Thursday, December 29, 2005

A Standing Ovation



Well, it was not exactly one, but there was definitely much louder applause than I have ever heard in a theatre in the United States. It was a well deserved applause at the "Great Lakes Crossing" a the end of "The Chronicles of Narnia" - the beginning of a journey to a magical land.
I read about it first in Kumari's blog and how she was dissappointed that people had shown no response to the most fabulously made adaption on the Original novel by C.S. Lewis. So, we decided today to go and see for ourselves what this wonderful thing was all about. And were we Awed and surprised and pleased to the tee... We were floating in a different world while walking down the aisle of the Theatre rows.
Not a single detail missed, a single character unexplained, a single dialogue without meaning. Magic weaved into ordinary lives of 4 young kids brings out the most beautifully fabricated tale of a fantasy land called Narnia...
It is very difficult to hold yourself from falling in love with the bunny toothed little Lucy Pevensie, as she gives her warm friendly smile. Each time the Lion fills the screen, it evokes a deep respect in your heart for this magnificiant beast, and you are left with no doubt that the creators have taken the utmost caution to ensure that it looks as real as the seat on which you are sitting. One would be tempted to shake Edmund so hard that his teeth shook for the treacherous deed he performs, but you would regret doing so, seeing his bravery to save his elder brother. Ms. Susan is the prim and prom school teacher - I really wonder why every story needs to have one such character ! - Recall Hermione Granger ??
The War scene inevitably triggers a memory recall of the Cavalry charge in "LOTR". The coincidential fact is that C.S.Lewis and Tolkein were both lovers of Fantastical and Magical creatures and were good friends. Tolkein is supposed to have criticised Lewis when he first read the Book stating " there were too many elements that clashed—a Father Christmas and an evil witch, talking animals and children."...
Are we not glad today that Lewis did not listen to his best friend !!! ...
A Must see for all the eyes in the world. A movie that teaches lessons of compassion, bravery, love, justice and togetherness.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Comcast - The Life of the US

I have never seen the Mr. wait for a specific day this badly, as he did for Dec 22, 2005 - the day life poured into his existence in the US .. the day we got Comcast installed in our house.
Life in the US is certain bloodless without internet and a speaker phone at home - say "Some people" ...
The multitude of wires that bring people close together just by one click is amazing ..
What I Love the most about the internet in the US is 24 hours availability . I remember all those dark lonely nights when I had to spend alone in my home during my last stay in this country - and it was only Online Radio which was my saviour.
The next best thing about Internet is "Being Online" all the time.... Any Old friend coming "alive" after ages will never be missed. I have got in touch with many "out-of-sight" so "out-of-mind" people, over this little smiley messenger.
And the latest craze of the world and mine - blogging. All is possible because of this "Special Day" in our lives...

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

B'day ...






Happy B'day to You ... happy b'day to You .. Happy b'day dear Kochi ... Sang Rajesh, while I cut the pristine looking white Pineapple "Heart"(cake) .. with glowing candles on it and confetti all around it. On the way hung balloons and a Happy Birthday slogan. Thus was celeberated my 1st b'day after marriage, with lots of love, affection and cake on my face :D.
The fun and excitement started a couple of days ago, with dinner at Bangalore's tallest restaurant "Ebony" .. Situated in the heart of the town in Barton Centre, on M.G.Road, this quaint eat-out is on the 13th floor, boasting of an exquisite cuisine that includes Parsi, Italian, Thai and much more.. You should definitely try out the Saladi per Ende (Parsi omelette) - it is simply out of the world (the price of 120/- too :P). We walked in the drizzling rain on the streets of commercial street, enjoying the weather and being satisfied with our purchase of a wonderful coat for me.
Another day of shopping on my b'day eve ensured I increased my formal collections by alteast 3 new pieces of exquisite clothing.... We started the countdown to "The hour" by watching the ever-charming and "brilliantly" stupid - Marilyn Monroe in "How to marry a millionaire".
At about 11:45, I was ushered and locked into the bedroom, while the Mr.went about his preparations. Just when he walked me out the of the bedroom, eyes closed - the lights went off... heavens blessing , maybe :) ... In the candle lit room, I was awed by the decorations rajesh had done ... I blew the candles, cut the cake.. We shared big chunks greedily ... finally some landed on my face also :)....
Satisfied and very pleased, I went to bed, having enjoyed probably the best b'day after college days ...
Only to wake up to numerous calls the next day from near and dear ones and a wonderful boquet of flowers from my dear friend Ram in the US of A...

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Thalai Deepavali

Unfotunate are those friends of mine who got married this year and missed their "Thalai Deepavali". Deepavali/diwali(as it is called in North India), in itself is probably the brightest of all festivals.... All around lamps are light and no street is spared of crackers for the entire week.... All around you can see a haze let out by the Man vilakku(mud lamps), and of course the smog let out by the Standard Fireworks :)....

The first diwali celeberated by a married couple, in Tamilnadu, is called "
Talai Deepavali". It is one of the most special occasions in the entire year. And it was the most special in our lives also... We landed at Chennai the day before Diwali, after having soaked ourselves not only in religious piligrimage, but also in the sweat (due to the sweltering heat in Madurai). A few hours later my in-laws arrived from Palakkad.... There were two huge bags of crackers waiting for all of us, and of course the sweets that amma had ordered... After a nice talk for long time, sumptuous lunch, a visit to old friends - we were all ready .... Amma was beautifully dressed, so was the "other" amma(mom-in-law) ... The hero of the day wore a maroon kurta and looked dashing... I never saw my father so enthsiastic about the diwali festival ... We brought all the load into the cellar and began the show with a blast (a 100 wala...) After a while i shook my timidity and tried to light a flower pot from a distance of atleast about 4 feet, which brought everybody rolling on the floor with laughter. I was the official photographer clicking photos of flower pots and ground chakras...

Appa started releasing the special rockets that he had bought. Each one brought an "oooh!..." "aaah!" ... "Waaah" ... from everybody's mouths.. Soon all neighbours came out to watch the spectacular show.. We ourselves had never seen such things, and were really in awe at the beatuiful colors that were formed in the skies ..


Soon , we were joined my Krishnamoorthy mama and family. So, we took a short break, went upstairs and finished one round of sweets and savouries, in the pretext of offering them. The whole house sounded like a poultry farm.
After finished the second round of crackers, we came back tired and victorious at having silenced everybody in gopalan street with our dazzling show of showers...

Next day morning, Diwali, dawned pretty early at my home.We were woken up for a oil bath, new clothes were passed around. Dressed in a crisp white veshti and new pink shirt, the mapillai looked as handsome ever while bursting the last round of crackers..
With a flourish we ended the show with the 5000 wala... For about half a minute there was no other sound that entire postal colony could hear. After the last cracker had burst, it was another minute before even the birds started chirping....

Thalai diwali is one of the most special occasions. The attention, love and happiness in the occassion is to be experienced to be felt or understood ...

Friday, November 18, 2005

Weather Report

What is the recipe and place for ideal weather I can never say. While in Chennai i was always bothered to the core about the heat, profuse sweating, sultry evenings and dry, still nights....
In Bangalore, the rains had shown what it takes for nature to unleash its wrath on human beings... while the weather is pleasant, there are other things like traffic which spoil your mood...
And come Winter, bangalore has become something like I have never seen before. Right from 6 in the morning, the sun is its full glory, burning on your skin - but the moment you cross a patch of shade you are shivering and wishing you were under the cosy comforts of a jacket ...
Strange is the maya of nature... Far away on the other end of the world I hear that it is already snowing :) ...

The best splendour of nature that I have seen was while travelling to Coutrallam (the only and infamous waterfalls in TamilNadu). We were driving through warm , breezy sunny climate when suddenly from nowhere there was a downpour ... and just as instantly as it started raining it stopped. When i looked back, i could still see that patch that we had passed was still getting wet with the blessings of Uncle cloud..... Strange! ...

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Ragging Ke Darmiyan ...

Yaaawn! ... Reading documents is the most boring job in life. Even after having spent close to half a decade in an industry that requires me to interact with the comp once every half a second ; i have not got used to reading documents on the scren. I woudl rather have a print out , sit inches away from the Mon(i)stor and read it in peace...
Again after a long break, I am blogging. Not that the thought of spilling some ink(well i cannot say that exactly), on my monlogue did not cross my mind, but either i was too busy or tooooooo lazy to do so.
Mornings begin as usual with Radio city listening in the bus. Today for the first time on radio, i heard the song ... "Bahon ke darmiyaan...." , and my thoughts drifted to an incident nearly a decade ago ... Me standing with my head hung down (can't say in shame, for till date i don't realize what shameful act had i done) and tears almost forming in my eyes, while mentally i was hitting the taskmaster standing in front of me....
I always prided myself in the fact that i could sing decently well. So, when in the first class of ED(engineering drawing), the lecturer asked us to perform any one act on stage, I chose my favourite singing , and this being my current favourite - i did not think twice before vocalizing it in front of the 60 old students comprising of both girls and boys. Not for a teeny weeny microsecond, did i dwell to think of the picturization of the song, or the meaning of the words. A song was a song for me, musical to ears and soothing to the heart.
But how was i to know the terrible mistake I had done!!! ... By the time i reached hostel in the evening, the summons had arrived... Lady hidimba was waiting for me ... I could also see my ever-smirking "darling friend" classmate standing there. Even then i could not put my finger as to what crime i had been a part of ...
A Lecture ensued "What do you think of yourselves? Great models? Stars? Do you want your names to be written on all the walls of the class rooms with "I love You"'s all over .. ? Have you come here to study or make boyfriends? What were you trying to show of... "Wham! Bham!Whack! .. it went on for half an hour before slowly she asked "why did you sing those songs in the class?" My partner-in-crime had sung the most innocent of all songs "Tere mere milan ki yeh raina" ... And then there was light in the room , all the black clouds hangning over my head were instantly cleared - when I realised she was bashing us up for nothing .... But what was i to do? She was a senior .. and me a poor,wretched junior ...
Till I left college, the Bahon ke darmiyan story was never forgotten in my batch. Any moment this song played on the TV in common room , all would rush out yelling my name and asking me to come and watch my "Moment to Fame"....
So much for my love for music!

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Jam Jam Enna Jam

For some reason the Compose mode seems to be missing in this window, so can't use the fav among the ones given - Trebuchet Ms ..

It is ages since i wrote here. Many reasons attributing to it, my laziness, lack of motivation to write anything, my exams (the last of which i will get rid of this saturday), and many more ....

Every evening I sit in that "royal" transportation from the heavenly E-city back to "city", thousands of blogs fly through my mind - about how irritating it is to see even kids walk by your bus faster than it rolls, how i can count the number of stones by the roadside everyday (just that the exact place where I cound changes), and how I can participate in a "Yawning" competition and create a guinness Record.

It is a big pain travelling in Bangalore, and especially if you are one of those most unlucky ones who have not mastered the art of sleeping in bus, you are close to dead.

For a mere distance of 17 kms, I take on an average of 1 and half to 2 hours to reach home, every single day. Each day I reach home and lecture Rajesh about the ills of staying in this over-populated, polluted, nasty dirty place - and that we should immediately pack our bags and leave to another place, when a call from home stating just how "very hot" the days was - breaks my resolve ...

Bangalore's traffic reminds me of the Sundrop ad, the guy with such a big paunch, that you can count the number of hairs sticking out between two buttons in his shirt... It is like it is just about to explore...

Every day I set out with the positive thought in my mind, hoping that by some miracle everything is set right and come back with a black thunder cloud on my head, fuming at every possible thing that could go wrong ..

Friday, October 07, 2005

Friday - The Saree Day

Friday is a one off kind-a day. Most of the people in software industry have their own reasons to feel happy about this day - most of them concurring at the fact that the next two days are "OFF" ..
In My office, girls are allowed to wear "informal" (dirty minds - stop thinking too much) clothes (as in jeans, skirts etc) only on Fridays. So, we 3 (the trio we were in Chennai) always loved to watch folks in office on a Friday. Fridays would be our longest lunch times - looking at each girl's dress, admiring/commenting it, learning what is new in fashion and wondering how ever guys could get themselves to work, when there were so many pretty girls around ...
Here in b'lore, there is a certain trend that i have prominently noticed - the saree trend on Fridays... Most of the girls form gangs and decide to wear sarees ... some of the girls and sarees (not necessarily both - all the time) are gorgeous , that even I give them a third/fourth look ...
Saree in itself is the most beautiful clothing a women can ever wear, i feel .... With the pallu swish-shaying behind and the fleets in front dancing to the tunes of the steps , it gives a crowning glory feeling and look to the wearer....
It is indeed a treat for the eyes to be walking around the campus at crowded times like lunch/b'fast/5:15 (when most of the folks rush to catch bus) ...

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Identify Me

No Particular reason for not writing for long.
No topics brushed my always "alive" brain ...
Everyday while coming to and going away from office, i hear the radio - it plays mostly hindi and a few kannada songs.

I have often noticed this. Even as the music of a song starts, I would be able to idenfity that it is a kannada song/hindi song. There is a characteristic difference in the way music is composed for south indian films and hindi. South indian - i say - because those are the ones i know.

Not being a trained musician, i am not able to put my finger on what causes the difference. Maybe the instruments used, or the ragas they are based on - what i am not sure, but i have always felt that just by listening to the starting tune of the song, one can identify whether it is a hindi/ local language songs...

This probably explains why many songs that A.R.Rahman composes initially for a Tamil movie don't gel into the typical hindi scenario when they are dubbed/copied... and the other way around also ...

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

A Minute Of Fame

Tring! Tring! – Groan! … grumbling and mumbling I shut off the alarm clock. Just like any other day, amma turned towards me and mumbled sleepily “Koncham neram kooda paduthuko kondhe”(sleep for some more time my child!) … And as obedient (atleast in this aspect), I turned and tired to sleep, only to wake up 50 seconds later(this is also the usual)… after being tormented by horned images of my manager and suddenly alive and eating versions of my CSQA books … Well! It was just yet another day….
Bored with the daily schedule of getting ready early and rushing off to catch the bus, I decided to take a detour – enjoy some time excercising, eating amma’s delicious dosas and “trying” to study…
There are some days when unknowing to yours, you just hope that the day is something different from the normal, hoping for something “Lucky” to come your way .. When such a feeling started to go through me, I realized I was reading too much of “Potter and the half blood prince” …. And as life is always, it turned out to be the most …Luck(less) day. I put on the TV, just to realize that there was a cable strike, and it was indefinite… Put on the “You got mail” CD and got ready for a jig, and heard the “Blip” of power-cut…Walked down to catch an auto and waited shifting weight on each foot for 15 minutes before I found one who charged exorbitant price – but he was GOD at that moment, and I could not refuse him … So much for a hope for Lucky – I should have watched “Lucky-no time for love” atleast over the weekend.
I put on the radio and enjoyed some songs. Vasanthi gave the question for “Jhat-Se” contest and was so exhilarated to hear some questions about my ex-fav .. Aamir Khan(I really feel he overdid himself with Mangal Pandey.. This was they call “Pride goes before fall”). I sent an SMS to Radio City, asking me to put on air… And forgot all about it, because in the past I never got the chance …
My phone vibrated … an unknown number, GOSH! Can’t the lady Hitler atleast wait for me to come to office … I picked it up reluctantly to hear the iron voice.. When I heard a familiar voice say “Hi …”I could not believe it … My wish had come true. I had got a call from Vasanthi – after finishing the formalities, she said she would put me on air for my answer was correct… I could not believe it, I was so tensed, excited that I forgot to tell amma to put on the Radio also. Finally I managed to call her and give her a cryptic message, that sounded like there is some Big disaster occurred and she needs to know about it only from the radio. I got vasanthi’s call, and was at office by that time, so spoke on hushed tones, all the while aware that I was on “AIR”.. Gosh! I could not believe it.. I was already imagining the prize that would come home, and what the goodie bag would contain, when she threw the bomb and asked the second question … that threw me off – I did not know the answer … booo! Hooo! She cheated me L … My minute of fame had turned to half a minute of disappointment….
Whenever I listened to radio, I would always wonder how lucky those people were who got on air. I was not a radio freak, but come-on, who does not like to be onair and let the whole city hear them J… I still remember how desperately I tried to get the number, when Maddy was on air.. only to be exasperated how that one number always is elusive… I so badly wanted darayas to put me on air to dedicate a song to Aena, when he was going out of town, and when finally that day came – I realized that it was nothing so great that I envisaged, but undoubtedly it was the experience of a lifetime ..

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

A Trip to God's Own Country & Our Own Home

We took a day off to visit our in-laws after around 2 months, not counting the one time in between that they came to visit us ... It was the most bestest thing that could ever happen admist a busy, scurried, harried and frustrating week of work ...
Mannarkkad is where this little abode of my P-in-law's is nestled..... This tiny little valley town bordered by mountains on two sides and flanked by two cute little rivers (called Puzha in malayalam) was the most pleasant sight to my eyes and we meandered through the sharp U-turns in the rounded hill called "Notta Mala" ... The first glimpse of Mannarkkad is sure to take anybody's breath away(other than Mellus of course) .... A sheer drop from the mountains brings one to this beautiful , green carpeted town-to-village kind of place .. The town extends on both sides of the highway from palakkad to Kozhikode .... The 50 ft road lined with shops of all kinds ranging from vegetables & fruits - to groceries - to cloth shops and of course not forgetting the innumerous jewellery shops ...

My In-laws place is a pinky cute abode right at the top of one of the sloping lanes of VIP Conlony ... It has the best garden in the entire colony .... Variety of flowers adorn the entire place and vegetable plants push and seek their own space to grow .... you can find everything from 12 varieties of roses to zinia to 5 varities of hibiscus - to around 6 banana trees - to 4 papaya trees - to long beans - to two varieties of brinjal ... and not to forget dozens of crotons and about 10 hanging pots ..... it is amazing how my father-in-law has the energy to maintain all this ... It is a treat to walk through the garden... I had my best time capturing the beauty of each one of those flowers into my technology pudhayal - my digi cam ! ..

We spent the best part of our time watching a fish give birth to kids. They also have a big fish tank. FIL taught us how to identify which fish was pregnant. It is important to move the fish into another separate bucket so that it is not pestered and disturbed by the others.. And it was shocking to see that the mother ate the kids as soon as they were born, as it did not know they were its own offsprings... So, we had to be vigilant and transfer the kids, not more than a cm in length into a third bucket using a tiny net ... Oh! it was so much fun. We were the doctors and nurses for the entire day and brought into this world around 50 living organisms ... It is totally impossible to think of a fish about 3 cm in length giving birth to around 70 kids.... !Just imagine it! ...

I have never had a more idyllic vacation as I did have in those days - all I did was Eat, sleep and laze around. It rejuvinates one so much and makes me one feel so energetic to get back to daily routine .... I did my fair share of helping Ma-In-Law in kitchen ( the dutiful DIL I am he hee hee).

Today, when I am back to the daily grind of Excel sheets, Java Applications and tools; I wish I can go back to the land of birds, flowers, air -free of pollution, those lovely temples and rivers and wonderful laid back days of Mannarkkad ...... So, till another vacation I remain hopeful...

Monday, August 08, 2005

a Fresh Start

How many times Have I already felt this in the recent past ? Today is a fresh start - I am going to be more regular, keep a track of all work i do, learn something new everyday and prepare one chapter for the exams that I am appearing... And just within 2 days of this resolution, i come back to 'square one' - my lazy circle of my wasteland ...

This fresh start has been lots of things - transfer to b'lore, shifting to a new place, changing my chair, the week begining, the month begining on a monday ... and so on ... not to forget the new water bottle that i got to office.

Today is yet another fresh start - something quite bigger than the ones mentioned above. A Change of department, a new building, a new project, new faces ..... and of course so-called lots of work ....

It is been a hour since i am trying to twindle my thumbs, sift thru pages of the Quality manual, but no one from the project is in ... and god knows what my work is going to be ....

So much for a fresh start ....

Friday, August 05, 2005

More On Books

When we shifted to MIG 175 (our quarter number in Vizag), I got a new friend - a friend for life - Balaji Mama. He was Appa's colleague in Steel Plant who was newly married and was staying alone, as his wife had gone home for delivery. So, he would visit us often and thus our friendship started. Balaji mama has always had this wonderful knack of befriending young girls and being their closest buddy - he would crack so many jokes, make so much masti, play with me, discuss topics with me, teach me new things (i give him the credit of my little knowledge of the game of Chess). A Brilliant to the "Tee" is Balaji Mama...

At that very young age, apart from his nature, what I loved most about Balaji Mama was the wide knowledge of books that he had , and (slyly) the wide variety of books he had, and the fact that we both were crazy fans of the indomitable gaul - ASTERIX. He had a beautifully bound collection of all the books of Asterix and he was soo proud of his collection - which attracted me all the more to that bookshelf (I myself am a person who takes great pride in her collection of books , one can often find me just gazing at all the books I have and lovingly touching all of them) ... I admired and idolized Balaji Mama - he is one of my favourites even today and will always be... Slowly, i worked into balaji mama's heart and his book collection and devoured all the Asterix comics more than 10 times... To this day, I am mad about collecting Asterix books ..

Then came into my life, plenty of writers, novels, magazines and what not ...
It would be unfair if I did not mention how crazy I was about the stories published in Women's Era at one point in time ... Saro Athai has/had this huge collection of Women's Era. Whenever we went to Chennai, it was my favourite passtime to find one corner in the dusty bedroom and read Women's Era ... I loved each one of the stories and also adored the "How i met my husband" column .. It was my dream to be able to send my life story to that column - all this at the age of 16-18 ... hee hee ... I would always be astound by the Personal problems column, thinking do such things ever happen in life.. I also liked to read the columns that depicted real happenings in people's life (serious and comedy) - don't remember the exact name .. I also loved the Travel column in Women's Era ..

More to come on books ...

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Books

There is a book exhibition on in our Campus - 20% off on the books. I just came back from there - bought a book for my "Invest Savy" husband - Intelligent Investor by Richard Graham... I spent money to buy a book that speaks of how to invest money ha ha ha .... I know it is a Poooooor J ....

Books have always fascinated me from a very young age, and I give the entire credit to my mother for inculcating the reading habit in me. Ever since I can think of, My mother has always made it a point that I read some comic or novel ... I have a huge collection of "Tinkle", which I am very proud of ... I have been buying Tinkle's from the time they costed 2/- to 2.50/- to 4.00/- to 5.00/- to 7.00/- to 10.00/- .... During the same time, I would get lots of Amar Chitra Katha, Anderson's Fairy Tales and other tiny-tot stories as gifts from amma ... Rarely we would buy Champak at the Railway station .... One scene of my childhood still always hovers in front of my eyes ... a kutti Vidhya proudly holding about 8 Fairy Tale books (those thin long books - i don't remember the publisher , which had big pictures and little text about the fairy tale) and riding the rickshaw in Talcher, these were my gifts from my Hari Mama...

Slowly I progressed to reading Enid Blyton's - I savoured the 'Famous Five' and 'Find Find-outers'.. somehow I felt "Secret Seven" was very kiddsih even at a very young age.. Every now and then we would madly search the neighbouring area for Libraries ... Books were indeed expensive and people did not earn as we do these days to be buying loads of books - they had lots of commitments and less money ... Buying one small book was such a big celeberation at that time ... I would wait for my b'days - for I was sure my mother would surprise me with one of my favourite books ...

I consumed all the books in my local library in a short span. And the librarian would refuse to get new books ... To Assuage my thirst for books, we took a membership in a library 3 stops from home .. I would cycle there every friday and get my then favourite "Nancy Drew". I am sure at some point or other, every ardent book reader must have idolized Nancy drew(girls) and Hardy Boys(boys).... I soon completed all the titles he had .... and then where do I go ? Luck struck in the form of my school library... Every week, we would have 2 peiods of library where we could read the books stocked in the library ... After Class 7, we could borrow books for home ... I would always be the first in the line to pick up a book (soon the librarian and me became thick buddies) ... Even while Sunitha moved to picking "Agatha Christie", I still stuck to my Carolyn Keene's and Enid Blyton's .. Today, when AC is my favourite writer, I cannot imagine that at the age of 14 I disliked her writings ...

Then came into my life the fantasy of every teen girl ... the ever popular, ever favourite , always short-lived in memory - M'n'B s - There would be no teen gril, who has never sampled this deliciously tinging sweet dish, specially churned out to satisfy the appetities of yearning , rosy-eyed teen minds ... I still remember the fight for MnBs at hostel in college ... how we would read only those "Specific" pages and sigh at the description of the TDH Hunky-dory, smart, intelligent, can-do-anyting-in-the-world hero ... and always wishing why we were not like the dainty, doll-like,fair,blue-doe-eyed, princess-like heroine, who always fell in into the arms of the hero every second ..... And as it happens to everybody, I got very very vexed with them , very very soon ....

I could go on and on about books , one of my passions ... Let me continue this later ... So much for today ...

Summer Of '96

I really feel very flattered to know that they are some "great" souls in this world who spare time and read my non-sensical blogs also - I owe my allegiance to "Shaila" and "Padmaja"...
Yesterday I was talking to Padmaja after a long time .. it brought back lots of memories of Vizag and our college life, those careful days of 12th holidays, when we had thrashed all those wicked exam papers and jumped over the barriers of the common entrance exam EAMCET - and enjoyed our last 'few' happy days before having to shed crocodile tears on our results - and pack off our bags to enter a new world of 'responsible' engineering-to-be-graduates... Every alternate day was spent in planning new adventures, new places to visit, new hotels to ransack and new movies to watch .... Not that we did all of them ... Our most favourite haunts were the Ramakrishna beach - the best being the visit to this part of the beach below a cliff called "Silver Coast" (I don't know why it is called so, you won't get even get shells there, let alone 'AG')... We had the best times of our lives - playing around, shouting loudly, getting all wet - the best part of this area of the beach is that it is completely deserted and the people who visit it are mostly families(read decent), and not the usual tapori public who are there at the beach only for 'sight adichofying'.... I still remember how we forced Padmaja to wear a Skirt and how shy she was feeling about it - I am talking of the 90's which were still pretty conservative, unlike the modern days where a metre cloth covering the body itself is felt 'overdressed' ... Padmaja was my scooty-partner... we were soo possessive about our partners, i would not agree her to sit on Rajni or Smitha's vehicles ... As i drove all the wide, winding up-hills of Siripuram, she would sing to me or we would talk of happenings and have a nice time .. with cool breeze whipping our hair over our faces ... and a carefree mind - a mind which has no worries of 'what extra innovative work have i done today?', 'when would i get my salary hike?', 'should i swtich jobs?', 'how soon can i get home to cook dinner?', 'should i make cabbage or cauliflower today?' .... the list just keep going on ....
The shores of Ramakrishna beach are just the same today, there are still a bunch of young teenagers there playing around, unaware of the dangers of life that await them, unaware of the 'treats' that life has in store for them ... I long to be there back .. and one day i will also be there, but will I feel the way i did in that Summer of '96 ?

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Ooops - I did it Again

No, I am not writing about Britney Spears , not am going to discuss just how beautifully she has 'dressed' sorry sung the song .. This is about my own doing - my "aa bail mujhe maar" classical example...

I was enjoying my life, doing almost no work at all, leaving early, cooking for my 'patidev' and doing a bit of reading ... And then, this stupid thought of getting into another department got into my head. As if I did not like my life, I went in for a transfer...

And I met the new Manager today, only to be scared within 5 minutes of talk with him. My new assignment is going to be a nightmare. It is 10 times worse than what I came out of just 3 months ago ... Did I need this good lord ? ....

Ooops! I did it again with my own MOUTH ... Me and My Big Mouth ...

A Day To Rest

Yesterday I was on leave - a day of complete rest.
Sometimes, the thing that you hate the most can be of very good help also. I Hate my Migrane headaches... I have been suffering from it for about 7 years now, with intermediate periods of respite. Each time I go to the doctor i am dismayed further by the fact that there is no permanent cure for it, one can only reduce the frequency of attacks by finding out the trigger factors(which always seem to be non-existent - before I can conclude that one particular reason is the cause for these headaches, I am struck with a series of attacks which have no remove connection to the previous reason), and trying to avoid them ... Atleast I am lucky that in this modern world of drugs, I have tablets that can prevent the fury and wrath of a terrible ache ...

Aches are such strange things .. The person suffering from it, from outside looks perfectly fine, except for probably a drained look, but the intensity of this 'tsunami' can only be felt by he/she himself/herself... Whenever I have complained of headaches at office, I could see a twinge of disbeleif in my boss's eyes, for I would always look decently good ... but I cannot take him to the Loo and show how I throw-up or transfer the pain to his head to make him feel who it feels (it feels like an army of demons are making a tunnelway from one end of my eyebrow to the other end) ....

Well, so much for these 'peace-wrecking-tantrums-of-my-body' ... The worst occurs when you innocently wake up from sleep and found that one has already taken its position (with majority) in your head ... and all you can do that day is moan and groan alone in a dark sound-proof room .... Which was what I had precisely yesterday. But thanks to the 'miracle' medicine that my doc has given, I was spared of any major pain after 5 hours of taking the pill ..but the 'damage' was already done ... I decided not to go to office, and seeing me in pain Rajesh also took the day off...

So, there was a good day spent in rest yesterday ... just lazing around, talking of this and that, taking a leisure head bath ... and watching the much longed "Usual Suspects". When Dhan kept insisting that is the best movie ever made, each time we talked of movies, I did not understand why he was so fanatically attached to the movie - only at 2:15 (10 mins after the movie started ) did it strike me why - for I also was one by then ....

What an amazing movie it is ... slick direction, suspense story, AMAZING Acting by Kevin Spacey (makes you feel like shaking him at times to ask him stop talking) .... and Al Pacino's screen presence (he is my current smartie) .... At no point in the 2 hour time of the film, will you be able to yawn and say "okay for the next 2 seconds i won't look at the screen ... "... Every frame in the movie is captivating and is full of information .... Each turn and twist in the story is thrilling .... And as any suspense movie/novel, nothing in the whole world beats the end .... The moment of realization for the detective is too amazing .... I won't write more, else i will be tempted to divulge the suspense ...

The day ended with a visit to the doc - who put me on pills for the next "century" days .... Whether India players hit a century or not, I always do it -- with pills of course , not the bat and the ball ....

Monday, August 01, 2005

Continuing the Radio Saga

Why is it that I always start off writing a blog with something in my mind and end up with something that is totally unrelated to what I wanted to pen down ? That is what happened to the "ga-ga" blog that i wrote last ....

So, continuing the Radio saga again ... hopefully this time I pen down my thoughts as they are - and that they don't get corrupted into something that they are not ...

Probably the only thing that i look forward to while coming to office these days is to listen to Radio City - 91 FM... every 5 minutes they keep insisting that they are b'lore's fav music station - i wonder they HAVE to be .. i mean there is no competition FM Station that they have to fear, they why this self-dabba ...
For instance in chennai, we have two FM channels , Radio Mirchi and Suryan FM... So, admist their radio wave war, we got to hear some of the best catchy advertising tunes ... I was particularly fond of Radio Mirchi, this has 'nothing' to attribute to the fact that the RJs of RM sounded more young, chirpy - than the old monotone RJs of Suryan FM... Every week, their "self-ad" tune would change and I would always eagerly wait for it ...
I never thought i would find a match for my fav RJ Suchithra - who hosted the morning show in RM in Chennai -> But Basanthi (no not the Tange wali in Sholay- but this one is no less beleive me) , is a stiff competition to our dear Suchi ... she is so sweet, crisp , to the point and has a "ganeer kural" ... It is a pleasure to hear basanthi , as it is grating to hear Darayas(i hope i spelled his name right)'s oohs and ooomphs which are a craze among b'lore's teen (especially girl) population .... He is the "Wicked" boy of the RJ family , who slyly makes all "A" jokes and even owns them up, but oh-so cutely that you end up admiring this "Onida-type-devil" Daraaaaaaayas ...

Sindhu , is Simply Serene and Serves wonderful retro music in her Matinee meal ... She gives tips about good house-keeping in the morning show at times ... Her voice is more mature, calm and composed , especially when compared to the monkeying "D" ....

I don't very much like the kind-a-fake accent of Fiona , who does the show from 2-5 ... Well not that i get to hear it much ... (still not found if i can hear radio in office - as it is i do all sorts of thing , don't want to get thrown out by testing their patience too much) ... But i love the jingle that comes up in the 4-5 "Happy Hour" ... reminds me of Cartoons and birds in them a lot .... also reminds me of the voice that is lent to Chip&Dale characters ....

While in Chennai, Meens and me would love to hear RM in the mornings ... some cranky driver would put up Suryan FM at times , which mostly resembled "pucca local stuff" .... There was this show between 8-10 hosted by a lady who called herself "Susie Mami" and a man called "Kittu Mama", who very horribly immitated the very beautiful Palakkad tamil ... His "Sh" ending words were a bit too on the edge ...

Ah! Radio ..... Wish i could hear it now ...

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Radio Ga-Ga

My first association with radio was the old toota-foota Murphy radio that we had at home ... which inspite of its exterior ugliness served well and played wonderful music(whenever the radio station choose to play it) ...

When I visited my grandparents in chennai, i would hate the radio, because my thatha would put it on at 5:30 in the morning and wake the whole neighbourhood up ... Those were times when the day HAD to begin with a group of singers crooning "Vandemataram" .... it would be followed by classical music by some non-existent and some existent and known musician ... Then would come the best part for my grandfather - the news ... i always admired the voices that read the news - so crisp and so much full of authority .... Radio was a part and parcel of my holidays .. it would be constantly on in the background, and no matter where in the house one was, he/she would never fail to listen to the commentator on the Radio.

Radios bring back to memory an article i read once in Gokulam(an almost non-existent magazine for children, but one which was full of so much good stuff years ago .. ) - a lady of 55 reminiscing about her childhood memories of the radio - where she would imagine herself to be a singer and sit behind the radio and sing aloud, in the hope that it was being aired all over the country ...

In the days of my mother's teenage it was the only source of music and information .. Everybody must have a radio and would eagerly wait for that one hour when new songs were aired ..
I loved seeing songs like "Meet Na Mila .." and "Nahin bhoolengi Barsaat ki woh raat" , where they show songs being aired on radio and how much people would enjoy it ...

Radios also are mentioned in this beautiful songs by Carpenters .. Yesterday Once More ..
Then for a while Radios became extinct .. No body, except poor cobblers or panwalas heard it .. and soon they became historic ...

And then suddenly, they came back with a big bang .. through the popular FM Channels .

Suddenly, Radios were the in-thing .. Miniatures radios were manufactured and were strewn all over the market. Radio was being played everywhere from Office buses, to chai shops , to hotels to City Buses! .. People would refuse to start the day without hearing to their favourite RJs and Radio Jockeys became the most envious people of all....

Today the craze for the FM Channels is undescribable .. (that is my own word by the way) .. I cannot imagine travelling for an hour in the bus without the company of the FM ... I feel something lacking on a day that my walkman refuses to play or batteries get over ...

What's in a Name?

I think it was shakespeare who said this in the very famous in the play Romeo And Juliet... But I am sure he would have never ever thought how much troubles lay in the very small,yet the most important attribute of a man - his/her name ..
I am livid right now thinking about this very particular thing.
Every Region in India has its unique own way of names. In North, runs the tradition of a family name being attached to a person's own name, in the South , it is usually the Father's name before marriage and Husband's name after marriage. In some parts, like Andhra, the tradition of Village name being attached to one's own name exists ..
This is not what I am upset about ... I don't care what name your parents give you, or what attachments get added on to it at every stage of your life .. It is when the 'government' part gets involved with a name that troubles start ...
I have had so much trouble with names in the recent past, that i wish everybody's name was just 1 or 2 letters ... GRRRRRR .....
It all started when five years after the passport was issued, everybody suddenly woke up to find that my husband's given name and surname was interchanged, and this posed the most important problem in our life ... Fine , we set about solving this .. Taking 100s of unwanted, unrelated, useless documenatation, proof for this -that(including a proof that we existed , to proofs for the fact that we breathed , ate, slept etc... ) we arrived at this most esteemeed travel agents place, who with a big beaming smile and a very assuring attitude told us that we need not worry for a single thing anymore .. and that he would fix every single problem in our life ...
We came back as happy as a pair of larks and forgot all about it ... the usual police check happened and we churned out 300/- ... kept checking the web-site often for the passport status ... In all this our Mr.Fix-it-all would hardly be available to answer any queries... and why would he - he got the money he wanted so it was time for him to make the dissappearing act... It would be infruiating to ring his number twenty dozen times, not getting it 15 dozen times, the phone being cut another 3 dozen times and being given excuses like "he is in the toilet", "he is drinking water", "he has just stepped out for a cigarette", "he is just eating the last morsel of food" ... and so on for the other 2 dozen times ....
We finally saw light today, when we were summoned to the Post office to pick up the passports .... With a very happy mind, and a beaming smile i met the post master, gave him my best dimpled smile upon getting the passport, which changed to the worst frown, the instant i saw my passport ... (in all this i forgot to say that in our enthsiasm of getting married, we even asked for spouse endorsements on our passports) ... My NAME which was all the while absolutely, perfectly correct was mis-spelt ....GROOOOOOOOOOOOOOAN! was i to go through all this rigamorale again ???? .....
If that agent idiot cannot spell 17 letters of my word properly, and the stupid government fellow cannot type those 17 little letters correct, what would he ever do if he got a passport application for my mother's colleague whose name was as short as " Veera Venkata Subba Arukuru Raghavendra Srinivasa Giri Prasad" fondly called (A-Z Prasad) ....
I wish i could catch hold of Shakespeare now and ask him "WHAT IS IN A NAME?"

Monday, July 25, 2005

Of Routines and Changes

Life is full of routines and changes in them .... and i detest changes ..
You could say, I am scared of changes....
How often we feel familiar with something that we see, hear and feel no? That one sudden day, when all that we are 'routinely' used to changes, we feel lost somewhere unknown ... but then again , if you notice, the beauty of life is that , unknowingly and very cleverly a routine gets set in this change also ...
My life has always been one of routine and order(if not to the extent of an army order - much orderly than many)... I liked the routine of my life and would always make an attempt to add new things to my daily list of activities ...
In College it started with getting up early, and brushing up college stuff/catching up with my diary writing/reading a most interesting novel that i had laid hands upon , taking a bath at 5:30 or 6:00, for that is when the whole clothes line would be available for me ... do a bit of puja(got more inspired by Lalli's daily chanting of the hanuman chalisa for about half an hour or so... ), and get ready for b'fast and college.... I was inspired by my dearest friend lipika , to keep myself on toes about what and when i did ... I will never be able to forget that image of the thin, stalk like figure holding her spoon and plate and standing in front of the mess at DOT 7, waiting patiently for the "Avvas" to finish setting the dinner items ... She was a human digital clock and so was her stomach, which never missed a second ....
When I left my first job and joined the new company, I found it very difficult to adjust to the sorroundings and people... I missed those chatty lunch sessions with the girls, those teasings , the tool called "IPMSG" ... A guy whom i referred to as "Asuya" ... and so many things ... I would crib everyday to Rajesh, to my friends that i did not like the new place .... But slowly and steady, there were a few things that i started noticing, following, doing .... and slowly every morning would look forward to that little "Chart" of activities of mine - to see , to talk, to do .....
Each time I went onsite, on the last day at offshore, while going back home in the office bus, i would sigh and feel very very sad at missing those familiar sights, would feel the churn in my stomach as to how things would be at the new place .....
When i got married and came to Chennai, It was soo difficult to digest the fact that I would not be having lunch with Subha and Meens anymore, i would not have them to shoo away my problems, give me solutions, share gossip ... I was feeling scared of the new project i would get it , was feeling sad at going away from familiar close team mates like Rupa and Viji .... And indeed , i found it difficult for a long time to adjust here ....
but now i have my own routine .. waking up, making boost , hurrying to get ready for office, rushing to catch the 7:50 bus, always missing it and making for the 7:55 one instead .... switching on my radio after i get into the bus first thing ... browse thru the 'filmi' contents of BT, before moving to my fav. SU-DU-KO, feeling satisfied at having solved it in a few minutes, quickly finishing the jumbled words and then mulling over the crossword - and finshing it all my vowing that i will never try that 'Stupid' crossword again ... :) ...
As I matured, i understood that changes are inevitable in life ... and that it does take anybody some time to adapt to a change -> some do it faster than others ... some like me long for the familiar so much that they miss out the new and better things in the change ...
I am also 'changing' this habit of mine to get more used to 'changes' .... but the routine in me finds it difficult to adjust my 'routine' to accomodate a 'change' .... ;)

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Hobbies and Yourself

Little Rahul introduced himself thus when he was 8 : "My name is Rahul, I study in Class IV c, My Hobbies are : Drawing, playing violin, playing cricket, watching cartoon network, reading Tinkle, playing carrom board,visiting the beach" .....

When he was 16 he introduced himself thus: "Hey! This is Rahul ... I love Painting, playing violin, watching and playing cricket"

When he was 25 he introduced himself thus" Hi! Rahul here ... My hobbies include playing violin and catching re-runs of cricket match on TV" ...

At 35, when his son asked him what his hobbies are ... he goes like ... "My hobbies are ..... ahhh ... uhhh .... ummm..." ... he is speechless....

With growing age and increasing work/home pressure - people are losing their hobbies... There are very people in my generation who take time to go out for music/art classes, who read a book as a hobby, who play a few games that they love ....
Last Saturday , when Rajesh and me spend a few wonderful hours playing the scrabble, we realised just how much are we missing out in our daily busy lives....
All of us are Tech-Savy, know everything and anything that is new in the world - are always in the rat race to grow up the corporation ladder, earn more money for a easy life, that we hardly get time to spare a few moments to do something we 'once upon a time just loved doing' ....
It is 2 years since i took out my music book to sing a few lines of my favourite keerthanam ... It is more than a month since my friend, who was once a voracious reader , started one book and could not even complete 1/4th of it ...
It is very difficult to find time ... I, for one , hardly find any time for anything (that was a nice line hee hee)... and i don't even have "GREAT" responsibilities on my shoulders as yet - so i cannot even imagine life when i do have all those BIG burdens ...
Once a while it is very important that we take out sometime to do something that gives us happiness, something which is out of the routine, something that is to do with art/music/games .... something that will keep that "extra-curricular" vien in our body alive and tingling ... It is necessary for us to rejunivinate ourselves by spending more time with ourselves, to assess where we are in life, whether what we wanted is coming fine, where are we lacking, how happy we are .... and how many more friends we have made in life ... Believe me, spending time with oneself, makes you feel more fresh and cheerful ...

Friday, July 15, 2005

Parineeta

Wonder why Fridays of all days seem to be passing by slowly. And if you have cold, headache, body ache rolled in together with a dull day, the day seems to have stopped forever ... After a nasty double cappuchino, which tasted like the bitter kashayam, my mother makes; I am no where feeling any better than I did before the coffee ...

a long time since i wrote something in my blog ... Well, I am not at all a writer, or atleast beleive so... Ideas don't flow into my mind always and all that i think is also not well-received by all - not upto their standards , so-to-say ... This reminds me of Ernie - a character in one of my favourite series as a kid and a teenager - Enid Blyton's Five - Find outers... Ernie is a look alike of the leader of the "Five" find -outers(as they call themselves) - Fatty ..... Who desperately wants to write poems, but can never write one line in like a week.... Each time he tells this to Fatty, the latter rattles out a beautiful poem in like seconds and all Ernie is able to say is "coo! how do you do it Fatty?" .... Well, I am like Ernie .... Can only "Coo" about without able to write a piece of literature ...

Well, this blog has got nothing to do with all of the above nonsense.... I would like to write about the "oh! - so talked" about movie "Parineeta" which we watched yesterday .... The spark of interest for the movie came when we came to know that the Female lead in the movie Vidya Balan was my cousin's wife's cousin ... And of course the hype the movie created ... for a couple of days , any channel you watched HAD to have an interview with the pretty, unconventional looking , beautiful "Lolita" .... To the extent that "Outlook Money" (my husband's favourite these days), had an interview with her ...
So, we booked the tickets online a couple of days ago ... and were pretty excited about it yesterday ... A day when everything that had to go wrong , did go wrong ... my cold, feverish feeling, hunger and not having time to eat anything, rajesh's supposed call at exactly 6:45 (the movie was to begin at 7:20 - and the journey from E-City to Forum takes atleast about 40 minutes) ... Everything ended in full Philmi Ishtyle .... I got down at forum at 7:01 , cribbed standing in a long queue(yes, you stand in a queue inspite of booking online - Mera Bharat Mahan), got the tickets at 7:13 .... ran down the 3 floors of Forum(you guessed right - the elevators had to stop working just then) ... picked up some food , just to meet my grinning husband standing at the entrance at 7:19 , trying to make one of his persistant friend (who decided to talk about the world's happening just then) put the phone down ... and ran into the theatre exactly at 7:25 .... and were releieved to see only Ads playing ....
A Beautifully made Period film, bringing to life the characters of the famous bengali novel - of the same name - by Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay .... is "Parineeta" ...
The movie will always be remembered for the life that each actor/actress has poured into each small character ... the melodious and soul-touching music of Shantanu Moitra . I was reading about this talented music director and was surprised to know that he rose to fame in the field of music with the jingle "Bole Mere Lips, I love Uncle Chips"... This ad was such a craze at one point of time ... Whenever i hear this, the cute little kid muting its lips to sing this tune comes to my mind ...
Saif Ali Khan, who rose to fame with "Dil Chahtha Hai" ... has grown to be a very mature actor. He won the National Award for "Hum Tum" recently .... and can easily bag one more for his potray of the intense character of Sekhar - a spoilt rich kid , whose interest lies only in Music and is so used to having Lolitha by his side always, that he hardly realises that she has a life of her own, and that he probably is in love with her, and should care for her needs also.....
Lolitha plays a character that shows woman immortalised.... Whenever I see movies with the woman potrayed as the perfect "Sati-Savithri", I really wonder if this should give me some inspiration , or should I feel angry that the entire society expects a woman to be patient no matter how she is treated.... Sekhar treats her like a servant, expecting her to be at his beck & call whenever he wants , and thinking that all she would need is his money - to which he gives her unlimited access .... And Lolitha - is there for sekhar no matter what time , what situation, uncaring of what others think of her, uncaring of what she wants in life ... Why do woman always have to be potrayed this way ? For once why cannot they potray a man to be so unselfishly loving ?
Sanjay Dutt, as the soft natured Girish, very easily captures your heart with his soft nature and wonderful potray .... I always felt that Sanjay Dutt has grown as a mature actor over the years ... but it is when he does rubbish movies like "Musafir", I wonder where does his sense go once in a while ...
It is very difficult to make a period film ... to potray calcutta as one of the most serene places, in today's world, is very difficult.... KUDOS to Vidhu Vinod Chopra to have paid utmost attention to every single detail ... He has not missed out on a single thing - even the paper that Saif reads in a scene is an age old news paper... The costumes, streets of calcutta, the durga pooja, depiction of a bengali wedding --- all leave you wanting to go to calcutta immediately ....
"Piyu Bole" .. is one of the most beautifully picturised songs in a long long time .... The shot under the Howrah Bridge makes you wish Time would stop then and there ..... Sonu's voice lingers in your ears for a long long time ... and so do the beautiful and meaningful lyrics ...
On the music front, Sonu Nigam steals your heart with his soulful renderation of "Soona Man Ka Angan" - a beautiful tune by Rabindranath .... Each song has its own beauty .... Sunidhi's renderation of "Kaise Paheli" and the setting of the song takes you years behind to the eternally famous song of "Howrah Bridge" --- Aayeyee Meherban ....
"Kasto Mazaa" - a jolly tune , winding its way into your heart , as the train winds its way through the hills to darjeeling ..
"Raat Hamari Tho" - brings tears into your eyes , leaving you wondering what will happen to "Lolitha" ....

All in all a MUST watch movie and a good collection to DVD collectors ... "Parineeta ... "

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Tu Tu Main Main

Every weekday evening finds me rushing home to make a cup of hot tea for me and sitting in front of the computer to watch one of my ever-favourite serials "Tu Tu Main Main" ..... A long running episode about the "nok-jok" (as it is called in Hindi) between a mother-in-law and daughter-in-law.... It depicts the ever existing fued between the MIL and DIL in a very humourous way..... Each day is a new episode - new "Taane-baazi" ... new laughs, new emotions ....
Some of the eposides are very silly, but what makes the whole thing so nice is the genuineness of the key characters - Reema Lagoo and Supriya Pilgaonkar... They are so spontaneous and so nature, one would atleast give a smile seeing them, if not guffaw with joy ... Sachin's slick direction certainly deserves a wonderful applause - all the characters are so much at ease and you long to know what is going to happen in the Verma household the next day ...
In this age of soaps - mostly filled with tear-jerking stories of saas-bahu, the 'other' women categories, or the supposed thrillers (that leave you anything but thrilled) - this is one of the best serials I can say .... half an hour of guarenteed entertainment ....

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Queues & Lines

Long since I wrote a blog. One very unpleasant incident put me off for a while. Some 'friend' commenting very nastily on my blog. Anyways , dogs will bark , that does not mean that I stop my writing.
Turning to other better matters in life... I had been wanting to pen down some thoughts on the "topic line" for quite some time.
Everyday when I go back home, i notice this phenomena. Mine is the last stop, so the bus stops there for a while for everybody to get down. Even before the stop comes, almost everybody starts to get up and crowd near the entrance. I don't get this - It is the last stop, so even if you are the last to get down, the driver will wait for you. And you are coming back home, so there is no meeting/call you need to rush for. Then why don't people follow an unlaid rule, let the front seat people get down and then get in the line, when it is their turn.
Every single person has a rush, for what? - nothing. Getting home a minute later does not cause any big upset right? And if everybody forms a quiet line and gets down in turn, you are not missing out on precious minutes also.

Everytime I have been abroad I have noticed this - While leaving India, everybody forms a nice neat queue and board the plane in harmony. But on the return in airporst like FFT or London, the moment the announcement for baording is done, everybody nearly runs to the gate, pushing, scrambling, nudging to get in. The only plausible reason I can think of , is to occupy as much cabin luggage space as possible, as on the return, Indians are most "famous" for getting everything they can lay hands on ...

All it needs is a bit of self-discipline for us to prove that we can be as well-mannered as the "whiter" part of the race. Wonder why inspite of being taught so much in school , college, and even office(soft-skills) we can never manage to follow this in real life.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Birthdays

I really have not been feeling like writing since a long time ... but today thought would write this blog in dedication to my dearest husband .... who is celeberating his b'day today ....
Till a certain point in age, b'days are such important events in life, you could call the most important ... For many middle class families, it is one of those very very few days when you get a new dress ...
As a teeny-weeny kid, till the age of 3 one hardly remembers what b'days are .... but it is these years that are celeberated with lots of pomp and grandeur ... I can recall one of the recent b'day bashes that i heard of , where the IT couple spent close to half a lakh on their kid's 1st b'day .... wonder if such extravagance is really needed.... neither the kid nor the parents remember it a few years later ... You get the biggest cake in your life on your 1st b'day when you can hardly eat it ...
I remember the first b'day cake that I cut was on my 7th b'day , which was when my parents could afford such a treat .... a quiet b'day it was , with the kids nearby getting a small pencil box , a magic pencil and an eraser (mind you all of these at that age was something quite BIG for us little kids - not for kids of this age , who have nearly 2 dozen pencils in their kitty even before they know what it is used for).....
In School , b'days were particularly important because i got to distribute chocolates to all my class students and wear my b'day dress to school !!!!! a brand new dress .... And i would distribute them in my favourite period only !!! .... I would always pray for my b'day to be on a Friday/Wednesday (wonder why i had the penchant for those two days) ... and if my date of birth happened to be on a day which did not have my favourite classes , i would insist on celeberating my "star" birthday ....
My "best" friend would get the golden opportunity of accompanying me to distribute chocolates to the teachers of other sections of my Grade ... This often cause me lots of problems , for i had many "good" friends, and if i chose one the other got angry ....
I wanted amma to pack me only pooris or lemon rice on my b'day and nothing else .... plain old idlis or curd rice would not even be looked upon on those days ....
The bestest part of my b'days have always been the wonderful and meaningful gifts that amma gave me ... sometimes it was my fav book, or my fav game, or my 'current' fav soap, or a pair of ear-rings or a wind chime .... amma always had this wonderful knack of knowing what i wanted and getting it for me ... I would love this suprise every year on the morning of my b'day ....
Today , b'days are just another day , where you feel nothing but that you have grown old ... Just after college, almost every friend would remember every other friend's b'day ; but as years passed by very few would call/mail and wish you ......
Growing old certainly is no fun ...

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Letters

Sundays are 'clean the house' days usually .... That sunday was no exception ... we were cleaning my husband's trunk - a precious collection of every single relic related to our love story - from the petal of the first rose he gave me, to the chocolate wrapper that i gave him upon returning from vacation, to the chits we passed in class, to the folders i wrote for our lab work, to the numerous cards i gave him, to the poster of his favourite juhi - that i bought for him at chowrasta ... to the beautiful handwritten letters I wrote to him over the period of 5 years ....
Letters .... are such special and wonderful memories.. Ones that you hardly see/write these days .... Letters of Nehru to his daughter were so special that they were published ...
Another such cleaning day in chennai once caught me re-reading all those letters my mother wrote to me and vice versa when I was at college .... at about 12:30 in the afternoon, i would come back for lunch ... and rush to the board where the postman would stick our letters .... coming back from the board, i would either be grinning ear-to-ear for i might have got a bonus letter (due to a postal delay two of amma's letters would come on the same day), and on other days would have a dull face for i would not have got even a single letter ... There were days when amma would write to me 10 pages .... days when i would write her one postcard a day ....
My association with letters start from a very young age .... writing to my mama who was in Ghana was one of my fav activities as a kid .... I still remember the thrill i felt at reading his first letter to me, describing in length about his life there, about how he missed his family and about how he loved my letters .... I still treasure that long parchment ...
One loving letter was from my creche teather's teenager daugther - i was her aide in all the mischeif she did - smoking a bedi, stealing mangoes from the next house, roaming all of Port Trust (in vizag) for a particular pastry she wanted ... visiting any exhibition she could hear of ... - she wrote about how she would miss me, how she would love to see me grow into a lovely young lady .... it still touches me and never fails to make my eyes misty even today ....
The art of writing letters is obselete today .... This is the age of e-mails and SMSes ... the age of cutting short every letter in a word so that it fits into the little space you, so that you don't "YELL" on the network ... long letters with flowy flowery handwritings will always be a sight to the eyes and will be seen only in museums i think ....
The other day at Krishna mama's place I was astound to see my great-grandfather's letters... All well preserved. The handwriting was so clear and full of authority. The sentences crisp and precise, and the usage of English was much better than any of the modern writers that i know of .... Those were letters to inform my grandfather the birth of my mother, aunts and uncles....
One rare treasure that I have is the letter my grandfather wrote to me ... written at a time when he could hardly see clearly, but one who sees the letter would hardly feel so .... the love and pride he felt at my getting a seat in RECW was conveyed so well in the few lines that he wrote to me ...
My mother till date treasures the letters Paati wrote to her while we were in vizag ... Paati's letters are a treat to 'feel' ... yes feel not read .... she would press the pen onto the paper so hard, that just by touching the envelope you would know it is paati's letter ...
Nobody writes to anybody anymore .... i tried a number of times to write to my mother, but hardly find time for it ... There were days when i had the interest and patience to decorate the white paper before writing on it ... i was never satisfied with the design of letter pads ... and here are days when all i do is admire old letters ...
There is still one person i know who writes .... My perriamma writes long letters describing everything from the menu at an event, to the saree to the jewellery, to what -who said .... to my grandmother ... Lucky person-my paati ... to be getting a letter even today ....
The next generation would not even see envelopes and inland letters, just as postcards are extinct today .... We are losing something very precious without even realizing it ...

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Phon(E)tiquette

Every morning, I think of what would today's topic for the blog be ... There is nothing more to write ... but something or the other happens in the course of the day, and it becomes my point to muse about or ponder about ...
Loud speaking over phones in public place is so irritating .... There is this person who leaves for home in the same bus as mine ... if any day i happen to sit anywhere near him and his cell phone rings , woe betide me. I will get to know everything from what his plans for the evening are , to what his wife is cooking, to what fights he had in the office, to what movies he plans to see, to what he thinks about everything in the whole world ...
Today when i entered the main hallway of my office , i heard a vociferous voice discussing the divorce case of one of her relatives and how the lady of 40 was getting another match and what her opinions on this were.... Imagine discussing private affairs in the mid hallway .... Seriously, it is high time people realised that there are people around you ....
No matter how much you try to shut your ears to these conversations, the decibel levels are so high , that it can penetrate through whatever is in your ear .... I put the volume of my walkman high, but i still could not avoid the "Cholluda machchan ... ennada vishayam ... ", "Ponnu semaya irukada ...", "kalakala irukku da chandramukhi" ... and so on ....
Some people are so oblivious of where they are and what they are speaking , that they start discussing how much savings they have , in what bank, how much money they are carrying .... No wonder there is so much news about robbery in bangalore .. Yeh tho "Aa bail mujhe maar" ka case hua na ??
Phone is an instrument to convey a message to only one person listening on the other side of the line, if people had to shout and let the whole world know of their intentions, thoughts , plans and so on .... we might as well be in the primitive ages and use drums to communicate ...

Monday, June 06, 2005

Relatively Related - Relatives

Having spent the best part of my last couple of days visiting relatives, I thought this was something i definitely should write about ....
it was quite frustrating to realise that the precious 3 days that i had at home, was mostly spent visiting all relatives i could think of , at the same time , it was soo heart warming to see all near and dear ones, update myself with their news and give my side of news ...
It is always a pleasure to meet my mom's side of relatives in some function/gathering ... Thursday was one such time at Shyam's poonal .... Since I got married just about two months ago, Rajesh and me were the hottest topic of discussion and the most sought after people ...So, we did what the proverb precisely says " Make Hay while the sun shines" ... It is nice to be basking in people's company once a while :) .... I must have answered these questions a million times "Bangalore eppadi irukku" ... "Daily chamakiriya ??? " .... "Mazhai eppadi irundhudhu" .... "Onsite eppo porell ...."; including a host of remarks and exclamations ..."Ennadi idhu, Rajesh elchu poyitaru ... Chamakiraya illai ..." "Nalla karuthu poyitay .... romba ooru chuthala ? " .... and so on ....
Many a folks I was meeting nearly after a decade ... Cute little kids I knew had grown into beautiful charming young ladies or smart handsome teenage guys .... It was so tough to beleive it was the same kid I had seen about 9 years ago ...
I feel, one realizes the importance and need for relatives when one has stayed far away from home for a long period. It often becomes very difficult to determine between where we need relatives in our live and where we don't need.
In this world of increasing nuclear family, kids often don't know anybody beyond their nearest blood relations - this referring to mother , father , siblings, grandparents and a few cousins, aunts and uncles ...
It amazes me to always hear my grandmother talk fondly of her brother's daughter's husband's sister's sister-in-law and remember every single detail of that lady's life ... What an amazing memory and what an surprising interest in the human life ...
As my parents grew old, I could see the increasing need in them to "Be with all our close ones" ... When I spent my entire teen life in Vizag, i never saw relatives more than once a year, and that too for a couple of hours, and would hardly know the details of any of my cousin's kid ... but now as I grow , I keep more in touch with folks, take more interest in who is doing what and is living where and is intending to move how in life ... It makes me feel nice to know that i belong to a biigger family than just me and my husband ....
But as time passes and we go deeper into the moder fast , electronic world , it is becoming increasingly difficult for all people of the same family to stay in the same city , for people staying in the same city to meet each other often ... and for cousins to know new members introduced into the family tree (marriage or child birth) ... Common leave plans often don't materialize , thus not allowing us to attend functions... holidays for kids vary from place to place ...
It is in this time that this most powerful tool called E-mail comes to rescue ... YahooGroups, online photos are all tools that help us keep in touch with our beloved ones ...

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Coming Home To Siyaram ....

Well, I am not going to write an article about suiting and shirting ... but when i thought of the fact that i am going home today .... this is the first thing that came to my mind ... I love this caption and the way it is sung in the ad ....
Ahhhh! Home ... Well i go home every evening from work , but today i will be going to my other home , the home i have been in for 25 years and no matter where i go , when i return to it , i feel so complete ....
"Home" , as a kid was never constant for me .... Every summer vacations i would go to chennai... While leaving Vizag , i would wail in despair , that i did not want to go there ... but the moment i landed at grandparent's home .... i would forget everything else in the world and while coming back after 2 months, i would wail in sorrow that i never wanted to go back to vizag ....
The sense of "Home" actually came full-fledged when i left for college and hostel life .. The first vacations that i came back from the hostel, was when i realised and was grateful to god that I had a home to come to, loving parents' arms to run into ... good food, TV, movies and relaxing days ....
As i grew up, joined office, coming back from office to home was also a great pleasure .. amma would make me hot tea and over the hot cup of tea and my favourite Marie biscuits , i would rattle about every single of the day's happenings - from Manoj's teasings, to Rupa's silence, to Viji's despair about EPASS, to the light fights with Ram, to the heavy work, to irritation about "onsite" folks, to lunch chats with Meens and Subha .... and what nots ... Daily updates about friends , and daily updates about amma's activites made my day .... and home was heaven ...
Today , after marriage, i am visiting my parents for the first time ... I am very happy here in bangalore, very very glad to return to home here daily , to be with rajesh , to make plans with him , to go out , have fun, sit down on quiet evenings listening to music, reading books , discussing life with him .... but yet , the thought of going home to my parents ..... brings a joy like never ....
I am "Coming" to home ....

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Arrrrgh!

I am not at all in any mode to do any amount of reading online today .... So, thought i would sit and edit my template and make it look nice ... i spent all time editing it and finally the internet connection went off .... grr ... it is so irritating ... HMPH!

Monday, May 30, 2005

Bunty Aur Babli

I would have loved to call it a Roller Coaster ride of fun and Masti ... but unfortunately it is not entirely a roller coaster ride ... but undoubtedly one of the best movies in the recent times is B&B ... (reminds me of the bed and breakfast - in Gimmelwald).
In a big bowl, put the charming, made-for-each, romantic, hot on the block couple - laurel and hardy --sorry Rani and Abhishek : Add to this the ever favourite, ever green, ever imposing, ever show-stealing Amitabh : Put 4 ladles of pure, unadultered fun : 2 scoops of nice peppy music, 1 tablespoon of modern choreographed songs ... and 1 Aishwarya rai for the masses .... and there you are with the newly baked cake : Bunty aur Babli ...
A nice treat for the eyes and ears, paisa vasool movie is B&B ... The picture is centered around the adventures of two young , dashing, zara-hatke youths , who yearn and long to do something that is by no means "normal" ...
A good storyline , slick direction (though with minor slips) makes this a wonderful afternoon affair to remember ...
One has to give credit to Big B ... no matter what movie he is in, no matter what role , he still can bring the crowd to stand and cheer the loudest the moment he appears on the screen... One is thrown back to the "Hun" days , looking at his attire and observing his dialogues ...
There are many an instances where one feels the making of another Big B in the junior B's actions and dialogue delivery ...
Rani, but of course steals the show ... Peppy, charming, seductive yet beautiful , glamorous yet down-to-earth looks of this tiny whizard ... just touches your heart and keeps you glued to the seat ...
A must see - in the theatre- is B&B ...

Rainy Tales

Having come from the land of Scorching Sun , Singara chennai, my experience with rains in b'lore have been very novel... Not that I have never experienced rains in my life...
Friday will always be a day/rather evening to remember ..
I started off back home , smiling to myself - that it was the weekend and i had loads of fun to look forward to ... The first dampening (literally)of my spirit (as well as self) started when i almost got completed drenched in the first few (no more) showers of the rain , walking to the bus stop .... One and half of ant crawling journey to my place , tested my break-any-second patience to the maximum ... Imagine to be stopped at the street next to your house for about 20 mintues - you cannot walk down because it is pouring and the roads are full of slushy mud, drainage water and what-not ...
I was sooo releived to get down off the bus and walked with swift steps towards my apt complex when the brakes of my sandals were applied with such a force that i almost fell off ... Where did this river come up in front of my home in just half a day ? Did i get down at the wrong place .... I was appalled to see waist deep (i am quite tall by standards - so if the water was waist deep for me, it was neck deep for normal people ) water about 50 ft from my complex gate ... With a mixture of feelings - thrill , chill, anger, hunger ... I held on to this smartian's hand and waded through god-knows-what-water ... Though i proudly tell all my friends that all road of b'lore are wonderfully cemented, i always intentionally forget to mention the pathetic condition of this particular road , for one never knows where there is a pit or hole or gravel or land ... and at this particular time, it was worse ... water had caved into every possible pin hole making it look(sorry all i could do was feel) like a crater ... I was later glad that it was pitch dark, for had it been atleast a bit illuminating that evening, i would not have even dared to step into the water - for the next day we found all kinds of creatures dead in that water ... yuck!
I was even more shocked to find the entire basement of my apartment complex flooded with water ... All the vehicles were drowned... The theft alarms of all cars were blaring and it was like the concert of cacofonix the bard ... A nice opportnity for us to choose which theft alarm we would never use for our vehicle ...
another "good" news awaited me when i somehow finished my "wading" excercise for the day ... The lift was not working... i would have been a fool to expect it also ... So, started the second excercise for the day ... "Climbing" upto the 8th floor ... Having a house this high has its own advantages and disadvantages ... I could feel all the panner i had the previous day disintegrating ... After much huff and puff , i arrived to find myself blinded by the bright, oops sorry stark darkness ...
All that ensued was even more nightmarish ... no power for about 3 hours , then low voltage for the entire night , all the goodies in the fridge getting spoilt , dirty water till morning , and no water till evening ....
GOSH! my experience with rain was a bit too wet for comfort ...