Friday, December 28, 2007

Professionalism...

Exists only in books! In reality there are only interpretations of it that make our lives miserable!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Random amazing things that happened in the last 10 days

1) I meet people with whom I playbacked many years ago and end up taking up the challenge of making a short film in 6 days!
2) I actually manage to write a script in 2 days and on the 3rd day we are shooting and on the 6th day before midnight, have a CD of the completed film in hand. I still can't believe it.
3) The day after the film is made I land up in God's own country in the middle of some serious religious fervour
4) In less than 6 hours I learn Thiruvathira Kazhi (have I spelled it right?) and the steps for the title song of Aaja Nachle and perform on stage in front of over 75 people.
5) By the end of the day I had sore knee and a back that was ready to give away but what the hell I was now family! Sav says I am more more Mal than her with this performance (which incidentally does not include my Main Madhuri Dixit banna chaahti hoon moment)

PS: I didn't know Thiruvathira Kazhi had to do with marital harmony till I googled just now! Better later than never I say :D

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Oh Shi* Oouch (OSO)

I watched the much hyped Om Shanthi Om (OSO) two days ago. The movie was such a bore!!! There was very little entertainment in it! I was very disappointed with Farah Khan especially after Main Hoon na which was a brilliant piece of cinema. (many disagree on this but if you are a bollywood buff that movie would make sense comically else it's lost on you).

The first half of OSO is somewhat entertaining although mostly slapstick. And then second half SRK takes over the film as himself and one starts losing one's mind! Whatever little admiration I had gathered for SRK after Don and Chakde! just went poof! And what the hell is that Dard e disco song? I didn't relaise how painful it would be watch the the bronzed and oiled six pack SRK on 70mm and man was I groaning, in agony that is!!!

The star party song with over 30 actors was driving me mad! I kept thinking "bloody hell they are having a ball of a time and I am paying to watch this nonsense!" What's with the long drawn absolutely mindless comedy scene of SRK acting as a south Indian movie star to please his sweetheart? Stop making fun of South indian movies YOU bollywood!!! Why were the critics so thrilled about this crappy piece? True tribute to 70s? PUHLEAAASE Nasir Hussein's cinema's were logic defying but entertaining... even today! I liked Aaja Nachle so much better this one. (And critics panned this one) I have a feeling that media created this unfailing SRK persona and now they are too scared to anger their deity! The director too I think was in awe of the star to say "dude stop overacting"

And this movie is highest grosser (how the hell is it spelled?) of the year. I am sure it is the hype around the movie that got people going to the theatres in the first week and producer (which is SRK) made his money before people realised how crappy it was! Believe me I wasn't the only one groaning in pain the theatre. Compared to that every time Madhuri walked into the screen the crowd cheered!

And oh in the middle of all this madness Deepika Padukone is a feast to watch. She actually lights up the screen everytime :) And her acting too is an improvement by miiiiiles from her non-performance in her Kannada debut "Aishwarya"

OSO is just a load of bullshit packed in hype. But then who's listening? A very learned friend of mine told me..."But sweetheart it made money so what is your problem?"

Monday, December 10, 2007

hmm :)

When I got married and set up home everything was so new that I yearned for familiarity. I borrowed vessels and bedsheets from Amma to make up for it. Today I don't need to bring things from "home." This IS home :) The vessels, the bedsheets, the music, the books, the movies, the little dents on the wall everything is "ours." We went off to Goa to celebrate all the familiarisations, the ups and the downs (yeah we've got plenty of them too).


It's all good...actually it's all great :D

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Ta Daaaaa! again!

I thought after the first one the second one gets easier...But this one was harder!!!

Second edition of Just Femme is just out

We are still learning the ropes. The hardest part? To find "good" and "committed" writers. We had a few people who said they'll write and then backed out. There's nothing wrong in changing one's mind but the mad scramble one went through to fill in the spots...devarige preeti! Many thinks to all those people :)

Anyways it always feels good after bringing the issue out.

so people do visit the site and feel free to tell us what you think...there's a comments section there make use of it. While I go get some much needed sun!

Sunday, December 02, 2007

That time of the year

Everyone's talking about it "oh this year went by so quickly" is all one hears everywhere. And I agree happily. But had you talked to me in say first week of Septemeber or something I would've said its killing me...the pace that is. However in retrospect everything is in perspective.

This year...
  • I didn't make any new friends (Why is it soooo hard to make friends once you grow up?). In fact I had to let go of a few of them. No saving once you outgrow your friendship...Time to bring in the Time Capsule.
  • I didn't learn to cook as many new dishes as I planned to...I've developed an aversion to cooking!
  • I didn't watch as many plays I intended to. If only the Rangashankara people answered the damn telephone when you try to call them for details!
  • I didn't go to as many concerts as I wanted to...Why the hell are they so expensive?
  • I am not gonna end the year with as much money as I thought I should :(((

BUT
  • I did take Amma and VM on their first flight :D Amma's reaction was total paisa vasool :DDD
  • I did set up an editing suite of sorts at home..Man that feels like ages ago!
  • I finally got to work with M more closely and how I love that guy! (Will post about this sometime)
  • I managed to put my foot down and say "no more bullshitting me" on quite a few occasions - YAAAAYYY!
  • I did all the stories I wanted to do and got good responses...One always feels one could've done more of course.
  • I did all the shopping I wanted to do everytime I wanted to do (this kinda explains my non-existent bank balance :)
  • Came up with workable idea and ACTUALLY implemented it much to the surprise of everyone around!!! (Who thought of it? who's doing it? Do you have a business planner? I am asked every other day :D)
Hmmm now that I've listed it all down I think I've had a I've had a pretty good year...not bad at all! Lets see what one can do in 2008?

Postscript: If I had written this post 3 days ago the year would've been depressing but now that a holiday is coming up I am in high spirits he he he. It is all a matter of perspective!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Random question

How come only birthday has a song for the occasion? What about engagement, anniversary, passing out or getting a job?

It is a man's world alright

Some time back we saw our very first Men's fairness cream adverts. And quite a few of us women rejoiced at the sight of it. It didn't change anything in our lives but felt good that finally fairness (in skin colour atleast) was not just the woman's most desired virtue (it isn't a mistake skin colour is a virtue in this country) anymore.

Couple of days ago I actually noticed one of the ads. The difference between the men's fairness cream ad and the women's hit me.

"Fairever" Ad: Asin is getting no attention from this boy because she isn't fair and Ta daaa this cream with kumkum flowers comes to her rescue to win the boy. The boy who had earlier torn her picture away from his now wants to pose with her and the girl very coyly agrees.


Switch to Nivea's ad for men's fairness cream. Here again the boy is rejected because he is dark and then post cream intervention he's almost Brad Pitt and the girls are falling over each other for him. And he gets to play the cool dude and actually shakes his head and walks away from them.

What the?????

I think it was last year or the year before that about the time Kris Srikanth endorsed Fair & Lovely ad that NDTV had "We the people" discussion on this whole fairness cream madness. And one of the Ad gurus (I forget who) said these ads are meant to be empowering women. At the end of each ad the girl gets what she was denied earlier. That being the star hunt and commentator's job if you remember. But I wonder how he will explain this difference that I just talked of?

It is a victory for a woman when this shallow as a spoon, man who earlier rejected her comes back to her. But the man's victory lies in walking away when the woman who was as shallow as one can be has a change of heart!

PHRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRT

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Globalisation of a different kind

It always scares me to hear about all the bomb blasts that happen all over the world. I believe it is the single most senseless thing that mankind has invented. But you never really understand how terrifying it is unless it touches you. When I was younger I knew very few people and whoever I knew were all either in Bangalore or Belthangady. Nothing much happened around then. News of one odd accident or an unexpected death was all that came along once in a while to disturb us. Then we moved on.

Now it is different I have made a lot friends and work with a lot of people in different parts of the country, world even. I always felt it was a good thing. But then when terrible things happen in those far away places and you worry about your friends or colleagues it isn't so good.

First time I realised this was when I met a young Kashmiri student years ago who talked about militancy that almost ripped his family and identity apart. I met him just once, I don't even remember his face or name but everytime I hear some news from Kashmir, I wonder about him.

The bomb blasts in Delhi, Mumbai and Assam always worries me. I know a few people there. I am not touch with all of them but it scares me nevertheless. The mindless shooting spree in some part of America, forest fires that go out of control, the cyclones that threaten an entire coastline all these are not just news one hears on TV anymore. It is much more personal.

Srilanka was another country that just fascinated me after I read Ramayana. Then I met two girls from that country who cried when they watched "Kannathil Muthamittal" and told the everyday horrors which shook me up so much I didn't sleep for days. Now I worry about that country too. These days a friend travels to Colombo often on work and I send out silent prayers.

Sometimes I feel I cannot take this anymore. This mindless blood spilling that's happening everywhere it is affecting me. And then I think if this is how I feel when I am miles away from there, what goes on in the minds of people who see this everyday and watch helplessly as violence disrupts their lives?

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Filmi weekend

Dil Dosti etc

I watched this Prakash Jha production last weekend for 2 reasons. One It has Shreyas Talpade and two it was the debut movie of Imaad Shah, son of Naseeruddin Shah. The story revolves around these two protagonists. Imaad plays the quintessential cosmopolitan guy with loads of money. He has no particular aim in life but to go after the women (with no strings attached of course) he fancies (he doesn't have much of a problem going after a prostitute and a school girl at the same time.) Shreyas on the other hand plays this very middle class (complete with you fall in love only once attitude) with big political ambitions typical of Delhi University. He's a bihari boy who doesn't mind flaunting his "bihari buddhi." The film plays out the chilled out and at the very same time exciting student life as it is with almost no dramatisation. The film is essentially the juxtaposition of liberal vs conservative. It certainly lacks the cinematic feel but then one cannot tell a story like this with too much drama either. There are three very strong female characters as well. Smirti Mishra is the no nonsense prostitute, Ishhita Sharma , the very sweet but conniving school girl and Nikita Anand is the very ambitious model who falls for Shreyas. These three support the story quiet ably.

There are many telling scenes in the movie.

1) When Imaad takes up the challenge of "doing" three girls in 24 hours when Shreyas was only kidding.
2) When Smriti finally falls for the sweet gentlemanly Imaad much against her beliefs.
3) When Shreyas tells Imaad that his girl friend will not be participating in any fashion show. "Dheere dheere raaste par laa rahe hain" he says.
4) When Nikita tells Imaad she's taking off to London for a fashion show without telling Shreyas but confesses she still loves him.

I liked the movie. It's a welcome change from all the no-brainers that flood cinema halls week after week. Though strictly not for action craving or mush mooning types. It is a very straight forward movie. Oh yeah I loved Shreyas Talpade all over again. As for Imaad there wasn't much for him to do except look ultra laid back and have fun with women and he pulled it off very well. I am looking out for him...good genes cannot just not show up :)

Johnny Gaddar

Oh how I loved this film :D It is a very quirky film and I hope Sriram Raghavan (he also made Ek Hasina thi) makes more films like this. Right from the way title rolls in true 70s style to the references to Vijay Anand and James Hadley chase I loved it all! It is shot very stylishly . I loved the way the main character Vikram played by Niel Mukesh lifts the whole plan from an Amitabh Bacchan movie (I've forgotten which) and gets inventive as the film progresses. I don't want to tell you anything about the story line as it is a suspense thriller except that it is a very cleverly done film. The music is good and the editing even better. Niel Mukesh is a good find. He's the grandson of the legendary singer Mukesh. Playback's loss is silver screen's gain shall we say? The rest of the cast Dharmendra, Vinay Pathak, Zakir Hussain, Ashwini Kalsekar are good. Vinay Pathak especially proves that he can deliver EVERY SINGLE time and Rimi Sen (some one please find her another profession) is ok. The other character which is important for the plot but vanishes quickly is Shiva played by Daya Shetty of the ridiculous yet ridiculously popular TV show CID. And oh the other thing I liked in the movie is the appearance of Kannada and Tamil dialogues. They are delivered stilted but nevertheless not thrust in there for comical (!!) relief so :)

I also watched "Great expectations" and "Breaking the entering" will write about that later.

Postscript: In case anyone's wondering - I've been down with fever and confined to home for almost a week now and hence all the movie mania.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Gyaan Vani

There's no fun in falling ill if there's no one to fuss over you.

No am not a drama queen but sometimes when the bouts of cold bother, one feels its not too much to ask for endless supply of hot cups of soups and some cheerful company.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

The joys of childhood!

My apartment is on the ground floor and faces the children's play area. This sometimes makes me hate school holidays because I feel like I am in the middle of a classroom without a teacher. Thats only sometimes though. It is great fun to watch these little ones make up rules of a non-existent game and fight endlessly over it :D However, when its not cricket or skating, most of the games are based on TV shows. They have their own versions of KBC with See-Saw being the hot seat and the Slide is where "fastest finger first" is carried out. Once it so happened that I was out on my balcony watching this game and the anchor (on end of the See-Saw :) asked the "audience" the colour of the giraffe's tongue with the options blue, yellow and pink. Unanimously the crowd of 10 children went "what a stupid question it is pink. All animals have pink tongues."

Now that's not the correct answer because Girraffe's tongue is blue-black (can be safely referred to as blue.) I was very surprised at the question itself coming from an 8-year-old but they do watch a lot of TV and for once I was glad that it was probably animal planet or Discovery. Anyways the anchor was now in a fix because the audience was in rebellious mood that he was taking them for a ride. So he turns around and asks me the same question complete with options and I say its blue glad that I did know the answer. Otherwise imagine being embarrassed in front of a bunch of 8-year-olds! Vindicated the anchor continues to the next question while the rest stare at me suspiciously :)

The other games are Tom & Jerry - mostly involving a lot of shouting and running around and various other video game based ones which I am not even aware of! And of course sometimes play "house-house" and "teacher- teacher" V brought up a very interesting point the other day that all these games have to have a name that repeat twice. It is a never house game but house-house :) Coming back to the kids they do get bored sometimes of their games and can't think of what else to do. I know of kids who don't know what to do on weekends when there's not enough people to play cricket with or Cartoon Network is off limits.

I grew up at a time when television didn't exist and the only programme on radio I waited for was "chilipili" (its the sound of birds calling in Kannada) on Sunday evenings at 5 pm. No one could touch me little transistor from Sunday afternoon onwards until 6pm! I would sit on my compound wall with my transistor and listen very carefully. Back then there were no choices of hundreds of toys either. I was almost 11 by the time my brother was "old" enough to play with me out on the streets. So my company was lots of boys who were at least 5 years older than me. That never stopped me from playing every kind of game that was there back then. I honestly NEVER knew boredom! I am listing below some of the games

  • jooTaaTa (what the kids call Tag these days)
  • kaNNA mucchaale (I spy) which we thought was icespys back then :D
  • Dabba (a very localised version of eye spy)
  • lagori (seven stones)
  • kallaa maNNaa? (roughly translated stone or mud? I do not know its English name)
  • choor chenDu (again a very localised version of seven stones)
  • At least 3 types of kunTe bille (hop scotch)
  • kuntu muttiso aata (hop n catch)
  • teacher-teacher - our ultimate way to live out the fantasy of punishing our teachers. Always the attendance register consisted of our teachers who now have to obey us!
  • doctor-doctor - we drew patients on a paper with a lump hidden under that to be operated on.
  • maneyaaTa (house-house) complete with the kitchen set made of mud (not the Barbie kinds). The only ingredients available to us were tamarind, salt and may be green chillies if some one managed to steal it from home. We made everything from it. Tamarind and salt in water was our Sambhar. Tamarind and salt rolled into a ball on a stick was the lolly pop. (Damn my mouth's watering)
  • goliyaaTa (marbles) - Since I was the youngest they would let me win initially :) But eventually I mastered the game and had the most enviable marble collection of over 300!
In school we also played this game "Elastic" a very boring name but it needed the highest gymnastic skills! Somehow this game was restricted to girls only. I was pleasantly surprised 2 years ago when I found out that girls in schools of Arunachal played this game too :) P and I were so thrilled about it but were put in place quickly when 3-year-old daughter of Thupten showed more dexterity than the two of us put together!

We also had innumerable games to play in the class room both when teacher was around and not around :)

Sometimes I wish back in school playing all these games!

One day I asked one of these kids playing outside my house...why do you kids play so much? Of course a stupid question but wanted to see their reaction. By way of answer they all looked at me like I was a pyscho :) But one of them with this tone of "oh you poor grown up" looked up and said to me "what else to enjoy." Life's very simple when you are a child isn't it?

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Playing catch up

Life has strange ways of catching up with you. You leave something unfinished it will come back to haunt you (Isn't that called Karma?) A lesson I have always known but ignored mostly. Sometimes it is something I didn't say to a friend...it remains at the back of my memory...nagging every once in a while. Sometimes it is an unpleasant task of confronting a loved one that I kept postponing. Again left on the back burner to simmer.

But I also believe that I will not be able to finish it till I am ready. When the time is right there is no need to wait. It will happen, unpleasant as it may be but will be over with and there'll be one less thing to be guilty about. The feeling of lightness is palpable.

Then there is another kind of catching up. Catching up with the people who walked all over you, looking them in the eye and say "I haven't forgotten. I might be able to forgive you someday. But you will not do that to me ever again" (well not that Hollywoodish exactly but something like that). A friend who took advantage of your trust and put you in a place where you could trust no one anymore. A loved one who wasn't there when you needed him/her the most. A colleague who screwed you over to save his/her own as*...the list is pretty long actually.

I do take great pleasure in striking them off the list. It isn't the guilt that needs to do the vanishing act here. It is the feeling of betrayal, humiliation and inability to trust that's to be chipped off one tiny piece at time.

This doesn't mean these things don't repeat themselves. Some one will lie to me, some one will make me the scapegoat for their inadequacies and so on and so forth. But hey who said anything about life being easy? I only need some breather once in a while just so that I can get back at them in true Hollywood style (Bollywood style is too melodramatic and masculine for my temperament so apologies.)

Friday, November 09, 2007

Ta Daaaaa!

So here's the big news!


I have slept very little in the last one week and 3 hours of sleep in the last 24 hours! But for once the insomnia isn't about endless jabbering, movie sessions or just plain depression.

Invite every one to take a look at it and give feedback.

And hey would like it all the more if you could write :)

So off I go to celebrate more than just Deepavali this year. Happy Deepavali!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

TWO days to go!!!

And I have thousands of these fluttering in stomach right now!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Haaaalidaaaaay

On a break!

Keep watching this space for some great news!


Gosh I am acting like I have a 100 readers who will miss me. But hey even if it is just 5 of you...well watch out for me :)

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

"Professor Hucchuraya" a film made in 1974 had the inimitable Narasimharaju playing the lead role. I don't remember much of the film except that the story was around arranging a marriage. Hucchuraya is called in to Bangalore to sort out a much muddled love story and steer it to the happily ever after. But the introductory scene of Hucchuraya landing in Bangalore is something that I have never forgotten. He gets off a Tonga in what is supposed to be Malleshwaram if I remember it right and tries to ask the people walking up the street about the address he's looking for. Every time he asks someone the response comes in a different language - Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu probably even Hindi. And he turns to the camera and says "is this still Bangalore the capital of Karnataka or have I landed in some other place?" This is 1974 mind you and namma bengaLooru has only gotten better over the years. Now the situation is so bad that if you speak in Kannada people turn to you and say "oh kannaDa heg kalitri?" How did you learn Kannada. A question that makes me indignant needless to say. What do you mean HOW? I am a Kannadiga that's how. A friend of mine once pointed out that I was not a Kannadiga but Mangalorean !!!! I will not describe what happened to her post that question.

When we moved into this apartment after four years of touring Tamil Heartland I was so glad that I didn't have to point out the paruppus to the shopkeeper when I run out of it and that I could actually speak without wondering if I am making a fool of myself. But the truth dawned on me the day we landed back here. The auto fellows always ask "kidhar jaana madam?"where do you want to go? The shop fellows will say "madam ek dum fresh item hai abhi aaya hai" madam it is very fresh came today only. When I reply promptly reply in Kannada they look utterly startled and say "eshTu chennagi kannaDa maataDteera madam" - How well you speak Kannada. GRRRRRRR

Later I bought Worldspace simply because I happened to hear some of the most divine Kannada Sugama Sangeetha (Light music) compositions at Bheema's restaurant on Church Street. I shocked the waiters there by asking them what cassettes they were playing. They were so thrilled with my curiosity that they rattled off the whole programme schedule of the channel. So every morning I would crank up the volume and play the Sparsha Channel. One day I hear the doorbell and there's the milkman at my door with a very puzzled look. And then with some hesitancy he blurts "neevu kannaDa haaDu kELtheera? Do you listen to Kannada songs? Now it's my turn to look puzzled. Without waiting for my answer he says but I thought you just spoke Kannada you are a Kannadiga aren't you? That is so nice. I am fed up of talking in Hindi and goes away.

I've had auto drivers look at me like I am some new species when I speak to them in Kannada. I once asked an auto driver who's name was Hanumanthappa (can't get more Kannadiga than that) if he's converted to be a Delhiite because despite me speaking to him in Kannada he kept answering me in Hindi.

Why is it that people are so surprised when I speak Kannada IN Bangalore? More importantly why am I a Hindi speaking person and not Tamil, Telugu or Marathi speaking? These questions have been nagging me for the last 1.5 years and here are possible answers - some my theories and some reasons provided by good Samaritans.

1) Most obvious reason - Bangalore IS the second Delhi at this point of time.
2) People suddenly realised Hindi is our national language and so the renewed enthusiasm in speaking it (though I doubt this)
3) I was once told that I wear western clothes and hence had to be Hindi speaking. Reaaaaaally now?
4) My car is TN registration and hence I must be Hindi speaking!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
5) I have a nose ring like Sania Mirza. Do you mind she's a Hyderabadi which is in the south of the Vindhyas get your geography right man!

I almost did an MA in Kannada because I thought I would forget what I knew. What with just about 4 people in my life who can speak to me in Kannada!



Monday, October 15, 2007

Blog Action Day - My 2 cents.



"Environment is out there in the villages and jungles what can we city people do?" said an educated young man amidst friends when conversation turned to the cutting of trees in cities. Shocked as we were at his remark we patiently tried to explain to him what he could do and that environment was not just out there somewhere. I do not know what he made of it, never met the young man again. Here are somethings people listed out for him and my own list added to it.

Garbage Disposal

1) Do not throw away plastic ALWAYS recycle it.
2) Try to segregate recyclable and non recyclable waste before disposal. I say try because we do not yet have a comprehensive garbage segregation system set up but if more people start doing it we will.
3) Never flush diapers and sanitary napkins.
4) Do not mix chemical / Bio waste with domestic waste
5) Find safe ways of depositing batteries and other electronic disposables


Water

1) Do not leave the taps open longer than necessary
2) Install Rain water Harvesting system in your houses, apartments and office complexes.
3) Repair leaking water pipes right away. It might seem like just a drip but over the days precious water is draining away.
4) Sewage water can be treated and reused for gardening.
5) Do not use a hose pipe to clean your cars and two wheelers. Just a bucket of water would do.
6) Be aware of how much time you spend in the shower.

Air

1) Use public transport as much as possible
2) Switch to CNG where possible
3) Do not burn garbage

Avoid Plastic - Do not insist on plastic bags at shops. Carry your own cloth or paper bags unless it is raining.


Don't have to become a high flying activist...just little things one could do around the house is enough to save the environment. It's not out there!

I am falling in love

With God's own country



The houseboats on the backwaters




Chinese fishing nets at Fort Kochi



Alleppey Backwaters


Sunday, October 07, 2007

Chak de Kudiye! (for non punjabis like me it means something like "Buck up girls")

Here's a very interesting take on this year's surprise hit movie Chak De India! Surprise because it is actually a good movie and not like earlier SRK hits - Kal Ho Na Ho and KANK.

All the gals and boys reading this blog (I know atleast 2 people read this regularly :) Please leave your comments on the article here on my post. I am just curious.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

True blue Bangaloreans?

"Ek roti tees paise bekadre vayinko lyakpote get out" which in English means "one roti costs 30 paise buy it if you want else get out"

This was the result was the collective creativity of we second graders many many years ago. I don't remember if I was part of the creative team (not even sure if it was one of us or someone else in this wide wide world) but I sure thought it was very clever and never missed an opportunity to flaunt it. My parents thought it was funny the first 2 times I said it but not so funny after a dozen times.

I recently remembered this because V & I still speak like this at times. It goes like this.

Me: Is that chapati soft?
V: yeah aaj kal teek hi banta hai. (these days it's like this)
Me: What do you mean? Idukku munnadi ippadi kedayada? (earlier it was not like this?)
V: Not like that. Munnaadiya vide ippo nalla irukku (no it's better than before)
Me: Naaleyinda neene maadko haagadre (you make the chapathis from tomorrow)
V: No aisa nahi yaar... (I didn't mean it that way)

See what I mean? There are reasons why we speak like this. In order to explain the reasons I'll have to start from the start.

My parents are quite linguists themselves. Being from Dakshina Kannada (DK) they automatically speak 2 languages Tulu (they both spoke two different versions of this) and Kannada. In addition to that they were people with loads of friends and so they understood Konkani and Malayalam.

And then they moved to Bangalore (where the Kannada is very different) and this being the ever cool cosmopolitan city their language skills only got better. Mom taught Kannada in a school where the majority of the population was Tamil speaking (both teachers and students). So she learnt that too. She can put any Tamilian to shame with her Tamil now. I was born into this high pressure learning zone. It so happened that the family that agreed to look after me when both of them were at work was Marathi speaking. So the first language I learnt was not Tulu or Kannada but Marathi!. Mom says she had to keep the girl from the family around in the evenings to converse with me. After a while they couldn't take it any more and decided I would go with Dad to office to get Marathi out of my system. It helped that Dad was running his own business. I don't speak a word of Marathi anymore but can understand some.

I was put in the same school that Amma taught and so I too learnt Tamil in addition to English and the mandatory third language Hindi. National language took centre-stage in my life with advent of Doordarshan. I learnt all my spoken Hindi through Ramayana, Mahabharatha , Buniyaad and of course Amitabh Bachan and Mithun Chakraborthy movies. I owe it all to the idiot box and the celluloid...

Later in college I was introduced to Ghalib and Jagjit Singh and so Urdu entered my vocabulary. And simply by the virtue of being in Bangalore Telugu was inducted somewhere down the lane. During college and initial office days Hindi and English was the mainstay. What with half the office filled with junta from every other state.

Then I moved to Tamil Nadu. Where my Tamil language skills were refined. I even learnt to read a bit (how else does one get into the buses there?) What was supposed to be a brief one month stay turned out to be 4 year long sojourn through the Tamil Heartland. Today I can speak Iyer aathu Tamizh to Madurai Coimbatore sing song to murderous Tamil they speak in Chennai. My first big job as journo was with a Hindi news channel and so watching all those 70s and 80s Bollywood cinema finally paid off. Soon I was not only having day to day conversations in Hindi but filing stories in Hindi from Tamil Nadu mind you...(albeit typed it all in English. The producers tried very hard to make us learn Hindi typing but that was the limit) In the midst of it all Malayalam the only other south Indian language I didn't learn all these years was making way into my system...I fell for and married a Mal guy! So now I had that too to learn (how else could I hope to impress my in laws my charms weren't family friendly!) Now V himself was quite a linguist. Mal guy brought up in TN and then did his college in Hindi heartland! So dating days we spoke Hindi, Tamil and English. Poor guy even pretended to understand all the Urdu poetry I would let off :D

So between us we had about five languages. Hence the confusion!

And last year we had a brain wave and decided to add some international flavour to this confusion we took up Spanish classes. Thankfully the madness ended with level 1.

We try very hard to keep the language in one region at a time. We even drew up a calendar! We said we will speak nothing but Kannada and Malayalam and we would give 2 weeks each. But so far hasn't worked.

PS: I do believe that living in Bangalore one usually speaks at least 2 languages other than Kannada. And since we went on an overkill I do think we are living up to the tradition in a big way. Hence the title.



Friday, September 28, 2007

Nightmare at day break

According to an Economic Times article it takes anywhere between 21 lakhs to 98 lakhs to educate one's child (at today's rate that too)

I am so aghast at this number! V&I did some quick calculations and found that it didn't cost 21 lakhs to get us both educated despite the fact that both of us did PG from reputed institutions and even if we include the cost of our apartment (the current and not at what we bought) it doesn't come to 98 lakhs. What kind of education are we talking about here?

If this is true then my child (when it happens) will have to start earning from the age 16 to ensure so that she can put in at least a coupla lakhs from her side and oh yeah I am gonna have to start praying for a genius who can get scholarships!

This is why one should not read newspapers first thing in the morning!!!!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Breaking news!

Indian Hockey team members to go on hunger strike

And why not they won the Asia cup thulping South Korea 7-2 and all they got is a few interviews on various channels and hit the headlines for a day. While blue eyed boys are still counting their money with state governments and central government falling over each other to see who gives out the most. I am reminded of the Kannada saying "Yaarappan duddu Yellamana jaathre" (which roughly means Yellamma's festival is conducted with someone else's father's money...please don't ask to elaborate) The ministers are paying nothing from their own pockets but from the state coffers. Why aren't they this spontaneous and generous when it comes to flood relief or rehabilitation?

And then of course there is this news

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Twenty20 - my take

Disclaimer: I used to be a HUGE cricket maniac not anymore. These days my interest in the game is purely cynical.

Having said that I must acknowledge that yesterday's match was full paisa vasool. Couldn't have asked for more! Even a cynic like me enjoyed every minute of it and was cheering madly for whole 3 hours.

But nevertheless here are my observations

Why Twenty20 is good

1) It is supremely entertaining. It is like watching the highlights of a super charged up match, only better.
2) One need not kill relatives or feign serious illness in advance to watch the match. Just a simple stomach upset would do for the game is just over 3 hours.
3) The very quality makes it a viable alternative to a Bollywood movie (these days most films are almost 4 hours in length making it impossible to stay still)
4) Soon we will have PVR and Inox selling tickets to watch Twenty20 live action on big screen. It will be way better than cheering for the Lagaan's team.
5) The shorter version makes it a hit with the non cricket fans who can move on to other things in just four hours without being isolated for a whole day (actually about a week what with fans discussing the team's strategy and planning around the match itself.)
6) This is especially a boon for the remote wielding ladies of the household who will have to give up their favourite gadget for a short period of time.
7) Last but not the least Indian subcontinent can be the world champions till Australians figure out how to win the games.

Why Twenty20 is bad

This victory in the world cup means
1) that cricket is back BIG time into our lives. Dashing all hopes of any other sport developing in this country.
2) that we will have a lot more insipid dialogue delivery to bear when the cricketers fill our TV screen in the name of campaigning.
3) we will have a few more roads and circles and probably even airports named after cricketers
4) all those kids who were pushed to take up tennis will have to now take up bats and get weird hair dos
5) SRK will have to think about making a cricket based film (May be that's why he's still carrying that mop on his head)
6) most importantly all those who do not play cricket professionally will have to start praying all over again.
Hmmm yeah that's about it.

Aside:

1) Everyone was so excited at the end of the match that they forgot to English! Afridi was congratulating all the Indian nations for winning the world cup and Ravi Shastri announced that India was new champions of the TT world cup!

2) As scintillating as it was why the bloody hell is that 6 sixes of 6 balls from Yuvraj worth a fffffishin one crore rupees?????


Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Fashion Fiasco?

I see lots of kids and grown ups wearing these shoes these days. And this report suggests that they are not escalator friendly and can be dangerous!

We get dumped with these products and if it falls in the "cool" category in some other part of the world especially America then we HAVE to have it. WHY???????

Fashion's followed blindly and comes in to "vogue" without really bothering about
1) safety aspect - high heels on our streets is an open invitation to ankle twists and ligament tears but they are absolutely a must for every woman to be considered at least trendy if not sexy
2) just the person's own will - low rise jeans and boot legged pants are of my BIG fashion peeves. I don't want to wear them but can't find one decent pair of jeans that's not low rise or boot cut.

I am not a prude I do wear high heels on occasions and have no problems with other people wearing jeans as low as they want. My issue is that I do NOT have a choice.

Monday, September 17, 2007

My week has only 4 working days

The right side of my brain starts slowing down by Friday afternoon. I start yearning for weekend air. This basically means some rum okay if that's shocking some red wine, lotsa music, movies, friends, family, places that are not malls, clearing all books piled on the side table and clothes in the guest bedroom, just chilling out exchanging news and views till late morning with V, long drives, weekend getaways and of course food that I didn't cook. And so for the next 2 days one tries to do all these things. Here I must say that V is also of similar mindset on weekends only he doesn't want aaaaallll the above in the same weekend where as I, do. So the next 2 days goes away in a blur. By Sunday evening V's beginning to feel restless. He will say "Oh the weekend is over" but come Monday morning he's as excited as a child going on a picnic to go to office. (The only other person who is as excited is Amma.) However my right brain refuses to wind up the fun and tune into reality. So most of Monday morning I spend moping about. This is the day to check over the internet and TV if the world has shifted in the last 2 days (Weekends there's no time for internet or TV you see). This is also the day I diligently read all emails even the ones that I would otherwise delete without a second thought. This is also the day I read up various blogs and curse them for not updating it over the weekend.

And then there is this guiltripping that I am wasting my time and not doing anything creative and productive. It doesn't help that I have no one to call / sms for the sake of it because everyone's at work. Well I have work too but since it's right in my own home I take liberties. By then its past lunch time and the guilt is so over powering that I make a list. Yes a "To Do" list and start the process right away. That is if I decide to write an article I do some research or if I decide to meet a long lost friend I dig up her number so on so forth. By 6pm my guilt is almost gone. The working day technically ends in a little while and so the guilt is forgotten till next Monday. Life's pretty much on track from Tuesday morning to Friday afternoon.

This post was meant to be confession of sorts and self pitying but at the end of it I am realising I couldn't asked for anything better I LOVE MY LIFE :)

Friday, September 14, 2007

midnight ramblings

Its almost 1 am and I am up leaving comments on nostalgic posts of strangers from the blog world, making myself oggarane haakida mosaranna for the second dinner of the night and walking up and 4 floors to the terrace and back to see if the traffic's moving. There is no cable and the house running on a DG am clinging on internet because Hemingway is unable to engage the mess that is my head right now. No I am turn into an insomniac lunatic I am waiting for V to return from work. No this is not one of those project deadline days. He is on the road somewhere in his second attempt to get home tonight. His first attempt was at 9 and he didn't even manage to get out of his office compound for the first half hour. Once he hit the road he spent the next half hour trying to go back to office because the damn road was jammed all the way till Silk Board flyover. So he started the whole exercise 3 hours later only this time in taxi. In all the excitement to get home he parked the car in the office basement and now we are wondering if we'll have to call the insurance guys tomorrow because it is still pouring.

As per the latest SMS from V The taxi driver does not know where he is!!! I am trying bloody hard not to freak out.

This is what Bangalore is become...rain means traffic jams nothing but traffic jams. I've spent my whole life in this city and till 2004 I had seen just one flooding that was probably in 89-90. That was an exception. The same year Ulsoor lake walls had breached and had flooded the whole area something that's almost a certainty during monsoons these days. Of course the flood in 2005 was the mother of all and we had not moved into our new home but water did. House stood in water for 4 days and we couldn't even get to it. Someone sent me the pictures of the time and till date I have shivers every time it thunders.

Okay V has found the main road and now I wait...again...because they are now approaching the house from the opposite end which means an additional 20 kms!

Why am I doing this running commentary? I guess I have to say to someone what I am feeling. Can't call Amma at this hour and freak her out...

And for once in my life I am grateful for cell phones else if V had vanished for this long without it I would've been waking up the neighbours by now (not that it would help)

This is not the Bangalore I grew up in and fell in love with madly and threw away careers for...And no I am not talking about the traffic jams. This city is a different woman now.

Will I have to put her in a time capsule too? Like all those friends and good times I had here? I don't see any other way.

I say this everytime something unbangalore (at least in my head) happens but next day someone will talk about malleshwaram or Tata institute or cubbon park or sankey tank and I will tell myself I don't want to live anywhere else in the world.

Postscript: V reached home at 2 in the morning. He didn't go to office this morning (I am aware that there 100s who do not have this luxury) because last night's traffic jam continued till 12 today and the tiny road that leads to the main road is full of water . Both of us are sitting at home watching the rain havoc coverage on TV9 (of course Rahul Dravid's decision to resign brought down the fervour of live coverages). But I can't help wonder at people's enthusiasm to bring home Ganesha despite all this. I mean I am seeing people wading through knee deep water to get him home.

And I wonder how long BBMP will keep saying we were not expecting this sort of unprecedented rain!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Lesson for the day.

Never decide to move the furniture around the house right after doing a reasonably okay French manicure yourself! It's not meant to last through moving futons and beds.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Friday, August 31, 2007

Things I am yet to learn

  1. Ignore morons who honk on the streets to bully their way through traffic
  2. Suppress the urge to mildly electrocute the guy who's peeing right on a school wall, bus stop (or anywhere that's not a loo)
  3. Not to lose my temper over the moron who jumps into the q from nowhere (I am not willing to ignore them but just tell them where to go and get back to my life without getting all hyper. Right now I take about 2 hours to cool down after an encounter)
  4. To accept that people will throw garbage out in the open (as long as it is not in to my Balcony)
  5. To switch off my hearing capability and go to a happy place when people around me talk rubbish
  6. To accept that there's only so much the men can understand about women even if they love them to death
  7. To be politely rude (a phrase Sav came up with)
  8. To be able to tell people to get out of my life (I knew how to do this one)
  9. To find the right level sarcasm in my answer when friends say oh you are too busy
  10. To tell people "why are you so jealous of my sex life" when they say "why aren't you having babies?"
  11. To ask some of the well meaning friends to shut up when they say "oh you cook eh?" (you think we could afford a car if we ate out every single day?)
  12. To show the esteemed apartment association members a certain finger on my right hand when they insist I cannot grow vegetables in my garden cos it reduces the value of the apartment!
  13. To tell people it is none of their business how and if I pray to god
I have more to add but I think 13 is a nice number to stop at.

I've realised much to my dismay that life was simpler when I knew how not to be polite. I had lots of friends and all the annoying questions never came my way cos people were S*** scared to ask me.

Being nice never pays eh.

Headless!

Remember the furore over the "headless chicken" comment by Indian Ambassador to US Mr Ronen Sen couple of weeks ago? It was one full day of drama in both the houses of parliament. Sushma Swaraj (among many others) issued a statement saying he should be recalled, put in the well of the house and "admonished." I had a vision of an errant school boy being shouted down by a particularly stern looking headmistress in the staff room :) Of course the drama ended the next day when Mr Sen looking suitably apologetic said that he meant that media was the headless chicken and not the honourable MPs. I was quite astonished at the humility of the media persons who took this compliment so well. Television anchors said with a straight face that Sen was referring to the media and not the MPs and there the matter ended.

Me thinks that either the "media" has stronger ego than the more fragile MPs or they simply didn't get the insult in the statement. Very interesting. Here's another view of the whole incident.

Hmmm.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Same old story.

Two men and two women went out to have a good time on a sedate Sunday evening. After 5 hours of shopping, mall hopping, opinion flaunting, basically a very fruitful shopping outing they get back home. Once home they all freshen up and change into night clothes. Till now the story is very boring I know. Whats happened next is also not very dramatic but bear with me I do have a point. After they freshened up one of the men opened his laptop and got busy while the other engaged himself in some very important conversation over the phone. Meanwhile the two women take to the kitchen and prepare dinner thinking how exhausted they are and they wish there was some magic in life which would come in handy at moments like this. 15 minutes later the men are called to the table and served dinner. The women help themselves too. And then the day ended.

Do you see my point? You don't? In that case testosterone plays a HUGE part in you so don't bother trying to figure it out.

If you understood my point it means ladies you've been there and my sympathies with you. I just wonder how many generations do I have to wait to see a change in that story?


PS: If some man did get the point of my little boring story then its a good start and I do hope you change the story some day.


Monday, August 20, 2007

Earth's little gifts

I had been on the road for four days continously. I had slept fitfully in the car and hotel rooms for about 5 hours every night. I had heard heart wrenching stories of people hit by Tsunami. I thought after 2 years these people had found their ground that Tsunami had swept away but they are still struggling. They had recovered their spirits and were raring to go but they were waiting for that little push to start off ...again. Distressed yet inspired I was returning to 2 more days of such stories with a heavy heart and somewhere between Nagapattinam and Madurai I saw the earth burst into sunny yellow. More golden than the setting sun.



We stopped at the field for about five minutes (we had about 500 kms to cover before midnight) and then I was ready to go on and listen to people's story. That is all I could do for the moment anyway.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Us and them

I have resisted writing this post for a long time now.

Two weeks ago I was watching V Channel's get gorgeous (GG) programme (Yes I do watch such inane programmes. I work on and off and I do have lots of TV time on hand and I am not good at resisting the temptation of a couch potato) Getting back to the GG. It is about this bunch 17 somethings picked up by handful of industrywallahs to turn into super models. The girls on the show are so mature that they make my seven-year-old neighbour seem like a mother of sanity. But thats not what upset me (what is there to get upset TV is full of this) There was this episode where the contestants had to do a photo shoot on the beach with some strange props (one of them looked a shield but am not sure) I dunno how it works because they are not exactly promoting anything through the photo shoot oh but yeah of course they are trying to show off their bodies so they strike whatever they think brings out the best. At the end of it a few panelists take a look at the photos and air their opinions. There was this one girl who wasn't doing the postures right even I could see it. Nothing wrong but just that it didn't look graceful and looked a bit on the vulgar side. When it was her turn to get the comments from the panelists, one of them (unfortunately I do no know the esteemed gentleman's name) tells her "How are you X I wish I could say that in Telugu." I am thinking oh the girl is from Andhra...and the man continues "I would say that in Telugu because that is where you belong. You would fit in there with your body language" and enacts the poses she struck for the photo shoot. He then went to to say something to the effect there was no grace /class and she should try Tollywood.

What the bloody hell does that mean?

I was watching the re-run of Koffee with Karan yesterday with Lara Dutta and Katrina Kaif. The inimitable (is he really?) Karan asks Katrina "you did a lot of south films right? do you remember any funny dialogue or any funny thing they made you do?" And tries to gesture some dance movement. And goes on to ask Lara the same thing. Lara was saying that she had to do a sequence in Cambridge on a Gondola for some Tamil song and that it was the most embarrassing day of her life.

Really now? the mighty hindi film industry never does anything as ridiculous is it? To chase your heroine around and make obscene gyrations to the utter dismay of onlooking westerners is not strange? Proposing to your heroine dressed in a nightie (very fancy one but nightie nevertheless) on the streets of some foreign location accompanied by some 200 white women dancers is not bizarre but highly creative? Don't get me started!

What is unmistakable is the I am superior than thou attitude. What makes the hindi cinema
better? just because they have more money to throw around? In India there are about 800 films made per year of which only about 80 is Hindi cinema's contribution. The rest comes from the rest of India which incidentally is not part of Indian Cinema but regional cinema. Even if you forget the quantity what about the quality? Spending huge amounts of money with super stars and larger than life canvas does not guarantee good cinema or even plain entertainment. Remember your K3G and KANK Mr Inimitable? Flaunting these and the likes as India's best in international arena is what is embarrassing the collective creative level of the people (which includes people outside Bombay, Delhi, Punjab and Gujarat)

Every time this issue comes up it makes me so angry that I lose my head. And right now I am unable to type in coherent sentences for the same reason. So I will stop. HUH!

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Haneef's return - the politics and the media circus.

Exactly my sentiments...

What ordeal is the Deccan Herald talking about? Haneef was in jail for 26 days. How long have the accused in the 1993 Mumbai blasts been in jails? for more read this on Hoot

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Travelogue

Mysore & Somanathpura

A trip down memory lane. It reminded of my school excursions, we did the exact same routine too Srirangapatna, KRS and Somanathapura leaving out only the palace and the zoo. The new additions being Mylari and Olive. Oh what joy one can find in smallest of things.



Somanthapura - the hoysala temple of Lord Vishnu



The KRS

Madurai

I sometimes wonder how the people there can be in such a jolly mood in such a bad weather. It makes me super cranky. The wonderful people and the horrible weather all intact- its always great to go back to people who are genuine and believe in what they do.

Ullal, Mangalore, Belthangady and Malebettu

My monsoon break :-) Totally unexpected but very lovely break. Loved every minute of it with a healthy dose of nostalgia thrown in. As I am growing older I am realising my need to find the roots that are otherwise lost in the concrete jungle and the catching up game.



Monsoon in Malebettu




Ullal beach

PS: I am glad I can upload pictures now! I've been struggling with my browser for long now!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

No way out!

Last weekend there was a film released (some 3 hindi, 2 English and 1 Kannada but those are not as important) It is called Aap Ka Surroor: The Moviee: The Real Luv Story. Please do not even start me on the numerolgy of the title. It is Himesh Reshammiya's (HR) debut film. The promos hold glorious evidence of his non-acting skills. He actually makes Mallika Sherawat (who given a chance can act and act well) look like an oscar winning actress. I very strongly believe that the man must be eliminated from the entertainment industry (in every form) and the promos only strengthen this belief of mine. The very premise of the film that HR is a big singing sensation that can sell tickets in Germany (have all the germans gone deaf? or have all HR fans moved to germany?) is laughable.

This isn't the first time though that bollywood is making its stars sell internationally (in fictional world of course) we had Bobby Deol and Upen Patel shown as BIG hits in America singing hindi actually punjabi songs in shakalaka boom boom (whats with the title anyway!) But since in Bollywood there's no concept learning from other people's mistake the premise has been adapted again in HR's film. I do not know what the story is about. I don't even want to know what the Gayathri mantra has to do with him meeting the heroine or the hysteric cries of "I am innocent" are about in the plot. The critics "panned" the film. I read the reviews and I started making plans to start "Ban HR" groups.

But three days later I read this report that says its a hit! Apparently this inane movie with bizarre spellings and stone faced HR is a hit!!! The opening weekend box office collection is as much as Sivaji some reports claim. The collection was as much as Dhoom and Krrish 2 that released last year. Read report here.

Now how did this happen? Apparently even the Delhi multiplexes are running to packed houses proving the theory that he is for the masses only, wrong. My only solace is that in Bangalore this may not be as bad what with Sivaji keeping everyone in theatres and Kannadigas rejoicing over their new found super star hero Ganesh's 4th film. In TN of course its just going to be Sivaji. In AP there is an impressive line up of new releases and in Kerala I am not sure if anyone will watch it except may be G2 (she actually likes his music and watches any thing thats on a 70 mm screen atleast once)

Coming back to my question - why is HR such a hit? Is it his baseball hat? Is it his nasal singing? is it that fact that he is regular guy who made it big. But how did he make it big without any talent? What is it???? Last year he had a concert at Bangalore Palace grounds. I've never seen north indian junta in that quantity ever before! The tickets were priced at 500, 1000 and 1500 and there were families of 20 going in together. (no i was not attending his concert but going to the October fest next door at the same venue)

Now that his moviee is a hit my worry is I'll have to see more of him on screen too! I already have a long list of people to avoid.

But here's another view of this unusual success story. Although I do not want to pray for HR I do wish the filmmakers learn something. If they do it won't be very hard to ignore HR.

But till then I will be clinging on to DVDs of my old favourites and watching then over and over again. Unless I develop a taste for daily soaps.

BTW the heroine of the film, Hansika Motwani is just 16 years old. This is why we should have more children's film so that these kids don't have to behave like grown ups in stupid films.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Third week of June and no rain in Bangalore. We should cut some MORE trees.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Road to Future!

We are building so many roads just in and around Bangalore. We are 4 laning and 6 laning (on Hosur Road its 10 laning) everywhere. We are building ring roads to connect the ring roads. All this while the current roads are in a bad shape or some areas have no roads at all. And not surprisingly this is the case in all the cities across the country. Like a friend of mine once said soon India will be one big road! Then we could simply move to Pakistan, Bangladesh, Burma and Srilanka to live. Commuting will not be an issue at all since there will be anyway so many roads connecting the country's borders.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Coffee anyone?

Have you seen the new Nescafe ad? Its about this guy who turns off his hot neighbour by asking Will you have a cup of milk with me?

Yes the ad makes its point and works well. But I have a problem - I don't drink coffee. I can occasionally have tea. And this has been a problem since I hit the age when one cannot be friends over just chocolates and icecream.

At my first job everyone would have tea except me. For the first one week everyone in the office tried to coax me to try. Then they gave up but the taunting that I was "milk baby" never stopped. (Honestly I am not a big fan of milk either) It would get worse if we had some newcomer around tea-time. I had to explain all over that I don't drink tea and was subjected to stares of disbelief.

Then by the time I got to my second job I was ready to give tea a chance. Actually it was my only chance to make friends of my colleagues. All the tea-drinkers bonded over it (they resemble the smokers gang that way) while I was left hanging around (nothing deliberate I was assured). So I drank tea sometimes (talk about peer pressure).

Later I was quiet disgusted (with the tea and myself for bowing down to peer pressure) that I gave up tea. This wasn't helping my social life at work plus I never got to take a break from my desk. "You don't even drink tea why are you here?" I was asked by some concerned colleagues so I took the round about way. I started drinking Pepsi! Those were the days when MNCs were just beginning to pamper the "Indian middle class" so we had fountain pepsi machine installed at the canteen which pumped tons of litres a day. So here I was back in the social circle :-)

Then the whiff of breeze from far away Bodhi tree hit me. I woke up to the health hazards of aerated drinks (which my tummy reminded me on an hourly basis) and of course the whole why consume some American company's product while ignoring your own tender coconuts thing also happened (yes I was attempting to grow up in my own way). So I stayed off Pepsi too.

Now I was back to square one. But then one curious thing had happened which I had previously failed to notice. That is I was after all in the company of grown ups and had friends irrespective of my caffeine non-addiction. So I stopped worrying about it.

But journalism proved even tougher without coffee or tea consumption; especially when I had to go off to people's homes or villages to do a story. They either got very offended or got so obsessed about providing an alternative that I would feel horrible about being a non-caffeine person. So I would gulp it down. (That is when I discovered another advantage of being a grown up you can actually control your facial muscles when you are consuming something you don't like.)

Summer is the worst time for someone like me because you go somewhere for a story and they say "suda suda coffee saapudunga" (TN junta is extremely hospitable and they try their best to humour a young female journalist with a camera). It is truly a testing time. Don't believe me? Try having piping hot coffee under a tin roof at 2 in the afternoon when the temperature is 42 degrees.

In some of the villages they ask me if I want "colour" Tamil colloquial for soft drinks in recent times. Very often it will be some local replica of branded colas with god knows what in it. But if one can guzzle down the branded colas despite Sunita Narain screaming hoarse about pesticide content I can surely be courteous to my well meaning hosts (not before sending up a quick prayer that whatever happens the medicine could be found in Amma's kitchen). Occasionally I have been offered tender coconut and butter milk too which is truly god's gift to me. But the thing is these are expensive so can't expect them in places where people are earning just 20-30 rupees a day. And some of the places I've ended up in there's nothing but tea available for breakfast or lunch.

So given the circumstances I have made peace with caffeine. I have them in dire situations only.

However this doesn't mean that while hanging out with my friends I hold on to my bottle of Bisleri. I am very comfortable with wine, vodka and rum (no beer thank you very much) so I am doing okay even without caffeine. I wonder if this is an example of "She was meant for higher things"

Psst: I don’t like to drink coffee but love the ads and yeah I can have cold coffee like once in 3 months or so.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

grrrrrrrrrr

I want to watch a movie on a weekday at 10 pm and there are no tickets
I want to eat at some decent restuarant on a weekday at 9pm and there are no tables - "you have to call and book madam"
I want to go to Kerala any time of the year and there are no tickets - "weekends madam we cannot promise you anything"
I want to return home anytime of the day and no autos agree to come - "too much traffic we won't come"
I want to get out of house at 6.30 pm there are no autos available (well they would be available if they come in the first place to return)
I want to work from home and half the day there is no power - "no load shedding" the CM's been harping.
I want a taxi to pick me up from the airport in two hours time and there are no taxis - "all are busy madam" (this at midnight on a bloody working day)
I want to get a hair cut at some half decent place and there are no appointments during the week or the weekend - "summer is always like this sorry"
The well known brand of soaps or cream I picked up last month is not available anywhere -" short supply" is the cryptic answer I get.

What the bloody hell is happening? Where have I landed?

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The tyrants and the victims

I am moving to Denmark.

Why you say? There are about 4500 Danish junta fighting against the "tyranny of early risers"
The number is of course small but here I am pretty much on my own (except may be K who will surely join in)
Read the details here and here.

I have never been a morning person and have always been admonished for it. I missed all my morning classes (god forsaken time of 7am and 8am) throught out my college life. Earliest I can get anywhere without wanting to murder the whole bloody world is may be 9 (in emergencies only) otherwise its got to be 11. I am nocturnal by nature meaning I cannot sleep before 1am unless I haven't slept for 3 days straight so jumping out of bed at 6am is out of question.
I've tried very very very hard to be an early riser but after months of practising I realised I am not half as productive when I wake up early.
But I am not to be sleeping in peace especially because I am a "woman." It used to be "how can a girl sleep so late? It is not lakshana what will you do when you go to your husband's house?" Well I went to my husband's house and slept late. So now I hear "how can a woman of the house sleep so late? It brings bad luck to the house." What about when men sleeping late? Well thats bad too but it doesn't bring bad luck or anything so its alright (I've actually heard this explanation)
And I find no incentive in waking up early other than may be watch sunrise and see some interesting birds. However since I live in Bangalore, picturesque sunrises and interesting birds are not part of the package. So I go on holidays to watch sunrises and bridwatching. Although I am very biased towards sunsets and moon rises.

I don't see a point to this getting up early thing especially after marriage cos all morning I end up in the kitchen making coffee (which I don't drink) and thinking up of and making breakfast while hubby dear checks his "office emails" reads newspaper back to back and suddenly takes off saying "damn its late I'll be stuck in the traffic jam...is there anything for breakfast?"
One of the articles also says that if you are the kind who cannot get up early then choose your professional carefully. Good for me that although late I did make a career change and atleast my boss doesn't call me to ask "why are you late"
I feel obligated to repeat some of the explanations people come up for my not getting up early
"Your husband comes back home late isn't it thats why you can't get up early" (giggle)
"You must be studying for some sorta exams thats why you sleep late and can't get up early"
"Yours is a love marriage so I guess it is ok to get up late" (isn't this priceless?)
"Oh you don't have kids thats why you do this" (!!!)
They don't seem to get the point that I simply don't want to get up early in the morning on most days!!!
Here are some of the motivational onliners people have tried on me
"you can finish off all the work and then go to sleep at around 11" (!!!)
"if you leave the milk outside so late it will get spoiled"
"your husband will feel un motivated to go through the day if he has a wife who sleeps late" (again priceless)
"It is not healthy to keep odd sleeping schedule" (only sensible one and I've not heard it too often)
"Hasn't being a journalist taught you nothing?" (Wha???)
The rest of them aren't funny or interesting so I'll spare you that.
I never grudge other people who get up early (unless they insist on my company) so why grudge me?
Unless people take a cue and let me be I might be moving to Denmark.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Summer Holidays

This is what I did to make it feel like it is summer holidays (in reality it was just Summer not exactly Holidays)


These are things I do pretty much every year!


1) Enquired about swimming classes. Of course as always I chickened out. This time my excuse was "last date is over" (about which I knew for a week)
2) Looked up at various new courses that I could join. (only this time I didn't pay for prospectus and admission forms)
3) Ate a lot of Mangoes
4) Thought about cutting my hair really short.
5) Going to "native place" (this is happening tomorrow and unlike school days it is just a 2 day trip)
6) Promise to help Amma with making Sambhar powder.
7) Do some art and craft kinda thing (Yes I know I am not in school anymore but I am incapable of kicking off this habit but the advantage of doing this when you are older is you (ok I) can actually finish what you started:-)


I have to my credit

a) a pair of earrings and chain with a pendant I made using Amma's old buttons



b) a kitchen window covered with hundreds of sequins strung together. The second one has been a long pending project of mine (15 months to be precise) and I duly record that I had help from Sav, Amma and Prajju (in descending order) in completing this.

This has been a better summer than most of my adulthood summers :-)

Monday, May 14, 2007

Darn the section of the media that always misquotes:-)

Who else but my beloved minister of labour Mr. Iqbal Ansari to talk about on a dull Monday morning.
After giving me and thousands of other women and some sane men sleepless nights for a whole week Ansari says he was misquoted by the section of media. He also says that women are more talented than men and hence ridiculous to think of banning them from night shift. Read the report here
I really like the honesty of this man. You don't see it? Well see he is accepting that it was a stupid thing to do in the first place albeit in a very round about manner. I am sure if he reads this he would scream hoarse that his statement is being misconstrued. No no thats not what he would say he would simply say "I've been misquoted"
Now that Mr. Ansari has eaten a humble pie for his glorious effort to preserve indian culture may be we don't have to worry about women getting thrown out of office after 8 (My condolences to all the women who are dissappointed at not going home at 8 because of this)
Aside:
What and who is this section of the media that always misquotes the politicians? You think they are especially trained to do so? And how is it only a "section" of the media when every publication worth credibility is quoting your 'mis'quotes?
I am hoping this will be the last of posts on this whole act of insanity!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Night Shift ban

It has been a week since our beloved labour minister declared that women cannot work in night shifts. Till date there is no clarity on the issue. By Monday most people decided it is too ridiculous a measure to implement. But bang on Thursday the minister declares no it will be enforced and the governor has signed it
In the same newspaper the minister also announces the most cliched but most preferred and revered reason for all this "it is against the Indian culture to make women work at night"
But there is some hope still. The women's commission is refusing to back down. Vimochana one of the NGOs working with women is contemplating a PIL. And according to today's TOI report Ansari is pretty much on his own in this brilliant move to protect the women and the Indian culture. Neither the governor nor some of the other ministers in the cabinet are with him. And even better the Labour commissioner is trying to get permission women work in factories at night shift!
Do these guys even talk to each other? What was the minister thinking after all?
There has been some noise about this the blogworld too. Here are some:
It is crazy how most women are NOT indignant about this. Most of them sound like they would be rather glad to just stay at home and cook. They however want to wear what they want, drive around, hang out and have all the fun - basically enjoy the fruits of feminist movement but gladly jump sides when they need to so something to keep this going for the next generation of women. Talk about shortsightedness!
I was talking to the domestic help Satya at my place about this. She's not educated, works in half a dozen houses to feed her her drunkard brother and aging father and believes everything that happens in the serial are real. I had to warm her up to the subject.
Me: What do you think about women working?
Satya: As long as it is to make your family life better it is fine
Me: For what else would someone want to work?
Satya: There are some who just like to show off, prove a point I don't think that is right
Me: So should they be stopped from working?
Satya: No how can you stop someone from working? You have to change her attitude thats all.
Me: Do you know government is banning women from working at night shifts?
Satya: Ayyo then what will happen to eshwari akka? she goes to cook dinner in that house every evening. And why should government stop her? Do you have to work at night?
Me: sometimes. you think I shouldn't do it?
Satya: no how can I say that? it is either you or your husband who has to decide if you should work at night or work at all not the government.
Satya an illiterate girl who has little lokajnana is saying that this is an individual choice and the state has nothing to do with it.
Are you listening Mr. Ansari?

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Where did you leave your brains sir?

The news has been around for the last 3 days. And I have not slept peacefully for as many nights. Sav has been suffering too. I am certain that so are thousands of other women who realise the enormity of the stupid decision that the state government has taken.
I have couple of things to tell and ask the Labour minister of Karnataka.
Dear Sir, (mom always told me to be polite even when I feel like ripping off the....)
You are so concerned about the safety of women that you decided to ensure women are off the office premises by 8 pm. A very original solution indeed. But if the women are facing problems before 8 pm how will they sort that out? Or are you saying that woman being harassed during the day is better off than at night?
Assuming that women do get out of the office by 8 pm. Have you thought about how to keep them safe on the streets and public transports? What about protecting them there? Oh how silly am I But that is outside the Labour department! This will probably come under police department eh? Then in that case please do suggest that they should also ban women from streets after 8 pm. Then whom will the men mug, rape and murder? You've indeed struck upon the magic solution to this probelm sir. Then it is just the men who have to fight it out among themselves as to who will mug and who will be mugged.
And women can go home at 8 cook, clean and relax by watching all the fantastic saas-bahu serials and increase Ekta Kapoor's revenue.
Quiet an ingenious plan sir quiet an ingenious plan!
Thank you very much for taking the entire woman kind about 50 years behind.
Yours truly.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

The bronze moon

Have you ever seen a bronze moon? When there is a full moon it sometimes appears bronze colored. Today it was almost golden. The most gorgeous sight amidst high rises without trees. Even more gorgeous is the sight of full moon rising above the sea. That view is simply breathtaking! The silver reflecting off the dark waters - the beauty has to be experienced.
I always loved the moon. I have watched thousands of full moons, half moons and crescent moons rise over the coconut tree from my terrace in Bangalore. But it was in Chennai I first saw the most spectacular show on earth - the full moon rising out of the ocean and I was hooked.
I was lucky to have people around me who appreciated these matter of fact yet magical moments. And they have made these moments even more memorable.
There was this one time when in Chennai a few of us from the hostel decided to watch the moon rise. So we noted the time and decided to go to Marina beach for the show (!) But as usual we were up against deadlines and seemed almost impossible to get there in time. Somehow just five minutes before the given time we managed to get into an auto and get there just in time. Once we got there the five of us were like little girls shrieking away with joy. Fifteen minutes later we were heading back to college in an auto that was blasting the latest Tamil Hits.
Later the same year I went to Marina with another friend of mine. He had apparently never realised that moon could rise. "It is just there at night" is what he told me. (V also had similar thoughts!) So I made it a point to take this friend along. And we sat there quietly for almost an hour and watched the magic unravel with hundreds of shrieking children (they were not shrieking at the moon but at the waves hitting them.)
There was this other friend of mine who bonded with me over the full moon too. Infact we bonded over sunset, rain, hot & sour chicken soup and rajnikant too. We messaged each other everytime the other couldn't see the full moon describing it.
V of course has not got to see the moon rise yet...we never managed to be near the east coast at the right time. But once we stayed in Alleppey at a beach resort. I knew it was full moon that day and so kept alarm at 3 am and woke V up and dragged off a groggy chap to watch the full moon set into the Arabian sea (as good if not better than the rising) Usually nothing can shake off his sleep but that day he was all bright eyed.
Over the years many things have changed. I don't get to watch moon rise over a coconut tree (any tree for that matter) any more. Some of the friends with whom I enjoyed these moments with have either moved away or become strangers...but the moon is still as beautiful.