Friday, October 27, 2006

Not everyone should be allowed...

Not everyone should be allowed to SING.. especially good old all-time favorite Carnatic songs..

So, this is what happened. A couple of weeks back, my friend had invited me to his place for dinner. To give an intro to this friend - he WAS a purist, most religiously narrow-minded, pooped on anyone who talked about love and such stuff, a class topper and smart guy. Then Murphy happened and this guy got a girlfriend - well, they are actually made-for-each other. They hooked up only after ensuring both were from the same religion, caste, subcaste, different gothram, appropriate natchatrams.. well, basically after taking care of all such trivia.

Anyhow, coming back to the subject, my friend's soon-to-be in-laws were visiting and he wanted to make AN IMPRESSION. So, he had invited a bunch of us to his place to dine with them. So, dinner happens. Then, the after-dinner talk happens - all yapping about the current affairs, Bush, immigration laws, .. well, the usual when a bunch of unknowns come together. Then, IT happened. My friend told his soon-to-be MIL that I had been learning Carnatic music and so sang well. Then, he told me that his MIL also sang well. Trying to make conversation with his MIL, I smiled and asked her to sing a song. She was probably just waiting for those words - she pounced. She started singing. OMG - even the evilest of the evil should not suffer my fate on that day. She sang my favorite song - Yamuna Kalyani "Maitreem Bhajatha.." in her deep, shrill voice. She actually didn't sing. She shouted the entire song. I didn't know how to react. It was, without even the slightest doubt, the worst ever I had heard. Oh, God.. I wanted her to stop. But didn't have the courage to tell her and of course she was elderly and I soooooooo wanted to respect her.

At the end, she said to me - "I am still learning". I didn't know if I was supposed to appreciate her effort of learning to sing at that age or what. Somehow, I managed some praises for her effort and got away from the place.

God, was it awful. There are some songs which some people sing better than others. But this was not one of that kind of songs. It was a delicate raga and it couldn't be massacred any worse. If only people could realize by themselves that some stuff aren't for them, then, I wouldn't have had to write this post!

PS: I do understand and accept that we do stuff for ourselves and shouldn't mind about other's opinions. But this was way over the hill!!!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Stay in touch..

I realized how important it is to stay in touch with the rest of the world - family and friends, especially, all the single people out there. I now comprehend why my parents insist that I call them every night when I am out of town and possibly after every flight and all long drives!

My ex-boss has three sons. While two of them are married and well settled in the west coast, the last one is an architect in the east coast. He is single, stays alone and makes my boss worry about him a lot at times when he goes alone for hiking and such trips in various parts of the country! Then, a couple of months back this disaster stuck! The son was trekking somewhere in NJ and bcoz of sudden floods, was washed away. Everyone including my boss and his wife did not hear a word from him for a week or so. So, they drove to NJ to find his whereabouts and was dismayed to find his apartment intact and no signs of him being there for the last week or so. So, they contacted the authorities and a search was organized in the neighborhood and all the trekking areas nearby. They found his decayed body after a week, completely ruined and almost unrecognizable. IF ONLY, he had let everyone know where he was going or atleast not have gone anywhere just by himself!!

Death is inevitable but such ways of it are totally abnormal. So, do stay in touch with your close ones and be adventures but not overly!!!

PS: Sorry about such a mood-kill post.....just wanted to convey how brutal life(& death by extension) can be sometimes, not just to us but to numerous people around us!!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

You never know....Part I

You never know where, how, in what way and why things would go wrong or become right...

A few months back, for a few days I was in Louisville, KY for a project. The entire project team stayed at the Hilton in the downtown. We all drove down to KY from different places and went to work in one van and come back to hotel everyday.

Anyhow, things are going on fine.. until the second day morning. Our van is missing....from the hotel parking lot.. we never even thought that this was possible.... it wasn't even a new SUV... just a Lexus 2005 model...silver colored...a couple of my colleagues wanted to go out that evening and so had left their camcorders, digital cameras (one of them is an avid bird watcher and so had left his tripod and stuff in the trunk of the van), a couple of IPOD's, a laptop,, it was kind of a major loss...we call 911, file complaints, talk to the hotel people and head of to work in two separate cars.... in the evening we come back to the hotel and the car is back.. my boss joked that 'someone probably just took a ride and then came back....u know, like trying a new car at the dealership'...but, when we look inside, all our stuff is missing... we called 911 again and the case was transferred to a different department..from auto theft to ordinary theft? After a lot of negotiations, we also got the cash value of the lost items from the hotel...:-).. so, my colleagues are going to get new camcorders, digital cameras, IPOD's...

Alas, I didn't leave anything in the car and so didn't get anything new... sometimes, it doesn't really pay you well for being a responsible person...:-(...

Friday, October 20, 2006

Diwali Reminiscence

Can't believe its already the fifth Diwali that I am missing, by not being at home in Madras!

But, instead of cribbing about it, I thought I will jot down some stuff that has happened on Diwali along the years!

** The best Diwali's have been after we got our dog. He is scared so much of crackers, noise and the whole Diwali thing. The fun starts weeks before Diwali when the first cracker is burst in the neighborhood. I wish I knew what exactly goes in his mind when he hears sound of crackers bursting. He goes wacko and starts running around the house like crazy, goes to the terrace, runs up and down the stairs and whatever comes in his way goes flying in every possible direction. So, during the season, we try to minimalize the things on his level so that everything stays out of his way when he gets a little unsecured or whatever. Then, on Diwali day he gets so confused when everyone wakes up early and mess up his sleep schedule. So, usually during the season, he hangs out with my dad almost all the time, (like a kai-kozhandhai) who calms him everytime there is some noise and tries to carry him around whenever he is too scared. The only good time he has during Diwali is up his nostril with the smell of Mysurpa,burfi and eatables prepared at home. He tries to stay in the kitchen as much as possible, especially when the ghee is being melted during the finishing stages of Mysurpa. :-). Oh, he also like the scrapes off of the Mysurpa pan and tries to get in line with me for the scrappy pieces!

** Sometime when I was in high school, my maternal grandparents used to live a couple of streets away in Madras. So, after the initial hub-bub of Diwali....the initial burst of energy and crackers, I took my uncle's scooty to visit them! Ofcourse I was never scared of driving on Diwali day. But this one time, with new dress and everything, I started driving and enroute, I drove over some kind of bomb(you know, the hydrogen or atom bomb cracker) and just as it burst, the tire went flat and I was thrown off the vehicle a few feet away on my face. I don't remember the complete aftermath. But I completely ruined my dress and probably loosened a tooth or two. But that didn't stop me from my destination. The scooty was still in good condition apart from a few paint rips! So, I went to my grandpa's place after all this and almost gave him a severe shock with bloody tooth and scratches all over! After that one incident, I don't think I EVER drove anywhere alone on Diwali day.

Wishing everyone a very HAPPY DIWALI!!!!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Berry-blasted Vendakkai Sambar

The company I currently work for has a whole bunch of projects for a firm that manufactures amino acids and in turn a variety of high-energy drinks, nutrition bars, protein/nutrition powder and such stuff. So, the client often sends us a box of the products. Being a new employee, I was given a bunch of the stuff early last week to get a feel for the manufacturing unit. A colleague was suggesting that since the protein powder was flavorless and tasteless, I could just add it to whatever I cook.

Taking her advise, later last week, when I was making Vendakkai Sambar, I thought about health,losing weight and such trivia and added scoops of the protein powder to the sambar. I left the stove in low flame and went to run some errands. After a while, I come back home to something I had not anticipated.

I come back to my apartment only to find the entire apartment smelling of berries. With the air-conditioner running, things came back to normal and so I didn't investigate the berry smell further. Then, when I actually started eating, I realized what had happened. The powder was tasteless. But it had been berry-flavored. When the powder is mixed with a drink or any other substance, whatever reaction occurs releases the berry flavor. :-). Although my sambar didn't taste any different, it smelt totally like berry. So,that's about the berry-blasted Vendakkai Sambar.

Talk about innovation and this way I got my protein and nutrition (from the dal/vegetables in the sambar). Ofcourse, the first time was just by accident and so doesn't actually count as an innovation. So, henceforth, I am going to try and add it to whatever I eat and maybe in awhile I will get used to the smell..... as long as I get the nutrition, the flavor should not matter. Right??

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

To Risk is TO LIVE

Couldn't resist these sensible words of William Arthur Ward.

To laugh is to risk appearing a fool.
To weep is to risk appearing sentimental.
To reach out for another is to risk involvement.
To expose feelings is to risk revealing your true self.
To place your ideas, your dreams before a crowd, is to risk rejection.
To love is to risk not being loved in return.
To live is to risk dying. To hope is to risk disappointment.
To try is to risk failure. But risks must be taken, because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.

Those who risk nothing, do nothing, have nothing,
and become nothing.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

World with WOMEN

For the first time after a long time I am working with a whole bunch of women. I used to be the only (privileged) girl among my peers at work for the last two years. Now, since I joined a bigger firm, there's all these departments residing in the same office building and so a lot of women around - accounting, legal, sales and ads, payroll, HR, etc. So, the environment is kinda different than what I had gotten used to. Not a lot of conversation floating around with 'just' taxes, investments, Bush, Peyton Manning, cars and bikes. Especially in the cafeteria and break room, conversations are really weird - you know, good weird and not mundane. Now, I don't go to the break room often. But when I do go, I accidentally overhear stuff that gets me thinking.

Not being too much of a girly girl, I used to think people in accounting, rather women in accounting, payroll, etc were not too exciting like women engineers... but looks like I was wrong. There's this 40ish lady in accounting who comes to work in a Harley (you know, a motor bike) and so has all sorts of stories about that - how bike riders often don't like a woman to ride alongside with them in the Southern parts of the country, the accidents she has been thro' and such exciting stuff. Then, there's this HR lady who used to work for Ford and so has stories about various car manufacturers, how they try to bid and buy out people with patents for a better and efficient engines and other car parts, etc. Although she used to work just with HR, her stories have more life in them than whatever the newspapers tell about the layoffs at GM/Ford or elsewhere.

Ofcourse, amidst all this conversations, there's a little bit of gossip which goes around, talk about who's wearing what today, do the accessories really match the outfit, the whole ensemble, family and children and other worthwhile things.

World is definitely a more interesting place with "SOME" women!! Isn't it??

Update: Seeing beyond my limited vision (after going thro' the comments), I do agree that the world is a better place to live in bcoz of SOME (like ME.... grrr....) and not ALL women!!!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Well, I am almost back...

After about a three weeks of packing, moving, reporting to new job, going off-site in the first week, fighting with internet provider for speedy DSL, cribbing about the moving company to every known soul in new town, trying to get accustomed in the new city and all, I am basically back. Well..not quite, but almost!!!

New work place, new people and so I kinda have a lot of stories in stock to keep blogging for the next few weeks.... but things need to wait awhile....

So, well, I am almost back!!