Friday, November 23, 2007

Tagged -by kichu

Five Things I’d Love To Do Before I Die

(In no particular order)

1) go on a hike thru the valley of flowers

2) go on a ferris wheel

3) understand music

4) learn a foreign language

5) learn to swim

Five Things I Will Not Do Even If It Kills Me

1) Dye my hair pink

2) wear a bikini

3) watch krishi darshan

4) touch a snake/have anything to do with a snake (that might kill me, anyway)

5) cant think of one more.. am I that adventureous??

Five Things I Do When I’m Away From The Public

1) Sing

2) Sleep

3) Read

4) Watch movies

5) Fantasize

Five Fave Sentences/Quotes

I've reached Thoppumpady - Kichu

I'm in the bus - Kichu

Amma, I've lost my Credit card/cell phone/wallet/ put anything you want here

- Meera

I've only had 5 cigarettes today - Rajendran

Madamji, lift/generator/car/suction/pump/ pokku anne - Sanu

Five Things I’ll Make You Wish You Didnt Do, If You Did

Make me wear a swimsuit

Tag me

Five People To Tag

I dont know if 5 people read this blog

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Its raining heavily here.. has been for the past 6 months, I think. Rain is good I know, but I am getting a little tired of damp clothes.

Mukesh Ambani is the richest man in the world - at least he was yesterday.. today he is probably at no.2 spot. I dont know... someone do the math. Is it fair that he has so much and there are people who find it difficult to have 2, not even 3, square meals? Or find the money for essential treatment? Or give their children a basic education?

Where is the justice in the world?

Thursday, October 25, 2007

My Orkut fortune for today says "You will spend old age in comfort and material wealth".

Which raises many questions
1) do I want to spend old age in comfort and material wealth.
Yes, I do and also with peace of mind.
2) Why only old age, why not all my life?
3) Old age???? Whats that??

Friday, October 5, 2007

Well , Puffoos is fine and Poochoos has had three...yes, three.... more kittens. Bad girl!!!!

Its been a long time I've been away from my blog, is laziness a good enough excuse? I admire people who have something to blog EVERY DAY. They must lead such interesting lives.

In the interim (I've always wanted to say that,"In the interim") we went to Delhi.... sorry!! Gurgaon for the purists. Havent had such a holiday in years where we just slept and read and slept and read some more. My idea of bliss!!!!
My only grouse against the place is there there is no public transport, only the cycle rickshaws. The last time I travelled in one was when I was 10 years old and in Allahabad. I know the guys are trying to make an honest living , but I feel very guilty.... I will not travel in one.

Gurgaon skyline looks like something out Dubai or some place, just as long as your gaze remains on the horizon. The illusion snaps when you look lower than that.

Also went to a multiplex and saw "Chak De" (Will some Punjabi tell me just exactly what that means?) Loved it. I dont care what anyone says, I love feel good movies. I'm paying good money to enjoy myself and I do not enjoy myself when I see movies where they stare at a fly on a chappati for hours on end.

Picked up cheap books on the roadside, though really the place for that is Daryganj. Shall make another trip for that.. Now thats something to look forward to.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Puffoos is not well... he hasnt been eating anything for the past 2 days and is just curled up on his box and sleeps. I'm not a cat expert, havent had a pet before Poochoos walked into our life last year and here I am worried about her offspring. I havent the faintest idea what is wrong. Thought he would snap out of it, probably eaten something that hasnt agreed with him, but he seems to be getting worse. Tomorrow is Sunday and dont know if the vet will be available. I have a gut feeling he wont make it. Why do I feel responsible??? and so helpless.....

Saturday, July 7, 2007

I walked past Palace Road today with the heavenly smell of coffee being ground wafting up from one of the shops there. It is cold, wet and windy and that smell just makes me want to curl up in the corner of a room with a hot mug of fresh coffee in my hand, a few cushions around and a good book in my hand. Smells transport me to places I have been and memories that are buried deep.

Smells I love..

..fresh ground coffee..
..newly wet earth after the first rain....
..the smell from the pages of books - particularly old ones, new ones and in between ones...
..of a classroom in the holidays.. try it, it smells of chalk and wood
..jasmine from outside my bedroom window...
..Johnsons baby powder on a baby..
..freshly cut grass..
..laundered sundried clothes..
..the smell of peeled oranges..
..of crushed lime leaves..

These are just top of the hat, Im sure if I thought about it there would be more.



I was going through old photographs that Kuttenmama has preserved so carefully and meticulously. I cannot tell you the number of photos he has got.He has shelves full of them at home and at the office. Photos taken of various functions that we have conducted, attended ,were invited to, somehow slipped into the periphery, or in other unsuspecting ways were victims of camera mania. Now I am not a big fan of fotos, not just because I am not photgenic and I never come out well in any of them,but also because I dont like the amount of time and money spent on taking photos of people from different angles which then gathers dust in some corner of the house.I do enjoy seeing well taken portraits of say an Aishwarya Rai or a Sreedevi.

But I object to having photos of random people eating,staring hopefully at the camera,or doing things that, if they knew would be captured for posterity by a trigger happy person, they would never have done.

I object to seeing wedding photos, annniversary fotos, birthday fotos, office or workplace function fotos of people I do not know and will probably never meet.

I object to having wedding albums that weigh a ton thrust at me where I have to dutifully turn pages and comment on people I know nothing about.

If I looked like Aishwarya or photographed like her perhaps I would change my mind!!!!

Friday, June 29, 2007


Working along with Rajendran these many years (I don’t want to count how many years) have been an eye opener in many ways. When I first came to Kochi after my marriage, I think I believed that this would be short and temporary stay and that we would, after a couple of years move out of here. If someone had told me at that point that I would spend over 20 years here, I would have told them to go get their heads examined. But as we spread roots here, (I did, Rajendran’s were already well entrenched, only I did not know it) I decided that I might as well enjoy life as it comes.

Long ago before the Kumbalanghy Bridge came up, the Lions Club had a weekly medical camp at the Kumbalanghy School and Rajendran being a lion in those far off days, was roped in to attend them. So every Thursday afternoon a group of us would go in a car the long way round via Kannamaly. I say we, because by then I decided that I might as well pitch in.

My job then was to dispense the medicines. Now I had no idea of the names that the average Malayali could dream up. Names like Jeejo, jojo, jibi and joji were far from my usual horizons. And I expected names to have an age limit. For instance, the names above could only be for young kids, not those over, say 30 years of age. I made up a game as I dispensed the medicines. I would imagine a person for each name. I would read out the names in the medicines slips and wait with bated breath as it were, to see whether my association for the name and the person would match. Mostly it didn’t, thanks to the Malayali felicity with names. But my biggest surprise was when I dispensed medicines to Rocky. Those days, the movie Rocky I and Rocky II about the fighter Rocky Balboa had been released. So naturally I associated the name with a Sylvester Stallone type a character. Some one strong and virile. So I called out the name Rocky and waited. Rocky arrived. He was 75 years old and bent over with age. Rocky had severe asthma so he wheezed with every step. He couldn’t be further from my Sly Stallone association.

Even now I play the game sometimes. What do you expect Saed Afridi, Lata Mangeshkar, Vani Jayaram, Tipsy and Wasim Akram to look like?

I kid you not. These are names of Dr Shaila’s patients. If you don’t believe me ask her!!!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

May was a hectic month,travelling between Chennai Bangalore and Cochin.

Why you might ask.. for kichus admissions. Actually,come to think of it that was not much runing around to do and Kichu has got admission in almost all colleges he applied to. Finally he decided on Loyola College, Chennai for Economics. I'm happy coz its a good college and not too far away. He can come over some weekends if he wants to. Meera is too far away for that, a fact that I really regret. ALso the fact that we sent her to Bangalore for her studies after the 10th. Should have kept her here for another 2 year. At that point, I didnt realise how quickly time flies and too soon it is time for the babies to fly away.
Now for it to be perfect, she should get a job in Chennai or Bangalore........
That would be too good to be true, I dont think God would allow that.

Am waiting for July 21st for Harry Potter to make his appearance.....

IMA musings

As I sit down to write this I haven’t the faintest idea what to write about. Hari had requested me for an article many weeks ago and the first one I sent him was sent to the editorial waste basket. He asked me to sent him another one (“brief and witty” were his exact words). Since then, I have struggled to put pen to paper, and have ended up being neither witty nor brief.

What does one write about with the dead line looming up a couple of hours ahead of you? Try it!! The cogs of your brain seize up!!!!

Trying valiantly again... no topic in mind, not even a germ of a witty line. Another factor causing this writers block is the fact that it is for the IMA news letter. Does the article have to be about medicine or related things? And how can one be witty about such a serious thing as medicine?? Sacrilege!

Also the fact that I am not a Doctor and therefore not a member of the IMA as such, but a member of its sister organization, The Ladies Wing (which reminds me, I better check whether my membership dues are current). That fact alone mandates that I look at medicine and its practice from the sidelines, as it were. Of course from the side lines, one sees many hilarious things, but whether it can be the topic of an article to the News letter is another thing all together.

So I sit here in front of my computer, wondering what to write about. When I very foolishly said OK to Hari, let me confess I had in my mind, visions of a column in the newsletter something like Art Buchwald or perhaps even Erma Bombeck. Visions of dashing off small vignettes of medical life and life in its periphery... humorous and yet profound and touching. From the news letter I would progress naturally to the local newspapers and then further afield. Start one of those syndicated columns. I would be famous. Earn a lot of money. Those dreams are rapidly going the way of Bertie Wooster and his masterpiece “What the well dressed man is wearing” for his aunt Dahlia’s rag Milady’s Boudoir.

I shall try for some more time and then tell Hari I can’t do it. Perhaps I shall have to avoid him each time I see him at the IMA meetings. Maybe I should just ring him up and tell him right now. Maybe I should move to the Middle East some where…?

Monday, April 30, 2007


After a long time heard Beatles' "Girl" last night. Had even forgotten the song but as the guy started singing all the words came back. When I think that I knew the lyrics to ALL Beatles songs, ALL S&G and nearly all America songs.....

I had 4 audio cassettes and limited pocket money. This was before the days of CDs and free downloads ( I hate to think how many years before). So all that I could do was record the present favourite over what was already there. Finally there came a time when all I could hear was a hisssss.
But it was fun anyway. Lyrics were learnt by holding the record player close to the ear and with a lot of guess work.

I didnt realise that the Liverpool boys were such a big hit with the present generations too. Kichu has heard a fair number of their songs.

I think I shall ask him to download them for me and I shall be transported back to my college days.

The joys of technology!!!!!!

Saturday, April 28, 2007

1. Pick out a scar you have, and explain how you got it

the scars they have faded and so have my memories of them

2. What is on the walls in your room?

a caricature of Rajendran

3. What does your phone look like.

Its reliance///an LG b&W

4. What music do you listen to?

lots of stuff.. depends on whether I am with husband or son at that point in time

5. What is your current desktop picture?

Francesco Totti sucking his thumb

6. What do you want more than anything right now?

to sleep???

7. Do you believe in gay marriage?

to each his own

8. What time were you born?

2.45 pm

9. Are your parents still together?

My dad passed away in 88

10. What are you listening to?

the dialogue from some Malayalam movie rajendran is watching upstairs

11. Do you get scared of the dark?


12. The last person to make you cry?

I cant remember

13. What is your favourite perfume/cologne?

UDV/UDY??? pour elle (the bottle that looks like a little bag and which has the pink perfume... I,m so specific coz they have come out with some new fragrances in the range which are not half as nice)

14. What kind of hair/eye colour do you like on the opposite sex?

Even if isnt there doesnt matter.. I'm a very tolerant person

15. Do you like pain killers?

IF I have pain.. yes!!

16. Are you too shy to ask someone out?

Too late...

17. Fave pizza topping?

cheese and mushroom

18. If you could eat anything right now, what would it be?


19. Who was the last person you made mad

dont know

20. Is anyone in love with you?

yeah, I suppose so, coz we've put up with each other for 22 years without seriously thinking of divorce....

I tag Harimohan

Monday, April 16, 2007

Poochoos and her kittens

Poochoos had her babies yesterday afternoon, right in the middle of the Vishu Sadya. She had been uneasy the whole day on saturday and on sunday morning, not wanting to go out of the house at all. Finally, since I had a lot of guests over for lunch, I locked her up in the office room. A little while later I heard her calling me ( I swear it sounds like AMMA) and there she was, about to deliver, which she proceeded to do, right at my feet. Since our guests might be squeamish, I kept quiet about it till they left. By which time she had produced 2 kittens and was looking quite perplexed.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Poochoos and I

Poochoos is pregnant!! She spent a 2 nights out about a month ago and came home early one morning trying to look unconcerned. Turned up at my front door and pretended that she had just stepped out for a look. Anyway, the end result is that we can expect to hear the patter of tiny kitten feet in our house in approximately... I dont know how many days, but I am sure the event is pretty imminent.

How does one prepare for a pets pregnancy?? I dont know. I also dont know why I am so concerned. All those cats out in the wild are presumably giving birth quite comfortably and I have never even given a second thought to them. Why does the fact that Poochoos walked into our family in May last year make me worried about her? Kichu and I are quite convinced that she is not old enough to have babies. Does she even know what to do with them? Will she look at us and say.. Ok.. so here these things are... now look after them like you did me!!!

I can just imagine Rajendran's face when THAT happens.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

I love to read travelogues written by others about places they have visited and sights they have seen. Armchair traveling is what interests me, I can visit palaces and forts, bazaars and malls, valleys and mountains sitting safe in my own home. I am a bad traveler and invariably end up at the end of my journey rather the worse for wear. When I reach my destination I find I’d much rather be back home. I know the die-hard travelers will be shocked at such a disclosure, but I am sure there are a few people in the world , a very miniscule number perhaps, who feel the way I do and who feel inhibited to disclose the fact.

The fact that I don’t enjoy traveling does not mean that I do not enjoy places and their history. I love to read about other people’s travels, I don’t have to move from my home to learn all about their experiences, good or bad. If they are good, I’m happy for them, if not I’m glad I’m not the one who got their wallet stolen or picked the wrong hotel to stay in or whatever.

Don’t get me wrong. If there was a way that I could get to my destination without the traveling that is required to get there, I’d travel I’m sure. It is the hassle of getting from point A to point B that I dislike . And once at point B, I’d be perfectly happy to explore and visit because I haven’t become a wreck getting TO point B.

My biggest heroes are the travelers who travel for traveling’s sake. Pioneers like Francis Drake and Columbus and Vasco Da Gama and the many unnamed and unknown ones who traveled where no man had traveled before, who traveled when there was no promise of a warm meal and a comfortable chair at the end of the journey.

I love my creature comforts, particularly my bed, my food and my clean bathroom.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

So I decided make lists of things… you know..
10 best things you remember from your childhood and the 10 worst ones
10 best books that you have read and the 10 worst ones
10 best movies that you have seen and the 10 worst ones
10 best places that you have visited and the 10 worst ones

You get the gist of what I mean?

I realize that to list 10 things may be a bit ambitious, it might be better to stick to 5.. or perhaps even 3. Dredging up things from the murky depths of memory might be slightly difficult. Also10 best places and 10 worst ones assumes that I have visited 20 or more places. Which sitting here in Kochi, is something I can only dream of.

Just throwing the idea of movies around with Kichu, I find I’m thinking of many dos and don’ts. Do I add movies in all languages or do I stick with only English/only Hindi/only Malayalam?? All the movies that come to mind are funny ones.. should I include only those? Or for a list to be truly inclusive does it have to have movies of all genres? Or perhaps I should do different lists of movies – Humour/action/drama. As Bertie Wooster would say, the mind boggles at the permutations possible.

What is it with asking so many instructions (or guidelines, for want of a better word)? I think a lifetime spent in following instructions does this to people. One can’t function without the help of a flowchart. If A happens, go to step C. If B happens go to step D. Our whole life is charted out and God help those who step out of line!!! What I wouldn’t give for some spontaneity. To be able to just go whenever I want to and stop whenever I like. To be able to laze around all day and not feel guilty about it. And most important of all, to be able to afford to do so!! AHA! Therein lies the crux of the matter..

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

The Kerala of my Childhood

Having been born in Calcutta (Kolkotta of today) and having spent most of my school life in Allahabad, we would come down to Kerala for our holidays once in 2 years.

The heat while traversing the length of India in a train was unbearable. We had a long wait at Itarsi where our compartment from Allahabad would be attached to the train going to Madras (was it the GT?? I can't remember).

I remember though that my dad used to dip the 'thorthus' in water and hang it on our coupe windows to cool down a little bit. We used to stock up on thorthus for the 2 years during our trip and the last function they performed was to cool the interior of the coupe after which we would throw them away and stock up on new ones!

From Madras, my dad would hire a taxi and we would travel to Kerala via Salem, Coimbatore, Palgat Nilambur (which is where my mum is from), Calicut, Trichur with a detour to Guruvayoor finally ending up at Adoor where my paternal grand mother lived.

All the way we lived with relatives for a day or two, my parents catching up with all the news but me feeling very out of place and awkward. The only languages I was comfortable with were English and Hindi and my Malayalam was very hesitant. I still have trouble with some of the words (nammal and njangal to name 2).

I loved Nilambur though, if only because of the books that were there and plenty of corners in which to curl up and read. In some houses, especially during my earlier visits, evening would fall and the randhal had to be lit. That would be the end of that day's reading. I guess I was not a very popular guest with the kids.. (doesn't know Malayalam properly and not joining in the games!! What Jaada, in today's language).

Adoor was fun. A huge house filled with lots of cousins who were army brats and more or less in the same position as I was though I think they were more adaptable due to their constant uprooting. There was an unavoidable trip to Mavelikkara and Trivandrum to visit more relatives.

There were so many things so different from our northy life. The rain, the likes of which were rarely seen in the north, that started at the beginning of our holidays. The outside loos which scared the hell out of me (what if we fell down one?). The sight of the lush green paddy fields. The trips to the rubber thotam with my grandmother at Adoor and the smoky curing room. The smell of bananas hung up to ripen in the kitchen. The women bent over at the waist, wiping the floors of the house twice a day. The sound of the pounding of rice for puttu and kadala in the morning.

Fed on banana chips, chakka and poola (kappa here) chips and chakka varatiyathu and mangoes and so many of these goodies which we saw only when we came to Kerala ... unless some hardy relative decided to visit us at Allahabad and brought us these in little plastic packets and then wrapped in the Malayala Manorama/Mathrubhumi depending on which end of Kerala they came from.

Of course it was fun in parts, but mostly I think I was glad to go back to my undisturbed existence where a book or two was all I wanted and the only contact we had with Kerala was when someone wrote a letter and the daily songs broadcast on radio from 3-4pm (15 minutes in each of the south Indian languages). My mother would switch on the radio at 2.30 and woe betide anyone who had the temerity to change the station!! (not that there were that many to choose from.)

Memories of childhood and early teen years.. relived every 2 years and remembered with affection now -- though at that time the feelings were more ambiguous.

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Finally gathered up my courage and decided to start this blog. One of my new year resolutions taken care of!! I've been fairly pushed into this by family and friends (now I wonder whether the description of those worthies changes to FOES). I'm still quite unsure of the rules of the game.. guess I shall have to learn as I go along. If anyone reading this comes across some horrrible faux pas I've committed, please do let me know.

I've been sneakily reading the posts of a few people for sometime now - Paresh Palicha, Thanu ,Dr Hari and Silverine to name a few and finally, daybefore yesterday I posted a comment on Thanus under anonymous (still debating, see!) and hey! she responded to it. Wow!That gave me some courage..

Now I shall have to get down to the second resolution on my list... to lose weight. I shall not mention how much just yet, let me just say its a lot.

I just saw the preview of this, and it looks pitifully small. I shall not loose heart, I shall go ahead any way. Like they say, a step at a time!!!!!