crimes someone else committed. For today, I really, really identify with guinea pigs.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Eternal romaticism

Is anyone else sick of all the "Be Beautiful" ads on Youtube? They make you feel totally un-beautiful if you don't apply make up and eyeliner everyday like a pro and make french braids with your hair. And why do all their names always start with an 'A'? :S

I'm loving/hating the Bombay summer this year. My family is still hell-bent on force-feeding me mangoes multiple times a day, and it's still scorching hot out there, but it all seems to be bearable. Also, as a dermatologist-to-be, I actually care about sunscreens. Ha!

It all seems hilarious in retrospect.

It's been ages since I blogged about something serious. But serious blogging requires motivation, and enthusiasm, and passion. I think I've just redirected whatever store I had of all those into a different direction. (Ahem...studies...ahem..) (No wait..I think it's Candy Crush Saga, truth be told...)

I read the newspapers today to note that India recorded the highest ever voter turnout this year, and I am proud to have been part of that voting population. Whosoever wins, I think it is definitely going to be a change for the better.

It's so easy when you're living in your bubble to be happy and positive about everything, but one fine day you go out and meet someone who looks and sounds only like sour grapes, and then they spread their sourness all over you, or they brag away to glory about all their achievements, and you know it shouldn't matter, and yet you don't know what's hit you and suddenly you feel a little bit lower..than you were yesterday!

And that can be so frustrating.  When you cannot get better sense to prevail. Bah!

This list on thought catalog just rang so true. May seem to be an exaggeration to most of you, but oh dear, do I know how true it is or has been at multiple points in my life? I quote - "There is nothing more stressful, when it comes to introvert interaction, than the full-on phone call. Texts and emails are so easy —" This could be the story of my life. Of my entire life! So, all of you who have had unanswered phone calls and no call-backs from me, I could never even rationally explain it to myself, but this line just says it all. Please don't hold it against me. Please. I swear the thought of making phone calls to people, and just chatting is really and unexplainably stressfull to me.

Of course, she got the part about the online alter ego bang on as well. I mean, look at who you're talking to right now?

I miss clicking photos. Not that, not exactly, but I miss making beautiful things. I never even remember my camera these days. But since I named him, he must now have feelings, and I must not hurt them any more. So I promise to click some photos. Someday soon. Soon. Give me a month's time please.

Coming to the more serious issues I promised myself I'd write about, I've had friends, and doctors no less, tell me openly that they would get sex determination for their baby done, with help from their radiologist friends, and abort the female fetus if needed! And I've heard my radiology friends complain about doctors and relatives of doctors all coming in for scans and then asking for the SD. I am so unbelievably aghast with this state of affairs. And mostly, there is nothing you can tell these people to change their minds! They are well-educated, intelligent, and are women themselves!

On the other hand, the people at A Mighty Girl are doing such a fabulous job with their website and their facebook updates, I find myself longing to have a baby girl, just so I could raise her and tell her all those fantabulous stories! All of you who want daughters someday, or are already proud to have one, definitely head to their website and facebook page. This is one of those great things which makes you thank the good lord for having created the internet. Not that I don't thank him every hour of every day for the same any which ways. (Note to self: Try to better hide your internet addiction problems in future).

This gorgeous song has been my comfort zone for the past couple of months:

"Dard mein doobi dhun ho, seene mein ek sulgan ho.."

An old co-blogger posted something on facebook today, which reminded me about writing. The beauty and simplicity of it. The part of me I'm forgetting.

And I quote: "...The idea that somebody creates a piece of everlasting art, solely for you and because of you, will remind you what an insanely intoxicating drug it is, to have become your lover's muse."

Sigh. Read all of what she has to say here.

What is it really about girls and their eternal romanticism?

I think my blogs are repetitively about the same things, maybe yes, maybe not. I don't even care.

There are innumerable times when I develop cold feet, and feel convinced that I should shut down my blog, erase my name from the internet, or put an invisibility cloak and go anonymous. But then again, the need for gratification always wins, I guess. That, and other things.

I think I will end this post on that mysterious note. Bye, and I miss you all.

Edit: On reading this post, I noted that it sounds like a poorly connected thought stream - cum - conversation lifted directly out of my mind. Note the inability to focus on a coherent line or go from one topic to the next in a connected manner. So anyways, welcome to the workings of the innermost corners of my mind.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Dermatology and Love and Facebook

Watching a random guy with a whole bunch of colorful balloons floating on his bicycle carrier (should have gotten a photo) cycle past me, was one of the best parts of my day. Anything which induces spontaneous smiles is. Also, it reminded me of my blog and the imminent need to get back to it. (Don't ask me how the two correlate. It's un-explainable).

So, hello blog, and hello readers. Also, hello spammers (I hate you but I have to be polite on my blog).

I have come to love Dermatology, and for the first time in my medical career, do not hate and begrudge studying. That is basically a life-altering situation for me. But more than anything else, I love treating patients. Just basically talking to them, spending time with them, and helping them. And please note, I do not use the word 'love' lightly anymore, as someone I know taught me not to.

Dermatology seems to be one branch where everyone needs a consult, but everyone is too lazy to actually see a doctor for some skin solution? Catch hold of the PG resident at the wedding, and get your free consult. :D Don't worry folks, I quite enjoy being made to feel so important. Also it removes all need for awkward wedding conversation. Double faayda, no nuksaan.

(Yeah, that may be the first time I said something in Hindi on my blog. I promise never to do that again)

 Right this moment, the soundtrack of Dil Se is pealing from my speakers, and it leaves me feeling quite at peace this February night. Of course, I occasionally do suffer from the impulse to belt out the vocals in my own not-so-melodious voice, but thankfully, for everyone involved, I have gotten rid of that dreadful teenage habit of mine :D

Did I mention how much I love Dermatology? Oh well.

Also I think half my facebook friends list is either engaged or married by now. Within the next few years, the remaining will follow. Then the babies will start popping up. Followed by all other life milestones. Funny how, if anyone notices, your school friends will be the most synchronized on facebook in the timely achievement of life milestones. And funny that, now with facebook, you get a chance to have a bird's eye view of the life of all the people, you first entered the education system with at the age of 5...what happens to them, where they go, what they like, what they achieve, which country they end up in, where do they meet the loves of their lives. So many stories, all moving together in synchrony. Uncanny, really.

And this happens because age-and gender-defined roles are so specific and so well followed in India. Remember the Hindu ashram system? Brahmacharya (student life), grihastha (household life), vanaprastha (retired life), and sanyas (renounced life), in exactly that order. Seems this system is extremely well ingrained in us Indians.

Be born, learn to walk, talk, grow hair, grow your bones, enter school. Bam. Then books, books, heavy school bags, tuitions, extracurriculars, boards, studies, entrance exams, college, competition, studies. Bam. Graduation. Bam. Post-graduation (or not). Bam. Get a job. Learn how to hold your drink. Learn about diplomacy. Bam. Engagement. Facebook annnouncement of the same. Marriage. Facebook showcase of the same. Honeymoon. Facebook photos of the same. Bam. Then, well, I don't know how it progresses from there, but I can safely guess it will continue in rather the same trend.

Facebook - a rich database of information about everyone else's lives. That should be their tagline.

Okay. Now that I have written paragraphs and paragraphs about facebook, let me move on to whatsapp. Just kidding.

I'll leave you with a joke. Or two.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Wandering, not lost

A guest post by theabstractruth.


Disclosures first, I guess. I am not your usual friendly neighborhood blogger. The usual writer of this blog asked me to write a guest blog for her. We’ve been friends for 7 odd years now (Maybe 5, tough to speak for a girl who only expresses when she writes). In another life, I was in Bombay for my medical college and left the country for lonelier pastures in the US (greener in Bombay by far, if you get my drift) in the August of 2012. I also feel very proud of being an Indian (<<insert snorts by misplaced nationalists here>>), but I feel it’s important to stretch one’s comfort zone and experience different perspectives. I currently study in a school with people from 67 different countries. So I have watched an India-Pakistan cricket match with a Pakistani friend (we won) and discussed world religion and politics in a group with friends over potlucks (Jews, Muslims and Christians, although that might not be how they identify themselves primarily.) Needless to say, it’s been quite fascinating. I found out some things (‘Murg-e-shaandar’: I can cook!) and then I found something (political correctness: a pain in the.. well rear).
If there is one thing I do miss, it is drinking on weeknights with my hostel friends. Here, weeknight-drinking is unheard of (although so is ‘hostel’ and such ‘friends’).
Therefore, this country ironically also offers a lot of loneliness and ample time and opportunity for reflection and self-exploration. So here is the ‘wisdom’ I’ve gathered in these 16 months; more accepting about certain things, more cynical about others:
1.    Success is a ridiculous term if used as a common denominator. What you're looking for is acceptance and/ or external validation. Structure is overrated, your metric is not my metric and no one metric is correct. The devil is in the metrics.

2.    It's no fun being on a rollercoaster, unless you're a masochist or you enjoy making sense of chaos. There is a Method to most of the madness around. Believe in it and try not to look for it. It will save you your sanity.

3.    Money is everything. The beyond only exists once you have enough money. No money = no “best-things-in-life” (and “best-things-in-life” ≠ money).

4.    Getting drunk n dancing the night away is a form of spirituality. You owe it to your spirit. Assuming you work hard and honestly the rest of the time, in which case it can also be called an escape (or again, spirituality).

5.    Celebrate diversity. The world is a massive place. Your own little region/ religion/ culture is the matrix and everyone can be Neo. Just step out.

6.    Enjoying something you do and doing it well is nirvana. Even if it's doing nothing and being a bum.

7.    Never say never about anything you never want to happen.

Now go discover these nuggets of wisdom for yourself, if you haven’t already, and the purpose of this blog would be achieved.


Sunday, January 5, 2014

Skinny Love

"Come on skinny love, just last the year" 

I miss the good old days. Life used to be only about college, fights with friends, latest classroom gossip, and I was a fiesty young blogger who loved Taylor Swift.

Now suddenly, I've grown out of things. I'm having doubts about everything. My facebook news feed is full of people getting engaged and married, left, right and center. I almost feel jealous when I look at all these people in love. Conversations with old classmates centre around marriage. Workplaces are impersonal. You can never trust anyone's friendship. And there's a party every night.

Even blogging has become a task. The Indian dailies have somehow started thinking that promoting the youth's nightlife is the right, and mature thing to do. An entire generation of Indians is now starting to believe it is only natural to have a drink every evening. And that is okay. Yet somehow disturbing.

"I tell my love to wreck it all,
Cut out all the ropes and let me fall,"

Sunday mornings, however, thankfully, seem to have remained the same. I still take secret joy in skipping my glass of milk and starting the day by munching on a bar of chocolate. The powers of chocolate have only grown on me over the years.

The world, however, has just not remained that bright a place anymore. I can't even muster up any wisecracks for a blogpost. All I want to do is curl up inside another SEP. It's said that she writes "modern fairy tales". That does ring true, even though she never has themes like magic and the supernatural in her books. Themes like love and happily ever after do seem like fairy tales.

" Come on skinny love, what happened here?"

There is just something to be said about having most of the world look at you from a safe distance, silently judging, while staying away. You keep them away, you do, but sometimes you don't want to feel like an anomaly in a mass of laughing, gyrating, happy people who have got it all right. And how dare you not agree? How dare you not dance to the music? And how dare you not talk to them?

"And I told you to be patient,
And I told you to be fine,
And I told you to be balanced,
And I told you to be kind,

Talking is such an important thing. The big talkers, the networkers, the social animals, they have personality. The charmers, the crowd pleasers, the standup comedians. The girl who is friends with everyone. The girl who is invited to every party. The boy with the easy laughter. The boy who gets the most back-thumps and fist-bumps. The boy who is everyone's favourite in the workplace.

How dare you not be like them? How dare you brood? How dare you be a homebody?

I'm not even going to talk about the meanness people are now capable of. Best to ignore the hurt.

If you're going about your life being nice to everyone, that never means that others are going to do the same. Oh never. There will always be that girl who is mean to you for no good reason. And there will always be that boy who laughs at you behind your back. And there is always that friend who has let you down.

"'Cause I'll be holding all the tickets,
And you'll be owning all the fines."

As someone who has been subjected to more inscrutable looks than she can count, let me tell you, it changes you. It gets you down. Casts a shadow beneath your smiling eyes.

It's ironic that you're writing a blog post and wishing no one will read it. It's ironic that there are only two people in the world who would read it and understand, and not judge. And that only one of them might not lecture you.

But let me be thankful for at least that one safe sanctuary. That, and SEP, and chocolate.

"Who will love you?
Who will fight?
And who will fall far behind?"

I am fast realizing the disadvantages of publicizing your blog.There's always a movie or show about the secret life of someone or the other. What about my secret life? If my blog is my secret life, why did I lay it open to the crowds? Sigh.

There's a new ad on TV. It tries to appeal to the youth, talks about their loneliness and their lives on the internet. It starts with the line "It's all about me" and ends with "All the world wide web's a stage and this, is my show". No advertisement has ever made me sadder. No one wants to rule on the internet, truth be told.

Every time I read about the newest thing Rihanna did, I feel sad. There's something tragic about what's happening to her, if one is able to look at it rationally.

My mood seems to have changed and improved by the end of this post, so writing does seem to be therapeutic.

"And now all your love is wasted,
Then who the hell was I?
'Cause now I'm breaking at the britches,
And at the end of all your lies."

At the end of the day, there's always music to turn to. Do listen to all the versions of this song (Skinny Love).

Friday, November 29, 2013

Catching up

It's been long since my last post but housemanship is a busy year (Yes, even in my college!). I haven't even replied to comments on this blog, and I hardly ever get time to send postcards. What I have been doing is making new friends and enjoying work. I've also been learning the dynamics of adjusting in a workplace with a predominantly female population working together on a daily basis in close proximity. And don't we all know what happens when too many women get together? :D

One of the best things that happened to me last month was that I saw Ram Leela. And while the movie has many haters, I absolutely loved and enjoyed it, barring a couple of songs of course. What a refreshing change to have Indian cinema portray young adults in love so realistically and with a great sense of humour (who can forget the size 136 bosom? :D)  Also wonderful to see an extremely strong female lead and for a change a female villain. The movie did have many strong and sensible female characters, if I recollect, and actually all the males were the ones doing all the stupid activities except our hero. Ranveer and Deepika looking their best in those wonderful costumes never once hurt the eyes. But actually in the end the true villain turns out to be a  male only! Ha. Well, SLB (please note his middle name is his mother's name and not father's) may well be Bollywood's first feminist.

Two other things happened over the past few months, SRT retired and we had a verdict on the Aarushi Talwar case. But as this blog isn't a newspaper, I won't talk about either of those :P What I will tell you is that for the longest time, whenever I introduced myself to someone, they immediately connected my name to Aarushi's. And then I had to clarify that I am Aayushi and I am not a ghost come for revenge after my murder!

So now my humour has started to be about murder victims. I think that's a new high (or low?). At this point I would just like to clarify that I believe the Indian police, investigating agencies, justice system, and the media have all messed up in a big way in this sensitive case. My heart goes out to the victim's parents and family members.

Back to my non-newspaper blog,  I've been told very recently by some people that I come across as a snob and a very 'harsh' person. I tend to be like that with strangers at first, all high-strung and walled off. But then how else do you get people to leave you alone, I ask? So I've decided I'm just going to keep my snob disguise going and master the art of snobbishness to perfection. Since not enough people in my world have read Jonathon Rauch's famous article about introversion, I'm just going to have to keep up my snob disguise as a survival mechanism. (wink, wink)

One more thing I have been thinking about a lot lately is the dynamics of friendship in today's age, and does the term even really mean anything anymore? I know, pessimistic thoughts, but let's hear your opinions on this.

Apart from that, it seems to be serendipity that I named this blog Gentian Violet two years back, and now I am going to be a dermatologist, which is one of the few medical fields which actually still uses the chemical gentian violet (atleast theoretically if not practically!). The thought always fills me up with glee.

In other news, the search is on for a Gujju boy who doesn't run at the sound of a prospective wife who would (God forbid!) actually have to study everyday for the next few years, and be a doctor, and have to run a clinic! Yes, she wouldn't be home to serve you hot food three times a day and pack your dabbas for office with...gasp!...more food! And yes, she is so haughty she can actually write such things on her own blog! All these terms seem so alien to an average gujju household, I am fast starting to become disillusioned by my own community.

And I am sure after reading this (I'm probably stretching my luck by assuming that someone will), every prospective suitor who facebook stalks me (of course they do!), is also going to refuse to meet me. Well well, good riddance, I say. I've never curbed my writing for any reason till date, and I'm not going to start now.

In music, I've been listening to Birdy (In the moment we're ten feet tall - "Wings"), Lana (I won't cry myself to sleep like a sucker - "Damn You"), and Taylor (I had the time of my life, fighting dragons with you - "Long Live").

I've been missing my old college, and my friends, and the carefree UG days. To think we were 1st MBBS students just yesterday, when the highlight of our day was having to put up with the disgusting stench of formalin. Whenever you look back to the past, life always seems simpler than in the present. And that's probably the irony of it all.

I promise to reply to all your comments, soon! This blog is starved for some conversation. And I hope all of you are doing well :)

P.S. Since I am not sure if this author allows her comics to be shared with due credits, I am just going to link you to her superb blog! Don't forget to check out the comic about 12 medical specialities.

Here's wishing you all a wonderful, lazy, and enjoyable weekend! :D