Sunday, December 10, 2006

From the new place

It all started with a phone call from a guy from a pvt bank's home loan department. He took A around a few properties in the city. We liked a place which was way above our ideal budget but reasonable realistically.

The last 4-5 months have been the craziest months of our life. We spent every available minute doing something for the new house. Trying to give instructions to the supervisor (who never really understood or pretended to never understand what we said, bless him),pleading with the builder to speeden up things, visiting hardware shops, poring over shade books of paint companies,making endless trips to the site to see how our flat was shaping up,etc.

And then there was packing, moving and unpacking! I have packed things I never knew existed in my house in the first place.

Looking back I think we really did a good job of holding up our sanity and not banging off a few (at least!) heads. The painter who did not understand which color paint he had in his hand and cared for nothing but a wall and a brush, the carpenter who still kept on hitting nails 2 months after the date he had promised he will complete his work, and the supervisor who nodded his head vigourously for every instruction of ours and forgot it promptly the next minute, and a whole lot of other characters tested, stretched and played with our patience.

So, here we are, finally in our own house, surrounded by cartons begging to be unpacked, walls looking bright and rooms waiting for memories to be built.
The effort is worth it.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Part 3

Rohan was great fun to be with. Chitra soon found out that people came to him with all kinds of problems. Under his “I-couldn’t-care-less” demeanor, Rohan was hard working, sincere and really patient. Chitra had heard him explain an entire module to a colleague without getting irritated on being asked irrelevant questions.

Chitra was really surprised how her opinion about Rohan changed and how they became friends. And the day she learnt that he was an MBA, the last grudge melted away!!

Laughing heartily at his jokes and making faces at his not-so-original one-liners, Chitra wondered when was the last time that Rohan was really serious.

Knowing that she didn’t have her group of friends in the city, Rohan introduced her to his own gang in office. Chitra was thrilled to find friends who were just what she had been wishing for. The best thing about everyone in “The Gang” was the amazing ability to laugh at oneself. There were weekends of trekking, theater workshops, volunteering at NGOs, movies, etc. The girls from the gang even went window-shopping together when any other activity seemed tiring after the long week. Chitra no longer frowned at being called Chi by the group. Not because she liked it. She however found Chi much more normal than names like Sonic, Jamun, Tank and Piddu.

“Hey Chi, what’s so interesting thing there? You look like “concentration” personified.”

“Ron, please don’t try to break my train of thoughts.”

“So are you thinking about the zit on your forehead?”

“Zit? Where?” Chitra frowned and started feeling her forehead.

“Isn’t that your worst nightmare come true? Relax, I was just kidding!”

“That gets recorded in the Guinness’ Book as the most pathetic attempt to sound funny.
I need your help in writing this email Ron. I want to inform this client Jason about my planned vacation next week, without giving him a chance to dump assignments on me. This guy has already ruined my last two planned trips.” She rolled her eyes.
“And I WANT to go home for Diwali.” Chitra screwed her nose.

“You look like a cute piglet.” thought Rohan

“Ron! Why are you smiling like that?
What should I write? I want to be tactful.”

“Hmm…let me see. First of all, don’t sound desperate Chi. Don’t ask his permission for leave. Just tell him that you won’t be available the whole of next week and you will take care of the assignments when you are back.”

“That sounds reasonable, doesn’t it? I think I was getting scared for no reason. The manager has already approved my leave. By the way, I am off for 2 weeks not one! Yuhoo!”

“2 weeks? What will you do at home?”

With the email drafted, Chitra felt relieved. “Spend some time with family…good escape from strangers like you! Whew!” Chitra teased Rohan.

“Strangers, incidentally are just family you have yet to come to know.”

“Interesting.” Chitra said and looked up to see what Rohan meant by that.

“Hellllo! This time I am not original…just a line from some book.”

“Five people you meet in heaven.”


“The book, stupid!”

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

A week's trip to Kerala

was more fun than I had imagined.
Kerala's beautiful. And I realized that pretty early in the trip.
I woke up at 6.30 and looked out of the window of the running train and saw tiny slopping roofed houses lined along the railway track amid lush greenery. I just couldn’t go back to sleep again! So till 10 am when we reached Ernakulam I tried to see as much as I could.
There has to be a separate travelogue written to describe our trip, but till I find the motivation to do that, here are the highlights.

Banglore- Meeting A's friends, his neighbours and checking out the neighbourhood where he grew up. I have not spent more than 5-6 years in one place, so my school and college memories are made of different faces and places. But I could easily sense A's happiness of being back where he's spent 22 years. Yeah, I know I digress.

Kochi- Visit to the Synagogue, Jew town, St. Francis Church, Marine Drive and the Hill Palace.

Alleppy- The stay on the houseboat for a day. Memorable. Nothing can be more relaxing than being on the boat and gazing around at the backwaters. Hmm...I miss that.

Thekkady- Visit to a spice garden, seeing a Kathakali show. Spending a day in the Periyar Tiger Reserve- trekking and relaxing on the bamboo raft. And trying to get rid of the leeches and imagining them to be everywhere for a day after the trek.

Munnar- Tea, tea everywhere! Visit to the Eravikulam National park to see the Nilkurinje (how do they spell it?) flowers in bloom. Sadly, there were not many flowers but the park is great. And it looked amazing when it started raining. Spotted the mountain deer.

Strangely, coming back from the holiday was not as bad as we dreaded. I think that's a good sign. We are getting used to the idea that you can’t run away from your routine for too long.

Alleppy backwaters

Periyar lake, we are on the other raft


Monday, October 16, 2006

Part 2

"Tch tch, it's a pity to be working on such a beautiful day." She said to herself while looking at the blue skies from the window. It was going to rain. She knew instinctively. But there was work to finish before she could enjoy the rains.



She raised her head to see Rohan smiling in front of her.

"What for?"

"Farewell gift for Sid."

"I have already given it to Roopa."

"You must have given her 100 bucks, the budget is now increased, need 100 more."

"200!! You must be kidding! I don’t even know that guy!"

"What do you mean you don’t even know that guy? He is in the team that sits next to our team, both teams go out together to coffee, lunch, all the time. I am surprised you are haggling like this for mere 100 bucks."

Chitra could feel her face flushing and eyes narrowing with anger. "You guys must be going out, I have never ever!! And mister, it's my money. For you 200 bucks might be alright but for me it is a ridiculously high amount to spend on someone I don’t even know! I would have contributed 200 bucks, even 250 bucks if he was from my team but this thing makes no sense at all!! I am already repenting why I gave 100 bucks to Roopa in the first place." Chitra raised her voice. She was so angry with herself for justifying to Rohan. She regretted her outburst and thought a simple "I have run out of cash. Will give later" would have been more appropriate.

"Okay! Shall ask Roopa to return your money. When you leave I will make sure that nobody gives you a farewell. Yeah, remember, not even a farewell. I need not bother actually. The way you stay cooped up in your cubicle the whole day, nobody will even notice that you have left." Even before he had said that Rohan was praying he hadn’t said it. He knew he was being too rude for no reason. He was so sorry and looking at Chitra's lower lip quiver he felt ashamed of himself.

Chitra's face was blank, she just stared at nothing in particular for a moment and then whispered, "Okay" and sat down.

"I am so sorry...I...I didn’t intend to say that...I really didn’t mean it." Rohan stood for a while but Chitra did not lift up her head. He left.

Chitra tried hard to concentrate at her computer screen, but it was just a blur. Tears trickled down her cheeks and she with great effort controlled her composure. She knew that what Rohan had said was not true. She knew that she would be missed by all. Even the housekeeping staff whom she knew by their names. But she found it hard that somebody can behave so unprofessionally at workplace.

By the time she got up after an hour, everybody had left. She was glad that nobody had seen her cry.

It was raining heavily and the skies had grown dark gray. Thank God, she rarely left home without her umbrella.

She would have to catch a rickshaw to reach home tonight as buses would be crowded and it would be impossible to wait at the bus stop in these rains. As she rushed to get out of the office gates she saw a familiar figure waiting near the car park. She knew she had to avoid him. She tried to walk fast but holding the umbrella in one hand and her books in the other hand, it was not easy.

"I am sorry Chitra, I really am." She heard Rohan running and catching up with her.

Chitra just kept walking as if he was invisible.

"Please!! Stop making me feel so guilty. What can I do to show that I am really really sorry?" He pleaded.

"Get lost." She said and turned around to face him.

He had spoiled his clothes running after her in heavy rains.

He still kept walking with her.
"What's it now?"
"Can I drop you home?"
She frowned at him. "No need to be chivalrous. I will take a rick."
"I am just trying to make up for spoiling your mood, Can I drop you home?"
"That's fine Rohan, I felt bad just for that moment. And anyways I am not affected by what others say and what they do." Chitra said, hoping that Rohan had not seen her wiping her tears.

"Right! And I can see for myself that you are certainly not affected by a fool's plight, particularly when a fool waits for you for an hour and half on a Friday evening, follows you in such rains and gets drenched without worrying about catching cold. You didn’t even offer me your umbrella!! Not even once in all these 5 minutes!"

"You can’t argue with a fool!" Chitra broke into a smile and gestured Rohan to come under the umbrella and he knew that she was not angry with him anymore.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Part 1

Trying in vain to comb back her wavy hair, Chitra looked at her reflection in the mirror. A petite school girl with short hair and cheerful face smiled at her.
"Who will believe that I hold a masters' degree and am working full time?” Chitra wondered.

She had always looked younger than her age. When she was in college, people mistook her to be studying in 8th standard. It used to irritate her then, for she was in a hurry like girls of her age, to grow up fast. But nowadays she enjoyed the fact that her child-like face deducted at least a couple of years from her looks.
"Have a great day sweetheart!" she wished herself and rushed to catch her bus to office. During the 45 mins daily bus ride, if she felt like having a good talk with someone, there were a bunch of regulars who had become her friends. But on days like today, when she was "happy from within", according to her, she chose to keep quiet and just talk to herself.
"TGIF!! Don't know how the week flew by!" Her inaudible monologue went on till she reached her office.

When she reached her floor, she could hear greetings from all around. Since her first day in the office, the ever smiling Chitra used to greet every one on the floor before settling in her cube. This simple action had made her quite popular with people who now were used to her enthusiastic “Good mornings”.

Just as she was filling her water bottle for the day she caught a glimpse of Rohan. The tall, easy-to-smile-at Ron (as he was called by everyone) was 2 years senior to Chitra. For some weird reason which she didn’t remember, Chitra didn’t like Ron's smile. In fact she didn't like this character at all.
"Hi Chi" (Chi as in China) said Rohan.
"Hi ROHAN" Chitra said without a smile and stressing on saying "Rohan" to display her dislike for hearing her name being shortened. That was one more thing Chitra didn’t like about Rohan. "Why does he have to behave friendly with everybody? Why is he trying so hard to be the good guy? Why can’t he just say Chitra? Chitra is already a short name."

Chitra was determined to not let that brief encounter with Rohan to spoil her mood and got back to her work. But the harder she tried to get him out of her thoughts, the more miserably she failed.
They had first met during a training session 8 months ago which Rohan had coordinated for the new joinees. On the first day itself something had gone wrong. Nothing extraordinarily wrong but still strong enough reason for Chitra to become hostile towards Rohan. "MBAs are arrogant, I agree, but more importantly they are technically useless. They don’t spend 2 years to learn but to unlearn what they have learnt." Rohan was giving some of his trademrk gyan to a new joinee after the training session. Chitra was in earshot and thought that Rohan had said that intentionally to insult her as she was the only MBA in her training batch. Rohan had later apologized for his stupid generalization. But the impression was formed. And Chitra, inspite of being a self-confessed bad judge of people and a religious “jumping-to-conclusions" type, decided that Rohan was an absolute moron. Period.

Disclaimer: Any resemblance to real people or real incidents or real places is purely unintentional and is figment of your truly’s real rich imagination :-D.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Flash back

Till my 12th standard, summer holidays meant a trip to Amma-Mothe baba's, my grandparents' place. A small village in Karnataka, Secunderapur spelled heaven for us girls.

The countdown for traveling to Secunderapur used to begin much before the annual exams. While studying we used to dream about all the things to do during the summer holidays. Often, Mothe baba used to come to accompany Mom and we three girls to Secunderapur and Dad would come for a couple of days at the end of the vacation to bring us back.

A typical day of our vacation used to start very early in the morning. Secunderapur, like any other tiny village wakes up early. We used to laze in the open living room called “osri” watching cows being milked, calves hopping around... We loved drinking fresh milk (without boiling) and loved making white milk "whiskers".

Amma is the world's best cook (my mom shares this honor with her). She used to ask us of our cravings and used to cook every single meal accordingly. She used to painstakingly prepare our all time-favorites like mudda-bhaji-bhakri, bhisi-belle-bhat, pulao, gulab jamun, shrikhand, kheer, basundi (rabdi) and a whole load of goodies. We were treated like little princesses in the huge red-stoned house, where not a single thing happened against our wishes.

Afternoon was play-time for us. Those were the days when my Mom used to try every trick in the book to get us take those afternoon naps. For us that was waste of vacation time. We used to invent our own games and play endlessly. Even a simple thing like blowing soap bubbles from the terrace would keep us occupied for a day.

Evenings were mostly spent on the terrace eating dahi-bhat (curd rice) out of Amma's hands and waiting for the cattle to come home. While we sang songs, poems and learned new shlokas/bhajans it would be dinner time.

To sleep next to Amma, listening to her bedtime stories used to be one of the star attractions. Usually our discussions of deciding whose turn it was to sleep next to her ended in big fights. Counting the stars in the clear night sky, sleep used to be just a blink away.

The last day of our vacation has never ever gone dry. Clinging on to Amma and Mothe baba like baby monkeys we used to cry our eyes out and our parents used to drag us to the bus. Any by-stander watching the scene would be convinced that we stayed with cruel, heartless foster-parents.

I know I tend to get nostalgic whenever I get a chance but these “memory-breaks” are my coffee-breaks. I can so easily go back anywhere in time and re-live those charming, innocent days, without even getting up from my seat.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Blah blah blah

They say life is what happens while we are waiting for it to happen. Suddenly this cliché seems profound to me. Because it's as if I was the inspiration for these words...
For the past few days the cook has been turning out rather bland fare. And we are grateful that at least she is coming regularly.
Looking at all the success my friends have achieved in their career, I feel I need to take another look at my ambitions. (Of course! I am happy for my friends!!)

Don’t get me started on how my work is these days. I am sure you will all read what's not written. After all it's post-appraisal time and mood can not be drastically different from office to office.
I want to run away from Monday right on Friday, now isn’t that scary?
Where's this post headed? No idea.

Well, right now I am thinking about the pickled-apricot ice cream I ate some time back. Did I like it? I don’t know. I can only say that it was a different taste. Very powerful. I will stop here while I am thinking about sweet things in life.

I think it's time for my memory break. Will post about it soon.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

But I wrote this last week... :-)

If somebody tells me it's a 24-hr day I will say "Go kid someone else." I mean it. I know I am repeating myself for the nth time but I just don’t know how days are passing by! Not that I am involved in some spectacular experiment that will change the face of humanity or whatever...I don’t know what's happening but I seem to be perpetually sleepy...

My normal day begins at 9 am...when I try pushing my body off the bed so as to wake myself up by the impact.
My better-than-normal-day begins at 8.50 am when I realize that I can still sleep for 8 minutes and get up 2 minutes earlier than usual. Every morning I resolve to cut down on the sleep, get up early (by my standards- no unrealistic timings like 5.30 or 6 am) and get some exercise. But the circumstances so conspire against me...Like the clock in the living room is 15 minutes fast which I use for deciding that it's time to sleep...and the bedroom clock which is 5 mins the point?

Ganapati this time was low key compared to past years...I really missed being part of the celebrations. Wish we can be in Pune for the festival next time. Inshallah.

Well, the highpoint of this week definitely was J's visit. Thanks J, it was such a pleasure meeting you. Again the realization hit me hard that A and I are just not spending enough time with friends... :-(

Right now I have become a complete zombie with a very bad cold. It's the dust which is killing me. My nose is red and sore, the head is stuffy and numb, the throat is parched, the mouth is dry and the whole system is in mess. I think my colleagues will stage a protest to send me home. To give them credit, they are considerate but the real thing is this smelly potion "Zinda Tilismath" that I apply wherever I can to get some relief. I don’t know why I am in office today given my high levels of motivation (especially after getting the pay-hike letter). I know I surprise myself most of the times.

ps: With lots of fussing and rest and 2 sick leaves my cold is under control. Thank you.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

In my words

I am thinking about...
…how can I make a living out of something I am passionate about.

I said...
…that to myself. Not aloud yet.

I want to...
…see the world.

I wish...
…I could stop time, sometimes.

I hear...
…K2, K3's sweet voices when I think about them.

I wonder...
…when will I ever grow up.

I regret...
…about nothing. Touche wood.

I am...
…unintentionally lazy.

I dance...
…funnily, whenever I am extremely happy.

I sing...
…often. And on demand when on A's bike.

I cry...
…easily when sad, happy, scared, frustrated, irritated, nervous, angry, sick, clueless, etc. Did I miss any emotion there?

I am not always...
…happy with myself.

I make with my hands...
…all things nice and beautiful. I am sure my friends will vouch for that.

I write...
…to clear my thoughts.

I confuse ...
…people when I just don't react the way they expect me to.

I need...
…my family, my friends.

And finally I need to undergo a training to stop trying to please everybody.

Thanks Deppe for helping me break my blogging-break with the tag.

I would love to see how Pals and Aroop do it.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

A's contribution to K's weirdness quotient.

As promised A's here with his points.

• One of the weird things that I can’t help notice about K is her sense of imagination. No, not the kind of imagination that rest of us have... Hers is unique one.
Tell her that you saw a rabbit riding a horse and the look on her face is a dead give-away that she is actually imagining that before dismissing it. I am not complaining about this, as it can be really amusing :))

• Another thing which I find rather amazing / frustrating / mind-boggling is her ability to remember things. Many times I ask her if she remembers so and so person we met the other day and she quips, was he the one holding green colored bag and mushroom colored hanky!!! She remembers every actor’s, actresses’ and their parents’, kids’ birthdays and anniversaries. She remembers everything that is not even worth hearing / reading. No wonder she kicks %$# in quizzes.

Thursday, July 20, 2006


On Sunday, 16th July, my dear friend U, gave birth to Eisha. Here's wishing the proud parents all the joys of parenthood.
Don't ask me how I have resisted the temptation to post the pics. But take my word, she's a real looker!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

My Weirdness Quotient

I am extremely sorry Deppe for doing the tag so late. The delay is because:
(1) A could not make up his mind - whether to list out his wife's weird habits or to diplomatically stay out of trouble. I guess the offer was too tempting to refuse. After all, where in the world does a husband get the chance to officially announce the weird things his wife does?
(2) Yours truly spent a lot of time to coax/threaten him. Yeah, I tried the "tickle" trick.

So after scratching my head, tapping my chin, looking somewhere in the sky I thought real hard about 3 (just 3?) things people find weird about me. A will contribute two points later. Let’s see when.

• I constantly feel cold and many times I inadvertently keep asking my colleagues if they feel the same. The weird thing is I just fail to realize that the person next to me is sweating and cursing the heat and I go ahead and think aloud "My God, isn’t it so cold?" In fact I generate a lot of negative publicity wherever I go as the "female who always complains about the AC".

• Whenever we go out for breakfast, I stick to the regular idli-sambar. Like the true-blue weirdo, I take 5 minutes to go through the menu, look at what the other patrons are eating, then mentally cross out all options and finally place my order of idli. It's more of a ritual. No wonder I am on the hit-list of many irritated friends with whom I have had breakfast. Right, this is limited only to breakfast.

• While watching TV I stick to just one channel. Can you believe that? No matter which the channel is, from AXN to Zee TV Telugu (I don’t understand a word of Telugu) you will find me watching the TV with complete concentration. As far as channel surfing is concerned I am caught in a time warp. I think this is because of the obscene amount of time I have spent watching just Doordarshan (cable TV was a late entrant to my house) right from Su-prabhat to Shubha-ratri.

More weirdness when the guest obliges.

Yet again.

Cocooned in my office cubicle, insulated from the rest of the world I had no inkling that just one hour ago Mumbai burned in yet another series of bomb blasts. It was not until I saw a colleague of mine frantically trying to call his folks back in Mumbai that reality hit me.

The scale of destruction, the loss of lives, hopes, dreams and innocence is massive. Common people, after putting a hard day at work were on their way home. Like us they would be thinking of several things they would do in the evening...what to cook for dinner, household chores to finish before hitting the bed, helping kids with their homework, and one brutal act of coward fanatics brought everything to an end.

Reports say that more than 200 people perished in the blasts and hundreds were injured. But the number of people who are scarred for life is much greater than that. Entire families have torn apart.

The newspapers are filled with praises for how Mumbai has bounced back. Politicians are claiming that Mumbaikars have yet again defied terrorists' plans and that normalcy has been restored. Please try telling that to the waiting child whose mother will never return home.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

And there goes my weekend!

If anyone asks me what I work for, you will hear me saying "Weekends" without a moment's hesitation.So you can imagine the numbness that has crept over me when I come to know that I have to work this weekend.
Yeah,yeah...yet another character building experience.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Cabbages and Cauliflowers and CTS

There is something with the cabbages and the cauliflowers we get these days. The vegetables have lost their flavor, taste and their beautiful colors. Don’t know why the cabbage is whiter than before (give me back my green cabbage) and why the cauliflower is just all smell? Exasperates me. Call me names. But for some time I am just knocking off these vegetables from my grocery list.

Now digressing a little...

Have you heard of the Carpal Tunnel Syndrome? The CTS? For people like me who work on the computers all day long in offices which are NOT ergonomically designed CTS can’t be ignored. For the past few days I have been feeling pain in my fore arm and the wrist and sometimes the elbow hurts too. Every click of the mouse becomes painful and whenever I flex my fingers I can hear a "kut-kut" sound. The sound doesn’t prove anything according to A. But the ever paranoid me thinks this is the warning bell. My right hand is my right hand!!

I have browsed and browsed a lot looking for any info about CTS. I am now armed with a list of simple exercises to be done at the desk, advice to rest the elbow while using the mouse and suggestion to learn keyboard shortcuts.

Guys, be careful with how you work on you computers. Because we spend the precious 8 (at least) hours every day of our "prime time" this way and the last thing we need is a monster like CTS.

Yappy Weekend!!

Thursday, June 01, 2006


Why does good time fly so fast?
Had a good weekend with both A's and my parents with us. It's always good to have parents around...they spoil you silly no matter how old you have grown. The weekend zoomed past. Before I realized it, it was time for goodbyes. And to say that I am not very good at saying goodbyes would be the understatement of the century. Anyways.

For a long time we have been planning to visit my grandparents. They recently celebrated their 53rd wedding anniversary. Touche Wood. One look at them and you can not believe that there is any other couple with more contradictions. But both of them are extremely sweet, very loving and charming. Thank God for grandparents. Just thinking of all the splendid times we spent with them, I melt deep inside. If only it was possible to visit them more often...if only they stayed as healthy as before...Anyways.

To meet old friends after a looong time over a yummy ice cream (okay, even without the ice cream) is so comforting...especially when you discover that your friends have not changed over the years and you still connect on the same plane. The nostalgia and the "you remember that day...” stories make you want to believe that you had so much more fun in those good ol' days than today. Anyways.

And talking about today, I must tell you that the weather has become Superb. Yes, with the capital S. :-) After two months of unbearable heat, it's a treat to look at the blue skies and feel the cool breeze in one's hair. Being under the influence of the water sign I get super excited during the rainy season. Folks be warned, this cancerian can be bubbling with happiness one moment and in-her-shell the other. Anyways.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Summer Woes

Summer is just chand dino ka mehmaan now, and I can't say how relieved I feel at the thought.
I know I have mentioned my love of rain sometime ago on the blog. But don’t be surprised if you see me cribbing about the gloomy rainy days, the muddy puddles on the roads and the horror of the clothes taking forever to dry. But right now I'm eagerly counting days for Mriga Pravesh and the poetic kaale-kaale badal.

This is my fourth summer in Hyderabad, and every year the city has kept up its promise of climbing up the temperature scale. Highderabad. Every morning when I get ready for office any onlooker will mistake me to be Phoolan Devi with my face veiled in a scarf. I raise the non-tainted windows of the non-AC cab and feel just like a potato being baked in the oven. I choose to sit sweat-drenched in the cab rather than get scorched by the hot air that rushes in through the windows. Life is all about choosing between the lesser of the evil you see. So, by the time I reach office I am so ready to die-I mean crash that it's sheer perseverance and determination on part of the people who make me work the full 8 hours or so. With no volition of mine. (Thankfully, this I-will-die-in-this-heat-syndrome lasts only 2 months.)

My harsh views about summer only mellow with the sight of the pretty kairi (raw mango) and the bounty of summer fruits and the sweet childhood memories associated with summer vacations.
I take my time and test others' patience in choosing between kairi chutney or kairi rice, kairi panhe or kokam sherbet. And reflect philosophically… Life is also about choosing the greater good, isn’t it? ;-)

Monday, April 10, 2006

Keeping the blog alive

March 30th was Chaitra shuddha paadva, celebrated as the Hindu New Year. It is on this day that Lord Brahma created the universe.
Gudi Paadva is a big festival in Maharashtra. It's a public holiday and people spend time with their family and friends.
Like during any other Indian festival. :-)
Since it always coincided with our school exams, for few years Gudi Paadva was strongly associated with butterflies in stomach. Not any more. Now, not just paadva, but any festival brings back happy memories and smile to my face.
We used to have Satyanarayan pooja performed at our place. The Guruji used to be super busy with many pooja to be conducted during the auspicious period. So he used to come to our place early in the morning. We used to listen to the same Satyanarayan katha year after year without getting bored. Of course we had the delicious prasad and panchamrut tirtha to look forward to at the end of the pooja.
Mom used to prepare the bitter-sweet-sour concoction of tamarind and jaggery, spiced with cumin and a little hing. The delicate neem flowers floated on the surface. What a yummy way to start the New Year! Without being preachy, the elders taught us to enjoy our share of bitter-sweet things in life.
After that we used to do the Gudi pooja and erect it on the terrace. It is said that on this day of Gudi Paadva, the people of Ayodhya welcomed their beloved king, Lord Rama by erecting gudis to celebrate his victory over Ravan. The Gudi which is decorated with a silk sari, neem leaves, flowers and a kalash is a symbol of hope and joy. You feel that you are part of a big celebration when you see these beautiful gudis dotting windows, terraces and balconies.

Though we were not with our parents and other loved ones to celebrate the New Year, we tried to do every small thing that we could to capture the essence of the festival.

Since I mentioned "butterflies in the stomach" let me give you an update.
If you know me, I'm sure you will know that I'm a sucker for business quiz or just any quiz. So, after a long long time I got the opportunity to participate in one organized in my office. And it was every bit the fun that I had anticipated! And every single butterfly that fluttered in my stomach looking at one brilliant question after the other was worth it.

Friday, March 17, 2006

The not-so Secret Lake

Picture Courtesy: Maks

A bumpy ride to my office is rewarded with this beautiful view.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Rang diya basanti

You choose to be silent (or forced to be) when you have nothing to say, or when there are so many things to say and you don’t know from where to begin. Or sometimes you just don’t feel like saying anything. A bit of each of these applies to me, and hence such a long, unplanned break.

The first thing that struck me this morning was, it's already more than 2 months into the New Year!! Man, where did all these days go? I sit down, take a moment to clear my thoughts and check out.

I don’t remember much of January at all. Except for our much-awaited vacation in the last week of January.
Yeah, yeah...I will write about it in an independent post.

February was work, work and work. Same for A.

The highpoint of February was to watch Rang De Basanti. The movie which you can’t ignore. Right from the moment the screen comes alive with the words

"Ab Bhi Jiska Khoon Na Khaula, Khoon Nahin Voh Paani Hai,
Jo Desh Ke Kaam Na Aaye, Voh Bekaar Jawaani Hai"

You sense that this is no ordinary movie. You better be prepared for the impact which is going to knock you off.

Writing anything about the actors, the way they have lived their characters, the way the story is told and all those sepia images of Bhagat Singh, Azad, and Bismil will just be running out of superlatives. So, I'll not try to do that.
I'll just say that go, watch for yourself.

There are so many moments in the film which stay with you for a long time. The carefree friendship of DJ, Aslam, Suki, Sonia, and Ajay warms the cockles of your heart. You see your friends in their faces. You shrug your shoulders at their indifference. You laugh with them. Their grief makes you cry, their anger makes you angry. Their dilemma is very much the dilemma we all face today.
And then they do what they feel is right. They think it's their only chance to make a difference. Their only shot to awaken a generation.

Whether the film is realistic, whether it sets the right example, I don’t know.
But I know that it stirs you and urges you to "Be the Change" that you so desperately want to bring about in the system.
When the film ends and the credits start rolling with the strains of “Rubaroo...Roshni" ringing in your ears, you realize that it was not just another movie.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Tag 20

Modesty has never been my strength you see. *winks* And when Jax tagged Lady K, I was not sure who he was referring to. But then I’m Lady K too! Thanks kaNo!

Here are 20 random facts about me.

-I love hot chocolate.

-I'm a self confessed hypochondriac. So, when I want to get wet in the rains which I would love to, I think about catching cold and falling sick. You know what I mean... and this is just an example. I don’t limit these theories to myself and so most of the time end up being a spoilsport.

-Lazing around, doing nothing, just relaxing is my idea of time well spent. This hardly happens because there are millions of to-do things spinning in my head all the time.

-I'm so much like the clingy crab which holds onto everything. I grow super protective of people I love and take it on myself to solve their problems. This is another reason why I can’t just relax. But I'll try pranayam for this.

-I remember almost everything. And I remember everything in minute detail. Dates, people, names, places, films, songs, books, long lost acquaintances, distant friends' parents' names, and everything else that I don’t want to remember. Sometimes I surprise myself with the amount of trash that I'm carrying in my head.

-I think I've grown patient with age, and my temper has mellowed a bit. Just a bit though.

-Sometimes when I look at the mirror, I don’t recognize the other me. Thankfully this happens mostly after I get a new hair cut.

-I like to talk to people and I make friends very easily. But I also enjoy solitude. I need some time for myself, to think, to destress.

-I dread losing my loved ones.

-A is the best thing happened to me so far.

-I'm a mama's girl and daddy's girl too!

-I'll always remain a mother hen to K2 and K3.

-I can’t express gratitude without tears in my eyes. So I generally write “thank you” notes or emails to people.

-I've wept like a fool while watching most of the movies till date. Be it Troy or the Rajesh Khanna starrer comedy "Bawarchi". I try to hide my tears in such situations to save embarrassment, but my stupid nose which turns deep red whenever my eyes leak catches everyone’s attention.

-I love public speaking and have no stage fright.

-My mom used to call me Gajanayani (the elephant eyed) for the narrow slits I have for eyes. And let me tell you it’s not flattering at all.

-Most of the people who have known me for years are pleasantly surprised to see that I can cook.

-I've a starting problem. When I’m about to do something new, exciting, challenging I'm unsure of myself. It's like I always need someone to push me into the deep waters. From there I pick up myself and start enjoying the challenge.

-Many people who didn’t leave favorable first impressions have later become my very good friends.

-I like to read about exotic foods, elaborate recipes, etc but enjoy simple home made food any day.

Phew! Now this was a tough task with rounds of filtering and re-filtering some facts and making them look as normal as possible.

Anyone who wants to have some fun, you are tagged!

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Happy Republic Day

Today our office building is decorated in the tri-colors. Saffron, white and green balloons, people wearing khadi outfits, sporting the Gandhi-caps and songs like "Aye Vatan, aye vatan, humko teri kasam" playing in the background, we are all geared up for the Republic Day.

I'm wearing a tiny tricolor flag on my jacket. Every time I look at it from the corner of my eye, I feel proud. I feel extremely proud. For a moment I forget that for millions others, India is just another third world country. I forget the surprised look on the faces of my Non-Indian colleagues to see the tall buildings, wide roads, multiplexes, etc in my country. (But I enjoyed their shock to not see a single elephant on the roads!!) I forget the pain of seeing corrupt politicians ruining my country. I forget the anguish of knowing that thousands of my countrymen can’t afford even a decent meal. I forget it all.

The tiny tricolor reminds me of my rich heritage. It reminds me of all the struggle and the sacrifice that earned us our independence. It reminds me that all Indians, wherever they are in the world are my people, we are all one. It inspires me to believe that we are making a difference in every field. And more than anything, it makes me happy to be born as Indian.
(I know, every American or every Zimbabwean would say the same thing about their countries.) :-)

But for now, if you ask me, "Saare jahan se achcha, Hindustan hamara"

Wishing you all a happy Republic Day!!

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Sankranti for me,

as a kid was all about the til-gul polis that mom made, the rangolis I drew in our courtyard and of course those kites! I remember looking at other kids fighting the kite-wars, crying out "Kkaaattt", and then running wildly after the kites won. The sky would be painted with hundreds of kites and every terrace or open space would be a venue of a noisy party.

I always wanted to be part of that real-action but I’ve never done that. This Sankranti with A, a kite-enthusiast, I knew I had a good chance of flying a kite.
So, Saturday saw us at A's cousin's place. 5 mins of exchanging pleasantries and munching on the til-gul laddoos, we got down to serious business. Both A and his cousin had had kite-colored childhood. They gave us (the cousin's husband and me) the technicality of where to tie the thread, how long that should be, which manja is good quality, why kites should be attached with tails (not just tails, but very very long tails), which kite is flyer-friendly, etc. The lil-too eager audience was mighty impressed. A actually used words like "the dynamics of kite-flying, the air-resistance, body-weight of the kite, balance", etc. For a whole minute I forgot that he was talking about just a simple kite!
The practical took place on the terrace.

I had no idea that we unknowingly had a traitor amongst us. A sweet traitor though. Even before our kite began to soar, A's 3 year-old nephew(S) pounced upon the thread and with all the strength of his tiny body began cutting it! Two of us tried to distract the tiny devil with a battered kite while the other two tried to fly the kite. The day saw two of our kites being swooped upon by the enemies. (They stood out with their brilliant tails, was our obituary for them.) But we also had a loot of 2 kites! Zero-sum game. Nah! Unlimited fun!

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

It's a small world!

I'm taking you on an imagination trip folks.
Imagine. You stumble upon a blog which you like at the first click. (How clichéd me!)
Then, you keep visiting and love it even more. And you discover that this wonderful blogger is your spouse's very good friend! What a coincidence!
Now, this blogger traces your comments on her blog to you and somehow "smells" who you are...Remember you don’t know each other and have not ever met. What will you say? After sticking out your tongue in amazement, of course.

Well, yours truly has been smiling widely reading Luxy's comment and realizing for the nth time that it's indeed such a small world!

Thursday, January 12, 2006


Thursday looks so much better!! Is it because you are already on the other half of the week and can almost smell the weekend?
In school, I hated Sundays! Because I loved getting ready for school, cycling all the way, meeting my friends and coming back home to my smiling mom waiting at the door.
Now like any other 5-day-a-week office goer I live for the weekends. Not that I do much during the weekends, usually it’s just the simple "joy of doing nothing" that I drink in. ;-)

Thursdays I fast. Not feast. I mean seriously, my relatives take fasting on the occasional ekadashis and mahashivratris so seriously that the next day their tummies ache out of overwork. Since I'm too lazy to cook sabudana, bhagar, fry fast-special savories I conveniently go the healthy way with a little fruit and milk.

The purpose of this post was to just write my mind. To see whether I could do it. And ever since my mind got whiff of this, the poor thing's gone blank!

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Mid-week crisis

There's something in the air today. I just don’t feel like working. Actually none around me is in any mood to. So I though why not take a break from staring into the monitor and pretending to think something and really think something...
I think I'm angry. I'm so very angry with myself and don’t know why. Most of the times when I've such angry thoughts, it's because I realize that there are many things I don’t have control over.

Well, for the last few weeks, the days seem to fly past without me doing anything. I want to do so many things, but don’t know what takes priority over the other. I so much remember my Mother's advice which is so cool, especially at times like these. Before every major exam that I took and had no clue where to start studying, she used to simply say "Just start studying somewhere." And it always worked! Hope every-day problems were as easy. Do you want a peep into my list of to-do things?

-I've to arrange things in my house. It's such a MESS!! I tend to get irritated to see a speck on a washed floor. And here I can see cobwebs, laundry by the baskets, old newspapers piling, receipts,bills,envelopes lying around etc...God! I can feel my bile rising...

-Then there are things like planning my investments. Just the thought of how to manage my money, how to do tax planning, how to provide for future purchases, etc is enough to give me shudders. Now, I'm a finance person. I've studied all this, but when it comes to making a real use of this stuff, WHY CANT I JUST DO IT?

These are just 2 things in my 324 bulleted points in my to-do list.

Mom, where do I start?

ps. I badly hope this is just Wednesday anxiety.