two thousand t(h)en: the year that went by :-)

2010. It was good, it was bad.

The year began with a long weekend, with JANUARY 1 falling on a Friday! Most of the month kept us busy house hunting. I had completely given up on blogging, and had not blogged at all, after 15 October 2009! Had joined a new company in November 2009, and was finding myself in a whirlwind. Though the designation and the job was the same, the medium was online (and not print) media and I was very new to it. Shifting from the house in J.P. Nagar, Bangalore, was a difficult decision. But the commute to work was taxing and we figured Koramangala was a mid-point for both me and the husband from our respective offices. By the end of Jan, we chanced up on the house we are at now – and the so-don’t-want-to-move decision became a can’t-wait-to-move one. To add to it, the owner of the previous house became a nag and started bargaining on the advance he had to pay back: finally, he paid us 15k less of what we had given! In a financial crisis ourselves, we almost wanted to smash his head, and waked out of their in fury😀

We moved into this house in the first week of FEBRUARY and fell in love with the place. As for the owner, one gem of a person! A philanthropist of the highest order. Will need a complete post to describe him!🙂 Anyways, most of Feb was spent settling in, and parents visiting, and making friends at work, and meeting neighbours, and other mundane stuff.

MARCH came in rather quickly, and I was completely settled at work. I made three real good friends there, and the 4 of us hung out like fevicol buddies!😀 But apart from office and home, I realized I wasn’t having a life. And so, I came back to blogging. I had had one too many blogging breaks – and I was almost sure I’d be ignored, not read anymore and the like. But to my disappointment, most of the lovely bloggers I’d known and loved had left the blogville! That only made me more worried.  I’d have to start all over again, and make “blog friends”. I’m glad I decided to go ahead. Though I still miss the old “gang” (I still have ALL of them in my blogroll, in the hopes that they’ll come back someday, like I did), the new people I got to know are the best on the planet!🙂 So, exactly 5 months after my previous post, I made my first post of 2010 on 15 March! It was also then that a school mate wrote me a lovely mail that took me all the way back to school. Thanks MC!

APRIL slowly rambled in and bought in its wake the loss of the husband’s dear mobile. I’ve never seen him so depressed! And I made a post out of it and got labeled ‘the wife who laughs at the husband’s misery’😀 Three days later – after a gap of 4 months – I called up one of my closest friends to know she’s pregnant! Again, all the way back to school I went. Those were the days! It made me think of how much I’ve changed in all those years—and I came to the sad conclusion that I hadn’t changed much. Andthat’s when I listed down some of my LOL stupidities in life—one of my favourite posts so far. April is also the month when the husband and I celebrate our ‘unofficial’ anniversary: and to spice up our life, we decided to go on a week-long trip. A getaway from everything else. Anyways, the father-in-law was retiring the next month, and he also wanted to go on a vacation with us: for gelling-better purposes😉

We were on vacation all of MAY first week. We went to Coorg and from there to all of his relatives’ places in Kerala and then to Poovar, Tihruvananthapuram! We reached back, got back into the home-work-home lifestyle and I decided to go on a trip every month. Weekend trip, long trip, half day trip…I didn’t mind. I also took a few resolutions: swimming, driving, music classes, gardening and monthly trips. The first three didn’t work, while the last two worked for the most part. My parents relocated to Bangalore and took up the 1BHK on the ground floor of our house. So, we have the whole house to ourselves now! Yey! End of May, we also went ahead and booked our first-ever car: the Tuscan Wine Fiat Grande Punto🙂 At work, things were getting bad. All four of us were fed up and was planning to move out. Personally, right from the day I rejoined after the vacation, I’d been fed up😛

JUNE was an exciting month. My blog turned 2 and I was mighty proud😀 At work, all four of us got new offers and things were being processed. We couldn’t be happier. I was the one who decided to move out, and pulled the other 3 into the bandwagon! So, when there was a plan formulated for a meet-up of us college friends, I couldn’t be happier. The day before our trip, I rushed out from office, requested a dog to excuse me and literally ran home to pack! We were off to Munnar! Cousins, Uncle and Aunt came for a week to Bangalore from Trivandrum, and we all had a great time! We went to Mysore and Srirangapatna – my first time to Mysore after I came to Banaglore 3 years ago😀 Well, on the flip side, my uncle had a heart attack (!), my mom’s BP rose high, my aunt had a bad fall and my bro (alone in the UK) had a baaaaaad fever!

JULY came and saw us at Manipal: a most lovely place! It was also a month of so many changes: the Tuscan Wine Fiat Grande Punto came home, I got into IBM—new work timings, new sleep timings, new friends, new work profile… And I posted my first and last ever Thursday Challenge. It was ONLY to show off that photograph: I’ve never participated in a TC or a WW before or after that😀

Starting 15 AUGUST, we celebrated the 10 days of Onam and made the pookkalams on all 10 days:
Atham, Chithira, Chothi, Vishakham, Anizham, Thrukaetta, Moolam, Pooraadam, Uthraadam and Thiruvonam. And after falling badly ill, the week after that, we went off to Wayanad: one of the best places I’ve been to! We trekked up to Edakkal Caves and the Wayanad Heritage Museum, went to Pookkode Lake, Banasura Sagar Dam and the Jain Temple @ Sultan Bathery and went for a safari to the Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary.

SEPTEMBER was a fun month, blog-wise. Chatterbox ran the Finish It To Win It contest, and it was a load of blogfun! I finished it to win some prizes! Was too caught up in this, had no time for a trip!😀😀😀😛

Now OCTOBER was horrid. Horrid, simply, indescribably horrid! Caught in a mad man’s world, we suffered a load of mental tension, sleepless nights, unproductive work hours and insult to injury! And if all those weren’t enough, there were even nightmares for rent! Was the WORST MONTH of the year, and filled us all with a lot of hatred and negativity! To ease some of that negativity and bad moods, uncle, aunt and two brats came from Delhi for a week-long vacation and we had fun. We went to Ooty and Mysore—didn’t want to break the trip-every-month vow😀

NOVEMBER, every year, had always been my fav! That’s when my birthday is—and since the past2 years, the wedding anniversary too😉 November 2, the day I turned 26, I got Pumbaa and the Canon EOS550 DSLR Rebel T2i: two of the most precious gifts ever…from a totally precious person—a husband who doesn’t just SAY “anything for you darling”, but DOES something about it too😀 It was also the month when I ‘discovered’ an unknown relative through the power of blogging😉 Of course, there were no trips in November—except the ones to the veterinary clinic with Pumbaa😉

All of DECEMBER literally flew, with Pumbaa keeping us all busy—why, he even had visitors coming in, with appointment, to see him and play with him!!!—and the upcoming end-of-december vacation keeping me super busy at work—result? No time to blog! And on 24 Dec, wrapping up work and packing up clothes, food and Pumbaa, we were off to our Kerala-Goa vacation! Yep, travellogue coming up soooon!

So, a very good year in all, except for the dampner in October—which is like a dampner for life. Everytime we see the scratches on the Punto the blood boils!

Sorry for the boring post, but it’s a record of 2010—for future references, just in case😀😛

Anyways, here’s wishing you all a
FUNtastic, grace-filled, prosperous year ahead.  Let 2011 be the year of your dreams!🙂

I Finished it to Win these ;)

Like I wrote here, I had also participated in CB‘s story-finishing contest – Finish it to win it. I finished it to win…these following awards. Well, my story was so lame, but I had fun participating, writing, commenting and then commenting again on the first prize winner’s post😀

Here’s the link to the first half of the story. And here’s what I wrote, the second half😀 Bear with me (and the story).

And here are what CB gave!!! Yey!

For participating...and writing a story😉

...and for guessing who wrote which one😉

Contest, stories, comments and character

Chatterbox, lovingly referred to as “CB”, ran a contest at her blog. Named Finish it to Win it!! (yes, you see the badge on my right panel here?), she gave us one half of a story…and asked us to complete it the way we liked, in less than 1200 words. Check out the contest, the rules, the first half of the story CB wrote, and the entries by a bunch of enthusiasts at the Finish it to Win it!! page of her blog😉

It was a load of fun. Or, should I say it is a load of fun, since the entries are still being posted as per the order she got them in…

What’s most amazing about this contest is the fact that ONE STORY — of a husband, wife, daughter, an ex-girlfriend and a particular situation — could end in 19 different ways! The husband, Will, now has 19 personalities; Rose (the wife) has over 10 (‘coz she came out as a loving, innocent wife in more than one entry) and Mary (the not-so-virgin ex-girlfriend) has over 15!😀 Betty, sadly has only two: one of a sleep-a-holic and one where she’s a naughty poet!😉 Isn’t it stunning, that the same people and the same situaton, can end in uniquely different endings when different people look at it?

Some of the entries are so transparent of its authors’ characters: you read them and you know who wrote them😀, while others have tried to portray a scenario which so does not portray them. Some of them made it humourous, some went for unexpectedly awesome twists, some tried the romantic route, some the whacky! And one, the utmost nonsensical ROFL-material: indeed shows his/her “Will Power” !!!!😀

Now, I guess the only sad outcome would be that I went mad when it came to comments and was highly critical. I’m sure I’m gonna lose ALL my blog readers for the comments I’ve put up on their stories. Sigh!😦

If I’m allowed to defend myself, let me tell you: I was only being nuts. The past few days saw my most jobless and crazy days in office. Though not entirely jobless, I made more friends there, and became close to quite a few crazy ones😀 Which effected in us having internal chats on the most craziest, LOL topics ever. And in between all those chats would come up one of the new stories. Well, crazy chats can be contagious over to WordPress too!

And when Gyanban commented, I think provoked by my looong comment, in one of the stories about how people turned subjective about these things and said “we cannot not like this story because some of our personal belief system disagrees with the concept. “, I realised maybe I went overboard! :DFor an argument’s sake, I can certainly say “I can not like something because it’s against my personal beliefs”, but well, it’s not a point to be arguing about in this context.

I apologise if I’ve been rude and have hurt any of you authors (no, no one gave me a hint that they’ve been hurt; I’m saying this because I felt I may owe it to some people).

Again, let me tell you, I’m not against any of you personally…or your thoughts, for that matter. It being a contest, and it being about having fun, I was just conducting postmortems on the different characters portrayed by Rose and Will and Mary and the rest. I reread some of my comments and felt I sounded awful — well, at least to the authors, I must’ve sounded awful!😀 Those authors — whose story I criticised too much — must think “And she’s so good to me when she comments on my blog: because she knows it’s me. Here, when she doesn’t know, she’s being honest and herself. Hypocrite”

No, am not a hypocrite😀 If I don’t like a story, I’ve been honest about it. If I’ve liked it, I’ve been honest about it😀 Just like I do when I comment on your posts on your blogs too😉 If I’ve said “I don’t like this story”, that’s all I’ve meant: that I don’t like the story; it does not mean I don’t like you or your character. In one particular story, which was against my ideals and principles, I’ve been vocal about it. Again, that does not mean I dislike the author; it only means I don’t necessarily agree with his/her idea. Again, maybe that was just a twist the person came up with, irrelevant of his/her ideals. Except for one or two stories, I have no clue who wrote which😀 So, there’s NOTHING PERSONAL about any of my comments.

If I’ve inadvertently hurt any of you, I seek your apology!

P.S.: I’m honestly not as bad as I sound in my comments😀😀😀😀😀😀
And pPlease vote for me, for I wrote the best one😛😀😉

Finish it to Win it!!

Thank You for being there…

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Wish you all a very happy day today🙂

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Special mention to four of my bestest friends: Achan, Amma, Chettan and Suraj🙂

And to all my friends. You’ve all given me a lot. Thanks for being there. For being F.R.I.E.N.D.S.🙂

Time to say goodbye

and I said it all yesterday: my last day at work!😀

I’ve never seen anyone being made to work so much in their notice period! Bah! I used to be real tired on all days…too tired to even blog! Why, even weekends were spent brainstorming (alone!!) and coming up with new ideas. But yes, I enjoyed it thoroughly.

It was a nice job, the work was super, the team was (mostly) great. But somehow, I reached that point of exasperation real soon. And I decided to quit. Two of my best buddies at work also decided the same thing. So, there was no feeling of ‘leaving good things back’😉 But within two days of giving in the resignation, some real cool people joined the team…and the last three weeks were SUPER FUN!

Sometimes, I regret having quit when things were turning to look good. But well, the not-so-good elements will always remain – high and strong – and that will eventually bring the fun down. For sure. So, maybe it wasn’t that bad at all…this decision. And it’s a small world. We’ll cross paths again.

We were a gang of four. Now one person’s left behind. Will always try for his best too🙂

It was an unexpectedly good ‘last day’. Unexpected gift, a team lunch, a ‘token of appreciation’, lousy speech, photo sessions, formalities, signatures, handing over, farewell, party, hugs, goodbyes, laughs, work, yummy food, sad songs, last-minute proofing, chilling out, catching up, cribbing, LOLs, whining, winding up, coming home. And then, it was over.

One mutton curry, one fish pickle and two gifts pending. I haven’t forgotten, guys and girl🙂 I’ll be back😉

And now, I’m moving on. To IBM. To be an IBMer🙂🙂🙂🙂🙂🙂🙂🙂🙂🙂🙂🙂🙂🙂

that thing called Manipal: a travellogue

Manipal. The first thing the name brings me is irritation of an incomprehensible level😀 It’s to do with a client, and a mad one at that😉 You get it now, don’t you?

So, when the husband said he had to go to Manipal on official duty (and was taking the wife along), I could only snort in response😀 “Of all the places in the world, why Manipal?”, I asked. Because that’s where the press where the mass printing’s getting done I located, he said. I was so not interested, but well, because our wedding vows also included a silent vow that said “Thou shalt not live apart ever after 17 Nov 2008”, I agreed to tag along (but only after he promised 24×7 Internet, a trip to Malpe beach and to Mookambika temple)😉.

View from the room🙂

But now, am so glad I agreed. Manipal is awesome. It’s a beautiful place…and was made even more beautiful by the rains. We left Bangalore by the 11p.m. KSRTC Airavat and reached Manipal by about 7. And I was astounded at the beauty of the place…at how the rains made is spellbindingly gorgeous…at how similar the place is to parts of Kerala. Show any Keralite a bit of Manipal countryside, and he/she would easily identify it as some part of Kerala.

Green fields that carpet the countryside, coconut trees that sway to the winds, rains that envelop all this in a bubble of beauty…

Oh yes, there were rains throughout…and I simply loved the place. Yea, rains can make any damn place beautiful; but if it’s one with greenery, nothing a rain can’t do to make it BEAU!

The husband @ End Point😀

The view from our suite at Sharada International, Udupi, was awesome🙂 We would wake up to stretches of green, enveloped by rain and sun😀 We could see groups of beautiful white cranes give company to the lonely cow grazing by the field; the lone tractor weaving its way through the fields in the pouring rain; kids playing in the rain, at a far away house; and the pitter-patter of rain on the leaves of the many coconut trees!

We went about this little city, exploring bits and bites😉 The food at Manipal, and Udupi especially, is to DIE FOR! I am this weird South Indian who hates masala dosa (it has its origins at Udupi): but when I had a bite of it from the husband’s plate at the Woodlands Hotel, Udupi, I couldn’t stop myself from ordering one more, which I actually wholly ate up!😀 Apparently, there is this hotel there that serves some umpteen varieties of masala dosas! Yet to figure the place out. I’m soon going back once the Tuscan Wine’s home😉

Unbelievable, how a barren town could be converted into such beauty , and an educational town at that, by one single person’s initiative. The extremely polite, helpful auto drivers of Manipal & Udupi later told us that Manipal’s a lot more active, happening and interesting when the students are around. Apparently, right now, it’s the 2-month vacation time😉 Manipal, called India’s Education Town, has students from over 52 countries studying at the many colleges there.

The husband @ Malpe

End Point, beyond the Manipal University, is really the end point!😀 It gives you the best view of Manipal on one side; and the sea on the other🙂 We couldn’t go to the actual view-point, since it was already 6, and it was raining, and the uto driver told us we better not foray that far. So, didn’t see the sea!😦

Malpe Beach is one of the most serene, placid, tranquil beach I’ve ever been to. The waves are in no hurry to hit you or return. They just roll about lazily, lapping around you, bringing in tiny white baby crabs and sea shells. It was awesome🙂 One could walk quite a distance into the sea, and the biggest wave would probably hug around your waist! I loved it🙂

In fact, I loved the place so much, I forgot all about going to Mookambika.😀 To make up for which, on the way to the bus stand (bus was at 8.30, we left room at 7.15), we went via the Udupi Krishna Temple, where I thought I could make a quick visit. After the darshan, I bought a few laddus and everything and decided to hurry back. But alas! The temple was so huge, I lost my way in there😀 I had no clue where I came in from, or where I wanted to go! Finally, I reached the auto where the husband waited patiently, at 8.15. Reached the bus stand at 8.25, and boarded the bus in 5 minutes😀😀

Yes, I’ve decided to settle down at al🙂 That’s, when I’m done settling at Goa. And Austria. And Manali. Damn, first I’ve to get out of this frikkin Bangalore😀
Yes, Manipal is perhaps the only place…
  • where the sun becomes a tad brighter just before it starts raining like crazy😀 It catches you totally unawares, the sun coming out from behind  the clouds in full glory, only to have sheets of rain speeding down in the most beautiful way😉
  • with roads that could be 8-lane wide, but have absolutely no traffic🙂 At those busy Bangalore hours  of 8-10 am and 6-7 p, Manipal’s roads have about 2 buses, 3 autos, a couple of cars and a few two-wheelers😀
  • where ever-smiling people build beautiful houses in the most beautiful settings, and bust all that beauty by stringing all their laundry on the gates and front walls and porch (to dry, of course!)😀
  • where auto drivers smilingly tell you the fare and do not cheat, even though they know we’re not locals😉
  • where lots and lots of lush green covers all ground, soothing your eyes🙂
OK. So, there may be other such places; but of all the ones I’ve been to (and that’s quite a list, never been to one with all these).
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Well, problem is, now I hate the client all the more! For having me made always wince and swear at the mere mention of “Manipal”; for having made me refuse to even see this beautiful place; for having always scorned “Manipal”. Organisations must NEVER recruit people who do not seem capable of understanding them, and their spirit!😀 Even better, if they’re never allowed to take up the name of a place as their organisation’s name😀😉
P.S.: Malayalees (anyone, for that matter), if you ever go there and need a good guide, go to Syndicate Circle and ask for an auto rickshaw driver names Philip🙂 The best and sweetest auto driver I ever met! 🙂

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

I am what I am!😀

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😀

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!😀

Anyways, here goes my favourite ones😀 (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😀

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.😀 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😀 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!!😀 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😀 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😀 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😀; 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😀 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!😀

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😀 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😀 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)!]