The Leftover Pizza

Daily life Pizzazz, some nuggets, some fun

Archive for the month “October, 2010”

Relationship and market value

(Rant alert : This is a post filled with cliches about cliched reactions to single, eligible women, umm is that description of women a cliche too? ūüėõ )

Ever watched What Happens in Vegas? There is this particular scene where the actress takes her sparring husband to the office picnic and her boss who till then thinks she is this stuck up chick, tells her had I known you were this fun, I would have promoted you long ago. And how does he arrive at this conclusion? He sees her dapper husband cracking lots of jokes and witnesses her interaction with him.

Many times people think that if you prefer privacy or your own company more than mindless head banging in some club, there is something wrong with you. They make assumptions that you are not fun, that you are a loner or that you are a geek type and might look at you like you have grown two heads if they see you gyrating to Munni Badnam Hui at the next group do, the more judgemental of them might think you are putting on act. 

Many a times these assumptions even work against how you availing benefits at work. Infact there are many flimsy advantages of being in a relationship, better still married. You could actually take leave claiming husband is unwell, MIL is coming down, my first Diwali, my nephew’s first Holi, while the poor single person in office works through all major holidays. If they so much as suggest a leave, they are told, oh but anyways you are alone, let X have the leave, she has family commitments. Why there are even companies that give a better increment to the newly married person, after all they now have more stuff to handle.

Then there is the risk of being seen as the boring person. Its amazing how this affects your market value at work. Seems these days people judge you by your Facebook page. So if you have no pictures of you partying on your facebook page, during a give-me-better-work discussion¬†your boss comes to the conclusion that you are a bitter woman and that this bitterness is spilling over to your work. If you think this is exaggeration, well, this blogger has to say she has heard a similar thing said to her. Worse you may be given ‘well meaning’ advice by people who think that you are focussing too much on work and should widen your spectrum and ‘look at other options.’ ‘You know money is not everything’, ‘You know, career is alright, but people are very important’ etc etc.

Then there is this other group of people who automatically assume that since you dont have a relationship right now, maybe you are one of those ‘man-hater-feminist-types’ who are ruining the social balance these days. The party-till-I-die group on the other hand thinks you are not the type who would want to get out ocassionally, and if God forbid, you are a teetotaller, then of course, you are one of those really crazy prudish types, the kind that reads the Geeta/Bible daily and prays for others’ souls. Sheesh, can’t people just not like something conventional, but still be fun?

Now imagine what happens when one such person changes their relationship status to show involvement with someone, what happens next? The Facebook status gets record comments, extreme curiosity, sudden looks of warmth from hitherto gossipy aunties, a look of thank-God-this-one’s-finally-settled from all, relationship advice from other more experienced species and oh yes, the sudden invites to chat and go out, after all you are no more the big bore now. There is someone who is hanging by your arm (oh does that remind you of the chihuahas on the arms of Hollywood beauties),¬† even if they havent seen them yet, the perception that there is someone, is enough. The women who would always exclude you from conversations because you wouldnt understand anything about why-my-man-loves-my-hair-this-way or he-wont-let-me-buy-that-new-thing, now suddenly have found a new person to discuss these things with, plus they can advise the newbie too. Aah such harmony in life, such acceptance suddenly from all quarters. The boss might even give you an understanding look when you come late on a Monday, after all you do have things other than work now, understandable, you know.

Its quite laughable actually how all of this is again about conformity. A single person is viewed as a threat. (this blogger feels that it is probably the old fear that more singles, means less children, means eventual extinction, old programming that refuses to die). A relationship suddenly makes you look more human, suddenly people seem to ‘get you’. No longer a fringe player, you are also now a part of the gang. Maybe the boss would check the facebook party pics now and say so finally you took my advice seriously and started having fun (please imagine the patronising smile), maybe, just maybe that acknowledgement might result in a better increment (yes, please let that be the case). Ok, rant over.

Anjana Anjani – review

The greatest love stories are between strangers says the tagline, but as a smart alecky comment said, if its not between strangers, it is probably incest ūüėõ Jokes apart, the movie starts out well, with a concept that is novel to atleast Bollywood, two people bent on committing suicide meet at the Brooklyn bridge. And after some unsuccessful attempts at various locations, they decide to give each other time and die together on new year’s eve.

The rest of the movie has the kind of cinematography done-to-death by the Yash Raj banner, namely at foreign locales, actors strutting the best of brands, selling us the dream holiday destinations. There are some good moments between the lead pair, currently the cream of Bollywood. While most of what Priyanka wears is nice, she has started looking a little pale and over made up. Her acting at certain points borders on over the top, look-I-am-so-cheerful. As for Ranbir, he holds his own, like he always does. Certainly not going to be remembered as his best, but one of his hits for sure. Its the kind of movie where only the lead pair is important, there are no characters apart from the two of them that you might remember after the movie gets over. The only thing missing that could have made this a typical Bollywood rom-com is an airport chase sequence, well, its there partially, but disappointingly doesnt quite end at the airport. This Bollywood signature of one of the lead characters realising their love and running a marathon to declare it, must be making foreigners wonder if Indians only realise what they want, after they have almost lost it.

The music has its moments in songs like Hairat, but rest of it also follows the Yash Raj genre of music, the prime example of it being Tumse hi Tumse. In songs like I Feel Good and the title track, there is a distinct Hollywood teen pop feel added to the typical love-all lyrics of typical of Bollywood rom-coms.

All in all, worth watching if you are to spend just around 100-150 bucks, not worth the steep multiplex fares.

Karma and vindication

When we are faced with troubles, when people are being mean to us, we do one of two things, we strike right back or we stew about it, the inner critic sometimes telling us that we deserve it or sometimes digging our heels in trying to take on as much as possible all the while blaming the other person or wishing they would change, sometimes working even harder to please.¬† At some point however bitterness takes over and we realise that we are suffering while the other person is enjoying their life. That is when we entertain revenge fantasies and one of the things that prevents us then is probably the old theory of Karma – like begets like and that one has to pay for one’s sins.

All religions talk of this in one way or the other, if not on earth, then punishment in the fires of hell. Now we have two ways of processing this. The first way is of reacting to every situation with the other person, with a sense of moral superiority. We are nice to them, we do everything the same way, we smile, take care of their kids, pick up slack for them, everything just like before. But now, we are secretly smiling. We are trying to prove ourselves as the better person. Its like revenge by proxy. We know someone up there is keeping count of all the bad things the other person is doing, just like we are. And we also mistakenly think that for every good deed of ours, the other person is getting a negative marking. We enter into a phase of spiritual pride and pride, even if spiritual can make one a hideous person. One of the best examples of this is in one of Agatha Christie’s short story The Edge. It is about this plain woman who secretly loves a gentleman, but he goes and gets married to much younger pretty girl. The woman later finds the pretty girl having an affair with someone. The rest of the story is about the woman’s feeling of vindication and how it plays out between the two women. Read it to know how the woman’s superior sense of self righteousness brings a gruesome end. The point being that one cant live a life being self righteous about everything, thinking we are better than someone else just because we follow all the rules.

But what if we dont get self righteous while banking on Karma? Then we could fall in to the next trap. We do live our life, but we keep waiting and waiting to see the other person suffer as we have. We could be the most successful person in the world, but we are not happy, because till the other person is miserable we think we are a failure, that God has been unkind. We get many gifts from the universe, we could be content with our lives, but instead we choose to look at how the other person is still standing. We want to see them get the fruits of Karma, just the way we have imagined it should be. Many times, we dont even have any contact with that person anymore, our lives have taken us to far better places, we dont even hear much of them, yet we are waiting for that one off-chance remark by someone we know about how they are suffering and are now regretting what they did to us.

My problem with this second approach is that it does nothing for us. Say the jerk who robbed you of all your money or the one that broke your heart does come back and beg, full of regrets, how will it help you? Yes, you might feel vindicated, you might feel that satisfaction for a day or two, but what after that? Are you going to get back those days you spent feeling miserable? Is this person’s apology going to have make any lasting difference to you? And now that this person has apologised, are you sure, you will now be happy always? Most of you would have answered no to these. And yet, our ego tells us to look for that vindication that we were the ones in the right. Think again, does it really matter?

I wouldnt say that we need to forgive the ones that have hurt us. That is a little too high and mighty. What I do mean is that we need to build our own life, move on from all of that and focus on us. By focussing on the karma payback what we are doing is still focussing on their life. We are still comparing our lives with theirs and finding ours lacking and even if its not lacking we would swear it is till they get their Karma.

Also there  is a high possibility that we really dont know if the so-called cake walk life they have is just our perception and not the truth. Maybe they are getting the Karma paycheques every other day, but its just not made of the same stuff that we imagined it should be made of. We dont know what their conscience, if they have any tells them. And if they havent got any, that is actually the fun part. I do believe that what goes around comes around. But if a person doesnt have the conscience or the empathy to know themselves or others, when karma hits them, how would they even know why something happened. And when you dont know what the cause is, you probably cant take any remedial measures can you? How is that for Sweet Karma, you dont know what hit you, so you dont know how to proceed further too.

See, you will have the last laugh, never doubt it, provided you focus on building a life focusing on your laughter, rather than on whether they are crying or not.

To be or not to be yourself?

Post feminism, the biggest dilema probably is whether you could be girly and feminist, or whether proving your modernity means you have to be less girly. Take this blog design for example. I had at first chosen a nice red background with cute, cartoon glasses, burgers and all sweet stuff. Slightly teenage looking. A girl walks by my desk and she is so happy with all the brightness. A guy checks out the newly set up site and says, umm you know, it is not so professional. And though I loved my red background, I had to ‘grow up’ and change it to this plain, professional one, lest I be confused with a frilly, fluffy type girl.

Has always baffled me, who made these rules anyways? What makes people say that staid and serious is the only way to be professional? Why are only black, grey, beige and blue professional? Why not purple, violet, light pink and green? If  I were an extreme feminist, I would say why they are all manly colours, no wonder they are the only ones considered professional. But even though I am not, I still would consider that as a possibility, after all women for time immemorial have been trained to look desirable for the men (of late, for other women too).

Another thing I dont understand is this whole debate about clothes maketh a person. Why? Say someone cannot afford your regular branded wear, does that mean they are unprofessional? I once got a comment from a boss that people have a slightly leftist view that others should consider beauty to be skin deep. Of course, I could say nothing to the boss, but I wonder why? Shouldn’t basic hygiene be enough? Why is it necessary that the person should wear clothes that fit just right, why cant the jeans be a little folded at the end, the shirt a little looser at the waist or the hair a little frizzy? Does that make a person any less?

Having worked in the media for long now, I have realised some cliches that are expected and even enforced. Straight hair is one. Apparently its the only kind that looks professional, curly, wavy are good for college, not for media work. And you can only have curly hair if they are extremely curly, almost noodle shaped, then it is a sign of being exotic. Anything in the middle is a strict no-no.

If you are a woman in media, your actual age doesnt matter. If you are in the news or any allied service, you are expected to look between 27-32 forever. You better not look younger or you wont be taken seriously and well do I need to say why you shouldnt look older? If you are in the movies, you should not look a day older than 24, I mean that is the outer limit. However, if you are a guy, you need to look serious, looking atleast 40 is desirable, and if you can pull off a Richard Gere, salt and pepper hair, you are an instant hit.

But I digress, we were on being girly or no. Being girly, wearing bubblegum coloured clothes, means you won’t be taken seriously. On the other hand, being almost manly also means you won’t be taken seriously. Quite a tough rope walk. Should you pay on the first date? Well if you do, some men take umbrage and if you don’t you get told that you are a fake feminist who plays the equality vs. chivalry card whenever it suits you. Should you be ambitious? Well just enough so that you can be a double income family, the I-wanna-be-a-CEO should change to I-wanna-be-the-CEO’s intelligent and arm candy wife.

But let me end this before I start sounding bitter. The intention of this post is not to simply rant. What I am driving at is that for everything in the world there is a very narrow pathway and you are expected to stick to it. The boundaries are concrete walls and sometimes people sort of remove one brick and see a little bit of light. Those who fly have to always choose between the two worlds, he/she cannot keep shuttling or rather isnt allowed to shuttle. More importantly, one is hardly allowed to be whoever they are. There are rules about who you can be. But then there are also those for whom there are no rules, because well, they are supposed to be above them, no wait, there are rules that decide whether or not someone could be deemed above the rules right?

Pizza diaries

So why is this called Leftover Pizza? Well, cant take credit for the title, it was suggested by someone dear. The logic being, the morning after (not the one with the boy but a booze/pizza party), when we look at the leftovers, we contemplate the good, bad and everything in between. And well, all our theories, feelings about life are pretty much always after the deed. Happy reading ūüôā

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