Wednesday, December 31, 2008

End of years

The last day of 2008 deserves a post, me thinks. I sat down to think about what I have achieved this past, actually, I am only now sitting down and thinking about it...hmmm. Ok, no major achievements! It's not like I am Vishwanath Anand or something, that I can talk about the latest feathers in my cap. ('PJ'* on feathers later below.)

Still, I must say I seem to have enjoyed myself for the most part of 2008. Lack of Vishy Anand-like achievements leads me resign myself to listing out some personal, interesting experiences of 2008: -
1. I have started writing for a newspaper supplement -- still freelance, but nevertheless...
2. I began writing restaurant reviews for a Chennai based magazine -- this happened quite by chance but since it's right up my alley, I now revel in it!
3. I have enjoyed the company of my friends (3 different groups) even more this year! One group of school pals, one of college and the third group I got to know through my gym and they are what I call my 'womanly' friends -- I became thick with them only a couple of years ago, but they are FUN.
4. I went to Singapore, where neither the zoo nor the shopping disappointed me! The cable car ride too was awesome.
5. I went to Perth, where a visit to an animal farm was cool, as was a 'seaworld' experience.
6. I 'irregularly' worked out but enjoyed it anyways! ;)
7. I made some new pals in June but no clique formed as yet!!
8. I made plans to do something 'on my own' and nearly implemented it, but did not. Only because when it came down to it, I did not believe it was going to work out. Am still pretty sure I was right. (oray the opinionated!)
9. I did No.8 TWICE!
10. I came to the realisation that I cannot diet. (Ha, haaaa.Better late than never). I am not into depriving myself!
11. I also came to the realisation that I had better work out and at least consider my food / plate before I eat it. (Vaat ya dollop of wisdom, eh?)
12. I simply 'mindblowingly' enjoyed 2 reunions with friends -- one for an evening out with two school friends to celebrate 30 years of knowing each other (went pub hopping) and the other with five college friends for a 3 day getaway to Pondicherry to celebrate 16 years of being friends.
13. I have begun to recognise certain signs of maturity and immaturity in me...and others too. I don't think I had the power to recognise such things before!! (My 'wold yage' is the reason!)
14. I cried and laughed almost as well as Sivaji Ganesan when I was watching the film 'Abhiyum Naanum' last weekend. I cried at the father-daughter senti stuff and laughed at the STUPIDITY of the film in many other places. Came out of the movie hall very much like I had downed a few pegs, helped by a certain college pal who has an impeccable timing in and an incredible sense of...humour. (B is her name)
15. I found out that with close friends, bickering is normal and healthy!! Annoying too!
16. A favourite cousin got married.
17. I found out that some things just don't change. (Nice things:)
18. Restaurant reviews did not make me gain weight -- in fact they reduced cravings and binges, he he, since I get my fill at the restaurants ...and variety too, what with all the la di da sampling!
19. Somebody somewhat famous who was seeing me after 18 years recognised me!! Either his memory is very good or I still look 'eng'. I choose the second likelihood, thank you!
20. I have been photographed a LOT this year and taken quite a few too!
21. Many people have been highly encouraging about my writing.
22. I regained a couple of ex-friends.
23. My sister has almost become a friend-like person!! (ha ha yakkao...akka, akka, yelakka)
24. I have watched more movies in the theatre and at home on dvd in 2008 than in 2007. (yenna oru achievement!)
25. I met Priyanka Chopra (this one is for the guys)
26. I met and interviewed Khushboo, Anu Hasan and Radhika (certainly not achievements, I know, but...)
27. I spoke with Chiyaan Vikram on the phone a few times (ok, obviously I am a fan, but c'mon, it's an achievement cos this guy is cool. Anyway, which celebrity bothers calling back interviewers?)
28. I have learned to put my foot down with some people without even consulting some best buddies on how to!! Especially with pseudo celebrities.
29. I have started bragging about how 'I am a trained pilot but without a valid, current license' ! (cheap thrills;)) 12 years old this news is, but...feather in my cap indeed!
30. I have started wearing bigger earrings than ever before and dressing up like never before!

Ok, enough already! (stupid American phrase).
Oho. It looks like friends have played a huge role this past year. I am not complaining...

Regarding the PJ which means Poor Joke, there was a pompous boy who went away from home to make some money after ruffling his dad's feathers. Every week, he would write home to his father bragging about some thing he had achieved that week and finishing off with "...this is another feather in my cap". This went on for a few months.

Then one day, he wrote home to say he had lost this, that...and everything and 'Daddy, could you please send me some money so I can return home?'.
His Dad replied : "Use all those feathers and fly back!".

Ha ha. Really not so funny in today's world of 'aaapus' and 'aruvaals', but still...

The above points are a general fairly vetti personal reminiscing to salute 2008.

Happy New Year to my handful of readers and may your dreams come true at least this year! Here's wishing you a happy and healthy and PROSPEROUS 2009 minus the paunch that goes with 'prosperous'!


Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Happy New Year!

'Jobless' thoughts must intrude during the end of the year's supposed usual introspection... (uhhhuh! Ahem!)

We shout "Happy New Year!" to each other every year, when the clock strikes 00:00 on 31st December. That thought got me thinking (read: vettiying). So, this seems to mean that a new year is born at that time. This then means that it is the year's birthday, right? Then why don't we say 'Happy Birthday, New Year'?

Oh dear! what a vetti post this is. I shall stop now. Even I cannot bear this!:)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Lizard Poo

I made a very idle observation today, just now, on Christmas eve, as I lifted a jug of water up to my mouth. My head naturally tilted back and my eyes fell on the ceiling as I began a glug-glug.

Then I noticed it -- lizard poo (lizard shit) or palli-pee (Tamil) in all its black glory with an 'ivory tip' (sick!!)...on the ceiling!

Certainly, an 'ugh' topic. But managed to spare it a thought(!). It was on the ceiling, which means it was sticking to it -- OR beating gravity. Naaah. It was sticking to the ceiling apparently perhaps because there is some sticky quality about it. I mean, people talk about shit hitting the fan but clearly, shit cannot stay on the ceiling.

Therefore, the lizard can do something we cannot -- shit on the ceiling and make it stick there!

I actually wanted to incorporate an image of a lizard and perhaps its poo here on this post, but just looking at a lizard's picture gives me the heebeejeebies. Ugjdkfsdfjjfh!

Sunday, December 21, 2008


This is a vice. Procrastination is.

I am guilty without having the need to be charged, of procrastination.

Clean the room -- another day
Meet a deadline -- tomorrow (After all, tomorrow's another day)
Clean the cupboard -- tomorrow
Phone to catch up with (some) relative -- tomorrow (not in the mood right now)
Start on a diet -- tomorrow (IF tomorrow comes)
Stop losing temper -- soon (!Yeah right)
...and so on

Why do I do it? Hmmm... lousy habit I guess, garnished with laziness and served with a blob of LACK OF DISCIPLINE on top. That would be my dish of procrastination. No need for recipe cos nobody ought to try it.

I believe it runs in the family, on top of everything. But...does it run in many or most families? I hope so because misery does love company.

Am debating on how to handle it...oh well, I won't think about it right now. Will introspect ...TOMORROW!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Forget fashion, trends, style, blah blah. I think the best thing to have happened in recent times is the accessories boom. 'Fashion jewellery', as it is fashionably called and 'fancy jewellery', as it is locally called. By the way, I love this word: fancy. To be honest, I have taken a fancy to fancy.;)

har har.

Tis the season to be jolly, fa la la la la la la la la.

So, coming back to it, I love shopping for fashion jewellery. I think it is completely worth the money since it is quite reasonable and suits most occasions. I am not at all hung up on gold, silver, platinum, diamonds and so on. (Mostly because there is a limit to affording these heavy metals!) With fashion jewellery, you don't have to worry about fluctuating gold prices, the weight, the size, losing it, breaking it or be organised about stashing it in a locker after use.

And then there is the variety in the colours to consider...

Oh yeah, fancy jewellery is definitely this girl's best friend;)


It is sometimes referred to as chappu chavaru (little bits of rubbish -- fondly speaking) and the action of shopping for these is sometimes called pee porukkal (no kind translation available with me!).


December in Chennai is generally very busy. It sometimes feel like the whole year inches along (although time flies as usual) and then suddenly, come December and the year seems to be hurtling along at full speed towards the next year. Can't hang on to anything. It's like quick, quick, quick and another year is all over!

Or it just me?

Also, December is perhaps the coolest month (or least warm!) in Chennai and so it seems short and sweet perhaps. Whatever the reason, December is fifth gear -- fast lane! Music season, NRI visits (ahem) - friends, relatives and so on. Socialising, eating out, Christmas hols for the

I love December be it at home or anywhere else in the world! A very happening month!


Saturday, December 13, 2008


Public Relations...
What must it be like to have to smile all the time? To be polite always and observe all ps and qs allll the time?

I am all for smiles -- folks who smile 'with their eyes' and whole face (!) really appeal to me. But I cannot begin to imagine what it must be like for people in the PR line...oh not so much the HOT SHOT areas of PR. I am not referring to the creme-de-la-creme PROs. Those don't have it quite so tough. They don't have to be polite when they feel like throwing things. I am talking about the PROs of 'ordinary' companies. I have met a few and just watching them putting on a bright and cheery front sometimes gets to me.

How do I know that it is a front? Well, I sometimes like to watch people as they talk to me and make mental notes about some things;)

I think this post was prompted by a recent PRO I met whose smile did not reach her eyes and her cheery tone seemed an effort for her. Felt a bit bad. For her.

Still, I'm sure most PROs suit their roles -- outgoing, thoughtful, hard working with a sharp memory. Speaking of hard working, as far as i can tell, being in PR is really HARD work! Keeping odd hours, meeting weird people, remembering seemingly unimportant stuff, talkign when you don't feel like and of cos, smiling when you feel like baring your teeth and growling!

Imagine having to be NICE all the time. Me, I like my grumpy, cantankerous, moody or irritable (do they all mean the same?!) moments too much. They are must haves -- only now and then of course! I need 'me' time. Being in PR means you have to be on your guard a LOT and on your best behaviour. With all that smiling, I am sure amajor pain for PROs is aching cheek muscles!

So, I guess PR is not an option for me.;)

Monday, December 08, 2008

On the phone

The telephone is super. Chatting with people over it is the best. I especially, was not one for particularly short phone chats. I have talked hours on the phone the same person(who obviously, was as into the phone as I was) . The longest would be a chat with a friend that lasted overnight -- maybe 6-7 hours, and then there were those other times when I have chatted with some other friends regularly, for three hours -- give or take an hour...and so on.

45 minutes was nothing.

But today, I had a 25 minute phone chat with a friend and I was tired at the end of it. I chose to end the chat and hang up. I cannot today believe my earlier phone conversations lasted hours. Of course, I did not have so many things on my hands those days as I do now... Those days were basically footloose and fancy free. Such a condition is given to change! He he. Just 11 years ago!

Phone chats were and still are (despite tiredness and all!) so FULFILLING and de-lonely-fying (!). Not to mention convenient...

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Simple Pleasures

Life is full of simple pleasures -- as it should be! Over the last few days, I have been observing the simple, seemingly real pleasures in life that have come my way...

1. Anticipating a fun evening out with my gal pals as I don't like to call them! Just friends. Just talking. Just having a good time. And then of course, actually experiencing the evening.
2. Waking up late on a Sunday morning. It never fails to please me, this.
3. Waking up to a wonderful cup of coffee, perfectly made (irrespective of who makes it)
4. Enjoying a slow breakfast of dosas and sambar -- now why does that particular combo appeal so? Comfort food, I guess.
5. Watching some really funny clips and/or melodious songs from films on TV.

There are many many more simple pleasures, but these here have been recently enjoyed and so this post.

Cheers to the next week ahead.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Be Punctual! Or at least, TRY.

I recently had to meet somebody for an interview about...this and that. First of all, this person postponed the meeting by an hour -- we were supposed to meet at 2 but at 1.30 I get the message that it would have to be an hour later. First bit of irritation.

Once I got to the meeting point, this person kept me waiting one hour and during that hour, I had to call the person twice or thrice to figure out what was happening. Finally, I just said "If you are not here in ten minutes, I am leaving." I meant it. Needless to say, this worked. Adi odhai udhavuraamaadhiri annan thambi udhava maataanga.

This person had the cheek to tell me soon after late arrival, that celebrities always kept people waiting and that people 'here' anyway don't have a sense of time. I coldly informed THE PERSON that I have had no such problems with celebrities, OR with any others because everybody's time is precious and most people know it.

Well, despite all this, it's a different matter that the interview went on smoothly after all.

The thing is, this is something that has ALWAYS bothered me -- when people are not conscious of other people's time, and not even at least TRYING to be punctual, etc. Sometimes, when even the intention is missing, it's VERY annoying.

What if?

What if I was having dinner at the Golden Dragon at the Taj Mahal hotel in Mumbai that fateful evening? (very likely mind you, given how much I love that cuisine and the restaurant too).

What if it was I who got the shock of my life in the middle of a forkful of noodles on hearing gunshots or on suddenly seeing a terrorist with a machine gun barging in? Would I react fast? Would I chuck the fork, plate and everything else and dive for cover? Would I react fast enough to escape bullets and/or notice? Would I keep my cool? Would I even remember to take my loved ones (dining with me) with me under the table assuming I was fast and quick-thinking enough to spearhead any 'diving' operation?

Or would I gape and die with a fork in my hand and some uneaten food in my mouth? (NOT a pretty sight.Oh, am not trying to make funny of the situation. These are real thoughts.)

I thought these terrifying thoughts (even the THOUGHTS are creepy) and decided to come up with a plan. I would stay ever watchful through every single meal at every single five star hotel I visit and at the first sign of terror, I will yell 'get down' and yank my neighbours down with me. God forbid there will be no child in the vicinity. Then once under cover of hopefully the table, I will feverishly think up some plan to get out of the situation and perhaps valiantly try to help others...

Enough. I doubt that any amount of planning will ever help in certain situations. For example, we all know that certain diseases can strike us any time. Cancer springs to mind. So, will understanding the effects of the disease and treatment for it and the possible successes and failures of such treatments, (blah blah) EVER prepare me for that moment If I were to get the crushing news" "You have cancer."? I doubt it. Nothing can prepare you to condition your reaction to certain things...

A terror attack especially, is probably just that. One that causes extreme terror. Bombs, grenades, bullets, whatever. Who the hell can prepare for it?

It amazes me that people out there want to kill others with such horrific fury. But then I try chiding myself: "Hello, you are privileged. You have not experienced any extreme misery (grief of losing a loved one aside) like poverty or hunger or extreme physical / mental/emotional abuse.So you cannot even begin to judge the less fortunate who have gone astray".

True. But if a privileged soul like me does not question evil then who will? Surely not the warped-minded terrorists.

I guess I digressed again. But 2 whole days + (and still going on) of watching the relays on the informative and sometimes irresponsible TV channels has affected me quite a bit it seems.

Coming back to 'what if', I guess I don't know what I would do and definitely, I don't REALLY WANT to know, since the truth is I would hate to be in such a situation.

Still, the thoughts linger...What IF?

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Moral Science

Moral Science was actually a subject to study in the convent school I attended for fourteen years and I think they even tested us on this rather vague subject.

I say vague because I really don't remember what exactly we studied in those classes. But I do I remember quite looking forward to it mostly because it was fairly light and there was also a great deal of interaction.

The Moral Science period coincided with the Catechism (spelling?!) period. Perhaps Moral Science as a subject was introduced in the convent school to keep the non-Catholics busy in pursuit of goodness? Whatever. It was a good idea. It's always nice to reinstate certain values repeatedly, especially at impressionable ages...and even when older. (Today, it would seem however, that certain OLD people desperately need moral science classes.)

Kindness, goodness, sincerity, honesty, sense of duty and so on. There has never been a greater need for moral science classes than today, if you ask me. Do schools have it these days? I have no clue. Will find out ...

Apparently many people today do not seem to have even heard the word moral. And these days, even when used, it's like 'moral' is a bad word. Ugh types. 'Non-classy and a drag', to quote the unquotable.

Well, I am no holier than thou. I have enough badness in me to justify those two horns growing out of my head. Still, I have not sprouted that proverbial tail, so that is a good sign!!Certainly, my moral science classes have helped me!

The mere fact that I enjoyed them is saying something, right?

Cynically Me

Ok, so there is much talk about politicians resigning, others taking over, etc. Some sort of upheaval is happening...NOW. But how long until the rest of the world (other than those injured and the family of the dead) forgets about the enormity of the situation? Rather, until the news-hungry news channels get tired out and move on to juicier stuff that life is sure to throw up?

Will this incident really make a difference?

Will the audacity of those crazies with guns get the real attention it deserves?

Are our leaders going to actually pull up their socks and do something?

Or will this drama die a natural death -- the kind of death those 200+ poor folks caught in the gun fire were not allowed to experience?

There have been some chilling emails that talk of certain gangsters, Bollywood connections, etc. The old saying: "Panatha paatha ponam kooda vaaya polakkum" (When shown money, even a corpse will get up to gape) is true then finally, is n't it? As long is you can make money, who cares about anything else?

It begins with: First of all, you have a family to feed (sounds like a good cause to me), and then, you have fancy clothes to buy (I see), and then fancy cars (I SEE), and then fancy underwear (I don't want to see)...OKAY! So the money is never going to be enough. Therefore, the ethics once compromised are never going to come back to you.

This is how the common man and the gangster get involved. Or one converts to the other. Now, talks say that a politician is probably both a common man AND a gangster. So, if these semi gangsters are running India, what else do you expect?

Moreover, in that case, our troubles will begin at the top and everybody from up there needs to be stripped to clean his or her act...

I think it would be enough if these so-called representatives of us commonfolk at least clean their current slates and start afresh with an overdose of 'Moral Science'.

Least they can do considering how well their %^&* are protected!