Friday, May 19, 2006

"Sometimes you have to get to know someone really well to realise you're really strangers."

- Mary Tyler Moore

An excerpt from Shantaram

Some Loves are like that. Most loves are like that, from what i can see. Your heart starts to feel like an over-crowded lifeboat. You throw your pride out to keep it afloat, and your self-respect and your independence. Affter a while you start throwing people out ----- your friends, everyone you used to know. And it's still not enough. The lifeboat is still sinking, and you know it's going to take you down with it.

Thursday, May 18, 2006


Mend a quarrel. Search out a forgotten friend. Dismiss a suspicion, and replace it with trust. Write a love letter. Share some treasure. Give a soft answer. Encourage youth. Manifest your loyalty in a word or deed.

Keep a promise. Find the time. Forego a grudge. Forgive an enemy. Listen. Apologise if you were wrong. Examine your demands on others. Think first of someone else. Appreciate, be kind, be gentle. Laugh a little more.

Deserve confidence. Take up arms against malice. Decry complacency. Express your gratitude. Worship your God. Gladden the heart of a child. Take pleasure in the beauty and wonder of the earth. Speak your love. Speak it again. Speak it still again. Speak it still once again.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

The tide recedes but leaves behind bright sea shells on the sand,
The sun goes down but gentle warmth still lingers on the land,
The music stops but yet it echoes on in sweet refrains...
For every joy that passes something beautiful remains.

- Anonymous


We should be taught not to wait for inspiration to start a thing. Action always generates inspiration. Inspiration seldom generates action.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Girls just wanna have fun!

(Interesting article in ToI on this Sunday)
Raj Kirtikar, 27-year-old Mumbaiite narrates, “I met this 21-year-old engineering student at the Pollyesther’s disc a while back. We danced a bit, she gave me her number, I spoke to her on the phone thrice and just five days later we went out of town together! She said she had always fantasised about having a naughty weekend with a stranger. We had a lot of fun but we knew it was just for then. We’ve never met again after that.” Dr Narendra Kumar (name changed) , father of a 20-year-old in Delhi who often spends weekends with her boyfriend, is worried. He says, “When I ask her if this is long-term, her reply is ‘no’. I guess relationships today work on a different level altogether. I don’t want to sound like a preaching father, but I really worry about her emotional well-being as she might feel used and abandoned when this relationship ends.” Nilaadri Shankar (name changed), a 23-year-old telemarketing executive currently working in Chennai, admits that she likes the excitement of one-night stands. She says, “When you’re thinking of a relationship, there are so many things you look out for in a guy. But when it’s purely for fun, it’s only about the physical attraction. I know that many older Indians think that girls who treat sex casually are slutty. But among my friends, it’s uncool to be inexperienced.” TODAY, ‘Just do it’ isn’t necessarily about athletics. Across the country, there’s a growing number of single girls in their early 20s, who have started living their personal lives by the Nike slogan. Yes, it seems casual sex is suddenly no big taboo for many young women in urban India. Men have always been the ones who are supposedly genetically and psychologically geared for a no-strings-attached sex life. And there’s a reason why ‘getting lucky’ is usually something a guy boasts about in the locker room. But things are changing and today’s Indian woman is slowly moving away from the ‘touch me not’ syndrome, where even if she did indulge in a physical relationship, she had to assuage the ‘guilt’ by assuring herself that the man in her life was there for keeps. “Now, sex is not taboo anymore. Everyone’s indulging in it. In this scenario, young girls, too, are talking about sex and initiating casual encounters quite unabashedly,” notes Mumbai social psychiatrist Dr Harish Shetty. “This is happening because many of us, including the guys, realise that virginity is an over-rated and outdated concept. I think I’ll be ready for a mature relationship later on in life. Maybe I’ll even settle down with someone my parents choose for me in the next two-three years. But right now, I don’t have the time or the inclination for a committed relationship. And I’m happy meeting so many interesting men,” says Nidhi Sanklecha, a 24-year-old PR executive from Bangalore. According to 22-year-old Ragini Chopra (name changed), who works in a Delhi-based BPO, “In the capital too, girls in their early 20s are finding it easier to have casual flings. With the marriageable age becoming 28, most girls feel that the early 20s are a time to have fun without commitment and so we have these emotionless and casual sexual encounters with boys.” She says there’s no guilt or shame ensuing from these actions because “we don’t feel we’ve done anything wrong”. Chopra adds, “Sex is no big deal. We are not looking for anything long-term in our 20s. Who wants something so serious?” Twenty-nine-year-old Mumbai-based investment analyst, Girish Bairagi (name changed), although single and happy to mingle with this new breed of bold and beddable women, admits that he is a little bewildered. “I’m not complaining, but yes, it was a little difficult for me to accept at first. There’s just no emotion involved! These 23- and 24-year-olds are very cool about going away with someone for the weekend without any fears. And suppose I tell them I’m busy, they don’t sit at home and feel upset about it. They just go with someone else or wait till I am free. It’s become as casual as having a cup of coffee together!” Delhi psychiatrist Dr Avdesh Sharma explains why this attitude prevails, “There was a time when boys in their 20s witnessed a sexual revolution. Now, it’s the turn of the girls, who are willing to experiment with their sexuality. There’s no emotional bond between partners. In fact, girls don’t want to get emotional about the boys. Here’s a new generation that just wants to satisfy its desires. We’re living in a world where popular culture is dictating our relationships and sex life. Sex is seen as fun without responsibility. There’s a lack of emotions when we have casual sex. Young girls are enjoying this emotionless hook-up.” According to analysts, this attitudinal shift stems from increasing levels of self-confidence that could be a direct result of financial independence. “BPOs, marketing and PR companies hire young employees and pay them a packet. These youngsters are then tempted to lead a lifestyle that’s far beyond their years. Influenced by books and programmes like Sex & The City and Coupling, they believe that appearing sexy raises their ‘cool quotient’. Actually having sex with a significant other or even experimenting with casual affairs is just a progression from there,” says HR consultant Binaifer Adenvala. While not all casual sex can be attributed to the BPO boom, The Times (London) did report in mid-March that one in four Indian call centre workers regularly had casual affairs. While many might decry such developments, others feel that an open attitude is healthy. Dr Cherry Das, a Kolkata-based gynaecologist, says, “I’ve had young unmarried girls coming to consult me on various sex-related subjects. I cannot comment on the moral concerns, but I’m happy that they are well aware of the dangers of unprotected sex and side-effects of pills,” she says. However, a nostrings-attached lifestyle can have a detrimental effect in the long run. Dr Sharma warns: “Frequent casual sex seekers mentally separate sex and relationships. Girls who continue to have casual sex suffer from low self-esteem and find it difficult to have long-term relationships.” Ironically, it’s the West – routinely blamed for ‘spoiling our youngsters’ – which is adopting a more puritanical stance of late. A new British study carried out at Sheffield University published research results a few weeks ago, which claimed that 90 per cent of women in certain areas of the UK (even those who have had one-night stands themselves) believe that casual sex is immoral. These views would be endorsed by many thousands in India as well. Hooking Up: The New Buzzword With the tendency for flings on the rise, books like The Hookup Handbook: A Single Girl’s Guide to Living It Up or The Happy Hook-Up: A Single Girl’s Guide to Casual Sex are being lapped up enthusiastically by youngsters. According to Andrea Lavinthal and Jessica Rozler, co-authors of the Hookup Handbook, “hooking up” is the vague phrase used to describe what happens (everything from making out to full-on sex) between two people who don’t have a foreseeable future or even a hint of commitment. “Ambiguity is the key to hooking up,” they write about this new, non-dating game. (Inputs from Nona Walia, Delhi) TIMES NEWS NETWORK