November 30, 2005

!(single) anymore!

When you are married, you just have to realize that you are not single anymore! No, really, read that one more time and you'll realize I am not just trying to be funny and doing a pretty miserable job at it, am trying to convey a point here...I think :)

Last evening k & I were driving back from work and I was talking nonstop about what I did in the day, what profound realizations dawned on me between 9 and 5 that day, how I have decided to turn over a new leaf (usually once every four days) and such thought-provoking stuff when in the midst of one particular animated monologue, I said, "You know, atleast I am single and don't have kids and all..." and then went on to complete a number of related thoughts.

Normally during these conversations, I take care of the talking bit and k does a good job of listening or atleast saying appropriate "uh huh", "hmm" and "ok"s at regular intervals, a pretty good imitation of a patient listener if anything. That's besides the point. I noticed after five more minutes of talking that I did not receive the expected "hmm" and "ok" this time. So, I turned around and he just gave me a long hard look and said, "Ramya, you are not single."

So, that was one big oops. Then there was this aunty who told me out of the blue, "Ramya, you know, once you have kids, your husband will become a wall!" and I happened to mention this in passing to k's dad. He didn't seem particularly bothered and just mentioned that I got to be smart about what to take to heart and what to filter out. Two days later, k was talking to his mom and she asks him, "Is Ramya still worried about the wall thing?"


Like I said, sometimes you just have to realize that you are not single anymore!

November 28, 2005

The color that speaks to me.

No. I am not talking about the pink that might remind you of Paris Hilton. I am not talking about the pink splashed all around Legally Blonde. I am not talking about the frivolous, superficial, inane shade of pink that you might associate with giggly teenage girls.

Now that am done with my defensive disclaimers, lets get to the bottom of this business. My favourite color is pink. I even have my yahoo mail customized to pink. And that's not because "its so cute!" or such reasons that I cannot even remotely hope to relate to but...

I do love the shade of rose the sky dons at dusk, a glimmer to remind a tired soul after a hard day's work that romance still awaits, that rosy dreams still can come true, that magic lies hidden in sudden moments of clarity...

I love the pink that rises up a blushing face...

I love the pink of little fingers that hold on to your finger so tight, you never want to let go...

I love the shade of rose that colors my dreams, they remind me of sweet memories yet to be...

and I love the images that pink paints in my head - a happy place, smiling faces, music to dance to and love all around...

Can you blame me for my rosy indulgence now? :)

November 24, 2005

Thanksgiving Rambling.

Sometimes life just doesn't make sense, does it? It's not often that we step back to reflect on what is relevant in a context bigger than our immediate surroundings. And when we do, sometimes we are left wondering if we were better off without this bit of reflection.

I don't write about politics, for no other reason other than the fact that I am quite ignorant when it comes to current affairs and such. But, once in a while, I browse through newspapers and then wonder if it's just easier to stay ignorant.

Mindless incidents, meaningless acts of violence splashed all over the front pages...sometimes we have to dig deeper to remain sane amidst all the insensitivity that there is.

...and still in all the madness, if we look long enough we might catch a glimpse of something that still tells us all is not lost. I am rambling now...for now, I guess we can start by being thankful for what we have and what is not yet lost.

Happy Thanksgiving ye'all!

November 22, 2005

Did I do something wrong?!

4.45 PM. She looks at the clock and mentally calculates the time it would take for him to reach home from work. 15 minutes. Oh well, maybe make some light tiffin and heat up the tea she had made in the afternoon. He would be delighted for sure to see hot food waiting for him. The thought makes her smile.

She pours a bit of olive oil, mustard and cumin seeds, flecks of garlic and watches it sputter. She carefully fries the onion pieces until golden brown and adds the tomato slices to the pan. She glances at the clock again.

5.00 PM. He should be home anytime now.

She carefully cuts the sides of the bread pieces and tosses them into the pan. A bit of salt and paprika sprinkled into the pan and tiffin is ready.

5.10 PM. She arranges the table, heats up the tea and wonders why he is late.

5.20 PM. By now, she has run out of things to do. She arranges the plate in the center of the table mat and starts tapping on the table and biting her lips.

5.30 PM. Three calls to his cell phone. No answer. The office phone redirects to the voice mail system. Whom else could she call?

5.45 PM. She stands by the little window by her front door and watches her breath frost tiny circles on the glass window. A tan colored car drives past. Not an acura. Why is he not home still?

5.55 PM. Two more phone calls to his cell. By now she begins to panic mildly. Did he wear his seat belt? How could a 15 minute drive take more than 45 minutes even if New Circle is packed? Should she call someone?

6.00 PM. She hears the garage door open. He walks in with a buoyant "Hi!" and a few seconds later, stands doused in water, dripping onto the kitchen floor.

He looks at her, confused more than ever,
"Did I do something wrong?"

November 20, 2005


And that's Trelawny, Cho Chang, Harry Potter, Moaning Myrtle, a wannabe Harry Potter, Hermione, Ginny Weasly and Snape from left to right - just after watching HPATGOF (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire)!

We planned for three weeks to reach the theatre an hour and a half early and landed up five minutes before the movie began and had the first row just to ourselves, but in full costume to our credit :)

I must admit, more than the movie itself, it was the numerous emails discussing costumes and times and the anticipation of it all that made (many of) my day(s) :)

November 17, 2005


The Namesake, by Jhumpa Lahiri, is a book that would do well in my small library collection. It's powerful, thought-provoking and realistic enough for me to relate to it at different points in the narration.

Let me touch upon a few scenes that lingered behind in my head - one particular scene is where Gogol, an American born Indian, has dinner with his American girlfriend's parents. He is impressed with their style of entertaining - expensive cutlery, candles, good wine, a casualness different from the hustle-bustle, almost disorderly way of entertaining that he has seen at his own home. His parents always invite more people than they can seat, always eat the last and act like servants in their own home. Contrastingly, at the American household, the guest list includes a tasteful mix of a few artists, entrepreneurs, family friends - just the right mix for an intelligent dinner conversation...

And that got me thinking, what is wrong with a bit of disorderliness? Why must we have the right cutlery and the right silverware and the right wine to entertain? What if children run behind their parents creating cacaphony all around? A fun get-together does not have to be smooth-sailing and orderly all the time, infact the fun is in the disorderliness that a crowd generates...

Anyway, that's probably the difference between how I think and one day, my American born child might think!

All said and done, a must read. Be prepared to be impressed and confused at the same time :)

November 15, 2005

Just how close are we?

How do you define closeness? How do I know if you feel as close to me as I think you feel? Or if you are as close to me as I am to you? What defines the line that demarcates just friends from close friends? And do we cross that line at the same time in our journey together as friends?

What defines a perfect understanding between two people on where they stand with each other?

Some questions that this well-written article raised in my already confused little head :)

On an unrelated note, here is a short love story :)

November 11, 2005

Of love, marriages and romance!

Marriages are made in heaven. I am a changed person since my wedding. We are like two peas in a pod. True happiness eluded me until I met him...You have to be in looove to understand what I am talking about...

OK, that's about the amount of drivel that I can dish out even for a bad joke :) How do people end up saying things like that? Maybe if I lose a, I still won't! Anyway, it's high time I wrote a post dealing about love, feelings and such, now that I am married and all and also because our very own alaguraj said something to trigger a few thoughts - after all, k and I are now not unique individuals but a union of two souls, completing each other (remember the scene from Jerry Maguire?), aren't we?


We are still individuals, we still have our own "different" preferences and we still fight! Fighting does not make a relationship any more imperfect than it already is. I, for one, would definitely question the validity of my relationship if I did not have a solid, honest-to-goodness fight once in a while!

I also cannot understand people who don't have time for friends because they are married. What kind of an excuse is that? To me, each is a relationship, as powerful as the other, each demanding that we invest time and love in it so that it grows! They are parallel roads that do not intersect, atleast in my world.

And since today, I have decided to put my foot in my mouth, I shall proceed to do so completely. I cannot understand certain assumptions made about married people (I don't like the word, couple much). If Mr.X is not coming for a trip does not automatically indicate that Mrs.X will also not come along. Ofcourse, Mrs.X would probably enjoy the trip more if Mr.X sticks along but one does not preclude the other!

I read about five pages of this book called Conscious Commitment or Conscious Dependence or Conscious whatever and it said, people in a relationship tend to develop an unhealthy co-dependence on one another (yes, the author seems to be a fan of the prefix "co" and in general, any word beginning with "co"!), where each begins to develop a dependence on each other for things that don't require a dependence. I plan to take a good hard look at this "Co" thing from today!

Having voiced all these strong, modern, independent...nonsensical kind of thoughts, I do admit that when I am 50 and aging gracefully - smooth silver bun, an aristocratic pair of spectacles perched on my nose (somewhat like Mrs.McGonagall, without the cloak, like a plump Mrs.Grundy in Archies, you get the picture) - I would still want to cook hoping my husband will find it tasty, I would still want to have as much fun ruffling his hair playfully, I would still want to complete his thoughts and words even before he does, I would still want to argue with him about loading the dishwasher...

And the conflict between the practical me and the romantic me continues...

November 10, 2005

My Perfect Day...

Time is a cunning companion. Too little of it and you are over-stressed, too much of it and you know not what to do. Today, time decided to be generous with me. I emailed, worked, ate and time stuck with me, my faithful companion holding my hand. So, I decided for a change that, instead of clicking "Send" on yet another hardly necessary email, I would spend some time introspecting. That sounded too dull for me and so, I decided I would build a day for myself - a perfect day.

If I were to make a day perfect, within boundaries of feasibilities, how would it be?

Waking up with a smile on my face because the alarm clock shows 10.30 AM. Stretching and yawning luxuriously without wondering if I am late to work...

Hot filter coffee and golden brown toasts with a generous cover of marmalade. Sweet and crispy cornflakes in a colorful bowl nearby with one of those cute little bottles used for serving milk...

TV during breakfast - even Vanakam Thamizhagam will do (I don't ask for much :))

Sunlight streaming through the white delicate curtains, lighting up the faces of the people in the room, brightening their smiles and caressing their cheeks - people I love around me, relaxed and happy...

And that's how I would like my perfect day in Lex would begin! And just when images of my perfect day swirl all around me, time runs away from me...maybe some other day, I will build the rest of my perfect day!

November 09, 2005

Makes sense?

If I were you and You were me,
I would hold on to you tight and never let you go,
but I am me and You are you,
and I look away when I see You and
You wonder why!


If Today was the day I met you,
If Today was the day we held hands,
If Today was the day that held magic,
Maybe Tomorrow I will count the stars with you
and not wonder why yesterday there were no stars at all to count!


If everyday is an adventure,
If every moment held magic,
How would I know,
if life is boring or not?


If I had a wish to make,
I would say to Him,
make not him my best pal, my buddy
but me his soulmate, his one and only.


And that's with just one day of fever and cold. Thank God, I am recovering now :)

November 08, 2005

On a sleepy autumn day...

Solitude and Silence speak to me today, of days of yore that have shaped my past; Yellow autumn leaves fall sleepily down, each whispers a tale from my life; Of friendship and love, of moments spent in company, so delightful, so merry, we had not a care or concern; And now an adult, how often do I look back yearning for a time when I was not one?

November 07, 2005

Personal legends and me.

After a long time, I found the time to finish a book! This is one such book that people tend to question you about with raised eyebrows, "You haven't read that book?!"; and then you try to think of quick, smooth responses that help you garner what little is left of your dignity. Ofcourse none comes to your mind and you just pretend to look baffled, like Joey demonstrates in Friends :)

Anyway, the book raised quite a few questions in the moments when I usually think of profound questions - just before drifting to sleep. A central concept throughout the novel was the search for one's "personal legend" - a goal, a destination that we strive for throughout our lives, that defines our very reason for living. And when we strive to attain such a goal i,e our personal legend, all of nature and higher forces that we don't necessarily perceive, join hands in helping us achieve our personal legend.

Quite a thought, that, although it raises quite a few questions - why just one "personal legend"? Does everything around us really help us achieve our personal legend if we wish it with all our heart? What if my personal legend varies from time to time and what if I am not able to realize what my personal legend is?

I'll just ponder about that when am sleepy again :) For now, am just happy with the marudani on my left hand - my mini-personal-legend for diwali :)

November 04, 2005

Gifts that count...

While I would like to lead a life of fun and frolic, uncomplicated and almost superficial, sometimes I find myself questioning the purpose of everything. While I cannot answer the purpose of life - why are we born? To be a tiny part that completes this cosmos in its own little way? Every man is born with a purpose, we just don't know yet what it is and maybe spend our lifetime finding out?....existential questions, that I have not found easy answers to.

And along comes a time, when I find the need to do something meaningful, a sudden urge to make a small difference in someone's life, an urge I have yielded to a few times in the past, not always. And a wedding gift helped me contribute what little I could while my life moved on, in harmony with several others in a direction that I could not predict, destined by a larger consciousness.

I love receiving gifts, it's just a really pleasant feeling to think that someone spent the time thinking of what you would like and choosing something that they thought would bring a smile to your face. Which is why I am not a big fan of registries - they are practical just not romantic enough for me! Anyway, my bro, L decided that it was high time I did something useful in life and gave me a unique wedding gift - he volunteereed on my behalf to financially support a child's education for life - throught the CAF - Child Aid Foundation.

And now, I sometimes open my cupboard and take another look at Madhu's photograph - he is a bright child - I have a copy of his report card that the director of the organization, Dr.Goswami sent me promptly - he is a bright child indeed and I intend to do what little I can to keep seeing those grades from Madhu...maybe he will grow up to be someone great, someone who will make a difference thousand times more profound than i have made today...

November 03, 2005

Babies r us?

I want to write today. I haven't really decided what to write about but since I wish to write today, write I will! And what have we here? A nice little title for this post, so let's proceed without further adieu or ado (be gone, you purists!).

I wonder if my life would be a tad better were I to behave with friends as I would with a baby. I don't mean, "Aren't you a darling now?" kind of baby-talk - I intend to dwell on a slightly more serious trail of thought :)

What if today, I wear my heart on my sleeve? What if I am an open book for all to read today? I smile when I want to, I frown when someone makes me frown and I say what I feel. Wouldn't that be an uncomplicated way of living our lives?

I don't think if what am going to say will hurt you, if I don't like something, I just say it! Out with it - end of story. After all, if we all just say what we think, we probably would end up hurting each other much less, don't you think? No disguises, no appearances tailored to fit a certain category of people...I am constant, no inner currents running through my head, I am not smiling because I have to and I am not covering up a flinch because I don't want to appear so sensitive; I am who I am.

Well, I am who I am and now I am hungry, so off to lunch where I begin to live as the new me (well, atleast for today!).

November 01, 2005


"Om Shuklam Bharatharam Vishnum Shashivarnam Chaturbhujam..."

The strains of Vishnu Sahasranamam begin the day for us. Deepavali begins at 4 am with my thatha waking up early morning, followed by mom and dad and the happy and busy bustle of the festival begins while my brother and I try to catch a few more precious winks before being woken up by my parents. After having gulped down our bed coffees without my thatha's knowledge, we sluggishly sleep walk outside in new clothes...

I wish I could wear a pattu pavadai today, I wish my mom would make me up early morning today, I wish I could hear the sounds of pattasu (crackers) outside so loud that I cannot hear what Vijay is saying on Sun TV...

The sight of crackers and sparklers wake us up and we rush outside, appa shouting behind us to wear slippers...L pounces on the sarams - the 100 walas, Lakshmi vedi and such while my mom and I am quite content with Kambi Mathapu (sparklers) and the milder variety, in general. The men of the family compete with one another in bursting it really 5 in the morning?

I snooze the alarm for the third time as it frowns angrily and announces that the time is 7.50 AM. My dad's phone call reminds me that today is Deepavali. Our "Thalai Deepavali", and yet the day looks no different. I play Vishnu Sahasranamam in the hope that I can recreate a bit of the feeling that comes with being home on Deepavali. Other than that, the day is the same, the microwave beeps every now and then to remind us of our coffee getting mild aroma reminds me of our filter coffees at home...

And after the pattasu session begins a day of "Sun TV yil mudal muraiga..." (first time on Sun TV) trail of programmes. A sumptuous breakfast in front of the TV and the phone calls begin. Kausalya perimma, Arundathi, Amma's kovil friends, my friends...the list is endless and yet each phone call is yet another affirmation that love and celebration is in the air...

We drive to work and I can't stop thinking of home. My gmail shows me a bunch of ecards from friends and relatives and I see each one of them and reply to them. The day progresses slowly, the only signs of celebration are the few balloons left over from Halloween and I look at them and wonder when I can experience the luxury of being woken up early in the morning to celebrate with my family on Deepavali...

It's not just my family that I miss, it's the whole package - the spirit of cheer, happiness and giving- my mom gives a new saree, gifts and boxes of new sweets to Malliga, the ladies selling flowers outside the temple; everyone is smiling and colorful; the roads bear remnants of crackers burst enthusiastically by youngsters as if it is joining in the celebrations; ghee melts in my mouths as yet another sweet is thrust into my mouth by my mom; my dad fusses over me to dry my hair because he thinks I will catch a cold; I fight with my brother over what TV channel to watch...and the sounds and sights fill me with a sense of peace that I am yet to find here, today...
© Ramya Sethuraman, All Rights Reserved.