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"Conversation. What is it? A Mystery! It's the art of never seeming bored, of touching everything with interest, of pleasing with trifles, of being fascinating with nothing at all. How do we define this lively darting about with words, of hitting them back and forth, this sort of brief smile of ideas which should be conversation?" Guy de Maupassant

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Unfortunately, links to categories, pictures uploaded and permalinks to posts will be broken here, as Radio Userland has closed down.

New Blog URL - http://dinamehta.com/
Subscribe via RSS 2.0 - http://dinamehta.com/feed/
Subscribe via Atom - http://dinamehta.com/feed/atom/
Comments feed - http://dinamehta.com/comments/feed/

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Monday, October 8, 2007

This is my last post on this blog. Radio Userland has served me well since I started blogging in 2003. I will post more details on the transition, at my new blog - for now I just wanted to make this announcement, and provide the new url and feeds.

New Blog URL - http://dinamehta.com/
Subscribe via RSS 2.0 - http://dinamehta.com/feed/
Subscribe via Atom - http://dinamehta.com/feed/atom/
Comments feed - http://dinamehta.com/comments/feed/

The new blog will also be called Conversations with Dina - it's just a new blogging platform - but the same old blog! I do hope you continue reading and feeding it.

My old blog will be archived at its old url (http://radio.weblogs.com/0121664/) and I will keep the archives going. Stuart, who has worked out the platform for Conversations with Dina on Wordpress has done some neato hacks - one that I love a lot is that the search function will not just search the new blog archives, but also my old Radio blog archives. And he has managed to transfer some of my posts over too. That's so cool!!! Lots more needs doing there ... and that will emerge I'm sure.

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Friday, June 1, 2007

A picture named thought.jpg"What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within."

Ralph Waldo Emerson

A reminder to reflect more on 'Who I Am' rather than on 'What I Do'. What I do brings me success and recognition, both hugely motivating, but is it significant to who I am? Doing often makes me wear masks, which put me in my comfort zone - being rarely does.

Who I am is often defined by others, who I am is how others see me. What I do is what people see and how they put it all together is to them who I am. But to be.... just be... is just being true to yourself.

We often do what we think is expected because of who we think we are. Which is again perhaps in line with Cooley's Looking - Glass Self phenomenon which suggests that "a person views himself or herself through others' perceptions in society and in turn gains identity. Identity, or self, is the result of the concept in which we learn to see ourselves as others do (Yeung, et al. 2003)"

And when we let ourselves 'be', it really can be so easy and is fun too. I want to learn to feel this difference and not just view myself through reflections in others' mirrors. Really listen, understand the balance between the two, and learn to navigate the streams that let us flow from one to the other.

[Image sent to me last year by a friend - its titled 'Thought']

[Afterthought - I think I need a holiday :):):)]

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Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Just as I am dealing with the final stages of buying an apartment - all the paperwork just drives me nuts, my Skype buddy, Morris Rolland, who I haven't chatted with for ages, sends me this thought in the form of verse today:

Reclusion, Late Summer

To this place of retreat
the world does not follow;
but many old ailments
heal here.

I polish words
of old poems;
view mountains,
and sleep outside my hut.

Colored clouds
cross the setting sun;
cicadas ring
in the leaves of trees.

With this
my heart again knows happiness;
and who would have thought it,
without wine or money.

Yao Ho (fl. 831)

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Tuesday, March 6, 2007

.... on April 21, 2039.  According to this!  Gotta work on living longer :)

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Monday, November 27, 2006

...... isn't so bad.  Not when you get a brand new cell phone - the Nokia N73!  :):):) (apologies Jabberwock, but I can't help feeling like a smiley person).  

I haven't played with my new phone much yet ...  but I love the large screen, the sliding cover over the lens and flash, and the photo slide-show function which I played with on a friend's phone - it was just awesome.  The phone part of it is just fine - its become a necessity today and there is little differentiation between models on that front (this isn't wifi-enabled though). And it feels great having a real digicam ready-to-shoot, in your pocket 24/7.  (Their website states "Inspiration can come to you anytime"). I can't wait until I start clicking away.
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Here's a detailed review by  Ken Camp, with some drawbacks highlighted.

And I love the tagline in the N73 ad - "the future of photography is connected" - it clearly re-positions cell phones... ooops digicams.  Smart!

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Wednesday, November 8, 2006

Was passing by one of the busiest 'walls' in Bombay today .. and couldn't resist this picture. Any guesses on the product? No pink prizes ange :)

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Saturday, October 14, 2006

I couldn't help laughing when I read this post Public or Pubic at Amit Varma's blog.  It reminded me of a really good friend back in college, who, one day, in all innocence, asked us in a girly 'hush-hush' whisper: "Why do people call such a private part public?"

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Thursday, October 12, 2006

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"A cloud does not know why it moves in just such a direction and at such a speed. It feels an impulsion...... this is the place to go now. But the sky knows the reasons and the patterns behind all clouds, and you will know too, when you lift yourself high enough to see beyond horizons"........Richard Bach [quote found at Life 2.0 in a great post called Who Are You?] [Picture credit]

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Saturday, October 7, 2006

What is held ..

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and what is released ...

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.... beautiful imagery in words and pictures from two bloggers who I read regularly for inspiration.

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Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Thinking of some new relationships I have found such joy in over the last few years ...

"For years, copying other people,
I tried to know myself.
From within, I couldn't decide what to do.
Unable to see, I heard my name being called.
Then I walked outside."
...... Rumi

[discovered at Aparna's blog, when she spent an evening with Rumi]

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Sunday, August 27, 2006

I don't usually blog about movies, but this article in the Hindustan Times that shares reader responses to Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna (KANK) (detailed story) roused my researcher instincts. The movie is the lives of Dev and Maya, who are both married to different people, who both yearn for something deeper and more meaningful, and for passion. They find each other, and as a result, it changes lives of all involved forever.

There's been a lot of media hype around the theme of extra-marital affairs in India as a result of the movie- while some (and that seems to be a minority) seem to feel there is no reason to stay in unhappy marriages, many others are of the opinin that it goes against our 'culture'. What intrigued me about the article in the Hindustan Times were two things. One, that those against the film tended to be from an older age segment, while those below 35 years felt it reflects trends in today's society. And two, on reading the quotes from readers there, my observation is that those who strongly raised their voice against the movie and also felt it was ahead of its times were mainly males, and those who feel that women are empowered now to decide whether they want to stay in a loveless marriage were females!!
[Disclaimer - this observation is based on just this one article]

"...A surfer named Deepak from Dubai wrote in to say: "KANK is a movie which not only undermines, but also insults Indian culture and values."

".....30-year-old Sabrina from Panaji sent us a very telling comment. She said: "I don't care for movies like KANK, especially if they come from a director like Karan Johar. But I can say this for sure: I would not hestitate for a second to walk out if my marriage is not working out. I am an individual with a life to lead, why should I waste it on a loveless relationship?"

"27-year-old Sangita, who wrote in from Arlington, Virginia, provided another interesting angle to this issue. She said: "This is a very complex issue. In the US for instance, women are a lot more empowered. They think of themselves as individuals and so don't hesitate to leave a marriage where there is no love or commitment. In India however, women don't think of themselves as an identity different from their husbands. So they suffer all marital discords and continue to be slaves to their negligent and uncaring husbands."

Art imitating life?

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Wednesday, August 16, 2006

A picture named My dad.jpgMy dad, Dr. Homi Dastur, is 80 today ... and you'd never know it if you met him. He's a neurosurgeon and still operates at Jaslok Hospital, where he has been since 1974, and will until he is 83. One of the pioneering neurosurgeons in India, he set up the neurosurgery department at the KEM hospital way back in 1957. I was telling Stuart about him the other day, who placed a bet that he must be among the oldest practicing neurosurgeons in the world ... I wonder if this is true!

Growing up, I will always remember, every year we were visited by a fisherwoman, her son and husband, and we were so excited because she brought us the best catch of the season year after year. This family showed their appreciation in their own way .. as Dad had performed a free operation on their young son who had a bad tumour.
One case he will always remember is of a girl who was 21 in 1974, and had a malignant brain tumour - although dad operated on her, he didn't feel she would live long. Year after year her parents would come back for checkups with her and ask Dad if they could get her married ... although he never said no outright, his view was that she may have just a few months to live, every time. She's alive and well after 32 years, and comes to meet him every year. While he has never understood how she has survived - it is a miracle - his greatest regret is that he may have prevented her from living a normal life.

I found this link on the web - here's what a colleague says about him ... "I was also privileged to see such teachers as Drs RN Cooper, AV Baliga, SJ Mehta, RG Ginde, Homi Dastur and PK Sen examine candidates. Most of these giants possessed competence, vast experience, a deep understanding of the art and science of medicine and, at least as important, unchallengeable honesty. I have seen Dr Homi Dastur walk out of the examination hall for a brief spell after explaining to his fellow examiner that the candidate facing them was his student. He desired the other examiner to conduct his assessment without any hindrance or interference."

When I asked him what drives him today, why he still operates when he could just relax and enjoy his life - he says simply that patients still come to him for advice and he cannot let them down. Also, there is that element of trepidation and anxiety in neurosurgery, which was never in him when he was doing general surgery - which for him is a challenge - and keeps him going! His advice to any young surgeon is "never let frustration overcome you".

Even outside his profession, Dad is a very special person - he is soft-spoken, kind to a fault, is a bit of a loner - he enjoys his own company and his family. He's not outgoing, not an extrovert, although always polite, and in his special subtle manner so gentle and warm - often getting bullied by the four women (my mum, two sisters and me) in his life! A complete rationalist is my father - a claimed agnostic, verging on atheism - thank heavens for that, as we were brought up to believe in ourselves rather than follow meaningless rituals, against my poor Mum's protests.

Dad has exceedingly refined taste in music, the arts, literature - almost a purist - no Pink Floyd for him!! And yet he is the simplest man I've known - he has very few material needs - any food does, any clothes do, no fancy holidays - he even wears his father's old pants till date, and not out of any sentiment. He refuses a PC, a mobile phone and a driver, and drives himself to the hospital and back every day and can be really stubborn about many things.

My sister tells me of this really funny incident, where Dad and Mum were dropping her off to the airport when she was off to college, and she suddenly had a huge fit of laughter in the car ... Dad had no clue what was going on .. until she pointed out to him he was driving on the wrong side of the road! That's my Dad :)

We're proud of you Dad .... and thinking of you today. Special hugs! To Mum too .. who has stood by him for over 40 years.

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Monday, June 12, 2006

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"And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom". - AnaÔs Nin.

Found in a touching post on Evelyn's blog about her artist friend Ruby and her coming out party. I thoroughly enjoyed catching up with the soul food at her blog ... its been ages... thanks Evelyn!

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Wednesday, April 26, 2006

A very close friend of mine passed away in May 2005. We had been together in school and college - I've known her since we were 5. It was sudden and a real shock. Her mother and sister have been trying to get the post mortem report from the authorities for a whole year, and are yet to receive it. This is the whole story ... as written by her mother ... she wants to make it public in the hope that some action is taken.

Dear Madam/Sir,
My daughter passed away on the 11th May 2005. It was very sudden and no doctors were available in the middle of the night.As it was in the middle of May vacation, it added to the misfortune.I was told in the morning by one Breachcandy Hospital Doctor to shift her immediately there. She was no more upon arrival and as per the law a post mortem had to be done. The report for this is still pending almost a year after. As she had various illnesses earlier (though nothing on that particular day except extremely high fever), my younger daughter and I are very anxious to know the exact nature of the cause of her demise.

I kept trying to find out from the Gamdevi Police station as to when the report will come as it is more than 11 months since she passed away. They kept telling me it takes time but as I find it difficult to wait on, I contacted a doctor in the pathology department through a doctor friend and was told that it was a norm at the forensic dept. to keep people waiting in case there is a question of insurance recovery. In that case the people who have already lost someone have to part with some of the money. I was told that in my case as there was no insurance money concerned, I should wait for another 6 months and the people at the forensic lab will realise that nothing is forthcoming and they will then release the report.

To add to this I was also told that if they are made happy they will also change the report to help the recovery of the insurance money. I wonder if you would like to ivvestigate this matter, I will wait for a day or two for your reply and approach someone else if you are not interested. I would like my name not to be mentioned as they might harass me further about the report. They may just change it or sit on it longer still.


Any suggestions on who she might send it to or how she could get closure on this ? She wishes to remain anonymous - as she fears harrassment.

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Sunday, March 26, 2006

Came across this poem at Caferati, through Peter's blog - Dream On by James Tate :

Some people go their whole lives
without ever writing a single poem.
Extraordinary people who don't hesitate
to cut somebody's heart or skull open.
They go to baseball games with the greatest of ease.
and play a few rounds of golf as if it were nothing.
These same people stroll into a church
as if that were a natural part of life.
Investing money is second nature to them.
They contribute to political campaigns
that have absolutely no poetry in them
and promise none for the future.
They sit around the dinner table at night
and pretend as though nothing is missing.
Their children get caught shoplifting at the mall
and no one admits that it is poetry they are missing.
The family dog howls all night,
lonely and starving for more poetry in his life.
Why is it so difficult for them to see
that, without poetry, their lives are effluvial.
Sure, they have their banquets, their celebrations,
croquet, fox hunts, their sea shores and sunsets,
their cocktails on the balcony, dog races,
and all that kissing and hugging, and don't
forget the good deeds, the charity work,
nursing the baby squirrels all through the night,
filling the birdfeeders all winter,
helping the stranger change her tire.
Still, there's that disagreeable exhalation
from decaying matter, subtle but everpresent.
They walk around erect like champions.
They are smooth-spoken and witty.
When alone, rare occasion, they stare
into the mirror for hours, bewildered.
There was something they meant to say, but didn't:
"And if we put the statue of the rhinoceros
next to the tweezers, and walk around the room three times,
learn to yodel, shave our heads, call
our ancestors back from the dead--"
poetrywise it's still a bust, bankrupt.
You haven't scribbled a syllable of it.
You're a nowhere man misfiring
the very essence of your life, flustering
nothing from nothing and back again.
The hereafter may not last all that long.
Radiant childhood sweetheart,
secret code of everlasting joy and sorrow,
fanciful pen strokes beneath the eyelids:
all day, all night meditation, knot of hope,
kernel of desire, pure ordinariness of life
seeking, through poetry, a benediction
or a bed to lie down on, to connect, reveal,
explore, to imbue meaning on the day's extravagant labor.
And yet it's cruel to expect too much.
It's a rare species of bird
that refuses to be categorized.
Its song is barely audible.
It is like a dragonfly in a dream--
here, then there, then here again,
low-flying amber-wing darting upward
then out of sight.
And the dream has a pain in its heart
the wonders of which are manifold,
or so the story is told.

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Friday, March 17, 2006

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My brother-in-law, Pavan Buragohain is a real genius ... he's made this guitar from scratch and completely on his own - from solid steam-beach hardwood, a carved top, white-ash neck, and a rosewood fretboard, lacquered with polyurethane, coloured tobacco sunburst.A picture named pavan04.jpg

Apart from designing lots of the furniture in their home and making guitars, he's an animator and illustrator - check out some of his work here, including a portrait of my younger sister at the bottom of the page I've linked to.

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"Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, thatís creativity" - Charles Mingus

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Saturday, March 11, 2006

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people could change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." - Margaret Mead

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Thursday, February 16, 2006

A picture named astrology4.gif(Image credit here)

I've been telling people that 2006 is going to be a year of change ... I just feel it in my bones. I was chatting with Avi yesterday and made that statement to him. He asked me for my birth date and swept me off on a journey exploring numerology, destiny numbers and yearly cycles. Skeptic I am about all such matters - oooh how I dislike this trend where so many TV serials and artistes are changing their names for 'good karma', and dismiss it as a New Age sort of thing - ironic in some ways as its been around forever. So, I kept making 'errors' in my calculations of destiny numbers and life cycle numbers. Still, Avi pushed his way through and just kept feeding me :). And it was the strangest experience reading through it - it seemed like a real mirror of my life as it has been and is, not an odd shadow in the reflections. And not preachy or judgemental as I had expected either. I got excited by this, was having fun too, and checked out numbers and destinies for some of my family and friends - and it kept getting better.

I guess I won't be dismissing it anymore - I won't let it become a self-fulfilling prophecy either. And nooooo, I'm not about to change the alphabets in my name yet :)

Try it for yourself - its interesting. This is one place that I used to 'figure me out' - look for the links that say Destiny Number and Yearly Life Cycle.

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Sunday, January 29, 2006

More puppy fun at Khandala ...

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and finally ... a group huggle ...

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Monday, January 23, 2006

Nature breathes life ...

flush ...

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ripe peach ...

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earth chimes...

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purple dew...

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