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California dreamin'

Sent by my roommate... Pending legislation, San Francisco might become the first U.S. city to ban plastic bags... read here

It reminds me of when I was in Bombay in 2005 and went to get some potatoes from the local street grocer.  He weighed out a kilo and asked me for a bag.  I looked at him quizzically and asked him why he didn't have one.  He told me it was now illegal for them to use plastic bags, but looked around and snuck one out and told me to quickly leave.  I realized later that there was a law in Bombay that thin plastic non-biodegradable bags were now not only illegal, but anyone seen with one would be charged Rs. 1200 (about $30) and so would the vendor.  This is a hell of a lot of money, considering your bag would never hold more than Rs. 100 worth of groceries.  I was so excited by this ban that I could hardly believe it!  I mean, if this could even remotely be enforced in a city with a population of 13 million that is set to become the world's most populous city by 2020, it could work anywhere!  My roommate was excited as well, and on his last trip to India, he brought back cloth bags that we could keep in our cars to use at the grocery store.  It didn't matter that the bags were too small 'cos they were meant for Indian size groceries, because we still use them and feel a little better about not slowly killing our future generations. 

Good to see a small glimmer of hope...

Letting go...

How exactly does one let go??  How does that happen?  Time? Therapist? Distractions? Other life changing decisions to make you realize that there are other priorities?  I don't know...

All I know is that the thought of letting go makes me want to hurl.  SImple innocuous words pierce my heart.  Assumptions mess with my head in a very new and foreign way.  And yet, I sometimes feel that I have to let go... because not letting go is not going to change the situation.  But I can't... I just fuckin' can't.  Its not fair.  I should be able to.  I don't even know where to begin.  And, its consuming me.  Completely. 

I need things to improve soon.  The weather, school, my impending and soon-to-be-delayed graduation, my dad, my mom, my sister, my love, my friend, my relationships, my health, my finances, my location... all of it.  The whole lot. 

Or, everything should go to hell so I can finally completely lose it and stop projecting a facade. 

From one love to another

I don't know what I'm doing
I don't know what I'm saying
I don't know why I'm watching all these white people dancing

I don't know where I'm going
But I do know that I'm walking
I don't know
Just away from this love affair

I can't say that I'm cruisin'
Not that I don't like cruisin'
Just that I'm bruisin from you

I can't say that I'm waltzin'
Not that I don't like waltzing
Would rather be waltzin' with you

So I guess that I'm going
I guess that I am walking
I don't know
Just away from this love affair

 -- Rufus Wainwright

We're married!

So, i'm slowly realizing that I'm being left in the dust here... its gradually dawning on me that almost every single friend that I have that used to be single is now either monogomously coupled or married or soon to be married.  It reminds me of my last visit to India...

My uncle, who is not known for his subtlety, said something along the lines of "Why aren't you married yet?  You should be married soon... otherwise, you're going to be like that son of my friend who kept being really picky and didn't end up getting married and now just sits at the side looking dopish at parties while all the couples are having fun".  Even if I temporarily forget the fact that there's always a son of a friend who seems to be my nemisis in every situation dealing with an aunty or uncle, or the fact that said "son of friend" is, I think, almost definitely gay, or the all to painfully obvious fact that "son of friend" and my life are not the same at all and therefore this comparison is not valid, or that the other coupled in the party are really having "fun".. his comment still stuck with me.  I don't know if it was the guilt trip or the fact that I automatically zone out when talk of marriage comes along and for some reason didn't when he was talking, or something else altogether... but, his comment really hit home. 

I often think of my uncle and his comment when I see people around me in their relationships.  I don't really care about the fact that they're married... its more of what often comes with the marriage that bothers me.  The "we" mentality, the inability to make decisions independently of one another, the constant need to hang out in pairs with their single friends... no, I'm done with that!  Of course, I've been lucky in that not all of my friends are like that, and I have to admit that I do feel jealous at times of them and their relationships.  To top it off, almost every friend of mine who is single is looking to be in exactly this same "we" type of relationship... if not literally... at least emotionally... but its got me thinking... should I start to look for someone to manacle myself to?

I will be going to India again this year... ironically, probably to coincide with my friend's wedding...  I always look forward to my trips to India, but never to the constant asking fo questions and people trying to set me up.  Its never bothered me before... but, i've been forced to spend an increasingly larger amount of time on it lately...

Sorry... this post has been mostly me venting... but, i had to get it out. 


For the longest time now... I have had most of my epiphanies about small and big things in the shower.  The shower has been my fortress of solitude, if you will... my place to think of the rest of the day and to allow thoughts that I may normally suppress otherwise to surface.  Of course, allowing thoughts to resurface means that other, much older thoughts also get dug up and before you know it, there's an avalanche going on inside my head.

But, that's not all showers.  Some showers are actually peaceful and relaxing. 

The one today got me thinking about relationships.  I have been lucky enough to be in love a couple of times, but only once have I had it reciprocated back equally.  I have been lucky that that love lasted 3 glorious years.  And then, it slipped away... just like that... and its a fuckin' bitch.  I hate it. 

2006 was an awful year for me and most people I knew.  People passed on, people got sick, family got sick, good relationships ended, bad ones started, good ones that started in 2006 turned out to be crappy. 

I couldn't wait for 2006 to be done with.  Despite all the stuff going on with her, suttonhoo's flickr site kept me going in those really tough moments when I craved to see some beauty in this world.  And, of course, reconnecting with S. after a long hiatus brought on by me helped things tremendously. 

But, today... all of it seemed a bit futile.  After all, what good is a 3 year relationship that didn't end on either party's terms and that you still think fondly of??  Does it really help you in times of need to know that you once had a great thing, or does it just pour salt on the wounds??  Time, of course, doesn't heal anything.  It only helps in sporadically distracting you from harping too much.  I know the inevitable will happen as much as I might will it not to.  We will move on with our lives.  We'll never lose that which we had, but our memories will become cocooned and hidden away somewhere.  Little things will remind us of each other... but, ultimately, we will move on.  Have kids, have families, be alone, live through births and deaths in our families without the other person being there...

In the meantime, Ms. McRae and Ms. Carter will keep me going... at least for a while...

Puppetteering and Godliness

S. and I always used to have these discussions about God.  Even though she wasn't uber-religious, she did believe in the existence of a God.  And, I in all of my brilliant wisdom, would always think of God as more of a pupetteer who people seemed to believe had all of this power, but couldn't really prove anything about....

Anyway... this show Malcolm in the Middle... this show that had a pretty decent run on Fox, had this character Dewey (the youngest of three brothers) talk to his Sunday school teacher about the idea of God.  I've always found this to be brilliant... specially since its spoken about so frankly by a 5 year old.  You can read below, or see it on the joy that is Youtube here:

Dewey (to his Sunday school teacher): I don't like this church... ever since I came here all I do is think about stuff!  What kind of God makes children think when they're not even in school! 

Teacher:  Well, that is a torment, but I'm sure he has his reasons!

Dewey (shrugs shoulders):  Yeah... like Pastor Roy said... God's so much bigger and wiser than us that trying to see what he's thinking is like an ant trying to see what I'm thinking.

Sunday school teacher:  Yes... exactly.  But we can trust in his wisdom and have faith that he is watching over us.

Dewey:  Like me with the anthill in my backyard.  I spent days watching the ants trying to figure out which ones were good and which ones were bad, but they all just looked like ants.  So, I started smiting all of them.  I was smiting them with the garden hose and with lighter fluid and with the lawn mower and to be perfectly honest, I think I went a little crazy with the shovel.  Those ants could have been praying to me all day... I wouldn't have heard 'em.  There was nothing they could do about it. 

Teacher:  Buuuutt... I don't think...

Dewey:  And really, its the same with us.  There's nothing we can do about anything either... so why worry about it?  Hey!  This is making me feel better. 

Teacher:  Oh... well, that's good, but...

Dewey:  I guess all we can do is live our lives with as much kindness and decency as possible and try not to dwell on God standing over us with that giant shovel.  Bye!

        --  From Malcolm in the Middle

Amen, my friend.  Amen.

Teri toh yaad sataye

I really missed my S. yesterday... ironically at this very random time of the day... when we were looking for someone to call to ask about public transportation (we were looking for a bus schedule)...its a long story...  and it made me kind of sad that I couldn't call her just randomly anymore... or rather that she wasn't the first person I immediately thought of...

I guess that's one of the signs that you've moved from being together to being friends... you don't just automatically think of calling them... that part of you that makes that second nature slowly wears off... i miss the second nature part...

Size matters

Ever since S. mentioned this to me a long time ago and has brought up in conversations since, I have often thought of the similarities between India and the U.S.

Having lived in both countries, I can definitely see some similarities in "country culture" if you will.  Neither India nor the U.S. really teaches its kids about the neighbouring countries that surround it.  For example, we never learned in India about Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Burma or Sri Lanka.  Never.  I knew what the chief export of Malaysia was (rubber), but I didn't know that Bangladesh had a major war with Pakistan in 1971 when over 3 million people died.  I could probably still mark the Danube river and the Atlas mountains on a blank map, but I didn't know the names of the 4 provinces of Pakistan.  If it wasn't for the LTTE being in the news all the time and my dad talking of the Naxalite movement growing up in Calcutta, I probably would have never known anything about Sri Lanka either.  Bhutan, Burma and Nepal were maybe mentioned once in class.  And, I was fortunate enough to go to one of the better schools in Bombay!

Even though I only did a year of high school in the U.S. I don't ever recall reading or hearing anything about Canada.  I found out, through random articles in newspapers and through a couple of trips there that Canada is actually a pretty amazing place.  Aside from Mr. Moore's documentary that talked about Canadians not locking their doors, Canada in a lot of ways practices what the U.S. tends to preach.  Mexico, of course, is a fascinating place with a myriad of cultures that I doubt is ever taught in classes here.  Let alone going further south into Central America. 

My point in all of this being... it does seem to be that if a region has a large country in its midst, that that country does seem to draw attention and keep attention.  I have very rarely, for example, had to explain where India is to anyone.  They usually know approximately where it is.  A lot of people even know Bombay.  I doubt I would have been as successful if I was from Thimphu or Dhaka or Rangoon. 

On a somewhat related entry... watch the movie Khamosh Paani aka "Silent Water" if you haven't already. 

I think this is because of the classic majority phenomenon.  Any time that there is a majority... whether its in terms of size, population, religion or ideology, it consumes everything around it.  Its been a very humbling experience for me to go from being a majority (Hindu) to a hyphenated life of being an "Indian-American" despite the fact that I've moved from a India to the U.S.  Maybe that's why I'm able to recognize and accept flaws in judgment and thinking that stems simply from being bigger. 

Wow... the US gov't does work!

So... the burning question on everyone's minds was finally resolved today as Khalid Sheikh Mohammed finally confessed to everything.  I love the fact that even though the majority of this world will see this and possibly laugh, its actually viewed as serious by the government.  Are you fucking kidding me??  If you trap anyone in a jail cell with no freedoms for over 6 years, they will eventually confess to killing their own grandmother.

But, what is far more troubling is the fact that there is absolutely nothing being done on college campuses about the war.  In fact, we even read that conservatism is on the rise on college campuses.  Colleges, which have historically been the hotbed for activism and catalysts for reform have just gone limp and numb like every other segment of society.  Of course, this is not to say that there haven't been any efforts... but, I just feel like there hasn't been one voice...

In the meantime, there's this... ugh...

You are....

Apparently, you can find out what Firefly character you are closest to by going here

Here was my character... hahaha... gotta love Inara!

Which Firefly character are you?

You are Inara, the registerred Companion. you are sexy, sensual and skilled, yet have trouble admitting to your emotions. You swing both ways.
Take this quiz!

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