I have opinions. Like it or not.

Archive for August, 2008

And the winner is….

… me! Yay.

 

Rayshma (who else right?!!) decided to nominate me for the award based on design (obviously she likes my design, I never change it without her damn approval hmph!) and content (pat on back :D) and I’m so kicked.. Yayyyyyyy!! Thanks babe.

Anyway, I’m gonna stop gloating and get on with it. I’m supposed to nominate 7 blogs for design and content (piece of cake eh? all 7 of my readers get the award… :P) and inform them of their nominations. So here goes (not in any particular order)…

1. Rayshma: Not because she gave me this award and I’m grudgingly giving it back to her. Not because she’ll bully me afterwards. But because hers is pretty much the most fun blog I’ve read ever. And it made me actually want to meet her and stay with her. And her husband is one of the most paavam creatures in the world. 🙂

2. Angelus: Simply because he’s one of the cutest people you’ll ever meet. Just for his Fuse Bhai impression. And his amazing thrill after we took him to watch The Dark Knight. (Alright I know it’s supposed to be for blog design and content but have you met the guy?!!) And he writes very well too, unsurprisingly.

3. LostOnTheStreet: Man, she’s smart, funny and makes me laugh. Some talent, that. And her blog design is very vibrant and changes every now and then because of all the beautiful photographs she puts up. And because a lot of them are of her cute niece.

4. Alice: One of the first people whose blogs I started reading, and have continued to do so regularly. Her stories are wonderfully written, an example being here. A personal friend, she really does deserve this award.

5. SEV: When his posts are not about bashing the iPhone or super intelligent porn stars he writes brilliantly well. Take this, for example. Or this. He always manages to put a smile on my face. He takes utmost care of his blog and does a lot of CSS wizardry to make his blog look ubercool.

6. Preethi: Her personal blog was a recent discovery, but I’ve been following her poetry blog for the longest time. She’s funny and intelligent, her posts while having a touch of humor make up for a great bit of thoughful reading.

7. Pavi: She writes about the tiniest of things in such a way that they become very important. Her enthusiasm and excitement about the little things are what make her blog such an interesting read.

And now I shall gloat some more in front of everyone I meet! Ta!!

Se7en

Picked this up from Pixie. I’m going to talk about 7 things I absolutely abhor (Christmas is here early 😀 )!!!

  1. Men who sleep with/live with/use women and then just take off. I mean, stop being a coward and take responsibility for your actions, for chrissakes! You will live with her, make her cook for you, have all your fun with her, satisfy your dirty animal desires and yet cheat on her behind her back, sms other women, and get out under the pretext of “we were never committed, I never promised marriage, and whatever we did was consensual.” Everybody knows what a farce that is, no one’s buying your bullshit anymore.
  2. Women who sleep with/live with/allow themselves to be used by men and then are left to pick up the pieces of the broken relationship because “I love him and I forgive him of all his sins and I thought that giving in to his demands would make him be committed to me.” I mean, wake up and smell the shit hitting the roof. How daft do you have to be to see that the grade A bastard is using the crap out of you and isn’t promising you anything more than a lifetime of misery?
  3. Indian people who insult and humiliate the state of affairs in India in front of foreigners, making India look like a death hole. I mean, you’re living outside India to make money, stick to that. Do not go on bad-mouthing the country that has given you your life, your identity, your brains – the reason you are even making money in America anyway. And tell me the last time you weren’t racially discriminated in this “free” country?
  4. People who act like their cool factor increases by the number of white skinned friends they have, and would go to any lengths to be seen hanging around them (including copious amounts of flirting and drinking binges). Pray, tell me, when was the last time you actually hung out with a white guy/girl without alcohol involved? Better still, the last time you had an intelligent, heart-to-heart conversation with one of them? Or when you spoke to them about things other than the exotica you feed them about India? From my observation (and this is strictly based on my 2 years of being in a department full of non-Indians), you can be friends with these guys, hang out, do fun stuff (which mostly involves alcohol) but when it comes to emotional closeness, they simply do not understand us and the kinds of problems we might have. And it’s not a bad thing either, it’s just that their issues are very different from ours.
  5. Of course, my all-time favorite, people who cannot watch a movie/show/public performance without adding their 2 cents to every scene. And their 2 cents can’t be classified as constructive criticism either. More like destructive and sadistic pleasure derived from malicious intent. I think people who can’t handle A R Rehman singing and performing Tamizh songs (which is his native tongue and the reason why he’s so popular) also fall under this category.
  6. Back seat drivers (alright I am one too, but I’m working on it, I really am, I promise.. Pinky swear.) who think they come with a pair of invisible rearview mirrors and are blessed with Shiva’s netrikann (or Third Eye) which gives them 360 degree vision. Hmph!
  7. And, (drumroll) last but not least, people who don’t clean up their tables at a fast food place/campus center/any self service joint. I mean, how long does it take? Pick up–>throw in trash can (which has been strategically placed near all exits for your convenience, mind you)–>walk out. Bah, humbug.

Wow, that feels wonderful! 😀

Why?

… is it so hard to leave every single time ? And it only gets progressively harder. You would think, considering that it’s been over a month that you’ve been away, that leaving would be easier each time. It only gets worse.

Argh.

One

One email, one line, one phone call, one sentence, one moment remembered, one kind word, one little gesture, one promise kept, one action executed, one commitment adhered to, one expression of love… Just one.

Things I expect people to do when I need them the most. Things that never happen and end up disappointing me. Things that make me lose faith in the one person I should never lose faith in.

The Journey

He was nervous. He had been mulling things over for the last few days and every time he thought about it, he felt a tingling excitement mixed with something bordering fear. All of his friends seemed to think he was being stupid. How did it matter anymore? Did he think he could change anything now? And yet, he had always been different from his friends. Passionate and bashful, he never did anything after calculated thought. He found that every time he brooded over anything, it made his life more complicated and he ended up going along with his gut feeling anyway. He decided.

The first time he thought about this was when he overheard his parents talking one night after they thought he was asleep.

“Ramakrishnan has sent me a message. Krishnaveni is 15 years old now. They want us to make all the arrangements for her to be accepted into our household.”

“Oh, that’s wonderful! My daughter-in-law will finally come home!”

Of course, he knew whom they were talking about. The girl whom he had “married” when he was 11. He knew about it, of course, he even remembered the actual ceremony that had taken place. He had vague recollections of tying the knot around her neck, but what he vividly remembered was the jangris that he had guzzled nonstop without anyone even trying to stop him. He found it strange at the time that a boy who used to be berated every single time he touched a sweet was given such a free rein on this day. Must have been the girl. Did she say something to them?

He just never thought of it as a real thing, never once imagined that the marriage that he saw others living in, would be connected to him through the ceremony that happened 7 years ago. But now, he knew. He kept tossing and turning that night, trying to at least remember the face of the girl who was his “wife”. It felt strange saying those words. Even in his head. And then he was overcome this urge to see her once before he could fully accept her. This was unheard of in his family, if his father ever came to know, he would probably be whipped within an inch of his life.

And yet, he went to sleep peacefully that night, thinking he would somehow devise a plan to see the girl before she came to be a part of his family. The next morning, he put forth his proposal to his buddies. They all burst out laughing at this seemingly ludicrous desire of Subramani to see his wife before she came to his house. He had always been a little impulsive, but this was pushing it. They then sat him down and told him all the cons of ever being caught trying to do something like this. He seemed a little doubtful, but he promised to at least think about it.

And he did think about it. Was it his fault that every time he thought about it, he became more and more convinced that he had to see her and speak to her at least once? Once his mind was made up, he settled on a plan. He told his friends of his decision and they wanted no part in this. But he managed to convince one of them to at least be his alibi in case anything went wrong. He knew how much risk he was putting his friend in, but what had to be done had to be done.

And so, he came upon the road going to Pattukkottai. His nervousness was reaching a crescendo now, and the day was hot. He had no idea where she lived, but his plan was to stop someone on the way and ask them where Pattukkottai Ramakrishnan lived. Judging by his title, the man had to be pretty famous in his village and someone would surely be able to point him in the right direction. If people asked any questions, he would simply say he was a government official from Thanjavur. With his attire and his sophisticated air, he thought he could be very convincing.

He didn’t really run into too many problems, his journey to her house was smoother than he expected. Now came the tricky part. He obviously didn’t want to meet her father, or for that matter, any member of her family. He needed to see her alone and speak to her for a few minutes. So he went around to the back of the house where he knew the ladies of the house would be doing household chores. He also knew that since it was about a half-hour to lunch time, the older women of the house would be in the kitchen, cooking, while the younger women (including daughters-in law and nubile daughters) would be in the backyard, washing clothes. Fortunately for Subramani, Ramakrishnan only had 2 daughters and the elder one had already left for her pukkaam or her husband’s house.

So the only girl in the backyard, washing clothes was his Krishnaveni. The minute he set eyes on her, he knew all his fears were unfounded. She did not, in fact, look like a scarecrow. She had a full, voluptuous body, her olive skin was glowing in the sun, while drops of water intermingled with sweat from her labor glistened on her cheeks and arms. Her eyes were the deepest black and her mouth was a natural pout that seemed to increase her beauty manifold. She had worn a beautiful green saree and bangles to match. Her forehead was dotted with a red kungumapottu. She had a pair of golden jimikki in her ears that danced to her every movement. She looked as if the goddess Mahalakshmi herself had descended from the heavens and decided to walk into his life. And while he was standing there, mesmerized in her beauty, she spotted him. A look of fear crossed her face and she made to drop everything she was doing and run inside.

 

He knew what she was about to do and yelled out her name in time to stop her. Then he set out to explain himself and his inappropriate behavior.

“Krishnaveni, do you remember me? I am Subramani, the 11 year old boy you were married to almost 7 years ago.” Somehow he couldn’t bring himself to say, “your husband”.

She still looked skeptical but she didn’t attempt to leave. He went on.

“I know you think I am crazy, but you must have heard talk of you being sent away to become part of our family in Pulavanji. Well, I needed to see you once before you finally made your entry into my home. And trust me, you are every bit more beautiful than I had ever imagined you to be!”

She seemed mollified by this last statement, and he did say it in all earnest.

“Well, I was hoping I wouldn’t be the only one talking. Didn’t you ever feel like seeing me?”

At first she seemed very shy and unable to form a sentence in her mind. But then, she opened her mouth to speak in the most lilting, melodious voice ever.

“Umm.. No, not really. Appa said that once he received word from Pulavanji that all the arrangements were done, I would be leaving. I never really thought of doubting my parents’ decision. But I must say, I am glad you did come to see me.”

At this she smiled and her teeth looked like a string of pearls. And then a woman’s voice came sailing through the open windows in the house.

“Krishnaveni! Lunch is ready, come inside. You can do the clothes later. Hurry!”

She looked at him and said a rushed goodbye and went inside. She seemed to be gliding rather than walking, such was her effect on him.

He was supremely happy at his decision of having come to see Krishnaveni and decided to go home. As he turned out of the alley leading into the main street a voice arrested him. His heart sank.

“Hey, Subramani, aren’t you Chandrasekaran’s son? Do you recognize me? I am your father’s cousin Gopu. In fact, I am on my way to see your father today, why don’t you come with me……..”


P.S.: The painting is Raja Ravi Varma’s painting ‘The Milkmaid’. I have always found Ravi Varma’s women to be classically beautiful. I could only think of the women in his paintings when I thought of Krishnaveni.

I am

I reflect. I write.

I was born in Madras. I was brought up in Bangalore and Pune.

I love Pune. I used to love Bangalore even more. I hate Madras.

I love the dawn. I hate waking up early.

I love taking a hot shower. I hate leaving the bathroom steamy.

I love drinking my tea. I hate making it.

I love being punctual. I hate rushing about trying to achieve it.

I love my keychain. I hate locking up.

I love the snow. I hate the cold.

I love the little puffs of warm breath coming out of my mouth. I hate the tip of my nose getting cold.

I love the ride in the bus to school. I hate that I don’t have a car.

I love New York. I hate New Brunswick. I love Highland Park.

I love eating home made food. I hate cooking.

I love working hard. I hate not achieving the desired results.

I love Jeffery Archer. I hate Sidney Sheldon.

I love being tall. I hate high heels.

I love jewelry. I hate wearing it.

I love rings. I hate the shape of my hands.

I love my younger brother. I hate not having an elder one.

I love driving. I hate Pune’s roads.

I love cleaning up. I hate people who make messes.

I love IM. I hate typing.

I love singing. I hate singing alone.

I love people. I hate having to be with them all the time.

I love being by myself. I hate loneliness.

I love Oceanography. I hate ChemOc.

I love reading. I hate studying.

I love music. I love Guru. 🙂

I love smiling. I hate not being able to make someone smile.

I love the sound of the birds chirping in the morning. I hate that they make me wake up early.

I love the smell of the earth after the first rain. I hate Pune’s monsoon.

I love beautiful Kashmir. I hate all the unrest there.

I love my fiery spirit. I hate my short temper.

I love being independent. I hate being un-emotional.

I love my friends. I hate having lost some pretty darned good ones.

I love being in love. I hate not knowing whether I am.

Dug up from the archives of a previous blog that existed at a time when life was easier. Posted because Alice pushed me to. Thanks babe. 🙂

Incidentally this post also holds the honor of being my 100th post. Yayy!

A graduate student's woes

Why am I gifted with an advisor who waits a month and a half after my defense to change the title of my thesis? That too after have obtained one committee member’s signature (who’s off to Antarctica on a field trip) and my graduate director (who’s off on some conference and won’t be back till 13th Aug) ?

And since when did I become brave enough to pursue this as a matter of integrity? I simply refused to change the title and obtained all the necessary signatures, much to my advisor’s chagrin? Quite proud of myself I am. 🙂