Friday, January 30, 2009

Yawn!!!!

I am sitting in a meeting room listening to something which I don’t understand, listening to some technology which is beyond me, an application which I wont use, a knowledge which I cannot appreciate. Yes I am bored, yes I am sleepy and it will not look nice if I suddenly fall asleep on the glass table when 10 other people are listening intently. Hence I am doing what I do when I dunno what to do. I am writing. It is at the most inappropriate of times that I decide to do some introspection. I mean right now I am supposed to be listening, understanding and absorbing a new earth shattering application. Everyone else around me thinks I am scribbling some notes related to the meeting in my notepad. I cant help but smile when I think of how they would react if they really knew what I was writing. Oh shit!! A team mate of mine just saw me grinning and wants to know what I find funny. Turns out she is also bored. Think Revs think. What is so funny about this meeting/application that makes u smile?

"heh heh!!" I smile lamely "her voice" I say pointing to the phone from which emanates the voice of a lady who is teaching us how to use the application. "is so funny"
"heh heh" my team mate laughs
"heh heh" I reply
I am sure she thinks I have an IQ lower that lowest form of aquatic life. Whatever!! I am used to that!!

Ah!! Where was I ? yeah!! Introspection. Coming back to that. There is a voice inside me which is asking me "why are u doing this? Why are u even sitting here pretending to listen but paying as much attention as this country pays to its women (my blood boils as I think of the fact that Mysore issue and the Karnataka CM's statements about it. Maybe I will write about it next. But I need to simmer a little down to write about it. On second thoughts Maybe i wont write about it. This blog never made any sense anyway and i would hate for it to do so suddenly!! hmmm)

For the first time in my life I find myself shutting out my inner voice because for the first time I dunno what answer to give!! Why am I doing this? Why am I sitting in this room listening to some application which is earth shattering and I am about as interested in listening to it as you would be in getting ur daughter married to dawood Ibrahim. There is a saying which goes like this
"if u don’t do what u like u will eventually end up liking what u do"?
I am scared. I am scared a day will come when I will go "sigh!! how beautiful. What grace. What panache" and shed happy tears when I see a java code compiling or an sql query working. I hope that never happens to me.

Rofl!! A team mate just asked me if I was taking down notes and I cant help laughing out aloud. Another team mate quips "Revathi and taking down notes. humph" she smirks. "you have got to be kidding. Must be writing a blog" . I am glad for her support. I guess I must be really really predictable.

Anyway I am not complaining. I am really not. I am just errr..musing!! :rolling eyes: I love my life as it is now but sometimes I feel it really has no meaning. Sometimes I have these troughs in my life’s graph (this is one of them after a long crest period!! :)) when I feel I could have done something else, been someone else, done something I really like to do. Hmmmm. Sighhhhh. I hate the 'if only..' phases of my life.

Ewwww. Another team mate of mine just saw that I had written 2 pages and wants to read what I have written. I better stop now and continue my ramblings. Maybe when the next meeting happens. In S/W companies trust me there is no dearth of silly meetings!!

P.S: Yep!! Coding phase of my project has started!! Pretty evident huh?? ;)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Bakwaas

It was a wonderful long weekend. Long weekends are like a family pack of chocolate chip icecream. Large and wonderful and delicious and SEEMINGLY never ending but when they get over you are left with a pleasant taste in your mouth and an empty box, hopelessly wishing there were more left. If you thought coming to office on Monday was the pits try coming to office on a Tuesday after a long weekend. I mean I almost think of it as capital punishment.

Boss: Revathi, We charge you with the offence of having a fantabulous weekend not staring at a computer screen but having maximum fun. You deserve capital punishment and will be placed on the death row. Go to office at 8.30 on Tuesday.
Me: Nooooooooooooooooo!!

Sigh!! Ok!! So I am overreacting but after a great weekend work is the second last thing I want to do. The last thing being drinking the vending machine ki chai.

I went on a trek to Javadhu hills this weekend. Javadhu hills are a part of the eastern ghats located near vellore famous for sandalwood trees and frequented by our very own Veerappan.
Maybe it is psychological or maybe the trek was super easy (who am I kidding. It WAS easy) but I trekked like a mountain goat. The kind of mountain goat which throws caution to the wind and leaps and skips and jumps confidently over rocks confident of its step. I would like to think its because of my 5km running in the morning. Ok. So time to blow my trumpet!! Ahem!!
I have been sincerely running 5 kms from my house (near grand sweets adyar) to Tidel park everyday in the morning all of last week. I didn’t bunk a single day or play hooky. If you know me you will realize what a Herculean task it is for me to get up in the morning at 6.00 to go running when the weather is cold and perfect outside and my bed looks so inviting. The fact that I have done it for a week makes me feel pretty much the same way Edmund Hillary and Tensing Norgay felt after they had scaled the baap of all mountains. I don’t know what my motivation is. In the past 23 years my mother has tried, my sister has tried my grandmother has tried, my roommates have tried waking me up at 6 in the morning without luck. I just wouldn’t wake up. Exercise to me was for people above the age of 50 or those who had some disease.
I think it is largely because of the pathetic form I was in during the Kolli trek panting and puffing like an 80 year, 95 kg woman that I am running so sincerely now. After Kolli I promised myself that I would try to regain the form I was in in class 7th when my physical education teacher had nicknamed me "Lambi race ka ghoda" because I had excellent stamina and would run 7km marathons as effortlessly as Obama delivers a speech. I mostly go wagging (errrr walking + jogging) in the morning nowadays. Jogging for about 4 minutes, walking for another 2, jogging again and so on and so forth and I seem to be doing better each day. the first day it took me 50 minutes and nowadays it takes me somewhere between 38 to 42 minutes to jog 5 kms.
Ok so that’s enough blowing my trumpet. I just hope I can continue in this spirit for at least 2 more months.

I came back on Sunday night from the trek and went to watch Slumdog Millionaire on Monday. It’s a good movie but I am not sure if its worth all that hype. I mean personally I think the media needs to chill a little because I have definitely seen better Indian movies which never got the kind of hype SDM did. I mean hadh hai yaar. Jahaan jao bas slumdog hi slumdog hai. I have seen T shirts, mugs, pirated VCDs, fan clubs, golden globes and Oscars associated with SDM. For the past 2 weeks both the Hindu and Times have had at least one article or "tidbit" associated with Slumdog.

Dev is a very warm human being - Frieda Pinto. (Yeah and we are all cold blooded mass murderers).

Dev has to work very hard to lose his accent.

SRK was offered Anil’s role but he refused..

Uffff!!
I went to Odyssey and saw that Vikas Swarup has changed the name of his novel from Q & A to Slumdog Millionaire!! Sheeeesh!! Which reminds me there is a sale on at Odyssey. So all u book lovers now is the right time to visit Odyssey. I have already hoarded.

Coming back to Slumdog there were lots of places where it was unreal. I mean it would have been authentic had the kids spoken in Hindi. The Taj Mahal scenes were a little too hard to digest. I mean the part when the kids are young was nice mainly because of the use of Hindi.And whats with Anil Kapoor? I mean the least he could have done is learnt to pronounce the word "millionaire" correctly given the fact that he uses it so often in the movie. His pronunciation ranges from "mill-nare" to "mill-ner" to so many other things except millionaire. Anyway I liked the movie. Good time pass though at times I wonder if the movie would have worked if some Indian director had made it. Hmmm. And I loved the music but then again I have heard better from Rehman again. I think Bombay, Roja and all were classics and SM’s music pales in comparison to them.

But like I said its good time pass watching the movie and when Dev Patel looks so cute who am I to complain?? ;)

So that was my weekend. Wanted to badly watch the plays and attend a concert at Saarang but trekking takes preference any day.

Signing off in the hope of another long and fun weekend
Yours Truly
Revs

Thursday, January 22, 2009

From: Ramanan, Revathi
Sent: Tuesday, January 20, 2009 10:11 AM
To: Preethi Ramanan
Subject:


Preethi Preethi!! I found this totally cool site called thestorez.com where u can order any book u want to and along with shipping it costs much less than what the book would cost in odyssey or landmark. and they give u the best deals. i mean three men in a boat by jerome k jerome was worth 395 bucks in odyssey and in the storez i saw another publisher publishing the same book for 70 bucks. i mean wow!!
Mast na? Jaldi tera credit card de kameeni. i will use it to buy the books coz i dont have one

From: Preethi Ramanan
Sent: Tuesday, January 20, 2009 10:26 PM
To: Ramanan, Revathi
Subject:

Arey wow!! totally cool yaar. Yeah yeah. will give u my credit card number. been wanting to buy so many books but they are so expensive here in dubai. but ek doubt hai. along with shipping how is it so cheap? they deliver outside india for the same rates? i mean dubai ko free mein ship kartein hai kya

From: Ramanan, Revathi
Sent: Tuesday, January 20, 2009 10:43 PM
To: Preethi Ramanan
Subject:


Errrr. They are located in Chennai. Dubai ko shayad ship nahi kartein. lemme check

From: Preethi Ramanan
Sent: Tuesday, January 20, 2009 11:07 PM
To: Ramanan, Revathi
Subject:



they dont deliver to locations outside india :( naai.. its like telling me .. there is a website where if u order ravaladdoo.. they deliver free patty like ravaladoos .. and then i find out that it is not for locaitons outside india.. NAIYE!! BAH. to hell with you and your site

From: Ramanan, Revathi
Sent: Tuesday, January 20, 2009 10:43 PM
To: Preethi Ramanan
Subject:


Errrr. does this mean no credit card?? :rolling eyes:

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

True Dummy - by Ashish Jaiswal - A review

When I first started reading true dummy I picked it up with a lot of apprehension. Its not the kind of book I would normally pick up during my monthly book buying sprees. It has a lot of philosophy and a blurb which says “True Dummy engages with questions about existence, ambition and the meaning and purpose of life while addressing the most soul searching dilemmas of the human race”. I have a general rule while buying books. Never buy books which promise to tell you the meaning of life. I always say, Hell!! When someone can find out the meaning and purpose of life the whole joy of living is lost. I think life is interesting and exciting only because of the fact that it is hugely uncertain and u never know what to expect at which corner. But when one gets a sincere request from someone asking one to review their first book one is intrigued and more so when a free copy of the book is shipped at one’s doorstep. ;)

Anyway, I must say I started reading true dummy with pre conceived notions about the book assuming it must be one of those books to belt our free and unwanted gyaan.

The book is about a boy who runs away from his village along with his friend to a distant island – the fabled island of true pearls or the achievers after listening to an old woman in his village who tells him about the island and those people who are true pearls and those who are dummies. He reaches the island meets a man who tells his friend and him about the three different ways to become a true pearl. Either take the money gate, the power gate or the fame gate, prove yourself worthy of being a pearl in the “Rings” and become a true pearl. In his quest to be a true pearl he falls in love, endures betrayal, pain, suffering, experiences true love, learns from his experiences, learns from his mistakes, learns to differentiate between genuine people and superficial people, meets different kinds of people and his experiences finally culminate to an interesting and fairly gripping and unexpected climax.

As I read the book I could find stark similarities between true dummy and paul coelho’s alchemist. The style of narration, not revealing many names and just using terms like the boy, the old woman, well dressed man etc, the setting of the novel, the basic premise of both the books being the same – follow your dreams.

But on further reading I found a lot of differences too. For one I seemed to understand true dummy, which is more than what can be said of what I felt about alchemist. There were many places in the alchemist which never made sense to me primarily because I am person who needs facts on my face. Subtle hints and inner meanings always elude me. True dummy excels here. Its simple language and powerful narrative make sure you read the book till the end.

The book does not grip the reader and I would definitely not call it a page turner but there is something about the book which makes u want to finish it and find out finally what happens to the protagonist. In spite of this being his first book I was very impressed with some of the examples and stories used by Ashish Jaiswal which are very simple yet make you sit up and think. Especially the part where he talks about how the human brain is divided into two parts and goes on to explain what each part does is really good. Similarly all his conversations with Ira where she tells him stories is also quite engrossing. This is one book which gives u gyaan- and loads of it but doesn’t get preachy or over the board at any point of time. It is like the pachatantra or Aesop fables for people above the age of 20. Jaiswal gives you gyaan in a way that u don’t even realize you have been enlightened.

Furthermore some of the one liners in True Dummy are sure to stay in your mind for a long time. Like “people who are afraid of death are the ones who have no imagination” or “the tears of defeat are not to be spent. They are to be saved for fuelling forthcoming battles” or the one liners about talent and practice etc are quite good.

There are some places where the book gets a little wishy washy and you wish the author had tightened up the story a little bit and I personally felt the climax dragged a little bit but given the fact that this is Mr.Jaiswal’s first book I think I am more than willing to pardon these flaws. It is a very very sincere attempt by a first time author and the effort must be lauded and appreciated. The book might not attain iconic status like the Alchemist did and taking a leaf from the book itself, it might not go on to become a “true pearl” in the world of books but if you read the book you will understand that it is not even necessary to become one.

Good Job Mr.Jaiswal.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

1. The resilient nature of humans will never fail to amaze me. Its amazing how soon normal life resumes after any kind of calamity or mishap. Its time to quote the most cliched dialogue of all time. Life just goes on come what may. So after a terrible week now everyone a home is slowly limping back to normalcy carrying on with their routine lives.

2. I must have done something right in some of my previous births to deserve the kind of friends i have. Aki, Moti, Gundoo, Sam, Diw. Thanks a lot for just being there on sunday and lending me your shoulder. i owe u guys one.

3. It was G.B.C.I's (my blog's) third birthday on Jan 10th. I dont think i can ever think of GBCI's birthday without thinking of perima.

4. Its not very difficult to actually pretend like you are working. All u need is an excel sheet with some gibberish written on it and keep adjusting the column width or copy, paste data from one cell to another. Be sure to listen to some music so that no one disturbs you or asks you what you are doing. You will be in trouble then.

5. My dad's concept of missed calls is very weird. I tell him clearly "Appa, i will give u a missed call. Just let your phone ring and then call me back. ok?" But he picks my call grunts into the mouthpiece and then cuts it. When i asked him why he does that he says "i need to ackowledge your call dont i?". Sheeesh!! Me thinks my dad doesnt know what the red button in the phone is for. he just always uses the green button! :-\. Oh BTW all you people who are thinking "sheeesh, she still gives missed calls?? Even now when she is earning??" lemme hasten to reassure you that i m not the kind of leech who likes to suck all the blood out of her parents and then go "Smack!! That was yum!!". Its just that its free if my parents call me. :rolling eyes:

6. My sister who is(or is it was. I dunno. She refuses to tell me!! :P) working for a certain company which errr is going through rough times now (no prizes for guessing which company i am talking about.;)) has been threatened by her husband that he will throw her out of the house or mete out untold atrocities on her if she doesnt earn her rozi roti. So if any of you good samaritans want to prevent domestic violence. please give my sister a job!! :P

(I sound like those guys who come on local trains with letters which read "I am deaf dumb blind lame and have 4 holes in my heart. Heart surgery will cost 175000 rupees. Please donate generously" with a pitiful look on their face)
Yaar Preethi. Just hang in there. Tera kuch na kuch bandobast mai karti hoon. Behen hoon aakhir. Kuch to farz banta hai!! :P

7. I think i am becoming super old. There was a time 6 months back when i had amazing stamina and could trek easily for a long time. Last weekend's trek to kolli just proved what a pathetic shape i am in. I needed to take rest every 10 metres and panted and puffed my way up the mountain. People who called me super woman in the last trek looked down upon me the same way narayan murthy is now looking down upon satyam employees. (that was mean of u mr.murthy. Satyam employees are not at fault if their CEO goofs up. Its almost like saying all muslims are terrorists just because majority of the terrorists are muslims).
anyway bottom line, i need to buck up and i am going to run 5 kms everyday starting next week and build my stamina!! (no kidding!!).

8. I thoought i got over my OCD. Apparently not. i saw 7 points and my hands itched to make that number even and write one more point. Hence this point. 7 rubbish points or 8 rubbish points. what difference does it make?? :P

Monday, January 12, 2009

Dear Perima,
I went to K-63 today. Today for the very first time i didnt bound up the stairs with a song on my lips the way i have been doing almost every sunday for the past 3 years, the way i did last sunday. Today for the first time i didnt burst into your house shouting "Perima, Peripa". Today for the very first time i didnt feel like coming to K-63 because today for the FIRST time in the past 23 years of my visiting K-63, I didnt see you or talk to you.

Everything in that house reminds you of me. i didnt go beyond the hall today. I think about the rest of the house and fresh tears appear in my eyes. I think about the dining room in K-63 and i think of the umpteen number of delicacies that have been dished out of those loving hands, your famous adai, the hot bajjis which you would invariably make every time it rained and give preethi or me a call and ask us to collect it. I think of the bedroom and it reminds me of your chair in front of the bed, your hearing aid in a small box, a chain of prayer beads next to them, a kumudam with pictures of scantily clas women on it which you would disdainfully turn up your nose at and comment about everything right from Sneha's sense of dressing to Peripa's hairstyle.
I think about the balcony and it reminds me of your saree drying there, with the faint smell of mysore sandal soap and some powder - cuticura i think, on it.

In more than one way K-63 has been more than a home for me. All those summer holidays spent lazily ambling in and around K-63, playing house house with Ramya and Vidya when you would loan us your saree and help us tie it from the dining table to the fridge and make a mock house and solemnly drink from the empty toy cups which we swore had coffee in it. How can i forget all those nights you would make us sit in a row, give us thayir sadam with a little bit of mavadu thanni on it and then patiently put mardaani on all our hands. I dont think you ever complained about the bathroom or the wash basin being dirty when the next morning in our excitement to see the color of our mardaani we would scrape it off all over the house.

I remember you wore the saree which i got you from my first salary immediately the week after i bought it for you. I didnt recognize it but as soon as i came home the next week, though you werent able to speak you gestured at the saree telling me that it was the one which i had bought.
I have seen you go from being the bold commanding decision making perima to the weak, frail, helpless perima restricted to a chair. The transition was not easy. neither for you nor for us who were so used to seeing you in command either busily entertaining the plethora of guests which K-63 always had at any given point of time during the day, cooking for them, asking about their families, managing to sneak in a game of cards, go shopping and do so many other things. You were super woman perima. You never forgot a single person, single child, a single meal and always had something to say to everyone.

It was extremely difficult for us to see you sit at one place, eat boiled vegetables - oh how how much u hated those!!, drink hot water, unable to hear, unable to talk on the phone and unable to do anything which you loved doing. I am sure it killed you to be bedridden and ask for help but never once did we hear you complain. what were you made of? Diamond is my guess.
Today for the first time i saw peripa cry. He misses you terribly Perima. 55 years of togetherness is not a joke and for a man who has been hopelessly dependent on you for the smallest of his needs your absence is devastating. He is broken to say the least. you have spoilt him silly.

I am sorry i couldnt be there when they took you away. I am sorry I was in a place which was completely unreachable when people called me to inform me of your demise. I never believd in fate. i think i do now. You know i never switch my phone off, always attend calls and always keep u guys informed about where i am. That ill fated day the thought of calling home never crossed my mind and while everyone was frantically trying to reach me i was up in some mountains which had no signal, blissfully unaware of what was happening in Chennai. I am sorry Perima and i hope you will forgive me.

I think i am one of the blessed souls who saw you four days before you left us. Perima i told you i wouldnt be able to come this weekend and that i would come and see you during Pongal. Not even for a moment did i think that would be last time i would see you.

I just sit silently not allowing any thoughts to creep in and try to concentrate on mundane and routine things but after some time the tears are flowing freely down my cheek in ur memory. I cant imagine going to K-63 without you, I cant imagine a sunday without visiting you, i cant imagine peripa without you. You are one person who i loved and admired the most perima and i think this sentiment is very widely found among many members of the Nataraja iyer family.

You will be missed sorely and mourned deeply perima.

May your soul rest in peace.

Shruthi.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Resolutions Checklist

How good have i been in this last year?

Have i followed all my resolutions?

A little FLASHBACK

I had taken the following resolutions last year

1. I am going to practice being nice. Nice to everyone I know, don’t know, like, dislike, everyone

Check

As far as i know i dont think i have hurt anyone, killed anyone, blackmailed anyone or molested anyone in this past one year!! I have smiled at people though i have felt like kicking them where it hurts, i have helped people (errr a person) whom i dont know at all. So yeah!! i think this resolution has been kept

2. I am going to start writing accounts

Uncheck

Sighh!! next question please!! :(

I wrote accounts till mid february and then i realised i was still spending and burning money like i was doing when i was not writing accounts!! And Sheikheee and I took this resolution together. He lasted till April, but yay!! even he broke it. So i dont have to feel that guilty. (Not that sheikhee is an ISO certifed account writer mind you but still knowing that someone else also failed miserably helps!! Misery loves company you see! :P)

3. I am going to do more of what I like this year

Check Check Check!!

2008 has been a GREAT year for me w.r.t doing things i like, w.r.t spending time with friends, w.r.t being good to family, w.r.t making a lot of new friends, w.r.t having the time of my life!! 2008 was good!! :)

4. I am going to read more books

Check Check Check again!! :)

Read a lottttt of books. Bought a lott of books. Threatened friends to gift me a lot of books. Actually made my sister read Shantaram and appreciate it!! (Yay!! :)), discovered a lot of good writers (Indian mostly). So yeah!! This resolution was the one i kept with utmost sincerity!! :)
So what are my resolutions for this year??

Oh well!! Pretty much the same actually (remove 2) along with proper trekking thrown in. Did a couple of treks, loved them and would love to do more!! Western Ghats and North East India here i come!! :):)

Welcome 2009!! :). Hope u r as good to me as 2008 was!! :)
Happy New Year folks!! :)