100 Happy Songs – Day 28

Rotten work day. Sometimes I REALLY wish I could fly away to a parallel world and do something apart from stupid programming for a living. Like, writing maybe? Knitting? Singing? Settle down in Heidi-esque hills, bask in nature’s glory, glutton on yummy food and read away like there’s no tomorrow? Reality check. I may not be terrific at any of these things. They are not going to pay me for doing all this(obviously). Glamorous as it sounds, the parallel world is a big myth(yes, I know. I am smart like that :|). And it is not everyday that the real world sucks as much. I can just make do with it. As if I have a choice, anyway.
Ok. Happy song. Had to rack my brains to come up with something. But what I did manage is an absolute beauty. Nondescript movie, an even more nondescript cast. But ARR it is! And vocals by the honey-spewing Srinivas. There is another beautiful version of the song by Sujatha too, but this one is the winner for me. Chotta Chotta from Taj Mahal !

Freeze this!

*Soppy content alert. Strictly not for the pooh-pooh-ers*

K and I got back pretty late from work today- not so unusual for K, but really rare for me because I generally ensure I wind up and reach home by 7 max, so that I can spend a good amount of time with Pattani before he hits the bed. I was pretty bummed today – partly irritated because my work was being a mule(literally. Geek alert!ha!) and refusing to solve its own problems and also guilty that I’d been away for so long. I was hoping he wouldn’t be too sleepy and there he was, sitting on his cycle. The minute he saw us, he let out a squeal of delight – Ammmaaa!!!!Apppaaa!!! I went in and scooped him up and gave him a tight hug, and at that moment, quite inexplicably, all the guilt vanished and came flooding back at the same time!

      ***

When I lie face down down on my tummy on the bed, Pattani instantly drops whatever he is doing, comes running and launches himself onto me with a thud. Then he climbs up and lies down on top of me on his tummy, and hugs me(how much ever he can manage with those kutti hands at least). It gives me the feeling that he thinks it is the best place for him to be, but I wonder if he knows that his mommy has never been in a better place before.

***

After 30 mins of unsuccessfully trying to put him to sleep, I just give up and as a last ditch effort, pretend to be asleep in the hope that he will follow suit. He notices that I have gone still, peers into my face, mutters ‘amma. Thaachi(sleeping) , snuggles closer, gently pats my head and goes ‘Jo Jo Jo’. I can barely suppress a smile and open my eyes to look at that tiny face. He is delighted to find me awake and coos – ammmmaaaa!!! And the sleep effort starts from the scratch again.

***

When I am at home, but busy in the kitchen and don’t nondify him for a while, he comes sauntering to the kitchen calling out ammma ? Maaa?
Me: enna ma?
Pattani: maaa ?
Me: enna ma?
Pattani: ma?
And the same thing 5-6 times.
Me: enna da venum?
Pattani: tooki(lift me up)
I lift him up, starting to glow in his affection.
Pattani(spotting the sugar dabba):kakku!!
Since affection makes me generous, I give him a few crystals of sugar.
Pattani: keeya!(put me down )
Me: dei. Kakku kuduthen la. Let me konjify you a little.(shameless bribery that transcends language)
Pattani suddenly starts bawling ‘keeeeeyaaaa’ and makes me look like a kidnapper caught red handed.
I hmph and set him down and he instantly bolts like he can’t wait to get away from me. Man of priorities indeed!
Naana onna koopten! I mutter to myself :/( Did I call you in the first place ?)

***

Of REST(lessness) and SOAP(y) stories

Walk into office half-sleepy. Find office almost empty. Curse Monday mornings. Settle down and check Gmail. Get updated on a friend’s wedding reception and smile – super happy for her to have pulled off the wedding in such style, and sorry for having missed attending the reception.

Check Facebook. Oscar news splashed all over. Get all updates(when five minutes earlier, you had no clue that the Oscar awards ceremony was happening last night). Check out all the cheesy romance/nostalgia/reunion/food/troll pics, and randomly like them, just to feel alive on FB. Offer your own cheesy romance/nostalgia/reunion/food/troll pics/updates if available and patiently wait for someone to acknowledge them. Else start a mental rant about how there is absolutely nothing happening in your life worth showing off. Else do a cynical – “Ugh! Whoever puts up minute to minute live updates on FB? Do they presume we really want to know what they had for dinner last night or with whom they have been coochie-cooing in the Bahamas?” rant <smirk for added effect>, then go ahead and meticulously check out the Bahamas pictures and trace the lives of the people tagged, their friends, THEIR friends and so on. You see, Hypocrisy is non-existent in the FB world.

Move over to your most favorite activity. Open all the blogs you have bookmarked, and check if any of your favorite bloggers have updated. Mostly negative. Sigh. Dull day ahead. Dig out their archives to see if there is an odd-post that you might have missed out. Mostly negative again. Muse on the strange connect you feel with a bunch of people entirely through their blogs, to the extent that you know the personal traits of their family members, still you would not even be able to put a real name or face to any of their blogs. Make a mental note to de-lurk on their blogs sometime and make a “real” connection.

Half-heartedly open your workbench and realise you have a lot of catch-up to be done. Google up the two technologies that you ought to have learnt a week ago and open a couple of their tutorials. <Ignorable geek alert> REST – Representational state transfer and SOAP – Simple Object Access Protocol</Ignorable geek alert>. Stare at the two words and wonder why something as blissful as REST should turn into something monstrous. Think sleep. Think couch. Start feeling sleepy. Zone out of the tutorial. Think of the nice weekend you just had with the grandparents, subsequently of summer vacation every year at the native. Think of last night’s bus journey back to Chennai, and loss of sleep, which brings you back to – REST. Try to get back your focus to stay on the tutorial. Get a feeling that you have been at it for ages, look at the desktop clock and realise it has only been 45 mins. No, its not even time for lunch yet.

Open the SOAP tutorial – Soap. Think Johnson’s Baby soap. Think mega serial. Think Chittiiii. Think 24. Think nice, hot, long shower. Marvel at your own perspectives of the simple word – soap. Its a pain that it also has something to do with simple object access protocol. Wonder if you would think of such idiot protocols every time you looked at Johnson’s Baby soap. Push all this aside, and slog through the tutorial.

Desperately hope it is time for lunch. It is, almost. Hurriedly write a crap post out of all above inspirations and consider a job well done for the day.

Endings

Last week was “The End” week. Started off with Pongal, our Thala Pongal, to be specific. Since I assume this blog has a cosmopolitan readership(:P), I will take a moment to explain that “Thala” festivals are the first time festivals celebrated after one’s wedding. Thala-diwali,Thala-pongal and the likes. Of course extrapolated to thala new year, thala birthday etc. No, that does not mean we celebrate thala sister’s week, thala international wear-a-pink-dress day and all. Those are solely Facebook’s “Life is a festival” initiative. So the thala year ended with K’s thala birthday. Despite being a person who has kind of started to accept that birthdays are only an indication that you are getting older, he was generally fussed over, dragged to buy birthday dresses and gifted with oh-so-lovely presents(by who else!). One’s hope is that he now knows the level of expectation he has to face, come May!

Oh and the birthday was occasion for a carrot kheer experiment. Though not as brilliant as mom’s turns out, it was a fair attempt, I should say! 😀

The week also marked the end of my career at R. It ended with the most awesome Mango Blueberry cake I have ever tasted. That was the only high point of the end. The place holds a huge bundle of fond memories, and I was truly sorry to leave. It is rather hard to think of another workplace as “office”. Too much sentiment for one office,no ? I know. Sigh! <This is a warning for you to expect more “gyaabagam varudhe” posts on R in the future>

Just to end on a more cheerful note, pick up Dork by Sidin Vadukut if you have time to kill and want to laugh it out. It is like this glorified blog, nothing literary, but super fun to read.

PS: First post from the new office P, on Day 1. HUGEE sign of productivity, I know 😀

Picking up from where I left…

2 years. A very long time for blog dormancy I know. That puts my prospective biographers in a very sticky spot indeed. Imagine, 2 years of undocumented life! It would probably leave a huge section of the world guessing what transpired then. HENCE, being the gracious subject that I am, I have decided to give a quick round up of the last two years to plug this gaping hole.
Did I hear someone grunt ? Haan ? No ? Ok good. I thought not.

So well, the last 2 years, at the risk of sounding extremely cliched, have indeed FLOWN by ! Looking back I realise there were so many things I should have put down then and there, and would have made pretty reading for me at 40, but because of <insert lame reasons here>, I somehow never got around to doing it ! So, as a comeback post, I thought I should put down all that I remember now, and all that need to be remembered, lest old age catches up 😐

1. Got married! Not that I am likely to forget that, but still, since it ranks amongst the most momentous happenings of life, it comes there right on top! Also, simple as it is to say “I got married last year”, the process behind that was extremely long winded(to put it mildly) and took up more than a year of the 2 year hiatus ! From tamilmatrimony.com and numerous jaadagams and conflicting astrologer views and a  million phone calls and inquiries, to skepticism, hope, disinterest and apprehension, it seemed to loom out like it would never end, but things took shape and miraculously fell in place in the eleventh hour, and as it so turned out, the quest ended in the office work station next to mine ! 😀  Ah, so all IS well that ends well. Following which  were the frenzied wedding preparations. Now it seems like those seven months were just ONE LONGGGGG DAY – nothing else was thought of/spoken about apart from the wedding. Drawing up lists, striking items off them, countless rounds of shopping, arrangement check lists – take it from me, Indian weddings are NOT overrated – they ARE truly truly big ! And then, the move to the husband’s place. (Ok, that sounds wierd even to me, even now. Henceforth, he shall be referred to as K). So the move has been smooth enough. More than I could have hoped for, actually. I ve lived away from home for 4 years of engineering, I am used to it, is what I thought. I was wrong. Living on your own, and living with people whom you suddenly start considering family are two different things. Thankfully, the bouts of homesickness have been few and far apart, thanks to K’s parents.

2. Visited places – quite a few of them. Going to new places came to a pretty abrupt end after campus trips stopped. 2011 brought in a good amount of travel, and my first passport stamping ! Yay !! Srilanka it was, for the record. That apart we visited Alleppey(heaven-ish, really!), Pondy(my first time after 16 years of living in chennai :|), Lonavla(touch and feel clouds) , Pune(dad’s transfer :|), Coorg(the office gang trip), Trichy  and a host of temple towns. Missed travelling to the US by a whisker, but thats another story altogether.

3.Watched IPL matches live – 3 of them, with friends from work. On that note, the GAENG at work (comprising of animal planet and a couple of human beings) has been hugely responsible for a lot of laughter and fun over the last couple of years. Yards and yards of chat on Skype(we have concluded that if someone wants to look for something in the chat, the only way to do it would be to data mine it.), eat-outs,food obsession, gossip, cribbing and a whole lot more. 2012 holds a new job/workplace, and not to be pessimistic or anything, but I am quite convinced that workplace is never going to be so much fun as it has been these 3 years.

4. Started watching sitcoms and serials – now this surprises even me. For someone who was not bitten by the F.R.I.E.N.D.S bug even in college, when the whole place was going gaga over it, I have definitely come a long way. I think it just caught up a little late. So now it is Big Bang Theory – check. Dexter – check. HIMYM – on and off. 24 – current fever. Lined up – Prison Break and House. Agreed, I still fall asleep mid-episodes sometimes. But the frequency is coming down 😀

5. Watched more movies in the theatres this year than I have in my entire life. True story. This includes many downright crappy movies that noone in their right minds would even think of downloading, leave alone , watching in the theatres. But the film-buff in K is indomitable. He truly considers it his duty to write off a share of his income to the film industry religiously.

6. The passing away of thatha – by far the most saddening thing ever and shaken up seeing death at such close quarters. It is still way too hard to digest even as I am typing this, and has left a void nobody can possibly imagine to fill. I feel proud and blessed to have shared my childhood with him, have him tell me stories, teach me shlokas and let me see a part of the great life he led. If I had to attribute the word “godly” to a person, it has to be, without doubt,to him. It is an absolute privelege to be addressed as “Venkatesa Iyer pethi“. The way I felt/feel about his greatness is not something that can be expressed in this triviality of a blogpost. Plans are on to write his biography – an attempt to put down the gratitude of the many many lives he has touched by his wisdom, humility and benevolence –  I hope I will be able to contribute to that. RIP, thatha.

7. Did a good amount of reading – admist managing home and office, this is a real blessing, thanks to the office drives with K. Nothing like good books and music to lighten up office journeys. The Millenium series and the Shiva trilogy are picks of the lot. Hoping to read more good Indian writing AND translated Tamil works.

8. Acquisitions: A Dell laptop, an Amazon Kindle(Yayy! By far, the bestesttt wedding gift), an XBOX with Kinect(ok, this one too! 😀 ), an IPhone (a hand-me-down phone, but a giant leap from my earlier phone nevertheless, AND my first smartphone), second earring piercings, status elevation to Chitti and Mami(yes :|), LASIK(bye bye soda-buddi and lenses!) and last but not the least, more kilograms of weight than I would have liked 😐

9. Lived the Mylapore life : Despite spending 16 years at Kodambakkam , and currently living in Mambalam, I think Mylai is THE essence of Chennai. The one year and few months of pre-marriage life there are truly memorable. Soaked up in the temples, kacheris, parks, buzz, karpagambal mess, maminess,  poshness and the general tam-brahmness of the area !

If you managed to read thus far, I appreciate your patience and would like to test it no further, lest I lose one ardent fan of the blog. Winding up with a whole lot of memories, mostly good of 2010 and 2011, and hoping 2012 brings forth more to write about !

Appy New Year !!

Phil Shots – II

A walk down the just-washed-by-rain roads with the music from your earphones drowning the activity around you, to think of nothing but the music and feel the freshness of the breeze rushing onto your face, to turn all around and smile at the trees dripping with rain drops and also at the maddening traffic that zooms past  oblivious to these little things,  and to think, for atleast those few minutes, that there is not a worry in your world – EXQUISITE !

PS: It is truly an exhilarating feeling to conveniently ignore those heaps of work piled at your desk to spend a few moments to ponder about such ideal moments in a day ! 😀

Random thought of the moment : There are some things money cant buy. For everything else, there’s mastercard ! 🙂

Ramblifixion Shots – III

Dog, cat, ant, bat, or any-living-species-apart-from-human-beings lovers, do not read ahead. What follows is a vehement expression of fear and hate (more of the former inevitably leading to the latter) targeted specifically at dogs, but generally applicable to yes, any species apart from human beings. I am justified. What business do these fellows have to come sniffing at an unassuming girl’s ankles at 6 in the morning when she s executing THE “walk” that’s been in planning stage for at least six months now and has finally translated to action prodded by numerous guilt trips/taunts/nightmares of blowing up to a level of not being able to walk thro the doorway (Ma! Stop exaggerating!) Don’t they have the common sense to realize that I am not too likely to parade at 6 in the morning with cat flesh/bones hidden under my slippers! Gah! Guys! Stop giving me nervous breakdowns – the world hasn’t had enough of me yet!

All ye Fords and Nissans! Listen up. What follows is an idea that could change your life. Well, not that I care about that, so more importantly, mine. Please make cars that I can drive around EXACTLY like the Scooty. I have absolutely no complaints against the Scooty. Except that I want a roof over me. And some funky doors on the sides. And I want to be able to drive more than just one person around. Well, that aint asking for much is it? I honestly have no use for four gears. Second 15-day stint at driving and I have started resigning myself to the fact that 4 gears+ clutch + accelerator + brakes + rear view mirror + steering = more than what my reflexes + grey cells can handle. Did you HAVE to complicate it so much!

My near-perfect playlist for the fortnight more than makes up for the monotony at work. Runs to a grand total of 3 albums – Dev D, Wake Up Sid, and Blue, with the preference quotient running in that order. Blue behind Wake Up Sid for the sole reason that Fiqraana sounds out of Yuva album, Rehnuma could pass off as a Hindi version of any Evanescence number and the starting of Aaj Dil Gustakh hai sounds like the starting of a local Vijay Antony number (no offence to VA, and I love the album all the same for the ARR factor :)). Dev D undoubtedly bags the “Pavithra Album of the Year” award (You can stop reading right away if you haven’t heard of that. :@). Thanks Girish for re-introducing me to Dev D, after I’d dismissed it off right away after listening to just Emosanal Athyachaar. I haven’t heard better Hindi music in a long time, and am sure Dev D will continue to be on the playlist for a LONG time to come! For the record, I’ve now started to like Emosanal Athyachaar as well.

Ok. The rant for the post is over. Giving it a nice, logical ending doesn’t tally with the rest of the post. So, I am leaving it at that.