Monday, October 15, 2007

family and friends

Recently I was teaching one of my students civics and explaining what a family and community meant. Here is what the textbook said: the immediate group in which you live is your family. A group of families either living in the same area or having some common links or interests is called a community.
That really got me thinking. Families are getting ultra nuclear nowadays. People get euphoric over the old system of joint families and lament their extinction. But let me be brutally frank.I lived in a joint family and the first day of my nuclear family life I went bonkers. I could cook what I wanted, I could get up whenever I wanted( I kept getting up at five AM being a creature of habit nevertheless) Ooh what joy! But the flipside is that children have deleted the word adjustment from their vocabulary.They don't want to be "nice" to cousins they don't like.."not in the same wavelength"They would rather be with friends who have similar tastes.They don't want to like what they get but get what they like.
Liking what one gets is good. You can love a person unconditionally . You might dislike umpteen things about them but still love them.
Recently I recently read an article about a community of bikers who call themselves First Sunday Riders,all of whom love bikes and riding unchartered territories.When you share a common interest it is a wonderful bonding. When I go to Sai Mandir on Thursdays ,
I feel a bonding with the people there ...we are all devotees of Sri Saibaba . How much a common interest or religion or even a common sorrow or happiness unites people!
i must be getting old. I am getting more and more mushy and by Toutatis where is my old cynical self?

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Here a tag there a tag

I have been tagged , rather unfairly, I should say,as I cannot run.
Anyway here goes.
There are 3 rules.
Rule 1. The rules must be mentioned in the beginning of the tag.
Rule 2 You must list one fact that is somehow relevant to your life for each letter of your middle name. If you don’t have a middle name, use the middle name you would have liked to have had.
Rule 3. At the end of your blog post, you need to choose one person for each letter of your middle name to tag.
My parents didn't give me a middle name for the simple reason they didn't give me my first name either.I was an unwanted second daughter who grew up into an aggressive middle child. My second cousin twenty times removed grabbed the opportunity and named me.She later had three daughters of her own and gave them even uglier names.
The name I would like as my middle name is Nidhi (treasure,..not an unwanted second daughter)
N for neurotic (gene presented by mater)
I for insecure( if your parents allowed your second cousin to name you you would be too)
D for depressed( ditto same reason as above)
H for haughty or hoi polloi as occasion demands.
I for inimitable (one of a kind)
By the way, I had to discard quite a few impressive words. N could have been narcissistic but I couldnt be both insecure and that could I? I could have been an iconoclast, ignoramus, immunologist, or even a hexagon. ok let it go.
Now like I said earlier , I am too old to play tag , so I need volunteers. Bye.

Thursday, August 30, 2007


Everywhere I go now I see huge billboards saying "Subhadra footpath" exhorting the pedestrians not to jaywalk, but to use the new improved footpaths. "Subhadra" !They must be joking. I have a torn ligament to prove that they aren't. Everytime I walk on these footpaths, I walk like a bashful bride, head bent down, searching for pitfalls. We live on a main road, on which a flyover was constructed recently.The flyover is like they remarked about the laser when it was discovered(quite wrongly as it turned out) the solution in search of a problem. A narrow service road runs alongside the flyover,( with a narrower footpath, which is not even a foot wide) on which all the buses ply at breakneck speeds

The educational institution on this road contributes to the hazards the pedestrians face. It has built an ugly portico which has further reduced the size of the footpath. It has leaky drainpipes which leak out effluents of unknown origin on to the footpath, which collect in puddles on the footpath. In addition they have two large spouts on the terrace which suddenly come to life and drench unsuspecting pedestrians. Get on the road and you hear a sudden blare and see a huge bus bearing down on you..and you either have a heart attack or get run over by the bus.
, What are the other options .... walk through the ground and get hit by a cricket ball or shouted at by an irate coach..No , I prefer the Subhadra footpath, thank you.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

of pills and placebos

Ha! what did my offspring say about pills and placebos? Just check out this article in the TOI
dated August 3,2007. the article says" People who expected to get pain relief from a treatment showed a greater release of dopamine in the part of the brain called the nucleus accumbeus.... In turn they were more likely ... to report pain relief even though they all received only a placebo"
Ha ha, all ye unbelievers,what do you have to say? ..I clearly remember all your snide remarks about pillpopping and placebos.
On a more serious note, so many times, I wonder if there is a God above, or is it all just fiction?
Despite all the karma theory, of which my father was a strong proponent, why do the good suffer, sometimes throughout life, while the wicked flourish like the green bay tree?
But I am still a strong believer.I need Him with an unimaginable thirst and hunger.
I can rant at Him and He will forgive me.
I can weep unashamedly in front of Him , He will wipe away my tears with a calm smile
I can do a hundred wrong things ,He will forgive me.
Only He can give me unconditional love.
He is the true mother. I need someone who is nonjudgmental-above all the pettinesses of life.
I need Him ,hence I am a believer.

I just need Him...
He is the ultimate Placebo. .....

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Walk into my closet said the spider to the fly ..

As I took my morning walk , that fateful day, my step was jaunty, my mood was euphoric. We had shifted, the movers had come and gone , no major breakages, the kitchen was already set up,all was well ,God was in his Heaven..
Now I always plan out my day during the walk. so too this day.Today was allotted for sorting out the clothes....that is Alto's. Since I had travelled wisely this time, mine took just under 25 minutes.
She had already told me to leave the winter clothing alone ..that could be unpacked when winter came and spring was far behind." Hallelujah '! sang my heart "that is 50% less work".
Came nine'oclock an assortment of suitcases, cardboard cartons, and bags appeared as if my magic. "amma, "said my daughter," there are some more wrapped around the glass jars" and blithely departed for work.
I took a deep breath, took a valium and started.First I separated the formals and then subdivided as Indian and western ..that was easy.Then I started on the skirts. that was when the nightmare started. They started from ankle-length and went higher and hi..gher until I could bear it no more. I sorted them out on the basis of length and labelled them in ascending
order. That was the math teacher resurfacing. Thank goodness they stopped a little above the knee.
Then the mindboggling trousers and shorts for every imaginable occasion... even one for doing sudoku in.Then I stared ....and restared. the garment I was folding had looked quite innocuous. It was a pair of shorts.. or was it? It was a shorts in the front but was like a skirt behind.How do I classify this? In my world of maths, black was black and white was white no 'tween shades of gray.I called up Alto..I could feel the fear in her voice" Has she burnt the house down?"I explained" Amma , that is called a skort!" she said. Skort! My God!
By evening it was all sorted out.. Everything I couldn't sort out I put under 'miscellaneous'.
You would think my daughter would be grateful. Not so. Come six'oclock I hear a shout from not an" Ashariri"-- that was my ungrateful daughter -' Amma, where on earth is my black hand embroidered skirt ?' I rushed upstairs, and conducted a mini orientation course on where everything was. Then I asked my daughter' Dont you think it was much easier and better when you had just 6 sets of salwar suits and the seventh set made you feel like you were in seventh heaven' 'No' said my unrepentant Americanised materialistic daughter, surveying her overflowing closet, 'this is my seventh heaven' !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, July 20, 2007

I have been tagged!

Help! I have been tagged!
I have not eight but eighty things to say about myself, but do I want people to know these ? THAT is the question.
1. I suffer from acrophobia.I HATE rollercoasters, giantwheels all the things normal people love to ride in.
2. I love the word phobia. It sounds high funda..Instead of saying that I am ... scared of spiders I can say I suffer from the way my biology is little rusty..spiders are arthropods ..right.?
3.I dont have a single sports gene. I am bad at any sport or game....I am surprised that my husband who loves sports (he even watches re-re-re -reruns of all matches)hasnt divorced me.
4. I hate cooking. I frankly dont know from where my daughter got her love of cooking from . My motherinlaw never cooked nor did her motherinlaw.I cook because I love compliments and love oneupmanship.Go to 8 for further details.
5.I sing like an ass , I'm usually a zillion notes off-key
6.I love irritating my husband , a skill honed over the years. He is a hoarder,I am a thrower-out of things. Just today I cleaned his room thoroughly, I am waiting anxiously for the repercussions.Anyway, that is three months away.I dont think he's going to divorce me because
-- It is very difficult to get cooks
--He loves old things.. and I am practically an antique now.
--Alimony is too expensive and we cannot afford lawyers.
7.I keep my kitchen either spiffy clean or drop dead dirty
8.I'm terribly insecure , it takes about 3 compliments a day (I dont mind even repeated compliments)to keep me stable and reasonably sane

Now is the million dollar question , I do not KNOW 8 people , maybe not even 8 visitors! So please save me from ignominy and take up my tag , dear..dearest reader !(I hope you love compliments just as I do!)

Ahem (*Brandishes her cane*) , here are the rules
1. Each player starts with 8 random facts/habits about themselves.
2. People who are tagged, write a blog post about their own 8 random things, and post these rules.
3. At the end of your post you need to tag 8 people and include their names. Don’t forget to leave them a comment and tell them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.
4. If you fail to do this within eight hours, you will not reach Third Series or attain your most precious goals for at least two more lifetimes. (what does it mean?)

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Mod Michaelangelo


Weekends in India are like weekdays ,atleast for me. A heavier breakfast may be, a longer walk , a longer snooze. Here weekends mean going sightseeing ; This time it was catching up on museums in DC.we wanted to see only those I had missed out last time I was was the Sculpture garden for us.One which caught my fancy was the 3D inside outside house (pic above) which changed perspective as we walked towards it.It really got me thinking...We are so judgmental about people when we meet them for the first time, seeing them through someone's eyes, through our own insecurities,then we get closer and see them quite differently.....see these sculptures as I saw them.

(Oh, what a tangled web we weave.....I didnt go into this parlor)

(A cat can look at a King, a crow can look at a sculpture. 3 guesses for what this is.)

Thursday, June 28, 2007

the garden or rather weeden

I am missing my garden rather my weeden back home. No, it is not one of those landscaped neat gardens that are shown on Inside Outside . A higgledy piggledy garden where hedges grow any which way, flowering plants forget to overgrown mango tree whose fruits are sour, whose branches block the sunlight and dont allow other plants to grow;I hear you ask "why then a garden?"
Think of the plus points.I can go and lecture them sternly on their performance or rather the lack thereof.No backanswering or arguments.I can sing to them.. they do not say that I am singing offkey.I feed them with muck(literally) and they give me beautiful flowers. I trim them ... they do not say "I would rather go to the beauty parlour"
The whole of the shimmering summer the stones thrown at the mango tree have contribued to my rockery. And think of the pleasure of sneaking behind an unsuspecting little brat who is throwing stones and threatening him with incarceration..
Can my offspring give me any of these plasures? Noway. Give me my Weeden anyday.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007


My children believe in hyperboles. Every little idiosyncracy or fault of mine is magnified a multifold, decorated with a lot of exaggeration, to make it delectable for their friends. take these for example.
Hyperbole 1: I am a pillpopper. so ... there is a saying "For every malady under the sun there is a remedy or there is none" Only I believe "for every malady under the sun there is a remedy, homeopathy. I came equipped with a veritable medical cabinet.pills for jetlag,airsickness,seasickness(that was clubbed as one..... I took the seasickness pills when we were flying over the Atlantic) pills for cold , cough.. you name it I had it. What is wrong ? they said all of them were alike and most probably placebos made for hypochondriacs..I pop the pills I am happy,, viva la placebos!
Hyperbole2: I am directionally challenged.kay I do get lost in Basavanagudi after living there does it justify the story that is going around that if they made me stand in front of our house blindfolded me and turned me around a few times I wouldnt know where I was, does it? Ok I do go for walks with a compass so what ? It is a free country isnt it?
Hyperbole3:I have no memory for faces though I can remember old grudges that go back 30 odd years with perfect detail.Okay I did not recognize my brotherinlaw when I came face to face with him in the market..they refuse to believe that it was because I was solving a problem in geometry in my head..but I really think I associate people with their places... or may be I lack cognitive skills or whatever they call it in IQ tests.I only hope I have passed on these genes to my children...i cant wait to see them surface... bye.. time for a pill ...

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Hello world

Pills are being popped...please stand by for regular programming.