Thursday, May 22, 2008

The LIST :)

Dear Friends,

List of things a MAN should finish by the age of 30:

  1. Be accomplished and known in his field - respected by his peers and have a career that gives financial stability.
  2. Learn to play one music instrument well. 'Well' - meaning - should be able to perform in a cafe or at a house function/party.
  3. Learn to speak one foreign language as fluently as English.
  4. Learn one form of self defense.
  5. Should measure his height - find his ideal weight - and maintain his weight within +/- 3 pounds of that weight.
  6. Learn one form of ballroom dance - salsa or swing etc.
  7. Should have formed a good taste in wines and alcohol and should own a small private collection that one can enjoy at appropriate times.
  8. Should excel in making love to a woman. Which means do satisfy more than mere physically. Learn one form of cuisine and should be able to make good dinner.
  9. Should have travelled and experienced the culture of at least 3 countries other than his hometown.
  10. Should be able to swim like a fish.
  11. Should play one sport competitively.

And then you may declare yourself a true Global Citizen.

- Sanket


Bookmark and Share

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Lies to Myself..

On some things I know I have lied to myself – and this is one of them. After swearing to destroy all of her things, I know I haven’t really discarded all ... somewhere hidden in an album lie, now yellowing photographs  - still beautiful with a hint of those times – in an academic file alongside my notes – I am sure -  lies buried - a birthday card – and amongst the modest treasures of my wallet is a guitar pick – that still fancies her touch. ..

Masked cleverly in my words, somewhere lie  - subtle references - to memories only one reader can relate......  In empty corridors of a dilapidated structure, there still can be heard - echoes of her laughter and although, now abandoned – there still flows a river -  now mourning with salted water.

In the waking hours of some nights, the bed still longs her warmth. And the still air – now devoid of her scent – feels like a vacuum mocking my heart.

On some things I know, I have lied to myself and this is one of them ......  Oh! How I wish there were words that could describe – How much I miss her on some days ....  



Bookmark and Share

Sunday, May 18, 2008

The Evening Run!

Everyone knows exercising is a good thing - and from what I have seen jogging seems to be a very popular form. I started running rather late in life. Being from Mumbai, I was always made to run enough through daily activities like -  catching my local train and beating the lecture bell etc. . So it was only after a semester in Florida, tons of fast food and added pounds later that I realized - I should -  u know - start running. Once started though, after an initial struggle period, I have come to love it. 

I think jogging/running is a true diagnostic of your body. If you don't believe me - try doing this (in the order and time frame I suggest) - bend your neck so that your chin touches the chest - recover to a normal posture, repeat 5 times, now do the same thing with the neck turning to your sides - this should get your neck muscles alive - now do 50 jumping jacks - and after that immediately sit on the floor and do toe touches 15 seconds a piece - all without halting to recover your breath. 

I know what you are saying ...... "This isn't jogging!" - I know that - its warm up - if you failed to do this comfortably, you probably should start with a walk - and then graduate to jogging. Assuming you passed though, heres what jogging would do for you....

It frees your lungs and clears your respiration tracks, this is an activity where the body needs a lot of oxygen and so the first thing its gonna do is clear all respiratory paths - it means if you have a cough - or a cold - or a jammed nose, its gonna let you know - exactly all of that.

Once you run a while, your legs would start aching, and if you haven't run a lot - its telling you - that those muscles aren't conditioned enough. When running, your whole body needs to be in sync, it has to get its 'act' together, so if you have any joint problems or other issues, you will come to know immediately. 

If you have a large tummy, chances are its gonna start bouncing awkwardly under your shirt - and - you will feel ......... "This isn't supposed to happen !!!" - Yup, it isnt! but dont worry if it happens for the first few times - you got to start somewhere. If you had a bad lunch or dinner yesterday, your body is going to let you know that too, lack of water - no problem - you will immediately feel that. 

And so - in a way, its a great thing, its your charge free doctor, a complete head to toe check up - for free! I know what you are saying ..... "Who wants to know everything that is wrong with their body???" - to which I say ... "Well! Its better to hear it from yourself than someone else pointing it out!" 

The key is to stick with it. No matter what the verdict on day 1 - you just got to keep coming back. And then a day comes when you know - you have run longer and your tummy isn't bouncing at all - in fact you don't feel awkward - your legs are not paining as much and your lungs are just so FUBARed (Fucked Up Beyond All Recognition) that they have stopped complaining and are now working smooth. And you feel - you deserve an award! haha - Dont worry its - its own reward. 

Anyways - so I go running in the evenings and when I am too tired to run or out of breath, I just drop down and do push ups, sit ups and squats. Today, as I was on my third set of sit ups, beats of 'Gud! Nal ishq mitha!' ringing in my ears, I was well - interrupted by what I think was the biggest german shepherd dog ever! Hastily, I tried to recover to a sitting position - which I assume the dog did not like at all -  since it started growling - and just the growl could be heard over my ipod - I did not want to imagine what the bark would feel like! 

"Ginger!!!" The dog's owner called out - and the dog - being loyal as dogs are (thank GOD for that) - retracted. Huh! The dogs owner walked up to me - a very pretty blonde - I must say ...
"Sorry about that - Ginger gets excited and runs away on evening walks!" - Hmmm  - so the dogs name was Ginger! She was still growling at me and throwing invisible hate bombs with her stare....

In my wildest dreams, I might imagine that I have scorned some women ( and even thats not an impressive record - I tell you) - but I did not know of doing any wrong to Ginger. Its like she hated me for no reason :(  ! Anyways whatever!!! I moved on to do my plank. 

This is another one of my fav things, if you thought you are light and healthy, try the plank for 90 seconds, you will feel like you weigh much more than you ought to! There are tons of you tube videos on how to - so I wont get into that. 

So anyways I was doing that - and I saw Ginger - now across the street  - on the park lawn in front of me. She raised a leg and pee'ed. I was like ... "Hey! Thats my workout spot!!" 

Duff!!! - she just looked at me - and went away - in what I imagine was the most sinister smile. As if I wasn't enough afraid of women already! Thanks to Ginger, now - I wouldn't feel comfortable laying down on any piece of grass near my home. They exact revenge for no reason - I tell you. 

Right about the same time - 'Cylinder Uncle' walked by and waved a 'Hi' to me. 'Cylinder Uncle' - as I call him  - is easily 70+ - he catches the morning bus with me - and every day walks up to the stop with a portable oxygen cylinder in his bag - a tube running to his nose. I mean - granted Ogden has high elevation and scarce air - and he 's old - but a CYLINDER!!!  I still remember the first time I saw him, I secretly prayed - "Please! GOD if I ever get THAT  old - just shoot me!".

Aaaand then I finished my workout - and came back home.  Simple - end of story. Ha! This was a weird piece wasn't it!

 - Sanket 


Bookmark and Share

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Ideal Woman!!

Undoubtedly every young person has an image of who his/her ideal match would be. Well! This is my ideal woman - she's not an actual person - she's an idea .... 

My ideal woman should .........

Well, she's got to have amazing patience - as I am a very impatient person. She's got to be sweet - but not girlie. 

An outgoing person -  who can come running with me - and get excited about weird places to climb! 

Should have a clear skin - complexion doesn't matter, but her glow should radiate health! 

BIIG eyes and loooooong eye lashes - haha - I've always had a weakness for eyes! 

Has that amazing voice, a perfect combination of playful lust and sincere depth.  A voice that can be heard in a crowd - unmistakable - one that assuredly captures my attention - and sustains curiosity. Rich and versatile in its tones,  conveying much more than the actual words pronounced.  A voice I can get drunk upon.... 

A smart face, not an Aishwarya Rai - but a Perizaad Zorabian. Can look like the college girl next door - or the head turner professional - when she wants. Has a broad minded, scintillating taste of clothes. 

Has a magnetic sexuality - and knows it  - but doesn't misuse it against me :) 

Has her own moral core - and the guts to tell me "You are wrong!" - when she believes. 

Is unquestionably loyal and 24 x 7 honest.  Is generous - giving and compassionate. 

Isn't necessarily a great cook - but is always enthusiastic about cooking. Isn't necessarily accomplished - but is eager to learn. 

Someone who pushes me to work harder - and achieve more. Who expects and demands my very best - and makes me sleep on the couch - if I fall short :) 

Who enjoys her freedom responsibly and has very clear self-defined boundaries. 

Someone who is positive about new risks - supportive when ideas fail - and benevolent enough to never say ..... "I told you so!"

Has shoulder length, dark and lustrous hair, hair that can fly in an arc and scent the air they touch.  Hair that hold you close and make breathing a pleasure... that have the perfect convenient length from head to lap when sitting - so I can play.  

Weighs light enough to portably carry against her will. 

Has an electrifying touch, firm - yet distinctly feminine. 

A person who understands the sense of pride and never violates it. 

Ok - I think I have had too much alcohol (on a week day at that!) - I could go on and on and write a whole book on her. Truth is .... none of these matter if it is the right person. 

Anyways, thats Maya, its an idea ...... like the lyrics say ..... "Meri nazar se tum dekho toh - yaar nazar woh aaye! "  

 - Sanket


Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Help Make an Impact!

I usually have my morning breakfast at my desk digesting world news. Today, I could not swallow a morsel, the news headline read ... "More than 100,000 suspected dead in Myanmar Cyclone" - I put down my coffee and checked if there was a typo, there wasn't!  With a sinking heart I read through the news, until it led me to the section where common citizens can help make an impact. 

In less than five minutes, my little portion of aid towards the relief efforts was done. And I thought, Wow! if its that simple, why not have the HR mail this to everyone in my company. My recollection of the morning chit chat confirmed my fears ... very few people were actually aware that such massive destruction had occurred somewhere in the world. In less than half an hour, the HR responded - "Management has decided not to forward this message on the company network!" 

I was utterly horrified! I wasn't asking them to give money or empty their pockets, I was simply asking them to help me spread awareness about the incident, so that if anyone did want to contribute, he/she could. Almost every other day - there is some junk email in our inboxes  - that almost everyone ignores. But, when it came to having a genuine cause, the corporate management decided - Oh! there are better ways to distract our employees! Really! was five minutes of company time going to make that much of a difference to their profits???? I raged to talk to the person responsible for this decision ..... Alas! I was helpless, being an international student and a bound employee, there was nothing I could do!

 And so I decided to use the tools at my disposal, I decided to write! 
What is it that makes people not care? What is it that people say to themselves - that justifies such apathy??? While as individuals we might disagree on several things, surely, all of us can agree that the one defining virtue that makes us HUMAN,  is that unspoken sacred commandment that says "Every Human life values the same, and if a life needs saving, you do all that you can to see that it lives".   What is it that makes us treat two lives different?? Who really gave us that permission?? Politics aside, Nationality aside, people are DYING?? In how many different ways does this, need to be said before we really understand it?? 

At the time of second world war, when Americans did not want to get involved, FDR said .... "If your neighbor's house is on fire, you do not haggle over the price of your water hose!" Does this not apply to you?? No matter what your nationality??  Do we not owe it to our education - and our upbringing to care more?? 

Often times, it is much easier than it appears! With the internet as our tool, let us use the power of communication and the massive audience at our reach.  Talk to a friend, help spread the word,  make them search their conscience, and while you are at it - search your own.... 


Will you help? Or will you ignore? As you go to the warmth of your bed tonight, try to remember the retching cries of helpless children to whom the night wasn't so kind ..... 

After all some day - you will have to defend your choice, and say to yourself "I chose to do this ..... and these are my reasons ..... 

 Be it a facebook group, or a relief effort you helped create, make your contribution - make a difference and believe in yourself!  As for this blog, it goes out in memory of all lives that were forever, lost!  May your souls rekindle the fire in our conscience, may it help us .... be human again!

 - Sanket


Bookmark and Share

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Sameer ki Chai

I have often thought that a single most indispensable part of the Indian college life is the 'local tea'. It is a very humble drink, unlike an elaborate juice or a royal whiskey - the poor tea has no attitude problem. Drink it cold, drink it warm or drink it searing hot, the tea doesn't mind your perks at all.

While the statistics may vary between people and their palates - on an average, it takes 5 minutes to finish a cup of tea. And come to think of it, that is all that the "tea" asks for anyways - that you take a five minute break and have a laugh. Generations of Indians have enjoyed this simple beverage and yet, I recall no study nor scholarly work that acknowledges the cultural contributions of this drink.... (self appreciation intended) Be it romantic overtures, verbal fights, or erudite debates, the tea has seen it all. If the tea ever came to life and decided to tell its story, well, lets just say that even the most genius of contemporary pundits would be put to shame.

I myself never truly appreciated the tea's virtue, until I moved to the States. A part of life so inherent and taken for granted, suddenly became a small yet invaluable souvenir of my country and its culture. Somewhere in the endearing scents of plantation leaves and its soothing vapors, undeniably lies, a part of India's hospitality. It is this part that touches people unconsciously - and while its presence may be subtle and unassuming, its effect, is always significant.

Be it early in the day, or afternoon, or the wee hours of the morning, one can always drink tea. Unlike alcohol, the tea never inspires feelings of guilt and one can always have it with a clear conscience. If alcohol personifies lust and greed, the tea promotes friendship and loyalty.

Given this importance of tea, any friend who volunteers to make it - becomes an instant messiah in the college residence. At USU Logan, this messiah is my dearest friend Sameer. Amongst his many virtues, I put his inborn skill at making tea - the foremost. In deed the jokes that Sameer's tea has inspired - and the laughter that it helped create have left an indelible mark on my memory. A spot, I will always return to, with the affection and fondness - that one associates with college memories.

And so, this piece, despite being cavalier, is dedicated to Sameer and his tea - in recognition of his profound contribution to the Indian student contingent. May GOD bless his soul and motivate him to keep quenching the thirsty throats of me and my friends. Amen!

- Sanket


Bookmark and Share