Heartfelt Gratitude

The autorickshaw strike going on in Hyderabad is causing a lot of people serious inconvenience. But this is not a post on autorickshaw drivers and their tyranny, nor is it about whether or not strikes are a good thing to have. This post is to express my gratitude toward all the people who have pitched in to help their friends and colleagues who depend on autorickshaws (like me) get to work and back in the past 10 days. To all of my friends and colleagues who are going quite a bit out of their way to pick me (and others) up in the morning, or drop us home in the evening, a million thanks. May your tribe forever grow and prosper.


Natural Progression?

Here's a set of ads that I happened to look at, while browsing on reviewjournal.com.

This is a real screenshot, honest! See how it gives you a progression:
1) Meet your match (and presumably marry them for the next step)
2) Get divorced from your spouse
3) Look for true love again
4) When you can't find it, eat chocolate and strengthen your bones in the process.

How straight and simple that looks, no?


Rolling blogs...

I am now a proud member of the Atheist Blogroll!


Mangal Attacks!!!

I am listening with half a ear right now to the news on tv. There is a report on Abishek's engagement to Ash, which is of course accompanied by the whole hullaballoo about Ash being "manglik". There have been a lot of "upay" or "workarounds" suggested to get over the bad influence of Mangal or Mars over the horroscope of the girl, including getting her symbolically married to a tree!

The general idea that everyone has of the "Manglik dosha" (don't ask me what exactly it means in terms of the horroscope, just that it involves some sinister positioning of Mars) is from weird Hindi movies where a Manglik girl gets married and then a lot of misfortune befalls her new family and so on. People never really tell you what exactly is the matter with a Manglik girl, and why people say that it is likely her husband will die. But I discovered something very interesting a few years ago about this matter.

My dad has a very good friend, who shares his interest in astrology and in fact practices it beyond the amateur interest that my dad shows in it. So one fine afternoon when these two buddies had their charts and papers strewn about and were discussing horroscopes (mine, of course) I overheard my dad asking this gentleman what being Manglik means. The gentleman assured him that is wansn't anything to worry about and generally people with the Manglik dosha have very strong sexual desires, and that is why it is recommended that they should be married to another Manglik. I suppose you can imagine what I thought about that? Well I rushed to share this news with my cousin who used to live with us, and who is also a Manglik. We sometimes still giggle about having a high enough sex drive to kill a guy from exhaustion.

Anyway both she and I got married in circumstances where our parents were not able to match our horroscopes with the guy's so I will never know if my SO is Manglik or not. But for the time being he seems to be coping well under the pressure, so to speak; in fact he seems to be positively thriving.

Of course, if you have read anything of my blog before, you will know that I do not believe a word of what horrscopes are supposed to reveal to us, and so it is all irrelevant to me. But it is sad to see that people let their entire lives be ruled by these ancient systems which have ceased to have any meaning in today's world, if they ever had any. Here you can read some interesting facts and workarounds for the Manglik Dosha. Of course, if you read this, you will know that it is all a money-making enterprise, (yep, you can pay by credit card or via direct debit from the major banks!) whether it involves buying charms or getting pujas and yagyas done to reduce the Martian terror or paying a pundit to get your daughter married to a tree!

ETA: Apparently my blog has been getting loads of hits since I wrote this post, because of the typo: "Abishek". So I won't correct it, but I will add the correct spelling "Abhishek" here too, so that I don't miss out on people Googling the correct spelling!


How was my vacation?

I've been asked why I didn't post about my vacation. Well I suppose it was not one of those life-changing vacations that people seem to have all the time, where they experience some awe-inspiring sight and then things are never the same after that. Well mine was more of a comfort vacation, being pampered, first by hotel staff, and then by a favourite aunt and her mom!

First of all, in Dubai, we stayed at the Grand Hyatt, where there are 14 different outlets to eat and drink at, and a lovely, lovely spa, where you are made to feel like a queen! There was the usual bit of shopping, specially requests from friends, some walks along the creek at night, and a lot of photography. And of course, the belly dance show!

Oman was a different story. It was laid back and peaceful, with serene white buildings all over, carefully manicured greenery all over the town of Muscat, contrasting with the rugged beauty of the mountains. Thousand year old forts provided lovely photo-ops, and so did pristine beaches with not a human in sight. And then there was the food. We had a surfeit of roast chicken and schwarma to choose from. Not to mention the heavenly cooking of my great-aunt. Who had pulled out all stops to pamper her "naat-jamai" (loosely translated as "grandson-in-law") on his first visit. There were daily siestas and scenic walks overlooking the sea. There was a barbecue party and there were gifts from relatives (ooooh yes!). It was a time to recharge and relax, which we did in spades. Go look at some pictures...