Thursday, December 29, 2011

Is this it.........?

(Courtesy: Internet)
Standing at the door step ready to leave; suddenly there were gray clouds passing by in front of my eyes, that’s right not above but right in front of my eyes. There were high rise buildings from different countries, schools, parks etc passing by in that cloud. Shocked out of my wits I could not understand what is happening. This went on for 5 mins and then suddenly calm prevailed; not knowing what to do went to wash my face and then leave with my father. Everyone at home was in a trance and was not even talking about what just happened. Each one of us thought it must have definitely been an illusion. Suddenly it started again; this time outside you could see livestock and other things flying in the air and inside the house there were vessels and clothes flying in the air and the entire house was rocking like a cradle. All of us started screaming that it was an earthquake but inside our hearts we were thinking is this the end. Is this what is called the ‘Pralay’ or ‘The end of the world’?

My phone alarm rang. I woke up from my sleep. Thank god this was a dream. But was it so, it was an early morning one which people say comes true. Ok, now that’s superstitious, but is it so?

As I was awake was doing dream analysis of what I just saw. Normally once I get up I forget my dreams it so this time I was going on replaying it in my mind so that I don’t forget it. So I must have dreamt this because the year is coming to an end, and 2012 is deemed as the year the world is going to end. It’s the fear that would have crept into my subconscious for sure that translated into a dream.

Am sure it’s not just for me but for most people that this thought keeps coming to my mind. This phenomenon has been so strong that this year has seen books and movies keeping this in mind. Though now people are doing a lot of wishful thinking telling that it won’t happen which again can be taken in 2 ways. One, it’s a form of defensive mechanism of denial to think that you deny it and it won’t happen. Second, of course it’s logically true about how can you just go about believing a calendar ending as the end of world, when the various streams of science across the globe put together that are so advanced don’t see that coming.

For me definitely I would want to be in the second category and would want to believe that probably it’s the time for a new world or new awakening but not the end of the world as we see it now. Of course religiously speaking there is no reason to fear the end of the world too as the world itself is a ‘Maya’- and illusion and ending it would mean getting closer to god.

However, inspite of all that I would like to end the year with lots of hopes and dreams for the coming years. Also the biggest hope for the New awakened world.

Though a nagging small thought would still be at the back of my mind ‘Is this it?’

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

On time?:-(

It was 9.45 AM and I was standing in front of Indian Coffee House on mg road. I walked a bit towards the Deccan Herald office and read the news for the day. Though I would have read the newspaper at home, that piece of paper that they display in the glass window is a must see for me, when I pass that way. It probably is my habit that I caught hold of when I was studying journalism to catch hold of news wherever it is. The street vendors were all ready with their wares be it clothes or the colourful junk jewellery. Slowly the shops started opening, and the hustle bustle of the place started for the day. Now I started to check the time,it was 9.55 and I started getting jittery as usual. I then started observing the people who were passing by - the office going crowd who were rushing, the college bunking kids going to Plaza to catch the movie, tourists being escorted to silk saree stores to take back something which is bangalore specific ......I again looked at my watch and it was 10.05 and am like 'not again' why do I have to go through this always. I started fishing in my bag to check for anything interesting and thankfully I was carrying a book. So I leaned on the railing on the footpath and started reading the book. People started looking at me while passing by, wondering what's wrong with me to come all the way to mg road and read a book standing there. When these stares started getting very uncomfortable i had to stuff the book back into my bag. The watch showed the time to be 10.25 and i knew there is no point starting abuse also. What's the point and then when I thought this is it and am going back my friend comes with all smiles. Am like its 10.30 and we were supposed to meet at 10, she was like, ok sorry its just half an hour let's go. I knew there was no point in explaining the logic of being half an hour late.
This is the usual case for me whenever I have to meet someone or when I have to go somewhere. Oh that's even funnier I have reached so many marriage receptions and birthdays on the time that's mentioned and realize that the bride and groom have not even thought of starting to dress up ; or the birthday girl/boy has just gone shopping for new clothes. At least in these cases I have realized that the time in invitations card is just a number or rather the time you start from home which is what I do now. Its a different thing that I ensured that my reception card time does not remain a number and reached on time and you can guess what it would have resulted...But thankfully relatives were with me.

So coming back to meeting someone, and the alien concept of 'punctuality' for most people. It has always been the case that whenever I set time to meet someone I reach atleast 10 mins or so in advance and eventually except for rare situations the person who am supposed to meet is late. I keep wondering is it really too much to expect someone to come on time or am I stupid in the first place to land on time but anyways both parties dont learn. On rare occasions when people do come on time am like so overjoyed and in total awe of that person for sometime like as if they did me a huge favour. I think this is the fate for all people who are punctual; believe me there are people like that too who can identify with the jitters and worries of waiting.

The best part is this non- punctuality in people continues at work place too. Here also meetings happen where people keep trickling till the last 5 mins ...Am sure that is one extremely busy person who is atleast managing time for the last 5 mins and we should be thankful for the presence.

Ok there is a silver lining in this atleast this waiting period has been a great time for making stories and window shopping too.

Now even am wondering that after this post what if it gets jinxed and i start getting late for time set for meeting people. O god see this is what the concept of punctuality itself does to me....

P.S The incident mentioned first was during my college time so dont be surprised if you havent seen some of the places i have mentioned:-)

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Four Sides

There was a spring in Kishan’s feet and a tune on his lips when he left the Cox and Kings office. It was after a long time that he had walked to a place and because of his happiness he was hardly looking at the road. It was not like it was the first time that he was going to Paris, as being the CEO of one of the leading firms he visits overseas almost every month; but going to an office to book the tickets was the first time and being happy about it was definitely the first. Kishan was the child genius who used to top in school and college after which he slid into the corporate world where also he prove his prowess in a very short time. He was the youngest and successful of CEO of his time at the age of 30. On the other side this only pushed Kishan to his lonely life as people outside used to revere him for his intelligence and money and back home as he had lost his parents at a young age of 12; he was now only surrounded with house help and no friends. This was all till he met Swathi.

An orphan raised in an orphanage Swathi’s only interest had been painting. She had always associated every misfortune that she saw to her. She strongly believed that it was her past life bad karma which made her an orphan and that losing parents being the biggest misfortune everything else happening around her has to be because of her bad karma. Though from an on looker point of you she was the person with the nicest heart and this was what brought Kishan and her together. Inspite of her insistence, that association with her can only bring him misfortune somehow Kishan convinced her about how it was just the opposite because he has been leading a life of misfortune due to his loneliness and now anything that can happen is only bring him out of it. Finally they got married and today as Swathi is waiting for her husband of a month and she could not believe how she was fortunate enough to get such a loving husband. The beep from the kitchen broke her thoughts as she realized that the chocolate cake that she had made to celebrate their first month was ready.

Rudra sat down at the bed side of Anmol his son who was born with cerebral palsy. His wife had died during child birth and left him with his special son. Anmol could however talk and that has been one thing which Rudra thanks god for inspite of everything. Every day before going to work he would have breakfast with his son and listen to the animated chatter of his son on the bed filled with all the toys he had got for each of his past 7 birthdays. He left for work leaving his son in the care of his mother. While driving the bus he could only think of what the doctor had said last week. Doctor had mentioned Anmol is ready to start with physical therapy soon and Rudra can deposit the money at the hospital as soon as possible. Anmol’s medical expenses were increasing and also his old mother had been having difficulty in taking care of the child because of her own ailments. Rudra had applied for a loan so that he could by a car and run it as a taxi so that he could increase his income to afford for the medical expense and probably a home nurse. When his phone started ringing, he was shivering as he was expecting a call from the bank in reference to the loan. His eyes got clouded as he picked the phone to hear a voice telling him that his loan was denied. He did not see himself hitting the young man on the road who was crossing the road though the lights were red for pedestrians.

Ambulance arrived in half an hour to take the two men to the hospital but they knew that it was already late. One man had died because of the accident and another of a stroke.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Let's go to Comm St......

Retail Therapy – the one thing that definitely works for me. When am sad, when am happy or when I’am sick too a little of shopping can do wonders to me.

Inspite of all the malls that have sprouted in Bangalore City the one place that I used to haunt when in college and now is Commercial Street. Among my relatives the common joke that they have is if they don’t find me home then am there. Don’t get it wrong am not always spending. I like window shopping, shopping for others and even don’t mind having chaats from the various available places there so why won’t I be there.

During college times, eateries were not easily located like it is now inspite of my college being in Koramangala. I know most of the new Bangaloreans can’t imagine that. So there have been many times when with friends we would have come to comm. St to eat. The bhagatram which is there now was a very small shop which used to open the shop at 4 or something like that which I don’t remember completely and when it opens it used to be with hot yummy gulab jamuns and samosas which was unmatched in taste. Now they have a huge variety of savouries and snacks and a bigger seating area to accommodate the hungry shoppers especially the men folk for obvious reasons On the parallel st of Comm st at Ibrahim street there used to be a line of cart vendors who used to serve some delicious south Indian fare – dosas and idlis and of course fried rice which you can call south Indian now with the adapted taste. Now the number of carts have dwindled and unfortunately I have reduced eating from there because of the unending road work that happens there, the food am sure is trying its best to retain its hygiene quality. Shiv Sagar restaurant which is found in one of the bylanes of Comm st to Dispensary road was one of my later discoveries. It’s one of the most crowded restaurants there and has got a good fare of south and north Indian dishes along with a surprising menu of Mexican dishes. Of course it does not claim any authentic taste but the tortillas there are definitely worth a try. Anand Sweets near to the Krishnaiah Chetty Jewellers almost at the entrance of Comm st is another place which I like visiting for the chaats that are available. This was the place that I discovered paneer pakoda and even now end up eating that most of the time. One other place which I love eating at for the variety it offers in South Indian tiffin items is Woody’s. Definitely the most overpriced of the lot mentioned above but a must try to have a peek into the taste of the different dosas, idlis etc.

(Photo Courtesy: A Friend's flickr stream
Shopping for clothes in Comm st started with my father’s yearly visit to ‘Garden’ where every year he picks a saree for mother religiously on their anniversary. As he never used to venture beyond that it was self venturing in college which introduced me into the clothes paradise. Many people argue with me periodically telling that Chickpet offers better price and that malls are better as its less crowded; believe me I have tried and agree to disagree. I have this habit of imagining how I want a dress and then go searching for the material and I get only when I go there though I might go to 2-3 shops but eventually get it exactly like how I imagined. In college or my first years of working it used to be atleast 1 visit a month for clothes but now as I know most of the shops and what it offers I go with anyone who wants to go shopping so it’s more times than that The dupatta street or the street that has most of the salwar stores and the Ibrahim st with the silver plaza, gold plaza etc are the stores that normally offer the best prices and variety and one of the other regular store for salwars for me has been DCM. Of course with the advent of Max in the city it’s a definite yes for the kurtas and casuals they offer. It’s not like I only buy clothes for women here. Clothes for menfolk are slightly easier, Mega mart or Wearhouse serves most of their needs and then of course Max for the casual fare.
Apart from the clothes shopping for accessories also are a sure shot. I used to shop for jewellery sets from Estelle and once it was gone from a one gram gold jewellery store at commercial plaza and have not been disappointed. As I hate gold jewellery I prefer this for occasions. This was only for exclusive accessories and otherwise with the variety of others offered on the street itself it’s a treat for the eyes and definitely an easy way of choosing for occasion coz they help with finding the right thing for right occasion – Bangles and earrings galore. Ok I was almost about to forget the slippers and shoes that you can get here. The trends for college students are introduced here and then taken for a walk with a storm around the city.

So with the festival holidays this week and for the coming up festivals Comm st jaana tho banta hai.

Ok then catch you there or later.

Friday, August 5, 2011


2bhk flat for 20lac at hebbal! Ready flats with 100% loan ! Call Now: 99……..

With atleast 20 messages about new readily available flats, 5-6 messages on discounts on products and of course 2-3 millions I win daily for some random reason am all set to roll on a message deleting spree throughout the day. Am sure most of you are wondering so why I don’t put myself into a “DND” (Do not Disturb) list or something like that. The simple reason while in the process deleting these I have read some of the messages and actually mind you have got introduced to some new service or product through this and found it to be useful.

At the advent of sms marketing atleast for me were when people started adding me on to mginger where they started the technique by sending emails to friends to add them on to the bandwagon. Not knowing the consequence we all had innocently invited most of our friends to this future volcano of sms ads. The intensity of these increased when stores at the purchase of even the smallest of things asked us to fill a form which would have a survey and then for sure a request for email id and phone number. The result the local boutique, neighbourhood kirana guy all started sending sms on sale which is eternally happening in their stores and of course to add on to the misery there were the advent of internet sites through which sms can be sent for free.

I don’t completely dislike receiving these messages coz one my biggest purchases till date my apartment was from a message I received through this. We had searched across town for about 2 years looking for that perfect place which should just click inside as ‘this is it’ when a message that I received made me make that call to set the appointment with the marketing guy. My husband and I went to the place with the least of hopes but to our surprise we liked it and was overjoyed when the advocate also confirmed it was legitimate and booked the flat.

In one other occurrence I was trying to buy a baby’s walker for my niece and had gone to many shops and found all downmarket stuff and was losing hope as the baby’s birthday was nearing. At that time I got a message from a store which sold branded kid’s stuff and I booked from then and received a good one in a day’s time with everything intact and perfect packing. So I have had this experience of some messages being a response to my telepathic communication.

SMS marketing though running into controversies because of the time loss it causes people invites a lot of laws and regulation. For e.g when the messages of winning money goes to people not everyone understands that it’s a fake one and ends up contacting the people who are frauds and makes them buy B grade products from them. Like many of the other marketing/advertising tool this when handled with caution by the sender and receiver could be useful to an extent.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

'Corp' - Decade Update

10 years back for my first job after college I was accompanied by my father for interview. Those were not the days when you were hunted down by consultants for jobs. I had no intention of studying further (atleast then) or to follow any professional discipline and just wanted to work in some office doing some mundane activity. My father had referred me to this small firm as he had a business relationship with that firm. I got through with a meager salary of Rs 2500 which was still start to the road of independence to me. Worked for the firm for a year and the main learning from that job was got over the initial shyness(yes shyness is a far cry for me now) of talking to people and making a meaningful professional conversation.

My second job or the organization I moved into was the one that gave me maximum learning experience. Those days were the initial days of the call centre and it was considered to be the last option to consider a call centre job. However for me I fell in love with the job from day 1. In the first week after first few hours we were given an option to sleep in the training room as it was our first instance in working in night shift but I took to night shift like fish to water and did not feel sleepy even the first day. Getting trained on neutralizing accent and understanding US culture in training days was a refreshing a new experience for me. Then the career of Outbound calling and Inbound Calling and then moving to Quality function and different roles spanned my career for the next seven years was an ‘I love my job experience’. Along with this the people I met here gave me so many friends for life.

My next organization for the next 3 years have been a change of similar kind of quality roles adding on new learning. This organization is where I gained the span of knowledge of understanding of how a company works.

Being in the corporate culture for the past 10 years of so this post was just a sudden realization one realizing that I have completed a decade of working. As am at the juncture of moving into a new role waiting for new learnings, new experiences and meeting new people.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


She landed at the palakkad station with amma and achan at 8am like every year, when they come down to the ancestral home for the harvest festival ‘Onam’. As it would take another hour for them to travel by bus and reach home they stop at the usual small hotel. This time she tried out their idiappam and like all the other dishes she had tried here over the years the taste was so simple and lingering. She wondered how the same fare served every year and that too at such an obscure place can taste so good.

The journey from bus stop to home is a feast to sore eyes. This time of the year is when the place is greener being the harvest season. You could spot all kinds of flowers, trees and fields in full bloom and the weather -actually pleasant. So this bus journey is something she waits for throughout the year and enjoys even if it includes getting a quick nap in between; all adds to the peace that surrounds the aura. This year she was all the more at peace as she had just joined college this year and finally were doing only the subjects she wanted to. She was plunging into all the history she wanted to and learning all about the constitution with intrigue with the relevant additions of societal system without disturbances by numbers and experiments.

Once reaching home it was visiting relatives and preparing for the festival which was the order of the day. She would go with her cousins to help them in take the fresh mud to mould in ‘Maatheru’ (Mud moulded mounds which are kept from entrance till home used to welcome King Maveli the king who visits once a year to grace their houses with his presence and check on their wellbeing) This time around, she tried her hand at making chips atleast in cutting the plantain because frying them in those huge kadaais were definitely not yet her forte. By the third day all her relatives and cousins had come down and they were doing all the catching up they could of the entire year. As they were all there only till the weekend they wanted to do something different.

The hillock at the centre of the village which all the aunts and uncles and her mother had been admonishing from visiting telling they have never visited during their childhood was a huge temptation. So they all made plans to go at 7am the next day and as they always make excuses to go out without telling the destination the elders would not have a problem. As it was not a long distance to cover they had estimated that we should be back by 9am as though it was not a tall hill considering that were warned about (god knows what) we thought to take it slow. As there were no roads leading to it they went through the paddy fields and reached the bottom of the hill. They checked about 3-4 different locations to see which might be the apt one. They started up the hill on all fours till about quarter of it as it was slippery and no great foot hold. After that surprisingly, the climb was pretty fast because of all the small trees that were there on the hill the entire journey and now being the season they were all strong and had all different kinds of flowers too. They reached atop the hill at around 8.15 am to visualize the most breathtaking view. They could see the entire village with both the temple domes clearly visible, all the fields swaying in the early morning breeze and all the colours of flowers covering the landscape like a huge canvas. It was like turning into Wordsworth at that point wanting to write another Daffodils. They were there for about 15 mins enjoying the view and came back. On their descent they started picking the flowers which were on the hill. They reached home to all the scoldings from the elders. She was still overjoyed with their entire tryst of the day, though all of them realized it was pure luck that nothing happened to them as they were no great rock climbers and that was one of the most slippery hill throughout the year.

The next day saw the most colourful pookalam(rangoli of flowers which is a tradition during onam) of atleast the decade she had witnessed. She went back that home with wonderful memories to last for a lifetime and hopes to create new ones the year after.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

BBMP – Not a Rant……..

As I moved into our new apartment I was prepared for all initial glitches of moving into new place and new location like not finding everything in the nearest store, backup generator not yet running, roads not being well done etc etc.

The one thing that I was not prepared for was the uncivic manner of disposing garbage. However I’am not writing this about instilling civic sense but on the manner BBMP treated it. For about 2 – 3 days I followed suit with everyone else in throwing garbage in the nearest empty plot but just could not take it off my mind and felt so guilty about the same. The next day searched on internet for the BBMP number where I can complaint about it. The surprising part is there is no site specific to them; all I found were rants of people of how they have complained and not got favorable results. However from one such review I got the number and as I have not yet lost complete in such services decided to try it out. I called up the number which went to a call center and after understanding the problem they registered the complaint and gave me a GR (Grievance) number. After disconnecting there was an automated message also giving me the GR (Grievance) number.

After the phone call I thought it would take a few days and so left it at it so I was taken aback when I got the call from Area Health Inspector the next day asking for the address details so that he can come and check. I gave him the details and mentioned my unavailability at the location. In the afternoon he again called to confirm that he was at the location and mentioned that he could definitely arrange for garbage to be picked up from the next day. As it’s a new apartment and association had still not formed connected the builder to the inspector.

On the next day I got a call from the builder that the bins have been placed in the apartment premises and he will ensure that people are informed about the same. I was quite happy with the speed in which the issue was resolved but hold on my bigger and much more pleasant surprise came the next day when I saw that the Health Inspector was getting the plot which was used as dumping yard also cleared.

When I got the call asking if they can close the case in their record I mentioned that I was happy with it and would love to write a positive review about the time taken and service rendered. The call center person I think was taken aback and was laughing (pleasant one) as she had not expected someone to tell that. Unfortunately they don’t have a site where I could write it so writing on my blog. I would have been more than happy to give them whatever the highest was on customer satisfaction.

This incident just confirmed my belief on not to write off govt run departments as inefficient just going by majority opinion but try it out atleast once.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Ode to Her

My grandmom(Muthashi) was one strong woman who used to be the source of strength for the entire family. Being the mother of 9 children it was obvious that by the time she was in her 90’s all her children were tied up in their own families and had children and some their own grand children. Also some of them had health issues which did not permit them to move around as freely as they would want but Muthashi would go meet them once a day walking through fields till she was 93 and then by auto. She had evaded all kinds of ailments till the age of 94 but the cancer that she got took her away at 95. Anyways that’s the least of things that we remember her for.

As a kid she has taken me to school for a long time when my amma was expecting bro and she very patiently bore all the idiosyncrasies of mine on the way picking stones, flowers (oh yes you could do all that once upon a time in Bangalore when there was hardly any traffic). Also she would not hesitate to whack me for anything done wrong.

When I was in 10th I was a huge salman fan and had a big poster of his (Maine Pyar kiya one) on my room wall. When Muthashi came to stay over I had given up my room and after a few days she calls my mother and says ‘Can you please take that lady’s poster from the wall’ I don’t want to see it the first thing when I get up in the morning. Just imagine my expression to be told that my hero who I thought is all macho being called a woman

In college I had started experimenting on hair styles and the first time I had to go to kerala sporting it amma was worried how all her sisters would react. By the way amma is the youngest daughter so you can imagine how many sisters she would have to handle. Predictably everybody reacted as if I had done a huge crime. But then Muthashi came to my rescue telling what’s wrong and that am looking nice. Oh my ‘hero’ she was.

Muthashi with her healthy lifestyle habits used to hardly fall ill except for gastric issues but with that also she used to love creating a ruckus at home and in 2 days time she would want all her kids to come and meet her who would all come tumbling from Bangalore, Mumbai, baroda etc. By the way I have to admit I can identify with her trait because I have got it too. One small cold and I bring the roof down with the melodrama. Anyways coming back to Muthashi at the same time in this condition if you take her to a hospital or even a clinic she will dress up in the best of clothes and at the clinic will sit so prim and proper that we get worried thinking what the doctor will say that we got a healthy person to clinic. Aristocratic she was.

Once when my cousin was taking her pictures on a digital camera (by the ways she had just discovered that in this photos can be deleted and new ones can be taken) she made him take atleast 5-6 times because she didn’t like the way she looked. She was way too fast in catching the logic of gadgets at her age.

She was not very interested in watching tv but her one weakness was watching Kathakalli be it on tv or if its happening in the village. If she’s in Bangalore of course she would watch it on tv but when she’s in the village and its happening she would go with everyone with mats and stay through the night to watch it. For her 90th birthday there was Kathakalli performance which was organized by her children in our Tharavadu (ancestral home) and it thrilled her so much.

These were few of the interesting and humorous memories of her.

Can’t remember her for the last few days of illness but can remember only for all the strength, humour and inspiration provided throughout. As for us she was like a permanent fixture in our lives never thought she would go away at all and with her passing away so it came as a huge jolt for all.

It would be a year now in August that she passed away but can still see her smile and life full of energy in front of my eyes.

Monday, March 7, 2011


“Faith is what you feel is right”. I always used to think of faith in this manner and nowadays hear more people tell that.

Since childhood my mother used to tell me so many things in terms of imposing faith like ‘pray only after taking bath’, ‘go to temple on your birthday’, ‘light the lamp twice a day’ etc etc. Each time she used to tell me something like this I used to ask my trademark question ‘Why?’ for which her standard reply was that she never used to ask Why to her elders and hence she just assumed that it’s the right way to do things without knowing whether it has got a logic behind it or not. Over the years lot of things which my mother said I found out some had scientific bearings to it and started following and some had a story behind it so did.

Yesterday my uncle mentioned an interesting story about a Shiva temple in one village where the priest who used to do the daily pooja has been doing it since years. Once he fell ill for a long period and hence hired another person to do the pooja. The new person on his first day at the temple came in early in the morning and started searching for the wick for the lamp and found it kept in a box at a height above the shivling. He was wondering how to reach it as he was not that tall and checked with the lady who comes to tie garland at the temple as to how the old priest used to do it. She mentioned that the priest used to stand on the shivling and take the wick from there. The young man’s perplexity increased as he could not imagine doing something like that. He thought that it would be a big sin to do something like that. Finally he thought if the old priest used to do it for yours he should also not refrain and as he was still skeptical placed a leaf on the shivling and placed his feet on it. As soon as he mounted on it his feet it burnt. This is just to say that if you in your heart feel something is right and do it then that is ‘Faith’ if not it might just not be the right thing.

Faith I think is something that comes from within, of course loaded with personal experience. To deal with something you can place a finger on is much easier than because someone forces you to.