Friday, 26 June 2009

If I knew then what I know now

This is an entry for ammani's blog post about writing a letter to your teen-self:

Dear teenage me,
Did you know life is only as predictable as death? So stop wasting too much of your time in planning for the future and live (and love) each day. All your zits will not last forever; a day will come when you will fail to remember that you once had a face as bumpy as the road. You will have a crush on a boy as frequent as the power cuts (in India), don’t feel bad if ‘the one’ doesn’t ever notice you. There will a ‘special someone’ who will never tire of looking at you. Parents will always be your support system, never be too angry to say sorry, even if you think they are wrong. Your brother might seem to be the most irritating creature now but he will be the one who takes your side when your parents don’t approve of the guy you love. All those slam books that you are collecting now will just be a memory, that’s because there will be something called facebook in the future. Eat all the cake and sweets you want, tomorrow you will be worried about the calories. No one is perfect and the same applies to you, never be afraid of committing mistakes, your life will shape up better once you learn from them. There will be difficult times and you might lose hope but believe me they will pass. People who don’t know you will always judge you; it’s not worth changing anything for them. Your politeness and shyness will always be labelled as being too proud, do not pull yourself further in to the shell. Enjoy the long and lazy summer vacations, later on; a two-week break will require so much planning, scheduling and spending. Do not sulk if your parents don’t buy everything you wish for, every single time, they are just trying to prepare you for the life ahead. Don’t be in a hurry to grow old, you will wish you had stayed young when you get here. Loosen up, enjoy life and always believe that there are better things coming your way.


Jacko R.I.P (Aug 25 1958 - Jun 25 2009)

As a teenager I was introduced to English pop music with Michael Jackson. The world of pop music was fast, exciting, and to me it was MJ. His music, ‘gravity defying’ dance moves, the famous ‘moon walk’ and not to mention his hairdo was a craze amongst so many. You can never fail to see a MJ performance in the numerous dance competitions from schools to TV shows. His contributions to music have been tremendous and he will be one of the greatest showman and entertainer in the world ever.

Monday, 22 June 2009

The Handshake

We were summoned in to the head wardens office to be informed that the following week Queen of England will be visiting Kalakshetra and we were supposed to stand at the entrance of Kalakshetra and greet her. The enormity of the event did not strike us back then. There was always someone or the other coming to Kalakshetra. I would have probably been more excited to meet Prince William than his grand mother.

Our warden kept reminding us in her 'oh so sweet' voice that we were supposed to be in our Sunday best to greet her majesty. Our Sunday best was no fancy frocks or gowns, we had to wear our washed uniforms, which happened to be an off white and green combo pavadai davani (half saree), thank god they did not make us wear the orange and purple combo! October 16th 1997 was the day, It arrived and so did the queen. Before her arrival there was a swarm of body guards and press. We waited patiently as the security measures were checked and rechecked. Suddenly there was buzz in the air and the officers in charge scrambled around importantly, announcing she is almost here and we craned our necks to the winding roadway in hope of catching a glimpse. The car scuttled on the mud roads sending a puff of brown dust everywhere and her majesty got down just when it cleared. It was like watching one of those Tamil movies where they show the heroine's beautiful face clearing through the mist. She patiently walked around greeting us and occasionally shaking hands. Everyone wanted a handshake and you could definitely sniff the competition in the air for getting a brief hand shake. All of us were eyeing each other and extending hands in the hope of getting one. I was a little dejected that I was not one of the "fortunate one's". When you actually think about it now it just seems so silly! After all that preparation the meeting with Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip lasted approximately less than 5 minutes... We had hoped to pull off some more time shaking hands I suppose. There were days when I couldn't brag enough about this incident to my colleagues at the part - time job. They always oohed and aaahed about it, of course the secret being that I included a tiny non- existent detail, the handshake ;)

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

A weekend in Paris

Last month we sailed from Dover to Calais and took another 3 hours, by coach, to reach the city of Paris. It was a long and tiring journey and we were beginning to regret the short holiday even before stepping outside our hotel rooms. After a short freshening up session we headed for the boat ride on river Seine to see Paris by night. I fell in love with the city on the first sight. I gaped and looked in awe as all the monuments and buildings came alive, from my history of architecture text book. Me and S struggled to give some of the buildings a name even if the structure looked familiar enough. River Seine certainly dominated the social scene. With the day being hot and long, people were gathered around the river with friends, drinking and chatting away. I wish I had the luxury to sit around and admire the scene, soak in the ambience and gawk at nothing in particular but we were pressed for time. At the end of the boat ride when we reached the dock near Eiffel tower, it was quite dark and the tower was bathed in golden splendour and just as we thought nothing could top this, there were thousands of tiny light flashing on the tower and it looked like it was studded with diamonds.

An early start on the next day with a sumptuous breakfast saw us heading back to the Eiffel tower. This time we were going to see its naked beauty illuminated under the golden rays of sun. I was quite excited as this was the first time we were going to be in close proximity to the mammoth structure. The enormity of the Eiffel tower hits you only when you stand a few feet away and struggle to take a look at the towering structure, as a whole. Usually anything huge is considered monstorous, however the Eiffel tower humbles you with its elegance and curves even after being so big. The best part though is being on top of the third floor deck. You can see almost up to 40 miles of the city stretch out beneath you, a feeling of being on top of the world. It definitely makes you wonder how Gustav Eiffel and his team put it together 120 years ago. Also the fact is that the Parisians initially hated the structure and did not realize the identity it would give to their city. While most of them had a change in their attitude after seeing the finished project, there were some who continued to loathe it. One among them, a famous french novelist (Guy de Maupassant), was said to eat regularly at a restaurant on the tower’s second floor. His reason being, that is the only place in Paris from where he was sure he wouldn’t see the tower.

After lunch we proceeded to Louvre museum to see the 'ever smiling' Mona Lisa and many others. After going through rooms and rooms of Italian paintings we could see a mob of people gathered around her. We struggled to catch a glimpse of her and after a good 10 minutes got to a chance to do so. There were so many exhibits in the museum but we had just 2 hours to cover the entire place, so we hurried from one to room to another and tried to see the sections that interested us the most. I have always liked the glass prism that stands in front of the museum, since my college days, also it merged in so well with the existing structure. Another land mark that we went to was the palace of Versailles, living quarters of the denounced King Louis XVI. The most remarkable feature of the palace were the gardens that stretched for acres. After two days of hectic sight seeing we could not muster courage to sit through the coach and the ferry journey to get back to London but nevertheless the trip was well worth the tiredness. I would love to go back to Paris and spend some quality time without having to hurry and no we are never taking the ferry again!

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Hard Bargaining

I have been going on and on about joining the gym from the time we arrived here. After procrastinating for 4 months I decided to do something about it. The gym is hardly a 10 minute walk from the house and I pass it a hundred times every week and yet there I was sitting on my couch, munching away and watching the idiot box.. Guilt was gnawing me every time I carelessly shoved something in my mouth. Well couple of days back when I was done with my vegetable (and etc. etc.) shopping and happened to saunter past the gym (with a big bulging Tesco bag, filled with fruits, vegetables and what not).Maybe it was the heavy bag ( I needed to put it aside and sit for a few minutes) or the weight of the issue in my head, it prompted me to walk past the door and was greeted by a nice lady, who asked me to fill in my general details.

The manager (an Indian lady) showed me around the gym and lastly took me to the lounge to talk money... She outlined what they would do and lined up everything while I patiently waited for the vital information. After a good 15 minutes she started jotting down the membership fees for various time period and I was a little shocked since their display window told another story. Once I asked her about that she explained to me that the offer just expired yesterday. I eyed her suspiciously and she showed me the fine print on the pamphlet which stated the end date... Now she understood that a few freebies had to be thrown in to rope me for the memebership. After that this is how the conversation went:

Me: Hmmmm... Shall I think about it and get back to you later.
Her: If you sign in now, then I can cut your joining fee down to £20 from £25. So..
Me: Hmmm... Maybe..But still I think I should ask my husband and then decide.
Her: How about I cut it right down to £17.50
Me: ****???(Gleefully thinking that maybe I could continue with my act and get the fee nulled..hee..hee...hee)
Her: I could potentially also add a 6 week challenge program, which costs £99 by itself.. So you can benefit from 6 sessions with our personal trainers.
Me: Continue to stare at the sheet of paper in front of me with a thoughtful nod (Thinking to myself, "Could I possibly get more from her???)
Her: OK! I cant go any further down from this... I will reduce your joining fee to £15 and will also deduct the 12 days from this month , so effectively you will pay from tomorrow.
Me: Thank you! I will definitely join but can't sign up today and I can only do it tomorrow
(I realize that she will not go down any further and also I was anyways not planning to pay
for those 12 days girl... duh!)
Her: A sigh of relief!!

Recession sure is making everyone work twice as hard.. Either that or maybe she thought I really needed the exercise. I wonder what sort of a treatment I would have got had the economy not been so bad. Anyways end of the day I am an Indian and I sure like a good deal :)... It's a sense of achievement when we pay a lot lesser than the asking price. Isn't it?

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Caught Reading - 1

I have decided to write a little about the books that I am reading and probably update a review once I finish the book. Hope I follow it through till the end. Books are my best friends for the moment (apart from IPL) and once the reading begins I transport myself into another world. Nothing can distract me, as I read the scene unfolds in my head like a movie. No wonder that the movies adapated from books dont thrill me so much due to high expectations(The Harry Potter series, Da Vinci code, hoping to catch the Angels and Demons in the cinemas...hope its does some justice to the book)...

Currently I am hooked on to John Grisham's 'The Appeal' .Having almost reached halfway through the book, the journey so far has been interesting. The book is for those who like legal thrillers. I love books that have anything to do with crime, a shot of thrill, adventure, mystery, the Indian authors and must confess that I also like those girly fictions (not the M&B's) like the Shopaholic series, Marian Keyes and etc.etc... Please suggest some titles for me to embark on in the future.

Coming back to the book, Its a story that in a way has its base line adapted from the movie Erin Brockovich, the fight between a cancer stricken county and a Chemical giant. How the Chemical giant plays and tries to resurrect his company with the aid of the Supreme Court appeal, even after being proved guilty by the jury is the story. I am hoping it will have a unexpected end to it. Happy reading everyone!

Monday, 27 April 2009

Grass is always greener on the other side..

A friend of mine casually asked me if I miss work? At that instant I could not process all my feelings in to a short sentence. I fumbled for a compromising answer and conveniently changed the subject. After the conversation the question kept circling in my head and I actually made an effort to think it through.

I must admit I miss work quite a lot. More than the work itself, I think I missed being a professional and getting a paycheck at the end of every month. The Starbucks coffee , the Pret a manger yogurt , a warm croissant from the french bakery nearby contributed to a perfect start for my day. Morning meetings, working under pressure , lunches spent gossiping about the other colleagues, trying to be awake at 3 pm with a strong dose of caffeine, looking forward to the wrapping up session, getting home and making a half attempt to cook (most of the times decide to get a takeaway) and slopping in to the bed with a book or a movie. It was the same routine and then looking forward to the weekends and occasional long weekends was so much more exciting.

However having said that there are umpteen number of days where I have wished and longed for being able to sit at home and do nothing at all. Now when I actually get to do it, I long for me to get a job and work long hours. Do we ever want one thing!! life would be so much simpler otherwise..

Friday, 24 April 2009

Fake IPL player.. Who is he?

I just happened to catch the grapevine on the fake IPL player's blog. He claims to be a Kolkata Knight Rider's team member and has a dig at the management and players equally. The questions that arise are whether he really is a player or just a random guy with lots of imagination. Regardless of his identity or authenticity, the blog has caught up with the cricket frenzy junta. Kolkata Knight Riders management is on the lookout for the blogger and we will know in a few days if this was all for real or a big cook up. I am sure it is someone trying to get smart and noticed by spinning some tales but apparently the officials are a little flustered about this blog, since it gives in a few accurate details about the happenings in the team. For anyone who is curious or as jobless as me :) the blog address is . One look at the blog confirmed my suspicions of it being a big hoax but who know's maybe I am wrong...

P.S : The content in the blog is suitable for over 18's only..

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Restricted entry!

Every time I am invited to a party or get together in a pub/nightclub I need to carry an ID (has to be a passport as I dont own a licence and nor am I a student) to flash at the bouncers. I tut tut about their inability to see through the appearance in to the wiser and older me but within I have a smug grin brimming. Its a real nice feeling when people say or think that you don't look your age. S thinks I always expect to be asked for an ID and I have never been disappointed. Not sure what I would do when my wish to stay young is overruled by the weary years settling themselves, slowly, on me.

However the heights of it was when I was asked for an ID in ASDA to buy a set of harmless knives. Naturally I did not expect that and was not armed with my passport. I had to fumble in my bag for all sorts of cards and didn't find anything that could rescue me out of the sticky situation. Thankfully a few assurances and pleads later the nice lady let me have them. I either looked young or looked like a gangsta!! Hmmmm..

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Rain and holidays

Today after the match between Rajasthan Royals and Mumbai Indians was abandoned due to rains, I kept wondering if the cricketers were jumping with joy. Its quite hard to imagine those guys jumping with joy, yet imagination has no bounds.I mean that is exactly what I would do, given the situation. I did three years of my schooling in Kalakshetra (as a hostel student) and it is extremely difficult to get a day off under the probing and watchful eyes of our wardens. Rains bring in the much needed relief from the mundane activities like going to school and doing homework, since we had classrooms with thatched roof...yeah you read it right!

If you thought I would grow up after becoming a professional then you are definitely wrong. Just a couple of months after I started my first job, it poured cats and dogs in Chennai. Well Adyar was not quite drowned into water like Velachery but still we had enough water logging to keep in to the confines of the house. I was jumping with joy that I got two days of free holiday. Even my friend was overjoyed at the prospect of sitting and watching the cable TV instead watching the same old 'shanians' (losers) at office. Once we knew that a few of our team members had actually turned up in spite of the heavy rains, we had an hour long cursing session about the 'udavakarais' (jobless people) because of whom we were at a disadvantage of losing the 'free holiday'.

This year after me and S got back to UK on a Saturday and Sunday passed in a haze. I was dreading the Monday as I had to be alone in the house, not scared but just scared of being lonely after having spent 2 months with my family and numerous relatives. On that Monday it snowed so heavy that the whole of London was shut off, without any transport...Boy was I happy!.. I am sure most of us are happy to get these freebies and if someone complains about them then either there is something seriously wrong with them or they are just putting up an act.

Cross connection!

When I stand and wait for a bus, everything except the one that I need, pass me by. Finally when it does arrive late, it is stuffed with enough load to stop the driver from opening the doors. I helplessly look around and decide to walk to the station, every few steps I turn to check if there is another bus coming this way and after walking a good distance I can see it shuttling to the stop. My brain says I wont make it, yet before the signal reaches to my feet it takes off and I find myself back in the same situation, waiting at the bus stop, the bus fading away slowly.
Do you ever listen to me god?? I guess there is a cross talk every time I ask you something. Time to change your connection!

Friday, 17 April 2009

IPL - It is back!!

Schooldays vividly bring me back to the times where me and my brother would spend long hours watching cricket matches (even during my exams). There was tension in the air accompanied by loud sighs during wickets and bangs on the table for any joyous moment. I always enjoyed the ODI's (One Day International's) and only caught up with the highlights for the Test matches. Somehow did not have the patience to sit and watch the snail paced innings. So much was the love for cricket that I even decided to go for a cricket match at MA Chidambaram stadium, Chennai for a ODI between India and New Zealand. I was all geared up with sketched out plans to rush on to the door step of the dressing room to get an autograph from Sachin but sadly the play was stopped midway due to rains and I got back empty handed. I loved Sachin Tendulkar, he was always my favourite, didnt really matter if he hit a century or was out without any run!

It was all well and good until the time when they brought in the Set top boxes.. We did not get the sports channel under the 'free view' and somehow I did not notice the lack of interest I had for the game until it was too late, it just died a natural death without any pain and suffering. Even with no interest in the game I continued to like Sachin (there was no dearth of him in the Television ads).

Then came the IPL, I was blown over by the game yet again. I loved the fast paced, action packed games. I loved the fact that all the biggies of the International cricket played against each other on one big stage. Most of all I loved the time period involved in watching those games. It was like watching a block buster movie, 3 hours of sheer bliss. Fave cricketing heroes battling it out on the ground, adrenaline charged audience, Shahrukh Khan, Preity Zinta, Katrina Kaif and many more celebrities playing the supporting roles and not to mention the freqent appearances of fours and Sixes (some would not fail to mention the sexy cheerleaders and their moves!!)... It has definitely suceeded in getting me hooked to the game. Tomorrow the heat is on once again and IPL makes a comeback. I was hoping it will be played in England so that we could catch a match or two but sadly it is being played in South Africa. Anyways as long as S subscribes for the Setanta sports I have no problem. It is going to be amazing to see the international crowd cheering for Chennai Super Kings, Rajasthan Royals, Mumbai Indians, Kolkata Knight Riders, Delhi Daredevils, Kings XI Punjab, Deccan Chargers and Royal Challengers Bangalore. Bring it on!!!

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

The much awaited Long weekend..

The Long weekend did not seem so long after all. Thursday was spent anticipating the weekend and Friday arrived with very little promise of a holiday as the sky was overcast with rain bearing clouds, threatening to pour down any minute. Also conveniently S had loads of office work to do and hence as usual the day was spent with internet movies, games and the occasional walk to the kitchen to bring 'snacks'. Saturday dawned, again with little hope weather wise, however we decided to head to the travel agents to book our holiday to France, only to be told we needed more documents!! We returned with little enthusiasm and decided to have a lunch (eat as much as you can) at a Chinese restaurant near home. S decided to work a lot more and even worked through the night (??? I was surprised when I got up at 5 to see him doing area calculations but nothing stopped me from going back to sleep). From morning 10 to 4 in the afternoon we both worked on his project...phew! At 5 both decided enough was enough and went to the temple in Tooting for blessings from the almighty and some yummy modakam (Sweet), followed by pani puri(not in the temple!!) at a Gujarati snack shop and after getting a pottalam of 'jalebis' (sweet) and stuffing our faces at Chutney and Dosa (Indian restaurant at Tooting) we finally headed back home.

I hoped and hoped for a bright Monday, my prayers were answered. Even though the day started off cloudy, by mid afternoon it was clear that there was going to be lots of sun. We both hopped in to a train to Brighton and in just 45 min time were left gawking at the turnout in the Brighton beach. Everyone was fighting for space to lie down. There were happy kids, even more happier babes (with skimpy clothes), guys exposing their bare bodies and dogs having a fun day chasing seagulls. Everyone seemed so happy and I kept wondering what a little bit of sun can do to the usually grumpy Brits. It was fun to feel the sun streaming down on us (Same situation in Chennai and I would not have dared to step out of the house). We both had a great time walking around and exploring the place and the end of the day I looked like a 'kaanja karuvadu' (dried fish) and yet it did not dampen my spirits. I would say, it was a perfect end to a not- so - perfect weekend! From today it is going to be back to square one. Also wishing everyone a happy tamil new year and vishu ( a little belated!). More laters.

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Plight of immigrant workers in U.A.E

I happened to watch 'Panorama' on BBC. It is an investigative TV- show that goes undercover to bring out the truth on various issues. On Monday they focused on the condition of construction workers in Dubai. It was really disheartening to see the workers slogging themselves for 6 days a week(12 hour shifts) with no basic facilities. Most of them are from India, Pakistan,Bangladesh and China. They have come in hoards to the city of glitter and riches, to earn more money and better their lives. Reality hits home only after they reach. They have been given poor accommodation, toilets and bathrooms with no taps, sewage collected all around their dwellings and most importantly no wages for long periods or lower than promised wages. It is horrific to see the conditions that they have been subject to. Abused and tortured they strive to pay their loans, without sending home any money for a year or two. This show brings to light the plight of immigrant construction workers who help build the multimillionaire luxurious properties in Dubai and aptly termed as 'Slumdogs and Millionaires'. It is a pity that the governments in U.A.E are not able to address the issues of the immigrant workers who help to add glitter to their cities, with no rewards for their hard work. This is the link to the web pages and link2, with a detailed report on the same issue.

Monday, 6 April 2009

Music to my ears!

Music (carnatic music) lessons and me date back to a time when I was just four. My parents always thought I have a 'sweet' voice and hoped that I would some day sing professionally. Little did the know then that I would never do just that. I was the kid who made everyone close their eyes and not look at me before I decided to sing. I would fuss for about 15 mins to sing something for 5min. Once the singing started I was fine and everyone usually complimented me for my 'sweet' voice but I definitely had starting problems. Also the other thing was I have never learnt music under one single person, I have had too many teachers. Every time I moved to a new place I started over from the basics of Sa Re Ga Ma Pa (Sarali varisai) ... the explanation being every teacher had his or her own style of imparting gyan (knowledge).. Hence I have never gone past varnams in my life. I had 2 teachers in Bhilai, 2 in Bombay (Mumbai) and then I was in kalakshetra for 3 years and after that started over with another teacher in Chennai...Phew... Quite a lot right?

However I can never forget one among the whole lot. We were in Bombay and as usual I was enrolled in to the music classes. I had hour long classes on a day in the week and one day over the weekend. I used to literally dread both of them as he was very strict. He used to come sharp at the time meant for classes and if there was a delay even by a couple of minutes, I would hope and pray that he will not be able to make it. God was never on my side, he always turned up.grrr... Next attempt to stall the classes would be to try and search for my music book as slowly as possible. Well couldn't do much there as my mom always helped me find it!! Damn! The classes would begin and he would ask me to start singing and hell would break loose. Every time I would make a mistake he would stop me and ask me to repeat that particular sangadhi (notes) and then keep screaming ILA...ILA..(NO...NO..) till I got it right. Believe me it was hard work. This would happen in every 3 minutes. I am the kind of person who gets very nervous if someone starts to scream and to actually find out 'what went wrong' during this process is impossible. I used to start stuttering even more. Imagine this situation when you have guests at home..Eew.. I have had some horrible days. My uncle still remembers my music lessons and the ILA...ILA...and has a good laugh. Thankfully all my other teachers were really cool and I learnt quite a lot from everyone.

Thursday, 2 April 2009

Summer arrives (slowly)

Yesterday, as I walked with a spring in my step to meet my husband at the station, a slight warm breeze rustled and lifted my spirits. I suddenly realized it was 19:30 and the light rays from a descending sun were still guiding me through. Yippee! Summer is almost here...I am loving it!

A Broken Promise

I know I promised I will not do this once again..I tried so hard not to. When the time came to resist, it was a disaster. Your dark smooth luscious skin and your curves was a big big temptation! I needed something to distress me...What with the so many stressful worldly issues like recession, jobs G20 summit blah blah and issues on my personal front, like the the mouse in my kitchen ...I needed a distraction from my quiet, pure, serene and bored life. You were the only one who could give me the excitement.Also the other reason was that when I tried breaking away a piece, you were always eager to come in 4...Not my problem!!
Its not like I am wiping away your entire species! You guys are all over the place. It wont really hurt to lose one of you guys...

Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Door Delivery!

One of the best things about being in India is the access to all the small luxuries in life. Be it going around in car driven by a driver, a cook who makes whatever your palette desires, a maid who cleans your house everyday, ironing lady who comes to collect your clothes and brings it back to your door step, Vegetable vendors selling fresh veggies and fruits on the go, autos that stop in front of you with a small flip of you hand (sometimes they stop even when you don't really need them to!!), watchmen who run to buy milk and other groceries if you need them NOW!, small grocers who deliver to your doorstep. In contrast you also have the food worlds and Reliance fresh's where you can go armed with a trolley and bring back all the 'foreign maal'. Hmmm.. really makes you feel like its some sort of paradise when you look from the other side of the world.. I really miss home..

I wanted to bake a cake today but realized that I don't have all the ingredients. Not really in a mood to zip up my coat, scarf and shoes (thats the other thing, in India you could just walk out with a casual jean, tee and flip flops) to go all the way to a supermarket just to get some flour ( I would rather buy the cake ;) )... How I would love to have a 'Vijaylakshmi stores' (the grocery shop near my house in Chennai) and get it home delivered with just a phone call. Boo Hooo!!!

Friday, 27 March 2009

The one in which we decided to swim!!

I have always heard people say that swimming and cycling are skills that once honed will never be forgotten. Says who??? Or maybe its just me. It was a long time back and me and my roommate (H) were thinking of ways to beat the bulge. We were university students and H was really good at cooking, that pretty much sums up the situation. Apart from a few hours of part time job we didn't have much to do. Kellogg's Special K- the slimmer waist challenge was not for us...I couldn't dream of eating that for 2 times a day... So the box was ignored on to a corner of the kitchen counter till we moved out. Next was the Chinese tea. It was effective for a few days and after that we just didn't want to drink that anymore. After so many things we finally decided tampering with food was not for us!! We needed our pastas ,milkshakes, lasagnas, cookies and desserts.

H decided swimming was the solution since she had tried it before and had seen results in a very short time. I was not very sure. Gym was something that I could relate to....I had not swam for more than a 15 years but nevertheless got coaxed by H to give it a try. At some point I got very excited about swimming, actually started to believe in myself that I would start kicking my hands and legs on instinct once I am in the pool. We both set out to Primark to get me a swimming costume. That was the most exciting part of this whole experience (obviously for me!). I bought a beautiful 2 piece with small sequins sewed all over it and was ready to go.

Finally we went to the council leisure center for a swim. After flashing our student ids to get a discount, we went to the the changing rooms. I was a bag of nerves, a little bit of anticipation and fear. I went into the pool and the water level came up to my shoulders. H asked me to hold onto the side rail and start kicking my legs in the water while she warmed up . That was easy, after a few minutes she asked me to start swimming and I tried but in vain... Dived straight into the water and came back gasping for breath....Oh no!! not working for me... It felt like I had never learned to swim. Exactly at that moment a group of rowdy school students came and lunged into the pool. After too many trials H decided I needed a float initially. When we asked the lifeguard for a float he refused.... But why???Cheeky guy... After a lot of begging he threw me one. I held that and splashed around the pool. The school kids had a gala time laughing their heads out when they spotted me. God, it was really embarrassing and I decided to finish my lesson.I went and stood in a corner and waited for H to finish her laps. She felt bad for me and ended her session quicker than planned. After that incident I have absolutely refused to go anywhere near a swimming pool. H had to change her swimming partner:)... I still have the swimming costume in my cupboard and every time it reminds me of the disaster. Maybe I will pick up my courage and go for a swimming lesson this summer and start afresh.On that note I leave you guys with this hilarious Mr.Bean video. It so reminds me of my day at the swimming pool, the only difference being I was sensible enough to avoid the diving boards;)

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Hello Sunshine...

Oh sun! The one shining on us from the skies of London. Please decide what you really want to do. If you are tired of performing then please take rest till tomorrow dawns and let me curl down under the duvet with a hot chocolate and a book. However if you think you can carry on with your job then I wouldn't mind strapping on my shoes and checking out a few high street shops. I really have some pressing things to buy (no snacks at home!!). I don't want you slipping in amidst the clouds and re-emerging every other second. Its really not the time to play hide and seek. Also if you are reading then could you please ask you friend, Wind, to stop blowing so forcefully. Thanks.

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Surprise Surprise!!

It was a typical day in my life. Cuppa tea followed by reading news, blogs, searching for jobs and watching online videos.... Everything was normal and suddenly at about 12 in the afternoon the intercom buzzer went off (Its not a thriller story I am narrating..sorry to disappoint you)... It brought me out of the reverie and I ran to answer it ( I usually don't have visitors at this time of the day so was quite curious)...

I half expected it to be the electricity meter reading guy or someone of that sort. Wrong, it was the delivery guy from Parcel force...Well I did know that there was a parcel on its way from Chennai but my parents did tell me that it will take 3 whole weeks to get here(according to my calculation it is only 1 week and 2 days... Kudos to Indian Post).... It was a big bulky parcel and I was ecstatic... After hurriedly signing for the parcel guy I dragged the parcel to my room...I love opening parcels..Well who doesn't???? Anyways I had a lovely 20 mins examining the contents even though I knew most of what was inside it... Thanks to Amma and Appa for turning my boring day into an exciting one... Loved the gifts from Sri Lanka..Especially the elephant print tee (Hoping I will fit in to it!) and the leaf design wind chime (need to find a place to hang it!)

Monday, 23 March 2009

Wolfing down the waffle!

Oxford street is a shoppers paradise.. I love strutting around the street with no real purpose. Walking the whole stretch back and forth never tires me as I get engrossed in the display windows and the offers in stores. Yesterday I dragged S to Oxford street and went into as many stores as I could but somehow never ended up buying anything... The only place which interested S was the Apple retail store, I didn't mind that either. I have always wanted to own a Mac... hopefully we will get one soon. The usually hustling and bustling Oxford street(usually looks like a contemporary Ranganathan street over the weekend) wore a gloom of recession yesterday. It looked a little empty and forlorn, hope it bounces back into normalcy soon.

Apart from the shops, the one thing that I love is the warm and delicious waffle aroma wafting through the crowded streets. Yesterday after a lot of contemplation I decided to treat myself to a warm waffle topped with chocolate sauce and whipped cream, ummmm... it was heaven. I tried to repeat the age old saying in my head " A moment on the lips, forever on the hips" to restrict my splurge...It never really managed me to stop gobbling the waffle down. Well everyone deserves a treat once in a while right? (somehow I manage to treat myself everyday...hmm...must join the gym asap!!!!!)

Sunday, 22 March 2009

Whats Cooking??

Before the wedding, there was no necessity to cook elaborate meals. I always managed with Kelloggs in the morning, a sandwich near the office cafe for the afternoon and 'slim a soup' with garlic bread for dinner. The maximum efforts I would take was to make a sloppy rajma or channa curry. I miss that aspect of my spinsterhood a lot..

Now its always about what I can cook and the pressure to create something new and exotic. I can never thank enough to the numerous food blogs and internet sites for the tried out success recipes. The internet has even made my basic rajma a little more exotic... Now, I can never ever cook in the kitchen without the laptop sitting on the opposite counter for continuous moral support.. I also need my ipod, as it can get really boring otherwise. Tried cooking with the ipod earphones plugged to my ear but found it very disturbing. Always ended but pulling the earphones out while stirring the kadai or washing utensils.... The ipod dock helps me overcome all of that and there is a constant hum on the background when I twiddle and jiggle my pots and pans to dish out yummylicious food...

Friday, 20 March 2009

Bad hair day

Everyone has a bad hair day, its quite common... Well definitely not on their wedding day.. I was very fortunate to have the experience right on the 'D- Day'. Thankfully it wasn't the muhurtam (main ceremony) otherwise I would have fled from the scene then and there.

I have always had a fear to use false hair (sauri) and have never really had to as my hair was long till it was under my moms supervision. Since I have been in UK for the past 2 years my hair has gone through quite a lot(thank god it can't blog!! it will have stories to tell). Anyways I had it cut real short. Little did I know that marriage was round the corner. Once the wedding dates were decided I effectively had about 4 months to grrrrrrow my hair. Wish there was some magic trick or oil that could transform short hair into aaru adi kunthal (6 feet long hair). It was not a lot of time, but i did whatever I could and by January there was a little improvement. The beautician who did my bridal make-up didn't seem to think so. To top it all the texture of my hair is silky, a boon otherwise but not when you need to use a sauri.

My muhurtam (main ceremony) was at 8:30 but there were a few other functions before that so I needed to be ready by 5:30 in the morning... (Was not very happy with that). That particular day the beautician had loads of bridal bookings so she left as soon as she finished with my makeup. I was fine for the first function, then had a quick Saree change and was brought back for another function. I sat down and they started performing the rituals, suddenly amidst all that I felt lighter in the head as if a big load has been has been taken off... Oh noooo!!!!It finally hits my brain that the sauri is happily slipping away from my kutta (short) hair.... I wanted to cry.. That's one of the most embarrassing things that has happened to me... I told my aunt who was nearby and soon all my relatives came to my rescue... There were 2 holding my hair and sauri and someone else trying to tie it back together and while all this was happening I had to smile and go through all the rituals in front of a zillion photo flashes and the video cameras.

Finally the function concluded and I heaved a sigh of relief as there was enough time to go and redo the jadai (plait) before my next appearance. I completely forgot that before the re-appearance I had to bother about my disappearance from the stage. It was quite a sight.. I had to walk backwards without turning around and there were two people holding my hair ..... Thankfully my aunt redid the jadai as soon as we were in the room.....

The other day me and hubby were watching the wedding video and both of us were laughing at the whole episode.. Thank god i don't ever have to use a sauri again.

Friday, 27 February 2009

John Denver - Annies song

I happened to hear this song after a looong time...I absolutely love this song. John Denver's lyrics and voice brim with the love for his wife Annie. Supposedly he wrote it in just 10.5 minutes on a ski lift, after an exhilarating ski trip in Aspen. I hope you enjoy this beautiful piece of music.

Thursday, 26 February 2009

Part - time Fascinations!!

During 2007 Christmas, I was fascinated by video games and vowed to get myself one of them....wanted so much to buy a Nintendo Wii but my budget could only get me as far as the Nintendo Dsi. I might have used it a couple of times. A few days after having bought the console i was invited to my nephews birthday party. I saw three year olds with the same Nintendo that i had, since then they have been lying around in my cupboard. I guess the charm of the game rubbed off me after that. Recently my husband decided to sell it in Aamazon. Luckily we sold it as soon as it went up onthe listing...This got him really excited...since then he has been been scouring the house for unused electronics / memory cards and mobile phones... Its almost like a hobby. I just need to keep my things undercover for a few days, till his fascinationation for selling stuff in Amazon wears off!! :)