Sunday, July 31, 2005

Some interesting news!

10th Planet of our solar system

The Universe and its secrets always intrigue me. Ever since my 5th Std Physics master while teaching about celestial bodies, told us about the possibility of life elsewhere on the Universe, I am wondering like many others, 'Is there anybody out there?'.

English speaking Priests wanted!

No Chinese competition this time!!

Aadha clarification!

Blog makkalukku oru sedhi!

Num fellow blogger Keerthi-kku orum perum sandegam. Adhai theerthuvaiporkku... enna kodukkalaam... 1000 comments??

Sorry, sorry! Just trying to help with your Monday blues!!

Anyway, my blog address seems to have made Keerthi curious. Let me try to clarify him (and any others who felt a question mark on their mind). As most people would be knowing, aadha means half in Hindi and I am famous for doing 'arakora' stuff( sounded terrible)!!

The story of my getting this 'aadha' title.

It all started when I had lent an audio (recorded)cassette to my friend. I am not a person who would buy cassettes just for the sake of one good song('kanjathanam' my brother would say, 'sikkanam' I would say!). So, I used to record my favourite songs from the radio. When my favourite song gets announced, I would come running to hit the 'record' button of our 2-in-1. I generally used to have the cassette ready on the tape recorder but as it happens, sometimes someone would have played it or reversed it and so the existing song would get overwritten or would play after a big gap etc. More interestingly, if you had read my Vividh bharathi post, you would be aware that I listen to multiple languages, genres etc. and so my recordings also used to have different songs(hindi song... half way cut tamil bajan.... quarter way cut English pop... annoying advertisements and so on).

Now you can imagine how my friend would have 'padharified' on listening to my cassette! It was around that time that there used to be an advertisement for a tooth paste(Cibaca, I think) on TV in which a little girl would ask her father 'Aadha kya hai?' and all my friends started to pull my leg about how I could write a thesis on that! And that is how I became the 'Aadha' club President! I am also famous for quitting things half way. It is my hope that the address would remind me not to do it to my blogging!!

Friday, July 29, 2005

Melody Manjal!!

Was listening to "Manjal poosum vaanam tottu..." from Friends the other day when I realised that most other Manjal songs are melodious too.

"Manjal veyil maalaiyitte poove..."(thought this was from 'Udiri pookal'. Which movie is this from?)
"Konjum manjal" (Ullasam)
"Manjal nilavukku..."(?)

Anyway, humming the mellow yellow songs, let me wish you all a good weekend.

Thursday, July 28, 2005


According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, packrat is one who collects or hoards especially unneeded items[If it is Pack rat(2 words), then it is a rodent which hoards food and miscellaneous objects!]! Anyway, it was along with Caillou(the little fella in PBS Kids show of the same name) that I learnt this word and felt overjoyed that there is a term for such obsessions!

As long as I can remember, I have been a packrat! I would collect almost anything from ticket stubs, feathers, colour paper, jigina paper to paper cuttings, posters, greetings etc. But that does not mean my shelves would be shabby. It used to be my favourite hobby to pull everything out of my shelves, admire everything and arrange them back. Amma would threaten to throw my collections out everytime we moved(and we moved a lot!) but somehow I managed to drag along with me all my 'pokkishams'!

It was only after my marriage when I moved abroad that Amma and my dear thambi got the chance that they had been waiting for! Though I intelligently carried a few of my dearest things along with my 'seeru'(parting from my Aamir Khan posters were the hardest!! Background song: 'Mera kuch saamaan....' from Ijazad)! It was most upsetting when my folks triumphantly boasted about having busted my remaining collections that I vowed not to collect anymore items.

I could not collect things like before anyway as in the first couple of years of our marriage, we moved three times! But these past few years, to our amazement, we have not moved and things have got collected themselves!! And now, my daughter is hoarding little things in her bondu(s)!!!

Mumbai Monsoon

Monsoon rains during June/July in Mumbai(and most of Westcoast of India) is as regular and casual for the Mumbaiwalles as heat for the Chennai makkal. Though every year atleast one day the nature will stun the uninterruptable Mumbaites to take notice of it. I remember a time when I came wading thro' knee deep water from Sion to Matunga. And one year, Appa could not come home from office because of train cancellation due to power failure and reached home the next day afternoon thoughtfully with a packet of milk!!

This year I guess, nature did not want India to feel left out in its record-breaking streak[the rains(944.2 mm) seems to have surpassed Cherapunji's 95-year-old record of 833 mm(as reported in The Pioneer)]! Hope, as always, Bombay would bounce back from this latest setback.

P.S. - With the Westcoast(Gujrat, Maharashtra) of India battling excess water and the Eastcoast from water shortage, I just feel like tilting the plane for the excess water to flow onto the other side!! If only that was possible!!

Monday, July 25, 2005

My favorite filmi jodi(s)

I have been a big fan of this jodi since my childhood days. At that time I was puzzled why they couldn't just fall in love and get married to each other!
Be it 'Chippi irukkudhu muthum irukkudhu...' or the mischievous 'Perai chollava...' or the soft 'aadi velli thedi unnai...' or the sad 'kanne kalimaane...', Wow!!

To think that they did not have even one duet song together in 'Mauna Ragam' is surprising! Though none of the other movies they did together was as good as 'MR', I just love this pair.

This entry is for the sake of Surya and that wonderful 'Ennai konjam maatri...' from 'Kaaka kaaka'. No funny dance steps, no 200 people dancing behind. Just a casual trip to Pondy!!

Gemini Ganesan-Savithri
One great pair in the oldies category. 'Kaatru veliyidai kannamma...'

When QSQT was released, I was a fan of another star of that time. When my Dad said I could either watch this or my favourite star's movie, I confidently refused QSQT! Afterwards I only saw the movie after it completed 500 days! 'Ey mere humsafar....'

Dev Anand-Nutan
I am not sure how many movies they did together but I thought they made a great pair. The song 'Dil ka bavar kare pukar... in 'Tere ghar ke samne' is simply classic. The whole song is shown as they climb down the Qutab Minar. I can listen and watch it the rest of my life!

Children's Rhymes?

Thanks to our daughter, now my husband and I know more nursery rhymes than we ever did! We have this CD collection with 100 rhymes. I was surprised that I only knew about 10-15 songs in the entire collection. Slowly along with my daughter, I too learnt them. Most of the songs are really cute like 'How much is the doggy in the window, Wooh, wooh!' or 'Do your ears hang low?' But there are some which are crude, gory.

There is this lullaby called 'Rock-a-bye baby'

Rock-a-bye, baby,
In the treetop,
When the wind blows
The cradle will rock;
When the bough breaks
The cradle will fall,
And down will come baby,Cradle and all.

I'm puzzled why anybody would sing this to their child?

Then, there is this famous, 'Three blind mice'

Three blind mice,
Three blind mice
See how they run,
See how they run!
They all ran after the farmer's wife
She cut off their tails with a carving knife
Did you ever see such a sight in your life
As three blind mice?

The farmer's wife in the rhyme is believed to be Queen Mary I of England. Mary was a Catholic and her persecution of Protestants led to her nickname, Bloody Mary. The three blind mice are said to have been three Protestant noblemen who were convicted of plotting against Mary. She didn't have them chopped up as the poem suggests, instead they were burned at the stake.

My daughter often hums this song called Clementine. The lyrics goes something like this...

Oh, my darling, oh, my darling
Oh, my darling Clementine
You are lost and gone forever
Dreadful sorry, Clementine

How I missed her, how I missed her
How I missed my Clementine
Till I kissed her little sister
And forgot my Clementine!!!!!!!!

And there are a few rhymes my daughter refuses to listen to. One of them is

My bonnie lies over the ocean
My bonnie lies over the sea
My bonnie lies over the ocean
Oh bring back my bonnie to me

Bring back, bring back
Bring back my Bonnie to me, to me
Bring back, bring back
Bring back my Bonnie to me

My daughter can't understand English and it puzzles me if she can sense the mood of the song that she doesn't want to sing/listen!!

The whole idea for this post came to me since my daughter has started asking what these rhymes mean when we read/listen.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005


Lately, my mind is occupied by blog-o-blogs! While cooking, while putting my daughter to sleep or while travelling, all I can think of are the different posts & comments or ideas for my next post etc. I am just short of thinking aloud (like Deepti Naval practising her singing everywhere in 'Chashme Badoor'!). And atlast when I find time to sit infront of the system, I am eager to read new posts in my regular blogger-pal sites, go blog hopping and by the time I am back, I hardly remember all those ideas/thoughts that I've been having all day!!!

Monday, July 18, 2005

Healthy - at what cost?

I am one of those recently transformed health freaks! With everyone publishing statistics every other day about the increase in obesity problems, heart diseases etc., and everyone talking about LDL, HDL(which is good and which is bad, again?), trans fat etc., quite naturally I began changing my eating habits. In addition, our local supermarket started a separate section for 'organic foods' with monthly newsletter containing articles, recipes, coupons etc. that it became all the more convenient.

Soy and its related products have especially become a regular item in our menu and in addition to its health benefits, it also serves as a convenient non-veg substitute. But recently, I read somewhere about how the demand for soy in the developed countries are putting strain on the existing soy growers and more disturbing, how some countries are switching to soy from their regular crops for profit. The Amazon forests in South America are being destroyed to make way for growing soy.

As it is, we have done enough damage to the environment for our comfort and luxury. With more forest areas cut down, more green house gas emissions and more climatic changes, will there be Earth for us to live a healthy life?

Embarrasing then Funny Now - II

This happened when we were new in the US and my Husband's Boss took us out for dinner. We were at TGI Fridays and we were desperately putting across the message that we were Vegetarians. We ordered a salad, a 'garden' burger and a 'vegetable' medley. The food came. The salad had predominantly multicolour leaves and the 'vegetable' medley had steamed(half cooked, in our dictionary) rice and vegetables. I managed to push in a few leaves and some of the veggies which I could identify. My husband happily devoured his burger. At the end, the Boss was puzzled to find left-overs, mostly vegetables and remarked, 'you said you were vegetarians but you don't seem to eat any vegetables?!!'

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Hard work Vs Smart work

Long time back, I heard from a colleague about how her boss told her to be a smart worker and not a hard worker! Since then I have wondered about it a lot. All my life I have heard people telling me to work hard to be successful. So, putting in extra effort to achieve something seems so natural. But if after all that effort, someone grabs the trophy because of his/her being smart(reminds me of the mythological story where Pillayar and Murugan compete for the 'nyana pazham'), is it even right to be angry?

Friday, July 15, 2005

How babies are born in the 21st Century

A little boy asked his Dad one day, "Daddy, how was I born?" His father responded, "Ah my son, I guess one day you will need to find out, anyway! Well, you see, your mom and I first got together in a chat room on Yahoo. Then, I set up a date via e-mail with your Mom and we met at a cyber-cafe. We sneaked into a secluded room, where your mother agreed to a download from my hard drive. As soon as I was ready to upload, we discovered that neither of us had used a firewall, and since it was too late to hit the delete button, nine months later, a blessed little Pop-up appeared and said, "You've got male!"

Sunday, July 10, 2005

F R I E N D S!

Is making friends this difficult? I didnot realise this until I moved abroad. A couple of times it happened that when people voluntarily came forward to introduce themselves it was for chain businesses like Amway, Quixtar! If inspite of all this, I do end up making some good friends, they will move out of town, city, state or even country(anybody wishing for a move, contact me!!!).

Movies like 'Dil Chahta hai', '5 Star' make me envious of those characters who get to live, enjoy and share their friendship even after college, marriage etc. Do they happen only in movies? The serial 'Friends' was good too.

When I started visiting blog sites and read posts & comments, it felt as if I was participating in a friend gang's 'arrattai'(chat). The arguements(Kamal Vs Rajni), the teasings, the support everything brought back memories of my good old days with friends' company. Then, I decided. I am jumping in the bandwagon. To make friends. To renew old friendships.

Embarrassing then, Funny now - I

Senthil's comment about MGR inspired by Errol Flynn's style reminded me of an incident involving Hollywood stars. It also brings me memories of quite a few other incidents of this kind (embarrassing / funny incidents) which I will post in parts.

Till about 15 years of my life, my exposure to Hollywood movies were minimal. My parents would occasionally take us to watch some famous, children's movies of that time. This happened when our family had moved to Bombay and I was this timid Madrassi girl! One friend asked me who I liked among the Hollywood stars. At that time I only knew 'Rambo' Stallone and Jackie Chan. My mind was racing to give the answer which would make me part of the gang and bang I said, 'Jackie Chan'!!!!!!

P.S. - Later that friend took me to watch 'Risky Business' to show a real hollywood star, Tom Cruise!

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Kathrikka, Vendekke, Kotharange....

A few years back, the names of these vegetables would make me go 'Phbbbt'! Like in the movie, 'Kaadhalikka neramillai', 'I only liked English Vegetables'!! Even outside of home, I would not lay my fingers on any dish with those vegetables. But today, after a few years away from India, we drive miles to the Asian grocery store in the hope to find something other than the carrots and beans!!

I sometimes feel funny when I proudly inform my mother on the phone about how great my 'vaangi baath' or 'dudhi kootu' or 'kothaveranga usli' came out as I know my mother would be smiling. And these dishes are reserved for special occasions now!!!! A special mention has to be made for curry leaves. The 'kariveppilai' which is given the least respect in India is the most expensive abroad felt my mother-in-law.

Most of people(from India) who have lived in the US for a long time tell me how a lot of Indian Vegetables, spices etc. are readily available now unlike those days. But I (high) hope that in the future, as in the title, the voice of the mobile vegetable seller would ring in like the ice cream van!!

Did you know...

Ladies Finger is also called Okra?
Brinjal is also called Egg plant (and Aubergine in UK)?

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Double Act!!

Do they appear to me only or has anyone else noticed the resemblance of some Hollywood Actors and some of our own Indian Actors? Like yesteryear Hollywood Actress Bette Davis & Bollywood Actress Aishwarya Rai, Hollywood swashbuckling hero Errol Flynn & our own swashbuckler MGR!!

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Vividh Bharathi - I miss you!

I really miss listening to radio and in particular, Vivid Bharathi. Call me old fashioned, but the times when only Doordarshan and Vivid Bharathi were the entertainers, was really something!!

My association with radio goes a long time. Listening to radio was a part of our daily routine: from 'Venkatesa suprabadam' to when we leave for school/office, it would be giving us company. I even had my schedules based on the programmes like bath after 'Indru oru thagaval', breakfast along with 'neyar viruppam' etc.

My family had no language boundaries. So, we would listen to tamil, hindi anything. Especially, the 'aap ki farmaish' around 2 PM used to be such a soother!! All in our family are used to working along with the radio playing. I even had a pocket radio to listen to when it was quiet time for the rest of them!!

In those days when owning numerous cassettes was a luxury (and no downloading mp3s, ofcourse!), when a favourite song is played, it would feel so ecstatic!! Now even though current facilities would let me listen to any song of my choice, somehow the 'radio style what next' seems more exciting.

These days I am having to contend with the online radios of which only one ( seems to be working fine so far.