Looking back…

Stumbled on to this blog from I-don-remember-where. I seem to have developed this knack of picking up scent and landing myself at some really amazing blogs(Yes, I can make myself sound like Sherlock Homes in the most irrelevant context. and also as if me finding the blog is more amazing than the blog itself :P). Something about the blog felt familiar – could not put my finger on it though. Till I saw a photograph. Then it clicked. Mrs. Praveena Devarajan.

Instantly brought back so many flashes. Of a school that gave me some of the best years of my schooling – from VI – L to X – L. Of Shri-Gurubhyo-Namaha and one-set-of-shlokas-a-day prayer culture. Of extracurricular activities and all rounder prizes. Of SPL elections and voting. Of GA sessions. Of the overwhelming tam-brahmism all around. Of so many friendships and trippings. Of puppy crushes. Of harmless academic competition and jealousy. Of Annalakshmi and Anand Bakery. Of so many cherished moments. AND last, but beyond the rest by a looong way – Of teachers who doubled up as moms and aunts outside home. They grew with us from primary to middle school to higher secondary. They grew with the school from a time when having an ‘E’ section meant a “big” school to handling L, M, N and R sections.(I still find it odd when my cousin says she is in VI -R 🙂 I wouldn’t be surprised if a second cousin’s daughter came up and said she was in PRE KG-Z, a few years down the lane :P). When I stepped into the school in class VI, it took me a while to get adjusted to the kannas and dears in their language, but those five years, I so reveled in their love. Middle school was especially memorable. Things being light on the academic front, going to school and sitting in those classes used to be such a pleasure. Something I never quite felt after stepping out of PSBB. I even remember feeling proud and showing off to other section students when one Mrs. Chitra Devanathan was made our class teacher in Class VIII. She was one of the hot favorites in middle school. 😀

Those were the times when little joys were really appreciated, and contentment came easily. Sans complexities.

I moved out to a state board school after 12th, and to be fair, it did do wonders academically. But “school life” in its truest sense, died a sad death. Even till date, my bro refuses to accept me as a “true” PSBBian, for I did not complete my schooling there, but when somebody asks me where I studied, PSBB is what I automatically say. 🙂

Over the last 6 years, I’ve been shocked by some tragic happenings – the passing away of Mrs. RC and Mrs. PD… Filled my heart with grief – the loss felt so personal … may their souls rest in peace – in the belief that they touched thousands of lives in more ways than they could’ve ever imagined! Lots of really loved teachers moved out/retired, and the “soul” of the school that I could relate to was gone. Or so I thought. Not really sure of how I would feel in that place again, I went about a year back to collect bro’s report card, and the minute I stepped in, I was so swept off by a wave of nostalgia. Mrs. X complaining that her son spent far too much time on the comp. Mrs. Y anxiously enquiring how her daughter was in class. Miss. AVC patiently assuring Mrs Z that she strongly believed that her son was a genius no doubt, but only needed to cut down on extra curricular activities, attend classes more frequently, do some school work and ensure that he passed. That he had a bright future was beyond question (Trust these angels to stand up for us! :D) I just quietly went up to her when my turn came and asked for bro’s report card. One long look at me, a squeal of delight, and her characteristic jump off the table (These people never age, and thank God for that!). Pavithra! It s been so long! And A is your brother? The brat never told me! (No wonder! He DETESTS any association with me in school.) After a conversation that went on the lines of the school never having witnessed such a gem of a batch as ours and today’s kids are getting more uncontrollable and how delightful it is to be visited by “old” students, I went out feeling like a million dollars! 🙂 Another absolutely delightful meeting with Mrs. Chitra Devanathan and my day was truly made 🙂

Long Live PSBB and its spirit!

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Q

Why is it that when you have to make life-altering decisions, you are faced with the most difficult of choices?

Is it a crime to have expectations – what is life without expectations? What do you do when a person on whom you have pinned all your expectations sends them crashing and in the blink of your eye, the castles just vanish? Can such a person ever be forgiven?

Why is it so difficult to meet expectations of really close ones and in the process not let go of things that mean so much?

Why is it so difficult to digest that some things are irreparable?  Can broken relationships ever be mended? Is it possible to completely remove the artificiality of such mended relations?

Are things changing? Will they ever be the same again?

These are mere questions. I am NOT looking for answers. Destiny rules and time heals.

PS: Pretty excited about the red dot right in the middle of Australia. And intrigued as well! 😀

Turning Pages

Finally after about 8 unsuccessful attempts to continue, I went up to the library and returned “Midnight’s Children”. Poorer by 25 bucks -15 for the book and a 10 rupee fine on it for retaining it for over a month.  And an nth time realization that God, during the creation process successfully installed “Passion for Books” but forgot to apply the “Intellectual Capacity” patch on it.

As a rule, it takes mammoth effort for me to sit thro books that have won the Booker Prize and the likes. Midnight’s Children actually fared better than the rest of the lot – I compulsively read about 100 pages – but finally could take no more about nose itches and loony wives! It gets on my nerves when books just refuse to “move” and rant on and on about ridiculous details. I mean, writing without ridiculous details would be banal, but I think it’s the full stop that makes all the difference. Ok, DO NOT read that sentence again! I don think I know what I meant either! Anyway, Inheritance of Loss, The God of Small Things, Atlas Shrugged and In a Free State are some of the other books that met with a similar fate. I don’t know what was it about these books that froze my page turning activity – they just failed to hold my interest. And yeah, Lord of the Rings is on the list too! Yes, I know this is the point where I get written off as a person without taste! :(But in my defense, I started LOTR after reading ALL of Harry Potter and completed awed by J K Rowling’s magic weave. It was fresh, right on your face and made you part of that world. LOTR was far too elaborative and somehow failed to charm!

The White Tiger is next on my to-read list and my past record tells me that its fate is going to be no different, but having gotten hold of the book(no offence S :)), I might as well do it justice and give it a fair try. Apart from my past track record, Adiga himself is partly the reason for my step-motherly enthusiasm for White Tiger – if you’ve read Between the Assassinations, you’ll know what am talking about. I fought my strongest urge to throw it away, thinking it‘ll start making sense at SOME point, but it simply refused to oblige till the very damned end! Ugh! 

The Pavithra Booker Prize undoubtedly goes to the Kite Runner! Man! What a book. And what amazing characterization. I smiled, grinned, loved, hated and cried along with each character. The absolutely non -judgmental way of translating emotions into words – I am sure it is going to remain my favorite book for a long long time! A Thousand Splendid Suns is not too far behind either – you should give it to the man for throwing those graphic, heart rending descriptions right on your face and doing something to your very core! I think there is something about the whole Taliban regime and their atrocities in Afghanistan -the oppression and terror – It repulses and fascinates at the same time!  

Over the years, I’ve had various “time and age specific” favorite books – like Enid Blyton till class seven, Nancy Drew in Class Seven and Eight, Jeffrey Archer and Robin Cook in Class Ten and Sidney Sheldon and the likes for a couple of years after that (yes, I did think Nothing Lasts for Ever and Tell Me Your Dreams were amongst the finest pieces of fiction written – ever! :)), Dan Brown more recently and Rohinton Mistry off late. But then, there are a few books/authors which could not possibly bore me to the slightest even if I read them a thousand times over till the age of sixty. Evergreen favorites. R K Narayan sits right on top of this list. I could read Swami and Friends any number of times and still guffaw (mentally) at every tiny snippet of the book and continue to be amazed at the genius of the man who strikes a chord with every reader. I would honestly be offended if somebody disliked RKN. Sharing the honors with RKN on this list would be Enid Blyton (I still own a few books of the Five Find Outer s series and trust me, the last time I read one of those books was not too long ago! :D),Johanna Spyri’s Heidi, Mario Puzo’s Godfather, Somerset Maugham’s Of Human Bondage, Jeffrey Archer’s Kane and Abel and Prodigal Daughter, C Rajaji’s Mahabharata, the two books by Khaled Hosseini, all of Erich Segal – whew! The list is getting pretty long, and I’m sure I have missed out quite a few already!   

Starting off with “Three Men in a Boat” now – vaguely remember having read an extract of this book in Class 7 non-detail :D. Wishing I had the hard copy – will have to do with the e-book for the time being – only that can pass off as the Struts Survival Guide in office! 😛 

PS: With the successful completion of this post, I cross my own milestone that my earlier blog witnessed 😛

Highway to Bliss!

Yet another long day at office. I trudged out NOT AT ALL looking forward to the one and half hour bus journey home! How I wish my office was somewhere that could be REALLY considered part of Chennai. Through all my 10 years of schooling in Chennai- T Nagar was the center of the city, all other areas with proximity to T Nagar were “good” areas, PSBB KKN was my world for all practical purposes, and naturally Adyar and  Tiruvanmiyur were “outskirts”. Now some Godforsaken Sholinganallur and Karapakkam is where almost the entire IT crowd spends all its waking hours – and non-Chennai-ites say I live in the outskirts! Huh!

Anyway, thanks to S, my creative Zen Stone (and my phone of course ;)) are the only things that help me sit thro’ this everyday ordeal. As usual, I just put the player on shuffle mode and settled back in my seat, and I guess for the first time in 10 months, I felt time fly and a supreme sense of peace in the world. My player naturally has all my favorite songs, but God bless yesterdays shuffle, the picks were awesome! Sample this:

 

Khaamosh Raat – Takshak

Thro Her Eyes – Dream Theatre

Mystical Abheri – Agam

Aasa Dosa – Star

Vellai Pookal – Kanathil Muthamittal

Masakkali – Delhi 6 (One hell of a spirit lifter this!)

Ithu Oru Pon Maalai – Nizhalgal

Na Shiqwa Hota – Tehzeeb

I don wanna miss a thing – AeroSmith

Rehna Tu – Delhi 6

Isaiyil Thodangudhamma – Hey Ram

Khwaja Mere Khwaja – Jodha Akbar

 

I could have been listening to this forever – felt so overwhelmed by so many feelings , so many people associated with each song , so many memories – BITS,S, N, Soumi, Ramya, Jan, Club, Raag, Family, Wing, ELTP “Family” – all of u were missed yesterday – so much !

 

Anyway, back at home in the same mood, this literally elevated me to another level of Euphoria! A million thanks to Soumi for this find – it s been keeping me hooked ever since I got back from Bangalore! I ve always been a great fan of Gurucharan, but this combo is so amazingly soul stirring – classical music touches the heart like no other!!

 

Madhava Maavama – Saadho – Ksheerabdhi Kanyakaku – Infite Loop – Bliss – Peace!

Truly Pagal

It all started on Jan 9th, when the CAT was out of the bag. Though I knew that I wanted to do an MBA ‘sometime’, I was as clear about its timing as the TN Meteorological Department is of Chennai monsoons! So, Jan 9th did throw up a pleasant surprise when my CAT score was a tad better than I had expected (That is when I truly relished the pleasure of setting my expectations low :P). My flawless logic(huh!) told me that the stars were conspiring to get me an admit this academic season. Taking it to be an auspicious sign, I set out to apply to colleges that still had their admissions open.

This is when PagalGuy became an obsession.

My internet utilization at office reached new levels with me refreshing the threads I had subscribed to, a million times a day (Thankfully, PG is one of the few “time killer” sites that my office server graciously refrained from blocking!).My life literally revolved around admission updates, deadlines, twiceblessedman, aztekmonk and the likes. I empathized, sympathized, envied and looked up to a hundred people I had never met, never spoken to – their only relevance to me being – they were applying to the same schools as I was and shared my feelings of excitement and uncertainty. Take it from me; if ever you are looking to apply to B-schools, PG is THE go-to place! Threads moderated by representatives of respective colleges are a virtual treasure trove of any info you might require about the school. It could be maddening initially, but once you start posting and following, you get addicted to its pulse!

Complementing this was – going thro student profiles of the current batch in colleges I had applied to. Pointless activity I know – especially when it reached a stage where I knew that some random X had done his engineering in a random Y college, and had worked for N months in Z company in L profile before joining M school for MBA! Still I religiously continued this activity of staring endlessly at guys in business suits – it just gave me a kick to picture myself right there, along with a set of prospective students. Talk of day dreaming!! Anyway, the comment that this harmless activity evoked from a suspicious colleague was – “Hey! Are you by any chance groom hunting? Looking to catch smart guys right out of a B-school huh?! “I was like ?!?!??.(On second thoughts, it does seem like a better option than bharatmatrimony.com 😉 I shall reserve some absolute gems from this site for another post!)

Anyway the four – month long obsession of all this died a rather sad death a couple of days back, when the last rays of MBA hope that I had clung on to came crashing. The only school that saw me worthy of an interview call told me in no uncertain terms that I had failed to make the cut (Ye STARS! HAVE U BEEN NAPPING?!) That leaves me to at least another year of Java, SQL, Exceptions and the works I guess. Sigh!

Beginnings!

Here I land – after a hiatus of nearly three years! Well, I suppose my earliest stint at the blogworld does not really merit a position in my blogging career, given the fact that it had a dream run of exactly three posts – I no longer remember what I called it!

Anyway, since then I’ve always fantasized about having a blog running into pages which would give me a chance to grin at my monitor in those utterly jobless moments, but then, I’ve just been too lazy I guess. OK, that sounds lame even to me. The thing is that I love writing, and reading blogs is one of my favorite pastimes. And every time I read a blog, I feel an overwhelming urge to write a post about some arbit thing! But by the time the thought translates to action, that urge disappears God-knows-to-where!!!

Finally it took this blog to fuel me enough to set up a new blog. Revathi Ramanan, whoever you are, you have an ardent fan for your writing! 🙂 I could relate to about a thousand things in her writings and that made the reading experience so beautiful! I stumbled upon her blog merely by chance and finished reading all her posts in a record two days! (Please do not think I get paid by my company to read blogs, though I did have that insane wish even as I was typing that sentence 😉 Why I am here and what I do will figure in future posts.)

So, the minute I finished reading her last post, I set out with new found vigor and enthusiasm, only to land at my first confusion – Blogspot or WordPress?

1. My first forgettable innings of blogging happened in the Blogspot domain and logically I am led to assuming that the stars do not favor my blog featuring in Blogspot. Ok, even I realize that the stars have better things to do than sit and worry if my blog will flourish in Blogspot or WordPress, but then that is always the case with me- if something goes wrong, blame it on the stars 😛 So, WordPress it is!

2. I think the themes offered in WordPress beat the ones in Blogspot hands down! I mean, can you believe I spent a good 2 hours trying out ALL the themes in WordPress to check what looks smartest on “Of All Things Inconsequential”?! Beats the trial room experience in Lifestyle, cos the minute you take around 8 tops for trial, the lady there knows you are not going to pick any of them and starts giving you dirty looks.  But isn’t that what trial rooms are meant for! Trying on dresses gives me infinitely more pleasure than shelling out money to buy them!:P Anyway, coming back to the topic, I absolutely loved around 9 themes and finally chose one to start off with. I intend to keep changing the look of ramblifixion once in a while!

The theme part being done, I was all excited about posting my first post. Lots of randomness poured in from all corners of my mind, but this being the first post, I thought I d restrict the content to have SOME relevance to the title of the post.

To all of you who are reading this, thanks for stopping by! I intend to keep posting often, so please do feel free to visit/comment!