Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Final Faltoo Words

The heading of this entry is pretty much self-explanatory – this is my final entry in this blog. It does not mean that I am giving up on blogging, which I think is one of the best things to happen to the Internet. It is just that I will be writing in other blogs now. Yeah, yeah, I can hear the snickers – I was hardly writing for this one for a while, but this is officially calling it a day.

I would rather not go into the reasons for my pulling out. All I can reveal is that, in keeping with the name of the blog, they are utterly faltoo. Perhaps some day I will sit and laugh about them. Unfortunately, I am not inclined to do so at the moment because they have been pursued with a determination that would perhaps have been better utilised for other purposes. Napoleon had once remarked that it was but a step that separated the sublime from the ridiculous and one of my friends seems to have taken not just that step, but an entire staircase by the looks of it. Those celebrating my departure can thank the person, who has saved them from my sentimental and foolish ramblings. Ah well!

So, this is my final bow from this blog. I leave with some fond memories and with absolutely no joy in my heart. As I said someday I hope to laugh about it and for the reasons of my departure.

But at present, I will confine myself to mourning. Fare thee well, reader. And thank ye for your patience. It has been fun.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

A new hang-out for the P3 type auntyjies

I went to attend a panel discussion today on retail. Now I was shocked to see well decked middle-aged women coming in large groups to attend what I expected was going to be an intellectual discussion.

Those auntijies looked more like socialites than journalists making me more confused as there was nothing better to catch my attention. Thankfully, I had a data connection and an instant messenger on my phone and my editor and a friend were online. I could at least crib to them. While my editor wasn't surprised (and later told me this experience is a must for all journalists), this analyst friend could only laugh at it (I am assuming he laughed as he typed 'lol' in response to my surprise on finding P3 party types participating in some discussion).

All I could assess from what I saw was that stereotypes keep getting redefined all the time. I assumed clubs and kitty parties were the only way to locate auntyjies, but no! Visit a museum or an NGO or some other place where the intelligentsia is supposed to be found, chances are you'll find auntyjies there

Monday, February 18, 2008

'Walking Away' explained

I have been asked by several people about what I meant by the 'Walking Away' status message that I had on Google Talk last week. Well, it's simple - I just have decided to give up on a few people. It's not as if I am writing them off or wishing them ill. No, they have been wonderful to me in the past and I do hope will be wonderful to me sometime in the future again.

If they have time, that is.

And that essentially is what it all boils down to - time. These absolutely wonderful people do seem to be a bit pressed for the commodity that is measured using clocks. Or at least, when it comes to me, their time seems to vanish. Fortunately, this shortage is just in my case - they do seem to have lots of time for other people. Even people whom they claim to dislike. Wonderful, isn't it?

Mind you, at some level, it hurts.

So, I have decided to no longer make claims on the time of these friends. I am not breaking off or breaking up with them. I am just a bit tired of begging for their time. It does get to be a bit demeaning after a while, although I realise they must be frightfully busy. Too busy to meet. Too busy to call. Too busy to respond to messages. Too busy to mail.

Too busy to even notice that I have walked away, I am sure.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

An apology to a friend

I was rude to a friend yesterday.

I can give a dozen excuses for what I did. I could point out that I felt that she had done something wrong. I could say that I reacted the way I did because I cared more for that person than I did for others. I could say that I do not apply normal paramaters and set higher standards for her. I could say that what I was doing was for her own good and would teach her to be more careful in the future....

Oh yes, I could say so many things. Give so many justifications.

But the stark fact remains that I was rude to someone I cared for. I upset somebody who has always tried to be there when I have felt low and tried to cheer me up. Yes, perhaps - perhaps - she was at fault but did that give me the right to behave in the way I did? I am not too sure. I am not really concerned about the rights and wrongs of the situation. All I know is that at the end of the day, someone I care a whole lot for was upset because of the way in which I behaved. I am not sure there is anything - anything - that can justify that.

It is easy to be rude. Especially to those we really like. Because at some level, we know that they will understand and even forgive us. And that is perhaps the worst part of it - we spare the ones we hate and scream at those we love. Simply because the latter are willing to listen.

It is unfair. Worse, it is cowardly.

It is something that should never be done. A reproof can be delivered in a kindly manner too, maybe even with a smile. It's the least we can do for those we love and care for.

I am sure that my friend would have forgotten (or claim to have forgotten) about my being rude by the time she reads this. She is like that, you know - all heart. And I do not really know what I have done to deserve her friendship. But yes, I do know that I do test her patience terribly - I just hope she never runs out of it. I also know that she will be fed up of hearing this but I do need to say this one more time:

I am so sorry. It won't happen again.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

The lords (and ladies) of small things

Talk about friendship, and it is a fair chance that people will bring out the heavy sentiment. You know, stuff like “A friend is always there when the going gets tough,” “A friend is always there when you need him or her,” “A friend is someone on whose shoulder you can cry when in trouble,” and so on and so forth.

Well, all that is true. But it is by no means the entire truth. Because while friends are always there for the BIG occasion – when the going is tough, when you are in trouble, and so on – they are at their best on the LITTLE occasions too.

Yep, friends are absolute masters (and mistresses) of the small stuff – things that may not seem as important as rushing over to your side when you have just been run over by a roadroller or are down to your last dollar, but are every bit as important in the long run.

They will call you up at all kinds of times and discuss matter. They will sit around and wait for you to finish your work even though they can potter off home. They will materialise at your doorstep and drag you out for a coffee that ten minute ago you did not feel like drinking. They will stuff earplugs resonating with strange tunes into your ears and ask your opinion of them. They will grab you the moment you come online and discuss strategies to set fire to your boss’ purple trousers....the list goes on.

A lot of it might sound ridiculous. Even flippant.

But you know, it’s almost as important as the serious, heavy stuff.

Because it is their way of telling you “You matter.” Because they want you to be there not just in serious situations but also routine ones. Because you mean something to them.

It’s their way of telling you, “You will not be forgotten. Because we will remember you.”

And I don’t think there’s anything more important than that.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Strange medicine

Friends can have the strangest effects on you. Including medical ones! Sounds ridiculous? Read on...

I was feeling a bit sick on my way back from a client’s office earlier. One of my friends was pretty concerned about me and kept asking if I was OK and offered to get me stuff that ranged from lemon drops to ice cream to iced tea to medicine. I grinned bravely and said I would manage.

I got home, rested a bit and was still feeling sick when the phone rang. I picked it up and sure enough, it was my friend asking if I was any better. “Yep, I am,” I said bravely. “I will be OK.”

I expected her to tell me to rest, to take it easy. To which I would, of course, (continuing in brave mode) say “No, there is work to do. I will come tomorrow. See you at the office.”

Fat chance.

She just laughed and said, “You had better get well. And forget about staying at home. What the devil are you going to do at home anyway? You will be bored! See you in office tomorrow!”

Some would call it rude. Some would call it insensitive.

Me? Well, all I can say is that I am sure I will be in office tomorrow. I feel better already.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Being angry, being quiet

I was pretty annoyed at someone today. Someone I know rather well. And I think, like all good friends, she sensed it somewhere. However, I did not say a word to her. Just tried to keep a straight face and got on with work (thankfully, a lot of it was there). By the evening, the anger had pretty much passed and we were back to chatting amiably.

There's a school of thought that will tell me that I did the wrong thing. That I should have told the person that I was annoyed with her and pointed out exactly why I felt that way. People who belong to that school will point out that I was being dishonest with my friend by hiding what I was feeling.

I am not sure. You see, I don't think she had annoyed me on purpose. It was just that I felt a bit upset by something that she had decided to do. But it was her decision. And at some level, I respected that. What if I had told her that I did not like what she wanted to do? Perhaps she would not do something similar the next time around. Which would be a pity because there was nothing fundamentally wrong with what she wanted to do - just that I felt that maybe she should have helped me instead. Heck, I could be wrong!

So, all I could have gained by telling her that I was annoyed - apart from causing no little unpleasantness - would have been to change the way she would normally behave. And I would not want to do that. What kind of friend would I be if I stopped her from acting naturally, especially if she was not doing anything particularly wrong? And anyway, it wasn't as if she was trying to hurt me or something - she just felt something else was perhaps more important. Sure, she might do something similar again, but it won't anger me as much because next time time, I will know that something like this might happen.

Sometimes being silent and swallowing your anger can be a lot better than screaming and letting it out. Of course, I am sure many people will think I am wrong. But I would rather have a friend who does not feel restricted by me. I owe her that much at least.