Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Starch tales

Mom starched my pyjamas and top!!!

She actually starched them!
Who starches comfy, cosy, snuggly pyjamas you wear to bed?

Husband has issues with his Tees being ironed.
Imagine his shock at hearing my mom starches pyjamas.

Starched and ironed pyjamas.
Stiff as a board.
Surely one would feel like a corpse in a coffin?

I wouldn’t know.
I washed them all over again.

It’s raining, it’s pouring

So starts my daughter’s nursery rhyme
And so it happened today.
It rained, it poured
And thunder came rolling this evening.

Was out shopping,
Knew it would probably rain
And it just had to.
Had had enough for the day
Was thinking of heading out of the shop
Getting homeward bound
When the rain announced itself oh so mightily.

Brilliant lightning streaking across the sky;
Shimmering momentarily;
While thunder boomed in tandem.
A worthy partnership
Especially with the accompaniment of icy cold rain.

Loved walking in the rain—raindrops pattering the feet
An umbrella shielding the head
Wet feet, wet clothes, cold seeping the body
Rain bouncing off bus tops, pouring down umbrellas
People racing droplets, waiting out the rain
Loved it.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

To be or not to be

“I’m not such a great Tamil film fan,” I said.
Big mistake. I got a earful.
“But it’s basically because I don’t understand the language all that much,” I tried to justify.
Bigger mistake. I got another earful.

“Who is Surya?” I asked. To another friend a few hours later.
Biggest mistake. Got bombarded with gasps and exclamation marks for the next two days. From her and another common friend who got into the melee. [Ya, we were texting each other]

If you still haven’t figured out, the context here is Tamil films. While one fan/friend accused me of being arrogant when I said I wasn’t familiar with the language [‘cos I’m a Mayalalee and the least I can do is know the neighbouring language] another was utterly disappointed. I tried explaining my predicament but in vain.

I can follow a Tamil film to an extent—I can catch on to most of the dialogues, I can understand most jokes, I can follow the story pretty well, but when it comes to the climax, you’ll find me more or less lost most times.

Case in point, I loved the movie Alaipayuthe. Loved the songs, loved the actors, loved the story and the way it was weaved scene by scene [I’m talking about the bike – ambulance scene here], loved the witty one-liners [uh… most of them] and just about everything about the film. But to date I haven’t figured out the conversation between Madhavan--Aravind Swami and Aravind Swamy—Khushboo. That was the climax. It was these dialogues that gave meaning to the movie; put the film and the lives of the characters in perspective… So…

I love the cinematography in Tamil films. I‘m awed by certain camera angles and frames and colours within the frames. I love the songs and the dances. And the choreography in some of the song sequences is a class apart. I love the way they powder up their heroines to make them look absolutely glamorous. Even Malayalam heroines who would otherwise either look drab and pretty normal or over ‘painted’ in Malayalam films look classy in Tamil films.

Honestly, I’m awed.
Hmm… and I still claim I’m not a fan !!!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Why blame the victim?

Soumya Vishwanathan, a 26-year old TV journalist, is shot dead at 3.30 AM in Delhi.

The police have no clue what could have happened, no eye witnesses have come up so far and just about everything is speculation…
I feel shock and dismay at the pretty young thing’s murder.

But there is fuming rage when I think about Sheila Dixit's frivolous remark—that it was ‘adventurous’ on the part of the victim to drive home alone at such an hour. Dixit, a woman herself and the Delhi CM at that, should be slapped for even thinking in such terms.

Why blame the victim when as CM you can't provide safety to the citizens? How much better would it have been if Soumya was murdered in her own house?

But to call driving home from work adventurous (whether the blasted woman clarifies that she meant for both men and women) is merely an outrageous attempt to hide the truth—that the city is not safe at all for anyone. That there is NO law and order situation in Delhi, or just about anywhere in the country, for that matter.

Tomorrow, maybe a businessMAN driving home late could be killed. Will that also be termed adventurous on the victim's part? And two days later another MAN could be killed. Does it make the crime any less heinous if a man were so murdered?
When will this stop being everything else and become an issue of addressing the law and order situation of the state?

Then to go on and say employers should address the safety of employees doing late night shifts. To what level, I ask? In a state where there is no law and order, how difficult is it for a gang of rowdies to ambush a vehicle that has the required escort and 'background-checked', clean driver (as in the case of call centres in B'lore, Pune etc) and kill, loot or rape?

This is just a game of passing the buck. And anyone who falls for such a cheap game should also be shot—point blank.

Vijay Mallaya should be shot

The king of good times indeed. Darned idiot has ensured that I and many others like me don’t have any good times, thanks to first, him ranting about fuel surcharge for airlines and demanding that it be levied from the passengers; second, him buying out the low cost airlines—Deccan and converting into a darned expensive flight. Huh!

And the blasted man charges passengers for Air Traffic Congestion too!! Huh? What did I do except fly the dumb flight? Charge the stupid government for that. I’m already paying my taxes, aren’t I? How, may I ask, am I responsible for the government not maintaining the airport properly and adding more runways and ensuring that the air traffic is not so congested? And even when airports are privatized, (and mostly run by airline companies) the airlines people themselves complain how the ground staff is not competent enough to handle heavy traffic!

So I have to end up paying for their own incompetence, is it?

Justifying the congestion surcharge, Mallya said: "we need to cost a flight ... when we block a time for a flight, say between Delhi and Mumbai, it is two hours. But it turns out to be three hours due to start-up delays and landing delays. That additional cost has to be recovered."
He said the surcharge was meant "to highlight the problem of congestion. .... I don't care whether we call it a surcharge or some other thing. The passenger is going to pay for it".

$(%^_) @#(%& blooming arrogant idiot

Now here is what the Federation of Aviation, of which Mallya is a member has to say:

The ATF price in India is Rs 37,800 per kilolitre as against the international price of Rs 21,400 per kilolitre, which is about 77% higher (at December’06 prices). ATF prices for domestic operations in India are unduly higher than international benchmarks – resulting in a tremendous financial burden on Indian carriers.

Following the dismantling of the ‘Administered Price Mechanism’ (APM) effective April 1, 2001, the prices of ATF in India are based on the “International Import Parity Prices”, and directly linked to the benchmark of Platt’s publication of FOB Arabian Gulf ATF prices (AG); and do not relate to the actual cost of producing ATF in India. ATF prices for domestic operations also include Freight charges from Gulf to India, Customs Duty of 10%, domestic transportation and other charges, Excise Duty of 8.16% (including cess), Sales Tax (levied by the State Governments) averaging across the country at 23% as add-ons to the AG prices, besides the Oil Companies’ markup. Even though the ATF supplied at Indian airports (both for domestic and international operations) is not imported into India but is the product of crude refined in Indian refineries from imported crude, the 10% Customs Duty is taken into account in fixing the prices of ATF supplied to the airline operators.

There’s more bugging stuff if you care to read at

So why doesn’t the FIA and King Mallya go and do some serious haranguing with the government over all this? And throw his weight around to do some good for the janta for a change. Blasted blooming idiot.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

The Holiday

Starring: Cameron Diaz, Jude Law, Kate Winslet, Jack Black

Saw the movie on HBO today and loved it.

The story is about two women who break up with the men in their lives and decide to switch houses (one stays 40 kms away from London, the other in Los Angeles) cos they so badly need a break [pun intended] and get over their respective loser men.

Well, of course, they both have to go and fall in love again and all that, but the movie is quite decent and pretty entertaining. The scenery is awesome, Diaz’s LA home is sooperb, the London countryside is breathtaking… [So is Jude Law, by the way]

But the best part of the movie is the two kiddies, their tent, and Mr Napkin Man. Such adorable cutsie-pies…

I feel like the Reader’s Digest Quotable Quotes section!

I still can’t figure out how I get unnecessarily embroiled in major counseling sessions, where of all things, I am ‘advising’ people, sometimes perfect strangers, on how to get over their problems and move on in life and so on and so forth.
[HA! If I could follow half of my advice as easily as I’m giving them I’ll be a much better person!]

That in itself should be funny enough, but funnier is the way I should sound. I remind myself of the Reader’s Digest Quotable Quotes section! Some amazing quotes, some not so amazing ones, some that u can’t really figure out for sure but mostly, none of which you will remember by the time you finish reading the Digest.


Sometimes I think I should write down all my quotes… [Some of them are quite good, though I do say so myself, and some are pretty gross, I admit…] Then I can glance through them once in a while and pep myself up or something. Or the next time I’m into a ‘session’, I can put them in front of me for reference…

But no amount of advice or counseling is going to help unless the person is willing to make some changes in his/her life. More often than not, people are so caught up in feeling sorry for themselves and are so loving wallowing in that self pity that they only want others to listen to their sob stories and sympathise…

Ugh… Sad that is…

But sadder maybe is the fact that I’d wholeheartedly jump right into the counseling boat the next time someone shouted for help too.

Stuff I’ve ‘counseled’ on:
How to fall in love
How to get over a break up and move on
How to get over the marriage fear psychosis
A lengthy discourse on maintaining fidelity in marriage

Hmm… maybe I should publish a book. And title it ‘Mutton Soup for the Soul’. A friend, who just recently called me an Agony Aunt, and I were discussing the possibilities of coming up with quotable quotes and getting it profitably published.
So hey,
WANTED: People who desperately need to be counseled.
Any issue, any concern, will cease to be a problem once you’ve been counseled by ME.

PS. No offense to any person living or dead whom I have uh… ‘counselled’. This is a sarcastic post against myself and there is no intent to hurt any sentiments, even that of myself.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Amma, Ini-amma, Nonamma, Onini

All four names are used by my Lil Naughty Angel (LNA) to refer to me. When she calls me what depends on her mood and mine.

If I am glaring at her for doing something exceptionally naughty, LNA will smile and grin and repeatedly call me ‘amma’ till she manages to elicit at least the thinnest of smiles from me. Then she will promptly do her naughty deed once more. [!! I’m still flabbergasted at this. !!]

When she keeps chanting Amma-amma-amma is when I know LNA wants me to do something for her. Usually it is to pick her up and take her gallivanting around the place; or when she wants something that is ‘no-no’ for her; or when her nursery rhyme has stopped playing for the wee three seconds that it takes to jump from one clip to another…!

LNA refers to me as Ini-amma when she doesn’t spy me around for more than the few minutes allowed for me to disappear from her line of vision. (Ini-amma is the shortened and manageable version of ‘Rohini-amma’ by this one-year-old. So is the case with Nonamma.) So she will go to her grandparents or whoever she is with and keep repeating Ini-amma, to mean she wants to be taken to me. [cute, na?]

Nonamma is when the lil naughty angel is pampering me! She will hug me and shower me with kisses and ‘allow’ me to play dumb tickling games with her when she is in this mood. And the term Nonamma will also be interspersed with Amma and sometimes Ini-amma.

Onini is Rohini—nothing more nothing less, except for that R—in all its authority. It is used sparingly, and only when LNA knows for sure I am in a good mood, for she knows that she shouldn’t be calling me by name.

But little does the little one know that the moment she calls me Onini in that tone of hers, I’ve melted. No matter what foul mood, that Onini of hers can put my heart and mind and soul at ease, and how!

Deepika rocks!

For a first timer, Deepika Padukone is awesome in Om Shanti Om.

At no point did I feel she was gawky or stiff or overdoing anything. Thought she was a complete natural. She oozed the right amount of emotion where emotion was required; she was perfect in the first half, as the superstar living with a painful secret, and more than perfect as the craziest fan who doesn’t so much wannabe a famous actress. There was no overdoing of anything anywhere.

[On the other hand, where did the poor thing have a chance for it, when all of the overdoing was being monopolised by SRK? Tch.]

That she could render the ‘ek chutki sindoor…’ scene in two entirely different ways (one full of emotion and one comical) was quite impressive. Not that other actresses cannot do it, but that as a first timer she did it so smoothly.

Ah… that’s the word I want—Smooth! She’s confident and smooth. No rawness about her anywhere.

[Oh all right, I saw the movie only very recently—almost a year late. And those of you who cannot remember the scenes mentioned, may of course watch the whole movie all over again, provided you can suffer SRK and his antics!]