Thursday, May 26, 2005

The Final Countdown

The last minute visits to the shopping malls, the frantic phone calls to check if all have been invited, the frequent queries thrown at the mirror on the wall and the non-flattering responses received, the beauty parlor enhanced million-dollar walk to the mandap, the early morning driving lessons on empty Chennai streets with half-closed eyes, the sweltering summer heat, the mails i never check, the delicacies i still haven't eaten, the moments spent jostled in a crowded Ranganathan Street with Amma & Chithi, those fights with Appa for the remote control and the arguments as to why 'Metti Oli' is bad for health, those silent dinner conversations on the floor as the dinner table is cluttered with all kinds of junk, those Sunday Morning 'house- cleaning rituals', the 'Thundan' & 'Thundi' bonding of father and daughter, fights with Amma for all those plans never implemented, early morning Amma's coffee coupled with Appa's Taminglish "you're not enthirichifying???", the points to prove i am not plump just well covered, the visits to Besant Nagar and late night talks with Shiva, the phonecalls with Ammukuttz, the giggles and the chatter, the burnt bhindi and salty coffee, coffee with PTM at Ispahani, Sundar's jokes that make you roll, Ugen's sesky looks and husky voice, rathish philosophy, story discussions at beach, sweet corn at Verona's, bike rides with Jenny, huging 3 dogs at one go and being somthered by them, wearing saree to office n making heads turn, watching Thalaivar's movies at Udhayam theatre with Dhana n gang, screaming n throwing tickets on the people in the rows in front, those fights with auto-wallahs for that 5 rupees and splurging a 25 bucks for a Rs 10/- worth watermelon juice, the inane talks with Di at office FC, those fan mails for poems posted, the judgements and the punishments, those handsome hunks and the cute chicks, amma's tomato rasam and maida burfi, those hours spent at Landmark choosing and choosing to find a card that fit the pocket money, those fancy slips at Naidu hall that Amma never let me buy, the POndy bazaar pavements and those trinklet shops, the rains that never disappoint to disappoint, watching takeshi's castel with Amma and giggling at Bug bunny, going for those adive-filled walk with Thatha, lying on Grandma's lap and listening to her sweet voice telling me to wear dupatta, sitting on teh terrace ina circle with cousins and Athai feeding each of us curd rice and maa-vadu, running barefoot on the road chasing butterflies, closing my eyes on grandma's pillow and fallinga sleep the very next moment...

Too many memories to carry and too few suitcases allowed...
I will MISS this place...wish i didn't have to leave...

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

The last time i saw my waist

I DO NOT look like a close cousin of any Sumo wrestler.
There now that we have cleared matters, let's move on to better stuff.

First things first, All of you from BlogLand are cordially invited for The Wedding! NO entry passes, just quote a few lines from any of my works :) On a serious note, as for the invite does any one have any clue how to upload a Flashinvite on to this site? I am so left-handed when it comes to do anything with this computer thingy other than type posts.Mandoo helped make the invite while i meticulously 'typed' and sent him the details. Three cheers to Mandoofor his falir in design and to Di for all those toons she smuggled for me.
On a side note Amma is grinning form ear to ear everytime someone remarks "Your daughter's invite is so creative n cute". This from the lady who made a face on looking at my design when i showed it to her. Sigh, people always underestimate me.

Ammukuttz and i have been spending past 2 days together and i am definitely boring her to hell by making her tag along with me to the Beauty parlor. While i spend hours preening or is it pruning, well whatever one does in a parlor, she tried her best to keep herself occupied with Filmfare. Okies Her highness just helped me tweak my English.

BUSY is just not enough to describe the hectic schedule i am made to follow. There are still friends to call, clothes to shop for, more clothes to pack, photos to be clicked, 'To Do' checklists to be made so i make sure i miss that album with a roly-poly 2 year old moi in a pattu-pavadai behind and call Amma long distance and ask her to courier it all the way to New Hampshire...(And No , the above sentence is Not missing a Don't!)


Have loads to say but then i still haven't really found the time to pen them down in anyfashion, much less in an let me again jump into the whirlpool and will get back soon to update u guys on how 'entertaining' my days are :-D

More later...
Have a Nice Day!

P.S: As for the title, there is a dessert of the same name at Eden restaurant in Besant Nagar and it is indeed a must-have to anyone who goes there. So next time u visit Chennai, you know what to do!

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Gold *

* The missing blanks are for the 'SPOT' in Goldspot - the famous drink of yesteryears...when yeh dil maange nothing more than Rs 5 on a Sunday evening in May by the beach for that orange drink which made bubbles go up your nose when drunk fast to upstage your cousin from Tirunelveli and show her how 'kewl' you are :)

Well the long explanation is to say that Miss.Pon is " spotlessly clean" :-D (Shorry for the PJ)
Three cheers to Amma and the magical remedies of her Amma!
Though i must say one week of liquid diet did no wonders to the expanding waistline. Au contraire i think the scales are tipping more to the right. Too much maternal luuuuuuuurve :)

I walked into office at 8.45 A.M and my team mate sent a mail at 9.05 A.M asking me to contact Ms.So & So for updates and start on work. Sheesh! What happened to basic courtesy to enquire about one's health? Anyways, i did what i do best - ignored the mail and walked up and down the stairs, waltzed through floors inviting people for my wedding.
And beamed form ear-to-ear for all the compliments received for the design of the card (which of course is a perfect example for IPR violation) and also many thanks are due to Di who managed to get me those utterly-butterly cute cartoons :)

Right now, one tall guy is peeping into my post and trying to figure out what is it that i am writing. Before he screams aloud that i am blogging, lemme scoot. I have 20 more invites to give :)

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Come fall in love

Nopes. That's not what will happen here.
But that was the catch-phrase to the famous movie of all time - Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge.
We were in Class 9 when it was released. Amma booked the tickets for the 4 of us (All girls) and we all took the famous bus to Ega Theatre to watch the Khan in action. Btw, he wasn't so famous amongst us South Indians then. And the only reason we were there was we couldn't get ticked for our fave chocolate boy Amir Khan's movie 'Akele Hum Akele Tum'.

Huddled in the hall, we sat mesmerised as the monkey hero ran around and made jokes and stutterd and sang songs with Kajol of the lovely eyes fame. It was wholesome entertainment and man! were we happy we didn 't go to AHAT. And that day began a new chapter in my life - as President of Shah Rukh Khan fan club. No magazine, newspaper was left alone. C'mon what if it had a pic of my Idol and i forgot to save it to show my grandkids? My gifts were posters of King Khan (Why does it sound like King Kong now?). And after every debacle in the Physics paper, Amma would barge into my room and scream how i never fail to remember any dialogue from his movie while it wasn't the same when it came to Physics formulae. My answer to that was "Bade bade deshon mein aisi choti choti baathein hoti rehthi hai". (Of course muttered in a whisper lest i be banned from watching his movies :) )

Anyways, DDLJ has broken box office records of even Sholay with its 500th week run in BO. I still can't understand why it is such a big hit. Maybe it was something to do with Jatin-Lalit's score, or Kajol and her rain dance in mini-skirt, or Shah Rukh's crazy antics or just the fact that it was a simple love story told ever so beautifully without any frills (tho' i sincerely believe the fight could have been avoided)...and yes somehow we did fall in love.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Showcasing the hidden

The Loud Whisper

For years the Assamese have been waging a futile war with the illegal immigrants from across the border…the refugees that took their jobs as rickshaw-wallahs; the crowd that wanted a share of their food which was already not much. The Bangladeshi infiltration was rising more than ever and the Govt did nothing about it. In fact the Congress Govt in power claimed that there was ‘no illegal immigration’. Demonstrations and strikes yielded no success and last week a little known Youth wing finally decided to take matters into its hands. It took just a silent sms beeping on all cell phones across the state to not give job, shelter or food to the Bangladeshis to get the desired result. The immigrants soon started packing their bags and leaving for their homeland. The sms achieved what the Govt failed to deliver.
Why is our country keener on being a great neighbour than a good parent? Are we helping our cause by being blind to such excesses? Does the Govt have an action plan should these immigrants decide to disrupt harmony? Do we even consider North-East as one of us? 57 years and still no answers…

----^^ **** ^^ ----

The Muffled Scream

Everyone cries hoarse when it comes to the Godhra riots. And more elections would be won just on that one black spot on our democracy as party after party plunges their acidulous forks into a wound that is trying hard to heal… The commission’s report was published on the very evening it was submitted. Pretty good, you say?

There is another report that is lying dormant…another gruesome massacre. The 1984 Sikh riots -- The bloodbath that followed Indira Gandhi’s assassination.
21 years, 2 commissions and 8 committees later, justice is yet to be meted out to the victims. One old man lost all his 4 sons to the brutal rampage on ’84. He sits in a Gurudwara in Delhi praying all day long coz he feels even if the Govt fails, one day the Lord will grant justice. A young man walks the street of Delhi, the very street where he lost his entire family on that ill-fated day. The police had walked in and disarmed all the Sikh families saying they would guard them. And moments later, they let the mob in; a mob moulded on the orcs of middle earth with no heart, no mercy and no love; a mob which left only scars and wounds; the living dead. He survived coz just weeks ago his mom had cut his hair. Jagadish Tytler, Sajjan Kumar and many other Congress leaders and functionaries were named as culprits by the Nanavati Commission. Till date no action has been taken. With Congress in power, there is no hope that any action would be taken at all.

In our country every party has 2 faces and which one they use depends on where they are seated – as opposition or the ruling power. And these faces make justice as just another farce.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

All about tunes

Every one has a list of personal favorite songs…melodies that make you smile, funny ones that make you laugh, peppy numbers that pull you from your chair and make you tap-dance with 2 left feet and those soulful tunes that take you to a completely strange world and leave you stranded there…lost and helpless.

Yesterday as I transformed myself into a couch potato, a popular number left me smiling in the company of cherished memories it revived…and I am listing them again for..well lack of anything substantial to say!

Kadhalin Deepam (Thambikku Endha Ooru) – This is a really beautiful Ilayaraja song featuring a young and handsome Rajni. I have always been a Rajini fan, in the sense I had other favorites but they never competed for top spot with Rajini; such is his charisma. And in this song, the way he puts his hands into his pocket lifts his head up and sings “ennam yaavum solla vaa” is too stylish to be forgotten. But what made this song more memorable was a wintry night in January 1999; walking to Nutan market for dinner with the PTM play troupe, I was pushing my cycle and talking to Ambi about love songs, when this tall new member Kumaran, stops midway to re-enact that moment just the way Rajini did…and the intensity in his sparkling eyes…No words will do justice. Kums you would always be my favorite actor

Edho Ondru Edho Ondru (Laysa Laysa) – A delightful composition by Harris Jeyaraj shot in picturesque location on Shaam & Trisha. What makes me break into a starry eyed smile when this song plays is yet to be fully understood. Couple of years back when I worked in a call-centre we used to travel by van to our workplace in the wee hours of the morning- 1.30 A.M for my 2A.M shift. And one night they played this song… eyes half-closed, minds mid-way between complete wakefulness and blissful sleep, just as the silence of the world around slowly gets into our veins, the song starts. And like the first drops of rain lifting the fragrance of earth to your senses and leaving you with a heady feeling, the “Ullahi Ullkahi” at the end, takes you to an all new high…makes you want to be young, care free and devoid of any shackles…makes you want to fly.

Iru Vizhi unadhu (Minnale) – Another soulful melody by Harris jeyaraj. ~D kept singing it during the entire one month of play practice for ‘Naraga Sparisam’ in 2001. I joined him often; the passion in his voice as he closed his eyes for the high notes, sparkle in our eyes as we sang together and the silent laughter in the knowledge of a secret that only the two of us knew…a song that is so poignant…A song that will remain a part of me, now and always.

Vaseegara (Minnale) – My all time favorite. Harris Jeyaraj again. It was January 2001 I think, we (my play troupe buddies & friends) were traveling in a Sumo from New Delhi to Pilani. Kumaran and I shared the first seat next to the driver. Lots of jokes later, on a possible relationship between me & the driver, we decided to immerse ourselves in music to allay the fear the surrounding mist and invisible roads caused. The husky voice of Bombay Jayshree made the song so sensuous, it played with your senses mercilessly, making you crave for that moment when you can be with your beloved, head on his lap, his fingers in your hair as he read Elizabeth Barrett Browning…Kumaran and I couldn’t wait to see the song and when we did see it, we wished we waited some more. One case when the song and the visual were miles apart.

Malarnthum Malaratha (Pasamalar) – The family’s favorite. Every time the song plays, Appa goes into a trance, and it’s a beauty just to watch him being moved by the lyrics as much as the tune of a brother’s love for his sister…I am yet to come across a song on similar vein that has so much class in it, so much emotion and Savithri; nothing can beat all that she said with those eyes…

Kaadhal Sadugudu(Alaipayuthe) -- How can there be a list without the Master Rahman? When the rest of the wing sat huddled with their PoM(Principles of Management) books, yours truly stuck her ears to the stereo to memorize this song. The freshness of this song raised the energy levels in the wing every time it was played. The visual was poetry of a new genre, so impeccably shot by ManiRatnam and the chemistry b/w Maddy & Shalini coupled with the voice od SPB Charan left one wistfully romantic.
The icing on the cake was when Kanika & Diba (non-Tamil speaking friends) learnt the ‘Nakila’ song to sing for me as a b’day gift!

Strawberry kanne (Minsara Kanavu) -- Oh Man! This song is a rocker...i don't remember the singers(Talk about knowing the book and forgetting the author) but the histrionics of Prabhudeva and his dance did wonders to an otherwise not-really-in-need-of-number.

I know this doesn't cover even 1% of what i love to hear but hey if i write a longer post, i would be out of tune for the next one :)
Plus there is Amma screaming "Don't strain and log off NOW" ...Ciao!

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Lies don't pay

Lies don't pay
And i learnt it the hard way
Pay heed to my story
It has no details gory
So just listen and make my day!

Long ago, when Friday did dawn
I looked at the ceiling and stifled a yawn
Called up work and said i am sick
With my head as heavy as a brick
Felt good of my brain than brawn.

They fell for it hook, line & sinker
And with my excuse didn't tinker
I clasped my hands in glee
And from my abode did flee
For shopping without any blinker

But His Highness had a holier plan
Not for nought is he Lord of the living Clan
For my huge shopping bill
He sent his virus troops on a kill
And now i am a spotty woman

This is so you all can hear
"I am no bug bear"
But when you have the measles
The rest of the world turns into weasels
And from afar claim I am still someone dear!

So while you all fret and wonder
"Did she infect me from yonder?"
I shall sit at home and pen more rhyme
To while away all my time
And come back in resplendent candor :-D

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Convoluted statements and poetic expressions

"He didn’t realize that I was not talking to him the way I would be talking to him if I am in the mood to talk to him the way he likes me to be talking to him."
Yes, that’s me at my most eloquent self. No wonder Mandoo felt a Befuddlement Charm hit him.


Have you ever read the comic book Iznogoud as a kid? Or now for that matter?

** Begin Flashback **
One of my best days as a kid was Sunday not just because it was a holiday but because Appa would make his routine trip to the library and come back with at least 2 Asterix, 1 Tintin & 1 Iznogoud books. What fun we used to have… little Kumari by his side, eyes-wide, staring into that BIG book, as Appa read out loud what the big round man and his little friend were doing. Sigh! Hope my little one would one day patiently listen to me as I read her the bedtime story. That reminds me, I better start collecting those books. I have just 2 :(
**End Flashback**

Well anyways, during my convo with Mandoo, one of the topics was my H1 visa process initiation…after a lot of blah (read as official crap not to be discussed in public domains) I felt that I should be SPM instead of my SPM and for some strange reason that reminded me of Iznogoud and his “I want to be Caliph instead of Caliph" line. The laughter that followed didn’t stop soon nor did it make Mandoo any wiser.
I have completely lost track of what I wanted to say. Now I know.
You see, if you break up his name it means “is-no-good” and in a way that is how any PM would define me-- “is-no-good” programmer who writes 4 lines of code and 100 lines of blog in 6 hours of office stay ( I sneak away early :p). And the Caliph is someone who is very benign and likes to spend his time sleeping. My SPM doesn’t sleep but yes, he is kind of cute & a gentleman (Somu that line is not for your eyes).


And yeah been flying on air ever since Vignesh said that he ranks my ‘comment’ high on his list of poetic expressions. Yoohoo! Kumari you have finally arrived on the scene :)

Time for my elixir -- Cuppa Kaapi.

I am bored in office

So went bloghopping, reached Chitra's page, tried a quiz and here are the results.

Your Seduction Style: The Natural

You don't really try to seduce people... it just seems to happen.
Fun loving and free spirited, you bring out the inner child in people.
You are spontaneous, sincere, and unpretentious - a hard combo to find!
People drop their guard around you, and find themselves falling fast.

Now Back to coding :(

Monday, May 02, 2005

Skirmishes with Kettles #89723

So you thought the ordeal was over?
Thank heavens, Appa did not nurture such optimistic notions. Amma will be back only on Friday :(

To make up for yday's debacle, i decided i will stick to a tried and tested recipe that has never failed me. I just made Dal & rice. Prestige Cooker works better under pressure than i do. Yet looking at just dal & rice, i felt something churn within me...hunger pangs!

Another STD call later, yours truly was found in the living room with grater, mango & coconut. Forget Mallika Bhadrinath. Please Welcome Kumari - The Naturopathookie [That's what you get when u cross a cookie (female cook as per Vitalstatistix) with Naturopathy!]

Here's the 2 minute recipe

Grate half a coconut.
Grate 1 Mango.
Mix them both.

Take 1/4 tsp Jeera
2 small onions (chopped if u have time, but who wants to be moist-eyed,have them as is)
1 clove of garlic (if u don't have it, ignore. I did just that!)
2 Red chillies (use 3 if you wanna make your guest weep tears of joy!)
Put all these in the mixie and grind(or should i use some other verb) well.

Add the above mixture to the grated coconut & mango. Add salt.Mix Well.
Ta-da your mangai-thengai salad is ready!

Appa's verdict - Superab !

Btw, one important ingredient to get the above compliment is -- Make sure Appa saunters in at 9pm, completely spent waiting for the Chennai bus, tired and too damn hungry to notice what is on plate :)

Now time to hit the bed.

Skirmishes with Kettles #765423

With Amma going on a business trip to Tirunelveli on Saturday (the business in question being my wedding preps) The Chief Chef cap adorned my head on Sunday. The day dawned beautifully with a cup of hot, steaming coffee...a lovely brew which energized Appa so much that we launched our 'Clean House on Sundays' drive with a never-before-found enthusiasm.

Together we swept away those cobwebs, swabbed the floor spotlessly clean, washed the many stinking clothes. While Appa relaxed himself in a refreshing shower, i set foot inside my arena for another brilliant display for those gastronomical juices. The only ammunition i found - Eggs, Onion, Raw mangoes :(
With a stacked cupboard even a novice can do wonders but with such materials will even a Taj Chef deliver? Naah, but the fighter in me wouldn't be defeated so easily.

Clap! Clap!* Drum Roll*

Strategy: Sambhar, Rice, Scrambled eggs.
Plan: Call Amma at Tirunelveli and find out where is Sambhar powder. The answer was, "The one in the RmKV bag, yet to be unpacked." Cooking is so Simple.
Setback1: There are 2 RmKV bags with 2 coloured powders, which is for Sambhar? Decided to rely on intuition than another STD call; i chose the darker one as Amma's Sambhar always looked brown.

Did all the necessary pre-reqs, like getting tamarind juice, adding two heaps of 'Sambhar powder', sauted the small onions with Vendhayam and finally poured in all together and waited for it to boil.
10 minutes. kinda smells like Sambhar but why is it looking like that?
20 minutes. Err...something's amiss. Added the Dal.
30 minutes...Still no signs of that promised Sambhar.

Call Amma again.
"Did you take the slightly yellow one? No? Silly girl, you used Puli kuzhambu(thicker dish unlike Sambhar) powder not Sambhar powder. Two? U needed just one."
That's settled. I took the concoction off the stove.

Lunch served.
Appa looked at the bowl of...let's call it 'My Sambhar'. He smiled and said, "So this is Sambhar that looks like Puli kuzhambu tho it is actually puli kuzhambu that should taste like Sambhar"
I mumbled something and we finished lunch with curd rice, pickles and scrambled eggs.

Late in the evening Somu called. Appa picked up the phone and the only thing he wanted to tell his adorable Maapillai was, "Oh she tried to cook and sadly i had to tatste it. It was not Sambhar by a yard's distance. All i can do is wish you the best and hope you know some cooking"...followed by peals of laughter.

My Appa is the greatest...critic!

Psst: As for the number in the title...Well every other blogger i know has at least one title with a number, so decided to join the bandwagon too :p

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

The Good

--Madhya Pradesh Govt finally decided to do something for them. So the school syllabus has been changed to include a lesson on Disability and Physically & Mentally Challenged people for all kids from Class 1 through Class 12; a very Bold and welcome initiative. The first step to inclusion of those special people is to create an awareness among the young and old alike. The sooner the other states emulate them, the better it is for all of us.

Pathway, an NGO, has been working with mentally challenged kids and teaching them vocational skills so they can survive in this bad, mean world. A bunch of those kids who learnt cooking, baked a variety of cakes, biscuits and other delicacies which were promoted by the Taj hotel last week. It was a wonderful feeling just to look at those young girls & guys, beaming from ear to ear for every praise sent their way. The only sore spot was the SUN Tv correspondent covering the news. The dude rounded up the kids and when giving his so-called 'closing statement' rambled on and on about how the 'disabled youth' are doing good inspite of their shortcomings. Gosh! in my opinion he was intellectually challenged and needed more help than those kids who had the courage to look beyond and be strong...the next time someone says 'disability' i am going to thump them with my handbag!

The Bad

--The political bigwigs will call it a grand success; the bus from Muzzafarbad to Srinagar but the trouble it has brought is something we really don’t want. One Mrs.Farida who left India during partition and is right now in PoK has filed a case in court to re-claim her ancestral property - a bungalow which is functioning as a Middle School. The law says anyone who left India during partition can come and reclaim their property. The government acts as Custodian of such properties. However is this right way to handle it? What about those Kashmiri Pundits and others who chose India over Pakistan & Bangladesh? Will they get back their property? Why is our government so two-faced and spineless? How come no one has challenged that law till now? They showed a family which has been living for more than 10 years in 'custodian property'. The 10 year old girl knows the law but strongly says, "we've been here since our grandfather's times. If they ask us to vacate then we will hold meetings and fight". It is easier to fight a known enemy but this unpredictable friend who changes sides depending on vote banks? What other troubles will the buses bring?

The Ugly

-- This is so ugly that i don't even want to write about it in my blog. Technology advancement notwithstanding some of our animal instincts have remained just that – beastly & violent. No place is safe for a woman; not the police station, not her home, not the hospital and not even her mother’s womb…from pregnant women, to 4 year olds and 40 year olds , women will always remain just an aphrodisiac to the other half. Wonder if God did a good design after all?