Change in Plans …

June 30, 2009

Last night I loudly announced to the little audience I have at home “From tomorrow on, all the chores get completed first I start to blog.”  I made extensive plans of what chores I am to run first, which errands to be run in what order and the works. Just thinking about to-do list, I was in a dizzy! But my mind was made up – I am no longer a slave to my blog, rather the blog should be my slave. With such grandiose thoughts, I went to bed.

Day started with some of the chores in progress. I wanted to take a peep at my mail and what do I see “You have been awarded by me …. and yes ..love the new look of your blog !!” All grandiose plans flew right then and there out out the window! So here I am, the proud owner of  award and my first award at that!! Thanks a ton*∞+1000 times LEB for the lovely award of “extremely compulsive-obsessive” award!

award

The rules of the award are as follows

1. Link the person who tagged you.
2. Copy the image above, the rules and the questionnaire in this post.
3. Post this in one or all of your blogs.
4. Answer the four questions following these Rules.
5. Recruit at least seven (7) friends on your Blog Roll by sharing this with them.
6. Come back to BLoGGiSTa iNFo CoRNeR (PLEASE DO NOT CHANGE THIS LINK) at http://bloggistame.blogspot.com and leave the URL of your Post in order for you/your Blog to be added to the Master List.
7. Have Fun!

Questions & Your Answers: (My answers in Bold Italics)
1. The person who tagged you:         Le Embrouille Blogueur
2. His/her site’s title and url:             http://dukulsblog.blogspot.com/
3. Date when you were tagged:         30th June 2009
4. Persons you tagged:                    A, Goofy Mumma, Nancy, OG, Preeti, Solilo, Winnie in alphabetical order!

Unlike slaves of any other kind, the blogger slaves get awards, lots of praises, and lots of goodie things to read, know and share.  To my fellow bloggers, the ones whom I have come to love, respect and admire not just for their beautiful writings but also for sharing theit beautiful minds, I wish to award you too.

1. Just Call Me A – You never fail to pull a smile from your readers.

2. Goofy Mumma – Down to earth, sensible and practical. I would like to think I am like you but that would be a joke 😉

3. Reflections aka Nancy- the one I believe would make an awesome cartoon scriptwriter, maybe win a couple of Oscars too! 😉

4. Ordinary Guy –  His blog drips of enthusiasm, happiness and joy!

5. Just a Mother of Two aka Preeti- A lovely poetess, artist, writer, mommy and a friend for all her readers.

6. Solilo –  Parenting, social issues, sentimemt, you name it, she’s got an opinion about it!

7. Winnie the Poohi – Smart, funny and so creative! Her 55 word stories and the 3ww prompts are fantabulous!

Thank you once again LEB. And to the smart seven above, its brought me great  joy to award such gems like you!

Back to the boring old chores …  😦 I now know how Cinderella felt when the time was up! 😀

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Black and white Pictures, Images and Photos

As kids, we were at constant battles with our mother. If it were not for the unflappable nature of our dad, he too would have been in the eye of our storms. It was tough to infuriate him. Notes from teachers, fights with other kids, spending money excessively – Nada! Nothing would provoke him. But with our mother, who had a quite a juggling job at home, and with us always getting in the way, she would get all flustered. Not to mention the fights between my sister and I. As I was thinking about all those times, I was inspired to write the below lines.

Mother and Daughters


Battles, tantrums, hassles;

these were our early years.

Peaceful times were so rare

With the mother daughters trio.


Over studies, over clothes,

over friends, over playtime,

over no reason sometimes,

Battles became a way of a life.


Ages passed since, cant do without each other;

be it talks of future, recipes or idle chatter,

each of us took a step closer

to be  more than mother daughter sister.


One of us took a baby step,

the other took a step forward

and a leap of faith by our mother

brought us all on to the same page.


Older, wiser and unscathed

out of the fires we have come

into the placidity of womanhood

leaving the turbulence far behind.

When the sky smiled …

June 24, 2009

Most of you would know how I love my long walks. I love it so much that I get cranky if the weather plays foul. Last evening the clouds began to gather to shoo us back into the house but I told Sachin – its okay,  it doesn’t look like rain clouds, lets carry on and all that. It was looking so awesome and we were clicking picture after pictures. Then the warning drops came and I was feeling so P#$$%^. It was all fine till the time we wanted to go, why now??  I was grumbling loudly and threatening the skies to withdraw the clouds soon. That is when I saw it –  the sky was smiling!

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All my complaints trickled away with the sky’s smile  as with the  heavenly showerstorm that followed soon after. The sun’s rays reflected in a thousand little drops to create such an aura that you need to see it to cherish it! As the old story goes, somewhere a  fox got married! Such a day was not for indoors – Sachin and I decided. So we quickly got into our car to drive along the roads of New Jersey. We could barely see with the rain thundering down on us but it was all worth it. We happened to take few more pictures of the day and they are here.

I wish such beauty and the joythat it brings upon all my blogger friends. I hope more foxes get married so that us mortals are treated to such heavenly sights!

Please do write in with your thoughts. As always, I am waiting to see what you think.

Cheers

PS: I have been given strict orders to give due credit for the lovely photograph. Okay so here it goes, my darling sweetpea Sachin took the above photo and all the others in the link. (except the orange sky in the link, he was driving then) 🙂

Do you believe in coincidence? Yes? How about when one coincidence happens after another? Possible, you say? How about a string of coincidences happening all in the same time frame? Okay, I have tormented you enough.

My dad recently sent me a forward (it was widely circulated, so many of you may have come across it.) At an awards dinner in his honour,the former President of American Academy of Forensic Science, Dr Don Harper Mills, recollected a puzzling case. Presented below is the case :

On March 23, 1994, the medical examiner viewed the body of Ronald Opus and concluded that he died from a shotgun wound to the head. The decedent had jumped from the top of a ten-story building intending to commit suicide.

He left a note to that effect indicating his despondency. As he fell past the ninth floor, his life was interrupted by a shotgun blast passing through a window, which killed him instantly. Neither the shooter nor the decedent was aware that a safety net had been installed just below at the eighth floor level to protect some building workers and that Ronald Opus would not have been able to complete his suicide the way he had planned.

Ordinarily, Dr. Mills said, “a person who sets out to commit suicide and ultimately succeeds, even though the mechanism might not be what he intended” is still defined as committing suicide. Mr. Opus was shot on the way to certain death nine stories below at street level, but his suicide attempt probably would not have been successful because of the safety net. This caused the medical examiner to feel that he had a homicide on his hands.

The room on the ninth floor from whence the shotgun blast emanated was occupied by an elderly man and his wife. They were arguing vigorously, and he was threatening her with a shotgun. The man was so upset that when he pulled the trigger he completely missed his wife and the pellets went through the window striking Mr. Opus.

When one intends to kill subject A, but kills subject B in the attempt, one is guilty of the murder of subject B. When confronted with the murder charge, the old man and his wife were both adamant. They both said they thought the shotgun was unloaded. The old man said it was his long standing habit to threaten his wife with the unloaded shotgun. He had no intention to murder her. Therefore the killing of Mr. Opus appeared to be an accident, that is, the gun had been accidentally loaded.

The continuing investigation turned up a witness who saw the old couple’s son loading the shotgun about six weeks prior to the fatal accident. It transpired that the old lady had cut off her son’s financial support and the son, knowing the propensity of his father to use the shotgun threateningly, loaded the gun with the expectation that his father would shoot his mother.

The case now becomes one of murder on the part of the son for the death of Ronald Opus.

Now comes the exquisite twist. Further investigation revealed that the son was in fact Ronald Opus. He had become increasingly despondent over both the loss of his financial support and the failure of his attempt to engineer his mother’s murder. This led him to jump off the ten-story building on March 23rd, only to be killed by a shotgun blast passing through the ninth-story window. The son had actually murdered himself, so the medical examiner closed the case as a suicide.

What are the odds that the above story could be true? An occasional coincidence or two can happen but coincidences happening at this rate? I needed to check if it was really true so I went to Snopes.com (which was featured in Reader’s Digest as the rumour detectives) Their findings says Dr Don Harper Mills does indeed exist and he did talk about this bizarre tale at the awards dinner. However, it was a figment of his imagination which he came up with to elucidate legalities of forensic science. Despite mentioning that it was a hypothetical story, it got widely circulated as a true happening!  And to top it all – if you google Dr Don Harper Mills, you will find more of rumour mill links. I am left wondering if Dr Mills a fabrication too.

Do write in with your thoughts.

PS: For those of you who are wondering, yes I am really jobless with lots of time of my hands and an idle mind to occupy – so what can you expect? 😀

Who do you think is happier – a person who has just about enough to eat or a person wallowing in the lap of luxury?

My answer is – whoever makes up their mind to be happy. Samuel Langhorne Clemes a.k.a Mark Twain  says ” You are as happy as you make up your mind to be ” What a simple yet profound statement, isn’t it? Beauty of it is that you can’t blame another for your state of mind, it is all in your hands. Sachin and I have our little trick to keep count of our happy times. Ever since our courtship days, we would say “This is happiness” aloud and to each other when we are happy/content/at peace or the like. It may sound quirky  but it is probably why we remember happy times more than the scrapes we have been in the last 5 years. 🙂

I wouldn’t want to take away from the simplicity of Mark Twain’s quote with a long winded post. So I end this post with a happy romantic song playing in my heart. Surely you would write in with your thoughts? I would love to hear your “tips and tricks” to be happy. 🙂

The Age Of Innocence

June 20, 2009

After reading Ramesh’s post here, I too was taken back to the sweet old days when innocence was a given. Looking at the information overdose these days, I just want to leave this age and go back to the age of innocence, charm and grace. Most people are horrified at the thought of life without cellphones, the cable, internet. But these are the very things that caused all the hurry burry in the world isn’t it? And people were pretty happy back in those days too. This sweet video should bring  back some good memories and how little it took us to bring joy to our hearts.

Got you, didn’t I? The innocent voices, the wise didi, the simple lessons and a heartwarming video. Who will not love it?

One of our beloved past times was the Chitrahar in the evenings and Chitrageet on the weekend mornings. Remember how a lady would announce all the details of a song in a pleasant tone – what is going to play next, who is the Music Director, who wrote the songs and other snippets? No matter how much fun they are, but I feel all the VJs and DJs are trying too hard to make us like them. ( I make a few exceptions for people like Lola Kutty, who has her charm and wits around her! )

I miss the style of the older editions of Reader’s Digest. I have a couple of those oldies which my mom guards with her life! My mom also had these magazines called the Four Seasons. I love it so much and I have gone through them over and over. They too give a little information about the writer of the article. And it was in Black and White, so very charming to me. Tinkle, Chandamama are also old favourites. Each of them have changed their look, but I hold the older editions close to my heart. And as LEM pointed out, the charm of sepia photos taken in those days, gives a warm feeling.

The experience of traveling by train has also changed over the years. I remember how I used to tell my amma to make coffee like they make in the train and she would get a really horrified look on her face! (Thank God I outgrew that phase!)  I remember the long train journeys we made to Baroda, Udaipur, Jaisalmer etc where each way it would be atleast 2 days. And it was fun, all the kids would make friends with each other and play together. And the adults did what they did best – ruining our fun! 😉

As for friends, we knew every single child in our neighbourhood because we were either playmates or schoolmates, Some of our closest friends are the parents of kids whom my dad offered to take to school along with us. Friends for life – that was a given then. People were really nice and sincere. Friendship doesn’t mean the same anymore. There are strings attached. We no longer forgive and forget.

Schooling was sane back in my days. Yes, homework, exams were there. Students helped each other out. I think our classes were like how my 1std social studies textbook describe the responsibilities of a mother, father, sister, brother, friends, students and so on. I have studied in the same school all my life. So I know most of my classmates all my life. Isn’t that a lovely feeling. Its like whole of Cochin was one big family.

Parents were parents. You don’t behave, you are grounded. Among the two of us, P is the one who got the most number of punishments from our parents (teachers too :-D) My parents were parents then  but now they are my dearest friends.

I loved taking this trip down memory lane. And before you all pass me off for a old lady, I am in my late twenties. I love the serenity of my early years and would love to experience them again even at the cost of cell phones, cable, ATM … eh, the internet a little grudingly because that would mean no blogs 😉 I proudly display my love of the ’80’s here.

Whoever said old is gold, knew what he/she was talking about. Do write in with your thoughts. 🙂 I am waiting …

The lovely Nancy tagged me. 🙂 My first ever tag – thanks so much Nancy!! She wants me to come up with 10 things that sets me boiling crazy. Well, I don’t boil but I do simmer and seethe and mutter to myself when certain behaviours are on display such as these:

1. I abhor the people who take advantage of the helpless. I can find no excuses to forgive such behaviour.

2. Sadism – I can’t imagine the pleasure a sadist gets out of tormenting people/animals. It should be made a punishable offense.

3. A lot people dismiss a lot others as worthless because of  appearances. Well, its their loss – they might just have missed a best friend, a genius, a future hero or just a regular nice person. I had written about judging a book by its cover here.

4. People who abuse animals should be shown a glimpse of the torture chambers of yore. Why they cut an ant in half, is beyond me. Sachin and I never go on animal rides for the same reason why we don’t give rides to anyone. 😉 (But if we are stuck in a desert with a camel … 😀 )

5. The houses or cherished things of people who deliberately deface other people’s property should automatically get a big crack.

6. People with a microscope … oh no, not of the biologist variety. Havent you come across those – the ones who peer into a person’s soul to look for flaws and if they do find one, feel on top of the world? Pathetic!

7. People who itch for fights. controversies, make a mountain of a molehill – watch reality shows to know what I mean. I just hope you don’t have such a namuna in your life.

8. I dislike all the hype over “Branded” stuffs. I feel one is paying the manufacturer to advertise their brand. Shouldn’t it be the other way round?  Heights of stupidity according to me. (Personal opinion guys, please don’t take it out on me. 😀 )

9. I get the hibbie jibbies when I see a person with fake affection gushing  over me. My skin crawls and I want to flee!

10. Indifference – I feel hurt when I am being “indifferenced” (couldn’t think of the right word, humour me please?) by people I have come to love, respect, adore and follow.

So that’s done! My God, that was like being put through a washer and a dryer, but I loved it nonetheless. Nancy, thanks again for tagging me.

Now I got to tag a few people too as protocol goes:

1. Le Embrouille Blogueur ( I would love to know what annoys a bindaas person like LEM, for whom even work pressure has failed to bog him down. 🙂 )

2. Ramesh of Business Musings (Ramesh, you seem so calm and wise, does anything affect you?)

3. AJCL ( I would love to hear what would annoy a mommy of a cutie pie. )

4. Pretty Woman ( The lovely wife of a sweet husband, I am sure life looks rosy with all that love in which you are esconced. Do let me know if things ever get to the two of you. I am thinking you ll agree with me on my number 5)

5. Congenial Escapist (I know what you will write, but the world needs a glimpse of your whackiness 🙂 )

6. The One Who Lost Her Spot since 2nd June 2009 – write, write, write!!

7. The Connoisseur At Large ( I know this does not fit in with the theme of your blog, but you can do it for kicks if you like)

8. Manchitra ( I don’t think you have been tagged before, so I would love to see what you come up with.)

9. The Thoughtful Safari ( I would love to see how much more similar we are. 🙂 )

10. Just Call Me A (  I would love to know you better 🙂 )

I also invite whoever is interested to do the tag. Please, make yourself at home and vent out your grievances! I will be keeping my eyes peeled for you!

As far as I looked, I dont think any of you were tagged on the same topic. Forgive me if I am blind. 😀 I am eagerly awaiting to see what irks my fave bloggers. (For future pranks of course!)

So far away, oceans apart. Yet, I hear the faint hum of conversation happening at a certain place in Cochin. My sweet liltte sister, A is getting married tomorrow and right now, the wedding eve celebrations are on.  I can see it in my mind’s eye, A decked up and all aglow, greeting her visitors with that lovely smile of hers. A‘s mom M, the emotional one, looking on proud, happy and beautiful herself. A‘s dad R, his heart swelling with pride and joy, welcoming the guests. The goofy brother, Ash, the silent spectator who will reprise all the events at a later date with his own twist added. 🙂

Then the other aunts and cousins (all of us feel that we have 6 moms and 9 siblings ;-)) would be hovering around, ensuring things go smoothly for the family mentioned above. And me? I am oceans away, I told you. With the noises I long to hear faintly buzzing in my ear. I have been accused of being too dry eyed in the past. If they see me now …

It feels heart wrenching to be away from A‘s wedding. She was the doll  who listened to me unlike the doll I mentioned in a previous post. 😉 A is 5 years younger than me, she calls me Cookie-akka ( my other doll fondly calls me monkey! ) We had a secret game called Hobby. I can’t recollect why it was so called but it is our fondest game.  A will smile whenever I talk about this game. Both of us were pretty girly as kids (unlike the original doll, who is a tomcat!) I would pretend to be the mommy and A would be my school going child. It is pretty simple – I open imaginary cupboards and lay out imaginary clothes for the real child to wear. I had great fun in describing aloud what A is going to wear – sometimes it will be a cream blouse with a red pinafore, flower hats and cream shoes, or it maybe the blue jeans with ruffled top, satin ribbons in her hair and so on. A was a model playmate – obedient and above all quiet! No brawls, no torn clothes, no  broken teeth – just 2 sweet girls playing quietly in the corner. We were any parent’s dream, even if I say so myself. 🙂 There was nothing adventurous about our game, but we were so happy playing it. Like the comfort of bedroom slippers – furry, warm and comfortable.

And to think it is this girl’s cherished moment that I am missing makes me weep – the one who has been through all of mine. With her sweet smile and cute chatter, she has been right there at all her older sisters’ side. Dear A, I know you will see this in a week or two. I want you to know, that I was thinking of you the whole time and wishing like crazy for a magic carpet! Congratulations on finding your soul mate. I pray for your happiness. Wishing you and V hours, days, years and lifetimes filled with joy, health and wealth.

( PS: I was really feeling low before I was writing this. As  I was writing, couldn’t stop the waterworks. It took me 3 hours to write but now that I am done, I am much better. My parent’s phone-call helped too. They realised I would be a mess and so called, sent photos, told me every little detail and joked about a few things. Well, what can I say – I am alright now! )

Most people find excuses not to exercise. Oh I have a headache, I m really tired, I will start from tomorrow and so on. Well none of that works for us. If your walking route is like a dream, what would stop you from going? Check it out. (All photos courtesy my sweetheart)

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This is the pond on our walking route. It is not the only one, there are two more such beauties. Sachin and I walk for two hours and this is where we catch up with each others thoughts, ideas, kid each other, run together and basically have fun. These are the best two hours of my day.

We also meet this cute family who never fail to greet us as we walk past them. They see us off till we turn around the corner. Their little babies are a treat to watch, so playful and full of beans. Today we took the liberty of taking pictures of this lovely family so that I can show you guys how sweet they are. They were kind of shy though. They send their love for you all. 🙂

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For those of  you looking out for human beings in the above photo, I was talking about the geese and their chicks. The chicks are really tiny fuzzballs and the geese are awfully camera shy!

Sachin also took a picture of the sky at its orange best. Here you go. (Can you believe this is at 8:30 pm?? We have daylight till almost 9:00 pm!)

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Remember how I said my walk is like a dream earlier? It reminded me of something that happened 6 years ago. At the time, I was going for multimedia classes. Everyday I would walk down a little lane and turn left  to the bus stop to catch the bus that goes to the computer center. One day as usual I turned, but I reached London! Yes, you got that right, I said London. Boy, was I upset? Meant to go for class and here I am in a different country altogether! I find a phone booth, call my folks and tell them what happened. They show no surprise though, as though I have told them I am going to the market and they neednt bother to pick me up types! They tell me – no problem dear, just call your Peethukka (yes, the very same one that I spoke about here) I do the needful. She is very happy and said she will pick me up after work. Waiting for her I walk around, taking in the place and I see this beautiful pond. The whole feel of the place is still fresh in my mind. Overcast rain bearing clouds, a cool breeze, still waters, lush greenery. As I admire the beauty of it all, I hear a noise behind me. It was a guy. He asks me whether I am new to the place. I tell him yes. The he tells me I will show you around and grabs hold of my hand before I could get a word in! Claaaang! (The curtain rod fell, I swear I am not making it up!)  I wake up with a start and my heart thudding madly! Thank God – it was just a dream!! 😀 What did you think it was? Anyways it was a couple months after this dream that I met my love. Amma still teases me about how my dream was a sign of things to come!

On that note I sign off for today! Have a great time folks!

Quiet Times …

June 14, 2009

Quiet Times

I lie beside you but you are not there
I can see that then and there.
I lay my hand over you but you still stare
up at the ceiling over there.

Where have your thoughts taken you?
Do you think of him who left for the moon?
Thoughts of children who grew up too soon?
Or is it the mundane things of noon?

Why do you keep quiet at these times,
when your nature is so sublime?
Where are those dimples so fine,
That brings a joy to us every time?

Grandma, why do you sing no more
the endearing songs of yore?
Why the look? Why the grief?
What has shaken your belief?

Now I see you happy as a rose
At grandpa’s side on the float
with Bruno, Rani, the cats and crows
Looking over us forever and more.