May 30, 2005

Lazy Me on a Hazy Trip...

Was planning to post something about my trip to hazy Smoky Mountains, but me being as lazy as me is, take a peek here:

Deepa's account

Mel Kris's account

k's account


May 24, 2005

The Jigsaw Puzzle.

Bits and pieces of the confusion, otherwise termed my mind; sometimes a jumble of pieces of a jigsaw puzzle and sometimes, the complete picture - depending on which piece I try to fit in first. Sometimes two pieces just clamp on to one another, a perfect fit, sometimes, I bite my lips in concentration, mulling over the colors and shapes of the two pieces, trying to discern a connection, fragile at best, but a connection all the same; my attempt to associate thin wisps of logic and sanity to the seemingly meaningless conundrums that my imagination, my mind mercilessly mocks me with...I scatter a few discarded pieces of the jigsaw puzzle here...

  • I was sitting in a meeting yesterday, a brainstorming session that looked as if it was going to be highly productive. My attention, which usually has a mind of its own, was doing a surprisingly good job of staying focused, until someone in the meeting started playing around with a marker. He opened the marker with a pop, closed it with a pop and finding the act highly conducive to his complete concentration perhaps(?), he continued to play with the marker, pop, pop, pop...and all I could hear was the annoying little rhythm, not the ideas, not the flowchart on the whiteboard, just pop, pop, pop...

  • A quote that won't leave me today:
    Every person takes the limits of their own field of vision for the limits of the world. - Arthur Schopenhauer

  • Ever had one of those days when you come home exhausted, weary of your work and of your life and you unload your woes on a loved one, a friend hoping that he would grasp your struggling hands and pull you out of your mental quicksand? And suddenly you realize that no one has grasped your hands to pull you out? When all you want him to say is "Yes, you are obviously right, people are cruel and you have had such a rough day", with a sympathetic pat on your head, a pat declaring unconstrained and completely biased support for you at - least for those few moments - and what you get is an irrefutably and infuriatingly annoying and logical response, explaining calmly to you why it was your fault and everyone else was correct...and then all you want to do is to not so gently shake that person, rid him of his practicality and objectivity and add generous doses of bias and subjectivity to him to make him more human!

  • And then there are times when I hear or read things that people say about a person whose identity is kept intentionally vague and after sometime I start wondering if that person is me! After some more time (assuming the feelings expressed are interesting enough and nice (flattering? gracious?) enough to hold one's attention), I almost begin to wish that that person be me...Is it just me?

  • It was one of those moments, late into the night on a weekend, I was feeling silly and happy and mellow, and laughing crazily at everything, just floating along lazily, accepting everything that people had to say...and I found another such quirky person to connect with that night; we laughed at the same not-so-funny comments, we giggled like a couple of teenage girls at nothing and at-least people looked at both of us like we had had too much to drink...and I was not alone in my craziness, I had a crazy partner with me and that made the craziness worth its while :)

May 22, 2005

Together, forever...

Posted by Hello

"...and I give you my hand, my life and my love."

Serene, romantic, blissful - a fairytale wedding. Two little girls, dressed in shocking pink gowns, with colorful ribbons tied around their waists twirl round and round to show off their dresses. Bridesmaids in blue satin dresses stand close to the little girls, watching the ceremony, smiling, crying, celebrating; soothing melody from the harp mingle with the sounds of nature...the sounds and the colors titillate the senses. The princess in the fairytale walks demurely towards her prince; eyes forget the kaleidoscope of colors, smitten now by the vision in white, by the love, the delicate anxiety mixed with happiness, by the finality of each step drawing her closer to her destiny.

"...from this day long as we both shall live."

An altar stands in the midst of the green landscape, an entrance to a world of happiness and companionship, an entrance marking the union of two souls, daring to dream together...the breeze caresses the colorful ribbons tied around the altar, pink, orange and red - the colors of love, roses wherever the eyes, is in the air.

She smiles, crying, as she whispers "I do", he cannot hide the glow of pride on his cheeks as he gently slips the ring around her fingers.

"You may now kiss the bride."

They kiss and the touch of their lips seal their vows and proclaim their union to the world.

...and yet another short story, inspired by this wedding :)

May 19, 2005

Shades of her.

  • Yellow, in the turmeric-stained face, imperfect, yet with blemishless wisdom;

  • Vermillion, the shade of her anger, the sindoor smudged on her forehead;

  • Blue, in her forlorn eyes, in the flurry of her unpredictable moods;

  • Green, her dance of envy, her harmony, my tuneless life finds melody in;

  • Pink, in her acceptance, in contentment that I yearn for;

  • Orange, the vigour of her passion, the fire of my soul;

  • Violet, her sorrow, her struggles, the turmoil of my emotions in her every teardrop;

  • Gray, her hesitation, her loneliness, her detachment – I writhe;

  • White, purity – her thoughts, her emotions, her naiveté, her self;

  • Black, my fear, my pain, my self, without her...

May 16, 2005

Everybody loves...

Posted by Hello

And once again, I bid farewell to a long time companion; my tears have hardly dried from an earlier heart-wrenching separation and here I go again...

The 210th episode of Everybody loves Raymond aired today and after nine years of Ray's antics, Debra's wifely am-going-to-kill-you look, Marie's meddlesome interruptions, Frank's laugh-out-loud comments and a nonchalance that women should never attempt to understand, Robert's quirks...and much more, they said goodbye and I lost yet another Old Faithful. I remember when the final episode of Friends aired on TV, I actually cried with them! Eleven years of Ross-loves-Rachael/Rachael-does-not-love-Ross and for eleven years, I continued to fall more in love with them!

Funny how attached one (read I) can grow to some of these me crazy but I will miss them like I miss a friend, a funny friend who can make me laugh whenever I am with him and make me forget my boring excuse-for-a-life and its associated trivialities! Can't believe am actually writing this, I remind myself of many of those mamis back in India who would watch Chithiii on TV, eyes glued to the screen, tears streaming down their face and feeling what chithi feels and for those few moments, their concept of reality is what they see and not what they actually are!

As an aside - Ray Romano said "For nine years, I have spent every ounce of my creative energy on this and now...there is a void in my life" or something to that effect; I can imagine...

May 14, 2005

The Unattainability factor.

Several bits and pieces of conversations and scenes have contributed to the generalization that I am about to make now.

I don't remember the season, but here is a monologue from Friends that adds more credibility to what I have to say. Phoebe's Russian Scientist-guy, David says, "You know, when you don't see someone for a long time, a-a-and you kind of build them up in your head and you start thinking about: Come on, don't be crazy. Nobody is that beautiful, but... well, you are."

What I am attempting to touch upon here is that there is a certain charm to being unattainable, something that makes us want, even yearn for the very thing that we know we cannot attain (mostly pertaining to relationships but the generalization permits itself to be extrapolated to other things as well).

I mean, consider the number of instances where a girl has acquiesced to a guy's proposal after he has moved out of the town, state, country or her life! She might have noticed several attractive qualities in him but just not sufficient for her to take the leap and say yes; keep him away from her and the leap is taken. This happens so often (or so I hear) that I wonder if the seemingly out-of-sight factor is just (mis)used as a ruse to get her to say yes :)

Anyway, yet another strange characteristic of love itself that begs to be highlighted now is the sheer power of emotions drawn out of us as a result of love or the very lack of it. Love is a strong emotion, noble and powerful, inexplicable and painfully strong. I am tempted to say it is an all-encompassing emotion to be exceeded in intensity by a few emotions only, but, consider the lonely soul yearning for love rather than being in love; consider the suffering lover who has had the bad fortune of being classified as an example in people's conversations - tch, the poor guy - for unrequited love. Think of his plight. Does he not feel something much more powerful, much more painful, much more consuming than love itself?

Let's assume, lady luck decided to grace the very same person with a smile and he is now blissfully in love with his lady love, who is also very much in love with him. Now, I am willing to bet a small portion of my fortune to claim that what he feels is a fraction of what he had felt earlier.

Much as I try to explain this incongruity, I cannot, except by concluding that there is a magic in absence, a touch of mystery and charm that our imagination adds to the person whom we cannot see in front of our eyes, that makes him seem that much more precious, that much more perfect in our mind's eye. It's almost like we create an effective haze in front of our eyes and we can only see that person through the haze and the more we squint to see him clearly, the more endearing qualities we associate with him unconsciously and the higher the pedestal he sits on rises...

Well, what can I say? Blame it all on the unattainability factor!

May 10, 2005


Posted by Hello
At 16, she looked at the tawny note with a barely legible scrawl on it that read “Your eyes are like the moon, I can stare into them all day long…” and thought that was love.

At 18, she ran into him by chance at the bookstore and in the few extra moments that his eyes lingered on hers, her heart raced and she thought that was love.

At 20, their hands touched for a second, as they walked and talked about nothing and everything and she thought she was in love.

At 22, she cradled her phone on her neck and discussed life and relationships with him in her small dorm room well into the night and much later when she fell asleep, she dreamt that they were in love.

At 24, he was her friend and then her confidant. She shared with him her aspirations and ambitions, fears and dejections, her past and present and she knew in her anchor, she had found love.

At 26, they made bright plans for life; they saw the future as two pairs of eyes belonging to the same soul and brick by brick built their home and their love.

At 28, they worriedly counted 10 small fingers and 10 small toes and in the relieved tears that glistened on their cheeks, love shone like a beacon...

To word or not to word.

Today, I experienced one of those whachamacallits, those so-called magical moments of realization, one of those weird epiphany-things. I was talking to D and having yet another lets-(not)agree-to-disagree-conversation (seriously, it can’t all be me, can it?!), when this epiphany struck me. I recently wrote a blog about one of my friends that I am no longer in touch with and I had the sweetest things to say about him, things I did not even dream of telling him when we were in touch. Now, why didn’t I think of telling him what I felt? I mean we both would have just felt better, right?

Of late, I have been doing that a lot, saying things that should not wait to be written in a blog, 22 years later, when neither person feels what he or she felt ages back! Coming back to my point, maybe it’s time we start giving people the credit they deserve. Now comes the troublesome part. If we do end up talking like this to each other all the time, we swing all the way to the other end of the pendulum and end up sounding overly sentimental and corny. I mean imagine a world where people get up to greet each other with phrases like:

“I do love you and cannot live without you even for a day, you do know that, don’t you?”
“Me too”
“Me too”


“You are my best friend in the whole world, you mean the world to me. I would be lost without you.”
“Me too”
“Me too”

Seriously, yuck! So, what we need is a balance, the pendulum’s center of mass, if you will. Maybe Mother’s day, Father’s day, Ex-girlfriend’s-day and so on do have a point. Maybe on that day you are allowed to act as emotionally demented as you want in order to convey what you exactly feel and people will not look at you like you have had one drink too many.

My silly side now having made her point, enter a whole other side with a totally different point to make. While I may lose myself in my daily life, feigning normality and a sense of peace with myself, uninvited guests drop in to my head to remind me of things left unsaid. Words that failed to take the journey to my mouth, words that almost escaped but were carried off by the turmoil of my own uncertainity, words that I could not utter because I was scared of rejection and of ridicule…words that now lie buried within me, shelved forever. Perhaps, they were silly, thoughts...better left unsaid and perhaps, they were thoughts that could have changed two lives…and now, I will never know.

May 07, 2005

...and what if the shoes are too big?

I have tried hard, atleast in recent times. I have consciously made an effort and I confess, I am not good at it. But, I will still try. If you have not already guessed (really! you haven't?), I am talking about the over-publicized concept of putting yourself in someone else's shoes. I have a bone to pick with established proponents of this theory. This theory has several flaws that I categorize below.

  • What if the shoes just don't fit?

    We are all individuals. We are all allowed to have a healthy difference of opinion. The problem appears when we try to think alike. The fact that we think differently - isn't that what makes us individuals? Individual tastes, individual opinions, individual likes and dislikes? Even individual sense of right and wrong? If we try to align these, even with a close friend, aren't we asking for disaster?

  • What if your feet kill you once you are in someone else's shoes?

    Lets assume, I have managed to convincingly hide myself from my feelings and I now perceive the world at large as someone else. In this process, although, I have shut myself in a little cell and promised myself I would not give myself a second glance, I do subconsciously realize that I am suffocating myself. In other words, I have managed to fit into someone else's shoes and the person getting hurt in this process is me more than anyone else.

  • What if you shouldn't be trying to fit into someone else's shoes to begin with?

    Sometimes, it's just not worth the effort. Maybe the someone whose shoes you are trying to step into, does not care about anything else but the perspective as he stands, in his own shoes. Maybe, we just need not make ourselves go through the rigmarole of preparing ourselves to step out of our cosy shoes and step into their shoes!

Jokes aside, I understand empathy, more than I want to :). It's just that sometimes, the whole consequence of thinking in someone else's shoes weighs so heavily on me, I wonder why I am doing it.

May 05, 2005

Kadai solren, kelu!

The whimsical raconteur has a story to tell you.

Kind of related to this post.

May 04, 2005

Is Life...

  • a gradual fading of one memory to be replaced by another?

  • a progression of stages in man’s life? From tiny footsteps that pitter-patter to a doddering gait?

  • a kaleidoscope of precious moments and epiphanies?

  • a calculated risk to aspire, aim and achieve?

  • a series of events linked together, a Gordian knot of sorts, weaved by divine hands?

  • a manifestation of trivialities entwined inextricably around the ultimate truth?

  • a feeble attempt by man to solve one conundrum after another, playfully dispersed to him by Him?

  • just you and me?

  • a motley web of passion, angst, love, sorrow and all that can be felt not seen?

  • one entity, lost in a sea of entities, revolving around and reacting to a few other such entities?

  • in soulful eyes that you drown in,
    broken hearts that break yours,
    charming gestures that draw you,
    skilful hands that entrance you,
    dimpled cheeks that make you smile,
    pursed lips that make you wonder,
    contenances that captivate you,
    souls that are so like yours?

  • Sorry about the cloying douse there, got carried away...on a lighter vein,

Or…is life just one blogging entry after another :) ?

May 03, 2005


I stand musing on this side of the ocean, listening to the secrets that the waves whisper to me. One wave after another, they all have something to tell me, stories from the world on the other side of the ocean. I see just a silhouette and a few shadows and the waves tell me tales that I otherwise would not know. Lilting melodies, soothing hymns, disturbing turbulences and discordant noise, I hear them all…I ponder that there will come a time when these waves will take me over to the other side, delicately, so that I would not lose my grip or myself in the journey…and then I would be in a different world, hopefully not as a different person.

The other side of the ocean, which until now was a symphony of sounds that I little understood, vague melodies that I overheard with mild curiosity, will now be my sanctum and I shall become the shadow on the other side of the ocean and the waves will carry my voice to yet another soul tentatively preparing herself for her journey to the other side of the ocean.

May 02, 2005

You shall hereby be known as...

I started writing something totally different and ended up writing this. I guess I just opted to focus on my silly instead of sane self. Ever noticed how there are some phrases, words that are conceived and concocted and passed on from one filial ear to another until it becomes established enough to transcend generations? I mean words that would mean nada to a stranger would evoke tear-filled laughter, pleasant memories and invite hours of conversation, all springing from this one silly phrase which inturn made its appearance into this world by the quick thinking of a witty mind. I pick a few choice phrases coined by my family at opportune moments, which we still inflict upon unsuspecting relatives and friends before bursting out into bouts of laughter, leaving everyone except a few enlightened souls bewildered...

  • கழுத்துல (read kazhuthula) powder: I vividly recall this aunty coming home to talk endlessly with my mom on matters of varying importance - the color of the saree that her sister-in-law wore to her neighbour's wedding reception, how her mother-in-law always added more sugar to her husband's coffee than her's, how our maid servant was infinitely better than her maid servant and how enchanting her new navaratna necklace looked on her! Anyway, that's besides the point, what made her stand out in a crowd was the fact that she always had clumps of talcum powder glistening in her sweaty neck all around the heavy necklaces she wore! As a kid, it was quite amusing for me to stare at her white neck in direct contrast to her dark complexion. It so happened that a few of my family members found this funny too and the fact that she touched her face often with her handkerchief and then fanned herself all the time but completely avoided the powder patches on her neck amused them as much as it delighted us! The poor lady remains "கழுத்துல powder" till today!

  • Blue Shirt: One of my dad's closest friends since childhood, he is a soft-spoken, shy but very resourceful person. Many years back, when my mom and dad were nothing but friends :), Mani mama would often hang out with both of them, sharing amusing stories, eating icecreams or just talking, my mom noticed that he always wore a blue shirt to all their get-togethers. She was just getting to know my dad's friends and would often forget their names, and it seemed convenient for her to refer to Mani mama as "Blue Shirt". The name amused my dad and he began to refer to Mani mama as "Blue Shirt" and to this day, Mani mama makes appearances in my parents' conversations as "Blue Shirt"!

  • Ramani: All of us at sometimes in our lives have dreaded visits from people who fall into the category of "Onnu vitta onnu vitta...vague-relation". One such unfortunate visitor to our house was Ramani mama. What was slightly irksome for a foppish teenager like me was the fact that he would never wear a shirt ever and he was not old enough to be categorized as a product of the previous generation, but he behaved like one. During our family get-togethers, he would eat with everyone else and would not bat an eyelid before leaving his plate as is and settling down to gossip with a few like-minded men, a bunch of vethalai, sunambu and pakku spread around him. I found it annoying that he would be laughing uproariously, sprinkling betel juice upon everyone, his flabby paunch moving up and down while the women-folk cleaned up after him. Somehow, the mildly disgusting scene stood in my head and today, any male member of the family who shows shades of Ramani mama is said to be a "Ramani" for us! The word actually became an adjective for us!

  • மொந்தம் பழம் (read mondam pazham): I have no idea what this word means, just that its a fruit of some sort, quite unappealing, I would assume. Many years back, when my dad still worked for his old Company (he has changed jobs thrice since and I can boldly reveal this info!), he had an annoying, worthless boss who would take credit for every little thing that my dad achieved. I don't recall the series of events that led to this name but it does have a nice ring to it, "மொந்தம் பழம்"! but that's what we now call all bosses in general who give us a hard time!

  • கோம்ப (read kombai) Krishnan, Gate, சகலகலா வள்ளி (read sakalakala valli), Wounded Soldiers are some of the more innovative ones, though one might wonder what faux pas these colorful people must have committed to be christened with these amusing appellations.

Did not mean to inflict such a length post on everyone, but as P put it, jotting down notes for posterity, since I don't completely trust my memory!

May 01, 2005

S and the Rainbow Principle.

He told me about the rainbow principle while munching on a McDonald's sandwich and balancing his cellphone cradled between his ear and neck, or so I presume. We always underwent a role reversal when we had one of these long telephonic conversations; he talked and I listened. For once, I was talking to someone who had things to say that kept me so engrossed that I did not interrupt him with my non-sequiturs.

"Ramya, its like this, you can go on thinking about the little things that annoy you, or you can learn to let go because its just not worth the amount of time you are investing on it..." and he would break off to answer a call on his other cell phone (he had one for his work and one for personal calls) or to tune his guitar. In that way, he was distracted, but inspite of the numerous breaks, the train of thoughts that he was attempting to impress upon me, was never interrupted. We would talk for hours together, late into the night, on lazy afternoons, early mornings...time was not a factor that played a role in our conversations.

I received a phone call one Saturday morning and all I could hear was A.R.Rehman's music in the background, studio-effect, and then it stopped and I was pleasantly surprised to hear him sing "Minnale, Nee Vandadenadi" almost as melodiously as the original song was rendered. I was happy that he had taken the time to make me smile that particular day; he had rememberd my favourite song. He had an amazing voice, we both knew that. He had once told me his sister thought that he could sing as well as UnniKrishnan and what was surprising was that the revelation did not have a touch of vanity about it and I did not find any reason to contradict what he told me. He often talked about his concerts. To me it was a life, fascinatingly different from mine; sometimes I imagined myself watching his concerts, proud that he is my friend, at other times, I imagined being on his troupe, travelling to places, vicariously living the life that he lived and gradually he donned the role of a protective, philosopher-friend for me.

"I thought you were quite arrogant, the day I first spoke to you on the phone...", he said. I frowned, but was amused, "You know? The bossy kind?" he added for clarification. He finished by saying "...but you turned out to be very different from what I thought that day..." We both chucked delightedly...for our own reasons.

"The world around us is a rainbow", he would say, surprising me by jumping into a philosophical discussion, from a vantage point that I did not have the privilege to observe from. We were in the middle of a conversation revolving around how he expects to feel about his imaginary significant other when he plunged into this disconnected line of thought. "We should place people we know in different concentric semicircles of the rainbow" , he continued pensively. "For instance, casual acquaintances and colleagues fall in the semicircle farthest away from the center, my next-door neighbour falls into the adjoining closer semicircle...finally, my closest friends, wife, parents fall into the semicircle nearest the center, my heart."
I pondered about this for a few moments, when he continued "How we react to what people say should be determined by where they fall in this rainbow. If a driver on the road, screamed at me for cutting him off and if I am dwelling on his enraged, uncivilized words more than the few moments that it deserved, I am wasting my time."
I opened my mouth to interrupt, maybe disagree, when I realized I did not. I had wasted many an anxious moment, replaying casual but hurtful words thrown my way by people who would hardly cross my path again and much as I tried to distract myself, I could not.
He broke into my thoughts saying "Now, if your best friend said something to you that hurt, its still worth thinking about it, same holds true for compliments and praise...". I smiled. Profound, yet obvious. I just did not think of explaining it to myself, as he did.

S and I are now busy with our lives and do not have the time to talk, as we did...but, as moments progress to minutes and minutes to hours, interspersed with the clicking of my wall clock, I hear the voice that taught me another of life's simple lesson.
© Ramya Sethuraman, All Rights Reserved.