Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Birthday Fishes

What was remarkable about yesterday was not only that it was yours truly's birthday, but the sheer number of phone calls and wishes that I got. I mean, I must be really old to know so many people! :)

Then there were the gifts, of course, ever loved; and to be honest, where M saved the day with cake and flowers. And a handbag. Followed by Ms. S, who came up with a "birthday letter", as opposed to a birthday card, which is reproduce here with permission, and which, I assure you, is eminently entertaining and touching.

"We've come a long way, since the day you plopped down on my desk and introduced yourself with a smile. Past horrible bosses, co-workers we'd give our right arm to shoot, crazy parties at Hypnos and Zero G, where you were asked to table-dance, and we couldn't go upstairs as A & A were making out.

Good years, overall, and lots of good memories. Random talks over beers and coffee, splurging on books and music, having hysterics over U2, Sting and blueberry cheese cake...

Stay the same, don't change... No one is 'that' worth it :) Have a blast, live life to the hilt, and we will be there beside you, to make it even more memorable, we promise. LOL.

Lots of love, luck and laughter,

Topped off with Malu's quintessential "Malu" wish:

"May the best of your past be the worst of your future."

Thanks, guys. You made my day :)

Friday, June 16, 2006

Another year, another rupee

So yet another birthday next week.. Celebration, I hope. Sent out the party invite to some friends, but no acknowledgement as yet... But I am still hopeful: May the party be a success. Am also planning a party on the weekend so that many friends who work nights can come over. So don't feel left out, you guys.

Feels a bit wierd to write about my own birthday, but what the hell. Strangely (?) I am not feeling the weight of the years, rather I'm quite excited about my birthday. Cards and wishes from parents and a friend contributed to the feeling, I guess. Thank ye kindly. Can't wait for the party to begin... :)

Friday, June 09, 2006

Sickness and Health

Have been reading a lot of stuff related to Christainity lately, as I am sure are you guys. I was wondering why Indians are not vehemently either godly or otherwise. Whereas whenever I read about foreigners, in this case mostly westerners, I feel there is a tendency to extremism: a fervent rejection of faith, or an equally, and mostly more feverish, tendency towards it.

I guess Indians who are Hindu by birth (I mean the "normal", educated ones, not the SS or VHP ones) do grow up with religion, but it is not imposed on us. We are not asked to do what is right because of a fear of hell; rather, we are told to do the right thing because it is the right thing to do. So when we "grow up", and know that we are well within our rights to question everything under the sun, we do not abandon the things we are taught contemtuously with the view that we don't care if it sends us to hell, like the sinning Christians who have sex before marriage or blaspheme.

Even if we decide to not "believe", it is somehow a milder form of rebellion than westerners. I especially feel that the concept of "hell", taken so literally, is the main cause of many feelings of ill will towards religion and against it. How can something so unknowable evoke such profound reactions, beliefs and prejudices in people?

It seems ironic to me that the west, known to be individualistic, is totally not so when it comes to religion. Not going to church is an activity noted by society, and may brand one in some way as irreligious, an unbeliever, and maybe immoral and dishonest. I don't really know. Whereas at least in India, "worshipping" is a much more personal thing, with people going to temples usually alone, and praying in solitude. Those who do not go to temples are not branded immoral or irreligious. Maybe I am mistaken and there is a shift in western attitudes now. The evolution debate in the US surely suggests otherwise, though.

Btw, I am not religious in the least, just reading a lot of Dan Brown and Frank McCourt these days. :)