Tuesday, June 24, 2014

You don't scare me no more big city

Maine blog mata se mannat maangi thi, agar London se sahi salamat laut ayi to ek post likhoongi. Hence this post.

Ok let's start from the beginning :) I joined this new place. They recently started doing induction programs for new starters. The firm is biggish and located all over the UK the events are held in the capital London . I had joined weeks prior to getting the invite to attend the induction event I was not sure how to respond . There is always the option to decline an invite of course. I checked with my manager. The irony was he was new to the firm as well having joined a couple of weeks before me and at the point I went to ask him he was booking his tickets to the induction he has been invited for. He told me to go ahead . I went ahead and booked. Later I learnt from a colleague how she had kept declining the invites and ultimately needed to take just a 2 hr video learning . She recommended the path to me. But you know Murphy? The fellow who said if something can go wrong it will? In my case it is 100% assured it will and to top it, it will snowball into a more ginormous problem. I have lots and lots of examples which warrant a separate post I guess.

Now a little information about me. I am a typical small town girl. Big fast cities scare me. Might be the reason why I have never ventured to Mumbai . I am not into quaint idyllic rustic places either. They bore me till I am suicidal. A place like Hyderabad or BBSR works brilliant for me- just the right mix of modern and tradition, pace and rest. London is big, fast, busy busy busy. The best means of commute is the underground called the tube which requires some map reading skills. I do not have my left and right correct. Imagine reading maps! K loves maps and the tube and London . I asked him to find the detailed itinerary for me. He hovered on the laptop for some time and came up with his commandments. His directions:- come out of the train station, take the steps going downwards they will lead to the underground , see your station , take appropriate train, get down , follow people in suits! I swear that is exactly what he said . Talk about being helpful. 

Anyways I did my research . As best as I could. Haggled some co- workers about any details, prayed and set off. On D-day I reached Leeds station on time and train set off. Read 10% of my book. Reached London , checked with help desk for direction to the tube and got there straight. Huh. Pretty straight forward . I went on and started reading the map. Really intently. It was a bit difficult but I had a fair idea of what to do next. There were no crowds of pulling jostling, pushing or pulling me. It was utter calm. Further down the road there was an abridged map for my area which gave me a chance to verify my earlier inferences( which were miraculously correct). Boarded the tube, emerged in the station close to the event. Remarkable. I was lost in the biggish station. Well they are called help desk for a reason and I got my answers straight up. I emerged on my street but as per K's advice there were not a lot of people in suits. Its summer you see. My Google maps was also acting up. Then I saw a group of confused people checking their phones and heading  in one direction . I followed them , they were going somewhere else but I could see my destination. Hurray. Boo ya London . You don't scare me. 

The day was strange with lots of strangers I was forced to interact with. We were supposed to network but if I was into networking what was I doing in IT? Duh! The event finished before time, I could avoid the office rush hour, take the return tube and get home. Finishing this trip has been like finishing an exam. Boy!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Friday, June 20, 2014

(Y)earning

Does your heart desire something really badly? You used to have something readily available at your disposal and now it seems unattainable. The urge for that   can gnaw your psyche. 

For me parwal tops the chart. It had been 6 years since I ate the vegetable. Back during my working career at Kol when I was dependent on the cafeteria at work for my meals, parwal ruled the roost. It was the ONLY vegetable cooked during summers along with cauliflower being the only one cooked during winters. I used to be sick of parwal. Like how much of one vegetable can you have? There are so many other summer vegetables - but no the chef had a love affair with parwal. I used to hate it so much, that when I  used to come home, I would bar mom from cooking that. It is one of the vegetables which is to my dad's liking. He does not like many of them, but this cheeky veggie made it to his good books. So when I abolished it, he was not a very happy man. But his elder daughter came only for so many days and he gave up. Hence I never consumed the vegetable anywhere else but my office cafeteria. My next stint was at Hyderabad and I saw some glimpses of the vegetable - though not much. I was surely happier.

After marriage I moved to Chennai. But something insidious happened before marriage. During one of the festivities organised as part of the marriage rituals, there was a feast at home. One of the items on the menu was potolo rasa. I am not sure if this is the authentic recipe, I have no idea of cooking parwal at all, because by the time I got into cooking I was kinda into a full blown hateful relationship with it. Coming back to the point, the dish that was cooked at home, was oh! I don't have words. It was something that could convert a meat-eater to be forever vegetarian. I was in love. Madly in love. I vowed to cook that vegetable every week in my soon to be new home. Luck strike 1. Chennai and parwal had not met each other! Interesting. I was not sure how come this green thing had not made its foray into a vegetarian heartland. I started missing the it. Now when I went home, I demanded to have the vegetable. Stroke of luck 2, for some reason or other, it would not be available. The entire time I was in Chennai, I never got to eat it, be it at home or away.

After coming to the UK, we started getting our Indian vegetables from a local store that stocks international foods. As is the theme of my life, the only veggie that was missing was - yea - parwal. (Strike 3)  Boo hoo! Recently we even chanced upon a site that delivers vegetables straight from India. We hunted the elusive one and it said that there is a ban on it till August 2014. Seriously?! (I have stopped keeping count of the knock out punches I am being given in my Pursuit of Parwal.)  Not all was lost. Mummy was coming here. Definitely she could smuggle some of those greenies.  Not a lot, just a kilo. She was all set. Had even purchased the consignment. Now she had to take a domestic flight till Delhi and then the international one. A day before her travel, a well meaning acquaintance made us aware that the baggage limit had been reduced to 15 kilos (or something like that). So, though she had an international allowance of 30 kgs, she had half of it for her domestic flight. A lot of vital stuff were ditched and my precious was also one of them!!!! 

It has been 6 years since I have been clean of the vegetable. Someday little green one, you and I shall be one. Till then the heart yearns for thee.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

(X)Y

The chromosomes that make a man. I do not know many men closely except papa and K. There are many aspects that I admire about the other sex of our species. 

The first and foremost bring their ability to be single minded. I like the way they can switch off from the entire world and concentrate in the task at hand. It does not matter if the task is filing a report, completing a piece of code, watching the final over of a match, installing a new app or completing a level in a game. They give nothing but their 100%. They may pretend to hear a colleague  crib about office politics or the missus complain about the prices of onions. Their heart, mind and soul is into what they are doing. Duniya jaaye tel lene. They have no pretensions about being able to multi task. They can't multi task and they don't multi task. Once at my previous work place, the men were talking about how much their wives needed sleep. They kept swapping stories about how their wives could not function without 'n' hours of sleep. I was the only girl in the group, and I totally agreed that women needed their sleep. That's when one of them honestly  said, 'That's because women do so much more.' I think that is the first ever and maybe only admission by a man that women do so much more ;). I agree that a woman does lots more, many a times at the cost of her health and well being. I am seeing now, how the relentless work by my moms and aunts, is resulting in depreciating health when they are reaching their 50s. A little bit of nature in the form of hormones and what not is to be blamed. They still have to pack in a lot of work in the form of care of grandkids and aging parents. I feel, they need to take much better care of themselves in their middle age.

Oops, I was supposed to go gaga over men. Ok next point. They keep personal and professional totally separate. Heaven hath no fury like a woman scorned . It applies to women in all areas of life. Criticising a woman's work might the easiest path to get into her bad books. Decimation is around the corner :P With a man maybe not.  There are some who are quite touchy about their professional work, but I reckon they are a bit more chilled out than women. Men are totally detached from anything that mildly relates to home. They may not budge from their seats even if the house is on fire, a little credit is due to their attitude of giving everything their full attention. A woman will be guilty of thinking about the menu for dinner, the sale in the local boutique or a French manicure right in the middle of work. If there are kids, the more disjointed the thoughts.

Have you seen a man with a remote? Its the picture of perfect happiness. I find men's love affair with the television annoyingly cute. If you want to drive a man crazy, hide the remote. A man's love for the tv remote is the stuff of true emotional attachment. When it comes to the remote, it's a man's world :)  

Well, most of these observations are from what I noticed about my dad and K, so they might be a bit stereo typical. So what do you think about the (XY)s in your life? 


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

(W)hoa!

I succumbed to mom-pressure and got my first. It has been a very different experience. I feel conscious. I feel different too. I hope I am not walking in a funny way which would make the change more obvious. I am more of the conventional girl who prefers comfort over style. I was persuaded by the plea that some styles suit better when we are young(ish). 

It is not 100% comfortable but I definitely feel taller - taller by 4 inches. Why you ask? Cos I got my very first pair of stilettos. :D  



Tuesday, June 17, 2014

(V)aibhavi

What else did you think I was going to write about? Who's Vaibhavi? Well that’s my kid. She is called lots of other things like Vibha(which I thought would be pronounced Veebha but has ended up being pronounced like Viva in her nursery :(  ) , Chumki, Chiyaa, Tubi and many more. Naming her Vaibhavi was not easy to start with.
 
When I was expecting, we used to have name-brain-storming sessions. K, mil and I would fling names at each other. No name calling though :P If it was going to be a boy, the name was decided. K and I had  unanimous vote on it. Mil, my parents too gave their go ahead. But what if it was a girl? Our mythology and history abounds in strong male characters. Hence getting our hands on a boy's name was a cake walk. But for a girl, it was such a challenge. We also had this wish of K to accommodate. K's name begins and ends with the same character (K), my name also begins and ends with the same character (A). My mil and sil's names also begin and end with an A. Hmm.. who would have thought that. So K kinda wanted the girl's name to begin and end with an A. We kept looking and looking and looking. We browsed friends' names in Fb and our phone book. Some we considered, but then eliminated for some reason or other – for instance, some names did go with the surname the kid was going to have (The surname being the first name of K as is tradition in Tamil households) Some names did not have a neutral feel, we did not want the name to be type cast into either being from Tam-land or Oddu-land. We wanted a degree of neutrality there. Once we had given up these sources, we started swimming through names, whatever we could think of. Most of the names that came up as a part of this exercise, were rejected because we knew someone mean who was bearer of the same name! The horror of horrors. That led to the death of the initial requirement of the name being from A to A.
 
We gave up A. We tried any name with the regular expression {characterx}{Some characters}{characterx}. Many characters were eliminated, actually most characters were eliminated. We were left with E and I. Huh. Brick wall. What next? Ditch the whole starting and ending with same character funda. Lets break the rules, take off the shackles and go free flow. Hurray. Easy peasy. In fact easier said than done. It was nearly the same scenario with a gazillion restrictions. Mil started saying the 1000 names of Goddess Durga (I guess) and suggesting the name. We kept rejecting. K went old school (very old school ) and started digging names of great grandmas. Hmm.. well I did not want my girl named something which rather be a password. Though I was fighting K's retro theme, I suggested the name Vishalakshi. It is the name of one of my friends's mom and I kinda like that name. K and mil loveddddddd it. Weird. I somehow get a bit fazed by out right approval. I like a bit of a fight instead. The name was good. Mil loved it because it was some Goddess's name. Went with the 70s feel, but there was one little problem. You know how these 2000 kids are? Even OK is K for them and words like TTYL and IMHO are used with abandon (I have to look up wiktionary to find the meaning of these abbreviations). So Vishalakshi was certainly going to be Visha. Now Visha is not a very nice sounding word – in Hindi the word means poison. It also had the risk of becoming Visa(not that Viva is any better now, but who knew what the world might throw). So I raised an alarm. Mil and K agreed, apparently the Tamil word for poison sounded similar. Hah -  a country united by poison :P Thus was the retirement of the very nice sounding name. But the fascination of the letter V caught on. If you have a name with V you can have a jazzy signature-now the kid could thank her parents for something in the future (if she was creative enough). I like letters with strokes – Z, V, K (remember Mask of Zorro? The Z he makes with the sword? ) They give much better signature scope than say and I, J or O. So I started racking my brain. And I stumbled upon the name Vaibhavi.
 
K loved it. Mil liked it. Mom and dad liked it too. My granny thanks to watching all those dance shows on tv was reminded of Vaibhavi Merchant! If you chose to go that route, I quite like Vaibhavi Merchant :P Now with all these people liking it, I started getting my reservations again. But a tired and battle weary K had no stamina to carry on. He put his foot down and stated – If it’s a girl her name is going to be Vaibhavi. The man of the house had spoken, and thus was named the kid of the house.
 
Sorry kiddo, nothing as interesting as Gogol for you :D :P
 

Monday, June 16, 2014

(U)phill Task

Don't worry people I ain't  no polar bear to go into hibernation. I was very hard pressed for time yesterday. The kid had fever, I had a certification exam today (I cleared it, thank you very much :D) and being Sunday there was the whole preparation for the week to be done. But I had to post something, anything. Again I cheated my way out :P Ah and one well meaning reader who did not take the quiz had the audacity to ask me of the results! So here you go - 
There was exactly 1 reader who answered. (S)he (I think I can hazard that pronoun ) reads my blog every day, because she kinda likes it (see no coercion there!) and finds the blog funny. She enjoys reading yet another detail about me (in spite of knowing me so well already). The family posts are her favourite and she does recommend this space to everyone she meets (Is'nt that chweet). Some socio politico posts would be appreciated and I come across as extremely talented (Ahem ahem).

Anyhoo apart from this 1 reader, there is I guess no one who cares a bit about Cherrie (sob sob) Since I do not have a wide clientele of readers, I am going to write about a pretty graphic and morbid topic. I was supposed to write about it yesterday. Then as I stated the time just slipped away and I was left with a one liner. So whats it going to be about today? Any mom with a toddler struggles with this aspect I guess. You guessed it potty training. Now all you happy singletons can look away and go back to whatever fun stuff you were doing. Hah thinking clearly I do not have such a wide variety of readers, so who am I kidding?

Coming back to my case, my m and mil were both very zealous about potty training. Since the young age of 6 months, there have been attempts to get the little one to 'eliminate' outside. Technically they are too young to ask for a loo and hence the term elimination. I read up all sorts of articles - lesser use of diapers, lesser pressure on mother earth to churn through all the plastic;  as a con making the young ones eliminate outside might result in them feeling pressurised. From experience I can say, kids know how to avoid pressure mighty well. They are fully qualified to give parents the royal ignore. So I tried to get her to wee and poo outside. Boy  it was messy business. Keeping an eye on her moods and moves, keeping a tab on time and taking her every hour or so, the disappointment of not hearing the sweet tinkle and the agony of wetting herself minutes later (ARGH!) Slowly the kid did start getting used to whatever mom was trying to do.  Sometimes to humour me, she would use the toilet very adeptly. Other times, I feel to smite me, she would deliberately run away and grace the carpet. I had totally gotten rid of diapers at home. Only during nights and when we stepped outside would I  use it. Daycare brought in a whole different arrangement. Since she was in one of the younger rooms, where there were kids from the age of 12 months, they were all diapered. This helped her unlearn all the good stuff her mom had taught over a year or so. (Darn!) Making her use the loo at the home was starting from scratch all over again.  I  felt as if I was repeating a year in some course :( Boo hoo.

Thankfully, in 4 months time she moved to a room with bigger kids. In the first meeting, when her key person asked  if there was anything I would want them to concentrate on I jumped and screamed POTTY TRAINING. The key person was aghast and seeing my frightening enthusiasm had to acquiesce *Mwahahahaha* She started taking real small teeny tiny itsy bitsy baby steps. She asked me to get pull ups. Now from all the well meaning journals I had read, they all agreed that pull ups are no different from diapers and they did not help in any progress. But who was I to argue with the Key  Person? So next day I got my truck load of pull ups. Allegedly the pull ups make it easier for the kids to get to the toilet and sit by themselves and come back because of the way they are structured (they do not have those Velcro tabs . Hmm  ok. Point taken. One day the KP came and told me that she had used the toilet and done a wee there. After some days, she was keen to proceed to keep the kitten without pull ups as well. We stocked up on pants and kept our fingers crossed on accidents. There are days which are accident free then there are others. Encouraged by all this, I have started keeping her off the diaper during night as well. In the span of a week, I would say my success rate has been 40%. Not good, but not too bad either.

This has some how been the most challenging aspect of the little birdie's upbringing. There were aspects like weaning, self feeding, self sleeping, separation anxiety and what not, which have settled down.  She has shown her pattern with respect to these aspects. It  has been proved that I was worrying unnecessarily. But this elusive potty training has been beating me since August 2012. I know, she wont be 13 and still in diapers. But what if?! Eieeekssss! 

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Saturday, June 14, 2014

(S)hopping

Hmm, I can see the twinkle in the eyes of ladies at the mention of the word :) A quirk of nature, I hate shopping. Yes, you heard me, I hate shopping.

I do go every week and shop for grocery for the week. I like buying good and fresh ingredients on my way back from work. I do shop for a new attire if I have to attend an all important interview. I shop for gifts for near ones when there is a special occasion coming up. That is all shopping means to me. It has to serve some purpose. Other wise I find it pointless to visit a shop.

Back in my working days in Hyderabad, we were six bachelor-ettes who used to live together. To tempt us, we had a Pantaloons at stone's throw from our house. There was also a horde of malls and shops within walking distance. You know how girls and shopping go. So I used to step out nearly every weekend for some shopping spree or other. That was one time I really used to enjoy it. Since atleast 3 of us would have stepped out at any given time, we were able to bag a lot of bargains, say 3 shirts for a certain amount - we were first in queue. Buy 2 and get 1 free - there we were again. It was great fun to gain a bargain. The whole trying of clothes which bores me to my wits end now, seemed so interesting back then. During peak sale seasons, there would be a scarcity of changing rooms. We  would cram into one and face a corner and get dressed, all the while giggling away. I wonder how it might have seemed to someone waiting outside! :O 

When I moved to Chennai, I missed those fun filled days. K being a man's man, was very impatient when it came to shopping. His opinions would be quick and what seemed to me, lacking an eye for detail. We were bound to have an argument at the shop with me complaining that he was not giving enough attention and he retaliating that I did not value his opinion. Once, I went to Bangalore to get my shopping done. Bangalore was home to Sam who was a connoisseur when it came to shopping. She would take me to the best-est places. I have known Sam since school. She is the only person who totally gets me in a matter of minutes even if we would not have spoken for years. So she knew just the places to take me to. I still have some of the clothes I shopped with her! It has been 6 years and whenever I wear them, I remember her, all the fun times, the bonding. But then bobbing over to Bangalore whenever I needed new clothes was an expensive affair. There was room for further marital tiffs here.  My sister stepped in as the peace broker. She is in love with shopping. She will shop for anyone and everyone, even the neighbour's dog. So she started getting my clothes. There was one point where K asked her, if she could get some nice dresses for me. That tradition which started 5 years ago when she started working still continues. When she was in Mysore, she would pop over home at Chennai and deliver me some goodies. Eventually she moved to BBSR and whenever I made a trip to my parents, I would have a bag full of clothes stitched and ready for me. We would not miss out on the shopping trips to further enlarge the baggage. Shopping with mom and sis is awesome fun. There are a few activities which are as entertaining. We pull each other's leg and gang up against each other and have a laughter riot. What is the icing on the cake is the session of pani puri eating. Hmmmm.... the pani puris at BBSR, I am going to get tears now :(

Even now thanks to online shopping, we can chose and discuss clothes and dresses.  I have parcels reaching me on birthday with the brightest clothes on God's green earth. When my mom came over, she came with a whole suitcase full of clothes. I am good till the end of the year :D That said, my need for shopping has further reduced. Which has brought down my enthusiasm for shopping. So till the kid grows up and gets shopping, I will stay put thank you :) 

Friday, June 13, 2014

(R)ail

It has been so long since I traveled in our Bharatiya Rail. Gradual increase in distance from home town and decrease in air-fare thanks mainly to Air Deccan, took me far from the Great Indian Rail. It is though the biggest institution of our nation. The biggest public sector employer in the world. It was the medium which took  us from our quaint little city to happening Delhi, bustling Kolkatta, pristine Trivandrum, vibrant Chennai, dreamy Nainital, splendid Mysore and so many more places. 

There is some aspect of the rail that seems very simple and humble to me. Something that reminds me of my grass roots. Something that reminds me of my childhood. Something that reminds me of family vacations. Something that reminds me of a time when technology had not usurped every aspect of life. (Not that I am averse to technology, I am a total technophile )

The start to a train journey would be always filled with anxiety. Hours prior to the journey there would be frantic calls to Enquiry desk checking if the train was on time. Train delays were a rule rather than exception. Most of the time, the number would be busy, but if fortune favoured us, we were privy to up to date information. If the train was delayed by a longish period say an hour or so, we could start a bit later from home. Not that it was of much use, because we would just sit all dressed up and really eager on the sofa.  Papa had this rule of reaching the station 1 hour before the journey began. He would call the auto rickshaw on time, while we three would get ready with luggage. Counting of the number of luggage was of utmost importance. (Seems silly now, but then simple days, hence importance of simple things :)  )Once all the luggage were loaded, the trip would officially commence. Once at the station, the most important thing would be to check the platform. There were some trains which were slated on a particular platform only. But still, Papa would view the list diligently to see any amends. If the list was not updated or did not satifsy a trip to the enquiry desk was again the norm. The next step was the haggling with the porter. The porters some unwritten contract with the driver (I hope that is what you say to one who drives a train :S ), and had some super natural knowledge about   the coordinates of your coach with respect to the platform. They knew exactly where the coach would be located on the vast stretch of platform. How they knew that? Beats me. Experience? Maybe.  But negotiating the right price with them was a trick. There was nothing which bothers the family more to learn it could have been cheaper. Platform sorted, porter sorted. We were nearly there! The last bit would be boarding the train. The porters had a knack to suddenly disappear when the train arrived. Many a times with the luggage. Many a times leaving you in the middle of no where with all the luggage. This is just as bad, because once you have negotiated with a porter, your mind tends to get a bit relaxed that all's well now. If suddenly the main guy disappears, boy you feel genuinely abandoned. But like most Indian magic tricks, this one too has a happy ending. They do reappear, sometimes with adjusted coordinates of your coach, sometimes with some additional information that there might be delays down the line and sometimes with a cheeky smile that they had gone to relieve themselves. :D 

So in side the train. What all the build up has been about. Now the mind has the liberty to spin images of the holiday ahead. Of the clean fresh hotel rooms or lovely meals cooked by granny, of the historic places to be visited or the aunts to met after a year. I remember being hooked onto Twinkle and Tales of Panchtantra. Those books made journeys of 28-34 hours seem like nothing. Which reminds me, journeys of 28-34 hours definitely needed food. 2 days prior to the D-day, mom would start deciding the menu and then cooking. It would definitely be meals which would survive the journey themselves :) And also edible even if cold. The choice of the day would be puri or ghee ke parathe with aloo matar. Hmmm... we call that typical curry 'Mommy's train aloo curry' (in fact I have asked Mummy to make that tomorrow :D ) Along with that, if we were catching an early morning train, there would be bread and butter sandwiches or ones filled with cucumber, onions and tomatoes. Mom had the talent making them in such a way that they would not get soggy by the time we had them.One trick was not to add any salt, and she would always carry a separate container of salt in case any one needed. She was the best in making it! Mom's touch. My sandwiches turn soggy even  if I make them in the morning to have by lunch :( It was a great bonding experience to sit around with paper plates and have those meals. It was also intriguing to watch what the other families were partaking. Some bigger groups would have a veritable pot luck going on. Some families would have mostly dry snacks. Some people would be running at every 'big' station to get stocked up. While other relied on the Rail catering system. Now that was a different ball game all together.No matter how stocked up we were, the aroma of the food brought in those teeny tiny aluminium containers to those who  ordered them were too tantalising. One was bound to succumb to them. Most of the times it was inevitable since there was no way we had home cooked food for a 2 day long journey.So the last and mostly penultimate meals would be thanks to the Rail. The portions would be minuscule and we would order in such a way so as to have a variety. But it was surely very enjoyable. What added further flavour to a days meals were countless cups of teas and coffees consumed from the vendors.

Sleeping was yet another aspect. The ritual of putting the bed sheets in a berth in a locomotive - there are few things that are as interesting. I remember there would always be an early retire-r, the one who would hit the bed first. As if on cue, all would follow. There would surely be some adjustments of berths. Someone would prefer middle (I loved middle), someone wanted top (Papa loved top) while someone would juggle for bottom (Mummy was always bottom). There would gentle negotiations and bargaining and at the end all would have their coveted place. Like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. 

No train journey was uneventful. Each was very different from another. There were a variety of experience depending on where we were going, with whom, and when. There would be sporadic friendship, card games and antakshari s. There would unwarranted delays in desolate locations. There would be sudden shortage of water. There would be so many myriad people and locations. And always it would end in us smelling ferrous and feeling as if the ground beneath our feet was still shaking, as if we were on the rail.

PS. The survey I posted yesterday, is totally anonymous. I swear. Go ahead, humour me please :) 

Thursday, June 12, 2014

(Q)uiz



Lets take a short quiz shall we? ;) Please follow me 

Ok people your responses are totally anonymous, dont be scared, I wont hurt you :P

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

(P)et Sematary

Seen this Stephen King movie? If you haven't don't . 

When we were kids the children in the neighbourhood would swap ghost stories. There was a graveyard near our school and while waiting for the school bus in the mild winter evenings , we used to let our imaginations run wild formulating ghost stories about the unknown buried there. During power cuts in summer vacations when we used to visit cousins, the hours would pass saying stories about unearthly sightings. The verdant village environment did aid in enhancing the eerie feeling. Naturally ghost movies were quite thrilling to watch during those formative years. I remember a serial named Quelay ka Rahasya being telecast on television late at night. In spite of my mom's advise I chose to watch it. For the whole week, my mom never had a full nights sleep since I would always wake her at night to accompany me on the bathroom trips. Likewise was the case if I had heard a particularly spooky story at school or from friends. Mummy would admonish again and again to abstain from such activities but I had no idea what was the thrill ? She was very logical in her reasoning that such stories or shows are not petrifying  when heard. They are rather funny infact. It is when we reminiscence especially in the dead of night or in a desolate house that they seem disturbing. 

But who listens to words of wisdom and experience? One fine night, I was in my room at Kolkata watching Pet Sematary.  The movie revolves around pets being buried in a particular cemetery who were getting resuscitated. It is not conventional scary in terms of blood and gore but very nerve chilling and disorienting. I think that is the USP of well made horror movies.  I watched The Birds by Alfred Hitchcock  and I did get the same experience though the story seemed very innocuous . Anyways coming back to the movie in hand , I started getting sleepy in the middle and decided to call it a night. I had to use the toilet. I went out of my room turned to go to the toilet  outside my room and switched on the light. I looked above at the ventilator and saw a big black cat. I froze. The cat stared. It then jumped and ran straight past me. Luckily the main door of the house was directly opposite to the toilet door. Since it was a warm summer night, I had the door open. There was another  gate ahead which was locked. I had left the door open to let some fresh air and would have closed it before retiring . So the cat bolted out of the main door and scraped through the  gate. All this happened within the matter of seconds. I am not sure if I have been able to paint a good picture of the events but trust me they were very unsettling. I was shaking for quite some time after that. 

How did the cat manage to get into a closed bathroom inspite of it being locked I have no idea. What would have happened if the main door was not open, I care not to imagine. I cannot visualise going and opening the door to a feral frightened cat. I think I would have zipped into my room locked the door and waited for the maid to come in the morning:( since coincidentally I was all alone at home that night.  The incident occurred when I was watched Pet Sematary  was the most uncanny. There was some weight in the words of my mom after all. That day hence I swore never to watch  any horror flick ever again. 

Ok I have watched Ek Thi Dayan and Vaastu Shashtra. But that's it. Horror films and I don't go together. At all. 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

(O)CD

Technically I do not suffer from obsessive compulsive disorder. But there are certain aspects in my day to day life over which I need utter and absolute control . 

The first being time. I have a certain time I have to get ready by, start to work by , get to work by and get everything set up. I have some tolerance levels which are again pretty much written in stone. So I can start from home anywhere in the region of 0800-0815. A minute later than 0815 and all hell can break loose. I feel everything spiralling out of control. Earlier than 0800, I feel I am at work way too early and hence feel bored for some time. Being the weird me, I do not take the opportunity to do something useful rather fret away feeling I could have been at home doing something useful. What could I have achieved in a minute? You tell me :P Similarly the time I start from work is untenable . I do not understand how K works till he reaches a 'logical conclusion'. I start working towards a logic conclusion 45 minutes prior to my slated departure time. Not a minute is wasted beyond the time I have fixed for leaving my desk.

I have the general need for cleanliness and order which is the most prevalent characteristic of compulsive behaviour. What goes hand in hand is that the bed sheets should not have any corner ruffled, books should be aligned if they are on top of one another, different sorts if cutlery should be in their designated location. The list goes on. I have the same adherence to my fitness regime. I have never exercised every day but I do try to on the weekends. I try to squeeeeeeze in an hour every day of the weekend. If something happens that takes me away from it, boy you have a Crankasauraus in your hands :) 

When I started working , I used to be a spendthrift (not that I am a lot better now) but I would like to think I have improved. What put me on the road to recovery was an intervention of sorts by my mother. She laid the ground rules that I should always keep some savings every month, because there were families which subsisted on way less. To do so she encouraged me to write down my expenses and keep a tab every month. It has been 10 years and I have been religiously writing my expenses :) it does not help me save more or be more diligent . It certainly helps me in noting where what goes. The most it helps me price vacations, since they are an the only aspect I am interested in :D I have been tempted to give it up many times ,but then you must be aware how I am :) 

I do not have any skill for anything to do with numbers. But in any examination if the question asks for a certain number of points say state 6 differences between so and so,I stretch the boundaries of my imagination and definitely put up that many number of points! Try me ! An annoying facet is that I have to finish books no matter how pathetic. I have wasted a lot of precious time reading seriously mind numbing books. I wish I could decimate the authors, but I still read on *Shouts into a pillow* The same does not apply for movies though :P

Well, I reckon we all have certain aspects of our life which we deem inflexible. So what's yours? 

Monday, June 9, 2014

(N)o

Once in a job interview I had answered my most noteworthy feature as being assertive. When I had run it by K, he had responded that I would not want others to think that saying No was my best quality. I said how was being assertive equal to saying no all the time. He said, it was corporate speak for being able to decline or deny something  when condition needed. That was news to me! Which made me think, what was the big deal in saying no? The word exists for a purpose. It conveys a lot of meaning. It is a very strong word no doubt. But I feel there is nothing so wrong in saying the word. Once my sister in law had received an award and the citation commended her assertiveness. If I go by what K was offering, that means she was quite vocal in her No-s as well. She is a very successful career woman which must mean she is doing something right by saying those timely No-s.

Yes a blatant NO can seem hurtful. I have been privy to such instances a lot given my utter lack of talent to sugar coat things. One such instance which was hurtful was, when  my mil asked if we could plan a trip to the local temple one day. She is  very pious  while piety and I have not met each other. I happened to say no, we will go somewhere else. The word transformed the moment into a Cuban missile stand offish situation. I apologized and peace prevailed, but boy I had learnt my lesson well and good. :D No more no-s that easily :P Another incident I remember of 'no' fouling up everything was once when one of K's very close friends had asked for some cash. K had given the person some loans on and off. I had expressed my reservations regarding the trend. But K had always vouched for his friend. I had to give K the chance to handle it himself. After a point, K himself realised that it was becoming more of a habit than a need. He had to put his foot down and say no. Things went downhill after that and how! It was as if the whole edifice of friendship was based on the some bills of money. There was no immediate resolution. Since it was slippery ice, we decided to take it slow and let things take care of themselves. Time is indeed the best healer, and the said person moved on, has now gotten a family and is very good with his finances. But we did realise how potent the word was. Once bitten twice shy and we vowed to keep finances as far as possible from close friends and relatives.

There is one No which no one can escape nor challenge. Yep. You guessed it. The toddler NO. Shall we brush our teeth? NO. Breakfast? NO. Shall we take a bath? NO. Shall we goto sleep? NO. Wear you coat. NO. Come inside. NO. I think it is the definitive answer to any option a well meaning parent might throw at their off spring :D Huh. Its pure evil how effectively a toddler can use an assertive no to dodge anything thrown at them. I am sure we all started there. Which means we have spent quite some time unlearning this instinctive trait just like swimming :D

(M)iddle age

Sigh! One lazy Sunday afternoon in Kolkatta when my then roomie and I were watching some flick, there came the ad of Ponds age defying lotion. She mentioned, once we are 30, if we start on with these lotions, we will ward off the fine lines for sometime. That time, the time when I would need to apply those cream seemed very far away. Now I have crossed that threshold (ok no one needs to go on a frenzy about my age). I did not heed much to having been over the proverbial 'middle-age' mark. I have seen characters in television shows make much hullabaloo about reaching the said age. I Had colleagues who took vacations to mark their all important birthday. Somehow the specialty of the number never hit me. It was but another number. 

Around my work place people discuss age very openly. There is nothing to hide, but I feel back home in India there are more pressing matters to discuss like finance or palak paneer recipe rather than age or weather(I am just being sarcastic, no  offense :D) I took a while to get used to it. I don't lie about my age(there is nothing to, and I adhere to the fact that if you don't lie you don't need to remember a thing. I have bad memory which is a different realm of discussion altogether. I would not want to remember which age I told whom :) ) But I was really amazed at how much age mattered to people. They wished to look younger for ever. 

Again in this area I am a very bad judge. Most people seem to be in a certain bracket to me;20-30, 30-40 and so on. But in the bracket if someone is on the very high side say 38, while I thought them to be 30-40, I think they look uber young. I marvel at the way they have 'maintained ' themselves. I wish I looked half as good as they did when I reach that age . When people hear my age and sometimes say oh you are so young I wonder if they thought me to be 99 and I turned lesser or it's in the sense that I am younger than them. I for sometime feel as if I am a part of their circle any more or not? There are other tines when groups of people make fun of youngsters aka graduate recruits. I join in the fun talk, but then I don't see a lot of difference by virtue of age. I feel they look lost because they are new and not because they are younger. 

What is the big deal with age  ? You look as young or old as you feel you are isn't it? By those standards I am not a day older than 22 :)  My mom says if you have an erect back and smile on your face rather than a frown you look young.  I feel missing a double chin(which I am definitely sporting now :'( ) is the trick to looking young . In this age if beauty consciousness is there ever a real appreciation of the wisdom that gathers  with age? Say the maturity in forgiving people or being more empathetic ? Or are they signs of being  'old'. I think that truly is 'middle age' where one searches for the real age bracket one belongs to. Too old to be the young blood. Too young to be the veteran. Just stuck in the middle :( 

I remember a stand up show in which the comedian remarked, it's either the very young or the very old who are truly proud of their age. You will hear 'I am TEN' with a lot of pride , or 'I am SIXTY SIX' with a lot of enthusiasm . The 'mid ages ' are just murmured . I must say there is some truth in that . Till I reach the age where age does not matter to me, let me go ahead and buy the next age defying lotion :P


Saturday, June 7, 2014

(L)ooking through the glass window

(Excerpt from my attempt at writing a bit of fiction. A very amateur attempt  and this is just a portion of it. Did not want to put any reader to coma :D The name of the story started with L and it being weekend, was unable to think of anything else; hence this mess :D ) 


The smell of freshly brewed coffee wafted as Sam sat nursing a headache. She promised not to ignore her sleep again. She hoped to keep her promise for a day at least. But the clients were important. The presentation had to be immaculate. The facts had to be accurate. She needed to be on top of things. Now , she yearned for a mug of coffee. She knew the lady in the opposite apartment would have it ready. Along with the malt drink for the kids. Could she pop over just this one time and get it? She seemed like a nice person. She would not deny her. Sam wanted to crawl back to bed with some buttered toasts and a steaming cup of coffee. What she did instead was shake off the reverie and get a shower. If she did not hit the road in the next 30 minutes, she would have to negotiate the mind numbing office traffic. The steaming cup of coffee? Some other time – 

Saturday for sure! She made a deal with herself. No work this weekend.
Quarter past 8, she swerved her way out of the apartment. She did not notice Annie waving her kids goodbye. But Annie did give a fleeting glance to the red sedan. The hatchback had been changed for the sedan three months back. The car still had its sheen. How Annie longed to be able to go on a long drive herself. Now most of her car rides ended up being errands. The kids were into music and tennis and swimming. Even the weekends were packed with the classes. She should try to squeeze in sometime and go for a relaxed ride with the music on. Maybe Saturday morning. She should give it a shot. As of now she had to hurry and pack her husband’s lunch. 

It would be a while before she had a chance to catch her breath. Getting the breakfast and lunches ready for the children and husband left her with barely enough time to even sip her cup of coffee. Once they were gone, the house reverberated with silence. The chores beckoned. The laundry,the kitchen, the dishes, the floors – every bit had to be kept in order. She could get some help. She felt a special joy in doing it herself. Her home, her family - she mothered it. She could have gone the ‘sedan’ way. Taken that overseas assignment. As she slipped her apron on, she wondered if a business suit might have fitted better.

Her feet hurt. Her shoulders ached. The neck felt stiff. Her eyes felt dry. She was thirsty. But the figures were not matching up. There was something amiss somewhere. It was midday and the meeting was due in another hour. She had to get the report straight. Jyo popped in with some chocolate brownies. It was her child’s second birthday. She was leaving work early. Sam sighed. Lucky! She took a bit of the brownie. It was delicious. The sudden sugar rush made things clear. She saw the elusive rounding off error. She had just saved herself an hour of plodding through blind alleys. Thank God for that. She had just enough time to grab a sandwich. But if she changed the axes of one of the graphs to give an overlay report? That seemed like a good idea. Surely the clients would not have thought of that view. The sandwich could wait. Coffee and crisps from the vending machine would just work fine. 

She sat devouring the book. Her guilty pleasure. She had three quarters of an hour to go by before she would rush to the gym. An hour on the treadmill. The habit of more than a decade had helped her keep in shape. It also helped her unwind. An hour of no thought about any duty. An hour was all she could manage before it was time to grab the kids from school. The sight of her two girls rushing towards her as the school gates opened was priceless. The sweet smell of their sweat, their talking over each other to tell whatever happened, their fighting over which song to play, their rummaging for any snacks, their very presence was ethereal. Annie watched their heads dipped silently over the plates of food she served once they were home. She had her evening cup of tea and the girls quietly slurped their food. She had cooked rice with vegetables and a lentils soup. The girls loved the soup. With the energy back in their body – the chattering commenced. 
All she could manage was smother them with kisses. They went to the play area while Annie stood 
in front of the refrigerator pondering about dinner. She had to get it ready before it was time to sit 
with the girls for their home assignments. It was all quiet. He had the keys to the house. He preferred coming over quietly. And surprising her. But she always knew. Each day he came in at a different time. But every day she knew. He never startled her. He just stood there letting her slowly realise his presence. She was aware of his aura. She let him feel as if she did not. She carried on whatever she was doing – folding the clothes, ironing them, doing the dishes, chopping the vegetables, cleaning the kitchen board. She carried on, till for some activity she needed to turn in his direction. Then Annie looked into the eyes – of Phil and came into his warm embrace. 

They were all seated at the table. Warm rice, mixed vegetables, fish fry, salad and yogurt. Sam loved fish fry. She was swept by nostalgia as she heard her mom over the phone. She should not have asked what they were having for dinner. She had a burger, potato fries and cappuccino. She lied. It would be a long time before she could even think of dinner. Her pro-activeness had landed her neck deep in work. The clock was edging towards nine. She let her parents to have their dinner in peace. She promised she would eat better. She promised she would call on time the next day. She promised herself that she would keep those promises. The silence was permeating. The humming of the air conditioner was the only thing that made her feel there was life. An hour more would suffice to get the job done. Her thoughts went to food. She had kept an extra helping of the brownie in the morning. That would suffice to keep the hunger pangs at bay.

Some strands of her hair had fallen off from the grip of the band. She had a hint of dark circles under her eyes. Her body seemed exhausted. But the lips- they curled into a smile. The smile of being in the presence of someone you love. Sam looked down. She felt guilty at having looked through the glass window. She felt like a voyeur. She put the key into her apartment door. The click was deafening. As she glanced at the stark living room, she felt the absolute lack of life. She had no intention of making the instant noodles. A warm cup of milk would do. It might even help her sleep. Though sleep would not be so easy to come by. With the laptop, the iPod, the iPhone and the e-reader for company she would think for a long time. About the numbers, the analysis, her presentation, her attire for the all-important meeting. Amidst the clutter, a harmless thought would cross her mind. She could have gone the ‘family’ way. Not taken the overseas assignment. 

To be continued... maybe... :) 

Friday, June 6, 2014

(K)leptomania? ;)


Hmmmm I think I like some of these


Aww monster my fav


Make a run for it! Yes she did try running away with the toy :D


(J)ob hunt and beyond

So Ashma and I survived our college years. We began our careers in different places in different companies. We remained in touch extensively because obviously we could not do without that. Gradually things at my work front started deteriorating. I took a leap of faith and ventured to  Bangy where Ashu was located to look for fresh opportunities. Ashu welcomed me into her home. She never let me pay a dime for all the expenses that occurred over the span of 2 weeks that I was there. It was very nice to simply be with her and in her presence. We used to have our morning breakfast together. I was friends with her room mates, so we would spend some time studying. Then I would go to the nearby internet café to apply for jobs (Yes internet was not a household phenomenon then), since the job market kept changing every day. Evenings Ashu came earlier because I was there. I used to be surprised at the amount of hard work she used to put in. She is a very lazy person. I used to joke that she can not keep herself vertical for more than 60 seconds and ends up lying down on a sofa or reclining against some body. Yet she was a go-getter at work. Just seeing her function around anything related to office, I could imagine how serious she would be at her work place.   She used to pack her days so that she could be  home with me earlier. After making and having dinner together, we used to watch some TV.(I know we sound like an old odd couple :D ) A couple of days into this routine, we started taking a walk after dinner. That is I am sure any sort of physical activity Ashma has every engaged in. Yup – she is too lazy(which I have just stated :D ) when it comes to doing anything related to fitness but very proactive in bemoaning her lack of the same! She used to live in a very posh area of the city. During our walks, we used to marvel at the exquisite houses there. Many seemed vacant and we used to think of the whereabouts of the owners. We would spend our hour long walks thinking if some house might be haunted or some house might be having people inside with all the lights switched off, or some might be teeming with servants to look after. We reminisced a lot about a similar locality in Rourkela where we studied and we were amazed how we had paid attention to the same houses! We were too attuned to each other. We still are. So much so Ashu says we don’t need to talk! In spite of it, we did and still do spend hours talking!

Weekends I had the support of Ashu and K as I went for walk in interviews. They would wait outside in the scorching sun hoping for a smile on my face as I came out. I was always slated to disappoint them. A change of job was not destined to happen during those days no matter how much I tried. They were always up to cheer me up with ice cream or coffee or cakes. Ashu introduced us to the most earth shattering sundae 'Death by Chocolate' at a local café near her house. It is still a hot favourite of K and mine. I remember years later when K and I made a trip to Bangy in late 2008, we made sure we booked time to have a date with DBC.


Ashu and I have moved on, had families, changed cities and continents. Yet the bond remains. I am a fan of her laid back and go with the flow nature. It would take quite a lot to ruffle her feathers. What comes along with it is her total lack of malice for anyone else. I have never seen her be jealous of somebody else's progress, take a stab at anyone personally or be vindictive or judgemental. She reinstates my belief in the fact that good things ultimately happen to good people. Ashma is definitely one of the few genuinely good people I know. Bless her!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

(I)dentity

There are many things that define us - our religion, our state, our language, our nationality. We are many things to many people defined by relationships. We are identified by our passport number across nations, our account number across financial organisations , our id by our employer and so on. 

I was thinking of my identity. What identifies me? I am a woman but I am not very feminine. I don't like the typical girlie activities. I openly admit some blatant qualifications that men have that makes them better the first one being thier admission that they can't multi task. ( It has been scientifically proven that human brain can not multi task. It can only move from one job to another) I am no feminist for women are not better than men. Are apples better than oranges ? 

I have my language. I have never felt like a person from my state. I was brought up in a 'border' town which made me way more fluent in Hindi which is not my mother tongue. The cosmopolitan nature of the city gave me the opportunity to mingle with people from all states which affected my outlook. Our home was also not very traditional which made it easier for us to assimilate all the different cultures. Since I stayed with people from different parts of India while working, my cooking got attuned to it. Nothing I cook can claim to be Odia cuisine though if may have inspirations from it. That is why it was very easy to imbibe the Tamil way of living after marriage. I do like speaking in my mother tongue but it was never a consideration that I would not be speaking it for a good part of my life after marriage. Neither was the food a big challenge. I love my rajma chawal as much as dahi vada or pakhala. I developed the same love for idli, dosa or kootu.( The only difficulty has been rasam :( )

The melting pot upbringing in our early years brought the spirit of amalgamation in my religious views. Since our family was very open;to the extent of dad finding any ritual boring :D , festive days were an occasion to dress and eat. Mom did inculcate a fear of God and value of prayer , but I would be equally comfortable singing Gan Ganapataye Namah or saying Our Father in Heaven. I remember for a very long time having a Christmas tree in our house every year. Convent education made us conversant in many aspects of Catholicism. I had a Muslim friend who used to break her Ramzan fasts with me and my sister. (Boy her mom could cook!) In our city, I feel the vibes of a the omnipotent  power in a Sikh Gurudwara than at the local Hindu temple. K and I visit the Gurudwara much more than the Hindu Mandir. If religion is that unimportant caste creed does not even figure in my list. 

I am  an Indian and love being so. We have registered Chiyaa as an Indian citizen though that was not necessary. But in the western world, I see the lines being blurred between people of the Indian  subcontinent . I understand there is a lot of difference between an Indian, a Pakistani, a Bangladeshi or a Sinhalese . But if I am  misidentified as  another race, it does not anger me. I just politely correct and move on. Three years ago I might have said 'how dare he/she think me to be such and such!??? ' I am definitely more mellow in my outlook. 

My relationships are pivotal . I am K's missus on many occasions, I am mummy at Chiyaa's nursery, I am my mil's only daughter in law, my mom 's funny elder daughter;) but I don't feel any difference in essaying any role. I just am me all over the place. At home , at work , at BBSR , at Chennai. It's just quintessential me. So then what identifies me? What is the one thing I am still passionate about ? What is the one quality that I guard with zeal?

It's my name. Yep. That's it. It's the most dear thing to me. I am quite staunch about sticking to it post marriage. If it was good enough for 25 years, it will do just fine for the rest of my days. I have been called Amritha, Amrutha, Amudha, Amirtha, Amita, Omrita, Anita and what not! I have seen more variations in my name than I could imagine was possible . I should have gotten used to it? I should be taking it in jest by now? No. Every single time I see my name butchered, I fly into a rage. I imagine killing the name-murderer in a thousand ways. They commit an unforgivable crime in my world. So take note it's Alpha, Mark, Roger, India , Tango, Alpha. Doobara mat pooch na .

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

(H)aving mom around

Any help with a toddler is always welcome . It has been a fortnight since mommy landed here. Things are definitely different . 

Since Chiyaa is a bit grown up, she recognised mom as the woman who comes in video calls every day :D She had her initial reluctance but slowly got comfortable with mom. Mummy took charge very quickly . She overtook the reigns of the kitchen and the house as if she had always been around . I had to advise her to slow down and let her body rest and get used to the changed time zones . But when have moms listened to their daughters *rolls eyes* She wanted to go the full stretch and keep Chiyaa with her totally . We insisted that she should continue going to daycare. 

To fully squeeze the bonus of mummy we had another situation thrown at us. K's work place changed. He had to commence working in another city which was half an hour's train journey from our current location. His total commute upped to 1.5 hours taking into consideration the travel times from the stations to work or home. Quite a movement from where he was once upon a time where he would cross a street to get to work! 

K starts really early but thanks to mom Chiyaa let's me get ready and start to work. The kid does throw a little tantrum cos she knows she can. Mummy takes care of her morning breakfast, lunch and massage. After she has napped, mom drops her at the day care. Mummy catches her breath by gymming! Yea we have an on-campus gym and though K and I might be sloths mummy uses it every day to get some cardio. Once I start from work, I send a quick message and we meet mid way and pick the little bird . With Chiyaa at home all things hover around her. So this short walk of 10 minutes is the time mom and I get to talk about general things . It is so different from the good ol days when mom and I would spend hours talking about anything under  the sun.   Gone are the days when I used to lounge on mommy's lap and keep yakking or reading or simply having my hair tossed . Sigh!

The three of us return to a very clean house. Mummy ups the ante when it comes to keeping the house clean . I am a bit of a cleanliness freak so coming to a neat and tidy home pleases me a lot! After some quick calls to Chennai granny and BBSR grandad, I get on with cooking. Mom's yummy lunch is my dinner but I need to cook for K since his tastes are a bit different from way things are in my maternal home. We have a buffet table for dinner with nearly 3 items everyday! We have inculcated mummy too into the Breaking Bad fold. After Chiyaa has retired we watch a couple of episodes before calling it a day. Mummy says our routine is akin to a practice in villages in India where after dinner people go and view dramas enacted on the road side:) 

I cannot imagine how we would have coped with my full time work, K's changed job and the demanding little munchkin if it was not for mummy. I dread to think of the scenes 5 months down the line. As of now, I am loving it! Ta ra ta ra ta!

Monday, June 2, 2014

(G)reen thumb

I am going to cheat my way through G by posting some pics of the result of my mom's utmost interest in (g)ardening :)




Sunday, June 1, 2014

(F)ilms

F became a bit of a struggle. I was in a dilemma between finance , fitness or Facebook . I am no expert on any of them. I am not a film buff either (when I thought film I realised I call the photograph film as film. I call the films we see in theatres as movie. Or cinema. Calling movies as film is not incorrect so am going to go with it.) 

I remember watching the regional films telecast every Sunday with subtitles with my mom in my school days. I was lucky to view a lot of good regional movies as a result. I watched some award wining Odia movies too. Those have been the only Odia movies I have ever seen. The Saturday and Sunday evening movies on Doordarshan were quite fun too . Khoobsoorat, Golmaal, Khatta Meetha, Chupke Chupke were all shown in this time slot.  I can go over those films any number of times. One fillm that was much publicised was of course Sholay. It was on an Independence Day the movie was shown. I loved it. It was a very run of the mill story but the handling was unique. It was a departure from the usual norm of showing some patriotic movie or other every 15 th August  and 26th January. Both those dates were yet another holiday , but the afternoon deshbhakti film did enthuse a bit of nationalistic fervour. I think I must have watched Roja 10 million times. ( a movie I HATE. I hate all Mani Ratnam movies. I find them overly touted , mediocre in story and unnecessarily emotional without any logic. I know I am going to attract the wrath of all my sasuraal waale by this comment :D) Back to patriotic movies, there were lots of modern ones that came down the line like Border and Bhagat Singh. The gold is bagged  by  Shaheed. It is a brilliant movie by Manoj Kumar. The scenes made me feel the emotions that might have run then. The ending scene is killer but the one where the freedom fighter pledge their lives over candles is epic . 

While the state run television channels were the source of Indian movies, English movies were primarily sourced from video casettes and the theatre releases. My uncles were the major promoters of English films. Cos they were boys they inculcated me to their fold. I thoroughly enjoyed action or comedy films - Predator, Terminator, The Police Academy were some of my starting points. I enjoyed the action adventure genre and as a child simply loved Anaconda , Jurassic Park, Die Hard and Jumanji. Till date I Iove movies which pack a punch. ( simply HATE love stories and rom-coms. Yuk yuk yuk) 

I am a pukka action movie fan. It's no wonder that Kill Bill is my all time favourite movie. My idea of reliving tension is Kill Bill, part 2 specifically. Quentin Tarantino is my mostest favouritest director. I can not have enough of Inglorious Basterds either. I like Robert Rodriguez's Sin City as well. It is a movie par excellence. That brings me to graphic movies like 300 which are awesome! I wonder why Zack Snyder had to go so mellow in Man of Steel. The current crop of super-hero films are right up my street. Iron Man being the most entertaining. I love the Avengers series. It surely helps that K is a big time comics buff. He fills me with details and back stories. Cos he is a follower of the Marvel universe he has made me partial towards the Marvel characters. But one film that totally stands out for the right mix of everything and having the dashing Viggo Mortenson is Lord of the Rings. I did not enjoy the second installment, but Return of the King was full on paisa wasool  - I forgave Peter Jackson for botching up Two Towers :D 

During my pregnancy I had made a bucket list of the movies I  wanted to watch. Bucket List was one of the first movies I saw :). Which gets me to drama - the next category that appeals me. There are such gems in drama. I have not watched a lot but films like Good Will Hunting, A Beautiful Mind, Philadelphia, Erin Brockovich ... ah the list just goes on.  An absolutely amazing and must watch movie though is 12 Angry Men. I cannot bring myself to watch older especially black and white movies. Might be a reason I never found anything worth while in It's a Wonderful Life (I am sorry, I do not follow the norm on a lot of things :-(  ). 12 Angry Men is a whole different ball game. It is a very griping story, wonderfully executed and fantastically acted . It builds up so beautifully from what seems an open and shut case to one full  of possibilities.  Seriously the world is out oyster if we choose to expand our horizons. 

I have been able to notch a lot of words here. Yet I have merely scratched the surface . I have not a watched a lot of classics, I do not have a lot of knowledge about the technicalities, I don't even have a very eclectic choice in films nor I watch from a varied panorama like foreign films and all. Writing this has made me realise, I need to get working on my portfolio of films  :)

Featured Post

Business with acquaintances

I have always found it weird having to interact with people I know personally in an official setting. But I have had innumerable such scen...