Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Two years of marital Bliss :-)


It’s a special day.  We are celebrating our second wedding anniversary. And my parents have flown in from India. It is double dhamaka. Lalala. With a cool wedding anniversary gift. Lalalalala.

Two years! Wow and I really can’t believe it’s been that long…Thanks to my sweetheart who has shown me that life is more beautiful than what I can see from behind the pallu of Mom’s saree.  

And about my blue Christmas and all the long distance nagging about my current location. Parents have visited me for the first time that too during the best time of the year, and complimenting on how there are flowers on either side of the road, the cool climate, the romantic drizzles, occasional rains. Now I am the liar who said that temperature hit fifty and people actually melt here. I came in May-June. I am inviting them again in May !!!

Here is wishing everyone a peaceful and blessed 2011. Take care.

Monday, December 13, 2010

A Blue Christmas...


Come December, and the mood of Christmas magically spreads on.

 My native place in Trivandrum gets lit up with stars and other glitzy decorations right from the first week of December. Mistletoes, Christmas wreaths, candles and Santa caps adorn homes and every building around... The songs of Choirs (customized or apparently slaughtered versions of the original ‘Silent Night’) bring glad (!) tidings from home to home. The extensive luxury of a ten day holiday, accomplishes all the ingredients of a wholesome feast -  the intimacy of family, joy of gifts, music of Christmas songs, sanctity of church worship, and above all, the unmatched warmth of togetherness.


Talking about Christmas, I am drawn back to my school days …and December is usually the month for midterm exams, and school Christmas celebrations. I used to be in the school and church choir…yes you read it right, and this was not entirely because I sang tunefully (self-realization). A choir practice session at school does away with two regular classes, which could include a Math class also, and any worry of a pending homework can be merrily sung away to glory …;)

Back home, my Mom would be busy, in the attempt to execute a fun-yet-tiring Christmas schedule, for which she assigns tasks to herself, and everyone else at home. The refrigerator would be filled with butter, eggs and meat. The noise of a food processor and smell of freshly baked cakes fills the house. No one forces my Mom to do any of these activities, but that’s how she has crafted Christmas for herself and for us. She makes delicious chocolate and plum cakes, beef cutlets, fish bake, and other delicacies…and pulls in Papa, to take time out of his busy schedule of reading the newspaper, to go with her to the homes of friends and relatives to distribute those cakes. I should say that my Mom is officially the most awaited Santa in town. I’d be busy too, decorating the Christmas tree and fighting away any reminders or warnings to the fast approaching midterm examinations. The evergreen Christmas songs of Jim Reeves and Boney M would play in the living room, at a decibel we can barely hear.

Visiting grandparents and gifting them goodies is another heartwarming memory. Only one of my grandparents survives today, and her home is silent and untouched by the waves of Christmas, as old age has already taken its toll on her. I dreamt about her yesterday, and in it she was healthy and happily running around the kitchen cooking her mouth watering Christmas lunch for us…her home hustling and bustling with playful kids, guests and lots of laughter…In the morning as I recalled the dream, I couldn’t gulp a heavy breath which resulted from holding back a few sobs.



This Christmas, I am miles away from home, and in a country where Christmas passes off like any other day. Circumstances are that I can’t be home this time around, but the fond thoughts of the soft music, and the warmth of being with family fills my soul…and I linger on those memories with teary eyes.





Click Play.


" You'll be doing alright with your Christmas of white but I'll have a blue blue Christmas...
I'll have a blue Christmas without you...


I'll be so blue thinking about you...
Decorations of red on a green Christmas tree
Won't mean a thing dear if you're not here with me..



And when those blue snowflakes start falling...
That's when those blue heartaches start calling...
You'll be doing alright with your Christmas of white but I'll have a blue blue Christmas..
And when those blue snowflakes start falling... "


                                                    - "Blue Christmas" by Jim Reeves.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

E for... English !

I’ve completed my entire school education in the same institution…for which I take credit (I don’t know how the school sees it)…anyway, the full sentences I write in English these days, with or without errors, are wholly attributed to this school and to my English teachers (and Microsoft Word spell check).


‘Talk in English within the school premises’ – was a discipline of this highly established Convent school, and this made us first grade inherent chatterboxes remarkably reserved and insecure. Hmm. Already we were busy with other routine activities like wasting lunch, losing pencils and other stationery, and tearing paper from text books(of other students, of course). Now see what a burden had befallen us. At 60, the Principal had nothing to lose to execute a discipline like this. But she did have something to lose. Her image. Once one of my English retarded friends wished her ‘Good Morning’- in the evening…and she also graciously returned her a good morning! So we aren’t talking about anyone’s image here anymore.

During our primary school days the struggle was topped with embarrassment. Although our parents were well versed in English, we spoke in Malayalam at home. So, one can equate ‘talk in English’ = ‘stop talking’. This eventually resulted in comparatively calm classrooms, and the class leader would have limited or no job, much to the delight of teachers.  This was a period when passing of messages in folded papers was invented. This enabled free and full fledged communication between us friends, in Malayalam. Later, full notebooks were attributed for this purpose! But remember, all this happens within my circle of friends only; class leaders and studious girls were carefully avoided. Papa had advised me not to be in the company of bad girls, you know?


As we grew older, the ‘talk in English’ rule was prevalent, but we dint care anymore. This was a time when we had become fully grown brats and walked the corridors with heads up, and both hands in pocket… even when a teacher passes by. The same teachers at whose very sight, once upon a time, we used to wish, bowing our heads so low with humility and respect, that after she leaves we get a head rush and can’t see anything for the next few seconds. But the good thing was that all the English grammar, poetry, short stories, and the articles in the Hindu newspaper which was forced on us by parents, had borne fruit. But then the Indian Council of Secondary Education dint like what had happened; they dropped a bomb called 'Merchant of Venice' on us in the tenth grade.


Shakespeare lessons rewrote all our fundamental concepts of English grammar. ‘Aside’ and ‘Soliloquy’ became the order of the day. Oh my…and the turtle pace at which the ‘Merchant of Venice’ classes were going…! One paragraph or four lines in an hour!

Hidden meanings + Most likely other meanings + literal meaning + what the critics of the 16th century thought + what Shakespeare meant + what we are supposed to infer = five 200-page notebooks for Merchant of Venice.  It’s likely that Antonio and Portia wouldn’t have been aware of a sea of meanings attached to their casual conversations. Or maybe they meant something else. Ah who cares? We want marks.

Essay type questions demanded original Shakespearean sentences to be reproduced in answer sheets with quotations marks. And the teacher enlightened my friend N that ‘Even if you don’t quote, please don’t misquote’. So the bad news was that, we are not supposed to write our own sentences, beautify them with ‘thou art’, ‘Thine’ etc, topped with semicolons, commas and tildes, enclose them within quotation marks and expect teachers to award marks. They actually read these. Sigh.

Anyway our teachers, in the days when Google was not so popular, gathered enough information from the British Library to change our lives from miserable to pathetic. How we all overcame it all without tainting the image of our then teacher is another feat, and I hereby dedicate it to the sweat, BP pills, prayers, hypertension and support of our parents. *bowing head in gratitude*.

But the battle was not over yet! Picture abhi baaki hai mere dost ! HAMLET happened!


Shakespeare’s Hamlet began in the 11th grade with a conversation of the ghost of Late King Hamlet. The characters which were living had already done enough damage. If a Shakespearean character had to appear after death, it means that it had something earth shattering to say. God what on earth did this guy miss to say during his lifetime, I wonder! We’d be immensely grateful if this ghost silently murdered an existing complex character. But this was no ordinary ghost. It went on to utter a few passages which made integration, differentiation, and Physics theorems look like nursery rhymes. Misery and more misery awaited us.

That’s when she came. Our new English teacher, Ms.Lakshmi.

She had big expressive eyes, and an unbeatably excellent vocabulary. Her style of speaking English…mode of teaching…and how she loved and enjoyed what she taught…was definitely a class apart. Sometimes we even felt the urge to make mental notes of her casual conversations! Oh for the impact she made! It was so perfect. Come what may, we never missed her classes...not even me. Well, if a teacher can keep people like me engaged in a subject for an hour then I needn’t explain any further. She made us realize how we Indians had customized the sound and pronunciation of certain words to our convenience…and ventured out of her way to teach us how it really had to be pronounced. Wow. She could read the confusion in our eyes and the wrinkles on our foreheads. She captured our concentration with smiles and not frowns. She talked, and did not scream. And finally, she walked us through Hamlet like a dream… and one of the many things I miss about school are these Hamlet classes. We virtually watched the entire play of Hamlet unfold before us…the effervescent voice, and the expressions that kept changing on her face. Live. And that’s how we loved English. And why we still do.


 Thank you, teacher…because of you, I have a blog today.


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Follies of 2010 - (Second and final part)

The second and final loss whose full responsibility I accept is that of a theft, which could have been avoided if not for my carelessness.

I’ve always been notorious for losing umbrellas at school, some of which were retrieved from lost property boxes, and some, which were misplaced and later forgotten from public transport buses and the like. However this was a different case, and it made me extremely spiteful of myself.

We stayed in a beautiful locality in Bangalore. The parallel road to ours, was another residential area and there were a row of apartments, one of which was occupied by a friend. However this road was dug up for cables and the friend was unable to park his car in the garage, as the cable maintenance guys left for the day without covering the dug up area. So the friend called us and we let him park the car in our garage. Hubby came late that day and parked our car behind the friend’s car.

By 10:00 a.m the next fateful day, the friend came for his car. He had to move our car first, take his car out and park our car back. As hubby was not home, I came down and handed over the keys to him, and while he left, he said “remember to lock your car”. I nodded and waved to him, closed the gates, patted little Tommy Hilfiger (the neighborhood dog) and went upstairs. I had completely forgotten to lock the car.

By evening, we got into the car to go to a friend’s place and found the display panel of the car stereo missing. The ipod, some USBs, a sunglass, and car papers were all in place; just the display panel was missing. It was stolen.It looked like someone tried to pull out the entire stereo, but due to lack of time or some reason, couldn’t pull it out completely.

My eyes welled up, seeing the expression that was now on my hubby’s face. I told him that I had forgotten to lock the car… but he did not say anything. This car stereo was a result of weeks of intense research on the net, reviews, review comparisons with other models, direct user reviews from colleagues, ratings on websites and so on. 

Later the following week, we checked with the shop from where we bought it, and came to know that the stereo could not  be used anymore, as its display panel was the most expensive one, and if it was to be ordered from the U.S, it could cost more than another car stereo.

I hated myself. I wished if someone could just thrash me for being so careless, irresponsible and absent minded…but no one did, and that was in fact, the biggest punishment I could ever get.

To helplessly watch the expression on his face.


Saturday, November 20, 2010

Follies of 2010 - Part I

2010 had been a happening year, both in my personal life as well as in the losses contributed by me in the family income-expenditure virtual sheet.

Well, major losses include two incidents, one for which I am fully responsible, and the other, for which the responsibility is primarily shared by my better half .

My husband’s home in Cochin is situated in the middle of a large hectare of land, the boundaries of which exist beyond the reach of human vision. Due to this reason, there was a necessity to replace the existing watch dog which had grown old and weary (probably in its attempt to find the border of the land adjoining the house). So on one weekend, the mission to find a new watch dog was kicked off, and we set on our way to various private pet centers.

We visited a couple of pet centers, from where we couldn’t find the right candidate, but I thoroughly enjoyed the whole trip, trying to attract the attention of my favorite pug pups(which is ruthlessly considered ‘useless breed’ by everyone else in the family )… apparently pugs do not fall for flying kisses and eyelash fluttering.

Finally we reached another private pet place, which was situated roughly 23542354 metres away from civilization. Now we positively have to find the pet from here…as there were no signs anywhere saying that we’d require a hummer to reach this place, and the second hand value of the mediocre hatchback we were using, was cut in half by the time we reached.

On reach, we were introduced to a pack of cute little Labrador pups, eight to be precise. The owner opened the cage, much to the excitement of the little devils and soon they were all over the place. One or two were extremely lazy and found solace under a flower pot, while others were busy running around pulling on shoe laces and grabbing the car tyres (ya that’s exactly what the car wanted, to go back all the way through the jungle). Soon the pups were carefully scrutinized and we zeroed in on one, which looked ‘proactive’ ( a term my project manager uses to describe people who volunteers to initiate confusion and chaos in the team ).

Now came the payment part, and the owner guy said that the breed is very pure, and the parents and grandparents of this pup were champions at various dog shows (oh my…the pup was so humble for its credentials..), and that it had all injections done promptly and had a certificate also. Soon the li’l jovial pup jumped happily into the boot space of the car and stayed in an open card board box all the way up to civilization and then to our home.

The pup showed good signs and traits later.

However, this descendant of champions grew up to look exactly like the common street dog, with no signs of a Labrador anywhere.

That guy dint precisely mention in what were the ancestors of this pup champions in..may be a show for street dogs !@#$%^&*()
Now that’s a few thousands down the drain.

Monday, November 8, 2010

To friendship !

I saw this wallpaper in a website..
                 .... presenting another humble attempt at pencil sketching.



Click on image for an enlarged version :-)

Monday, November 1, 2010

The "Husband Material"

Flipping a few chapters backwards to Bangalore. It was a particularly hectic week at office. We decided to escape the hustles and bustles for the weekend, this time with my sister and family. At daybreak, we made ourselves comfortable in our car, and vroomed to a very particularly quiet and serene hill station near Bangalore. The drive was not less than seven hours, and hubby drove all the way with just a breakfast break in between.

 Driving is a passion for him, and any long distance drive doesn’t make him impatient, weary or irritable.After long exhausting drives like these , he usually appears cool and fresh for photo sessions ... but  me…who’d be sitting idle in the car end up looking like I'd been dragged all the way. 

We reached our destination by noon... the resort cottages were crispy clean and cool. The men bought us Chicken Biryani for lunch. I collapsed into bed for a short afternoon nap, conveniently ignoring comments that if it was to sleep I could’ve slept at home…why drive all the way and pay for a resort. Zzzz.

By evening I was almost sure that what we ate was Biryani, but it was not chicken. The rumbling sounds in my stomach was almost audible to myself and eerie thoughts clouded my head as I began guessing what it could have been, having seen many dogs and monkeys en route. A trip like this one doesn’t happen every weekend, so I shushed the sounds to myself.

Soon it was dinner time. I ate a bare minimum, popped a Lopamide, drank warm water, restored myself and we lay down to sleep. The seven hour drive had begun to show now, and hubby retired to bed and fell asleep soon after. However the dogs and monkeys had no plans to let me. I was unable to sit or lie down. I walked up and down the room, visited the loo like 25 times, popped another pill, and by now the growling and rumbling had given way to unbearable pain in the abdomen. I sat by the window side, shut my eyes tight and prayed. Tears were flowing down my face.

By now, hubby dear was sleeping peacefully, with an expression which told that he was pretty amused by his dream. I had one hand on my stomach, whose affairs had gone way out of my control and sat on the bed next to him. His dream had gotten so entertaining that now he was laughing aloud.
Ignoring it, I switched off the lights and got under the covers…I don’t remember when I slept, but at least I could. In the morning I couldn’t wait to tell everyone of the  scariest night of my life, the pain, the laughter, the helplessness and the action that could have happened if he had laughed some more.

Putting more thought into it…what would I have done if it was a room mate, a sibling, a friend or relative, who laughed when I was miserable? Either a kick on the ass or waking them up and making them stay awake with me throughout the night. But I never even thought of waking hubby up considering the long drive especially after a shift the previous day at office.

Husband is totally different from the rest of the world. Ain't he ? J

Friday, October 15, 2010

Lost and Found !

Just a few weeks after we landed in Muscat, I lost a mobile phone. Not just a mobile phone, it was the ONLY phone in which the facility to make ISD calls was enabled. All extensive searches and raids were unsuccessful. My better half has known me for more than half a decade now, and I should say that he wasn’t very surprised, but I convinced him to not tell anyone at my home. And it was done.


However Papa started checking with me about this mobile, as he called on that number a few times and continued to receive a message that it was switched off. I gathered some courage and told him about the loss. The courage was not to present the situation to him, but it was to get enough self-control to listen to the reactions and conclusions that was to follow. Anyway he told me to make some alternate arrangement to connect with home and that was done too.

Five months later. This time I was searching for a doctor’s prescription in my laptop bag. And yay, there it was! Not the doctor’s prescription, but the mobile phone. My better half was again witness to this, was least surprised, and again I begged him to not tell my parents that we got the mobile phone from MY bag. And it was done. I’m sure Papa will come to know from here. And I am not calling home for a week: D

This reminds me of another incident at school. A and N were my friends. A was a dancer and she had lost a quintessential dance accessory during a competition at school. All 3 of us set out to search. A was in tears. We went to the school office and requested to see the Lost Property Box. We also explained what exactly we were searching for. Ma’am returned with a huge card board box. We identified a little more than what we intended to.

N’s pencil box.

N’s umbrella.

N’s notebook of the previous year.

N’s costume for fancy dress.

And, N’s text book for the current year.

A dint get the dance accessory, but the search in the lost property box was a fruitful one. N wasn’t even looking for these items, as she dint realize that these were missing. Unfortunately N’s name was there on all of them. (Otherwise we would’ve pretended that it was not hers). The Ma’am gave her an ‘I was waiting for you, Miss. N’ look and an evil grin.

It was also the first time ever, that A and N was in trouble and I wasn't !! I celebrated the rare event to pacify them.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Uncanny Responses :-(


We’ve all had our share of abusive rickshaw drivers and dirty stares by bus conductors and cleaners (in case of females, but nowadays it doesn’t matter). However repeated embarrassment from an apartment security was for the first time.

Two of our friends stay in different apartments of the same building in Bangalore. So during weekends we usually drive to this place and hangout there. The security guy for this building was a tall, frail fellow, who dutifully forbids us to park in the car parking area. We usually convince him that we’ll be back in five minutes and this guy believes it every time. Also there were a few cars on the parking lot which looked like vintage cars, covered with dust, bird feces, paw marks of cats and dogs, cobwebs and the like. We always park our car in front of such cars, as, 1. We are sure no one will ask us to move it. 2. If at all someone calls to move it, we desperately want to see that guy.

One such day, we were watching TV in one apartment, and later decided to have dinner at the other. Being three married couples or in other words six extremely lazy techies, we took the elevator to the other apartment which was only a floor away. This elevator was designed to allow only three people…but our legs weren’t designed to walk upto another floor…so we all squeezed in, and pressed the floor number and waited. When we almost reached the next floor, the elevator stopped and door jammed. I cant say that this was totally unexpected, but we got panicked and called the security. After what seemed like five minutes, he came with a torch, pressed some elevator buttons from outside and we got out…
The guys among us maintained absolute silence, but we girls, definitely dint, and asked for whatever that happened after this.

We: “What is this? If something is wrong with elevator, no one should be allowed to use it!”

Security: Yeah lift ka koi problem nahi hai madam…bas yeh 3 log ke liye baney hain…aur tum…? 6 mota mota aadmi …

We couldn’t believe our ears. This guy has certainly gone overboard. And the three guys among us had swallowed their tongues and were still silent.

But we got angry and blurted…” Mota mota aadmi???!! Kaun hai mota aadmi…tum bolo…BOLO…!!!

At this, we expected the frail old guy to apologize and relapse to his shell.

But the most earth shattering thing happened.

“ Mujhe pooch rahe ho kaun mota hai…? and he took out his filthy fingers and pointed at a few of us one by one.. ‘Tum…tum….aur tum…”


!@!!@@#$##$#$%$%^%^&*(*(*(&^%$#@@#@$#$^*(*()!!!!!


Saturday, September 18, 2010

'Holier than Thou'..


This incident dates back to a couple years, when yours truly had got a job as a fresher and eventually developed a huge crush on a guy at office.

 Office and team parties were then, those unavoidable events, in which each of us participated, to prove right the ‘team spirit’ and ‘team player’ factors of the annual performance assessment form. Usually I end up checking the watch incessantly and fight the increasing urge to eat at the cost of project funds and get out. However this time it was different. Now that the crush is there, official parties have gotten interesting for me. I stopped yawning and dressed better.

It all began by people getting together in round table chit chats, patting shoulders, fake laughs and the like. Me and my friend sat together and shared interesting gossips about our crushes. Being single girls who dint have vehicles of our own, but essentially had ego clashes with people who had vehicles,  we had to find our own ways to commute our way back home, so we initiated the buffet dinner a bit early.

Soon after dinner, we disposed the plates and walked into the wash room, still commenting and giggling at the awful color of the dress another female was wearing. As we washed our hands and pulled out tissues, my crush stepped in, stared at us both sarcastically and got into the restroom. Oh my.

 “ What the hell is this guy doing here… these men! !@#$%^&*()   !!!!!!!!!They just get drunk and get into the ladies washroom…look at the way he stared at us? Arrogance I say! “ 
And we got out of the washroom, feeling disgusted.

And we also noticed that there were a group of ladies in the adjacent washroom which was actually,  the ladies washroom.

We got the hell out of there.

That he couldn’t remember this the next day and ever since,   saved my head.






By the way, that crush is now the husband J


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Digital memories :D


During my days in Bangalore, malls were our favorite hangouts. We had friends too, and we girls and boys would team up and break into stores of our choice.

One such day, we set out on a window shopping expedition at Zigma  mall. The two guys, instinctively stepped into a digital store. All there was were LCDs, LEDs,  laptops,  and some gadgets whose names I don’t know. Soon we got terribly bored as the sales guy got all technical and started talking in certain units of measure, and soon we found ourselves on a couch which was meant for the home theatre demo.

On one of the gazillion LCD TVs in front of us, was Tom and Jerry show and even before we knew it, we were laughing our heads off and getting a bit too comfy in that couch. As the husbands were gathering specifications minute enough to build that gadget at home, the store guys got tricked into believing that they are actually going to buy it, and so being girls who came with them, we were treated with most respect and Tom and Jerry started to play in full volume.

Soon after, some sales guys started to stare at us, but we ignored it in style…well, who doesn’t look at two irresistible girls... we innocently thought. But the stares got strange; some of them started murmuring and pointing, the volume of Tom and Jerry getting lower by the second. We looked at each other totally unaware of what was going on. We continued to sit there, expecting the sales guys to increase the volume of the show we were watching….but the interesting Tom and Jerry rudely gave way to NDTV Profit. Most of the salesmen now had a raised eyebrow on them, hands places impatiently on their hips, and looked more or less like lion tamers without the stick.

That’s when reality struck hard. The husband lot had taken some brochures and wandered off somewhere else long back. Now we were just two girls, sitting on the demo couch, watching TV in a digital store.

We chickened out.

And what happened to the husband lot is a long story.

Later we pacified ourselves, thinking that at least we realized and got out in time….as we were actually planning to ask the sales guys to increase the volume of Tom and Jerry.

Friday, September 3, 2010

My experiments with the Pencil :-)

I always loved to sketch cartoons. I drew many of them during the management sessions of my final year of engineering. Thats when most of us realized our hidden talents, and worked on them.
Anyways, I collected greeting cards, downloaded  disney wallpapers,  and tried to sketch those on my own. Recently I posted a few of them on facebook , and here is one which many of my friends clicked 'like' for.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Brain Raid!



Today, as I was in the kitchen, humming away the hangover of a good night’s sleep, hubby came by super excited.

He: Have you forgotten  what is special about today?

The helplessness of a memory failure took me over instantly. Gradually, I slipped into a whirl of extensive  brain raid. Staring at him, with a wok in my hand, I ran through a virtual calendar of birthdays. No I hadn’t missed any. The expression on his face changed from excitement to surprise. I continued to be in a state of intense thought. Did I miss his parent’s  birthday? But no..Its August 24. Seeing me falling from surprise into a frenzy, he drilled deeper into the whirl I was falling in … ‘How could you…?’

Now I was almost done covering the birthdays and anniversaries of the current and previous generation. My pea sized brain has defeated me … and now I am so miserable that I am trying remember dates of historical importance. I am so ashamed and my ego wasn’t letting go even after I exploded and drowned inside the aforementioned whirl … that I said.. ‘Yeah I know…just fell outta my head”. Yeah that was super lame. But his smile said it all. That I forgot some important day even after him trying to remind me, doing rounds in the friends circle is too much to take at the moment. So he said those earth shattering words… ‘Women in the house are supposed to remember all important dates !’... The urge to ask what men are expected to do was over ridden by the mission to dig out the foolishly forgotten event.


Then he came over, shook me vigorously and screamed:

‘Its August 24th!! LOST season 6 dvd releases today’ !!!



Sunday, August 15, 2010

Really! ?

Really ?

Does 'breaking news' still mean what it used to :D ?

Happy Independence Day, everyone!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Happy B'day, Papa..:-)

                             



Dear Papa,

  Wish you many more happy returns of this day, and may all those days see you in the pink of health, encircled by boundless love, a peaceful n happy heart… blissfully content with all that you ever wished for and more...

Love you sooooo much you know? I am not buttering you! I’ve been thinking all these days on how I’d surprise you on your birthday.

Initially, I thought of writing you a poem. That’s when it dawned on me about the very creative poem I wrote about Mummy when I was in third standard, which, to my fate, you found and treasured for future blackmail. That you publicized it and marked the beginning of an era of sarcastic recitals of my poem, coupled with finger pointing and laughing made me drop that idea.

Then I decided to post a nostalgic photo from the 1980’s with you cutting your birthday cake. I got tens of photos of my sister’s and my birthday, but I couldn’t find any of yours. I then painfully realized how Mummy and you ensured that our birthday moments were captured every year. Selflessly. The sacrifices you both made. How you forgot yourselves, for us.

Then I ran through the photo albums of the 1990’s in which there are photos of your birthday party, but you posed with Mummy in all of them! I’m not even in the frame! Later I realized that I had taken those photos. Anyway, I dropped that idea too.

Then I thought I would dedicate an entire article for you, remembering good old times. But I wasn’t sure whether I could do it better than last year’s. I wanted to do something cute this time. So I dropped that idea as well.

Then I thought I’ll get a cute big bouquet delivered at 7.00 a.m right at your doorstep. But how you hate wasting money on flowers and perishable 'useless' stuff, made me drop that idea. I dint even think of buying a shirt and you know why! (The lecture u gave me on why I shouldn’t shop for shirts at least for another decade and a glimpse of your wardrobe having some shirts still with the tags on, was remembered and complied with)

So I am left with some ‘priceless’  love, hugs and kisses which will be delivered in person when you visit me here…then I will wish you a belated birthday and we’ll take lots of snaps and cut a cake too!

People are many but true ones are few,
Years have passed, with experiences new,
But all I have is a great Dad that’s you…
Love you more than you think I do!

Happy 61st B'day, Papa!!!















Lots of Love,
Anu.

Monday, July 26, 2010

First (worst) Impressions..


Making first impressions was not destined to happen in all my life. I can sharply remember one incident wherein my sister greeted a teacher ‘good morning’ after the morning assembly in school and she got greeted back with a smile…but when I passed the same corridor and greeted the same teacher, she scanned me closely, up and down, sporting raised eyebrows. This incident is a superhit among all my relatives and friends, as papa performs it in the form of  a solo skit which lasts about 20 seconds at family get-togethers, as he hyper-actively enacts the expression of the teacher, who was greeted by my sister first, and then by me.


Those were the days when there weren’t too many channels to fight over the remote. ‘Superhit Muqabla’ used to be the favorite and the only program my sister and me were allowed to watch. We enjoyed our favorite songs of those times… ‘Ruk ruk ruk’… ‘neela dupatta peela suit’ … etc and smile at each other with glee as that was the single entertainment hour in all week. However we dreaded the airing of the fiercely romantic songs ‘Tum mile…dil khile’ from the movie ‘Criminal’ and the rangeela songs (which when compared to today’s movies looks like children’s movies), as parents would still be hanging around the TV room. All the Ruk ruk and neela dupattas  happens when Papa is carefully reading the newspaper…however when he comes to the TV room for some reason or the other, “Tum Mile” comes up from nowhere and me and my sister would look like criminals ourselves. I guess this has something to do with the name of the movie.

There was this chocolate called ‘Kismi’ during my school days. I was a very loud person those days and was once casually talking to my friend about 'Kismi bar' to which a teacher who sat behind us nodded her head sarcastically. After a subsequent amount of time (which is required for me and my friend to enlighten) , I realized that 'Kismi' can also have a pessimistic alternative, ‘kiss me’ and how the teacher must have coupled that with 'bar''. Wow quite a picture :( I was in fifth standard then.

Now it was Googl’es turn. I am a programmer and often I search some sample codes and syntaxes from google. Once I had to do some very specific stuff, for which I wanted a reference. One of the many people I was reporting to was standing right behind me and staring at my monitor. Then I typed in the search string, ‘find…’ and google gave me the first option...’
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
‘find single girls in Oman’.



Wednesday, July 14, 2010

My Sins against Gender-Stereotypes :-D


Reflections has tagged me with ‘My Sins against Gender-Stereotypes’.
This tag is to list at least ten things I’ve wanted or done, which my gender is not supposed to. Sounds like a catchy tag…and Nancy has done it interestingly well!
 So here goes a humble attempt.

I wanted to start with an oath ...the one which they say at court…just to make this funny, but all I can think of is ‘India is my country, all Indians..”  so I’d better stop over doing these futile attempts at being humorous and get practical.


1.       As a teenager I used to be protective of my elder sister. I thought of her as a little girl ( and myself as a brother brat) and even man handled a typical ‘pervert kumaran’ in a private bus, using my school bag when he tried to lean on her.

2.       As a kid, I preferred to climb the wall at the back of my house to the neighborhood than take the regular route. Until last month at Bangalore, I climbed the gate of my apartment a few times after my shift.  I was too sweet to not disturb owner uncle, and pitied hubby for having cowardly friends who said that it is ‘dangerous’ and ‘risky’. ( That guy told him  that my leg might get stuck in the gate… he must’ve thought of me as an elephant or something)

3.       When my mom disgustingly says that I became a female in the minute just before birth, I took credit and nodded as if she is complimenting me.

4.       The first week of every month, Papa would go to the provision store and buy stuff for a whole month. This would consist of sacks of rice, coconuts and other heavy stuff. I have never missed this trip and would act like a male helper in carrying all the heavy stuff voluntarily. (even though sometimes I’d be biting my jaw in pain internally)

5.       I hate the color ‘Pink’ and secretly love ‘Blue’ even though I tell everyone that my favorite is Black. There are no pink, white, yellow dresses in my wardrobe. Instead there are black, navy blue and gray. I also prefer square checks and lines against floral designs.

6.       I love to drive in heavy traffic and follow my own road rules when people refuse to move out of the road seeing the female driver. If they are also driving I honk annoyingly until he moves out (like we do when there are cows/dogs in the middle of the road: D)   and if they are pedestrians I give them small pats on the shoulder with the rear view mirror. I then stop, stare and flee before they raise the finger.

7.       I hate TV soaps and Ranbir Kapoor. I cannot stand men who have pink lips and no moustache (although I know all girls fall for this category of feminine dudes).

8.       I am very friendly with sales guys/gals at the local grocery, fuel stations, roadside vegetable markets, pizza delivery, and the like.

9.       I think of saree as the most inconvenient attire ever. Also, I do not fancy nor have I felt the urge to check out the creams/lotions/mascara/ complexion compact/ perfume section of any store.

10.   I used to pay the phone/electricity/water bills at their respective offices, waiting in long queues. But I couldn’t make a single cup of tea without checking for sugar, like seventeen times after which half a cup of cold tea would be ready.

Phew! Just pondered over a reel of memories, dug into it and popped up ten points which I think might match the tag…


Hmm…so let me make myself a cup of tea. :D


Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Review Mania !



Director Ramesh Sippy has certainly lost it in ‘sholay’.. the villain cleanly gets on our nerves and  overshadows both the lead heroes. Gabbar Singh is as weird as his name and looks like he has come straight out of a childrens magazine, the awful make up and irritating dialogues. He succeeds in making the audience pull their hair out, while Hema and Jaya Bhaduri are female characters whose role still remains clueless throughout the script of Sholay…Had Sippy concentrated more on the script of…’



Before you roar at me, hear me out. This would be the review of the blockbuster of all times, the movie that made history, Sholay, if it were written by today’s film critics.

Gone are the times we used to watch movies for the entertainment value.:-(
Leave Sholay, and take some other blockbuster of those times and watch it again through the critics’ eye. You will laugh at it.

*Flashback*
During school days, Hindi movies were a passion to us (me and my friends at school)  , although a lot of dialogues were not interpreted to what it actually meant …as Hindi wasn’t the mother tongue to any of us...but Urmila and Madhuri were our style icons. There would be weekends we would get together at a friend’s place and watch movies back to back.  On Monday at school we’d  be narrating the experience of how sexy ‘Madhuri Dixit’ looked in ‘Hum Aapke Dil De Chuke Sanam’ !!

*Later* 
I started reading reviews and got judgmental about every movie. Was there a top losers match goin on?
Then I boarded the movie spree yet again, and kept reading reviews after watching the movie...because I realized that I was missing out on a lot of good stuff.

*Now*
The most recent one was Ravanan, a spectacular movie, which I enjoyed every bit of. It was a great experience watching Raavanan but the reviews... man! I’d been singing “Veera..” all the time for around a month...its a catchy song. Some dumbos said that the songs weren’t peppy enough…
Some cheapos ran out of logical shortcomings that they called it ‘predictable’. Raavanan is straight out of Ramayana…and Ramayana is thousands of years old. How can we expect Raavanan to be not predictable? :-D

So good criticism comes with logical understanding of the facts of entertainment …it is so much different from regular fault finding . And comparing Mani Ratnam’s movie with his previous work is also irrational…

Big B supporting his son in this matter sounded like a PTA meeting to me…’my son did well…but they edited it! give him more marks!’

Coming back to the point…do not read movie reviews and get biased…watch the movie and then decide yourself. Movies are for entertainment, they dint use your bank balance to make them. If you want, you watch!

Even otherwise, why do we need film critics?

By the way, I gotto say that ‘Kites’ was unbelievably silly and a huge let down. :D

Saturday, July 3, 2010

My Name is Mallu !



This is NOT about ALL mallus; it is about a typical Mallu.... mebbe a mallu politician not less than 80 years of age (well is there anyone younger than that :D) or…a mallu cricketer… (u know who… lol) or an ignorant, jobless,  zindabad hurling, lungi folding, native Mallu.

*There is one Mallu guy who is in the Indian cricket team and we all hate him; he is the symbol of arrogance and insanity.

*We have a personalized way to use the English vocabulary and look down upon whoever uses a regular, fluent slang.

*We use only coconut, coconut milk, and coconut oil as ingredients to any food and are proud of our high cholesterol records.

*We are totally against any new development happening in our state and hold strikes for every other reason...cos we consider 'Gelf' as an extension of Kerala .

*We get vegetables, meat and milk from other states and are not sure of what exactly we’re doing.

*We know Mohanlal, but we don’t know who Barack Obama is, though we’re hearing a lot about him lately.

*A few of us cannot stand to see females at any age walking the roads and want to pass comments at them otherwise our natural instincts would stand unfulfilled.

*At corporate levels, we are very good at smiling endearingly and stabbing from the behind.

*By the verb ‘drink’ we mean alcohol by default. If it is water we have to mention it explicitly.

*Even at a funeral ceremony, if we see Mohanlal, we shout and rejoice, and do not care about the surroundings or about the bereaving family.

*Arrogance is our attitude and weapon.

*We fold up the lungi, wear ray ban glasses, unbutton the shirt and walk the lifestyle store at Bangalore confidently enjoying all the ‘attention’ received ( I started talking in hindi that day).

*Lolakutty is our fashion icon.

*A few of us are not sure about what ‘friendship’ is, if there is no gain out of it.

*We criticize more than we appreciate and are personally not capable of anything other than that (seriously!).

*Our movies are suffering, as our directors are busy in Bollywood (making flop movies there).


We belong to God’s own Country.:-D


Sunday, June 27, 2010

'We Three Kings...'


I am an eager participant at various events for Christmas celebrations and an extremely talented choir member as well...( like anyone will believe that) ; :D This helps me fulfill the hidden motive, which is to cut classes at the expense of ‘choir practice’.




  So there is this Christmas celebration event scheduled at the auditorium, the stage supposed to be the manger where there would be baby Jesus, Mary , Joseph, shepherds , hay, dim lights, sheep and goat. The choir had to be at the side, in their respective uniforms, and some guys were to play guitar and  piano. The main song was ‘We three Kings’ where the story of the 3 kings would be enacted with the choir singing at the background.




This song told the Biblical story of the three Kings, who came to the manger in Bethlehem where Jesus was born, with gold, frankincense and Myrrh. They reached there by following a star.





The song had an initial stanza, and three stanzas, one for each King. When the stanza for the first King starts, that King would walk royally to the stage, place the gift gracefully, bow before Jesus and exit exactly when the stanza is over. This pattern would be followed by each King.

The star is initially at the entrance of the auditorium along with the 3 Kings. I do not have stage freight at all so I confidently chose to be backstage, pulling the strings of the star very proficiently and slowly so that the Kings can follow it. This star was put up and pulled from entrance to the stage a million times before the event and it was perfect, unless otherwise the Kings would never find Jesus and all existing beliefs would be shattered and rewritten by me.

The big day came. 

The auditorium was housefull, with teachers in the front row. Although my hands were a bit shaky seeing the crowd, I was happy I dint have to be onstage being one of those shepherds (someone actually recommended me for that), which would have resulted in comedy and controversy. I stood backstage and held the strings tight. The three Kings were ready at the entrance and so was the star. The choir started the song, and I slowly pulled the strings… The Kings, dressed in heavily sequenced shiny cloaks and ridiculously large jewellery, their respective gifts held tight (cos if it falls down there was no way to bend and pick it up, as the dance costumes which they were wearing underneath was very tight)  walked slowly, repeatedly glancing the star. In between a wave of laughter slowly took the front rows…I immediately turned to check what was wrong. No… it was all perfect, just Mary sneezed and one of shepherds jerked in shock.

So the first King was about to start.

Ta Tang !!!!  The worst had happened. The star was not moving anymore.Everyone froze. The choir started with the stanza, the King stuck in the middle of the hall, flabbergasted and helpless. A thousand eyes were focussed on that King, but he maintained the royal attitude.There was a knot on the string and the star was stuck. I felt faint. The choir girls looked at each other. Mary and Joseph rolled eyes. The shepherds were bewildered. The first stanza was over; the King was still only halfway into the auditorium. I instructed one of the volunteers to hold the string and called one tall girl there to help. Finally she eased the star out of the knot.

By now, the chorus for second King was almost over and Mary, Joseph and the shepherds looked tired and impatient waiting for gifts. I instructed the two Kings to come and place the gifts on stage and leave so that atleast the third King can follow the music and the ending would be right.
So the first two Kings rushed to the stage, hurriedly placed the gold and frankincense at the manger, and left the stage without bowing... like they were attending the wedding of some distant relative.

The third King did it just fine, and the song ended as planned.

At the end of the event, one of the staffs turned up backstage and said, ‘You just had to pull a string, Anita…’

$!$#^%&%&*()*)(*&^^&%$$#@$@!!!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Yet another birthday.

Gone are the days when I used to wait for my birthday to come. For all the kisses, gifts, cheek-pinching by aunties and cousins ( it is a customary exhibition of love, but used to hurt), new dress (was in the same school for 12 years, still on birthday I have to ring up someone just to hear from them that I am allowed to wear ‘color dress’ that day), greeting cards from friends, birthday songs, candy distribution at school, and the special chocolate cake made by Mummy.

 Today birthdays are painful, that there would be those number candles on the cake so everyone comes to know my age. This is also why I never publish the photos of the cake cutting event on orkut or facebook so that I can avoid at least 300 + people coming to know the "secret" number :-) (see how smart I am) . I also silently swear that I’ll use the same candles for at least three more years, but end up the next year with another pair of candles where 
age = age + 1. Sigh.

One has to consider birthday as the day to remember and celebrate the day one was born. Why add it to the age and spoil the fun? Putting up those number candles showing the age is such a pessimistic thought you know. 
I am sure that it was invented by some spoilsport guy.

Here are some things you can consider when someone is celebrating their birthday.

  • 1.       Never buy those candles with numbers unless its your enemy or your ex.
  • 2.       Avoid birthday cards which scream ‘yay! Its your n-th birthday!’
  • 3.       Avoid saying stuff like ‘yaayy…Miss. X is n years “old”


J Thanks to everyone who kept all those lovely birthday wishes flowing in on orkut and facebook all day. Love you all J

P.S: If anyone is laughing by seeing the numbers on the cake in the image, then don’t laugh too much. 

Monday, June 7, 2010

Repercussions of a Dental Extraction..



Two days back the local dentist here extracted my wisdom…err …a troublesome wisdom tooth. It was a noisy melodrama with an elaborate gush of fluids, blood and tears. Although blood was manageable by the dentist, it took two nurses to wipe my tears and giggle at my misery. I wished them both the same fate in the days to come. :D . Whats more…hubby was sitting in the same room carefully studying the E72, marking the dental hospital as a ‘favorite’ on his Google map, and conveniently ignoring the sobbing and wailing. And while going back, pointing to the Barber shop and saying ‘that belongs to Barbara Mori’ dint help.:-(

I am the only person in my family to have tooth problems. If anyone who is reading this wants to remind me to brush my teeth, God help you!

 I brush my teeth everyday.:-)

I have a green oral-B toothbrush and colgate toothpaste with which I brush every roads, lanes and sub lanes of my mouth religiously. And I saw the tooth which was extracted. Yuck! The “was-that-thing-in-my-mouth-all-these-days”  look on my face with tears still in my eyes set the dentist and nurses roll with laughter. Hubby too rushed in to take a final glimpse of the priceless piece of fossil which was just evacuated. Okay its yucky. But still it was my tooth and it was there when he married me! Finally he bought me all those medicines and also a nice dinner (to be eaten with one side of the jaw) and I finally decided to withdraw the furious signals I was radiating to him. (Well the furious signals were the ones which originated from jealousy…that he has an enviable row of pearly whites and also… in Muscat there are fewer people to whom I can show my true colors).

Now comes the ‘presentation to everyone at home’ part.
(Aside: Papa is currently reading the English edition of the Holy Book of Quran. )

I explain the whole episode in a nutshell.
Me: Papa, my tooth is still bleeding you know…
Papa: Are you taking medicines?
Me: Yes..but it is bleeding and its slightly swollen as well..
Papa: Don’t worry…one had to be brave and patient …these are all trivial issues..
Me: If you have one such tooth you will never say this..
Papa: Dental health is very important.
Me: I realized that while at the dentist…
Papa: Delayed realization of reality is the main reason for…
Me: Noooooo! Please spare me from philosophy...I have a bleeding mouth.
Papa: (laughs)okay Anu, we’ll talk later then. Take care.(laughs again)

Mummy is up next and she sounds worried at the catastrophic turn of events. The area of concern is surprisingly not my tooth. What?? Is he reading Quran? He should first try to read the Bible properly no?

Now that is one ISD call.