December 25, 2005

Flaky thoughts for christmas (pun intended)!

'tis the season to be jolly, tra la la la...

Yeah. Blame it all on the season. Strangely, its been sunny so far, which makes me happy, but poor kids, I hope it snows a bit tomorrow just so they'll see atleast a partly white christmas. So, here are a few random thoughts off the top of my head - nah, we won't go further than that for now!

- It's quite awkward when you are the only girl at a (desi) party with 15 other guys and then a wise guy decides to make that observation, aloud. And suddenly there's this hushed silence for a few moments and then I begin to wish yet again that I were a guy!

- Sometimes, I think I've said too much but it always feels better having said too much than too little :)

- It feels good talking to your dad-in-law and laughing together about your husband :)

- Sometimes, people put this random thought in my head and forget about it. And then I spend a considerable amount of time wondering about it. Two weeks later, I mention that to the very same person, assuming (s)he has analyzed the issue from various angles and has several insightful remarks to add to it, and then (s)he goes, "Huh? Did I say that?". And then ofcourse, you can't admit that you have been thinking about it all the while and then you go, "No, I just made that up" and then after a while both of you don't know what you are talking about!

- Being frank has its benefits. Don't ask me why I said that now.

And before flaky becomes crazy, g'nite y'all and a merry christmas to all of you!

December 22, 2005


I am a list person. I like to make lists. Nice little lists - todo lists, grocery lists, why-I-hate-you lists (aww, come on, I don't mean you!), what-should-I-do-with-my-life lists. I also like to make resolutions. I don't mean lofty, unrealistic resolutions like "I am going to be a better person from today", "I will become more beautiful from today" - those are just downright silly.

I mean achievable, realistic resolutions like:

  • "I shall not check email for the next three hours."

  • "Even if I do, I shall not reply to any of them."

  • "Unless they are addressed just to me."

There. A nice set of realistic resolutions. That was just an example, they are not really my resolutions. What? You don't believe me? OK, just to set the record straight, here goes a list that I am working on since New Year is almost here.

  • Exercise regularly, atleast three times a week.

  • --Unless I am sick or very sick. In which case, noone can force me to carry over the backlogged exercise hours. And unless the weather is bad - bad weather puts me in a bad mood and I really dont want to go the gym with a drooping face and upset people there - yes, am all for 'good karma' :)
  • Learn to play the keyboard or learn to dance.

  • --If I can find a good teacher and still afford the class.
  • Improve housekeeping skills.

  • --Provided k also improves accordingly.
  • Lower expectations - don't be demanding on your friends.

  • --Provided they understand that mostly I don't expect much and even when I do, I make very reasonable demands!
  • Read more, read different books - ok, no disclaimers here, I plan to do this. No, I am absolutely not hinting that I am any less serious about my other resolutions. Just that this one is close to my heart :)

  • Remember to call in-laws every weekend.

  • --Unless I sleep really late the previous night. Am sure they don't want me to wake up early to call them and then fall sick :(
  • Transition gracefully into this phase of life, face growing "old" with a cheerful face.

  • --Yeah, yeah, all the same, there's nothing great about turning 27. No, I will absolutely not have a birthday party. You are not invited.
  • Don't make stupid resolutions.

  • --Unless I really want to. In which case, I shall consult this post to help me decide.

There. Nicely done. Will post my updated list in a couple of weeks. Gosh, am proud of myself - all organized and focused in life. Are you? :)

December 19, 2005


Quality time spent watching a movie. Twice. After a long time. And a Hindi movie at that ;)

First a mention about the music that embraces the movie throughout, perfectly complementing the moods and emotions portrayed - an excellent job by Shantanu Moitra. It's hard for me to pick a favourite song, each excels in its scope, creating the right effect.

Piya Bole - endearing...touching. Surprising how the characters of Lolita and Shekhar and how they depend, relate to each other - as friends, as something more...becomes evident through just one song.

Kasto Mazza - I love the little chorus that the children sing while waving from the train...a song about beauty that only love can create.

Soona Man Ka Aangan - hurt and love that causes it - powerful.

Kaisi Paheli - Dazzling performance by Rekha - a glimse into the exotic world of the rich and glamorous!

Raat Hamari Toh - A woman in love, scorned by her lover - beautiful even when teary-eyed - haunting!

Hui Main Parineeta - Mesmerizing. The essence of a wife, parineeta. The scene that precedes this song is my favourite scene in the movie. His possessiveness, her tears, the magic of the day and they all come together in a beautifully picturized moment...

Music, the notes played on the piano that brought them together is the one place Shekhar takes refuge in when he fears he has lost his love - the angst, the pathos, the raw energy that he manages to convey through music creates a connection that words would have failed to convey.

Excellent performances by Saif Ali Khan (he just keeps getting better!) and Sanjay Dutt but ofcourse, our show-stealer is Ms.Vidya Balan, stealing many a hearts with her grace.

Enough said. Watch the movie!

December 15, 2005


When God made me, he must have put an artistic finger to the tip of his aristocratic chin and said, "Let's see...what shall I do different now? Oh yes, let me make her just a wee bit more awkward than the rest!" Now am sure God would have used a more mature-sounding-word than wee but we'll be satisfied with wee for now.

Anyway, God then happily went on to make other human beings who now have their own problems to deal with. But, we shall not get distracted. We shall dwell on the wee bit that God decided to bestow on me! You see, normally, I do a pretty good job of camouflaging this wee-bit that lives within me, let's call it "wee-me" for the sake of simplicity. So, wee-me normally is happy being in a placid, dormant, vacant kind of state - you know what I mean? (Kinda' like guys responding to questions on philosophy and life when NBA is on TV) And then suddenly, especially in a crowd of people (especially at work), wee-me pops up all happy and cheerful and I become this ghastly, awkward being that am embarassed to associate with. Well, that's a bit of an exaggeration but do you know what I mean? (Please say yes!)

And then a strange phenomemon takes place. I run out of things to say - intelligent rejoinders, funny jokes, lukewarm assents...nothing! I just stare and look dumb and its as if they are talking in a language that I cannot understand. I mean, come on girl, say something...anything (like that episode in Friends where Ross's mind talks to him and then he ends up saying something really stupid) - in my case, I just wish I could say something stupid.

Anyway, if I could, I would run back to the day that God stood tapping his chin and I would have put forth a strong case to make me a wee bit more say, artistic, beautiful, funny? :) (Now that's an interesting thought - me making a case for making me, even before "me" was created - that's it, that's got to be the stupidest thing that someone ever wrote on the www) But then, if I had that kind of power, I would have probably asked to be a boy ;)

Seriously, this post is so absurd, am surprised you read through it fully, thanks :)

December 14, 2005

Clumsily yours!

Do you know why men have easier lives in general? Because they are smart enough to not make life complicated, as women do. And why do women make their lives complicated? I have a sneaking suspicion that it's in their blood (I say "their" as if I don't wish to be a part of this conclave - I wonder why?!) Maybe it's the challenges we thrive on, the challenges that if life is not accomodating enough to offer to us, we create for ourselves!

At each stage, it's almost as if it is a competition for them, a competition in which participation doesn't count - you win or atleast act as if you are in the lead (Notice the use of the third-person personal pronoun? That's because I am still trying to figure out where I stand - do I want to be a part or do I want to stand apart? :)).

A career-oriented go-getter tut-tuts when she observes the homely wife, cooking - a job, which in my opinion can be equally challenging and worthwhile if you chose to make it so. And yet the woman throws a barely concealed look of disdain at the other. A slim and beautiful single girl talks to the visibly pregnant woman in a tone that pretty much says, "God knows how you do it! Thank goodness, I am not in your shoes!"

Why? Why this need to establish that she is placed in a much more fortunate position in life than the other? I have often wondered and while it will be unfair of me to generalize, I will say that I have observed this often enough to put this post up (after all, it is my blog :))...

And a short-story that dwells a bit on what I have tried to clumsily summarize here.

December 11, 2005

The "what-do-I-do-with-my-life" crisis!

Maybe it's the season - all white and flurry, making my mind confused and muddy!
I guess it's quite normal for a girl (I shall not say woman, not just as yet!) of twenty-six to be feeling a touch of the "what-do-I-do-with-my-life" and "these-hyphens-are-awfully-hard-to-read" crisis. OK, the latter is not part of my dilemma, just an experiment to see if am any good at making up long hyphenated sentences. Am not.

But, that's hardly my concern now, I mean the hyphens. My circle of concern concerns bigger issues (Gosh! it's really confusing to read a sentence with a noun and a verb that are the same word. I just have to stop re-reading what I write and get on with this post!) Anyway, the past few days, I have this feeling of drifting along aimlessly, floating towards nowhere, and if I get lost, will someone care to notice? As a tiny speck of this universe, we all make our marks in our own little way or so wise words tell us, don't they? (Atleast Mitch Albom does - The five people you meet in heaven).

Well, am not really sure. Am I making a mark? By doing what? Going to work, writing code, talking, cooking and doing every little bit that adds up to form a mundane , oh-so-ordinary, typical work-week of an Indian software engineer in KY?

And then I think, I am just being ungrateful, not thankful enough for what He has given us. Not satisfied enough with the miracles that life has to offer and has already offered.

...and now, here I am once again, in the middle of nowhere, looking around me for an answer, hoping that I would not have to spend a lifetime to figure out what it is that I wanted to do with my life. Hopefully, I am doing or will soon do what it is that am meant to be doing with my life.

Yes, try writing at 12.00 AM and you can sound just as confusing as me. I promise :)

December 08, 2005

என் மனதை திருடியது...(Captured my heart...)

I blame this post entirely on Subha who leaves to India this week :)

What is it that captivates my heart thus? Is it the sweet fragrance of home? The familiarity with which the delicate white petals nod at me? The dance that captures the essence of everything alluring and pristine, as the wind whispers to them? What is it about the sight of jasmine flowers that delights me and fills me with a feeling that I know not I possessed? A feeling of nostalgia, familiarity and home...

"How come you don't demand jasmine flowers when you are here?", he asks.

I don't know. I associate "here" with the white that is reflected all around by a cold blanklet of snow, not with the whiteness of flowers peeping out from pretty braids that steals my sight, as I go around the navagraham one more time...

It's hard to explain. I stayed in Bombay for four days last time when I visited India. Each day, as I travelled the city so involved with itself, so busy, so hurried, I looked for a sign, a glimpse of something that would remind me of home. My eyes would scour through the forever thronging crowds, for an echo of a familiar thamizh word, for a glimpse of a well-worn silk saree, for a wisp of a closely woven string of mallipoo, for the smell of home.

I don't think anyone understood why I frantically looked with unexpectedly watery eyes, at the rows and rows of stalls outside SidhiVinayakar temple, at the seedy stalls lining Andheri railway station, at the peddlers selling trinkets at Chowpatty beach, searching for the familiar woven straw baskets of little piles of malli and jadi poo, the cool wetness of the green leaves in which the flowers are wrapped and the smell of my kovil, my mother and me, a part of me that I left behind...

I don't know whether to believe in omens, probably because I am too young to have seen many of them in my life. Perhaps we have to be away from home, away from our comfort zone, to keep our eyes open for omens. But, in those four days in Bombay, I believed that my prayers, my beliefs, my feelings existed for a reason and someone up there heard the desperation in my little voice, among a sea of such similar voices...

I went home that day, to find a neatly wrapped green package sitting for me in the kitchen counter, held together by a fraying brown thread. The sight of it filled me with an inexplicable sense of happiness. I could not explain it...I clumsily and gratefully arranged the flowers in my hair - Was I being silly? Maybe. Sentimental? Yes.

But, I think I began to believe more, that day.

December 07, 2005


Today I did something stupid. Dont start smirking and acting all smart now. No, I dont so stupid things everyday. Anyway, we had this demo to show to our boss's boss's boss' know how that goes. Until half an hour before the demo, everything was hunky-dory and working as best as it could. Then I had this cool idea. Why don't I restart the server just to you know, clear things up, start afresh, just before the demo. And that's exactly what I did. Restart the server.

Only, the server did not restart. It said, "Publishing failed". This message confused me as much as it does you now. What publishing? I was just restarting, what are you talking about? So, I laughed a little laugh to myself, in an attempt to act all cool and professional (although there was no one around but me to notice that), and I closed my editor and every other window that was open. Clean slate. That's the key. Start with a clean slate and everything will fall into place.

In your dreams! I tried to launch my development environment and start the server and a different error popped up this time, "Unknown errors, no server found!".



How can you not find a server, you dumb machine? The server was there, alive and kicking a minute ago! And then k walks along breezily, quite a contrast to my state - nervous, cold hands, almost sweating (and like Veronica Lodge says, I never sweat, maybe I glow a bit :)) and says, "Problem? Why don't you try to delete the server and install a new one?"

I don't like people suggesting silly stuff to me when am in a deep soup. Firstly, it's based on the assumption that I am dumb and did not try the silly, simple stuff first. Secondly, it just wastes time because I have to understand what the person is saying, get annoyed, snarl all the while thinking of a solution to my original problem. Anyway, before I could snarl, another colleague walked along and now it became a kind of show - "Server is broke, lets all watch!"

To cut a long story short, before I broke out into hyperventilations, the server decided to chug back to life.

...and then people tell me, "It's just a demo, stop stressing about it!"

December 05, 2005

Just a lil' hug!

When my dad said, "There is a world of difference between us and them", I believed he was wrong. After all, how different can human beings be from each other? And if they are from the same country, really, how can there be a world of difference? Isn't that an oxymoron or something?

Anyway, the funny part of this story is that I am beginning to believe my dad was right (as always!). Especially if I take the world to not literally mean the world outside. Think of it as the world within us and it kind of makes sense.

But, I am not writing this post to discuss how North Indians(or West Indians as Bombaites like to be called :)) live in a world different from ours (meaning us thayir sadam and no-chapathi South Indians). I am writing this post because sometimes, if I really keep my eyes open and my prejudices locked away, I feel I can absorb much more of the goodness in people and cultures...

I am digressing. What I really want to talk about can be summarized in a couple of words - "A hug"!

I mean, how hard is it to hug someone? A friend who stands at the airport waving goodbye and looking morose, my mom when I visit India after a year, my dad because he always gives in to what I say, however unreasonable :), my brother because well, he is just a kid to me...countless instances when I could have hugged and said more than what I could convey by mere words. But, I did not. And then there are times, when I just want to hug someone, spontaneously but I dont.

I am just not used to it! Its awkward for me to take the initiative and hug! Take k for instance, he hugs easily and comfortably - his friends, his parents, even my "You are an angel" pillow! When I saw him and his sis initially together, they looked like a Bollywood raakhi-psenti-types bro-sis pair to me :)

...but then in retrospect, I think about it and wonder, maybe a hug could have pacified what a hundred words did not, maybe a hug would have meant more than silent tears shed in silence, maybe a hug would have said, "I'll miss you" better than a bouquet of roses? Maybe.
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