Thursday, April 19, 2007


A grandmother is someone who has silver in her hair and gold in her heart.

So first off let me start with what triggered the idea of this post. I had, as usual, gone to the park for my evening walk. And there was this pati(for the non-tamilians , pati = grandma) who is also a regular and whom i smile at everyday. So she was sitting on a bench and i went up and said hello. And when I passed her again, she calls me and tells me that I am looking very pretty :). And mind you, I was out for a walk, so i was dressed in an old pair of pedal pushers, a t-shirt, hair tied up, and sweating like a horse from all the humidity that Chennai so lovingly bestows on us. And there she is, complimenting me. I turned beet red and for the rest of the evening, was walking with a wide smile on my face. And then was when i thought how precious grandmothers are. And what better way to acknowledge them than to dedicate a post to them...

Well, let me first start of with my own two grandmothers. Dad's mom (whom we call patima) stays with us. And if there is one word other than "loving" that describes her, it is "indefatigable". Well, even that would be an understatement. At the over ripe age of 75, she is still soo active that it never ceases to amaze me. And is she beautiful or what!!! The complexion of snow, hair as black as the night, sharp features, a very ethnic beauty and a golden heart to match the exterior. And how can i fail to mention the gastronomic delights that she conjures up every single day. Seriously, she's the best cook in the world. And like all grandmas, she always comes up with a home remedy when i am down with a cold or a sore throat, or complaining of hair fall, or pimples. Also, i must mention that she is quite well read and takes an active interest in politics and Indian cricket, the latter being a source of constant agony.

Here's a pic of her in action, at the tawa, making pesarettu :

And now moving over to Mom's mom. Now i cant really claim to know much of her cos she lives in Bhilai and we get to see her only once in a couple of years. but from whatever little i know of her, she's a real darling. the gentlest, most softspoken and most down to earth person i have ever come across. And she has this really endearing style of speaking in which she stresses on every syllable and says it very slowly. I had inherited that as well, but due to much ridicule from family and friends, i soon lost it.

Here's a pic of her in the courtyard, and thats my naughty little cousin that u see in the pic:

Apart from these, there are many other grandmas i know. There's another one in the park who gets all excited on seeing me, makes me sit next to her, holds my hand, and tells me all about her cruel Daughter-in-laws. And there are the grandmas of some of my friends, who are oh-so -sweet. Well, i could go on and on, but my dinner is getting cold so i better wrap up.

And oh yeah, i forgot to mention, i love the soft wrinkly feel of a grandmas skins... Esp on the ear lobes. Almost as soft as a baby's bottom.

So yeah, I sign of by saying that every house needs a grandma.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Paradise lost and regained

Paradise Lost: Chennai summer sets in. Intense perspiration commences.

Paradise regained: Ah! Mangoes!!!! And yup, those are the exact mangoes that i ate :) Now do i see envy in your eyes and drool dripping from your mouth :D

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Kili Josyam

So the other day I met up with N at coffee day. Now, like most other coffee shops, this one too provides very few avenues for entertainment. So unless you have a real spunky bunch of gals willing to belly dance atop one of the table, there is little else to do than simply sip your coffee over some hushed conversation. We therefore decided to set off to the beach. Enroute, we stopped by at the Kotturpuram Park. Ah! Beauty!

Anyhow, so we reach Eliots Beach and walk up, to the inviting waters. A little bit of feet wetting later, we were just standing on the soft sands, enjoying the sea breeze blowing our tresses into a mighty mess, when this old man approached us with a parrot in a cage and a stack of cards in his hand. Kili Josyam!!! For the uninitiated, it’s this ancient thingy that we have in India, where the parrot picks out a card from a stack and that card, in some strange cosmic way, can tell us about our past present and future. Believe it or not!!!

Anyhow, our first reaction was a firm No. But not so firm it seems for N soon relented and decided to go for it. And what else could I do but go along. And gladly I did for who can say no to a little birdie who says it will predict your fortunes. So that is how this seemingly innocent but extremely vicious adventure began.

The parrot first picked out a card for N and it a very rosy picture of his future was painted. Travel abroad, loads of dabbu, good wife yada yada. And then it was the turn of yours truly. And guess what the birdie picks up??? A snake and a lizard. Eeks!!! And obviously lizards and snakes don’t make a good future. So the man prattled on about how I had supposedly stepped on a piece of lemon that was used to take drishti of a woman who had aborted a child and therefore I have this dosham thingy. Didn’t get it?? Don’t worry, neither did I!!! And then he went on to tell me all sorts of crap, which I shall spare you from. But yes, there were bits about how I would bring bad luck to my family if that dosham was not removed. And to remove it, I was supposed to pay 650 bucks to him, get a golden foil kinda thingy, drop it in the ocean along with a rupee and feed cow bananas for 3 days. All that and then I would have a blissful life and my family would no longer be accursed. Me and N were obviously in splits all along and I think the man and his birdie were deeply offended to see us laughing over the whole thing. But what the heck!!! Anyhow, he seemed pretty insistent on the 650 bucks ka ritual and kept on pestering us for the money. Said that I was like his little sister and he had only my welfare in mind. The liar!!! Didn’t relent even when we showed him our empty wallets. Finally we told him that we would be back same place same time on Saturday and only then did he take leave of us. So that was our whole mystic experience with the green bird and the wicked man.

Monday, April 09, 2007


Hey all. Firstly i apologise for this hibernation of mine.... I could give you a dozen reasonable excuses and a few unreasonable one's like say, the dog ate up my blog :).... par khair, ab tho mein aa hi gayi tho posts ka silsila zaari rahega...

Hope you guys liked the previous post...Do post your precious comments... Anyhow, i have been tagged by Nivi and here is my reply to the tag.... In return i tag Sriram and Avi...

1.Were you named after anyone? I don’t think so.
2. Do you wish on stars? Yeah….Only on shooting stars…
3. When did you last cry? Think it was a week ago
4. Do you like your handwriting? Depends. Most of the time it is pretty much ok..
5. What is your favourite meat? No, thank you.
6. What is your most embarrassing CD on your shelf? None that I can think of
7. If you were another person, would YOU be friends with you? definitely
8.Are you a daredevil? Occasionally
9. How do you release anger? Depends on who I am angry at. If its someone I can yell at, I do… else I sulk…
10. Where is your second home? Athai’s house
11. Do you trust others easily? Nah
12. What was your favourite toy as a child? Hmmm…tough question cos I don’t remember much of my childhood…
13. What class in school/college do you think is totally useless? Well, I think they all have their uses…
14. Do you use sarcasm a lot? Used to…
15. Have you ever been in a mosh pit? Now what’s that???
16. What do you look for in a guy/girl? i try not to look for much… its better to accept them as they are
17. Would you bungee jump? Sure
18. Do you untie your shoes when you take them off? Nah, too lazy to bend down and untie the lace.
19. What's your favourite ice cream? Chocolate chip
20. What are your favourite colours? Black white blue and yellow
21. What are your least favourite things? That’s a bloody long list
22. How many people do you have a crush on right now? No comments
23. Who do you miss most right now? No comments again :)
24. What are you listening to right now? Hum hain rahi pyaar ke (the old one)
25. If you were a crayon, what colour would you be? Bright yellow
26. What is the weather like right now? Sultry
27. Last person you talked to on the phone? Chitti
28. The "first" thing you notice about the opposite sex? I know his sounds superficial as hell, but yah, their looks.
29. Do you like the person who sent you this? Love her
30. How are you today? Glad to be back home finally
31. Favourite non alcoholic drink? Water
32. Favourite alcoholic drink? I don’t drink alcohol
33. Natural hair colour? Brown
34. Eye colour? Brownish black
35. Wear contacts? Yup
36. Siblings? A pesky little brother
37. Favourite month? December
38. Favourite food? Interminably looong list…Don’t even get me started
39. Favourite day of the year? None in particular
40. Have you ever been too shy to ask someone out? Yup…
41. Scary movies or happy endings? Happy endings
42. Summer or winter? Winter
43. Holi or Diwali? Deepavali.
44. Do you like your name? Ya. Its ok…but if I could name me then it wouldn’t have been Shilpa for sure…
45. What book/magazine are you reading? The English Teacher, R.K.Narayanan
46. What's on your mouse pad? Don't have one.
47. What did you watch on TV last night? CNN-IBN Afternoon News
48. Favourite Smell? Fragrance of wet earth
49. Have you ever regretted breaking up with someone? Not at all
50. Most tiresome thing you’ve ever experienced/done? Studying for some of my exams…

Bilaspur Express

"Ting ting ting. Train No.2852 Bilaspur Express from Chennai to Bilaspur will depart shortly from platform no.1". We hurriedly kissed goodbye and settled down in our berths. I suddenly discovered that there were rats rumbling in my tummy. Though I had just consumed a hearty dinner of 4 dosas, a couple of dhoklas and a large glass of orange Tang, my stomach still growleth and I rushed to gratify it. And chocolate cake it was. Two sumptuous pieces of home-made choco cake and Mr. Pet(read pate) was sufficiently appeased.
Now obviously sleep followed. And a blissful one at that. Fourteen hours straight. I had broken my own records. Then again it was time for some more "pet puja"(Well,yeah, it’s an eternal cycle). So now it was time for some yumm sandwiches and a cup of piping, hot tea. Followed, of course, by some more cake. (If I were chosen to represent one of the seven sins, it would definitely have to be gluttony)
And then I sat next to the window, gazing out lazily onto the lush green fields, when this thought struck me – "Hey! Now this will make a decent blog post". So that, ladies and gentlemen, is how it all began. While scribbling busily on to my notepad I was interrupted by a shout of "masala channa!masala channa!".i jumped with elation ,and demanded pounced on the owner of this mellifluous voice "dus rupaiye ka channa" ah! Heaven!

Anyhow, I can see you all drooling over your keyboards and ,that’s bad hygiene ,so let’s move over to things less unhygienic. Well, there are two things I enjoy most about train journeys. First is the food (Duh!) and second, the sights.

So now moving over from food for the palate to food for the eye. My acutely myopic eyes, aided by Zeiss spectacle lens, witnessed an array of beautiful sights. The soft blue sky melting into the earth at the horizon, the lush green fields with the long grass swaying to the tunes of the hot breeze, the many huts – dotting the rich, brown earth, the serene ponds and lakes with green weed floating on them, the many cows and buffaloes holding conference amongst themselves, the dull red brick-kilns, the various rocks – some shaped like animals, some like you and me, the magnificent mountains rising gently to ultimately reach a crescendo, the beauteous flora of many wild colours - pinks, reds, purples and blues, the long winding queues of vehicles at railway crossings and last but the best, the little kids waving gleefully at the passing trains. And to think that these director duds go all the way to Switzerland when there is soo much beauty in our own backyards.
This apart, there are quite a few "items" you get to meet inside the train as well. For starters, there is the ubiquitous uncle who seems to have something to say on everything from politics, the Godhra carnage, the wather and my hairstyle. He is of course accompanied by the aunty with an akshayapatram of snacks – muruku, thengozhal, mixture, sweets, chips, chocolates, you name it and she has it. Ten there is the quintessential morose couple whose mouths are sealed with invisible cellotape and the only noise they emit are inaudible grunts.

And then there are the kids – some, little angels and some, little devils.

Anyhow, it’s time for me to wrap up for I can hear distant shouts of " Ice cream, Ice cream, Vanilla, Strawberry Ice cream!!!" so goodbye my dear reader(s) and hog aplenty.