Saturday, July 28, 2007

Just One Bag

Current status: Packing

YOU: Oh? Then what are you doing 'here' if you're currently packing? And packing?
Where're you going, for Pete's Sake?

ME :Well... I'm off to the Land of Opportunities..the Land of undiluted Glitz and Glamour, the land of the Bold...and not to mention, the extremely Beautiful....the Land that has all the filth and dirt, and also the strength to clean up the same (quite literally)...

YOU (incredulously): Don't tell me..!! Your going to LA.... Holy mother of God..really????

ME (smug smile): Naah.....I'm off ta Mumbai.

(Maaaaaa...Help...some one's after me with a frying pan..!)

Ok. I'll really tell you what I'm up to.
I'm going to Bombay for a 3 day trip. Its all happened so quickly and I'm fluttering with extreme excitement. (excuse me while I do I mini-dance here)

Now Bombay to me is not just any city. For confirmed Madrasis like me who envision themselves to live, breed and die in Madras, Bombay is like Hollywood; the land of glamour and sparkle. Considering my pre-conceived notions about this place, expectations are currently sky high and I'm soooo gonna make a conscious effort not to fall in love with the place that makes news every single day or every other day.

I called up my dad 3 days ago and told him about my impending jaunt for the weekend.
Reason for this impetuous plan ? Simple... no particular reason at all.
Just to meet some dear friends there.
My father doesn't know how to react and I feel sorry for not being able to view his expression at that point of time. Thats OK, cos I know what he looks like when he's majjorly flummoxed.
Oh yeah, 've been there...done that.
But anyways...He's fine with it...not without few words of wisdom of course:

"Child, its a 2 day affair. Please don't pack the way you normally do. Pack light and pack sensibly."

blah-blah-blah.... The way you normally do.. blah-blah-blah ..

I'm in a dilemma as to WHAT to put in quotes from the above it the 'normally' or the 'you' ? I mean, that line is plain euphemism for 'Dear, you screw up always. This time sweetie.. dont.'

I have my pride (no, really) and hence, I've resolved to carry one bag.

Just one bag.
If I travel alone, I travel in style.

A very neat and simple affair. I mean, how hard can it be? Packing 3 days stuff into 1 bag. Come one...its not rocket-science! To think that I'm even blogging on this.

I pack with a tune in my lips and a smile on my face.
Yea rite..I wish! I'm frantically rummaging through my wardrobe which is presently screaming out loud for its well deserved summer-cleanup.
Oh Lord...I'm desperate...Where's a decent bag when you need one!

After 20 minutes of searching and throwing some forty odd pieces of clothing on the floor... Finally...a 'BAG'!!
Ah-ha! Lets see... Its in one has a strap with no loose ends..and the best part, a zipper that hasn't yet fallen off....Ah, am I blessed or am I blessed!

NOW current status: Packing

Ok..Everything nicely packed into my small, blue and please note , 'single' bag. I'm all set...quite impressive if I do say so myself.
My bag looks like an overstuffed Turkey for Thanksgiving, but hey, protocol read 'Just one bag'...and am I the protocol-girl or what!

Awritey then..I'm movin outta here to Bombay..See you later.... but wait, whats this lying under my oversized-excuse for a bag?
Crap! Its my pair of JEANS!! Damn, I've forgotten to pack my jeans.
I'm not leaving without my way!

(Detecting the skepticle look on your face) Whats that I hear you say...?
Why am I fretting over my *jeans* like it were some master-piece by Prada?

Well...yes I know, its just another pair of jeans. But I have my reasons. Let me explain why I'm not leaving without my jeans. I (and in all probability, you too) have nothing better to do while I'm still stuck here with Miss. Over-Stuffed-Turkey and a lonely pair of, hear me out.

Reason 1: Firstly,
I'm going to Bombay honey, not Anna University.

Reason2: These jeans are the only saving grace of my otherwise loser-wardrobe which I have not the time to re-vamp...and its these few loyal garments like this pair of jeans that leave me with some scrap of dignity at a social get-together these days .


So I'm tearing open this 'Turkey' and stuffing a pair of jeans into her whether she likes it or not.
This zipper sure is stubborn.
Fine...I've stuffed my jeans in successfu....*Snap*..uh-oh!

Christ....Nooooooooooo! Zip in hand!
My bag is now split wide open to almost a mile..and is now tragically zipper-less.
Friggin detached-zipper!!
I have a flight to catch straight away from work... and I'm still looking for a bag with a decent zip.
Could ANYONE even be more helpless? (in Chandler-like tone)

Concluding points of action:

  1. Will not panic.
  2. Pick up phone, dial the 'friendly-neighbours' next door;

"Hello, Aunty? Mayth here...I was wondering if you had a bag......with a zip....."


Friday, July 20, 2007

My Mate..

...would be someone who could sit beside me and listen to Tu-bin-bataye a thousand times... and love it more 'n more with each time .

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Life's Lesson #190707

Real Happiness is knowing that you've made some one happy. Really happy.

Corollary: Flowers to friends (with a little help from the internet and my Credit Card) apparently does the trick.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Love Actually...

A little bird from work is awfully chirpy these days and this is getting quite hard to ignore.

Madam Chirpy (MC) 's getting engaged to a bloke she was introduced to exactly 5 weeks back (the quintessential arranged types) and now, she's tragically been reduced to nothing but an uncontrollable blush-pot.

I'm not the only one who's noticed this distinct transformation in MC's behaviour ever since she's been..umm..well, booked (whatever the word may be) and this change is rather striking I tell you.

Now, for all you know, you could storm into the room and ask/ tell/ yell/ scream/ order/ command/ bellow/ beg/ implore her for something rather important but all your gonna get from her is a quaint giggle- giggle topped with a lot of blushing-blushing.

" What?", I exclaim out loud with the most incredulous look on my face.
"Please tell me, what!!!!! Is there something I'm missing here?"

"Ah Mayth dear, you wouldn't understand", says a girl in my cubicle with the most patronizing of looks. "And by the way, you might want to hush down a bit and not invite myriad not-so-attractive glares from cubicles surrounding ours and the ones surrounding theirs"

Ok..... see, that I can do. Hushing down isn't all that difficult for me. There. (Aravinthan would slightly disagree with me though...He thinks that I have 'mics' and 'amplifiers' for lunch everyday. Maybe I should tell him how untrue that is one of these days. Or, maybe I'm just loud, for life. *Shudder*)

But, getting to the serious part...
Really! Now, what wouldn't I understand?

That our damsel 's in love? That the world looks mysteriously brighter to her because of which she looks forward to waking up to the very next day, every day? That I shouldn't blame her for that disappointed look when she receives a message from anyone else but 'him'? That me wanting to have chickoo-milkshake with her at the canteen over a nice, bitchy chat about office no longer gains top priority in her Things-I-love-Doing list?

See, all that I understand, the smart girl I am..but what I don't get is the excessive giggle-giggle, laugh-laugh and the unexplainable mirth with which she says and does things these days. Does a commitment actually make you do all this? Are you a perpetually happy over...everything?

Right, yeah.. Maybe girl-in-the-cubicle was right afterall (she'd thrash me if she found her name here)... maybe I just couldn't understand all this .... till I eventually do.

Sigh! Whatever....I'm really really happy for MC (except for the fact that I have to wait in a queue these days just to talk to her ...grr...the darned-cell phone and the person at the other side of it).

I'm still the confirmed Mills-'n-Boon deprecator and I still squirm at the very thought of overtly-mushy and saccharine romance.
But I just can't help thinking...
If falling in love can make anyone this happy, then I actually find myself looking forward to it.

*Sigh*...(sob)..Oh Crap, where's that can of ice-cream?

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Well, I'll be damned!

Thats what I am now.

For some reason, I not only find this blog repulsive but also sad, in a sense that our country has to put up with a shit-load of racists like this.

Not that I'm a confirmed Rajini fan or a Dravidian-fanatic (except when its Rahul Dravid we're talking about), but its the constant battering of the so called 'Dravidian' race
(the dogmatic way of referring to the southies) like they belong to a completely different lineage.

What in heaven's name are these guys trying to do...that too in a public forum???
Friggin Racists!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Life's Lesson #120707

Thou shalt not be proud of thyself for bringing down the Mainframes.

Corollary: Lets just keep ourselves out of trouble, shall we.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Go Figure!

Lets see..

5 Jumbo Jangiris/Jilebees
(Courtesy: Surya Sweets, Mylapore)
2 Raj kachoris
2 fat Samosas
1/2 packet of mixture (the other half being devoured by yours truly the previous day itself)
1 big Mango
3 Vaazhapazhams (Bananas for the un-informed in Tamil)
1 packet of Top Ramens Smoodles
1 Packet of Krishna Potato cheeps

...All this in addition to the customary 'Rasam' and Curd rice with vendakkai-poriyal ; A combination I can't do without before hitting the sack.

Well...if you're still here and haven't fainted yet, you could read this too.

Today, most evidently, I had a diet any model would die for (or actually, die with).
What model, most of my friends would crave for this sooper combination of food-items considering that some of them have really transformed into Divine-Goddesses ever since we got out of college...all this while I'm radically turning into a plump-kush-ball.
They all have the will-power. And I don't.
No,actually its the other way round....I have all the will power to gorge in all the food I set my eyes upon ...while tragically, my friends don't.
(slight call for SOS here!)

Off late, I've been forced to confront this insatiable urge of mine that makes me devour anything I can lay my hands on and this activity of eating like theres no tomorrow, is performed by me with such elan you know...absolutely no guilt, no prudence over the dire repercussions I have to face once all that I've gorged in, has turned into un-digested (or digested...whatever!) fat which gets deposited in all the unwanted places (not like there are many wanted places...but I'm not getting into all that).

The fact that I'm unable to refrain from thulping in everything I see (well..almost everything, I most conveniently happen to stay away from healthy food. damn!) doesn't really seem disturb me as much as the fact that I am un-perturbed by my over-indulgence.

Too complex a sentence? Lets re-word it.

The very fact that I'm shamelessly un-perturbed by my herculean appetite, perturbs me and I seriously don't know what I ought to do about it. I'm always hungry. Period.

Do scientists have a cure for hunger?
'Well,of course you', you might say.
But isn't that my problem in the first place?
Too much food?
Aren't we back to where we started?

hmm...ok,I don't intend to publicize my problems over the internet (yeah right..thats what this blog was for, anyway). To his own, each problem (That would have sounded much better in Latin.Ignorance..hmph! )

Anyways, I'm working on it.
Well, ok...its not really a nerve-wrecking problem 'n all, when benchmarked with poverty in Somalia, venal Governments, Global Warming, and unmarried girls in my family .... one or two words of wisdom and encouragement will do ;)

Until then, all I can say to myself is..

Goooooooooo Figure!!


Thursday, July 5, 2007

Some Trip (..or why you should just walk it all the way)

My office-mates scattered all over India (Delhi, Bombay, Calcutta, Ahemedabad 'n Bangalore to be precise) had decided to meet up in Madras for a nice holiday over the weekend. The itenary involved visiting Thirupathi followed by a trip to Yercaud.
Yeah, I wish!

This trip would have been just another trip if we had planned it meticulously for which I sincerely advocate people to plan their holidays in future in such a way that, they are unplanned to the last minute.
Chaos is good fun, I've discovered. :D

Before going about this journey, let me introduce you to some of our key players in this trip.

1. Pradeep - our mystery bus that did everything but move.
2.Mr. Muthu, the Bus owner-Who seriously ought to close down this incompetant bijjiness of his and perhaps join another software company. I’m talking to HR-TCS for a fair opening.
3. Fate (without which this trip would have been just another trip)
4. Us crazy juntha-Need I say more.

12:30am Thursday : Night out at Anchal’s.

Bombay, Guj, Calcutta ‘n Delhi guys turn up at Anchu s place…Takloo (who was not yet takloo), his friend Sudheep, Sahil, Tosh, Chacha, Raman, Paro, Bhaumik, Yudee, Chirag, Nikhil, Chirag Patel,Anchal Surosa Shyamala ‘n me..
boy, seeing everyone under the same roof would never feel the same. After doing some exuberant screaming, shouting and catching up we head to the nearby TCS office for tea at some ungodly hour 4am. The bus is expected to arrive at 5am. We re all ready leave.

Thrusday, 7am
Its 7am We’re STILL ready for the bus to arrive. Calling the bus-driver seems tougher that talking George Bush into joining Indian politics.
But oh well, we have our cameras and ourselves to have some fun.

Some one ‘n half hours, 21 phone calls and ten photos later, the bus finally arrives.
And following that, is the grand entry of Saaaaaaaaaaaai ;) (Applause, applause!)

Friday 10AM, Pradeep
We re on our way to Thirupathi…. It feels nice not to be cramped up in a bus like we used to in Trivandrum. Lots of space….lots of talking..and a bit of sleeping. (Sahil also caught up on a bit of sleep if I do remember ;) )

Friday, 12:00 pm Thirupathi
Blore guys arrive…PayDay, Naveen, Jimmy and Veena (PD’s friend) are welcomed with much excitement. We move to the local bus-stand in Thirupathi to board another bus which will take us to the hill-top (the temple being on a hill). Topic of discussion during our ascent up the hill was Jimmy’s new sexy cell phone-one in black with one of those tooth-pick types you can poke the screen with.
Some good fun there.

(flanked by Naveen, Raman, Bhaumik 'n Tosh)

3pm Thirumala, hill top
It isn’t too cold, neither is it too hot. We walk to a public hall where we can keep our stuff in lockers and freshen up. We’re all set to head to the temple after that.
But not without some lunch at a nearby restaurant. Sahil-saab very dutifully took our orders and we were all now really ready for the temple J

Friday 5pm, on our way to temple
2 official takloos originate at this hour.
Takloo and Parimal (like one talkoo was not enough in our gang :P)
Chacha, I presume will now be the style icon in Mumbai ;)

The queue is long.

Very long.

Free-dharshan has a notorious reputation for making people wait forever to see the lord. What follows the long queue is a room which houses something like 200 hundred people and makes us wait for another for 5 odd hours.
But trust me, waiting has never really been this much fun.
Imagine 20 people cramped up along the steps which can customarily seat 12 people. Absolutely no space to even lift your hand and scratch your head.
Activities during this wait, involve fervently discussing Tosh’s romantic engagement [;)], Chirag’s 4 day wedding, Sahil’s childhood love stories, and hitting Jimmy’s face every 3 mintues. (ask chacha)

Friday 8pm, inside waiting room
Paro faints.
She feels bad about it later….sweet girl
I seriously don’t know why she feels guilty.
I’m sure all of us would have dropped in that claustrophobic ambience in some time anyway.

Friday 9pm, inside waiting-room
We’re tired of waiting but we still have to. So,now we all plan to sing. I sing Lukka Chuppi which sparks up some laughter for some unknown reason. Unknow then, known now (reasons please contact chacha and Takloo)
We’re still waiting for darshan.

Saturday,12:30 am, Temple
Darshan time.
We scramble in the stampede to get darshan. Its just some 9 seconds of viewing the magnificent lord in his chamber, but the darshan was worth all the waiting. Defintiely.
We move out of the temple and have dinner at a place that’s ready to kick us out in any moment. I don’t blame them. It is really late.

Saturday, 2am, bus-stand

We move to the bus stand there and do what we do best.
This time, we re really bugged as its night, its dark, we’re tired and we have no roof above our heads…waiting isn’t exactly what we like doing now though we’ve gained enough expertise in it.
Some try to sleep..some continue playing an exciting word game (I like word games J )while some just stare into space…wondering if there is a bus that’s going to pick us up after all.

This was taken that night when no one even bothered to look at the cam :)

3:30 am, in bus-stand

That’s it. No more waiting. Some action here please…so Sahil/Chacha/someone goes to a nearby public hall so that we can rest in it while we wait. We all rest and almost sleep.

Pradeep arrives. Talk about perfect timing.
On our way to Salem, then on to Yercaud….yaahoooo!!!!!!!

Satuday, 9am, in Pradeep

We’ve left Andhra and are at some place in Tamil Nadu I’ve never even heard of before. (Yes I’m a Tamilian, not further questions )

I wake up to see a load of people still sleeping in the bus. Chacha apparently hasn’t had a wink of sleep all night.
Poor fellow…. This guy ‘s an organizer all the way. Peedee,Veena ‘n I promptly leave to the wash-rooms in the bus-stand nearby and later realize, that was a futile waste. I cant brush my teeth there and that fact disturbs me to a great extent.

The bus moves from there VERY VERY slowly…and soon breaks down.
Fine, no problem.. happens to buses, so no problem. We get down, and wait for the driver to be back.
I discover that the place we’re in is called Thirupathoor.
We call Krati (whos in Yercaud now) and tell her we’re on our way and we ‘ll be there in another 3 hours max.

Saturday, 1 pm broken down bus

After an hour of waiting the driver takes the bus and we’re off. But this time, we move MUCH slower. Sooner than later, he bus breaks down. Again.

This time we’re really pissed off. The driver begs for one more hour. JUST one more hour and he promises the bus will be ready. We comply and decide to have our lunch.

Saturday, 3:00 pm, back from lunch

We return 2 hours later..the bus is still not ready. Driver begs for 3 more hours.
Anchu ‘n I frantically call up the owner, Mr.Muthu and ask him what the hell is going on.
Krathi calls up and we tell her we’re on our way to Yercaud. :D This game really was a lot of fun.

3:30pm, near the broken-down bus
We decide to send the entire lot in a TATA Sumo to Yercaud while the 5 of us (Anchu, chacha, Takloo, Sahil ‘n I) wait beside the bus and settle things out with the driver. We’re proud for having sent the rest of the lot “safely” on their way to Yercaud.
Krathi is impatient…but we tell her its just another one or 2 hours.

After some talking, yelling, thinking and agreeing…the 5 of us decide to send the bus back to Chennai and settle the money matter once we get back to Chennai.
We get into an Ambassador which we pay a fat lump of money to take us to Yercaud.

Finally, every one s going to Yercaud.
Or, that’s what we think.

Saturday 5pm, White Ambassador
Doing some major time pass in the white Ambassador, discussing quite a few thing. Good fun.

But the climax is getting a call from the Sumo guys…saying that their gaadi just broke down and even better, their gaadi has crappy brakes.

We (the white Ambassador juntha) laugh our gutts out thinking of their fate, while we merrily move on towards Yercaud.

Saturday 8pm, WhiteAmbassador
We reach Salem ,some 1750 metres below Yercaud (which is at the hill top )
The driver stops.
And tells us we can get down.

Ambassador Juntha: ummm….why have we stopped by the way?

Ambassador Driver:
Because we’ve reached the end of our journey.

Ambassador Juntha:
Umm….. Mr.Driver, hello!! We paid you for Yercaud didn’t we?

Ambassador Driver:
You paid me for Yercaud ‘Road’. This is Yercaud Road.
So please get down.

Ambassador Juntha: What the @#$%#%^!

After some yelling and shouting and tonnes of laughing (I think I broke a few bones laughing there) we pay that stupid driver and looked for other means to getting to Yercaud. I think I lost hope of reaching here.
Krati calls up..this time genuinely asking us if we’recoming to Yercaud. We tell her we’re on our way.

Saturday 8:30 pm, bus-stand in Salem
Finally a bus.
A bus.. that moves, a bus that wont break down, a bus that has brakes and most importantly a bus that’s taking us to Yercaud. Aaaaaa…we’re a happy lot. Meanwhile the Sumo people are luckily on their way despite their brake-less gaadi.

Saturday 11 pm, Yercaud, hill-top
All of us meet at Yercaud. Sumo guys, Ambassador guys and Krathi. (Krathi along with Dhari and Shreyans)

Everybody has something to say about the journey. Krati is thrilled. She’s waited the most. (14 hours to be precise).
We have a camp fire.
It rocks. Biggggg time!!! One of Sahil's rare appearances ;)

Next day.

Sunday, 9 am, Yercaud
We leave the cottage and have breakfast. The mini-van we’ve arranged for is such a darling. It takes us to places all over Yercaud without absolutely any trouble.
It doesn’t break down, it didn’t demand for extra money, it doesnt crash.
We have a mind-blowing time in Yercaud.
Trekking was just A-W-E-Some!!!!
Krathi leaves with her friend. The rest of us carry on.

I’m not gonna say much about the trekking part as I feel the photographs will do more justice J
(but just one thing though…a big thank you for those guys who helped me all the way up to the farthest point in the trek. It felt magical for having made it that far..Naveen,Raman,Chirag,Shreyans and the rest…couldn’t have done it without you guys!)

(At the top. No we arent lying down :D)

Sunday 6pm, Salem
We’re done with Yercaud and we’ve all made it to Salem in one piece.
The journey downwards exposed the Yo! side of Nikhil Ravi.

His Eminim-style rap ‘Dono maja karengae’ rocked….. though I had to get all that translated by Tosh later ;)

We have to bid the Blore guys good-bye. That’s is the tough part. But the tougher part is yet to come.
Arranging for transportation to Chennai was not going to be easy at the eleventh hour.
Running around here n the Railway station n stuff deprived me of a chance of saying a proper good-bye to the Blore folks.
All of you…u guys rocked yar…serisously!!
PayDay…sweetie, you’re a chocolate!

8:30 pm
Sahil, Anchu n I run frantically to the railway-station to book tickets…found them, paid for them… done! We’re gonna go ta Chennai, confirmed…hooooray!!!!!!!

Monday morning, we bid some of the Bombay guys farwell…I was incapable of being too senti then because of the tension for finding a decent means of transportation to Anchu s flat.
Love you guys!!

I stop here.
(I hear a sigh of relief but let me just pretend like I didnt hear that.. ;))
This was indeed a very long mail and I really appreciate it if you read it this far.
If you didn’t, no problem, I still love you guys no less ;)

I look back at the last 96 hours and I wonder in bedazzlement at the dynamic-factor in life and the enormity of unpredictability it has in store for anyone who is willing to accept it as it comes.

What I learnt or rather inferred, was that there are some things in life we have absolutely no control over what so ever, and in such cases we just have to patiently watch the turn of events – you’ll be amazed at the way things turn out when left to themselves.

It just goes to show that good times are not about what you do, when you do or how you do it; but just the people you share your moments with.

And now as I type this on my lappy listening to Roobaroo from Rang de basanthi with a smile on my face, I have a feeling of content and deep satisfaction that I have quite a bank of memories to dwell upon for some time to come and that I have some fabulous people to share them with.

Love you guys.
More than ever