Saturday, September 12, 2009

This blog has moved to :

I can't tell you how this post makes me feel. Emotions are splurging freely, the frame shakes in farewell.

I tried wordpress a while ago, and liked some of its features, but I kept putting the final decision away.

However, change is the only thing that is constant and all that drivel, later, here I am.

See you all at

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

The President's Address

I challenge you to find a single bloke who has visited the parents' home, and hasn't seen the photographs of the daughter of the house sitting with the President of India. The show runs for 2 hours and 12 minutes and is accompanied with a full theatrical demonstration of all the words spoken by the President. Usually, excellent coffee is served during the interval.

You see, the sister won 4 medals for various activities from the then President of India, R.Venkatraman. He then called for her after the ceremony, and sat her down to see what kept her ticking, and all that. The sis' was given a new red-and-black dress for the occasion, and the photographs and medals occupy a somewhat better position than the sons and daughters of the house. It isn't everyday that the President hobnobs with the children of teachers.

The photographs themselves can be used for toothpaste advertisements, teeth whitening etc, but the President declined from going after fame in that direction, so the opp. was dropped. I remember what a great deal it was to have the President visit our School. There were black cats streaming all over the place, and everybody was checked. I almost had my priya sweets removed from my body. Quite scary I tell you.

The father was given the unique honour of signing the cards needed to present the guards with, to allow people access to the auditorium. Never has anybody approached the man with such a compelling need to get signatures from him, and he came forward with his most gallant attempt, and signed his full name, all of 23 consonants and 15 syllables (okay.....but it's a long name!) It wasn't till he signed the 502nd card that he started questioning his decision to sign the full name.

The President landed on the grounds, and we dutifully sang the national anthem, the guard of honour with the right click, shoes all polished, the works. It is something of a memory. The chance to see and shake hands with the President is one so unique.

I wonder why there is a controversy about President Obama addressing the children of the nation.
The most common complaint seems to be that he will push forth his propoganda. I ask you - to what end? When these children are old enough to vote, he might not be in the President's office any longer.

Turns out the President only said what parents hoot everyday, but now the country is just hoping that coming from the President's mouth, the children would listen.

He said children should make the best of life's opportunities and learn to live responsibly. Where's the propoganda? All I see is many more proud families who can show pictures of their children with the President.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

When to update Facebook?

What a coincidence? I have been meaning to write about Facebook for a while now, when New York times runs this article

I quote from the article above:
Things fall apart; the center cannot hold. Facebook, the online social grid, could not command loyalty forever. If you ask around, as I did, you’ll find quitters. One person shut down her account because she disliked how nosy it made her. Another thought the scene had turned desperate. A third feared stalkers. A fourth believed his privacy was compromised. A fifth disappeared without a word.

The exodus is not evident from the site’s overall numbers. According to comScore, Facebook attracted 87.7 million unique visitors in the United States in July. But while people are still joining Facebook and compulsively visiting the site, a small but noticeable group are fleeing — some of them ostentatiously

This piece aligns itself with the sort of news I was recently criticizing. "If you ask around" - this had me dished. How was I supposed to ask around - on Facebook?! Clearly, people are quitting the site. How would they answer me? The stress made me want to update my status.

This statement is of course the crowning glory:
But while people are still joining Facebook and compulsively visiting the site, a small but noticeable group are fleeing — some of them ostentatiously. (Uh....duh....scratch. So, are people joining or are they quitting?)

But, I shall interpret this prolific link to read that many people have been quitting Facebook lately. I have felt like an aging dinosaur, pummeling myself into thinking that by spurning Facebook, I would lose touch with my friends, and like the dinosaurs unable to adapt, roam in a physical world, where the only contact was through Facebook, and water only the virtual kind. Sad, get the drift.

Don't get me wrong, but Facebook felt to me like a big "Oops!" waiting to happen. I accepted anyone wanting to reach out to me, and before I knew it, I had a whole lot of friends from all my associations - kindergarten classmates, tea stall mates, college bonda mates, colleagues in the various companies I have worked in. Everytime, I attempted to post a message, I was baffled. What on Earth will I tell all these people that will interest them all at the same time?

Feeling sleepy?
Want to drink Tea?
Wants to step out

The problem with all the messages I did want to put up was that, it felt like a yearning. If I was already drinking tea, I wouldn't put that up, I'd be busy sipping my tea. If I went out, I would not stop to update my Facebook status, I'd be out the door.

The only time I felt a status was warranted was when I finished running a half-marathon. But, I think the World will agree with me here when I say that, that seems like an awful lot of trouble to go through in order to put up a Facebook status.

So life passes me by, and the stress of not having anything to say gnaws at me ..........

PS: Another link: Recruiters screen facebook too!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

This Day That Age

This day that age.

"You know what?" the words barely left my smiling lips, when I had the attention that any teacher would kill to have from just one student in his class. I was flustered. I would have to admit it was embarrassing to have somebody pay this much attention to my words. After all, most times I was trying to get the selective hearing dad and the don't care-unless-its-sports brother to listen to something. Most attempts were feeble bleats erupting every minute for several hours. And then start afresh again after a bite of the energizing and sometimes impressively finish with a grand finale before somebody twitched a ear in my direction. When this sentence (I know, that was barely a sentence!), was met with an impressive

"Yes tell me" with the body leaning forward, I was taken aback. The face glowed with appreciation, and I found I had forgotten what I really wanted to say. Just the warmth of the reception to my sentiments were enough to soothe the soul. I hastily ushered the fellow in to my favourite ice-cream store with gratitude and bought him a rather impressive banana fudge ice-cream. What's more I presented him with a hideous tie (with love!)

Turns out the fellow doesn't like ice cream, and seldom wore ties. So, we decided to get married.

My husband - this day that age.

This day this age

"You know what?" I hollered at the breakfast table. *Ignore*
A minute later: "You know what?"
"Huunh?" or similar sounding grunt. IT's hard to reproduce, and a lapse into some important program on TV

If ever there was a soul of determination, that's me. As many times as this happened, I never quit saying "You know what?" I finished at an impressive 8 times before I decided to throw in the towel. I threw my hands up in desperation and sighed for good measure. That did it.

"Huh.....what?" said the husband turning towards me. His eyes glazed, his mind still wandering in the meaningless forest of the previous advertisement selling fresh juice from the mushy murks of some godly place. I gave up.

"Never mind, I forgot what I wanted to say", I said.
"Oh okay"

Since both times I forgot what I really wanted to say, it can't have been that important!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Festival Time ?!

Festivals are for a time of harmony. The old family spirit, the smiling pictures - the "totadoin" music in the background. Yet, I am still waiting to witness one festival where the mother of the household is not looking like a frazzled lump with a ready lampoon hoisted at the end of a javelin stick waiting to scorch through your insides if you don't make way for the steam engine(that's her) while the vadai is being fried, and before the appam needs to be turned over.

By the time, the family sits down for the meal, several feathers are ruffled, there has been at least one meltdown, especially if it involves smart-aleck daughters. Then, there is the whole post-meal sensation where the outlines of the layers of intestine have merged into an amalgamation of jaggery, oil, butter, vegetable oil, turmeric, a large shipment of rice with lentils washed down with curd. The final slurp does it.

Now, after a bustling 4 hour ordeal to whip up a meal such as this, one would expect to push the chair backward long enough for it to creak and stretch into a raised bed. What we would really look forward to doing is gently massaging the stomach area. It would help if somebody could do the same with your hair and play some lullabies. OH NO!

The bustling mother is now bustling at 80% speed owing to the bulk of food still occupying the abdominal area, but she bustles all the same. The dishes need to be cleared away, the dirty dishes washed, the remaining sweets tucked away....

Why? I ask you why? Why do these festivals have to be this way? Take Krishna for example, is he going to refuse to step into a house where gulab jamuns are missing from the list below?
Krishna Jayanthi:

  • Seedai
  • Patta Naada
  • Theratti Paal
  • Aval
  • Kunzhi aapam
  • 7 cup cake
  • Vadai
  • Payasam

In my opinion, we would be doing ol' Ganesha a favour by reducing his calorie intake instead of this:
Vinayaka Chathurthi:

  • Vadai
  • Payasam
  • Aval
  • Kunzhi aapam
  • Modakam

But as always, the genii of the world go unheard....

PS: This is also my 200-th post.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

P.B with only E

I have a friend who's watched 'You've Got Mail' more times than is considered civil to admit. In the movie, the huge bookstore brings the little bookstore (owned by Meg Ryan) down the corner to bankruptcy. Admittedly, it is a heart rending angle to small businesses, and a long time ago, I found myself admiring the pluck of the lady who owned a small coffee shop. She had put up a sign imploring customers to not go to Starbucks.

The placard said: "Don't let your friends go to Starbucks!"

I haven't gone to the small place in a while - I vaguely tried to recollect why, and couldn't. I stepped in.

Before you go off imagining Meg Ryan in a coffee shop, let me stop you in your tracks and state that I am not particularly fond of this lady who runs the shop. If I were Malcolm Gladwell, I could have written a book about this particular phenomenon, and how I should trust my instincts etc. I am not Malcolm Gladwell, so I shall satisfy myself with saying I am not fond of her.

This morning, I read all about sumptuous breakfasts in the English countryside and by the time I took the swift walk down to the office, my stomach was starting on a tantrum for a spot of breakfast. I relented and ordered a plain bagel with only eggs - no cheese, no tomatoes.
I can hear you mutter in your little head that there really is no need for all this detail about a breakfast order, but the crux lies here. You see the rates written up in this shop are as follows:
1) Plain bagel with only eggs is $3
2) Plain bagel with eggs and cheese is $3.25
3) Plain bagel with eggs, cheese and tomato is $3.50

I paid her $5 expecting $2 in return. The shop, meanwhile, has 2 more people in there oggling at my back. I don't know about you, but everytime I feel like a bottleneck, I will squirm and rush.
All a sales person needs to say is:
"Uh...I don't know why - let me go and check" , and I would hang onto their hands, and stop them, thinking furiously:

"Just service me please - I can't hold all these people up. "

As you can imagine, as soon as these strangers walked in, this particular sentiment kicked in. Just give me $2, so I can move. Come on : $2. Quick!

She gives me $1.75. See! In one blinding flash of revelation, I see why I stopped going there. This wasn't a mistake - she did this everytime I ordered p.b with only e. Once, when the shop was empty, I gulped down her potential cheap-skate view of me and showed her the sign for $3, but everytime?!

Why not just update the board to say $3.25? It's not like I would change my mind and not buy because of the 25 cents. Next time, I'll step into Starbucks on my way - the SKU can only give the advertised rates see?!

I am asking myself why I put up this post now. Because I have ensured that all my friends can think of me as a cheap-skate from now on.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Where do you belong?

Last week I met a person who was bang in the center of this chart.

(Courtesy: Bud Caldwell)
His eyes shone with the inner peace of doing something he loved for a living. How many of us can honestly feel that we belong in the center?