Amma (Mother)

Monday started out very relaxed but suddenly the fire got turned on. I am at yet another fork, yet another decision. I got so worked up that to calm down I opened my blog and remembered this post that I wrote and never posted. Its about one of the foursome I am closest to.
My Amma.
"Yo-yo" Thats what she would say if I will call and tell her that I have written about her on my blog. She is one of my readers you see. But come to think of it, "yo-yo" would be her reaction to many things people tell her. The way it is intoned differs from situation to situation :)
The one thing that I have learnt from her is self confidence. There are other qualities that I am yet to learn from her. The biggest one being that she is a believer. She is a believer in humanity, of goodness, in love and most of all in life.
At every turn in life, at every deciding fork in life she has egged me on with guidance and sometimes with plain guts.It all started with teaching me Hindi in primary school, a feat which she accomplished by learning it herself from MY text books(my memory seems to have deleted earlier files)! From then on she has been the nice little pillar of strength through to the most important decision in my life and still counting.
As I am writing all this I get the feeling that the person reading will be forming an image of my mom in his/her mind. I hope its not of a stern, hand folded grim lady. My mom is the gentlest creation of God. The softness of her beautiful face is enhanced by the glasses she wears and stumbles because of! If one wants to experience joy in life tell my amma a joke. Her mirth and laughter is so infectious that you will double with laughter yourself within no time. She has an almost girlish charm about her (which is in no way a reflection of her age!) and lends to her timeless quality. Even today when someone gives her a compliment she blushes like a teenager :). She has an immaculate sense of dressing and carries herself like royalty. I have even written a small snippet about this when I was in school and still dreamed of bearing myself like a princess! I seem to be sounding like a kid who has been asked to describe her bestest candy :).
I love you Ma.
I always wonder how you and I became friends also from being just mother-daughter (though you always say I used to boss over you). Its very strange. It also feels weird (when I kick in my stupid habit of becoming the third person and) when I analyse a conversation we would have had, because of its depth. Looking back I dont remember any time when I was scared of you Ma. Instead you were the one (and appa ofcouse, but thats another post for another day) I would run to when anything scared me. Ofcourse, I have battled hard with you (and still do) over trivial and important stuff but isn't that one of the reasons we have such a lovely relationship? I have tormented you with my stubbornness but you never gave up on me.
I love you more for that.


I met a wannabe-Guinness-Book-Of-World-Records entrant!

And I met him in a Sleeper coach compartment of a train!

Two days ago at 5:15 PM we, a group of eight people, got on the Ernakulam (Place in Kerala) express to go to Guruvayur (Place in Kerala known for its Krishna temple) to attend a close friend’s wedding. Already tired from the day’s running around (it was a week day) and tense about being awake to get out at 2:30 AM when the train would pull into our destination, we huddled around in our compartment hailing coffee/tea vendors and chatting away sleepily. There was one nice Malayalee (people from the Indian state of Kerala so called because they speak Malayalam) lady sitting with us and she started conversing with us as we ate our dinner. After dinner we were all thinking of retiring when a gentleman alighted from the top most berth. I hadn’t noticed him till that moment. He happened to be this lady’s husband. He smiled at all of us and started talking to T and me while he ate his dinner. We learned from him that he was in the Inspection department of RBI and retired as the Additional Divisional Manager. He spoke at length about his adventures on his trips all over India. He was a very widely traveled man thanks to his work profile. He knew every nook and corner of India from Cherapunjee (place with maximum rainfall in the world) to the Kolar Gold Fields (in Karnataka, now closed). He told about his VIP pass descent into the KGF mine some 2000 feet below the ground level in a bucket! He and his wife had to give a declaration stating that nobody was responsible if something untoward happened to them in the mine! By and by he started telling us that he had a lot of hobbies, one of which was collecting key chains! He has over 6000 key chains from all over the world. He stores them in air tight containers to keep moisture from reaching the metal of the chains. He showed us the collection he was taking home from Bangalore. Some fifty odd key chains right there in his suitcase! We were impressed. But what impressed us the most was when he, Mr. P.K.K. Nair told us that he wants to soon be in the Guinness Book of World Records for possessing a record collection of the very same key chains!

In the meanwhile one of us was looking out for a tea vendor. And this gave him another idea. He told us his other hobbies include Graphology and Palmistry etc. He has over 20 years of experience in Graphology alone! He decided to do on us what he called “T therapy”. He made all of us write the small letter “t” on a piece of paper and then individually told us a few points about our personality. What I liked most was that he put across all the points in such a positive way that one couldn’t help but gloat that one has such a great personality! While all of us felt that what he was telling us about ourselves were very true, he even made a couple of predictions for some of us! Now we have to see if that also comes true! Mr. Nair informed us that people from many places come to him for match making, palm readings etc and all he expects as return gift or dakshina from such people was key chains! This man is so passionate and sincere about his hobby that it comes out in the way he handles them even. Even his grandchild buys key chains for her grandpa because that’s what he likes most! Thus we spent around three hours in a crowded train getting know a great man. Great only by his sincerity and passion for a hobby! By 10 we all decided to retire for the night when he called T and me and told us that what happened that night was divine intervention. He never does this kind of graphology readings for strangers but he saw us and he wanted to! Wow! We all felt a little more blessed, the soft pale glow of the overhead compartment light lending more of a magical effect to the situation.

Now that the journey is over, all I can remember vividly is this chance encounter in the train rather than the wedding or the beach-fun we had at Guruvayur!


My Blog gets a new dress :)

Hello to all my readers. From today no, I will be wearing my new dress. I got bored of my pale blue dress which I wore for one and half years maan. It became very dreary for me to wake up every morning and look at myself in the mirror. Pah! Not that the dress was not nice but it just got too dull and lonely you know? I also want to look nice bright and beautiful like some of my blog friends. So I told Siri about this. And what can I tell you about Siri da? She's such a sweet darling. Immediately she took me to a template shop and got me a new dress. In the shop I chose a pinky pink (one of my favourite colours) one. Siri din't appreciate it very much. Her choice is more sober you see. But I stood my ground inspite of Siri threatning that she wouldn't write on me again. Oh but you see I know how to convince her. For her seeing is believing no so I just went into the trial room and put on the pink dress and showed it to her. Her face was twisted in dislike in the beginning but the more she saw me saunter around in it her expression changed to her nice natural self.You know what she said? She said "You know what Bloggy pink does suit you". I was so happy da! Immediately got it packed and skipped out of the template shop.
Ofcourse only when I showed off in front of my blog friends did I come to know that Siri din't have to pay a penny for my dress!! She got it free from Blogger re! More importantly its designer wear designed by Dan Rubin. But nevertheless she took time out from her "busy" schedule and took me shopping. That's enough for me ya. Ok now let me preen some more. Catch you later and Thank you Siri MUAHZ!

P.S:- I look beautiful no? Please let Siri know your thoughts. I feel she is still not totally convinced.

Quote o' Philodom

"Tomorrow" is the solution to all problems ~Siri


Autowale ki dadagiri nahin chalegi nahin chalegi

Inspired by Lage Raho if there is one thing that I want to do then its boycott autorickshaws.

For the uninitiated I have put up a pic of this vehicle. Its a very common sight and mode of transport in Indian towns and cities. Its one of the means to get to one's destination faster than a car or bus but not as fast as a two wheeler of course. These mean machines zip through roads like nobody's business braking or fully stopping wherever and whenever they feel like or for a passenger.

My dad has a very interesting observation about why an auto goes faster than a car. The auto as is evident from the picture does not have a steering wheel but a handlebar like a two wheeler. It has one wheel in the front and two at the back. So my dad feels that since the driver is gripping a handle bar and sees only one wheel in front he thinks two-dimensional (like a scooter rider). The third dimension i.e. the width of the vehicle never occurs to him. So he easily wields the handle and manipulates his way through the densest traffic without any concern for the aghast faces or squealing brakes around him. In fact in some cities like Pune auto drivers judiciously pull the rear view mirrors inwards into the vehicle. To prevent other errant (tch tch) drivers from damaging the mirrors? This leads to more adventure in terms of the driver not bothering to look out for those behind his auto when he is changing lanes .

Coming back to the topic of my dissent towards autos. Its because of the way they charge for their service. The official way of doing this is by using the meters fitted on every rickshaw which charge by the kilometer. But these days the drivers just charge a flat rate for a particular distance. Or they put on the meter and ask for one and half the value shown on the meter. They are all pretty united about this stance so it’s very tough to get an honest to meter driver these days! The bullies just fleece the “hapless” passenger who agrees to pay the demanded price because he wants to get to his destination in time and in style. (Yes taking bus vs taking an auto means a lot in social status around here). Its like taking a cab vs taking the local train or bus in other parts of the world. The root to this problem is also us the passengers. We just started giving in to the bullying when we should have stood up and fought for our transport rights. We puffed up the auto driver with so much ego that now he decides where he wants to go and you can hop in if you are headed in the same direction! He will stop when you signal to him, listen to your choice of destination and then nod yes or ignore and drive ahead depending on the condition I pointed out in the previous statement. And after you settle in, he either states the price or puts on the meter and announces “one and half”. By then you have pictured yourself arriving in an auto so you give in. A few strong ones will even argue and jump off if they dont get a good bargain on the price.
Today I want to light the lamp of freedom in the hearts of all auto passengers. Freedom from tyranny and bullying. I want to not take an autorickshaw till it takes me to my destination on the price shown in the meter. I don’t know how many people will be willing to risk not being able to have a easily obtainable mode of transport but I am sure if we all gang up as one and not give in to the weakness of convenience we can enable these bullies to learn to be sincere towards their work.
Its time for me to leave. Let me go and see if I can get an auto on my terms else am sure I will be meeting my friends late ;)


A princess is born

If 2005 and 2006 were the years of weddings then 2007 is definitely the year of babies! This ofcourse is in my perspective. Two of my friends are proud parents and a couple of couples are in line.

(PIC courtesy : http://www.annegeddes.com/) P.S :- This is not the princess I am talking about!

Today morning I saw a princess. A less than a day old kiddo! She is beautiful. Very graceful features. Cute face, long fingers and long nails. Yeah of course she is scratching herself to glory with those teeny tiny nails. This is the first time am seeing a baby that young. I couldn't even muster enough courage to hold her in my hands.
The youngest baby I have held in my hands was my nephew when he was 10 months old so you can imagine how confident I am with handling new-borns!

But they are little bundles of joy literally. They are just over a foot long but when bundled in two or three layers of cloth then they become substantial enough to hold :).

(And in the midst of this post I discovered I have a college friend staying very close to my home!! Am so excited about this discovery! )

Ok back to the babies topic. This little princess, smiles sweetly when her pappa talks to her. And she doesn't even open her eyes! Instinct? Or is it because the pappa spent a lot of time during the last-months-of-baby-development with the mama? I think its the latter. Traditionally in India the girl goes to her parent's house in the eighth month of pregnancy. The only reason I can think of is "there is no care better than a mother's care and there is no touch better than a mother's soothing touch" and in those last couple of months of pregnancy a girl needs a lot of that. Because of this move, the husband doesn't get to spend lot of time with the girl for lack of time or because the girl's parents house is far away or in another city or some such physical barrier. I have seen a couple of cases where the baby needed to get used it's father. It cries when the father holds it! But not this kid she knew exactly who was holding her. Very clever for a less than 24 hour old!

All in all a shooo shweet way to start our day and her life :)



Its a new year resolution. Whatdidcha think?
This new year I have resolved to make myself fit. This is the technical jargon for losing oodles of weight. Its not as if I haven't tried before. I have. Honestly. One time it even lasted a full two weeks! But I need motivation. Lots of it. I tried a variety of ways. Singing which exercising, listening to the radio, feeling happy but none of them worked successfully. One step on the weighing machine would put me into depression enough to quell any squeak of the term exercise from within. Everyone I meet seems to be shocked by my size these days. Makes me wonder whether I was really that skinny a year and a half ago. Well, everyone except my Amma. She is the only one who believes that I am healthy but not too fat :)
A small christmas miracle occured in the last week of last year.
I happened to bump (literally) into a person from my past. A person who I least expected to meet. A colleague of yester years. She looked stunning. Absolutely trim and fit and that after 3 years of marriage (yeah marriage is one of the reasons I keep giving for my over-weightedness). I felt my innards turning inwards with shame. And the first thing she told me became the last straw "I think you have put on weight" and her hands went up trying to imitate a blown up balloon! I had to lose weight fast. Now it became a matter of prestige. My ego was hurt. Bah! Basically I got my inspiration to get rid of the fat. I made it my new year resolution. Seeing my past track record I really hope I implement this one.
I have started again huffing and puffing my way to "weight less" ness. Everytime I feel tired I conjure up her image and it gets me going. Cheers to her!

Welcome 2007