Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Author Sujatha is no more!

When my friend V alerted me on IM, 'your favorite author is no more' , I was truly shocked. This is something I have always dreaded. You know you adore and respect this person and his words - and you always knew he is getting old - but you just do not want that chapter to end ever! What I am going to say more, will sound dramatic and cliched - just two days back, I imagined getting this news that writer Sujatha is no more and was thinking how would I feel to hear that. My dad and I talked about his being old - and we both did not say it in words, but shared somehow the fear of this day!

And I cannot believe that the time has come. All good things come to an end. No one can escape from death. Such words come to my mind.

Sujatha a.ka. Rangarajan, was my favorite author always. I have missed reading his recent works, but Appa keeps telling me they are so up to date. It is amazing how he kept abreast of technology and today's way of life. All his writings reflected 'today' as he sees it. It never felt to his ardent followers that he has become 'old' and his writing is not making sense for the present day. Even when he wrote about his 'old' age problems, we enjoyed his style of writing.

His books were an integral part of my childhood. Reading his stories and sharing the enjoyment has been the most integral part of my relation with dad. When there was nobody to play with, being the only child in the home, I used to pick Sujatha's book, read for nth time, reliving the story. It was like watching a great movie over and over.Knowing what will happen never lessened the enjoyment I get. The climax punching lines gave the same effect, even when I knew that this is going to come, and I waited for the line.

He was 73 and really ill. May his soul rest in peace. The contributions he has done to the world of Tamil will be alive for ever.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Filmfare Awards

When I read this Filmfare Awards report, I could not be happier and could not agree with it more.
I have been following Hindi films more regularly this year compared to previous 5 or 6 years. That is why I could immediately bring to mind each artist or movie mentioned in the article.

  • Best Director - Aamir Khan (that is a great recognition.well deserved).
  • Best Actor Critics Award - Darsheel (that cute boy deserves it!)
  • Shah Rukh - best actor for Chak De (and not any other funny movie of his like OSO)
  • Best lyrics - Maa - the most moving song with its touching lyrics I have heard recently.

I wanted to share my happiness after reading this article..

PS: When I sign into hotmail, I got this link. Cant access the same info elsewhere.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Theism and Trucks

Situation 1: I am parked on a red light in a left turning lane. There is one lane to my left where cars can go by facing me. Just then I see a big monster truck turning into this lane from the perpendicular road. The monster's head comes right in front of my face. I don't know what I can do to help the siutation. Should I move a little behind - what if it I hit the car behind me? I dare not move. I wonder how the hell this monster is going to make this turn and go past me into this side lane.

Situation 2: I am going 65 mph in 202. I suddenly see the shadow of this monter truck fall on my car. All I can do is keep going the way I am, following a perfect straight line. I try to fight all negative thoughts that come to my mind and focus straight. I pray for the monster's shadow to go past me - yes, the truck to overtake me.

It is in these situations that I trust completely in God. All debates about his existence are immaterial at this point. God, I know you are there and it is only you who can keep me safe from these monster trucks!

Monday, February 18, 2008

A peaceful lunch in solitude

The most important thing I learned from my present work life is that one should learn to enjoy solitude. And also that one should relax and enjoy whenever you get free time bearing in mind that not all days will be so.

Facts for the day:
1. I did not bring lunch from home
2. It was so warm outside, I knew I could walk to the Thai restaurant.
3. Whether or not someone comes with me, I am going to eat there.

After some futile attempts to get company to go out, (Rule #1: When I am free, people I want to go out with will never be free), I ended up walking over the bridge sidewalk. It was so pleasant outside. It was not at all cold, and I was comfortable walking without any of the winter accessories on me. I tried calling some friends who work close by, hoping to get someone to join me. No luck. Well, what to do, I said to myself and walked.

I hate to be the single person in a table in any restaurant. The couple of occasions I had to do that, I felt very conscious of the surroundings and was not able to enjoy the food as I would, if I had company. The noise from the tables around and their conversations made me feel all the more lonely. I have cursed my fate for having sat there without any one to talk to.

Walking to the Thai restaurant, I somehow, was not afraid of the upcoming half an hour. The reason could be that I have been there many times and my mind was set to eat what I like, not caring what others might think. As I opened the door and walked in, I was surprised to see I was the only customer there. The place gets jam-packed around 12, so I made it a point to go early. But it looks like I was too early.

Never mind. I gave my usual order. I was offered the table that faced the glass window (wall). I sat there all alone with the view to the busy street facing me. I have never felt so relaxed and peaceful in a long time. I watched the people walking on sidewalk - old ladies waiting for their lunch mates, cars with huge dogs hanging their heads outside, restaurants on the opposite side of the road and so on. The soup came - spicy, hot and tasty loaded with basil flavor. The Thai music was in the air. The crispy roll and Drunken noodles followed. Since I was the only customer for the whole time, I got attended promptly on every step.

I did not feel conscious at all - for there was no one else. My cell phone died, so I could not call anyone and talk. I enjoyed the solitude completely. The walk back to work was also nice in the breeze. Walking on the bridge, over the Schuykill river, I clasped my purse tightly to fight the vertigo feeling. Back in my office, I told to myself, this is the first time I have enjoyed a solitary lunch so much!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Valentine's Day Guilt

Valentine's day started with a load of guilt - my 6 year old son 'reminded' me right on time that we had totally forgotten about the 'little valentine gifts' we have to give his classmates. Oh God! I scolded him for not reminding earlier when we were spending 1.5 days of snow filled 'no-school' days! Both B and I were feeling guilty about sending him to school without the gifts for other kids.

I had to go to work on time today. The thought of going to Walmart and picking tiny valentine cards and goodies and making 21 pouches of goodies 8AM in the morning petrified me. There was no way I could do that. Guilt pangs engulfed me for not having prepared for this moment. Should have shopped on the weekend and packed things into pouches! Whoever thought of this as a task, I totally missed my son will have to suffer!

What if he is the only one to not take goodies in the whole class? I imagined the worst. In front of everyone, what if the teacher calls out 'OK, now is the time for Mr.Nikhil to present his bag of valentine goodies to his classmates'. ..and poor boy stands shy and embarrassed!

Who made these customs I dont know. I still wonder what is the value added to the kids' life because of this. Every kid gets a bunch of such goody bags which they bring home, dump on the table, frantically open this and that , and then totally forget about them. If you are smart, you would not spend too much money and time on those things, coz we all know how shortlived their excitement is. I don't think when I grew up there was any such custom. I feel good for my parents for not having to do such things.

P.S However, I managed to think up an idea of making some snack packs and MIL and B pulled it together. We did not want Nikhil to feel isolated by any chance, so the gifts were delivered to him on time at school by B. Dont want him to miss out on any fun the kids might be getting out of it.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Marugo Marugo

Some songs are etched in your memory. In most cases, they are from really stupid or masala movies. I always loved this song and have listened to it in my old cassette umpteen times.
It is called Marugo Marugo from the movie Vetri Vizha.Yesterday, I searched for it in youtube and was glad to watch it, like I used to watch it in SunTV.

I was surprised it could take me to the moods of the good old times. Kamal has amnesia in the movie and he gets married to this girl Sasikala. He cannot remember his past, but when he goes through the ceremonies in church, something rings a bell, literelly, in his mind. Traces of his Hindu wedding with Amala comes into his mind. While the friends and family dance, the bride is all excited, but she worriedly notices that the bridegroom is lost in his thoughts.

The part I love comes next. The friends drag Kamal to the dancing crew..Kamal goes in hesitantly..he does not know whether he knew dancing..coz of memory loss. He starts to attempt to dance..and he slowly eases into it...I absolutely adore the way Kamal acted this out!

Here is the youtube video, the quality is not too good, but if you grew up like me watching Kamal songs, you will enjoy it!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

The school bus chase

8.15AM in the car clock. It looked like we had enough time to get to the school bus stop before the bus reaches. We means myself and my six year old son Nikhil.We were wrong. I saw the bus leaving right when our car got closer to the stop. I told to myself, the time has come. The other day, I had figured out where the school bus stops after leaving our community. I determined to give that stop a try.

I followed the bus - thinking in mind, when the bus stops in the next stop in Phoenixville Pike, I will ask Nikhil to get out of the car on the sidewalk side and I will somehow attract the attention of the mom standing there to drop her children - so she can signal to the bus driver...see there is one boy trying to hop onto the bus!

There it is..I saw the bus slowing down..I am right behind the school bus..I stopped the car..I put the hazard lights on. I said, "Nikhil open the right side door and get out"..we were frantic..he was already into the thriller mood..ready to jump out..while he is trying to open the door, I was looking at the mom in the bus stop. She was busy getting her kids into the bus and did not even notice us. I was knocking on the windshield like a mad one saw me..I bet the school bus driver noticed us and even waited for 1 min for Nikhil to get out out the car..poor guy, he had no luck opening the car door. And we saw the bus started moving again....

Just then it dawned upon me, that door has child lock on - to prevent my second one from playing with it and getting into any trouble! I said to Nikhil - 'I know why Niks..that door has the lock on'... as I continued to follow the bus for two reasons - 1) I have no other choice, had to go straight 2) may be we can still make it at the next stop.

Yes...I saw the bus slowing down again..with the lights on..this time Nikhil got ready to hop into the front seat and get out of the front door..the bus stopped..I put the hazard lights on and stopped my car. We saw the kids in the stop hop onto the bus..Nikhil opened the front door on right side and was suspicious about this whole thing..should I get out or not..he hesitated..

I told him - Nikhil, get out and go, I will get you back if you cant make it into the bus..GO GO...
It looked like the bus knew we were behind..I could not tell for sure..but as I saw him walk to the bus door, I was only hoping everything works out fine - that they see him and let him in - that I dont get yelled or honked by the immediate car behind me...I could see part of him climbing on the bus and the bus left....

Oohh..sigh of relief..we made it...this bus chase I am sure got our adrenaline levels up...I am thinking Nikhil may have traces of this incident's memory even when he grows up.