Monday, December 29, 2008

Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi - a Reviewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!!

DISCLAIMER: As usual Heavy Sarcasm ahead.

Ok!! I tried my level best to give a neutral title which wouldn’t give away what I felt about the movie but sigh, I guess my hatred for the movie got the better of me and hence the title.
Before reading ahead I would request you guys to have a look at Arun's brilliant spoof on the same movie which represents perfectly what I think of it. "Drab and Banal Jodi". God Arun!! How do u think of such befitting names. Brilliant!! :)

Some movies are made just for critics. If all movies were good, critics would be out of work so u can always trust yashraj movies and Aditya Chopra to dish out something which can make critics rub their hands in glee and close in for the kill

Ok!! maybe my review might be biased because,
1. I can’t STAND SRK and his hysterics (read acting)
2. I can’t stand his exaggerated smile and dimple
3. I can’t stand him crying and my favorite movies are the ones where he dies in the end and I am not kidding when I say I was the only one clapping my hands cheerfully in the theatre when SRK died in Kal Ho Na Ho.

I mean seriously. Doesn’t Aditya Chopra get tired? Of making the same kind of movies again and again and again and again with no other formula except boy+girl+gooey sappy love. All his movies have just these ingredients but different variations of the same nonsense.

For how many years will we keep hearing dialogues like the following

1. 'Har ladki yehi chahti hai ki koi ladka usse deewanon jaisa pyaar kare. aur kuch nahi chahiye ek ladki ko'

Oh yeah!! we don’t care if the guy is a serial rapist or doesn’t earn a penny or owns a garage or doesn’t have a sense of humor or wears crappy clothes and has an even more crappier accent
we just want a guy who can cause a blackout in the city and trouble all its citizens and do "deewaanon jaisa pyaar" (whatever thats supposed to mean). Though I have never been in love frankly I really think a sensible girl would want something a little more than "dewwanon jaisa pyaar"

2. 'Maine to aapko ek boondh bhi pyaar nahi diya aur aap mujh pe baarish pe baarish barsaate gaye'
Eeeeeeeeeeeeee!!
I thought Hindi movies had stopped having dialogues like "Aap mere maang ka sindoor ho", "Mai apne pranon ki ahuti de doongi". You know the kind I am talking about. I mean how much more clichéd can it get. Girl loves someone else. Cant marry him. Marries boy who dotes on her. Doesn’t realize his love till last scene and then belts out dialogues like those mentioned above!! The same concept was handled so beautifully and subtly in Mouna Ragam. Maybe I am biased or maybe I just think Mani Ratnam is a much much much better director than Aditya Chopra ever will be. Even hum dil de chuke sanam handled it very well while RNBDJ makes a mockery of it.

3. 'Mujhe maaf kar do Raj. Ek pal ke liye tumhare pyaar ne mujhe kamzor kar diya tha par maine unme (the other SRK) Rab dekh liye'

Sighhhhhhhh!! The whole movie is based on the premise that we only oughta be with someone in whom we can see Rab (god) and they keep harping about it in the whole movie. The silliest thing being that our heroine plans to run away with the Raj-The Electrician (Errrr. yeah. to prove his love, Raj our mohabbat man take his Taani partner (ewwwwwwwwww) to the top of a hill and writes "I Love You" by cutting out the appropriate lights in Amritsar city) because her husband is a big bore.

And then the next day she goes to the golden temple and prays "Mujhe Rab dikha do, Rab dikha do" and she opens her eyes and sees Shahrukh walking towards her and realisation dawns upon her that he is her Rab. (All Rab's doing mind you. He doesn’t have time to save this world from terrorism, feed the hungry millions, prevent global warming but oh yeah!! He does have the time to show some non descript girl in Amritsar her true love!! Extremely realistic don’t u think?? If u want to know who you must spend the rest of your life with just go to the nearest temple and say "Show me God, Show me God" and then when you open your eyes, whoever you see is your man/woman. errrr. Author of the blog is NOT to be blamed if someone of the same sex stands in front of you or the temple's pujari stands there. No sir!! C'mon. its a "formula" suggested by Aditya Soap-Opera(Thanks Arun!! :)) in RNBDJ!! Its as realistic as any movie can get! BAH BAH BAH!!)

The movie is ridden with such cliches.

1. The bubbly chirpy girl who sings, laughs, loves her doggie, kisses her dad as he goes 'Babul ko chod ke ja rahi hai tu beta', is never sad, so bubbly that she would make champagne look like nariyal paani and then our boy will fall for her. Sheeeeeeeesh!! Aditya Chopra. We saw Kajol in DDLJ dancing in the rain doing the bubbly girl act, we saw her in K3G doing the fun-jabi girl act, we saw her again in KKHH doing the same thing, we saw Madhuri (or was it Karishma) doing the rain dance in DTPH. Just asking, but "HOW MANY MORE SUCH MOVIES WILL YOU MAKE US WATCH"

2. The dying father "sonpofying" his beti's hand in marriage to a nerdy guy.

3. The girl going "Mai aapse kabhi pyaar nahi kar sakti. Pyaar mein bohot dard hota hai" and trying to play the dutiful wife who cant love her husband

4. The rains. The girl getting caught in the rain and the boy giving her a lift.Puhleeeese!! and as if thats not enough to RUB (pun intended!! :P) it in we have Raj the mohabbat man belting out dialogues like "Baarish mai apni aankhne band kar ke.." some shit. I don’t even remember!!

5. The guy going "Rab naraaz to nahi ho jayenge na, kyunki mai tumhe unse zyada chahta hoon". Sheeeeesh!! Thats the most clichéd dialogue I ever heard. I think the dialogue writer probably made a list of "100 crappiest and most clichéd dialogues ever used in Hindi movies" and generously sprinkled RNBDJ with items on that list.

6. And I am not even talking about the MOST talked about loophole in the movie that how can a girl not recognise her husband after he shaves his mouche off?? Selective Amnesia? Alzheimers? Naaah!! They don’t even attempt to explain that in the movie. According to the movie the best disguise a men can ever get is a mouchless face!! We had superb Hindi films like Golmaal (the old one!!! Obviously!!) where we had guys who were twins and the only difference was that one of them had a mouche and the other didn’t and we have movies like RNBDJ (director of Golmaal wherever you are please forgive me for mentioning RNBDJ in the same breath as your movie) where a mouche changes the entire person!! HUMPH!!

7. one more time I hear someone go “Hum hain rahi pyaar ke, phir milenge, chalte chalte” kasam mamta kulkarni ki, I will shoot myself. Mohabbat Man Raj says this a gazillion times in the movie thinking its very cute, hoping to induce a couple of laughs among the audience but failing miserably and only managing to do what he does best. Irritate us with his “he he he he he”!! :-\

Ok!! Now for the positives

Just one. Vinay Pathak.
I don’t understand why an actor of Vinay Pathak’s caliber agreed to work under the Yash Raj banner and belt out sappy dialogues now and then. But Vinay Pathak is the saving grace of the movie. His timely comedy and his dialogues (ironic isn’t it? That the hero and heroine get all the crappy dialogues and the comedian gets the best ones) are seriously worth a watch. The scene where Vinay Pathak says “Saara macho kharab kar ditta” and SRK innocently asks “yaar, yeh macho bike ka kaunsa bhaag hota hai?” is brilliant. Vinay Pathak does a good job, but that’s what he always does.

The newcomer Anoushka is ok with her dancing and acting (not that her character gave much scope for it but she is ok) but is definitely not in the big league of heroines.

And the Surinder – SRK does a fairly decent job at being a nerd but this good show is spoilt by the overacting done by his alter ego - Raj

On the whole I would say watch the movie if you liked KANK, KHNK, K3G, K2H2,DDLJ,DTPH, Mujhse dosti karoge etc and if you think that everyone is blessed with true love and all u need to do is wait for a full moon day where fairies will make u meet your dream boy/girl, and that god has nothing better to do than script your love story and that while it rains you should not run for shelter but taste the rain drops and think about the one you love.

Ok I don’t want to RUB it in any further. You get the drift dotchya? Final verdict - Don’t watch it. Please!!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Ok. So following is what i wrote for a mystery story writing contest in office. Please do let me know what you think of this because i didnt like it much when i read it the second and third time around. anyway. here it is!! :)

brickbats welcome!! :P

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December 12th 2007
He sat on the cold stone slab inside his cell, his head bent down, breathing heavily even as he felt a warm sticky liquid, his blood, trickle down the base of his neck and drip on his jail clothes. He winced as he thought of how the brutal jail barber had inhumanly shaved off all his hair with a few quick strokes of a rusted blade. But not a cry had escaped from his mouth as he had sat through the ordeal.

A grating sound came as an aluminum dish was crudely pushed into his cell and the warden said “khana kha le. Khuda jaane phir kab tujhe khana naseeb ho –Eat your food, lord knows when you will see food again”. He picked up the dish which consisted of rice in a yellow color liquid and sighed as he saw the little boll worms in the rice. They didn’t clean the rice even for the prisoners on the death row he thought as he pushed away the plate disgustedly. But then again food was the last thing on the mind of a prisoner on the death row.

Its funny how they say your entire life flashes before u just moments before you are about to die. He now closed his eyes and saw Tasneem, his beautiful Tasneem standing in front of him, smiling a shy smile and wearing the gorgeous pink salwar he loved so much, her head bent, looking just the way she had looked the first day when he had gone to meet her. For him it was love at first sight. It was a standing joke between them and Tasneem would say that it was the pink salwar he had fallen in love with at first sight and he would be quick to assure her that it was Tasneem in the pink salwar that he had fallen for – hook line and sinker. Tasneem. Charming, beautiful, intelligent, playful, a perfect mother, wife and daughter in law. She was too good to be true. The smell of jasmine in her hair, the faint smell of her favorite rose perfume from her clothes, her twinkling eyes, her laughter, the comfort of her arms. He would never feel them again. He would never see her again.

16 year old Sohrab. An adolescent now. He remembered how his neighbor qazi Aslam had held the baby in his hands and said “Inshallah khoobsoorti aur dimaag pe yeh baccha Tasneem aur sirf Tasneem par hi jaaye - God willing, I hope the baby is blessed with the looks of Tasneem and the brains of Tasneem” and laughed. He was glad Aslam’s prophecy had come true. Sohrab with his handsome face and pleasing demeanor was the kind of son any father would love to have. Playing chess with him and losing miserably, going on drives with him, laughing defenselessly when Tasneem and Sohrab ganged up against him. He would never experience all that again.

His parents. So much they had done for him. So much he had to learn from them. His mother’s chicken tikka, his father’s stories, their beautiful house by the river. Never again.

His closest friend. Major Enthu. Called so because of his infectious enthusiasm. Tall, Smart and extremely intelligent. At the age of 24 he had been a major in the army. He could liven up the coldest of days and the bleakest of atmospheres on the war front with his jokes and enthusiasm. They were best buddies despite the difference in age and ranks. Extremely fun loving and a never ending reservoir of jokes and anecdotes.

Operation Vijay during the Kargil war. Being shot in the right leg and being incapacitated right on the enemy lines. Enthu again. It was Enthu who had come back for him when everyone else had retreated to the safety of the trench. It was Enthu who had carried him over his shoulders for almost 8 kms to the safety of the Indian camp braving enemy shelling and firing and the extremely hostile weather of Kargil. It was Enthu who hadn’t given up on him though he had lost his senses because of immense blood loss and though Enthu himself had suffered minor injuries. It was Enthu who had arranged for him to be admitted in the army hospital in Srinagar. Enthu who had given him a new lease of life. Enthu who had enabled him the luxury of another 8 years with Tasneem and Sohrab.
He always wondered if he would ever be able to repay Enthu. Not any more.
He would never feel Enthu’s slap on his back, never hear another enthralling anecdote from him. Never again would he hear his comrades laugh saying “Major Enthu, maaaajor enthu”. Never again.

“Chalo chalo. Waqt aa gaya hai – Time is up” the heartless voice of the warden broke his reverie.
He got up, rudely pushing away the warden’s grip on his limp shoulders, staring right ahead at the empty wall, refusing to look into the gloating eyes of the warden.
“Vikram Rathod ji” read the warden sarcastically from the tag dangling from his arm and smirked. “Koi aakhri khwaish aapki? – Any last wishes?”

As a last act of defiance he spit on the floor.

The warden hit him hard across the shins and he bore it unflinchingly.
“Chalo Chalo” the warden spat out and pushed him roughly towards the exit of the jail to the open ground where the gallows were waiting for him.
He refused to look at anyone, he refused to look at the triumphant faces of the Pakistani army general and prime minister, refused to be intimidated by them, refused to be overcome by emotions. He had eyes only for the gallows which in some time would envelop him and release him to heaven. It seemed like the only friend he had now, in this foreign land.

There would be no 21 gun salute, no Indian flag draped royally over him, no medals for his bravery, no rewards for his wife and son, but it didn’t bother him.
He stood on the trap door, dispassionately facing the gallows and not uttering a sound as the black hood descended over his head and the noose was tightened over his head. It was ironic. All through life man is afraid of death, the inevitable, but in the last few minutes before facing death a deep calm descends over him which overpowers any feeling of fear.

Click

The trap door opened, the noose tightened around his neck and the body of the condemned man twitched for a few seconds before periodically swinging like a pendulum from the gallows.

October 15th 2008
Detective Farzana was at a loss. 10 years as the best detective of the Pakistan ISI and this was the first time such a case had presented itself before her. “Either this case only seems uncomplicated or age is finally getting to me” she thought as she got up to have her nth cup of coffee from the vending machine and sat down to read the case history for the 100th time.
She had been appointed to investigate the death of Top Indian Spy and Best intelligence officer Major Vikram Rathod who had been hanged until death about an year back without a word to the Indian government. Though this fact irked Farzana she became mechanical because she knew how scrupulous the Pakistani bureaucracy was and she got down into the details of the case even as she reached the fag end of her coffee, the bitter part which she liked and which helped her think.
There was something not right about the case was all that had been told to her. The man, Vikram Rathod the top Indian spy and a prize catch for Pakistan had however turned out to be a damp squib because he had refused to reveal any information despite being subject to acute torture. Farzana winced for she knew the kind of torture techniques which were used by the Pakistani police. And finally out of frustration and just to spite the Indian government he had been hanged to death in front of all the leaders of PPP. Though these facts had been hidden from the India, they had told the Indian government that Vikram Rathod had been accidentally blown to bits when he had ventured unwittingly on Pakistani soil and had sent back his belongings as a sign of maintaining good will between the two countries.

The Indian Government had been surprisingly silent about the whole thing and the intelligence seemed stronger than ever and there didn’t seem to be any chink in india’s armor. Though India’s resilience and the inefficiency of its politicos was well known, their hardiness was too good to be true and it rankled the Pakistani government and intelligence and with the ISI reports that Vikram was still alive and working undercover they had issued a probe into the issue and assigned it to Farzana, easily their best.

But Farzana was at her wits end. It seemed like she was groping blindfolded in the dark. She had no evidence, she had no leads, hell she didn’t even have a case. All she had was the Pakistani government’s and intelligence’s intuition that there might be something wrong in the death of Vikram Rathod about an year back. Sigh!!

“Salaam alekum Farzana jaan. Working so late? Want some tea? Not this vending machine one. Like horse piss it is I always say. People say that you haven’t lived if you haven’t drunk Rahim’s tea” said Rahim the night watchman who had come to check on her.

“ha ha. Walekum-as-Salam Rahim chacha. Thanks a lot. I could do with some. This case is eating my head”

“And what case is that?” asked Rahim chacha as he returned with a cup of tea

“Nothing. You wont understand.” smiled Farzana as he sipped the “special tea”

“Ah!! You are underestimating my intelligence Farzana jaan. Bol ke to dekho – try me”

“Ah!! well” began Farzana condescendingly. “Can u please tell me what is so strange about Vikram Rathod’s death Rahim chacha?” she smiled as she pored over the case history again

“Vikram Rathod??” whispered Rahim chacha

Farzana looked up and saw that all the color had drained from his face.

“Are you ok Rahim chacha? Here have some tea” she urged him. “Did u know him?”

“Did I know him? Of course I did. Or at least I knew the man who pretended to be Vikram Rathod”

“What??? What are u saying??”

“I will tell you one thing Farzana jaan and may Allah strike me and my family with lightning if I lie but that man who was hanged an year back was not Vikram Rathod. I don’t think he was even Hindu.”

“B.But how do u know?”

“He recited verses from the Kuran everyday, he would do namaz silently when he thought no one was watching. He had the faint almost unnoticeable scar on his forehead which every staunch Musalmaan who does namaz regularly has and he never responded to the name Vikram Rathod when woken up in the middle of his sleep.”

“But ho-how do u know all this”

“I was the warden who was with him night and day. I got a chance to observe him closely and deal with him. It was recently that I quit that job to take up this less demanding one”

“But if u knew he wasn’t Vikram Rathod why didn’t u tell the higher authorities? Why didn’t u tell them when u saw him doing namaaz?”

“We have a law among us Musalmans Farzana jaan” said Rahim. “A man while he does his namaz and recites the Kuran is the son of god. And no son of God can be wrong. And there was something about that fellow. I don’t know what. He wasn’t a criminal. After 20 years as a jail warden I can tell the difference between a criminal and a good man. A criminal’s guilt settles around his shoulders, giving him a tense, wary and shifty look.” Said Rahim chacha
“But this man!! This man had this calm and quiet face. He had no fear, no guilt. Just blank, deep staring eyes which never looked at anyone, never spoke to anyone and just waited for an absolution to come. To be honest I was scared of him. If I had told on him Allah would never have forgiven me. I will leave you to do your work Farzana jaan but be rest assured that Vikram Rathod never stepped on Pakistani soil and we hanged a Musalmaan last year. Khudahaafiz”

Farzana’s head was spinning. If she were to believe Rahim chacha, the case was getting thicker and thicker. Who was the man who had been hung a year back? And where was Vikram Rathod if not dead?
She quickly logged on to the internet to read more about Vikram Rathod. “The late Vikram Rathod”, it said “was a sterling army officer and a gem of a man”. The website was full of praise for him and she quickly scanned the page till her eyes fell on a title named Awards. “Vikram Rathod was awarded the President medal for bravery for having saved the life of a fellow soldier Abdul Mohammed in the Kargil war in 2001. Abdul Mohammed was declared missing and later dead around the same time when news of Vikram’s death reached the Indian government and his body was never found”
Farzana quickly checked the date when the website had been updated and the date was around 6 months back. Which meant an year back Abdul Mohammed had been declared missing. She ran a search on Abdul Mohammed to find out that Vikram Rathod and he had been very close friends and he had been declared missing around the same time when news of Vikram Rathod’s death had reached the Indian government. And in a little family photo of Abdul’s she saw his face and her heart skipped a beat and she looked up from the computer to her confidential case file – given exclusively to her, which had a photo of the man who had been hung an year back.
They were the same.
The overwhelming truth dawned on her and the weight of the fantastic deception crushed her and she slumped into her chair and sat numb as she let the facts sink in.

Two months later Farzana closed the case on the basis of insufficient and lack of incriminating evidence and quit her enviable position at the Pakistani intelligence

December 12th 2008
Vikram Rathod, popularly known as Enthu among his friends, lifted his hand up to salute the brave martyr Abdul Mohammed as a 21 gun salute for him rang through the air. It had been an year since Abdul had died in an unknown land at the hands of ruthless extremists. An year since Vikram had been wounded very close to the LOC while escaping with extremely sensitive information from Pakistani soldiers. An year since Abdul had taken him to safety and told him he would tackle the Pakistanis. If Vikram knew the way Abdul was going to “tackle” the Pakistanis he would never have allowed it. Maybe that’s why Abdul never revealed the plan he had in his mind. Never breathed a word because he knew Vikram would never have allowed it.

Abdul knew that it as only a matter of time before the Pakistani soldiers caught up with the wounded Vikram, took him into their custody, tortured him and got the information which Vikram had guarded more securely than his life. Keeping Vikram alive and the information secure was vital for the success of their operation and realizing this Abdul had quickly stripped Vikram and worn his clothes. In his unconscious state Vikram hadn’t felt anything. Abdul had told Lieutenant Srivastav of his plan and asked him to take Vikram to safety and despite protests from Srivastav had gone ahead and ventured into Pakistani territory, deliberately gotten caught by the soldiers who had captured him, discovered his identity as Vikram Rathod, the top Indian spy, tortured him and killed him thinking he was Vikram.

It was the ultimate deception or the ultimate sacrifice depending on which side of the border you were on.

Vikram wiped a lone tear and felt the hair on his neck rising as he thought of Abdul and saw Tasneem bhabhi and Sohrab collect the compensation, Abdul’s medals and the posthumous Param Vir Chakra awarded to him for exceptional bravery and exemplary camaraderie as a sterling officer of the Indian army, from the President.

As he watched them the words of Srivastav about Abdul kept ringing in his ears.

“Not for a moment did he think or even reconsider his decision sir. He just jumped at the opportunity to repay you. He said if you had been there you would have done the same thing for him. I can say only one thing sir” Srivastav had paused as he swallowed the constriction in his throat. “I wish I had a friend like that”

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P.S: Concept "inspired" (Read: stolen shamelessly) from one of my favorite Archer novels and written by me to suit an indian audience!! :P:P.

P.P.S: Mystery for the readers!! :P. Find out which Archer novel i lifted this concept from!! ;)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Labak Ghulak Jhatak

DISCLAIMER: A fair knowledge of hindi, english and tamil is required to follow this post. :)

Sometimes it is not a boon if you know too many languages and can get very very confusing at time. For eg: i know hindi english and tamil fairly well and can converse and switch between the three languages quite fluently but sometimes i get thoroughly confused as to what language to talk and end up making a khichdi of all languages i know.
Sample the following incidents

1. Situation: A team mate telling me that XYZ is wearing new clothes and asking if i have pinched her (Errr yeah. you know the "new pinch same sweet" concepts which we used to indulge in as little kids? The "Hey new rubber, new pencil. New pinch" and then pinching the new person with all your might. I always thought it was a means for jealous people to vent out their frustration on their peers having new stuff which they wanted but didnt have. whatever. My team mates still indulge in such activities and yours truly can do nothing but oblige!! :-\)

Me: (always the one to discourage such activities): No man. Dont kill her. especially you. it hurts like hell when u kill.
Team Mate: errrr. what?
Me: what?
Team Mate: who said anything about killing her
Me: Sheeeesh. i meant kill as in pinch, u know in Tamil!! sorry.

2. Situation: I was with 2 of my friends the other day and one of them eats entirely too much and we were generally teasing him
Friend 1: He can actually eat 17 naans. no kidding. 17 naans and thayir sadam after that
Friend 2: i just like to eat man. whats wrong?
Friend 1: kids in somalia are probably dying because of the amount of food u consume
Me: Awww Chod na. Bechara valartha baccha hai.
Them: errrr
Me: what??
Them: valartha what??
Me: i mean badtha baccha, vallarra payyan. Sheeesh!!

3. Situation: a friend asking me to give an invitation to some body
Friend: Hey do give him the invitation man.
Me: Hey sure.
Friend: Courier it to him if u cant meet him
Me: Sure. i will give it to him when i see him in naer
Friend: eh??
Me: mmm
Friend: see him where??
Me: Errr. i mean see him in person or "naer la pakkaropo"

See what i mean. Total Confusion.and how can i forget all those umpteen times when i have said "I will talk later. Mujhe thookam aa raha hai" or "Pagal hai kya? Na kaise mail pannuven? i cant access gmail" or "Amma na tujhe later call pandren. Ippo i am in office" or "andha book tune padha. Yevlo super tha na" or "yaar movie itna kevalam tha, mai solla mudiyadhu".. :-\Reminds me of this time when my sister and i were travelling in train and this little gujju kid from sowcarpet fluent in tamil and gujju wanted to tell his mom that the "towel she had hung on the window was flying" and the kid went "mummy mummy thundu(Tamil) parke(Tamil+Guj) che(Gujju)" :D:D

P.S: The title..err.. my creativity is at a nadir today. I cant think of a single decent title that i can give to this post. Can you?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Owing to the installation of the toll at OMR all buses come half an hour early to office as a result of which i am here in office at 8.30, with no one around me, trying hard to start working and do a decent round of requirement analysis at least this time. exactly 20 seconds after i opened the requirements doc i realized i am totally totally not interested in this and so here i am another word doc open in front of me typing this nonsense.

· This weekend has been another one of THOSE weekends where i have done 3207423 things in a short span of 2 days. I like weekends like these. They leave me no time to think or brood. Even before i am done with one thing there is something else demanding my attention and i switch to that and before i know it whoooosh!! the weekends gone

· My close friend got married and friends’ marriages are always amazing fun with all the speculation about who is getting married next, brainstorming sessions about what gift to buy, staying the night at a friends place putting mehendi and watching movies. good fun :)

· I finally did hold the veil for my friend when she got married. God!! i felt so important. I mean no one was allowed to come close to the bride but another friend of mine and i were allowed to stay close, talk laugh and hold the veil. Felt good!! No one has ever given me so much of respect before!! :P

· This year started off with me attending the marriage of a hindu friend, followed by the marriage of a muslim friend and then followed by the marriage of a christian friend and i have come to the conclusion that hindu marriages are the most cumbersome and complicated of the lot. the muslim and christian weddings are over in half a day. thats it. i mean they start at 11 in the morning and by 4 everyone is home again. Hindu marriages on the other hand are a 3 day sloth fest and are an abominable waste of money and time. I remember when my sister got married we had sumangali prarthanai, maplai azhaippu, kasi yatra, oonjal, thaali, metti, grahapravesam, nalangu and reception!! Phew!!! by the time it was over we were all so tired that for a week after her wedding, i remember we just slept and rejuvenated ourselves. I think everyone should just run away and get married. Would make things so much more easier

· One of my friends got over enthusiastic during the wedding and put the hair iron (the one which straightens your hair) on my hair and now i have some 10-15 strands on the right hand side of my head which refuse to curl and are just standing upright and it looks kinda sad coz i have super curly hair otherwise and these strands really stand out

· So (sigh) a couple of my friends (sigh) are going to the himalayas (sigh). and i cant go(sigh) because i have office and (sigh) some other crappy exams too (sigh)
oh BTW if you hadnt guessed yet i really really really want to go(sigh)

· have finished reading all of Rohinton Mistry's books. I liked them all but none even come close to fine balance. Wondering what author i should start off with next. Any suggestions? How does Amitav Ghosh write? Should find out and buy him next. Will settle for good ol' PGW or RKN this month though. finances are really poor and i really dont think i can afford to buy Amitav Ghosh or any book now. I have also been trying to get my hands on Out of Iran by Sousan Azadi suggested by a friend. I also finished reading Midnight’s children and maybe I am just shallow or maybe I don’t have the taste for Rushdie kind of writing. The book bored me to death.

Ahhhh!! It is 9.15. time to call the on site and get my requirements clarified!! Sigh!! Adios!!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

A Sister's "Love" :-\

Its amazing how much my sister loves me!!

Its astounding how irritating elder sisters can be

Its puzzling why parents cant stop with just one child. the YOUNGER one!! (errr. i know this makes no sense!! but whatever!!)

Sample this conversation bewteen my sis (who is currently in India visiting my parents) and me the other day

Pardon all the hindi. Since my sis and i talk only in hindi it made more sense to write the post in hindi!! :)

Tring Tring

Preethi: Haan bol.

Me: Mai hoon.

Preethi: pata hai. Kya hai? (in the most disinterested voice)

M: amma ko phone de

P: Pehle bata kya hai. kyun phone kiya??

M: (voice going up 2 decibels and accquiring a threatening tone): Amma ko phone de

P: Nahi. She is busy

M: mujhe baat karni hai. its urgent. phone de!!!!

P: Then tell me. Anyway she is busy making pakodas for me

M: pakode????? kameeni!!

P: ha ha. yeah. and mom just told me that the pakode she made now are wayyyyyyy better than the pakode she made when u came

M: u LIAR. she so did not say that.

P: math maan. mujhe kya hai. mai to pakode kha rahi hoon. tu kya kar rahi hai? Office mein hai? ha ha ha. Aur haan. Aaj raat ko aloo ke paranthe ban rahein hai aur hum sab raat ko movie ja rahein hai. Uske baad thodi daer park mein baith ke baatein karenge. tu office mein kaam kar theek hai?? Soooooonu! (this is what my sister calls me. An irritating name which i completely completely hate!!Sigh!! this name was the darkest and deepest secret of my life and now its out there!! :( )

M: Mera naam Soonu nahi hai.

P: Soonu Soonu Soonu Soonu Soonu Soonu

(Yes!! My sister is 26, married and supposedly holds a very "high" position in Satyam. Her brains however stopped growing when she was 4)

M: (bellowing now): Amma ko PHONE de kameeeeeeni!!

P: ha ha ha ha. Bye Soooooonu!!!

(Click)

M: sputtering and gasping incoherently at a dead line!!

Sigh!!! Elder Sisters. One breed of humans i want to send to the moon when the first flight of chandrayaan leaves this planet carrying humans!!

BAH!!! :-\

Friday, December 12, 2008

Operation Sunrise - III

DISCLAIMER: Pardon the length. You can choose not to read it but i had to record each and every one of these events and didnt have the heart to axe any part of this post!! :)

So where did i leave u guys last. Ah!! yes. hanging on to every word of mine and wondering when i would write my next post on the actual operation sunrise. :P (ok probably not. what u were probably thinking is "why the hell should i read about how she stayed up all night with her friends" and quickly closed the window or navigated to better blogs. but just this once humor me this once. ok?? :))

Seriously where was i? Yes. We had finished packing and CF (Close friend) and her fiance (lets call him CFF) where the first visitors to our new home.

Its funny when u meet the fiancé of a really close friend and like him. You experience a motley of emotions. For one you are insanely happy for her because something tells you that this silent quiet guy with a sincere smile and placid demeanor is going to keep her happy. On the other hand you are also inexplicably sad that now you cant call your friend up at 2 in the morning to tell her about how you accidentally placed your jeans on top of a rotten banana peel and now your favorite pair of jeans is covered with green color yucky looking fungus and laugh like crazy till 3 (Err the jeans part is a true incident which I will write about some day when I can think of my favorite pair of jeans without tears welling in my eyes. Fermie, I will never forgive you for leaving the banana peel on the chair. NEVER!! :-\)

After meeting our gang of hooligans CFF decided he had had enough of us and dropped us off at Pupil in Besant Nagar where we made CF give us a treat for managing to convince someone to marry her. I might sound really cheap but I always feel extra hungry when someone is treating but that day I guess I was so happy for CF that happiness filled a major part of my stomach and I didn’t eat much. (Ok!! Cutting the crap I didn’t eat much because I was too busy drooling over a poster of George Clooney in the restaurant) For the first time we weren’t the centre of attention in a place because of the racket we created but for ordering something called the “chicken sizzler” which lived up to its name and sizzled and cackled really really loudly and all eyes in the joint turned to look at us suspiciously. I mean imagine you are sitting in a decent eatery, looking deep into the eyes of your girl friend, holding her hands and just about to utter those three words while she smiles coyly and suddenly you hear a “sizzle, siszzzzzzzz, shizzzz, lizzz. Cackle cackle tee hee” sound (the cackle cackle was us). How irritating would that be? Multiply that irritation factor by 10, square it and that is how irritated you will feel when u r sitting in a restaurant where we happen to be eating too!! Don’t blame us. Its our parents. They just didn’t bring us up well. :P I don’t remember my mother ever teaching me to eat quietly, laugh daintily, talk meaningfully and exude an air of elegance.

Whatever!! After everyone at Pupil had breathed a sigh of relief (read: after we had left) I got the bright idea that since this was the last Operation Sunrise when CF would be a bachelorette we ought to celebrate it with cake. So what do u do when u have a bus to catch in ten minutes, a bright idea in your head, enthusiasm galore to execute it and crazy friends to cheer you up and give you company to execute it? You tell CF that u need to buy some aspirin, shoo her off the bus stand, locate the nearest cake shop (coffee day) order the first cake which u can lay ur eyes on (chocolate fantasy) gape at another CF’s face when the waiter asks you “what do I write on the cake ma’am”, settle for ‘ot appen? something which we very frequently asked each other in hostel to cheer the other person up. Basically “what happened” with a heavy Gujju accent on “what”. (you really are not allowed to raise doubts regarding our sanity or lack of it) grab the cake (pay of course!! Sheesh!! We aint that cheap) rush to the bus stand only to realize you have missed the last bus to CF’s place, ask CF and others who are in the bus to plead with the bus driver, make a mad dash to the next stop the bus is likely to stop at, make a fool of yourself in the middle of the road by waving like madmen at the bus driver asking him to stop, get to hear a couple of new and interesting words in Tamil from the driver, settle down in your seat and laugh like hyenas.

This operation sunrise was planned in CF’s place – at Ayanavaram which is not even in Chennai. Its about 20-25 kms from Adyar (which we like to call the centre of the city!! :P) and it takes a good half hour to reach there from Besant Nagar. And on the bus journey as Atif crooned in my ear and the gentle polluted breeze blew on my face I caught on my sleep for the day.

So what do u talk about when there are 7 of you in a room and one is about to get married in a week? We discovered that an impending marriage changes nothing and we gossiped into the night reliving each and every moment of four wonderful years of college life. We talked about the “marriage class” which CF and CFF had to attend before marriage for the church to accept their union and the “things” which are spoken about in the class. We spoke about that time during the first sem when two of us had made a list of the “worst looking boys” in class and how it accidentally landed in the hands of one of the boys in the list and how we were threatened by mean looking boys in the second month in college life.

About the time in second semester when we finally came to our senses and were able to separate wheat from the chaff and differentiate between good friends and bad friends, about all those semester exam times when we had the maximum fun (almost all nights before sem exams have been OS nights actually) doing everything except studying, sitting in the mess at 3 in the morning drinking tea and supposedly studying probability and queuing theory but gossiping about A and B and wondering what it was that A saw in B. its no wonder that most of us flunked that paper. :P. about that time in fifth semester when the rain played havoc but bought all of us close together, about the microprocessors exam when we didn’t study at all, extremely confident that the exams would be postponed and horror of horrors we DID have the exam the next day, about our very first singles party, about the time we got caught for ragging in second year and almost got suspended and had to beg and plead the principal to let us off the hook, about the cultural times when in the name of doing “work” we would break the curfew and come back to hostel only at 3 or 4 in the morning, about the times we pleaded with the security (‘Please thatha, indha oru vaati let us go inside. We PROMISE we will come in time next time’) to let us in after curfew time, the time we discovered Makku, the time when after Holi I asked the head of the boys and girls hostel what right he had to come into the ladies hostel mistaking him for a peon. To this day all my friends believe that because my face was so badly disfigured with all the holi colors in the them I didn’t get suspended because he couldn’t recognize me!! :D, about all those inter college basketball matches, our only chance to feast our eyes on some good looking boys, about the time we formed all those gangs in hostel (the final count of gangs at the end of final year was I think 33. I am sure we missed a couple). I cant even name some of them. Ranging from the GG’s to the OG’s to the Robin Hood’s I firmly believe that if we had invested the time we spent forming gangs in studying all of us would have been university toppers, all those nights when everyone would beg and plead with Fermie and me (the night owls) to wake them up, eventually not study anything and listen to stories from anyone willing to tell them. those tense moments before the semester results when a last column full of P’s was what we desired, the times we cried even though we had cleared but a friend had got the feared and dreaded F, the times we hung outside the staff room begging and pleading for minimum internals, mercilessly teasing all the staff, getting the dubious distinction of being the unruliest “girls” the hostel had ever seen, the time when we latched the warden in her room and very innocently opened the door the next day and sympathized with her while the rest of us laughed uncontrollably even as the warden fumed and said “I cant able to understand why someone locking me inside in middle of night”. Yeah. She didn’t really believe in conjunctions or articles!! :P, about all those birthday’s celebrated at the stroke of twelve, all those crazy dances in the rain, all those night raids into every room for food when we slept hungry after the hostel dog also refused to eat the mess food, all those symposiums, all those culturals….

Just for one month, just one month can I please have my college and hostel life and all my friends back? Please?

That night as we had a marathon chat session by the time we looked at the watch the time was 4.30 and 7 tired souls went to bed, realizing that we had grown old and didn’t have the enthu which we had in college to talk late into the night and neither did our bodies and work schedules allow us the luxury of staying awake all night.

Sigh!! So operation Sunrise III though beautiful, left me in a kind of ambivalent mood, reminding me painfully of the passing years and the pathetically little that I have achieved in these years, and also reminding me of all the great moments and great friends I have.

Here’s to the groundnuts!! :)

You guys are the best!!

Monday, December 08, 2008

of friends and dirty kitchens and operation sunrise III :)

So one of my closest and bestest friends (if we were any closer our relationship wouldn’t be legal in many countries if u know what i mean) is getting married and everything is happening so fast that before u can say 'what the fulcrum' it’s all over!! 2 weeks back she didn’t even know if she was getting married and now she is engaged and going to be married in a week!! And before u can blink ur eye..Whoooooosh!! She is married.

There are times when Life flies past you so fast that you want to catch it by its shoulder and go "whoaaa!! dude. not so fast". This is one of those moments.
Anyway i am digressing. So since she is getting married this close friend of mine (lets call her CF) called all of us and said "One last operation sunrise!!?? please??" (read PART I and PART II of operation sunrise if interested!! ;))and we just couldn’t say no. So this weekend has been one crazy weekend where i have managed to do maximum number of things in minimum possible time and am feeling quite good and super-womanish about myself.

Before CF threw a bomb saying she was going to get married we had been planning to shift this weekend from our place in Besant Nagar to a place in Adyar owing to safety reasons (errr. not our safety but the safety of our neighbors whose safety was being threatened because of our presence)

So realizing our responsibility and tight schedules and also realizing that we had to finish packing on Friday night and shift by Saturday evening to implement operation sunrise on Saturday night, we sincerely played scrabble the whole of Friday night and wasted time till 1 in the night fighting with each other and justifying that yikes, oops, jeez, eeks etc were words which we could make in scrabble. Hunger overtook responsibility and we trooped into the kitchen at 1.30 to cook some maggi and suddenly realized that the kitchen looked like hurricane Nisha, Rita and Katrina had had a competition as to who could cause most damage to the kitchen and all three of them had had a go at the kitchen and ravished it as best as they could. (Nisha won. She is Indian after all!! :P)

so even as one of us made maggi the other two started packing the kitchen or rather throwing stuff because all the stuff within all the bottles had rotten. Our kitchen at that point of time could have been a biology lab considering the different kinds of fungus each bottle had. green, yellow, white, red. you name it and we had it. Not to forget the worms inside one vessel (Hey there is some maggi left in this vessel. Its moving!! you IDIOT. it’s not maggi. They are worms. Blechhhhhhhh!!) The reader ought not to jump to wrong conclusions regarding our levels of cleanliness and hygiene. Given our busy lifestyles (oooh!!) and our tight work schedules (aaah!!) and the fact that the kitchen is on the first floor (errr!!) and so we need to climb a flight of stairs to reach it (ahem!!) our kitchen is not exactly the place where Tarla Dalal or Sanjeev Kapoor can say "Ab thodi si hari mirch daal dijiye aur yeh ho gaya thaiyaar aapka swadishth *insert name of food item which uses hari mirch-i can’t think of anything!! :P*"

So anyway by the time we had thrown everything, finished with the kitchen and packed exactly one carton (one feet by one feet) of kitchen utensils it was 3 and we decided to call it a day.
Saturday morning (errr afternoon) dawned nice and bright and three inspired warriors (girls), attacked the house with a vengeance last seen when Alexander the great set about to conquer the world.
(errmm, i am assuming Alexander the great was scared of lizards and spiders and roaches and dust :rolling eyes:, which is how one of my friends was)

Fermie : Revs, can u please take this bag out from the loft?
Me: Fermie cant u see i am busy packing this carton. you are taller than me. get it yourself or stand on that chair
Fermie: errr.i am scared there might be lizards behind it
Me: so?
Fermie: mmm, so i thought u could shoo them away and give me the bag
Me: and what do i look like? a lizard charmer? what do u want me to do? dance and sing in front of the bag jutting my tongue out at regular intervals and make the lizard come out
Fermie: Revs, please
me: Fermie, no
Fermie: please
Me: no
Fermie: humph
Me: HUMPH to u too.

So given how brave my roomies are, packing 2 rooms with no furniture and just clothes took us a good 5 hours and by the time we finished we realized that our house apart from housing us had housed umpteen lizards and roaches, three "pooraans" (what do u call them in English? the mean poisonous centipede like creatures), hundreds of ants of different sizes and colors and lots of other fauna. we had been sitting on top of the rain forest without realizing it.

By 6 we had finished shifting to the new house, finished admiring our place, taken a lot of photographs, and checked out the neighborhood for cute looking guys (we found that the whole building was only occupied by octogenarians who had obviously never seen girls wearing jeans in their building. So much for cute looking guys!!).

Jeez!! I have just completed Saturday and this post is getting way too long!!
(operation sunrise part III and the rest to be continued in the next post and yeah!! quit thinking "Sheeesh!! there is actually more??" :P)

Thursday, November 27, 2008

I got up today morning to read the newspapers only to read about Mumbai EVERWHERE.

I just finished reading Maximum City, one of THE BEST books that I have ever and I was wondering if I could/should do a review on the book and I read in the newspaper today that Vijay Salaskar is dead!! I almost feel like I know him after reading Maximum City.

I wish I were illiterate deaf, dumb and blind. I wish I didn’t have to read the news every day. I wish I didn’t have to hear about the death of the ATS chief and read in the newspapers about this.

Terrorists come to VT/CST, the busiest terminus ever with grenades and AK-47 and there is no security to stop them.

Terrorists come to the Taj hotel. casually ask which room houses foreigners and are readily given the information with no one to question them

We lose our best cops, our ATS chief and 2 other encounter specialists to petty despicable men from a completely new terrorist outfit which calls itself Deccan mujahideen and all we can do is sit and stare at the TV screens in horror

The terrorists demand that all Mujahideen should be released and instead of taking steps to increase security and prevent such terrorist attacks we will meekly hand over the ruthless terrorists. Why struggle so much to capture and kill the terrorists when at a later point of time you are anyway going to release them.

The impotent government sits and offers condolences to all affected and will probably throw in 1 lakh as compensation for each life lost.

It’s a shame that not only can this country not protect its own people but also puts the lives of people from other countries in danger. So much for Athithi Devo Bhava.

I shudder when I think of the world that we handing over to the next generation

I gulp when my 8 year old cousin asks me why people are bombing and shooting other people. I don’t know how to answer his questions.

I am ashamed of myself.

What is this world coming to?

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Random Scribbles on a Rainy Evening

It has been pouring in Chennai for the past 3 days and having missed the last bout of rains in mid October I am glad I am here when Chennai is being struck a hurricane. In a sudden bout of kindness and unusual spark of humanity, HR sent a mail today afternoon declaring that EOD (End of Day for all you plebs) today would be at 5 because of the looming hurricane and advised all the associates to leave early to avoid getting caught in the storm. They were however quick to remind us that EOD on Friday would be extended by an hour. So much for kindness and humanity.

So its one of those lazy evenings when for a change I am home early with nothing much to do. Cant go out for a walk. Though I love walking and getting wet in the rain, walking through knee deep slush and mud is not exactly my idea of a good pastime. I cant read a book. Coz I have already read all the books that I have and I cant go out and buy some because
a) it is raining and
b) it is the 26th of the month and my bank balance is errr in double digits.

Not really enough to buy a book. I cant watch TV because there IS no TV to watch. I cant mail a friend of mine overseas whom I have been grossly ignoring for a week now lamely blaming work and other things because her mail is languishing in my personal folders in my system in office to which I have no access from home. Sorry Anu.
So right now I am sitting here listening to the steady “chh chh chh chhh chhh” of the rain outside my window and it reminds me of all the wonderful rains that I have experienced in the 23 years of my existence.

-- The rainy seasons in Surat from 1992-1997 with Preethi and my cousins Rishu and Prashu when we would continuously watch Tom and Jerry from 2 in the afternoon to 8 in the night and still not get tired..

-- Playing dark room.

-- Cutting the little earthworms in the balcony with the kitchen knife and watching in wonder as the two ends of the earthworm wiggled in two different directions while it poured outside and produced more earthworms for us to cut and experiment

-- Making mud pies and small plates and spoons of mud and playing house house (Sheeeeeesh!! How much I loved being a wife and mother then!! :D)

-- Learning to ride a bicycle on my own in the parking area and cycling in the narrow area between two cars so that even if I lost balance I wouldn’t fall down but would fall on one of the cars while it rained mercilessly never letting me practice my bike riding on the roads.

-- Purposely wading through ankle deep, knee deep water and wetting my shoes and socks just so that I could hear the pleasant “squelch squelch” of my shoes whenever I walked and get scolded by amma.

-- Going to bed at night listening to the howling of the wind and the “crick crick” of crickets.

-- Snuggling up under a quilt and close to paati while she told us stories, happy to be safe and warm at home while it was dark and cold outside.

-- The rains in Jamnagar which always brought with them cyclones. Cyclones became such a run off the mill thing for us that every rains we would go “Cyclone a?? seri seri” and go on with our work.

-- Driving in our first car – a blue color Maruti 800 in the rains watching in wonder as dad put on the car viper which magically devoured all the little drops which formed on the windscreen.

--The rains in Bombay which are MERCILESS and go about ravaging the entire city with a clinical precision not caring two hoots about the people who suffered. The impudence and audacity of the Bombay rains has always mesmerized me.

-- The rains in Chennai – the friendly rains as I call them. Always raining throughout the night, letting us enjoy the pleasant weather during the day.

-- The rains when I was in class 12th and paati would invariably make bhajji or bonda every time it rained. Snuggling to a god book with a cuppa tea in one hand, bajji in the other, listening to the rains – Ah!!! Bliss!!

-- The rains during my fifth semester in college when Anna University postponed the exams because of heavy rains and I sat and cried in the common room in our hostel because my trip home which I had been looking forward to had been postponed indefinitely and as if to rub salt on my wounds it didn’t rain at all the whole day.

-- My friends trying to cheer me up during that time and even today I remember distinctly. I was crying and one friend said “They have postponed the exams man. Lets not waste this holiday, lets go to Mayajaal and watch Harry Potter 3. Because of the rains we will get tickets easily and it’s a weekday too”. And off we went in that ominous looking weather to watch a movie and cheer “me” up!!

-- Now I feel glad they postponed the exams. One of the BESTEST times of my life when I made some of my closest friends, had all night talk-athon and chat-athon sessions in the rains. Getting wet every time it rained.

-- The rains in Manali during final year tour when we walked on the road, a light drizzle beating down on our faces, a cup of hot tea in hand, rushing to the nearest dhaba to have some aloo ka parantha!! Lovely!! :)

-- The sudden rains in Skandagiri which took us by surprise and lashed out at us with all their fury leaving us shivering and singing in our tents throughout the night

-- And finally the rains now which help me think of all the wonderful rains I have seen!!

Ah!! The rains. Its amazing what the rain does to me. I love the rains!! :)

Friday, November 21, 2008

Vaaranam Aayiram should be renamed to "Gautham Menon a 'Pallarnu Arayanum' "!! :-\

DISCLAIMER:People who liked Vaaranam Aayiram please don’t read ahead. Sarcasm is something which comes naturally to me and I might have gone a little overboard with my sarcastic comments in the post below.

Gautam Menon. I have nothing against you wanting to tell your story. Everyone has a story to tell. I have nothing against you loving your dad so much that you want to make a movie out of it. I have nothing against the fact that all your life you called your father Daddy(uvvaacck!!), I have nothing against you wanting to cast Surya in your movie. But I have everything against you wanting to subject us to such colossal bull shit.

Surya!! whatever were u thinking? did Gautam Menon show u three scripts of three completely different movies and ask you to pick one? and did u say "No, I want a little bit of script 1, a little bit of script 2, some part of script 3 and a lot of skin show - by Me and not the actress!! heh heh!! Ah!! Now that would be a great movie" and did Gautam Menon nod his head docilely?

Simran, did you tell Gautham Menon, "listen I have looked gorgeous in all the movies I have acted so far so please give me a disgusting retro look for my young days with a bouffant hair style, pig tails and tight clothes. And oh no!! the women around me who are also supposed to have the 70s look can look modern and have fairly decent hair styles. Just spoil my look"
It was painful to see Simran, one of the prettiest and most versatile actresses given such a look. I think Gautham Menon just went overboard with the retro thing.

The sad part about the movie is that despite an absolutely brilliant performance from Surya and fairly decent performances from everyone else the movie sucks big time. Surya has done a mind blowing job, Simran takes the cake with her sensitive mother role, Divya Spandana is effervescent enough and Sameera Reddy does the sassy smart chick role well. but the end product is something which shocks you with its absurdity, It’s like this. You start making food. You see that the paruppu looks good, tomatoes look nice and red,chillies are nice and fresh, you have all the correct spices to make a perfectly good sambhar but what u finally get after three hours of playing around with all the good ingredients is an inedible bowl of something which you would like to call sambhar and which after tasting a euphemistic and polite person would go "Interesting. but one spoon is enough. Thank you" while a person like me would go "Bleaaaaaaaaaah!!" and spit it out.

The movie is a complete drag with no co-relation whatsoever between the various parts. It’s like this (Pardon all the food analogies but the only good part about the movie was all the good food which I ate). Someone gives u a nice hot masala dosai to eat with piping hot sambhar. you start eating it and u are just half way through it when someone suddenly snatches the plate and gives you cold ice cream. you are like "what the hell" but since you are a tolerant person you start eating the ice cream. you are half done with it when someone snatches that away too and gives u a cup of piping hot coffee instead. By this time you are completely pissed.
That in short is how the movie is like. three completely un related things thrust upon you with no common thread except Surya.
I dunno which aspect of the movie to talk about first. So I will start with the things which irritated me the most and move on to the things which were the most absurd

1. I am yet to see a middle class Tamil family in the 80s speak English at home and the father calling the mother darling. The overt usage of English was very irritating. Even when the father Surya was lying on his death bed, a poignant moment and a the kind of moment where every Indian would exult only in his/her mother tongue Simran says "Oh my god!! what happened?" and the daughter goes "you will be fine daddy, you will be fine". got on my nerves.

2. Ok maybe this is a pet peeve of mine but I can’t stand people calling their parents as "Mummy, Daddy". ewwwwwww!! I mean call them Amma and Appa (or whetever it is that u call them in ur mother tongue) and see what a difference it would make. In the entire movie Surya must have called his father Daddy a gazillion times and to me, each time it felt like someone was running a nail across a black board (shudders!!). So much so that at the end of the movie when the father Surya dies and son Surya goes "Daddy Daddy" someone in audience could no longer control his anger and said "Dei, Daddy Daddy nu sollu, Daddy body aaitar da. ippoyavdhu Appa sollu" :D. I couldn’t agree less

3. Yes Gautham Menon. We are all fools. And so are the people sitting at the US consulate office stamping the Visa. We completely believe that if u tell the Visa people "I don’t want to study, I don’t want to make money, I don’t care about your country, my 'girl' is there. thats why I want a visa" they will smile benevolently and give you the Visa!! Duh-huh!!

4. ok. I have heard of smart intelligent people doing engineering and scoring obscenely high marks (I was not one of them) but I am yet to hear someone say "I am expecting 99% marks. I am flat rank holder, city rank holder, state rank holder and AIR holder". Jeeeez!! Gautham Menon, couldn’t u have been a teeny weeny bit realistic?

5. Talking about realism, I have been employed for the past 2 years earning what people would call a modest salary, quite enough to lead a fairly luxurious existence but forget a house, I don’t have enough money to own even a square feet of land and this unemployed guy who has arrears in his final year of engineering builds a house for his dad, clears all his debts and even gets enough money to fly to the US and woo the girl he loves. BAH!!

6. The MOST responsible and nicest parents (which is what the Krishnans are shown as) will not know that their son does drugs till he reaches the point of no return and as soon as they "think" he has recovered (oh they don’t even send him to a rehab. they just shut him in a room and let him scream. Really responsible I must say) they will send him on a holiday to some unknown place to "discover" himself. Really Gautham Menon. I think this is where I had tears in my eyes and wondered how much more you could insult our intelligence.

7.I think I am just going quit the IT industry and become a vagabond and work undercover as a pimp and sell women. Trust me it’s the easiest way to catch crooks. Pose as a pimp and every criminal in any place will at once believe the fact that u r a criminal and lead you to THE guy who does child trafficking and sells women just like that. Very easy. Really

8. The movie is also an insult to the intelligence and infrastructure possessed by all criminals. Tell me one terrorist organization or criminal gang which fights with swords and daggers?? :-. I am glad they didn’t show the criminals carrying a bag of stones and using that to pelt the good guys!! :-\

9. Most women (MOST) would go into hysterics and cry if they heard their husband was going to die. When the doctor tells Simran that Surya would die of cancer she tell him "Uh oh!! I thought he would die of heart attack. Didn’t expect cancer". LOL!! the dialogue writer sure had a great sense of humor!! :D

10. Most women (MOST) would either sit next to their husband's body or cry their eyes out after he is dead. Simran on the other hand sits inside a room sending an SMS to someone while everyone is in the hall crying for her dead husband. A scene which was supposed to be a poignant one became a laugh riot. :D

Finally I can’t fathom why the movie was called thousand elephants. I can think of the following reasons
a. Surya said "Daddy" 1000 times?
b. You would prefer to be crushed to death by 1000 elephants than watch this movie?
c. The movie had a net total of 1000 Tamil words?
d. I can give you 1000 reasons why you shouldn’t watch this movie??

Being sarcastic you say?? All I can say is BAH!!!

Do yourself a favor, DONT watch the movie. I went with high expectations and came back thoroughly disappointed. And if you have already watched it Sigh!!! what can I say!! God Bless You!! :P

Monday, November 17, 2008

Title ko maar goli!!

1. I have this terrible problem of tears magically appearing in my eyes when I yawn and not just couple of drops but whole oceans of tears. It’s a really unfortunate thing when you are in some meeting in office and my body over reacts to words like ‘holistic’, ‘development’, ‘leverage’ , ‘business users’ ,’client’, ‘integration testing’ and the likes. As most of the meetings in office consist of these words its rather tough to control them yawns and in turn them tears. So it so happens that every time the person who is talking looks at me he sees a girl with a bright red face and pursed lips, flared nostrils and eyes full of tears desperately trying to hide a yawn which is threatening to reveal itself.
Tip: Never try to hide a yawn. Might as well yawn it away than suppress it. a suppressed yawn causes more agony than a full bladder in a meeting room.


2. The only question in CAT 2008 which I answered confidently was a question in verbal. That question had a couple of lines from my favorite book (unaccustomed earth by Jhumpa Lahiri) and I had to correct the grammar in it. I aced that question!!! I wish CAT had more questions on books by PG Wodehouse and Roald Dahl and Gerald durell and rohinton mistry and James Herriott and….. Sighhhh!! I would sitting in those IIMs now!!

After-thought: Thanks for gifting me Unaccustomed Earth for my birthday Aki. Pssst... I want Hitchhikers hide to the galaxy trilogy for my next birthday!! :P

3. Asking friends to meet you outside one of the statues in marina beach is a BAD idea especially if the friend of yours doesn’t know Chennai. So I had asked sheikhee to meet me at marina on 5.30. By the time we met each other it was 7 and both of us had a lot of kind words to say to each other. :-\. He was standing on one end of marina saying “hey I m front of a round white building (ullavar statue)” and I was at the other end saying “hey I am front of a round white building too (Thanthai periyar maligai)”. Sighhhh!!
Idle Musing: I was just wondering how people survived before the invention of cell phones. I mean if this had happened 10 years back what would we have done? Thank god for technology!!

4. Nowadays I am scared to check my yahoo mail. Everyday either in one of my school groups or college groups I see someone’s wedding invite. People my age getting married or engaged or having babies (no kidding!!) and I scream silently. How!! How can people decide who to marry, get married and have babies at the age of 22??? I am jealous. I cant even make simple decisions like “do I want to eat my idli with chutney or sambhar” and I spend 5 minutes every morning wondering if I oughta eat idli with chutney or sambhar and there are people MY age who are making life altering decisions.

5. I am relationship, commitment and responsibility phobic. I hate responsibility of any kind. If I sense the slightest hint of responsibility I bolt. I get along extremely well with people who have no expectations from me, which is great because I have no expectations from anyone. I do not expect people to call me, mail me and message me and hate feeling bogged down. My closest friends are people who would talk to me the same way if I called them every day or once in two months. I remember in school I had a couple of friends who would go “Revs, you promised to sit with me and instead sat with XYZ” or “Revs, you said you would call me last evening but you never did” and it would suffocate and choke me and make me feel like I was losing my freedom. No wonder I am not in touch with any of them now. Even if I tried to it would be a string of “you never kept in touch, you never called, you never mailed etc.” I have never understood possessiveness or the need to be answerable to anyone except my parents. I am extremely wary of sensitive people and people with any kind of emotional baggage. They scare me.
Ok now that’s a lot of introspection shit, so I will stop right here!!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Scrabble with Siddhu!!

So siddhu (my 8 year old cousin) and I have been playing scrabble (playing only scrabble actually) for some days now. I taught him the game some 2 months back and now he plays scrabble all waking and non school hours with anyone who is willing to play with him. So nowadays every evening when I come back tired (?!?!?!) from office he smiles sweetly, gives me place to sit (totally put of character) and waits till I am in a sufficiently good mood to pop the question “scrabble valayada variya?”. Now the warmest welcome that I have gotten from him during the before scrabble days are “Vandhutiya?? No. I cant take my books off from the sofa. You sit on the floor” and I will go “grrrr”. But recently he has been welcoming me with his voice dripping with a sweetness that only an 8 yr old is capable of!!

So taken in by this new show of affection from Sid I have been humoring him and playing Scrabble with him. The other day I was playing with him and losing. Now lets get some things clear. I DO NOT mind losing in a game. In most games I am the loser and I don’t care as long as I am having fun. But with Siddhu I HATE losing coz he HATES losing and LOVES to win and if he wins against me he goes prancing around the whole house saying “Gummu thalakadi Gummmma, Sidhhu na summa va”

@preethi: Yeah!! Thanks for teaching him that!! Its something that every 8 year old kid must know. BAH!! :-\

So anyway to avoid losing I had to desperately make a word which would give me at least 30 points and I had SAD letters. So I decided to cheat (:rolling eyes:) and made the word Linux (which u ideally cant make coz it’s a proper noun) and he protested as usual but I was ready

"There is no word called Linux" he squealed

"There is" I said

"There is NOT"

"Heyy!! You are 8, I am 22, would YOU know or would I know?"

"I would"

"Like hell you would. You can challenge me if you want to but remember you will lose a turn if you are wrong"

(This is my brahmastra. I know he wont challenge me coz he is scared of losing a chance and some points. Oh BTW challenge means if you think the word which the other person makes doesn’t exist you can challenge him and look at a dictionary and if you are right the other person loses a chance and vice versa)

He hesitates like I predicted and says

"What does it mean?" He asks in a small voice

"It’s the name of an Operating System"

"A what???"

“An OS” I say like I know everything. “you know what your computer runs on”

"Windows?"

“Yeah. Linux is another thing just like windows. Windows is a valid word right? So is Linux” (I silently pat myself on my back that Thank God he doesn’t know the concept of proper nouns and common nouns yet)

"Ok." He says half heartedly "how many points do you get"

“48” I give the widest grin ever

“what?? Nooooooo” he says

“I made it on a triple word Sid. So 16 points. Multiply it by 3. 48 it is”

He lost the game by 15 points

That night as he was getting ready to go to bed I called him and told him “Hey Sid!! There is no word called Linux. I cheated and won. Ha ha ha”

“Ammaaaaaaaaaa. Shruthi cheat pandra”

“Siddhu. Go to bed. You will get up late and be late for school tomorrow”

“Paaati. Shruthi “bong” aatam aadra”

“Siddhu. Thoonga po”

Me: Muwhahahahahahah!!

Question which is topmost in your minds: what kind of a person cheats 8 year old kids and derives pleasure out of letting them know that they have been cheated?

Answer: Revs kind of a person!! :P

Revs is to the word “mean” AS Obama is to the words “Yes we Can”.

:Grinning Evilly:

Thursday, November 13, 2008

20 questions tag!!

I had been tagged by boobesh aaaaaaaaaages back with this tag!! so here goes!! :)
I have discovered a tag llike this is the best way to pass time when ur quries are running and u have nothing else to do but look at an ominous looking screen which says "Executing Query"!! :P

1. Which is THE crappiest movie you’ve seen?
Oh!! Loads. Toppers are Laga Chunari mein daag, all Vijay movies, Vel, De Taali

2. If you have a dream come true, what would it be?
Run an NGO.

3. If you could, whose butt would you like to kick?
I have been thinking for 10 minutes now and I cant think of a single person!! Jeeeez!!!

4. What would you do with a billion dollars?
Buy the book section of Odyssey, landmark and crossword and all other books in the world, a huge house and a dog and shut myself in and read till I die.

5. Will you fall in love with your best friend?
I am in love with all my friends!! :)

6. Which is more blessed: loving someone or being loved by someone?
Being loved by someone you love

7. How long do you intend to wait for someone you love?
If its George Clooney – eternity. Anybody else – Naaah!! Not worth it!! :P

8. If the person you secretly like is attached, what will you do?
Duh-huh!! What kind of a silly question is this. “Let go” would be the answer 99.999% of the people would give, unless you are a psycho killer and say “I would gouge out the eyes of the other person, rub a l’il salt, then throw acid on his face and then shoot her”. (eeeeeeee. Am I a psycho??? :-\ )

9. If you could root for one social cause, what would it be?
Emancipation of the Girl Child

10. Do you lie?
Yep!! More often than I tell the truth

11. Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?
Dunno. I m not a fortune teller

12. What’s your fear?
Losing my loved ones

13. What kind of person do you think the person who tagged you is?
No clue!! :)

14. Would you rather be single and rich or married and poor?
Single and RICH!! I thought the two combos should have one good thing and one bad thing. So I guess it should have been married and rich and single and poor. Rich and poor being good and bad of course!! :P

15. If you fall in love with two people simultaneously who will you pick?
Eh???
(That’s the most intelligent reply I can give to this question!! :P)

16. Would you give all in a relationship?
I guess. I don’t know. Never been in one.

17. Would you forgive and forget someone no matter how horrible a thing he has done?
Dunno. But then again no one’s ever done a seriously HORRIBLE thing to me before

18. Do you prefer being single or in a relationship?
Single.

19. Your all time favourite song. Only ONE. And why?
Grandma’s feather bed – John Denver
Coz I am listening to it now.

20. I TAG these people
I tag anyone who is married or is in a relationship. The tag doesn’t make sense otherwise!! :)

Monday, November 10, 2008

An open letter

Dear Hindu and Times,

Thanks to you

1. I know that Barack means blessing in Arabic
2. I know that Obama’s younger daughter suffers from certain allergies so they are very particular about the kind of dog they want
3. I know that Obama’s father was an Indonesian, he has roots in Kenya, his mother married an African American whom she later divorced and married an Indonesian
4. Thanks to u I know the first gaffe that Obama made, by talking about Nancy Reagan who did séances (she did not do séances. it was Hillary Clinton. that was the gaffe)
5. I know that Barack Obama’s mother had a keralite friend who sends her best wishes to Obama
6. I know that Sarah Palin is so dumb that she doesn’t know Africa is a continent. hu hu!! :-\
7. I know what his policies are, what he intends to do, when he will be sworn in etc
8. I know that he loved his grandmother and was devastated by her death and that she frequently passed racist comments
9. I know that McCain accepted defeat very gracefully and made a very touching speech
10. I know that Obama's slogan is “Yes we can” with everyone yelling “Yes we can”

But No thanks to you

1. I have no clue what pratibha or manmohan means
2. I just realized I don’t even know if manmohan Singh is married and who pratibha patil's husband is and if she has children or not and if those children have allergies or not or if they own a dog or not
3. When I don’t even know who their spouses were, how on earth will I know about their parents or their children??
4. I don’t even know what was the first speech that pratibha patil or manmohan singh made forget the "gaffes" in those
5. Ha ha ha ha. That would be my reaction if someone asked me to name the woman who was close friends with Pratibha Patils' mom
6. I don’t even know who stood against Pratibha Patil in the presidential election let alone the oppositions vice presidential nominee
7. I have no clue what Patil or Manmohan Singh's slogan during their elections was

Maybe you can argue saying Barack Obama is the first African American US president and hence the wide publicity. But wait a minute. Wasn’t pratibha patil the first woman president in India??

Why must we cover the US presidential elections so extensively?

On the day Obama got elected Hindu's front page, last page and the two sport pages were completely devoted to the US presidential elections with photos of people in Kenya celebrating, bush congratulating Obama.. Jeez!!!

Three days back the times on the front page had an article on Obama’s first speech and gaffe after becoming president.

What next? Thebrand of toilet paper he uses?

The brand of hair cream he uses???

Why is it so important for me to know what Bill Clinton names his dog and cat?

Do the US newspapers cover Indian election so extensively?

I don’t care if Obama’s daughter is allergic to dog hair or not (I just realized I don’t know if I am allergic to dog hair or not!!)

Hindu and Times, maybe u can change ur name to Washington Post and New York Times respectively

P.S: yeah!! You can argue saying I could have chosen not to read about Malia's allergies and sigh!! I guess its because of people like me that a country like the US is THE most over hyped country!! Am I a hypocrite? I don't know.
P.P.S: Pro-US people desist from leaving acerbic anonymous comments. Yeah!! you love your country and i love mine!!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

So true!! :)

One of my favorite cartoon strips!! :). Found it when i was cleaning my folders!! :). I think all bloggers would be able to relate to this one!! :)
(Click on image to see the bigger version of the strip!! :))


Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Of train journeys, TT's and sisters with bright ideas!! :P

So this weekend yet another really close friend of mine got married (yet another person gone from our evergreen bachelor club!! :P). My sister preethi had come down from dubai for the wedding and on Friday evening we left for Madurai to attend the wedding. Now given me (lucky me!! :-\) and the affinity which the Indian railways (or for that matter any means of transportation, be it flight, train, bus, car, bullock cart…) has for me I should have guessed that something untoward would happen. The first blow of the day came when another friend of ours who was supposed to accompany us called and informed us that she had been hospitalized and wouldn’t be able to attend the wedding. We were extremely disappointed when we reached the station to board our train.

We came to our compartment and decided to check if our names were present in the reservation chart and discovered that only my sister’s name was there. We checked our tickets to see that though money had been deducted for three tickets we had been allotted only one seat and the other two just said 0000 ,0000. So much for one extra seat. Screw all online reservations. Down with irctc site. Burn all fat dark TTs in black coats!!

Neither were we given one more seat that night nor did the money for the two seats gets debited to our account!! And on top of all this the TT glares at me and says “your name is not there in the chart. You oughta pay a fine”. :-\ . i cant help but ask "Why me God? Why me?? "


So the whole night preethi and I spent sleeping literally on top of each other cramped in one side upper berth, unable to breathe and totally unable to move and realizing that if I moved I would poke her eye and sprain my shoulder and if she moved she would kick my nose and get a back ache. Preethi genius that she is (note author’s voice dripping with sarcasm. :-\) suggested an arrangement and said “Arey shruthi I am telling you. We can sleep really comfortably after this”. Maybe it was the night, maybe I was too sleepy or maybe I suddenly felt like humoring her and I actually listened to her silly idea and nodded my head. they say a picture is worth a thousand words. So in the picture below I have tried to capture the exact arrangement of our arms and legs which preethi suggested!!



Errr. Actually the picture looks way too comfortable. I assure you we were anything but that!! The berth seems too big and And we are most definitely not stick figures. Fortunately we are vertically challenged and unfortunately we are horizontally blessed (in other words, we are short and stout!! :P). With our legs on top of each other (and oh yeah!! Mine stink too!! :P) and dangerously close to each others waists we were at the risk of wiping out all possibility of any future generation of Ramanan’s if u know what I mean. Ultimately after some polite words had been exchanged and I told preethi what exactly I thought of her “splendid” idea in a few un parliamentary words we changed the arranagement!!

After the whole ordeal we came to one conclusion. That both of us badly needed to lose some weight and reduce our girth if in future both of us wanted to occupy one single side upper berth in any train. :-

Well I did mention that I would write no more posts about my travel travails. But as we tried to catch some sleep that night, without maiming or killing the person and were relieved beyond words to finally arrive at Madurai, preethi, all groggy eyed, grinned, gave me one look and said “Write about this on ur blog man!!” and with my head cocked to one side (not in style but as a result of an exceedingly uncomfortable position my neck refused to straighten) I could only grin in approval!!

Monday, November 03, 2008

Finally the results of the short story contest have been declared. (First time visitors read THIS) And the entry which I had predicted would definitely win the contest won it. You really really MUST read the story of the winner HERE. Her story is flawless (or rather, I couldn’t find any flaws in it!! :P). I loved the attention to detail, loved the Brahmin flavor, loved the style of delivery.. everything. I completely fell in love with her story. And I am mighty glad she put it up on her external blog too so you guys can read it and enjoy it!!
Congratulations Deepa. Way to go!! :) :)

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwww

1. I went “ewwwwww” when my grandmother woke me up today and said “get up. You have office today”


2. I went “ewwwwww” when the share auto fellow told me “CTS a???” and I nodded my head sadly and stupidly


3. I went “ewwwwww” when I heard the disgusting beep when my access card hit the doors, so that they could open and let me in.


4. I went “ewwwwww” when I saw that my mailbox had thousands of new mails, the latest of which said “welcome back Revathi. PFA the defects which have to be fixed by EOD.”


5. I went “ewwwwww” when instead of amma’s hot horlicks I had to drink the brown color, smelling of cockroach poop watery tea in office (don’t ask me how I know how cockroach poop smells. I just know that if ever cockroach poop were to emanate a smell it would be very close to the tea in my office’s vending machine!! :-\)


6. I went “ewwwwww” when I went to the cafeteria and had the DISGUSTING food there consisting of totally uncooked, unpalatable food after having basked in the glory of amma’s superb cooking for 2 weeks. For the first time I wasted the stuff on my plate (sorry, you kids in Somalia!! :() and for the first time I was the last person to complete eating!!


7. I went “ewwwwww” when I got a mail saying “pay 100 bucks for birthday celebrations and come join us in wishing birthday babies at 4 in the cafeteria”. I might as well have taken another day off and saved myself 100 bucks and a couple of plastic smiles


Lots of such ewwwwww moments and I m going ewwwww now even as I think about it!!
I wanna go back home!! waah waah waah!! Stop it Revs. You are a mature 22 year old. (but even mature 22 years olds are allowed to miss home!! :( )


Anyway back to Chennai guys (I loved this part) after a completely harrowing journey (I m not going into detail. I think there are entirely too many posts on my travel travails on this blog!! :-\) and back to the grind (I hate this part)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Happy Diwali!! :)


To all the readers of this blog (yeah!! I am delusional. i tend to think i am very widely read and my blog has hundreds of readers!! :P)

"Wish you a very very happy and prosperous Diwali"

So amma and i put a beautiful Rangoli outside for diwali while appa sat and watched aaja nachle and occassionally came and left comments like "hmmm, nice. good good" (its amazing how useful men can be!! :P). After 4 years a proper diwali. sighh!! Last time we had a proper diwali was diwali of 2004 when all four of us were together, preethi was unmarried and we had a huge rangoli, lots of pataasu and the works!! :)

Preeethiiiiiiiiiii we missed you big time!! :)

I hate to leave tomorrow and go back to "work" . Aaaaarghhhh!! I so hate it!! :(





Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Jamnagar diaries


1.     So I got a sexy looking hair cut today (yeah!! When u go to the beauty parlor and the lady there asks you “step cut, layer cut, mushroom cut, v cut, w cut??? Which one do u want?” and u say “errrr. Nothing. Just trim my hair. Can u just cut the ends off a bit. I want to get rid of the split ends” and she shows u 2 inches of hair and says “can I cut this much?” and u absent mindedly say “hmmm ok” and she cuts bloody 6 inches and u r left with exactly 4 inches of hair on your head what u get ultimately is a sexy looking hair cut!! :-\). Whatever !!! My hair is wayyyy above my shoulders now and I m feeling kind of insecure now. Yeah insecure. It feels like stepping out without clothes and going “ueee man. Itni thand kyun lag rahi hai”!! :P

2.      So yesterday my dad took me on a walk and asked me “errr. Shruthi. You know. If there is someone in Chennai whom u get along well with you should tell us. We wouldn’t mind”. Fully understanding what he was trying to say I acted and innocent and went “I get along well with everyone appa!!” and he is like “no. I mean for life”. God. My dad is cute!! :). The conversation ended with me telling him “I don’t want to get married and live with a man appa!! please”. I hastened to add “errr..neither with a woman. I just want to be alone” when his eyebrows kind of shot up!! :P

3.      So now that I have lots of time at my disposal I spent the entire weekend watching “Indian idol”. More than the actual show the auditions are really funny and hilarious. Sample this. The judges went to London to pick a couple of contestants and this girl sings “aap jaisa koi meri zindagi mein aaye toh BAAP ban jaaye”. Ha ha ha ha!! OMG. Even as I m typing it my face just broke out into a huge grin. :D Javed akhtar hastened to tell her  “beta..baap ban jaaye nahi, BAAT ban jaaye”!! my mother and I have been giggling like little school girls ever since. :D

4.   .  Today I went on a cycling trip around the township with mom and dad. That is the advantage if u have a mother who is a school teacher. She just has to call a couple of students and within 4 minutes we have 20 kids outside out house saying “teacher teacher, take my cycle.”, “no no ma’am take mine. Naya hai” and I went and picked this ladybird. Its been ages since I rode a cycle. Last time was in 12th I think. I had a red color BSA SLR then I think. I always craved for a ladybird but a BSA SLR is what was handed down to me by Preethi (that’s the disadvantage if u have a sis who looks after things very well. If she had broken the cycle my parents would have been forced to buy me a new cycle. But no. she polished it, cleaned it, rode it well and ultimately gave it to me!! :-\). So where was I? yeah cycling trip. It was lovely. The township looks lovely and I had a capital time cycling with mom and dad. Both of them were way ahead of me and I was panting and puffing to catch up with them.  I can still ride a cycle with both my hands off the handle bar *big accomplishment grin*. All through the trip my mom and dad tried to convince me to quit my job in chennai and come and live with them. The township is beautiful, the mall is great, there is a huge multiplex, the air is salubrious, food is great, and i would save a huge chunk of my salary but.. So why don’t I want to come and live here?? I dunno. I guess Chennai is home now. Sigh!! I am so confused

5.  My sister got her passport!! Yay yay!! Ok. For uninformed people she lost her passport while in a foreign country, one day before she was supposed to come to india after 6 months and she was devastated. She even went and tried telling the passport officials “hey, I look like an Indian. Please let me go to india”. LOL. Last heard the passport officials in dubai have been warned about a crazy looking Indian woman desperate to go to india and willing to try anything. Anyway after 3 weeks of plain AGONY and pure determination she got her passport. You gotta hand it to that girl. When she learnt that one of the passport officials had lived in neyveli for exactly 3 months of his life she went and told him “you are from neyveli? My great grandfather is also from neyveli. Can u please give me the passport now”!! :D :D. I think he gave it just to humor her. So congrats preethi!! :)

6. .  Yesterday my mom was cribbing saying “OMG. Township has become so crowded shruthi. I cant tell you”. Find below pictures of peak hour traffic in the township. First one was taken at peak hour in the morning and the second was taken at peak hour in the evening. I could only gape and feel glad that my parents weren’t in Chennai.  Where is the traffic u say?? Duh-huh. Our car was on the road!! :P