Bits & bobs… and could racist Umm be bipolar too?

Does depression need a cause?

It would be more than unmitigated greed to be unhappy about the rather wonderful life I have. Yet, when things are going perfectly well why do I feel like pigeon droppings? Assuming, pigeon droppings feel like crap…

Just about everyone who has the potential to annoy me is not doing so. In the process, messing with my mind. Maybe I feel sexier when miserable and depressed?


Hi, I am Umm, and I am a racist. A defensive racist, might I add?

A friend puts it more succinctly — she calls it being ‘race conscious’.

If you are brown skinned in this part of the world, you are a victim of discrimination in a hundred different ways. And when there is no legal recourse, your racism antennae tends to be fine-tuned to perfection — even verging on paranoia.

And when I say this part of the world, I not only include the country I work in, but also the country I hail from.

Here, given the nature of my job and position I am in, I tend to invite very interesting forms of racist remarks.

The blatant: You know, it’s cultural. Western sensibilities is different… blah, blah; You have to pay more for quality (in justification for the huge discrepancy in salary scales).

The not-so-funny attempt at humor: I am sure it works well with Bollywood and vindaloo, but not…

The condescending and patronising: I have lots of Asian friends, but…

The downright ridiculous: It’s racist, the vendors in the souq charge more because I am white/caucasian…

I’ve realized, out here, I’ve hit a double-ply glass ceiling. Both because of my gender and my nationality.

While I am quite oblivious to both when I am immersed in work, during my idle hours, it bothers me. Majorly.

Oh, there! I have my cause for why I do get depressed.


O: Amma, I wish we were like ordinary families.

Umm: We are an ordinary family.

O: No amma. Ordinary families spend evenings together, not just one day during the weekend.

**Damn journalism and newspaper jobs… not mine, R’s**


Ever tried hypnotherapy? Interesting. Intriguing. And in my case, rather effective. But then I am a sucker for alternative anything! If you are in Qatar and are looking for a good therapist, mail me.


Talking of alternatives… I am getting increasingly curious about same-sex wham-bhams. I don’t want to die not having tried something that could be extremely pleasurable. Need to think this through though.

ps: Ain’t I lucky R doesn’t read my blog!


I am 37. Almost all my girlfriends, spread across 5 countries and 3 continents, are in the 36-38 age group. And just about all of us are experiencing similar feelings about life as it stands. Interesting thing, we are not otherwise all of similar temperament or mentality. Yet, in this stage of our lives, our thoughts and opinions are so in sync. Unfortunately, not in a soothing manner. I can’t speak more of this, without losing some real close friends. Let’s just say, we’ve got the crazies!


Is this how tangled telephone cords feel? Cramped, dysfunctional, wound up and screwed? If you try straightening out the mess in a hurry, it only gets tangled up even more. The best way to untangle that telephone cord is to let the receiver hang from a height, and the cord untangles and stretches out slowly.

That’s how my joints feel most mornings, after a night of airconditioned discomfort. I need to gently ease my way out of bed… And let my joints creak their way back to functionality. Some days it takes 10 minutes, some days the entire morning.

Damn you, RA!


In other interesting news, I am still very much in love with Dr House AKA Hugh Laurie.  What’s this about bad boys and good(ish) girls?


When I don’t understand something — say a concept or a technology — I give it that much more attention and respect. I try to understand it. Failing which, I will leave decisions on the subject to those better equipped to make it.

Some people would of course cringe in fear of the unknown and block it out, not even making an attempt to understand.

Most of us will fall in one of the two categories.

Then, there is this egotistic bunch who dismiss off what they don’t understand. Who belittle what’s beyond their comprehension. And will offer no support to anything that their narrow little minds cannot grasp. Tsssk! There comes the other reason for feeling depressed.


10 thoughts on “Bits & bobs… and could racist Umm be bipolar too?

  1. shyam says:

    Re racism – man, it was EXACTLY the same in Singapore too! Brown skin = bad. The whiter your skin, the more fawned over. The annoying part was that it was assumed that a brown skin couldnt possibly be a better editor than a white skin – even with evidence to the contrary!

    • UmmON says:

      depends on who the therapist is. i went to interview her, and trusted her enough to go back 🙂
      and oh yes, about the racism bit. it makes my mad! just that look of surprise, and talking the the white intern, over my head, assuming i couldn’t be the one in-charge. stories to tell…

  2. farwin says:

    I’m frothing under this 19C A/C as I read this. Here’s what I get….habitually, those sentences that start with,
    1) U’know my mother raised me to treat the afros equally, I’ve visited the bronx soooo many times
    2) how can they go to the mosque on fridays and then drive like that!!?? Isn’t going to the mosque supposed to make them kinder? *eyelids batter*
    HEY!!! for the same reason the christian man goes to church finds his wife a lift and runs of to see his mistress!! (my boss did this..habitually!)
    3) Oh your muslim in this country…you have laods of advantages

    “I’ve hit a double-ply glass ceiling”
    Try being Muslim!!!…anywhere

    • UmmON says:

      yes, people want to focus on everything that is obvious — like race, sex, religion. but not on anything that requires effort to understand or appreciate.

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