Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Its That Simple

Next year I will have nineteen paid days off. Which I can technically take any time I want - barring conflict with work. Enough to take one extra day off adjacent to a weekend every month. And then some.
So I have decided I shall go on a small trip every month. Atleast one per month. Explore. All it takes is getting over my laziness, packing my bags and maybe a little bit of planning ahead. In line with these thoughts I will set out today to look for these twelve spots I want to check out next year. Will update this post with the list by eod today. That shall be my first step overcoming my procrastination.

Update with possibilities:

Peru - Machu Pichu & Iguazu Falls(?)
Yellow Stone National Park
Death Valley

Monday, December 13, 2010

A Weekend of Feasting

Thats what this one turned out to be. Started with dosas, dahi vada, pongal and yummy carrot custard a friends Mom dished out for a bunch of us. And then in the evening a get together at another friends place where I met S's wife for the first time and A is back from her India trip. S and his wife are headed out on that Amazon trip we were all hoping to go on! I guess he got fed up with waiting on us to give him company! :). More yummy food followed by amazing kesar halwa.
Sunday was a day at the city with a beach trip thrown in and some shopping. The beach was surprisingly warm, not the water mind you, which I didn't dare touch, the air was warm and I sat down and watched the surfers for a bit, concluding that they must be manics to be swimming in those cold cold waters. But it looked oh so fun floating on the waves. Went to the shops near Union Square for the first time. Love the daunting man made buildings and bridge. And deals how I hate you - making me buy stuff I never intended to!
Ended up at a friends place for dinner. Another get together. Met everyone after real long. A month (these are people I used to meet every weekend, so a month felt like a loong time). Had more yummy food and ended with the most devine semi-liquid pala kova. Was telling my friend how I always remember what she made for us that very first time she called us over for dinner on her birthday. Its not a trivial thing - me remembering stuff. Her cooking left a mark.
Beyond the feasting it was a great weekend. Got to meet a ton of friends. Walked down the downtown area close to home and saw the holiday lights for the first time. Where have I been these days? Missed out on quite a few of the regular stuff. Oh and talked with another good friend after a long long time. Donno why it took so long there again.
A good weekend.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


It was one of those things that was meant to be. Was running late for my flight - last minute shopping for gifts. Was busy calculating time remaining and alternate options to my green plans while I rushed home to pack finally. I open the door and who do I see? a friend, come visiting to check out the empty room for rent (he didn't know I lived there)! and he was gracious enough to wait while I packed and give me a lift to the airport. It was bound to be. A good vacation.

Met old friends and the new people in their lives, visited old haunts and the new looks they got. And then there were the snow flakes! magically floating down just when we got into the car. Early snow. Another wish come true. And the locked door that somehow opened and gave us access to the environs from days gone by. The lazy campus that would buzz with young blood come Monday.

I finally scored my hit. Only now I'm more addicted and already looking for the next one. The walk over the bridge, the heave of cars rushing past below us. The crimson Sun blazing out in glory - silhouetting the skyline. The yummy food, the multitude of people. The hunt for new boots. Meeting old friends, making peace with the past. The train rides, the maze of the subway. Insane hours and even more insane night sounds which just cannot keep you from falling to sleep. Hot air blowing out of the road, keeping you warm on the long chilly walks the city has to offer. Beautiful bridges over energetic waters. Streets throbbing with life. It is one place I will never get enough of. New York, New York.

PS: Thanks to my friend who magically appeared on my flight back home and circumvented the long journey from the airport and got me to work on time.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Out There

For a while now I've had a hankering for being out there - in India experiencing the monsoon, the thunder, the breeze, the slush, the.... you get the idea - Nature. Even today I was sitting in front of my desktop looking at pictures of people scuttling in rains and hoping that was me. And then I realize, its not about where I am. Its about how I get around!

While at school I traveled by bus to and from school and home. Same was the case for under-grad and grad schools. There was a lot of walking involved too and inevitably one ran into "bad" weather under those circumstances. Only now that I have a car parked about 30sec dash from where-ever I am, I never run into "nature".

So in a bid to bring comfort to my soul, I have decided I shall take public transportation to work at least once a week. And seeing as I have early morning (come on, I sleep late!) meetings on Wed, Thur, Fri, I guess it shall have to be on Mon or Tue. And maybe I should walk to the farmers market every so often on the weekends too...

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A Wall - Update

Since I don't have walls to paint on - I did the next best thing. Painted on a T-shirt! It was a lot of fun. Hoping to do more of it.

Monday, November 1, 2010

A Wall

This past Thursday was the best weather I have experienced in a while. It was absolutely sublime. Cleared out the woozies in one swell sweep. Nature has this way of setting things, doesn't it? Anyway since then I've come across a couple of pics that are sooo awesome that I've decided - the next time I rent (can't at current place) I'm so dedicating a wall to painting. Maybe more than one wall. Bring some fun into the room.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Thats my current phase. Everything feels wrong and then not so wrong. Decisions feel oh so right only to be followed by regret. Thoughts don't last. Opinions keep changing. Work of course is slacking and thats not helping.

Tried music, not helping - not even Mozart (though I might like it when not in this mood maybe). What am I looking for? Home beckons? Wish I could make that trip to India! If only for a change of scene.

But then things are not so bad either. Found new food I like. And a new clothes store I like. And new activities I'd like to work more on. Hmmm lets see where it all ends..

Oh and vegetarianism - still not happening. Though I feel bad every time I eat meat.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


I've been having this craving for a cold winter! I'm sure within a week I'll be wanting to get out of it, but till then I shall crave. Its wonderful how pristine a snowy day is. The soft flakes gently floating down. Best time for that movie day/night.

Here in CA with the good weather we have all year long, it feels like a waste to spend a whole day indoors. Guilty almost. But then on the east coast, it would be the oh so natural thing to do - spending a snowy day in front of your TV watching re-runs, sipping hot stuff, eating yummy fried snacks.

What can I say, I have a craving. And I might say anything to justify it.

Thursday, September 23, 2010


Was just rising from the haze of sleep, when I heard the whistle of a train. And was surprised that I heard it - its all of a mile away. And then out of the haze, I wondered why that should be.

Back in my grandparents village the track is quite a bit further away and the train whistle is one of the things to tell the time of the day by (and be right on the rare days the train runs on time). Cynicism aside, that is how people there boarded the town bus too - they would wait for the driver to sound the horn and then scramble to the bus stand at the very edge of the village.

In my current environs most sounds are absorbed by the surroundings - a busy, chugging & churning commercial city; I rarely notice them. But maybe one day I'll go back to my village and cleanse my system of the ambient noise levels I'm used to (and ignore) and once again start hearing that gentle breeze rustling through trees.

Monday, September 13, 2010


The deed is done. I had lamb chops tonight. What can I say... I guess with the bad health I had all of last week, there was 7 pounds lesser backing up the will, and it crashed.. But have been feeling much better today and hope to build up that muscle behind the will soon. Till then, all ye living things on two legs and you unsuspecting poor lambs, watch out!

Thursday, August 26, 2010


I never thought it through till now... am not sure I've done that yet.. but I take back my stand on protest by burning. It felt like a big waste, sacrilege even - burning down piles and piles of stuff just to protest against it... but then I'm starting to see the point.
See it all started with me trying to be vegetarian. We were at this restaurant earlier and per my new requirements I asked the waitress if a certain dish could be made without meat. She said she would check with the chef - which I understood to mean she would check to see if he could cook it without the meat. Ultimately though I ended up with a meat version of the dish - but with the meat pieces removed!

Anyway the dilemma was to eat or not eat. Since I am protesting against growing animals to eat their meat later, it felt wrong to eat the dish. But then the animal is already dead and I would be just wasting the food. A week back I'd have been relishing it! And so started a discussion on protest and burning/wasting stuff in protest. Like burning foreign clothes in protest, burning the recovered tusks of poached elephants. Wasting a can of coke cos its coke.

I felt bad about the tusks cos they are so magnificent, so they need to be valued not burnt! But then I realized, wanting them to be valued is promoting them as a possession. That's not what I want either! And so the only way out seems to be to destroy them. This sounds more like treating the symptoms and not the cause, but is there any other way around it? And why is it that I think something beautiful needs to be preserved?

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Common Pot

Hmm.. Common Plate actually. The Ethiopian style of serving food - in one large plate for the whole group. Heads gathered close as people move in to help themselves to the food. Passing the injera around and scooping up the various concoctions; the dishes so tasty. Conversations needn't be loud as there is no table span to speak across while talking with one another. Jostling with each other for the tastiest morsel while making sure your friends sample the best offerings on the plate. Reminds me of my childhood - never have eaten from a common plate since! The familiarity yet difference in taste with Indian cuisine making it a choice variant of comfort food. My only woe was that I couldn't dig into all that sure to be yummy non-veg food lying right there on the plate I was eating from! Tempted but not truly - the veggie food was awesome! Love the whole experience.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Trials

I was at an acquaintances place recently and came across a drawing. By his niece/nephew. Three animals (I forget which) all lined up with a caption saying "Save Animals" - "Be Vegetarian".
I have always contemplated turning vegetarian and have tried it a few times - once even went a couple of months without eating meat. But it never stuck. I guess having been raised a non-vegetarian, I find it harder to resist. Or maybe that's just my excuse. But the drawing got me back to trying again. And this time on the very day I decided to give up meat was the night I ended up going to a store and buying some chicken pickle and relishing it. So much for my resolutions.
But I'm back on the wagon again since yesterday and trying to stay that way and these are my records to keep me honest & on the track.

This was my start:
Dinner yesterday: After about 3 hours of physical activity, got out craving some proteins & carbs (think lamb chops, gongura pachchadi with rice and mashed potatoes). Ended up with a grilled cheese sandwich from Jack in the Box - almost bailed and got the double cheese burger (slurp slurrp). Almost.
Lunch today: Salad bar. Did load up on eggs (decided that is still on the veggie menu for now).

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Night Time Confessions

These days the constants are lack of sleep, packed days, work and loads of fun with friends. By the time I hit the sack, I'm wondering if I can wake up on time or if my tired body will ignore the cranky ring of my cell phone alarm. But then there is one other constant and that is chatting before I sleep. With a special friend. One who knows the major happenings of my days even if not the characters. It sometimes gets difficult to keep track with all the references we have for people rather than their names. A paltry attempt at keeping some privacy. Stories swapped, views compared, movies & books recommended, photos passed around and smilies exchanged. A restful end to some otherwise crazy days.
Its turned into a routine and I'm glad I have this friend to share stuff with. And today for no reason at all, I'd like my friend to know I'm happy we have formed this habit.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

A Night Gone By

I was on vacation at this gorgeous place - lush green landscape, tropical rains cooling down the temperatures every so often, keeping the air pristine. It was the last night of the year. And I was sitting out on this porch. Hardly a light to be seen; just the dull haze from the night lamp inside the room. There was a screen on the outside to prevent bugs from bothering people and I could hear them croaking and cricketing to glory. The skies were shedding their weights and raining in rage. The breeze was beautifully pleasant - the winds from the rains drizzling spray everywhere. I could almost smell the earth, or maybe I did. The water in a nearby stream overflowing down the hill and gushing its way into oblivion. So forceful that it was the only reason I knew it existed. There weren't any fireworks harping the new year in. But nature was putting on its very own show.

I was alone on the porch. And I'm glad I had that moment to myself. Nature, a new year ahead and me.

Monday, July 26, 2010

The Day

It was finally here. The group had waited for it for long. Through the innumerable days training. Overcoming injuries - some were still suffering from them; but they were here today. Intent on seeing it through the finish. A good day for it - clouded, not too cold but with a crispness in the air which would sure come in handy.

The street lights were still on when the day started. Shining through the haze somehow. They were redundant soon enough though; the sun was out early on this summer day - behind the laden clouds. It was hard to believe it is summer. Everyone was ready, as ready as they could be. Or determined. Nothing would hold them back today. I was just a spectator. At best a supporter.

The endurance and will power in this group of people is phenomenal. Be it in the girl who slowly chugged her way to the finish or the guy with the injury to his foot which did not hold him back from finishing the run in 2:07! As one T-shirt said - "Running is a mental sport - and we are all INSANE". That's what I felt - they had to be insane to take this up! Their undying enthusiasm at the 10mi marker (where I was camped out for a long time) even after the steep climb that they just had to get over was amazing. They were thanking us for cheering them on! Dancing a jig to the tunes playing from their ipods.

The memories of the day will stay with me for long. The smiles from the runners passing us by. The camaraderie among the participants; supporting fellow runners to the finish. The determination overcoming the pain as they ran on with old injuries acting up. The buddy runner who ended up running about 20mi in support; and to think he had dropped off from registering for the half marathon due to injuries! The ecstatic joy in their faces as they reached the finish line. The sad eyes of the elder lady who couldn't believe her hip injury had to happen on this day after all her incident free training (I'm sure she will back again next year). Their appetites after the race :) The funny T-shirts they had on. The bundled up people ringing their bells, striking their gongs, cheering on the crowds of runners. The mass of humanity.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


I got my hair cut yesterday. An expensive one, the most I have doled out yet for a hair cut. I usually let the stylist decide what they want to do with my hair. This time my only wish was to keep it shorter. And that was the first thing the guy overrode. He decided longer hair would rather suit me!

Anyway since I'd asked him to do whatever, couldn't complain much at that point. And so the only thing left to do was talk. And it was an interesting conversation. Jared was a construction worker in another life! Imagine, I was doling out good money to get my hair cut by an ex-construction worker.

He did tug at my hair more briskly than any other stylist I've known. And poked me with a pin once in between. But then after looking at the final result, I had to agree, he had come a long way from his construction days. And his leap in career choice must only have been cos he had found his calling.

Friday, June 25, 2010


Growing up, loved these ads from Dairy Milk - KuchKhaasHai1 & KKH3. And the Amul ads frequently updated on the billboard above Manikanda bakery - they had some of the best one liners I've seen so far.

There were one or two other ads I used to like watching - Humara Bajaj , Doodh Doodh. I'll bet you can't guess what this ad is for: Ad (unless you've already seen it :) ).

These days the ads I enjoy most are made by auto manufacturers. Like this one from Mercedes and this one from Audi. Love them. Have to record this one from Honda as one of the good ones. Some non auto mfg ads like this one on seat belts! And not to forget the Incredible India ads. This one that plays on psychology from Virgin Mobile reminds me of the stuff we used to try on our parents :P Love the punch line on this one :)

Creativity captured in short span of a commercial! Love it. Wish I could make stuff like this.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Games and Volunteers

Did I already mention it - I love board games? I must have. But time for re-iteration - I love board games!! :)

Be it with house-mates over a game of Blokus or with strangers over friendly matches of Carroms or with friends over competitive Catan; inevitable to have fun. Spent last Saturday playing carroms. I never perceived myself as a good player. I still think I'm not; but I have my flashes of genius! Lets not get carried away - flashes of good playing :P Thanks in dollops to my doubles partner.

Volunteering is fun. Be it at the Carroms tournament or the early morning runs on Saturday where I'm the water carrier :) Free rides to beautiful locations and the chance to bike in said locations. Rubbing shoulders with people resolute enough to run marathons or half marathons. Conversing with die hards who believe in the cause. These are the fun parts of volunteering; the stuff I participate in. But then there is a whole different level to it. There is something to be said about people who diligently attend meetings and coordinate projects long distance; who spend hours and days in advancing their cause and organize rallies to increase awareness, in researching for their fights; who stake out dharanas; who leave behind personal aims and ambitions to work for others less fortunate.

So here's to all the real volunteers out there, doing an awesome job at it, not craving recognition or accolades but just the greater good of people - you are amazing!

Thursday, June 17, 2010


Breathing in and out through the mouth, her whole mind concentrating on getting it right. The air going out not making bubbles. The afternoon sun beating down on her back. Floating, floating on the lapping waves; gently swaying to their tempo. Lulled by the calm her mind moved on to the surroundings. The clear blue waters. The green sea weed she could make out growing in clumps at the bottom of the ocean. She felt she could do this forever.
Emboldened by the time that had passed, she struck out more into the ocean. Not quite too far though, she was a cautious being these days. Even in her favorite element. Roaming eyes looking out for any kind of moving life that might be around. This was bliss!

And then her fears kicked in and with a big wheeze for air, her head poked out and her hands beat around to find a hold; a hold on her balance till her feet hit rough sands and she was walking back to the shore. Snorkelling. Worth exploring more.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Big "O"

Days have been exciting recently. Lots of good stuff happening. Latest of which was a week long trip to Puerto Rico. Loved the place. And the bunch of friends I went with. Memories for keeps :)

I hardly remember what I was doing this time ten years back. Must have been at college, finishing my last year of undergrad. Fretting when the academic year would end. Before I move on. Hoping for a glimpse into the future. Excited about what was to come next. Definitely. Don't think I was giving the year much significance though. This year, a decade later, there's more caution in the outlook. Thought to things to be done yet. With age comes wisdom? Recently I've started perceiving past as a buzz killer - experiences tend to shadow whats to come.. not in a bad way.. just that they take the edge off the excitement - maybe with anticipation. And it bothers me that I'm probably looking more to the past than I did a decade ago. Granted there is more to look at now than back then :P, but surely its as futile now as it was ten years ago?

Just considering the present, I love the place I am at right now. With a good mixture of excitement and comfort. Not much to complain about. But there are things to do. Not sure why that was said with a but. If there were no things to do, no point to life huh? More than things to do, I think this time I looking forward to more meaning. Not sure what to expect exactly.. :) but hey that adds to the excitement! So definitely looking forward to whats to come in the next ten years.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Know My English

I don't think I do. Over years, it has become a mode of communication and I omit paying attention to detail as long as I can communicate what I want to. And now that I'm reading material from early 20th century, from Indian authors who were educated in the proper usage of the language, I perceive the limitations in my understanding of it. Knowing the complete meaning of a word holds more importance now than it has ever before.
Like how analysis means - 'the separating of any material or abstract entity into its constituent elements'. I missed the part about the breaking down into elements... I took it to mean something like 'studying the nature of something' which is not the whole meaning. And so you can understand why I was surprised when I realized synthesis was its opposite.

No wonder I'm finding it hard to understand what I'm currently reading. Need to brush up on my English.

Monday, May 10, 2010

"Man is Always a Slave to the Past"

Read this today. It was like a revelation. I knew it to be true. But actually reading it in as many words felt like an enlightenment of sorts. Not sure why that should be.
To be rid of influences from the past - is that even remotely achievable? A daunting thought. But only then can one react freely to any situation. Only then can there be novelty to life.

Stumbled upon words of JK and have been reading some of his works since. Come upon conflicting ideas - "through the understanding of the contents of his own mind, through observation and not through intellectual analysis or introspective dissection". Don't you need to do introspective dissection to understand the contents of ones mind? What am I missing?

Had a similar conversation with a friend recently where I insisted what he was putting forth was just a play on words. But is the truth really that I am missing some essential difference my head is too thick to perceive yet?

"Insight without any shadow of the past" - JK

Thursday, May 6, 2010


Lids lowered over translucent reflective eyes. Soft lashes skimming tender cheeks. Tiny lips pursed into a yawn. Fingers clutched into a harmless fist. Body wiggling like a hapless fish caught in a net. Mewling sounds from an exploring throat. The surrounding hush soothing. A babies sleep is potent enough to knock-out anyone watching over it.. a more relaxing sight have I yet to encounter.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Babies Weddings Parties Drinks & Plans for Trips

That pretty much sums up things I have to report about. The fun times are rolling and though I wish I could be in India & Florida to enjoy some parts of it, I'm happy to be where I am at. Some things nagging the brain once in a while... not sure how to work those out yet. But otherwise the days are getting more gloriously sunnier and the nights more intoxicating. All in all a great start to Summer. Oh and loved the long conversation with old friends today morning. Now off to keep the head lighter. Happy Summer everyone!!!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Fighting Gravity

Was at a meeting earlier today. A bunch of people ranging from the engrossed to the disinterested. But all of them had one thing in common - drooping edges to their lips. Did you know age makes it harder for a smile to come by? Something to do with your zygomaticus muscle.

-Just something I noticed today.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Carpe Diem!

Been a long long time since I've read a book this fast! Loved it. A completely new style of story telling - through letters. Love my friend for sending it to me - the best surprise gift I've received in ages. Thank you! Finally rediscovered my love of reading and stopped brooding over my laptop.

For those of you who haven't read it yet, I highly recommend - "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society".

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Thought for the Day

"When we treat man as he is, we make him worse than he is; when we treat him as if he already were what he potentially could be, we make him what he should be." - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

Was thinking about how true this quote is. And then I thought how closely it matches my own thoughts on the matter... and wondered - do I like this quote as it resonates with my own thoughts? Or cos there is universal truth in what it says??

Truth. Universal Truth. Was a time when there could only be one Truth. Now I tend to accept that there are perspectives. But Truth? I guess its all in the experiences people have. Either ways I happen to agree with this quote and believe it to be the truth.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

I Know

..subconsciously exactly where each alphabet is on the keyboard. If I stop using my brain and let my fingers type. But then if I start my brains on and try to "remember" where the alphabet is, I most likely will fail! I know its crazy but its true.

Maybe I should let my subconscious make all my decisions... it seems to be able to pull up things my conscious mind cannot uncover. Hmm... now there is food for thought. Does that mean I should let my first impressions rule?

Sunday, March 21, 2010

A Weekend

I'm loving weekends these days. Some with lots of activities, some with lots of travel, some with nothing to do but scratching my head thinking about what to do next.

This one was different. Its that time of the year again when I move. I know! Yet again. I had been looking for a shared house sort of a situation. And somehow a lot of them seemed to come with pets of some sort. In some cases of all sorts! Like this person looking for a roommate who just couldn't turn down a stray and ended up with two dogs a cat and a parakeet. Not sure what else was hidden in her room. Almost ended up adopting her as my stray :)

Then this Saturday I went and visited this happy house. That's all I can think of calling it. The people were very nice and the cat and dog were simply adorable! Loved everyone and the house and signed the lease right away even though I'm sure its overpriced. But well I'm sure the experience will beat the loss. And so I'm the owner of a new lease! another six monther :)

After that the weekend was pretty routine... farmers market, hung out with friends over lunch, volleyball, tried to convince my sis to come up with a name all of us liked better, cursing myself all the while for having suggested the current choice... and some vegging. Oh and today I went and treated myself to a hair cut. Even though it was good, I wasn't so pleased with it and asked my friend to do what she could to alter it to how I wanted my hair.. and she very willingly obliged and chopped most of it away. Sort of reminded me of Edward Scissors Hand the speed and efficiency with which the whole job was done. Now for better or worse I'm back to sporting a bob! Oh and before that I had pani poori - two whole greedy plates and sugarcane juice! Yummy and only in the bay area. :)

In all of this I realized I almost forgot a birthday. This blog is going to turn one year old! and its still alive and kicking. Miracles do happen.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

These Days...

After being away the last two weekends, I have started to realize that I miss home.

Home is now the place where the bed is made the way I like. Where things are in their place and so I don't end up leaving my cell phone behind. Home is where I can lie back and wallow in being alone. Sleep in till ungodly hours and wake up when I please. Watch what I like on TV and not have to wait for my turn. Shower forever and not hold up others.

But then again I got reminded of what home was.

It was where Amma got my room dusted and ready for when me and my allergies would get back. Where no matter what I forget behind it wouldn't matter as someone would always travel with me or make sure I carried what I needed. Where I would lie back and wallow in a story book while Amma toiled away to make me my favourite food to eat. Home was where I would wake up to a tall glass of bathai juice squeezed fresh and waiting patiently for me to wake up. Where I snatch the remote from Amma's hands and browse through channels till I find something I like to watch. Where a bath is meticulously prepared - hot water in the buckets, kunkudkai with mandar akkullu mixed in as conditioner for my hair and sunnipindi for soap.

And then I realized why the place I'm typing this from can never really be home and wait for the arrival of the one person whose selfless love makes all the difference.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Panic on the Highway

Was cruising up the highway as usual with the radio blasting and enjoying the unusually cushioned drive. The loaner did have one advantage on the bumpy road - better suspension. And a brighter colour - RED! It only seemed natural then that I should check how the cooper performed in comparison with the cooper S. I was going at a comfortable 55mph when I started revving. 60mph all is good, it was responding well to the gas rush. 65mph - going strong.... and thats when it started. The rmp shot from about 3500 to beyond 5000 all of a sudden and the engine started crying out for gas. The blood rushed to my head in alarm and I got busy checking the cars around me to ensure I could pull off to the curb... when it hit me - I was driving an automatic and the gears must have changed. They weren't in my control today!

- Experiences of a manual transmission driver.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Lighting a Cigarette

Standing in the aisle of a bus, slowly inching away, giving space (taking space?) whenever someone gets on.
Swatting at his arms, swinging away, whenever he got too close to her face with his karate moves in his attempts to bug his sibling.
Giving way to the passerby walking on the pavement into the streets you just left behind.
Drawing brows just that little bit closer when a tailor is taking measurements.
Finding space on the dance floor, avoiding bumping into the other dancers.

Standing by the lamp, with a wave of her cigarette holding arm requesting, drawing close to allow the stranger to light up the cigarette now between her lips. A shared passion for cigarettes wiping away personal space edicts.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Thoughts Floating Around

Thought 1. European/Eastern movies have so much more depth of story to them than American movies in general...

Thought 2. I'm fascinated by how people are capable of assigning labels of characteristics to others... It just beats me... my reactions are so cavemanish in comparison :P

Thought 3. I never did get what the whole rave about Pan's Labyrinth is... I mean its well made and I can appreciate the nuances in the movie.. but maybe not totally cos I still don't get why people love it... Somebody care to explain?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Today I've made a resolution. When I see something very pretty/I like, I shall stop and take a picture if possible. I'd love to browse all those pretty sights again.

I sometimes wonder if taking a picture would make the memory weaker? The pictures is my mind are so fresh, I can recall them at a moments notice. No matter how long ago it is from. But then I'm sure I'm losing on the details. But are details necessary? Not really. Or so I think. But it would still be good to have a picture to share the memory with others.

There are three pictures that I particularly cherish. I shall try to describe them here in words - and in the process I will probably make it obvious why the picture is needed :)

One is from my college days. It was night time and we were at the back of this really dilapidated and probably very unsafe block of apartments. This was next to the Raritan River (I went to school at Rutgers). There is an old bridge over the river about 15 blocks away; a bridge with street lights all along it. The river was flowing calmly that night and there were no ripples to disturb the water. No moon to speak of brightening the skies. Or maybe I never noticed it after looking at what was right in front of my eyes. The bridge and its reflection in the water formed these perfect O's. It felt as if it was the gateway to a different world beyond. It was magical.

The second is from a night of camping. We'd all had our share of food and drink and were in a happy place already. And then a few of us decided to take a walk on the beach. The moon was bright and glowing that night and the waves effervescent. The sand were bare with none other than us present. At the back of us were these tall woods and small cliff almost blocking us from the world beyond with the sea water spreading till the horizon in front of us. The sands were white and the reflection of the moon on the sea water painted a divine landscape; one I'll probably never forget my whole life. The waters splashing against the shore the only sound surrounding us. Beautiful. I want to write so much more to make you understand how pretty it was there; but I'm sure I can never match the sight and sound of that night in words.

The third is from a very recent memory. I was backing out of my garage and in the distance could hear the sound of the complex gardener sweeping the leaves away with his air blower. As I was backing out, I caught a glimpse of the sunlight filtering to ground through the tall trees next to the footpath. There was a haze of particles floating around in the light - probably leaf shreds ruffled up by the gardener or pollen parachuting lazily. It was ethereal. The perfect green leaves of the trees as from fresh rains; the air heavy with dew and the soft golden light of the early morning; the floating bits and leaves disrupted the sheet of sunlight forming rays.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Deluge

Wet. That is what I remember the most. Everywhere all the time. Bed posts acting as support for washed clothes drying out, creating private rooms where one could lie and read story books all day long without falling into Mom's notice. Floors damp from the short dashes outdoors and back - the recycled gunny bags acting as door mats no match for the surplus water. Humidity so high that the bath towels remained damp forever. Water splashing through the meshed windows, coconut tree leaves swaying in a frenzy to the winds tune. That was how it was at home.

One day, midway through, school closed early citing the weather. Our transportation to/from school was a mini bus which always reminds me of a loaf of bread. It must have seen many years; though the way it ran till then, there was never a hint that its better days were over. It almost got us all the way back home, fighting the rain, its engine slowly heating till it started spewing out fumes. And then it gave up and died right in the middle of the road with a few more Kilometers left before all the kids got home. It being the days before cell phones and virtually no means of contacting all the parents; and the kids old enough to find their way back; above all, it being a small city in India - the driver and conductor let us get off the bus to fend our way homeward. In the pouring rain.

It's probably the best rain day I ever had. Splashing our way through shallow and sometimes not so shallow puddles, nary a thought to hygiene. Playing and jostling with siblings and friends. Raincoats and umbrellas no match to the wind and the water; boots all sloshy from the water soaked in through the socks. Drenched to the bones. We had the time of our lives heading the last couple of miles back home that day.

Haven't seen rains like those in a while. Though today's weather comes close.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Currently Listening To

May 17th, 2011

O Cheliya, Premiludu 
Priyathama Neevachata

January 19th, 2010

Ishqiya Movie Song, Dil To Bacha Hai

October 30th, 2009

Anoushka Shankar on Sitar

October 13th, 2009

Barso Re Megha - Guru

Jallanta - Geetanjali

October 12th, 2009

Koyi Na Roke Yeh Parwaazen - A Wednesday

October 9th, 2009

Iktara (Faster Version) - Wake Up Sid
Kya Karoon - Wake Up Sid

October 1st, 2009

Kadile padam - Banam Telugu Movie Song
Naalo Nenena - Banam Telugu Movie Song

Monday, January 11, 2010

I Need Sleep

Is what my brain is screaming. Through the tens of minute blank outs I've been having all day. Resulting from the movie marathon I ran last night. Why? No particular reason. It started since I was not sleepy when I got back from the theater after watching a movie on screen. And then the movies got interesting - or rather it got easier to please my sleepy brains. And then the last one turned out to be a series of four movies and I had to complete all four before I could finish. Of course.
So has passed the first night out of the year. Totally unworthy of mention. But then I decided to immortalize it through the blog. Why? No reason than that I need something more interesting than the work I'm not doing to keep me awake.
Actually I was up until 5am on New Years eve. But then I slept afterwards. So it does not technically count as a night out. You know how some people trust that whatever they do on the first day of the year kind of sets the theme for the year to come? glad I'm not one of them. Else the way things are progressing I'd have to write this year off as one for Bacchus.