Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Those Little Things

This is inspired by the 25 Notes a friend put up on Facebook. This one is Top 15 about me.

Those little things..

1. I was told by dear mommy that I used to look like Chipkali (a house lizard) when I was 15 days old. A lot of people think I still do. I was also told that dad cried when I was born. Well, I suspect, silently, he still does!
2. One of the best things I did in my school life was saving pocket money and spending it on recordings of old songs. I am a big time Indian semi-classical music fanatic and I get maximum peace hearing it. I thank mom and God everyday for giving me the sense of music I have.
3. I love sneakers. It is one of the biggest obsessions I have after music. May be it is because of those I collected because of my singing. I always used to dream of having them as a kid. The school white canvas shoes were the closest to what I had that could be called sport shoes. I have three pairs of sneakers today. Some dreams do come true. Thank you, God!
4. In school, I was around friends who were extremely well read. I never understood how they could read that much. I used to get my kicks reading Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys when my friends were reading stuff like Divine Romance (by Shri Paramhans Yoganand). Well thankfully, I became a reading addict in college (strictly non-academic) and would not spare reading even the newspaper pudiya in which we used to eat poha!
5. I love driving. I stopped driving bicycle since 5th Standard because I used to drive a moped and then Bajaj Classic in 9th. Those were the times when TVS Champ, Luna and Avanti were planning strategies to capture the minds and hearts of middle class aunty jis. We had one in our family for mom. Yes, it was and still is illegal to drive them without a driving license. But, well, I used to drive. Today, I am happy to be in US where driving is a great pleasure. I am loving it!
6. I cannot carry a purse or a handbag. Even if I carry a purse, I can never put my stuff in it. I would have the purse in my shoulder and carry my mobiles (yes in plural sir ji and ma’am ji..kya karein, kaam hi kuch aisa hai..), keys, a book, wallet and everything else to be carried in my two hands. It happened today and I noticed that my purse was actually empty. I prefer bags which can rest on both my shoulders and dump my stuff in it and walk comfortably.
7. My bag, wallet and anything meant as a utility box is always full of paper. No not paper in the form of currency, but bills and receipts. Once Ankita spent an entire afternoon to sort stuff from one of my bags and she was able to collect enough junk paper to make the local raddi wala run for his money!!
8. I am a movie buff. Watching movie for me is a passion. Going to theatres, getting tickets against all odds, sipping a cool cold drink during interval is something I inherited from mom dad. I can watch any movie. Right from Swades to Devdas to Dev D to Hero No 1 to Singh is King! I watched Victory today..:P Sab aan do!!
9. I love Pani Puris. I think I have mentioned this fact more than the total number of comments I ever received on this blog. But my fascination for this wonderful dish is such! Most of the people who ever gave me farewell called me for dinner and served me with unlimited pani puris. Sometimes I feel that I was born to eat pani puris. Sometimes I feel I will die eating them. Quite a possibility if you see me eating those sometime!
10. I am an Electronics Engineer by qualification. I don’t know how a transistor works. I cannot differentiate between analog and digital signals. I do not have any clue how I cleared my Engineering. I have seen a lot of Engineers prefixing their names with “Er”. I can aptly prefix mine with “Err”. The only things I remember of my Engineering are poha, hot dog, sabudana khichadi, sanwariya seth soda, Calcutta veg-roll and of course pani puri.
11. If Engineering was a mistake, my time in IT is a crime. Ask my leads and managers. They will have all the good things to say about me. Blackmailing is a crime!
12. I fear chipkalis. I can never make myself be in the same room with her. I had to skip my shower many times because it occupied space in my bathroom. Once, as a kid, it fell over me doing a particularly impossible stunt of eating an insect by jumping from ceiling. The trauma is still there. I sweat seeing it, I cannot make myself move, my breath becomes extremely shallow and I see myself dying eating panipuris.
13. I cannot dance even if my life depended on it. Well, they tried a lot to make me shake my legs in hostel. I am the only one who did not dance in my entire college life until my farewell. And when I did, my juniors were the happiest to see me go. I danced at Harsha didi’s wedding. Aaj bhi didi se nazarein milane ki himmat nahi hoti. I danced at Girish bhai’s wedding. My family threatened to disown me. I danced at an office party. They kicked me out and I landed up here in USA!
14. I can cry a lot. I become especially vulnerable when I see an emotional or a supposedly emotional moment on screen. Today for example, I started crying seeing Harman Baweja hitting winning sixer in Victory. Anything which intersects me 6 inches about my heart has the ability to stir my emotions deep down. Crying is one of the best (and very useful) forms of expression ever!
15. Blogging. I started this blog with a curiosity to see what all the fuss is about. It has come a long way for me. I started a few more over the last 3 years. Infact, there are a few more blogs hidden elsewhere which are out of sight and out of reach. But this one has stood the test of time. Blogging is a great form of expression. It helps flush the toxins out. :-)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Joie De Vivre

Hello people! With another post this month, am I making you wonder what has got into me? If yes, then let me tell you, life is ‘wonder’ful(l). I have learnt that wonder brings lot of joy and happiness in life. Speaking of which, my observation about life and people is that we usually rate joy and happiness right on top of the pyramid of the things we seek in life. I mean we may not want it in exactly those terms, but we do assume that the top things in that pyramid will give us happiness. It is funny though. I mean the shape of the pyramid of the things we seek in life is a little funny. If you closely observe (I mean I need to closely observe, given my incompetence in Geometry), you will see that the pyramid is very narrow at the top. Very few things give us the ultimate happiness that we seek. Wish there was a way to invert the pyramid. What do you think? 

If you are done with your thinking, focus back on yours truly. What makes me happy? Well, one of the biggest joys I have experienced in life is the joy of good food. I have been exposed to some of the most wonderful vegetarian food in life. My grandmothers have been excellent cooks, specifically my daadi ji. The earliest taste I can recall is the amazing chutney and pickles that daadi ji makes, even to this day. The baigan and tamatar ki chutneys are a sight to watch. They are beautiful and they taste A W E S O M E. My daadi ji is the best cook I have known so far in life. Nainamma, you rock, bigtime! 

Then there is my naani ji. There is something about grandmothers which makes you lick your fingers. My naani ji’s aloo ki sabzi and goddu pulusu, a sambhar like preparation, sweet and tangy and extremely yummy, are something from heaven – ambrosia. Growing up around my mother made mommy a great cook. You know, those bread pakodas, nariyal ki barfis, gujiyes, idli, dosa etc, which mom used to prepare for us regularly, made her one of the best cooks in this world. Yes, I have had a very joyful childhood. The ladies in my family rock! 

My stay in Bhopal and Indore has ensured that street food, for me, is right next to home food. I have practically lived my days on chat from Young Tarang and gulping Sawariya Seth soda. I think I was 3 when I tasted pani puris for the first time. And that is when I fell for it for life. It is my favorite food. There are numerous stories going around about my love for it. Ask Varsha and she will have some to tell. 

Come to this day. I am in a country where the idea of food is very different. Unfortunately, vegetarians like me have to seek refuge in self-cooked meal which can be risky if you have culinary skills like mine. So every once a while, you feel a need to eat something nice, something hitting your taste buds like a bomb and fill you stomach like you have not had food for a few months. So, I had around 75 panipuris, 4 bajra rotis and a few portions of the grand onion tomato rice I prepared tonight. I can feel the cramps already and between you and me, it is going to be a difficult night. It is one of those days when my stomach looks and feels something like this.

But my joy knows no bounds today! I am happy, I am satiated.

So the long post has documented my love for food enough. Well I did not need a post for this. Any latest picture of mine would have served the purpose well. A picture can speak a thousand words, but a thousand words can torture more than a picture!!


Thursday, February 05, 2009

Game On!

Nothing elates more than having your long lost friends commenting on the traits you displayed as a teenager in school. At the risk of sounding arrogant (or stupid, depends on your perspective about me), I myself, was laughing out loud at my last post. I know I surprised my regular readers and commentators. And Shweta and Megha surprised me with their comments. They took me back to those days when I was having fun with them in the school corridors. So Shweta and Megha, thank you guys for dropping by! 

Happy to see India winning the 4th ODI against SL. That’s the way, Mahi ve! Now I did not really see the match. I can’t, being where I am, you see. There are however, some tell tale signs when it’s game on! For example, cricinfo opens more often than even Orkut on my computer. And no one is interested in talking to me when I call my folks because they are glued to their TV sets. “Haan beta, achcha laga tumse baat karke. Take care” is what I hear when I expected to hear “Hello! Haan beta! Kya haal hain? Bade dinon baad phone kiya!”. When I was in Pune, we would coincide our snack time/lunch time with the slog overs to be able to catch the action live! I was very small when Kapil paaji brought home the World Cup way back in ’84 (yes I was already born then, unlike the 15-20 year-olds of today!!). No one but Megha had the sensibility to question my memory! Guys it was 83 not 84!!! But the joy of winning the T20 WC was nothing less! You love it, you hate it at times, but with all due respects to other sports, Cricket rocks! Go India go!

I am back to searching someone to share my apartment with. I have stayed away from home for almost 9 years now and I can safely tell you that it is one of the most boring and draining activity to indulge in. I have had some great experiences with my apartment mates so far. Good and bad, but great always. They all had something to teach. But then life moves on and it is time to look for someone new. And I can also tell you that finding a room mate is even more difficult than finding your soul-mate because you have to maintain a certain distance with your apartment mate which hopefully, you won’t have to with your life partner. Infact, one major advantage of marriage is that your search for an apartment mate ends for ever! Mom, are you reading this? So yes, it is time for me to again be in the lookout. 

This automatically implies that it is going to be another lone Valentine’s Day for me. Now, yahan US mein, you don’t have to worry about the bans on the V-Day from Bajrang Dalis, Shiv Sainiks and the recent addition to the outfit that has the contract of saving Indian culture, Shri Ram Sene. But kya fayada. Sigh! I hope, as I hope every year, there will not be any red colored, heart shaped balloons flying across my way. Hopefully in 2010. I am still an optimist.

There are a lot of things which I have been procrastinating a lot. It is time to finish those things and get a few of them on track. No, don’t worry it is nothing special. We all do that, very often with our lives. Half of the guilt in this world can be eliminated if people started doing what they really want to do, now. The other half will be eliminated if people stopped doing things they are doing at the moment. Deep down they have no intention of doing them. Either case, there always comes guilt later. Therefore, I am struggling hard to do nothing. J

And finally, the joy in life, many times, comes in small packages. Small surprises, random acts of kindness, an unexpected phone call etc. Are you creating joy somewhere? Be my guest!