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Sunday, December 27, 2015

Madras rains dialogue

Woman: " I hear the milk packets are going at 100."
Shopkeeper: " I am not able to get milk, when I do get it I will not price it anything extra. Do you see any vegetable being sold at extra price"
Woman: " All the prices have gone up they say. Milk is at  200".
Shopkeeper: " Look in this shop, do you see anything priced beyond normal".
Women: " You dont know, people are saying prices are going up and up."
 Customer at medical store: " You should give me 200 rupees, it is after all my money".
 Man at counter: " I will ask sir. But right now I dont have any provision to do so".
Customer: " Give me 200 rupees and then work with your management on provision"
Man at customer: " Sir, I will note down your request and ask sir".

Shop boy to some one else commenting on flood situation at various places: " he( Man at counter) literally swam in the waist deep water and came."

Customer at medical store looked at me for support, I didnt quite get the discussion. LAter I understood, since the customer was paying cash, he wanted to get the credit card commision.

Man at the Medical shop counter gave several customers medicines without money because no ATM was functioning. He didnt even note down their names.  He gave my dad the copy of hindu for the day.

Next day shop was closed and people said he fell sick.


"How many ever blankets they give, are we going to say no?", heard the young woman who was selling flowers say to some one.
"An NGO came to office distributing relief materials.  In my office no one was affected but we still took it. they gave bucket, blanket ...", A woman at the hospital
" Oh we were not affect either, in my area, they gave bucket, rice.."

" It is going to rain again, there is going to be an earth quake, it will rain till january, Madras will become an Island, It is all there in panchagam.", a maama at the sweet shop.
" Oh apdiya , if it is in panchagam, it must be true." Maami at the counter.

 National news channel which didnt not even have a line on madras rains the previous day," the authorities arent doing anything.  inept response.. "


Saturday, December 26, 2015

In India, on an unexpected emergency trip( for a parent). Things are looking better now, still some steps to go but an ordeal of a month that I really hope no one goes through. 

Some things to be thankful for.
Surgeons, specialist doctor who looked nothing less than magician or even divine in my eyes those few days. including the physiotherapist in the list.
General doctor who finally pointed us at the right direction. This was on my parent's second visit to her. This was their 9th/10th visit to a doctor over the same issue in the past 3 months.
Friend and her parent who reached out immediately the very day I let the friend know. They had known couple of cases and it did give us the confidence at that moment. Much later I realized the cases werent really exactly same as what we were dealing with.
My manager who let me take off in an hour's notice. I had all the vacation days( had only used sabbatical) but it was critical time work wise.
Driver who has really stood by and has offered prayers to god - hard to express in words what we felt at that moment. 
One day, As I sat on sofa at home, lost in thoughts in my two hour break from the hospital, I heard maid's voice, " Saptayama?". As some one who joined work exactly just this month, she has provided support whenever we needed without a word. 
Or the cousin who came by everyday with hot tiffin saying she will atleast provide company to my ailing parent. On most days, she had to leave the room because of too many visitors. Yet she came everyday.
My mom who only cried very few times inspite of never getting enough time to absorb or react to the news, always trying to put up a brave front for us and doing everything in her side to her own speedy recovery process. A champ, really.

Irony is doctors say there really is no cause for this - just a random event. Online world tells me it is rare and rarely occurs in adults.

As much as I should be relieved now, a part of me still believes she shouldnt have been subjected to this at all. Few more steps to go, prayers help.

Monday, November 16, 2015

John oliver stole my thought!

Just couple of weeks ago, when I was in Athens, heard about how British had taken away some 2000-year old historic greek articles(if I remember correctly some statues from their acropolis) and now greece wants it back and has been asking for the same. This obviously brought a smile to my Indian mind, because hello Kohinoor.  Looks like all the countries need to stand in line(alphabetical order - look I have it all worked out)  and take their things back from London, at which point london will be empty. 

This was exactly what came on John oliver show yesterday!

On my facebook feed, a link to human baby formation starting from sperm all the way to 36 weeks appeared. I have seen this before - in amelie title card and in some museums too, but the formation of life is definitely going to bring a smile to your face, a bit of joy at the end of a tiring work day, right? WRONG. 

This is the online world people. That too a space with comments enabled(facebook, cant you AI enough to disable comments on these posts?). ONLINE and COMMENTS. Need I say more? The  nut jobs came on full force. 

A comment on how this can only be creation and not evolution. Followed by some one taking the bait mocking creation and praising evolution. bible passages. A quran passage. Complaint about how quran copied from bible( a valid one that!). Abortion. Judgement on women who abort with the preface ofcourse of, "I am not judging". All the nuttiness of america I have learnt in the past 10 years in one single face book post series. 

Online and nuttiness go hand in hand. But I do like to look read through some of them even if I know they are not going to fit in what seems right to me( I believe people can do anything as long as it doesnt affect some one else negatively) to see what drives the other side. To see the merits of the other side of the coin. 

Today was a strong case why I should skip that.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Day dreamer

I have dreamt a thousand dreams that any reality now can only be a offshoot of one of my dreams.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Marilyn,Madhu bala and Madhuri.

Does any one else see a resemblance or is it just me?

Source: Madhubala via google images - www.itimes.com

              Marilyn monroe  via google images - funmozar.com

              Madhuri dixit via google images - www.topnews.in

Friday, August 21, 2015

A 21st century woman's quest

Of all the problems in the world, the one problem you wouldnt expect a woman to face in 21st century is to find a handbag she really really likes, isnt it?  

Yet that is precisly the problem that plagues the author of this blog. She has it all pictured out in her head but isnt able to find it anywhere outside of that.  She isnt even one of those who change their handbag according to their clothing. Just one handbag would do* . Between how do people do that, when they change their handbags how do they take the 'kuppai'(crap) that they have accumulated from a Tote to clutch. Also can clutches fit in anything in them? Can one even open them or they just an ornament?

As you can clearly see, such complicated objects like totes/hobos/clutches( words the author is now familiar with because she was shopping for something called handbag) isnt what she is looking for. 

All she is looking for and looking for a long time now is an elegantly designed, dirt-repellant** hand bag with couple of pockets for easy access***, couple of partitions inside  and most importantly a zip(which she forgets to close and has seen the consequence several times). Simple you think? she thinks too. But here she is on the hunt for the fourth year.  AndStill looking.

On some confession moments with friends, she has realized she isnt even a lone sufferer. 

Water water everywhere only.

*( fine two I am being greedy here)
**( very important very very important)
***( seriously that one time when the cellphone rings inspite of at &t and you are also around you cant be missing a call because the handbag had no pockets - that would be a crime)
First of all a handbag needs an easily reachable pocket

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

In the past 10 years, every single time I have stood in the checkout line of the grocery stores, I have seen Brad, angelina and Jennifer Anniston's faces. About how one of them is going to leave the other,  caught cheating with each other latest one on how one of them is dying due to weight loss.. 

None of them ever happens though. 

PS: I spotted some student buying a box of top ramen noodles. Total throwback to my own grad school days, we used to throw away the flavor packets and make it with sambhar powder. 


Saturday, June 6, 2015

Came back after a very short India trip earlier this week.

1.  Got to spend the whole time with my parents - bestest vacation ever. I wish I could be like my dad when I become a parent, I know I wont be but it is awesome to have a Dad like this. 
2. After all these years, home is still where my parents are. This surprises me because I have lived in my current apartment for a long time. It is a running joke among my friends and family  about how  I havent changed my car/apartment/place of work for a long time now. Yet, Madras home feels like home. 
We arent even a sentimental bunch as a family. I remember no tears were shed when I boarded the flight at 20 to USA.
But I am happiest when I am with my parents, inspite of the fights(there were none this trip) I am at utmost  peace when I am with them.  It also helps that they arent controlling and are more let live type parents inspite of being quite traditional.
3. This time took the middle eastern route - Abudhabi. The airport itself was so meh. I realize that going back from USA most places end up underwhelming you( not including India). Singapore airport is awesome, the staff very courteous and efficient but the city isnt impressive at all  - just reminds me of India.
4. The slight glimpse of middle east makes me wonder if that place would have been an Africa if not for the oil bloom. The staff are so inefficient. 
5. People constantly assume that I am in early twenties to 25, asking me if I am studying. It could be because I am single( an anamoly for Indian girl at my age) or because I am short or slightly chubby. But it still does my ego good :)
 Once a friend's friend was planning to set me up with his roommate who was three years younger than me. This super annoyed my pretty friend because he had estimated her age to be three years older than what she was. Essentially he was saying I am six years younger than her :)
ok, will stop with bragging now.
6. Masala poli, AnnaLakshmi, Sree mithai, chikku milkshae, some party sapadu and most importantly Amma's cooking - bliss.
7. There are only handful of people who know how to navigate within Annanagar now. This after one project that was blocking the 3rd avenue was completed. But that place itself is only four streets so it still looks submerged in the metro rail construction. I want my Annanagar back!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

I watched an NBA game tonight*. Have watched few games but long time ago. Half way across the game, it strikes me that the coat-suit potta people are actually coaches - while agile people on the court were refrees. 

Weird very weird. 

You might think this was weird for me because the only sports I have really watched is cricket where umpires are more formal while the coaches practically look like they are part of the team.
I would like still standby that the Coaches in coat suit is weird. Very weird.

*My home team won.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Words ... meaning and feminism

"If you look at feminist in dictionary, it means some one who believes in equals rights of men and women... .......that word is weirdly used in our culture that some women think if you say you are a feminist that some women is going to start yelling at them............but that is how words work oh yeah I am a doctor that does primarily does disease of the skin. Oh so you are dermatologist? Oh no thats way to aggressive word for me....."

I really laughed out loud when I first heard the above comedy bit. Then thought some more, it is still funny but I am not signing up for the feminist tag and continue to believe in equal rights for all, cutting across the stereotypes.

The problem as he partially explained is that the word feminism has been usurped to mean various other things including hatred for men. Like the word Pro-life - a simple meaning word that has been abused by the wrong people.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Bay area

"He felt deeply that California was the only place he could live. It’s the slanting evening light on the hills, the palette, the fundamental beauty. In his very soul, Steve was a Californian. He required the liberty it afforded, the clean slate. He worked under the influence, and the inspiration, of the sublimity of the place. He needed to be refreshed by the primal rhythms of the natural world— the land, the hills, the oaks, the orchards. California’s spirit of newness invigorated him, and ratified his own spirit. Its scale is contagious: such natural grandeur is the perfect setting for thinking big." Laurene powell at Steve job's memorial - Becoming Steve Jobs: The Evolution of a Reckless Upstart into a Visionary Leader (p. 409).

God willing, I have different plans for my future location - affected by roots, nostalgia.  But starting from the short visit during grad school to moving here few months right after in spite of another compelling offer to today - 10+ years later ( my longest or close to longest ) - I have loved this place.

In yet another book on steve jobs that I couldnt resist buying, I found the perfect capture of the why.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Why do we care about the west thinks anyway?

I havent watched the nirbhaya documentary.( cant revisit the incident).  But  have read the whole hoopla over the documentary.

Before I left India, I would have cared too. But now that in the past  10 years I have seen what these countries have done. They have always been like that, it is just that I understood it better as an Adult.
From invasion of Iraq(I rock) to Bhopal gas incident's response to tons of hazardous crap to western imperialism to the way they deal with their muslims in wake of terrorism. Nothing has been right. Everyone has pointed this out repeatedly in tons of magazines.

Do we ever read a report on them banning or even answering a single question? Why do we have to care?

Ps: Meanwhile we still have to solve the problem, face the problem every day, solve the problem by fighting with not just criminals and society but with the politicians and other influential people in solving the problem.

Monday, February 23, 2015

I dont get sabbatical that I have been eligible for past two years, and here the man goes on Sabbatical. Well, if you are Mom is the CEO, I guess you can take leave anytime you want.

If only some one at home had been CEO of mothership. Its all my mom's fault!

Friday, February 20, 2015

Rude, extremely rude!!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Dickensian fair

There were two thoughts that were constantly running in my head that day. 
1. This wasnt an option, it was default - I had to go see the fair. 
2. I also hated that there weren't venues like this for Indian history- considering how much older our civilization is.

My friend later said how she ofcourse knew I was going to come. Remember, she said, all the Jane Austens and Jane Ayre we had read. That is when it stuck me, It was just not that. The fiction might have been the triggering point followed by various TV adaptations but between downton abbey and the slew of  dramas that came along with hulu subscription (formed a significant part of my TV watching last year) - I was quite deep into 18th century Britain.

I wonder if English people were as fascinated as I was or we were I mean lets face it  - a certain portion of population in India is unfortunately/fortunately way too familiar with british culture from that time frame. But then British people seem to be too. I mean they keep making TV series out of these classics at regular intervals. BBC seems to be making Pride and prejudice every decade( or is it every 5 years?). Even their modern tales like bridget jone's diary are reworks of Pride and prejudice - seriously they should move little more to the future. 

Nevertheless it was fun. I was quite impressed with how perfectly they had put together the elements of that period. 

Like every fair, coordinating between different shows was tough. Highlight not just of the shows but of the whole fair for was the dance. The rest of Europe dances were much more fun than ball room dancing, there is only footwork but the rhythm in them draws you in.
There were other shows we attended including a burlesque(not so risque considering our times)

Apart from the shows, there were constant displays where people actually lived like how they would have lived in that period.

Between not just the participants, but pretty much every one of the visitor was dressed in costumes of that era. We and few more people (less than 15) were the only ones who werent in costume.

There were all sorts of artifiacts from that era - ghost gun, printing press and so on. I finally learnt how a handloom works. 

A coffee pot, how cute?

Looks like they have always been fascinated with broom sticks and wands. 
Finally something that might come close to dickensian drama, (apparently poverty and alcoholism went hand in hand just like modern day India - which means there might be some light for people like these in India too in the future, no?).

Got to try on a , puzzle ring, corset, the whole dress(cost megabucks)so just tried. All in all thorughly enjoyed the fair.

Ps:Fair was on during november/december. Finally, getting around to posting about it.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Does Pillayar Suzhi work for restarting things as well?

If so, this blog gets one now.