Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Light... Sun-like

Fluorescent green floors. Green was always her favourite colour. But she still thought the green quite an overdose when she first saw it. But not till today did the crazy beauty of it dawn upon her. She walked up the stairs to get some fresh air, and a little happiness too maybe, from the to sky. The gallery of white tables and chairs...of sliding doors and lovely views...the sky and the buildings, the roads and the rain...the gallery of nostalgia, of things that never happened...of things that may or may not happen...of sweet ginger tea...of conversation that would make her laugh, no end. She climbed up the stairs thinking of it all...walking in the darkness...thinking that maybe, the darkness would add to the magic. Just like music does...and then, out of nowhere, a spotlight came on...exactly where her right foot touched the last stair. Gradually, dim yellow lights fell on the fluorescent it was the spark, the a nerve signal...she thought of the irony...the lights led her as she walked... the whole level acknowledging her presence...welcoming her with the light... this wasn't real. This was science fiction. She was in a movie...Like the sun rays were guiding her path...looking around at the empty floor, beautifully lit up, just for her. And then she saw it... the gallery...wet, graced with the rain...keeping people out. She slid the door open, and let the wind blow on her face... More lights...the gallery lit up... dim yellow lights... she walked to the edge of the gallery, the rain drops falling on her... the wet road and the smoke from a building... the music... vidai kodu, pogiren...eeramai vazhgiren.... she smiled. Perhaps the lights were better than the darkness would have been? It was surreal... she walked back into the building, expecting the lights to go out as she walked down the stairs. They didn't. They remained lit. She liked to think of some sort of significance...she wondered if she could have that effect on the people she knew. Walk out, and leave things bright...lit up... atleast for a while. She would never really know. She hoped... don't we all?

The Queensland Brain Institute. Level 7.

The last few days have been lovely. Sometimes you realise that all you really want is to be loved, and to be happy. And when that happiness comes out of making other people happy, its even better. Its divine satisfaction. And of course, having your own desk, Mac computer and a huge pin-up board does add to it too :) Even though that package comes with hours of working with microscopic worms! One can't ask for everything after all!

Silent prayers. Make this last.

Yours "seemingly precious moments..."ly
signing off...

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Longing...and Belonging...

Old age is catching on. Or so I feel! I guess Its just the sudden overwhelming heap of responsibilities that are unexpectedly thrust upon you! I spent over an hour shopping the other day. Aah, now you'll think "Girls! Them, and their shopping!"... Nope, it was one hour (or more) of grocery shopping! And frankly, i've never felt more satisfied after a shopping session! In a way, its lousy, because I know that I spent so much time buying tomatoes and apples and tea because of the price reductions, as a result of which alot of comparisons and careful selection had to be done! But in a way, it felt good. Its learning, and growing, in a totally different way. Its moving from buying a packet of tomatoes randomly without caring how much it costs, to looking at all the different varieties of fresh tomatoes, and finally picking the canned tomatoes because they're cheaper, and last longer! See what i mean? I feel like I've aged 5 years in the past 2 months!

Its also falling prey to Murphy's law more than ever. I don't know if I learnt anything from my Murphy incident, but I do know that I ought to have! So I'll try to write this in the shortest way possible. Situation: Div's mobile has zero balance. She can't make calls. She's been wanting to recharge for the past 3 days, but she hasn't had the time! Additionally, Div has exactly 45 cents in her wallet because she hasn't had time (err, or has just been too lazy!) to walk up to the ATM and draw money. Moving on from the minor details, she's been up the whole night in the uni working on an assignment. She takes the first bus in the morning back home at 6.30am, hoping to catch some sleep before her 9.00am lab. She reaches home at 6.45, just to find that the outside mesh-door, which is never locked (and to which she doesn't have keys), is locked. She knows her house-mates would be asleep. She knocks, they cant hear her (there are no door bells in brisbane!). She doesn't have balance to call their cell phones and tell them to open the door. She can't call from a public booth because she has exactly 45 cents in her wallet (and a call from the booth costs 50 cents!). Classic murphy situation! What does she do? She walks up to a 24 hour store a few minutes from her house, and uses her debit card to recharge. She then yells at the recorded message on the phone-network because the goddam thing is not recharging! After finally recharging, she calls roomie 1's cell. No answer. She calls roomie 2's cell. Finally, she picks up! And the outside-door-that-is-never-locked is opened! Div walks into the house, and is just too angry to sleep! Roomie 2 says she didn't lock the outside door, roomie 1 says she didn't lock the outside door. Sleep seems like a more welcome option than listening to 2 people, 1 of whom definitely locked the door (unless one believes in ghosts!), saying they didn't do it. She goes to bed, cursing herself for everything that went wrong, cursing herself for not listening to her mother's "RECHARGE!" cries!

Maybe it could have been worse. Maybe my house could have been in some place where there's no 24 hour store in 5 mins walking distance! Maybe the store could have been one that didnt have recharge cards, or didn't accept debit cards! But I think it was bad enough! Having to put up with so much crap after a sleepless night! Well, life :)

So... as a tribute to all those things and people I'm missing terribly here...

Dear Raniamma - I wash the vessels and clothes, brush the carpet and scrub the stove! You'd be proud of me! Miss u :)

Dear Mom - I'm waiting for the day my food will taste as good as yours...

Dear Pop - I'm realising the value of your hard-earned money...

Dear Kar - You made me cry the first time I was chatting with you after coming to brisbane. Felt good, because i was wondering whether my tear glands had dried up! You have no idea what our converations do to me :)

Dear Vis - I wish we could snuggle up in my bed and watch house on Iris! Miss your hugs and thumb-fights!

Dear Lav - I'd give anything to just have the kind of conversations we have...just the brisbane river...

Dear Nid - I wish your aircel scheme worked for aus too! Everytime i need to make a decision, I hope like crazy that you'd just appear and whisk me away to aunty's shop for corn florentine and a pep talk!

Dear Nit - You're walking beside me each time i'm holding a camera and clicking something absolutely gorgeous...

Dear shrut - I saw a Capt.Jack Sparrow poster in a store here and knew you'd love it. Waiting for the day we'll get crazy again!

Dear Nik - Your "GO HOME NOW" msg the other day did wonders to lift my spirits, even though i spent the whole night in uni! Your msgs somehow have almost always had perfect timing... :)

Dear Nil - Beer's cheaper here than water. Always reminds me of you!

Dear Bharat - I'm probably going through what you went through 4 years back, and I salute you, for living through it when you were much younger than I am now. Do i need to mention the smoke alarm again? ;)

Dear Suk - You're a smart kid...wish you were my sister :) At this point of time I just feel like saying - You're like no one else I know. Don't let petty things break your heart. You're destined for big things in life... you're going to go places.

Dear Jess - I miss your wise-cracks. We should have spent more time together...cracking up and laughing for the silliest of things. We should... sometime in life...

Dear Sand - The signal pathway in my body that usually gets activated and makes me whacky when you're around is currently dormant, or dead. It's up to you to revive it!

Dear Nanya - I was petting a dog here 3 days back. One of those absolutely rare things in my life... thought yoou'd like to know :)

The list could continue... and be endless...but i stop here. Additionally though...

To all those people who chat with me on a daily basis - You have no idea what a difference it makes.

To music - Thanks, for helping me savour the alone-ness, the loneliness...


Dear Nivetha - Thanks for giving me hope :) I know now that I can spend the rest of my time here with more laughter and fun and reason than I thought in the beginning :)

Yours " Ajeeb Dastaan hai yeh, kahaan shuru kahaan khatam..."ly
Signing off...

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Oopsie Daisies!

We've been having a laugh over small things... I can't exactly say its fun, but i make it a point to laugh my heart out even though the incident wouldn't really call for such a laugh! I guess i'm just trying to inculcate the craziness into the people living with me! Evidently, i haven't been too successful. Anyway, here's a list of the things that brought out a loud loud laugh, or maybe just a smile -

- Cooking day. I told my roomie to grind 4 tomatoes for sabzi. 5 mins later, she declares that something's wrong with the mixie, because the tomatoes aren't liquid yet. Tearing my attention from the onion-chopping, with eyes filled with tears, I turned to her wondering how the hell a brand new mixie could get damaged! And then the bulb came on.., "did u chop the tomatoes?" aah, the golden words were spoken! She realised she'd chucked 4 FULL tomatoes into the mixie! It would take some giant blade to grind that!

- Cooking day again. I'm frying the onions, roomie 1 is cutting veggies, roomie 2 walks in. She opens the tap. The tap comes off! And the water's dripping non-stop! And there was quite a racket before getting the water to stop! Well, we did get the water to stop, but there's still a gaping hole where the tap used to be! The plumber should have fixed by this time today!

- Cooking day again!! The Upma is cooking, and the stove's getting reallly hot! We turn it off, but its still red hot! Aah, the knob's not working! Another half-hour spent on turning the knob clockwise and anticlockwise before the red finally starts fading! We stopped using that particular coil! Sad thing, it was the biggest and the best :( Result? We finished cooking at 12.30 in the night!

- Smoke alarm. The smoke alarm is the maharaja of the house, and we the servants! Each time it comes on, and i stand on a chair and fan it with a newspaper, i can only think of the rajas and the elephant-ear-sized-zari-bordered fans that were used to fan them! Sigh! And of course, i say "tsb, now i know what the hell you meant!" ;)
- When i go to sleep each night, i seem to be thinking of groceries! Do we need to buy milk tomorrow? Are there enough tomatoes and potatoes? Do we need to heat the old rice before eating the fresh rice? Sheesh! I'm sick of it! Someone please convert me back to the person i was! OR, get me a husabnd ;) I'm a full time housewife, part time student, i'm sure i deserve a husaband! Atleast then i wouldn't have to worry about the broken tap and the dripping shower and the milk buying and rent paying and smoke alarm ringing! And no, i do not want to marry a mesthri or contractor! *sneak attack*

- I slept without a sweater one night. It rained the whole goddam day, the day after that! The heavens are spying on me! And i did not have an umbrella! I went back to wearing my sweater. Why cause inconvenience to innocent citizens? :)

- I was so engrossed in staring at the misty windows of the bus that i missed my stop! Of course i promptly got off at the next one and ran back home in the rain! Oh yeah, it was that same long rainy day!

- My high point of the day was the free mars bar that a prof gave out at the end of his lecture (he earlier went around throwing them at different people, apparently explaining a mechanism! And obviously, he didn't think my poor head could bear the weight of the mars bar hitting it, so he didn't throw me one! So we promptly lined up infront of him after the class, and snatched our bars away! Ha!). But then, my high point just changed... my mother just told me that my grand dad told her that my grandparents talk about me on their daily evening walk. Aaah, what bliss :) To be remembered!

Ok, i gotto run to catch the bus!

Yours "Its like writing, and if your can't write, we can never get down to discussing what's written" ly
Signing offf.....

Saturday, August 30, 2008


I just visited a few blogs i usually read, and realised they're not updated either! So i guess we're back to that phase in blog land where people are just too busy, or too bored, to update. I don't have anything in particular either, as always! But hell, dead blogs aren't nice :(

Nothing seems significant enough to go up on the blog! I know i shouldn't be saying this, because my blog title boasts of acknowledging insignificance! I don't know why I don't feel like writing about this beautiful, huge campus, the lovely walks, the river, the fireworks, the swipe cards, or Brisbane as such! Nothing seems to impress! Its not a nice feeling, when nothing is good enough to take your breath away... Its like, your 'expectation meter' suddenly shot up sky high! Maybe there will come a time when excitement will dawn upon this being, and my dark eye will notice the brighter side of things. I'll wait for that day! I swear, if any of you visit me sometime now, I'd be the happiest person on earth ;) and i'd do anything for u! Lol...

Its pretty amazing to realise the value of good company... there were a bunch of people who were always around, who understood every goddam thing you said, and enjoyed the same things you did... and suddenly, the rivers and the blue skies aren't lovely anymore because the people are missing. And even music can't work its charm on you and make your eyes appreciate beauty. A lovely star-lit night with a light breeze and the perfect music playing in your ears, doesn't bring tears to your eyes. You're in constant search of something, that is most likely, non-existent in the near future. You smile so much at strangers, not so much at non-strangers. You see the most beautiful sunset from the 6th level of an amazing building, an empty level with fluorescent green floors, and you're rooted to the spot for a moment... staring at the incredibly straight rays that emanate from a bush of light in all its yellow-ness...and you want that scene to play before your eyes everyday. Will that happen?

So is this all about belonging?

Yours" Well, it does feel pretty cool to swipe cards to enter buildings!"ly
signing off...

Saturday, August 02, 2008


I think I've taken a long enough break from blogging! And, it wasn't voluntary ;) First, to the 14th of July, 2008, a toast (well, an imaginary one!), for being the happiest, and the most tiring day in the past few months. Why would i want to offer this toast to a tiring day? Because it is after the most tiring days that you sleep most sound, and most deep :) Anyway, lets all wish my Anna and my Manni a happy happy life ahead! Love you guys!

Now to things more relevant to my present situation. My firsts in Australia.

Smiling, at random strangers, and all the time.
Drinking water straight out of a kitchen tap.
Wearing a Jerkin continuously, ALL the time, for a week (and i'm sure it'll be for longer!)
Shouting out 'Thank you' to bus drivers.
Finding banks tolerable, to the extent of mild liking! (but that does not change the fact that i STILL want the guy i marry to do all the banking later in life!)
Loving ALL the clothes that my mother bought me! (because she had the sense to buy me warm clothes. I on the other hand, was a total idiot! thank God for mothers...)
Walking up and down SLOPES. Its like you hike everyday!
Handling extreme courtesy, and niceness from great people.
Seeing SO MANY chinese people in one place. You get confused, start wondering if you're in Australia or China! No offence to any chinese though!
A thought...on how marriage should eventually work out :) Yes, a couple gave me the feeling, recently. It feels good to see people like that.

I could go on... :)

Missing everyone back home... love you guys!

Yours "Jahaan bhi le jaye zindagi..." ly
Signing off...

Friday, June 20, 2008

Peters and Non-peters

We witness dwindling symbols of 'culture' and 'tradition' in today's Chennai. I'm a part of it. And so are most of the girls I know. Don't get me wrong, I'm not talking about anything big, or anything of great consequence or damage to our saastrams and sampradayams! A few observations, amusing ones, drive me to write this post.

How many times have you walked down a street and seen a foreigner, in very indian clothes, smile at poo-kaairs (flower girls/women) and kariga kaarans (Vegetable sellers), who return a knowing smile? Hell, even if I saw them everyday, they probably wouldn't smile at me, in all my Indian-ness and Chennai-ness! I believe that foreigners are way more polite than we indians are. But would I get the same treatment if I were as polite? No. And why? This woman, this (as the pookaris and kariga karans might put it) Vellaikaari, took to those 'articles' of 'culture' and 'tradition' that tamizh-penns these days seem to have shed blissfully :) And what might those be, you ask? First, the round red (or whatever colour!) mark on the forehead. The Pottu. Trying to coax us 'learned' tamizh girls into getting back to the pottu mode, dear paatis and ammas and maamis told us how that particular point on the forehead has a divine connection to the pineal gland, and thus, how we must not refrain from 'the act'. But what did we say? We said, we could just touch the particular point once a day, if it were so significant, and forget about walking around with a pottu. They obviously gave up on us, and our reasoning, probably with a "indha kaalathu ponngal laam yenga namba sonna pechu ketkardhugal?" line! We laughed it off!

Second, maligapoo. Jasmine flowers. Even today, thousands of tamizh women adorn their hair with neatly tied up maligapoo every evening, and thousands of pookaris are still in business, selling moonu mozham pathu rooba (It would be weird to translate that!), or actually, less than moonu mozham these days! The flowers that I loved pinning up to my tightly plaited, coconut-oil-oiled hair when I was younger, and less 'learned', now touch my hair only during kalyanams, or festivals, or poojas (despite the fact that i DO know that some guys STILL fancy the smell!), and that too, ten times smaller in size, and for a much shorter time period! In a few minutes, I'd be answering the question "thalaila poo vechukaleya di?" with "yengayo vizhundhurthu, vidungo parava illai!". Gone are the days when I'd wake up to crunchy, brown, dried flowers on my bed, with half-white fading, dying, flowers revealing a white string, pinned up across the back of my head, one plait to the other! I was very Kenyan-tamizh then! ;) Coming back to India, changed it all :) But of course, we always have enough things to blame!

Third. Golusu. Anklets. As a child, i wore these extrememely heavy, ridiculously noisy silver ankelts, loaded with a million small chalangu (the collisions of which cause the sound to emanate), which i would carefully take off before playing hide and seek, for the fear of being given away by the oh-so-tinky noise! I loved them depsite the fact that they scratched me more than i'd have liked! I still remember the jeweller asking me if i was learning Bharathnatyam! I wasn't. I still bought them! I don't know when i finally stopped wearing them, and when i took to buying beaded, noiseless, SINGLE 'anklets' (and NOT golusu), from besant nagar beach! Well, there still arent any anklets on my feet!

So here we have this foreign woman, a decently sized maroon circle posing in between her eyebrows, her BLONDE hair neatly pulled back in a long plait (perhaps the hair was oiled too!) and adorned with atleast one mozham of malligapoo, wearing a purple/pink salwar kameez, like she was born in it (!!), BOTH her ankles circled by velli golusu (silver anklets), with not as many chalangu as my childhood noise-makers, but enough to be heard, and a genuine, belonging smile on her face, riding a bicycle in the crowded streets of Mylapore Tank. Was she more Tamizh than me? She was Tamizh enough to earn the smiles of those who wouldn't really care too much with others. And what do we do? We complain about the crowded streets of mylapore tank, and the cows in the middle of the road, and consequently, their shaani (!) and avoid going there unless we HAVE to buy Kolu Bommai, or eat in Saravanabhavan! :)

Well, not all foreign women give me this feeling of lost heritage. There was once I had to walk out of Naidu Hall, in Tnagar, for the fear of laughing out loud at a bunch of american women, and their Indian chaperone, dressed in spagetti strap tops, and skirts, their pony tails circled with endless concentric circles of maligapoo, their feet lost in a sea of green Pothys polythene covers, deep in conversation with the saleswoman, with momentary interruptions from the indian chaperone, about what colour petticoat would best suit each saree they had bought, as 2 very exhausted looking american men, dressed in shorts, carrying huge bag-packs, sulked behind them! My mother was decent enough to smile, and continue her shopping :)

Amma and I sat down opposite another Maami and her daughter, at the aforementioned, eternally crowded, Saravanabhavan today. The next table, had a bunch of foreigners, with a very weirdly accented english, deep in conversation in their native language. The Tamizh waiter took their order, and the conversation sounded something like this -

(M - foreigner man, W- Waiter)

W - Orrder sir?
M - Yus. I want an Eppel Zuice (apple juice).
W - Aapil juice ah sir?
M - Yus yus. And a Tho-maa-tho Zuice? (Tomato juice)
W - One to-mae-to juice, ok...

Blah. The rest of the order was drowned in the din. A few minutes later, the foreigners at the next table were happily eating what we call "meals", with rice, and sambar, and the things that actually taste good at saravanabhavan. I smiled. I looked across the table, and realised that the tamizh girl sitting infront of me had ordered a Pizza! and her maami-mother, some Chaat item! Why? AND, she dropped a fork, and made all the foreigners look her way! Aah, i continued to savour my sambar vadai! :)

And thus, we girls become what college guys today call Peter (with stress on the r. More like Petrr). Also, Scene, or better, Vethu scene. Shed your pottu, maligapoo, golusu, and the likes, and speak english, and you have a direct ticket into peter-land! All are welcome ;) Sometimes, the criteria differ, thus, for further information on peters and their characterisitics, feel free to intreact with my dear cousin,visu, who presently likes to call himself Vishwa, for mysterious reasons! Peter, perhaps? :D

Of course i have to add that it is the Tamizh Ratham, and mentality that counts more than all the articles of show! ;) I don't need articles to yell out my tamizhness, do I? Sheesh, Captain Vijaykanth would be proud of me!

Yours "Tamizho Tamizh"ly,
Signing off!

Saturday, June 14, 2008


This blog has witnessed a myriad of descriptions of the the people we call Maamis, over here in Iyer land - The matchmakers, the grapevine controllers, and participants, the pattu-podavai-gold-jewellery fancying women, the "oru paatu paadu ma, kathukara illaiyo?" dialogue throwers,and the likes! With this post, I bring in one more aspect, and one that has been overlooked till date, but not purposely. The Mookuthi (Mooku kuthi,Nose-stud). They come in different sizes - sizes directly proportional, usually, to the age of the person on whose nose the jewel sits - and shapes, but always having to do with the 'round' shape, and never anything longish, or more importantly, never a ring, for apparently, a ring removes all 'decency' from the woman's face! But this unwritten rule, exists only in South india. Amazing, how all (or almost all) South Indian women share that opinion. In the North, on the other hand, the ring is fancied quite a bit, and if not the whole ring, atleast half of it is! Of course, younger generations just find the ring more 'hep' and stylish, so we're seeing more of it here too! Now that we're at differences, I might as well mention that South Indian women prefer their piercing to be on the right hand side of their nose, whereas north indian women, prefer the left. Whew!

Coming to the point - I got my nose pierced. I am now more a maami than i ever was! Why, you ask? Because, I not only love gossip and have quite commendable knowledge when it comes to Pattu podavais, and other podavais too, not only because I'm liking carnatic music more, and finding myself increasingly at ease having my hair in a kondai (Bun), not only because I'm able to have lively conversations with different paatis, and realised recently that I'm not bad at imitating people/speaking like others, but ALSO because, now, when I look at my face in the mirror (probably with a pottu on my forehead), i DO look very maami-ish! VERY. You have no idea!

I walked quite confidently into a small, stuffy room on the top most floor of a huge jewellery store, after very strongly dismissing my mother's suggestion of getting a diamond nose stud. The whole piercing experience was quite a pain, though I'm sure it couldn't have lasted more than 15-20 seconds. Seemed like an era of pain (despite the hideous red-coloured numbing cream, which evidently did NOT work!), like I could visualise the entire length of the gold penetrating every layer of my skin picometre by picometre! I couldn't scream obviously, or push away the pierce-r's hand either, for the love of the rest of my nose! So the silence proudly showed itself off as fat drops of tears at the edge of my right eye! And when i looked into the mirror, I was looking more at my eye than my nose :)The pain eventually did die down, within 5 minutes actually, and we continued commenting on random jewellery like the whole instance hadn't happened at all!

The past few days have been a series of mixed comments -
You look older.
You look like a villager.
You look outlandish.
*Says hi casually* *Notices something is different* *Opens mouth and eyes wide* *Silence* *Snaps back to so-wats-up?*
You look weird.
Your face has lost its Innocence!
And occassionally, You look nice! / You look cute / It suits you!
But the one's i'll put on the "made me laugh the most" list were -
Amma's comment - Maarvaadi madri iruke di ippo! (you look like a maarvaadi!)
Paati's comment - (after staring at it for a whole minute probably!)Romba nalla irukku ma! Ponnu kuthindadhu laam nyabagam eh illai, pethiya paathaa sandhoshama irukku (Its very nice, I don't remember the times my daughters got their noses pierced, but i'm happy that my grand daughter's got it done!).

I wouldn't want to forget this episode. It has been recorded! :)

Now, to an equally important part of the post... This post, I dedicate, to Mr. Nikhil Harikrishnan. Because
1) It's part of my punishment for missing the deadline (for my picture to reach his inbox) and sending the picture (by mistake!) to some random fellow who will probably now send me a thousand 'Franship' requests.
2) He has been one of the oldest and more vocal supporters of the campaign to get my piercing.

Credits for the above - An email sent to me by the aforementioned gentleman ;)

3) He asked for it!!!! :D

But more importantly, because i didn't see why i shouldn't! And, he said i look cute with the piercing! ;) Of course one can never be too sure if he just made that up :D

Nik, I'm well into the 48 hour deadline to put this up! I couldn't imagine what punishment i would get if this TOO was late ;)you better comment!

Yours "as my worthy friend seshan here said, 3 holes in my nose..."ly
Signing off....

Monday, June 02, 2008

The ROAD, conquerable?

I'm sorry about dwelling on the same topic, but driving does seem to be the first thing i do every morning these days. I thus dedicate another post to it, and also to dear doc friend Nidhee, who has very carefully formulated "The 4 psychological stages of a beginner in driving":

Stage 1 - Phase of Confusion. The ABC of driving is apparently simple enough. Accelerator. Brake. Clutch. The theory of it is easy to understand. However, when a beginner does step on these 'pedals' (which i must say, work much simpler in a bicycle!), its pretty mysterious how this car thing moves! And thus one keeps wondering, where the hell's what! Even more so, when one forgets to take off one's footwear, and thus, cannot 'feel' any of the pedals!

Stage 2 - Phase of enlightenment. One finally figures out which pedal is which! And how the car moves! But there's a catch - the gears! Now what the hell is that? And why the hell did they pick 'H' of all letters to desgin this box! H! Thus, the enlightenment needs to be extended. Of course, that process definitely includes going to the 5th gear instead of the 3rd, and also, the reverse gear instead of the 4th, much to the instructor's wrath!

Stage 3 - Phase of Pseudo-confidence. Point to be noted - this phase happens to be our favourite ;) You think you're running the show. You honk at the right places, turn the steering-wheel to the right degree, gears going good, pedal pushing better than ever, but, but, but... you're in for a surprise! I hear, most people finish their driving lessons at this stage, thinking they can drive for the rest of their lives, they own the road, they've conquered it! Apparently not. Which leads us to stage 4!

Stage 4 - Phase of reality. One decides to now take daddy's car for a nice long drive. And what happens? Everything is wrong somehow! The car vibrates noisily, jumps up when one releases the clutch, everything is haywire! And then it dawns upon the beginner (yes, still the beginner!), that one never really drove the car! It was the instructor, ALL ALONG!

And thus, one goes through the first 2 stages again (but this time, for REAL), and then converts the 3rd stage into the "confidence" stage! Well, hopefully!

Yours "i havent even crossed stage 2!"ly
Signing off...

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Growing up. Growing Old.

This post shall show evidence to the stated title with 3 examples.(My exams got over a month back. Why do i still sound like a textbook?)

I'll take this in the order in which these 3 events happen every day, or almost.

Driving lessons. My mother said "you're 21, high time you learn how to drive!". I had quite a fair argument, stating that it won't serve the purpose, because i do not have a car to practice on, and hence, shall promptly forget the finer details once the license with my ugliest photo ever, reaches my hand! As it turns out, i DID lose my case. And here i am, rising with the sun (or slightly later!), with eyes that burn, and refuse to open at the unearthly hour of the morning that i NEVER see during holidays! And i sit in a Santro, with a thatha who tells me all sorts of stories to get me to learn how to concentrate on the road when people in the car talk, honking more than i've honked in the entire 4 years of my bike-riding put together, hoping desperately for the longest 20 minutes of the day to fly away like they would if i were asleep! And somehow, it makes me feel very old to be learning how to drive!

Cooking. Realisation of some big mistakes i made when i was younger, and less wise! Since paati would make the best rasam, sambar, mor kuzhambu, vethal kuzhambu, and the likes, i decided to learn all the north indian stuff, and the pasta and the other simpler stuff, so that i could make all those when my mom wasn't around. Big mistake. It dawns upon one that sambar, rasam are the essentials, and that thus, one doesn't know how to cook at all! So one dips her right hand into the luke-warm water with pulli (tamarind) in it, and spends so much time squeezing the life out of it (because its fun!) and gets laughed at by amma and paati, the at-this-pace-you-wil-never-finish-cooking-on-time laugh! One's chappathis still resemble various maps of different countries, and one still feels like adding lots of salt to anything! but one believes that she will get there ;) Atleast, right in time before one gets married! But since one invariably has to rush for paatu class, no single dish has been mastered! I should really work on the timings! Only old people cook :(

The mornings are busy. The afternoons are lazy, that being the reason they're totally loved.Oh and there's another reason. There's the afternoon iced-tea ritual!aah. Sweet! The evenings though, are a blur! A blur of a million different combinations of colours of kancheepurams, and silk-cottons and banaras-silks and the endless other varieties of sarees. A wedding is no small affair, and what's any south-indian wedding without having to visit as many saree shops as possible, and buy as many sarees as possible, and make sure they're perfect, irrespective of who they're going to be given away to? My eyes are now unfotunately trained to distinguish the right combination of border+body, the pure/tested zari, the jataang (our slang for gaudy), and the not-so-jataang sarees/zaris/borders/pallus, judging which maami would prefer a jataang saree to a sober, elegant one, which colour is 'new' and 'young' as opposed to 'traditional' and 'paati-like', and many many other things, which has made my brother a little scared. He has pronounced me a typical 'maami', and i must say, seems quite terrified at the prospect of having to introduce me to people as his sister! What still challanges me, though, is distinguishing sarees by name. Saamundrika pattu, jodi pattu, vasthrakalaa pattu, amrithavarshini sarees, parampara pattu, kalakshetra sarees, subhamangala pattu, very very innovative don't you think? ;) Mind boggling! God, this does make me feel like a maami! OLD!

To top it off, the saree shop salesman asked my mother if i am her sister today. And sadly, i recognised it to be a genuine question, and not a trade trick! How much worse does it get? So much for chauffering her around, and indulging her very admirable habit of pulling almost every saree out of the rack and buying nothing at the end of 3 hours! ;)Mothers and sarees...they go together like the mad gleam in my eyes and football/capt.jack sparrow! For my part, i spent 5 minutes buying one saree, and 10 minutes buying the other, and extracted a "yen ma jarigai ivalov chinnadha irukku" dialogue from paati, which i must say, left me very smug! Very very proud of it!

So yeah, you realise that you're doing things that only old people do, and you don't feel good! You don't. Somehow, i'm still very happy :D

Yours " div the oldie, use your dentures" ly
Signing offf....

Friday, May 16, 2008

Another one!

Sementi, here be your tag :)

I don't even remember...!wait...oh ya, Jodha akbar! I don't think i've ever spent so much on a movie+popcorn for 2 people! So much for trying to extract meaning from urdhu dialogue! Some scenes had class though :)

The much hyped Life of Pi. The wow-ness of the book is yet to dawn upon me though. I hear the last few pages hold the key! But tell me, isn't it unfair when one loves a book just because of the ending? Can an ending be so good, that one forgets how monotnous the middle portion was? Hmm, i guess i'll find out!

Life. Been ages since i played it though. Too busy playing with the "real" Life!

Reader's digest. For the variety of articles! Actually, i don't think i read anything else.

I did a whole post on this once. Here. "mann vasanai" or, the smell of the mud when it rains, coffee, petrol, vibuthi, Bioling tea leaves, endless :)

Latest - Ice crackling on the surface of water. Always - The violin. Also, the piano. The crackling of dry leaves when you step on them. The sound of rain.


Can i please please go back to sleep, for 5 more minutes atleast!

Nothing specific. Good food is always welcome, wherever the place :D

Aah, there are some. Anyway, since the decision has to be 'mutual', we shall not reveal them ;)

Am not answering this!

Not driving yet! But i do 'ride' fast when i feel like it!

well, yes. Weirdly, i didn't do that all my life. Only since i was 17! When most people would stop! Well, i guess my bro decided to send the stuffed animal to me only at that time!

Depends on the company ;), or the absence of it.

None yet. I can't stop gaping at the toyota camry and honda civic ont he road though!

Right now, Lemon iced tea! juice, watermelon juice...

Definitely, the things i've wanted to do, but never had time to do ;)

how does it matter? I do i guess!

My hair is already black in dim light, dark brown in bright light, Golden in the noon sun, Reddish in the susnset-sun. Why do i need more colouring?

Chennai, Nairobi.


Don't really know her personally, I think she has a nice blog!

A harmonium. Dusty and old. I cant really say 'rusting' because its made of wood!My helmet, some bags. And loads and loads of dust, that drives my mother mad!

Maybe :)

Night owl. Totally. Theres some calm to staying awake when everyone else sleeps. And, there are always the stars! ;)


Terrace. With music. or at home.

No pies. Chocolate cakes!

Baskin Robbins choco-vannila mix!

Am not tagging anyone :) Its open to all!

Yours" I've done this one before, dont know if the answers match..."ly
Signing out...

Sunday, May 04, 2008

4 years later...

The only thing that was missing was music. Trying to relate lyrics to what the eyes were feasting upon. But the wind sang. The wind sang the melancholy, and the happiness, oscillating, perfect for the situation. And the eyes took in every detail, like this time, this very last time, they wanted to make an imprint in the mind. The kind of imprint that time cant steal for itself...the kind that wouldn't fade until memory has a chance to refresh itself...

So the pair of them stared into the open. At the kids playing cricket, at the small lane of concrete road that I always wanted to walk through. The lane with huts on either side. At the trees that adorned themselves with tendrils. Yes, of course, it is May. There should be tendrils. At the sun, playing hide and seek with the eyes. Hiding successfully behind buildings, unsuccessfully behind trees. Blinding the eyes. At rows and rows of white buildings. At the mini-lake, that always looked so full of reflections, of trees, of bill-boards, of clouds. At the bus, standing a little too close in the traffic. So close, that i could hear her telling me to come out of my trance and push my hair behind my ears, like she always did. Always, when my hair was on my face. At the way the buses parted ways, as if to signify a deeper 'parting of ways'. At the mango tree, so full of mangoes hanging from every branch. I'd have loved to jump out n pluck a few. I could see myself doing it, but just inside my head. At the bridge, and the red-brick house from the bridge. The red-brick house of happy memories. At the smoke all over the place, almost making it seem like the red-brick house was floating in the heavens, as if it were not enough that it was indeed heaven on earth. At Chennai's smoothest road, and the endless string of restaurants lining it on either side, none of which I have ever visited. At the marsh, when there was a breakdown, when she hilariously imitated the way i sleep, inviting undying laughter. Yes, it was always something they laughed about. At the beautifully canopied road, where i always wanted to take a long walk with someone whose company i enjoyed. At the crowd outside the theatre, and the chips shop that always made my stomach growl...endless...

My last bus-ride home. From a college i spent 4 years in. Hard to believe! The things that i'm going to miss really haven't seeped through fully...they kind of did, when i sat on the verandah with my book open, doing everything but study. Chatting away to glory about the latest movies, class gossip, the extent of yuckiness of the subject, about lip balm and haircuts, dirty shoes and un-ironed dupattas, about marriage, and life as such. It did seep into me, that i was going to miss such talks and so much fun, so much laughter. Hell, we'll deal with it later :)

"4 years later..."ly
Signing off...

Monday, March 31, 2008

Drenched, in something more than rain...

She left the house at the first sound of rain drops hitting the ground. She left the conversation that the other members of the household were so engrossed in. It wasn't quite there yet, the intensity of the rain. She strolled around the area open to sky... a male voice singing into her ears...kyun tera sab yeh ho gaya, hua kya...she smiled, looking around at the place that had been her solace more than often...the view of the tops of buildings, the road beneath, the people walking...people who would never know they were being watched by a pair of eyes above them. It took her a moment to absorb the beauty of the she was carefully sorting the trees into different shades of she wouldn't be able to see anything quite like this anywhere else, maybe because she really didn't want to. She walked, wondering why she felt like the rain drops were purposely evading her...she stood still, and then it some force she couldn't fathom had heard unsaid words from her, and played to her wishes. The drops fell quicker, were more in number, and now fell directly on her head...dampening her hair...imprisoning it...not allowing the wind to dance with the long strands of black-brown. But she didn't seem to care...she welcomed every drop like it held purity undefinable. She spread her arms wide, and looked up at the sky, allowing her face to dwell in the chill...and she heard the words...Barf se Khelte baadalon ka, shauk hai... In a trance, she glided away into a partially sheltered watching the rain...Neend ki goliyon ka, khwaab ki loriyon ka...her watch told her the time was 1.45, through a drop that magnified the time for her...she was leaning on a pillar...watching the trees sway...the grey clouds shower their drops on some other part of the city...she did not want to be left behind by the rain...did not want to remain there until the rain stopped. She started walking towards the exit...smiling involuntarily... Jisse tum ghunghunaaye, mere dhun hai vahin...somehow, it seemed to dawn upon her that there would come a time when she wouldn't be able to walk into this place whenever she wanted...she wouldn't be able to have her mid-day reveries...smiling for no reason at all...realising the irony of lyrics...She wasn't going to let the thought steal the goodness of the moment. She pushed her wet hair back from her forehead, made her wet face even wetter by wiping it on her sleeve, and walked away....from the rain, from the surrender she felt a few minutes ago, carrying in her heart the bliss she felt from the moment the first rain drop hit her eye...she walked down the green staircase. The door was half open, just the way she had left it. The same conversation was continuing inside the house, with very minor changes. And here was a world that remained untouched by the mid-day rain...where nothing changed...for all she knew, her absence wasn't even noticed. All she knew was, it didn't matter...something was changed inside her, and she had a pretty good feeling it was going to last for a very long time...Pyaar tumhe kithna karthe hain, tum yeh samaj nahi paaoge...

I didn't always like getting wet in the rain. Things change.

Yours "drenched, in something more than rain..." ly
Signing off...

Monday, March 24, 2008

Tagged - A-Z!

Tagged by Sementi. Thanks for making me update :)

On messenger? Yep, never invisible :P
B-Best friend(s):
-:) We all have our own definitions :)and friends!
C-Cake or Pie:
-Cake!! Chocolate cake :) Trouffle!
D-Drink of choice:
- Lemon Iced Tea :) hot sweet tea. Occasionally,coffee. And, apple juice! at 12.00am!
E-Essential thing used every day:
-Too many to list
F-Favorite color:
-Green. In all its shades of nature :)Black. Copper sulphate/chloride blue.
G-Gummy bears or worms:
-Gummy bears...dancinng here and there and everywhere! Anyone watched the cartoon? :D
-Namba singara chennai! With the irritating traffic diversions. With boat club road. With the amazing feeling of being at home!
-football. craziness to a level you wouldn't believe. Dancing with the air ;)
J-January or February?
-January :) Birthday month :) And also, the beginnign of a new year and all :P
K-Kids and names?
-No kids yet. Have some prospective names though :D
L-Life is incomplete without (would like to add, presently incomplete without):
-Small talk with Thatha paati (which i'm afraid wont be possible after a while!)
Chatting with mom when she's not here, acting kiddish or fighting with her if she's around. Listening to her stories about appa :)
Music (I've realised i cant do anything non-study without it! Need music when i'm eating, browsing, cooking, everything!)
M-Marriage date:
-Hoping i'll have one someday :P
N-Number of siblings
-One, technically.
O-Oranges or apples:
-Apples. Crisp, with a blend of sweet and sour :)
-Dogs (more a dis-liking than a phobia), lizards (eeks!).
-Cross the bridge when you get to it. (addiitonally, don't start hoping you don't see the bridge at all :D though thats what i do!)
R-Reason to smile:
-There's a list here and there's the next - no reason at all :)
-We don't really have seasons here. But i do think i'd very much like to treat my eyes to the reds and browns of autumn :) And, snow, is yet to be seen! In chennai though, the light drizzle times are the best. The floods are the worst!
T-Tag two people:
Sukanya (you'll have nothing to do after exams!)
Vinod (high time you updated your blog!)
U-Unknown fact about me:
-My wisdom teeth are currently growing out of my gums :P *div the wise*
Jokes apart, Someday, i want to work for a social cause.
V-Vegetable(s) you do not like:
Brinjal - I think this is on many many lists! poor thing!
Senakazhangu (because its a pain to make it!), don't ask me english translation!
Paavakka (bitter gourd) - Obviously, too bitter.
W-Worst habit:
Succumbing to the temptation of eating in the middle of the night!
And if you ask my mother, she would say, sleeping late and killing my immune system!
X-rays you have had:
Tooth xray :D Before i got my braces :D Nothing great :P Except they found out that some tooth of mine had been stuck in my gums for years and had to be pulled out!
Y-Your favourite food:
Come on, don't make me narrow it down! I love good vegetarian food! Ranging from thaalicha thair sadam with aplam, to pizza with baby corn and olives :D
Not one :) Cusp of Capricorn and Aquarius. The prudent meet the creative :)

Yours "me, a-z"ly
Signing off...

Monday, March 10, 2008

*Honk* *Honk*

Of all the things that happen everyday, and don't happen, i chose to write about this, because i don't think I've ever come back home from anywhere so angry, with some sort of undying rage, ever! I have never banged the door of the lift before, or banged my fist against the car park wall, almost cracking a knuckle, or given a traffic policeman my best shot at a disgusted look despite not having my license! Well, if you don't live in Chennai, this post wouldn't make any sense at all. The NEW traffic diversions (Read : Converting every road possible into a one-way) are a waste of time, petrol, patience, and make you want to run down every person u see wearing a white shirt and khaki trousers, throwing out hand signals! Even though they're just doing their jobs, obeying somebody else's orders. And WHY would they want to make changes to some part of the city that's not suffering from this problem half as much other parts! Maybe just for fun! Or maybe because it seems like a good idea to plant "no entry", "no left turn", and "no right turn" boards all over the place! Maybe too many of those boards were rusting and had to be used urgently! Maybe the barricades were rusting too, and needed to be thrusted exactly where people like me take turns! And there we waited on the road, under the sun, Guinea pigs to their trial-and-error methods to alleviate traffic congestion, people who spent over 2 hours inside a helmet, and ended up coming back home in the worst of moods, the kind that even hot sweet tea and good music could do nothing to help!

To the people out there who are busy charting these CHANGES out on paper, considering themselves the masterminds of this destructively disorganised plan that i sincerely hope fails, and fails big, so that things can go back to how they were, a few words for you:

-->Making every road, every street a one-way DOES NOT help bigger causes! It only makes us go in circles, and see the world before we reach home! Which i can tell you, is one of the worst things when one's stomach's already growling in hunger!
-->The congestion has only become WORSE. Actually, there was no congestion before! Where one would previously take hardly 5 minutes to ride across a road, one now takes a good 20 minutes! Or even more.
-->Give the traffic policemen a break. Its YOU who should be getting the disgusted looks and the million questions from the people who ACTUALLY use those roads everyday!
-->The next time you want to do something like this, just DON'T DO IT! :D
-->You have successfully proved that you have the ability to make our lives miserable. Get over yourselves and open your eyes to this unruly mess that you've landed us innocent citizens into!
--> Lastly, if the rusting boards are the problem, sir, with no attempts to sound proud, my project currently deals with metal resistant bacteria. I could get them to eat your metal up :D :D as long as YOU own up, and tell this city what the problem is!

Hell, am i the only person who has a problem with this? Is it all just abt RESISTING CHANGE? *wonders*

But, this still sucks.

I was thinking how it would be if a whole gang of people went on strike and rode bikes the opposite way on a one-way :D *Evil Grin* Maybe i should organise it?

Yours "resisting change"ly...
Signing off...

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Through and...through!

One's innocent finger tips fall prey to the unruly mixture of bromophenol blue, and coomassie brilliant blue. Finger tips, stained BLUE. One of those stubborn stains that refuse to leave one's skin even after near-bleeding attempts are made by rubbing it onto the damaged surface of rough stone! Of course, one should use destaining solution. Unfortunately, domestic homes do not store methanol and acetic acid in their refrigerators! And one has to eat before going back to the lab the next morning. So one eats. Looking at the rasam on the plate, more often than usual, to make sure it's not turning blue. One could use a spoon. But hell, no fun in eating rasam saadham with a spoon! Sheesh! The most one can do, is refrain from licking one's rasam filled fingers for one day. What deprivation!

And so, life goes on. Through melting petri plates, and boiling autoclaves. Through stolen media, and mistaken alcohol (Isopropyl!). Through unrooted craziness, and umbridge-like bossy-ness! Through dreams of making a difference to oneself. Through working sundays. Through insginificant conversations over glassware-sterilization throwing stressed out minds into fits of laughter. Through the hunts for the silver lining. Through the greetings from a french-bearded, joyous,blue-shirt-wearing, cupric-chloride-blue-bike-riding unassuming scientist. Through thoughts about the fates of Chappu and Pappu under experimentation in the animal house. Through staring at fish in a recently cleaned fish pond. Through contemplations on nose-piercing and hair styling. Through chola poori and chappathi kuruma. Through corridors and staircases, freedom and non-freedom, through power and its nonexistence, through piercing looks and teary eyes, through realisation and...speculation. Life goes on.

Yours "Center for B, AU" ly
Signing off...

Thursday, January 24, 2008


I'm going to let the photos do the talking this time :) Not like they'll tell you exactly what happened, or how i felt, or how amazing it all was...still, there was definitely more to this birthday than growing old ;)

After successfully accomplishing the task of waking me up and getting me out of bed (And trust me, its a very difficult task! You should ask my cousin(s) and my brother!), my friend very sweetly chauffered me...

Through the beautiful roads...sunlight filtering through branches...

...and to our destination...where she did one of the sweetest things ever...

Spent a moment reminiscing...

And some time acting like a scarecrow ;)(i'm not dancing for sure!)

and that, was the morning. Afternoon? Guess who sang for me! :)Couldn't get better!

But apparently, it could... :) Back to the beach in the evening. Another cake. Some more great company. Craziness.

My beautiful new door happened...

And so now i say...

Definitely, there couldn't have been a better way to turn 21! :D thankyou all for everything :)

Yours "Dear God, thank you"ly
Signing off...

Thursday, January 03, 2008

On Addiction and Attention

2 things deserve a mention on my addiction list. Or should i say, my 'latest' addiction list. One of them keeps me awake into the eerie hours of the morning. But i haven't managed to catch the sunrise yet. But i guess i'll blame that on the maargazhi maasam, which supposedly spells 'winter' in chennai-weather language, and hence, late sunrises! The TV show House. And its been thanks to my cousin's laptop (which btw, i christened Iris) that i've been able to snuggle up in bed, and get a horizontal view of a vertical screen ;) ok, i was just lying down and watching it! And so it played and played and played till my eyes couldn't fight gravity any longer. Suddenly i'd realise i had to shut Iris down, so that i don't kick 'her' off the bed assuming her to be a part of the enemy troupe in my battle-sequence dream! Yes, i dream of battles. But now, Iris is gone. And more importantly, my cousin's gone. So its goodbye to all the fun, and the excessively vetti things we did in the name of 'timepass', a term that's been abused way too much between us, in the past month. December has hardly ever been more fun! So thankyou, Visu, and Iris :) And i might add to dear cousin there, i'm sorry i ditched you and continued watching House. I was just addicted! So well, this humble subject is willing to accept any punishment from your highness ;)Iris took my addiction away with her! Maybe thats a good thing. I can finally get to all the pending work!

Addiction 2. This voice pouring its heart out singing "oh, its what you do to me..." I like songs that sound lazy. I like songs which are defined as much by the instruments as they are by the lyrics. This one though, has only a guitar. The voice seems perfect - lazy yet truthful, the lyrics sweetly romantic - not crossing the line to 'mushy', the tune - lovably monotonous. Plain White T's Hey there Delilah. Try listening :) It sure made someone who is presntly quite unwell smile for a while :) You're going to be just fine Lav!

And, for introducing me to both the show, and the song, i owe it totally to nitya. Thanks nit! (happy now nit? :D)

Attention can be a weird thing. The more of it you get, the more of it you demand. Maybe not always, maybe it depends on the kind of attention. But my opinion is that one shouldn't get used getting attention. It makes you dependent. And, will eventually be disappointing and difficult to accept once it disappears or lessens. *sigh* While we're at attention, House has been educating me, and un-boringly :)I now know that Munchausen Syndrome is an attention-seeking personality disorder where the patient seeks doctors' attention by faking diseases! Aint that so interesting :D

Oh, and, Happy new Year :) Welcome, 2008!

The lovely drizzle outside complements Hey there Delilah...perfect moment. True bliss. :)

"The world will never ever be the same
And you're to blame..."

Yours "Oh, Its what you do to me..."ly
Signing off...