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!