15

Good Bye 2010. Welcome 2011.


I am back …from hibernation!!!

Oh; it has been one heck of a month! If you are wondering what has been happening at my end, well… I was bored and annoyed, of lying under the blanket, staring at the ceiling, breathing silence, fighting tiredness, living on paracetamol, irritated but helpless! What had attacked me? Not just a viral fever but ‘The Bloody Annoying Viral Fever’! It drained out even the last bit of energy within me. Thanks to the mad Bangalore weather!! However now I am fit, fine, healthy, smiling and all set to welcome the New Year!

Cheers to 2011; it is yet another chance for us to get it right! J
Wishing all of you, a Very Very Happy New Year - who intentionally and accidentally visits my blog!


Enjoy! Have a blast!
30

The Great Indian Chutney Shower

I am a hard core south Indian. I take breakfast seriously. I mean, damn seriously. Haven’t you seen me relishing on dosa-sambar-pongal-upma-idly-vada-chutney-puttu-kadala?

Now, this post is about one of my infamous breakfast encounters. 

As usual, I was on my way to office one day, scrutinizing my fellow passengers in the bus - the same corporate folks who discuss the same Java and Oracle and relocation and America and cars and traffic and managers! So unexciting …to see the same monotonous faces daily! To make my time productive, I decided to make a to-do list for the day at work. But no… I couldn’t think of anything beyond my cube and my teammates. What was the distraction? The interrupting thought of the aroma of filter coffee in the cafeteria! “Forget work. First things first; so, let me elaborately plan today’s breakfast”, I decided. Thinking of the hot fluffy poori and the masala, I smiled to myself …wide!

As soon as I reached office, I marched to the cafeteria high spiritedly! There I met my friends, who also believe that the best way to start off a day is by making the tummy happy. As I was picking up my food from the counter ‘hello’-ing and ‘hi’-ing with colleagues standing in the queue, by mistake I dropped my tumbler splashing coriander chutney all over the floor! Oh Shit! I ‘sorry’-ied to the boy serving the food a thousand times and he kindly replaced my dish. 

Forgetfulness is bliss at times! Totally forgetting the commotion I created a few minutes ago, I thoroughly savored the food with my friends over jokes and gossips and pulling legs! 

It is now time for some serious stuff – work! I got into the elevator while two others whom I do not know joined. One of them was stinking and I felt embarrassed to close my nose in front of him. 

Me (in my mind): Why the hell can't people take a shower in the morning before coming to work? 
Stinking Guy: What a bad start…
Other Guy:  What happened? And why are you drenched?
Stinking Guy:  Early in the morning, somebody gave me a bath in chutney. It also got into my eyes that I couldn’t even see which moron did that. Bloody annoying, useless fellow! 

Shock, guilt, shame and nervousness sneaked in through my nerves and bones!

Me: Excuse me! 
Stinking Guy: Yes… (the other guy also turned at me)
Me: The bloody annoying useless person whom you just referred is me.
Both their eyes popping out: Excuse me, what?  
Me: I am so sorry; I didn’t know that I dropped it on somebody. I mean...I was the one who gave you the mint bath and I swear it was accidental.
Stinking Guy: Oh sorry! I didn’t mean it, you know! Huh, hmm…I was just talking in general…hope you understand - chutney on my shirt, eyes, everywhere…
Me: I am really really sorry! 

The elevator opened, it was their stop. Both of them gave me a smile and got out. I was still ‘sorry’ing!  

Heartfelt apology is a funny thing! Don’t you feel so?
22

Wish


If you think this picture was shot at Thrissur Pooram*, you are mistaken …big time!
Or, if you think somebody is giving away something for free here, even then you are wrong!


Well, it is just another silly hypermarket in Bangalore, close to my house! When I get bored, I keep committing the same mistake! What? I add to the chaos. How? I go there and shop! Why? To collect the most unimportant things. Then? I crib and cry looking sadly at my empty wallet!

Now, is there a solution to my problem? Yes… but only if one fine day God surprises Bangaloreans with a beach! Instead of Forum Mall, a beach! Wow...!! Lovely, isn’t?! And I wish if it also has lots of kappalandi-walas**!

* Thrissur Pooram
** Peanut-sellers
12

The Curious Case of a Missing ‘What’!

The once eventful house; it stands by a gently flowing stream, amongst hundreds of lush coconut and arecanut trees in a quiet countryside in Kerala. It is huge – splendid and palatial. Built by my forefathers, the house is a testimony to yesterday's craftsmanship and tomorrow's ideas. It also promises a breadth of fresh air, bright and smiling sun, clear sky, and inviting greenery – indeed a marvelous place to spend time with oneself! Go back in time; the house had in it fathers and mothers and uncles and aunts and sons and daughters and brothers and sisters and cousins and servants and even cows and goats - all under one same roof!

Though I have not spent many days with relatives in this house; here I experience a strong feeling of belonging. I believe that wherever life takes me to, some day I will have to return to my roots which is here. I have also felt close to people whom I have not seen even once in my life - my great grand fathers and mothers! They were the brave warriors who led many battles and returned to kingdom successfully! Powerful, rich and respected…! What more could they have asked for?

Information courtesy: my super-creative mom, who through her bedtime stories made our ancestors my ultimate heroes. Now in the heaven, I wonder what they will be feeling for their grand children – the corporate slaves living on bank loans in comparatively congested apartments, breathing polluted air!

However, this story is not about us - the disgraceful and snobbish bunch. This is perhaps a century old story - of my dominant forerunners, the background being the house described above.

Once upon a time, there lived a strong, yet a very kind person. He was the king’s most favored and trusted person, the civilians’ defender and the family’s guardian! He was loved and highly respected. But one fine day, to everybody’s shock, he went missing. And, nobody could answer why and where! The only evidence left was a lost brass vessel (mutka) from the veranda of the house. The chapter of the missing person was soon closed concluding that he has left the house and the territory with the mutka. In an era deprived of technology to trace a missing person, I doubt if anybody has even attempted to investigate further.

Anyways, the story does not end there. Generations after him believe that our man has gone to Kasi for pilgrimage. How did they arrive at the decision? Obviously, because he carried the mutka along. Logical finish, huh?!

Here is my take – Did anybody notice a long wooden stick too missing from the house? May be a cloth bag too?! A mutka, walking stick and a cloth bag – these are the ‘must’ accessories for Kasi visit!

 Wishing all of you a very happy and a fabulous Diwali.
17

My Dancing World


Oh…the cows are dancing, my husband is dancing, the meadows are dancing, the pink flower vase is dancing, the post office building is dancing, and I am also dancing...to the rhythm! I cuddled up again under the blanket, so loving the dream. The Dancing World…how beautiful indeed! Life is just perfect – colorful, happy and extravagant! How I wish if I really existed in such a carefree world, where people forget all their worries and dance together in merry! Closing my eyes tight, smiling to myself, I continued to enjoy the visuals.  

…while he pulled my blanket and forcefully dragged me into the real, disgraceful world! Totally annoyed, I rubbed my eyes and looked furiously at him! But I could only see his jaws move up and down! Huh?! Have I become deaf? Clearing my ears, I screamed at him, “Let us make things clear. Please let me know your problem. Why do you always hate to see me sleep peacefully?”

He smacked back, “Because, I am not interested in getting buried under the bricks. Are you getting out of the house now with me?”

Unable to make any sense out of it, I asked, “What? Can you explain?”

I could actually see his hair stand up and fumes come out of his ears. Still trying to stay calm, he said “Madam wifey, if you aren’t aware, the earth is wobbling right now; in scientific terms, it is called an earth quake. So, if you wish to live longer, I invite you outside of the house. Except you and me, the whole of New Zealand is now outdoors”.  
  
“Ente Karthaave…!”, I cried and panicked! “I have promised my ammachi that I would meet her this December to join the Palli-Perunnal with my valia-ammachi. I cannot afford to miss it at any cost! Come on; what the hell are you waiting for? Run fast, you slow poke!” Soon, both of us joined the hundreds of desis and vi-desis on the road, in shock, helplessly looking at houses and shops tremble and crack.

In few minutes, I realized that in 0 degree Celsius, I was standing below the dark sky in my pajamas, at 1:30 a.m! My feet were getting frozen and I tucked my hands in the pockets to feel the warmth. But all in vain. I felt my blood vessels were also getting frozen and thought I would soon become a statue. Here's what I visualized – a statue wearing night pants with smiling Mickey mouse all over and tees having Dhoni raise his cricket bat! Oh no…so, weird! And perhaps, people would name it, “The Statue of Frozen Looze”!

I told my husband, “Analyzing the situation in depth, I think we are left with just 2 choices – either die in this unbearable chilliness or be prepared to get smashed under the bricks. I guess latter one would be the smart choice! At least that sounds very fancy! So honey, come…let’s go home and watch Rajani Kanth handling adverse conditions in ‘Enthiran’! You never know, we might get better ideas!!”

As narrated by my very close friend Looze Baby; oops… I mean Liz Anto Cherry who currently resides in New Zealand with her husband.

15

Mid-week Gyan


Have you experienced moments in life when you feel totally let down? When calculations go wrong? When neighborhood appears boring and even rotten? When you realize you aren’t earning enough? When colleagues turn super ass holes? When you are being deceived and taken for a ride? When family drives you nuts? When you cannot tolerate India loosing cricket matches? When gymming doesn’t save? When even expensive lingerie no longer helps you look sexy? When carelessness take over you? When you lose enthu to live life to the fullest?

What do you do? Give up? Never!! Then?!

I have the solution!

Rush to Krishna Kafe, eat an onion-rava-masala-dosa soaked in coriander chutney and get slouched in filter coffee. Non bangaloreans – you may visit the nearest Saravana Bhavan or Aryas to relish the poori-baji or idi-vadas. Spend the evening with your best friend reliving those nostalgic days shared years ago. Chop vegetables to help your wife cook sambar for dinner. Watch Tom & Jerry fight ...and laugh. Hug your mom. Sleep tight praying for a better tomorrow!

What you think is a silly solution, could be the greatest reliever at times! Earth is after all, not all that a bad place to live in!! J

12

I love you, B'lore


I admit; I have cribbed volumes about this city. I hate the endless wait in the city’s chaotic traffic, so annoying are the narrow, unplanned and dug up roads, I cannot stand those uncivilized idiots who spit their red juice on public walls, sadly there is no solution to irresponsible political system and I see no end to pollution!

However, in spite of all the mismatch of likes, I am in love with Bangalore! Totally…!!

I love the cosmopolitan way of life here, I love my home, I love my work, I love the red buses on road, I love my new friends, I love my weekends and I love the weather.

Talking about Bangalore’s weather… I guess it is now going through some strange illness! Otherwise,

Why are the mornings no more cold? Oh… how I love those lazy, cozy and chill daybreaks!
Why are the afternoons so damn hot? Up above the sun is so uninviting!
Why are the evenings welcomed by surprise rains? …which lacks rhythm!
Why do we still sweat at night? That is terrible!

Pediatricians, gynecologists, ophthalmologists, neurologists…, anybody out there to treat my poor ailing Bengalooru?! 

21

Master Plan


Ayodhya, Babri, CWG - the key words for the week; no doubt!!!

God… 60 years is 6 decades! Is there a more laid back and screwed up thing as our judiciary?! Anyways, I am not here to invite any comments on that!

As I wonder what the hell they have been doing for 60 years, my most intelligent friend proposed this idea! I felt this is brilliant and is worth sharing with all of you.

So, here is the master plan:

Ground Floor – Ram Mandir
First Floor – Mosque
Second Floor – Shopping Mall
Third Floor – Food Court
Fourth Floor – Multiplex theatre
Around the structure – Gandhi Park

Problem solved, right?! Definitely a fabulous, sexy, insightful and a peaceful plan for all the communities across all age group! Why hasn’t anyone thought of this for all this while?!

Keeping fingers crossed… Today is the test of maturity of our nation. Let’s see how far we have progressed – spiritually, politically, emotionally, strategically, personally and intellectually! 

24

Reception



Unlocked the door. Got inside. Removed shoes. Changed clothes. Gulped water. Looked around. Stand still. Opened gmail. 9 new mails. Not interested. Over to blog. No new comments. Disappointed. Switched to facebook. No. Bored of 'liking' status messages. Log out. Rediff news. Yuck… dirty politics and retarded system. Gtalk. Hate chatting. How about Spider Solitare? Not so early. Shutdown the computer. TV. 10 minutes, zapped from 1 to 356. DVD. F.r.i.e.n.d.s. For the 100th time, definitely unexciting. Flipped through the half read book. So depressing. Closed. Tea time. Switched the stove on. Lazy. Turned it off. But hungry. Opened the fridge. Empty. Next? Mobile phone. Ran through the contacts. No mood for a conversation. Looked around. Emptiness. Gloom. Just silence and its heartlessness! 


Husbands, wives, boy friends, girl friends, room mates, fianc├ęs & friends! Planning to attend a late night meeting to discuss not-so-important strategies with folks in the US or Israel or UK or where ever? Think again and set your priorities!      

17

Back to school

While working now at my desk, I am reminded of my English teacher in school who once told, “Cows are not allowed in this school” to one of my friends whose anklets were tinkling away to glory. Now, when I hear the next-cube-girl’s bangles jingle as she types on her keyboard, I realize the magnitude of irritation caused due to these kinds of fancy things!

I started scribbling down this post thinking I shall go on & on about my annoyance at her bangles! But now I think I rather write about something I’d love to cherish …about the fabulous people in my life to recollect nostalgic memories I shared with them!

In the middle of theory of relativity and 3-dimensional geometry and economics and genetics, English hours were such a breather! How I loved listening to stories of O.Henry and Charles Dickens! …and how we were forced to by-heart ‘Daffodils’ and ‘If’ and the ‘Mending Wall’ to ultimately puke them into our answer sheets!

Thinking about English teachers, I am reminded of this ‘most happening miss’ who was extremely fond of giving her students a lot of gyan during morning assembly on varied topics. For Chinmayans of Kannur… here is the clue: She is famous for her perfectly round bindhi and neatly tied bun. If on Monday she talks about, “I see shoe prints on the wall near 11th standard classroom. I suppose we have boys and girls studying here and not spiders or reptiles!” on Tuesday, she will give anticipated highlights on the consequences if the students continue to misbehave during prayer time.

An adorable darling she is - the teacher who taught us “To Sir with love”! She, who was also terrifically bothered about cleanliness and punctuality, expected us brats to come in sparkling white shoes and ultra clean shirts and trousers and pinafores …thus compelling us to fight over the black board duster every day morning – to rub our shoes with the magical multipurpose gadget!

A cute tiny thing… fair & lovely was the teacher who recited so beautifully - about the phoenix bird who rose from its own ashes! A delightful experience it was, to listen to her repeat expressively the verses of the poem. However, little she knew that we were mostly flattered by her charm than what we were being taught! J

Apart from them, many other teachers taught me a lot other things – from “chubby cheeks” to “A for Apple” to “Robinson Crusoe” to “grammar” to “writing” to reading” to “calligraphy” to every bit of operation I do with English alphabets, words, phrases, sentences and paragraphs! Cheers, love and hugs to all of them!

…because of them, I have this blog and I write to you!

By the way, the bangles are still jingling …however I am not as irritated as I was before!

Chinmayans and non-chinmayans – Do you also want to share with us, your experiences with teachers in school?
23

Pre and Post Wedding


Vikky was blushing while he scribbled something in his diary. It was way past midnight. After sometime, he closed the diary, turned the lights off and tried to get some sleep.  

Vikky is my best friend who is going to get married in few days. Couple of days ago, I was at a coffee shop with him. I have never seen him so happy and thrilled; I was surprised to see him in his new romantic avatar; the once-upon-a-time prankster Vikky has become a hard core Romeo! Over a steaming cup of cappuccino, he talked volumes about his girl.

However, looking at her photograph, I felt she looked more like a school teacher and hardly gave any signs of a Juliet :p :p

This girl apparently is supremely pampered at home and belongs to the category of ‘very good, no-nonsense girls’. And this only added to his concern and anxiety about post marriage days. He wondered, “Bloody hell, will I be able to live up to her expectations?! And why do girls' parents do this crap to make our lives miserable?"

Finally, the wedding day!

The 3 days long Tam-Bram wedding happened with much splendor and celebration. The bride and the groom were dressed up in the most exquisite outfits; the couple looked overjoyed - well set to embrace the life that lies ahead of them.

Blessed by near and dear relatives and friends, holding hands, the both of them entered his house. Flowers and well wishes showered on the two.

Suddenly amidst the crowd, Vikky found her missing. Crying while bidding good bye to parents on the day of the wedding is the trend. Oops, I mean... is very painful indeed! Any girl would shed tears. However, Vikky was prepared. He dashed into his room, opened the cupboard and grasped the surprise gift he secretly bought for her – an expensive diamond pendant tucked in a heart shaped box, beautifully wrapped in red velvet!

He went to all corners of the house looking for her.

However was shocked to find her in the least expected place - jasmine flowers drooping down her hair and gold bangles tinkling, she was washing clothes in the bathroom, in her kancheepuram saree!

Amazed and not able to hide his expression, Vikky asked her, “While the house is filled with guests, what are you doing here?” Casually she replied, “Give me just 5 more minutes please...what an eventful wedding it was - three days of changing clothes infinite times. If I don’t wash my under garments, I will run out of them!”     
 
With his mouth open wide and the diamond pendant hid inside his dothi, Vikky stood there staring at her, speechless!


P.S - Though an unexpected beginning, they lived happily ever after! J
26

Rundown


I lie quiescent
in sightlessness,
like a chewing gum
stuck under a shoe.
Without a clue,
but wanting to crawl;
confused…
in blind humiliation.

FYI: This has nothing to do with my state of mind; I am still the same old mad stupid myself! 
22

Onam extravaganza

celebrate this Onam in style, fabulously!



















believe that we are still being ruled fairly by a Mahabali
believe that delight and justice fill the air always
believe that we certainly are far away from any menace
believe that all are in the pink of health

believe that betrayals are out of our lives
believe that we are living in bliss – a heaven
for sure, God’s own county!   

(picture clicked at Enteveedu, Wayanad)


Apart from watching Mohanlal and Mammootty on Asianet or Surya TV, how differently have you celebrated Onam this time? Let me know through the comment box. 

26

Laddu weds Insulin!


My trip to the US of A is at last confirmed. Oh, how impatient I’m now – to indulge in all those activities which I love and are not possible in India. Lovely and happening days ahead – I am pretty sure of that! J

I collected my tickets from the travel desk and as I walked back to my cube, I tried to recollect the list of things I am asked to carry for my friends and relatives there.

All what I can think of now are – Sambar powder from Swamy’s for Jaggy, Kuchippudi costumes for Sacramento cousin, Thirupati Balaji’s photo frame and Meera-Bhajans CD for the newly-wed friend, collection of Kalikkudukka for Shalu babe, insulin shots for uncle in Chicago … The list only would get longer!   

That is when I was told by somebody that the insulin shots will not be allowed to lounge in the flight unless the person travelling has some related health issue. Oh no… me, a total chocolate and gulab-jamun lover never want to lie to anybody that my blood is diabetically polluted. What if Sugar-God then says, “Tha-thaa-sthu” and it happens?! Sure; I don’t even want to take a chance! However, thinking of my Uncle who is being denied every sweet and also not-so-sweet thing in the world I feel, I definitely should help him in some way! 

I rang this uncle’s son to brainstorm and find a solution.

RaPi: Hello… do u realize it is 2:30 in the morning here?
Me: But it is a lovely evening here!:P
RaPi:  Now, what do you want?
Me:
Apparently, I should go diabetic if I am to carry those insulin shots in the flight. And I am not, touch-wood! So, what do we do?
RaPi:
Simple… even if they ask, don’t tell them you have them in your bag.
Me:
No… I don’t think I am in favor of lying to the officers!
RaPi:
Oh, sorry… I forgot that your dad’s name is ‘Sir. Harishchandra’!
Me:
Come on… let us discuss!
RaPi:
Indeed; at 2:30 in the middle of my sleep, I am getting too creative to give you ideas. Hmm… alright, do one thing!
Me:
What?
RaPi:
Get a box of laddu from Anandabhavan and squeeze the insulin babies in between. They will have fun together in the box.
Me:
What? Have you gone bonkers?
RaPi:
I think it is a fabulous idea; if the officer asks you, you may tell the truth – that they are delicious laddus inside. If at all they open the box to confirm, you still have not lied cos they are actually there! 
Me: Then, what about the insulin? Should I tell him that this is how laddus in India lay eggs?
RaPi:
Prevention is better than cure; so wise Indians inject insulin into the laddus before consuming! Wow... this is brilliant!
Me: Bad idea…
RaPi: Alright… you want to make it believable, right? Then, here you go… tell him that you are amnesia-struck big time that you have no idea about what those insulin bottles are doing with the laddus! I know you are quite a drama-queen and will surely do a good job!
Me: Not knowing how to react, I kept quiet.
RaPi:
Now, please don’t disturb me; I shall call you tomorrow when it is 3 in the morning in India.
Me:
Good Night… Bye.

I hung the call and I am still trying to recall all the advice, ideas and points shared with me …while the phone rang again.

RaPi:
Instead of laddus, get a jumbo box of kaju-katli – the spherical ones with silver foil over it… I like them better. And please come soon; I just cannot wait - not for you, but for the kaju-katlis :P
Me:
huh?! :x :x


TGIF! Have a great weekend, folksJ

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