Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Some Psychos

Some of you readers may know that C got a brand new bike (Yamaha FZ)at the start of this year, for his office commute.

He loves it completely and takes so much care... so much that he even refuses to take me out on it to the beach or any such place fearing someone might scratch it or mis-handle it.

Last night he was wiping it clean before covering it and it was taking longer than the usual and I peeped out of the window to see what he was upto... he was looking a bit dazed and stunned! Someone had peeled off two stickers and a cute reflector light on the rear of the bike!! I rushed out and saw what had happened. I was feeling such intense rage at whoever did that unimaginable and unwarranted act! I was especially sad to see the reflector missing. It is such a cute little thing that reflects the brake light and is the highpoint of the bike's rear. I really loved the way it shone at night. The stickers too... they are on either side of the petrol tank and really stuck well.

So, someone meticulously sat there in the parking lot and peeled it off and must have used a pen-knife or something to gouge out the reflector. Who would do that? Why would they do that? Psychos for sure!!

Fortunately there are no visible scratch marks anywhere else. We enquired at the bike showroom and the stickers and reflector can be fixed. The stickers cost Rs.42 each and the reflector about Rs.15. If someone could afford that bike, will he be cheap enough to indulge in such transgression for something that costs so little? Surely it was not done for the money. It was just an act of a pervert mind. I literally cursed that whoever took it will really have a bad tummy ache and generally will suffer! I was immediately also scared that I thought of very harsh things :-( What to do? That is how my mind works.

Even though I annoy C by telling him that the bike is only so-so ;-) (come on, he never takes me for a ride on it!) I guess I felt really bad because he loves his bike and the look on his face was unbearable. He didn't seem angry.. just dejected.
Don't worry C. We will try to fix it over the weekend.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Weekend Notes

Again, long time since I wrote anything in this space. Hope everyone is doing fine.

2 weeks before last we had the surprise baby shower for Art. It was the first surprise party I ever attended :-) It was good fun and of course great to meet some of the bloggers.

The next weekend we had lunch at Sigree (Hotel Aruna). The food was exceptional. I read rave reviews about their Daal Makhani and it was so true. It tasted just perfect. It is pricey but the portions are large. We actually ended up ordering for 3 people. So, asked them to pack the Daal and had it again in the evening. It still tasted yummy :-)

Last Saturday we went to the McDonalds that has opened in Anna Nagar. I think I was visiting that area after 15 years or so!

There was a long queue waiting at the entrance. It was crazy with so many people thronging the doors. We are really not Burger enthusiasts and my only junk food addiction is french fries. We just wanted to check it out for the experience. Seeing the crowd, I even suggested C to go in for a different restaurant. But, just then the doors opened and we managed to get in.

There is really nothing much to choose. We had the Veggie Meal Combo. It was decent enough. Nothing spectacular. But the people at the joint were more interesting. Elderly women, college-goers, family with kids, a group of four boys who definitely would not have been over 12 yrs! And one of the kids coolly pulled out a wad of notes from his pocket and went ahead ordering for his friends...

That got us started talking as to how things have changed... when we were kids we didn't really have this concept of pocket money. At least not in our families and not when we were 12 or 14. If we needed anything, we asked parents. It was only after I was in college that I carried money with me. That too a meager 5 or 10. Which used to last a week or two :-)

Anyway, after having a wholesome junk food dinner ;-) we walked over to the opposite side of the road to look at a huge 'electronics' shop.. they had some cool laptops, handycams, music systems on display. We enquired some and mentally noted the models/price to come home and check online.

We want to buy a good laptop for home use. So, the few regular readers of this blog, what laptop do you use and how do you find it? Or which laptop holds your fancy?
HP, Dell, Mac, Vaio?? Anything else?

Monday, July 6, 2009

History Created

With Roger Federer winning his 15th Grand Slam. 6th Wimbledon title. Regaining his No.1 ranking.

Just wanted to to write this down so that I remember it for a long time...

I guess this easily surpasses the epic final of last year which was so heartbreaking. Just the fact that it was a more classic serve, volley, chip n charge game which looks extremely beautiful on Grass.. compared to a slug fest from the baseline.

I think we are very fortunate to be born in this era to witness such immaculate play, grace, humility. This was definitely not one of Roger's smooth as silk performance, instead, it showed his courage, self-belief and his fighting spirit. Which is something we could all learn and use in our lives.

Monday, June 15, 2009

What to Name it!

Hope everyone out there is having a good time.

It was too much of an effort to write a post after so many days and I could not rake my brain to come with a suitable title, hence What to Name it!

So, to get out of my writer's block (ok, don't scoff at my temerity to call myself a writer), I decided to just start writing. Many times, it just takes that, doesn't it? To get started. Let me see how far this goes.

As I was having lunch at home today, I looked at the (relatively) new bookshelf that we bought and it felt nice to see all our eclectic collection of books finally find a respectable place to rest.

The shelf holds only a fraction of the books we own. If we were to collect the books of all our immediate family members, (parents and siblings) it will constitute a wonderful library.

There are people with such varied qualification in my family. My dad is a lawyer. Mom a retired Science teacher. Brother got his degree in Accounting, Sister did her Masters (and Ph.D) in Physics/Materials Science, while I did my Engineering!

C's dad is a retired banker, his Mom a math teacher, Brother an engineer and C did his MBA!

So, you can imagine the number of books found in our family. It is a dream of mine to have a neat library stacking rows and rows of these books.. ranging from Accounting to Astro Physics and Hindu Law to Management Principles!

Thanks to C being a bibliophile, apart from the technical books, there is a vast collection of books on Indian Philosophy, Political Philosophy, Vedas and Upanishad, Logical Reasoning, Critical Thinking, Books on Bharathiyar Kavithaigal, Thirukural, Salvador Dali (!) and books by Kafka, O Henry and Jane Austen.. to name a few.

As I was reminiscing about these books, I got thinking on what we wanted to be and what we ended up doing...

For instance, C wanted to do a course in Literature, but ended up doing Engineering and MBA. I was more into Sports, loved Chemistry as a subject and teaching as a vocation, but again, obtained my Bachelor of Engg. degree and now work in the IT industry.

My sister wanted to get on to a job after her graduation, she never fantasized higher education, but she ended up doing her MS and Ph.D!

My B-I-L would give his all to join a certain well established bike company but is currently working in the software field!

It seems crazy to me when I think about this. But then, in spite of not doing what we wanted, we are all pretty HAPPY now. I like my work and so does C. Sister is an accomplished Dr. and B-i-l is settled on his job.

Perhaps, there will come a time when C can pursue his interest in Philosophy or Law and Bil can become a great technician in his dream company. But as of now, things are good. In the end, isn't that more important. To be happy and contended. And I am thankful for that.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Beach - Chennai's Boon

Life has been busy and hectic and all that... this weekend was no different. Also, since I have been working from home for some time now, I really don't get to see the outside world at all! Combined with few other thoughts, I was feeling so depressed on sunday evening. I was sitting and chopping some veggie for dinner and tears started welling up my eye...

C, who was strumming his guitar saw me and probably thought 'enough is enough' and asked me to just get ready. An impromptu decision was made and off we went to the beach.

Unfortunately some 100,000 others had made that decision :-) The beach was swarming with people of all ages and sizes. Nevertheless, we managed to find a parking space and quietly walked over to the sand... the breeze was blowing over and it was appreciably cooler.. not the usual sticky feeling, but a really pleasant weather. It was just soo calming.

I did two things that I have never done before in a beach. One - Ate pieces of raw mango smeared with salt & chilli powder. Two - Ate a big paper cone full of 'Kadalai Sundal' :-))

In all my years of existence, I had never tasted the beach 'sundal'. And yesterday, when C asked me if I wanted it, I just decided to give it a try! I think he was amused that I had never eaten it.. he seems to be a veteran of beach snacks. He spotted the right shops, the right food, the right everything :-)

The steamed kadalai-pori mix with a little bit of cucumber, tomato, lot of coriander and a little bit of lemon juice for that added tangy feel - Mmmm.... it was just awesome.

Within a span of 20 minutes that we stayed there, we ate Mangoes, Roasted Corn and the kadalai-pori mix :-))

Walked all the way across the sand to watch the waves. And since it was very dark we had to remain kind of cautious...just looking to our sides and behind...

That is one of the reasons I prefer going to the beach in the mornings... just a few people going on their morning walks or kids playing beach cricket/tennicoit and the like...very relaxed atmosphere. But then the snack stalls don't operate that early ;-)

We then returned home via a slightly longish route..just riding through those nice well lit roads ... C showing me around the Santhome Church area, Mylapore, Luz Corner and few other places...

Got to see 'Rex Fashions'. Years ago, I had heard it innumerable times on Radio.. it always ended with 'Rex Fashion, Luz Corner Mylapore'.

It was such a welcome break and a much needed one for me. I felt so energized and thinking about my adventure with beach food.. I had a goofy grin for a long time.

And C, thank you - for forsaking your superbike and F1 races. You may not be very demonstrative with your affection, but I know these little things are what that show how we care about each other deeply.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Hap Hap Happy Birthday....

Folks, it is my birthday today :-)

I feel kind of weird to announce it on the blog but then I am sooo touched by my dearest C's gestures that I want to acknowledge it here and cherish it for a long long time.

Last evening C took me out to a nice boutique in Chetpet and got me some fabulous clothes. Lots of casual wear, summer wear types. Then we headed to Shri Mithai for a light dinner of various Chaat items.

And at mid night as I was slowloy drifting to sleep... he pulled out a nice Harmonica!! I had been eyeing that in the music store for some time... I was soo happy... he even played the Birthday song for me on it...

This morning, I received a call from Udavum Karangal and they wished me too :-) C had arranged lunch for 100 kids...needless to say, I was really touched.

And just now, I received a bouquet of the most beautiful roses! From Ferns & Petals. Light pink and darker ones.. a dozen roses in all, neatly tied with a bow and a card attached to it... oh C! you have bowled me over :-)

I don't have to say it.. but still.. thank you sooo much for everything.

I love you. You are simply the best :-))))))

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Am fine.. well, almost.

Thanks VJ for inquiring... please read the below rant if you are really interested :-)

The last few weeks have been extremely hectic.

Actually, we live right next to my parents and ever since we came to Madras, I haven't really cooked much. Breakfast, lunch and dinner was handled by Mom. Now, my parents have to gone to visit my sister.

So, all of a sudden I have to cook, clean and manage both the houses (both ours and parents'). Combined with some really heavy duty work at office front, my body protested!

I have been having a bad knee ache for some time now and since it worsened, I finally decided to go and seek some treatment. I visited the Kerala Ayurveda clinic for a 5 day session and everyday, for about 45 minutes I took a Abhyangam (complete oil massage) followed by a 'Elakizhi' treatment. It was good on the whole and I do feel quite rejuvenated now.

But unfortunately my father-in-law met with an accident and fractured his leg. A van knocked him off right on the Kathipara flyover! Thank god he escaped with a fractured leg and not anything more serious. Nevertheless, he has to take complete rest for a month and the doctor being closer to our place, we brought him over to our house to take care.

So, the treatment, office work, the house-keeping, cooking and taking care of F-I-L took all the time I had and more.

Now, I don't have a maid to clean the house. And realized that 3 adult males (C, my brother and F-I-L) can create quite a mess in the house! The floors are dirty, the shelves are dusty, laundry bag piling up and washed clothes dumped on chairs to be folded, vessels to be washed, plants to be watered, scores of guests and visitors to be attended and some more.... well, I lost it and was so exhausted and drained that I sat and cried piteously on 2 nights!

I don't know what point am trying to prove anyone by doing it all by myself! I feel like an idiot to have strained my body this much. I really am going to look out for a 'good' maid who can help me out starting next month. 'Good' being the keyword. Let us see how it goes.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Taking Off the Blog!

I am planning to delete this blog. It was nice while it lasted. Came across a set of nice people and met a few of them as well.

But I don't know if I can keep updating this regularly... work has increased tremendously both at office and at home and keeping the blog live is just passing down the priority list.

So, thank you all for those who read these posts and special thanks for those who commented.

So, with that I bid you all good bye!

Ok! Gotcha :-)

Years ago when I was in school, I remember my friends and myself planning a trick secretly to catch teachers and other fellow students unawares on the 1st of April. It used to be such fun... even though the tricks used were pretty simple and plain, watching the reaction of the victim was extremely funny! Most of our teachers were a cool lot and enjoyed the fun along with us... few of them were a brooding lot and didn't quite appreciate our efforts ;-)

One day, someone placed one of those rubber lizards in a really tattered duster... it looked really creepy, I must say. Our Mathematics teacher came in and just as he picked up the duster unsuspectingly, he saw the 'lizard' peeping out! He gave a sharp quick cry and threw it across the floor! He was kind of furious and our not-so-silent giggles infuriated him further!

I remember how a friend's father always played the same trick on us kids... put his hands inside our bags and say 'Look a spider!!' and just pull out a thread or nothing at all! It used to be the same thing every year but still the playfulness remained intact.

Do you remember the time when Pranoy Roy did an entire new piece on 'The World this Week' about a miracle drug that made a man grow gigantically and another one a dwarf? I am not very sure about the contents.. but it was all played out neatly and slipped in as just another scientific breakthrough news - and it was not until he signed off wishing the viewers of the science news a happy April Fool's Day that we realized how cleverly they duped us!

Is this tradition on still? Do children fool each other in school? Do you guys still play pranks on your friends or folks at home on the 1st of April?

Monday, March 30, 2009

(M) ADvertisements

I've been wanting to write on so many things. Nothing of great importance. Such posts are beyond me. The few readers of this blog can vouch for that.. What I wanted to write was on some of the advertisements that I came across on TV and the newspaper, that really were amusing and annoying.

There is this ad for a shampoo and the tag line goes something like 'Contains Active Pro-K'! OK, now, what is Pro-K? Maybe I am a bad example for consumer behaviour because I pretty much stick to the standard, tested routine brands. But do people really go - "Oh look! this has Pro-K and guess what it is Active too!!" Whatever!

And there is this one for a soap. The lady asks her kid to buy a soap. The girl happily runs off to get one. The lady realizes she didn't mention the soap's name and gets very hyper thinking of grave situations her daughter will face if she buys a different one! She runs after her daughter, goes to the shop - all the while imagining her kid will grow up to a pimply faced teenager! And finally, she returns home to see the kid having a nice bath with the 'Correct' soap. I just find this whole sequence so annoying. If the kid is wise enough to handle money, go alone to the right shop, isn't it a little stupid on the lady's part to assume the kid will buy some trash of a soap? I think children today are way more mature and cleverer than that. And couldn't that woman check with the shopkeeper on what soap he sold? Whatever!!

And another one (I guess a shampoo or hair oil?) - A lady takes her daughter to a cricket training facility and the coach looks at the kids's hair and says 'won't her hair get spoilt!' or something to that effect. Is he even a real coach? I personally, have never met a coach who laid importance on such trivial aspects. I don't even know what the rest of the ad says.. I lost it after that one line.

And the best of all is what I saw in the newspaper a few days back - Courtyard Marriott is offering a soothing spa treatment called 'Coconut Caress Massage' that uses a blend of cane sugar, grated coconut and sweet cardamom and plantain wrap!! I really burst out laughing reading that! I could use all that make some nice mouth watering Burfi!!

Initially it was only 'Kadalai Maavu' (Besan) and cream of milk or rose water, lemon extract that was used. Now it seems, I can empty my entire kitchen shelf save the chilli powder and just wallow in it for spa treatment and such like!

Oh my god! grated coconut and sweet cardamom.. I still can't get over it!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Simple Pleasures of Life

It was past 10 in the night. I heard a sound... the front gate almost crashed open. I heard the bike vroom in. C had come home.

I went out to generally wave at him when he came rushing from his bike. He held a small plastic bag in his hand...I had no clue what it was. "Fast! Fast!!", he said. "What is it??" - He had two grape flavoured ice sticks from Arun :-D

I quickly went and put in two plates and he didn't even bother to remove his shoes... both of us were happily licking it and seeing whose lips had turned more pink!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Bloggers' Park!

Venue: Cafe Coffee Day, Adyar
Day/Time: Saturday, 4.30 PM
Occasion: Blogger's Meet

When Art informed of a blogger's meet last week, I was a little apprehensive. I so wanted to meet them all and see the faces behind the words that I read so religiously almost everyday. But there was this little something that was bothering me... I jokingly told C that it was 'Stranger Anxiety'. But then, he asked me to just go ahead and have fun. He seemed even more excited and was scouring google maps for the exact location!

So on Saturday, after moping around a bit, I finally decided to get ready. And I am glad I went. Met some really cool and fun people along with super cute kids :-)

Artnavy - She has this very pleasing air about her that I fell at ease immediately. Anush is just as sweet in person as she is in the photos. And thanks again Art for inviting me.

Itchy - It was good to see the face behind Mamma of Twins. She didn't bring along Ojas & Tejas though... I would have loved to see them.

CrazyMum - Couldn't talk much to her but I was stumped to see that she is the mother of 2 very sweet kids. Unbelievable.

Kodi's Mom - Again, if not for her blog, no one will really guess that she has 2 kids. Very 'just out of college' looking.

Lavs - She is so easy to get along with. And has a very infectious smile. Her kid is just a replica of his dad! She thought I looked familiar... let me know Lavs if you figure out where we could have met.

Timepass - The mystery queen! LOL! She and Art had planned to surprise the rest of us but Anush was very determined to make friends with Punch and the Surprise Aunty.
Punch is one very adorable baby. With large expressive eyes, she was just observing everyone with such interest. It is hard to believe it was she who punched the doll that was gifted to her.

For photos, go here

Finally, I was stunned to see all the kids so well behaved. It was all we adults making the ruckus!

Monday, March 9, 2009

I, Me, Myself

Just when I was mulling over the idea of writing a 'Weekend Musings' post, I saw that VJ had tagged me!

The Rules are:
Once you've been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged. You have to link the person who tagged you.

OK - first an award from Art and now a tag from VJ. It sure feels like being a part of the real blog world now :-)

But I don't know if there are 25 things to write about myself... let me make a start and see how far it goes...

1. Am a Taurean. When I read the characteristics of a Taurean, I was amazed to see how well I fit into it.

2. I am a lefty. I write and do most of the everyday activities with my left hand but I eat with my right hand. I say that because I have had many people (in school, college) come up to me and ask if I eat with my left! (rolling my eyes)

3. Am reasonably tall. Am not a 6 footer or something, but a nice bit over the average height. I think am secretly happy about it because am not very fair (as in white skinned) and so having my height kind of gives me confidence!

4. I like to dance. Or rather choreograph. I get amazing moves in my mind for certain songs and I visualize myself dancing with such grace and rhythm :-) But the irony is I have NEVER learned it or danced in a party or whatever. It is just something I do in my mind (and sometimes along with C at home)

5. I am quite lazy. I need to be prodded to complete a task. But sometimes I get a spurt of energy and get things done like a whirlwind! (this weekend, a case in point)

6. I have quite strong likes and dislikes. If I don't like something, I detest 'it' completely. 'It' can be food, person, clothes... anything. At the same time, if I love something, then I do it wholeheartedly. Almost like a puppy... no matter even if you push me away, I will come right back to you happily.

7. I have this fetish of having pillows, bed covers and bed sheets in a certain way. Like the label of my bed sheet should be on the lower left corner. - So you are beginning to think am a nut case...

8. When am alone, cooking or folding clothes or doing one of those random chores, I sometimes talk to myself (not aloud but I have some silent conversation with either myself or with C!) - OK, even if you gave me the benefit of doubt on the last point, you are now branding me a freak!

9. Whenever I get a new dress, I wear it immediately and keep wearing it many times over the week. But I am not interested in make-up. I think I look pretty and beautiful the way I am. (go ahead, laugh all you want.)

10. I also consider myself very intelligent(!) If I set myself to a task, I do it exceptionally well. I work very fast too. But I am not very career oriented. I many times feel like quitting work and sitting at home. I have this almost arrogant belief that I can get a job whenever I want.

11. I have quite some characteristics of OCD. I almost break the door knob checking and re-checking if it is locked, wash my hands after touching anything I deem dirty - like the kitchen towel or the tip of the perfectly clean trash cover. (I have decided to make a fool of myself - this is fun!)

12. I sometimes get stuck on a song that I hear somewhere and it goes on loop continuously for days together. I sing, record it on the sound recorder (the one available on most computers), listen to my own voice (mostly destroying the song) and delete the file!

13. I can touch my nose with my tongue.

14. In spite of the long tongue, I strictly don't like to gossip (about relatives or people known to us very well) but I do indulge occasionally in gabfest about film actors, politicians etc.

15. I was an athlete in school. An erstwhile football player. I was really good at it. I love (almost all) sports. But now, I mostly watch it and hardly play. C & I occasionally play badminton (so that I don't let him go and play it with his friends - in spite of my real good motive for him to have some exercise) - Am sure VJ can empathize here.

16. I have just 1 or 2 very close friends. Had many friends during school/college days, but most of them are now acquaintances. Right now, apart from C, I have one very dear friend.

17. And as VJ wrote in her list, we (C & I) too listen to Crazy Mohan's and SV.Sekar's plays every night... it is good to go to sleep smiling. And we know almost all the dialogues by heart and keep using it now and then in our conversation.

18. My list reads almost like that 'list your quirkiness' tag that did the rounds long back... Let me remedy it. C & I had a love marriage. C was my senior in college.

19. I used to write poetry. Actually C used to write them as well and that is how we met and started to know each other in college. And if it is not obvious from my posts, I love C very much. :-) Almost all my posts have a reference to him.

20. I like to travel and see new places. It could be anything... need not be anything exotic. Even a simple visit to the beach invigorates and awakens the poet in me.

21. I think am quite a conscientious person. I would like to devote more time towards certain socially helpful causes.

22. Am also a very short tempered person. I get inflamed very easily.

23. Am a silly romantic at heart. I love surprises and flowers.

24. Even though I try hard not to be judgemental, when I see people belonging to different faith or upbringing I tend to form an opinion in my head (not always negative, but just that it plays a part in the way I perceive them). That being said, I am really incapable of identifying people correctly.

25. Phew! Finally, I love the Grape flavoured ice stick (mostly available only from Arun Ice cream) and since there is one sitting in the fridge am going to lick it to my heart's content and see how purple my tongue and lips are! What joy :-)

I can't tag 25 people. I just tag Timepass., I think it will be good to know some 25 random things about her.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

A Song So Mellifluous...

...not just for the ears but also for the soul.

Just happened to listen to a song on TV and since then it is on continuous loop on youtube!! Just close your eyes and listen to it... it just tugs your heart in such a way that it is simply divine!

Isai Kettal Puvi Asaindhaadum

And the lyrics: (some mistakes, but the best that I could find)

SMS kijiye MDW 57575 par...

... aur jeethiye 95,000 Ruppppeeees!! (read it as Rupppeees in a loud and shrill screaching tone!) Well, this is what we watched on TV last night for about 30 minutes. While channel surfing, we hit upon something called Play TV. The program that was running was called 'Bollywood Chakkar' and there was this girl who kept talking non-stop. But the amusing part was she kept repeating just some 10 lines over and over and over!! SMS kijiye, paisa jeethiye, actress kaun hai, paisa jeethiye, SMS kijiye, jaldi phone uttayen, SMS kijiye... you get the drift! Oh my god. We were just stunned to see this girl keep her tempo and energy and repeat these words super fast without a trace of ennui.

The game was to identify some actress in a grid...they just showed her eyes and people were to SMS to a number and wait for the channel to call them(so that you can guess your answer). The more the number of SMS you send, the better the chances of you getting a call from them. And there was a fine print running at the bottom of the screen... and it was... each SMS costs Rs.10!! Can you believe it? I guess the channel (and the telecom providers) wait till they rake in millions and then let one caller get a measly Rs.15,000 (it was 95K if you go on to win a box office, which never happened). - edited to add: 15K is not a paltry sum.. just that compared to the amount they actually earn, it is pittance.

C returned home from work late last night and we were having dinner when we stopped at this channel. He took one quick look at those eyes and said it was 'Katrina Kaif'. I thought it was Karishma Kapoor. And C was right. Yeah, C was right! Am still puffing and fuming!

I wondered whether he could identify if someone showed him a picture of my ear! He said, "no, an ear is difficult, I can't identify anyone with their ear.. but if someone showed me your eyes, I can guess it." Whatever! Hmph!

On a totally unrelated note, I just realized Mangaldeep agarbathis are manufactured by ITC. Does it absolve them of their profits earned through the main product?

Well, C quipped that whatever ITC does, the end product is smoke! Ha.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

What does it take to like a city?

If you are born and brought up in a particular city, then of course your loyalty will lie there.. But what if you are compelled to move to a different city, isn't it to your advantage to start liking it?

I have this colleague who has got transferred from Gurgaon to Mumbai and she is not liking it one bit. She swears by Delhi (being born and raised there) and is just unwilling to see the nicer points of the new city she's moved into. No matter how much I try to tell her subtly that the place will grow on her, she is steadfast in her idea.

I had never ventured outside Madras till I got married and moved to Gurgaon. But I kind of liked that place... though there is nothing much to do apart from the Malls. We kind of felt bored occasionally, but we definitely didn't dislike it.

But I guess it is different with Delhi and Mumbai. People who are used to Delhi will not take to Mumbai and vice versa. Atleast that is what C says... he did his MBA in Mumbai and I think next to Chennai he likes that city a lot. I have never visited the place yet and from all the tales C tells of his college, the trains, the fast pace of life, vada-pav and cutting chai :-), I would like to see it some time...

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Auto Ride

I was spared some four times from getting crushed under a speeding vehicle last night. (OK C, if you are reading this, don't get agitated. I didn't tell you last night because you were already exhausted after a very tiring day.)

Travelling back and forth between office and home is becoming increasingly difficult. I left my workplace about 7.30 last evening and since I was sapped, decided against the bus and took an auto. And from the second that I boarded, it was a non-stop thrill ride. The driver had absolutely no lane sense. Cutting across lanes like he owned the road, I remember my heart skipping a beat many a times!

I repeatedly asked him to slow down but he was nonchalant to my protests. At one point I completely lost it. He had coolly driven on the other side of the lane with traffic coming head on, just so that he can take the signal first. After he heard some choicest foul words from few passing motorists, I gave him some gyaan.

When I first asked him to slow down, he asked me - 'why madam are you scared?'
I felt my temper raising, but I held it back and asked him how he felt about his own driving. I told him he (and the passenger!) won't be lucky every single time. An extra 5 minutes is NOT a big deal when the other option is to get squashed like a bee. Why wouldn't auto drivers be the most hated folks of the public transport system? If someone collides with your auto, how can you complain when you are clearly on the wrong side of the road?

I spoke rapidly and with real passion and he was quite for a few seconds and then said 'Sorry madam, I will drive carefully.' I thought he was just being sarcastic but he did drive like a sane man after my short lecture. He again said, 'I realize madam, I will drive slowly...' I said, it is for your own good that I told you.

I was glad I reached home in one piece.

This driver, I noted, had terribly crossed eyes. I was left wondering what the requirement for eyesight was before issuing a driving permit.

Monday, February 9, 2009

My Best Friend's Wedding

was on Sunday, Feb 8th. I was really very happy to see her after some 6 years or so!
S is a dentist and is now the wife of a Doctor, Major. I feel proud and happy. I wish her a very happy, fulfilling and peaceful married life.

I hardly had any close friends. I had a few during my early school days and a couple of them in high school. S was one of them. I have to confess this friendship started from her first. While I was naive or rather stupid expecting few other girls to be my friends, who actually turned out pretty nasty, S was constantly by my side always giving me strength to cope with the new-school blues and the curt behaviour of some. I took time to warm up to her but slowly she turned out to be my best buddy in school. Ironically, we lost touch for many yrs and this helped reach out to her again. And from then on, it has been like before.

And in preparing to attend the wedding, I made my first purchase of 'make-up' :-)
Found a Health and Body shop near our place and it was a rather quick and impulsive buy. I detest going to these shops because of my fear of being ridiculed (!) at my lack of knowledge on cosmetics and the like. However, the staff manning this shop were pretty friendly. I made no bones about the fact that I knew nothing of foundation, compact and all that jazz. I asked her point blank what I needed to do and she very patiently explained it to me. After checking the prices of a few things, I decided to buy myself a Lakme compact and a nail enamel. Ha!

Friday, February 6, 2009


Does a woman attain nirvana when she produces a child? Is that the culmination of her feminineness? Is it her purpose upon this earth to see to that she produces offsprings? Are thoughts such as these detrimental to my health?? Am in such anguish right now. I so detest seeing this 'so and so blessed with a baby' mail in my official inbox. Really, am not bad, even if I say so myself. But at times it just feels like someone is driving a nail through my heart. I don't want to envy anybody.. but please god, give me some peace of mind. I don't want to sob like this, sitting in office.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


I just finished lunch.

Across my table sits a small snack box. Containing classic salted banana chips, Sarakara Upperi (banana chips coated with jaggery and ginger powder) and Sihili (Ellu Urundai ie, sesame seeds roasted, powdered and mixed with jaggery and made in the form of small balls)

I resolve to eat it only (at least) after an hour. And by the time it takes me to type these lines, I have tasted the Upperi!

What do I do? Oh! what do I do?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Weekend Notes III

Finally some fodder for a post! Hope all of you had a nice relaxing long weekend. Ours was good too. Saturday was spent at home - cleaning, washing and the works. BIL (call him A) arrived saturday evening and the rest of the time was spent chatting and eating!

Sunday morning we woke up early (OK - by 6.45) and after having some oatmeal, mounted the bike to go on a long ride. BIL took his and C&I on the new FZ. We first went to the beach(Marina), rode further along and reached the Besant Nagar beach and then went further ahead to Foreshore Estate, Adyar, reached OMR and all the way till Sholinganallur(a little further than that)! It was such a beautiful ride... the air was so clean, unpolluted and slightly chilly that it made for a perfect weather. We swapped bikes on the return took a detour to Velachery on OMR and reached home by 9.30 or so. Some 50 kms. we had travelled.

Had some snacks and watched the Australian Open match between Federer and Berdych. What a match it was. We were to go out for lunch and I desperately wished for a TMF win (to be in a nice frame of mind) and finally he won in 5 sets!

We took A to Osteria again ;-) and as usual had a fabulous lunch. On our way back, C asked us if we wanted to go somewhere else. In spite of being in Chennai for so long, I haven't really been to many places. Even places like Mylapore are 'new' to me. C on the other hand knows the city better than his wardrobe! He and my father can work for Google maps. I am sure they can give directions to any place, no matter what your mode of conveyance is. While C is very good with the public transport systems, my dad can give driving directions like a pro.

Now, C has lived in the Mandaveli area for quite some years. So he decided to show me the place where they had a house. We parked the car and walked into a nice small lane lined on both sides with houses and shops. C & A were thrilled to see the place after so many years and I was enjoying their happiness :-) After reminiscing the past, we all headed back to the car and decided to drive all the way to Adyar to see C's school, St.Patricks (where he did his 11th and 12th). Being a Sunday, it was closed. But what a magnificent campus it has! Such a serene place with huge trees and lots of open space, right behind Adyar river... it was splendid. If only the authorities took care of the river and remove the stench, it simply will be terrific.
We chatted with the watchman and C was inquiring about the present and past teachers. Finally, we took some photos outside the school and left with C feeling rather nostalgic. We thought we'd head home but on the way, I spotted the Birla Planetarium. We've been wanting to go there for quite some time and so decided impromptu to check it out. We reached there by 3.50 or so and a show had started by 3.45. But since there was quite a crowd, they announced a special show at 4.30.
We bought the tickets - it was a package of Rs.45 each, included entry, a 3D 'science' movie and the planetarium show, and ventured into the area. The 3D show was quite a disappointment. Well, I guess the 15-20 odd kids liked it, but it could have been a thousand times better. We were left wondering why they called it a 'science' movie. There was nothing scientific in it. Except of course the 3D techonolgy! It looked like they played some cheap video game (the kind that you get in a CD that comes along with PC world magazine). The first 5 minutes didn't make any sense. There was something like a rocket/missile launcher and the camera zoomed across, up and down into a series of tunnels and laboratory type rooms. The screen blanked out for a few seconds and the next scene was at a lab with a goofy scientist. Couldn't understand a word he spoke... it all sounded gibberish and mostly like the computer sound that you get on a casio keyboard. He tries to invent something when all goes wrong and he ends up 'inventing' a snake, skull and some tortoise-like aliens! Oh, it was such crap. The snake and skull kind of come into 3D and that bit was interesting, but on the whole it was way below average.

This show ended in 15 minutes and we moved across to the hall for the 4.30 show. It was almost 4.50 by the time they started. The main show was good. Atleast they had kept it current w.r.t Pluto's planetary status and newly found heavenly bodies. There was no mention of Chandrayaan. Again, it could have been much better.

After the show, we went around the science park located within the campus. They had some interesting stuff but sadly most of them did not work and were damaged. We were left wondering why it lacked maintenance. Nevertheless, we tried out things that were functioning and it was actually hilarious. Finally, it was time to return home after a totally unplanned but fun-filled outing.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Dakshina Chitra

After reading about this place in many blogs, I thought we should visit it one weekend. Dakshina Chitra or Picture of the South as they call it, is situated right next to MGM Dizee world on the ECR. It is a nice little quaint place that has the various types of houses found within Tamilnadu and also, Kerala, Karnataka and Andhrapradesh. Apart from that, there are some craft shops, a nice amphitheater, some 'learn to paint/stitch/weave' set-ups, lots of trees and open space to generally walk around.

By reading through the various placards we came to know that some of the traditional houses they had there, were authentic stuff from villages and how it had been transported and preserved to serve as a model.

There were lots of small playthings on sale at each of the model houses. At one of them was the Bambaram! When I saw the colorful top being sold I immediately thought C would love it, and there, I could see his eyes lit up! He spun it there many times and dad too joined to try his hand at it! It was all good fun. Mom and I could not get to spin the top on its nail tip and it instead twirled on its head!

On the whole, it was a nice change to learn about the various types of architecture, types of fabric, designs, religious beliefs, see some folk dance with 'Tappatai' and also a dance show in the open air theater.

However, I felt that the place could be made more colorful and lively. After having been to Choki Dhani in Jaipur many times, this place somehow lacked that zest and vigor. Also, only Tamilnadu and Kerala was well represented in terms of the types of houses while Karnataka and AP had just one or two models. Though they were very neatly maintained, they looked kind of abandoned and there was hardly a soul to explain what certain artifacts meant.

Some things that I thought will give more character to the place:

Get men/women of respective cities/castes to have a small food stall showcasing their traditional fare. Nothing draws people like some well-made delicious food!!

Some more game stalls. Like a bow&arrow game, or a dart board...

Music and Dance - Hire some more artists and have a mini stage for them to perform. Anything from Karagattam to 'Poi Kaal Kudhirai' dance.

Some more Action - maybe Silambattam, Kalaripayattu and other traditional martial arts from the other southern states.

If they can implement some of these and market this place well, it is truly a wonderful tourist spot!

And on Saturday, C and I visited Osteria again! I think it was the second outing for us after this. One of the things that I miss occasionally, after moving to Chennai, is the time I get to spend with C exclusively! Almost every weekend we seem to have visitors and staying just next to my parents' doesn't make it any easier for us to venture out as a couple often. We mostly take them along where ever we go and not under any compulsion but just that we truly enjoy spending time with everybody. But once in a while, I would like to savour some quality time with C and Saturday's lunch at Osteria was one such. The food being excellent we had a good time devouring every bit of it :-) We were so satiated that I almost skipped dinner.

Had a nice weekend overall. Spent time with C and also with family. (Rhyme unintended!)

Friday, January 2, 2009

Welcome 2009

Wish you all a very happy, healthy, prosperous and peaceful New Year.

Hope all our cherished dreams come true and hope this year is a pleasant one filled with happiness and joy, success and contentment.

The first new addition to the family for us is a brand new bike... C finally convinced me [;)] and so we went ahead and booked a Yamaha FZ. The bike arrives today.

So, Go C! Happy biking!! :-)