Friday, November 30, 2012

Unhealthy rants

*I am ranting now. Feel free to ignore*.

I have been a zombie who runs from work to home and makes lunchbox meals in between. All zest to make stuff new, walk on long ways, stand and smell sunshine have been sucked away. It is so horrid that there are five unread (really nice) books and I have not touched a single of them. I have not prayed properly, have forgot the nirvana of cleaning my room and spend hours watching re-runs of sitcoms. I have officially lost all my ideas of a productive life. On the work front, I made terrible third grade style mistakes. Looks like the muse is finally leaving me. The reason - stress. As crazy as it may seem, according to my GP - I am stressed beyond limits.

Not to mention, health and wellness is at bottom rock. For now, I am looking forward to the weekend and really hope I feel better by next monday.

And there, goes the first crib/rant post on moods. Damn!

This picture remotely represents my mood now. Please laugh. Thank you.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

And a totally blog worthy moment too..

On Timeline : Bought her second Parker Pen.

I know the I has to come before A in diary but we got to live with they say, you can't change the written word. Also, it's my red notebook; so I can choose to spell it the way my mind works. Pardon, dear purists.

Monday, October 29, 2012

To Hell, with The Good Indian Girl.

I was all of 22 when this question first arose. We had gone out to a nearby trek as a group and I chose to sit with a guy in a bus journey, who I was neither dating nor had any intentions to. Of course, he was not my brother or anyway related. Over the next two days, we spent time doing stuff together – waiting on each other at unknown bus stops, filling water bottles for each other, sharing one vegetarian dish over lunch ( cause we were the only two loners), being on one team in antakshari. He was also my personal photographer. The trip got over, and two days later I realized I had just stooped to an all time low from the good Indian girl I was.

Someone from the group assumed (rather stupidly) that I was trying hard for him and created an online photo album full of pictures of me and him.  Most of them were falsely cropped and edited as we did not take too many pictures together. This album was shared, rather secretly amongst the group until the guy in question saw them. He went berserk with rage and screamed choicest abuses. Of course we chilled it over with some good ice tea.

The good Indian girl does not have conversations with seemingly nice men and call herself friendly. She usually hangs out with the equally demented girls and is given wry and naughty eye stares, giggles and not mention flat, senseless comments when she does break the norm. She will call herself independent and will cross waters for a much rated elite education, however she will still be “at least hesitant” to go alone with a guy for a movie. It is to be understood that going to the movie is perfectly acceptable if initial hesitance is shown in melodramatic doses. A girl who refuses to be hesitant is usually labeled “loose” and more intensely called slut.

Her usual comments on love and relationship are heavily influenced from puke sweet doses of movies and any non-adherence to the usual map calls for a scrutiny on fidelity. If a couple break up, the anatomy of her relationship style is heavily examined. Not to mention, every one of her previous 9345 boyfriends become instantly lucky and the future 9346’s goat is a martyr. The first time I heard an account from a friend about how her roommate ditched her boyfriend (she was in a seriously depressing con called love) and got herself a “local guy”, I had doubts if the report was on a hooker. Oh no, if you call me exaggerated, I request you to email me for the whole story.

The rather demure girl has all her aspirations, dreams, hopes on a perfect wedding with her boyfriend (of course, only sluts or “impotent women” break up). Anyone like yours truly who has no ideas on her wedding is promptly ignored. I cannot remember the number of uninvited conversations I have been a part of, and the amount of vague confusion every conversation has led me into.  It is even more annoying when the said girl has interests in photography, design, sarees, mehendi, men ( in that order). All this pressure makes it harder to do simple stuff like listen to Adele without being questioned.

If I had to assume all this drama ends with the grand finale of a marriage, I cannot be more gullible. It almost continues all thorough her life with questions, wry glances, broken giggles, clandestine conversations, gossip filled pizza nights and transcends from the just graduate, to the new bride until it reaches the recent widow. And here, I am talking only about the peer group of women. They are mostly equally educated, equally fat with bank balances, and mostly of the same age. I am not taking the aunties who sit back home to gossip ( who, IMHO are more soft with thoughts/words), and I am not taking one whole half of the world into my observation.

This may be a rant to few but any woman who has nodded her head through knows what I am talking about. It is that unspoken worm, the creepy devil in every Indian woman’s head. That devil , which the society garlands and celebrates womanhood. To hell, with it. To hell, with the good indian girl. I am plainly sick of you.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Golu 2012 - The Sundal'O Sundal Times

Navaratri wins hands down for my most favourite festival ever. It promises good food, enough holidays, pretty dresses, noisy (okay, and nice) people coming over and gorgeous goluWe always aim to have the best golu in town. That is how the theory of continuous improvement was taught to us. My mother and her team (me, the brother, household helps aka multitalented divas) wholeheartedly aim to get more besh-besh than the previous year. We start the planning process so early that we can plan a wedding in free time.True story.
Golu 2012. This is only a part of it. We had other arrangements around the living room. 
My mother’s ever growing appetite for pudhu-pudhu ideas never helped. There was a time she insisted on getting the entire ramayanam and we played along too. We went ahead and bought a couple of sets to support the idea. That is how the ravanan durbar happened. Another year, we were high on ramyanam and hanuman came home lifting sanjeevani et all. Over the nine days, loads of loud talking happened on how the next year would be and we conveniently ( thank god!) packed the ideas along with bommais into dabbas.
Golu 2010. The first one, I ever missed.
Don’t blame us. The truth is, golu is more than just an arrangement of dolls.  It is the stage Shakespeare spoke about; except this one is at a tambrahm’s place with extravagant amounts of sundal, filter cofeee and lambodara. Times like those, I realise there is a director Shankar inside every one of us.  When I was about eight, my mother got into this huge mission to dress me up every evening in a different costume. (did anyone think of a Shankar padam song, now. Comment it out, please) Me, being the chamathu ponnu and the narcissistic camera obsessed poser gave her the least trouble and was very happy to parade around. The idea was to have guests sit for “golu shows” with me and my cousin sing, dance or say suklambaradhaaram.
Golu 2011. This picture is my favourite. One of the kids :(
After some dog years went by, we went the intellectual way. Do not mistake me for the inquisitive child, I was more of the i-ask-tough-questions-terrorise-juniors kinds. We had laminated sheets talking puranams installed near dolls and made any brat below my waist length to answer questions. Once, me and my brother awarded one pattani to a child for pronouncing “dhritarashtra” correctly.
I tell ya, we really did it!
With all the emphasis on innovation, the families also get creative with sundals. Someone served sweet corn and peas sundal and another wrapped sundals in news paper for a beach effect ( please do facepalm and say ada, raama). My mom’s motto of devotion, prayer is clearly not cooking a dish so we do not have daily sundals at my place. However, thanks to crusading maamis and home-hopping, there is never a dearth of it during the season. I absolutely suck at this ritual of visiting homes during golu. I know it is all fun to drape in shiny stuff, but when you do the same thing for nine days, every year for twenty years, it totally fizzles out. Especially, when they serve oosi pona sundal or payasam-style tea. Me and my brother devised a ritual to behave at a golu such that everyone is happy.

·    Stare at the golu for two minutes.

·    Make a mental note of the pramadham features and try very hard to find ways to get it done in next golu. (brother skips this step)
·    Compliment loudly on something normal. Mostly stuff like..oh maami, the thoranam is just perfect or these dasavatharams are so lakshnam. (brother usually over acts for extra sundal here)
·    Evaluate sundal; this is an expert process of tossing exactly three lentils and analysing the kara-saram levels. If it meets expectations, continue with rest. If not, politely ask maami for plastic cover and dump sundal with a sheepish smile. Everyone assumes you are packing it home and is happy.

·    Get into vehement protests to the oru paatu paaden ma..and start intently concentrating on the sundal or the park. Here, I wish to record that I have NEVER sang at a golu. Even during my paatu class days. Thank you.
·    Get the pink plastic dabba or the 10,000 km well-travelled pachai blouse bit and make exit. Oh, don’t forget to take some kumkumam.

The ritual worked perfectly for us, with minor deviations when one golu had a PS2 set up and another gifted geometry boxes.

This post will end with one of my favourite pictures of the season. The brother with his shiny new SLR has taken fantastic photos. This is a small sitting area in the living room, now refurbished into a mini krishna-leelai set. There is also a raavana’s durbar to the far left. I had to miss posting pictures of the national integration set, the village and the dessert because this post has become super long!

I hope you are all having a fantastic navaratri there. Mine is mostly office, home with strangely, some sundal for lunch boxes. Have a festive time, and look all pretty. I am only a little homesick. Curable with copious amounts of payasam-tea.

Note: If you are interested to know the spiritual significance of Navratri, please read this post by Chitvish.

P.S : I had italicised with an idea to provide a glossary. Now, I fear that will run to a post. So feel free to ask ( and not assume) if you do not get a word. I appreciate it, truly.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Krishna Key - A book review, the first's here!

Thanks to Blog adda and my slightly demented facebook post, me and two other lucky ones got the book shipped to Singapore I mean, in these days - who ever does these kind of things?

Go on, feel all jealous now.

So, I never do reviews on the books I read. I do scribble a bit on my goodreads account. But not so much here. However, this is a gift so as promised -  here I go!

I must confess - I was probably the last person on this planet to read Dan Brown. It is not so much that I liked or disliked the idea, but I am not one of those who can manage and process so much information at one sitting. After reading this book, I am told not to pick it up for I will find similarities on a high. I did watch the movie earlier, though. 

I like books that can transform me. The kinds where I forget to have lunch( will do my waist some good), or where I smell magic in it. Books like those, keep me hooked. The Krishna Key did not disappoint at all.

This is my first book of Ashwin Sanghi. (Update in Dec 2012: I read The Chankaya Chant. It was brilliant. No review on it, though).

In The Krishna Key, research is the middle name.The level of research is amazing in this book. He writes not merely from papers, but from knowledge gained from reading and researching on it. He links mathematics, astronomy, chemistry, mythology, symbols and so much more. To embark on a project of this magnitude  complete it with a clear picture and write in simple terms is fantastic. 

The book revolves around linking mythology to facts and the author does a brilliant job in weaving a net over it. I love anything mythology and this book was like walking in the Mahabaratha period. Every page has revelations, turns and twists and the entire book got me hooked for a weekend. They predict the exact time Kurukshetra was fought, the people who lived then, the India then, Krishna's death, his life and so on. I have always been fascinated by mythology and the book offered it in doses never read earlier.  

I do not wish to divulge the story, but the outline is around how a middle aged professor tries to get four seals left by Krishna together. The story takes turns between Mahabharatha and present day and is narrated from perspectives of Krishna, the historian, the archaeologist and the gene scientist. All perspectives carry informaiton in sacks, the kinds which takes more than my saturday mind to process. I had to resort to Ms.Google to co-ordinate most of the clue and when I did, it was shocking. It was so beautifully woven and has left me with doubts on the stories we have heard so far!

The climax was a dissapointment. There are no ways about it. I had built such high hopes after all the travel research on DNA, Kailash and Somnath. I found it lacked a bit of punch and had too much information to process. I would certainly recommend this book - if you love history, India and of course, Krishna!

This review is a part of the Book Reviews Program at BlogAdda.comParticipate now to get free books!

Friday, October 12, 2012

English Vinglish – Glorious; Feel Good

I will gladly give you all my barfis if you give me a movie like this every week. This film is a feel good not just because it shows glossy images and a pretty actress. The movie talks and subtly indicates a lot of aspects Indian cinemas conveniently choose to ignore.

In no specific order, the fine touches that make the movie stand out

·        It makes a heroine out of a home maker. We should do this more often. In reality.

·        The movie gave a short kick on the ass of families that perennially believe in taking the parantha/dosa making mom for granted. The film actually teaches manners and how to treat people and at times, it is very reassuring to see such simple stuff in movies. ( esp, in her last five minute speech)

·        Every now and then, we meet people who take great pleasure in criticizing others spoken language skills and creating a dinner table discussion out of it. While being a good friend and correcting them in private is all kudos, bringing one’s pronunciation as a joke reflects mediocrity. Personally, I have had some one do that to me and I have felt too meek to respond.

·        The film probably makes many of us relate to a mother we know. It seemed like the perfect thing to do.

And, finally huge thanks to Mehdi Nebbou for being so irresistibly cute and motivating me to pack my bags and reach NY for an English class. Except that, I will probably be a teacher. Oh yes, that little kid never overacted. A rarity, these days!

Saturday, September 22, 2012


The journey back home after leaving a loved one at airport is the longest.

Clicked on reaching Langkawi. The mom leaves home today.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Jack and Jill - The true story.

and..reasons to permanently ban English nursery rhymes from schools.

Sourced from google images. Excuse for not providing direct link, please.

Because it teaches plagiarism and lacks originality.

Whoever wrote a bunch of sad words certainly had his winds blown on me.He was probably the six-songs-all-sound-same music director's ancestor ; cause A..B..C..D alphabet song, Baa Baa Black Sheep and Twinkle Twinkle have exactly the same tune. We rather sing the original Kolaveri and dance with themoon(u). Or, just pick one of the million versions of it.

Because violence is not for three year olds.

If not A-rated, I certainly think most rhymes require parental guidance. A whole bridge collapses – and obviously,millions of people died. So, no one is worried about it and all they talk about is how to use iron and steel to build it back. Then, two poor egg shaped men fell off the wall and broke their head. Now, imagine bleeding heads, preferably the brain hanging out. Do that and immediately make those two men run around as the kings men are chasing them.

I think three year old's are enough bratty and violent already. (yes, i stamped on a laid out -lego trap)

Because it defies logic and common sense.

Why would you call something a star and immediately wonder what it is? Why would you go around a mulberry bush when it is snowing? And finally, why did you even go up the hill for a bucket (I refuse to say, pail) of water?

All the craziness apart, in reality -

Jack and Jill referred to are said to be King Louis XVI - Jack -who was beheaded (lost his crown) followed by his Queen Marie Antoinette - Jill - (who came tumbling after). Link here. You can also watch the video on it here.

This brings me to think..

Are there no Indian nursery rhymes in English? True, we did not write rhymes on beheading but did we not on anything else?

I would be interested to learn more. Do share your thoughts.

This post has been selected by Blog Adda as a Tangy Tuesday Pick!

Thank you BlogAdda!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Barfi, one for all.

 Barfi is like a warm after taste. It re-invented my forgotten love for Priyanka, created respect for Ileana and almost created a fan for Ranbir. (Not yet, my boy). It is a pleasant surprise for the absolutely beaten-up almost hope-lost cinema fan. I have not watched Raaz or Ek Tha Tiger yet but hear this one is the best. I am not even taking up tamil films. Sigh.

Just like a real Barfi, this one too has many tastes and shades.

The Coconut Barfi – Imagine a barfi with fresh coconut. The movie’s visuals are fresh, striking and the sweetness lingers to an underwhelming aftertaste.  Like the delicious crunch of a coconut barfi, the movie is full of freshness. The camera takes you on the Darjeeling train tracks, not necessarily on the train (you will know when you watch) and shifts to streets, sounds and lights of Kolkatta. In between, there are so many postcard spots that you fail to capture them all with eyes.  Like a good coconut barfi, the movie is to be savored slowly.  The film jumps across years and generations with perfect bits of moments and a treat of landscape. Pop in some good music, take your plate, lean back and be lost on how good the heart feels with every bite.

The Milk Barfi – Predictability is endearing in Barfi. Like, in a milk barfi. An Indian film bred knows what is going to happen almost in every stage of the film. The how it happens though take you by surprise. Be it the ultra cute demeanor in which Priyanka wraps finger with Ranbir. Be it the adorable antic of Ranbir to move the tower clock by a quarter hour. Be it the melodramatic entrance of Ileana in second half as Mrs. Sengupta. The movie is a surprise. And all this is served slow on a platter with accompanying brilliant music in background. Quite literally, you will know what I mean when you watch the movie.  The milk barfi does get a tad too sweet and pointless images start falling in the screen along with well-seen clichés. But there will be no complaints when you watch it all for you are either basking in its warmth or nodding in adoration. The pace of the movie moves like a little toy train on the roads of Darjeeling.

The Kaju Barfi – The Kaju Barfi is the star cast. The cast is rich, gusty and look elegant. They are all young, fresh, throbbing to do things and have been given excellent fodder. Ileana has had a dream debut and looks pretty in Bengal cotton saris and red bindis. (my fascination for cotton saris intensified 10x). If it is to me, I would have gladly named the film Jhilmill ( her screen name). She is the surprise package and has not looked this good ever. Her demeanor, mannerism, non-caked look , the buckle teeth, white skirts and sunshine makes the movie. Ranbir is the show stealer with his antics, mannerisms that remind you of Kamal Hassan, Charlie Chaplin, Mr. Bean and many others but is so fresh and has the most charming looks ever.  If you have seen Kamal’s 16 vayathinile and sridevi in Moondram Pirai (Sadma); you are likely to catch similarities.

This movie has brilliant actors, absolutely fabulous cinematographer, aaha-ooho music, the gorgeous Darjeeling and Priyanka Chopra. I rarely enjoy films enough to write on it. Barfi is perfectly garnished, adequately sweet and leaves you in a high (calories and likes). Go, watch the film. Don’t forget your packet of kadalai barfis along. The film is that delicious.

There is an evil critic who sits inside me. She found this out of part boredom, and part curiousness. Barfi - where was it inspired from? The link contains spoilers.

Note : I know this is not a good film review. I suck at reviews. Please be considerate with me for all the sweets I have given you. I realize I am certainly smitten by Darjeeling. Not, not yet by Ranbir.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Eleven Questions Tag - Part Two

With the first one done, the second cannot stay too far! This set seems like a really tough question paper.  I am glad you are not a teacher, Keirthana.

Have you always had to struggle for most things you wished for in your life or was it a cake walk till now?
I should thank my stars, my parents and a whole lot of others - but really, I did not have to struggle much. Hard work, yes.

What are the kiddish qualities in you that you still nurture?
A whole lot of them. I do not call them kiddish though. Most of all, I am happy I can still be amazed and elated with small joys. 

Which was the first incident that made you understand the true value/meaning of love?
Hmm..when I saw Hum Aapke Hain Kaun and realised I simply had to love Salman Khan. He was my first crush. There are some reasons why we decided it wont work out :)

If you had one single wish (with which you cannot wish 3 more wishes), what would  you wish for?
To go on a all-paid trip making a show for TLC like Samantha Brown. I know, I should wish for forever happiness but hey, dolphins and air tickets make me happy. So ya, it is all the same.

When it comes to relationships, would you like the other person to be the dependent one or independent one?
To be interdependent on each other yet retain individuality and separate wardrobes. ( I would have asked for separate beds, but ya..!)

Ice-cream or Chocolate?
Chocolate. Anytime. Preferably dark.

Will you change for your loved ones or will you want them to accept you as you are?
Ahem..both ways. With certain folks, I am glad to take advantage and make them accept me in spite of my ridiculousness.

Have you ever done anything that is so not you? If yes, what did you do?
Yes. I patted a really cute dog. Just once. 

Logic or Magic?
Logic. With the exception of Harry Potter.

What talent you do not have but you wish you had?
Singing. I really, really want to be an excellent bathroom singer. One who extends it to the living room at times.

Theist, Agnoistic or Atheist?
A childhood theist turned rebellious teen atheist, now a calmer agnostic.

There are 22 questions for you to pick up. Do not be shy, choose your pick and do the tag!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Old Post Alert: Castes - When did we fall apart?

I had a fairly secular childhood with no strong infulences of any caste, no discrimination at all. My amma had friends of every imaginable sect, and we as a practice never spoke of others personal habits in a derogatory manner. Amma never kept food away from any house. It was not a habit to not eat food from "other caste" houses. I still love Anne aunty's avials and Shymala Aunt's nendrampazham halwas.

Once again, with no special purpose - my schooling and primary college education happened in a hindu institution, and yes it was brahminical. I did have CCA classes singing Vatapi Ganapathim, and wore pattu pavadais, ate sundals during navarathri. My school had a opening day ( the first day school repoens after summer holidays)homam, and I loved sitting there, with my eyes closed fervently praying to Ganapathi, and asking blessings from all the others there. Half of my school life went on knowing when amavasyas occured, and on why guys had avani avittam off. At the home front, I was told Ramayana, Mahabharatha and we watched Krishna on DD every sunday. Thatha was a expert story teller. He knew the art of weaving Draupadi's vasthra abhaharnam ( yes, i learnt sanskrit too) , meaning - taking the vasthram(cloth, essentially meaning saree), off( abhaharnam) with the case of how every woman is stripped off dignity in modern today. He spoke on Ramunajar, the Alwars, the story behind them, took me to temples and spoke on the sthala varalaru ( the legend of the place) and made me read shlokas( divine verses) almost every day. When Thatha went to the USA, Amma took over his place, and it was a habit to prayfrom 6:00PM to 6:10 PM everyday till I finished schooling.

As much as the previous paragraph speaks on my idealistic, religous woven, and of course casteistic childhood, it never came to me that way! It was not meant to. i have invited quite a few Nancy's and Nazarina's home, who and hear to Mahabharathams and eat my amma made rasams. They never felt they were at one of those brahmins homes, and we never felt it was a Nancy eating off my plate. Knowing Draupadi was not to worship Krishna in my family. It was to realise that as a woman, I need not respect my husband (s) always. She never called any of the 5 warriors to rescue her. Somehow, my childhood never had any traces of a caste, iyers, iyengars, christians, and the much derogatory term of non-brahmins. I dont recollect the usage of the work at all during my growing up years.

College happened to be at one of those elite, vaishnav funded institutes, where by all means - there is no influence of any caste, except getting only vegeterian food in canteen and having te words in the college's name, neither of which can influence me in any strong manner.

With all that there, I am now wondering where it all begin. I am trying to recollect when the question of my caste started becoming a part of my identity. Was it when I started talking about amma's samayal, and that i dont eat meat? Or, was it when I said non-veg, and unconciously discrimnated a friend of mine, or was it the day i spoke at length about the rituals and traditions in a marriage, once again absolutely unconciously bringing in a notice of - "Enga edhula..."( edhula refers to my caste). When did all this begin?

As a person, I highly respect any religion, caste and creed. A lot of others around me do so too. There has not been a single incident in my life where we have been made felt in any superior, or given any special priveleges for being a brahmin. We have not formed websites, ( other than for religious purposes) to promote our community. We do not convert people, or show any resistance to others practicing their schools of thought. Nor have we muttered a word when the madisar was shown as a sexy attire, or when mamis were made to be the modern sex symbols. We also kept quite mum to all those rants of being called a thayir sadham.Infact,some like me still do not mind being called one,though my lunch box has never carried it in the last 1 year.

I am sure almost all of us have seen such instances around, but either we decided to vent it out with the virtual world, taking sides and supporting our faiths- being true brahmins or otherwise, as the case may be. We have started taking sides now, with almost everything.

When I found too many people speaking the same thing in different ways, I thought it is high time I say what I have to. This is a retort,not for a caste that rules the blood, but for the head that is now sensible enough to think. It is high time we listened to music as just swaras together, and saw movies appreciating the art, if there is any. A secular nature of mind is so important to report to a Laura at Florida, get the assistance of Mudassir at work place and still remain a Ranganayaki.

If not to protect your identity, atleast to carry what ammas and thathas wanted to - A sense of blissful understanding, with no differences in caste, creed and sect and using only two possible reasoning skills in making relationships - The Heart and the Head - not the blood!

P.S : This post was originally published in 2009 after a heavy debate with a colleague on castes, the supremacy of Tambrahms etc. I happened to read a series of blog posts today on how conservative the caste is, and somewhere this struck a chord. Today, I find this post half amateurish, and the rest mad. Yet, the point was to remain secular. Let me add agnostic to it now. It is still a surprise how I became one.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The Eleven Questions Tag - Part One

Ahem..I just wanted to have a title like that with parts. 

Both Uma and Keirthana have tagged me for the 11 questions tag. So, I am going to sit and post answers to 22 questions in two parts. The idea of writing all 22 together makes me want to get back to my excel sheet. Also, I am very sympathetic towards you. These are Uma's 11 questions.

All these questions will be treated as 2 mark questions only, though some may make me write a little longer. I loved 5 mark and 10 mark questions in school because it allowed me to write. Ya, I was like that. It is only when it comes to this blog, my lazy aunt stepped inside.

Now, if you have better things to do on a tuesday afternoon ( sincerely hope you do), please pass this post. And allow me to kill you in your dreams.

Which was the recent book you read and what was your take on it?
I wish I had a super intelligent book to quote, but the last read was "Losing my Virginity and other Dumb Ideas" and I found it a very predictable, regular time killer. I bought this book and many more from Bhargavi and made mom carry it all here.

Karna or Bhishma?
Karna - for his fight upwards, the indomitable spirit, the steadfast honesty. Bhishma is one of my least liked characters in the Mahabaratha. 

Most memorable trip so far? Any anecdotes to share?
Has to be the June'09 visit to Munnar where we celebrated the brother's birthday midst of tea gardens and jaw-dropping backdrop.

Mountains or the Sea?
Ahem..Sea.I am the beach girl. No, I love high altitudes. I really cannot decide. Looking at these pictures did not help at all.

Dream/Ambition to accomplish?
To do something more productive with my interest in food than making dinner and lunch for just me.

What makes a good writer/blogger? Am I One?
The knack to weave the right words to capture attention and the ability to convey emotions in the right amounts makes a good writer, apart from a dozen other things. I am not yet one. 

Favourite Outfit?
On me - jean, with anything on it. I also love sarees.
On a guy - any white shirt with a blue jean. Two extra points if it is a white kurta.

Sachin or Dravid?
Dravid. I do not have too many reasons but always found him a very intriguing, intelligent player.

If you had the power to change one thing about yourself or your life so far, what would it be?
I would have ditched some people way earlier than I finally did or they did. Also, would really like to be two more inches taller. That's all.

Are you in touch with your best friend from school days?
Ahem, I never had a best friend in school. 

Our family friend's daughter was Swathi. School days remind me of her and she is married, mommy and all, we can still and talk like 10 year old's.

Favourite subject in school/college?
School, it was english. College, I enjoyed papers related to economics.

Done. Boo Hoo, I saved myself from the sword!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Rainy Mornings. Instagram. Long Forgotten Tag

The world has few reasons to wake up on a Friday and go to work. This post had to go up last friday. Since the weather was adorable and office work was pretty terrible, I had to let it sit over weekend.

These reasons vanish when Mom is at home and offers to make hot pongal if I decide to stay. Yet, I grudge and drink my cereal to move on. And  no, I did not regret it. How else could I click such pictures ? :) 
Water always calms me down. In all its crazy, myriad forms ( and that was the first time I used the word myriad in a sentence! yaay)
This picture was taken below my apartment. The place opposite is a forest. I mean, a park that looks like a forest. There are forest walking trials but sadly, no animals. ( I am joking.I cannot even stand dogs)
And this picture is my personal favourite. I tweaked a lot with Instagram and really pleased with the effect! It is also my mobile wallpaper now. If you are on Instagram, you should totally follow me at archmirch for some interesting stalker/spam material. Entertainment guaranteed.

P.S : archmirch is my ambitious attempt to turn into a hot looking babe soon. The word mirch does not indicate the nature of pictures shared. The pictures are safe for all ages.

P.P.S : I forgot the tag yet again. Uma, Keirthana and Sumitra - do not kill me yet. I love you all.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Those baby steps

Circa early 90’s - It was utter chaos in our household. The first born is going to her first day school. The dad was polishing shoes and the mom was checking her snack box for the fifth time. She has never been away from her kid for more than fifteen minutes. However, the kid seems absorbed in her gaze of shiny books and slowly dangles her feet for the dad to fasten shoes.

They walk on the small lane to primary school. The way is filled with doubts – did I manage to get the right shade for her pinafore, why is her hair still messy, did I keep a spoon along. She talks on how to use her hand towel, to finish the lunch fully, to not talk during a class, to smile often, to keep eyes closed during prayers. The kid refuses to participate and keeps making stories from what she sees around. Her answers are standard.  I-know-it-all look and an only-three-teeth smile.

7.45 am, this morning – It is a sunny morning as she sat down with her tea. I am still asleep and a familiar voice shakes me out from slumber. Precisely, it has been two years and fourteen days from the last day I had to wake up by this alarm to work. A still sleepy I walk out to see her sipping tea and reading a book. A hug and some clean up later, we chat with a mug of tea and she listens patiently to my never ending dose of instructions. 

I keep reminding her to keep the door locked, to take keys when she goes for a walk, to remember and use the favorites on chrome, to not sit and scrub every window until it is clean. I also ask the same questions for the last 72 hours – if she wants me to subscribe to Indian channels, if she knows how to use the bathroom showers, if there is enough of this and that in the pantry, if she knows the nearest bus routes. Her answers are standard. I-am-your-mom look with I-can-manage smile.

I am too young to comment on bigger stuff but if there is something beautiful about being a daughter, it is watching your mom use YouTube at ease and send a what’sapp message to ask if I reached office on time. I am pleasantly surprised to see this circle of feelings, care giving and roles. Talking about taking baby steps, I think it will always be me. 

The mom is here, and I am in delirious joy. 

Friday, August 3, 2012

Bring on the good talk, please!

How good are you at taking a genuine compliment?
Rather, how often have you heard a genuine compliment?

For one, I suck at taking it graciously and another, I hear is very rarely too. Recently when a group of us met for dinner, a friend casually mentioned my style of making potato curry is what appeals him the most. He went on to share the list of horrible potatoes he has had and compared the best ones with my version. I should have preened and smiled but all I did was to keep negating him. This was how my mind worked.

My Mind  : What is the big deal with a potato curry? I mean, it is not like making French macroons with fancy fillings or wait, like making swissrolls.
My alter-arch : (yup, she lives within me and makes uncanny appearances): Damn, this point only proves I am more domesticated now.  Sigh!
My original fairy self: Oh God, I am feeling uncomfortable now.

To those who think he did go overboard – no, he did not. He was very plain and mentioned it in the utmost friendly manner. Why, why do I have to sigh at a compliment?

I have never really received too many compliments in the looks department. And in all honesty, I have not been too bothered. It is like no girl who visits a library has the time to manicure nails. She probably believes in sitting by a bench and daydreaming. At least I did. And then, I got hit by the new wave of girls who look awesome all day. Now, it is not just important that I make devilish potato curry and read Steele ( who, btw is not my favorite), I also have to look decadent and nice.

I did. I fell in love with Bodyshop and made friends carry shikakai powder and generally became more pleasant looking. Months later, a compliment came by. A co-worker generally commented on how beautiful my hair is. Even writing beautiful and my hair in one sentence seems like a joke to me. But yea, she really did. I knew she meant it.

My Mind : Yup, this my dear is your crowning glory moment (quite literally)
My alter-arch: Wait, did she not see the dandruff? Or, is she being sarcastic?!
My original fairy self: Oh God, I am feeling weird but nice.

I am slowly but effectively becoming the girl who has shiny hair, manicured nails and still visits a library. Yaay, to me!

On a semi honest note, most people rarely know how to graciously accept a compliment. Most preen over it and go on to talk about how perfect they are ( or their potato curry is) and the rest act arrogant. I will be very surprised if you have not met such folks in your life. The loveliest way to accept a compliment is a smile. Only if asked, give details on the shikakai.

On an extremely honest note, I think we suck at giving compliments. (esp women).You know why. 

P.S : The author can’t do much if the general tone of this article is not acceptable to you. In fact, she is not even bothered.
P.P.S : Let  me know if you want shikakai podi from Chennai. I know someone who makes it too well. Okay, back to playing mum.

Friday, July 20, 2012

To Molest or Not

Recent news made me learn a new word. I thought it was called just feeling it up. I also thought it was foreplay. The media now screams molestation.

It was 9.30 PM. I saw her then. She was standing near a footpath and talking over phone. Her shrug had just moved away revealing a bit of her neckline. She was young, dainty and wearing strapless. I was in heat. I walked past her. She looked tired and easy. I walked behind her and groped her back. She screamed out loud and ran off. Ha, the pleasure of seeing a girl run walk away. Unparalleled.

It was 9.30 PM. I saw her then. She was waiting for a bus. I knew her bus route and walked close to her. She was on a call and slightly looked up to see me. Her shrug slipped and I saw her strapless dress. I was in heat. I walked past her. She looked inviting. I walked behind her and groped her back. She held my hand and screamed loud. I ran away after pushing her off the road. Ha, the pleasure of seeing a girl scream for help. Unparalleled.

It was 9.30 PM. I saw her then. She was standing in a bus.  She looked up at me and saw my eyes. I did not like it. I glanced at her chest. She looked back at my eyes.  This time, with furious anger. Her shrug slipped and she glanced at me when I saw her strapless dress. I was in heat. I walked past her. She seemed bold. I walked behind her and groped her back. She held my hand and kicked my knees. I fell down flat.

Ha, the power of anger. She exclaimed.

It is no rarity to be stared, touched, and groped. It takes pepper sprays, safety pins and lots of anger to hit back. It takes boldness to talk about it and scream. It takes conditioning to know it is not okay and it not acceptable to be touched by someone.I strongly believe anger and boldness is the strongest weapon a woman should possess.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The not-so-brief hiatus

The not-so brief break is finally over. This is the longest I have been away. It was certainly not planned for. Ahem, I have posts in the drafts folder of my head. Hopefully, should bring them down soon.

By the way, I have shifted to a beautiful house and finally have a room on my own. It is beautiful, entirely mine and I feel like a kid every time I walk into it and get out. It is hard to explain this feeling.

This post is only a Hello post. So, will pick the receiver up and connect back really soon.

P.S : It was an award from Kismi that made me write this up. You are really too sweet a toffee!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Small Wishes. Big Hopes. Prayers.

There are times when life prepares you knowing what you need to endure – Shut up and play along. Do not get too worked up and throw disgust on yourself. Whiners are never winners.

When you earnestly believe and wish for something – it is true that life will magically align stars and make it happen. On the way, friends may become foes and love may be lost. But, when IT happens, you will know it was all worth it.

The day when a part of your world looks at you in contempt and jealousy - thank your stars for giving you folks to beat up.

When every single hour becomes hard to push and your heart is consumed by grief or pain – push yourself to study for an exam or learn swimming/car driving/roller skates.  A fear to perform will happen and it will make you a better person.

Five years from now, none of this will matter. Absolutely nothing holds that kind of gravity, except family. Be nice to them.  (if it is friends for you, lucky you!)

Pray for endurance, intelligence and strength.  It is not fair to pray for a miracle, when you are lying around in a couch bag and feeling like a rotten tomato. The god is not a hairdresser or a magician.

P.S : This post is more of a reflection, a note to self.It is not really meant to be preachery and certainly, not advice.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Friday Song Plug - Idhu Oru Pon Malai Pozhudu

Have a lovely weekend - the kind that makes life more memorable and a bit more beautiful.

இது ஒரு பொன்மாலைப் பொழுது means "this is a golden/beautiful evening". 

The weekend looks a bit too dry, and I wont mind some action and a tad of fun. Add one or two nice looking guys too to gaze at in MRT :). Oh, a seat too.

P.S : Please skip the video, okay. It does no justice.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Nut Case

Your and You're OR Said and Told OR There,Their and They're are very different words. They are related because it is the same language. And, that is about it.

I wont judge you. You will just lose me as a facebook friend if you continue to scribble garbage. That is it.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

On why kids are not so cute.

rather..parents are not so cute!

Of all other things, India trips mean having to deal with noise. I am not acting posh here, but it has been a long time I heard constant noise at home. My room back home is like a four year old’s play pen. It is scattered with dangerous pointed toys ( beyblade, lego blocks ) and the bed looks like a Barbie doll dressed in pink. That cute and horrid.

I am no good with kids and have never had a single kid smile and play with me. There is a mutual dislike and a “we are good 200m away from each other” attitude. My family – dad, mom and the brother are the extreme (as it has to be). They are like the kid friendly meals in Komalas. With smiley shaped sauce and all. My brother can spend hours with a three year old watching random captain planet shows and my dad can lift and play with any, any child. He terrorizes some by asking random calculations, but that is fun. Mom is a class apart. She donates my stuff to them and makes badam cakes for them. She can also listen patiently about parenting woes and offer free advice on potty training.

I can watch Tom and Jerry, provided I get the bean bag, the remote and a plate of muruku. No sharing, please.

I was casually mentioning this to a friend, when she pounced on my lack of compassion and love for kids.  No big offence, but I really do not understand how we should find these cute, sweet and lovely.

·        A four year old’s mom is super proud about how her daughter spells her name perfectly.  My mom was equally pleased and made the kid spell is twice.  The kid’s mom also swears on some vitamin tablet crap for all this goodness.
What I say: Grow up and buy yourself a tape recorder. Keep playing it all day. Don’t stress the poor thing.  The same goes for making her repeat 1 to 50. It is not funny singing ABCD too.

·        So, M kutty is six years and walks to school (which is exactly 107 steps from apartment) by herself.  Her mom decides to give her Glucon-D only for the sun will suck all her water away.  And this brat will only have it cold. So her mom has to prepare and refrigerate it, because ice cubes are bad for the baby.
What I say: Agreed, big deal. I needed help to board an auto when I was six. But, please stop making her feel like PT Usha. Anyways, 30 kilos is obese for that age.

·        B Boy is now 2 years old. His parents are throwing a race car themed party. They have really cute looking red velvet cupcakes with fondant icing. They had costumes for kids and had hired motorcars for the kids who played bumping cars with arthiritis ridden thathas.
What I say: Seriously, what is with these wealthy parents? Why is your social status and confidence sitting inside that F1 costume party? Also, do not blame him if he asks for an I pad and decides a sleep over party for  1st standard pass ceremony.

Before you totally declare me as a non-compassionate, insensitive jerk – this is what I do with kids. The only sane way to live there is to give myself the pleasure of conversations with semi-grown four year olds. That is, if I am stuck with them. Read on and you will know why we have the 200m thing.

·        I made the spelling bee champion listen to Amar Chitra Katha and made her spell Duryodhana thrice.  When I did this, I held her hands and made sure she cannot run away. In my defense, I gave her three M&M candies after she did it. I could have also made her spell the D’ king’s name but her mom took her back to feed her some memory pill nonsense.

·        M Kutty was made to drink plain water and play in the terrace with me. That is, she plays climbing up and down the stairs on her own.  I wrote numbers with chalk piece on the stairs, so she should do addition- subtraction math when she is on it. I supervise her and read a book.  And, for some entertainment – I was even playing Endhiran songs.  I am not that bad, na.

·        I wont attend any car party . What sense did it make for his mom to come home with just two cupcakes?  I did make him rattle names of all those cars and make the vrooooomm sound. ( I also shared the vroommm induction motor joke to his dad, who works with Ford and wished B to become a mechanical engineer)

My logic is simple. I can have conversations, treat them like young ones and be very good. I cannot make them feel extra special, load their egos and act like they are Adam and Eve’s kutty. They are not. The world is so full of children and so many people are busy making some more. Why don’t you just understand that and be normal towards them? Gah to all you folks who find them awww..ssoo..cute!

A Very Important Note – All babies, semi grown-ups and moms addressed in this post are real and not fictional. Any resemblances to second floor kamini’s kid surya or to ground floor vidya’s kid arya are absolutely planned. Just those, none of them live in my apartment. 

This post has been selected by Blog Adda as a Tangy Tuesday Pick!

Thank you, Blog Adda!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

India Trip, FRIENDS and some pics!

I really hope some of you missed me. Let me assume at least half a dozen of you kept checking this page ( yea right, who am I kidding). The India trip was as always, awesome. I came back sulking and carrying loads of pieces of home. At times, I wonder when I will ever grow up to leaving home in grace. Gah!

On a totally unrelated note, I just got done with watching all 10 seasons of FRIENDS for the second time. I literally went from the first episode and thanks to it, my sanity is still around. Less than a year ago, I had never watched this show and took every possible opportunity to claim how I never did. So, how ya doin’ ?

There has been a crazy post of mine in drafts. I am spending this useful Sunday to revamp it and publish it. Before that, I will leave the post with some home pics.

Good Morning, Chennai

Morning walkers. Besant Nagar, Chennai
The beauty of Varkala

Bajjis, anyone?
104 Amar Chitra Katha Books now!