Friday, June 29, 2007

hello kid!

just got to watch Disney's 'The Kid' yesterday.
Was in no mood to put up with a movie late in the night after a looooong day of hard work, n a double-cross by a seemingly-oh-so-innocent teammie.. had to remind myself of my age-old-tried'n tested-theory to be double careful about seemingly unharmful and ultra-nice human beings.. chances are more that they are extremely talented in camouflaging their real selves.. u put down ur defences, and just then they hit you right where it hurts the most! darn, i hate myself for forgetting it...

Random thought for the day: something which my dear friend Lalit remarked offhandedly once, while we were walking through some place hopelessly infested by bats, that 'ek hi jaanwar se saavdhan rehna chahiye, woh- jo do pairon pe chalta he ' - there's only one animal we need to be wary of, n that's the one which walks on 2 legs.

gud thing's that um happy that i dint take it to my heart! i wud've sulked for atleast one whole day, had this been the me a couple of yrs bak! we do change drastically over the years, dont we?

back to topic: 'The Kid' was more of a (pleasantly)gripping movie, the one that did not let me reach for the remote control in b/w.. the plot was light n thought provoking in a funny way.. though 'the end' came up pretty unexpectedly n i felt like they failed in communicating to the viewers something which they intended to say? well the plot in itself was so involving.. 'an established image consultant of 40 years (Bruce Willis) who comes face to face with a kid which is actually himself when he was an 8 yr old. Apparently, the kid travels 32 years into the future to meet him and sometime in b/w, even the adult travels 32 yrs back in time with the kid to his(their) past.. the movie was lovely in totality..

the tagline: Nobody ever grows up quite like they imagined.

Some of the quotes i luvd:

Rusty Duritz (The Kid): How old are you?
Russ Duritz(Bruce Willis): Forty. In a couple days.
Rusty Duritz: That is old! I'm turning eight. In a couple days.
Russ Duritz: Eight. You're eight. I'm eight.
Rusty Duritz: This is scary.
Russ Duritz: No. This is hilarious.

Rusty Duritz: When do I learn how to drive?
Russ Duritz: When you're sixteen.
Rusty Duritz: When do I get a car?
Russ Duritz: When you're eighteen.
Rusty Duritz: When do I get a hickey?
Russ Duritz: [smile] When you're seventeen.
Rusty Duritz: When do I find out what a hickey is?
Russ Duritz: Not tonight.

Rusty Duritz(The kid, after learning how his life's gonna be in the next 32 years) : So, I'm forty, I'm not married, I don't fly jets, and I don't have a dog? I grow up to be a loser!
i luvd this one!

but i luvd this movie more for the fact dat it made me think a different thought.. there I was, wondering in d middle of the night, how it wud be if i got to meet the me of my childhood days.. weird? well.. mebbe not?

i realised that:
now i dont even remember what I actually wanted to be? how did i expect my life to be as an adult? did i not have any dreams at all? or have i just forgotten all of them?
i can go on n on about my photographic mem of many things which happened during those times.. but strangely enough i dont remember any of my dreams then..

n then the stark reality hits me when i wonder.. well, wots my dream for myself in the years to come? i go blank! dont i have dreams? in retrospect, i just have some immediate goals.. say something like 5 yr plans.. i seriously donno how its going to be 5 yrs frm now.. u know, the big picture?

what wud I have done, if i were to meet the me when i was 2+ yrs old? (now i know the 2+ yr old me much better thanks to the audio recordings Pops had done then.. i've been a hopeless chatterbox even then -yeah, some things never change! occasionally hitting the tape recorder -which i used 2 call 'radio' then.. wondering why it isn't talking bak 2 me!! -n pestering Papa for an explanation for that too! poor Pops!)
i wud've told her: learning "ABCD" wont fetch u a job, dude! u've got a long long way 2 go! (trust me, i was actually talking abt dat in dat audio tape! i think moms cudnt have thought of a better idea to get me to learn ABCD? wonder wot tactic wil i apply to get my wud-be kids to learn ABCD? mebbe d same? who knows!)

if i were to meet the 5yr old me, i'd've told her never to stop dancing or singing.. li'l did i ever know that a handful of those snaps is all that I'll have to cherish for a whole lifetime.. I dont remember dancing even once in public since then.. until last year's Dandiya celebs at office, when we learnt it from some extremely patient gujju colleagues n danced from the beginning till the end of it all -well well.. that has something partly to do with the fact that a handful of us who called ourselves the 'enthu team' were actually organising it, n we had to count those rented dandiya sticks n other stuff to return them safely! hehe

if i were to meet the 7 year old me, who got a silver medal (actually it was made of steel.. silver just stood for the 'second prize')for drawing, n decided that such competitions weren't fun or even fair, to participate in it again..
I wud've told her never to bother about appreciation / criticizing, n just go on with what you luv to do. I'd've told her that it kinda pains somewhere deep within, now when i hold dat medal with that green bow, pinned to that certificate..

if i were to meet the me in 7th grade, i wud've told her not to be hyper-reactive about the outrageous rules at school.. there were even weirdo stuff happening in the world outside.. that being a rebel is no solution! n those friends with whom she laughs n plays n fights and patches up with are the most beautiful, clear and loveliest of all the ppl she's going to come across in life.

if i were to meet the me in 10th grade, I would have told her to take it easy, n not bother too much about the grades.. rmmbr the way our teachers n d ppl around us used to freak us out telling that our lives depended on the 10th grade results?
i wud've told her that all it helps with, is to get admission to a good college for +2.. so just dont bother much n njoy ur studies.. luv ur books, n dont let that exam perspective bog you down.

if i were to meet the me in 12th grade, I would've told her to study a bit harder.. coz as I've realised dat it's wot mattered the most then.. much more than the results at 10th grade (as was widely believed then!)

if i were to meet the me in my 3rd semester at college.. when i got the biggest shock of facing a failure, I would've told her 'hey, cheer up dude.. know wot u r going to get past this and many such setbacks in the years to come, but at the end of it all, u'll b proud of how those things shaped u up!

if i were to meet me on my farewell day at college (yeah, campus selections n stuff were extremely low during 2000.. remember the bubble burst then..) i'd've told me: never mind.. u just dont know wot's in store for u sweetheart! u'll b just fine.. mebbe a li'l better than that?!

if i were to meet the me in 2003, when i was going through one of the toughest patches of my life.. I'd've told myself to hang on.. for an year... to be strong till the storm passes..

n wot if were to come face to face to the me of today? wot wud I tell me? mebbe to have a beautiful dream... for tomorrow..
n that its never too late to dance my way, to do all dat i luvd doing and missed doing over the years..

what would you like to tell the 'you of your childhood' now?

Thursday, June 21, 2007

of lines & curves, and lefts & rights

You Are 45% Left Brained, 55% Right Brained

The left side of your brain controls verbal ability, attention to detail, and reasoning.
Left brained people are good at communication and persuading others.
If you're left brained, you are likely good at math and logic.
Your left brain prefers dogs, reading, and quiet.

The right side of your brain is all about creativity and flexibility.
Daring and intuitive, right brained people see the world in their unique way.
If you're right brained, you likely have a talent for creative writing and art.
Your right brain prefers day dreaming, philosophy, and sports.


donno wot's happpening to me.. wonder since when did I start taking a liking for straight lines? :/

I always used to scribble something or the other in my notebooks while attending lectures during school n college.. (no!! um not talking about lecture notes, silly! )
I draw weird interlinking patterns.. the only striking thing about these patterns is that there wont be any straight lines.. it's always curves.. all the way! mebbe some cirlces here and there to make up for the voids in b/w..

n now at work, whenever I find myself being a passive listener during some con-calls (the ones for which I dial-in from my desk), I immediately get on with my business of scribbling stuff on to my notepad.. now weirdly enough, of late I find myself making patterns using straight lines. they dont interlink. there's a starting point and an ending point for every line. no intersections. n there's an affinity towards parallel lines. horizontal, vertical, slants at 30/45/60 degrees.. um clueless as to wots happening with my right brain??!
mebbe it's getting heavily influenced by it's left counterpart?! mebbe it's growing crazy? mebbe it is 'evolving'? :o
mebbe I should just let it be, grab a mug of lemon tea, and get back to work!

ps: hey, I just took up one silly online test to see wot's going on.. it tells me I'm a 55% right brainer. but me was a 70% right brainer, sometime back!!

mebbe I should be happy about the 15% performance improvement of my left brain!?

aargh!! me thinks me's totally losing it?! :X
yikes! I seriously need that mug of lemon tea! bye for now!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

the week that was

yay! back aftr the weekend..
outstanding achievement: checked out a new store, which was just a few blocks away from where i stayed for an year, before moving out to this new apt.. n realised that it's a totally fundoo store.. (read: most of the stuff in there was in tune with my taste..) picked up some, n got poorer by a few thousand bucks.. but i swear it was worth it!! :)
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i've got a thumping headache.. feels like i've got a football rolling inside my head..
cause: post-cold-congestion-related-stuffiness-induced-headache (phew!)
t'was even worse last evening.. :(

oh btw, sunday started with a bang.. literally!!
got woken up at 6 in d morning to screeching sounds in the vacant plot(now rendered vacant, as the old naalukettu which stood there was demolished last week) right next to our apt. apparently they were trying 2 dig a borewell..
Hems n me, were both sleeping like logs.. tried to sleep tolerating all those sound effects for about an hour.. not any more..
somehow made my way out of bed.. got done with d laundry, which was waiting in the washing machine, n headed out.... the intension was to run away from home till the sound n dust riots get done with.
post lunch, we came back, relieved to know that the borer+generator were done with their business and left the place for gud.. but our kitchen, which is nearest to the plot, was a wreck.. it had a layer of fine dust all over it! after all the precautions we took to make sure the windows n ventilators are all well sealed! :(
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another weirdo event which happened last friday..
an acquaintance (a classmate of mine during pre-degree.. say 12 yrs bak.. whom i was not even in talking terms with then.. but eventually found myself adding him to my orkut frndslist, as we were members of the same community of our batch in orkut. i thought it would be rude to do otherwise!) scraps me : hey usha, when are you inviting me for your wedding?
me never really understood why plain acquaintances seem more worried about my single status, than anyone else!
moreover, me's been having the worst temperament ever, thnx to the cold monster..

me: thnx for the concern.. but why dont you bother about yours 1st?
he: hey, why are you getting soo tensed.. i just asked u!
(now this is an over used line in mallu land.. the word-by-word english translation of 'enthinaa choodaavunne?' modus operandi: to irritate someone.. n once it is ascertained from the response that the mission is succesful, go ahead n irritate the person further by asking 'why are you irritated?'!! )
me : ahem.. why d'u think i should get 'tensed' for what you ask?
i was trying to tell you that the question was 'unwelcome'. it was my way of telling you to 'mind your own business'.. hope you get it right this time..
he: (fuming.. i could almost see the hot blow of air rushing out through his ears n nostrils..) hey, you dont advise me, ok? i also wont advise you...
n as though he wasnt satisfied with what he just wrote: now i got ur range (i wonder wot dat was!) dont reply to me again.. n no more messages!!
:))
i had to fight this urge to irritate him further by asking: 'hey, now why are you getting so tensed, i just asked!' :D
but thought it'll do me better to steer clear of such buggers..

it came with a couple of lessons though..
1. me decided not to accept frnds request from ppl who were just my batchmates/classmates (ppl with whom i've never ever had a real-time conversation) more than a decade back or so.. n i have no idea abt what they are upto or who they are!
it's always gud to get to know old batchmates n some make real gud frnds later on.. but hey, if i am not all too pally with them, then why have them around in my list!
planning to do a clean-up soon!
2. avoid answering questions on marital status to plain acquaintances. some queries do sound like their life depends on my marriage! dats when me gets bugged up n give them a piece of my mind.. hmm.. now i gues it's better to just keep mum on that!
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best thing that happened this week is that Mummy Papa came over today, and will be around for a couple of weeks. :)
hey hey.. i have to rush home early today..
i have not had my lunch yet.. waiting to go home n have mummy's spl prawn curry!!!
ah, i just cant wait 2 reach home! buhbyes!

Friday, June 15, 2007

chukkuvellam

Have been nursing this nasty cold since a couple of days now.. had to take off from work for the rest of the day, yest.. this is the 2nd attack of the cold monster this year, since January..

Over the years, I've realised that it's only during these times that I put a semi-colon to the mad race and treat myself better. Still.. it's more of an abuse as I take the most heavy medications to sustain me through these trying days.. The worst of it being my addictive consumption of a certain brand of highly effective, but hopelessly sedative cough syrup (some enlightened frnds have advised me, that it's considered equivalent to a standard dose of liquor by seasoned drunkards!). Now I see why I'm known to walk around like a zombie when I catch a cold!

This time around, I've decided to stick to Mummy's gud old recipe of chukkuvellam with pepper n jaggery - its a concoction of chukku (dried ginger) + black pepper powder + jaggery. (though I did get my cough syrup from the Chemist across the road, just in case this doesn't work out as guaranteed - so much for contingency planning!)

I tried making some for myself last afternoon and have been having that for the rest of the day.. to my surprise it really did relieve me of my throat pain.. which I knew for sure was heading towards a hopeless infection.

Thanks to Mummy who got me a dabba of home-made chukkupodi when she came over to visit us the last time.. n helped me (provided tele-support) to make it as well..

Did you know that chukkuvellam helps counter indigestion, loss of apetite, asthma, colic and heart deseases, in addition to fighting cough and related throat pain?
see this to learn more about chukkuvellam and its relevance in the ayurvedic texts.

I for one, am totally floored by its positive effects..
Bye bye, Wockhardt's Brozedex.. Hello Chukkuvellam!

ps: feel free to let me know of any other 'gharelu nuske's to counter cold.. shalu, I'm planning to try that 'honey+lemon+lukewarm water' trick today.. :) thnx!

Monday, June 11, 2007

log kya kahenge?

That was the day when I got my 3rd semester results.. n realised that I've flunked royally.. So, what's the big deal? Afterall, it isnt worth an Engineering Degree, if you havent had a chance to go through those Arrears/Supplis.. but hey, I was someone least convinced.. it was my first "failure" to speak of.. and at that age, I really did not know how to handle failures..

What made it even painful, was the way in which some of my hostelmates tried to pacify me.. you know, we were all kids, and as much as we did not know how to handle failures, we didnt know how to really console someone either..

That was when Ancy walked up to me.. she was someone who knew me from my pdc days.. my first hostel roommate.. though we did not hit it off too well as roommies first.. after an year, we were roommates again.. n I can never tell you, how special a person she's been to me since then..

It was easy for me to open up with her.. It still amuses me that my biggest concern then was what will everyone around think of me? my teachers.. batchmates.. etc.. I've got those godforbidden supplis! My parents must be feeling very bad for having got a daughter like me (!)..
She wasnt one of those girls, who would just wipe away my tears n tell me not to cry..(had i been at her place, mebbe i would have done just that!) She just told me: "usha.. to hell with the people, and what they think.. they are not going to write the exam for u.. they are not even there to help you.. they are simply nowhere in the picture.. the only thing, i feel you should be concerned about is that the suppli exams are coming your way along with your current semester exams , and that you have hardly a month to prepare yourself for it, along with your lab exams n stuff.. so u see, hardly any time.. this isnt the time to worry about what people will think.. this is the time to get your act together, n be very serious about it!"

the first time in my life, I got to see my goals very clearly, sifting it from the unnecessary distractions.. it pays to have a laser vision of our goals during foggy times..

Ancy, I can never thank you enough for your words that day.. I wonder if you ever realised what a magic mantra you just gave me then..

After a decade now, whenever I go through times which makes me wonder about what will someone else think, I know exactly what I should do.. not that I dont try to understand their perspective, but it helps me stand by my decision/perspectives as well with conviction.

Reminds me of this line which I came across sometime back.. something in tune with: "We spend a lot of money, which is not ours, to buy things which we dont need, to impress people whom we dont like!"

Guess that's what happens when one gives a lot too much of weightage to log kya kahenge/sochenge?

I've always loved this song, for that simple reason..

Monday, June 4, 2007

inflammable memories?

how saddening it is, when one gets to know that somewhere far away, a part of one's memories is burnt to ashes...
wonder whether im over-reacting.. but im shattered to hear about the destructive fire in the Mohali Rehri market today.. it is said to be accidental though..





If you know Mohali, I'm talking about this small Rehri Market in 3B2, which is behind the Gurudwara opp. Katani/Sital in PhaseV.

When I moved out of the place 18 months back, I was soo adamant that I would not go around photographing some of my most favorite places in Chandigarh.. which was for the simple reason that I knew the memories would bring me back to this place.. to visit the peaceful Sukhna lake, go alone to the gorgeous Rock Garden sometime.. to shop till i drop at the 22sec and 17sec markets.. have my favorite aaloo tikkis from Katani.. go for a late lazy weekend lunch with Anubha.. or to Fun Republic with the happy trio (Anu, Anubha and Kiddie).. go to Sital to get my groceries.. visiting the thursday subji mandi at sec70. I'd miss Lalit there though.. he was the one who taught me the 1st lessons in vegetable shopping.. n saved me frm the scornful looks of the vendor.. he said : pyaas, 4 rupye kilo .. for which, I asked him.. 'bhaiya.. dhai sau gram dena..' much to the amusement of my accomplices, Lalit n Lalatendu.. who told me to shut my mouth then.. n gave me 4 onions from their veggie bag later..

This Rehri market is indelible in my memories.. the foggy winter evenings when I used to go there with Hind, Ashu, Monica and Kinni..I've had all d junk food from the shops in the front row.. had got a shirt from there .. n went with Rosy bhabi once, when she went around hunting for some bridal make-up bindis n stuff there.. It was like everything under the sun, one can get in a 5000 sq feet area.. shops having no walls , but asbestos sheets as dividers..totally awesome bridal attires/lehanga-cholis for rent (yeah, even i got to know for the 1st time that ppl do get their wedding dresses on rent), the apparel shops, which luk strikingly different during summers n winters.. baby suits, salwar suits, lingerie shops, bag(jholas) shop, tailor shop, a ladies fancy store (a pretty high end one too, mind you!),a daily provision/grocery store, upholstery shops.. n veggie market too at the farther end of it..

It's sad to think that now I can travel through the market only in my memory lanes.. but something tells me that when I go to Mohali next,(i donno how many years later..) i do expect to see another Rehri market rise up from the ashes..
At the least, my memories of the place are not inflammable..