Ungrateful People

It’s amazing how ungrateful people can be.

Especially some men.

Born to a dad who is the epitome of sacrifice and love, I know how loving men can be. So, don’t get me wrong. It’s just there are a few who are so damn selfish!

It pains me to see a friend in pain just because her husband is being a jerk to her. Her, who has given up so much for him and his family. Her, because of whom he and his parents are able to live the life that they are living now. Her, who refuses to buy stuff for herself but makes sure everybody in her family gets pampered. Her, who works day and night, so that her family is able to sleep peacefully at night. Her, whose only expectation was love in time of need. And that’s precisely what he failed to give.

I wonder how shallow he must be to not lend a shoulder, a word of support, or even a touch of love. Rather, he has to nerve toΒ  chastise her lest she loses her job(which is not going to happen) over a silly tiff at work. What a selfish inconsiderate moron!

 

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Life Changers- Part I

Dear Mrs. Anita,

You are the first teacher at school, who made me feel worthy of myself. I still owe a part of who I am to you. Today you might not recognize me, but I forever will.

I had just entered my 6th standard. My previous year had left deep scars emotionally. At that point in my life even I started to believe I was good-for-nothing. I expected to be nobody’s pet, and to be everybody’s punching bag.

We had a few new girls in class that year. I was particularly fond of Anu and Romaine. Anu was this smart, and well-mannered girl. And Romaine was a bit goofy and fun. I was hoping to becoming friends with them. Alas, you sorted them into the Blues.

You gave us our first test that year. It was geography. You started distributing our corrected papers, when you’d stopped dead and asked us,”Who’s Vithya?” I stood up nervously, all the while thinking, Oops, what did I do now? It’s just been a month.

“Good work. You’ve got the top score.”, you said happily. For a moment I couldn’t believe it. I was happy. I was in the stars. I do not remember most of my AISLC scores but I still remember my score on that geography test. I had gotten a 17 out of a 25. It is that much important to me, even today.

Then you made me the class pupil leader. I was surprised. It was the first and only time I was class leader. It certainly uplifted my spirit, and it was the first time I ever thought, “Hey may be I am not as bad. If Mrs.Anita, the scout guide teacher thinks I am good enough to be pupil leader, then may be I am.”

I do not know why you made me the pupil leader. I am forever grateful for that. Not for the bragging rights, but for the self-confidence, and more importantly loads of self-respect that I gained by being chosen. Thank you so much for that.

It was then I began to put more effort into studying, especially English, History and Geography, because those were your subjects.

I had a horrible hand-writing, and you tore my English Prose notes countless number of times. I remember writing our first prose lesson “The Elephant and The Hippopotamus” three times. Then in an effort to make me improve my handwriting you made me write in a four-lined notebook, for the whole term. It wasn’tΒ until my handwriting became tolerable you let me off the hook.

At the end of the first term I got my first ‘O’ grade ever. Even the usual class toppers were surprised, with Aishu congratulating me on my first ‘O’ grade. I felt proud, because so far the only out-standing I knew was standing out of the class.

I had a few ups and downs that year. But overall it was a satisfying one because of two reasons.
Firstly, I had a wonderful handwriting by the end of the year.
Secondly, I finally started to believe in myself.

And I simply owed it all to you. Aishu did not know. I did not know. Perhaps, even you did not know.
But today, I look back at my life, and you stand as one of the people who left a significant mark in my life.
Thank you.

I am forever blessed to have been a student of yours.

Love,
Vithya

What’s in a compliment?

It has been a while since I wrote something that made sense. So, I might as well do it now.

Do you know what the most difficult thing to do is?
For most people, it is to give someone a compliment.
It hurts us so bad to say something good about a colleague, a classmate, and at times even a friend.
Now imagine what happens to the frenemies and enemies! God save them πŸ˜‰

Sure, you are one of the nicest people on earth. We all like to think that, and there is nothing wrong in that.
In fact, in a way it is true. Honestly, we all strive to be the best we can.
But there is not one person on the face of Earth without a cynical side to them.
And mostly we try to contain our cynism from overriding our inherent good nature.

But…
Some cannot contain it,
Some lose it at times, (I guess I fall under this category)
Some keep always it at bay,
And some, just camouflage it very well.

So, when was the last time you gave someone a compliment?

Sure, guys do it all the time, “Hey your voice sounds so sweet. You should be on super singer”
However, we all know it is a lie that traces back to the time when Graham Bell invented the telephone.

When was the last time you gave someone a compliment, and genuinely meant it?
I guess every one of us should ask this question to ourselves.

And here’s my answer to the above question. It is going to be a long list.

Mom, you are the strongest person I know in the world. Thank you for bearing me, and bearing with me. I owe you my existence & everything else I claim to be today. If not for you, I will not be the person I am today. Love you!

Dad, you are the most honest person I know. Geez, you do not even know to lie to mom whether you had a secret snack or not. Love you!

Ganesh, you are the world’s best brother! Thank you for being there for me.

Vaenil, I love you. That is your compliment πŸ˜›

Sush, I really cannot put into words how much I admire you di. I am really surprised in a pleasant way how you’ve handled your life & all that comes along with it. You are an inspiration girl. Glad to be your bestie πŸ™‚ Love you!

Raja & SP, Hey there clo(w)nes! You are the most responsible son & brother I have ever met. Other than that you two know everything else I feel about you, except that you are interchangeable πŸ˜›

Merlyn, you are calm & collected at all times. You have the quality to forgive your enemies & forget the past. Not many people are as blessed.

Pechi, you are honest & always put your family first. You are a selfless mother & you should be very proud of that. Let the haters, hate. They are all a bunch of sore losers. You are the best!

Lizzy’s Mum/Vaenil’s Mum, you are one of the most loving people I have met Aunty. I love you!

Ton, you’ve been a patient friend. Never judging me. Always excited for me, and you always hear me out.

Kavita & Maria, you have always been there for me. I feel grateful for having you two as my closest friendsfrom school. So pardon my nonchalance and my recent lousiness.

Lovely, you have a beautiful smile. And, I think you are one of, if not the best head girl we have had. You are strong, levelheaded & smart. Moreover, I am not saying it just because you are from my batch.

Shalini, you are beautiful, intelligent, funny, compassionate & boy, can you shake your leg. In short, I think you are the total package!

Rekha, you are the one girl at school who has never felt prejudiced towards someone. I guess you consider everyone your friend, and I am glad you do.

Sathya, you are the most charismatic girl I met at school. I adored you much like a fan. Every time you ran for Team Captain/Vice Captain I wished I could vote for you even though I wasn’t on red team.

Kimberly, you are a rock-star. Rock Star, as in I find it unbelievable at how you juggle being a mom, and then being the crazy Kim I knew from school.

Deepa & Joy, you girls are getting hotter every single day.

Sakthi Raj, you are a wonderful person. Even, I think it is odd. But, I guess I admire you asking how my parents were (once) even though you’ve never met them. I really appreciated it. So, thank you.

Rajkumar, you are the best student there was in maths. You were no department topper, but you really surprised me (& I guess the whole class) with that one answer in 2nd semester.

Hemasunitha, you are the best friend every girl should have. Lavanya is so lucky πŸ™‚

Karthika, you are the best junior I could have asked for. I simply love you. I can’t imagine anyone else with whom I could have spent my time in the college bus chatting up, and having fun. Okay, I have not exactly given you a compliment, but you should know that I love you πŸ™‚

Sangeetha, you are the most changed (for the better) person I know. I know how difficult it is for straight shooters. Often people mistake straight-forwardness to impertinence. I am glad you have toned it down, girl. High five!

Farz, you somehow became smokin’ hot from cute. What did you do? πŸ˜›

Ezhil, you are the best friend I possibly never had. I wish we could have been better friends.

Sethu, you are the most open-minded person I have met. I always like to have a good argument with you. I like the way you treat women as your equal. Not many of our guys do that (although they claim that). They quickly brand girls as bitches just because they have an opinion. Stay the same way, dude! πŸ˜‰

Thangamani, you were the smartest guy in our batch. You seriously need to stop drinking.

Sharon, sexy mama! You have a kickass personality & attitude.

Rosh, you are the sweetest girl I know. I adore you like a little sister.

Anand, you are the most intelligent guy from our batch. As Raja once put it, “Learn from him on how to keep your mouth shut!”

Dhayani, you are the most forgiving person I have met. How do you do that?

Veera, as a friend put it, “Veera made me feel at ease” You are everybody’s friend, and you should know that.

Sudarsan, the smartest kid I know. Even my friends at college know that πŸ™‚

So, there’s my list of possible compliments I should have given long back.

Try giving someone a compliment today.
What about that girl you feel so jealous about? Give it a try.
It might not be as hard as you think.
Infact you might feel as good as I feel now πŸ™‚

 

P.S. I might add a few complimentsevery now & then πŸ˜‰

Guys and Gifts

I have always had, and will always have problems with finding gifts for guys. It’s been like this forever. Ok, not forever. I’ve been having this problem only since I started working. Not that I was good in selecting gifts before, it’s just that I did not find anybody for whom I felt the connection to gift. The only guys I gifted when I was in school or college were probably my dad and my little brother. More on that later.

So, I made a few good friends, and a couple of best friends at work. And every year they have birthdays. Duh! Since I have this great affinity for buying gifts, more often than not it would be me who scours shopping malls, and card outlets for the perfect birthday gift. Unfortunately, guys do not have no-brainer options like Cosmetics or Churidhar materials where one-size-fits-all. As far as I know, guys have the option of WWW, i.e. watches, wallets and wardrobe. They do not have any other options, say, without consequences.

Here are my top 5 list of gifts gone wrong.
Most recently, it happened with Anand. What should we get for his farewell? A laptop dock perhaps? Well, it would be useful. When I told him what I gift was just before he could open it, his look said it all. He did not own a laptop 😐

Then there was a time when we had to purchase a gift for Veera. Now, he is like an elder brother so we(me, and my other friends) wanted to get him a perfect gift. After thinking hard for days, which almost turned into weeks, I had a bright idea. An idea that we had thought of for so many other birthdays, but never went with. I rang Veera up, without giving him a chance to think asked him what he wanted for his birthday. Well, him being the Anna, he graciously said, “It is your wish!”. Problem still not solved. Again my brain started to work like it usually does, I got him a gift that I would cherish, “a gift card @ landmark!” I still do not know if he has used it yet.

It was Raja’s birthday. And I had been left with the duty of finding him a gift. After thinking, thinking and some more thinking, I had come up with nothing. So I went to my default list of “watches, wallets, and wardrobe”. On my defense, this is the logic girls apply while purchasing wallets for ourselves. We want our wallets to hold everything from our cash, credit/debit cards, identity cards, portraits of our family, our favourite God, discount vouchers to the Eyetex bindi strips. And we all want the built-in mirror. Unfortunately, when I applied the same logic into buying a wallet for a guy, I blew it.Β  I got him a wallet @ Landmark, Chennai. I was so happy that I could find a decent one. By decent, I mean you could fit in everything you want. The only problem was, well, the wallet wouldn’t fit in.

Then we have my kid bro. It was his birthday, and I didn’t know what to get. I had gotten him everything for his previous birthdays so far, so I wanted this one to be different. He had been hinting about how he has been wanting an ipod by asking me how much one costed, very often. Or that is what I thought. When I burnt my whole monthly budget to get him an ipod nano that I so wanted to keep for myself, he greeted it with a, “You could have got me a playstation, it is cheaper and I would have liked it better!” There you go, I spend my whole month’s budget, and the devil says he doesn’t like it.

My dad had been asking me to get him a T-Shirt for quite some time, and I was shopping with SP that day. So we walk into the arrow store, and I see this absolutely perfect jacket. I’d been wanting one for ages, so I decide to try it out and guess what, it was a snuggle-fit. We then purchase a couple of formal shirts for SP. We then move to the T-shirt section, when I find this lovely T-shirt which I think my dad would love. The total comes to around 5K, and it so happens that there is 50% off on the T-shirts for purchases more than 4K. Ok, fine I saw the offer, before I even started to browse through the T-shirts. I am so happy with the purchase, especially with bargain. I gift my dad the T-shirt, and he doesn’t wear it the next few days. Just when I begin to wonder whether he doesn’t like my choice, he wears it. Normally you’d expect me to be happy. Instead, I yelled at him, and screamed “I totally regret getting you the shirt. I really do”. This is what the T-shirt looked like.

Guys! What gift do we get them? Without any consequences ofcourse πŸ˜‰

Ignorant, I would rather be.

History; a figment of imagination,

So are leaders; well, most of them.

Hypocrisy is more common than heroism,

Movements for the most part are lies,

Lies wrapped in rhymes.

Morals are convenient, and so are principles.

Great men are no more made,

Rather they are self-proclaimed.

Masked in the name of humanity,

I see just trivial vanity,

To rebel is sexy,

Respect is for the ditsy,

You yearn for power,

You yearn for respect,

What good are you?

If you can’t swallow an opinion?

You judge and label,

For it is so easy,

I do not ask for prophecies.

I do not ask for direction.

I do not ask for wisdom.

For once I ask,

Leave me be, just in peace.

Ignorant I would rather be.

I-pods and Headphones

I often hear dudes discussing about how good a particular type of headphone is. They keep drooling over it as if it was Katrina Kaif. For me headphones has always been “A thing that I can use to listen to songs, or talk without my ears getting ironed out”. It has never been about the Bass or the Treble.

Often I wonder why they are so much obsessed with the schematics. You want good sound? Get a decent headset. Period. What good is it if you can’t hear the 1000 ton truck blaring its horn, when you are crossing the road.

I still remember searching in flipkart for the price of the headsets I own. It cost around 2700 bucks. I went home that day, dug through my brother’s stuff and found the headsets that I oh-so-easily wanted to replace because I was lazy enough to deem it lost. Who would give so much money for headsets anyway? Apparently many!

I have these Sony Ericsson headphones, a pair of Chinese headphones, and then the pair of earphones that Dell gave me on purchasing a laptop. I listen to songs on my phone using all three. Although there is a distinct difference in the sound quality between the Chinese one and the other two, I have never found any significant difference between Sony and Dell. As long as the song does not drag and sounds just like it should I’m good. I do not care for the bass or the treble. Then, that is just me.

Then there are these I-pod guys; more so like the kolaveri guys. They simply can’t keep their hands off their I-pod. They even want to run on the treadmill with theΒ I-pod plugged into their ears. TheΒ I-pod shows exactly how much calories I have burnt!” they cry in delight. “Hello, the big bad machine you were running on, that too shows the same. So why freak out?” I want to ask.

I have this age-old Transcend MP3 player. It still is good as new, if you ask me. I have some of my favorite songs loaded into it, and I want to sing along every time I hear one of the songs which I so love. Every time I travel, I never forget to take it with me. The only problem is, my brother. He bullies me into sharing it, and even though I don’t I was getting tired of his constant nagging.

He has been asking me about how much an I-pod costs very often, that I decided I would get him one for his birthday, and finally get him off my case. I walk in to the Apple Imagine Store @ Ampa Skywalk to get him the I-pod shuffle. I remind myself, “Ok, that’s 4K gone from my monthly budget. Should not spend money on handbags, watches or shoes!” I ask the salesperson, where I can find the I-pod Shuffle.” Sorry Madam, we have run out of the shuffle. You can try the Nano.” I try to act normal, and go over to the station where the Nano’s are docked. I try to find as many pitfalls in the Nano as I can, so that I can refuse buying owing to the fact that it is not good enough.

“Does it have a video playback?” I ask knowing fully well that it does not at the cost of sounding so very ignorant. In my mind though, I am rapidly calculating as to how much of hole it is going to make in my wallet. So, how much does the I-pod nano cost? A freaking 9K! That for the same Sheila-Ki-Jawani that sings oh-so-clearly on my 6-year-old transcend MP3 player.

I did gift my brother the I-pod nano though, and that again is another story!

P.S. I hate people who are glued to their headsets while crossing roads.

A little bit of patience

Impatience has almost been a way of life for me. Fortunately, I realize that it is one of my pitfalls, and I have been working to improve on it for quite some time now.

Greeting my colleagues with a “Good morning” everyday is a habit I’ve fallen into willingly. Firstly, it is the right thing to do. Secondly, it sets the tone for the rest of the day. Who would want a grumpy colleague trying to get back at you for some perceived injustice you did the previous day, anyway?

At times when the good mornings turn into small talk, I try to avoid being the jerk and participate in the conversation, even though I would rather tune out the small talk, and mind my own business. But that is how far I can go. I despise meaningless small talk with people about whom I wouldn’t care after work. Admit it, every one of us has a few set of colleagues who we wish would disappear from the face of he earth.

So, one such colleague of mine, chats me up on my office communicator and asks me a question that questions my work ethic. I am the kind of person who accounts for the 1 hour permission I take to leave early from work, when the masses generally skip the 2 hour late entry they make. So I found the question very offensive, and clearly stated that he was under a false perception. And when this colleague of mine, repeated with the “Are you sure?” I got pretty mad. “You can check with records, to make sure that you’ve got it right”, I stated matter-of-factly and put an end to the conversation. Now, I was downright annoyed with this petulant conversation, and hoped to never talk to him again.

So, for the next few days I try to avoid being in any place where I would be forced to come into contact with this colleague of mine. Unfortunately, it doesn’t happen the way I want, and as this colleagues chats me up the next day I give him one syllable responses against my usually long ones. I guess this indifference must have irked him, because he began to take jabs at me, for which strangely I did not react. I kept giving numb responses like I couldn’t care less. So this keeps happening over and over again, that is, him taking shots at me, and me replying indifferently.

Normally in such situations, I would have let the other person get under my skin, and would have blown off my top. Fortunately this time around, I didn’t. Usually the person who ends an argument with “Whatever!” has lost the argument. For once, I did not mind losing. And it so happened I did not. Because, a few days later, I was talking to a friend of mine when he walked past us. He stopped dead in his track and started poking fun at me again, and I kept mum as usual. And then it happened,”I’ve been trying to provoke you so many times, and you seem not to react. What’s up with that?” he asked, trying to guise it under his comical tone. “I’ve gotten used it”, I stated calmly. And he mumbled,”Whatever!” and moved on.

That’s when I realized by not allowing him to get under my skin, I got under his. Even though he tried to push it aside, he was clearly frustrated that I did not get worked up by his constant annoyance, and was taken by surprise by my retort that he had to resort to “Whatever!” “Gotcha”, I thought to myself, and just grinned. For once, I had handled a tough situation even as trivial as might be in the right manner. I was pretty pleased with myself, and I still am.