The Scorpios

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Friday, February 27, 2009

Never Trust a Skinny Chef

What a surprise.... I never knew this place existed in Chennai...
A very short visit to Sparky's with AD between client calls...
A place where one has to spend a lot of time, drinking in the flavour of the place, enjoying just the feel of it, examining all the pieces up on the wall, reading thoroughy through the menu so that one can plan what to eat during the next visit.
Quantities that leave you full enough, so much so you feel sorry that you cannot try more dishes.
Go to these links to read more- they do such a good job that I don't want to write anything here. And an hour spent inside doesn't to justice.
Hindu review
That said, the gossip, food and the truancy contributed to a lot of recharge!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

I Have Absolutely No Patience For...

People who drive rashly inside the building compound. And neither do I have patience for people who do not instruct their taxi/ auto drivers to drive slowly within the complex.
I repeat you morons...KIDS WILL BE KIDS. THEY DO NOT KNOW THAT A VEHICLE COULD HURT THEM. It's you, an adult with so called maturity who has to understand that it's elementary that you drive dead slow inside any building compound. Haven't you seen that speed limit- 20 within any complex? Open your eyes then.
My friend Kiran writes a chilling, blood curdling episode of her child being almost run over by an actor.
Now who else but a parent can understand what it feels as Ceekay puts it.
Rather, I am sure any random person will understand how it feels but this "actor" who had the "grace" to apologise only when literally strong-armed by the father. Coward. As Dips puts it- speaks of absence of common courtsey in this public figure in particular?

Eve says- the incident is much more frightening as it happened inside the apartment which offers more security

Talk about curbing the joys of growing up.

The madmomma & Sue as usual say so well what we all want to say- ill mannered and dangerous who has the shit ingrained so well that it cannot be beaten out of him!

Random Wisecrack

One gets so swamped with deadlines after one is back from a long holiday that it is very tempting to take another holiday just to escape them deadlines...

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Stars Stars

Is it only me or there are others who get all starry eyed on hearing anything remotely romantic...
....silent love...
....waiting almost indefinitely for someone....
...a song that represents something long forgotten that makes you sigh with pleasure or buried in memories...
...or a song that a special someone loves...does leave you breathless naa! out of the way lift to your destination...
...couple dancing... arm round your shoulders...
...holding hands...
...eyes searching across a crowded room...
...eyes meeting across a crowded room...
...romantic double entendres...

Ok, your turn... what makes you go weak kneed? What makes you reach out and hokd his/her hands? What makes you go all mushy and starry eyed?

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Off Course it's Personal

Because he is an Indian
Because the song is in Indian language.
It is about each one of us. anyone standing upon or even away from Indian soil!
A friend says it is important to be in an important project in US to get an Oscar.
Can't beat that logic and can't argue that sentiment that after this, he deserves bigger awards for his other scores in scores of Indian movies. But the truth is that Rahman won. And that's what that matters.
To me it is well deserved because he is music in totality. His success is not a fluke. It is consistent. The award is incidental. It is global recognition to his work. Jai Ho is just a medium of the recognition.
The award may be his luck, being a part of a huge project and all but his success is not. It is repetitive. Year after year he has given us music that touched our soul, stirred us, forced us to foot-tap, dance and hum with it.
He has given us variety, away from the humdrum affair. His music has cut across language barriers, techniques and convention, his singers have crossed state borders...He is the true Indian in spirit and karma.
So how can it not be personal.
So that's why Milady Kiran, not just you, I also have tears in my eyes and I am sure there are scores of others pulling out their hankies & tissues, seeing Rahman win the Oscar!

The husband and I connect on Rahman's music because it has transcended across both languages. The moment I mention the music is by Rahman in a Hindi movie, his attention is sparked in that movie and I can bet the last hair on his head that he will buy the music of the same.
I would be lying if I say that Humma Humma or aye udi udi did not stir my imagination at a multidimensional level or that Vande Matram and Bharat Humko did not send shivers up my spine and caused tears of pride to prickle behind my eyes.
So here are my other favourites...
Dil se re- not just because it's a movie that I watched with the-then-not-my-hubby, but the fact that it's totally soul stirring
Is there anyone here whose foot doesn't tap to Chaiya Chaiya or tell me you never danced to mujhe rang de ?
Is language a barrier in Jiya Jale? Or Konjam Nilavu? Or in the music of Rhythm?
Expressing tiny wishes in Choti Si asha in a hugely impactful yet melodious way? How many of us thereafter did not think of our life dreams in these terms?
Whether it is Maiyya Maiyya or Barso re that sends you into a frenzy or a aye hairathe that creates vivid imageries of lazy, sunny afternoons with the radio playing softly in the background, Guru is a keeper.
If I have to talk of Taal, I want to mention each and every song, but it's the percussion that takes the cake for me- isn't it something on which you can fit in either a classical or a western dance? Though offcoures Jungle mein & Ramta Jogi are my favourites.
Yuhi chala chal gives fresh lease to my desire of being a singer! Hell, I am even ready to get into a truck if that makes you sing like this.
I can't decide whether it is ghanan ghanan that lifts my soul more or Mitwa?
And I so behko on behka! ...
*floats away humming kaise mujhe ...*

Monday, February 23, 2009

Defining Torture

You drop some Andhra mango pickle masala on the front of your kurta.
You make the best effort to scrub off the stains with detergent.
Later, in office, you are busy at work.
Typing furiously .....
The delicious, drool inducing aroma of the Andhra Mango pickle masala gives your senses company.
And you are surrounded by stuff like biscuits and cereal bars which are related to your work.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Leafing Through

-A hurriedly jotted down number- nameless...wonder whose was it...temped to call up and check...
-some random notes by a colleague who didn't have a paper on hand...
-few pointers for possible blog posts..jotted down at a client place..
-Various styles of signature...
- random doodles...artistic florals, leaves, just circles...a knife...a cup...a face..what was I thinking?
- PNR number...
-product codes...
-SMS check -in number for Jet airways

What's jotted on the last page of your notebook?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Another Pepper Puppy Tale

Continuation of the Pepper Series of Posts
Pepper throws a tantrum & Pepper gets stage fright
Pepper Throws a Tantrum
Very relevant to my kids who are very tantrum-prone. Pepper comes back from a party and refuses to change his "ghummi" dress and wear "nindu" dress. He bawls, stamps his foot, rolls on the floor until at last he is forced to relent and get changed. So now whenever they cry I immediately comment that they are behaving like bad boy Pepper Duggi. It has certainly made them aware of how they look when they throw a tantrum or perhaps now they know the correct steps of throwing a tantrum are as mentioned above.

Pepper gets Stage Fright
Another very relevant book as the kids do a lot of stage recitation an dall in school. They enjoyed the book thoroughly because of the expressions on Pepper's face.
Pepper has to recite a rhyme on stage and he is constantly told by parents/ teacher that do well, all eyes will be on you. This and the crowd makes him nervous and he forgets the poem he was so confidently rehearsing all along. Until a prompt from Daddy makes him forget his fear. Probably it is a lesson for us parents who are so worried about the fact that everyone will be watching and judging our kids on stage. Perhaps there is a better way of motivating our kids than this.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Holiday Collectibles

Offcourse no ritual is complete without Ojas & Tejas putting their hands in- Roasting the Dhaan

Haldi Grinding

Ojas makes a grab at the entire bowl of papaya from the kitchen and serves himself while Tejas eats cucumber

Indoor trip on the Scooty- triple riding

Tejas poses for a snap amidst the crowd

Ojas makes a grab at the cake & cherries while everyone else is busy taking snaps

Cake eater Ojas- the soft toy black dog has a variegated history

And the best-book reading session by Mama for his son, Ojas & Tejas- Russian folklore in Hindi

Monday, February 16, 2009


So one night we were introspecting...
First Mamma...
What are the ways Mamma has beena bad girl today?
1. Tum car throw kiya (you threw the toy car)
2. Tum car tooti kiya (The car broke) I thought that was just 1 bad activity- they cleverly split it into 2
3. Tum shoutie kiya (You shouted at us)
4. Tum aise maara (You slapped like this - demo on cheeks)
5. Tum pair mein maara (you struck on the legs
6. Tum Ojas ko maara (You hit Ojas)
7. Tum Tejas ko Maara (You hit Tejas)
Dudes...You are splitting one act into too many..Let's combine 4,5 & 6 atleast
8. Tum Godi nahin liya (you did not lift us)- Well all the above were because of something you had done.
9. Tum car keys nahin diya (you did not give me the car keys) - well, why should I?

Ok Now Ojas
1. Hit Tejas with a car
2. Threw a tantrum
3. Disturbed Mamma while she was making Rotis

Now Tejas
1. Closed the door on Ojas' face
2. Did not allow Ojas to come inside the room
Ha, take that, You are not the only one who can split one act into two.
3. Threw a tantrum
4. Did not brush his teeth today

And now the various ways we were good boys & gal.
1. Made roti & yummy bhujiya for you (if you say so)
2. Read story for you (actually read out a story and all the while compared the protagonist with us)
3. Allowed you to make tiny rotis (as if you had a choice, remember how many times you shouted at us)

1. Ate roti & bhujiya like a good boy
2. Did colouring nicely
3. Made cute rotis
4. Ate food nicely in the morning
5. Kept the crayons back in the box

6. did not play with the oil today

1. Ate roti & bhujiya like a good boy
2. Did colouring nicely
3. Made cute rotis
4. Ate food nicely in the morning
5. Brushed his teeth well
6. Kept the crayons back in the box
7. Did not mess up the oil container today

Now whose list looks better? Who looks more bad boy/gal for the day?
Go judge for yourself

Friday, February 13, 2009

Pure Ecstacy Is...

The look on your child's face when you suddenly lift him off the floor, hug him close to your bosom and twirl with him on the dance floor in a close-dancing fashion...

And don't be surprised when they tell you- let's go out, there will be food and also song over there. (especially during meal times)
(ghummi mein chalein, wahan khana hoga & gana hoga)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

2009 Wedding Trends as Observed by Yours Truly

Well, 2 weddings don't define a trend but they certainly contribute to giving a shape to the forthcoming trends...
  1. It's not necessary that only the baraati dance in the baraat. Even the bride's side people can go and dance in the incoming baraat. Afterall it's a free country. Ace dancers ought not be stopped from dancing.
  2. The bride is escorted under a flower chaadar carried by the brothers. Since the whole thing is very pretty and heartening, it is very important that the bride's escorts also be present for the sake of the photograph/ video. So ensure that you happen to take a position beside the bride but most certainly not behind the giant brother. You will be lost behind the brother's frame and will not be visible in the photograph.
  3. Now you know about the accepted frequency of waiters coming to you- the highest would be the potato wafers, then veggies, followed by french fries, followed by paneer, then mushroom, then chicken, fish and mutton. So one way to buck this trend is to grab the chicken/ meat/fish wallah whenever he comes and take lots in one go saying loudly that it is for the kids. Offcourse who is watching how much you are giving to the kids out of that. Another important hint -the trend nowadays is to tip the waiters even in wedding parties for specialised service- translates to high frequency of meat coming your way or to your table- but this is not for the chicken hearted like me when it comes to throwing money away. I rely on my crib-quotient by and large.
  4. The event manager organises a sit down dinner for close family and starts serving the veggies- Honestly this is done so that the diners have no stomach for the real meat that comes later. Buck the trend, use your muscle / clout to get the best food in first. I recommend survey the offering before you sit down, so that you know what to ask for rather than let them str1p tease for you.
  5. No, it's no longer about stealing the groom's shoes. It is about robbing. Straight from the groom at an unexpected moment. It's about interrogating where the shoes are straight from the boy's side. It's about a tussle over the shoe hidden by the boy side. Pure haatha pai. It's about spying / inside information. It's strategy and muscle/ weight / women power combined. Cheating is definitely allowed here.
  6. Beware- the new trend is stealing the bride's sandals instead of allowing for negotiations. Buck the trend. Be ready with a spare pair.
  7. The premise is that all of us have spare chillar paisa in our purses. Big money is involved nowadays. It's expected that a huge sum be doled out leaving no room for further negotiation.
  8. The new trend is that the brothers/ brother in law decorates the bridal suite. The sisters/ SILs are busy watching the marriage proceedings.
  9. As always inter and intra groups co-exist in weddings. But it is important for intra-groups to unite in the larger scheme of things.
  10. The past trends of not wearing woolens in the name of fashion is still there. Only difference is that it now holds true for men also.
  11. The trend now is that the photographers not only takes photos of your full plates, cross-eyes, fat frame, nose wiping. They also focus on other aesthetics like the hair should not be shielding your face while doing a ritual so as not to spoil the photo or many ladies should not clamour together to do a particular ritual as it neither allows a clear view of the ritual nor allows individual photos for posterity. Afterall it's all about marketing. A photograph will be worth a 1000 ads about your service. Infact they will be the overall Gods of the proceedings. They may ask you to repeat the rituals for the sake of capturing the moment properly. Sometimes they may vanish from the scene. Don't worry - chances are they are accompanying the baraat for the sake of the photo opportunity.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Chuddy Buddies Join Hands

Mush Quote Alert
With hubby, every day or any day is Valentine's Day for me.

So really it does not matter or rather Valentine's has really never mattered to me all this while. Certainly it is not a case of sour grapes due to unromantic husband who could never be motivated to take me to the pub for all night dancing. Pubs are only for business contacts from aborad who are totally jet lagged/ ahead and therefore somehow awake all night discussing business.
But what the heck. It's all about chaddis.. It's all about making a point. It's all about saying no to moral policing.
So sending a virtual chaddi their way - string bikini, netted, with flowers, heart & complete with a bow.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Oh I So Dislike

  1. Jobless colleagues other than HR people sending email asking us to fill in our birthdays/ anniversaries. Grow up dears
  2. Colleagues calling you up during your holiday and then bitching about the company on the company phone (roaming charges applicable). Come to the point, shut up and let me enjoy my holiday. I am not in bitching mode.
  3. Account Managers calling you up on your holiday- asking you if you are sleeping at this time of the afternoon. When answered in the affirmative with explanation that yours truly did not sleep the ENTIRE night, they proceed coolly to discuss concepts for a very urgent and important project. And when yours truly falls asleep in the middle of the conversation they ask you to stand up & talk and continue with the sleep later. If it was so urgent, why is there no mail or project in the system after I come back to office?
  4. Chain mails in official mailbox - If I had the time I would send it back (insert prescribed number of times mentioned in the mail) times to the sender. Go flood yourself in the sender's mailbox.
  5. Bosses who believe that the reportee was to comeback a week before (s)he actually is coming back and make people call up and check why the missing person has not reported. err, I thought you approved my leave?
  6. Mails that insinuate that some project is in deep shit because yours truly is on a break (after a gap of more than a year). Get a life. Come to the point. You are not my boss. Anyone in this large team can bail you out. Remember that it is the technical person who will make the product ultimately.

Monday, February 09, 2009

This is the Only Way...

...I can somewhat fool Ojas & Tejas
Distract them when I want to go out using Duggi/ snack.
When I come back, I accuse them- tum kyon jaaya/ (why did you go (out)?)
They answer- Hum kahin nahin gaya, hum kitchen mein hain/ hum duggi saath khel rahe hain..
(I did not go anywhere, i was in teh kitchen/ playing with Duggi)

Ojas- crying- I want to get out of the car.
Mamma- first wear your sandals
Ojas- still crying and seriously saying- woh to kaua le gaya (the crow has taken the sandals)
Tejas- pointing at himself- yeh kaua hai? (am I a crow?)
Now why did he take it so personally?

Friday, February 06, 2009

Back to Base

And totally party-lagged
So much so I wake up in the morning and say- what? no party to attend today?
2 weddings, 2 sangeets -DJ facilitated and 1 reception apart from a host of other functions & pujas. I promise a detailed round up of everything as the photographs come along.
So 5 children on this branch of the family have been married off and 3 remain- a little while to go for those.
And we have taken a pledge to meet once a year atleast to enable the kids to know their family, and for us to unwind and bond.
The last 10 days leave me fatigued, satisfied, recharged, a little sad after the bonding with family and eager to see what the future holds for us, now that we have 2 new members in the family...additions after a gap of 5 years.
Touch Wood!

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Life's Good

  • When the You tube random search generates some lovely songs one after the other..and
  • The client presentation is shaping up fantastically...and
  • One is not tempted to hog up all the available biscuits on hand as the presentation shapes...and
  • The weekend is fast approaching

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Wipe & Clean Fun

First we had this- A chalkboard page book by Priddy books, provided with coloured chalks & a foam duster. One can colour the outlines of various pics with the chalk and wipe off with the duster. Extremely enjoyable pastime and attractive book colour (ours is black).
And now this...
Another wipe clean activity book with a marker type pen that almost does not stain the hands and can be rubbed off with a cloth and reused.
Lots of fun but the only drawback is that when the kids are doing the join the dots or maze search, the line keeps getting rubbed off with the wrist or back off the palm while they are writing on it.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Monday, February 02, 2009

Man Mandir

Every woman worth every single thread in her sari must visit Man Mandir Saree Shop in Khader Nawaz Khan Road Chennai.
For Designer saris in various price ranges, classy, sophisticated, exclusive, away from the crowd type sarees. Also has designer lehangas & not so great salwar suits.
More than anything else I love the feel of the store, and the sales guys seem to pick the right stuff for you. A whiff of fresh air from the usual Silk sari stores.
Check out the window & in store display- they bring it down every night and replace with a fresh lot next morning. And the best part is that like most other designer sari stores, they also offer free finishing- attaching falls etc- makes ones life a whole lot easier.
Oh, and I love the way the sari shop people wrap the sari round you and brings over the blouse piece over your shoulders to simulate the complete wearing experience.