Tuesday, December 26, 2006

The funniest class in JNTU (3/4?)

I was writing the other day about the back-bench days at JNTU, and I HAD to write about this one:) I don't remember if it was in my third year of engneering or not, so the question mark in the title;)

We had this new lecturer for one of the courses (actually I don't remember which) and he was replacing someone who had left or fallen ill or gotten pregnant or some such thing. On the first day of class he walks in with hid head held high and chest swollen;) A very rare sight for the eyes of the students. But they were not ones to behold this new sight, they wanted the familiar gait and so they started to wait for an opportunity to kill his confidence:D

This opportunity, we got to know, was not hard to come by, nor did we have to wait long for it. As soon as this guy walked in with his condescending air, he started telling us about how useless students these days were etc etc etc. And he wanted to get himself well acquainted with us, so he started with saying that all of us (yeah, the whole 50 in the class, I wonder why we had complete attendance that day, a very unusual sight) should introduce ourselves one-by-one giving our names and our aim (Yeah, most of us even the ones in the first bench didn't initially understand what he was saying, aim??). He re-explained what his intentions were and so we started the drill.

I won't go too much into what everyone said except for that whoever said "GRE" got abused for being non-patriotic, including me, and whoever said "GATE" were praised to the skies, so much so that after the first few GATEs the GREs also started turning to GATEs just to avoid the long interjecting lectures in between every consecutive 5 GREs;)

Then the turn came of our "Famous Six". Yeah we had our own. Rajiv, Trilok, Vijay Mohan, Vishwanatha Raju, Kiran and Sriram. I think VM and VR were missing, I don't quite remember and Sriram was sitting with me, so the rest of the gang, Trilok, Rajiv and Kiran were next in line.

When their turn came, all the three of them stood up together (Yeah you had to STAND UP and answer:D). This confused this poor guy (lets call him PG from now on, I feel so much pity on him) so much, that he faltered and said, no only one-at-a-time. To which our heroes answered "No sire, we all have the same aim". Then this PG got even more confused. Let me summarize the ensuing dialogue in play form.

Prelogue: Rajiv was (actually he always did) wearing a cap.

PG: (Very very confused at this point) Even if you have same aim, you should answer one-at-a-time.
Rajiv: No Sir, we are all together, we go together.
PG: (Still confused) Ok what is your aim.
All in chorus: TO FORM A ROCK BAND SIRE!!!!!!!
PG: (Totally aghast at such an aim) What!! Why a rock band?
All: Because we like rock music sir.
PG: So what will you do for a living (assuming their rock band will be an utter failure)
Rajiv: We have our parents no sire!
PG: (again aghast) What? You have no shame?
Rajiv: No sir!
PG: Then why are you studying engineering, wasting your parents money?????????!?!?!?!
Rajiv: They know that we want to form a rock band sir
PG: (Now totally shocked beyond imagination) You should remove your cap, then you will be of some use, you will become someone in life.
Rajiv: No sir, I won't remove my cap.
PG: (Doesn't know what to do now) Ok, you will all burn in hell;)

That last part was an exaggeration, but his expression was enough to convey that. In some other class, when we were all having our Hindu crossword and Juke Box session in the back bench during one of his classes, this was some other dialogue:

Prelogue: Rajiv had written a rock song which went "I cry for you, cry for you, cry for you" and I was commenting on it, when PG started speaking:

Rajiv: Sir we cannot hear sir!
PG: If you take off your cap you will hear ( ;) )
Rajiv: What is the connection between cap and hearing sir, I don't know.
PG: If you take off your cap you will know.
Rajiv: (In mutters to me) Pichaasupatriki velli choopinchukovali. (Should go and get checked into a mental hospital)
PG: You should go to the mental hospital (Uh, Oh he seemed to have heard).
Rajiv: I don't know how to go there sir.
PG: I will take you.
Rajiv: Ohh you already went there sir? How is it? ;)
PG: You will go to hell! You will defintely go to hell. (Ahh, he finally said it).

So that was it. We troubled this guy sooooo much, that after 3-4 classes, he stopped coming to the lectures altogether, giving some excuse or such. Which was good riddance to bad rubbish anyway, he was never a good lecturer, didn't know his subject matter, we could teach him any day, and he was also utterly full of himself.

I later discovered, he was my aunt's husbands brother :( They were asking me one day if I knew him. And that he started teaching at JNTU recently. I was like, uh, well, ah, yeah I think I know him and have seen him sometimes;)

What else can we say:D

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Roasted Onions and Green Beans..or Beans kura;)

This recipe had me in splits. I came across this when I was reading somewhere about the nutritional benefits of Onions ;) Another reminder to the world about the evolved Indian cuisine?:D


Roasted Red Onions and Green Beans

Makes 8 servings

5 medium red onions
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp kosher salt
1/4-1/2 tsp black pepper
2 lbs green beans or French green beans, trimmed

1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
2. Peel the onions and cut into lengthwise quarters. Toss with the vinegar and olive oil. Add the salt and pepper.
3. Place on a baking sheet lightly oiled with cooking spray. Roast the onions until golden brown, about 20 minutes, then sprinkle lightly with water and continue roasting another 20 minutes.
4. Rinse the green beans in cold water, then drain. Place in a covered dish and microwave until tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Drain.
5. Combine the roasted onions with the steamed green beans. Adjust seasoning, if needed, and serve.

Per serving: 92 calories, 3.5 grams fat, 0.5 grams saturated fat, 14 grams carbohydrate, 2 grams protein, 3 grams fiber, 305 milligrams sodium. Calories from fat: 31.5% or 34%.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Another interesting thought..

I sometimes wonder what I would do if I met someone exactly like me:D In fact I wonder a lot of times:) Whenever I don't like something that anyone does, or when I meet someone who is very very different from me, I cannot but wonder what would happen when I finally meet someone who is just like me. No, I haven't seen another person with my exact same habits/manners/ambition etc. *ALL* matching perfectly in my 26 years of existence:D I wonder, would I really like that person because she would have everything in her that I like (yes it has to be a her, for her to be like me right?) in me, or would I absolutely hate her because then I would begin to see what I don't like in me:D We all are blind to things which would annoy us in others that we possess ourselves, that is for sure, else the world would be Utopic:)

Maybe when I meet someone like me, I will begin to see all the stuff in me that I would hate if I saw in someone else;) And maybe I would become a better person...

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

My Halloween Costumes

I need to go home and take pictures in my camera, these are the ones I took at work:);)

Thursday, October 19, 2006


AND while I am at the subject of DIWALI, I think I will dedicate one post to PHENI. Indeed, I have to, how can a Diwali pass by without it;)

I don't know since when I was in love with it, but I think it was from the time my Mom used to give me Pheni every evening when I was in UKG I think. I should say "since" I was in UKG as I have been eating it ever since. An excerpt from a news article about Hyderabad:

"Pheni is a sweet vermicelli delicacy mainly served during the festival season such as Diwali, Ramadan, and Double Ka Mitha. Hyderabad House, Madinah Hotel, Yusufain Pista House, Café Bahar, 555 Hotel, Paradise, and Bawarchi are some of the local restaurants, which serve Hyderabadi specialties."

Now, since when is Double ka Meetha a festival by itself, I know not;) The guy who wrote that seems to have gotten confused;) But I wanted to be true to that excerpt, so not changing it;)

Hyderabad, the one place I love and Pheni so typical of Hyd. I long to eat Pheni, I haven't had it once in the five years I have been here:( I saw it once in an Indian store at Madison but didn't buy it then, it was too expensive in the eyes of an F1 student:D

So last year, I decided to make Diwali at least somewhat special by eating Pheni, now that I can afford it:D My parents were also here and so was Subhash, so I thought, all the more reason for me to buy it. Diwali is my faaaaaaaaaaaavvvvvvvvorite festival, all the food and the firecrackers:D:D Of course, the new clothes. Ah! How I love festivals, but Diwali is thus far my favorite:D After getting here, even wishing people on Diwali used to seem meaningless, in that we hardly did anything on that day, just get to work and go back home. So I decided to introduce Pheni into the routine. But I was too late last year, I went Pheni hunting only on Diwali evening, and all stores had run out of it. I was so sad that evening, I can't even describe it:(

So this year, I decided I HAVE to make the race with Pheni;)

Subhash and I went to Rajjot for Chat two weeks ago on Friday evening, and I saw Pheni there:D I was so happy, Subhash asked me to buy some right away but I thought, nah, its too early, we can buy it closer to Diwali (not as close as last year though;) ). So this Monday I went to Rajjot directly from work and guess what:((:(( They just ran out of it on Sunday, waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa:(( waaaaaaaaaaaaaaa:(( (Should listen to Subhash, he is far wiser than I am ;) ) I was so disappointed, I wasn't even in the mood to go to the 3-4 nearby stores to check if they had some. I just came right back home. And was sulking..but then today I decided to hunt it down. After all if an Indian store in Mad town could have some, come on, California and especially Sunnyvale, could definitely do better. So I decided to start my hunt during lunch break. I started by asking Google

"Pheni, California" --No use
"Pheni, Diwali" --No use
"Pheni, Sunnyvale" -Nope, sorry! (Now I am getting desperate)
"Where can I find Pheni in Sunnyvale" -Google courteously gave me yet more trash;)

Then I decided this was not the way to go, I decided to call the one dozen Indian stores around my place. I asked Google (maata!) what the number of India Cash and Carry was. I got it and called them.

I asked "Do you have Pheni?".
The lady that answered said "Pheni? (now I am getting flustered, so do I have to explain yet again, what Pheni is?), Yes (Yay!!!!!!!!!)".

Then I wanted to be more certain, I could not believe I hit jackpot on the first try, I still remember last year of the one dozen stores I hunted for Pheni, I had to explain to at least 4-5 of them about what Pheni was in the first place;)

So I asked " Do you have a lot on stock?" Can you believe me, how desperate tsk tsk tsk, I hate to think what that lady thought of me;)
She said " Yes".
I said "Ok thanks a lot;)" and then I changed my Yahoo status to:

"I hope that Pheni lasts till I can go buy some [-o<" --The last part is the "Praying" emoticon on Yahoo!;)

So much for Pheni. I am thinking, should I just go buy it now during lunch without waiting for the evening?:D But I am being a little wiser than that. So till evening....

I hope it lasts!!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Diwali Mela..

I thought, while I am at the subject of Indians around the world, let me pen this as well.

When it comes to Indians living in the US, no place beats California:D When I moved here a year-and-a-half back from Wisconsin (huh! Dairy State!) I remember how shocked I was to see the sheer number of Indians. Haven't forgotten the time either when Subhash just came to the US, on his first evening here I took him around and he was shocked to see the percentage of non-desis here, he was like I can see more non-desis in Bangalore than here:))

Its been almost two years now, and I was beginning to think I have seen it all. The desis working behind counters at airport, working at Macy's, all the second, third and fourth gen desis etc etc. It was slowly stopping to surprise me when something entirely unseen before hit me! Subhash and I were driving by Cupertino to get my music books for the piano class. On Steven's Creek Blvd, we saw this huge DIWALI banner across the street just like the ones you find in Hyd advertising the MLAs we must vote for;) "Veerike mee Votu" types. We were so shocked to see it. DIWALI banners on streets, ok what is next?:)) Astonish me Bay Area!:D

I still can't get over that one, the big letters spelling DIWALI and that banner bang in the middle of the upscale Stevens Creek Blvd, made our day!;)

A Desi cook @ every nook!

I know I am putting off writing about my funniest class @ JNTU for sometime now, but I have to get in the mood for it and relive it to be able to do justice to the post, so till then here goes..

My cousin Arjun works for Google (wow?!) @ Hyderabad and he was recently packed off to Ireland on business. He chatted with me a few times and we spoke on the phone a few times, and all of those times, he was worrying and crying (literally;) ) about the pathetic gourmet status he was in:)) He hardly could find edible food, he being a strict veggie. I remember when he was in the US, he used to make it a point to ask in McDonalds about what oil they were frying their fries in ;) Duh! I told him to give up trying to think of what goes in the food behind your back, you can hardly eat anything if you start thinking of it, what hands are they cooking with, etc etc;)

So anyway, he asked for veggie food apparently and got Shrimp!;) I was feeling so much pity for him I used to first ask him about his food affairs whenever we opened a conversation:)) One day he left me a message in Orkut saying he found an Indo-Pak restaurant called, guess what..."Khan's Balti". I was so happy for him. I was thinking, ok one more prospective candidate for having absolutely no Indian place bites the dust;)

Then he came back this week and told me he discovered a whole Indian Street in Dublin and his tummy troubles were over:D Wow! What next? :))

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

The best compliment on my cooking ..thus far..

Before I start this post I must write a note to Subhash that everytime he eats something that I make and says "Too much undi!!!" I have a flutter:) I get really happy and feel it was all worth doing:) He is always appreciative of what I make:) Which makes my life in the kitchen a very pleasurable one indeed!

Valli, a common friend of ours from Engineering has his mother over in the US on a short trip:) His wife's mom was here too, so we invited them for lunch. I was not even speculating on what to make;) Mummy had recently sent Maagai and it had been a long long time since I had Maagai pappu, so that was decided. Pulihara is my specialty, or so Subhash says, so that was also decided. Then I had to make my favorite (proprietary recipe!) Gutti Vankaya, as a) It had been a long time since I made it myself b)It was yet another thing that Subhash always likes, even though he doesn't particularly eat Vankaya. Actually that is a common laugh among friends that I always make Vankaya when I call someone over for lunch;)

So anyway I started around 10.45 and had everything ready by 12:) Rathi had recently given me a buffet style serving stand which holds two dishes so I even had them arranged nicely in that;) For the first time I was presenting something nicely:D:D

When everyone came over we started lunch and they were wondering what the dal was, and when I told them it was Maagai pappu, Valli's mom said, ohh yes, we used to make that, I almost forgot that something like that existed:) You reminded me of it :D (I was very happy by now;) ). Then they all started eating and she said that Maagai pappu was very good (Last year Subhash's brother had it and loved it too;), well, its in the Maagai, is what I say:D ). Everyone had the Gutti Vankaya and said it was amazing:) I feel particularly proud/happy when my Gutti Vankaya is praised as it was a recipe I "discovered" and learnt from a lot of trial and error all on my own:) Not borrowed from anywhere except for my instinctive taste buds:):D:D

Valli's mom had the Gutti Vankaya too and she said it was just like the one her mom used to make. Everyone had the pappu and loved it:) Then Valli's mom said, "Ivaalla ma amma vanta ni gurthu chesavu, ma amma vanta ilage untundi" and that was it, I was so upbeat, I can hardly express it:) She said that to Shaila's mom too, "Ivaalla ma amma vanta tinnaru ani anukondi, ilage chesedi ma amma". And she told Valli a little while later "Ammamma chesina dani lagane undi". That was it, I was overjoyed. Shaila had a lunch all over again after finishing her first round, and Valli also had a hearty lunch. Shaila's mom also loved the Dabbakaya which Mummy sent and all in all it was happy lunch. We then treated everyone to Dibs, our standard dessert menu:D

If I thought that was the best compliment ever, then I was wrong:) After they left saying they were really heavy (and I know they were not kidding, we almost fell short on rice), Subhash didn't stop saying how good the food was that whole evening:) Everytime he looked at me he would go, lunch was tooooo much!;)

I was one happy and content soul:):) Loved the fact that everyone liked what I made so much:) Subhash always said my cooking was very traditional, but I never imagined it would remind someone of a cooking style two generations ago!:D


Friday, September 22, 2006

I got this anonymous comment:)

Sharat said...

I know you from JNTU. I arrived here via Orkut.

The public image you portrayed in JNTU is that of a gold medalist, over achiever, all-rounder? and more notably "macho-woman".

I am simply amazed to see the feminine side of you. (cooking & vinayaka chaviti.). And so will many others...

Is it "transformation" or is it bad judgement on our part.

One things for certain...never judge nobody...

Now I can remove the '?' and say you are truly an all-rounder. Congratulations for your marriage.


Yes I guess you can;) Why would I deny the pleasure of being called an all-rounder;)

I did back-benching in JNTU and Francis but that was just one side of me:) Its an interesting thing though. I always did have excellent track record and acads, but also was most notorious for creating/causing trouble:D:D And the only reason my profs at JNTU put up with me was that in the end I was their pet. Yeah, I am also good at pataofying;) Ok, enough of this sick self-dabba:D

I didn't know who posted this, I mean what email etc, so I am having to reply with a blog. If you are from JNTU;) you will love my next post, keep watching this space:):D

Meetings and meetings and more meetings;)

These days, especially the last week, I seem to spend most of my time in meetings. I guess it had to happen to me sooner or later, the more years you work, the more deeper you get into the job and the more meetings you have to attend!;)

What is interesting though, is what I do in these meetings. At least I am not that higher up in my org for me to be "conducting" meetings. So in all the meetings I attend, someone else is talking;) And there are some where I have to play a significant part by talking too, but then I am not the one conducting the meeting. So what do I do with my time?

I think this got stuck since JNTU or in some cases even Francis'. While the lecturer talks away, you simply do your own thing. I was a front-bench person most classes in Francis' but back-bencher for some, especially English;) The trick is to make the person who is speaking, feel that you are listening to him/her;) And I think I mastered this art in Francis'. When Sr Jane Mary (she used to teach English Grammar;) ) asked any simple questions, I would just raise my hand and answer. While no one else did. The key is partial listening. Devote complete attention to the speaker at least for a whole minute, you automatically know what the conversation is all about. Then go back to doing your own thing:P So I would answer and answer till she got tired and then she would say herself that anyone but Divya must answer;) And that translates to? You guessed right! No more need for even those 1 minutes;) you've done your thing for today you can enjoy the bliss for the rest of the class:D I took it with me to JNTU, and we even improvised on this. I always was a back-bench person here and I would sit in the back bench withmy buddies, and we would solve HINDU crosswords, play games, draw cartoons and even have a live Juke Box in the back bench! Boy those classes in ECE were THE days. The way we terrorized lecturers;) Too much fun, hazardous even:))

This is precisely what I am doing in my meetings, just getting my work done while I sit at the farthest possible end of the table with my laptop making-believe that I am listening;)

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Contentment vs Ecstasy?

The reason I am writing this post 5 minutes away from yet another meeting at work, is that I have been putting it off for too long;)

This thought occurred to me when I was cooking (when else;) ) last week. If someone was to give me a choice between [everyday, a little happiness] and [dull dreary days at a stretch with ecstacy all at once to compensate for all those days], which one would I choose?:)

Strangely enough I found it difficult to answer this:) After loads of careful contemplating (ain't I such a contemplater:D) I decided that everyday little happiness would be it for me:) Even if I have to forego the experience of that feeling of ecstacy forever:D I have had quite a few of those past couple years:D:D

My audience is getting wider they seem to say:) But this one is a good thought, give it a try! Till the next post.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Swimming!!..for a cause

This past Saturday (Sept 9) I was swimming for the Cisco team in the C.A.R Aquathon. It was my first time doing anything for a cause so I was excited:) Also it was a team of my colleagues from work which was another exciting aspect, we rarely meet on a Saturday:D

The Aquathon was at the San Jose State University Aquatic Stadium. I was told that it was going to be a relay across the width of the pool. Immediately I drew a "thinker" around my head (yeah the one that looks like a cloud, can be seen in most TINKLE books) and imagined our apartment complex swimming pool and was like, ha! that is child's play.

Only when I went there did I realize that this width was 2.5 times the length of our swimming pool in the complex;) We got ready warmed up etc. One of my colleagues, Enrique (he is the kid of the team, gets his legs pulled regularly;) ) warmed up by incrementally putting 5 inches of his body into the water;) So much so, it took him a half an hour to get completely down:)) We started the relay and my first lap wasn't so bad. The second one wasn' t b a d either. T h e th i r d o n e almos t d r e w o u t the breath from my lungs;)

The next few ones I tried to alternate between back and front strokes:) But over all even if it was tiring we were getting gaps in between our laps as it was a relay so it was ok. And at the end of the day we had fun:) Here are some pictures:)

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Destination South Lake Tahoe!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This year for Labor Day, we decided to go to a place where we could jet ski, as I always wanted
to do it. I am not sure when we decided to do a second round of Lake Tahoe (last year we did it with my parents as they wanted to see snow) but somehow it got set in my mind:) Subhash wanted to go to a SPA resort so we could just relax and get pampered:P And I wanted to jet ski. So when Subhash asked me to decide and book something by end of Monday, I thought, why not go to a SPA resort where we can also jet ski;)

So I started looking around for ones in Lake Tahoe. My colleague at work told me that Tahoe was the best place to jet ski around here because its just so beautiful this time of year with all the glorious mountains etc. And boy! was he right:D

So I started looking at Spa Resorts in Tahoe, thankfully there wasn't too many of them, else I would have had to spend more time on research:) I narrowed it down to one place which seemed like a good fit as it ws right next to the place where I was planning to rent jet skis. Tahoe LakeShore Lodge and Spa. It seemed like a good place even though the website l little outdated;) I decided to call them and check it out.

I called them and asked for a room but they told me that all they had available was a one-bedroom condo on the first floor. Seemed like a good idea to take it except that it was way expensive for my budget;) But they told me it was facing the beach with the patio opening onto the beach (they had their own private beach) and so talked me into taking it:D I didn't know which days I should book for and then Subhash and I decided that we would just leave on Friday no matter how late it got so we could have all of Saturday to do the things we planned. Leaving on Saturday would defnitely mean half a day gone in traveling.

Friday, Sept 01, 2006
Left around 8.30 pm from San Jose, and arrived around 1am Sat morning;) It took about 4.5 hours to drive. We rented a car, the Pontiac Grand Prix, and so I was not that used to it, my legs were kind of complaining by the time we finally reached. We had some difficulty finding the place as it was completely hidden from the main strees (Lake Tahoe Blvd) and with some nondescript board which we completely missed on our first round;) Anyway we called to ask for directions and the guy was more interested in clarifying if we had a reservation as he could not find it! He said I had a reservation for the next night and the night after that but not for this night and next night, I was like whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat:O I said I asked for Friday night and Sat night and that is what I was told I had and he said no, you have one for Saturday night and Sunday night, I was like oh no! What a mess, he asked us to come over in any case and that he would see what he could do. He said he could put us up in some room for the night and then give us the room we booked for Sat night. I was so not happy with it but we went in anyway.

Place was looking ok, very dark anyhow, we went to the front desk and he said he somehow worked it all out and that he could give us the room we asked for. Yipppeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! For a moment there I was so disappointed, I was relieved. We checked in to our Condo and we found it just like I thought about it, very good and so much on the beach;) We had the avakaya annam and tomato chutney annam and perugannam that I packed and took and called it a day, after all we had a lot to do tomorrow!!!!

Saturday, Sept 2, 2006.

Woke up quite early:) For a Saturday especially considering we slept only at 2;) Maybe 8, then we were trying to plan our day. I wanted to go out and have breakfast. We had our jet skiing and parasailing appointments at 2pm. So we wanted to go and enquire at the SPA about when they could accommodate. So we went out to have breakfast at Heidi's which was right beside our lodge. After a HEAVY breakfast we came back to the lodge and checked out the SPA. I was wondering what time it was expecting it to be at least 10, but found that it wasn't even 9 yet:) The day seemed to be going REAL slow which was good, I had a lot of things planned and lined up for the day:D

The SPA said they could accommodate us at 4. I was keen on going to the SPA only AFTER all the water fun, didn't want to get treated in a SPA and go get tanned out in the water after that;) So, we went back to the condo and were trying to figure what to do till 2 when the SPA called back and said they can't do a 4 and can do a 2 that afternoon or a 4 next evening. We were planning on leaving at 2 on Sunday so we decided to call the parasailing folks and ask then if they could accommodate us at an earlier time. I called and they said they could take us in at 11. So we got ready and went over by 10.45:)

Parasailing!!!! Yay!!!!!!! We were put on a boat with one other Indian couple. We signed our disclaimers (yeah, saying that we know we might die doing this but we want to do it;) ) and then set off. The guy asked us who would like to go first and I offered the other couple to go before us as they were there ahead of us:) We also offered to take their pictures while they were flying:) They set off and it seemed like fun:) We were going to go 600ft and this couple was going 1200 ft. When we saw them we decided to change to 1200 ft (50 bucks more expensive;) ). Finally our turn came and we buckled up pure laziness to go out and buy one;) )to the rope:D The started flying away:) It was fun to see all the glorious mountains surrounding Tahoe from the air like a bird:) So this is what birds feel like! We kept going higher and higher:) The other Indian couple offered to take pictures for us on our mobile (yes, we still dont have a camera, and also on their camera. This pic was form their camera:) Everytime the guy released the rope a little bit, it would creak and freak me out, I was scared I might fall into the water:P After about 20 mins, he slowly started bringing us down. He asked us before he let us go if we wanted our feet in the water while landing, we said yes:) So he got us down all the way into the water, one splash and then up again and towards the boat. It didn't last more than a second but was fun:D All in all a very new experience:) We decided to do things we never did before on this trip and that was number one:) Came back in the boat and asked for jet skiis.

After contemplating if we should go in different jet skiis or on the same one, we decided to stick with the same one. We took a Seadoo as it was more stable than a Yamaha and went faster apparently:) Subhash drove for the first 10 mins and then I took over after that it the middle of the water, scared that we might both topple into the water;) After that we went wave crashing with water splashing all over us. It was fun:) But if we would have taken the one hour thing, we would have gotten bored. Maybe we should race next time:):) We then came backto the beach (this was right next to our private beach at the lodge, all the while we were flying, we could see our little condo). This was we-never-did-this-earlier number two:D

We then went back, had just enough time for a light shower, We then went to the SPA. At the jet ski station Subhash accidentally picked up someone else's keys so he had to go give them back (they had already called when we just began to realize:P) and so we were a bit delayed but we were fine:) We went to the Elements SPA attached to the lodge. We both liked it:) So we decided to come back the next day for more! Me for a facial and Subhash for a leg massage:):):D We-never-did-this-earlier number three:D

We then went back to the condo. Were trying to decide what to do for lunch. When I was packing for Tahoe, I also packed some cookable stuff along with Subhash's clothes and mine:) So we decided to make use of my effort in packing and make "Dondakaya vepudu". I had carefully packed everything from dondakayas, onions, salt, chili powder, oil, ladles etc etc We made it together and then had a good lunch with Avakaya, dondakaya vepudu and majjiga:)

Good lunch, Subhash loved it:) And I was glad for that:D:D:D Then we decided to go to the beach and make a sand castle:) My first one ever! No picture of it sadly:) Then we played Frisbee for a bit after lazing on the beach for an hour:) After Frisbee, we came in, showered and got dressed and went to the nearby casinos. We wanted to go to Harrah's but no parking! So we went to Montbleu, which as far as I remember was Caesars earlier when we went last December:) Now the website says not found, which confirms my suspicion;) We gambled for a bit, only on the slot machines;) Then decided to have something in the casino itself. So we went to Del Sol and had some crappy menu. We asked him to make us something vegetarian and he said all they could do was a vegetatian Quesadilla and the Enchiladas so we said go for it. We had it, just were not hungry after the heavy afternoon meal;) Came home around 12 and called it a day:)

September 3, 2006.

We were to head back today but not until another session at the SPA. We woke late, went to the SPA around 9.30, our appointment was at 9.45:) We came back to the Condo only around 11.15. We were supposed to check out by 12 (I had asked for a late checkout) and so we got ready, packed and left by 12. We were not hungry but decided to have something, and went to the IHOP just down the street. We finished eating around 1 and then headed to Harrah's. Unlike last night, we got an amazing spot to park today, right outside the lobby:) Went in and gambled for a bit, lost all the cash we had, just on slot machines again. We wanted to stay a little longer so we had to get some cash;) The ATM fees was 6 bucks inside the casino so we decided to save a little by walking to the Wells Fargo ATM down Tahoe Blvd;) So we could gamble some more on the slot machine with that 6 bucks we save;) It was a long and good walk in the sun, on our way back though, we went into the first casnio on our way instead of walking back all the way to Harrah's. It was Harvey's, but I just discovered all the money we lost here went to Harrah's as well;) They both seem to be offsprings of the same parent;) My I should go into Casino business:D Here I wanted to graduate from slot machines into something where we could sit at the table:) So we played Roulette, and won about nett 60 bucks;) Then we went back to our slot machines as we had an older ticket for 7.50 and suddenly Subhash hit a jackpot and we won 40 bucks;) All in all we were at a profit of a 100 bucks;) We decided to keep away our lucky money and gamble another 20 which we lost;) Then we walked back to Harrah's I really liked one machine there, so we went there and further lost money, putting us at a nett loss of 85 bucks;) So we decided enough of this losing and started to walk back toward the parking. Bought some stuff at Starbucks (of course no matter who else you pay up to, you always have to pay up to Starbucks;) ) and then headed back. Had a pretty good journey back and came home around 9:) Cooked and ate and slept:)

Subhash had to leave the next day so we woke up and dutifully did laundry etc and then I dropped him off at the airport in the afternoon:)

All in all an amazing trip:) Three things we did that we never did before:) Yay!!!!!!

Vinayaka Chavithi, 2006

This year for Vinayaka Chavithi, I decided to be inspired:D I took inspiration from Kaumudi, who has been making her own idols for the last three years, four including this one:) Here are some pictures of my idol:)

Here is Subhash just before the Puja looking absolutely cute:D

And here is our setup after the puja:)

And here is our prasadam:D Yumm!!!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Digressing to Telugu

Idi Telugu Chadavatam vachina vaallake;)

Telugu patalu - avi patala boothula?

Ee madhyalo vache Telugu paatalu vini vini naku maha virakthi kaligi nenu vinatam manesanu. Yendukante yemi cheppagalamu, machukki konni udaharanalu:

1) Hariharan oka pata padadu "Anand" lo - Danilo oka vakyam ilaguntundi:

Anandamanandamanandamateti manasu kadaaaa" ani. Telugu vachi, Telugu nache yevaraina ee pata vinangane chiraku chendutharu, adi [kada] kadu kada nayana, [kadha/katha]. Idi aravam kadu, Telugu, chakkani bhasha, danini pattukuni ila narikesthe nyayama?

2) Ee madhyalo pade janalevariki Telugu lo unna chinna andamaina tedalu teleevu. Sumangali ane oka goppa gayaki undi lendi, bhasha ni pattukuni istamochinattu melikalu tippi nasanam chesthundi. Telugu lo rendu rakaala sabdalu unatyi [cha] ki inka [ja] ki, ee teda teleeni vaallu, na uddesam lo asalu Telugu vaallamu ani cheppukotaniki arhulu karu. [Cha]kkani bhasha ni mukkalu [che]kkalu chestharu. Konni padaalu ikkada rasanu, ee tedalu chala mandi gurthincharu.

Idi oka [cha] Idi inko [cha]

Cheepuru <->Chandamama
Cheekati <->Chanka (;) )
Chempa <->Chakkili gili
Charu <->Choopu
Chiraku <->Chukka

Idi oka [ja] Idi inko [ja]
Jada <->Jaabili
Janma <->Jonna
Jeevitham <->Junnu
Jiguru <->Jaredu banda
Jalapatham <->Jhallu

3) Angleya padalu istamochinattu patalalo vadesi adi inthaki Telugu pataa kada ani oka prasna veyalsi vachettatu untayi. Kushi lo oka pata mottam Hindi lo untundi, adi Telugu cinemalo deniki, Hindi vaallaki ammuthe manchi hit authundi kada?;)

4) Vachi ranattu nikki neeligi paatalu padatharu Telugu kani vaallu. Mana Telugu vaallatho padinchachu kada? Ledu, adi oka Hindi vaadiko Malayalam vadiko ichi padistharu, vaallaki vachina ttheevi lo vaallu padestharu adi vinaleka naku chevi potu vasthundi.

Ila Telugu patalani padu chesi desa bhashalalo lessa anipinchukunna bhasha ni vinataniki nasaga undetattu tayaru chesthunnaru. Yevrena ee mora vini koddiga vatini bagu cheitaniki prayathnisthe ee blog modalettinanduku oka sardhakatha anukuntanu!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

My first try at Mehndi;)

It is "Ashadha Masam" and it is customary for us to apply "Gorintaku" during this month. So on the wise advise of Kaumudi, I went to the store and got a cone. It was my first time at attempting anything with a mehndi cone and the amateur came up with the following;)

I did most of the right hand myself, with the exception of a few expert designs from Subhash on the back of my hand (the butterflies and the circles near the peacock;) ). The whole of my left hand was his piece of art:)

The peacock looks like its draped in a shawl but what the heck! Its my own design;)

Thursday, July 13, 2006

India's 7/11 - Admirable bounce-back

I wanted to write this blog about the Mumbai tragedy. But I don't want to elaborate on what the media has already covered so much, the unnecessary death and destruction. I totally feel that war and terrorism are such a waste of human life, but I won't go into my sentiments on that issue, that is not what this blog is about.

We were following the coverage in CNN-IBN all through. Last night I was very happy and totally impressed when they flashed pictures of Mumbai post the tragedy. Mumbai is so cool! I am saying this even though I didn't particularly go crazy after the city when I went there, as so many people seem to do. But today I have to say, Mumbai is really cool. Not for the Bollywood glitz, not for the commercial hubbub, not for anything but the sheer resilience of its populous. Less than 24 hours, in some cases even 12 hrs, after the serial bomb blasts on Western Railway, the trains were all back up and running and the only thing that beats that is the fact that people were traveling on them!! I saw some of those trains; they were jampacked!! I was really impressed. We saw footage about how people were getting to work using the very trains that had exploded the previous evening. Some HAD to do it without another option to fall back on, and some because they simply refused to be terrorized. Either way, I felt really happy that life seemed very much normal, and what better blow to anyone trying to disrupt peace and cause terror among the city!!!

I should add that I feel really sad for all those people who are still searching for their missing relatives.

But this incident has been a cause for inspiration for me more than anything. To get up and go no matter how much you are trodden on:) And to do it in style!

I usually don't like cliches, but for this one:

Hats off to Mumbai!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

July 4, 2006 - What a "gourmet" weekend!

June 30- July 4, 2006.

In what was the most event-filled long weekend I have had in the US, we ate and ate and just seemed like we were eating all the time;)

Subhash's friend from IIM-C,Yso, was in the US on a project. He is based out of Bangalore. He was coming over for the 4 of July weekend so we decided to chill it out in CA and the Bay Area. Another friend of theirs, Shroff (Sharat) also lives around here in San Mateo and he is an SFO veteran, so we left it to him to plan the trip.

We had July 3 off as a bridging holiday as per Cisco's traditions so I was really happy though Subhash, Shroff and his wife Prashee had to work on that day. Yeah, right, work!

Yso (of course that is a nick name) landed late on Friday night (June 30). We picked him up from the San Jose airport and he had dinner and we talked for sometime and called it a day.

On July 1, our culinary experience started. I made Pongal at home which we had for a late breakfast/early lunch, finished watching a "not very entertaining" England vs Portugal match and packed our bags and left for Shroff's place in San Mateo where we were going to spend the night. We reached pretty late but just in time for the Brazil vs France match. We thought the one in the morning was boring! We sat through with the match then had some amazing Pulao that Prashee made. It was too good. Of course according to Shroff the Pulao was so good because of his tomato filled exquisite raitha in which he contributed his master culinary skills by expertly mixing the ingredients that Prashee had cut and given him;)

After that amazing lunch we had some really nice saunf and gulkand, yes they are worth mentioning here as well;) Then around 4.30 we headed out for San Franciso with the expert guide Shroff at the wheel. I have to mention here that Yso was totally bowled over by the talking GPS in the Acura. We headed straight for Golden Gate as we usually do when I am tour guide, albeit through some happening places in San Francisco (of which I have no clue so I just drive along 101;) ). We had some tough time with the Vista point parking eventually found parking, walked half way through the bridge till the wind overwhelmed us and we walked back. Then we headed out for downtown San Francisco.

We HAD to go have Tiramisu and buy Sacripantina from the only two places that could make them so excellently in SFO. First headed to the "Steps of Rome" and loaded ourselves with that "ohh! so melting" Tiramisu. Prashee went and bought a box of Sacripantina cake from Stella Pastry Cafe.

This is another amazing cake they discovered and introduced us to last year. So light and heavenly! We decided to save some place for what was coming and so stashed the Sacripantina for later. We then headed for the shopper's paradise in SFO, Union Square. Subhash loves this place just for the "retail" paradise it is. We headed up to Cheesecake Factory on top of Macy's as usual crowded and overflowing. We bought THE Godiva Chocolate Cheesecake, chocolate lovers dream;) We went down to the square sat down at a bench and finished both those sinful slices. At this point I had it for the day. Any more mention of sweet or even food my body was revolting and I was feeling nauseous;) All I could think of was Tabasco and Fiery Habanero by Doritos! I thought I might even just dream of those if I didn't have some spice before I slept;) Then we went driving to try to get down Lombard street, the crookedest street in the world. We tried to get around all those one-ways they had made just to streamline the rush on that day. We had a good time looking at all the flowers along Lombard and turning back and having our final glance.

Then we decided to drive back along the ocean. We took the oceanside drive and on our way stopped at the Monet museum. Shroff also enlightened us that Sharon Stone and Robin Williams had their homes among some of those lovely ones we had seen.

We were back home after the all-out eating at around 8. Then we started playing Taboo, one addictive game it turned out;) We were at it till almost 12 or 1.

In the meanwhile the rest of the team had Maggi, I was still dreaming of Tabasco and was so full of the Godiva that I could not think of food anymore. So I skipped that, what a loss, I shall feel it for a long time;)

We decided to open the Sacripantina the next day, I will be ready for anything after a 5-6 hr sleep!

The next morning we woke late had again some amazing Vermicelli and Poha, kudos to Prashee's cooking!!!!!! Of course, Shroff too:P Also we had some real nice Strawberry smoothie which Prashee made, boy! she is a good cook:) So much good food, my system was elated and happy!

The plan for the day was Napa. We set out 12.30ish and took Taboo with us in the car. Played Taboo on the way and reached Napa around 2. We went to the visitors center as this was probably one of those rare places Shroff didn't have geographical expertise in. I want to describe the wine land and the beautiful countryside etc etc but I need to really rush to the lunch part which was 4 hrs away yet;) So I will just give a brief on where we went etc. We decided to go to Rutherford Hill winery and take a tasting and tour there. I had port first that was ok. With chocolate I did think it was ok;) The rest of the wines I had a sip each they were all so strong and so not sweet and pungent! Yuck to me;) So I just had one sip and kept throwing away the rest. How do you guys drink wine really!

So we took the tour next and got a brief on how much goes into making wine, so much effort for a non-sweet drink is not even worth it is my humble opinion;) But yes, it was worth appreciating the art in winemaking. So I have to say.

Now comes the most interesting part, maybe I can go as far as call it the peak of our culinary experience. Tra Vigne! I was intent on having Tabasco (still!) and wanted to go to some Mexican restaurant but everyone else was ok with Italian, they were willing to go to Mexican for my sake (so sweet) but I decided, for one person to change is better than for four people to change, and boy, my adjusting nature truly paid off;) I had some of the best Italian food I have had ever, not even in that restaurant in downtown Rome did I have such good food! Of course we had a lot of trouble looking for their pizzeria, they had boards in all the possible inconspicuous places, so we went into their restaurant and inquired, and even after that took nearly 5 minutes to find the building that was "next door";) We had the standard Bruschetta (the topping salad was AMAZING) and garlic bread for starters. Then tried the Pizza, Piadine and Linguini. Once again, amazing food!

Then we headed back to San Mateo, of course, playing Taboo on the way back. Very tired from all the eating and the wine tasting/tour. All except me and Yso had to work on Monday so we decided to head back home "early". We played "Shanghai" aka "Me" which is a card game basically and headed back by 11 in the night. Too much accomplished today;)

The next day, July 3, we woke as late as we could and I made some soggy upma, which the three of is had and then took our time to get ready. We were headed to Great America Park, a theme park in the midst of all the hitech companies;) We were intent on going to the water park and get wet:) Before leaving we booked all the five of us for the SUPERMAN showing in the IMAX Dome theater in San Jose's tech Museum. We arrived at the park around 2 pm and were there till around 6 I think. In one of the rides, Castaway Creek, Subhash could not get on hid tube so he toppled over. And at the end of the ride almost 5 minutes later he realized he didn't have his glasses on. So we had to go another round in the water looking for it, but didn't find it. Then when we were just giving up, one of the lifeguards came over and gave it to us, completely scratchy with floating on that rough surface. In terms of gourmet, we had typical fair food: Funnel Cake, Cotton Candy and Churros. All yumm!! After the park, we went to IHOP and had our standard vegetarian spread with Garden Omelette and Chili and Cheese Omelette with pancakes. We were running late for the movie (more importantly for the good seats) but Subhash HAD to go back home to get a spare pair of glasses.

We went to the IMAX around 8.45, too late to get good seats. Shroff, Prashee and Yso left after a while but Subhash and I stayed on throughout the movie:) Meanwhile the three musketeers had gone bowling, good fun. Then headed back home and all of us took turns racing on the XBox360. We played the NFS-Most Wanted. (Shroff really enjoyed it so much that the next day he woke an hour earlier than the rest of us just so he could race;) He got pretty good at it for a beginner, so much so that Subhash was wondering if indeed it was his first time:P ) We then played Taboo for some more time (actually more like till 4.30:P) and called it a day. Yso was leaving the next day so we HAD to sleep;)

The next morning on July 4, we woke up only at 10:( Yso's flight was at 12.30 so we had to hurriedly go out for lunch, and guess what! All Indian places here were closed except for Lucky Dhaba, so we ordered a take out for him to eat on the flight and dropped him off at the airport. Then we came back and went to have lunch at Chaat Paradise (we took sometime to find it, finally asked Venu for directions) and the food was YUMM! The chat was amazing as well. I give it five stars. We had cruise tickets for the evening to watch fireworks from the Bay waters. So we got back after lunch and I went straight to bed and slept like a log till maybe 4 when Subhash woke me up. We had to get ready and get to Millbrae BART by 6 to catch the Caltrain to downtown SFO. It would be maddening to drive in downtown so we planned on taking the train. We made it well in time but the train did not! Finally we went to SFO and transferred to a shuttle bus and got to the Cruise office (on the way we saw the elite financial district of SFO, it was something!). We went on the cruise started around 7.30 and he took us to all the uninteresting places. We went under the Bay Bridge and to AT&T park when the sunset eluded us, thanks to the cruise driver's planning. We got back towards Alcatraz and then the cruise boat stopped on the waters in front of the Ghirardelli Square and we had a good look at the fireworks. The whole thing was such a feast.

Then we finished the cruise and got back to Millbrae by Caltrain and then drove back to Sunnyvale, reached around 12.20 am;) Then called it a day! Boy, do I have to go to work tomorrow or what:))

Fun-filled and very gourmet;)

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Casual Indian Camper

We recently went to the Yosemite national Park in California. I made a list of stuff that we needed on the trip and they came in quite handy. Subhash said it might be useful to people if I posted it on my blog. Most of the items, we needed. We thought about two or three things that might also be good to have. Besides, we stayed at this lodge where they had an arrangement called Custom Camping. Which basically meant, we didn't have to do anything in terms of tent and setting up equipment. They neatly laid out a tent for us with airbeds inside and sleeping bags and toiletteries. yes, my colleagues at work made ample fun of me and asked me why I didn't just stay at a hotel instead. But people, I was looking for a cabin, but got a tent instead. So anyway, here goes my list:


I Personal Items
3)Hand Towels
4)Paper Towels
5)bath tissues (in case we don't find them in restrooms there)
6)Camping clothes and shoes
7)Surplus pairs of socks (very essential, if cold when sleeping)


1)Bread - 2 types
4)Mashed Potatoes
5)Sour Cream
6)Cereal - packet and bars
8)Buttermilk (in bottle, the tetra pak doesn't work well for camping)
10)Preservable dish
12)Milkshakes - take some bottles
13)Slim Fast, Complan, Instant Coffee
14)Noodles packets -Maggi/Cup'o'noodles
15)Plum Cake ;)
17)Salt, Pepper shakers
20)Tomatoes/Onions -For sandwiches
21)Mint Chutney
22)MTR/Priya Ready-to-Eat packets


1)Chips - two to three big bags of different flavors
4)Indian snacks - Some packaged types


1)Buy some gallon container?
2)ICE - Buy at Walmart before leaving


1)Some sheets - as extras/to use as picnic sheets
2)Sleeping bag just as an extra
3)Small chairs


1)Backpacks - Our laptop bags should do - 2 nos.
3)First Aid Kit -Pack some medicines at home, no need to buy
6)Batteries - Both for torch and cameras etc, take all sizes you use.
7)Knife, can opener, scissors, egg slicer
8)Paper cutlery
9)Dish soap
11)Plastic Bags (For trash, carrying food etc)
13)Mobile charger (we used the mobile as camera so even though there was no signal we kept the phone on)
14)Pan to heat water in.
15)Plastic Glad Boxes - to eat and serve in - one for each person.
16)Ladles - 2 nos at least


2)Games -Pack of cards, CLUE, PICTIONARY


2)Quarter Roll

We had a good time at Yosemite. It was very beautiful though a little cold still. The best part was where we went horse-riding:) I looked like Shikari Shambu (from TINKLE) ;)

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

How do I protect my kids?!

The other day Subhash and I were watching some Indian music videos on Sify's channels. Boy! What ARE they trying to send across. This video was called Lady Bichua, and it was the most attrocious video I have seen to date. I am playing safe and saying its one of the most attrocious videos I have seen as I don't know how many more are out there. But this video made me twitch in nausea seriously. The obscenity totally lacked any sensual touch, the profanity was uncalled for and the promiscuous behaviour totally perpetrating the lesson of cheating on your partner! Why in God's name do they make videos like this I know not! Entertaining the audience is the last thing it did. Sensuous was the last thing it was. Nauseating IS the word for it. I guess the only people who would be affected by this would be pre-teen kids and in all the wrong ways!

Ahem! for Indian music videos and the way they are going! And god bless my to-be kids! I know not how I will protect them from all these media assaults:((

Thursday, April 13, 2006

What a drive!!

One of my colleagues forwarded this email on one of our mailing lists. This guy has to have SOME DRIVE to drive all the way;)

Cisco engineer gets prize for longest commute

Mariposa resident Dave Given makes a 186-mile drive -- each way -- five days a week to his job in San Jose.

The electrical engineer has been doing that commute since 1989, spending seven hours every day getting to and from work at Cisco Systems Inc.


Original Article on Yahoo

Cisco engineer gets prize for longest commute
Wednesday April 12, 1:36 pm ET Mariposa resident Dave Given makes a 186-mile drive -- each way -- five days a week to his job in San Jose.The electrical engineer has been doing that commute since 1989, spending seven hours every day getting to and from work at Cisco Systems Inc.

Given is the "ultimate road warrior," according to Midas Inc. (NYSE:MDS - News) and drove home with its first-place prize in the nationwide search for "America's Longest Commute." Givens out-drove thousands of other entrants to take home $10,000 in gas money and a range of maintenance services and products.

"I have a great job and my family loves the ranch where we live," Givens said. "So this is the only solution."

On his long trek he said he listens to the radio, keeps his eyes on the road and drinks "a lot of coffee."

Published April 12, 2006 by the Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Indian Weddings

What do I love most about Indian weddings? The people and the food!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Who cares about the couple;) They are just a means of providing this wedding entertainment for us:)

My wedding next month makes me muse about Indian weddings:) So colo"u"rful, so bright, so many people, so much noise, so muct activity, so much frenzy, so lively and so lovely:)

What I like best in weddings is like I said two things: people and food. When I was a kid, I was a pampered one, totally spoilt by my aunts and my cousins, I am much younger than most of them. So whenever I went for a wedding, I was totally smothered with goodies;) Be it food or fun rides or special place in mantaps be it anything, I completely used to feel like some queen straight out of Mysore palace;)

As I grew older I changed but the fun remained the same and so did the pampering:) I so love it, even to date all my cousins pamper me so much! My aunts too, specials are made just for me, everyone else gets so jealous and that makes me feel all the more better;) In weddings that I attended as an adoloscent, it was a different kind of special place. Everyone who came for the wedding, would wonder at who this girl is, because my aunts would deck me up so much, so much admiration and all the aunties talking about who did what, who wore what, what their sons/daughters did latest and greatest and so much more gossip!

Then comes the BEST part of it all, shadi ka khana (wedding feast). Sankethi weddings especially, I love the obbattus and the chaklis and the murmura unde and all that fancy good stuff. And Telugu weddings of course the traditional food and sweets and so much to eat, mirhci bajji, pakodi, gongura wow!!

In my own wedding, I know everyone else is going to have fun while I am sitting in the mantap busy tying the knot(rather getting the knot tied;) ) so I wish so much that I am able to attend at least one first circle wedding everytime I hop to India;) Indian weddings rock!!!

I love to laugh..

..at almost anything. Some of the best laughing days we have had though is when we used to laugh at/for nothing. I must mention all my friends here, Teju, Shetty, Vamshi and Rathi. Now, Vamshi, Teju and I are the only three souls who are capable of laughing at nothing or creating something out of thin air to laugh at. So much so that Shetty was always troubled. "Girls!", she used to say, in her typical St. Ann's Captain style, "you must stop your sidey jokes". And there, we laughed again, we will laugh at whatever sidey, uppey or downey jokes we want!!!:)):)) Remember Teju?;):))

So we scared quite a lot of people with our laughing. Some of the most striking are when one of our lecturers in St. Francis, refused to teach our class because he was intimidated by the "girls of 2A". Another is when we went for our second round of EAMCET counselling. We just went there to hang out, none of us had any real business to do, we just finished all the movies in town so we went to the counseling to hang out;) We laughed so much that one of our friends (not one of us five) disowned us because she was embarassed at the way we were goofing around and went and sat by a corner.

Lots more history to think of when I think of laughing. How much I goofed around in Hyd!! I so much want to start doing that again;) But for that I need the right combo of people, like Teju and Vamshi, and of course Shruti and Rathi to sit with us and get embarassed;)

I still love to laugh, and take every opportunity at it;) Like Darcy says in Pride and Prejudice, what defence can a man have against a person whose sole objective in life is to laugh;)

Sunday, January 08, 2006

When I interviewed..

This one goes to the micro suburbs of holy Silicon Valley...

When I interviewed with Cisco, I was put up at Westin, Santa Clara (Its now Hyatt, I just drove past it last evening and noticed that it is now a Hyatt hotel). I was a little apprehensive because Cisco was in San Jose (yes, to an outsider that is all it is) and the hotel was in Santa Clara so I was wondering why they didn't give me a hotel in San Jose itself, so it would have been closer for me to drive. So anyway, I flew down from Milwaukee into San Jose International Airport (Don't think its one of those huge airports, its even smaller than the Madison airport I think, and international obviously means they fly into Mexico and Canada, that is good enough for this to be international d'oh!). That was the first shock I got on my first ever trip to the much-awed state of California. What an airport, so much for calling it international.

So I went, I took my car from Avis in the airport and headed out to the hotel. Now we are in Santa Clara. Next morning was my interviews, I had three sets the whole day long 8 am to 6 pm with a one-hour lunch break thrown in. Boy, that was hectic! At the end of the day I was tired of anything networking and even the very word;)

So I was under this impression, Cisco--San Jose, and hotel--Santa Clara. Then I asked my friend for directions to this particular building that I was interviewing with and I set out. I saw Cisco's campus, and was awed, spread out over 41 buildings and a mammoth campus area. Still in my mind, Cisco--San Jose, and hotel--Santa Clara. Then I went and I interviewed and during some casual conversations of the interview I was told that this building of Cisco's was not in San Jose, this was Milpitas!!! I was like, yet another town?! God! I was tired of remembering so many names, Cisco--part San Jose, part Milpitas, and hotel--Santa Clara. What astounded me (and continues to astound me) is that they are hardly two streets away. Each of these suburbs is over maybe at the most 5-6 streets and that is it!

Next I had to go to my friend's place in the evening. I set out, it was pretty close to the hotel, I reached in maybe 5-10 minutes. After describing to them how the day went, I asked the question that was most lingering on my mind...Is this place Santa Clara, Milpitas or San Jose and they said....yeah you guessed it right, this is neither of them!!!! This is Sunnyvale!! Huh?!?! I said, yet another suburb?! On the whole in the 10 mile radius that was driving in during my interview trip I covered four suburbs of the Bay Area!! Whoa! I was amazed how small these were, you cross one street and you don't know when San Jose ends and when Milpitas begins and when you go into Fremont from Milpitas. I was fazed...and so I remain to date...

Sunday, January 01, 2006

How old am I ...

Disclaimer: This is not some suspense or riddle blog about trying to make you guess my actual, factual age. I explicitly spell it, so you don't have to go mad trying to guess!! (Why mad, of course because you will be left wondering how old a person can have such profound thoughts!) This is just a musing attempt. If you think this is a guess-my-age-with-this-set-of-clues game, then you are wrong and if that is what you would like to do, I would suggest the book, 100 best puzzles of all time (no, I don't know of any book by that exact name, disclaimer in a disclaimer) or just about any book sounding like that:) Thank You.

This morning I was looking at one of my cousins' engagement pictures. It happened in December, of course the couple in the pictures always looks "cute" and so did this one. There is no point in discussing the couple in any wedding slash engagament slash nupital pictures. They always look cute and that is all there is to be said about them. Now the point I am coming to..how OLD am I, and where and how am I choosing to grow old..

One of my younger cousins caught my eye in the pictures. He is EXACTLY ten years younger to me, and as usual I mean exactly what I say so this one is exactly ten years younger to me. We share the same birthday exactly ten years apart! So much for exacts. The last time I saw this one, he was a little boy, and I was perhaps some 16 or 17 years old. So he was really little you see. And today I saw these pictures and it hit me like one big bolt, boy, we have grown so old. This boy is now so old, and I am so much older!:((

So what is the big deal? Everyone grows older, so am I. I think the point that hit me more was that I was growing old and not realizing it at all. Did I have to look at my cousin in the pictures to realize how old I am? Heck no, I know I WAS 21, 22, 23, 24 and when someone asks me today I say I am 25. But you see I am not exactly thinking 25, I am just saying 25 and thinking 17:) THAT is the point of this blog my friend. I saw the pictures only to stop and think, so many years have passed in life, just what exactly was I doing when this happened. How did it go past under my feet without my realiziing it. It didn't strike me I was already way above the 20 mark in life!! Added to that I had to look at the pictures on the 31 of December, when everyone is already and only talking about one more year gone for good, and a new year coming on, unstoppable!Huh!!!

I am not the type who feels sad about growing old. No, don't get me wrong, I DON'T get depressed on birthdays, I love them;) And I love gifts too. I do feel a little lost when I think, in all this time, exactly what this-this-and-this of importance have I achieved, null-zero-zilch!!:(

Already I have gone from I-am-going-to-be-twenty to I-was-once-twenty! When I was in college people who were 20+ were BIG people, who were mature, independent and could do what they wanted with their life, were we-can-take-care-of-everything type people. (Basically I am just trying to say, they were OLD people;) Life-is-over-for-them type people) And I was just a kid who still had a lot of fun childhood ahead, loads of time to have a blast. Now I can't believe I am already in that 20+ category. I guess what I am trying to convey here is that, I never realized I left my brain and heart frozen at like maybe 17 years and grew older since then;)

But, there is one sad part to it and that is where I have chosen to grow old. I would have loved to grow old in the midst of people who saw me grow to 21:) I would have loved to drive past my school everyday, even if it was to work and not to college anymore. I would have loved it if for every birthday I could go to eat like a pig at some chat bandi or go to some around-the corner Archies store in Hyd. I would have loved it so much if I could go hog on food in each (and every) one of my cousins' wedding. And so many more things I would have loved to do back in Hyd. That is how I want to grow old, and that I guess this troubles me more than anything else. The older I grow the more restless I get about going back. When now? When now?

What have I done while I have grown old, gosh!!!! I don't know. I can hardly believe I am already 20+, everything seems to have raced past while I was sleeping! This morning I felt like I was sleeping all this while and grew old in my sleep, as if someone woke me and said, okay get up bahut ho gaya you are already 25:P I wanted to achieve so much, and so much I did, but there is a lot of difference between these two so muches. They have changed and been defined and redefined and chiselled and moulded and what not. I want to achieve so much more, and I hope that will at least be more in congruence with my planning, Amen!

PS: Just what did you think of my disclaimer at the beginning. Amazing isn't it? I think I am getting more proficient at it with every blog, and might just become a really good Disclaimer person some day. I even think I can make a million or two in lawsuits;) So did you finally know my age or do you really need a puzzle book to sharpen your skills?;)

How my Racquetball went for a toss

..was thinking about writing this in the blog this morning when I was playing racquetball with Aayana;) I thought, why not, its a good matter for a few laughs!

So I took this course in Racquetball in Spring 2002 when I was doing my Masters in the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Actually, come to think of it, what my friends used to say about how I "played" through to get my Masters kind of sounds right to me now;):P

I took Racquetball 101 in Spring 2002, and Swimming 101 in Fall 2002, and then in 2003 I interned for GE, (which was a sizeable 1-year chunk of my Masters career) AND during that time I did a German 101 course:P I also dared to register for Golf 101 in the Summer of 2002 but later dropped out. Now none of these credits counted toward my degree as such, but I was so totally "vela" (read as extraordinarily capable of multitasking:P) that I did these anyway;)

So anyway I went and bought a Racquet dutifully at Dunham Sports in West Gate Mall and me and my roomie Navrina started going to the class. That was my first "unnecessary" purchase in the US ever (no, I am not counting all the double-scoop waffle cones I ate up every evening at Union Square or Memorial Union, and that got me to 145lbs too, mind you). The first time I dared to buy something that was not an absolute necessity.

Then we started playing, boy, that class was at 7.10 in the morning I think, and we started off in what is possibly the worst winter month in WI, February. I still remember wearing multiple layers of clothes and taking them all off in the locker room, and going out to play in shorts. This was one exercise that made us take 2 hours for what would have been a 50 minute class:P Wearing clothes and jackets and shoes and gloves and what-not = 15 min, taking them off in SERF = 15min, you know again wearing them and taking them off at home, phew!! A whole hour gone just in bracing against the winter demon.

So anyway I played and played all Spring and the instructor was really good. We used to have these fun tournaments, and eventually at the end of the sem, I think I used to always play in the "Winner's court", I was always second, there was this other guy who was totally good. But this morning I was thinking, whoa! that seems so distant. I still remember even after that sem, I continued playing Racquetball for nearly a year till Summer of 2003. I used to play alone, when I didn't have anyone to play with, but it was fun:P

BUT you should see me play now, this morning was my second round after nearly three years since I started, and I was pathetic:)) May the powers in nature, bestow back on me my once good game ! (That was a lame attempt at creating a blessing jibe)

So you are thinking, what is the ohh-so-important point in this blog, does this need so much blogspace? Answer is no!!! I wasn't having anything better to do so I wrote it, and if you are mad, then I am not responsible (Yes, this is a disclaimer!)