Wednesday, May 28, 2008

As you like it

There have been so many posts on similar lines that I left the name of the title to be decided by the reader.

Any one who has as much as put a toe nail in Chennai will surely mention this feature of the city - the auto rickshaw drivers. And I have set up my home here - how would I not pay my homage to a credo of this city.

On a working day I commute using auto rickshaws. Now for the first one month, each day was full of suspense as to which auto I would take, how would the driver be, how much would I end up eking out. There were many options available to me - namely - picking up an/any auto plying on the road after stepping out of the house. Since the drivers could read "alien" written on my forehead in Comic sans font, they would spell the most atrocious, humongous amount their brain could imagine at that moment. I would give a look of utter disgust/amusement/surprise/anger and many more depending on my frame of mind at that juncture. Then after quite a bit of haggling and waste of time, I would get the ride.

The other option was a "
Call Auto"(I salute the creative and entrepreneurial genius of the person who started this!) In this format I would call the "call auto" center ( their services are available from 0700hrs to 1900hrs everyday of the week), and book an auto for the designated trip at a particular time. Now this class of auto drivers do a unique thing that NO OTHER Community of auto drivers do. They use the ELECTRONIC METER!!!! And a major service for the well being of the aam junta. But they too have a household to run, kids education to be financed, fuel to be filled, booze to be had :| , how would they manage these simple mortal chores with the paltry income. So they just charge Rs 20 extra. This works out much cheaper than the price one would reach with any degree of passionate haggling. But, But, But - who said life is all rosy dandy? There is a CATCH! They call up 30 mins before the time you want to move and confirm whether they have an auto for you or not (resource scarcity you see) This means you remain on tenterhooks till the celestial call comes. It worked fine sporadically for me. 2 days in a row I would get an auto, but then 3rd day, the auto would have its gear wire messed up. And I would have my schedule messed up big time. I endured it for quite some time. But every time why the bloody gear wire messing syndrome with me!!???? One day I took the number of the MD from the driver who used to frequently ferry me and asked him to come up with a new excuse each day. The gear wire getting damaged was getting a bit monotonous. Puncture would be another good option.

After that I severed all ties with Call Auto services.

And the knights in shining armors were the auto drivers from the local auto stand. Now they charge the normal Rs 150 drop me at office, but no other hassles. No crib session by them, no confirmation calls to make me all jittery; I have in fact started recognizing some of them :)

Now so much was for my auto rides for getting to my office. The chronicles of the return trips have a story of their own.

To get back home I use share autos - these are huge toad shaped auto rickshaws in which anything from 6-12 people can travel. Before I get into any of them I make it a point to ask the driver where is his vehicle bound to. Some times, the drivers choose not to reply. I seriously feel like slapping the buster and flinging some choicest slangs at him. Come on what about the great Indian tradition of Customer being king?? Atleast minimum courtesy the dude can reply where his auto is going right? But no. Hmm.. Whatever.

The share autos don't go till my home. So from the last stop I have to haul another auto rickshaw and reach home. Each day I get to meet a new specimen of driver. Yesterday the driver wanted to get rid of me ASAP. At every intersection he asked, Madam shall I drop you here? Madam shall I drop you here? I was like WTH!!!!!! With the rudest voice, I shot back, Mister I will tell you where you have to drop me. Look at the road and drive on.

He gave the most sulky look any mortal could muster and muttered something about the distance being too much and I paying him peanuts. (It pays not to understand the language fully :) )

Each day of travel is a travail for me in fact.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Deeps's Tag

1.Last movie you saw in a theatre?
Hmmmmmmm I think its 10,000 BC :(

2.What book are you reading?
Ice Candy Man

3.Favourite board game?

4.Favourite magazine?
Anything lying in the salon. I aint much of a mag fan

5.Favourite smell?
Davidoff Coolwater :) :) :)

6.Favourite sound?
Mebbe the ringtone of my cell phone :)
I also like the sound of a fan starting up when the power comes back after a cut :) It fills me with divine happiness

7.Worst feeling ever?

8.What is the first thing you think when you wake up?
Damn! Its morning alraeady????

9.Favourite fast food place?
At my home town, the place called Market Building

10.Future child's name?
If its a guy Kanishka
Beti ka naam socha nehi but A se kuch rakhenge :)

11.Finish this sentence " if i had a lot of money i'd..."
Invest some spend the rest :)

12.Do you drive fast?

13.Do you sleep with a stuffed animal?
I am allergic to fur. :|

14.Storm cool or scary?

15.What was your first car?

16.Favourite drink?

17.Finish this sentence "if i had the time i would?"
Mow down alllllllllllll the books in the world

18.Do you eat the stems of broccoli?
Green veggies have protein which is good for hair, and I can do anything for good hair. So yes.

19.If you could dye you hair,which colour would it be?
Thanks but no thanks.

20.Name the different cities /town you have lived in?
Bhubaneswar, Kolkatta, Rourkela, Hyderabad, Chennai

21.Favourite sports watch?

22.One nice thing about the person who sent you this?
:) Shes a sweet person

23.Whats under your bed?
Its a box bed. There are actually a lot of things like :-
The vacuum cleaner
Winter wear
Bed spreads
Extra pillows
Wedding gifts we wont be using for the time being
And some more stuff I am not able to remember now

24.Would you like to be reborn as yourself?
I want to try a guy s life :)

25.Morning person or night owl?
Depends on what I have to do. If its a movie night owl. If its exercise morning person :)

26.Over easy,or sunny side up?
Sunny side up

27.Favourite place to relax?
On the couch cell phone in hand

.28.Favourite pie?
I hate pies

I tooooooooooo tag everyone who visits My Blog :)

Monday, May 12, 2008

Tagged by Ashu

8 things I am passionate about...

1. Writing
2. My wardrobe
3. Cleanliness
4. Exercising
5. Books
6. My independence
7. My career
8. My education

8 things I want to do before I die...

1. Own a big independent house
2. Be self employed
3. Step on atleast all the continents of the world
4. Write a book
5. Be on the front page of the newspapers for one day atleast :D
6. Take my parents on a world tour
7. Have a library of my own
8. Die looking just the same (I know skin will be wrinkled and all but I dont want to be a fat corpse for sure :S )

8 things I say often...(Thats 8 fold version of my own tag in the 2nd blog)

1) Awesome
2) Kewl
3) What the hell
4) Morrrrrrrron
5) Argh!
6) Oye
7) Chill
8) Fine No probs

8 books I last read
(Marriage has decelerated my reading pace for sureeeeee sniff sniff)

1. The glass palace
2. The Japanese wife
3. Many lives many masters
4. For one more day
5. The memory keepers daughter
6. Water
7. How starbucks saved my life
8. The Ice candy man (Currently reading)

8 songs I could listen to over and over again...

1. Chal chalein apne ghar
2. Likhe jo khat tujhe
3. Dance with me
4. Everything I do
5. I want to spend my life time loving you
6. Naa hai yea paana
7. Tumhi dekho na
8. Shape of my heart

And many many more

4 people I think should do this tag...


Thursday, May 8, 2008

Some Day!

Well.. Today I just had to write this post. Morning I was feeling so strongly about this issue that I decided no matter how much the work load, no matter what the deadline, no matter what is my state of mind, I will write this post.

First of all, commuting was problem number 1 for me. Work arounds were galore. But for me, travelling comfortably is of vital importance. No matter what, I should travel in utmost comfort, at any cost. And I am shelling out some Rs 200 per day for commuting. If we consider 20 working days per month this comes to Rs 4000 only. And per year ahem ahem a wooping 48K. People might find the numbers eye popping. But I have decided to turn a deaf ear to what others have to say. For me, I dont want to reach office drenched in sweat neither to I want to reach home pissed off because of travel. So better invest this money for peace of mind.

Anyways the mathematics of my travel cost has motivated me to lay 2009 July as the milestone date for owning a car. Amen.

Now for problem number 2.

One problem that peeves me to no end in life is Water Problem. And see my destiny - Chennai has no dearth of it. On all my prior stays at Chennai, I have been blessed with a really smooth existence. I some how loved being in this city. But now I feel, they were all baits by God to lure me :S

I had heard Chennai has water problems. Hmm there is a difference between hearing things and living them! :(

Every day I literally come prepared that some new water related problem will be there.

In our house, we have lines from which saline water comes. And there is a separate tap for fresh water in which the water comes for some 10-15 mins from 0730 hours. This water is stored in drums etc for cooking and bathing purposes.

2 days before I landed here, in our apartment provisions were made for 24 hrs supply of saline as well as fresh water. My joy knew no bounds. I some how dont get that fresh feeling if i take bath in stored water. So I was very happy with the arrangements.

But 2 weeks down the line, we got a circular from the apartment management, that the supply has not been able to meet the demands and some other lame excuses, so the old sys of 24hrs saline water supply and 10 mins fresh water will be the norm. I was like Ok fine.

It would have been all rosy dandy, if this had been the state of affairs. I was slowly getting acclimatised to using water sparingly (how I hated it initially ) . It was K who complained about my using a lot of water. I asked, You expect me to use less water. He said A lot LESS. That day onwards I mended my ways to suit Chennai :)

Ever since I became a good girl, water started throwing tantrums. Some day, the fresh water would not come for the adequate duration ending in all the drums not getting filled up. I would be pissed off that day. Some day salt water wont come for some time rendering the flushes and basin taps useless. I would be pissed off that day too. And now we have a new problem - no salt water but fresh water for 24hrs - means no use of any tap/flush in the house except for the one tap. I have forgotten the joy of opening a tap and water running down, small simple things I used to take for granted.

I remember when I was in school, and we were staying in dads government quarters for some years. There water used to come from 7-10 in the morning and 5-7 in the evening. That was BIG WATER PROBLEM for us. Apart from that, I have never faced any water woes, no matter in which part of India I have resided. Here when I told the same, my sister in law said," If fresh water comes daily for 10 minutes, people in Chennai say there is no water problem." I was shell shocked.

And today, when I came back from the gym, my mother in law was standing just like that(usually shes scurrying around the house) When asked she said, no fresh water also. So many emotions ran through me like :O :S :( :(( :'(

K had to push off first. So he took crows bath and left. And I was left waiting. The last thing I want to hear when I come back all sweaty from the gym is "There is no water" But that was the first thing I got to hear today.

The watchman said at length that water would be coming in some time. We waited and waited, all we got from the tap was a hiss. Since I was getting late, I asked my mother in law, if I could borrow a bucket of water from the ground floor residents in case they were getting it. She consented and accompanied me. But see my luck, we hardly filled half a bucket, water stopped running. Mom in law told me to wash face and leave for office. I geared myself for it. But when I stepped into the bathroom and saw the precariously less quantity of water, I balked. I decided, I will go late to office, but I wont go unclean.

I read and re - read the morning newspaper as I waited for water to come. Finally at 0930 hours there was water!! I felt like a villager in the movie Swades, just like they rejoiced for Bijli I was doing a hurray when water came!! I was smiling at the sight of water for a good 5 minutes!!

Friday, May 2, 2008

Woman of the house

Its been close to a week, and I have been the woman of the house in the true sense of the term.

My mom in law has been with my sis in law in the hospital since the past 2 weeks. My sis in law delivered a cutsu baby girl on the 29th of April( A Taurean baby :D :D )

So for the past 2 weeks, the reins of the house have been in my hands.

Morning I wake up with K at 0530 hours pronto for the gym which we go from 0600 hours to 0700 hours.

After that its a scurry of activity for me once I am home. I prepare something for lunch. Usually I cook the curry the night before since in the morning I have time just to make the rotis. Stupid K leaves the house at 0810 hours pronto. That has me all huffing and panting to get his lunch ready. And simulataneously, I prepare my morning cuppa and gulp it down in intervals.

After the lunch is ready, I get on with the breaker. (Now I am getting a tad hyper by calling it making breaker.) I have been feeding poor K on bread all the while. Its some sandwich or the other every day. And K s been a sweet to eat it everyday. (On second thoughts I somehow feel, he thinks bread has lesser calories than normal Indian breakfast which makes him all the more happy to eat the bread. )

But seriously being in control of the house, is quite a pain. I have to ensure that the maid does the needful. And since she does not understand Hindi, I have to more all the more patient to explain to her with actions what needs to be done. And we get fresh water from 0730 hours to 0745 hours which has to be filled in drums et al (Chennai has water problems - information for the uninitiated). K runs around doing this, but I have to see to it sometimes in case he is tied up in something else. Evenings there are all the clothes to be folded and kept. Then the ones meant for ironing have to goto the laundry basket and when the laundry lady comes to pick the stuff, it has to be ensured that the count is proper and that she has delivered the right number of clothes.

I realise what a major help my mom in law had been all this while. Being in charge, gives you a lot of room as in what you want to eat but it brings in the additional burden of thinking what to cook to eat.

One day when I came all drenched in sweat from the kitchen, K was like ,"Hmpf so much scene for cooking dinner one day. Imagine your mom and my mom and so many other moms who do this day in and day out and have been doing for so many years." I felt like gouging the eyes of that insensitive brute.

This brief stint has made me realise the prowess of our moms for sure. Its not mean feat to manage the house. I now hail all the mother and home makers of the world. Maa tujhe Salaam.