December 16, 2009

Wishful thinking - Part Two

I wrote this for my daughter.

And now, this.

I wish I could be fearless. I wish I could be innocent.

I wish I could be amused by climbing up and down stairs a hundred times a day.
I wish I could be amazed by tractors and diggers everytime they pass me by.
I wish I could be so tickled when a goat bleats.
I wish I could call my teachers 'aunty', smile and get away with everything.
I wish I could cry to get someone's attention and be picked up.
I wish I could laugh uncontrollably right after.
I wish I could show my love by licking someone's nose.
I wish I could just snuggle cutely into a blanket at any time of the day.
I wish I could forget as easily when I've been yelled at.
I wish I could smile so wide everytime I see someone I love.
I wish I could love without limits.

I wish I could make my little one understand how thankful I am to him for letting me experience all this.

I wish that it would last forever.

November 25, 2009

Roll over Quick Gun Murugan, I'm here!

As I approach a narrow road which is really meant for only one car but always has at least ten zig zagging everywhere I'm amazed that there a few dozen cars parked outside the walls of massive houses that apparently don't have 'visitor' parking inside. Anyway, its the moment I'm waiting for. Adrenaline builds up. The car on the other side and I are speeding towards each other, who's going to make it through the gap? Speed doesn't decide but 'the flash' does! It may seem simple but the timing of the flash is key. You can't do it from the end of the road, only a wuss would! It's got to be close enough but not that close either! Zip.

Meet Quick Flash RR. Ek tumbler whiskey, ek masala dosa.


November 13, 2009

Ex'queue'se me please

I always feel like I pick the wrong line to wait in. Grocery store, ATM and anything else that involves queues. Always.

At the store I not only have to deal with people fumbling for change and others counting out their Sodexho coupons at the last possible minute but also the hand that sneaks in from the other side of the counter with 'just one item' and NO 'please' or 'excuse me' or even a 'thank you' if I allow them! You would think that the person at the checkout would ignore this 'hand' and make it get into line but no, they side with it as well saying 'okka nimisham madam, okkate item undhi'! There's a separate line for that you freaks! Go there!

The person in front of me at the ATM most often has no clue about ATM courtesy. Banks always have signs posted saying: No talking on cell phones inside ATM. No wearing caps or helmets. No entering in groups. How about this instead:
DON'T use the ATM as a substitute for a teller.
DON'T use the ATM for more than 2 minutes at a time.
DON'T hold up people indefinitely, especially at the beginning of the month.
DON'T recount the money that the ATM has just dispensed to you.
And most importantly DON'T pretend to know how to use the ATM when you really don't! It's ok to ask for help.


October 8, 2009


A square box, innocent looking, beautifully wrapped, waiting to be opened. Should I open it? I think know what's in there but a part of me wants to just leave it be. Because perfection like this doesn't come about too often, at least not here in India. But here's the catch. It's good for only 3 weeks from date of manufacture. Ummmmm.....

gobble, gobble, gobble, gobble, ...

Sinful! Very, very sinful but absolutely divine!

It takes one chocolate connoisseur to recognize another. Thank you my friend.

September 20, 2009

Plumbing 101

There was a strange smell in the kids loo this morning. After thorough investigation I ruled out the possibility of stale food, dead reptile or a forgotten diaper. Drain issue, I thought. So I asked the plumber to check when he popped in for his weekly visit. After a very thorough 2 second examination he told me with much confidence that if I left the bathroom door open all the time there would be more ventilation and the odour would go away!

He's paid a monthly retainer, btw.

September 18, 2009

A Dick is a dick is a dick

At the presentation ceremony of the US Open, the champion Juan Martin del Potro wanted to talk. To thank his team, the fans, just everybody that he could think of in that exhilirated state of mind that he was in. The only problem was that he wasn't fluent in English so after saying a few muddled sentences he asked Dick Enberg if he could say a few words in Spanish. Instead of just passing the mike onto del Potro so he could have his moment, Dick said "We're running out of time"! (One exclamation point is not enough really). A few seconds later when del Potro asked again, he was given the mike but quite reluctantly. Not even two sentences were out of Potro's mouth before the tears started to flow. And again, instead of letting him take it all in, maybe get some applause from the crowd Dick took the mike back and started going on about the prize money he's won, yaada, yaada, yaada!

I've never felt that someone had been named more aptly. Good job, DICK!

September 15, 2009

A fa(u)ltering God

Almost two years to the date that I wrote this I found myself doing the same thing: waking up at an ungodly hour to watch the US Open Finals. The difference was that this time I didn't go back to bed as the match didn't end as quickly. Neither did Federer win.

Strangely enough though, I don't feel upset in any way. Maybe because Federer has accomplished what he was destined for earlier this year; completing his career Grand Slam and breaking Sampras' record for most majors. Maybe because Federer himself didn't seem upset about having lost. Maybe because tennis as a sport needs some new faces. Maybe...

August 11, 2009

A - Z

People, things, places, memories, favourites...

A - Amma and Appa
B - Beach (Marina)
C - Chocolates, Cheese
D - Dosa
E - Eclipse (the Mitsubishi kind)
F - Friends, Family
G - Grandparents
H - Holidays
I - Ice cream
J -
K - Kids
L - Lakers
M - Madras
N - New Orleans (with the girls)
O -
P - Panneer Tikka
Q -
R - Reuters
S -
T - Tennis
U - University (Ethiraj, Hartford)
V - Violet House (at school)
W - Woodlands Drive-in
X - Xmas in NYC
Y -
Z - Zen (the Maruti kind)

Still pondering the missing alphabets...

July 6, 2009

Magician, artist, dare i say god?- Part 4

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

For almost the entire 4+ hours, he didn't seem like any of those. The opponent did. Breaking His serves, hitting incredible passes and playing spectacular. But in the end, the tennis Gods favoured Him and history was made at the first opportunity. No tears this time, just plain relief. And humility. Understanding that the match could have gone the other way, that's what makes a true champion. Not taking things for granted and fighting till the end.

As a Sampras fan, I watched the match with mixed feelings. Records are made to be broken, so said Sampras himself. The child in me wished to see Sampras' name stay up there along with Federer's but the tennis fan in me was ecstatic. Mixed feelings. But no longer. Federer will win many more majors I'm sure and I want to say that His record will stand the test of time.

But I'll refrain for that's what I and many more said about Sampras'.

June 28, 2009

Adieu MJ

It seems almost wrong not to acknowledge the passing of a legend. I've always been a fan but not a die-hard one. This is my short tribute.

Moonwalking, high up in the sky. Moonwalking, to the envy of all the Gods. Singing and dancing as he pleases. No autographs, no pictures, no debtors just His music, dance and privacy. He may no longer be in this world but he's probably giving the performance of 'his life' up there.


June 12, 2009


Less sleepy
More with it!

A great start to a better year!

June 10, 2009

Multi-lingual message

'Please close the door, daivacheydi gateue vayyandi' goes a voice everytime I get into the elevator in my building. Stating the obvious, at least to me. But what is interesting is how many times I hear this message through the day because someone has not shut the door properly.

Really, how many more languages must this message be played in? I guess we must do Hindi being the National Language and all. But in the India that we live in now, every city is a potpourri of languages with everyone speaking all and nothing at the same time. So the next best thing is pictures, because a picture says a thousand words, right? Step by step illustrations of what must be done to close the door properly.

And if even that doesn't work, hire a lift operator to open and close the door. All day long. There are enough people that would want to do that.

Going up in life might never be as easy.

You can call me xxxx

When help around the house changes, the way I'm addressed also changes. Amma, madam, akka, mam. And now...UNDI! Pronounced exactly how its spelt! I have heard it used many a time before but just not at me. Undi is sort of like giving respect while addressing the person except that all it does is crack me up! Here's an example, one a true incident and the other, just silliness.

Babu nidram poyinda? (Has the baby slept?)
Ownu undi. (Yes, undi!)

Babu undies ekadaa? (Where are the baby's undies?)
Undies aa undi? (Baby's undies, undi?)

Just typing that up made me smile :).

June 7, 2009

Magician, artist, dare I say God? - Part 3

Part 1
Part 2
Some stories will never end. There will always be a new chapter every so often. This one, its almost the perfect story. A dream run that ended in triumph. A well-deserved victory too. So said the conquered. All of them.

True champions fight all odds and come out on top especially when they are most doubted. Setting new standards, raising the bar to even greater heights is what is left now. I hope it happens in the next few weeks. The place where it all began.

Good luck.

May 26, 2009

CSK and DC, which one is really home to me?

After CSK lost in the IPL semis, I naturally supported DC because after all, they are my 'second home' team. Having lived in Hyderabad for 3 years now, I kind of qualify as a Hyderabadi (when it suits me only). But when the last ball was bowled, I did not feel the same euphoria that I would have had it been CSK walking away with the trophy. Try as I might, even spite (which was aplenty as DC beat RC which had beaten CSK) could not replicate those emotions that are usually reserved for favourites only.

And then a thought zipped through my mind. As long as I live in Hyderabad, my kids will always put the Chargers above the Kings. Naturally. DC will be their home team.

That should make for very interesting future IPL parties!

May 20, 2009

Brain Freeze - Part 2

Nothing unfreezes my 'writers' block than sports!

That's what he has been for the last few years until Nadal came along. With a victory at the Madrid Masters he's kickstarted his claycourt season but what that will mean at the French Open is anyone's guess. Good luck RF, this could be your last chance!

My favourite team! In the Western Conference Finals again and 1 game up too! They should go all the way this time. I will die if they don't.

A new addition to my sporting teams list. Chennai Super Kings. In the semis of the 2nd IPL season. Go Kings go!

What would I do without sports...

March 23, 2009

The Nano - Part 2

It's finally here. And I actually feel sad. A Walmart-style car, low cost, probably average to poor quality (based solely on the Indica) and supposedly the travel answer to the masses. I've already written about this here so I won't go on.

Take away from the equation that it is an Indian company that has come up with this. Would we still be proud of this accomplishment? As much as I want to, I'm unable to compare this to Ford's Model T that made car ownership possible for the masses in America. Everybody wants their own set of wheels but at what cost?

1 lakh times 'X' is too much of a price to pay in the long run.

March 21, 2009

Languageu lessonsu

I've learnt a fair amount of Telugu in the last three years, no credit to the book that I bought soon after I moved to Hyderabad in 2006. Not only was the vocabulary useless (the first word in the list was 'causeless') but also the presentation was just terrible. Anyway, it turned out that the better source for Telugu lessons were my house help teaching me more slang and dialects that would turn out to be more useful on a day-to-day basis.

But my 'unending quest' to continue to learn made me go back to the vocab page in this book. Among the many other useless words written up, I came across two that made me 'rofl'. The words for telephone and principal. In TelugU and just like the title of this post!

Any guesses?

March 17, 2009

Profile pic

It's been about a year and a half since I created an account on Facebook. I've probably changed my profile picture at least ten times. To keep up with the changes in my life, no doubt. Similarly all my friends' pics have changed too. I don't think even one has the same picture that they started out with (except for those with the old question mark).

Is it possible to find one picture that can be a constant? Not necessarily of the person itself but of 'something' even. Something that when a known person looks at makes them go "Oh, that has to be X". Is it humanly possible to identify with a few things or even just one thing for all of ones' life?

Or is life too random to prevent that?

March 9, 2009

Second wind

Boring, tiring, same old beat going on in my head, huffing and puffing and not enjoying any of it. That's me on a treadmill. Hate it...always hated it. Then this on my shuffle! Catchy beat and imagining thalaivaa dancing (his version of dancing anyway) made me smile and get going with great gusto! Too bad that it lasted only until the song did but an extra 5 minutes is not too shabby...a much-needed 5 minutes too.

March 4, 2009

Soup split

1 by 2, 2 by 3, 4 by 5 and anything else by anything else. It's all possible. When you order soup in India, that is. A very common practice that experts say results in more soup per serving per person than if one were to ask for an extra bowl and split it themselves! In fact, I even know people that do this for takeout!

Can you imagine the restaurant doing this though? Will they actually fill out two bowlfulls, then take a 3rd one and evenly split from the other 2? Or are they so used to this strange request that the guy is a pro at it and knows exactly how many ladles go into each? Whatever it is, the request has never fazed anyone in any place that I've been to. The only requirement is that the person doling out the soup has to be a math else would they understand 23/30 should such a request come by??

On a related note, I wonder if this tactic would work with alcohol. Margheritas please...3 by 4 but all for 1!

February 24, 2009

Going bananas!!

I've always paid Rs.10 for 6 bananas. Since I've moved back to India that is. Irrespective of weather, inflation etc in the last 3 1/2 years, this is what it has cost me. Apparently not anymore. Reason? Still not weather or inflation but just me (not driver) in car buying the fruit! How ridiculous! I must have IDIOT plastered across my forehead because all the vendors were quoting me a higher-than-usual rate! Thinking that the supermarket can't cheat me (because prices are fixed and not because I look smart or anything) I walked into the store and was thrilled to see a 'buy 1kg, get 1kg free' offer for bananas. There is a God I thought momentarily but before I could thank Him I noticed that my total was Rs.25 because that was the cost of 6 bananas (1kg) at the store!

February 23, 2009

Rahman, Rehman whatever

I finished commenting on Atma Gyan's post and went in front of the TV when ARR won the Oscar for best song. I noticed that the presenter pronounced his name as RAHMAN which validates my theory that it is indeed his belief in numerology that made him change the spelling from the time of the nomination to the presentation.

Interesting that even the best of us believe that we need something more than just our talents to win!

February 18, 2009

Another one bites the dust

10. That's the magic number. Finished. No more. The entry in my cell phone for 'Driver' is now gone. May it rest in peace.

I surely will.

February 13, 2009

Adaptation - Part 1

So many aunties and uncles have been a part of my childhood. There was the aunty next door, the uncle down the street and the innumerable uncles and aunties all through school and friends parents. Every new friend brought a new aunty/uncle into my life. I never thought of calling them anything else...which is why I used to wonder why Archie, Jughead and the rest of them called each other's parents Mrs. or Mr. xyz. I couldn't even think of saying Mrs. Vasudevan or Mr. Nichani. It sounded simply strange.

As strange as it might be to picture Archie calling Mrs. Jones 'aunty', right? Imagine my surprise when I went to a birthday party of a kid that studies in an international school and I heard one of the parents saying to their kid "Say goodbye to R aunty (said with an American 'ant'y) and K uncle"! And the kid didn't bat an eyelid either. She even came up to me and said "aunty, make sure to take a take-home gift for your kids"!!

February 10, 2009

See who's calling!

Hi maam, can I help you?
No, not really I'm just looking at the cordless phones available.
Let me show you the latest models.
No, its fine. I want a basic model, nothing fancy. This one seems ok.
Oh, but that doesn't have caller id. In today's world caller id is a must. We have to see who's calling before we answer!


January 22, 2009

Right Choice?

January 20, 2009
2230 hours

Getting to bed early or watching history unfold.
Getting to bed early or watching history unfold.
Getting to bed early or watching history unfold.
Getting to bed early or watching history unfold.

It's never easy to choose...especially when its between two men!

January 20, 2009

I am ...

Doordarshan (DD) has been repeatedly playing 'Mile Sur Mera Tumhaara' now that its close to Republic Day. Having lived outside India, I've always explained to my 'foreign' friends that India is like Europe in that there are so many different languages and cultures but all within one country. What I didn't go on to add was that heart of hearts though, most Indians do not think of themselves as Indian, rather South Indian, North Indian or whatever else. Yes, we should be proud of our heritage and culture but not to the point of thinking that one is terribly superior to the other. It irritates me that even among my generation (given the education and exposure that we have), there are still people who have pre-conceived notions about how you will be based on where you're from even before they've gotten to know you.

How unfortunate that what most people remember about this DD classic once its off-air is only its tune.

Read Atma Gyan's latest for her thoughts on this.

January 13, 2009

Festivals, fun and food! - Pongal

This year I've decided to blog about the million-odd (exaggeration...) festivals that are celebrated in India starting with Pongal. Not like an informative blog about the significance or anything (Wikipedia will have that) but about the different food that is cooked and eaten on those special days. And a little about my experiences cooking them.

Pongal is just about coming to an end. I don't think any other festival has this much food, especially the different dishes made with rice. I feel like I'm about to burst and we still have one more day to go. I've successfully (even if I say so myself) made vadai, semiya payasam, venn pongal, chakra pongal, avial and gotsu. Tomorrow's menu is thenga saadam and thakali sadam.
Reads like a whole host of dishes, but all very simple and easy.

Here are the lessons learnt from my experiment:
  • Pressure cooking jaggery with rice, milk and water is not good. It alters the taste of jaggery as well as lengthens the cooking time (Read tart chakra pongal and complete waste of gas).
  • Always put in a small 'blob' of whatever you're trying to fry in the hot oil and NOT a whole batch so that a quick taste and texture check can be done. (Luckily the first few pieces were used for the pooja so not eaten by us. Sorry God!)
  • Anything that needs to be stirred should NOT be in the back-burner especially when there is something in the front burner also. (Burn marks...duh)!
  • The pressure cooker must be closed tight. (It isn't really pressure cooking otherwise).
  • All ingredients should be kept ready so nothing is left out in dish. (Raisins went missing in chakra pongal)

This post is a day too early you might wonder...we still have the last day of Pongal left and two more dishes to be made. The expert cook that I am, I'm supremely confident that nothing will go wrong with those. Maybe I'll post some pics to prove it.

January 10, 2009

Look who's texting / The Text Nazi

I've received a whole bunch of random texts in the past couple of years including notifications of already-approved loans, jobs promising great pay working from home, random advertisements etc. Today was a first though. Early in the morning, my phone buzzed to indicate a new text; Sender name: CHANDRABABU. In my sleepy state I figured it came to me by mistake and I was about to delete it but opened it by mistake. It was some mumbo jambo about Sankranthi and New year wishes to all proud Telugu people from Nara Chandrababu Naidu. After a second, I realised that it was a message from the ex-chief minister of Andhra Pradesh probably hoping to accumulate some goodwill and get some votes in the upcoming election.

Too bad it came at the crack of dawn and woke me and a bunch of other people up. No vote for you...NEXT!

January 6, 2009


Tees with lace and frills and pants so tight that the seam is bordering on bursting through. Shoes costing 6000 rupees and only designer socks. The latest and greatest Bollywood tracks blaring...and then there's me with my fish out of water look...old tracks, comfy (old) tee, oooooooold comfy shoes and socks wishing for some quiet else some bearable music.

The joys of working out at a supposedly hip gym where the city's who's who work out. Thank God (or at least Apple and of course, you Shobs) for my Ipod.