Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Movie mania

So the husband is back from good old Bangalore with 2 bags full of goodies including chakli, kodbale, nippattu,kai murku,7 different varieties of sweets, the cutest kurthis and some really cool DVDs and music CDs.

At this point I must confess that I have this quirk.If I like a movie or a book,I can watch the same movie or read the same book over and over and over again.I never get bored.That out of the way,I was super excited when I saw the Lagaan DVD in M's suitcase.I ABSOLUTELY love that movie.Every scene in the movie was so well written and executed.Especially the cricket match itself.Every aspect of cricket was covered so effortlessly.As far as I am concerned,it was sheer poetry!But what makes this movie really really special to me is the ridiculous amount of fun I had when I watched it for the first time on the big screen with my crazy cousin Soms and our crazy gang of friends.

It was a Sunday evening and we were so many of us that we filled up an entire row of seats.All of us were self-proclaimed cricket buffs.All of us "expressed our emotions very vociferously" meaning we were hooligans.So we were all engrossed in the movie and were behaving ourselves up until the match started.And from then on,we were completely out of control.We cheered each and every ball.It was almost like we were watching an actual cricket match and we were cheering for our Men In Blue.During the English innings,we screamed like retards for every wicket that fell.And when Capt.Russel got out,my cousin Soms was cheering so wildly that she fell off her seat.And no one noticed.When Aamir Khan and the Sardar came out to bat,we gave them a standing ovation.Every run was precious and we made sure we conveyed our feelings about how precious the run was,loud and clear.My cousin Soms is very petite and cute and no one will ever suspect what a wild cat she can be by just looking at her.And she can whistle like a train that runs on steam,that one!And she showed off her prowess by punctuating every run with her loud and shrill whistle.When someone got out,we cursed like sailors . Everytime a four was hit,all of us stood up and did a little jig.

It was one hell of an evening.And while we were busy going bananas,there was this older couple sitting right behind us who found our riot act very annoying.See the thing is everyone present in the movie hall had joined in the party and were having a good time.But this particular couple were old school and insisted that we sit down and watch the movie without ever uttering a single word.Every now and then they would poke one of us from the back and go,"Yenappa,yaak asht joraagi badkothidira?" (Why pa, are shouting on top of your voice?) and "Yakamma, hudgiraagi isht galati madthiralla?Nimm thaayi thandhe yenu helalvaa?"(Why ma,being girls how can make so much noise?Don't your parents object?) If only they knew how much noise all our parents made during a cricket match!Where do they think we got our genes from,huh? When all their jibes fell on deaf ears,(literally because we couldn't hear anything in the din) they just resorted to making sarcastic comments.When even that did not work,they just went "hucch mundevu, hucch mundevu"(Errr..I don't know how to translate that one) in a disgusted tone like every 10 seconds.

But the icing on the cake was when the movie was over and we were making our way out,the husband and wife were generally complaining about our behavior to no one in particular and they looked at my cousin and went,"Magu,ninge thumba disturb aagirbeku alla,yaaru ninna pakka kootirouru thumba loud aagi whistle maadidhu maadidhe."(Child,someone sitting next to you kept whistling incessantly.Did it not disturb you?) And she went,"Adhe hinge alvaa uncle?"(You mean like this,uncle?) and let out the loudest whistle ever! The expression on their faces was priceless!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


I bumped into her occasionally at school.Though we did not interact,we still knew each other by sight.For some reason,I got this very haughty, arrogant and bitchy vibe from her.Both of us stood out in a crowd so it was hard for either of us to ignore the other person's presence.We even ended up taking a class together.Again no direct interaction but from what we saw of each other in class,it was easy to conclude that she was bright and intelligent and our thought process was very similar.

I then discovered that she was related to this friend of mine.A friend with whom I grew up as a kid and then lost touch for almost 15 years.I got reacquainted with this friend and found out among other things that she was my friend's sister-in-law.Talk about serendipity!So the next time I saw her in the cafeteria,I went upto her and spoke to her for the first time.I mentioned to her about our common acquaintance and we could not stop gushing about how small the world is.So from then on, whenever we saw each other we exchanged pleasantries and some banal talk.I graduated and got busy with my work.We emailed each other once in a while and talked about meeting up for lunch someday but neither of us give it a serious thought though.

One day,out of the blue,she called and asked if I wanted to go to lunch with her.I had nothing much to do at work and a long lunch break sounded tempting enough to accept her invitation. And it turned out to be one of the best lunch breaks ever!We bonded so effortlessly and learned that we have many similarities including the fact that both of us assumed that the other was an arrogant bi**h and had an attitude!We had so much fun talking about so many different topics that by the end of it all,we were cursing ourselves for having delayed the lunch-meet for so long.It is not too often that one hits it off so well with someone and that too, within no time.The so-called vibe that I got from her turned out to be so far from the truth.Here was this girl,devoid of any pretense,who speaks mind about everything,who is intelligent,an amazingly good conversationalist,a genuinely warm person and who loves to shop just as much as I do and has an excellent taste in clothes.She was so different from all the Indian girls I met at school. It felt really good to finally meet someone that I could bond with. We decided we would meet up for lunch once every week as our work places were close by which we did too.

And then came the news.The news that her husband landed this really good job and that they were moving to a different state altogether.And since her husband had to report to work in 10 days,they were moving out in a week's time.It was so unexpected.And weird.And unacceptable. We were beginning to bond and beginning to feel that the good-friend drought is finally over and thats when this cruel practical joke was played on us.I mean its not everyday that you meet a Gujrathi girl coming from a very conservative Gujrathi family and married into an even more conservative one,swearing by anything holy that she is an out and out South Indian because she was born and raised in Chennai. I so feel like a drama queen right now for not quite agreeing with the current scheme of things.But thats how adult life is like I suppose.You just accept it and move on.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

To go or not to go

I have been to Bangalore twice ever since I moved to the US about 4 years ago.The whole euphoria associated with a trip back home happened only during the first visit.The second visit of course was when my mother was unwell so I cannot classify it under any category.And now I have reached a point where I no longer get excited about the prospects of visiting good old Bangalore.It is almost like the need has been obliterated. M is in Bangalore for a couple weeks.Before he booked his ticket,he asked me repeatedly if I wanted to go along.And I said no every single time.

As far as I am concerned,the focal point of a visit back home is to be with my parents and spend as much time as I can with them.I do love visiting the extended family and the whole bunch of aunts and uncles and aunts-in-laws etc.I enjoy the get-togethers and the conversation and more importantly,the food!But its not like I would be disappointed or something if all of this did not happen.See the thing is I am the only child and I am quite close to my parents.Well, I don't know how to exactly define my closeness to them.When I was much younger and in school and college,I used to share everything with my parents,especially my mother.I would call her from the movie theater and tell her that I bunked class and I am here watching a movie and would hang up before she could even respond! I did not care about the scolding I would get once I reached home but as long as my guilt was allayed and my mother knew exactly where I was, I was ok.After I was out of college and started working,I slowly began to feel the need for some space of my own.I did not feel the need to tell my parents about everything that was happening with me.But I did not want to alarm them with a sudden change in behavior lest they start suspecting that I was doing drugs or something equally drastic!So I would still talk to them about a lot of things like work and office politics but just not everything under the sun.The long talks continue to date but again it is limited to everything that they have to share with me or bitching sessions about relatives or cricket conversations.

So when I was in Bangalore on both occasions,what I really cherished was the quality time that I spent with my folks.We talked and talked and sometimes we would be talking about the same thing over and over again.But that is the kind of family we are.We talk a lot.We are very physical people.We hug a lot.We playfully whack our mothers' bottoms and pinch our mothers' cheeks until they turn pink.But my in-laws on the other hand are not so much into talking and sharing thoughts and feelings.Whatever needs to be said is said.There is no unnecessary display of emotions.But they do make a sincere effort to talk and communicate with both their DILs.So when I visit them and spend the day with them,it is really nice because we have things to talk about.But the next day onwards,it is really difficult for me to get adjusted to their ways because there is hardly anything left to say.And so I try to make conversation to fill the silence and I end up saying something totally out of context and embarrassing myself and sometimes embarrassing them!

My parents were here recently for a couple of months and we had a wonderful time together.We did all the talking and bonding that we possibly could! And before that my MIL was here for a couple of weeks. So when M asked me if I wanted to go to Bangalore with them,I was inclined to decline.Apart from the food,I wasn't particularly interested in visiting my hometown for any other reason.I mean it is not like I don't ever want to go back or something.Given a chance,I would hop onto a plane anytime.But the trip itself would have to be devoid of any emotional baggage attached to it.It would be a short fun trip and I would be going to enjoy myself and to have a good time. And this realization is kind of alarming especially when I see my aunts who have been living in this country for more than 15 years get all hyper about their annual visit back home.

Its just that home now means the home that M and I have made for ourselves here.So it is our home and my parents house and his parents house.There is a clear distinction.

Edited to add:
I have nothing against Bangalore.I love the city and it will always be my first home.But a trip to Bangalore involves much more than just a visit to the city of Bangalore.There is a lot of emotional baggage attached and this is what I dislike.A lot of decisions have to be made about how to time slice between the parents and in-laws and the entire gamut of relatives.Everything one does is speculated and discussed.Oh it is not at all simple!In my aunts' case,a visit back home still means going to amma's place and get waited upon hand on foot.In my case,I refuse to let my mother slog in the kitchen all day long just because I am around and just because there is this inane need for her to feed me till my seams burst open.I would much rather prefer to take her out to dinner or lunch and be able to spend more time that way.Even when my parents visited us,I did not let her into the kitchen for several days until she declared war against me for doing so.My rationale was that she was on vacation and she deserved a break.But apparently she was feeling very left out because she wasn't in charge of the kitchen and that was her territory.I want my trips back home to be just about me going back to have a good time with my loved ones.But it usually entails a lot more that that.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Of anniversaries..

I am still around in case you were wondering about my whereabouts.

So we celebrated our 4th wedding anniversary last week.Considering how everyone has been gushing about it,I am safely assuming that it is an achievement of some sort.And I, of course, take full credit.We went out to dinner to this restaurant atop a revolving tower located in Dallas downtown.The view was spectacular for one got to see the whole of Dallas in about an hour as thats how long one entire revolution took.The food of course sucked and the service was ok.Apart from enjoying the view and each other's company, M and I spent considerable amount of time trying to figure out how the waiters managed to remember who sat where and when.It can get very confusing thanks to the constant motion and the dim lighting does not help much either.Fun it was!

For our first wedding anniversary we went on this really fun hiking trip.We got lot of phone calls from lot of people,wishing us on the occasion.And invariably everyone wanted to know what we were doing.(Not who silly,what.....what).And the moment we told them about our plans,they gasped in horror.Holy cow, a hiking trip?!What the hell is that?Since when did that qualify as romantic?Or a celebration? Who does that for a first anniversary?Who does that for any anniversary?How lame can one be?
So this year when we revealed our grand plans,everyone was very satisfied that we finally had become normal people.A candle light dinner in a fancy restaurant!Oh yes,that is how it is done.Look up any website and they will endorse it. Convention does count for something,no.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Food and bliss

The husband plans to visit Bangalore after 4 long years, for a couple of weeks.He wants to spend as much time as he possibly can---eating(what else!).Now all he remembers is some chicken/mutton rolls from some place called Fanoo's.

So all you Bangalore foodies out there,indulge us here and help the man out by suggesting some really good eateries , you know, the to-die-for kinds?

Your help will be much appreciated!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Its only words..

There used to be a time when I was considered to be rather impudent and rude because I said it like I saw it.I was brutally honest,like in-your-face honest. This trait of mine was a part of who I was and I saw nothing wrong with it. People close to me understood where I was coming from and accepted it. And as for the others who did not get me, I couldn’t care less.

But things changed when I started working. My first job. I was 21 and fresh out of college and that was my foray into the big, bad, ugly corporate world. People who did well at work were those smooth and slick (sic?) operators who knew exactly what to say at any given moment. They kissed ass religiously and knew exactly how to get noticed without putting in a decent day's worth of effort. They were sarcastic beyond reasonable limits and would switch loyalties in a second. I, on the other hand, was a textbook case of open mouth insert foot syndrome. As far as I was concerned, I was just speaking my mind and being myself. But it turned out that my brazenness wasn’t really appreciated and my honesty was misconstrued for over-confidence. To the extent that it started affecting the kind of assignments that were coming my way. So I decided to change. I was nice to everyone including those annoying MCP SOBs who could not handle having a girl on their team who was just as competent and smart as anyone else. I chose to ignore snide remarks and avoid confrontations. I did not argue or demand a better assignment. I did a good job of whatever was assigned to me. I was patient. I was tolerant.

On hindsight,I realize that it was just my immaturity and short-sightedness that made me change so drastically instead of finding an in-between, more moderate and appropriate solution.For a while, this avatar of mine was reserved only for the workplace. But as time passed by, it just became me. And I hated it. I hated the fact that I was overly concerned about what others think of me. I hated the fact that I don’t let my guard down easily. I hated the fact that I wanted to be nice to everyone and I was apprehensive of being disliked by someone. I hated the fact that though I was seething with rage from the inside, I found it in me to forget and move on like nothing ever happened. Until one day it hit me that all this was such a truckload of crap! Why on earth should I let go and then be trampled upon for no reason? Thank heavens! I have actually started making a conscious effort to detox myself and try and get back to my old self. There has been a considerable improvement in the sense that people rubbing me the wrong way do not get away as easily as they would , say 2 years ago. For which I am plenty thankful---to myself.

And yet I cannot help but envy people who manage to say the right things at the right time. When I am overcome by extreme emotions like anger or hatred or frustration or even happiness for that matter, I just clam up. I can never ever think of the right thing to say at that moment. So much so that I find it hard to even let out expletives. I don't think I have ever cussed aloud to-date! It’s like I am thinking f*** you biatch get out of my face but all I manage to say is take a hike. You get my drift? So its either open-mouth-insert-foot or close-mouth-stay-mum. But the good thing is that this hasn't deterred me from arguing my point or saying what’s on my mind to begin with. I have a long way to go though but the first few steps have been taken.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

What maketh you?Apparently what you eat or rather do not eat.

Today I realized just how much of an impedance one's food habits can be in one's social life.Four months ago,I started work at my current company and on my very first day,one of my co-workers, CP , invited me to join him and the gang for lunch.As much as I was dying to go,I had to say no.They were going to a seafood place and a side of potatoes aside, there was nothing on the menu that qualified as fodder-for-the-vegetarian.I politely explained my predicament to the guys and they pretended to understand.Because I was the new girl,I guess they had no choice but to let it slide by that I ate no meat.And then a couple of weeks later, the gang was going to Chick-Fill-A and again CP asked me if I wanted to go and again I had to decline since that was that was the day I chose to wake up late and hence be late to my physical therapy session and hence skip breakfast in order to get to the weekly meeting on time.So I just had to have a decent meal of which I saw no hope if I decided to tag along with them.And thus I ended up gorging on a humongous Masala Dosa while the gang bonded over chicken. Cut to the present. Today CP was rounding up whoever was there to grab a bite and guess what,I wasn't even invited! Apparently he was in the mood for a burger today and who has ever heard of a vegetarian burger anyway? And even if there was one,it was sacrilege of the first order.

Given that I don't talk much when I am at work since I take a while to get comfortable with people, I can almost hear them thinking the B-word in their heads.But it is so unfair,this whole situation.I don't judge people who are carnivorous,M included,so why should I be judged for not being one?Vegetarians are a legitimate-not-so-extinct-valid species,no.

Stupid stupid American-fare restaurants.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

To be or not to be...married

My Chinese co-worker,Zeng,was in a foul mood today.Why you ask?Her boyfriend shifted base to the US recently and moved in with her.Ever since he arrived,he has been terribly sick and just refuses to adjust to the place.Apparently he complains about the weather and the people and the food and everything else and this is driving Zeng nuts!So she says to me, "I always assumed that a live-in relationship would be lot of fun unlike marriage.But in my case,turns out that it is just as bad if not worse." This from someone who has never been married!

People seem to have all these extreme pre-conceived notions about the instituion of marriage, most of which is hear say of course.On one end of the see-saw,there is this section of people for whom marriage is nothing but a shackled existence involving complete relinquishment of freedom.They are convinced that once married,they cease to be their own person and are forced to do and say things which they don't really want to.They would just end up rearranging their whole life around their husband/wife and family and would get buried under all those innumerable social obligations that suddenly appear out of nowhere.Life basically morphs into one endless compromise and there is no way out.And then on the other end of the very same see-saw are the dreamers.These folks strongly believe that marriage is a fairy tale.Life is all about perfect in-laws,butterflies,rainbows,heart shaped balloons,lots of sex,lots of mush and happily ever after is how goes life.There are no fights,no arguments,no screaming,no sink full of dishes,no laundry,no vacuuming,no grocery shopping and no snoring in the bedroom.

And then there are folks who have been there and done that.Folks who know that just like anything else,marriage is also a mixed bag,a roller coaster ride.It can as much fun or as much miserable as you make it to be.Bottom line,just like anything else,its all in your hands.Makes sense right?And yet any unmarried person you talk is as extremist as one can get.I have never come across any bachelor/spinster willing to even talk about marriage on neutral grounds.As much as I endorse marriage and highly recommend it,I am not saying that it is for everyone.But what I am trying to do is figure out what it is about marriage that evokes such extreme reactions?That too from people who have never been married ever.

Friday, October 5, 2007


Sometimes people say the darnest things. I was chatting with this friend of mine on GTalk yesterday,lets call her SS. Now I do not know this girl all that well. We ran into each other at times when in grad school and we even took the same class this one term. And we occasionally chat. Thats about how acquainted we are.

The premise: I had written about the high school reunion of sorts that happened during the Labor Day weekend? Okay, so I was going over some pictures taken during that trip and came across this lovely snap which has all the four guys : Nik, Ash, G and of course M and I. Bhara and Priya are not in the picture though as they live in the other side of the hemisphere and not to mention,were sorely missed. But the point is that this is our gang, our group of buddies who have managed to remain so for over 15 years now. We used to hang out together all the time in school and even after. We laughed, we talked, we pulled each other’s legs, we ate, we drank, we fought, we talked some more…we hung out. And now that some of us are married, our respective spouses also get to be a part of the group and we have that much more fun together.

So yes, the picture. It has the 4 guys mentioned above and me in huddle with me standing in the center, flanked by two guys on either side and one of them is of course my husband! And Ms.SS sees the picture in my Orkut album and has this to say and I quote:

SS : woh jo snap hai na... usko dekhke mere ko draupadi yaad aayi!

Me: wah!kya dimaag chaltha hai tera!

SS: main kya karu re... ek ladki aur itne saare ladke use gher ke khade hain..

Me: tho?

SS: to kuch nai……jo mujhe strike hua maine bola..!

I cannot even begin to describe how I felt after reading her comment…this whole gamut of emotions ranging from shock to surprise to anger to amusement to resentment to disbelief to amazement to I-don’t-know-what.It is not like SS is some old fashioned Indian broad.She seemed to be quite nice as a person.She is intelligent.She is outgoing and friendly.She is young(just in case you thought age had something to do with her devious mind!)And whats more,she has several guy friends with whom she hung out all the time at school.She seemed to be quite alright until yesterday of course.So where was this coming from? Was it just a frivolous,off hand comment that she thought in her mind to be funny and worth a laugh or two? Or was it jealousy? Or was it spite? Or was it her narrow-mindedness speaking?

I just do not get it.

I was ticked off after reading some really idiotic comments by two anonymous clowns on Broom's blog.But this...what can possibly beat this??!!

Friday, September 28, 2007


Well,all your comments on the previous post have been so sweet that I decided to convert the our song thingy into a tag! No no,no groaning please.Trust me when I say that this will be lots of fun!!

And why am I so sure?See M and I have gone out to lunch several times,we have held hands and hugged and kissed and cuddled countless times and we have also listened to our song just as many times as well.And yet, yesterday afternoon was very special!I cannot explain why but both of us had that really warm,fuzzy feeling all day long.But we just did!So the bottom-line is that sometimes the oddest of things can make the day special for you and your partner.It could even be the memory of a pleasant moment shared between the two of you.

So my lovelies,here goes the tag:

1]If you and your partner have your song,then mention the song and how/why it became your special song.

2]In case you don't have one,then think of a song that you feel best suits you and your partner and mention why you think so.

3]If its too much effort to come up with a song,then just mention one of the special moments that you shared with your partner.

I know that some of you out there are going through a very rough phase as far as your relationships are concerned.This tag may not be that exciting to you guys.But I am sure it will remind of you some of the best times that you have had and how your relationship was very special. For some reason,it was not meant to be as these dastardly things happen sometimes.Whatever you had/have,you can cherish.

So go ahead and have a blast and let me know the tune that your heart sings and why!

I tag everyone that reads my blog and everyone whose blog I read:

Divya, Madhu, Shruthi, Mri, Renovatio, just passing by, Su, Pri, Chandni, childwoman, Broom, Iz, PlanetHalder, The Mad Momma, Bikerdude.............

................and anyone else who is interested in taking it up :)

Thursday, September 27, 2007

What are the odds....

....of you and the husband finally managing to meet up for lunch after several cancellations and rescheduling--going to a bagel joint of all places for lunch and quite enjoying the meal--talking about several non-issues--your song** getting played(yes,we have our song;we are that kind of people) which both of you are listening to after a long long time--holding hands under the table while eating with the other free one--the husband deciding that he could probably take half the day off tomorrow and work from home while watching random stuff with you on the new kickass TV. (I wanted to take the whole day off yesterday to do the same but was coaxed into doing otherwise.)

What are the odds I say!!

**our song : Iris by Goo Goo dolls

Side bar:
Gyaan imparted by one of the TV delivery guys : "How come the men are always home for the TV delivery and the women are always home for the furniture delivery?"

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

A concert.....soul food......touched

Asha for Education had organized a concert on Saturday called Notes of Hope.The first half of the evening consisted of a mesmerizing mandolin recital by none other than the maestro,U Srinivas, himself.Now this was the first time ever that M and I were going to a concert,any concert.I enjoy Indian classical music immensely but I wasn't too sure if M cared as much.

The whole event itself was very well organized by the volunteers of Asha and it actually started well on time!Strike one!

U Srinivas was accompanied on stage by his brother U Rajesh again on the Mandolin,Aditya Kalyanpur on the Tabla and somebody else whose name I did not catch, on the Ghatam. And together,they created magic.The music was divine and U Srinivas lived upto his reputation of being a genius.At times,we were so captivated by the music that we would forget to even applaud and we just sat there with our eyes glazed and our feet tapping away to the rhythm of the music.They played for an hour and 45 minutes straight, at the end of which we were left wishing for some more.And M put all my concerns to rest as he had enjoyed the recital just as much as I did.

There was a 20 minute break after which commenced a dance performance by this group of young adults.This bunch of teenagers was a special one as all four of them were visually impaired or differently abled as their manager elucidated.They were from the Shree Ramana Maharishi Academy for the Blind which is in JP Nagar,Bangalore.One had to be there to see what these kids were capable of doing.They performed 6 Bharatnatyam dance pieces and 3 folks dances ,each of which involved very complex dance movements and steps and poses.And the wonder of wonders is that they got every expression right and every movement and step was bang on.They moved from one end of the stage to another and back to the original position with so much finesse and grace and ease that one point,I actually began to doubt if they were really blind.And their coordination was just perfect and not once did they make any mistake on stage.It was an enriching and humbling experience.

My sister-in-law A,is one of the volunteers of ASHA and she got to spend some time with these kids.And she says that they are such a lively bunch and have a very good sense of humor and made her laugh all the while.

Saturday evening was a first in many aspects for both M and I and we were definitely not complaining at the end of it all..

Monday, September 24, 2007

We won we won we won!!!!!

What a match!What a match!What a match!What a match!What a match!What a match!What a match!

Absolutely exhilarating and befitting a world cup final!Been so very long since I enjoyed a game that was this closely fought where both teams produced excellent cricket.

Way to go,Dhoni and his team of young guns who played spectacular cricket and deserved to be winners!!!

Friday, September 21, 2007


I watched the India-England and India-South Africa matches in the Twenty20 world cup.And I must say that I am slightly confused with the whole format and the way the game itself is treated by the players.It took me two matches to feel anywhere close to comfortable with the sport.I was intrigued by how the Indian team would perform considering that the three big guns wouldn't be firing away.And I was quite pleasantly surprised to see that this young and raw team isn't doing all that badly!

But I guess the worst moment of the tournament was the departure of South Africa.SA is one team I have always liked apart from New Zealand.And, as bizzare as the this whole concept of Twenty20 cricket maybe,I still felt sad to see SA crumble in the manner that they did.Before the game,it was almost a given that SA will enter the semis one way or another.They had remained unbeaten in the tournament.But to see them in a position where they were unable to score even the measly 126 that would have seen them through to the next round, was really disheartening.I wonder why this team is jinxed in this manner and why it is destined to choke on D-day, almost every time.Just why do they do this to themselves?At one stage in the match yesterday,I couldn't help wondering if SA even knew what they needed to score to qualify for the semis.And like as if someone was reading my mind,the permutations were flashed on the score board for everyone to see!I felt just as bad for them as I had during that World Cup match when Shaun Pollock miscalculated the numbers and SA lost.

Much has already been said and written about South Africa's "choking" so I shall refrain from contributing.Just that ,they so richly deserved to play in that semi-final on Saturday...

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

I say Goodbye....you say Hello...

The other day,M and I were in the middle of discussing random stuff when out of the blue,he says to me,"Hey,you know what,when we have kids,I would want them to eat meat."And needless to mention,that kinda triggered off a whole new debate altogether.So it got me thinking about how M and I have extremely contradictory points of view when it comes to certain issues.For instance,he is an atheist and I am not.I am a vegetarian and he is not.So you get my drift here,right?Now none of these issues have had any ill effects whatsoever on our relationship.We have accepted each other for who we are and have never attempted to impose one's belief on the other which has worked out beautifully well(touche`) for us.So the million-dollar question is,what happens when we have kids?

First of all,there is the whole Tamil-Kannada angle.Lets say our offspring is a genius and manages to master both languages and as a result has both sets of grandparents thrilled to bits.One hurdle cleared.Next comes food habits.I argued that we should let the offspring decide for himself/herself.To which M countered that such a decision can be made only if the offspring is exposed to all categories of food in the first place.Well,makes sense I guess.Which brings us to our next question;when would be the appropriate age for the said exposure to take place?How do we manage not to influence the offspring with our individual preferences considering the fact that both M and I are very strong-willed people?And then of course comes the religion angle.Both of us are not overtly religious.In fact I don't think M even cares!I care to the extent that I want our offspring to understand my interpretation of that unseen force and strong faith that for me is god.It will then be upto him/her to believe or not.I would like our offspring to be exposed to festivals and the celebrations that they entail only so that he/she gets a well rounded exposure to what being a family is all about.It has nothing to do with the whole religious aspect though.I just want him/her to have as much fun as I did when I was younger on such occasions,with my family.Well,for that matter I even want him/her to climb tress and play with discarded rubber tires like I did.But I digress.

Its not like we plan to produce the aforementioned offspring anywhere in the near future.And yet,that one offhand remark got me thinking....

Friday, September 14, 2007

Of celebrations and such..

Born in a Hindu Brahmin family and married into another one,I constantly keep getting reminders from back home about some approaching festival or the other.

But you know what,I do really like the idea of celebrating a festival.At least in the way that I remember it from my Bangalore days.I don't much care about all the religious hocus-pocus. Celebrating a festival for me means:

*Waking up early in the morning
*Wearing new clothes
*The house looking neat and tidy and shiny
*Mom making the most scrumptious of meals
*The elaborate lunch with the entire family
*The house smelling amazingly good,thanks to all the incense sticks and flowers
*Dad giving me money after the puja
*People coming over
*Us visiting people
*The amazing sight of the array of lamps being lit up
*Listening to Carnatic music

I try and do as much as I can towards celebrating festivals.I believe in god but I do not believe in rituals and elaborate worshiping.I say my little prayer and do my little puja in the only way that I know,all of which probably taking no more than 6 minutes.I try and cook a decently traditional meal,with M's help.I should mention here that M is an atheist.And I completely respect his choices as he does,mine.So a festival for us is more of an occasion to be thankful for what we have and get together and celebrate life by eating good food and having a good conversation.

And that is exactly what we plan to do tomorrow!

Monday, September 10, 2007


My mother and I have always been best of friends.I told her all about my crushes and teenage problems and gave her a list of all the boys who were "interested" in me.She would actually listen in all earnestness to everything that I had to say,never once dismissing any of it away as frivolous.She was the strong and sensible one in the family.

So it was like my whole world came crashing down when exactly two years ago,I got the call from my physician-aunt, confirming that the tumor in my mother's breast was indeed cancerous.On the bright side,the cancer was still in the initial stages.So the doctor chalked out a treatment plan consisting of 3 rounds of chemo followed by a lumpectomy followed by 60 days of radiation followed by another 3 rounds of chemo.I had just started the fall term at school but both M and I felt that my mother needed me by her side.So I withdrew from school and jumped onto the next flight to Bangalore.She had just had her first ever cycle of chemo like two days before I landed.When I reached home and saw her lying on the bed in that condition,my heart broke into a thousand pieces.She looked so pale and weak and worn out.Yet when she saw my face,she smiled so brightly that all I could manage to do without breaking down was sit by her side and stroke her hair as gently as I could.Then began an experience that I can never ever forget in this lifetime.

My presence seemed to have injected tremendous hope and strength in her.She was determined to beat the cancer.The first few days after I landed passed by without much ado.In all the excitement of my arrival,she seemed to have forgotten about the side affects of the chemo.But after a week or so,the much dreaded hair loss started to happen.Chunks of hair just fell off every time she ran a brush through it.In just 4 days,she went from having a thick and long mop of salt and pepper-ed hair to completely bald.That was one of the most painful moments of my life.I felt so helpless;there was nothing I could do to make her feel better.On one hand,the chemo was doing a number on her in terms of nausea and headaches and on the other,she was losing hair like nobody's business.That was the first time I ever saw her break down and how.She just wouldn't look at herself in the mirror.But my father and I had to be strong for her.We could not afford to show her how scared we were and how upset we felt on seeing her suffer.

So I bought these really expensive silk scarfs for her to cover her hairlessness.I would make sure that she dressed just as normally as she did before all this happened.She was on a very strict diet;no oil,no spice,no raw vegetables,no fruits and the list just went on.So we also stuck to the same diet as her just so that she did not feel weird or left out.We made sure that we never cried or appeared depressed in front of her.The days following her chemo sessions were the worst.It was gut wrenching to see what the chemical did to her system.And then came the surgery.The surgery itself was a huge success and they were able to get all of the cancerous tissue out.But the days that followed were a real challenge to her and us.You know they have this strange rule.Post surgery,they will show the tumor that was removed from the patient to a member of the patient's family and get papers signed to this effect.And of course I had the misfortune of having to go through this bizzare procedure.

All of us including my mother felt a little upbeat as the surgery had gone off quite well.Just that the poor thing had tubes sticking out of her at the site of surgery to collect fluids which was painful and irritating as hell.It was then that I realized that the roles had been reversed;I was the parent and she was the child.I used to bathe her every day and help her get dressed.I used to cook her special meals.I used to sit by her side and talk to her till she dozed off.I used to give her all her medication.I used to accompany her to the hospital for her routine check-ups.I used to hold her in my arms when she was writing in pain and barfing away after the chemo.And you know what,I hated it.This was alien territory to me.I couldn't accept that my mother had become this weak and scared and dependent on me.I couldn't accept that while she suffered and endured,all I could do was watch in helplessness.I remember crying my heart out to M everyday when he called and telling him that if I had the power I would take her disease and gladly suffer through it rather than watch her go through the torture and not be in a position to do anything at all.

Ultimately,all is well that ends well.She managed to get rid of the cancer and is all better today.But the experience changed all of us forever.It was like I grew up overnight.I never had to shoulder this much responsibility ever but I somehow managed to do so.We as a family fought together.We stuck together and never gave up.M was a huge huge support and my fall guy basically.I could not have managed if it were not for him.My father was so strong and poised and was always there for my mother.Even after I left,he managed to take real good care of her, singlehandedly.I still remember that proud and tender look on his face when he saw my mother in a saree for the first time after about 3 months into her treatment!We used to go to the hospital for her chemo and sit on the chairs outside the doctor's office, waiting for him to take a look at mom.And the three of us would crack jokes and laugh until we had tears in our eyes just so that my mother would not get affected by all the suffering around us.And all the others waiting there would stare at us like we had lost it!

I still do not comprehend why she of all people had to go through all that she did.Apparently there is no answer to such questions.Whatever.I am just glad she is healthy and happy today and just pray and hope that she stays this way forever.And I am so proud of her for displaying tremendous courage under adversity.She went all by herself to the radiation center for her 60-day radiation therapy.And she would have animated discussions with the technicians about the process and the machinery as her thesis in college was on Nuclear Physics.Not only did the entire staff know her by name,they weretotally fascinated by her and she was of course their most favorite patient!And I am so proud of my father for being the most ideal companion one could ever ask for.

The funny thing is when certain people got to know about her condition,their very first reaction was,"Oh,so this means that I am at risk too.And what about my precious daughters?They could be at risk too." And their warped emotions manifested in such a way, that my mother,despite being a Physics major,was almost convinced at one point of time that breast cancer could be contagious!

Friday, September 7, 2007

Of this and that...

With last Monday being a holiday,M and I took off on a trip to Lake Tahoe,Napa and Reno.It was a reunion of sorts with our high school buddies.Yes people,M and I were classmates in high school.Now don't let your imagination run wild because contrary to popular belief, we DID NOT fall in love back then.Hmmm that warrants for a separate post all together.So yes, the reunion.We met up with Nik,Ash,Gana and his lovely wife HR and it was a laugh riot all the way.The fact that we were all meeting up after almost a decade did not dampen our spirits in any way.We ate and drank and laughed and made merry.And yes,we managed to squeeze in some sight seeing as well!All in all,it was a wonderful trip and all of us enjoyed ourselves to the hilt!It was very heartening to see that after all these years, we still shared the same kind of warmth and affection and camaraderie towards each other.And HR blended into the gang quite well so that was a plus.On our way back to the airport we stopped at my cousin's place for a while.We got to see her darling little daughter who is cute as a button!And the dinner was just scrumptious!I seriously had no clue that my cousin cooked that well!

And I promptly fell sick as soon as we got back home.I have been feeling quite under the weather since Tuesday what with a severe cold and body ache and a slight fever.Now when my condition is such,I always crave for a piping hot cup of chai;the kind that you get in the desi resturants;strong chai with some milk and elaichi.And I must have looked really out of sorts on Tue and Wed because on both days,I was offered free chai by the people at the desi resturants that I went to.

I am dreading the weekend in a way.Our house looks like its been run through by a tornado.So the very thought of having to clean up the mess and restore some semblance of sanity is kinda putting me off.But ones got to do what ones got to do.I got to convince M that its all his responsibility.Thats all.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Its either the conventional way or the highway

Not too long ago,M and I were invited to dinner by this married couple with a 3-year old child.The conversation throughout the evening consisted of different flavors of the same two topics : buying a new home and having children.One one hand,the husband could not stop complaining about how one's life comes to an end after one becomes a parent and about how difficult it is to manage to have any fun at all with the child in tow.On the other hand,the wife was making weird,indirect remarks about how M and I should follow their lead and consider having children of our own soon.

Now I do know several couples who have kids and who are very dear to me and I immensely enjoy spending time with them and their children.And this post is not directed towards any of you and you all know who I am talking about here.

This post however, is the result of observing and interacting with some exceptions like the aforementioned couple who behave in the most incorrigible manner possible.They are the ones who will not miss an opportunity to advice their single friends about the virtues of marriage and their married-friends-who-are-yet-to-have-kids about the imperativeness of parenthood.And they will do this in the same vein as complaining about their respective spouses or how the process of raising their child takes away all their time and energy.In the end it almost seems like they are so envious of our lifestyle that they can't wait for us to have kids and then participate in the rant-marathon alongside them.Juxtaposition,anyone?!!Or maybe hypocrisy.Or maybe its just the way they are.Yes thats what it is.Its just the kind of people they are.

First of all,the decision to get married or have a kid is entirely upto the individual/couple as the case may be.In the latter case,its upto to the couple to decide whether or not they want a child in the first place and when they want to bring that child into this world.To each his own.There is no right or wrong.So I don't understand how one assumes that one has the right to butt in and expend unwarranted advice regarding these decisions just because one is on the other side of the fence.Almost as if after the baby is born,these people will actually go ahead and assume responsibility of the new-born and change his/her diapers and stay up with him/her all night.We did not go about court-martialing them when they decided to expand their families now did we?So why not reciprocate with mutual respect and mind their own beeswax?If they are so envious of a life style that is unlike theirs,all I can say is suck it up.Accept the fact that they are responsible for their current situation and make peace with themselves instead of trying to stick their noses into somebody else's life!So what it all comes down to finally is how conventional one is in terms of what is generally the acceptable age to get married or the acceptable age to have kids.The moment one decides to screw convention, one is subjected to the third degree!

I love my life as it is,so sue me!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

The Single Child Syndrome

I have never really liked being the only child. As a kid, I used to terribly miss the company of a sibling and had my heart set on an elder brother for some reason. My mother would try her best to explain how this was biologically non-viable but to no avail. After a while, when I was old enough to realize that my parents had no plans of expanding our family, I resigned myself to the depressing fact that I will be the unhappy,solitary child forever.My mother fearing that I would fall prey to the much-dreaded single child syndrome made it a point to inculcate the virtues of sharing in me and was in fact a bit too successful. As a result, I have very generously donated away my expensive, foreign toys and rare set of play things made out of clay by artisans in some remote place in Tamil Nadu.The sole exception was my collection of golis (marbles) which I refused to part with.I started with 5 of them and went on to amass as many as 200 marbles which I won fair and square in the goli matches from boys of all ages and sizes.But I digress.So the only hitch was when it came to sharing people, especially those close to me. If some kid as much as held my parents’ hand, I would get jealous! My friends were not allowed to be friends with any other kid. They were my friends. Period.And this trait just stayed on.

I have always found it painfully difficult to compete for someone's affection.Simply because I am just not used to it.So when my best friend Mads,decided to become girlfriend-boyfriend with B who happened to a friend of ours,I just refused to accept the change in scenario.I hated B for taking Mads away from us.Mads had to now divide her time and attention between us and him which was just so unfair.How dare he!I am just lucky I have great friends because had it been anyone else,they would have promptly disowned me or worse,completely misunderstood my feelings and intentions.But for some bizzare reason,Mads and B were both very understanding and Mads would actually go out of her way to make sure that I wasn't feeling too left out!

I go through similar emotions with my in-laws.I feel I am constantly competing against my BIL's wife A , for my MIL's affection.And it is just so damn exhausting.For instance,everyone acknowledges openly that I am a better cook than A.Inspite of that, every single time we talk to my in-laws over the phone,I make it a point to instruct M that he has to rave about something that I cooked during that week.And I feel very let down if he doesn't. Well,you get the picture here,don't you.It is not like I am trying to prove that I am better.All I want is for my MIL to love me more.And this is the only way I know to compete for someone's affection;by proving that I am better than my competitor.See how I contradict myself here?!And the fact that both A and my MIL are very warm and affectionate and sensible just makes it all the more frustrating.As juvenile as it may all sound,it is something that I have to live with.And when I am in such situations,nothing about what I feel at that moment is juvenile.It is a constant tug-of-war of emotions and believe me when I say that it is very very hard to not let it get the better of me.

I blame it all on my parents.Sigh.If only I had an elder brother.....

Monday, August 27, 2007

Its feeling-all-gurlie'n-pretty good!

I decided to splurge on myself this weekend and booked an evening slot at the ULTA salon.The prices are steep but the service at the salon is just awesome and the end-result is worth every damn penny!Mind you,the salon itself does not look all glamorous and spa-like.In terms of appearance and visual appeal,it lies in between a decent spa and a regular Super Cuts.So I was a little skeptical about what to expect especially since I was just about to burn a huge hole in my pocket.I was looking forward to get my hair cut by a gay male stylist with an exotic South American or French lineage and an unpronounceable name and incomprehensible accent.The lady at the front desk said that my stylist for the evening was "Naaa-chhh-chh-mae".It turns out that the stylist assigned to me was in fact this elderly Pakistani lady called Najma.So much for all the anticipation!I was so disappointed that my fantasy was shattered this badly that I forgot to greet the lady even.

Now as a rule,I usually refrain from conversing in Hindi with fellow-countrymen-strangers because some of them mistake this friendly gesture as an invitation to discuss all aspects my personal life.If it is a lady and she is older,the conversation invariably goes something like this :

[1] Older desi lady : Are you married?
Me : Yes

[2] Older desi lady : Do you have kids?
Me : No.Not yet.

[3] Older desi lady : *Loud Gasp* And pray,why not?
Me *smiling politely and shrugging shoulders and thinking* : None of your damn business,lady.

So I was somewhat pleasantly surprised when Najma turned out to be the non-conversational kind.After about 20 minutes into my appointment,we started conversing generally and discussed hair maintenance and conditioning.And then she abruptly announced that she was from Pakistan and asked me about my origins.I explained.In my head I go "Uh-ooooh,there we go." Then, in true desi style, followed the much dreaded questions.She asked me questions [1] and [2] and I answered them as mentioned above.And then she said , "Oh,whats the hurry anyway?Enjoy yourselves thoroughly before the inevitable responsibility falls on your shoulder." I couldn't believe my ears! The jinx was finally broken! I gradually warmed up to her and found myself talking to her in Hindi! We went on to discuss a variety of subjects ranging from real estate in the city to recipes to weather in our respective countries and I actually quite enjoyed our conversation! She even rattled away the recipe of her famous gosht biryani while she deep conditioned my hair.Just that she kept saying gosht over and over and over again that I finally had to admit to her that I was vegetarian and that I would probably stick to vegetables for my version of the biryani. She of course was shocked and tried to convey to me as politely as possible that biryani without meat was akin to sacrilege of the highest degree. She was relieved to an extent only after I revealed that M was as carnivorous as one could possibly be and he would certainly enjoy her gosht version of the dish.But the highlight of the evening was most definitely the super haircut that she gave me...just the perfect length and the perfect number of layers!She even recommended some hair-care products and made sure that I got a 10% off coupon at the front desk.Nice lady!

So here I am with a brand new hair cut and with my hair feeling all soft and shiny and silky.I feel all girlie and pampered and pretty.So what if it cost me a fortune?I am so worth it!*Grin*

Friday, August 24, 2007


I was itching to blog but there were just so many ideas running amok in my head that I decided to sleep on it. It was way too much trouble to make a decision on what the topic of the day should be. And then comes along just passing by with this tag, thus making my job that much easier! So here goes nothing.

1. Pick out a scar you have, and explain how you got it.
I have several prize-winning scars mainly due to the tom-boyish lifestyle that I had so proudly adopted back when I was a kid. If I had to pick one, it would have to be the 2-inch gash on my right leg.

So I was playing cricket with the gang on the street when I accidentally stepped on a rusty metal strip that’s used to pack wooden boxes. I took another step and the next thing I know, I have a metal strip stuck in my right ankle and there is blood all over the place! The brave kid that I was, I walked all by myself in that condition to the doctor’s house. (She was my mother’s friend and lived close by.)And not once did I flinch anytime during the stitches or the tet-vac injection that followed. And the scar lives on to tell the tale of my spunk!

2. What is on the walls in your room?
Right now, there is a beautiful wall hanging of Ganapathi. Earlier we had 2 huge posters of McLaren,the hubby’s logic being : That is what you worship and this is what I worship. Go figure.

3. What does your phone look like?

I have a Motorola Razr V3.It is silver in color with black display.You get the picture don’t you? No? Then go here.

4. What music do you listen to?
Everything goes. Western classical (Bach) to Carnatic music(U Srinivas’s mandolin) to Bollywood hungama to Barry Manilow.

5. What is your current desktop picture?
Blue sky with white clouds and a lush green lawn.

6. What do you want more than anything right now?
For things that are in not in my control but which tend to affect me nevertheless, to sort themselves out.

7. Do you believe in gay marriage?
Yes. What is not to believe?

8. Are your parents still together?
Very much so.

9. What are you listening to?
Sound of the printer and that of my colleague typing away at her desk.

10. Do you get scared of the dark?

Ooooh yes.

11. The last person to make you cry?
My aunt.

12. What kind of hair/eye type do you like on the opposite sex?
I don’t much care about the type of hair/eye as much as I care about whether it is clean or not. Hair should be washed and should smell good and should be well maintained, as far as I am concerned.

13. Do you like pain killers?
Like is a wee bit extreme here,aint it?If I am in pain and I cannot bear it then yes,I would like to take a pain killer,thank you very much.

14. Are you too shy to ask someone out?
I never had to so I guess I will never know!

15. Favourite pizza topping?
Paneer, green pepper, onion, cheese and fennel seeds.

16. If you could eat anything right now, what would it be?
Piping hot phulkas with chayote (seeme badnekaayi ) palya, cucumber salad and curd rice with mango pickle and the palya. *GRIN*

And now, in true blogger-style,I hereby tag Maddy,Mri and Divya and request them to do the needful.

And anyone else interested in taking up this tag is most welcome to do so :-)

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Of birthdays and celebrations

I love celebrating birthdays, especially mine. The funny thing is when I was a kid, my birthday was just another day of the year for everyone including myself and not much importance was given to it. The first time I ever cut a cake on my birthday was when I was 16 years old! When I turned 16, for reasons only best known to my progenitors, suddenly my birthday celebrations assumed epic proportions and was treated like a festival of sorts. My mother would prepare this elaborate meal that consisted of at least 5 courses and 2 desserts and only my closest of friends and my maternal grandparents and aunts (all of whom lived close by) were invited. The not-so-close friends who dropped by all day long were served snacks and juice. And then came the presents. Anyone who came home would get me a present and a card, simply because it was the cardinal rule and had to be followed in order to gain entry into my humble abode. See, I wasn’t greedy or evil for that matter. But for someone who never really had traditional birthdays as a kid, this was my chance to make up for all the lost years. I absolutely loved to be the center of so much attention and would go around announcing that it was my birthday to anyone who cared to listen.

So with this being the state of affairs, imagine my bewildered state of mind when I realized that M does not believe in grandiose when it comes his birthday celebration. Well, its not that he does not enjoy being pampered on his birthday or any other day; just that he does not expect it or demand it and will not be disappointed in case it doesn’t happen. Unlike me; I do not think this kind of behavior is normal and will not endorse it or resort to it. Ever. So the man refuses to wear new clothes on his birthday because apparently he hates it when people go, “Hey, happy birthday. And look, new clothes!” He refuses to tell me what he wants for his birthday present. Now it is not like he does not believe in receiving presents; just that he wants to surprised. Of course he will be surprised because the only kind of presents he likes has to be electronic and must beep and light up. In fact, the first gift I ever gave him was a remote-controlled car and I secretly feel that it was then ,that his belief that he had made the right choice, was infact reinforced. Now, do you have any idea how extremely exhausting it is to think of such contraptions for every gift-giving occasion?

So during one of our random conversations, when he mentioned offhandedly about how he would just love to get hold of some books written by Mark Tully, I immediately knew what had to be done. I browsed through a couple of bookstores but none of them had a copy of No Full Stops in India. And I couldn’t even buy it online since he would be around when it would be delivered and that would spoil the surprise. So I placed a request at a local Barnes and Nobles and pestered them until they had a copy of the book for me. I was sooo excited about having bought the perfect gift for him that I blurted it out to him, 3 days before his birthday.Errrrr so much for not wanting to ruin the surprise!And the next day we went over to M’s brother’s house and the first thing that my BIL did was to thrust this gift bag in M’s hands. M thanked him and kept the bag aside and continued with the conversation. After 3 minutes, my BIL couldn't take it anymore and yells excitedly, ”Open the bag right now and see what we got for you.” So M does as he is told only to discover a Micro Flyers wireless indoor helicopter inside the bag. M grins happily. And my BIL is chattering away about how he thought of the gift and went about buying it and couldn’t wait to give it to M.

Its M’s birthday today. He plans to wear the new outfits that I got him for his birthday on Friday. He will not be getting any gifts today as his wife and brother turned out to be over-excited-blabber-mouths. (See what the pressure of getting the perfect gift can do to people?) I made kaju burfi for him last night in an attempt to make up for being an over-excited-blabber-mouth. And also because he absolutely loves kaju burfi.

Our conversation from Sunday night after I just got home from the Sathya Narayana Puje at my aunt’s place:

I : I got Bisi Bele Bath for you. My aunt made it. It tastes really really good.

After inspecting the aforementioned BBB,

M : It doesn’t look like the BBB you make. I don’t think it will taste just as good. So no, I don’t want to eat it.


Happy Birthday, M!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Wanting what you don't have and having what you don't want..

The weather outside is just perfect. A slight drizzle, temperature in the 80s and the sun nowhere to be seen. Perfect for taking the day off and staying in, snuggling with M on the couch, eating hot bajjis, drinking a big mug of piping-hot-elaichi-ginger tea and watching a nice desi movie. If only …*Sigh*

Last year, the same time around, I was still a grad student on a dependent visa which meant that I could not be legally employed. I remember how I used to hate spending time at home and couldn’t wait to get a job and start working all over again! And now the very thought of being able to stay home and laze around excites me no end! I couldn’t wait for us to buy another car so that I could gallivant all around town and go on those impromptu shopping sprees all by myself. And now the very thought of any driving other than that short, inconspicuous 10-minute drive to work, kinda puts me off! I couldn’t wait to start my new job as I could get to have my own space without any intrusions or having someone breathing down my neck all the time, like the case was in my previous workplace. And now I find my current work place boring because everyone keeps to themselves and the interaction between all of us is limited to our weekly meetings or when we bump into each other at the water cooler area or in the wash room.And hence...the title!

Actually the title of the post best describes my wardrobe situation.I never seem to have the right clothes to take on a trip or the right clothes to wear on a particular occasion.I never seem to have the right clothes or enough clothes for that matter.Period.M learnt very quickly that the best way to tackle the clothes-situation was to ignore it.But my mother somehow would get very flustered when I would complain about my non-existent problem.She could not fathom how her offspring turned out to be like this.So every time I would complain about how I had no clothes to wear,she would say "Thathasthu" and secretly hoped that someday I would find myself in exactly that situation.What love!

Something that I have never been able to justify though is how I have all these outfits in my closet which I chose and bought myself but went on to hate their very existence for some inexplicable reason,and that too after wearing them just the one time.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Of people and their names

---I know atleast 5 females named Arathi(and all the mutations/variations of the spelling of the name*phew*) and atleast 5 people of the male persuasion named Shreyas.

All the Arathi-s I know :

*are eccentric;some in a good way and some in a not-so-good way

*have short,straight,black hair

*are intelligent

*are fickle-minded

*do not make very good friends

*make great acquaintances

All the Shreyas-es I know :

*are cool dudes

*are fun to be around

*are super-talented in some form of art

*are good-looking

*have a great sense of humor

---I love the name Rhea and it happens to be quite a common name.Yet,I do not "know know" anyone named Rhea.

---In all this time that I have lived in this country,I am yet to meet a "John Smith" or a "John" or a "Smith".So much for commonality!

--I know tons and tons of Priya-s and none of them have anything in common except their names.


Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Fond memories

I have the fondest of memories of Independence Day celebrations back in high school.

Every single year our school would organize this cultural program that consisted of some dance performances and a couple of skits interspersed with some patriotic songs belted out by the school's prayer group.And no points for guessing who was an integral part of almost all the performances on the list.Yes people,apparently I was super-talented as a kid!But as I grew older,the talent went into hiding somewhere,never to be seen again.Sigh!So yes,the cultural program.It just so happened that due to some strange coincidence,the teacher in charge of the dance that I was a part of would invariably want us to buy an elaborate(read expensive) costume and jewelery to go with it.And my mother would invariably go ballistic when she found out what the dress cost, at the store.The first year emotional blackmail worked and the year after, a temper tantrum did the trick and she caved in.But after that,she wisened up and just wouldn't budge no matter what I did or said.Luckily,it was the same case with several of my friends and so we ended up doing what any self-respecting teenager would loathe to do.Borrow!

The best part of it all was that we would be called for practice during class hours!So we got to miss class officially and we would run past the infuriated Physics teacher going "yaaaaaaay dance practice",much to the chagrin of those who were not participating in the dance and had to stay back in class!The practice sessions were so much fun especially if it was a boy-girl dance.Most of the boys were awkward dancers and they had not,an inkling of grace.So it was fun just watching them attempting to dance because we knew that with the exception of a handful of them, the rest of the lot were just trying to impress us!D-day itself was an affair to remember.....all the performers in their colorful costumes ,the younger kids running around , laughing and screaming,the teachers dressed in the tricolor,the parents with their cameras flashing away!We then sang and danced and pranced around and performed to glory.And all the fun and games came to a befitting end when the prayer group sang the National Anthem and our National Flag was hoisted and everyone present stood there in attention and solidarity and with pride.

I am glad that this celebration and fun is what I associate with Independence Day.I am glad that my patriotism and love for my country are perennial and I do not associate or limit these sentiments with or to a particular date.I am glad that I do not have to resort to gimmicks to express my sentiments.

Happy Independence Day and a very happy anniversary to my ajji and thatha!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Weekend update

To compensate for the rough week that I had at work or something...the weekend was really nice!

We did the usual Masala dosa + buttermilk + tea brunch routine at Taj on Saturday and not to mention,the dosa was heavenly!And I had to host another show at the radio station but it wasn't half as bad as my regular show.Oh,I guess I haven't mentioned earlier that I dabble with some RJing at a local start-up desi radio station :)

Well,it all started when I got to know that this particular radio station was looking for people to do voice-overs for commercials and that their studio happened to be just down the same street as our apartment complex!So I went there and recorded 3 commercials and just got hooked!So when they called me after a couple of days asking if I would be interested in doing an infomercial,I said yes!The infomercial is sponsored by this guy HP, who owns a mortgage company.So its his show basically and I just play second fiddle.He talks a lot,I talk a bit,I play some songs and we take calls from listeners and he ends up doing the talking all over again! But it is a lot of fun and I get to "run the board" as they call it which means I get to operate that cool looking mixer in the studio.Yes people,it is a live show and no,I do not get paid just in case you were wondering because like I mentioned earlier,they are a "start-up"?! Nice excuse!

So yesterday HP called me exactly 40 minutes before we were scheduled to go on air and announced that he would not be able to make it and I was supposed to handle the entire one-hour show by myself! Whaaat!?He mentioned 3-4 points which he wanted me to elaborate on and wished me luck.Considering that yesterday was my third time on air and that I have no fricking clue about mortgages and commercial loans ,I definitely needed all the luck I could get!So I did whatever research I could possibly do in 20 minutes and then somehow managed to do the show without throwing up even once.It wasn't my best work but I did manage to keep it together until the end of the hour so that was an accomplishment alright!And then I was informed that I would be doing another 30 minute talk show with some doctor guy about herbal remedies for common ailments.Yeah right,like that was totally up my alley!!But the good thing was that this guy came to the studio with a nice print-out that had all the details I needed including the questions I was supposed to ask him!So hosting that show was like a cake-walk because all I had to do was read out from the script!!

And I watched two gems of movies,both Tamil : Chennai-28 and Mozhi. Chennai-28 was fun all the way and lived up to all the hype that surrounded it.And it was based on cricket so I just had to like it!And Mozhi....what a wonderful movie;it was Jyothika at her best ever.It is such a pity that she decided to quit acting because her performance in Mozhi is absolutely fantastic.Go watch it,people.

I enjoy watching Tamil movies,especially the ones directed by Mani Rathnam and the ones that feature the Super-Star and this,I only have my mother to thank for.Though both my parents are Kannadigas,my maternal grandfather moved to Chennai when my mother was a 7-month old baby.So she was raised in Chennai and moved to Bangalore only after she married my father.All her siblings were born and brought up in Chennai so that was where I would spend my summer vacation every single year for almost 8 years.Yes,you read it right....summer vacation in Madras ! And thats when I picked up Tamil and was initiated into the world of the Super-Star.My mother and I have this thing...of watching these few movies like Mouna Raagam,Dhalapathi,Padiappa,Agni Nakshatiram....over and over and over again!We must have watched each of these movies over 20 times together but even today if any one of them is playing on TV,we will watch it and enjoy it just as much as we did the first time!That is one of our things :)

Oh,M and I made paaysa and puliyogre and voggarne mosranna for lunch and chilly paneer for an evening snack,today!Yes people,I did have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

A tradition...of cricket!

Cricket has been the one sport that everyone in the family follows religiously.Including the women-folk...well,especially the women-folk!

My maternal grandmother is a huge cricket buff.And her favorite cricketer of all times is...hold your horses...none other than Imran Khan!Every time there was an India-Pakistan match on,the tension in my grandparent's house was apparent to everyone who cared to notice.Here we all were,egging India on and hoping that they would scamper home with a victory,some of us praying,some of us getting super-superstitious(we once banished my mother into the kitchen for one whole hour because the moment she entered the kitchen,one of the Pak batsmen got out!) and some of us screaming our throats hoarse,some of us(especially my thatha) narrating cricket-stories from his days and some of us just soaking it all in!And then there was my ajji...she stood for everything that went against what the rest of the family believed in,in terms of cricket!She loudly and unabashedly cheered the Pak team on and would literally swoon every single time Imran Khan came onto bowl.She was in love with the man and still is!My thatha would glare at her every time she said something nice about our opponents,especially when his brothers were over!She made all of us look really bad I tell you!

The atmosphere in my parent's house was equally charged up.My mother and I were very vociferous in expressing our feelings and would love to crank up the volume to listen to the commentary.My father on the other hand,preferred to watch the match for the love of the game and with dignity and in peace and quiet.Every now and then,he would say "Appi,volume solpa kammi maadu"(yes,thats what he calls me.Get over it,already.).Mother and I would exchange glances and I would pretend to reduce the volume.Or I would just say "Hoon anna,hoon" and continue to watch the match.Or sometimes I would pretend I didn't even hear him in the first place!The players would break for lunch and so would we.In that 45 minutes,we simply had to and I mean had to be done with our lunch and whatever other chore that was there.(including restroom visits).

But the most fun I have had is whenever I watched cricket matches with my cousin ,Soms.She and I were born exactly 6 days apart and we are quite close and possess the same mad streak.And I kid you not when I say that every single time we watched an India match together,India always won.We watched that particular test match at her parent's place when Kumble picked up all 10 wickets in an innings and took India to victory.We watched that one-day match together at my parent's house when India successfully chased a target of 316 against Pakistan in Dhaka.

This particular day,what happened was,all of a sudden in the 45th over of India's innings,our cable went kaput.So Soms and I ran out of the house and ran all the way to my friend S's place which was in the adjacent street and stormed into their living room and plopped ourselves on the couch.We saw the TV screen and Soms says to me,"Sadhya,yerde-yerdu(2) balls miss maadkondvi"(thank god,we missed just two balls).The last two balls of the over were bowled and it was time for a commercial break.Only then did we realize that we were in S's house,in their living room,amidst 8 of her relatives none of whom I had ever met and that all of them including S's parents had no fricking idea who Soms was and that they were all staring at the two of us with their mouths wide open(literally)!I realized it was time for me to explain our actions to the shocked group,but by then the commercial was over and Soms says,"shhhhhhhh....match start aythu"(match started).And everyone obediently turned their attention back to the match.

I over heard S's dad whispering to her mom "I know who ILoveLucy is,but who is this other girl with her?I have never seen her before and she is commanding silence in our house so that she can watch the match!"

And that is the extent of our cricket-craziness!!!

When we finally won that day,Soms and I yelled and screamed and did an impromptu Zulu jig all over the living room and S and some of her bewildered relatives actually joined in!S's dad still had that perplexed expression on his face as he went out to walk their dog,Pinky.

Lets play tag!

My first tag ever in the blog-world. *grin*

Su and just passing by, since you gave me the idea,I would first like to tag both of you.(Yipeeeeeeeee!)

And let me add Mridula, Maddy and Pri to my tag list for good measure.I would have loved to tag Shruthi too but she has already completed this exercise a few months ago!

So people,all you need to do is list down "some of your favorite things" ever!

Oh,and here are the much-awaited pizza-pictures!(this time he added paneer and cilantro instead of black olives...god bless the man!!)

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

These are a few of my favourite things...

Making such lists is supposed to be self-therapeutic. So here goes in no particular order:

1.Smell of fresh coffee being brewed

2.Listening to "Venkateshwara Suprabhata" first thing I wake up

3.Watching a good movie

4.Good food

5.Hugging M


7.Mother,Father and I relaxing on the bed in their room....and talking for hours on end

8.Father's tea

9.Saturday morning gossip sessions on GTalk with Mother.

10.A good workout

11.Weekends with M

12.Conference calls with Maddy and Bhava

13.Getting an email from someone I know

14.Listening to the radio

15.Comments on my blog(*GRIN*)

16.Playing and watching cricket,especially with my cousin,Soms.

17.Playing lagori with Soms and the gang

18.Reading a good book

19.Smell of rain

20.Get-togethers/functions in Bangalore

21.Food in those get-togethers/functions

22.Shopping for clothes,accessories,shoes and books

23.When things go right and function as they should,at work


25.Making fresh coffee for M

26.M making tea for me

27.Latte at Starbucks

28.Eating popcorn while watching a movie

Hmmm.Thats all I think of for now...will keep updating as and when something new comes to mind.

I wanted to include the following yesterday itself,but for some reason I felt kinda embarrassed.(I know,I know its my blog and I can say what I want.I will keep that in mind form now on!!)Then I read Shruthi's list and apart from several other lovely things,she has these 3 points written down as well!!So that kinda gave me the confidence about it not being so bad after all! Thanks,Shru!!



31.Well-deserved compliments(not the back-handed ones)

And also,



Nothing in particular

While the frustration at work continues,I find consolation amongst my blog friends : new and old.So a big shout out all you nice people :)

M made pizza again last night and this time I managed to take pictures before the pizza disappeared into oblivion!Will put them up in my next entry.

My latest craze : Tall latte,non-fat,extra-hot,light-foam at Starbucks.I have always been addicted to the latte at Starbucks,only now I have gone "non-fat".Its either that for consolation or hitting the gym on a regular basis.Easy choice,no!(The regular latte tastes sooo much better
though *sigh*)

I absolutely loveeee shopping for clothes,accessories,shoes and books.And when I decide to go shopping to cheer myself up after a bad day,thats when I end up finding nothing I like.And this happens every single time.

Tell me something...when you are involved in a group activity,doesn't it go without saying that everyone in the group should contribute in whatever way possible?And if you volunteer to get something done,you actually go ahead and get it done?

Tuesday, August 7, 2007



Nothing seems to be going right at work at the moment.I am stuck with this stupid task.No one has an inkling as to what needs to be done.But it has to be done.

How?What?...Why me?


Monday, August 6, 2007

Pizza made from scratch.....

.......is what we had for dinner last night.And guess who made the pizza?! No not me,you guys..it was M!

M got this sudden inspiration to make pizza from scratch and before I knew it,he had shopped for all the required ingredients and set out to make the dough on Saturday evening.And then last evening,he made the best veggie pizza I have ever tasted!The pizza sauce was his own recipe which was just so exceptionally good unlike the ready made sauces that you get in the store ,which are kinda overpowering in taste.The amount of cheese in the pizza was just perfect and so were the toppings.....green peppers,onions and black olives with a dash of garam masala,oregano and fennel seeds.Yes..fennel seeds....which gave the pizza an absolutely wonderful flavor!And the end result was this delectable pizza which was so yummy that only after I had devoured it to the very last crumb, did I realize that I hadn't taken pictures of it!!

We still have enough dough to make 4 more pizzas...YAY!!It is just such a heady feeling to be in love especially if it involves being treated to scrumptious pizzas!

Thanks, dear M :)

Friday, August 3, 2007

Justice served...?

I was listening to this radio show on a local desi station and the topic of discussion was the imprisonment of Sanjay Dutt and how unfair and severe the sentencing was.Plans were being made to send a petition on behalf of all the Indians here thus expressing their displeasure and showing their solidarity to the actor.

So here we have someone who was found guilty of no less than possession of illegal arms that were used in the 1993 Bombay blasts.But for some reason which defies all logic,the aam junta wants him to be set free.What if he was not a film star but one among the aam junta itself?Would these people still have shown so much mercy and solidarity?They say its all dirty politics and that the poor sod was misled and misguided into committing the criminal act.This one gentleman from our neighboring country went to the extent of declaring on air (on the radio show that I mentioned earlier) that procuring illegal guns in our country as well as our neighboring country is no big deal and it is not a crime by any standards and that too definitely not one that entails six years in prison.He went one step further and added that when Salman Khan hasn't been punished for his acts of crime,how can our Sanjay Dutt be subjected to imprisonment? *Kharma Kharma*

The "Munna Bhai" series seem to have done wonders in boosting the image of SD.But people should stop confusing the on-screen persona for the man himself.He may be a good man and his father may have been a great man and his drug addiction may be overlooked to an extent citing that it caused harm to just him and his family and to no one else.But when his actions result in a huge disaster ,one as horrific as the 1993 bomb blasts,I am sorry sir,but it cannot go unnoticed.I am not an expert on the legal system so I cannot comment on whether his sentence was harsh or not.But all I know is that he deserved to be punished.

Now coming back to Salman Khan,I am beginning to lose count of all his misdemeanors as he seems to be getting into trouble on a regular basis.He hunts down endangered animals and then decides that he wants to go one step further and see what killing a human being feels like.So he gets drunk silly and runs his car over helpless pavement dwellers who were fast asleep for Christ's sake and ends up killing one of them.(Reminds me of the Kannada movie "Accident".A gem)The fact that he continues to pretend to act in films is yet another unpardonable crime.So yes,lets ask the obvious here.Why wasn't he punished?Why wasn't justice served?
I bet if someone convinced him that after Paris Hilton went to jail for her DUI offense,it did her nothing but good and she made lot of moolah giving interviews on TV,our pal might just be tempted to follow suit.

Oh whatever.As long as idiots like our radio show pal continue to endorse the moronic behavior of our so called "Bollywood stars",this trend will continue.

(One of best friends lost her uncle and family in those 1993 blasts.I still remember how miserable I felt when she broke down after watching the movie "Bombay".)