Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year

The year is coming to an end. And as usual it is time for me to take a couple of useless resolutions which I know I will never keep but which I will make just for the heck of it.
So here I go. Here are a couple of resolutions which I am making and which I hope I keep.

1.I am going to practice being nice. Nice to everyone I know, don’t know, like, dislike, everyone. I will also try to be the same person that I am with my friends to my family. In short I will try to get rid of my hyde personality!!
2.I am going to start writing accounts. For those who know about my “account writing” skills quit laughing. I am serious. I started writing accounts in my first year of engineering and I have successfully managed to fill up 5 pages of accounts for 5 years. I am pathetic with accounts. I just cannot manage money. The minute I have some money on my hands I spend and 2 days after I have spent it I don’t remember what I did with it. So I am going to write accounts sincerely now.
3.I am going to do more of what I like this year. I hope I get lots of opportunities.
4.I am going to read more books. The past year I would have hardly read some 7-8 books (only 3 good books in that) and this year I am going to take some time out and do some quality reading.

2007 has been a good year on the whole for me. Coming to think of it all 21 years of my life have been good. But 2007 was different. A lot of new things have happened in my life. The best moments of each month would be:

Jan 2007: the unforgettable final year tour. Wow!! Is it already an year?? Unbelievable!! Seems like yesterday. Last year this time I was in kulu manali celebrating my new year in sub zero temperatures and this year I am sitting in front of a computer doing java coding.
I also remember writing THIS post last january. Since the number of relatives reading my blog has gone up I would like you guys to read it again. Nothing much has changed in the past one year!! ;)

Feb 2007: the singles party on Feb 14th!! The last and best singles party of college life. Amazing fun we guys had celebrating our singledom. (MS-Word says there is no word like that but u know what I mean). We have already started planning for this years singles party. Its scary. Out of the 6 ppl who were are at the singles party last year 2 are getting married. The singles in our group are becoming extinct. :(

Mar 2007: The college culturals. The last one yet again. Mind blowing fun. Shit man!!! I so wish I could go back to college now. All those night outs before the culturals, those petty fights over money, petty fights with the boys, petty fights over almost everything. Sigh!!! Instincts 2007 was just so great.

Apr 2007: Successful completion of our final year project. Phew!! How much we struggled to convince everyone that our project would actually work and ultimately we got stuck with an external who was just not interested in our project.

May 2007: leaving college. Leaving a place which was a part of me for 4 years. Leaving friends, leaving hostel, leaving a carefree and joyful existence. I cried so much that if all my tears had been desalinated Chennai’s water problem would have been solved.

Jun 2007: joining Cognizant. And more importantly joining the cognizant internal blogging network. A move which I don’t think I will ever regret. Have met some amazing people, made some great friends and if I can say so myself have grown as a writer. After joining cognizant I think it is one of the best things to have happened to me.

Jul-Aug 2007: Training. I would be lying completely if I said training was hectic. Training was awesome and rightly called as the honeymoon period of an IT professionals life. Trying to be professionals in an IT company. A very different experience indeed.

Sep-Nov 2007: moving in to a new accommodation. Lots of adjusting, lots of fighting, lots of compromises, lots of fun.

Dec 2007: Assassination of Benazir Bhutto. (Did u notice that?? Someone once complained that I don’t write about current affairs and things that matter. Did u notice what an absolutely valuable piece of information I have provided??). Anyway yesterday the first Cognizant bloggers meet happened. It was amazing fun. It is good to meet people whose writings u admire. Helps u relate more to the writer I feel. And the year ended on an extremely happy note for me when a very nice man told me that if ever he had a daughter he would want her to be just like me!! I have never been this thrilled and happy about anything before. Thanks a lot Mr. nice man though for ur sake I hope ur daughter is nothing like me!!! I shudder to think of the havoc a replica of me would wreak. :)

It’s the year end and I am in a really happy, sappy mood. I hope this euphoria lasts throughout 2008!!
Wish all of you a very very Happy and Prosperous New Year!! :)

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Lost my Orkut account!!!

I have lost my orkut account!! The other day I was trying to log on to orkut and it kept telling me that I had given the wrong password. Now I have really fat and stubby fingers and whenever I am typing any password I always hit a couple of wrong keys and hit the correct one only on the third or fourth try. This can be a pain when I am logging on to my machine in office. After three wrong entries my account gets locked automatically and I have to call the global service desk to unlock it. Now almost every second day I call them and ask them to unlock my account. In fact last week my account got locked three times in one day and when I called GSD the third time the woman at the help desk didn’t even wait to confirm my details. She was so used to hearing my voice. This was the conversation between us.

Me: Errr. My account has been locked

She: just a minute ma’am I ll unlock it

Me: my associate id is…

She: yes I know ma’am. Associate id is 123456 and DOJ is blah blah. you called an hour back

Me: Errrr. Yes!!

Well anyway. So when orkut told me that I had typed the wrong password 2 times I didn’t bother. But after trying five times (the fifth time I typed my password in word and copy pasted it) I began to have my fears. The first thought which crossed my mind was "Oh my god. Someone has hacked my account. Soon they will misuse my profile and my photograph will start appearing on "ahem-aaahh-cough-cough" sites." Now I use my yahoo account to log in to my orkut and my google account for blogger and gmail. Then I tried logging on to my gmail and I found a mail from google telling me that my yahoo account was no longer active and that I would have to use my google account for everything and if my blogger/orkut was still using yahoo I would lose all my details!!! :(
So now i cant access my orkut account of three years, i cant edit anything in my profile, i cant accept testimonials and the whole process of creating a new account, re constructing a friend list of 289 friends seems like a very tiring job to do. if this had happened an year back i think i would have probably committed suicide. seriously i was completely ADDICTED to orkut. my day would be incomplete if i didnt log on to orkut, scrap a few useless people, write testimonials for a few friends. if by chance i didnt log on to orkut i wuld think about orkut the whole day. it was like dope. i couldnt live without it. but now an year later i dont feel a thing. i have lost my account and i just dont feel like creating a new account, renewing my contacts etc. i think right now i am more addcited to blogger than to orkut. i am so glad that i didnt lose my blogger account. Anyway so if u know/knew me on orkut and have scrapped me and are angry coz i havent replied u know the reason now. if ever i decide to create a new account i will let u know!! :)

Friday, December 21, 2007

Spring Cleaning - II

Well whether u like it or not here is part-II of spring cleaning. ;)

Bathroom:

The bathroom in our house is a really interesting place!! On entering there is a shelf which at any given point of time has 5 shampoos all at different stages of their lives. Some are new to the surroundings and some are just breathing their last breath. Its funny. My mom uses some herbal shampoo, my dad (who errr…doesnt have much hair left on his head) fears that after using the herbal shampoo his hair might start growing(i tease him saying that hair growing on his head would be like rice growing in the Sahara but he doesn’t listen) so he uses clinic plus, and then we also have sunsilk (for the guests mom says), my sister (when she visits) uses some shampoo whose name eludes me (honestly speaking I cant even pronounce it) and I use a little bit of all. I love experiments. I put a little bit of herbal+clinic plus+sunsilk+$%^*$ and put it on my head (which probably explains why I have lesser hair than my dad and whatever is remaining smells funny (read: smells like a pigsty)). All the persuasion from my side to reduce all of it to one bottle always falls on deaf ears

Anyway coming to soaps next. In the soap dish in my house you will find a green color soap, on whose back is piggy backed a pink color soap on whose back is a white color soap and so on. If u don’t know what I am talking about then obviously there is no one like my dad at ur house!! my dad believes that scraps of soaps should be preserved so that they can be joined along with the new soap thus forming two soaps. when asked why he cant throw the scraps of soap the gandhian inside my father surfaces and he says “there are children in Somalia who don’t get even a bucket of water a day let alone a piece of soap. you should consider urself blessed. never waste stuff when there are million out there in this world who have never seen it”.
and experience tells me that the minute the gandhian in my dad awakens the sarcasm in me must die and I must keep quiet. same is the case with toothpastes. my dad is never satisfied till he has squeezed the last drop of life out of the poor tube of toothpaste!!

Bedroom:

This time I have to face both amma and appa and two box cot’s full of junk (for people who are wondering what a box cot is it is a cot whose lower half aint empty. it is shaped like a box so u can keep stuff in it)
apart from this there is a cupboard full of useless papers
from the box cot I retrieve close to 25 unused dupattas

me: amma!! so many unused dupattas.i don’t care what u say. I am throwing these away. we don’t use even one of these now
amma: don’t be silly. I have been saving it for the winter months. when it gets really cold I can make a rajaai out of all these dupattas.
(she has been saying this for the past 4 yrs since we shifted to this house and come November we always buy a rajaai for the harsh winter, the dupattas forgotten )
next I discover a carton full of diaries dated from 1978 to 1996 most of them empty and some of them have my mothers neat handwriting on it describing in detail how she spent the princely amount of rs 1000(my dad’s salary in 1982) and how much of it she saved
(I cannot imagine how a couple could have lived in such abject poverty and my mother tells me that every month they used to send Rs 200 to each of my grandparents!! )
me: these moth eaten, rat bitten, infection carrying diaries!! do u need these??
amma: yes of course. good that u found these. I have been wanting to show u how wisely appa and I used to spend money and how neatly we maintained accounts. you children nowadays get a king’s salary you don’t save, you don’t invest, just spend spend spend!! tch tch. come here. see look at the entry for November 1983. that is the only time we used to get clothes for diwali. we saved every pie we could and that is the reason we have been able to give u such good education (next comes a long rigmarole about how my children will suffer if I don’t save or have a SIP-whatever that means. (I try telling her that the minute they become my children their suffering starts but refrain from saying so))

anyway the bottom line is I do not take the topic of the diaries again
next we move to the cupboard (I throw one piece of rag from the box cot after dusting and cleaning it for an hour!!)
I pick up around 10 kgs (no kidding) of appa’s official papers and proceed to throw them.
Appa stops me and the gandhian in him surfaces again.

Appa: are those papers printed on both sides or one side??
Me (after checking): hmmm…one side
Appa: so many bundles of paper with only one side written. How can u have the heart to throw them? It is because of people like u that half the trees in the Amazon forest are being cut down and things like global warming have become a reality.
Me: DUH!!! Sorry pa. Wont throw these. Will use it to write something!!

Anyway after cleaning three bedrooms and bathrooms I threw out a small polythene bag of stuff. What is most irritating is that over the period of 20 years my parents have thrown out my entire stamp collection (by mistake my mom still swears). my interest in philately has died since then, 12-13 posters of mine which I had painstakingly cut out of sports star every month, 287 ├ęclairs wrappers that I had collected (don’t ask me why I did it!! I am weird. but I loved to look at those ├ęclairs wrappers now and then and was damn proud of my collection) my entire box of paints, a pair of jeans-my favorite (those are the clothes u wear??? if u wear it out and go people might think we don’t provide for u or something!! was my mom’s argument) and so many other things which I loved and preserved!!
Anyway after that round of spring cleaning I took a vow never to assist my parents in this maddening hobby of theirs and so this is the concluding part of this series (do i hear a sigh of relief?? )!!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Random thoughts from my visit to Bangalore

1. The more I visit Bangalore the more I feel glad that I live in Chennai. I m not very fond of Bangalore (Sorry to hurt pro-bangaloreans but this is just my opinion). Some of the things about Bangalore which I will never get used to are
Traffic: the traffic in bangalore is a killer. A mere 7 kms will take you one and half hours. Its maddening to waste 2 hours in the traffic doing nothing but waiting at signals and waiting and waiting and waiting for an absolution that never seems to come!! :-\
Transportation: the Bangalore government should be kicked in all the wrong places for running buses which have numbers in kannada, number plates in kannada, the place names in kannada and bus drivers who speak nothing but kannada and have this inexplicable hatred for Tamils. U can’t go anywhere in public transportation in Bangalore unless you know kannada or know someone who knows the city well.
Weather: I am sure 99.99% of the people will disagree with me on this but I hate the Bangalore weather. I cant stand cold places. I hate being bundled up in woolens. I love the tropical climate of Chennai and the nippy Bangalore weather gets on my nerves

2.Old age is a sad sad sad thing. The more I look at old people the more I wish I die at the age of 50. It is scary to visit a relative who just a few months back weighed close to 60 kgs and now weighs less than half the original. It is even scarier when u bid her goodbye and realize that this is probably the last time you will ever see her. I wish they would find a cure for cancer.

3.The more I see cousins and relatives from the US the more I am convinced that I never want to visit the US and never want to leave India. I made this decision in my final year when everyone I knew was writing GRE to do their masters in some university in the US. I was just not interested. The very thought of leaving my parents and sister and grandmother scares the shit out of me and more importantly I never want a day to come when I will have to address the friendly neighborhood mosquito as a “bug”.

4.the hot chocolate which is available at the Bangalore city station coffee day sucks big time. Its just a spoon of drinking chocolate in plain hot water. Not even milk or milk powder. So if u are feeling cold in the night and happen to be at the Bangalore city station u know what not to have.

5.I have decided that if ever I have enough money I think I will buy a motorbike and ride it at a speed of 90 kmph on ECR. When sitting behind on a bike can be so much fun I cant even begin to imagine what fun it would be to actually ride one. A bike displaces the i-pod on my list of things to buy with my salary. I can ride a bike fairly decently, the only disadvantage being my height. My legs don’t reach the ground!! :(

6.Finally I had ice cream at the much hyped corner house in bangalore. Had this flavour called death by chocolate and for the past 48 hours since I had that I have been feeling guilty. Ok!! I will be honest. I hogged on the death by chocolate like a kid from Somalia who hadn’t seen food for 15 years but I wonder why all good things in life are fattening!! :(. criminal intake of calories but the ice cream was worth it!!

7.I have a problem with showing affection. When I am with a person who is close to me I act all cool and aloof and don an I couldn’t care less attitude and then later after the person is gone I sit for hours wondering why I was such a bitch. Sigh!! I am so confused.

8.I learned that it is not a very great idea to share your radical views on marriage with anyone above the age of 40. Have discovered that it is FATAL to tell them that you would rather have a dog than marry and have a husband. Warning: Never try this with ur relatives. U will get a specific marriage oriented lecture for an hour, then a general lecture about children today for another hour.

9.I love Chennai. The happiness that shedding sweaters and the warm weather give me is enough to make me live in Chennai all my life. There doesn’t exist another city which has as much life in it as Chennai does!!

10. I love the way Somerset Maugham writes. was reading a collection of short stories written by him on my way to bangalore in shatabdi (sad train!!) and back and i completely fell in love with some stories. have decided to do more quality reading from now on. should buy another collection of short stories by maugham!!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Butter Fingers!!!

I am clumsy. Ok I am very clumsy. Ok finally I am very very very clumsy. I cant do anything right the first time (or for that matter the second third and fourth time). When I try to cook I always burn whatever I am cooking (attempting to cook), if I am painting I spill the water on the canvas first, if I am drawing I smudge the paper and go oops, if I m driving a nail into the wall I drive my thumb in first, then I drive my parents crazy with my screaming and with the remaining energy I drive the nail into the wall, if I walk on a carpeted floor I trip on the carpet, if I walk on a non carpeted slippery floor I lose my balance and slip, if I walk on a non carpeted non slippery floor I stumble on some object and fall down, if I walk on a non carpeted non slippery floor with no objects I have the amazing ability to stumble over my own feet and fall down. I m not even going to talk about wet floors. On an average I bang my head on doors and walls at least thrice every week, skid on the stairs on all weekdays, stumble over my bed sheet and fall from my bed on weekends, get soap into my eyes everyday, put the soap into the commode periodically, cut my finger whenever I enter any kitchen, always drop whatever I am carrying. (sometimes I really do wonder what my fingers are made of. Butter?? Marble?? Soap?? Foam?? What is it?)

Till date I have broken 3 of my fathers spectacles (two by sitting on them and one by dropping them), broken 2 watches ( banged my mothers watch against a wall and my own watch broke when I fell from my vehicle), lost 3 pairs of gold earrings, broken a couple of plates and glasses at my sisters place (god bless the person who invented stainless steel. I cant even begin to imagine the havoc I would have wreaked had all cutlery been in porcelain and glass. My parents would have given me food in aluminium plates like they give doggies. Ewwwww!!). my grand mother tells me that instead of going oops, ayyayo, Sh*t, damn,(I will not mention the other words I use for obvious reasons) if I went rama, krishna the number of times I broke innumerable, countless things I would at least have attained moksha for all that punyam. Sarcastic grand mother u say and I totally agree with you. On a more serious note it is tough having a walking disaster like me in the house. My sister tells me I should enter her kitchen with a helmet and gloves if I have to avoid banging my head on the doors and cutting my hands with a knife. My mom and grandmother are smart. They don’t let me come anywhere within 10 km radius of the kitchen. The other parts of the house though, have to bear the brunt. Why I am built this way I don’t know!!

So needless to say in my family people don’t trust me with anything. if I am given any responsibility I either break the responsibility, lose the responsibility, forget the responsibility or disfigure the responsibility. errr yes. Once I was asked by mom to keep a potted plant on the parapet of our balcony (silly idea given me as a daughter and a house on the third floor). I diligently and ever so carefully carried the plant successfully till the balcony and even till the parapet. After that I placed it on the parapet, only the silly plant instead of resting its posterior on the parapet chose to go all the way down and smash itself into a million unrecognizable pieces. To this day I swear it was only because of the fact that I was suffering from astigmatism that the parapet seemed farther than it really was. The smirk and the sarcastic grin which my mother gives me make me think that she doesn’t believe my astigmatism theory. Parents can be so skeptical sometimes. That brings me to another aspect of my parents. Sometimes I think they only care for the objects in their house and not a priceless (priceless as in precious and not priceless as in priceless ass!!) daughter like me. For eg: sample this conversation between my mom and me

Me: amma!! I need to tell u something.

Mom: Hmmmm. What is it?

Me: I have decided that I have found my only true love and it is yousuf the milkman. I am deeply in love with him and have decided to run away and marry him because u will never allow us to get married otherwise. We have our future all planned. After marriage we will be moving to Afghanistan where he will join the mujahudeen or al quaeda and do social service by bombing more countries, I will convert myself to islam and bear him three children called osama, bin and laden who will grow up to be terrorists. Together we will wipe the human race off the face of this earth. In fact I urge appa and u to join the mujahudeen too and serve people. Inshallah!!

Mom: ok!! But shruthi if u are running away at night don’t stumble over the lamps and pots near the entrance and break them. Put the light on and run away if u want to but don’t break the pots.

You get the drift?? They just don’t care. Sometimes I think my parents should have given birth to pots and lamps and carpets if they care so much about them. I mean yeah I have broken a few (ok!! More than a few) things at home, lost a lot of things but still I am their daughter!!
But lately they have started caring a little. The reason?? Quoting my sister – “Oh my god who will marry an ungainly, clumsy girl like you. You cant cook, you are destructive, you cant walk without falling, cant carry food without dropping!! What are u going to do?”. Ah well. As Krishna so wisely quoted in the gita “whatever happens, happens for the best”. So if my clumsy and ungainly nature can result in “eligible” suitors rejecting me then there is nothing like it. I am glad I am this way and I hope I stay this way!! ;)

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Random Rambles

Saw aaja nachle on Saturday. Good movie. Madhuri looks fab, kunal kapoor looks like a dream; konkona sen sharma does a great job. So why am I not exulting and going "Oh my god!!!!? Such a great movie!!"? Well it was just too predictable. Half an hour into the movie u know how the movie is going to end. U know the good guys get the bad guys, the bad guys lose, some bad guys become good guys and so on so forth. So the movie was just yawn!! But excellent dance. Someone who loves to dance would have completely enjoyed the movie I think (yours truly has got two left feet. I can’t dance even if u told me that George Clooney would marry me if I danced!! am that bad!!). but one time watch.

Sunday: Well. Nightmarish. An extremely trivial issue (at least I think it was trivial) got completely blown out of proportion and I was at the centre of the explosion. I think it is silly to make such a big issue out of nothing but I am also kind of glad it happened. A few things are out in the open and I can talk about them freely now. General opinion is that I seem to have a double personality. People mail me and tell me very politely "I think, maybe u have a double personality". It’s funny. There are people who have a double personality and are unaware of it. I am a person who is completely aware of it but I seem incapable of doing anything about it. I am like ur desi version of Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. The Jekyll part of me is this nice, genial, happy go lucky person and the Hyde part of me is grumpy, complaining, aloof and a somewhat bitter personality. I am completely aware of the existence of both these characters yet I seem unable to change the Hyde into Jekyll. the irony is that people with whom I can afford to be Hyde I am all Jekyll and people with whom I should most definitely by Jekyll I am Hyde. u don’t understand what I am talking about.??? Good. Coz even I don’t understand!! :P.

I am a Gemini and most Gemini’s I know have this double personality. I am not justifying my behavior but I was just musing that maybe if I were born 20 days later or earlier I would have been a different person. Ah well!! Whatever!! I have had a gazillion ppl calling me names and telling me what to do and what not to do for the past week and I have reached a point where I am thinking that if all the energies which these people have been expending over me was used constructively and converted into some usable form, it could probably solve the energy problem of India and the world. is there some convertor which can convert advice energy to electrical energy? I would patent it using just the members of my family (i know their ability. i would be a multi billionaire in a month. i trust their advice giving capacity). I can almost hear some members of my family who read this blog going “my god!! She will never learn. Always sarcastic. Sheesh!! ”. Lol. But seriously I have reached saturation point.

Monday – work – break – work – lunch – work – work – work – take cab home at 11.00 reach at 12.00.

Tuesday – work – break – work – lunch – work – work – work – take cab home at 11.00 reach at 12.00.

Wednesday – work – break – work – lunch – work – work – work – take cab home at 11.00 reach at 12.00.

Did ya notice that? Did ya notice the absolutely happening life I have been leading for the past three days. Phew!! Each day has been so exciting I dunno what to expect. The thrill of anticipation just kills me. :-\ Ok!! I know I am being overtly sarcastic but seriously. I have had enough. Yesterday night I actually dreamt of JSP, Servlet and javascript pages. I can’t wait for the weekend. But then if my family members are in the same form as they were last weekend I wish the weekend flies away too!!

Thursday today. Not that I expect anything earth shattering or mind blowing to happen today but I hope it is peaceful without any comments from the guy sitting at the on site.