I have opinions. Like it or not.

Archive for December, 2008

Thereโ€™s a sad sort of clanging in the air

In all ways 2008 has been a most eventful year for me. 2007 was seen spent as a student, coping with the realities of having chosen a less-trodden path and paying for it. 2008 drove home the realization stronger than ever. Decisions were made, by me and for me. Decisions that shaped my life and my future. Decisions that, for the first time ever, were made based on the people around me. I saw my life peak through tremendous joy in the beginning. Things were looking up and the wheels were being set in motion, amidst much opposition from my closest of kin.

But in my heart of hearts I somehow always knew that this wasn’t my calling. I knew that there was something amiss in the grand scheme of things and the fact that I was planning my life around a somewhat exhaustive and demanding journey that I was about to set on not only scared me, but also made me question everything I had known to believe about myself. Whether I was capable was beyond doubt. A profound analysis of this phase led me to weigh out the cause-and-effect relationship of some of the events over the past 2 years. I went on to question every single decision I had made, taking into consideration every person that was affected by my decisions and the repercussions of any decisions I made now, and how they would all affect the people in my life from now on into the future. Much opinion-taking and giving was indulged in; many friends came in and offered sound advice. I appreciated their involvement and valued each of their opinions. Whether I agreed with them or not, it helped in that it made me see why I needed to go through with this and served to solidify the basis of my current decision. I stood my ground firmly and went ahead to take the plunge. What followed were 4 months of frustration and a forced “sabbatical” from doing many of my favorite things, blogging included.

2008 also heightened my insecurities. My moments of self doubt became longer-lasting. I questioned everything and everyone, hurting people closest to me. But I have slowly learned how to overcome my insecurities and although I may not have gotten rid of them completely, I have definitely managed to successfully push them to the back of my mind where they lie, now dormant. They surface now and then but I know how to deal with them. To this end I have only person to thank for and I think they know I’m talking about them. If you hadn’t been so supportive and understanding, I doubt if I could have made it this far.

I have moved 3 times this year and I am hoping I won’t have to move again in the next year or so. I have a new life here and I am loving it. There is of course a fly in this soup. Something that I have slowly learned to deal with, but each time it only gets progressively harder. Like everything else, I will work around it.

And of course, I have to mention how much blogging has helped. I have made some truly awesome friends here and I wouldn’t change a single thing in 2008 just because of this. Prashanth and I developed quite a bond and he became my support system through my times of frustration. Of course, it helped that we were kinda going through the same thing. DDD is another such friend. I traveled to TX and met Rayshma and her husband. And I had some really good times with them. She is now one of my closest friends and I am looking forward to many more years of such madness with her. Love you babe!

And of course, I have no idea what I’m doing for New Years Eve and I really really want to wear this pretty dress I bought so I need to figure out something real quick. Or maybe I’ll just open a bag of microwave popcorn (97% fat free butter) and watch a movie. Sheesh, I really need a life.

To conclude, I hope you guys had a fantastic 2008 and you will have an even more fantabulous 2009. Please keep updating your blogs regularly and continue to read my randomness with equal vigor. Love you all. Muah!

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Pending tags, awards et al.

Alright, I have been slacking off, but with good reason. Events have been happening. And now, I have finally managed to look at the pile of posts I have to do and decided to post it all together. So, here goes.

*****

I was conferred these two awesome awards by two of my favorite bloggers: Pixie and Sachin. I would like to take a moment and tell you guys why I like their blogs.

award1

award2

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pixie is a very clear-headed woman who thinks a lot like me, although I could never express myself like her. She is talented (she’s a dancer y’all) and a gifted writer. Her writings are very lucid and put across her thoughts in a very straight-forward manner, without mincing any words. Love you babe, you rock!

Sachin is a wonderful writer and an even more awesome human being. He actually does stuff that I only dream of doing. A very warm person, his affectionate nature and his love for the little things in life are portrayed beautifully through his writing. He is an inspiration to me, to be the person I can only dream of being.ย  **(He also thinks my blog is thoughtful. Me! Thoughtful! Yippeeeee. Ok, you guys did NOT see that. Sshhh.)**

*****

Moving on, Pixie also tagged me. I think she’s forgotten she tagged me or, she doesn’t really care, but I will doggedly pursue the tag because, well, let’s face it, I LOVE tags. ๐Ÿ˜€

The tag:

Answer the questions below and do a Google image search on your answer, pick a picture from the results on the first page, with minimal explanation.

 

 

 

The age you will be on your next birthday: 26. This is an aerial image of the tsunami hitting Sri Lanka on Dec 26th 2004. The image shows the ocean having receded just before the giant waves hit the coast.

 

A place you’d like to travel to: French Polynesia.

 

Your Favorite place: Pune. This is a picture of the University main building. Damn I miss Pune!

 

Your favorite food/drink: Sambhar Rice/Aloo-subzi/Papad

 

Your favorite pet: I’d have to have more than one pet to start with, in order for me to pick a favorite. But if I ever had to have a pet I’d want a collie. I think they’re the warmest dogs ever.

 

Your favorite color combination: Blue and grey.

 

Your favorite piece of clothing: I don’t quite follow the question, but I think the saree is the most elegant piece of clothing ever. Although I must say none of the images I found matched my vision of how a saree should be draped. This was the best I could find, coz I think the saree itself is really pretty.

 

Your all time favorite song: Scarborough Fair by Simon and Garfunkel.

 

Your favorite TV show: Seinfeld, Friends, Scrubs.

 

The town in which you live: Pittsburgh.

 

Your screen name/nickname: Galadriel.

 

Your first job: Door-to-door marketing for a newspaper one summer.

 

Your dream job: NASA Scientist.

 

Bad habit you have: I’d like to think I’m the epitome of virtues (ha!) but I think coffee addiction is biggest minor vice (is that an oxymoron?).

 

Your worst fear: Dying in a car crash. I don’t have the nerve to google images of car crashes so I’m gonna pass on this one.

The one thing you’d like to do before you die: Road trip around Europe.

 

The first thing you’ll buy if you get $1,000,000: Am I supposed to spend all my money on ONE thing? That would be stupid and the first thing I’d buy wouldn’t be something grand. So I guess I would buy a Ganesha idol. And then proceed to open a Swiss account. ๐Ÿ˜€

 

Today’s WTF

Not only am I one, I can actually confirm my status as a terrorist against a list. Oh joy.

 

 

The next time

someone asks me what I have done with my life, I actually have something to say back to them: I have had a peer-reviewed journal publication within 2 years of my Masters, what have YOU done?

Someone please

… tell Raja Sen to go hang himself.

He wants to live up to his reputation of being a bad-ass reviewer? Fine, he can be the biggest asshole on the planet for all I care. What irks me is his mindless bashing of everything he can think of in a movie. For ex., he reviewed Yuvvraaj. Granted, the movie BIT. I won’t even get into reviewing the movie because it will only give me a headache and I don’t do movie reviews on my blog (check this link if you want a snippet of my opinion). But he could have stayed away from criticizing the music, of which I believe he knows close to nothing. I’m not saying Yuvvraj’s music was an example of Rahman’s genius by any means. On the contrary, it was a far cry from a lot his great work. But it wasn’t as bad as Mr. Sen describes it to be. Just because he wanted to lash out at Subhash Ghai (who I think he was being nice to, if it were me I would have inserted a set of expletives that would make Ghai’s ears explode) he did not have to go below the belt and extend his hatred of the movie to its music as well. And now he’s doing the same thing to Ghajini. I don’t have any expectations from the movie either, especially since I have seen the Tamil version and the director being the same guy, I know he’s going to spew the same dim witted nonsense that was the Tamil movie. Although, I must admit that Raja Sen hasn’t begun the omnidirectional bad mouthing of the movie, and in the wake of the music of Slumdog Millionaire, what with Rahman winning/being nominated for international awards and everything, I bet he knows he can’t go about shooting his mouth off about the music of the movie. And honestly, on direct comparison, I am going to have to say that Yuvvraaj’s music was better than Ghajini’s. And yet, Ghajini’s music gets a good review from the Sen man? Does he really think we are suckers? Or does he already know no one really cares about reading his reviews anyway?

Btw, Asin is 23??!!! Man, I thought she’s older than me. I hate growing old. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

The One with the Office

Ah, yes, hegidiri? Dewdrop will tell you about my new-found enthusiasm for the Kannada language. To my immense surprise, I can actually carry out full-length conversations on chat and orkut in Kannada! Think I’m ready to spearhead Kaveri river negotiations now.

In other, more awesome news, I have a crush. I know, this is the first time on my blog that I am talking about something like this, but if I’m talking about it it mustn’t mean much no? Anyway, hot-and-cute guy sits in the cubicle behind me and makes me feel like I’m 16 again. Knees-going-weak and all that jazz. Yesterday he even made conversation with me in the coffee room! Bring out the chrysanthemums, we’re doing some petal pudung-ing (plucking).

For your reading pleasure, some WTF. Makes you wonder why humans are called higher primates, dunnit?

Shower Cap

When we were kids, going to Madras meant that we could take as many cold showers as we wanted, without the risk of catching a cold. And of course, the existence of a shower helped a lot. The bathroom in our house in Bangalore did have an outlet for the shower, but no shower head. So all it was really was just a tap at a great height. But the house in Madras had two different kinds of showers in each bathroom. There was the one which was directly overhead, which meant the water would fall right on the top of your head, which was always fun after you got home from a day of playing outside in the sand, hot and filthy. It was also very big and very blue (or maybe it seemed big to my own tiny self) and that bathroom had a fancy shower curtain, pink with white flowers. The other bathroom had the one which was at an angle, placed in the corner of the bathroom, at the joint where two walls met. This one was small and silver colored and would squirt water on your face, leaving the hair almost dry. And the best part was, there were always shower caps if you didn’t want your hair to get wet (which was what I used to get yelled at for a lot because I was a constant victim of the common cold and wet hair was a surefire way of catching one). But then, I used to get yelled at anyway because even if I used a shower cap, at the end of it I would fill it up with water and play around with it, making the inside of the cap all wet and useless for the next person to shower.

We used to wait eagerly for the holidays because holidays meant one thing: going to Madras. We went every time we had any extended period of holidays and the summer holidays were always the best. We got to meet all our cousins and the 6 of us would play together and with the neighbors’ kids, get our asses kicked, not understand half the things the other kids said (our Tamizh was too brahmin for the Madras kids and their Tamizh was far too local to Madras for us to understand), fall down and hurt ourselves, hurl things at each other, flick water-bombs* into buckets of water and watch them explode, pluck green chilies from Samuel Uncle’s garden, trouble Adyar thatha’s Alsatian, poke fun at pakkathatthu Pavithra who was flat footed and couldn’t run very well, make our grandma yell at the top of her lungs to come in and eat, twist grandpa’s garden hose into an entangled mess. It was like the holidays transformed us normally chamathu kids into these monsters that just needed the salty Madras air to let go. Or maybe it was just that our parents were usually out and we were left under our grandparents’ supervision; and they were always too soft on us anyway.

And in the evening after it was dark and everyone had to go back inside, we would shower and change and sit outside in the porch, with the cool sea breeze flowing through our hair, listening to grandma and grandpa tell us stories of the old days, of the times when our parents were kids and it all seemed magical and so much more fun. And the times when Murali Mama came were always the most fun, because he always had the most incredibly funny jokes to tell us, which would have us doubling up in laughter. We would run around trying to catch the fireflies that showed up sometimes, or just talk and pull each other’s legs. Being the only girl on the maternal side of my family had definite advantages. I always got to sit on thatha’s lap and I got yelled at a lot less than the boys too. On the other hand, during navaratri I also had to endure the endless trips to all the maamis’ houses for golu and sing at every one of them. The boys would hide behind the big wooden screen and snigger as I was leaving. But they were always magically there to welcome us when we got back to steal all my sundal (chickpeas curry) packets. I even suggested to my Mom once that there should be one common golu venue and all the maamis should call me there and make me sing only once and be done with it, but the idea wasn’t really a big hit with her and only earned me a menacing glare and some mumbled words about “Madonnannu nenaippu“.

At dinner we would all sit at the big round table and have our mothers yelling and beating us because we were all too picky while grandma would tell them off for yelling at us. It was fun to watch the people who always yelled at us, being told off for a change. We had short forms for everything: RS – Rasam Saadam (we actually call it Saatthamudhu, but that would clash with Sambar so we left it at Rasam), SS – Sambar Saadam, TS – Thayir Saadam and so on. And of course, being the only girl, I had to stick around after dinner to help the ladies clean up while my sniggering cousins ran off to bed and got the best places underneath the fan. But then thatha would come along and chase off the boys and let me choose where I wanted to sleep. I always picked the spot right next to him, which was the most coveted spot. He would then make us all brush our teeth one by one and then turn off the lights and launch into his very famous Munsaami stories. Munsaami was the protagonist of all his stories and was a very naughty boy who always got into trouble for something that started out as noble. His friend Kandsaami had frequent cameos as well. The incredible thing about this, I realize now, is that thatha always spun these stories offhand and built them up as he went on. And the sheer imagination he had never stops to amaze me. Munsaami stories continue to be funny to this day. So after about half an hour of funny stories, crazy laughter and not-so-funny comments thatha would finally end the stories and admonish us to sleep. We, of course wouldn’t sleep, we’d be waiting for thatha’s breathing to become heavy and for him to start snoring, and then we’d launch into our incessant chatter again. Sometimes we’d get loud enough to wake him up and he’d yell at us to sleep, but most of the times we would take care not to wake him up. Sometimes I would sleep in the other room, where my mom and her sisters would be sleeping with my grandma, and I would fall asleep listening to them gossip about inconsequential relatives that I knew nothing about.

I miss those times and I wonder if my children will ever know what it is like to be in a time as magical as the time I have spent with my grandparents and cousins, my wonderful, amazing childhood. And that brings me back to the one thing I have known ever since I set foot here. I have to go back.

* Water bombs are seeds that when put into water burst open and make a “click” noise.