Monday, December 29, 2008

Plant a Thought.


I am smitten by a new hobby. Gardening.

Two pretty white flowers bloomed in the balcony of the apartment opposite ours. Like all other infatuations of a woman, this also was triggered by a "neighbour's-envy-owner's-pride" case. I don't know anything about rearing a plant, but I wanted a plant as well, at any cost!!!!

From the time I remember, I have never been too involved in making a garden. One among the handful of incidents was when we planted a sapling on vanamahotsava day in school and I have no clue what happened to it later. Watching mom "waste" an entire Sunday forenoon session digging up the soil and cutting plants and soiling her clothes and slippers was what gardening meant for me! And I didnt fancy doing all that and getting dirty!

But never mind the past. This weekend, 4 people whose total Gardening Quotient (GQ) didn't exceed 20 found a nursery where we could get saplings. "finding a nursery" was another long story since nobody was sure if the nursery my hubby dear used to see on his way to school 15 years ago still exist or not and after much speculation and help from shop keepers and confused strangers on the roads, we found that it did exist!

We were welcomed by a 45-50-looking man wearing a lungi and shirt. There was a whole bunch of plants to choose from, I noticed!
Me : "Oru chedi venam" (We want a plant)
He : (a little surprised with my innocent request) ok..
Me : (Smile and stand, coz I can't explain anything more!)
He : (Smile and stand, coz he can't help me unless I speak more!)

After a few minutes of agonizing silence for the 3 people who accompanied me, I cleared my throat and attempted to explain what I was looking for..
"ee apartmentile balcony-il vekkaan oru chedi venam. Chedi valuthaavaruthu. Poo okke venam. Valya kashttapaadonnumillaathe poo undaakanam. Anganathe ethu chediya nallathu?"(I want a plant that I can keep in the balcony of my apartment. It shouldn't grow. It should have a lot of flowers. Without too much of effort from my end, it should bloom. Which plant should I take?)

Obviously, he didnt like my requirements! So he didnt answer my question, but motioned me to take a look at the plants in the nursery.

I would point to each plant and ask the same question "itu valuthaakuo?" (Will this grow?) and after committing a few mistakes by replying with a "ohhh...nallonam valarum" (yes, it will grow really well), to which I responded "ohh..enna venda" (is it? then I dont want it) he strategically started answering with "illa, valare slow growth-a.. 4 years edukkum" (its got a very slow growth, takes 4 years to grow even a little). Hmm..smart!

Soon the 4 of us dispersed to four different directions that the confused gardener lost track of us! The impression that he had of us when we walked in smiling was probably all washed out, for he was seen scratching his head and wondering if we would leave him free and get lost! He would never have seen so many fools in one frame!

Finally we narrowed on a few pots of marigold and daisy-like flowers. 20 rupees each was a big deal, I thought. In Bangalore, this would cost me atleast 60 or 70!

4 faces looked carefully at the marigold pots.
FIL : "Itinu valam okke engana?" (What do we add as manure?)
He : "Chanaga podi ittal mati" (You can add cow-dung)
chorus : "CHANAGAMO???? Atonnum kittilla avde!" (COW-DUNG?? We don't get that in Bangalore!)
He : "Jaiva valam.ellu podi aaylum mati" (any bio-manure. you can add crushed bones also)
me : as if that is easy!

Then there was this discussion on how to re-plant it once we go home, how many times to water, how much to water, how to take it in car and many more how-tos and we were done. Marigolds, it was! In another 10 minutes, we walked out, each with a marigold pot in hand.

A 10 hour long tiring journey in car and here they are, my marigolds and daisy-like plants, dropping dead in my balcony. Sigh! But I do want them to bloom!

Friday, December 12, 2008

"I told you so"

I look at myself in the mirror
And I tug at my cut mane
Shouldn't have done it so short
And you stroke them and say
"I told you so"

I try to fix my broken doll
glue smeared all around
Oops, my fingers are glued
And you look at them and say
"I told you so"

The brand new pink tees
lay untouched there
It makes me look so short
And you smile and say
"I told you so"

I toast the bread
A little more than usual
Burnt bread for b-fast.
Yet you have them and say
"I told you so"

I guess I never learn
from the mistakes I make.
For I love the way
You hug me and say
"I told you so"

Friday, November 14, 2008

Friday Fun 'and all'.. :)

Saw it on a mailing list today.
I fell off my chair reading, re-reading, re-re-reading :)))



Three cheers to 'Indian English' :D

Friday, November 07, 2008

Past, Present and Future Tag ..

Tagged by Gasper !

In fact, I thought I would do only a portion of the tag, The yesterday, Part A alone and make it into a post. But then I decided to play fair and take up the entire thing :)

But I will definitely add a new post just for that section in my next post :)


The tag:

Two questions in each category answer them and then tag your friends from the blog-o-sphere.

(Simple enough right?)

Leave a comment on their blog letting them know they have been tagged and you are all set.

I. Yesterday

A. Your oldest memories

Aged around 3 - Bro left for school, and I got bored at home!

1) Watching and waving at people on the road for 3 hours in the morning, over the compund wall. It was a complicated process. I wear my "blue-n-white hawai slippers", and to reach the wall, I needed to stand on my right leg on the remains of a cut tree. My left leg would be wrapped around my right one. In due course of time, my parents discovered a mysterious hole appearing within 2 weeks of having bought the slippers, and interestingly, only on the right slippers, of every new pair :))
2) Waiting for "orange", the man who used to sell oranges. When he came near our gate, he calls would get extra louder "Waaaaaoooorangeyyyy". Dad used to get one for me every day :)

3) Looking for hours at the Monalisa painting hung on the wall at home and telling everybody that its Mommy's picture :) Well, I was damn sure it was.. :)

4) Mannu theetta :)) Yep.. its too embarassing! But I used to love eating the soil!
This is aged around 2! Mom would come running in panic the moment she hears this call "Mommmmyyyyyyyyyyy..... Sooryaaaaaaaa....... mannnnnnnuuuuuu...... thinnunoooooooo". If she reaches before the word "mannnuuuu" ends, she spanks me on my hand, if late by a word, she has to dig her fingers into my mouth!

5) Dad forcing a bulls-eye into my mouth and me screaming the world out! Ammamma
looking pathetically at me. PJ enjoying his bulls-eye at the dining table. In fact, playing with it by gently jiggling the gooooey yellow centre. An hour after the ordeal, I puke on the sofa as a mark of truimph :D The first and last bulls-eye I ever had!


Aged 4-5.

6) Getting ready to school. Holding dad's index finger with all my fives and crossing the road.

7) Fights with Dhanya to get "side-seat" in bus :)

8) PJ cutting characters out from my new UKG english work book and making shadow-puppets!!!!!!! And me crying.

9) All the "Chess Championships" with PJ and Gouthu etta, with my "exterptise in
defence", a single game would go for a whole day!!!!! Then I would lose with Gouthu etta, and I would cry! Finally ammamma would play with me (she doesnt know how to, but I didnt know it then) and lose , just to make me happy about my "bronze medal" :)

10) Dahlia teacher beating me up in UKG, for talking in the class. My legs were pink, with marks of the cane, but I can't believe, I didnt cry at all!

11) Proudly singing "vara veena" for english oral test in UKG, when asked to sing
"any rhyme". This option was given after I admitted I didnt know "Johnny Johnny" and "Little Miss Muffet"! Maggie teacher complained to bro. Complaint being "your sister doesnt know any rhyme. Why is she so dumb when you are so bright!" :-S

Aged 6

12) Enter KVK, the best times I have ever had. Scoring 100% in all subjects in 1st
Std and surprising my mom. My mom had lost hope in me in terms of studies after the "vara veena" incident!

13) First steps into painting. Drawing the yellow-n-orange lil bird in every page my
rough book :) (Rough sketch on MS Paint)
A year later, PJ used to make me draw one painting every day after I am back from school and only then let me go out to play! He would carefully stack the sheets and keep it safe somewhere. I wonder where they are now! :)

Aged 7-8

14) PJ watching UGC programs on Doordarshan!! There would be this guy who has a neat
handwriting. He would draw different kind of triangles with a black marker pen and write some stuff. PJ in rapt attention. Make a small noise, and you are dead meat in his hands! :)

15) First books... sifting through "The Three Bears".. reading "When Daddy was a
little boy" for the 100th time... Sunny's Stories from Muthacha's collection...Biju mama getting us books each time he came to see us...


Well..ending here :) Will continue in a new post :)


B. What were you doing ten years ago?


1) In 9th std in KVK. Busy with Social Science Projects... we had made a model of the Apsara reachtor at BARC.

2) The VMS(Vaish-Malu-Soo) club in full swing! Science experiments done in Vaish's
house. "Making bacteria".. looking through her microscope at ants..small stuffs.. :)) our hugely successful VMS lending library business and selling hand-made greeting cards and book marks to friends and family and spending all the money :))

3) Made papier-mache with atta, maida and news papers and stowed it under Vaish's bed and forgot about it. Vaish's mom detected some very very very bad smell in her room, but never knew what it was! Even we didnt realise, until the maid pulled the stuff out from under the bed and ohhh mannnn... :(

4) Mills and Boon... more Mills and Boon :) Followed by crushes..crushes...more
crushes;)

5) Table tennis tournies and walk-outs :)))


II. Today

A. Your first thought in the morning

Trrring...Tringgg...alarm goes off at 6:45.
My mobile calendar showed an event : Corporate Anniv.
Today, I complete 3 years in the industry :)


B. If you build a time capsule what would it contain?

1) It would contain all my diaries I have maintained in my teens. I would want my daughter(when I have one :)) to read them when she goes through the same age as I was when I wrote them.

2) Few of my fave clothes. Just want to look at them later and think how small I was :)

3) Some special e-mails, threads, chat logs exchanged between me and you-know-who :), to read them later on and to make my day


III. Tomorrow

A. This year…

Is almost done.. am not looking forward to anything great till dec..

B. What do you see yourself doing 14 years from now?

I would be 39 years old!!! I would be seen packing lunch boxes, hurrying through the
daily routines and running for my cab (yeah, I am sure I wouldnt have perfected the art of driving a car even then!) to take me to office. I would probably be checking my gmail.. gmail would have some really great features... and well... would be a happy female for sure
:)

I tag.. nobody in particular. If it fascinates you, take it up:)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Oru dubai-kaarde "dream house"..

Disclaimers : It goes without saying that in a narration so close to real-life as this all characters are fictitious :) Any and every resemblance of the characters to your NRI neighbour is purely coincidental.


Now that I am safe, let me start the narration..


Our auto roared its way on the stony road throwing us left and right, as if in a ketchup bottle! We hung on to dear lives until we saw the wrought iron gates looming big and the auto slowed down and stopped abruptly.


Mom and I got out, feeling like a packet of bones.


Me : "Ethraayi?" (How much is it?)

Auto driver : 15 rupees.

Me : "15 rupees? Nammal keralam kadannillallo atinu!" (We have not gone as far as crossing the Kerala border!)

Auto driver : "Ingane oru road-inde attathu kondu aarelum veedu vekkyo! itil odikkaan 15 rupees pora!" (Who will build a house at the other end of such a road! I should have asked for more that 15 rupees!)

Me : :D atu correct-a chetta!!! (That's correct bro! Note: The safest way to address any TDH here is 'chetta')


Having found a third person to blame, I handed over the Rs 20 note and took the change back from him. The auto driver took a look at the mansion behind the gate and murmuring something under his breath started the auto and roared away.


Sheela aunty,with a (well-practiced)pleasant smile greeted us at the door,err..door..we will call it yet-another-huge-gate. From the slippers strewn all around the car porch, I guessed there would be at least 300 people inside the house!


Sheela aunty serenaded across the airy living room, the pallu of her kancheepuram sari flowing lightly in the air. There, I saw Sreedharan uncle smiling at us, his gold-rimmed glasses sparkling under the crystal chandelier.


"Varu...veedu kaanichu taraam" said Sheela aunty. (Come, I will show you around the house)


Through out the "tour", I was too spellbound to speak a word! The house was like a palace! Sheela aunty was talking non-stop, going by the details of it all.


"Italian marbles thanne venam flooring ennu enikku nirbhandham undaayirunnu...Bedroomil wood panelingum.." (I wasnt ready to settle for anything less than Italian marbles for flooring and wood paneling for bedrooms).


"Sree ettanum njanum koode last time vannathu thanne bathroom-il tiles select cheyyanaayirunnu.." (Sree ettan and I had come to India last time just to choose the tiles for our bathroom)


"Shooo...Geethey...ee veedu pani kaaranam mathiyaayinnu thanne parayallo..!" (Geetha, I must admit I am exhausted running behind this construction work!)


Mom was nodding sympathetically after every line and chirping the same sentence after each of Sheela's aunty's woe-filled sentences "Pakshe Sheela, nannaayittundu ellaam!" (But Sheela, everything looks great!)


When mom thought she might require an aspirin soon, she made a mild remark "Sheela thaazhe pokko..aalkkaarokke vannittundaakum. njangal kandolaam veedu" (Sheela, You go down and receive the guests, we'll go around ourselves)


I felt this was one among the top 10 great things mom had done in last 10 years and deserved an Award for Timely Action!


Mom and I moved from room to room..each one looked a thousand times more beautiful than the previous one.

Me :"Ethra chilavaakki kaanum mommy?" (How much have they spent?)

Mom :"Oru 70-75 lakhs ennaanu paranjey...kettille??" (Around 70-75 laksh..didnt you hear when she said?)


Mom at some point : "Itaano Ja-koo-zee??Angane alle?" (Is this Jacuzzi, did I say it right?) with an obvious effort in her voice to frame the foreign word for her by fetching 3 random pieces from her vocabulary.


"Yo, lathu thaan" (Yes, it is) answered the smart me!


After having a heated discussion over if they would use all this, with mom saying they wouldn't use any and me arguing who wouldn't use it after paying from their nose, we came down stairs.


Still spellbound, I rarely recollect what the menu was. But yeah, an embarrassingly looong burp was heard from many around.


Having bid goodbye to Sheela aunty and complimenting her on her "dream home" (that is what she called it), we took an auto back home with me echoing "allelum dubaikkaarkku entha...kore kaashundallo!" (the dubai NRIs are always filthy rich!)


A week later, back at work, during one of our long telephone conversations I asked if Sheela aunty has settled in her "dream house". Mom replied "Avaru enne thirichu poyi...avide ippo randu watchman-um naalu pattikalum kaaval undu" (They left for Dubai long back. There are 2 watchmen and 4 dogs to guard the house now).


Bottom line : "Ee yogam ennoke parayanatil vallllya artham undu tto!" (No no...a translation here would never live up to its original!! Sorry!)

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Bru kaapi and Marie Biscuit

If you are a huge fan of chai-biskut, then you should be trying the bru-kaapi-marie-biscuit also!! Am sure you would love it!

Imagine this... You tear open a pack of Britannia Marie and find that its the best pack you have ever laid your hands on. The biscuits are perfectly aligned and held tight against the cover. You notice that the vulnerably delicate edges of the biscuits are still intact and there is not a sign of rough-handling by the super market boys. No powdered heaps of biscuits between two slices and all is perfect...oh great!!!


You hum a tune to yourself and make a cup of bru kaapi and pour it into a larger-than-usual-brightly-painted-yellow-and-white coffee mug to its brim. Leaving a trail of aroma as you rush to the dining table, the coffee mug is placed gently on the straw mat and you take the first of the marie biscuits from the pack.

After giving it a long look and having "tested OK" you gently dip it into the coffee. The mug is wide enough to let you dip the biscuit until only half of it is seen outside. And being an expert, you know to the precision of milli seconds as to how long you should keep it dipped so that it is as soft as possible, yet not flabby and dripping! A fraction of a second here and there, and you will either end up with a hard crust in your mouth or an unobtainable lump of soggy biscuit in the bottom of the coffee mug.

Instinct says its time to lift up the biscuit from the coffee. And the moment it is out, there is no time to waste. You immedietely let the soaked half of the biscuit crumble inside your month, warm and soft and along with it some crust from the other dry half as well. Hmmm.... heavenly!!!! :)) Enjoy your cup today!


PS - I got a lovely pic from flickr for this post... but with issues of copyright and stuff and moreover, it being tea rather than coffee, I rather take my own one soon. If it comes well, I shall post :)

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Music Tag from Aishu!

I flicked this from Aish's blog, which she flicked from another blog :)

And the rules go thus..

Rules:
1. Put your MP3 player/Media player on shuffle
2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer.
3. You must write the name of the song no matter what.

Start playing!!!

IF SOMEONE SAYS "IS THIS OKAY?" YOU SAY?

Neelay Neelay ambar par chand jab aaye.

WHAT WOULD BEST DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONALITY?

Tumse milke aisa laga ..tumse milke..armaan huye poore dil ke :)

WHAT DO YOU LIKE IN A GUY/GIRL?

Nazrein milaana...Nazrein churaana..Kahin pe nigaahein Kahin pe Nishaana ;-)

HOW DO YOU FEEL TODAY?

Race is on my mind, Race is in my Soul, Race is in my life, My heart is racing on :-p

WHAT IS YOUR LIFE’S PURPOSE?

Ye..Tumhari meri baatein.. Hamesha uhi chalthi rahe :)

WHAT IS YOUR MOTTO?

Halka Halka sa yeh Nashaa...Behka Behka sa ye samaa aa jaana !!!

WHAT DO YOUR FRIENDS THINK OF YOU?

In lamho ke daaman mein pakeeza se rishtey hai

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR PARENTS?

Ai Paapi Ai, Ai Pappi Ai Pappi Ai, Ai Pappi,Ai Pappi Ai :-p :-p

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT VERY OFTEN?

Zara Zara touch me touch me????!!!! Oh gosh!! :-p

WHAT IS 2+2?

Meri zindagi mein aaye ..

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR BEST FRIEND?

Chalo....tumko lekar chale...

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE PERSON YOU LIKE?

Chookar mere mann ko :)

WHAT IS YOUR LIFE STORY?

Somewhere out there I know there is someone whoz waiting just for me Mahiya ;-)

WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GROW UP?

Meri laundra ka ek bill!!!!!!

WHAT DO YOU THINK WHEN YOU SEE THE PERSON YOU LIKE?

Tere bina zindagi se koyi shikwaa..

WHAT DO YOUR PARENTS THINK OF YOU?

Tum ho Toh gaata he dil Tum nahin to geet kahaan!! :)

WHAT WILL YOU DANCE TO AT YOUR WEDDING?

Na hai yeh pana.. Na khona he hai...Tera na hona, jaane..Kyun hona he hai

WHAT WILL THEY PLAY AT YOUR FUNERAL?

Kabhi kabhi aditi zindagi mein yu hi koyi apna lagtha hai..kabhi kabhi aditi woh bijhad jaaye to ek sapna lagtha hai!

WHAT IS YOUR HOBBY/INTEREST?

Rock On...he ye waqt ka ishaara... Rock on...har lamha pukaaraa!!!

WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST SECRET?

Lucky Boy...U r my lucky boy...jaane kaun banega mera luckyo boy :-p

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR FRIENDS?

Parde ke peeeche...

WHAT SHOULD YOU POST THIS AS?

Ae Ajnabi.. :)

Monday, September 08, 2008

Kannada maathadi...!

Of late, I have been trying my bestest of my best to speak one line of proper kannada. It was quite embarrassing to admit that three years of staying in Bangalore hasn't brought me any closer to the language and my Kannada vocab was still constant with 1 word - the ubiquitous "maadi".

And to rub salt to the wounds, hubby dear has this penchant for showing off his 3-month-classroom -educated-80%-marks Kannada in front me while he spoke to auto drivers, plumbers and others. And am sure his trademarked "right tagoli" is used on auto drivers ONLY in my presence. And he very well knows, my quirky ears would stand up and my next question would be "Hey...what did you say just now? What does it mean?" followed by a wow-you-are-great exclamations and hushed gasps and widened eyes as he basks in the glory.

So hudugi here decided it was high time she did something about this. And the FM channels here probably felt the same, so they switched to sikkapatte kannada and swalpa-est hindi.


So terribly sikkapatte it was that hudugi here was heard humming only kannada songs for a few months and whenever a familiar kannada song was aired on FM while in car with hubby dear, hudugi would not just increase the volume but also sing aloud until hubby dear cries for mercy!

Soon, the office cab occupants unanimously decided to switch to another FM channel which had kanglish as medium of communication, and hence easier to pick up! So kannada songs got reduced. It was good bye to "Jinka Marina" which used to be recited like a prayer thrice a day.

Now hudugi listens to ads and RJs and picks up few kannada words. SMS sent to hubby dear is mostly in Kannada, and mostly the contents remain unaltered. I ping him every now and then as if he is a BMTC volvo bus with a "yelli idhire" sms, which happens to be the only completely correct kannada sentence I am proud to have mastered.

The learning curve has been pathetic all this while, or at least hubby dear makes me think so, for whichever way I put a sentence, he says those words don't even exist in the language!! And yeah, considering the similarity among South Indian languages, I do sometimes take a slightly greater advantage of it than what is necessary, the reason for all the "non-existent" words.

But nevertheless, the effort continues :) If you try to poke fun at me,nin kudumbana aanandikku aarogyakku, Mane hogu! (My own way of saying "Get lost" or in pure mallu-style "Go to your classes" ;))

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The story of a Kissan Jam Bottle

Am not feeling well today. I have a runny nose, fever and an aching body to give company all day long. The dull aches that sinusitis gives my face only adds to my misery.

Took an off from work today lest the AC worsens my situation.

Catching a cold means the end of the world for me. I become as irritating as a 5 yr old refusing to go to school. Having hubby also not around makes you feel all the more sick.

To cheer up, I looked in the cupboards to see if there was anything interesting. Some books, my old jeans which do not fit any more, some crockery, some bulbs...hmm..bulbs..thats interesting. I rummaged and found 4 of them, all in proper working condition.

Immediately enquired Google if there was anything I could do with a used bulb. They said I could make glitter bulbs. But it involved lot of technical uncertainties. The ones I had were working ones and if I did what they told, hubby dear wouldn't be pleased to see 4 good condition bulbs become glitter pots.

But nevertheless, I read through and found it pretty good. I managed to find a Kissan Jam bottle from kitchen and did the same thing. See ->






To do this, you would need

1) A glass bottle
2) Glass paints of any colour (I used Sunset Yellow)
3) Glitter or any small-tiny-decorative stuffs. I used the "springy-gold-coils" I got along with the Tanjore painting kit.
4) err... Thats it.. and a small amount of patience :)


How to do:

Pour in a generous amount of glass paints into the bottle. I used about 20 drops.

Keep rolling the bottle so that the paint spreads evenly around the bottle. Take care otherwise you might end up with thick coats on one side and thin on the other.

Once done, invert the bottle and place a glass beneath to collect the excess paint from the jar.Keep it for a good 15 minutes.

Wipe the mouth of the bottle with a tissue.

Now, sprinkle glitter or anything that catches your fancy and shake the bottle so that they get stuck on the edges.

If the paint looks wet, dry it with a hair-dryer.

Use a colourful ribbon to cover the mouth of the jar. (I didn't do this)

Your little flower-vase is ready!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

One more tag - A photo tag

This is the 2nd consecutive one on tags, but I couldn't just helping picking this tag form another blog :)

And this one is easy!

All I had to do was

1. Type your answer to each of the questions below into Flickr Search.
2. Using only the first page, pick an image.
3. Copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into fd’s mosaic maker.



And the Questions and my answers to them are :

1. What is your first name?
Soorya. I cheated and got this from the 2nd page :-p

2. What is your favorite food? Right now?
Kappa and meen :( I miss it!!!!

3. What high school did you go to?
Kendriya Vidyalaya. Didn't find any pic of the kanjikode KV, so picked up KV DRDO one :)

4. What is your favorite color?
Red..red...red...

5. Who is your celebrity crush?
Imraan Khan :) Hez so chocolatey, but nevertheless good :D

6. Favorite drink?
Bru kaapi :)

7. Dream vacation?
The Jungfrau.

8. Favorite dessert?
Black forest!!!!!!!!!!!!

9. What do you want to be when you grow up?
A genius :-p ..I love the pic I got!!!

10. What do you love most in life?
Love!!! (Man, am so 'senti'fically romantic)

11. One Word to describe you.
Always Smiling! Check the cutie pic I found!

12. Your flickr name.
Don't have a flickr name...so a None. :)

And yes, if you like the tag, then samjho I tagged you :)

PS - Ok, I promise I won't do another tag in the next two posts!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Octal Revelations!


Am Tagged by SilenceKilled!!!

Here goes my confessions.. :(

8 Things I’m passionate about:

- My views, my freedom
- Love, smile and fun
- Safety of Loved-ones
- Home sweet home
- Weeekends!!
- My cook-book!
- My job :D
- Holidaying

8 Things I want to do before I die:

- Bungee jump!
- Make people smile
- Proudly own and drive a BIG SUV :)
- Travel Europe :)
- Live life without regrets
- Punch on the face of Mr A, Miss B, Mr C, Mr X, Mrs Y ...blah blah.. ;)
- Learn something totally new, like a new language.
- Build a house designed by me :)

8 Things I say often:

- Its a Friday!!!!!
- Am sooooo hungry.. lets order pizza for dinner :)
- I'll surely go to the gym tomorrow... today am not well :)
- Will you please pick me from office dear?
- I'll be late today.
- Listen, there is a 50% off sale going on in ... ;)
- The brought-to-you-bai-style "Itne paise me itna hi milega" :)
- Hahahahhahahehehheheheheh (I laugh too much sometimes!)
- When are you coming to Bangalore next mommy? :-p


8 Books I last read:

- Have this "100 Best Stories of O Henry" on my bed-side table. Will each story be counted as one

book ? :-p

8 songs I could listen to over and over again:

- I knew I loved you before I met you (MLTR)
- Sound of Silence (Simon & Garfunkel)
- Dil hoom hoom kare (Rudali)
- Any of the good ol' Tarken songs :)
- Ae Ajnabi (Dil se)
- Suhani raat dhal chuki (Dulari)
- Jalthe hai jiske liye (Sujata)
- Kahin door jab din dhal jaaye (Anand)


8 bloggers who should do this tag:

- Aishu
- Gasper
- Rat
- Sand
- Geo
- Vaish
- Vaisakh
- Harry

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Walking along the Jews Street...

"Jews Street", said the white letters on the bright green board. I read it aloud in my mind again and again.. there was a rustic charm in even the name, I thought.

Probably I must have stood there and mused for a few abnormally long minutes, for I had to run to catch up with the others who had already walked a few feet ahead
by now.



Tip-toeing on the wet pavement with quick short steps lest I wet the only jeans I had packed for my weekend trip, my eyes traced the all the little bric-a-bracs in the dimly lit curios shops lining either side of the narrow pavement.

There had been a light drizzle just a few minutes ago and people were hurrying up with coloured umbrellas, gently clashing against each other as they made their way in opposite directions.

My eyes were still hungrily scanning the curios shops. I wasn't looking for anything in particular.. the sight was a feast for my eyes.

The huge hand-blown glass lamps in unimaginably bright shades of shocking pinks, bottle greens, deep blues and placid browns with ornate brass filigree, the exquisite beligian glass chandeliers, hand-painted ivory tiles with intricate designs in blue, the delicately done cross-stitch napkins all were a story in itself, of a bygone era of riches.. a bygone era, now easily price-tagged and sold as "anitques".

An old Jewish lady sat in one of the shops, soft yellow light casting a warm glow on her creme gown draping her frail body, as she fiddled with a piece of white cloth, coaxing her aged eyes to get the stitches right, in vain. The now sunken eyes still had a warmth in them, the same warmth familiar to every grand-child on earth.

I walked past more shops lining the roads, to reach the synagogue at the other end, standing silently and seemingly reluctanct to communicate, for whoever comes these days speak a foreign tongue, except for the few others like the grandma in creme gown who sat there coaxing her aged eyes to get the stitches right, in vain..

...................................................

PS: Pics will come soon :)
[Edited] : Pic added!

Sunday, July 06, 2008

On School Annual Days...

Right through my school days, the Annual Day was probably the day I always looked forward to the most, year after year!

Was it the excitement of performing on the stage, in front of beaming parents, or the anxious wait to get your prize for co-curricular activities(CCA), or the thrill of bunking class for practice... I know not what, but I always had a hard time sleeping on the eve of the D-day, my little heart thumping loud with excitement!


The memories are still fresh.. I can still see me in white-n-white singing the group song "Kadam se kadam, milake chalo" in IL auditorium as a 6 year old. The next year was an action song, with all the 30 of us dressed as Nehru!!! We had all got our kurtas stitched and wore a red satin pundit ji coat with a gulab pinned on it! The year after that was another action song with me doing a "koyal"!!! A black kurta-pyjama with a pair of black wings made by the teachers and a black beak which I had made it myself of which I was toooo proud! I can imagine how silly I would have looked by the expression of the chief guest when she gave me my prize. She was smiling ear-to-ear in the photograph, handing over the prize to a cuckoo!!!

Having advanced to more "human-like" attires for the next few years was a welcome change, for, people could now spot me on stage with ease :)

But even then, the feeling was all the same. The day usually starts early with all of the "participants" (boy, that was a privileged section!) coming to the town hall where the function would be held. There would be stage rehearsals again and again while the ones free for the time would go around exploring the town hall, playing hide-n-seek and what not!

And come 4:30, the early birds would be there, occupying seats..Meanwhile the "participants" get dressed in the green room. As the make-up artist paints your face, you hold your breath for the fear of smearing the lip stick while you peek out of the corner of your eyes and try to make out if you are looking fine from the expressions of your friends who are watching you in earnest! The patience you exhibit is amazing and the moment the artist mutters a "hmmm" indicating he is done, you grab the mirror to check if you look good! And most of the times you will look sick and go and complain to the teacher in charge. She would pat your cheek and say no, you are looking great! And that helps!!


Once done, you are seen wandering back stage, meeting other friends and playing teh guess-who games with them, for you never recognize each other! And by 6 the hall is jam packed. And then the agonizing wait for the chief guest's speech to get over, followed by princi's annual report, blah-blah-blah.. meanwhile you are all queued up back stage with your badge number. In your 10th or 12th, you would be at the tail end! And somehow dad and mom would come and meet us here, hand over a pack of biscuits may be and say "Enda oru vesham!!" (What a dress!!!) with an expression that will prompt you to take a hanky and remove the excess lip stick!

The prize distribution ceremony gets over in a jiffy and you don't even have time to check what book you got as prize! We gotta run for the last practice! Time flies the fastest during that time and you would be seen standing back stage, looking at your other friends performing and you wait, for your group is the next.

As you listen to the mic throwing echoes around, as you vaguely make out the occupants of the first row against the glaring lights, as you hear your ma'am saying "boys and girls...do your best!" , and as you play that long dialog where you always made mistakes again and again in your mind, you can hear your heart is racing, and probably of the guy standing next to you too! Probably he has heard yours too, for he is looking at you and grinning. And then you notice that the curtains are falling... and the people on stage are going away... Your heart has almost stopped beating now!!! The lights go off and the curtains are down. You hear a voice "C'mon..lets go!"..somebody screams a "All the best guys!" and you softly walk on the wooden stage...take your position... curtains up..lights on... and you give your bestest smile to the audience to start with!!!


Rest can come in another episode!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Wandering Thoughts from a Frustrated Programmer..

One linker error is no better than 3 page-full of linker errors. In fact, it could be worse. You are very likely to spend 30 mins solving 3 page full of linker errors whereas you would realise you have been staring this lone stubborn linker error for almost a week now and it has not progressed an inch from where it is now.

For the whole of that week you would be seen talking about nothing but that particularly impish __symbol. Sometimes, when the deadlines have turned the corner, you would start seeing underscores in your dreams as well :)

And exactly during that time Google will call it quits and declare you an idiot after its million-th attempt at enquiring if you really meant what you typed on the search bar or "did you mean this-slightly-modified-yet-totally-unrelated-word" instead? After all, google knows that to err is humane!

You try changing the code in all possible way Mr Trusted-Lots-of-stars-guy on that forum suggests. You even post a few queries here and there and keep refreshing the page to see if the same Mr Trusted-Lots-of-stars-guy has replied and when he does reply, he says whatever we asked sounds really strange to anybody living on earth and he would need to see the entire thing for it and suggests something which you have already read in many other forums and which would not work for sure!

With Mr stars also giving up, you are left alone. Well, not exactly, alone. You are left with few more days for the deadline, somebody to drill down this fact every hour into your brains and this sole linker error. Back to square one, rather Square -20, coz you have already wasted 20 long days for this!

Happy Linking! :)

PS - All characters(integers and floats as well) in this post are fictitious.Any resemblance to any person living or dead is purely coincidental. And 'You' is not me. 'You' is you. And if you thought 'You' is not you, then you spoke too soon. Your day will come soon :)

Thursday, May 15, 2008

10 tickets to my Good Books!


1) Mr/Ms Really Intelligent : People who can speak in depth about not-so-common topics in so simple a words yet with so much of clarity that they can leave me open-mouthed! I have felt that to me intelligence is more than saying "yeah, i know it and i can explain if u want". It lies in HOW you explain.

Came to think of it, this was a question during an interview in Google.
- Explain a database in three sentences to your eight-year-old nephew :)
And somebody posted a reply in 2 lines "It's like a genie who knows where every toy in your room is. Instead of hunting for certain toys yourself and searching the whole room, you can ask the genie to find all your toy soldiers, or only X-Men action figures, or only race cars -- anything you want."

And I loved it :)

2) Mr/Ms Cool n Smiling : These people slip into my good books very easily.I adore people who can remain as cool as a cucumber even when there is chaos! They don't panic and their minds are in perfect equilibrium to make good decisions that nobody will repent! Just how do they do it!!! As for the smile part, :)

3) Mr/Ms Nice-Writer/Book worm : Been ages since I read something now, and I maintain a very ordinary looking blog.So when I meet people who have read a lot, I am more than happy to hear them speak. Same with people who have honed their writing skills to come up with intriguing stories, sweet-nothings packed in beautiful expressions. Short story contest winners earn special respect :)

4) Mr/Ms Up-to-date : They get all the facts and figures right. They know whats happening around the world, they know whats new in technology, they know all the news around the world!

5) Mr/Ms Humble :
They know they are great. Others know they are great. They know others know they are great. But still they don't show-off the fact that they are great.

6) Mr/Ms Birthday Rememberers : People who remember your birthday and wish you (without using reminders in mobiles/calendars) are a rare species of people whom I consider are the warmest and the most genuine of spotlessly clean hearts!!

7) Mr/Ms PJ Crackers : Sounds cheesy. But I do adore them for all their rotten PJs!! I just can't help liking their PJs :) There is one lady I know who cracks really really really bad PJs ...
and sometimes I have actually wished I could crack such rotten ones like she does :))

8) Mr/Ms Kids Lovers : They, like Birthday Rememberers, are a special lot who are always assumed to be good at heart, loving and affectionate!

9) Mr/Ms Great Cooks : Man, this one might be on the top if I arranged it on a proper scale! Rightly said the way to a man's (or woman's, these days) heart is through his (her) stomach!

10) Mr/Ms Punctual : I hate to be made to wait for someone. I hate it if the person rushes in 30 minutes late and gives a lame excuse and says sorry and expects me to say "Its ok." Probably I am one such person and I know how it irritates others! Probably thats why I love people who are well on time :)

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

No Title

I was awake for another 2 hours after the movie ended even though it was around 1 am. It had surely left a bad taste.

Well, it was neither any of those scary movies having disturbingly long spells of silence, when you know that any moment something can make you scream (remember Psycho series!) nor was it any kind of movie which disturbed you so much with its theme/story line that it keeps coming back in flashes for a few days(reminds me of deshadanam which was hard to get out of mind!)

This was a very very ordinary and fit to be easily nominated as a crap mallu movie which typically qualifies to be aired on one of those volvo/semi sleeper buses to Kerala. Forget the name, cast, even the story-line for that matter, coz they not worth enough to be discussed on a blog, and that too on my blog where I have never discussed movie reviews! But forgetting the story-line would mean my post lost a part of its content and reference, so lets keep it referenced, but brief :)

The movie is all about glorifying the "an eye for an eye a tooth for a tooth" principle (like any other mallu movie classified generously as "action movie".duh!). So completely drenched in human blood that the movie overlooks capturing anything remotely real!

The movie has a local tamil leader(obviously a goonda, there has never been a good tamil leader in mallu movies!) who kills people at his whims and fancies. He cuts arms, uses swords,sticks to make people spit buckets of blood from the mouth as if they have 1 litre of blood packet in their mouths ready to be broken the moment villain hits their throat. Our hero's dad also was a victim.

Hero comes back to sell the house bought by his dad which happens to be in the same kingdom of the goonda. Now hero and goonda spit more blood, cut more arms, legs, heads... again buckets of blood..and then one of them dies (no points for guessing who dies in the end!) and movie ends.

So pathetic a movie it was! And I felt so ashamed of myself to have stayed awake and watched till they flashed "The end"!

What are these kind of movies made for! Who are the people who will watch this with interest? Who in the world would like to see so much of blood shed? And what on earth does the director (bang his head please!) mean at the end??? And just where on earth does so much blood shed happen these days???

I mean, are we fools to accept this kind of "action movies"????

The movie and the director not just left a bad taste, it bugged me so much that I was awake till 3 :-S

PS - I believe there are many mallu(or other language) movies of this flavour so there is no point giving a verdict for this particular movie, but in case you are curious to know, its "Panthayakkozhi" (whatever that means! Sigh!)

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

What do I write about next?




Dear readers,

Am kind of running out of topics lately...so can you think up of something nice that I can write about ? :)

Best topic will be awarded a blog post ;-) and a heart-felt "thank you" :D

At rat and co, topics that are comprehensible are preferred. Topics like "afghanistanum uzhunnu vadayum" will be automatically rejected!

Cya!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Teddy at Twenty!

Are you knitting your eye-brows at the thought?
Or are you smiling end to end?

Probably it wouldn't figure in the heavily revised Girl's-best-friend-list, but would unanimously be voted to occupy that special place in her heart.

And guys grrrrrooooaaannnn at the thought. Some (read it as Most) guys think its "too-girlie", "too-baby-ish" and a lot of other-ish for a twenty-something girl to be found owning a teddy bear!

They pull your legs, poke fun at you and call you "beiibeeeee" if they know you hug your teddy while you sleep ...

They twist the teddy's face, throw it up and down, kick it like a football, and tug at its satin ribbons...

All said and done, on Valentine's, they gift you a teddy, with a big red heart! What an irony!

Note: A post from a married-woman showing contempt towards the male species is imedietely seen as a way of showing contempt towards ones husband :) Please spare mine from being the object of interest in your comments, he doesn't mind teddies :)

Monday, April 14, 2008

Happy Vishu..


Hoping we would have another wonderful year ahead.
Thank you God, for all those wonderful years in the past.


Today is a working day, as always.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Tagged on a boring day...

Tagged by Geo, here we go!

1. LAST MOVIE YOU SAW IN A THEATER:

Race, at Innovative Multiplex. It started off in a jazzy ranch with horses and what
not...and the story twisted and turned every second with all the characters plotting against each other until you start feeling a throbbing pain around the nape of your neck and in the end leaves you with just one question "So where are all the horses!!"

2. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING?

Been a long while now! I have few books near my bed which I sift through for God-alone-knows-what-sake when am guilty.. Head First Java, J2EE technolgies :))

3. FAVORITE BOARD GAME?
Snakes n Ladders!! Nothing to match it. Used to play chess and have a record of never winning.

4. FAVORITE MAGAZINE?

Still love to read the termites-eaten 1950s issues of Reader's Digest that are stacked at home.
And there is nothing that I hate more than the recent issues with its junk calories,diets and diseases info..

5. FAVORITE SMELLS?
Smell of coffe, kappa-meen, smell of damp earth after the rains, smell of babies after their bath with J&J soap, mom's starched sarees, smell of new books...

6. FAVORITE SOUND?

Typing on the keyboard, Sand saying Goodnight, Titan ad music, deafening sound of waterfalls, school bell, a new chat window opening up with a 'blim' sound :))

7. WORST FEELING IN THE WORLD?

People not believeing that you are saying the truth and circumstances are such that you can't find any evidence to prove it too!!

8. WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU THINK OF WHEN YOU WAKE?
Ohh..am late again..milk..newspaper...breakfast..get ready..no pressed clothes..run..cab...sequence is played again and again until I get out of bed!

9. FAVORITE FAST FOOD PLACE?

Hmm... CCD or Dominos :)

10. FUTURE CHILD'S NAME?
Tough question..not thought of yet. Wil come up with a few during those loooong 9 months :-p

11. FINISH THIS STATEMENT. "IF I HAD A LOT OF MONEY I'D...?

ask for a little more ;-)

12. DO YOU DRIVE FAST?

No :) No more questions on my driving skills pls!

13. DO YOU SLEEP WITH A STUFFED ANIMAL?
Before wedding, I had a bunny, a teddy and a monkey to share the bed till midnight, after which they mercilessly end up somewhere on the floor.. right now, things haven't changed much..sleeping with a BIGGER stuffed animal :-S

14. STORMS-COOL OR SCARY?
Never been in a scary one yet. So may be cool.

15. WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST CAR?
:( Do Hot Wheels count?

16. FAVORITE DRINK?
"Jeerovellam" :)

17. FINISH THIS STATEMENT, "IF I HAD THE TIME I WOULD .....
make 5 dishes for dinner instead of the usual 2, bring in atleast 10 bugs in my code instead of the usual 2-3, check orkut more often instead of the usual every tea/coffee/lunch breaks, try to reach more frnds over fone.

18. DO YOU EAT THE STEMS ON BROCCOLI?
I have never even eaten Broccoli. For that matter, I am sure I would hate it for its colour alone!

19. IF YOU COULD DYE YOUR HAIR ANY COLOR, WHAT WOULD BE YOUR CHOICE?

Will prefer the natural color!

20. NAME ALL THE DIFFERENT CITIES/TOWNS YOU HAVE LIVED IN.

Palakkad -> Bangalore. (Yeah,it ends there)

21. FAVORITE SPORTS TO WATCH?

Watching Sand play NFS and Flight Simulator for hours and hours and hours ...! allathe entha!

22. ONE NICE THING ABOUT THE PERSON WHO SENT THIS TO YOU.
Speechless!

23. WHAT'S UNDER YOUR BED?
Pooky pooky poo.

24. WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE BORN AS YOURSELF AGAIN?
No doubts,yes. But please, shall I be a lil taller?

25. MORNING PERSON, OR NIGHT OWL?
Neither... :) I want to sleep!

26. OVER EASY, OR SUNNY SIDE UP?
Rephrase please. :(

27. FAVORITE PLACE TO RELAX?

Home sweet home. In front of the PC. (ie, Relaxation starts once you have won the battle for the PC)

28. FAVORITE PIE?

Sweetie pies? :p

29. FAVORITE ICE CREAM FLAVOR?
Pls don't confuse me. I like them all. But in case the vendor has only vanilla, no probs, I will adjust :p

30. OF ALL THE PEOPLE YOU TAGGED THIS TO, WHO'S MOST LIKELY TO RESPOND FIRST?
Geo already tagged all the ppl in my blog-world. The few remining were tagged by Rat. I don't have any to tag :(

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Blog in Progress..97% Complete

Who was that moron who got this idea to develop the ever-hated Progress Bar thingie??? Probably developed with all the good intentions in the world, he would never in his wildest dream have thought that people would howl and scream, tear their hair apart watching it grow in a snail's pace.

How many times have you tried to pull those green boxes in a failed attempt to drag it to 100%!

How many times have you coaxed and cajoled yourself into believing "Okie..this would be the last one I would see for this install" and just when you think its over, there comes another window and yet another empty progress bar!

And as if one per screen was not enough, we have the all-new-double-progress-bar where when one completes to 100%, the other, with lot of effort, goes higher by 1%!!!! Duh!

C'mon yaar, there is height of being patient! And you allow yourself to be mocked at by this kind of logic, just because you don't have any other choice?? Sigh!

The other day, as I was staring at yet another merciless progress bar at work, I wondered if it would have been better staring at a black blank screen and letting my mind wander into other not-so-boring stuffs than play the self-invented-stupid game of speculating where the progress bar would reach when my system time shows 3:54!

All said and done, I have to agree that the moment we see the last cell getting colored green is one of pure ecstasy!



Download Complete!

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Kaapi? :)

Those letters make it sound irresistible, especially when it appears on a chat window at office at around 3:30 PM, while you are fighting hard to keep your eye lids from dropping and you keep cursing the person who created that PDF document which you are trying to finish! All this while you had been scrolling up and down the document, minimizing the screen, taking a look at your To Do note, then shifting your eyes to the bottom right hand corner to check the system time..going back to the document..hummpphh.. so much more to go yaar!!! And that is when this tiny thing pops
up from your next-cubicle mate.."Coffee?" "Sure..", you type quickly and spring to your feet.

The vending machine gives me really bad coffee, but then drinking it is much easier than staying awake before that great PDF document at least!

Scene 2: Traveling on the pride of Indian Railways.. yet another hot day. You look out of the window and see barren land as the train passes through villages, ponds and fields filled with water-hyacinth with palm trees lining up their shores. You turn to look at the passengers in your compartment. Its the same set of people since the last 5 stations. The guy sitting near the window has been clutching his briefcase and sleeping for the past 3 hours now.. the middle-aged couple sitting right across seem to have boarded the train after a fight I think, they hardly talk! The lady sitting right next to you with a sleeping baby in hand, who has been looking at your hands
since she settled down, making you feel so conscious of your un-cut un-polished nails. Thats when somebody cries aloud and thats like music to the ears.. "Kawfeeeeeeeee kawfeeeeeee..." His container comes to view first and then the man. He settles and hands you the familiar tiny cup.

The soft wisps curl up and lightens your spirit. A train journey without a couple of "kawfeeee" is so incomplete!


Why go so far... A sumptuous lunch, Sunday afternoon siesta and then you wake up to a BIG cup of hot hot Bru Instant... eyes still half sleepy, images of some portions of the last dream still in your head, with a mouth that cries for a wash and that first sip to touch your tongue...hhmmm..heavenly!

Any time for coffee man!!!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Feminism ..and something extra

I know am treading upon a topic which has never seen light beyond controversies, and on a blog like mine where the stuffs that I talk of are so subtle and 'non-taboo' such a topic is the last thing one should think about writing! But at times, the things that you read or certain people whom you interact with forces you to delve upon such thoughts. And added to it the idle-time you get in the office cab while you commute to-and-fro.. thats one time you don't want to think about your work in office or home, and so such thoughts creep in.

That ends the disclaimers :-)

It was probably on one such mid-week cab-drive did my mind wander to the word feminism. My dictionary here screams that it means "A doctrine that advocates equal rights for women". Now,don't start panicking. Neither am I going to talk of Parliament and Women's Bills nor am I going to narrate some incident where I was fighting Woman's most-hated enemy named Man and was made to feel that I was not given any rights.

If the dictionary is anything to go by, I would be proud to say am a hard-core feminist at heart. Any woman for that would be proud, ain't she? But calling myself a feminist makes me as uncomfortable as a baby in wet diapers. Now why is this so...I probed.

Would I mind if a guy opened the door for me? No, I wouldn't.
Would I mind if a guy opened the door for me EVERY TIME??? I wouldn't. Seriously I wouldn't!! I mean, why should women make such a hue and cry for such a small thing and tag it with feminism and adulterate the very essence of the word??? Off late, this is just what women talk in the name of feminism! If a man does some(any)thing for her which probably she can do it herself, she screams to the world that her rights are violated, that man sees her as inferior, writes blogs on her strengths, writes columns in magz...phew! C'mon darling-women, let them pamper you, what difference does it make on who opened the door??

Women are so much obsessed about giving new meanings to feminism that they themselves forget what they are there for! Independence, freedom, liberation and other fanciful words have been etched to their thoughts so much that feminism probably now means "A doctrine that advocates women do not need men".

If moving out and "living independently" at the age of twenty-something, blogging about your sexuality so loudly that it makes it seem so obscene and still claiming you don't need a man for anything, even for reproducing is considered the classic epitome of new-age feminism..then sorry, no, am not a feminist! Wake up women, Please don't over-do things!! This ain't the stuff that the dictionary says!

Disclaimer 2 : Please understand, I am a women too. I wouldn't want to be a down trodden. But the essence of this post is I wouldn't believe that any man would think I am down-trodden if he opens the door for me! This is my opinion, my blog and if you think I have disappointed you, so be it!

Friday, February 08, 2008

Fry till Golden Brown..

Take any culinary book, am sure these lines would never be missed. Its there all over like a punchline!

Talking about recipe books, writing it is as much as an art as is cooking itself! You need to choose words with utmost care so that it tempts the reader to try it. Once the reader runs through all the ingredients required and is satisfied that (s)he has all the stuffs ready she is automatically drawn to the Method section. Now once (s)he starts reading the method, the author should hand-pick and present the words in such a way that he (more than often she) actually starts smelling the aroma of the spices being lightly fried in oil!!

Some tips (read as "culinary jargons") used to draw the readers attention are -
(Use these phrases in case you are looking for an alternate career in writing cookery book/online posts)

1) Onions are always fried till golden brown. Am sure many a times all of us would have wondered what exactly the golden brown colour was, but sure enough we have been made to believe that onions taste best when they are "fried till golden brown", a thing never achieved !!

2) Garnish with fresh mint leaves and blah blah... mmmm sounds so appealing! The readers would fall head over heels for this!

3) If you observed, recipes with simple names rarely catch your attention. Instead see the increase in page-hits you would get if you posted the simple recipe of prawn fry to Golden Fried Prawns in Sweet-n-Sour Vinegar Sauce.

4) Not to forget that colourful picture of a juicy chicken ready to be dug into surrounded with "garnishes from point# 2", a checkered napkin in white-n-red! Yeah man, its going to be nothing without an eye-catchy pic of the (supposedly) real thing

5) If its an online post, get your friends and parents to comment on your recipe. Bribe them to give you as many stars as possible for your ratings and watch the magic as some naive unassuming user(read: prey) searches for something and your recipe gets another hit!

Now who cares if your prey ends up skipping his dinner coz of half kilo grams of burnt prawns with a vinegar sauce that doesn't taste half as exotic as it sounds! You receive your hits (pun intended ;-))

Happy Writing!

Friday, February 01, 2008

Wheels of Change

I wasn't believing myself when I saw myself type on a chat window "Yaar,go for santro, it perfectly suits your budget and is a really good value-for-money car. If in case you can stretch a little, try Swift." and the guy (ok, mark this word, its a GUY !!) at the other end asks "What about i10? Hows the performance? " and I type without thinking twice "i10 is very good, but then don't you think its over-priced? " "Aur WagonR? kaisa hai? " and I reply confidently "Thats the ugliest looking car ever produced by man.. absolute waste!" We exchange a few more pleasantries and I end the conversation.. beaming like a first rank holder! Guess why..

Barely 2 years back, a car for me would be as simple as something that runs on the road, has 4 wheels and a cover on top. My knowledge of car (or any automobiles for that matter) was an absolute zero even though I had a valid driving license. And that I possessed coz I thought it would look odd in today's world not to hold one once you complete 18 yrs of age. After all 18 is the age to scream aloud to the world am finally officially an adult!

I think we are deviating from the primary topic of interest.. cars.. yes, I was mentioning how ignorant I was about cars. Back in school, I had this friend N, an absolute tomboy, who used to be such a car-lover that it was hard for me to resist all the gyan she gave me then! So though I despised that topic as much as Social Studies, I knew Celio (or was it Ceilo?) was a car which was big.

After school, it was again a state of pure bliss (read ignorance) about automobiles. And in I walked into the hustle and bustle of bangalore city, I meet this dude. He loved traveling, enjoyed having all kinds of food at all sorts of places, was ready to take risk and sit through many super-duper bollywood flops and.. loved his car (then an Indica) n bike (then and now a Pulsar 150 cc) like crazy!

Harmless, I thought. Though interests were aligned in exactly opposite directions we got along like a house on fire.

Unfortunately I didn't realize that spending a year with a car-lover means you might subconsciously expand the thesaurus meaning I had created for a car to little more than what a normal human being would.

The car-word got bigger and bigger and took different shapes in its meaning. Today I attend Auto Shows (huh!!! I would have committed suicide had I the power to predict the future 2 yrs ago!), can tell between different kinds of alloy wheels, can even imagine how they would look and hence choose between them, confidently comment that small cars look bad with a spoiler, and that European cars have extra performance and power and US cars, like any other market fall under the age-old "just looks" categories, watched the Tata Nano videos like some crazy car-enthusiast ;-)

Man, whatta transformation... now I read all the car columns in newspapers, and guess what, when a reader pops a question of which car would suit his requirements I am already ready with the answer that is usually in line with what is given by the professionals :-))) lolz...

And I still don't know if I ever loved cars... or even driving one!
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