Dec 15, 2009

A smart reply

Dee’s friend had come home and he got Hima into a conversation. She started showing off her “ABC” knowledge to him, and beamed when he said “Good girl”. He asked her a couple of questions and then he asked her,

“Hima, do you like atte or do you like maava?”

She did not answer that question. This was apparently the first time she was faced with that question.

He again pressed her, “Hima, whom do you like more – atte or maava?”

“Hmmmmmm......” she replied, “Maa-tte”, and started grinning!!

We all had a hearty laugh!

P.S.: There was no threat or promise of reward to her from either of us :D

Dec 10, 2009

Come home sometime....

There was this aunty who lived in our locality, a little away from our home. Her son was my school mate and Ma and she had met a couple of times at school and had got befriended. In the evenings when I and Ma used to go for a walk, we’d pass by their home. If she’s out at that time, she’d stop us for a chat. The talkative lady that she was, she would not let us leave for a long time, talking this and that. But strangely, she would not welcome us inside so that we could sit and talk.

After a few attempts of trying to end the conversation, finally when we set out to leave from there, she always had this comment, “Please do come home sometime, when you pass by this side”. We’d say “Sure!” and walk off from there and have a hearty laugh! This used to be a regular scene, and I used to make fun with mom, and remind her that “We should go to her house sometime, when we’re passing that way”! And it never happened. Every time we’re there, she’ll never invite us in, and at the end she’d say her usual dialogue. After a few years, she had shifted from that place and heard nothing of her.

I was pleasantly surprised a few days back when I was returning from office, and I see that same aunty, of course a little older now, in front of a house. I stopped by and talked to her, and learnt that she lived here now, very near my new home. And again she never asked me in, and when I set out from there after talking for a while, it was her usual dialogue that made me smile – “Do come home sometime, when you’re passing by this side”!!!

How I wanted to tell her that I do pass by the same road everyday, and yet I do not want to go to her house!!!

Nov 23, 2009

Food Tag

Anu tagged me again, and this time it’s a food tag! Being a foodie that I am, I was glad to take up the tag. The tag is about “listing down five memorable meals that you’ve had - the food, the place, the place you were in your life when you ate, the company, the weather, the ambiance – heck, the guy who served the food!”.

1. The poori-sagu that I had with dad after my CET seat selection got over.
It was my CET seat selection process. After a long time of anxiety, and finger-crossing, I had got a seat in my favorite college. That was the college we had zeroed upon after dad had taken me to some prospective colleges around some days before to get to know more about them. And I was not ready to go out of Bangalore either.
We just wanted to give mom, who was at home, a shock and called her up and said, we did not have any other option but to choose a college in another city. Mom evidently felt bad, but then asked me if Dad was okay, and I just pretended so well, that he too was upset, while dad was standing right next to me and enjoying the prank. Then we went to this hotel called ‘Kalkura’ and ordered for my favorite then – Pooris. And what pooris they were! So crisp, lite and just melting in the mouth. I felt that was the best pooris I had ever had in my life. And seeing dad so proud of his daughter made me so happy......
Well, the next time I wanted to have the same pooris at the same place, I never felt the same joy again.... some joys cannot be re-created!

2. Every meal cooked and served by mom
Yeah, I remember so many wonderful meals that mom has served! All four of us used to sit down and talk and eat, back then. We had fixed places where I would sit in between mom and dad and my sis would sit on the other side of mom. And every item would be so tasty and the meal, accompanied by some talk or some small game would be so interesting. Nowadays, meals are more like filling your stomach while being glued on to the idiot box :(

3. Candle light dinner with piping hot magi prepared by hubby dear
After getting bored of eating out everyday during our rather long honeymoon, we felt we should cook something ourselves in the little kitchenette we had in our room. And that evening Dee offered to cook the dinner while I had a shower. By the time I was done with a shower, the table was all set, with a bunch of flowers that he had picked up himself from the neighborhood, a few candles lit up, a drink and plates with yummy maggi, just out of the microwave..... Wow! That was so impressive.... and BTW, I bet no one can make magi better than Dee J

4. Fried-rice and gravy from my aunt that we cousins could not stop eating
It was summer holidays and we had camped at our aunt’s place. And everyday would be a feast for us kids, with my aunt, a great cook’s preparation. And that day she had prepared an Indianized version of fried rice with onion gravy. It was the first time I had tasted it, and well, it was just superb! All four of us cousins went on hogging and hogging, while my aunt kept on serving us happily. She was smart enough to cook it in a HUGE quantity, to fill our tummies! And we had the same for dinner too that day! What an amazing lunch and dinner it was.....

5. My first birthday after wedding
On my first birthday after wedding, by the time I got home from work, in-laws had cooked a great meal of my favorite Peas Pulav, Badam Puris and more. There was also a cake waiting for me to cut, and I had happily eaten to my heart’s content.

6. Those first eating-out ventures in college days
Where we would freak out from college and have Dutch treats. One particular instance was when we had gone to a North Indian restaurant, and we wanted to try out many side dishes. Since we were a group of 10+ that day, we could afford to, and we got to taste a wide variety of dishes! And another instance was of ‘Jolada rotti oota’ at Kamat. And the unlimited meals there, was a boon for us! We kept hogging and hogging those smooth jowar rotis with ennegai and other side dishes. My friend had commented that day, that it was the first time she had seen me eat so much!!

Well, I now realize that I can go on listing a least a hundred memorable meals!!! I am such a foodie!!!
Ok.. i tag everyone who's interested in taking it up....

Nov 9, 2009

Spell a BALL

Now that my 3 year old niece Hima had learnt all the letters in the English alphabet, and tries to read upper case letters one by one in newspapers and magazines, I thought I should start teaching her spellings of small words that she knows already.

I started with 3 letter words starting from A, B, C... On a sheet of paper, I wrote
and went on making her read, and telling the pronunciation.
A-N-T – ant, I would say, Ant means ‘iruve’ (kannada synonym)
B-A-T – bat, Bat means? Her response was to show Sachin Tendulkar’s’s bat on TV, where he was playing a match with Aussies.
C-A-T – cat, and she would say ‘meaow meaow’, excitedly
And similarly ‘bow wow’ for dog.

Then suddenly she wanted to write BALL. She wanted me to spell out the word so that she would write.
Okay, I dictated to her, B, A, L, L.
And she had written BAL.
I told her to write another L
But she showed me the already written single L.
Hmm... I thought and told her ‘You should write 2 L’s for BALL’
Immediately she wrote something and showed it to me, gleaming in joy that she could write a word. I couldn’t stop from cuddling her seeing what she had written.....

Sep 30, 2009

Navarathri - A festival of dolls

In school days, apart from 2-3 weeks of mid-term holidays, Dasara was a special season - full of celebration, decoration, nice things to eat, lot of visitors at home....

Dad, mom and we would all arrange the steps, decorate walls and ceilings with color papers, hang silk curtains out of mom’s sarees, get down the big carton of dolls, stored in the attic, arrange them all, put serial lights, help mom with making many varieties of snacks and sweets for guests.....

And this was one time of the year when I would take my friends home, mom and dad would invite their friends, our teachers, relatives, people in the neighborhood, and the house will be full of visitors.....
It had been missing it all from the last few years. This time, I made up my mind to do it all, albeit in a smaller scale, in my house and relive those moments again. I convinced Dee and in-laws on this, got home a part of the packed dolls from mom’s place and started out the venture. Dee, who was reluctant in the beginning, had his creativity coming out of from some hidden corner and got so fully involved and made such good arrangements.

Top view of our park

We started out making a park first time, not sure how much of sand and mud should go in for some ragi to grow, and look green!!! With a lot of phone calls to mom, and suggestions from in-laws, we got it to a decent looking form.

We got little niece Hima on our side, by involving her, and giving her a role to watch out for anyone touching the dolls, and complaining about them to me! This made her feel responsible and engaged, and she never disturbed the set up. She in fact was so delighted that she kept on hugging me and telling me, “Atte, gombe super!!” Ahh... what a moment it was!
And she called this doll in the park, with a dog as "Hima and Bruno"...
Ok, so we arranged everything, in whatever little time we got. I realized how difficult it is to take out time for all these, after a tiring day at work....... We invited some friends, but couldn’t invite many more And managing so many visitors was also a challenge! But after all the efforts, it was rewarding. I felt great pride in saying these are my parents’ collection, most of them over two decades old, when someone asked about them. Overall, it was a good start, and hope we continue with it.....

Navarathri or Dasara is a festival of dolls in South India. Most of the households have a tradition of decorating and arranging a collection of dolls, during this festival for 10 days. A pair of wooden dolls of bride and groom, which is passed on to the girl during her wedding, is the most important one. In households having constraints of making a full fledged arrangement, at least these two dolls will be kept along with kalasa (kalash) and goddesses are prayed. During this period, friends and relatives, especially kids will be invited and sweets and snacks distributed to them.

Sep 24, 2009

A long pending tag

Anu Russell had tagged me a couple of months back, and I was just procrastinating it till I got ready with my list of annoyances! I was happy I got a chance to articulate the annoyances ;)
Okie.... Here is my list of annoyances...
  • TV on high volume, especially those stupid saas bahu mega, giga, tera serials - I HATE it; I just hate it.
  • Borrowing things and messing up with it - I am particularly possessive about my belongings. If I lend something to someone, I expect it back in the same way, and get real annoyed if people don’t respect
  • When someone gets extra-sensitive and either gets offended for petty things or say ‘sorry’ for a petty
  • When aunties show extra curiosity about family planning, and start asking embarrassing questions; it gets more annoying when younger aunties do it
  • When someone dumps their responsibility on you. Also, lazy people who just want to relax when someone else is forced to be working for them
  • When someone talks age old rules, without thinking rationally for themselves about how apt it is....
  • Hypocrites
  • When people try to be extra good by going out of their way to do things beyond their capacity, and end up irritating others around, or expecting them to help in their ‘noble cause’
  • MCPs or anyone who generalize and talk as if the women folk are incapable of everything and men are
  • People with lack of personal hygiene - I don’t think I should elaborate this ;)
And the next part, I love people
  • who have a happy disposition, are cheerful and try to bring smiles to everyone around
  • who try to uplift my spirits when I’m feeling low, and support me through tough time
  • when people acknowledge some good thing that I’ve done - be it even a little thing
  • when they trust
  • with a good sense of humor
  • who find solutions, than cribbing about little things
Now i tag the following blog-pals
- Anantha, Preeti, Ricky, Chandu, Kaush, Deep and anyone else interested to take it up.

Sep 11, 2009

Humane Award!

Received this award from Anu Russell...... Thanks Anu...... I'm honored....
Googled and found out what it means:
“The Humane Award honours certain bloggers who express kindness, mercy, caring and compassion for others, marked by an emphasis on humanistic values and concerns. Their blogs are also amazing and are tastefully done on a daily basis."
  1. Accept and post the award on your blog.
  2. Link to the person from whom you received it.
  3. Pass the award to 5 other blogs that are worthy of this acknowledgment.
  4. Let them know they’ve been chosen for this award.

Ok... so now that i'v got this award, i'm tempted to share another story.... Will try to compose and post it soon.....

Now I award it to the following co-bloggers:

  1. Preeti
  2. Deep
  3. Chandu
  4. Ricky
  5. Madhava
  6. Pradeep (Ok, i'm passing it to 6 instead of 5, but i guess that's ok!)

I'd like to add another rule, enocuraging you guys to write a post on humanity of some kind.....


Sep 2, 2009

Indian Robin inside the room

Ok, so after these Indian robins flew off their nest, they are still seen around home, often. Though they do no even visit their old nest, they hang around on the same electric wire, on bushes in the neighboring vacant plots, on the terrace, etc. And they didnt seem to be too scared of humans, like some other birds.

One evening when i got back home after office, I started closing the window curtains. Our windows are covered by mesh from the inside and the glass pane mostly remains open. The curtains are kept open through the day, and i close them in the evenings. Now while closing the curtains, i saw some small black thing on the window grill. Looked into it closely and realised that it is the same little bird - Indian robin. Couldn't make out much since it was dark outside. Whew! I was wondering if the bird was asleep there, and it did seem it was.

I didnt want to disturb it, so put off the lights, kept silence and started watching it. No, it didnt seem to move at all. And putting on light again, making noise, moving the curtains too didnt have any effect. I went out, to have a look at it from the other, open side of the window, the place there is quite small and i was prety close infront of it. The bird didnt budge from the grill inspite of all these, and spent the night there. And it was gone by morning, by the time i woke up - er.... i wake up pretty late after the birds.

I was careful the next evening, and slowly watched it, and the same thing repeated. But it wasn't found there every night. Analysing the pattern, I guessed the bird spent the night there on rainy nights or when it seemed it might rain. This went on through out the rainy season - the little bird would sleep the rainy nights on my bedroom window, and wake up and fly off in the mornings. Switching ON the lights, pulling the curtains, talking inside the room did not matter to the bird in deep slumber.

The rains stopped, and so did the bird's sleep on the window. It didnt seem to visit its bedroom too. And it kinda faded off my mind too. After a month or so, we took off the mesh for a routine washing and cleaning process, completely oblivion of the bird. The windows were open too, for the whole evening. Late in the evening, i realized that i need to close the windows, lest there be hundreds of mosquitos inside the house. Came in to the room and pulled the windows one by one slowly. Before i pulled this particular window, there was a sudden fluttering and in a second a little bird was inside the room. And it was a female indian robin!

Oops..... I slowly went out of the room, trying not to scare the little one, got in Dee and inlaws to see what can be done to send it out. The bird was apparently confused, trying to search the way out of this unfamiliar interiors of the room. Hmmmmm... we first opened all the windows carefully, tied the curtains up, making the windows more visible and evident. It couldn't make out the way out since it was bright inside due to the lights, and dark outside.

We then thought putting off the lights linside, and turning on the lights outside would help, but it didn't. Once the lights were off inside, the bird became totally inactive, not even attempting to find the way out in the direction of whatever little light was present out of the window.

Hmmm... it became a huge task for us, not to hurt or further scare the already perplexed bird, and yet send it to its comfort zone. It would just fly from one corner to the other - on the ceiling fan, on the tubelight, on the attic, on my dressing table, and on the window pelmet - just above its window, yet not discover the way out. We tried making sounds from opposite direction, leaving it alone in the room, switching the lights on and off for sometime, all in vain.

Finally we gave up, and decided to let the bird spend the night in our room, with the windows open, and probably it would leave at dawn. And luckily after sometime of leaving it alone in the room with the lights on, it had somehow found its way out, and was again back to its deep slumber!!! And we had no choice but to sleep with the windows open, and without even the mesh on, but we were glad that the little avion was peacefully asleep just a few feet away from us :)
And the next morning, it was amazing to see the bird wake up to it's peers' chirping outside, just at dawn. The little bird saw this side and that, and then decided it should fly out... Jumped off a few inches and then off it flew into the open air into a new day.....

Aug 26, 2009

An Indian Robin family on the terrace...

Dee came back from the terrace on a Sunday morning and said there was a birds’ nest in a broken, hollow cement mask (‘drishti gombe,' a mask that's put up so that no one casts an evil eye) on the terrace.

The drishti gombe
I was excited and ran up to check it out. I went and peeped into this mask and out came a dark little bird fluttering its wings in fright. I was as scared as the little bird was! Then, after the bird flew out to a distance, I peeped in, and lo and behold! There was this little nest made of dried grass, and three little eggs in it!
Three little eggs in the nest

And the bird which flew out and sat with its partner on an electric wire started screaming in a rather strange way. I walked back silently and watched them from a distance. The female was dark brown and the male was black. The female sat closer to the nest, while the male was at a distance.

The vantage point

A couple of minutes after I moved away, the female came to the nest, looked around and went inside to hatch the eggs! And it didn’t seem to get out of there. And I too didn’t want to bother the little avians.

About a week after we spotted the nest, two of the eggs had hatched. What were out of the eggs were literally two lumps of black flesh which kind of had a head and a body. (I felt they looked like a zygote shown in pics!). And of course they had reddish beaks, which were always open, hungry for food. After two more days the third one hatched too.

Three new-borns

And now, it was the female’s turn to sit on the vantage point and watch, while the black male with a white streak on wings would fetch something with its beak and feed the little ones.

Daddy with food for hungry li'l ones

This continued, with the female keeping a watch on the nest, and the male feeding the ever hungry little ones, with beaks always open to gulp in whatever their daddy got. Day by day the little ones grew, developing feathers and now looking more like birds.

The li'l ones cuddled

Finally one evening when I went to check out my new little friends, the nest was empty. And along with two birds on the vantage point, there were three more little ones around a nearby bush. They seemed to be highly excited to see the colorful world outside their nest. They were flying and sitting up on a bush, flying down to the ground, picking insects, chirping, playing..... Wow... it was indeed a sight! But I missed seeing the little ones learn to fly.... how the parents got the young ones out of the nest, how long did it take for them to fly.......

These Indian robins, by making their home on my terrace, got a special place in my heart, made me interested in bird watching...... I wish many more birds build their homes around mine....

Aug 18, 2009

Indian Robins

Ok.... so these birds are Indian Robins. And not Pied Bushchats as I had guessed. Thanks to the birder - Chandu who pointed it out, and gave me a detailed explanation about the vent - which is pinkish orange, the white patch on the wings, etc.

More information about the birds here -

Well, i do have a couple of interesting experiences with these little birds, and will share them soon.

Till then, Ciao!

May 6, 2009

Ooty - A pleasant summer weekend at the Nilgiris

Had been to Ooty last weekend. The last time I had been there was in monsoon two years ago, and this time around, it was peak summer, summer vacation and to add to it, it was a long weekend! And what a contrast between the two visits! In monsoon, it was raining, and the places were pretty empty, not many tourists, the falls and lakes were full of water. Whereas this time in summer it was so so crowded everywhere..... people everywhere, all rooms in every hotel / resort full. It was indeed raining people!
Anyways, we did have a good time - I’d planned it at this time, just to lessen my missing of Dee, at least for 3-4 days.... and it was kind of successful. (Okay, he’s away for close to two weeks, and I’m having the most boring time of my life. Wanted to write the details here, then decided to keep it private ;) ) Did lots of shopping - is that not what you do when you fear to get into depression? Saw some parks, lakes and gardens which I hadn’t seen last time.

Here are some pics.....

The Nilgiri ranges as seen from 9th Mile

A serene lake at 6th Mile

A few yellow roses in the backdrop of blue sky, white clouds and green grass

Ooty lake - somehow got a view with no people or boats

Pykara lake - boating was fun here

A tree - at 9th mile

An interesting sign board ;)

Apr 24, 2009

Happy Birthday, Sum

Happy Birthday Sum.......
May all your dreams and wishes for this year come true soon ;).........

Apr 1, 2009

Castles and Waves

The weather was beautiful
I started building a sand castle
With a lot of dreams
There was no sign of waves

The castle grew bigger and bigger
I thought the castle was safe
And decorated it more beautifully
There was still no sign of a wave

I sat there and admired it,
Started dreaming of living in it
Thinking how easy it was, to
Get dreams come true

When suddenly a huge wave struck it
And the castle was washed away
With no trace left of it
And I sat there staring at blank

Then there was a flash of this light
Which gave me hope again
And I started rebuilding my castle
Safer and stronger this time.

Mar 5, 2009

Some pics from Chickmagalur

This post was lying as a draft from a long time. Didn't feel like posting as the images were clicked from a very basic camera, and didn't like the quality of them. I was browsing through the post today and thought why not post it anyways... It's better to keep the blog alive rather than inactivity, right?

A small stream...

These are the red leaves/flowers I was talking about in my older post.Well, the one i had planted began to sprout, but for the heat now, I am not too sure it would grow or not....

Loved the reflection in this serene pond.... Wish I had carried a better camera... Anyways!


Feb 26, 2009

Random Thoughts

  • Ambition to do a lot of things
  • Dreams about every little thing that is pondered in the mind
  • Anxiety about the success of important plans
  • Sad about missing Dee for two weeks after two months
  • Nostalgic about good old days
  • Melancholy about a friend’s life going haywire
  • Satisfaction about being able to do things I love to
  • Longing to read more and more of a favorite writer
  • Desire to write something worthwhile
  • Wanting back what was lost a few years ago
  • Concern about maintaining good health
  • Glad about the good night’s sleep
  • Wishing for something new
  • Happy and content about the choices made
  • Fantasy about how things could have been
  • Preparation for even the monotonic petty things
  • Elated about simple things like sunset and cool breeze
  • Vexation about the way certain things are and will be
  • Jolly about the silly things we do and talk
  • Urge to blog something......

Jan 20, 2009

Guru or Shishya??

These unwanted phone calls at odd hours have been getting on my nerves of late. Some bank guy calls up to offer a personal loan, another one offers a free credit card! Someone from a mobile company offers a new post paid connection, someone from car service station calls up to remind of the next due service! And some wrong numbers in between. And all these when we prefer to be lonesome and don’t just want to hear from anyone.

So, last weekend we were too tired and wanted to take a nap. Just as we were falling asleep, this ‘grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr….. grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr’ was heard from under the pillows…. <*Sigh*>

Dee (Sleepily) : Hello?
Xyz : Hello, kaise ho yaar?
Dee : Hello, who’s this?
Xyz : Arreee…. main hoon….. tu kaisa hain?
Dee : Sorry… I’m not getting you?
Xyz (Still very confident) : Mein yaar….. tera classmate, Sanju…..
Me wondering if Dee has forgotten any of his classmate by name Sanju!
Dee : Whom do u actually want?
Sanju : Err… You are Guru, right??
Dee (without much modulation) : No no…. I’m not Guru, I am Shishya!!!
Me : Ha ha ha ha ha ha haa………
Sanju : embarrassed, cut the call!!
Me (Still uncontrollably): Ha ha ha ha ha….

And off had gone our sleep!

Jan 14, 2009

Sum's Cuisine : Officially Inaugurated!

Okay! So after a lot of dilly-dallying and thinking and preparing and cooking and clicking and more dilly-dallying, here I officially inaugurate my new Food blog!
It’s a place where I would want to colorfully portray my food recipes, along with Dee’s latest interest in food photography. Very special thanks to Dee for clicking colorful pics of my cuisine whenever I ask him to :)
So, be there to cheer me! Cook some yummy stuff and post me comments and critiques!
Sum :)