Saturday, March 28, 2009

Resisting the urge to... advice

Some time ago, I emailed a writer, a fellow acquaintance, quite successful in the world of commercial writing. We used to be `email` pals so when I read her submissions in a critique group I belonged to, I wrote to her about how similar our lives are. I am a few years older than her, so I saw her, in the pattern of her life now, living in a situation which will be a huge impact on the next few decades. So I added a few sentences in my email about certain good and bad decisions I had taken in my life, and basically telling her to weigh in all pros and cons.

I certainly wasn't interfering or telling her what she should do with her life. I wish all the time that some one mentored me when I was young and stupid, so I really didn't think that I had crossed any limits - in my mind, I was simply sharing tips with a fellow writer from my country. She and I used to be quite pally-pally in the early days when we both were struggling freelancers, so I assumed that it's not out of line to send an email like that.

But I received no reply at all for that email, and since I knew the writer was relocating to another country during the time I mailed, I thought she was just too busy to keep track of her things. But I was surprised - I knew her email was working, so I always wondered what was up with that. Did I offend her with any of my comments?

If yes, I hoped she had replied back to me, instead of acting like a school girl. Because I found recently why she didn't reply my mail for a long time. I read a post in her blog, which was basically a rant against all people who sent her unwanted advice in email. It was obvious who she was hinting at - yours truly.

Now, possibly this person did get unsolicited email about her personal life and she has every right to hate them. Still, I was really hurt that my email - which, I swear to God, wasn't about gossip but was every bit genuine and full of friendly advice - too was classified as one of the irritating ones. If that was the case, then I would have appreciated a reply that said `Drop dead, Rads`, instead of a roundabout post in her blog, mocking all the people who emailed her (yes, she got a lot of emails - but that's what happens when you talk about your choices and your personal life all the time).

After reading her acerbic post, I wandered around a few days, feeling as if kicked in the shin, and gradually recovered. It is her loss that she is so full of herself she can't differentiate between genuine emails and gossipy ones. I have learned time and again that people change once they taste the fruits of success. It was my mistake to assume that this person would be the same as before, when she was up and coming.

And I, obviously being the wiser one, should learn to mind my business more.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Can there be a better breakfast than THIS?

Soft cream cheese and strips of smoked salmon on a wheat bagel, with a sprinkling of sesame seeds and a twist of lime.
A small bowl of (1) sliced banana and (5) chopped walnuts.

Muller's probiotic Rasperry Yogurt drink.

Sure, it totaled 500 calories and £3 (the bagel was 2.65 at Waitrose) but even a budgeting dieter can afford to have a rich breakfast once a week. And this one has all necessary nutrients - good carbs (banana), omega 3 (salmon and walnut), fibre (wholewheat bagel), and digestion-aiding culture (Muller drink). Not to mention tasty cream cheese to satisfy the glutton in you!

Yum. Yum. Yummyyyyyyyyyyy.

So to answer my question above, NO.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

I'm. in. Toothache. Hell.

I had the most horrible toothache for the past 2 days. Before coming here, I had a root canal treatment in India and it was the most bitter winter in 18 years when I arrived in London; I think the combination of a root-canalled tooth and sub-zero temperatures made sure that the pain will flare up every now and then, if I get careless and eat anything that's too hot or too cold.

Now, this is good news for my dieting, as it means that I cannot have hot fudge or ice cream. But it also means that I cannot drink steaming soups or anything straight from the oven, even if it is baked sweet potatoes. Arrrrggggghh!

And forget about going to a dentist in the UK, esp. if you have no dental insurance. A simply checkup is 75 pounds, so god knows how much it will cost to get my tooth alright. I am better off spending that money on a flight ticket to home. At least I can be with my family for some time!

So, advice to people thinking about leaving their country to work in a cold country - please take care of your teeth and make sure they are in top-top condition when you reach your new residence. Otherwise, you might have to survive on painkillers and clove oil, like me.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Happy Birthday, E!

I'm quite bummed today.

It's the birthday of one of the kids I au pair, and I was not invited for the matinee show. So when everybody is running around, getting ready for the movie, I am just sitting inside my room, wondering what is wrong. Friends and relatives are here for the party, and I have not been told anything by the parents. Should I stay? Should I leave, if they are having an event? There is a cake in the fridge, so am I to be there in the party?

Just as I was thinking this, the voices of the family singing HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU reached my ears. For a second, I thought they were cutting the cake and I was incredibly sad. Then I realised it is 9am and nobody cuts a cake in the morning! They must be waking up the girl by singing to her and giving her presents.

After feeling sorry for myself for a few minutes, I just made up my mind to go out and meet my friends. My host family is generally very cordial and generous to me (for e.g., they always give me their own travelcard to use in the weekends) so I had to conclude that they were not ignoring me deliberately.

May be they want their space, to be their family time. May be they just forgot, because it is all so hectic. I AM kind of an introvert, and I have made it clear many times that I value peace over mayhem so may be they thought I wouldn't want to participate in a noisy b'day party.

So instead of wrecking my mental peace, I just gave my present to the birthday girl and made a graceful exit. Life's too short to worry about these things!