Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Constantly working legs

The sweet/snack shop always wears a festive look round the year, for it is always brimming with people ..Who wants a reason to savor sweet and snacks? That too, being located in a neighborhood which doesnt boast of too many hang out locations, there is always crowd in this shop..Order and order, the bhaiyyaa's behind the counter are busy perennially preparing samosa chaat, bhel puri without onion, sandwich with less butter , and the specifications only grow..The men behind the counter make sure they understand the requirements and never fail to put a smile on their faces when the preparation is ready to serve..This goes on day after day ,all round the year..I wonder if their legs would ache at all..Why are the employers not concerned about their required-to-stand-always situation and make amends in the kitchen counter such that the slabs are located not too high from the ground and a couple of chairs placed where these men can occasionally , if not always use them to rest their legs and feel comfortable? I wonder if these employees are too scared to ask their bosses for such an arrangement? My legs ache if I stand continuously for I-dont-know-how-long..depends ..But,I cant imagine standing for hours together which these men do..

This is a common sight in quite a few places around us, especially in restaurants, in retail stores . Do the employers think if the employees were sitting, that would lessen the customers entering the shop? Folding clothes and stacking at the right places for members of the house is quite a task..Imagine doing it everyday for the umpteen clothes that customers just pick and see and drop at random places in a 10000 sqft shop..Wouldnt the clothes refrain from folding if people who do the job do while sitting on a chair?

There are forums which disucss and probably take steps to implement facilities that are friendly for everyone (especially differently-abled people)..while such steps are taken, it will also be good to see employers understanding the pain-points or needs of employees and address them..I will ask the sweet shop bhaiiya what he thinks about constantly having to stand and will update his(their) inputs here..

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Hello Blog post and a quick round-up

Hello Blog! I've been away for quite some time now, neglected the blog, but had quite a few posts written in head all along, but not sure when they would all see the light of the day..Anyways, without dragging too much, I will jot down the highlights of what I was upto while away from blogger

* I turned thirty !! Doesnt feel any different.We had a simple do with family at South Indies..Did a good amount of shopping two weekends prior to the D-day.In fact, I keep telling S that some of the items for the big three-oh are still pending, which I would shop in due course .I have taken some resolutions for myself , starting from letting-go of incidents that disturb me, to not be scared/frightened and to build teh courage to see how things unfold, to read more and to write more and to be decisive.

* I visited my parents after a gap of 6.5 months. Even while I was staying away from parents, I used to visit them every 4 months, but this time, I managed to be connected with them by phone for 6.5 months.

* My dad fractured his hip and it scared the hell out of me..This happened two days after I met them (which I'd mentioned in the previous point) and my dad was put up at a different place that day from my mom and the 7 odd hours of travel before which my mom could see my dad and convey me how he is was a huge period of stress for all of us..Thank God, Thanks a million for protecting dad . Kindly bless daddy and help him recover fast.

* I met my friend from college after 8 years .We were constrained for time, but glad that we met and did a quick catch up.

* My friend HV and I , inspite of staying in the same city all along, we hardly meet..We catch up on phone and text messages often, but, have not visited each others homes so far..This situation was reversed when I went to her house last Friday. It was raining, maid hadnt come, mil not home, I had to prepare dinner after coming back, and left office not-so-early..Inspite of all these reasons, I decided not to postpone and went ahead..Glad that it happened, instead of my usual procastination..

* The one year of not celebrating festivals have come to an end (due to S's uncle , and the first aniversary is also done ). I had a relaxed schedule during the festive ocassions, since there wasnt work in the kitchen preparing delicacies, but, glad that the year went by , as it was quite boring to put up dolls for Golu or invite Amman to our home for Varalakshmi Vratham or do the 4:30AM -oil bath on Deepavali.

* I've become addicted to Fruit Smasher game . Everyday I play atleast 3-4 times and end up straining my eyes and scolding the game :)..Need to come out of it soon..

* In between all of this, our team delivered a major milestone under my leadership and  there is a line-up of the next set of milestones..Thanks to the team for staying by and making it happen.It was a roaler -coaster ride with many weeks and months of slogging over days and nights and over weekends!

Let me also put up a short review of restaurants that we ate at in the recent past:

Samarkhand:  Rich , mouth watering Afghani Dhal is the highlight for vegetarians..So are the nannas, plain ones which are so soft on the mouth , rather a bit heavy on the pocket..Afghani rasa-malai melts in the mouth..I ordered Kumbh Ki Galouti against the chef's recommendation , and if anyone is reading this, pls dont order this when you go.Order Kumbh Khazana, if you are choosing one of he kumbh flavours. It is pricey , but can be done a while..Last I remember going there was with my colleagues many years ago, when I used to like their parathas, but now we settled for roti and naan. The interiors are dark, with dim lighting, service is prompt , portions are small, but taste is real good., pricing is on the higher side.

Nandoos: S suggested this place and their speciality is this "peri-peri" which is nothing but different levels of red-chili in their food varieties..
For veggeterains, there is this traditional burger, sandwich,pasta, pizza, ..we ordered a burger and pasta and the pasta was good , when compared to the pasta served at Pizza Hut kinda places..Pricing is similar to Chilis, but portions are smaller compared to Chilis.I hear that Nandoos is famous for their chicken delicacies..

Sreeraj Lassi bar: we have become fans of this place..Our regular order there is Gud-Bud and Falooda. Very very nominally priced, Gud-bud is rich with three flavours of ice-cream, nuts, cherries, wafers, essence..Falooda is also equally good. soft on the pocket and when it comes to the taste of the ice-cream(considering the price-point), I dont see a much difference once you start gorging on it..

Corner House: Corner House is another of our frequently visiting ice-cream shops..Our standard there is Hot caramelo pudding, but last time, we ordered fruit jackpot, and another cone, thanks to the overdoe of ice-creams last week, S is sneezing and coughing now(:

Imli: This is situated in the interior streets of Indiranagar (inside the road where Domino's Pizza is on 100ft Road,IndiraNagar). We wnet for a dinner, food was just average, servers didnt know what is the speciality of their restaurant, they say every food item listed in their menu is their speciality, which is good for their marketing, but it is not shown in the food they served..we had specifically ordered lassi without any sugar in it, but we were provided with a glass full with loads of sugar in it..We were frustrated and didnt want to spoil our evening/night by arguing with them, hence wated the 100 bucks on lassi (: It still haunts me for having paid for the lassi which we never had(: Very average food, I wouldnt go there again..

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Books ..

and me..

During the growing-up years, my association with reading was limited to textbooks, library books once in a while, weekly "Young world ", "Siruvar malar" (from Dina malar), books obtained as prize and ocassional readers digest during the mid teens..I'm unable to pin-point exactly as to why there was close to "no-exposure" towards books of different kinds, especially comics during the early years..Is it because I didnt show any specific interest or if the school or surroundings didnt have such kind of a "encouraging-children-to-read" atmosphere (Definitely, the school, neighbors,tom,dick and harry laid stress on reading every other book prescribed by the class syllabus, but I'm referring to the habit of reading age-appropriate books of different genre or rather inculcating the habit from childhood..),..Whatever the reason, I grew up where after school hours was spent playing outdoor untill about 10 years, then moving to indoor games , then, there was explosion of cable TV and you know where time would have been spent..All this if we get time above and after doing all the hand-breaking homework, lessons to cram for the next day test , attending school untill 4 or sometimes 5PM from morning 9!!

There have of course been days when I've tried my skills for events during sports day, annual day, sister feast (since I studied in a Christian school), inter-school competition etc etc..Looking back, I do remember the thoughts I had when I visited my friends house (this friend's both parents are Doctors) and when I found that she was sitting and reading a voluminous book of Sidney Sheldon .When she went in to get tea, I glanced the book and wondered how she got around reading such a big book with so small letters !! Having accustomed to short stories and at the max the non-detail for English-2 at school, I could'nt get myself at how stories could run for so many pages..I didnt ask more details to her and when the tea arrived, we started chatting our school-gossip/politics :) ..I didnt have the natural inclination to didnt bother to  push myself to explore what reading was, neither did someone/some event give me the curiosity to venture into reading..Now, when I come across many who refer to the various books that they have devoured at each stage/age in life and how they still vividly narrate the characters/story line or rejoice when they see that their child reads the same book and enjoys reading as they did years ago or how they describe that they found solace in reading or books gave them good company while growing up,I feel good reading about them..At the same time, it triggers me into an introspective mood, where I start thinking about my hobby is..

Only after I started working, I enrolled myself into a library near the hostel where I was staying and I am thankful for that! I got into reading and devoured many Sheldon's..(I figured then how a story can extend for hundreds of pages and how one can sustain interest in a loong novel..:)) After marriage, thanks to S, who had an interest in books and reading, introduced me to other authors..There was a stage (I think in 2010) where I was found having a book in hand after office hours, every single day..The urge to buy books over clothes was intense during that period and my hands would go over to flipkart every now and then to order a new book..Now wait..all this enthu happened during a period and that period was short lived..I was again back to normal, sometimes, not touching a book for months together or sometimes, getting bored in every third page of a book (though the book would be a thriller!)

I sometimes wonder what was/is my hobby? My interest seem to be short-lived..I tried my hand at clay/pot painting last year, did a few of them and the ceramic and pot placed n the cup-board are accumulating dust..I started writing some short-stories, but after a few of them, the book lies untouched for many months now..So, when I see people who say books have been giving them company since childhood, I definitely dont deny the fact that books are indeed capable of , bit what does it take within a person to be have sustained interest? I laugh at myself for writing such questions, for I know the answer..or atleast I seem to know..The answer is: who can know what can interest a person but the person him/her self?

I do enjoy reading these days and hope that I can have sustained interest.Thats the point here..And when I see mommy-bloggers who write about introducing their child to reading early or who rejoice in the fact that their kid is inetrested in books, I think within that I will also make the effort to begin reading to my child/children very early and try to inculcate the habit of reading..But, if the child doesnt have the interest in it, what can be done? Ok, these questions can wait I guess, and depending on how future unfolds..For now,let me go the Archer I'm reading now (The Fourth Estate)..

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Bliss is..

after you board the train, you call up the parents to tell that you have boarded and that the train has started its journey and by chance you come near the door of the coach just to have a glimpse of your house while the train passes by the railway line road where your house is put up , and viola! cant beleive your eyes, you spot your mom and sister waiting by the road and both the parties spot each other and wave hands..!! Doesnt stop here with waving..While hands are swaying, one wave suggests a "Bye, untill wee meet next time"..another sway of the hand suggests to go back..Mom and sis suggest the son/brother to get back to the berth and not stay near the steps in the moving train..The grown up lad waves and the asks the women of his house to get back to their house, for its dark in the night..

The joy of caring for each other : B.L.I.S.S and to witness this is some more of it !

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Restaurant hopping

S and I like to try out various restaurants, cuisines..I shall put down some of the restaurants that we have visited  and will give my comment/review for each of them

Chillies : Ever since S introduced me  to this restaurant sometime in 2010, I've got hooked to it. Earlier , it was located in Old Airport Road, next to the Total Mall. We have usually been there for the evening snacks which doubles up as early dinner too. The Big Mouth Burger ,Fajitas, Quesedillas and the glucamole they dish out is awesome to taste. We have been regulars there and over time, I feel that the quality has come down a little bit.The charges have also gone up (: They have now moved to Phoenix Market City . Compared to many other places that we have visited, I feel this place offers a decent value for money. Rating : 4/5

California Pizza Kitchen: After my trip to the UK, I've been  caught in this love-for-pizza (italian cuisine) and this place being relatively new (remember seeing this chain only in 2012 and not before) , we went ahead ..Nothing great to offer, if you are a vegetarian. The pizzas were cold and portions in the starters were very less. Expensive food and not really worth for the money. Rating: 2/5

Rajdhani: Before I moved to the current work-place last year,I used to have my work-place at Whitefield for about 2 years and this place was introduced by one of our colleagues who gave his farewell lunch there. Good service, and a good variety of dishes for a vegetarian meal.  The regulars in the thaali are  dhal-bhatti, two veggies, jilebi for sweet, soft and small chapatti (not-the tandoori roti), bajra roti, and another roti which is a kind of a biscuit,  dhal chawal, white rice and curd rice..Good food and if you want to eat a wholesome meal, can head out to this place. rating: 4/5. They charge ~350 for a thaali. Not sure if they have different rates for weekends these days.

Sanjeevanam : Located in Madiwala, this place offers Rajakeeyam Lunch .Conceptually, its a health food restaurant and there is no on-ion,garlic in any of their menu items. Its a saatvik spread and quite good too. You'll find the same spread in the menu any time you go , still the quality and teats has been good so far. We went for the Onam sadya today and felt that the usual spread is much better than this Onam Sadya special food they offered. For regular Rajakeeyam Lunch: Rating is 4/5. Its 300 bucks for a thaali.

Barbeque Nation:

South Indies: The day we went, there was raw banana curry, which I'm not too fond off. Have heard that Appams is a speciality in this restaurant. I didnt find anything special or exciting in this place.
 Normal food , nothing worth mentioning. Rating: 2.5/5

Annapoorna: Located at both Cambridge Layout and at 80 feet Road, you can find Tamilians flocking the place on weekends..The usual sambhar, rasam, thayir, with sweet and appalam is the spread here. For seniors who want a break from their own cooked food at home, can head to this place. Other than that, nothing special worth mentioning here.For dinner,Apart from the usual, different types of dosa, they also give a dosa combo which has raagi dosa, masala dosa and akki roti. Rating: 3/5

NH8: The spread is similar to Rajdhani. ie, Rajasthani Food. But , if one is particular about rajasthani food, you can as well heda for Rajdhani. The taste is not as good compared to the later. Located in 80 feet Road, Indiranagar. Rating: 3/5.

Indi Joe:  Varied spread: starters, chaat, pizza, live pasta, breads, roomali roti, assorted veggie side dishes, fruits and a big spread of desserts on weekends. My team at work prefers this place for team -lunches. Rating: 4/5. High rating mainly because of the different options under one roof.

Punjaab: Located at RMZ Infinity, same campus as Indi Joe. Decent vegetarian spread, minus the pizzas and pastas, Instead have a couple of starters and chaat counter. and the usual dhaal, roti, sabzi, chaawal along with thick buttermilk. rating: 3.75/5. Tastes good. Actually can rate a 4, if a couple of more options are provided for vegetarians.

Vivanta by Taj,Whitefield: After having a lavish buffet in Taj Bengal last year, I've been caught by this love for Taj. ie, when any mediocre restaurant charges approx 400-500 bucks these days , I feel what Taj charges  for its magnificient spread , quality, service is definitely worth it , atleast once in a while. So, we were debating whether to go to Taj Residency, Vivanta or Taj West End for quite some time and everytime, I used to pick another restaurant thinking "is it really necessary to spend a grand on just one lunch ?"thinking like this, I've seen the rpices go from 900 per lunch to 1300 , which we went to a couple of weeks ago. We went to Vivanta by Taj at Whitefield and it was Srilankan Food festival that week.  A long spread starting with soups, breads, starters,mocktails, usual north indian dal,roti, desserts,fruits ,juices..Since it was srilankan special, in the vegeterian side, there was lemon rice, a dish made out of cauliflower and potato, rice roti and plain paratha . These are the only two Taj hotels I've vistied and I benchmark any "Taj" food to Taj Bengal. So, comparatively, this is rated 3.5/5

Tangerine: Located in 100 ft Road, Indiranagar. Used to serve good , filling sizzlers, But, during our third visit, the quality came down so drastically that we stopped going there. Can be rated 3/5

Kobe Sizzlers: Located in CMH Road, Indiranagar, a so-so place for sizzlers. It proved that Tangerine is better. Portions are smaller, rated: 2.5/5

More to come later..

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Being seated

The other day while travelling in BMTC bus, I placed my bag next to me in a two seater ,and since the bus had many empty seats, didnt remove the bag untill I found that one particular lady was alone standing while the rest of the seats were occupied.

So,I pulled my bag to my lap and called out to the lady and sit, while she refused!! yes, have you observed someone willing to stand and in turn, she asked me to place the bag and sit comfortably..This she did not tell sarcastically, but , probably I'm thinking that she saw me closing my eyes briefly and it could be that I looked tired that day and hence she allowed me to relax! Inspite of my second invite to her, she didnt consider sitting..She waited untill a different seat went empty and sat there after a few stops..

I havent come across situation like this, where a stranger considers your comfort than theirs, especially when it comes to seating in public transport..I've only seen people rushing to occupy any available seat and this was indeed new to me.Hence , wanted to pen it down here.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Maid amaivathellam..

definitely needs a lot of luck..We were indeed indeed when Lakshmi was our maid for close to 31/2 years. We need not tell her anything..She would just come in, do all the job, we need not even worry about leaving cup boards open .Many a times,I've placed jewellery in side tibles and all other sundry places, but they have gone un-touched..Only if some paper is torn, she would trash in dustbin, else, she would take and keep it on table for fear of throwing away something which we might want later..Her elder daughter visits her 3-4 times a year and stays over for extended period. On two ocasssions during her elder daughetr's visit,I've two two of my gold earings..Inspite of my MIL noticing that this daughter tends to pick up things (decent word for "steal?) and informing/warning me and inspite of me being careful the second time, I lost another one (the first one was a ruby earring gifted by parents and the second one to, from parents, but this one a pearl one bought many years ago and my school friend, when she noticed me wearing this before my wedding commented that I was wearing the same one since school days..It fitted me so well, that it wore it most of the time without changing!). Though we knew very well that its Lakshmi's elder daughter who had pocketed two of my precious earings, we didnt ask/tell Lakshmi because she would feel bad and we thought it might spoil the our relationship..And knowing her daughter, she is not going to accept her mistake or return it back! Hence, we didnt bring it up to Lakshmi, though my MIL happened to tell her that I was sad because I'd lost my earrings.!

All was well , suddenly she got an offer from someone who desired to take her and her second daughter to the US to work as a live-in maid. We were happy that she was going to a different country and as she wishes, she was going to  make some money that would help hee second daughter's marriage expenses. So, there was no news from her for about 2 months and one fine evening, she knocks the door, telling she is back and her visa was rejected and she will come over to work the next day onwards..This time, she said she cant come for job twice a day, instead can come only once. We were not too concerned and was only happy  that she is back.

Again, for a brief period, all was well. Now, she didnt turn up for 15 days and repeated phone calls to her were not answered. When I call from my office number after 15 days, her daughter picked up and said she would be back in about 2 days time. another week passed by and no news. Now, when I call her again, daughter replies that mother has already gone for her daily work. Now, we thought she would come to our home at her usual time, but she didnt turn up..Next day, daughter again says that her mother would come today. But didnt turn up..At this point, I have to mention that my phone calls to her were answered rudely during her loong break.So, I again ask her and daughter says that her mother wouldnt come..

We tried a  couple of other maids, but none of them fit-in well..So, I went ahead and requested Lakshmi to come over. Everytime she joins after a break, she asked for a increase in wage and we accepted it without a single argument. A few months pass by and the same story above repeated. ie, she would go without informing and no answer for repeated calls and suddenly after a month or so, if I persist in calling, the second daughter would says the he mother wouldnt turn up here after. I have to again extend a special invite and she would join back.

Few months passed by, the quality of her work got reduced and she would always be in a hurry to go over to a different house (where she was being paid peanuts for the amount of work she was subjected to). And the same drill repeated. Now, we got tired of her drama and decided not to go behind her.

In this period, we have been appointing one maid after another (this time, young ladies) and none of them seem to be regular. they want leave for 5 days in a month , and give excuses for another 10 days for not doing one work , for another 10 days, they come late (late: meaning come at around 6PM or so!) when we would be done with all work after getting frustrated with waiting for them..
A new maid was appointed on the 31st of July, and out of these 18 days, for 5 days, she was out of town, 1 Sunday, she didnt turn up, 2 days: went for collecting her ration card, hence didnt turn up, 3 days, some domestic issue in her house, so turned up at 6 PM, 2 days: someone from a different house in which she is working is travelling abraod , so she has lots of work, hence turns yup at 7PM.

Yes, in real life, you face all of these, but why not inform us, whatever be the case..Just tell that I will come late or I wouldn't turn up..These days, maids don't care even for  such minimal expectations..In fact, we have counseled, told in nice sweet language and asked them back if they were in our position, would they accept this kind of behavior..No response from them, they simply continue to do whatever pleases them!!!Phew! Today, when the maid turned up at 5 PM after we were done with all the work, I had to raise my voice.I usually don't do any of the negotiations or ask them for reason for why they were not coming..But, my patience also reached its saturation today!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

In a typical office meeting

that my manager chairs..., the following is what happens:

Manager : Lets meet at 2 to discuss over the regression results

Me: Ok

Manager: (Time: 2:15) (Btw, no meeting invite, no news about if the meeting is really going to happen or not!) : SM, People are waiting for me to go for coffee. I'll go for coffee and after I'm back,lets start the meeting

Me: Ok (dont want to utter what my mind thinks..)

Manager : (Time 3:45) Lets meet at 4. Lets meet at Room No: 111. Hopefully no one should be occupying that room!

Me : Ok (What the !!!!)
Me to Another colleague:  P, just go over to 111. I'll join shortly.Pls start the meeting and dont wait for me.

I'm at the printer room to take some print outs and at 4:15 PM, I see the manager coming in to do some personal xeroxing work

At 4:30 PM in the meeting room :
Me: Have you patched S?
Manager: No

I connect S.

Time: 4:45
Manager: Ok, ahhhh...lets look at the regression results

Me: 1st one is a known issue..

Manager: Wait, can you send me the design document?
Me: Ok! (sends the doc)

manager: Which page number is the description given?
Me: Chapter 6, page : 155, line:22, word no: 10!!

manager: WHat do yo mean by "transfers" ??
Me: Explain what the whole  thing is about!

And such ahh..ok,,etc goes on till 6 PM

Now, when the manager wants to leave by 5, then, she will be fast..else, its just time pass..Because we are all just slaves here and have no life after office is what she thinks!!

Dont know how people get promoted to be managers!! Moreover, this is one place where I find that there is absolutely no respect for time at all!!

But still, everyone is ok with it and no-one complains!!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Where was I?

very much here..Buried with work on weekdays and two weekends were spent travelling. I wouldnt say I simply didnt have the time to blog, if I'd been determined to write a post every day as I'd decided in the beginning of the month,I would have done. Once I missed two days due to travel, the mind started making excuses to slip every single day thereafter..But, I need to mention that I was working like crazy this month..There is an impending project milestone and too many issues to tackle at work front..And with two maids bunking and quitting jobs even without informing, took a toll on physical energy too...

It was Guruvayoor one weekend and Kanchipuram, the next..Yes,the trips were for visiting God at various places :) and seeking His Blessings ! We had early morning darshan (Nirmalya Darshan) at 3AM in Guruvayoor for which we queued up at 1:30 AM. The route that we took was pleasant, through the ghat section via Mudumalai and Wayanad district.Spotted few animals on the way..
Kanchipuram trip saw us with a driver who had to be constantly reminded not to doze off and who drove the vehicle at 60kmph when the entire highway had only one vehicle, which was ours. We had planned to visit 4 temples, but could visit only 3 from that list, since the 4th one was closed and there was no clarity on if it would open that evening. It was a day trip and we had not planned to stay over the night. So,came back , but I was upset and pondered over as to why God had decided not to give His darshan that day. My husband,S, is not a temple person, meaning, he doesnt believe in praying to specific God's in specific temples, and I'd almost given up in asking him if we can go visit temples. S told repeatedly that this was the list list of temples (Guruvayoor : S's mom has been asking him to take a trip to Guruvayoor for last close to year and a half or so) that he would accompany in this pursuit of pro-creation. With this being the case, why did God not give His darshan to us that day, when we made this trip after months of debating.

The silver lining in this is I got over my moodiness in considerably short time , after all the voices and conflicts that was ongoing in the mind and heart came out in form of tears..I decided whatever has happened as happened and that I will move on and was praying for strength to accept things that come my way.

And I know that I havent kept up th eone-day-a-post which I thought of trying..Let me see if I can do this at a different time.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Post 6: Where are you from?

Had a very loong day at work today..I actually wanted to leave work-place a liitle early , but exactly how things turn out the opposite whenever I voice out any of my plans, the pattern followed today and I left only after 7PM!

So, I crashed on the bed on reaching home and as I opened the laptop to check emails and stuff, I was finding myself very tired and had nothing to post...Just while I was about to just close blogger, S took out a print out of driving directions on a map, and lo behold, my eyes caught the name of the town I grew up in in the crowded sheet of paper and it felt like as if I have been given some rejuvenated drink and the eyes woke up from sleep right away..and here I'm typing..

I was born at the capital of TamilNadu and we migrated to a nice little town in the center of TN when I was about 8 years old and all my memories of growing up, of being a family , of making friends happened at this place.In fact I lived there continuously for about 8 years and thereafter, college happened, so had to move out of the town , then , work happened and marriage happened, never got to live in the place at a stretch for a longer duration, though I regularly visit my parents there. Whenever people ask which is my native, I never have any second thought in answering the place I come from. When the level of questions go from where your native is to "do all your relatives stay close by? are your grandparents too from the same place etc", I answer in the negative, but cant think of any other place to call my "sontha oor" other than this one..Cant point a finger on one reason or the other, but my "sontha oor" is this textile city..Inspite of S teasing many a times that there are only four roads at my place(dont believe him, Ok, I can proudly say that roads in our town are well maintained all round the year and there are more than 4 roads at a stretch than what S claims :)), and that if people travel via bullock carts and since the railway station is maintained neat and tidy, he claims there is no reason to rejoice or be proud of it as there is hardly one or two trains everyday and passengers alighting and boarding the trains from this station and few..

Even at college, I've had friends make fun of me by calling me a "oor ponnu" and asking various questions ranging from "do people brush their tooth using neem stems". Sometimes, I've come across people from cities who cant even begin to imagine how life is like in a town , down south..They were stunned to figure out that there were certain "unsaid and not-printed" rules both at school and at home for both boys and girls , if they have to mingle ..I have a friend from school-days who didnt and still doesnt refer to me in singular..They have also surprised to hear that even elders give respect to toddlers and little children while interacting with them.

The roots are firmly ingrained and I never give up my "ooru" at any point during any conversation.."Entha naadu endraalum , adhu nam oora pola varuma". Many of us will cherish one place or the other and will have a special corner in our hearts and minds for the place..S, for one has a special love for Chennai .Though he has lived there only for about 10 years or so, and though he doesnt visit now-a-days , his eyes light up at the very mention of Chennai..To each , his own..Places, like people also attract us and  place(s) also become lovable and the soil also loves us back ! Happy weekend!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Post 5: God's particle and such..

Every single time I cut a  banana flower, I get transported to a world filled with wonder and amazement. While I peel one layer after another , the wonder only grows multifold..Atlast, when I reach the tiny little cone piece, I wouldnt have the mind to chop it, and would simply feel happy at merely looking at it with no specific reason at all.. The thought process while I'm engaged with the act of chopping include , in no specific order :- "How did the banana flower get formed? ie, who or how was it created or came into existence for the first time? Look at the layers, how was it decided that it would be formed in this manner. salute to Mother Nature!etc".Marvelling at this piece of creation has become a common routine with me..I agree that there are innumerable(in fact, every single creation, every single stuff on earth is a marvel only!)  creations which induce curiosity, which gives us joy on merely taking a look ,gives us peace within .  But, for me, I've come to realize that this simple act of chopping a banana flower provokes a flood of thought and gives a sense of calm by diverting my thoughts towards a supreme force/mother nature..I get a child-like enthusiasm , though for fleeting time, to have a desire to know how it was first formed..During this period, the theory of evolution and all that science is pushed behind and somehow the belief of existence of a greater power sets within my mind.
I think I'm rambling here, sitting and typing out after  chopping a banana stem. Though it was stem today, my thoughts were towards its cousin, the flower and  so am I rambling here..
Newspapers and news websites are filled with news about the discovery of God's particle. Is'nt every creation a God's particle?

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Post 4: The crest, trough and the median..

Let me do some career/work/work place related post today..

When I began my career, like the thousands of fresh graduates who join the work force, I was also very ambitious, full of energy and all set and willing to put in the hard work to learn, earn and grow up in the ladder..I have put in many late-nights while I was single and even after I got married, I made sure to give in as much as I could without disturbing my personal life to a big extent. Along the way, I also started comparing myself against my peers, my batchmates, the competition grew bigger and tougher, politics was being played at the work-place.

 At a certain stage, there used to be so much of talk/discussion/gossip about how one person is being paid more while he/she doesn't do half the work that the other does, how the manager is favoring a certain individual, how tactically that one needs to project their achievements  when it comes to appraisal, how one needs to convince the manager , how we'll have to fight it out or in better words, how one needs to play it smart to move up the chain..Added to all this is when a new person joins the team , how certain work is allotted to the person which is not given to another who has stayed in the team for a longer duration, and how much people who are recruited are paid more while employees loyally working for the team are given peanuts would be the talk/buzz in the team ..While  the work  environment being filled with such not-so-obvious-but-still-something-hovering-around atmosphere, it is quite natural that any employee would be dragged into such talks and thoughts of all these would keep lingering in the mind even after office-hours..It required great amount of strength, grit and a strong I-know-what-I-want-from-work clarity of mind to stay away and to not let these affairs at work not affect an employee..Since I didnt belong to the above category, obviously, I fell in the trap and also got the opportunity to see that side of the coin..Though everything would look perfect from outside, each team member was recording  instances when he/she helped another team member and brought this up while giving feedback ..There are a few who would act smart and talk technical stuff only when the manager is in vicinity and try to put down others, there are some who would do the same job allotted to you and always try to compete with you and prove that he could do the same job faster than you..Since I was also in the rat-race trying to move along, all these used to trouble me so much and I used to wonder if I should also behave tactically. But , soon I realsied that I couldnt, it only increased my frustration..
I also have to mention here that while working under the same environmental conditions described above, I've also had instances where I've excelled, not once or twice, but many times..I've tried my hand at innovation, writing /publishing papers, handling multiple responsibilities, mentoring , deep diving and becoming an expert in a paritcular domain..I've also experienced phase where things were not just going my way, the code broke down, i sought help from my team member, a particular issue was blown out,I was pointed fingers at..I've also had the experience of getting up from the fall, re-proving my skills and talent..

When things were going well, naturally, I was happier, was motivated, worked harder. when things were not good, it affected my confidence levels (this happened when I was undergoing personal crisis as well,), my self-esteem was at its low, and it affected my mental and physical health..having gone through the crest and trough, I've realised , its not worth the pain..meaning, taking work way too seriously , having the burning desire to compete and win, always aiming for that promotion or hike doesnt help or work out in the long run and doesnt give much returns back to you..That doesnt mean, I believe in staying relaxed, not meeting deadlines, not doing a good job at work..For the last one year , I've been trying to have a equanimous state of mind, when it comes to work and work-place.

I go to work, trying to learn , trying to contribute my best, doing a good job at what I do..I dont anymore care about what others think about my skill-set (earlier, when there was an instance when my work wasnt upto the mark, which I've mentioned earlier, I felt so bad about myself..I was more concerned about what others would think about my skills and when people made remarks , it hurt me badly and I was in self-doubt).I'm not  a super-duper genius and I accept that there are many  technical aspects in my domain that I do not know and I'm ready to learn if my job demands it..Especially now, the worries about career growth, competing with others dont bother me..I only try to set goals for myself and try to achieve them..With this state of mind, I'm contended than before .Touch wood and kala Tikka!!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Post 3: How time flies..especially faster on weekends

Yes, during my everyday ritual of blog-hopping the various blogs that I've book-marked, came across this recent post by the multi-talented blogger Preeti Shenoy :   as to how weekends pass by within a wink of an eye..

Yes, especially ever since I changed jobs last year, being busy , very busy during weekdays make me do all the other house-hold stuff, shopping etc only on weekends . And weekends also are the only time I get to sleep late and wake up very late in the mornings and by the time lunch is over, it gets past 12, and you dont want to hurry up- ie, conscioulsy make sure you dont do things in a hurry..So, relax after food, and if there is any post-office /bank chore that needs to be done, you better run before they close in early in the only day that you get to catch hold of them..
Even otherwise, considering the traffic in Bangalore , and consideirng S and I who hate driving or shopping when the crowd is at its peak, its better we start in the early hours of evening..So, day of the weekend is gone even before you realised it started..Sleep late and wake up late the next day..Do the lunch stuff, and have a good hair massage and hair wash only to have a good and a much wanted nap in the noon, wake up to get the opportunity to try out some evening tiffin , read a book, reply back emails, surf, and start thinking about Monday morning and yet another week at work!

Why cant we be given a mid-week holiday or atleast half a day off in the middle of the week, just to take a break..A topic for another post as to how organizations really allow "flexi-time" and work from home options and  my take on those later..

Monday, July 2, 2012

Post -2: Astro

not about astronauts or astro physics..This post is about astrology and the effect that it has on me..
I dont remember believing too much on astrology or horoscope reading while growing up. Neither do I remember seeing my mom doing such consultations..Both my parents are God-fearing, spiritual and religious. Our association with astrology started before my wedding , more specifically when the alliance of S came to my parents..The astrologers words were taken very seriously once he did the match of S's and mine and the rest is history...There were many obstacles before S and I were united, but finally, we tied the knot.In hindsight, I'm not sure whether to call it destiny or whether to believe in horoscope reading and astrology..And I'm still not decided, even now..

Ever since, our families have consulted so many astrologers that I 've stopped counting the number. May be, just for the sake of recording and to read about all these years later, I need to document the names and the circumstances that led us to these astrologers..And the total that we have paid for astrology section of our lives so far is huge .(If S reads this, he would say: You are talking as if these astrologers forced you to consult with them..Its your fool hardiness and you pay price for it!..Hmm I agree with you S, but..there is always a big BUT..) .Ok, back to the main topic..

A little over our first wedding anniversary, my mom took out the horoscopes of mine and S and sent it to her sister to find out when we would become parents. The man looked into our future and had advised my chitti to ask us to try and conceive sooner, else we might face issues for the next year and a half..This was duly conveyed to my mom and it so happened that the same cycle my periods got delayed and my mom started pestering me to consult a Dr , for which I didn't budge and so she called up my MIL to take me to the Dr. This created a mini drama in the house and all came to rest in about a few days time ..Phew!!

Now, after a few months, I miscarried for the first time and I was in such a state after the unfortunate event that even if someone came before me and said I'm God incarnate or I can tell your future by reading your palm, I would have accepted and obliged..Such was my mental state at that time!! So, I also played along with the astro consultation and checked with my parents every now and then as to what each person had to say. The ever curious relatives got hold of our horoscopes and went about their consultations as well (a few joined along with my MIL and a few took the sheets and told that they would visit the person and let the mil know later)..If someone would tell about the miscarriage without us prompting or asking anything, then, my trust towards them increased ..So, one after another, every consultant started giving prophecies of a time line, a window from one month to another month, started giving suggestions of temples, poojas (pariharams) to be performed, and so it went on..I waited, as days passed by, the timeline that each one would give also moved in the future..I miscarried the second time and now, we started moving out of cocoon and started looking astrologers outside our "regulars" . One of my colleagues suggested an astrologer in Mysore whom she consults regularly (once-in a month, that is). Now, I took a DD , and the consultation happened over phone. He is a little different from those who suggest "Go to this temple, do this pooja" types..He suggested keeping away some portion (a handful ) of pulses which he suggested every day and when the quantity is equivalent that it can be donated, give it away in temple or offer it to cow or if these two are not possible, just throw away (the concept is you are trying to put away your sins using these pulses which go away from your hand..Just that they should not stay with you) ..There were many curious well-wishers who claimed that they knew one person or the other who professed accurately for them or to their relatives ..The list went on and its a different blog post about how S and I ended up fighting every day with me trying to force him to visit temples with me and he asking logical questions and calling me a fool to go behind these so called people who claim to know the future..

I miscarried the third time and now, its time for serious look at whats going wrong..Now, I have to mention this: I called up the Mysore astrologer from the hospital when I was recuperating (because he told that I wouldnt miscarry any further) and told him about the event and asked him that things have happened the opposite of what he said..He replied back telling I asked you to try conceiving after March and why I'd panned to conceive before that (It was december then) , for which I replied he didnt specifically mention anything of that kind and thereafter there was no point in arguing or extending the conversation with him, for I was in the hospital bed and helpless..

Now, my  mother starts to consult with astrologers who appear in Television, who write in magazines . My aunts family suggest an astrologer whom they consulted for their 38 year old niece and she got married after doing the pariharam that he suggested. Another nephew of my aunt got married after following his suggestion (looks like they have been searching for a bride for a long time and it clicked only after they did whatever pariharam this astrologer told). My dad went there and I also did what I was asked to do! The most recent one I consulted has suggested a couple of temples for us to visit (thankfully all in the same place) and infact put his foot down and sounded so positive that he called me for a bet and proclaimed that I would have a biological child very soon..I'm waiting to see if his prophecy would come true..

Ok..After these experiences, I'm ambivalent about my attitude towards astrology and astrologers..While I do agree and accept that not every one of them who have a board or claim themselves to be future predictors are not true and at the same time, I also know quite a few of them who have benefitted from this future-prediction stuff..Many of my relatives have found an astrologer for themselves (whom they call "enga veettu josiya karar" similar to family deity!!)  who tend to help them in tough times or warn them appropriately..Why is it that I havent found one for ourselves even after such a long search? Is it that the time of our births is not correct and that the reason whats happening and whats been told by these people are not matching? Whenever my mother visits an astrologer,I've even asked her to tell that we are unsure about the exact time, but somewhere in this 1/2 hour window..Is this whole thing true? is it a science? As much as we believe in God, there are a few who cliam that it is God who has created this shastra and that this is blessed by the Divine himself..As much as I want to move away from this whole stuff, there is some part of me which still feels and thinks that if it can come true to so many of them, then, why cant I be shown the way. If this parihaaram and all that is true, then, why does God want us to come to a particular temple, do the pooja so that we 'll be cured of our sins or reduce the effect of our bad karma? What do people of other faith/religion do? Is there a similar concept in other religions also? Do you believe in astrology? Whats your take?

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Give it a Try what I'm thinking right now..Try what? Try out writing one post every day of this month..I've gone  aww  at many bloggers whom I visit regularly when they have participated in this blogathon and have posted interesting posts all through the said month..I'm not sure if I can write interesting posts ,but nevertheless, I'm going to atleast try and write one post every day this month..On days that I'm out of town and dont have access to internet, probably I can excuse myself, but otherwise, let me give it a try..

29th of June was spent deciding whether to do the loong pending trip to Guruvayoor this weekend or postpone the trip to the next weekend..S decided that we would do the trip the next weekend and I agreed too..Rather, I also felt somewhere in some corner that we would do the trip the next weekend...But, as time flew by, my monkey like mind started changing and I started thinking if we should do it this week itself..By the time S came home, it was quite late and he was quite pissed that I never stand by any decision..But, I had my own reasons why I wanted to do the trip this weekend..So, Saturday, 30th of June was spent over brooding in the initial part of the day, later, went to post office to do the PPF stuff which was also loong pending..Then, from I Nagar, we took the Metro to MG Road , then walked to Com-Street.. The Metro was surprisingly less crowded than the other weekends that we've traveled.. We are looking to do a cover for the Sony as its accumulating dust, our intention of going to Com-St was to buy some material with which we can get the cover stitched..Only after we checked a couple of stores, I realized that we already have a bundle of material , which could be used..So, we went around aimlessly towards Safina Plaza where some art and craft exhibition was going on and picked up some beaded jewellery..God knows when I'm gonna use them..

Anyways, the purchase was made and we also bought some figs and star fruits from a vendor there and proceeded to 1 MG Road, the new mall on the junction of Trinity circle..(I'm on a spree trying different varieties of fruits..It started with S buying litchies and plums on Thursday, 28th June) Other than the usual branded stores that we see in every other mall, we proceeded directly to the Food Hall..Picked up blue-berries, peaches, droolled over the other exotic fruits from different countries , some veggies, tortilla chips , ate mini pizza, spinach and mushroom quiche and mushroom calzone..The calzone is simply not worth trying one another time, it was just a bun, which costed us 70 bucks..We almost came outside the mall, only to go back again to Hagen Dazs icecream parlour inside the mall..S and I shared a banana split with vanilla, chocolate and strawberry ice-creams ..Yummmm it was..It was the first time I am having a taste of this brand of ice-cream and now I'm in Loveee with it!! A little steeply priced, but the quality is awesome..I never thought I would like Vanilla flavour soo much!!
After relishing the ice-cream, we called it a day and returned back home!

At the end of the day (and when while we were aimlessly walking in Commercial Street), I couldnt help but think about  my colleague  (and many like her , some of my accquaintances , relatives included..) who will visit Comm Street or any shopping area almost every week, not to purchase, but for time-pass and generally look at what each shop has in store, etc..I wonder how they have the patience and the interest they have in window shopping..Kudos to them..I feel its a skill by itself to have the interest in engaging in window-shopping..

Sunday, June 24, 2012

New addition

And so, we welcomed a new television to our home on the 3rd of June, 2012. Welcome, buddy! May you be a source of happiness at our place! S and I have been thinking about and wanting to replace our old dabba for quite some time now and simply didnt get to pay and buy one. The time came when we HAD to buy a new one. On the Saturday , 2nd June, the old guy suddenly wouldn't show any picture..I was just then serving lunch to MIL and S, I had served them rasam and went inside to place the rasam and bring in some veggies..While I went in, I saw that some program on SUN TV was being played and while I turned back from kitchen, I saw nothing, I thought probably, the remote fell off or probably there was a power cut..Only when I came back with veggies, found that the old guy simply wouldn't power up at all..We anyways, got the old one repaired, looks like the Power Supply Unit went bad and that was replaced..We are yet to use it again!. In the meantime, welcome , Sony Bravia..May your arrival be the beginning of many good happenings/goodies in our lives!