2008 in retrospect..

Hello my dear readers. I returned safely from India on the 21st (shortened my trip). I would blog about my trip soon enough though for those of you who are truly interested, you can check my pictures out on my facebook at aarthisankar@hotmail.com

As the year draws to an end, its only fair that each of us reflects on the year and consider what we have learnt, unlearnt and relearnt. It is impossible for a year to go by with any new lessons and honestly with every passing year I feel that I learn more than the years before. If I had to sum up 2008 into one word; it would be contradictions. Nope, I take that back, it would be complications. I wouldn’t say that 2008 was a painful year or a year I regret, but I must say it has been filled with complications and every single choice I’ve made has been difficult and in many cases left me suspended between extremes.

I have learnt that men are extremely complicated creatures. That at one point in time, they could love you to no end and the next minute they could not want to see you ever again. That at one point in time, they could tell you it was love at first sight, and the next minute you’re taking it too fast just by merely expressing interest. I have learnt never to take a man’s words at face values. Likewise, I choose not to waste my time analysing anything they say because I am certain they don’t spend even half the time we do processing their thoughts before it leaves their mouths. I have learnt not to mope over any man except my hero. I have learnt that the only time they push towards you, is when you pull back. Call me cynical, I call it experience.

I have learnt that the best friendships are the ones that involve a tad bit of distance. I have learnt that male friends are better than female friends. At least for my personality. I have learnt that complete honesty doesn’t pay in friendships and sometimes the best thing to do is to just step back and not care so much. I have learnt that there will be very few people you’d be willing to give your life up for, but those very people make it all oh so worth it (special mention to 4 people in this line: R,T,S,L).

I have learnt that money doesn’t bring you everything but it can make you happy. I have learnt that the highest level of euphoria can only be achieved doing something you truly love and for me, that’d be dancing. I have learnt that love at first sight exists only with the one you give birth to; and I saw that in my sister’s eyes the moment Baby Gaurav was born. I learnt that family ties can be complex at times but they are the only people who would see you through crap anytime anyday. I have learnt that at the end of the day I am my own best friend and that my gut instincts will never go wrong.

I have learnt that I will keep getting stronger no matter how hard I get beaten down. The harder I hit, the higher I  bounce.

 

Much love to my beautiful readers. Thank you for another year of fantastic support and wavering but undying readership.

A Born-Again Singaporean!

hisnric

Dear readers, I make it a point to share my ups and downs with you through this humble blog. And today my friends, is a monumental moment in my life. If any Christians are offended by the title of my entry, I am deeply sorry. My experiences on Vasantham speaking about blogging has taught me not to hurt anyone’s feelings so please cover your eyes and get the hell (oops) out of here.

To the rest of you, today I became a Singaporean again. As many of you might already know, I am probably the most careless person to exist on the face of this earth. In the last year, I have lost my wallet 5 times, my ez link card twice, my NUS card thrice, my ATM card four times and my mind a million times. The point is, I am careless. Its a wonder I make it home without leaving my clothes at school. Reminds me of a time when I was 8 and left my schoolbag on the school bus. I never stopped to think why my back felt so light with no trolley bag lodged against it. Yes, trolley bags were in fashion at that time. My school even had their own “St Margarets” bag. But my mother being the fashionista she is insists we buy a cheaper trolley bag sold outside. It was cheap and a tad cooler but the trolley handle, I swear felt like 15 kg. It was pure metal or at least felt like it to a 24kg boney thing. Ah sweet memories. Anyway I digress… (See how bad my intellectual capacity is. I have the attention span of a goldfish)

Back to my story. Remember how we all get our ICs when we are 15 (if you got yours at 12, you belong to my sister’s generation – she’s gonna kill me for this). That proud moment where you go get your fingers pricked (which they don’t do anymore so that’s the new generation) and proudly get a card that marks your freedom to erm..virtually do nothing. (I always thought the IC was a useless card till this week). Speaking of bloodtests, when I was young, my sisters always cheated me with stories. I think it made them feel better about themselves given how incredibly cute I was. (again, I’m asking to get killed). One of the stories involved how the names we were given at birth are temporary and that at the age of 7, my mother was going to change my name to my permanent name which was Kuppama. Another, was that during bloodtests, the nurses actually suck out a syringe of your blood, then they use a straw to taste it to decide which blood group you belong to. I lapped it all and believed it amidst many tears and fears.

Again, I digressed.

Point is, I got my IC when I was 15 and I think I lost it between the ages of 16 and 17. It was never a big issue since I lost my Secondary school ezlink card when I was in Sec 2 and I used coins everyday and that didn’t bother. I never needed to show identification because being a geeky, braces wearing, bad hair, scrawny girl, no one figured I’d be anything else. So I was free..free of the need to be identified. Free from being tagged like a goat (do goats get tagged?).

It never bothered me when I went to college that I didn’t have an IC. By then I had a student card. When I came to the University, I had a tertiary card. There were that periods in time when I lost my cards. I remember having to show my passport to gain entry into Hard Rock once, much to the disgust of my ex boyfriend. I have done the same in Jeanz, Celebritys and a few other places, having been identified by my friends as the girl from India who carries her passport around.

But all good things come to an end, and so did this. In June, just before I turned 21, my passport expired (which of course I didn’t realise and still carried around my passport for identification). I noticed this lapse recently when my mother and I were planning a trip to Chennai. It was then, that I realise I needed to go there…

ICA. It feels like its in a land of its own. Lavender doesn’t quite feel like Singapore. The only times apart from having to make my IC that I went there, was when I was learning tuition from a cool center in that area. Point is, I dreaded making that trip. That trip I managed to evade for 5 years. So last week, I dragged my feet into ICA and submitted my passport application. It only required me to fill up a form as further identification only needed to be provided at time of collection. At that same time, I lost my ATM card again (only to realise I didn’t lose it but I had left it unclaimed at some place which my friend conveniently forgot to. by then the card had been blocked for safety).

With an expired passport, my birth certificate (left my student pass in school) I approached the staff of POSB in Textile Centre (near ICA) about this. They ask me for my IC to which I show them my passport. At that point in time, I am certain they thought I was half stupid. The lady attending to me was new so she turned to the mother hen of the counter staff and asked her whether this was acceptable. She was way too sharp… She noticed the expiry date. She asked me for some other form of identification. To this, I shoved my birth certificate across the counter. She looked at me in half disgust, half incredulity and said, “You are above 21. Don’t you know you can’t use your BIRTH CERT anymore?”

I was shocked, dismayed, disappointed and appalled. Okay no, that’s a tad too extreme. I never realise my birth certificate was that obsolete. She told me to go to ICA and get them to validate my existence and my identity. I had just walked painstakingly from there to get my card so that I could pay for my passport. I begged and pleaded with her. Went down on my knees and shed a few tears. Okay no, I didn’t. I just told her that I had just come from ICA and I really needed my card to pay for any sort of identification and that it couldn’t be coincidental that I had so many forms of obsolete identification – that I AM AARTHI SANKAR S87*****E ( I blanked it out in case you guys try to report me to authorities for having been an illegal immigrant for 5 years).

She sighed and said okay and let me get my card with a stern warning that I should go do something about this. It was then that I realised…

I need that damn pink card.

So I walked down to ICA to collect my passport and to push my luck a little to see if they would insist on an identification card for documentation. They did stare at me when I showed them my birth certificate. They told me I could collect my passport, but I would first have to go make my ic and bring along that little slip as proof that I have arranged for my IC to be made. And so I did. Hundred dollars to validate my existence. Seventy dollars to travel the world. The joy of being reborn: Priceless.

And thereafter, I collected my passport and in a month’s time I will have my IC as well which I am certain I will lose within the year. But I have a plan. Have you guys seen a chastity belt? I intend to create the world’s first identity belt. My most intimate belongings, my identity cards, my debit cards, my MAC powder will be locked and would always stay close to me. Imagine how fun that would be. Everytime its my turn to settle the bill, I would get up to unlock my belt and one of you would have paid for me already. Ah I am loving the sound of this. Either that, or I am stitching my cards to my skin. I will have to leave one end of my ATM card hanging so that it can still be swiped though.

The point is, I am a Singaporean once again. Ah the smell of freedom (with its limits of course!). Its revirginisation of my citizenship and it feels great. I am Sing-char-poh-ren.

To end off, here are a few replies I got when I told my friends I was Singaporean again and said Jaihinth! Vande Mataram!

“You mean they actually gave it to you? They didn’t deport you to Andamans? Wow the government is quite slack”

“Don’t bluff ICA la. New passport la, new IC la. You didn’t have these stuff in the first place because you’re an illegal immigrant. Shoo shoo! ”

“Vanthathey muthiram. Welcome welcome”

My favorite: “Anu runs to Malaysian High Commission in Singapore and replants the Singapore flag at the top of the building to symbolise Aarthi’s patriotism”

“Haha I say that calls for a celebration. Wadya say” (don’t mind her, she’s going to Alcoholics’ Anonymous)

A police friend who has been threatening to arrest me for the last week sent me a section of the penal code through facebook – National Registration Act (Chapter 201). (same guy who claims he’s gonna arrest me and shows me the keys to his handcuffs but keeps the handcuffs at home)
Tsk. Now that I have renewed my citizenship, its time to find new friends.

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Rang De Basanti

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I might be a little (or very) late about this but I absolutely absolutely love this movie. I just watched it last night and it is fantastic. For those of you who like me are a little late to jump on the bandwagon, you HAVE to catch this movie. I am still in awe at the entire beauty of how the movie manages to connect the past and the present in such a profound story. It is amazing amazing amazing!

If you’ve ever felt that historical protests and revolutions mean nothing to you.. If you’ve ever felt that History was irrelevant or that your forefathers’ sacrifices were completely beyond your comprehension, you have to watch this movie. I don’t wish to be a spoiler, but this movie really made me think. There might be many who don’t really think it’s a fantastic movie but I am in love with it.

 It doesn’t hurt that the cast are quite pleasing to the eyes by the way…

Clearing Up

In the midst of clearing out clutter (the people kind) from my life y’all. Tired of many many things right now and I need to eliminate all that negativity first. Would love to blog because there are so many things I would love to share – but everytime I start typing, I keep hitting the backspace for some reason or another. I am not dead yet, I promise.

P.S: Just to set the records straight, nope it ain’t my exams now though I am slumped under loads of pending term papers ranging from the most extreme of topics.

Be back in a few weeks.

Much Love,

Aarthi

In Pursuit of The Real Crown

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http://www.missindiasingapore.com.sg/

This post is meant for all you beautiful girls. I know that many of you feel that beauty pageants aren’t your cup of tea and that you would rather do other things then spend your time parading onstage. However, the sad thing is that, if you pretty girls don’t come forward to participate in these pageants, we will never have a beauty queen truly deserving of the crown.

Thus, I really assure you that you girls should participate in these events. One such event is the very glamorous Miss India Singapore. I’ve been talking to one of the organisers of the pageant and she told me that there are suddenly many other beauty pageants cropping up in the name of being the official representative local Indian women. This is really sad because now people are doubtful and don’t really know which one’s the real pageant.

I did my own research and came to realise that last year, there was only ONE pageant, which is Miss Singapore India. Miss India Universal, Miss India Singapore Universe and Miss Singapore Indian Universe were pageants that only came along this year. Of course, its a good thing that more people want to have pageants but girls shouldn’t be fooled into thinking they are participating in the REAL pageant as they would then be misled and participate in the wrong pageants since they are all running concurrently.

So in order to help clarify, I’ve offered to put this entry up as I don’t think its fair to the organisers. This pageant ladies, is the real deal. I’ve had three friends participate in this pageant the year before and one of my friend’s sister even went on to clinching the crown. All of them walked away with something. If you think you’ve got what it takes to become the next Miss India Singapore and represent the nation at South Africa, I really think you should give it a shot.

I’ve been coaxing a number of my friends to do as such because its always the case of the not so pretty girls contending for the crown when the beauties with brains don’t bother participating. It would be nice if you ladies could actually give it a shot. There’s nothing to be worried about because the way I see it, you will definitely walk away with some prize, memorable experiences and life lessons. And you never know, you might end up being the Queen!

So these are the details and please do help spread the word around because there are only a few more days left to the auditions. The organiser I spoke to was really sweet and is really intent on making sure the crown only goes to the most deserving girl. I was looking at the links that link back to my blog as well as the comments and I realized most of you girls are prettier than previous crown winners, so why not give it a shot? Nothing to lose.

Registration ends on 25th October’07. Auditions are on 27th October’07. The pageant is organised by Midas Touch Productions and this is the 17th running pageant. The winner gets a chance to represent Singapore in South Africa amidst other prizes.

You don’t have to worry about anything since there’s a committed team of photographer, makeup artiste(Sarah on my links, she does fantastic work) and choreographer and even a female DJ. Talk about girl power!!

1st Prize Worth $S6000.00
Cash $S2000.00
A flight to South Africa [20th Feb 08]
$1500.00 Treatment Vouchers from Pamoure Beauty & Wellness Pte. Ltd.
$1000.00 X-Clusive Birthday Party deals from blackjack
   
 
   
2nd Prize Worth $S2500.00
Cash $S1000.00
A flight to Bangkok
$500 Treatment Vouchers from Pamoure Beauty & Wellness Pte. Ltd.
$750.00 X-Clusive Birthday Party Deals from blacjack
   
   
3rd Prize Worth $S1500.00
Cash $S500.00
$500 Treatment Vouchers from Pamoure Beauty & Wellness Pte. Ltd.
$500 X-Clusive Birthday Party Deals from Blackjack
 
   

So what are you girls waiting for? Call them or click away right NOW!

30,000 hits and counting.

This post was due yesterday but apparently I was much too tired. Anyhow, I have officially passed my 30,000th reader on the new blog. Now this wouldn’t have been a difficult number to hit in the old blog since I blogged every other day and they were often laced with so much of controversy. However, its quite the feat since I’ve been at the new site from the 1st of May’2007 and its been quite an inspiring blog. For that I have to thank my readers who are always ever so faithful in reading me, some remembering some really “interesting” things I say, others having found some solace in my words. For those of you who read to make nasty comments about me, it’s really okay because at least I’ve left some kind of an impression on you guys too.

My blog has been my one avenue to rant,rave,cry,smile and share my life experiences and many interesting events with the world. I first started out a skeptic in 2004 and funnily I never stopped blogging. Blogging was my way of keeping things under control. I have always been better at writing than anything(though everyone says I talk a lot) and I don’t know how or when but slowly my blog caught attention and now I’ve managed to transform my personal space a little so that it’s not that much filled with angst and hopefully it manages to make some sense too(how sad that it takes me 3 years to get to making some sense).

There are probably a million detractors out there, but I don’t write for any of them. I write for the people who genuinely care. The people who actually want to get some insight. The ones who respect my opinions and what I have to say. I write for myself above all of that, because I know that I want to be able to look back at life and have something concrete to share.

I remember diaries and how incredibly embarrassing it is to look back at what we write 3 years down the road. I feel the same way when I look back at my blog on diaryland. I’m sure 3 years down the road, if this blog still survives, I will look back at this one and laugh as well. But its been a learning experience and I’ve had my share of ups and downs but I’m glad to have them all documented.

My blog means a lot to me and the people who understand me best know what it means to me. I remember an ex boyfriend who at the height of this blog’s controversy told me to stop bitching and to close down my blog. I was pretty outraged by the remark because never once had that thought crossed my mind. Till today, I would never so much as to consider closing this blog. Not until I completely go into oblivion because of workloads or loss of fingers I guess.

I also remember Kalpana from Pesuvom asking me if I’ve lost any friends due to my blog during the show. It’s hilarious because I’m not sure if people are threatened by the fact that I document my life but I am sure they are all wary of me. Its funny when people come to me and tell me they don’t want to appear on my blog. Not everything that happens to me ends up in my blog and I guess people realise that after being around me for awhile. And as much as I can be very brash and cold with my words, I am not always a forthright, piercing tongued person. I can be nice too (i’m still trying to convince my friends on this). I do know my boundaries and spilling the entire contents of my life on the Blogosphere is really not that smart an idea is it? On another hand, I’ve come to realise that people who cannot deal with my blog and my opinions are probably people I cannot get along with anyway so I guess I can do without them.

But to those of you who have praised me, encouraged me to keep writing and to keep doing what I do, Thank you. It would have not been possible to write if no one wanted to read but you guys did keep reading.

To the ones who check my blog everyday – mostly my closest friends, thank you for letting this be a way for us to keep contact and have a true insight to each others’ lives. To the ones who secretly read but not approach me, thank you and I respect your anonymity but it would really be nice to know who you guys are. To those of you who hate my guts, balls to you. Its okay if you think I write complete bullshit, but don’t write me off or my opinions off simply because you think I’m self-righteous, hypocritical or plain bitchy.

Anyway, this post was not meant to be very long. Thank You to everyone who has read my blog from 17-08-2004 to this very date and for many more years to come I hope. I appreciate the support and I will keep writing as long as people keep wanting to read.