The Scorpios

Lilypie Kids Birthday tickers

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Tagged Visually

Sush passed on an interesting & compelling tag. Thanks Sush, I had fun doing it. I pass on the tag to fuzzylogic ( she has a way with pics), orchid ( who is on a century spree & i am sure wud appreciate me giving her a new topic to quickly blog on), noodle (visual treat to the preggie lady), hiphop grandmom, usha, tharini, madmomma, somethingtosay and anyone else who would like to do it.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Friday, February 23, 2007

15 going on 16 Months

Music Masti
I switched on the Aquaguard and went out of the kitchen. After a decent interval I heard Ojas screaming. He was pointing at the machine and asking for something. Guessing correctly I switched it on to fill the bottle. Listening to the accompanying music Ojas began to sway and dance and he was joined by Tejas.
They both love to tap dance / do the tatkaar in drut laya - those who have a kathak knowhow will know that it is the feet tapping step in the fastest tempo.
They basically like to dance to any song, even the Ganesh mantra playing on the stereo.

Fruit Fun
Both got introduced to the season's first mango through small bits of the fruit and Mango shake.

They love pomegranate, papaya, grapes and pear too.

Game Show
The sound puzzle is a hit. But they will not solve the puzzle. They will remove the pieces and throw them away and play with the buttons only. Tejas has made a slight progress. He will place the puzzle piece on the board and cry till we put it correctly for him. Ojas made elephant like sound when he saw an elephant model in a neighbour's house. May be the continuous training is helping. Uptil now any animal, insect, mosquito is dog to them.
They are ant bullies and, kitten pursuers. (with sound effects- aaa, paw, paw, paw, maaow)
They like to play "sit-on-the-lap-and-play" throw ball.
The shape sorter toy is also good but they will put in one toy and open the box to remove it.

I get into my room when I come back from work, to shut the windows. Ojas points at the other set of windows asking me to close them

I was explaining to my sister that the maid calls me Akkaaa.. Ojas caught on and has learned the word - with perfect diction

Ojas discovered the scrolling ad in Food Court at Ascendas. There were twin ads, one scrolling and the other not. Ojas saw one and then ran across the opposite side and discovered the other. That one was scrolling after short gaps. When Ojas saw the 2nd ad for the 1st time, it was not scrolling. Out of habit he banged at it and coincidently at that moment it began to scroll. Ojas clapped to himself taking the credit to be his. He then ran across to check out the 1st one and came back to bang at the 2nd one, waiting for it to scroll again on cue.

Chennai- contact number for registering for Pulse Polio volunteers to do it at your doorstep
Dr Belasuryakumar- 9382687055, 044-24912294
I regsitered in January and they came this month to my building. Infact there was a major recruitment drive by the kids in my building. They knocked on the right doors and made the parents get the vaccine for their kids- under 5 years of age very clearly specified.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Go Goa

Last November, I walked out of Goa airport scanning the placards for my name. The hotel cab would be there to receive me, they had promised. I spotted the three letter abbreviation of my company on a placard and acknowledge their expectant wave with an answering wave. Another attendant asked for my name. He vanished thereafter, presumably seeking out the cab. Few minutes later, he came back checking for my name again. "You are taking me to the hotel, right? I had spoken to Albert from Chennai and he had confirmed the arrangements."
The guy looked confused and I was wondering what came over him when I spotted the placard again.
IFFI, it read..
"Oh! you are from Film Festival, I am from I F F" (expression on my face- thankfully I realised before you could do any goof up and take me to the festival)

The treacherous voice in my head- wish I had kept my trap shut and was going to IFFI rather than this annual budget conference.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

What If

What if I wake up every morning and I have absolutely no clue to where I would be going for work, which client I would be serving and when and where my day will end? What if everything related to my work was un-predetermined (apologies- word does not exist in for me? What if the predictibility of going to the same office, to the same work desk and meeting the same colleagues and the same set of clients were not to be a given for me. What if I had to drive to multiple destinations throughout the day, some familiar, some unknown? What if I have to face traffic jams and negotiate road blocks right through the day? What if my client could be made happy only if I was fast or cheap or both? What if everyday I had to experience the mixed feelings of curiosity, detachment, happiness, disgust, wariness, uncertainity and joy that one experiences when one visits a new place or a location within or without the city of one's residence?
On the other hand, what if I view every potential client as a prey whom i could fleece depending upon their desperation. What if I had the possibility of earning at least double of what is fair everyday? What if I could earn even if I had closed shop for the day and was going home and a client in need approached me and had a potential to pay even three times the normal rate? Would I even think of doing a goodwill and sell at a heavy discount?
If only I could speak fluent Tamil, I would seek the answers to my questions with this auto driver.

PS- friends, the inference from the above post is that I have sold my car and the new one is not yet handed over to me. After tomorrow I will stop worrying unnecessarily about the plight of the auto drivers and how to reform them by being strict about paying strictly through the meter. As Chennai moves to a fair, updated meter and policemen start to stop the auto drivers en-route requesting passengers to insist on the meter, I wonder whether this is a distant dream coming true or yet again another hogwash- If Mumbai can and Bangalore can, why can't Chennai have th meter system?

Friday, February 16, 2007

Honeymoon Travails

The Valentine season reminds me of my honeymoon 3 years ago. We had taken a trip to Munar & Kumarkom. Hubby had recently shifted jobs and therefore there was a general paucity of leave allowed, hence we settled for a 4 night stay. We booked through Cox and Kings and how insensitive they can get, will be evident as I tell my tale below.
We checked in the morning at Munar in a supposedly star rating hotel. Let me tell you the highlights of the star hotel-
When we asked if breakfast was available, the look on the reception desk guy’s face was- since you came so late you get to skip breakfast.
Munar in December and the hotel does not have round the clock hot water.
The bathroom was of such a dimension that you would hit the wash basin or fall in the loo if you did not walk like walking the tightrope.
No room heaters either. So a honeymooning couple gets to simply sniggle in the bed and shiver.
To top it all, guys, hold your breath, twin beds joined together, to make it look like a single one until you remove the covers and sleep on it.
The furniture (read bed) was lightweight with lightweight mattresses. The mattresses and the twin beds were behaving as if they were the like poles of a magnet. Repelling and moving apart at the slightest action. The only time the beds and mattresses behaved was when we behaved.

The next day hubby demanded a room with the basic amenities that a honeymoon couple deserves- a double bed. We were quickly shifted to another room which was even smaller than the first one. Except the double bed everything else was worse than the first one.

The next day we were driven to Kumarkom and checked in a proper 5-star resort. Believe me, we felt like a real honeymoon couple for just that day. Unlike the 1st two days when we felt as if we have got married on the sly and are spending a few nights in a sleazy, budget hotel. We got a good cottage with a view and a luxurious bathroom with a greenhouse inside. I am sure Cox & Kings understood that we had enough money to do it in a decent way and they should have checked with us before cutting corners.

But the next day takes the cake. They sent us on a boat trip to Alleppy the next afternoon – with adjectives of secluded and romantic thrown in. Well, some people may enjoy it but I would not pretend. I tried to be adventurous and took to the whole damn thing. I must admit the afternoon was enjoyable, the cook on the boat cooked us a wonderful lunch and the makeshift dining table, cum living room cum sit-out was good. The bedroom was surprisingly comfortable but cramped and the lighting was dull. I am a bright lights person and I found it depressing. The bathroom was tiny- as small as the toilet in a train.

We had imagined that at night the boat would dock in the city and we would see the place for whatever it was worth. But to our dismay they docked in the middle of the backwaters after 7 pm as the fisher folk would have cast their nets for and in order to not disturb them, boats were not allowed to ply. I take a few minutes to paint the romantic picture. Pitch dark, musical orchestra of creepy crawlies and amphibians, interrupted by the buzz of mosquitoes and our ardent pursuit of those mosquitoes, more number of boatmen than the two of us aboard and the fragrance of mosquito coil. Since hubby and I knew each other for 7 years, unlike arranged marriages, we did not have to get to know each other and therefore we did not have much to talk about. We were comfortable even sitting quietly together but the scenario was not at all relaxing. The boat hand took pity on us and gave us a deck of cards to play with. Great fun, is it not.. :(

The next morning the cab drove us to Cochin and we spent the afternoon shopping. Now Cochin is not exactly a great shopping hub so you can imagine the fun we would have had but since I can manage to shop anywhere in the world, I did buy a few things.

The only bright part was the nice cab service Cox & Kings provided us and for my part, I am yet to take a luxurious holiday to blot out the bittersweet honeymoon memories. Makes me feel bad that we could have had a good time but the holiday providers did not obviously put their heart into the arrangements. For them it was just another business whereas for us it was special.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007


A few days back we were browing in the video library and a lady of about mid twenties walked in. She asked the guy behind the counter- has it come? and made some actions in the air with her hands. The guy behind the counter nodded and began to take a VCD from under the desk to hand it over to her. The cryptic exchange got me interested and I almost fell over the counter in trying to look at what movie she had asked for. What I thought I saw almost made my eyes pop out.

After she walked away with the movie, the guy enlightens my hubby that the major seekers of XX and XXX rated movies in his library are women! These are not just one off seekers but repeat buyers. These are not a group of youngsters getting together to have some "cheap thrill" and merely trying to see what is in it but a general mix of married and unmarried women. Given that we are the nation that gave Kamasutra to the world, the popularity of the S word should not come as a surprise.

I do not want to stereotype and normally nothing surprizes or apalls me, but ladies being so bashful that they did not hesitate to walk up to the counter and ask for these movies on a regular basis did make me gape.

Adult chatrooms too are populated by women. But there the anonimity offers security. In a video parlour, you have to register your name and address and there are days when the boy from the parlour even comes to your home to take back an overdue movie.

On a different vein, I have discovered a wonderful way of setting curd. I place the curd dish on the lid of the vessel in which I have boiled the feeding bottles. The curd sets in record time, brilliantly. (TIP- for those who don't have bottle fed babies, you could place it on another hot vessel- milk/ vegetable etc or may be in contact with the cooking range while you are cooking)

It just dawned on me that the right way of cutting musk melon would be to simply slice it along the striations and as each slice is cut the seeds separate on their own. Only the last slice has all the seeds which needs to be scooped out.
Someone teach me how to peel and slice a pineapple. I do not buy pineapples because of the difficulty in the job.
I am sure Nature would have had in mind the right way of deseeding a watermelon. Anyone?
I have watched the juice guy hit the pomegranate shell with a knife and the seeds fly off on the work table. But according to me it is too messy.
The apple corer works wonders on peach too. I love that tool.

I have been well branded in Ojas' eyes. The moment I come home from work, he stands near the snacks cupboard in the kitchen and points at it for Haldiram aloo bhujiya and puffed rice.
Is it observation/ programming or training? He has observed that it is the first place I go to when I get home from office.

Notes to myself

Roses from hubby for valentine's day early in the morning

Applause at work from regional director on my work in Marketing. In his words- "if the culture allowed, I would have got up and kissed you"- come a long way from New company update posted here

All in all a worthwhile day

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Air Conditioned

I normally like to drive with the windows rolled down. Considering the fact that i got introduced to cars at an era when there was to be no concept of A/C in the car for the next 10 years atleast, it should come as no surprise. And considering the fact that I come from a place which is regarded as a hill station, and it has yet to see pollution incarnate, it should again not be a surprise that I like to roll down the windows of a car.

Oh, to feel the blast of fresh, cool air on your face, so much that the eyes stay partially closed. If you happen to drive in top gear, even speech becomes difficult, as though the words too fly out of the window as soon as they are uttered, away from the direction of the intended person's ears.

As technology adds A/C and stereo to the car, rapid urbanisation adds pollution of all kinds- noise, dust, grime, soot, smoke to name a few.

Against my wishes, I now have to roll the windows up and cocoon myself in the protected, perfumed (car freshener), temperature controlled confines of the car. I roll up the windows not because I want to be in an A/C environment. Not because I fear the sunlight darkening my skin. Not even do I fear the little dust that is part and parcel of the air.
I roll up the windows to cut the jarring noise of the outside- car engines, bikes, buses, trucks, car honks, grind of the auto ascending order of irritant value. I roll up the windows so that the noise does not disturb me as I try to juggle my concenteration between driving, the music and my thoughts. I roll up the windows so that I can feel each beat of the music that is playing. I roll up the windows so that I could sing along the song that is playing.
I roll up the windows to shut out the soot and grime emitting from the vehicles .
I cocoon myself in the car so that I could shut out the stink that is part of the city air that we cautiously breath. Oh, to be able to breath steadily without holding back, as if mentally testing and filtering out the filth before the remnant oxygen passes through.
I roll up the windows so that I am in this A/C environment- not Air Conditioned but artificially Controlled to create a near ideal situation.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Kicking the Monday Blues

Guess how I kicked away those Monday Morning Blues! Guess how I gave Monday a big inferiority complex today! I beat Monday flat at it's own game. Monday would have been demotivated by seeing me thoroughly enjoy my work.

Another upside of working in the taste industry is buying market samples. I spent half a day starting this Monday morning buying confectionery samples. Officially working and unofficially enjoying the exploration of various stores. At all the stores I went today, the in-store music playing was foot tapping and fun - added bonus.

And maine behti ganga mein haath bhi dho liye-(simultaneously utilized the trip for purchasing other stuff)- I picked up a CD of my current favourite music (along with Guru) gangster too- combo with kalyug- which is currently playing on my laptop.

A perfect drive - no rush on the roads- Did not check the timebut reached office in just 2.5 songs from Adyar.

PS- My sister was horriified at me spending Monday morning in the shop and calling her to ask whether songs of kalyug is better or zeher (coincidently these were the 2 options available with Gangster combo).

Friday, February 02, 2007

What Lies Beneath

Me- Actual Self- dark brown lipstick, diamond earrings, gold chain with locket, pair of plain bangles/ either of the 4 bracelets of various types, 4 finger rings, metal watch, same hair cut every visit – if it happens, nail polish if I have the time, change of sandals according to attire

Me- Aspiring Self- matching lipstick with the dress, touched up during the day or after every eating session, colourful eye shadows (take the gift pack out), a thin, single, silver anklet, atleast 2 piercings per ear and with a change of earring every day along with a matching neck piece/ wrist ornament, amulet of my choice- that fits on my arm, nose ring- which never ever suited me, change of watch every day, highlights/ colours in the hair, different haircut every visit, regular manicure & pedicure…

Boring, am I not, in my actual self?

And colourful are my aspirations, aren't they?