Drop the struggle and dance with life!

Dec 6, 2010

Ticked Off by the Time Pieces

I’m much beleaguered by the time-pieces that an ode or an elegy would not be out of question. ‘Why? It’s just a clock which tells time’, you may ask. And, I would reply, “Nothing, my dear friend, is just a anything".

Now, the clock in my bedroom is an hour ahead. This I lay entirely upon the individuals who decided that the clock must be set ahead in Spring and set back in Autumn by an hour. This Autumn, we couldn’t reach the clock (or weren’t inclined to reach), thus it runs an hour ahead.

The clock in living room (is thankfully within reach and thus was adjusted), runs exactly two minutes fast. This is to account for the time required to hunt the remote, find a spot on the sofa and shush the child before the program on the T.V starts.

The cars are a different story all together. My husband has set his five minutes fast and I have set mine ten. He is calculating for catching a bus while I’m planning for rush-hour traffic.

So, my Dear Readers, here is what a typical morning for me is like: I wake up and go into a panic mode: “It’s 7:30, I can’t believe I over slept!” Then a moment later, reality checks in- “it’s only 6:30, and I’m right on time”. So, get ready and rush out, I immediately subtract 2 minutes from the living room clock. As I’m make breakfast, (the kitchen digital is correct time by the way) and shuttle between kitchen and living room, I add and subtract 2.

Then the car. It takes a few seconds to recollect which car I’m driving (mine) and subtract some more accordingly (10). At the daycare, sane, boring people that they are, have set the clock to the right time. I roll my else at them and reach the car. As I elbow my way through the jam-packed streets, I throw a harried glace at the clock and it's 9. I get to think, "9? It's actually 8:50 then. I still have ten minutes. If only that truck would get out of my way!"

Both our phones, however, show the right time. Probably because we haven’t yet figured out how to fiddle with it yet.

Nov 11, 2010

On a different vein, is all well?

I did not dress up this Halloween. When my friends asked me about it, I told them I was a witch under cover, dressed as a human. Apart from concerns about spending money on a costume which I would but wear once, there is another reason which I kept under wraps. No one wants to sound philosophical or pragmatic you see, it's the fashion to be light-hearted and oblivious. But then, sometimes, you can't escape from reality, can you?

I remember writing some of my best funny posts when I was upset, worrying and up late in the night. Contrary to my mood, my writing was buoyant, because I embraced the character I play as a whimsical, silly and humorous blogger to write. For this post, I'm stepping out and shrugging off the silly blogger.

I am constantly challenged by my environment to be someone I am not. I'm sure everyone else is too. Most times, I just give in and let it get the better of me, and pretend to be whatever or whoever that is, is required of me for that moment- An affectionate and considerate friend, a agreeable and pleasant acquaintance, a supportive and loving wife, a caring and amusing mother, a passionate dreamer, a self-deprecating human being, a semi-funny blogger.

All of that, when I'm at my best. At my worst, I could be yelling, stomping, complaining maniac. Then the time comes to don the various roles again and the 'self' in me is clothed and embellished to execute the role. And I'm sure you have also been through this- you could be in the middle of an upsetting situation, but when you get to work, you will be a calm, composed, diligent employee. Thus, we may be faulty, cranky, screwed up versions of our perfect-selves, who guise into a passable working versions to go through life.

One has to strive for perfection and settle for excellence. But what if perfection requires a person to be a dashing and romantic husband, to be an elegant and graceful wife, to be a selfless and patient parent, to be a rock-like supportive friend, to be a practical and down-to-earth human being? And what if that perfection is unattainable? If you are discomposed, annoyed or angry, has the person failed as a spouse, as a parent and as a human being?

I understand the importance of such roles that we play. To pretend may sound like deception, but it is quite necessary. I'm sure this serious post from me would results in many calls and comments about the state of my mind. If I had been the semi-funny blogger while writing this, all would have been well. Since I discarded the role, it upsets the readers- not to be narcissistic about my importance in your lives, but you did pause to think why I'm being serious, didn't you?

So, as long as we don the role, as the great Ranchoddas Shamaldas Chanchad said, “All is well”.

Nov 1, 2010

Best left unwritten

The best ideas strike me in the middle of the night. When I’m deep in sleep, unaware, with my sub-conscious freed, I come up with such complex plot and such interwoven characters, if only put to paper, will make a sizzling best-seller. I dream a whole book, like I’m watching a movie. But come dawn, I can’t seem to remember a scrape of my mind’s escapades.

So, after yet another frustrating morning when I couldn’t remember the best seller I wove in my fantastic dreams, I made a promise to jot it down on a note pad. And thus I went to sleep for a month and a half, notepad by bedside, awaiting the unwritten masterpiece.

Last night I had one of those dreams where I see so many characters, with intensity in the emotions and richness in the landscape. And I resolutely wrote them down, in the dark, half asleep. And I woke up to this: (It was terribly illegible, like a chicken scrawl, but here is what I think was written)

He goes -->THERE
Darkness-flight-fight --hilarious, curious, furious.
Maybe past?--> go THERE again?-->Conflict.

Come with me and let’s try to figure out what I wrote:

Obviously, the ‘He’ is the protagonist. And, much more obviously, I have a place which I’m so familiar with, that only a ‘THERE’ is enough to indicate what it is. Sadly, my subconscious forgot to connect with my conscious and tell it where ‘THERE’ is.

Darkness-Flight-Fight could mean any of the following things: 1) A Romantic fight in the dark with the villain, after which the hero boards a plane for flight. 2) A supernatural darkness where the hero actually flies to fight. 3) A FBI hero goes undercover in the dark night to fight the mafia don. Ah, the possibilities!

I was, I should confess, pretty amazed at my ability to ryhme in deep slumber- hilarious, curious, furious,

Again, with the ‘past’, was I trying to explain the tortured history of the protagonist or was there a flashback Indian-ishtyle? Or maybe I was referring to something in my past that will complete my plot?

Sigh! Whatever made me think my sub-consciousness will be smarter than me? I did throw away the notepad, but rescued the crumpled plot-paper from the bin. Hey, A girl can always hope she will suddenly turn smart and figure out what she wrote!

Oct 18, 2010

The Curious Case of Squeaky Squirrel

When someone visits their mother’s home, they expect everything to remain the same. It’s a bittersweet pleasure to walk though the rooms where you grew up, to touch the scarred furniture and breathe in peace and familiarity. I almost forgot, one would also expect the parents to essentially remain the same, baring a few signs of aging. Preferably still lucid and intelligent, too.

After a nostalgic evening with all the trimmings of food and memories and a peaceful slumber, I woke up to bright sunshine, looking forward to yet another VDay. As I stood in the kitchen, contemplating the degree of my laziness in preparing the coffee, my mom bustled in and waved me off with “Go, sleep for some more time or watch T.V, I’ll get you the coffee”.

I stood there with tears of gratitude in my eyes at the thought of how wonderful she was… How caring she was… how insane she was! My mom, my sane, sensible mom, had the kitchen window open, and was leaning over the counter-top, peering out and talking to- Nobody!

Her actions would make sense if our kitchen window faced the home of a neighbor, in which case I would assume she was talking to someone. But unless the straight-laced employees in the two floor bank next to my home plundered the contents of the vaults, sold the building and someone else built a 4 floor home, there was no one to talk to!

But then she wasn’t talking, was she? She was cooing and hiccupping. It sounded like a cross between scared rats and crazy birds.


“Amma…” I asked, hesitantly, in case I set her off, flapping through the window.

“What? Coo..coo…krrr…kish”

“Amma, what are you doing?”


Now I was getting desperate. "MOM?!"

“Do you see that food?” she says, pointing to the ledge. “It’s still there!”

At which point I lean over the counter, just like her and peep out. And sure enough, (thank God!) there is some dried bread and weird looking brown strips there.

“What is that?”



“It’s the food I left out. That stupid squirrel is still not eating! I made the ‘puris’ especially for him! Poor thing! I don’t know where he is!”

Here I thought the puris were on my honor!

Oct 12, 2010

The price of beauty- Up in flames?!

I consider myself healthy even though I may not inspire any man to sing ballads to my non-mesmerizing eyes or odes to my non-delicate feet (even my own hero would scoff!). And I’m not fussy when it comes to food.

But yesterday, when a chilled glass of orange juice gave me a splitting headache minutes after drinking it, I wondered if I was growing old and this was the beginning of quirks and pet-peeves that would bug me for the rest of my life. Thankfully, it turns out, when the lazy manufacturers grind the oranges with the skin, the chemicals in the rind will trigger headaches in some.

After a big sigh of relief and a promise to stay away from Ojs henceforth, I explained to my Venezuelan and American colleagues about the OJ phenomenon. They showed appropriate interest in this and interrupted with the right amount of ‘oh!’, ‘Really?!’ and ‘I will stay away from rinds’.

One of them added that the rinds were flammable- if you squeeze a little bit and show a lighter, the rinds will go up in flames.

I was horrified! I explained about mothers painstakingly saving up the rinds to sun-dry and grind them into a fine powder, to be mixed with milk and applied on the faces of their daughters. To which they looked at me askance and said “Whyever would you want to do that?!”

“It will make the skin glow”

“Glow in Orange color?”

“No, no, it will make skin healthy and bring out the natural shine in it after you wash it off”

Pat came the absurd reply- “I though they applied the paste and took a lighter to it to make it glow!”


Sep 20, 2010

“It was impossible to get a conversation going; everybody was talking too much.”

When you are aware of the story of a movie or a book, what makes you still want to see it or read it? It’s not about the ending or the story because you already know it. It’s about what happens to whom and how it all comes about. It is to appreciate the characters you come to know and delight in the plot's unfolding. It’s the journey that’s exciting, because we are always aware of the destination.

That is why when my husband asks me something, I tend to get bogged down in detail as I want him to experience first-hand what I went though. I always explained to him that this tendency was exclusive to those who read and write and generally deal with words, as I find that the book-centric people like me are very descriptive.

 To which he huffs, "All you women talk a lot!" And it's an anathema to me, when he finds cohorts to support him in this theory, who nod and generalize that they suffer from 'talkative-wife' ailment too. How they delightedly discuss who suffers more, as if that would win them an award of some kind!
Unfortunately, how wrong I was! I have, very recently, come to the awful conclusion that every myth, saying, test results and rumor about women being too talkative is true. No, I’m not doing the ‘same side goal’ as my cousin would put it, but simply stating a fact. I see that all my friends and every other woman I know, cannot go from point A to B without making a pit stop at E, J and P, and they don’t even bother to bypass Z!

So, instead of shrugging off or rolling my eyes when love of my life interrupts with, "Get to the point already!", I will revel in the fact that it's the privilege and prerogative of a woman to talk and say "Well, listen then!" :D

Sep 15, 2010

to know...

To begin and to know
  That it will end,
To hurt and to know
  That you will mend,
To see and to know
  That you will perceive,
To ask and to know
  That you will receive,
To do and to know
  That you will reap,
To breath and to know
  That you will sleep,
.....if only life's uncertianities to go away...

Writing posts are hard, but poems are easy...:D

Sep 5, 2010

The truth about dads and moms...

The reason for the lack of posts recently and the root-cause of this post, rest solely on the shoulders of my wonderful dad. While visiting me, he realized that his daughter, upon her ascendancy to adulthood, has forgotten some of his teachings.

Thus he decided to refurbish his currently-rusted and recently- underused parenting skills.

One of his missions was to get me to pray mom-ishtyle. My rituals include a quick word with God whenever life starts acting-up and heart-felt thanks when life behaves. My mom's everyday prayers are not simply light-the-lamps-bow-and-pray routine. They are elaborate and extensive (not to mention time-consuming). Dad wanted the whole nine yards, just like my mom does.

So, mostly to get my daughter to pray and less-ly to humor him, I set everything up. With my daughter sitting next to me on the mat, my dad and I started with a very old, very long Tamil prayer song. As we sung in perfect harmony, it brought back childhood memories rushing.

Time for some truth- I don't know the middle section of this song. Never got around learning it. As we approached that section, fearing scoldings of the forgotten times, I slowed down, then stopped to let my dad carry the song over.

To my utter surprise my dad stopped at the exact same stanza and looked at me expectantly. And then both of us broke into loud guffaws totally ludicrous for the solemn  prayer times!

That's when it registered that he never knew those stanzas too! And that my dear friends, is why I didn't learn them!

Jul 2, 2010

Clappity, clappity, clap, clap,

I haven't penned a poem in about six years now- but this one has been clappiting around in my head for the past few days - I had to pen it down...err, type it out, I mean. 

Clappity, clappity, clap, clap,
All around the town,
Clappity, clappity, clap, clap,
Walking up and down,
Clappity, clappity, clap, clap,
Heart's light & singing,
Clappity, clappity, clap, clap,
Arms waving & swinging,
Clappity, clappity, clap, clap,
Eyes wide with wonder,
Clappity, clappity, clap, clap,
Innocence that endears,
Clappity, clappity, clap, clap,
Smile that is infectious,
Clappity, clappity, clap, clap,
My dear child so precious!

Jun 22, 2010

of breakups, breakdowns and breakthoughs...

Breakups- from old habits: In spite of a sane and sensible mind with good instincts, and ridiculously busy schedule requiring skipping food, shower and what-not, I tend to agree with self-motivated plans made by self-serving people. I have learned to say no. A firm one. Thus successfully breaking up from self-sabotaging impulse to say yes to everyone and their plans.

Breakdowns- needs and wants. My much (ab)used car has finally had a prim and proper breakdown. We were accustomed to placating ourselves with the fact that we need two cars. Turns out, we can manage pretty well on a single one, if need be.

Breakthroughs- a silent one. This one is about a friend who doesn't believe in the breakthrough that has been quietly and unobtrusively happening in her life. I know, but I will wait until you share with me. You see a small ray now- that means there is a crack. The breakthrough will follow. Patience, my friend.

Jun 11, 2010

'Yush, yush, of course!'

Bird season, fishing season...I wish there was a hunt the idiots season, so I can go shoot them. Metaphorically, of course. I like things just right and when they are mis-stated, under-stated or over-stated, I'm miffed enough, and dumb enough to try and fix it. There is nothing wrong with that notion per se, it's how you apply it, is where the thorn is.

When some obnoxious/ conceited/ narcissistic person goes on about what ever it is that they deem important, we have to invariably suffer them. But when they utter something astoundingly senseless, my hackles rise up. So, what to do? Stay and let them speak? Scoot rather than listen? Or pretend to swoon, and with hope by-pass the whole shenanigan?

I'm predisposed to speak. I politely set them straight. But lately (with the advent of internet, I must add), the ignorance level has reached way high. One would think that information at finger-tips would make one smarter. One would be wrong!

I have, I'm happy to say, discovered a smarter way - say 'yush, yush, of course. As they blithely go on, I get my kicks. The secret happiness in letting an insensitive person talk on, instead of stopping, explaining and correcting them! The 'yush, yush' in that case is impish fun.

Jun 5, 2010

Do you talk... to yourself?!

The exquisite women dressed up in shimmering and sparking gowns, gliding down the runway, rather than do something as ignoble and mundane as walking. The stage, the lights, the crowd, the cheers! A young girl watching the television with such yearning as she imagined herself in the beauty pageant, standing beside those women. For a brief moment, she clothed herself in silk and spot-light, wore the crown and adulation.

Her fumbling fingers found poise as the remote morphed into a mike. The words formed and took flight as she answered the judges’ question. She looked pleasantly confused when the tiara was placed on her. Then she smiled blindingly, shed a tear and.... came crashing down to earth with embarrassment as she found her neighbor standing in her doorway, looking aghast at her. As if she had gone nuts!

The girl was merely fanciful, she wasn't stupid. She knew there a snowball's chance in hell that she would actually walk down that runway - she was average at her best. But, desires and dreams do not know that, do they? She gave the intrusive neighbor a sheepish smile. It is what it is!

Well, that was me a dozen years ago. And one would think that as I grow, I would grow out of the deplorable habit of talking to myself. Instead, it seems that I have fostered a childhood habit to significant and embarrassing proportions! Have you met me? If you haven't, let me enlighten you- I never do anything in half-measures. Talking, not as in mumbling something under the breath to oneself, or even quietly in your head. Talking, as in out aloud. In third person.

I'm sure everyone has lovely conversations in their head. How else can you decide whether to smack or hit your spouse?! That is not interesting. Things get heated up when you voice the conversations aloud. I yell at myself when I do something particularly dumb - like accidentally delete something. And if my colleague walks in while I'm in full form, raging at my stupidity, then it's time for another talking-to about propriety when they leave.

I'm indebted to myself for giving up the fanciful notions at least. The talking has been reduced to occasions that merit it- dumbness, stupidity, and impulsiveness are my triggers. Next time you see me gesticulating emphatically, you would know why!

May 22, 2010

Same old, same old.

I have been curiously restless since my birthday and I couldn't figure out why.I was twenty five, now I'm twenty six.
But my routine is the same, my words, my family, my thoughts, my looks, my feelings and my perspectives are still the same.
We never realize that there were expectations - until we are blindsided by disappointments. 
For some bewildering reason, I expected my life to be dramatically, interestingly or at least, infinitesimally altered after my birthday. A dawn of maturity or a bright ray of clarity or a sudden insight into... well, something. But no such thing (or anything remotely like it) has happened yet!

May 15, 2010

Happy Birthday to me!

Today being my birthday, I wanted to write something august or sublime or at least dramatic.

But just like many things my life, this post surreptitiously weaved its way into my writing. Sneaky, naughty words!

I have blithely traipsed for twenty six years now and I intermittently wonder about the moment when I will see myself as an adult: Not merely a young-at-heart, hobnobbing with those worldly-wise and heartly-aged around me.

I'm pretty smart -That is to say, I can find my way in life. But there are times when something is so tempting, that the urge to defy the norms is compelling.

Thus the child in me runs with arms thrown wide, with sparkling eyes, to discover, to embrace, to annoy, to dream and to love.

And the adult in me sadly shakes its head and follows with a smile. I have, grudgingly at first, then with bubbling laughter, accepted that I'm not a cynic, and will thankfully never be.

The wishes have been pouring forth - It's wonderfully warm feeling when someone who is not obliged or compelled, wishes me. To see the wishes, to recognize the words and to realize the love!

Ah! I'm indeed blessed.

My parents love this day - my birth being the cause of their graduation from couple-hood to parenthood. What a momentous achievement even as a vulnerable, bawling baby!

The icing on the cake: Being twenty six has not made me anymore sophisticated or world-wise. In spite of my industrious schedule, I managed to reply to every wish, with the enthusiasm similar to a sweet sixteen celebration.

Except for this one momentous wish, that cleared all the cow-webs away about me being an adult: When my dear, dear friend called me, instead of saying a gracious 'Thank you!', I came up with 'Happy Birthday to you, too'!

:D I so do love myself.

May 13, 2010

Go, Go, Go!

With the new job, I think my blog is going to be 'work-centric' for a while. This week, it's about The Commute.
The things I have seen people do in cars during rush hours:
  • Check face/hair in rear view mirror
  • Pick nose/ear
  • Hold food or drink in one hand and drive with the other
  • Jabber away on the phone
  • Fight with the passenger
  • Fight with the caller on the phone
  • Use GPS 
  • Work on the laptop sitting on passenger seat
  • Read a magazine
  • Yell at kids in the back-seat
  • Bob to the music
  • and finally, look right back at me.
Funnily, not many watching the road.
Scary, eh?

May 8, 2010

The over-due one...

Ah, yes, I missed my blog this week- I had a few not-so-awesome adventures this past week.
Again, not my usual style of writing, but this has to be said:

First there was the phone interview at three noon. Stuffed my daughter with food, exhausted her by vigorous play in the park and put her to nap by half past one. Mission accomplished!

Sadly, she woke up right at three, as I picked up the call. So between the muting, sushing, unmuting, answering - The order was not always streamlined. Thus I did sush the interviewer. And thereby I kissed any chances goodbye.

But hey, I do underestimate myself all the time and I have been known to be wrong occasionally. So, drum rolls please (with streamers and a bow, of course) - I got the job. And the best part was being hired without the dreaded face-to-face.

So, my adventure begins here:
Bad traffic making commute a daily strife: Check.
Tried new routes to work: Check.
Got lost while trying new routes to work: Check.
A few U-Turns: Check.
Turned wrong-way into one way street: Check.
Went in squares around the building to find the entrance: Check.
Went in circles in the 4level garage to find a spot: Check.
Parked in a reserved parking for executives: Check.
Charmed the guards: Check.
Got stuck in the elevator: Check.
Got lost in the huge building trying to find the cafe: Check.
Thought my 36 year old Sr.collegue was 24, and treated him accordingly: Check.

And, the icing on the cake: Peered at the 3 forks, 2 spoons and 2 knives at the hi-funda restaurant team-lunch. Surreptitiously peered further at colleagues to confirm and followed suit.

And a final note: All this did not happen on the same day. They were delightfully spread apart on the said week.

May 3, 2010

Recipie for cutting spouse's hair...

I think this must be one of the most amusing and hilarious moments of my life.

Recipe for Cutting Spouse's Hair.

1 Husband Lacking Hindsight.
1 Impish Wife
1 Gun-like high funda Machine.
8 Extra Hair Attachments.
1 Scissors.
2 Restraining Hair-Clips.
1 Comb.
2 Large, White, Glad Forceflex garbage bags.
1 Paper cape.


-Chase child to living room and tempt her with cartoon.
-Spread the Glad Forceflex bags on the floor next to a Power outlet.
-Plug in the 'Gun'.
-Force the paper cape through Subject's head.
-Place all paraphernalia within handy distance.
-Shove, pat, shake the Subject's head until positioned correctly.
-Place the longest trimmer blade on the 'Gun'.
-Switch on the gun.
-Say a prayer.

1.Start from somewhere, while the subject yells about 'the neck, the neck'.
2.Begin again at the neck and work your way up towards the crown.
3.Repeat step 3 from left to right in parallel lines while subject has second thoughts.
4.Ask subject to hold his ears folded while tackling the temples.
5.If subject says that he never has to do that in SuperCuts, elucidate on the advantages of having two functioning ears - He is your first guinea pig afterall.
6.Stop and see how far you have progressed.
7.Pick another shorter trimmer blade if the hair is too long.
8.Repeat steps 1 to 5.
9.Now comes the difficult part - the crown and hair over the forehead- I admit, as a novice, it had me stumped.
10.Staring uncomprehendingly at it is not productive, so fix the Kozhi Kondai.
11.Take scissors and comb; part 1/2 inch sections with comb and cut sparingly.
12.If subjects says he will go to the professionals at this point, explain to him your superior wisdom from having hair 20" longer than his.
13.If necessary, use one of the restraining hair-clips on his mouth.
14.Finish off with trimming the neck hairline in a straight line.
15.Simmer subject's anger with thoughts of saving money by home hair-cuts.
16.Garnish with subdued giggles.
17.Sprinkle flattery generously.

Time taken: 20 minutes
Serves: 2 insane adults and all the blog readers.

Disclaimer: Do not try this at home.

PS: If you meet the subject, praise the cut. Remember, no bad comments, o.k.? I like my pretty little neck, thank you very much.

Apr 24, 2010

A full circle...where cops become buddies.

Ah, the excitement of landing an interview, the frantic preparation on the previous night, the smart turn-out in ironed cothes....and the cops pulling you over?!

Well, that's what happened to me. There I was, just minding my own business, checking the watch, crossing my fingers, reciting the usual answers and driving under the speed limit - only the cops decided to do a 'routine' check of the inspection stickers on the D-day.

And whaddya know? It's expired by 3 days, two of which were weekends. Thus I slipped from fluttering excitement to free-falling fear, in a moment.

They had a trailer with all the knobs and tubes, which could perform the inspection on the spot. I was to drive away with a new inspection sticker and newer violations ticket. Lucky me!

So, I pull-over and hand-over my papers (not the resume). And whaddya know again? My registration is also expired by three days, two of which were weekends too. No Instant Inspection for me.

Hmprf, frantic call to husband with the cryptic: 'They are going to tow the car' results in 'Just nod, shut up, and leave'. A wise advise.

So, I walk back to the cops with my keys and while handing them over, I get attacked by a fit of sentimentality and the tears fall unerringly. As I surreptitiously sniff, one of the cops looks at me and pulls a tissue box from his cruiser.

Armed with the tissues and false bravado, I go "I have been driving for three years now, but never had a parking or speeding ticket. This is the first time you pull me over, and you take away my car? How is that fair?"

My dear husband, from the phone yells, "Shut up, stop talking.. please stop talking now..."

But I go on relentlessly, "I have an interview today, I don't know if I can still perform well"

By now there are four cops around me, listening to me blithering and blabbering. And they take turns saying things like
'Forget we ever stopped you',
'Go do well at the interview, you surely need the job',
'Times are bad, don't let the opportunity go by'. All of them nodding and sympathetically smiling.

All that coxing and no smile from me, so, the last one says "I could take out to dinner tonight, since I was the one who pulled you over".

And my gracious reply? I came up with: "I don't think my husband would agree..."

And they all laugh... I had implied that though I'm interested, my husband will not agree. The joke dawned on me finally, and I crack a tearful smile. The phone is still on, by the way.

They hand over the tickets, call a cab for me, shove me into it cop-style, tell the cabbie not to let me out till I cease crying and bang on the car-roof.

Then, all the four wave at me as I look at them from the back-seat window and wave back. A picturesque Hallmark moment.

As the car rolls forward, my husband says, "Are you sure they were cops?"

I didn't get that job. But almost a year to the date, I have come a full circle and I'm glad to say that I have landed the job at the same office.

Apr 16, 2010

Duck, Duck , Whoosh....

I think my parents forgot to teach me how to run.What with my dad more occupied with smarts and independence; my mom with grace and cooking, they left out sports. I probably shouldn't blame my parents for my disregard of sports. I place it explicitly on my genes. Some have built-in characteristics in their genes- gorgeous hair, creamy skin, slender build etc. I think the sports aspect is also handed down, not learnt.

It's not just the walking and running, it also the other stuff- A friend of mine can throw a basketball anytime and hit the basket unfailingly. My husband can catch anything thrown at him, however haphazardly I might throw it -remote, wallet, ladle...

Me? I duck. I see a Frisbee whizzing at me and my instinct is to duck. I see a ball, duck. Keys? Duck.

You see, it's a game of 'Duck, Duck, Whoosshh' with me, wherein the 'whoosh' is the sound that the thrown object makes, as it flies over my head as I duck.

In that sense, I have excellent instincts- I can zig-zag and hop around in a tennis court for quite a while without actually hitting anything.  I recently played a Wii game where kids kick soccer-balls at you. I was scoring pretty well.

Until my friend explained the rules- I was to hit the balls with my head, whereas I was trying to evade them! But I still managed to score well. Go figure! Poor Aim, my she says. Duck Luck, is what it is.

I went to skiing. Seemed pretty easy when I youtubed some videos prior to the trip.

A-ha! The shoes weigh a ton. The thin plastic planks that you strap on, are pretty difficult to maneuver. And if you think aligning those li'l twig-like-skis in a 'V' will help you stop at will, then double A-ah! So after falling more than two dozen times in thirty minutes, I decided to stop. PS: The cold masks the pain :(

I tired roller blades next. I could barely stand straight. Or stay on my feet, for that matter. But I did try, you see. It's just that I couldn't stop. So I would sail in a straight line and run smack into the surrounding grill to stop myself - much like  Errol the owl flying into the glass panes of the Weasleys' window. This time, I gave up after 10 minutes as there was no cold to mask my pain. Thud = Ouch, instantly.

Cycling piqued my interest next- only to find out that my sense of balance is wanting. I couldn't decide which was shaking more- my hands or my knees. And the cycle never headed where I aimed it.

I think I should stick to racing my husband for the remote control, dashing after my daughter to stop disasters, and chasing  friends with a rolled magazine to teach a lesson. Now these are my kind of sports.

But give me a  book, a shade, and a lemonade, any day.

Apr 6, 2010

The Misadventures of Making a Splash

My husband has been urging me to plan a trip to a water park since the weather is so great. Now, pray tell me, why would I do that? A trip to the water park entails:
  • Walking around in the blistering hot sun; 
  • Ankles hurting due to the sprawling park; 
  • Numerous fights about reading the cartoonish maps;
  • Lugging around bag full of stuff and safe-guarding it;
  • A lot of time spent on cellphone yelling 'Where are you? I'm at the big water squirting fountainy thingy'.
  • Endless lines as everyone has the same bright idea to visit theme parks on weekends with squalling kids; 
  • And my personal non-favorite, dunking myself in chlorine and what-not contaminated water.


Besides, my saga with water parks is not so encouraging for a revisit. Let's take a look at a random sample from one such visit- A ride that looked like a slide from a children's park, except it was about 120ft in height and ended in a swimming pool. Seemed pretty mild.

After the assorted friends from my group convinced me that the pool was barely 4ft and that I could not possibly drown in it, I decided to brave the plunge. They also promised me that most of them would go before me, so that they would be there to save me.

So, there I was, at the top of the slide, having climbed a slippery, wet and twisting array of staircases. I thought back to the last advice I received from a cousin-  A self-proclaimed "expert" on all rides in all parks. He assured me that if I sat to ride the slide, I would literally plummet into the water. The best way, he assured me, was to try it lying down. With my hands behind my head, it would be a easy-breezy ride. He gave me a thumbs-up sign, an encouraging smile and off he went.

Easy-breezy my foot. I barreled feet first like a bullet outta gun. The sky and the scenery whizzed past me at dizzying speed. Knowing that there was no way I would revisit this ride, I resolved to make the most of it and determinately  kept my eyes open.

But at the first sight of the water, my courage deserted me. And I shut my eyes.

Ideal Scenario: A relatively slow and easy ride on the slide while sitting up with legs stretched-out. A gentle landing on the water, wherein there is enough time to pull down your legs and land on you feet pretty gracefully.

My Scenario: A harrowing dash at full-tilt. A hard landing on my back -I think I bounced a couple of times too. There was no time for anything except a prayer and a promise (of revenge). Then I sank like a stone, horizontally.

I'm more of an air person than water. Thus I floundered for a couple of seconds underwater with absolutely no sense of direction. Then I managed to haul my head out of water, came up spluttering and spraying, as mad as a awoken cat and as wet as a bedraggled rat.

And my husband (who has sworn to love, protect, and keep me safe), standing next to "expert", both of them howling with laughter. Grrrr.

Suffice to say, I don't want to go to a theme park.


Apr 5, 2010

Chef for a Day, Cook for Life.

Being sick as a dog has many advantages. I discovered a lovely one recently. My regular patron and devourer of dishes had to don the chef's hat for a meal. He was surprised that simply having a recipe and following it to the letter will not make yummy food. Thus, Cook 1, Chef 0.

Learning something and actually becoming good at it needs hours of time invested and plenty of trials and errors, I told him. To be able to identify  which lentil needs to be soaked for a few minutes or which for hours, which should be eaten after stuff grows on it and which should be thrown out after stuff grows on it, which is Tuvar Dal and which is Channa Dal takes months, if not years of apprenticeship.

Not to mention the cautious sniffing of sambar and rasam powder to i.d. which is what. Once you have experienced a sneezing fit, you'll be proficient enough to i.d. them by look alone.

Here is a 'read-this-before-you-use-my-kitchen' check list:

1. Don't be crummy about using extra utensils. If you don't want to use a chopping board for a single apple, then you might have to suffer a nice, long, unwanted tattoo across your left palm. (Trust me, you would rather do the dishes).

2. Respect Chillies and Onions. See how I have capitalized them? Behave like a surgeon, rinse before and afterward. Or, you would visited by the Revenge of the Chillies and the Curse of the Onions.

3.Never put hot stuff, hard stuff or too much stuff in my blender (affectionately called Mixie). You will end up with food stuff everywhere, including the ceiling. Not to mention the lid landing on the cabinets.

4.Same tea brand, 1% milk, sugar and spices, will end up tasting different, based on who made it. This applies to all the recipes.

5. Get used to 'a fist full', 'a little bit' and 'a sprinkle'. Don't ask me your fist or my fist. Welcome to the world of un-measured cooking. You are not alone, it drives my friends nuts, when they ask me for a recipe.

6.Turn off the pressure cooker as mentioned in the recipe. One extra whistle will lead fluffy rice to become a gooey mess.

7.If you need to stir something constantly, leave it accessible on the front burner. When you have a pressure cooker right in front of you, you shouldn't be reaching behind it to stir. I have scars aplenty.

8.Hand wash Indian Tea Filters. They simply MELT in American dishwashers. Remember the dried-up mess we had to chip away in our old apartment?

9.Please leave it as you found it.

10.You may be Chef for a Day. I'm the Cook for Life. Remember that.

Update: Thanks for all the comments. However, I would appreciate it more if you could post them here rather than tell me.

Mar 31, 2010

From up-to-date to old, then onto ancient, and....

The world around me seems to be getting younger. I remember a time when I used to stand with my friends in the mall or a cafe and look at all the thirty somethings like they were doddering grand adults. I reveled in my youth and ignorance. I used sadly nod my head and agree with my friends saying 'That kid is a monster, it's his parent's fault'. And I also remember being tech-savvy, teaching my dad about internet and emails.

Now I see teenagers wincing and grimacing at me when I take a seat next to them at the movies with a young child. They look at me cautiously using a new wii or twitter. I can almost hear my youthful comments echoing from their unmoving mouths. When did this happen? Life seems to have sped up and passed me by, though each and every day of the past few years is accounted for.

And for some  reason, we always become 'old' when new technology shows up. And when the next one is discovered or invented, we would be further pushed into 'ancient'.

You don't believe me? IPhones and Twitter, it seems are not the latest. There is this Data-Matrix code to scan the small, square code on television programs with your phone camera. It will tell you all you need to know about the show. And I learnt this from a eight year old yesterday.

My grandfather was well educated and traveled internationally for business and trade. My dad out-did him with English fluency and motor-bikes.  I took my turn with internet and cell phones. My daughter has topped us all- by mastering Youtube and Nickjr at the budding age of two.

I wonder what my grandchildren would accomplish.

Mar 25, 2010

Which type are you?

Will Chicken be vegetarian soon? has struck a cord with almost everyone. I'm never the one to let an opportunity go by, so I thought, why not list the types of vegetarians? And trust me, there are many.

A.See No Evil: This type can be found not only behind the menus, but also in other areas of life. They generally avoid the fine print, a.k.a. the text that describes the ingredients. If they don't know that the French Onion soup they are enjoying has chicken broth, they will gladly slurp it. Ignorance, in this case, is sumptuous food.

B.Know Thy Neighborhood:  I-know-what-I-want-and-where-to-get-it types. They know all the restaurants and their menus inside and out. While one might ignorantly enjoy the 'veggie' Taco, they will look you with a smirk, sadly shake their heads and tell you that the beans (which makes the taco yummy) is actually made of beef broth.

C.vEGGetarian: I find that most ladies fall into this category. Though they also read their menus well, they have the incredible talent of reciting the ingredients list behind any given item. Cakes? Eggs! Jello? Gelatin! Mushrooms? Well, I know many of you love it, so I won't impart my sagacity on this.

D.Que Sara Sara: The most laid back of the lot. The preeminent factor here is that they are familiar with consumption of flesh - i) An ex-non-vegetarian; ii) Meat-eaters in the form of parent or friend in the background; or a distinct possibility iii)Down-to-earth attitude.

E.Of the veggie, Buy the veggie, Fuss the Veggie:They are least tolerant and actively preach vegetarianism, with a zeal of a Shivsenaite. Doesn't matter which geographical area they are from, they are like peas in the pod, with the sense of a lump of potato- you will recognize them by the retching noises and comically gruesome facial expressions they make whilst you devour your chicken.. And like the Indian democracy that is never for the people or of the people, these herbivorous forget that even meat eaters have feelings and are sensitive.

Sigh... time to share about my type. I'm combo D and A. My parents, like many other things, can't agree about whether to eat meat or not. So I grew up tolerant of both. And I enthusiastically ate the Stuffed Mushrooms on Olive Garden's menu... untill I realized they stuff it with clams!

Mar 17, 2010

To worry or not to worry, that is the question.

To worry, or not to worry: that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous problems,
Or to take arms against a sea of worries... 
There are days of the year when everything falls into place. And then there are days of the week where a trip to the library becomes an adventure, or at least an exploration. Not that I'm clumsy (ok, I'm a little bit) or lazy (I could give the energizer bunny a run for its money) or unplanned (I write lists!). It's simply how my life is.

Most days are so busy, I don't know how I get through them with my leftover sanity intact. And I recently realized that that's how I like it.

If you are too busy dealing with generously self-made messes, if there are myriad claimants on your time, and  you are busy as a cat on a hot tin roof with no way down, thank the Gods. That the best way to take your mind of irksome predicaments.

For example, when I'm having a bad day, I do something to make it worse - nothing substantial- just a lil' thing, like tight shoes or bunched up socks. Then I spend the rest of the day wiggling my toes and groaning about socks, which takes my mind off the problems.

That's one way to keep your mind off things. On the other hand, I have extra fingers! What didya think? I'd give you more thoughtful examples to read and ponder? Hmphf... Go think for yourself!

Ah, I can't keep quiet. I will tell you the other way. You have a few minutes and instead of peacefully resting, your wandering mind ambles towards the Field of Fertile Imagination to graze on new worries; While your common sense tries frantically to divert the wayward mind towards Peaceful Pastures. This battle, my friend, is lost even before it begins.

Try the diversion tactic II : There is ample fodder in the online world - For example, a random article reads- 'On average, 100 people choke to death on ballpoint pens every year'. Now, you can stare at a pen and try to figure out how that can happen till your duty calls. And please remember to draw the line at experimenting.

The point of this article? To keep my mind and fingers busy in the free-time that I have right now.

Mar 5, 2010

Crystallized Memories

I caught my daughter in my pantry with her chubby little hands in the sugar container, her face looking like a frosted cake in a sweet-inundated party.

 My 'mominess' went into overdrive. I was incensed at the amount of sugar consumed, irritated at the tiny twit, and wretched about the clean up of this mess.

As I lunged forward to halt further the disaster by spillage, a memory flashed into my mind about another pair of chubby little hands clutching a fist full of sugar and gorging it, like a starved kitten on a diet.

Mine, of course. I remember one of my favorite hideouts in the ancient, crumbling palatial home- A small, air-tight, cool room next to the kitchen where my Aaya (maternal grandmother)stored de-seeded tamarinds, salted limes, freshly ground sambhar powder and my personal favorite, dried mango strips.

And the sugar! Ah, the wonder of sparkling granules, slipping through my fingers like roughened sand, and the sweet, sweet taste, away from watchful eyes and scolding lips.

My mother would twist my ears and drag me out, yelling about stomach cramps and imparting her extensive knowledge about sugarcane plants growing outta stomach from the 'sugar-seeds'. Even the possibility of this weirdo plant sprouting leaves from my lips didn't daunt me.

Upon mother's request, my grandmother started carrying the key on her at all times to thwarted me. I started fervently wishing for the moments when she would suddenly stand in the middle of the room, clear her throat a couple of times, and announce to all and sundry that she was going to the rest room. Then she would add that she was afraid the keys would fall into oblivion, so she was leaving them on the armoire. I would wait with bated breath till I saw her amble away and then rush for the key to my personalized wonderland.

In the infallible ignorance of my youth, I thought she was daft- Did she think I was a baby who wouldn't understand her or be unable to reach the keys?

But she was one smart cookie. Thus I had my many moments of rebellion and numerous tastes of unadulterated fun...Err, sugar.

So, instead of admonishing my daughter, I took a step back, and let her make a memory of her childhood, to last a lifetime.

Mar 1, 2010

Mr.T's double Cs.

Mr.T scoring the double Cs, brought back some odious memories that I can reminisce a li'l tenderly - Since they are safely in the past.

My husband was an avid cricketeer (I made that word up) - He used to watch, play and dream cricket. I was proud in the elementary days of my marriage, of a sportsman husband: I had no conception of how time-consuming sports was at that time.

Back to cricket. So, here I was, in the aftermath of a glorious wedding, revelling in the fact that I'm actually in America.

Still in the time zone of being called a bride, I accompanied my husband to his practice session with the noble intention of supporting his interests.

In the spring-time early morning fog, blinking blearily and trying not to yawn, I was trying to process the soft sprouting grass and the incredible cold. For someone who has seen a 20*F winter, 55*F spring is 'warm'. For someone who landed here from sweltering Indian early summer, April is unbelievably cold. As Einstein said, it's the Theory of Relativity.

Add insult to injury, all the guys had stripped off their jackets and were walking around sweating after their warm up runs. They were also good-naturedly ignoring me belting out a stucco music with my chattering teeth, wrapped and bundled under an assortment of borrowed jackets. Did I mention it was cold?

Then the actual match. A total of 20 guys, they took turn keeping me boisterous company and playing on the field.

Now comes my dirty li'l secret - I have never in my previous unmarried part of life, seen a full cricket match. Sure, I would root for India towards the end of the match, I'll check score for my dad when he calls up from work and have crushes on handsome players. But I have never seen a match.

And sadly, my secret was out before the end of the second over.

There I was shaking and shivering; Swearing at my noble intentions about earning brownie points with brand new husband.

I couldn't figure out the game.

After one over, I knew the next ball goes to the one who was not batting. But instead of batsmen exchanging places, all the fielders and the bowler walked around and switched places! I watched this slack-jawed, ignoring the breeze trying to turn my teeth into frozen stalagmites. Eleven guys accommodating two men!

Next change of bowler, the same thing happened. It felt like a perfectly coordinated dance where the white costumed men were assigned spots and have to get there in a predetermined order. All of it performed to agonizingly slow music, I must add.

Five years and one child later, I still can't watch Mr.T's double Cs, even though I'm proud of him.

Update: The T is for Tendulkar and the C is for Centuries. He is an Indian Cricketer.

Feb 21, 2010

A state of mind.

Is happiness akin to destination? With some planning, preparation and piloting, with right words and gestures, with a little bit of providence and good weather, one hopes to arrive at Happiness.

But my dad says happiness is not a destination or even a journey. It's a state of mind. It's how you feel at that given moment. Why be in a gray, blue or black mood when you could be listening to a song or treating your taste buds, he asks me. It sounds more like mechanics- A twist here, a nudge there and you reset your mood. Aren't emotions supposed to be spontaneous? Something that bursts from within you naturally and is not contrived?

He was not talking about putting on a phony smile or masquerading a joyous disposition when you are feeling like crap (Pardon me, but it had to be said). Worrying, wallowing in guilt or withering in anger has never done an iota of good in alleviating the situation.

But since we are fortunate enough to live in a society, our needs and feeling come last. We pretend to be happy for our guests, boss, child or any other myriad number of people we meet. Because a smile is so conspicuous by it's absence and is always remarked upon by those near and dear, we put in so much effort into appearing happy.

Why can't we do this simple courtesy for ourselves? Be selfish I say!

How, you ask me. I asked him the same thing. How do you drive? How do you get up and persist to work everyday? Determination? Control? Obligation? Whatever it is, it's the same principle here. Make yourself happy. You wouldn't watch a bad movie or read a boring blog, then why would you foster a grumbling grouch on yourself and bear it's company, even if it is yourself?!

I'm a eternal optimist, an endless dreamer and a perpetual fool. I used have this rule of making five people smile per day when I was a teenager. I have, since then, expanded my horizon. I take a shot at making everyone I meet laugh, with the tenacity of a bull-dog. None must leave my vicinity without a smile on their face. Even if my jokes may fall flat and are timed badly, no one can fault me for lack of efforts!

Ah... The fact is, I sulk, snarl, snipe and sniff, just like everyone else. The difference is that I try hard, really hard, to experience it only once. I restrain myself from reliving the pain.

You don't waddle into muck with your eyes open (o.k., I do!) but it happens. When it does, you try to get yourself out of the puddle immediately, brush your cloths or wash or do whatever is necessary to clean up. Same here. Feel bad, but try to feel better - after all it's in your best interest.

PS: I'm not categorizing grief and fear with 'muck'. The feelings may be same, but the intensity is incomprehensible.

Feb 15, 2010

Those that were and will never be.

When was the last time I ran?

Let's see....
There was mad dash, slight shove, and yet more dash towards the empty seats on the train to NYC in November.

Then there was the 'control-the-cart-where-is-the-product?-there-it-is' Christmas sale marathon.

And the huffing and puffing like a choo-choo train on the treadmill everyday, even though the speed is set for a leisurely stroll; Thanking God that no one is here to witness my humiliation.

Not to mention the frequent, slightly awful, yet trying to be graceful, jog towards the spouse/child/friends awaiting me on the other end from where ever I am.

But some how, none are fun.

The best kinds of Runs are those that were and never will be.

The kind, where I run after swiping toe-curlingly unripe mangoes from my neighbor’s back-yard, balancing them in my skirts. Ignoring mom, who precariously hangs over the compound wall, yelling about under-pants and promising a good thrashing. All the while squealing like a duck, while the dhoti clad aaiya yells about naughty thieves and devil-spawns and flourishes his walking stick like a Force FX Lightsaber.

The kind, where your mom and dad pursue you with a bowl full of warm naala ennai (sesame oil), spiced with stinky and rough things like garlic and pepper. The impromptu crazy hip-hop waltz around the living room furniture as I try to evade them. I’m positively delighted by the irony - The oil I’m desperately trying to dodge, is funnily aiding me by being slippery when my dad grabs me. All the while squealing like a duck while mom yells about staining her embroidery on the sofa cover and ruining the freshly mopped floor.

The kind, where the cousin brother I despise is chasing me with scissors/ gulal /groom's photo, depending on what I have done to him. All the while squealing like a duck, while he threatens to seek revenge on me for teasing about his new mush/ ruining his shirt/ asking about his GF.

I haven't run like that in a long time.

Ah, the terror and urgency of being a child. And the freedom and the will to squeal like a duck.

Feb 10, 2010

Thank God for small favors!

Conversation between Him and me.

Setting: Living room couch.
Mood: Puri drooling over Saif, Him on a break from work.
Time: When Puri's watching Parineeta movie.

(Adjusting his glasses perched on his nose)
Him: "Why is he pushing her away?"
Puri: "Uh?" (Still drooling)
Him: "That guy? Pushing her away?"(Insistently tapping her shoulders)
Puri: "They are married, but he doesn't think so." (Not taking her eyes off the screen)
Him: "What?!" (Pondering whether he can claim that he isn't married to Puri)
Puri: "They married in a mock ceremony." (Wishing her's was)
Him: "Who?" (Contemplating settling next to Puri on couch)
Puri: "Shekar and her." (Nodding towards the screen and surreptitiously scooting towards the vacant space and trying to look as sprawled out as possible)
Him: "Who?!" (Nodding towards the screen, trying to grab a few popcorns)
Puri: "Shekar." (More interested in rescuing her popcorns)
Him: "No, no, who 'her'?"
Puri: "Oh, uh... That one, Lolita." (pointing to the screen)

(Him disappears to logon to work again. And pesteringly comes back in an hour)

Him: "Who is that?"
(Eying the couch)
Puri: "Girish." (Rolling her eyes)
Him: "Who is that?!" (Rolling his eyes)
Puri: "Lolita's fiancee." (Afraid of rolling her eyes as they might go into an endless spiral)
Him: "Isn't she married?" (Eying the now-empty popcorn bowl)
Puri: "Yeah." (Smirking at victorious demolish-ment of popcorns)
Him: "Then why is she..." (Sighing as his comp pings)
Puri: "Lolita believes they are married." (Positively smug at the thought of peaceful view time)
Him: "To Girish?!" (Eying his office room)
Puri: "To Shekar. But no one know this." (Replying to Him, eying the screen for Saif's appearance)

(Him goes away and returns another hour later to see Girish taking some sense into Shekar and declaring that he is married)

Him: (Pointing to the screen)"Girish is married?" (Rubbing his head)
Puri: "Yeah." (Smacking his head, in her mind)
Him: "But Lolita was already married to Shekar!"
Puri: "No, no, Girish is married to Koyal, Lolita's cousin."
Him: "Who's marriage is this?" (Sighing, settling)
Puri: "Shekar's." (Feeling bad, but still wants to watch in peace)
Him: "He is finally marrying Lolita?" (Closing his eyes)
Puri: "No, he is marrying Gayatri." (Distracted, feeling bad about the ending )
Him: "But he is married!" (Eyes wide open)
Puri: "That was a mock ceremony, he doesn't consider it binding." (Watching in suspense as married and estranged hero and heroine meet after a long time. Biting her nails, on the edge of her seat)
Him: "Then why did Lolita refuse Girish?" (He should receive an award for persistence)
Puri: "Because she loves Shekar." (Softly sniffing)
Him: "When he loves her, Why did Girish marry..."
Puri: "...Koyal.. because Koyal loves him."
Him: "Bu..."
(At which point Puri rudely places her palm over his mouth, cutting off the annoying questions and wonders why she so desperately desires and begs Him to talk to her. Turns out, He can be really annoying once He starts talking. And then, she also remembers to thank God that He is Tall, Dark and blessedly Silent!)

PS: In case you are wondering, that 'Him' is my husband. Name withheld upon request.

Update: Puri forced Him to watch the whole movie, sans songs.

Feb 6, 2010

Child talk = Mom blushing

It's wonderful to 'ooh' and 'aah' over babies. The ratio of cuteness is inversely proportionate to their age - the older they are the less 'oohing' and 'aahing'.

I have discovered why today.

As you all know, my social calender is busy over the weekdays with Chini and me; and over weekends with Arun, Chini and me.

I always assumed my child loves playing with other kids, discovering new toys, relishing tasty food and visiting new places.

Sadly, I did not realize how, and how much all this affected her.

We were at a over night poker party at a friend's place. After breakfast in the morn, the following conversation took place.

Me: 'Come on Shri, eat. We have to go home'
Chini:'Whose home mommy?'

And a second later, as everyone burst into laughter, it struck me what she had asked.

This has to be funny. If it isn't funny, then it's tragic.

And this, in turn, brings me to the conclusion that as babies grow older, they start thinking. But they have not yet learnt the social norms and conversation don'ts. Thus, with least encouragement, ample enthusiasm and lack of discretion, they come up with toe-cringing truthiness to the adult's utter mortification.

Who, in the above case, was me.

BTW, truthiness is not a real word, in case you decide to use it.

Jan 27, 2010

Will chicken be vegetarian soon?

I don't think I ever told anyone this - I'm a vegetarian who loves chicken.

I’m sure most of you -at least those of you who has invited me for dinner- know that I don't eat meat. (And the rest of you who don't know, invite me soon!)

There is something about a chicken marinated in masala, steeped in spice and simmered to supremeness that drives me insane. But I will not, will not eat it.

You see, there was a time when I could eat the chicken my mom made. With no need to keep up appearances as a blessedly ignorant child, I could get my fingers dirty, my frock stained and my stomach very happy. But since I have to cook now, mom's delicious chickens are no more and since I'm supposed to be a dignified mom who leads by example, only forks me. As to the stomach being happy, if I satisfy my urge and eat the damn thing, I might just throw-up.

Well, I do love my life complicated, and nothing complicates a life more than thwarted desires. You see, I have nothing against a chicken. But everything against me eating it. So how can I love and dispise something synchronously?

My nurturing dad, my devious, scheming dad took me to a slaughter house when I was 12. The age right at the brink of adulthood (I thought becoming teen was 'it'). And I had ideas and ideals. Suffice to say, the place made an impression on me and I gave up meat and fish altogether, to team up with my dad and discover the wonders of ghas-phus (elai-thalai).

Recently, I saw some white stuff growing on the yolk. I did the research. The results resulted in me retiring my taste buds from perfectly golden omelets made with eggs whisked into fluffy submission.

*Sigh. Note to self: Jus bcoz I hv net doesn't mean I shld lookup every.sundry.thing.

Jan 22, 2010

Aayirathil Ooruvan...Paithiyakaran

Friends keep asking me how Aayirathil Ooruvan was.

Surprisingly, it started well, like Mummy and Timeline (arche. dig and missing prof). It was entertaining and novel concept in a Tamil movie. Then the song 'Unn Mela Aasathan'.

Everything goes downhill after that. I don't even want to discuss the trance they go into. Gladiator (the arena scene), Avatar (army, guns against tribals, spears), Da vinci code (hidden society with lost prince), and a little bit of Congo.

I though I was being harsh. This was my opinion before I read the reviews- Indiana Jones must be added to the list too!

Then I read that the team has taken the movie back to the editing table after release as the response was very mixed, the common denominator being confusion.

Besides, too much rape, murder and paint!

I wouldn't recommend it.

Jan 14, 2010

New Year II

I'm not superstitious. But I have never claimed disinterest. I stay awake for every new year, even in the days I wasn't allowed to be. But this new year's eve, I was so tired from all the parties (combined with the fact that New year's day party was at my place), I hit the bed early.

I had a frightening sense of foreboding that would not go away.

On Friday morning, I was up early, getting ready, getting my daughter ready, cooking, cleaning and straightening the home for the guests. And Arun? Well, he hates all of the above with the same intensity I reserve for learning SQL. Guess what he was up to, to weasel away from work? On the computer; talking to Dell. He decided to fix the slow comp and crashed it. Grr. That's double jeopardy - the first being no help from him, the second being no FB, mail or news.

This does not bode well for the rest of the year. What if everyday is supposed to be a different version of the first day of the year?! What if I have an endless list of things to do that I don't want to do? What if I never get to have my morning cuppa in peace?

Now I had to tilt the tables and fix things before the day ends. I made Shri mad at me (disgustingly easy). She runs to her dad and then I suggest he take her out. (I'm positively Evil, eh?) She looked at him with delighted expectancy. I looked at both of them with self-satisfied expectancy. I do so love everything neatly wrapped up. Especially in my favor!

Jan 5, 2010

New Year

Start counting.

You start from one, right? (Unless you are trying to be difficult and began with 10 and proceeded in reverse, I'm sure it's one).

A child counts with one and ends at ten. Why then do the idiots in the T.V and internet (in general) are declaring the lists of 'Worst movies of the decade', 'Must Watch in last 10 years', 'The biggest political fiascos' etc.?

Where will the stuff happening in 2010 be included then? Grr. This is like 1999 where it was a big hoopla about the end of a hundred/ thousand years. The welcome 2000 received rightfully belonged to 2001.

Come on everyone, say it with me - 'There is one more year to go, you big dodos'.

Some how, I'm sure our voice is lost to them.

Jan 1, 2010

Spectacular Entertainment

As you can see, I took a big break from my blog. I was waiting for inspiration to happen for a come-back note. And like everything else in my life, it came with a bang (or rather, a crash).

I'm taking down the Christmas decoration. I started with something simple - the tinsel on the wall.

As I removed it, it trailed behind me. I tripped. That's no surprise.

Trying to aviod all the toys strewn across the floor (That's a very, very painful landing, trust me), I pirouette mid-fall. And did a curiously graceful leap throurgh the air and landed hugging the Christmas Tree, rattling all the ornaments.

Needless to say, I promptly sat on the floor and laughed till my heart's content. I don't need anything to entertain me. I can manage that spectacularly all by myself. :)