Tuesday, December 10, 2013


On a cool Saturday morning, I woke up early and took over the kitchen (It has become more a routine that , especially during weekends, whosoever starts any work related to cooking first, gets to finish it too:), Yes, incentive for initiating the process :)). In an attempt to give the MIL a break and to let S and MIL have the honor (in reality, its giving them a punishment) of eating food cooked by moi, I try as much as possible to wake up early and take over the kitchen on weekends. One such cold Saturday was last one where I started making mental preparation of what to cook, which utensils to use, in which order to cook etc. I wanted to make use of the fresh veggies that I had bought during my trip to Malleshwaram and started with full gusto. I was in full swing pelting out curries, sambhar and when it was time for rasam, I wanted to make tangy lemon rasam and looked up at few cooking blogs to look out for which I could follow..And all was ready and I put the "eeya sombu" in the gas and poured a little ghee in it and before I could just lift my eyes and take the tomato crush and pour in it, I saw that the base of the sombu had become separated from the top portion..Let me post the picture here, later. What a shocker!! I was so scared to inform this to MIL , for this one, I knew it was gifted to her by her maternal side. S was so cool and just dismissed off and went back to watching cricket after commenting "This is just a piece of utensil, forget it,lets buy a new one".  The fact that a utensil has got burnt and has become unusable did nt bother me as much as the piece being a gift/ome sentiments attached to it. Anyways, I revealed this super duper act of mine and mil was quite cool. She just said that we need to be careful with "eeya paathrams" as they get burned quite easily if kept empty  in the gas stove. The first thing she asked when she saw was "Did you keep the paathram without water/contents in the stove"? , and I simply had to nod my head :)

In my culinary experiments (btw, I have never touched the stove or had anything to do with cooking before wedding.) so far, I have had quite a few adventures with utensils getting burnt, cooker included, milk overflowing, having a mini fire while doing the tadka etc, but never rendering a utensil unusable ..And so this is also marked off. ..So, whoever reads this, please be careful if you use "eeya pathram". Probably, this advice needs to be given only to me., that everyone else is well aware of this :)


I better mark this, before I forget..

My friend and I sneaked from the office (hey, it was actually not bunking, instead of returing home after the team outing, we went on or girls outing :):) and went on half-a-day outing to Malleshwaram.

 We have been planning this for a year now and finally, we made it on this day. and I'm going out with a girl - friend company after a very long time . With no laptop bags to carry, it was such a cool thing to simply roam around, check out things, debate what we were going to buy, when to buy (buy now or buy when we come the next round:) ), impulsive shopping, window shopping, bargaining, a quick bite here and there, my friend filling me with details of her regular haunts , and finally reaching home at 8:30 in the night! We behaved like college going girls , didnt bother to inform  our families and roamed around in a slow, lesiurely pace..What fun it was..Do I need to mention what a good break it was from the regular routine..

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Yay!! My first blog award!!

Thanks a ton, Tharani !! Tharani of  Roller Coaster Ride fame  fame gave me the first award in the blog world! :) . I'm all glee. And sorry , sorry for being so late (: in receiving and acknowledging  the first award..

Without much ado, let me take the award and do the tag .


The rules are:

Rule 1: Each nominee must link back the person who nominated them.
           Linked above in my Thank you note :)
Rule 2: Answer 10 questions given to you by the nominator

Q 1)  What does your name mean?
           I have two names, one is the name of a Goddess and the meaning of other name is "beautiful, elegant" (ahem, ahem).

Q 2) What are your hobbies?
            Hobbies vary from time to time. Last few years, it has been books, very recently, some dabbling with painting, prior to that, was hooked to music.

Q 3) According to you, what was the driving force that let you into the blogging world?
           My husband , S introduced me to the blog world,he himself had a blog where he religiously wrote about cricket and some more cricket and economics and some general stuff. During my miscarriages, I've been hooked to mommy-blogs and in an attempt to jot down all the rambling that goes in my mind, I started various blogs, deleted them in due course and finally trying to stick on here. In short, driving force is : I like the idea of having an online journal to vent, to record whats happening in my life and what goes on in my mind.

Q 4) What was the most recent compliment you’ve received and savoured?
            Most recent one(y'day) was that one of my team members said he felt good being in my company. I felt glad hearing this .

Q 5) What are the top three qualities that draw you to someone new?
             Honesty, sense of humor, and being simple without showing any airs.

Q 6) If you could eliminate one weakness or limitation in your life, what would it be?
             Indecisiveness!! Ahhh.A few years back, I would have said , temper. Not that I have become all that patient and saadhu-sant types, but life has thrown me many a lemony situations and I've tried to be patient and hope to get better at it..But this one, the indecisiveness, I need to start doing something about it.

Q 7)  What was the best news you ever received?
            Quite some , like when I topped the class/school/district in 10th/12th, on seeing two pink lines (though the news was a happy one only for a short duration, the first time I saw, it was indeed the best news) in the preg test card, when sis got through the B-school etc. But, at this point, I would say, still waiting for the bestest news :)

Q 8) If you could hold on to just one memory from your life forever, what would that be?
             Again, quite a few, cant pin-point on one (: . But one memory that is probably in the top few is : When my rakhi brother (We were colleagues turned friends turned brother-sister)  said to a U.S colleague that he and I have two mothers. That particular incident, the way he casually and instantly  made this statement simply touched me.

Q 9) What’s your favorite dessert?
             I have a sweet-tooth and hence will name a few: The most favorite changes from season-to-season. The current one is Chocolate Burfi from Krishna sweets . Otherwise, it is  Jangiri  (from Sumathy Sweets), Carrot Halwa, Fig-o-Honey Icecream from Corner House, Amritsar Ki Pinni (from Anand Sweets) .

Q 10) What are the top three things on your bucket list?
           - To wake up early and go for a walk,if not everyday, atleast 5 days a week.
           - Train my mind to be optimistic always,try to see the glass as half-full
           - Learn a foreign language

Rule 3: Nominate up to 10 other bloggers for this award who have less than 200 followers.
            I pass on this award to :
            Sri ,
            Visha and
All of them are great bloggers and words simply flow from them wonderfully.

Rule 4: Create 10 questions for your nominees to answer.
    I give them all the freedom to add more questions to the above list :) :)

Rule 5. Let the nominees know that they have been nominated by going to their blog and notifying them.
     Going to their blog now to inform them.

Thank you again Tharani :) 

And then, we moved - Here's to new beginnings

 After half  decade of living  in the previous house , we shifted our residence this November. After deliberating over it for a loong time, the need to move , where to move etc, we finally found our new home and moved in the first week of November. Since it had been a loong time since we did the packing-unpacking settling business, I kept pushing away the thoughts until the day of the shifting ..S, who is generally a systematic person also didn't bother about it until the last day.

Only when we started packing , did we realize how much of material stuff have we accumulated over the years. We did isolate the stuff that needs to be given away , even after this, there were mounds and piles of stuff that needed to be carried to the new house.

I was constantly admonished for collecting stuff and not letting-go of stuff. What can I do about the little souvenirs, knick-knacks that serve as memories of growing up years, gifts given by friends - though you don't use them, don't want to throw or give away as you want to keep them in their remembrance, the phone diary which you used when you were a teenager , the steel eating plate that your grandma had given lovingly , the first gift that you got from your rakhi-brother (though the top has become faded and one size shorter ), S's T-shirt which I love the most (he handed me this and a couple more to be given away 2 years ago, but I'm unable to let-go of it), and the list goes on.. Not to mention the stack of greeting cards,letters and other random stuff.

It wouldn't take a minute to just let-go of all of these, but will I willingly do it? Am I a hoarder? Why am I clinging to all of these? I wouldn't have even bothered to take a look at most of these all these years, but the thought that they are "there" seems to be satisfying. I need to consciously try and de-clutter. On a deeper look, I'm not sure if I'm attaching myself to all of these materialistic stuff, for as I mentioned earlier, I wouldn't have a taken a second look at most of these in the past. If this not attachment, what is it? Is it just hoarding stuff? I don't know. But , need to de-clutter, even if the process is slow, needs to be done.

I deliberated a lot on this movement, because if I can attach myself to all these silly stuff, what about the house that we have lived for years? And it will not be complete if I don't mention the fear of change. Although there was a status-quo , I seemed to have gotten comfortable in the status-quo though I would talk at length about wanting a pleasant change from the routine. Change of house, change of surroundings, new people should be a change, isn't it? But, deep inside there was a fear of change. And there was a fear of loss of privacy. In our previous house , rooms were organised such that there was privacy for S and I. So, we had our moments of laughter and fights too. But, here, the layout does not allow privacy. lets see how we manage :)

We did not make many friends in the neighborhood in the previous place. Yes, we used to be in a hi-bye relationship with the occupants of the neighboring houses and whenever a help to be taken or given, all of us were forth coming. beyond that, there was not much of socializing. The only socializing with the neighbors was with the one neighbor in the opposite house which happened during festive occasions, especially during Deepavali when we used to come out to fire crackers. So, while I told the neighbors that we were moving out, they invited us and the Aunty whom I have not spoken beyond "Chenna githeera" or " Tindi Aayitha", (in the mornings if I bump into her when the palak wala comes in during weekends) was so welcoming and gave us a grand breakfast. She opened up her story and that is a mater for another post. The point is , I regretted for having missed the opportunity to socialize and be on more talking and visiting terms.  Though I got more philosophical and comforted myself that life's like that, you only realize the value of people/things when they are not there etc, there is a lesson that I should not miss to learn. That I should open up and not be in a cocoon. Most of all, stop assuming. I have had many experiences where people first ask how many kids I have or which Dr I consult and they recommend Dr's and prayers which has yielded child boon to  all their relatives. I was traumatized so much that I didn't bother to get out of my self-imposed cocoon.  I should change, so what if people are going to throw questions or give suggestions. Just give me them a smile, nod your head and move on. This is my life and I live the way I want to. I have not done any crime to be shut myself away from society.

Coming to the new house, this one is in an apartment complex, which is thriving with lots of social activity. I have not lived in an apartment , so this is a first for me. Our stuff were not unloaded from the truck , but the maids,paper-wala, flower-seller, milkman started queuing outside the house. That ways, when some carpentry or plumbing needs to be done, they are all one phone call away. I see that kids have a gala time in the complex, what with after-school plays , combined home-work etc. I will know its 3 PM when I start hearing kids chatter. And I will know its 7PM when the boys cycle in the corridor. Here's wishing us lots of happiness in this new place:)

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Hair Style and Me ?!

My friend had been on an exotic  vacation to many places in Middle east and Egypt and returned last weekend, and her return gave me some enthu to pull myself to office . (The only time I look forward to during office hours is lunch break where we both can catch up on everything silly and serious :) )

Prior to her travel, we were discussing about the different kinds of hair cut /hair styles and what style suits us etc. This gave me an opportunity to reflect on how adamant I was while growing up to get my hair cut in "bob" style ,thereby imitating my Anglo-Indian friend, Jacqueline and my mallu friend, another Ramya. Their hair styles suited them so well and they looked too cute and obviously I wanted to have my hair cut short. In My dad adores his daughters being decked up traditionally with pavadai, plaited long hairs with flowers adorning and all that jazz.. Even now, he insists that I pin a string of flower. In this aspect, both of us were adamant, I wanting ot cut it short and he refusing to give his consent. After a lot of drama, amma took me to the salon during one of her visits to her parental house and got the much wanted hair-cut. I come home and ask Amma to put me a Krishnar Kondai (The friend Ramya used to wear Krishnar Kondai so obviously I had to be in that style, nah..). And what do I see in the mirror? I see a pony starting from the center of the head and the pony falling till the neck!! Baaahh.I wanted a kondai that would beautifully open upwards at the top, but, here for me it was falling down and not how Ramya has ...A big drama ensued..Dont remember how Amma consoled me that day ..After that , I dont remember getting a hair cut. If at all, it was a trim or cut a few inches, not real short untill I went to college.

I did have thick and considerably long (until hips) hair , well maintained by Amma daily and well-care for by Appa on weekends during the regular weekend hair wash. Once I started caring  by myself, sometime during mid-teens, the fall started and lesser the said , the better , after this..Hair fall started and thinned like crazy during those so called board exam years. I kept hoping day after day that the fall would stop and a miracle would happen, but nay(:

Before enrolling in college, I lost all hopes of regaining the lost hair and decided to cut it short. I didnt get an opinion from Appa for I knew he would suggest not chopping it off  "too much". Amma and I marched to the beauty parlour (my first , after the salon I went to many many years ago) and there began the first experience of  "the parlour-lady-will-cut-two-inches-shorter-than-what-you-say" . Amma showed a length and the lady cut short 2-3 inches shorter than what Amma had shown and here I was with shoulder length hair. For my face -cut , it doesnt suit if I leave the hair loose , neither do I like it. Probably years of  practice has conditioned me  to doing something with the hair , and not letting it loose.  That day, the maid had bunked Appa had come home early. Amma and I were not prepared for his early home-coming for we had postponed thinking how we would reveal my hair-cut to Appa to later that evening. What did I do? I rushed to the utility area, covered my hair with the dupatta and started washing vessels :). I washed the vessels so slowly thinking of ideas as to how to break this subject to Appa. My sister had come back from school and she too didnt notice the duppata over my head , which was unusual. I sat there calling out to Amma asking her to come over so that I can have a quick chat with her , but she was busy in the kitchen. I made up my mind and decided that in any case it is going to be out and I will need to face any questions that may come by, so I walked in bravely with the dupatta on and once I entered the living room, appa asked what was the dupatta about and sis did the honors of dragging it out and I stand there smiling ..Appa kep repeatedly asking is I've cut the hair that short in "reality" :) He couldnt believe it at first sight .

At college, there was a couple of parlors which was frequented by my room-mates and freinds , I used to visit once per sem and more often, the lady doing the job would cut it a few inches smaller than the length I tell her. Invariably, this used to happen. After joining the work-force, I started growing the hair and did not cut for a very long time. Only ocassional trimming by Amma. Two years ago, I cut it short and have not had a major cut since. Now, I have been thinking of doing some kind of stylish cut , but with the thin hair, not sure if any style would be possible or would suit at all.

Before my friends foreign trip, she and I were discussing of different hair cuts etc and I thanked heavens that atleast during the growing-up years I had the good fortune of having thick long hair for now, that seems a distant dream. In hindsight, I feel happy that my parents did not budge to my drama and get it cut often. 

Saturday, October 19, 2013

That familiar fragrance

This is not about the fresh frangrance of jasmine or a smell that would transport you to a different world or something exotic which would pull you to breathe and inhale the fragrance for a long time..It is about the smell of bagasse, a fibrous matter that remains when sugarcane is crushed. This residual bagasse is also used for newsprint and paper-making purposes. I studied my last two years of schooling in a school run by the management of a newsprint organisation, within the campus of the paper-factory. So, bagasse is a part and parcel of everyday life there.

The first few days were quite hard in all aspects : the new school, new people, being in a co-education school, new teachers, the long commute to school and needless to say the bagasse smell everywhere - in classrooms, in canteen, in the ground..As weeks passed by, I got so accostomed that instinctively I knew when the air will begin to smell different during the travel. A small tea-kadai about two  kilometer away from the factory is the landmark-this served as a virtual border after which the breath you take will be of different fragrance than the one before the limits of the shop :) I got used to it and life went by.

After nearly a decade , when I happened to pass-by the campus last week, I voluntarily rolled down the windows of the car to inhale "that-familiar-smell". Brought back lots of memories too.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Do your duty,rest will follow? : 55 er

Shiva is an asset to the team, but is neither rewarded nor recognized fairly by the management. He gets frustrated at times, but thrives on hope. In the quarterly all hands meeting, when his name was announced to receive an award for Excellent collaboration , the room was filled with thunderous claps for 2 minutes

The above is a true account of what happened in my organisation last week. This person works in my team and he is one of the few dedicated , thorough, hard-working colleagues that I have come across. But, at the same time, he is one who strictly follows: never-say-a-word even if you are asked to finish a month's work in a week's time motto. Now, things are beginning to change, albeit slowly..Such happenings give a ray of hope that things do change, even if the pace is very very slow, things do change for good once in a while and it is with this hope that people like me hold on to.

Door closed, window is open

I had a Doctor's appointment this morning in the the other corner of the city and was in a dilemma whether to take the effort to travel that long today or fix up an appointment some other day,preferably weekend. After dilly-dallying for what seemed like forever, I got ready, asked S to get ready and we set off to the weekday "payanam" to the other part of the city. We reach there only to find that Dr has gone to attend some other case and were told will be in back in 1/2 an hour. An hour went by without any clue of when the Dr is expected. Another hour passed and we decided enough is enough and we started back to our respective work places.

Needless to say how I felt the entire duration, for S had mentioned that we skip this appointment and do it later, but I was the one who decided , after spending enough time to arrive at the decision (thats the key here: well thought , This shows what a bad planner/decision maker that I'm especially in situations like these), wasted S's time and put him through the trouble of driving all the way shifting gears every 0.0001 km in this crazy morning traffic.

Well, S being the always-the-good-sweet-soft-spoken-one (he seriously IS ) asked where we were going to have our lunch !! Initially I wasn't too keen on eating out (since I was still lingering in the bad mood of the morning, along with this, some other silly things were cluttering my mind and was being restless since dawn) , then, later chose a nice place and there we went and had a nice sumptuous lunch..

Only later did I realize that I've been telling S for a long time that I would like to have a weekday lunch with him together at some nice restaurant,planning only on the morning of our lunch.. And today, this opportunity came up :) . The whiner in me would obviously point to the not-so-nice circumstances that lead us to have this weekday lunch, but nevertheless, we did have our weekday lunch outing :)  And is this what they call "when one door closes, a window opens"  ? May be !

Monday, October 7, 2013

Beautiful Thing : Book review

I've followed Sonia Faleiro's blog a few years ago and did know that she authored a non-fiction on the Bar dancers in Mumbai, but didnt get to read it untill a few weeks ago , when I ordered the book on a whim.

The book narrates the story of Leela,  the circumstances that forced her to become a bar-dancer, the day-to-day happenings in her life , accompanied by the her friend-dancers and how the whole industry works. As you read through, you get to wonder how much of a courage and a strong-will do these dancers posses at a age as young as 13 or 15. Sometimes, when you read the descriptions of the lives of these girls who are only seen as sex symbols, you can only get irtaed at the whole society. But, in some parts, the characters reveal that they do NOT want to come out of this profession, for they have got so much of freedom in this profession which their family could not provide nor are they willing to sign up for any other job because of the pennies that other jobs would provide in comprison to this one.

What happens to Leela once the bars pull their shutters down, where she lands herself, does she come out and start herself a new life is how the book ends.

A good-one-time read. at times, you get to know how the story is going to unfold. No suspenses etc, a narration of the life of a bar-dancer in Mumbai.

Good Samaritans do exist

Dusting off the cob-webs in the blog and here I'm !

I wanted to record this incident here. On a bright morning, I set off to office in the regular BMTC bus, took change from the conductor and placed the change in a compartment in the bag and kept the purse inside. The day passed and it was time to leave office,I take the change kept in the compartment from this morning and  get the ticket. I sit in the ladies section of the bus and travel by making random observations untill I reach the stop where I need to alight.

I make random notes of what I need to purchase, do the shopping and take my bag to get the purse and viola, what do I find, the zip is happily open and the purse is missing!!! I tell the counter guy that I'll not be able to purchase the items as I dont have money to pay and apologize to him. Then, start the calls to all customer care to deactivate the card. All cards are looted: Pan card, Driving License, Credit Card, Debit card accompanied by cash.

S drove all the way from the other part of Bangalore to pick me up ( I did have remnants of the morning cash, could have taken an auto to reach home) and we reached home and continued the phone calls to customer care to ensure all cards are blocked. Then, I started reminiscing the course of events and simply couldnt recall how/when the zip would have been delicately opened and the wallet stolen in the ladies section of the bus., when there could have been people watching this act..In the meantime, just try out the luck if I'd misplaced the wallet at office so,called up a colleague to check for the same.

Fast forward two days , I get a call from an unknown number who claims to be an auto driver. And he speaks such fluent English and verifies my details, asking if I could recognise my Driving License number by spelling it out. I jumped literally and he said the wallet was with him and the crds intact , but no money was left. I thanked him profusely and asked his whereabouts and told him that either me or S would come , identify ourselves and get it back.  Since it got late that day, we couldnt get the purse from him. Coincidentally, next day also, we couldnt go. But the third day, S went and collected the wallet. I'd asked him to take some sweets, S  offered some money along with sweets, the Good Samaritan took the sweet box, but rejected to take the cash. Along with the wallet, he did give the driving license of one of the 3 ladies who had left the wallet in his auto , gave me a telephone number which he said they had asked him to dial from his phone and said they spoke in Tamil. He also added that he would come to the Police Station to identify the thieves, if we filed a police complaint.

Thank you , Mr. Nagaraj. Thank you so much for saving me the hassle of re-applying for Pan card and Driving License. And more of such kind of people are required in this country.Thanks again!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Book review

The Bankster

This is the first book by Ravi Subramanian that I got to read. Based on a Indian banking setup, this story revolves around unraveling the sequential murders of the employees of the bank and the motivation behind the murders. The book starts with a good pace , introducing and acquainting the reader with some of the characters in the story and the regular day at office..But until the middle of the book, there seem to be some rhetoric keeping the reader in suspense which can border towards boring and makes the reader ask :Ok, so what are you trying to say here?" . A few pages can be boring, but from the middle of the book, the pace picks up and makes the reader curious to keep reading to know how the puzzle will be solved. This is a fairly decent thriller and I would recommend this book for a quick read set in Indian context

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Short story

V and S are good friends and they decided to purchase an apartment and zeroed in on one and paid the advance. A little later V changes his mind and decides to withdraw from this one and chooses to buy elsewhere. Reason being most of the owners of the flats in this complex belong to the community/region as S,and V thinks he would not have company or would feel out of place.. Anyways,he finds another one where most of the owners belong to his community and in no time,Vand his wife settle in the new place..Only to realise shortly that due to the unknown ways life unfolds for each one of us,most of V's acquaintances happen to live elsewhere and not move here for various reasons..V now gets to live with neighbours who belong to a diverse ethnic groups.

The above story s based on. Real life incident Zi heard today,tweaked a
Title bit..I couldnt understand to what extent people crave for community based links even after securing so called higher education,high standard of working and living conditions

What  does our education/value/family system provide us if they can't teach and help us to co-exist with each other . At what point do we as humans start differentiating and basing ourselves towards religious/ethnic groups? What's the point of rocket science and technology innovations that happen every other day if we lack the basic human instinct to treat and consider all as mere humans..too many questions in my head..good night .

Sunday, July 7, 2013

A random post

Weekend was quite hectic  , what with all philosophy , status-quo, questioning discussion with the better half on Saturday ( the long hours of talking, thinkinga nd listening tired me out :))  and the stock-piling, random shopping and house-hunting on Sunday is also taking a toll on the body..So, this is a random post of my observations this last 2 days :

- That maids also feel the 'Monday-morning blues" the day they return to work after a break. So, I assume, irrespective of whatever work we do, the blues still exist..Yeah..why cant we have a simple world where there is no competition, no need to earn/slog to lead a decent living and that there is equality everywhere..

-That it is OK to ask the price of every vegetable in Hopcoms before you buy. I kept asking the price of vegetable before I asked him to pick some and put on the weighing machine. The guy started getting a little anxious when I asked the price of the 10th vegetable that I was buying, bit if he doesnt put up the price tag or a board that displays the cost of each item, how are the customers supposed to decide which one to buy,that too in these days where veggie prices are sky-rocketing..

-Was shocked to find that a small sccop of icecream in Baskin Robins cost 110 bucks..I thought Hagen Daz  has such expensive ice-cream and the quality of their product too is quite supreme. Been a while since we went to BR, since we are Corner House loyals these days, but just for a break, went to BR and decided never to return here. The quality is not great either. When asked why it costs so much, they say this flavor is a "divine" one and so is the cost !.

-  Sale season has begun this year and there is sale in every shop that you turn to. And these shops are teeming with people. There are more men in the ladies section than women themselves, all them dragging bags and searching through mounds of clothes .. If only they allowed to capture a few pics, I would have..Even with me, S  goes through sections and picks out clothes which he likes. There are many men who do that. But, today whatever I saw was heights..I saw a few men rummaging through the pile of clothes and looking at each one of them to check if that would suit the person for whomever they are choosing, I saw men in leggings table, where they were suggesting what their female shopper should take.

- Finding a house for rent in Bangalore seems to be a herculean task these days. All brokers also take holidays on weekends when we have time only on weekends. It was quite startling to hear questions from the broker asking for our age, which companies do we work for, which caste we belong to (I had told we are vegetarians prior to these questions)!! All of these even before seeing the house. From when on, did the brokers and owners start asking for such details even before taking a look and liking and willing to rent it out. And what rudeness is it to ask for caste details. What is the use of education and living abroad and claiming to be living in a open-minded society when our own minds are really small..I just cudnt take it. And as long as whoever is renting pays the rent, how does it matter which company he/she works for? And looks the tenant might have to take permission from the owner before switching jobs or even before appearing for an interview call..Huff..Just unable to take all this..

More later..Have a Good week!

Movie Mania

Movies are not a regular part of my life off-late..While growing up, during those doordarshan days, we would wait for the Sunday evening movie and the occasional viewing in theaters..Looking back, I can say that I had visited the movie halls more number of times during growing up years than in adulthood years so far. Then came the Sun TV and all other channels under its hood, movies became a routine then..But the boredom struck soon and though there were movies that were telecast round the clock, the interest waned..
Thanks to a few acquaintances these days, I do get a regular supply  of movies , good print that too within a  short period after the movies is released. I had posted about "seasons" here :http://sweeetmixture.blogspot.in/2013/06/seasons-for-likes-and-dislikes-too.html and now, its the movie season that is going on at my end..Heres a list of few movies that I watched recently  and my take on them:

Chennaiyil Oru Naal: Heard this is based on a real-life incident, though I havent yet googled to verify the same(quite surprising considering my affinity to open up google for anything and everything) . Its about how the heart of one patient is transferred to another from Chennai to Vellore. A little too dragging in between ..You feel as if the director is taking through every single stretch of the Chennai-Vellore route, at times. If its indeed a real story, I fail for words as to what to attribute to the parents of the one whose heart is going to be removed while the patient is alive.

Viswaroopam : Yes, I watched this one only last week, though this one has been with me for a long time now. I read reviews of this one while it was released and didnt get the urge to watch it then. Btw, what in the movie has made kamal spend 100crore for this one? If you can point out, I'm curious to know. The first song , the kathak one, is pleasing to hear and the choreography is done well. Other than this, was there any other song that can be repeated over and listened to? I don't remember now..And Andrea's role in this movie is no insignificant.What is Mr.Kamal trying to convey here , for all the hype around this movie.

Raanjhaana : Danush's acting is good..Though the story line is one of the typical ones, boy -loves-girl, girl-loves -someone else, boy is mad about he girl etc, for the elements of muslim-hindu and the elections ,the benarasi slang etc, this can be a one-time watch movie. A good time-pass though.Sonam Kapoor's acting is also good. And music is also pleasing to the ears.

Kai Po Che: A bunch of new faces. It says this movie is adapted from "The three mistakes of my life" by Chetan Bagat. I havent read the book and started watching without any expectations. A bunch of fresh faces, three of them. Untill the middle of the movie , there is the story line of these three friends wanting to make it in life, their business in sports academy and how one among them is a cricketer and finds a young talent and coaches this young one. After the intermission, you kind of start getting a hint of what is to come. The story covers cricket, the sabarmati incident followed by Godhra and some tid-bits of crush and love. a good movie to watch.

Soodhu Kavvum :  Quite a different genre in the regular love-story movies in Tamil. A little hilarious too. Story revolves around how a group survives by engaging in kidnapping without getting caught and what happens when they kidnap the finance ministers son. As I mentioned, different from regular stories and can be watched once.

Neram : The story of this movie is what happens when a person's time is not well and if at all Mother Time decides to smile on you, then, how things take a turn and life looks suddenly brighter . A different genre and good to watch.

While on movies, I remember going to an evening show with my garndmother for the movie "Paati Solla Thatadhey" and crying in the middle of the movie wanting to go to home and be with Amma. And also remember accompanying the newly-wed aunt and uncle to Anjali. As a womens team, along with amma, aunt,granny and cousins remember watching Vetri Vizha in movie theatre. When we were a little older, the oldest cousin accompanied all of us younger ones to Ponnumani. And Thevan Magan was watched sitting in stool  in the last rows of the fully packed theatre.

During VCR/VCP days, watched Alaipayuthey in cycles for 7 times. Mouna Ragam is one movie which I love to watch anyday. Remember calling up the cable guy umpteen times as to why cable signal is not proper when Mouna Ragam was being telecast many years ago when a cousin was visiting us. A very mature beautiful love story in it.

Want to hit thebed now. More on movies in another post.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Time to Stand and Stare

Invariably, most  of the work-days, irrespective of whether I wake up early or not, I always rush in the last moment and make S wait for me..I can count the number of days when I have left the house first and S has followed me..So, what makes me rush ? I spend some time in the mornings to just stand and stare :)

 I spend precious morning time to stand and stare..Yes, it has become a habit now and I don't seem to have qualms about spending time not doing anything productive, but just stand and stare..

A few random observations that are registered in my mind while I involve myself in this activity:
-- crows cawing,
-- dogs playing run and catch
--the sound of train and people standing near the compartment doors and their expectant faces(though from a distance)
--the car cleaning boy who is growing taller day by day
-- the milkman who checks the token and puts in that many number of milk packets
--paperwala riding with a little boy in the pillion and this little boy gets the practical experience to throw papers even upto three floors 
--random uncle and aunty walking with hand-in-hand 
--uncle with a huge dog going on a jog
--IT/BPO employees getting ready and waiting for their pick-up vehicles even before the sun is out day in and day out.
--little children with back-packs all ready to face their day
-- the thatha who inspite of having trouble in walking properly, makes it a point to carry flowers in his head and shout "ooa ma oova.."
-- granny who carries real huge load of palak and sabzi and flowers in her head every single day
-- the palak wala who stops his bicycle in a corner to releive himself..(eeks..seriously since then,I have stopped buying from him!!, but no point in feeling disgusted..such is the state of our country where these street vendors have no choice )

Anyways, do I get any work done in this "observation period"? ..Nope..Do I get some kinda peace ?..Hmm..I really dont know..but what I can say is, doing this does clear my mind even if it is for a brief period..I just dont think about anything..not even the fact that its getting late to office..My mind just goes blank when I indulge in this morning routine of observation..I also relax myself saying that I might not have the luxury of engaging myself in this routine once the baby arrives ...so, untill then, i tell myself to take it easy..I dont remember how this habit got itself established or how long have I been engaging myself in this, but just wanted to record it here..

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Spine Poetry : My first attempt at it :)

Just thought will make an attempt at this one..and here it is..I opened the cup-board that has been converted to store books and formed this one with the 3 books that my eyes fell upon:

"The Kite Runner's Known Turf is Kashmir"

And immediately, the enthu levels raised and I wanted to form another one: so, here it goes:

"My friend Sancho lives in The House of Blue mangoes" 

I know I have relaxed the rules a bit by adding a few words in between to form a meaningful sentence. Since this is the first time, I think thats ok :)

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Carelessness and me

Many a times, I am called a "sandeha praani", especially when it comes to double-triple checking if the doors etc are locked when we go on a journey , check if whoever is accompanying me has got the balance change from the cashier, look out for any items that have fallen off or misplaced while coming out of a restaurant etc.. As much careful as I'm in the above circumstances,  equally careless I'm on the rest of the occasions.

I've lost many such materialistic stuff due to my carelessness.(: . When I loose something, the guilt or the sadness of parting with the stuff is more severe when the loss is due to my carelessness than otherwise..
I lost a gold chain during my train journey from Chennai to Bangalore years ago. I realized that I had lost it after I came near Jayanagar from Majestic. I couldnt do anything..I thought briefly about going back to Majestic and searching the train (it would take atleast 20 mins in the traffic-less mornings and I remembered that the train would stop at Bangalore for 30 minutes before it started its way to Mysore), but somehow felt it to be futile and dropped the idea..I felt very bad about losing it, but I couldnt do much about it..Yes, I should have checked on it before leaving the train, but it is another  fact  that I woke up after the train had long stationed at Bangalore central . So, I had to get out of the train before it moved again..such tired and drowsy I was after all the roaming around in Chennai the day before the travel. Since that episode, I always make it a point to check on my neck ,hands and ears before leaving the train.The point here is, I regretted for not checking on it while leaving the train , but I was convinced that it was stolen. But the guilt was not that much when compared to when I lost two of my gold- earrings right when they were placed at my bed-side table.

Yes, first time when one pair of ear-rings got lost, it was quite certain that the maid's daughter who had come in only for that day and absconded the next day had taken it..For how else one could explain the sudden disappearance of the jewel when I saw it on Saturday and didnt find it on Monday morning and no one even entered our house. This time, I kept thinking for a long time that I could have had the jewel to myself if I had placed it inside the cup-board instead of the bed-side table. Since our maid is quite good and I assumed that her daughter also would posses a good character, I didnt bother about making sure that I kept these costly stuff locked in. Mil repeated numerous times after this episode asking me to put every single thing, even if they are a few coins , to put them inside the cup-board and keep them locked. I nodded my head very well and in fact followed this in the immediate aftermath of this incident . But slowly, the old self showed up again and after a year, on a fine day, I happened to place another ear-ring on my bed-side table and viola, the maid's daughter comes in and the ear-ring is no-more..I felt terrible on myself for being so careless and not learning from the mistake even after experiencing a similar incident earlier..Even now, the thought about losing the second time makes me feel so damn bad about myself..It was due to my sheer carelessness. Though it was a theft, I could have easily avoided it , having experienced it once earlier..

Today, I got the balance change from the bus conductor during my morning travel and instead of placing it inside the wallet, I stuffed the rupee notes into my mobile pouch..I knew that it could fall anytime, but due to sheer laziness , I just stuffed it then..It fell down a couple of times when I fiddled with the phone in meetings, but still didnt put the money in its right place..I remember seeing the money being present until about 4:30PM or so..and viola, when I leave the office for the day at around 6PM, it is missing..The change is smaller in value (about 55 bucks), but I felt terrible on myself for being so damn careless..

There have been many circumstances where I've felt more guilt and generally scolded myslef for losing something due to my carelessness rather than if the loss has been due to someone else stealing it away or losing it inspite of being careful from my end..If I do my duty properly, the bad feeling tends to subside quite soon and if not, it persists a long time..

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Vacation and post-vacation musings

  • Simply feeling the wind on the face and allowing the wind to carry you in its direction ...Bliss!!
  • Burying your face in amma's neck and her fragrance makes you forget all your worries, even if its brief..
  • A very recently acquainted stranger handing you a string of "madurai malli poo " , in its bud form, strung closely only when you were thinking of stopping by the flower vendor and buying a string..Ah..such simple joys :)
  • Maid whom you thought is not going to return for work comes back with a big box of assorted sweets that you like, gundu malli freshly plucked from her garden and says she remembered me asking for some sweet in the brief time that she stayed with us..
  • Getting the list of things to buy and do from Amma and exploring the tiny streets of the town you grew up in without a care for time.
  • Devouring food prepared by Amma day in and out and actually getting a feeling as if the digestive system and the stomach are posing a huge wide smile.:)
  • Spotting half-saree clad girls in TVS-50 and reminiscing the days I drove the TVS -50 and realizing what a great mistake it was when I adamantly refused to wear half-saree..
  • Asking for a re-cap of the events that happened in the mega-serial from Amma and sister from the last time you watched it..and passing random comments about the characters in the soap.
  • A long drive with Appa with both of us enjoying Ilayaraja's music 
  • Travelling by the local "mini-bus" listening to  Ilayaraja's songs blaring at full volume
  • Bumping into a school classmate after a decade or so and being comfortable in my skin
  • Not missing the husband for the most part of the time while I was away and thereby allowing him to work and be at peace without my pestering even if it is for a short-while
I went to my parents place after 6 months(this is a huge gap for me between visits, for even wen I was at hostel, I used to visit once in every 4.5 months) and I'm back now and feeling very home-sick..In my case, I only feel that even though the number of years that I have flown the nest only increases year after year, the home-sickness after I return does not seem to reduce each time (: Not sure if I'm weird this way ..As a result, I have a gloomy face and mind which puts off S. Need to work on this part ..

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Shadow Princess : Book review

This is the first book that I'm reading in the historical fiction genre. This book starts with Mumtaz Mahal's death and how devastated Shah Jahan becomes after his wife's death. Shah Jahan's children are quite young during this time and the emperor goes to the extent of giving up his throne, for he is overcome with deep grief at the loss of his dearest wife.  The elder daughter of the emperor, Jahanara becomes the Padshah Begum of the harem and she has to take over a lot of responsibilities on her shoulders. Shah Jahan is too close with Jahanara that the father wishes that his daughter stay with him forever without having a life of her own.

The story goes on to describe both the camarediere and the rivalry  that the royal siblings have share among each other. This book captures the story of the royal prince and princess along with the emperor between Mumtaz Mahal's death and Shah Jahan's death. The book also has chapters dedicated to the the Luminous Tomb, aka The Taj Mahal, starting from the desire that Shah Jahan has to build a resting place for his beloved and how the architecture and the fine details are put together to build one of the seven wonders of the world.

The book gives a glimpse into the way of life for the inhabitants of the royal family in the Mughal era. This book is mainly centered around Jahanara , as to how she goes about performing her duties in the royal harem, how she adored her father that she dismissed the idea of living with her her lover and son even when she was older. How she rightfully thought that the heir to the throne was her eldest brother Dara and how she  was such a back bone of a support to her father during all those years of his grieving.

The history narrated in this book is flowing well and easy to understand and follow. Those who are sceptical about the very word "history"can rest their fears  and though this book is supposed to be the last of the trilogy by the author Indu Sundaresan on the Mughal rule in India, this book can pass on for a stand alone one. I have not read the previous two books , and I didnt feel the need to have read them before going about reading this one.

A highly recommended book. Can be read in between thriller or romance novels. 

The Rescue by Nicholas Sparks : Book review

I bought this book as a result of TGND's suggestion after reading a quick review of the book. I wanted to try out different authors and different genre of books. And I enjoyed reading this book.

Denise is a young single mother to little Kyle and works night-shifts to make ends meet with her income . Little Kyle has developmental problem with speech comprehension and talking fluently. One day, Kyle gets lost during an accident and Taylor, a fine fireman rescues Kyle. An unexpected meeting between Denise and Taylor in a departmental store gives a fresh start to their relationship. Kyle adores Taylor and Taylor fills in perfectly for the role of the father whom Kyle has never had . Taylor is unable to commit himself into this relationship . All his previous relationships with his ex-girl friends also have broken abruptly due to unknown reasons. The story goes around unfolding day-to-day life in their neighborhood and Taylor's past which is haunting him , because of which he is unable to commit himself to any relationship and the circumstances that lead to how Denise and Taylor make a happy family for their kids.

A very simple story, beautifully narrated. The Rescue can be any boy-meets-girl, fall in love and get married types. But , the everyday life in a small town , the emotions of characters in the story are well described. Though at some point of time while reading the book, one can be sure that there will be a happy ending, there is something that makes you want to know under what circumstances would everything in teh story fall in place..This remains the suspense element. More than everything, the love between Denise and Taylo, though a well-mature one is very good. The character of Taylor is well portrayed as a handsome lover and a beloved father.

I would highly recommend to read this book.

P.S: I wanted to jot this down here for posterity : That I stayed home on a working day (aka work from home)  in order to finish this book. If it was not possible for me to work from home that day, who knows I would have taken the day off too ..

Thank you TGND for the recommendation. 

Seasons for likes and dislikes too

We all have our own likes and dislikes . I've had a tendency for sticking on to a specific kind of food or particular style of dressing for a period of time, before shifting my allegiance to something else for a certain duration in the next cycle.

These days, the season that is ruling over me is "Book Season" and wrt junk food, its the Pani Puri. 

I'm not an avid or a voracious reader. Growing up, I used to read the Young World or the stories in the Non-Detailed books which formed a part of the school curriculum. Only during college times, I became aware of  the world of MnB's and Sidney Sheldons. It was just awareness and not really picking up books to read. Only after I joined the IT band-wagon, staying away from home, I enrolled in a local library near the hostel where I was pu up in Bangalore and started reading Sheldon, Archer and Agatha Christie. It was only after wedding, when I used to find S buried in a book, I picked up a few of them which were in his collection. Even then, I did not get addicted as such..There have been many months when I haven't touched a single book. But, there have been times when I read back to back too..So, my seasonal liking towards books was evident then.

But, last 3 months, I have been both buying and reading books like crazy. We are regulars at the Bangalore Book Festival last few years, and occasional buying as and when we feel like wanting to read a particular book or if there is an urge to spend on books..But , the last 3 months, I have made 4 bulk purchases.I'm looking out for reviews for books in different genre, more importantly, finding joy in the prospect of buying, reading and to find blogs that have a long list of book reviews..So, currently, I'm in this season now..

I need to mention and say a BIG Thanks to TGND who has taken the time to suggest me books. I truly enjoyed reading the ones that I picked from her suggestion. Thank you TGND :)

I sometimes wonder why I didnt get caught in this "season-of-books" earlier, during those hard times..As they say, there is a season and reason for everything and better late than never.When I used to read about people who write about the joy of being in the company of books, I didnt understand it too much then..(This realisation that I didnt understand itself dawns on me only now)..But, I think for an amateur like me, if books can bring in joy, I can now atleast try and imagine what great joy it would be for those who have been in the company of books for a long long time..

"Outside of a dog,a man's best friend is a book. Inside of a dog, its too dark to read" :) This is from a book mark..

Coming to food seasons, when I look back, I had seasonal courting with maavudu, paruppu sadam, Pizza, ice-cream and now pani puri..Ice cream needs to be mentioned as I relisehd many countless scoops of ice-cream for the last 4 months or so..Every week, I used to have atleast a minimum of 2 sccops..I was telling S that I dont remember having such a craze for this frozen delicacy even as a child or while growing-up..Thanks to the weather, the craving has decreased a bit the last few weeks.. 
Same case of seasonal affinity when it comes to cooking too. The first 3 months of this year saw me planning and cooking an elaborate meal, planning for dishes, making sure that I dont repeat the vegetable or dish atleast over the weekend. 

Have you had such seasonal allegiance too?

Saturday, April 13, 2013


Here are some more of my experiences/reviews after dining at these restaurants:

Cream Centre: We went a little late on a weekday, say around 8:45PM and was startled to find that only one another table was occupied and the waiters didnt seem to bother our entry. Ordered Bambay Ragada Pattice , Enchilada and a Veg sizzler. very very average in taste and presentation. You wouldnt believe if I say that the sizzler had nothing but cabbage and few beans and carrots strewn here and there.. The cabbage simply looked like no one cared to cut it into pieces..Imagine a bed of samba rice mixed with cabbage and some beans and carrots and soya sauce poured on top..This is Veg Sizzler at this place. Literally wanted to run away after paying the bill. Vowed NEVER to return to this place..Service was extremely poor..I kept on asking for a paper napkin only to be told that they would get back with it soon..The Ragada Pattice is nothing but a potato cutlet..Simply not at all worth the time and money spent there.

Queens Dhaba : This is a little shacky kind of a place situated in Church Street (the road perpendicular to Brigade Road). I dined at this place recently after a very long time..This place was introduced to me in the early days of my Bangalore stay by one of my Best friends..The quality of food has come down a little, but nevertheless, it doesnt fail to attract a huge crowd..On a late weekend evening, there was quite a long queue waiting to be seated.It brought back memories of carefree days of coming to this place with friends , and then, coming again for lunch with office friends/colleagues.Prices have also gone up (but when compared to the price list of other places which serve only moderate quality food, this is still ok). Overall, a good experience, simple authentic north indian food ..Good service.

South Indies Street Food Fest: We had been to South Indies during one of the days for dinner when the Street Food Festival was going on..Was disappointed by the varieties that were present as a part of Street Food Fest..I dont know when Carrot juice became street food. And the street food menu consisted of :carrot juice, a very low quality kulfi, appam (no coconut milk, only saagu), peanuts, dosai,kothu parota, an assortment of bajji, bonda and pakoda. I may be naive or wrong, but tell me,are there no other  varieties of street food in the 4 states of the South? The set buffet menu was a regular fare, with an average rating..

 Peacock : This is the restaurnat which is located above the Cream and Crust in the 100ft Road of Indiranagar. Untill I visited this place,I was under the impression (whenever I looked at the name plate) that it was a furnishing house..We dined there for a Saturday buffet lunch and the spread was decent..Regular buffet spread and quality of food was also decent, neither too great nor too low..Can visit once in a while.

Sahib Sindh Sultan:  We went to this place to have dinner with a colleague of S who is on an India visit. Since this guest stays closer to Forum, we decided on this place. I have been to this place on team lunch a few years ago and didnt exactly remember whether I liked the food there or not. I was surprised to find that this restaurant has to offer only plain lassi , no flavored lassi, only plain tandoori roti, no phulka or kulcha, only plain papad and no masala-papad.. Food was very much below average..Roti was hard and cold..The mushroom-methi gravy was tasteless, the black dhal was sour. No flavor or richness in any dish..But the place was teeming with people and price exorbitantly high..Would you imagine 4 drinks (3 lassi and one mocktail) costing a 1000 bucks? If the food tasted good, you could add it to the category of restaurants catering to foreigners..But,  inspite of many foreigners whom I could spot while I was there, simply doesn't deserve to be shelling pur hard-earned money there..Anyway, I wouldnt go back there again..

Expectations and some more of it!

Well, all of us , humans have expectations. I'm not talking about those who are always in a zen state, like sadhus or monks here..All of us ordinary mortal do have expectations , either from the results of our work or from people

You study and write exams well - expect good marks/results
A kid behaves  well - expect parents to get you candies (though good behaviour should be the norm and not be seen as something special)
You give a good performance - expect to be applauded
You perfom well at workplace - expect a good hike and other rewards
A waiter - expects a tip from the diner
Maid - expects that the mistress doesnt scold for taking a 2 day awol

and it goes on..When expectations are not met, there is a good chance of getting upset, even if its for a silly reason or if its for a brief period. few expectations, as humans are natural and probably justifiable, say, you perform well either at work or in exam, you expect the rewards..In this case, the effort has been put, and naturally outcome is awaited. Though in real life, we all know that in spite of best efforts ,one need not or does not always achieve what he/she expects for .

For example, in case of an employee expecting a good rating for his annual performance, he gets a shocker when  he does not get what he expects to..Reasons could be many ..The perception of his boss on the employee's performance could be different than his, there could have been some assumptions made, miscommunication happened or there were simply many of them who performed well so he couldnt be given the top rating, or some performance behaviours could have been overlooked  etc etc..

In the above situation where metrics drive rewards, if there can be so many uncertainties leading to unexpected results, what about the whole world at large, which deals with people with blood and flesh who have emotions and mood swings which are simply analogous and span across many shades of grey?.Expecting an outcome from an activity/task or expecting either material stuff from people or expecting others to satisfy their expectation can go for a toss, resulting in conflict within oneself , and more often, resulting in conflict with people around us.

So, the best is to have our expectations low even if its difficult to have zero expectations..Bhagvad Gita has been trying to insert this into our heads for a long long time now..

Karmanye Vadhikaraste, Ma phaleshou kada chana,

But simple mortals like us dont put this in action and bring our complexity in our lives..

Ok,why am I ranting this: 2 recent incidents made me do this post:

At the lunch table, my colleague says she gets anxious at the nearing of a long weekend. Reason, her mil expects her dil to visit her as and when a long weekend comes..If there is no longish weekends for a couple of months, she asks her to take off from office to come and meet her..While she is there, expects her to gossip with her, explain in detail as to whats going on in her life so while the dil is gone back after the trip, she can broadcast it to all and sundry.  

I call up my aunt to congratulate on her grannyhood and there she starts complaining about my mother who did not visit this aunt  during her trip to Chennai. I tried explaining her that the one-day trip that my mom undertook was for a specific purpose and by the time the work got over it was 4 PM in one end of the city and she had to wade through the maddening evening traffic to reach the other end of teh city to catch her return bus. All this wnet into deaf eras and she went on and on rolling out sentences..

Now, what kind of expectations are all these? First of all, I, for one, believe that no one can expect the other person to behave this way or that way..Even with one's own child, we can only teach the child proper behavior through our own actions, try and talk to the child when the child's behavior is incorrect , and at the end, we can only HOPE that he child behaves properly from now on..When it comes to relationships and relatives, agreed that there needs to be give and take and the equation does not equalize most of the times . But, what makes a person expepct that he/she NEEDS to be visited regularly , without giving least thought to the circumstances that the other person might be in which prevents the person from visiting him/her. Even if the circumstances were ideal, there is absolutely no requirement that their expectations are fullfilled by others..

All of us have many relatives, both near and distant who have a huge list of expectations from people. Well, general , simple expepctations can be fullfilled most of the times..But only when these so-called -simple expecatations are not fullfilled just once, they make a big issue out of it and simply forget all the innumerable times when their expectations were full-filled. This kind of behavior creates a friction in the relationship and gives a starting point for a sour relationship.  

Tell me, will a marriage cease to happen if one of the relatives doesn't show up?  But, just because one did not show up, the hosts keep pointing to that every now and then , this leads to a grudge and then a tit-for-tat and still expect the one who did not turn up  to be amiable with the host and take whatever words are thrown at him/her. Each one have their own lives to live and we cannot always keep expecting others to behave the way we want them to. We should try and put ourselves in other peoples' shoes..Some people go about telling everyone the minor headache they have, some others choose to keep it to themselves even if they undergo a huge mental trauma. Each one of us is different. While some enjoy talking , we also need to realise that there are also people who prefer to be on their own. Just because one doesnt pick up the phone to gossip or let out all that is happening in their lives, doesnt mean that this person wants to be aloof. Its just that its a character of this person..Let them be..A lot of it has to be with ones' upbringing.   The relationship is sure to blossom if  the host calls up the relative and says "The wedding went well.I was thinking about you. I'm sure you would have turned up if not for something urgent. Your blessings are required for the newly-weds.Please come home whenever you have time" ..What does it take to have our hearts to look at things positively and be genial with everyone? Does it really cost a lot?

Friday, April 12, 2013

The Kite Runner

Hasan and Amir grow up in the same mansion , while Amir is the resident of the bunglow, Hasan stays with his father in the outhouse. Amir is in the company of Hasan when he does not find any one else to play with.  Hasan's dad works as a house-help in Amir's house. apparently, Hasan's and Amir's fathers were childhood friends and this friendship continued to the next generation too. Amir's dad never forgets Hasan's birthday and always gets gifts for little Hasan. They grow up together in Afghanistan in a pretty atmosphere. Hasan belongs to the Hazara community, the less/under priveiledged class. Amir loves to write stories and shares his stories with Hasan. Hasan has a sharp intellect and inspite of not havinga  formal education, he picks up things quite well from what he hears from Amir.

Hasan and his father are very devoted to their masters that little Hasan protects Amir from the little fights that erupts between children. Amir always has a feeling that his dad likes Hasan more than him. Amir sees the difference in the way his dad talks to Amir and how he moves along with Hasan. He doesnt like this behavior of hid dad. So, he is looking out for ways in which he can impress his dad and win his heart. A kite flying competition is fast approaching and Amir sets his heart on winning the competition and delighting his dad. Amir and Hasan pair up and indeed they win the competition. Once gets to be a winner only when he brings home his kite . Hasan promises that he would return home with the kite only to be caught by a group of boys who wanted to take a revenge on Hasan for protecting Amir in an earlier tiff. As night draws close, Hasan does not return , so Amir goes in search of Hasan and sees that Hasan is being bullied and stones and beat by these young ruffians. Hasan also sees Amir while he lay down with the kite , but Amir stops himself from defending Hasan. Hasan comes back home with the kite and bruises all over him.

Hasan, being whom he is, doesnt complain, instead goes about his chores.But from then on, Hasan and Amir cease to play, Amir stops narrating stories to Hasan. Amir knew that he didnt stand up for Hasan on the day of the incident. He was a troubled self from then on , hence wanted to get rid of Hasan. he stealthily hid some money and a watch that was given as a birthday gift in hasan's house and complained to his dad that Hasan has stolen the same from him. When the money and watch were found in Hasan's hosue, Hasan's dad decided to leave the place. Everyone knew that Hasan has not taken it , but no-one spelt it out..Amir's dad cried and pleaded with Hasan's dad not to leave him alone, but Hasan's ada did not relent.

War breaks out and Amir and his dad flee from Afghanistan to Pakistan and then to America, where Amir finishes shcooling, falls in love with a girl, marries her . Amir's dad is bed-ridden and eventually passes away. The story continues with a phone call from Rahim Khan, a friend of Amir's dad asking Amir to come and meet him in Pakistan. The rest of the story deals with what Rahim tells Amir and how Amir goes back in search  of Hasan and how he returns to America.

The story beautifully captures the emotions and behavior of Amir. His possessiveness, the insecurity, the aching to be his fathers pet,the way he takes Hasan for granted, the way he takes advantage of Hasan   etc can be very much related to. Hasan on the other end makes you shed tears..As I read through the pages, tears invariably welled up..The story is set in the backdrop of the tumultuous years in Afghanistan.  A very moving story. A must read

Thursday, February 14, 2013

CSA or should the child be replaced by Teenage in this context?

Indira is a happy ,spirited child, does well at academics and is quite active at skit, quiz, elocution at the all-girls school she was studying. Her parents dote her and they live in a conservative town in Tamilnadu. All is well in Indira's world, she gets to meet her cousins who are city-bred and boast their fluency in English , the fancy co-curricular activities and the social network they have. However, none of these seemed to bother Indira and she was only happy to play and gossip and be in their company during vacations.

She attains puberty and it was celebrated with family and friends. She observes changes in her body and asks her mom on what they mean..In due course, many at school take one week leave. (Now, between age 12 and 14 and  if you take a week off from school, then rumors starts circulating, although in hushed tones..), So there are many in the club and she doesn't feel any different and she goes about concentrating at studies, her competitive activities at school and goes about as usual with life, in general..

Come May, Indira's city-bred cousin (cousin brother) visits her place and stays with them for 10 days. This cousin is 3 good years elder to her. The first couple of days pass by with each other catching up (though she finds it difficult to mingle with a brother who used to dote on her earlier but  seem to consider her more of village-types now) . It is a very middle class house where the parents sleep along with their children in a single bed-room. In order to give space and comfort for the guest, Indira's mother moves with Indira's sister to another room for the night sleep. Indira's dad, her cousin and she are now in the bedroom. I's dad is in deep sleep with a heavy snore..

I'd cousin finds this the right time to grope on Indira. Initially, he started with just putting his hands around her..I , being the naive and considering its her brother (and thinking how she used to wrap up her hands and legs around her sister and cuddle and sleep) she didn't remove the hands of her brother. A few more minutes later, the brother puts his leg on hers.While I turned to see if he was doing it intentionally, she found his eyes to be closed. So, considering its all being done in slumber, she let it be.

Deep inside the night, he moves his hand from her stomach to her breasts. By now , she is asleep and suddenly, when she felt a pinch, she woke up only to realize that the brother had now already taken his hands and turned to the other side facing the wall. She was disturbed for some time , but now knowing what to do, she went back to sleep.

Next day, she felt that someone groped her by putting his hands inside of her clothes. Being middle of a dark night and not knowing what to do, she kept quiet. Now, this fellow took her hand and  put it   in his chest too. All this is happening while the dad is in deep sleep and she simply doesn't know what to do. Was it to scream, was it to move away, was it to slap., she goes away to sleep after pressing her brain with many complex stuff which she is not even aware of., let alone being used to..

The partition wall between the bathroom and toilet was not upto the ceiling..The wall was quite high that only a 8 feet person can actually see whats happening in the bathroom from the toilet. Now, this fellow, all of 6 + feet, jumps inside the toilet to hang from the wall to see her bathing!! The most unthinkable!! The girl was still unaware as she was facing the bucket and the soap..He whistles and she spots and throws water on his face and he quickly comes down to the floor. Again, she did not know what to do, whether to tell her mother or not..This fellow was accompanied by his grandmother and it was enough if the news gets on to this old-lady,,It was equivalent to telling the whole wide world..

Sensing Indira's actions and mental state, her mom took a cue of what could be going on and from then on, made sure she pulled Indira with her during night times and keep a strong vigil on her during the day until the fellow left.

Indira and the fellow do bump into each other during family gatherings, they go about with their life just as if nothing has happened..but the bitterness still stays within her .

This is a real-life incident narrated to me by Indira. On hearing this, obviously the first reaction is anger, frustration, cursing the guy etc..None of these emotions are going to make any difference to Indira at this point.

-- What is the protection for girl children , in specific , from evil men within the family? 
-- Parents of the previous generation, in general silently suffered any misbehaviour meted out to them or their children rather than confronting with family..They were cautios and careful in not disturbing the equilibrium within the family..From what I read and hear, I do see this has changed or atleast changing currently..Parents  no more talk in hushed tones for the brutalities meted out to them or their wards by immediate family
-- Children in metros and cities are getting awareness of sexual abuse from their parents and teaches at school. How about children in rural areas? and smaller towns? In smaller communities or social circles when everyone knows everyone else, the girl child is still asked to be tolerant of eve-teasing, look to the ground while talking, pin the dupatta etc. If someone in the metros can hold a placard "My body, my right " and "I will dress the way I wnat to", why is such a freedom not available to children of smaller towns and villages? Moreover, the main case in point here is : who protects or defends the girl child in towns and villages? Parents brrod over the reputation of the family being spoilt rather than trying to listen what their own child has to say.
-- Bringing in awareness, protecting girls , educating them all that is fine..But, why shouldnt boys be instructed, ordered , and parented to behave properly? After all, its they who are the cause of the problem.I'm not putting the blame on the whole community of "men" as such..as in all other cases, just because a few of them behave improperly, even good boys who are decent and well-groomed still get to hear all the advises and such (which they might find irritating!) .The boys should grow up to respect the opposite sex. The entire society need to play a role in making this happen.

The main reasons of my writing this down are:
-- I wanted to vent out..I want to hit the guy ! Yes, I want to..Being unable to do so, I'm writing it away furiously.
-- That CSA happens within the family too
-- That all of us need to be aware and keep our eyes open, as in the above case, sometimes, if required , at night times too.
-- Slap and give these guys a piece of our minds
-- Encourage the girl children to be bold in voicing out such brutalities that happen to them.(After all, all of us in the prettier :) sex have the same structure, just the size varies ). And it is indeed their right to voice out their insecurities

P.S: I'd drafetd this post last weekend and it was waiting to be posted. I opened up the blogger to write a post on this ocassion of V-day. But having finished this one, will post it right away..I read a column in today's newspaper that women world over are celebrating V-day today of a different kind, dancing, playing songs against violence..What better time to post this..Lets all stand up together against violence towards women

Sunday, February 10, 2013

55-er, My first!

The joy of cooking  for her husband and child  overtakes  the need to snooze the 6AM alarm .The door bell rings  and she attends  the dhobiwala.

The dhobiwala counts the clothes reminiscing the pre-baby days when the MIL used to ask him to come later with the answer "She is STILL sleeping" at 8AM.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Being equanimous, when its required..

We all know true character is revealed only during tough times..I would put it as , we get to know more about ourselves only when we are tested..

I am aware of what irks me, I am aware of the bad-behavior that I exhibit during customer care calls..I realize myself that its not the right thing to do, have been chided by S many a times and I resolve innumerable times to change, to consciously keep calm when the conversation does go well..But, I fail 99% of the times..I'm at a loss to figure out what I need to do to improve myself and make the situation better..One thing that comes to my mind right away is : Keep reminding myself before I venture into any such call that I NEED to be patient, I HAVE to keep cool..again, cliched it may sound, will try next time and see if I can be better and continue it..(that's the trick..I keep cool in one conversation and lose out on the following many(: )

Anyways, last 2-3 days, I had to deal with multiple irksome situations with different people.

Starting from a colleague who is a senior in the team, who has been working on the project for long, who is also in the leader category, but does not take responsibility for his actions which cost others time and effort. In spite of repeated emails to be careful with the code he commits (which affects others in the team), he has an excuse for every single thing that is not done the right way.

Another team member whose day starts only at 12 in the noon and in-spite of knowing that it is his responsibility to report results when the day starts so that other team members organize their day, it goes in deaf ears..

An acquaintance who lies blatantly. Talks a statement in the morning and voices a totally different statement in the evening..

Airline customer care who asks "Why did you enter a wrong email address " for a good 15 minutes..Madam, I'm a human, and I make mistakes. This is a  typo (for which I'm repenting by talking to you for a good 15 mins , during which I can channelize my energy in a constructive way) in the email address (Who on earth would wish to intentionally make mistake in the email address while booking tickets ? ) . Kindly excuse me..I do have all the other reservation details. Could you pls forward the ticket to my correct email id? But all this explanation goes in the air..And I sit here , with the temperature having shot up for the 5m radius around me :)

Bank Customer Service : I'm unable to login with my credentials and neither does the link work well when I attempt to go in for "Forgot UserId/Password" . The customer service lady on the other end simply doesn't allow me to explain the problem at hand..While I explain her the whole attempts that I've been doing, she tries to cut it short and says "Mam, I understand your situation, Please be on hold, I will get back" While she is back on the line says "Mam, Just click on Forgot user id/password, fill the steps and you can retrieve your credentials" . I try and tell her that I  have attempted this , but the page always comes back to step 1 (after I enter all details in Step 1) , and neither does it show which field is incorrect..She goes on mute for some time and while she returns, repeats the same statement what she said earlier..My BP shot up and I raised my voice and told her that I am trying the same , but  she merrily repeats the same statement again. I had no option but to hang up.

Bank Customer service (this time, from credit card division): S is traveling and he has left his phone with me. I get a call from the bank and the voice at the other end asks" Madam, I want to speak to S". I say" He is traveling and I'm his wife, Tell me what is it that you are looking for from him?". Comes the reply "I need to talk to S regarding his credit card transactions".
Me: Ok, Tell me, what is the question regarding his CC transaction?
CC (Call Center or Credit card lady or whatever) : Mam, regarding his transactions, I need to talk to him.
Me: I do understand its regrading his CC transactions. But, what exactly do you want?
CC: regarding his transactions
Me: Phew..yes, which transaction, what E.X.A.C.T question
CC: Mam, I'm telling you, its regarding CC  regarding his transactions
Me: Ok , Yes, he is doing transactions in his credit card. What do you want? Which transaction you are concerned about ? What details do you require?
CC: This is regarding CC t.
Me: I raide my voice and ask : Pls tell me your question
CC: When will he be back
Me: On Sunday
CC: Wont he be back on Saturday??
Me: He will be back on Sunday
CC: Can you ask him to call us on Saturday
Me: Since he will return only only on Sunday, I will ask him to call on Sunday
CC: This is regarding his CC T. Pls ask him to call us on Saturday
Me: (raise my voice). Sorry, he wouldn't call you. If you want, you call back

The above situations are fresh in my mind as they happened in the last couple of days. There have been multiple instances when my temper has flared and sometimes, I've been very slow while communicating with the people on other side..It would appear to a spectator  as mockery. But, in order to get the issue resolved, I only try to go allow when I feel that my questions are not being answered. Rather, I try to phrase it differently or go slow while talking just with the hope that it will help the person on the other end. I have been scolded many many times by S for this behavior of mine.
As mentioned earlier, I am well aware that such conversations/such situations are  simply not worth getting tensed or losing temper. At the same time, it irks when we are made to run around pillar to post (in this case, with calling the customer care multiple times, writing to them, following up for days together to getting questions answered. doubts cleared or issues resolved ) ..It is only me that I can change..So, this year, whatever customer support , let it be done with the above episodes..Let me resolve again (so what, if its a repeated resolution..I'm quite tired of resolving over and over for the same stuff..But, I will have this as a reason to stick to the resolution and let me see how I fare :)


Thursday, January 24, 2013

Oil- o- Oil

Theres a contest going on in Womens web on the role/effectiveness of coconut oil in skin care..While I thought a while about if I could do a post on the role of coconut oil in my skin care, I couldnt find very many points..However, I do have a long association with different types of oils in general.So, here they go:

-- Coconut oil:
      Initially, it was the home made oil that was applied generously to our hair , parted , plaited, ribboned and undoubtedly, hair grew well and thrived too..I used to have the longest and thickest hair among all cousins from dad's side and it was my treasure !!
      Appa had bought this Dabur Special hair oil one day and good-bye was bid to coconut oil since then..The aroma from the oil made an aunty ask me what oil I used when I was standing in a queue to fetch water from the common pipe.
     During vacations in Chennai, I saw Dabur Vatika being used by my cousin and during the next shopping for monthly groceries with Amma, I eyed this bottle and asked Amma if I could also start using this..Little did we knew what was about to happen following this purchase..Amma also thought since its from the same Dabur brand, why not get the one that her daughter asks..This happened when I was in 11th Std..In no time since I started applying this oil, hair fall started  (I still remember removing few strands of hair from the comb after Amma had plaited my hair one of the evenings standing in the balcony of our then-home) and it still continues..
    I wanted to move back to Dabur Special, but I couldnt find it in shops thereafter..So, I started living with Vatika hoping and wishing that regular usage will make my hair get accostomed to the new oil ..Hair fall didnt stop, but I contined using it for a loong time.
    Now, I have returned back to parachute coconut oil before hair-wah and a Himalaya Anti-hair fall oil in case if I want to oil on a regular day.
    Ordinary coconut oil  is used by my dada everyday as a moisturiser. My dad's mother who is all of 91 years still uses coconut oil every single day to moisturise herself and I need not mention here that her skin is soft on touch and relatively less wrinkle for her age.
     Having got dissatisfied with the results that moisturisers gave me for the dryness that my skin suffered during winter and summer , I resorted back to having a small bottle of coconut oil in my bag..Smell emnates, but for a short period , but the effect lasts longer..

-- Castor Oil:
        This oil is a wonder ..yes, thats what I have come to realize in my experience..Ever since childhood, if it was stomach ache, amma will apply this oil in our stomach, under-the feet , while we sleep, apply on our eyes..And like a magic, the stomach ache will reduce after the application of this oil..So, amma made sure that I carried this oil to college and then when I started working too..I do have a bottle of this with me all the time..It reduces the body-heat..so can be applied over eyes, under the feet, stomach ..For those who desire thick-eyebrows, this can be applied over the eye-brows.

--Franch Oil:
   A fancier version of castor oil is the Franch Oil. It has nothing but castor with aloe vera, badam and such and less viscous than its parent.Franch oil, when it was introduced cost around50-60 bucks, (which was expensive for an oil 13 years ago) ..Amma somehow had an instinct that this oil would work, and used to have it in stock at our home..That too, with the kind of ads that used to come in those days (Franch Oil enga paa...) , Amma feel for it and we were regular customers..And this oil didnt disappoint either..I used to apply it over-night (a lil bit of it) while studying for 12th board exams and only when batch mates in college started asking me what I use for my face, I realized there is some benefit that Franch oil has given me..being the teen years and fellow girls appreciating the soft skin on my face triggered the greed in me and I started immersing my face in franch oil :):) I think of how silly I was then that I would apply the oil and sit in the room ..I would want to wash my face , unable to bearthe stickiness and the gooieness, but still, I wanted more appreciation nah..So, I would bear and sit :):) for atleast 30 minutes..Anyways, later I used it every now and then, only to realsie later that its not more worthy than castor oil..At certain point, I applied Franch oil to my hair too believing in the ads that it was a miracle for hair fall..I just had to shampoo multiple times in one sitting of hair-wash for the stickiness to be removed, but the hair-fall persisted.(:

--Neem Oil:
    I have a dark patch in my elbow.I havent bothered about it at all..During my engagement, my aunt had noticed this and has told my mother to take me to the parlour and bleach or do something about it and that it looks ugly..Along with this, she has also given a lecture to my mom asking my mom to ask me to take care of my hair , skin etc..etc..I'm comfortable in my natural self, S is cmfortable the way I am. now for whom should I be bothered about? For the photographs, eh? Anyways, the technology has improved so much that the photoshop can make any kind of magic on anyone..Anyways, Amma got tensed up hearing this lecture and she narrated the incident to me and along with that stuffed me a bottle of groudnut oil asking me to apply whenever I had time..I did do that for a few  days, but didnt stick around long..But, I tell ya, it worked..Even for the limited number of days that I applied, it worked a little bit..or was it that I saw what I wanted to see ;)? Dont know..I carried that to my in-laws place after marriage with the hope of using that bottle and wasting it.. Only after couple of years when we changed houses, I decided to stash it away as I hadnt touched the bottle at all..May be one day, if my kids need them and they are willing to use it, I would suggest this oil for them :)

--Gingelly oil:
     Much has been said about this oil, we use this for cooking, for vetha-kozhambu, for thogayal etc..This is used on the hair and skin once a year during the Ganga Snanam o Deepavali day..Not so fond memories of this oil..beacuse, even after applying sheekakai and shampoo, it would be difficult for the oil to be washed off from hair..Off-late after reading a lot about the effectiveness of this oil, in generally reducing heat for the body and such, I've  started using this oil , not regularly though..There is a certain method of applying this oil before hair-wash, like heating it, along with pepper and some other stuff too..But,I'm trying to just use pepper , heat it a lil bit and use ..This is a self-reminder that I need to remember and use this oil , going forward..
     I've used this oil for oil pulling too for a brief period. This worked for me, in that the plaque that gets accumulated in between the teeth come out of this pulling all by itself..You need not do anything ..Just do the oil-pulling for a few days..if the plaque is less, you will have a clean teeth in just about 2 weeks without going to the dentist to get it cleaned. I've also heard about oil-pulling beging effective in reducing the frequency in which some people get mouth ulcers, though I cant vouch for it..

--Olive Oil:
      I've known  cousins who use olive oil on a regular basis for hair and for cooking..I have dismised the idea of using the same, one I was not convinced about using this oil and other for it being expensive and I was not sure of using it for a long term to reap some benefits..I've now started using olive oil both for cooking (thanks to Musa brand which offers buy 1 get 1) and I started carrying a bottle in the bag and using this oil for moisturising too..Pretty ok on the skin and quite effective as coconut oil too..But, for skin, prefer the light looking one , for it gives lesser odor and less viscous too.

There is this corner of our room which adorns all of these oils , much to S's chagrin. I'll apply oil on hair, on hands and legs before oil-bath ritual.I'm married to a man who loathes the word applying-oil, never applies oil to hair, except on the day of Deepavali. So, on days when I soak myself in oil, S will be half a mile away :) ..