Thursday, December 31, 2009

Ring in the new

All I'd say is this:.

2009, you exceeded my expectations. Although I was extremely skeptical that you would be able to beat 2008, you did, and how!

Here is hoping I have an equally good 2010!!

And wishing every one else the same :)

Monday, December 28, 2009

Most often happy?

I saw a "Top Used Words" app on my niece's Facebook wall and decided to give it a try. Here is what it said:

Your Top Words
Your Top Used Words
And the results are:
1): happy - used 11 times
2): wondering - used 11 times
3): good - used 11 times
4): finally - used 9 times
5): today - used 8 times
6): thinks - used 8 times
7): thinking - used 7 times
8): again - used 7 times
9): too - used 6 times
10): long - used 6 times

I didn't know I was so happy, good and filled with wonder ;) Also it looks like I attained a lot of goals (too many finally's). It confirms that I am a person that lives in today. Again and again. I've used too long too often.

But all in all it shows I am an intellect for I "think" way too often ;)

Sunday, December 27, 2009

3 months!

Rohan is three months old today. Coincidentally it is also a full 13 weeks. A quarter of a year!

I cannot believe it!

PS: Another coincidence is that its been exactly one year since we moved into our house :)

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Owww, this is too much..

Starting with greatbong and his review and now all the other bloggers with their ho, has now I HAVE to watch Avatar and 3 Idiots. The Facebook statuses are also slowly trickling in and they seem to confirm that these movies are a must watch.

I am yet to buy that Medela thingy. Thanks to its price difference in India and more importantly, our knowledge of it (sometimes ignorance is bliss!?!?!), we are still trying to see if we can get one from the US, else next week, we are popping over to Mothercare and just buying one, price difference be gone to hell with!

Then I got to train Rohan to feed from a bottle. And then I got to get someone to go to the movie with me while Subhash stays home with him. This will probably be toughest since most people will have watched it by the time all these steps come to pass. Sigh!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

JNTU and such

All know that T is visiting this weekend. What all don't know is that she is visiting since her hubby and a few of his pals from IIM-B want to watch 3-Idiots together (T is from a predominantly IIM family - sis - XLRI, bro-in-law - IIM-A, T- IIM-L and her hubby IIM-B, but I digress)

I also know for a fact that a lot of people who liked "Happy Days" were from CBIT and enjoyed the movie since they got to saw their Alma Mater in it.

Coming to my Alma Mater (and Subhash's for that matter), we have no such luck. Gone are the wild shrubberies (not to go behind which we were warned as freshers by Muriki Reddy, our then principal), the rocks, the beaten mud paths, our shortcuts from the bus stand to the main building and so on and so forth. Gone! Now the whole place is a concrete jungle. Sure, it used to look ugly earlier, and now it looks straight out of some cosmo city, but hell, I think the older one was prettier. When Subhash and I used to visit the place in 2004, we used to be in awe of how much has changed. We once went and had chai (well he had chai and I had some junk oily stuff as usual) at our old canteen guy Gandhi's stall just outside of JNTU (I think after the recent rush of IT, even that stall is no more) just to relive the old times. The new canteen just didn't have that charm.

I remember when we were freshers, we went into the canteen once. Now if you are from JNTU, you know this is taboo. GIRLS in the canteen!! That too fresher girls!! My god! It was something that had stopped a long time back (apparently during the days of "autonomous" strikes). We were a bunch of girls who loved to steal a daredevil moment and so we just walked in after days of planning. I remember distinctly how N, G and G (maybe?) were all shocked (these guys were Subhash's classmates, BTW) and couldn't say anything (N was notorious for ragging but he had a rule, no girls;) ). So they kept staring in disbelief and we became some sort of heroines of the college ;)

Of course this brought us into the wrath zone of R who was a second year female student who didn't much appreciate girls who didn't wear chunnis (read me) or girls who wore chunnis but used them as fans (read K) and in general didn't appreciate juniors going out of line. And when she heard the canteen story, she made sure we got extra doses of ragging whenever we ran into her. This was in addition to writing workshop notes for her classmates. Sigh!

Yesterday, when my prof visited, his son was asking if I knew some girl who was my junior. I said no. My prof said she wouldn't have ragged so she wouldn't know. I said, I ragged way too many people so I need specifics. I am sure my prof didn't know this angle of mine till yesterday. I migt have dropped a few notches in his estimation ;) But seriously what fun it was to be in the final year, to stop by a class full of Mech/Metallurgy students, make them all stand up and mass-rag them single handedly. Whatay fun! Right above the principal's office at that.

So many more good times like these.

Here is to JNTU where I always thought I spent the most useless years of my academic life doing nothing.

Till I went to grad school that is.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


What? you ask. Bangalore's public works departments' response times.


When Rohan was born, the third night apparently Subhash came home from Cradle to a "power-less" house. He was not sure how long it had been gone. UPS was running strong still, so he put it off, slept, and in the morning when there was still no power, simply looked up some BESCOM numbers and came back to us at Cradle after lodging a complaint.

The BESCOM guys were so responsive that we were impressed. They called a bunch of times saying they fixed some feeder issue and if power was restored. None of us was at home so we couldn't confirm. That night Subhash went back to a flooded, dark  house thanks to no power, no UPS (it ran out after two days) and the fridge condensing out all its ice. He called BESCOM again and this time they actually sent someone and got the whole thing fixed in half an hour's time. There is a bunch of reasons why this is impressive -- 1) Problem was isolated to our house, so they didn't really have hundreds of angry residents wreaking havoc. Just one guy calling and complaining. 2) It was 11 in the night. 3) Some reasonably senior folks called to make sure power was restored and the complaint was attended to satisfactorily.

I was just happy since we didn't have to come home with Rohan for the first time to a powerless situation.

This morning again there was no power from 7. I complained at 9.30. They called me at 10.45 asking if power was restored. It had. I asked what the issue was and it was some cursed feeder again! But what promptness again. Consistently prompt service is one thing I never expected to get from BESCOM or any power supply board for that matter.


We were having no Cauvery supply for the past 7 months and were depending largely on our borewell motor plus a generous supply of tankers. I managed to befriend a BWSSB tanker guy and the poor chap would regularly show up when called with Cauvery water so all was going smooth except for the pain of having to take tanker wanter, monitor water levels etc.

Then one day I decided to take a chance and check if BWSSB would be willing to fix it (you hear so much negative press on government guys, you don't think it is worth it to try). Plus it was in the papers that this area will have water pressure issues because of all the digging up in Indiranagar-CMH road for the Bangalore Metro. But that was in April and it was already 6 months since that. So I called them and they gave me a local inspector number. His personal mobile that too!! He said they were having some pressure problem and would send a tanker if needed. I assured him that this problem was not recent and he said he'd look into it. Since that day (maybe in early October) to now, we have been having a good healthy supply of Cauvery water ;) Maybe I should've complained sooner, eh? We have too much distrust in the local bodies simply!

POLICE (Airport Road Police Station)

There was a burglary recently. Late September maybe. Apparently someone came in a truck to a working couple's house, emptied all its contents and left. Neighbors thought they were moving out. We didn't know anything till we saw a Police jeep come by, then some cops on bikes, making enquiries at different homes etc. From then on we've regularly been seeing at least one Police SUV parked around the colony regularly. And cops going on bikes. Apparently Subhash's mom hears them on beats all night. They have also put up "Beware of Burglars" stickers all over the colony. I am impressed. I didn't know the Police were so serious in nabbing thieves.

So there, I am happy with the power supply folks, with the water supply folks and the police. These guys are doing a great job. I am sure their JDs didn't exactly call out for so much promptness and customer service. So often we think complaining is useless, that we miss out on the chance to give the good guys a run when they are actually listening. Considering that the government doesn't exactly run on performance-based stuff like we private employees are used to, I am sure there is not much incentive for these guys to do a job well. But they toil. And yet they receive so little good press. Let's raise a toast for these guys!

Monday, December 21, 2009


First off, thanks to everyone who wished me well. After a freak 103F night and a listless Saturday following, Sunday was cool. Subhash bathed the baby by himself both days of the weekend since I was too weak to do it and thought the little guy was wondering what his Dad was up to doing all this stuff for him ;)

Today I am back on track(s).

But that is not what I am Yaying about, surely. What I am yaying about is all the visitors I am having!!

My Dad's maternal uncle and wife, the oldest couple on my side of the family paid us a visit yesterday. When Rohan was born, my grand-uncle couldn't make it since he was traveling. My grand-aunt had come alone to Cradle (He is a retd IAS officer and still takes active part in state polity) and so she called on Saturday and asked if it was OK if they came along on Sunday. I was super thrilled.

They came and saw the baby, chatted for a while and left. I am always in awe of the couple. So well-informed, so well-traveled and so independent even at this age. Their grand-daughters studied engineering living with them :)

Then another surprise call. My professor from Engineering. He was the Head of Department of Electronics and Communication Engg at JNTUCE when we were around. His son lives very close to our place here and so when I spoke to him last he promised to pay  us a visit when he was here. He called last evening saying he was in Bangalore and asked if I would be at home this evening. I said of course. And gave them directions.

Again, super thrilled!

Then my cousin called just now. She migrated to the UK just a little before we moved back to India and now is back for good. At least for now. So her visit was due and she called saying she'd drop by tomorrow most likely. When I was growing up, this was my favourite cousin.She used to take us on all these joy rides on her Luna and all. You get the picture. A lot older and so very pampering.

So again, super thrilled.

Then there is T visiting this Friday.


I am so happy. I almost feel guilty that I am having the pleasure of so many people visiting when I have probably not paid any visits to anyone in the last three months. Well, there will be a time to make up for it :) For now, I am enjoying playing hostess!!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Some random thoughts

-Lindt Excellence is an amazing range of dark chocolates. Of course ANYTHING Lindt is amazing. I am relishing the Chilli flavour latest. Anyone who has a passion for spice should try it out. It has a mild spicy edge to it. Last year when a colleague was visiting Germany, I had him bring the Orange in this range for me, he also picked up the Chilli one and everyone was very excited to see what its like. We picked up one in SPAR on our last trip. Really, the SPAR Lindt cooler is a life-saver. No more waiting for someone to visit Europe for all those Lindts :D :D

-Two of the blogs I regularly read are publishing books! Ohh god. I think I should publish one too. Only I wonder what I should be writing about.

-What do you do when you intended to say something, put it off for long enough and ouch! something happens where if you now say what you intended to say in the first place, you risk being politically incorrect. Damn!

-When I read some of my old posts I cringe with embarrassment. At my gaucherie in writing. Maybe a few years later I will read this and cringe. So cringing seems inevitable overall.

-I want Rohan to go to either Bishop Cotton or NPS or some such school. I think getting into these schools is tough. So in case he doesn't clear the exam, I am planning to give a monologue to the principal (or whoever will listen) on how I got admitted into my school. Apparently when I took the test at Ann's, I didn't open my mouth (can you BELIEVE THAT?!) and so the Principal (that Sr. Rose, I tell you, she always used to fuss for everything, everything!) marked my application in bold with the letters "D U M B". So my mom had to have her dad's friend in the DEO's office pull some strings and I finally got in. When I finished in '95, I topped the class, so there, Sr. Rose! No one can judge anyone's potential when they are a mere 3.5 years old. That is the material point. And this shall be my argument for him as well ;)

'Tis the season for visiting

Thanks to the holiday season a lot of my friends from abroad are visiting India :) I already had one of them stop by at Bangalore and come and visit us and Rohan. Thanks S! I really like to catch up with pals. Which is why whenever I travel some place, if I know of someone living there, I make it a point to call on them. It feels good.

T is going to visit from Singapore on Christmas day. I am excited!! T and three other friends, together we used to call ourselves the "HumPanch" gang. Over the past few years however we have never met up, all the five of us together :(  Four of us are married and I just realized that I am the only one who has met all the spouses and vice versa (Subhash is the only one all the four of them have met). None of them has met any of the other's significant other. How sad! Time does indeed make us busy and afar.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


We got this product from Mothercare for bathing Rohan. It was one of many of Subhash's brilliant ideas.

It has been a life-saver and makes bathing the baby very very easy. I highly recommend it for anyone who has to raise an infant without help.

Unfortunately, Mothercare neither ships this to the US nor does it have any brick and mortar stores in the US (it has in the Far East, Asia,Middle East and Europe). I really wonder why.

But Subhash found for me, something very similar shipping at Amazon.

Image courtesy: Mothercare online


Ohh, and while at the topic of products and cross-continent pricing, what is with Medela products selling in India for twice the price that they sell in the US?!??!?!?! Damn! This is why I love Fisher Price. They sell ALL their stuff in India at exactly the same price as in the US (with a 1 USD = 50 INR exchange rate, which I think is reasonable) and this I highly appreciate.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Bagels in Bangalore!!

As a follow-up to this post, here is an update.

We were a little skeptical about Leela's bagel spread, we were not sure if we would get gourmet cream cheeses, that is what used to make our Bagel experience so nice. For Subhash and me it was all about the cream cheeses. Normally breakfast in a hotel means plain cream cheese.

So we did what we thought was the next best thing to do. Hit SPAR :)

And boy, we were not disappointed.

We got Bagels (from Bagels n Bakes, which in my earlier post I said was too far to go and visit), and Lemnon Cream cheese (PDF Leaflet). There was of course the plain old Philadelphia Cream cheese (Strawberry) but I prefer gourmet to mass produced :)

So tomorrow to a nice breakfast. Bagel and Jalapeno cream cheese, Muesli (with Papaya and Apple) and Orange juice :) Muuuaaaaaaaaaah!!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Telangana and more

January 11 it is! My maternity leave ends in one month and I've worked it out with my manager to work from home till end of January. This will be a warm up for the "going back to work" routine. Of course it means I will be working sans any reports since having a team of my own will make it mandatory to go to work regularly. I am hoping I will be able to manage the kid and work alone at home on my own. Really hoping..

There were a few comments on my previous post and then a cousin had status messages on Facebook which brought in a lot of useful perspective. When you think of the whole thing, it is such a joke. I'd rather let a person like KCR fast and go whichever way than give him any weight, but then here we are. The great big joke. I am bad at political satire, actually, bad at any satire, else this is a land mine opportunity to display some satirical talent.

Some random thoughts that come to my mind

1) When we start dividing, where do we stop. As ample proof to my initial fears, we now have "demands" for Vidarbha, Gorkhaland, Harit Pradesh, and all that good stuff.

2) This whole drama is for Hyd. It is very obvious. Hyd as union territory or Hyd as capital of Telangana is not acceptable to so many vested political rowdies since they have so many investments in Hyd and this is going to risk it all.

3) Hyd is a cosmo. We used to have a CNaRe poem in school "Idi Hyderabadu, idi Hyderabadu, idi bhinna samskrutulu yedigi poochina padu". (This is Hyderabad, this is Hyderabad, this is where so many cultures have grown and flourished). So Hyd is nobody's baap ka maal. So nobody, even in Telangana, can claim exclusivity to it.

4) The great (as per Teja TV only) Jagan (YSR's son) is stone silent. One of the perspectives that came on my cousin's status got me thinking. Yeah, all senior leaders who opposed Jagan's CM giri are from Telangana region. Yeah, he has a strong hold in non-Telangana areas. So after YSR, why not push KCR to ask for Telangana so you can become CM, if not AP's, then a part of AP? Surely, there is money to be made elsewhere too?

5) This whole drama is being televised non-stop on TV. The biggest and dirtiest I have seen so far is lawyers actually physically hitting each other saying "you are in our Telangana" and "you cannot claim exclusivity on Telangana". Ohh god! The dirtiest side of human beings out on display.

6) People remarked about Osmania students being exploited. Who ever said OU students are gullible. There are two types of OU students. Those that participate in the political OU and those that do not. And the ones torching buses are the union and political type. They are one of the worst kinds. OU has radical student unions and in general a lot of rowdy crowd. Back when we used to live in Tarnaka, I remember how they used to take over the entire "Aradhana" theatre for a movie, causing great inconvenience to the public. And a lot of other such nuisance in general. I always used to hate the student union radicalization in OU (which is probably the strongest reason I went to JNTU instead). Bad taste.

This whole bull s*$t (first use of profanity on this blog?) will fizzle out if you ask me. No one wants to give up Hyd. No one wants Telangana minus Hyd (really, what is the point?). So in the fight over Hyd, we will hopefully get to keep Andhra Pradesh.

And on a closing note, if you ask me, anyone who torches public property deserves to be torched in return. Death!! to all who set fire to even one inch of public space. I am paying taxes for it and it is nobody's business messing with my property.

PS: And what is with KCR coming out of a 11 day fast all clean shaven and with inventive colours (white beard and black hair, all perfectly styled). Was he even fasting?? He was discharged overnight and he has energy to attend press conferences the very next day.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

I am in distress

- I do not want a separate Telangana state, but who is listening to the citizens, it is all political and some more power grabbing efforts on the way.

-I wish people would call for bandhs and rasta rokos for social causes, I would be all too happy to participate.

-I had to sign an affidavit full of words like "solemn", "hereby" etc etc for Rohan's passport. It is all convoluted language I say! It goes something like "We declare that the particulars of XY, son of X and Y, of whom we are parents..". I am saying he is son of X and Y, I am X, dad is Y, why do I again need to say "of whom we are parents"?!?!?!?!?!?!?

-I wonder why the Congress chieftan is running the country. Internal Congress issues, please, satisfy yourself and go all out to solve them. A state is reeling under crisis, the Prime Minister is sitting in Russia signing N-deals, and all that the stupid AP government can do is to appeal to "Madam" to decide on if a separate state should be formed. Who is she, I ask. Just another MP, I say. Why is she deciding anything.

I don't want a separate Telangana state, but who is listening?

Friday, December 04, 2009

Whoa! The stats need betterment

What are those numbers. The number of posts I did every year.

Steady progress from 2005 to 2008. But then the blog went south. Actually it was just the pregnancy. I kept consciously away from the blog since I didn't want to make it a motherhood one ;)

So hoping to better the stats next year!

Scales of comparison

A while back (quite the years back I mean) there was a time when I was disappointed at some incident where the same set of people commended a job that someone else did where I felt I did a lot more but there was no commendation.

Naturally from my perspective I was sour. Why shouldn't I also be commended? If anything I should be commended 3 or 4 times more since I was doing that much. But what I got was zilch.

Subhash had a simple reply : The expectations of you are higher since they know you are more capable. The expectation from that person is much lower.

Still, it was not fair. That didn't soothe me at all.

So he had an analogy (he always does) : Lets assume my niece drew a picture of a hut (niece is all of 4 years old) and you also drew a hut. People will naturally praise the niece all out since she has done an extraordinary job for her known and accepted capability. But if you expect people to praise you because you drew a hut, then it is not going to happen. On the contrary it would sound rather stupid, this expectation of yours.

That totally explained it. At that moment I was soothed. Yet, this was no 4 year old that I was putting myself up against. Outside of this philosophy when I thought about it, I was still sour. But at least I knew that there was some psychological reason to it rather than attributing it to prejudice.

So it is all about who you want to set yourself against. People more accomplished than you or people less accomplished. The former is definitely a better idea :)

Daily, I grapple with such dharam sankats ;)

A great one!

We got this really cool gift for Rohan in the mail from one of our friends back in the Bay Area, it is a book which spells his name and a story is spun around it where each animal picks its favourite letter and they all build his name together. I thought it was a really cool and smart idea for a gift plus the kids can also read it like a story with their name as the theme..

People really do come up with some smart ideas! :)

Here is what the book is all about.

Thanks P and S!!

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

One month

Do you want the milestone notes first or the philosophy?

Milestone is easy to write. One month, just the three of us. So far we've managed fairly well I should say :) But then I have heard that this is the only age when kids are easy to manage and that it gets tougher and tougher as they grow older ;) Lets see.