Thursday, December 24, 2009

Radio gaga, not RJ gaga but definitely, Blade Shankar gaga!

Chennai has a good number of FM radio channels. I hardly bother with music CDs when I am driving because I have the radio that offers a variety of channels and shows, playing both latest songs as well as the oldie-goldies all the time.

The problem with radio is the whole RJ business!!

Radio Jockeys often do not seem to realise that what we listeners are so NOT interested in is their verbal diarrhea, general blabbering including animal noises in greeting, lengthy intros and bye-byes, or worse, when two RJs go 'dialogueing' -- this is particularly very painful as they seem to exclude us listeners and are on their own trip! 'Play the song, idiot' I say. Tiresome is the word for most RJs.

Oh and also, we listeners, would like them to be useful if at all they must be a part of all radio channels -- announce the songs and relevant stuff, weather predictions, traffic jam infos... and perhaps lace it all with some humour. That's it. And please, RJs, keep it brief!

If there is one guy who keeps things brief (and sadly so!!), it is RJ Shankar of Suryan FM. He is popularly called 'Blade' Shankar because of his show that aruthufies people. Full of 'kadis'/poor jokes (PJs) supposedly, and other trivia.

At a time when people are tending towards Eenglees too much, this guy is amazingly so very steadfastly and appealingly local. He happily lacks the IRRITATING put-on English/Tamil accent that makes you want to smack the RJ on the mouth. Stay 'Thamizha Thamizha' I sayyy! Either speak Tamil or English. Don't be a wannabe-English speaking Tamil RJ.

I have wanted to blog about Blade Shankar for so long. He puts a smile on my face many mornings and sometimes even makes me guffaw. Thought: Driving alone and guffawing to oneself is perhaps not the best sign of sanity! But aana,(!), this guy is super-talented. He has a voice that is so Tamil and so local and ...seems to have a real character to match. His quick wit is now legendary.

And what's more, his 'Blade No.1' show from nine to ten a.m. is also interactive. He invites listeners to call in with kadis/PJs in between songs, and has a quick session at the end called 'Kundakka Mandakka' where he gives out a 'Blade password' for the day which could be: 'Blade number, number Blade, Blade One' or some such -- just a little tongue twister he comes up with everyday. Then, he sits back and has fun at the caller's expense. He has some fun/good rules not the least of which is that he encourages humour that is not allowed to hurt people's sentiments.

He also gets some hilarious, equally whacky callers (not me...yet) who enjoy every minute of his ripping. Some call up and chuckle loudly on air instead of saying the Blade password, others will say their full names for effect or tease Shankar directly, and so on. Shankar in turn will promptly say 'upbeatu' which means 'you have lost' or some witty rejoinder. He clearly seems to enjoy outwitting the caller and sometimes, when the caller wins, he is only grudgingly gracious about it and it is all so natural!

The great thing about him is that not only is the show good (wish it could last longer), but the songs he chooses are also great. Popular numbers. Not like some other shows that go all out to dig out songs that are best forgotten!

Some oho-ahas about Shankar:

1. He does great imitations esp. of Sivaji Ganesan and generally, has a voice with 'character'.
2. He does not slurp and slobber over celebrities he interviews on air.
3. His Tamil is great and local, as Tamil should be spoken -- proper Tamil accent and all, and his English is good enough.
4. Even the way he says 'Yippo saahng varudhu, kellunga kellungua, kettukitteyy irunga!' is a bit comical.
5. The way he trips on callers is great fun.
6. Even if he does not get a response, he can come up with quick retorts to silences.
7. His cricket commentary is laced with his trademark humour.
8. The way he answers riddles put forth to him by his callers -- whether or not he knows the answers, is, you listen and see what I mean! He can even come up with a 'jodi riddle' to them in context -- out of the blue!
9. He talks to himself too at times -- quite a riot he is.
10. He is up to date and seems genuinely positive.

This guy is clearly out to entertain.

Whether am radio gaga or not, am gaga about Blade Shankar.

Cheers, Blade Shankar, keep it up!

Kekkaren, kekkaren, kettukittey irukkiren!

Sunday, December 06, 2009


Losing certain relationships ...happens.

Have lost two 'acquaintances' in the last year and one other important relationship since's been quite a few years now. Perhaps because it is December or something, signalling the end of this year -- a year when I feel I have thought much about...well, much, compared to years gone by, here I am posting about some 'thinks'!

The two acquaintances -- yes, they are just that obviously, I was associated with for around 2-3 years. Right from the beginning, there was no real emotional attachment despite a lot of friendliness and so, the loss when it happened was more a very minor disappointment (more in the PERSON than anything else) coupled with some amount of anger for having been 'taken for a ride'. These are people who essentially used and threw. Ok, lesson learned. Continue on paranoid, suspicious mode.
Looking back: -
Acquaintance 1: Was pushy, unfair and ...unfair some more. I am to be blamed of course. You are only a fool if you are willing to be one. Hmph.
Acquaintance 2: Was overly-nice and the MOST pseudo person (could only see this in hindsight for sure, although a suspicion lurked) I have come across till date. Well, at least I was spared this experience for this long.

The other one lost since many years is what I would call an ex-dear-friend. 'Ex' not because I detest her or anything but she is an ex-friend because she is not a friend right now and clearly may not even care if I am alive or dead. That's how I perceive the complete silence or cut-off.
No sweat. I am alive right now!! Why I became 'ex' is known in entirety only to her. Was so curious for the longest time, but time does heal some questions... quite disinterested in that right now in spite of posting about it. I could rant and rave about HOW could she do this to me and AFTER ALL this time, etc. having been friends from smallchildhood, but clearly, she must have huge, valid reasons. Besides, she was beside me during the toughest phase of my life, so I do wish this ex-friend well and am not even very sorry that she is no longer by my side. I miss her sure, as I am certain is vice-versa (so modest, Teesu!!), but...maturity rears its ugly head and belts out into my wax-filled ear 'que sera sera...'

Yes, whatever will be will be. Indeed. Lesson of the year perhaps?

Friday, December 04, 2009

Marley and me

Actually speaking, although this book was highly popular, the subject itself was nothing extra-ordinary. In fact, it was quite disappointing. I mean, my dog Sandy has done far more write-worthy stuff than Marley and I am sure I am not the only dog-owner to think this way. So why was this book popular?

I guess it was because of the open, unrestrained eulogising of the man-dog relationship and the man's best-friend concept.

I did laugh and cry with the book (as I suppose I do with many books!), but the movie was quite a let down. As usual, movies cannot live up to books and the beauty of words, and the pictures they create in your mind. The absolute beauty of books and reading them is, you as a reader, are as responsible for enjoying books as the authors are for penning them. But the movie has to do the entertaining all by itself!

In 'Marley and me', it did not really. But as a tribute to dogs and my own Lab Sandy, I did laugh and cry a bit.

But give me 'An Incredible Journey' any day again. If you are a dog/animal-lover and have not watched it yet (from the late seventies or early eighties I think), now is a good time.

Giggling when you shouldn't

This whole giggling business is said to be reserved for girls, but I don't think so. I do personally know a few guys -- quite manly ones, who join in the giggling fits. Only perhaps, they may not really 'giggle' but indulge in much chuckling. No-control is the key point.

My big sister and I spent much of our fun-childhood times giggling at the silliest, funniest things or at most inappropriate moments but, over the years, having become ahem, mature and all (what IS mature anyway?), we have cut down quite a bit on the inappropriate giggling save for two horribly inappropriate moments which I am about to share.

Recently, at an engagement of a family-friend's daughter, my akka (er, I NEVER call her that cos she has prohibited me from doing so) and I were sitting close to each other. We were chatting fairly normally about this and that through the evening. Then came the formal announcement of the engagement over the loudspeaker. At this point I should mention that our friends are of a different faith and so, we were / are not very familiar with the religious rituals associated with an engagement of theirs. The moment was solemn and after some words about the engagement ceremonies underway, the male voice resonating over the loudspeaker broke into what was a clearly religious chant -- because the voice began reciting some holy words-like stuff. For a while I concentrated on being quiet and listened in all earnestness -- for what reason I now don't know. I mean, I do not know the language, I am not at all the serious or silent types, and I am also not highly religious with respect to my religion leave alone other people's.

I started to try to be good (which I clearly cannot be!) and listen, and this was clearly a big mistake. The words and the way in which they were uttered began to sound terribly, horribly funny. To my horror, bubbling up inside me despite my best attempts to stop it, was a mammoth giggling fit. I thought I should do something to distract myself (second mistake) and so, I looked up only to see my sister looking like a stuffed chicken, all hunched up at the table. Her face was pink and her cheeks began to expaand. Sure signs of the same crazy blood running in both of us and we both gave in simultaneously to the giggling outburst, although we were pretty silent about. But neither of us is anywhere close to petite (HRUMPH) or inconspicuous, and am shamefully sure many people noticed our faux pas. The more we thought about how inappropriate it was, the more we had to giggle ...until she got up and ran out to go to the bathroom for some -- ANY respite, from the giggling. I also got up and followed suit. I could not BEAR to look anybody in the eye. The voice meanwhile continued. The moment we entered the Ladies, we were able to pull ourselves together but only got back to the hall when we were sure we were 'normal' again.

If you think THIS is inappropriate, check the next one out.

The next incident was more than a decade ago. And just to prove that we are not horrible horrible people who giggle at OTHER people as such or without a care for other people's feelings, this incident deserves a mention here. At this point, I have got to say that giggling is NOT something you can always control. Maybe some people can, just the way they can control their urine for extraordinarily long periods. Yes, giggling falls under the same category.

Anyway, this was some SERIOUS business. At least the other giggling fit was at a happy occasion. This was at my father's funeral! Needless to say, we -- my sister, my mother and I, were simply shattered. My dad was an exceptional father and family man. Did I say exceptional? I meant EXCEPTIONAL. Wonderful. Stellar. Therefore it followed that we were heartbroken and sobbing -- my sister and I, sitting just next to his body, er, him. This went on for a bit. Then came...the crow. Yup, you read right. A crow sitting outside the silent, mourning house, cawed loudly just then and not just loudly. He cawed out of pitch repeatedly and it really was ridiculous. Never before then nor after, have I heard one caw that way!! We both spontaneously broke into giggles and immediately shushed ourselves...with 'how inappropriate!' murmured between us only to shrug and tell each other later that our Dad wouldn't really have minded(!!). Laughing is a good thing. Even if at a funeral. Shocking, but...our Dad, so don't judge.;)

The point of this post? To explain away our guilt brought on by our improper conduct caused by a bodily function that cannot be controlled sometimes...for some people anyway.


Guess then, this too has to be labelled 'Absolutely Vetti'.

Note: Not that we are problem-free people who run around town giggling like maniacs! These are giggling 'fits' termed so for a reason.

Argh. Enough Said Teesu!

Newsreaders or Actors?

When I was young, there were a few regulars on few channels, who would read the news on TV. They were pretty poker faced and barely managed a funny grimace-like little expression by way of a smile at the beginning and end of the news session, with 'Namastes' / 'Vanakkams'. Throughout the news reading, they were most conscientious, barely stuttered or mixed words up, and were basically, classy readers with near-perfect diction and seemed to treat their jobs as newsreaders in the most matter-of-fact, objective way possible. They seemed credible if lacking in a sense of humour.

The first one to change the newsreading business in India, was Prannoy Roy it seems (to me), with his 'The world this week' (I THINK that's what it was). He had a sensible face bordering on 'quite' handsome although with a rather weak voice, but with all this, he still seemed more interesting than the average newsreader. He was different as he seemed to FEEL some of the news he was bringing to us and 'his news' was also interesting.

However, today, you see it all on news channels. Newsreaders themselves are a great source of entertainment. There are even downright comedian-ish newsreaders now. On a more annoying note, some try very hard to please. Pseudo to the core. There are those who pretend to care when actually, all they very obviously care about is delivering hot news and staying ahead of their competitor channels. Many stammer, blabber and interrupt people they ought not to be interrupting. Sure they all have their work cut out for them, probably by their bosses, but I can crib as a viewer, right?Then, there is much eye-rolling and serious-face putting and worse, the long-suffering expression as if the world rested upon his or her shoulders.Hmmm.

Basically, I do so miss the older newsreaders who delivered news as news minus drama which, by the way, was saved for the other programmes. When newstime came, it was time to sit down and catch up on the happenings and so, everybody would drop what they were doing and assemble together to listen with interest.

Now, yes, we get 'nimit to nimit' news which can be useful, but it may well include which bigwig relieved himself where and how many vegetables actress-size-zero ate in one day. Huh, there is news all the time and it includes much rubbish and repeats and so, you need patience to get to 'actual news'.

Generation is gapping I sayyy!

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Where did they go?

Sparrows and crows. They are missing in large numbers from Chennai or so it seems to me.

Sparrows -- those cute l'il birds, so harmless and...homely. When I was young, I was crazy about birds (not 'and bees', heh heh) and animals. There were these sparrows that used to make my home theirs. A nest on top of the water-heater in the bathroom or on one side of the window sill that was close to a tree, etc. We would never disturb the nest and eventually, eggs would be laid and fledglings born. Then, when they started moving about, and the mother birdie was away at work, I would play with the chicks or whatever they are called. In fact, one of them and I had a game -- he or she would skuttle into the drain hole in our verandah and I would catch his tail and pull him back...repeatedly. What a fun way to spend childhood afternoons eh? I was quite gentle with him I daresay. So light and so sweet -- sparrows are. And where ARE they now, by the way?

Crows. Mostly annoying and sometimes even mean or menacing. In school, they would be alert in large numbers during lunch break and would fly pretty close and be very bold indeed about their preference for our sambar rice. After lunch whilst strolling around the playground,they would even swoop down and flap very close to our heads and had once or twice actually pecked kids on their heads. Not to mention unerring 'kaka-pee' targets that our heads and torsos posed to them. Smelliest pee considering the small size of the pee-blob. Ugh. So, basically, not too fond of the crows. But like comfort food, in Chennai, they are comfort birds. Their 'caaaa-ing' cannot be heard that much these days. Why?


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Things that I wish were not associated with me -- TAG!

Taken from

1. Snoring -- I believe so. Or rather, I don't. Need to see / hear some proof. So, can scratch this.
2. Temper Loss -- Less said about it, the better.
3. PMS (Really bad sometimes)
Oh and yes, Temper and PMS are only sometimes one and the same thing!!
4. Over-eating although by MY standards, this is better now. Er, less over-eating I mean. Cos the self-loathing kicks in soon enough!
5. Tardy waking up syndrome. This is the usual thing. However, I do wake up when necessary -- even at 4 am! (There IS such a thing as self-awards!) But I dream of a day when I wake up singing with the birds...
6. Fusspot No.1 in so many areas and am no longer very apologetic about it! My fussinesses are all base-full! So love me or leave me. No, really, I am ok with it. Love my fusses:-)
7. Sitcom-watcher. Can't help it. Would like to experience some laughter even if it is just recorded laughter.
8. As much of a nose-digger as some others, but usually only in private;)
9. Mood-oriented. If I don't feel like, I just would rather not, unless I feel VERY obligated in which case, the crankiness goes up some notches.
10. Nail biting. Why is it so hard to stop?
11. NOT a morning person. SUCH a nasty non-morning person thou shalt not find. Look no further then.
12. PARANOID. And what's more, I think I have a valid reason for every one of my paranoias.
13. Messiness. I like to say only those with big hearts will make big messes. It's better than 'building character', eh? (For Calvin and Hobbes fans)
14. Laziness. But c'mon am still better than some others.
15. Opinionated. Nope, ain't gonna be sorry about it.
16. Not always fair. With those I love, I can be mostly only subjective...

There are more, but I think I have damaged my persona enough in one shot with this.


Note: I tag my namesake and cousins here as well as blogeswari. But, really, it's up to you.

Reverse of 'Do unto others...' please!

You don't have to like everyone. Liking or disliking someone is a personal thing. But do you have to do what you have to do regardless of likes and dislikes? Well, yes, you do. It's called being civil. Also because you really have no right to be rude.

I, like most others, have my own likes and dislikes. Especially when they are baseless(!), I try to be as objective as possible when dealing with um, 'dislikees'. Therefore, I expect 'to be done to as I would do unto others'.

There is a certain someone out there (quite inconsequential me thinks -- er, so the dislike is mutual, eh?) who I feel deliberately does subtle things to irritate or snub me. When I feel indifferent, I do let it pass, but being female, the hormones kick in soon enough, and then I retaliate.

Changing things I write, leaving out my name, etc. do NOT go down well with me. This is crossing the line. No matter that this is not my dream publication that I am writing for or anything...!!!


P.s. Am not 'chicken' about letting this character know -- have done so, but thought it worth a rant here!;)

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Fair, fair, fair! It's just not fair.

All the time and everywhere, there are ads for fairness creams. More ads, newers ads, new-concept ads...!!


Why, why, WHYYYY?

What is this maddening want for being fair all about? Do people care about really being FAIR? No...

It's just skin-deep.

Are n't there enough attractive, DARK people to prove the point? But no, they want 'Nalla colour' ('good' colour) or 'maaniram irundhaa kooda podhum' (at least the colour of a deer). Yes, the colour of an animal is attractive apparently! Why not be the colour of an elephant? or a hippo? or a ...crow? Who decides brown is better than black?

It's all a matter of personal taste. But just as we appreciate nature in all her colourful glory -- various hues, why can't we look upon ourselves-- humans, in the same way? It becomes a matter of acceptance does n't it?

And why is the general preference for skin colour always tending towards 'fair' anyway? Is it the influence of the whites who invaded us? Or deeper seated than that? Have blogged about this fairness business before, but I find it as appalling now as ever.

Ideally, it's Ok to say 'fair' or 'dark' whilst describing someone, but now, I have to think twice before I classify someone as 'dark' lest they take offence.

Can't it just be a matter of FACT?


Thursday, October 29, 2009

'Aadhavan' Film -- with Surya

Surya. No matter that I find him really handsome, I was a bit annoyed at the way he acted when I almost bumped into him at a hotel recently. He kept those nice-looking eyes of his downcast (bad habit!) and made a great show of standing aside in a long-suffering stance, as he made way for a few of us ladies to pass him. He was obviously avoiding recognition. HMPH to him. Wear a 'mohamoodi' then next time, I say!

Anyway, the next day, I was booked to go for his latest flick 'Aadhavan'. What irritated me right away along with the opening titles, was the photo of Surya with wife Jyothika and daughter that was flashed on the screen. Please. How much sucking up do they want to do? There are superior actors out there who don't do this kind of thing and this is quite silly. By 'they' I think I mean the producer and director. Apparently, Surya is really hot property despite giving run-of-the-mill storied films (with admittedly good music overall) with a LOT of Surya in them. Thankfully, he is eye candy, so the tolerance is more.
But nobody had better find fault with Kamal Haasan any more for alleged obsession with 'the self'. This guy is going all out on himself.

The movie itself is a weird story with not much originality in it. The hero is seen as a bad guy -- a paid assassin who goes about shooting people with unerring accuracy. Major rifle pandi. Then, he gets to shoot some judge and misses. Supposedly upset at that, he manages to find himself a place in the judge's strangely and inexplicably mazhalai pattaalam household through one number crazy cook there (comedian Vadivelu)... and all this just to assassinate the judge.
The story has many needless twists and turns with the judge turning out to be Surya's father (Surya's name is Aadhavan in the film) and the actual story is that Aadhavn actually turned 'approver' for the police after his botched attempt at the judge and that he knowingly missed his target, etc. And all the time they were trying to fool the audience into believing that Surya was trying to kill the judge, he was actually only trying to protect him. Yes, the police WOULD entrust the significant job of protecting a high-profile judge to a criminal turned good guy (even if they knew he was actually the judge's son).
Actually, vaat a stupheed story I sayyy.
So, as a boy, Aadhavan had run away from home after shooting some police guy. Nice kid. Nice track record. And nice 'heroes' being portrayed in films these days!!! I mean, SHOULD they be showing the hero as a bad guy who runs around shooting people? It's not like Naayagan where the boy is pushed into a corner...this kid is from an affluent family and just went astray. Not a good idea, me thinks.

Anyway, Vadivelu was a riot. Had many big laughs and enjoyed his acting. His timing was superb. His fear and chagrin at Aadhavan's 'ways' is hilarious. He has outdone himself in this film. Only problem: there was too much Vadivelu in Aadhavan ...presumably to make up for the lame story?

Nayantara the heroine, is a super example of uppuku-chappaani in this film. Just a side dish that is not even all that tasty really.

Saroja Devi, yesteryear's over-sweet heroine (although I did like her a lot! Argh.) is also present in this film. Somewhat closer to providing comic relief than anything else. The comic relief business in this film is very high I must say again, as I am sure everyone making the film knew it was simply necessary.

Surya. Yes, he acted alright and is looking slim and good and all that, but overall, I do feel he cuts a sorry figure substance-wise. The scenes where he is hanging upside down from some crane and certain miraculous escapes shown, deliver this film stupid and average-masala stuff. Does this actor really want his career graph slipping into say, Vijay's (Ilayathalapathy!) line of films? Not to really insult Vijay or anything, whose films have their own average-entertainment charm, but just to prove a point!!
Surya's performances in Nanda, Pithamagan and even Vaaranam Aayiram put him on a rung far above this sort of idiotic, insulting-the-audience's intelligence type of film. Quite full of himself he is these days...

There were the last minute appearances from the director and producer of the film. Clearly, they wanted to be a piece of the silly pie they created, but it was so lame! They had nothing to say really, and wasted some five minutes more, by acting stupid.

And why should n't they? The film and story were also stupid, right?

Food and more

Being a foodie is just a way of life with me. I love food and that's that.

A peculiar habit that goes with being a foodie in many a case is...eating your food and watching TV, or reading a book, at the same time. Why? I mean, is it not enough to just eat the good stuff? Why should I also want my favourite show to be on Tv during a yummy meal? Is this what they call having the cake and eating it too? (which saying I never liked anyway. I mean, who would want to have a cake but not eat it?That's not asking for too much, right. You 'have' a cake only because you want to eat it!Sheesh.)

Reading books and eating is another thing. Apparently, the more interesting the book, the more amount of food goes in. This is the reason my mother gives me for banning books from the dining table. However, when I am in the phase of controlling my food intake (which is er, a beet rare!), I find that reading a book whilst eating less or controlling intake, is actually quite soothing. A comfort factor really.

Nowadays, health experts go on about gazing at your food and eating it, in the most admiring way possible -- chewing it, tasting it, savouring it, swirling it around and what not! No other distraction they say. Just the food.

Why can't I come to terms with that? If I am a real foodie, shouldn't just the food be enough?

Body Talk

Lokku. Lokku. LOKKU LOKKU.

Why is it that I feel embarrassed when overcome by a coughing fit? People know I cannot help it, right? People know that one coughs only because one has to and tha it is not voluntary. Coughing is, apparently, as explained to me by one-number boring, staid ol' doctor, something to be thankful for -- one of God's miracles. It is a protective mechanism that the body has. Great. But each time I cough, I try to remember this miracle business but all I come up with in my head is: "Oh, no, please make it stop!"

Note: Why I call that particular doctor boring is because he is very slow and deliberate in EVERYthing he does, has neatly combed, well-oiled hair with a side parting, and writes down stuff over, and over again like there is no tomorrow. Actually, tomorrow often arrives by the time he is done writing. Apparently a good doctor, though I can't say I am personally 100%convinced of it. He is soft-spoken but not particularly 'sweet'. Has potential to become a Dolores Umbridge if you ask me. (You will only get this if you read Harry Potter.)

Sneezes. Another catostrophy in social situations. Earlier, I was so careful about sneezing and so conscious about not spraying other people that I would say: Ah!...mmmmMM. No 'A-chooooo' for me. My family is full of big sneezers. They can bring a house down or at the very least, shatter the atmosphere in the room. Finally, when I heard (whether true or not, I can't say I bothered to find out) that supressing a sneeze is bad for health, I have joined the Big Sneezers Club. A-Chooooooo for me too. And what is this 'excuse-me' and 'God bless you' business? Yes, I heard that when you sneeze, your heart stops or something and therefore people say 'bless you' to get the heart going again, but would n't 'excuse me' be relevant for coughs too?

Burps. Apparently disgusting to others, this offers relief for the burper and unfortunately, has the potential to stink. I don't let out too many burps myself, and must admit, don't appreciate them in others try as I might!! Burps are usually followed by a 'sorry'. For what, exactly? Yes, you need to be sorry perhaps, if it stinks, and needless to say, I would demand a 'sorry' in that case, but if this is an involuntary bodily thing, why are we going around apologizing to other creatures who are themselves fully capable of burping right back?

Farts. Aha. Tricky business. Do it quietly and stealthily and you can often get away with it. But others have to pay the price for the awful stink that often accompanies the silent ones. In my crazy family, we would actually sing a particular song for the silent ones! The noisy fart is clearly an ice-breaker.
Oh, and why are farts funny by the way? Is it because it is funny when your backside makes a noise? Is that it? But believe you me, nobody is going to be amused if your backside does anything other than fart!

I have come across many farts (er, not people, but the actual, others' I mean) and have invariably giggled or guffawed. Nowadays, with maturity -- unpopularly known as 'age', I have learned to try to act as if nothing happened. Which I sometimes think, is how it should be.

This no-real-point-to-make post reminds me of a coaster we had many years ago, which was a favourite: "I am a bit of a bullshitter myself, but YOU go ahead. I'm listening."

Well, I really am...

Friday, October 09, 2009

Tending to the sick

I wonder, what is the pre-requisite for being a patient-attender? You know, for one to effectively tend to the sick?

If ever there was a grey area, this is it. Sick people require matter-of-fact 'tenders'. From my understanding, having seen my mother tend my grandparents (her in-laws) and an aunt attend to hers, I have come to the conclusion that you need to have some of the following going for you if you are a caretaker: -
(Note: I have myself done a fair amount of I dare to launch a post into this subject)

1. Be cheerful but not overly chirpy, as you may thereby cause the ill to develop a complex!
2. Be matter-of-fact and not emotional or overly expressive since this can go either way with the patient. Emotional 'tenders' will be just that and this may not be in the patient's best interests. A sick person is already slightly emotional probably, and would not want faces to be pulled, long faces or to witness any smirks. I guess this is why nurses are all mostly a very objective and slightly detached lot.
3. The matter-of-fact business has to include a good level of 'lack of disgust'. Bodily functions are not always pleasant and one needs to deal with it or be prepared to at least. This is perhaps the most important point.
4. A good level of compassion and a slightly lower level of sympathy is required.
5. A sense of humour is most important. Rather than mere smiles for the patient, drawing out a chuckle or a laugh is far more beneficial and of course, more fun.
6. Handling people -- the whole matter-of-fact thing comes into play again. People will say many things and give many opinions (mostly useless) and mess with the atmosphere around the sick bed. They need to be politely and firmly refuted. After all, most of these folks will not walk their talk, so shutting them up is a good option.

There are more points am sure, and it's not as if I am an expert or can be in line with more than one or two of the above points, but having closely observed the general, productive ways of caretaking, I just wanted to ponder more about it aloud in a post...

One thing is for sure. Anyone can fall sick enough to require special care. It can happen to anybody. Remembering this is jolly good. The 'it has not happened to me' business is rubbish thinking.

Oh..and remembering Point 1 above,... CHEERS!;)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Pissing Off

It's a tough world for the females. If we want to relieve ourselves anywhere, can't just stand up and do the act. We need proximity to the ground or appropriate toilet bowl. Being female, I do know that.

At a busy traffic light spot in Adyar, near the Adyar bridge, our car stopped right behind a tourist SUV. Even as the light was going to turn green, I saw a couple of men alight from the car in the MIDDLE of the road next to the median and one of them had a toddler-girl in his arms. he proceeded to remove her panties and got her to squat in between the car and the median (2 feet space perhaps?) for the 'relief' (pee). The light turned green and amidst honking, we did manage to swerve around this vehicle and proceed, but I continue to feel appalled by this. I mean with a toddler and travelling, would you not be prepared with a diaper or two?Or at least a nappy pad? If you can afford to hire a tourist car surely you can afford a nappy pad? Not that I have anything against them, but this was clearly a North Indian family -- er, to clarify, not that I think a South Indian family would not do this...

Then this morning, outside a school, JUST outside the school gate on the platform mind you, and not even at the corner near the wall as many men are wont to peeing(UGH), this was right as you step up on to the platform... I saw a mother with a 3 year old setting her daughter with underwear down for a quick pee on the edge of the platform, before entering the school!

Um, hallo? Is it me? Am I fussing for nothing? Is this normal behaviour?

It's not as if I am talking unsympathetically. I have been there. And have always been prepared...with a child, you need to plan, anticipate, prepare and stay prepared. Not bring out the junglee in you for the poor kid to imitate.

'Pisses' me off, really.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Diet means food, food, food!

Diet. The D word. The ultimate four letter word. One of the worst. Stinks of 'less food' if you ask me. *sniffle*

Except, nowadays, the definition of food itself has changed and so also has 'more food' replaced 'less food'.

We hear about so many diets all over the place. The more popular ones involve eating small meals every two hours. EVERY TWO HOURS. That's a heck of a lot of eating, really. And more than the eating, it is the whole planning-the-food business that's daunting.

8 am breakfast
10 am a soup or a sandwich (I suppose)
12 noon 2 phulkas and dhal and veggies
2 pm a fruit
4 pm biscuits (hrrrumph)
6 pm sundal
8 pm dinner.

Oh dear God.

Think of the preparation! Sure, Miz. Size Zero Kareena Kapoor can do it cos she has to just turn around every two hours and find her plate full of diet goodies in front of her, whipped up by her 'Maharaj' or equivalent. (Er, not feeling 'J' or anything, but ...that's life...for her).

Me, if I have to just turn around, I will just see a flash of light in a red background that reads 'I AM HUNGRY and ANGRY'. At that point, nothing but fried potatoes, sambar rice with a generous dollop of ghee, will do. The dietician will require a calculator to sum up the calories consumed...hmph.
So this whole dieting business is much much more about food than in the case of a normal, easy going 'bulgy foodie' who just goes about his or her day with a coffee, breakfast (masala dosai! ya, ya, ya), a 'good' lunch, another coffee or tea, and then dinner. Simpler times. Eat what's available and when hungry. Don't fret over eggjact number of calories consumed, which soup, salad and sundal and get all weepy.

Actually, I am neither here nor there. I have to make huge efforts to remember to eat small meals and unlearn so many things about food -- going by the 'today's fad' that is, that every 2-3 days I get tired and slump back to life as I knew it.
Three square meals.

Bon Appetit!

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Contagious stuff

Not just colds and swine flu, but...

1. Yawning

This is MOST contagious. Amazing how one yawns and immediately, the next person too does. I have asked some folks including doctors why this is so, but no real answers seem available. Even whilst talking on the phone, if I yawn, the person at the other end miles and miles away, also yawns!

2. Crying

Guess this is for the 'weepier' souls, but usually, if someone cries -- really heartfelt and reasonable tears, I automatically feel MY water tap opening up. Very embarrassing and really, not of any help or use. But, there it is.

3. Snapping

Snap at someone and see them snap back. Usually. Except for the highly calm folks (know very few myself and these are people who merely clam up as opposed to handling it maturely...which is WHAT I don't know!).

4. Smiles

Whether they are contagious or not, they ought to be returned and therefore termed contagious. rude!

5. Giggles

Giggles are not really contagious. In fact, I do know that they can really bug some people. You, know, the non-gigglers who in fact, can unknowingly cause more giggling. When I as a giggler come across an extremely straight face whilst in the middle of a big giggle session, things just get more giggle-worthy! Anyway, I can feel at least a smile coming on if I chance upon gigglers (unless of course, they are giggling at ME. Then, 'Hmph' to them).

Monday, August 31, 2009

Tribute to Michael Jackson concert

Sunitha Sarathy the singer, is an old friend of mine. We go way back. KG days in school. As we grew older, in our teens, we would sing together and won many competitions mostly because she sang wonderfully whilst not overpowering the rest and our band had instrumentalists, which was quite rare for girls' schools to have. Her solos even then, clinched the prize for us am sure. Later, she pursued singing and has a truly gifted voice -- sings very very well. Am not convinced that she has got all the accolades her singing deserves, but that's another matter.

When I heard that she was singing in a tribute to MJ concert, I was quite kicked. As it is, i consider myself a major MJ 'appreciator' and now this. So, I paid a thousand bucks to attend this concert, with the proceeds going towards a cause. I knew there were others as well: Shankar Mahadevan, Benny Dayal, Blaaze, and so many others, but the main attractions for me were Sunitha, Shankar and Blaaze.

As we walked in to take our places on Wesley Grounds, my friend remarked: "You know, MJ has not yet been buried so if these guys don't sing well, he will get up and come and slap their faces!". Hmmm. Something to think about.;)

At the concert, I found out just how tough it was to have even dared to do a tribute to a performer like MJ. Clearly we are grossly challenged in the dancing department, but it was a shock that we were challenged in the singing department too. Honestly, not because she is my old friend or anything, but Sunitha Sarathy saved the day! She can sing and her passion for MJ was evident in her body language too. Other saviours were Blaaze, Timmy and Naresh Iyer. Anu was not bad either.

The rest of the female singers other than Anu were like some hotel/nightclub singers. RJ Suchi as Radio jockey and playback singer Suchitra is better known as, sang Beat It and it was ...nothing to get excited about. She should have just sung it in her bathroom and been done with it. Oh and the actress Andrea who sang did not do wonders, but no blunders either. There was just not enough MJ in her singing, that's all.

Other singers were 'pitchy' too. Benny Dayal was soooo insipid in his rendering of MJ songs, it was an outrage. Why sing when your heart is not in it? Especially when it is NOT a free show? Nee maduraikkey poidu pa.

The others like Kavitha, Suvi, Roshni, etc. whilst not particularly pitchy, gave very hotel-like and nightclubby performances. Ok for an evening out with nothing to do but drinks and eats. Not Ok for a tribute concert, dearies.

Naresh Iyer was good. Did justice to the songs he sang and is a sincere singer. Sincere to the music. We need that. Haricharan also seemed sincere but sadly, a bit pitchy. Was most enthu and anyday, i can forgive an enthu singer who makes a few mistakes when compared with a know-it-all who ...just does not cut it.

Shankar Mahadevan: The great attraction and wonderful singer. Came on stage, raised expectations to the sky and sang 'aaaaaaaaaa' for a MJ number (did not recognise it but assume MJ number) Indian ishtyle, which was nice but not nice enough. Tribute to MJ, remember? And then, he introduced his son to the audience and got HIM to sing the song. Ummm, hallo? Pulikku pirandhadhu poonai aagumaa and so on is so NOT impressive when you try to shove the poonai down our throats. You, Shankar, made a mark on your merit. Allow your son to appreciate that. Don't hoist him onto your golden platform, cos we do not appreciate it. Let him sing his way up and not ride uppu mootai on your back. Capiche?On top of that, there was a nephew of his also around. Puh-lease.

Blaaze I quite enjoyed. He is cool and the chorus of his own composition as a tribute that went "one: I like Michael, two: you like michael, three: WE like michael" was slightly childish but at least something refreshing. Plus the rap style and 'yo'yo' business was quite perfect.

Then there was a powerful performer called Timmy who was very good. Not GREAT for MJ style, but otherwise great. Thank you, sire for being there. One of the saviours of the tribute.

A young girl sang a childhood number of Michael's and she too fitted the bill. Forget her name.

Blink and you'll miss him was Karthik. Frankly, the nightclubby singers quite put me to sleep that I had to rouse myself for the better numbers with difficulty. Why then did I stay for the entire show? Oh, because it was tribute to MJ and not about these various singers with only 4 out of a dozen worth a 'watch and listen' that night.

At the end, predictably, we had 'Heal the World' and 'We are the World'. Both were fine because we, the audience, sang along.;)

The music was produced by Pravin Mani and whilst it was a good effort, it was not good enough. The dancers should have practiced better and if a singer was not cutting it, he or she should have been cut out. Please, people! When are you going to give credit ONLY where it is due? Why does everything have to be diluted by pleasing this bozo and that? There was one dancer who stood out with a cool moonwalk to his credit. Very smooth. MJ would have been proud. Another good thing was they had a screen as the backdrop that had many an MJ still. That was cool and a great respite from much of the singing!

At the end, I have to say that MJ is inimitable and thankfully, we have the many videos and music recordings to listen to that will finally be the real tribute this golden performer deserves.

Immortal music and performances.

Now, you other so-called MJ fans-cum-pseudo singers out there, just BEAT IT!

The Film: Kandaswamy...hmph. REALLY.

After the review at, a wonderful read, you would think I would have nothing to say on this film. But I have to vent. Had I not been warned about the film, I would have been dumbstruck to see one of my most favourite actors -- Vikram, acting in this film with its sheer lack of substance or whatever it takes for a film to be at least 60% watchable. But I had been warned and still crept into the theatre at 9 am on a Sunday (great feat for Teesu. Only other time that saw such an effort was for a Harry Potter film), armed with a chilli cheese toast for breakfast!! Free tickets they were -- please note.

And so it began.

My immediate reaction to Vikram's get up as a rooster was (I hope it was a rooster!) ...why? It just struck me as a weird bird to choose for a superhero getup. Or is there something I am missing? Anyway, after a point Vikram's prancing and rooster-like postures and behaviour were indeed good enough even for the most critical eye.

Then came his super-CBI officer getup. I just wanted to launch myself out of my seat to wipe that smug smile off his face! Did n't know one had to have a smug mug to come across as a sharp guy. I mean even Kamal Hasan had smug looks only whilst romancing his heroines and that, in a man's Kollywood world (HMPH) is normal. C'mon Chiyaan Vikram, greater things are expected from you.

And then there was this woman-getup of Vikram's where he is to entice some jokers and then whack the daylights out of them. So, when I saw Vikram in a white jill jill saree trying to act all coy and seductive, I was shocked. Taken aback. And not in a good way. Vikram on screen is a man -- all man. A man's man. A woman's man. You get the picture. His innate manliness is a great part of his charm. Dressed as a woman, he looks frightening. True, his body language was superb as were his expressions and moves. But his body and face are so very SQUARELY in the male zone that you do shake your head and say 'tsk tsk, NOTHING like Kamal' who even in Avvai Shanmughi as a woman in her late fifties, could pass off for ultra feminine and bashful-o-bashful. Kamal has the advantage of a certain softness in his big expressive eyes. Yes, the eyes might have done poor Vikram in as well as his overly developed upper body -- sideways that is. Big biceps and enviable shoulders et al.

For this absolute STAR from films like Sethu, Dhool, Pithamagan and Anniyan to have acted in this mostly rubbish film is like a slap in the face. Please! Choose a better basket for your eggs next time. (heh heh, no pun intended. After all roosters don't lay eggs...I know that!)

Shriya. Oh dear. Shame shame, puppy shame! Now, now, NO cattiness here at all -- am highly OK to say Simran was sexy or Jyothika was cute or even Trisha is appealing, but Shriya's face just reminds me of MN Rajam's. No insult to the latter though. Villi-ish face and just because of her body, she gets these meaty roles? Kollywood needs to to grow up.

Shriya seriously needs to try wearing clothes and see if they suit her. I mean what else does she have going for her? Certainly not acting and CERTAINLY not dialogue delivery even in mere lip sync. DISGUSTING.

The film, such as it was, was disjointed. I actually felt sleepy somewhere in between which is truly a first for me. Why do the scenes shot in Mexico have to be yellowish? Why did the songs have to be so blah? (save one or two?) Why does Vikram have to overdo expressions like macho-pride-smugo so? Very disappointing. I can only think that this is a phase for this hardworking actor to have gone through and that he should be clear of the dark tunnel now!

After Anniyan, really...Bheema was a chappai matter but all was forgiven -- aftr all you cannot deliver a super duper hit EVERY time, but now this? REALLY.

Oh and Chiyaan Vikram must have really been talking through that feathered hat of his to have said that this movie is one for kids, etc. Which parent in his or her right mind would want their kid(s) to watch this unnecessarily sleazy flick replete with a drug-addicted, sex-addicted villain running rampant on screen? Huh?


Ok, stop rant Teesu! Idhuvum kadandhu poyaaachu. (This too has already passed)

Monday, August 17, 2009

Fantasy dinner party (Tag from cuz dear)

I loved this one so, I copied own answers of course: -

The rules are:- you can invite anyone, living or dead- you have a table that seats eight, but as you are one, you can invite seven people- you have to explain why you'd invite them. And for bonus points, what would you serve them for dinner?

Guest No. 1: George Clooney. Just to see if he is as dashing in person and to talk to as he looks. Think he may be more mouth watering than the, no, maybe not. NOTHING beats yummy food.

Guest No. 2: My father: A complete party person averse to NO party element and very interested in people, funny, charming and is sure to help me out a LOT with the entertaining. Oh and will not come in the way of my ogling Clooney. Quite a 'today's Dad' he was, at ease with my crushes and such.

Guest No. 3: Shivaji Ganesan: Again, want to see whether he is as stylish as he was in the black and white films or as over-emotional as he was in the colour films;). Plan to also make him recite some old dialogues, enact some favourite songs with the expressions, etc. Also to keep my Dad company (his age group) and let me attend to Clooney and Guest No. 4 in peace. TOO much eyeing of eye-candies will get me into trouble, no matter how cool the Dad is...!

Guest No. 4: Hariharan. Purely for the music he would bring to the table. No instruments required. Aahaaaa.

Guest No. 5: Aden character-guy from Sex and the City. At least, I think that's his name(!). Very nice-guy types. Eye candy too. Well, why not?

Guest No. 6: (Oh, no, am running out of space at the table) A girlfriend. Just whoever springs to my mind the morning of the dinner. Has to be a close friend who will help me out with the hostessing and one who won't steal my thunder. (Ho ho). What with Clooney, Aden and ...Shivaji and all. ;) So, girlfriends, if you want to make it, you know what / how to be with me hereafter!

Guest No. 7: S.B. My first MAJOR crush that lasted for a good 5 years. Even now, I consider him a crush-worthy guy in real life! But he will be at the dinner just to see how popular I am with Clooney and Aden. Eat your heart out, SB. Not that you really knew about my crush. (God forbid).

This is all assuming I was single and ready to mingle of course. Oh and if one of the above did not show up, I would put actor Vikram in. Very chatty and polite and nice. Need a person like that for any dinner party. Oh and am sure he is chivalrous too.

Dream on Teesu...

Menu: Few dishes from home (by yours truly -- just enough to show off but not so many that they would tire me out!), and some dishes from the Boat Club.

Now...for that zzzz to get on with the party...


Oh they come into this world
All half-blinded and perhaps half-numbed,
Not knowing from where they come
And certainly, clueless ...even about mum.

They blink and then clear up
Burp, crap, pee and spit up,
Gaze pointlessly and then sleep
Not knowing that life's going to be deep.

They were squeezed and pushed through...
Hustled out into life,
Picked up, checked and wrapped,
And some even get their bottoms slapped!

Quickly, they learn to cry,
Little mouths wide open,
Faces all screwed up and coloured,
Their voices and lungs empowered.

Freed from the womb's confines,
They wave their tiny limbs about,
Go from feed to feed without purpose, without goal...
Until the exertions of sucking and just being, take their toll.


Newborns are little miracles alright,
Perfect little humans in their own right.
Helplessness and innocence at their core
Evoking feelings of protectiveness, tenderness, unconditional love and...much more!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Who is the fairest of us all?

Who, indeed?

Annoying that people have such an obsession for 'fairness'. Fairness creams galore. 'Fair and lovely' it seems. What are the 'non-fair' then? 'Dark and doomed', is it?

Stupid inclinations.

You know, one should really not CARE one way or the other about one's skin colour. Because of all this fairness mania, I am inclined to go the dark way!! Yes, I have taken to saying things or rather, singing things like 'karuppu dhaan yenakku puducha colour-u'...!! (song from some murali film about how black is a cool colour because of how many nice things and people are black!)

I am not happy with me for doing this either. Why should we bracket people who are fair as beautiful, and dark as...I don't know, people who are 'colourfully-challenged'!!!

Often heard: 'she/he looks nice, BUT she/he is dark...'!! As if that is the problem! Worse, they will even say 'he/she does not look great but at least he/she is fair...'!

What's with all this? Where did it even originate?

Not worth pondering over, huh?

It's all skin deep anyway.

Krishna Jayanthi

I am not really sure who likes butter, ghee, milk, cheedai (both jaggery and salted), murukku and sugary aval more. Lord Krishna or I?

Tough competition.

Being a God (!), am sure he can eat how much he likes and whenever he likes.

But...I am going to get some today:)

Saturday, August 08, 2009

What's in a name?

I see a shop named 'Sperm' all the time. I suppose they sell menswear. It is not only amusing, it got me thinking about how I am not sure it's a great idea for a name know, to do business. True one would easily remember it, but...kind of close to the 'taboo' line.

Speaking of which, I then recently saw another store that made me give it a second look, in sheer amazement because of the name. It said 'G-Spot Garments'. Supposedly for women. I mean ...honestly. (Harry Potter influence).

Would I actually tell people 'I got this T-shirt from SPERM...' and 'This top is from G-Spot!'.


I don't think so! Not unless I was talking to people who would n't be aghast by these announcements, which number I can count off my fingers. What were they thinking when they named these shops so??

But then, I AM amused enough to consider shopping there. Besides, I heard SPERM's collection is very good!!!

Saturday, August 01, 2009

What I have registered from a TV serial

Good days are really good...and bad days are really bad. But each does pass for sure. That's life...?

I can't say I care much for Tamil TV serials in spite of watching one now and then (ONLY now and then -- one is always in serious danger of an overdose with these 'megaserials'). Mindless TV of the lowest kind, I say. Too often, they are nasty, have nasty characters etched into them (the kinds you certainly will NOT tolerate on your doorstep leave alone have them close to you as an aunt, step mother or mother-in-law!), horrible dialogues, bitchy women, weak, STUPID, insipid and/or dangerously evil men, with some children thrown in in the middle of all the hysteria and used as victims, women who are evil beyond your wildest imagination, and so on...

The detailed funeral scenes in these serials are breathtaking to say the least and obviously, NOT in a good way! Long-forgotten and best-forgotten rituals associated with a corpse can make the strongest of stomachs churn unpleasantly and you simply switch off the TV in disgust. Or you SHOULD. But then, I will also say you should not be watching these in the first place, right? And, days of mourning will follow. Why, why, why? Why do people want to watch them? The most-often heard response is: "I have nothing else to do. How will I pass my time?"

May I suggest a few hundred options like blowing bubbles, giving yourself a foot or any-other-body-part massage or better still, getting one from someone else, sleeping, reading, singing, listening to music, forming a book club or even a recipe or cooking club...even eating! Stuff your face or on second thoughts, exercise, walk, shop, window-shop, join some course, do some course-homework, or simply sit in a park or roadside or terrace top and gaze out and about. Or just switch to a channel that has music or laughter or ...ANYTHING else. Best is meeting up with other people to talk and make merry, who would otherwise rot and languish in front of these horrible TRP-rich brain-fryers...there! You would be keeping them out of mischief too; doing good to society.

I believe TV serials are like any other temptation that one must resist and distract self from. (Am talking about those who are compulsive TVserial watchers).

There are too many people in my household who watch them. Therefore, the first hand info. The ONLY good thing -- if I must call it that, that has come of being exposed to these daily nightmares is that there was this one dialogue in the forerunner of Tamil TV serials with one-perfect-woman in the lead -- Chithi. It was delivered by the highly annoying character of the actor Shivakumar (yes, yes, the father of the terribly popular DARE I say a wee bit of a metrosexual actor - Suriya). In his usual tacky and boring style in delivering serious dialogues, Shivalumar's character often said therein: "Idhuvum kadandhu pogum". (This too shall pass). For Shivakumar fans, true, he has given formidable performances in the past (YAWN!) but the only one I can personally agree with is in the film SindhuBairavi, but alas, even that film had his usual 'ways' in it.


So, this dialogue was annoying then but always made sense. Moreover, I really do think about it a lot now and then. Of course, never during the good times...;) Who in her right mind would want THAT to pass?

But I have to say...thence, ten years later, I have still not come across any other useful (if you could call that that!) thing in ANY of the serials I have had the misfortune of overhearing or chanced upon.

People need to focus away from theTamil megaserials. Oh and am sure TV serials in every other language are equally bad. English, Hindi, Telugu or whatever. Clearly they are being designed to feed the LONELY, nasty, vengeful, even evil sides of the viewers. There is 80% negativity in them. Every true life's happening is tweaked a LOT to make it a LOT worse before it is presented as a part of the Tv serial to you. After all with serials, no disgust-value, no TRP-value, eh?

Mind it! Or should that be Miiiinnnd Eeeeet...

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Love may do the trick

I am likely to incur the wrath, fury, annoyance and more/less of some people when I say this: If you really, really, REALLY love someone...anyone...then, you are indeed a believer. I feel, when you so love someone, you simply have-to-have-to have the faith. I don't see how you can get by otherwise. I just don't.

I mean, when your loved one is sick or in danger, what do you do? Fret? Cry? Despair? Stay practical?

Or...secretly pray?

Not that anything you (the non-believer) say to this may be convincing enough and I daresay you may not really want to bother with explanations here, but still...I have said it. And I would definitely love to hear the other side's thoughts . Who knows, there is a good chance that the answers may be intelligent and perhaps even set me thinking. If someone I love ran into some grave trouble(God forbid!!!), I just don't know what I would do other than pray. For me, there is no other recourse. I mean, yeah, I would do other things necessary to help that person and not JUST pray (that would be stupid and irresponsible), but I would not just do everything in my power to ease things and then sit back. I would pray mighty hard.

I have to admit though, that if you are the detached type, perhaps you really could stay a non-believer. That is possible...


Note: This post is NOT aimed at anyone in particular. Not as a jibe or poke, definitely. This is just some loud thinking being aired -- a loud wondering if you will;)

Monday, July 20, 2009

Of lizards and cockroaches...

The very word 'blood-curdling' is brought to my mind every time I encounter a lizard or a cockroach...and inevitably, scream! Is it just me or is it a fact that the more scared and averse you are to something, the more likely it is that that 'something' presents and REpresents itself to you?

A few months ago, I had the misfortune of stepping on a lizard (yeah, yeah, poor lizard, sure, enough of that!). It happend this way: I was ready to go out and was hurrying in to the kitchen for a drink of water. Usually, I wear 'bathroom slippers' (why is it always called that anyway?) inside the house, mostly because I want to 'warn' the lizards that reside in my kitchen that 'I am coming, so HIDE', but that day, I did not. (And usually I go thump thump thump in to the kitchen. Not very graceful, but hey! Grace is not everything especially at home. Me, I WANT to be clumsy at home!!)

Anyway, I strode in to the kitchen only to step on something slimy and SICK. Disgusting. Annnd, there was a squirmy thing happening too. I simply realised in a second what had happened and started screaming...unbearably, and even to my ears, it was terrible. I launched myself on to the kitchen counter (don't imagine it) still screaming and...actually crying. It was simply awful. To make everything worse, there was no lizard in sight, just a wriggling, jumping lizard-tail! Utterly sickened, I must say I cried like a baby with no feelings spared!! Oh God! Even today months later, I shudder. Apparently, lizards can shed their tails at will and the damn tail has some fight left in it too. It was soooo disgusting. I actually looked up google images for lizards and cockroaches but even the images put me off so much, I am not going to use them here with this post.

Theer is a superb Tamil word for aversion : 'Aruvaruppu'!

And that brings me to the villain of villains.

The cockroach.

WHY do I hate the cockroach so? Irrational fear, is it? The worst kind is the flying cockroach. Uggggh. Even as I am typing this out, I feel all shaky and fidgety all over! The flying cockroach can make me let out the same kind of scream as for a lizard, only, it will curdle more than just blood, I tell you.

The screams my inner self seems to have reserved to let out for these two beings -- a reptile and an insect, could wake the dead! Not that I want to think about corpses now...Oh dear. Now THAT's a real uncomfortable subject which I can come to later....or not.

I am still wondering how I can get rid of these fears.

How, how, how?

Friends o' friends

Friends are obviously so very important to most of us. The 'gelling', the vibing, the many things in common and even endearing differences...they are all a part of that world.

But, what about the tricky matter of friends of friends? Ahhh. Sometimes it clicks and sometimes it does n't.

I have a few friends whose friends easily become mine -- well if not my FRIENDS then, my very amiable acquaintances. But with so many other friends, I can barely tolerate their friends and vice-versa. It is a rather delicate situation really. What if your friend's friend cribs to your friend about you and / or you crib to your friend about his/her friend? (Ahem, not sure this sentence makes sense!) Anyway, unnecessary and sticky for the friend sandwiched in between.

Therefore, apart from a few well-thought-out experiments, me thinks it's best to stick to one's own friends and let them stick to theirs separately, rather than throwing all together once, twice, too often!

Note: Personal experience may or may not be the lead to this post!
it IS!


Thursday, June 25, 2009

Oh no, MJ has gone away!

MJ in my favourite stage of his life -- the looks, music, everything

Michael Jackson (MJ)

The news of Michael Jackson's death has pushed me out of my inactive mode on this blog. He is one of my all-time favourite musicians. I was around 10 when I first heard his 'Beat It', 'Thriller' and 'Billie Jean'...and my father got the newly released 'Thriller' video and its making, for my sis and me. We watched it nearly everyday until we had the whole thing by heart -- the steps, the moves, the songs (we blabbered most of the words thanks to his style of singing), the dialogues...even the details of the make up, as he was a werewolf in that, and agonised over his chemistry with 'that girl' who had acted with him in 'Thriller'.

The 'Thriller' link, a must-watch:

I was really upset at the news of his death this morning, much to most people's surprise. I cannot say why I am so upset. It may be because I associate MJ with some great memories. He enriched my musical inclinations. He along with 'Wham' was 'up there' at one point for me, both literally and figuratively. Their posters were all over the walls at home.

I am going to list out the memories I have in connection with a tribute to this awesome performer who is no more. I actually harboured secret hopes of attending one of his concerts somewhere in the world...sigh.

  • I got my own room around the 'Beat It' song period -- small room no doubt, but my 'own' nevertheless. Own room with own tape recorder so I could listen to my own music. A lot of it MJ.
  • I would listen to him religiously, so much so that my 80 year old grandad in the next room decided he needed to know what the fuss was all about and borrowed the Michael jackson tape from me. This was a typical, religious thaathaa who performed 2-3 hour long poojais every day! He seemed to quite enjoy it and only returned it after ten days or so when I made him!
  • For a time, everyday after school, I would watch 'Thriller' with utmost fascination. Like a ritual.
  • That was the first time I ever heard of a werewolf and my sis and I are were thereafter inspired to watch the 'adult film' titled an american werewolf in London which in turn, had inspired MJ to make 'Thriller'.
  • I had fun entertaining my sis with the steps from the 'Thriller' video. No doubt, even the thought of this will entertain all now;)
  • At that point MJ with his trademark crotch-clutching moves never struck me as vulgar. It was just a unique thing he did. Thankfully, I considered it inimitable so never tried it.
  • I did try his moonwalk and it looked like nothing on earth...hey, after all, it was the moonwalk, heh heh. I think I fell a few times trying it since the floor and my footwear had to be slippery for me to accomplish a moonwalk. My older sis, the only privileged audience-member no doubt, was kept thoroughly mesmerised by my antics.
  • When MJ performed Billi Jean on stage, it was fantastic. Truly one of the best stage performances I have ever seen. I still like it.
  • Sadly, at ten and just above, hailing from Tamilnadu and based in the South of India, it was rather difficult for me to make out the words of his songs, which limited my rendering these numbers anywhere. His gasps, rasps and weird little breaths and noises, hoots, etc. in his songs required an extraordinary amount of guts to even try and imitate! BUT, it was super fun singing my versions of his words.
  • It bothered me greatly that I felt he sounded girlish. And strangely, although I knew he was a guy and I was crazy about his music, I never had a crush on him in the romantic way. (I had way too many crushes back then!) I had a huge MJ fixation alright, but I guess he was too thin and too non-masculine-sounding for any romance!*sniff*
  • The actual music in his songs even today is simply fabulous.
  • His obsession with colour, black or white, never bothered me. I simply did not care since his music and performances were above colour. So, literally, I must tell him: it don't matter if you're black or white. However, I must say I preferred him black anyday.:-) It suited him so well.
  • I had a poster of MJ's gifted to me by my Dad who adopted the if-you-can't-beat-'em, join 'em way, since he was the one who would bring us the latest music from all over the world and therefore the reason for the MJ craze in our home. This poster was not a very flattering one and my sis who was never a sucker for obsession as I am, simply refused to let me put it up in 'our' room. (Read: 'her' room -- one of the reasons I moved out into my own smaller room, hmph. The poster-decisions were all hers!)) . I did not want to put it up in my new room for what reason I forget... oh, yes, the poster was simply too LARGE, and so, I put it up in our bathroom, the one shared by my mom, sis and me. It was fixed with some new, then-latest, extremely effective adhesive blobs right opposite 'the throne', so that MJ would look down on us as we downloaded you-know-what-on-the-pot(!). My mom would get extremely annoyed and frustrated every time she went to the loo saying 'he makes me uncomfortable'. :-). When we finally decided to take it off after some years(!), I ended up giving it away to one highly grateful-to-the-point-of-tears, crazy-about-MJ classmate called Gina, whose claim to fame in school WAS being MAD about Michael Jackson. Hey Gina, wherever you are (I hardly knew you I know!), I wonder if even you are this moved today with MJ gone. If you are still an MJ fan, let me raise a glass in toast with you MJ!
  • At that point (early teens, etc.) when I saw any live concerts of his on TV, I would be amazed at the hysteria amongst the audience. Girls weeping, others clutching at their heads (even men), throwing off clothes, etc. I never understood that as I was too young. Frighteningly, I understand it now. Mob mentality catches on, I guess!
  • In the song 'We are the World' (USA for Africa), he was easily the most interesting singer. Loved his parts. A very 'fervent' singer. Really felt his music. That was his specialty. Not to forget to mention his superb dancing skills.

'Billie Jean' video link: Don't miss the moonwalk!

I don't think any of my friends 'got' MJ like I did then. I think Gina and I (I was more understated!) were the only ones in our class at school who really liked him so much. I guess the Tamil/Indian imitations of MJ's antics including Prabhu Deva, put people off! Ha ha.

Me, I still regularly listen to his numbers...

The scary case against him was indeed scary...but since he was acquitted, I am going with his innocence!

Amazing what music can do for you and to you. My favourites of his songs are Thriller, Beat It, Billie Jean, The way you make me feel, Girl is Mine, Bad, Wanna Be Startin' Something, and Ben, One Day in your life, Rockin' Robin when MJ was a kid, and many more.

May the King of Pop's soul rest in peace ...or perhaps even be reincarnated for some even better music if possible. That would suit us MJ fans just fine.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

You had to be there.

My two old friends and I. We have known each other for twenty odd years and can just 'click' like we have never been apart, even when we have not seen each other for some years. That evening, we were to have headed for Subway for the healthy sandwiches, what with the word DIET trailing us and snapping at our heels all the while. BUT, we managed to kick it off in the nick of time and headed towards Cascade (a chinese restaurant) for some Indian-Chinese food. We had even parked outside Subway but a quick conference paved the way for an evening of confusion at Cascade -- with one not mentioning that she did not like Chinese, and the other not mentioning that she was on a strict diet. I was the third who was OK with both Subway and Chinese -- GRR.

With this suspense hanging heavily in the air (although I did not realise it then since I love Chinese ...and all the damn frieds that it means here in India), we parked outside Cascade. Just after some 'hi--what-fun-to-see-you-again' giggles (childhood friends DO that), we got into the elevator and actually went up three floors and down with no apparent aim, while continuing the staring around and giggling. Finally, we learned that Cascade was on the fourth floor and got there. We insisted on a corner table owing to our past history of wrecking nearby patrons' quiet evenings with our guffaws and (unnecessary) giggles, and settled down for dinner.

Then it came out. One was unwilling to eat the 'just anything' that I wanted to order as she was not supposed to be eating the wrong foods (sniff*sniff* like I am!), and the other was all 'la di da' about thick soup vs clear soup and such. I was so hungry I could have eaten the both of them and so, I proceeded to order my favourites. When I am hungry, I don't see red; I just see what I like on the menu and demand it!

The food arrived and the 'no-food' one proceeded to slurp quietly on her apparently very bad soup (It was a tomato and spinach combo -- what do you expect?) and the La di da one complaining loudly and for the first time, that she did not like Chinese. I decided to get mad AFTER I had attended to the Hungry Henry in me and did just that. After much 'we SHOULD have had subway' and 'why the hell did n't you tell me?' and 'what's WRONG with you?', we paid up, packed for a doggy we do not have and headed to the beachside looking for a strawberry ice cream that La di da wanted to have. "I want a strawberry ice cream and not from just 'any'where", said she. History has always seen us eating, drinking and making, and so we dogged after the elusive ice cream. After a few bad-luck-no strawberry flavour-heres, we finally found a yum ice cream joint on the beach side. We entered after La di da had finished dramatically dodging the various dogs that happened only her way. She has always been petrified of them so we two others did not bat an eyelid at her antics, whines and fearful pleas.

The ice cream place had no strawberry flaour, but I was running late and pointed frantically and convincingly to a Ferrero Rocher flavour. Next. La di da wanted a cone ice cream. This was really not our night cos the guy had no cones left but he pointed to a floppy waffle like thing made of the same biscuity-cone stuff, masquerading it as a 'cup'. The No-food girl said 'my, that looks like a very tired cone!' and that started us off on our laughter train. Cackle cackle cackle. In that confined space, the ice cream guy looked rather taken aback at this unabashed show of cackles. This made things funnier.
You had to be there.

La di da cheerfully accepted the floppy cone and so we asked for two scoops with three spoons. While he did the needful, No-food asked for toppings as she gazed longingly at all the ice-cream posters stuck on the wall. The guy said there were no toppings and that they would get them next week! That set us off. "Here's your ice cream. Come back for toppings next week" we told each other and began guffawing even louder than the cackles. I laughed so hard, I actually dripped ice cream from my mouth!
You had to be there.

The guy decided that he could do nothing about us and proceeded with the bill. Clearly, he was used to crazies! We stumbled out with La di da holding on to her floppy cone for dear life. And then she began her usual mumbling as we stood by the road.."If a dog comes from somewhere now, I might leap into the air and my ice cream will go flying...", she said. As usual, No-food and I ignored her. In fact within a few seconds, I spied a smart doggy galloping towards us and I considered teasing her by startling her at the last minute, but decided against it since we each had a spoon and were digging into the ice cream with gusto. I could not allow that tasty ice cream to go flying. I told her casually (so as not to alarm her) that there is a dog on the way so she stiffened until he passed although he did not deign to give her even a first glance!

Then, glancing around, we read the ice cream poster on the wall -- it said the ice creams were '68% air'. Wahh? That set us off again -- that we were eating ice cream that contained air.
You had to be there.

Regretful that the evening was coming to a close, we headed for the car since it was getting late and then made plans to meet up again soon. We were quite light headed and heavy-bodied from the laughs, chinese and ice cream. T'was fun.

Nothing like uncontrollable laughs with old friends, eh?:)

Really, you had to be there!


Saturday, March 28, 2009

Weighty tale

Further to and with reference to my previous post, I must reiterate that I don't want to share 'stuff' in 'bublic' (thanks, Shyam) although I do express my gratitude to Sundar for encouraging me to, he he.

I did, on one occasion, not manage to avoid sharing this particular info (weighing scale figure) with someone. It was in 1991. My dream then was to become a pilot. We had just moved into a new house in a new neighbourhood and our next door 'mama' was a nosy one. We called him 'M-square(d)' -- i.e., Mottai Mama (Bald Uncle). Sometimes, when he stood on his terrace, we would call him M-to-the-power-of-4 (Mottai Mama on a Mottai Maadi).

Sadly, he knew my dad quite well apparently, and came over for a cuppa one morning. My Dad chose that morning to share with him that I had this aim of becoming a pilot. M-Squared was also pretty know-it-all (empty vessels and all that) and, say-it-all. I froze as I was passing that way, that minute, and looked back.

I should n't have. I was beckoned. I went, but not without reluctance. MM looked me up and down brazenly and said: "Pilot? I also used to fly". (YEAH, RIGHT) "Hmmm. How much do you weigh?". At that 'eng' age, it's difficult to avoid answering direct questions from wolder people. I thought wildly about coming out with a wisecrack or two instead, but decided against it. Like a bandaid, best done swiftly. I told him my weight. (Yeah, am not telling you now either!) To that, he exclaimed: "Oh, you really need to lose weight before they let you become a pilot!" How sweet, thank you, MM. Like I did n't know.

Thing was, he himself was pretty big. Hard to imagine him inside a Cessna 152 aircraft unless doubled over and halved.

However, the truth is, to learn flying, you only need a medical certificate that says you're 'OK' (not FIT, just OK) and more importantly, you need much guts. Which of course, was not a problem, big gut and all. So... problem solved.

Gosh do I have more such tales up my sleeve!

Friday, March 27, 2009

At the gym

I have many gym tales to share and have done so before. Here is one more very tame one.

Having a personal trainer at the gym is...very personal. Really. Among other things, he or she will get to know your vital statistics (and very vital they are!!), and he or she knows your innermost desires and needs and supposedly, chalks out the path to 'there' for you. Right. So you are overweight and not the kind of person who would go around sharing your weight (in kgs) with all and sundry the way some skinny folks do...or the ones who have no weight issues. You know the type: -

"Arre, I think I have lost two kilos ONLY yaa, and I have two more to go. "

"My target is 50 kgs! Now, I weigh 51."
Hee haw.

"My aim is to lose 3 kilos -- they are JUST not goinnnng."

"I have been the same weight for twenty years -- I was 62 when I finished college and I am still 62. Maybe a kilo or two here and there, but I quickly pull it down with my regular walking and I don't take frieds...sweets..."
Stop talking, stop talking NOW.

"I was 60 kgs after my delivery and now, I am 54."

Buzz off little bees, this post is not for you.

So with the personal trainer, it's like you have just shared your deepest, darkest secret with him, and he is still conscious(!!!), he knows your fitness level and is generally quite encouraging if not downright pushy...and therefore, you don't TOTALLY freak out when he says after a few days of workout: "Now, let's check your weight again, shall we?". I did n't freak out but I balked. "I don't want to..." I whined. "If I don't see good news, I will become depressed." In his usual nonchalant personal-trainer way he said "Well, who is asking YOU to look? I want to see, don't worry, there WILL be a difference." OKKAY. Have hope, faith and charity.

So I trudged along with him to a room that had two guys (gym staff) hanging around. 'My guy' goes in and switches on the weighing machine. Stupid digital thing that counts up to the last grams in your body! I looked at the two guys (gym staff) who were standing there and they seemed pretty much rooted to the ground. Now, having had many many bad social experiences at gyms, I tensed, hoping...willing them away. What did they think? That I was Aishwarya Rai who had signed up for weight gain? Sheesh. Now, I never used to be the outspoken, snappy type either, for the idiotic desire to 'be nice'. But this time I was fed up. Exasperated. Even my trainer did n't get it. And this was a small room, mind you, the size of a 4 star hotel bathroom. Quite a crowd in there for the momentous moment! I finally asked those two hangers-around, "Do you REALLY think I want an audience right now?". Thankfully, they took THAT hint and murmured sorrys and dashed out. I got the act over with (not sharing anything more here, heh heh) and when I came out, the two guys apologised again but I was quite happy that they DID leave the room at the crucial moment, so I brushed it all off.

This was not rude on my part if you consider what some of those same gym's trainers have said to me in the past.


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

What's the meaning?

There is many a supposed-Tamil word / slang that is most amusing to hear and which I dare not use mostly because I don't really know their meanings.

The following swear words commonly used on Chennai roads especially by autorickshaw drivers, bus and automobile 'drivers' and cyclists: -
1. Bemani
2. Porampohkku
3. Saavukraki or Saavucracky
4. Somari
There are more on my list of Tamil words the meanings of which I don't know, but this list has been based on a gut feeling (!) that makes them seem safe to ask out in the open.

Going by the sounds only, my personal favourite is somari. Sounds so cute(!!) and crisp although yes, I do realise it is used to call someone a'bad name' like stupid or idiot. Porampohkku is also quite satisying when you swirl it around your mouth rolling the RRRs in true, dramatic Tamil style!Bemani sounds downright funny while Saavukraki I feel has something to do with a person who courts death ...or loves courting death.


Love 'Pannu'!

We Tamils have embraced some English words and phrases with aplomb. Even folks who supposedly speak and understand ONLY Tamil, will be able to understand these. Most of the thanks would go to Kollywood, for making these phrases popular. Examples are..

"Youuuuuuuuuu....SHUT UP!"


"Will you please GET OUT?"

"Bullshit" (pronounced 'Bullsheet')

"Damn It" (Okay, 'it' is almost always 'eet'.)


...And so on. Not the least of these is the phrase "I love you". I think 99% of the films must feature at lease one dialogue which is 'I LOVE YOU'.

Ickily, a Bollywood film even shortened 'I Love You' to ILU.

We in Tamilnadu have translated the phrase "Do you love me?" to "Nee yenna love pannriya?". Now "Love pannriya" actually translates into English as 'Make' or 'Do' love! Curiously, we usually pretend-bashful folks should have been alert to this and scrambled to change it. But, no. "Love Pannu" (Make or do love) is now the accepted phrase associated with being in love, that's most prevalent in Kollywood. This adoption is so overboard and curious that there is even a song which has the reglar refrain that sings out "Love Pannu".

Do check it out at:

So funny.


Saturday, March 14, 2009

Chained to ...what???

Dealing with forwards is not for everyone. I used to detest forwards, thinking that they were very impersonal until I started enjoying some of the funny, clever ones. Very useful stress busters they can be at times.

Forwards or forwarded emails are either sincerely despised by the recepient (cos they feel they deserve better -- like a hello, how are you, I miss you, take care!- sort of mail), or rank low on the recepient's priority(IFF I have free time, I will read them, else, will delete them to clear my inbox), or, of course, rank very very high (Yayyyy!Yay boy yay! Some fun in in my inbox). For the third section of recepients, it's like your postman delivering you mail -- remember those good old days? Was n't it so very exciting to receive letters? It used to be the highlight of my day to receive hand written letters.

Sigh. *Moment of nostalgia*

Okay -- done. (Nothing lasts very long these days, huh?)

Forwards. I have friends who have flatly told me not to send them any. Still others who say nothing at all about them and of course some who actually want to discuss a particularly funny or thought-provoking forward or two.

I also have my moments with forwards. Most times, I am enthusiastic but sometimes, I can ignore them. No way am I averse to them because they can be quite entertaining and somewhat equal to being in touch -- it shows you at least 'flashed' through the sender's mind for a moment indicating they thought of you that day! Many friends send me forwards which I kindly pass on to who I think are delighted readers.(!!)


There are the chain mails. They threaten you with serious consequences if you don't pass them on to others. Even though I know they are stupid and meaningless, they irk. Why try to bother someone that way? Very silly indeed. So, I refuse to entertain them.

Exaggerated examples are:-
If you don't send this to 5 people in the next fifteen minutes, your nose will grow longer...
Me: Great, saves me the trouble of finding a plastic surgeon.

If you don't send this to 6 women in the next 6 minutes, you will grow six horns...
Me: Hmmm. Maybe the six horns will distract others from my many bad-hair days?

If you delete this email, YOU will be deleted from ...LIFE...
Me: Same to you. Good bye.

If you don't send this email to 20 people in the next 10 minutes something BAD will happen to you...
Me: I feel like doing something BAD to you right now!

The thing is, the folks who send me these chain mails are generally pretty sensible ...or so I would have thought until I receive the said forward! Actually, this fact makes me think I am far more sensible than them, heh heh. And to think I thought I was a silly billy!

P.S. Oh and I am also not a fan of those holier-than-thou, goodie goodie email forwards that have flowers and cute animals crawling all over them, advising you on life (no less!AHEM). However, in an indulgent mood, I can pass them along...although I do always select my recepients with care.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

No worries!

What does 'no worries' mean exactly?

Because, I suspect that it meant one thing (apart from one actually having no worries, i.e.!) and then, is used generally and freely these days.

Me: I don't have a pen.
The other: No worries.
(I get it)

Me: Thanks a lot.
The other: No worries.
(I don't get it)

Me: Sorry about that.
The other: No worries.
(I get it)

Me: That was so nice of you!
The other: No worries.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Virtually there

People seem to be living much of their lives virtually these days. Chatting with friends, browsing,'facebooking', orkuting, blog hopping, commenting with passion and even arguing their 'some-parts' off on subjects they feel strongly about, never mind the audience...and so on.

This is the world the world seems to be turning...virtually!

And then, there are the games on your comp that can keep you busy for hours, even days, if you did not have to eat, work and sleep.

I would love to play some of those games myself. But I won't. As it is, I feel I am quite addicted to my comp. Throw in these games and I will be hooked for too many more hours. Game or no game, interesting or not, enjoyable passtime or no, imagine wasting away in front of a machine! No, you don't have to imagine. Just look around or peek into that mirror again! I did and it is a scary thought.

I really worry that this trend is more unhealthy than we give it debit for (!!my poorly earned BCOM degree comes to mind) and is not going to take us to any 'good place'. Soon, people will just be happy to see their virtual pals online for the chat of the day, express themselves through words or smileys or whatever else online and completely miss out on the real folks and things they have access to.

Either that, or people have too much free time when they ought to be ...WORKING???!

I do love the Internet and its possibilities. I can keep in touch on a daily or hourly or even minute-ly basis with people most geographically distanced from me and the cost is like peanuts! It's wonderful. But this good thing can easily become too much of one!

Me, I don't ever want to become a nerd. I am quite the social animal -- you know, that's the animal that is getting closer to extinction all the time. The same animal that does extensive research on other animals facing extinction! Soon, man will be just an animal.

I exaggerate?

This post ends here, so that I can quickly return to my REAL world.;)