Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Last Saturday, I had 3 sessions in 2 schools. I had to finish cooking for the day and leave home by 8.20 a.m. DH and the sons helped me in the mad rush. I arrived at the bus station gasping for breath, anxious that I had kept my colleague waiting.

Soon we were on our way to our destination. After 2 sessions in the school with idyllic surroundings, we rushed back home again in two buses. Had a hurried lunch, stuffed the washing machine with laundry, freshened up, and then back again to the next school. No complaints because my colleague was 51 years old and she was as excited as me. After the third session I rushed to my dance class where my teacher's mother lovingly coerced me to have chapatis and delicious sabji.

Reached home at around 8.45 p.m. cooked dinner, had dinner ,Watched Voice of India, Zee little Champs simultaneously… and then retired for the night.
Was it me who had posted
this and this once upon a time? Who is having the last laugh? HRH Time? But I’ll laugh along – for now I’m luvvvvvvvvving it…

From here to there

I was a complete home bird- I stayed indoors most of the time enjoying my own company to the fullest- of course I had the invisible company of all the bloggers whose thoughts I visited and revisited…my mind would be chewing on the thoughts that they penned, I would be traveling on their wave lengths- thoughts from all sides of the globe all the time while being ensconced within the walls of my home. I used to avoid traveling on my own as much as possible.

I first learnt to get around on my own when I enrolled for Dance classes last year. I had to travel by 2 buses to reach my classes. Few months back the journey had to be made in 3 buses- when the roads were under repair, and the third bus was the mini bus and it would ply only when it was jam packed and there was no space to prick a pin even. It would be dark inside the bus and I would be standing on my toes, reaching up to the bar above but there was no fear of falling because there was simply no space. It was impossible to see where we were going because the windows were blocked by people and I would request the person next to me to inform me when I reached my stop and invariably some kind soul would warn me as my stop neared. I would turn in the direction of the exit and kind of nudge myself amidst the thronging undulating bodies and eventually find myself outside the bus on terra firma. After a few moments of deep breaths and unloosening of my frozen limbs, I’d try to judge my precise location and then proceed to my destination.

Now, with my new job, I’ve to travel by the local buses at the drop of a hat. Crowds no longer deter me and though I’ve not begun to swing into moving buses, I do manage to catch one that’s almost ready to start. I can now day dream even while standing precariously clinging to the rod. I enjoy watching the other passengers as unobtrusively as possible. Sometimes the conductors are in a vile mood and sometimes they are quite cordial. The other day, the driver himself was a most gregarious individual and was chatting to anybody who would care to listen. I requested the conductor to let me know when my stop arrived and the driver butted in. He said that I would be easily able to identify my stop because there was construction work going on near by. Soon enough as we neared , the driver asked me if I remembered his instructions and he was pleased to note that I had been listening carefully!

I'm enjoying the oppurtunity to meet new people - both adults and children and am also pleased to notice that age and a few grey hairs can be quite liberating in terms of feeling comfortable and secure. I like watching and observing the events unfolding around me like I were outside the tapestry. Each day is like a new lesson and I feel like an eager student.

Monday, October 29, 2007


I'm feeling a sense of loss, a sense of hopelessness, of having reached a dead end- why? Because I've finished with the book I was reading. This is how I feel every time I finish a book. This time it was Paulo Coelho's "Veronica decides to die". I had been hearing about this book for some time now and was waiting to read it. A dear friend gifted it to me and I pounced on it right away. The feeling of euphoria lingered during every waking moment , and as I neared the end, I wanted to prolong the effect but Alas, its over...

I liked the book, but I liked "Eleven minutes" better.

I've got a job- and I'm enjoying it. But yes, it keeps me very busy with hardly any time for blog hopping.

I've been wanting to mention 'our songs'- a tag that I saw doing the rounds here.
Our songs are:
Dil tadap ke keh raha hai- Madhumati
Tere mer milan ki yeh raina- Abhimaan
Raaga devanum, Naada kanyayum ( Chamayam-Malayalam)

And the gibberish words I used to( I still do sometiems) call my sons:

Shonna vaava, vaava thutti, chanda kutti, chunglani kolomonas, dikkirivaale shodalge, kannaa, chakkara kutti, thulik. ( Plain gibberish)

ammade kannale, mutthalle, paalalle, thenalle, venna alle, sharkara alle, ayyo urumbarikkyum.( momma's sweet meats- gosh- the ants will come crawling...)

And with these words I remerge out of the frozen cocoon yet again...

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

To My Teachers With Love

For me, sitting in class listening to my favourite teacher teaching has been a most enjoyable experience while in school/ college. Today, I miss being a student. I envy the students who have the oppurtuntity to go to college daily and be able to listen to such teachers who make the process of learning a most rewarding, memorable experience.

When I remember the teachers who I’ve loved and admired, there’s a vacuum in my heart. I would love to see them again, go upto them and tell them how much they have influenced me.

There are many teachers whom I’ve respected during my learning years for one reason or the other, but I guess I’ve special fondness and gratitude for some of my English teachers: Mrs. Lata Manik, Miss Elizabeth Chacko, Mr. James.
The prospect of sitting in their classes was elating. There was something in them that reached beyond the course curriculum and beckoned to your spirits. The beauty of the subject they taught simply unfurled and encompassed the student. That they loved their subject was obvious, and their excitement and fondness was infectious. I used to look forward to their classes and felt sorry when the bell rung signifying the end of the session for the day. I felt let down when they were absent.

Mrs. Lata Manik ( IndianHigh School Dubai):She instilled in me a deep fascination for the language. She was a vivacious, sunny person with a smile that cheered you completely. She would insist on us maintaining a vocabulary book where in we had to jot in the meanings of new words each day. She was very affectionate and I cherish the memories of her classes. I’m happy to say she’s just an email away.
Ms. Elizabeth Chacko( Providence Women’s College Calicut):
She loved her subject, her job was her passion and she was adept at infecting us with the same. She wanted to share the thrill of her subject for the sheer joy of it. We felt like we were embarking on a picnic. She talked to us like her equals, most informally without the diffrentiation of a teacher and the taught. It was simply the sharing of a beautiful subject, travelling through the brilliant alleys that we were unfamiliar with . She acknowledged our affection and respect and reciprocated warmly. I long to meet her again some day…
Mr. James: ( St. Joseph’s College- Devagiri- Calicut):

I liked his treatment of the language, his personal insights, his occassional witty remarks. He was a very down to earth, practical person with no lofty attitude. He was a friendly person and was very encouraging. His words of encouragement remain etched in my memory and I remember him with much gratitude.

I also remember my kindergarten teacher-
Ms. Rajni (NBWSS- Ghatkopar) , Ms. Hemaji ( PWC- Calicut). The latter was the person who taught us the beautiful poetry “Kanupriya" by Dr. Dharamveer Bharthi.

I want to express my respect, regard and gratitude to ALL the teachers who have taught me, including my Gurus who have taught me Bharathanatyam. I consider myself blessed for their presence and influence in my life.

My first Guru- Mrs. Rama Sukumaran. It was a brief stint though a satisfying experience. 

Kalaimamani Melattur S. Natarajan:

He was an engineer by profession and a dancer by passion. For him, dance was and continues to be prayer.  For him dance was all about communicating with the Divine. From him I learnt about emoting, of bringing Rasas to life on the face- with a twitch of the eyebrow, the power of a weighed glance, the slant of a lip, a shrug of the shoulder. When he performs on stage, he is clearly in another world. He becomes his Art personified. Today at 70+, he still performs at the Annual Bhagavatha Mela- health issues do not deter him. I performed my arangetram under his tutelage.

 Kalamandalam Mani teacher: 

She taught me the basics of Mohiniattom. 

Kalaimamani Charulatha Jayaraman :

She follows the Pandannalloor  Pani. She was younger than me and called me akka. Charu was all about technique, method and Grammar of the Art form called Bharathanatyam.  It was about perfect stances, postures, mudras. If Charu moved a finger it would be with complete awareness of what she intended to  convey. She painstakingly evolved the steps to be woven into her repertoire. My not so young knees sometimes protested. From Charu I learnt the intricacies and nuances of The Art form. She was a perfectionist to the core and expected complete dedication from her student. 

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Gibberish- speech/writing that is meaningless or difficult to understand

Identity: the fact of being who or what a person or thing is.

Fact: thing that is known to be true.

What is my identity? I’m still trying to figure out. The other day, my friend S from my college days called me, and at some point I realised that S was communicating with me as the person as she remembered me to be 20 years ago. And I had the feeling that ‘that’ person no longer was. But I continued to ‘live’ in her mind frozen in the year 1987!

We got talking about a common friend J and when I heard S’s description about J, I could hardly recognise the J that I thought I knew. So between my perception of J and S’s perception of J, which was the real J?

Sometimes, when I catch random adjectives used to describe me by people I know, I do a double take. Is that me they’re talking about? So among all these ‘perceptions’, there is no ‘me’ left. The different ‘me’s’ have merely an ephemeral existence in the minds of people around me. And so it is for everybody. Each of us relate and communicate with one another according to our personal, subjective perceptions. Each of us view, assimilate and understand the same situation/ person depending on our subjective perception. Sometimes the different perceptions coincide and sometimes they don’t.

Is this what they call ‘Maya’ ?

Then what is the point in getting enmeshed in nonexistent entities and instances?

Anyways, that is enough ramble for now, the Ardra that ‘I’ think I know has finished reading Khaled Hosseini’s – A Thousand Splendid Suns- and I’ve no words to express the gamut of thoughts running amok in me. I really don’t know what to say about this book. I felt rage, frustration, deep sorrow, and yet hopeful…The writing is brilliant and alive.

Monday, August 20, 2007

First the switch on my cpu doesn't work- that is sorted out and then the modem conks out- I call the bsnl - bharath sanchar nigam ltd- a lady talks to me like I were mentally retarded becos I keep insisting that I've n't messed up the connections. Anyways, after two days, that also gets righted and life is smooth sailing once again.

My joy at having a mobile library van drive into the premises was incredibly shortlived- first the librarian was not granted permission into our colony after the first 2 -3 weeks of celebration,then we were inforned that he would continue to come to a neighbouring area and me and a friend would very religiously plod our way once a week to get our weekly quota. Soon that too stopped. The librarian was down with a severe case of jaundice- followed by surgery and then bed rest! How can I be blamed if my superstitious nature resurfaces again now?

But then a friend of mine- from PWC days- she is still in calicut- sends me 6 books- though a staff who had come here officially. She also promised me that she would continue to send books to me via this staff, and I could return the same after reading them. It seemed a very delightful proposition. And tho I was very wary abt expressing my delight , joy and exhilaration, fearing the 'evil eye' , I now get to hear that the company here which reqd my friends' official assistance would soon discontinue their allegiance and they would no longer require to come to Trichy!

Anyways, until then for now, I've 6 books to devour- seeing 6 books together got me a trifle delirious- I was in a quandary as to where to start with...I chose Raja Rao's Kanthapura- but was unable to trudge beyond a few pages- found it a bit tedious, confusing with too many details and too many characters. Generally I hate to stop any book midway and I make it a point to finish a book however boring I may find it . This time however the sight of 5 other books was too tempting and so I went on to Paulo Coelho's 'The Zahir"- and I'm enjoying it...

I'm looking fwd to Khaled Hossaeini's 'A thousand Splendid suns' next- have been hearing a lot abt it.
Meanwhile got hold of 'The namesake'- found it very involving while reading it but once I finished with it- I was thinking on the lines- of 'thats it?'

Onam is around the corner. Achhan and amma will be coming to visit us.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Damage Control

After having come clean with my judgmental side, here’s the other side of the coin: What I admire in others!

I admire people who don’t lose their wits in times of crises- they’re calm, collected and know exactly what steps to take without pressing the panic button.

I admire people who are good and not nervous on stage- like in public speaking, singing etc.

I admire people who are very organised, disciplined .

I admire people who keep their home spick and span and are house proud.

I admire people who are always neat and presentable.

I admire artistes, writers.

I admire people who are fair and balanced in their outlook.

I admire people who do not lose their temper.

I admire people who are spiritually ( not necessarily religious) inclined.

I admire people who are comfortable and contented with what they are.

I admire people who are confident without seeming arrogant.

I admire people who are optimistic and positive in their outlook.

I admire people who take good care of their health, appearance.

I admire people who can keep secrets and do not gossip.

I admire people who are thoughtful, considerate of others.

I admire people who can voice their opinions without offending others.

I admire people who can love without expectations.

Aahhh! The luxury of being openly judgmental!

CeeKay Thank you for two things:
One: for having given me this opportunity to be openly judgmental.
Two: for giving me fodder to blog.

To be openly judgmental is indeed a luxury because I take effort to be otherwise- simply because from experience I’ve realised that each individual feels as strongly as me on an issue and it is very rare that somebody is converted and expressing my stand has often proved exhausting and leaves a bad taste, so I tend to go my way without ruffling feathers. At the most I vent to DH and by the time I’m done with it, I’m fine with everything. So for once let me relax my self -vigil and have a go at it. I must add that some of the statements are relevant to the place I live.

1.. I’m judgmental about people who think, talk, breathe and live for cooking only. I was fine with it long ago, and used to enjoy experimenting with recipes once upon a time but prolonged exposure to people who talked only about cooking, about feeding people, finding mistakes in others cooking – nothing else- we used to spend almost the entire day cooking and receiving guests. The afore-mentioned people were very critical and did not hesitate to make insensitive comments in gatherings. Needless to say, I developed an unhealthy antipathy towards cooking, feasts and related topics. However, I’ve no problem appreciating people who enjoy cooking as yet another part of life along-with other interests.

2.. I’m judgmental about people who are too much into rituals blindly- and imposing them on others who may not be into it. I’ve been expected to do certain things which I’m not too comfortable with. I try to avoid such situations as far as possible. These people are so confident about it and it never even occurs to them that others may not subscribe to the same beliefs.

3.. I’m judgmental about people who keep asking me how much I paid for the things I buy- ranging from vegetables, groceries to other household items. They then explain to me how I was conned and could’ve landed better bargains had I consulted them.

4.. I’m judgmental about people who mispronounce words, especially when they use the softer sounds in place of accented sounds. E.g.: using ‘k’ in place of ‘kha’ and the like. Same goes for pronunciations like using ‘la’ or ‘ra’ sounds in place of ‘zha’ (like vaLa paLam instead of vazha pazham). I get unreasonably put off with such things.

5.. I’m judgmental about people who judge according to caste/ religion/ region/ financial status/food habits. To actually hear people (highly educated people too ) pass some petty comments based on caste differences kind of shocks me that people still think and behave this way.

6.. I’m judgmental about people who use foul cuss words in casual conversations. This is perhaps because in my family we don’t use several words. We don’t use those words pertaining to certain parts of our anatomy! Can you believe that!
Then we don’t even use the vernacular equivalent for ‘tu’ (in Hindi) even when talking to our youngers.The young girls- young enough to be my daughters- in my dance class are so exasperated with me because I use ‘neenga’, ‘vaanga’ ‘ponga’ with them. I’m practising to use ‘ni’, ‘va’, ‘po’ with them. My husband is no different; his most violent expletive is ‘kumblanga’ which is the Malayalam for ‘cucumber’!! When he uses this ‘cuss’ word, I know he’s real mad! Go figure! However he is comfortable with the usage of ‘ni’, ‘va’ ‘po’, so he is slightly better. Guess it is just a matter of conditioning. I experience cultural shock when I hear people around me calling their babies ‘naai’ (meaning dog) with overflowing affection! Actually I think I’ve stopped judging people who do this- because I realise I ‘m the strange one here. :- (

7.. I’m judgmental about people who are very suspicious about interaction between the genders.

8.. I’m judgmental about people who are pessimistic, negative, and envious.

9.. I’m judgmental about people who are too overconfident bordering on arrogance, and who seem condescending.

10.. I’m judgmental about people who come across as extremely over smart, over exuberant trying to seem soooo friendly and ‘extrovertish’. Most anchors- esp. those telephone in programmes on TV give me this impression. I experience a kind of sadistic delight in subjecting myself to their 'joie de vivre' and then seethe and squirm!

Having read most of the other tags, I’ve dared to come up with my eccentric tendencies in the hope that I’ll be forgiven and welcomed with open arms by my blogger friends. Now, let me self-tag myself to do the other one about what I admire in others – a fervent attempt to undo atleast some of the damage done by this one.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The Most Happening tag

I was tagged by Usha M at Sulekha and by Punds here. And those who’ve had the patience to read my blogs all through since 2003, I guess there are no more facts left to be unearthed about me. Still let me try to come up with a few more random facts about me.

1. When I come across an interesting word, I’ve a habit of trying to translate it into the languages I know- and I’m thrilled when I succeed in finding an appropriate word.

2. When I’m in a foul mood, I can ‘see’ my expression like I were a spectator- and I ‘watch’ the proceedings with loathing and helplessness. Needless to say, it only serves to sour my mood further.

3. I have this dream of attending workshops in Dramatics, Creative Writing, and Performing Arts.

4. I can be the most withdrawn, sullen person at some times and the most exuberant, vivacious, guffawing person at other times!

5. I’m almost 40 now and still at some moments I can be extremely shy/coy and this embarrasses me no end.

6. When I’m by myself, I hate to abide by the clock or any kind of routine but I ‘m careful about sticking to time when it involves others.

7. I used to be a chatterbox once, but nowadays I don’t feel inclined to talk much. There are times when I almost start to utter something and stop even before I begin.

8. Phone calls (esp. when it’s unexpected) from dear friends make my day- the rest of the day I float in happiness and remembered joy. But I worry that perhaps I had not expressed my delight enough.

Since this tag has been doing the rounds rather freely, anybody who feels inclined to take up the tag and hasn’t been tagged, please feel free to do it.

Monday, July 16, 2007


My Guru gave me yet another opportunity to perform on two more stages in the span of a week ( Bharathanatyam recitals) as a part of our Dance school troupe. That makes it the eighth stage performance in the last one year! I find it hard to believe.

I enjoyed every moment.
I enjoyed the company of the young girls- young enough to be my daughters and yet they did not make me feel my age. I enjoyed the camaraderie, the light hearted banter- the leg pulling- though I was more of the amused, indulgent spectator. The friendly orchestra members, the family atmosphere.

I enjoyed the travel to the venues in a spacious van – with a movie playing which I watched intermittently with half open eyes and gave me a headache further on. I enjoyed the eating together in a small, clean abandoned wayside temple premises which we left even cleaner. I enjoyed the make up sessions, the mutual helping with the cumbersome costumes, the laughter, the giggles, the excitement coupled with nervousness as we waited backstage for our turn. The clasping of hands and praying together with closed eyes before the programme commenced, the amused stares of the people around and finally the Magic while on stage.

I enjoyed the trepidation in my heart, the glare of the lights, the feel of the stage below my feet, the sound of the ringing applause, the presenting of mementos, the clicking of photos.

I enjoyed the words of reassurance that my Guru spoke after each item, the thrill of achievement as a team …I enjoyed the scramble to unfasten the millions of pins and threads from the hair, the removal of layers of make up- the hurried dress change, and then finally the voracious attack at dinner packets. And finally the tired, yet relaxed homeward journey through the night as some of us slept and others talked. I savoured the mutual playful raillery of mistakes made, all of us fatigued and yet happy.

The two stages were as different as could be in every way- while one was so small that we were a crowd on it. It was a rickety one with criss cross beams covered by heavy mats- and we could feel gaping holes beneath our feet- my Guru was so worried that one of us would fall through the holes that we practically tiptoed gingerly through our steps. Here, there were a couple more stages close by with other performances going on simultaneously and as a result our musicians had a tough time playing by shruthi, making themselves heard- we mostly danced by a sense of feel and memory rather than actually hearing the music to which we were playing. Nothing could be done about it though because it was festival time! A new learning experience!

The next stage was so sprawling that we looked like ants on a football field! We danced (ran) across the length and the breadth of the yawning space called the stage. Here, however the sound system, the organising everything was perfect and we reigned over the arena. Another experience.

DH picks me up early next morning from my Guru’s place and I sleepily recount to him about how the programmes went, on the drive back home. Once home, I look for my sons-talk gibberish - they ask me questions which I answer hardly knowing what I’m saying. I then have a bath and then hit the bed and then it’s the proverbial log.

DH cooks breakfast and lunch, the boys help him. (Thankfully both the times it was Sunday after the programmes being on Saturday). I’m woken up at Breakfast and then lunch time and though I protest and plead that I want no food- only sleep- I’m literally dragged to the dining table and made to eat. I go back to slumber land again- and by early evening I’m more coherent and sensible.

One thing I realise though is that now at this age, while I’m dancing I’m too conscious about not forgetting my steps or missing my cue and so sometimes I miss out on enjoying letting go and to just emote - the technical nuances requires me to be so totally alert that I 'm not able to indulge in my passion for expression. I suppose it must be due to my age.

The Alta (red dye used to adorn the feet and hands ) on my palms and feet have almost faded but the memories of the experience will remain forever- and for that I’ve lots of people to thank for- My guru of course, the young girls with whom I learn, and who help me out…my most supportive and encouraging DH, my sons…and everybody else in my family …and The Almighty.

Mynah on the loose

I was on my daily blog hopping rounds that day, when I thought I heard some sounds coming from the hall. I was sure it must’ve been my imagination, still I went to have a look- and there was a mynah flying around in the hall! I had no idea how it could’ve entered our home- the only way was through the balcony in the bedroom- where I had been sitting all the while, and I hadn’t noticed! It kept flying in circles near the ceiling and I did not know what to do. As I tried shooing it- it flew into the kitchen- there was no way out through there- the windows were open but netted. It kept flying around, alighting on the water filter, the pots and pans, the shelves -clinging and clanging all the way. . I went back to the hall and kept the main doors open hoping that the bird would eventually find its way out.

I went back to my blogs keeping an eye out for the mynah. After some time I heard it in the hall again. I crouched on the floor afraid to breathe, lest it fly into the kitchen again. It was busy examining the underworld beneath the sofas, the shoe racks and kept pecking on the floor. It did not seem too inclined about flying into Freedom... Perhaps it had not realised that its freedom had been curbed. I cautiously tried out a weak, plaintive shoo- all the while worried it might go into the depths of the kitchen again. It hardly noticed. I ventured to tiptoe softly into the hall- nearer- and WHOOSH- thankfully it swooped out the open doors into the outside world in one reflex motion. I closed and bolted the doors behind me in relief. I had been worried that it would never find its way outside.

The Departed

On that Thursday morng ( Jul 5th), as I was busy running around to get things ready before the boys went to school and DH to the office, the door bell rang insistently a couple of times. I usually tend to get frazzled at such times, but I realised that this was an emergency. And it was- it was Saira- the DIL from the opposite flat. I immediately guessed what had happened, because it had been expected. The ‘Bhai’ – Saira’s FIL must’ve collapsed. Saira’s husband- Bhai’s son Afsal had informed us that the doctors had warned them that the end could come at any moment- and there was no need to come running to the hospital anymore. We had been expecting the inevitable and now it was unwinding right before our eyes. Incidentally, Afsal was in the shop through out the night trying to catch up with pending work and Saira and her MIL were all alone at home. DH rushed into their flat upon being informed…saw that “Bhai’ was lying on the floor – his eyes open but unseeing. His breaths came out in gasps and Saira’s MIL was screaming: “Kuchh karo- kuchh karo- unko theek karo”…but now the frail chest was no longer heaving…the warmth was already depleting…

What followed was heart rending- Saira’s MIL- a soft spoken woman who hardly spoke was now lamenting loudly- She was screaming “Allah” incessantly- asking to be taken away along – the neighbours started coming in from the near by flats…and as we tried to calm the woman- yet again, I had the feeling of stepping outside the scene rather than in it. Initially, I wasn’t able to hold back my tears when I first hugged the bereaved woman as she sobbed, my eyes later when completely dry as I performed the required actions in reflex like a zombie.

The departed had been a good old man and a wonderful father. His son Afsal who had by now arrived was devastated and was at a loss as to how to pacify his inconsolable mother. She kept mumbling that if Afsal had been home, his Abba would not have gone. The look in Afsal’s eyes at that moment shall remain etched in my minds eye for a long time.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Just to keep things going...

Saw an interesting tag at Chandni's.

1. Pick out a scar you have, and explain how you got it.

I’ve got a couple of scars on my face- on the right side of my forehead and another on my right temple slightly below my eye. Both have the same story- as a child, though I was not particularly naughty, I did try leaping from cots, school desks- and landed without using my feet. And then blood, tears , stitches, scars…

2. What is on the walls in your room?

One austere looking “Mathrubhoomi” calendar scribbled with the b‘days of friends and relatives . A picture of Radha and Krishna bought from the streets in Udupi.

3. What does your phone look like?

Err…it looks like any ‘phone’ is supposed to look like!

4. What music do you listen to?

Classical songs sung by B’bay Jayashree, Aruna Sairam
Old Hindi film songs.

5. What is your current desktop picture?

Picture of a reddish sun burst on the horizon.

6. What do you want more than anything right now?

Nothing in particular.

7. Do you believe in gay marriage?

Well, I do believe in ‘To each his/her own’.

8. What time were you born?

At noon.

9. Are your parents still together?

Well, Divorce was never an option on their cards.

10. What are you listening to?

Right now, only to the hum of the pc.

11. Do you get scared of the dark?

The absence of light does not scare me, but I do consider it an inconvenience at times.

12. The last person to make you cry?

My brother and his family. Let me explain .
The last time I cried was when I said Goodbye to my brother and his family as they were returning abroad after the hols .

13. What is your favorite perfume/cologne?

Night Magic.

14. What kind of hair/eye colour do you like on the opposite sex?

Thick, Black ,wavy hair with random streaks of grey, eyes that glint with mischief (on a particular member of the opposite gender to be specific).

15. Do you like pain killers?

While I’m not overwhelmed with affection for them I do find them rather indispensable at times.

16. Are you too shy to ask someone out?

Doesn’t apply to me.

17. Favorite pizza topping?

I dislike Pizzas.

18. If you could eat anything right now, what would it be?

Feeling rather full right now after a sumptous breakfast of Uthappams, still I think I can have Hot spicy samosas followed by Butterscotch Icecream any time.

19. Who was the last person you made mad?

Of late , My elder son at any point of time.

20. Is anyone in love with you?

Oh sure.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Me? Thinking Blogger?!

Since coming home after the summer holidays spent with my parents in Kerala, I had been overcome by a kind of apathy wrt my blog. I just did not feel like putting thoughts, feelings into words. I’m not sure as to what could be the reason. Perhaps there is so much of clamor within me that to put them into words would be sheer torment. I just could not feel inclined to sift them, sort them out or even dwell on them. I was left with an overwhelming sense of futility wrt expression of my thoughts and musings. Its not that I’m particularly down or unhappy, just felt that the whole exercise was kind of pointless. Fleetingly I even considered deleting my blogs, and then decided I couldn’t be bothered to do even that. I just let it be suspended in a state of limbo- doubtful if I’d ever feel like resurrecting it.

However, this indifference wrt to blogs was restricted only to mine and I was actively catching up with others’ blogs. Most of the time I came away without leaving any footprints. Some days I did not even check my page and was sure I was slowly sinking into oblivion in cyberspace. Did I care? I don’t think so.

Today was different though, I clicked my page to visit the blogs on my blogroll and I see new comments on my last post. I saw that Gauri had tagged me and that too with the Thinking Blogger award! My first reaction was that of disbelief. Now I had seen this award doing its rounds in blogdom and it was one tag I was sure that I would not be tagged with. It had not occurred to me that my musings would ever be considered as a ‘thinking blog’. Nevertheless, I’m pleased. Thank you Gauri. My ego has been pampered. :- )

Now that Gauri has honored me with this award, I decided to break through my cocoon of apathy. The other bloggers on her list would’ve been on mine too, but let me now consider other options. There are many blogposts that have made me ponder, wonder at various occasions…still let me stick to five here as per the requisites of the tag.

Srijith Unni

I stumbled into his page on blogdom from another blog and have been a regular reader of his posts since. I’ve found his words – be it prose/commentary/ poem very sensitive and thought provoking. I like the way he thinks and expresses. I even like his replies to the comments.


Got to read him first through Sulekha. His posts- stories/ random musings/ nostalgic memories are disarmingly simple and touching. The kind of earnestness throbbing in his words startles one by its sheer intensity of feeling sometimes. His posts have often made me wonder about the persona behind the words and thoughts. His stories have a wistful tone about it and sometimes make me wish I had a magic wand with me.

On The Ganga Mail

This is one blogger whose posts I’m eager to read- I’m eager to know what topic is it that he is going to write about next. His honesty and forthrightness is so refreshing and charming. His posts are laced with mischief which sometimes makes the reader chuckle, at other times one wonders if he is daring the reader to refute…there is definitely a zing to his posts! And then there is that random poignant post which touches the reader and compels one to pause and wonder…


Her posts, I find it hard to define or categorize. She talks about so many things presenting facts sort of objectively- mostly that she encounters in the daily business of living- she adds her own perspective and then leaves the reader to his/ her own interpretation. I rarely comment but her posts most often gets me into a self- conversation mode.


His poems astonish me with the clarity and spontaeinity of thought. The flow of words are sometimes so spontaneous having that impulsive raw/casual touch to them that for a moment one is almost deluded to thinking that they might have spurted forth from one’s own heart . The characters in his stories are often so well etched with details- physical/ emotional – that one tends to feel that one knows them. The theme keeps running in the back of my mind and I find myself toying with the possibilities and probabilities getting sucked into a vortex of ideas…

I’m not sure if the above bloggers would be interested in taking up the tag.

If you choose to pass this award on, these are the Thinking Blogger Award rules:
This award was started here.
You have to award five others whose blog you think deserve this award.
Should you choose to participate, please make sure you pass this list of rules to the blogs you are tagging.
If, and only if, you get tagged, write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think.
Link to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme.
Optional: Proudly display the ‘Thinking Blogger Award’ with a link to the post that you wrote.
Please, remember to tag blogs with real merits, i.e. relative content, and above all — blogs that really get you thinking!

Saturday, April 28, 2007

What kind of Intelligence do I have?

Your Dominant Intelligence is Linguistic Intelligence

You are excellent with words and language. You explain yourself well.
An elegant speaker, you can converse well with anyone on the fly.
You are also good at remembering information and convicing someone of your point of view.
A master of creative phrasing and unique words, you enjoy expanding your vocabulary.

You would make a fantastic poet, journalist, writer, teacher, lawyer, politician, or translator.

Monday, April 23, 2007


Sometimes it is difficult to live with oneself more than with others. It is difficult to rise up to the standards that one has set for oneself. Simply because it entails going against one’s innate nature, against one’s likes and preferences. It is a tight rope walk because one can neither abide nor evade. There are moments when one has to keep up appearances and that is uncomfortable. The awareness of having to seem different from what one actually feels preys on the mind and yet it is not always viable to express. It is a weird dilemma. While I don’t like the mask, one cannot remove and throw it away either. Lots of things depend on it, not just things, others, and relationships are all hinged to this mask that I wear. While it may not be deceit as such, it still is not complete honesty either.

Having to face the not so pleasant facets of oneself is difficult. Even when there is no fear of judgment, still it becomes imperative to seem otherwise and then one feels inadequate and petty.
There are situations in daily life that one does not welcome and yet one is obliged to seem comfortable. There is just no other option. Because that is the right thing. Just that one does not feel like doing the right thing always. Striving to be a better person than one actually is a strain. And then one has to pretend that one enjoys doing the expected thing. One has to smile a lot, one has to make small talk, one has to laugh…and all the time I have this weird feeling of watching me going through all the expected motions. I hear this tiny voice in my head chuckling and making fun at my efforts.

Where is the real me? Who is the real me? What do I really want? The people who have grown to like/love me – is that the real me? I’m not sure. I know myself as this temperamental person who is moody, easily irritable, who loves most spending time with herself- and who is that other gregarious person chattering away, laughing heartily? Oh, that other person does look like me- but no that is not the Real me.
The facets that people get to see of me are just slivers of the whole- while not entirely phoney, they’re still not the true me. They’re interacting with a very temporary, fickle facet that vaporizes in solitude.

And I want to shake these people who think they know me, who think I’m this nice, sweet person, I need to tell them- I’m not what you see and you may not like what you don’t get to see. I’m stuck with this sticky, pesky mask but I cannot throw it away either, for if I peel it off, it will come away with my skin and all and that would be a pretty ugly sight! I know because when I look into the mirror I see me without the mask- warts and all!

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Waiting for Tuesdays

Now, we ( my sons and me) wait for Tuesdays. On Tuesdays, a mobile library van drives up into our colony. When it first came about 2 weeks ago, and we received the the little pamphlet advertising its services, my sons and me marched upto it in the scorching sun with Great Expectations. It was like a furnace inside- a furnace filled with books; and though Great Expectations were unfulfilled still we were quite happy. We plundered the insides like elephants let loose in a sugarcane field.

Now, why we are celebrating the occassion- that's because all these years it has been so difficult to get hold of books in English here. There are only a couple of libraries and those have books only in the vernacular or it is reference texts. We've been starved for books.

Each of us got home 3 books and proceeded to gorge on them the moment we reached home. Within the week, we had finished with our books and we were eagerly waiting for next Monday- and when Monday dawned and the van did not arrive we felt betrayed. However the van came again on Tuesday and that’s how it will be – Tuesdays.

On Tuesday once again my sons and myself braved the blazing sun and ransacked the furnace of books. I felt sorry for the librarian girl who was getting baked in the van.

As I type these words, I’ve finished with Jhumpa Lahiri’s ‘Interpreter of Maladies’ ( neat collection of stories, very real and simple) . I was hoping for 'Namesake', but I’m grateful for small mercies. And though I mourn the end of one book, the prospect of two more books awaiting me is exciting.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

My Visual DNA

I had been seeing this on most of the blogs that I visit that I just had to find out mine:

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Frozen Limbo

My husband’s childhood friend had come down on holidays from Australia. She called us and told us she was coming to see us. I too have known her since all these years and though we don’t get to see eachother often we’ve kept in touch. She is a very sweet, cheerful and endearing person and we’ve always enjoyed her company. Though I’ve not known for as long, still we’ve always felt connected with each other and she had always been very affectionate and warm.

Last time we met her and her family on the occasion of her sons’ “upanayanam” (sacred thread) ceremony around five years ago.

We had heard that she had to have a few surgeries few months back but that she was fine now. We were eagerly looking forward to meeting her after five years.

The first thing that caught my eye as she got out of the auto was the angry red scars on her fair throat. I was taken aback for a second. We settled down after the initial ‘Hi- how are you’s’ and then I asked her what had been bothering me for some time now. I asked her what surgeries she had had to have and why. There was just a moment’s pause and then she said with a smile: “I had cancer-”. She hastened to add- “but I’m perfectly fine now”.

And for me that moment was a strange limbo - inside my head, thoughts, questions, feelings were rushing about like crazy, and outside I remember trying to look as nonchalant, unruffled as ever – I don’t remember what all I said- I just sensed that she would prefer it if I did not make a fuss and so I complied.

She talked nineteen to the dozen-as she always did- but her voice had changed. She clicked photographs and we were all laughing away as we always did whenever we met. We caught up with the years.

Later in the evening she left – leaving us stuck in a strange place. A zone where her words kept reverberating in our ears. A zone where one wanted to go into the past desperately undo the prognosis. A zone where we were stuck with memories of scenes from our past together. A zone of a vague unrest and anxiety. A zone of deep Love and Prayer. It took us a few days to be able to shake off that vague unrest and come to terms with it.

I’ve decided to focus on the positive, to believe that she is completely cured, that the Future is Hopeful and Bright for her and her family. I want to remember her gaiety, her radiance, her smile, her laughter, her love and affection- and most of all I want to wipe those red angry scars from my memories and her neck….

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Style Style thaan, Super Style Thaan...

Had been catching up with bloghopping , and got to read the ‘style tag’ that seems to be doing the rounds presently. I found reading the various ‘style formats’ very interesting and also thought to myself that this was a difficult tag. And then when I came to the end of Hiphopgrandmas’s blog, spotted my name.
Oops! I thought, not at all sure if I’d be able to come up with this one. Still I decided to try, solicited the help of a couple of individuals who have known me from fairly close quarters. I must confess that the joint project was not entirely an entertaining exercise. But yes , atleast I got fodder for this post and for this I’m obliged to thank the aforementioned individuals for their valuable contribution. Moreover, the conclusions drawn proved to be conflicting and contradictory most of the time- i.e; mine vs their perceptions. Anyways here’s the analyses drawn for your kind and patient perusal: However, I would like to remind my beloved readers that since I suspect my assistants in this project were prejudiced in their observations , they should not let themselves be influenced by what they read.

Sunshine: I think of myself as this bright ray of sunshine brightening other people’s life- whose path I may cross- bringing cheer to their otherwise mundane existence.
My co- assistants in this project seemed to slightly disagree with this observation. They mentioned that perhaps I was sunshine to certain people within a certain periphery and for a limited period of time, but if they were exposed to extended time period the sunshine would have got too much to bear increasing chances of Heat stroke. According to them, living under the same roof 24/7, 365 days- could be compared to the “Big Boss Scenario” . Oh well, I confess that I do have my share of ‘sulk’ episodes, and do succumb to the ‘tantrum mode’ now and then, but then what else is the luxury and privacy of one’s Home worth if not to indulge in some minor whims and moods?

I laugh out spontaneously and my mirth tends to be rather contagious spreading Happiness, joy and sense of wellbeing- and my laughter is like the tinkle of bells- or may be marbles in a glass bottle- anyways very pleasant to the ears.
Again, there were voices of dissent, certain people insist that my guffaws sound like “maala padakkam’” ( those chain fire crackers that people burst during festivities ) and make people jump out of their skins.

Well, here, we did manage to reach a kind of consensus, upto a point atleast. That is I’m capable of breaking into tears, sobs at the drop of a hat, or anything else for that matter which is droppable. However the point of disagreement arose when I chose to describe myself as someone who is very sensitive, compassionate. A couple of stone hearted individuals preferred to call me an irreparable leaky tap.

I keep away from arguments, confrontations because I’m a peace loving soul, but the same aforementioned assistants of mine accuse me of being an escapist like the ostrich and that perhaps this behaviour could also be attributed to lack of courage. Besides, they reminded me that this burying my ‘head in the mud’ habit of mine was not prevalent within the privacy of Home sweet Home where I had no hesitation in making my voice heard . Sigh…some people are doomed to be misunderstood always.

I like to take things easy, do my things in my own sweet time in my own pace. At this point I thought I heard some mumbled references being made to goose and ganders.

I like to try to convince people when I know I’m in the right and that it would be good for others in the long run to be able to see my point. I’ve enormous patience in trying to drive the point home. This time, I’m sure I heard something about a broken record, and driving up walls .

I’m very expressive in my affection and smothering my loved ones is my speciality. People whom I love will never be in doubt as to how much they’re loved by me. And now the ungrateful souls liken me to the Spin option in a washing machine!

I’m not sure if I’ve been able to come up with 10 things that reflect my style, but I’ve been described at various instances by different people with different names- and many a time they’ve been mutually contradictory too! I’ve been referred to as Angel, Fairy, Dormant Volcano , Mother Hen, Doll, Spluttering Mustard, Cheeni Mulaku ( species of green chillies that can burn your tongue, intestines ). Well, it all depends I guess…

And now let the drum rolls begin: I hereby tag Alaapana and Arunima. I think I do know that both of you do not get terribly excited by tags, but then I have to tell you was this tag was pretty interesting, intriguing, exciting, entertaining, adventurous…I’ve run out of adjectives… so let me just say do it…Plisssssssss.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Realisation Of A Dream

As the date of my going on stage approached, I was filled with a gamut of emotions- excitement, thrill, anticipation, fear, joy, misgivings… Practice sessions were frequent. I had to request my tuition girls to grant me leave until after the 18th of Jan. Every evening saw me cook dinner and then boarding two buses to go for my rehearsals. Kids stayed back home after school, and DH picked me up on his way back home every evening.

My friends and relatives knew how important this event was for me and even those who were far from me geographically were as excited and happy for me. I received encouragement from all sides. I can never thank them all enough .

The anxiety that I was feeling were due to several reasons: I was worried about the total expenditure that we would incur. It was a great burden on my heart but my husband re assured me that it was worth it and encouraged me constantly. Still the thought haunted me.

Another fear was if I would fumble, falter or forget my steps on stage. Again, my near and dear ones gave me confidence and courage.

I was also concerned about how I would help my tuition girls with catching up with their portions.

However, in spite of all these anxieties, I enjoyed my rehearsals completely and forgot everything else while I was at the classes. My knees still pained but it was much tolerable. Only the bus rides were a bit tedious because it used to be jam packed.

Finally the D-Day dawned. My amma , mema( aunt), cousin, her husband and Vallyamma (MIL)were with me. We had stage rehearsals the previous evening. For the first time in my life, I performed to the accompaniment of live orchestra. It was a totally different experience. The stage was sprawling and I was bewildered. My Guru gave us instructions as to how to cover the stage, stand, face the audience everything. The other girls had done this before and seemed to be at ease. The little ones who were doing it for the first time seemed cheerfully nonchalant.

I helped to compose the MC material and enjoyed doing it.

We had to reach the hall at 11 a.m on the day though the program was scheduled to commence only at 6.15p.m. I was the first to reach there with my box of accessories, costume and precious salangai. Soon the others followed and the make up room was opened for us. The make up artistes were from Chennai and they set about doing up our hair almost immediately. The air was festive with the little ones prancing around excitedly. What was most endearing was the way how everyone- the other girls, both the seniors and juniors, the mothers who had accompanied them were all so affectionate and helpful. We had brought lunch from home and everyone shared with one another. The senior girls kept reminding the boisterous little ones not to tire themselves out. I kept getting sms’es and calls from my friends and well wishers wishing me luck. I was not feeling completely relaxed and tried to take deep breaths and kept chanting for most of the time.

When my face was done, and I looked into the mirror, I was not too happy with how I looked. But the other girls assured me that I looked fine. We helped one another with the costumes. My mother, Vallyamma, aunt, cousin came to the green room to see me. My cousin wanted to click me and I posed for her self consciously.

Finally it was time. My Guru blessed us, did salangai pooja and wished us Luck. The lights dimmed and I waited in the wings with a pounding heart. The music started, the beats began and I stepped into the arc lights- on the stage…what happened afterwards I cannot describe. How does one put into words the unfurling of a Dream- The Magic of a Transcendental Experience? The energy that pulsated within my spirit as I took my steps to the rhythm of the Music Beats – perhaps I could call it Resurrection?

It was an invocatory item- Pushpanjali- a floral tribute seeking the Blessings of The Almighty, The Guru, The Accompaniments, and The Audience for a successful performance. As I bowed in front of my Guru, I was overcome by a feeling of immense Gratitude. The piece moved smoothly- and as I danced my way towards the exit finally- I entered the backstage and I broke down into huge hysterical sobs. I had had no inkling that it was coming and I was unable to stop myself.

All the other girls waiting there gathered around me offering words of comfort and solace. They were so overpoweringly affectionate and concerned – it was all so overwhelming. Someone offered water, another gingerly dabbed my eyes reminding me not to smudge my make up! Slowly, I regained my composure and after those cathartic moments, I felt strangely subdued and blank for the rest of the evening.

After the next couple of items, it was time for me to go onstage again. I was no longer nervous and yet I made a small mistake. The evening went on smoothly and friends and relatives showered me with compliments. My loved ones treated me as if I were a celebrity! I accepted all the affection, appreciation gratefully, though by now, I was feeling like a third person and everything was happening to someone else and not to me.

Gratitude- Immense Gratitude, A sense of complete, Total fulfillment. A feeling of being filled with Blessedness, deep Gratitude- yes I just have to keep reiterating the word Gratitude- again and again... for Everything- a sense of utter Humility...wonder and lots and lots of Love that I am at the point of Bursting. Every word that I wish to utter is choked by sobs the tears come gushing forth- not out of sadness but just sheer joy... I have no words to express- no language can quite do justice to express what I I just bow my head with closed eyes and folded palms in prayer.