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 ...