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Archive for March, 2011

My notebook is stuck in the bedroom with sleeping DH.  So this is going to be a one for all.   The India Currents essayist wrote back to me today.  No reflection, no reasoning for her position, nothing.  It was she wrote the excerpt, book has to be a long form of the excerpt, she’s a mercenary bitch.  I sent her Jeff Yang’s article and Sophia Chua’s essay.  Two beautiful examples of writing, #1 how journalism should be done, #2 how do you defend your mother.  Third lesson of the day :
“There is really no greater or more persistent folly…than to be excited and annoyed by the fatuities of the world.”
— Michel de Montaigne

Gratitude grams:

* Nice morning with cousin and her baby
* Nice working afternoon to avoid the guilt of goofing off
* Darling DH
* Darling Quiet Contented DS
* Darling DD, such a love.

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Dialogue # 26

I’d forgotten about the idea of setting a break each hour in the calendar. Random Post brought it back.  I was thinking of skipping today’s dialogue because I had nothing to write.  It’s more I don’t want to write about what’s bothering me.  I’m being dishonest when it comes to no. of hours worked in a day.  I’m paid for 8 hours, I think I put in 4 on a good day.  I get into work around 10:30 and I leave by 3:30.  I’m supposed to wfh to fill in the rest of the hours.  Not happening.  It’s not something new.  I used to rationalize it as I work  multiple hours at other times and don’t get overtime; it will average out to 8 hours a day in the long run.  I can’t seem to get by with these stories anymore.  The guilt is corrosive. If the guilt is so bad, why don’t I stop the browsing, get to work early?  That’s what makes me think it’s Poimaiyaar playing this game on me.  Like I used to say I didn’t want to get a job after Brightware that I was doing it for the other jobless chogms who needed it more than me.  Ah, the psyche.  Bhagavan, I surrender.  Help my unbelief.

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Dialogue #25

Watching Amazing Race, this dad and daughter team won this leg and Snapple was sponsoring it.  Jeff tells them first that they get to be the first to drink the new flavour that Snapple has released.  The daughter is very perky, but you could see the this is it?! look.  And then, he goes, Snapple is going to show you the very best of India, beginning with a fabulous meal with Bollywood dance and it was getting hard for them to keep up the hooray!  And then Jeff goes, You get a million rupees provided by Snapple and the dad and daughter who looked puzzled and beginning jubilant at the word million start looking like they’re wondering if it is worth getting excited about.  At which point, Jeff finally can’t take it any longer and says it’s about $20000.  Dad and daughter look delighted and relieved.  Still LOL after an hour! 

Stig was sacked? It appears he wanted to be known too.  Can’t say I blame him. 

I talked to my dad today about the future of the business.  I wouldn’t say it went well.  So I told him I’d been at this for 2 years and I know managing this can’t be done without a person onsite.  I told him we had two options – hire from outside or wind down operations.  He said what would he do if operations were wound down?  Good question: what would he do for income?  Fair enough and I told him he’s the one who needs to answer the question.  Then the question went to debt level.  He said he had a plan to retrieve the house from the lien threat in 3 years.  I said 3 years from when, he says 2010.  And then he tried to escape with You guys meet and tell me what to do.  I shot him down.  No one makes the decision other than him.  Then he became maudlin.  I’d do it if people would leave me alone.  Everyone thinks I’m an useless buffoon. Look at what I’ve managed to do.  I started with $20000 and I’ve done so much.  And all this after a full 40 minutes from when I called.  Amma was on the phone initially – ah American kids don’t partucularly care about studying.  I’m sick of correcting stereotypes.  And then the phone cut out.  I’m going to have to write a letter saying I have no time for self-pity.

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I don’t want to go to the front room to look for my journal.  So it’s going in here.  It’s been another quiet day, I’m getting depressed that I have to search so much for that which to be grateful for.  There’s a lesson here, I haven’t recognized it yet.

* Pujai in the am.  Love the Aksharamanamalai.  Am in Che.  The verses are so simple and beautiful.  The way they get into memory is just completely amazing.  Something I look forward to every day.  I love that Bhagavan composed this verse during his Giri valam one day.  That he was moved to tears by the feeling in the poem.  I feel very close to him when I’m reciting this work.  So grateful to have the garce for its presence in my life.
* Getting started on the projects – one begun, one done, one half way through.  Origami still waiting to begin
* Lunch with the family, we had a good time and I stopped after to ask about the older gentleman at the cash register.  He was unwell, in the hospital.  I hope he gets better soon.  It felt good to ask and I think the woman appreciated the enquiry.
* Planning the Davis visits, the relief from the what if is so palpable.
* What a joy to have a life where I can spend the entire afternoon and evening in bed?!  This is just amazing and such a gift!
* Thank you Lord, for a good life!

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Dialogue #24

You know, Gretchen Rubin had it right – watching TV has to have an expectation built into it.  Then it feels good.  The watching tv to pass time or hopefully get entertained kills time, rarely entertains and is the reverse of happiness inducing.  All this, and yet, turning it off is one of the hardest things to do.  We went out for lunch to DeeDee’s and I overate.  If you look at the quantity of food, it was limited – 3 bondas, 2 thick rotis, 2 thin rotis, sabzi, shreekand, 1 dahi vada.  Really, it is not much, I eat a lot more at home.  But I couldn’t move.  All afternoon and evening (> 6hours!!) I’ve been horizontal for the most part.  Watched F/X and finally understood the movie.  I saw it in Pilani and still remember the initial chase scene for the fantastic camera work.  Then channel flipping brought me to Bride and Prejudice – so totally wince inducing and I still watched the damn thing.  The credits just rolled by – Farhan Akhtar, Santosh Sivan – how can so many rights get together to make a wrong?  Now I’m on Graham Norton.  The slow demise continues. 

I’ve got to tell my dad I can’t sustain this forever.  Wtf is the plan for next steps?  I see no end to this situation.I’m so sick of the parents’ constant argument.  When will she ever give up demanding others change to make her happy?  When will he ever respect her enough to say he should cut back?  So fricking frustrating.

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Dialogue #23

I’m SO BORED of the Friday phone call.  I don’t want to do it, it’s not like I have anything important to do at this time, but I don’t want to any more.  There is no growth a lot of fear and having to do.  Ah, forget it.  I do only what needs to be done at the moment and the next ones will take care of themselves.  But I do hope there’s some relief in the works.

Jhumpa Lahiri’s Hema and Kaushik is staying with me.  How could JL know of what she writes?  The passion, the pathos, it’s so palpable.  It’s my most favorite story of hers, for sure.  One of the best I’ve ever read.  I wonder how long they’re going to be in my head.

Am watching Gone Baby Gone.  Super movie, but I’m sleepy.  need to get to bed!

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Adya on Mar 20

Yes, it’s been a while.  I’ve been meaning to put this down, but kept getting distracted.  This time, I went by myself.  It was almost 5 hours of total silence that afternoon, really great.  I saw Adya in person the first time, then saw the internet broadcast.  I recall thinking Adya in person felt more real.  #3 was also over the web and then #4 in PA.  The interesting thing is that during #4, I was missing Adya on the web.  He was talking about something and the audience was laughing.  One, I didn’t find it funny and two, my mind went into judging the quality of the laughter.  It was a tough topic – relationships.  And amazingly, he began with the I thought.  Investigating the I-thought, that spoorthi as Nochur puts it.  Investigating this I-thought and seeing the ego (is this Adya or Bhagavan?  I’m getting confused!) is the beginning of the relationship with your true self.  It cannot occur because you’ve pulled yourself out of society and sitting in a cave or monastery or whatever.  Ok, but the Vipassana retreat was the beginning of my internal journey.  So, maybe he meant it has its uses, but you can’t count on it to shed the ego without the corresponding inquiry? 

He then said the I realization could be mental.  Or did he say it begins as a mental realization?  I think the latter.  And you’re only 50% of the way when you get here.  There’s tremendous calm, you’re in this ocean of peace,  he says in this state though, you don’t see yourself in everything.  The analogy is taking a deep breath, it doesn’t complete unless you let it out.  The letting out portion is the heart awakening.  This is when you realize Tattvamasi.  That’s the complete realization.  For me – it’s all still in the realm of words.  I just need to recall UCDavis results tomorrow and the heart constricts, the brain begins the prayer, fear and worry bloom and awareness struggles to be heard – unnishtam ennishtam.  Muruga!

One remark that’ll stay with me : You only need morality when you’ve lost the essence.  When you see yourself in everyone, when you’re in this primordial state, you don’t need morality.  When that essence is lost, you need your laws and edicts.  That’s the corollary to following your heart.  Right now, following my heart also includes ensuring I’m not causing a hardship on others.  It will not be a conscious corollary when there’s the heart awakening.

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