Getting back to work after a break

Hello all…It’s been a while. A lot has happened and I’m still struggling to find my bearings in Bangalore. Good news (or bad I’m not sure at this point) I’ve started working again. This time it’s a writing job! ( I know!!considering I like to write, this does sound like an interesting turn of events).

I’ve joined a content management company and my work involves reading text books on a varied range of subjects from psychology to religion to management. Language training sessions are great and begin to throw light on punctuations – some choose not to show up on certain occasions and while others show up where they are not invited  and subject-verbs can sometimes ‘disagree’. It’s a process I hear and I’m getting there…

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If any of you are wondering how it feels getting back into the work force after a break. The experience has had its ups and downs…Well, let me explain, I’ve been –

The Samurai and the Emotional wreck: I can tell you now that the experience wasn’t easy and wasn’t very difficult either. That said, I cried like a baby on my  first day. Saying bye to my darling princess was not easy in the least. Even while I sat in the training room where we were filling out forms and finishing up the joining formalities I kept thinking about lil Ems back home.Thank God she was in safe hands and her safety and well-being were not a problem. I always thought I was a very practical sort of person who would do what needed to be done without feeling any emotion like a Japanese Samurai – Nishi the Bushi (Bushi means Japanese Samurai and yes, I realise that sounds very odd with my name and the rhyme just makes it worse) but let me tell you I was Nishi the Mushy on my first day at work. One of my colleagues said she thought I had my b**** face on that day and that I looked kind of intimidating but the truth was, I was feeling bad having left little Ems behind. Don’t worry it’s been a month now and we’ve both adjusted to the new schedule.

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The Debutante and the Elderly matron: Yea so I don’t know if you guys remember I celebrated my 30th birthday here on my blog two years back and it was a nice day. I dreaded the three zero but as it turns out nothing actually changed and things only got better- emotionally I felt mature and in control, I grew more accepting of myself and the way I looked, I felt healthier and more energetic that I did in my twenties…so life was in fact getting better. But here I was at the workplace starting at the bottom with a bunch of twenty somethings. So when I finally got to talk to the cute guy in office and he asked me in a voice interspersed with equal doses of curiosity and innocence how old I was…In my mind I was like..

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…in the end however, I remember squirming and with every ounce of my being trying hard to be honest and finally I voiced my truth- I’m thirty one. Hell, when my nephew asked me how old I was when I blew the candles on my cake this birthday I acted all “caszh’ and told him that I was  ‘forever twenty one’ (the name of the store I bought the dress I was wearing or my age he can go figure) but seriously folks – if I have to be very honest age don’t matter.

The Zen master and the Drama queen: There have been several occasions in my one month of working that I’ve vacillated from being completely in control of my emotions and feelings to when I’ve totally blown my fuse. When my friend at office, lets call her Sally, called me a drama queen after witnessing my numerous meltdowns at the bank while setting up my account and at the office, it made me think and reflect…Maybe I was overreacting, maybe it’s not right to expect people to behave in a certain way when perhaps they were never taught those values in the first place. Lack of professionalism, self-centredness and a blatant disregard for others have become a trademark of majority of the youth in India today. I know I sound very preachy and judgemental at this point but I sincerely yearn for those old school values of chivalry and sincerity…Yes, Mister please explain to these kind folks what I mean…

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When you start something new and after you’ve taken a break, you tend to compare things to how it used to be and how it was. I consider myself fortunate however to have had the opportunity to experience these things and though it does get a little emotionally draining at times there is always an adjustment phase when you are trying to learn and adapt to the new surroundings and new ways of life. How have you all been?

 

Monday Rambles – Sound bytes on Personality at the department store

Aloha my lovelies! How are you all doing? I’m sorry I literally didn’t show up the whole of last week..Not that I’m presumptuous enough to assume that my not posting on my blog would cause anyone to go ‘off their rocker’ crazy because they need ‘The Showcase’ fix to light up their day. Though that would be so cool if it were true isnt it? Fabulous Nishi – Transfixing, Transforming…on second thoughts that would hands down be the corniest thing I’ve ever written on this blog don’t you think?..Uh..No, don’t answer that question…

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Moving on, the last week the whole family ( read the husband, lil Ems and I) were a little under the weather and we were mostly at home taking turns at doing steam inhalations and salt water gargles- two most effective ways to eradicate a wily cold or throat irritation especially if you catch it at its early stages and oh yes! those and plenty of fluids…We also set the clocks ahead by an hour last Sunday and embraced our newly extended hours of daylight with open arms and like a caterpillar sheds its cocoon our winter wardrobe has been stacked away until they will be summoned next winter.

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Moving onto a totally unrelated subject, a few weeks back I overheard the cashier at our local Smiths store speaking to a colleague about a certain other colleague whom we shall call Ms. Sunshine.It was pretty late in the evening and as I was standing in line to pay, Ms. Cashier tells the colleague how everyone just loooves Ms. Sunshine because she is always smiling and being ‘nice’ (as though it was a crime) and then what she said next was the icing on the cake – She said, she thinks that Ms. Sunshine is that way because-wait for it-  she has “No Personality” (!!?)

When it was my turn to pay, Ms. Cashier “acknowleded”  my presence with an expressionless,sideways raised eyebrows glance while chewing her gum open mouthed, rang up my purchase with as much enthusiasm as a Jersey cow standing in a pasture chewing the cud and continued to gossip about Ms. Sunshine to aforementioned colleague while I paid for the goods and ambled on with my bags.

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Ms. Cashier is not alone. It’s a worldwide phenomena – growing number of people consider ‘being nice’ as being synonymous for ‘being dumb’ or ‘being fake’. Nice people get pushed around and taken for granted. Their smiles and good natures are dubbed as idiotic and uninteresting. Which explains the popularity of the Kardashians and the “Real” Housewives and the Snookis and J Wowws of the world. People accept the rude, the crass and the confrontational and don’t know how to handle the nice.

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Going back to Ms. Cashier, just because Ms. Sunshine doesn’t throw an attitude and bombard you with her sound bytes doesn’t mean that she doesn’t have a personality. Isn’t the fact that Ms. Sunshine is ‘nice’ tell us that she is an amicable person with a pleasing personality that people like to be around? And you know what – Ms. Sunshine could actually be the smartest person working in the store because she knows her sunny disposition and cheery charm will actually take her farther in life than Ms. Cashier will ever go with her snooty attitude and terrible manners.

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Not that I’m writing off our generation because I truly believe that inspite of all the deplorable and disgusting stories we hear and however much we may lament the death of chivalry and the growing materialism of our times; there are a few deep, compassionate and considerate souls on earth who treat people with respect and who don’t see being ‘nice’ as a sign of weakness but rather the superior ability to rise to the occasion and make best of an otherwise hostile man-eat-man world…I just hope they don’t become disillusioned and go extinct.

Never underrate the power of being nice because ‘Nice people’ are always in demand.Tell me isn’t it easier to simply blow your top when you are in a bad mood than to maintain your composure and put on a smile? Businesses even when they formulate cut throat strategies know they would never thrive with shoddy customer service.

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Leave behind a legacy of being nice. Have a great week folks!

Stranger in the mirror

You barely recognise

the person in the mirror,

your reflection

is to you

as much a stranger

as your

lonely, senile

next door neighbour,

Your heart

is brimming with self loathing

yet, you yearn for

understanding,

They don’t hear you

across the corridors

over their loud music

your bawling

copious tears

like waterfalls cascading

………………….

………………….

How unfair!?

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Monday Rambles – Easy steps to tackle Holiday Weight !

Ahh..My first ramble for the New Year…Of late I’ve noticed I’m getting slouchy when I sit..Maybe I should sit up straight…Hmm…I’ve placed the cushions to support my back to avoid the slouchiness but What’s that-  an unsightly ‘tire’ around my waist…I run my fingers across my face and I notice my nose is losing definition and my chin seems to have found a buddy..I’ve generally been feeling sluggish lately and my sleep patterns have changed….

Okay, I should just stop and not go further down on this road of self analysis and climb off the weighing machine it led me to… but its obvious – despite all my good intentions I’ve packed on the… ‘Holiday pounds’ (eeek!).

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I thank God for winter layering and puffy jackets

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I wonder what look George was going for here…but it couldn’t get any better than that jacket…

….because they provide an excellent cover up for all my misdeeds…Please no one invite me home for dinner because the heaters  will most likely be on which in turn will force me to let go of my ‘armor’ and you know how unforgiving those knit sweaters can be…I yearn for summer now so that I can just go back to wearing my loose airy tops.

So even if you are a ‘skinny minnie’ or a ‘chubby tubby’ like I am, we all want to lose those reminders of the Cocktails or  desserts or those cheesy casseroles that have so lovingly settled around your mid – section making you look even farther off from your ideal hour glass figure and more like a 1.5 litre bottle of Coke or Sprite or whatever your favorite type of soda is..or worse –

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Its just a matter of getting in there and battling the bulge – swish swoosh gone! (Who am I kidding,  I wish it were as easy as that but its not…) But let’s focus on doing things RIGHT this New Year and tackle this problem one baby step at a time…

1. No more mindless eating

There are moments when I become one with the food I eat..I love to eat and when a bowl of pasta is presented before me its just me and Mr. Spaghetti..but its high time we broke up with empty calories…Every item of food that you get into your hands and before it enters your mouth has to pass your very logical and sound left brain reasoning. You are not denying yourself or making a sacrifice –  If it’s high in sugar and sodium it most certainly NOT good for you. You could either share it with your colleague or whoever is close by and if they don’t want it just throw it in the bin. I hate to waste food but,you know what – ‘Better go waste than go to the waist

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2. There should be Water water everywhere

Water is so crucial and important to weight loss you just cant over emphasize the importance of drinking water. You really can never drink too much water and drinking water not just helps the kidneys work more efficiently in flushing out toxins from your body but it also helps the body to let go of the excess water that it has been holding on to as water weight thanks to all the sugar and salt we consume during the holidays.

The standard 8 glasses of water everyday has changed now everybody needs to drink half an ounce to an ounce for every pound that you weigh…So if you weigh 180 pounds you need to drink 90 ounces to 180 ounces of water every day..Sounds like a lot but the benefits are immense.

3. Take up a Hobby

Winter is hard  and with shorter days  and more time spent indoors. Hobbies that keep your mind and body active will help keep away those emotional triggers that automatically  lead you to the tub of ice cream in the freezer. Taking up a project that keeps your mind active and relieves stress is very important to balancing those hormones that lead to weight gain..So its okay sometimes to be maniacal and just immerse yourself in something you like to do as long as it keeps you from aforementioned freezer.

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4. You got to move it move it.

.

(Okay did you just do a head dance while you played this video you know where you only move neck up and throw in a couple of weird expressions for effect? Its fun!)

Ahem, now that you’ve stopped watching the video, what I’m trying to say is that nobody lost weight just lying on the couch (unless of course you decide to go under the knife or adopt more radical measures that may lead to more serious consequences to your health and future well being).

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So cardio and stretching exercises need to be thrown in, in good measure..

Slowly and steadily..

Don’t see it as a chore. Just take up some activity like walking up and down the living room when the commercials are on

OR.. just playing that video we just head danced to and moving more parts of your body and not just the head..’I like to move it move it….

5. Positive affirmations 

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Who hasn’t heard about the power of positive thinking…’Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can acheive’ says Napolean Hill one of the greatest personal success literature authors of all time and most famous for his book ‘Think and Grow Rich’

Conceive a happier healthier version of you for the New Year and keep reinforcing and reaffirming those positive thoughts and Believe me we’ve got this!

Have a great week guys!

Wham…Christmas song

One of my earliest memories of a Christmas song (apart from the carols of course) is ‘Last Christmas’ by Wham!

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Sigh!

 The song was released in 1984, the year I was born and topped the charts in the UK and was the No.1 song in several countries that year. As a girl,  I remember hearing this song playing on the radio on Christmas morning as the house filled with mummy’s Christmas cooking and me and my brother sneaked into the kitchen and stole brownies from the cake tin.

But coming back to the song, I remember as a kid wondering what my then crush George Micheal (way before he came out to the world as being gay and not that I would’ve understood it at that time) was singing about giving his heart away and what that had to do with Christmas.

Years later as I grew older and many an infatuation and a heartbreak later I began to understand the meaning of the lyrics and how the song talks about unrequited love and hope.

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Rejection from a person you love is a gut wrenching/agonizing feeling. When you realize it has happened, you not only hate the person you were ‘in love’ with  but also – yourself…and then even your roommates begin to hate you because you chose to just mope around and not shower.

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You feel confused and broken and you treat yourself like a lab rat in a cage poking and prodding – trying to analyze and dissect aspects of your personality that may have led to the rejection.

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I’m watching you..

 But its a sad truth that sometimes people you care a lot about don’t care as much about you and vice versa. Psychologists attribute this tendency to a primitive masochistic gene that sometimes rears its ugly head in our personalities.Sometimes ‘People reject the most thoughtful, most caring, most loving people in their lives’..It happens and I would agree with Taylor Swift when she says you just gotta- ‘Shake it Off’

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With Christmas round the corner this is a time to throw the past behind you and to solidify your sense of self worth and to call on your special strengths…

Go grab that yoga mat and just breaathe…now slowly open your eyes put the pieces of your exquisite crystal heart back together and like George Michael sings reserve it ‘to give to someone special’..

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Until next time please do enjoy the song!

“Last Christmas”

 

[Chorus (2x):]
Last Christmas
I gave you my heart
But the very next day you gave it away.
This year
To save me from tears
I’ll give it to someone special.Once bitten and twice shy
I keep my distance
But you still catch my eye.
Tell me, baby,
Do you recognize me?
Well,
It’s been a year,
It doesn’t surprise me
(Merry Christmas)I wrapped it up and sent it
With a note saying, “I love you,”
I meant it
Now I know what a fool I’ve been.
But if you kissed me now
I know you’d fool me again.[Chorus 2x]Oh, oh, baby.A crowded room,
Friends with tired eyes.
I’m hiding from you
And your soul of ice.
My god I thought you were someone to rely on.
Me? I guess I was a shoulder to cry on.A face on a lover with a fire in his heart.
A man under cover but you tore me apart, ooh-hoo.
Now I’ve found a real love, you’ll never fool me again.[Chorus 2x]A face on a lover with a fire in his heart (I gave you my heart)
A man under cover but you tore him apart
Maybe next year I’ll give it to someone
I’ll give it to someone special.Special…
Someone..

The Countdown to Christmas begins!

Oh My God! I’ve totally lost track of time! I hadn’t realized yesterday was Wednesday until today when I checked the calendar and I see that in a couple of days the countdown to Christmas begins..The Christmas tree is up and this year like always I will bake a lovely chocolate cake ..If anyone was nodding their head in disapproval, the reason I’ve never baked a plum cake is because I’ve never been a fan of mixing cake and dried fruits or even chocolate and dried fruits for that matter. In my mind these are things that are best enjoyed separately on their own..I’m sure many of you would beg to differ.

Christmas is such a joyous occasion, the day that is celebrated the world over as the day of the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. As much as we love the festivities and the excitement of the season it is so important to capture and share the real essence of Christmas encapsulated in the values of Hope, Peace, Giving and everlasting Joy to all irrespective of religion,race or creed…

So what is this post really about ? There are going to be some surprises in the coming posts some new collaborations and guest posts to bring the cheer of Christmas alive at ‘The Showcase’ I hope all my dear friends who follow my blog will love the offerings…

Peace and Love to all

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Diary of Sam – The Art of conversation

Dear Diary,

“So, I’ve never been an excellent conversationalist. I’m the guy when you sit down in a group and suddenly you notice everyone has left and its just you and that guy and you have no other place to go and you strain your brain for a very good excuse for a place to be so that you could avoid just sitting there with me and all the awkwardness..or we both just stare into our cellphones and the other guy tweets –

Stuck with weirdo#worstdayofmylife#whyme#dudegokillyourself”

…Yes, that’s been me.

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Its come to the point where I start getting panic attacks if I’m left alone in a room with just one person..if its two people its perfectly fine because if nothing else, the other two will strike a conversation with each other and I can play the role of the perfect bystander…

I’m a ‘good’ listener..did you know listeners are in great demand! Two people who are huge at talking and have an ego to match don’t quite get along and they love guys like me who suffer from a condition of chronic low self esteem who will listen to just about any non sense or gossip and bear with your idiosyncrasies so that I have an excuse not to open my mouth and can drift into the comfort of my imagination all the while acting like I’m engrossed in whatever it is you are saying..I have indeed perfected the art of ‘zoning out’.Like Mr. Walter Mitty down here

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“Just in ‘the zone’ bro”

Chicks dig me. I’m the guy they come to with their ‘issues’…stuff they can’t talk to their boyfriends about or even stuff about other girls they love to ‘share’ with me…Did I mention I’m the master of zoning out…but Hey! Im not that bad. I do listen once in a while and they ‘appreciate’ the words of wisdom I sometimes dole out in highly concentrated doses..I am also the Master of brevity..almost makes me feel like a Buddhist monk or a Zen master…fleeting boosts to my self esteem…

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I sometimes attribute my lack of topics to talk about or even the inability to contribute to my average IQ…took the IQ test and it said I had a score of 155 which is supposed to be a high average.So I’m not dumb neither am I Stephen Hawking.

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I have this crush on this girl though and I think she might be interested in me, what with all my ‘Zenness’ and all. But, I’m not sure if I can hold her attention for too long..What if she leaves me when she discovers that I’m not so cool? That I’m just a guy with the flair for the dramatic and a chronic case of lazybonitis?

She seems so smart…I think the love bug has gotten to my head as I see ‘How to master the art of conversation‘ and ‘Increase your brain power in Ten days‘ lying on my desk glowing under the light of my table lamp.

Will I be a survivor? Can I change the fate of all my brothers who dont have the gift of the gab or will I end up in the love dumpster? Guess we’ll find out soon enough.

Good night.