Monday, March 19, 2007

The Pink Ribbon

Do you know what it feels like, to get up one morning and stare at your all-too-perfect life, beaming at the safety and security it represents, drinking in the glee of your anticipated victories… and then, to discover that a loved one has been living with a dreaded disease? Something that slowly gnaws at one’s being itself, until it has eaten up every fiber of it, leaving it’s victim listless and shaken

What bothers more? The fact that someone you love so much is suffering and the road is a one way with no return path… Or that you, for all the closeness you shared, somehow did not inspire in them, the confidence to open up and let you in?

To me, it was neither. (Well, actually both. But they struck with the force of a tornado only when the emergency had dulled a little).The reality of the moment was too grave to digest without philosophizing it (my favorite occupation!) but the timing was too incorrect for philosophy. So I plunged into action. But like all urgent actions that have been ignored long since, this too didn’t give me an actual solution, only temporary relief.

Okay, now… what are we talking about? The title “The Pink Ribbon” doesn’t seem to make much sense? It does. Ribbons are internationally used for causes. Red ones, say, are for AIDS awareness. Pink is the hue doused on women. Do you recall something?

The Pink Ribbon. Breast Cancer.

Breast Cancer… The beast I could cheerfully kill for invading a lovely home, shocking people into mute submission, not giving a chance to think, plan, talk, and just DO something! Except for suffer both actively and passively while the will to fight it out still envelops even though the strength fails, sometimes.

If it has taken my usual loquacious self an unbelievable one year to get to the point where I can talk about it, imagine how badly it could shake someone. From being someone who always gave hugs and sent smilie-infected personal messages (SMS), I turned into someone who wouldn’t hug as she feared that her pain would somehow carve itself into another’s heart when the chests came into contact while hugging. I gave up smilies hoping my abstinence towards smiling would be the much needed sacrifice that would somehow make her alright.

I would lie awake in bed through the dead of the night, praying hard. I re-established my relationship with God by talking to him everyday. My life and that of my whole family came to revolve around a single point: Watch over, pray, stay connected, love deeply and show it out more often. Though I am not a shy person, I had never indulged in public display of affection with so much intensity before. And I didn’t feel even a tinge of awkwardness while I did so. Despite all this, the doctor’s tone of inevitability would ring loud in my ears while I tried to shut it out with the power of prayers.

He had said, “If only you had brought her in a little earlier… In such cases, even a month makes a surprising amount of difference”

A month. One irrefutable, precious month. If only we could go back… If only mom had told me or anyone about it when she first suspected something (And she did suspect something!)

What happened after that was a complete blur in terms of the absolute. The doctor’s reluctance to try mastectomy given the condition of cancer, painful chemotherapy sessions, the nausea, loss of appetite, you name it. From being such a cheerful, witty, talkative person, my mother turned into a weak puddle of mouth ulcers that prevented her from not only talking but also basics like eating; tired and dazed but still, wanting and fighting to live…

To live with the realization that you are too late for something is the worst kind of regret. Anything else, you might affix a sense of not being in your destiny to it. But this, to know that everything would have been ok if only you had acted upon it earlier; if you had known about this earlier! Awareness is the word

Today, while I see that healthcare is growing into a major industry, my thought goes out for women like my mother, who, for some obscure reason, don’t go out to address or even acknowledge a problem. Is it the fear of emotional abandonment? Pa is the most loving, devoted husband I’ve ever seen; always extending his touching care and unstinted support to her. I’m a fairly ok daughter (Modesty prevents me from saying much over here!)

And even if a certain unfortunate woman has a callous husband, that’s still no reason for not addressing the needs and cries of her body. It’s about HER

Is it the lack of finances? That can be arranged. Trust me.

Really, how far can we plan issues like women’s health, which is even more an issue in developing countries than their developed counterparts? Unless these “Veiled Rebeccas” of the world come together to make a commitment for personal health and hygiene, not much can be achieved by medical advancement alone.

Doctors say that most cancers can be completely cured if detected early. And breast cancer has some “obvious” symptoms. So the issue is just with the awareness! As I said, awareness is the word.

I cannot even try to explain the trauma cancer causes. When the seconds counted, I was clueless about what was happening in my own home. Now, I live in the daily horror of, “Is it too late, as they say?”. In a matter of days, our lives turned completely topsy-turvy.

I share this very personal experience with the sole need to reach out to those women who have ignored personal health, with a message,

“If you see anything wrong or out of order with your system, however obscure that may be, please do attend to it. First acknowledge it. It is NOT shameful or derogatory to you or your loved ones. It is a privilege to attend to you. Lets kill the monster: Breast Cancer.
Health is the most important aspect of living; A woman, the most beautiful aspect of homes and lives”

And if this message touches even one single life, I am thankful for my literacy and ability to articulate :-)

PS: The image attached to this post has been taken from


Thursday, October 19, 2006

To hug this feel...

To you: If you ever read this, I want to see your expression:)

There are those moments… when you feel like pinching yourself to know if you really are caught in a time like this, with a certain bent of thought, with that untold expression on your face… Times, when a moment feels like an eternity in the amount of joy it radiates; and the preceding moment you feel confused and cranky for no particular reason. People come and go, and then a person comes. You just realize, that to have and to hold is such a pristine pleasure and you need not escape from the inevitable, for once. What do I do when I’m left with 2 choices – I let go and risk regretting for as long as life stretches, that I’m certainly going to regret, of which I’m sure OR I own it up.

I think it was the timing… maybe the night was too enchanting, the breeze too caressing, the words so warm, that it cracked my stiff self… just a little. As we know with all cracks, what started as a little crack, it widened and widened; and now, I’m left staring into the horizon, unaware of what the next moment would bring, bearing the tormenting gush of this wonderful emotion I had never known before. Strange. The Gods must be crazy. Maybe, that is the way the Gods are

The mornings are another story altogether. I don’t want to share it with anyone. That’s my private feeling:-)

Why am I writing this down? Is it my attempt to freeze this moment, this feel and keep it warm with my earnestness? Is this a way of actually owning it up, and not treat it casually, because I know how special it is? It is both, and more…

I’m lost; my colleagues can tell you better. I suspect I even look preoccupied. Me? Of course, a part of reality which I might as well accept; Yes, me!
If all of it were a little more definite (there comes the word again, as someone would humorously chide me ;-) I would have been a tad more relieved. At least, I would know that I’m not treading the dangerous waters by ‘guessing and assuming’. But I’m still smiling. For once, I want to feel the flow. I want to relinquish control. I want to live this moment, without worrying too much about the next. For once, I don’t want mornings to ever end; but also, cannot wait for the evenings to begin, as I anticipate the next morn’

Do you know how I feel? I suspect you have guessed it. This is my private thought. The cocoon I live in. And you are welcome..

An odd thought occurred… that I hope no one reads this. Isn’t it too intimate…? But I’m nothing, if not definite. I want to put my stamp on everything I think, do and feel.

Thanks, for being who you are:)

I'm sure the Gods are crazy.. me too!

Monday, July 03, 2006

One mighty break!

May 18th to 29th June is quite some time for a conformed write-o-holic like me, to take a break from blogging. Rather long. But things landed up in such ways that forget writing, I could barely catch an extra whiff of breath!

No exaggerations. I moved from the project I was working on, to another one, and hence reporting to ITPL. (Anybody living in Bangalore would know ITPL-International Technology Park, and the long distance that separates the rest of the civilization, meaning "city", from this IT hub). The Marathhalli traffic jams that first left me agape with its rooted-to-the-spot automobiles, the bare minimum traffic/road sense that people don't really have but could’ve had, the nonchalance with which bus drivers nearly ram into one another.... to name a few, Phew!!

But working in ITPL, in this new project is fun, to say the least! For one, this is in the banking domain and anyone who has worked in the finance/banking domain would know what I am talking about. That, and the people. Man! Things are so much faster around here, so for me, having worked in the Indiranagar office that’s located within the cozy womb of the city, this is a lovely exposure. More so, since I function better in an ambience where people are on their toes and there is a lot of work to do. That pumps in so much energy that makes me feel completely alive! To not have important work to do and not many responsibilities is probably the worst kind of punishment I could ever be meted out with.

There are multiple buildings over here and are named, Discoverer, Innovator, Explorer, Inventor, Creator.. I might have missed a couple of names. This place is exuberant with a throbbing energy that emanates through every pore. It’s very obvious in the buildings. For instance, the building I work in, “Discoverer” is the only building out here that is elliptic in shape. (The rest of them are square or rectangular). The good thing about elliptic buildings is that you can just turn around once on your heels and drink in a glimpse of what every one is upto. That also makes it easier to spot people within. Also, the separators between cubicles are comparatively lower, creating an “open” ambience, mercifully banishing the possibility of feeling clobbered within your own sweet cubicle.

For an onlooker this might sound like “over-the-top-declarations of an excited 22yr. old”, but frankly, I think its more about my being in a role, that I instinctively know I would enjoy and succeed better in, than ITPL itself. By the way, I am in the role of a BSA (Business Systems Analyst) in this project, not that of a developer. Either ways, I hardly advocate complacency for myself. I think, no matter however ardently we want something, once we get it, it becomes a thing of the past. One must always plunge into action, so it’s all about, “What next?”

So what next? Hmmm… I hope to learn a foreign language, write a lot more (to blog, do more assignments for IE – Indian Express, resume horse-riding etc..), perform better as a professional, daughter and hopefully, as a person, to learn about the business in depth, read up a lot more on banking and generally do everything I want to – no holds barred..

Let me live it out and watch, though, as to how much of it I can actually get done!

PS: Anyone reading this, with useful info about banking, finance please do mail it to me at

Thursday, May 18, 2006

The morning train...

It could have been just any other day when the whistle of the train cut through the silent contours of the mind, the 5 am light breeze steady n comforting, on a rather soaring summer morning. The slightly fishy smell of the railway station tickled the nose, mind still elsewhere, unable to register the horror of the moment, the crushing weight of reality, heart-beat rising and falling, like an oscillatory motion, which never quite makes its mind up, but just sways...... a little disturbed, a little alarmed, a little presumptous, a little hopeful. To have the slick end of a cutting knife slice up your heart, ever so gently, and yet so sternly, while it clamps your mouth shut with one swife movement of the other free end, and you are left there, wanting to scream, to turn away, to disown the truth, waiting to be comforted that it's just a dream, a bad one at that, but you realise that the ability to speak is somewhere lost. Probably lying there, hurt, on a hospital bed, like a malignant tumor, cutting through the body while one is still oblivious to it's presence, and you want to reach out, drag it out and make it all very right, all very happy...

And then.. at a distance, an insistent whiff of shy mist is seen. Dawn. 6 o'clock. You look at the tickets in hand and board the train. It was, afterall, a day that could've been like every other one... just that it wasn't!

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Zodiac Personality Test

Now don't ask me why I did this on a
'supposed-to-be-busy' Monday morning!
It was just so infuriatingly tempting!!;-)
Awwww... come on! Who on the face of the Earth wouldn't be.. when they are presented with a "Zodiac Personality Test" that promises to discover their true nature! So here I went, took this test, let someone brand me a "Taurean" while in reality I'm a Cappy ( Capricorn )!!
But that's excusable, given that Taureans n Capris are oh-so-alike!

So all you interested ones.. dive right ahead, take the test and do tell me as to what you were made out to be.....

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Friday Morning News!

I'm extremely happy and proud to announce that my write-up on Hyderabad has been chosen to appear on this website called ''.
Here is the link.. do read it n leave your valuable comments!

:))) Friday morning news has certainly added to my weekend mood, some jolly bright hues!

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

The GodDappers

Last night I was talking to Swaroop regarding a suitable name for the "DP rule" we have come up with, owing to an hour-long conversation we had had the previous night. Something about "Determined about being determined, passionate about being passionate". And to punch the next 6 months with the very best focus we can ever conjure up, and to hit upon exactly the kind of work we would want to do for the rest of our lives...
We wanted to come up with a good name for this concept of "Determined about being determined, passionate about being passionate".

Swaroop suggested "Dad-Pap" and asked me if I had a better one...And lo! I decided to vouch for the very first word that came up on my mind: Dappers!!

First of all: DAP would stand for Determination and Passion.
Secondly, I love the meaning that "Dapper" stands for; which is, being elegantly stylish without being overtly flashy or ostentatious about it. It spells sophistication, and a sleek appearence.
Thirdly, ( well I admit, this point struck me off-the-cuff): If a person who blogs is a blogger, a person who DAPs ( Follows the DP Rule for success: Patented by Swaroop and Vineetha) is "Dapper"!!! :)

We even thought, that 7 months down the line when we succeed in achieving our targets, we could even go out and market this 'DP Rule for Success' and start an "Art of Dapping' cult and that will be a religion in itself. And you never know, we might even be the Larry Page and Sergei Brin( Google) of the success-mantra genre! ;)
And the members of this 'Dappers' Corner' would be known as 'Dappers' . So that makes the two of us, 'The GodDappers' ;)

And it looks like Dapping is gonna work.... I have been able to consistently achieve all the small-term targets I've been setting for myself. Mom commented this morn' saying, "Vini, you are acting like your life depends on this. Chill!"

But I realised that if I chill now, the rest of my life will be frozen!!

PS: What exactly is my plan for the next 7 months will be discussed, after 7 months. In the meanwhile, keep watching this space. Sometime later you all will be able to say, "We got to watch the growth of Dappers from scratch!" ;)

The Perfect Fit ;)

The name maybe MiSF!T, but the quality of their plays is, by any sensible means, anything but that!
Scripted proved to be a thoroughly riveting play. Seamlessly lucid narration, a mood that all of us could feel a part of, unbridled intensity, a clear and intelligible storyline and characters that seemed so real that the emotional flow seemed to start from the bottom of my belly and not from the stage!
For me, watching the dress-rehersal was one thing, but watching the play on stage was quite another experience altogether. And boy! Am I glad I did the feature and also watched the bet. I truly feel for those of you who missed out. Next time, perhaps!

All in all, when you want a play, you simply can't make it happen; You will have to go to the master : Rathan Thakore Grant!

PS: For all those who wanted to see my feature on this for Indian Express, " Dial M for theater" is available on under Dial 'M' for theatre