April 30, 2006


So, we finally got a carrom board, after talking about it for ages. (k thought the one at the local Indian store was not good enough! - talk about being picky), we finally bought the board at a moving sale (it's from Chicago, the lady said, so it's got to be better quality, k figured :).

This weekend was quite lazy. We didn't do much except eat at Airport food mart again, eat Paav Bhaji (thanks to B~&P~), watch "Being Cyrus" and play carrom. It turns out all dads are champion carrom players - my dad, P's dad, atleast now we know what we will play when they are here and it's raining outside.

k got so excited about the carrom board, the last I heard, he was discussing with someone about the possibilities of packing the board off to our campsite (our first camping trip, sometime in June), earlier today P~ was asking about taking the microwave to our campsite, I don't mind carrying my laptop know, just roughing it out and all that, yup, we believe in a sense of "true" adventure - breathe in the fresh pine-scented air, play dead when bears come out after our food, make fire by rubbing sticks together and have a hot cup of microwaved coffee in the morning :)

April 26, 2006

Shall we dance?

We all know that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach, so I wonder what the way to a woman's heart is (yes, even I don't know the answer)...I can take a reasonable guess though, I think it's just words. Yup, that's got to be it. The way to a woman's heart is through words.

And not commonplace, lifeless, cliched words, I mean romantic, dangerous, whimsical words, the kind that plays with danger, that caress you, that sing you a lullaby, that slap you, that shock you, that suffocate you with their strong embrace - words that speak to you, words that emote. Yup, see, simple as that.

Say the right words to me and it's like I have music in my head and there's nothing I can do but dance with them, hand in hand, swaying to the rhythm...the kind that echo in my head, that I repeat to myself wonderingly when I am alone with my fancies...

Probably the reason why a well-written book delights, or a well-written script touches our hearts...

Oh and I wrote another story. What?! You haven't even gone past the first paragraph? Shame on you!

So, that's my random post for today. For some reason am reminded of a line that aarti had quoted sometime back from the book, "The Kite Runner" (powerful book, that) - For you, a thousand times over..., and once again, am swept off my feet, by nothing more than just words.

April 24, 2006

Go fly a kite again!

Today was a disaster. We went home for lunch today and I was busy talking to my mom about the Rehman show and my story (yes, I force her also to read my stories :) on the phone, when k got all jealous (I bet he just wanted to grab some attention!) and dropped a bowl full of my beetroot curry down. It smashed into little pieces and I almost wept for my beetroot curry - it even had grated coconut :(

And then dad got all worried that we would hurt ourselves by walking over the smashed bits ("You have to clean the kitchen floor with a wet cloth. Be careful."). After eating, I tried to balance my plate on the rising pile of dishes in the sink, while washing my free hand under the tap and suddenly, the plate lost balance and a small wave of dirty sink water splashed on me. I had to change and then hurry back to work.

Ok, now for the pleasant stuff. These are some of the pictures that we (k, b & p) took at the Georgetown Kite Festival. It was a totally splendid day - good weather, good food, entertainment - dances, music, kites. We almost didn't want to leave early to catch the Rehman concert. If you live nearby, it's something that you shouldn't be missing. It's fun every year :)

There was this kid at the kitefest who danced throughout the cultural programmes, she seemed more enthusiastic than the dancers on stage. p~ thought she had music in her head :) k, as usual, became one with the kites and had to be disentangled eventually and gotten back to solid ground.

If there's one thing that I will miss if I ever leave Lexington, it's Georgetown Kite Festival (make that two - and The Shakespeare Festival, make that three...and...oh never mind!)

April 17, 2006

Cleveland Tyagaraja Aradhana 2006.

I realized the past weekend that RTP stands for more than Research Triangle Park, Ragam-Thanam-Pallavi. So did k, he beat me to this post though :)

April 14, 12:30 AM"Where is my blue spring tshirt? The one I wear when I feel springy?"
"I don't know. Should I iron my saree?"
"I don't know. I left my tshirt right here!" ("here" being a small square next to one of the legs of the bed frame").

April 14, 1:00 AM - "Sign here." (he hurriedly points to some random location on the tax form)
"Where? It says here 'Signature of the applicant'. Shouldn't I sign the 'Signature of the spouse' section?"
"Why not?"
"Do you have to ask so many questions now? Because we decided to file separately, so you are the applicant, not the spouse!"
"Hmph" (I do the "sign with a flourish" and "toss paper aside" bit, trying to look offended and not so ignorant)

April 14, 1:30 AM - "Did you pack your perfume bottle?"
"I'll just use yours."
"No, pack yours. People identify smells in this country. Remember the other day, the lady at the mall found out that you are wearing Lavendar whatever perfume?"
"You pack it. I am busy"


April 14, 4.45 PM (D-day, I am at work and k has gone to pick up S~) - "Hello, where are you? I am done with my code deliveries."
"S~ is making pizzas."
"Yeah, I know, but I thought you said we had to leave by 4.30 PM SHARP?"
(muffled shout in the background) "Ok, I gotta go. I am disturbing his concentration"

April 14, 5.20 PM - "Hello, where are you?"
"On Main street. S~ finally finished making the pizzas for the trip!"

April 14, 7.30 PM - We finally start driving to Cleveland from Cincinatti (we picked up Sb~ at Cincinatti) after gobbling up S~'s pizzas. That's four of us in the car - S~ (the meticulous pizza maker), k (the guy who has heard the word "Carnatic" the least number of times in his life), Sb~ (Mr.I-am-just-a-talented-kid - besides playing the Mirudangam, he pretty much just ate and slept in this trip) and yours truly (wondering what she is doing with this weird bunch of people).

April 15, 1.00 AM - (at Comfort Inn help desk) "We were told that we will get a welcome package with the tickets to the concert tomorrow..."
"Here is your key...we got no welcome package. Maybe we'll get some tomorrow"
We all attack the new problem with a buzz of excitement, "What? No welcome package?"
"But, it has the meal tickets!"
"And the concert tickets!"
"And the meal tickets"

Ok, problem not solved but having completed our excited buzz, we go upstairs to our room.

One single bed.

Four people.

And we are supposed to be special patrons or something, we bought the patron package deal for our Cleveland Tyagaraja Aradhana Trip (we did get a nice packet of gems since we were "patrons").

Back to help desk. S~ calls the coordinator and hangs up pretty soon and tells us, "Seems, we were already "informed" that they were short of rooms in the Comfort Inn and we should have chosen the Ramada Inn deal."

Drive to Ramada Inn, twenty minutes by car.

April 15, 1.45 AM - Second excited buzz of conversation about who will wake up first.
"I take the longest to have a bath, so I need to wake up last" (now, where is the logic in that?!)
Me - "I take the shortest bath. I need to wake up as late as possible."

"You can have a quick bath early in the morning, before all of us and start getting dressed up, see?"

I no see nothing, dude.

"Hmm...since you take a short bath, you need to go last so that we don't get stuck at the last minute with a long-bath-taker guy in the restroom"

There! Beaten by cold-blooded logic.

"We need to get up at 6 AM SHARP!"


April 15, 7.00 AM - "Its 7 AM, abbe yaar wake up."

S~'s pleasant voice greets us good morning.

I need coffee.

April 15, 8.15 AM - Sb~ "I had my breakfast. I am going to the concert hall. See you guys."


April 15, 8.45 AM - We reach the concert hall.

Initial Impressions - Packed with people. Stalls selling carnatic music CDs, S.Ve.Shekhar drama DVDs, Crazy Mohan drama DVDs, Cho's DVDs. Banners announcing RMKV silk saress, Land Marvel luxury time-shared cottages, S.Ve.Shekhar comedy serial coming soon, Jaya TV. The glint of silk everywhere you look, jewels, trendy and gaudy, kids dressed in pattu-pavadais, organizers running about (one ran into the hall carrying a case of starbucks coffee cups - wonder which artist demanded a "sooda sooda oru cup kaapi" :) Was absolutely pleasant to hear bits of Tamil everywhere we went!

S~, k and I walk inside the auditorium and its packed. Every seat is taken by a human or a sweater. Let me explain the sweater-resevation-system to you.

Almost a quarter of the seats in the hall was "reserved" by sweaters, some of the more imaginative reservation tools were hand kerchiefs, towels, angavasthrams and shawls. We settled back, against the walls at the back, tried to look nonchalant and squinted at the stage.


If I thought I saw colors outside the auditorium, I was mistaken, the entire stage was filled in a soft yellowish glow, rows and rows of silk-saree clad mamees and silk-dhoti clad mamas sat on the stage. The mamas on the left were tuning their respective instruments and the maamis talking to each other and laughing. And in the center, sat...we held our breaths (atleast I did)...Smt.Sudha Raghunathan! She looked amazing in a maroon, gold bordered pattu saree and thick jasmine flowers (we guessed it was plastic and confirmed it that evening, but still... :) adorning her long plait. Among the other big names were Umayalpuram K.Sivaraman, Flute Ramani, Neyveli Santhanagopalan (vocal), Aruna Sayeeram (vocal), Srimushnam Raja Rao (mridangam), Mannargudi Easwaran (mirdangam), Thiruvarur Vaithyanathan (mridangam), Vellore Ramabadhran (mirdangam), Papanasam Ashok ramani (vocal).

I acted like one of those giggly-excited teenage girls who would say, "Oh my God, it's Shah Rukh Khan! I am about to faint". I, being more mature and all, said, "Look, there's Sudha Raghunathan!" and pointed one long index finger straight at her.

S~ seemed highly amused at my gushing. I repeated myself, to k this time and he shrugged his shoulders, "Oh, okay, cool."

Anyway, I decided to capture one of the seats that had been reserved by the sweater reservation system and told the startled looking uncle in the next seat (who seemed ready to pounce on me), "Just until they come back".

The Pancharatna keertanas started with Jagada and ended with Endharo Mahanubhavulu and even for a carnatic music novice like me, it sounded great. Sb~ played the mirudangam for one of the keertanas (he said he was pretty nervous playing next to the maestros but I think he did a good job, as usual).

After the keerthanas, the individual singing began. A bespectacled, precocious looking girl of about eleven, in a bright blue pattu pavada won the prize for her rendition. I was pretty amazed by how much control she had over her voice. Many more kids and teenagers sang after her. I was kind of dis-oriented when I walked outside the auditorium and I would find those very teenagers that sang the complicated ragas inside, talking with a heavy accent, "I was like...she was like...and then I was like..." (you know what I mean? It was like they were two different people, inside the auditorium and outside).

The Aradhana committee provided free breakfast and lunch for us - chakara pongal, upma and delicious pickle (I liked the pickle the best) for breakfast, bisibela bath, some bondas, curd rice and pickle and a few more items I cannot recall. We ate outside the Cleveland State University student center. The student center was quite different from UK's - decorated with flags (in photo) and with glass doors all around - very bright and cheerful. We posed for snaps next to the tulips outside the auditorium, one maami who sashayed past us in a silk saree looked at us ( and said, "Oh, that's a nice pose!" and then Sb~ says to k, "Now, why didn't someone tell us that when we posed for a photo here?"

After lunch, S~ stayed back for more individual singing sessions while the rest of us came back to Ramada Inn for a short nap, which eventually turned out to be long. We woke up at 4.30PM, and left to Starbucks for coffee (posed for a desi-ishtyle snap outside starbucks :).


April 15, 7.00 PM - The biggie that day was the Sudha Raghunathan concert at 7 PM. We planned to reach an hour early and reached at 7 PM SHARP. We stood at our now familiar spot against the wall (even the lone sweater-reserved seat now was taken by the owner of the sweater). We stood fidgeting for a few minutes and decided to go to the balcony to see if we could get a better view or better seat (or any seat).

We didn't find any seats but we did find a friendly aunty there who kept smiling at us. We continued fidgeting there for a few minutes as we heard the announcement that Sudha Raghunathan was going to start singing soon.

Suddenly the aunty turned towards me and said, "You know you can sit on the stage, don't you?"


"You can sit on the stage! This is a once in a life time opportunity!"

"We can? It is?"

"Yes, come on! Didn't you hear the announcement? They are letting people from the audience onto the stage! You are all youngsters, go on to the stage!"

I hesitated a bit but decided to "go for it" (as the aunty put it)! We went to backstage and were ushered on to the stage and finally landed up a few feet away from Sudha Raghunathan! Imagine that (I have a video of her singing in-between many heads blocking her, will upload that soon)!

After an amazing four hour concert (this inspite of the fact that she had a back spasm and was not feeling well), after singing Chinna Chiru Kiliye (audience request - the only song that I recognized) she ended by smiling (God! She has a charming smile!) at the audience and saying, "All I request is that you be just you, the way you were today. That is all that an artist needs!".

k was totally bowled over by her voice. He came all flushed off the stage and exclaimed that it was one of the best concerts EVER!

We had dinner at Comfort Inn (arranged by the Aradhana Committee), we sat on the floor because there were no chairs free (inspite of us being "patrons" and all that) and an uncle told us, "Please be careful...the carpet you see..."

Oh well, I can't complain since I had puliyodarai, avial, two spoons of a mixed vegetable curry, curd rice and the same delicious pickle. The guys apparently thought the food was too less and so we made a trip to Dennys to complete our dinner.

Oh and I wore a saree to the Sudha Raghunathan concert, blue (same color as her saree...*blush*).


April 16, 9.00 AM - We had a nice, leisurely breakfast at Ramada Inn (cornflakes, orange juice, coffee, muffins) and went about an hour late to the Ranjani and Gayatri concert. The highlight of their programme was the Marathi Abhang that they sang, it was amazing and the audience gave them a standing ovation.

After the raffle prizes were announced (they were giving away a sitar, an autographed mirudangam, a gaudy necklace and a dinner with an artist ticket, I think - we didn't win any though), we had lunch and set out to The Shiva Vishnu Temple at Greater Cleveland.

A few hours of driving, general song sessions, story-exchanges and a whole bunch of nonsense talk later, we stopped at Udipi at Columbus for what we thought would be a "light snack". It turned out to be a heavy dinner (especially for S~ and Sb~) at the end of which we ended up taking short walks outside Udipi to digest some of the food we ate :) We took a bunch of snaps there and S~ absolutely refused to be photographed (yes, the yellow envelope is him).

Sb~ sang more songs on the way back while I managed to narrate a few stories, k and S~ provided much entertainment with their antics (S~ with his nervous excitement and constant urging, "Chalo Bhe, lets run" and k sauntering behind as slowly as he can).

April 16, 9.00 PM - We dropped Sb~ at Cincinatti, k demanded a cup of coffee again! We left to Lexington at around 9.30 PM where S~ regaled us with some more of his stories. We dropped him at his place at around 11.00 PM and reached home at 11.15 PM (We had planned - I had atleast - to reach home at 4 PM SHARP).

And that concludes my essay for "Please describe how you spent your weekend in 2500 words or less." - 5 marks :)

April 13, 2006

Happy New Year!

In between my flurry of last minute activities (taxes, packing, cooking), I managed to catch a preview of the special programmes on Sun TV for Tamil New Year's day - interview with Shobana Ravi, Surya and Jo, Vikram, Friends and Kadhal movies and I am going to miss it all, sitting at work, working with Ajax (no not the cleaning stuff, the javascript stuff) :(

These are the days, I really want to be back home with family, eating mysore pakh and watching Surya fill the screen with his charm. Last time, I made a fuss, recorded the whole programme (I actually came back home for lunch to switch the video cassette) but never watched it. I remember that K.R.Vijaya was saying something that sounded highly profound on the TV. For the whole week, k kept pointing to the three unwatched video cassettes lying by the corner and snickering. In my defense, it's just not that much fun to watch a recorded show. I want to catch the programmes, live (ok, I know it's live in India and I get the recorded programme here, but that's live enough for me), Ratna stores and Aachi masala advertisements and all!

I know I am going to be distracted at work tomorrow.


Anyway, plan to write about the Cleveland Tyagaraja Aradhana once I get back. Till then, இனிய புத்தாண்டு நல்வாழ்துக்கள் (Wish you a very Happy New Year)!

To-dos, Todo's & Todos!

This motor is whirring overtime! Whirrrr! Whirrr! Help!

Is it just me or are all of you overwhelmed by the number of chores that need to be accomplished in a day? I am a list-person (also, I like to repeat myself)! I am usually happy making them up, meticulously ticking them off or highlighting them with a yellow colored marker pen (Ok fine, I don't find the yellow marker most of the time but it's the thought that counts). But, nowadays, I seem to be making metal-sublists in addition to the ones written on paper. I seem to always be adding to the sublists and I can't seem to ever check all of them EOD.

For instance, yesterday's list looked like this:

  • Laundry - Done!

  • Finish "Arranged Marriage" (Chitra Divakaruni) - One short-story left :(

  • dance class reminder - Done! (15 minutes late though)

  • Pack bag for Cleveland trip - :(

  • Finish submitting code at home (since I couldn't finish it at work) - Done!

  • Post tax documents! (Today is the 13th!) - :(

  • Take pictures of the tulips growing the backyard - :(

  • Plant flowers in the front yard - Keep dreaming!

And sometimes, when k shares his to-do list with me, I make the mistake of unconsciously adding them to my list:

  • Prepare tax document

  • Winshield wipers!

  • Lawn mower

  • Spring garage cleaning

And then there are my ambitious/optimistic todo's (how does one write todos? todo's? to-dos?):

  • Get a daring new hair-style

  • Buy a nice party top to go with the pista colored skirt that I have (before the Rehman concert)

  • Polish nails and a manicure (if I feel really optimistic)

  • Look into visa stamping details in Canada

  • Decide on a birthday gift for k

  • Figure out life-style changes to make sure we get up on time every morning, maybe practise yoga or just exercise for fifteen minutes, have a relaxed coffee (instead of half-spilling it on my lap in the car), watch the news for ten minutes (even in an ideal situation, that's the amount of news I can take in a day!), cheerfully wish each other good morning (instead of our sleepy, drowsy, groggy "Goo' morn"s)...and as you can see, the list gets bigger and farther away from reality as I think more!

  • Learn more about how k figured out those tax things, keep track of all bills that he pays, be more financially-aware. (Note to self - Next time, don't laugh when you write this down)

And right about then, my head begins to go for a long swim in circles, round and round, my todo lists come swimming around me and I keep thinking of more things to add. I should have added, "Write a blog post about to-dos" somewhere there, but since it's already done, "Check!" (Remember Monica and Ross and "Check!"?)

Relaaax, deeep breaths. There.

Okay, that didn't calm me down one bit but anyway, for those of you who like todo lists, here's a link to a nice, yellow sticky that you can stick on your desktop to keep reminding you every second that you have exactly 26 chores to finish in the 4 hours that's left in your day :)


April 10, 2006

In Drama, we thrive!

A few of the people that I know well, tell me that I thrive on drama. They claim that I exaggerate, emphasize, gesture wildly, roll my eyes, raise my voice and do all those things that that would constitute what we call, "being dramatic". The rest of the people that I know well probably didn't think so or did not go through the painful exercise of trying to categorize me!

In any case, at this point, I should stand up, hold the mike close to me, take a meaningful pause, throw an intelligent look at the audience and declare, "I so am not dramatic!".

But the little person within me, the guy we like to call our conscience, holds a tiny index finger and mouths,

"Lying is veeery bad."

"Its not a lie. I am merely decorating the truth, maybe personalizing it a bit!"

"Veeeeryyyyy bad."

Darn. Ok. So, I can't declare and all that. I'll just admit that I do tend to dramatize a bit.

(Defensive tone) So what? To me, little events in my life, like

  • What lazy-blogger-in-rainy-city commented on my short-story blog,

  • What k said after he ate my made-from-scratch-gulab-jamoon (well, scratch as in, the from the powder thingie that comes in that nice little sachet with the nice pictures of round, golden brown gulab jamoons in them. Mine came out kind of amoeba shaped and darkish brown, nevertheless...), and in case you're curious, he said, "Why is this black and bloated? Anyway, it tastes awesome!"

  • What the guy in the stiff, starched blue suit on sun TV said about the latest Tamil movie in the Top 10 count down,

  • How the waiter in the new Indian restaurant in our block, seemed so restless when he served us (he made me restless too!),

  • What my mom-in-law said about my rotis (No, you are wrong, she said, "Good job!")

  • Important questions like: Would k marry the horrible lady in Parent Trap (such a cute movie!) - you know the one who tries to lure Dennis Quaid away from his daughters - if that was the only thing that he could do to save my life? (Hypothetical situations are very important to me. We have gone over this recently).

  • Relationship discussions (You did not tell me that you got your H1-B visa extended but you told her first! Maybe we are getting too familiar with each other, are we taking us for granted? and so on!)

These are all very important to me. I like to dwell, dramatize, deduce and drown in the trivialities of my life. So, to all the people who know me well who claim that I dramatize, here's my reply,


(Notice how cleverly I respond, with neither a yes or a no, but a simple, witty, "Ha!"?)

Gosh, I never realized I could write so much nonsense (after-effects of "Can you keep a secret?", I guess!) and be so smug about it. It's a cool feeling, you should try it too!

April 07, 2006

Eppadi Irukengo? (How are you?)

"And now she is going to say, "Eppadi irukengo?" ", he mimics here, with considerable accent thought I can't quite place the accent - A southern Tam Bramish Gujarathi accent?!

And on TV, Uma says, "Eppadi irukengo?"

"Neenga eppadi irukengo?"

Echo: "Neenga eppadi irukengo?"

Sheesh! What a coincidence! He just picked the very same phrases. And the reason for this experiment is that k wanted to prove to me how predictable the Pepsi Ungal Choice or Aachi Ungal Choice or the whatever Ungal Choice programme is.

I disagree. (In my defense, earlier, I never used to be able to watch it because it overlapped with The Apprentice. Now that Apprentice is on Monday, I can watch Pepsi Uma's programme all I want.) I just wish I could make him realize how interesting this programme is (I realize pretty soon that he has a definite upper edge, especially after she echoed him!).

"Come on, see there's someone calling from Chengalpet and from Ahmedabad. Isn't that cool? She is calling from Ahmedabad. Gosh! She must be really missing Tamil programmes and speaking in Tamil!"

I am lost momentarily thinking of poor Susheela calling from Ahmedabad to request a song from Ghajini.

"What makes you think there will be no Tamil programmes or Tamil speaking people in Ahmedabad?"

"I mean the sign-boards are all in Gujarathi..."

Gawd! What a weak argument and my voice trails off unconvincingly...see, I want to tell him that this programme is like a channel for people from all over the world to bond, to communicate, a way to connect and to tell Uma how great her saree is...err, ok, I'll admit it, this programme doesn't do all that, except the last bit. Anyway, he pounces upon my weak moment.

"See, they all have the same questions to ask. How are you? We are good. How are you again? I bet she can record the same responses and they can keep playing it over again and again and noone will know!"

"Thats not fair. See, so many people are genuinely happy to talk to her! Maybe we should call her too!"

"Yeah, right"


And we both turn to watch Uma ask a maami from Madurai, "Eppadi Irukengo?"

April 05, 2006

Zoom, zoom, zoom!

Someone at work said, driving is the single most dangerous thing that we do on a daily basis! And we don't think much about it until, just like everything else, something goes wrong. When I was back in India and even in the US, as a student, I used to envy other students who had their own car and could drive. I often imagined myself as an independent, young woman checking her watch in the morning before donning her shades and driving away in her car to work (no, not to Macy's!).

And that kind of came true (except the shades bit, I often forgot where I left them and had to squint at the sun light glaring at my face, as I drove). And then six months down the lane, I had my first accident. I was yielding to turn left (and I am a very careful driver, some might even call me "slow") when out of nowhere (isn't that always the case?), a Volvo had crashed right into my doddering old '93 Camry. Her Volvo took it really well (imagine the way some women blow lightly over their freshly painted finger nails as if something were mildly annoying them?) and my Camry just went all the way and died. Its hood stood up in a sad V shape and the fender too (definitely more dramatic than I had imagined a fender-bender to be!). The other driver, a girl of seventeen maybe, who was smiling all along suddenly burst into tears once the cop arrived! The cop took notes from "witnesses" and patted me on my back (a don't-you-worry pat), and said kindly, "You don't pay those insurance guys all your money for nothing."

Anyway, after a while, I was scared to drive and kind of leaned heavily on k to drive for me. It took me a while to get over my fender-bender incident. I drive now but draw in my breath more sharply and grip the steering wheel harder than I used to, sometimes.

k has had his own share of "incidents". I won't go into details here lest they reach India somehow and we land in what we like to call "a nice hot soup" (I guess they have heard most of the stories by now, k says, I am bad at hiding stuff, my stomach just can't hold it).

Anyway, the reason for my lengthly car-incidents discussion is that within a month now, we have had two cars run into us from behind (not our fault). One happened today when k was on his way to his volleyball game. It's really a tiring, albeit well-organized procedure: You call 911, tell the cop what happened, next call your insurance company, the other driver does the same. If your car has to be turned in for repairs, you get a rental car (if your insurance covers it) to drive until you get your car back, sign 22 forms more and you are done. Your baby is back, like a faithful tail (boot?)-shaking dog, willing you to drive it.

Sigh. I wish I had women's instinct that would tell me exactly when we should not drive. But then my instinct is often out-of-whack. Whenever k leaves the house alone, I have an urge to go running to him (not unlike the homely but dramatic heroines in old Tamil movies) and stop him for some reason or the other. Somehow my instinct tells me that my being there with him will keep us safer (maybe it has something to do with the fact that I am "supposed" to be a notorious back-seat driver, I of course will have to disagree). Since that turned out to be impractical, we have now settled upon a DDLJ-style arrangement (So cute no? Although k would be a very weak Amrish Puri, ahem...I might grow old to resemble Farida Jalal :), so he calls when he reaches destination and vice-versa.

As an aside, my cousin's wife says she considers the car lucky if she had an accident in it and escaped un-hurt. The car was lucky for her.

Nice, positive ring to that thought.

April 04, 2006

All the way up there...

I finished Nanny Diaries yesterday (a wun-duh-ful book dahlings, seriously it's witty and sometimes scary to think there are parents as irresponsible as what is portrayed in the book) and then chanced upon an article on Reader's Digest about Faith. The article talked about people's faith in Angels and how it has grown in the past decades. It went on to discuss people's need to be a part of something bigger than them, their need to believe that they are part of a larger consciousness.

Life can't be about just buying the big house in Jayanagar, Bangalore where you will retire or saving money for your yet-to-born's Schooling, right? It's got to hold more meaning than that or sometimes we are just going to appalled by the superficiality of our existence. So where does this larger consciousness come from? I don't know but I do entertain fancy thoughts, my own conjectures about it.

For instance, consider a poor young boy's face when he watches a boy his own age carrying huge, colorful shopping bags of toys, with festoons and balloons almost covering his little head, I bet the little poor boy would leave a heavy sigh, a sigh that heralds many more to come for him, a sigh of unfulfilled desires and dreams which are beginning to seem more distant...I think that sigh goes all the way and sits there with someone in charge of collecting all the karmas of this world and keeping tab :)

Tomorrow if we do something that makes us feel a wee-bit guilty, that feeling floats up too and sits with this master account keeper.

Yesterday, if we went to the video store and talked loudly in our native language and laughed and the lady at the counter wondered if we were laughing at her...the sounds of our laughter and her doubts also rise up.

Each such feeling, sigh, yearning, even laughter and tears eventually find their way up and together make this larger consciousness that we talk about, throbbing and pulsating with the lives of all the souls that exist down here on earth. Maybe that is God, maybe the master account keeper is God. Maybe that is why good karma counts, I don't know. All I know is, even if there is noone up there keeping tabs, even if all our desires and dreams don't find their way up, as long as I imagine that they do, as long as I keep alive the illusion(?) that they all add up in some way, it makes me more conscious of what I say and do, that even my little existence has a purpose because it's a part of something bigger...
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