Saturday, April 28, 2007

They stop making the best ones

I was eating the Kelloggs special K Breakfast Cereal this morning. I left it in milk too long before I was finally able to eat it and it smelt and tasted just like "Bonny Mix", the porridge in the tin, we used to get back in India around the early 1990s. I always will wonder why they stopped making it. Personally, I think it was a smash product, so tasty, my god! I used to remember Goldilocks whenever I ate it (Goldilocks eats the three bear's porridge, I eat Bonny mix porridge, get the connection?!, duh!)

So anyway, that triggered this post. I always maintained a list of things that I loved, which they stopped making in India. And whenever I crib to someone about how they stop making the best things, voila! I have a list ready to be read out. Here it is for the benefit of the world.

-Atari (I looooooooooooovvved this coconut-chocolate, they stopped making it around the time I was in my IV standard. Years and years later, I found similar (but definitely less) joy in eating "Almond Joy" )

-Fudgy (Loved both the chocolate and the He-Man stickers that came with it ;) They were pasted all over the walls and the fan regulator plates (come on, you know what I mean, those white plates on which sat a regulator, with which you could control the speed of the fan) in my home back in Hyd ;) One can find them even today @ our old place!! )

-Bonny Mix

-Bournvita biscuits ( Remote cousin to the chocolate chip cookie, this one is a chocolate cookie, used to taste sooo good...yumm! I miss it even now. Nothing comes close to it even today)

-Dollops Ice cream (Don't know if they make it yet, haven't seen it in a while)

That is my list. This is what I reel over and over again when I complain;) If you have any favourites that they stopped making, drop me a word:)


Hi Anonymous:

I think they still make Melody, albeit the taste isn't the same. Agree on the Campco and the Nutrine ones.

Kaumudi. Yeah Soma, I completely forgot, I used to LOVE it.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007


I was having lunch with some of my friends from High School one Friday a couple months back, and I asked them if they remembered the "Elastic" game. Without spoiling the fun (and because I tried to explain this game to Subhash, with no success), I will simply say that its a game you play with human poles hoisting a band of elastic around them and you jumping up and down the two edges of it, skillfully. Initially the band is at the ankles, then as you display more skill, it gets tougher, and the band goes higher.

I was asking them if they wanted to play it sometime, and rightly so, they were a little hesitant;)

I remember, we were MAD about that game, any 5 minutes of spare time, would be consumed thus:

1)Setting up human poles (neighbor's kids etc) (1 min)
2) If not possible, even try to make do with the "modas" at home.
3)Play for the rest of the 4 mins;)

I think I could easily reach level 2 in 5 minutes.

The "Elastic" band of course would have to be of good quality. Supple, and stretchy ones were my favorite;) But I would adjust with anything. So many lunch hours spent on it!! So much so that the teachers started checking our bags and throwing out the bands aghast at the horror of this dangerous game!!


What a tea!

Whenever I visit our break rooms I wonder about something. We have a stack of teas in one corner. And these are all different kinds of teas. Some of them are really out of place. Like for example - "Cozy Chamomile" - For calming moments, and something else for relaxing moments etc etc etc. What would that mean in an office break room? Drink this and have a good sleep back in your cube?? (Yeah they are all caffeine free too, for better sleep;) )


One of my friends was telling me the other day about this post, that the intention about having tea for calming moments is to just let employees relax in the middle of a hectic day. I was trying to remember real hard that there was one of them teas that definitely didn't mean relax;) Today I saw it. Its called "Sweet Dreams". Wow! ;)

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Ooh those summers!

I am a die-hard Hyderabad summer fan. Actually no, any Indian summer, except [salty] Chennai summers. Those ones are urggh!!

I have somehow never experienced a summer like the ones back in India in the 6 years I have been here. I miss them! For a long long time (actually maybe even now) I used to be very happy that my birthday was in April because I could eat Totaparis and Rasalus on my birthday;) How silly!

The one thing I loved most about summers, is how carefree you could be. No school, plenty of games, loads of Champaks to read ( I got in the habit of reading Champak @ my aunt's place ), bullying and getting bullied by cousins one and all, drinking Rooh-Afza every couple hours (and that had strict time limitations, you just had to have one every couple hours), that jugful of Rasna concentrate in the fridge, and MANGOES!!!!! All kinds of them. Ahh, how I yearn for them now. Not a decent Mango to be had in the "Land of Dreams" tch..tch..tch...

And then there was the summer nights! Pure bliss. Cool breeze, blanket-free sleep, bliss bliss bliss. During summers, when we used to spend time at another aunt's place, I remember as kids, we used to go up to the terrace, and spray water all over the floor, and run down to dinner. As soon as dinner got over, grab the sleep-time riff-raff and go up to spread out the stuff and enjoy yet another wonderful, cool floor, open-air sleep experience. Ahh the techniques we devised to beat the sun and his heat;) And then we all used to fall asleep slowly one after the other counting the stars!! Wow!

Its difficult to write this blog in an organized way, my! I am writing about something and my mind races to yet another thing. I have to mention my aunt here. When we were young, my mom was working at the time and would leave us at my grandparents. Her youngest sister (my youngest aunt) was attending college then and I was her "chela" in everything. We used to have some zappy times together. I was <10 years old but had opinions about most things already (Now, what can I say about a mature mind;) ) and my aunt would always insist on buying Rasna Orange whenever we went to the street-corner "Kirana" store. She had this very short-temper and so I would always be scared to suggest anything to her;) Once I picked up the courage and said, maybe we should try the Cola flavour and she zapped right back saying, " No orange will do just fine and orange it is". Meek me said ok, and walked away! We still laugh about it after all these years, she still threatens me with Rasna Orange whenever I visit her;)

Then there were the times when we visited my Dad's sister. That was some good times too. My cousin, her son, would never eat a single fruit or vegetable so she would insist on his drinking milk with raw egg mashed right in (yuck! yuck!) every morning. And poor guy would wait for the first opportunity when his mom's back was turned to throw it all into the sink;) And all the while me and my sis would snoop and go tell-all to his mom;) And the times that followed were fun;)!! Then of course the innumerable galli cricket sessions and the Ludo and the Scrabble and the chess sessions. Most summers we would visit Bangalore/Mysore/Tumkur to meet up with my Dad's end of the family. And my uncle would load his trunk with a basketful of mangoes and make my cousin sit in the back seat and this poor guy would be choking on that intense mango smell (Believe me, he HATED it!!) And as usual, me and my sister, would laugh our heads off and that notwithstanding, would eat mangoes ONLY in his presence;)

Lots more memories pouring out, I will probably consider an "Ahh, those summers! - A sequel to Ooh those summers! " soon;)

How do you pick up the strings

I know I started this blog intending to write about the ups AND downs in life. So far I tried to keep it that way, except that I never wrote really about any downs. I tried to also keep the blog strictly apolitical;) Lets see how far that goes. I get sorely tempted to profess my opinions here, but try to restrict them to as neutral a ground as possible.

Anyway, I am getting carried away, as always. The point in this blog is, downs. What about downs? What happens when you are feeling low, feeling broken, feel like a 100 pieces and just can't seem to get the pieces right back together. No, I am not feeling down right now, don't get all consoling but I had some thoughts springing in my mind about how we all try to cope with those lows in life.

Personally, I let it out. Let it out in whatever form I can do it in. Then I think about it, and think long and hard, and keep thinking sometimes for days (now that duration is directly proportional to the issue at hand, uhh! I HATE my Math background always rearing its condescending head, directly proportional indeed!!). And then I feel the sun on my skin, the breeze in my face, the moon shining on, and I feel at peace, thinking about all those celestial things we are in midst of, till all the problems look so trivial, and I just let out a smile.

And then, just like that, I pick up the pieces and brace myself for my next encounter with life:)

Wow! That was something;)

Blogger dashboard messed!!

What is with the new Blogger dashboard, the only option they have on the blogger page is to create a new post. I like more controls on my blog page itself guys...

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Of Hondas and THE Benz..

Honda is an excellent car maker, I give it to them. Notwithstanding the innumerable Hondas that you can spot in the Silicon Valley, I admire the auto-maker. I never wanted to buy a Honda (or a Toyota for that matter) but ended up with an Accord. Such is thy power!

Anyway, I thought they made a BIG design mistake when they brought in the ELEMENT. It looks stupid at best with its bread-box design (I am sorry if you own a Honda Element, but I have a right to my opinion). With some ill turn of fate that car actually became a hit (I still don't get how). Spurred on by the success of the unusual design of the Element Honda seems to have gotten inspired. My my! And just look at the good-old Civics and the Accords these days. They look, well, zappy at best.

Good so far. But why should a mid-size sedan (Civic) and a full/premium-size family car (Accord) look Zappy? I never get it. They are supposed to be sedans keep them that way (I am a puritan ahem ahem). Why turn them into looking like half-baked sports cars. Tch..tch..tch...

And the worst part of this whole Honda design frenzy is that Scion thinks that Element is beautiful, yuck, yuck! And actually went ahead and designed one of their own cars (I never bothered to find out the series name) like the Element. So much for leading by inspiration! Guys, those cars look ugly. That is it. Bad taste and loads of ugliness!!

Speaking of designs, the new Sebring seems to have done something novel (AND nice) with its bonnet. Ridges and all. I like the Sebring (even though its made by Chrysler.) I think its the only well designed car US automakers have ever made (except some models of the Mustang). I would never buy it, but I like its design all the same. Ahh the death of Auto for me was when Chrysler went and merged with Daimler-Benz, yuck! I almost gave up thoughts of buying a Mercedes that day..but the wish is now re-kindled...and maybe I will put my name on a Benz yet..

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Jallantha Kavvintha...

I needed to desperately get-away from my Tcl scripting and all the *s, the ?s, the []+s and the \\s and what-the-heck-not, so I thought I'd write something.

I was thinking about this song (actually listening to this song) this morning on my way to work. I still remember when I was in school/college back in Hyderabad I would always play this song at the first hint of an oncoming rain. I just loved (with 10 o s between l and v) listening to this song while it was raining, it just has that spirit in it. AMAZING!!

Plus, if you read my other post about going to work in paradise, you probably know what its like on my way to work, so I almost felt like I was living in this song except that I was going to work, whereas she dances in this song;)

You can watch it HERE.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Going places...

Inspired by the new Travel Channel series about 1000 (or was it 10,000) places to see before you die, I decided to make my own list:

1)South America (I would prefer going to Brazil and the Amazon)
2)Far-western Europe (Greece, Portugal and Spain, I haven't seen at all)
3)Africa -EGYPT for sure, MAURITIUS for sure, South Africa maybe, and Tanzania (my cousin was born there!!)
4)ASIA - Mainly all of India, I want to go everywhere and see whatever is there to be seen, its my land and I have to have seen it all. Especially want to go to the NE states, Meghalaya, Mizo etc PLUS the Andamans and Sri Lanka.

Besides that, I want to see at least one city in China, mainland China. And Japan, one city at least ;) Indonesia and Thailand/Taiwan etc. I already saw Kuala Lumpur, will be seeing Hong Kong in July (visiting Teju yay!!!!!!!) and also Singapore.

5)Australia -Sydney and New Zealand for sure
8)The Bahamas

I was surprised to see out MTV India's show host Shenaz hosting some Indian travel series on Travel Channel. She sure is going places;) But her voice is still the same old stupid-squeaky! And during the clip for that series, she says something along "Indiana Jones eat your heart out" in the most unimitably-Shenaz voice, bah! So much for watching a decent travel series on India.

"Un" Real Estate

Invariably when among friends, the discussion pops up. Dollars got to be invested "wisely". Usually the way we seek wise investments is to invest in a "piece" of land/flat/house back in India and see it grow and yield profits.

Be it this money being pumped in, be it the booming, exploding, whatever tech industry back in Hyd, the real estate has gone up like "Oh my gosh!" Some worthless piece of land nearly 40 kms (25 miles ;) ) outside the city, now costs some ridiculous 1 crore!!!

Some of it may be attributed to an artificial boom and greedy real-estate agents trying to cash in on the wave, but I am more inclined to think that this is not going down anytime soon. Because for the most part it is a natural need for more space that has created this hike and obviously with the number of people entering Hyd, demand-supply equations are thrown off-balance and real-estate climbs and climbs and climbs, going more and more out of my reach! ;)

Still, I hope on against hope that I might be able to call a small "piece" of mother earth, my own:D Even if it is 50 kms away from the city I so love to be in