Thursday, October 23, 2008

Spotted... in Cochin:

Chinese Restaurant"

I will sponsor the first person who volunteers to go check out the food. And the next time I go that way, will try and get a picture.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

"Hey Atyatbudha, meet my friend Shoonyabandhu"

If people really take Maneka Gandhi's "Penguin Book of Hindu Names" to heart, this sentence could well be a part of regular conversation soon. I cannot believe some of the names in this highly praised, hyped up book. Take these two for instance. I mean, Atyatbudha? And Shoonyabandhu -- it has two meanings listed, neither of which would tempt me to name my kid this. The first being "one with no friends", and the second being "friend of dogs".

And anyway, the book should have been titled "Penguin book of Sanskrit names", because that is all there is in it. Apart from two and a half Tamil names and one Malayalam. The latter is priceless -- "Pakal". Meaning "day". I think the woman does not realise the difference between "word" and "name", because clearly, Pakal (like many others in the book) is a word, and certainly not a name. I challenge her to introduce me to a Pakal Kumar or a Pakal Menon.

The blurb reads: "The aim of the work is twofold: to serve as a practical guide for parents choosing a name for their offspring; and to provide a precise and in-depth sourcebook for scholars, pandits and lay readers who like to know what familiar (and not so familiar) Hindu names actually mean." But when bookstores keep it in the child-care section, be assured that people who pick it up are looking for names for their babies. And then imagine coming across something like Arbuda, meaning tumour!

Don't even get me started on the many names that mean things like hell, blood, worm and a collection of such unpleasantness.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

"I want to break free"

It's as though I swallowed something live. Sometimes, it's like there's an octopus inside of me, struggling with its tentacles to get out. And I have to keep telling myself, it's only a baby whose anthem seems to be "I want to break free".

The bump is growing and I am expected to be happy all the time. It's been fun so far. And the rest of the journey better continue being so. Though it scares me a bit -- what is now a bump will soon be an individual, with likes and dislikes, screaming for attention...

Saturday, August 30, 2008

My phone got stolen!

And may the thief rot in hell.

All my contacts from the last so many years, all the birthday reminders, all the lovely pictures, my Snake score.... aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

And I loved my phone. While S saw it as an opportunity to buy a new phone, I wanted the same model. My sleek and slim beautiful phone... sigh...

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Jaane tu ya...

I've been wanting to hear the "Aditi song" after this film critic dedicated his weekly column to this AR Rehman number. So finally heard it the other day when I went and saw the movie (Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na). Loved it. And why not? It has the simplicity of running down stairs. But it is disappointing that in the film, what brings about the song is the death of a cat. Uh...

Anyway, about the film. Just another college romance flick, people have said. Chocolate boy hero, cliched plot, people have said. But I enjoyed every bit of it. Apart from the fact that the boy and girl called each other Rats and Meow. Ack! But the supporting cast -- superb! Naseeruddin Shah in his portrait frame, Paresh Rawal insisting that there are many more nasty policemen like him in the force, Ratna Pathak Shah trying to keep the violent strain out of her son. The best of the lot is certainly the witty and engaging script.

Like adding his signature at the end of a letter, Abbas Tyrewala's parting shot: An old man with a long grey beard fallen asleep in the arrival lounge of the Mumbai airport holding a placard that says "Mr Godot". :)

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

What god gets happy when some 50 men including four frenzied drummers keep an entire neighbourhood awake for over 3 hours in the dead of the night?

In the last three years that we have lived here, we have had several godly processions disturbing general peace. But this was the last straw. The procession started at 11 in the night from somewhere in the labyrinth beyond. The noise took an hour to die out of our range of hearing. At midnight, when things had quietened down, we stumbled bleary eyed to bed. Only to be rudely woken up again at 1 am. It soon peaked, as the return journey closed in on us. And stayed at that peak, right below our window, for a good 15 minutes. And so the procession proceeded, painfully slow, stopping every 100 metres or so and going into frenzies. We even called the cops, and said how can you allow such public nuisance at this time of the night? But it's god's business, they said.

If that particular god was really happy yesterday, I really don't want to know that god.
And if your religious sentiments have been hurt by this post, please explain to me this style of worship and why it is unavoidable.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Here's more

Found one more of the unforgivably bad water bottle philosophy.
I spent my youth never questioning a destiny that made me spend years gathering natural minerals on the Himalayas. And now that yours has led you to me, don't hesitate to drink up.
I say, I would really like to meet the guy who comes up with these.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Water bottle philosophy

Frequent flier that S is, the house at any point has a collection of at least six tiny airline water bottles. The latest two in the collection are truly worth keeping. It comes with its own philosophy. These are those pink Himalayan bottles, which Tata has redesigned and all. So I suppose some frustrated philosopher felt the need to inflict his thoughts on the world.

Anyway, here goes Bottle 1:

"I grew up in a world where Ayurveda came without labels attached. Where water was filled with natural minerals like sodium and calcium. In keeping with the times, we've just put a label on it."

Even better is Bottle 2:

"I look back on life -- it's funny how things turn out. You, a connoisseur of fast food, now gaze at water that took years to make. And I, some of the purest water in the world, stand here, trapped in a bottle. Come, enjoy the irony."

How could one drink it after all that...? I felt I should set it free or something...


I am back I am back!
After over three months.
Not that I didn't have anything to write about.
But that I didn't want to write.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008


Spring time in Bangalore :)
Though it is horribly hot already.
Such lovely colours.
One only had the phone to take pictures. So the quality ain't quite great. But still :)

These at Koramangala:

Vasanth Nagar:

Lovely pinks at Jayanagar (women's day special?):

Venketappa art gallery:

Friday, February 01, 2008

Hot scones and boarding schools and fairies and adventures

Enid Blyton. I pretty much grew up on what she wrote. My fantasy world was peopled with aunts who baked the yummiest cakes, moms who packed the best picnic lunches of sandwiches and lemonade, sumptuous meals of homemade bread and strawberries and cream, dogs that obeyed when you said “heel”, beautiful boarding schools, holidays at Welsh villages and quiet beaches, adventures, secret passages, ruins of castles, caravans, camp fires.

I didn’t grow out of those for a long, long time. Who would want to? The British countryside and all the lovely food would have anyone hooked. But then, one discovered Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys.

Anyway, why I am rambling about all this today is because after several years, I picked up an Enid Blyton. A mystery story with two boys and a girl. I was enjoying it till I read this:

“Pam, you may only be a girl but you have some great ideas.”

Whoa!! What? Did I just read that? And it went on – the girl was very pleased at the compliment. The book was full of such remarks and instances.

And then one sat down and recalled all the characters one could. It was appalling. It was always the girls who brought the lemonade, Anne loved to “keep home” for the rest of the Famous Five while George(iana) had to have the excuse that she wanted to be a boy in order to wear trousers and keep her hair short and generally do everything the boys did, the aunts did nothing better than bake. Did I really grow up on such stuff??

I am just so slow in realising these things… A quick internet threw up a lot of information on controversies and revisions, on how her writing promoted negative stereotypes regarding gender and even race. But will this stop me from reading her books? I certainly was disgusted with this one instance, but I still love Malory Towers and all those farms and the magic Faraway Tree.

Friday, January 25, 2008

How desperate can (some) men get?

There are oh so many of those scary emails that tell you how careful you have to be when you go out partying. And in oh so many ways. Don't do this, don't do that, this happened to this girl in this city, something else happened to that girl in that city. Here is my addition to the list:
If you are a girl, and if you are at a restaurant/pub/disc, and if you need to go to the loo, and if you have a girl friend with you, please take her along.

Last weekend, San and I were at this rather hep lounge bar in city with another couple. Several songs later, the place was closing for the night, and we were leaving and I took a quick trip to the loo. I open the door to the women's loo and what do I find? A man sprawled on the floor, peeping into one of the stalls through the small ventilation panel at the bottom of the door. The daze that I was in kind of snapped as I wondered whether he is the cleaning boy blowing dust off the door. That couldn't be. So then one shouted -- what the hell was he doing? The chap mumbled something about how he was looking for his friend and said "It's ok, I will wait outside."
I was such a dull head then that I actually bought the story and thought there really weren't anyone in the stalls. And just then one babe walked out of the stall, called out to her friend who was in the other, who also walked out soon, and they left. And I gaped...

Long and short of the story is, no matter where you are, if you are going to the loo and if you have a friend with you, please get her to accompany you...

Thursday, January 17, 2008

The little town is all grown up

I recently happened to spend more than 10 days in my hometown. Ten days! It has been so long since I spent that much time at home. Anyway, this is not about the nostalgia and all; that is a whole different post.

How the place has changed...
The road that was once a mere trickle of tar, is now a broad road complete with bustling shopping centres on either sides, a huge traffic island and all such jazz.
There are hardly any locals left. Oh well, how would there be? They are all here in Bangalore! :)
People do not stare at foreigners any more. White skin seems pretty much as common as coconut trees.
The city has gone green! Plastic bags of some certain quality have been coming under bans for long, but now stores are giving out paper or cloth bags. One of the most popular local supermarket chains is offering incentives to customers for returning plastic bags.
Real estate has shot up and how! And much like Bangalore, it is now one of the favourite topics of discussion.
People I know pay more rent than I do in Bangalore.
People pay with Sodexho coupons.

But there are some things that will never change...
If you are female and are wearing jeans, you will be stared at because possibilities are, u are the only one in jeans in a 2km radius.
If you are female, you will be stared at because the mass migration to greener pastures seems to have left behind all the lecherous men.
The buses are just as rash; the conductors still have the same incantations to announce the destination.
Most of the junta still know the timings of the peak-hour inter-city trains.

Friday, January 11, 2008


One evening, when it rained in Bangalore...

And the next day...

Thursday, January 10, 2008


How can I not comment on the Mumbai issue?

That I am appalled goes without saying. That I am now scared of crowds is understood. That now I am very conscious about every small action or look of mine when I go out (what if someone misunderstands my glance at the traffic for a come-hither?), is scaring me. What am I turning into? Where will such paranoia take me?

Here's one remark I heard recently about this: "They were smooching on the road. No wonder the women got grabbed at."
I don't know how far that is true, but nevertheless pointed out that if a woman is kissing her partner on the road, it is NOT an invitation to the world to paw her.
Counter argument came: "This is not US, this is India. When they are here, they better know how to behave here."
So then, is this a punishment for not "behaving"?

That apart, what egged the crowd along is the fact that the women swore at the men for commenting at them. So at the base of it, it is a simple question of a hurt male ego. Problem was, this was a case of a mammoth inflammable ego -- the collective ego of a monster with 70-odd heads.

Ugh.... I don't even want to talk more about it... Only hope the girls manage to get over the trauma. But will they ever be able to? I don't know...

There's a discussion going on here. Do join in.


People can't even type in a proper New Year greeting on SMS anymore, is it? Anyway, Happy New Year, world.

I am back, refreshed.

There certainly is a good reason why a relieving letter is called so. It is so damn relieving! So relieved to be out of there, relieved not to be worrying about the next day, relieved not to be bothered about lists and lists and lists, relieved that I will no longer be playing event manager/host/shadow/entertainer/usher/errand girl at the many inane events. Whew! :)