Thursday, November 22, 2012

Cant believe

That I am making this time for this post...
That I have not been able to make time for myself...
That I have not been able to sit and eat my food...
That I have not called up a friend in a long time...
That I have been able to stay away from emails..
That a little one and a foreign land life style can make me utter the word BUSY and SILENT..
That it is possible to NOT write at all!!!!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Superlatives!!! - Major Grammar lesson

  • There is always someone who knows better than you do, less than you do, and as much as you do.
  • There is always someone who is elder to you, younger than you and of the same age as you.
  • There is always someone who is nicer than you, not as nice as you, and about as nice as you.
  • There is always someone who cares for you more than you know, less than you expect, and as much as you acknowledge.
  • There is always someone who is happier than you, less happier than you, and as happy as you are.
  • There is always someone who is smarter than you, less smarter than you can appreciate, and as smart as you  want to believe.
You must just believe that you can be better, elder, nicer, caring, happy, and smart as much as you are capable of. There is no need to really justify yourself as the best in any way.

In a tall man's land you may be short. But in a dwarf's land, you may be the tallest. So, its just okay to be what you are, who you are. the way you are, as long as you know you are being JUST in your views.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Bridges

Credit of building the physical Bridge mostly goes to the Civil Engineers often shared by Architects or Structural Engineers. Many contexts to this word - Bridge, all of them intending connection. Two unconnected things are usually bridged with something in common usage.London Bridge, Bridge the gap, Bridge the difference all mean the same but in different contexts.

Most important context of bridge comes in real life when we have to build mental bridge with people.

Physical bridges have a complexity, agreed, but there is a know-how that is always available. You just have to have a practice and some guidance and it is possible.

No matter how much you train yourself or discipline yourself, or learn from others, the matter of mental bridge between you and the other person seems a tough job...

Still, may be with age and time and practice it is still possible to stay 80% connected and understanding with most people we may chance to move with.

Physical structural bridge cant serve any purpose with an 80% connection whereas we can successfully "make do" with 80% mental bridge. That's a plus!!!

All this ramble came up when I think of how tough it is to follow what my daughter must be going through after I gave her a medicine that does not taste as she expected ( Probably!!.. I still don't know what she thought when I gave her the paracetamol drops as recommended by the Doctor..). Toughest bridge is to understand a new born.. But am sure in various stages of parenting it will be a challenge to understand a child as a toddler, little girl/boy, teenager and a grown-up!!!

As of today, am super shocked at how less I know to understand!!!! Although many times her smile makes me think that "She thinks I understand her fully!!!" which makes me all the more responsible to build the bridge 100% right between us.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

because I am generally feeling happy today...

I remember reading this in one of the office emails I received one fine morning.

There was another email from the sender saying ' Sweets at my Desk. First come first serve'. Now, I was a new joinee and didn't know if you have to know the person to accept sweets from them to share their joy or would it be a dishonor of the invite to just let the email go unnoticed. When I was still deciding, I saw this message from the same person saying he was generally feeling happy.

I am quite choosy with the sweets I take and generally keep it minimum unless it is my favorite Gulab Jamoon ( yeah, that is for a later reference for the readers.. in case you plan to send me a box of sweets for some reason... if not anything else, the same ' am feeling happy' reason ). The email made me go over to this new friend's desk and share the joy..I really liked the second email message.. that's the only reason I went over. Took a Dhoodh Peda and ate it fully for the first time!! Almost always I would find a reason to avoid this sweet. This time I didn't coz I was super impressed with the reason...

And the words carved in my mind's diary.

Years later, two days ago when I was on my way to the temple, with a feeling of generally ' Nothing in particular', I chanced to see two kids happily hopping with few books in their hands. They were laughing and talking during the hop-run-skip tune 'to' or 'from' their tuition class I assumed. I recalled this ' because am felling generally happy today ' and smiled.. The kids smiled back and I asked them where they were headed and my assumption was right.. but I could not believe the last time I felt so happy to study something in a tuition class... I mean at 5:00 P.M on a working day, NO child can feel so happy to study again right after school... I guess the credit goes to the teacher, who probably makes the children feel generally very happy each day!!! I thought of the phrase I have heard before and I smiled..

When I turned my attention towards the road traffic, I realized that anyone who crossed me that minute would wonder what made me look as happy as I looked.... Did I have an answer?

Was it the email that is the root of this smile or was it the children's faces or was it the teacher I have not met in my life?

Whatever was the cause, I entered the temple feeling generally very happy. For once I know, that it is possible to feel happy for no reason.

Friday, August 03, 2012

Routine - Meaning

I believed that the word Routine means there is a standard route or pattern which keeps repeating, mostly undisturbed. Now I know that Routine can also mean standard pattern of known unexpected happenings!!!

If that is confusing to you, either you are a man and are single, a woman and are not really thinking of babies yet, a married man blissfully unaware of what your baby's caregiver may be going through each day, or a married woman who is waiting outside the gynaec's office without knowing what you have really gotten yourself into!!

All said, babies teach you new meanings to old words and given a chance and absolutely free time, after the rest I am waiting to take every chance I get, I might think of putting a new dictionary to the many new meanings I have learnt so far, such as this one word, ROUTINE.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Building up confidence - Lesson 1

Confidence lesson starts in the cradle.. My daughter thinks the cradle is rocking because she is taking efforts to do it with her constant hand and leg movements. When the rocking stops she looks concerned and kicks harder and stronger and faster. If the cradle still doesn't move, then she lets out her cry, a very mildly expressive one. Last resort is non stop crying..

I wait for her effort and then rock the cradle, so she believes in her own effort. I guess building confidence starts as early as sixty days!!! At least that is what I think.. I want her to know that all efforts pay off in time.. and I guess this translates as confidence later in life.

As with all new moms, am super thrilled and I guess I will write more about my new experience in life..though I look forward to writing variety, I think most of my writing may get centered around my little one.

Saturday, July 07, 2012

My new world....

I have finally managed to gain the energy and strength and time to open this page to write..This is the first post I am writing after we got our little one Prakruti, meaning NATURE .

It seems like yesterday when I wrote about the Recent Whyss post, that is on the last leg of my pregnancy journey.. It has been about 40 days now that our world has changed completely.. Our little one seems to be in my dreams, my waking hours.. making my days and nights, challenging my patience and confidence, contributing to my laughter and smiles...keeping everyone in the household on toes... making the item called clock meaningless in the house.. making the word schedule totally pointless... and making everyone fall in line with her decision on when to sleep, feed, and play...and helping us realize that God's watching and is THE ONE who can really do something about anything and everything in our life...

I wanted so much to write about my pregnancy journey for the benefit of those who would be having a baby soon but health reasons didn't permit. Now, there are times I want to login in the middle of the night when I am rocking my baby to sleep while she is playing like she would in a field... I notice and realize many things about life at large... Really introspective moments those are... Still as it is not getting really practical to get my hands on a keyboard at the late hours, I choose to write what I can, when I can and to whatever extent I can..

Over the days, I seem to have lost touch with language, the keyboard, computer and networking. So, if you are hearing the good news of my baby for the first time and I have not emailed you or called  you up, it is because of the new world that I am in.. and surely will take time to get back to the real world and my usual self.. :)

Will write when I can, Will need your valuable comments and support and encouragement as always,

Best,
Dew



Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Night class!!!

I am only hoping that Blogger will publish the time of this post correctly. In any case here is the time I begin to write this post. 1:07 A.M on 22nd May 2012.

Slowly and enthusiastically walking into the 38th week of my pregnancy, I decided to retire early today, which was at 10:30 P.M. Since then, with sleep almost next to impossible like most days, and the aches and pains and restless night time that is supposedly part of the last month of most pregnancies, I just decided to not bother trying to put up with the nightmare of trying to lie down through the night. For lack of better option, I decided to log in to the net to see if the night world has people awake like me for many other reasons though.

Here are the lessons tonight:

  1. Your computer can fail to start just in time when it is all you wanted to do.
  2. All your restart techniques can fail miserably at 1:00 o clock in the night adding to your nightmare of losing your precious data the next day.
  3. You have to trust the good God to get things working on your computer as well apart from many other priorities.
  4. You might have to wait patiently in front of a non-living yet fully alive machine to see the familiar OS loading message and the desktop icons.
  5. You might have to check the virus update status past mid night when it was not your idea of logging in at all.

I quickly switched to blogger to share my load of the night realization and now am off to retire again since that is all is my capacity tonight to sit in front of computer. I fully realize that a computer not starting right can dampen your mood to do anything at all!!!

Am glad I am able to type fast enough to share my thoughts so all the wait in front of my machine to see that it started right finally was worth my while!!!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Recent Whys

  1. Why do things have to fall down from your hands and not up?
  2. Why do the things that fall down always roll to a corner that is seemingly out of reach?
  3. Why do you have to drink water often?
  4. Why does the phone ring when you are away from it?
  5. Why does the door bell ring when you have just managed to position yourself well enough to a comfortable position?
  6. Why does talking seem tough chore?
  7. Why do phone numbers and names and events seem a burden on the otherwise calendar-marked brain?
  8. Why does sitting and standing and walking and lying down - each and all of it at once seems a herculean task?
What makes me write this post? Thirty seven weeks along with my pregnancy, I do realize that it is just possible that all these questions  are the most reasonable questions which no one really forewarned me!!! :)




Sunday, April 15, 2012

Lesson on how to ignore

A big finding of the day is to resolve problems just by ignoring the problem makers - issues or people. Does not make sense? Does not sound simple?

Let me say how it works. When there is a statement or comment or opinion or advice that is troublesome to you or not in agreement with your policy or simply not your cup of tea, then the best way to deal with it is to keep quiet and not give a comment. When probed once, try to answer as politely as possible. When further disturbed about the point, simply smile and say that it is just your view of things and try to leave the discussion table.

This works better than arguing and proving yourself right at times.. which has been the way I was unconsciously operating all these years. Today I observed that 'To Ignore' is the best way to avoid conflicts and stress to our heads with people who are capable of landing you straight to the hospital ward for a blood pressure shoot up. I gave my views and walked out of the discussion not because I thought it is what I wanted to do, but because I wanted to just take care of my shooting temper. Again, I observed that the other person on the table who was also a part of the discussion simply kept silence.. When I answered back and argued a point, it back fired to me.

When I stepped out of the discussion and started doing whatever was my next priority of the day, I felt a wonderful sense of victory and suddenly realized that the other person who kept silence on the table already won. The one who gave the subject of discussion actually heard herself out; that is all. It only showed that she had some thoughts deep down inside her and showed her real person to the rest of us.

It seemed perfectly illogical and a solid waste of time and energy to make someone with that persona understand our views and beliefs. It also struck me as a lightening that none of us have to prove ourselves to anyone else in this world.. So most arguments that waste our time, effort and energy can be avoided simply by the ignore formula.

The Final Big Note : The ignore formula applies only to topics and subjects that become discussions and arguments  because of generation  gap for those who are above 28 years of age. IGNORE is not the standard way to resolve issues.. It is the last way to resolve a problem and is subject to the persona and issue that is creating the stress. Use your head to decide when to use the formula.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Fear of the Unknowns

By this I mean, the many things that run in our heads as often as it takes to spell the word OFTEN. Taking a quick stock of the thoughts that run through our head on any given time frame, I recently figured that most of them are either directly or indirectly related to the "Fear of the Unknowns".

 
I caught the phrase from a friend's email and am in complete agreement with it. We are generally assured 90% of the times about things that we know and the remaining 10% uncertainty is there even with the most tried and tested facts, practices, and know-hows. So, we discount that 10 percent as 'Exceptions'.

 
For instance, we know that it takes fifteen minutes to drive from Place A to Place B out of practice or hear say or the map. Almost 90 percent of the times, it should not take us more than fifteen minutes to get to Place B. However, an unforeseen diversion in the route for an unpredicted reason on the road, could cause that unexpected delay of another few minutes. Now this is what I meant when I said, Exceptions and does not happen all the time.

 
Such predictable and known issues are really not issues in our mind, if you think through carefully. We are not really bothered nor do we invest more time than it took to read the previous paragraph on such known facts that we really know we can handle. So there is no fear here. Only clarity that either our situation will take the 90% route or the 10% route.

 
It is a recent discovery for me, as recent as yesterday that you could portray yourself as a completely different person by the various thoughts that govern your mind at any given point in time. People see you as a changed person - on the good or the worse side.. It is totally your mind that shows you to the world and yourself. May be hard to believe, you can become a stranger to your own self if you allow some thoughts to get into your mind at any given point in time.

 
Now, in our minds, as we grow through the thin and thick of life's maze, we think of many many things - facts, problems, solutions, resolutions, figures, people, places, emotions, and pre-conceived notions - that mostly change the person we are.

 
Most of these things that are getting processed in your mind, even as you read this post, may not be exactly what you want, relevant, correct, applicable, practical and sometimes even existent. Most of the things may fall into one of these categories;
  • Things that have not occurred; Only you fear they might happen.
  • Things that do not attach importance to yourself as a person; Only you fear that they are too important to be ignored.
  • Things that are just unproven notions based on a prior happening in the distant past; Only you fear that it might happen again.
  • Things that are beyond your control; Only you fear that you will be hopelessly miserable if you cant control it.
  • Things that are just not practical; Only you fear that you must be able to make it happen.
  • Things that you heard from somewhere; Only you fear that it might happen to you as well.
  • Things that you don't know about; Only you fear that it might be!!
Ultimately, the truth is nothing of what you fear or worry about is happening now.. just an expected distant future prediction getting processed in your mind, depriving it of your natural self confidence.

 
It came as a complete surprise to me yesterday that I am into such a mode at times and sometimes forget that what I fear is not Today!!! :) and so when it comes lets deal with it.. The more we think of tomorrow's unknowns, the more the fear factor eats our memory and mind, shaking us of our balance completely, making us a totally different person, not letting us be sane today to deal with Today's time. Negativity clouds us more than we know and people prefer to keep off the negative energy although unknowingly.. I mean, it is natural that positives are boosters and negatives are avoidable.

 
So lets try and shake off the fear of unknowns and dwell in the present in our mind first. There is confidence, there is God, there is Almighty, there is a super power that is unknown, but knows what to do with the unknowns in our lives. This we all know, although it may translate to different names or Gods or beliefs to each of us.

 
Unknowns are beyond comprehension; Its practically useless to think through and resolve the mystery of tomorrow. So, why fear??

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Conversations - a totally diffferent take

I just received a phone call from a cousin of mine. We have not really spoken to each other in a long time, but when we started talking, time just flew. I realized it was late and we then chose to end the conversation.

After the talk, I sat back relaxed and happy not because I had any information or any news or anything else significant, but then a complete free and joyous feeling of just having spoken about nothing in particular.

I just realized that it is possible for long conversations without a particular serious issue or significant pre- planned discussion.  And to top all realizations related to conversations, is this: All it takes is two people who can speak on the phone for a continuous five minutes without getting bored or driving others to boredom. If you can engage someone on the phone for five minutes without getting bored with their talk, then you will surely be able to continue conversing with them for longer than that...

Weather, studies, school, culture, traffic, tradition,work, home were all our topics; Of course all these are my after thoughts.. And what a relief  it is to talk about nothing in particular and still enjoy the conversation. And I did feel a welcome warmth in the talk and hopes of meeting the person the next chance I get.

Another realization.. Serious talks last long may be, but also leave marks at times... Once in a while serious talks with people are okay... But for the most part, to enjoy life and to learn different practices and places its best to keep talks light and easy. Could be long talks, but light is the need of the hour... to stress less and to live life better. :-)

Monday, April 09, 2012

Wish animals could talk!!!

Never a great animal lover, but I always have thought that they are  nicer than human beings. I always think that people in the pretext of caring and loving animals unintentionally harm them and curb them of their freedom.. And besides am super scared of animals, whereas never of human beings... ideally it should be the reverse, I know!!!

When I was on my usual walk one morning, I saw a cow approaching our main gate. Instinct said that the cow would stop by my gate and it did!!! Surprise of surprises, as for the first time I could guess the move of an animal right in my life.

On the cow's eyes, I saw a look that I don't know quite to explain. I just decided that I will go inside to fetch a banana for the cow to eat. Again a bold move according to me.. Also wanted to make sure that the cow does not misunderstand my going in as indifference.. I still don't know where I got this kind of compassion from, but was glad to know this undiscovered truth about myself.

I gestured the cow to wait, like a police man would give a stop signal on Indian roads if the traffic signals do not work and hoped to God that the cow would understand. I rushed as fast as my feet would permit inside the house and brought the banana for the cow. I was happy to see that the cow did understand my gesture.

The next biggest challenge was to give the banana to the cow. From childhood, the idea of feeding a cow or any animal for that matter scared me. Since, it is a practice in our Tamil families to feed cows on the day after Sankaranti ( Harvest Festival that falls in the second week of January every year ), I was quite conscious of the many times I jumped away from the cow after almost dropping the banana in front of the cow every time... Trust me, it has been every time a big grand failed attempt.

Now this time, I was sure that I wanted to neither drop the banana or jump about like I used to. So, safest bet was to keep the banana on the compound wall. The cow attempted to take the banana and in the process the banana fell inside the compound. I picked it up and put it outside the gate for the cow to eat. It was nice to see the cow eat the fruit.

A wave of satisfaction spread all over my head. Quite unexplainable. Then, I stood watching its next move. After waiting for a minute or two, staring into my eyes, the cow slowly started walking its way down the road. I noticed that there was blood dripping from one of its sides. I now understood the look the cow gave me; It had been a look of pain.

How sad, that the animal could not talk!

Man with his ability to talk, to express, to think does not realize the value of all of these really big gifts. We don't talk when we must, don't express the way we should, don't think what we must. Will we ever improve??!!!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Many advices and one base question

Advices galore.. That's on what I must eat, how well I must take care of myself, what foods are healthy, what foods are a strict 'No'.. all keep coming my way, over the last few months. I am perfectly okay taking it all and following what I can to the best of my ability..

Day before yesterday, as I was enjoying the last of the oranges in my refrigerator, I could not help thinking about many other mothers-to-be in this world who would not be able to afford the cost of high priced fruits and vegetables.

Who would advice a poor farmer's wife to have nuts every day and fruits every day and milk every day?? If at all someone does, would he or she also pay for these things, which are almost luxuries in a poor man's hut?

Women have given birth to children even before the stream of medicine called Obstetrics was disciplined into Medical studies. May be many things in the past were not right, many facilities that we have today are not there, lot of awareness that is around today was missing before, still there was some thing else that governed the whole child birth episode that lasts for a little over nine months.

I calmed down reasonably after this realization and learnt to take it easy when I came across more advices than I can handle at any point of time. I am grateful for all the nice things that people tell me, because they care for me, and am totally thankful to the Good God for getting me close to such people. I understand that mothers of yester years were much bolder, stronger and strong willed that the women of today; and fully acknowledge and understand that today's woman needs more nutrition and care to tide through pregnancy reasonably well. Still, I think, its best to take it easy and do what we can without stressing too much about the food part..

Food and comforts are really gifts that God has given us. We must use them well and also not create too much of a scene about it as there are many others who are not as privileged as us to live life the way we do.

Let's be grateful and always ask this base question to ourselves at any point in time: Surely there are others who don't have this in their life?? So why fuss about this??

This question or these thoughts should help us to be happy with life's gifts, small and big!!!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Great Soul

We have heard this word often. Today, I felt the essence of it truly. It is a practice in Indian families to host a ritual called Shrardham in remembrance of close people who have reached God's abode.
Ten years ago, the same day, we lost our grandmother. After all the initial mourning and intermediate outbursts that happen when ever we think of her, life kept us busy... I was away every year when my parents conducted the Shrardham for my grandma. This year, fortunately, I am in India and had a chance to see the proceedings and generally participate when required. The grandchildren have a small role to play in the whole ritual and it was nice to be a part of it, especially when my mind was all lost in the thoughts of the past when my grandma was around.
After ten years, I mean ten long years, even as I write this post, I am unable to stop the flowing tears.. and I don't intend to... It was like that in the morning as well when the priests were at home. I walked over to the kitchen and was wondering what I can do to take my mind off the feeling that was over pouring on me causing the tears... And I learnt that my mother  had a tear drop that of course kept to its limits within her eyes only when she said: Your grand mother was a great soul. The confidence and concern she had is extra ordinary. We are missing her deeply. I guess the only mother-in-law in the world to be missed by the daughter-in-law years after she left the world.
And then we spoke for a while and it was easy to recall the many nice things that she would have said if she were around on a given subject or topic or confusion... Later Amma was telling me how almost everyone of her acquaintances and Appa's colleagues, and the friends of ours who had come for my wedding also came to send her off on her last journey ten years ago. And all of them had this one word to say : Great Soul.
I am wondering how much of a difference she would have made to people around her during her lifetime. I have had many good times with her. I cant deny the fact that I am missing her around and more so when I am carrying her great grand child. All said, I am thankful that I had a chance to know her, to be with her, to learn from her and to love her, the way I do. If you know my family and have had a chance to see her once, I am sure, you will know what I mean.
One thought from my grandma's book of life:

Confidence is everything in life. நம்பிக்கையே வாழ்க்கை. அதுவே துணை கை.

Somehow it is easy to forget this many times, but today, it seemed right to recall and try to keep this thought close to my head and of course share it to the outside world. Probably the first post in six years, I am really writing about personal feelings, still, it is worth my time and your read if you can relate to what I just said.

And for people who have lead ordinary lives, to be remembered fondly, years after we leave this world is not an ordinary thing.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Mega Serials

Now, for those who are new to this term, here is the definition and few notable characteristics!!!

  • Mega Serials are defined as the television plays that have to last at least till your grand daughter's graduation day in business school.
  • Mega Serials are divided into episodes, each one lasting thirty minutes with twenty minutes taken away by the advertisements of the sponsoring companies.
  • Mega Serials usually have good or moderately rated stories to begin with, but the director and the script writer's job is to make sure that the once nice story is twisted and twirled and confused and flopped big time by the end of the fourth year!!!!
  • Mega Serials usually begin with one story and every character in the family will each have a story line, each line with many sub stories. This is the only formula used to gear up interest in the audience.
  • It is possible to wrap up a mega serial as abruptly as you close the door on the face of a less friendly storm. There would be so much happening in the story line ( Okay, that is to say, many parallel stories would be each trying to resolve a twist on its own ) and the director would close the story suddenly. All those years of wait to see what happened to each of the sub stories would turn into utter disappointment.
  • It takes a lot of patience to watch the lady villain either very devilishly dressed or neatly dressed for all occasions at all times of the day per the story.
  • It is not possible to ignore the fact that a character who starts acting in the serial as a college girl, in her real world, graduates from college, falls in love with someone, get married, has two children; and in the serial story still is trying to resolve the hopelessly complicated love story in her serial life!!! We must not mind how she has changed over the years in her looks. What matters is she is still in college second year caught up in the same love story complication that was given to her when the serial began.
  • It is perfectly okay to miss a whole month or may be even a whole year of a mega serial, since the story would not have moved more than two pages in the real story line if it were a book. You can always start following the story immediately.
  • When there is a change of artist for a role for some business or personal reason, they put it upfront saying : This person will, henceforth play the role of Mr. A. And it would take a while to get used to the new face in the old role with the same voice!!!
  • And almost always, there is no joy in the mega serial scripts and nothing correct or at least dreamy is shown in any of the serials.
It is okay to dream of a perfect world at least in a TV serial. It is possible to encourage people to think positively just by showing nicest model lives that we must have and ways to achieve that... How many story writers think about it? How many directors think about it?

Now, it is easy to say that all the stories have morals and it is up to the viewers to decide what they want to learn from a story. Agreed. But do you think the people who don't have the privilege of education and exposure to the world to the extent of analysing what is right and wrong, will understand that a serial is just a story and that they have to take the hidden good sense in it?? Almost always No.

As mega serial directors, it is possible to direct a very positive story, with less focus on violence, with more focus on the social issues, and more focus on how we want our lives to be rather than stories that seem to exaggerate the already existing issues in a common man's world.

We all know that the world is a challenge to be living in, but why don't we also try to paint the possible beautiful things, wonderful opportunities and excellent chances of survival through the most accepted medium today, the Mega Serials???

And finally why so the serials have to be Mega Serials?? Why not short stories, that run for say a few months?? or say maximum a year's time if they must prolong the serials for a reason I wont want to understand?

Finally, at the end of a serial ask someone who has been watching it from day one, She will say, it was good in the beginning, but later, with so many sub stories there was a tiring need for the director to twist the story here and there.. I didn't enjoy it much, but watched it as I wanted to know what happened to the main story line!!! Amazing answer, but so true!!! Curiosity takes the better of boredom as well!!!

Will the serial directors and script makers think??

Biggest yet Simplest Truth!!!

I met someone whose name has been on the gossip rounds in the neighbourhood. I knew a little about the gossip and never really had a chance to think about it. Only point I was sure of is that, most people are taking time off from their own idle or seemingly busy lives to talk ill about others just for a change.

I stopped on my track when this lady extended flowers to me. I thanked her. Some gestures, no matter what time of the day, from anyone would make you smile at the first thought. I thanked her for being thoughtful.

Our talks were on varied subjects initially and then slowly turned towards the essence of the gossip... and it was the first time I had to face such a situation where the subject at least ten years elder to me, knew that she was being talked about and I was being chosen as her confidante. I knew she was talking the truth because there was no defensive tone to her voice and words. At the end of our talk, I noticed that she had tears in her eyes and it totally showed how hurt she was with the gossip talk and how the world around her made it seem true.

Now, after this talk, I concurred with her thoughts and listened to her as much as I could and finally made an attempt to lighten her mood with a less emotional or may be non emotional subject. Someone else joined us and I decided it was time to get back to my tracks again and waved a Bye to the duo.

When I resumed my walking, it suddenly struck me as a lightning blow that every one in this world has a reason behind why they are doing what they are doing and the world does not have any right to really comment on it to the extent of disturbing one's peace of mind. I must say that this lady has been bold enough to face the world, letting the turbulence inside her go to the lower most rack in her head, but still the hurt remained where it was until she finally spilled it out.

I am not sure I could have taken such a blow from the gossiping world... but I surely learnt never to believe anything that should not really concern me. Isn't that simple to follow?? I guess so!!!! Let's try.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Newspapers!!!!

I have never understood how people spend a lot of time, in fact some spend the whole of their time reading news papers. With nothing better to do yesterday evening, I was sitting in the veranda of my house, fighting the excess heat and battling with the emotions ( political stunts, useless department and other such thoughts come up!!!) that power cuts usually bring on an especially humid afternoon-evening time shift. I was holding a newspaper as a fan for self help with the heat of the summer that is just beginning in South India.

After about fifteen minutes of continuous fanning, I got tired of just sitting doing nothing, so decided to glance through the paper. I had just pulled two sheets from yesterday's paper for the purpose, but the idea of reading through that much of text was alarming.. Anyways went on to see the headlines.

Not one.. Not even a single news item was pleasant, positive, worth reading, and knowledge driven!!!! Wondering if people are committing crimes and mistakes, staging demonstrations and fasts, criticising and ill treating each other just to get on the news item!!! Is it a popularity stunt or an information medium or a warning note or just a time pass for the job-less or a set of gossip leaflets for the very busy people??

Still wondering........ I always thought that Current Affairs and General Knowledge were useless to me... and later thought may be it was important to get involved or interested in conversations where the topics were politics, news, celebrities, movies and happenings of life... but now again, I am quite convinced that I do not need to know the news at all. I am much happier without the knowledge of some of the unbelievably drastic, dramatic and unexplainable crimes in the world!!!!

So what are these old people and interested others reading in the news every day?? How does an inappropriate behavior, a road side robbery, a fall of a company, a fraudulent police officer, a school examination copying issue, or a political stage talk, or a demonstration matter to someone who has run past all these over the years??

I don't understand.. Do you?

Monday, March 12, 2012

Power cut and Pournami

Pournami in Tamil means Full Moon Day. I was coming back from the temple and the power went out as usual.

These days, the power cuts in Tamil Nadu is hitting the newspapers every day, so I wont waste my energy on it trying to tell you how I detest the idea of power cuts in the name of power saving when all it takes is just a little effort from whomsoever it concerns to set it right... Anyways... this is too much by itself.. Lots of energy drain...

The full moon day was fast approaching.. Or was it the same evening, am not sure. The moon shone bright and beautiful as I started walking back homeward from the temple. It had been quite a while since I took this route.. but never in so many years on a full moon night when there was no light at all.

Cool evening breeze( Early summer evenings are always breezy and nice in my town.. and I guess so in many tropical places..) and the moon lit night sky made the evening a wonderful experience. The roads were not new to me, but those moments of wonder were surely new and nice. In a world of lights and fans and Air conditioners that we get into when we enter a house, it feels simply amazing to realize that the nature has the best of lights and air to aid us.

I had just then finished reading this Tamil history classic called Paarthiban Kanavu where many natural sceneries were painted wonderfully in the sweetest of Tamil language as was possible. I enjoyed the reading partly because of the language and mostly because of the scenes that were so beautifully verb painted. It was easy to believe the novel's setting when I was walking on the road that breezy evening under the cover of the moon-lit night sky.

The houses on both sides were dim and grey painted, the roads shone bright white and the people here and there seemed silhouettes of mercuric grey. The whole scene was out of a picture and suddenly it occurred to me that God is the best artist!!!

An afterthought : He doesn't participate in any painting contest!!! :-)

That night sky and the moon lit road and the grey painting around me surely made me smile... It took a power cut in the town for me to realize that there are some wonderful things in this world that we miss to recall and recollect and reconsider just because we are held up with the trivia of life that we often misunderstand as trifles and tiffs!!!

Lets just take time to see the light in the dark.. and remember that it is a beautiful world really... just that we don't have time to cherish what we have.. or is it that we don't make time for life really?? :)

Sunday, March 11, 2012

My way, Your way, and the Right way issues

Of late I have begun to notice that there is always a 'My Way' and 'Your Way' of doing things..
And almost always there are people who claim that their way is the 'Right Way'.

It is easy to get into big arguments just because of this simple truth : Forcing your way as the right way and interfering into my way.

Will people understand??!!!??

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Heights of procedural instruction!!!

There was this cookery show on TV sometime last week. The lady was just summarizing what she just made and the supporting video showed the procedure in parallel to the voice track.. It was easy to understand how to make the dish, this way. Less text and more understanding.. My mind was just  beginning to applaud the sensible framing of the show... but I was quick to take back my views as one of the instructions was too much to take!!!!

here it goes :

Now, Open the mixer jar like this and add coconut this way.....

Don't you think this is too much of a procedural instruction?? And this show was supposed to  be teaching regional specialities.. Now, to cook regional specialities, you definitely need some basic cooking knowledge of dishes of your own region first, is my take.. That aside, even if you are a zero in cooking, you still would know that to grind something in a mixer you need to open the mixer's jar!!!

Heights of procedural instruction!!!! Dear TV folks, please be informed that most of your viewers have some sense still left. Please don't wipe it off completely with instructions like this.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Young and Old!!!

I cant believe this myself, but I must be honest to tell you all this wonderful realization that finally dawned on me this evening about talking, expressing, and speaking at large.

Someone I have known since my childhood has been asking me to come over to her house. My mother and I went to meet her this evening. Old age had set in and she looked older than the last time I met her.

After some initial enquiries about my side of the world, she went on to talk about many of her family issues most of which seemed very unlike of her nature... and very non-cohesive...and very shocking...

Issues are there everywhere, but all those issues that people try keeping to themselves until old age comes out when people feel lonely at old age. Old people need someone to talk to and something to keep themselves occupied. This is the truth that I learnt.

Else, talking causes a lot of problems for them, around them. It is easy to get branded as 'Oldies' and stranded in isolated world where no one would talk to them because what they talk seems to cause a lot of problems for the younger generation.

What younger generation should realize is that the old people need to get a feeling of being included and being given some responsibility that they can handle as long as they can...Idle Mind is a devil's workshop and more so at old age... When old age sets in, all the past gets processed in the workshop making the present idle times difficult to deal with and hence get expressed in a lot of loose talk and damage. The young shouldn't mind the old people's baseless conversations that is uncharacteristic of them. It is best to recall their younger days when the present oldies were more reasonable and nice.

What the older generation should realize is that younger generation need their space and they have their view points and enjoy being left to handle responsibilities themselves... When the young people need old people's wisdom and advice, they will approach. If they don't, then it is up to them to experience what they must and whenever support is needed the older generation should render it to their best. The old shouldn't mind the young people's newest trends and baseless confusions. Its best to enjoy their young age for what it is and what it means to their happiness.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Vengaya Vathal Kuzhambu

This has been a long pending recipe post on my blog. Many of my friends who have tasted this super good South Indian dish, have been asking me for my version of it. This post is part of Simple and Quick Cooking.
So here it goes. It takes about twenty minutes including the cutting of onion which is the main ingredient of the dish.

Here's what you need:

  • Onions - 2 medium sized, finely chopped. Should take you five minutes,
  • Curry leaves - If you happen to have them in your fridge or backyard or the shopping bag. Not a mandatory item.
  • Tamarind paste - Soak tamarind - about the volume of a medium sized lemon - in say 250 ml of water for a while. Squeeze the tamarind in water as much as you can and you'll finally get a watery or slightly thick tamarind paste. Takes two minutes to three minutes.
  • Mustard seeds - 1 tea spoonful.Said to be good for health.. If you don't like mustard much, you can minimize the quantity.
  • Fenugreek seeds - half a tea spoonful at least.
  • Gram Dal - Half a tea spoonful.
  • Cooking oil  - Three to four medium spoonfuls if diet conscious ; A little over one medium table spoon if you don't mind being less diet-conscious just this once!!!
  • Salt to taste and Turmeric for flavor and to fight the harmful bacteria in the leaves and chopped onion, if at all there is any.
Sambhar Masala - Buy it from any Indian store. If you are particular about making it yourself at home just for the Vatha Kozhambu, then here's how you make it:
In about half a tea spoon of oil, fry one spoon of coriander seeds, two peppercorns for a minute and keep aside. In the same pan, fry about four to six red chillies ( depends on how spicy you want your dish to taste) until the red becomes pronounced but not black. In half a spoon of oil, fry a spoon of gram Dal until brownish shade begins to appear and add in half a spoon of thoor Dal as well. Fry the mix until brown. Switch off the flame and dry fry a quarter tea spoonful of cumin seeds. Grind all the fried items - your sambhar masala is ready. The quantity given here is approximate. Add two or three spoons of this powder when you make the Vethal kozhambu. If excess you can use it for the usual sambhar later on.

So, now that you have everything ready, the first thing you must do is switch on the exhaust fan or open the windows in your kitchen.

  1. Heat oil in a vessel like pan or kadai as we call it in India. If your frying pan can be alternated for a vessel, then it is the best option.
  2. Add Mustard seeds and wait for a few seconds so all of them splitter completely. When the last of the spluttering sound is fading off, add curry leaves. Stir once with a flat steel or wodden laddle.
  3. Add gram Dal and fenugreek seeds. Fry until the gram Dal seems roasted.
  4. Add the chopped onions and fry until the familiar pinkish tint that is seen when onions are close to completely cooked. You can also deep fry it, if you have the patience, but health wise, its good to have the onions just cooked well. Of course for the best and sinfully delicious taste results, fry onions until golden brown.
  5. Add three spoonfuls of sambhar masala and fry for less than a minute, until the masala gets coated on every chopped piece of onion. If you had not switched on the exhaust fan, you will surely remember to do it the next time!!!
  6. Add the tamarind water. If you have made a paste then add a little water to it, to enable the masala coated onions to mix well in the pan.
  7. Allow the mix to boil for five minutes.
  8. Add a little turmeric and salt to the boiling mixture.
Your Vengaya Vatha Kozhambhu is ready to eat with rice and dosas. Always Vatha Kozhambu is taken with Ghee or Gingelly oil, so excess of this doesn't affect your stomach. A good accompaniment for curd rice, this dish when mixed with plain rice is best with any green vegetable fry and the traditional Urad Appalam or Vadaams made in South India. If you cant get these where you live, just try this along with potato chips.

South Indian Chef Secret:

For best of the best results add a little jaggery to the mixture before you switch off the flame. Jagerry has the property of taking out the excess tartness in the Vatha Kozhambu if at all you mess up with the quantity of tamarind you added or if the tamarind you bought was old, with excess tartness.

Minnalai Naan

மத்தாப்பு சிரிப்பு;
சிணுங்கும் சைக்கிள் மணி ஓசை;

திரும்பி பார்த்தேன் ஒரு முறை;
மின்னல் வேகத்தில் என்னை தாண்டியது...

பளிச்சென்ற பல் வரிசை;
துரு துரு கண்கள்;
ரெட்டை பின்னலின் ரிப்பன்;
மடித்து இட்ட துப்பட்டா;

மீண்டும் திரும்பி பார்த்தேன்;
இம்முறை எனது ரெட்டை பின்னல் காலங்களை....

அழகிய மின்னலாய்  என் மனதில்;
அன்றைய நான் தோன்றி மறைந்தேன்!

Ageing: Quiet moments teach many things....

This is something I never would have said or believed early last year...

I do agree that silence teaches things, but also like to say that silence is never completely possible in this seemingly complicated and problematic world...

This evening when I was on my regular walk on the pavement of my house, the house where I have spent all my childhood and girlhood days, I simply looked up for no reason when I thought about the ageing factor in me and my parents and the familiar neighbours whose young faces ( phases) I once knew.. True, the old phase, sadly, I never knew or realized until today's introspective evening.

The house had been repainted last year and the blue exterior didnt fade in all the rain and storm that my town went through over the last whole year. But then, there were many memories that helped me spot alll that was missing in the once beautiful backyard. Could be due to the Tsunami, the Thane, or the many cyclones and monsoons over the years, when we lost most of our garden and gardening interest. But the house still stood amidst all threats, although somewhere deep down I had a feeling that my house has aged a little... When I looked at my friend's house, where they no longer reside, I realized that the other house has aged too...

A neighbour came to chat with me for a while, so I could see her wrinkles and gray hair and generally the wisdom of old age very very clearly. I always had respect for her, but also knew the times when I had to word my message carefully when talking to her in the past.. This time, however, when she started talking, all I could see was that wisdom and a little helplessness that I knew was because of the old age setting in. Somehow my views changed about her and I spoke without any reservation for the first time with her.

It was just about time when the neighbouring tutorial center closed for the day and children started rushing out in bicycles. I noticed a group of girls, laughing away to glory, with the brightest of faces and child-like faces riding past us as we spoke.. I saw that it was the time of life for the children when most of the worry was about the History teacher or Geography maps or Maths problems or English Grammar. They are not spared either, but they could laugh often without thinking too much... It was the age that was responsible for the child-like nature in them.

When I finally was left alone to walk on the familiar pavement, I noticed that my parents had taken efforts to redo the pavement as well, although I have memories of playing in this pavement almost always until such time when Physics formulae, Chemisty equations, Botanical names, Zoological diagrams and Maths problems ate my play time!!! which I guess I will still not forgive or be able to understand why!!!!! To me, the pavement has aged and seen many rough times too along with the house...

Its the age, I realized finally; that made all the difference and is the cause for all problems in this world.
1. With age comes acceptance to many things and people in this world.
2. With age difference comes lack of understanding which is the qualifier of the term Generation Gap.
3. Trends constantly change over the years and as we age, we fail to realize that trends can never be constant as much as our views. We have problems with people younger to us and people older to us, because we feel that they must accept or understand our views and we cant follow their trends and beliefs that attach themselves to the trends.. Its the age battle that is on and not a battle between real people.
4. What was correct yesterday may seem incorrect today, because of the trend change, but often we fail to realize this because as we age, we want the world to age with us and grow old with us, which is just not JUST!!!!

So the next time there is an issue, lets try to check if it is to do with the age and hence the difference of opinion.. If yes, lets try not to mess with the words as we talk, this I guess will solve half of our personal issues with people.....

How simple it is to finally tally the moral of last evening.. Age gracefully; Accept Ageing; Respect Old Age and its beliefs; Give ageing its merit and accept its demerits as may be applicable in any given scene. Finally, SMILE.. After all, we all hope to live to see old age;

Friday, February 17, 2012

This is the best time!!!!

I have heard this many times in my life so far, at various stages... yesterday when I was talking to a friend, she told me at the end of the conversation, " This is the best time of your life.. Enjoy every moment!!!".

This statement made me recollect a few of the many times I have heard the same thing at various stages of my life...
  • When I was in school, someone studying in college had once made this remark..
  • When I was super bored with the four month gap between my school final exams and college first day, someone in college told me that this gap would be the best time of my life!!
  • When I was in first year of college, a senior made the remark..
  • When I finished college and stayed home for a few months waiting for the results and a probable job, then some working professional gave the same comment..
  • When I just joined work and didnt have much to do except observe what is happening on my senior's computer, he told me " This is the best time you can get at work "...
  •  Later, when I switched companies and had a week break between Company A and Company B, someone who had also just swtiched jobs told me that was the best time I could get ever...
  •  and then when my parents were looking out for a match for me, all the married friends of mine told me " This is the best time of your life, Enjoy "...
  • Then came the big news of my engagement.. I had just announced to some of my friends that I would be getting engaged to marry in the next few days. One of them told me that the time between saying the Big Yes and waiting for the engagement ( which in my case was four days ) is the best time of my life!!!
  • Then, when I sent the engagement photos and was receiving wishes on my engagement, many friends remarked that the time between the engagement and marriage is the best time one can probably get in life...
  • The day I got married, among the wishes and well - wishers' messages, all I recall is the line : This is the best time of your life, Enjoy!!!
  • When I told someone over the phone that I wont be in town for the next few days since I would be off on my first trip with my husband, the first line I recall is : This is the best time, Enjoy!!!!
  • Later, when we were talking married life and parenting with friends, someone remarked, " This is the best time of your life!! Enjoy while it lasts and before you get to be compelled into more responsibilities ".
  • Now, when we are expecting our little one in the next few months and I am dealing with many pleasant and not exactly comfortable situations, my friends tell me over the phone : This is the best time, Enjoy!!!

Now, thinking back, I guess, the truth is all moments are special and good in their own way; sadly we never get to realize it when we are going through it.. Which is why many people who have crossed the stage say the same remark to those who have just begun the experience. I am sure everyone thinks that the present day is not exactly great, until they have come across a day in future that is more challenging than the NOW moment..

It would never be easy to say which of the best was better than the other, at any point in our lives... but we all would definitely realize at one point that after all, there have been many best times in our lives, which we failed to notice or realize.. since we were too busy trying to think that all the challenges those times offered were the biggest possible ones that one can face in life at the various stages...and we are the only ones going through what we are going through!!!. When the next stage comes, the previous seems less problematic, mostly because we have crossed the stage and sadly we can never get back to yesterday to enjoy/experience/better it all over again.. This feeling leads to the introspection that 'yesterday was a wonderful experience in many different ways'...

From the above chain of ' This is the best time, Enjoy!!' wishes, I am inclined to conclude that in truth, every moment is good; Enjoy today for what it is and always believe that the BEST is yet to COME!!!!! :)

Monday, February 06, 2012

Morals at Stake!!

After a very long long long time I flipped channels to stay glued to an English Movie. I want to name it, but deciding against it, as it wont make a difference to the subject I have in mind.

I have always stayed away from English movies, mostly because they are loud to me sometimes, the language seems really foreign to me and also because I never grew up watching movies and never had many chances to watch English.. There has been no other real reason.

The few select movies that I watched, have always made me wonder, how in the wide world can people think of such simple story outline and make a lovely movie... I am not a movie fanatic but I like to watch good movies.. Now, what is a good movie in my terms ?? Anything that really grips my attention to the screen for longer than thirty minutes.

So, it was this afternoon, when I turned on the TV. All the channels, almost all the channels had a movie going on. I kept changing channels and finally glued on to an English movie, because the set up was nice... the stars, whose names I didn't know seemed familiar and the scene was very very realistic - of a family morning routine where the kid is lazy and the mother is trying to teach the child to discipline himself to the clock's ticking and get ready to go to school.. and the father is busy trying to chalk out his work day, know about his son's school day ahead and also his wife's work day plans, amidst breakfast and rushing out to the door... It was a total commonplace scene and the titles started playing on.. which meant, I had switched on the channel at the right time..I have always preferred watching a movie from the beginning.. so this was my final pick for the afternoon.

I put the remote aside and started staring into the screen without much expectation. The story picked up speed and I knew the story in the next five minutes to ten minutes.. I was predicting an extra-marital affair and did sense that the story is not what I thought it would be and wanted to switch off the TV. But then, somewhere deep down, I wanted to believe that there could be a nice twist to the story and that my guess could turn out false.... so treading on hopes, I continued with the same movie.

I soon realized that I could not have predicted the story line better.... Put off totally with the various scenes and incidents that the story unfolded, I switched off the TV and wanted to express my mind here in the blog.

Wonder what the actresses think? Even if it is just a movie, a fiction, the moment they are acting is so true and real and there are certain situations that penetrate deep down into people's heads and hearts as they act. Can they sleep peacefully?? Do they care about their emotional strength or their family members?? Do the directors even think anymore that there are certain things that are labelled private in this world? Or am I being conservative in their view??

Honestly, I am clueless as to the purpose of any movie making apart from money making and stardom... The actress who has worked on this movie, has gone beyond the limits to do her best, at the stake of her personal values and morals, if you ask me.... and does the director even care??

I know I am simply yelling here, but then it is totally disastrous to this growing generation however well-intended the story line is, if they don't conceal certain aspects of real life and find a way to say the most sensitive things blanketed in a neat implicit scene.

The explicit ways of displaying, expressing, and explaining everything can cause devastating damage to today's younger generation.

Will the movie makers think??

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Splash on cards

  • Life revolves around cards - Credit, Debit, Astro, or Tarot.
  • Credit cards give you the satisfaction of paying the fees for something a little late.. but the truth is you have to pay anyway.
  • Debit cards give you the benefit of not having to carry cash, but makes you spend more than you would have wished to, most times.
  • Debit cards make you forget the worth of cash. Credit cards remind you of the same when you write your check for payment.
  • When all else fails people tend to believe in Astro or Tarot cards. It is best to believe them for what they are worth, than arguing why they can't be true.
  • Credit Cards refute the statement: Never postpone what you can do today.
  • When we use credit cards, indirectly we believe in getting something for free at any given moment.
  • When we use debit cards, unconsciously we forget that money exists in this world.
  • Cards seem to make life easy... but remember, they dont seem to make financial management easy.
Inspired by the two HDFC cards lying on my table right now, as I type this email.

My thoughts on emails....

I have never believed that I can get lucky to enjoy a benefit without working for it. And still don't believe. May be would never believe.

I opened my mail box one day to check this compelling message which said, Congratulations, You have won!!! Knowing today's Internet trends of virus and hacking hobbies floating around the network, the once techie me, decided not to open the email.

The same email reached the mail box of my husband and he is fortunately a believer like me that 'Nothing comes for free'... I warned him not to open the mail, only because, where we live it is difficult to vaccinate the computer or format it over again.... We do have an anti virus software in place, still I didn't want to take a chance.

When I reached India, I saw the same email again in my mail box.I checked the Anti virus updates and decided to go ahead with the email.

The mail promised to send the lottery prize of xyz million dollars to my account if I sent across Rs.12000 to a specific account in x days time.

Now tell me this.... Who in the wide world would believe such an email, especially after so many email blunders have been floating all over the net since time unknown? Why do people do this? Even if this is an automated email, floating to many email accounts, and many such emails are in prevalence, wonder what is the thrill in having these emails sent?

Are people so jobless in this world? It irritates me to see useless forwards, some useless lucky draw invitations, lottery wins and unsolicited advices, tips and tricks to live life...

Makes me look at only personally addressed emails with some real talking or enquiries from friends.. I have literally stopped reading forwards, no matter how useful or useless they are.. I know there are many useful forwards floating around too, but then some spam emails make me totally indifferent towards even highly informative and useful email forwards.

If you are sending a forward to someone next time, make it a point to ensure that you only send useful stuff and mention it somewhere in the mail text. Else, there will come a time in the networking world when people would stop checking emails!!!!

Emails have been widely accepted practice for quite a few years now, and it is easy for people to start ignoring emails if useless emails float around. Next time you send an email, really take time to think!!!!

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Vengaya Thogaiyal

Simple and Quick Vengaya Thogaiyal is a South Indian side dish that goes well with Rotis, Plain steamed rice, or Curd rice.

What you need:

Mixer / Mixie
Ten minutes kitchen time

Ingredients:
  • Onions - 2, cut into pieces. You don't have to bother cutting them into small pieces.
  • Ural Dal - 1 spoonful
  • Mustard seeds - half tea spoon
  • Red Chilly - 2
  • Salt - to taste
  • Tamarind - to taste
  • Oil - 2 tea spoonful

How to make Vengaya Thogaiyal:
  1. Heat oil in a pan in medium flame.
  2. Add Mustard seeds.  After a few seconds add the Urad Dal as well.
  3. As the mustard seeds splitter, add the red chillies.
  4. Gently fry the Urad Dal until it turns golden brown.
  5. Add the onion pieces into the pan and fry gently until the color changes to pink or brownish pink.
  6. Beware of the charring of the Urad Dal or onion. If need be, switch off the flame and continue frying, so you save the Urad Dal from turning black.
  7. Transfer the contents of the pan onto a plate and wait for ten minutes. The contents need to cool off a bit so they are ready to be ground well into a paste.
  8. Grind them well in your mixer along with salt and tamarind. If you like, add curry leaves also along with the mix.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

What makes you do your best?

When the last of the guests left the house that evening at 5:00P.M after a very interesting family function which involved pooja, fun and food, I realised that the two day-night continuous work took an instant toll on my balance.

It is amazing how we can summon up all the strength that we possibly can and work through the days and nights to get a job done or do something to the best of our ability, and then just drop drained on the floor after the event is over.

Where does the strength come from? Is it commitment, or the resolve to give our best?  Is it the self-made promise or the traditional Indianness involving niceties such as hospitality, love and care?? Is it the satisfaction of the Smiles that you want to see on everyone's face that makes you do what you do very well?

Could be all of the above, but then when I finally went off to sleep that night, there was an immense peace that took over my senses and I really took that well deserved rest after a very long time.

Monday, January 09, 2012

Senseless advertisement!!!!

One of this is true.. Either the advertisement is senseless or it doesn't make sense only to me... and makes perfect sense to the rest of the world and is a value add to the product being advertised!!!!

I happened to see this advertisement sometime recently. An expectant mother at about her full term rushes in at top speed into a marriage hall. The scene on the stage is that the bride groom is about to tie the knot. This lady just yells " STOP".. and the people in the full-house hall turn to look at her; the bride groom is forced to stop the sacred ceremony and his hand along with the 'Mangalyam' is in mid-air; and this blessed lady says : A particular pressure cooker company is offering 'Buy One Get One Free' discount...

Now, just how important is the discount sale in the middle of a wedding ceremony? Does it matter at all? Wonder where the advertisement makers have their senses? Even if they had thought about keeping to a slight sense of humor, this advertisement does not make sense in the context of the importance of a pressure cooker!!!

The series of Ads that have been recently done for the popular pressure cooker company all try to be surely as absurd as this one.. But Why???

Which is why I am saying.. Either I have got it wrong or the advertisement is senseless!!! Which ever be the case, it has failed to impress a customer.. and I am sure many of you who can relate to this advertisement would also feel the same way..

Will the ad film makers think??

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Wishes - 2012

It has been a wonderful start for us this year... Thank God.. We had a chance to listen to Usha Uthup at a New Bash in Muscat last night. It was a good experience and a great change.

I am falling off my chair as I am typing this post, but it is determination that is keeping me awake to write what I want to...

The crowd at the venue and in many parties across the world know about enjoying New years day where as my home town Cuddalore has been hard hit by the cyclone Thane.. I wonder about these interesting names though!!!I couldn't help thinking about the other side of the world that always exists and is of course in its own world!!!!

I called up home this morning to wish my parents and sister a very happy new year 2012.

Since day before yesterday they have not been having power and the last drop of water in the over-head tank in our house got over last night. There are few shops open and some essentials are available albeit sky-rocketing cost. Few people can afford the kind of money the sellers ask for the items on sale. There are at least ten electric posts shattered on most roads and at least 100 transformers damaged in the town. Road blocks and disrupted daily routine is causing a total chaos in the town.

I had questions and concerns about the ATM, the power cut, the water, the groceries, the esentials that my folks would need at home...When asked, my father said, " we should be glad that we have a roof for shelter and food for the next few days.. You must see the rest of the town, largely dependent on the sea ( fisher men) and fields ( farmers). You will really not know how to react to their plight in today's state of affairs here in Cuddalore".

That said, he went off to supervise the crane that was working to remove the tree that has fallen on our building... Many buildings are facing this in the quiet town..

My town has been on news of such high alert magnitude only now after the Tsunami back in December 2004. I finally realized the meaning of the chinese proverb that says : Everything is funny as long as it is happening to someone else..

With all these running on my head, I am wishing everyone in my town a very happy new year 2012. I am sure none of them in the town had any thought to celebrate the break of this new year last night, although everyone is very cooperative to help each other in as many small ways as they can. This nature will take them all a long way, and I am sure the year is going to be wonderful for the town folks.

I wish the cities and the countries that had a chance to celebrate the break of new year dawn, spend a minute thinking about these natural calamities struck places ( Japan faced an earth quake this morning) and thanking their stars for their good fortune.

God Bless!!! Happy New year all of you.. This year, take time to think and thank!!!!


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