Friday, November 21, 2008

Miracle...


Miracles rarely happen in life, and when they do - they leave you with a feeling of ever-lasting gratitude and happiness.
I have been lucky to have miracles happen twice and that too with the same object - my purse. I lost it twice, with absolutely no clue as to where I could have lost it and both the times I have got it back in the most strangest of circumstances. And when I sit to analyze the process of how I got it back, it makes me feel that it is nothing but a miracle that happened to me...
Two weekends ago, on a saturday morning, the Mr. casually asked me where my purse was. I casually said, it should be in my bag. We looked for it there and it was not to be found. Then began a search for it in the house and I could not find it in any of the usual spots. Finally half heartedly we agreed that it might be at my work place. I could not even remember the last time I used it. For about a year now, I have been going to work with the Mr., so I rarely have to use my purse anywhere. I never go shopping on my own, so no chance of operating with money on my own. In short, it is on rare occasions that this black jewel of mine comes out. And after my lil princess has been born, my memory has gone off on a long long break. There was a time, when I would speak in pride about my memory - i could remember every small thing that happened a week ago - the meal that was cooked last monday, the major conversations we had and so on. But now, alas, I cannot even remember what happened last evening!
Monday came, we came to office - and there was no purse. I searched all sorts of places, asked all sorts of people and nope - it was not to be found. The worst fact was not knowing where I could have lost it too. With great difficulty I traced back my mind to think of all possible shops/places I had been to the last week - but no luck. It seemed that I had not been anywhere at all. The Mr. checked online to see if any suspicious transactions happened with my credit card and he noticed a posting of about 4$ from a shop called Bellaccino's and then it all came back to me, like pieces of jigsaw puzzle fitting together.
On Thursday the previous week, I was feeling hungry in the evening and went to get some stuff from this shop. After buying the things, as is my habit, i dropped my purse into the bag from the shop. On reaching home and seeing Maya, I forgot everything and started to play with her. After the in-laws and Mr. had finished eating, the Mr. without looking to see the other contents in the cover just threw the bag out into the trash bin.
Okay now we knew where the purse was - but the problem was that in our apartment complex monday was the day the trash can was emptied. We asked the in-laws to keep a look out for the big trash van and asked him to not empty the trash can if it came. It was a strange miracle that the usually prompt van did not come that day. As soon as we rushed home, we ran to search in the huge 6ft by 5 ft bin. As luck would have, it was full till the brim. With a small hook like stick, the Mr. searched and searched. After gaining a full blown knowledge of what are all the possible sort of things people would throw into the trash, we found this bag at the very bottom of the trash bin... The Mr. just had to put his hand in the bag and lo! there it was - my sentimental purse :) ....
3 years ago .. about the same time(I wont be surprised if the dates too matched, unfortunately i dont remember them now), we had been to Guruvayoor. The in-laws, Mr and me. We reached there one evening, did dharshan and stayed over at a hotel. The next day, we woke up early at about 4 and got ready to leave for the temple. The hotel owner said they provided free compliment drop-off at the temple and that a taxi was waiting right at that moment. I asked the Mr. to hold my purse while I got into the car and forgot to take it back from him. We reached the temple, got off the car and started walking towards the sanidanam. We stopped to drink tea from a shop nearby and then I realised my purse was missing. All of us got panicky for we could not remember what happened after I handed the purse to the Mr. My FIL and the Mr. went back to all the way that we came walking, in search of it. MIL and me were standing there, chanting all sorts of prayers and hoping we would get it back. About half an hour later, the car we came in came back in search of us. The driver told us that he had gone back to the hotel, taken some other passengers to another temple (Mamiyoor - for those of u familiar with guruvayoor)- about 1/2 hour drive from there- as those passengers were getting off, they noticed this purse on the floor of the car and gave it to the driver. The driver came in search of us to give us the purse. I could not thank him enough for his honesty. That was also something miraculous to happen.
Guess this purse is indeed a lucky one for me then :) ... I hope there wont be another post to report a 3rd miracle anymore... ;)

Monday, September 29, 2008

Maya Says ...


.... Amma did you know - an apple a day keeps the doctor away...

Monday, September 22, 2008

Onam , a farewell and a Welcome

hmmm... so what's happening lately ?
It was Onam a little more than a week ago. As usual I wanted to post a picture and wish ppl on my blog that day, but - no time (it is time i cooked up a new excuse i think).

Well, one is never too late. A very Belated "Happy Onam" to you all ....
It was a special one for me - because in a small way, it was the first time I celebrated it. I put a small Pookalam and amma made Payasam.






Then the day that I had been dreading for long did dawn - the day amma left for India. It was the singular most painful thing, after my delivery(;) ...) - of course this one was an emotional pain and the other was only a physical pain, but an emotional happiness. Maya gave Patti a wet kichie at the airport. Paavam kozhandai did not know she was saying bye to her best friend.. She did realise it later though. For almost a week, she would not babble much, not cry much, not laugh much - just simply sit and stare at us. I was nearly heart broken to see the little one in this state. Pavam - she was feeling something which she could not share or tell out too ...



I was very glad when in-laws came... Atleast with the chel-pehel in the house Maya started to get back to normalcy. At first she cried a lot seeing them, or whenever they attempted to take her in their arms, but within a day or two she became quite comfortable with them.


Today is the 5th day she has been alone with them at home, and she is doing quite fine. She loves being swung on Velliamma(Grandma)'s legs ..
or being held by Velliachchan(grandpa)

So, another chapter in Maya's life and mine begins ...

Monday, September 08, 2008

Weekend With Maya

It is amma's last week here in detroit. It pains me to even write that line. I know I am going to be a lot affected once she leaves, but there is no choice. That is one thing I hate about living in this country - Visa - the evil monster! If it were in India, I guess I could have made her stay with me or near me forever. Amma and Appa have been the greatest help we have had with respect to Maya. Right from delivery till now, they have really really slogged for us - I could never do enough for them in return. I just hope that I have always shown my gratitude to them enough, and that I am there for them when they need me. 
After a couple of outings with Maya which turned out to be sort of fiasco's, we were wary in taking her out. But for the past weeks, she seemed to have grown up and not behaving as cranky as she did before. So, we decided to 'experiment' once again. After all who could resist the last few sunny weekends of Michigan? 
So, we ventured into the downtown of Birmingham. This is one of the posh cities around and the downtown is quite lively and entertaining. Shops lined on both sides of the narrow Woodward avenue and Maple road provide good Window shopping opportunities - but they are most harmful to the pocket for these are some of the most expensive botiques. This is the favourite hang out for teenagers, so we got to see
 some nice 'kuttis' (babes) in 'kutti' skirts and tops :) - the latest and weirdest fashions too. 
We showed amma the city hall where we applied for Maya's passport - and of course this warranted a photo (there ... in the distance you can see Amma with Maya)

What did you say .... you want a close up - okay here goes ... 

Maya was most well-behaved that evening. Though the Mr. always maintains that she is most well-behaved when outside... all her 'true colors' are limited to inside the home. As soon as we landed in downtown, it was here feeding time and she promptly dropped to sleep even before she completed her bottle. Which gave us some free t
ime to go around looking at the shops in 'peace'.. We 'binged' that evening, sauntering into chocolate shops and cupcake stations - sampling and eating all the goodies we laid eyes on...

Greedily the Mr. and I ordered Thai takeout and also went into Panera Bread for a soup and sandwich(I had been wanting to take amma to Panera Bread since a long long time) - which of coursed proved to me much more than we would eat, so the Thai served as lunch next afternoon. (Good one less time to cook .. hee hee).

Maya, in the meantime, had a wonderful time -trying to pick all the flowers she could lay eyes.. oops maybe hands on. See her trying to do a back somersault here. 


Soon, the cold winds started to creep in and it was time to leave. So, after making sure the little madame was snug and warm, 
we started back home .. It was a nice and fun outing. Maya earned some nice compliments too..."Oh! she is a precious isn't she?" ..."Oooh! look at all that lovely hair!".

I hate coming back to work on a Monday. I miss her so much. It is so much fun these days being with her, playing with her and listening to her non-stop jabber. Oh! she "talks" so much that her dad has to ask her to keep quiet to speak to anybody in the house... ha ha ... 



Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Happy Vinayaka Chaturthi ...

There could be no better day to re"Start" my blog writing. Vinayaka Chaturthi - the birthday of the beloved elephant-faced god - who is prayed to at the beginning of anything and everything good.


Well the reason of my hibernation in the middle of Summer is - the arrival of my little one - Maya.... A week after she was born, I could not decide which was a better situation - having her in my tummy and grumbling that her constant movements never let me sleep or having her in the crib next to my bed and still grumbling that her constant movements never let me sleep ha ha ha ....


Life has never been this "interesting"... Motherhood is something that you always feel that you are absolutely prepared for, till the moment the nurses hand the baby into your hands and say ta-ta .. as you leave the hospital - that is when you realise - SOS! SOS! I need help ... who the hell said I was prepared to be a MOM :) ....


I read somewhere - "Just when you are done with almost everything that you can do to calm your fussy baby and are almost ready to throw him out of the window, he will flash that most irresistable charming smile and everything in the world will seem to be right!" .. That person could be no further away from the truth ... All those tiring moments, frustrating minutes where you dont know how to calm your infant, frustrations of sleepless nights where all you want is to drag that blanket over your head and zzzz while your little one is shrieking in pleasure as if that were the most active part of the day - all flies off in a second when she gives that drooly, toothless, tongue-hanging-out smile ... and i go all goooey and just hug and kiss her ...


Okay - now that was a good start .. was it not? Hopefully I can be more regular now ... A beginning on Vinayaka Chaturthi should not go vain ...

Thursday, February 28, 2008

What "Pooh" Character am I?

Whenever I want to take a chmaal break from the monotonous work, and don't feel like writing something myself (which usually is the case), i got blog hopping - mostly on the list on my blog itself.
Today I happened to notice something on Preethi's blog ( am not sure if it was there earlier itself) and could not stop myself from taking the "100 acre quiz" myself!

Winnie the Pooh is my favorite Disney character (Guess my blog background says it all - sheepish grin!). I try to catch the 8 AM EST - "My Friends Tigger and pooh" show most days and just love repeating the "Super Sleuth oath" or the "Sthink , Sthink , Sthink" song ... much to the Mr.'s chagrin!

The first thing that I purchased when I came on my very first onsite trip was - Pooh Bear soft toy! I mich him - he is way back in india.

So, here are the results of the Quiz I took:



Take the 100 Acre Personality Quiz!
Hmm.... now I have to "sthink sthink sthink" about the results .... Do they descrie who I am ? What do you say ?

Friday, February 22, 2008

The Man who used the little Grey Cells


She has always been my favorite author and he my favorite fictional character. In the past two years, her novels that were made into movies have become the Mr.'s favorite and the man who portrayed this character has become our favorite actor.


If you were among those who watched the TV programs that were relayed on DD on Sunday, without fail, I am sure you would have watched the half hour episodes of "Poirot" - that started with the most haunting music that I have ever heard.
Yes, I am talking of Agatha Christie's Poirot - the British Television seires that was aired on DD somewhere in the early 90's.

If only Agatha were alive today, she would have been proud to see David Suchet play the part of Poirot. He very well could have been the "actual" Poirot in some Janam, if a character did exist. He dresses, acts and also sports a moustache that fits to T to that of the actual character described in the book.
I love the way this particular TV series has captured every single nuance of the little Belgian detective, who is just so unlike anybody you would have ever met. There is this one episode where we are shown Poirot having breakfast - he applies one dot, exactly one dot, of jelly/jam on 1 square inch sized crackers, and pops them right into his mouth delicately and dabs at his mouth with a napkin - it is as if that particular paragraph in the book comes to life and acts. I am amazed at how much Suchet would have studied the character of Poirot to have done that one simple act.

When one, who has read most of Poirot's books, watches these episodes or the movies which have cast David Suchet as Poirot, one is amazed just how Suchet manages to do every single quirky habit of Poirot's just as the author has described. Scenes where his displays his voilent abhorrence for crime and crime doers, scenes where he obliviously raves on about his intelligence while insisting that he is quite modest, scenes where he brushes and touches his moustache with great care and love, scenes where he arranges stuff on his desk or the scene of the crime with utmost carefulness, scenes where he puts the perfect expression of digust at finding sand on his carefully pressed suit, or on finding sorrounding that are not most perfect and elegant. There is little doubt left as to how Poirot would love and behave had he been alive.

They would have coined the word Meticulous after he came into existence you could say. Neatness being his first name, middle name and last name. Despite having lived in London for the most part of his adult life, he is one who never liked or got used to the "typical" english routine, especially food. The best of this ingenious character which I liked the most, is his study of the human character and behavior. Most of his analysis often revolves around the analysis of the human nature, which he stresses more on than easy-to-find evident clues.
The best example of this is the book - "Five Little Pigs" where Poirot solves a crime committed nearly 20 years ago, just by studying and talking to all the principal characters involved during the time of the crime.
There have been couple of others who have acted as Poirot in a few movies - Albert Finney and Peter Ustinov; the latter having done quite a number of movies as Piorot - but they have not been able to do even 1/4th just to this impeccable character.
These days every evening the Mr. and I long to be back home soon, to cosily sit in our couch sipping hot tea and enjoy Mr. Suchet's company as we 'drink' episode after episode of Poirot.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Miracle On 34th Street

Thanks to my friend - S's recommendation , I got to see this movie - which has got added to my list of all time favorite movies. A Little late to be seeing this movie - the best time to have watched it would have been during the X'mas season.



I love movies that re-iterate the significance of some holiday season and show the importance of sharing, giving and human feeling.

It is a warm tale of how one person goes about spreading joy during the best season in the US of A - Christmas - by believing himself to be Santa Claus and stressing on the message of goodwill above commercialism. In the process, he also manages to melt the stubborn won't-believe-in-fairy-tales-or-imagination heart of the heroine and her daughter.


It all starts when Doris walker - in charge of the Macy's parade - hires a Mr. Kris Kringle on the spur of the moment as a replacement for her drunken Santa Claus. He becomes a hit in the parade and the head of the Toy department hires him to be the Macy's Santa Claus for the season.


Mr. Kringle believes and tells everybody that he indeed is Santa Claus and true to his word behaves like one by telling people where to buy the choice of their toys, even if is selling at an opponent's place. The customers are shocked at this behaviour of a Macy employee and start praising Macy's for its act of goodwill over commercialism.


Though Kringle makes good friends in the process - Mr. Macy himself generously donates a huge sum to him, for his contribution in making Macy store popular; the owner of Grimble's adopts the same policy in order not to be left behind, Alfred the cleaning boy - who himself loves acting as a Santa Claus for the pure feeling of goodness that fills within him while doing so; he also makes a very big enemy in the form of the Macy psychiatrist - the evil Mr.Sawyer - who is jealous of the good nature of Kringle and tries to paint a black picture by stating that Kringle is insane.

He tricks Kringle and puts him into a Mental institution and books a case against him too. Now it is upto a young lawyer - Mrs. Walker's neighbour - who starts to like Kringle - Fred Gailey - to fight and prove that Kringle is indeed sane and innocent. In the process, the question of whether Kringle is indeed Santa or not comes up in the court and it is nothing but a "MIRACLE" actually that decides the verdict of the case.


The show stealer without a doubt is Edmund Gwen - who plays the role of Kris Kringle. There are often times when I wonder - how in the world do the casting team always find the most perfect person for a role. I cannot imagine anybody else in that role. It is almost as if he is indeed Santa Claus. His manner of speaking, physique , the beard and the warm warm smile on his face - it is just impossible not to love this "Christmas Thatha".


The Mr. scored one more point in his arugment that Britian indeed produces some of the most finest actors of hollywood. Edmund Gwen is a Brit!


There are some moments in the movie that made me really teary eyed and all gooey inside.

One of them is how patiently Kris explains to Mrs.Walker's daughter Susan about what "imagi"-nation is. It is such a simple but meaningful explanation.


All the scenes in the mental institution and the court, after Kris is accused of being unstable are very touching. The scene where the prosecutor's 8 or 9 year old son innocently states that he does believe that Kris is Santa claus because his father said so and his father never tells lies pulls at your heart strings.


A Must watch movie - one must see it with one's family , preferable holding and hugging each other.
I got Something 'Special' in my email while watching the movie - especially when the movie was coming to a happy end - which made me feel all aglow from inside too - A kind person left a very nice comment on one of my very old old posts - she need not have done it - but the fact that she did made me feel so nice. Thanks Srikala...

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

A Blessing in Time...

I have been lately caught up with loads of work at office and at home. Due to reduced energy levels these days, doing my normal stuff is slowly turning tedious. So, have not been able to keep up with any blogging at all.

My very good friend Preethi, whose blog I keep visiting and with each visit chide myself that I still have not completed her tag, gave me a very nice and a timely surprise today here.

It comes at a very important juncture for me - for a very personal reason. I am awaiting some test results from my lab and am hoping against hope that the results are in my favour. So, this blessing comes as a very good indication for me.

I am one who believes a lot in 'Signs' (something akin to what is described in The Alchemist).

Thanks Preethi for this wonderful blessing.

Strangely I never made a huge list of blogging friends. Guess it would have been possible, had I been more punctual. The few that I have - are getting more 'lazier' than me in posting stuff. Yet I would like to write about a few here ...

Prathibha - She writes wonderful travelogues and every trip of her always made me envious - thinking I am not there to be with her to enjoy them as well. I pass this to you dear with lots of In touch times - for I know you need this more than anybody else now ...

Venu - A very nice blogger who also happens to be the husband of a dear friend of mine. They are embarking on the biggest journey of their life in a couple of weeks if not earlier , so my small contribution to that.

Ram - I have given up on you to restart blogging. Somebody else has captivated every millisecond of your time and I don't blame you. These are for you, G and my SIL ;)

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Cultures and Traditions?

One of my New year resolutions was to be very very regular at blogging. Huh! Guess new year resolutions are meant to be broken! I just have not been able to find time to pen down stuff. I am already lagging behind on a tag Preethi gave me (now it seems centuries ago).
This is something that has been on my mind since a few days, so I thought of writing it down here.

R in my office is also an immigrant in this country like me. She, of course is a first generation immigrant – meaning she was born and brought up here. She comes down to chat with me at times. Our acquaintance started with her inquiries on the colorful photos that were up on my cubicle. She was impressed when I told her it was taken my the Mr. – she also being an ardent photographer – we found common topics to discuss. Very recently, she came to me and said she had a whole lot of questions about my nationality and things like that – she had seen ‘The Namesake’ and wanted to clarify some things.

This led to some very interesting conversations between us – about life of immigrants in the USA – what they think, how they behave, how they live so differently or similar to their culture and tradition. In one of these talks, she mentioned the movie ‘The Big Fat Greek Wedding’. When I told her I had been meaning to see it since a long time, but never got around to – she brought the DVD copy she had for me to watch.

3 weeks after borrowing it from her, the Mr. and I finally got around to seeing it. And it was a wonderful pleasure to see that movie.

I would love to be born as a Greek in my next Janam. Be a part of a huge, loud and loving family. A family where there are no boundaries defining personal space – of course I agree that sometimes it is a pain – just as the protagonist of the movie Toula feels; where everybody is there for you anytime you need; showering more than necessary affection on you. It is just too good to be true.

In one of the conversations with R, I realized just how similar our issues were; regarding our stay in the US, what we miss of our motherland; and the happiness and sorrows in bringing up kids in US. She is from Lithuania, a country that is so far from my own and of whose culture or tradition I never knew. But the more we discussed we found just how similar the basic problems are. And when I saw this movie, it made me realize just how similar to my culture is all that is shown here.

A Greek girl wanting to marry an American. It is so similar, if not exact, to what I went through for my own marriage. We were not from two different countries, but castes only. Yet still – all the apprehensions the parents face, the reasons provided, the reactions and support or disagreements of the relatives, the confusions in the actual wedding ceremony and finally the acceptance of the parents and relief for the bride and groom. I felt a deja-vu seeing the movie.

Then came to my mind, one of my all-time favorites – Father of the Bride. As I was watching that movie also, I felt – oh! This is so typical of how an Indian father behaves about his daughter and her wedding. I could swap Steve Martin and picture my dad in many of those scenes. So, I guess deep down people all over are just the same, the feelings and the bonds that tie us are just so similar.