Friday, December 04, 2009

A vacation, hangover and a movie

Those 3 words sum up my days pretty well. In fact, I realized, I don't have anything to write after I wrote the heading!

We took a break and flew to Thai land for 5 days. Considering the fact that my leaves were tentative even on the eve of the weekend, it was a miracle that it did happen!

And more importantly, am glad that it did. Thailand was chosen because it promised to fit snugly into our small pockets. To some extent, it did and was worth every penny (baht!) shelled.

We spent 2 days in the city of Bangkok, watching the bustling city co-exist with the historic Wats (Buddhist temples in Thai) with seamless ease; like India, may be! Since English speaking Thai are a rarity, we found our self playing Dumb Charades, most of the time, right in the middle of the roads! "Could you tell me why the Palace is closed today" is deftly translated to "Why (2 palms facing skywards) closed (2 arms crossed)? King coming?"!! Was fun, I tell you!

Among other interesting places in Bangkok, we found this amazing food court in Siam Paragon ground floor where you will be spoiled for choices. OK, I found just one veg counter among, probably, 500 counters. Being a hard core non-veg helped! Khao pat, Pad Thai, Tom yum are the common signature words we learnt in this quest! As for me, I preferred to check every thing that had a mention of gai or kai (chicken)! In the end, it would all boil down to any one of the famous red/green or yellow curry, as R said!

The next 3 days were spent at Phuket. To my surprise, Phuket showed striking similarity to Kerala and Goa. The typical Portuguese style houses (a search on the internet now confirms my guess - Phuket indeed has lot of Sino-Portuguese architecture), the beaches, the relaxed locals, the coconut-influence in the Southern Thai cuisine(rather the Thai Muslim curries), the surplus cashew and rubber plantations,the massage parlours(!!), and not to mention, the tide of Western tourists. But I heard Sand drifting off to a "When-I-was-in-the-US" style "Reminds me of Florida" :-)

Phi phi islands getaway was our #1 in the agenda. I had ogled at the turquoise colored water on the Google maps for too long to miss this one. And it didn't disappoint at all. Cliched, you might think, but there is not a better way to describe it - Pristine beaches, turquoise water, right-out-of-a-lost-world hidden bays, and the most beautiful corals and fishes. It will make no sense me describing. I won't do justice! Check it out yourself. I rest my case!

Khai Nai island. (click to enlarge)

So thats about a short write-up. Being back in Bangalore faced with the chore of unpacking, washing, grocery shopping and cooking; worst of all, the fast coming Monday turned me a maniac for the weekend. This week trudged on with me still thinking I was waking up at Phuket each morning and then realizing that I had a job to attend to :-( This has been my worst, lengthiest hangover ever. Sand says one look at Shanthi Sagar got him to back to real life. But for me, Shanthi Sagar also reminds me of exotic Thai dishes :-((

And to break the monotony of the week, we friends planned an OPT on Wednesday. Movie chosen was Kerala Cafe. A half-burnt Innovative Multiplex still lured us all with a ticket priced Rs. 100 (a jackpot in Bangalore!). If you can comprehend Malayalam, then just don't miss this. I'm not going to give a detailed review (like this *don't click that if you plan to watch the movie* crazy guy at rediff who didn't leave out any spoiler from the review - sue him!) or even a basic one. If you badly want one, may be you can wait for it to appear here. All I say is just go for it. Its a rare experiment of Anthology movie, done by 10 talented Malayalam directors and crew. Each story is woven in ten minutes with skill unmatched. One movie which tells you Malayalam cinema is still in safe hands! Made me feel a proud Keralite.

PS : Interesting Thai trivia - 'Krung Thep Mahanakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahinthara Yuthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom Udomratchaniwet Mahasathan Amon Phiman Awatan Sathit Sakkathattiya Witsanukam Prasit' is the full ceremonial name of Bangkok, the world's longest name for a city!

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Book Review : '2 States, the story of my marriage' - Chetan Bhagat

Chetan Bhagat's fourth book '2 States, the story of my marriage' comes about a year and half after his third book 'The 3 Mistakes of My Life' and is no less enjoyable than his first best-seller 'Five Point Someone - What not to do at IIT'.

'2 States, the story of my marriage' is claimed to be inspired by the author's own love-story. The plot revolves around Krish Malhotra, a Punjabi brought-up in Delhi and his IIM-A classmate Ananya Swaminathan, a Tam-Brahm, who fall desperately in love with each other and want to get married soon. They soon discover that falling in love and getting married in India was not as easy as it sounds. "Love marriages around the world are simple : Boy loves girl. Girl loves boy. They get married. In India, there are a few more steps : Boy loves girl. Girl loves boy. Girl's family has to love boy. Boy's family has to love girl. Girls' family has to love boy's family. Boy's family has to love girl's family. Girl and boy still love each other. They get married.", says the blurb. And if the families don't like each other, we have enough material to write a 269-page book that is '2 States, ..'.

The narrative, done through the eyes of Krish, is crisp and humour-laden. The extend to which Krish or Ananya go to convince the other parent draws a big smile on the reader's face. A major portion of the story is concentrated on the Punjabi vs Tamil differences in culture which is most of the time funny, but might get offending at times; especially when Krish's mother keeps referring to the 'Madrasis' as black-skinned and Punjabis as 'white as milk'. On the other side, Ananya's parents also find enough fault in Krish's big-mouthed mother who seemed "Intellectually culturally zero" to them! But that send the sparks flying and the love-stuck couple has to get their acts together to get the families together if they wanted their love to have a future.

Chetan Bhagat has managed to successfully bring out finer nuances of the 2 states by statements like "Nothing soothes an upset Punjabi like dairy products" when Krish tries to pacify his mom after she came to know that her son had a "Madrasin" for a girl-friend or when Krish enters Ananya's home in Mylapore and thinks "A Punjabi house is never this silent even when people sleep at night". The characters of Krish's mom is easily very close to real life and so are Ananya's bank-employed father and Carnatic music-trained mother.

The book can be easily waved off as a 100% entertainer and nothing more but for some thoughtful yet simple lines like "The world's most sensible person and the biggest idiot both stay within us. The worst part is, you can't even tell who is who" or "Sometimes in life you just meet someone or hear something that nudges you on the right path. And that becomes the best advice. It could just be a bit of common sense said in a way that resonates with something in you. It's nothing new, but because it connects with you it holds meaning to you". How many times have we all felt this!

It is these subtle thoughts that "2 States, the story of my marriage" keep the reader engrossed till the last page and empathize with the lead pair in their roller-coaster ride. A thoroughly enjoyable read which can be finished in one sitting. I'm sure this book is the answer to pass time on a rainy weekend or an uneventful train journey. A likely Bollywood-wooer, I see very high chances of it getting adapted into a movie.

The paper-back edition is published by Rupa Publications and is priced at Rs 95.

PS : Have never written a book review for my blog. And I guess I never will! This was written for a newsletter in office and since I was going through the worst of "no-topics-to-write-abt-on-my-blog" dilemma (don't feel justified to call it "writer's block".. writer who :-p) and so decided to Ctrl-V it here as well :-)

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

A day in her life..

I stood near the door of this boutique all day long, as if waiting for someone.

Dressed in a denim jeans and white tank top, I could give many a ramp-model a run for her money. My golden locks fell all around my shoulders with its dark streaks glinting in the rays of the morning sun. My stilettos added another 4 inch to an already tall figure. I wore a jazzy belt to accentuate my size-zero waist. And I just stood there all day long, tilted slightly towards my left and my hands in my pocket, with a tiny smile plastered on my face.

Kids smile at me and sometimes tug at my arms. They are the only people I like. Twenty-something-females would stand and stare at my clothes for a good minute before walking away, much to my embarrassment. And if that wasn't enough, some crazy men would link arms with me and pose for photographs!

And I said nothing, I did nothing, but to stand there all day, as if waiting for someone.
For what else was a day in a mannequin's life like!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Cockeyed Notes

I yearn so much for you that it makes me go red with embarrasment.
Everyday I shamelessly look forward to the day I will meet you again.
The thought of having you for a full day, dawn to midnight, after a lonely week sends me so giddy that all other thoughts look petty and are forced to make way for you.

And when you do walk in, the music in me reaches a crescendo, deafening my senses.

Oh Friday, here you are, at my door-step today. How much I missed you!

Monday, September 07, 2009

Bottles, Dals and Kitchen decor!

Most of my pet-jars in the kitchen seem to have one or the other kind of dal. Some white, some round, some cut, some yellow, some small, some large. I don't have a clue what half of them are. Thanks to this great fact that you can't substitute one type of dal for another in any Indian dish, I ended up with all these varities. And with each visit of parents, one more new type gets included!
This weekend, as I washed and dried all the bottles under the sun I decided to do some dal-sorting. Most of the dals were beyond their expiriy date. Some jars even had a small, yet, thriving eco-system in them.
Idea! I had 3 pretty-OK shaped bottles. Few nice looking but not edible dal packets. And some time to spare.
So came up with these for my kitchen window sil :-D
Felt they looked nice!

(click image for an enlarged view)

Want to try? Its too simple to be explained in steps. So here goes some tips:
  1. Ensure that the jars are perfectly dry before you begin this!
  2. Take care to use a funnel to put the dal through narrow-mouthed bottles.
  3. Masoor dal gives a vibrant look to it. Use it in plenty.
  4. I used an old packet of rock salt for the white portion. Salt/Sugar can also be used.
  5. I even stuffed a few dried-red-chilles near the top of the bottle.
  6. You can add ANY stuff from your kitchen here. Don't stop at dals. I have added even a saunf layer!
  7. And yes, you might have to sacrifice some of the good green-gram and other dals which you use frequently. Don't depend ONLY on the stuffs which have outlived their expiry dates!

That is it, I guess :-D
My attempt doesn't look all that neat. But I got so excited with the idea that I had to-had to-had to blog it :-p

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

On wedding Invitations/Response in Kerala

I can't be sure if this is an exclusively-mallu phenomenon but many Keralite would have come across such things at some point of their life.

Weddings, for the parents of Mallu grooms and brides, is a litmus test of their social-skills.Most often, they go much beyond litmus test and turn out to be a memory test, public speaking test,vocabulary test, writing skill test, management skill test and not to mention, physical and mental ability test as well.

And if you fail in any of these tests, there would be a sizeable fall in the number of guests, which is the only other parameter, along with the number of payasams in the sadya, that determine how "grand" the wedding was.

Now, what are the stimuli for a fall in the number/displeasure of mallu guests at a given wedding?

1) "He sent me an invitation over post! He is probably settled in Mumbai. But can't he come here and invite us all in person! We needn't attend this wedding. We shall tell him that we are attending Unnikrishnan's mother's niece's husband's brother's son's wedding on the same day! Halla Pinne! "

2) Now a look at the invitation. "Check this.. he has written 'We invite you with family'.. he has missed the word 'cordially' and he has addressed it to 'Mr. Gopalakrishnan and family'.. not 'Mr & Mrs. Gopalakrishnan & family'! Is this how you invite family! Bah!"

3) Now, suppose he did come all the way from Mumbai to invite in person, this is how things will move."Wedding is in Thrissur? How will we come? Have you arranged bus for all of us from here? What? Bus is from Trivandrum? You have not arranged bus from Cochin?? Thats so difficult!"

4) Now if bus is also arranged to have them taken from Cochin to Thrissur, there is another glitch. "Remember, when we invited him for our son's wedding last year, he didn't even acknowledge the invitation sent by post. And all he sent was a telegram wish. That was late by 2 days. Chetta, Should we go?"

5) Finally after much thought Chettan and Chechi decide to go. Along with them are chechi's sister, her kids and chechi's aged amma and achan. Once there Chettan again has a problem. Groom's Achan is not seen at the Mandapam's gate. Where is he! He should have come to welcome us!! After all, we are his grand father's brother's wife's sister's son and family!

6) Thats when he sees groom's father and mother on the mandapam, blessing the newly wedded couple and carrying out other rituals. Chettan remarks "See, this is why I told you we should not have come! That guy is busy on stage. He doesn't bother if we came or not!"

7) At the lunch, the exhausted father of the groom comes to say thanks to all the guests who have joined. At chettan's place "Hows the sadya?". Chettan says "It is great mone! Kalakki!" and once he leaves, chettan whispers to chechi "The rice is not even cooked well! And the pappadam is over!"

8) At the end of it all, chettan and chechi go to bless the newly wedded couple. The father of the groom asks his son "Mone.. you remember this uncle?". The groom gives that sheepish smile he has reserved for stranger-guests. "Aaah.... uhhhmm... no, we have not met I think". Chettan is disheartened but nevertheless gives a slap on the back of the groom and says "Aaah... how can he! He was a baby when I last saw him. See how he has grown! HAHAHHAHA" and that gurgling chortle continues for a good one minute until the videographer asks him to move out of the stage and asks the next family to come up!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Addicted to 55 words!!

Some more 55-stuffs :)

Goodbye Home

Mother thinks I am growing too big for my house and I should leave home now.
I think its not fair!
I am pushed out of my home. I can't fight back the force.
Flashes of light. Ouch, it hurts!
I cry my lungs out.
Somebody looks at me and shouts "Its a baby boy!"

SMS Birthday

Beep Beep. 1 new SMS. "Honey, I am caught in something important here! I shall reach late from work. Can you please pick your birthday cake on your way back from office? And don't forget to call me when you blow the candles and cut cake. I will wish you over the phone. Love you!"

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Red one or The Blue one?

She : "How is this blue one?"
He : "WOW!"
2 minutes later.
She : "Is this red one fine?"
He : "WOW!"
2 minutes later.
She : "And this white one?"
He : "WOW!"
2 minutes later.
She : "So which one do I buy?"
He : "I dunno. All of them looked great on you!"
30 minutes later.
She : "So which one do I buy? Red one?"
He : "I dunno. All of them looked great on you!"
30 minutes later...
She : "So which one do I buy? Red one?"


She1 : "How is this blue one?"
She2 : "Hmm.. good! You like those puffed sleeves?"
2 minutes later.
She1 : "Is this red one fine?"
She2 : "Great! suits you so well!"
2 minutes later.
She1 : "And this white one?"
She2 : "Ok-ish. Not as much as the blue and red."
2 minutes later.
She1 : "So which one do I buy?"
She2 : "Go for the red one!"
She1 : "Yup.. I loved that too!"
30 minutes later..
At home.

Moral : Women take LOTTTA time to shop. True, if her companion is a man.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Park Bench

Reading this was a pleasure which made me go deeper into this and here is the little wonder that the inspiration did to me:

She was reading a book. I caught her glance and smiled.
She smiled shyly and went back to reading.
I sat next to her on the bench in the park.
She moved closer.
Till our hands touched. It rained.
I walked away. So did she.
Behind bars now. Never steal a Samsung mobile again!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Home Alone.

Exhausted, I lugged myself home. It was Friday. I wasn't excited about spending the weekend alone. With him out of town, it made no sense to celebrate it on your own! I turned the key to unlock the door of my apartment. The key clicked. It made a loud noise in the silence of the night. Inside, I switched on the living room lights. The clock struck ten, making me jump. And the silence returned.

It started giving an eerie feeling and I felt strange being in my own home! I switched on the TV to break the silence. CNN IBN still had some news to end the day and the reporter was nonchalantly speaking about something. I let the TV be and went for a shower.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

While I prepared to go to bed, I texted him "Good night, I am scared to be alone!” Just then I heard a beep from the bed side table. "1 new message", showed his phone. How did he forget to take it along! Brushing my thoughts aside, I rang up mom next. She was worried like all moms about me spending a night alone.

"I'm fine, mom.” I lied, like all daughters!

MTV style check showed how to wear your scarf. Bah! I switched the TV off. Back in bed, something crossed my mind which made me sit up startled. MTV? But I remember watching CNN IBN! Or am I already too sleepy to remember? And just then I heard a noise which sounded like the balcony door swing. Had I not locked it? I slipped on my slippers and went to check.

Yes, it was swaying. There was a gentle breeze. It was a cold. Locking the balcony doors, I went back and tried to sleep. I probably thought I heard more noises; of clicks, thuds, but brushed them off. I must be imagining. I tossed and turned for some time. Then I recited a small prayer and shut my eyes tight.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
I think I slept for a while before I was awakened by a loud thud in the living room. I woke up with a start and sat in my bed. I was sweating and my heart was palpitating. My hands had gone cold. I was now sure that I wasn't alone here, there was an intruder! Burglar! Will he kill me? God, help!!

I rummaged through the draw in the dark. Mustering all courage I inched towards the living room, armed with a pocket knife. And I waited there, with bated breath, for my intruder to make a move. Nothing happened. Few agonizing minutes passed, seeming like hours. Then I saw vague shadows of 3 people in the dark. I let out a gasp.. I was to fight 3!!! One shadow moved towards me.

My feet wobbled. Hands shivered. The shadow came closer and stopped a foot ahead. All of a sudden, I felt a large hand fall on my shoulder and I let out a blood curdling scream. Almost immediately, the lights came on and I saw my friends standing there, singing in unison "Happy Birthday to you!” And there he was, the shadow-guy who scared the life out of me, who should have been out of town, grinning in the corner, ready with a birthday cake!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

PS : Will keep editing this version :) Had planned to send this as an entry for the short story contest in office. Pour in your suggestions to improve! And thanks for the comments!!!

PS : Updated with final version.

[25th June,2009] PS : Btw, I won it :) Thank u all, for ur encouragement & comments!! I am giving this to you, my readers :)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

What would you have wanted to do? vs What did you do?

This is a quickie.
I was on my way back home in the 8:00 PM can after work. A girl and a guy sat opposite to me, seemingly new joinees in the company.

She wanted to go to Kagadaspura and had boarded our bus thinking that would take her somewhere close to her destination.

Nopes, the bus was heading to BTM and I don't know if she realised that Kagadaspura was hardly 2 km from office, but in the opposite direction in which we were heading!

Somebody in the bus suggested she take an auto instead of going on this round-trip.

"Hey.. no yaar.. I hv just 40 rupees.. I can't go in auto."

Her guy-friend Mr.X laughed at her statement.
Then somebody said she could get down at BEML gate and take a direct bus to K'pura; which sounded like a great idea for her, and for her purse.

It was raining hard. The guy and she chattered loudly for all of us to hear(and let me add, in that bugging manner which guys think characterise girls - "hey no yeahhhhhh... why yeahhhhhh...seeee yeeeaahhhh" types) about petty stuffs..

She : "How much does it take to office from ur place by bus"
He : "Hmm.. 7 rupees"
She : "Oh.. it takes 9 for me yaar." (How sad! 2 rupees more!)

Some more less-than-10-rupees-money-talks continue to the point of saturation of irritation for the other bus mates. The way the guy spoke had started getting on my nerves and I developed an instant hatred for him.

She : Why do you want to go to marathahalli today yaar... its raining.. (so concerned! duh!)
He : Those people have my jeans ready..should collect it today yaaaaarrrr..
She : (pleading) But its raiiiiininggg...
He : Ohh.. I love rains...
Me : (to myself)grrr..Shut up, will ya!
She : Do you have a cap?
He : Cap? Yeah... way back in Kolkota!
Me : SIGH!!!!

Fortunately, the bus had trudged close to BEML gate by then and I was happy that one of them would go away. Our Mr.X now started showing some fake-concerns for madam.

He : "Hey, you know how to go from here?"
She : "No, but he said I could get a bus from here".
He : "Hey.. in case you have any problem naaa... " (trails off)

I thought he was about to give her his number and ask her to make a call.

He continued "Go back to office and take the 9:30 cab..ok?"

And just when she was about to get down, he asked the next stupid question.

He : "Hey.. do u need some money??? If you want I can spare you 30 or 40 bucks, you know!"

And she looked so pathetic when she said "Yes, I need. Please give me.."
He drew out his wallet and out came many 100 rupee notes.. and he fumbled with them until the driver told madam to get down.

When she said "Ok..never mind" and was about to get down.. he promptly put his wallet back. Shameless!!!

By now everybody in the bus was feeling bad for madam. Some good guy in the bus screamed.. "Hey, take some money from me" My hands moved to my purse and I wanted to give her some money. And also some good piece of advice that there are working ATMs in office, that nobody comes to office on her first day with just Rs.40 in purse and that you should learn to let go of friends who not only refuse to help you when you need them but also add to your headache. And I wanted to tell the guy "You are the biggest jerk I have ever met! I can't understand what kind of a friend you are!". But I don't know why; I didn't do both.

The girl got out and walked in the rain. I don't know when she reached home.

I felt bad I didn't grab my purse and give her the money. I felt bad that I didn't scream at the guy. I felt bad that I didn't act.

How many times have we thought I would want to do this, but never did.. and the moment passes, leaving you in deep remorse?

What would you have wanted to do and what would you have done? Let me know :)

Thursday, April 30, 2009

On Lunch boxes - specifically, post-marriage-lunch boxes

My classmate in college said his office was moving to the same building as my office and we were discussing about catching up after such a long time (well, let's ignore the fact that he was just a few buildings away for many months now and the "catching up" has never bothered to happen even then!!) Aah.. so while on the topic he joked(I hope it was!) that I could bring him packed lunches from home, now that we were in the same building.

And when I typed in the honest reply that neither me nor hubby dear takes lunch from home and so if he needed a dabba, I would have to cook lunch exclusively for him, he replied with a "thats not nice.. these days husbands.. " and trailed off.

Right... these days all husbands have lunch boxes. A husband without a lunch box is like a woman undergoing domestic violence at her home, a violation of human rights!

I dug deeper and here goes my analysis.

  1. Symbol of Marriage
    Today, young girls (traditionally N.Indian, but these days, just about anyone!), soon after their wedding are observed to metamorphose into an Unidentifiable-Talking-Object (UTO). The change is dominant on the first day of joining back to work. A I-love-rugged-jeans type will be seen in the demure-est salwar-kameez, full with the bright red sindoor, chunky mangal sutra and red bangles covering both arms. And needless to say, the change will wear off after some time when they find their lost rugged-jeans again. So the men folks felt left out and decided to announce their weddings in their unique styles - lunch boxes - colored ones, tupper-ware ones, good ol' stain steel ones, triple deckers, you name it, they have it!

  2. My-Wife-is-the-Best syndrome
    To bring your lunch box indicates your wife wakes up early in the morning, takes her bath at 5, makes you b-fast, makes yummy lunches, packs your lunch box and is there to see you off to office, everyday. What more does he want! :)At work, I know your heart fills up with pride when you stand in that queue for using the microwave while others wait for their poison-for-the-day (read as : cafeteria lunches)

  3. Sizes don't matter
    Probably you fall on the wrong sides of the BMI and you are one of those who ate two full-
    meals for lunch, apart from the orange shake and fruit bowl, before you got married. But post-wedding, when the lunch boxes come into picture, it really doesn't matter how much you eat; what matters is what you eat. So its perfectly fine to bring a lunch box half the size of your snacks-box in school; for you don't want your 'lunch kit' (to be described soon) to be bigger than your laptop case!

  4. The 'lunch kit'
    Lunch boxes are not be hidden inside your back-packs. They should be proudly displayed in an ergonomically designed bags called 'lunch kits' or 'lunch bags'. Some lunch boxes come with a 'built-in' bag with features including keeping your "lovingly made" food warm. If your lunch box is not as lucky as these you can use eco-friendly bags made of recycled-paper or jute. Whatever the case, take care to sling it on your shoulders and walk with your heads held high.

Closing for now, as it is time for my lunch :) No, nobody packs me lunches. If at all, I would have to do it. And fortunately, hubby dear doesn't mind me not packing him one :)

PS1 : There are frauds here as well. Most people who bring lunch boxes don't qualify for point #2 if their wife follows only the first half of the "lovingly cook" phrase and they have appointed a cook to do the second half.

PS2 : Btw, no offense intended at anybody! Am just plain jealous of people who bring their lunch boxes :-p

PS3 : Pic courtesy : As always : Flickr Creative Commons! I simply loved it!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Chumma oru Story...

There goes another Chocolate Fantasy..
and the last spoon of ice cream melted to take the shape of the plate.. like it had done for the last 55 weeks. This week is no different.

She saw his gaze fall on her and their gazes met for a brief second, before she looked at her watch again, for the 50th time in the last 45 minutes.
He took her hand in his. She dared not look up to meet his gaze... she hadn't dared to, in the last 55 weeks.

She knew what was coming. Another 15 minutes would pass by and they would pay the bill and walk away.

Only to repeat this again next week.

Wouldn't he ever tell her? Or even ask?

She gazed at her watch once more.

Then thinks of playing the will-i-get-lucky game today, to spend the 15 minutes!
So she decides; if he calls my name before the seconds hand on my watch reaches 12 again, he loves me.
Else, he loves me not.

With baited breath, she waits, hopes, prays, that he utters her name just once..
Past 50 seconds, and nothing has happened. She looks at his fingers stroking her wrist.
5 more seconds. She can't wait anymore.

"John.. "
and he replies "Shhhh..".

Defeated and disappointed, she looks down, tears welling up in her eyes.
She has lost the game.

Through the film of tears, she looks at the second hand of her watch take the last 3 seconds.

But wait.. Oh my God.. its stopped... its not moving!!!

John smiled to himself as he hoped Annie wouldn't have noticed how he had pulled at the tiny knob in her wrist watch.. he wanted the time to stand still when she was with him..

Friday, April 10, 2009

Open Letter to the Auto Driver.

Dear auto-driver,

I decided to write this as an open letter on my blog after I got terrified at the thought of you writing about the incident on yours!!

This is the same girl who you had dropped from the Tech Park to HAL bus stop for Rs 40 at 9:00 on 8th April. Aah... I can read from your face that you remember me! How can you not! I know you are laughing now! Never mind!

Now I think I should have taken the first auto rikshaw that was parked at the entrance. The guy had demanded 50 bucks and as always I looked up at the sky and reminded God that I had made a request about slapping at least one auto-wala.. when was He granting me that wish?

God looked down and asked me to count back from ten and relax this time. After some attempt at negotiation, I thought he would be ok for 40, but that guy called out to all the other guys parked there .. "aaaaeeyyy... 40 rs..HAL.." and immediately you had sprung on your feet and called "banni madam..banni..".

My head was cloudy after the really really tiring day and I sunk into the back seat and remember saying "HAL bus stop" and then noticed that the memory card had slid out of my N73. There were some warnings on the screen about it getting corrupted and the theme got reset to the default Stave one. I tried to push it back but it just wouldn't get latched in position. I lost all patience! I pulled it out and dropped it in my purse.

Your auto roared past HAL school almost brushing another auto. The signal was red when we reached and I decided I would alight there and cross the road than go over the other side. I extended the 100 rupees note to you and you replied "no change madam".

Bugged, I searched my purse. A 100 rupee, a 10 rupee and and a 20 rupee was all that I had. And yeah, a sodexho booklet too.

Me : Aapke pass 50 rupees hai?

You slowly brought out the fat bunch of folded notes from your pocket. A 50 rupee note was the last one wrapped. Beneath that was a 10 rupee note and then some more. In a rather clumsy manner, as if not able to make out what I had in my mind, you gave me the 50 rupee note (but didn't give the 10 rupee note! why??? Coz I didn't ask, I know!! :( )

Wearily, I took the 50 rupee note from you, and gave you the 100 rupee note. Then on second thoughts, took another 10 rupee note from my purse and gave you that also! And boy, you are a good actor! And the little amount of surprise you showed when you looked at the 50 rupee and 10 rupee note was not visible to me in the dark! Having double-checked that my smart calculation was right, I walked out.

At the bus stop, just when I was about to sit down and wait, realization stuck me like lightning that I had given you 60 bucks instead of 40!!!! And being from the insincere Bangalore auto tribe, I can't expect you to return that extra 20 then!

Listen, (most) mistakes do happen to people (like me), especially ones involving math. I am hoping you would read this and return my 20 rupees. Please :)

mathematically poor,

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Me-Me-Its-all-me-tag from Ammu..

Got tagged by Ammu.

Kept pushing it off because I had this feeling that I would stop it at 10, max 11 :) And
worse still, my readers would stop it at 2!

But then, I get this feeling that I shouldn't post anything else when I have a "tag-debt".

So here we go, 25 stuffs about me..
(Zzzzz??? Hey there, wake up!)

I ..

  1. Discovered that I can be extremely-patient or extremely impatient. Extremely-patient with myself, extremely-impatient with everybody else, that is! There is nothing in between called just "patience".
  2. Love moisturisers so much that I get panicky when my bottle is empty.
  3. Love doing up my home. Wouldn't mind emptying my purse for that!
  4. Am a Die-hard retail therapy devotee. The '%' symbol followed by 'OFF' or the word "Free" can drive my logic out of the window!
  5. Suck at eating vegetables, more so, if they come as salads!
  6. Have this habit of right-clicking on desktop and clicking on 'refresh' repeatedly when I am on phone.
  7. Frequently get hurt when moving around the house ... either dashing against the door, hurting my toes moving furniture, banging my head somewhere... Sand calls it "common" these days and doesn't bother!
  8. Fantasize what I read in books.
  9. Am easily fascinated by good photographers.
  10. Love chatting - face 2 face, internet, anywhere!
  11. Have had really insane crushes in early teens, but dropped to nil during late teens. That, in fact, got me worried!
  12. Don't give alms to the beggars on street.
  13. Can't still believe the way Sand walked into my life!
  14. Am not a gadget-freak, but love Red Coloured Sony Vaio :)
  15. Read all fortunes and week-ahead columns in newspapers and mags.
  16. Hate guys who do their hair long, wear ear-rings, jazzy clothes, rings, tattoo and xtra-low-waist jeans barely clinging on to their hips and showing their Calvin Klein underwear!
  17. Love it when Sand cooks me his special pasta :)
  18. Respect working mothers and feel they need to be appreciated more.
  19. Cry easily watching movies! Tears of joy as well as sadness!
  20. Am very choosy about movies... I usually end up not liking a particular movie rated great by friends.
  21. Have worn braces for almost 3 years and when the dentist had no intention of removing it, I lied to him that I would be getting married in a month, and so I want them to be removed immediately!
  22. Love my school days more than my college days.
  23. Get dizzy looking down from tall buildings.
  24. Am scared of frogs and cockroaches.
  25. Managed to finish this tag!!! Hurray! Are you still with me? :)
Am not tagging anybody in particular... if you like it, take it :)

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Take me..

Have been dreaming of a holiday since last week.
Am tired of seeing purvas, shobhas and rohans standing brushing one another's shoulder, looking gray and dull, with hundreds of match-boxes style houses...

Take me,

Where the grass is still green & moist with dew...

Where the roads don't lead to junction with signals..

Where the end of the rainbow is visible

Where the spring is a celebration.

Where shady trees meet..

Where you spend time blowing bubbles..

Where you notice that red flower among the yellows..

Where you walk hand-in-hand with your best friend, and its not exercise!

Where flowers don't have garbage dumped on them...

Where houses are painted pretty-pretty...

Where roads lead to nowhere, yet make a great journey...

Image Courtesy : flickr Creative Commons.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Paper boat

Gentle push
by loving hands.
Rhythmic nudge
by docile waters.

Shining sun
to keep it company.
Set sail

And then
Wind blew.
Rains lashed.
Currents swept.

Caught unaware
by God's rage
the wet paper boat
fought all night.

And its no more.
Thats right.
For, have you ever heard
paper boats getting lucky?

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Madhur Bhandarkar's "The BugFix"

Aha! I caught your attention :) OK, there is no movie by that name (yet!) and I only wish he made an attempt at this one. I can guarantee that it is going to break all box office records till date and will run in packed halls for more days than witnessed by sholay and ddlj.

For a person who makes umpteen "realistic" movies, a request like this from an innocent software engineer would ideally be a cake-walk. And in the times of recession, it becomes the "need of the hour"!

So what can go into the making of the script? Suggestions welcome. I have come up with my own tiny list that Mr. Bhandarkar can refer to :)

1) Konkona Sen Sharma should be unanimously declared the protagonist. She should be a level-2 software engineer (not more than 3 years of experience)

2) The Protagonist should be a skilled software engineer, but struggling to find her spot in the company among other 50,000 employees.

3) Other trivial characters can include lots of hunk-kind machos, all preferably gays, one of which would be the protagonist's point of interest. Preferably, he is her module lead.

4) The plot revolves around Ms. Sharma where in she is given a complex bug to fix from her client and the schedule is, as expected, hard to meet :)

5) The journey she goes through in the effort to fix the bug, fighting adamant managers and project leads, plotting co-workers along with the tortures of cafeteria-served bad lunches and poor appraisals form the centre stage.

6) For a change, Mr Bhandarkar can introduce a twist at the end of the movie. As the deadline approaches for our heroine, she is still in the requirement analysis stage of the waterfall process and is at a loss as to what is to be done.
That is when there is a breaking news in one of the "popular" news channels about a major financial scam that has happened in her company, where in the MD is accused of performing the magic trick of vanishing crores of rupees into thin air.

7) The media from the Page#3 get their 5 minutes to fame too.

8) The future of the company is hanging precariously and the salaries are uncertain.

9) That is when our heroine fixes the bug against all odds in such a spectacular manner that the client is sooooo happy (clap!clap!clap!) that they decides to acquire the defamed company and save all the employees!

10) Title song by Sukhwinder Singh plays as the names of all employees scroll up the screen. "Bugfix ka he yeh jalwa...yeh jalwa..yeh jalwa.."


PS - Quality Contributions to the plot by Sand. Thanks :)

Friday, January 30, 2009

While you were away..

The way I missed a step
slipped and fell
while I walked up the stairs
too busy texting on my cell

The way today's lunch tasted
with potatoes uncooked
And how we had to wait
for all the tables were booked

The way I caught
my cubicle mate dozing off
facing the screen saver
his monitor had switched off

I told you all this
And as always
you didn't respond.
Coz those were your ways.

And then I saw
your green button become orange
and saw it draw
hands of clock on them

Thats when I realised
much to my dismay
that I had typed
while you were away.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

For the "2-minute-rukh-sakthe-hai" types!

Today I pay due respect to the omnipresent curly substance of our everyday life which comes in a bright yellow pack and which when added in boiling water and cooked for 2 minutes yields hot and nice-smelling dish called... yes, you guessed it right, Maggi Noodles:)

The popularity of the dish is obvious by the nature in which it finds its acceptance among all age groups in India. To think of it nobody calls it noodles, or even Maggi Noodles, its called just Maggi!! In this light, it can be compared to the success that Xerox achieved in the world of printing and copying. These days nobody looks for a 'photo copy' or a 'copier', instead you ask the guy at the STD/ISD shop to "take a xerox" of the page, and when moved closer towards South-eastern side of India, its apt to "take a jeraaaks".

So going by the trends and calling it by its pet name we see that Maggi is so powerful yet versatile that it becomes break-fast when eaten at 8, lunch when eaten at 1, snacks(!!) when eaten at 5 and dinner when eaten at 9. Its like this wonderful-dream-come-true operating system which never cribs and can never go wrong whatever way you use it! And what more, with Maggi by your side the Indian Constitution prevents you from declaring that you don't know cooking! It comes in handy when your cooking qualifications are subjected to scrutiny during "interviews". " So what can you cook?" "Err...I can make tea, coffee...uhhmm...and yes, Maggi :)". The impression is favourable, trust me. You will clear the "interview"!

On one hand as Maggi fan-followers grow in numbers in social networking fan clubs and babies ponder switching from Ceralac to Maggi, its only natural that the number of nasty e-mails circulating "gossips" about Lady Maggi also shoots high, call it the effect of celebrity status!

According to them Maggi's "goooey texture" is made of boiled udders of goats and sheeps, and the magic powder inside those silver sachets contain the worst of chemicals, enough to make all moms in India go panicky and ban the food in home. Not funny. I was a victim.

But Maggi's fans are the most loyal ones on earth. They strive harder and harder to optimize the 2-mins cooking even more. Some revelations in this regard can be found by googling for it. To get you curious, did you know that you needn't really cook it on fire for 2 mins?? You could just add it into boiling water and close the lid just like you would make the easier cup-noodles! :)

I can't help but smile when I see tiny toddlers watching their mom draw out a packet of maggi from the shelves in the super market and pat comes the question "Mommy, when are you making me Maggi?" :)

Long live Maggi, the crucial life-saver of bad cooks, bachelors, lazy couples and many others!!

PS - Analysis of the effects of Maggi in the lives of Software Engineer couples has been avoided on purpose :D

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Love in the times of Recession :)

Matters of the heart is facing a setback, and for all those who care, those impromptu gifts might show up late this year or probably early next year.

For now, its the age-old tried-and-tested love statements that might do the job :)
Here goes, a bunch a roses and a heart felt wish.
"Happy Anniversary! You make a great hubby! I love you!!" :)