I am certain today is much better than tomorrow!



Its a bit of an irony
I swear on the mulligatawny,
in a cold country like this
they dont really miss
the warmth of hot broth
going down one's throat
to give a little insulation
from the biting cold.
'ts for hot breakfast that I crave
when I step out of my roomy cave
all I want to have is a dosa roast
what I get is a buttered toast.
When I look for hot soup
all I get is a lukewarm dupe
Zweibel, Tomate and Kartoffel*
you get plate loads of these if
you ask for vegetable.
One of the best you get is Flammkuchen
which is pizza with crust nicely flattened.
I miss my cup of hot Red Label tea the most
'coz here its umpteen flavours of which they boast.
Amidst Strawberry, Lemon, Orange and Earl Grey
Even Assam tea does not hold its sway.
Its usually had here without any milk
They have no clue about chai or its ilk.
But what I love most here is the Yoghurt
in many flavours and choice you can assert.
My all time favourite is the Erdbeere*
thinking of which, I should get my today's share.
Am glad I am coming home tomorrow, this time during
to chatambsadhu, morasadhu and bendekayi karimb!
*zweibel=onion, tomate=tomato, kartoffel=potato, Erdbeere=strawberry


Hatrick and one more

Today I have posted 3 write-ups on this blog! Yoo-hoo! Yippie!
Plus this one :)


Machines always have their way of intimidating me. You might already know this if you have read my previous post :)
Recently I got another fair dose of drama.
The tool: A vending machine
The task: Buy a packet of chips
The payment method: Slot where coins should be inserted

Yeah, it all seemed pretty simple but the havoc started when I put in the coins and punched the correct number for the chips and the packet began to slide out of its holder. It slid and slid and slid to the edge and there it stopped. I waited for a second, then another but the packet wouldn’t budge! Now I had put in a full 65 Euro-cents into the slot and converted to rupees that would be roughly 39. I did feel like leaving that to a waste. So I went to the machine and started hitting it, then kicking it. But nothing happened. Then a brain wave struck. What if I get the packet behind it to slide? Then this one has to fall out to make way. But here was a slight problem. I did not have the requisite change to put into the slot again.
I went up to another Indian I know here and explained to him the funny situation I was in. He came to rescue me as most men are bound to when they see a damsel in distress! He also banged and kicked the machine to no avail. Then I asked him in a small voice whether he could put in another 69 cents. He did but not before I explained the concept and reason to him. He was impressed with my level of thought and immediately put in the coin and punched in the product number. The second packet began to slide. It slid and slid and slid very close to the first one. And then nothing happened. We both waited for a second then another but nothing really happened. We couldn't believe our luck. Even the second packet was caught with the first and the guy was nodded an emphatic NO when I suggested I DumbC to try for the third packet. We stood around there wondering what to do.
I thought this was what the management of a company might feel when products don’t get deliver what is expected by customers.
Boss: "Should we just ignore the 69 thousand euros we have invested or we should we somehow try to get this product out?"
Boss' Right hand man: "Yeah ok there are bugs."
Boss' Left hand man: "We can solve them with another version of the product."
Boss: "Invest another 69 thousand euros."
After a few months
Boss' Right and left hand men: "Now both are stuck. Hmmm".

In the meantime a few people milled around us, clucked their tongues and sympathized that the machine made a fool of us.
"Oh you know these things never happen to us"
"Yeah but you know sometimes it happens to others"
!!! grrr
After smiling sweetly at them, blinded by rage both of us kicked the machine with all our might and both the packets came stumbling down.
Happy Ending!

An anecdote in a 1000 words!!!

There is an interesting anecdote (I wouldn't call it one since its developed into a short story as you will see shortly), that I want to narrate. This is not for the weak-minded. It’s quite big. Yeah it takes a lot of words to get the confusion, fury, embarassment and exhaustion of that experience all out of my system. I have written it as it happened and no fancy shmancy stuff in this post (not that you really expected it but am just telling you ;)..)

This was on my first trip abroad. Destination SFO. Well, that was on my onward flight. On my way back to India I had to change planes in Chicago. And that is how I landed in one of the busiest airports of the world O'Hare International Airport. There were two things that I learnt as soon as I got to a particular airline (don't want to name them) counter.
1) That one can't do a through check-in of baggage between flights which don't land and take off on the same day.
2) Most Indian travelers are perceived as travel-illiterate (unless you put a show of nonchalance, if you appear even a wee bit concerned it kills the impression you are making).

So there I was at the baggage section trying to spot my huuuge green samsonite and a small green VIP suitcase among the umpteen baggages piled up there. I could find the small one but the huge one was absconding. I reported this to the airline personnel who assured me that they would find it for me before I left and gave me a lot of fundas about how somehow baggages mysteriously pile up inside their office sometimes. And since they gave me nice smiles and also helped me with an overnight accommodation at the Radisson I was gleaned to accept their assurances and went on to the hotel where I slept peacefully through the night.
My flight the next day was at 1:30 PM. Good sense made me reach the airport by 9 AM. I reached the counters with all the radiance of the sun shining outside on Chicago. There I was told on enquiry that they had failed to trace my bag. But I was told that they would look. After waiting for an hour in the line-of-sight of the ground staff, I started asking them again.
It dint help my case that there was another Indian grandma checking in for the same flight with two bags that weighed twice more than maximum. Her son who was trying to send a whole lot of stuff to India was abusing the staff for their rude attitude. So the air was generally on fire. When even after repeated enquiry I couldn't solicit any concrete response from them as to where the bag went, I went ahead and wrote down the name of the lady who was talking to me. I told her that I would have to inform the airline authorities about her for not even trying to find out where my bag went with the pretext that there were "a lot of passengers traveling everyday who carry lot of bags and airline personnel can't personally track each of them". At this point her boss became a little apprehensive and started taking personal interest in the matter.
By this time it was 12:15 and I was getting panicky about missing my flight. Chicago is a huge airport. And there are sky trams which connect between terminals. That was another first for me. I needed at least 20 minutes to get to the departure terminal of my flight. The boss lady got busy firing away instructions to her junior. They all trooped inside the office and god knows what they did but finally they emerged triumphant only to tell me that instead of through checking-in to MAA(Madras, India) my bag was checked-in to MAD(Madrid, Spain) and that’s where it was headed! I was assured (yet again) that I would be united with it in London which was my stopover. I had no choice but to accept this piece of information and head over to the sky tram place because I could only think of that way to get to my terminal.
The place where i needed to get in was out of a science fiction movie for me. Doors kept opening and closing on either side of the enclosure and capsules would keep zipping by. I looked around to see for any mention of the terminal I was supposed to go to. I saw one board on the right which said Terminal X and had the downward pointing arrow mark beside it. For the high-tech-travel-illiterate me this dint make any sense. What is the downward arrow supposed to mean? Should I enter the right door or the left? I stood there and thought about it for a full five minutes. I was too embarrassed to ask anyone there but mustered up courage and asked this to a uniformed lady "Terminal X please?". In reply she just nodded her pointed vaguely and slowly said "Yeah...". And of course I did not understand that! So what I did next was the most hilarious thing. Since the board was hanging on the right side I decided to go into the right door. I arrived at Terminal Y and was left with a question mark. And then I saw another board which said "Terminal X" and the arrow beside it was pointing to the left side! I thanked the Lord for small mercies. Got into the left door and in a couple of minutes found myself exactly where I had first boarded the tram!! I had not realized that I was in Terminal X all the time I was frantically searching for it!!
Well then I ran from there till I found my gate. I was one of the last passengers to board the flight. I spent a tense ten hours to London in despair about my missing luggage. In London, upon enquiry I found that my luggage was indeed redirected and it would board the flight with me. My insistence that I wanted to physically see my bag before boarding feel on deaf ears. I spent another eight hours to Chennai wondering if I would really see my bag. Upon landing, after immigration I ran all the way to the baggage belt and lo behold there it was, my precious huge Green Samsonite bag!

What I like most abt working in Germany

Is the walk I take to office from the hotel everyday.

Its through nice green patches of land.
It takes me about five minutes and there is absolutely no pollution! I dont have to look out for vehicles.
I can plug in my ipod and sing along loudly for there's no one around usually to care. Even if there are I dont care!


Babe's day out ;)

So, it was that on a fine european November saturday morning Siri decided to have a day out. She went to Heidelberg and bought herself a ticket at the Reisezentrum to Stuttgart. And what did Siri babe decide to do in Stuttgart? Visit the zoo!She got on the tram which would take her to Wilhelma and padded along behind the others and got in. Inside the zoo babe got to see a whole range of plants and flowers many of which she dint
remember seeing before. There were camelias, chrysanthemums, venus flower and so many others. Once she got out of the glass house she came across another door which said 'Ausgang'(Exit). Here she was left wondering what she should do. How often do you exit from a door only to find another exit and not entry. Or was the door she exited from the entry? With all these confusions in her mind Siri entered the exit only to find herself in an aquarium! Oh what beautiful colours. The fishes were exotic looking. Some looked like meanies, some looked like serial lights, some looked like paper, some looked like after god created them a barber took
over. But their tanks were filled with such nice colours which contrasted them with the fishes that babe was wonderstruck!OOOOO the under water world was soooo breath taking. What was this in the next cage? A python? Snakes! Lots of them. All sleeping. None of them as much moved a millimeter. Then there were lizards of all kinds - chameleons, iguanas, green lizards. Babe dint really like them. So she moved on to see the great crocodile. And what does she find there? One croc sleeping and the other hiding under a bridge. From there babe padded off to see the big animals and on the way found a pond full of dolphins! On going closer she saw that they were only sea lions. Oh those creatures bray like donkeys she thought. But they were well
trained. They were given fishes and were told to do a jig or two and they complied. Things like getting off the ledge and stop begging for fish. Moving on babe came to the ape section. Lots of monkeys and of different types too. Some werent even in cages. They were just in the center of a pond. Are monkeys afraid of water wondered babe. There were gorillas, chimps, orang utans and a whole host of them. But apart from the smaller jumpy ones, all the others were lazing all the others were lazing around. It dint help either that the sun was beating down on all the glass fronts of their enclosures and it was tough to even see them inside. All the more better. What do these tourists think aye?! By this time babe was a little lost but she found a direction-giving board. She cantered off to see the bear and the el'fant. And who does she spot on the way there? Cats! Wild cats all of them. There was the cheetah, jaguar, leopard, tiger, lions and the civet. But all of them were half asleep. The lion kept indicating with a nod and half closed eyes that he shouldn't be bothered. Next to the cats were the deer variety show. The big horned ones, the white ones. All sitting and dreaming. Then babe found the polar bear. Yoohoo. He looked so forlorn. So unhappy. So still. Babe felt sorry for him for his isolation.
A few feet ahead and what does she find. Another polar bear. Oh so that's the story she thought. These two are having a fight again! In front of the bears there were deers and emu from australia. These were busy munching on grass. Atleast they were active and babe was happy. She saw the el'fants. All of them had turned their behinds for display, not wanting to be perturbed by the crowd. And boy did they smell! After all this babe had ran out of patience to visit the giraffe and the zebra. So babe said ta-ta to the animals and got out of the Wilhelma.

What a joke - Siri babe's day out turned out to be the animals' day off :)
You wanna see photos that babe took? Click here


Some days start lousy

Alarm rings and I don’t care,
This is usual and nothing rare.
But with a headache oh so bad,
I don’t wanna get up am so mad.
T strokes my forehead with his hand so soft,
I turn the other way and tell him five minutes don’t talk.
I have work and must go,
Late to office, so I must heave ho.
But with a headache oh so bad,
I don’t wanna go am so mad.
Taking out my anger is easy,
For all the wrong reasons is crazy.
I throw a tantrum about every thing,
Alas to T true it doesn’t ring.
But with a headache oh so bad,
I don’t wanna back down am so mad.
I shout, I pout, I make a scene,
To put up with it T is not so keen.
Calm as ever the bike is backed out,
Ego raises its head and tries to show its clout.
But with a headache oh so bad,
I don’t wanna protest am so mad.
I get a drop, time and place perfect,
In the process I have myself lost a little respect.
Even with a headache oh so bad,
T, am very sorry I got mad.


Reality bites

The whole of this weekend I spent in front of the TV watching what is popularly known as “Reality” shows. Dance shows, live like a family shows, song shows and what not! You can take your pick from Saregama or Nach Baliye or Jhalak Dikhlaja or Big Boss etc. Where the first one tries to give a platform for budding singers all the others are only centered on celebrities. These shows have become so popular that they have replaced the gisa-pita saas-bahu soap discussions in the steamy (cooker da) kitchen banter! Bored aunties now have some exciting, adrenaline-pumping stuff to talk about. And please note that am still only talking about Aryan Vaid’s muscle show, Rakhi Sawant’s errr show, Malaika Arora’s one-pieces defying gravity, born not to perform couples lunging at each other in a dance or shocker Mona Singh winning a contest in true Jassi (underdog wins in the end) style.

Nach Baliye and Jhalak have people vying for the top spot in dancing abilities. While the former has married or to-be-married couples pairing up the latter has singles. Its a good platform for the budding choreographers but somewhere along the line it becomes all about the glamour, nakras and jatkas of the dancers and the choreographers only show their jhalak briefly. One whistle from Saroj Khan who is a judge on Nach Baliye and the participants dissolve into tears of gratitude as if their long tapas has finally borne fruit. But at least these days the ousted contestants are not creating a wail-y mess but are gaily moving on. On Jhalak we have three very cordial bored judges with their best smiles pasted on their faces. Can’t blame them for they have to judge dances of people who have never moved a leg side wards in their lives (barring one). And then you have to put up with the artificial sense of ohhh-losing-the-crown atmosphere created by the anchors.

Till recently I did not really understand the concept of a live-in show. On my trips to Germany I used to see a reality show which had a bunch of young people living in a house together day after day without the slightest corner of privacy. There were cameras everywhere including the bathrooms! I was a little shocked (blame it on the conservative brain) to even make any sense of why anyone would take part in it. And the show being totally in German did not help my understanding much. It was only when I saw a similar show on Indian television did I get enlightened.
The father of all reality shows has around 13 celebrities locked in a house with no outside access. Their antics beamed around the nation. Ofcourse they are all there for the money! The people on the show seem to be so contrived that you can almost see them peeling off their masks when they go to bed. While some of them are showing off their assets to best camera advantage (oh yeah they are completely aware of where those are placed), there are some who are try to woo you (the audience) all the time brightly chirping, there are a few who look and feel lonely and lost and there are others who act like mother hens!! All of them know they are playing to the gallery and they also need the money. They have to make a pretty picture with all the others while also voting in secret to eliminate the others one by one. It’s not that easy with the entire nation watching!

News channel NDTV became trendsetters with Big Fight and We the People where the common man is given a podium and a mike and an answerable set of people. This is getting drawn into the realm of entertainment also with reality shows. Its not too far when the show directors will air their shows live and The Truman Show will also become a reality!

I have a feeling we are in the renaissance period of entertainment where shows are about oneself and not some character one is portraying.


Hungry at 12

Does it happen to you often?
At midnight?
I find myself with a tremendous appetite around midnight most nights when am awake. If I don’t retort to the hints then my stomach takes it pretty personally and starts gnarling so loud that it can wake up our next door neighbor whose house is approximately 6 ft from my room wall!

I know the distance accurately because in Bangalore land is very precious (because it is scarce what with all builders taking over and because of its price). People would build on every square millimeter of land if not for some rules laid down by the corporation to prevent houses zig zagging into each others' compounds. There needs to be a gap of 3 ft from the compound wall between neighboring plots to the wall of the actual house itself. And this is all a Bangalorean worth his land is willing to sacrifice. In fact I was joking with our builder that I plan to make a temporary shack in the car parking area and give it for rent. There will be takers for sure.
Yeah all this banter has nothing to do with the subject of this post. But what you are reading here is my mind. When I get hungry I try and concentrate on all kinds of things including Bangalore Corporation rules in order to divert the mind! Whoever heard of snacking at that bizarre time. And that too after a full fledged dinner. Honestly what I crave for at such times are sweets. I dunno why but I develop a real sweet tooth around 12 AM :)

I remember this bus journey a few years ago. My dad was shifting to Bangalore (and we were with him to help) and his colleagues had come to bid him farewell. And as courtesy would demand it they also gave us a box of sweets. Now, the box was conveniently planted in a bag which was kept under my seat on the bus. At that time I was supposedly this pale travel sick little thing. At around midnight while watching Gumnaam (it was a video coach and the driver was obviously still in the 60s thingy) I became ravenous. Only after I neatly tucked in 10 Balushaai
(a 2 inch dia circular very sticky ghee layered sweeeet sweet)

in less than half hour and only then did I feel contentment! You could well imagine my parents’ surprise the next morning when they opened the book to find nothing in it.
And of course I am writing this with a growling stomach for company. Its 1 AM what do you think!

Should I go for that

peda in the fridge or should I not is the question!!