Posts Tagged ‘Life’

People watching at corn stall in front of Pazhamudhir Cholai:

Mr.Stoned – Rendu corn.(Starts walking away looking like he just landed on Earth from an alien spaceship and for the love of his life, doesn’t understand where he is or what he is doing.)

Corn Guy – Saar, saar… Cup aa stick aa??

Mr.Stoned – uh?? haaa…. Apdi na?

Corn Guy – (picks up a cup in one hand and a whole corn kernel in other hand and posing exactly like these telemarketers selling dandruff creams on tv) Cup aaaaa, stick aaaaa??

Mr.Stoned – Uh… cup (and starts walking away again)

Corn Guy – Saar, yenna flavour?

Mr.Stoned – huh??

Corn Guy – Pepper and saltu, butter and saltu, masala.

Mr.Stoned – (mumbles like his voice is too precious for the world to hear it)Yennavo podunga.

Corn Guy – (slowly starting to sound like my mother when she’s about to yell at me for something) Eating aa packing aa?

Mr.Stoned – Eh?? haaa…. ummm… (looks towards the Fruit stall and starts walking as if he’s attracted towards it by the undiscovered magnetic field of oranges and apples) Yedho pannunga pannunga…

Now Corn Guy starts muttering under his breath and making the corn. Well, i did strain my ears to catch the pleasant things he was saying but unfortunately he wasn’t loud enough. He goes on to pack two cups of plain corn and then got back to his other customers. After a solid 10 mins, our guy comes out of the fruit stall empty handed, walks right next to the corn stall without as much as glancing at it, and continues walking out of the gate.

Corn Guy – Saaarrrr, saaaaaaaarrr……. Yoooooovvvvvvvv!!

Mr. Stoned has safely crossed the road.

Corn Guy – Saavu kraaki, vandhu serraanunga paaru, $#@$#, $$#!# <insert (in)appropriate family/mother/sister scolding here>

My genuine kostin : Ganja vaa illa patta saaraayama??



Ms.Salwar kameez with gym shoes (hereafter referred to as Ms.SKWGS) – Annaaaa…annaaaa

Corn Guy doesn’t seem too pleased with this newly forming paasamalar relationship.

“One cup corn. Half steamed. No pepper. No salt. No butter. No chat masala. ”

Corn guy mutters under his breath ‘Corn aavadhu podalaama illa adhuvum venaama’ which Ms. SKWGS conveniently ignores. He hands her the cup starts to make the next one.

“Annaaa, this corn is too steamed. I want half steamed only.”

Corn guy gives her a blank look and bends down again.

“Can you just take some corn seperately and heat it just for 3 and a half minutes with0ut adding water and give me. Annaaaa?? This is just killing all the nutrients in the corn. It is not at all healthy…”

“Dha paaru maa..Venaaam na vechittu poikittee iru.”

Ms.SKWGS mutters “Kaasu kuduthiten la.. Yaen solla maata” and walks away.

My genuine kostin: Ivlo healthy ya saaptu yenna dhaan saadhikka poreenga??



Very rotund aunty balancing two bags filled with grocery, one more with fruits and yelling into phone while giving instructions to the Corn Guy.

“Oru corn. Cup.” Goes back to yelling into the phone to Chinnu who apparently has chosen not to do the day’s homework.

“Yenna flavor madam? Pepper and saltu, butter and saltu…”

“Butter. Chinnuuuuu, Amma solradhu kekala night pizza vaangi thara maaten. ”

“Madam masala podalaama?”

“B-U-T-T-E-R. CHINUUUU… Kadhula vizhudha illaya daaaaa???”

“Ummmm madam, pepper….”


Now corn guy seems really scared and puts three spoonfuls of butter into the small cup of corn and thrusts it humbly into the aunty’s hands.

She got into a waiting car and screamed at the driver to go to….. well,no points for guessing this one. Pizza Hut.

Ok, We get it. Butter. Cheese. Pizza. Anything fattening.



P.S. No, you are not allowed to ask whether I was so vetti and jobless to eavesdrop on a sweet corn seller’s conversation for so long. It is known. It is understood. Move on.

Moral of the story – Selling corn is a tough job.


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So I fulfilled my first resolution of the New Year. Ok, I did it only because I wanted to do it very badly, but still just saying. Unlike last year when I ‘saw’ the Chennai Book Fair (henceforth very creatively referred to as CBF) from a moving vehicle almost one kilometer away from the entrance, because that’s how the long the entry queues were, I ‘went’ to CBF this time. Yes! Now CBF is something that I fantasize about for a full year, and then finally don’t make it when it’s on and remain disappointed for the rest of the year. Rows and rows of books stacked high, the smell of freshly printed paper, the haphazard wandering about in narrow corridors, drinking tea off small paper cups while fingering through newly bought books, the sweet corn and pani puri stalls, ok almost everything about the fair gives me a high just thinking about it. Having spent the entire last year sulking about not being able to go, I promptly made it this time armed with loads of reccos, not-so-much of cash, a ‘carrier’ who I’ll need in case I buy LOTS of books (carrier = P, of course) and a mighty bad cold.

I had managed to snoop around the CBF venue several times during the week and my first impression  was ‘Wow, they are majorly e-ottifying(which in case you don’t know, is the highly entertaining and productive occupation of shooing away flies and mosquitoes with bare hands, without the aid of advanced technology like the kosu-bat)this year!’. There was absolutely no crowd at the Fair during weekdays but I went on a holiday expecting sparse crowds perhaps, but Chennai had other plans. Half an hour after opening time, the place was packed and parking was already becoming a pain in unmentionable places. After managing to park in a weed-filled ditch and buying entrance tickets, rushed off inside the venue and whoa, it was as big as ever! And a LOT better organized as well. There were six or seven long neat columns dotted with separate shops for individual publishers/booksellers on either side. The place was well lit and the most useful feature was the presence of these huge hoardings right at the entrance to the columns listing out the shop names and numbers that are present there. Very nice touch! I remember this being there earlier also but it was a bit haphazardly done but this time it was done well. Thanks to these hoardings I didn’t have to navigate through the entire 600 plus shops to buy my books. I could just look at the board and check for the publishers who I want to visit and directly land there. Ka-ching!

This time I had gone to CBF with my mind fixed exclusively on Thamizh books because in Tamil Nadu’s capital city Singaara Chennai, hot-shot posh bookshops find it humiliating to stock up on thamizh literature except for absolutely indispensable treasures like ’60 வகை அசைவ சமையல்’ and ’30 நாட்களில் மலையாளம் கற்பது எப்படி’. So when you find separate rows for Twilight series and Chicken soup for the Agony aunt’s soul(ok, kidding), you hardly find a single shelf allocated for Thamizh books in Landmark or Odyssey. So CBF is the only time/place to stock up on regional reading unless you are superhuman enough to know how to order books from obscure publishing houses in Madurai or Kanyakumari. So I had my mental list all ready and scanned the hoardings for Uyirmai, Kaalachuvadu, Vijaya Padhipagam and other thamizh publishers and headed straight to these stalls. I did look around a bit here and there but amidst one stall of serious thamizh literature, I found fifteen others selling Panchatantra stories and self-help trash. And, as always these stalls were the most popular, being thronged by screaming kids and house wives looking to reach their man’s heart through the most obvious route – the stomach. Nice ambience actually if you don’t mind the pushing/jostling and high decibel levels.

Among the Thamizh publishers, Uyirmai attracted the largest crowds. I was even a bit surprised to see that there was hardly any standing space inside the Uyirmai stall with people jostling with full enthu and trying to grab books vigorously from shelves. And these people weren’t even the ‘Come-here-and-I-will-give-you-a-long-lecture-on-Sangam-literature’ jolna pai-soda butti wearing intellectual old types. They were all men and women, sorry, ONLY men of my age group, all under 30 and all looking very interested in S.Ra and Je Mo as much as they would be in Mc Donald’s burgers and evenings at some pub. In fact, it was such a relief to be at the Uyirmai stall after escaping the screeching kids and their screaming mothers in the other stalls. My only gripe at the stall was that I was the ONLY girl there and I couldn’t really hustle and jostle with hundred other men to lay my hands on the books. Now this is where the ‘Carrier’ comes into picture. Given his total distaste for books and reading of any kind except the technical, knowledge enhancing variety (yes, I live full time with a creature that you-tubes ‘brush gear assembly welding’ videos for ‘fun’ and orders Advanced mechanical technology from Amazon. Build me a temple 😐 ), P was being extremely nice and considerate, deftly catching and carrying all those books I threw him while being sandwiched between Guy-wanting-Sujatha-book and Guy-wanting-Jeyamohan book. He even gave me occasional suggestions like pointing out towards Sujatha’s introduction to Silapadhigaaram and saying ‘hey, that looks like something you may want to read!’ (Though his face looked totally distorted like the book was a slime ball worm and it was something I might want to eat and not read). I was happy he at least knew it was something I might want to read. And after frantic hurling of about 20 books into his now-buckling-under-pressure arms, I finally looked a bit apologetic about such a crazy haul, he magnanimously smiled and said, ‘Oh, no problem, buy as many as you want. Stock up.’ Of course, my eyes were beginning to widen like a tea saucer so he added, ‘As long as YOU pay for them.’ Being reminded about having to pay for them was my cue and I almost ran out of the stall to stop myself from looking or touching another book only to find myself in a serpentine queue at billing. Now wait, what was that? The cashier was totaling up values on his calculator and writing out a hand bill! Hello Uyirmai, pliss to be introduced to computers and databases! As the guy was furiously scratching ineligible book names on the bill and totaling up values (as fast as he was), a couple of people even dropped out of the queue, leaving their books behind. What a way to lose precious customers, especially when you are already running losses and a huge book fair like this would be a very important opportunity to raise revenues. Uyirmai please get electronic billing and ERP next year. Trust me, it’s not all that expensive. These things come as cheap as mobile phones these days and are an investment for any self respecting business venture.

I didn’t find any major cons at CBF this time. Maybe they could have had a couple of volunteers to guide people to issued pamphlets with stall locations because when the place gets crowded, it’s not feasible for a lot of people to stand near the entrance hoardings and search for the stalls they want to visit.

So there, after two hours of blissful book shopping, left the place to spend the rest of the Sunday smelling the books, reading blurbs and writing my name on all of them. After ages, a holiday well spent!


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A friend was going through a very tough time recently. She put on a brave front and tried to keep it all inside until one day she could take it no more and burst  out with it to me. Clutching the phone so close to the ear that it hurt, I listened going increasingly numb with each passing second. She went on for what seemed like an eternity. I hadn’t uttered a single word through the entire conversation. Well, not really a conversation, more of a monologue. After unloading all that had been clogging her mind and eating into her life for so long, she hung up and I was left still clutching the phone tight to the ear, helplessly wondering if there was something I should have said to make her feel better. Something wise or witty. But well, as it was, I had not known what to say and she had hung up already. I felt stupid, lousy and totally not fit to be an agony aunt. A couple of days later she called back again.

“Hey…” she started, “I just hung up the other day. Didn’t even say bye…”

“Well, I didn’t even talk, for starters, so don’t you worry”

“Yeah, that’s what I called about. Thanks for listening Mi. Honestly. I’m so glad I spoke to you. I’m so glad ‘I’ spoke. For once I wasn’t listening to advice or being judged or getting scolded. I spoke. God knows after how long. Thanks for that. Really.”

I opened my mouth to say something, stopped, opened and closed the mouth two more times like a fish, and closed it shut again. Now was NOT the best time to tell her that I had actually been quiet and listened so much not because I was patient, understanding or sensitive but actually because I didn’t know what to say, how to console or what advice to give. Looks like my ignorance actually paid off and she felt much better after that monologue. Later rewinding that conversation, I understood that whatever she had said was absolutely true. Sometimes all you want is for people to listen to you. Just listen and not judge the situation, judge you, judge everybody around. I’ve felt the most relieved after long monologues with friends, after swearing, bitching and endlessly cribbing about how unfair things were, after dumping out all my angst in all possible ways, but mostly I’ve felt the best when they’ve just Listened. Listened and probably squeezed a hand or given a big hug or whispered a ‘it’s ok, this will pass’ over the phone. But what matters above everything else is that they listened. So maybe the next time someone comes to me with a problem, I’ll not be constructing soothing replies and tactical agony-aunt advice in my mind while pretending to listen to what they’re saying on the outside. Maybe I’ll just shut everything out and simply lend a ear. Because some things are best said when they’re left unsaid.

On a totally unrelated note, I realised that I’m so sentimentally attached to a lot of things in life that I’ve been using some stuff for years and years. Like, while combing today, I just realised that I’ve been using the same wide toothed pink comb for the *gasp* past eight years. I am not kidding. I’ve misplaced that comb many times, felt miserable thinking its lost but have always found it under the bed or below the medicine cabinet. It always comes back to me. And I don’t even feel like I’ve combed my hair if I don’t use THAT particular comb. How weird is that!  Ditto with Jemi, the stuffed pillow JP gifted me on a birthday couple of years ago.  I don’t sleep hugging stuffed toys or pillows (eeks!!), but if I don’t see Jemi propped majestically on the study table as soon as I wake up, as soon as I enter the room and as the last thing before I leave home in the morning, I end up feeling queasy all through the day, until I’ve seen Jemi in her usual place again. I get completely psyched out of I don’t find the particular pair of earphones I’ve been using for the past five years or if  that tattered bag I bought when I started college can’t be found when I look for it. It freaks me out that I’m so attached to these ‘things’. They’re not expensive, they’re not the best but somehow the memories attached to such stuff makes them all the more precious. I guess everybody has some stuff which brings back memories of fun times, of laughter and happiness, of friends and family, whenever they look at it. Maybe an old comb, a favorite dress, an autographed book or an old birthday card. And such things are treasured not for what they are but for what remind you of. Oh, and what do I say,talking and thinking up stuff like this, I freak myself out most of the time!! 😀

*Dedication Update*

This post is dedicated to Kavitha who I think is the only soul in the world who wants to read me and bugs me to death to write. Even if its nonsense. Thanks Kavi 🙂

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Hahahahahahaaaaa… No I’ve not lost it. I signed into my Gmail today wanting to clear up the mess in my inbox and ended up reading some of the most enlightening, thought provoking, life altering chat conversations I’ve had recently. They were so out of the world that I couldn’t resist posting some here. 😀 😀

Sample 1

This one was after a bessshhht friend who is an ‘almost’ journalist went to a World Cinema film festival with her first free Press Pass. God save World and Cinema!!

me: how did the film festival go?

padam la nalla irundhucha

u shud ve taken A (A, if you are reading this, note how highly I think of your cinema      appreciation sensibilities. 😛 )

he’d have enjoyed it much

R:   orey bore ya

I have realised I don’t have the patience for non commercial cinema man

me: u have patience for nothing non commercial

not just cinema

R: its soooo long and the camera dwells on each subject for at least 30 seconds and u       wanna tear ur hair out. see I don’t have the patience for looking at a man trimming his moustache for more than 2 seconds and 20 seconds of tat is like whoaaa

me: adhu kooda parava illa .. these film critics will write ‘that scene where he’s seen  trimming his moustache is so profound in detail’


me: as if avan meesai vetradhu holds the key to life

R: bulls eye man

one review I read celebrated him trimming his moustache


me: nejamava??



na summa velayaatukku sonaen


R: no man SERIOUS


“Basically he doesn’t want to be bothered. He doesn’t want to take the pains of finding a groom for his sister, which he knows will invite trouble about division of property etc. He is a man who is totally engrossed in himself. Throughout the film you see him preening himself; manicuring his fingers, trimming his moustache; oiling his body. He doesn’t share his fears, dreams or thoughts with anyone. He is obsessed with himself.”


idhu ellam 30 30 seconds ku film la kaatuva


oiling his body

George clooney body a irundha kooda parvailla


me: “the director makes a very subtle yet profound statement by holding his scissors at a 29 degree angle while trimming his moustache in leisure. Shows the vagaries and suffering of having a moustache and trimming it periodically in an understated yet impactful manner”


R: this u wrote a?

me: na art film critic aaga poren ya


can I use it in my review?

me: yeah I wrote



R: 😀

me: it’s the easiest I think

yaarkum puriyaadha madhri pesanum.

Sample 2

Early Monday morning. This girl, another close friend, pings first thing as soon as I switch on the laptop hoping for a good trouble free day. Confirms that my prayers are never ever answered.

K: Life is like a mountain. Reaching its peak is my aim. However trails are difficult to go through. But what’s important are – The lessons I’ve learned, Challenges I’ve experienced, and the people I’m with in my journey.

me: (thinking WTF) good morning de

K: good morning 🙂

paaru kalailaye am giving u such thought provoking quotes


me: :O


yenna koduma sir idhu

25 minutes later… K attacks again. 25 minutes

K: It’s not the presence of someone that brings meaning to life. But the way someone   touches your heart gives LIFE a beautiful meaning.

me: hey yenna di idhellaam??

yenna problem??



asingama thittu vaanga pora ni

K: status messages de

life bore adikkudhu nu sonnela

so am making it lively

me: (????)

Sabba!! What amazing friends I have!! What lengths they go to, to make life interesting for me!! Priceless!!

Sample 3

This again with my gonna-be journo friend after I gave her a link on how Gabtun is on  a recruitment hunt for Captain TV and told her she shouldn’t miss this opportunity of a lifetime for anything in the world. From Gabtun and cricket to Shahid and Priyanka, the bitching never ends. 😀 Srtictly not for Shahid Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra fans.

R: heyyy

Thanks for the link ya

totally saved my life ya

ever grateful a irrupen unnaku na

me: i know yaaaaaaaaaar

R*happy tears in eyes*

me: gabtun roxxxxxxx

R: totally yaar. captain toh ttly roxxx

me: i had those in my eyes too when I saw the link

felr sooooooooooo bad I wasn’t a journalist or into media

😦 u are sooooo lucky…

R: hey wat u rnt typin lik a moron. Lolzzzzz.. wat uncool lik u r typin full spllings and all?


vry vry lcky i m

i knw


R: 😀

me: chennai suxxxxxx

R: yaa. suxxx yaar. so hot dis city

alwys swtin

me: so happie dey lost ystrdy

aye balle balle

R: ya. so gld tat our gony (pnjabi guy na. lolzzzzz) plyed bad shots

me: super kings suxxx wonly cuz it has chennai in its name yaar

R: haan yaar. ttly

me: err

R: and preity wuz lukin soo hottt yaar

and yvraj’s tummy was lik so sexxxy

me: hey yaaaaaaaaar.. that trisha TOTALLY suxxxxxxxxxx (this is actually true)

R: shkin and movin and all

and tat ramesh powar toh luks lik southie only

all black

and yuck like southie


ya. trisha suxxxx, preity roxxxx

me: 😀



R: yenna achu?


me: my senior managers looking at me like I am crazy

R: and yenaala rhomba neram amit madri pesa mudiyadhu


me: I am laughing at the monitor like anything

R: :D. me too


but seriously u should read shahid kapoor’s tweets man

ayyo ayyo

mudiala yennala

me: :O



Don’t tell me

I god damn follow that fellow


R: “I’m Doin rubbish in da song I think but somehow ahmed khan always makes my rubbish look bearable”

😐 😐

I’m also going to from now on

me: lol


dear mr. kapoor one sumaal correcson. u r not doing rubbish. U R rubbish

R: 😀





me: but by rule I am polite on twitter

should just unfollow him I guess

R: ahh. i dont have any such rules. the point is even if I tweet rudely to him, not like he is gonna read and change

me: and EVERYDAY he says “ok tweeps me leavin 4 de day be bak and KEEP IT REALLLLLL”

saniyan avan

R: 😀

me: i feel like asking him man, are you for real?

unna pethaangala senjaangala

R: keep it real a? what the hell does that mean? *censored unprintable question here*


me: that too that good actor pankaj kapoor

I have doubts about his birth these days

R: serious a. perfect a in the middle of UP la oru field lendhu idha thookindu vandhiruppa nu i think. yuckk

me: worse yet is that priyanka chopra


R: heyy. i aint following her

adhuvum ipdi dhaana?

me: me neither

sometimes ppl RT her

I think she SHOULD marry shahid kapoor

the child would be a nightmare

R: lolzzzzzzzzzz


(Good news now is that there’s a Shayad Kapoor on Twitter who deciphers what Shahid Kapoor says and tweets them. Too bad it ends our Shahid bashing.)

Sample 4

A totally demented conversation with dear friend RK avargal. Probably Ayirathil Oruvan effect but I really don’t understand why we started talking like this all of a sudden. That too both of us without any provocation like it was the most natural way to talk in the world.

RK: vanakkam 🙂

nalla irukiya?

me: nandraga ullen veti dog avargale

thaangal epodhum pola vetiyaagave uleergala?

RK: ippadi eppadi paesalam M avargale….naan eppodhum busy busy busy

me: hahahaha

ungal ku ore kaamedy thaan pongal

ka ka ka pooooooo (Pulikesi effect vera.. :D)

RK: he he he…mannaruku konjam kusumbhu adhigam dhaan…:)

me: 😀

veru yenna visesham?

makkal yaavarum nalamaaga ulaargala?

RK: neenga sollunga M?…em makkal anaivarum mika magizhchi odu ullargal

ungal rajiyathilirudhu aethaenum nalla seithi undo?

me: oru nolla seidhi… saari nalla seidhiyum illai mannaa’

makkal migundha bore’l ulllargal

R: he he he…


There are say, 100 plus such conversations which when revealed would lead to serious research on the evolution (or de- evolution) of the human brain. Scintillating questions like ‘What is the difference between tomato puree and tomato ketchup’, in-depth analysis of the mental faculties of others when our own faculties are bad enough to be put under observation, depressing rants, unforgivable mokkais and pure, unadulterated crap. Thank you, you mental people, my friends for all the entertainment these conversations provide long after they’re over. Any time, any day, they always put a wide smile on my face!

So, who are you chatting with now?

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Things that couldn’t bring me out of self-imposed exile from blogging.

1. The stupendous success of Vinnaiththaandi Varuvaaya.VTV songs on every channel every minute of the day, VTV specials all the time, VTV ringtones and caller tunes all around! But strangely, though I liked the film, I didn’t even feel like tweeting or buzzing , let alone blogging about it when the whole of Tamil Nadu was obsesssing over the movie. It was then that I realised I had a blogging block which would be a tad too difficult to shake off.

2. The Great Indian Budget. Yawn.

3. New Secretariat Building. The extremely fascinating battery car which had the Chief Minister, Prime Minister and the Master Pupeteer huddled into it like these small kids in theme park toy cars, was a very tempting attraction, yes. But not tempting enough to blog yet.Instead of blogging, all I did was to have macabre sinister thoughts on how that would have been an ideal assasination location for terrorists who wanted to finish off 3 major thala(vali)s of the Nation in one go.

4. IPL and the overflowing love for Kolkata Knight Riders. The Go KKR’s and Korbo Lorbo somethings that people seem to be throwing at SRK on twitter ever since IPL started, made me want to scratch my nails on a wall. But no sir, it sure didn’t make me want to blog about it.

5. The five crore Mayawati garland. This one was real juicy with all the makings of a masala potboiler. The chauvinistic cruel landlord surrounded by goons, evil Akshaykumar like laughter, poor people huddling around at the mansion gates in pouring rain waiting for a glimpse of the landlord, he abusing them and kicking… errr… Glad I didn’t actually write a blogpost about it right? Right.

6. Absolutely utter monotony in life. Wake up.Work at home.Eat. Work at office.Eat.Work at home.Eat. Sleep. This day after day, month after month. Now if THIS couldn’t get me back to blogging, what on Earth could? Nothing? I thought so too.

But apparently there was one such thing. It might be old news but it caught my attention only today and it got me soooooo worked up and soooooooo excited that I almost shed copious tears of joy and relief and typed out this post in 5 minutes flat. At a time of unforeseen economic downtime and recession since the Great Depression of the 1930’s, at a time filled with political tensions and worldwide wars, at a time of great disparity of living standards with the depths of suffering and the heights of luxury co-existing among one another, here comes the ONE and ONLY hope. The one ultimate solution to end all pain and suffering. The one most potent device to wipe out all terrorists from the face of the world and send them all to moon with a mighty kick. The one stop shop to alleviate poverty, abolish racism and uplift people. The one and only means of deflecting hurricanes and tsunamis back to the ocean, protecting the environment from global warming and stopping alarming weather changes. The one event of utmost national/international/inter-galactic importance.

It is THIS

Now the world can be saved at the flick of the wrist and the remote control. Kids will stop crying, damaged old pieces will die immediately, Pakistan terrorists will jump into the Indian Ocean and kill themselves in the tornado that Gabtun re-directed there from Arizona. Aal Praablam salved attu tha touch aaf yae button. Gabtun TV is here. Aaauuunnn. What more do you want?

And if  THIS doesn’t get me to write a post, what will?

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Travel Diary.

A trip to remember

1. A long car journey after a long time. Was quite excited by it. Heavily armed myself with lots of music, a big fat book that had to be squeezed to fit into the handbag, water bottles, snacks and was the first one to jump into the car. Occupied the last seat by the window and rolled down the glass first thing to let the wind blow against my face. As I marvelling at the lovely feeling of the morning breeze wafting across me, everybody else settled down and we took off. There was this general scrutiny of how comfortable the car was, how the audio system was out of order, how the pushback didn’t push back enough, how the AC didn’t cool the car at all. But I was of course, oblivious to all this since I was too busy trying to pat my hair that was flying in all possible directions, back into order. Then there was this loud commotion and could see dad argue with the driver but I couldn’t be bothered, I had Alphonse screaming aaromale into my eardrums. I watched the entire fiasco like it was some deaf-mute news bulletin until I saw the driver pointing out at me and say something to dad. It took me a while to realise that dad had been asking him why the air conditioner did nothing to condition the air and the driver was retorting that it was because I had my window wide open. Ten pairs of eyes shot murderous looks while I hastily shut the window close. I was definitely thankful for one thing I realised there. Looks couldn’t really kill. For sure.

2. A few hours into the journey, I knew this one was going to be something beautiful and different. I had gone travelling into small towns and cities before but none offered me the kind of total bonding with nativity that this one did. Far away from the maddening traffic of the city crowds, far away from the still quietness and the occasional whirring of cars and trucks passing by on the suburban by-pass roads, the car snaked its way through narrow muddy roads that raised huge cloudy puffs of dust. Coconut sellers dotted the roads at regular intervals, selling freshly plucked tender coconut from the nearby groves. Long stretches of peaceful bumpy ride interspersed with colours from a local market that we crossed. Rows of vendors sat hawking roasted cashew nuts mixed with spices and fresh plump jackfruit. Fruity odour assailed the nostrils giving a pleasant heady high. Fresh green cucumbers and guava fruits lay piled on low stools on either side of the narrow lanes. Good music pouring into the ears, nature soothing the eyes, munching on cashews and cucumbers, laughter and occasional leg-pulling, nothing short of absolute bliss.  

3. The visit to Thanjavur Peruvudaiyar Kovil was an unplanned treat. We were crossing Thanjavur and decided to visit the Periya Kovil on an impulse. It was my first time and it was love at first sight. What an imposing majestic structure! I felt like a speck standing in front of the main temple complex. Tried sitting, standing, rolling on the ground, etc to cover the Gopuram in whole for a picture, but still couldn’t do justice. The entire temple complex is a photographic delight. From one side, the Gopuram stands tall amidst a squeaky clean white sky speckled with blue like print on a toddler’s frock. From another side, it stands framed by a sky multihued with violent pinks and orange. From yet another view, it is all dull, sombre and mystic. It looked like the temple had a mind and a mood of its own. I could have sat for hours on those hard stone steps looking at the temple framed by the sky. It was truly a sight to behold. And yeah, the Nandi was darn cute too. Felt like hugging it tight and giving a peck on its shiny black granite face. Cho Chweeeeeeeeet! 

4. Stopped on the way at a family friend’s place for some refreshment. It was around five in the evening and it was already getting dark. It was an old, traditional home with huge wooden pillars, tiled roof and a lot of warm people. The women were frying golden onion bajjis in a huge kadai as we entered the house. “Kai kaal kazhuvitu vaanga. Light ah tiffin saapdalaam”, they said. ‘Light tiffin’ was the major understatement here. We were served rava kesari dripping ghee first, followed by the mouth watering bajjis, steaming hot idlis with vengaaya chutney and huge adais with sambhar. After polishing off the entire meal with some fragrant tea in dabaras, we couldn’t even get up to wash hands. The warmth and fondness that they showered on us was heart warming. Such amazing people make life worth living. Err, ok, the amazing food makes life worth living too.

5. The Velankanni Church seems to keep growing like a boy being fed on ten glasses of Complan each day. Each time you see it, it has more buildings, an additional prayer hall here, a memorial building there and so on. Loved watching all the religious pray vociferously, kids bawling out while having their heads tonsured and foreign tourists thronging the knick-knack shops for souvenirs and holy oil. Was amazed to see the diverse kind of people who were there. Some with ash smeared on their foreheads, some with burkhas covering their heads, all kneeling down in silent prayer to the One they believe. It was a classic example of God transcending religion. Now if only more people realised this.

Take-aways: Tons of photographs to cherish, a huge jack fruit, packets of roasted  cashews, warm memories, body pain.

Regrets: Not having time to visit the Nagoor Dargah and Thanjavur Palace. But, enough reason to make another trip along the same roads, right?

P.S. It’s meltingmasks’ first birthday today! This blog is a year old and I’ve grown along with it. This birthday song is to you meltingmasks. I remember singing this version from way back in school. I even sing it now for a few best buddies birthdays. So here goes baby! This one’s for us.

Happy Burthdae to youuuuuuuu

You were born in the zooooooo

With the monkeys and donkeyssss(!!!)

And you stink like a pig!!!

On a more serious note, I love you meltingmasks. You’ve helped me cope up, vent frustration, be overjoyed, be distraught. You’ve helped me make friends and learn along the way. Hope we go a long way together. To all of you who’ve been here, thank you. To those who haven’t, I’m sure you will 🙂

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I Do Not…

I Do Not “wanna make fraaandsip with you”

I Do Not want free love alerts every day.

I Do Not want to ‘hurry!!!’ to see Namitha in a green top.

I Do Not want to save my tax money. I wish to pay as much tax as possible and help alleviate the poor from their poverty and make sure they get their share of  free colour tv sets, cable connection, one rupee rice and ten rupees pulses. So Bajaj Alliance, Tata Sunlife Insurance, LIC and everybody else, LEAVE ME ALONE.

I Do Not wanted to be reminded 20 times every day of  all those lovely lovely latest new hot songs that I could have set as my caller tune instead of the old Ilayaraaja number that I’m sticking to. Yes, I Do realize that ‘Yen uchchi mandaila surrrrrr’ is a better choice. ‘Puli urumudhu’ still better. I understand I’m outdated. Vodafone, I beg you to kindly bear with me and stop calling me at 7 in the morning and 10 in the night to remind me to change my caller tune. STOP.

While on the topic, I’m going to sue to Vodafone, for breach of privacy. I know your dirty little secret. You have 2 armed detectives follow me and note all my moves 24*7. How else would you know all those intimate details about who the love of my life is, the alphabet with which his name starts, who my best friend is, which business I would be successful in, what my lucky colour is, how I would die, etc etc. And to top it all, you are blackmailing me with all that priceless information and want me to send messages to you, paying 3 bucks for each of those and find out from YOU all the juicy tidbits of MY life. The guts! And just while I was typing out this post my mobile beeped and again, a message from Vodafone.

Easy to get Rs.15 lacs prize. Answer simple questions, win exciting prizes. Q. Tamil Nadu’s classical dance. (X) Bharatnatyam (Y) Salsa. Sms X or Y to 58888. Rs.3/sms

Keep those millions ready. I am definitely sueing.

I Do Not want to know how you hogged like a pig and ended up with dysentery. Or how your wife nags you to death every evening. Or how your punnaaku vyaabaaram is not doing too well. Or why Rinku forged your signature on his report card. On the phone? Talk to the person on the other side of the line. Not to the whole world. Spare us the morbid details.

There are a million other I Do Not’s but listing them down like this pisses me as much as experiencing them. So I’ll exert supreme self control and cut it out. Holy crap! Another message from Vodafone. No kidding!!!

Beauty Dolls Spl! Download Stunning Glam Beauties @ one click! Charges apply

என்ன கொலகாரியா மாத்தாம விடமாட்டாங்க போல இருக்கே!!

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