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Megha

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It's time to say goodbye... [02 Oct 2012|07:34pm]
...but it's not a time for sadness.

LJ was a wonderful wonderful world. One where I littered my escapades, adventures, joys, and pain; littered it with words I scarcely understood, but which came from unknown spaces within me. It was also a world where I met experiences, experiences and anecdotes from some really unique people. It was a world where conversation and catharsis were not mutally exclusive. It was good. But it's now time to say goodbye..

Its time for a new beginning. I have not been writing for the past 3 years..but I hope the verbal constipation doesnt continue. I plan to now write at....http://www.saish.in

I hope to see some old faces lurking in my new world...drop in a line..say hello...smile...would be nice...:)

Till then...

M
2 comments|post comment

Need travel info.. [06 May 2010|06:31pm]
[ mood | cheerful ]

Not sure how many people are still there on LJ....but if you are, and still reading...I need some travel information.

I am travelling to Malaysia end of this month. My original plan was to just do KL and Langkawi, but now I feel like doing the less commercial places. After quite a bit of research, I have zeroed in on a few more places - simpadan island is Sabah (this one I REALLY feel like doing; its supposedly among the top 5 diving beaches in the world), Tioman Island, and Redang Island.The problem is ..how to get there. These areas seem kinda inaccessible (I guess thats the beauty of it ) or very expensive. H

Would really appreciate if I get first hand information. While I am grateful for the vast information in the virtual world, would feel really comfortable if I could talk to someone who has been there. Has anyone of you been there..or know people who have been there? The trouble is that while places like europe have really excellent websites, and travel options, it doesnt seem to be the same in the East.Any information would be valuable..tips on getting there, hotels, cost.....

Please leave your comments here..or you could mail me at meghainclouds@yahoo.co.in.

3 comments|post comment

HAPPY NEW YEAR! [01 Jan 2010|12:35am]
[ mood | cheerful ]


On New Year, most people decide to start a new diet. I decide to start with home made chocolate puddle cake - lots of gooyey  chocolate in lots of warm chocolate cake.

And its all Bipin's fault..he woke me up talking of chocolate cake!



Happy New Year Everybody! Have a great year ahead - with lots of chocolate, lots of mushy love, lots of interesting experiences, and lots and lots of happiness! :D
24 comments|post comment

Its most annoying when.... [21 Dec 2009|06:36pm]
[ mood | aggravated ]

When you call your cousin brothers as Chetta (elder brother) and their wives address you as Chechi (elder sister)...

17 comments|post comment

since nobody is reading or writing on LJ... [09 Nov 2009|03:35pm]
[ mood | cheerful ]

am hoping someone is at least viewing it ...

Turning 30 is horrid; and since I am depressed abt it, I went shopping...and this is what I got...my new baby!


 

31 comments|post comment

0 % unique? 71 % herdlike? :) Absuardly obsure? [05 Oct 2009|06:20pm]
[ mood | amused ]

Quite a jolt to my ego, but what can I say :) >

So, meghainclouds, your LiveJournal reveals...

You are... 0% unique, 0% peculiar, 29% interesting, 0% normal and 71% herdlike (partly because you, like everyone else, enjoy travel). When it comes to friends you are normal. In terms of the way you relate to people, you are wary of trusting strangers. Your writing style (based on a recent public entry) is absurdly obscure.

Your overall weirdness is: 26

(The average level of weirdness is: 29. You are weirder than 58% of other LJers.)

The Blogalyser reveals...

Your blog/web page text has an overall readability index of 11.

This suggests that your writing style is conventional
(to communicate well you should aim for a figure between 10 and 20).Your blog has 58 sentences per entry, which suggests your general message is distinguished by verbosity
(writing for the web should be concise).

CHARACTER MATRIX



male malefemale female
self oneselfgroupworld world
past pastpresentfuture future

Your text shows characteristics which are 54% male and 46% female
(for more information see the Gender Genie).
Looking at pronoun indicators, you write mainly about yourself, then the world in general and finally your social circle. Also, your writing focuses primarily on the present, next the past and lastly the future.
</small>
Find out what your blogging style is like!

1 comment|post comment

Miss Goody Shoes [30 Sep 2009|12:42am]
[ mood | amused ]

As a kid, I had quite the reputation of being Miss Goody Shoes. :) While I dont really think i strived towards it, I dont really remember doing much to correct the impression either. Oh I have to tell you that I wasnt really good - its not that I didnt 'think' anything bad; I just was terribly bad at executing things.

I guess this is as good a time to slay the demon of Miss Goody Shoes.

I have always been a voracious reader, and my parents have always indulged me. It was always okay if stayed up late reading, or if I came late for dinner, or got late in the library. It helped of course that I was not only good at studies, I also liked studying (ewww, I know its gross, but I didnt particularly get a chance to slap myself as a kid). However, there was a unfortunate phase in my literature loving years - a phase I am extremely proud of. The Mills and Boon phase. From Amar Chitra Kathas, to Enid Blytons, to Dickens, to Maugham to the Russian classics - my reading was all very respectable like me. So it was quite surprising when my dad found that he had to pay for an increasing stash of M&Bs from the library. He didnt say a word - my dad finds it difficult to talk about anything which is connected to boys and romance :) Anway, he was relieved when I was in the tenth standard, and he could legally put a restriction on the amount of books I could read - ALL the books. He didnt have to specifically mention the M&Bs.

At this point, I have to tell you I had a bad attack of M&Bs, much more damaging than any viral attack or measles or mumps or whatever. I was bad, very bad. No you dont understand. I was horrendous. I used to take like 10 books from the library at one strech, and read like two a day; three if I could manage to eat a really long dinner. And it wasnt even a short spell - it went on and on and on. Btw, if anyone needs any information on M&Bs - authors, styles, themes, anything - just ask me - am da man; I can write a whole thesis if required. But I digress again. My dad had enough - it had to stop - he restricted all books till I finished my board exams. I was not really devastated. There is where the bad part girl comes in.

That year was really hectic; in addition to the pressure of the board exams, I had Bharat Natyam classes, computer classes, and 'eat as much as you can' classes. Well, the last one was really dinner time. Anyway, the whole day was crammed with activies, and I barely got enough time to breathe. At this time, my dad decided that I should wake up at five every morning to study. As cruel as it sounds to all of you out there, it really wasnt; those were the days when I could wake up before eight thirty without throwing abuse at the Gods above. Note again - this is where bad girl kicks in. My poor dad would wake me up at 4.45..cuddle up with me till 5, nicely seat me on my reading table with tea, and then go into the kitchen to help my mother. And what would I do? I would open my thick text book, open it to page 77, take out a new M&B from my stash, place it strategically between the book, hold the book very straight, and read it with as much concentration as my chemistry text book deserved. You think its sane to wake up at five in the morning and read a M&B?  What can I say? Thankfully, someone told my dad that sleep is extremely essential for Board Exams, and he decided that it was enough that I woke up at 7. Really, what can I say? I WAS a sidey, corny, cheap teenanger. I just never gained enough credit for it because I also was one of the school toppers in the Board exams. Some people never get recognition for their true worth.

Why do I remember all this now?

Yesterday was a hectic day at work.I had logged in from home and was working till 11pm. While my work was intense, there were frequent breaks when I had to wait for other people to complete their part and send it to me. During those breaks, I was reading a M&B (I still read them *defiant pose*) and my dad walks in with a cup of tea. I could swear it was almost exactly the same feeling as 15 years back. This time I was working on a laptop and had nowhere to hide the book. I quickly shut the book and almost thew it on the bed and concentrated on the laptop with fierce concentration. My dad just kept the tea on the table and walked away.

It almost took me a minute before I realised that I wasnt fifteen anymore, and it wasnt my board exams, and I was actually MUCH past the age of reading M&Bs, and even if that was true, I could read them without hiding. It was a weird feeling. In the years between fifteen and thirty, I did go on to do a lot more justice to the bad girl tag I wanted, but I hadnt thought that being caught with an M&B at the age of thirty by my dad, would actually get me embarrassed. It did. Its a sobering thought that at the grand old age of thirty, I really have to work on the Ms Goody Shoes attitude. Seriously. Really quite a lot to think about. And of course quite a lot to work on - as you see, this is not the day we will slay the demon of Miss Goody Shoes.

 


23 comments|post comment

[10 Sep 2009|04:27am]
[ mood | contemplative ]


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16 comments|post comment

Introspection [09 Jul 2009|09:41am]
[ mood | contemplative ]

Written a long time back...but didnt feel upto posting it till now... :)
==========================================================

Its been a long break - and this time it was not a case of verbal constipation - Its just that it has been difficult to articulate things - writing has been difficult, somehow the words dont seem to come as easily as they once did, and if they do, they dry up suddenly..suddenly there are multiple backspace keys and a lot of empty spaces, and I dont mean just on the computer. Have you ever had these phases where so much has happened, so much is happening, to you, to people around you - where there are moments, memorable and otherwise, and yet you dont seem to be assimilating anything - They seem to be passing you, they seem to be telling you something but you just cant understand what it is. Its very simple and its right in your face and yet, yet whatever it is...it seems to be slipping away from your fingers. A small slice in time....fast paced moments, defining moments, loving moments..and yet that whole slice seems to be static.

I know I am not making sense, but I did warn you :) Words dont come that easily these days. I have considered myself to be a good observer of life, and yet life as it passes by, with its innumerables follies, it doesnt seem trigger any response any more..at least with writing.

Life is a journey of self-discovery they say - and as each day passes I struggle to see myself, clawing aside the banality of existence, and clouds of self deception. I try to question myself, my being - not as much the heights I can achieve, but also the depths I can sink to. I try to smooth wrinkled beliefs held in tight-fisted but aged hands, to wade through platitudes and decaying romanticism and try to reach the bleary figure, that may or may not be me. 

Each day has moments - pleasant, boring, sensible, even lovable. I try to sift through these to find the ones where I am the most comfortable with myself, even when I try to understand what means. I am not unhappy, neither am I lonely, but I do think I am alone. I find distance around me, voids which I am not sure will ever fill up. Some of this could of course be circumstantial- a strange country, a different work place, and a new life. It would definitely be unusual if I acted as if nothing was different. But there's more - it suddenly feels that beliefs are perceptions and they need to change as the angle does; that convictions are rigid fingers that feed a self pandering ego, and that respect, as you were taught to respect it, is something which you cannot earn - it has to be there in everything around you.

Around 8 years back my roomie asked me if I had any regrets with my life, and I replied that I didnt. However, after a long pause, I did say that my only regret is that I hadnt done anything. She looked at me as if I has lost my head and asked me if I realised what a big regret that was. I had no words - my life at that point did resemble a newly mowed lawn - neat, pretty, and blooming...well, bland too. Almost a decade later I have the same conversation with another friend, and the answers this time were so different. A decade - so much happiness, and yet so much regret too - of kindnessess forgotten, of love thrown away, of malicious cruelty, of unwitting snobbishness, and the most unforgiveable of all - deliberate self deception. Oh there were always reasons; some days I even believe that those were valid reasons; on other days I take comfort with the reasoning that I woudnt be what I am without those reasons- and yet is it really important that I should be the Me that I am today?

As I watch TV, I seem to focusing on the little clock ticking away on the lower right corner rather than on whats happening on screen. Its a new movie thats playing, one I have never seen before, but all I can see is the remorselessness of time. The newness of everything around me just seems to bring the contrast of the old with it. I know that's the way it is supposed to be. After all 'old' and 'new' exist as antonymns in the English dictionary, dont they? But how are you supposed to transpire the time between old and new?

Sometimes I think I am a creature of nostalgia - loving the anonymity, the safeness, and cosiness of the past. I have held on to old books, old clothes, old credit cards, old friends, old lovers..refusing to let go. The memories associated with all of them are not happy, some decidedly painful, and some horrendously painful. And yet I dont let go - maybe I feel that if I did let go, my life would be the plain green lawn again. I dont know. I hope I would know soon.

The strangest thing just happened now. As I write to you, I suddenly realised whats missing. No, its not a Eureka moment. I dont grab it with triumph, nor do I gape at it with discovery. I just hold it with sadness - with my fingers paused at the backspace key, hoping that maybe I can rewrite it. I cant.

I miss the sense of being 'touched'.

Its ages since I felt that. Weird, isnt it?  As I look back at the myriad motions time has taken me through, I recall the excitement of a new life, the comfort of friendship, the overwhelming love of parents, the kindness of strangers, but I dont recall being shaken by any of it. Why?  I have not been a stranger to emotion - I mean, I am the same person who has touched raw wood being polished, and wept at the beauty of it. I am the same person who used to dance to tasteless Bollywood music on my own, and yet feel a million emotions as my arms arched into space. I am the same person who would rub oil into a child's scalp and feel emotion tearing right into my toes. I am not talking abt the giddiness of romantic love or the the torrid vulnerability that comes with it. That came, that destroyed, that passed - into realms I will never know again. No, I am not talking about that. I am talking about the heart, the heart that has been relegated to the status of a organ, a biological one at that. I am talking about  walking though a crowded, noisy street and feeling grateful, really grateful for being alive, and smiling as you stand like an idiot in the middle of it. I am talking about the ackwardness when I said good bye to a friend  on the phone, when I paused because I didnt have anything to say because words could not do justice to that moment. I am talking about the soundless quiet that pervades your soul while you are walking around a temple in silent prayer, your feet pressing into the squishy mud. I am talking about the wind that blows into your face and your being when you are sitting on a train step and a fellow passenger joins you, and you laugh together at the way your dupatta is flying - at the smile he gives you before he moves aside for your friend to join you.

I dont feel that anymore. That's what I mean by the remorselessness of time - not the first grey hair, not the ageing metabolism, not the signboard of thirty which appears in next year's calendar. Not even the acceptance of the acceptability of a life without a companion. That's what scares me - that time would take away the one thing without which I am just a shell, a shell with layers of self pandering beliefs - unkind, unimaginative, unreal.

Maybe its time to let go. Maybe its time that time learnt to be kind. Maybe its time that I learnt to trust it. Maybe..maybe words would be easier next time...
 

17 comments|post comment

[19 May 2009|10:08am]
[ mood | crushed ]

I have never understood why I have given so much importance to love. All that is a weapon - a weapon to defeat people. A weapon to wound, lash out, to massacre - till you reduce the person whom you love to be much lesser than a puppet.

Love...I wish I never I knew what it was...

3 comments|post comment

[23 Jan 2009|12:19pm]
[ mood | blah ]

Warning: This is a very long read and might not make too much sense to non-malayalis....well, malayalis too..so read at your own peril...

Its not often that I write about men in my journal, that too Malayali men. My opinion about men is poor, malayali men even poorer, and so why burden my journal with the their weighty, arrogant presence? Its unfair on the journal and me and just adds another cap to the ideal Malayali fantasy of well-read, moustached men who thought that a sense of humor allowed them the luxury of being assholes.

But some men, some deserve a mention - if not anywhere, in my hallowed journal. One such man is called MohanLal, otherwise known by all Malayalees as Lalettan. But then if you are Malayali, and reading this post, you would obviously know that. Duh! It strikes me at this Notepad moment that any Malayali who is reading this, knows all that I am saying, and so whats the point. No point. No point at all. But write I must.

You see I grew up with Lalettan. In Devlali. No, we are not next door neighbors, but you already know that. You also grew up with him. But this is my journal, and I have to give you my version of the story. Yours can wait.

I am a Malayali, one of those fanatics who realised pretty late in life what it is to be Malayali. There's a reason. You see if you live in Kerala, and you live with other Malayalis, you turn out to be a sane Malayali (I have insane Malayali friends who argue that there is no such thing). But if you live in a small town in Maharashtra, with a Kerala Samajam, and an Aiyappa temple, and Malayali parents who have other Malayali parents as friends, you turn out to be ...well, a Malayali who is quite convinced that she is not Malayali. And who screams out the fact to other Malayalis who scream back, with the end result that nobody hears anything. Which is probably why after two decades I have finally come to terms with it - that I am Malayali.

Anyway, back to growing up with Mohanlal. I dont remember when I first met him. It could do with the fact that I am growing old or it could do with the fact that he has always been part of our lives. Devlali has one Malayali shop, well, one shop with a Malayali shopkeeper, who sold jackfruit chips, gingelly oil, Malayala Manorma, and did NOT sell Malayalam movies. But right opposite this shop, is another one which is quite important to the scheme of life, or if you insist on absolute honesty, one which is quite relevant to this story. You see its a shop which rented video cassettes - no, not DVDS, not even VCDs. Video cassettes, if you are old as I am, you would know are things you play in a Video Cassette Recorder. It rented video cassettes of Shiva, and Silsila, and Saudagar, and Sanam Bewafa, and Jackie Chan movies. It also rented Sanmanas Ollavarkku Samadhanam, and Mukendetta, Sumitra Villikennu. I can almost sympathise at the plight of poor non-malayalis who are attempting to pronounce those names. But considering the amount of people who read my last post, I neednt worry - I dont have a vast audience. Sigh! Yes, getting back to VCR shop as it will be called for this story, it was where it all began.


As a teenager when you are told that Malayalam cinema is the best in the world, you think its part of the parents grand plan of having untainted Malayali blood in the family for the next fifty years. I know - I will add 'demented' to the list of adjectives I use to describe myself. The late eighties was the time when Doordarshan showed one Hindi movie every Saturday; the early nineties was the period when Chitrahaar gave way to things called as countdown shows. It was also the time popular kids in school participated in Antaakshari with Hindi songs (naay, not Bollywood songs, Hindi songs); also the time when everybody thought you were hip if you had seen "Honey, I Just Shrunk the Kids" or knew Michael Jackson songs. I was a popular kid. A hip one too. As an additional FYI, I have to also add that my other hobbies included reading Screen and Filmfare and gossiping about Sangeeta Bijlani and Salman Khan. I can see a few people cringing, but what the heck, I still do it.

A tumultuous childhood. I agree. My poor desperate parents were torn between two choices - me growing up as an American English-speaking, jean-clad, tattooed rebel who sang songs with unpronounceable lyrics. Or a loud North Indian who wore pink lipstick and who danced to "Mera Dil Gayega Zubi Zubi Zubi.." at weddings. Yes, some choice that. Desperation called for drastic measures, and thats when my dad finally made friends with the Sindhi owner of VCR shop. The pattern changed - every weekend we now took one Hindi movie, one English one (which Sindhi uncle certified was 'clean'), and two Malayalam movies. And thats how it all began.

I wish I could claim it was love as first sight. Or second sight. It wasnt. I pretty much didnt understand the first malayalam movies I saw, but that could be a indication of just how slow I was. I thought the next few movies were funny - I didnt know what satire meant then. A few more movies, and I thought that malayalis sure know how to poke fun at themselves - I didnt know what sense of humor meant. Then there were some movies which were so natural..and yet intense. I didnt know what to say except that they made me uncomfortable in a weird way. They were good movies, I agreed, but I still thought that Aamir Khan IN QSQT was the 'bestest' actor ever. My parents talked about art movies and commercial movies and tried to explain the difference. My conclusion was that not-so good looking actors like Om Puri and Naseerudin Shah acted in art movies and good looking ones like Aamir acted in commercial ones. There - one more adjective for me - shallow. They gave up.

The next few years passed without any obvious perils. I continued to watch movies - lots of Hindi, lot less English, and very little Malayalam. Somewhere down the line I fell for Deepti Naval. And Amol Palekar.  And then Hrishikesh Mukherjee. People then told me about 'middle cinema' and 'light films' and I watched them. I discoved it meant that the movie had awesome music, the heroine was believeably pretty, the hero was believably not-so pretty and was NOT a businessman's son, they lived in actual houses and not sets, they had humour which didnt involve Kader Khan, and they showed women in nice cotton sarees and sleeveless blouses. I liked. A few more years and a middle aged man called Mahesh Bhatt replaced Aamir in my affections. We continued to rent malayalam movies from Sindhi uncle. I was now familiar with most Malayali actors - Mohanlal was one of them. Plump, thick curly hair, and a moustache - not my idea of a 'hero'. He wasnt as per my obnoxious cousin - he was a 'lead actor' he explained with disdain frothing on his nostrils. I agreed because the cousin has promised to let me watch one of his raunchier movies(Mohan Lal's, not my cousin's, I have to clarify), and I didnt want to upset the delicate balance of power. Shallow? Absolutely.

Years later when I joined college in Kerala, people told me that the 80s and early 90s were supposed to be the best period in Malayalam cinema. I also started understanding the concept of directors and scriptwriters and discovered M T vasudevan Nair, Padmarajan, Hariharan and Bharathan. But back then, while we watched these malayalam movies on Saina Videos,  we didnt really focus on the director or the craft as they say. I dont think I could ever write a decent movie review - not now, not then.  But at that point, we were beginning to talk about the story, the characters, and Mohan Lal. I would never make it as a film critic. But yes, the stories..(not the scripts)..the stories - they appealed. The characters - they touched. Mohan Lal - he conquered.

I am not sure I can analyze why and when I got hooked - for two reasons - 1) digging deep into my childhood could bring up embarrassing secrets. 2) I simply dont remember a lot of things. Sure, I can list out my favourite movies, but that isnt it. As much as I hate to agree with the obnoxious cousin, it is the truth - Mohanlal was a actor - an actor who brought out the literal definition of acting. Any person in a story-telling medium who tells the story by portraying a character is an actor. Mohan Lal was just that. He introduced me to some of the best characters I have met - some of the most simple, most complex characters ever written. Oh yes, there are so many others actors who did that - in other Indian languages and international cinema as well. So why is he special? I almost typed "He taught me to be a Malayali". Now that would be a big exaggeration; it is; maybe untrue too like all exaggerations. But the fact is that he did get me quite close to Kerala - malayali culture, malayali people, malayali sensibilities and ethos. Inspite of my best attempts to fight my roots, I coudnt help connecting to my land, my people. What began as a discovery, a reluctant admiration for something foreign has become a fanatical pride in my very own culture.

In Varavelpu - I saw the gulf malayalee's desperation to come back home, his welcome being worn out, his dreams being shattered in a state unfriendly to entrepreneurs. In Panchangni, I stood by the helpless journalist as he fell in love with a strong lady who has suffered the system. In Kireedam, I watched a small town guy's dreams to be a police officer fade into nothingness. In Nadodikattu, I laughed through the antics of the unemployed, educated 'graduate', who wades and kicks through life with desperate optimism. In Amrithamgamaya, I met a multitude of kids studying in medicine and engineering colleges in Kerala - their innocence, their camaraderie, their darkness, their guilt. In Thoovanathumbikal, I watched Jayakrishnan alternate between his rustic and sophisticated personas with equal ease and yet falter with the two loves in his life. The stories were many, the characters were lots more, the sensibilities lots more complex - and yet he breathed life into every single one of them. My later years in Kerala brought me into contact with the best in Malayalam literature, music, and cinema. I grew to appreciate the nuances, the art, the craft of cinema. As I dug deeper, I always had fellow enthusiasts along with me - arguing, agreeing, discussing - passionately, and that always led to new insights, new depths, new discoveries. Not just about cinema or literature, but about myself, my identity, my beliefs, my convictions.

But Mohan Lal was there before all this. He was there at a time when I coudnt enumerate, elaborate, or elucidate. He didnt have an aura, he didnt have charisma, he didnt even have a stage..he came and went without leaving a stamp of himself - but coloring landscapes, drawing characters, evoking emotions..on unacquainted palettes like mine. At a time when my sole bragging consisted of a theoretical knowledge of national awards and Aravindan, Adoor and Shaji Karun, he took me into unknown..nay..known familiar shores and helped me build castles of my own. 

In my journey/venture to be a cosmopolitan Indian, I have passed through stages where I have grabbed and let got of my heritage at the behest of convenience. I now claim to be Mallu (not malayali), I speak un-accented English, I speak better Hindi than a lot of North Indians,  I have a larger share of non-malayalis as friends, I have convinced my parents that I would never be able to live in Kerala, and on most days I live the life of the person I want to be. And yet today I am one of the most clannish people I know.I also have this fierce pride in something to which I am not even sure I have contributed to (other than the accident of birth of course). I know identity is one of of the most misrepresented words in the English dictionary, and yet I use my heritage to define a big part of it.

And thats why I take great pleasure in disagreeing with the obnoxious cousin. Mohan Lal is a great actor, one of the best the world has seen - but he is also a hero - my own personal hero. My very own Lalettan. And yes, with the moustache too.

For those who are interested: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mohan_Lal


17 comments|post comment

[04 Jan 2009|05:21pm]
[ mood | calm ]

I listen to the rain patter on my window as I curl into the comforter.  I was told I was coming to 'Sunny California' when I moved here, but I havent seen too much of the sun since then.  I can listen to people moving about in the apartment upstairs - lots of thumps and lots of grating.  Strangely the sounds are comforting and not annoying, the feel of people and noises is something I have learnt to value since I have come to the States.

I am amazed at the quietness in America. Cars dont make noises, beds dont creak, stoves dont splutter, babies dont cry.  There are vast open spaces interspersed by huge freaking things they call freeways. And on those huge winding freeways people hurl around at neck breaking speeds, not one of them making any noises. I mean, how weird is that? In India, anybody who sits on my bike screams, and I swear I dont go beyond 40Kmph.

Anyway, back to the rain. I mean to write about the rain. Its a safe topic to write about..like love.  After all Americans use it in every part of conversation - to start it, to prolong it, to end it.  The weather I mean - not love, of course.  Of course, love is a safe topic too.  Everybody talks about it - some scorn it, some lap it, some love it. I digress. Yet again.

Yes back to what I was saying.  Rain.  My earliest memories of rain are as a one day old baby.  Really, I swear.  I was a rain baby.  I was born in a small town in Kerala called Chertala on the day the Americans bombed Nagasaki, well, thirty four years after that.  Well, that year, that day, there was no bomb, but they was a huge deluge.  The heavens opened and there was rain like never before, the sound of it drowning my screams.  My father hired an Ambassador car to bring me back to our ancestral house which was a good three hours away.  He held me against his heart for the next three hours, not even shifting me to his lap, not wanting me to feel the waterclogged potholes on the road.  I slept. I smiled.  I listened.  To the sound of rain against the glass, and my father's heartbeat. That's my dad's most precious memory. Mine too. He of course also remembers the severe backache he had for the whole next week. I am strangely vague about that.

Then again, as I grew up in Devlali, a town known for its artillery center, its old Parsi bungalows, and cold harsh winters, the rains did not play such a huge role in my life.  I mean, I have more memories of freezing water in taps, and navy blue sweaters with Vardhaman wool, and bicycle rides on foggy mornings, than of anything else. But maybe,  there are some things one can never forget. Every year when I came back from our annual vacation to Kerala, I would be miserable. It was a three day journey, and I would spend every minute of it, alternating between fantasising about my marriage to my cousin, and misery at leaving what I thought was my inlaws house (Those days I thought inlaws were a pleasant species).  The last leg of the journey was on the Bhusaval express from Kalyan to Devlali. If you ever want to experience the magical Indian railways, do not, and I repeat, do not get on this train. Its slower than a snail, its dirty, its got extremely uncomfortable wooden seats, and every single person on the train is a glutton.  The train would start from Kalyan station and I would dread getting on it.   I would sit amidst dhoti-clad farmers with gandhi caps and  old women with green tattooed bindis, and hope to God that they would not spit out the betel nuts they were chewing with monotonous regularity. And then ...and then it would be morning and I would look out of the window and forget everything. The Western Ghats would have the sexiest, drenched,  really, really wet look, and I would gape at her awesome beauty. There would be miles and miles and miles of the richest green, and the rocks on the cliffs would look as scrubbed as the washing stone in my backyard.  The trees were not dense, and they often stood lone and proud in the deep pastures, all clean and glistening and fresh. I would touch the drops on the bars on the windows, and then touch my nose. I dont know why, but I did. The train would groan and puff and rumble at my eccentrities, but I think it liked me, because it always stopped at the most beautiful places for no apparent reason.  My father said it was because of passing trains and different signals.  Blah! As if I would ever believe such a stupid explanation.
And then we would slowly roll into Devlali Cant; its a really tiny station with two platforms, and beyond the small station building, you can see the hedges, and beyond it, a tarred clean road and small dotted houses at the horizon. For years it was the same view, and for years I have loved it. It always meant coming home, even though it was a timeI had constant doubts on where home was.

And then of course the time I fell in love.  Not with rain, of course.  With J.  I remember the first day, or rather the first time we acknowledged it.  We walked out of the old house in Indira Nagar, and crossed CMH road in a daze.  We didnt hold hands, it was too new for that.  The old park was full of people, even though it was drizzling, and yet nobody seemed to notice how different we were.  We felt so different, we were in a different world, how could anybody not notice? But nobody did. I chattered without knowing what I was saying, and he was silent. He said he was hungry, and I took him to Butterscotch.  We wanted to sit on the steps but it was too wet with the rain; I dont know if there is anything called lover's luck, but the old grouchy shop keeper actually dragged two plastic chairs for us, and placed them on the veranda. I dont remember what we ate, I dont even remember what we wore that day (and I have a pretty good memory about clothes), I dont remember what we talked.  I just remember the cold wet breeze and the warmth inside me.  J said bye after an hour and went away and I didnt see him for the next eight months.  But it was enough..I think it was.

It would be weird if said I have always loved the rain. If you are in Bangalore and you have a bike and a one hour commute to work, you would be a big fat liar if you said you loved the rains.  Which I probably I am.  In addition to the obvious pleasure of getting drenched, you have to deal with crawling traffic, death traps in the disguise of potholes and salivating lechers who think you are impersonating Zeenat Aman. And yet its been difficult to wish away the rains. I have often stood near the office pantry, sipping the disgustingly sweet lemon tea, and watched people go home, and pretended that I was happy I didnt have to rush home. The rain has always been a reliable friend who visited you when you needed the company.

2007 November.  I was in hospital for 25 days.  They coudnt figure out what was wrong with me and my organs were supposedly shutting down slowly.  I hadnt slept in days, I was running high fever, and I had promised God that I would marry the next guy my parents sent, as long as he got me out of the place.  November in Kerala is like Chennai at any time of the year - meaning its hot and humid and the fan in the room offered no comfort.  That night there was a thunderstorm, and the power went off.  I could hardly breathe and I have never hated anyone more than the rain Gods, that night.  That same night was the first and last time I saw my mother cry - she held my feverish body and cried along with me, cried as both of us prayed for divine intervention. All my life I have been Papa's darling girl, and my mom has been the stern strong mom, guiding me through the rules that every child inherits from its parents. That night as thunder broke over us, and rain pounded on the windows, I dimly realised how vulnerable my mom was, and how much I needed to know it, how much both of us needed to know it.

Its almost six months since I have come to America and I am still getting used to the idea of living in a country with distinct seasons.  I loved summer in Kentucky; Kentucky with its vast green horse farms dotted with black and white hedges and its 'this is the smallest place in America and you must be kidding if you thought you could have fun here' attitude.  As the days grew shorter, and my longing for India became bigger, the land decided to change colors, or rather the trees did.  That was kind of them because I was down in the dumps, and the colors suddenly lifted my spirits.  I was told this is autumn in America. Every day as we drove from home to office, and we crossed the hills, I would watch the expanse of red and orange and maroon, and think of the song sequences in KANK and hum along with the music in the car. It was nice.

And then it all changed again - they told me I would have to stay longer in the US and  and the seasons decided that they would have to make it harder for me.  Winter descended with the promise of snow and lonely nights, and I curled up further into myself, away from everything that was warm and special. And rain?  No, America doesnt have monsoons, as they taught us in geography class in school.  But I discovered that the rain did work its magic in the land where it wasnt even acknowledged as a season.  In fact it didnt work its magic, it worked a miracle.  As we sat in our apartment on cold wet days and talked about home, and loss, and love, I watched as two friends found comfort with each other.  It was in Kentucky that I saw my first double rainbow, and it was in Kentucky that I saw Smiles fall hopelessly in love. I was turning too old and cynical, but there is something about rainbows and mushy love which makes you feel young again. Jealous too, but thats another story.

And now I am in California - the land of desis and traffic which comes close to impersonating Indian traffic.  Winter has come, and is still on, so has Christmas. New year too came on a stealthy note, and left before I could say hello. But the rains - the rains didnt let me down. Rain drops came and pattered cheerfully on my window sill on the very first day of the year. I didnt get up and open the drapes - you do that with strangers. I just smiled to acknowledge him, and went back to sleep.

The Suprabhatam on my laptop is over and now I can only hear the rain. The people upstairs have gone quiet too; I can hear Smiles in the other room but it seems to be from a far away place. Someone in pinging me on Gtalk, and I smile to acknowledge an old friend. The comforter is pulled up to my chest, and I tie up my hair. Smiles yells across that she will make eggs for breakfast. I grin as the friend sends me her baby's picture over Gtalk. The rain..its still pattering....

36 comments|post comment

On why I love travelling... [10 Jan 2007|05:27pm]
[ mood | calm ]

I come from a family which was “middle class” in the true sense of the word. Yes, I know, these days everyone is called “middle class” right from the software engineer who earns a six figure salary to the call center dude to the government employee who barely makes do.   But back then in the days when my parents were called middle class, we had “enough and a little more” as my father would say. But I digress, as usual.
 
The point I actually wanted to convey was that we were very middle class in our thinking as well. Money was there – but for a “solid” education, a long awaited home, a second hand Premier Padmini, and a rainy day. But, money for travel?  – never occurred to any of us. Vacations meant the annual month-long trip to Kerala, and if you got excited about the three day train journey, or poetic about the scenery, it was attributed to mallu blood running through your veins. Perhaps, it was – I am not sure. As like any bookworm, I loved to read descriptions of different places in all the books I read -right from Kirrin Island in the Famous Five, to the old English countryside in Jane Austen’s England, to the hills described by Ruskin Bond. I did fantasize about being marooned on a beautiful island, or kidnapped to an exotic rainforest with a beautiful waterfall, but I would be lying if I said I wanted to..or desired to visit a “real” locale. Fantasized – yes. Desired – no. Tried – no. It was always an unreal world – people who did wonderful things but who were very different from me. So, if the Famous Five took their bikes and went camping, it was so awesome and wonderful – but it never occurred to me that I could too. Yeah, of course, I did the pretend stuff - using a sheet as a tent and making “chakka puzhukku” with cousins, but a real trip? Hell, no!!
 
My maternal uncle was considered the “hip” one in the family. Every year, he would plan a “family vacation” with his wife and kids; maybe with his wife’s extended family too. They would hire an Ambassador and visit places like Kodaikanal, Ooty, and Mysore, and when they went, my folks would act as caretakers of the house. And every year, I would watch them leave, happy to have the huge house to myself, but also quite envious about the adventures I was sure they were having. One year, I think my uncle caught the faint wistfulness (or envy!) in my eyes, and suggested that I come along with them. This time it was a religious trip to Parani with a stop over at Peechi dam – but religious or not, I was thrilled. When my father nodded his consent, I could hardly believe my ears – I knew I was going to have so many adventures. And I did! Well, every single thing seemed like such an adventure to me. The cramped journey in the Ambassador, the stops at “chaya kadas”, eating lunch in the shade of huge trees on the road side, staying at a small lodge with the entire family fighting to get the most comfortable beds, the climb up to the top of the temple, even fighting the rush to get darshan at the temple. I do not remember too much of the places, but I do remember the excitement, the spirit of freedom, and the feeling that I was exploring something, away from my comfort zone.
 
Years later when I came to Bangalore, the world was changing. People had started talking of travel as a passion, as a hobby, as a noun. I was amused. How can that be a passion, or for that matter, a hobby? But then I dismissed it – after all, tennis is an expensive sport, and I supposed rich people do play it. People continued to write ‘travel’ as a hobby in online forum – I continued to ignore it. I was now living as a paying guest with four other girls, and we were slowly getting to know each other. One boring afternoon we had just each other for company, and nothing to do and one of them piped up with “Let’s do a trip together!” It started with Coorg..and went and back and forth…and landed, guess where? New Zealand. I just hadn’t expected that, and that’s when I first met (in the real sense) the two most influential people in my life – RG and LB. Both of them very different people but with one common desire – to see all the beautiful places in the world. I was amused, but I was beginning to understand that these people were actually passionate about “travel” and I really didn’t have to be scornful about it. They were serious – how could anyone doubt it, when they were ready to spend 70k on a week long trip? (These were the days when we earned 6 k and barely had enough money for a Coorg trip). I passed. As excited as I was, I had grand plans of studying abroad and every penny saved made a huge difference. They went and came, and I duly admired the pictures. But I didn’t really feel too upset about missing out on the trip.
 
Then started a period when weekend holidays became the fashion, and I was surprised by how much I started liking these. Goa, Ooty, Karwar, Wayanad. I had started to make lot of new friends, and before I knew it, we had a gang. One holiday happened..and then another..and then another. It was no longer surprising that as one ended we were planning for the next one. I guess I was perverse to very end, because I always insisted that I was having fun because I enjoyed the company of friends and not because I enjoyed traveling as such. It gave me great pleasure to say that the place didn’t really matter, just the company did. To some extent, I still think that’s true.:-)
 
And then Australia happened. One day LB and RG suggested that we go to Australia. I agreed, without even thinking. RG wanted to see the rainforests, and LB wanted to see the beaches, and I wanted to ..hold your breath.. “travel!”. Yes, I really didn’t care about which place I was going to – but it was an exciting idea, going to a foreign location. I wanted to sit in a plane, drink coffee in an airport lounge, take pictures out of a train, talk to different people, eat different cuisines and yes, see a lot of different places. Me, who had scorned the idea of people spending money to see places,…wanted to, and wanted to badly.
 
Sadly, Australia was not what we had expected – or rather what they had expected. The rainforests were brown, the waterfalls didn’t have water, and while the beaches were awesome, they did not compensate for a barren landscape. And yet..and and yet, it was beautiful to me. Oh, not because RG and LB were with me (that too), but because it was an experience. An enriching one. Each moment – new, different (I have learnt to respect this word!), and liberating. They added up to small experiences, each one of which I savoured with greed, but hid with a pretence of sophistication. Walking along the crowded streets of Sydney watching formally dressed people hurry by; or drooling at the hunks surfing in Gold Coast; or checking out an old deserted cabin in the Blue Mountains, shop in the deserted streets of Cairns; or the best one ( a hunky cabin crew member took my hand and took me on a tour on a cruise;-)); or walking hungry in Sydney and sharing an apple with LB because we didn’t have any money (okay, that wasn’t really such a pleasant one) – I cherish every memory. That’s what I meant when I said I didn’t really care about the place. I do to a certain extent, but beyond that, I have learned to cherish each and every moment, out of the ordinary.
Of course the journey had just started. Then followed quite a few trips – within the country and out of the country. The US a number of times, and finally Europe of course. Europe is the most beautiful place I have been to, but my favorite travel location? The US. The US was my first solo trip, and where I totally learnt to appreciate traveling. I had expected to be lonely, really lonely. I was right – well, to a certain extent. But I also enjoyed myself thoroughly. Suddenly there was a whole world around me, and there was so much to do. Small things, but it’s a huge deal for someone like me – someone who had never really taken the offbeat path, and worse, never really wanted to. The possibilities were endless, and I was totally overwhelmed by them. Whether it was going to jazz concerts, or camping at an Indian settlement, or eating bison (yeah, yeah, I know!), or trekking up the Georgia mountains, or going for architectural tours – I hadn’t done any of that, and definitely not alone, and it was such a high, I couldn’t understand it myself. I found myself getting excited about traveling by the Subway, about learning a smattering of Cuban because my cab driver was Cuban, about shopping in Macy’s, about attending a church service, about everything.
 
And yes, I have learned to appreciate beautiful places too :-) It wasn’t that difficult. It doesn’t surprise me these days when I hold my breath when I see the mist waft pass a mountain to reveal a glorious sun rise. It doesn’t surprise me when I listen to the sound of my boots crunch on the snow, and think it’s the most beautiful sound in the world. It doesn’t surprise me when I look into total darkness overlooking a Coorg farmhouse, and feel totally at peace with myself. It’s not rare that I huff and puff and curse on a five hour trek and then have conversations with the stars as I lie under them. In fact, it seems perfectly natural to walk along a beach and feel the waves lap at my feet, and think that I want to do this (read that as travel!) all my life.
 
I have come a long way. Traveling. :-) The journey and the destination both turned out quite different from what I expected. I guess that’s what traveling has given me – a belief that I could change my beliefs and that it was okay for me to do so. Its given me lots more too – new friends, new ideas, new possibilities, new hope. Yes, hope. When you see so much beauty around you – how can you give up on hope?
 
Am I passionate about travel? I don’t know – I don’t think so. I don’t think I will ever be a “vagabond” at heart, as RG is; I love my roots, and am quite anchored by them. But I do confess that it is nice for me to swing on those roots to some neighboring lands. :-) And…that is that. Quite a rambling traveling travelogue ha?:-)
54 comments|post comment

Home pics!! [04 Jan 2007|05:54pm]
[ mood | cheerful ]

Yes, am very much alive..and kicking:-)  I know I have been awfully quiet, but all's well - just a case of verbal constipation. :D Will be back soon, hopefully....till then, pics of my new home..

Statuatory warning: Only "oohing and aahing" comments are welcome!!:D 

Well, seriously, anything goes - but just go little easy on the critical comments (am extremely sensitive when its comes to talking abt colors, layout, furniture,floor..does that leaving anything?;-) ). Of course, suggestions are welcome!!


New living room - colorful aint it?;-)




The tavern!!!;-) yeah yeah, all booze pics in the dining room.




Christmas tree, lamps, a quilt to keep me warm on a winter evening!



A few knick -knacks!!



The pics I had bought from a street-side vendor in Salzberg.



My seat!!! and arent the flowers pretty?:) 



You guessed it right! I love "yellow"  these days.



First christmas in new home - new christmas tree as well!:)




And HAPPY NEW YEAR guys!!!:)

32 comments|post comment

Of Heartbeats and Silences [29 Oct 2006|05:06am]
His heart was beating steadily. His chest hair had been shaved off, and I missed its roughness against my cheek. But then he takes my hand gently and I am glad to feel the familiar feel of the tough skin of his palms. I bury deeper into his chest and I can feel him smile. I close my eyes.


She can feel the tears in her eyes as he gently pulls the knots in her hair. He neatly pulls it into a ponytail as she sulks. He quickly stuffs her tiny feet into even tinier shoes and ties her laces, all the time looking at the clock. She fusses over how he has done her tie as he grabs her and puts her in the front of the scooter. The wind messes the neat ponytail but she enjoys the ride. His arms on the scooter handles form a protective ring around her, and she tries to peek over them She grins proudly as the scooter enters the school compound. She jumps off the scooter, but he grabs her, mutters at the mess of her hair, frowns, gives her the school bag and then turns back. She looks at him and he grins. So do the teachers when they see the short plump man try to throw up the little girl high in the air.


He sits on the veranda wearing a lungi*. There is an expression of total bliss on his face. The little girl is trying to plait his hair. She is adventurous. She makes three “chotis”. The first using the hair on his forehead. Two more using the hair at the back. There is a perfectly round bald patch in the middle of his scalp, but she doesn’t care. She uses the tiny rubber bands that her mother has given her and tells him that he looks like a musician. He says he doesn’t like the look, so can she improve on it please. She climbs on to his lap, cups his face in her hands and looks at his face from a different angle. She agrees that it could do with some work. The rubber band comes off, and the combing begins again. He settles down once more, paper in hand, occasionally looking at the mirror and giving her his opinions on male fashion.


The auditorium was crowded. She felt very important. She was not only the class monitor, but they had also asked her to look after the tiny tots. Make sure that they didn’t talk and cry and stuff like that. She remembered how she had been, and knew that she had to help those young ones. Next year was fifth standard, and it was going to be a different school. He had told her that she had to do her bit for her school. It was Results day and they were announcing the ranks. He was standing at the window and was now waving at her. It was a big day and he was dressed for the occasion. The usual cotton shirt was replaced with a safari suit. She was as proud of him as he was of her.


They can ill afford the Chinalla Pattu sari* that the dance teacher recommended. She is excited with all her new purchases. The white stones in her arrapatta* and her necklace, and the beautiful white and gold mohiniaattam* dress. They have been roaming all over Allapuzha and finally have managed to even buy the huge brass lamps needed for the Arangettam*. She can see that he is looking worried as they enter the huge shop. They look over all the saris and he tells her that they will choose the most beautiful one. She nods her head, but is much more restrained in her excitement now. They choose a pale orange sari, expensive, and very beautiful, but not like the beautiful green and red sari that the sales man was recommending. He tells the sales guy that the green one is too expensive and she fights hard not to show her disappointment. When she goes home, she shows off her sari to her aunts. They ask her about the Chinalla Pattu, but she tells them that it was not really nice, and she had asked him to buy this sari for her. He thinks the orange color of the sari looks good in the lamplight as he watched her perform. But the green and red Chinalla Pattu would have looked nicer. The green and red chinalla pattu came a year later, was treasured, and then given away to aspirant BharataNatyam dancers; but the orange sari still remains folded in blankets and kept in last shelf in the Godrej almirah.

She has memorized the geometry theorems. The tuitions are over and all she can see is pentagons and hexagons. She knows that the moment of reckoning has come. She knows how that this is really, really, important for him. She closes her eyes, but there is no sleep. She goes to the loo and makes all the noise she can. He comes up and asks her to sleep with him. He talks to her, his speech slurring with sleep and soon she too dozes off. She gets full marks in geometry for her board exam the next day. Her friends laughed when she insisted that her guardian angel helped in remembering the theorems.

He had just come home. She was gay and happy and she didn’t want to come home. Hostel was freedom and a bunch of five girls. He is hurt but laughs it off. She knows he is hurt and tells him that she will come home every weekend. She is excited about college and new friends and new opportunities. He talks to her about the Pillai uncle’s daughter who had eloped. He tells her that the family name is very important. She nods her head, but her excitement drains off. She never talks to him about boys. Ever.


She was stuttering almost every day. And she was putting on a lot of weight. But then she was eating so much and it was healthy to eat, and as for the stuttering, she had always been a nervous kid. He had no idea what was coming. Finally she confessed. He couldn’t believe that she had been missing classes. The little princess was no quitter; she could not have been scared off by a bout of ragging. He raved and ranted and mulled over where he had gone wrong. He felt guilty and so did she. She wanted to curl up like a snail and weep. He pulled her up, whacked her hard, took her to college every day, and made sure she kept her nose to the grind. But he told her that she was still his princess. Just that she was now a very fat princess. She still stutters – but only when she is really nervous about something.


He is so proud of her. Today was her first day in office. He takes her to the office and waits in the reception. The office is really posh and is on the 7th floor and he notes down every detail. She hugs him and then steps uncertainly into the corridor. He wants to tell her to call him for lunch, but then decides against it. It is inauspicious to call somebody when they are just about to do something fruitful. He goes out and spends time in the vicinity, but comes back for lunch. He is surprised to see that she is with some other girls. She says that she will have lunch with him, but he insists that she needs to make friends. They have an ice cream together after lunch. They go up to the wash and he asks her to gargle properly.

He can’t understand. Neither can she. She comes homes regularly, but she has been putting off marriage. She has explained to him why, but he can’t make sense out of it. She fights. So does he. She gives up and agrees. He is pleased, but feels guilty. He tells her that he will choose the best guy. She nods and smiles.

She seems distant. She comes home regularly, but keeps reading all the time. He is the same; has she changed? She has that horrible hair cut now. She tells him all about her job, but she evades questions on her life style. He made some comments on religion, and she got very upset. Her political beliefs haven’t changed much, but she has become so much more vocal. She is anti-dowry and he can’t understand how he is supposed to marry her off without it. He tells her about the garden they are planning and she listens with interest. She tells him about call centers and how they operate. She avoids talking about marriage. He talks, but approaches her with wariness. There are so many more silences these days.

I open my eyes. This time there is no silence. His heartbeat is steady and soothing. He looks at me and asks me “Ache de thangamani* elle?” I smiled and nodded and settled down once more.

It looks a few errant heartbeats, and one angioplasty for my dad, before I realized how much I missed being "Ache de thangamani". 
4 comments|post comment

[09 Oct 2006|03:59pm]
[ mood | cheerful ]

After days of procrastination, I finally did it!!!  and here is the end product...




Yes that's pork curry - authentic mallu style, or at least the way my mom makes it. Those who know me personally would know how rare it is for me to actually sit up on a weekend and cook. But I did! and I am so proud of myself, considering the fact that it came out well, and more important, I did not mess up the kitchen (the proof lies in the fact that my roomie came home and asked me where I had bought it from. Normally, if I cook, the kitchen gets so screwed up, my roomies actually hide plates and vessels so that i wont use them all!)

Its not that i hate cooking - in fact the opposite. I love making stuff, but without any interference, and totally at my own pace, without anyone making any smartass comments. Which explains why the pork came out well - it was prepared in total solitude; jagjit singh, iced tea, and the aroma of grease with garam masala....awesome!!!!   And strange as my friends might think, I actually do enjoy entertaining too. Oh I have never been the kinds who has formal parties and proper get togethers, but I do like people coming over. Of course, I am terrified to invite the pros (guys who are so good ar it), which is probably why i have been only inviting starved mallu bachelors only:D

Anyway, the pork curry was part of a resolution - am gonna try and make one dish every week. *determined look*


All in all, a nice weekend!!!:D

42 comments|post comment

[14 Sep 2006|07:45pm]
[ mood | aggravated ]

Why on earth do FRIENDS have to get married?!!!!!! Its the most annoying thing EVER! and I am tired of pretending that I am happy for them. I am NOT!!! Well, I am..but I also hate them for doing it.

Simply because it changes things, and I dont want them to change. People say that things dont end after marriage, and you can still have fun, and your friends are still your friends, and life will almost be the same. Perhaps it doesnt for the people who become couples, but life does change drastically for the ones who remain single. 

Oh dont mistake me - my friends are still the sweetest people. Its just that 'things' have changed. Its very difficult to see a rollicking gang dwindle away and be reduced to sad figures. Oh we still meet each other, but the feeling of bonding is missing - its as if you dont belong anywhere now, you are having fun - but alone - and that sucks! The camarederie, the total madness, the undemanding understanding, and most of all, the relentlessly annoying but essentialy heartwarmin companionship is missing now. When all of us were single, we fought, we bitched, we even drifted apart from each other - but in end, it was as if we knew that we only had each other, and so we had to be together. And that was enough - at least for me.  Now I resent the fact that some of us have other people to go back to. What we had was good - more than good - why change it???

I so miss the laughter, the crazy antics, the drunken nights, the long drives, the night long gossip sessions...:(

I tell my dad that if some day I do agree to marry, it will be for all the wrong reasons. It will be simply because I will be the only one left and I will be tired of just watching them all go away. The biggest threat to singledom is not love, but plain inconvenience. Of course you can talk abt making new friends and all that, but honestly I think I am growing too old for that - no energy to socialize and worse no will to. In that case, what do you do..sighhhh..sigh more..write bitchy mails to 2 more of the endangered species, sigh some more, and when you still dont feel any better, write a nonsensical post on LJ. So, thats what this is abt...waste of your time? Too bad - you must be long married, in which case you wont understand (you have long forgotten what it is to be single and happy) ; or you must be just married, in which case you wont be bothered (too self-centered); or you might be just about to marry, in which case I dont like you; or you might be like me - single and intending to remain that way, in which case you are welcome to leave as many bitchy comments as you want to here. 

P.S..This was brought on because I was trying to arrange for a old friends trip to Goa..and could just find 2 of them ready to go:(

30 comments|post comment

[11 Sep 2006|08:16pm]
[ mood | amused ]

The flowers match with the salwar I wore - pink. Oh well, the flowers were bright pink and I wore light pink, but what the heck, they did go well. The green looked fresh and bright, and so did the houses behind me, but I could only feel the heat, and smell the musty air.
 
The guy asks me to adjust my dupatta. I smile gently at him, adjust the dupatta against one shoulder, look at him modestly and ask him if I will do. He does a critical eye-over, and apparently is not satisfied as he mutters something under his breath, but decides that nothing better can be done.
 
I adjust one hip against one tree trunk, and lean against it. The dupatta moves again, and he is annoyed. Afraid that I will have to endure it more, I quickly smooth the starched garment, pull away the hair from the face, and try to contort my facial muscles into an expression of peaceful discontent. Apparently, it worked – because he shoved a few more lights into my face. Its was easier to now depict the peace and calm – the lights make you shut your eyes in calm solitude, and the heat makes you look like you are dying a peaceful death. But it worked, and it was soon over, as he finally clicked the last pics. I decide to shift my hip before the poor overworked plaster of paris tree gave away.
 
And so ended my photoshoot for my ‘pennu kannal’ pics. I started a few years back, and you should think that I should be a pro at it. But as they say about happy marriages, every single time, it’s a unique experience. Oh the backgrounds are different, the poses are different, the cameraman’s comments are different….unqiue. And it wasn’t over yet.
 
I come out, and Achai looks at me with curiosity. I am a pro right – so I am well prepared. The gold chain shows above the dupatta, and the hair is pulled back to reveal the diamond earrings – no trace of the oxidized nose ring. He smiles, and I smile back. Ahhhh, thank God. All’s well that ends well.
 
Well almost…
 
We are paying up when Achai turn back and looks at him. “Photo korachu bright aakum pattumo?  Eru neram ollelum, korachu velithu erunotte”
A toothy smile from him.. ““Athinu entha..photoshop il athekke adjust cheyamelo. Korachu color enthayulum kodukam”.
 
Thank God for Photoshop…what if Chakkolas Fairness oil doesn’t work?:-)
 
For non mallus: 
Translation:
Can you make the photo brigher? Even if she is a little dark, let her look a little fair in the photo.
Of course not a problem. We can adjust the colors in Photoshop. Will definitely give her some color.
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[31 Aug 2006|11:35am]
[ mood | cheerful ]

countries i have visited..4%..still a long way to go...

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[25 Aug 2006|06:45pm]

I am back!!!

from europe...will post abt it..but first a few pics...:)

http://www.flickr.com/photos/72735368@N00/

and i finally my userpic..quite a difference from last year right?:)



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