Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Merdeka

Tomorrow's our independance day - we call it Hari Merdeka. Just like last year the bloggers from this side of the world have decided to host a themed Merdeka. If last year was about Merdeka itself this year its Project Happy Malaysia. Basically we'll be writing about what's wonderful about being Malaysian.

Well last year I managed to write 6 posts on Merdeka which you can find here, here, here, here , here and here. This year writing even one seems hard, its not that its impossible its just I rarely write a post based on a persons race.  



UPDATED

I grew up in a mixed society my neighbours were mostly chinese. My schoolmates were from all the three races, hence it never mattered which language we spoke nor which god we prayed we were all friends. That's what to me best reflects being Malaysian, the somewhat racial harmony we practice.

If you met a Malaysian in any corner of the well, ask him what he misses most, he'll definetly tell you its food. Not his mom's food not his races food but believe me he'll be telling you he's dreaming of pipping hot Nasi Lemak, Banana Leaf rice or a steaming plate of Char Kuew Teow.

When the Old Klang road fights were going on, there was somewhat of a hushed environment. people were telling each other, stick to your own race, don't visit another races restaurant. To me that was utter rubbish and since I was craving for Malay food, I ventured out to my local Malay restaurant to get my food. I had been visiting him for ages, and I knew no tension happening miles away was gonna change that.

I was right, as always he beamed on seeing me and happily dished out and extra spicy serving of Nasi Paprik. So you see we might have our differences, but deep down the simplest stories would tell you the beauty of who we are.

No one tells us to learn about anothers culture, no one tells us to eat another races food, no one tells us to speak a bit of every language, no one teaches us to be excited about seeing another race friend attend a wedding or a function and giving them extra attention but we do coz it comes naturally. That's what makes Malaysia special. That's what Merdeka is about.

Selamat Hari Merdeka

Ps : Tommorrow I've got a story of a crab ;)

Ps : that's all you get for now since I have been too busy this past few days. I'll probably finish this post tommorow - for the time being read the old posts first ;)  

Happy Birthday Vallu

Today's the vallu of the house's birthday - my brother that is ;)

Happy Birthday Vallu

ps : i lost the file that had everyone's birthday dates on it - so will everyone please jot down their birthdays here ;) be nice now don't make me come by and bully you ;)

Monday, August 28, 2006

Stylo milo

I fear hair stylists! I finally found a person I'm scared of.  They're such manipulative scary individuals who are capable of massaging you to oblivion that you just nod to everything they tell ya! That in hair saloon visit language is a recipe for disaster!



When I was younger my dad had a fascination for boy cuts. I can't blame him I had cutesy curls that later morphed into frizzy hair! But it served a purpose, I was a tomboy after all.

When I was 7 and started dancing, the hair committee decided it should be long and we started growing it. From then till I was 16 the hair was never cut more than an inch. My mom would stand guard and frown at the hair stylists so she'd know how long 1 inch was! You had to since they never understand simple terms as short and little.

Then one day mom decided I've sported long hair for too long and we went and got it snipped much to my dads horror! Poor man was looking for the little angel (well fathers never see their daughters grow older than 5) with hip long hair who would run around in single and double plaits! All he found was a shoulder length haired gal!

Ah but the liberation of short hair found a home and thus began the quest for the perfect hair stylists! Not everyone can cut the indian hair, take it from me its an art to be able to style frizzy hair. After having suffered one 2 many bad hair days I finally found the women!

A simple shop in my neighbourhood with hair stylists who loved to travel. She did have a problem with length but she knew what looked good for me. Occasionally she'd inquire so you want this product? I'd say no and she'd go back to giving me that spine tingling neck rub I loved! Ah how i loved her! For years I visited her!

I remember going once (only once) to a hair saloon in India for a wash. Now this was quite a famous one and they trained students! Sadly there was no neck rub and the washing was normal! When it came to blow drying my eyes nearly popped out! They were practically raking the hair as if raking dead leaves! I shuddered and ran away!

I still had a frizz problem - hair looked good but it was too much work to manage! That's when rebonding became famous and I jumped at having silk unfrizzed hair! My mom hated it at first but grew to love it since I had picture perfect hair everytime!

As my hair grew I realised I'd become selfish and didn't like the products she was using. So one day as I was circling the mall, I succumbed to the pull of a posh place and extravagant male stylists. The lady was sweet I liked her and somehow I managed to tell her no products in between having bubbles for a hairdo! I like them yet I felt guilty for abandoning my loyal stylists. I was still getting hair trims from her while she gave me the suspicious look. I cringed in my chair in guilt!

Then I got bored with straight safe boring hair, yeah sure it was nice but bleh! Plus I was always caught drooling at the friends spiral curls! One evening on a stroll at the mall I walked in and told them hit me with some curls! But my sweet lady wasn't there and only Mr OH-I'm so-vogue was there.

I had wanted to maintain the length but the excitement in me was uncontained and when Mr OH-I'm so-vogue gushed that curls are best in layer like cuts and a new parting - I blindly said yes but just not too short. 

Snip snip snip and before I knew it the hair was too short for my liking! I frown into the mirror but the scardy cat that I am (remember I'm scared of stylists), I said nothing! I was also busy reading a book on shape shifting demons and trolls so as you know trolls aren't hair crazy so I forgot all about the stuff they were putting in my hair!

I did spy from the corner of my eye a poor guy staring in horror at the things they were doing to me as he refused to have eye contact with his gf going through the same! Heh servers you right for following the missy! ;p    

When I first saw how I looked my eyes nearly popped out but then I got confused since Mr OH-I'm so-vogue was gushing on how pretty I looked. I was pretty sure I didn't and I was dazed too! My mom bluntly told me later I looked horrible! Thanks mom! :(

I met the friend the next day with a very bad hair day and the woman actually laughs at me despite all my warnings! Mummeeeeeee at the next day's dinner I warn the boys one sniffle from you guys and I'm shipping all of you to Antarctica! Nice fellas not one made a comment but I did notice non made eye contact with me! ;p

Finally a week later I marched there and complained of their shoddy work! Mr OH-I'm so-vogue rolls his eyes at me and agrees to repair it grudgingly. Repair wasn't as good but I finally figured how to handle the look and now it looks great! ;p

However I'm now currently without a hair stylist. I'm too guilt stricken to go to the old one and too scared of the new one! Its's been months though! I'm biting my nails and hoping the hair won't grow and I won't have to find a new stylists!

Psst : I'm still looking back every now and then, who knows if the dreaded stylist will creep up and spoil my hair again! ;p

ps : inspired by shoefind's post

Friday, August 25, 2006

Kanchipuram

Besides chennai if there are 2 towns that I often return too, it would be Kanchipuram and Thirunnamalai. A trip to Kanchi and Annamalai is a must each time we head to India.

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The plan would always be an early morning shoot off from chennai and ariving in time for morning prayers then heading to Thiruannamalai for an overnight stay.

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However if you'd read my escapade with the driver you know we had to return that very night on this trip (read second half).

It was security and most of all I couldn't stand how he treated people. He was horning people who were doing the girivalam, he was horning the procession, he was horning absolutely nothing - he just had a fixation with the horn! Grrr. Anyway lets leave him to rot with his horn and get back to the post.

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I'm not sure why I love Kanchi more than any other town or why I'm so attached to the Kanchi Kamakshi temple and the Ekambareswarar temple but it is a fact and believe me I can spend hours there!

We arrived at Kanci temple in time for the morning abhishegam on the morning of chitra pournami. We'd purchased this lotus garland from this flower seller. Since it was her first sale she didn't have change and told to me get it later and I said ok. The kunjam or the last flower was unopened, right after I bought the garland she lightly taps the flower and it springs open ;) nice trick eh? ;)

We got into the temple in time for the abhishegam and the morning pooja but we were determined to get in. The priest had been eyeing the lotus garland, plus I'd been holding it for nearly an hour and that's how we got in and with the help of a young boy.

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I have to thank the lady for insisting I buy the garland, coz every other small garland never made it to the devi. What a sight she was. I think someone from the mutt was there or a visiting priest, we saw him again after prayers and he handed out some tasty sweet prasadam. Can't remember what it was though ;)

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To me the front of the temple always looks small and clustered but at the back its this vast walking ground perfect for a stroll. The temple as most temples has 4 doors and a huge tank in its grounds which I love photographing as you can see.

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The reflections on the pool always turn out great no matter who takes it ;) We walked out of the temple to find a very anxious looking flower seller waiting with our balance, told her ur flower made it to devi and she beamed back. We headed out to find the streets of Kanchipuram packed with people, we couldn't figured what was on but since it was Chitra paurnami we thought it must be a procession.

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After circling kanchipuram numerous times we made it to Ekambareswarar temple by mistake, our driver claimed the road was blocked and the temple was closed!!!

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I always feel a connection to this temple I'm not sure why and its to the panjamuga ganapathi. So much so I always come back with a ganesha! Somehow this temple is the most less visited, and least looked after. Probably why I'm drawn to it. I love its darkened halls, there's no artificial lighting just the faded sun beams that manage to make it through.

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This time cleaning works were going on as we saw workers jetting the ceilings with water to clean the temple for the Maha Kumbhabhisegam I think.

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You circle the temple in near darkness until you see light reaching you and you arrive at the mirrored altar just next to the tree in the open grounds of the temple. The tree used to be this huge magnificent life form with beautiful branches and roots and we used to spend time sitting and looking at it. Alas now all that's left is a small sapling, I'm not sure if the tree was felled or it died a natural death after 3500 years, someone care to tell me?

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Habits die hard, I still find it the most peaceful spot in the temple and was sitting and singing to the morning sun. Then of course there was the photos ;) If you look closely you'll find interesting carvings in the temple. I was particularly attracted to this circular one.

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Beautiful blue cloudy skies greeted us as we made our way out. It was such a wonderful day. We were searching for breakfast when we got caught in a huge traffic. Only to find that we were right behind the Varadaraja Perumal temple procession.

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How could one sit in the car seeing the procession. We immediately got down and rushed to get darshan. The photos should say it all. What a day, illehya ;)

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Now if you're wondering why there's no ppl photos given the length of time we were stuck in traffic? Well remember driver from hell was driving? Well he had the audacity to honk at the procession! I had no idea where to bury my face and believe me it was useless to talk to him!

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Processions block the road everywhere in the world! If people can quietly move over here regardless of race or which religion is holding the procession why couldn't this donkey!

Anyway after a later brunch we headed to the Varadaraja Perumal temple only to be flabbergasted by the crowd there! We decided it was too much of a risk to go in and just prayed from outside and left for the Kailasanatar temple.

This was the first time I was going there, the temple had always been closed prior and I was told they were still functioning just not to the knowledge of most ppl.

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Now this temple will remind you of the Mahabalipuram Shore temple, the structure is similar so are the carvings. Its extremely gorgeous and despite the hot afternoon we managed to jump around to admire the carvings.

"Kailashanathar is one of the earliest temples built by the Pallava ruler Rajasimha Pallava and was completed by his son, Mahendra Varma Pallava in the 8th century AD.

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It is the oldest structure in Kanchipuram and the finest example of Pallava architecture in South India . The temple is situated among several low-roofed houses just over 1-km west of the town center. Of all the temples in India, no other edifice has been so elaborately filled with all the 64 aspects of Lord Shiva."

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Having seen so many sculptures in the past 2 weeks, I can attess that some of the sculptures were rare poses. Like this particular one which I had never seen anywhere else and this is quite a common dance pose found in bharathanatyam. The hands, the gestures, the expression is so perfect in this particular sculpture.

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Right after that we left for Thiruanamalai on the longest drive we've had to take and its never this far! So that past of the story, you'll just have to wait. ;)
Ps : check zooomr for rest of photos ;)

Photofriday : Friend

Submitting this for photofriday - a shot of my friends taken in Penang, Malaysia ;p

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Hosted on Zooomr

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Tall, dark and .....

Drool post of the week - Surya's getting married hence it was time to look for a new drool item. He'd been lurking around and yes the first thing I saw was the height! Drool ;p

vishal7A drool item whose closer to home and more my style ;p Introducing the tall, dark and handsome Vishal. Ahh so yummy ;p Anyway have liked him from his first movie and then he went missing hence couldn't drool over him, no way was I posting the sen's photo! ;p

I like how he moves, the way he talks, the way he smiles oh so gorgeously and have I told you how cute he is?? ;p

The thing is the guy can act as well. Been telling my mom I'm marrying him, she just shakes her head and rolls her eyes! Bah!

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Hosted on Zooomr

There's another problem too, the darling friend of mine wants to be wed to the hunk too - hence we're continously claming rights! Though she's agreed to give life to Arya since I'm so adamant on Vishal. Sighhh soo cute ;p

ps : ahem sorry guys no gals photos - but but you can bully me ;p As if I need to give an invitation! ;p I can already see ppl jumping at the chance! ;p

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Endless battle

I have been the downcast victim in an endless battle. It started way back in 2001 when I first encountered its villanous character. It was once a boon until I discovered its hidden agenda.

It pulls you in on the pretense of embracing you oh so gently and then it strikes with its venoumous blow. Slowly it weakens you draining your energy as it hovers over you. Often it circles you with a victorious laugh as you huddle in fear, cringing at its mighty power.

Occasionally I win w minor battle only for my joy to be distrupted by its loyal minnions who continue to feed power into it making it stronger by the day! Numerous methods I have tried, used, numerous shileds have I procured but non have withstood its powerful menace!

Oh woe is me - when will the day thrive and will I survive the monster that is .......

The air-conditioner!

Hehe I'm freezing till my bones and I remember shutting it off just 2 hours back!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

vaLaiyoasai

vaLaiyoasai kala kala kalavena
kavidhaigaL padikkudhu kuLu kuLu
thendral kaatrum veesudhu
sila naeram silu silu silu ena
siRu viral pada pada thudikkudhu
engum dhaegham koosudhu

Think of bangles and most people will be reminded of this song. The song is a poem by a guy to his gal - he tells her the

"sounds of your bangles are poems of their own - poems that are as enchanting as the wonderful cool breeze that embraces me".

Bangles do have an enchanting quality when worn in a bunch. Every movement of the wrist and you'll hear its familiar rustling as the bangles hit into each other, often a sound of celebration. Have you ever noticed how only the glass bangles emit that beautiful sound? Neither gold, silver, metal or plastic would give sing the tune of the glass bangles.

Casually caressing the skin at the wrist between arm and palm, they take turns ringing in the joy. My earliest memory of purchasing bangles comes from this visit to a local shop in Masjid India, our very own little India. I was about 10 years old and it was for my dance performance. I was pretty excited since like most gals I loved glass bangles and hadn't been allowed to use them before since I was deemed too young.

This middle aged man with a toothy smile was the bangle seller. I remember him grinning at us and asking for my hand. I hesitantly gave it to him, it was awkward to be touched by a stranger, something I wasn't used to. He picked this pretty maroonish bangles and forced them onto my hand. Yep forced was the word, it was quite tight and I remember complaining. He grinned back and tells us that's the way you should wear them and we bought them. I was frowning and smiling at the same time.

Now I know why he did that, it was a smart business tactic. I'd out grown them in short time and we'd have to get new ones. Probably explains why I like my bangles huge!

These days I have a hate and love relationship with them. I love them but hate having to find the matching bangles from my collection and arranging them. Penang used to be a favourite haunt for bangles, it was probably just me coz I always felt they had wonderful collections.

In chennai during those days when I used to roam the Mylapore street near the tank, I used to buy beautiful glass bangles from this old man. Him I liked and nope he never tried to force me to buy smaller sized bangles, most of all he remembered me and I him. Here was this row of shops selling bangles, non with a signboard yet I'd manage to find him. Sadly this time I had no time to meet my fav bangle seller.

Bangle sellers no longer force bangles into the hands of its customers, that tradition seems to have paved way for the insecurities of todays world but they still thrive, just as the sounds of the glass bangles that continue to haunt the soul as the king of bangles.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Risk vehndam

Plans are made to be broken - whoever who made that line must have known us! We were supposed to head off to a nearby waterfall yesterday but for some unfortunate reason 2 of them couldn't make it and we decided to call it off.

Only problem was I'd already prepared half of the food for the trip. Well you see we decided to be good gals and cook different stuff ;p Well someone has to be the guinea pig you see why not the boys in our gang!! ;p

2 minutes later friends tell me why waste the food they'll come over for lunch ;p

I kinda panicked. Now I don't have doubts about my cooking but then I might be partial to it since most of the time I'm the only one eating it ;p It could be really bad but my brain thinks otherwise hence the tougue things the same, you never know you see. ;p Plus its one thing to cook one dish and a total differnt situation to cook a full meal.

The plan was to cook chicken briyani, masala chicken, salad (my own recipe - its absoloutely delicious) and a vege dish (http://saffrontrail.blogspot.com/2006/07/simple-spring-onion-curry.html).

Anyway I started cooking at 10 am and managed to finish at 1pm and no mom wasn't around to help. Bro and her were enjoying laughing at my expense while they went for a wedding! Bah! Didn't even have time to fret! Just as I finished freshnening myself, they turned up at our doorstep!

You should really applaud them for being brave enough to come try the food, they were visibly mortified my mom hadn't cook. It didn't help when my brother kept saying - you guys are taking such huge risks - vehndam risk vehndam! Grrrr

You don't get photos since I was too busy serving them and wondering how the food is ;p
Verdict : it was good ;p they had seconds and triples and nope they're all at work today so none fell sick! Yaysssss

Joke of the day

me : (finally taking a bite from the food) ahha nalladhan iruhku (not bad its really good)
friends : ADAPAVI!!!!! Nangehlam guinea pig ah???
: what!!! We were guinea pigs???

Friday, August 18, 2006

Random quotes

Jeevan tagged me and I kinda liked this one - end up choosing more than 5 but I've narrowed it down to Travel, work, mistakes, principles and laughter

Go here ....... and look through random quotes until you find 5 that you think reflect who you are or what you believe. Repost in your journal and tag 5 friends.

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference. - Robert Frost (1874 - 1963), The Road Not Taken

No matter how much pressure you feel at work, if you could find ways to relax for at least five minutes every hour, you'd be more productive. - Dr. Joyce Brothers (1928 - )

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep. - Scott Adams (1957 - ), 'The Dilbert Principle'

Laughing at our mistakes can lengthen our own life. Laughing at someone else's can shorten it. - Cullen Hightower

I was irrevocably betrothed to laughter, the sound of which has always seemed to me to be the most civilized music in the world. - Peter Ustinov (1921 - 2004)

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Sringeri

I have this thing for bamboo plants. Group a cluster and they'll group in a pretty circle and from the top these pretty bamboo leaves will shoot out. Hence do I even have to tell you how much I loved the drive to Sringeri?
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Sringeri is located in the midst of the western ghat forests so the only way to get there is to drive through some amazing landscape. Do I look like I'm complaining? Anyway on one side you'll find gorgeous bamboo groves, the other luscious boulder laid rivers and further out coffee and pepper plantations.
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Bring down the mirror and enjoy the breeze while listening to the sounds of the forest. I remember hearing a weird sound, but neither me or the driver could identify what animal it was from nor did we see it.

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Most of the time you're the lone car driving down the winding roads, at night it might be scary but in the day it was total bliss. Occasionally you'd meet a lone man walking down the beaten path and you wonder how do they live here without electricity, isn't it scary?
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The scene would look like the photos at dharmastala drive - boulder laden rivers. Now if you're wondering why no photos. Well right after entering the forest it started getting colder by the minute and then it started raining. Yes it rained in summer, that too heavily.

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That's when we pass this huge bridge and I turned to look at the most amazing scene I've ever scene, something I can only describe to you. The banks of the river were lined by bamboo trees which were swaying towards the river from the onslaught of the rain. Imagine green arms embracing gushing white wisps of water.

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Sigh it would have been the photo of the year if I could take pictures in the rain! We continued driving down the road in heavy rain when suddenly we heard a noise as if someone was throwing stones on the car. That's when we realised it was raining ice in the middle of summer! ;p

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My driver was astonished as we had told him it always rains when we were there. When the sounds got louder we stopped the car to let the ice stop falling and that's when we realised we had stopped in front of a tiny ganesha temple. Right in front of him! What a coincidence eh?

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Well I decided how could ice fall without me playing with it. So till it stopped raining ice I happily caught them in my hand and seriously it was chilly! Fresh from the rain, we reached the wet grounds of sringeri and we were astonished to find such a temple in the middle of nowhere.

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Set across the bank of River Tunga, amidst the Sahyadri hills in Chikmagalur district of Karnataka, Vidyashankara temple marks the spot where Adi Shankara discovered a cobra shielding a frog from the torrential rains under its hood (thats the circular cone shaped temple). Right next to it is the Saradhaba temple.

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Vidyashankara Temple is a Shiva temple which is once again built in escalated levels famous in this region and in a circular shape rather than the common square. Hence the temple has 6 doors. Its pretty peaceful inside and you don't notice the pillars at first.
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Look closer as these are the 12 raasi pillars. The have been arranged in such a way that the sun's rays fall on each of them in the order of the solar months. You can identify them by the carvings on each pillar.
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The temple is really a sight to behold, different in shape from different angels. As with other temples, this too was heavily sculptured though not as lavish as the hoysala temples.

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The Saradamba Temple enshrines the golden image of Sarada Devi on the Sri Chakra Peetham. Intersting is how the lalitashasranam is recited continuously, so believe me you could go on listening.

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We came out of the temple to find the sun beginning to set. What a beautiful sight it was to find the temple awash in golden colours. The bridge across the river will take you to the Sringeri ashramam.
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People arriving on boats can of course get off at the steps located at both sides of the river. That was probably the ancient passageway to this hidden treasure.

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You definitely want to be here during sunset, what with the play of colours and how it sets precisely at the back of the temple. The Sringeri town itself is pretty small hence you wonder how people reached here and how this picturesque town remains nearly untouched.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Upside down

Whenever I park my car I pull on the handbreak a few times especially near drains or near slopes. There's a reason for this.

When I was in univ, I'd usually drop by my friends place as that was our meeting port. Usually I'd park the car right in front of her house next to this drain so as not to obstruct the way into the main gate.

Anyway another friend drops by in her car and we continued chatting away. Suddenly we heard a huge noise and all of us ran to the balcony. We were shocked beyond our senses.

There was her car sitting upright inside the drain with the cars back end jutting towards the sky. The most amazing thing was it had to pass my car before falling in the drain but it somehow missed it and happily slid through the narrow opening between my car and the gate!
We were still gawking at the unbelievable scene when people started stopping their cars and came to watch. Finally we remembered we had to get it out and luckily they agreed to help after laughing at the situation that is ;p

It took 10 ppl and lots of energy to pull the car out since it was upside down and lets not even talk about the damage. So don't ever forget to pull the handbreak!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Girls will be girls

A bunch of us were sitting at our friends living room after a day of wandering the town eating pizza. The boys made the mistake of asking a bunch of gals out shopping. The end result the guy couldn't find what he wanted but the gals found a few things!

Anyways there we were discussing Monday blues when someone switches on Sun TV and the independence day programme list comes on. First up was Jeyam Ravi and in a split second we discussed he was cute. Then seconds later Vishal came on tv and 2 of us started laying claim on the tall dark hottie. Then a few more ads passed without any reaction from us. Poor boys there weren't really any actress they could look at.

Suddenly the whole room screams and the boys start blinking in confusion!

Vereh ohnum illeh : Surya than! ;p (surya's a hot southie actor)

boys : kathu kilinjathu da - ihnimeh oru meter thaliyeh ukahranum ;p
Eng : my ear drums are gone - we better sit a metre away next time!

Ps : Independence Day wishes to all Indian Citizens

Monday, August 14, 2006

Marking territory

Have you ever watched people who have newly fallen in love? One of them knows they're in love with the other but the other is oblivious to the tell tale signs.

Now these tell tale signs are called marking territory. Its mostly done unconsiously and it falls into the body language category. Most of the time the person doing it has no idea he/ she is showing such signs.

@ they don't really stick next to you but are pretty near always eyeing anyone else who dares get close
@ every gender of the opposite sex gets a warning look
@ jealous offtrack remarks go the way of the interest for the silliest things
@ the unconcious brushing of hands (each others)
@ the casual brushing of hair of face
@ the extra concern shown on said person differing from affection to other friends
@ the attentive gaze

This was brought to you by Prof V for the letter G and the number 1 ;p

Ps : observation of the weekend, heh the friend would kill me for all the fun we're having bullying said friend ;p

pss : finally am no longer the pavam main bullied victim

Thithithadhey andha nodi

Brilliant poem by Sreekrishnanv to match the story I wrote below

IMG_0606skyAvan Kannil ulla Kanneerai Aval parka
Aval Parvayil ulla mayakkathai ivan unara
Iruvarum salaiyoram Kaikorthunadantha
antha malai nerangal - nenjil inikka ...
indru yeno intha iniya malai inikkavillai.

manathil barathodu kortha kaigal vidai pera -
Ivan ninaithhaan,
yetharkaaga nee vandhai en vazhkkaiyil ?
Kadhal enbathai unaracheiyvatharkka ? -
aahaa ..thithithadhey andha nodi !!

Friday, August 11, 2006

last orange glow

Dusk was setting across the horizon yet the waves never stopped their onslaught against the sandy beach. Two figures stood close yet apart each at different angles. Their body language said it all, all was not right in their world.

"So this is it...."

"I guess so..... Do we have a choice?"

"No there's no other way"

"alright then.... Good bye"

"why did we have to meet? Life would have been simpler if we hadn't ...... No heartbreaks.... no hearts to mend"

She smiled a weak smile. "Ah but love - we would have not known the wonder of love and for that we shall thank our stars"

As the sun glowed its last orange glow against the darkening skies, she left leaving behind the love that once was.


Ps : total fiction - ithu no 1964, 1954, 1994 so no calling me patti petti

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Our hero

When you think of Kerala, the first thing that probably comes to mind is the backwaters and the spas. Unfortunately to my mom it was still all about the temples. So I had a hard time convincing her another boat ride would be fun. But as the photo's attest, I did manage to convince her. The title you ask? Well there's a story at the end ;)

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We were first sent to this area where the view didn't seem too great. My driver concluded the same and told us we should head of to Kumarakom.

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Hence after visiting a few temples we headed to Kumarakom. I had managed to convince them to join me for an hour drive, they wouldn't have anything more than that.

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The drive to Kumarakom passes by a stretch of hotels, antique shops and the backwaters on the other side. So its quite a pleasant drive.

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I've always wanted to go on one of those antique looking boats so you would understand how I felt seeing this little beauty that was just nice enough for the 3 of us. My mom wasn't so please since she never liked wooden bridges nor boats but she agreed to tag along.
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The good thing about getting a small boat is it creates very small waves hence you get wonderful reflective photos. The best part of the backwaters is, its a haven for photos, with its wild ducks, people, numerous boats, and river banks lined with houses, your camera never stops clicking!
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Now though the boat has a captains wheel, it served more as a decoration, since our boat was powered by motor and he sat right at the back. Nice guy, the moment he sees me focussing the cam, he'd slow the boat and every other moment he'd give out info on the places we were passing.

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10 minutes down the river, mom agrees this was a good suggestion and they were enjoying themselves! On one side you have a wildlife bird sanctuary and on the other wild ducks buzzing around in flight.
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These wild ducks would swim around daintily and just as you're focusing the cam, they'd fly off. They would then sweep down grabbing a fish for brunch. That's not fair I tell ya!

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You cruise along this stretch of river banks before you see the great Vembanand Lake. It's pristine waters will bewitch you.

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That's where you'll find those huge rice boats, famed across this region. The boats I deem one of the most romantic things to float on water.

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As you can see I couldn't stop photographing the boats, across the lake, from up close and in all sizes. You'll have to see the whole album to see how much clicking I was doing. I love how the boats look, there's so many interesting aspects to the boat.

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10 minutes down the lake, I turn back to find both mom and her friend asleep in their plush red velvet rattan chairs. Ah so I had the lake to myself!

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There weren't many boats on the water. I was told it wasn't the boating season. That was fine to me, I wasn't too keen on fighting for space.

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We passed a few fishermen in their even tinier boats. They were fishing for clams, and you could find boats with huge mounds on them and this special clam catcher which looked like huge claws. Anyway I'd look at them take photos and they'd look back ;p Most of the stretch of the visible lake bank is made of lake resorts.

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And if you think women don't row boats, this is the best place to be proved wrong and most probably by a bunch of grandmas.

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As you know I attract stories. There's no other way to describe this. We this small boat were cruising unmindful, without disturbing anyone along the river banks.


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When this huge rice boat starts looming closer. Now he wasn't the first huge boat to drive past us but probably the rudest. These huge boats cause huge waves, so our boat guy moves closer to the banks to give way. Suddenly they hit our tiny boat, and puff all peace in the last hour went missing!

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You could imagine our shock, the boat was shaking violently luckily it didn't capsize. At first we assumed it was an accident, but they guy hit us again and our boat man started exchanging words with the crazy boat men! They were about to hit us again when another big boat comes looming in as our saviour and horned the crazy boat men. Only then did they move on.

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I still have no idea what or why they did that. I don't think they had problems with the boat man but its just baffling. Why would they want to topple our boat? So we quietly made our way behind saviour boat. You can see two boats in this image, the furthest boat is the crazy men boat and the nearest is our saviours. Heh who would have thought we'd actually have heroes!

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When I inquired with our boatman what had happened, he just brushed it off with a smile but he did seem agitated. They exchanged words again when we past the anchored crazy boat.


It had been slightly over an hour and we could see our driver nervously walking the banks. None of us said a thing about the incident though. However take my word, its worth the time, and go for the 2 hour or a few day ride on a bigger boat.