Wednesday, November 12, 2008

How are human beings valued ?

Two separate incidents that happenned over the last few days have got me thinking..How are human beings being valued ? Is it purely on their utility value or is there a respect for age, emotions, relations , bond, past achievements ? The incidents by themselves cannot be compared as we are looking at oranges and apples here, but they tell a common story.

The first one was narrated to me by X. In their office, a top management personnel who was once responsible for putting in strategies and systems in place was probably asked to leave as he was now redundant. In the days of recession, his CTC was not working out. He was probably a mentor to a few, but now there was no use for him in the organization. That apart, he had burnt bridges and could not handle politics.

Being in the corporate world, we have always learnt that everything comes with an expiry date and we are as good as our last assignment and we must learn to look at the writing on the wall, long before it is too late. So, for most of us, this is just another day in the corridors of power and another casualty on the block. And the survival is always about the fittest, recession or otherwise.

The other incident was much closer home and was straight out of a saas bahu serial, except that it does not refer to the women folk. A recent marriage ceremony threw enough light on who is wanted, who is respected, who is of use (the word being " help") and who is redundant . Respect and redundancy go hand in hand. You are given respect if you are not redundant and are of use to the families . A senior couple, well past their 60s and a bit unfit health wise due to certain ailments found themselves cold shouldered in a wedding they had attended in a city as they could not be of much use to the wedding party. They were not from the city and the reason attributed to the indifference was many - many people to look after ,there was "family" to take care of the couple and the couple themselves were part of the wedding party and they should probably take care of themselves .

I will not go into details here , but the long and short of it was that the two stories brought out one common are human beings being valued ? Is there an emotional bond, respect for seniority and a value for your past achievements and success or is it the sheer usefulness of an individual that is being taken into account. In corporate life, it is probably taken for granted...but in families too ... ?

I think I can read the writing on the wall..what do you say ?

Sunday, October 5, 2008

A book tag

I love reading and I had almost given it up but for last year when I put the sabattical to good is a tag that I picked up from Mridula and I thought I will give it a shot as its about books. I am supposed to bold the ones I have read , underline those that I have read in school and italice the ones I have started and not finished..A lot will be in the latter...The underline key seems to be not working -so will mark the ones I have read in school in bold as well. The interesting thing is that I have reread all these books again after school.

1. Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
2. Anna Karenina
3. Crime and Punishment
4. Catch-22
5. One Hundred Years of Solitude
6. Wuthering Heights-read it again after school
7. The Silmarillion
8. Life of Pi: a novel
9. The Name of the Rose
10. Don Quixote
11. Moby Dick -In school
12. Ulysses
13. Madame Bovary
14. The Odyssey
15. Pride and Prejudice-read it again
16. Jane Eyre-read it again
17. The Tale of Two Cities-read it again and again
18. The Brothers Karamazov
19. Guns, Germs and Steel
20. War and Peace
21. Vanity Fair-read it in school
22. The Time Traveler's Wife
23. The Iliad
24. Emma
25. The Blind Assasin
26. The Kite Runner
27. Mrs. Dalloway
28. Great Expectations
29. American Gods
30. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
31. Atlas Shrugged
32. Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books
33. Memoirs of a Geisha
34. Middlesex
35. Quicksilver
36. Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West
37. The Canterbury Tales
38. The Historian: A Novel
39. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
40. Love in the Time of Cholera
41. Brave New World
42. The Fountainhead
43. Foucault's Pendulum
44. Middlemarch
45. Frankenstein
46. The Count of Monte Cristo
47. Dracula
48. A Clockwork Orange
49. Anansi Boys
50. The Once and Future King
51. The Grapes of Wrath
52. The Poisonwood Bible
53. 1984
54. Angels and Demons
55. Inferno
56. The Satanic Verses
57. Sense and Sensibility
58. The Picture of Dorian Gray
59. Mansfield Park
60. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
61. To the Lighthouse
62. Tess of the D'Urbervilles
63. Oliver TwistIn school
64. Gulliver's TravelsIn school
65. Les MiserablesIn school
66. The Correction
67. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
68. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
69. Dune
70. The Prince
71. The Sound and the Fury
72. Angela's Ashes: A Memoir
73. The God of Small Things
74. A People's History of the United States: 1492-present
75. Cryptonomicon
76. Neverwhere
77. A Confederacy of Dunces
78. A Short History of Nearly Everything
79. Dubliners
80. The Unbearable Lightness of Being
81. Beloved
82. Slaughter House- five
83. The Scarlett Letter
84. Eats, Shoots and Leaves
85. The Mists of Avalon
86. Oryx and Crake
87. Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed
88. Cloud Atlas
89. The Confusion
90. Lolita
91. Persuasion
92. Northanger Abbey
93. The Catcher in the Rye
94. On the Road
95. The Hunchback of Nortre Dame
96. Freakonomics
97. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Enquiry into Values
98. The Aeneid
99. Watership Down
100. Gravity's Rainbow
101. The Hobbit
102. In Cold Blood: A True Account of a Multiple Murder and its Consequences
103. White Teeth
104. Treasure Island-My favourite
105. David Copperfield-Read in in school
106. The Three Musketeers-Read it again and again

Monday, September 22, 2008

The Mirror

The glass looked a bit worn out and discoloured. The grime had stuck to it like glue and stubborn patches made their mark in the otherwise shiny surface . But he didnt seem to mind. It had become a habit for him to stand in front of it for a few minutes everyday.The glare of the sun reflected through the glass. The eyes stared back at him. Cold, unemotional. He was not looking at the dry tanned skin nor the lines that had etched themselves. He had that ageless look about him. He pushed a strand of smooth wavy hair that had fallen over his eyes . He splashed water on his eyes and stared again . Those eyes bored into his , almost piercing through him. He looked away disappointed .

It was a daily ritual. The mirror seemed to tell him something.It showed him his tanned skin, his bright features, his cold eyes, his deep lines, his ageless face - but it could not show him something that he was been looking for all these years...his IDENTITY .

Friday, September 5, 2008

Have you ever gone through this phase ?

1. Clogged by your own thoughts
2. Drained by your dreams
3. Exhausted by thinking

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Sometimes life is like a game of boomerang. Words hurl only to hurt us. We think we are hurt by others and retaliate by hurting them and they in turn hurt us back. In the end, we are the ones who are hurt . We think someone hurts us, but actually we have hurt ourselves.

Thursday, July 10, 2008


The blue green waters beckoned her. She moved towards the wave, wondering what it will be like to be caressed by it. Her head bobbed..she floated for a while before traces of her became a ripple. The voices were a distant mumble. The fish surrounded her.The oceans swallowed her only to open out new depths ..But this is a world that she will never know

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


Go with the flow..the inner voice said..I am, I am she replied, wondering if there is a flow at all ..

Friday, April 11, 2008

Hurt...the pain is usually caused by us

There are several injuries that are inflicted on us..A small cut, a slip here and a bruise there..physical injuries are often healed, though the pain, the scars still remain.

And there are the bruises, hidden, unknown to us caused by emotions and people, who constantly inflict the same wound again and again. No amount of insensitivity can cure this, as the mind heals only to 'unheal' again...yet, there is hope as we steel ourselves and pretend to be strong and believe that such emotions do not exist and such people are not required - or we agree to forgive and forget, only to realize that its not human after all to do so...

But finally the wound that never heals is that caused by us, on us. When we hurt ourselves, sometimes knowingly, sometimes willingly , when we allow others to hurt us, inviting the pain, the scars ...those open wounds never heal..when will we ever learn this ?

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Memoir in six words

Ceedy had an interesting post on writing a memoir in six words..this is the first thing that struck me about myself

I am not what I am .

Monday, March 17, 2008

Why do I travel ?

Am I an escapist ?
Am I searching for something?
Am I lured by wanderlust?
Am I looking for something new?
Am I running away ?
Is it a fear of the routine?
Is it the energy missing in my life?
Is it to avoid people ?
Is it something I am trying to prove to myself ?
Is it to get lost ?

Sunday, March 9, 2008

8 is not my lucky number...

Another tag..this time its about all things 8. Aarti has tagged me and here I am thinking about ..

8 songs I like
Im more into retro Hindi and tamil music , so I am listening currently to

1.Tum Pukar Lo - Hemant kumar, Khamoshi

2.Sun Ja Dil Ki Dastaan - Hemant Kumar, Jaal

3.Baar Baar Dekho - Mohd Rafi, China Town

4.Woh Shaam Kuch Ajeeb thi - Kishore Kumar, Khamoshi

5.Nilaave Vaa - SPB, Mouna Ragam

6.En Iniya Pon Nilave - Yesudas, Moodu Pani

7.Raaja Raaja Cholan - Yesudas, Reetai Vaal Kuruvi

8.Kaatre - Johnny

8 things I want to do before I die - Ive done this already, but here is a quick synopsis
1.Travel and see as many places before I die

2.Write a book

3.Set up a little company of own own

4.Build a small house with big trees, gardens, streams around and live close to nature

5.Understand my roots better

6.Take my mother to the Himalayas

7.I want to be a better cook

8.And I want to control my temper

8 things I say often ..
1.Ummm or Aaan

2.Where are we going (as in travelling )next ?

3.Chill na

4.I want to sleep

5.You know what

6.I dont feel like cooking

7.Damn funny

8.I have an idea

8 books Ive read recently
1.Kite runner

2.The Case of the Bonsai manager

3.Pigs have Wings

4.Myth = Mithya

5.Devil and Miss Prym

6.Daughter of China

7.A Tale of Two Cities

8.Murder in the Orient Express

8 things that attract me to my friends.. I dont know and I am just guessing
1.Sense of humour

2.I listen at least I pretend to

3.I do not impose - live and let live

4.Im quite chilled out - simple, not many hang ups

5.Dependent - maybe to a certain extent..

6.My hubby says its a steak of madness in me ..

7.I dont expect anything - so it suits them

8. ...I dont know - I leave it to a friend to add

8 things I am passionate about




5.My space

6.History & Mythology


8.Calvin and Hobbes

Ok..Im not tagging if anyone is interested, pls pick it up and let me know..

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

The winds of change

The winds of change were blowing - hot, humid, strong and powerful - right in her direction. She stood her ground, but they swept her off her feet. In their grip, she was as light as cotton, swaying like clouds, mesmerised by the blue sky of opportunities that lay in front of her. A brave new world lay right in front of her as she danced to their tune , losing her body, will and mind ..

And then they dropped her as she dangled precariously from the sky refusing to hit the ground , rudderless with no place called home..and then she realized the clouds were just vapour, the sky didnt exist ; it was just a vacant space that looked blue sometimes .And so she dropped on to the ground with a thud ..gathering her limbs, her wit and mind and holding on to her own ..

Many years passed. The sun shone brightly from the sky. The earth grew warmer and warmer.Days followed nights like slices of bread, identical pieces filling up the entire loaf, the void called life. Time stood still. She was wrapped in space. The seasons changed. The trees looked down on her as she gazed at them fondly, expectantly every morning . She watched every movement in the trees as a gentle breeze shook the leaves, rocked a branch, lifted a bird ..a tender touch here , a biting nip there . But the breezes stopped after a while..She continued waiting..The stillness, the routine, the silence - She longed for the winds of change..would they ever blow in her direction again..for good or bad..she needed them to live again !

Monday, February 25, 2008

The Secret Seven Tag

Whenever I run out of inspiration to write a post, I get tagged and lo ! a post is born.This time my muse is Smita, who has tagged me to talk about seven facts about myself..While I was trying to ask the question who or what am I , a few surprises came my way too as I realized what I think I am is not really what I am today ..nevertheless , honesty prevails here I am - exposed !!

1. My name is Lakshmi Sharath, born in Madras, based in Bangalore and trying hard to connect with the city. A media professional who after 15 years of work is now taking a sabattical (really?)Ok..No, actually am trying to set up something in the online travel space in the garb of a break and is hoping will actually go places !!

2.Things I cannot resist - packing my bags,cashewnuts, chocolates and ice cream, comedy films with popcorn, Calvin and Hobbes and PG Wodehose books

3.What I need desperately - 8 hours sleep

4.My fears -lizards, darkness,my temper,migraine, having no alternatives and rotting and wasting away life

5.I am very impulsive, impatient and easily prejudiced ...and usually takes a while to knock a notion off my head..

6.I am extremely restless, hyperactive and grow out of my interests , jobs very quickly..I constantly need new things, parents always used to say that I have wheels on my feet and my hubby thinks its a challenge to channelise my energies.

7.I used to hate posing for photographs as a kid and I still do..most of my pictures dont show me smiling..

As usual,its the end and I dont want to tag anyone in particular..its great to read about all your secret seven thoughts-so I request all of you who drop in here to pick up the thread and if you want me to read abt it, pls drop in a comment and let me know

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Tagged - Question time !

Ceedy has just tagged here I am with more answers to questions

1) What if the world suddenly decided to rotate in the other direction?
I will go round and round too..

2) Name Three Most Valuable Assets?
my sense of humour, zest for life, writing

3) If you have the chance, what would you probably say to your beloved one?
Im surprised that you married me !

4) If you were to be stranded on a deserted island, who are the 3 blog buddies you would take with you?
All my buddies who are excited about travel.. cant decide on any 3 though

5) Where is the place that you want to go the most?
Greece !

6) If you can have 1 dream to come true, what would it be?
Travel and see all the places thats in my wishlist

7) Till now, what is the moment that you regret the most?
I dont regret. I move on .."This too will pass"

8) What are you afraid to lose the most?
My optimism

9) What would you do if you found a briefcase full of money?
Leave it right there and inform the cops and the press

10) If you meet someone that you love, would you confess to him/her?
i dont think you need to confess ..

11) List out 3 good points of the person who tagged you
Ceedy - Sense of humour, full of life, positive attitude
(just guessing)

12) What are the requirements that you wish from your other half?
Live and let live

13) Which type of person do you hate the most?
Selfish and greedy people..though I cannot hate anyone, I will just ignore and be indifferent to them..

14) What is your ambition?
To set up my own company

15) What is the thing that will make you think someone is a bad person?
Someone who uses you as a friend and manipulates you and throws you away after using you..

16) If you could do one thing different in life, what would it be?
Relook at my friendships..have lost a few good ones due to not communicating with them and trusted some people whom I wished I had not

17) Something which made u laugh today
The fact that I woke up so early this morning, being a sunday

18) How do you deal with a friend who has wronged you ?
Ignore them and try to forget that they were ever your friend..this of course depends on the kind of wrong...

19) How important is love for you to get physically intimate with a person ?
Very .

20) Name one favorite song of yours.
There are many..different songs for diff moods .
Now I am listening to Billy Joels River of dreams

Normally I dont tag anyone, but if anyone finds this interesting -pls consider yourself tagged !

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

She ..

Her eyes looked vacantly into space. The world no longer embraced her. It stared right back at her, almost accusingly . She stood transfixed for a moment , paralysed.

She could almost feel the silence, cold and oppressive engulfing her .The skies were no longer blue- just harsh , blinding her. There was something more than silence. She felt it, but did not know what it was. The murmurs had begun. Something crept on her arms .Its out to get you , the voices said . She shivered a bit, turned abruptly. There was nothing.

She was incapable of thought or action. The air grew thicker. She closed her eyes tightly . She tried to hear her own mind.There was silence ..she opened her mouth to scream . A sigh emerged. A weak voice from inside. She pressed her ears hard, turned inward ..concentrate , she urged . Deep breaths. A beating heart. Silence . She gave up.

The vacuum had sucked her out. Life, energy, thoughts. She was breathing . But not living .

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Impressions -2

The world was my home. A haven of comfort, love and affection . What we probably understand as security and contentment today .

It was a huge bungalow with several rooms, halls , verandahs. The voices were still there..the laughter .The boom of the old grandfather clock, the shrill ring of the ancient black telephone, the sun filtering through the grilled windows and the green mosaic floors ..images that still linger in memory , trying to forge a connection today to things that do not exist .

There were hardly any walls – spaces just flowed into each other..doors opened into more spaces called rooms, halls, verandahs.. The verandahs led to the lawns, a vast expanse of green bordered by the trees, the flowers...Voices from haystacks and garages still echo as we, kids used to scurry around and play hide and seek. Except for some bedrooms, everything was open as well . I could see myself - an eight year old, running from one room to another, missing a foot here, jumping from the stairs, a sense of freedom , of belonging ..

The power of transfiguring is that its worse than demolition. When you transform something beautiful and ancient laden with memories into something thats far away from the original, you take the life out of it..Its like living without the ability to feel or think. I believe that you need to have a twisted mind to kill something like that ...memories are living organisms and by transfiguring it, you have killed them .There is no grandfather clock....the boom is only for certain ears to listen, the green mosaic is now a dull yellow , there is no sun, the windows are now walls, there are no spaces and there is a clear NO ENTRY spelt everywhere . Its all closed now ...Walled. There is no laugher. Just silence . Its a funny feeling as I stepped inside . A feeling of intrusion , a feeling that I was trespassing . Yet ,it was home once, for more than a decade .And yet, it no longer today is, though its still within the family