Sunday, January 20, 2008

I am dead!!

My last and final hope of leading a better and meaningful existence just bombed today. The last silver lining on my cloud decided to hide itself behind the blasted cloud. For people who know me u know what I am talking about. For others I am really not in a mood to explain. I am in a “look at me and I will cry” and “touch me and I will scream” mood!!

What with today’s debacle and the fact that blogger has been banned in office I have a feeling the entire world is on a “lets screw Revathi’s happiness” mission. My blogging frequency will drastically come down now and I will be “busy” doing coding, designing and testing!! :(

All my life lines are being blocked one by one and it is suffocating me. Its like this. Imagine a man drowning right in the middle of the pacific ocean, and a helicopter comes to rescue him. He is suddenly very hopeful and thrashes his arms to catch the helicopter’s attention. The helicopter comes really close to the man and then flies away because it is unable to spot him. The man screams, shouts and ultimately dies. I feel like that man now.

Its funny. When you are 21 you think you are immortal and can achieve anything that u want. I just realized that I am dead. IT has killed me. :|

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Money Money Money - Must be Funny

What is it with parents and accounts? Why are mom’s in particular so particular about money and where it goes once it is given to a teenaged daughter? What is money after all, when compared to a daughter who is worth a million dollars. My parents sadly don’t seem to realize that and are always worried about how I spend my money. When I was doing my engineering I was given 10000 rupees per semester (four months) apart from my fees and it was deposited in the bank in the starting of the semester and I was to survive with that money for the entire semester. Now it’s a funny thing with money. If u have it in hand u never know how it goes out of ur hand, where it goes, why it goes, when it goes. The only thing u know is that it goes, never to come back.

I tried telling my parents that maybe they should give me a monthly allowance rather than a semesterly allowance if they wanted me to keep things in control but they never listened. As a result of this normally by the end of the third semester I would be in a pathetically impecunious state, with a bank balance which would be equal to the weight of the most mal nourished kid in somalia. In fact the bank in which I had an account had a rule that my account must have a minimum of 100 rupees of balance. Once I was so hard up for money that I had 126 rupees in my account and I wrote out a withdrawal slip of 126 rupees and was given such dirty looks by the cashier that even now I shudder when I think of what he must have thought of me. By the end of the semester i would go to the college stores and buy the cheapest soap, cheapest biscuits, cheapest of everything. A normal conversation between the stores guy and me would be this

Me: give me a packet of hide and seek and a bottle of maaza

Stores guy: that will be 25 bucks

Me: (thinking) what???!!! 25 bucks. That’s an outrageous amount especially when u have exactly 20 bucks in ur pocket.

Me(saying): Errr. Give me a packet of tiger biscuit. ( note to readers : stop thinking “My god. She eats tiger biscuits”. When u r hungry and have no money even pedigree dog biscuits would taste delicious and anyway tiger biscuit was the cheapest biscuit available in the stores)

Stores guy: that will be 7 bucks. Don’t u want anything to drink?

Me: (heaving a sigh of relief and reluctantly parting with my last 10 rupee note. The remaining 10 bucks were in coins.): no thanks. I think I ll just drink some water from the cooler.

I dunno what the stores guy thought of me and at that point of time I was hardly in a position to think of what people thought about me.

By the fag end of the semester this would be conversation between my mom and me

Me: amma. Errr… hmmm.. actually.

Mom: stop hemming and hawing shruthi. What do u want. I am sure u have run out of money. That’s it right?

Mom’s are too smart for their own good.

Me: heh heh. Actually yeah. That reminds me that I am kind of short of money (that’s an understatement. I am extremely short of money. I wear a burqa in hostel so ppl dont recognize me and ask me to return the money I owe them and I am scared some of them will get their boy friends to beat me up if I don’t return it in time)

Mom: ok. I will transfer 200 bucks. Is that enough?

Me: (almost hyperventilating and thinking) 200 bucks?? My debt is running to over 700 bucks and then come my own personal needs.

Me: (saying to amma):Hmmm. Actually could u transfer 1500 bucks please.

Mom: 1500? Shruthi. What did u do with the 10000 I gave u at the beginning of the sem?

Me: amma. There were so many expenses this sem. Plus a mess bill of 1200 per month.

Mom: 1200 per month. So 4 months Rs 4800. what happened to the remaining 5200?

Me: (mind working at a speed which would put Einstein to shame): well u know amma the mess food is so bad that we buy maggi and cook it in the hostel.

Mom: (incredulously): u spent 5200 bucks on maggi???

Me: no!! heh heh!! Actually. It was my room mate’s birthday and then my class mates birthday and then I saw a couple of movies, took photocopies of a couple of notes (terrible lie!! Being in the hostel we never had the need to “Xerox” any notes. If one had it, it was same as all of us having it. I was usually never the “one” to have it) and then the usual u know.
I sounded extremely lame even to myself. Try as I might I just couldn’t imagine where 5200 bucks had gone.

Mom: how many times a year does ur roommate have a birthday. Normally people have it just once a year.
(yeah. Sarcasm runs in my blood!! :|)

Me: (thinking): Damn!! Looks like I have already used up that one.
Me(saying): Actually. She is not really my roommate. She is a close friend of mine and spends so much time in my room that she is almost a roommate. That’s what I meant.

(I am damn proud of myself and the way I handled this sticky situation)

Dad (joining in the conversation): I dunno shruthi. I think u spend entirely too much. When I was doing my engineering appa used to give me 300 rupees each semester. I used to write accounts daily and in the end I used to save 50 bucks and have enough money to buy my ticket home. But you? U spend all the money, demand more and apart form that we also pay for ur ticket home.

Me:(thinking): appa studied in 3rd century B.C when people were still thinking that the sun revolves around the earth and 300 bucks in 3rd century B.C was like 20000 bucks in present day.
Me(saying): yes appa. Sorry appa. I will try to spend diligently from now on and save some money and also write accounts
(even as I say this my conscience is rolling on the floor and laughing. I am miserable at saving, I am miserable at account writing. I am miserable at everything except spending and I lie blatantly to my father. I wouldn’t dare saying this to my mom because being a daughter it is easier to melt dad than mom)

Dad: hmmm. Good girl. I will transfer the money.
Me: phew!! Thanks appa. Umm. Can u do it now. I am kind of in need of it now.

This scenario used to repeat itself unfailingly every semester. Apart from this I also used to get “special” allowances from my grandmom and sis who being the kindred souls that they are would give me “diwali” allowances or “birthday” allowances or "Cool. u failed only in 3 subjects out of 6 this unit test" allowance. Once even going as far as giving me 200 bucks because it was mahatma gandhi’s birthday. In spite of all this kindness from various members of my family by the end of the semester I would be in an extremely impoverished state. Till date I dunno what I did with all that money which came to my hands. All I knew was that it wasn’t there when I needed it and needed it most.

I used to envy my friends who were committed or had boyfriends. They never spent anything. Their boyfriends spent for them and I wondered how that dude handled his parents’ questions every time. My friends who were in love had so many other “love” problems but I was always the one with “financial” problems which I think are much more difficult to handle than “love” problems. Apparently when u r in love u don’t feel hungry or sleepy. I was always sleepy and always hungry and hence always in constant need of tiger biscuits to keep my hunger pangs away. My friends in love had no such problems. So no standing shame facedly in front of the stores guy for them. :-\

Even now after I have started working money in my hands flows like water. And thanks to the umpteen investments which my parents have started for my “safe future”, at the end of the month my bank balance looks like the same Somalian kid mentioned at the start of this post. The day I learn to manage money will be the day Osama bin laden will surrender himself to bush, Vajpayee will take part in a marathon and win, Andrew Symonds will look more human and less primate like…. U get the drift. It aint gonna happen ever.
Suddenly the words of the song by Abba seems to make so much sense.

Money, money, money
Must be funny
In the rich man's world

All the things I could do
If I had a little money

Having more money and not knowing what to do with it. I guess that’s one affliction I will never suffer from!! :(

Friday, January 11, 2008

I am in love - Yet again!! :)

I have to stop doing it. I seem to be doing it on a regular basis now. I really really must stop falling in love. I seem to be falling in love so frequently that if I increased the frequency the shiv sena men would come and get me. At any given point of time I am love with at least 5 different people. Even as I type this I realize that I am falling love yet again!! In the past one week following are the people I fell in love with.

1. I fell in love with my 7 year old cousin. After a long time because of him I laughed at something totally silly.
Now my cousin Siddhu (short for Siddhanth) and I are the only people in my house who crave to have a dog in the house and the other day we were having a discussion as to what we would name the dog, if we ever had one.

Me: Siddhu nu koopadalam - *giggle, giggle*

Sid: shruthi (me) nu koopadalam - *giggle giggle*

Me: hey ile na andha doggie a “Shruddhu (shruthi + siddhu)” nu koopadalam. *guffaw*

Sid: idhu nalla name a irruku aana paathu shruddhu nu koopta approm adhu buddhu aaida poradhu.

Now this was such a lame joke but believe it or not Sid and I laughed for 10 minutes continuously as if we had cracked the funniest joke of the year or something. If someone else had cracked the same joke I would have gone "Soooo lame!! Hmph!!" but that day I was really proud of us.

2. I fell in love with my 5 year old cousin Arya when she called me the other day and said "I love u shruthi" her voice dripping with an innocence and genuineness which only a 5 year old is capable of. Not a day goes by without me wishing "I wish they were here in India". I hate having to see them grow up in photographs.

3. Even as I write this I am falling in love with my sister because she just called me and said "hey I have made ur favorite adai for dinner. So u better come home tonight. We will rent a movie and pig out in front of the TV". I love her adai’s and I love watching a movie with her because every time we start to watch a movie I fall asleep half away and she gets totally irritated. :D. I think the only movie for which both of us dozed off was khoya khoya chand. SAD movie!!

4. I fell in love with an auto fellow two days back because he actually charged less that I expected him to, to reach a particular place. It is a pleasant surprise when u brace urself to bargain and fight and then realize that he has actually quoted less that what u had in mind.

5. I fell in love with myself (yeah guys!! This one is really important. It is very important that u love urself if u want the world to love you. Never fall out of love with urself.) when a little something I wrote for someone’s birthday made that person really happy.

6. I almost constantly fall in love with people who say nice things about me or write nice comments on my blog. (yeah!! I know I am shallow. :P) but every time some one writes something as simple as "hey!! Nice blog" or something I find myself falling in love with them. Lol. I have a really really weak heart!! :P

7. I fell in love with this friend of mine when I re-read THIS blog which she had written about our life in college. I miss college more than anything or anyone else right now. :(

8. I fell in love with a team mate of mine after she came and told me "hey I found a couple of defects in ur code. They were minor so I fixed them on my own. Am not logging them for u". Such an angel she is!! :)

9. I fell in love with George Clooney (yet again!!) when I saw ocean’s twelve last time. How can that guy be so criminally good looking even at the age of 50?

10. I fell in love with P G Wodehouse (yeah!! I know he is dead) after I read pigs have wings yet again last week and laughed till my sides hurt.

So as u see in the past one week I have fallen in love with so many people and so many times that u can imagine the number of people I would have fallen in love with in the past 21 years. I am worried that if ever I get married and my husband asks me "so, have u had any past relationships?" I wonder what I will say!! :P

Jokes apart. Right now I am totally in love with life and seem to be falling in love with everything and everyone. I love this phase in my life. I love writing about it, I love being able to write about it, I love the fact that I always seem to have a smile on my face, a song on my lips and a spring in my step. I love feeling useful and being able enough to help someone I don’t know. I love the fact that I have just enough time to do everything I like to do, I love the fact that I am getting to spend quality time with my friends, I am also glad that it has been more than a month since I had a fight with my mom. I love it all!! I feel free, I feel liberated, I feel sooooo good!!! :)

Thursday, January 10, 2008

YaBa DaBaaaaaaa Dooooooooo!!!

Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday dear Blog!!!
Happy birthday to you

For those of you who think that I have completely lost it (No!!!no one gets to say "u never had it in the first place!!" :-\) and think that I have the maturity level of a 2 year old, well my blog just turned 2 and I am just soooooooooo happy about it. 2 years back same day I started blogging. I remember starting a blog because I was really really bored and sick of the Jamnagar winter and had no idea what to do with my time and when I wrote my first blog I was sure I wouldn’t write for more than 2 or 3 months. 24 months and 94 posts I figure is not bad. From "writing because I am really bored" to "writing because I can’t live otherwise" I have come a long way. In these two years I am glad I haven’t suffered a block (not a long one at least. I had one in june last year and I still regret not having an archive link which reads june 2007!! :( ). This blog has seen me through a lot. I have poured my frustrations, my anger, my happiness, my pain, my sarcasm… everything on this blog and I am glad that I still have a lot left to say. I would also like to thank all the people who have taken some time off (I do appreciate the fact that there is so much else that u could have done with that time of yours) and read my ramblings, left a comment or not left a comment. I am glad u guys have been a part of my life. Thank you!! :)
I m in such a good mood today that even the news of george clooney's impending wedding to a waitress half his age wont ruffle me!! :)

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Of Sisters and Brothers in law who love to feed me!! :P

I am dreading going to my sisters place nowadays. Why you ask? Well let me explain. Now I have relatives all over Chennai. Like I was telling a friend of mine the other day, if u stumble and fall in Chennai you will either fall over a software professional or a member of the natraja iyer or gopalakrishna iyer family. Name the place in Chennai and I have relatives there. Thiruvanmiyur - Yes, mandaveli – Yes, T.Nagar – Yes, Adyar- infested, velacherry- Yup, kodambakkam – oh yeah, besant nagar – yeah. You get the drift? And all the members of the natraja iyer and gopalakrishna iyer families have one thing I common. They love to feed people. All of them have two passions in life. To eat and to feed. Which is why I avoid going to their houses because all of them love me and the amount of food they give me is directly proportional to their love and the amount of food I eat is proportional to my size.

For example lets take my grandmother. My grandmother spends all her waking hours deciding what to cook. The minute she finishes making lunch her concern is “Tiffin ku enna pannalam”? The minute the tiffin menu is decided it becomes “rathri yenna pannalam”. It’s a long vicious cycle. My grandmother thinks that every problem in life can find its roots to food. She believes that if hunger is wiped out in this world all the problems would disappear. If given a chance she would probably call osama bin laden home for lunch and feed him because I am sure she thinks he goes around bombing world trade centers because he is hungry. I am serious. There are times when I am really angry/sad/pissed about something and she goes “pasi naala dhaan unnaku kovam varadhu. Iru thayir sadam kudukaren” (you are angry coz u r hungry. Wait I will get some curd rice for u). anyway she is a darling and her food would give the best chefs in this world a run for their money and I don’t complain and if u look at me u will realize that I have done more of eating than complaining.:P

Anyway after my sister got married I decided I would give her and her husband (lets call him K) the pleasure of having my company. I had my own ulterior motives. I knew that if I had to reduce weight it wouldn’t help if I went to any of my other umpteen relatives’ place. My sister I decided wouldn’t be that great a cook (Big Mistake on my part) and hence my decision to grace their house with my presence. Coming to the essence of this post I have decided to stop visiting my sister’s place because she has started proving it is the blood of natraja iyer and gopalakrishna iyer that runs in her veins. And as if that’s not enough she has also started influencing K. Not only has she started cooking well but she has also donned role of a mother hen whose sole purpose in life is to feed. My sister and BIL do not have any children yet and they seem to be practicing with me. “Feed your sister and u will feed ur children well” seems to be their motto. With 0 exaggeration (stop rolling ur eyes!!) this is what happens everyday when I visit them

8.00 in the morning

K: hey shruthi. What do u want for breakfast?
Me: Errr.. I think I ll just grab something in office
Sis: no no. I know u wont eat anything. I will make some oats for you

Now there is nothing in this world I detest more than oats because 1. it is healthy and 2. it is white (I hate all white things. Milk, oats, vanilla ice cream etc)

Me: Please no.!!
K: nothing doing. Oats it is. And u must have lots of fruits along with it.
Me: hmmm can I just have the fruits alone
Sis: oats will help u lower ur cholesterol, prevent diabetes, blah blah

She will make a very good mother and will make some poor kid’s life hell I decide.

Me: ok. But just make me a little.

After some time my sis comes carrying this 2 litre vessel full of oats and places it before me
Me: Hmmm. U guys take ur share. I ll eat the rest
Sis: (giving me a puzzled look): our share?? THIS is ur share. Ours is in the kitchen!!
Me: What??????????? You expect me to eat this huuuuuuge bowl full of oats? What do u take me for?? A pregnant elephant who needs her nutrients???
K: hey wait!! I haven’t added the fruits yet.
Me: (voice sharp with sarcasm which is wasted on K of course): only apples? U don’t have oranges or bananas??
K: oh yeah we do. We even have pomegranates.

"Just wait" he says and cuts half a banana, half an apple, half an orange and half a pomegranate and empties into the bottomless chasm also called a bowl of oats. And after that both of them hovered over me till I finished (yeah!! I did finish. I couldn’t flush it into the loo with both of them watching and fussing over me) the entire bowl.
The same procedure was followed for lunch and dinner where for lunch a plate full of bisibelebath (it could easily have been used to feed 5 children for 2 days in Somalia.) + curd rice was forcefully shoved down my gullet by a very loving sister and BIL and for dinner I was again lovingly fed 5 aloo paranthas (no kidding!!) with curd and after that my sister complained that I wasn’t eating what she cooked and being disrespectful. At this statement of hers I was even afraid to stare open mouthed for fear of the fact that they might push some food down my open mouth thinking I am hungry.

So there you go. I have decided that I must make my visits to my sisters place infrequent if I am to keep alive my hopes of reducing my weight.

P.S: Preethi and Kishore – if u guys are reading this u KNOW how shameless I am. U KNOW that tomorrow this time I will probably be at home telling u guys that I am hungry and want food. So though I KNOW you guys wont mind me writing this post, this is just to tell u that u guys are the best!!Love ya!! Muah.:) . and before they throw me out of blogger for such obscene public display of affection I will stop this post!!! :)