Thursday, August 30, 2012

The choice of marriage

Marriages are made in heaven. We earthlings just choose whether we like it arranged or with a lot of love sprinkled in.

The debate between love and arranged marriage is a never ending one. With either side presenting points to prove their one-upmanship, it represents a perfect see-saw. In my opinion the choice of marriage is more got to do with preference rather than which is right. With no one able to say which is a full proof wedlock for happy times ahead it adds to the confusion. And yes, with the world to please regarding your decision it’s easily said than done.

For me, marriage is the coming together of various things. Love – the cement that holds people together, understanding – not needing words to explain yourself, trust – the unshakable pillar and compatibility – matching the right wavelength. But in order to reach all this and make the ultimate life changing decision of marriage one requires time. After all marriage doesn't come with an undo option and in a country like India divorce is still a taboo.

In our fast paced lives where noodles is preferred over biryani giving time and getting to know someone well is a difficult task. Now some might say let’s go with the easy thing of letting our parents bear the headache of choosing a partner for us. The best part of this arrangement is that we get the most important certificate of approval from the ones we want it the most (in one way or the other. After all a wedding snap without your parents in it no matter how grand doesn't look good). The bad side of this arrangement is since the partner is not your choice and you hardly know him/her married life becomes more of a discovery rather than a journey together. Also it’s more of an acceptance of the other resulting in a compromise.

In love marriage you know the person inside out (that's if it is done well). It’s your choice and your decision. Hence as long as the two people in love are convinced that they two are the ones for each other nothing can and should keep them apart. Where convincing your parents is concerned that's a tough thing, but with proper convincing and the basic understanding of the fact that the happiness of the parents lie in the happiness of their children, I guess such a thing can be sorted.  

If you’re thinking I must be married to know all this then NO. If you want to know what my choice would be then it’s a no brainer – Love marriage. I would prefer however bad my marriage is to be the result of my decision rather than someone else’sJ. To know more about this whole entire marriage fiasco you may visit

Friday, August 24, 2012

Is she the one for me?

How do you realize that the person with whom you are at present is the one for your entire life?
Alternatively, to gauge accurately when you see someone for the first time or like somebody for few days or months as, it’s the person who can be your soul mate. My question can be further modified for those who are single viz., how do you go on to find the perfect match for yourself?

To find the answer for these is certainly not any rocket science…but the solution for this would inspire you to relish the basics of life. It can be presumed similar to the basic concepts of Mathematics or physics…you follow the rules and you go on to get what you desire…but there are things you cannot achieve such as 2+2 =5.

As we all know each and every one of us has a different motive of life, and these motives would walk you through to your goals…and finding a match for oneself is certainly not any different.
When you think about your future…what do you think of at first?
Money? Fame ? Status? Love? Career? Relation?
I would pinpoint the relationship of our ambitions with those of our choice of a life partner a bit later…at first do spare a moment and think (I am speaking from a man’s prospective, change it according to your gender) what is more important to you a girl who is rich, or a girl who is intelligent or someone who is beautiful, or may be someone who is very social or a girl who understands you and is compatible?

There are pros and cons of everything and when it comes for life it is more diverse than anything in this world. No path can be qualified as inadequate or wrong. It all depends on the thinking of a particular person…if for someone money is of highest priority he would surely go for a girl who is rich. If career is one’s highest priority he would go for a girl who is intelligent and educated. If fame or status is one’s priority then he would go for a girl who is social and is renowned. On the other hand if love is one’s priority then also there are few things to ponder before you ultimately find your life partner.
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In one of my earlier blog Love marriage & arranged marriage…!!!
I have concentrated on how one should decide amongst love or arranged marriage together with the pros and cons of both…so as per my philosophies Love cum arranged marriage is the one which is more suited for any particular person in general. And I would take it as a prerequisite for my next discussion.

This question is for all whether you are single or engaged…what are the qualities that you like the most when you think of a girl as your partner for life?

What is it that you would look as a mandate while choosing your partner for life? Even if you fell in love at the first sight or got engaged after few meetings what is it that you liked the most in your opposite sex?
How often have you heard about the stories that everything was fine till the day a couple were lovers and everything changed when they got married. Or the people who willingly got married are not at all happy with their love life? am about to disclose the mantras for life and am cent percent sure if all the people abide by these principles the divorce rates would surely fall and everybody would be happy in their married life also.
As I stated earlier there’s a rule for life and while choosing a life partner, the rule is to know the qualities which would last and which won’t. You need to appreciate and to instigate the qualities which are a must when you transform from lovers to Husband & Wife.
Lets first visualize the major problem we see amongst the modern youth today…everyone has a boyfriend/girlfriend…if you ask them, how serious are they about their future the answer with majority of them would be not sure. They are couples not because they really want to be a life partner but because today it’s like a status symbol and the one who doesn’t have a boyfriend or girlfriend feels inferior or doomed. To spend one’s life with someone is certainly not a status symbol so guys please take this notion out of your mind that you have reached college or is a graduate and you have to have a partner. If your motive is your entire life then it’s a completely different situation then.

Now coming to all those who are engaged or are planning to engage themselves because one loves someone for her beauty. Love at first sight also comes to this category…my question to all those people is: how would you defend yourself when the person whom you love finds someone who is more handsome then you? Or won’t you turn your path when you meet someone who is more beautiful than the person you are dating at present? Believe me or not but it’s true, relationship based on looks seldom survives…beauty is only a skin deep…if you don’t find any other reason for loving the person you are with at present…you relation is bound to break in very near future.
Another important aspect is Richness…there are many people who believe money can solve all their problems including their love life so it’s better to find someone who is rich as it would ensure future stability financially and they could enjoy all the luxuries…this is another wrong notion that people generally have…yes with money you will have a quality of life which you would have dreamt but to spend your entire life with someone primarily for money will make you think one day…”Money can buy everything but not Love.” You are not a commodity which can be weighted alongside anybody’s wealth so guys do think before you take any step while choosing someone for his/her money as with time the only person to blame would be you yourself and at that time you won’t be able to turn time clock back to your past even if you have billions.
Another aspect that comes next is intelligence, nature, behavior, character and all those stuff that you associate a person with...again these are all necessary but not heart and soul of a relation to last...still one major thing is missing…you can marry someone who is very intelligent, has pleasant nature, good behavior, sound character but then to live your entire life with a person you need something more than these things…
By now you might all be wondering what is it? You may also come to a conclusion that it’s genuine love between the individuals which is a must… but the answer is no it’s not love. Yes it’s more important than anything that I stated above but the most important factor is the understanding between the two people. How compatible are you among yourself…how easily can you rectify others mistakes and guide them to overcome their weakness/failures. How do you handle adverse situations such as disputes or misunderstandings… In (married)life you will face many ups and down and so be better prepared for those mishaps…so that when you do need to walk on the edge of swords your spouse and you are footed on the same boat…so that time couldn’t split you up…so my sincere advise to all the people would be choose someone who loves you for what you are and is compatible with you as such whose love doesn’t change with change in time.
There are many things in life and about a person which changes over time but I stated only time as it alone signifies all other changes…
Life is not a piece of cake where you open your refrigerator, take a munch and eat it whenever you want…it’s about how you utilize this cake in your life so that you can make use of this cake in the most efficient way so as to bring utmost satisfaction and then you don’t have to rue over it once it’s over

Life’s journey is a long journey but when you spend it with your caring and loving beloved the entire journey would seem to you as if it passed in a fraction of second. A love which is understanding, caring, loving and compatible will last even if our decisions doesn't…as with time you can change your decisions but not your feelings.

Talking about decisions…do think about the answer of this question long and hard before you come up to any conclusion… Is she the one for me?

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Appytising #NokiaAppTasting IndiBlogger meet.

Bloggers are a different breed altogether. I have said it before and shall say it again. The ability to communicate, interact and speak your mind come what may, comes naturally to them (like publicly announcing at an event that you're only there for the dinner even though you may be just 12 years old is a perfect example). The IndiBlogger meet was a tribute to them, their way of life and their species.

On the 19th of August 250 odd bloggers from various parts of Bombay (some even came from nearby places like Surat and Poona…wowJ) made their way to the Taj Lands End at Bandra Bandstand for an evening of fun and apptasting. Sponsored by Nokia and hosted by the techno foodies Rajiv Makhni and Vikas Khanna resp. in the perfect ambient setting, the night bore witness to the fact that yes, while your stomach may be rumbling for food your mind can still dig apps. What’s more if used well to your advantage you can savor on (or stay away from) some of the dishes at the best places, all thanks to our friends on the web who not only undertook the risk but also were generous enough to share their reviews.

The night took shape with bloggers having to make a tough choice between being a foodie or a techie and proving it too. Probably a few years back that would have been simple given that technology hadn't touched our lives, but in today's times it was and is. While some managed to convince the hosts with their wit and humor and win prizes, others inspite of their best efforts couldn't (good antics, but sorry no Oscar).

What struck me most about the meet was the diversity of blogs and bloggers. On one side where you had a young Muslim guy who was yet to break his fast on the other you had a person who blogged on the stock markets; then while you had a lady who wrote poems and had sons of the age of Rajiv and Vikas on the other you had a 1 and half year old adult blogger - probably the youngest blogger in India and even the world. I must say that blogging has become serious business and blogs a great medium of communication, gone are those days when it was a mere scribble pad.

The focus of the evening then shifted to exploring a whole new world or better said a universe of apps. Not a long time back I always thought that making and receiving calls n sms' was all that was there to a phone but, there came in apps and it threw my thinking out the window. Apps open up a wide range of possibilities for your phone and you. And with so many tasks now possible on your phone to do I wouldn't be wrong in saying that the laptop is nearing extinction.

Some of the apps that were showcased at the meet were the Nokia City Lens – which gives you info of the places around by just panning your camera (and not breaking through walls), the Charlie Chaplin app - that lets you record silent Charlie Chaplin type movies (imagine making a movie on the Lost Bombay, not bad for a start). If you felt that was too much to get down your throat you could try the Food and Wine pairing app that would tell you which wine would go with which food or vice versa (smart I must say, imagine the impression you can create on a girl on a date or amongst friends). In case you have got lost with all this the Food Spotting app – that gives you real-time reviews of a dish you’re about to order, can be your savior.

The evening took a high when a quiz was announced. Questions on food and tech tore the minds apart of not only the contestants but also the audience who tried their best at taking home at least a small prize. (I too tried my best at the few questions the answers to which I knew of but unfortunately everyone else also knew them. Hence no prizeL) the contestants were also kept on pins and needles while the audience in suspense over the upcoming never-before held and heard of final round. The final round came on and everyone felt they were on a show of MasterChef. It was apptasting (this time appetizer tasting. I’m a techno-foodie after allJ) or better said soup tasting at its best. The contestants blind folded had to list the ingredients in 1 minute. The winners were announced and the prize too – A Nokia Lumia phone. I have never felt so close to a top class prize (the prizes I have won have all been consolation prizes) as the winners were seated at my table. I would like to believe that I brought the Banno Ki Saheli’s (the winning team name) luck.

After the meet I had the good fortune of interacting with Rajiv Makhni and Poonam Kaul, Director, Communications, Nokia. The insights shared by Rajiv made me realize why he is referred to India’s original tech guru. Poonam on the other hand was typical of the company she represents – perfect at connecting with people. She patiently listened to my feedback and suggestions on what Nokia should do to win over the market. The promise that Windows Phone 8 has is surely not going to make this (me) go anywhere. You may call me a mad man; I would just like being called a Nokia loyalist. Go Nokia Go. Blow this world.J

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Love marriage & arranged marriage…!!!

One of the most common proverb that we come across is ‘marriages are made in heaven’. It’s a miraculous god’s play that we know everybody from our birth but the one who becomes one’s life partner, we come to know about her only when the appropriate time comes. Marriages off late is broadly categorized as love and arranged…but their also exist a third category & I will let you all know about it along with the pros and cons of both arranged and love marriage.
Arranged marriages are regarded as the one which comes from our cultural roots, signifies where we have come from be it from any religion, caste or culture whereas love marriages were looked down upon and weren’t accepted by our fore front ancestors. But if you look at the past you would come across with many examples of love marriages…well there must have been some flaws in the traditional system that led to the silent rousing of love marriages. If we look at the present constitutional rule every male who has attained the age of 21 and female of 18 has the right to marry according to their wish and no law or rule can be enforced to devoid their right to marry according to their choices.

Arranged marriages:
India the country known for its rich cultural grounds…and going with those rich culture the culture of arranged marriage had come from ancient past. In ancient times, in arranged marriages the parents & the elderly persons of the family decided the match of their ward and the person concerned had no right to decline or deny the match chosen for them. With time and wits this traditional system was manipulated a bit, with a change that the parson to be married is asked about their liking of their opposite match. But the main concept of choosing their match is still done by their parents… the most modernistic arranged marriages are done where the couple chosen by parents are not only asked about their concern but they are also allowed to spend time with each other, going to dates and all so that they come to know about each other. Marriages of this kind are accepted by one and all as it has the backing of all the concerned members of the family and the society.
But there are few major flaws in this marriage system. The couples to be married know each other for only a month or two and it’s very hard to know one’s competency with the other in such a short notice. Some may argue that such arranged marriages have been successful and will be so in the days to come. But if this is the case why are there broken relations and divorces in the society? One may conclude where there are pros there will be cons and the rate of divorces are very low. But if you look at the statistics the rates have grown more than the population rate of the country. If the old theory is correct then why almost every country has given a right to the citizen where they can marry according to their choices? Looking at the recent past majority of the marriages is still arranged & this is certainly not because it is the most competent system but because people didn’t have the courage to go against the society and the family. They wouldn’t think to do anything which is against the tradition laid by their ancestors and would ultimately sacrifice their life for the betterment of their children. But the young generation who is not only concerned about the society and the family but also has an eye for their life and their choices…this change in the view has resulted in the increasing number of love marriages.

Love marriages:
Love marriages came into existence as a silent outburst against the traditional marriages. Incompetency factor was completely wiped out as the partners before going off to marriage knew a lot about each other. There is a better understanding between the couple and thus is considered as more effective then the arranged marriages. It gave the adults the right to choose and look beyond the age old thesis of the society. But it has raised concern to the family and the society, as our parents and a society as a whole fail to go with the thinking of the youth and are so obstinate about their traditional ways as such today also love marriages are looked down by many societies. Irrespective of their disapproval by the society love marriages have grown from strength to strength. Acceptance of love marriages among today’s youth is mainly because marriages are more crucial to the couples concerned then the society as they have to commit themselves for their life and it's worth a point to go against the obstinate rule of the society as it’s about their entire future.
I don’t give a damn to the society but still there is one thing that I cannot ignore and it's parents. As love marriages have grown joint families have given way to nuclear families but most importantly in selecting their partner for life they are ignoring their parents & leaving them alone to face the cruel world in old age. It is very hurting to know that given a choice to choose between parents and love. Today’s youth are going towards love. I am not against love but leaving parents for love is certainly not a good option. That is why I reverberate about the third category of marriages.
Most of the people are confused when I am speaking about the 3rd category? Is there a 3rd category where love as well as parents is given equal importance? Actually there isn’t any clear cut 3rd category but a submissive of the love and the arranged marriages. Still confused? Well I am speaking of love which is seen in love marriages and then the marriage which is arranged by the parents and the entire family. There comes the next question is that possible? The answer is why not, most of you must have read the two states of my marriage by chetan bhagat. If you have the guts to fight for your love then why don’t you try and convince your parents and other members of your family regarding your love. Marriages are certainly made in heaven but a happy married life is possible only when you have the acceptance and blessing of your parents and other elderly members of your family. I am not against arranged or the love marriages but if you ask my suggestion I will certainly go with the 3rd category where there is love cum arranged marriage…I have a strong feeling that if you are so much concerned about your love then you should also be concerned about your parents accepting your choice as a partner…thus in today’s world the mantra for a happy ‘love cum arranged’ married life is first to stand upon your feet where you are capable enough for your beloved in all spheres of life & then approving both the parents of respective families to accept the other person as your life partner…

Thus I would end my discussion by repeating those famous words: “Marriages are certainly made in heaven but a happy married life is possible only when you have the acceptance and blessing of your parents and other elderly members of your family, be it a love or arranged marriage.”

Friday, August 10, 2012

Missing Dad..

I missed u when I was a bride
I missed u when I had to bid goodbye
I miss those endless chats we had
I miss the chaats u made for me.
I miss you as my fashion advisor
I miss u as my financial planner

I miss u when I make chicken to dine
I miss you for your opine
I miss you when I go shopping
I miss your rage at my shops hopping
I miss your glee at my report cards
And your proud smiles to show off me

But mom says there is nothing amiss
As your Dad is part of you, miss
You look like him and you talk like him
Am glad you are here after him.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

The way to the top - Kothaligarh Peth Fort.

“I’m happy to be alive and that’s all I can say” were probably the only words I could mutter when I got back home. “What was I thinking” was the only thought I could think of.

On the 28th of July I and my colleagues embarked on a trek to Kothaligarh Peth Fort, Maharashtra, India, a good 100 kms away from Bombay; which was promised to be refreshing, peaceful and relaxing. Given that it was a trek we were well aware we would come across waterfalls, butterflies and lots of moments to capture. But what was hidden or rather played a surprise element was the terrain and the way to the top. The estimated time of 1 hour to reach the top was rubbish (it took 3 perspiring and never-ending hours) and the level of the trek “Medium” was the best under-statement I have come across in a long time :). 4 levels of an exhausting stretch of 45 mins each filled with rugged roads, slippery slides and 3 foot steep stairs tested our patience, stamina and the will to go on.

With people continuously slipping, falling, providing for gags and earning medals in the bargain (talk about Olympic fever; we did better than the Indian contingent currently doing in London) the trek wasn’t devoid of any entertainment. From taking the support of trees, bushes and even leaves we scaled the mountain – at times climbing up like the army minus the pace and stealth and at times running down the slopes like rolling stones. This trek was definitely a challenge with the challengers being the terrain, the relief and the rain. On a personal front I had a horrid time but with the Mountain Tamer poem at the back of my mind for inspiration I marched ahead (luckily without winning any medals). Finally, victory was mine and the perspiration, aching legs and thirst were all worth it.

As I look back at my experience I have learnt a few lessons. You may call it enlightenment but I would just term them as learning’s. ‘The best lessons in life are learnt the hardest way’ fits perfectly here.

#1: The green expanse, the fresh air, the open wide spaces are our greatest treasure. At any cost we should never lose it.

#2: Nature is the biggest mystery around us; it’s so clear yet so confusing.

#3: The road to the top is always difficult and seems never ending. The best way to cross is to never measure the distance and to keep walking. Before you will realize it you will be at the TOP.

#4: Life like nature reflects. It shows you who you are, however you are and gives back exactly what you throw at it.

#5: No matter whatever the situation, a smile and a few antics can make life and the journey far easier. 

You can see all the pics of my trek at the following link. (Courtesy: Mugdha Ojha)

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