If you know me in the 'real-world'... Keep it to yourself.

Do NOT tell my friends and family about this blog!

This blog is a work in progress. Eventually, when it grows up, it wants to look pretty. Or maybe dark and dangerous.

Hmm... well come back later and see for yourself...

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b) too lazy to look up my email address from my profile
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Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas 2008

Been in Goa less than two days but it seems like ages. Running around with decorations last minute, last minute Christmas shopping, midnight mass at Don Bosco's, it's just like almost every Christmas of my life.

And yet...so many things are different this year.

The deco was over really fast since we used an artificial fibre-optic tree this year. Till last year we kept up the tradition of driving to Campal, paying some guy to cut branches of pine trees, then dragging them behind the car all the way home n then struggling each year to find a new way of putting up the 'tree'. For the past few years we also used our new fibre-optic tree. This year finally we mutually decided that the new tree was good enough n no one missed the trek to Campal.

This year was the first time we were ready early for midnight mass.
This year we had to park far away from the chapel n stand in line to walk through metal detectors cos of the terrorist threat.
This year there was a new choir n though they did their best something just wasn't right.
This year my cousins were going to a dance n though they asked me to join them I preferred going home with my folks.
This year I'm on my way to Margao instead of sitting at home n entertaining all my friends who drop by.
This year I'm using my phone to surf cos we have visitors n I'm not getting any time to sit on my comp n take advantage of the great broadband speeds we get here.
This year I got a lot of Christmas gifts I really liked.
This year I gave a lot of gifts and realised I enjoy that even more.
This year I feel that I've outgrown who I was and I'm ready to be who I'll become.

Merry Christmas everyone.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

This is me...

My "column" in the blog is going to be a fictional account of an anonymous girl.

That's me. The Anonymous Girl.

I've lived in Goa, Bangalore, Bombay, Delhi and Pune and I don't know where I'll be this time next year.

But today I am where I am... in a little anonymous colony surrounded by weirdos. The colony where the woman in the next building just waits till her husband goes to work before her boyfriend shows up, the colony where two young guys share a flat and have 2 girlfriends each, the colony where the watchman either comes to work drunk, or doesn't come to work cos his son beat him up, the colony where the odd job man seems to be manic-depressive...

I could go on and on... I am surrounded by strange people and strange happenings... and trust me you're gonna hear about them all... because this is my life, these are my opinions, and I don't really have anything else to write about...


Found out something strange yesterday and just had to share.

For those who haven't heard of it, Feni is distilled liquor from cashews. It's loved by many, hated by even more, and Goa's most famous product.

For years Goans have been telling others about the 'undrinkableness' of Feni. The way it burns its way down your throat, the fact that it's the strongest drink around. For years Goans have stood back, watched as a non-goan took his first sip of cashew feni and then had a good laugh at the expression on his face.

Many Goan children are allowed a sip or two of feni at quite a young age as it's considered a miracle cure for colds and stomach upsets alike.

Yesterday I was chatting with a friend of mine (Suspect - for those who've been here before) and feni was mentioned. And he said he loved it. I was puzzled. How did an 18 year old Noida kid get a taste for feni. I knew he'd visited Goa once and figured that he'd tasted it then. But this trip of his was more than a year previously and was a 'family' vacation. I couldn't really see his parents giving him feni to drink!

Well I asked him about it and then the whole story came out... Apparently while I thought feni was safely at home in Goa its been kicking up its heels all over the place. It reached Noida! Thats not even one of the main metros.

Apparently feni is the drink of choice for anyone who wants to get drunk. It's 'cheap, great for getting drunk and tastes good with whatever cheap additive is around' in Suspect's own words.

According to Suspect, up north everyone is creating 'bastardized feni cocktails' with red bull / tetrapack orange juice / three week old coconut milk / and even pineapple juice!!

It's like a child I once knew grew up when my back was turned. And not only that, apparently the child has become a world traveller and is sleeping around with trash!

Feni, feni... roaming so far from home...

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Pillars of the Earth

Ken Follett's best book is unquestionably the Pillars of the Earth.

I first read it around 10 years ago. I don't know why I ever picked up such a fat book. Guess I was so taken with 'Eye of the Needle' that I thought such a big book would be twice as good.

Well soon after I started I realised that this book was nothing like the other Ken Follett novels. This one had no spies, no cliff hangers, and yet... I kept reading. And when I finished I knew that one day, some day, I would buy the book.

I'd forgotten all about that thought, conceived so many years ago. But a fortuitous chain of incidents made me the owner of this 1076 page classic.

If you enjoy reading please go out and get this book. I thought I could no longer get lost in a book. This book showed me how wrong I was. I was away from my computer this weekend and I had a lot of catching up to do yesterday, BUT... I made the mistake of starting with the book. I didn't put it down till about 3 or 4 am. Today morning I was so engrossed in it I only realised the time when the driver gave me a buzz. I even skipped lunch just so I could focus on the book. And finally, it's finished. I can eat, drink and blog. :) Leave behind the 12th centuary and rejoin this one...

Damn.. now I wish it was twice as big...

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Freedom of Religion

I'm sick and tired of religion. And I don't care who knows it. I'm tired of the divisions it has caused, the pain it has brought, the barriers it has built.

Don't get me wrong. Religion has its strong points. It gives people a reason to be good, hope for a life after this one, a better life than this one.

But wait a minute. Is it religion that does all that or just belief in God?

As far as I'm concerned anyone who believes in God, believes in good and evil, and all the consequences that follow. All that religion should be, is the organised worship of that God. Not something that destroys the brotherhood of man.

Unfortunately, today religion has become a shortcut to war. I worship this way. So should you. Because of course God cares how we worship him. Just loving him and being good isn't enough anymore.

You don't believe in my God. And you follow such strange customs. Ofcourse you can't marry into my family. Though all of us are the children of one God, you call God by another name and he's so offended that he's excommunicated you.

I'm not letting my flat to those people. They have such disgusting habits.

I'm not working with that guy, he's a ______

All ______ can't be trusted.

I'm against the multiplicity of religions. And the ease with which new ones are created each day. Take Scientology for instance. Scientology is a way of life, a belief system, NOT a religion. And yet, because of the great privileges "religion" has, Scientology has happily carved itself a home under the umbrella of freedom of religion.

The concept of freedom of religion was created so that people could be FREE. Not forced into one particular mode of worship. And what it has become is something far different. An excuse for rituals and an excuse for rigidity. An excuse for finding fault and an excuse for intolerance.

People commit atrocities in the name of religion. Would the world be a haven of peace without religion? No, not particularly. Wars will always happens, neighbours will often fight. But at least no one would be insulting God by claiming to fight in His name.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Beginning once again...

I started and finished the outlining for the book. I'm hoping that will help me once the blues hit in between. As long as I don't stop in between I think I should finish it in a year or so.

I know thats a long time, but it's better than deciding to finish it in 6 months and then getting disappointed.

Well I wrote one new chapter today so am pretty happy with myself. Hope this blog helps me get some discipline into my writing.


Just googled "worlds apart" and guess what, it's already being used for, in the authors own words, "an interactive tale of self-discovery, set in an alternate universe."

So for now I'll just tag this as 'alternate universe'.

World's apart

I've been writing a book since 2006.

What's that you say?

You think it's completed and I'm on my first rewrite?

Well you obviously have either a) never attempted writing a novel or b) you're one of those super organised people who puts aside a fixed amount of time to write each day.

My way of writing is to write like crazy when the mood is upon me. Then suddenly I'll relax and rest on my (imaginary) laurels. After a few months the urge will strike me again, I'll read over what I wrote before, and then I'll promptly scrap out most of it and rewrite it.

And the same cycle repeats again and again.

I think I shouldn't leave these long gaps between writing sessions. Too many things change in my head and that forces me to rewrite. If I write more consistently I think the story will grow with me.

And eventually, the story will have a life of its own.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

The Conclusion of 'Goan Girl'...

I just stumbled across this blog and it did bring back so many memories...

I'm going to fill in my story over the past 2 yrs...

In my last post I was supposed to attend a conference where my old prof was teaching.

Well I went for it. He was very nice, I was very nice. I introduced my folks to him afterwards and being the warm, nice people they are they renewed my offer to show him around. HE accepted very graciously. We set off, my prof, me, my dad and my sis. We took him to various places in Goa, like Old Goa, Calangute, took him all over Panjim city and wound up with dinner at Sea Pebbles.

The next day we met him again n took him shopping. When we dropped him back he promised to get in touch. And since then... nada. zip. I haven't heard from him since then though I emailed him twice.

Well after that I thought about joining the Asian School of Cyber Laws but I wanted to know if I could also help them out part time on real cases. That didn't seem possible and then on the 13th of November I answered an interview at my college for a KPO in Pune. I wasn't that interested in the interview but I got through n thought I'd give it a shot.

The Pune branch of that KPO started with just about 30 associates, of which I was one.

Now there are more than 400 employees in Pune alone. And my designation is Asst. Manager.

Sometimes things do work out. In Jan I'll complete 2 yrs in Pune. Life is good here and while I do miss Goa sometimes I'm not ready to go back yet.

That being the case I think it's time the name of this blog was changed. From 'Goan Girl' to....

Well I haven't decided that yet.

Wait n see.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008