Friday, June 23, 2017

Declutter! Declutter! Declutter!

I love to hoard stuff - old gift wrapping sheets, old letters, old cards, old photographs, old comic books, old books.. you get the drift. Sometimes, handling the resultant mess becomes unbearable. Identifying what to throw and what to keep is very difficult for me as each item has an associated memory that is dear or special to me. I usually end up keeping most of them and throwing a handful out. I hope my yelling this mantra a couple of times, will get me to actually declutter my space. Well, I'll save that for another day. 

Today when I was wondering what to post, I realized that even my blog needs a bit of clean-up. Went back to my old blog look.. the one I always get back to after a spate of changes. Realized my blog list was outdated and while I visit so many other blogs, I have not updated my list. I removed some of them which have not been updated in a while. I will get around to adding more sometime this year. 

I feel better already!


Thursday, June 22, 2017

Happy new Year 2017

Its 6 months into the new year... and here I am posting Happy New Year 2017!
Well, better late than never.
Hopefully, I will be more regular now.
Fingers crossed.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016 -- The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

Well, 2016 was a roller-coaster ride. Lots of lows and a few non-lows which I must now consider as the highs of 2016 as the year comes to an end. This year, my temper got the better of me most of the time. When I was not feeling overwhelmed by my anger and the guilt that followed, I needed to be practical, understanding, thinking on my feet, accomplishing a lot, etc etc but I felt I was doing everything in slow motion. Like doing everything underwater or while zorbing.

The Good
  • Kuku talking - a lot. Whole bunch of new words instead of pointing and crying. He frequently says "Amma please stop talking" so he gets my full attention and he talks to me. He does not articulate some words clearly but folks other than his parents can now understand what he says. He also says "Kerpeech" for kerchief and "bo-loon" for balloon.    
  • Kuku going to school without fussing. Initially he did not want to go to school, but soon he was interested in going to school.    
  • Hiring someone for our team after a month long round of tests, interviews, and more.
  • Losing 2 Kgs in the last month of the year without any effort :D   
The Bad
  • Deaths: George Michael dying at 53 on Christmas weekend; Jayalalitha's illness, death and the conspiracy theories surrounding her death; Balamurali Krishna's death; Cho's death;
  • Getting all sentimental and crying whenever I listen to beautiful music: Yesudas singing some old favorites, John Denver, bala murali krishna, etc.
  • Not keeping in touch with friends, family, and generally feeling like I was stuck in a boring routine
The Ugly
  • Deaths in the family: MIL (March) and Grandma (November)
  • Two dreams died in 2016. Not sure if I want to re-visit them again ever but never say never. So, lets see.
  • Struggling with my impatience, temper, and the resultant guilt.
Well, 2016 was hardly a favorite. Looking forward to 2017. Hope it is way better than 2016.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

New Record -- More posts in 2016

Spent the morning comparing posts published per year. I found to my surprise that I had published more blog posts this year in comparison to the number of posts in the last four years. Yeah!! And the month is not over yet :) 

Even if I do not publish any more posts, 2016 has been better than 2015, 2014, 2013, and 2012. That implies that I have not ignored my blog too much this year :D Happy!


    

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Another song and another trip down memory lane - Feeling Older

I was humming while making tea and realized that this was the other song I heard on the Auto- "Dil kya cheez hai janam apni jaan tere naam karata hain". This was another popular number and I could not recall the movie name or the actors. For a long moment, I thought it was Akshay and then realized it was before him. Finally, gave up trying to figure it out and googled the song: Akka India Janta hai.

The movie is Jaan Tere Naam and stars Ronit Roy and Farheen Khan. Realized at the same time that we have seen her (Farheen) in a Kamal movie, Kalaignan. One of my all-time favorite Yesudas songs, "Enthan Nanjhil Neengadha..". It was pictured on Kamal and Farheen.

These movies are at least twenty years ago - Gosh! How time flies. No more trips down memory lane for me :D

Friday, December 9, 2016

Trip down memory lane -- old Hindi song

It took me a while to get an auto, today. I kept walking and waving my arm to stop an auto but most were occupied and some refused to go where I wanted them to. I was wondering if I was going to reach office after lunch when one auto driver stopped. After arguing about the fare (an usual occurrence), we set off. He was playing some Hindi songs on his player and just like that, I was transformed into a school girl.

One song, I could recall and almost sing along was "Hawa Hawa". It was not a favorite but I was surprised I could recall so much of that song. "Hawa hawa" was sung by Hasan Jehangir (a Pakistani pop singer) and was a popular number in the late eighties and early nineties. If you cannot recall the song, you can check this video which you maybe hard-pressed to remember:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wgkPsgm_d5w

I struggled to remember the actor in the video. I still cannot recall who he is. All I remember is that this was a very popular song. I knew most of the lyrics which is very surprising :)

Maybe the singer's video will help, it didn't help me though: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=35hA0E5Vm5k


Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Nov -- 1 post to sum it all

November was tense, hectic, weird, upsetting, I-hate-you worthy, and otherwise routine.

We started the month with demonetisation. I usually have ~5000 bucks for monthly expenses etc in 500 and 1000 rupee notes (the denomination that is no longer valid). Suddenly, I was worried about how I would get to office the next day. I finally borrowed money from my dad for my day-to-day travel expenses for a week and asked him to keep an account so I could repay him sometime in the next 15 days. We suddenly realized how much of our day to day transactions was done using cash. When you walk up to your local grocer to buy chillies, you do not swipe, you pay in cash. He will burst into laughter when you ask him if he takes cards. When you get a hair cut for the little one at the local barber's place and not at a salon, you pay in cash. You pay your presser (guy or woman who presses or irons ur outfits), in cash. You pay the auto driver in cash unless you use an app like paytm or use ola autos. The chuntu shop that sells bindis etc accepts only cash. The list was endless. However, most folks agreed to wait a bit for their money and others gave us change without biting our heads off. Nice!
      
At work, I had a hectic schedule. We had a position open and we had interviews almost every day and there was co-ordination, collaboration, meetings, and oh so many interviews. We had to reach office on time, or earlier and I was praying for miracles almost every day. I had no time to work as I was hardly at my desk. I sent updates once a week and it felt like that was all I focused on. After all that, you would think we had multiple good candidates but the results were mixed and I started praying for the second miracle. Grim and really hectic.

Balamurali Krishna passed away. Just when I was accepting this news, I had a shock closer home. My grandma, who was a happy octogenarian fell sick, was admitted in the hospital on Friday and passed away on Saturday. She was a progressive thinker who loved life and wanted the best for her children and grandchildren. While I feel sad that she is no more, her surgery and subsequent illness was very tough on her and so maybe this was better. I will always remember her yelling "Killuuu" as I ran outside without drinking my milk. There are so many memories that tears blur my eyes and so I'll stop with this. Hate November, Hate 2016. Well.. not really, just a bit upset.

Waiting for 2016 to end. Hoping 2017 will be a better year.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

23 Posts out of 31 -- Not bad

I wondered how long I would last - not bad, I managed 23 posts in October, including this one. I had two more posts planned but it just didn't happen. Better than last time when I took up this challenge. An improvement! Not bad at all.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Visaranai -- Movie Review

This movie was released in February 2016. We had heard a lot about this movie but it was last week that the movie was brought to our notice again. I recalled that this movie was India's entry for the Oscars in the category best foreign language film.

Pandi
Visaranai means interrogation. 4 daily wage earners from Tamil Nadu work in Andra Pradesh. They stay in a nearby park and somehow try to make ends meet. The movie starts with Pandi, who works in a shop. At day break, a few men stop at Pandi's shop and ask him for an address. Pandi recognizes that they are from Tamil Nadu and chats with them. The men are reluctant to part with information and then Pandi notices that one of them has a gun and stops chatting with them and asks them to leave. This group consists of policeman who are on a undercover mission. The day turns worse for Pandi as a policeman (not the undercover group) arrests him and he sees his friends: Murugan and Kumar also arrested.
Image Courtesy: www.thehindu.com

Unable to understand what is going on, the 3 of them are beaten up and tortured so that they can
Kumar, Pandi, Afzal, and Murugan
reveal where they hid the money. None of them know what is going on and are not involved in the robbery but no one seems interested as they continue to share that they know nothing of the robbery. They meet their other friend, Afzal, the next day who was tortured for their address and that is how the other 3 friends were picked up. Apparently, a high-profile robbery has been committed and the police has identified these 4 as the con men who committed the crime. The policeman want them to accept the crime in front of a judge. Because of the beatings and the torture, all the others, except Pandi, are willing to plead guilty for a crime they did not commit.

Image Courtesy: http://indianexpress.com/article/entertainment/regional/visaranai-is-indias-official-oscar-entry-10-facts-you-must-know-3044732/

When they are brought in front of the judge, Pandi proclaims their innocence. The judge, surprised at being addressed, and not able to understand Pandi, calls for a translator. The inspector on the undercover mission, who is at another judge's chambers volunteers. All four are released. The inspector asks them for help. They gladly volunteer. What happens to them after that forms the rest of the story.  

The movie is based on a real life incident and is based on a book by M Chandra Kumar (Kumar). There are quite a few scenes of violence as befitting a police interrogation. These scenes can be quite horrifying to watch so do not watch with children.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

What am I reading this week?

I finished Rainmaker last week. I started on Lay Her Among The Lillies by James Hadley Chase, this week. I always liked JHC. The local library would cover JHC books with newspaper or brown paper so the cover of the books was not visible. JHC was essentially known for his catchy titles and lurid covers but the books were thrillers and I liked them. I am enjoying returning to JHC after a long long time.  

Monday, October 24, 2016

Milestone - Kuku goes diaperless to school

Kuku has pretty much off diapers at home, since April this year. However, we were unsure if he was ready to go to school without diapers. The school did not object to his coming in diapers. They told us that he will let us know when he is ready. We kept postponing the date even though we knew he was ready. Today, I sent him without diapers to school. He was totally fine. I feel so proud.