Thursday, October 12, 2006

A concrete hug

As part of my fitness regime, newspapers have replaced dinner dessert for me these days. No dessert has ever been as indigestive as this article titled "No place to hide" by Lalit Mohan that I came across in the Times of India yesterday.

The excerpt from this article that had my eyes bigger than ever was.......

"I recently visited the Field Museum of natural history in Chicago. They have a section Evolving Planet, which starts with the birth of the Earth and through the last five 'mass extinctions', traces evolution to the present times.

At the end there is a large plaque which says that since life began on the Earth, the rate of extinction of different species has increased from about one in every four years for most of the living history, to four every hour, today.

At 2:55 pm as I exited from the hall I saw the digital clock which said: 'Number of species extinct since 8.00 this morning: 026'."


1 in 4 years to 4 in every hour! That means the extinction rate has increased 140256 times! Mind-boggling, isn't it?

But how many of us read these things, feel genuinely sorry about them, but don't really do anything about them?
Most of us, I guess. And maybe some of us just stop having dessert. But there are some people who go out of their way to show their love for nature.

Like this builder who built this apartment somewhere in Mekhri circle. This apartment stands out because of an old coconut tree. One side of the apartment balconies has been built to embrace the coconut tree so that it can raise its head to the firmament as always. The builder would have definitely had the cut/not cut decision to be made years ago. And something made him go that extra mile and not chop that old tree. What could have been that tipping point?

Vastu shastra? Astrology? Or was he a mallu who always wanted a coconut tree around?

Or could it be a genuine love of trees and nature?

Reminds me, I haven’t hugged a tree in an awfully long time. I did caress one last weekend though.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

A thought

You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist.

Friedrich Nietzsche

Thursday, September 21, 2006

PC to PC networking

A pleasant day in Bangalore. A scene inside the plush interiors of a typical IT office. Nobody is at work yet. But this lone girl is sitting in a corner trying to concentrate on something on her PC. But her PC was busy networking.

PC1 - "Hey rxpl08, you awake? Get out of stand-by. I need to talk to you about our plans. We might have to cancel it. Ping Ping Ping"

PC2 - "Oh my, you sound a little sick. What happened? I don't see the usual healthy boucne in the 1s and 0s"

PC1 - "I don't know. Everything was fine till yesterday. But today I have a couple of new large files on me. Getting a little tired carrying all these things. I have a bad harddisk-ache too."

PC2 - "Oh dear! Now that you mention it, you do look all fat and bloated up. I keep telling you not to take things this far. Come on, you know what to do!"

PC1 - "Oh no. Not again! I can't do it to the girl. She takes care of me real good."

PC2 - "Yes, you have to, my dear. It's for your own well-being. And I'm sure if she had a clue, she'll understand. Come on, don't delay it. Finish it off soon so that all will be fine in time for our midnight date tomorrow."

PC1 - "Hmmmm okie. At least that's something to look forward to. So I'll crash today and get that girl to format me so that I can turn over a new leaf. Start a fresh lease of life."

PC2 - "That's perfect!"

The girl, unaware of all this types away to glory.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Man, I make the amazing coffee ever.......

...thanks to this little coffee machine that sits coyly in a corner in my office floor.

Seriously, if there's one thing that I am thankful for in my office, it's definitely not the FP machine (why would someone want to drink something that has a load of pesticides and another load of calories and leaves a tell-tale colour in your mouth?!). The honour goes to the coffee machine, that coughs like a wasted old woman everytime I press on the "Strong Coffee" button, but brightens my day with the perfect cup of coffee!

Thank you!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

An ode to the apostrophe

All of us know Mr. Apostrophe and Miss Comma. You usually don't see them together, but they have something in common that I am highly concerned about.

Both are abused extensively by people like you and me.

No, that's not quite right. Let me rephrase that. Both are abused extensively. I would never abuse them!

Wondering what I am trying to get at? Here, let me give you some hints.
May I have three box’s of those almond chocolates please?
Look at all these bus’es!
Look at this neat bag. Its got style!
I need some cookies , milk , a dozen eggs and of course , a discount.
Let me tell you ,we have consistently met all our SLA's.

The last one, delivered by a premier Bschool product during a client presentation, was what pushed me over the edge and made my itchy fingers finally write this piece.

Why is it so difficult to understand the correct usage of the apostrophe and the comma? Yup, I am a stickler for punctuation - especially the lovely apostrophe and the curvy comma. But then I won't be like Ms. Truss, who, in her book Eats Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation, says,
"anyone putting an apostrophe in a possessive "its"-as in "the dog chewed it's bone"-should be struck by lightning and chopped to bits."

Now that's too much. The stickler in me doesn't get to swearing, but I just hope that whenever someone abuses our dear friends, there is a stickler like me around to point it out at the expense of sounding like a Ms. Know-All. I don't care. I just want to spread the message.

So let's get this clear once and for all.
You put a space after a comma, not before one!
Apostrophes are used in possessives and contractions. Everything else is wrong!

However, in case of plurals, the possessive apostrophe comes after the 's':
"the girls' shoes"
"companies' policies"

There are different rules for singular words that end with an 's' sound. I am not gonna go into that here. Look it up, if you are interested.

There are some other exceptions too. An apostrophe is required to indicate possession except in the case of possessive pronouns (i.e., "mine", "yours", "his", "hers", "its", "ours" and "theirs").

Now let's talk about "its". I had always wondered till some years back why a possessive "its" doesn't have an apostrophe and when do I use it with an apostrophe. They never taught this in my grammar lessons (or maybe I was dozing off then!). The stickler in me did look it up and here I am sharing the information for those of you who didn't know the difference. (If you know the difference, trust me, we are a very small group. Be happy.)
"It's" is a contraction of "it is" or "it has" as in "It's late."
"Its" is a possessive pronoun as in "Its handles are falling apart."

Now that's all about the apostrophe and the comma. I hope some of you who had no clue on how to use these two stumble upon this blog and turn a new leaf.

But how about "lose" and "loose"? Don't even get me started on that. :( I could go on and on. I feel really sorry for all the losers who end up using the wrong word and don't even realise what a fool they make of themselves.

If you think that I am going way overboard with this punctuation lecture and if you belong to the sect that believes that a wrong punctuation here or there is not that big a deal, well, my dear friend, think again. There might be a stickler like me sitting in the audience judging you. Not everyone (like me) would come up and tell you about the wrong usage, but it just might end up costing you that client presentation that you always wanted to make or even that promotion you've been eying for so long.

Let me end with a GJ.
Kingsley Amis, when asked to state a sentence whose meaning depended on a possessive apostrophe, said:
“Those things over there are my husbands.

Cheers to all the fellow sticklers!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

He & She

She-mom - "You are not supposed to sleep in the same bed as your sister."
He - "Okie."
She-sister - "But, why?!" :(

Friday, September 01, 2006

Google, docs and roundworms

"If you trust Google more than your doctor than maybe it's time to switch doctors."


I don't say this. Jadelr and Cristina Cordona do.

Is it really true? I am not so sure.

I admit checking Google for information on those skin rashes or excessive burping or that weird feeling in my throat and yup, in most of the cases, some Joe sitting all the way across the world could give me more helpful information than a doctor ever could.

But then oh yeah, there was this time not so long ago, when I had myself believe that the round red patches on my ankles were actually round worms and that they were gnawing their way through my legs in their pursuit to finally get to my heart :)
Not just that, I also managed to make some of my friends freak out with my theories and proofs as to how a family of round worms were comfortably parasiting on my leg. :P

So what?! Googling might throw you off the track once in awhile. But I somehow feel comfortable sifting through organised information than depending solely on a doc's memory and analytical skills to figure out what's going on. God forbid, what if he/she is one of those payment seat docs? Worse, what if they did Med School, like I did my Engineering? :O

Am I on the verge of hypochondria? I think I may've already crossed the line.

So I don't agree with that quote by Jadelr and Cristina Cordona, but they do have a cool video blog.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Our recruitment policy is....

"blah blah ........ and to get the right people on bored as soon as possible and ............... blah blah blah"


Who said they don't tell you the truth?

Monday, August 28, 2006

Not my dream job

From The Safer Cigarette Delusion

Smokers of light or low-tar cigarettes need to realize that the industry is not so much concerned about their health as it is worried, in the words of an internal document, that their penchant to quit smoking entirely could pose “a special problem for the cigarette industry.”

Working in the Marketing department of such a peculiar industry might pose such peculiar challenges.
How to sell a product that the customer knows will slowly kill him/her?
How to sell a product to a customer, who will be highly discouraged and maybe even blackmailed by his near and dear ones against the use of it?


I am sure those Marketing managers are very thankful for the highly addictive nature of tobacco.

I know of some people who took a conscious decision NOT to work on such a role - solely because they felt that it was unethical.

And I agree with them.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

God bless...

...the stranger who lives in my building and owns this linksys router and so generously lets his needy neighbour share his internet connection.
Thank you! :D

And my dear stranger, I also want you to know that I plan on trespassing on your network only until my own connection is up and running.

Now that gets me thinking. I was also planning on getting a connection and a WiFi router myself. But then how do I ensure that I am not so 'generous'? How do I ensure that the signal is just strong enough to connect inside my walls and don't go beyond them?

Any techies wanna help me?

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

He & She

He - "Why are you so silent these days?"

She - "Why? Are you scared of silence?"

Are you?

Monday, July 24, 2006

A thought

The thing that makes you exceptional, if you are at all, is inevitably that which must also make you lonely.

-Lorraine Hansberry, playwright and painter (1930-1965)

Friday, July 14, 2006

Need a mallu saviour

I’ve lost faith in Malayalam movies after watching the recent Dileep flick – Chess. God knows what made the producer fund such a movie. Absolutely nothing new. Except for Dileep’s antics as a budding action hero. The only thing that was slightly entertaining was to hear the Tamilian police officer speak mallu :)
In a nutshell, if someone offers you unlimited popcorn and free passes to the movie, don’t hesistate - run in the other direction.

What is happening to the Mallu film industry? Other than Thanmathra, I can’t remember a single mallu movie that I can admit that I really liked in the past two years.

Are my expectations growing out of hand, or do you feel the same way too?

If I have missed out any good mallu movie released in the last 2 years, let me know. Would love to watch them.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

He & She

He - "You know what? You are the best dancing partner I've ever had."

She - "Really? But you haven't seen anything yet buddy!"

Friday, July 07, 2006

Wedding Blues

It's not everyday that I get to attend these typical TamBrahm weddings. And thank god for that. For other than being a good place to meet long lost relatives and to catch up with your cousins, I generally don't enjoy sitting through one.

Especially because of the things you get to hear.

”Oh my Priyakutti, the saari you are wearing is so gorgeous. You look picture perfect.”

Well after a tiring all night bus journey home which ensured that all my bones got a good jostle, I don't know which picture she was talking about. But yes, compliments are always welcome. Thank you aunty.

”Hey, nice colour your saari has. Where from dear?”
At this point, my mother proudly pitches in.
”This is the latest in design. I told the shopkeeper I want nothing but the latest in design for my daughter. See all the threadwork. Here and here and here too. And it doesn't come any cheap. Well if you ask me for the price, I'd have to say that 5K won't be enough to get one of these babies…..”

My dear mom!!! Why do you think the most expensive would always be the best? And whatever gave you the idea that a saari with windows on it and diamond-look-alike stones stuck on it would be something your daughter would like? And why should weddings be an occasion where you have to splurge so much on what you wear? Let the bride and groom take care of that. Well, they already do!

”Hey, here's the heroine of the family. Heard you passed out of IIM and all. Midukki. But dear, you are not getting any younger. Next time I come down here, it should be for your wedding. Okie? Come on, and promise me.”

I have nothing but a sheepish smile to give for that.

”I am already so old Priya. I don't know how long I am gonna be alive. Why don't you get married soon so that I can attend one more wedding? Promise that to this granny. It's my dying wish.”

Now if this isn't blackmailing, what is?!!

”Oh molu, look at the groom, he is so fair and so handsome, no? We'll find you someone like that or maybe even better, nothing but the best for Priyakutty.”

Thank you. But I like them dark and a little ugly auntyji.
Why oh why are always fair and chikna men considered the best? Why can't they say we'll find you a smarter guy. Why do people think that “a handsome guy + very fair girl = blissfully married couple”?



But then I love these occasions that happen once in a blue moon that gets my entire family under one roof. All ages, all sizes and all shapes and all kinds – all of them unique.

More than anything I just love the next generation in my family. Cousins whom I have played house house with a zillion times, cousins who have bit me so hard and made me cry for hours together, cousins who have played horrible pranks on me, cousins whom I have scared during power cuts using a torch and my long hair to maximum effect, cousins for whom I would wait longingly for every summer vacation, cousins whom I love very very much......

Suddenly realised that those have become things of past now. Sweet memories that will be talked about or just silently remembered and sighed upon on such occasions.

I have faith in this generation. They are bold, they are smart and they are go-getters. The little kids whom I have seen running around in chaddis chasing their HotWheels, talk nothing but stuff ranging from latest mobiles and high-end lappies to guys and gals and philosophy and career and life.
I realised they are also growing up with me and are getting better day by day.

And of course, they have the best of everything too.
Including a sister like me :)

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Food for thought

The Oyster
Author Unknown

There once was an oyster whose story I tell,
Who found that some sand had got into his shell.
It was only a grain, but it gave him great pain
For oysters have feelings although they're so plain.

Now, did he berate the harsh workings of fate
that brought him to such a deplorable state?
Did he curse at the government, cry for election,
And claim that the sea should have given him protection?

No- he said to himself as he lay on a shell,
Since I cannot remove it I shall try to improve it.
Now the years have rolled around, as the years always do.
And he came to his ultimate destiny: stew.

And the small grain of sand that had bothered him so
Was a beautiful pearl all richly aglow.
Now the tale has a moral, for isn't it grand
What an oyster can do with a morsel of sand?

What couldn't we do if we'd only begin
with some of the things that get under our skin?

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Can't smile without you

Can't stop humming this tune to myself, after I heard it as the title track of Starsky & Hutch :)

You know I can't smile without you
I can't smile without you
I can't laugh and I can't sing
I'm findin' it hard to do anything

You see I feel sad when you're sad
I feel glad when you're glad
If you only knew what I'm goin' through
I just can't smile without you

You came along just like a song
And brightened my day
Who'da believed that you were part of a dream?
Now it all seems light years away

And now you know I can't smile without you
I can't smile without you
I can't laugh and I can't sing
I'm findin' it hard to do anything

You see, I feel sad when you're sad
I feel glad when you're glad
If you only knew what I'm goin' through
I just can't smile without you

Now some people say happiness takes so very long to find
Well I'm finding it hard leavin' your love behind me

And you see I can't smile without you
I can't smile without you
I can't laugh and I can't sing
I'm findin' it hard to do anything

You see I feel glad when you're glad
I feel sad when you're sad
If you only knew what I'm goin' through
I just can't smile without you.

- Barry Manilow

Monday, June 12, 2006

What makes women happy?

Overheard at The Observer and agreed to....

Too many people climb the perceived ladder of happiness and find it's leaning against the wrong wall.

....it is undeniable that, in all our striving for perfection, in our sense of ourselves as projects to be tweaked and completed, we have lost sight of how to be happy.


Read the article to get an idea of what goes through the minds of an ambitious woman in today's world. Though this article is about women, it would make a good read for the men out there, who go crazy trying to figure us out.

Go on and read this.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Logical conclusion to outsourcing!?

Came across this short and queer article, The Corner Office in Bangalore in NY Times (Subscription required).

It says,


So far, outsourcing manufacturing and services has led to higher chief executive compensation, at the expense of shareholder profit. For example, I.B.M.'s chief executive, Samuel J. Palmisano, who has been moving jobs to India, last year saw his total compensation rise 19 percent to $18.9 million — even as the total return for his company's stock fell 16 percent.


So the article concludes that this just proves there's a lot more to go in globalization and that maybe a good way to unlock tremendous value for shareholders would be if
they hired their chief executives from local offices - like Bangalore or Beijing

and that
installing a foreigner from a developing country as chief executive would be a savvy move.


Well, I donno how savvy it will be, but it's definitely good for us. But, I am sure our friends on the other side of the world might not agree on it. First it was brain drain - which benefited them directly, but now we are talking of power drain - in the opposite direction.

The article gets a little more interesting when it goes on to say

given the importance placed on performing well in science and math in countries like China and India, it would be more likely that an offshored chief executive would have had a rigorous technical education instead of degrees in the "softer" management disciplines that are common at American business schools.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

An ode to the women in Mumbai local



No, this is not for women like you and me who blog as a hobby, take the internet for granted, wonder which place to have dinner at over the weekend, which multiplex to visit and those who have their mp3 players for company while travelling in the local and so on....

But this is for those women who.....

- belong to a good 3/4th of the entire women populace in Mumbai

- have never travelled by the first class in local, not because they want to save money to binge on the next Saturday night, but simply because they CANNOT afford it.

- juggle between office work and house work and don't have the privilege of having a maid.

- do their pujas or prayers in the train for the good of her husband and children. She carries a book with her in which she writes 500 Ramajayams (‘Praise the lord’s) during her travel in the local train.

- buy vegetables on her way back from work, so that she can cut them while sitting in the train - that is, if she manages to get a seat for herself.

I wonder what goes through her mind when she chops those carrots.

Would you call her submissive to fate or enterprising? Or maybe both?

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

You never know what's Just Around The Corner

I love Mumbai for the food. The vada-pav. The pani-puri. The pav bhaji. The sugar cane juice. The kachori. The sizzlers.

I also hate Mumbai for the food. Especially for all the oil they put into it so generously. In the last month, I'd have consumed more oil than I have in the last 2 years. It makes me sick just seeing the golden yellow oil dripping out of almost any preparation that passes off as food here.

But then I got introduced to Just Around The Corner, and forgave Mumbai for all the damage caused by the oil.



Now before you can fully understand why I feel so strongly about JATC, you have to understand certain things about me.

- I am a health food freak. You tell me cockroach antennae are good for eyesight, I might actually consider snacking on them over tea.

- I love to see green in my plate. The greener the better. Be it palak or just plain green leaves in the salad. Sometimes, it gets so obsessive that I got to thinking that maybe there's more to this. Is that why a cow followed me and entered our home when I was a kid? A long lost relative? I would rather not pull at that thread.

- I eat very small portions and I don't like wasting food.

That's why JATC was a perfect dinner place for me. My food was colourful. Lots of greens and reds and yellows. Yummy soup. I got to choose what I wanted on my plate and could pile up as much as my plate could carry. I get to dress it up with what I liked too. And I didn't have to waste a morsel.

Loved the place. Loved the ambience. Loved the food.

You will love the place too if you enjoy good food and don't really mind the couple in your neighbouring table who tend to make out every 10 minutes. And with plenty of sound effects.

Thanks to the lovely couple who took me to Just Around the Corner in Bandra, Mumbai. I hope there's a JATC in Bangalore too.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Mr. Priya Sivaraman

I am really proud and happy about being a woman. Honest!

So it didn't feel very good when I saw an inappropriate salutation in front of my name in the pay slip. Mr. Priya Sivaraman. It sounds so bizarre!

I consoled myself that things could only get better as the day unfolded, but I was wrong. One thing after another added a new wrinkle in my forehead, until.....

....I came across this MAILER-DAEMON failure message.

This is the mail delivery agent at messagelabs.com.
I was not able to deliver your message to the following addresses.

FirstName.LastName@ngtuk.com:
195.92.109.26 does not like recipient.
Remote host said: 553 5.7.1 FirstName.LastName@ngtuk.com... Unknown recipient


Looks like the server is having a mood swing too.
But I can't stop smiling here. I wonder whether 195.92.109.26 would like Mr. Priya Sivaraman. :P

Monday, May 29, 2006

Engineer vs. MBA

Take any IT company in India.

You would always find that most of the Engineers worry whether they are working on the latest in technology and keep pondering whether they should go for higher studies. Why not an MBA?

The other side of the story.
The more aggressive and confident new-age MBA constantly worries whether he/she is adding value to the organization and whether whatever he works on is good enough to go into his CV and whether his career is progressing in the right path - the shortest path to be the young CEO.

But they stand united in their worry over when they will get to go onsite.

And so it goes on.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Convenient Customer service

I am sitting happy two days before I have to fly to Mumbai. Feel lucky to have got one of those cheap tickets in the low cost Air Deccan. While I make big plans of what to do with the money I have saved, I get this call from a cheerful Air Deccan executive.

I attend the call hoping that it's just to confirm my ticket. I couldn't have been more wrong. The non-apologetic female mentions casually to me that the flight I was supposed to take was cancelled due to some technical reasons that she can't reveal. I get mad at her and Air Deccan only to realise after a couple of moments that it's not gonna get me to Mumbai.

An hour later, after calming my racing heart I decide to shell out more dough for a seat in Kingfisher.

My date with ugly lady bad luck was not over yet. I still had to get the refund on the Air Deccan tickets.

Somehow I get this feeling that it's not going to be easy getting a refund from them. Anyways I tell myself to be positive and make the fateful call.

Time is 7PM.

Operator - "Thank you for calling Air Deccan. Your call is being monitored for internal purposes. Press 1 for blah blah, press 2 for rescheduling, blah, press 3 for ticket related queries and refunds...."

I press 3.

Operator - "Press 1 for ticket related queries, Press 2 for refunds...."

I press 2.

Operator - "Sorry, kindly call us back during working days between 9-5 for refunds."

I wait for the next day and call them again at 11AM.

Operator - "Thank you for calling Air Deccan. Your call is being monitored for internal purposes. Press 1 for ..."

I press 3.

Operator - "Press 1 for ticket related queries, Press 2 for refun........."

I press 2 a little impatient.

Next thing I hear is the busy tone. They cut me off!

I thought maybe this was some technical glitch and go through the calling routine once more. Cut off again.

I tried again. Beep Beep. No luck.

Finally I decide to somehow get to an operator and choose an option other than refunds. I explain to him my plight. He was far more apologetic than the person who conveyed the news of the flight cancellation. After exchanging all the information and after listening to their hold music for more than 70 minutes, the call center executive asks me to call again the next day!! And he reminds me to press 4 and not to choose the refunds option!!

I ask him why and he tells me matter-of-factly that since it's a busy day they usually don't take the refund calls!! What he meant was that they would rather try to get money from people rather than return it!

Maybe Air Deccan should change its brand tag from
Air Deccan - No.1 for low air fares
to
Air Deccan - Cheap by all means

Does low cost mean they can get away with shabby customer service? Have decided never to dirty my hands dealing with Air Deccan again.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

He & She

He - "Hey your page rank is 5 and mine is 0. No fair."

She - Pppppbt!

Sunday, April 16, 2006

IIM Kozhikode has 100% reservation.

Were you surprised/shocked by Mr. Singh's proposal to increase the reservations in IITs/IIMs to 49.5%?

Did you ponder for awhile about what would happen to the quality of students churned out from these institutes if it was allowed?

Did you have long and heated discussions with your friends and family about what was the problem with our system and how we should fix it?

Did you opine that the government should start from the 'grass-root' level?

After all the hungama were you tired of all the noise generated by the media on this topic and wish that someone/something would put an end to it?
I did! But it doesn’t look like we are going to reach anywhere soon.

But while all this was happening under the spotlight of national media, while the movers and shakers of this country were churning out opinions about what should have been done, somebody in a corner of the country had already started turning the wheel very quietly. And now it has gained quite a good momentum too.

I am talking about the Centre of Excellence initiative of IIM Kozhikode. It's been there since 2002 and has been working very successfully with help from Kerala state government. It's an ambitious initiative to help the SC/ST students in the state by imparting specific skills to them and by helping them develop their personalities. Most of them, empowered after this 5 month course, go for higher studies or take up well paying jobs. Now doesn’t that sound a little saner and more practical than just increasing reservation in institutes-that-are-darn-tough-to-get-into?
You might want to read more about this novel initiative by IIM Kozhikode, published by Outlook India here.

Well, one thing to note here is that CeX has a 100% reservation for Dalit and Adivasis from Kerala. Now do I hear someone shouting about how there should be reservation purely on merit?

Saturday, April 15, 2006

He & She

He - "What did you wish for this New Year?"

She - "To live with you happily ever after. And what did you wish for?"

He - "For your wish to come true."

Friday, April 14, 2006

She & She

She - "Granny, me going to my friend Mary's place. Will come back soon."

Granny-she - "Let me tell you one thing. We, Tam-brahms should not make so much friends with Christians. Don't go their house. Listen to me."

She - Dumbfounded.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

He & She

She - "If I ask you to cut your hair really short, would you do it for me?"

He - "Hmmmm......maybe, maybe not!"

She - "Hmmmmmmmmmm. How about a tonsure so that I can caress your bald head."

He - "Sure. But here's another idea. Why don't you just assume that my tummy is my bald head and caress it?"

She - "Boys!"

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

He & She

She - "Do you know that you are a part of me?"

He - "Of course. I'll always be! I love you!"

She - "Hey mister, let's not get into heavy duty stuff. I just meant that He is in She" :)

He - "oh. You and your PJs."

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Lakshadweep ahoy!

GWBE somehow managed to unpause herself and set sail to Lakshadweep couple of weeks back to celebrate the becoming of an MBA.


A Lakshadweep collage
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Lakshadweep, one of the union territories of India, is a group of 36 sleepy islands strewn around in the Arabian Sea whose collective area is just 32 sqkm and most of the inhabited islands are not more than 4-5 sq km. Since Malayalam is one of the languages commonly used here, I somehow felt like it's just another part of my beautiful Kerala. Not to mention that here too all I could see was coconut trees and men walking around in lungis.

I am glad I visited Lakshadweep, India's only coral islands. Lots of firsts for me in this trip. First time I sailed on a ship. First time I snorkelled, scuba dived and kayaked. First time I really enjoyed a beach.

Right culmination for the 2 year stay in IIMK - the beautiful God's own campus. Now as I wait for the convocation whereby I officially get my degree all I can do is reminisce the wonderful days we spent at Lakshadweep. Countless memories.

Some of the more vivid ones......

Made my first (and hopefully the last) journey in an ambulance. That's how I reached the ship. Boy, it was so hot inside that thing, any poor soul that spends more than 10 minutes inside it would have to be hospitalised anyway!

Slept in the ship at night and visited a different island by day. some islands that I contributed my footprints to were Kavaratti - the capital, Kalpeni - the one with the beautiful lagoon and Minicoy - the one with the lighthouse and the resort.

The majestic but really old M V Tipu Sultan, the ship that carried me to Lakshadweep.

We gasped when we fist landed there, humbled by the beauty of the place, then gathered ourselves and collectively took 1500 pics in an attempt to capture the beauty of that place.

Enjoyed the ride on a glass bottomed boat and had a preview of what was in store underwater to be explored.

I swam around with fishes coloured blue, black, red, yellow, orange......

Shared a day with prawns and lobsters and sea cucumbers and a very colourful snake-like eel.

Took away an Alphabet conch as a souvenir for myself :)

Tasted fresh coconut toddy or neeru

Was part of a team that excavated the remains of a cow :)

Found a beautiful coral that reminded me of Monkey's Paw.

Got sea sick on the boat and contributed something to the corals :)

Slept on the deck of the ship. Got up with face lined with soot from the chimney. Slept the rest of the days wrapped up in a sleeping bag.

Got lost exploring the ship on my own.

Spotted sharks and dolphins and flying fishes...so many of them.

Discovered the joys of snorkelling, scuba diving and kayaking

Fell in love with coconut trees. Again.

The beaches were so shallow that you can walk into them for half a mile and still be just waist deep in water.

Floated around in the vast lagoon without a care in the world. Almost got sunburnt. But what the heck!
Understood why women on the islands were the long smocks that cover every part of their body except their faces. Practical.

Some of the islands were so small you could go on a long walk along the beach and get back to your starting point in a couple of hours.

Got a load of the traditional dance forms of Lakshadweep. Was not surprised to see that it resembled some of the mallu dance forms like Oppana and
drunken-men-dancing-around-a-pot-of-toddy :P

Had a chat with the Captain who explained to a group of us about the instruments in the Bridge. He had something interesting to say

Those who have 6/6 vision are the privileged ones who join the naval academy. The rest go to engineering colleges.

Enlightened :P

Watched some great sunsets and sunrises from the ship. Not comparable to the ones at K. But still great.

Finally learnt which side was Port side and which side was Starboard.

Used up more sunscreen in those 4 days than I have ever used in my life before. Thank god for that, people at least recognise me now.

Saw some weird rebellious coconut trees. Coconut trees that looked like they had a mind of their own. Some grew in such a way as if they want to hug the other trees near them. Some looked absolutely crazy growing perpendicular and then changing their minds and growing straight up. Some decided not to grow taller than a few feet so that someone like me can just raise up my hand and pat their heads!
You can see some of them here.

Aquamarine, turquoise, lapis lazuli and sapphire. I saw each one of these colours in the waters of Lakshadweep. And now I know why we need to have so many distinctions for Blue and green and just how beautiful these colours can be.

Saw an army of snails and shells marching as if their lives were at stake. Maybe they were signalling the arrival of high tide. The beach looked so busy with the conch shells, the multisized snails, the crabs carrying their homes and moving away from the water. I felt silly standing there with my feet in the water while everyone else in that beach seemed to be running away from it.

The roads in Lakshadweep were so narrow there's just enough space for one vehicle to move at a time. And people mostly get around with bicycles and motorbikes and small autos. Didn't see a single car in the entire group of islands. I guess people here own boats rather than cars.
Given this scenario, it was strange to see a traffic signal blinking away its red and yellow and green. Too bad there was noone to pay attention to it :P

Clicked away with my Canon Powershot like never before. Check out some of my favourite pics of the ship, M V Tipu Sultan and of the breathtaking landscapes of Lakshadweep here.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Seriously!

Life should come with a pause button.

:|

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Friday, February 17, 2006

I care for Vimala Home. Would you like to join me?

Some of you might remember Vimala Home and the little girl, Ancy. For those of you who do not, here's a small introduction. And here's where you can read more about Vimala Home.

As part of our Social development programme here at IIM K, a group of us went back to Vimala Home to help them out with their operations. We did our best for them and now, I'd like to request for your help too.

If you are from Kerala, here's how you can help. If you know any physically handicapped girl child who needs help and love, tell her guardians about Vimala Home and help her have a better life.

If you are from Kozhikode, you can help the children indirectly by helping them sell their Vimal Condiments. If you know any hotel manager or a caterer or a mess contracter or a department store owner or anyone who stays near Medical College, Kozhikode- spread the word about Vimal Condiments and cajole them to buy their spices from Vimala Home.

If not, say a little prayer for the children at Vimala Home and spread the word.

You can contact them at
VIMALA HOME FOR THE HANDICAPPED
Devagiri Complex, Kozhikode,
Kerala - 673 008
Ph: +91-495-2355908

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Tuesdays with Morrie

There is no way I would have bought this book myself. Referred by a friend, it came into my hands at the perfect time - when I had nothing else to do but read whatever came my way.

Tuesdays with Morrie, authored by Mitch Albom may not be one of the best well-written books around. But the insights it offers pretty much makes up for it. The book revolves around the conversations on Tuesdays between a student (Albom) and his slowly dying prof (Morrie). A true story, the book had me amazed at the courage of the dying man.

A part of the book that particularly moved me....


"I heard a nice little story the other day," Morrie says. He closes his eyes for a moment and I wait.

"Okay. The story is about a little wave, bobbing along in the ocean, having a grand old time. He's enjoying the wind and the fresh air - until he notices the other waves in front of him, crashing against the shore.

'My God, this is terrible,' the wave says. 'Look what's going to happen to me!'

Then along comes another wave. It sees the first wave looking grim, and it says to him, 'Why do you look so sad?'

The first wave says, 'You don't understand! We're going to crash! All of us waves are going to be nothing! Isn't it terrible?'

The second wave says, 'No, you don't understand. You're not a wave; you're part of the ocean.'"

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Who said political news has to be boring?

Mr. Karunakaran said it was weak forces in the LDF which were opposed to the entry of DIC(K)......


and

.....a reported statement of the Communist Party of India leader Veliyam Bhargavan that those who came in contact with the DIC(K) would have to take bath....


These are from an article on DIC(K), Democratic Indira Congress-Karunakaran and its leader Mr. Karunakaran's quotes.

Ah well, maybe it's time I took up a new hobby to kill time.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Kerala's GDP hits an all-time high!!!!


Kerala's economy registered an all-time high growth rate of 9.2 per cent in 2004-05, with the major contribution of 13.8 per cent in the services sector.

The service sectors like tourism, real estate and banking contributed 13.8 per cent to the growth.......


I take my hobby of travelling seriously for a year and look what I have gone and done!!!
:)

GWBE had been blog-fasting. Was a little tied up wrapping up the MBA thing. Two more precious weeks out here and I can say - It's over!! Happy or sad? Donno.

I walked out of the exam hall today; it was my last exam. People were cheering about that fact that they were full-fledged MBAs now ready to hit the big bad world and to prove their worth.
But all I could think of was.............What next?

These 18 months out here at IIMK there were so many short term goals to look forward to that one never had to plan or think too much about what to do. You were safe and secure in a cocoon. And there was always something to do. Some deadlines to be met. Days and nights went by so fast.

And now it's time to emerge from the cocoon and explore the world. The thought itself is exciting. But a little scary about the uncertain future. Whatever is in store for me, I hope I get to stop and smell the flowers too on the way.

Have a great day ppl!





Off topic - A great initiative by my friend Anil. Would be equally appealing to connoisseurs of good food and comic enthusiasts. Being part of both the groups, I enjoyed it tremendously.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

I will never whine.............

I will never whine
When in my hand I hold yours;
And in the other,
A sparkling glass of red red wine.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

At New Year's......

Someone rightly said...

To see a young couple loving each other is no wonder,
But to see an old couple loving each other is the best sight of all.


How true!

I was at this New Year's Eve party at Taj Residency, Calicut and the party hall was filled with mostly families along with 2-3 school-going-aged kids, a group of socialite ladies, a whacky alumni group of a mumbai college, a couple of couples not-yet-wed and some just-wed and of course some stags who just sit and stare at the couples as if that's their birthright.

The hostess was trying her best to get the people to the dance floor. And guess which was the first pair that made the move?

A couple with silver hair. A couple whose combined age would be not less than 150. Yup, a really really old couple.

They could have been just another old couple you would usually see going for small strolls or just sitting around in the park watching their grandchildren play hide and seek and take for granted.

But this couple was special. The old man was the first one on the dance floor with his wife in his arms. They started dancing with each other as if the new year's eve was their last night together. The way they were waltzing and salsa-ing and jiving and enjoying each other was a sight to behold.

I prayed. If I could be so much in love when I have lost all my teeth and have a mane full of silver hair and have a dozen grand children, I know I'd be the happiest woman on this planet.

My wish for the New Year! :)


Happy new year, people. Have a great year ahead.