Thursday, August 30, 2007

I love weddings

I am not a social butterfly.I do enjoy people's company, but again not to a great extent.And looks like my social skills are put to test now with a series of kalyanams lined up.Gosh ! Looks like everyone is getting married.Happened to attend one a few days before and that set me thinking of the trends in today's kalyanams.

Its been raining here in Chennai for the past few days and inspite of that I see weddings in A/C kalyana mandapams.Guess thats to satisfy the maapillai veedu?And one horrible thing about A/C kalyana mandapams is that the homam, and the heavy kancheepuram sarees adorned by our ladies generate hell a lot of heat that you feel like getting out of the A/C hall for a few minutes atleast.

Something else that I look forward to in a kalyanam is the "SAAPAADU". I feel people come to a wedding to eat some good food. The other reason could be to see the bride and the groom and also pass some comments like " payyan nalla height", ponnu konjam colour kammi".And it is with the saapaadu that the wealth of the wedding is decided.All observation is on the payasam, rasam and thayir. The payasam has to be thick, rasam has to be adequately flavoured with perungayam, big pieces of thakkali and kothumalli, the thayir has to have the right consistency- not too watery and not too thick, not too bland and not too sour.If all these are perfect, then it is assumed that the wedding went on well.

Another purpose in attending a wedding is to meet all your relatives- the pattu mamis, the kittu mamas and the other clan and figure out what saree is each one wearing, who has the latest design necklace, yaaru yaaru ponnu/ payyan US/ UK la enga irukka, and some exchange of conversations like " oh Ram Colaradola irukkana, en ponnum anga thaan irukka, nee address kudu, naan avala poi paaka sollaren, appdiye Ram India vanthuttu porachey, konjam podi, oorkai kuduthu en ponnukkum kuduthu vidaren".

If there is one thing that annoys me , it is the light music or is it the jarring and screaming over the mic type of music. Your onnu vitta periyamma will not be able to hear you talking amidst that chaotic music.And what happens with the kutcheris is sometimes saddening too. Many times, people dont listen to these kutcheris.All that they are interested in is talking, talking real loud.

I love attending kalyanams now especially that I am engaged, else I need to go through the ordeal of "height enna?, enna padichurukka? etc etc".Trust me, weddings are the best place to spot the latest trends, styles, which colour is IN, which is NOT.And the best of all is you get a good deal of saathukudi, thengai, some ever silver kinnams, plastic dubbas, and so on after all for attending a wedding. Weddings are lovely I say.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Sweet nothings...over the years

She: Hello
He: Hi baby, how are you?
She:I am good You?
He:Hmm..nalla irukken. Missing you
She: Me too. Wish we were able to see each other more often
He:Ya, but this is what we chose. Be happy.Love you so much
She: I love you too.Muahh
He: Was waiting to talk to you
She: I have been waitin for 6 p.m. so that you would call.Miss you terribly
He:Ya I know.Muah
She: Muah, love you sooooo much.
He: Me too da
She:When will I get to see you ?Its so long and am fed up of it
He: Pretty soon. ok? Love you.
She:I love you. Take care.Bye

She: Hello
He:Sollu da
She: You busy?
He: Illa, sollu
She:Onnum illa, chumma thaan panninen
He: Hmm.sollu.
She: I miss you, feel like seeing you
He: Did you enquire about the driving class?
She: Ya will enquire today.
He: Vera ethavathu pending irukka?
She: Illa.
She: Will you call up appa amma today?
He: Ya I shall.
She:Vera enna?
He: Nothing much.
She: Ok, we will talk later. bye

She: Hello
He: Enna?
She: Called to remind you about the cheque payment
He: Ok, I shall do it.Saaptiya?
She:Ya aachu. By the way, dont forget to get the things from the list that I gave you in the morning.
He: Hmm ok.
She: Ok, I will call you later if anything else is to be bought on your way to home. Bye

Friday, August 24, 2007

Welcome to the world of perverts

Happened to endure one kind of a street harassment today.Whatever you call that- eve teasing or street harassment.Nevertheless, I gave it back to that old scumbag who passed some lewd comments.Is there any girl who lives and has not been harassed outside her home? ( Baahh,it happens even in home)I dont think so.The earliest experience that I can remember very clearly was when I was 9 years old when a person well known to my family pinched me on my stomach. It dint strike me then as to what his intentions were, but that pinch did hurt me.I did not really know the inappropriateness in his actions, but I always avoided going near him.Welcome to the world of perverts!Another incident was when I was 10 years old where in I stayed at my relative's house as my appa had got a transfer at a not-so appropriate time. That was hell. I used to sleep with my aunt and all covered from head to toe with a bedsheet and inspite of that her son used to constantly lift the bedsheet in the middle of the night.To think of it all now, makes me plain sick.

Train incidents are many.Many a time, you would have been groped, pinched, slapped from behind or atleast touched .I am no exception.Once when I was travelling from Chennai to Kerala along with my parents.I was sleeping on a middle berth and wokeup with an uneasy feeling around 2 in the night. There was a guy on the opposite berth who on the pretext of getting down, everytime,brushed his hands against my chest.I am NOT ashamed to recall/ recount these instances. And then once when me and my friend went cycling near my flat on a lazy afternoon, a sort of lonely street, a guy on a motorbike stopped near us on the pretext of asking directions.While me and my friend concentrated on giving the directions, he groped my friend's breasts.And he sped away even before we could realise what had happened.

We girls never spoke about it to our parents.Instead of being outraged by all this, we felt embarassed and ashamed as though the sin was committed by the sinned and not the sinner.And the tales we heard from our friends during college were horrifying.Those times, we were blaming ourselves.And the girl power did help.And now, a guy pinching you on your butt gets back a knock in return. IT IS NOT OUR FAULT. Such perverts exist and thats a hard fact to digest.Incidents like these, always keep me suspicious about men.Trust me, telling your mom or your sister that your breasts were groped or you were pinched in your thighs is not easy.I am glad that I have gained the courage to talk about street harassment loud and clear, but then there are many who are traumatised.Atleast we have someone at home to tell things, what about the street children? Its time we gain courage, speak out, brave ourselves and give it back to the lechers.

Ps: This post doesnt apply to the nice men who would be hurt that women are suspicious about every man. For god's sake, dont be a whiner. This is just a personal experience and I just got it out of my closet. Kindly dont make an issue out of it.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Buses and the Brakes

The post about the van rides set me thinking about the thrill of the brakes.I avoid travelling by the public transport in Chennai and on the contrary, I long to do the same in Kerala.I did it this time when I went home.

The old lady was swept in the most undignified manner from the middle seat of the last row to my left at the centre of the bus.I helped the unfortunate lady to regain her balance and offered her my seat.Why did the driver not slow down inspite of knowing that we were approaching the bus stop?Carelessness?

Travelling by bus is an experience by itself.Most of the pleasure is due to the driver's driving ( sudden brakes??) skills.I went to school by the school bus during my11th &12th std.And our bus was manned by a rather attractive cheeky driver in his mid twenties.The bus would start with a dare-devil speed and brake suddenly, again accelerate and brake suddenly.While some rushed to reserve their seats, the others were left at the mercy of the big vehicle.Every sudden brake or a pause would bring forth some loud "Ooohhss and Aaaahhss" along with some squeals from all of us.

And we wondered why was this sudden braking so frequently done? The reason was a 12th std girl was given the honour of standing near the entrance at the driver's end.She was beauty personified, used to hold the vertical handle with her oh so delicate hand and she exchanged occassional glances with the driver at whose hands lay the fate of the bus.With every brake,they would exchange a glance or two, the driver grinning and she would plaster a sweet smile.We could easily sense the growing attraction between the two.But the sudden brakes totally disappeared after she left school to join college.No chaos in the bus.The thrill of brakes disappeared that even now, whenever I travel by a bus and there is a sudden brake, I cant help but reminicse the unspoken love tale of the driver and that beautiful girl and wondeing about what would have happened if they had just talked! For in the entire period of their silent communication, they never once spoke to each other.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Our van driver

Its been a year and a half since I started working and believe me each day is an adventure on its own. Thanks to the van driver who is Schumis cousin twice removed!Though he doesnt look even the slightest like Schumi,he more than makes up for it when it comes to driving (Racing??)

He is a man with a mission, ya, the misson to get us to office on time.Nothing ever stops him except for the life saving dance that too if its performed in the middle of the road by atleast a group of five people.And if he is not in a great mood, he even forgets to pick us up once in a while. But if he is in a decent mood,we are thrown upto the ceiling by atleast three speed breakers.So you can as well imagine about his bad mood!Another thing that we have been in awe with him is how is it that he manages to get out some loud symphony with the horn!

Guess me and my other colleagues are lucky to have found someone so sincere and dedicated to the cause of racing and dropping us to office on time inspite of the road construction chaos thats happening enroute.Here I raise a toast for him.May he race in peace!!!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Changing Times

Gone are the days when the mamis in every household exchanged horoscopes between each other. Earlier days, exchanging horoscopes in common weddings or functions was the prime thing. But now,thats all replaced by the dot coms where you can find, browse, email or chat at your own privacy.One of my neighbour mami had visited us today with a horoscope and she wanted to check with my mom if there is any suitable match for that boy's horoscope.My parents are actively involved in this match making, they do this social service of getting the horoscopes of prospective bride / groom and exchange it between friends and famil members who would also be looking for one.Coming from a family where hand me downs was so common- be it clothes, books or toys, the same was applied to horoscopes as well. If "A"s horoscope dint match for "X", it was automatically handed down to the next best person .My neighbour mamis visit set me thinking how things have changed on the matrimonial side.

After a while, I was just thinking if the traditional approach of exchanging horoscopes still exist?Whomsoever I talk to , brag only about the matrimonial sites.And I always find the handing me down method the best, that ways the source is relaibale than what you see in the dot coms right?

Another thing is,the penn paarkum padalam was always filled with fun and anxiety.There would be one huge pattalam for the penn paarkum padalam.Fun for the kids and the thathas and mamas who get to eat the hot pakodas and sweets.Little more fun with the teen aged girls/ boys who would keep giggling at the bride/ groom, anxiety for both the parents.The revelation from the groom that " ponnu pidichurukku"would mean huge relief to the bride's parents and you could actually hear comments like " its a match made in heaven"and "that the girl is so lucky to get into a particular family", while a negative answer would spark off comments like " nee yean intha azhuthu vadiyara saree kattinda? innum konjam nanna make up potturukkalam"and so on.

Guess those times have changed now..and now the prospective bride/ groom meet in a much social atmosphere, sans the huge pattalam, pakodas, kesari and the gupshup from the relatives.Who knows what more are we going to witness with the changing times?

Monday, August 13, 2007

Life is Beautiful

Waking up early in the morning around 10

Not having a need to have bath in the mornings necessarily

Having the breakfast served piping hot (even at 10 a.m.) & having the breakfast served right in the living room while watching tv

Not having the need to wash your own plate/ vessels

Watching tv till its time for lunch

Hogging the lunch

Browsing the net with the facility being available 24*7


Enjoying a cup of tea with some deep fried snack

Have a bath cos its almost the end of the day

Visit the nearby temple and friends

watch tv

Have dinner

Browse the net

Off to sleep

And in between all this rigorous schedule,get spoiled by being pampered big time cos you would be visiting home after 8 months, meet people who come to visit me at home, gossip big time about anything under the sun and finally off to sleep after too much of tv and eating


Thursday, August 9, 2007

First Salary Token Gifts

Talk of the first salary and am sure its close to everyones heart ( I still remember how excited I was on checking my account for the first ever salary and trust me, I hadnt seen so much money in life then)You feel elated on getting the first ever salary credited.Another thing is it takes inordinate amount of mind space.Ask me how

Its been a tradition in our family that when you start working, you got to show your love and affection to your family members by getting them first salary presents.That being said, amma suggested one small token for each family- I mean one for chithappa family, one for athai family, and so on.My sister did the same when she went to US and came back with one token present to each family and so did my cousins.Its my turn and I have been merrily whiling away doing this for more than a year.But all of a sudden, I realised my responsibility

I love shopping and so this kind of a task only adds to my happiness.
But I sulk big time in buying something for men.Cant think of anything beyond shirts/ t shirts.And given the complexities in buying a useful yet in your budget and likely to get your appreciation gift, I decided that I would get something for the ladies clan.Its easy to buy gifts for women especially if you are a woman yourself.Also, there are as expected, some in the family who have everything and some who appreciate nothing and ofcourse there are some who say " ethukku gift ellam, nee ippdi snehama irukkarathey porum".So, how about a mobile phone for my the eldest mama who doesnt have one?- but he wudnt find it so exciting or an investment & trading book for the chithappa who freaks out with the share market?but he says he knows things and that books neednt help him or a book of crosswords for my athai who is an expert in it?-but she wud solve it in a days time.Pheeewww!! So,I am finally settling down to buy gifts for the ladies clan. How I wish I had thought of this idea in the beginning itself!

Monday, August 6, 2007

Keeping in touch

I am a little concerned about all those who have no time for friends/ relatives.I wish I did not say that, but then I have numerous examples or instances at home and abroad who do not even communicate to cousins, chithis, chithappas, mama mamis. They are such people who would say a mere Hi if you happen to bump into them in Yahoo messenger or Orkut and sometimes, they conveniently ignore even that.My immediate or first cousins wud recognise me ( ofcourse with the modern emails, orkut and stuff), but I am sure their kids will not even be able to recognise me if we ever bump into each other. I have my cousins who have not turned up to India for more than 5 years.Their kids havent even seen their roots

But on the contrary,my parents are in touch with all their cousins ( first, second and so on), their relatives through the traditional ( time tested??) means of communication like letters, phone calls. So what do I infer? When we are exposed to internet, emails, messengers which are fast, dependable and free and are still not able to keep in regular touch with our folks, but the parents can with the time tested methods.That only shows that distance is never an issue. It is the inclination to keep in touch that matters. I still sit and write letters to my grandma who has immense pleasure in reading letters. You speak to her over the phone, she isnt as happy as she gets my hand written letter.Many a times, I come to know of the happenings in the family only when amma tells me- be it my cousins engagement/ wedding,or he / she getting a promotion at office.I am not advocating one to write letters.But this could be a timely reminder for us to keep in touch with the loved ones before we realise its too late.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Knock Knock Reality

The whole of India has taken to Reality Shows.Every T.V. channel airs one such reality show.Hindi channels were the pioneers in reality shows in India, and after sensing the popularity and the TRP ratings shoot up, most of the other language T.V. channels have followed suit. And these shows keeps me thinking very often. A huge lot of people come for the prelims, the judges screen them and select a few, while ousting many with the judges telling them that they dont match up to the expectations.And if you think the show ends here, you are wrong. The camera catches the ousted particpants, crying, howling, screaming, bitching about the judges and what not...May be this is the reason, why these reality shows are so popular amongst the janta.

Now this amuses me so much. If we could easily decide the fate of an aspiring individual who wants to become a singer or a dancer or a comedian by mere SMS'es and votes, why dont we use the same, yes, the same system for a few more things?

  • For the state elections ? This will easen the whole hazardous process that the EC is put through!
  • In companies, what if a CEO wants to fire someone? Am sure this system would come handy then. Or may be, everyone votes for the CEO himself
  • What if we could choose which actor should play a particular role in a particular movie? That ways, we could get rid of the Sathyarajs, Sibirajs,S.J.Suryas, Vijaykanths and the like.
  • Cricket, to choose the players of the team. I am sure had this system been in place a few months before, Ganguly could have saved himself. Poor guy, he had to go through the whole hungama.

Comeon, lets give the phone operators some more chance to mint some money. Take your mobile, SMS your vote to save these souls. May be VIJAYAKANTH or SATHYARAJ or your very own CEO. Send your votes to 8888 and save a soul.