Saturday, December 22, 2007

New 'A'ddition!

Me too is now Mommy of two! We welcomed baby girl, A2 on Wednesday. Back to blogging has now made it to the New year resolutions list! Anyway, wish you all a safe holiday season and happy New Year!

Thursday, October 25, 2007


Most of the times, it is only disadvantageous to be a person of understanding/adjusting type!!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Second Chance

Have you ever got the feeling that you deserve another chance to do something better/ right? I used to get that feeling after every exam!! Jokes apart, there is this relative of mine, very affectionate but very demanding. In the past, everytime we visited/called, we have had to be on the defencive for something or the other. It was due to her insecurites, I used to reason. I heard that she is now a drastically changed person! Infact, I found out for myself when I called and talked to her recently. The most surprising thing in this is not that the lady is remorseful of her actions but that she is lucky to have got that second chance to mend fences with the people!

And btw, we are getting a second chance in parenting! Yes, the second one is expected to be a new year release!! Talking of parenting, it is a never ending lesson! I learn new/different things from every family. This recent scenerio is one:

Guests arrive. Host and guest's kids go wild after seeing each other. They hyper-actively run around, play/throw ball etc. Guest kid hits the ball and brakes a photo frame. Guest Dad admonishes kid for the act. Guest Mom comes in defense of kid and admonishes Dad for not cautioning the kid before! Host Dad and Mom don't know how to react!! On second thoughts, the Guest Mom seems right in the sense that it was the elders' fault that they didn't stop the kids from playing inside. Then, did it shock because the guest Dad is related to me? Or does it sting me for the numerous times my daughter gets admonished by us in other's houses for little things?

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


"கழுதை தேஞ்சு கட்டெரும்பு ஆன கதையா", from test cricket to ODI to 20-20 now!! I guess, the 'real' cricket fans wouldn't be too thrilled about this latest version but helps poor souls like me to unglue(!) their spouses from out of the laptop screens sooner!!

From the team line-up, I could only recognise and name a handful of players and wondered if the 20-20 actually meant that eligibility for players was that they should be in their 20s! "ஏதோ கெலிச்சா சரி, அதுவும் பழம் பெருச்சாளிகள் இல்லாமல்!!"

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Tring tring!

Recently, my preschooler daughter left a (her first ever!) message on her Dad's answering machine. Oh, what a big milestone we made it to be!! I had got introduced to these answering machine thingies only a few years back and was reminded of those initial years of awkwardness & uncomfortable feeling I had towards talking to a machine aka leaving a message.

For that matter, telephones themselves were among the luxurious items list till recently in India. Around age 10, we had shifted to a house whose earlier occupants had a telephone connection. The instrument(along with the connection!) remained for a few days after our move and it used to be exciting to dial numbers on the huge black instrument, pick up and say 'hello' when it rings etc.

After that it was around my high school time when we were in the then, Bombay that we had phone connection at home. That was a pretty good time as a typical teenager, I used to be on the phone with friends for hours(after just returning from school where we would've already chatted the whole day!), call up from outside(read cinema theatre!) after bunking classes to safely inform mom about it etc. There once was a promotion by a company called Cello(casserole makers) in which if you say 'Cello' instead of 'Hello' when they call, you win a casserole! My Dad used to insist all of us to say cello on the phone. I hated doing it and as luck would have it, it was I who picked up the phone when Cello company called and I said 'hello' and lost a casserole for my family!!

Back in Chennai after a few years and back to phone less days! Though phone connections were getting easier in Chennai, there were 2 schemes in those days. Pay $15000 and get connection in 15 days or pay $3000 and get connection in 3 years! Our rich neighbour got the phone connection in 15 days and all in our colony were happy as if we had got our own phone connection. The phone owner's initial pride started to melt when everyone in the colony started giving their phone no. as their contact no. The phone owners were mostly receiving other's calls and seem running to each house to give the messages the whole day! To discourage this, they stopped giving msgs and even charged $1 for incoming calls!!

Then, came my phone allergy days. That was when almost every Chennai household started getting their phone connections. I never liked attending phone calls for I was bad in recognising voices. I hate when someone calls and asks, "யாருன்னு தெரியலையா?". Even worse was at work, when all of us used to avoid cabins with phone extensions for the fear of being caught by the Boss("Let's discuss the new requirement!") at lunch time or 5 PM!

The phone allergy worsened after coming here, for the new English accent was difficult to decipher on the phone. Ah, the tele-marketing calls!! How many papers/magazines have I subscribed to because of my "can't-say-no" nature to the tele-marketeers!! I fought a(yet another!) losing battle with my hubby in avoiding cell phones sighting radiation fears. But then mobile phones made it convenient when each of us wanted to go to different stores at the mall and India trips. In India, cell phone technology is/was far ahead. Sibling, cousins would come to visit me and would either be talking on their cell phone or text messaging and might talk to me in the gaps! People who meddle with my cell phones would change some settings or change the ring tone and when it rings I would wonder if someone was at the door(most houses have musical calling bells) or someone was backing up their car!!

Now with 2 landlines, 2 cell phones, Internet connection and all, I sometimes wouldn't be able to reach my folks. They would've gone out forgetting to take the cell phone, forgetting to switch on the cell phone and/or answering machine!! And on my part, with all the technology, I don't know anyone's phone no. from memory! With all these technologies around, I've lost touch with many of my friends! Atleast in those early cell phone days, people called from their cell phones at the end of the month, so as not to waste the expiring minutes! Sigh!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Where from?

Years back, on my first sight seeing trip to Boston with some relatives, the tour guide asked the visitors one by one, "Where are you from?" The others were answering 'California', 'New Jersey' etc. and so, when it was my turn, I said, "Massachusetts!". Me in plaited hair, pottu on the forehead etc. the tour guide must've thought, 'really?'!! When it was my relatives' turn, they chorused 'India' almost immediately.

Recently, on a trip to Ruby Falls in Tennessee, again the same 'Where are you from?' from the tour guide and this time I said "India" almost the same time my husband answered, 'Georgia'! The tour guide commented, "So, you guys are not sure, huh?" Oops, I did it again!!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Vegetable Puff

I am (like I've already said in all cycle gaps!) a sweet lover. Any time of day or night I can have them. But the U S of A, with its abundant sweet treats, has even made me crave for some salty/spicy snacks from time to time! Unlike in India, where you can stop by a 'kaiyendhi bhavan' or bakery and have those pakodas or samosas or kara bun or puff, there are not much choices in the light snack variety other than a pizza slice or bread stick here. Then, one of my friend surprised me with those home-made vegetable puffs one day. Ever since, I try to stock up on those frozen puff pastry sheets ready to make these easy savory treat for those lazy afternoons or to trick guests to make them believe that I am a super cook! ;)


Frozen puff pastry sheet - 1

1/2 an onion, diced

Mixed vegetables

(diced potatoes, beans, carrots, peas) - 1 cup

garam masala - a pinch

chilly powder - as per taste

salt - as per taste

1. Make a vegetable masala sauteing the diced onions in a little oil and adding chilly powder, garam masala, salt and mixed vegetables (I used regular potato masala).

2. Thaw the puff pastry sheets.

3. Preheat oven to 350 F(or 400 F)

4. Cut it into rectangles, fill with vegetable masala, close and seal the sides. Poke the pastry sheets with a fork[Alton Brown's(one of my favourite cooks from food network) advice!]

5. Place it in ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 30 mins(or 20 mins)

P.S1. : me - in hiding, this is not going to be a Friday feature. It just happens to be a Friday today!!

P.S2. - I've been looking for 'kara' bun recipe for a long time. Anyone knows of a recipe or a link, please let me know. Any other such savoury recipes(no frying) that you know of can be shared too.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Teenage Turmoil

I'm sure, as a child, most of us would have wanted to grow up fast! Especially, the hype and gloss surrounding the teenage years would've added to the impatience. But like most things in life, what most adults conveniently cover-up or not highlight is about the unwanted but unavoidable aspect of that age, the not-so-simple, beauty spot pimple!!

The timing of its appearance (as a solitary reaper or as a gang) is something one has to awe at! Exactly before a family function or school annual day or the day you get to meet a friend's good looking older brother!! The more people tell about the advantages of practicing untouchability with the 'beauty spots', one would feel like crushing it!!

Luckily, the face is only visible to others and not to ourselves(unless you are a descendant of Snowwhite's stepmom!)! But the disadvantage is, people looking at you start giving beauty tips/remedies for the lovely spots. Apply this cream, that cream, multani-m(a)itti, curd, milk, cucumber, apple or whatever is in season! The folks at home would get all worried that their share of healthy snacks is neither going inside their tummy nor ours!

As a last resort, medical help is sought. Here again there is dilemma whether to go for homeopathy, allopathy or ambikapathy/amaravathy. Homeopathy takes 40 yrs to get results. Allopathy will result in side-effects lasting between 40 days-40 yrs. Not much is known about the effects of ambikapathy/amaravathy! Anyway, by the time, the magical teenage ends, we are left with a moon-like face, complete with craters!! Then, you step into adulthood and realise among the other bigger issues, these pimple problems were really simplest of them all!

Friday, July 27, 2007

Last Friday Melody!

Hrishikesh Mukherjee, Basu Chatterjee's movies in the 70s are a treat to watch even today. Simple story, elegant execution, lovely songs, natural acting - what a risk it must've been in that era of gory and violent Hindi movies! Listed below are some of my all time favourites.

Jab deep jale aana - Chitchor

Tu jo mere sur mein - Chitchor

Na jaane kyon - Choti si baat

Jane-e-mann - Choti si baat

Meine tere liye - Anand

Zindagi - Anand

Loote koyi - Abhimaan

Tere mere milan ki - Abhimaan

I wanted to include songs from 'Chashme Buddoor' along too even though it was directed by Sai Paranjpe and came out in the 80s but couldn't find any links.

P.S. - Like the title says, this will be the last of the Friday melody series. It started of like this one (last) July Friday and for the past 2 years, it has been fun playing the DJ! I guess, it will be kind of itchy the next few Fridays but I've almost run out of ideas, enthu' (and end it before I run out of audience)! A big Thanks everyone!!

Friday, July 20, 2007


Some recent favourites!

செவ்வானம் சேலைய கட்டி - மொழி

ஏன் எனக்கு - நான் அவனில்லை

பேரூந்தில் - பொறி

உன்னாலே - உன்னாலே உன்னாலே

உன் பார்வை - சென்னை 600028

தாலியே தேவையில்ல - தாமிரபரணி

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

அட, Lallu land!!

For many years, Bihar in northern India has earned notoriety for being one of the poorest and most lawless states in the country.

Nobel-prize winning author VS Naipaul once described it as the place where "civilisation ends".

But all is not lost, perhaps. We discover five areas where Bihar might consider itself to be ahead of other Indian states.


Friday, July 13, 2007

FM - Hindi oldies

Tera mera pyar amar - Asli Naqli

Achaji mein haari - Kalapani

Aaja sanam - Chori chori

Dil ki nazar se - Anari

Dil thadhap - Madhumathi

Deewana hua badal - Kashmir ki kali

Bandha parwar - Phir wohi dil laya hoon

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


Sometime back there was a huge outcry when Mumbai was judged the rudest city by a Reader's Digest survey. But I realised it long back that politeness as per the western standards was/is not our cup of Tea. I have never thanked my bus conductor/driver or the fruit/flower seller or sincerely said sorry to a co-passenger on stamping her feet or excused myself on getting a phone call or asked my mom, 'can I have some more sambar, please?' or ... I can go on and on. On top of that came 'Maine pyar kiya' where the hero and heroine's 'No sorry, no thank you among friends' got etched in my mind!! Apparam enna, when there is no necessity for sorry and thank you among friends, why waste it on strangers!!

With all this background, you can understand the struggle I must've gone(still going!) thro' landing in the western hemisphere! Atleast with outsiders I can show a 'don't care if they think me as rude or mannerless' attitude but when kids start to learn manners from school, there is no escape. My daughter wouldn't leave me in peace unless I 'welcomed' her 'thank you' or 'ok-ed' her sorry! But hubby dear hasn't been so lucky yet! On situations even when a sorry from my side is absolutely due, my mouth won't utter them(first of all, owning up my fault-ey nadakkadhey!). Whenever there is a chance to thank him, the words would come till my throat but then 'maine pyar kiya'!!! So, this post is to let him know that atleast those words float in my RAM!

P.S. - 'Please' is getting to be the most abused word in our household. During her toddler days, as part of teaching manners, we taught our daughter to say 'please' when she needs something. Also, to show difference, whenever she used 'please' we tried to attend to it immediately. Now, it has turned the table on us. What do you do when they go 'Amma, more cookies, please please!' or '100 more minutes in the park, please please!'!! :(

Friday, July 06, 2007

FM - Indi Pop

Ho gayi hai muhabbat - Aslam

O Sanam - Lucky Ali

Choodi jo kanki - Phalguni Pathak

Tu jo mila - Alisha Chinoy

Mehndi ki raat - ??

Breathless - Shankar Mahadevan

Afreen afreen - Nusrat Fateh Ali khan

Vaalpaarai - Malgudi Suba

Links are from youtube. The Indi pop of those early days used be interesting and exciting because of its picturisation.

Friday, June 29, 2007

FM - "நிலா"

நிலா காய்கிறது - இந்திரா

நிலாக்காயும் நேரம் - செம்பருத்தி

நிலவே முகம் காட்டு - எஜமான்

நிலாவே வா - மௌன ராகம்

நிலவுக்கு என் மேல் - போலீஸ்காரன் மகள்

(அந்த)நிலாவத்தான் - முதல் மரியாதை

Tuesday, June 26, 2007


Growing up in Chennai, 'ஸ்ஸ்.... என்ன வெயில்!' ('sss... enna veyyil!') was pretty much the only dialogue/monologue one can hear on weather. So, it felt odd when I was actually looking forward to some warm 'வெயில்'('veyyil') on my first summer in the North-east! Also, the obsession with weather reports was a totally new phenomenon!

Is it only me or does anyone else feel that even the high 80s and low 90s degree F (25-35 C) feels a lot more hot than it does in our hot Chennai? Is it because of the low humidity? Or is there any truth to theory that in US unlike India(which is near the tropics) the radiation is more because of its geographical location? Another thing is, a couple of days of 90+ degrees F and there usually comes those really noisy thunderstorms cooling the place down. The weather reporters(Todd Gross of Seven News was my favourite!) on TV have numerous times explained why it happens but I never understood it(*sighing* Whatever! Why doesn't this happen in India!). Another weather phenomenon which I awe at and wish happened in India is how rain clouds have enough punch to sustain from Texas coast to the North-east Coast whereas in India, the storm force loses power going from AP coast to TN coast! Ofcourse, Atlantic & Pacific oceans are giants compared to Bay of Bengal & Indian ocean.

Anyway, all this veyyil/weather puranam is because this is my first summer in the south. Only this time, there hasn't been any April showers to bring May flowers and we are in official drought('Namma enge ponaalum namma specialty-um koodave varum poley'!). Ofcourse, the 'drought' here is different('don't water the plants or face court!) from our drought(alternate days water supply, thanni kodam, Metro water lorry...).

Lastly, வசந்த பாலனின் 'வெயில்' மனதை சுட்டது! Who is to be blamed, the father or the son? Even though the punishment given to the boy was harsh, I could relate to the father's anger! On one side, there are children toiling in match box/fireworks/loom industries yearning to go to school and on the other side, there are children whose parents toil to educate them and they bunk schools, smoke or run away to chase colourful dreams! Like I wrote before, it is tough being a parent especially, a father! Pasupathi(Annathey's find!!), asusual is brilliant! And kutti paiya, GVPrakash, urukittiye, pa!! Producer Shankar seems to do the prayachitham for all the sins of Director Shankar!!

Friday, June 22, 2007

FM - "மாலை"

மாலை என் வேதனை - சேது

மாலையில் யாரோ - சத்ரியன்

மாலை எனை வாட்டுதே - பூக்களை பறிகாதீர்கள்

மாலை கருக்கயில் - நீதியின் மறுபக்கம்

மால கருக்கலிலே - எங்க ஊரு காவக்காரன்

மாலை பொழுதின் - பாக்கியலட்சுமி

Tuesday, June 19, 2007


Happened to watch a few scenes from the original 'King Kong' recently on TCM. For a movie of its time, it is really something!! That got me thinking. If Billa/Kulla could be remade, why can't someone remake the classic 'Maya Bazaar' (good chance to show off our compooter graphics!)?

My vote for the role of Gadodhgajan (played by Rangarao) is Prakash Raj.

After 'Godfather' spl. role, think Ajit might suit the role of Krishna? ;)

And IMO, Vivek might be good choice for Illakkana Kumaran, the gaurava prince played by Thangavelu.

Is there anyone now in Kollywood to do role of Vatsala played by Savithri ?

Friday, June 15, 2007

FM - "அந்தி"

அந்தி மழை - ராஜ பார்வை

அந்தி வரும் நேரம் - முந்தானை முடிச்சு

அந்திநேர தென்றல் காற்று - இணைந்த கைகள்

அந்தியிலே வானம் - சின்னவர்

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


Asusual, a flashback incident after reading this post. We had been invited for lunch at my husband's (American) colleague's house when our daughter was around 9 months old. Like all Indian mothers, my daughter's feeding time was made into a big event by me! After initial chat, when everyone got ready for lunch, I excused myself saying that I had to feed my daughter first. The colleague had a girl just 6 months older to ours who was made to sit on the high-chair and served whatever was cooked. By the time I was done with the feeding session, everyone else had finished eating too and so I ate while everyone else watched! The next day at work, the colleague was quite cross with my husband as he thought my husband practised the good old Indian tradition of letting the wife eat only after the husband and hence the feeding the child ruse!!!

* - Embarrassing Then Funny Now (I and II)

Friday, June 08, 2007

FM - "மூங்கில்"

மூங்கிலிலே - ராகம் தேடும் பல்லவி

மூங்கில் இலை - பெண்மணி அவள் கண்மணி

மூங்கில் காட்டோரம் - பூக்கள் விடும் தூது

மூங்கில் காடுகளே - சாமுராய்

Friday, June 01, 2007

FM - "மா"

மாம்பூவே - மச்சனை பாத்தீங்களா

மாஞ்சோலை - கிழக்கே போகும் ரயில்

மாமரத்து - ஊமை விழிகள்

Friday, May 25, 2007

FM - 'ஓ!!'

'ஓ மானே மானே' - வெள்ளை ரோஜா

'ஓ வானம்பாடி' - சாதனை

'ஓ வசந்த ராஜா' - நீங்கள் கேட்டவை

'ஓ பாபா லாலி' - இதயத்தை திருடாதே

'ஓ பேபி பெபி' - காதலுக்கு மரியாதை

'ஓ மனமே' - உள்ளம் கேட்குமே

Friday, May 18, 2007

FM - "மலை"

"மலையோரம் வீசும் காத்து" - பாடு நிலாவே

"மலை கோவில்" - வீரா

"மலையோரம் மயிலே' - ஒருவர் வாழும் ஆலயம்

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Tomato Sambar Recipe


1 tomato chopped
1/2 onion chopped(optional)

1/2 cup Mung dal

1 or 2 tsp sambar powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
salt to taste

1 tsp oil
1/4 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp urad dal (optional)
1 red chilli (optional)

3 and 1/2 cups water


Boil mung dal in 1 and 1/2 cups water. Mash and set aside

1. Add 1 tsp of oil to sauce pan and temper with mustard seeds, curry leaves, urad dal and red chilli

2. Add chopped onions and fry till soft

3. Add chopped tomatoes and fry a little

4. Add 2 cups water, salt, sambar powder and turmeric

5. Boil in high till it starts frothing

6. Reduce heat and let simmer for 15 minutes

7. Add the boiled mung dal, stir and let boil for another 5 minutes

8. Add chopped cilantro/coriander

IMO, this sambar goes well with dosais, adais etc.
and with rice & kaara/fry curries

P.S. - For a milder sambar, just add chopped tomatoes to water and follow from step 4. Temper with mustard seeds at the end.
Mung dal makes it quite bland. For variation, you can substitute Tur dal.

Friday, May 11, 2007

FM - "தாலாட்டு"

தாலாட்டு - அச்சாணி

தாலாட்டு மாறி போனது - உன்னை நான் சந்தித்தேன்

தாலாட்டும் பூங்காற்று - கோபுர வாசலிலே

Monday, May 07, 2007

From the news

Power station harnesses Sun's rays!!

Looks like science fiction! But to be able to use the tremendousness of Solar energy!!

Media should focus on battles of poor: NCERT director

Media, are you listening?

Bollywood star to take husband’s family name!!

Nothing like reading a newspaper along with morning coffee! Ingey coffee-yum waste, paper-um waste!! The space and importance given to World/International news in local newspapers here is really something. And the above news making it to a local GA paper is... what can I say!

Friday, May 04, 2007

Monday, April 30, 2007

Books Roundup!

My recent fascination for cross-culture/multi-culture stories led me to read quite a few books. Interestingly, only after starting this post I realised that all in my listing were written by female authors!

Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni - Sister of my heart

A very engaging story of two girl friends almost brought up as sisters. Anju and Sudha join my unforgettable characters list. The mothers, the aunt, the early Calcutta life described are all so realistic. The sudden but deep relationship of Sudha and Ashok felt so bollywoodish and the unnecessary Sudha-Sunil angle was a dampener(especially after the cute first encounter between Anju and Sunil)! Can be made into a nice mega serial (especially because of the portrayal of Sudha's MIL!). After reading this, I went on a Chitra D. B. novels reading spree but none of them were as good as this one.

Samina Ali - Madras on rainy days

Ofcourse, it was Madras on the title which made me pick the book in the first place. Even though the story's significant turning point(supposedly, even though one can sense it all along!)happens in Madras, I was disappointed because of my expectation from the title! The story is quite unusual in the sense that it is about an American bred Indian girl getting (arranged) married to a Hyderabadi guy. Inspite of having lived in India for quarter century, the life of Hyderabadi Muslims portrayed in the story was as foreign as the life of Afghans as described in Kite Runner. Anyway, it was quite different and serious natured than I had expected.

Laura Fitzgerald - Veil of roses

The gist at the back cover got me interested in this book. It is about an Iranian woman who comes to visit her sister in the US with the intention of finding a suitor to marry and settle in the states. The story started of very interesting that I found it hard to put down the book. But as the story progressed, it began to feel like Mills and Boon novel! Tamila Soroush, the main character of the novel didn't seem to have any depth even though there were some affecting bits about Iranian life(like that of Tami's parents who send both their daughters away to the US hoping for a better life for them inspite of the fact that they would never ever get to see them or the little freedoms like music, friends, strolls that one cannot enjoy in Iran). Timepass!

Pearl Buck - The Good Earth

A pulitzer award winning novel! It is the story of a Chinese farmer in the turn of the century. I was surprised at how culturally similar Chinese life was to that of Indian. The story reminded me of old b/w melo-dramatic Indian movies! The description of the life of farmers depending on nature once again brought back the plight of our farmers and all farmers around the world!

Friday, April 27, 2007

FM - 'குயில்'

குயிலே - கவிக்குயில்

குயிலே குயிலே - ஆண் பாவம்

குயில் பாட்டு - என் ராசாவின் மனசிலே

குயிலே குயிலே - என் பொம்முக்குட்டி அம்மாவுக்கு

குயிலுக்கு - Friends

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Any(thing)body out there???

New 'super-Earth' found in space

Astronomers have found the most Earth-like planet outside our Solar System to date, a world which could have water running on its surface.

Read more

Wednesday, April 25, 2007


Like Mother,

Like Daughter!!

Friday, April 20, 2007

FM - "மீன்"

"மீனம்மா" - ஆசை

"மீனம்மா"- ராஜாதி ராஜா

"மீன்கொடி தேரில்" - கரும்பு வில்

Tuesday, April 17, 2007


On imse's anbu thollai, I've succumbed to the temptation of doing a recipe post!

(Eggless) Banana Bread


1 and 1/3 cups Flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt

1 and 1/4 cup mashed banana
1 tsp oil
1/3 cup buttermilk

1/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
2 tsp vanilla essense (optional)


Preheat oven to 350 F

Grease with butter (or use non-stick spray) a 9 x 5 inch Loaf pan

Mix dry ingredients

To mashed bananas, add oil, buttermilk & vanilla

Pour mixture into dry ingredients & mix

Add walnuts & stir

Pour batter into prepared pan

Bake 45-55 mins

P.S. - Wish I was an illusionist(very much enjoyed it!)! Should atleast try & learn some photo tricks!

Friday, April 13, 2007

FM - "காடு"!!

காட்டுக்குள்ளே பாட்டு - இதயத்தை திருடாதே

காட்டுக்குயில் - சின்ன மாப்பிள்ளை

காட்டுக்குயிலு - தளபதி

காட்டு வழி - மலையூர் மம்பட்டியான்

Tuesday, April 10, 2007


I remember vividly in my KG days how all visitors to our house would ask(or prompted to ask!), "who are your friends at school?" and every time I would proudly answer, "Shanta Kumari and Mary Vasanthi!"(I hardly remember anything about SK now but I vaguely remember visiting MV's house which was at walking distance from my home). Thinking in those lines, I realised that I've had 2 close friends at all stages of my life making us the mumurthi'gal' gangs. The other day I was watching 'Clifford the big red dog' (along with my daughter, ofcourse) and I realised how Clifford too has 2 doggie pals, T Bone and Cleo. 'Dil chahta hai' was about 3 friends, 'Friends' serial had 3 male and 3 female friends.

On further analysis I found that every trio has a level-head(Clifford, Sid, Chandler, Monica, my friends R/J/R), a show-off(Cleo, Akash, Ross, Rachel, my friends S/P/V/G) and a silly-simple joker(T-Bone, Sameer, Joey, Phoebe, my friends S/P). There always will be clashes between the level head and the show off with the joker[me (too) in most cases!] caught in between unsure as to who to support! The idea to this post came about when, continuing in the tradition, my daughter recently declared that Kayla and Kyrene are her best friends in school!! Now I will continue the tradition of prompting everyone who visits us to ask her about her friends!

Friday, April 06, 2007

FM - "மயில்"

மயில் பொல - பாரதி

மயிலே மயிலே - கடவுள் அமைத்த மேடை

மயிலிறகே - அன்பே ஆருயிரே

(தோகை இள)மயில் - பயணங்கள் முடிவதில்லை

Monday, April 02, 2007

(Pla)sticky Matter

Plastic bags ban!

Plastic entered our lives through soap boxes, mugs, buckets and graduated to milk packets, biscuits etc. as far as I can remember. But the recycle 'rajas' and 'ranis' that we are(were?) every smelly milk cover was collected and sold to the plastic-paper-karan(?) and we lived guilt-free. Atleast a majority of my life in India, one had to carry their own bag to vegetable and grocery stores or risk carry the items in newspaper packets. Even by the time, every 'potti kadai' began generously giving out polythene bags(one cannot find tinier bags than those!) I hardly knew about the non bio-degradability of plastics and its effect on the environment. My first jolt came when cattle consuming these polythene bags from the rubbish bins made news!

When I moved abroad, the use and throw mentality was so hard to digest, me from the 'recycle kingdom' and all!! When we first moved, my husband couldn't believe his eyes at the mound of grocery bags, the yogurt cans that I had hoarded(which were eventually trashed much to my dismay)!! Later I found recycle bins in our community and just when I was laying back satisfied in doing my bit, came the crashing news that the community could no longer support recylcing!! It took another few months for me to find about the recycle center in our town and took another few months to locate it only to find that it needed membership!

After all the setbacks, I decided to carry my own bags wherever I went and not use the plastic bags. From my India trip, I had got special jute bags for that reason! My husband walked a safe 10 feet away from me whenever I was with my gunny bag! And he preferred waiting in the car when I stood in the billing counter ready to rattle the cashiers who are used to the 'scan-drop in bag' routine with my 'no bags, please' cry! Even my friends who came to visit, scared to listen to my 'green' lecture, hid plastic bags in their cars and hand carried all their items!

Then, we moved again! This time we found ourselves short of plastic bags during the packing process and my husband was so satisfied to have got the chance to hit back at me for the state I had brought the house to! Then, I began resusing the bags by carrying old bags back to the store which didn't seem like a good idea as people began to suspect I was trying to shop-lift(though once the cashier paid me 3 c for each bag for reusing and it happened infront of my in-laws!!)!

It's not just plastic bags, I am equally averse to storing/heating food in plastic containers after being scared by articles like these! I have a collection of tiny stainless steel containers which I use to store food, send lunch to my daughter etc. After a few weeks, my daughter's teacher suggested that I buy lunch boxes available in stores as there was not enough room for my containers in their lunch table(and it was then that I saw that most kids got lunch in disposable brown bags and ziploc bags)!!

To encourage my daughter to drink more water, all sources point to keeping a water bottle in a prominent place which will tempt/remind about drinking water from time to time. I, as usual, was at the mercy of the internet to research about any 'safe plastic' bottles to store water in. The debate about plastic safety still going strong, I am now wondering if water from plastic bottle is better than no water at all... Any ideas?

Friday, March 23, 2007

FM - "மலர்(கள்) - II'

"மலர்களே மலர்களே" - Love Birds

"மலர்களே" - புதுக்கோட்டையிலிருந்து சரவணன்

"மலர்களில்" - கல்யாண ராமன்

"மலர்களை போல்" - பாச மலர்

Tuesday, March 20, 2007


IIT (Mumbai) to limit Internet access! - Ada paavame!!
Ever since we switched from dial-up to high-speed internet, computer has been my all in all(friend, newspaper, TV, telephone...). The only thing I am still not comfortable is reading novels online.

My inbox showed new mails in double digits one day last week! I hurriedly opened to see who the mails were from and boy, was it a surprise! All Spam comments!!! Only consolation was that atleast none were the usual 'gumbaloda govinda' forwarded messages!! Now I wonder whether to remove anonymous commenting option or to add word verification(any suggestions?). Yerkanave comments-kku lottery! Idhule, idhu veraya? mocked my mind. During my early blogging days, one of my friend commented(offline!) how blogging is all about getting comments. I retorted then like a cinema Actor about how I would go on blogging(Kalai chevai!) even if no one comments on my posts! But like how they say "aadina kaalum, paadina vaayum..." now add comments vaangina blog-um!

My bulk mails are overflowing with mails wanting to make me rich lately. "Final notice for you collect your lottery money" screams some and many from the African continent are waiting to transfer their brimming bank balance to mine!! Ada pongada!!

Friday, March 16, 2007

Monday, March 12, 2007

Menu Vs Buffet

Eating out used to be a rare/ special occasion thingy back in India. It took me a long time to digest(!) the fact that here many don't take lunch box with them to work and almost always eat outside!

Anyway, both my husband and I love the buffets at restaurants. Guess, it kind of give us the feeling of having to taste a variety of food instead of telling each other, 'Can I have some of your channa batura?'!! Somehow I thought that everyone else would prefer the buffet to Menu too and so when I found a few of my friends don't feel that way, it was quite surprising. I thought like in addition to having a variety of foods to eat, it is cheap compared to ordering from Menu and unlimited too! "What's not to like?" like Joey says in 'Friends'!!

After much thinking(romba important!), I've seem to have arrived at the reason behind my buffet preferance. I mostly come up with a menu for the whole week so that I don't have to break my head as to what to cook every day. Probably b'cos the daily food is no surprise to me, I find the buffet interesting. Whereas those of my friends who like to order from menu, surprise themselves everyday by cooking from what is available in the fridge. So, they seem to go planned with what to eat at the restaurant! Eppadi namma conclusion!!!

P.S. - An old versus here!

Friday, March 09, 2007

FM - "நதி"

'நதியில் ஆடும்" - காதல் ஓவியம்

"நதியா நதியா" - பூ மழை பொழிகிறது

"நதியே நதியே" - ரிதம்

Monday, March 05, 2007


First it was email, then yahoo groups/blog and now orkut. Whether or not it is useful/interesting, one has to have an account in these nowadays. Otherwise you are outdated! Atleast it was 'all are welcome'(so far!) in the former cases and so anybody could create an account, forward, post or let it expire. Orkut is only for the privileged! Only by invitation!

Anyway, I got invited too and joined the group! Initially, I felt odd in the orkut community as it seemed like a 'chinna pasanga' community. Then, I shed my inhibitions and barged in! It was getting to be a friends & family affair adding friends, friend's friends, siblings, cousins, cousins' cousins as 'friends' and rating them as 'good', 'bad' and 'ugly'. Email-ey adikka mudiyadhavanga kooda apappa scrapping!

Then 'the orkooters' boasted about finding long lost friends in the community. Aah, how can I miss out on that! So, once again plunged into the orkut ocean only to realise how with common South Indian names one can get lost in orkut like getting lost in Kumba Mela! The search spits 1000s of results. Even if you know whether the friend uses her maiden name or married surname, the search result comes down to 100s. Tottally pissed off with the numerous page scrollings, I tried school, college, office communities. Again, numerous results. Every community has 100s of members. Most of the members are of recently passed/joined, freshers category! So, once again, came to the same old conclusion - orkut is 'chinna pasanga' community. So, I am going to orquit!

Friday, March 02, 2007

FM - Hariharan spl.

மஞ்சள் வெயில் - வேட்டையாடு விளையாடு

காற்றில் வரும் கீதமே - ஒரு நாள் ஒரு கனவு

மூங்கில் காடுகளே - சாமுராய்

காதலை யாரடி - தக திமி தா

செல்லமே செல்லம் - ஆல்பம்

ரகசியமாய் - டும் டும் டும்

மழை துளி - சங்கமம்

அவள் வருவாளா - நேருக்கு நெர்

குச்சி குச்சி ராக்கம்மா - பம்பாய்

கொஞ்ச நாள் - ஆசை

ஏதோ ஒரு பாட்டு - உன்னிடத்தில் என்னை கொடுத்தேன்

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Sidney Poitier

In celebration of African-American History Month, our library has featured Sidney Poitier's autobiography, The measure of a man. I am yet to pick up the book but that inspired me to list down a few of my favourite movies of his.

To Sir with love - This was the first Poitier movie that I watched. The story is about a black teacher taking up or rather forced to take up the challenge of teaching unruly, difficult slum children and making a difference in their lives. The book in itself is a touching story and with Poitier's performance, it is among the few movies which does justice to the original novel.

Guess who's coming to Dinner - One of the few movies which boasts of big star names, big expectations and still manage to live upto the hype. The story is about a white girl bringing her black boy friend to meet her parents. How ever rational and open minded we think we are, the real test is when we have to deal with it in reality. With Spencer Tracy, Katherine Hepburn and Sidney Poitier, it is a feast for movie buffs!

In the heat of the night - Another powerful movie dealing with racism. Rod Steiger as the southern officer comes up with a superb performance and won the best Actor Oscar, understandably! Poitier as the black Northy Senior officer, even though senior, having to put on extra efforts to prove himself and his work!

P.S. - Poitier, Gere are some names I avoided uttering (for a long time) for the fear of being ridiculed by mispronouncing them!

Monday, February 26, 2007

Friday, February 23, 2007

Tuesday, February 20, 2007


I have always been(so far!) lucky to be surrounded by like-minded people. Like-minded in the sense that if I grumbled about things, they would join in too(like if I started 'my college principal is so bad' good friends would say, 'oh, mine is worsht' or to my 'oora idhu' my great friends would go 'aiye! padu mattam') and all was well! But a recent acquaintance turned up to be this (over?)confident/ positive(all the time) person! For all my complaints she offered some positive perspective with a regular bonus of how lucky and great things have been for her making me bury my head in shame.

This kind of attitude was puzzlling to me as I have always been surrounded by epitomes of 'அடக்கம்(modesty)'. Even if a person was confident of scoring 100% in the exam, he/she was a good soul only if he/she said "ஏதோ எழுதியிருக்கேன்'(edho ezhudhi irukken)"! Even in movies if the Hero runs 'ஆத்தா, நா pass ஆயிட்டேன்' then that means 'ஆத்தா' role is over!! Yes, the use of superlative adjectives by the locals for even simple deeds surprised me in the beginning.

Then, recently I found out that my 'half-full' friend cleverly & conveniently covers up bad patches and just brags about things. Though the idea of being positive, encouraging others seems nice, her dishonesty now makes me doubt her every word. Also, the attitude of patting one's own back for their good luck when talking about other's misfortune irks me. Oh, how I miss you fellow brooders!!!!

Friday, February 16, 2007

FM - 'Taj mahal'!!

Taj mahal oviya kaadhal - Kalvanin Kaadhali

Taj mahal thevaillai - Amaravathi

Taj mahal onru - Kannodu Kaanbadhellaam

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Round About!

Age of Innocence - Been wanting to read this Edith Wharton novel for quite a long time. Got to read it only now. Might have been a bold story in its time. As always I so wanted to watch the screen version as soon as I finished reading the book. But somehow Daniel Day Lewis and Michelle Pfeiffer as Newland Archer and Countess Olenska respectively don't quite match the Archer and Olenska of my imagination. Anybody know of any other television series and/or older screen versions?

Somehow the story kept reminding me of Prince Charles' life. What difference a few centuries make!! When Charles and Camilla got married I couldn't help wonder at how their love triumphed after 30 years (despite all the tragedies in between)! True love, huh?

Anyway, happy Valentine's Day! Specially to the newbies,


For the oldies, mommies and crybabies, enjoy this!!

Friday, February 09, 2007

FM - "நீ"

"நீ ஒரு காதல்" - நாயகன்

"நீ பாதி" - கேளடி கண்மணி

"நீ காற்று" - நிலாவே வா

"நீ பௌர்ணமி" - ஒருவர் வாழும் ஆலயம்

"நீயில்லாத" - தெய்வத்தின் தெய்வம்

"நீ ஒன்று" - உன்னால் முடியும் தம்பி

Monday, February 05, 2007


When you have shown total disapproval to a person about their decision, they still go ahead with it and even still have the audacity to get help from you to accomplish it!!!

A child at a store started whining about wanting a toy which grew into a full fledged tandrum and the mother was calmly ignoring the screams. The child's cries were tugging at my heart. But had I been in that mom's shoes, my expression of 'ellum kollum' exploding would be hard to hide!

Friday, February 02, 2007

FM - "மலர் - I"

"மலரே பேசு" - கீதாஞ்சலி

"மலரே மௌனமா" - கர்ணா

"மலரே குறிஞ்சி மலரே" - Dr. சிவா

"மலருக்கு தென்றல்" - எங்க வீட்டு பிள்ளை

"மலர்ந்தும் மலராத" - பாச மலர்

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Good Times!

இளங்காத்து வீசுதே

What a great team! Whoever thought Surya could act or that Bala would continue to defy kollywood masala world or that National award could wink at Tamil film world too sometimes!!!
Not sure how far the rumours are to be believed but if they are true, then too bad that Surya and Vikram are not in good terms and Bala has got the not-so-nice person tag!

Friday, January 19, 2007

FM - "ஹேய்!"

"ஹேய், ஓராயிரம்" - மீண்டும் கோகிலா

"ஹேய், ஐயாசாமி" - வருஷம் 16

"ஹேய், I love you" - உன்னை நான் சந்தித்தேன்

"ஹேய், Good bye நண்பா" - ஆய்த எழுத்து

"ஹேய், தென்றலே" - நெஞ்சத்தை கிள்ளாதே

"ஹேய், ராசாத்தி" - என் உயிர் தோழன்

Tuesday, January 16, 2007


In the 80s, come Sunday and we would spend the whole day glued to the idiot box, starting with Disney time(or Rangoli in the late 80s) to Regional movie at 1.30PM (respite only if it is oriya or bhojpuri!)! It was those days when there was only one channel and one day with non-stop programmes. Still, it had variety, content & entertainment value. Thanks to TTM, for bringing out some great memories of those good old DD days!

Having said that, I remember my mother getting annoyed at our sitting infront of the box through out the day. With audiences of different age group always ready to continue the TV viewing, Sunday used to be her biggest head-ache day! I was a TV addict for a very long time (I am not one now b'cos I've become an Internet addict!).

Now that I am a mother, I now get my mother's point of view. Ever since my daughter started recognising characters on TV shows, I began to limit her TV viewing. Though she generally adheres to rules, there have been days when she wouldn't budge from the couch. One of the reason may be the subsequent unattractive alternative activity that awaits her.

One of my relative tells me that if we let the kids watch TV as much as they want, soon they will get bored with the repeat programs themselves and the problem gets solved by itself! I am not ready to take this risk as yet! In some other's houses I have noticed that they leave the television on the whole time that the kids are so used to being around it all the time that they only turn around to watch Advertisements and other catchy visuals and then go about doing whatever they are doing. Now I am concerned if my restrictions make her want to break the rules. Also, I wonder if my restricting and censoring would make her vulnerable/ignorant and if ugly realities and unwanted visuals would affect her later.

P.S. - It used to be such an awesome experience to watch the stories of Famous Five, Tintin on TV in those days. Today's kids are so lucky to be able to read their favourite stories & get to watch them almost as soon.

Friday, January 12, 2007

FM - KJY Spl.!

Adhisaya raagam - Apoorva Raagangal

Akkarai seemai - Priya

Chandirare suriyare - Amaran

Deivam thandha veedu - Aval Oru Thodarkadhai

Eeramana rojave - Ilamai Kalangal

En iniya pon nilave - Moodupani

Paartha vizhi - Guna

Senthazham poovil - Mullum Malarum

Unnidam mayangugiren - Thensindhudhey Vaanam

Valamana Boomiyil - Ore Vaanam Ore Boomi

Yerikara poonkaatre - Thooral Ninnu Pochu

Rama kadha - Bharatham

Pravahame - Sargam

Kahan se aaye badra - Chashme Buddoor

Gori tera - Chitchor

Belated birthday wishes to Dr. K. J. Yesudas!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007


I don't know if it is an Indian mentality but anything new especially if makes life convenient/comfortable makes me skeptical. Infact, I almost always stand in the way of my husband's (unending!) wish for new electronic gadgets. At times it is like Rukmini limiting Krishna's அவல்(poha) eating, but sometimes I also learn to enjoy the item's use and convenience(like the Digital camera or GPS system).

The Centennial Olympic Park in downtown Atlanta is a fun park. With the weekend weather spring-like(with ஆளாளு giving certificates that it is El Nino and/or Global warming's effect!), coupled with some interesting holiday attractions for kids, it turned out a nice outing. With hubby dear safely taken the cameraman's role, I had no choice but get into the rink for my daughter's sake. Wow! How easy and simple the Ice skating appears from outside! Just a short walk to the kiddies rink through the adult's ice skating rink proved a nice 'சில்லரை வாரல்'!!

BTW, have you heard? Like googled, bangalored it is plutoed now!!

Friday, January 05, 2007

FM - 'வானம்'

வானம் வசப்படுமே - வானம் வசப்படும்

வானம் நமக்கு - அஞ்சலி

வானம் தரையில் - உன்னுடன்

வானம் அருகில் - நீயா

வானம் கீழே - தூங்காதே தம்பி தூங்காதே

வானம் என்ன வானம் - பிரியமான தொழி