Friday, July 31, 2009

Meeting Strangers


January 01 - 09 ~ Ass
January 10 - 24 ~ Slug
January 25 - 31 ~ Cockroach
February 01 - 05 ~ Parasite
February 06 - 14 ~ Bullfrog
February 15 - 21 ~ Skunk
February 22 - 28 ~ Snake
March 01 - 12 ~ Ape
March 13 - 15 ~ Cockroach
March 16 - 23 ~ Slug
March 24 - 31 ~ Parasite
April 01 - 03 ~ Ass
April 04 - 14 ~ Snake
April 15 - 26 ~ Slug
April 27 - 30 ~ Skunk
May 01 - 13 ~ Slug
May 14 - 21 ~ Bullfrog
May 22 - 31 ~ Cockroach
June 01 - 03 ~ Slug
June 04 - 14 ~ Skunk
June 15 - 20 ~ Ass
June 21 - 24 ~ Ape
June 25 - 30 ~ Parasite
July 01 - 09 ~ Slug
July 10 - 15 ~ Ass
July 16 - 26 ~ Bullfrog
July 27 - 31 ~ Parasite
August 01 - 15 ~ Ape
August 16 - 25 ~ Slug
August 26 - 31 ~ Skunk
September 01 - 14 ~ Bullfrog
September 15 - 27 ~ Parasite
September 28 - 30 ~ Ass
October 01 - 15 ~ Ape
October 16 - 27 ~ Skunk
October 28 - 31 ~ Snake
November 01 - 16 ~ Cockroach
November 17 - 30 ~ Parasite
December 01 - 16 ~ Ass
December 17 - 25 ~ Ape
December 26 - 31 ~ Bullfrog

If you are a Ass : A very loyal and sweet person. Your loyalty can never be doubted. You are quite honest and sincere when it comes to your attitude towards working. You are a very simple person, indeed. Absolutely hassle free, humble and down-to-earth!! That explains the reason why your friends cling on to you! You have a good taste for clothes. If your wardrobe is not updated with what is trendy, you sure are depressed. Popular and easy-going. You have a little group of dignified friends, all of th em being quality-personified.

If you are a Slug : Always up to some sort of a mischief! The mischievous gleam in your eyes is what makes you so cute and attractive to everyone. You are an extremely fun-to-be-with kind of person. No wonder people seek for your company and look forward to include you for all get-together's. However, you are sensitive which is a drawback. People need to select their words while talking to you. If someone tries to fiddle around and play with words while dealing with you, it is enough to invite your wrath. God bless the person then!

If you are a Cockroach : Quite contradictory to your name, you are a peace loving person.. You best try to avoid a situation wherein you are required to fight.. An outdoor person, you disl ike sitting at one place for a long duration. You are a born leader, and have it in you how to tactfully derive work from people. You love being loved, and when you receive your share of limelight from someone, you are all theirs!!!! Well, well... Hence some people could even take an advantage, flatter you to the maximum and get their work done. So be careful.....

If you are a Parasite : An extremely lovable, adorable person, sometimes shy, with a passion for quick wit. At times, you prefer quietness. You love exploring various things and going into depth of each thing. Under normal circumstances you're cool but when given a reason to, you are like a volcano waiting to erupt. You're a fashion bird. People look forward to you as an icon associated with fashion. Basically, you mingle along freely but don't like talking muc h to strangers. People feel very easy in your company. You observe care in choosing your friends.

If you are a Skunk : You are near to perfect and nice at heart. The examples of your kindness are always circulated in groups of people. You, too, love peace. You wouldn't like to retaliate even to a person who is in the wrong. You are loved due to this. You do not wish to talk behind one's back. People love the way you always treat them. You can give, give and give love, and the best part is that you do not expect it back in return. You are generous enough. Seeing things in a practical light is what remains the best trait of you guys.

If you are a Bullfrog : You symbolize a very happy-go-lucky approach in life. Whatever the surroundings may be, grim or cheerful, you remain unaffected. In fact, you spread cheer wherever you go. You are the leader of your group of friends and good at consoling people in their times of need. You dislike hypocrisy and tend to shirk away from hypocrites. They can never be in your good books, no matter what. You are very methodical and organized in your work. No amount of mess, hence, can ever encompass you. Beware; it is easy for you to fall in love....

If you are a Snake : You are mysterious. You are someone who can handle pressure with ease, and can handle any atmosphere without going berserk. You can be mean at times, and love to gossip with your selected group. Very prim and proper. You like all situations and things to be in the way you desire, which, sometimes is not possible. As a result, you may lose out in some relationships. But otherwise, you love to help people out from difficult and tight spots when they really need you.

If you are a Ape : Very impatient and hyper!!! You want things to be done as quick as possible. At heart, you are quite simple and love if you are the centre of attraction. That way, you people are unique. You would like to keep yourself safe from all the angles. Shall your name be dragged or featured in any sort of a controversy, you then go all panicky. Therefore, you take your precautions from the very beginning. When you foresee anything wrong, your sixth sense is what saves you from falling in traps. Quite a money minded bunch you people are!!

I received this email this morning and I thought to myself : is it so easy to find out how a person is by just asking for his date of birth? How simple it would be to then strategise how to approach somebody.

Meeting strangers is always difficult and especially when one is confronted with strangers in a setting that is filled with stereotypes. It is no wonder then that Lucky is apprehensive and scared but she remembers what her friend Shanti used to say :

'Fear knocked at the door. Faith answered. Nothing was there. Face your fears otherwise they will chase you around." ( p.10)

Find out how Lucky met with Steve and Rooster two interesting characters in my book. But do you think her interaction with them would had been different had she asked them for their date of birth!

Try it out though : it is spookily accurate.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Surprise! Welcome Home!

When Lucky comes into New York, her flight is two hours late, yet inspite of the delay, Alec was waiting for her( P.7).

Airports are always fascinating places with people bustling around : families crying with joy, families crying with sadness, business folk walking briskly, meeters and greeters waiting for people to be met and the lonely tourist trying not to look lonely . I loved going to the airport as a little girl; especially to receive my father, who would return home like a veritable Santa Claus. With time,however, the novelty wore off and going to the airport became routine and mundane. But, when my husband was coming home from a business trip, in the early days of our marriage, I felt some of the same excitement of my childhood and thought I'd surprise him by welcoming him at the airport.

I went well before the Scheduled Time of Arrival and watched at least three flights come in. Surprisingly enough, when the passengers from the BA flight my husband was flying on, began pouring out of the terminal building, my husband was no where in sight! This was in the days before mobile phones had entered our lives so when I waited outside for over two hours, I began to get really worried. The entire flight it seemed had left the airport and there was still no sign of him. Was he in some kind of trouble? I wondered and tried to get into the airport complex but was stopped by an unsympathetic burly policeman.

Just then I spotted a BA official walking around with a walkie talkie so I went up to him.

"Excuse me, "I said, " I'm looking for my husband . Have you seen him?"

"No," he barked back. Then he peered at me and said, " Actually so are we!"

"What do you mean ?" I said getting genuinely perplexed. " Didn't he get on the flight?"

"Yes , he did. And it seems he got off it too. And on top off it, he has walked away with Mr. X's bag!" ( Mr. X being one of the richest men in the country!)

"What? How could that happen?"

"I'd like to know that too." replied the official. " Mr. X's secretary is hopping mad and wants to get his boss' bag back."

" Well, in that case it's simple, " I said, " Let Mr. X's secretary clear my husband's bag as Mr. X's and he can drive home with me and we can exchange bags."

The airline official was clearly not impressed by my logic. "No, " he said emphatically, " Call home and ask your husband to bring back the bag and re-clear his own bag!!"

"So, can I come into the terminal building and make a call?"

He gave me a withering look and I quickly scrambled off to find a Public Phone booth nearby that worked.

At the other end, my husband was furious that I was not home waiting to welcome him with open arms. And he was even more annoyed when he found that he had mistakenly carried off a wrong bag and had to come back to the airport to clear his own baggage!

Needless to say, that was the last time I went to the airport to pick up my husband from a business trip. I also never asked him how he managed to slip past my eagle eye and go home unseen.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Helping hands.

Lucky, the heroine of my book "Lucky Every Day" has come to New York to begin life afresh. Alec, the family friend to whom she turns for shelter, tells her "the best way to escape our own misery is to help someone else with theirs. Think it over". ( p.7)

Do you honestly think that this is the only reason why people help those in need? What do you think is the driving force behind the good work of Albert Schweitzer, Mother Teresa, Bill Gates and countless others who only work for the betterment of mankind?

Monday, July 27, 2009

Yoga - a genetic disposition

When Lucky was considering what to teach the inmates of a high security prison in New York State, Alec suggested she teach Yoga.

'Sure, why not?'
'I'm hardly an expert."
'Oh of course you're an expert; you've been at it since you were a toddler. Your dad said it came to you like second nature. Besides, you're Indian. They'll assume you were brought up in an ashram."

Are all Indians are automatically to be genetically pre-disposed to Yoga? This seems to be the general assumption of the Indian Sterotype. Of course, the fact that I often do some yogic stretches on a long distance flight doesn't really do much to dispel this notion, but honestly, are all Indians naturally good at Yoga?

Friday, July 24, 2009

Control and Infinity

Walking through the prison, Alec tells Lucky " It's about control..............There are 5000 prisoners here, never more than 200 guards on a shift. They have to be able to lockdown if there's trouble. Divide and conquer. It's the only way to keep order." ( p.5)

Is life really so simple? Can everything be controlled ? Is there a fixed boundary, a number or certain parameters beyond which control becomes impossible? How can this limit be determined?
History throws up numerous examples of a vanquishing power establishing its sovereignty with a policy of divide and rule. But equally, history teaches us that long after the conquering heroes depart, they leave behind a society splintered and filled with hate, deeply divided and distrustful.
So how effective is control in keeping order?

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Clearing Security

Before entering the prison Lucky has to go through a security check ( P.3). Stepping onto a set of footprints painted in red on the floor, Lucky and her companion Alec were frisked carefully and she was asked to keep back her handbag, barrette and watch . Alec too was asked to keep back his keys and wallet.

Unfortunately for some of us, this high security prison clearance procedure has now become a part of our mundane, every day lives, thanks to the increased threat of terrorist activity in the world. For instance, something as routine as a movie, entails a rigorous search process. At Mumbai's Inox Multiplex , you are frisked while entering the premises, frisked before going up the escalator and finally frisked before entering the cinema hall!!!

While it is necessary to carry out checks , I do miss those days when we could just breeze in and out of public places without being frisked, searched and questioned.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Finally it's out!

"The Cadillac rolled to a stop in front of a formidable wrought iron gate. A white sign inscribed with large black letters and posted eye-level to the driver read :
Opening lines of the book "Lucky Every Day"

Much like Lucky, the heroine of my maiden novel, I approached my first novel with baited breath. I was entering a world completely new to me, a world of ideas and words . Unfamiliar with the publishing business, I often wondered "what kind of a fool would trespass into" this territory so far removed from my comfortable milieu of numbers and finance! With trepidation and sometimes anxiety , I went forward and before I knew it, Lucky and Alec became my new companions, their world became mine . Days turned into months and "Lucky Every Day" grew into a full fledged novel! And before I knew it my book was in the stores!


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