Monday, February 18, 2008

Watch out for this bus, Trivandrum-ites!

Six months of continuous 'residentship' in Trivandrum and being married to a Trivandrum resident, qualifies me as a budding Trivandrum-ite (I hope). [My bank thinks otherwise, though — it took quite a bit of cajoling to open account with them.]

With that assurance lemme move forward...

This beautiful city has a fondness for things from the past. I learnt today, buses are, perhaps, one amongst those.

Hubby dear n I were on the way home after a — burrrrrrrrrrrrp — heavy lunch, happy n content with the world, except for minor problems like unpaid loans, financial quandary, my dismal job hunt and so on.

We had the ancient ruins of a KSRTC bus chug-chugging along in front us. For the uninitiated, most KSRTC buses operating on the roads are prehistoric relics that ought to be right at the bottom of a junk pile that belongs to some bygone era. They are rickety, long past their expiry dates and beg to be put to sleep, failing which, they take their revenge by knocking down pedestrians, give up on their drivers or by riding straight into a fellow vehicle.

We overtook the bus and were just past the rear when the bus goes Pooooof! A huge blast of pitch black smoke from it's dented mangled side and we were thrown into darkness in just a second. Hubby dear slammed on the brakes 'cos we can't see a thing!

This bus, I bet, is one of the chief contributors to air pollution in this part of the country! And our car's one shade darker than it was in the morning.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Aviators and Peeling Shallots

I just can't resist telling you a short story before I get to the actual topic...

I love to cook. I love to eat. If someone else does the cooking, even better — as long as the 'someone' is not my neighbour (she loves to dole out a vile pork preparation sopped in vinegar).

I took to cooking like duck to water. Even though most of my preparations are not palatable for the lesser mortals, they are passable with a few really good ones.

I've had my moments of glory, like the day when my classmate let me have the entire box of my sandwiches after trying out just one bite. Maybe she just didn't want to deprive me of the pleasure of eating my own sandwiches.

Cooking my own dishes means, cutting up veggies and 'other things' — including fingers — myself. 'Other things' include onions and shallots.

To the uninitiated, shallots are the smaller version of onions. Whatever it is that makes your eyes water, is found in a more concentrated form in shallots. And since they are small, you need to peel more of them to get a sufficient quantity.

My clever mother (now you know why am so clever) gets me to peel all the shallots. I end up having swollen red eyes and a runny nose. Mom said I'll get used to it.

It's been more than 10 years now, and yes, I got used to it. But my eyes havn't.

I've tried many techniques to lessen the misery. Refusing to peel shallots being one of them. But for the betterment of the humankind, and of course, to restore peace at home, I always dutifully complied.

But today, I discovered that wearing a pair of Aviators (Ray Ban and no less) while peeling shallots give you a temporary relief. They tell you to 'Never Hide'. I disagree completely. They have no idea what a relief it is to hide your delicate eyes from the harmful effects of the shallot-fumes!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Just a Thought...

I've actually paused a movie am watching midway just to write this down...

Been watching a lot of movies lately... Sometimes 2 a day... Sometimes more than 2... Basically, I've been doing a lot of movie-watching, which is why am passing this comment...

I feel the most used word in English movies, contemporary ones, would be... the F-word! You know which one I'm talking 'bout...

It's a lot of F-word being used...

Not that I have anything particularly against it... Nothing for it, either. I hear a lot of it being used by some friends... I don't use it myself. Not 'cos am morally driven not to use it. No. Here, am not at all sitting in judgement over it's usage — is it right, is it wrong. NO.

I just find it so lacking in meaning, so unnecessary, to constantly punctuate your sentences with it, like chocolate chips in cookies, a poke here, a poke there... So unnecessary and meaningless.

[On second thoughts, chocolate chips in cookies are very necessary and are full of meaning. So that would be a totally inappropriate comparison.]

But listening to it every other minute, during a movie, with an average of 2 movies a day, drove me to write this...

Lemme get back to my movie.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

I don't lie... I swear! ;>

Lemme start by telling you that I don't lie. I only say untruths. hehe! And Mark Twain's my favourite 'untruther'.

I think what I say falls into two categories — truths and untruths. There's no slot for lies. And whatever falls under the banner 'Untruth' is basically some effort by my under-developed imagination. And I love exercising my imagination. All of us ought to do it, you know. More untruths, more muscle-pumping in the imagination department.

But things like 'Drink your milk and you can fly like Superman' belongs under the banner 'Lie'. Now that's unfair, don't you think? We shouldn't lead kids to think in such superlatives as growing up to be Superman! Gimme a break!

Untruths may also be an effort to 'shield' your loved ones from harsh realities (Read: Goof-ups).

But delivering an untruth requires a kind of finesse (or, craftiness, whichever way you look at it) that most people don't have. I come under that category. I learnt that the hard way...

I did bio-chem-phy during my (10) +2, a.k.a. under-graduation, PUC. As usual, the pressures of producing projects in each subject lead my project group to 'stray off the beaten path'. Some of you may call that cheating. What we actually did was to 're-represent' a Chemistry project done by a senior batch.

The D-Day arrived and the External Examiner — sounds more like the Executioner — starts to interrogate us on our Chemistry projects. My team's turn comes up and, as usual, Murphy waves his wand over me, and I get called first. Gulllp!

We went through the preliminaries smoothly. The topic of the project, what I learnt from it, conclusions and so on. She went on to ask where I did the project. I told her XYZ Factory. She became very interested and asked me who the guide was, at the factory. Mr. ABC was our seniors' guide. Since I don't like to deviate from a script and since I respect copyrights held by our seniors I told my examiner, it was Mr. ABC.

At this point, she was extremely interested, sat forward in her chair, and this pleased me no end! Finally, here was an examiner who knew my guide and may, perhaps, be so impressed that my team might get bucketfull of points. She asked me exactly WHEN we did this project. Since the time we were supposed to have done it was just the previous month, I told her that too.

What's the harm, you might think... She drove a stake into my heart telling me, ever so calmly, that Mr. ABC is her husband(!!), and he had retired 3 years earlier (!!!) and my seniors were the last team whom he helped.

Well, all's well that ends well, and we did get respectable points. Afterall, I never lied. ;>

What an Insect!

It's been a while since I nourished my blog... Let's begin with some random jottings 'bout insects... Why, you may ask...

Well, I came across this piece of news just now... They've discovered an ancient fossil (tell me 'bout a fossil that's brand-new. hehehe!) of a sea scorpion and artistic reconstruction on that revealed that this one was perhaps 8-ft long! Gulp!

Well, at least that's something to work on and get over the 'writer's block'!

Imagine having insects as big as those in this day and age! You can't even swat them. Awwww my gaawwwwd!

Am terrified of most insects... well, most, not all. How 'bout you?

Spiders freak me out like anything. Especially those big, brown ones with fat, juicy bellies. And cockroaches too.

Have you ever felt that insects, as a general rule, tend to be overbearing trying to invade your personal space? Like, crawl up your back, over your head, coming to rest on your forehead and that's when you actually get to know this thing has been creeping up on you...

Some of that impudence might be 'cos they are haughty and pretentious as their ancestors happened to be 8-ft long or thereabouts... hmm...

My brother owns an ant cemetery. It's right on top of his desk, below the sheet of glass that protects the table top. Looks like hundreds of red specks. Sometimes it's creepy (creepy is such an insecty word, eh?). Ants peep out from under the keys in the keyboard and march up his arms. hehehe! Oh, his office is otherwise clean...

Since this post is going no where and the only aim is to finally get my lazzzzzy brain to work and my lazzzy fingers to type, I'll conclude (mercifully). Yawwwwn!

Sunday, July 22, 2007


Hmmm... It's been quite a while since I posted anything... So I decided to resume with a topic that I feel very strongly about... Kids!

Now, if you are thinking that I'll go on and on about my motherly instincts awakening, you've got another think coming, pal!

Somehow all the kids in my life (I don't have any of my own yet)... they seem to be very frank about expressing their thoughts, especially when those thoughts have something to do with me.

Heard the one about kids being very innocent and so, they say things with a frankness and honesty that you don't find in adults? I suspect the truth behind that. Cos, whenever kids say somethin about me, I always feel they have a grudge against me. You don't believe me? Well, read on...

My friend's sis was getting her daughter ready after a bath, the usual creaming and powdering that moms do after subjecting their kids to the strenuous activity of a bath. The kid was lying down on the bed... My friend and I were watching her with the kind of indulgence that only aunts can feel. I was, as usual, grinning from ear to ear. The kid, looking up at me and pointing her finger, said, "Teeth!" with much conviction and confidence that that was indeed a set of teeth that she was looking at. Archimedes wouldn't have shouted 'Eureka' with as much confidence.

Now, it's another matter that I had braces on my teeth, and that, well, I have large teeth. But when a li'l kid notices it and points at it... That's not the kind of limelight you want to bask in, you know. Imagine your teeth becoming the cynosure of all eyes. hehehe!

The 'Teeth' incident was repeated yet again when I was introduced to my neighbour's son. He hadn't started speaking yet. The first thing he did after we were introduced to each other was tap on his teeth with one finger and point straight at me with the other. This time I din't have braces on my teeth, mind you. There's something 'bout my teeth, alright.

Then there was this incident when my neighbour's son (yes, again) told his dad about how I roll my eyes. Now, it's not the matter of rolling my eyes that got my goat, 'cos I roll my eyes a lot. My neighbour's son has just started using words in a sensible manner. Till now it had been baby-talk. So when a kid starts to enunciate clearly and your eyes become the centre of his conversation with his dad, um, you get a li'l uncomfortable.

I got uncomfortable 'cos the only time I've rolled my eyes at him was when he picked my (only) expensive vase and was ready to drop it on the floor. Since his doting mom was nearby and I couldn't afford the luxury of scolding the kid, I resorted to the only thing I could do — roll my eyes. Now that he has started to tell his dad about the 'neighbour aunty' rolling her eyes at him, I'd better be careful — bout the vase, cos I can't stop rolling my eyes... it's a habit that's stuck with Superglue.

The other day, I found my hair to be very obedient and I had left it loose, happy about how good it looked (and made a note of the shampoo I used this time, I might add). The bell rang 8 times in go, which meant it was my neighbour — she finds it perfectly normal to ring the bell anything between 7 to 13 times in one row, her finger sticks to the switch. I opened the door. Her son (who else?) had also come along. The moment he saw me, he hid behind his mom's skirt, which was very unusual. (His usual practise is to rush to my clothes-stand and pull out all the clothes to the floor). I was puzzled. But my neighbour, generous as she is, clarified the situation — he was terrified of seeing me with my hair open. Well, beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder.


Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Best Time of the Day

Any guesses about what's the best time of the day? Ok, time out! I'll tell ya...
I find the first one hour of office time the best!
It's the most peaceful, most sane, most lucid slot of time in the entire day!
That's the time when I settle into my seat, my personal office space. Turn on my computer, my only ally — barring those moments when I'm are in a hurry and my ally acts up. Unoccupied seats here and there. A general cover of silence.

In this one hour, I finish my first cup of coffee, look around doing nothing, check my e-mails, go through those Post-its stuck whereever there is space around the monitor and every available bit on the table, scan my e-newspaper, wondering about the day ahead and arrange my things — which can be anything from files, books, notes, papers, mails, to anything.

This is that one hour before I start worrying about all the first-thing-in-the-morning promises I made yesterday. And I have those 'visions' of the boss glaring and grinding his teeth over something I missed out yesterday. And I 'hypothesise' about the time I'm going to sign-out of office in the evening — what time will it be today?