Restless as always

The things that surround me and make me restless enough to write about

The midnight madness January 4, 2010

Filed under: Experience,Funny — theWiseGirl @ 12:13 pm

Okay, regard me as boring, but I like my 8 hours of  good night’s sleep. It makes me fresh and I feel healthy, energetic and ready to combat the big bad world that awaits me everyday. If it is not too much for you to digest, I love waking up early, especially at 6 AM in the morning, feel the morning freshness, the warmth, the pure sunshine which falls for the first time on the window.

Okay, enough of the Wordsworth. The basic idea that I want to explain is that I like my sleep. And I like getting up early, which is a result of a very good night’s sleep. Yesterday night was no different. Yesterday was a fun day. We went out for a nice brunch, roaming in and around the city, just having a good time until we were so tired that our legs couldn’t keep up. Then after such an exciting day, I went to bed and fell asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow. Perfect Ending? Well not quite.

The phone rang in the middle of the night.

Now to think of it, I don’t even remember of having picked up the phone. And I don’t remember the first part of the conversation. On the line was a friend, asking something about an interview she would be having some day and wanted to talk about it.

Heres a snippet of that conversation. The first few exchanges have been drafted because I simply don’t remember what I told her.

Friend: Hey, hello

Me: Hi!

Friend: Were you sleeping?

Me: No no. I wasn’t. I was doing some financial modelling on the weekdays.

Friend: What?

Me: You remember? What we used to do before? Like on the basis of Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays? With every day we kind of did an analysis in the paper Financial Statement Analysis?

Friend: What? Okay this is not making any sense.

Me:  Well you know the Mondays and Wednesdays. We used to do that. I was doing that. We took the mondays and the wednesdays and assigned a ratio and stuff.

Friend: Were you doing something like…monday’s child full of grace etc?

Me: Ah yes. yes. Right.

Friend: But how does that relate to Financial Statement Analysis?

Me: (fully conscious now) Never mind. I shall explain it to you later. Did you have something to talk about?

After quite a few assurances that I was doing something related to Financial Statement Analysis and would definitely explain the content later, I steered the conversation about the interview and we talked about an hour. At the end none of us had the remembrance of the first part of our conversation and everything ended happily ever after.

Or so I hope.

 

A Merry Song December 1, 2009

Filed under: Economy,Funny,Hope — theWiseGirl @ 1:37 pm





I was going  with a mind today to congratulate everyone on this wonderful Q2 7.9% growth in India which we have achieved, beyond all odds, breaking the shackles of the strongest of chains and running free into the green meadows, with yellow daisies all around and blue butterflies flying everywhere with chirping sparrows. It is almost Spring again in this beckoning Winter. Even though you may find prices of your daily breakfast doubling by 3 folds, who cares? It is the economy, silly! And we are all part of it!

But somehow in my mundane life of particularly no significant events that might change the course of the Mayan Calendar, and those grey skies and soundproof rooms with venetian blinds that comes between me and the full bloom of nature and and my constant deliberations with myself to find reasons for my miserable existence, I forgot to celebrate this joyous occasion. Join me, my loyal readers to sing this merry song.

Hey hey ho ho. We finally made it through

Take a look at the growth rate we got,

Which we shall share with you not.

But lets dance and sing and do a wonderful thing

To rejoice at the blings which the FIIs bring

Hey hey ho ho. We finally made it through


Everyone is happy and everyone is smiling,

When we  can see the Sensex is climbing,

The Finance Minister can’t hide smiles,

Coz the growth in Q2 has increased by miles.

Hey hey ho ho. We finally made it through


Dark days of sub-prime has told us buh-byes

We shall now go and reach some new highs

Christmas has come early And we have extended our Diwali

Lets hope this year shall end up perfectly!

Hey hey ho ho We finally made it through


If you are China, let me say, we are right behind you.

If you are America, let me say, debt doesn’t suit you.

We went ahead and put our head

And we just got the 7.9% growth rate.

Hey hey ho ho we finally made it through!

Hey hey ho ho ho ho ho

na na na na na na na

Dum di dum dum dum da.

(Okay thats enough, I shall stop now. :|)

 

The Chase September 3, 2009

Filed under: Experience — theWiseGirl @ 3:32 pm

chaseAn all time favorite pastime of quite a few of my friends is to always glance at what other people around us have ordered whenever we go to any restaurant.  It is not only before we order or during the time we are waiting for our own order to arrive.  They even do it while our order is right there on our table.

This is some light-hearted fun which they involve themselves in. And somehow, it is the story of all our lives. The desire, the cravings of what we don’t have is relentless. It overpowers us to such extremities. It clouds our minds and it constantly engulfs our thoughts.

Like for example, this movie buff I know who is always downloading some movie or the other. He never gets tired of it.  The funny part is that I seldom see him spending his time watching one. He is downloading one after the other and the next and then the next. It is the desire to own every good movie he has probably heard of in his lifetime. But the desire to watch one is sadly missing. The enjoyment of watching a movie has taken a backseat.

Something far more interesting to note is the desire to own rather than the desire to enjoy what you own. The student is always chasing and worrying after a job. The professional is worried after the promotion. The top boss is worried about the more profits and expansion of the business. One may comment that it is not worry but the desire to surge ahead than the rest.  But what happens when you finally do surge ahead from the rest? What do you do when you do not have anything else to achieve? 

Quite fortunately, there is no answer to that question. No matter how much this intelligent life form has achieved in its short period of existence, the list of achievements to be achieved are endless. That is why, the two people in this country, who if put together can topple the richest man in the world with their assets, still continue to fight against each other for petty little things.

And sadly, it is the same with relationships. You run after this boy/girl who seems to endearing and charming to you. He/she is enigmatic and mysterious and is all that what you always crave for. You chase him/her throughout. And when you finally have what you always wanted something goes amiss. It becomes tedious to carry on the relationship. You have read him/her thoroughly inside out, and now it doesn’t seem to be worth fighting for. Worth living for.

No one can leave this chase. It is what our life is made of. Someone told me, that if this chase ends, our life ends too. It is one of those true things about life. Just like death is life’s biggest truth, this chase fits as a sub-clause, I suppose.  It is what drives life, and it is what slows it down, eventually.

 

Roger Federer: A champion like no other July 6, 2009

Filed under: Experience,Sport — theWiseGirl @ 9:02 am

r4208183071We humans tend to oversimplify every question we don’t seem to have answers to. The need to know a definitive answer to every question is what makes us rather desperate at times and even though the answer may not be provided, we form our own quickly.

The answer to such a question was ready to be provided in the Wimbledon final on Sunday between Andy Roddick and Roger Federer. Federer returned to the final once again to heal the scars of 2008 final where Rafael Nadal, had beaten him in that epic final to take away the crown he had guarded for 5 years.

Yesterday, Nadal wasn’t there to defend his crown for a knee injury. And Federer was there to take another piece of history with him.

Six months ago, the so called tennis enthusiasts of the world with their pompous and rather sophomoric opinion had written off Roger Federer, and declared that a new direction had dawned upon Men’s tennis which was now headed by Rafael Nadal. The losses in French and in Wimbledon in 2008, and another loss in a grand slam final to Rafael Nadal in 2009 had made them instinctively jump upon the foregone conclusion that Roger Federer’s days were possibly numbered.

That all changed in the French open, this time when Federer lifted the trophy by beating Robin Soderling, a man responsible for ousting his nemesis, Rafael Nadal from the tournament.

The question of who is the greatest of all time in tennis history has driven us to the greatest depths. When Sampras retired from the game, we all probably thought that we had seen the best and there would be none who could have dominated the sport as he did. Now, as Roger Federer wins the 15th Grand slam in his career, at an age of 27 years which importantly includes grand slams in all surfaces, we have all formed a new opinion.

The Wimbledon final yesterday was written to be one-sided by all the newspapers in England, terming Andy Roddick to be “a career whipping boy” of Federer by one of them. They couldn’t be more wrong. Federer started out struggling with Roddick’s service games, unable to get any openings and himself struggling with many uncharacteristic errors. The gulf became visible when Andy Roddick took the first set on the event of another Federer error. And things seemed almost bleak for him when Roddick led with a 6-2 on the tiebreak in the second set. Some would call it a stroke of luck and some would call it destiny when Andy chose to return a ball which was obviously going out to commit an error which would cost him the set and eventually the match.

Federer, a 5 time Wimbledon Champion, unable to break the Roddick serve took the 3rd set on a tiebreak. Roddick would level the match at two sets a piece in the 4th, breaking the Federer serve. And thus began 95 minutes of pulsating tennis.

30 games were played in the final set, where Federer had regained a certain composure and had realized the inevitable that he just had to break the Roddick serve, which he had not done in 4 sets. Even though, the final seemed tense and unnerving, it never seemed that Federer might lose this final to someone whom he had beaten 18 times in 20 meetings. As Rod Laver, Bjorn Borg and Pete Sampras looked on, Federer stayed with Roddick, and kept on holding serve and hoping for an opening. It finally came when the court had uneven sunshine and shadow, which caused some sort of distraction to Roddick and Federer took it with it came a  piece of his immortality.

Andy Roddick seemed like a rejuvenated man. He has obviously worked hard on training and improving his skills in the net and has worked on the variety of shots. Most importantly he has understood how to use his service as a weapon. I believe that Roddick seemed a better player yesterday and it is definitely a match of what-could-have-beens for him. Even he knew it too, when he couldn’t hide his disappointment at being the runners up.

While watching this final in what seemed to be a match Federer could have easily lost in straight sets, I thought that the answer whether Federer is the greatest tennis player or not can never be answered. The tournaments will continue to exist, and we would expect him to win each tournament. The world would expect him to beat Rafael Nadal in the French, win a Grand slam. The list is endless. And we would still be having a debate whether he is the greatest or not. Such a pursuit doesn’t bring any satisfaction. Even if he is not the greatest, it has been astonishing to watch a player like Roger Federer adorning the sport with his magical play. And even if some kid would beat his records one day, he would still be Roger Federer, a champion like no other.

 

And it begins May 17, 2009

Filed under: Hope,Politics — theWiseGirl @ 3:23 am

At first, it had started as normally as always. The arrogant interviews on local television news channels, the smug speeches, the distasteful comments on opposition leaders. But the signs were always there. I suppose we all missed the desperate attempts by the CPI(M) when they tried their hands at caricatures and unhealthy banners around the city on the opposition leaders and the party.

But there was no reason to be hopeful. Every election, hope is what gets denounced. It starts out promising, with the anger towards the governing party as never before, only to Not get translated into votes. As always, the anger, the rejection was there to be seen. From bus stops to shops, from workplaces to restaurants, overhearing such conversations would not have taken you much of an effort.  But the question in my mind was, would the anger be represented in the mandate?

The writing is there on the wall, now. It is unthinkable and unimaginable to some of the opposition leaders who quite unabashedly say that they never believed this could happen! Not the most politically correct statement to make, but that is a ground reality. If you take the case of the city, not one seat has gone to the CPI(M), throwing the whole industrialization factor out of the window. This picture bears no resemblance to the one painted in the 2004 elections when the opposition just got one seat out of the entire 42 seats in West Bengal.

How did this happen? For once, it is heartening to know that people with the cosmopolitan people included, agree that development cannot happen excluding the people. That industrialization at the cost of people is not acceptable. That leaders who are smug and take the people for granted can no longer remain their chosen leaders. Secondly, I am amazed at the will and determination of the people to go to vote and stand for hours when the forces of the Government did anything and everything to discourage them. Violence, insult, jamming of poll booths and all the other regular activities were not enough to stop a more than 60% voting at various places. The resentment was so strong that it has remained, rather increased from the Panchayat polls. And for once, hope is what has returned to Bengal after 25 years.

It is now for us to look beyond. This is the people’s mandate and Mamata Banerjee has to carry this to the Centre, where she is the single largest ally. West Bengal is a very badly run state and we would need concerted efforts for the rebuilding of it. I would say, I am not very satisfied at the mandate at the Centre because the Government had failed on many fronts in the last 5 years and it is only the incapability of the opposition at the Centre which has been unable to focus on issues which matter the most and has brought about the irrelevant ones. But it has turned to be the best I could have hoped for, with the Left front turning irrelevant  as to who forms a Government at the Centre.

Agreed that one thinks that Mamata Banerjee is a bit mad and hysterical, but it took a mad and hysterical woman to bring down a Left inclination in Bengal, so much so that they have now become a minority. For once, I can only hope that the CPI(M) will now start treating the opposition with a bit of respect as a formidable force and not go on about their smug speeches against her. It is too much to ask for anyway.

It is a long way to go now. But the hard thing is over. For once the people are on other side. And the fight has just begun.

 

Emotionally Not-Yours March 8, 2009

Filed under: Disturbing,Experience — theWiseGirl @ 11:26 am

In a relaxed Sunday Afternoon, sitting on a bench across the open area of a famous shopping mall in Calcutta and looking at people passing by, P suddenly remarked

“You know, everybody in this world has a soulmate. And I am looking forward to finding her soon!”

Me: “You can’t be serious! Are you telling me that you believe the soulmate theory?”

P: “What is so wrong? I think there is a special someone for everybody.”

Me: “You have finally gone nuts, then. So, how do you plan to find this soulmate of yours? Will there be thunder? Lightning? Spotlight when she enters?”

P: ” Yeah. I was also hoping for some music and song and dance routine, you know. So that I would instantly know, its her.”

This conversation happened years ago. May be such a long time ago, that it wouldn’t seem to be strange at that age to discuss it. But quite frankly, as we grew up, or rather as I grew up, it is quite startling to find that not much has changed in this notion of soulmate which can be just laughed away or considered to be just a stupid, childish thought.

For a long time now, I have been seeing many of friends falling in and out of love. It is a strange feeling to watch and listen to their stories. Their everyday experiences, their happiness in the good times and their agony of the bad times. But most of the time, it is the latter which truly distresses me. Every one of these stories, mind you, start out to be the perfect romance of the century, promising to tear down all the boundaries and to be a worthy historical account  of greatest tales of love in the modern world of tall buildings inhabited by money mongers. But quite sadly, they almost always, end in a catastrophe.

The stories are all quite similar and familiar. As I said earlier, it starts being perfect, then people realize that the courtship period is over so that they can be themselves, and then they realize they don’t like each other so they have to treat the relationship as a burden which needs to be carried on. Finally, the volcanic eruption happens through the cracks, the molten lava comes out quickly and well, that’s the end of it all.

During the periods of unlimited bliss though, the lines are wonderful. “Oh, she has been a huge emotional support for me” or “I love him more than myself” and the like. And I sit and smile, and I wonder, why do people need an external emotional support when they have themselves? Or, can a man or a woman possibly love someone more than himself or herself? Is that really possible? I dare not read these questions aloud, because I already have a very bad reputation of being cynical person always crying doom when things are going hunky-dory. I know that. But emotional dependency on people is something so difficult for me to relate to, that it makes me say aloud, “You know, you shouldn’t be so emotionally involved”.

“Oh! I love him and very serious about this relationship. And besides what do you know? We are even thinking about opening joint bank accounts”

Yeah, that’s a pretty serious thing. It scares the living daylights out of me, you know. The idea of opening joint bank accounts with my boyfriend would pretty much rob me off my peaceful life.

But anyway, most people really don’t agree with me when I say this, that the moment you become emotional with something or someone, the end result would only be a very big disaster. It is because, that treating people with emotions makes us irrational. It pretty much makes us stupid. And stupid people don’t make good decisions or they don’t handle situations like smart people, who think logically. So the whole volcano and the molten lava story gets inserted here.

Emotions is not the correct E. The correct E is Empathy. One needs to understand that people are living beings and they have their own life where they need to play a lot of roles. Roles need to be prioritized, and since human beings are essentially narcissistic , we like to spend more time on those things which makes us happy and which are a lot of fun. Now if a relationship has been squeezed out of the fun factor, (and I don’t mean fun as a euphemism only), it is obvious that a role in that relationship would not be prioritized compared to watching football with the friends on a weekend. And for a relationship to be fun, it needs to less of the emotional baggage of the have-tos and the expectations of the should-haves. It is but only natural, that taking things slowly and enjoying the ride is the best way to go rather than conducting the merry go round all by yourself.

“Oh that’s a very crude way of putting things!” I hear you say, but unfortunately it is for the  better.

 

The plague called Optimism January 17, 2009

Filed under: Cynicism,Disturbing,Economy,Exasperation — theWiseGirl @ 5:01 am

The title of the post will possibly raise many eyebrows, and I will try my best to send your eyebrows to Mars  after  you have finished reading it. Well, that’s an optimistic start.

The good thing about writing a blog is that you suddenly attain this position of authority, and yet  at the same time, distance yourself from the reality as if the situation in no way affects you. That possibly, you haven’t committed the same mistakes which you would like to point out here. It is so amusing to write,  to dictate, to prove the follies we commit, the fallacies associated with our lives and not be humble enough to accept our mistakes or rectify them.

For years I have wondered the state of mind of being “Optimistic”. What does it actually mean? And how is it supposedly superior to being “Pessimistic”? The Bear can make as much money as the Bull. Logically, the Bear will make money when the Bull will not. And vice-versa. But there is a counter argument to it, which says, even the Bear is “optimistic” about the bad times in market.

Human beings would always like to be optimistic. It is a good thing, to be optimistic, to hope that things will turn around, that there will be light in the end of every dark tunnel, to know what you are doing is always right and believe that it will yield results. But that is where the main reasons for debacle lie.

Look around you. Do you see good things? How is your life?  Does the future seem bright? No. No at this moment. No matter what status you have in your society, no matter how much you earn, no matter how secure your life is, the future does not seem too good.  But why? Why this is so, possibly lies in the instinct of human beings being  “Optimistic”. The belief that things just cannot go wrong. The absence of humility that plagues us, erodes us every day, preventing us to believe, that we can go wrong.

This is not about always treating ourselves as failure. That is not the point I am driving at. The hindrance to development does not lie in the instance of thinking that we can go wrong. On the contrary, it might help us to reassess what we are doing or what we are about to do. This cannot be termed as second thoughts. But it is just giving us a space to look at things from a different angle, and to try to make all angles perfect. But our prejudice forbids us to explore.

We just cannot face up to the fact that we may be wrong, we may be incompetent and we may not possess appropriate skills. Sometimes, when we attain a certain age or status, learning is seen to be a matter of disgrace. I feel that the word “Learning” has some sort of a long term (equal to Economics’ terminology) connotations attached to it. This is absolutely not true. Learning is continuous. It happens every day, every minute, and every second of our life. This process of learning and replicating is so subconscious and so continuous, that we possibly do not even understand or stop to look at, or marvel at this process. But there are some things in life which need to be consciously learned, and replicated.

For that we need the humility. Humility, I am afraid, cannot be learned.

It was this optimism; that things just could not go wrong; which made people in US cash in on the Realty Boom. Everyone knows about the roots of this recession. But no one questions the Why. Why didn’t anyone anticipate the fall in the demand? And why didn’t anyone reassess the situation; how will things change if the demand fell? And why did anyone not act upon it?

It is not the Greed, that people so scornfully refer to, that has destroyed Economies after Economies. Greed, per se, does not destroy you. The fables of Ali Baba does not hold true in the age of Capitalism anymore. Rather, if you do not have the Greed, you probably will not explore potential areas of growth. And the importance of Growth cannot be overemphasized anywhere.

It is Humility of not accepting that Human Beings can go wrong, because they are humans.

It is Optimism, and illogical Optimism that, which makes us turn the blind eye to us being Humans.