Monday, December 13, 2010

Butterfly Effect!

Butterfly Effect - The butterfly effect is a metaphor that encapsulates the concept of sensitive dependence on initial conditions in chaos theory; namely that small differences in the initial condition of a dynamical system may produce large variations in the long term behavior of the system( Wikipedia)

We have heard of this recently – thanks to Dasavatharam. It depicted a fictional reason for tsunami. It is also effectively shown by Shankar in ‘Anniyan’ in the flashback.This concept has been well described by Robin Cook in ‘Toxin’ – still scares me that our cheeseburgers are always with ‘no meat’ when we buy from the fast food places. If you have read the book you know what I am talking about. If not, check the story line at the bottom of this blog.

The reason for going into the details is, even a tiny little negligence from once person, builds with the course of negligence from multiple people and brings out devastating effects. If you thought this was fictional, here is a real life scenario. I watched this documentary on TV last week, disturbed me a lot. How something as crazy as this can happen to anyone.
Denise Amber Lee is a 22 year old woman, married with 2 young kids. It was a beautiful day and she spoke to her husband in the morning while he was at work.
In the afternoon, when the husband comes back from work, he doesn’t see his wife; he spots her mobile on the couch and their kids in the same crib. He is sure something is wrong and calls 911 (This happened in USA).
A stranger (Michael King) has walked in and abducted this woman, tied her hands and drove with her. He goes to his cousin’s (Harold) place to borrow a shovel. Harold sees this women tied at the back of his car, tries to run. King puts her back in the car. Harold doesn’t do a thing, but mentions this to his daughter. His daughter, Sabrina makes a call to 911 giving description of the car and direction. Cops are waiting in the freeway for more information so they can be dispatched and catch the kidnapper.
Denise manages to make a call from her abductor’s phone, from the back of the car, pretending to be speaking to him ( she has used the word ‘Please’ 17 times – the tape of her call was used as an evidence in the case later). She continues to prompt people on the road while screaming and struggling from the back of the car.
The worst part is - 2 men see the frantic woman in car, one of them thinks it is a family dispute and does not want to get involved. Another keys in 911, then decides not to make the call. We don’t know how many others saw Denise begging for help and not made the call. Jane, who was driving in the freeway calls 911, even chases the car before she loses the track. The operator taking the call keeps repeating the questions does not understand the seriousness of the situation and what is worse does not dispatch the cops who had been waiting on the road. The abductor crosses the police car on the road and disappears.
Search continues and they manage to find King and the car – where there is enough evidence for Denise being there- but no Denise. 2 days later they find Denise’s body, raped and buried in a shallow grave not too far from where the cops were waiting.
The family is devastated and frustrated with the way the calls were taken and handled by the 911. denise’s dad works at the sheriff’s office that failed to dispatch the cops.
After several appeal Denise Lee law was passed making training mandatory for the operators taking 911 calls.
How scary is that? A normal housewife taken from her own home is raped and killed. Despite her attempt to call cops, alerting others on the road – no one helped her. Her family lives with this horrible memory.
I wonder if I would have made the call- but watching the documentary has been an eye opener, not just crime stopper, but even with the tiny things we do or don’t do. We would never know how it affects someone.

My latest favourite Tinker Bell quotes something along the lines of ‘No matter where you are in the food chain, you should be proud of what you do and do it to your best’

Bottom-line is, when you do something be conscious of your actions, how it may affect you and people around you.
Example – Few extra drinks / Careless driving / Accident / Blocked road/ someone missing an appointment/ losing job! okay got a bit overboard..but you get the picture?


The fictional story is about a doctor who is at the verge of divorce. His daughter falls very sick after eating at her favourite fast food joint and eventually dies. The story is about the doctor investigating the cause.
The backdrop, there are private meat buyers, who drive around farms to buy off sick cow and sell them to big meat manufacturers. The buyers are negligent in treating or checking the meat before selling to manufacturers. The manufacturers have a process of separating meat and waste and treat them separately. An accident in the plant end of a day causes an unclean part of meat falling into the processing meat. The shift worker’s negligence to clear this and reprocess results some of the contaminated meat being packed and sent to fast food joints. Fast foods joints are supposed to cook the meat to a certain temperature. The cook in this joint is in training and gets yelled by the manager for burning/over cooking meat. So he undercooks the next batch. The little girls eats this undercooked meat and gets infected with E.coli and dies after struggling for few days.

Sunday, October 10, 2010


I am not one of those ardent Rajini fans, but watching rajini movie in theatre is a Tamil culture more than anything else. Its like celebrating pongal, you don’t have to be a farmer thanking the sun god, you do it despite the fact that you have never stepped in a farm your entire life, coz its your culture. It’s the same feeling I had watching Robot/ Endhiran in the theatre. First kollywood movie for us as a family and I put a lot of trust in Shankar, ARR and offcourse Rajini to keep my 4 year old entertained. Introduced the songs to her earlier to familiarise her with the is my experience ..

What you already know - Most people I know have either watched the movie or have heard of the story, but here is my quick narration.

Dr.Vasee a scientist makes this humanoid robot - chitti to be used in the army. Chitti cooks jelly, cleans, helps Ash (medical student) in the gynaecology exam, catches mosquotioes that bite Ash, kicks some mini villain butts in the out of the world stunts which are convincing enough for rajini whether he is robot or not. Robot role has added some logic to the stunts. He drives a car, read books by scanning them for seconds, flies, rescues people from fire and even delivers a baby in the ancient method- typical medical miracle (adding an Indian touch). When chitti is taught to understand emotions, the complications starts. He falls in love with Ash, Dr.Vasee’s fiancé and loses his concentration at the army scrutiny. Dr.Vasee destroys him, but Chitti comes back as a new version, version 2.0 with the ‘red chip’ with destruction command thanks to Dr.Bhora (villain ofocurse). New chitti takes the screen completely for the next 45 minutes taking us through the climax of the movie, which is unseen so far in the Indian cinema.
Shankar has made meticulous effort to customise robotics to kollywood, infact I did not feel guilty about not concentrating much on my robotics class in sem 7..hehe

So why Rajini, why 230 odd crores ?
Shankar, we all know as an excellent script writer, but this script definitely needs big shoulders to carry on a science fiction story to the kollywood audience (bollywood). To complete the movie in a convincing way and closer to his dream, Shankar needed world class graphics, without which it could have ended up like a masala movie and not a sci-fi movie. To manage the expenses, he needed a BIG producer. As a risk mitigation exercise the producer needs more than a dream script, things that has lesser chances of ARR music and Rajini. This makes the project more expensive. None other than Sun Tv productions could have handled something this huge – the most expensive movie in India. I am completely convinced that none other than Rajini could have done this role(s).

What you did/may not know :
1) The project was announced with Kamal and Priety Zinta in 2001, it was dropped without a producer. In 2007, it was started with Sharukh Khan but later dropped quoting SRK’s comments that 'the concept and script were half-baked'. In early 2008 there were talks about either roping in Ajith or Amir Khan for the project, but this never got finalised. In mid 2008 Ayngaran was going to be the producer, but global financial crisis stopped this AGAIN. Shankar in the mean time went on to make Boys, Anniyan and Sivaji. This is when Rajini put in the trust with Shankar’s script and agreed to play the lead.
2) Ash was signed up as the female lead after considering Asin, Deepika Padukone, Trisha, Shriya etc. Ash was paid 6 crores for this movie, making her the highest paid actress in India.
3) Sujatha was signed in as the dialogue writer when the movie was initiated, but after he passed away this went to Madhan Karky(Son of Vairamuthu)

1) It has brought back to us the wonderful actor Rajini. This is not a Rajini movie, but a Shankar’s movie. Rajini has played dual role and has simply performed as an actor. Infact I haven’t seen Rajini put in as much effort in acting in the recent times, as the movies in the past decade or so were dependant on his style than acting.
2) Rajini has excelled in the role of a villain very well, remind me of the 70s/80s.
Towards the end, I wasn’t sure which Rajini I was supporting. Chitti version 2.0 is a svery stylish robot and one of the best villains in recent times
3) We have seen Shankar’s creativity before in songs ( painting roads and trucks in randakka - Anniyan, glass houses in Sahaana – Sivaji) but he has taken this to an new step in Endhiran esp the climax – the different robotical formations are awesome with supporting background score by ARR
4) Ash did not have as much to do, but looks pretty..infact than some of her pale thin looks in recent movies. Looks chubbier / healthy J
5) Needless to say the music and songs are fantastic, so are the lyrics create, authentic and awesome. Have learnt a lot of tamil words from the songs..ex: kamutra kanini – computer in love, sethenil wasabi – wasabi with honey !
6) The songs are very beautiful and colourful to the any shankar’s movie, esp. Kilimanjaro - Machupichu,Oh Baby!
7) Eye for detail - Hubi correctly pointed out..when the girl rescued from the fire dies in the accident, the media rushes to the spot to take pictures and there is one extending the mike to the dead person !!! wonder why?
8) If you have too much time, watch the 'Arima Arima' song and find the difference between the male and female robots. Mr and Mrs KV has identified the fine difference in the costume to differentiate :)
9) Btw- did sakthi like it? indeed, watched 75 % in the theatre and fell asleep. Insisted on getting the dvd afterwards to watch the end. She has watched it thrice in the last 2 days.

The only hinge is Ash - Rajini as a couple, which to me was morally incorrect. When Rajini claims Amitabh as his best friend, why was he insistent on Ash playing the lead lady. When I could accept Rajini with Shriya, who is younger than his own daughter, the romance between Ash and Rajini (thankfully not much) made me very uncomfortable.
Anyway bottomline excellent script ( what was Sharukh thinking when he rejected this!), wonderful actor, awesome music and amazing graphics. The story is a fiction, but when we have no issues in watching Transformers and I robot, we should not have a concern in watching a tamil speaking robot.
P.s - Thanks Buddy for organising the tickets :)

Sunday, August 22, 2010


My voting experience started since Indra Gandhi times when I accompanied mummy to the booth, meticulously accompanied through Rajiv Gandhi days and the years of congress and DMK.
I have voted in the paper stamp once and in electronic system in India. I would ensure I was early in the morning so they don’t use my vote with a dupe. I have been a responsible citizen, in fact I checked with my parents to ensure I was removed from the list, so no one casts my vote.

This year, I voted in is quite a different is how it is

1) The election day is in the weekend – you don’t get a public paid holiday..duh
2) You can vote on that day or pre vote i.e you can vote before the election day in the pre vote centres. So if you have something on the election day or want to avoid the queue, you can cast it earlier. I think it is open for a week before the election date.
3) There are heaps of centres in every suburb
4) The staff are quite friendly
5) There are no banners, no loud speaker anywhere around the centre. There were 2 old women standing outside the booth to give pamphlets – 1 for liberal and 1 for labour
5) It was a windy day, so when the small stand with the picture of the labour party rep fell down, both women worked together to fix it. ( No they did not throw shoes on the banner of the opposition party leader)
6) No ink in the finger
7) Just show your address proof, they give you ballot forms
8) Cast your vote in the booth, fold and put in the box - using a pencil to number the choice
9) The whole process from parking to voting took less than 10 minutes, considering the centre was on way to work and I cast it prior to election day
10) If you fail to vote, Australian Electoral Commission will write non-voters for explanation and fine $ 20. If no explanation is given / fine not paid there will be a legal proceeding and you need to pay $ 50 fine plus court costs
So there is another thing you did not know about me, myself and my world

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Book Review - The Palace of Illusions

I have always been fascinated by stories even from the times I could not read them. I remember carrying books chasing my brother begging him to narrate them. Anyway thanks to Ramanandha Sagar, Ramayana and Mahabharata were easier to comprehend watching them visually, even with my limited Hindi knowledge. It gave faces to the characters in the epic, like how Sivaji gave a face to Karnan. How is this relevant to what I am going to talk about, it is, you need to remember this when you read the review below as well as when you read the book, which I think you will after reading the below..

Recently read ‘The Palace of Illusions’ by Chitra Divakaruni ( thanks to Mrs.Shangy for suggesting it and Mr & Mrs KV for meticulously getting the book for me)

This is the story of Mahabharata but from a perspective of Draupati / Panchali. I have always felt prejudiced by epics and mythological stories written by men predominantly portraying men as how they want while woman based on their opinion of what makes up a good women – be it a princess, a queen or a normal wife. I don’t think the writers of those times knew what woman wanted? it was their perspective and became the guideline to live up to.

This narration of Mahabharata from the eyes of Draupati is a welcome change, a perspective of a woman (sometimes even a feminist). Unlike what I imagined, life of a princess is not always as much fun or as comfortable. The book traces the lonely neglected childhood of Draupati, followed by her swayamvar which was merely a competition where she was the prize money. This is followed by her wedding to the one of the greatest hero of that time, Arjun, short-lived before she is told that she becomes wife of the 5 brothers because their mother said so ! duh !
She finally gets to be the queen of her own palace, the most beautiful and magical palace ever built, but loses it all to gambling of Yudhishter, stripped and humiliated in front of all the people she has ever loved and hated. She then spends 12 years in exile in the forest away from her kids, then another year in hiding, as a maid in one of the palaces. The book touches upon her very complicated relationship with Krishna and her unspoken love for the man, who is the deadliest enemy of her husband(s).

It is a fantastic narration of what does a woman goes through because of the different decisions, arrogance and priorities of the men in her life and is blamed for everything that has gone wrong. As much blame was put on Draupati as the reason for the war, what was her mind set during the war.
How did she watch the events of the 18 day war losing most of the people she had loved all her life and a millions of others because they stood by?
The vengeance in the heart of every single person in the war, the curses, the tricks the twists and finally the disasters.

This book also talks about the things that I had never thought about in the epic :

How does a queen or princess get dressed for a royal gathering ?
Why was Kunti so pedantic about the sons following her words and share a wife, why dint she simply laugh it off and move on ?
How was Kunti as a mother in law and how did the Draupati survive the control freak mother in law and her 5 husbands in the forest?
Do you think Kunti or one of the pandavas offered Draupati any domestic help while they were in the forest ?
Who did Draupati actually love ?
Who among the pandavas loved her the most ?
Did she manipulate the love ?
What was her feeling about her husbands marrying other women ?
With 5 husbands, kids and a loving brother why did she have to die alone ?
Did she ever regret what she had done in her life ?
What was her relationship with Krishna ?
What happens to the Yadu clan after the war ? How did the curse of Kandhari destroyed them ?

It is an interesting dimension to a well known story, a dimension I found very interesting – to the extent I want to watch the epic again and even the movie Karna J

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Priceless !!!

Entry ticket to the park - $ 12.50

Ice cream for 3 - $ 9.90

Expression on hubi when my toddler sings " Girly ! Girly ! Girly ! Daddy is Girly !" when he opens his pink colour strawberry ice cream


p.s - me and baby decided to have chocolate ice cream while hubi wanted his favorite strawberry flavor and the song was unheard of until that minute - she made it up herself !!!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Hate list

Very busy at work, havent updated my blog and definitely do not want 'useless information' to be on top each time i check. what is the easiest thing to write about - ME, what is easiest thing to write about ME - Things i hate ofcourse ( started writing things i love and got stuck with 2 points, while hate..had to put a stop with 10!)
1) I hate it when people call me ‘Raj’ I am no Sharukh khan ( which by the way is a very sexy name for him..), I absolutely despise when someone calls ‘Ravi’
2) I hate it when someone asks “ how old is your boy” when baby is dressed in a colour that is not pink ! What is wrong with a short hair, red top and denim? Why should girls be girlie from day 1!!!
3) I hate desis who complaint about their fellow employees from India based on their accent and communication skills. You were one of them like..3 months ago…
4) I hate my candidates who talk about new job opportunities 2 days after starting on the job
5) I hate to terminate contracts, especially the unsuspecting ones who don’t know why I have organised the meeting. I watched the entire ‘Up in the Air’ movie thinking of this, being a HR is no fun
6) I hate it when a restaurant serves poor quality food (sometimes quantity), usually it’s a takeaway and I can’t even complain
7) I hate anonymous Orkut scrap messages, that says ‘hello’
8) I hate Tamil movies when they use heroine for lady luck – apparently a movie is a hit based on the luck of the heroine – 'Trisha' is named a lucky heroine and 'Nila' was unlucky - whatever!
9) I hate it when Indian actresses after marriage end up acting as a mother to the hero, even though they would have acted as a pair like 3 years ago - when Kamal acted with Srividya i was heart broken, don't even start on simran/surya
10) I hate people from the ‘fake accent university’ – desi bloke with a perfect Australian accent; well you need it at work, but to speak to a fellow desi guy..note with no other ausie guys around !- Why ! Why!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Useless Again - Sorry

I am beginning to feel like Dr.Joseph Vijay coming back with yet another masala - useless information. But please hear me out. Like every other weekend when we get together, we discuss 2 topics - cooking/recipe or useless information. There will be a question, do you who.....mostly by KV/mrs.KV, sometimes by 'pearl'. There is nothing the 3 doesn't know..esp bollywood/kollywood wise. So the information provided here something even these legends did not know, that i had to research about and publish considering the well being of the public.
Also it has been a month since i posted anything in my blog, i have been too busy at work - but i researched on atleast 2 topics every time i had a chance and i could only do 17. So here are the useless information for the world to benefit.

1) Ganesh Janardhan – the character artist in the movie ‘Vinnaithandi Varuvaya’ is also one of the producers of the movie
2) Simbu is 26 yrs old – born in February 1983, quite interestingly his parents got married in September 1982..hehehe
3) Divya Subramanian, Miss. Chennai runner up in 2001 is best known as Kanika. She won TamilNadu state award for Educational Excellence while she was in School and is a Mechanical Engineer from BITS Pilani !
4) Kanika married a Software Engineer from USA, offcourse !!! – and he is the brother of actress Jayashree ( remember her…!)
5) Kanika born in 1982 became Miss. Chennai runner up in 2001, while Trisha Krishnan born in 1983 was Miss. Chennai in the age of 16..ya right !!!
6) Slight change of field, Dr.Manmohan Singh Prime Minister of India, has Economics degree from Panjab University, degree from Cambridge University and Oxford University, standing first throughout his academic career.
7) Dr.MM Singh has 3 daughters all with successful career outside politics – One is Professor of History and written 6 books, Another graduate and written 1 book and a novel and the third is a staff attorney !
8) Abdul Kalam, born in 1931 graduated from st.Joseph’s college Trichy and Masters from MIT, Chennai. He is the first Asian to receive Hoover Medal, America’s Top Engineering medal for his contribution in public service.
9) Director/ Actor/ Producer Sasikumar has a Bachelors degree in Business Administration from Madurai ( close KV…not quite right though)
10) Actress Urvasi’s real name is Kavitha, born in 1972 married actor Manoj (‘arasu’ from movie Thirumallai) in 2000. They have a daughter named ‘Kunjatta’ (why ! why! name a kid like that!)
11) Ramya Krishnan, born in 1967 ( I dint think she was 5 years older than urvasi..remember ‘Panchatantram’) when she acted in her first movie opposite Y.G.Mahendran and she was in her 8th grade.
12) Katrina Kaif was born in Hong Kong to a Muslim Kashmiri father,Mohammed Kaif, and a British mother, Suzzane Turquotte in 1984. Kaif has seven siblings. She was raised in Hawaii.
13) Raveena Tandon was born in Mumbai in 1974 to Ravi Tandon and Veena (that’s where her name comes from!) and she has a cousin named Kiran Rathod, who is a south indian actress!!
14) Talking about Kiran Rathod, she is from a rajput royal family and was born in 1981 !!!
15) Deepika Padukone was born in 1986 in Denmark. She is a Mangalorian and played badminton in high school at the state level.
16) Vidya Balan born in January 1978 to Tamil Iyer family in Palakkad. She was signed to act in ‘Run’ then was dropped out after the first schedule. She was then signed to act in ‘Manesellam’ against Srikanth and was dropped out on the grounds of ‘non-performance’ and was replaced by Trisha (duh !!!!)
17) Harris Jayaraj, born in January 1975 started his music career programming scors and drum percussions for ARR(we know this), he then worked as a keyboardist (that’s a word apparently) for Yuvan, Karthik Raja, Vidyasagar and Mani Sharma !

Monday, March 22, 2010

Day Out !

Every Monday when I walk into work I bump into these people in the lift, kitchen with whom you can only have small talks. A topic covered in these small talks at work are always weather and weekend. And each time someone asks how was your weekend, I struggle to answer because my weekends are always cooking, dish washing, laundry and grocery shopping and its always that. I try hard to sound excited but most times I have nothing to report and hence no enthusiasm. People would think I am a nerd.

But this Monday, I walked with my head held high ( how high can I get with my 5 feet..) everytime someone asked how was ur weekend ? I said fantastic. I went to the city with my friends, about 15 of us, we had lunch, watched movie, sat around Yarra. By now I am sure half the building has heard my story, oh ! wait the lady in Legal hasn’t heard, should follow her the next time she goes for a coffee to the pantry so I can tell her the story..hehe

Anyway it was an eventful weekend. I have never driven to the city. The farthest is Chappel street. So driving to city itself was fun. To my surprise not just the new bees but most of the moms agreed to join. My car had Anitha, Aruna, Divya and Vidya. The trip started with dramatic crying by junior, who came and sat on aruna’s lap refusing to get off the car. Had to pack bread for feeding ducks and her baby bag in a record time of 2 minutes, handed over to her dad and Arun who offered to take her to see the ducks…well they did not have any choice.
When I drove away with a pinch of guilt, exactly 3 minutes later Arun called to confirm baby had forgotten all about me leaving and was just excited about the ducks now..Duh !

Next picks up was Anitha and then Divya. Drive was rather quite until we picked Divya. Needless to say the car was already like a high school field trip bus, the last one to be picked up was Vidya. We did have another drama, this time it wasn’t the junior. It was Prem J, who was in tears while junior stood there checking if her daddy was leaving or not. She did not even notice her mommy leaving.

The fun ride started then – the endless updates were provided by Divya/Vidya and Anitha. Obviously we discussed important issues like who is the key ‘uncle’ of Kollywood, what was actress mantra’s strategic plans for future, what was namitha upto these days, Nityadanda and his accessories ( correctly identified by Anitha) and even mimicry of ‘singa muthu’ by Aruna.
We hadn’t stopped laughing and I hadn’t had such a fun filled ride ever – considering driving with hubi who doesn’t even yell at other drivers ! Duh !

Oh ! offcourse we got yelled by another driver, coz I waited in a yellow light, while he thought I should have gone. We found parking and had no idea where we were. Once we got inside Crown, we met well dressed Kavz , ever so pretty Aarti and junior Jai who helped us find the way. When we finally got into santé – met rest of the gang – Jaya, Sharmi and Praba. It was actually fantastic just being there with so many women. Haven’t done that in like 10 years I think.
There was free face painting for kids – obviously desi mentality settled in – we all got one for ourselves. ( Free ya kudutha phenoyl kooda kudipom)
Anyway Food was good, dessert was awesome. We ate for more than an hour and decided to finish only when it was time for the movie. By now Mitch who was counting the time, was already in front of Crown to pick up An. After An left we went straight to the movies - Alice in Wonderland. Walked in with absolutely no expectations, but the movie was quite good. I hadn’t watched a 3D movie in like 20 years – ‘My dear kuti chathan’ was the last and no need to guess my age..grrr
Anyway it was fun, especially sitting next to Divya and Aruna. Divya was trying to catch the butterflies and Aruna was trying to push Alice into the rabbit hole. We took 3 D quite seriously.hehe
End of it, even though we wanted to go to Lydnt café for coffee, we were too full from the lunch. This was probably the first time I have watched a movie without popcorn. So we settled for a cold coffee with the view of Yarra, spoke of all the psychic views of the couples, marriage/love stories etc.
Unbelievable but it was 7 pm and Vidya was becoming a bit concerned for the sake of Harshini – not for Prem J. hehe . Sangee was still on her way and none of us were even ready to talk about possible dinner – whatever little spot left was now filled by the thick cold coffee with lots of cream - sorry sangee !
We did have a lovely speech by Divya thanking all the ‘seniors’ duh !!! but it was really cute. I felt like I was in uni.
Finished the drop offs and came home with Aruna at about 8:00 and the boys ( hubi and Arun) had decided on dinner – Pizza offcourse. Invited Ferni and Divya to join and we all ate the Pizza and we lived happily ever after…too many fairy tales.sorry.

I realised the secret was keeping it simple. All we needed was bunch of open minds ready to be part of game, peace of mind – which again depends on partners who can handle home/kids while we are away and the little sunshine was like the icing on top.

It was a well deserved break for all us and perfect weekend for me.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Baby Talk - II

My little girl is a ‘mini me’ in looks but her attitude is sooo not me. Although I am glad she makes friends easily, not shy and not afraid to try new things..i must say…she has some Attitude..with capital A..

1) Normal day. Not pressure. Nothing to upset her..
Me: Baby, can you please turn on the light outside
Baby: No, you do it
Me: Please baby, mummy is cooking awesome vegetables for you ( I have give a hype everything I cook to keep her excited about food…sometimes I am stuck with raised eyebrows all evening)
Baby: Okay…when I eat the vegetables, I will become a big big girl, then I will never ever ever turn lights on..

2) looking at the insect spray – mummy is this for pissing ants?
…what she means is when you spray, it does make the psssng sound…which when you say sounds like pissing ( she doesn’t know the word per me)

2) Middle of dinner
Baby : Mummy 'my' dint push anyone in day care today
Me: Did you push someone in day care today ?
Baby: Noooo ( with a smile)
Me: Are you sure ?
Baby : Giggling…. I pushed Jordan in the play area today
Me :Whyyyy??? ( eyebrows raised!!)
Baby: Because 'my' wanted the bike and he was sitting on it, 'my' pushed him

You go girl…. ( although I thought this, I dint tell her)

4) One fine morning
Baby: Mummy I no suck my thumb yesterday, 'my' princess or ugly duckling ?
Then found out – Mr. daddy had told her if she sucks her thumb she becomes ugly duckling

5) This is a tough one
Baby: younothalumee
Me: Pardon
Baby: Younothaaaluuuuu meeeeeeee
I was like..’Me’ puriyudhu..wat else is she saying..after making her repeat a few times
Baby : 'My' saying in Temil…
After a while I figured she was saying.. You No ‘thalu’ me – meaning..dont push me

Monday, March 1, 2010

Vinnaithaandi Varuvaaya

We have seen plenty of movies where they try hard to justify the title of the movie and make the comedian repeat the title of the movie in the climax, so we all know.
But Vinnaithandi Varuvaaya is just a beautiful name for such a well presented movie. Every few minutes when the title is repeated as a background score, you know how well it suits the story.

Needless to say ARR’s music – he adds more passion to the story with his songs and music, than anyone else in the movie.

Gautam Menon’s chooses to write screenplay around real life incidences, which makes it more believable, more practical and close to heart for everyone.
The story is about a young aspiring director who falls head over heels for this pretty girl. The story runs around the dilemma of every girl in the situation, keeps you anxious as to what would happen to them and finishes in the most believable way. I have seen a few of these in real life.

Gautam always writes his story around a mechanical engineer who ends up doing something completely opposite – which is him offcourse and apparently this is his first love. Man he has few love stories to share – coz I thought Minnale was his and so was Vaaranam Ayiram.

I am not a big fan of Trisha, but she has been so well presented in this movie. Infact she has tried few more expressions in the movie than her usual smile and more smile expressions. Infact she has acted well…or may be I was just concentrating on her costumes, how well dressed she was, that I did not notice her acting too much.

Simbu – hubi’s favourite, has done a fantastic job. His costumes, his subtle acting, his passion, all so fantastic. I actually got reminded of Uyire - the passion, the love but in a more believable screenplay. Way to go Simbhu…mark my word ..hehe

Hubi watched the first day first show was all ‘ gaa gaa gee gee’ about the movie, like any other simbu movie he watches ( he watched silambattam a zillion times and not just for sana khan). Anyway he offered to baby sit so I could watch the movie and inspite of being a big movie critic loved this movie.
Watch it once and you will associate yourself with atleast a couple of scenes in the movie..i am sure it has happened to all of us, mottai madi / next door girl, first crush, unforgettable train journey, dilemma , family pressure, what not.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Navarasam - no its not a recipe

Having learnt Bharathanatiyum for 7 years, here is an opportunity to use it…one of the first things you learn is the Navarasam. It is fantastic to watch a pro able to bring the 9 different expressions in the face. I never practised in front of a mirror, but I thought I was quite good at it ( huh can never find out whether I am saying the truth or not…I was the best in the

Anyway since I have named my blog me, myself and my world, here are the interesting navarasa incidents in my life..i have left Love to be the last make it more

Shantha(Serenity) – Who else can bring all the serenity in my life..none other than the little one who is capable of bringing exact opposite emotions in me in a short span of time. So one of the peak performance days, mostly during a weekend when hubi is away from home. She insists on sitting in the kitchen slab, watching me cut veges, then pull a big chair to stand next to me to watch me grind in the mixie screaming on top of her voice asking me to move away because I was blocking her view, again back to slab watching me struggle, in the mean time open close microwave a few times, pull things from the pantry, throw a handful of rice on the floor, pick up any spice box in reach and empty them in carpet ( making sure only powders are picked and they are spilled on carpet, so it is impossible to clean), spill some apple juice in carpet, then pick up washed cloths from the laundry basket to throw them everywhere, wet her entire dress in the process of washing hands…and many more in a matter of 2 hours and then there is silence…I remember her saying she was sleepy…and I check on her to find her wrapped up in her little quilt, AC on ( she turns it on herself) and sleeping peacefully sucking her thumb. Unbelievable that after all the hungamas, she can just lie down and fall asleep by herself so quickly. The this ..this moment of me watching her sleep…and the next 60 minutes or so :)

Adbhuta(Wonder) – My mil is a doctor in her late 50s. I haven’t stopped wondering at her in the past decade I’ve known her. How she does what she does is amazing. She quit her job twice to support my fil and the kids. Fil being busy pretty much through out his career, mil took care of the kids, school, home, career. She mentioned how she was fighting the working mother’s guilt and made sure the kids never felt the difference. She never did overtime at work, she never worked in the weekends and she never missed a single achievement of the kids, be it sports day or competitions. She quit her job for the 3rd time when my sil needed her and the past 5 years has been her busiest managing a toddler and fil and running the show all by herself. Be it organising the driver/cook/watchman or managing paper work for insurance or calling us every alternate day. What’s best she hasn’t taken any time to do what she wants to do, never made it to functions important to her and never complained. If I was half as committed and selfless as her at her age, I would consider myself an awesome amazing woman ( hehe like I don’t think that way now..)

Hasya(Humour) – I am toilet training my little girl. This means I need to be alert at all times constantly reminding her or watching her expressions for a hint. Anyway so here we are sitting in the table painting, she stood up suddenly and it took me 3 long seconds to realise why. Before I could open my mouth to say “ do you want go to…” it was too late…so she stood there doing what she had to do and hubi who was obviously sitting in the couch watching tv and relaxing turns to her says “ un manasula yenna Reema Senu nenapa’ ( translated to do u think you are reema sen in the movie aayirathil oruvan) its amazing how he could remember just that scene from the 3 hour long movie and compared the 2 situations..but it was hilarious, bubby dint understand why we were laughing, but decided to go back to her seat, giving me additional task to wash the chair along with the cloths.

Veera(Courage) – After our 4 weeks visit to India, me and bubs came back to Melbourne while hubi had to extend his trip for further 2 weeks. 2 days went by fine, third day I walk inside home after finishing work, picking bubby from day care, i the saw this lizard – what we call pambrani or pambaranai in tamil, it is slimy like a snake, but smaller like a big lizard. Mr. P had probably just entered the house and when I opened the door decided to hide under baby’s toy box. I was so scared, I asked baby to stay away, tried to keep cool, if bubby sees me panic she would start crying. So I took this broom and moved all boxes and try to chase it out. It went and hid under every single shoe I had near the door…and that’s a LOT. Once I moved all shoes away, I am trying to show him the way out. He would simply run from one end of door to other and not make an effort to climb out of the door. I am hitting him with all the little courage left in me, now the tail got disconnected and was jumping up and down. I wasn’t sure if I should hit the lizard or the tail. Like anyone as bold as me, I hit the tail harder and it fell into 3 pieces and Mr.P hid under the couch. Thank god for my neighbours, I ran to their house, drenched in sweat, asked the man of the house to help me. He offered to keep bub there and came with a bigger broom. He couldn’t hit it, but managed to send it out of the front yard door. I was relieved yet so scared, spent the next 2 hours with Mr & Mrs KV came back late in the night, went straight to the bedroom, sealing the bedroom door. Needless to say I dreamt of nothing but lizards …hundreds of them in the house.

Bhibasta(Disgust) – Men, ok not all some of them absolutely disgust me. I was in this ice cream shop in Adyar with hubi, then boy friend ( year 2000), so here we were sitting with all giggles and love in the air. I saw this couple walk in, mid thirties in the middle of an argument. Sat down ordered food while continuing their argument. Then this man just got up and slapped the woman. The woman must have been so humiliated, but she just sat there. He continued talking. Then when the waiter served them their food, he yelled at the waiter and asked him to take it back, I wasn’t sure what was the problem. The lady tried to console him, then they just sat there like nothing happened..still talking.

Krodha(Anger) – This happened recently. We landed in Chennai 1st week December after 24 hours looong transit in Singapore, where we spent all day roaming around in the HOT sun. When we walked towards immigration, the thermal indicator showed bubby’s temperature a bit high ( what do you expect from a 3 year old who had an eventful day and slept through the flight from Singapore-chennai). They refused to accept she had no fever and refused to check her temperature 10 minutes later ( when she was just fine). Anyway they insisted on us going to a test centre in ambulance and give her swab sample to test for Swine Flu. What happened after this just made me furious. They sent this Mr.Captain Prabhakaran with us to take us straight to the ambulance. There was another kid who was caught with high fever. So the other kid, his dad, bubby and us were to go together. First the ambulance drivers went on to have tea, then Mr.Captain first let the other kid go away and spend time with his family ( so much for him protecting the flu from reaching the city), then was the absolutely disgusting ambulance. i held baby tight not letting her touch anything. After an hours wait, we left for the centre. The swab was taken by a young guy who did not change his gloves after taking the sample from the other kid, the cotton was just kept in a bag, on a dusty window sill. I spent the next week praying my bubby shouldn’t have picked up any infection in this process, more importantly the other kid shudnt have had swine Flu. What is worse is during the long wait, my bro pulled the right strings and Captain received a call just when we were leaving and he said “ you should have told me you knew “so and so” I would have let you go “. Righttt so much for doing the right thing!!!!!

Bhayankaram(Fear) - It was during my semester exams in the 2nd year uni. I was sitting on my bed studying really hard the day before the exam (this is what happens when you go to movies during study holidays in the name of group study). Anyway so there is a loft in every bedroom at my parents house. There was this big TV box in the loft. I knew there lived a huge lizard somewhere around the box and I knew it was in the room when it runs on the box. I could hear it like a little patting on the box. But that night there was something happening..the lizard kept running up and down the box continuously. I dint dare to look up and see what it was upto and then I heard it..a tiny flutter and I had to look up now. This time I saw my fear 2 factor..a cockroach flying, trying to escape from the lizard. What happened in the next minute still brings goose bumps. The cockroach flew and decided to sit on my head and that second I froze, suddenly I was scared if the lizard would jump on my head to catch the cockroach. I screamed out soo loud, ran out of the room, went straight to our dinning room, climbed on top of the table and kept screaming. It was probably 2 am, mom and dad woke up and saw me standing on top of dinning table screaming. I refused to go back to my room for the next 24 hours until mom assured me to chased the lizard out of my room. I have never been so scared in my life.

Karuna(compassion) – Bubby’s day care is where you will see all the emotions. The days when bubby cries and not let me go melts my heart every single time. There are kids holding their toy, favourite pillow or parent’s legs (like my bub). The carer took bubs along with 2 other crying kids to the big window in the front and asked them to wave to their parents. I stood on the other side of the dark glass window waving, I could not hear a thing, but i could see was bubby crying out loud, trying to touch me through the window :(
I still spend time at the day care entertaining the newbees, trying to settle down !

Shringara(Love) – This was in 1999, story of any teenager who watched DDLJ. I was one of those who went on a college tour with exactly the same thought..find my Sharukh Khan :). I was again meticulously following the Karva Chauth ( fasting all day on a full moon day will bring your love life true..or something along those linesss) as depicted in the movie. The day we were scheduled to visit Taj Mahal was a full moon day. We reached there around 6 pm. It is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. Taj Mahal under the full moon light. We just sat there watching it. Nothing happened until we returned to Delhi. It was past midnight, we…about 10 girls decided to walk in the streets of delhi ( we were sooo naïve, dint think it was any seems so scary). So we were singing and dancing when we bumped into 4 guys from our college, friends of hubi (offcourse!!!!). 5 minutes later I saw hubi standing there (one of his friends obviously ran up and told him). Hubi offered to walk me back to our motel ( which was like 5 minutes away), throughout asking me if he can take me on the date the next day…last day of the tour. I said no to him as we were scheduled to go around Delhi with the group and couldn’t ditch my friends (right!!!). Mind you..I dint know hubi much except spoken to him a couple of times before the tour. When I came back to my room, my friends convinced me I should go out with him, afterall he was the heart throb of the college. I tried calling him all night and the morning but no luck, the motel number was constantly engaged. I held the phone thinking, let me try one last time, if it doesn’t work I will go ahead with my plan. It dint go through and I turned back, unbelievable yet true hubi was standing in front of the motel to ask me if I had changed my mind!!! He literally swept me off my feet in the next 48 hours, the eventful date followed by the train journey from Delhi to Chennai. When daddy picked me from the Chennai station, I was like the Kajol walking away humming “ naa jaane mere dil ko kya hooo gaya. Abhi tho yahi tha abhi, kho gaya” – There , that’s my DDLJ :)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


For someone like outside India and getting to visit family once in a year or two can completely appreciate the family factor in life. Its not so much when you go back on your own or with hubi, its awesome when you take the little one. The amount of love and attention they get is amazing that I sometimes feel guilty that she doesn’t get it all year. Here are some of the examples of the things that my girl experienced that overwhelming for me.

Birthday party – Like any 3 year old, baby’s favourite topic is her birthday. How she dresses up, cuts cake and everyone sings is all she talks about. Invariably her birthday is either today, yesterday or next week (the 3 time zones that exists in her world).
This time I was in the car with big bro, nephew and baby. Baby kept talking about her birthday. Bro dropped me home and took her for a drive. Guess what they came back with this massive black forest cake and candles. We all ( big bro, nephews, small bro, sisters in law, nieces, mom and dad ) gathered around the cake, lit the candle, sang the birthday song and baby got so excited. She cut the cake, took a huge piece in a plate and walked away saying “thank you friends”. We couldn’t help laughing.

Princess – Big bro did his part, now it was time for Bro number 2. So baby goes to bro 2 and said “ I am wearing a new dress” and he said “ wow you look like a princess”. That is it, each time he called her by her name she would say I am the princess. And guess what he called her princess through out our 4 week holiday

Story – This time at in-laws place. Baby wanted stories. So mother in law took her outside to the front yard. She has a bag kept in the shoe rack, filled with pebbles picked up ( and washed and sanitised…she is a doctor you see). Brought a small pot and water to demonstrate the ‘Thirsty Crow’ story. Baby’s favourite word is ‘Again!’ so she repeated the story like 5 times without even a small hesitation. Grand parents are awesome indeed.

Shopping – So here we are in yet another shoe shop and trying on shoes. Bubby wearing a red dress walks upto the kids section and picks up a red shoe. Big bro was with me, he was like helping her try few different shoes, telling me he was just entertaining her while I was choosing. But when I finished mine ( I had 2 formal black shoes in the shop and I took one of them), she was already wearing her new red shoes and packed her old shoes in a box. Her tiny little shoes were almost the same price as my shoes !!!!

Cake – So bubby this time has a craving for cakes. All she had to do was to say it out loud enough for someone to hear it. Small bro heard it and I was like she will get over it, don’t bother. But he insisted on taking her out, so I let him. He drove her to the shop and asked her to pick what she wanted and guess what she picked 1 of everything on display. So bro got like 10 pieces packed up and then she is like I need one to eat now. So he got her one in a plate so she can eat in the car. When they came back home an hour later, bro was all smiling. Wait a minute….this is not how the scene closes, I was expecting my bro to come back stressed…. then he explained to me..apparantely bubby kept saying “ thank you mama” in her baby voice through out their 15 minutes drive. He was like she is sooo cute. RIGHT !!! thinking..there is no way I can live up to this expectation.

Anyway there are heaps of examples of grandpa reading her the same story over and over again.
Brother in law taking her for a drive everyday to show her doggies ( that’s what she calls the street dogs in Chennai)
Entire family standing around and watch her dance, listening to all her babbling, watching her sleep peacefully etc.
When I left I definitely thought when you are growing up, there is nothing like grand parents, uncles, aunties and cousins. Our kids need them more than us.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Incredible India

After 4 weeks of holiday – visiting family and friends, here is my update.
I have so much to write and share. Here is my first cut, things that have changed..significantly in the last 2 years. Things that i thought was unique just to India..esp Chennai !!!!!!

Resource Allocation:
When I worked as a HR consultant, involved in restructure daddy would always say India is a country with a huge population. Automation may increase the efficiency in production but for a country like ours, It is important to provide jobs for every one and feed families. I saw this everywhere.
Example: Supermarket. You have someone responsible for each aisle -usually a young girl lets say chick 1. If she spots you standing in a place and thinking or searching, she comes to your rescue. I try to walk continuously to avoid the encounter (nothing wrong with them, but I find it extremely hard if I ask them to find something for me and then I decide not to buy it)
There is a cashier/checkout chick to bill, let’s call her chick 2. There is chick 3 standing next to the counter to take the things out of the basket and give to chick 2, as it can be a challenging task for me to clear my own basket. There is dude standing on the other side of counter to put the items into a plastic bag. This dude needs to be smart enough to put frozen items together and make sure food and laundry does not mix in the bag. Then there big dude 2 standing near the door to open and close for you!!!!

Customer Service / Shoes:
Obviously I visited more shoe shops than relatives in this trip too..hehe. I am always uncomfortable when someone tries to help me wear a shoe. There is always a Hindi speaking dude who will provide feedback on what colour would suit you, bring the right size, make you sit down and help you wear it. I run away from them so I can try them myself. After deciding what you want to buy, dude carries the shoe to the counter for you. Then while the cashier handles the bill/payment, the dude would chuck the shoes into this really thick plastic bag.
When I said I did not want a plastic bag, dude gave me the vadivelu – appadiye shock aagiten look “ How on earth can you carry shoes in the shoe box” , insisted I should take a carry bag. I had to explain to him, I am trying to avoid plastic he offered to bring the shoe box to the car. I said my car is right in front of the shop and I can carry it myself, he then ran inside and came back with a cardboard carry bag reserved for expensive men’s shoes. ' Un kadamai unarchiku oru alave illaiya'

Affection :
Indian folks are very loving people. Anywhere I took baby, she was showered with love. Not by just family and friends but by strangers. There were atleast 2 random customer service guys/gals who would pat her and speak to her in super markets. We got extra toys in McDonalds ( hehe we did get happy meals in Chennai). Cotton World was even better, twice I went there. Once they gave her a balloon and played with her until I had finished shopping. Second time she recognised them and asked for balloon and they gave her lollies instead. Again entertained her until i finished my shopping. Where else would you see this !!!

McDonalds :
On a beautiful long drive in the new tollway, I told hubi this is just like driving in Melbourne. All we are missing is Mc and that’s when bubby started.the next 20 minutes drive all we heard was “lets go to McD..grrr. So I took her to Mc. It is interesting to see they have ‘Aloo Tikki Burgers’, ‘Panneer Wraps’etc. No beef and very indianised menu. It was awesome. I ordered for the kids meal for like 100 bucks, all you get is McChicken burger and a soft drink. No fries and no other option with drinks. If you want water you pay extra. Apparently all kids drink coke from the massive cup with ice. The only option I had was hot chocolate, which you can imagine was super hot. Obviously when I ordered for the hot chocolate I got the next ‘appadiye shock aagiten’ look again. Btw there is a chick to take the order and key in, and dude peeping over her shoulders and serve you. Whats more interesting is, you can order and take a seat. Someone walks to your table to serve you. You are not expected to clear your table after you eat. There are 2 ladies standing in the middle of the small room staring at every table with “are you done yet” look ( made me very uncomfortable). The second you get up, they clean after you. Just when you think there are enough people in the room, there is a supervisor standing there and watching everyone. If the ladies delay the table cleaning by 2 seconds, he comes to rescue and give them the required instruction. The serviettes’ are just serv…….1/4 the normal size and they give u 1 for every meal.

Catering to needs:
I was winging about how expensive everything was. A pack of 10 nappies was 300 rupees, cone ice cream – 25 rupees, 2 litre coke – 54 rupees etc, Bhel poori – 85 rupees. Everyone at home were cool about it and I wondered how a middle class family could cope with this cost of living, until I visited the beach and the snake park. The entry fee to the snake park is 1 rupee. Everyone who came there had bought food from home. So they just sat in the park and ate. Beach, offcourse has free entry and the snacks are 10 rupees. Chennai does cater to the needs of all the people.

Living in Anna nagar, I visited all the awesome artefacts shops around the area. They all had sooper cool names, locations and sales people. Then I heard daddy and in laws mention poombuhar. I wondered where it was and what would be available there and how modern it would be…until I visited the awesmoest place ever.
They are located in the mount road, next to Higginbotham’s. 2 floors of nothing but artefacts. They had everything from brass to wood. Tanjore painting, glass painting, canvas painting, framed, rolled, dresses, terracotta…ok there is everything you can name, including items I bought in anna nagar without the markup by the English speaking sales 'bhaiya'. I spent 2 hours there and the staffs were friendly as well. Chennai rocks..

My only concern is that customer service has a different meaning, although i agree customer is the king, the customers do really walk around like they are the king/queen, scream out when the 'service' is not up to their expectation !!! i never heard a thank you to the chicks in supermarket, the door man, none..what so ever.