Saturday, 24 August 2013

7QT: The Late Edition

So it's Saturday in India, and actually... Saturday in the US too! So the only reason I'm doing Seven Quick Takes Friday even though I don't really have the time is because I. Need. To. Blog. But that's why they call it quick, right? Right. Okay, here goes.


Funny search terms by which people weirdos have found my blog:

the world's hottest girlfriend 7qt

Yeah, that's me... although the best description of my relationship is this:


do indians hug

The answer is No. Never. We only transmit loving thoughts through our folded hands. That's also how we make babies.

Okay, sorry, that actually was not a bad question.


awkward hug niece

Now if it were just awkward hugs you were asking about, I am the Queen of those. But awkward hug NIECE??? What is that about? Or do I not want to know?


extremly hot urban indian girl

Well, of course this would be the first blog you would find. If by extremly (sic) hot you meant wearing these

most days, assuming make-up refers to the occasional use of eyeliner, and the preferred hairstyle of choice being a bun with a few tic tac pins stuck in.


17 inconveniences of indian girls

I don't even know if I can analyze that. Wait, let me try. First of all, it doesn't really make sense in English, so let's assume a non-English speaking Indian typed it in. Maybe a guy, because girls don't ask questions about girls... they just make judgments. Now what could this guy mean by 'inconveniences'? And why 17? 17 ways Indian girls make life inconvenient for their boyfriends? Or maybe it's a girl looking for empathy... 17 ways life is so hard and inconvenient for Indian girls? You pick. Maybe it's the name of a book.


There were some other funny ones, but for some reason Blogger doesn't let me see the complete history of all the keywords used to find my blog. So I'm starting a StatCounter account.


And lastly, I leave you with some FUN reading material: Real life Love Stories! My favourite! I know, I know, all I need is a cat and some chocolate and I will be the pathetic old forever single spinster and sitting in front of my laptop screen gobbling up other people's love stories, but whatever, don't judge me. To be honest, I just enjoy the stories, and don't spend the whole time wailing "If only it were meeee!!!"

Grace from Camp Patton put up her own 'How We Met' story, and then invited all her readers to do the same... aaahhh! So exciting! (And it says a lot about how much stuff I have going on that I haven't actually read any of them yet except hers... saving them for a peaceful, non-stressed day off!)

Okay, goodbye. Back to the to-do list.

Thursday, 15 August 2013

More Interesting Introvert Facts

I miss blogging so much! So much so that a couple of days ago, I was stuck on the side of the road waiting for my dad to get out of the pork shop (where they apparently kill the pig, skin it, clean it and cut it, while the patient customer waits), and I started writing a blog post in the drafts of my ancient cell phone. Yes, my cell phone that does not have a camera, music-playing abilities, or any print on the keypad so I have to pretty much make wild guesses when I'm putting in numbers or sending texts. But the decrepitude of my cell phone doesn't matter because I hate using it anyway. (P.S. Don't call me!) Anyhow...

So one of my most popular posts ever was all about introverts which is my favorite topic to pontificate about, so here you go... another glimpse into the mind of the introvert!

Online Shopping

One of the most exciting inventions to an introvert is Online Shopping. Oh. My. Gosh. When I left India a few years ago, it had not yet taken off. A lot of people used the Internet, but hadn't connected it with shopping. So I was in the US, and got an Amazon account...oh the sweet excitement of the first book I ever ordered. No sales people! No social interaction whatsoever! No need to leave my home!

For anyone trying to sell things to introverts, here's a tip: The fastest way to chase an introvert out of your store is hover around her, saying "Can I help you? Could I make a suggestion, madam? That blue will suit you! What exactly are you looking for?" AAAAHHHH!!! Read my tense body language- leave me alone!


Networking is an introvert's nightmare come true. Seriously. Some people thrive on it, some people spend the whole time screaming silently inside their heads. Making small talk, being thrust into multiple social situations with people you don't know well, reading and responding to unspoken social cues, going through the exhausting introductory stage with too many people.... this could be good material for a horror movie for introverts.

I have however started working on doing it whether or not I like it. This is one of the few occasions where 'fake it till you make it' works. Some day I'll write a post about how to survive as introvert in an extrovert's world.


Loneliness is not a familiar concept for introverts. Okay, I realize that this is over-generalizing, but anyway. Where extroverts feel lonely, introverts say "Wheeee! Solitude!" Solitary confinement or 'sending someone to Coventry' (that has to be the British influence) doesn't work as a punishment for us. There is little I find as exciting as hearing that I will be left completely alone in my home with nothing but my books and the TV to keep me company. Okay introverts need people too, and I'm sure being alone too much is bad for us too, but on the whole solitude is a much-awaited treat in my life.

Any other introvert facts you'd like to add? ( I know you introverts are the ones reading my blogs!)

P.S. It's Independence Day today, and I suppose I should write something about that, but I don't really have anything interesting to say (what!!), except that I'm happy to be Indian. And also I'm reading 'Midnight's Children' by Salman Rushdie and getting a new glimpse into pre- and post-Independence India, which is fascinating. Even though Salman Rushdie is kinda weird.

Friday, 9 August 2013

7QT: The Pretty Quick Edition

Linking to Jen...


So Jen in her last 'Undiscovered Gems' post sent all her readers to this fantastic blog- Mama Knows, Honeychild. I (and everyone else) took one look, read one and a half post, and added her to my blog reading list with the triumphant whoop that only avid blog readers know about. It's similar to the sound you make while reading a new book that you love, and finding out that the author has written dozens of books and is going to write dozens more. The sketches and the humor are a winning combination.

I wonder what Mama H feels like. She's become a celebrity overnight with all of Jen's thousands (?) of readers heading over to her blog, after the glowing recommendation by the most popular Catholic blogger (ever?). Like Marc Barnes once phrased it, she was 'Jenmentioned'! I suppose it's like your book getting on a bestsellers' list, except that almost all your readers are Catholic, and you're probably not going to make any money out of it. Still, it probably feels pretty good. Well, the flip side is now she's going to struggle with humility. I have very cunningly avoided the need for that with the un-awesomeness of my own blog.

Anyway, my point is, go read her blog if you haven't, because it's awesome!


Yesterday I mentioned that the Latin Mass had recently been celebrated in my parish (which is exciting and awesome, even though I missed it). Here's a funny extract from a brief report about it. The last paragraph read: '... the traditional Latin Liturgy possesses "much restraint and austerity, an impressive beauty and a generous melody."'

The paragraph JUST before that read 'The mass ended with the Recessional Hymn: 'He's Got the Whole World in His Hands' followed by a thundering round of applause.'



This is a recent scary/awesome piece of news from my life: I have recently take over the running of an after school teaching programme in the slums (an outreach of our parish) after the teacher in charge needed to retire because of health problems.

I know nothing about how exactly it's supposed to run, as mentioned before, my Hindi is pathetic, and I have a feeling that a large number of the 30 plus students (see I don't even know how many kids are enrolled) know that I don't know what I'm doing. I know this because some of the ninth graders tried to convince me that I should give them a holiday one day for some obscure festival, and when  I seemed unsure and said I'd ask someone, told me that I was in charge so I could do it. I'm not THAT gullible, kids! Anyway, fear not, there are four other experienced teachers still working there, and plus 'God doesn't call the equipped, but equips the called', right? Right?


I do enjoy the teaching part of it. I'm fine with English, History, Geography, and lower levels of Science. But yesterday one of the ninth graders showed me an Algebra problem... and I had to admit I had no idea whatsoever about how to go about solving it.

Yay humility!


A couple of days ago my sister posted this article about extroverts (yes, she's extroverted, and I'm introverted.) I found it interesting, but I thought they got the non-stop talking part totally wrong... I don't think that's specifically an extrovert thing. What do you think? Are you an introvert who can't seem to shut up once she starts talking (like me)?

25 Frustrating Things About Being an Extrovert


Strangely enough for an introvert, I AM No. 6 from the article... yup, the crazy person below.

Maybe not always, but a lot of people who know me (read: my siblings) , have been embarrassed by me in social settings. But after I make a crazy fool of myself, I get tired of all the peoples, and have to to go hang out with me for a while.

P.S. This is the first time I've ever posted a gif... Oh the wonders of the Internets.


Okay guys, seriously, 7 takes is too much when you have things to get done. Go have an awesome weekend.

Thursday, 8 August 2013

The Happy Medium

For some reason, every time I think the words 'happy medium', I picture a spiritualist sitting in front of a crystal ball and chortling to herself. But yeah, that's not what I'm talking about.

I'm talking about one of my pet peeves: the opposite of a happy medium, viz. the tendency to go to one extreme or other, (often of a good thing), and thus totally losing the point, or your audience. Or the tendency to be so fond of one viewpoint that you cannot even see the flaws in it, and anyone who does not espouse it is The Enemy. Or being so invested in an viewpoint that you CANNOT see any good reasons why anyone would believe anything else.* Like it is impossible to say, "I see your point, although I don't fully agree with it."

At this point you're wondering "What the heck is she talking about?"

My answer is 'EVERYTHING!'. Well, everything you can have an opinion about.

Like, drunkenness vs being a teetotaller. Or Novus Ordo vs the Latin Rite. Or doing social work vs being an evangelist. Or being a health freak vs being a glutton. Or being judgmental vs. being a moral coward. Or being critical vs. being gullible. Or being organized vs. being spontaneous. Or Mary vs. Martha. Or spontaneous prayer vs. formulaic prayer. Or charismatic vocal prayer meetings vs contemplative Adoration in a chapel. Or the Bible vs the Rosary. Or Pope Benedict fans vs Pope Francis fans. Or parents who spank their kids vs. parents who don't believe in ever saying 'No'. Or staying in and being a moody introvert vs. going out and being a social butterfly. Or looking for a fight vs. refusing to defend the weak. Or being a self-centred jerk vs. being a people-pleaser. Or radical feminism vs. chauvinism. Or having serious conversations about Real Things vs having ridiculous giggly conversations about irrelevant flights of fancy.

Now that I write my list, I realize that they do not all fit into the same category. There are some which seem like they are opposing each other, but both of which you can actually accept and embrace (charismatic and contemplative prayer). And there are some which are both wrong in the extreme, and for which only the happy medium can be right (judgmental vs. moral coward). And there are some which are just preferences or personality types (organized vs. spontaneous)- you don't have to embrace the other extreme, but can appreciate the good in it.

Here's an example:

A few weeks ago, my parish celebrated it's first Latin Mass, probably in decades. I was horribly disappointed to miss it because I was out of town. When I got back, an older Catholic gentleman mentioned it to me. "They had the Mass in Latin! I told the Bishop 'You'll empty the churches if you have Latin Masses!'" When I tried to explain why people like the Latin Mass, he told me "No no, maybe some old people. But the young people will not like it!"

He just couldn't wrap his mind around the possibility that they may be some value in the Latin Mass. I've met other people with set in stone opinions about various issues. Heck, I used to be one of them. Not the issues that the Church has definitely guided us on, just the in between ones. Harry Potter, for example. Or Santa Claus.

Okay, enough rambling for today. Go forth and find a happy medium.

Here's a good article which is kinda related:

When Catholics Play Tug-of-War, the Church Loses

*Of course you're thinking- you're a Catholic. You're a fine one to talk about being extreme. The distinction I make here is being extreme about issues that are not absolute moral truths. They're not so much about right or wrong, but about preferences or opinions... that we redefine as right or wrong.

Friday, 2 August 2013

7QT: It's Been Too Long

(Sooo... I started writing these quick takes last Friday, after three weeks away. But then I got busy, and I thought, I'll just write them on Saturday morning, taking advantage of the fact that it would still be Friday in the Texas, where Jennifer hosts Seven Quick Takes. And then... The. Internet. Died. For a week. Some kind of Internet service provider turf wars, according to my dad. It only came back last night. (Cue shocked, but happy tears) So anyway... it's been more than a month since my poor blog got any attention. Anyway, to jump back on the blogging bandwagon, pumparumparum- seven quick takes!)


Wow, three weeks without blogging is too long. I found myself writing blog posts in my head at random moments... like when I was about to fall asleep after a looong tiring day, or at Adoration, or during my personal prayer time. I guess it has become my way of processing my thoughts. But when blogging replaces prayer, we know we have a problem. Like when instead of going "Lord, here's what happened... what are You saying?", I'm sitting apparently deep in prayer, going 'Blog post title... Why Adoration is Awesome...'

I promise, I'm working on it. Anyway, my life had gotten so busy that I'm not going to have the time to blog as much as I used to, so problem solved. Kind of.


So last night I dreamed I was at WYD, hanging out in an apartment with Pope Benedict (Pope Francis hadn't happened in my dream) with a bunch of specially chosen youth. I gave him some Indian food to try, and we chatted a good bit. He was very casual and happy to hang out with us. Just at the end of our day with him, I was all like "We need a picture or no one will believe it happened!" but by then he had to be escorted out by his security people, and the moment had passed. Sigh.

In the absence of a photo of me hanging out with Papa Beni, I guess you'll have to make do with this:

Yup, me hanging out with Mother Teresa (well, at her tomb, anyway).


Speaking of Popes, someone mailed me this awesome quote that Pope Francis said at WYD:

"We need saints without cassocks, without veils.
We need saints with jeans and tennis shoes.
We need saints that go to the movies, that listen to music, that hang out with friends.
We need saints who put God in first place, ahead of succeeding in any career.

We need saints who look for time to pray every day and who know how to be in love with purity, chastity, and all good things.
We need saints, Saints of the 21st century with a spirituality appropriate to our new time.
We need saints that have a commitment to helping the poor and to make the needed social change.
We need saints to live in the world, to sanctify the world and to not be afraid of living in the world by their presence in it.

We need saints that drink Coca-Cola, that eat hot dogs, that surf the internet and that listen to their iPods. 
We need saints that love the Eucharist, that are not afraid or embarrassed to eat a pizza or drink a beer with their friends.
We need saints who love the movies, dance, sports, theater.
We need saints that are open, sociable, normal, happy companions.
We need saints who are in this world and who know how to enjoy the best in this world without being callous or mundane.
We need saints."
–Pope Francis, World Youth Day 2013, Rio

I was so excited to read this very easily relatable and yet ringing with truth quote, that I immediately emailed it to a bunch of friends. I then liked a friend's status that had the same quote, and hit 'Share'... when suddenly I heard the voice of reason shout in my ear: "ALWAYS CHECK YOUR SOURCES!"

So I did. And found this- Did the Pope Really Say That?

In short, Pope Francis didn't say it. He may have quoted it, but it was a poem either attributed to or inspired by Pope John Paul II. I was disappointed. Not because it wasn't an awesome quote. It was a great quote. It made sense, and brought out an important truth- that lay people are called to be saints, that it is possible to be a saint wherever you are, whatever your state of life, and that being a saint can look pretty different from the way most people expect it to look.

But here’s the thing, because it was misattributed to Pope Francis, as soon as you find out that it was not in fact said by him, you start questioning the whole thing. ‘Maybe that’s not how the Church feels. Maybe everything about Pope Francis is a great publicity stunt.’ A little lie can poison the whole truth. Okay, I know I’m making a big deal out of nothing.

Bottom line: As the great Padre Pio said “Check your sources, or risk causing greater harm than good by the quotes you post on the Internet.”


Okay, that was far from a quick take. Whatever, I've got a month’s worth of blog material bubbling inside me. And not enough time to write a blog a day. Did you hear about Jen's 7 for 7 challenge? I was soo sad that she did it during one of my busiest ever weeks. That sounds exactly like something I would want to be a part of, because a) I love writing, and an excuse to write every day and b) I’m competitive, and only get things done if there’s a little competition or rivalry involved. Someday, though, I will do it.


Funny Indian news article: The local government’s method of getting tax defaulters to pay their dues? They send a brass band to play outside their home. I’m not even kidding. Apparently either the shame or the noise works.


I was sosososoexcited to read ‘Style, Sex and Substance: 10 Catholic Women Consider the Things that Really Matter’. All my favourite bloggers wrote different chapters for this book, and it was on my wishlist for a while. Then a dear friend from the US sent it to me a few weeks ago! I read it on the long train journey going to Kolkata, and I loved it! (I did get a few strange glances from fellow-passengers who saw the word ‘Sex’ in the title.) As soon as I finished reading it, my sister, J and my friend, R read it too. Yes, it was a long train journey. I really want to write a review/all my thoughts about it, but I may have to wait for a lull in my life to re-read it, underline things, and write the blog post. Let it suffice to say that I have been making a long list of lucky women who I’m planning to lend it to. And they don’t even know it yet.


And what do you know? The Internet died again. Well, obviously by the time you read this, it will have returned. But as I write this, I have no idea when that will be. I’m done.

How was the last month, regular readers?