The Scorpios

Lilypie Kids Birthday tickers

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Few Resolutions

  • I shall wear a different footwear everyday and not the standard, most comfortable, boring, conveniently lying outside one. Since the more than a dozen pairs of footwear I own need to justifiy their existence, I better wear them than wait for the fungi to set on them. By the way, the dear husband just gave away a few good sandals I had set aside for repair, mistaking them for old footwear to be given away. Making my choices for the morning tighter.

  • I shall wear something else apart from the standard churidar kurta.... I know it is the most comfortable of all attires, but is it not getting a bit too boring?

  • I shall sincerely endeavour to wake up the moment the alarm sounds and not doze off for the next 20 minutes- albeit this is the sweetest and most comfortable sleep of all.

  • Some one sent me a forward- Make the most of a given time- I am still trying to get my head around it. How much more can I maximise? Cutting off unproductive work/ people/ events.

  • I shall introduce more new foods in the kids' lunch box.

  • I must restart the quality time spent with the kids- with their books/ games etc. All stopped because they are becoming too rowdy for my taste.

  • And finally- I need to give a little more time for my reading. I have considerably slowed down after the kids started school this year.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

I Paid Bribe

Just for a car Transfer of Ownership.

Day 1- I go to the RTo at 9.00 am. Of course it is too soon for a self respecting Gov Employee to be available. The only available person did not give me any details. Even though everything is printed right on teh wall- the writing on the wall and all that. Since I did not have the inclination to travel half way across town from office to RTO office at a decent hour like 11 am when they would be ready to share information, I decided to do what I never ever have done- catch the agent on scooter standing outside.

The agent gave me a bindle of forms to be filled in Multi-plicate. I already had the same formats but he insisted he wanted more copies of them.
I mail the forms to my ex-office and after much explanation I manage to get the forms signed and stamped and sent to me.

Day 2- I give the forms to the agent. He asks for his fees. After a lot of calculations in his head- he asks me for Rs 1200. I coughed up the entire sum because once you are in the clutches of the agent, you have no future. And plus by this time I was already very hassled getting copies of what nots that were needed at that very moment. The agent said come at 6.00 pm the same weekend. I had my doubts whether he would be found at 6.00 pm but he assured me he is always around.

That Friday - I go to the RTO and find he is not there. And neither has he got the Transfer Papers done. He tells me to come on Tuesday morning.

Tuesday- Morning- I reach RTO precisely at 9.00 am and he is not there. all agents are there, except him. I wait for an hour for him to turn up and he says come at 5.00 pm.
I arrange for a person to arrive at 5.00 pm at the RTO. I call just before 5.00 pm to confirm. The person says he is in the hospital with an accident victim. So I need to come at 6.00 pm

6.00 pm- I arrive at RTO office and he takes me inside and the clerk says- since it is 6.00 pm the officer has gone and I don't have the signature.
I make a big scene.
I start talking to people around loudly talking against the agent.

He asks me to keep it quiet and wait.

I hang around and ask a few clerks the exact amount to be paid for Transfer of Ownership. One directs me to the other and so on and so forth but nobody- not a single person confirm the amount. They tell me- ask the agent.

I am called inside to sign the receipt.
The seal and signatures are done. The vehicle is transferred in my name.
I sign the back of the forms and notice a receipt pinned to it. I hold on to teh form and the clerk tugs at it saying this is mine, give me.
I snatch it back and read the amount printed on teh receipt.
Rs 325/ Only.

I ask aloud- So what happens to the balance money from the Rs 1200 you took from me.

The agent escorts me outside and informs me in a pained manner- you do not know the number of people I had to bribe to get your papers in order- including the clerk just now who signed only when I bribed her.

Lesson learnt- 7 days when you go directly, 1 week when you go through agent.
Which is the lesser of the 2 evil, I am yet tod ecide.

Friday, June 24, 2011

A Flawed God

Sanchit Mishra – Sancho is an ordinary executive in the Corporate world, leading an ordinary existence, until he gets a mysterious postcard from a mysterious organization.
He decides to take the bait and go to Turkey for an induction workshop into the Collective- a Secret Organisation that is set to change the way the corporate world works- transfer ownership to the stakeholders.
As he works on the key people and achieves results in terms of turning them around into the Organisation’s point of view- he finds his professional life and personal life improve.

He gets a new girl friend- Pause Daniels who also has a secret life.

As both their secret lives converge, the book picks up a sudden speed.

The first half is slow to me. The second half moves forward in a rush. Events unfold quickly. Things fall into place. People change sides or just escape the scene.

The last chapter is a chapter that closes all loops in a filmy manner.
The theme converges corporate strategies, intrigue and light hearted romance, told in a matter of fact manner.


Thursday, June 23, 2011


What is the whole point of removing the Ben 10 Sticker from the bottle and putting it up on the cupboard?

Tejas is very happy with the results.

Now he will not get confused between his and Ojas' bottle.

By the way he refuses to accept that now it is no longer a Ben 10 bottle ...minus the sticker!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Junk Food

While searching in vain for the juice that Nana had bought for them and I had hidden promptly, Ojas & Tejas chanced upon the packet of potato chips.

Ojas- There is chips. He has bought junk food.

The 2 and their 2 friends dismiss the chips and go off to play.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Barter System

Mamma- Give me a kissie and you get prawns for lunch.
Tejas plants a kissie on Mamma's cheek
Mamma- Another one on this cheek.
Tejas obliges.
Mamma- Oh, now I will have to give you mutton also.
Tejas- no , I don't want mutton- vigorously wipes off the 2nd kissie.

Ojas stays away knowing fully well that Mamma will serve both anyway- with or without a kissie

Friday, June 17, 2011

Buy 2 Get 1 Free

Was the offer going on in Spencer's for Brittania Actimind.
Being the smart consumer that I am, I did some quick calculations and picked up 12 bottles- Buy 8, take 12. So that given my policy of juice in lunch box twice a week, I could utilize these bottles for 3 weeks.

Only, Ojas & Tejas had other plans.
The first day, they took 1 each to school, came home and shared one more bottle.
3 down.
The next day- they drank 2 each and even kept one in the bag- to share with their friend.
8 down, in a span of 2 days.
Now only the free bottles are remaining and just a week has gone by.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

New Traffic Rule

No Spider- as per Tejas

Myth Quest Series

This series bring to children, stories from our fables of ancient times. We encounter brave super heroes with magical powers and their quest of supporting their Lord & Master- Shiva & Vishnu in His various avatars.

Nandi- The Divine Gatekeeper

These are a set of delightful short stories about Nandi, the Gatekeeper of Shiva’s abode. Starting from the story of Nandi’s birth, the book traverses the course of Nandi’s life with Shiva. We have the story of Prajapati, story of the quarrel with Ganesha, his encounter with Yama and Andhaka and his devotion to Shiva that prompted him to lick the spilled drops of poison during Samudra Manthan

Jambavan- The Immortal Bear King
Jambavan the bear plays a pivotal role in the Battle of Ramayana. He accompanies Vishnu through all his avatars. He is the one who reminds Hanuman of his strength. Surprisingly, he also enters into a combat with Krishna- despite being His devotee- Find out how in this short book.

Jatayu- Saviour from the Skies
The powerful bird Jatayu- was older than the trees, the mountains and most things on the earth. He and his brother Sampati were the caretakers of the birdkind.
Jatayu was a great friend of King Dasrath, Lord Ram’s father. He also was the sole witness to the kidnapping of Princess Sita by Ravana and had fought him bravely but failed. He died and attained Moksha at the feet of Lord Rama.

Each book ends with a short note on the various beliefs regarding Nandi, Jatayu and Jambavan.

Monday, June 13, 2011

On Ownership

Since it was time for bed, I switched off the TV, much to the annoyance of Ojas who was busy watching cartoons after being TV deprived for 3 whole hours during which I was watching a soppy tearjerker movie.
Ojas- Only you are watching TV. Ic ould not watch
Me- It is my TV I will watch. What's your problem
Ojas- crying loudly- it is not only yours... haaaaaaa, it is everybody's

Meanwhile the 3 men gang up saying none of us watched TV because Mamma was watching. She never lets us watch TV.

Aside said Tejas in a stage whisper- Dadda, actually only we 3 watch, Mamma never gets to watch. We are fooling her.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Grade I Boys

Yesterday the boys started Grade 1 in the big school.
Compared to the small and personal atmosphere in the junior school, I found this school huge, crowded, buzzing with activity and largely impersonal.
But they were very organised in spotting the newcomers and finding us the right section.
Like last year, both go into separate sections. They were better prepared for it but Ojas did balk at the prospect of getting in first and at the idea that Tejas will be with me until he gets into his class.
But within moments they were fine.
Ojas thinks his teacher is not his teacher because she is also his classmate's mom.
He insisted- Woh m'am nahin hai. woh N ka mamma hai.

The morning goes in a blur- I have 3 hours to do the following
- prepare breakfast
-rush to gym
-get fruits if needed on the way back
-wake the kids up, shove their food in and send them to get ready
-prepare their snack and lunch box (and pack them in their new Milton hot case)
-Fill cold water in their new Milton water bottles.
-Get the kids to pack their assorted boxes and bottles in their new Ben 10-Reebox bags- which was bought much to the disgust of the Dad who wanted to buy a boring and sensible American tourister
-Eat and get ready.
-Drive them to school and proceed thankfully in the same direction to work. Thank God for small mercies
The lunch and snack boxes are a challenge- making them as nutricious and delicious as possible is the key.
Combos and suggestions from my friends are pouring into my inbox thankfully.
Though as Ro suggests, I would love to outsource the lunchbox to eve's lungs

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Priya in Incredible Indyaa

Priya is lucky. In the current state of affairs, she is the wife of Suresh Kaushal- a lawyer turned politician- Minister of State for Food Processing. This automatically upgrades her status to a celebrity or VIP. She is sought after at launches, functions, parties and wannabes are vying up to her and trying to be her friend.

Priya struggles with her inner conflicts and is determined that her luck doesn’t run out.

She is the typical Indian wife and cannot naturally morph into a page 3 wife- but as the story progresses; she wears the cloak of high society wife with aplomb and dignity, with a lot of strategic intent working in the background.

She accepts infidelity (even from her side) so that the happily married life is not affected.
She keeps in tune with her youth sons, their aspirations and expectations and even manipulates them with a rare mix of traditional plus modern thinking.

She dodges the pestering Pooonam and her astrologer friends.

She brings back the idealistic friend Lenin to her household.

And above all, she truly becomes a page 3 wife.

The book has its funny moments and especially Priya is so not page 3- it makes one identify with her.

Really, who gives a dustbin as a gift- in reference to an artistic North east dustbin gifted to her husband.

The idea is to refuse to let the brain register the pain (due to the ridiculously high heels)- says Pooonam when Priya asks her about her high heels

She consciously stays in the Taj and does a blink-and-you-miss visit to her brother’s son’s wedding- to put her sister in law in place.

She accepts the term Mrs Menopause very cheerfully

One can picture the thought bubbles in her mind as she observes the numerous safety pins on her son’s face and passes mental comments.

She goes one step beyond the brief and not just says but produces a fictitious wife for her son who wants to escape from the ex girlfriend
Her son rightly says – they (girlfriend’s NRI parents) are so Bollywood inspired that the story that he is already married in childhood ring true to them.

Friday, June 03, 2011

From Forest to Garden

We stayed in a cottage in the jungle in Mudumalai forestWhich had a lovely garden After the trip to the forest, we drove to Mysore and treated ourselves to a luxury hotel stay.

We managed to go to Vrindavan Garden at night and see the dancing fountain. Unfortunately we could not enjoy the beauty of the garden in the night and the crowd was scary.

The ultimate treat was the lit up palace with a dance performance going on. I wish I could have stayed and watched the dance. Truly, the Living like a King is an apt metaphor.

The Kabab Maker and the Consultant

First thing, I loved the cover.
12 short stories, each one dealing with different aspect of human character and belief across social and cultural context.
These slice of life stories carry a realistic flavour, one can almost imagine that one must have met the protagonists somewhere in the past.
The kabab maker and the consultant have their workplace adjacent to each other. While the consultant envies the steady flow of customers in the kabab maker’s shop the kabab maker aspires to be educated like the consultant. In the context of an unrelated incident, the author examines the thought process in the minds of both.
Does things happen by chance or are God willed- 3 Journeys are randomly taken yet end up forming a connection between 4 lives totally disparate. In the end one cannot conclusively decide whether it was ordained by God or pure chance.
3 women in a single kitchen- across social strata – what binds them?
A toy train engine driver goes through a range of emotions has he goes through the motions of his normal working day in the story Derailed.
A Government officer use the tricks of their trade to save organization in Saviour
Gift of Giving is the story of a traveler who defines the past gifting occasions in terms of the reactions of the recipient.
An army widow Ambushes the landlord who is in the process of evicting her using ‘war’ tactics.
These and more stories that delightfully courses through the motions of life and captures the way people tackle situations in life.
A guaranteed enjoyable read.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Office Shocks

It is Aniket’s first day at work. Fresh out of B school he has a certain image of corporate life. However, he faces shock after shock as he goes through his first day of work that goes beyond HR- proposed office timings.
In his first day at work he has almost seen it all- including a colleague who received a pink slip, a long lost friend who is a colleague now but there is more to her than seems to the eye, people who invite him for drinks and on his refusal, “punish” him with an assignment that takes him to a far flung office, a two timing guy who is having an affair with a lady in office…this and more he faces on his first day at work.
The book is divided into hours of a single working day and beyond.
Probably I am the wrong target audience for this book because it fit for someone who has just started one’s working life.

Author Speak

Meet Ashwin Sanghi here in a discussion on what the readers of today are looking for

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Animals in the Wild

One day we took a drive to the forest. We travelled the scenic road via Bangalore from Chennai. A road lined with hills And Gulmoher trees in full bloom, dotted with mini vans in bright colors like brilliant pink and fresh lime green We crossed Bandipur and reached Tamil Nadu again

And entered the Mudumalai Forest

We saw monkeys, peacocks, bisons, wild boars, deers and herds of elephants

What is magical here is seeing them in the wild. One may not be able to capture them on camera but one can never forget the thrill of spotting them free in the wild ...

Burnt Toast

No I didn't burn my toast. In fact toast has been banned for quite a few days in my home- because it has too many carbs and is processed food- So I am really sticking to making rotis rather than sandwiches though I would love to have a yummy chicken cheese sandwich right away.

Well, this burnt toast is about Sandy's debut book (which has a very nice cover design).

Moulshree Dutta has been groomed all her life to become a financial whiz. She is an IIM grad today and is going to start her new life in a hot shot financial investment firm.
Or is she?
In a classic move, Molly walks in for an interview into an ad agency in the same building, accepts an offer which is a quarter of her current pay and ditches the first job.
Molly is the stereotypical MBA complete with jargons & methodology and bright ideas and the combined dislike from non-MBA colleagues who consider her to be too snooty and Ms know it all.
Kanika Anand is the Ms hottie- perfect 10 figure, husky voice and all that and a boyfriend tucked away into some corner – one is not sure whether he really exists. She hates Molly because Molly knows it all and is bossy and all into planning the entire project.
Lajja Mehta Kapoor is the once hot before marriage boss who seems to be a task master boss, jealous of her brainy subordinate Molly. Her husband is posted in Australia for a project and she is being the typical insecure wife living for the phone calls from her husband. She lives with her in laws and that si not an easy task for her.
The 3 women are thrown together for handling their top client – Fairfine fairness cream. The story moves forward with the 3 women getting over their prejudices about the other person and discovering that they could complement each other’s talents without stepping on toes. They discover a friendship that carries them through victories in the job front, creative process and the quintessential heart breaks (not real or permanently scarring ones though- out of which one emerges much stronger and bolder and all that).
Towards the end of the book, the girls discover their true passions and their dreams for their career and life.
The book, apart from being an interesting read, doesn’t contain any earth shattering incidents or major pitfalls in any one’s life. Everything seems to be normal and everyday. There is no big villain, only minor characters like the bad boy Rohit, the dumb secretary who is not so dumb and a brand head who is totally clueless about the brand.
So in effect there is no drama, no action, but this is a realistic portrayal of an ad agency life.
There are too many hindi words which I found annoying. I might be old fashioned that way but I do not like this mixing of languages.
The book also has a total depiction of the Indian fairness market which gives it a feel of a case study rather than a story.
All in all a good timepass and a breather from heavy stuff.