What an eventful Republic Day it was…

My cousin who returned from the US very recently, is still in the process of settling down. He has a lot of to-do-tasks in his kitty which includes getting broadband-ly connected, restoring relationship with MTV, KTV and NDTV, loving and jumping the traffic signals, exploring all the Saravana Bhavans and Biriyani houses in town, restarting train and bus journeys across the South Indian states and most important – bringing the house back to livable condition. However, this guy who is the synonym of laziness, has preserved the list as it is!

This Republic Day, he woke up thinking of and thanking Gandhiji for all what he has selflessly done for our country. When he didn’t know how to express his joy of being back in India, he sent this SMS to me –
“Happy Republic Day! Hamara Bharat Mahan. Wishing peace and happiness to all”. Knowing him from my childhood, I am sure it is something which came deep from his heart, may be even from his intestine! J

This republic day, he realized something else too – that it has been ages since he washed his clothes. Thanks to his inertia to buy a washing machine, he looked at the heap of clothes to be rinsed, dried and ironed. All had was was four buckets in different colors, half a kilo of Surf Excel, two water taps, few cloth lines on the terrace and merrily smiling Chennai sun!

Again he thought of Gandhiji who even used to weave the clothes he wore. He wondered how Bappu managed his calendar – how he found time for his personal needs in between Dandi March, preaching Ahimsa and advising the Brits to bid tata to our country. Drawing inspiration from the Father of our Nation, our guy got geared up to complete the self assigned assignment. I guess little he did realize that Gandhiji was not a computer professional like him who wore full sleeved shirts, formal pants, jeans, tees, socks and boxers to work. Gandhiji also didn’t have jogging tracks, gym and swim wear and separate cloths to wear while playing tennis and badminton! Poor Bappu would have owned just two or three pairs of khadi dothi which do not require any hi-tech laundry plans!

Let me come back to his Republic Day exercise. After spending more than three and a half hours on playing musical chair with buckets and clothes, he put them on the cloth line for drying. In the next three and quarter minutes, he finds all of them collapsing mercilessly! He could only look at it sadly, wiping his tears and cursing his stars! Just a reminder - cloth lines are not oak trees that will live for centuries.

Jokes apart, I extend my condolences to the dirtied clothes!


Boy… I got tagged!

Wow… I won my first booker prize! Yes… I really mean it. Here is the just derived equation – Arundati : Booker Prize = Shalini : This award J Thanks to Lost World for being so sweet and generous! *Smiles* *Claps* *Applause*!!! Here I receive the award from Lost World, with a 1000 W smile!

I have been asked to write 10 honest things about myself. Since I have already written about the most honest ‘More than 10 things’ here, lemme instead share with you the Ten (in)significant things which made this week eventful.

Composed a ‘Happy Birthday’ email to my colleague G.P Dutt (name slightly changed) to receive his instantaneous reply, “…but Shalini, my birthday is in October”. Instead of just sending a Smiley, I don’t know why I replied “Oops… This mail was meant for my friend, G.P Dutt. Oh… what to do, both of you share the same common name!!” I still believe that he believed me! J 
I am sad about Erich Segal’s demise. What an astonishing writer he was! Though I was a major M&B reader once upon a time, Love Story is still one of my favorite favorite love stories!
I miss my parents, wish they were in Bangalore.
I made a curry for dinner out of sprouted groundnuts not realizing it was spoiled. I almost cried when I drained it into the dustbin, thinking of the tears I wiped while cutting onions, which also went into the bin holding hands with tomatoes and garlic and ginger!! L
Watched 3 idiots thrice from theatre, though not by choice. I might die if I have to watch it again in the next six months. BTW, Dil Chahta Hai is my all time favorite Amir Khan movie.
I am meeting two of my best friends today. I underline – it is heaven to be with childhood friends. Time and distance doesn’t matter, nothing can harm the closeness we share. Wanna bet?! J
Lemme tell you how I started blogging. Never cos I could foresee Lost World giving me an award! When I appeared for my first job interview in Bangalore, this guy asked me, “Don’t you own a blog?” He sounded so frosty, like it was a crime to not have one! Since I hated being stamped a ‘criminal’, I began to blog!! Until recently, my blog was all to itself. Except me nobody knew such a thing existed. Now I am glad that I have a handful of readers! Thank you all… J
Today, I am alive cos the last three times, I failed to finish 'Death-By-Chocolate' at one go. "How shameful...!!!" Right Bangaloreans?
Not always I am happy about being in India. …while I do get patriotic once in a while! At times I feel like escaping to somewhere (of course not to Pakistan or Bangladesh or Africa!) when the obvious problems of the country bother me. I am just being honest… Doing justice to the award I received!

I was being a Roman while in Rome yesterday; ...I mean, I was being a French when I was in Pondicherry yesterday. And it was fun! J

ere are my virtual friends, whom I wish to tag in return:

Anoop – Whose pictures I love! I have in fact visited few places referring this blog. …and what wonderful description he gives!

Dannilla – Madness Personified!! …who has amused me (still continues doing the same) with her writing skills. More than that, my very very close friend.
Sivaraman – The only one whom I bug at work for non professional reasons. Born with engineering skills, he is a writer at heart!
Nacha – …whom I still miss in office. She might appear silent; but in her is hidden a volcano of fun and laughter!
Destiny's child – A blog which I discovered recently. What interesting subjects she writes on. I am sure, you will also love it, just like I did.
Lay Man – He who comes up with some thought provoking and nostalgic write ups.
Abhilash – Who writes like the boy-next-door - very simple, yet very interesting!

Now, here are the 5 rules (to be strictly followed!):
1. Thank the person from whom you have received the award listing his / her blog link (ie, please thank me!!)

2. List 10 honest things about yourself (like I did)
3. Paste the ‘Honest Scrap’ logo on your blog (not asking for too much, right?) 
4. Choose 7 other worthy bloggers and list their links (U r not allowed to enjoy it alone) 
5. Notify the bloggers of the award, requesting them to follow the rules (so that they will not miss to receive the award)


The Journey Worth Million Dollars

One Friday afternoon, I started for home by train. Not all train journeys have given me the same experience, though the route has been the same – Kannur to Coimbatore; Coimbatore to Kannur! While I have enjoyed some journeys that I feel interrupted when I reach my destination, some have been so annoying that I wish if I was teleported, so that I could just evaporate. At times, I make friends with people who share my seat; a few times, I sleep off like I was drugged! Otherwise I get absorbed in the view through the window or deeply in some reading material. 

This time, my pick was a book. I was so involved in it that I hated any sort of distraction. In such a state of mind, passenger train is perhaps the worst option. But a hostel-living, college-going student’s luxuries were very limited. While I usually enjoy “Pardesi Pardesi jaana nahi” by Indian Railways-sponsored Lata Mangeshkars and Kumar Sanus; this time I almost closed my ears. I gave the singing-duo some money, signaling them to evacuate the place.

A family consisting of a thick-bearded father, loose-tongued mother, pranky son, restless daughter and an ever-crying infant got seated in the same aisle as mine. I cursed my stars for picking the wrong spot, not foreseeing irritating neighbors for the next few hours! To not top up the disaster, I decided that I will be all to myself and at any cost, will not draw the attention of kids. I could feel the little ones turn monkeys, hopping from one end of the compartment to the other. I could smell samosas and chai, could hear biscuit packets being crushed and kur-kure chewed. I was also listening to their endless silly doubts on almost everything under and over the sun.

Appa… Why are the trees running backwards when we are moving forward?”
“If I pull the chain, will they arrest me or Appa?”
“Will I see original God in Kerala?”  (…even I did not undertand!)
I sat numb to all the activities around me, not taking my eyes off the pages of the book.

That is when I heard the lady repeat the question, “Where are you going to?” I knew answering the first question will lead to 100s of them following. So, I kept quiet, not even looking at her. The lady seemed to be capable of making me puke even my ancestral history! She continued, “Where are you going? Palakkad?” Wow… stars started pouring down my mind and brain when I heard ‘Palakkad’. Hopefully that is where they are going to get down!opeH

She told her son, “Share your biscuits with that akka(‘that’ akka is me!)
Son, “No… I will not” (how sweet and obedient!)
Lady to me, “Please don’t mind huh… At times, these kids are out of their mind!”
I still did not react… (Wonder how I managed to do that!!!)

Lady to her husband, “From then I have been observing, I think this girl is deaf!”
Husband, “May be…”
“The biscuit question was only to test her; I was sure Pappu would only say NO! Now I have confirmed”

Wow... What a hilarious woman. I cannot tell you how hard it was to hold back my expressions and laughter!

Rolling her eyes and pointing her finger at her son who continued to be an irritating brat, she said, “If you don’t sit quietly, you will also become deaf like that akka. She lost her ears because she was also unruly when she was a kid.”
“Unruly???!!!” I froze! Look… how I am being used as an example!
Anyways, the mom’s trick worked. He sat next to her wordlessly, scrutinizing me.

The girl opened her question bag again, Amma… deaf people are also dumb right?” 
“There is a nerve which connects your ear and the tip of your tongue. For such people, that nerve is not long enough to complete the connection! …and so, she is dumb and also deaf”. Then she looked at me with a sad face. 

Her explanation reminded me of Raghupathy (the boy in my hostel mess), who asked me once, “Is it after they started making computer mouse using dead rats, that plague started spreading in India?"

My mobile started vibrating from my pocket. I was sad about breaking the fun when it is at its peak. They turned statues when I answered the call, “Ah… Amma, I boarded the train; I shall give you a call when I am about to reach home. …okay bye!”

Girl, "Amma, her nerve is very well connected!"

The expression which bloomed on the lady’s face followed by her husband’s smile and chillingly question-marked kids were worth 10 million dollars!!

(The lady did not open her mouth till they got down at Palakkad and I continued to smile at myself till I reached Kannur. The journey was definitely more entertaining the book!)


Mechanical I

Weekdays are so mechanical. Monday morning transforms me into a machine, which obeys mostly my brain and not always my heart. There are no surprises to look forward to. However, at times I do get surprised when I see the price tag on vegetable packets! Once in a while, I even get wonder struck at some emails! But here, I am talking about exciting surprises like a flower bouquet at my office desk with a Smiley on a post-it, followed by a phone call from a long lost friend! Oh… only if life resembled Bollywood, it would have been so lovely! J

Knock knock… return to reality, darling…!!!

Reality Check: Since the day I have started working in Bangalore, this is how an average office-going day looks like!

6:15 am - Lakshmi madam (our maid), rings the door bell.
6:30 am – 7:45 am – Prayer, tea, newspaper, updates on films and stars, bitch about politicians, bath, cook oats/cereals (not for me), rush to office.

Before I reach my cube, I grab a plate of 
Idly-Vada from the cafeteria. When they hiked the price by 4 rupees one fine morning, I was taken aback by surprise cos I felt the size of the vada slightly got reduced with the increase in price. By the time my computer boots, I make my tummy happy to totally fall in love with the new day at work!

I check mails, reply to a few, ignore a few, flag a few and delete a few, work, accept and send meeting requests, read the latest posts of my favorite bloggers, pay attention and not pay attention to meetings, work, peep into gmail, work, wonder, dream, smile, work, think, check my friends’ updates on facebook and orkut, work, relish masala tea from vending machine, update my tweets, laugh at status messages, smile at my colleagues, work, read news on rediff, attack the food counters in cafeteria, take a walk around office building, work, get caffeinated, make calls, receive calls, ignore calls, work, type sense and nonsense on internal messenger, work and then it is 5 pm to leave for home!

Back home, it is a continuous hop from living room to kitchen to bedroom to balcony to living room to bathroom to bedroom to kitchen to…. and I fall fast asleep till Lakshmi rings the bell again - the next day!

If you are also working and your day is different from mine, please let me know! Even otherwise, tell me how similar it is! 


Cockro-kin Robbins!

To make a less-exciting day more-exciting, few of my colleagues went to Baskin Robbins yesterday, to munch and enjoy their varied flavors of fancy ice creams!

….the afternoon indeed turned eventful after they discovered this guy hiding inside one of the cones!

By the way, I forgot to ask this friend if he found ‘him’ there before or after finish licking the brown deceiving chocolate bomb!

However, this doesn’t stop me from wishing all of you a very Happy Pongal


Pre-marriage Queries (No Registration Charges)

Guess she believes I am a trusted qualm-shedder. Else I have no idea why she called me this morning. 

Man, I am so scared!
IUseless woman, please pool in some excitement. Believe me; getting married is not as bad as you think.
SheNot even a dosa I have ever made in my entire life; so how do you think it is gonna get exciting?
IOh, I thought you were worried for something else, for more obvious reasons ;)
SheShut up!
IInterested in some free; yet most useful advice to make your life more colorful and eventful?
SheI am all ears.
IGolden Rule: Don’t jump the gun!
I Don’t promise (when you don’t know what else to do) that you will make the world a better place overnight by making mouth-watering khoya paneer and chicken-101.
SheBut I thought to get into a man’s heart, the easiest and fastest way is through his taste buds! Is it really not?
I The faster you get inside, faster you will be thrown out too! …I mean ‘slow and steady wins the race’!
She – Oh My God, marriage is a race too?!
I - Idiot, if you serve him the best today, what will you do tomorrow? Mind you – there is no “bester”!
SheGirl, You have a point! I am discarding the idea of joining Mom’s cooking class.
IThere is no need to hurry honey, u have all the time in the world! Motivate him to say ‘babe… it will get better over time’. You see, ultimately the magic works when his tummy wails. He will be motivated enough to say, “Mein hoon na?” and will develop his own culinary expertise to finally master at it!
SheWow… now I think I am getting excited! Do you mind if I ask you something silly?
I Silly questions are more interesting to answer. Please go ahead…
SheLike in movies, have you ever sung a song and together danced to it? (She really asked me that!!!!)
I - Then, what are bathrooms for?
SheHuh?! Is your bathroom big enough for both of you to sing and dance?!
I – Lady… I have no more advice for you; instead once you become a wife I might need some from you!

Now, I am left puzzled! However guys... do you have any pre-marriage (vegetarian) tips to give my friend, who is getting married in a month?


Sreeshanth’s New Year Resolutions

I want to become a good boy. I feel sad when I am made fun of. I feel insulted. I want to be respected and worshiped. At least not disliked. Like Sachin. Like Dravid. I read somewhere that sticking to a list of New Year resolutions is a good idea. 

So, here it goes. Daivame…Guruvayoorappa, save me!
  1. I will do justice to my name; will be a “Shanth” kumaran.
  2. I remind myself that I am not the greatest bowler India has ever produced. I will disown my babies - pride and arrogance.
  3. I will not overreact on the ground when only by my luck a batsman gets out.
  4. I will learn from my seniors on ‘How to Behave in Public’. Difficult I know, but I will try, God Promise!
  5. I shall not speak in English on Malayalam channels cos I admit, I make a fool of myself when I try to show off.
  6. Though I hail from a drama family, I will not cry and draw attention of the media, even when I get slapped by any Sardarji or a Kangaroo. 
  7. When I experience a testosterone rush, I shall hold back my feelings and chant the mantra, “Cricket first; girls follow”.
  8. I will not try to woo any more heroines cos I realize my team mates are better at handling girls. I don't want to fight a losing battle L. I love like Pritey Zinta like a chechi, I mean like an elder sister.
  9. Check Check...reality check - I think I am a fabulous dancer. But may be only as good as an average high school kid. I will hereafter stop exhibiting my dancing skills. 
  10. I will not bring disgrace to my folks, to fellow Keralites.
After all, I am from God’s own county; nothing is impossible in this country! Ol are as simble as a dimble! If you see me break any of the 10 promises, here I curse myself, “Let me become a deadly ghost; let kids laugh at me when I try to scare them!” 

Yours truly,
Gopu Mon (a.k.a Sreeshanth)


Rakhi Sawant v/s Aiswarya Rai

Couldn’t manage to get it even today! Smarter guys have already snatched it!! I think I am the only one left on Planet Earth who has not watched Three Idiots (yet!!). So grumpy I am, and my reasons are valid enough to be so!

With a sad 
L face I walked out of office, thinking what would be the easiest thing to cook for dinner. I am definitely not in a mood to exhibit my culinary skills. Instead of munching pop corn laughing at Amir Khan followed by a sub from Transit, I am stuck between rice & rasam and chapati & subji and dosa & chutney and biriyani from neighborhood restaurant!  Oh… the evening offers not only disappointments for free; but also tough choices!

With all these confusions making circuits in my cerebrum and cerebellum, I was sitting inside the bus on my way back home, listening to “Kajra re Kajra re…” on some fm station. Aiswarya as Ms. Gorgeous-ever and Amitab Bachan as Mr.Irk-ever also got mixed with the dosa and chapatti in my brain! 

That is when this cute little girl sitting next to me asked, “Didi… whom do you like better? – Rakhi Sawant or Aiswarya Rai?”
Opening my eyes wider, I said, “Excuse me…!!”
Girl, “Aiswarya or Rakhi?”
At an unexpected question at the most unexpected time, I replied like a player which was already fed with an answer, “Aiswarya”
“How come?”
“Hmmm… because I like Aiswarya better”, that was the best answer I could spit out!
“You are so silly didi, I like Rakhi… is she not too trendy and sexy?!
“Huh…!!! Really?”
“Seeing her dance, even I have joined Bollywood dance class. When I grow tall enough, my mother said even I can take part in the dance competition on TV with my boy friend. Then, both of us will become famous.”

I realized I have become too old, in fact a grandmother at heart to handle kids! The generation gap has become too wide beyond repair!

Before I got off the bus, the Sawant fan did not forget to give me a trendy and sexy flying kiss. I tucked it in my pocket and walked towards home. Back to dosa v/s chapatti v/s rice v/s biriyani!!


B’day boy, yet I love you

Today is his birthday. In school, if you have got beaten up or punished or humiliated, it could have been because of him. Yet, I wanna wish him today. 

Happy Birthday to You,
Happy Birthday to You…
Happy Birthday dear Newton
Happy Birthday to You 

As a kid, this guy was one of my enemies! How I hated him, Oh God! For that matter, all of them were my enemies – Newton, Einstein, Pythagoras, Bohr, Mendel and all their friends! However, now that I have no more mandatory exams to write and get through, I am making an attempt to at least not dislike them. But Mr Bohr, sorry; you are an exception. I still hate you!

What if on the day apple fell on Newton’s head, it rained and his mother did not allow him to sit under the apple tree? Then, g would not have been equal to 9.8; also later, Mass would not have married Acceleration to produce their baby Force! None of us would have experienced this magic, F=ma! I mean, objects in uniform motion would not have been in the same state if / if not somebody applies a push on it! Oh, the world would have been totally a different planet!

I was wondering, what if Newton, Einstean, Pythu and Co were like me - I mean, super-laid back when it comes to theories and derivations and super-excited when it comes to lazing around? What would have happened? A computer could be a thing yet to be invented and I would not be sharing this meaningless thought with you on this silly blog.

So I realize, indeed everything happens for good. Thank God it did not rain that day and the apple fell right on his head, which left Newton chettan thinking!

So here I am, once again wishing you with all my heart, “My dear Newton, A very Happy Birthday! You truly deserve more than just an apple!” 

Also, 3 cheers to R.A. Japan sir a.k.a Rajendran Sir, my Physics teacher in school who has handled many useless kids like me without losing his sanity.

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