Sunday, November 09, 2008

Let's watch TV

He with TV remote: Click Click Click Pause Click Click Click Click Click Click Pause Click Click Click

She joins him in the sofa.

He: Click Click Click Pause Click Click Click Pause Click Click Click Click Click Click

She: "Hey can I have the remote please?"

He: "Sure".

She: "Thanks". Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click Click

He: "Wow, you're really good at it! I love you."

She: :D

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Winter's around the corner

You know winter's around the corner when.....

1. The leaves turn gold, auburn and then copper.

2. Your taste buds long for hot soups every evening.

3. Your knees seem to have their own mind (not applicable to those lucky enough to be on the right side of 25).

4. The weather girl has nothing good to say anymore.

5. You forget to put the milk back in the fridge, but it still stays fresh as ever.

6. You are up. But the sun isn't.

7. Your most favourite item of clothing is a pair of socks and it never comes off you.

8. It takes you all of 5 minutes to layer up before you head outside to throw the garbage and to get the mail.

9. You think the heated underblanket is the greatest invention since sliced wholegrain bread.

10. But you
REALLY know winter's here when someone suddenly says....

He: "Hey dear, we never hold hands anymore! Why is that?"

She: "Hmmm that's a nice thought. Let's remedy that right away."

They hold hands and she looks into his eyes expecting to see the warmth of the renewed romance. But instead, she sees something else; something that resembles the look of a sneaky triumph.

She: "OMG, you hands are ice cold. Get 'em off me you **$@$%"

He: "Gotcha! Stole a little bit of heat from you loser!"

That's when you know winter's really here and that you are stuck with it for the next six months.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The side effects of recession

The 'R' word is out officially. The government has confirmed that 'it seems likely that the British economy is entering a recession'.

People dread the R word mainly because of the way it affects almost all walks of their life - and not in a good day! So if you are an average Joe suddenly finding yourself in the R whirlpool, these might sound too familiar for comfort.

  • You might lose your job, if you haven't already.
  • You postpone your annual vacation. You don't want to come back and find the bosses took the liberty to fire you on your first day of the vacation.
  • You are forced to cut down on your extravagant shopping.
  • You don't have the luxury of buying 'organic' groceries and veggies anymore as the prices are on a steep northward trip. If you haven't started collecting the coupons, NOW is the right time.
  • You forget when was the last time you ate out without worrying about the bill that's gonna be presented to you.
  • Google phone being launched? Well, the gadget junkie in you will have to wait.
  • Suddenly you are very much interested in thrifty ways of getting things done.
  • Your Prozac bills suddenly shoot up!
  • Planning to buy a house? No loan for you mister. Even if you are a 'super safe' customer risk wise! No one's a safe customer in these days!
  • Already own a house? You might need some extra Saridons to keep the mortgage headache under control.
  • Where there's a will there's a way. You pull out your children out of the private school. They have your smart genes and will do equally well in public schools.
  • Car broke down? Good riddance. The bus is more roomy and I get to snooze and read about the 'R' on the Economic Times.
  • Newspaper? Why buy when I can read it for free online or nick it after the guy in the bus snores once he finishes the puzzles page.
  • Toilet paper? No way! Water's better.
These are a few of the worries that the uglies - recession and credit crunch brings out in most countries. But in India, there are other consequences too. If you are in the wrong industry during a recession, it might mean that you stay single for a tad longer than you hoped to. For all the romeos who were hoping to get on the big-fat-arranged-wedding bandwagon and a get a good bargain thanks to their cushy job in IT, the table's suddenly turned!

And for those who are engaged, hold on tight to that ring....and the gal!

Thursday, October 02, 2008

I loathe meetings

You just can't escape them in this world whatever profession you are in. It somehow creeps in and seems to gobble up most of your precious time and leaves you deflated and useless at the end of a long one. On my average day at work I spend around 3-4 hours in meetings.

Meetings are alright, really, they are alright if run properly. By properly I mean, people come on time, only required people attend it, there's someone managing it, there's a set agenda and it's followed, and you reach at some logical next steps by the end of it. I can live with all that. But what I simply cannot tolerate is the small talk that precedes these meetings. Especially here in the UK, it's as if the small-talk is a mandatory Step No. 1 in the agenda. You just can't do without it. And it irkes me cause I never seem have much to contribute to it!

It is a Monday afternoon. I have scheduled a meeting with three other colleagues to discuss some issues. Two of them arrive five minutes early and we all proceed to wait for the third person. And it starts.....
Colleague 1: Nice day, innit?
Colleague 2: Yeah, sunny and bright. Loved the walk after lunch today.
Me: ( notices the weather for the first time in the day and nods along)
Colleague 1: I hope the weather stays put for the weekend. I have a trek planned with some buddies.
Colleague 2: Oh really? I just got back from a trek in the Alps this weekend with my girlfriend. And I proposed at the peak.
Me: Wow, that would have been something. Congratulations.
Colleague 1: Congrats mate. So when's the big day? I hope it's not next Summer. I'm off to Athens on a 20 day tour.
Colleague 2: I am off to Athens this weekend, I'll let you know how it was.
Colleague 1: Thanks! So Priya what you upto this weekend?
Me: Hmm....er....nothing much. I guess I'll do some washing and general cleaning up and maybe curl around with a book.
Colleague 1: Oh ok. Sounds like fun. Have a good one.
Colleague 2: Yeah, I never get time to do my washing!
Me: (If you stay at home some weekends, you might!)
And so it goes on......
Another day. And it's a Friday! And it's a weekly team meeting. Everyone arrives early for the meeting. But you just can't start talking business. You need some warm-up. And we dive right into it.
Bob : So weekend's here eh? What you upto Rob?
Rob : Well, nothing much. I am taking the kids camping on the shores of river Ness. They want to stay up and watch out for the Lochness monster.
Bob: Oh that's sweet. Do take your barbecue kit with you. Nothing like it. We did that last summer.
Rob: Thanks mate, will do. Do you have anything fun planned this weekend?
Bob: Just going cycling. In Wales. Hoping to conquer around 50 miles of a hilly rugged cycling route there. What about you Susie?
Susie: Oh I am going sailing! I have been taking lessons all year now and I just can't wait to try it on my own.
Rob, Bob: Crikey! That sounds brilliant. Have a good one!
Susie: Priya, what about you?
Me: hmmmm....er.....I am off to the library to get some books. And er.....yeah we are driving down to the beach.
Susie: Sounds good.
After the initial experiences at these warm up sessions, now I have learnt my lessons too. First of all, I am trying to be more active and not be a couch potato over the weekend. A slow but sure start.

And secondly and most importantly, I have learnt to cook up creative things to talk about. That makes it much more easier. When I prepare for the meetings, I spend a couple of minutes deciding what I did fun in the last weekend. Especially if the meetings are on Monday or Friday. So I go skiing some weekends, trekking and scuba-diving the other weekends - all in my mind though! But it makes the meetings much more enjoyable now.

Offtopic: Did you know that you lose 82 hours of your life each year if you live in a busy city? All thanks to the dawdlers! If you find yourself without time to exercise or to sleep, blame the dawdlers!





Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The 'Love' tag

Damn! Another tag. If there's anything I hate - it's doing a tag post. It feels so much like work :(

But this one I couldn't refuse. So here goes.

The rules for the tag are:

RULE #1 People who have been tagged must write their answers on their blogs and replace any question that they dislike with a new question formulated by themselves.

RULE #2 Tag 6 people to do this quiz and those who are tagged cannot refuse. These people must state who they were tagged by and cannot tag the person whom they were tagged by continue this game by sending it to other people.

1. If your lover betrayed you what would your reaction be?

He is dead meat. He will surely not get away with it easy.

But since there’s a reason why I am with the guy in the first place, I’d probably give him a chance to explain things and I’d genuinely try to put things back in place. But I’ll try the forgive-and-live-with-it therapy only once. The next time he cheats on GWBE or inclines to, I’ll first spend all the cash in his bank account on a luxury cruise trip around the world for myself and some friends to get him out of my system and yeah, I’ll give the lawyer a ring to get him off my life pronto.

2. If you have a dream come true, what would it be?

Author a book, get it published and voila! It's a bestseller!

Well, is that one dream or three? :P

3. If you could, whose butt would you like to kick?

All people who have lied to me to get what they want. Some have come clean but some still don’t know that I know that they lied to me. It’s the second category I’d really like to cream.

Also, all the HRs who have blamed the bell curve for my lousy end-of-year raise while they suddenly seem to be able to afford a vacation in Australia and a new luxury car.

4. What would you do with a billion dollars?

I’d invest all of it in risk free low yield bonds and live off the interest! :)

That’s what the Capricon in me would want me to do!


But I guess I’d really start a publishing company and publish my books and my friends’ books! :)

10mn to support education and basic necessities for needy kids in India.

A million dollars to everyone in the first few pages of my good books.

Recruit a fund manager to manage whatever’s left!

A post-nuptial agreement to take care of scenario 1 :)

Write a will. Over here I’ll take care to mention each and everyone in my good books. Including the post man in Trichur who’s about to retire.

5. Will you fall in love with your best friend?

I did. Worked for me.

But nope, not again. I’m set for life.

6. Which is more blessed: loving someone or being loved by someone?

Loving someone and getting it back from the same person.

After a point, it strains when it’s just one way. And it holds true for all flavours of love – among couples, mother and child, siblings, friends – it’s best when it’s reciprocated.

7. How long do you intend to wait for someone you love?

Duh! If he isn’t smart enough to realise my love and ‘asks for time’ to decide, I’ll show him the door! If you’re not on the same page in the beginning, you may never be!

8. If the person you secretly like is attached, what will you do?

Won’t happen with me because I don’t ‘secretly’ like anyone. If I like someone, I ensure that they and everyone around me know about it!

9. If you could root for one social cause, what would it be?

Free and compulsory education for all. That should take care of everything else.

10. Do you lie?

I try not to. Exceptions are when the truth might hurt someone. And yeah, I lie to myself everyday that the weighing machine is broken.

11. Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?

Right here where I am. A little fatter, a little wiser, a little humbler, in a bigger house with a vegetable garden where I grow my favourite veggies and fruits, probably given up corporate life and doing something more satisfying that gives me more time to fill out tags like this. :)

12. What’s your fear?

That there’s Alzheimer’s in my future. Whenever I forget a commonly used word or forget a name, I relive that fear.

I also fear that I’ll die from a snake bite in my vegetable garden. :(

13. What kind of person do you think the person who tagged you is?

She’s different from everyone else I know! She’s one of a kind. She’s a little weird in a curious way and I’ll never be able to predict her actions. :)

And I think there’s a totally different person buried deep inside the exterior she’s been showing to everyone in this world.

14. Would you rather be single and rich or married and poor?

Married and poor. I am confident I can make the guy work enough to get us rich in a couple of years. Till then there’s the credit card and the lottery tickets! :)

15. If you fall in love with two people simultaneously who will you pick?

If I ever did, I guess I’d pick the one that gets along with my friends and family better.

16. Would you give all in a relationship?

Of course! If you don’t, you haven’t bought it, you’re still ‘trying it out’. I believe relationships are like finite state machines – you’re either in it 100% or you are not. There’s no in between state.

17. Would you forgive and forget someone no matter how horrible a thing he has done?

I’d forgive. But I’d never forget. Until I get Alzheimer’s that is.

18. Do you prefer being single or in a relationship?

Relationship! I hate coming back to an empty house. I hate cooking for myself. I hate waking up alone. I love sharing the uglies and the lovelies that life brings with it. I’d explode if I don’t!

19. Your all time favourite song. Only ONE. And why?

Unarumee Gaanam- Moonampakkam
It’s a song from a simple yet powerfully emotional movie in Malayalam. Every time I hear/see this song I well up – it reminds me of the carefree childhood days and all the people who’d loved me unconditionally. Realisation that slowly but surely, these people will be taken away from you looms large. Memories can be cruel, can’t they?

20. I TAG these 6 people because…

Ajith, cause he’s having a great time at K, which I miss!


Virdi, cause I am sure he’ll be in a great mood for some days now and I hope that enthu will rub off in the tag!


Meghna, cause I think maybe she needs some food for thought to revive her blog.


Nikhil, cause I know he's busy and that he's gonna say 'Damn! One more!'


Abhi. Tit for tat! But hey, your tag’s next! Coming up soon!


Vids cause I’d like to hear her side of the story!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Real thing?

I've been dreaming a lot lately. Actually, I've been dreaming every moment I am asleep. It's such a strange feeling when the dream feels so real when you are in it.

In my dreams usually I get up to a beautiful sunrise, get dressed and go to work, bitch about the commute with my colleagues, get bored at work, flirt with the guy in the cafe, miss my husband, get back home, cook, eat, read blogs, watch a movie and go to sleep! It's like living your life all over again - one when you are awake and another one when you are asleep.

How do we know for sure which is the 'real' real life? I am not so sure anymore.

At least, I don't have any bills to pay in my dream life. As of now, everything seems to be free! My fridge is always well stocked. And I seem to be in great shape too. No worries in life B. So far so good.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Back again.

If you were wondering where I was for the last two months and were concerned about me, well, you should have done something about it other than just leave comments! FYI I was holed up in this tiny apartment held hostage by my evil landlord for the last two months. My husband weighed his options for a long time and in the end decided that he would rather not pay the ransom! And I thought at least my faithful blog readers would come to my rescue! I waited for 60 days and the end of it I was let go on the only condition that I would cook Indian curry for my landlord every single day! That’s how much the British love the curry!

Ah well, who am I kidding! I’ve had the sinfully lazy vacation in the last two months. Anything that required me to lift my tiny little finger was put on hold. Sometimes life screams at you so much that you just have to put a stop to everything else, sit down and listen to it.

So that’s what I’ve been doing. Absolutely nothing. Oh that isn’t entirely true as I did travel around a bit and managed to take some snaps.

Scotland
Third visit in the last 12 months!

A street performer in Royal Mile Edinburgh.



Up above my head somewhere in Edinburgh.



Edinburgh Botanical gardens


I wish I could make myself tiny enough to crawl into this flower and sleep tight in there.



Spring time!



Banana flower?



You cheer me up anyday!


Sparrow inside the glass house. Easy access to a warm nest.


Designs of nature



Glasgow Science centre


Once a geek, always a geek. How can one be in Glasgow and give this a miss?



My hot hubby!



What? You don’t see the penguins? They are everywhere! For once, stop looking at the big picture :)



London Zoo


The lovely Okapis. Half horse, half zebra.



Golden headed lion tamarin who decided to tour the zoo himself.


Blackfooted African Penguins sharing a kiss. Or maybe a worm.



Kensington Palace


A pissed off duck at Kensington Palace grounds.



Kids in action!



Notting Hill Carnival


I dreamed in a thousand colours that night.



London Soho


A plugged-in building



Bath


Roman Bath



Romans watching over those who came to have a bath.



Royal Crescent



Roman architecture on the wall at the marketplace.



Wise and majestic



Crystal web



I-am-different flower.



Kerala, God’s own country




Vallachira temple in Trichur





Monday, June 23, 2008

Eating a cow, week by week



We Londoners have a strange relationship with meat, consuming it voraciously but preferring to ignore its bloody origins and turn up our noses at the rarer cuts. So, in a unique experiment, Time Out decided to buy a cow, cut it up and eat the lot; look out for our series of recipes and cooking tips

Week one: butchery
Week two: the tongue
Week three: ageing
By the time I read this much, I was grossed out enough to shut the book (Time out London) and feel helpless in this hypocrite world. And no, it wasn't because I am a vegetarian, I tested the article on my meat-eating partner and he was equally, if not more, ewwwwwwwwww.

Double standards at its selfish best when you take a picnic to a farm and play with the pink piglets and then buy beef barbecue kits from the supermarket on your way back home and then cry 'ewwwwwww' when you see an article like this or when you see a 'free range' programme on the TV showing animals being tortured for meat.

The article goes on to say....
You’ll feel a sense of satisfaction in having paid respect to the magnificent animal that provided your dinner. So go on – have (eat) a heart.
So what crossed your mind when you saw the picture and the article?

PS: Surprising that they have decided to leave the cow's brain, eyes etc untouched. The penis wasn't spared though!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

TV reaches a new low

I thought TV shows hit the dumps when they started filming stuff like 'Big Brother'. It then slid down a few notches for me when it actually got popular! Duh!

I would never understand why a regular-joe would pause his life and watch not-good-enough-for-prime-time celebrities holed up in a house. Everytime I get a glimpse of this have-no-value-for-time-then-watch-this programme on TV, I couldn't help but imagine a scientist working in his lab watching mice run around mazes.

Now, I wouldn't mind watching the watch-the-mice-show when I know that at the end of it, the scientist is gonna share with me a little bit of something that will help me understand the miracle that is this world a little better. But why something like Big brother? Beats me.

If you are someone who stays up late watching Big Brother, please solve this mystery for me, and tell me what makes you do that!

It looks like there's more on the way. After Big brother, it's celebrity rehab!

He: "What's that you watching?"

She: "Celebrity rehab."

He: "Hmmm. Now what's that?"

She: "It's about forgotten television stars living in a house and fighting their demons."

He: "Why again are you watching that?"
Voice on TV: "Mooney Wiley just took a leak. Will he wash his hands?! Just out - Michelle C has lice in her you-know-what-that-rhymes-like-nanny! Find out more after this commercial break."
She: "Hear, hear! Can it BE any more worse?"

He: "This is suicide TV! A little bit of me just died."

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Next stop. Wales.


Aberystwyth castle
The one thing you wouldn't miss in this country is a castle and an accompanying fort. They are synonymous to the toddy shops in Kerala and the temple gopurams in Tamil Nadu; you just can't ignore them!
And oh, this one is Aberystwyth castle ruins in West Wales. And in the corner of the picture frame is one of my favourite people.


Dragon!
Wales is also known as the 'home of red dragon'. Most of the stories and poetry connected to Wales also allude to a dragon. Apparently, dragons were first sighted in Wales during the Roman time or so the legends say! So no wonder then, this dragon got into the design of this bench in the promenade near the castle.


Who took my wool? :(
A sheep that seemed to say "Did you steal my wool?"!

Funny van
The old and the new. Georgian architecture, an old Volkswagon and a modern sedan all live amicably in Aberaeron.

Sea of caravans
A sea of caravans. These are make shift apartments available for rent. Nope, there weren't any hippies.

Beware of the children?
Spotted in a village restaurant. They should put that on condoms and marriage certificates. What good will it do on a doorsill?
Maybe it's a piece of advice the restauranteur wanted to pass on to his customers as a thank you. Very weird. So was the tattoo of a voluptuous naked lady on his arm which he flashed proudly every time he served us.

Swing. Swing. Swing.
That's me on a sugar rush.

Portmerion
A view from Portmerion, the Italian village.

Wind and sand
Harlech beach. You can see the elements at play. The wind was so strong, we had to walk backwards.

Barmouth bridge
Barmouth rail bridge across Mawddach river estuary. We walked across the bridge by paying a toll. The bridge was built in 1895, and now they are milking the old cow!

What I saw.....
Seemed endless, especially with the strong winds that lashed out at us unhindered over the river. The bridge took us to the Mawddach trail in Snowdonia National Park.

Across the bridge
................and what we left behind.

Flower power
Flower after a shower.


Flower on the way
Another pretty flower that called out to me.

More pics here.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

You lucky thing!

A school has ordered hundreds of bananas in a bid to improve its pupils' performance in exams.

Mozart
is also being played in preparation sessions and lavender-laced tissues are being given to nervous pupils, at Whitecross High School.

The efforts taken to pacify the tensed student and the attention to detail in that quest is laudable - a teacher from the school said on TV that they are distributing the bananas precisely 45 minutes before the exam so that the banana is digested well before the exam and the brain doesn't have to compete for blood supply with the digestive system!

Even after a couple of banana boosters and the lavender sniffs every 15 minutes, if you failed to make the cut, not to worry, you could still get by. Here's how
If students feel that they were disadvantaged in the process because they had a lot of stress in their personal life on the exam day (mother hospitalised, father drinking all night), students would be awarded bonus marks to compensate for their disadvantage.
I know someone who missed out the CAT bus in 2006 in India, all because of a full-bladder-during-the-exam stress.

And if that's not enough, if you are lucky, you could 'win' a fortune as well.
Schoolchildren given the wrong GCSE and A-level grades could collectively be awarded millions of pounds in compensation under a government proposal, an exam board has said.
Calicut University in India would go bankrupt in a jiffy if they were to give out even 100rs per error!

If the average stressed-out kid in India gets to read this, I am sure s/he'll curse his luck and would prester his parents to move to the UK. Well, I would have cried my eye-balls off for these luxuries in my schooling.

Now, isn't that something worth a deep sigh?

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Scottish Highlands

A picture is worth a thousand words and in some cases, even more.

Silversands
The Silver Sands of Morar

Silversands
The backdrop at Silver Sands.

Silversands
The clouds were certainly celebrating something.

Lochness
Spot the differences!

Lochy Caravan - Fort Williams
Home for 3 days. Caravans.
It was such a joy to wake up, look out the window and the mountains greet you.


Green and how!

Lochy
Lochy river. Ice cold.


Ode to the martyrs.


Celebration of spring.

What's Scotland without sheep?
How can you go to Scotland and not have a picture of the sheep.

More pics here.