October 28th, 2005

The world and I

Live alone

Something I thought Ill never pen down, simply because I never realized I follow them at all!
Here is something I wrote on M's persistence day before yesterday. Would have preferred it to be shorter, but then here it is, as it is (simply coz I dint have the time).
So here is an article-guide to living alone, in India, made for people who whine about it, since it is after all not so common here yet.
Living Alone. Something I always dreamt of, but wasnt sure that Ill end up doing.
For all the hype and hoopla, living away from where you were raised is not so big or scary. It is about finding yourself, and being capable to handle it. Sure your mother, father, brother etc are not there, but then it is something that us bound to happen sometime in your life. No matter where you were raised - Bombay or Ambala, you will at some time live alone, and it is wonderful if you do so before marriage.
In case of some problems, here are some tips from someone who has been living it up alone for more than 2.5yrs. Remember these are one-time things which can assure a hassle free stay. Thinking and planning it out once can mean peace for a longer time.
1. First of all, be sure of where you are going, and be comfortable about it. If you are joining a company, make some contacts before moving in, unless you know someone in the city. Keep in touch with the HR person, or frnd by mail or phone, whichever you think is comfortable. But remember, this is just backup, so dont go over the top in your number of calls/mails.
2. For the initial days of moving in, find a hotel/ hostel for a few days so you can look for a house in peace. While looking for a house keep in mind its location (closer to office or shopping areas, as per preference), safety features, neighbors, owner (my first landlord was a drunkard, and though he lived in a different city, I changed houses asap), society (no debts should be outstanding), water situation (24hrs, drinking water situation), electricity bill paid till date, closeness to shops (in case of heavy rains, earthquake, in short anything). Clarify the date of rent payment with the landlord, and stick to it.
3. Move in and make frnds with neighbors (basic talking terms) so that they can handle your couriers, your ironed clothes, maid or anything, if you are not home. Most importantly ask for a maid (and Jamadar) Try to get someone who can fit into your timings. Find out how much s/he charges from the neighbor beforehand. They expect it. You dont have to become pally with the neighbor, just basic details that you work, and are living here, and will be happy to extend your help in any society cultural thing. If you can manage, it is possible to be cordial without divulging company name if you dont want to.
4. Arrange the food intricacies - where you will eat, and whether you will cook yourself or get food from a dabba or get a cook. In both cases do adequate research, and be aware of the infrastructure required. In case of dabba get 2/3 sources and then hone down on one. Remember they will always serve you better food in the initial 1/2 weeks! If you keep a cook, sort out all details like who will be getting the vegetables, and when s/he will be coming to cook apart from salary.

This was about moving in to a new place. To keep yourself from feeling lonely, try getting a flatmate. Don t share a room, but sharing a flat sure can be fun. Only thing, get someone whom you are comfortable with. For that, meet people outside the company, make friends, and voila! Not only will you have a great time, you ll have good company too. Always try to meet someone through a referral - from someone whom you have grown to trust.
Try and cultivate a doing hobby - not just listening to music and reading. It will help you keep occupied on rainy days. You cant hang on to a phone forever.
Manage your finances, if you have a flatmate, clear the details before moving in. This will make you both comfortable. Set aside a certain amount each month in advance for the month, and yes, dont forget to be ready for any, repeat any eventuality. Keep spare keys, spare money, always have a set of clothes you can put on in case your present ones are with the laundry, keep some phone numbers and addresses at a handy place (apart from mobile) or memorised, know where the nearest doctor and police station are, and whom to contact in case of an emergency in the city.

Once you are done with these basics, try to keep your weekends as free as possible. Do everything possible on a weekday, and dont try pushing chores for the day your are meant to rest on. I assure you the key to a more or less organised and easy living is having a day completely to yourself. Plan the weekend, so that you dont have reason to feel lonely, but treasure them so you can priorities your entertainments. Try to keep away from office.

Its all about taking it in your stride and enjoying life. Even though I moved in to Ahmadabad where I knew nobody, living away from my family has not been difficult at all! All the best to you too!

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Climb the Summit


Mom arrived yesterday. To receive here I left office at 1.15pm, but still managed to miss the bus to the city! Asked a colleague to drop me till the nearest auto stand, and caught an auto home...since Mom was reaching at 3.30, and it was 2. Message from Mom: reaching at 3.
Rushed from home, reached at 3.01! Mom arrived soon after, had a nice time all evening took her to the Veg Italian food joint. Sitting in Cal she had ridiculed it too many times about vegetarian Italian. Well, she liked it. :)..and did not miss non-veg.
Today there was some important work, but then some top management guy decided we need to attend a presentation by some data service provider. Bullshit! Left mid way, and did work. result - Im more or less free for the moment :)
Will leave at 6.10 by bus today!
Boss of India on leave, Boss of USA will also be leaving his office soon for Europe ....hmmm ...like the idea :)
Looking forward to my trip to coral reef of the continental shelf of Gujarat next week, near Jamnagar. Supposed to be more beautiful than Andaman, Lakshwadeep, since it is not really promoted as tourist spot. The reef is shallow, and so u need to walk on a designated path, so as not to destroy the fragile corals. And so very few tourists - its not advertised by the Gujarat Govt, except by certain authorised tour providers (eg. the guy who told me about it - a writer for Nat Geo, Ive mentioned him earlier).
Well thats the status now. Web pages beckoning! Better surf a li'l.
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Going by some general trends, and an uncanny urge in me, I thought, I should write about boys (me being a girl, it is advisable I thought to write about boys not girls).
So the idea of  a post on 'nice boys' came up. And what their attraction feature is :)
But then again, ...well, I think I wont do that, not now.
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Join the Masses

The Corridor

A long corridor, two women emerge, from two ends, and opposite sides of the wall. Call it coincidence, but the time of entry is the same. They dont know each other. But they are in the same building, thus making their possibility of introduction in future a high possibility. They walk down, towards each other, towards the doors behind the other.
They may not be dressed with precision, but they are dressed reasonably well.
They look at each other, dare not look at the face too long so as to necessitate a smile. Poker faced, they look ahead. Not possible. For after all, it is a long corridor, and they are the only distractions in it. Catch the other looking at her.
Window on one side, look out of it. Oh! never-ending corridor! (Its been 3-4 steps)
Turn in front again. Look at each other, and now the unavoidable happens. The appraisal. Feet up, a surreptitious but penetrating look. A look that takes in the shoes, the clothes, the fit of the clothes. The hairstyle, and the bearing. A look that may mean anything, and nothing. A sweep which tells something about the other - where they shop, approximate outlook on life, family background, way of living, married or unmarried. Information put in the mind-database. To use or not they care not.
And then they catch each other looking at the other. Look in front again, and then they cross. Pass each other midway through this 30sec long corridor.
They will not remember the incident even a minute later. Through the few steps take it was necessary not to smile. For they did not know each other. But when they see each other, and get an introduction, they will say, with huge smiles, 'Why yes! We have seen each other a few times here!'

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The world and I

Moulin Rouge

Considered one of the best painters to depict the real Parisian life of his times, the late 19th century, Toulouse-Lautrec was the originator of the idea of Moulin Rouge, the famous place in the depths of degraded Paris, and the first one to make a poster by printing and not painting...the famous Moulin Rouge poster which shows a woman doing the cancan with her foot high in the air, face not visible. A shocking poster of its times, which advertised the place as it was - a place for wine and fun...with women.
A painting of M.R by H.T.L at this link, and some more of his paintings at the link on this page: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Image:Henri_de_Toulouse-Lautrec_049.jpg

Read the Book called: Moulin Rouge, the original, which is the life of Henri de Toulouse Lautrec.

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