Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!!!

Christmas has always been a favourite time of mine. Though we don't celebrate christmas, it represents the start of the half yearly holidays in school, new dresses, friends to hang out with and basically whole days of fun. And more recently it still represents holidays , games at office (Here I have to expand a bit more and say that my mercenary heart was overflowing when we played chrisma chrischild at office (something I had always deplored as childish until this year) and I got gifts from my chris pa, chris child and my neighbour .. hehehe) and an excuse to shop (not that I need one) and a New Year to look forward to.

Its also the Tamil month of Marghazhi, which means getting up early to see the mist over everything and listening/ singing to thiruppavai and thiruvempavai songs (30 songs, one for each day of the month, praising Perumal and Sivan respectively) every morning. Every lady in the neighbourhood vying to create the most beautiful kolam and rangoli (and to draw them as early as possible so as to take up as much space in front of the gate, which would result in constraining the speace for the next house kolam) .

Its a time of beauty, with colourful lights and decorations all lit up in the evening sky, making even the most dreary place cheerful and something to look forward to and little oil lamps around the houses in the morning to welcome the day in. Winter being my favourite season, adds all the more cheer to a great time.

Today being the christmas eve, is also the Annual Kids day in office and there are screams, laughter and pattering feet in the otherwise very quiet atmosphere. Parents bursting with pride as they show off their children. Santa with his entourage of elves and children dancing down the aisle giving away candy and wishing everyone. And a gala function at the end with loads of prizes and fun galore to cap an otherwise eventful day.

And even more miraculous, my Scrooge McDuck of a Lead, actually smiled at me and said he understood my problem when I told him I would not be able to deliver my work on time.

And so while I goggle some more at the miracles happening around me.. Here is Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a Wonderful New year!!!! :-)

PS: That top foto was taken by me in Singapore coupla years back. Whole roads were decorated beautifully by lights. such as this one wishing 'Merry Christmas'. (Well! I just had to get that one out.. hehehe)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Bovine Angst

When I used to go to college, the OMR used to be THE Bovine Hangout. Middle of the road, pavement, sitting, standing, calves, bulls, cows, buffalos, you name it and we will have a variety there. Travelling down that road used to be a crazy experience. We could never be sure when a playful calf would end his life under the college bus tires.

Then at last an injunction was passed and all four legged creatures other than pets were banned within the city. Which means most of the bovines were moved out of the city.

Having given you the history, it annoyed me when I saw the strip in Tintin in Tibet, about the huge traffic jam in an Indian road, caused coz no one wanted to shoo the sacred cow which was blocking the traffic. But it really pissed me off when I saw something quite similar in Delhi – 6 movie. (Not that the movie was anything to write home about, but still it was taken by an Indian, for God’s sake!)

With that out! Every morning on the way to office, on this really busy road, I see a cow standing right at the center of the road. Everyday for about an hour, it calmly stands amidst the heavy traffic flowing around it, and no one bothers to shoo it.
I have often wondered why that is so.

Then I came to conclusion that most of these people are like me… Not blindly superstitious, just Lazy! :-)

Hey! We Indians are a superstitious lot, and we love our superstitions (Good, bad or ugly). But I do wish, people would not stick their explanations to our way of life.

Thursday, December 17, 2009


From its inception, the Zoozoo ads of Vodofone has captured everyone's notice and held on to their interest.
Personally, I adore them
For more folks like me .. this video, I found in youtube, might be of interest

Enjoy! :-)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Bond.. James Bond!!!

Almost over 3 years after its release I saw Daniel Craig as James Bond in Casino Royale yesterday and was very glad that I had not wasted 10 dollars to watch it in the theatres when it released.

Dear God! Have you seen the movie Pokkiri in Tamil or Telugu or Wanted in Hindi. Unwanted killing and violence and "goonda gardhi" through out the movie with no respite. That is how I felt when I saw Casino Royale and to an even greater extent "Quantum of Solace".

Daniel Craig (much against popular opinion amongst my friends) totally turns me off. The man has absolutely no panache, charm, verve or style to carry the character. He walks around stone faced, fighting, shooting, stabing, and blowing up people and property. He looks and acts more a thug than a double O agent.

And to boot, James Bond, the casanova extrodinaire, has a love interest and even attempts to quits his job to be with her... whoever has heard of a love-lorn, sleep deprived, drunk and sentimental James Bond?
As Scrooge would say "Bah! Humbug!"

Sean Connery! Now thats a Bond we can relate to and Pierce Brosnan too to an extent, but please not this guy.

PS: Though this post is about Craig, I would rather have Connery's foto in it than Craig :-)

The Female Of The Species

When the Himalayan peasant meets the he-bear in his pride,
He shouts to scare the monster who will often turn aside.
But the she-bear thus accosted rends the peasant tooth and nail,
For the female of the species is more deadly than the male.

When Nag, the wayside cobra, hears the careless foot of man,
He will sometimes wriggle sideways and avoid it if he can,
But his mate makes no such motion where she camps beside the trail -
For the female of the species is more deadly than the male.

When the early Jesuit fathers preached to Hurons and Choctaws,
They prayed to be delivered from the vengeance of the squaws -
‘Twas the women, not the warriors, turned those stark enthusiasts pale -
For the female of the species is more deadly than the male.

Man’s timid heart is bursting with the things he must not say,
For the Woman that God gave him isn’t his to give away;
But when hunter meets with husband, each confirms the others tale -
The female of the species is more deadly than the male.

Man, a bear in most relations, worm and savage otherwise,
Man propounds negotiations, Man accepts the compromise;
Very rarely will he squarely push the logic of a fact
To its ultimate conclusion in unmitigated act.

Fear, or foolishness, impels him, ere he lay the wicked low,
To concede some form of trial even to his fiercest foe.
Mirth obscene diverts his anger; Doubt and Pity oft perplex
Him in dealing with an issue – to the scandal of the Sex!

But the Woman that God gave him, every fibre of her frame
Proves her launched for one sole issue, armed and engined for the same,
And to serve that single issue, lest the generations fail,
The female of the species must be deadlier than the male.

She who faces Death by torture for each life beneath her breast
May not deal in doubt or pity – must not swerve for fact or jest.
These be purely male diversions – not in these her honor dwells -
She, the Other Law we live by, is that Law and nothing else!

She can bring no more to living than the powers that make her great
As the Mother of the Infant and the Mistress of the Mate;
And when Babe and Man are lacking and she strides unclaimed to claim
Her right as femme (and baron), her equipment is the same.

She is wedded to convictions – in default of grosser ties;
Her contentions are her children, Heaven help him, who denies!
He will meet no cool discussion, but the instant, white-hot wild
Wakened female of the species warring as for spouse and child.

Unprovoked and awful charges – even so the she-bear fights;
Speech that drips, corrodes and poisons – even so the cobra bites;
Scientific vivisection of one nerve till it is raw,
And the victim writhes with anguish – like the Jesuit with the squaw!

So it comes that Man, the coward, when he gathers to confer
With his fellow-braves in council, dare not leave a place for her
Where, at war with Life and Conscience, he uplifts his erring hands
To some God of abstract justice – which no woman understands.

And Man knows it! Knows, moreover, that the Woman that God gave him
Must command but may not govern; shall enthrall but not enslave him.
And She knows, because She warns him and Her instincts never fail,
That the female of Her species is more deadly than the male!

-Rudyard Kipling

Friday, December 11, 2009

Tid bits

=> Obama gets his nobel peace price errr... Prize. Why? I don't know. What did he do to help world peace or even US peace? I mean, other than a temperory seizure to bombing other countries? I Don't know.Now! what I would like to know is, what is the qualification to get a nobel prize? Money? power? Popularity or the lack of it? Coz I dont see the deserving getting it anyways.
(In case you people are interested this is what Nobel committee has to say about it )

=> TN's grand old man to retire from Politics in June 2010... hehehe
Hmm! guess he wants his children to have a chance at looting the state too (what a nice father!). What ever his future plans I sure wish he would stop travelling around the city during the peak hours. Got caught in traffic for more than 45 minutes today morning coz he was going somewhere... Grrrr!

=> Saw a hoarding outside a shop today, reading "Buy 1 shoe and get 1 free" . Not sure if it is good marketing strategy or bad english, but I definitely plan to investigate.

=> I had quiche (remember my fascination with exotic food). It was very unhealthy and obviously very tasty :-) .. I am still not able to pronounce it right.

=> Andhra all set to break up into pieces! Setting a precedence, as next Karaikal starts demanding. Reminds you of the pre-british time when all the kings were busy in-fighting paving way for the british to sneak in? Wonder who is going to sneak in now or maybe we can outright sell India to someone... say italy???

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Indian Adventure

"That looks fun!"
This was the phrase I kept hearing again and again last week. Why? My clients from abroad had come down for a week long visit.Lucky gal that I am :-P ! I got to take them shopping and site seeing (which consisted of the kapaleeswarar temple and a sweet shop next door)
Everything looked fun for them.

One person had come down to Mumbai some 10 years back and had got some silk pajamas and kurtha then. He wanted me to get him just the same thing now... wellll!!! When browsing around the shops he asked me why the men here wear these big clunky shoes, that they generally wear back home during peak winter when temperature was down to -40, when this was a sandal wearing weather. (I couldn't really answer, except its the price we pay for fashion...:-D)

The two things that quitefascinated them was the tuk tuk (auto rickshaw) and the traffic.
They really really wanted to go on a drive in the tuk tuk but weren't ready for such a big
adventure. So what they did do was take photos of themselves sitting in the auto.They just could not understand how so many vehicles could drive around, following absolutely no
rules whatsoever and still not have an accident at every road corner.

Took them to spencer plaza for shopping and all chennaites know that it is a place to go only
for window shopping or if money is no limit. But hey! thats the one place where they could get
all they were looking for, at one shot.

( I didn't even know there was something called a pashmina shawl until I went along with them..
But I believe its something very famous and exotically indian.)

When I took one of the gentleman gold shopping he was quite awed to see a little todler
dripping gold from her hands, ears and neck and even wearing anklets. They all got churidhar
kurtha for their wives and daughters and these big danglers and stuff we would generally not buy ourselves as they are very traditional :-)

Since we were running short of time, I gave them a short overview of the hindu trinities and
stuff on the way to the temple (and the driver of our cab said I was better than a guide *preen* ..hehehe).

They hated having to leave their footwear outside the temple, they were even willing to bring it in their handbags rather than leave it out :-) . The jasmine strands , the holy ash, the aarthi, and more importantly the beautiful statues and buildings quite impressed them.

Thankfully the time was up and I could end my speel before the end of my repertoire .

I got a whole new perspective of India through the eyes of these foreigners. Not all good, definitely not all bad, but very dear! :-)

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Its Party Time!!!

Had planned for a surprise birthday party for my brother and I guess we were more surprised when he refused to come home in time for us to surprise him.

Had a full day of meetings at office, which is a tiring piece of work by itself. Then went home ... rushed my brother out with his friends and then fell to decorating the room.

The guy who was supposed to collect my bro's friends and bring the cake was not coming in.. other guests had started trickling in. When suddenly my brother turned up home.. aargh!Had to do quite a bit of juggling act to get him out again

Then once everyone was in and we were all set to surprise him.. well! he surprised us. He was having too much fun somewhere else and he did not want to come home .. We were left scratching our heads wondering how to make him come home. hehehe

But Alls well that ends well. We did convince him to come home and he was thankfully surprised (or atleast acted surprised). But the one take-home I got from this - I am never going to plan a party .. ever...

Groan!!! Next day morning and I am still shambling around with an aching body.. Vive la Moms! I sure dont know how they manage to do everything and still end up looking so spritely.

But Hey! I am happy.. My bro did have a great time. :-)

Friday, November 27, 2009

The First step

Despite great dreams of becoming an astronaut when I was 10 and read Tintin's "Explorers in the moon", a deep abiding fascination towards egypt leading to a career in egyptology and archeology, Reading Perry Mason and wanting to be a Attorney, my life was already charted.

Starting from my 10th class whenever I was given a choice, I knew what I wanted and just went ahead. I wanted to learn science and CSC (biology was never an option since I cant stand dissection). Then my UG, despite much disappointment to my Dad for it not being a professional course, I went my way. and so on...Somehow it was all very clear, where I was going and how I was going to reach it.

Now! settled in a career of my choice and with great growth opportunities, I want to try something new .. something moreMaybe start my own business, Move to a totally different sector, become a rocket scientist (quit,stay at home and quietly go mad)...anything

But How? what? when? Its not easy answering these questions and even more is the fear of unknown. The fear to put that first step forward.

Do I dare shake my contented life by adding a whole new dimension to it? Do I dare not to? Is it enough to continue the way I am? hmmm...

Back, Back , Back...

Not sure for how long, but for what it is worth, I am back again.. again. :-)

Have even been thinking of events in my everyday life in terms of posts in my blog, but somehow it never materialised.

But thanks to the insistence of two good friends Rush and Hazel, I decided to ditch the excuses and actually write. Not sure what.. but something.

Anyways to catch u up on whats happening with my life..

I have atlast quit the last company where I was so miserable and moved on to a new place to be slightly less miserable ..
This new place is a foreign based company and one of the largest in the world and I came here with high expectations only to find chaos and confusion and lotsa headless chickens running around (and me one among those).

Surprisingly I have also found a great new fount of patience with in myself or maybe its just me growing more mature (not old just mature.. mind it )
On the flip side, lots of new friends and loads of new experiences. Travelling by public transport again ... (hmm not sure if that is good or bad, but its a definite experience)

In fact most of my new friends are new or expectant mothers and I have been hearing, really more than I want, about mothering and child care... everyday. Trust me! its enough to frighten a girl outta her wits :-)

What can I say.. its a whole new world out there

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Tempest in a Tea Cup

The Continental Airlines frisked the esteemed ex-president and great Indian scientist Dr. Abdul Kalam and he blew it off as part of their job, and the whole news died a swift death (though I was honestly flabbergaster and enraged by the incident). The horrible thing was that it took place in the Indian soil and the great man was undettered.

Shah Rukh Khan goes to US and when he is detained for a measly 2 hours and questioned, he creates such a hullobullo that even the Civil Aviation minister Praful patel had to threaten with the wrath of God.

Now SRK has been going around making grand statements about never setting his foot on the US Soil again (until the next time he has to visit there, ofcourse) And he has actually given some kind of press statement about wanting to frisk Angelina Jolie, who is expected to come to India in the near future, to show how traumatic the whole process was for him .. DUH UH!!!!

Come on gimme a break.. can anyone in the press not see the difference between true maturity and greatness and the spoilt tantrum of a popularity hungering actor?

PS: Really, I think this is SRK's excuse of putting into words his fantasies about Angelina Jolie, rather than any actual revenge against anyone.. What say? *smirk*

Friday, July 24, 2009

Harassment at work

Are you being harassed at work? Do you even realize that you might be a victim of such harassment?

Let me ask you a few questions then…

=> Do you feel uneasy coming to office and meeting with your peers and boss?
=> Do you hate going out anywhere, even to a lunch, with them?
=> Do you feel like you have been trapped with no means out every time you come to work?
=> Do your peers or boss, make sexual based jokes and comment on women/ men’s physical attributes in mixed company, making you feel uncomfortable?
=> Do they tease you “with” other men/ women, at your work place, to the extent that you are not comfortable talking to that person even on official business, making your work life and efficiency suffer?
=> Do they use unparliamentary words that leave you feeling disgusted?
=> Do you have to worry about your clothes as you will be getting off colour comments on them?
=> Do they find nothing wrong with their behavior despite your telling them you are not amused by it?
=> Have you or your associates been penalized for complaining about this behavior?

These are just a paltry set of questions, but if your answer is YES to any/all of the above questions then you are being harassed at work place. And its time to take some action!
It is unethical, unprofessional and definitely illegal.

Why am I suddenly talking about this topic? I read this great book called “ Emotional Intelligence to Survive and Prosper – Coping with Toxic Managers, Subordinates… and other difficult people” By Roy H. Lubit, M.D., Ph.D.

Its only as I read this book that I realized some of the things I was feeling was not just unique to me, but an universal problem. Ironically, I didn’t even realize what I was facing until I read the book, thinking that I was just me who is feeling miserable.

Do you know that upto 50% women and 10-20% men are harassed at their work place.

Please put a stop to this. Its your right!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

My foray into violence

Hmm!!! Can I call it a foray... not sure, but this is the first time I came eyeball to eyeball with violence.

I have written about how much violence disgusts, pains, shocks blah blah blah before. But for the first time it frightened me and I was not even directly involved.

I never realized how much the TV and News papers distances the happenings around the world until yesterday.

I was leaving for home in a metro bus listening to Jagjit Singh, when I realized some disturbance behind me. I was too immersed in my own thoughts to even turn and see.

The stage came and the TC got in to check our tickets when there was a shout and the sounds of a person getting hit. There was this guy being hit and kicked by three other guys. And the hitee was actually inciting them to hit him some more. Then the four guys got back into the bus and the hitee started loudly demanding that the bus be turned towards the nearest police station. When the conductor did not heed, he went straight to the driver and started pulling him off his seat.

Now another concerned traveler got into this foray and started pulling the hitee away. When he refused to listen, the traveler too started hitting the man.

By now my eyes started burning and I realized that I was watching the whole thing without blinking. So I blink, only to find that the hitee had pulled out a knife and was brandishing it in front of the traveler, threatening to stick it into him.
My God! Do things like this actually happen in real life???

The hitee was boasting that he had been to jail twice before for knifing someone and did not have any problems going once more and screaming at the traveler for hitting him.
And in another blink, the traveler had pulled the knife from the hitee and thrown the man out of the running bus. The hitee calmly got up, brushed himself and went away.

I was staring at the whole thing wide eyed, open mouthed and scared witless.

Trust me when I say, violence in real life is much more horrific and unrealistic than when seen through the TV. *phew*

Monday, July 20, 2009

Idyllic weekend

Think of this….

A Saturday evening, you have pop corn and juice and pillows all set up. Its raining outside and you can smell the wet earth (mmm!). You have nothing in your mind except that its Sunday the next day and no work. The lights in your room are dim and the system is showing movies …

1. Pride and prejudice (How many ever times I read and see the movie, I adore Darcy.. clichéd but so what ?

:-)… I even had my copy of the pride and prejudice and was checking out my favorite quotes)
2. Emma (Another Jane Austen. Not quite my favorite but still a fine one)
3. Ever After – A Cinderella story
4. You’ve got mail (God knows how many times I have seen this movie.. love Meg Ryan in this)
5. Kate and Leopold (Hugh Jackman. Need I say more..sighhhh!!!)

6. The Wedding Date (The hero tells the heroine and I quote " I would rather fight with you than make love with anyone else"... wowow!)

… dreaming a bit, smiling a bit and loafing a bit. :-)

And lets not forget the books rented from the library ….

Oh Yeah! Idyllic indeed… and this is exactly what I did last saturday :-) ...

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Priorities Priorites!!!!

My mobile phone service is prepaid and in November I had to recharge it. The service provider told me not to recharge for a large amount as December was just around the bend and there would be some great offers for Christmas and new year.

hmm!!! sounded sensible and so I agreed and went my way.

December came rolling and Christmas came , no new offers... New Year came.. no new offers.. Pongal came .. no New offers

I was getting desperate and recharged my mobile anyway.

Then February came whistling along and my mobile literally burst with messages about all those great offers that were promised...

Yep!!! Valentine's day was on the brink and there would be loads of people wanting to talk to their sweethearts....

What were two bit holidays like Christmas, New Year or Pongal when compared to Valentine's day...

Sigh!!! As I said Priorities Priorities!!!! J J

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Confused and sad

As I sit at work, I look down a precipice, towards which two people, with whom I am in no way connected, have pushed me.

Like vultures waiting for the wounded to die and pecking at them to hasten the process, there were so many taking great glee in the situation.

From a valued worker being wooed by so many, I am suddenly tainted (Hmph!!!) - who cares that I had nothing to do with it.There are so many in my boat, but I am not sure if this is a blessing or a curse, as all of us are being pushed along the wild ride and none of us have the rudder. Every day brings new surprises and not sure who to turn to or trust.

Will I have to jump? Can I make it safely to the other side? Do I have a parachute that will save me otherwise?

And just to make me feel even more comfortable are the curious who want to know what will happen to me? The ones with concern, I understand , but its the ones with glee or pity in their voice that irritate.
I am furious, but not sure against whom?

Then I look around, there are breadwinners with their whole families dependent on them, some of them with big loans or awaiting their marriage. hmm!!! Guess I am better placed after all.

Friends advice me to not worry, after all I have no control over what is happening. Does that not add to the over all confusion? Are they really so cool? Are their paths clear, where mine is confused? Or are they just asking me not to say all the things they fear, for it makes it even more real?

But life revolves around hope and that is what we are all clutching at.

So here I am looking down the precipice and telling myself "This too shall pass".

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

India - Abroad

Slumdog Millionaire has won accolades and awards everywhere. I was delighted for the whole team, especially Rahman and Pookutty. It’s a rags-to-riches story, which has portrayed poverty quite dramatically.

While poverty is a facet of every nation, I am saddened that most movies taken about India, by foreigners, deal only with its poverty.

It made me wonder whether people outside ever get a chance to realize that there are so many things other than snake charmers and beggars (of which there, really, are not that many) in India. Its rich culture and languages, varied art forms, great architecture and its wide variety of people to name a few.

Until today, when I got a chance to converse with some Brazilian colleagues …
Do you have any idea how many non-Indians enjoy Indian music, especially the Hindustani and Semi-classical styles?
I am told, in Brazil, India is a trend now. One of their more popular soaps is based on India(ns).( Nice isn’t it?!)
A colleague from Brazil and I were discussing accents, when he said, despite UK having colonized India for so many years, you all have still maintained your individuality and have your own accent. (Hey! So true! Why have I never thought about it along those lines??)

Meanwhile I am learning a little of Portuguese, so I shall bid you adieu at this point and say até mais (see you later)... hehehe

Sunday, February 15, 2009


I have always been quite proud of our constitution. In fact I knew the preamble by heart for the very sentiments it professes. The preamble says

WE, THE PEOPLE OF INDIA, having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a SOVEREIGN SOCIALIST SECULAR DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC and to secure to all its citizens:
JUSTICE, social, economic and political;
LIBERTY of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship;
EQUALITY of status and of opportunity;
and to promote among them all
FRATERNITY assuring the dignity of the individual and the unity and integrity
of the Nation;

Below are some examples of our adherance to the Constitution.

1. Valentine's day and activists have been going around with a mangal sutra and rakhi to catch up couples and force them into marriage or to tie rakhi. News paper reports say that even a brother-sister walking down the road were not spared. Pub culture is banned because a few people feel it is against the culture. People are assaulted and the government is not willing to do anything other than throw blame on each other. (Nobody had even heard of Muthalik and his Ram sena before this incident and the man was thoroughly enjoying his time of fame, even if it meant getting arrested. I have never seen a happier, more smiling face on a man being arrested)

2. A stonemason's wife delivered a healthy baby five days back. They had scrimped and scraped and saved money so that they could go to a private hospital in the futile hope of better service. Yesterday the three day old baby was taken in for a vaccination and returned dead to the parents. He is a broken man today and has no means to get justice, he is after all poor, while the doctors are rich and life must go on. (Reminds me of George Orwell's Animal Farm "All animals are equal but some animals are more equal")

3. while Tamil people in Tamil nadu are suffering, this is one government that only cares about tamils out of India, right now the ones in SriLanka. Whether the Srilankan tamils really want their help or not, they are forced with more help than they can handle.

sigh! Despite all this, I cannot think of one other country in the world I would rather be in.