Days of disorientation…

…have been on for a long while now and they don’t seem to come to an end! And I don’t like it one bit. One bit!

And unlike others, when I vanish from my blog, nobody cares. Nobody calls up. Mail do not flood my inbox asking me if I’m alright, where I am, why there are no posts… Nothing, none of that. That depresses me. Nobody cares πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€Β  Ah well, Scribby did ask. She cares…and I now love her for that!

I missed a lot many of your posts, but most of them, I read. Some I “like”d, some I just read, smiled and closed off. No favouritism there πŸ™‚ Just too lazy to “log in to WP to ‘Like'” πŸ˜‰

It’s been almost 2-and-a-half months since I blogged last. Not because I had nothing to blog about — in fact, a lot happened over the last 2 months and 10 days. It’s just that I’d been wallowing in depression and disorientation, I’ve not been able to make myself log in here and crib write about it, or about anything at all, for that matter.

  • Celebrated Onam well, minus the pookkalams like last time. Pumbaa had his first ever Onam Sadya — and drooled all over the place while I made him pose…and slurped and gulped it all down in a jiffy! πŸ™‚
    Pumbaa Nayar Thomas' very first Onam Sadya ;)

    Pumbaa Nayar Thomas' very first Onam Sadya πŸ˜‰

    • I quit IBM. I put in my papers early September, and I went into depression. Well, it was my decision, but I had really liked working there. There was something comforting about that place, the team, the work… Learnt a lot, went through a lot, lost some “friends”. Gained some real awesome ones πŸ™‚Β  — the only thing I’ll miss so very terribly for a looooooong time! So well, though it was my decision, I do regret it at times. But things did change drastically recently (which may also have fuelled my decision to leave; certain people and their principles did not agree with me, though quitting a company because of that may sound an immature act. Well, you need to be there to know it, so don’t judge me yet πŸ˜‰ ). And for the record, she also quit on the same day πŸ˜€Β  And like I told a manager, I referred her there, and when I left, I took her along πŸ˜‰
  • I went on a team trip from office early October, to Pondicherry. Was it awesome!!! πŸ™‚ We left on a Friday late night and reached back Sunday night — after having a ton of fun. I loooooooooooooooved the beach time. The bunch of us walked into a private beach on a sizzling afternoon, around 2, and stayed on till about close to 6. It was splendid. And the Sunday morning walk…it was bliss. Thanks for that, Binoy πŸ™‚Β  I don’t think I’d have gone on that walk alone — and if you hadn’t come up with that idea, it’d have been a loss! Thanks for the trip too. I owe you a whole post for being such a great friend πŸ˜‰

    The beach was all ours! :)

    The beach was all ours! πŸ™‚ -- at Pondicherry

  • Pumbaa turned one (Happy Birthday, Pumbaa!) on October 10. We celebrated his birthday, decorated the house, bought him a load of gifts and made him a special “beef biriyani” birthday cake πŸ˜€ The grandma painstakingly carved out “HAPPY BIRTHDAY” from carrots, because Pumbaa loves carrots πŸ˜€ He downed it all. It was pure neglect and sacrilege on my part not to have posted at least that. Paaavam Pumbaa 😦 I even posted the pics on FB quite late! Here’s a pic. More here.

    Happy Birthday, Pumbaaaaaaa :)

    Happy Birthday, Pumbaaaaaaa πŸ™‚

  • I went for a “Nostalgia Night” at Resource Communications, the one place I had ALWAYS loved working in, and the one place I’d love to work in, any day πŸ™‚Β  It was on a Friday night, and I wasn’t sure I’d be able to make it. But I managed to, thanks to Suraj. It was perhaps one of the BEST decisions I’ve taken. It was awesome being back there, meeting all those people, walking around in that awesome place. Thanks for hosting it, Jayadev and Chicku! You people rock!

    After a night of Resource...ful memories!

    After a night of Resource...ful memories!

  • It was my birthday too, recently. Well, no grand gifts this time, but got a FABULOUS cake — of Calvin & Hobbes. It was sooooo superbly done! I wanted a cardigan, so while Suraj took me shopping, the brother, father and mother decked up the terrace, set the cake and balloons and waited for me to come back! It was awesome πŸ™‚

    The god-awesome Calvin&Hobbes Cake :)

    The god-awesome Calvin&Hobbes Cake πŸ™‚

  • Hate being at home, in a state of indecision and confusion. Hate taking it on others, so trying not to talk about it much. Would love to enjoy it as a vacation, but there’s work keeping me occupied and worries keeping me in a perpetual state of disturbance.
  • Love the weather. Bought a cardigan (finally!) and promptly lost it the very next day at the bank — and didn’t realise it until after 4 days. Bah to me, seriously! Ugh!
  • Want to get back to blogging — like I used to. Wonder what’s stopping me 😦
  • The only place I want to go to, to live in, EVER is Goa. There! I’ve said it, put it down in writing. Goa, Goa, Goa. Not Kochi, not anywhere else 😦
  • The parents have decided to relocate back to Trivandrum. We’ll miss them 😦  They’ll miss Pumbaa 😦  Pumbaa’ll miss them 😦
  • Vimmuuu relocated to Kochi, and likes it better than Trivandrum. Bah to you, pseudo spidey! I don’t like you anymore 😦

Okay! I’m done for now. I wonder when I’ll be back — both, to being myself, and to my blog. Too much time, is sometime, very little! Sigh!

My first toy…

Penguin Race

Penguin Race

…was this penguin race, which I absolutely adored. Well, if I remember right, it was my brother’s. My aunt got it for him, but well, me and the brother being best friends, we only had “our” toys. I remember the quiet evening we spent together, watching the penguins open their little door, come out one after the other, get on the slide and race. The most wonderful part was watching them go “plop, plop, plop” up the stairs. Now, when I think of it, I can’t remember why it was called a penguin “race”, because there was no way they could race each other πŸ˜€ I’m sure that toy is one main reason I’ve always LOVED penguins!

Two years later, the penguin race was broken to many pieces by a cousin, and I howled away to glory when the aunt chided “stop crying. it’s just a toy.” I still wonder if she realises it was never “just a toy”. It was my many evenings’ activity with my brother; a huge part of my childhood then; a factor that bonded us so well, apart from many others; my first memories of the joy of “sharing”.

Squeaky Rubber Toy Horse

Toy Horse

Another favourite toy, was a rubber squeaky toy horse. I remember the many evenings I’ve spent making that lifeless little animal hop all over my room. I have no idea what I was thinking. That was in 1992. And when we shifted from that house and relocated to Guruvayur, I left my toy horse behind, and was depressed about it! In 2002, when we returned to our own house (I was in Std 12 then; yea, go calculate my age πŸ˜› I’m 26, silly! :D)Β  I spotted a sunbleached, moss-covered, barely-recognisable rubber squeaky toy horse on our sunshade. I still remember how overjoyed I was! I picked it up, cleaned it (it was even mis-shapen after 10 years of heat and rain and cold and dirt and dust and loneliness) and took it to mom to ask her if she recognised it. She did, and she thought I was crazy πŸ˜› But I can’t tell you how much of my childhood came rushing back — not just about the times I played with it, but about the time spent living in that house, and a million other joyful memories!

Game of Life

Game of Life

Then there were the two Barbie dolls, which I cared for like they were my kids; then came the G.I. Joes (yea, I was a tomboy for a few years πŸ˜€ :D), the cars, the guns; the the soft toys, the teddy bears, the tweety, the monkey. The bunny, the rabbit, the piggy, the somersaulting pup!

There were board games aplenty: Memory (a visual recall game that’s excellent for stimulating memory power, observation and identification); Scrabbles (of course, the famous vocabulary andword power builder); Monopoly (the one that brings out the businessman/woman in you); Life (about life itself, insurances, loans, family, health and what not).

Building Blocks

Building Blocks

Needless to say, each game/toy had a lot of special memories attached to it; a lot of learning; a lot of wisdom; a lot of joy, fun and happiness. I still love toys — I’m not ashamed to say this out in public. Give me a little car, I’ll play with it πŸ˜€ Give me a penguin race, I’ll be as fascinated as I then was! Give me a box of memory cards, you wont hear from me for a looong while. Give me a soft bunny toy, I’d love to play puppetry with it (yes, I even use different voices for different dialogues! πŸ˜€ ) Yes, so I LOVE toys, and I love to see kids playing with them.

And now, when I look back on all the toys that we had,Β  my bother and I, IΒ  realise that we had very few — i repeat: VERY FEW — toys that were meant for individual play. Most of our toys required two people to play…and if it didn’t, I think we took it up on ourselves to make it work that way, because that’s how we were conditioned with most of our other toys! I don’t know if it was intentional on our parents’ part to give us toys that made us share time, space and joy. I must ask. But whatever that was, we learnt the art of sharing, of building memories together, of learning to call it “ours” than “mine” or “yours”, of happily extending it to other kids, of openheartedly sharing our time, space and toys for the happiness of our cousins and friends…

And today, when I see toys or go to a toystore, I do not long for toys I never had as a kid — but I always long for my childhood to come back: those evenings where we would wait for Amma to return from work while the penguins went up and down the slides and steps… πŸ™‚

Childhood is a time to remember…a phase of life when one is carefree, filled with innocence and finds joy in everything — the joy of learning, the joy of spending time with friends, the joy of playing with toys and the joy of having fun! I think toys are an integral part of childhood. They play a major role in moulding a child’s temperament, behaviour, personality and ideals. They instill the concepts of sharing, team playing, being responsible and so on.

Childhood definitely is a time to remember, and look back to longingly. And it is sad and heartbreaking that a huge number of children the world over have nothing but misery, loneliness and almost-nothing to look back to, remember, or long for!

So, when one fine day at work, I got this in a mail, I was sure I wanted to:


Donate a toy: make a difference.

We formed a group within office, collected toys from wherever we could, segregated it by age and gift wrapped it. We now plan to take them around to a few NGOs with the help of Toybank officials, so we can see for ourselves the joy on the kids’ faces when they open up their gift wraps πŸ™‚ I’m already excited!

We held a 2-week drive at office, and here’s an overview of what we collected: over 200 toys ranging from soft toys and figure toys to board games, building blocks, card games, balls, colouring books, and coloring sets…

I must say, we all had a gala time, sorting toys, ooh-ing and aah-ing over some real superb ones, thanking the many people who cared to give these away, even kidding about planning to take a few home πŸ˜‰ We didn’t, of course: but I say that because some of the toys were REALLY AWESOME, and I sincerely am grateful to the parents who decided to give them away, and to others who decided to BUY NEW ONES since they didn’t have any at home! And all the while, we kept saying how much fun the kids who’d receive them would have, when we ourselves were enjoying so much.

Here are a few pics of what we collected and wrapped πŸ™‚

Naimika pushing the complete load of wraped toys to the storeroom :D

Naimika pushing the complete load of wrapped toys to the storeroom (long story, sigh!) πŸ˜€

Some of them, as we were gift wrapping them all

As we were gift wrapping them all

The toys we segregated before wrapping them up

The toys we segregated before wrapping them up

I urge all of you to take this up as an initiative in your respective organizations and bring a load of joy to some kids whom you’ve never even seen before! Toybank has a presence in Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Pune, UK and Bhutan. Even if you’re in a city where Toybank does NOT have its presence,I’m sure you can identify a few NGOs that would LOVE to take in these toys for the kids who they give a home to!

It’s an experience you’ll cherish for life. I can guarantee that! πŸ™‚


Toybank stresses on the need for non-formal education through play for every child. The basic philosophy of this organization is centered on providing toys to children who have no access to them. Toybank will identify NGOs, municipal schools and hospitals for the distribution of the toys. Toybank has a presence in Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Pune, UK and Bhutan.

Toybank’s mission includes:
>> Ensuring that children from under privileged backgrounds receive toys through collection and distributions.Β Β  >> Bridging the gap between children from different backgrounds by creative play/group events/community events.Β Β  >> Making play space available for children through toy libraries using available infrastructure; to reclaim open public spaces for children.Β Β  >>Designing and provide toys that are context specific, and to have toys made in local languages as well.

Toybank accepts new and old/used toys as long as they are still in presentable/working conditions. They accept all kinds of toys, except for those that promote racial or violence streaks (like barbie dolls, guns, artillery, etc.). They also accept stationary: crayons, colour pencils and paints, solouring books, story books, notepads/books, pens and pencils, etc.


This post is part of BlogAdda’s Bloggers Social Responsibility (BSR) initiative. I am exercising my BSR by supporting Toybank.

You can too, with three very simple steps. Visit and support the NGO’s cause.

You can also take a step further, contribute as much as you can, and spread awareness about this wonderful initiative πŸ™‚

Onam @ IBM

Yea yea… i know you’re all fed up of my pookkalams πŸ˜€ But couldn’t resist this one πŸ˜€

We celebrated Onam @ IBM on 25 August, the day before I left to Wayanad (yes, I had gone to Wayanad on vacation…and that’s the next post coming up πŸ˜€ ;)).

Having had done this for 10 days at home, and then after going down in the dumps with a fever, I was not very keen on this one: especially because I was the only Malayali in the participating team and no one else really knew anything about the spirit of Onam.

The competition was to begin at 12.30 and had seven participating teams (and all of them had at least a few Malayalis in them :D), with 10 people in each team. There are 3 shifts working there: 7-4, 11-8 and 2-11pm. Since out team’s office timing is 2-11, we’d requested for a change in the timing–to begin at 2.30 or 3.00. Now, this was taken as a withdrawal of our participating team by the organising committee!

We reached the spot at 12.00, only to figure out that 3 people had ditched already! That left just 7 of us (6 girls and a guy), very little flowers (the ones who went to buy had no clue how much to get) and no space allotted to start on (yea, the Organising Committee assumed we weren’t participating, and decided not to allot space for us). After much haggling and everything, we got space allottedΒ  for us, and began the process at 12.50 — 20 minutes later than the rest!

We sent two from the 7 to get more flowers, and managed with the remaining 5. Though we’d initially asked for 20 extra minutes, we finished along with the others. AND.

We got the 2nd place! πŸ˜€ Yeyyyy.

Our 'creative' design which got us the prize (inspite of obvious lack of flowers, less time and lesser teammates). That's (L-R) Munmun, Neela, Me, Vijay, Shruti, Kavya and Radhika πŸ™‚

Yea, it may look very bleak, but well, ours was the only one with any concept in it. And honestly, there were other better ones πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰ But we got it for the ‘teamwork’ and ‘productivity’ too πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ The rest were all the normal ‘designs’, like better versions of the 10 designs I bugged you all with. Hence, the prize πŸ˜‰

Just us girls and the pookkalam πŸ˜‰

Yea...that teeny weeny chocolate pack in Kavya's hand was our "prize"; the first prize winners got 2 such packs πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

Edited to add (with due apologies to Vimmuuu): For the uninitiated, the centre portion of the pookkalam depics half the face of a Kathakali and half of a shankh πŸ™‚

Vimmuuu, I’d actually added this along with the caption to the first pic πŸ˜€ Wonder where it went off. My apologies!