Monday, November 26, 2007

A quote that inspired me...

"What you are is God's gift to you; what you become is your gift to God"

- Andre Agassi

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Monday, November 19, 2007

On being average

It is difficult to be an average person. I don't excel at anything. I am a fairly okay person but I don't exactly blow away people with my personality. At work, I don't have 10 people hanging on to every word I say in a meeting and scuttling off to discuss the ramifications of my comments. As far as looks go, I am far from being a head-turner. I think my paternal grandmother was secretly unhappy with my regular, brown skin. I am an average singer. That means I can't get away with claiming total ignorance. I'll be classified as a snob. Having some basic singing knowledge dooms one to sing with off-key swarams, talams and all associated paraphernalia. Sigh.

Last weekend, S and I went to K's house in Cincinnati for Dikshithar Day. A bunch of very talented musicians get together every year on Muthuswami Dikshithar's anniversary and sing his compositions. There was a veena player, a flutist, two mridangists (S being one of them) and lots and lots of singers. A 12-year old kid captured everyone's hearts with her beautiful renditions of some ghana ragas: Todi, Gowlai etc..In addition to singing flawlessly, she also played the violin! I was dreading being asked to sing in front of all these super-knowledgeable, super-talented people. S, dutifully, called out my name. He, of course, was scintillating on the mridangam and rarely ever worries about being not-talented. I think I managed to acquit myself fairly decently. Chitra Visveswaran's niece was there to demonstrate Mamava Pattabhirama & Rangapura Vihara through abhinayas. She wowed people with her performance and also her looks..:)

So what's my point? That it is extremely hard to be an "average" person and get through life. It is like you don't have any identity at all and it is unfair of God to distribute talent so unevenly. Hmph. Maybe I should try to be a bit eccentric. That way, people will remember me at least as that "weird, eccentric lady who kept pulling funny faces whenever someone tried to talk to her."

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Sunday, November 04, 2007

Third Time Lucky..

Twice, I started writing this blog and forgot what I started it for. This is the third time and hopefully, I will remember..:)

We are moving. Again. Between S & I, we've managed 5 moves in one year. This will be our 6th. The thing about frequent moves is that you can never, ever find what you want. You will have forgotten half the things that you own so that when an old boondhi ladle springs out of a cardboard box, you squeal with the delight of ownership: "Ooh..that's so cool!" But the things you do have a memory of will be nowhere to find.

Where's the big tea filter that mum gave me when I came to the US for the first time? I remember it was in the big, grayish-white cardboard box when I moved the first time. Then, it got transferred to the big suitcase with all the vessels? Maybe it is in the topmost shelf above the refrigerator in the kitchen? Hmm..maybe in the cardboard box.

So, you can understand if I am a bit addled in my head right now..:) Anyhoo, the good thing about all this moving is that you get to relive memories of the past. In the name of cleaning, I dig out my college photographs, autograph books, letters that my friends wrote to me while I was in Canada, greeting cards from all previous birthdays etc... It is quite fun and makes you remember how young you once were and what others thought of you then.

So in my current digging spree, I came across this dirty bit of folded, creased paper lodged between some inland postal covers (the blue postal ones in India, you know! Before e-mail, this is how people communicated) and my old autograph book. As I opened it, my frown turned into a smile and then a grin! :)

Flashback. Tortoise rotates..

In my college second year, a guy called GS took a fancy to me. I never did like him much because the only way he showed his liking for me was by passing comments about my eyes and clothes in crowded corridors. But he was exceptionally good at Tamil and I'd heard that he wrote poems. So one day, during a very boring Microprocessor lesson, the professor was droning on and on about interrupts. On a very hot Trichy afternoon with the temperature in the 40s, if you've had heavenly curd rice for lunch, it is very difficult to keep the Goddess of Sleep away especially in the first hour right after lunch.

I was half asleep and doodling on my notes. A sound like suppressed coughing came from my right and I avoided looking in that direction. I did not want to hear any comment from anyone about my eyes. So I kept staring straight ahead when my friend painfully nudged me and thrust a piece of paper in my hands. I turned around and sure enough, I found GS grinning at me annoyingly.

Naan maskable interrupt- aaga irundhaal
Unnai kettu pin kathalithiruppen
Naano non-maskable interrupt
Aagave un utharavinri unnaiye ninaikkinren!

Even though I never did end up liking GS, I liked the the wit and the timeliness in the poem very much. It still brings a smile to my face when I read it.