Tuesday, January 20, 2009

No. 44

There is anticipation in the air. The nation is ready for the transformation. Let us hope that he can do at least half of what he aspires to and promises us.

A proud moment for those folks who have walked so far, far from the days of indenture. To leadership that can rally the crowds.

A feeling of bhogi - out with the old rubbish and in with the hopes and changes galore.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Slumdog Winner

Congrats to the winners! A proud moment for desis worldwide!

On a side note:
Is it just me or did anyone else notice something strange about Frieda's outfit/pose? In all the pictures I saw online, she seems to be holding at least one of her hands tightly to her side. As if to hold on to her dress.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Adorable!!

Kids say the darndest things. I thought my brat was exceptionally so. But get a load of these wee folks. You won't stop laughing! Don't forget the comments!

trains passing...

Do you ever wonder what happened to them? The girl who talked dime to a dozen in class, the one who could make anyone laugh, the teachers who helped shape you and went away, the ones you couldn't stand and vice versa, the peddlar in the train who sold you bangles regularly, the co-passengers who couldn't tolerate your noise thereby making you noisier, that boy you had a crush on... Where did they go?

You meet someone and they make an impression on you even if you don't realize it right away. You will probably never see them again. Some might have moved on to different dimensions. But they remain frozen in your memories. Would you want to meet them again? That could kill those memories. Aren't they safer as they are? Safe to be relived anytime you wish.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Sister sister

Being a single child, I was determined that my girl would have a sibling and she did gain one. There are times when one of us gets tired of the other. The two girls cannot sit next to each other without getting into a tiff within a short while. It usually ends with the younger one running to one of the parents complaining about the big bully. Most times, the truth is otherwise. But she follows the policy of she who yells the loudest gets heard the best. I have heard that dad and aunt had similar incidents.

Yesterday evening, we were waiting for dinner to be ready (cooker cool down) and the older one was going to take her shower. When it is dark, she is scared of going to any floor when no one else is around. We have tried to not indulge her in this and she has learnt her lesson. Her workaround is to drag the little one for company. This is one of the few times they don't fight.

The other times being when the little brat wants something from her big sis. She wanted to sit next to her in the flight. Only so that she could get to watch her favorite shows on the personal tv. Or help her with the computer games that the brat is currently fascinated with.

Life's little pleasures for the mom, surely. Squeezed in between long and frustrating bouts of mediation.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Tri-color blues

Every Sunday night, there is a dip in the moods thinking about the heavy week ahead. This feeling is heightened especially after a vacation. An India trip is followed by a week of listlessness. A feeling of being in limbo. I noticed that I don't suffer alone in this. Part of it is jetlag, but a lot of it is also because we are trying to fit in with two diverse worlds. While in India, I get this feeling of no longer belonging there, an alien in my native land. Towards the end of the trip, I am actually looking forward to coming back 'home'. The constant noise gets to me, if nothing else. After the return, everything doesn't fall in place right away. Something jars. An eerie silence. What am I doing here so far away from my kith and kin! But there is no returning, at least for me. My world is right here, in between these two. I have this far-off hope of returning someday, but I really cannot. Because, what I want is to return to the home of 20 years ago. Or it could be that I am suffering from a serious case of indigestion after indulging in all that jet airways food.

We have this tradition of carrying a pack of sweets when visiting our near and dear. So when a bunch of them visited, they all brought some and they were all boxes of mysore pak. After a careful analysis, I have decided that Aavin's mysore pak (I thought they only had that sinfully yummy therattipaal that I single-handedly demolished) beats others hands down. Melts in the mouth even after languishing in the fridge for a whole day (the paak, not my mouth). It didn't last past that. Unfortunately, I didn't get to buy more of it. So I have this unfulfilled wish to get/make myself some. I used to make them quite often before the carpal tunnel days and I don't want to buy the rock hard ones.

Now, since I currently have the upper hand in the battle of the binges and bulges, I probably should weather it out, hoping that this craving dies a quiet death.
It is rare to find myself down a few pounds post a vacation, especially one to the land of chaats, dosas, halwa, theratti pal and whatnots. I think if I focus on that, plus the scrubbing and cleaning that would be involved in the post-process, I think I might prevail.

Monday, January 05, 2009

What vacation?

Except for the somnambulism, it feels like a dream (he he, couldn't resist).
The 3-week trip went quickly as a wink and we are back to almost normal. Thanks to the cutlet from the spencer's super market in Ashok Nagar or thereabouts, a week of my precious vacation was spent recuperating from the dreaded belly bout. And so the remaining 2 weeks had to be extra packed to make up. Did a little bit of everything and a lot of shopping. Most of the time was spent waiting in traffic though. Arcot Road has become a parade ground - traffic-wise. So everywhere we went, the driver took us through panagal park (can you believe it, it is less crowded!).

Even though we have shifted base (within chennai), I didn't miss my childhood home at all, love my current place there. They even have a party hall that we used for the little one's big day. Seemed to prefer mom's cooking this time, rather than haunt the local eatouts.

Of course, we did eat out, although not as madly as our last trip. Tried the lunch buffet at Annalakshmi once. Having been turned away once before for lack of a reservation, I reserved a day ahead for the big family lunch we planned. We got there and found that they had cancelled our reservation because we didn't call again to confirm. Quite unprofessional of such a good restaurant. We had to wait a bit to be seated, but the food was awesome.

The Venkateswara boli stall on Arya Gowder road will probably remember me quite well. We were there almost everyday in the hopes of getting their famous alu bonda. It runs out quite fast and we missed it a few times. Their wheat halwa is also out of the world. There are 2 such stores (independent of each other) right next to each other, and the one closer to brindavan st is the (original) one I frequent.

Copper point @ GRT Grand days has some good dishes. Loved their alu roast and mirchi ka salan, along with the masala kulcha. The kids tried the alu dum and paneer butter masala, which didn't lack either.

I did visit Saravana Bhavan (my usual haunt) a few times, but the stomach didn't quite appreciate it.

Did a bit of soaking in the chennai season. Loved, absolutely loved, Urmila Satyanarayan's rama rasanubhavam. Excellent choreo, abhinaya, posture, accompaniments, can't say enough. Beautiful depiction of Guhan, Hanuman and Ravana, to mention a few. Priya Govind was at her usual best, with a margam. Loved vishamakara kanna, which seems to be this season's popular number. Her acompanying artists were excellent. Malavika Sarukkai's Ganga was a wash out (pun very much intended) in comparison. Lacked the vibrancy of the Ganga. After making the audience wait outside for almost 1/2 hour, the first song was about the flow of Ganga, at its sluggish best. Only one that I slightly enjoyed was the depiction of three events on the river - a lovers' tryst, a mother's angst and a devotee's prayer. Much of the performance was about the river's flow - literally. Have to say, most of the audience seemed to be from out here. There was a healthy number from the DC area alone.

Crazy Mohan's chocolate Krishna was very entertaining and a good time pass. The special effects (magic tricks) were relished by the girls, who were a little lost with the quick wit. But even they got some of the jokes. Got to see the well-touted mayor during a short break in the play.

Took the kids to VGP universal (golden beach to us old hands). They loved everything about it. The big letdown, ofcourse, was the restroom facilities. Totally grossed out.

Traffic was unbelievable. Looks like everyone has some kind of vehicle and they are all out at the same time. And the cup of public transport still overfloweth.

As my mom insisted (truly) that I buy some gold, I visited the new GRT, quite a few times. My biggest whine about it is the time it takes to bill and pay for the items. And I had to go quite a few times and towards the end, I vowed to switch my loyalty to a different store, if at all we are able to afford the gold prices in the future.

The one thing that I wanted to do, and didn't get around to, was catch a movie on the big screen there. Would have loved to take the kids to panchamritham.

Jet airways was very comfortable, especially since the kids were busy with their personal entertainment centers. Caught a bunch of good movies and loved their food.