Friday, June 30, 2006

Brahminish in school ......

This happened when I was in Class X, right before the AISSE exams.

A gang of us, 6 girls, used to share food and eat together during lunch break everyday. One such day, we had a social studies mock exam for 2 hrs right after lunch. So, we wanted to finish lunch quickly and do a little last minute discussion for the exam. We were all really tensed and the teacher was considered not-so-lenient. Although the six of us were studious(in a non-geeky way), we made our share of noise and trouble in school days. Anyhow, here is the incident.

12 noon - lunch break; we start eating; 12.20 pm - we all finished eating and were about to get water. We went to the door and turned back when one of us was missing - Anu. We look back and Anu was just finishing up - u know, packing up her tiffin box and all of a sudden....:-))... took her water bottle, poured a little water in her hand, sprinkled it on the wooden writing desk and started gathering it...(Yechal Ittu, Peraatti ?...not sure...). Among the six of us, 3 were Brahmin Iyers and did this at home all the time. So realized what she was doing as soon as she poured water in her hand and started laughing but didn't disturb her concentration. We were on the floor laughing while the other three didn't understand what was happening (being Jains and from Rajasthan...). The five of us stopped and were waiting to see what Anu was going to do next. She finished the whole process gathered everything in her hand (which was nothing at all since we usually spread kitchen towels over the table before eating) and then looked at us. Finally it dawned upon her. :-). None of us could stop laughing after that for the rest of lunch break and forgot all about the tension of the Social exam.

Till date, nothing beats this incident among my school friends. Some things just make you smile....thinking of the good old days!!

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Some music grows on you...

After learning classical music for several years and having a tolerable level of singing experience, I still don't understand some things about semi-classical music and film music. There are some songs which impress you the first time you listen to them and makes you want to listen to them over and over. Then, there are these songs which have to grow on you. I didn't realize this until I started college.

Until college, there were just two categories of music - ones which I like and ones which I didn't. Then, once my best friend from school who shares my passion for singing and music in all respects, gave me a cassette. I don't remember the name of the movie or the songs. The first time I heard it, the songs were not that good. I returned the cassette to her saying I just did not like it. She suggested that I keep it for a week and maybe I will like it the next time I hear it. I didn't believe her then but took the cassette anyways. The second time around, the songs were tolerable and thereafter I actually liked it...the songs kinda grew on me and I started humming them...

There was this movie Saaz which came out in late 1990's with Zakir Hussain's music. The movie didn't go well and was probably a big flop (or maybe wasn't even released). But a couple of songs were good. Atleast good and refreshing at that time..and the lyrics are good too (especially considering the story line) - Raat Dhalne Lagi and Kya Tumne Yeh.

This came at the time when I was a major Hussain fan and after Soundscape series for Wind, Water, Earth, Fire, Valley, Desert, etc. were released. Looking back, it was a weird phase since all of them were instrumental music and it took me a lot of time and energy to understand, appreciate and enjoy them. But, eventually it grew on me. :-)

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

How girls beat the crap out of a boy...

Comments to the last post reminded me of this incident.

This happened probably when I was in 4th or 5th class in school. In a class strength of about 30, there were 3 boys. 27 girls Vs 3 boys. While one boy was the guy who pushed me from the swing...he was kinda cute and so the girls didn't have any trouble with him..... the other was a very calm and quiet guy, the studious one ..... but the third one, Praveen, was such a menace, never used to study, made fun of some of the girls, troubled all teachers, what not..... It was one of those Robin hood sort of period. We needed a Robin to save some of our class girls from this boy. Ofcourse with the interference of the teachers things would have been easier... but a bunch of us - girls wanted to do it ourselves...and so, one thursday after the last class (that was Yoga...., we had compulsory yoga as a part of the curriculum until Class VI..), we waited in the cycle stand for most people to leave and since Praveen was the last to leave the school usually (after chatting with the watchman or making fun of every possible girl), we removed the air from the tires of his cycle in front of his eyes... which led to him chasing after us, we went behind the auditorium and beat up the crap out of him...... no, not too severly, he did defend himself well, now that I think about it..just some cuts and bruises...

The next day, we could not stop smiling... we never thought of the aftermath of such an attack, complaints, teacher, etc.. we just did it... Praveen didn't come to school on Friday or Saturday.. and Monday when he came, he never even looked at the girls....he started sitting in the first row so that we wouldn't tormet teasing him about getting beaten up by a bunch of girls.. :-).. and surprisingly started to study well, not well enough to compete with the girls but good enough to get thro' school and college and get a good job..... and never troubled the girls again...

Now, I am not saying we reformed a boy.. just that sometimes beating the crap out of a boy helps in more than one way... :-)

Monday, June 26, 2006

The guy who pushed me from the swings...

I am an avid swinger...does that word even exist? Anyhow, I like swings. Whenever I used to go to the beach or Woodlands Drive (Cathedral Rd - they used to have a playground...), I never even went near any of the other play things..swings were IT... once I got on one, I never got down until it was time to leave the playground..

So, one Saturday (Class 3rd or 4th) when I was waiting in the school playground (Some Saturday's my father used to have day-off's and so would pick me up from school).. the swing got vacant and so I started to and fro I go higher and higher until suddenly..thud... I fell down.. I enter an oblivious state of bliss when on swings and so didnt actually realize my name being called or a classmate calling me to get off the swing so that he could get on it... so, he just pushed me down.... :-( ... I broke a couple of milk tooth and had hit a my jaw was bleeding and needed dad came in right at that moment, took me to the hospital and things got better.... but after that, they removed the swings in my school considering it to be harmful...although I had morbid hatred against the boy (his face etched in my memory forever), I let it go ... and boys were allowed in my school only till Class 5 and so he was in my class for less than an year or so..

This year, during my annual pilgrimage to Chennai, more than once I got stuck in TNagar/Pondy Bazaar traffic; And being overly precautious, I always wear helmets if in my bike. So, trying to slither in the traffic, between two with an open window and other without..traffic was really, the conversations in the open windowed car was just audible..arguement between a couple...I recognized the guy... It was the same guy who pushed me ..Balachander...I recognized him in a jiffy even after 14-16, I opened the visor of my helmet hoping to see if he would turn and recognize me... recognition flickered in the eyes of the girl in the car... his wife, my school junior... :-)... so, we pulled over and started talking... she introduced me to her husband who never even recognized me... :-(.. after introductions.... I turned to him and asked 'So, do u still like to swing' and his wife got all scared for a second... She went like 'Akka (I was her senior by two yrs n school, that demands a little respect,doesn't it) how did u know abt his fascination for swings'..... Then, finally it stuck him and he remembered (how even after pushing me from the swings 15 yrs back, he was smiling happily and continued swinging). He apologized and we all had a good laugh...

But strange is the way of universe... so many people you know in a lifetime.. who knows when or how you will meet them next...

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Here I come, walking down the street.....errrr...

Here I come, walking down the street.....errrr... driving down the street...

Off to far West for the first time ......

Oh, right and wish me Luck!!

Monday, June 19, 2006

Two things I never stop looking for..

I just realized...there are two things that I never stop looking for...

1. Better apartment
2. Better Job

I guess a lot of people do this. I don't know why. I have a good job...ofcourse I like what I do - traveling 2-3 weeks every month, actual field work, meeting everyone from Yankees to southern rednecks... But, in the last 3 yrs, there has never been a time when I have stopped looking for jobs.. I just keep interviewing and either they reject me or I reject them..Its sometimes fun.. when interviewing for big companies, they provide you with all possible amenities... like last week, I was being interviewed for a position in Iowa and got to meet a friend in Des Moines after almost 10 yrs.... it was almost like a paid vacation for 2 days... sometimes, every things works out as expected, stars align and switch jobs...just once in the last couple of years...

Better apartment.. although I have 6 month to an year lease at most places, I try to keep looking for apartments, especially the blueprints.. I keep looking at the layout of the apartment and thinking I need to build a home (someday...) or how to improve the existing home in chennai....

I think I jinxed myself by posting this...the ceiling in my apartment is leaking again..for the third time in one month... so, guess I have to move now.. :(

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Why I am not fond of summers..

No, its not the heat or temperature...

When I get up in the morning during winter or rainy days, the sun is usually not up yet and that gives me a sense of achievement, some kind of satisfaction that I do something which various successful CEO's do ...atleast according to magazines and their interviews...(up before sun criteria). When its bright and sunny outside during summer at 6 AM, I feel I have started late or I am lagging behind...

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Remembering the past - 2

After water flooding over the weekend in my apartment, the next thing in line was - water scarcity. Although it didnt last for more than a couple of hours, it made me think about the scarcity we used to have in Chennai.

When I was in probably classes 5-9, Chennai, especially the area where we lived, TNagar/WMambalam/Kodambakkam area experienced severe water scarcity. We used to have this active 'street association' and they used to have meetings in our house terrace to tackle this problem. As kids we used to wait for the end of the meeting when they used to give Rasna to everyone. My dad didnt like any kind of preserved food or softdrinks like rasna and so my mom never made them at home. So, I used to hang around at these meeting trying to organise and help with the arrangements, etc along with a bunch of kids from my street and get a good helping of Rasna at the end. Then came the time of Metro water lorry's. Man, it was fun. Almost everyone from all houses used to come out and welcome the lorry with such enthu and sometimes even feed the lorry driver and his helper typical TamBram food. All mami's and mama's carrying buckets and pots..... Oh, and if the lorry came before my 6 pm, then its all Patti's and Thatha's who have to carry the buckets and the lorry driver had to face their ire and wrath for not having come later......

.... those were the days...hmmmm ...(read it as 'Peru Moochu')

Then, came water sumps and better water storage and all the fun of interacting with people was lost... we probably dont even know who lives a couple of doors away from us......

Monday, June 12, 2006

Why I do what I do?

Or more importantly 'Why I did what I did'?

Looking back, I wonder sometimes (make it more-than-just-sometimes) why I did something sometime in the past. Trying to make sense of what is already done is difficult. But I do attempt it. Especially in the last few months - conversations with some intellectuals have kindled my past and I try to think and make sense about the past. I believe everything happens for a reason. Going by that philosophy... I have so many Why's, How's and What's. But not a lot of answers!!

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Satanic Sunday...

It started out like any other sunday...but sure didnt go or end like wonder how bad can it be...It goes like this...

* My friend called in panic in the morning...her husband just fainted in the shower for no reason and so was all scared....after calling 911, rushing to the hospital, the doc recommending all possible tests, all possible tests being clean, ultimate conclusion was said that he was perfectly healthy and PROBABLY fainted bcoz he had got up from bed suddenly after deep sleep and so the brain received insufficient blood rushed to the brain. I didnt even know something like that existed. What are supposed to do after waking up in the morning after deep sleep? Lay in the bed for a few minutes until the blood supply is normal and at the right pace.

* My mom had mentioned on Saturday that I was going to become "Atthai" in a few months...So, I called to congratulate my "Manni" (sis-in-law) only to find out that there were some complications and she was hospitalized....hopefully she feels better soon..... and me becoming an "Atthai" is delayed as of now...

* Sunday ritual for my neighbours who live in the apartment above mine - laundry. Only this time, they forgot to close the water tap after usage and went out. So, their apartment started to flood. The water didnt just stay there! It seeped to my apartment thro' the ceiling. I went out and came back at about 4 pm only to see water gushing thro' all electrical outlets in the kitchen and living room. There was a pool in the kitchen and carpet in the living room was soaking wet. Not a lot of my stuff was ruined. Bedroom was saved and so was my essentials - laptop, all my books, bed and stuff....spent the entire evening cleaing up and trying to hold the fort... Realised the importance of having a roommate then!

* My friends had come over on Saturday. One of them saw my ear peircing and was like 'With a couple of tatoos, you will be on your way to gypsyhood'...:-(

Hopefully, the week goes better than this!! It has to, since I am scheduled to meet important people, professionally...!!

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Work....and lunch... and non-smoking breaks!!

I started working in the city where I live now in July 2005. For the first few months, I was stuck in the office and didn't know my colleagues well enough to go out with them for lunch. So, I either took home-cooked food or ate out. But then, once I started traveling extensively with them, I got to know them better. So, after September 2005, we all ate out together most of the days when we were in the office.

Then, my colleague C's wife became pregnant. Things changed. C talked about saving for the kid, etc. So, we all decided that we would go out for lunch on Tuesdays and Fridays and bring food from home and eat in the office itself the rest of the days. This charter was added in Jan 2006 and things have been going good since. I mean, all of us travel and when we come to office we know beforehand if we are going out...if not, we make our own arrangements... and it also restricts our eating-out and spending habits. [although the charter holds good only when there is nothing 'happening' in the office like layoffs, new hires, boss out of town, etc.... the charter is automatically voided under such circumstances...nothing beats office gossip..right??]

Now, apart from all this, my colleagues take smoking breaks every few hours. Nothing stops them from this break. Even when we are in the middle of a conference call, they will let me handle it by myself and go out for a smoke. Almost like that episode in Friends in Rachel's new job where her two colleagues make decisions on smoke breaks. In my case, no decision making is involved with smoke breaks. But just miss out on the discussions that are project-related.

Alright, my colleagues are back from smoke break. Guess, we have to get back to work!!

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Driving and Men/Women

What is it about driving that makes me go frenzy whenever I am not in the driver's seat? I am not sure if everyone feels so. I am usually a road-sensible person and never freak out when driving, but its a whole different world when I am the passenger. Usually at work, whenever we go onsite, I either fly or take a cab or one of my colleagues rents a car and I sit in the back seat. A couple of weeks back, I had to drive to client site along with one of my colleagues (C), about 200 miles away from us. So, we drove in C's car. Everything was pre-planned and going good, until C freaked me out with his following-car-in-front-too-closely routine. I had to grab the dashboard, just incase.

I hate the shotgun seat, except for when my dad drives or I am on a road trip in a car with passenger side air-bag. Even in that case, I wear seat belts (with everyone around me driving me insane with their sarcasm). I consider myself a decent driver. Even then, I think its normal being paranoid about someone else's driving.

Coming back to the subject, I know C has a good driving record and is carefully on road since he gets to chauffeur his 2 yr old daughter all the time. But still, everytime he was going too close to the truck or van in front of us (any vehicle larger than the one we were in), I had to strap on and hold the door or dashboard. C noticed that I was getting antsy with his driving and so when we took a break for dinner while coming back, he asked me about it. I told him frankly what the problem was. He started with his analogy on the whole thing - 'the women thing'. He said even his wife freaks out when he drives. I realized that it didn't have anything to do with his wife, just his 'men and driving' opinions. Then, we started arguing how women are bad with directions and driving in general. How long will men keep saying this? Then, I relayed this whole incident to a friend. He added his two cents worth but again reaching the same conclusion, men drive better than women.

Just accept it - women, maybe not all, but most women are road savvy; they have good road sense and so are better drivers than some men!!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Just another...Monday

It was just one of those days - yesterday...manic..

After a site visit for two weeks, I came back to office yesterday amidst a lot of happenings.

** I had a dinner meeting last night with two of my boss (BG and MB)and three other colleagues. The dinner was supposed to be at 6.30 pm in one of those biggie restaurants - where you have wear shoes and suit/blazer. If you think that was bad, one boss and three of us were right on time. We were sitting and waiting for my other boss (BG) to come. He didn't come until 7.15 and so we tried calling his cell phone. No response. Then, at about 7.35 pm, he comes in and says " hey, guys, why haven't you ordered, lets order and eat quickly".... we were all amazed. No word of apology for coming late. No reasons. Now, MB is my actual boss. BG is just another partner of the company based in California. But he travels to our office often and so is kind-of our boss too. But do people have to be that rude when they are boss? Sometimes people higher-up in cadre need to be really humble to make others around them feel comfortable. Right??

** Next stop - Visa consulate...I am tired of getting various visas everytime I travel abroad. This time, its not too far. But still the whole process of having pictures taken, documents remade, fixing up appointments and going to the consulate is too much!! There shld be like a universal visa or atleast continental visa.

** To top the day, I saw Kalabak Kadhalan.. man, was it awful...just mushy romance stuff in the start, psychotic woman in the middle and tragic end!!

Enough of punch-bag stuff for today!!

Monday, June 05, 2006

How difficult?

How difficult are these things in life? make ppl like you just as much as you like them care abt them just as much as they care abt u make friends who are worthy of you as much as you are worthy of them

I guess its really difficult!! Maybe not... maybe its just a gamble, just like anything in life!!

Sunday, June 04, 2006

After almost 10 years of wanting it...I got it finally!!

Yes, after lusting, waiting and wanting it for almost 10 years I finally did it!! It was such an amazing experience. I cannot even stop looking at it.

My mom was a little worried about it when I told her how much I wanted to get it done. But now that she saw it, she seems relieved and happy for me. My dad was a little furious. But I think he will get used to the idea. He actually started laughing when I explained to him how it was done, the lady who carried out the procedure and the after-effects.

So, enough with the suspense already. I got my ears pierced - the second time. My ears look so cool now. I wanted it for so long - longer than I can remember .I get that ache everytime I see someone with more than one piercing in each ear. Now, even I have got it!!!!!

Probably its all silly. But I finally did what I wanted for so long!!

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Last two weeks....

I have never worked so hard in my lifetime - not in school, never during any exams or anywhere else!! In the last two week - I worked thro the two weekends (flushing the plans I had for the long weekend to drain)..

To top this - I stayed at the Hilton near the airport. So could not sleep thro the landing and take off every night.

Well, I got paid good for the last two weeks. So, atleast some compensation.

But, damn tired and so will get back to blogging in a few days!!