Friday, February 22, 2008

The My-Five Tag

Umm..err..the thing that has come out of trying to write this tag is this re-discovery of how crappy some (most?) of my previous posts have been. Bad English, bad usage, could've rephrased some sentences etc.. The list goes on. But here they are..


My forays into personal, familial stuff on this blog has always been cautious and limited. Lots of relatives, friends and extended family read this blog and that's always a deterrent..:) I've been flirting for a while with starting an anonymous blog where I can say anything I want. But I've been stumped by what to call it.

Anyhoo, in what little glimpses I've given of my family in this blog, my baby brother, dad and this rant make an appearance.

Me, me, me!

If you just surf through the archives, you'll find that's what this blog is all about: ME. There's a lot of useless info here including what I like, what I don't like, what drives me nuts, who I like etc..:) If you don't know me much, here's two posts you can read to acquaint yourself -- here and here.


One of the best trips I had in the US was to the Niagara. I went with Priya and Venky back in 2005 and it was quite a memorable trip. Apart from the usual sight-seeing stuff, there were some, umm..err, very funny incidents on the trip. Since Venky might not agree with me, I dare not post them here..:) But this is what I wrote after we came back from Niagara. Here's a post I wrote with fond memories about my childhood friend Gunpun here.

I daresay there have been lots of posts here about friends. Surf around if you want to find more..:)

My love

Of course, it is marathamizhan..:) Then come the beautiful temples of TN and Tamizh!

What I like

Music, Pets, Indian handicrafts and arts and writing in this space.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

In which I manage to successfully throw garbage on a bitter cold, ice-rain day

I am watching Friends ("In which they play touch football on Thanksgiving day") as I write this. So you can tell where my title inspiration came from. Tomorrow is garbage day in the area where we live. When we were dividing household responsibilities, I'd sneakily managed to push off putting out garbage onto S's list. I claimed the delicacy of the fairer sex and my perpetual cold hands/feet in winter. Anyone who has had to do garbage in the winter will vouch that it requires physical endurance. You have to attire yourself for the cold and brave the icy, whipping winds. You see, I really do have valid reasons for getting S to do it. So this can't really be categorized as sneaky.

Anyhoo, we usually only remember garbage day when we notice our punctual neighbors' garbage cans outside as we drive to work. By then, of course, it would be too late to go back home. We'd solemnly tell each other that next time, we would definitely remember to do the garbage on time instead of letting it hibernate in our garage for one more week. You all know how that story would've carried on.

S is out of town for some days. So this glorious responsibility of throwing garbage fell on me this week and wonder of wonders, I actually remembered! On this horrible ice-rain, sleet and slush-rain day, the brave trooper decided to do her duty. She knew it would be cold and bundled herself up in two sweatshirts, gloves, hat and a scarf. What the brave trooper didn't know was that the driveway would be all covered by ice. As I moved my car to wheel the garbage cans out, the car started slipping. Brakes and handbrake didn't work. So I just let the car slowly slip down to the curb and then parked it. Now, I put one foot on the driveway and fell with a resounding thud. No worries, I thought, I've got to put the garbage out. I managed to crawl my way up to the house and rolled out the garbage. Mission accomplished with two more falls, a few grazes and some ungraceful, waltzing on the ice. Whew.

Now, I wanted to park the car back in the garage. This was seeming like an Olympian task to me at this point. The car refused to get any traction on the icy driveway. It slipped, twisted and waltzed its way back to the curb each time I tried. So, after a ten minute fight, I gave up and managed to decently park the car on the curb.

So, here I am, sitting on the couch with hot badam milk, watching "Friends", nursing my sore body but feeling proud about my garbage accomplishment! Go girl power! Now you know why I had to write this. So much adventure for nothing? Naah. Can't let it go without a post! :)

PS: Arun, I've not forgotten your tag. It follows tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Yoga Craze

I've become a Yoga freak. Initially, I tried a couple of Ayurvedic home remedies and they worked like a charm. Then, one day, I came home with a tension headache and read somewhere that Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand Pose) cures tension headaches. I tried it and in a couple of minutes, I was feeling much better! So, I am officially now a Yoga fan. We got this BKS Iyengar book about Yoga yesterday and I am planning to religiously follow a Yoga regimen.

Of course, as with all fads that hit me, let's see if I actually follow this through to completion. But, this one, I really, really, really, really want to do be consistent!:)

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Sunday, February 10, 2008

Snakes in Dreams...

I read "Queen of Dreams" by Chita Divakaruni Banerjee in the 10 days before my wedding. Originally, I'd borrowed it from a friend when he went to India. But somehow, it ended up sitting on my shelf for a year without me turning a single page of it. I think I had a pre-conceived notion that the book would put me to sleep (maybe because of the "Dreams" reference in the title..?) and never read it. So, this was my in-flight reading for the trip home for the wedding and if it put me to sleep on the flight, good for me! In between shopping trips, chatting with relatives and mad dashes to the tailor, I finished reading the book.

Honestly, I can't say I was very impressed. The plot was initially very intriguing and definitely seemed to go somewhere. Rakhee is a confused ABCD with a very strange mom. The mom sleeps apart from her daughter and husband. She takes to sudden bouts of illnesses and has strange people visit her. Rakhee stumbles across her mom's diary after her death and reads about her past in snatches. It is a tale of caves, dream-tellers, of time travel and the "Elders" etc..Anyways, I was looking for some clarity and closure toward the end of it all. But there was none. Instead I started wondering if Rakhee's mom was perhaps just, you know, mental and living in two realities.

Anyhoo, the opening passages of the book say that if snakes appear in dreams, they foretell change. When I was between 5 - 15 years old, I would regularly have creepy dreams about snakes. One repetitive dream I had was a five-headed snake slithering down our street calling out my name and when I came out, it would start conversing with me in Sanskrit. Another one was when we'd be playing cricket on our terrace and the ball would fall into the sunshade. I'd climb into the sunshade to get the ball and suddenly find myself mired in a snake pit. None of the snakes in my dream would ever bite me or hurt me. But they'd slither around in their yucky fashion and make me extremely upset. Not that these dreams prevented me from sleeping or anything. But they were just mildly annoying and fatiguing.

My parents consulted some astrologers about this. They said that Mars was very weak in my horoscope and I had to wear a topaz ring to offset the weakness of Mars. I was also told to pray to Lord Muruga every day as he was the commander of all the planets. Well, honestly, I can't say all this helped. Nonetheless, the topaz ring was pretty and I still wear it today..:) I continued having horrible dreams until I was about 17. Then, one fine day, they suddenly ceased.

I don't know if in some Freudian way I'd come to terms with life and therefore, my subconscious stopped surfacing these dreams. Or maybe I'd just gotten used to snakes in some way. Anyways, it was a relief in some ways. Almost everyone I know has some recurring dream or other. What's yours?

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Wuthering Heights..

I had this book for non-detailed study in Grade 9. I can confidently say that I never really GOT the book. Oh, I understood what was happening but I couldn't really connect to the spirit of the book at that age. The emotional motivations of the characters were just too complex for me to fathom --- especially the relationship between Heathcliff and Catherine. Why did Heathcliff torture Catherine if he loved her? And why would she lead him on if she liked him and then not marry him?!! In the end, I couldn't really figure out if Heathcliff was a good guy or an utter villain or why he did what he did. I disliked the book.

Last week, a friend forwarded me a short story with a protagonist called Heathcliff. That reminded me of Wuthering Heights and on a whim, I decided to actually read a synopsis of Wuthering Heights. Wonder of wonders, it made a lot more sense to me now than 13 years ago! I think it takes some emotional maturity to understand how intense love can turn into an intense love-hate emotion. By the way, I still believe that if love turns to hate, it was not really love in the first place. But I've seen it happen and I guess I can accept it now.

So, my advice to the designers of school syllabi is: Don't introduce novels just because they're high sounding and have good titles. You're killing the spirit of the literary work by introducing it prematurely to a young audience when they're not capable of appreciating the different shades of the novel. It gives them a dislike of such works.

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