Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween

Gosh! I cannot believe that it is a year since last Halloween. I got reminded of it when we visited S's house two weekends ago and saw a teeny-weeny pumpkin waited to be painted , in their balcony. S's daugther ran to us saying - I am going to paint my "punkin" red. I am going to paint a black "punkin". Oh! kids are so adorable...

The Mr. dutifully got out the trinkets that he had purchased at the $ store last year and so cutely arranged them. He even 'created' cobwebs. See this!

These are some of the 'rich' houses who celeberate Halloween in a really big way! We captured these while we were attempting to do some "fall" photography in a really "posh" neighborhood nearby.

Happy Halloween to you all!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Why the Cashew nut grows out of the fruit?

The Mr. and I are supposedly photo freaks - it is almost mid October and we have not got a single "Fall" photo - can you believe that? I guess "Fall" is falling behind time this year. Well with temperatures still in late 60s and early 70s what do you expect. For two days it was in the 50s and a couple of over-eager Maple's started to change color - but that is it! No forests of "flaming" trees or lawns covered with mounds of red, maroon and yellow colored leaves....

Every day when I drive to work, I see these 3 single trees proudly displaying their colors - each one alone admist all other lush green ones. It reminded me of a story that I read in Tinkle as a little kid - how the Cashew nut came to be outside the fruit!

One of the many blessings that my lovely parents gave me as a kid - was my reading habit. There was no dearth for books as a kid. Amma would ensure I got one of my most favorite book as one of my birthday presents. And every fortnight I would get the new Tinkle. Ah! I miss those thick bound Tinkle books in my bookshelf. I would read, read and re-read all those stories for years together. Okay, enough of straying off the point. Now to the story.

In a bit forest there were all kind of trees, Oaks, Maple's, banyans and so on. There was also one Cashew tree. Every year when winter melted and spring start, the trees would slowly start to bloom. All the trees would start blooming at the same time, except of the Cashew - which always bloomed first. The trees were angry at this. They felt that the Cashew was trying to steal limelight by blooming first. They complained to the Forest King - who chided the Cashew for not being a part of the group and blooming along with the others. A sad Cashew said he would try and bloom along with the others next year.
The year ended, winter swept in - robbing away all tress of their leaves. Soon, the last of snow melted away and lo - the Cashew was already in full bloom, the other trees had barely managed to start regrowing their leaves.

The forest god was furious! He said that he would not take the Cashew's impudence anymore. He plucked one of the Cashew's fruits and stamped on it. A small seed popped out. The forest god threw the fruit at the Cashew and said - "Let it be remembered that you disobeyed my orders! May your seed always grow outside your fruit!".

So, that's how the Cashew Nut came to be living outside the fruit!

Mmmm.... let me go and grab an handful of those spicy Masala cashews that we bought last week!

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Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Boys and Girls

Often I wonder how is it that god has made boys and girls as unique and separate in nature as they are. When we are born we are just two human beings - then how does that distinct "boyishness" or "girlishness" come into us on its own. I don't think parents teach the toddler of a year how to "behave" like a boy or a girl.

Couple of weeks ago we had a couple over for dinner. They brought along their 1 year old son. Within seconds it became evident that all of the Mr's precious plants and our beautiful decorations that were within his reach were in grave danger.
Despite taking all sorts of precautions we ended up with two broken souvenir glasses. The kid would not stay still for a single minute - needed constant monitoring and would lay hands on anything that was within his reach.

Couple of days ago Mrs and Mr C dropped in for a little chat - and brought along their cute 3 year old daughter. All the 3 hours that they were at home, this doll just ran around , making conversations with me, playing by holding my hands or jumping up and down on the bed. She admired all the beautiful artifacts in our bookshelf and commented on them, but did not even touch them. There was nothing to be cleared or cleaned when they left.

Makes me wonder just how do boys and girls be so different inherently. Mom-in-law's reminisces - She had to tie the Mr to the sofa when he was a toddler to get even the minimal of work done - else he would break up everything he could lay hands on, or stuff anything that would go into his mouth. I can't recall my mother complaining anything of that sort about my childhood.

Ever since I can remember we have always had toddlers in our house - all the while we lived in the quarters in vizag. First it was the twins - Ramu and Shamu - not a moment of peace when they would come home. I would always have to run behind them to ensure they were not upto any destructive - to themselves or the house. Then there was Sravani - docile as a lamb - all she wanted was the Vessels basket and she would quietly spend them time on her own, with small conversations with us in between.

The way boys and girls think is also so distinctly different. I am sure all would have read the forward about how a man and woman think diametrically opposite about the same situation. Here is how it goes -
The husband comes back home in a very pensive mood. The wife is worried and tries to cheer him up but he hardly responds. She begins to think of how their marriage is doomed, and that the husband is tired of her and probably wants to end the relationship and so on. She backtracks all the incidents between them to identify where she went wrong. She writes down pages of this in her diary. There is just one line in the diary of the husband's that night - "India lost the match!".

It is no wonder that books like "Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus" are so popular...

A small snippet of conversation that evening that Mrs and Mr. C came home - Mrs. C came into the kitchen talking to me about something when we heard Mr. C asked my husband - How much did you pay for this? Immediately Mrs. C asked - What are you asking about - the couch, the tv stand, the bookshelf ... so on? Mr C looked at her puzzled and said - No, its the Time magazine - did they buy new furniture ?

We had a good laugh at this "boy" and "girl" thing!

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Monday, October 01, 2007


I think the creativity in me, if there was any, is slowly dying. I just can’t seem to think of anything to write about. The moment a small idea strikes my tiny brain, some big wave crashes it off dismissing it as something non-essential.

Ah! Well just because it pains me to see the blog I so lovingly nourished until now empty for more than a fortnight – I thought I would write about the nice movie that we saw over the weekend – Dhamaal.

I cannot recall the last time we saw a hindi movie and truly enjoyed it. I stopped reading reviews of movies on Rediff – because almost every movie that is being churned out these days seems to be getting only a 1 star or max 2 stars. I could not bring myself to see ‘Chak De’ for the fright of having to bear him for 2 and half hours; though colleagues gave excellent reviews of the movie. This one, we bought (yes – these days the concept of renting seems to be lost in our grocery store – because there was only a 50 cent difference in renting and buying the n number of DVD copies that he made), because more than one person had vouched for its ability to make you laugh so hard that your stomach ached.

Well, my stomach did not ache – but I did laugh a lot while watching the movie. And as usual, no credit for originality here – the movie is a mish-mash copy of two very funny English movies – ‘It’s a Mad Mad World’ and ‘Rat Race’ – but one definitely has to give it to the 4 stars for bringing the best out of a copy. Ritesh Deshmukh, Arshad Warsi, Javed Jaffrey and Ashish Chowdary are brilliant comedians. Not many praises for the last one – but he tags on well in the group. I have grown to love Ritesh’s comedy – each and every movie I have seen of his – he has given a superb performance (no matter what the state of the rest of the movie is). Arshad – his award for the Munnabahi series speaks for himself. His timing and dialogue delivery are too good. Javed Jaffrey is a brilliant star who has not been given enough recognition I feel. As the bhondu, always-speaking-the-truth, innocent younger brother to Arshad – he gives a wonderful performance. It is his simple performance that steals your heart. No ‘acting’ this guy does. You just feel this is what he is.

Sanjay Dutt provides the ‘brawn’ and star power to the movie. Asrani is a bit loud and could have done better than just slapping and yelling.

Vijay Raaz (well known as PK Dubey) comes in for just a small scene – but steals the show – undoubtedly. His dialogues and the way he has rendered them is hilarious!

There are very few moments in the movie where you are yawning or feeling – what the hell am I watching this movie for – which according to me is one of the best credits that can be given to a movie being screened these days.

A very nice timepass movie!