Monday, January 30, 2006

Double Appu's

Yellow people

Taking a break from my break - yesterday was Jagan appu's birthday but since he's still in the US I think I'm still out of the belated category ;p well I wish ;)

Happy Birthday Jagan

Tomorrow's Nanyaar's birthday - Happy Birthday Nanyaar

So guys go over there and wish them both ;) Chiao

Friday, January 27, 2006

The second look ;)

Compiling my favourite posts is not an easy job nor is it a small thing given the number of posts I have and given I love them all! ;p I had the list ready way back in Cctober but it took so long to be posted as its a pretty long list.

So here's the list ;)

Ps : should be away for a week - there's a long holiday here for Chinese New Year ;)

Pss : Another post below ;)

Gong Xi Fa Chai ;))

First up the 1st compilation of favourite blogs - did sometime back.

My first 2 posts remain and all time favourite ;)


The Funny and Sweet ;)

Ithu 2 much view

Myths about view

Flashback take 2 View

Actuala View

Tomboy Tales View

Lollu no 1 view

Eulogy View

I saw you!!! View

Chitaps to the rescue View

Shuhhhhh View

Lat tali lat tali tam plom View

What matters what doesn't view

How to know View

Is that you View

Tadhim Dhirana Udanita view

Kana Ayiram kan view

How did you? View

Scooty Looty View

Love View

I do it in bed View

Straw View

Riding in the rain View

What??? View

Malaysian enough???View

Left-right Left-right View
Answero answer View

Looks like a View

Those were the days View

Snitch and pawnView

Blush View

They hated us View

Ops View

Thosai arachiView

The friends you make View

Lusu Pasange View

Lamp post-in sogam View

Anubhavam Pudhumai View

Tsh tsh AuntyyyyView

Aww thanks View

Hyper Question View

Jollu time View

Melodic memoirs View

Idly mauvu to the revenge View

Kaadhal View

Thy infinite gifts View

Alone View

Short story View

Uyirin Uyire View

Its December View

One word View

Reminiscence View

Women 101 View

Ops you got caught View

Rembering that day View

Surprise Surprise View

Corsage? Ladies? View

Waiterrrrrrrrr View

Save the thumb View

Knife View

Mummy joke-uView

Surprised mua!!!View


Sad

It's June View

Cookie Monster View

Life and Death View

Browny View


Serious

Ekambareswarar temple View

Embracing your culture View

A view Click here

Revati View

Carnatic glimpse View

Nambikai View

Puthidai Malara View

Tamilan View

ATA View

Flag or heritage View

Where is home View

Is there View

Merdeka Ibuku Melaung (in english as well) View

Fragile life View

Submissive morals View

Garlands of Art View

Would you? View

Intertwined View

The Lion Bellows

I've lived more with the Chinese than with Indians. Till I was 5 we lived in this town where we were one of only 2 Indian families and everyone else were Chinese.

One of our neighbours used to be this elderly Chinese couple who owned a stationery factory who doted on us. Even after we left the area, everytime we went back for visits, they used to gift us some stationery.

When we moved here we had a bunch of really nice neighbours, the kind that are rare now. There was the Aatchi (chinese term for aunty) and uncle with their son who was just 2 years older than me and then there was the neighbour at the front with her 2 older daughters.

Brother and I grew up with the son, cycling around the football field, mischievous we were, but then we outgrew the friendship as we made friends at school, and the awkard teen years so us being neighbours than friends. Aatchi and mom were always busy with their plants, both had jungles as gardens, the more the better was their concept. Dad and uncle too we're often seen discussing their papaya and mango trees. That was probably the only common bond between us.

What I remember and miss is, every Chinese New Year, they'd prepare a plate of cookies and pastries, mandarin oranges and 2 angpows just for the 2 of us and pass it over wall as we exchanged Gong XI Fa Chai wishes. We used to do the same for Deepavalli and I was always the official bearer of plates of goodies that went to both neighbours.

We'd gather outside and watch sleepy eyed as they blasted the 1000 rung red fireworks that left the streets tainted red. The would have started it the night before, but watching it in the morning glare brought an added brightness to the red of the new year fireworks. Then the gongs would sound and the much awaited lion dances would make their visit to the homes. Then it was for more cheaper and widely available that every home had the lion come over to bless them.

It was really fun to see the lion dance to the beat of the drums while trying to grab the money packet and leaves tied to the highest point at the house. Who needed tv when you had live entertainment?

Sadly its too expensive now for families to have them visit, so you'd have to find a shopping mall to see the dance.

Then there was my dads friend whom we visited every year. Dinner was always a big thing with them and I just couldn't wait to toss the yee sang*. The higher the toss the better the luck they'd say. One CNY dinner, the uncle's elder brother had joined us and he kept reminding me to get hitched to someone from the horse year. Err weird but he repeated it more than 10 times, even reminding my parents, much to the chagrin of my dad. ;p

When we stopped hosting our yearly fun but tiring deepavalli open house, dad decided we wouldn't go for the dinner as well so I used to make dad take us for a Chinese dinner every CNY just to have the Yee sang. We'd be the only Indian family there much to the surprise of the restaurant owners. That's another I miss now that dad's not around.

As you can see I love Chinese food, my mom often wonders if I'm really Indian minus the skin colour! ;p

Then there's the juicy succulent Mandarin Oranges, different from the oranges you get around the year. You're not supposed to gift the Chinese this, though they will gift it to you as the more they give the more ong* comes their way.

Things have changed now, aatchi and her family moved, later we moved and one day we heard uncle had passed away. I threw such a tantrum moving to this new house, though bigger I still feel this house lacks the soul of the older house. Our neighbours weren't so nice either, so plates of goodies don't pass over walls anymore.

CNY is different now, but its still a special time.

I still get excited by lion dances though I would have seen hundred dances, I still look amazed at the skies though I've seen it burst in colours a thousand times, little things still excite me and am hoping they will for the rest of my life.

GONG XI FA CHAI EVERYONE ;)

yee sang* Yee Sang would only be available during the fifteen days of Chinese New Year This tradition of having Yee Sang is unique to Malaysia and Singapore. Essentially it's a salad comprising of various shredded vegetables plus herbs and crunchies tossed with thin slices of raw fish, sesame oil, five spice powder and plum sauce. Depending on each restaurant, the ingredients will vary accordingly. There's also a vegetarian version.

Ong* good luck

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Angpow??? Bah!

I'm pretty close with one of the company suppliers. Whenever he comes by he'll definetly stop by for a chat. So every festival I'd ask him for an angpow and on Deepavalli he'd ask me for one. An angpow is a little red packet filled with money given to younger ppl, business partners or clients by businessman or married ppl. If you're not married you don't have to give any according to the Chinese custom.

So everytime he asks me I'd tell him no I'm not married so I don't need to give him one. He can't use that excuse (eventhough he is single) as he's in business so every time he'd get caught but of course he hasn't given any.

This time with just days to Chinese New Year he came prepared with a solution.

Me : where's my angpow?
Him : huh wait wait I got (fishes in his wallet and out comes a red packet)
Me : sure there's nothing inside
him : no no you check
Me : (there was something inside and so I struggle to get it out - in disbelief)
Me : oii aiyaa you giving me free RM 2 voucher to buy lottery?????
Him : hehehe sure will strike lotery you go and buyla
Me : but I don't buy lotery and I want money
Him : ok wait ( takes back the red packet and puts in a Dollar)
Me : A dollar?? Cheh dowanla you so stingy (I give it back to him and he takes it) grrrr
Him : hehehee

So the Chinese New Year season kicks off and I'm dreaming of love letters and lion dances.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Bali adaintha puram

....... Mahabalipuram



This shot was taken in 1994 - the first time we had visited India, when Mahabalipuram was still commercially untouched. Though those moonstone vendors were already there circling you in the hopes of persuading you to part with your cash.

Click here for a larger image

I had just joined my second dance teacher a year back and she had begun production of a dance drama on the classic epic Sivagamiyin Sabatham.

13 year old me had been mesmerised by the world of Sivagami the sculptures daughter, the romance between her and the young prince, her court dance, Pulikesi's advance's, the war and anguish as she was captured, her solemn promise that she will see the Pallava kingdom triumph once again, the victory of her beloved, the new Pallava king, her sorrow in discovering he had married another. The haunting music of the play was truly enchanting, romance brewed in its lyrics, humorous in others. There was one line that used to have us rolling in laughter, I still remember it.

"Pasi endru vandhen naan oru paradesi"

Everytime lunch neared all of us used to sing this in harmony, thus the laughter.

The drama was reproduced a few times more and I grew in ranks, from court dancer to Pulikesi's dhalapathy. From dancing coyly to a brazen group of soldiers, I became one of those soldiers, yielding the sword and terrorising villages. When you're the only gal disguised as a man, among a bunch of ruthless soldiers, believe me you're trying your best to be a brute!
That year we travelled to India and chanced upon the opportunity to visit Mahabalipuram. I remember standing bewitched by the Arjuna's penance carving on the rocks. I remember caressing the abandoned temple walls, wondering was this where Sivagami and her prince romanced but the sea shore temple, to the beat of the waves. Did her father sculpt any of this marvelous sculptures.

Those life sized sculptures of dancing women that came to life to dance with Sivagami, a product of her imagination, were any left?

I've never read the book, still looking for one in romanised Tamil, but I do know and love the story. I did come to know that little of the city still remains, a mysterious wonder for a fictional book set upon the Pallava dynasty.

Another tragic love story, love seems to be cursed that way, don't ya think?

Ps : Check out this beautiful photographs by photographer Shunya.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Double tease

What would life be without some teasing?

But then if you're the prime target would it be less fun? Nah not really ?

I was reading Neha's post and was reminded of my college days.

Throughout my college days, I was the poor victim of my group. You see I was THE tease victim.

I think I have something for doubles and triples. Just like how I get tagged so many times, while everyone gets linked to one person I got linked to two!

Our group consisted of my roommates and me, 1 gal from another room, 3 boys from one room and another 2 boys from another room. After the initial introduction, they had to find the target couple and who better than the youngest in the group me and the quietest guy. This was the permanent guy. The lusu's didn't stop there and my on the side guy was one of their classmates who would occasionally turn up at our gatherings just to be teased and yes they made a love triangle out of it.

The moment they see us talking they would start teasing us so much, the 3 of us ended up not talking at all with each other. One time they stole one of my photos and pinned it up at one of the guys desk. I had to threaten them that I'd march into the mens hostel and get it myself and then I'd tell (no sob to) the warden, one of them (the one who took the photo) brought me there against my wishes. Knowing me, the photo immediately reinstated itself into my photo album! Hehe

One time we'd gone to celebrate one of the gals birthday up a hill and they all made a pact and left poor old me and him with warnings that if we left the spot in different directions - we'd get a cake bath. That was the only time we really spoke and found out about each other and of course they all came back to bully us.

But of course despite not knowing much about him that never stopped me from making the guy blush (my fav hobby) every now and then. The tomato would be ashamed of its colour next to the redness of his blush ;) hehehe

Much to their dissapointment, nothing kicked off between the 3 of us ;)

Monday, January 23, 2006

3 hill

I'd call this week the movie week. Caught 2 really good movies and one not bad movie. There's something's about those movies I'd like to point out.

Pride and Prejudice

Oh it was so lovely. Lizzie, Jane and Mr Darcy had me falling in lover over their characters.

One of the most romantic movies I've watched and there was no shared kiss till the last shot! So much so you long for the characters to kiss ;)

Mr Darcy was just wonderfully romantic, oh what a delicious pair they made. Cinematography was excellent and the background music bewitching. The scene where lizzie finally says yes the music was just so soul lifting.

Then there was the bond between father and daughter. Somehow Mr Bennet had a stronger bond with Lizzie and the expressionless and couldn't careless father shown in the scene right after Mr Darcy asks his permission to marry the daughter changes to one so full in emotion it pulls your heart strings.

Mr Bennet goes on to say no one could ever be good enough for his lizzie and only if it was love he would agree to the union. Awww sniff sniff

reminded me of unkannil neer vazhindal en nenjil udhiram kothudadhi ;)


And for the first time, I cried watching and English movie, it was just beautiful do watch it if you're a fan of the novel.

Read some of the quotes here.


Aathi

So I succumbed and watched the movie as I just hadn't watched a Tamil movie at the theater's for such a long time. Thankfully it wasn't bad and believe me it could do with lesser songs! There was just too many! The suspense is really good and right from the first shot you'd go huh??

Oh I love the costumes and clothes worn by everyone - there was no badly mismatched colour coordination. Thank god I didn't have to see anyone in a purple top with yellow pants!

Music was weird it either started well and then something went wrong or it began bad and then went good or just something didn't harmonize.

I'd say watch it once and you might want to run out everytime there's a song! ;p


Memoirs of a Geisha

Have been waiting for this movie to come out mostly for Spielberg one of my favourite directors and the movie didn't disappoint. I love how he has shown the Japanese culture without trying to add in his own ideas like some directors are fond of doing so much they massacre the original story.

Of course certain cultural traditions (I'd call it something else though) had me going what the?? Though I consoled myself it was their culture and it was set before WW2.

Though there was one line that still has me and my friend peeling in laughter. I'm sure it sounds better in Japanese - but in English it sounds so hilarious! According to them a ais not a full fledged one until she undergoes the aceremony. So heres how they explain the ceremony to the young sayuri.

Mamase : there are times when the eel goes looking for caves

Hehehe now that's a new way of describing the birds and the bees ;)

The movies kinda long but you'll be blown over be the cinematography, the cherry blossoms and Japanese gardens and of course the acting.

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So wondering why there's a hill in the title? Late evening yesterday we drove up a hill and enjoyed the company of monkeys and sunset and the friend sadly bemoaning the lack of peanuts to feed said monkeys.

If you think I was calling the friends monkeys I'm sorry to disappoint, I WAS talking about our hairy cousins the primates! ;)

Friday, January 20, 2006

5+8+4=0

If you get a different answer you have to do this tag ;)

How the hell do you manage to get tagged twice in a day? I think you have to be named Visithra! Ello ppl am no tag machine! But it is ok I shall stand by my tagging duties and undo the tag and untag people.

Tag no 1 courtesy Geethz
The Rules: Remove the blog in the top spot from the following list and bump everyone up one place. Then add your blog to the bottom spot.

1. My All
2. All About Zara/Mom2ashley
3. Allyfeel
4. Essence of Love
5. There's no blog

Then you select five people to pass the love on to. Unfortunately for the tag am not tagging anyone - please hijack the tag if you love it ;)

Oh dear I was wondering when this would hit me - hummmm


1. What were you doing ten years ago?
1996 ...Oh that was my favourite year at school - senior most year, I was in form 5 thats O levels for ya. Despite having major exams at the end of the year we were still having fun, wrecking and blowing up experiments and feigning innocence, we even had a photo session in the exam halls and yes we even played chess ;) the teachers thought we had signed contracts with the devil ;) also the first year I worked in an office and had a bat come by to celebrate my birthday - I so don't know why.

2. What were you doing 1 year ago?
Last January? Humm oh the normal Margzhali, ponggal new year oh and was mourning for tsunami victims - my friend would disagree though he felt I was getting too immersed and I'd have to agree. Oh also was busy practicing for the performance in India while being extremly busy at work - it was mad I tell ya.

3. Five super fatty and high cholesterol snacks you enjoy:
1. Cheese cake (haven't had this for months :(
2. Chocolates
3. Ice cream (Mcds needs to be visited hehehe)
4. Choc cake (had for my bday)
5. Karipap (samosa like pastry)

4. Five songs to which you know all the lyrics off your head right now:
1. Most my carnatic music songs
2. Snehidaneh
3. Pade rap ( hehehe bro and I sat at saida petai and memorised this song)
4. Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
5. Vaseegaraa

5. Five things you would do if you were a millionaire (a millionaire doesn't mean having only 1 mil..but millions...)

1. Travel around the world - live a few months at a different place and discover the customs not just the tourist thingy;
2. Donate some to my favourite childrens home;
3. Buy a house in mid KL where prices are rocket high;
4. Build the house in Annamalai
5. Travel every corner of India ;)

6. Five bad habits:
1. Weird temper - its short yet not short - needs long explanation
2. Lazy if I can be
3. Extremely stubborn but I love it ;)
4. I hold grudges once you're in my bad books
5. I can be really sarcastic

7. Five things you like doing:
1. singing
2. reading;
3. Writing and bloging;
4. Travelling;
5. Playing with children.

There's more questions???? Mummyyyyyyyyyy

8.Five things you would never wear, buy, or get new again: (this is hard i like a lot of things)
1. I won't wear revealing cloths
2. Wont wear a fushia and lime green combination
3. Never buy things that are more expensive then its worth in quality just for the brand
4. Never buy cricket apparels or sports items for myself - i don't even like the game!
5. Never buy things worn buy a celebrity or used - am not that crazy over anyone

9. Five favorite toys:
1. My phone
2. My blog
3. Monopoly (board games chess)
4. My camera
5. Children (hehehe)


Tag no 2 courtesy Still

what??? A what tag??? Hummm

Rules of the tag:-

1.The tagged victim has to come up with 8 different points of their perfect lover.
2.Need to mention the sex of the target.
3.Tag 8 victims to join this game & leave a comment on their comments saying they've been tagged.
4.If tagged the 2nd time, there's no need to post again.

Male

Oh so lovely qualities:
1. Good smile.
2. humorous.
3. tall.
4. conversationalist.
5. Good dress sense.
6. Loyal.
7. Human qualities
8. Loving

My 8 victims ;)
Tadah no one ;))


Tag no 3 courtesy Anjali

4 jobs you've had in your life
o Accounts Clerk in a huge company
o Writer (every other job has been in a small company)
o Copywriter
o Pr Exec

4 movies you could watch over and over
o Thalapathy
o Indiana Jones
o Star Wars
o Veerapandia Kathabomman

4 TV shows you love(d) to watch
o The Nanny
o Friends
o The Simpsons
o Cartoons

4 places you've lived (huh am not telling exactly where)
o KL
o Selangor
o Chennai
o Selangor

4 places you've been on vacation to
o Singapore
o India
o Sri Lanka
o Around Malaysia

4 places you would rather be (changing to dont mind being)
o I love KL so not really
o Chennai
o Penang
o The beach

4 of your favourite food
o Hot spicy sambal (masala) [own recipe]
o Steamed veges [own recipe]
o Hokkien Mee [a chinese noodle]
o Soup Kuew Teow and chilli padi [a chinese clear soup noodle with tiny hot chilly]

4 websites you visit daily
o My blog!
o My email
o stascounter
o The Star

4 tagged
Since I can count and If I had tagged ppl I would have had to tag 17 ppl and though I know 6.5 times 17 ppl (i think so from my list) I'm not tagging anyone - pls tag yourselves

Dear god that was such a longggggggggggggggggggggggggg bunch of tags!

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Thathuvam

Looking for entertainment - need not apply just demonstrate ability to entertain!

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Mathematically some people can be such shrewds. You try to comprehend how they came to that calculation. Then it strikes you and you realise how diabolic they are. Leaves such a bitter after taste!

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There is love, always in love, wanting to love but gutless and theres valentines of course non make sense.

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The ruthless win coz moral is not a word in their dictionary, the dumb win coz they never were competing, so stuck in the middle are the moral smartass ever in a win-lose situation!


Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Kannathil Muttamittal

Usha has written this beautiful piece on the classic Bharathiyar song Chinnan Chiru Killiye. Since yesterday it has had me stuck in a pensive mood.

I'm pretty sure most people are familiar with this song. The song is a beautiful expression of a fathers love, delight and anguish over his love for his young daughter.

The song has been set so beautifully that each phrase has been given the right tune and hits your emotional chords. The music perfectly matches the words.

Take the first line

cinnam chirukkiLiyE kaNNammA

The tune dips at kannama and emphasises the word so much it sounds like a person reaching out an caressing a child longingly

and then there's this line

aLLi aNaittiDavE en munnE Adi varum tEnE
-- she comes dancing to me knowing I'd scoop her and embrace her close to my heart

When you hear this line you can just imagine a child running towards you smiling in glee arms outreached as you carry her and embrace her close never wanting to let go.

Odi varugaiyilE kaNNammA uLLam kuLirudaDi
--- your dainty run has my heart leaping in bliss

The minds eye will show you a child running towards you - thats how beautiful the song has been composed.

kannattil muttamiTTAl uLLam tAn kaL veri koLLudaDi

This is my favourite line - I'm often left smiling imagining a child bestowing a childlike kiss on my cheeks.

There you are sitting and imagining a child's kiss and the feel of her baby soft skin when the music dips suddenly stirring you emotions so much, tears form.

un kaNNil nIr vazhindAl ennenjil udiram koTTudaDi

Usha has taken these lines to explain the song and the bond between child and father.
---- my heart would bleed if tears were to form in your eyes

That is what a child does to you. Innocently pulling at your emotional strings that even a tear pains your heart. A child's innocent smile is enough to throw away sadness, despair at least momentarily. Their tender touch and non judging heart holds so much joy - children are one of lifes greatest gifts.

Check these links out to hear renditions of the song. I'd suggest listening to TN Seshagopalan or Maharajapuram's version. Then do listen to Chittibabu's veena recital of the song. Believe me you can even hear the words in every stroke of the strings.

Close your eyes and listen you'll hear it exactly how it was meant to be and the tears will form.

Ps : most singers skip para 6 and end with para 7, The lyrics can be found here.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Ban them!!

People that should be banned from the road - you know those self declared cool people

ps : another post below and yes you are at the right place ;)


# the man who puts a right signal and turns left

# the same man that thinks driving at 20kms on a monday morning with no traffic in front of him is cool

# the same man that coz he thinks driwing at 20kms is good contributes to traffic and causes you to be stuck in the middle of nowhere

# the man who tailgates you as he thinks terrorising is so cool

# the one who cuts in without signaling and glares at you as if you could read his mind

# the man with a bigger car that thinks he owns the world and you should give way and bow down to his greatness

# bike drivers who whiz in and out and then stare at you coz you're in their whizzing way when you've been stuck in the same spot for the last 10 mins

# speed demonz who tailgate you even after you gave them space coz they think intimidating is cool

# the ones who create their own lane that snakes over to the 2nd lane of a 3 lane highway causing a massive traffic jam at the back

# the ones who jam their breaks and scare the living daylights out of you when there's really no reason for the person to have braked for! Just testing his breaks you see!

Inspiration from all the donkeys who entertained me yesterday and today.

Obsessed

....with black

So you notice the stark whites gone. The thing is it was giving me nightmares literally. I woke up one night dreaming of my template! I knew the white had to go - since then I've not had blog nightmares.

By the way have rectified the popping read more - it shall no longer shock the skin out of you.

Now back to black. There's a valid reason why I'm obsessed with it. You see my mom never allowed us to wear black till I was 17. One day I got up and I asked her why, she couldn't give me a reason. That day I told her fine I'm wearing black from today and I've never turned back. I have amassed so much black clothing's the Goth queens will be proud of me. I have a black saree in various different border shades. It doesn't help when I shop , even the shopkeepers think I should get black!

I didn't think my obsession was that bad till I changed the blogs colour. So sorry guys you ain't getting a white or any other shade anymore, I love my sleep ;))

Monday, January 16, 2006

Manpanai Ponggal



Now that I've finished sulking let me explain. There's something about traditions. When you're so used to doing something and you don't get to do it one year, it effects you personally, there's a sense of loss.

That particular ponggal tradition, I've been part of has been going on for 16 years. The aunty who takes the ubhayam each year was reminding me the other day. As happy as I was to see her and the ponggal still being cooked, so was she.

Getting up in the mornings, wishing everyone then watching the fire and waiting for the milk to boil - it was a tradition.

Somehow Ponggals pretty ingrained with the society here. Few days before the indian shops will be selling sugarcanes, freshly made ponggal manpanais (earthen ware) and manjal kottu (turmeric plants). People either have their ponggal at home and then join the temple prayers or vice versa.

Whenever Kanni or Kaanum ponggal which is today fell on a Sunday, the youngsters in my area will get together and have our own ponggal. It will be total havoc - running around here and there, someone getting hit with the wooden spoon or us being forced to do kummi (boys included.

Even the students have their own ponggal celebrations. My univ used to have competitions. Each college would build a panthal (tent) and decorate it (the previous evening) with natural products like banana trees, bamboo, coconut leaves and then we'd name it based on historical figures. The next morning everyone came dressed in Indian attire, the men in veshti the gals in saree (this all gave marks), the kolams were drawn and the ponggal pane's were set. The team whose milk boils over first wins and so you'd see us trying out tactics from using fuel to slanting the pot as much as the judges will allow.

Our panthal used to even give out mooru (buttermilk). One anne an ayyapan bakthan used to give us ghee he got from visiting the Msian ayyapan caves or the time he went to India. Then we'd have different contests like mooru drinking competitions, pot breaking, sadugudu and the hinduism quiz. Our team one 3rd prize a few times we always lost on the panthal coz some team actually made chariots out of coconut stalks!!

It doesn't stop there. Our cultural nights are held around ponggal. Each Univ used to host a different ponggal night. We'd have cultural performances, then a run through of the best hits of the year through song and dance, comedy sketches that got hilarious by the year and then there was the decor. Beautiful done welcoming props and huge backdrops, usually all done by the students. Then there was the students, this was the time we'd come in our sarees, the men of course opted for shirts if they weren't with the committee and it was the photo time of the year and do I even have to mention the jollu vidduraning time?

Ponggal to me signifies the start of the year, the time you wish the best for yourself and everyone you care for.

So again Happy Ponggal Everyone ;)

I had my Ponggal!

Ponggal did take a turn for the better but in a weird way.

ps : this is just a very excited me post will post something else later ;)

I reached home around 4 on ponggal and decide to drive around the temple. Much to my disappointment there was no familiar 3 tied up sugarcanes. So I went home still mumbling and grumbling. It starts raining sometime later around 5.30 again I drive towards the temple and there's the sugarcane and it looks as if its all finished by then sulking gets worse and I head home deciding to join the prayers later in the evening around 7.30pm and it starts raining again.

Around 7.30pm I reached the temple to find prayers hadn't started. When I saw why I started beaming like a mad women (so whats new). They were still making the ponggal!!!!

Here's what had happened, coz it rained so heavily they finally had to move the Ponggal pane and karambu to the side of the temple exactly on top of the kolam I had put the previous day!! Despite starting at 5.30, the milk and the rice just refused to cook. The ponggal was ready only 20 mins after I'd arrived (heheehhe).

When you do something for 16 years, at least somethings don't change. I was just so happy despite the gloom, Ponggal waited for me ;)))

Right after prayers I was on the auntys tail for ponggal. I sat in a corner enjoying the first serving of the hot piping ponggal.

I had my Ponggal! I had my Ponggal! I had my Ponggal!

So now you know Ponggal effects me big time. So does Thaipusam and Navarathri ;)

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Ponggal? engeh? engeh?

INNIYA PONGGAL NAZHVAZHTUKAL

So today's Ponggal. Somehow I'm not feeling it despite driving by a town where the shops were brimming with sugar canes and ponggal panes (pots). Might be because my yearly routine has been changed due to the time Thai is supposed to start today - 5.30 pm.



Every year we'd head to the temple early in the morning around 6.15am before the sun is out and prepare the ponggal area. Each year the ponggal ubayathargal will insist I put a kolam around the pongal pane. The year I had travelled to Penang on Ponggal eve, they made sure I put it the day before and actually preserved it and there was the year when I'd just gotten back from vaikunda ekadesi prayers and dropped mom at the temple and was resting in the car when the aunty comes running to the car telling me they won't start without the kolam.

Then we'd wait for the milk to boil which takes some time given they use a pretty huge pot. I'm always in charge of making sure the fire is burning. When it does pour over, everyone goes ponggalo ponggal while someone brings down the fire so not everything pours out. Then theres the rice cooking and stirring. When its time to put in the sugar, I'll always sneak in extra whenever the priest was not looking as I eat ponggal only once a year when its sinfully sweet and delicious. No one makes good ponggal at other times coz you see there wasn't my touch ;) hehehehe (alright stop laughing now or I'll boast somemore). And then I'd rush off to the office after taking my bounty of ponggal which is polished off on the way to the office.

So here I am Ponggal morning without Ponggal, at the office sulking! I better get my ponggal today evening!

Friday, January 13, 2006

Flirting drive-in

There's a drive-in mcd's on one of the routes home. Occasionally I'd drop by there. Anyway most of the staff employed at the particular drive-in are 17 year old kids waiting for their results.

Yesterday as I drove to the counter, the malay kid comes hopping to the counter. Instantly I started grinning and the kid starts grinning and before you know it we're flirting over an order of ice-cream. Then I leave hoppy boy and drive up to the pick-up counter and what do you know since I'm still grinning - this other kid and I are grinning and flirting. They were pretty excited to see me and I so don't know why and I haven't been there for months.

The last time I was there in mid October I was bombarding the poor Indian kid on whether the veggie bugger was really veggie (it tasted awful by the way). By the time cash was exchange kid and I were joyfully having a conversation. As I leave kid goes - by the way nice saree ;))) hehehe

Ah what entertainment! ;ppp

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Adha ennatha solvenungeh

Im free im free im free till next week ;) Just got back from our annual function at work.

It drags longer than usual nearing lunchtime. I'd just invited the boss and some dignitaries on stage for the interactive session and opened the floor for questions and what do we get?

Silence! No one had a question so finally my boss asks do you want lunch and we got a resounding yes. Finally after 4 minutes of silence I decided to end the awkward moment and yabbadaba doo - people clap and cheer! Hummm I was reminded of school....

Thetas what you get for talking about Mcds for a subject on branding!!

Oh yes this was the day my car tyre decides it shall fornicate with the screw and puncture itself away. Thankfully it was after the event and a colleague was nearby to help. I thanked my stars that he was around coz despite knowing how to change a tyre don't think I could have unscrewed those damn screws, even he was struggling to get the screws out!

Reminded me of sometime back in 2004 when on the way to work the car tyre went flat. After parking the car at the side I got down and quietly started taking out the spare and tools and started preparing to change the tyre. The jack was in, and the screws needed to be unscrewed and that was hell. The heavier the car the harder it gets you see. So I quietly struggled alone as car after car passed by filled with white collared workers non offering their help.

Finally pitting me the sweeper who was working nearby comes to help but he too was struggling. Then our saviour came in the form of a construction worker. He came jacked the car changed the tyres, screwed in the screws and immediately left - no small talk nothing - whoosh he was gone. Luckily I had thanked him. This is why you should be nice to ppl from all walks coz when you need help these are the ppl who will lend a hand not the ones sitting in air-conditioned offices.

There I was packing my tools when this guy stops to offer help. I thank him and say everything's done and get into my car and am shocked beyond words. The guy was sitting in my passenger seat! That was one really scary moment. He refuses to get out until I gave him my number and was saying he saw me herela therela and very often it seems. I actually gave him my number when he takes down the wrong number and gets out. I was pretty paranoid for weeks after that. It didn't help when a week later another tyre went burst thankfully near home as I didn't have a spare the very next day I got all tyres changed!

After that I'd check the tyres every other moment, look left and right if someone was around as I was pretty convinced the guy would come and scare again.

Thankfully I never saw him again. Weird how ppl can get.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Annathe

Any mac users out there? One mac user tells me the blog is unreadable on a mac and totally disorientated - please give me feedback anyone ;)


So we're sitting at this table extended to the road in front of a restaurant waiting for dinner. Suddenly one of my friends jumps from the table followed immediately by the other friend. I'm still seated but wondering what the hells wrong.

Friend : there there there
Me and waiter looking bewilderedly

waiter and I burst out laughing when we see what had caused the ruckus. It was a cockroach some 2 3 metres away. I finally notice that most of everyone was looking at our table with the dancing women!

Me : ukarungeh di! Everyones looking!
Sit down faster!
Gals : no no someone kill that

seeing the waiter move towards it the cocroach runs away but they're still standing.

Waiter : mathurey-le vara scene maari kudikuringehleh

The gals finally sit down but the waiter keeps returning and circling our table.

Gals : so why is he circling our table
Me : oru aasai than Mr cockroach vahruvaru - madurey-le vara maari - 1 of you will jump on him nu aasai than! ;p hehehe

Now now before you go ahead and make fun of women we met a bunch of friends later and one of the guy accidentally confesses that he too will jump and run if annathe Cockroach comes by! ;p heheheh

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Ps : I'm busy

Yes there's that and theres today which is a holiday here and there's the fact that today is Vaikunda Ekadesi. Point is I've been missing from a lot of blogs and even my own. My busy season has started ;)

Incidentaly I was born on Vaikunda Ekadesi - no wishes pls just stating a fact - if I find the time will talk about the day Vaikundam opens and moons ago I said excuse me earths calling ;0)

Sri Thyagaraja and Sri Ootukadu Venbkata Subbaiyer have been one of my favourite composers. And here's an expert from an Ootukadu song.

shinnam shiru padangaL shilambolittiDumE
adai shevimaDutta piravi manam kaLIndiDumE

--- I can hear the bells from the anklets around your small feet
--- nothing more do I need but to hear that beautiful sound throught this life

nAn pinniya shaDai shaTrE vaghaik-kalaindiDumE
mayil pIli ashaindashaindu nilaik-kalaindiDumE

--- your vigorous dance loosens up the hair that I had braided for you taking along with it the tucked in peacock feather that dances to the rythm of your dance

ADAdu ashangAdu vA kaNNA

Monday, January 09, 2006

Vanishing Key Act

Its Saturday night and I'm getting ready to go out. Surprisingly everything seems to be in place and I'm on schedule. Immediately I pray that does not indicate the roads will be closed and it will be totally impossible to get out!

I head down all ready and trying not to sweat and head straight to the last place I left my keys. Key isn't there so I start looking in other might have left spots. Key is still missing. May day!! Mayday!! I start ransacking the house turning every pillow, running up and down, looking under everywhere possible and crawling around the house.

Hairs all dishelved I sit down to think on cushionless sofa and then it strikes me. I call her so called handphone and as always the handphone stays happily at home!

Fretting in anger, I call the friends to tell them I'll be late. I run around the house trying to not go mad. There's a car outside I rush to the gate hand on hips!

Me : WHERE'S MY CAR KEYS!!!!
Culprit : Why are you asking me? You would have dropped it in your messy room!
Me : look in your bag!
Culprit : see I don't have it (fishing around the bag and producing the house keys)
Me : (I hear the familiar jingle of my car keys) LOOK AGAIN!!!!
Culprit : I DON'T HAVE ......(takes out MY CAR KEYS) ..... OHHH opssss
Me : AMMAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!! Bla bla bla bla bla bla
Mom : (shuts herself off da da da da la da la da and pretends to listen)
Me : grrrrr


Next day evening I had just gotten up from sleep and realised everyone was not at home. So I got ready to go out for dinner when I incidentally decide to check the porch (normally I don't). To my horror the door was wide open! Few hours later when I come back I find another car key happily sitting outside basking in the night mist!


Me : Is it all thieves free week?
Mom : what what??
Me : what is this doing outside??
Mom : what?? Oh errr you only must have left it outside hehehehehe (ehlam joke mayam)
Me : (rolls eye) and why was the porch door open? I was asleep!!!!
Mom : it was??? No no I closed it and went!
Me : So I was dreaming??
Mom : (Calls brother - surprise surprise he goes yes ah?)
Me : bla bla bla bla bla bla
Mom : (shuts herself off da da da da la da la da and pretends to listen)
Me : grrrrr


In this I get scolded for not locking the outside gate that guards my mothers plants! Hummm the plant is more important than me .... Sob sob

Hehehe if only they could speak the keys at home would tell you stories!

Friday, January 06, 2006

3 Takes

Come come there's a chance to ootufy (tease) me! ;)

Ps : I've updated Ecliptic and the template has changed - the same as this with some minor changes and oh its all blackkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk and if you hadn't guessed I love that better ;))) yummy


Take 1

I was on my way home and waiting at a traffic light when I just wiped my face with my palms and looked to the right. There was an elderly man staring so I quickly looked away. Then as the cars are moving, I realise the mans trying to catch my attention, I slow down he slows down - and yes our cars were doing a tango. Finally I looked at him and he smiles and waves and stops tangoing. Errr what did I miss? Why did he wave?

Bah confusions on the road! ;p


Take 2

Anyway on the way back, hunger pangs took over and I sidetracked to this restaurant to have dinner. I'd just ordered my food when I realised there was a cute 1 year old Chinese boy sitting in a kids chair just opposite my table. The kid was so adorable - he had one leg propped up on the table while the hands were busy fiddling with a bowl.

Kid suddenly turns towards me and I flash him a smile and widen my eyes. That started it! He started laughing and laughing. He changed his position and just sat there staring at me. I obliged and continued entertaining him - everytime I widened or blinked my eyes he'd laugh away. The father was pretty amused - coz the kid was so loud and really amused, plus he couldn't stop looking at me (awwwwww). The mom however wasn't so amused, she gave me a "stop disturbing my kid look" and looked away.

She tried distracting the kid, but he wouldn't have any of it, he just kept looking and I kept entertaining. He even blew me kisses ehhehe. It was just such an adorable scene.

At one point I didn't even have to entertain and he'd laugh oh and he learnt how to blink his eyes (kann adikuran). Yayyyyyy another kid successfully spoiled hehehe

The 40 min entertainment was just priceless. Sigh I miss the kid

I went home and checked. Nope I did not have lipstick on my teeth nose nor was my eyes looking like a raccoon's! So what was so amusing for both of them? Hummm


Take 3

During Margzhali I have a habit of standing right at the back of the temple. Some people think its some secret that brings me luck little do they know I just don't wanna hear anyone's singing. So there's this bunch of people who will line up right behind me thus having to stand outside the temple in the mist. Weird but true.

Today morning there was about 2 metre of empty space in front of me yet there was still about 10 ppl standing behind me! I was complaining to mom when she gave this reason.

Mom : its nothing they're just worried someone will kidnap you so they're standing there to protect you! Hehehe
Me : lollu? Grrrr

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Penang Romances

Yesterday as I walked out of the office, a gush of cold wind greeted me. A storm was brewing and it was beginning to rain heavily. But there was something different about the grayish blue skyline. The moving dark clouds set a breathtaking contrast to the dusky skyline. I drew my cardigan closer to comfort the chill and stood watching the play the sky was ostracizing. The mood was different, not gloomy more of romance. As I drove back home, it seemed as if I had left the black clouds behind and was moving towards a brighter horizon. I was greeted by a sky, awash with the rays of a bright orange sun. So powerful was it's rays, the whole area basked in an orange glow.

Somehow I was reminded of Penang, our beautiful island state.



(pic : penangpage)


Penang comes a close second favourite of Malaysian cities, only after my beloved KL. There's something beautiful about the island state, you could even call it the romance capital of Malaysia. I could spend hours roaming Queen Street (little India) and Pulau Tikus or just enjoying the seaside view at Gurney Drive or sandy beaches of Batu Ferringgi.

One of the best times to visit Penang would be the months after Thaipusam as the streets would still be adorned with painted (not just drawn) kolams.

Some years back I had traveled to Penang for a Carnatic orchestra. A few groups from around the country were to meet there, practice and harmonise for a week before the shows. A bunch of us were put up at this apartment by ourselves so we took the chance to venture out into Penang streets every night. Everyday for that week, we would finish practice at about 11 pm, rush back, freshen up and drive around the sleepy town island. Since most of the places would be closed and we weren't really looking for dinner, we'd just grab some snacks at 7-11 and head down to Gurney Drive or Ferringgi beach. We'd talk, discussing the show but mostly we just sat and stared at the waves hitting the barely lit beach.

Newly in love then, and away from communication, the mood was set, soothing the absence, the wind embracing, prancing about as it wished. Those nights, the sky always threatened to burst a shower on us, but it never did. Instead it romanced us with its cold breeze entertained us with is dancing clouds.

I don't know how we managed that week, we'd get in daily at 4 in the morning and be out of the house by 8 am to head for the practice halls and only allowed out after 11 pm. Yet no matter how we enjoyed the grueling practices (with breaks only for food), we were always eager to heed the beach's calling. We never saw Penang during the day throughout that week, our breaks were spent chugging into food or being entertained by the percussionists.

And what a show we put on. Interestingly was when the percussionists were about to start their thaniavartham (solo piece) the whole island blacked out. But the show must go on and the percussionists played in a candle lit hall to a silent audience. It was pretty spine tingling.

Penang holds a special place in my heart, it beckons to the soul, taunts and enchants and hands you the best memories.

ps : don't miss the link - it has gorgeous photos of Penang.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Kong the King

Ok don't turn back. Come back now you haven't reached the wrong place.

After 2 weeks of changing, tweaking, rechanging, searching and bugging 2 innocent and probably bored and waiting to strangle-me souls (thanks so much guys), I've changed the template.

I get to keep my black, you guys get your white and I built it all on my own with the help of the cool psyc template generator ;)

Hope you guys like it. I've been spending hours in the evening back home working on it.

King Kong makes an appearance after the read more messages ;)


Gal 1 : Did you watch King Kong
Gal 2 : Yeah the movies really good
Gal 1 : especially King Kong - the romance was wow
Gal 2 : he actually surpassed the hero - did you realise king kong reminds you of men
Gal 1 : lol yeah especially Indian men

Guy : ethu? Indian men? Coz they're big, dark and hairy?

Gals : (all turn and look at him) huh?
Guy : ops
Gals : hehehe so this is how you injure yourself with your mouth?
(ithuthan vaikuduthu maatikiradha?)


Ps : we were talking about the character - tsh tsh not our fault the guy thought otherwise! ;p hehehe

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Surprised Mua!!!

I'm back ;) with a long story ;) and I haven't even told the christmas one ;) humm well that can wait - lets find out how I was surprised ;)

Hope everyone had a wonderful New Year with friends and family ;) Again thanks for all the birthday and new year wishes, sms, calls, poem, post and songs ;)

May 2006 bless us with enough sunshine enough rain, enough joy, enough tears and most of all love in abundance.

Oh yeah its a long story - but really do read, you'd get tips on how to really surprise someone!


29th night I planned to sleep early since I had to wake early and there would be the midnight calls and knowing it was gonna be a long sleepless day - but as I said I planned.

One of my best friend (S) calls around 8 ish planning dinner on the bday. 9ish his gf calls and passes on the birthday wishes earlier in case she falls asleep. And that started it, till 12 friends were calling to pass on early wishes in case they missed the midnight gong.

And as always S was my first wisher much to another friends chagrin. He had been trying for years to beat this guy as the number one caller ;) But S decided this year should be the surprise year. He calls and goes vanakam - and groggy me being pretty confused has no idea who it is. I was desperately trying to figure who it was while trying to maintain that I was still in control by asking normal questions. Finally he caught me and I said some name and yes he was so excited and I knew I'll never hear the last of that!

By the time I got to sleep it was 1 am, I was groggy, and I had till 3.50 to sleep before I got ready for temple.

I actually woke up with a thud later, I fell of the bed - the first time in many years. The first thing I thought was - "you doofus you fell of the bed on your birthday???!!"

Anyway I was seriously wondering where I was going that evening. All I knew was I was meeting the friend and his gf for dinner and we were gonna club. I was pretty miffed with the 2 other gals - one for the past 2 weeks had been apologising on not being able to be in town during my weekend [yeah ehhe its mine ;) - you didn't know? Check with heaven its registered under me ;) heheh] and the other one tells me she's stuck at her hometown with the flu and the mom wouldn't let her come.

Until that Friday I really thought they were joking about being away. That morning one of them was missing online and when she finally turns up, she leaves work early to go home. I had earlier thought that, it was all part of some party they were planning but when she left early I was finally convinced she was taking the bus home. Guy friend calls up and tells me the location for dinner and I dutifully inform everyone else like I always do and nobody replies back. Earlier my kutty thangs (thangachi/ sis - shes my friend actually) had been telling me she couldn't make it.

Lunch was pretty sweet - I drove out for lunch with 2 of the colleagues and they wanted to visit another shop after lunch. They come back bearing a small cake. I was pretty surprised, hadn't been expecting anything. Later in the evening the 3 of us sneaked around the boss and shared the cake.

I rushed home, did some errands and rushed back towards KL for dinner. I reach the restaurant and since the friends weren't there yet, I waited by the side of the restaurant which turned out for the best coz I met an old friend from music school. He left just as my friend called to say he was walking towards the restaurant.

We met, hugged, they wished, I blushed and then we headed into the restaurant and I shrieked at my second sight. 1st one at the table was kutty thangs and the bf (my mind registered that as she knew about dinner coz you smsed her just she didn't reply) it was the 3rd person at the table that made me shriek. It was the friend who had left early from work (c1). It had all been a big lie. The women had been lieing for the past 2 weeks!

So it was a surprise party and they still wouldn't tell me the details! That's where the stupid grin started and never left. Guess what one of the blogger friends had been in conspiracy the whole 2 weeks with one of my friends - so he gets the - you knew??? sms. I got my first present - this pretty photo frame which I've promised to put C1's eyes, mouth, nose photograph in each different slot.

I was seated facing the kitchen and C1 the door and every other time she'd look up as if someone else was coming and I'm still looking out the door. I was convinced C2 was coming. So when C1 walks out to answer a call I actually confront her that she just spoke to C2, she shows me her sisters number as the last dialed number. On cue C2 calls telling me she can't make it and I dutifully inform everyone. I actually believed her, stupid grins still there

We just started dinner when C1 beams and I turn back - my eyes nearly pop out and thankfully my shrieks of surprise are small, short and not loud. There went shriek number 2. The amount of lies these women told, if I hadn't shrieked I'd be labeled emotionless.

We were seating in some classy restaurant - and the amount of noise we were making - thank fully the staff were enjoying seeing the women with the stupid grin still smiling and not throwing us out. So lets thank them for that and the good food ;)

I got my second gift - this cute beautiful butterfly designed watch. I haven't worn a watch since I was 17!

Then a total stranger walks in and he was my friends friends friend (k) and by then despite them telling me friend was sick I was convinced he was coming. Actually he really was sick and didn't turn up but I didn't know who or what to believe.

K turned out to be a really good bday gift - I had found the long lost twin of S! S is the most funniest, jolly person you could have met and here was another one just like him.

Bah! He was a Kamal fan as well! What is with me and Kamal fans!

They both started imitating Nayagan there and there I was the Rajani fan sitting in between them.

Aaaaiiiii Rajani Vaalzgha!nu nahn sohla - K imitates Rajani instead!


S takes that as a que to tell everyone about the midnight call, imitating my groggy voice!

Me : so how long you plan to tell that story?
S : till next year when I get another story!
Me : grrr (hits him)


So there I am getting ready to leave the place when C1 discusses something with the waiter and then when I asked, insists she's packing food for her sis as she's going back and not following us clubbing. I was getting ready to blackmail her when a cake comes instead.

That's when the drama starts, one tells me I should stand, the other says on the chair, an another says go stand in the corner and blow the candles from there!

Finally I had to stand and they stood as well and started singing so loudly, the whole restaurant starts laughing, they finally figured out why I had shrieked earlier. I had quickly sat down when K tells me to stand and do something else. I took the cake knife which was covered in chocolate and blackmailed him - adangu! Heh then it was my time to bully them. Cut huge pieces and made them eat, and told whoever who didn't finish it will have to face a serious fed cake look.

There were more people waiting at the club and C1 and K made sure everyone who passed our table knew it was my birthday and wished me. They even got the dj to announce it and I tell you decemberians can party! There were some 20 people celebrating their birthday that night! The Dj just kept announcing one wish after the other.

Midnight 31st we called up the other friend and sang her a birthday song in the middle of the booming club. Yeah we partied, kummi adichified (thats our trademark - we see our friends especially the boys happily dancing - we'll start a kummi adi until they followed us to hiphop music!) and refused to leave the verendah of the club after they politely threw us out! Yeah clubs in KL close at 2 and if you still wanna club you have to change locations.

I still had temple to go and then I was off to my half day work! By the time I finally got to sleep it was 3 pm.

So for the first time in my life I was truly surprised and they succeded in throwing an awesome surprise bash. You guys on one side them on the other, it couldn't have been better, thanks everyone ;)