Wednesday, December 26, 2007

my first audio blog!

this has taken 6 months of dreaming. then it took a lot of research online about what is required to start an audio blog. then bought some basic hardware and downloaded the recording software. and finally over this christmas break, i managed to record a maiden attempt. then mixed the track, added effects(!?!) managed to then upload and create a widget! believe me, it has been a huge challenging/learning experience.

thought it best to start with a kannada bhaavageete and recorded "hachhevu kannadada deepa". it is packed with powerful lyrics and is set to a beautiful, catchy tune. i first sang it here in sydney at a karaoke event. the track is from sadhana music school's karaoke cds.

please let me know what you think. this is a tiny, baby step of recording my own songs so that family and friends spread all over can listen. any feedback would be welcome.

song: Hacchevu Kannada Deepa
lyrics: D.S. Karki
music: C. Ashwath


Monday, October 01, 2007


"Ye Hosla Kaise Jhuke" is one of the most inspirational things i've ever heard. sung by Salim Merchant and Shafqat Amanat Ali, this hindustani styled song with its alaaps and the most meaningful words ever grips me, shakes me and takes me to a whole new world where everything is possible if you have the grit and faith.

listen to this song on a mid week night after returning from work. believe me, the adrenalin rush is to die for. it will get you through the drudgery of the rest of your working week! it moves me, touches me and strikes a chord somewhere deep down and the heart swells. i had goosebumps the first time and even now if i listen to it after a gap. for best results: use your ipod!

it is from the movie Dor. Salim Suleiman scores tops as the music director. "Imaan ka Asar" also is a beautiful song by Sunidhi Chauhan and Shreya Ghoshal from this album.

Nagesh Kukunoor as the director, never ceases to spring out such a surprise as Dor from under his creative hat. his contemporary thems, bold direction and ingenuity gives a whole new dimension to indian cinema. Dor is a magical tale of 2 very different women bonded by a shred of cruel fate. Gul Panag plays Zeenat - the strong, independent girl from the picturesque Himachal. Ayesha Takia is Meera - the lively, beautiful new bride in the brilliantly colourful Rajasthan. as much as they are different, their lives run strangely parallel in their struggle to find the love of their lives and life in itself. Meera transforms quickly from the kissed and cuddled wife to a grief stricken widow. it is made worse by the fact that she lives in a traditional, patriarchal Rajput household. her inner strength is akin to the endurance of the parched sand storm hit desert. her husband's death triggers this tale. Zeenat sets on an impossible quest to find Meera whom she has never met or heard of before. she has the faith to move mountains akin to the valleys of Himachal.

hats off to the screenplay, the poignant dialogues and the amazingly original script. the leading ladies are everything in this movie. they steer and navigate this movie into a hitherto unexplored land of human empathy and emotional heights. Ayesha Takia is THE talent of Bollywood now close at heels with Vidya Balan. helpless but courageous, love torn but full of hope, leading a dreary but dream life - she just bites into the flesh of the character Meera with sheer ease. Gul Panag, the former Miss India is a pleasant surprise. she triumphs as the quietly confident girl who befriends Meera, teaches her to be bold and independent and faces the dilemma of asking for an impossibly huge favour.

Girish Karnad is the Meera's strict father in law. Anirudh (popular from Kannada theatre and film circles) plays Meera's husband. Shreyas Talpade is pure joy to watch as he plays the behroopiya - the imposter changing costumes and playing a different character every other minute. he joins Zeenat in her quest to find Meera.

this is a movie not to be missed.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

after a while...

a long hiatus from blogging, a 10 week long india trip and after a long job hunt...

i feel the creative spark in me has as though died. there have been a zillion to blog about. the fabulous time in india, the questions this trip raised within me, the bollywood mania i am currently struck with, starting an NGO with friends and so on. but it is probably a writer's cramp (if i can call myself that!) or just lack of inspiration...i havent felt like blogging all this while.

to talk a bit about the india trip...i was home after 2 years. the euphoria sort of just died as i stepped into namma benagalooru's airport. after boarding at kingsfordsmith airport in sydney and transit at changi airport in singapore, the sight of bangalore airport thoroughly depressed me. the bubble burst. the airport seemed lifeless with paint peeling off the high ceiling, plain grim walls, no sign of sign boards and a true bureaucratic styled immigration area. i felt sad for bangalore. it had always been a delight to come back to bangalore say from calcutta or chennai or even mumbai. it was a matter of pride that i hailed from bangalore. but this time i wished things were better.

the baggage claim area was way too small to fit the passengers, the trolleys and of course the overloaded suitcases. after an eternal wait, my suitcase was in sight. it had a big chalk marked cross on it. this meant that it had to be scanned by customs. but there wasnt any queue. people were all over the place...some trying to forge their way out, some standing in the way with their trolleys in your face unmindful that they might be blocking the way. and there was a guard in uniform telling us who can go out and who should stay looking at the cross marks on the suitcases. a bit schoolish! i was herded towards the scanner. just when i was wondering how to lift up the heavy piece to place it on the machine, two kind guards offered help. thankfully i was cleared without much ado. YES! i could now head out.

after the hugs and tears it was the incessant, loud honking at the parking lot that welcomed me. i sat in the front seat of the car and as my brother drove home i felt as thought i would never reach home that night. it was a big mistake to take the seat next to the driver's. it was one of the scariest rides of my life. getting out of the airport was an adventure. he squished against parked cars. it was fierce competition as every other car from every possible angle tried overtaking us...everyone wanted to be the first to get out of the parking lot. and then we were out...magically. he then zoomed past vehicles changing lanes every minute. the horn wasnt spared. to my horror a red light went unnoticed as at that hour in the night it didnt matter. phew! we did reach home.

i dont know how the next 10 weeks flew. i shopped with mum for my brother's wedding. the sarees, the jewellery...oh so colourful, so exciting. i exhibited my honed culinary skills. visited all my friends in bangalore. and of course had lunches and dinners with all the relatives. i even took afternoon naps...some luxury eh? and guess what? i drove all around the town just like i used to as though i had never been away from bangalore and almost just like my brother drove from the airport.

while shopping on avenue road i saw children with a load on their backs, i saw children standing all day to sell their wares, i saw children begging. at my brother's wedding i saw this little girl probably aged 10 or 12. she was cleaning the tables after we had eaten. we were the last batch at dinner. it was way past 11. i asked her if she had eaten. she said no. i just couldnt fight back my tears. i wished i had known before i ate, so i could've arranged her food first. i told the caterer to serve her immediately. i passed on some money to her hoping her tomorrow would be different. but will it ever be different? what goes on in her mind as she looks at the grandeur of the wedding? there i stood in a fine silk saree decked with jewellery worth thousands and there she was struggling to even get a square meal. why on earth? why oh why? it was heartwrenching. my father told me not to worry so much. he blamed it on fate. but what is fate? and why is it so CRUEL? what have i done to deserve what i have and what could the poor little girl have done to deserve such a life? i've always felt for such kids and thought it is time i did my mite. a project is underway and will blog on it shortly.

this trip raised a lot of questions in me. will i go back to live in india? am i happy here or am i losing something? i dont have the answers. all i know is life in india seemed harder, somewhat complicated. i noticed people seemed to lack basic courtesy. 'sorry' and 'thank you' have no meaning. every step is a contest between you, the environment and scores of others. every activity involves competition...say going to work, finding an auto, battling the traffic, getting back home or even buying food in the food court of a mall - you've got to be very nervy. a simple bus ride from mysore to bangalore seemed to be a himalayan task. the mysore - bangalore road is now just amazing. the volvo buses are the best you could ask for. but where was the queue for the tickets? i found it and stood there forever. the volvo roared its engine and got ready to move and lo...heaps of people from all over heaped over each other, they ran, scrambled, were on top of each other and the fittest of them got in and claimed seats. and hey, some of us are still standing in the queue. arguing with the conductor got me nowhere. apparently for some buses you needn't stand in the queue! though many seemed irked, i seemed to be the only one complaining.

getting back to sydney didnt depress me. it was rather surprising. i was happy to be back to my home, my kitchen, where things were under my control. i probably had my fill of home. have i changed all that much that now i am comparing and contrasting? is this a paradigm shift?

while i mull over all that, got to start work from tomorrow :( just when i had begun to love this extended holiday. got to also start working on an audio blog. been singing a lot and there at parties, poojas and also karoeke shows...both kannada and hindi. want my friends and family to be able to listen to me online...however crappy i may sound :)

ये जो देस हैं तेरा, स्वदेस हैं तेरा,
तुझे हैं पुकारा
ये वो बंधन हैं, जो कभी टूट नही सकता

मिट्टी की हैं जो खुशबू, तू कैसे भूलाएगा
तू चाहे कही जाए, तू लौट के आएगा
नई नई राहोंमें, दबी दबी आहोंमें
खोए खोए दिल से तेरे, कोई ये कहेगा
ये जो देस हैं तेरा, स्वदेस हैं तेरा,
तुझे हैं पुकारा

तुझ से जिंदगी हैं ये कह रही
सब तो पा लिया, अब हैं क्या कमीं
यूँ तो सारे सुख हैं बरसे,
पर दूर तू हैं अपने घर से
आ लौट चल तू अब दीवाने
जहा कोई तो तुझे अपना माने
आवाज दे तुझे बुलाने वो ही देस

ये पल हैं वो ही जिस में हैं छूपी,
पूरी एक सदी, सारी जिंदगी
तू ना पूछ रास्तें में, काहे
आए हैं इस तरह दोराहे
तू ही तो हैं राह जो सुझाए
तू ही तो हैं अब जो ये बताए
जाए तो किस दिशा में जाए वो ही देस

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Mr. V. Rama Moorthy

1912 - 2002

To my dearest thatha,

That is how you would address your letters to loved ones. It has been 4 years since you went away from us. This is to let you know that you are sorely missed and dearly loved today and forever.

Chita puta rotti lotti:
That is how you called me.
You taught me the story of two parrots. The story was about how their contrasting upbringing shaped their lives. The parrot who grew up with the butcher would always say 'hodi, kadi, kollu'. The parrot who grew up with the saint would say the sweetest of things. The story fetched me a prize at the Chinmaya Mission story telling contest. Probably going by the moral of the story I never heard you say a harsh word. You wouldn’t allow anyone to punish or even raise their voice against us grandkids.

“One of the most powerful handclasps is that of a new grandbaby around the finger of a grandfather” -- Joy Hargrove

Some of my earliest memories of you include hopping on to the chauffer driven ambassador with you. You would take Vishnu and me to the Gandhi Bazaar market area. You would have a long list of supplies to be bought for your parents’ ceremonies. Puttasiddappana angadi was your favourite. He was a premium quality grocer with everything under the sun. I distinctly remember the owner and his two sons. As you read from your list they would scream out to their assistants “2 kg togribele kodappa, next yen saar, amele 5 kg akki kodappa”. I would stand there next to you barely the height of the counter struggling to catch a glimpse of the store. Tiptoed I would look at the cashews and nuts galore on display in awe. The best part of the whole day was when you would buy us and mom 3 Cadbury Fruit and Nut bars! You would carefully check the date of expiry on the bars before handing them out to us.

I can picture your room with pictures of ajji, keshavdas and a file cabinet filled with papers and files. I would come up there to get Treptin cookies you kept in one of the cupboards! You had a treasury in another cupboard for which the key was hooked to your janivaara.

“What children need most are the essentials that grandparents provide in abundance. They give unconditional love, kindness, patience, humor, comfort, lessons in life. And, most importantly, cookies” -- Rudolph Giuliani

In the mornings, I remember you descending the stairs to the main hall of ‘Mathrunilaya’ in one of your fine safaris filling the air with your characteristic perfume. My olfactory sense till date tingles with those scents. You would then set out to the Builders Society conference or an APS College Board meeting.

I remember the tears of joy in your eyes when I got my SSLC results. You were so proud and said it is a fantastic achievement given that I didn’t take any tuition. You wouldn’t remember names of my friends who came home often or what I was studying due to the short term memory loss. But you never forgot one thing. Whenever you wore that brown full sleeve shirt, I said “You look really smart in this shirt thatha”. And you would say “Of course, I have to, because you bought me this shirt from Bombay”!

“They say genes skip generations. It's one of nature's ways that we often feel closer to distant generations than to the generation immediately preceding us” -- Igor Stravinsky
Pic: L To R, standing: Sukanya atte, Prabhu chix, Vishnu & me. Sitting: Dad, Thatha, Mum

At the dining table for breakfast, lunch or dinner, you always used to call out for us to join you. I can never forget how you repeatedly called out ‘putshubu bangaru baaro’ till I came there. You insisted that we eat on time and sleep on time. In the dining hall, seated in our respective seats, I remember how we used to laugh, laugh so hard that your eyes would water. I often I ran into arguments with you, dad or Vishnu on different things. You told me that I could become a good lawyer. A fan of Indira Gandhi’s dynamism you told me to join politics and become a national leader! You somehow thought everything was achievable. You believed in me.

“Man is made by his belief. As he believes, so he is” -- Bhagavad Gita

Giving was a rule:
Your evenings were always busy with visitors calling on you. Nobody left without a cuppa. Either they asked for a seat for their son in the college or sought a job or asked for a loan. You were always willing to help people in need. Your generous ways benefited countless many. I have heard how you and ajji offered shelter to many relatives. You provided them with the basics so that they could build their lives. You funded their kids’ education. You even employed a couple of your nephews in your own firm.
Pic: Ajji (Saraswathamma)

Raama thatha & the grandkids:

Vishnu and I had to take part in Geeta recitation competition at the Mahila Mandali school. You taught us the 15th chapter of Bhagavadgeeta. It was the ‘Purushottamaprapti yoga’. Who better than you to teach us that chapter? ‘Purushottama’ describes you! I remember with the tiny Geeta book in your hand, you would sit on your mesh chair on a yellow cushion. We would be tossed up in your bed. You would make us repeat after you and also tell us the meaning of the verses. It was always harder for me to pronounce some words and Vishnu would frolic teasing me. You would mediate and tell him that I was younger and would learn in due course. Yes, you always, always supported me! You would be full of glee when we ran back to tell you that Vishnu stood the proud first while I came second at the contest.

“The best place to be when you are sad is grandpa's lap”

Winning contests meant receiving Indira Vikas Patras. You organized prize distribution ceremonies at home. You were the proud grandfather of 11 grandkids. All of us would gather on habba days and you would hand out IVPs to us. You made notes of the prizes/ranks on the individual envelopes and spelt them out while giving them. Nothing went unnoticed. This went a long way in encouraging us to do better and better.

“Nobody can do for little children what grandparents do. Grandparents sort of sprinkle stardust over the lives of little children” -- Alex Haley

An avid learner:
You were a keen reader. You adapted yourself to the changing times with your modern outlook. The newspaper was followed by Readers Digest and then it would be Adhyatma Prakasha. Mahatma Gandhi inspired you a great deal. An ardent Congress fan, you read in detail on the Gandhis. You read the scriptures, Ramayana, Mahabharata and made notes of quotes in your diary. After setting up your own firm Ramson Engineers, you mastered finance and accountancy on your own. The great urge to learn Hindi well after crossing 70 had you listening to Hindi radio programs. Then came the burning desire to learn Tamil after the age of 80! You were hooked on to ‘learn tamil in 30 days’ and other self help books. You watched Tamil movies and listened to AR Rehman’s songs with a dictionary in hand.

“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty” -- Henry Ford

The Midas touch:
You bought land, built properties, rented them out. You built parts of Bangalore Medical College (BMC). You were rewarded by the council for completing the work at BMC well on time. You built the entire Acharya Paata Shaala (APS). You then became the President of APS. You built Saraswathi Hospital in record time in loving memory of your wife. You build the grand Mathrunilaya, our abode. It was your fantastic planning that made it the best looking and the tallest house in the neighbourhood. You thought of switches by the bedside, a bathtub of tiles, a wooden chess table cum coffee table made to order, the swing which was the highlight of the house for us kids, the rose garden terrace, et al. It was an excellent novel idea to have inscriptions of the Geeta and Upanishad inlaid in the walls atop every room. The front door says “God is the head of this house. The unseen guest at every meal. The silent listener to every conversation”. The wood craftsmanship, the tile work, the attention to detail you’ve paid could all very well make it a building of study for budding architects & builders. It stands today majestically on 8th cross, NR Colony as a living proof of your life and works.

कर्मण्येवाधिकारस्ते मा फलेषु कदाचन।
मा कर्मफलहेतुर्भूर्मा ते सङ्गोऽस्त्वकर्मणि॥
Do your duty and be detached from its outcome, do not be driven by the end product, enjoy the process of getting there -- Chapter 2, Bhagavad Gita

Pic: with cousin Vanishree, Thatha & Ananda chikkappa
Himalayan endurance:
“It is easy enough to be pleasant when life goes by with a song,
but a man worthwhile is the one who can smile when everything goes dead wrong”
You faced tough times. You emerged out of them as gold from burning coal. The first marriage didn’t give you anything more than grief. Health was neglected during the early hardworking years. Stomach ulcers, lung congestions were constant companions. The hernia must’ve burnt a lot. The hip fracture must’ve hurt a lot. You had the mental make up which could cope with any adversity.

“Reshape yourself through the power of your will...Those who have conquered themselves live in peace, alike in cold and heat, pleasure and pain, praise and blame. To such people a clod of dirt, a stone, and gold are the same...because they are impartial, they rise to great heights” -- Bhagavad Gita

Our shining star:
Your value systems, your gaambheerya, intelligence has permeated to all of us Mathrunilayans. Your love, your life, your legacy transcends…none of us can ever come close to the peaks you reached. You have lived by example and set very high standards. You did more than an average man does in a lifetime. You supported, nurtured and nourished the lives of three generations. We lost our guiding light when we lost you. I am sure you are now one of the brightest stars twinkling in the sky looking down at us and beaming. Do continue to shine upon us.

I am because you were…

Lots of love,
Your shubu

“The history of our grandparents is remembered not with rose petals but in the laughter and tears of their children and their children's children. It is into us that the lives of grandparents have gone. It is in us that their history becomes a future” -- Charles and Ann Morse

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

maybe far but not long now...

I cant wait to finish 7 more days at work. My contract ends and then yippppeeee!! I fly to India. Time somehow is ticking awfully slowly at work ever since my travel dates got confirmed. And its dreadfully boring too.
I cant wait for Nov 16th.
I cant wait to hug mum and dad. Am emotional already.
I cant wait to go home…to my sanctuary, my room…
To roam around the streets where I grew up
To catch up with friends and chat and laugh
To fight with big bro
To visit the darshinis and the jola man
To smell the wet earth (hope it rains)
To smell the dry leaves and hear the crunch when they are walked over
To eat mum’s food
To drive our good old maruti (hope I still can)
To have lychee with vanilla ice cream at corner house
To smell Indian currency
To shop for my brother’s wedding
To just laze around watching TV…oh the Bollywood stuff!
To lose myself in all that home has to offer

Tere paas hi main aa raha hoon
Apni baahein khol de
Zor se mujhko gale laga le
Mujhko phir voh pyaar de
Tu hi zindagi hai, tu hi meri mohabbat hai
Tere hi pairon mein jannat hai
Tu hi dil, tu jaan, oh maa
Maa tujhe salaam, maa tujhe salaam
Amma tujhe salaam, maa tujhe salaam

Monday, October 30, 2006

What's in a name?

You have a name for 20 odd years. Then you marry. And then your name is supposed to change to include your husband’s name. I don’t understand this. Why should this be? Why should a Preeti Shenoy become Preeti Rao just because she marries an Arun Rao?? I just don’t get the logic. It reaches the heights when she is called Mrs. Arun Rao and as a couple they are addressed as Mr. & Mrs. Arun Rao. Whatever happened to Preeti? She is completely lost.

There are women, even some of my friends who are proud to get their husband’s name. Some are even eager to change their names soon after the wedding either because they don’t like their maiden names or for reasons best known to them. Each to her own. She should be able to do as she pleases. One should have a choice. The world shouldn’t dictate these terms. A girl can have either her dad’s name or her husband’s name…so much for choice!

They say you marry into a family and become a part of it. True. Isn’t it enough that your whole life changes? What is the need to change your name? Your name is your identity…the way you are known to the world. That is how you know yourself. You are first taught to say and spell your name correctly. It is very dear. The name is you!

Ms. changes to Mrs. But why? Wherever I go – say to visit the doctor or open a bank account, I am invariably asked…“Are you a Ms. or Mrs.?” I hate being asked this. I hate to answer “That would be Mrs. Thanks”. Aunties and uncles who ask my name don’t stop at that. “What is your husband’s name?” soon follows. And lo! My name gets married automatically.

‘Mrs’ to me conjures up the image of an old housewife with heaps of grandkids. It is archaic. I sound vintaged with a Mrs. prefixed to my name. How is it that a Mr. remains a Mr. all his life? And what happens to divorced/widowed women?

Why is the world so interested in knowing whether a lady is single or married? What difference does it make? How are the two titles perceived? Why make a fuss about it? I find this concept prehistoric. I am amazed at how universal this phenomenon is. Country, religion and language no bar - getting a married name and the title of Mrs. seem to be the norms all over the world. I have noticed that in the western world, the emphasis on the titles is more than what it is in India. They address you as a Mrs. Singh, Mrs. Scott or a Mrs. Moorthy. So long, farewell to Sunidhi, Sandra and Shuba.

Those who argue ‘For’ might raise the issue of kids. Kids get their fathers name. It is meant to be a family inheritance. So be it. Let men have the illusion that it is still a man’s world. It probably soothes their ego. If a mother retains her maiden name it is assumed that she is not married to the kid’s father. It becomes a de-facto relationship. People are very quick in making these brilliant deductions. The child may have to answer embarrassing questions at school and later.

Once on a domestic flight my husband and I were not given seats next to each other. We checked in together. I took the boarding passes and moved on never bothering to check the seat numbers. I couldn’t have been sillier. I went back to ask why and if the seats could be changed. The lady at the counter explained that it is so plainly because we didn’t have the same surnames. I thought she was simply outstanding. And of course the flight was full, she couldn’t make any changes. Also I heard from a friend that without the same surnames, you can’t redeem the flight mileage (loyalty reward) points.

Now I am faced with a great challenge - altering my name but not to the so called ‘married’ name. I HAVE to shorten my name. I never had a surname. My dad’s name was made to be the initial. I had to expand the initial for the sake of the passport and to have a surname. Here you just can’t survive without a surname. And if the surname is only 25 characters long, life is really simple! I am planning to just have my first name split into two to serve the surname purpose. I will be asked questions. I will be called adamant or different or pedantic. But I can’t have it any other way. I hope I’ll get through this now and forever.

It was of great solace when I was Googling the issue to find lots of women feel just the way I do. There are others who strongly resent the norm too. Some excerpts of what I got to read:

As a courtesy title Ms. serves exactly the same function that Mr. does for men, and like Mr. it may be used with a last name alone or with a full name. Furthermore, Ms. is correct regardless of a woman's marital status, thus relegating that information to the realm of private life, where many feel it belongs anyway.

Ms: Origin: 1952. Women finally got the vote in America in 1920, but that hardly marked the end of their battle for equal status and respect. There was the matter of title, for example. Men were addressed simply as Mr., but women were addressed as either Mrs. or Miss, depending on marital status. Reforming everyday language to eliminate sexism is not easy, but the case of Mrs. and Miss was helped by practical business considerations.

A suggestion to neutralize the distinction by using simply Ms. was well-received by businesses. In 1952 the National Office Management Association in a booklet titled The Simplified Letter recommended to its members, "Use the abbreviation Ms. for all women addressees. This modern style solves an age-old problem."

The new designation and its association with feminism were furthered by the founding of Ms. magazine in 1971. The form of address Ms. had both simplified matters of address by providing a neutral, practical title for women, equivalent to Mr. for men, and increased women's options: now a woman can use Mrs., Miss, or Ms. according to her own preference. Unlike the more traditional titles Miss
and Mrs., it does not bear any reference to the woman's marital status, as Mr. does not for a man. The usage of Ms. was championed as non-sexist language beginning in the 1970s, especially in business usage, by those who argue that a woman's marital status is of no relevance in such a context. Starting in the 1970s, many women chose to be called Ms. for political reasons.

It is the title of preference of many ladies who feel they are not owned by a father and wish not to be owned by a husband. Most women style themselves either "Miss" or "Mrs". The title Mrs. though is still in common use, especially by women who have taken their husband's family name - the vast majority.

"What's in a name? That which we call a rose
by any other word would smell as sweet."
-- From Romeo and Juliet

Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet meet and fall in love in Shakespeare's lyrical tale of "star-crossed" lovers. They are doomed from the start as members of two warring families. Here Juliet tells Romeo that a name is an artificial and meaningless convention, and that she loves the person who is called "Montague", not the Montague name and not the Montague family. Romeo, out of his passion for Juliet, rejects his family name and vows, as Juliet asks, to "deny (his) father" and instead be "new baptized" as Juliet's lover.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

sense and sensitivity

two years ago i wrote a blog on my then boss. it detailed some of his habits, my experiences with him and work related trivia. it was sarcastic and lacked sensitivity.

better sense has now prevailed. i regret writing that piece and have deleted the same.
thanks to the wisdom of the bygone years.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

the metamorphosis

It has been a roller coaster emotional ride in the last 2 years. It was elation when I got married. It was also a bit of ‘I don’t know what’s happening to me’. Soon after, it was separation anxiety when I was away from my husband while I waited to join him. It was disappointment that I couldn’t continue working in Bangalore. It was extremely sad on the last day at work. It was elation again when I got my visa, shopped and packed my stuff. Then it was separation anxiety/sorrow at its worst when I left to Sydney…far away from my parents, my brother, my home, everyone and everything else dear. It was marital bliss later.

It is a huge transition from being single to married. I cannot emphasise on it more. Married life thus far has taught me a great deal. I have learnt to live and share with Ravi. It is a sea-change from living with your parents. It starts with understanding each other, or trying to, as this is a lifelong process. It involves doing things together. Weekends have to be planned keeping each other in mind. There is a LOT of cooking to do. It is a lot of fun going places together, hosting parties as a couple, making common friends. There is a lot of give and take. We have now reached a point where things are done for each other almost unconsciously! We now know who is qualified in which task. This awareness lets us use our skills to the optimum! To illustrate, making coffee the first thing in the morning is Ravi’s cup of tea. All the chores have been well defined. I have been named ‘Lakshamma’! So you can guess my role in the house. I have been domesticated. I can now exceptionally manage the jobs that were hitherto alien to me. I can now cook, clean, feed any number of guests and make the bed too! My mom will be so proud of me.

The greatest plus of being married is that you have the power of two. I am not alone. To know that there is a special someone in your life who is eager to meet you at the end of each working day is so beautiful. It is such a blessing that your partner will be with you for life, through your joys and sorrows. It takes two to realise your dreams, to build your future.

As if being newly married wasn’t enough, I moved to a new country. I had to start living in the western world. Reflecting back, it amuses me to realise how I got thrown into two deep ends without knowing how to swim! Both these life changes have sort of completed me. I feel ‘metamorphosis’ed. It is a complete makeover. It is a new ‘me’. It was at first the excitement of exploring a new country, a new way of life. Alice was in wonderland! Sydney opened a whole new window to look at the world. The horizon got expanded. My beliefs, perceptions of people and understanding of way things worked were put to the ultimate practical test. My view points have since changed a bit. I have become more accommodative. I’ve come to like the freedom. I have realised things about me that I didn’t know earlier. This probably has been a very significant phase of self discovery.

Having travelled only to different parts of India and never outside it, my response to ‘Where are you from?’ was always ‘I am from Bangalore’. Now it is replaced with ‘I am from India’. There is a bigger sense of where I come from. Also, I now feel like a global citizen, as a part of the world and not just a particular country. I am more aware of what is happening around the globe.

Sydney has people from all over the world. For the first time in my life I came across Greeks, Africans, Lebanese, Srilankans, Fiji Indians and who have you. Australia is considered a safe haven. Migrants particularly from trouble countries find refuge in Australia. There are people arriving by boats in scores to the Aussie shores. Those without valid visas are put in detention centres and the hardships faced are multi-fold before they can build a base here. It won’t be surprising if migrants outnumber the true blue Aussies. But going by the history I wonder who true blue Aussies are. Australia was meant to be a prison land for convicts and criminals of the UK. There are shocking stories of how the early English settlers snatched this land away from the original tribal dwellers – the Aborigines. So the Aborigines can probably be rightfully called true blue Aussies.

The weather gave me a tough time initially. The first winter was hard. But thank heavens we are not in the icy UK or the snowy parts of US. Though the weather is quite a tricky thing here, it is quite manageable. It could be scorching hot one day, raining the next and very windy and cold on the third.

Self dependency is the name of the game. Do your own thing is the rule. There are many million things that were taken for granted while I lived in India. The housework would get done by the maid. You just had to ring the grocer and the supplies would be delivered home. Milkman would drop by every afternoon. Veggie carts would come to every street. You need not worry if you couldn’t cook some day. Hundreds of darshinis were always around to help you.

Here you first drive to a mall. Then walk through aisles and aisles of products. Choosing from hundreds of varieties, comparing prices and quality is in itself a very time consuming affair. Then you queue up at the pay counter. You lift everything in your trolley and stack them on the biller’s desk. The more and heavier are your things, worse it is for you. Once billed you stack them back in your trolley. Wait, it doesn’t end there. Push the trolley to the parking lot and shift everything to the boot of your car. Drive home. Carry all the bags to your unit. If you live on the third floor (blocks with 3 storeys have no elevators) you’ve had it! And finally stack them in your fridge. Phew.

The first striking thing about Sydney is how traveller friendly it is. There are signboards all over the place. All main roads have visible direction boards. All the street name boards are in place. There are city map books referring to which you can go from anywhere to anywhere in Sydney. There is no need to ask for directions. Basically there will be no one around on roads to direct you. Also travelling at high speeds makes it impossible to stop and ponder. If you don’t drive, there are websites to give you detailed maps, tell you how to get to where including what mode of transport to take replete with timings, maps and fares. There are call centres you could ring to find out the same info. There are visitor centres set up in every part of Sydney. Here is where you can grab as many brochures and pamphlets on all tourist attractions. And they are free! You can also speak to the friendly staff behind the counter say if you are lost or seeking last minute accommodation.

The local train stations have free timetable books you can ask for at the counter. All the station names are displayed all through the platforms. So while on the train, say a fast train and you don’t want to miss your stop, all you have to do is peep out to know where you are. There are of course announcements made on the train and in stations on delays/approaching trains/next station etc. These little things have been well thought through and probably made possible by the wealth available to a developed country.

When you talk about Australia, you cannot not talk about its beauty. It is an awesome country. You must see the blue of the beaches to believe it. Melbourne/Brisbane/Sydney, each city has its own distinctive flavour and is equally enchanting. I love the noise free quiet here. I love the clean air too.

The civic discipline and the sense of social responsibility everybody carries here amazes me. Personal space and privacy is very highly regarded. You can do your own thing. Unless you are not harming or troubling anyone, no questions are asked. Nobody wilfully dirties roads or public places. Everybody takes care of their trash bins, ensuring that it is placed on the pavement for collection on a weekly basis. Almost everyone follows driving rules. The law is obeyed. Pedestrians are given their due. There are well cemented pavements and pedestrian crossing traffic signals everywhere. No matter how crowded the trains are in peak hours the norm is to wait for all those alighting to get off the train before you can get on. Everyone patiently waits and boards. You don’t get squashed. You need not exert to ensure you get in or out.

I am also really impressed with the near absence of eve teasing. In these 20 months I haven’t come across a road romeo who lustfully looks at you, whistles as you walk past or even dares to pinch your butt. Walking in Majestic or Brigade road always was tough. I would walk with my left arm held at the back ready to defend. I would clutch a bag or a folder to shield my front. Those ‘accidental’ brush ups against your shoulder would always be deliberate. And god, the experience was yuck. Here I can walk peacefully and confidently irrespective of what I’m wearing or the time of the day and place. You won’t be pushed or shoved. You won’t hear lewd comments being passed. Of course there is a negligible fraction of junkies you have to watch out for.

I am happy with a lot of things here. All said and done it can never be home. I feel a loss of sense of belonging. It leads me to question my sense of identity. I am different in a crowd. I am not one among the crowd as I would be in Bangalore. Sometimes I feel lost. But sometimes I stand proud. My eating habits, my sense of dressing, my routine are all so different as compared to the people here. I tend to make friends with only other Indians here. I still feel like a traveller here. It will probably take a while to accept Sydney as home. I am still home sick.

I wanna go home.

Listen to this Michael Buble song on his official site here (wait for the graphics to download and then the embedded music will play, you might have to choose the song 'Home' on the top right corner). It is better heard than read, as most songs I suppose! Michael Buble is just brilliant.

Another summer day
Has come and gone away
In Paris and Rome
But I wanna go home Mmmmmmmm

Maybe surrounded by
A million people I
Still feel all alone
I just wanna go home
Oh I miss you, you know

And I’ve been keeping all the letters that I wrote to you
Each one a line or two “I’m fine baby, how are you?”
Well I would send them but I know that it’s just not enough
My words were cold and flat
And you deserve more than that

Another aeroplane
Another sunny place
I’m lucky I know
But I wanna go home
Mmmm, I’ve got to go home

Let me go home
I’m just too far from where you are
I wanna come home

And I feel just like I’m living someone else’s life
It’s like I just stepped outside
When everything was going right

And I know just why you could not
Come along with me
But this was not your dream
But you always believed in me

Another winter day has come
And gone away
In Paris and Rome
And I wanna go home
Let me go home

And I’m surrounded by
A million people I
Still feel alone
Oh, let me go home
Oh, I miss you, you know
Let me go home

I’ve had my run
Baby, I’m done
I gotta go home
Let me go home

It will all be all right
I’ll be home tonight
I’m coming back home

Friday, September 29, 2006

little longings

Back rubs by daddy, talk to him as a buddy
Fighting with big bro oh! with what fun did we grow
Mommy's good food with all her pamperings
These are a few of my most missed things

Brahmin's bar idly & Dwarka's dose treat
DVG road jola, V Vpuram food street
Dinners at dhabas, those lovely evenings
These are a few of my most missed things

Driving around town, my mobile ever ringing

Shopping till dropping and not multiplying (by 30!)
Desi clothes, handicraft fairs, late nights and mornings

These are a few of my most missed things

My cosy room which I kept ever messy
Those carefree days with no responsibility
Dear family and friends and all those weddings
These are a few of my most missed things

Based on the song "My favourite things" from The Sound of Music.

the procedure

Call this a strange coincidence, Dad and I got operated around the same time, Jan 2004. Both were simple, one hour procedures.

I was wheeled to the 6th floor on a stretcher as a mute patient who could only see the ceiling. I could've walked it up myself, but they had their rules and all I could do was lie down and allow them to do what they had to. I don't remember a time when I felt more helpless! As i lay on the stretcher, it was probably my face that mirrored the tension welling up in me. A burly, sweet faced nurse put a green cap on my head, just like the ones they were all wearing, and said "Relax, you wont feel a thing". Now that's some assurance. I began to wonder if there were patients who 'felt a thing'. Soon after, a lady doctor began taking a brief history. "Have you undergone any surgeries? Any allergies?" I hoped her interrogation would continue for long and distract me from the thoughts of the impending operation. But this wasn't to be. The main surgeon, nearing 70, who is well respected and has heaps of experience beamed down at me and said "Let us start". My hands were sweating. I had cold feet. A little voice inside me was screaming "NO! Wait. Maybe I am not ready yet".

Before I knew it, I was being wheeled into the OT and was placed on a narrow operating table. There was a plethora of wires all around my shoulders and head. There was not enough room on the table to place my hands. I was trying to squeeze my hands in when two armrests were brought closer to the table! Now, all that came to mind was the crucification of Christ and then I leaped to Dan Brown. I could see a dozen people in green overalls milling around me. I heard different voices telling me "Take it easy, it will be over in no time. It is only a small procedure". Well, it is definitely easy to say that when you are not the one on the table. And it was interesting to note how they call it – 'a procedure'! Even the chief surgeon said "Relax". Did I have a choice?

I caught a glimpse of the anaesthetist, upside down, as he was bending over me from the top of the table. I was happy to see his calm, cheerful face. He said "I will inject the anaesthesia and you will fall asleep soon. Ok?" I nodded as I saw him inject a cocktail of drugs. I panicked. I could still see the green people. Wasn't the drug working? Will I feel the pain while they operate? And then I remember blinking wildly. I was struggling to keep my eyelids open. I probably didn't want to sleep, lose control and not know what happened. The cheerful face bent over again to gently shut my eyes with a tap of his finger and then it was just dark.

I heard my name being yelled out. "Wake up. The procedure is over." I had been moved to the post-op ward. The voice said "Look who is next to you". Groggy eyed I turned to see daddy dearest on bed next to mine. "Hi daddy" I said meekly. He turned around and said "Oh! It is you!" A pleasant feeling of relief washed over me. The ordeal was as though over. I was delighted to be under his reassuring gaze. Nothing could go wrong now. He was there! He too had undergone a procedure and was in the post-op ward awaiting discharge.

"Good to see you dad" I said. "Not so good to see you in the hospital" he said. He was discharged a couple of hours later. I lay there for a few more hours. It was cold, I was sleepy but alert. I tried my best to sleep amidst the incessant chatter of the nurses and the noise of other patients being wheeled in and out. Later in the ward mum kept me company through the night.

I was happy to be sent home the next day. It was a whole new experience. Thankfully all at the hospital made it a good one.

Monday, September 11, 2006

SBS Insight

I wanted to title this blog as “Homosexuals and their children”. It would be quite an oxymoron, wouldn’t it?! Also felt it would attract unwanted attention in the cyber space and hence titled it after the TV show. SBS Insight is a talk show where controversial/debatable topics are talked about with a participative and representative audience...representative of the ‘for’ and ‘against’, of the government and of basically you and me.

This particular show with its oxymoronic proposal caught my attention. It talked about homosexuals’ right to adopt children and provide a nurturing and supportive environment for the kid’s growth being a same sex couple. It talked about the issue of human rights. The dignity and respect for individuals.

Coming from a country where the movie Fire caused an uproar and was condemned for portraying the lady protagonists as a couple, this show was a bit of an eye opener! You hear about homosexuals, you know about them, you might have even come across some of them at your workplace. Yet this show had some inputs which I hitherto was unaware of. Frankly, I don’t have any view on this issue. I refrain from making any judgments here as it doesn’t concern me as an individual. I just thought I’ll key in what people had to say in this open discussion on a rather revolutionary topic – which goes against the evolutionary principle that a set of parents constitutes a male and a female. A re-evolutionary concept shall we say?

So what happens is, the same sex couple seeks a donor. A male couple seeks a donor whose baby they can adopt. A female couple can do the same or seek a male donor who donates his sperms to one of the ladies who then bears the child and delivers it.

The issues discussed were plenty. Is this set up ideal for a child to grow up in? Is this in the child’s best interest as the child is not involved in the decision? In case of a medical emergency of a minor, the consent of the father and mother is vital. But in cases of two fathers or two mothers who is given the right to decide? How can this issue be legalized? But first, should it be legalized?

Aren’t we pushing the social tide? Aren’t we changing the norm of life? Isn’t a filial bond essential? Doesn’t having a biological set of parents in a sound marriage help in moulding a good citizen?

A homosexual thinker in the audience said the idea is outrageous. He said “I am gay but I would never do the mistake of adopting a baby. It is not the right thing to do”. A teenage girl who is brought by two mothers said “I don’t feel any different than the other girls of my age. I am proud to be the daughter of two mothers. I do have a special bond with my donor father”. A gay couple present with their infant said “The baby is the best thing to have happened to us. We will support it as any other parent would”.

They argued and raved and ranted while I sat there getting all mixed up and confused. Coming from India where homosexuals are numbered, the topic is a hush hush and where such couples adopting babies is an unheard of or an unimaginable prospect, this show was revealing. Or should I call it educative?

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

its all in the mind - or is it??

can i take my mind off my mind? i badly want to for a while. i know i sound weird here. allow me to explain. my mind gets restless every now and then. it thinks too much. it doesnt let me sleep some nights. its a buzzing bee. it thinks about anything and everything. it thinks about anyone and everyone. there is no pattern. over the last couple of months it has depressed me to an extent. i do my bit of counselling it and ravi adds in too. it all makes sense. all the advice sounds right. but the next instant, my mind is back to square one or shall i say maze one?!

i will let you in my mind for a while. this is dangerous, but i will risk it! basically it thinks about the day, about who said what, what i said, was what i said right, what should i do in life, why am i here, what it the purpose of it thinks about the past, the present and the future. about meaningless trivia and about life's great truths. about people, comparing myself with others against all possible metrices. about my job or cooking or travelling or budgeting or the blogs unfinished. it thinks about the sad and hurtful moments and about the happy and blissful ones. you see - little things, big things, just about everything.

i am not in the "here and now". i dont have answers to most of the mind's questions. i am not able to live for the moment, relax, let my hair down and not think too much. i feel lost and a bit helpless at times. its not as serious as it may sound here. but its a nagging mind i have!

i know its all in the mind. rather, its all in me. but if feels good to blame something else or someone else, doesnt it? so i blame my mind. there might be answers in me. but i just dont know how to find it. its probably not an exaggeration to say i am not able to find myself.

have i done the right things thus far in life? am i on the right track now? what is expected? rather, what do i expect of life? what is the next step?

when in a group, i sometimes get carried away to a faraway land. this is minutes after exchanging pleasantries. i am not there with the people. and it probably shows. i find it hard to focus and keep engaging in conversations of little or no interest.

it hasnt been easy writing this. it might also be a depressing read. but i needed to vent. i needed to crib and cry. and isnt my blog the best place for my mind?! there is no escape. i have to find a way to mind my mind. there is no help in the self help books. i probably should give meditation/yoga a go.

am thinking: we can never see ourselves as others see us; even the mirror shows us in reverse -- PK Shaw

am thinking: for the mind is restless, turbulent, obstinate, and very strong, O Krishna, and to subdue it is, it seems to me, more difficult than controlling the wind -- Sankhya Yoga, Chapter 6

am thinking, am thinking, am thinking....

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

6 Aug, 2006

yet another birthday came and went. the next day i wondered what all the excitement was was just another day, wasnt it? the only difference now is my age! filled the census form last night and unconsciously was about to fill in 26 in place of 27...i have never liked odd numbers! anyway, this is how i feel at this juncture in life. i feel i have to be more conscious of my responsibilities/commitments than i was before. i mean, life was different when i was single. it did change after getting married but it was still a honeymoon phase where you continued to party! also i had the excuse of being new in australia! now i feel a certain pressure with the 'things i have to do' as opposed to the 'things i want to do'. this is a pressure from within. since i believe that i am the maker of my own future, i feel the need to push myself further and further till i get there.

this year was a lot different to the last. 2005's birthday was my first one away from home, away from mom and all others dear to me. it was particularly hard on me. on the eve of my birthday i remember feeling lonely & depressed. i was angry that i am so far away. i confess i missed all the attention. i missed mum's jamoon and her love and all that she would do. i missed hugging dad and getting his wishes. i missed going out with my brother and friends for dinner. ravi did his best to help me out of this with all his love.

sydney as though is "gandana mane" and bangalore "tavaru mane". both are utterly precious to me and i cant imagine one without the other....and i questioned myself why i couldnt have the best of both worlds??? i may never find an answer to that one.

this year was far more pleasant. i had a 'happy' birthday! though i missed everyone just like last year, i didnt feel as bad. i am probably used to the life here now. i am not sure if thats good or bad! dad, bro & mum called me at the strike of 12 and mum called me so many times later that i felt she was here with me. i had friends calling and texting from all over. good wishes and a great sunday outing to the
Wiseman's Ferry made my day! top it up with a new fab nokia 6131 from ravi, the flip phone which i was craving for...could i ask for anything more?

want to share some valuable insights and some of the eventful days in the last year...

some highlights were:

* our first wedding anniversary
* fireworks at the harbour bridge on new year's eve
* trip to melbourne in Jan 06 - the prettiest city in the world after bangalore!
* dad and mum are now emails me now yipppppeeeeeee! will take a while for dad to get there...i can wait
* buying the laptop...cant live without it now
* all the yummy additions to my earlier limited range of cooking
* joining SBS radio kannada programme
* getting my DL

things i look forward to in the next year:

* my friend raksha's trip to sydney in Sep with her husband 6 month old son
* mum and dad's passports getting made and them visiting sydney (once dad finds his 10th marks card....gosh i cant wait, have run out of patience now)
* vishnu's wedding
* our long overdue trip to india
* career stabilisation
* ravi's new car, him working lesser hours and eating on time (haha...sound like a wife now eh?)
* a holiday trip which is now a dream
* practice my singing

lessons learnt or in the process of learning:

* let go of the past - its a different work culture here, try to adapt to the jealousy, the materialism, the 'me first' mentality
* act dumb at times, coz those who are intellectually advanced are not well accepted in peer groups - not complimenting myself here. u know it too...indians are too intelligent and mature for the western world...oh but australia is not western world or is it?? if u travel all the way around! see i am dumb already!!
* try your best not to complete the work on and efficient...what do they mean?
* wait till the india trip to buy good shoes - u can only find v-shaped, pencil heeled, utterly uncomfortable shoes in this land
* wait till the india trip to buy underwear - u can only find padded ones in this land...but naturally
* take care of yourself coz there is no one else around to do so except the two of you
* as much as you would love to socialize - it is real hardwork and eats a lot of time
* save and dont spend on pointless and tiring shopping mall visits only to cram up the storage space at home (yet to learn this)

Monday, July 10, 2006


there is a pile of unblogged blogs. there are a lot of unfinished drafts. but before i get around to post them, i've been tagged by shiv to blog on my confessions! i quite like the idea and the topic ;) so here goes...

guilty pleasures:
well, they are pleasures...why be guilty?! but these have to be listed -
- screaming and shouting when big bro bullied me or attempted to and getting him punished...this dates back in 'the sibling growing up' history to atleast 10 trust me, not so bad anymore!
- just being lazy, sleeping very late and getting up very late...but they say i am a workaholic...hic hic!
- shopping on window shopping trips, the urge to splurge
- hungry jacks veggie burger when hungry on the way home from work
- corner house vanilla icecream with litchis & ofcourse their DBC or HCF small, gosh do i miss them or WHAT?!
- dominos/pizza hut veggie pizza - the ONLY variety for veggies here in Aus :( but i still dig it
- nutty chocolates/doritos

things i cant forget:
gosh! there are too many things to mention. life has been so eventful!
- my first lessons in music by my aunt and a music teacher in the neighbourhood
- the way chix illlustrated algebra when i gave up on it and boo hoooed - he stood as zero and walked 2 steps behind to show me what negative numbers meant; the following counselling sessions
- mahila mandali years with five findouters, secret seven
- the day of the SSLC result
- tears in thatha's eyes hearing it and mum so jubilant!
- the VHS days: cycling to school, the singing, reciting bhagavad gita in inter school fests, learning book binding & typing, lunching with girlfriends, nicknaming the boys & teachers and ofcourse the mammoth studying for the finals with course material by 'excellent' tutorials
- the BBM days at Jain college: the movies, VVpuram idlis/bhelpuris/jolas, the adventure trips funded by the college to nataraja gurukula in kanakapura, first hand experience of crushes
- first trip to mangalore with chix & all cousins and the trips later to manipal/mangalore to meet my cousin...chats with her / sleep overs with her and other girlfriends and all the girly talks ;)
- my Udaya/Ushe TV VJing days
- celebration of all the habbas with the yummy food, NEW CLOTHES and visiting relatives
- the first glorious year on my first job; all the outstation campaigns to hyderabad, chennai, mangalore, calcutta, the responsiblity of travelling and hiring alone! the kick of it!
- watching KSBKBT with mum after a long day's work and mum bringing me food during the ad breaks while i sat glued to the TV
- all the late night soulful talks with dad
- compering pandit shiv kumar sharma's concert and pandit ravishankar's concert, both at chowdiah...the excitement, the sheer size of the events and the butterflies in my belly!
- the first 'arranged' meeting with my husband ravi and the subsequent ones in the ONE hurried week before the engagement and the REALITY SHOCK before the engagement! oh bitter sweet!
- the day i arrived in sydney

unforgettable dishes:
- mum's everything esp. jamoon, rave idli
- ajji's bendekai gojju
- doddamma's halbai
- kaunt's chocolate burfi
- ravi's pineapple gojju! and oven baked aloo! his veg biriyani...his this and that...yes, he is a master chef. think i am lucky?! i think so too...
- my jeera rice and yellow dal, badam kulfi, basundi (sorry had to mention myself)
- UD's masaldose, Dwarkabhavan's set dose, roadside gaadis' masala puris, gandhi bazar jola with green chutney
- biryani with mirch ka salan in hyderabad
- gadbad icecream in mangalore
- shantisagar crispy gobi manchurian

hmmm reveal my secrets?! well, yes, nothing there to hide...
- sonu nigam
- hrithik roshan
- abhishek bachhan
- pandit shiv kumar sharma's son who performed with him at chowdiah...rahul or rohan was it?
- and then i grew up!!!

close brushes with death or danger:
havent had any

strangest dream:
cant remember any

preferable modes of suicide:
not in my strangest way!

favourite characters:
- rajesh khanna in anand
- dustin hoffman in rain man
- tom hanks in forrest he was awesome
- aamir, saif and akshaye in DCH
- julia roberts in pretty woman, erin brokovich
- madhuri in devdas
- keira knightley - liz of pride and prejudice
- hugh grant in 9 months, sense & sensibility
- tom and jerry, donald duck, chip n dale
- julia andrews in sound of music
- leonardo dicaprio in the aviator
- hillary swank in the million dollar baby
- russell crowe in gladiator, the beautiful mind and the cinderella man
- so many more...

there u go...i have confessed ;) should i be feeling less of a sinner now?!
i tag vishnu, soumya, deepthi

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

a jolly good bus ride

have you ever wondered why we dodge glances while on a train or a bus? you will be staring hard at someone, maybe unconsciously and when that someone looks at you, you shift your gaze out of the window to say the railway track which all of a sudden looks very interesting!

i was taught in a personality development workshop to smile at people in an elevator. relax, let loose and even talk to them. you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. stop looking 'oh! so important' and 'oh! so in a hurry'. frankly, i havent been able to do this. i get very conscious in those close confines of an elevator and will be eager to rush out.

coming to the subject, it was a jolly good bus ride today. while i sat waiting for the bus, a young chinese looking guy speaking loud on his mobile came and sat next to me. usually i get put off by people speaking loud in public places. but today strangely this guy did not sound irritating. he was speaking in a kiddish manner and saying the same things over again. i somehow liked listening to him. i couldnt hide my curiosity any longer and stare at the 'oh! so interesting cars whizzing by' so i turned to look at him. i saw that he didnt have a mobile in his hand at all. he was talking to himself or probably someone imaginary. his english was not bad. i gathered that he must probably be challenged in some way. i see some such other people almost everyday on the bus. they hop on at the bus stop next to mine and usually talk among themselves, tease each other in a big group. i have heard that there is a workplace somewhere there which employs them.

soon enough our bus arrived. dear mr.chatter continued to talk. he spoke incessantly. he spoke about his work, about a jason, about leaving work ten minutes early today, about finishing some work and so on. a lady who boarded the bus from our stop engaged him in conversation for a while. she seemed to know him, probably his work mate. soon she got tired and stopped talking. dear mr.chatter continued. he turned and saw a baby on board. he said "i'll talk to the baby. i'll talk to the driver. babies cant drive. babies dont get licences. only adults get licences. a lady or a guy can drive. but babies cant drive".

he made us smile. he made us all look at him. he made us look at each other and we all smiled. the mood was happy. am sure everybody liked him instantly just like i liked him! i thank him for the jolly good bus ride.

i got reminded of Dustin Hoffman in Rain Man. he won the well deserved oscar for his role as an autistic savant in 1998. he is so adorable, so lovely. you cant watch the movie and not love him. he haunts tom cruise with his routines and cravings and persistence akin to a child.

the bus ride got me to the train station. there the display read 1 minute to my train and i sure didnt want to wait for the next one. i ran up the stairs to the platform. the train arrived while i was still midway. i ran faster, reached the platform. the guard blew his whistle and i thought the doors will close in. but i had just a second more and i sprinted with full gusto. i made it past the door and in the next fraction it closed. it felt good. i dont remember when i ran last. it has been ages. i felt jubilant. thanks again dear mr.chatter! you did put a spring in my step today.

am thinking: these are boxer shorts. i dont wear boxer shorts. now I gotta go to K-Mart and buy my underwear. Yeah, buy my underwear. I buy my underwear at K-Mart, Cincinatti. Yeah. -- Dustin Hoffman to Tom Cruise in Rain Man when they have driven miles and miles away from Cincinatti!

am singing: tujhse naaraz nahi zindagi hairan hoon main -- Masoom