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Looking back

>> Thursday, May 13, 2010

Looking back I see a little girl with stars in her eyes,
Her canvas was the universe and her dreams sky high.

She dreamed of a being a good student and doing well in sports,

To see her parents eyes proudly shine when they saw her school reports.

She struggled with the needle and thread,

Skills they told her in future would hold her in good stead.

She breezed through her school days, college was a struggle,
Diodes, amplifiers capacitors and transistors made her mind boggle.

She stumbled into the big bad world and was labeled an employee,
Hoping the bugs she dug out for a living didn’t push her into ennui.

There came many downs, and a few ups too,
While destiny played its peek a boo, the knight showed up too.

Somewhere she is still the little girl with stars in her eyes,
Her canvas is still the universe just that a few dreams have died!!


As we herald the New Year!!

>> Thursday, April 15, 2010

The bright yellow flowers, the lighted lamps, the fruits and the coconuts, the anointed deities and a bleary eyed girl trying to take up all these sights are my first memories of Vishu.

The new clothes, the anticipation of the kaineettam and the sadhya ,Vishu is numero uno in my list of festivals.

As kids, Vishu was the only time our coffers would be full. I belong to a real big family , so that meant my coffers would be overflowing. Once the cash came in, there were many schemes ( read parents) offered to protect it. If one fell prey to these, it would be like one of those Nigerian money scams , you could bid the money good bye.

The loot would be usually invested very wisely in books ( in my case), cricket bats, posters of Sachin Tendulkar , WWF trump cards (in the Sibling’s case). The remaining would be stored to judiciously be used over the year as contingency fund ( if only I had planned my expenses so well once I started earning .. if only!!)

Once I started earning, it became a matter of give and take. So like my bank balance, no gain!! But more than the amount we get, it’s that childish joy of being indulged that cannot be replaced, however older you get.

Even though I have never been to Kerala for Onam or Vishu, my folks and extended family have always celebrated our festivals with more fervor here than my cousins back in Kerala … there is always that zeal to keep up your traditions once u are away from it.

My new resolution is to be more self reliant.. I have this vice of being overly dependent on people which I want to overcome.. What about you folks??

Hope this year blossoms for you with all the colors of spring … Vishu Ashamsakal


Grey matter …

>> Tuesday, April 13, 2010

All of us have some activity which we use to empower and increase our grey matter. Some of solve complex mathematical problems, others read all the technical articles. Few solve crosswords and Sudoku , others just play around with all the gadgets available.

I have one too, it’s an easy method, and with almost zero percent chances of failure … I worry!!!

When I was younger, I worried about few things like completing my needle work and embroidery. These subjects were supposed to help us graduate from young girls to fine groomed young ladies , but my nimble fingers refused to be weighed down under the pressures of cross stitch and chain stitch and took a shape of their own. But what it did was contribute to my grey matter…
In college I worried about big things like how to sleep in class unnoticed or how to bunk classes and avoid bumping into the same professor the very same day. I also worried about clearing the boundary line.. No I wasn’t in cricket academy but haven’t you all heard about the 40 mark boundary line??

Work place gave me fewer worries as compared to my parents at that time. Each day I saw a new face on my screen saver, not any beautiful scenery but some prospective groom. I battled deadlines in office and very emotional deadlines at home. I wasn’t worried about not getting married but about my father’s deadline of getting married before he retires.. (phew parents!!) psst .. but that’s one of the few deadlines I did meet!!

Now as I play house, I battle with the following big worries, did I leave the tap running, I run back to double check on the gas connection, I m paranoid when the electricity goes (not scared of dark .. I m worried about the treasures I store in my refrigerator) and the works!!

All these worries have come with one big bonus … it has a very positive and visible influence on my gray matter… I have grown wiser… Coz all my grey hair do give a wiser dignified look ....

I’ve seen many troubles in my time, only half of which ever came true .. Mark Twain!!


And the memories Chug along

>> Thursday, April 8, 2010

Summers have this quality about them .. they tend to push you back in time making me wonder if the heat playing tricks on my mind..

The summer blossoms take me to my school quadrangle where we had two mighty Gulmohur trees or flames of the forest as they are commonly known. The way the tree would light up the drab surroundings . Since ours was a strict convent school, the petals of the gulmohur or rather the leaf like parts of the flower would be the substitute for long painted nails for us vanity starved girls.

The last day of the exams, the endless wait for the school bell to ring. The squeal when the bell goes off much to the exasperation of the teacher in charge and bounding down the stairs .. Feasting on pepsi colas or ice candies as they are known. Kala khatta golas and the works. ( ok please stop drooling now .. that was a note to self!!)

The train journeys t o Kerala .. 30 hours of nonstop fun and squabbles. The fights would start at the station itself., 6 of us and one tinkle double digest .. Bohat naa insaafi thi… I say.. Then the world wars were waged for the precious window seats.. It was the survival of the smartest.. Smartest cause he would even time his bathroom visits when the rest of the brood caught with their rare forty winks so as to not lose his window to the world..Hunger would be a constant companion.. With mothers wondering if the same could be repeated on a daily basis .. Trains have that magic about them..

Our grandparents’ homes with its open spaces was a welcome change for us city dwellers who are used to confined spaces.. the lush fields would bear testimony to endless games of cricket played without the fear of breaking the neighbor’s window panes. The never ending supply of mangoes and jackfruit and above all just nuzzling up to grandma and listening to her tales …

In the first week of May , the most sought after man would be the postman .. who would deliver our report cards .. Each time the gate opened we hoped it was him and the tension was done away with.

Time as they say flies and in the blink of an eye lid.. the most wonderful 2 months would be over and it would be time to pack our bags and come back home to books and all the routine. The return journey would see a more subdued bunch with bags full of goodies and lifetime worth of memories…


Breaking free!!

>> Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The fan whirs away, doing just one favor to my universe, exhobirant electricity bills. Still it had a soothing sense on me. Almost felt like it is my best friend, cause don’t I do the same thing , I too just go about my task adding no value to the world around me ...

I have this whole sense of being no use to the world feeling. I know it will pass but it’s scary while it lasts. Everything from my job, to my writing, leaves me with a sense of vacuum.

Some days I am found brooding and asking myself, what is my purpose in this world?? (much to the chagrin of the better half, henceforth to be referred to as BH in this blog) I get no answers … and I don’t bother to ask BH the same for fear of that the already minuscule domestic duties he does, will be delegated to my fragile, overburdened shoulders.

My blog is now used synonymously with Rip van Winkle … remember none of his friends recognized him when he woke up from his deep slumber … my blog friends have mostly disappeared too …

However something has made me realize that there is no use wasting time brooding.. I need to get back to where the action is ..

There is a question that often plays at the back of my mind … does deep- mindspace need an image make over .. should I look beyond humor and satire? What do you guys think? Any suggestions??

I leave you with this wonderful poem by Rudyard Kipling


If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with wornout tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on";

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings - nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run -
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man my son!


Entertainers Inc…

>> Friday, March 19, 2010

A group of entertainers were in town. They had been talked about all and sundry. So to put to rest my curiosity I decided to make good use of my weekend and be a part of their show.

I entered the hall where they were performing, the dim lit room and the slow music seemed like the perfect evening.

The show began, the whole atmosphere changed. Zulu drums and cymbals playing, the audience was transported into enthralling world of the African jungles...

The first performer mimicked the lemur perfectly... chattering nonstop, baring his teeth. Poking fun at the audience by mimicking their mannerisms and dialogs. The audience was left asking for more…

The next was the python’s turn. It tried to move around the stage, launch itself into a jig. The dance jig being nothing more than a few head movements. Its two left and leaden feet and extraordinary full tummy didn’t seem to help. The failed dance though did have the audience in splits.

The next to join the party was the laughing hyena... This mean looking guy packed quite a punch. He just laughed, a weird persistent laugh. The audience at onset seemed a little dazed to react, but his laughter was infectious and soon it was crescendo, there was not a single soul in the crowd who didn’t laugh.

Standing in the corner was the giraffe, he just nodded in silence… no act from him.. he seemed a little lost among the others.. he just strutted around a couple of times on the stage and settled in one corner.

Then they all came together on the stage , each blending his act with the other. The audience was amazed how a small group of entertainers had brought alive the jungle with just a simple background and amazing voice modulation …

It’s amazing how few people high on drinks can transform a simple room into a jungle setting with their performance … (And as for me ( the audience) .. everyone likes free entertainment.. don’t we??)

Disclaimer: This post is a generalized one... Any resemblance to people I party with is Purely coincidental!!!