Saturday, February 25, 2006


A week or so back, I wrote about Akshaya. Vijay had originally sent us all a link to the article and I was moved enough to write about it.

Dinesh came up with an idea to help Akshaya. All of us pitched in and Laka (and that's short for Lakshminarasimhan) became our point man..:)After innumerable e-mails exchanged on this subject and contacting Mr.Krishnan, we finally pulled through with what we could to help Akshaya.

This blog is not intended to self-glorify, publicize or preen. Our contribution is perhaps miniscule compared to so many other noble acts and there are probably thousands of others who are doing good things we can't even imagine. But I am really, really proud of our little Tamil community and friends gang here in Lexington! Proud of the fact that we have some very creative, dynamic minds amongst us; proud of the fact that they also care; that there are people willing to step up to take the responsibility; that we, as a group, didn't have any disagreements/dissensions in joining hands for a noble cause. I am proud to be a part of this community!

I hope that more communities like ours all over the world (even if just 3 or 4 people) step up to help organizations like 'Akshaya'. They need it!

Thursday, February 23, 2006


I was driving back from lunch via the UK (Univ of Kentucky) campus. At the corner of S.Limestone and Virginia, a young man was holding up a "Jesus forgives your past. Just ask." placard. I used to see such signs often when I was in Louisiana.

What does God forgive? Anything in the past? What if all those 'anythings' were stuff we did knowingly/deliberately? Would just repentance suffice? I mean, if we had a God who forgave us everything and absolved us of all consequences of our actions, we would all grow indifferent. I don't think humans function without incentives..:) God may forgive us but I think it is too much to ask for release from our actions! So, if I were a grad student (which I am) and I didn't do my paper despite repeated warnings from my professor that I may get an 'E' if I don't hand it in today, God would definitely forgive me but I would still get an 'E'. Fair enough? I think so..:)

Friday, February 17, 2006

Everyday gyaan

I don't mean to sound like a finishing school Miss but at some point or the other, every hostess has an overriding anxiety: how to keep your guests entertained. It may not even be a formal party but any successful host/hostess should know to keep the conversation flowing. At least, I feel that way..:)
Our driver, Sanjay, came up to our apartment in Mumbai to drop off a few grocery and vegetable bags. Mom was making some delicious food judging by the aroma that wafted from the kitchen. I asked him to stay back and eat. He settled himself in the sofa. My brother was sitting nearby, engrossed in some puzzle, oblivious to his surroundings. Looking at the two of them, one would've thought they had sworn not to talk to each other. Then, one of my dad's friends walked in and started reading some magazine. They seemed perfectly okay with the silence. I tried to talk but got monosyllables from each of them in reply.

Drat, I thought.

Then, out of a need to do something with my hands, I switched on the TV. India was playing Pakistan (Replay of the day's game) and immediately, three heads shot up in unison above papers and magazines like prairie dogs alerted to a scent..:) Now, I don't mean any disrespect when I say that except that's what really crossed my head at that time!

"You think Harbhajan bowled well today?"
"He did as well as he could."
"M.S. Dhoni is in crackling form!"
"I hope they beat the hell out of Afridi tomorrow!"
"The curators have designed awful pitches, yaar..if only they had something in it for the bowlers!"
"Nah..batsmen's pitches are anyday more interesting."
And more cricket talk followed. Meanwhile, I was thinking that M.S Dhoni's hair color looked rather nice..:)
I sighed in relief. At least, they are engaged, I thought. So how do you entertain an old man, a teenager and a young man, all with differing personalities?! Just put a TV in the middle, tune onto some game and leave them alone..:))

P.S: I used to follow cricket myself and I do notice more than players' hairstyles and coloring..:) I enjoy it every bit but then, I don't think I can ever hope to match a guy's appetite for it!

Yadda Yadda Yadda

I could only connect through phone with a lot of my old college buddies when I was vacationing in India. Some of them are so busy with their worklife that they can hardly breathe. A couple of my friends are getting hitched. I was completely vetti (jobless). A couple of phone conversations left me wondering. For the entire length I talked, I could muster only pitiful "uh-huh"s or "hmm"s as responses. To make things worse, my mind started wandering on miscellania. I had to jolt myself back into conscious conversation time and again.
"yadda yadda know what I mean?"
A hopeful pause at the other end.
Gosh, I don't really know, I thought to myself. But audibly,
What was wrong with me? These were not "hi-bye" relationships. These were friends with whom I've spent four years of college life. Hours have slipped by unnoticed talking to them, laughing with them, teasing them. Where had that old camaraderie gone? Why did I feel this way with a few whilst with others I still connected as of old? How had 3 years altered some of us?
I knew that the rational answer was differing personal growth levels. Different experiences, hardships, successes all lead to different personas. Perhaps, the few with whom I could still relate to had grown alongside me, albeit in a different way. I still don't know the right answer to this.
And I didn't want a rational or right answer. It was disconcerting to find out that even the best of relationships might eventually go the same way. The frightened child in me wanted a reassuring answer. So, I tried calling again and again to wash away the guilt of the previous conversation. It was only made worse.
I was sitting there biting my lips wondering how this could have happened when my brother came in whistling. He gave me a casual look and said,

"You should change the look on your face. You look like you just stepped in a puddle of cowdung."

I frowned at him for being so flippant. For not understanding me.

"If you think I am going to understand all those pointed looks and long faces, forget it, babe! Tell me what's on your mind and *maybe*, I will try to understand your muddled thoughts." He retorted.

I poured out all my long-drawn, confused, thought processes; how I was feeling confused, alone, upset yadda yadda yadda. He sat through the entire tirade with a look of awe.

Finally, he shook his head as if to clear it and cleared his throat,

"You thought all this from a couple of phone calls?!?!!!! You know, I have fried noodles at the BITS night canteen everyday."

"What? That's all you can think of to say to me? Food?" I screamed.

"Yeah. I think your thoughts are like noodles. All tangled up, confused, slippery and hard to grasp." He shot back.

"Speaking of which, I am hungry. Chat at Chowpati beach sound good? Think constructive thoughts like this. Life will at least be tasty."

I couldn't help smiling. Thank god for brothers.. and men.:)

Friday, February 10, 2006

A Few Good Men

Vijay had forwarded this link via e-mail from The Hindu. Every day I read thousands of news items about murders, deaths, diseases and the innumerable travails of living. In the process of living, we learn how to die every single day..:( This link is a reminder to me that good people, intentions and actions are still alive and kicking in this world. It is also a reminder that there is something called selfless love.
This article shook me up this morning and unconsciously, I lifted my eyes in thanks towards the heavens..

Kurai Ondrum Illai Kannaa...
(I have no regrets, O Lord!)

Wednesday, February 08, 2006


I've been meaning to write about Paris for a while now. But haven't summoned up the inspiration for that yet..:) So here's a few pics in lieu of that!

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Scribbles of a jet-lagged mind


t makes for interesting conversations over breakfast when your ears are plugged up with a bad cold. "Could you pass the milk please?" sounded like "Coldshoe shazzame please?". "Austin" sounded like "Boston".

"So, it must be really cold there right now? Man, I can't imagine living there..grr.."

I get a weird look.

"Err..not really. It is warm enough in Austin to be in shorts and flip-flops!"

People are grumpier until after breakfast and your repeating "Pardon me" 100 times only serves to irritate them more! :(


imes Square, NY is a sight for sore eyes on a cold, blistery winter night. The bright neon lights and cheery atmosphere diverted me from mulling over what a cold night it was. A hot masala dosa from 'Saravana Bhavan' on Lexington and 42nd didn't hurt either..:) I let my eyes wander over the soaring skyscrapers brightly silhouetted against the night sky. A hazy fog obscured the top of most buildings. What with the ambience, I felt like I was in Gotham and was half-expecting a Bat Signal to pop up in the sky! :)


t is rather embarassing when you forget to remove the maker's tag from your coats/jackets. Those people just make it harder by having it stitched in. Why not just have something that you can rip off easily? Well, I knew I was supposed to take it off but never got around to it. An airline stewardess in the flight I was in had a patronizing grin each time she passed me. I couldn't think of any reason and I just put it down to one of those human eccentricities. Then, when the flight was about to land, she leaned in and whispered,

"Ma'am, you're supposed to remove this tag."

Considering that I’d walked around all over the place with that stupid tag on, all I could do was nod sheepishly. Talk about embarassing!

[Finally, I did cut the darn thing off when I got home. I guess I need to thank her for that.]