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Showing posts from 2008

Is India Shining .........now??

Yeah I guess,it is right now in the spotlight....is it shining or not...is a very debatable topic. Yes of course I am talking of the heinous terrorist attack on Mumbai,India. The media has very(as usual) packaged the massacre and given a very saleable name calling it "India's 9/11." Well if it was India's 9/11 , is India reacting the way USA did after the 9/11?? thats the question which needs to be answered. The politicians have reacted so predictably, selling themselves at every given opportunity. Do they really think we canot see through the sham?? They even managed to insult families of the dead. How much lower can they fall still? Heads rolled and the blame game was as usual, with people resigning from their posts...which by the way they can win back in the next elections...does this make any sense?? The media gave a nonstop account of the happenings in Mumbai. They harrased victims and their families. They asked uncomfortable questions to families waiting for

My Experiments with Cooking - 2

By nature I am a calm and gentle person (thats what I think, am sure lots of my friends will disagree). Inspite of all this calmness I have an uncanny knack of being uncoordinated when it is anything to do with chores and mainly in the kitchen. My hubby will have many examples of these situations. Mainly when I am pouring sugar, lentils or semolina into airtight containers and manage to spill half of it on the kitchen platform. I have tried and tried but have never managed to perfect the art. I always secretly envy the people who can do this without spilling a bit. Armed with such meagre qualifications, jumping into the 'art of cooking' was like jumping from a airplane without a parachute. All those who have read 'My experiments with cooking-1' would already know about how I approach it, with a bit of weariness and a lot of sarcasm. My 2nd foray was when my mum was away in Bangalore. I am sure whenever my pater recalls that incident a shiver would definitely run dow

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Daytime

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As you can see from the title...yes its about my dog oops you can say ex-dog since he is been adopted by family friends last year when we moved here to Lancaster. For people who do not know about me, let me just give you a snapshot of my Dog 'Buddy' - a chocolate Labrador retriever. You can read more about him in my first ever post 'Missing Buddy. He is a very naughty and curious creature. I was recently having a conversation about Dogs with some friends and I remembered this funny incident worth blogging about. One day when I was back in good ole Pune -India, I was taking down the laundry from the line and one plastic clip fell on the floor. Any people who own dogs especially a Labrador will know that they eat anything and everything even you have just given them a meal . Buddy just jumped on it and started chewing it vigorously. I ran after him to take it out from his mouth and he thinking it was a game started running even faster around the whol

The Festival of Lights...

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Deepavali or Diwali is here. Today is 'Laxmi Pujan ' one of the biggest days for Hindus across the globe. I am here far away from home in foreign lands and missing all the festivities back home in India. And to top it I am in office and working today...which is so weird. I still remember the grand celebrations when I was growing up. Started with 'Dhanteras' and ended with 'Bhai dooj'. All the hogging on sweets and wearing new clothes and bursting crackers in the front yard with the house ablaze with lights and diyas (Oil Lamps). 'Narkachaturdashi' is mainly celebrated in Maharashtra- a region where I come from. Its celebrated one day after Dhanteras. It is believed that on that day if you are not bathed and dressed before Sunrise you will go to Hell(Narka) , which we still believe. I remember my mother waking my sis and me up at 4 in the morning and putting scented Oil and a scrub for making us pure on that day. I clearly remember the rough scrub she

My Super Sweet 16

I was flipping the channels on the telly as usual with the want for seeing a sane program. After watching innumerable re-runs of my ever favorite series 'Friends'. I dared to experiment and came to a program called "My Super Sweet 16". The program is produced in U.S of A and revolves around the 16th Birthday Celebration of a Super Rich Brat. It starts off with the chap or chappy introducing themselves and showing off their rich lifestyle. Yesterday it was all about a girl who was dumb as a doorknob with a whiny voice. She wants a Horse for her Birthday, also gets a Cadillac since she hates her Ford and throws her Party in some huge mall with more than 100 people invited. The theme is Las Vegas so you have showgirls , magician ,poker tables and what not. Plus there was some celebrity singer who came and performed (I have no clue who he was). The girl was to dress as a Barbie and so she needed her Ken to escort her to her Birthday. They round up some of the so called

The simple life

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My ususal work day starts with a cup of coffee and checking my mails and getting ready for work. Today when I got up, I saw rain pounding on the windows and the first thought that came to my mind was "oh damn, the f****** rain has started again".The urge to creep back into the covers was so very tempting. Living in the UK, you do get used to the continuous rain but after a week of glorious weather it was a disappointment. I got dressed as quietly as possible as hubby dearest was snoring away to glory (him being on a sabbatical after a year of MBA studies). I got bundled up in my trusty jacket and plodded towards work. My walk to my workplace takes me through the centre of town. I saw few people under shop awnings who looked as surprised as I was, with the weather turning bad. Rest of the crowd was just walking head down trying not to get wet in the downpour. As I walked on, I heard giggles and laughter. And then in front of me walked 3 school girls trying to hide under

My Experiments with Cooking - 1

Cooking has always been my nemesis ever since I was a girl of 14. Growing up in a household with two elder sisters I was shielded from this chore for quite some time. But there is no escape from cooking if you are a girl born in the Indian Middle Class. The day eventually had to come sometime. Mommy dearest had tried number of times to steer my interest towards it but I had escaped from that ordeal unscathed.For this I thank my father and my two elder sisters for delaying my foray in this scary world of 'cooking' by taking the mantle themselves. One fine day, 'Mater' had figured it out and she outsmarted all of us. That day my sisters had gone out and my Pops also was not there. She pounced on me (just as a mother shakes a pup by the neck to correct him) and dragged me to face the unthinkable. The first experiment was to knead the dough for 'Phulkas' (Rotis). As per my mom, if you know how to make the perfect dough and then a perfect roti, you were set for

Funny Poem

As a rule Man is a fool When its hot He wants it cool When its cool He wants it hot He always wants That which is not -Anon Read this funny poem and it was so true had to put it on my blog And they call women complicated...... :)

What is sucess ?

I liked this poem a lot so thought it needed to be posted in my Blog. He has achieved success who has lived well, laughed often, and loved much; Who has enjoyed the trust of pure women, the respect of intelligent men and the love of little children; Who has filled his niche and accomplished his task; Who has never lacked appreciation of Earth's beauty or failed to express it; Who has left the world better than he found it, Whether an improved poppy, a perfect poem, or a rescued soul; Who has always looked for the best in others and given them the best he had; Whose life was an inspiration; Whose memory a benediction. ------ Bessie Anderson Stanley

Attack of two legged Lancaster MBA grads

I am sure your curiosity must be piqued by title of this post.Since my husband has finished his MBA course, we vacated the campus flat and moved in to a rental apartment in the town.It a nice comfortable apartment which is completely furnished. It has real comfy,"sink into me type" couches and the works . We moved into the flat by 5th sept and since then there has been a steady stream of people coming over for dinners. It's the time to say goodbyes and making promises to keep in touch. Three days back we had a curious mix of people who resided with us for a short duration till the time they could move to more permanent accomodation.We had a Brazilian , a taiwanese and an Indian, who are my husbands classmates stay at our place. Our 2nd bedroom(its actually quite small) has no place to walk,its filled with luggage,bags ,pots and pans and what nots.I think its permanently going to be turned into a store room. This curious mix of friends brought a lot of fun and laug

The Bucket List

Early morning and I had just opened my mail and a friend of mine started chatting with me and asked me this incredulous question "Is the world coming to an end?" I brushed it off by joking and having a good laugh. Out of curiosity I checked a few news sites and I came across a few articles about the "Big Bang" Experiment being conducted by CERN scientists near the French-Swiss Border.I also read about the mass panic back home where people are predicting Apocalypse and are rushing to temples in the hope of stopping it. It got me thinking about "What if, it actually happened?".I have still not done so many things in life.There are so many places I have still not seen.I eventually started thinking about a list of things I plan to do before the world comes to an end or I die (I am not being morbid about it). 1) Fall in love with my husband all over again. 2) Tell my parents how much I love and respect them.How they have been a pillar of support my entire li

I am crazy for Prem aka Main Prem ki Diwani Hoon

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Could the title be any more Cheesier....??? Watching this movie was a deliberate plan of ours(Naira - a friend in Lancaster and me) to experience the Horror of a bad Bollywood Movie.I had endured the torture years back when I had watched it for the first time. The setting of the movie is in "sunder Nagar" supposedly a small town somewhere in India. The small town not only has bungee jumping facilities but has snow clad mountains the size of ALPS and Coral Reef at the same time....isn't nature wonderful...I mean WOW is the word that comes to my mind. The place needs to be checked definitely for property prices... I know I know... Suraj Barjatya tried to make the scenery at least pleasant for the viewers... The torture..oops, the movie begins with Sweet albeit a saucy Kareena-Sanjana who is a girl of today's generation...who wants to live life as per her own terms.Her mother however wants her to get married to a rich bloke (Abhishek) named Prem. However in his

The 90/10 principle.

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Off late I have been a bit stressed out and some pent up feelings of frustration have been coming out in a bad way.In my daily dose of girl talk with my dear friend shipra I poured it all out.She like a good friend sent me this chapter from one of Stephen Covey's Books which helped me think straight so I felt I should put it on my blog. It will change your life (at least the way you react to situations). What is this principle? 10% of life is made up of what happens to you. 90% of life is decided by how you react. What does this mean? We really have no control over 10% of what happens to us. We cannot stop the car from breaking down. The plane will be late arriving, which throws our whole schedule off. A driver may cut us off in traffic. We have no control over this 10%. The other 90% is different. You determine the other 90%. How? ……….By your reaction. You cannot control a red light. but you can control your reaction. Don't let people fool you; YOU can control how you react. L

Marriages are made in Heaven

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Are marriages really made in Heaven??? If they are ,then god sure does have a wacky sense of humor.I have seen both arranged marriages and love marriages falling apart. The discussion about if love marriages are better than arranged and vice versa has been discussed enough number of times....lets move on to something else. Harriet and I were talking about a common friend (an Indian) who will only marry the girl his parents choose for him. It is quite normal for me to hear this but it was quite shocking for Harriet who is a Swede. Her question was "how can he marry someone without knowing her and if he does not love her?", "How can you marry someone you are not passionate about?". Upon hearing the word "passion" I had flashing images of Bollywood and Hollywood flicks.... Hindi Movie Scene- Unmarried Hero and heroine just manage one kiss in the entire 3 hrs and sometimes passionate scenes are shown... Married Hero and Heroine (Poor things) dont even get a ki

Sholay.....

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This movie is an epitome of what a Blockbuster Hindi movie should be. Much has been written and said about this movie so how could I not write something about it. I have seen "Sholay" countless number of times and know all the dialogues by-heart. My romance with this movie started very early in life. My father had a audio cassette of this movie with all the dialogues and songs. Even though I had never seen the movie it was fun just listening to the dialogues which were and are still so powerful even after more than 30 years after it was made. I dont remember when I saw "Sholay" for the first time. I recently saw the movie again. The beginning of the movie is so much akin to a western movie.The bandits on horse back trying to rob a 'maal gaadi'(goods train) has been shot really well. The film was a commercial diaster when it was first released in 1975. It was a Lavish film for its time and took 2.5 years to film it. Critics were harsh in their judgement. Onl

I am a Hindu....

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In the Lancaster University campus I've made a lot of new friends...some from countries I had never thought I would...mainly Pakistan. Since we share a turbulent past and a chaotic present .It was tough at first not to be judgmental towards them. As we got to know them better my prejudice waned... We travel together, have dinners at each others place...discuss a lot of various topics..but completely avoid controversial subjects like the Kashmir issue.. One of the topic was about Hindu Religion. The only traditions of Hindu culture which they knew, was after seeing innumerable Hindi Movies and "Saas Bahu" serials. I never knew it will become so difficult to answer the question "Who is a Hindu?" and "What is exactly Hinduism?". My husband and I both tried to explain them the concept, which I am sure was hazy at the most.Hindu Culture is so vast and old...how to encompass so many traditions in a single line... Finally I decided to research a bit and came

Fair and lovely...

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In my search for the perfect body lotion I came across shelf upon shelf of body lotions which maintain your perfect tan and tanning lotions which help you tan.Well again at the cost of repeating myself I will say "Summers here" in UK. The campus is converted into a beach where semi naked bodies are lying down in the sun .Its like the entire University is in a picnic mood. Well back home in "good ole India" we run for cover from the blazing sun not to get tanned. All the beauty regimes definitely include how to get rid of that ugly tan . Where as the Sun heats up, we can see our feet bearing the design of our footwear . Its kind of ironic to see the fair skinned "Firangs" wanting our skin shade "BROWN" (as Russel Peters likes to call) and us trying desperate measures to look fairer. How could I miss talking about the beauty cream "Fair and lovely" . I personally feel that the product should be banned from the market. It actually promote

What the F*** !!!!!

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That is exactly my state of mind right now...since its my blog I am allowed freedom of expression... When you are in a very bad mood that is all you can say..... Well for starters a very good friend of mine dumped me...(I know that boyfriends dump you and not friends) but most of us don't realize that they dump you when they don't want to be in touch anymore....and your attempts to revive that bond falls flat on your face... Just like in a romantic relationship you are left wondering what did you do wrong? Is it something you did or said that lead to this situation. Most of the times the so called friends just drift away because life takes us all in different directions.There is no more common ground on which you can meet or have fun together.But you still manage to hang on to a few close friends and try to be in touch with them as much as you can and not let geographical distance be an issue. But again the same thing happens and then you really start doubting yourself all over

The growing pains....

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I was recently reading my friends blog and he had written something about being an adult...that got me thinking of my teenage years...and time spent with my sisters and my younger cousin.... I have 2 elder sisters...hang on...I am not a pampered brat or something...though I am sure my sisters will disagree on this.... I had a very volatile relation with my elder sister who is just a year older (and I guess the remnants are still there)and more of a stable and "I revere her" types with my eldest who is seven years older. My younger cousin was more there for me to bully around and also be my good confidante in all the naughty things that I planned. Though I was never a kid who loved to destroy stuff and make other peoples lives miserable , in my middle sister's terms (Lets call her 'A') I was a kid who deserved some strong words every time I did something wrong.....which I actually thought was fun... I still clearly remember my first experience of stepping into

Of Buttcracks and Cleavages

I travel by bus everyday to work.It gives me an opportunity to observe people without being too obvious. The latest fad in fashion is the "low waist jeans". I always think whether its more of a fashion disaster. Everybody is wearing it from fat to skinny..tall to short... The low waist jeans has shown me some unsightly views and unchartered territories. Not to sound too retro and conservative,was it not enough that showing the cleavage was considered fine that we are now happily showing our other cleavage as well. Just yesterday I saw a young mother with her 2 friends get in the bus. She was not skinny but quite well endowed and wearing a LWJ (Low waist jeans ) plus no belt to hold it up. It was quite an ordeal for everybody to see her sitting down . Its fine if fashion models wear it cause they make it look good .Also people who can carry it without showing their backside to the entire world. On an average I get to see at least 5-10 butt cracks everyday and I think my

Super Size Me

I've never met a women friend who will miss a chance to go shopping even if its window shopping.The high and thrill of drooling over new shoes and clothes and bags is akin to taking ecstasy (I've only read about it....) I am a self confessed window shopper....I love it...I also love buying new outfits... The only problem comes when I am out shopping with a skinny friend....well uhmmm I am not anywhere in that category.....I become pretty self conscious during those times and to top it all most of the stores forget that fat people oops....overweight people can have a sense of fashion too. I am sure most of my soul sisters know what I am talking about... I guess this is the story at least in my country...India....Americans might care to dispute... You browse through racks and racks of wonderful clothes and none of them fit you...its quite frustrating and disappointing just like when you come to know you've not passed in a particular test even if you are sure you've

Tiger Tiger Burning Bright.....

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I was recently watching a video, shot by my brother-in law, when he was visiting the "Kanha National Park "in India. It was of a magnificent tiger who just walked past their open jeep in all its glory. This suddenly brought back the memories of my school days, when I had snagged a book from my fathers collection called as "Man-eaters of Kumaon" by Jim Corbett. The book was about Corbett's experiences with man eating tigers in the Kumaon region of India and how he saved the lives of many people by killing the tigers. Jim Corbett is still famous for being a naturalist and conservationist and a National park has been named in his honor. The book fueled in me the desire to see a tiger at close range.Though I had seen quite a few at the circus and zoo , watching it at close range was a different experience all together. There is nothing comparable to seeing a wild animal in its natural habitat. Many of us are still oblivious of the fact as to how closely our ex

Race....helps you race for the "Stop button"

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After looking at the promos of the movie I was eagerly waiting for it to get released so I can see the pirated version on the internet (Well fellas dont go all "how can u do it ?" I am desperate...and there are no Hindi cinemas nearby to go to ) The star cast looked impressive and songs were also promising. Added to that was I love Saif ali so it was a chance worth taking.The print was quite ok. The movie started and the entrance of saif was so typical of Hindi movies as if dumb viewers like us, cant guess it anymore... The movie revolves around 6 main characters saif , bipasha , akshaye khanna , katrina kaif , anil kapoor and sameera reddy... This is not a review so I wont divulge into the storyline.. The first thought after watching the movie was... What was the director thinking...? The movie has so many twists and turns , it becomes difficult to follow the storyline. I feel Saif was totally wasted in the movie .Bipasha just looked hot and sexy (as usual) ,Akshaye Khanna

The Empty Nest.

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It is my Sunday ritual to call up my parents back home in India. I can clearly hear the joy in their voice and know how eagerly they are waiting for my call. Its been nearly a decade since my parents have been staying alone, since all three of us (my 2 sisters and me) have been married and moved away from our hometown. In the beginning it was for studies and then better job prospects that we had to leave our Family home. There is a whole new breed of such parents in today's India. They are living on their own and their children have either settled abroad or are working in another city. After the advent of globalisation as new and better opportunities both in terms of education and work came forth , the already nuclear family broke into even smaller parts , with the parents left alone and the children moving out. Most of the times it is the parents who encourage the children to take benefit of the opportunities at hand. At that time usually, parents are still working and have a bu

The Vanishing Girls....

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In my everyday chat converstions with my friend "Shipra" we came to a topic of dicussion on the movie "Matrubhoomi". I saw the movie last year and it still sends shivers down my spine whenever I remember the story. The movie revolves around a time when female foeticide has skewed the male female ratio so much that the heroine of the movie "Kalki" is married off to 5 brothers. The whole setting is of some village in Bihar. The movies leaves you with visions of barbaric men and scenes of violence. The theme of the movie "skewed gender ratio if we keep on killing the girl child" was good. The way it is put across by the director leaves you with a bad taste. The fate of the girl child today in India is as dismal as it was 2 decades back. Inspite of laws banning sex detemination of an unborn child, the killing of female foetuses is still common in some parts of India. The country which worships godesses like "Laxmi" and "Durga" w

Live-in Relationships...is it testing the waters before the plunge

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The custom of Live-in relationship is very old in India, wherein zamindars and Nawabs not only had many wives but quite a few live in-women. In those times it was not considered immoral to have a live-in relationship. Post Independance, monogamous marriages became the in-thing. India still remains a conservative society where the institution of marriage is considered sacred. Plus chastity on the part of a woman is highly rated. The woman with a history of pre marital relations with a man will have less chances of getting married in the future. A decade back when I was studying in Pune....the concept of live-in relationships had just started emerging. Many of my classmates were in one and few of those relationships eventually culminated into marriage. There are conflicting views on this subject. Just today I was having a chat with "Shipra" a friend of mine who had no qualms about being in one. Her only condition was that both the partners should be unmarried and should be equ

"Sex Education in India" ,Still a Taboo.....?

Are we the same Country that gave " Kamasutra " to the world? Hard to believe but its an alarming fact. We are the same country that dishes out titillating Movies and Pop songs which scream of Sex,but are too shy to talk about it to our younger generation.Our media is flooded with images which definitely give rise to curious questions.Are we not being hypocrites . What signal are we sending to the younger generation? In spite of the rise in the number of abortions in adolescents .And reports about pre- marital sex happening ,we still turn a blind eye towards it.All under the guise of the so called "Indian Culture". We have to keep in mind that ignorance and sex is a potent combination.By avoiding to talk about it we are in fact leaving them no option but to discover it by way of experimentation. It still such a taboo to talk about the subject that many a time parents are shocked to know that their own kid, whom they thought is still too young has already s

The Indian Boss...an Angel or a Devil in Disguise?

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I have had my share of Indian Bosses when I was working back home in India. They come in various shapes and sizes....and Mentalities. Since I was always moving from one city to another,owing to my husbands job.I had the opportunity of working for varied organisations with dramatically different work cultures. I have had bosses with whom I have shared a very good Rapport and then what can we say about those who haunt your nightmares and you wish you'd rather make his "Voodoo doll" and stick pins in it than bear working with him. Well this post is not about badmouthing bosses.Since we spend most of our waking hours working...its an attempt to understand this species "The Indian Boss". Some of them could give Hitler a Run for his money...with their rules and and wacko way of working.Quite a few of them do try to be really fair and some set such good examples that you just cannot forget them for their decency,fairness and leadership. When I was working for a re

You've Got Mail...

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This is one of the most delighful Romantic comedies I have ever seen....I fell in love with both the characters "Kathleen Kelley" played by Meg Ryan and "Joe Fox" played by Tom Hanks. The movie revolves around these two characters, who communicate well via email and fall in love without knowing each others real identity.In actual life they are Business rivals and Joe Fox puts Kathleen out of Business. "Shopgirl" and "NY152" are the Avatars under which they are emailing each other. The theme is so simple yet so sweet.The dialogues which are in the form of emails are Fabulous and so interesting. " The whole purpose of places like Starbucks is for people with no decision-making ability whatsoever to make six decisions just to buy one cup of coffee. Short, tall, light, dark, caf, decaf, low-fat, non-fat, etc. So people who don't know what the hell they're doing or who on earth they are can, for only $2.95, get not just a cup of coffee b

In my Friend ,I find my second self.

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Can we really say that in today's world? In today's rush rush life its becoming harder and harder to hold down to relationships , rest aside FRIENDS!! In the thirst for moving upwards in our careers and and the race to be "successful" ,"liked by all" and the desire to have more....we have forgotten when life was simpler and friends were friends. Its so much easier to make friends and be a friend to somebody when you are younger and life is still uncomplicated.Friendships are the anchor and the life saving rafts in times of need.Hanging out together is the essence of it and so is just being what you were.There is no need for having any ulterior motive to being a friend. As we grow older and life thrusts more and more responsibities on us....the pureness of it all disappears.Then it all becomes a game of what you can gain from being a friend to someone.Expectations are high and pretenses even higher.Then it becomes tougher to identify true friends from this he

U me Aur Hum

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A particular song from the movie "You Me Aur Hum" really inspired me to write this post... अपने रंग गवाए बिन मेरे रंग में घुल जाओ अपनी धुप बुझाये बिन मेरी छाऊ में आ जाओ चलो यूं करे तुम , तुम भी रहो , मै , मैं भी रहूँ हम हम भी रहे , तीनो मिलके साथ चलें साथी जनम जनम के You me Aur Hum. This song aptly describes my relationship with my Hubby and soulmate Aniruddha... I have heard people say there is one person made just for you in this lifetime and I am sure I ve found him.. We are so very different and yet go so well together.... I feel the sucess of any relationship lies in the fact that without changing your personality you are able to blend with somebody and so can the other person. Just like the song I have always been able to be what I am and have tried to let him be too. Though we have had major differences in opinions about a lot of issues....the fact always remained that we are individuals and will have seperate points of view...respecti