Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Absolute gems

Needless to say, I am a big fan of Shankar Mahadevan.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

reel lines

I came across
this article
on the most popular lines from movies.

Top 10 must used film lines:

1. "I'll be back." ("The Terminator")

2. "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn." ("Gone With The Wind")

3. "Beam me up, Scotty." ("Star Trek")

4. "May the force be with you." ("Star Wars")

5. "Life is like a box of chocolates." ("Forrest Gump")

6. "You talking to me?" ("Taxi Driver")

7. "Show me the money." ("Jerry Maguire")

8. "Do you feel lucky, punk?" ("Dirty Harry")

9. "Here's looking at you, kid." ("Casablanca")

10. "Nobody puts Baby in the corner." ("Dirty Dancing")

We have some like this in Kollywood too. The most popular ones are from the boss, Rajini. In fact, it has become a necessity for his movie to have some "bolded" lines that his fans can repeat. "naan oru thadavai sonna, nooru thadavai sonna mathiri".

There was "thagidu thagidu" from Sathyaraj.

Then from my most favorite movie of all times - "catch my point" and "chinna meena pottu periya meena edukkanum". And there was that "aaay" that was heavily plagiarized from this movie.

Long time ago, they made a movie with Ranjan as the villian, who locked the heroine and spouted - "avaa othinaa iva varuva". Not sure how many people recognize this. This from the days of DD dominance, when watching the sunday night BW movie was a big deal. That line was extremely popular in school. As was "naatha... naathi" from Santha Sakkubai.

What are your favorite lines?

Monday, November 05, 2007

The years go by, as quickly as you wink

I learnt this song a long time back (gosh! has it been THAT long?) in school - Enjoy yourself.

We used to love singing this song, really loud. Well, what do you know, another year rolls around and what do I have, doc tells me I need to check my cholesterol levels and make sure everything is ok. I guess this is the beginning.

I am in denial!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Back in action, slo-mo tho

So I am back! Didn't think I would, did you? New place, new home that's not yet home, mom duty have all kept me quite on my tippy toes. Also, I suspect a lil bit of dep., and the cold weather doesn't help.

Was it a deja-vu that happened today? I am not sure. As I tried to park my car for my habitual gym visit this morning, the lady next to me was trying to back out. Without a backward glance. And I was right there. It took me a frantic couple of seconds to force down on the horn to let her know - excuse me, could you hold on just a second while I park and get out of your way? Missed by a hair's breadth. After an hour's toil, I back out of my space, after waiting for a van to pass. I am pretty sure I braked before trying to change from r to d. Next thing I know, I am stopped by the wall behind me and I am left wondering how that happened. I guess it is better to have a small dent in the bumper than one on my head.

It is kind of unnerving because, recently, I almost missed another such. I was waiting for the left turn light, one late evening. I start to turn, when a car comes rushing straight from the opposite side, not giving a flying eff about the traffic signals. It was too dark to see if this was a sleepy head or a drunk or a devil trying to mow me down. Luckily my brakes held solid and worked at the right time. It took me a long time to stop shaking. At the speed that the other moron was going, he (yea, I say he) could have done some serious damage. And he didn't slow down at all.

Now if only if my brakes had worked as well today too, I could have been saved that embarrassing dent in the bumper.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Ahoy, me hearties!

What is the purpose of a "talk like a pirate" day? I don't know, but it is fun to try.

In case you need a primer

Thursday, August 30, 2007

A new chapter

The move is done. Physically to speak. We still have countless boxes to open, cupboards to fill, walls to paint and art to display. It can wait for now. A new routine, a new outlook and a new schedule. Getting used to it all. Weekly visits to see Sri Venkateshwara and eat some yummy prasadam. New places to discover. Would be exciting, if not for the blasted bout of cold.

I feel disconnected to everything, a feeling that it is a vacation, that we are going back to our old home. There is also a feeling that this is not going to be permanent. Is this what it is to be uprooted? Even though the roots were only a decade or so old?

I will have to wait and see how I feel in a month or 2.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

My story

I am a widower. Are you curious? You want to know how my wife died? I don't know if I even qualify to be called so. Now you are more intrigued, I can see. My marriage was a joke. In fact, my life so far has been a joke. Played at my expense.

I was quite popular in college, and I say that without any arrogance or conceit. Naturally, fell in love with a pretty girl in class. We carried on for almost 4 years. We broached the topic of marriage to our respective parents. That is where trouble #1 started. I was (am) brahmin-born. She was a Syrian Christian. My parents prevailed. As did hers. Like in the movies, I was forced into a marriage. To a girl I barely knew. And that was trouble #2. Why, you ask? I had apparently married an emotionally unstable woman. In short, a crazy one. She was certifiable. The family thought she would be ok after marriage. Yeah, right! The wedding night turned into a wedding nightmare. No sooner did they leave us alone, she started her act. When I tried to calm her, she turned her crazy claws on me. The kith and kin helped drag her out, leaving me in tatters, literally.

I told them to take her away and get her institutionalized. They didn't. Are you surprised? I was stuck. Not that I cared. I was kind of relieved to be single again. If not Rosie, then I didn't care. When people asked me if I was married, I was not really sure what to say. So, sometimes I said yes and sometimes no. Depending on where I was. My mom was on a guilt trip. It was her brilliant idea to get me married, wasn't it? I had no sympathy.

Then one day, out of the blue, I heard that my wife fell off the overhead water tank and died instantly. At least, she was freed from her suffering. And I am still in the thick of it.

My mom has started pestering me gently about another marriage. She is even willing to overlook religion, language and/or caste. A few years too late, I say.

Inspired by a couple of things - one, someone I know. Two, this.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Caffinity and a question

Not the burning question of the moment. But I got to thinking about my dependence on tea. On to people's dependence/addiction to caffeine. Then wondered how and when it started. Do you remember when you started drinking it? I don't. I remember sitting on my daddy's lap, waiting for the coffee to be "aathufied" so that there was a thick layer of foam on top. Slurping it up so that I had a foamy moustache. I did not want it given little by little, it had to be foamed to the top.

I could not drink anyone else' coffee except my mom's. Peaberry A and Peaberry B with a touch of chicory, well roasted was how she made it. 2 and 1/2 heaped spoons in the filter. First decoction. Not bitter at all. While in college (out of rather, since we cut classes quite a bit then), I tasted woodland's tiffin room's coffee and I loved it. Cafe du monde's coffee made it to the charts too. Until I graduated to flavored coffees at the local bagel store.

A decade ago, I switched my allegiance to tea and have been going strong on that. Especially Trader Joe's chai tea bags, if there is no assam tea handy. Strangely, I have developed an intolerance for coffee. I do like the aroma, and even tolerate it in tiramisu and such. But I am a total tea drinker now. Of late, I have been thinking of may be giving it up. May be. Or Not.

So the question is this.
When did you first start drinking coffee/tea?

(note: this will not kill any cats)

Friday, August 03, 2007

close encounter of a moushy kind

During my last trip to homebase, as usual, trudged along to the alphabet cloth store for the customary shopping mania. "Pall"avan, our rented car's driver, dropped us off at the corner, and went off to park. Pallavan, if I were to describe him, was a couple of teeth, sticking to a reed, with a mop of curls attached. May be he lacked some fat in the cranium too. We come back after a few hours (more or less), look for him outside the store, in the busiest section of Chennai. The kids are hungry and so are we. Finally spot him, or rather he spots us and we follow him with our 2 huge alphabetized bags. We go to this underground parking, which unbeknownst to us, belongs to the brahmandamana store, owned by the veshti clad country fella. We walk towards the car. We are stopped. At first, all I see is this humongous "meesai". Attached to the meesai is a hefty with a baton. He won't let us go. I am told to go the brahmandamana store and buy something for at least 100 Rs. As it is, I am not impressed with the wares sold here, and on top of that, I am being forced to buy. I might even have thought about it, except that the kids were starving. It would have meant at least 1/2 hour to finish the purchase. So I tell meesai, no way dood. Babies are starving, senti mummy stuff. Meesai is tough. Pallavan decides to play hero. He didn't know we were going to the 'wrong' store Probably true, ding bat that he was. We manage to get in the car. Meesai brings 2 adiyaals. Pallavan's rattham boils. Words traded. Strong ones. I had to intervene and play the women alone with kids angle, strongly. Quite strongly. My mind was running headlines - women accosted in underground parking. Finally, they decide to let us go. Relieved to have averted that scuffle.

After that day, I preferred using the friendly neighborhood autokarans.

Alphabet clothing store needs to provide parking.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Recent Books

A mini-vacation (as in not the usual work) gave me a chance to read a couple of interesting books. Both were by 2nd generation Asian immigrants and part of the reason I was drawn to them. Of late I have been getting into this subject, probably because I am nodding my head a lot while reading them.

Hindi-Bindi Club by Monica Pradhan

There was so much I could relate to in this book. It was a quick and engrossing read. The recipes that were woven into the story made it a little more real. Each chapter had some kind of food thrown in, with the recipe(s) added after that chapter. The story itself was so believable. Having a few close friends like the protagonists made it more real for me. Not exactly chick-lit, but close.

Funny in Farsi by Firoozeh Dumas

Another 2nd generation memoir, that is mildly funny. Made me think that they are not much different. She writes about the different types of uncles and aunts and I could so relate to that.

Some more books that I hope to read in the near future:
Desirable Daughters by Bharati Mukherjee (No, haven't read it yet!)
I might also give Amulya Malladi's books a chance, starting with the Mango season.
Monsoon Diary by Shoba Narayan

Then there is Khalid Hosseini's thousand splendid suns, a must read.

As usual, so many books and so little time.

Regarding Harry - Almost Closure

JKR's chat transcript is on mugglenet here. Answers a lot of open issues.

Thursday, July 26, 2007


Churidar clad women can visit the temple @ Guruvayoor. First reaction - Yaay! The last time I visited, I sweated tons in a silk saree, having to wait while a special closed doors pooja was going on. In December.

But then, I think. As long as you respect the premises for what it is, are they right in barring the way for non-Hindus? The land of Sankaracharya should show more tolerance, right? I have heard horror tales of the power play that happens in such big temples. Living in the service of God, some people feel so close to Him, that they start feeling/acting like one too. Who decides what is right and what is wrong?

Are the guys still supposed to attend in mundus/veshtis? When are shorts going to be in the allowed list?

I have never been barred from churches and durgahs, so isn't it right that we reciprocate? It is a place of worship for us, but it can be a place of peace for others. I enjoy visiting churches for that calm that washes over me, just like the smell of camphor and basil. Good things need to be shared, right?

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

YES! More HP to come

I knew it. She is giving in and giving us what we need! An HP encyclopedia.

Read it here.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007


ethanai ethanai
manjal pachai
sivappu ootha
ethanai ethanai
iyarkkai annai
vaanavil bhoomiyil

manappen kolathil
pachai pattuduthi
poocharangal aval koonthalil

bhoomi vellai porvai
porthikondu urangugiraL
vaanam avalmel
mayyal kondathu
aval porvai vilaga
thoothu anuppugiraan
thoothu anuppugiraan
idi minnalaithoothu anuppugiraan
bhoomiyum naanathil sivanthu
antha naaLai
bhoomiyum vaanamam seruma?

Note: updated it as visitor has transliterated in tamil in the comment section.

Monday, July 23, 2007

A Magical Weekend

I did manage to attend the midnight mela at a books-a-million store to pick up my pre-ordered HP finale. I managed to read around 35 pages right away (I wish I had taken my book light with me). Most of the weekend was spent with Harry and was it wonderful!

The book didn't disappoint me. Almost! Some of my guesses turned out alright. JKR managed to tie up a lot of loose ends. Considering it was no trifling task, she did a wonderful job. This was the only way it could have ended. I will have to read it again soon to absorb it completely. One thing though, the series started out as a children's tale, but this last one is definitely PG-13, to say the least. Some of the expletives used are not appropriate for the young 'uns.

SPOILER ALERT: Don't read further if you haven't read the book.

The book gets into the battle quick enough with the airstrike. That polyjuice episode was a stroke of genius. The death that happens is unexpected but not nearly gut-wrenching as others. There is a lot of movement in the story. The pedantic three hunt for the horcruxes and in the course, we learn the stories behind the story. Kreacher's redemption was created nicely. One of my favorite parts in the book. Pettigrew's death, which we all anticipated, lacked a bit of drama. The Malfoys acted true to character to the very end. Neville grows into his character, turning from a scar(r)ed young boy into a confident leader. We never learn anything about Potter's paternal ancestors. Petunia's sour grapes was also something I had guessed. Prof Trelawney's little part in the battle was great. The battle was well choregraphed and it was gripping.

The real hero, of course, was Snape, as I had guessed and hoped. But got to say, that the end didn't fit the hero. Ultimately, those who loved, triumphed. Dumbledore's shades of grey, was surprising, but explained a lot.

If there was one thing that was disappointing in the book, it was the epilogue. There is nothing about what they end up doing after such an exciting teenage life. I would have liked to know more about Luna, the rest of the Weasleys, and the house-elves. Prof McG didn't show up much. Did she become the head of Hogwarts?

Was the crying baby voldemort?

Wasn't there someone who would do magic late in life?

I am hoping that in subsequent interviews and FAQs she will answer the few remaining questions.

Friday, July 20, 2007

aavi amudha's mystery revealed

For a few days, I had been noticing that peeps have been led to my blog when searching for 'aavi amudha'. I was wondering what the heck it was. Then I found this old treasure. Pliss to note the comments section there.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Harry Potter and The Wait for the Last One

Another day and night from now, I could be reading it. The spoilsports are out with the spoilers, but in a nation that can selectively close eyes and ears to the outside world, I am not going to find it difficult to hide from them.

But once I start it, I know I will not put it down until I finish it. And then what? There is this emptiness I have to look forward to. Can I survive in a muggle world for the rest of my life?

I don't think any other book, movie or sitcom has affected me in quite this way. It probably applies to thousands of other folks waiting for the stroke of midnight. I remember eagerly waiting for fauji's next episode or the weekly magazine for the next part in a story, but nothing was close to this. I have heard of people waiting for Sherlock Holmes or Les Miserables. But we are living through this one. It is a kind of temporary monomania. Borderline OCD. Imagine a decade or two later, we can tell people we lived through this phenomenon. The anticipation for the next book is something only we will feel. The future generations will read them like we do Tolkien. All at one time. Where is the fun in that!

I haven't yet decided whether I will do the midnight queue or the early morning one. If I am back from the party early, it is going to be morning. If the party turns wild till 11ish, I might as well get the book on the way back. My kids will have to fend for themselves this weekend.

This is it. The grand finale. Denouement. Will it be, is the question? Will she tie all the knots? Or would we need a glossary or an appendix kind of book to answer unanswered questions?

Once I finish the book, I am going to go back read everything once more. Carefully. To make sure it all ties together. She is good at that. Connecting point A in book 1 to point B in book 3 or point C in book 5.

Can you tell I am excited?

Friday, July 13, 2007

I saw it, I did, I did! (aka kanden kanden)

I wanted to catch it the first day, but for some reason didn't think of advance purchase. Hubby went to get the tickets and they were sold out, so he bought them for the next day - yesterday's evening show. We were in the hall 40 minutes before the show since someone had warned us the first day was crowded and good seats were hard to find. My older girl counted 9 people in the hall. But the hall did fill up eventually. So anyways, we waited it out and got to see one of the most awaited movies of the year - HP and OP. Was it good!

I have to say this. Considering the length of the book, the movie was a decent adaptation. There were some places that I felt could have been done better. One especially was Harry's hearing at the ministry. The book's version was more tension-filled and had more drama.

I really wanted to see the puddle that the weasley twins left, but they didn't show it. The final confrontation was very well done. The toad's character missed a few 'ahems'. Am I the only one who finds Emma W. lacking in the histrionics department? There was so much depth to the characters in the book, which was, not surprisingly, lacking in the movie.

But the special effects were worth it! Grawp was done well, as were the thestrals, although the kids' fear of the unseen should have been seen by us. There was a bit of license taken since Chang's friend didn't figure in the movie. The one who rats - can't remember her name. 12, Grimmault Place was not alive as depicted in the book. A little disappointing there.

It was more like a gist of the book. If you want the real deal, you have to read it! (And the rest of the real deal is a week away, yay!) See it for the visual effects and because it is a phenomenon not to be missed.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Beam me up, scotty!

Not so easy! supposedly the third most traumatic event(after death and divorce)!
I am a middling pack rat, but hubby beats me hands down. Nothing is disposed, even t-shirts belonging to the last decade. I have to resort to underhanded techniques. Once they are bagged, they are irretrievable. Although he seems to have this antenna about such things. One throw-away is replaced by 5 newbies. We don't realize how much we end up collecting over 10 years. So most of my time nowadays is spent in load reduction.

Then there is the 4-year old who loves digging into packed boxes and scattering them around the house. Almost funny, but not!

The emotional quotient has not hit me yet. 9 years in 1 house, laying down roots, making friends, learning to feel at home, learning to start afresh, traumatic yes, but I am not feeling anything yet. I hope it doesn't hit me all at once. Sometimes I think that my feeling got numbed down from past events. Or may be I am too busy to stop and smell the roses. Which could be a good thing in this instance.

Exciting nontheless!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

There is now an association for this? It is called the International Association of Oil and Gas Producers. Hmmm!

Thursday, July 05, 2007

The bond, a mute, a rat, mumbai and intrigue

Finally caught up with some good movies.

Daniel Craig, contrary to my reservations, was a good bond. Not Sean Connery good, but close. Considering how unbondish he was.

I go with the majority and aver that mozhi is one great movie to watch. Prakash Raj seemed to shine stronger than the rest. And that prof ("athimber") did good too. RadhaMohan has this knack of treating simple stories with elan.

Watched Ratatouille yesterday at the movies. It was an okay movie, animation was great.

Jhoom Barabar Jhoom was a good idea that went wrong at execution. Aby Jr does a great job of a Southall punju, (apparently that is very real life acc. to someone familiar with that place). Lara Dutta cussing away to glory, was impressive. Didn't realize she had it in her. Preity Z was the only one that I found not endearing. Even Bobby D (Shudder) has done a good job as Sateeve. Liked the humor, although the Sutradhar didn't seem to really thread them that well. That j-b-j song sticks to your brain like a leech, it is good though.

Read Baldacci's Simple Genius. A lot of "human treatment" for a thriller, made it better. It is in his usual turf, which he writes best. Political controversies or policies, as he puts it, mixed with murders, spies and codes makes an interesting read.

Sometime back, got a chance to read Vikram Chandra's Sacred Games when it was featured on my library's quick pick list. This was my first V.C. novel and I am very much impressed with this book. It reads like a underworld movie (a la Company), and for a few days, there was a weird hangover from the book. I kept remembering all the cuss words used in that book. Quite liberally used by Gaitonde and crew. Inspector Sartaj was one of my favorite characters. Highly recommended. I have put down V.C. as one of my favorite writers and will catch up with his earlier works soon. He seems to be one tech-savvy guy, read somewhere that he uses an elaborate project management software to keep his characters and threads in the right perspective.

Right after finishing that one, read the Sepia Mutiny sponsored Maximum City by Suketu Mehta. It was a well researched book, but the writing style was not as impressive. It seemed to not flow that well, jumping all over mumbai.

Now all I have to do is wait for THE movie and THE book (HP).

All this, while trying to pack up and move to a colder zone. Not fun, I tell you!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Me times 8

Rads has tagged me to do a self-exploratory blog. Just a few days back, I heard someone say that your one true love is yourself. In a way, that is right. How well you know yourself makes relationships easier.

Here are the rules:

1. Players start with 8 random facts about themselves.
2. Those who are tagged should post these rules and their 8 random facts.
3. Players should tag 8 other people and notify them they have been tagged.

Random fact 1: I am a sloth. Truly. All I want is to sit in my papasan with a good book and a hot tea, unless I am catching a few winks.

Random fact 2: I love to dance. My friends tease me about it. But I can dance all day long and the night too, if there is good music to be heard. Starting from Bharatham to jazz, I love to do 'em all. By extension, I love to choreograph, although I hate to teach :-) One of my pseudo fantasies, is to teach dancercise classes based on these various styles all mixed up. It would be called the avial workout.

Random fact 3
: I have a short-temper. Quick to anger, I have trouble hiding it. Although, I must say, I am getting better at it. Slightly.

Random fact 4: I love to bake and eat them too. I have the mother of all sweet teeth and indulge quite frequently.

Random fact 5: A typical scorpio - loyal to a fault and no slight is small to be forgotten.

Random fact 6: I have a constant tug of war with the pounds. Me, my running, yoga and dance vs the junk food and the achy ligaments on the other. I win every few months or so. Refer Random fact 1.

Random fact 7: Short attention span. I thrive on change. Easily bored except when I am dancing or reading.

Random fact 8: Books, books and books. Have to read at least a page a day. Love 'em.

I am breaking rule 3. Anyone who wants to take this trip inwards is tagged.

Friday, June 15, 2007

another year goes by and the distance widens...

All I can remember now is his concern and caring. Teaching me chess, playing with me, cutting my nails, untangling my thick and impossible hair. Visual flashes that last lesser than a second. There were also times when his hand imprinted on my shoulder or cheek, trying to control my runaway tongue. Once when my friends and I played "house", I was the dad and pretended to smoke a rolled up paper. Then I decided to make it more real, and took a cigarette from his pack and placed it in my mouth and felt a sting on my cheek. I couldn't understand why it was so wrong for me to do it when he did it. I guess he must have felt a bit guilty.

He would take me on golu rounds, visiting friends and family, even though I hated it. I am thankful for that now. He had become the breadwinner at an early age for a large family, taking care of 3 sisters and 3 brothers, in addition to a mentally-not-all-there-mother. He had a strong sense of family, and made sure he passed it on to me. Taking me on all those trips to visit relatives I barely knew or didn't want to know. The time when I had an infection on my foot and couldn't walk, taking me to school, all the way to the porch.

Teaching me to bike, running behind me even though he was not very fit. Feeling proud when I negotiated some minor traffic. Following me on my first bike ride to school, giving me that freedom and at the same time making sure I got there safe.

Reading those Amar chitra katha comics, opening up the world of PGW for me. Teaching me to enjoy books. Letting me help when he cooked. Helping me with hindi, learning french because I did. He loved learning new languages - he could easily converse in tamil, english, hindi, bengali and telugu. I think he knew Malayalam too, I vaguely remember him talking to some mallu friends.

It couldn't last though. I watched him literally lose heart in the last year of his life, even though he tried to not let it affect me. Mourning his dead son, even though he hid it from me. That last argument we had, even though I ended up listening to him, but he didn't know that. I wish I could apologize. I have done it so many times in my dreams. But he is not coming back, going further and further away from me. There is pain, but not the gut-wrenching, throat-closing variety any more.

He was not perfect, but that was what made him what he was. My dad.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

super girl

Here is one more reason to watch Heroes, one of my favorite shows on TV. News found on this is bollywood

Bollywood actress and former Miss World Aishwarya Rai has signed up to star in top US sci-fi serial Heroes.

The Indian babe, who recently married fellow actor Abhishek Bachchan, will appear in 8 episodes of the coming series of the NBC show revolving around a batch of super-enhanced human beings.

It has been reported that Aishwarya Rai will play the role of Dr. Mohinder Suresh’s elder sister Shanti Suresh, and will have a super-power of her own, something which has not yet been disclosed.

Aishwarya will begin shooting in Los Angeles later this month, and is expected to be seen on-screen as early as October of this year.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Happy B'day to a living legend!

One of his latest hits

He still has that golden voice that weaves a magic spell. I had the good fortune of watching one of his shows. Man, is he amazing!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Summer Silver (Sequel) Screen

Couldn't pass on that alliteration! :-)

This summer promises a spectacular array of movies to watch out for, with Harry P's next adventure on the top of my list followed by Shrek 3 and Pirates. I have already planned a girls' night out to ogle drool over watch Clooney and gang in ocean's 13. There is Fantastic four and die hard coming back. Penguins apparently still make interesting subjects - Surf's up is sure to appeal to kids, although I am not sure if it is a sequel. Then there is the Almighty sequel, Evan Almighty. It is surely a good time for faith based movies.

Browsing through yahoo movies, I came across an interesting one Nancy Drew. Yes the same teenage detective we all idolized. Well, at least I did. I am excited about it, but at the same time, I don't want it to spoil my time warp. If you know what I mean. I cannot imagine a modern, hip/cool, teenage Nancy Drew, as seen in clueless or Princess diaries.

I read somewhere that TinTin was tagged for the near future. That would be good! I think!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Tips for Handling Telemarketers

Usually when I get forwards, I either read them or toss them, but rarely forward them. This one was too good and pretty close to home, so thought of posting it here.

Three Little Words That Work !!

(1)The three little words are: "Hold On, Please..."

Saying this, while putting down your phone and walking off (instead of hanging-up immediately) would make each telemarketing call so much more time-consuming that boiler room sales would grind to a halt.

Then when you eventually hear the phone company's "beep-beep-beep" tone, you know it's time to go back and hang up your handset, which has efficiently completed its task.

These three little words will help eliminate telephone soliciting.

(2) Do you ever get those annoying phone calls with no one on the other end?

This is a telemarketing technique where a machine makes phone calls and records the time of day when a person answers the phone.

This technique is used to determine the best time of day for a "real" sales person to call back and get someone at home.

What you can do after answering, if you notice there is no one there, is to immediately start hitting your # button on the phone, 6 or 7 times, as quickly as possible This confuses the machine that dialed the call and it kicks your number out of their system. Gosh, what a shame not to have your name in their system any longer !!!

(3) Junk Mail Help:
When you get "ads" enclosed with your phone or utility bill, return these "ads" with your payment. Let the sending companies throw their own junk mail away.

When you get those "pre-approved" letters in the mail for everything from credit cards to 2nd mortgages and similar type junk, do not throw away the return envelope.

Most of these come with postage-paid return envelopes, right? It costs them more than the regular 39 cents postage "IF" and when they receive them back.

It costs them nothing if you throw them away! The postage was around 50 cents before the last increase and it is according to the weight. In that case, why not get rid of some of your other junk mail and put it in these cool little, postage-paid return envelopes.

One of Andy Rooney's (60 minutes) ideas.
Send an ad for your local chimney cleaner to American Express. Send a pizza coupon to Citibank. If you didn't get anything else that day, then just send them their blank application back!
If you want to remain anonymous, just make sure your name isn't on anything you send them.

You can even send the envelope back empty if you want to just to keep them guessing! It still costs them 39 cents.

The banks and credit card companies are currently getting a lot of their own junk back in the mail, but folks, we need to OVERWHELM them. Let's let them know what it's like to get lots of junk mail, and best of all they're paying for it...Twice!

Let's help keep our postal service busy since they are saying that e-mail is cutting into their business profits, and that's why they need to increase postage costs again You get the idea !

If enough people follow these tips, it will work ---- I have been doing this for years, and I get very little junk mail anymore.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

What's the good word?

I vaguely remember this show on doordarshan. I can't recollect anything much about it though. But words have always fascinated me. Reader's digest was one of my favorites in school days, mainly for that section.

Looking for something, I came across this website - http://www.word-detective.com. Interesting site!

Then there is http://www.wordorigins.org/ that is similar, with interesting anecdotes about word origins.

The mother lode seems to be here, although not spiced up like the other two.

While you are at it, check out this one, about words that originated in India.

A fun game too!

Monday, April 30, 2007

Funny Woman

I rarely watch Anbudan on suntv. Yesterday was one such time and I thoroughly enjoyed Urvashi's banter. She is such a fun and lively person. It felt like I was with my friends.

I remember seeing her at the airport on one of my trips, she had lost a lot of weight then. I now wish I had gone up to her and started a conversation. It would have been really interesting, not because she is an actress, but because she is such an animated talker.

People like her make watching interviews very interesting.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

no.1 no.1

Sunday, a rare vetti afternoon, I was watching the inthiya thollaikatchiyil 13456avathu muraiyaga movie. My little one was watching parts of it with me. She loves the ads. She has always loved them - I remember a 4 month old stop nursing to turn towards the metti oli title song.

So she is watching the dinakaran no.1 no.1 ad. It ends with a question to her (i.e, the viewers), ...thamizhil dinakaran no.1, appo neenga? She promptly says no. 4. It took me a second to realize why. She meant her age.

Friday, April 13, 2007


After Gilli, I enjoyed watching Vijay in Pokkiri. A good masala entertainer. Now what I hear is Shirtless Sallu is planning to do it in Hindi. Last week, I was thinking that Abi Jr or Saif Ali would suit that role. Man, what a waste!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Life specks

Some time back I was talking to an expectant father and another mother. The mother wanted to go thru childbirth without medications. If her mother and grandmother went through it, so could she. Smacked of Amish mentality to me. When you can have it easy, why would you want to do that! A lot of us are scared of childbirth and some more are scared of medications. I was worried about the epidural causing pain or further complications, but decided that there was no way I wanted to go through it the unmedicated way. That is of course my opinion.

It is awful how these people are waiting to see Mills' leg fly!

Planning a trip is sometimes more enjoyable than the actual trip.

It is hard to believe that something that is so beautiful could be harmful too. Spring is here with pretty cherry blossoms, bradford pears and the rest of the colorful panorama. And so is the bout of allergies!

Warning: never approach a young kid practising her golf swing. And keep the other kids a few miles away!

Godavari was a great movie, albeit with subtitles! Manasa vacha is my current favorite song.

Caught a few episodes of kaapi with Anu. She is a good host and I loved the Maddy episode.

Got to wait until end of April for my next dose of Heroes. I was getting addicted. But who has heard of a tamil named Mohinder?

Monday, March 12, 2007


Reading Witchu's post reminded me of something that happened in my childhood. I had just started my 4th std, probably around 8 years or so. I had to travel by Pallavan to school and we had only one bus that took me to school on time. The next bus was at least 30 minutes later and I would be seriously late if I took that one.

The walk from home to the bus stop was around 10 -15 minutes. On that day, I had almost reached the stop when the bus started pulling out. I ran towards it, tears in my eyes, but it gathered speed. One of the footboard guys (collegiate), took pity on me, got down and gathered me and carried me to the bus and deposited me in to the departing vehicle. It was a small gesture and he probably has forgotten about it, but I was very grateful to him. How many of us would think of doing the same?

If not for that gesture, I would have equated Pallavan to pawing men!

Friday, March 09, 2007

Uncanny and "unfunny"

Ever been hit by a wayward stone while driving on the interstate? While driving to work yesterday morning, a stone pellet from nowhere hit the front windshield and drilled a tiny whole. Nothing special about that. What is uncanny is that, a few years back, it happened to me the same way. Same spot on the windshield, same location on the interstate and a similar hole drilled in my windshield. It was a good thing that stone was small. But then, if it were any bigger, it wouldn't have flown out at me. Wonder what poltergeist resides in that vicinity!

Today's gym workout ended with a big bang. Literally. Well, at least a big thud. I am sure I will laugh when I think about it in a few days time, but right now, my tail bone has been highly traumatized. I have been doing the fit ball abs for quite sometime now and I don't put much thought into it. My earphone came loose and while plugging it back, the ball slipped from under me. I am not even sure what happened. One minute I was on top, the next I am on the floor, blanked out for a couple of seconds. patta edathuliye padumnu sonnathu seriya pochu. The current count is 5.

Not so funny right now, although my friend laughed in my face when I told her. I will excuse her, since she always looks at the bright side of things.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Baa Baa brown sheep

Back in grad school, I used to ride my bicycle to school most days, and my husband (then fiance)would pick me up somedays. That day was our international festival. I parked my bike, chained and locked it and went and had my share of the fun. Came out later in the evening, hunted for my bicycle and couldn't find it. We searched everywhere and finally concluded that it had been stolen. My husband went to the university police station to file a complaint.

Towards lunch time, a few circuits connected and the bulb flashed in my head. I told my husband where I had actually left the bike. Sure enough, there it was, untouched and lonely. So he trudged up to the coppers to get the complaint back. Back to me sitting with the sheepish grin! A definite start to the duh moments of my life!

History definitely repeats itself! During my trip to India, my mother in law gave me some important documents and also an important letter to be mailed to her friend's daughter. The trip passed in a flurry of activities. I got back home, woke up (very) early the next morning and unpacked all my bags. Searched for the documents and couldn't find it. My husband also searched all the bags, couldn't find it and sent them up to the attic. For the next 2 weeks, I had to listen to mother and son fret over my forgetfulness. I called up my mom to search for the documents at home. She turned the whole house upside down and reported that she couldn't locate them.

2 weeks later after the jet lag fluff had cleared up from my brain, I went up to the attic and opened the bag's suit compartment. This is the compartment that is kind of the upper berth in the bag, but below the side panels. Both of us had failed to search that. There they were, exactly where I had put it, to make sure I didn't forget them and also to keep them from getting smushed up.

Duh moments continue!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Valentine's day

Govinda sort of spoiled it for me, by saying everyday is a valentine's day for him in his own corny, cheesy style. But still, I won't say no to a bunch of beautiful red roses now and then.

Having being fed on romance, both in movies and books, it is a day for remembering the best romances I have come across.

Tamil movies:
Mouna Ragam: I have seen this movie umpteen times and still love it. Revathy in one of her best roles, as was Karthik, with his "Chandramouli". To me, the best that Manirathnam gave us.

RajaParvai: The romance of a blind man, although borrowed its climax from Dustin Hoffman's, was a beautiful movie.

Alaipayuthey: This was about the happily ever after part, and of course, there was Maddy.

Missiyamma: A nice and soft romantic tale.

Then nilavu: Great songs, that we enjoy even to this day.

English movies:
Pretty Woman, My girl, An affair to remember, French Kiss, Sleepless in Seattle, Ghost, When Harry met Sally, Roman Holiday

Gone with the wind: Scarlet O'Hara is a household name. That was probably the longest book I read at one go. What I liked best about her was her indefatigable attitude.

Pride and Prejudice: Elizabeth and Darcy's romance that still fascinates us after all these years. In fact, I love most of Jane Austen's books

Jane Eyre: This was a book in school and we got the opportunity to thoroughly enjoy the book and it remains one of my faves.

Georgette Heyer: I can't really whittle down to one single favorite.

Then there are the regular authors I read, Nora Roberts, Catherine Coulter, Kay Hooper, Susan Elizabeth Phillips who can churn some good romance.

A day to curl up and read/watch a good romance.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Back to your mathematical roots

Over the weekend, someone posed this problem to me and wanted my help in solving it. It didn't take me too long to figure it all out. It was fun solving and reminded me how much I love solving such problems.

Here is the problem:

There are 400 students in a school. 180 take Spanish, 160 take Chinese and 160 take Latin. 60 take Spanish and Latin, 70 take Latin and Chinese and 60 take Chinese and Spanish. 50 take none. How many take all three?

Friday, February 09, 2007

Murphy's law goes wireless?

Why is it that the cell phone always rings when you step out of your office? To the point where coworkers start complaining? And when you try to call back, you always miss the other person.
Is this a mobile murphy law or something?

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Cauvery's son

Two years back, during my trip to Chennai, LandMark didn't have the 1st volume of Ponniyin Selvan's English Translation. So I had 2 choices. Wait for the book to be back in circ. or try to read the tamil one. As a self-taught-tamil-reader, reading the old style tamil doesn't come easy. And when you cannot read well, the beauty of the novel is lost. So I decided to wait. Note that the option of reading the online translation did not appeal to me.

So on the last trip, I found book 1 and promptly started reading it. I am being redundant many times over, by saying it is a wonderful masterpiece. I am in the throes of it now, but afraid to hurry, coz I don't want it to end quickly. I have read Parthiban kanavu and half of Sivakamiyin sabatham at Pavithra's blog. I am still waiting to read the rest of it. I came across the tamil ones at the museum book store (good place for book lovers). I didn't it buy it though, knowing I won't be able to do it. So that is another wait for me.

The translation has been well done and most of the time, I didn't feel like I was reading a translated work. It does take a lot of passion, energy, creativity and time to do it.

It made me wonder what would have happened if Arulmozhi varmar had accepted the throne of Lanka. Less violence now in that part of the world, may be?

Monday, January 29, 2007


Sad news that OP Nayyar, the creator of such gems like Naya Daur and Kashmir ki kali passes on. I should attribute my appreciation of Hindi music mainly to this one great composer. His Asha tunes are unforgettable!

Heard a cousin of mine passed away recently. Such a wasted life!

Ms. Shetty is all over the news, having earned a lot of sympathy votes and emerging the winner.

How is younger bro Karthi going to fare?

A cold with a never say die attitude! It seems to attack during the weekends!

I am being blocked from some comments. Oh Well!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Cow Car!

My young one was understandably excited when she saw her first one!