Thursday, August 04, 2005


Summer of 2000 was one of the “fun-est” periods of my life. I was in-between Grad school and work, waiting for the elusive OPT card (that would permit me to work in the United States) to be mailed to me, I had little to do except wander around shopping for work-clothes (read: clothes I never wore to work) and attending farewell parties for numerous people I had grown to know so well, some friends for this lifetime and more and some of who I wish I never got to know at all. The afternoons would be spent reading novels and gossiping and doing my nails. Little did I realize that that summer was the last vacation of my life that would be longer than 2.5 weeks. During which I would not need to take 19 hour trips to India or think/organize/arrange my life to painstaking detail for 2 months before the vacation so I could chill for 2.5 weeks. Ah, I was naive and I thought life after getting that thesis to the Grad school after the 100th “suggestion” by my advisor was incorporated, was going to be a ball. I would have more money, more freedom and I would finally be that independent career woman. I soon found out that working full-time does not mean you have more money, it just means you have more expenses. And freedom, that’s a very relative term. But that summer was good. It was also the first time I saw an Oprah show. Now, these are not so bad actually and sometimes you get to see these really smartly dressed celebrities gushing to Oprah while she gushes to them. But sooner or later, along came Dr.Phil and that is when my migraines would start. Now I hear that his own exclusive show named Dr.Phil(!) has been renewed for the next decade or 1000 years or something of that order. WOW, I think. If a man can talk about “tough love” and make that kind of money, what is my Mom doing? She has been a proclaimer for tough-love for as far back as I can remember. “Toughen up” summarized all her standard rules for doing well in life and it was closely followed by “No self-sympathy please.” Whiners were not tolerated and some days when I hear somebody whining and complaining about the situation they are in, or myself for that matter, I wish my Mom could be there just to give this person a good shake. Nobody could do it as she could. I lack that touch. Yes, she would make a great Dr.Phil. Problem is, she hates to interfere in peoples’ lives, unlike me. Now if only we could get my slightly pokey-nature to go along with her, we would have that wonderful, love-to-listen-to-your-problems-and-help, smiling-yet-frowning-in-concentration Dr.Phil. We would be great, I tell you. My curiosity would ebb them on and my Mom would deliver that grand intervention-sermon in the end, when everyone sees the light. We would tour America and make billions. Ah, but that ship has sailed. She is the wonderful homemaker that she is and I just do what I do, accompanied by occasional muses like this. Maybe I will just live vicariously through my children one day. That can be quite a bit of fun. For me. For them, not so much. But they can maybe just “help” themselves. It always pays to have a shrink in the house.


Blogger anantha said...

Gabby: Someone told me that I reminded them of Robert! Well, I am just returning the favor when I say this.
Gabby, you sound just like Marie ;) LMAO!

1:51 PM  
Anonymous alpha said...

How does Anti know my boss and his wife?
Seriously Gabby, start a talk show with your mom and I'll be your PR person and get victims. I'll try and be sweet ok!

1:56 PM  
Anonymous Ashok said...

The sarcasm Gabby, it's cutting enough to bleed. :)

Poor Dr.Phil, what did he do to you?

2:00 PM  
Blogger GratisGab said...

Anti - Go away! Marie? No way. But God help me if that's true. *fretting and fuming*

Alpha - What are you talking about? You TV-illiterate, that statement will alone disqualify you for the PR job. But old-times sake ke liye, I'll give you one more try. Who is Robert? And who is Marie? Think now.

Ashok - :) Thanks. Like the "smiling-yet-frowning-..." part?

2:11 PM  
Blogger VC said...

Oh! THAT Robert & Marie!

'living vicariously thru kids', feeling maternal towards blog, twists & turns of fate etc. etc. Gabby - kya chakkar!!!! ;)

2:18 PM  
Blogger GratisGab said...

vc, no chakkar man...come, isn't living vicariously thru kids the master-plan of the universe? do you have kids? see, we don't know anything about you. Pull up a chair and tell me all about you now. *practice, practice...maybe it's not too late* :)

2:26 PM  
Blogger pingoo said...

haha..not that I didn't figure out before but I must say that ur a nice "vaayaadi" :p even more than "vasanti" ...ok don't kill me for that :).

2:32 PM  
Blogger VC said...

Sorry! Don't have time now. Am booked on Jerry Springer.

2:35 PM  
Blogger GratisGab said...

pingoo - sorry, couldn't get that. what's vaayaadi? (I might kick myself for this later, but the aforementioned curiosity is taking over)

vc - And suddenly you are the most "interesting" of my readers...:)

VC HERE, ladies and gentleman, can scream, strip and get into a fist fight all within 45 seconds of being introduced! (Oprah is not the only show that occupied me on those long lazy afternoons of course...I did catch some JS, and the 1 minute before you switch channels in enough you know)

2:41 PM  
Blogger VC said...

Thankyou! Thankyou! *bleep* *bleep* this *bleep* and *bleep* will not *bleep *bleep* the *bleep* out of *bleep*:)

2:45 PM  
Blogger pingoo said...

curiosity killed the cat ! u dunno what it means ?? :O anyways it means ur such a big mouth (chatterbox types) :p. whats your mother tounge anyway ? now don't try to give me some super smart answer like its pink etc..!

2:47 PM  
Blogger pingoo said...

hence the reference to "vasanti" :)

2:48 PM  
Blogger GratisGab said...

ROTFL...HMS (Holding My Sides)

Hey I just coined one of those abbreviations I see all over the place!! I call shots on HMS :)

2:49 PM  
Blogger GratisGab said...

pingoo - Din't my ability to decipher your name give you a clue? You're Ping and you come from the land of "u" :)

2:51 PM  
Blogger pingoo said...

even before then I got the clue :) ...and you didn't answer my question !

2:55 PM  
Blogger FunnyCide said...

Hey Gabs,
Why didnt you tell me so about your mom? She could have helped us with a few folks at work!! Remember SK [The King of Whines]?? And the like?

So what is going on? You singing Summer of 2000? Btw, congrats!! your baby turns 6. :D

5:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dr. Phil is a fraud. An absolute fool who just got lucky.


6:38 PM  
Blogger anantha said...

Gabby: What can I say? You seem to cook well and You collect art too. You actually travel you Europe on vacation. Total Marie types ;)

7:17 PM  
Blogger Swathi said...

Momz r the best when it comes to shaking us out of our 'wallowing in self pity' mood - makes me wonder if i wud ever become like her one day?
else i pity the plight of my wud-b children.

10:31 PM  
Anonymous Zoheb said...

I have had only one 5 weeks of holidays since 1999 :-(

10:51 PM  
Blogger Arunima said...

Congrats on turning 6 months. BTW, can I apply as the P.R person if Alpha disqualifies?

For a start, I love your mom and hate Dr. Phil :-)

5:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did you know that there is a very active Dr.Phil hate club? It might just help your migraines :)

9:14 AM  
Blogger GratisGab said...

Pingo - You still can't recognize your kind? Much disappointment!

Funny - Know how we have massage days? We should have 'em "The Talk" days :)

Ashwin - You mean you don't think he's helping mankind and (especially womankind) so much? *batting eyelashes innocently*

Anti - At least I don't sculpt :) (Saw that one? LOL)

Swathi - Yes I wonder too. But hopefully these things skip a generation. Like baldness (Please tell me that's can imagine the problem)

Zo - Boy, this C-B-pehanta-hua-bachha is actually quite busy it seems...Is day-care getting too demanding? You poor baby...:)

Arunima - Thanks babe. I think the scales are pretty lopsided actually...Alpha's application has many problems (one being, it's Alpha's). But please to be working on that line. Gabby should also figure in it...*hint hint*

Anon - Interesting. I'm currently adopting the "switch channel" method. But if things get bad, I'll remember your suggestion.

3:46 PM  
Blogger pingoo said...

my kind as in ??

4:45 PM  
Blogger anantha said...

Gabby: You won't believe it, but I almost commented on your "sculpting" along with the cooking and the travelling, but wondered whether you were enough of a ELR fan to catch the connection :)) That sculpture thingy was FUNNY! Seriously!

6:45 PM  
Blogger Peg said...

Was thinking about telling you how Dr. Phil is just a scaled down Dr. Spock of my day, but what's the use, just lost tales in the wind and does it really matter?
So instead I will tell you about living your life through your children, I tried and failed not only them but myself so I guess it is better to just be who and what your are and stand back in the grandstands cheering them on or setting their sails on the right course when the wind dies to an abrupt halt! And so many times your tears will be theirs but the laughter always rises higher and then there always is tomorrow! And it is that sunrise I think Dr. Phil missed along the way!
Nice post Gabby and why the USA? Someday do tell me your intrigue and desire to be part of America!
all my love,

7:02 AM  
Blogger anumita said...

And we eagerly await the Gabby senior and Gabby junior show...!

7:57 AM  
Blogger garfy said...

:O U cant stand whiners? *bawl* *boohooo* *crib crib sulk whine*

PS: All moms are the same me thinks!

PPS: You can write books or have your mom write them and then the two can land on Oprah show and get own contracts!

8:09 AM  
Anonymous alpha said...

Hey!! I knew it! I actually like ELR...was just acting ignorant. I hope you guys bought that!

my new domain is a click away. I hate it!

7:26 PM  
Blogger mrhaney said...

i use to watch oprah a lot but all her guest now look like they are all rich. i just can not relate to them.

9:23 PM  
Blogger AmitL said...

Hi,Agony Aunt,err,Gabby.Well,until u have your own talk show and invite all bloggers for a tete-a-tete,I guess this blog is as good a place as any,right?:)Nice memories..

7:02 AM  
Blogger Rash said...

love the way this post went from summer of 2000 to oprah to dr phil to mom to business idea ;)

9:27 AM  
Anonymous Nish said...

I love Oprah and hmm dont mind Dr Phil..after all they both helped me survive my year 12 exams.. (read it ws the only thing on on afternoon telly, so had no choice really)

3:45 PM  
Blogger KJ said...

belated happy birthday to C'est la Vie on turning 6 months old.

cheers have a nice day.


9:52 PM  
Blogger phatichar said...

Great post! Yeah, I relate to the 'tough love' thing. My dad. And it's a good thing too. In fact, the only way out... and into things ;)

5:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ditto rash and mrhaney!

Do you talk like this too? One topic to the other, so smoothly it's hardly noticed?

Yes Oprah is not what it used to be...


6:42 AM  
Anonymous Zoheb said...

What buh ! Still thinking .....

11:01 AM  
Blogger anantha said...

I hate Dr.Phil! Him and his advice and his know it all look! He's just a tamer version of Mr. Springer!

6:51 PM  
Blogger manan said...

Aah, the ship has sailed, but you don't need to be Dr. Phil to revel in the joys of touching people's lives, do you! I'm sure moms feel all that pleasure and more when their kids becoming independent!

And hey, I just noticed your location... I'm coming over to Cambridge next month. Any good suggestions for places to visit? :D

7:27 PM  
Blogger anumita said...

New post please gabby.

11:22 PM  
Blogger anumita said...

or you on tour with mom?

11:24 PM  
Blogger pingoo said...

nuff of thinking... can you start posting now :)

7:59 AM  
Anonymous Cat Furniture said...

I like your blog, the layout, the content, the overall feel of it. I bookmarked you... I will check back pretty often to see whats new :-)

8:49 AM  
Blogger GratisGab said...

pingoo baba - you and i hail from the same land.

Anti - remember the nuns' expressions? LOL!

Peg - Your words as usual make me realize how much more there is to experience/do/learn..."Why US" is a big question...I will tell you one might well be a long rambling watch out!

Anumita - My Mom might add a "Cooking Tips" section to every post...followed by "What Gabby does wrong while following Cooking Tips" :)

garfy - you smarty! maybe, maybe...hmmm

Alpha - Thanks for the info. Yes I have checked it out and left my paw prints all over.

1:57 PM  
Blogger GratisGab said...

mrhaney - You are right! My friend (an Oprah addict. She even subscribes to "O") swears she has noticed the same thing! *Sigh* if only O read by blog..:)

Amit - A talk show in Dubai...what say?

rash - bracket opening is an old problem of mine..:)

nish - Good for ya. You are a part of the 80% of the US+Asia population.

kj - thanks!

Phatichar - Yes, it's common in our parents' generation. Maybe I'll wait some more years and then work on this idea? :)

2:02 PM  
Blogger GratisGab said...

Nick - You call me smooth, I call you smooth. Please do come by more often :)

Zo - I'm a little slow some days. Thinking is at a stand-still...

Anti - It's okay, it's okay...calm down now.

Manan - Coming to Boston!!! Welcome welcome! Apart from the usual Harvard/MIT/Duck tours, there's PLENTY to do! What sort are you interested in? Outdoorsy? Or club-y? Or shoppy?...Let me know.

Anumita - My Mom, I can't afford her. She's asking for "life-time obedience" and "no arguments" as a part of the contract...

Pingoo - Yes Sir.

Cat furniture - Your name, what's with that? Will check out your blog in the hope of some answers...and thanks honey!

2:08 PM  
Anonymous Zoheb said...

Cat furniture is a spam autobot. These spammers are getting smarter everyday. So you "honey"ed an autobot. Please hang your head in shame.

3:34 PM  
Blogger GratisGab said...

Shoo Zoheb! And ssshhh. How do I delete comments?

10:42 PM  
Blogger GratisGab said...

Oh figured it out. But that's somehow not me. Let people get a good laugh!

10:43 PM  
Blogger Pallavi said...

hahah I guess we all have our own in our house.. :)

4:23 AM  

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