A sup-er, dup-er, 55-er marriage ;)

Four years back, my then-friend-now-husband asked me
“…do you think we’d still be friends like this then?”

I replied, “No. We’d probably be married!” :D

Yesterday, we celebrated our 4th “un-official” anniversary.

The journey has been perfect so far: right amounts of love,
fights, blames, joy, happiness, sacrifices, cribs, everything.

We have The Perfect Marriage. [Touchwood.] :)

Sophistication starts with an ‘S’. So does Stupidity :P

I am what I am! :D

A statement like that’s the only way I can establish that if you need to like me, you just need to do it without getting judgmental or advisory :D  Just assume that I’m a composed, sophisticated and so-full-of-attitude person. Because, sophistication does not come to me naturally. But I am trying my best :D

I have (rather had) a habit of keeping a daily diary. And now that I’ve given it up (gave up after marriage…lest the husband gets to know the ‘real’ me ;)), I miss going back on years and reading about those days of stupidity. So, I thought, what better place than my blog to keep my secrets stupid…uh oh…keep my stupidities a secret, i meant! :D

Anyways, here goes my favourite ones :D (Long-post-ahead Alert!!)

I was like 3 or 4, I used to spend the entire day in the company (or the lack of it) of my grandmother. She used to make me nap alongside her for 3 hours compulsorily (to keep me away from mischief while she slept). One day, devoid of any sleep, I was pressing her ruby locket into my arm and making impressions when she looked at me lovingly and said, “When I die, this locket will be yours.” I nodded my head and continued with the impressions; then suddenly, I woke her up from sleep and said, “marakkalle ammumma...” (Please don’t forget, Grandma). And she didn’t! It wasn’t forgotten like one for those “innocent comments” kids make. Sigh!

I was probably labelled dangerous to be left alone with Grandma any more. She feared for her life, I suppose. It was decided I was to attend kindergarten :D

On my first day at Kindergarten, I was screaming away at full-throttle at the prospect of getting abandoned by my mom…that the teacher there made me sit on her lap to pacify me and make me feel safe. I decided that was going to be my seat everyday (and it definitely helped that she was quite plump; such comfortable seating, I say!). The next day onwards, I’d walk in, keep my bag and lunch pack on the desk allocated for me, and go climb on to her lap. :D It was like our family kindergarten: all my elder cousins, and my brother, had been to the same one; so, I did enjoy a level of freedom and partiality there ;) Anyways, like most women, she also loved to gossip…and she did that religiously with the ayah there, discussing every parent that comes to drop off their kids. She once told the ayah that my mom literally throws me in and rushes off (in her defense, my poor mom had a punching system for attendance at her office and couldn’t afford to be late even by a minute!). I promptly went home and told my mom that…and she stayed a lil longer the next day to explain herself. I never retrieved my ‘comfortable’ seat after that! Sigh!

I suppose she kept tabs on me forever after that. “Teachers” were my greatest enemies ever since :D And especially so, if they taught either Hindi or Malayalam!

I was double promoted and put into UKG almost a month after I joined LKG. Guess she wanted me out of there asap! And then I joined an ICSE school. Since my dad had a transferable job, he decided that I should opt for Hindi as my second language, since he was sure his next transfer would be to some place in the north. And I was put into the Hindi gang there. Being an ICSE school, we had only two languages to learn. English, of course, was compulsory. And my optional was Hindi, and not Malayalam. By the time I reached my 3rd grade, Dad got his transfer to the “north”; only, it was to North Kerala, and not North India!! :D We packed off to Guruvayur. I was put into a CBSE school: and voila! two languages became three. English, Hindi and Malayalam. All compulsory. Damn! I was in big trouble. Our Malayalam teacher turned out to be a Sanskrit professor as well; in fact, that was her primary subject. So, one can imagine her depth of knowledge of the Malayalam language as well. I immediately got into her black list :D Mom became my self-proclaimed Malayalam tutor and started teaching me the alphabets. While the rest of the class raced each other in reading page-long lessons, I was trying to write “a aa e ee u uu” without mistakes :D Soon, it was time for the mid-term exams. I blinked. I knew the answer to just one question! I was elated too: at least, I won’t take home a zero! The question was to list two synonyms of Bhoomi (earth). I knew the answers — Kshoni and Paaru. But alas, Mom had taught me the older script, while the school was teaching the new script; in all that tension of getting spanked by the teacher again, I muddled up everything and wrote the answers in my own script. Apparently, I was destined to take home a zero! After paper valuation, my answer was read in front of the entire class. “Priya’s synonyms for Bhoomi are Keshani (gossip/jealousy) and Paara (backstabbing and the like, born out of jealousy or anger). Was a small school, and I became infamous! Sigh!

Anyways, after scraping through high school without much trouble, I got into a mad gang of friends in the 11th and 12th grades. We had an ever-irate classmate whom we all loved to fool. Once, during a free hour, we were all having fun when I saw this girl remove her shoes and stretch her toes. I slowly pulled one from under the bench and threw it out the window. Bad timing; for our Physics teacher walked by just then, looking for me! She marched in and ordered me out of the class (this had become an everyday affair, o there was no embarrassment). She’d been on her way to penalise me for writing a friend’s fair record (I loved Physics and was always more than willing to be where Physics was :D; and yes, he told me I had the best handwriting in school ;)). Anyway, she started screaming at me for being irresponsible, indisciplined and all that. And to top it all she had seen a 11th grader throw a fellow ‘studious’ 11th graders shoe out the window! And while the screaming went on, I stood there, head bent as much as it would bend, laughing my guts out and almost succeeding in keeping her unaware…till she almost went down on her knees to see my face. Though she did smile, she had a super report to give my parents! Sigh!

But she was a real sport the day I rushed in late for my 12th Boards final practical exam! I rushed into the dark coolness of the huge school building from a scorching sun, which made my eyes watery; and the running made me pant. When she hissed at me for my late arrival, all I could manage to say was, “Teacher, my grandmother…” and she just assumed my grandmother must’ve passed away! She immediately made amends, apologised (!!!) and directed me to my seat. When the external invigilator called me over to question my knowledge of the project I’d submitted, she interrupted her and told her, “Her grandmother…psst…psst…psst.” And, to my surprise, am excused from the Q&A session. AND. I passed the exam with a 29 on 30! ;)

Anyway, that marked the end of my tryst with the sciences. I was, any day, better off with Arts and the languages.

I gave up my love of Physics (my extraordinary talent in Mathematics made sure I never fared well in Physics) and chose to graduate in Literature. The college I did my graduation in, was set a little off from the main road: which meant all of us had half a kilometre to walk to and from the bus stop to college. Every evening, there would be about 100-150 girls (it was a women’s college) crowding at the highway bus stop ;) Which meant, there’d be a good share of guys too :D On a certain day, a group of us girls were waiting for the bus, chatting animatedly when I noticed a guy giving our gang repeated looks and occasional smiles. And so, I told the rest of the gang “There’s a guy yonder, sending looks this way…he’s even smiling, as if we’re basking in his attention. Vrithikettavan. Vaainokki. Mazhuvan!” And then, one among the group became highly interested in the word “mazhuvan“, the meaning of which I started explaining most happily. I told her it means anything in the range of  ‘geek’, ‘useless’, ‘nerd’, ‘drip’, ‘bore’… And then, she wanted to know how I could make out so much about him. Like a wise ass, I told her, “It’s quite evident…look at his hairstyle…his stupid dressing…n that ready-made smile…and just about everything. Ivaneyokke kettunnavalde kashtakaalam (pity the girl who’ll marry him). I’d love to warn her!” “Yes. You just did,” she said, and walked off in his direction! Turned out he’d come to pick her up and was waiting for the rest of us to leave. Sigh!

Jesus! I wished I could sink through the ground then! That was the LAST time I made any comment about random people!

In spite of years of such incidents, I wonder why I took up Advertising and Public Relations for my PG! Hehe…any brand which’d trust their name in my hands would be doing so at their own risk ;) OK! Am kidding. Am actually quite good at my work! :D

Anyways, it was an autonomous college that focused on MBA and PGDM courses. I think the PR&Ad course was only because they liked the extra income ;) We were a small group of 15 Malayalees in a college that hyped on MBA and PGDM, which had a high North-Indian population. And, we were the trouble makers ;); least popular of all batches :D They hated us, we hated them. Once, there was a National-level seminar held for the sake of the PGDMs, and since the professors didn’t trust us to behave ourselves if left alone, we were (like a punishment), asked to attend it too. And the moment the seminar got over, we sprang up from our seats and rushed out, making fun of the ‘panna’ PGDMs. I lead the rushing out, got my heel caught under the carpet and feel headlong onto the portico—in front of the entire college. I could hear gasps and murmurs. But all I could think of was the way I fell, and how hilarious it might have been to see. And, lying right there, I burst out laughing in front of some 200 odd students. Well, that was the only time some good came out of my ‘situations’. Our gang was not perceived as ‘stuck-up’ anymore! ;)

The icing on the cream cake was after my engagement. Suraj and I had created chaos in both families by falling in love: a Christian and a Hindu. After much refusal, esp. from his family, we’d gotten everyone to agree. Finally, the dates were fixed, and cards were printed. There was a formality of the bride’s parents “inviting” the bridegroom’s parents. We were on our way back to Trivandrum from Guruvayur, and dropped in at his place in Kochi. According to Hindu traditions, the bride does NOT step into the groom’s house before marriage! I was only too happy to stay back in the car. But his dad was a sport and welcomed me also in, saying, “We Christians don’t have such beliefs. Come on in.” I give a shy smile (pretending to be the polite daughter-in-law of their dreams), remove my shoe and (as is considered auspicious) keep my right foot on the first step. Boom! The transformer nearby burns off with a terrifying boom and vibrations, causing a bike to fall off its stand against the neighbour’s gate and crash. And obviously, the power goes off! Just like in the movies :D His dad managed to hold on to that smile, and (a little falteringly this time) repeats, “Come right in.” How I managed to sit through 20 minutes without bursting out laughing, I alone know! Damn, what an impression that must’ve made. Sigh!

The consequences…and my learnings:

  • I hate gold (and valuable jewellery) and did NOT inherit my grandmother’s locket even after she passed away 9 months back.
  • I’ve realised that gossiping (and even being a mute audience to it) does one no good; and try and abstain from it as much as is possible.
  • I have learnt to read and write Malayalam, in whichever script and font size it may be!
  • I do not throw shoes out the window anymore (but I still haven’t learnt to control my urge to laugh when I’m being scolded!)
  • I’ve never, since, started any sentence with “my grandmother”, esp right after running!
  • I do not make comments about random people anymore.
  • I do not wear heels anymore.
  • I swear never to step into the bridegroom’s house before my wedding, anymore. [I lead a very happily married life, and have proved that such incidents do not spell disasters (for marriages)!]

Three’s never a crowd!

After quite a long time (4 and a half months, for sure), I called up one of my closest friends — to know that she was 4 months pregnant!! So much for being “close friends”!!! :P

And after the inital whats and whaats and whaaats, I let out one string of abuses her way for not letting me know. And with that ever cheeky that-don’t-impress-me-much tone, she tells me, “Oh! I thought I’ll just give you all a surprise!” Apparently, in all that excitement and tests and waiting-for-the-confirmation delays, she forgot to call us. Then she thought about it a month later…by then she was sure she’d get killed for not having told us friends. And then, she thought ‘what the heck, let the baby come out…and i’ll let them know”. The ass! Hehe…she was quite sure then, that we wouldn’t be meeting till the baby’s out :P

I’ve been friends with this mad girl since my 9th grade…and it’s always been the ‘heights of fun’ when the two of us, along with the third musketeer, joined together! All 3 of us are “younger sister” to some super brothers…and while we both have 1, she has 3!! Which explains her escalated level of madness!

We’ve stayed cooped up in her smelly bedroom from morn till night, pretending to study…while all we ever did was read novels and eat and make endless phone calls and eat and sleep and eat and gossip and eat and…oh, you get the picture, right? We’ve walked from her house, all the way to mine (some good 8-9kms) in the scorching sun, chattering away on about everything. We’ve spent hours together discussing loves, crushes and heartbreaks.

We’ve travelled all over Trivandrum for no reason at all (as a result of talking animatedly and boarding any damn bus without looking at the name board!!)…in fact, once we sat right in front of the conductor’s seat in the bus and refused to take a ticket :D Just before getting off the bus, when the conductor asked us for the ticket, she actually told him “Oh, innu ticket edukkan oru moodilla” (Oh, we didn’t have the mood to get a ticket today!) :P

We’ve bunked our classes to join a third class’ PT hour {two of us were in the same class n this mad one was in another; so, while the every class had just one PT hour a week, we had one everyday…almost ;)}and play in the hot sun (guess we were the only 3 girls the PT master didn’t hate :D)! We’ve always wanted to be in the same class (precisely why the teachers conspired and always made sure at least one among us was separated from the gang during class hours) that she’s hidden under our bench, only to be discovered and thrown out by the teacher!

Edited to add this after this memory suddenly came back: We’ve lurked around after school hours, waiting for all the teachers to leave, then gone behind the school building and tried to understand what’s the ‘cool’ factor about smoking ;) After a puff each and volleys of coughing fits and teary eyes, we ran off into the girls’ loo when we heard our PT master demanding who the smoker was (he saw smoke, apparently!) A poor 7th grade boy got caught and interrogated [they did the spell smell-check on him, but he came off clean :D], but no one ever figured out!

We’ve bunked school to attend the “La Fest” (an inter-school fest conducted by Loyola School in Trivandrum, every year), in spite of being warned against it by our class teacher–and then disappointed her by bringing her leave letters signed by our parents that actually said “Was unable to attend class since I wanted to attend La Fest”, instead of a cooked up “fever” story :D

Long story short, we’ve been the perfect ‘undisciplined gang of girls’ at school (and SO NOT proud about it now :( ) By the time we passed out of school, we ‘grew up’ and vowed we’ll become better people. All that took to make us better people was to get the 3 of us going in 3 different ways :D

We still get back to being the ‘undisciplined gang of girls’ whenever we meet (though we pretend to be civilised). All of us were mad enough on the other’s wedding and instead of gifts, presented the ‘bridegroom’ with condolence messages (through the bride of course! who wants to give away the disaster that’s in store :D)!?

I can’t believe she’s going to be a mom! I can only pity the poor baby that’s on its way (am done pitying the husband by now ;) ). Love you girl! Can’t wait to see you!

How to lose about 300 people in a matter of minutes.

Yea…you read that right: not pounds/kgs, but people!

I had had a long day at work yesterday, and had asked the husband to come all the way to my office and pick me up! The princess that I am, I refused to go home in an auto/bus. I had to have my chauffeur! Fed up of work — or rather, the lack of it — at a good-for-nothing office, he was already in a bad mood. Having to drive that extra mile amidst unrelenting traffic, and then, waiting for me outside my office forever (to which he’s become accustomed) did very little to cheer him up!

Which is when the thought of food came in—always the catalyst for a cheerful time!  So we went to a much-hyped Mallu restaurant near our place in Koramangala, Bangalore. Bad food, pathetic service, big-time delay and a high price tag. Did nothing but drive the husband deeper into the dumps!

A pack of VCDs had arrived earlier the evening (a few classic Mallu movies the husband had ordered from Moser Baer over the Internet), and i thought, “what better than a good movie to cheer up my movie freak” :)

So we reach home, settle down and decide to watch a movie — when he starts groping around in his pockets, beneath the cushions, under the sofa…and asks, “Where’s my mobile”?

The husband, when assured that the mobile is safe, usually does not budge from the sofa once seated, unless it’s a life threatening situation (like my heading for the TV with a hockey stick, maybe). But now, he’s up and about, searching for his mobile in all possible places a Sony Ericsson K710i can fit.
We call to his number from my phone and it says “The Airtel customer you’re trying to reach is currently out of reach…”. Momentary solace, hoping its way under the thick cushions of the sofa. Until I say that I’d heard a ‘thud’ when we turned the corner right after leaving the restaurant.

And then, pandemonium. Quick call to the restaurant: negative. Quick trip to the restaurant: negative. Not-so-quick survey of the entire lane: negative. Mobile lost: positive! And that was it. He seemed to have lost all interest in life (I wonder where I fit in ;) ).

So, here’s how you lose about 300 people in a matter of minutes! Simple. Lose your mobile phone! :D

Am sure the husband won’t be empathetic to my ‘simple’ analysis. He had to learn it the hard way, poor thing :( The thought of having lost about 250 odd contacts, many photographs and close to a million “I love you” messages I’d sent seemed to paralyse him :(  How many contacts have I lost? How will I get back all those numbers?

And I say, “Call Airtel CC and  block your SIM. Ask them if we can get your mobile traced…isn’t there some IMEI number we can use?” The number is duly blocked and he promised to issue a duplicate SIM immediately, but the smart CC guy says the ‘Trace your lost phone with the IMEI number’ service is not available in India!

More depression and irritation. “Suraj, the sun” had set for a while :D [Perhaps this is what a baby goes through on Day 1: the world knows its identity, but the poor baby knows none!]

Which then made me wonder how much we all rely on that little gadget called a mobile phone (“we” does not include me; i rather believe mobile phones should be left wherever you please…and allow it to ring till it dies)

We no longer remember the phone numbers like we used to (of course, it’s much tougher to keep track of 8 digits compared to those cute 5-digit numbers :D); we no longer jot down numbers on quaint, alphabetical diaries; we no longer rush from our seat to attend that call on the phone resting on that antique corner stool (we’d rather the mobile phone rush to us: it’s ‘mobile’ for a reason!); we no longer scribble our loved one’s birthdays on our wall calendar; we no longer have use for that round little thing lovingly called an ‘alarm clock’; in fact, we’re in a stage where we wish everything could be located with a “missed call” !

Biting nails when boredom strikes are a thing of the past: it’s the mobile phone we play with.

Reading random magazines at the dentist is passé: why that, when we have games on our mobile phone?

Receiving no calls for one full continuous hour could only be because the battery has run out; not because you’re indispensible :D

Owning a mobile is mandatory for anyone who wants to fall in love.

Etiquettes matter only at meetings and at the table; whoever said mobile phones come with a set of etiquettes? (Of course, I got a thick free etiquette book; but I sold it along with a stack of old newspapers! :D) If you are the proud owner of a mobile phone, the following are OK:

  • Letting it ring insistently with that irritating ringtone (while you grope for it in the darkness) at the theatre
  • Talking on it while in a flight (endangering other passengers as well) unless the pilot threatens to jump out with his parachute
  • Fiddling with the “End” button, only to change your mind, accept the call and brawl into it with a “In a meeting; will call back later… Oh, that! Man, that was funny…hehhehehe…ooops…in a meeting; will call back later!”
  • Waking up people from their sleep to say “Oh…did I wake you up? Sorry, didn’t notice the time… So, how’s life?”
  • Talking animatedly on the mobile phone while crossing the road, and getting (not just oneself) others too into danger
  • Talking loudly (not to mention the loud ringing) in libraries, hospitals, air-conditioned public vehicles and everywhere else!
    ………..
  • And a dozen other irritating stuff!

For someone who’s damn careless and absented about all things, and mobile phones especially, I’ve never lost one: so, I don’t know the agony of losing it. In fact, on those days that I forget to carry it along to work, I experience a particular sense of peace and calm — of not having to attend calls, respond to messages and ensure it’s not misplaced ;)

I wonder how we (rest of the world excluding me) lived when the mobile phones didn’t exist! ;) It’s a ‘maaranam’ (evil) we can’t live without, now!

Any special mobile stories, folks?

was it your birthday or mine?

Were they your dreams or mine?
Were they your wishes or mine?
Were they your smiles or mine?
Were they your hopes or mine?
Were they your moments or mine?

I wonder if you remember these words…they were on a birthday card you sent me all the way from Mumbai on my 16th birthday. Guess that was my first birthday following your departure to Mumbai (well, b4 that, I had had only one birthday after we became friends…but still). That was one card I really really loved… and I could only smile, thinking to myself “I wonder how we manage to find a card that says just what we both feel.” ;)

Years have passed since; dozens of cards, letters and phone calls have travelled to-and-fro…then we upgraded from “writing” to e-mailing. And then, just as suddenly as your dad got transferred to Mumbai, he was transferred back. But alas! you never came; instead, you called me over — and i gleefully agreed. We again set off on a train together…having decided to stay together, study together…and never separate again.

Years have passed. You’re married, I’m married. We’re living our separate lives. So much of our time’s taken away by life: that we seldom talk to, write to or think of one another. A chat yesterday, a call today, a mail tomorrow… That’s all that remains of our relation now. We had some of the best times of our lives: discussing crushes and loves and heartbreakes; exchanging books, movies and songs; terrorising a certain math teacher and walking out of her class; getting cursed by another and succeeding, in spite of everything; driving a few people mad and some others up trees…

Years have passed, situations have changed…our lives have turned on its own different wheels…but i guess the one thing that’s never changed over the past 12 years is our relationship…a certain feeling of ‘being there’, no matter the gaps in talks and memories.

I hope you have a sexy birthday, get drowned amidst gifts, happiness and love…and write a totally moving piece for (and about) me on my special day :D :D

HAPPY BIRTHDAY YOU CRAZY CRAZY CRAZY WOMAN!
They say time and tide waits for none; but girl, time always stands still for a woman of thirty! (Ooops, did I just say it out loud? :D)

back to school

Just before sleep took over by about 11.45 yesterday night, I got up from in front of the TV and walked into the comp room — to sign out from gmail: instead, I saw a mail from a very close friend with a subject line “:)”. Now, with this guy, you can expect just about anything. So, I fight my sleep and sit down to read it though (it’s long too). I expected to fall off the chair any instant. But oh my! the mail made me smile so wide, I thought it’d tear my mouth through :D

It was a letter of ‘memories’: an unexpected reminder of the good times. I wonder what made him write to me. He began with the line “There is nothing more exciting and soothening than the letters from an old friend… I thought: so who am I going to write to today? And I could think of none other than you.”  I am touched. I’d love to lie to you all by saying I was one of the best of his friends then; someone who influenced his life so well…blah blah… But no. I don’t have a clue why he could think of no one else…and I couldn’t care less…

Because the mail was about memories of school…of that age of innocence when you say/do/act like there’s not a care in the world; that age when all one wants is to get out of school-life and get into a job; that age when (like now too) Fridays are welcomed whole-heartedly, but boredom settles by Saturday mid (unlike now!!); that age where one does all sorts of mischief (and think parents don’t realise); that age when everything was just so nice…

Oh! The minute I finished reading it, I told myself “I must blog about this”. Instead, I sent him a reply with a “Lon-mail-ahead alert” :D Truly one of my longest mails ever — with all that I could remember; sad enough, because we were classmates right from Std 7, but I barely even noticed him till Std 10: even after that, we were only quite formal with each other. It wasn’t until 3-4- years back that we got in touch again and became fast friends. So, to have received such a mail from him, reminding me of those days was a real surprise — and a wonderful one at that!

I’m not quite sure he’ll survive through my reply ;) he’ll either stop using the Internet, or we’ll continue this by pulling in more friends. Oooh…I am so damn elated (and excited at that prospect) right now. A million thanks for taking me on a trip back memory-lane, MC. You’re the best!!

Wanna go back to that age…all the way back to school.

I wonder what…

I wonder what it takes to convince someone to take care of their health (the loss, finally, is theirs, isn’t it?).

I wonder what it takes to make someone shed their negativity and shift to positive paths.

I wonder what it takes to make two people love each other (in spite of years of its absence).

I wonder what it takes to stop someone you love from being that one person you dread to have to live with.

I wonder what it means, to live your life for someone else forever, and never be valued for what you are.

I wonder what it takes to make people realise that God is in your minds, actions and thoughts; and not in how well you display and talk about it.

I wonder what it takes to convert a non-believer (and I don’t mean just the belief in God) to become a believer.

I wonder what it takes to make people look at the bigger picture than at the pixels!

I wonder what it takes to imbibe a sense of ‘togetherness’ in someone.

I wonder what it means to not be loved, but be expected to slave.

I wonder what it takes to make someone shed their ego and arrogance (even after suffering for it multiple times).

I wonder what it takes to make someone you love walk WITH you (and not lead, follow or tread).

I wonder what it takes to make someone accept everyone else as idividuals with their own lives.

I wonder what it means when you finally give up on someone:
     is that the end of real love?
     is it the beginning of disinterested acceptance?
     is it a sacrifice of your own interests as well?

I really do wonder…

Has to be the weirdest tag ever!

1. When you looked at yourself in the mirror today, what was the first thing you thought?
“Damn! Nalla kani…which means the day’s gonna be bad!” :D

2. How much cash do you have in your wallet right now?
Rs 2.50…and an electricity bill for 500! :D

3. What’s a word that rhymes with DOOR?
Bore…that’s what tags are! :D

4. Who is the 4th person on your missed call list on your cell phone?
I always delete miss calls from my phone…(I get those more than calls because I’m never near my ‘mobile’ phone) :D

5. What is your favorite ring tone on your phone?
Kill Bill

6. What are you wearing right now?
T-shirt and skirt.

7. Do you label yourself?
Oh yea…am my favourite ;)

8. Name the brand of the shoes you’re currently own?
Nike

9. Bright or Dark Room?
Medium ;)

10. What do you think about the person who took this survey before you?
Happy (she just found a job!)

11. What does your watch look like?
Duh! It looks like a watch!

12. What were you doing at midnight last night?
Sleeping :)

13.What did your last text message you received on your cell say?
“Haha i didnt even enquire. Wait by even ill let you know whether i’ve done it”

14. What’s a word that you say a lot?
LOL

15. Who told you he/she loved you last?(please exclude spouse , family, children)
An anonymous sms! don’t know who the sender is!

16. Last furry thing you touched?
My hair…when I went to Chennai, my usually smooth hair became furry!! I  blame the coastal climate! :D

17. Favourite age you have been so far?
7 and 8 — at Guruvayur!

18.  What was the last thing you said to someone?
Njaan Facebook-il UNO kalikkuaa:D (means, I’m playing UNO on Facebook)

19. The last song you listened to?
Ikhtara — from Wake Up Sid!

20. Where did you live in 1987?
Thiruvananthapuram (was too young to venture out alone — I was 3.)

21. Are you jealous of anyone?
Naah!

22. Is anyone jealous of you?
Of course! Who wouldn’t be? I’m the most perfect anyone can be :D

23. Name three things that you have on you at all times?
Bindi, dress and watch

24. What’s your favourite town/city?
Thiruvananthapuram!

25. When was the last time you wrote a letter to someone on paper and mailed it?
Last July — to my dad and mom — just saying I love them a looooot and that they’re the best parents ever.

26. Can you change the oil on a car?
Depends on where the oil is :D :D

27. Your first love/big crush: what is the last thing you heard about him/her?
first big crush: is in the USA (currently in india on vacation);
first love: am not quite sure which that was; think i should play safe and say I’m married to him ;) :D :D

28. Does anything hurt on your body right now?
Nope! But it will, soon! Am gonna pierce my nose :D

29. What is your current desktop picture?
Me n the husband :)

30. Have you been burnt by love?
Yep — whenever I cook for the husband! :D

And here goes: Verbivore, Ramya, Vimmu, Mahak and Smita

P.S.: Edited after Reema commented: You’re tagged too, girl! :P

just a tumbler of water

It isn’t often you feel like a potential murderer. Well, today seems to be one of those strangely different, out-of-the-ordinary days!

When I read murder stories, I always marvel (in the most negative way) at the ease with which people plan to and successfully murder someone; similarly with movies. But in those cases, there’s always the consolation that it’s not for real. The shock is when such reports come in the news! And I just sit around wondering “How can a person ‘kill’ someone!?” And for someone like me who refuses to kill even an ant, it’s the biggest mystery. So, when today, I was the one scheming and planning, the shock knew no boundaries!

It’s been sometime now, that I have been contemplating on a murder. And every passing day makes me more and more determined to commit this one. I know it takes one hell of a stone-heart to even think of something like this — but I’m sure I want to do it — yes, you read it right: I want to do it.

So, now you must be wondering why the hell I’m writing about in a public forum. I do not intent to murder and act like a saint. I am totally willing to accept the consequences. I’m doing this only because my object of ‘affection’ here does not deserve to live. If I allow it to, I’ll be responsible for the wreck of two other lives. The love that existed all along will be forgotten: slowly, but steadily. And a day will come when these two lives will be totally dispensable for the other. I cannot allow for that. Better that this one dies.

I opened a Google window and started typing “how to murder a” and immediately the following options popped up:

  • how to murder a man (it’s not a man I want to murder)
  • how to murder and get away with it (not my intention; you wouldn’t be reading this if it were!)
  • how to murder a millionaire (why’d anyone wanna kill a millionaire unless you are due to receive all he’s got!?)
  • how to murder a rich uncle (if he has no kids and loves you the most, fine; else, isn’t it more sensible to be his fav nephew/niece?)
  • how to murder a and not get caught (again, i repeat, not my intention!)

Well, the option I was looking for was clearly not available. I discussed with a few close friends
– and finally decidmurdered that it should be a death-by-water! After all, most people wish to have a sip of water before they die!

Now I know how easy it is to kill. All it takes is some amount of hatred, some amount of despair and a huge amount of determination and reckless disregard for all value — monetary, moral and emotional! In my case, I’ll need just one more thing: a tumbler of water.

Once I’m done, and this post is crawled over by the search engine, Google will add one more item to its current list of “how to murder a”. It’ll have an option for “how to murder a television”!

Onam’s here again…

Onams here againYet another Onam’s here — and this year I don’t get to celebrate it at all (for one year, we’re off all celebrations ‘coz granny passed away). My first Onam after marriage and there it goes down the drain! Hmmm.

All these years, when we ‘had’ Onam to celebrate, it never was a big deal for me. I used to love getting all decked up in the Kerala traditional wear, have all the relative buzzing around, have that sumptuous sadya…but well, Onam was always just another festival. But somehow, this year, seeing everyone else celebrate makes me feel weird — and guilty for letting poor Onam never get that importance and high-office! :D

And to add to all that, the husband is totally down with fever — high temperature and body pain and all that. And I am also sneezing my way to the same condition. I read somewhere that if you sneeze too hard, you can fracture a rib; if you try to suppress a sneeze, you can rupture a blood vessel in your head or neck and die. Surprisingly, I’m still alive, and my ribs are in perfect order :D Hope it remains so for at least another week — because my parents are coming tomorrow! Yey! The only thing I can say about continuous sneezing is that it makes you look like a drunk, sleep-deprived Chinese! (The red eyes, small and squinted) :D

MAVELIAnyway, yesterday a friend popped up on chat and asked whether I had a bath in the morning and went to the temple after that. Well, when I told her Onam had no religious connections, she asked me why, then, MahabalVAMANANi roams around with a “kuri” on his forehead. I told her it was the then Devas‘ and Asuras‘ version of our modern bindi ;)

Well, Onam really has no ‘religious’ aspect about it. It is the day the Asura King Mahabali comes up from the underworld ‘Pathalam‘, to visit his beloved Kerala and the ‘citizens’ there — a once-a-year allowance granted by Lord Vishnu . The day when all of Kerala is dressed at its best, is laden after a good harvest and awaits a grand year ahead. (The story behind all this will give enough material for 3 posts!!)

Onam, therefore, is significant in two ways…
One, it is the commemoration of the community at large and celebration of past history, the Mahabali legend; and two, it is the celebration of the harvest, tied with the memory of the golden age of prosperity. Onam is the time when Kerala is all set to welcome back its favourite King for a day of feast and enjoyment. After the monsoon drenches this beautiful state for almost all of the Karkidakam (the Malayali’s ‘dark’ month — when nothing inauspicious is taken up), Chingam walks in,bringing with it spring and auspiciousness. Chingam signals harvest, which is celebrated in the form of Onam!

This sense of joy, prosperity and merrymaking is celebrated traditionally with folk games, family get-togethers and lots of sadya. ;)

The best part of Onam has always been the Onakkodi. People gift one-another and wear new clothes during Onam. ‘Vastra’ (dress) also stands for ‘heart’. So, new dresses signifies the ‘renewal’ of the heart with new thoughts, cleansing it of all bad memories!

Atham pathinu ponnonam… Onam celebrations start on the day Atham (the Malayalam star) falls — 10 days before Thiruvonam 3842896102_2c12cab8ca_o ATHAPOOKKALAM(another Malayalam star). A huge circle made on the courtyard, coated with cowdung (to keep the flowers in place), is beautifully decorated with flowers and called ‘Onapookkalam’. In most houses, this is done with great mastery and ends up being a beautiful work of art!

On Thiruvonam, before Mahabali comes for his yearly visit, houses are cleaned and decorated withSADYAAAAAAA flowers and traditional lamps. A beautifully enchanting display of fireworks and lighting turns the state capital, Thiruvananthapuram, into something of a fairyland!

Sumptuous sadyas are spread on the greenest of all plantain leaves. The sadya is an important part of Onam — its the yearly feast even the poorest person in the state doesn’t wish to miss. “Kaanam vittum Onam unnanam“, they say. It means that to have a share of the Onasadya, one should be willing to sell even the bare necessity he owns! The sadya is a full course meal, served strictly in the following order: 3 pickles (ginger, lime and mango), a thoran, a kitchadi, avial and koottucurry on one side of the leaf; on the other, banana chips, banana pieces dipped in jaggery, a small banana, pappads, rice and parippu. Then follows sambar, a milk-payasam KUMMAATTIKALIwith boli, a jaggery payasam with banana, and finally, a bit more rice with pulissery, rasam and then buttermilk! (The sadya varies from district to district in kerala; this is the Thiruvananthapuram style and I know only of this!) :D

Different parts of Kerala celebrate Onam in their own different ways: Athachamayam (a cultural procVALLAMKALIession in the royal town of Tripunithura); the Thrikkakarayappan further north; Kathakali dancers in gorgeous costumes enacting the legends in Valluvanad;. an impressive procession of elephants adorned with their nettipattoms in Thrissur, where masked dancers perform the colorful Kummattikali; the famous Aranmula Vallam Kali in Aranmula; Pulikali (Kaduvakali) all over the state..everyone has one’s own concept of Onam! And, these are but a few of the various traditional activities that are enjoyed during Onam.

The swing, one most important part of Onam, is enjoyed by everyone:  decked in their best, they sing Onappaattukal, swinging to and fro from high branches.

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PULIKALI

Oh! Good ol’d Onam. I miss it sooooo much this year…and when a friend send me a pic he clicked of the lit-up roads in Thiruvananthapuram, I saw nostalgia run across the room and take a huge leap on to me! Sigh!

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Happy Onam, everyone! Have a great day today…and a graaaand year ahead — while I head off to sneeze in piece peace! :D


Image courtesy: Google Images. In the spirit of Onam, forgive my borrowing your images; if you do not like it being posted here, put in a word; they shall be promptly removed :)