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Saturday, April 28, 2012

Handwriting Impacts.

Does a person’s handwriting say something about him?

Yes and No. For example, Mummy’s handwriting is beautiful and exceptionally neat. Her grocery list looks better than my University Record book. Like her handwriting, she is also systematic, aesthetic and creative. So this handwriting speaks a lot about her I would say. But then take my Papa’s or husband’s handwriting and going by the pace and illegible letters, one might think they are terrorists. But they aren’t – because you should not compare them with terrorists and insult terrorism ;-)

I have inherited just one good thing from all of my predecessors, which is Mummy’s handwriting.** and extending the story of inheritance -  a rare genetic combination of  low attention span, carelessness, short temper and a plethora of genetically transmitted diseases from every other unhygienic ancestor**.  :-) Anyway my handwriting came in handy to my friends who wanted me to write their names on their new notebooks, to write the date and day on the blackboard at school, or the project statistics on the white board at my previous office. Moreover one teacher at my college said that evaluating my answer sheet was a pleasure as it looked neat with outlined diagrams and neat elaborate answers *though she dint mention whether the elaborate answers had any connection to the questions asked*.

But does handwriting really matter? It really does.

So recently, my little one had a fever accompanied with cough and nose block. We took him to the pediatrician, who was well qualified, well behaved and doesn’t prescribe medicines just for the heck of it. He was our favorite until recently he prescribed a cough syrup for our son, and also said ‘This is a seasonal cough. Not severe, so better refrain from antibiotics. I will give you this one, it is for infants’. So we took the prescription to the pharmacy where the pharmacists are usually seasoned readers of doctor’s handwriting.

 And the pharmacist said,’ Amoclan? Its an antibiotic!”

We: But its for our ten month old and doctor specifically said its not an antibiotic!

He: This is Amoclan, it’s a powder to be mixed in water, its taste is not baby friendly, and it is an antibiotic.

We did not buy the medicine and decided to check with the doctor again. Two days passed by and meanwhile the cough got severe. We got an appointment with the doctor again and checked the prescription.

Doctor:’ It is Ambolar Syrup, not Amoclan. ‘

We: K

Okay so Ambolar syrup it was, the label itself had the dosage instructions for babies of every age. May be because we are educated people, and because God was gracious enough we saved ourselves from a wrong medication. What about others? The illiterate, the poor or those in emergency? Couldn’t this have caused more serious issues?

Sunday, April 15, 2012


Browsing through the supermarket shelves, I came across a label and was taken aback. What ? A daal named after Shashi Tharoor? No way, man. I went back and read that once again. Sahi Masoor Dal . Okay now a brief relief that I dint say that aloud.
Have you ever thought through this, what if our thoughts were immediately broadcasted for everyone to hear? Wow that would have been terrifying. Literally terrifying. For example, last day when I fell down a kind lady gave me a helping hand, about whom I judged a few seconds back, ‘what a fashion retarded female’. If she’d heard that, she’d have stomped all over me when I fell down.

But when I rewind into the past I realized that I actually tend to say many such stuff aloud when I am around my parents. Well they brought me into this world and have a clear-cut idea about me, I cant fool them by talking intelligently or anything (as if I can do that). Once when I went to attend an interview with Papa, there was another office on the adjacent side of the same floor that we were, and I pointed to it and exclaimed ‘ See Papa? Spiderman Technologies !! How cool !”. Papa read it, looked at me pitifully, which made me read that again. ‘Speridian Technologies’. Okay genuine mistake. Contrary to Papa's beliefs, I got through that interview.

Mostly through the countless embarrassing and not-so-embarrassing situations I’ve been in, most of which had happened due to notions I created from the appearance. For example, a very good looking lady about whom everyone said had too much attitude was actually a simpleton. And the fat guy with curly hair and nerdy spectacles was not even close to being brainy or a foodie. But most of the time or all the time appearances and first impressions are deceptive.

Once at my ex employer’s we had training on an advanced technology. The hall was packed. Few minutes into the session I gathered that this trainer girl wouldn’t leave easy and she was determined to make each of us learn this. She even pin pointed people and asked questions from what she talked about an hour ago. This was slightly disturbing for me, as I had a very short attention span and verbal technical sessions in air conditioned rooms often made me go YAAWWWN. Unfortunately during one of those wide mouthed yawns the trainer caught a glimpse of me and in another minute I found myself on focus with her throwing a question and a roomful of eyes shifting their attention towards me. Of course I dint know the answer and some idiotic nerd answered it without being asked and he looked at me as if I was retarded. Further, I found the whole crowd asking doubts and writing notes, but she made it a point to give me a look and ignored me completely the whole day. The next day it was a hands-on session, where we actually implemented the lessons taught, on our laptops. The trainer showed us a simple example and gave us a different one to try out. She walked around us when the crowd seemed to look as though it was an Entrance examination or something, and gave me a sarcastic guffaw as she walked past my laptop. In another 20 minutes, I walked to her showing my output. She cross checked, and verified until she could find no mistakes though it was hard for her to believe that it was mine. I still appreciate her frankness because she said, ‘ Excellent. I thought you weren't listening. Good work’. *I wanted to say, 'ma'am, I wasn't listening after all'...but I dint, I just nodded and left quietly*

There were countless incidents through my school and college days where I was predetermined to be careless and stupid, but over the years they changed their impression, of course I waited until it happened in the long run. However I am okay with the first impression people make about me. Because, when I joined college Mummy was all praises for a senior girl she knew was in my college, and told me to contact her if I needed any help or books or inspiration or…oh forget it Mummy wanted me to be her. Later, after making some friends at the hostel, the first thing they said was that the person I had the reference of, was one of the most notorious girls, and not just in our college. Weeks after, I got a good idea about the girl Mummy wanted me to learn from. It took Mummy years to come to terms with this, but she later realized that her daughter was far better.

So, it is basically a give and take. I pass on mental judgments and you do the same about me.   And it goes on.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Easter : Appam and Beef Stew, anyone ?

I have fond Easter memories from my childhood. Honestly it’s the day the fifty-day long lent is “formally” broken and we hog relentlessly into chicken and beef. In the past fifty days, casual and secretive lent breaking might have happened which we shall not reveal and pretend that it dint happen.

So Easter begins with supersonic Spiritual songs piercing my eardrums in the early hours of the day. Back home, there were these few churches which were always at odds against each other, and they hire taxis and huge speakers and go around the neighborhood screaming ‘Christ is risen ! Hallelujah !”  This is a custom which actually is heart-warming and triggers off that Easter mood. However, over the years the churches were competing as to who played the loudest music. So the warm custom became a chaotic one, and a hot topic for verbal contempt among us Christians living in that area. I am surprised as to why the non Christians dint stage a louder protest against this custom for disturbing sleep on a Sunday morning. Anyway this counts as a fond memory because once one is married and written off the books, then the probability of being home for Easter is one out of a million.

The next thing to do is to go to church for the mass. This includes wearing new dress and then comparing it with that of others at the church. The Easter songs, sermon and message will happen in the background. After the mass none of the aunties gathers in circles to discuss the embroidery on the organza saree, because after fifty days of eating leaves and herbs, people are seen rushing home and hog on Appam and Beef stew as if it is an emergency. 

Post breakfast its time to watch movies on TV. The channel guys usually air a “new” movie (released two years back) which would be eagerly awaited by us cinema deprived kids.  After that comes the heavenly Chicken Biryani lunch and an afternoon nap. Later it’s a matter of a small outing and then off to school the next day.

This was our agenda for Easter, each and every year.

Years later in a different country, married and away from parents, I can only say that I remember those days very fondly. And in this part of the world Easter is not as relevant as it used to be and above all, it is a working day! Moreover, I cannot sit at the dining table expecting food to arrive; I have to cook. And clean as well. Gone are the days! But mind you it is not so terrible. I am making a special sweet this time and with the help of my maid we will make it special the way we can.

Oh I just remembered that Christ died very painfully for us on the cross and He resurrected from the dead on the third day. We are celebrating this third day as Easter - the victory of life over death. Amidst the hustle and bustle of making that special Easter lunch, did you also forget Him, like I did?

Spread the word!