Wednesday, January 20, 2010


Had a very eventful saturday. Day started off pretty ok - I was confident I would do a great job with my lit, and was making a perfect ppt - beautifully formatted, notes page etc etc. It was only by 1 pm that I realised my master piece would have to remain unfinished since I had to present by 1:30. Was feeling like a louse, sitting in the seminar hall, hating my bookish nothing-remarkable work. There was so much more to the interesting technique and all I had put in my slides was a amateurish ship shod job. The fact that RV didn't say anything only depressed me further, 'cause it made me feel that he had very low expectations from me.

Went to the dentist in the evening, and found out that I had developed two new cavities. Was plunged into more depression. You see, my teeth had always been my pride and glory. I used to bask in the glory of the fact that I had had 24 dental carries free care-free years :P In fact, my dentist was more upset than I to see my "pearl-like" teeth, as she called them, going to the dogs .

Stepped out of the dentist in this foul and depressed mood and stepped into Temptations, to see if they had Paa , which Amma was keen on seeing, for reasons I cannot comprehend. Since I was carrying just a handbag, they let that in. The ever-attentive-to-the-point-of-being-irritating salesman informed me that Paa was not in stock. So, I decided to do some general browsing. Saw a MoserBaer cheap edition of Khosla ka Ghosla, which I thought parents might like and picked it up. Moved on to the English section and was looking at the Incredible Hulk, when the above mentioned sales guy comes and says - "madam, we need to see your bag" - it was then that realization dawned on me . Years of supermarket shopping had taught me to put selected articles in the bag I was carrying - which was what I had absent-mindedly and very stupidly done here. I pulled out the incriminating evidence and started justifying - I am so sorry, I did it unintentionally, I wouldn't have left without paying". The guy continued staring at me and said - "We have hidden cameras ma'am, we see everything that happens" . I continued apologizing. By then, everyone in the store was staring at us, and I was wishing the earth would open up and swallow me, a la Sita. Then the guy gives me this super accusing look saying - "madam, neevu maaDiddu tappallva" [Madam, what you did was wrong, na?]. I admitted it was wrong and very stupid. Then, he said - we need to check your bag, ma'am. I gave him my bag, tried to appear nonchalant and continued staring at the english dvds rack as though I was unperturbed, trying hard to avoid other customers' looks. In about 5 mins, the guy returned my bag. I felt the compulsion to buy another dvd, as though to prove my innocence by making more business and buying stuff legally. So, I picked up a Bhaavageethe compilation of MD Pallavi. Went to the desk, and found the very same guy at the payment counter, who after taking the exact change from me, told me "don't do that again" . I started telling him that it was all a mistake, it was unintentional and I am not a shop-lifter - but could see it was all in vain. He was patting himself on the back for having finally made use of the fancy hidden cameras, and having caught a potential shop lifter red-handed.

Was very shaken after this. How difficult it is to prove intention! All that the world sees is action, and it is so difficult to prove one's innocence! It was really ironic that I - who is generally idealistic and uptight about road rules, following the law, doing the right thing etc, was "caught"shop-lifting". And, more ironic is the fact, that if it was some other girl who was in my position, and I was a mere spectator, I might have very well thought she was guilty and wondered - " Wow, she looks to be decent, but, well, who knows what people truly are! She might well be a kleptomaniac!!" In fact, some days back on the bus, I heard this programme on a stupid radio channel, where the RJ was asking viewers who have shoplifted to call and tell how they did it, and she was giving away gift vouchers to the callers! And, this show had girls coming in and confessing that they flick cosmetics from bangle stores and, not because they can't afford it, but for the thrill of it!! I would have thought that the "caught shoplifter" was one such girl! And the store owner might have thought I was the same!

Well, learnt a lot that day - from the lab meet, I learnt that I should give my best to things hence forth, 'cause I have the potential in me and I should not settle for anything sub standard. And from the shoplifting incident I learnt that one should be very careful while one acts - since the world sees only the action and not the intention behind it. I also learnt that I shouldn't be very judgmental - give people the benefit of doubt until proved guilty; since many might be wrongly accused and just because a lot of people think in one way, it doesn't make that right.

P.S. the Khosla ka ghosla cd had bad print and bad audio! Literally it ended up as a much ado about nothing!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Self Doubt....

Was thinking over what Swapna said at the dinner table, a few days ago. Some people have the opinion that praise should not be given on the face, and should be very discreetly done. But, as she said, during periods of self doubt, small little positive things said about you, by people who mater, makes a big difference. To quote her " I am currently feeling like crap. If there's anything good in me, tell me now. I want to hear it. Rather than telling eons later that I did good work on a project, tell me right away!" How true. Could do with some ego boosters currently. For all the times I felt that I was a perpetually chirpy person, and, it would take a lot to make me blue, Grad school is sure trying hard to prove me wrong.

Happened to go through a poster of my Masters work and went back and looked at my Masters PPT... somehow, strangely felt that I had done more work for my MSP than in 1 yr of PhD. Was surely more motivated back then. And, was also testing my potential to the max - course work, projects, French course, ran the dream run, did some work as the MAD secy of my hostel, sang for Swar Sandhya, won the classical music competition (an event that I could never reproduce!), went out with friends quite often, battled a few personal demons, and had a great gang of close friends. Wonder how I did so much back then, while currently, I am not even being able to pursue Yoga along with work. :(

Went to Mumbai for the weekend. Just wish I had accomplished something substantial over the last few weeks, to make me feel the break was well deserved. Been taking a lot of breaks and holidays with family of late. While I do love the time I spend with them, maybe , like what RV told me once, I need to prioritise and get thing moving.

Looks like it is time for a lot of painful but much needed introspection.... ouch.