October 24, 2007

Words of wisdom

and how I never learn!

Remember how the hallowed "they" always told us,

"Don't talk to strangers",

"Don't fall in love" and

"If you do fall in love, make sure it's with someone who is so similar to you, people should assume he is your twin brother! Same religion, same caste, same color, same nationality, same creed..." (what does creed mean anyway?) and then "they" also said,

(with a huge sigh) "If not, at least make sure he is compatible w.r.t geographic proximity - South Indian in my case (or Madrasi for the Bombay folks)!"

But then what did we do?

We went ahead and did just the opposite. Not intentional, I assure you. We fell in love with a, Gasp! "different" guy! We also married him! Shudder! And he is not a South Indian! Swooooon!

Ok fine. That's done. We turn to the next page cautiously with a mighty resolve to follow the few remaining wise words that they might have to offer to us:

"Don't invite your in-laws or parents to stay with you in the US during winter. They will get bored out of their minds and you will run into a dry non-creative patch where you will be unable to entertain them with your antics any longer and you will run out of places (or $$$) to take them to!"

So, you would think by now, we have realized the importance of said words and we will religiously follow them? Naaaaaah. We are the same, surprisingly, we never changed! And so, we invite in-laws to stay leading well into the snowy season!

Guiltily turning to the next page, we read...

"Whatever you do, make sure you don't mix and match people from two households; much as you expect that to be a happy confusion, it will be more of a households joining hands to point out what can be improved in you and your spouse's lifestyle!"

And that is when, we decided to become smarter. No, we didn't exactly follow the last bit of advice with the huge warning sign (reminds me of the "How to...for dummies" series); we did actually end up inviting parent and in-laws to stay with us, in the US, in winter, at the same time! So, how exactly did we become smarter?

We stopped leafing through said book.

October 23, 2007

Can this be any more random?!

It's one of those days - dark, wet and muggy, the kind of day that Voldemort would probably choose to make an appearance. But, today is also the kind of day that can inspire a tragic short story to come to life - I can see it already - it would have all the elements of a compelling love story and just when the reader is silently praying that the lovers unite, an unexpected twist...umm, also torrential rains, add a few strikes of lightening to that! And in the end, not one of those sordid unexplained accidents or deaths, this would be realistic - a tragedy unexpected but real, like the tears that would fall from every pair of eyes that read the tale! Ah...if only I could weave such a colorful tale!

On second thoughts, I'll pass. Way too much effort on a day like this howmuchever it might attempt to inspire. Ever notice how some parts of our lives are favorites for story tellers? Like train journeys, haunted houses, village feuds, broken marriages, one ever writes short stories about software engineers and computers, doctors yes, engineers...naah. I asked an oncologist who happens to be in my dance class if ER, House, Scrubs are realistic or way exaggerated to make for interesting viewing and she said, parts of it are real, the trauma, patients and injuries and the fantastic love stories and affairs that go with it are pretty much what do you call it....masala :) Come to think of it, there is one movie made about us folks, Office Space! When I saw it several years back, I couldn't relate much to it, I need to watch it again to see if experience in this field has changed my perspective enough for me to crack up (like my colleagues do) while watching the movie.

Since I have come this far with my random jumble of thoughts, I might as well add another unrelated insight. Is it just me or are Indian American teenage+ girls super funny? I mean, in a nice way. Somehow I don't remember Indian girls in their teens and early twenties being so light-hearted and seriously funny! Or perhaps, this is still a culture that is different from my own and like anything new, it attracts and flaunts its positives initially. The girls who learn dancing with me somehow comment on the most random things and make the sort of observations that I would have never imagined - like Chandler (in F.R.I.E.N.D.S) does - and I often end up...giggling with them. Last class, we were umm...."disciplined" by our teacher,

"Girls, really! Who started this giggling session?!"

Long pause.

I hesistantly reply, "Aalll of us" - notice the stress on the "All"? All my rusty school-time defenses rose to the rescue :p

"Ok, at least that's the right answer. So anyway, concentrate now!"

Woohoo - escape!

There's this other medical student in class who loves to give me a hard time,

"Are we going to be wearing this costume for Sunday?"

"Jeeez! Ramya, you get a D grade in dance and in costumes too!"

And the other time my teacher gave me her old pair of salangai, she says, "What now, you are like her favorite student or something?!"

And so I said, "In any case, you rock, you are the most advanced student in this class! AS for short, so I'll call you ASSSSSSSSSSSSSS!"

*giggles* Apologies but you see this is what cultural shock does to you!

October 18, 2007

Weird post.

I feel weird. No, I mean I know I am weird (Gee, thanks!) but I feel weird today. You know the way you feel alone even in a crowd sometimes? Or the uneasy feeling in the stomach and heavy head when you drive to work having slept less than 7 hours the previous night? A kind of lonely stressed-need-zen feeling. As if not many people in this world have the time or inclination to actually "relate" to you and really, they don't care. Whatever is so important to you receives maybe a small nod of acknowledgment or a tiny pat from others, if you are lucky. Fair enough, everyone has their own life to lead. But isn't life mainly about men and women, about fights and laughter, tears and hugs? I somehow am not able to distance myself and my goals from the people around me.

I do care.

I just don't get the argument about "not caring what people think", how can I not care when the basis of my existence is these lives around me? What pleasure will an artist receive if he performs to an empty theater? How can applause and words of praise be separated from the sense of gratification he feels? Seriously, it's like turning back triumphantly after a strike and noticing that there is no one in the bowling alley to give you a high five. Remember that old saying about great minds that discuss ideas, ordinary minds, events and small minds, people? What if there were no other people, of what use are the ideas? ( Hmm, maybe the person who said it had something simple in mind like "Don't gossip" when he said "people" :p)

I wonder if I should experiment with a new "me", you know just glide along, tra-la-la...and be at peace, alone or in a crowd, just doing what I want to do, for myself. The new "I" would not be all emotional and dependent (reminds me of "How to lose a guy..." - clingy, needy, what was the third one? Whiny?) on people. I suppose, "I" would then like to ski down a mountain just for the thrill of it and I will possibly hang a photo of that on my wall just for myself (I don't really like to ski but what the hell, this is the new "I"), be chill when a friend forgets my birthday or another hasn't talked to me for ages, wouldn't really care if I haven't had a heart-to-heart talk in ages...

Blech. The new "Me/I" sucks.

Sigh. Some people are beyond repair.

Meanwhile, thank God for the blessed lady (arrived by courier from India yesterday!) who has come to stay with me - she gets to hear my retarded thoughts for now and you all also, many thanks for your patience :)

October 08, 2007

Andal - a composition.

Ages ago, s~ and a~ decided to get creative and I decided to piggyback on the brainstorming process in the hope that some of the good stuff gets into my grey cells also and the result follows:

s~ wrote:

kOdhai avaL, pEdhai avaL,
thenkiLai rAdhai avaL;
soodi koduththAL avaL, nAdi thudiththAL avaL,
ranganai koodi mudiththAL aval.

rs~ wrote:

Daughter of the earth, infatuated so,
O, Radhai of the South,
who touched and sanctified,
pined in impassioned anticipation,
and became one with Rangan!

a~ sang!

October 07, 2007

Saawariya, Om-Shanti-Om & Aaja-nach-le!

After the excitement of Chak de, I am looking forward to Om Shanti Om, Saawariya and there's Aaja Nach Le too...

Caught a few sneak peaks of Saawariya on Sony TV - Rishi kapoor's son, Ranbir Kapoor and Anil Kapoor's daughter, Sonam Kapoor introduced by Sanjay Leela Bansali!

Om Shanti Om - namma aalu movie! SRK with a new image...can't wait to watch! Somehow reminds me of Hugh Grant in Music & Lyrics...

Yash Chopra's Aaja nach le trailer - finally she is back!

Another movie that is definitely not commercial Bollywood that seems like it would be worth watching...Vanaja

Vanaja photo from website:

October 02, 2007


I wish I could write poems,
two lines to talk about you and me?

If I could only sing,
a song that's ours even when there's no us?

A rough sketch on a panel to remind me of your smile?
But, my hands remain still, the panel blank...

I thought our goodbye would be more than sad smiles and tear-filled eyes,
more than a firm hand-shake and a quick "Good bye".
Did I see it in a movie?
The long-drawn embrace and my face buried in your shoulders?
A smoke-filled reality that never was?

How then can I remember you? Your silly grins, your crooked nose,
your unkempt locks, falling over laughing eyes?

Perhaps, I will.
Now and then, when I close my eyes, or look into the distance.

Perhaps, I'll still hear you talk and laugh.
Now and then, when I sit in silence, or moments before I sleep.

I wish I didn't. But, I do. I do remember you.

S~ suggested "Memory", I initially called it "Old times", maybe I should call it "You"...have no idea what to call it now or if it's even worth searching for the right title...wrote it as I thought of friends who have left, romance somehow found it's way in; I am cursed, I can't write without my writing heavily doused in romance...oh well, whatever.
© Ramya Sethuraman, All Rights Reserved.