Saturday, December 16, 2006

One Year Yayyy!!!!

Hey I complete one year of blogging this month... wow!!! no wonder they say the time flies on silent wings...

Aur isi kushi mein, I am working over the weekend... :-)

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Hype and Hoopla

Talk about Hype and hoopla or talk about US.
Everything here is the World's best, biggest and greatest. Coz the world is US and US is world.
Atleast that is what the people here believe. (don't believe me? check out some of their newspapers)

The world's biggest tree, the banner screamed. Come and see it in the Sequoia national park, it said.
So there we were, 10 gullible desi's, lunch packed and car rented, eager faces glowing with expectation, looking around, searching for the world's biggest tree.
But where was the tree? all the trees around us seemed to be huge but of almost the same size and we had seen ones larger than these.
Oh yes!!! there was a tree fenced all around...That must be the one!
So onward we marched to it, to find another placard. Yes!! this was the world's biggest tree, not in size but in Mass... well duh uh!! I am sure they measured the mass of every tree on God's Green earth. How about our Adyar "Alamaram" then?
I have seen photos of trees in the Amazon, through which they drive trucks... Is the mass of this tree greater even than those giants? Well so they say!!!

Lake Tahoe, our guide said, was one of the most beautiful lakes in the ...what else.. world. When u go on a cruise on the lake, be sure to look out for the island with the castle on top of it.
Being a hard core romantic, I had already built the castle in my imagination with turrets and dragons and princesses and knights and had my eyes peeled so as to not miss it.
It was twilight and the light was dimming, but hey we are talking of a castle... one does not miss a castle even in the dark right!!! When suddenly, "There it is" screamed the guide. I ran to his side to see what he was pointing at. Yeah there it was, a tiny island with a stone shed that looked like the tower on a castle...that was the castle they were so proud about. *Bang Bang Bang* (that was me hitting my head on the cruise railing!!! Sigh!!)

Another example was the drive through the world's most beautiful coast, the 17-mile drive of Monterey bay. Yes it was awesome pretty! but wait! had I not seen something just like this somewhere else?.. Pondicherry beach?!

While it can be irritating, exasperating and pretty much amusing to us, we have to give credit for the kind of marketing and hoopla they create about even the most mundane things.

We spoilt Indians who come from a land where almost every street has a significance and a history to speak of, take it all for granted. Here though, they create their own history and blow it up so much, that we almost expect to see a miracle at every corner.

If only we had the same mentality back home, I think we can stop all other industries and mint money on tourism alone :-).

PS: I was most irritated when on a Ghosts and Legends tour on the cruise liner RMS Queen Mary. I was all set to get frightened out of my wits and kept following the guide everywhere, until the ...exit, And did not even see a fake ghost... aargh!!!

PPS: It has been a horribly busy monht. But found time to write at last…

Friday, December 01, 2006

Out of Body Experience

You have heard of stepping into another person's shoes?
Its a great teacher... shows whole new perspective of looking at a person.
What we perceive as haughtiness or snobbishness could well be an indication of fear or shyness or insecurity.
Of course it takes a little time and a little less ego to actually do it.
But everybody should try it at least once in a while.
Makes life so much more understandable.

On the flip side, Kindness and understanding are frequently misunderstood for weakness. While there is no cure for actual rudeness and carelessness for other people's feelings, it is rare to find people who are actually that way.

Another funny thing is that while we read about so many things, we always blithely think it would never happen to us. For example I have read that every bit of life's experience changes/ molds something in a person's character.
So true! I am sure my parents, with whom I interact on a daily basis, would be shocked by the changes; the last few months have etched on me. Heck!! Even I have trouble recognizing myself now and then :-)

Hmm!!! Looks like working too hard makes me philosophical... so let me stop before I am tempted to discuss the meaning of life :-)

Monday, November 13, 2006

Oh God!!!!

This is the only place I know where they greet even God with Chocolates and Bouquets. In US, atleast the few temples that I have been to, people bring bouquets to worship god. Also the prasad could be anything from nuts to chocolate fudge. Next they will be asking God out to the prom too

What is the difference between a Child and a Dog in US.

The dog has four legs
The dog is taken for a walk
The dog is kept on a leash when out of the house
The dog is petted and feted by family and friends of owner

The child has two legs
The child is taken out for walks
The child is also kept on a leash when out of the house
The child is also feted and cooed by family and friends of parents

Umm!!! doesn't seem like there is much in the way of differences huh?!
While I understand that leash is a great way of keeping the small toddlers in control. It does not sit well with me to see a child and a dog both in leashes.
I am told that pets are a great ease for loneliness, which is why the people here are obsessed with them. But it did seem too much of a overkill when I saw a desk with one photo of a child surrounded by 8 - 10 photos of a dog at my workplace.

Got a Brand New iPod. Video, 30 GB and I am still admiring it

Could not resist temptation and bought a 3 inch heels shoes (not stilleto... as I still do not have a death wish) and am now on top of the world (Pun intended)

Hmm!!! All in all a very eventful :-) and very very expensive :-( week...

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Fone Funnies

I am still deciding if the hands free concept for phones is a curse or boon.

At least at the advent of hands-free, there used to be chunky equipment for the ear and mouth and a long black/white or whatever color wire dangling like a snake all over the person. Most times after couple of minutes of staring we could determine if the person was just plain crazy or was talking over the phone.

As usual technology had to put its long nose into this area too and spoilt everything. Now with Bluetooth and WiFi and what not, the hands-free has become so small as to be virtually unnoticeable. I have especially come to hate the Bluetooth after its booming popularity, here in US.

Why US? You ask. Simple. Half the people here are already crazy, so its all the more difficult to determine if the person sitting next to you, talking to himself /herself, is talking over the phone or just ahh... softheaded. Since loose hair is de rigueur, it is next to impossible to see if they have something attached to their ear or not.

Just today morning a passer-by on the road smiled and said good morning and I smiled back and wished him. He looked a little startled, then smiled and went along his way… only then I noticed the blasted Bluetooth dangling from his ear… he was wishing someone over the phone.

The other day a techno mad senior colleague stopped by my cubicle and started talking. Pulled out of whatever I was concentrating on, I could not make sense of what he was saying… I was getting increasingly confused until he stopped talking and proudly pointed to his... sigh!!! Yeah! New Bluetooth.

So the next time I was walking by his desk and heard him talking, I blithely assumed he was on the phone and continued walking, until he called my name and asked where I was going when he was talking to me. :-p

Someday I am either going to hide the instrument or preferably throw it from the tallest building I can find here .. :-)But until I get the courage to do either its going to be one incident after another

Friday, October 27, 2006

Cuisines and I

This is probably something that no one expected from me, including myself, but I thought it was about time I wrote about it anyway.

As a rule I believe in the phrase "Eat to live". Except for a craving for a pasta or dosa or pizza now and then, food had never interested me, Neither cooking (Shudder!) nor eating.

Since I landed here though, I find myself obsessed with trying out cuisines from different parts of the world. It is a new and very enjoyable facet about myself that I have recently discovered. I

It all started when I was in SFO, cribbing about having had nothing but Indian food for almost 3 months and heartily sick of it... my friends therefore fed me different types of food and I was hooked. It is especially challenging for a veggie.

So here is a list of different cuisines I have tried so far

Thai - Pad Thai, Panang tofu, Red curry and a Thai ice tea - It was different. They seem to use a lot of coconut milk and tofu in their dishes to make up for the loss of meat

American – I am calling this American for the lack of name to call it by. But we had soup and sandwich… would that be English cuisine? ? I have also tried doughnuts, bagels (this is actually mid-European) , burgers, onion rings, French fries etc.

Mexican – Enchiladas, Burritos, Tacos, Tostada, Quesillada (have I got the spelling right?) and the all-important tortilla

Italian – Of course the Pasta and its different varieties like Penne, Spaghetti, Fusilli which when mixed with the olive oil and freshly ground pepper is perfecto and do not forget the Pizza (even if it is not exactly the Italian version of it. I hear the bread used in Italian Pizza is much thinner than what is generally used world around)…On a side note, the restaurant I went to, taught Italian in its rest rooms :-p

Chinese – Noodles and fried rice and Boy!!! They had this lovely chilli sauce that promises to blister the tongue… ummm!!!
情人 (thats chinese for yummy heheh)

South African – Sambusa (Samosa basically), Chapathi and Dengu (a dal of sorts and some salad ) and South African Vegetable Biriyani (almost like our chapathi and biriyani)

French – Baguette, Croissants, pastries, Soufflé ...ummm délicieux

English – Custard, Pudding (desserts but nevertheles…)

Indian – Nothing needs to be said here.

The stuff that I plan to eat in the very near future include

French – I hear there is something called a crepe that tastes good and gotta check it out

Mediterranean – My friend has told me Cous Cous and Falafel are good.
Singapore - Zi Cha, Tim Sum (was told to try it but not sure what they are… will let you know once I try)
Ethiopian and Vegan – have been hearing a lot about it
Russian – I hear they sweeten all their dishes.

Turkish - No idea what it will have :-)
English – Kedgeree (something like our kichdi)

I have found a place where they have all these different food… and looking forward to go there soon…But my very next place to visit is the Taco bell :-p

Anyone with other ideas on vegetarian Cuisines... Do feel free to let me know. :-)

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Sigh!!! Some days it is just not worth the effort to get out of bed... :-(

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Diwali without firecrackers?

Should India ban firecrackers?

Oh my! God!!! Its bad enough that I cannot be around in India, during the most festive, colourful and enjoyable of festivals. Now they want to ban firecrackers in India and that too during Diwali… Aargh!!! Why don’t these people put all this energy in doing something really useful like saving the world? Can one even imagine a diwali without crackers? But sadly there has been a lessening of the bursting of firecrackers over the years… or am I just growing up and do not burst them as much as I used to…. Naaahhh!!!

People have just become more worried about the environment and society. Good! but not at the cost of diwali… no sireee..
Another reason I heard for not bursting crackers was that the firecrackers factories use maximum of child labour. Horrible thing, no doubt.

When the parents of such children were interviewed though, they gave an answer that was absolutely irrefutable. They said, that much as they would love to have their children go to school and study, this kind of labour at least keeps the children (if not the whole family) in food. What use, they ask, would education be when their children are not even getting the 2 meals per day, this way at least they do not go hungry. :-(

I tell myself, every time I burst a cracker, that maybe a child was able to eat today.

So have a Safe and Colourful Diwali!!! :-)


Art thou abroad on this stormy night
on thy journey of love, my friend?
The sky groans like one in despair.
I have no sleep tonight.
Ever and again I open my door and look out on
the darkness, my friend!
I can see nothing before me.
I wonder where lies thy path!
By what dim shore of the ink-black river,
by what far edge of the frowning forest,
through what mazy depth of gloom art thou threading
thy course to come to me, my friend?

Recognise the above poem? No! How about this one?

Mind Without Fear
Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high;
Where knowledge is free;
Where the world has not been broken up
into fragments by narrow domestic walls;
Where words come out from the depth of truth;
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection;
Where the clear stream of reason
has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit;
Where the mind is led forward by thee into ever-widening thought and action---
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.

Yeah! I have been reading Gitanjali by Rabindranath Tagore. Its kewl! I didn't realise he was such a! Guess!! A poet has to be little bit of everything

Monday, October 09, 2006

Me Thinks...

Was just chatting with a buddy about having a writer's block and not able to think of anything to write when suddenly I had all these thoughts I just had to share. But you know how it is with the idea deluges, they leave as fast as the come.. But here are some of them that I still remember.

=> It pleased my feminist senses to learn that the President of my company is a Dynamic lady. It reminded me of a time not so long ago, in India when someone I knew (a man, of course) was thinking of getting a transfer, as his new boss was a lady. Me thinks the ego of the men in India have been pandered to, for far too long. In fact a friend of mine advised me that to win a man's heart, a woman has to be ready to be submissive and soothe his all important ego at all times. (my reply to this comment would obviously not be suitable in the blog). Now then, before all the men get up in the arms... I am not trying to generalize... I am sure there are a rare few of you who do not think along these lines. (In fact the men who raise their voice against what I have just written will not be the rare good guys ..heheheh)

=>I see so many women here in US, who have resigned from great jobs in India, changed and adapted to new lifestyles to be with their husbands and are feeling bored beyond words as their capabilities are going waste... Me thinks, why is it women who are always doing the sacrifices and are they appreciated for it or just taken for granted just as ever

=> On the lighter side, visited the downtown in my city. Its supposed to be one of the most dangerous areas with routine mugging etc. So was expecting it to be dark, with lotsa empty alleys and dangerous looking people hanging around... Me thinks, I was almost disappointed to find it look like parrys corner with loads of decent looking people shopping and a rather festive air around the whole place... and no alleys... just wide well lit roads.

=> Me thinks, after all the places I visited both inside and outside India, that Home is where the heart is and Heart is firmly lodged in Chennai... a friend reminded me that I sounded like the frog in the well story, where the frog concludes that the well is more beautiful than the sea. Yeah my Chennai is more beautiful than all the places I visited and my memory seems to keep embellishing it in to a more and more beautiful place with time.

=> Me thinks it is astonishing how many old acquaintances and friends I have found in US. it seems like most of my school, college and other varied friends have all settled right here... US seems to have become an extension of India.

=> Finally me thinks, making a guest welcome, at home and so very comfy is an art very few people can master. P and K you rock!!!

PS: I had this cute pic to upload... but for some reason blogger is not letting me upload the pic.. :-(

Thursday, September 28, 2006

The Shrinking world

Is it a small world or what?
I was reading a historic romance coupla days back and there was a mention of steam engine in it. The characters were amazed by the speed at which it travelled... My God!!! All of 12 KM per hour.This mode of travel was too fast and everyone was sure it would never catch on. But there were many exclamations on how fast they could reach the different places in England. It was making the world small.

From the 1800s to now, the world has been shrinking shrinking shrinking... until there is hardly anything left of it.

Not so long ago,calling to US from India was a major event. You were s'posed to call up the trunk like and book a call and then when it got cleared you had to scream from this side to let the other person hear. There was always a lag and the connection was tenuous at best.
Now we can actually see and talk to people tens of thousands of miles away at the click of a button.

Communities like the orkut and ryze and chat rooms have made life much more easier. I joined (very reluctantly) one such communities recently at the urging of a friend and it was amazing. so many of my friends, schoolmates, acquaintances were also members. Got in touch with friends whom I had feared lost forever.
In fact a pal in one of the communities turned out to be working in the same company as I and we had been communicating for months before we even realized that :-)

One of my friends in my masters class was a chat pal I had lost touch with 2 years back.

How many times have the mails we sent, come back to us through circuitous routes, colecting a list of common friends and acquaintances in the "To" field.

I was able to realize the effect of this phenomenon, when a college friend's brother in US mailed me asking if I knew a person. That person turned out to be my ex-boss, who apparently shared an apartment with a friend of my friend's brother.*phew* Did u get the connection?
Hearing my
ex-boss' company,it stuck my friend's bro that I might know her... and what dya know??? Of the 75000 people who work for my company.. I did know her.

Each of us, I am sure, has thousands of such stories to tell.

While everything does have its flip sides, I find myself falling deeper and deeper in love with all these technologies and thingamajicks.After all how else can an eskimo and bedoiun end up becoming best of friends

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Dreamy Day!!!

Umm!!! the weather is absolutely beautiful.
Just the way I love it. Cloudy and just cold enough to be invigorating.
The trees and sky all seem to be smiling and waving at me.
My thoughts, like butterflies, flit from one fantasy to another.
How about walking down the beach... just on the edge where the waves threaten to wet the feet, pants folded, shoes in the hands and face lifted to receive the cool breeze the beach blows at you.
or maybe the nearest park, where kids are playing and screaming, birds singing (oops!! was that a crow cawing... nahhh there are no crows in my fantasies) and you just want to laugh out loud at all the beauty and frolic right along with them.
or maybe just curl up on the sofa, snuggle in with a warm cup of chocolate, read a book and gaze out at the garden...
sighhhhhh!!! :-)

*Ping* My computer pings me back to reality. Got coupla more hours left before the day and the week ends and here I am, gazing dreamily at the horizon through the window at the far end of the room.
sighhhhhh!!! :-(

But no matter... tomorrow is another day and a Saturday at that... I shall fulfill all my fantasies then :-)

Hope y'all have a fantastic weekend too :-)...


Thursday, September 21, 2006

The Indo-Pak Game

The Indo-Pak game is the longest played game and has been on for more than 60 years.

Saw The Hindu yesterday. one of the headlines screamed... Indo-Pak peace talk to resume ...(again???)

Its kinda funny... everytime Pak hits India directly they lose and go back with their tails tucked behind. But that never stops them from sneaking an attack every now and again.
And when india gets ready to retaliate (yeah right!!! like thats gonna happen)... they wave forward a white flag and call for a peace talk.

Bharath Maa being so soft hearted always melts into a puddle, forgets all her loses and agrees to the talk until the next attack.

This is what in our SW jargon called an infinite loop.

Remember the last peace talk... just as it was going on, there was an attack and bombing in india and when the finger was pointed towards Pak... their prime minister immediately threatened retribution using nuclear weapons?
But hey thats ok... All is forgiven... hum bhai bhai hain... just like Kane and Abel... so what if their government is bad, the people of Pak love us and so we love them back

India follows the christian principle of showing the other cheek with a difference.
Here is my back and here is the knife... please feel free to stab anytime.

Aur Kya Kahoon.. Mera Bharath Mahan!!!

PS: Dya know that in most of the World Maps created outside India, part of kashmir is shown belonging to Pakisthan, making the top of India quite mishapen...esp all of them created in US? Be sure to google for this if u do not believe me.

PPS: Dya know that this news is known to most indians and they do not find anything wrong with it :-(

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Missing America

I am definitely the only person who is missing USA coz I am living there.

Every shop that I visit has indians or atleast one of its near neighbours. People throng to temples and during the vinayak chathurthi one should have seen the temple near my place to believe it.

I hardly ever hear any english spoken around here.. I have heard tamil, telugu, kanada, hindi, malayalam, spanish and korean... just no English. (ok thats a bit of exagerration... but seriously I hardly ever hear english)... Remember my wish to speak with American accent?.. I have come down to just trying to understand the american accent... sigh!!! (yesterday my favourite chef, asked me
dogoordoeadhere and I promptly told him I wanted the small one and not large...hehehe)

I swear I used to try more variety of cuisines in India than here in the US. Since I landed here I have visited every indian restaurant and not so much as tasted one bit of american.
Being a veggie doesn't help either.

I know it sounds like I am grumbling... but no actually.. its amazing and very very comforting... I feel more like I am in India here than even when I was actually in India. Almost every city I visited has a place called Little India... which is a piece of india itself placed in US.

But I sure would like to see how the actual US lives sometime :-p

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

oh :-(

Was reading a blog by a lady from Lebanon...

Made me feel petty for letting little frustrations get to me, when people all around the world are struggling to stay alive and healthy.The bewilderment and confusion among the people in beirut, wondering why all this was happening to them when they had never done anything against Israel, is heart breaking.

I don't find the scenario between India and Pakisthan all that different from Israel and Lebanon. So how come the world stood aside and let all this destruction, but frowns on india and threatens all kinds of repurcussions if it takes any revenge.

I am not condoning the violence but am trying to understand what could motivate someone to cause another human such untold misery and still be able to sleep.

I get queasy as hell when I see the remains of a rat after the cat has had its fill. Wonder how these people justify themselves to their conscience when they are the cat.


PS: I am still frustrated... but now about the world... hehehe

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Frustrations Galore!!!!

politics politics everywhere..
no peace to be found.. :-(

Thats just very bad poem to express my extreme ire on whats happening with my life.I am most happy when people give me my work and leave me to work in peace. Since that is never going to happen...I would atleast like people to know what they want before they give me their request. Now thats not asking for too much is it? But No!... everyone wants the same thing done in different fashion...

Politics is bad enough when people are all of the same organisation... give a situation where there are 5 different organisations trying to work together... AAARGGGHH!!!!... Everyone is correct even if they are wrong.we cannot say/do anything to contradict for fear of stepping on their fragile egos...Being pathetic at playing politics myself..I always end up being the scape goat.

sigh!!! somedays it just is not worth the effort to get out of bed

I really don't need this... Leave me in peace to sulk...

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Quote Me

I am easily satisfied with the very best.” - Winston Churchill (Me too!)

“-You can't just turn on creativity like a faucet. You have to be in the right mood.
-What mood is that?
-Last-minute panic.”
Calvin & Hobbes ( Couldn't have said it better myself... umm probably why I didn't..:-p)

Your birth is a mistake you'll spend your whole life trying to correct.” -- Chuck Palahniuk

“Life's disappointments are harder to take when you don't know any swear words.” -Calvin & Hobbes (poor kid :-p)

When I was a kid I said to my Father one afternoon, "Will you take me to the zoo?" He answered, "If the zoo wants you, let them come and get you." -- Jerry Lewis

“People think it must be fun to be a super genius, but they don't realize how hard it is to put up with all the idiots in the world.” - Calvin & Hobbes (sighhh!!!)

“Who was the first guy that look at a cow and said," I think that I'll drink whatever comes out of those things when I squeeze them?” - Calvin & Hobbes (hey! never thought about that)

“Well, remember what you said, because in a day or two, I'll have a witty and blistering retort! You'll be devastated THEN!” - Calvin & Hobbes (Happens to me too :-D)

“I am so clever that sometimes I don't understand a single word of what I am saying.” (hehehe)
Oscar Wilde s

“- "I've been thinking Hobbes --"
- "On a weekend?"
- "Well, it wasn't on purpose..."”
Calvin & Hobbes

“Dad, how do soldiers killing each other solve the world's problems?” (yeah how?? :-?)
Calvin & Hobbes

“I laugh, I love, I hope, I try, I hurt, I need, I fear, I cry. And I know you do the same things too, So we're really not that different, me and you.” Colin Raye s

“Don't walk away! I'm trying to apologize you dumb noodleloaf!” (Can't think of a better way to apologize :-p)
Calvin & Hobbes

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Adam and Eve

I am sick and tired of people blaming Eve for all the evils in the world.

If Eve asked Adam to eat the forbidden fruit.. why did Adam not say No? Could he not speak or did God forget to give him a brain?

It is my considered opinion that Adam had probably always wanted to eat the forbidden fruit but was too spineless to incur the wrath of God. So the first chance he got to put the blame on poor Eve and eat the fruit too... he jumped for it.

Funny how from the time of creation till date the Adams are still blaming the Eves for everything.

What say gals????

Saturday, August 12, 2006


Nothing quite spoils a weekend like being given work on friday evening 4.30, when you are just packing up and leaving.You can't leave the work and go home as it is gonna haunt you and spoil all the weekend plans and you are just not in the mood to work right away...hey its a friday evening after all. Totally Inhuman!!! It should be illegal to be given work after friday and before monday noon (a day I absolutely love to hate)

Adding insult to injury the people at offshore (india) have a looong weekend of 5 DAYS and we just have a 2 day weekend... *sniff*

I am sooo Jealous ...*wahhhh*

Friday, August 04, 2006

A rose by another name…

There is a phrase in English Language “ A rose by another name”, which means describing the same thing by a different name or in a different way.
But when you land up in US, a rose by another name could well be a … Cauliflower.

The language spoken in US is called American. The misinformed mistake it to be English. While they can be forgiven, for this language uses the English alphabets, and the spelling and pronunciation is also similar to English, the difference in meanings can be enormous

Something most innocently said could be misconstrued enough to spoil one’s name :-)
One has to be careful about even one’s gestures.
Add with it the variety of accents and you can be sure of facing some embarrassing time.

The first time a friend innocently told an American that she was living with another girl … she got a really weird stare, until her room mate hastened to add that they were actually sharing a two bedroom apartment.

When I accidentally kicked my friend when waiting in a queue, I at once touched her hand and apologized… she squirmed and explained to me that while this is the way we apologize in India, I better not touch any girls here. And since then I have noticed that people rarely touch each other, unless they are of the opposite sex. Sigh!!! Gutter-mind. What can I say? :-D

The first day in office I went for lunch and there was this very foreign (to me) looking guy with a chef hat behind the counter and I pointed out the veggie looking stuff on display to him. He made some garbled noises in a guttural voice. I gave him a blank look and stood there wondering if he were talking to me in Russian or Spanish, and thinking he probably did not understand what I was asking I pointed the food again. He made the same noises again and looked at me like I was an alien creature. I gave a helpless look and asked him if he could speak slowly as I could not follow him… so he slowly and patiently asked again… ‘Dogoordoeadere’…. (To go or to eat here). *phew* it took me three tries to understand English ne..American that the chef was speaking all along

Throw in a potpourri of Indian, Spanish, African, European, Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Middle Eastern languages and accents and speaking becomes a regular adventure.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

oooh! My poor aching feet!

The american women fascinate me. Oh wow! they are all some kind of, i don't know, shall we call it gymnasts, tight rope walkers, whatever but their balance is mind blowing

You have to see to believe the kind of heels these women wear here. Forget walking... they actually run on them. :-o

The shoes are soo high, one probably needs someone to boost them up just to put the shoes on.

I swear, I spent almost 2 hours at the airport,last weekend just staring at womens feet, while waiting for my flight. while the feet looked very pretty, all high heeled, I could almost hear them screaming for mercy. Oooh!!! the poor things probably feel like they have been put into a grinder when the heels are finally removed.

It is not just the height of the heels that intrigue me, but the fact that they are almost always stilletos. Any mugger who comes within range of these fatal attractions might find himself gutted. Great weapons, pretty looking and not at all good for health.

Must be my pessimistic bent of mind, but everytime i saw a girl run wearing a 3 inch stilleto, I kept wincing thinking of what would happen if she slipped... *ouch*

I love heels myself, after all which girl doesn't. But anything over one inch and with radius less than half an inch makes me walk with my feet crossed :-)

Nevertheless, the next time I enter a shoe shop I am definitely going to try one of these deadly beauties. So would someone please bring a pair of crutches please!!!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Chivalry.. not dead

While girls do not look for it in a guy, it still makes us feel very special when one shows us the courtesy.I am sorry to say India is not conducive to chivalry. Not unless the guys have had unusual parents or they have spent some time out in the western countries.

It is not that girls cannot open their doors or move their own chairs. Most of us neither expect nor wait for someone to help us with these things.

Anyways what I am getting to here is that I see a young american everyday morning in the bus. If he has a seat and any woman near him is standing, he always calls them and offers it to them. Needless to say all the regular women passengers in the bus have a smile for him.

Reminded me of the guys in our Pallavan transport who used to sit in the ladies seat and close their eyes whenever a lady asks them to get up.

It seems second nature to most of the men here to hold the doors open when they see a lady coming.
The other day i saw this guy coming up the stairs loaded with things. I held the door open for him and he was like 'no no ma'am, you first' .. and held the door for me and thanked me too.

The desi guys here too have adapted that style, which is very nice.

But I am probably being perverse...for amidst all these very polite chivalrous people, I still miss my Chennai rudeness. :-)


I was walking down the corridor, woolgathering as usual, when this american gentleman came to me and said 'you are pretty'. I was shocked. I mean here is a guy I only know by sight but have never talked to and he suddenly calls me and compliments me... Could he be hitting on me? naaa.. he was quite old and dignified for that. So thinking that these americans were real nice people, i smiled and thanked him nicely.

He again stopped me and said 'You are pretty'. Confused, I said thanks again.

Looking even more confused than I, he said "Are you pretty?"...

Only then I realised he was asking if my name was 'Pretty'. Abashed I shook my head 'no', smiled sheepishly and walked back to my seat without looking back...

The old guy was, needless to say, grinning.

Friday, July 21, 2006

I’m a princess.

Is it not a wonder how a kind word, from even a stranger, can make an otherwise dreary dull day into a bright one?

Oh! People will tell you that making a day good and bad is all in our mind set and all that blah blah. Good to listen… Just does not happen!

Today dawned rather weirdly with my bro getting our time differences mixed. He called me at 4.00 AM and I was so groggy I was probably blabbering. Then I over slept, ran to get the bus. Came to office to find my Phone Voice mail had not yet been reset and all my voice mails have been going to another voice mailbox. The security calls me to say he has been having my access card for over 10 days and if I do not get it immediately he was going to give it away.

Needless to say, I ran down to get the access card. I was waiting at the elevator lobby when this lady came to me and said that the way my Dupatta was flowing behind me when I walked was very pretty … and that it made me look like a princess :-)

Oh yeah! That brightened my day. Suddenly it did not seem such a boring day. I did not feel like an alien in a different country. Not some one who dresses different from everyone else… I was some one better…

I was a princess!!!

(ok I am exaggerating a wee bit here... but it still felt good :-))

Buses Here... (Travelogue)

I heard somewhere that the local transport system in India and especially in TamilNadu is one of the best in the world. I have always had great admiration for the TN bus services, especially the conductors. How they remember the exact amount everyone gives and tender the correct change back is awe-inspiring.

The same cannot be said for the buses here at US. The buses almost always go only in a straight line down one end of the road to the other. If we need to go down a perpendicular road, then we have to get down and catch another bus.

The bus fare is not based on the distance one travels. It is same whether you plan to go from end of town to the other or just down to the next stop. Therefore they have no need for a conductor. They just have a machine into which one puts the necessary coins. If you have a bus pass (which one can get at any super market) you just show it to the bus driver, who makes a note in some machine.

As there are no conductors, there is a cord running all the way through the bus and if any one wants to get down, they have to pull the cord, something like a conductor whistling for the bus to stop. There are display boards that might or might not let you know which bus stop we are approaching. So we have to keep our eyes peeled for the road names hanging on the signal corners or we might miss the stop. Remember there is no different rate for different distances, so no one cares where you get down and no conductor to let you know which stop you have reached.

The bus stops are always at the signals in cross roads. So the bus stops are called by the name of the two cross roads meeting at the bus stop… for e.g.: 8th street and Normandie Ave.

Funnily enough most of the bus drivers I saw were women. Made my heart feel good to see them.

Unlike our buses at Chennai, these buses will not stop if they have people standing in it. No hanging out of the buses, so be ready to cool your heels until one of the buses deign to stop. There are two kinds of buses here too like our LSS and ordinary. One stops at all stops and one only at specific places and is faster.

Amazingly polite people (made me a little uneasy and suspicious when strangers wished me), the travelers in the bus always wish the driver when getting in and thank them while getting out. I am still getting the hang of this though.

A note before I sign off. Do not depend on buses if you are not going to be in downtown. Yahan sirf Car chaltha hai... and kya car hain... Man! i have been drooling over them.. and the bikes (read motorcycles) are just outta the world

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Two kinds of people

During the induction meeting at my first company, my project lead told us all new "bakras" to not work hard but to work smart. Now that sounded quite fancy and i was duly impressed. But i sure didn't understand what working smart meant. It was only later with a little experience that I understood that...

There are two kinds of people in this world, the smart ones and the dumb ones.
The dumb ones are the idiots with the Worker Ant syndrome. They work and slog and kill themselves to do the given task and quietly fade away into the background thinking that their work would speak for itself.... idiots, as I already said. But the positive thing is that everyone loves them. (Who does not love a Bakra huh?!)

Then there are the smart ones...Don't be mistaken... these people work hard too, at things like apple polishing, getting credit for other people's work, playing politics etc. They can create an impression of having the whole world on their shoulders and only when they vacate the position, can we really know, how small the world is... :-p. No one can make mountain out of molehills better than them.
Not the most loved ones, they get their work done and reap great benefits.

Personally I have great respect for the latter and I have been working towards becoming smart... not in the least bit successfully. But I will persevere :-)

PS: *Phew* feels good to be catty. Saw some people play politics and could not say anything to them... so this was the next best option. :-)

Friday, July 14, 2006

Be careful what you wish for...

*phew* I am back into action...not as regularly as i would like to, but in action nevertheless :-)

Some very smart person in China once said 'Be careful what you wish for or you might get it"... very very smart person whoever she was...

So hey here I am in US and feeling terribly homesick. The travel was funny as hell... it was not funny then ofcourse. The first leg of the journey was in Indian airlines and it was my first flight ever. It felt more like going in the train than a plane. But for some reason i was grinning like crazy when the plane took off.

My idea of a personal hell was my last leg of the journey.. 13 hours of journey. My business class seat got downgraded to economy and they only had a middle seat. Think of 13 hours sitting squeezed between two people not being able to move this way or that and the kid sitting beside you constantly puking and the one in front of you constantly crying. But the last straw was when it was time for dinner and they said they do not have any veggie food as i had not confirmed it at the airport.. "Hello? I did not even know I was supposed to confirm that".Had to make do juices and stuff like that.

But eventually ended up here and started work the night after i landed reeling with Jet lag. Most of the people at work speak tamil and its like being back in chennai. The buses here need a special mention and i shall post separately on that.Meanwhile i did manage to get lost inside my apartment complex and lock myself out of the dressing room .. hehehe..

Its one helluva learning experience, especially for people like me who have never had to do one little thing by themselves :-)

The one thing that still daunts me is cooking... Lets see what the future has in store for me there...

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Too many cooks...

*BANG BANG BANG*... in case you are wondering, thats just me banging my head on the wall.
Ever wondered why we have this tendency to share similar experiences and if possible one-up the others whenever we hear of any incident.

I had the misfortune to see what happens when there are too many cooks around.
Many relatives had come over to bid me adieu... all well meaning folks and absolutely caring.

So here I was sitting amidst them and talk went all over and came back to my flying abroad. To add to my further misfortune most of them had been abroad at one time or other and what began as an advice giving session ended up as who-has-had-the-worst-experience and who-knows-best.

Half an hour down the lane and I was literally shaking with fear and had almost decided not to step out of the house for the next decade or so.
Mom finally took pity on me and pulled me out of the melee... but I am still reeling...


ps: Hey this is my 50th post... :-D

Friday, June 30, 2006

Memoirs of Geisha

I generally do not comment on any single book I read. This is coz I can never compare and contrast between them. I love them all, bad ones, good ones, funny ones, real life ones, action , romance, sentimental, thriller... Give me a book and my life is made and if it is a book I have never read before I am in heaven.

I won't say "Memoirs of Geisha" was an unputdownable book.... it took me over 3 weeks to finish the 500 pages .
It is not the kind of book I would choose to have read voluntarily but a friend had mailed me the book and I was baised againt it even before starting it. As it went against my grain not to read a book in my possession, I did.

I was surprised by the gentle sensitivity, especially as it was written by a guy. I liked it. It left me with that dazed feeling that I generally get when I read some really good book.

The smooth flow from the youth, innocence and naivete of a young beautiful girl from an obscure village in Japan, to her disillusionment and acceptance into and of the world she is sold to and how she still keeps her outlook and romanticsm fresh despite the obstacles thrown by life and becomes a famous Geisha and more importantly a good person, was just beautiful... sigh!!!

I am flying

I mean seriously flying, ohmigosh!, for the first time in life, alone and to a distant continent. While I am excited, I am also so strung up with nerves, i would probably twang if someone touched me :-p

I have been getting some rather weird advices and blessings. One person even adviced to me to search for a groom there and bring him along, rather than trouble my parents.. hehehe... needless to say, my parents were not happy

Thousand and one things to do and buy. Too many suggestions and not sure which one to follow. Everything in a muddle at home. Learning to cook in the few days left ... its absolutely crazy and i am loving every minute that i don't hate

Anyways will write more on my travels once I reach there and get a li'l settled.

Mean while wish me luck! :-)

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Ah'm Worrid

D'ya know that chennai is one of the most polluted city in the country, if not the world? The perungudi dumping area especially is said to be emitting toxic fumes that are harming the health's of people living around there. A NGO dealing in environment has reported that chennai produces 32 times more toxic wastes than is safe for human consumption... :-(. The government is still ahhh... looking into the matter and its report will be ready only by august end. Till then maybe we can be more careful with our wastes, such as plastics and other non-biodegradable stuff.

The governments in state and central have got an agenda to which they are strictly adhering to. This agenda includes taking revenge on the opposition parties, undoing any good done by the opposition, implementing unwanted schemes, destroying future of the country, taking credit for schemes not implemented by them, and of course making money and scratching each other's back. Its not like the governments before this one were saints, but they were definitely not this blatant. Our country is probably the only democratic country where the people's wishes are absolutely ignored... :-p

On a lighter note, Aishwarya Rai is gonna act as Umrao Jaan in the latest JP dutta's flick.

Its one of my all time favourite movies and I absolutely adore Rekha in that movie. The songs in the it are absolutely tops. I was told Rekha's dancing was not upto par in the movie. Its a good thing I know nothing about dancing, coz as far I am concerned Rekha was just right.

Well, here is wishing the very best to Aish. and hoping she is able to match Rekha's performance

PS: I was unable to add any pictures for the last few days due to some techie error... *phew* that seems to have got resolved.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Campus interview - Nostalgia

The good ol days from college pass before my eyes as I view the ocean of hopeful interviewees sitting in front of me, looking at me like I am some hotshot and treating me with such reverance and respect. It embarasses me even as it amuses me.

I had gone to a campus interview yesterday!

We, the panelists, were all asked to come to the auditorium where the kids were all waiting to be introduced to us. As soon as we entered the hall, the whole student body got up and for a startled moment I just stood there not sure what to do. That was when all my college memories came rushing at me. I too remembered the respect ingrained in us, to stand whenever a teacher entered. It pained me to see all the hopeful faces, for i knew i was going to have to reject some of them. But I was also soothed, for i knew i was going to select some of them and hence change the course of their lives, a very powerful feeling and an even greater responsiblity.

I knew, when i sat at the interview panel, exactly how the kid sitting opposite me felt. I too had sat in their seat and looked up at an interviewer with hope shining bright in my heart. Knowing this was where my life was going to change and a new path was going to open for me. But what I did not realise then was that the interviewer was a human too with pretty much the same insecurities and fears.

It was the first campus interview I was part of. The first candidate I got was a EEE student. God! i think i was more nervous than the kid. Having been a computer student myself I had absolutely no clue what to ask him. I was all prepared for C and C++ and Java, but what the heck do I know about electrical and electronics. I hemmed and hawed and dredged what little i could remember from my UG and got through with it *phew*

There were quite a few funny incidents that I was planning to share with you all, but somehow now it seems cruel to do so for it would be too much like I was making fun of the kids.

So let me just finish it by saying I had great fun and they presented me with a wrist watch for my efforts (a gents wrist watch at that ... :-p)

ps: I didn't realise what an avid blogger i had become until it struck me that i was writing this blog in my mind, even as I was interviewing the kids...

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Autos and I

Every man, woman and child of Chennai has an on-going affair with the auto walas of this noble city. They are the guys we absolutely love to hate. If we are in a temper then what better way to vent it than by arguing with them… and Oh! They love arguing with us too… so no regrets please. If they are unable to get you to argue then they’ll grumble and grumble until you just wanna scream and jump out of the running auto or better still push him off.

So what do they argue about? The primary topic is the auto rate, of course, but politics, movies, stars, the poor status of India, the horrible driving of other vehicles are other hotspots. Oh Yes! All autos are equipped with a meter here too, but that is strictly a decoration piece and if ever an auto guys asks you to pay what ever amount the meter shows….BEWARE!!!

Let me tell you how a person in Chennai travels in an auto from point x to y.
We stop an empty auto on the road and give our destination, immediately the auto wallah names an atrocious amount and then its up to us to bargain it down to something that might edge towards reasonable. Some of the favourite bargaining chips are - one-ways popping up on the roads, the traffic being heavy or traffic being light and hence not being able to get another passenger on their way back, rain, dharna’s and best of all hikes in petrol prices. If 1 re increases per litre of petrol, there is a corresponding raise of 1 re per KM at least. 1 Ltr petrol might give 25 Km mileage but we are not talking logistics here, if there is hike in petrol, there will be a hike in auto rates too, so don’t ask questions.

Once the bargaining is done and both sides are satisfied, there will generally be a monologue on any of the above said favourite topics If you actually involve yourself and start responding, be ready to hang on to dear life, coz the auto wallah is going to get very emotional and start gesturing. This is the time you start remembering all those prayers you were taught by mom when you were two years old.

On the other hand there was this incident when the auto guy agreed to a price but was not happy with it. He grumbled and mumbled and sniped at me hoping to get some raise out of me. I had my mouth shut (and with great difficulty), until he could bear it no longer and he actually stopped by one of the petrol pumps, jumped out and asked me to get out and find the cost of petrol and then tell him how I could give him so less a money. How I got back home is a story for another time.

In fact most travel guidebooks on Chennai will have a mention of its famous Auto wallahs warning foreigners to never pay the asked price if travelling by auto.

Chennaites are so immune to bargaining with their autowallahs that it just does not make their day, if they have not argued with one. It is customary to bargain even if a rare driver asks for the correct price.
The last time I had gone to b’lore, I went from the railway station to BTM layout, a distance of 13 KM by auto. A distance, that would have made the heart of a Chennai auto guy to go pitty pat and ask for 200 bucks at least. But here was the driver in B’lore, who put on his meter, which, to my amazement and crushing disappointment, showed just 75 Rs. Now I could not argue or bargain with such a nominal rate, could I? Oh! I felt so sad.:-(

Sigh! What can I say; the auto wallas of my city have spoiled me for any other autos outside.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Something better than nothing?

I had gone to the central station to get some tickets. Y’all have probably been to the huge multi storied structure where they dish out tickets, right next to the railway station itself. Well anyways, so here I was, and looking around the place like a country mice newly come to the city.
There was probably some big shot coming in that day or maybe there was some threat…but result was that there were loads of Chennai city’s finest all armed to the teeth, moving around aimlessly.

Armed to the teeth, I mean they would probably be better of using their teeth rather than the ancient outdated rifles, which are probably found museums all over the world. I am almost sure that other than India, no where else do the police use a rifle with a wooden butt and a bayonet that looks like it came directly from the British Raj times.
I am not a proponent of violence, but what does a person do with a rifle like that other than look ridiculous? It probably allows 2 bullets after which it needs a reload…well! It can be used as a club quite effectively too.
Will it really help them against the terrorists or whoever, when they guard our head honchos? Those guys who will be armed with state of art weapons?
How many movies have we seen where the villains start shooting with their Kalashnikovs and what-nots while the poor constable is still trying to get his unwieldy rifle to aim?

Hmm! Then again seeing as to how most of our head honchos are their own worst enemies, there really is no need for a security for them, except as a boost to their ego.
That being said, maybe they should at least give these people something that looks like it means business rather than just plain ridiculous.

Oh well! What do I care… if everyone is happy, let them use a Tommy gun too…:-)

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

I saw it today.

I have heard about it a million times from friends and relatives and seen it a million times in TV or movies. But somehow there was still that innate belief that chennai city's finest could not be bribed. Naive, you say! Yes, it was! But there was still that little kernel of hope in me that all those people were wrong.

I was coming down the road today when this traffic inspector stopped a lorry. It was not violating any traffic laws as far as I could see. Anyways the inspector asked the lorry to stop and harrassed the guys inside for sometime and when the driver pulled out some money... I was naively waiting for him to scream or do something for attempting to bribe a city official so publicly. Instead he got the money from the driver and sent them along their merry way.

Hmm! felt like a child being told there is no santa claus or tooth fairy ..:-(

Saturday, May 27, 2006

All work and no play...

Do you know that over 200 kids kill themselves in India every year during the month of may?
The amount of pressure these children are in, are amazing to say the least, and 90% of the pressure is from their parents. The parents want their children to be such all rounders that the children have no time to enjoy their childhood.
Other than school, they are forced to attend tuitions, music, dance, instruments, painting classes. No time in between all this to play.
Infact I know of parents who do not let their children to even boot their computer, because they do the ultimate sin of playing games in the computer or listening to music. These kids are not allowed to do anything that may deviate them from their studies. They are puppets in the hands of the parents who have already charted their life and that is the only timetable they ever want to see their children follow.
Some of these children are not even in their 10th or 12th. Even imagining these kids in their higher classes makes me squirm.

I know parents want to give their children the best of futures and with the reservation the comptetion is very high. But not at the cost of their present. If children are not allowed to enjoy their innocence and childhood now, of what use is it to have a bright empty future? Don't they remember their own free and happy childhood?

This kind of pressure is not only harmful to the children, but they might grow up with almost no exposure to the outside world, and might even get repressed and have mental problems later in their life.

When I asked one mother why she does not let her daughter play, the mom very proudly told me, that her daughter not only plays but plays well too. Infact she had got prizes in long jump. Yes! Good for her! But what about playing hop scotch with her friends or oh! i don't know, playing pranks and stuff like that? The mom was seriously shocked that I could suggest something like that.. she was like "how can I allow her to waste time like that, she should be studying in that time... she will be in her 10th class soon and has to study hard to be an engineer". When I asked the daughter what she wanted to do, she gave me a listless smile and said "I want to be a doctor" only to have her mom pounce on her and tell her that there was no way she was becoming a doctor.

My heart goes out for such children. When will these people understand that exams are not the be all end all of life. Getting a little less score does not make their children any less. Please understand that there is more to life. Even without parental pressure, the kids are already weighed down under the heavy mettle of peer pressure and competition.

Its also unfortunate that the whole nation's educational system places such high importance to exams, leaving the chidren no other recourse.

I cannot help but feel grateful to my parents. I never had to face this kind of pressure. My 10th score was not the best on earth but my parents were still proud of me. They knew that when the time came I would make my life to my satisfaction and I knew I could always depend on their support for what ever I decide.

Education is a delight, something to be savoured. Children have a right to enjoy it, rather than have it stuffed down their gullet

All work and no play makes Jack a very dull boy! Please allow Jack to play too, mom and dad!

Monday, May 22, 2006

To you gals!

The story starts 18-20 years back when three little girls joined the same school. They played, fought, shared experiences and grew together.
Years flew and two girls moved out of the school, but the friendship only grew stronger.
Then came the colleges, each moving towards different streams and different ambitions. Each had their own friends now, their own circles, but that was only besides each other.
Finally the day came when one was to get married and move out to US. Much as it broke their hearts, it was the way of life and move out she did, towards a very happy life. Now they could all meet only once a year but, thanks to modern technology, they were definitely still in touch and best of friends. Couple of years down the lane the second girl fell in love. It was great fun for all three of them what with all the chupke chupke stuff. Finally she too got happily married and moved to Europe.

Back to the present day.

One of the girls is me. My friends came back from the different corners of the world last week and we all met. It had been six months since I saw one of them and almost a year since I saw the other. We had only one day to be together, coz the day one friend arrived, the other was leaving. It was so lovely seeing them both again, totally seamless, almost like we had never been away. We could still yak away about anything on earth and knew almost everything about each other. Yes! We do owe a lot to the new techies, but I would like to think we would be just this way even without emails and chats

So what is the big deal, you ask?! There are many men who have been friends for many decades, right!
The big deal is that a girl’s life veers after marriage, most of her decisions are based on her new family and husband, while this is not so for guys. I am not blaming the husbands here, it is something the women choose for themselves.

I would be lost without my two friends. The first time we all went to a movie alone, all those beautiful times at the beach. The way we could laugh about everything and nothing. The way we knew the other would be always with and for us. Every memory of mine of the last 20 years or so is intricately woven with them.

N , P, Love you gals!

Thursday, May 18, 2006

I don't blame them

I did not want to come back to this topic, since I had already written about it... but could not resist. More so, since after ages I seem to have got my writing juices flowing again.

DMK came in and one of the first things it did was put in a rule saying all castes people can be priests in temples. Like this is the most earth-shattering decision that TN people were dying for and it is going to change the lives of all the "low-caste" people and make them creme-de-la-creme. Next thing we know he is going to bring in reservation into priesthood too. TN dya know, has the highest reservation of 69% despite the SC ruling. Selective secularism I guess, after all only the upper class hindu's are bad.

As one of my friend had said in his blog, I have loads of friends who probably belong to the lower classes. But I don't know nor do I care what caste they are. They are just friends, people...nothing more nothing less

I saw this interview with a doctor from chennai who says he completed all his education with the help of the reservation system, (I sure am never going to this guy for any ailments I might get) and expects his children also to have this system as a crutch. Aren't we making these guys lazy and spoiling them by saying don't tax ur poor brain buddy...u don't have to do anything at all we will take care of u as long as u live. Why does this doctor not think that now that he has the necessary education, he can bring his children up without the reservation?

I can understand why the politicians want to keep the caste system alive. God knows! they don't care a fig for the indian masses. The doddering old so-and sos are happy as long as they have some hold to manipulate vote banks and starts riots. But how can so many of the so-called educted people also agree with them? One idiot actually asks "if we can have reservation in primary education, why can't we have it in higher education?" sigh!.

Ok so the upper classes oppressed the lower classes many years ago and we hate all upper class people. By the same formula should we not hate the british too, after all they oppressed us for over 400 years. There is a saying " One gets angry only where its effect is felt"...such as on the vulnerable.

There are 500 students trying for one seat in the AIIMS and IMAs and over 70 students for a single seat in the IITs, IIMs and IIScs. If we give 50% reservation of this to the OBCs then the ratio doubles and the worst part is that the OBCs and SC/ST students can also compete in the left over seats. Any person revolting against this will be lathi charged and maimed because India is the largest democracy that respects the rights of her people.

I got this quote by Dr.Kiran, Junior resident, AIIMS as a forward

" The government cannot hide its inadequacies in providing equal opportunities to the under priviliged in rural areas by increasing the reservations. They have ruled the country for so many decades and if in this time they are not able to provide equalilty in primary and secondary education for in dian citizens they cannot mask their failure by providing reservations at each and every level. Its ridiculous. The whole issue of reservations was a political gimmic of the present govt to garner votes.

Its time that things are not taken for granted by any one. Let it be a senior minister police or anyone else. Whole of our nation needs to get aware of the amount of hardwork and sacrifice we put to achieve our dreams. We should not allow anyone to make a mockery of our struggle in future"

No wonder scores of people run away from India as soon as possible. I don't blame them one bit.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Sauten - Oh Yuck!!!!

Yeah the movie!!!! If u have not seen this movie... Please don't...
Then again if u are someone I don't like... i think u should really watch this movie.
Absolutely worth ur time :-p

Got this movie as a freebie CD (just now elections in TN got over... but i am still not over it :-)), coz of course no one would pay to get this movie
Anyways the name sounded familiar and i thought it was familiar coz someone had said it was good.

Little did i realise that i had actually read somewhere that only people with death wishes should see it.

I am still not sure what the actors were trying to do, but what ever it was, it was not acting.

The story goes like this the hero (it took me sometime to realise the creepo was the hero) has an affair with this rich old guy's young wife and then he falls in love with the old guy's daughter (acted by Kiran of gemini fame...ooh yuck!)... and i am guessing he eventually marries her too, being so chaste and heroic and all that.

God knows I could not last more than 20 minutes (and I will have u know that i am extremely awed and proud of my tolerance level) during which I fast forwarded through almost the full movie. The only reason I did not break the cd was coz it was not mine

God!!! I have heard of lousy movies but never one this bad.
There must be loads of filthy rich people who are ready to throw good moeny after bad money... how else can we explain films like this getting produced.


Friday, May 12, 2006

New training

I have just returned from this smashing program for leaders. It sure was instrumental for me to get to know me better. I was able to realise why people behave the way they do and how wrongly we interpret others when we view them from perspective and vice versa.

Infact let me share a beautiful example of active listening. check out the sentence and what is the first thing that comes to your mind... " The Man was lying in the bed unconscious when the masked man sank a knife into his stomach"... Be honest! you thought murder right? it could be surgery too :-)

It even taught us, some of the ways to be a li'l hypocritical to get our job done ;-).. Had three days of fun and came back to work dragging my feet.

PS: Wrote this blog three weeks back... too lazy to complete it... so here it is.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Duh uh!

So here I was zinging by the beach road, the Marina beach road to be more particular, at 12.30 in the afternoon. Its a pleasant 43 degrees and a cool breeze was blowing in from the sea. A breeze that promised to make people sorry for having the temerity to step outside. The AC in my car did not seem to be able to keep up with the heat outside. I turn my head and... gape.

I am not sure if I should be proud of the sturdy nature of chennaites or feel sorry for them. Ever heard of the Medieval torture of putting people in hot hot sand? well! there are people crazy enough in chennai who voluntarily run around the beach on a summer afternoon.
Not just lovers (which i can understand, coz none of their parents would suspect their offsprings of being foolish enough to invite sunstroke by necking in hot sun and so they are safe out there)..but even old people, groups of youths...and nary an umbrella on sight.

Walk on the hot sand... ok maybe they are trying to come out of the beach... but why would anyone want to actually sit and get their backside boiled. Am I missing something here... are their backsides made of some special material?
And funnily enough most times these people escape any kind of harm... but then God always does takes care of children and fools :-)

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Chennai, My Love!

Temperatures are soaring and humidity is unspeakable. You cannot go out for fear of sunstroke. you cannot stay in for humidity takes care of it in the shade. They say the sea breeze has set in and whatever breeze it is, is burning the skin off your bones.Time is moving as s l o w as thick molasses... so slow in fact that you want to scream. Its weekend and there is nothing much to do. you don't want to go to office coz this is the first day of rest after a long week, except there is no rest to be found. You are dripping and the water coming out of the tap ranges from HOT to lukewarm. There is nothing good in TV. The movies just don't seem to entice. You are too restless for magazines or books and your friends are not online or around.

Suddenly the office with its 24 hours AC seems like a good idea. But you look out of the window and the heat waves make you gulp and settle back down. There is no where to go and nothing to do. You feel cooped up and tempers rise. You are almost desperate to find some one to vent your temper, except they are also in the same boat as you.

You know you love this place, but suddenly can't think of why? You just want to run and maybe hide inside the fridge, ahh! but EB has cut off the electricity for maintenance work.

Sigh!!! Welcome to Summer in Chennai!

Thursday, April 27, 2006

My say

-There is a cyclone forming in the Bay of Bengal, and y'all can give the credit where the credit is due... which would be “yours truly”. I have been coming to office on time for the past... (Please note the number here)... 10 days... and I was expecting rain but God, I guess, was seriously overwhelmed :-)

- From Cain and Abel to Pravin n Pramod... nothing surprising there. But I do like Mahajan, was sure he would be the next PM for us. Now here is a guy who is actually sane, educated, does not knuckle under very easily and *gasp* willing to take responsibility for his mistakes, and is still in politics:-0.

- The Quota system is creating more and more furor among students... 5 medical colleges have gone on strike... what is laudable is that there are many OBC/Sc/ST students also, who tired of being called reservation candidates and generally considered dumb, have joined the strike. Yay!!!

- Vikram Budhi (poor guy) was arrested in US for having written something that might provoke Iraqis’ to assassinate Bush... yeah right!!!!*gag*

- In ‘We the people’, this week's debate was ‘Are beauty pageants relevant in the current society'...not sure why they make such a big fuss out of it ... after all physical beauty like brains are God given, so those who have use and those who don’t ...teach :-p...
One significant thing did strike me though... how come all these beauty queens who worship at the pedestal of beauty always claim to have mother Teresa as their role model and not Aishwarya Rai or Sushmita Sen during the QA session?...The guys were very sad that they do not get as much exposure as the women models :-)

- The only sensible party for the election seems to be Lok Paritran and somehow they don't seem to be very serious in their endeavor... or maybe it’s just me.

- Lathika Saran is the country’s first woman’s police commissioner of a metropolitan city… Go Girl!!!! (Got this one from a friend just now :-))

- How can we forget Nepal… after all the trouble India has gone through, one would think it would have learnt to keep its nose out of other people’s business. Didn’t we get annoyed when US put its very long nose into Indo-Pak business and the Pokhran project? Wish some one would tell India to stuff it and mind its own business. If Nepal wants democracy, it knows how to go about it.

Sigh!!! Gotta get back to work. Chao!

Monday, April 17, 2006

Do I look dumb?

Stop! don't answer that question... I can see the evil look in your eyes and I know what the answer is gonna be :-)...

Anyways the title of the blog came after reading the election manifestos of some of the parties that are contesting in the assembly election in TN.

Some of the parties have such ridiculous manifestos that if their intention was to gain popularity, they have succeeded beyond expectation. Oh! its nothing y'all have not already heard of... one party promises 2 Rs. per Kg of "Quality" rice (I hear they made a similar promise in another assembly election in the 60s and won, so this must be tried and tested method) and of course free color TV for all families, that do not already have one, for women’s recreation and general knowledge... Mein Gott!!! what an earth shattering matter... what ever will those poor families do without a TV? Hmm!! Dya think they will also provide cable connection???

Another party promises 15kg rice free per month for every poor family. What is the definition of poor here? Don't a majority of people in TN live in poverty?... i will leave the exact statistics to this particular party leader... :-)

But wait! I went one level above checked out some manifestos in the national level. One party actually promised to grant special arms to one sect of people to defend themselves against social oppression. (Who will saves us from them then?) ... Thank the good lord that party did not win Another manifesto promised to build a memorial on the Babri masjid site.... (yeah! lets not let anyone forget that incident ever)

But then ridiculousness and absurdity is not the sole property of India... Politics in other countries are even more funny… I read somewhere that one contestant even promised longevity of life. I refuse to comment on my favorite politician, though, coz he was actually re-elected for his dumbness.

World over, though, barring the ridiculous and a few country/state/city/ panchayat related issues… If u have read one manifesto, you have read them all.

Oh and all this talk of elections reminded me of this bit of news I saw. President Musharraf has elected himself as the president on Pakistan for another 5 year term… Now that’s wat I call an election …hehehe

Ok! Coming back to our assembly elections… where are the parties gonna get the money to make good their promises? Aw right! No pitying looks! I know they are not gonna do any such thing. But it sure is fun to see them stabbing each other and calling names… of course sometimes it gets downright indecent. When they go overboard with abusive language, don’t these people understand that it reflects on their own character? Oops! I know… what character? And coalition.. wow! I will stab u in the back today and lick ur boots tomorrow… jeez!!! Anything goes.

Now that brings me to my problem… who do I vote for… each one is promising such “lucrative” things … sigh!!!!! :-p

Saturday, April 15, 2006


What can I say, we are all very emotional people... especially us south indians.
We try our level best not to think with our minds ... actually we try our level best not to think. We thrive on giving our blind faith and following to all our stars (be it movie or politics).

Rajkumar was a great actor (never seen any of his movies myself), But hey he did die of natural causes like... old age perhaps? I can understand people grieving for him - yes. Coming in throngs to see his last journey - Yes! But killing and maiming others - NO.

What kind of grief kills others? if they felt that bad...shouldn't they have tried suicide! and he was not even related to them. How can they sleep without their conscience killing them? and did killing all these people bring the old man back to life? How does his death really change these people's life? Two months from now will they even remember him, except as an old star with some great acting skills?
One can be forgiven for being impulsive and jumping in without fore thought when there are extenuating circumstances but this reeks of murder to me.

End of december 2004, just after the Tsunami a rumour started here that a party leader had passed away. No one even waited to confirm the news... rioting started, cars were broken, shop windows smashed, and all offices, fearing for their employee safety, closed early. The leader, needless to say, was hale and hearty.

I shudder to think what would happen in TN when some of the famous ppl (read personalities-with-obsessive-following) pass on to their just rewards.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

I hate change :-(

I hate change ...hate it hate it hate it...x-(
I don't care what all the self improvement books tell... i still hate change
i am being shifted to a new office... a huge one with the latest machines and thingamajicks... Every one has their own fones and its all the latest and best and I absolutely... HATE it.

My old office is... well... old, we don't have the latest machines here... and it is quite small ... compared to the new one... But it has personality...
Ok! the true reason i am bellyaching is that... I like being a big fish in a small pond... once into my new office I lose my Individuality and *shudder* become a non-entity...
For god's sake! i went into this new office and promptly got lost... had to get help to get out of the place...
I can't just turn up at my friend's cubicles whenever i feel bored... i will be among strangers...
and the damn place makes me claustrophobic... grrrr!!!!

I hate change

Tuesday, April 11, 2006


Not really a laughing matter... but in this fast paced life of today, people seem to be having mid life crisis in their mid to late 20s :-p

Monday, April 10, 2006

Reserve me a place...

Do they have to corrupt everything they touch?
They are like the Type - A viruses, touch it and you are infected and probably dead in coupla days. I am talking about our lovely politicians of course, I generally don't comment on all the crazy things these guys do. But this time I think they have gone too far. Then again should I be surprised by a government that has Lalloo as the railway minister?

It’s the OBC reservation on all central universities that has my blood up and that too a total of 49.5% (22.5 % + 27%) reservation :-o.

What kind of a system lets a person fly through with hardly a pass mark into all kinds of reputed institutes because of the luck of their birth? Compromise on the money, but how can they compromise on the standard of education?
Even places like IITs and IIMs have not gone unmolested. Luckily they have already started their admission procedures and therefore have escaped this year.

Its like saying if u are born in one of the backward classes, then you will be a dumbo and cannot compete with the other classes, so we will let u go easy. Is that not an insult to the BC people too?

An old friend, who had studied in Orissa, tells me that unless I actually see the people in places like Assam and Mizoram and how they suffer I would not be able to understand how the reservation system helps. I still cannot agree with him.
I am very sympathetic towards their plight. But if the govt wants to help them let’s waive the fees for the students in poor financial straits (NOT based on class but their income) and give them free books etc to bring them on par with other students, but they should also write the entrance exams and get competitive scores to be admitted into any reputed institute.

NDTV (a channel that’s fast becoming my all time favourite) interviewed some 12th class kids. This kid sez that he used to study 14 hours a day when he was in 11th and now studies 16 hours a day, all this for the IIT entrance exams. How will this kid be affected if he loses (God forbid!!) by a point or two while a reservation candidate with hardly any score to speak of breezes through?

We are talking about life altering studies such as Engineering and medicine. Seriously, how much can we trust our lives with a person who never had to strain his brain to learn anything and is in a high post coz he was born in a backward class?

Says Bhim Sen Singh, Principal, Kirori Mal College.
"If the implementation of the quota system makes a difference for the children of leaders like Lalu Prasad Yadav and Ram Vilas Paswan, it is obviously not a good move. But we have been given orders and we have to follow it,"

Read the full article here…

Is nothing sacrosanct in this country anymore? Has merit no say? :-(