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“Under the darkening blanket of the evening sky,

And borrowing light from the vehicles passing by,

I spotted a cluster of trees

Bearing fruits of a strange appearance

But wait; upon closer look I saw that they weren’t fruits

But hundreds and hundreds of egrets

Tired from feeding in the fields

Sitting still as the skies

Interrupted only by a sudden squawk of a startled member

At the horn of a mad lorry down under”

“How is it possible to feel nostalgia for a world I never knew?” asks a stunned ‘Che Guevera’ while wandering through the ruins of Machu Pichu in Latin America in the movie- The Motorcycle diaries. I asked the same question to myself once when I visited the Big temple or Brihadeeshwar kovil of Thanjavur, which I had never seen before. I ask that question once again today-“how can I possibly feel nostalgic about my parents’ childhood?”

From the innumerable travels I have made through the roads and rails of Kerala, I fondly recall the recent trip I made to my home in Cochin from Chennai. Having got no tatkal tickets, I decided to board the Kovai express from Chennai early in the morning. Though worried that I might have to risk standing all through the journey, I still decided to hope for the best and go ahead with the decision. I’ve always loved to travel by trains. I like to travel especially in non-ac compartments where I can open the windows and watch nature roll by like a movie. A sequence of beautiful frames running at length to keep you entertained and enchanted all along. One could come across places of such beauty that there where times when I had been tempted to pull the chain and get down of the train. Paddy fields, women working in the fields, cows and calves, small hills and rivers all made an appearance. Since I normally take the night trains from Chennai to Cochin, I had never really seen the stretch from Chennai, after Jolarpettai till Coimbatore.

During my college days, I used to go home very often. And the Tamil Nadu-Kerala border was a much awaited event. Politics, business, trade, families, societies- borders signified different things for different people. But for me, it only meant a canvas where two beautiful landscapes merged. The transition was done easily. If you missed the small bridge, it was all over in the blink of an eye. And now for the first time, I was travelling all the way from Chennai to Coimbatore, taking in all the splendid sights. And let me make an honest admission here. Malayalis world over might complain about the stagnant growth they face on the career front in Kerala and then flee in search of better opportunities elsewhere. But no matter how far they flee, there is but one thing they will talk about proudly, and that is the unpretentious display of fecund fertility of its soils. The greenery of Kerala is well-known. And we generally have a tendency to look down upon the other states in an air of arrogant comparison. And yet, as I looked out for the first time to look at the hills of Yelagiri blowing gentle wisps of clouds above them, and the agricultural produces that were being nurtured in the wombs of these interior landscapes, I couldn’t but feel ashamed of myself to have been ignorant about the fertility that the soils in my neighbouring land possessed. Where nature forgot to bestow, man sowed. And reap he did, rich praises from an ardent lover of nature who would rather see many shades of green and blue than grey. But the most impressive place that I saw was a few kilometers after Tirupur station. A temple surrounded by a natural pond with little kids bobbing up and down and rolling around in its waters, in the midst of a rich green field instantly made my heart jump up. The chain, uh..oh.. if I could just pull that chain….

But the journey had to continue, and I got down in Coimbatore, half relieved to have reached my destination and half sad to have my journey end so. From Coimbatore, I walked into a small hotel near by that was crowded with all the people from my train. Anticipating the bus journey ahead of me, I decided to take something that would go down well on my stomach and ordered curd rice. As a kid, I used to detest traveling by buses. The bumpy roads and in the case of hill stations, the hairpin bends used to churn my stomach and make me feel sick. And then when I went to college and was forced to take up bus journeys, I started to work up a stamina for bus rides. It later turned into a strange kind of love for the ride down the country roads. The worn down KSRTC buses with a ‘K’erala (not ‘K’arnataka), suddenly seemed like a good deal to view the country side. I thoroughly enjoyed the many journeys I undertook in and out of Kerala. Little did I realize that that love was to live forever and grow more with time.

From Coimbatore, I went to Gandhipuram bus stand and took the next bus to Cochin. The sky was marvelous with white fluffy clouds and the sun throwing its divine rays from behind it. The whole scene was ethereal. And as I entered the fertile soils of my homeland, I couldn’t but help think about the many smells that were now fast entering my nostrils. It strangely reminded me about my father and about his childhood.

And that’s when i asked myself- “How can I possibly feel nostalgic now? For his childhood?”

How can I know that the giant trees whose smells became distinctly clear and stronger during the night as they flew above the paddy fields, collecting many more aromas and growing in its intensity, had been responsible for sowing the thoughts that my dad thought and later inspired him to take to writing as a way of putting into words the best way he could, the beautiful thoughts that floated in his head? Perhaps it’s because those very trees whose names I didn’t know, were now continuing to work their inspiration through me, with thoughts that created such sublime emotions that the words I use from my memory is but vain. I don’t know how effective our words are. After all, catching a thought, infusing it with the right emotion and then trying to put it into sentences using the technique of recalling words from one’s memory is but a very inefficient way of communicating. For the beauty of the thought is far more intense and captivating. And it is a blessing, even if it is only for brief seconds, to hold that beauty inside you. And in that moment I also realized, to have been able to hold that beauty, to see it, know it for what it is and feel it the same way my dad had held it in his own heart many years back as he trudged through a lusher and verdant landscape is how, I am now able feel nostalgic about his childhood! That beauty we held in our hearts, inexplicable as it is, is the unseen link, connecting us through the ages. And I think that’s how i am able to know what he felt like in his younger days.

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So when a day as yellow and cheery as that calls out after almost a week of weeping from the skies above, you listen to that call and set out to face the sunshine.

If an opportunity to step out doesn’t come knocking at your door, you find an excuse, create a situation, convince/tempt/bribe/threaten a friend and pull her also into your scheme of things.

My excuse was that I had an upset tummy and desperately needed good healthy food that would include lots of vegetables in the form of traditional dishes. The destination was Sanjeevanam. The victim, my friend Bruce is a foodie. You could often spot her hovering around in the kitchen and sniffing about near the windows in each of the rooms in our house, collecting aromas from other, more productive kitchens in our apartment. Once a roommate got the fright of her life when she heard a noise and opened her weary eyes from a deep sleep to find Bruce positioned strategically in front of the fridge at 2 in the morning, rummaging and emptying its contents with lightning speed. She likes and enjoys eating so much that you’d be amazed at how much can go down that body of hers. Which surprisingly aint so massive. I mean for someone who has such a big appetite I’m sure people would expect to see a giant rolly polly rolling down the street. But no, our girl is toned quite well, and pretty! At least in the eyes of this beholder, she is.

And so, tempting her with healthy food didn’t take much convincing. One message was all that was required. The temptress and the victim set out to Sanjeevanam for a healthy lunch. Now this is one place that has an equal share of takers and haters. You won’t find many lovers. There are only takers. For Sanjeevanam revolves around the concept of health food. The ‘Rajabhojanam’ is a 7course meal that starts with four different drinks of milk and almond, beetroot juice, buttermilk and ‘kanji’water (porridge) to balance all of the acidic juices and alkaline properties of your stomach. Once the juices in your stomach starts oozing, you are ready for the first round of raw veggies (their plantain stalk salad and finely chopped raw mango sprinkled with pepper are the major attractions), second round of semi-cooked veggies, third round of fully cooked ‘poriyals’ and ‘koottus’ and then red rice and ghee, and the final round of white rice, sambhar, rasam, ‘mor’ curry and buttermilk. A cup of nice rice payasam is like the crescendo after which you will generally pass out, before the serving boy rushes to your aid and pours in a spoonful of honey into your palm to revive you back into consciousness. Honey aids in digestion, he then educates you with a smile.

After the banana leaf is licked clean and after all the waiters and customers finish gaping at the two mysterious girls who walked in like hurricane and crawled out on all fours exhibiting the worst form of civilized behaviour in front of all that food that was put in front of them, we walked to ‘nuts and spices’ to buy dark chocolate for Bruce’s cousin who was going to make chocolate dessert.

That’s when I got a call from my dear lost friend Gobu, who suddenly had a realization and called in with a whine: “Charooo, I just realized, I don’t have any friends!”

“Er… well um..”

Hearing my confused murmurs she offered- “I mean I have you guys, but the list pretty much ends there….. and its kinda upsetting”

“Well, frankly Gobu, I think its not friends that you don’t really have. It looks more to me like you don’t really have a life in that workplace of yours”, said I, thinking I was giving a piece of reference from some very intelligent observation.

“I want to get out. Its been so long since I saw you all. I want to be in a place full of trees and things… Take me somewhere… pleeease…” Gobu begged.

Krishnamurthy foundation in Greenways road was the chosen place where trees, birds, clean air and silence could be found in plenty. After showing her the library and walking barefoot on the grassy patch, we sat under the ‘peepal’ tree for a chat until the not-so-friendly dwellers under the patch of freshly cut grass started charting their way up into our clothes and to other unmentionables. Gobu then saw a beautiful curvaceous tree and had an urge to climb it. Having lost the practice and patience, we both studied the tree, searching desperately for a foothold. Finally finding no such foothold, I heaved her up and stared at her when plans of pulling me up failed several times over. We then walked around aimlessly, taking in the smells of the earth and the barks and leaves of the trees. Gobu talked about how this place reminded her of her township back home and for brief moments we both thought about all of those childhood times we spent with nature- climbing trees, downing raw mangoes and unripe guavas, skinning our knees and roasting ourselves to a perfect brown in the sun . Japanese novels, like their movies were devoid of drama and masala, said an upset Gobu suddenly, holding a novel in her hand that exposed the bare back of a fair Japanese lady. I was still stuck on that thought about my childhood. Playing with nature changed you forever. There was absolutely no substitute for the experiences it offered. Poor kids. They know not what they are missing out on. And we were responsible for it.

And then we saw it. The perfect mango tree with a heavy trunk and the most welcoming of low lying branches that found us jumping in joy and clambering up it. But once up the tree, somehow it didn’t feel as good as we expected it to. Childhood was lost. And so was the innocence that could give us unbridled joy.

We complained about the mosquitoes who were fast drilling their stingers into our bodies and we climbed down. I narrowly missed squishing a giant snail by a few inches. We giggled and fooled around and walked out wondering what to do next. The answer came in the form of ‘Sandy’s chocolate laboratory’. We weren’t really craving for chocolate. But since we’d already walked in and the place looked real cool, we decided to give it a shot. ‘Chocolate decadence’, which Sandy referred to as a ‘boring’ dessert (He had wanted us to try out the most sinful item on the menu card) was served in a ‘beaker’ along with a thick chocolate cookie and a ‘test tube’ of chocolate sauce. Impressed by the concept of a chocolate laboratory, and chatting up with the man who concocted all of the potions and desserts himself, whom we also discovered was not another ubiquitous ‘malayali’ (in spite of his curly hair and severe mallu Christain looks), we complimented him on his good taste and skills and hopped out into the streets once again, only to find my yellow sunshine gone and replaced my a bright crescent peeking from behind white clouds.

Where to next? In college, we were a gang of four. One got married early and now has a baby. The remaining three of us had been having it good until marriage dates got fixed for another one. Now our trio was down to two. But nevertheless, the three of us planned to meet up for dinner. Our final gathering before she gave up her single title and walked into a life of ‘householdom’. So to pass time until the bride-to-be could join us, we decided to visit the Kapaleeshwar temple and feed the cows there. We hopped onto a train and climbed down after one stop at the Mylapore station and walked into the ‘kovil’ with two ghee lamps and lots of plantains. We hurried on with our prayers, clicked a picture of a cat and her two kittens sleeping blissfully inside a silver palanquin on which we believe the deities ‘commuted’ regularly around the temple grounds, and ran out to the ‘Goshala’ where the temple cows were housed.

We were welcomed by three absolutely adorable new borns, who nudged and rolled out their eyes and stuck out their tongues at the plantains in our hands. The youngest among the three was too small to chew on the plantain skin. So we peeled it, broke a small piece and had to literally feed it and wipe its dribbling drool from our hands. The main ‘Goshala’ had several cows of different breeds. Some devotee who was inside the Goshala and who appeared to be touching the ‘behind’ of one of the cows explained when he saw the horror in our eyes that the ‘Gomata’(‘mother cow’, or is it ‘cow mother’?) resided at the rear end. And that touching a cow’s behind and seeking blessings would do us much good. We didn’t really know whether to believe in his story, but Gobu had already ventured into the shed and pressed her palm against a cowdung caked behind. I chose a cleaner behind and risked getting kicked by what the caretaker called a ‘high class mix breed’ that came with all of the arrogance of being the ‘best quality’.  She stamped her hooves a couple of times and warned us to move away. And we paid heed to her warning and disappeared.

Out in the temple grounds, people sat around in circles and talked. Some were immersed in devotion and chanted prayers. We then played with a cat, got introduced to ‘Mumtaz’- the slipper counter owner’s lovely brown stray dog and got a reading from a parrot that screeched and threatened to peck us when we tried to pat it. We departed by giving the parrot a yellow flower, which it very skillfully plucked and scattered all over the cards and into his little cage.

We walked into Saravana Bhavan, had masala dosa, shared a pineapple juice, chatted for a while, bitched about the bride-to-be who ditched us and departed. For a change I rejected the offers from the auto-drivers and decided to take a bus. It was a good decision. The ride gave me enough time and space to sit and recollect my thoughts and the day’s events. Life was good. Really good! And it was still only just a beginning!

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I wake up at dawn on the first day of August month every year with a hundred voices in my head. Voices that question me and judge me, throw ideas and force me out from my bed…. Voices that break my heart with memories of the past… Voices that remind me of the small yet significant details about my life… Voices that go off loud like noisy alarm clocks… A hundred alarm clocks in my head that serve as reminders of the several birthdays of some of the closest friends I have on this planet….

August is a month full of birthdays… of few of my ‘bestestest’ friends… yes, including the very first one I had, whose hand I selfishly clasped without letting it go for a single second for fear of losing her…  The one with whom I grew up playing hopscotch… The one with whom I got drenched in the monsoons..  The one with whom i shared my first secret… The first gossip… and the first love story… The one with whom I bunked classes… The one with whom I laughed out so hard i cried… The one with whom i learnt to share.. and care… To love and be loved… And with all of whom today, I discuss marriage and babies!!!

Its strange that even at a time when I knew nothing of star signs and birthdays, I was drawn to or drawn by August babies… Its weird, but true…. I was born to an August baby.. My dad celebrates his birthday today… And would you even believe me if i told you that the count stands at 7? And every year, i have upon my slender shoulders, the task of coming up with 7 brighter gift ideas than the previous ones and then putting in more working hours for realizing them…. Sigh!!! And yet, there is a part of me that also marvels at the workings of the universe…. How this seemingly insignificant coincidence suggests that some things are  just meant to be, and work only in a way… like how they were designed to work…

So here I am once again, weepy eyed and with a heavy heart (good heavy), counting my own age with the many wonderful friends i have in my life and looking through the lovely pictures of the past…  exactly like how I’ve been doing it…. on the very first day of August month, every year!!!

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squiggly tree

Caption courtesy the ‘chicken soup’ series of books.

This is not really a post, but more of a clarification to Miss Damsel’s question, “Whats that thingy up on the header?”

well my dear Damsel, that is Thoughton’s work of wonder! Its what happens when kids from small towns go to the big cities, get screwed up in their heads and then return to the peaceful setting of their homes for vacations, only to get riddled with excess freetime…

I’d been bored of my header image and wanting to get a new one for sometime now. It was Thoughton who stopped me midway and suggested that instead of just lifting images from elsewhere, I do something really whacky, like create an original work of er… art?, even if it turns out to be ‘toh-tah-lee’ un-inspiring! So my afternoon was spent on making this squiggly tree and terrorising it with a bunch of wandering stray clouds… And we had awesome fun doing it..

And thats not all… We’ve also decided that from here on, we’d come up with such original pieces of “whatever art for the whatever soul” regularly for our header image, every month!! 🙂

“Njyangale manasu alinjyu anugrahikkanam” (please melt your hearts and bless us!!!)

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There is a sense of calm, not a peaceful one, but a sort of calm with a heavier, more condensed emotion underneath. Like the excess cheese that oozes out from a seemingly harmless ‘thin crust pizza’. Heavy and sticky, you know all that cheese is going to just settle at the bottom of your tummy and lie in there, uncomfortably sticking to all of your innards, all through the night.

I’ve always loved the monsoons. That overly loud display of awesome power had me tingling with excitement ever since I was a little girl. But this time around, I sense a difference, a sort of gloomy silence, which makes me want to walk right upon that cloud and burst it out aloud. My neighbor’s kid can sulk better. Yes, that’s exactly what it is this time around. Its not raining, nature’s just sulking, all day long and all night long…. And it’s no fun at all…!!!

Thoughton: Amma is right. You’ve become a Tamizhathi!

Me: What? Now why would you say that?

Thoughton: Yea, look at you, all of Chennai is talking about you enjoying the monsoons in here and you are craving a hot scorch of your bum in the sun!!!

Me: No, I’m not. Im just saying this time around, there is something amiss. I want some action, some real drama. That’s what I had hoped to see… but this is like a bunch of amateurs totally screwing up the show. I wanna fling my 100rupee Pondi bazaar sandals at them…

Thoughton: Yea, but it’s been just two days. Maybe it’ll improve.. Let’s just not get all whiny already.

Me: who is whining? I aint whining

Thoughton: yes you are

Me: am not…

Thoughton.. Yea right! Btw, what’s that thing? I’ve been noticing it for sometime now..

Me: What thing?

Thoughton: That thing sticking up from your back?

Me: God, what’s sticking up from my back?

Thoughton: Hahaha, I think somebody done a sticky note on you!!!

Me: A sticky note? Why would anybody wanna stick up a sticky note on me? I got no enemies?

Thoughton: (rrrippp) Well lady, looks like you just have a secret loather!!

Me: what’s written on it?

Thoughton: It says.. “The girl with the head up in the clouds, YOU’VE BEEN TAGGED!

Me: Why that prick Karsub!!

Thoughton: Don’t you dare utter a word of disgrace against that nice ol boy young lady…

Me: (pooh) But I won’t do it!!!

Thoughton: You shall NOT ignore Karsub’s tag

Me: But he stuck it up behind my….

Thoughton: Stop complaining and start writing right NOW before I start pinching your brains…

Me: ………

(Fake smile) Ah so ladies and gentlemen, the thing with sticky notes as you already know is that you can’t really get it off you. When you manage to take it off your back, it gets stuck onto your fingers. And then you use your left hand to rip it off from the right. And then you gotta roll it around, all the while squishing it and then kill it before you can completely rid yourself of it…

I’ve also tweaked a few questions here and there coz I found them to be a little er, well, boring? So here goes…

Four Favorite things:

 Four places that I have lived in

Calicut, Coimbatore, Cochin and Chennai.

Four TV Shows I love(d) to watch

Heidi

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Whats that lil robo girl’s show called? With an annoying freckled girl for her neighbour’s kid? Damn, I forget. But I used to watch it regularly.

I used to love watching “Surabhi” on Doordarshan

Four places I’ve been on vacation

I’m changing this question to: Four of the best places I’ve discovered during my childhood summer vacations:

The military barracks up the forbidden hill, where we discovered fox dens, sinister caves and the most beautiful of beaming blue skies…

The-three-storey high water tank in the apartment, a climb that got me grounded for a week!

A cycle trip to the beach through the fisher colony and dark alleys of Kozhikode with my two comrades in 6th STD. (A secret I had been hiding for the past so many years. Dead meat I am tonight!)

A full blown tour of the haunted construction site outside our apartment. I encountered a tiny ghost called ‘Guchi’ up a coconut tree, and developed a fear of sleeping alone ever since.

Four favorite food items

Puttu kadala, amma’s prawn fry, cheera (spinach) curry, medu vadai, rasam sadam…. Well there are just too many items. I wouldn’t know how to restrict it to just four of ‘em…

Four Websites I visit daily:

I don’t visit any websites regularly. Although, I do occasionally go to etsy.com, deviantart.com, 52prints.com and many more of such art based websites.

Four places I’d rather be.. I’m changing this question to:  Four places I’d like to visit:

The Himalayas

The Saharan desert

The Pacific islands

And the North Pole

 Four things I hope to do before I die:

Visit the Himalayas

Put on some weight

Adopt a mongrel puppy

And live happy

Four novels I wish I was reading for the first time

Eh, did you mean books I don’t mind reading over and over again? Then I must confess, I don’t like to read a book once I’m done with it. Although I can read Tintin, Asterix, The Coral Islands, and a lot of other books I read as a kid.

Four movies I can watch over and over again

Old Mohanlal+ Srinivasan/ Mohanlal + Jagathy movies

All animation movies

A few Tamil movies

And Pather Panchali

And now the victims of this tag:

Me: Whom shall we attack first?

Thoughton: Damsel’s behind obviously

Me: Shush, dont humiliate me so.. but she and philip have already been tagged

Thoughton: Ok then, lets sniff out some fresh meat. Lets tag the famed ‘Ice maiden

Me: You like her?

Thoughton: Oh yea!!

Me: Ok then

1. Ice maiden gets a sticky note

Thoughton: Next should be Bullshee. Lets stick it up his cuffs.. him and his fancy lil suit!!!

2. Bullshee watch out!

Thoughton: I wanna try it out on Ambareen and cool muslimah. I kinda like the kids… they have this innocent goodness about them…

So there… hope ya all find the sticky tags before others find it on you….:)

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The moon is encircled by a bunch of hooligan clouds. It’s a silent sky. (Gnaw Gnaw) In the dark of the night, a form stirs. (Gnaw. Gnaw) It slithers from under the blanket and moves gently past the motionless bodies. A door creaks open. (Gnaw. Gnaw) The silhouette of a girl appears against the window, behind which is cackling an old worn out tube light. She moves gently and switches a machine on… (Gnaw. Gnaw)…

Me: “Oh stop chewing my head. Im up now, amnt I?”

Thoughton: “Are we gonna write then?”

Me: “Grrr… yes we are…”

Thoughton: “Oh how wonderful! Im gonna let the whole world know how cruelly you tried to kill me and drown me in the seas”

Me: “Yea whatever”

Thoughton: “And they’ll all be mad at you. Especially your dad. For having imprisoned me inside your head and tormenting me so…”

Me: “(Yawn) Man, really, don’t you ever just shut up? Do you realize its 2 in the morning?”

Thoughton: “No, sorry, for us in our world, there is no night nor day. We simply are…”

Me: “Yea, yea, I know… FreAks!!!”

There comes a time in every woman’s life, when she has to wake up from bed in the middle of the night and tend to things for the sake of her own sanity. No, im not talking about a baby or a husband, it’s my own ravaging mind. So here I am, after several weeks of shutting myself away from Thoughton, who was leisurely sipping away tender coconut water in the summer heat while I slaved like a dog, and is now turning against me and complaining about having imprisoned him inside my head.

It feels strange to know that at some point I didn’t even have a blog. That, even when a considerable chunk of city bred Indian kids were rambling away about their lives and thoughts, I was secretly jotting down dark and vile thoughts in a diary which I am now considering incinerating. Because now that I have a blog, not writing and checking it regularly feels odd. There is this strange sense of guilt, like having abandoned a hapless kid on the road, after promising it to return in a few minutes with milk and biscuits. Ok, maybe not that dramatic, but you get my point? It really, really has been a painful separation from my darling Thoughton, who is er, right now, er, has gone back to sleep….

Ok never mind him. I shall start off from where I left and accept certain honors that were bestowed upon me. (a little late I am!!!)

It all started with Dphat, who very generously hammered down an award on my blog for being a blogger ‘extraordinaire’, he wrote. The buck was passed to several other bloggers.

But to receive the award, one needs to satisfy the following conditions:

a. List 10 honest truths about yourself.

b. Choose a minimum of seven (7) blogs that you find brilliant in content or design. Or improvise by including bloggers who have no idea who you are because you don’t have seven friends. Show the seven random victims’ names and links and leave a harassing comment informing them that they were prized with Honest Weblog. Well, there’s no prize, but they can keep the nifty icon.

Now two other bloggers, one miss Damsel and a certain lover of curd rice, for want of names on their list (I think), chose little ol me who was missing in action to feature on their list of 7 exceptional bloggers. Im not sure whether to think it as an honor or an insult anymore… But an award is an award. And since all of these bloggers are people who I nevertheless do admire, love and respect, I think I shall accept it and take the dare-to-bare-all test for this nifty icon: honest scrap

Here goes…

1. I have a habit of shaking my legs in sleep. It has left many people amused, many relatives gossiping and my mom seething in anger. The reason for this behavior is a certain dad, who in the initial days of his career, came home after night shifts to a wailing baby and a tired mother and found an ingenious way to restore peace and calm in the house- by ‘rocking’ the baby to sleep on his legs. The habit stuck. Both on the dad and on the baby. Now on lazy Sunday afternoons, we both ‘rock’ ourselves to sleep and wake amma from hers.

2.  Speaking of lazy Sunday afternoons, I love to lie down with my parents and read. That’s how the three of us end up on the same bed to doze off. Amma, with her book on her and the reading glasses off her nose. Achan, placing the book and his glasses gently beside him and lying in a straight position, and me curled up like a foetus between them with drool all over my book. Those few minutes are enough to dissolve the memory of all of the terrible times I’ve had with them in the past.

3.  I love mangoes. Raw and ripe ones alike, but cannot stand anything made from it or its preservative flavors. Meaning, I don’t like mango juice, mango flavored candies, shakes, ice-cream and the lot. Only just real mangoes.

4.  My two frontal teeth aren’t really real. I broke them when I was 10yrs old, when I picked a fight with my brother and he gave me a little shove to fend off my claws. I slipped and fell on the porch, head first, face down. Amma later showed me two tiny white chips before throwing it away, foiling my plans of preserving them in my pencil box.

5.  I love Chennai. Agreed it’s hot, it’s polluted and is not as happening as the other metro cities. But I suppose that is exactly what I like about this city. This perfect mix of the old and the new. And besides, where else on earth do you get the best of idly-sambhar?

6.  My first ambition in life was to become a postal stamp sealer.

7.  For many, it is the scratch of finger nails on the wall. For some it’s the screech of a chalk on the board. For me its coins. I cannot stand the sound of two coins rubbing against each other. It makes my teeth tingle in a very unpleasant way. And also metal spoons on steel plates. Brrrr….. !!!

8. I love to watch Animal planet, Discovery and Nat geo and can see em all day as long as they are not about gadgets or do not concern physics. I love shows on elephants and lions and everything about India. Also, documentaries of David Attenborough occupy a special place in my heart.

9. My first phone was the basic Nokia model 1100. I used and abused it for so long that I fell in love with it. I still use a basic model (cant remember the name), because I think there is simply no match for it. Its sheer will to survive in spite of the several nasty falls and near-to-death-experiences has won my heart. They made that phone for me!

10. I believe I was born at the right place, at the right time, to the right parents, and met the right people, and got into the right kinda shit, to make whatever is right for me, right now!

And now ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the 7 chosen ones:

  1. Poori: She has two blogs. One where she writes and the other where she uploads her crazy art creations. Now Im gonna choose her art blog here coz I love that unique bit of herself she leaves in random everyday things. She is not the regular artist who’d make you nice pretty wall hanging things, but rather grab your stole or shoes if she finds the fabric interesting and go crazy on em…My favorite is her ‘swampy shoes’ creation. Here is to an exceptionally honest soul, wild and crazy as the winds…!!
  2. Anju: I remember thinking ‘whacky’ when I first came across “the witch of la la land” for a blog name. I came across it a couple of times and continued to ignore it for reasons unknown. And then one day, I landed in that place anyway and discovered that it belonged to my junior from college, whom I had also once tried to drown in the sea! And this is the blog that I’d actually like you all to read. She has 5 blogs and all are like her- mysterious! Well, at least she doesn’t shove everything into one single blog like me!
  3. Deepa: She is a mother of a 6year old. Used to be a SEO writer before she quit her job to make paper-jewellery! She makes intricate pieces of absolutely stunning designs with paper. Her products are available in ‘Dakshin Chitra’ and ‘Vanilla place’ in Chennai and are slowly gaining popularity. Her blog is open to all to take a look at her products and place an order. I know for a fact that she is not going to respond to this award. But I want to feature her in here for the sake of all things art and all humans brave enough to follow their hearts. You can check out her blog to see her talent laden “10 fingers”.
  4. Mr.Editor: Mr.Editor is young, funny and well fun. He could be the ideal Raj of DDLJ, the wittily dumb, yet smart fellow who charms all the girls. But I don’t really know that. That’s just an image I have about him in my head. He is the kinda guy I’d push in front of a Yash Chopra or a Karan Johar for their next film. And he surely does deliver what he promises- timepass! Unfortunately for me, some other lovely lady already hammered this award on him. But heck, here is another one… Mr.Poh-puh-lar!
  5. Bakwaas ji: Now this is the guy they’ve been warning you to stay away from all your life. The guy you should never bring in front of your father. Bakwas ji makes it very clear with his blog name what he has to offer to interested readers. The guy is outrageous and outraged at many of the things happening in our ‘mahaan Bharath’ and loves to debate. I don’t like to debate, but I like the way he writes, even if it is a potential minefield of expletives. He is funny and honest to the point that he should ideally get banged on his head with this award!
  6. Viki: Star photographer of the Chennai Trekking Club! But alas, the hopeless guy that he is, he was wasting it all by uploading it on orkut! So we caught hold him and tried to put some sense into his head. This blog is the result. Although, he is yet to really start uploading his real good captures. Unleash your camera Viki, and strike us with thy magnificent shutter eyes!!!
  7. I thought for a really long time as to who this final victim should be. No amount of calculations and searches on the net delivered fruitful results. So even if the rest of the bloggers decry foul, I shall still do it. You get what you give! And im extremely grateful for the three great souls who considered me worthy enough for this award and would further like to express my gratitude by tossing it back at them. Ladies and gentlemen, this final award shall be shared between 3 outstanding bloggers!

All hail Dphat for a regular dose of ROTFL posts!

A standing ovation for Karsub! His very presence in the blogosphere is a darn blessing for all of us!

And a bling bling photo-shoot and autograph session for the very young and lively lil miss Damsel!

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In an attempt to save my dear friend, i bit a witch before she bit me and i howled in my sleep and got woken up by my startled roomies only to resume the dream and see ‘big daddy’ taking me to the most beautiful ‘Ganapathy’ temple and stopping by at a local toddy shop to try out their local brew….

Phew, Thoughton is unbelievable!!  Do you guys even realise what Im living with inside my head?

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