Saturday, June 11, 2011

The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga

"The dreams of the rich, and the dreams of the poor- they never overlap, do they? See, the poor dream all their lives of getting enough to eat and looking like the rich. And what do the rich dream of? Losing weight and looking like the poor." ~From Aravind Adiga's The White Tiger~

I had been procrastinating about reading this book for a very long time. It was actually an easy book to finish, considering the time I took while having a nine-to-five-job.

The story revealed the "darkness" of India, told from a first person's point of view. Balram Halwai, who was born in the "darkness", told his success story as an entrepreneur in the form of letters to Wen Jiabao, the Premier of China. Adiga was sarcastic, funny and dark at the same time. He addressed some issues (political, corruption, caste system etc) in an exaggerated (or maybe not) manner, which made me wonder if these are still happening at this moment (at some part I simply gasped in disbelief).

I've always enjoyed books about other nation's culture like Amy Tan's where she tells stories of American born Chinese, Arthur Golden's Memoirs of a Geisha, Adeline Yen Mah's Falling Leaves: Return to their Roots. The White Tiger was not an exception - it was definitely an enjoyable read.

Saturday, June 4, 2011


We walked side by side, his hand around my waist. I couldn't stop thinking about the other important man in my life - my boyfriend.

We walked into a building and stopped by the elevator. His hand still around my waist. The elevator arrived and we walked in.

For some reason - I didn't know why - I stood on tiptoe and gave him a light kiss on his lips. He quickly held me refusing to let me go. I looked down, refusing to meet his eyes. I couldn't, I thought, I simply couldn't. I could feel his gaze burning on me, as if wanting to see right through me. I knew he wanted to kiss me, not a peck like just now but a real kiss - a long, tender kiss. I wouldn't allow him. I couldn't. I had only one thought in my mind, I won't betray my boyfriend.

And that was when I woke up.

A dream of an affair. I wonder why. Is that because I long for it? Some kind of secret fantasy of mine?

Team Building - The Aftermath

When I was a high school kid I used to join these school camping trips. When separating us in groups, they usually put students of the same class in different groups so as to encourage us to mix around. I didn't like it at all. I was quite anti-social (still am) and I wasn't good at talking to strangers (still am not).

I recently joined a graduate team building organized by the company that I'm working with. No matter how I detested the idea of re-living my high school life in this form in particular - I felt that I was too old for it - it was compulsory to join.

I'm not saying that I didn't enjoy it at all - in fact, at some time in some way, I actually did. Though I was often mocked of my childish behavior by my colleagues throughout the whole journey. I admit that I may have gotten a little excited sometimes but I'm actually a very matured being especially when it comes to work.

From previous experiences, I knew that my colleagues (of the same department) and I would most probably be in different groups when playing games or other team building activities. But I didn't mind it - I've grown out of it of course. I mean, I have to say that it was a good opportunity to be able to get to know my colleagues from other departments. I know that I'm the reserved type and it'd definitely take some time for me to open up to the others; and others to me. What I didn't expect was that there were still some people with the "high-school-behavior". The team builders would randomize us by asking us to form a circle and call out numbers (for example from 1 to 5) thus all the ones are in a group; twos in a group; threes in a group and so on and so forth. Two girls, I observed, they purposely stand in the positions so that there would be 4 persons in between them, thus they would be in the same group. I was amazed.

I think that since that you're already there, whether you like it or not, you should just play by the rules. Otherwise, what is the point of being there? I'm not saying that I'm doing the socializing thing really well, but at least I'm trying. I don't think that I've bonded with my colleagues and immediately become close friends with them. But at least I know their faces, I've talked to them before, I've did something with them before and hopefully I remember their names.