Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Tis' the season

It was sweetober October! The month started off with a birthday followed by festivals, Navarathri & Deepavali and ended with Halloween! I am not the one to say 'no' to sweets but after devouring all the goodies, handling the guilt part is what I don't like! One plus with October Deepavali is it is still warmer and the fireworks more enjoyable!

One day in a year our household and 'on time' go hand in hand is when the clocks go back for the winter! Or so until last year! Now the kids are adjusting to time changes faster than me! Many a time I have 'polambi-fied' about the day lights saving practice. But if at all the country decides to stop this practice please do not follow Russia's example and stay in summer time foerever! I have come to like the clock change in fall for that one extra hour and I prefer slightly brighter mornings!

P.S. - Even after few days of the time change, not all clocks are adjusted in our house and so everytime I look at the clocks with the wrong time, I get this "OMG" feeling.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Latest favourite melodies

1. (Telugu) Sri Rama Rajyam - Jagadananda

After a long, long time, Ilayaraja & SPB combination! If not for the millenium addition, Shreya Goshal, the song would've been like the IR's golden 80s!! Lovely, lovely song!

2. (Malayalam) Mizhirendilum - Aalilathaliyumai

This Jayachandran gem from the youtube treasure box! Trying my best to learn the tongue twister lyrics! For kannazhagi Kavya(who features in the movie picturisation), I need to do a separate post!

3. (Hindi) Tashan - Falak tak

Aaahh... forgotten how wonderful a singer Udit Narayan is since listening to his tamil songs! Paarka dhaan sagikaley!!

4. (Tamil) Ko - Ennamo Yedho

Still stuck on this song in Tamil.

Any other new/old (listenable) songs out there?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Vadai monster!

Unhealthy was the excuse I used to conveniently escape(most of the time) from making fried foods at home. Also, the left over deep fried oil that I hate to reuse/discard is another bother. And most of all, the perfection that is required for South Indian fried foods like the puffed up poori, crispy pakoda or the vadai with that hole in the center!

Anyway, one day after a stressful vadai episode, I happened to land here which built up my hopes that some day I will get that perfect shaped Vadai. My online quest for a donut maker led me to this(the lazy and stingy metoo!)! And all this resulted in these Vada alphabets!

Reviewers pointed out that the batter needed to be thinner. After years of caution to use less water to make vada batter, I was scared to make it thinner. But it made a fun eat for kids choosing their favourite alphabet/shape!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Ennamo yedho...

Manam oru kurangu.... literally translating, Mind is a monkey!

After roasting 3 hot, hotter, hottest months of summer (same dialogue every summer!), karichu kotti'-fying the weather when atlast (tropical storm)Mr. Lee broke the sun's stong hold and brought in some drizzle, suddenly the gloomy-cloudy weather and approaching fall and winter weather gave me the shudders! Soon I can start complaining about the cool, cold, icy weather!

When cooking for guests I am always jittery about the amount! It's in my genes to cook exactly for n numbers for n number of guests! Unusually my hand became 'dharalam', a couple of guests canceled out and there was quite an amount of left overs during a recent get-together and eating the same for next few meals was no fun! I am going back to my n-n ratio!

After complaining endlessly about kollywood's obsession with running around the trees, unrealistic dishoom dishoom, other commercial ingredients etc., now when realistic movies are taking over, I'm hopelessly digging for chick flicks! Now you know the "ennamo edho" title link! Idhukkaga dhaan indha post-ey! ;)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Tech Takeover

We got a scrabble board game for A1 right on time for the summer vacation. All was well until a cousin introduced us to Word with friends and now all of us are hooked onto it. No set up time, no clean up time and the board game has just joined our "can't throw away - will be of use someday" collection!

Once upon a time, I was the (only)one to surprise, embarrass, torture friends, family, acquaintance with my phone call/email/in person wishes on their special days! With social networking, electronic reminders, now everyone is stealing my thunder! Also, there is hardly any news to exchange these days as it is all posted on the web that I am not able to start any sentence with "theriyuma...."

I bow to the team who uploaded the whole 5 volumes of "Ponniyin Selvan" in tamil on the internet!! Now I join the elite fan club! No doubt that reading the print form wins hands down against the electronic form but I don't know how long I would've had to wait for that to happen.

Like many, Kalki's description of the land and its beauty makes me yearn to visit those places. But I also have to admit that many times I just wanted to skip the descriptions and race through to read what that chapter was leading to! No wonder none stops reading it just once!

I wonder if Kalki named the novel so just because he was the great king Raja Raja Cholan for he hardly qualifies to be the hero! Vandiya devan is a jolly good lovable fellow but it's Aditha Karikalan who really fascinated me! Is Kalki the trendsetter for cinematic situations like the first meeting of Kundavai and Vandiya devan, sidekick Aazhvarkadiyan popping at the right times, twins, look alikes etc.?

Lot of unanswered questions at the end, why? But all said and done, this is my first attempt at a full length novel in senthamizh and my first historical novel. It's helped me get over the mind block I have had against historical novels that I am starting "Sivagamiyin sabadam" next.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


- to find that you share many things in common with the person you dislike!

- that any junk left on the kitchen counter would disappear in seconds while anything remotely healthy will be left to rot!

- that no plans/schedules/routines ever work as per plan/schedule/routine during vacations!

- that compromise and not 'getting even', is the only way forward in life!!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Short and long

I love short stories! In a stage where I don't have the luxury of finishing a book in one sitting, I can take breaks after each story and not break my head about what is going to happen next! Each story in "Unaccustomed Earth" by Jhumpa Lahiri was moving. But the most affecting ones were "Only Goodness" and "Going Ashore". Infact, I was unashamedly hoping for a filmy ending not having the heart to read otherwise! Lahiri's style is easy and smooth and with all her stories based in and around MIT/Cambridge, I felt like returning from a trip to Boston!

After finishing Chitra Divakaruni's "Palace of Illusions", it hit me that this was my first time reading the epic Mahabharata in the print form(except on Amar Chitra katha, maybe!). May be because it is an often repeated story in the childhood. And so far I hadn't heard the story after the end of the war. So, the irony of Duryodhan reaching the heavens after a warrior's death and the Pandavas bearing the brunt of the after-effects of the war was new and shocking. I've always sympathised with Karna, the cursed but all of Kunti's offsprings seem to have suffered all through their life for no fault of theirs(for most part!)!

I also realised how B R Chopra's televised serial is so etched in my mind that the actors of the tele-serial were the ones in my mind all through! Having heard rave reviews about the book, I think I had too high expectations that the first half didn't seem to meet. Especially it was hard to imagine Draupati and Kunti as regular DIL and MIL! But with the start of the war, the pace picked up and it was hard to keep the book down.

P.S. - Recently with all that news about Kalki's "Ponniyin Selvan" being made into a movie by Manirathnam, I felt so bad for not having read the novel. I was so tempted to ask my parents to send me the books atleast in installments. I was astonished when someone told me that there is an English version of the novel and someone else has promised to send me the pdf. I know, it won't be as good as reading the original but something better than nothing. Now that the movie idea is dropped, I hope I get to read it and join the crowd to debate about who should be cast as Vandiya Devan!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Simbly Grand!

Better late than never with my (b)elated wishes to the newly weds! Last week of April was wedding waaram with reel prince Urumiraj, I mean Prithviraj having a hush-hush wedding and the real Prince William having a world wide wedding! With Wedding pictures/videos of celebrities becoming so accessible these days on the internet, it is as if we attended those events personally! Looks like Prince William's role model is his thatha, the grand duke of Edinburgh. From matching matching outfits at the Wedding(not fair that only the bride's gown is talked about) to his decision to not wear a wedding ring. Eppidiyo, nalla irunga pa! And taking about Supri(thvi)yaraj, I was smitten by kanninimaNeele from Anwar recently which made me dig up some old Malayalam movies of Prithviraj. IMO, he has made better choices in Tamil movies! "Pinakkamo" was a visual treat but the movie was a disappointment. "Kaana kannil" and "Picha vecha" have made it to my playlist but true malayalam song fans are appalled at the state of it now!

Monday, April 18, 2011

A good friend called after a very long time. As soon as I answered, she seemed bewildered! She had called me by mistake! Though she talked a while having called, I felt so bad that she hadn't meant to call me, that she has time to call others, that she has other friends now. Though all that applies to me too, it just bothered me the rest of the day. But lately, this kind of mistaken calls and mails are happening too often. Someone left a message on our answering machine who I couldn't recall for a long time. After much racking of brain, I remembered the acquaintance and called back only to find out she had called the wrong no. Another time, a mom of some old classmate of A1's sent me a menu list for a party. Only she had included my mail id by mistake! Suddenly my name seems too common. And in my childhood I was so angry with my parents for giving me such an uncommon name that there was not one store named after me! And is there a chat etiquette? Some people send a "hi" and then disappear. With all the latest mistaken identities, I wonder if they pinged the wrong person!

Till preschool, the parents had the choice to make playdate plans. After entering elementary school, the kids are making plans themselves! Initially, whether the playdate was in our home or not, I called the parent to confirm and verify. But it was always me who was making the calls. Either they seem disinterested or just want to drop off the kid! In a latest incident, I didn't make the call and we found out at the last minute that they didn't even have our address or phone no.!

The news about playback singer Chitra's daughter's accidental death is heart wrenching!

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Happy ending, atlast!!!

You D(honi & co) id it, guys!! Cricket World cup champions, after almost 3 decades!! All the entertaining-the-crowd job at home was worth it! When Kapil & co won the world cup I was around the same age as A1 is now and A1 is as puzzled as I was about why and what is/was making all the grown-ups go so crazy!

P.S. - Ellaam seri dhaan, this over generosity of the state governments to shower the players with so much incentives is too much!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Peri(ya)gee Moon

This past weekend's full moon was the special perigee moon The weather unusually cooperative with temperatures in the 70s, the kids enjoying their stay-up-late allowance and oohing & aahing at the yellowish moon rising in the horizon, A2 thinking it was the sun rising again and A1 wondering if it was a comet, it was quite an interesting night. All said and done, I still think, the rising moon seen at the Marina beach in Chennai appears even bigger and more beautiful especially with bgm by Mr.Waves.

P.S. - Boasting about all the technological and other developments in this 21st century, why-o-why do we still have to follow this 19th century practice of "daylights savings"? Can't the clocks be adjusted a half hour instead of going back and forth? Any petitions going around to change this system?

Friday, February 25, 2011

Marriage, children etc.

Inspite of good reviews and friend's recommendation, I started BBB(Band baaja baaraat) with a lot of skepticism what with a disaster like "Tees Maar Khan" and this from my not-so-favorite production house! But it turned out a nice, light hearted, jolly-good timepass movie that I'm always looking for these days! The leads did a great job but somehow I would've liked an even better cast!

Talking of Shaadi(mubarak), in the past few India trips, the kids got to experience the big fat Indian style weddings and A1 especially loves to dress up in traditional pavadai, kaNN mai, flowers etc. She especially loves the oonjal(swing) that she is ready to sacrifice her early morning sleep to be there bright and early, sitting & squeezing the bride! This time Sangeet and Nalangu got added to her favourites. She was curious to know how our Sangeet and Nalangu were and when I answered that we didn't have either in our wedding, pat came her reply, "your wedding mustn't have been fun then, Amma!"

When A1 was a toddler, she often used to say "When I big and you small, I will do this to you". It would include the good ones(like pushing her in the supermarket cart) and bad ones(when I scold her). This kind of thought process in a child surprised me at that time and I even thought it was quite unique! Now A2 says the exact same thing! Sometimes it even includes, "when I big and you are in my tummy..."(So as not to make her feel bad, we tell A2 when she looks at the pictures of me, hubby and A1 prior to her birth and asks where she is, that she was in my tummy then)!

P.S. - As much as it is fun to meet so many long lost friends and relatives at marriages, it is also a sad reminder of the people who are missed including the ones who have passed on, who prefer to remain in hiding, who wants to cut all ties with family etc.!! Sigh!

Thursday, January 27, 2011


Inception - What an imagination! Though in another couple or so viewings I hope I will get the concepts of the movie. I wonder if and how the director managed to make the artists understand his script or did they just sign on the dotted line knowing Mr. Nolan! DiCaprio reminded me of Ajit(adikka varadeenga!) If only Ajit went the DiCaprio way to pick & do movies! Arthur(Joseph Gordon-Levitt) looked so familiar but just couldn't place him until I read his profile. Though Aththan kept saying "Aamir maadhiri irukkaana!"

Imagination - In A1's early years, I could not understand why imaginitive play was made such a deal for children here. In school, they again feed & grow their imagination skills in their reading and writing. I guess, this kind of letting them go wild with their imaginative mind results in extra ordinary novels & movies. Me too trying soooo hard to be atleast an aadha, iththunoondu Rowling but mmmhmm.. !!

Celebration - After a decade, got to plan India trip around Deepavali time combining a family wedding. Kids who had only seen July 4th fireworks and some sparklers here, were astounded to see changu chakrams, flower pots and numerous other varieties that they can hold and light themselves. We flew on the Deepavali day from C - C and the view of the fire crack(er)ling sky was an awesome sight!

Disruption - Snow has been wrecking havoc and following us everywhere this winter. We got stranded during the unexpected snow in London and just when we got home and got settled, it snowed in Atlanta bringing the city to a standstill!! We moved south just to escape from this snowy weather and now it chases us all around. I wonder if we had extended our stay in India if it might've snowed there too!!