Thursday, December 16, 2010

Social butterfly?

So I got depressed that the URL analysis said it didn't find any posts in English. Well, we move on.

For the past week, I somehow kept getting reminded of something that someone said to me over 15 years ago. One of my cousins put a picture of one of our school teachers on Facebook (Mark, you are Time's man of the year!) and this teacher was the one who said that.

I told on some of my friends who kept playing radio in school (or played cards, I don't remember which) which landed them (and me!!) in a lot of trouble. Back then I was this uptight kid, who thought very highly of herself. So I told on my friends. And after a bad session at the principal's office (which left me puzzled as to why I was even sent there), this teacher called me and said "You are a loner. You will always be a loner". She said a whole lot of other things but this is one thing which stayed with me and I remember it as if it was yesterday. (The reason why I think this stayed is because I was not very sure what loner meant, actually ;) ) So I found out what it meant and then I guess subconsciously made an effort at every opportunity to not turn out like she predicted, just to prove her wrong ;)

I don't know exactly what my point here is, but this line keeps popping up in my head every now and then these days. Shows how powerful teachers can be? :)

Thursday, December 09, 2010


I saw this on Shilpa's blog and tried it. And this is what I got:

Sinusoidal Scribbles

Ups and Downs, General Notes on Life;)

Text analysis

Could not find any enough English posts. Posts with less than 50 words are disregarded. 
What the?!?!?!?!

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

BYJU - The serial CAT Topper

I was reading a news paper ad about BYJU - The serial CAT topper. I figured without much ado, as to what a CAT topper meant, but I didn't know how you could ever be a serial CAT topper unless you were stupid enough to give the CAT exam year after year in spite of topping it one year.

Then I took the pains to read through the whole ad. BYJU was just the owner (or so I presume) of the institute called BYJU coaching. And this institute has supposedly rolled out CAT toppers year after year (serially!).

Wonder I never heard of this before ;) Have you?

The MAC - What I like, what I hate

I got a MAC in July and Subhash has been suggesting that I do a post on what I like and what I don't. I have been putting it off but I think now I have the leisure to do a little bit of thinking on this tool of my trade.

Overall, it is not a wonder machine, awesome thingy. It is just another machine, which runs fast, which runs quiet (this is a big plus over my older Lenovo) and does its work well almost all of the time.

What is to like

1) I hated the trackpad initially. But once you get the hang of it (and learn the many shortcuts to doing things with multiple fingers on the trackpad), which usually takes two days, it is a joy to use it. Makes me feel very sad to go back to a non Apple trackpad.
2) I love the fact that I have spaces much like the SUN workstations. I can put my browser in one space, my documents in one, email in one and chat client in one. It is a joy. I used to always miss this feature in my Lenovo an actually had two monitors (one on the laptop and one external) with the desktop extension, to make up for it.
3) The keyboard is nice. It is probably the best I have ever used or experienced.
4) Battery life is good. If I don't play music or do any other such battery-sapping activities, it has even lasted me 7 hours sometimes.
5) Of course the Apple Dock is good. Far better looking than the Windows task bar.
6) I love the MAC widgets! They have one for every taste :)
7) I love the fact that a lot of apps are in-built, like stickies notes, remote terminal connector (unlike windows terminal, this looks good) etc.
8) I love how well this thing searches (whether it is email, documents or anything else). The COMMAND+SPACE is a lifesaver. Lenovo needs a Google Desktop to do what the MAC does inherently.

What is to not like:

1) Let's face it. A MAC is not a Microsoft product. Nor was it made for MS. So naturally although you have the entire suite of office at your disposal, it is just not the same. Especially for XLS. Ohh, and I HATE Entourage (of course I can use Apple mail). But my hatred for Entourage merits another bullet item by itself.
2) ENTOURAGE is BAD. As if that was not enough, it also now crashes liberally after a recent patch for upgrade by MS. And I have no idea why they don't fix it. I can never seem to select a conference room (actually I cannot even scan the list) without crashing it. And now, I found a solution to preventing it crash (thanks to an internal Wiki tip) when I am scrolling through emails randomly but still setting up a meeting gives me nightmares.
3) It HAS to sleep when I shut the lid. I find this extremely annoying, an extremely poor design and really idiotic. Especially considering how difficult it is to carry this machine around without shutting the lid :( And coming back up after a sleep takes forever sometimes (with getting back network coverage especially)
4) The edges are SHARP. So when I type with it on my lap (which is what I am supposed to do, going by the technical definition of a laptop), it makes the lower part of my arms (just beyond the wrists) very sore. I hate it.
5) Needless to say, its sharp edges make it a very unsafe device for kids. You get your finger between the laptop lid and base when its closing and that makes it unsafe even for me! Plus it is metallic so people who try to use it in cold temperatures can wear gloves.
6) The MAGSAFE power cord pin is a joke (or maybe my piece is defective). Sometimes it refuses to sit right and charge my laptop. Those are the times that I am scared as to what will happen to my data when I run out of battery.
7) The VGA adaptor is a pain. If I forget to carry it to a meeting (this I always do, by design), I cannot project anything. Even if I do carry it along, it doesn't work well with projectors for me (at least I have never been able to figure out how to make it fit my screen size) so I just leave it back.

I will probably add more to this list later :)


For the first time in my 4+ years of XBOX ownership, I played on it for the first time for three successive days for at least an interval of 30 mins :) (I think that makes Subhash very happy since he always felt vaguely sad that I never play on the XBOX). Thanks to Kinect. And more importantly thanks to the Fitness game in it.

It is an awesome device and leaves me much in awe of how much humans have achieved with technology. Much like we get numbed to everything else, we get used to all the wonderful gadgets that help us get by life easily, till the next wondrous thing comes along. And that next thing is Kinect for me for sure.

The fitness game not only scans you as you exercise but also counts your calories based on how much you move (no cheating here by running the treadmill while standing next to it ;) ).

There are other games that we have but I am only using the Fitness game for now. It has surely made my work-outs at home a lot more interesting and interactive. It is like having a home gym with a personal trainer. What else can you ask for, eh?

The cold brought me back

Yes, I have taken a long hiatus from this blog. Blame it on the cosmic powers ;)

Yesterday was COLD. I mean, after moving from California, it was the first time I felt cold when I walked out into the open at 4 PM. That is saying something for South Indian weather.

The cold brought me back to my blog though ;)

Friday, November 19, 2010

A week up!

A very nervous weekend is already one week old! This week both the son and me started out on new ventures. He @ Cisco's daycare and I with a new team. Already we are one week into it. I think he has adapted ok. Of course there is always the guilt that Subhash and I have somewhere hidden that we are sending a 13 month old away to be cared for by someone else. But I know this will be better for him in the long run, better at least than sitting at home with just one adult to look and interact with.

And as for me, after nearly 6 years I am going through the first-week-at-work phase. Place is new, mechanics are new, tasks are new, parlance is new, lots of things to get familiar with and lots of things to ramp up on. When I moved to India, I continued doing the same work without a break so except for the location, nothing else was really new. Of course people were new but then there were familiar names too. This time around it is like a new job altogether. It is exciting but also intimidating. I am hoping I have not lost the knack for a steep ramp up yet :)

Went out with the old team for lunch today. It was good fun and most people managed to make it :) Will miss this team.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

I felt overjoyed..

..when I got this:

Most part of the credit goes to my ex-boss, KT, whom I have always tried to emulate.

Thanks A! It made my day :)

Adium, duh!

So I am changing teams at work and was doing a routine cleanup of things (I remember my ex-boss did this when he moved and I was trying to emulate his efficiency). So I cleaned up all my mailing lists, and also my internal chat client.

What I came to know yesterday, quite shocked me. Apparently the stupid Adium client for MAC, sends out a notification to everyone in my list saying on my request they have been removed from my lists. I mean, how stupid. Now I am sure a lot of people hate me in my old team. I am not so sure I'd like to be told by my chat client, no matter what reason it is, that someone has removed me from their list. Heck! I used to feel bad when people closed their chat windows in the middle of a conversation with me (yeah, that was another stupid notification, but at least that was optional and you could turn it off).

Now I have to research Adium preferences to see if this is also some tweakable feature somewhere.

Stupid, stupid, Adium!!

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Thoughts past to present

This weekend was good. I caught up with a few friends from my pre-university days. I was just thinking, we became friends when we were 15 and now we have all crossed our 30 marks, which means we have been friends for 15 years!! That sounded like a solidly large number of years! Made me surprised and feel old at the same time. When I spoke with one of them late Sunday evening, I realized how very few people are left with whom I take the liberty of joking with :) Maybe I am old or maybe I have turned too careful in speech, I don't know which it is ;)

Finally the daycare @Cisco is seeing the light of the day and the son even managed to get in!! Yesterday we had an orientation so for the first time I drove the son alone, just me and him, to work. I was listening to songs on my iPod and was singing along too, and I think the son found it rather amusing. He kept turning his head away from all the pretty sights at the window to see what was wrong with me whenever I began to croon ;) I was thinking about the time when I used to sing and croon to these very same songs alone on my way to and from work. How life has changed! So many things could have gone wrong, but someone above safely saw me through all those phases of life till this day. I felt truly overwhelmed and thankful :)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Sometimes you go through tough phases. Tough decisions. Tough discussions. Then a few people support you, a few people say something that makes you feel that the journey so far was worth it.

So here is saying a BIG thank you to G, K, U, P and A :)

You made my day yesterday!!

PS: Sorry, I just got to be vague here :)

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Auto i

So we got home the new car yesterday. Since this was going to be a second car, we were particular about buying a small one and an automatic so we homed in on the Hyundai i10 Automatic.

They've come out with a new model recently and it is a sackful of goodies. I always loved the Volkswagen's blue backlight for the dash and the i10 also has it! First eye-catcher for me. Then of course, it is automatic. It has been ages (read 2.5 years) since I last drove an automatic and I must confess I was feeling rather weird not having to change gears and not knowing what to do with my second hand. The best feature on the i10 is undoubtedly its power steering. It is too smooth for words. It just fluidly rotates. For a small car, it has a lot of features that are not standard on some of the sedans too. I loved the iPod jack as well (USB port) since now it means I can put my first gen iPod in the car and with it that tonnes of music which I haven't heard in a while thanks to my mobile phone serving the purpose of mini music repository. All those songs I accumulated, collected, painstakingly sorted and labeled, are all now at the touch of a button. Yay!!

We got it home on Ayudha Puja day (MahaNavami) which also happens to be the son's birthday as per the Indian calendar! :)

Monday, October 11, 2010

Faux pas?

News papers do not proof-read. We all know that. With every passing day, the language in ToI gets worse and worse.

But what I didn't know is that big BOLD flash news items are also not proof-read on TV. Yesterday, there was a CWG round up where the anchors were getting all emotional about Sania Mirza's "emotional" interview. And the flash across the screen, big and bold, occupying half the screen space, read:


For a few seconds I didn't understand what nexy goal was. A new type of goal maybe? Then I got it, that they meant to say, her next goal was Olympics. You see, it is so often that you get flash news from a completely unrelated topic while some other news topic is going on, that I actually assumed they were talking about some other person who scored some kind of nexy goal.. ;)

The hand kerchief method for parking

Yesterday, Subhash, the son and I headed out at 9.30 or so in the night for an after dinner dessert. We found a sweet spot right opposite the Cream and Fudge store in Indiranagar and so we attempted to park there. We couldn't park forward on, so we decided to parallel park reverse on and we took the car ahead to align along side the car before us. While Subhash was making the cut, there was this Ford Ikon which pulled up behind us and so he cut very awkwardly and was waiting for that guy to go on before he made one more attempt. But the guy didn't budge.

So Subhash rolled down and asked what the matter was. And the guy actually said, I saw this spot before you, and by the time I could come and park, you cut in. And we were speechless. We were hovering around the cars in front of and behind the spot for 5 minutes already. Even if we didn't so what? What does "seeing" a spot amount to? :)) Anyways, I am not sure where this guy saw the spot from. And he kept insisting we should clear out and let him park. And Subhash asked him if he didn't see us attempting to park in various directions and he said no. And so all we could say is, please get on and let us park.

Like they say, you change your language, you can change your ride, but you never change what you are inside. The guy went and got a Ford Ikon for himself but never grew out of his "kerchief" methods! *

*For the uninitiated, a "hand kerchief" is often used as a tool for reserving a seat in town buses (by throwing it in from the window even before you can get into the bus) where 100% of the time demand is 5 times the supply of seats!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Music background

The son has surely taken after his parents. I never used to study without the walk-man on (the iPod generation probably doesn't know what a walk-man is ;) ). Apparently it was the same for Subhash.

Now the son.

He has a walker which plays different tunes when you press the different piano keyboard style buttons. He no longer uses the walker since he is walking on his own now. So we removed the music tray and we normally let him play with it on the floor. His mode of playing is:

1) Press a button on the music board
2) Play with/observe whatever it is he is playing with/observing

3) When the music stops, press any button to re-start the music
4) Resume playing/examining.

My god!!

Monday, September 27, 2010

One year!!

The time ticker says "Rohan is 1 year old! Congratulations"

I think congratulations it should be. It has been a..hmm..I cannot find the exact word..hands-full one year!

Today I was trying to think of events one year ago and all I could remember was the nervousness and the pain. I feel guilty that I didn't "enjoy" my entry to motherhood as much as I am "supposed" to. I went through an elective C-Section, and I was completely nervous of going through the knife and I was in absolute pain afterward, unable to even sit up to eat. And the smell of that soap in Cradle, reminds me of those painful days I spent in that place when the son was born. Although my doc made me climb up four flights of stairs a mere 4 hours after the surgery, I didn't really get back my mind to the normal state until maybe 2-3 months after (the C-Sec pains took that much to go away too, since I didn't take any pain-killers). When Subhash's brother was visiting India less than a month, he did make that observation to me, saying, you don't quite seem yourself yet, and not sure if anyone else noticed it or not, but he was bang on.

So in short, the first three or four months were spent trying to get my life back to pre-son. I wanted to do the same things and feel the same way that I did before he was born. Slowly but surely I did. And then, I began to enjoy the son. He was a very well-behaved baby always and never gave me much trouble but being a first time mom has its learning curve.

Handling a one-month old infant all by myself through the day was an experience. It made me grow 10 years in age, gave me a lot of nerves and in general was a tough time. When I look back at it, I wonder why, though. He was totally on mom's milk, always used to sleep in exactly the same position as I'd leave him in, never used to cry unless he was either hungry or sleepy and in general was the most super non-fussy baby. Today, when he walks around and gives me a tough time to eat, I realize what a cake-walk the first few months were!

But then it was no fun. It was all one-way. I used to talk to him. Sing to him. Play songs on the phone and dance for him. But from his end, it was all looks and taking the scene in. No reciprocation or acknowledgment. Only after the third month, he started to respond with a smile here and a nod there and then started the fun. And in many ways, the bonding too.

Then I started work. And it was as if I had another baby to take care of. It was tough. But again, when I look back at it now, I wonder why. It couldn't have been tough when all he did was watch me while playing on his back with his toys. Today when he pounces on the laptop and wants to cook with me in the kitchen, I think, that was a piece of cake!

Slowly and surely he grew. From rolling over, to sitting up, to crawling, to having his head shaved, to standing on his own, to nervously making steps, to walking, to stepping out of the house on his own for his evening walks, he came a long way. And I came a long way too.

And I am waiting for him to start talking and reach a level where we can have a decent conversation. (We already treat him like an adult at home). Then I think, I'd have lots of fun. Ohh, and also when he can go out and eat with me. Then we'd be able to have some fun times! Share all the fun that comes from eating exotic food!

Work is getting very busy now (a super challenging area to deal with plus a release to work on!). Since I am doing a release, the US calls have come back to haunt and I am at the job almost 24X5 (I try to keep the weekends to the minimal, just checking emails etc). Subhash's parents have rallied around us and I think I should be really grateful to them for taking him off my hands for most part when I needed to work. They leave shortly and I think the next 6 weeks or so before he gets into a daycare (Cisco's is not open yet!) will be a challenge worth living through!

Subhash and I have survived this year. And I think from now on it will be easy. For the first time in my life ever, I was finding myself complaining about how women have to do all the work. I was a person who never used to let Subhash move a limb at all. I'd tell him, why do two people need to do work that one person can do easily. And I'd also tell him that I'd do all this work even if I was alone, so he didn't really owe me anything. Unfortunately the logic and reasoning in both cases didn't hold once the son entered the foray and so Subhash, I believe, ended up confused at my new persona. I never used to like it when he did work earlier. Now I was not liking it if he didn't. I have to give him credit. He bore me out with as much patience as I have ever seen anyone capable of having.

I am 2.5 KG away from that almost-looks-unreachable pre-pregnancy weight. I have changed my diet habits (hopefully for the better), exercise at least 5 times a week and in general try to stick to a fit routine in spite of whatever else happens. Subhash says I should chuck the work out and sleep that extra time, but I think I'd be feeling really awful if I didn't workout. So I do. Hand weights, running, aerobics (at home) are in to stay. I am looking for a good pool close to home so I can start swimming. It is the least injury-prone work-out for me.

Yesterday we had a party for him. As usual, he was the most well behaved. We went there, he played for some time, then he was sleepy and so got a little bit cranky, I fed him and he slept right away. Right when he had to cut the cake!! And he slept so well, that no matter what we did, he didn't wake up. So we cut the cake and had all the fun, and he woke up right after all the cake was distributed. We made him cut whatever was left and then he generally rolled on the dance floor and played with whatever new thing came his way (including torn balloons!) and generally was so quiet that I had to look for him. No crankiness from all that noise! There was one point where my friend wanted to hand him his gift and I was looking at everyone's arms to see who was carrying him and there he was sitting right behind me on the dance floor! He is really a darling like that.

Tonight last year, Subhash, me and the son spent our first night together @ Cradle. I spent it in pain, with a baby to feed. The staff told us to not space the feed @ more than three hours at a stretch. So we actually put alarms through the night, woke up, I fed the baby, he changed the nappy, slept back, after having the next alarm set to three hours later. For the past six months, we have been letting the son sleep with us just because it is so much joy to have him cuddle against us. From there to now, the ride has transformed into a joyous one!

I now feel I have my life back. With one great addition to it.

And so, here is wishing the son many more happy years to come. And here is looking forward to finding a friend and companion in my son!

Friday, September 17, 2010

The maid's prank call

So my maid yelled into her phone the other day (she is on her mobile talking to someone or another 50% of her work hours). I asked her what was up and if it was a prank call. She said, yeah, and the person would change the language in which he was conversing to throw her off the scent and make her think it was different people. But she said she knew because of the caller ID. I mean what kind of an idiot would think that a person owning a mobile phone wouldn't make out the caller ID?!

So, she was furious. And she asked me to help her call back the same number. And I did. It was apparently a Bangalore number (she cleverly made out since it didn't require a 0 in Bangalore, where if she was calling from her home town, she had to add one). And she yelled at the person saying, "if you call me another time, you see what I will do. You think you can fool me by changing voices/languages and you think I wouldn't know how to call you back. if you call me again, I will give your number into the police and then think what would happen to you." And so on and so forth, you get the drift..

I wonder so many times, I wouldn't think of the Police when trying to teach someone a lesson. Probably because I know how it works so well, that I've given up hope. But apparently the police threat still works in some circles!

The mute button!

My life as it has been running for the past few months would have been impossible but for one simple button. The MUTE one. It lets me breathe while the son is playing/shrieking without losing all my nerves with the worry that all the folks on the (conference) bridge would hear it. Such a simple device, yet such a profound service it does me. It is quite remarkable! :)


I got an email invitation from some unknown person and by an accident, I clicked on Accept instead of clicking on "View the invitation". And now I just cannot find a way to remove this person from my connections. I detest adding unknown people to my accounts on social networking sites (professional or otherwise) and this has been majorly paining me for the past five minutes.

Anyone knows how to delete connections in LinkedIn??

ONE MINUTE LATER: I found an obscure link at the top middle area of the page which says Remove connections and it has made me a happier person :D

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

I feel bliss!

The baby is sleeping
The cooker just hooted its three whistles, which means till the next 20 mins (till it cools down), I have no work in the kitchen
I finished doing weights
I tucked away the laundry
That evening call at 6.30 got canceled

Now I can peacefully sit for the next 15-20 mins (or till the baby wakes up, whichever is earlier) and get some work done.

I feel happy, one of those rare 20 minutes of stillness in the evenings! :)

Friday, August 27, 2010


Today was one of those days. When the day disappears in a whirlwind of tasks. From the morning, to now, it has been one thing or another at work. Escalations, tracking, meetings, more meetings, multiple meetings at the same time where I am needed in all, so apologizing to some people for not making it, calls, and all the rest of the good stuff. I just cleared my Inbox full of tasks. And today the son finishes 11 months. In 11 months, I think this is the first month milestone that I was not home some part of the day. Somehow all the months so far I have been working from home on those days or it fell on off days, or I took off specifically. Today I couldn't do any of that.

Well, anyway, at one point of time I was feeling stressed. Then I just took off for an hour, did the usual stuff with the son, bathing him, feeding him, etc and got back the mind to a threshold of peace and started again. Helps focus, this tactic. Else you are going from bad to worse ;)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Card Tower

One of those rare off days today, thanks to Raksha Bandhan. And all the more pleasant since I had no inkling of an approaching holiday till yesterday morning, when sitting in one of those meetings, I was enlightened by my peers about it.

The son usually loves to bulldoze through the blocks tower I make for him. He patiently waits till I am done with it and then goes and gives it a fistful, scattering all the blocks around. He rather enjoys that kind of sport. Boys, I tell you. Will be boys.

So I thought today, given I had the time and leisure, why not make a card structure for him like I used to when I was young. We used to take my Dad's business cards and make a tower out of it. My dad taught us how to do it. The more houses on the base we went, the more triumphant we felt.

So today, I did this for the son. Initially it was impossible. I was only able to get ONE pair of cards standing and the minute I put one next to it, all four cards would collapse. I thought, although it's been a while, I couldn't have become so rusty. So then I figured it was probably the slippery floor and tried it on the sofa. Modestly going for four "houses" in the base. Voila! I did it!

And the son happily obliged too!

Thursday, August 19, 2010


Today, it is five years since Subhash and I got engaged in a formal ceremony. I remember that trip as if it was yesterday. I had just joined Cisco back then, a few months into, and I didn't have enough vacation to go to India. Subhash's brother was getting married and I knew his parents would be happy if I'd be around too. Plus I wanted my parents to visit me in California, so I thought, I'd go on a quick one week trip and bring my parents back with me. I took a PTO loan (which my manager graciously approved) for one week (couldn't afford more, I'd have to visit again within 6 months for our own wedding) and off I came.

After I had bought my tickets, Subhash's parents said, well, if you are going to come anyways, let's get you guys engaged as well. So, there, I was going to have a formal engagement ceremony, something I never planned or accounted for :)

And what a week it was! Shopping, packing, sorting stuff, collecting tickets, checking visas etc etc etc. We finished my parents preparation in marathon time. My aunts and uncles and cousins came up to Hyd from Bangalore to attend the engagement (again, something on this scale, I never expected!) and so the morning of his brother's wedding was spent in receiving them at the station and then rushing to the hall, not bothering how I was looking or how I was dressed. Attended his brother's wedding and rushed out as soon as I could excuse myself, since I had some 100 other tasks to finish. The same saga continued through the next day and as a result I went to my engagement looking drained and dirty. How I draped the saree, how the hair was looking, god knows. I just finished some marathon driving around the city Kukatpally-Secunderabad-Kukatpally-RK Puram and so was in no shape to think about appearances. A couple of our JNTU friends could also actually visit us. And there is one picture we took with them, in which I actually can see the dirt on my face from all that driving ;) ;)

But finally it was done. We were blessed by all and got engaged in a ceremony that was so formal, that I still cannot believe it all happened :) Ohh, of course, I got a nice engagement ring too ;)

Five years, already!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Info overload?

Subhash sent me some newsletter he has subscribed to about the baby's week-on-week development. There was some nice stuff in it (he subscribed, not me, see that?)

As usual, it gave me the jitters. For whatever reason, I am very nervous to read these things. When you know that these 100 things should happen this week, it is easy to get upset when one of them doesn't. At least that is my temperament. So I avoid these self-help books like the plague.

When I was expecting, a lot of friends suggested we buy the bible "What to expect when you are expecting". I somehow shied away from it. Then we asked Dr. Kini if we should get it. He said he'd take us along the path and so there was no need for the book. That day I was sure he was the doc for me ;) And, of course, I never bought that book.

To date, I stick to the philosophy of listening to the doc and the doc alone. Any questions I have, I call the son's pediatrician. And no one else. No internet. No books. I don't even browse out of curiosity. Because you never know what information you get back. Too much information makes me nervous. What to believe, what not to believe. What to execute, what not to execute. So I keep it simple. Call the doc. Ask him. Do what he says. Trust him. To suggest the right thing. I did my research (very little of it) while looking for a doc. Not after :)

Temples and crowds

In the last three months, I have had two harrowing experiences at temples. One was at Tirumala and one was near my aunt's place at Raja Rajeshwari Nagara (Mysore road).

I believe a temple should be a peaceful place, where people respect others' need to pray, maintain silence and you can really focus on the one thing you are there to focus on. The GOD.

But these two experiences left me wanting never to go back. The crowd. The jostling. In Tirumala, it was so nasty that the son started to cry as soon as we entered any line. He was so fed up with the noise, the commotion, the pushing and prodding.

The same in the Raja Rajeshwari temple. Years ago (more than a decade now) when I used to regularly go to this temple while visiting my aunt and when this whole nagara was not so full of people, with sparsely populated blocks and so on, it used to be a good experience. But now, all you are left focusing on is, how to get to the priest and take that harathi without causing a stampede. Or how to protect your 10 month old, (who is sleeping on you, with confidence that you'd see him through) from people who are in a mad rush to go somewhere and don't care if they kick an infant in the process.

I didn't pray in these temple visits. I was too busy battling the crowds. This is not what a temple visit should be like. I am certainly not going back in a hurry.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Whats up

I sat down to blog and then I checked my Inbox. There was a mail asking if I'd been busy. Someone was missing my updates!

Talking to people is always like a sounding board, you hear what is hidden in your own mind. I was trying to explain to someone I knew, about why I was not blogging. When I discovered that it is not so much not having time to write as to not knowing what to write. Days are a whirlwind of one thing after another. Work, baby, work, cooking, work, baby, work, something else. And so on, you get it! But I am sure I'd write SOMETHING if I had something to write about. But there you go, nothing but mundane routine. No new observations made, nothing new or exciting seen/learnt ;)

Today is my son's first Independence Day. I am glad he was born in a free country. So I said a silent word of thanks to whoever was responsible for it.

Yesterday Subhash and I stole off to dinner. Alone! Thanks to his parents, we left the son at home after feeding and putting him to sleep. We tried Zen (@Leela) and it was super. The food was just right. And we got some alone time after a long long while and got talking (like we used to earlier). It was satisfying. I didn't realize how much I missed it till last night :)

Friends came over yesterday and today. Today's folks just moved back from the US. It is great that so many from our gang back there are moving back. Bangalore is the next Bay Area for us. We have a substantial group here now and catch up with some or the other of them every weekend!

As usual, exciting and nasty things happening at work. Some days are battles, some days are peaceful.

All in all, life goes on as usual.

Saturday, July 31, 2010


The next one in nails!!
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Thursday, July 29, 2010


The daycare at work seems to be seeing the light of the day at last! But I am not hoping yet. These guys have gone and worked themselves up to make it one of the best (if not THE best) daycares in Bangalore and so in the process, will be importing teachers from Singapore for the initial few months, till they can hire local talent, and those few months, they will take in only 10 kids. 10 kids! I ask you, when there is 300 employee registrations. If I get the son in, I will be lucky I suppose.

So here is a post dedicated to the thought of having a daycare ;)

"How are you managing?"

This is usually the first (or one of the first few) questions I get asked when I meet people. They mean, baby, house-hold chores and a full time job.

Luckily things fell in place for me. I was in a comfortable position at work where I could work from home so long as I showed engagement and progress. I was not new to the platform I was working on, I hanged around long enough. Plus Cisco that way is a blessing. It has never demanded that I come to work so long as I delivered on what I signed up for :) Thanks to the culture, the management is understanding and doesn't push to see my face every day, every week :)

The son, he is a blessing too. He is usually well-behaved. I won't say any more for fear of getting jinxed.

So I had to get back from maternity leave in January. I was alone at home with the baby, and a full-time maid. The baby was not rolling over yet, he was still solely on mom's milk and things were a breeze (now it feels like breeze, then I used to be a nervous wreck ;) ). We managed well for a month. Then the full-time maid left to get married and somehow I found a steady maid, two to three maids later.

Then I had to get back to work. I was getting my reports back and I had to go to work at least to meet my team. So I used to go twice a week, Mondays and Fridays, 9AM to 12 PM, come back by 12.30 and the husband used to leave for work at 12.30. It was like a relay race with the baton passing over the gate at 12.30 in the afternoon, give or take an hour;)

Then the husband started to get busy. At work. Luckily in-laws arrived. Now I still follow the same routine, but the husband leaves as soon as he showers and readies the baby for his morning nap routine, doesn't have to wait for me to get back. I give the baby his breakfast and leave after cooking and packing boxes etc and Subhash takes care of the bath and sleep routine. And now that the little guy is all mobile, crawling all over the house (now he knows his way around the house, how to get to the living room, where is his bedroom, where is the TV and all that), I really think it would be a nightmare if I had to work from home with him alone without any kind of support, like I was doing earlier. Subhash's parents have been a blessing. They manage to keep him engaged and he plays with them, which gives me some much needed breaks during the day to get some serious work done.

So, that is that. So far, so good ;)

Saturday, July 24, 2010


So the health check results came out and I was surprised. My cholesterol levels were high. Especially the triglycerides, they were not even marginally high, they went beyond and were in the High range.

My overall cholesterol was within normal range (although it puzzles me how that can be).

Doc said, it is stress induced. I said it might be genetic, we have a family history of it. Or it might be diet? But she said no, this is stress induced, you have to have more rejuvenation. I have not the slightest idea how she was so sure, but there, that is that.

Now I need a break, officially! ;)

Other than this one thing, which she seemed to think is not going to be very serious till the next 20 years or so, that too if I continue with the same stress levels, everything else turned out to be OK.

I know a couple of my colleagues at least who also went in for this thing, came out saying TGL was high and doc sid they had to reduce stress. I know that after the results were out, they were actually stressed thinking why is it that they were stressed!

So I guess this is a common phenomenon that afflicts our generation, hmm...

Saturday, July 17, 2010


The latest in nails for me!!
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I just got home my shiny new Macbook Pro. Cisco had halted all orders to get in the new models with one of Intel's latest and greatest chips, i5.

I was working from home yesterday since the medical checkup thing brought me back to Airport road and when I came home and checked email, I figured that I had this waiting for me back at work. So today, we went to campus, after calling and confirming that the mail-room guys were around. And, home came the MAC. My tech geek is working in earnest now to set it up and I hope to have it seamlessly integrated into my work-life sooner than later ;)

Dr Kini - Sequel

I wrote this post on Dr. Prakash Kini a while ago.

So it was annual health check up time yesterday. I went through height, weight, ECG, etc in Campus and then they drove us to Diamond District for further tests in NM.

I was going through the Sonogram for all organs (liver, stomach, uterus etc) when the doc there asked me if I had a normal delivery. I said I had a C-Sec. She had a minor shock, took her eyes off the monitor and looked back at me, searching for the stitches. When she found them she was even more shocked. She said, this thing has healed so perfectly. I couldn't make out from your Ultrasound that you had sutures anywhere. And on the outside I am even more surprised. It is so perfectly healed, that I couldn't even find the stitches. Whoever did this C-Sec for you did a wonderful job. And then she proceeded for the next 5 minutes to wonder at this again and again, how perfectly it healed, how invisible it has all become and so on and so forth. So I told her this was Dr. Kini's job and she said I have heard of him, elderly doc, na? I said yes. She said she never met him though and asked where he worked. I told her she could find him at the Cradle. I then told her how he made me climb four flights of stairs, three hours after the operation and continued the regimen the rest of the time I was in there and she said that it is the right thing to do. (It sure felt like hell at that time, whether it was right or not!) Later, as if in after-thought, she said, of course a lot depends on you as well. I said, great, thank you! ;)

And I came out happy and feeling thankful to Sa/Sm, who referred me to this wonderful doc and the great hospital.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Aaku Kaavala..

This is one of the songs my son watches regularly. Lyrics roughly translated.

Aaku kavala, poovu kavala (Do you want the leaf or the flower?)
Poovu kavali (I want the flower)
Poovu kavala, pandu kavala (Do you want the flower or the fruit?)
Pandu kavali (I want the fruit)
Pandu kavala, laddu kavala (Do you want the fruit or the laddu?)
Laddu kavali (I want the laddu)
Laddu kavala, amma kavala (Do you want the laddu or your mom?)
Amma kavali, naku amme kavali (I want my mom, I only want my mom)

You get the drift. Kid picks bigger and better things ;)

Now that is what my son listens to. But this is what he follows as a principle in practice:

Amma kavala, amma cheppu kavala (Do you want your mom or her slipper?)
Amma cheppu kavali (I want her slipper)
Amma cheppu kavala, amma phone kavala (Do you want her slipper or her phone?)
Amma phone kavali (I want her phone)
Amma phone kavala, amma laptop wire kavala (Do you want her phone or her laptop power cord?)
Amma laptop wire kavali (I want her laptop power cord)
Amma laptop wire kavala, amma laptop kavala (Do you want the power cord or the laptop?)
Amma laptop kavali, naku amma laptop ae kavali (I want my mom's laptop, I only want my mom's laptop)

You get the drift. It is a miracle my laptop has survived so far!

Often times, he is faced with a choice. He looks at me, looks at my slippers. And without a hint of hesitation, goes straight for the slippers. That is my son. Practical. He knows mom is anyways going to hang around. Why not chase other things, eh?


In more ways than one, this is my buzzword. Mistakes. We all make them. How we learn from them defines who we are. If you ask me, life is the story of what mistakes you make and how you grow out of it.

Now more than ever, I am always conscious of allowing people the leeway to make mistakes. If someone in the team makes one, I am always careful how I deal with it. I don't want to make the reaction so severe that the person becomes permanently afraid to make another mistake, in the process stubbing his/her learning process.

Just thought I'd overcome the blogebb by being a little philosophical here! ;)

Friday, July 02, 2010

The road less taken

Today I took an auto @ Kadubeesanahalli junction to Murugeshpalya and showed him the route I take from behind the airport. He was super thrilled with it. No traffic, no pollution, he was simply shocked. He said "I have been driving an auto for 10 years and I have never come this way". I was feeling a bit flattered I must confess. But then I was just passing on what one auto guy taught me to another :)

When we reached Wind Tunnel Road, I told him this is Wind Tunnel Road  He said yeah, I know! And he said, without even one signal I have come to Murugeshpalya, I cannot believe it! And I felt a little more happy seeing that I had given so much happiness to another human being ;)

VPN and Bharat Bandh

So Monday is off in the US. For July 4. Monday is also "off" in India. It is an All India (Bharat) Bandh, declared jointly by all opposition parties (boy, enemy's enemy is a friend, we all firmly follow this, and nothing unites the politicians better than when the running government is in a soft spot). So are we closing?

Of course not. We all get to Work From Home (WFH). We are part of the "never off" company that is Cisco. We had a notice today from WorkPlace Resources saying we are all encouraged to work from home and that the cafeteria etc will be suspended on Monday.

Technology does wonders. To productivity too. So, on Monday, work goes on. Bandh also goes on. Everyone is happy. Win-Win.

I love the way we seamlessly network in the virtual world. And I am proud to be part of one of the major players who makes it possible. We truly change the way we live, work, learn and play. (This, for the uninitiated, is Cisco's trump line :), sometimes it sounds jingoistic but sometimes you realize it is very true )

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Advice is free!

Unfortunately one of the only things in life that you get absolutely free.

Me: Jogging..
Fellow jogger (now walking): KFK#KWK#K@
Me: (Stop, remove headphones and ask): Sorry, what?
Fellow jogger: You should breathe through your nose. Not your mouth. I know that you should breathe through your nose.
Me: (Smile politely) : Ohh, ok.
(Turn and roll eyes)

If I was younger, I wouldn't have rolled my eyes. But you see. I am 30. And I am being attacked by the intolerance that comes with age (?!?! Really?!).

Why is it that this guy, whom I have started seeing in the colony just for the past couple days (and I have been working out on the colony streets for the past one year, ever since I gave the gym a pass in the 6th month of pregnancy), thinks he can give me advice? This guy was actually walking on the first day, in sandals, probably saw me running and started running yesterday (still in sandals). He wore shoes today finally and that suddenly made him feel like doling out advice on working out to perfect strangers.

Gosh! I think I have a face that attracts advice.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010


Subhash has this theory: Whatever you say about others is like a boomerang, it comes right back at you.

Since I have heard this theory I have seen ample incidents which have given proof to it. More so in the past few weeks. I have seen things happen to people who have ridiculed others for the very same things. So much so that now, when I start on the ridicule train (even in my mind), I take a shudder. Good for me I say. But scary all the same ;)

Of course this doesn't apply to public figures, celebrities, politicians, CEOs and so on and so forth. You get the drift. ;)

Cisco vs Apple

Yet again. No this time this is not a problem with licensing the "iOS" name out to Apple (really, they borrowed iPhone and now iOS, losers!), but this:

Cisco Cius

I think (and hope) this will be big. Now only if it did something for our stock, that would be something more to smile about ;)

PS: Been very slack with blogging. Normally during a trough (although I call this blog sinusoidal) I do not post things. I hate to put out more gloom in the world. Shilpa: No, I was not busy, in fact I hate to say "I am busy" :) I'll hopefully be better now that the cloud's lifted.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


My term for blogging ebb. Too many things to write about for a change. But most of the topics are sensitive so wondering what to do, that is all.Ohh, and one reader anonymously commented that I have been away for very long and that kind of made my day, people do read this blog and miss its lack of updates !!

Well, one deal is that the son is finally sporting a clean shaven head. He turned 9 months as per the Hindu calendar this Sunday and we took him to Tirupati and got his head shaved off. It was awful watching him cry and lose all those lovely locks. I am now on a nourishment spree to ensure his hair grows back fast. Fingers crossed.

Tirupati was an experience. All that crowd and noise and loud yelling made this fellow cry non-stop as long as we were in the Q. As soon as we got out, he was quite his normal self again.We rented a chauffeured-Innova and a HUGE cottage and in general this has been the most comfortable and well-provided-for trip I have made to Tirupati in my entire lifetime. Yet, it was an ordeal to see this little guy cry and get all unsettled because of the crowd. I really wish we didn't have to put him through so much at such a young age. But, rituals are rituals, and you follow them as much as you can I guess. (I am veering towards the sensitive end of this topic now if you get the drift of what I was trying to say earlier). If he was a girl, I was more than willing to postpone his tonsuring till his third year (so at least he is a little older) but I don't like cross-dressing him as a girl and that includes putting him in pony-tails and clips. So I had no option but to make sure this thing was done with so that we could get him started on his regular hair-cuts, what with his lustrous fast-growing mane of hair going out of control very easily, very soon :)

Anyways that is done with and hopefully I will have more moderate variety of topics to blog on very soon :)

Wednesday, June 09, 2010


For the nth time we went to Italia (old name: Little Italy on Indiranagar 100ft road) last night for dinner. We had to visit a friend of Subhash's who had a baby recently and didn't make dinner before leaving so we ended up going to Italia after much debate on where else we can go. I guess more than the good all-vegetarian food that they serve, it is the comfort of a known place that draws us to that restaurant. It was the first restaurant that the son went to (at 1 month old) and he has been there numerous times since. All the waiters recognize us, we have our favourite sofa lounge studio (so that it is convenient to let the son lie down) and we know the menu by heart.

Truly, there is comfort in routine :) At least for me.

Back to school!

It is that time of year. Yesterday, the colony was full of school buses and kids hurrying off to school. I guess schools have re-opened. I always feel sorry for the kids that they have to get back to school. In fact one of the twin girls who lives five to six houses down our lane was crying inconsolably to go to school.

But it somehow always brings back good memories to my mind. I loved school. As much as I loved summer holidays (with the water coolers, grandma's house, mangoes, sleeping till late etc etc), I used to yearn to get back. A new year, new uniforms, new shoes, new bag and new lunch boxes (sometimes), the smell of new text and note books, the scramble to get them all wrapped up in brown paper, label them and write names on each of them, and so much more!

So here is wishing all our colony kids a happy coming year in school!!

Sunday, June 06, 2010


That is how many emails I have to plough through for not having checked official email for a whole week. Boy! We do take communication to new heights. I have been at it more or less non stop for the last 3 hours and still I am only 500 emails through :( I am resisting the temptation to do CTRL+A and SHFT+DEL. ;)

Back and happy.. be home
...for the 10C drop in temperature
....for my 15.1" laptop monitor and the space it affords me to organize my email and browser
.....for the successful completion of the son's sixth flight where he didn't so much as wink during take off and landing and thoroughly enjoyed it playing with crew and me and his dad
......for my sister who got married

And many more such..

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Air India and its meals

When I was in the US, I loved Air India. For its food. All the way home and especially on the way back (when you are home sick on the flight itself), they used to dish up delicious and hot Indian meals. And they fed you so often that it was tough to sleep..

Today we took the Bangalore-Hyd flight. Flight duration is 50 minutes. As soon as we took off, the breakfast was served. 3 idlis, 2 vadas, hot sambar, coconut chutney, croissant with butter and Strawberry marmalade, fruit salad and coffee. I mean that meal lasted us till 1 in the afternoon and we had it as soon as we took off at 8.50 or so.

And the best part, it was like a test in time for the crew to see how fast they can serve and clean. They served, and started cleaning after waiting for five minutes. And for us, it was like we made the journey just to have breakfast. We took off, had breakfast, finished and landed ;)

Air India certainly still is the best airline in terms of food. Yay! for that. And domestic flying experience in India is anyday much better than in the US, I'd say.

The fifth one

Today my eight-month old son took his fifth flight! Next week we fly back to Bangalore and that will be his sixth. He seems to be averaging a little less than one flight per month of his life so far!! Good god!

I still remember the heebie-jeebies I had when  flew with him the first time when he was 20 days old! I was so damn nervous, that I sat on the edge of my nerves even though he was fast asleep throughout his flight except for the last 10 minutes when he cried during touch down.

The flights get progressively better. Today for example, was the perfect start. Since his sleeping pattern is set, he slept through our waking up and getting ready and loading and traveling to the airport. In the airport I took him to the baby care and dry-cleaned him and changed him and it was so perfect. Since he is having solids now (last time  traveled he was stll solely on breastmilk), I didn't have to stay back and feed him. Plus the baby care was empty. I was in and out in 10 minutes and we both sang and coo├ęd through it.

Then we mixed him some formula which he refused to drink. And it was his morning milk time and he was still not drinking. Then he got a bit cranky just when the plane was getting ready to undock for take off. Subhash suggested a couple of times that we should probably mix a fresh batch of formula but I shrugged it saying, well, what is the use, he is not even drinking this. But we knew he was hungry and so when Subhash suggested it for the third time, we mixed anyway and lo and behold! he drank the new batch. Not sure, maybe he didn't like the Avent bottle. (And I should learn yet again to not question the husband's wisdom)

So he was half way through his formula and wanted to cry again when I lifted him and made him stand next to me so he could watch out of the window. And he was so absorbed looking at how fast the trees were moving etc and how we suddenly went above the trees that he just kept watching throughout most of the flight. In the middle of it all, he managed to pull away the newspaper that the guy behind me was reading and started playing with it. That gentleman was highly amused and let him do what he wanted. Boy! As a baby you can get away with murder ;)

Anyways, this flight, we didn't take any of the cotton wool precautions during take off and landing to avoid painful ear pops dur to air pressure change. He sat quite comfortably through it (and even watched his take off and landing!!!!!) and his ears I guess are already tuned to flying related air pops.

He is a jet-setter @ 8 months. Already a veteran flier...

What a generation!

Friday, May 28, 2010

The generation lowdown

As I see it, of course ;)

First few months after the baby's birth..

Generation X:

Typically large joint families. Women had an average of 10 kids give or take. And each woman had experience with raising not just her own kids but also her own sisters and brothers besides nephews/nieces (husband's brothers' kids mostly since ours was/is a patriarchal society). So upshot: Lots of experience with having kids and raising them.

Generation X+1:

Typically shrunk family size. (Some families were nuclear, some were not). Plus advantage of having a generation above with loads of kid raising experience. Typically women stayed over at their parents' place a few months before and after kids were born. The initial few months, typically women did not tend to their own kids at all. Since Gen X was part of large families, some Gen X+1 women had hands on experience with raising nephews/nieces still.

Generation X+2: (Where I belong)

Typically nuclear family. Number of kids more or less same as previous generation. More technology and gadgets and tools at hand, making raising kids a relatively easy task. Whether it is access to more scientific and proven information or simple things like scissors-shaped infant nail clippers, you have everything you need to be able to raise kids on your own. With the same holding true for everyone, typically this generation just tends entirely to its own kids.

What will Gen X+3 be like? Your guess? And which do you think is better?

Thursday, May 27, 2010

8 months!

So I turned 2/3rds of a year old mother today. And the son is slowly learning to crawl. And the mother is slowly beginning to fret taking her eyes off him for a split second, lest he should go tumble somewhere. Life is on its toes!

Of course, the son looks up at the mother and gives a big smile and tries to crawl towards her and life is all good. One couldn't imagine any better :)

Slowly but surely I feel the rewards of being a mom :)

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Of tables and schools

Often I've wondered why we said our tables (multiplication tables I mean) this way:

Two ones are two
Two twos are four
Two threes are six

..and so on.

I always thought it was a serious grammatical error since it should read "two (times) 1 IS two", "two (times) two IS four" etc. Only recently when Subhash was talking to Rohan and doing the two table (oh don't ask me why an 8 month old needs to know that, Subhash also holds up his toy, lets it fall and says "Chinnu, this is gravity" And I am like?!?!) that I realized that in our tables the number of which the table is recited is not primary, it is just a count. The 1,2,3,4 are the ones that are referred to and so it makes perfect grammatical sense!

Two 1s are Two ==> 1 1 = 2
Two 2s are Four ==> 2 2 = 4
Two 3s are Six ==> 3 3 = 6 (see? Now you know what I mean, I always used to think of it as 2 2 2 in my mind and not 3 3)
Two 4s are Eight ==> 4 4 = 8 (and not 2 2 2 2 = 8)

..and so on.

Well, at least I didn't make mistakes in English when I was reciting my multiplication tables and am I relived about this guilt after all these years!!!

On the topic of schools and tables and all that good stuff, this year's CBSE topper was from NPS Indiranagar which happens to be one of the better schools in India and is <3 KM from our place :)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Fit or fat?

Or both?

Subhash is a very non-exercise person. He very very very rarely exercises. And he eats moderately, doesn't freak out on food like me, but doesn't particularly watch what he is eating either.

I, on the other hand, religiously wake up every morning, go for my jog/walk, do hand weights, ab exercises etc. Yet I have a perennial paunch and feel fat (of course I love food). Especially so after the pregnancy, its just been super difficult to shed that extra flab which I accumulated. Everyone says it will go eventually but I am an ambitious person. I'd like to see it go ASAP.

No doubt I am fit. I bounce back very fast from injuries, don't get very tired easily etc etc etc I feel healthy and happy most of the times. On the other hand I know people with to-die-for bodies who keep falling sick at the drop of a hat, get tired from even the smallest outings etc.

Being fit doesn't necessarily mean being trim. That is the only thing I can conclude.

So are you fit? Or are you fat? Or, like me, are you both? :D

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Of Indian Customs

No, not the traditional customs but the customs of customs and excise fame which we all dread so at our airports.

I had no idea we had to pay duty on "importing" new clothing into the country!! They even tax you if you are doing it for personal use (and not to do business). This is what I found out yesterday when I got dinged on a dress that I ordered online and which had to come from overseas.

And just look at the detail listed in the link below. It is mind blowing to think someone had the time and patience to chalk out all of this.

So, how many new clothes have you "smuggled" into the country? Eh?

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Rain rain ...

Today, the rains washed Bangalore. Wind swept everything out. We were braving a nice little storm to get to Indiranagar, only to figure that all the arteries there were blocked because of trees that got uprooted. It was a sight to be seen! Healthy, green, huge trees, just uprooted and lying across the street. And on 100ft road, there was a sea. When will we learn to manage rain water better :( Its such a pity to see so much water just standing and stagnating on the road when it can be drained back into the earth to enhance the water table.

On the plus side the weather is super cool. All that heat can nearly be forgotten when you step outside.

BESCOM as usual is very prompt and there has been no power ever since we reached home. Not sure when it went out. So keeping fingers crossed that they be kind enough to restore it before the UPS conks out on us.

We accomplished some key tasks today though. I am happy for that..

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Friends, Facebook and keeping in touch!

On Monday evening we had friends over at home. They moved back from the US (Dallas) and arrived here on Monday. It was a great way to spend an evening. This couple is exactly like us in a sense that the guy was Subhash's batch mate and the girl was mine. We, in fact, used to live close by and more often than not, commuted together. The guy's house was a stone's throw away from ours and so this also brought the girl over to our ilaaka a good deal ;)

Anyways, so this was the first time we were seeing their kids. Adorable. But then I realized that I haven't met the girl at all in this past 9 years since we graduated. AT ALL!!! My god. That was certainly a revelation. I completely was taken aback when I realized this. Then I got thinking. Yeah, indeed, we never met. But we caught up so often on Facebook, Picasa photo share, Orkut, Kodak photo share etc (in order of least primitiveness) that it was almost like we were living close by.

Surely, technology does something to bind us all. I think I am a living example of what my employer promises :) THE HUMAN NETWORK ;) ;)

Friday, April 30, 2010

Gadget Geek gets geekier

Now the geek gets geekier. He got himself the new HTC Desire phone. And today he was chatting and saying strange things like "How are you". And I asked him what was wrong with him and he said "I am practising why is typing while driving".

First I didn't get it, then I figured that his phone transmitted "why is" when he told it to type "voice". So now he chats on GTalk while driving by simply talking to his phone.

I wonder what else he will venture into in the future. And if the son takes after him, the pair of them might just leave me perennially awed with the things they do with technology!!


After the perfect line comes the perfect evening. These days, it rains almost everyday with the exception of a few here and there. It is damn hot in the day and in the evening that extra heat brings on the rains. Normally I notice the clouds getting dark and I dress up the son for his evening walk but by the time we get out it has already started raining! A couple of days we waited for the rain to stop and went out but more often than not we just had to settle for watching the rain through the window.

Today was different. Its been cloudy for an hour and a half and its cooled down to the perfect temperature, not too hot, not too cold, perfect breeze. And it stayed that way for the entire duration of our walk. It was so nice and cool, the breeze, and we walking, slowly taking in the peace and quiet. The colony kids as usual were bicycling and playing and I am hoping the son will soon be old enough to join them and will be good friends with them and will have a gang of his own.

The only thing missing in the perfection was the husband but hopefully tomorrow will be the same and he will fill the gap :)

When the colony girls bicycle it somehow always reminds me of Ms. Clara Fernandez. She was my class teacher and she taught us science when we were in the V standard. Once she got this brilliant idea and had a bicycle assignment plus cleanliness assignment. We had to bicycle on the school grounds and we got 5 points if we did well, in the term assignment portion. You came clean to class and you got another 5 points. Cleanliness included clean linen, clean hands (nail clipped etc) and clean noses. I wonder what she had with noses. She actually went around the class with a ruler checking everyone's nose! :))

Needless to say I miserably failed in my cycling assignment (wait I know what you thought, you thought I failed cleanliness didn't you? Sorry to disappoint) because I didn't know cycling and I tried learning the previous day in vain after wasting all the warning period leading up to the assignment. I learnt to bicycle finally in my VI standard summer holidays in Tumkur (but it didn't help my assignment anyways)!

There was also a comment on my previous post on rain saying rain disrupts traffic and causes a mess. I sympathize with the person who posted the comment (I don't know who you are) but at the same time I felt a tinge of pity that we city folk have become completely numb to nature's wonder. In the middle of the April heat when it is at its height and vexing everyone, nature actually intervened and cooled everything off and I was happy for it. But most of us spend so much time in the AC at work and at home anyways, that it really probably ceases to matter whether nature is heating or cooling. All we want is a smooth road to ride back home in :) I say we should blame BBMP for it. If only they managed rainwater on roads better, we could all enjoy the rain AND the road :)

Thursday, April 29, 2010

The perfect line

I was looking for many years now, for that one line which would describe how mediocre folks try to tell the world that everything they do is the best and what everyone else does or aspires for is either stupid or not important or worse, materialistic. I used to try the fox and grapes and them being sour. But today I found the perfect line thanks to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and it goes:

"Mediocrity knows none better than itself whereas talent instantly recognizes genius"

(One of his four novels, where one Scotland Yard agent unlike others who try to snub Holmes, actually respects him from the word go)

Well said sir, hats off!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

7 months

So my son is 7 months old today and I am a 7 month old mom.


Thursday, April 22, 2010


Normally my life is devoid of any sensational things. It is pretty average. Especially when one considers my tech life.

But last night my laptop started rebooting on its own saying some virus was detected. Since it had become pretty useless my gadget geek looked up McAfee's website for any latest sensations and there it was, a latest virus/false positive thing doing the rounds. And I think I was one of the first to get hit since we saw a bulk of updates coming in after we started checking ;) Wow! I felt like being in the middle of a tornado, the eye, to be precise ;)

I called a couple of colleagues and both (actually one of them is a Mac user) of them didn't have this problem. We figured that using "shutdown -a" at least prevented the machine from rebooting so we did that but till McAfee confirmed anything we were weary of using any passwords etc on the laptop. So no connectivity all of late last evening and as a result I made good progress on my Wodehouse.

This morning the US folks sent out an email with updates. So looks like, because my laptop is a US one, I am still scheduled for some things based on US times. Which probably explains why my Indian colleagues didn't see any blip.

It was funny though, the notification this morning said, DO NOT REBOOT your PC but update this file. The McAfee console was just allowing 60 seconds before it would shut down the laptop and the download/patch takes more time than that. And the mailer didn't say how I can prevent re-booting my system. Phew!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Daily treat

It has been raining every single evening since Sunday. Days are sunny and hot. Evenings it cools down, dark clouds gather and it pours! Of course it also means power cuts like the one I am having right now. But I am not complaining. Rains are a welcome treat (plus I still haven't bought that AC ;) ;) ) and escape from all that heat we endured in the first half of April :)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


As a person who refreshed her Kannada primarily by conversing with maids and haggling with auto-wallahs, I welcome this smart move by the Government. This transport minister Ashok is one cool dude, I tell you. One look at the Volvos and one ride later I'm sure you will agree.

Be sure to check this EasyAuto thingy. And let me know if any one of you has actually tried it. Next time I'm commuting to work and not driving I want to give it a shot. Especially because the other day I happened to walk a good 2 kms in hot mid-day sun till Airport road from work to catch an auto home. Simply because I didn't want to pay extra. As a matter of principle. And because of the haughty way in which those guys demand fare..

An alternate take on the Iceland Volcano

After that CRS-3 announcement debacle, we have some brilliant stuff at last ;)

Sunday, April 18, 2010


University of Wisconsin Credit Union for the uninitiated.

When I joined Facebook, I used to think I will only be a fan of something that is really worth it. And one day I noticed, my bank of 9 years was on Facebook. I immediately became a fan.

Here is a bank that is a Credit Union. It is meant for UW students and employees. But for me it is a lot more than that. My first independent bank account in the US, it has seen all my financial ups and downs. And it is a great bank simply for the features it offers. So much so, than even after I moved from Madison to Milwaukee and then to California, I continued to use this bank. Living very close to a Wells Fargo in Sunnyvale, I used to get my salary credited to UWCU because I used to find banking with a bank some thousands of miles away much easier and more worth my time than one which was less than a mile away.

Even today I use this bank. Recently they started (or maybe only recently I got to know of it) this facility called MoneyLink which allows free electronic funds transfer between banks (like NEFT in Indian banks). I confess, in all the banks I have dealt with in the US, no one offered this free transfer convenience like Indian banks did. I may be wrong, maybe other banks also do, but I haven't had accounts with them. I used to have much respect for Indian banks in that sense.

But now my good old Madison bank also lets me do it. Recently we had a friend transfer funds to us and it was so easy that it was hard to believe that this was an American bank I was dealing with.

And the web interface of this bank needs to be seen to be believed! So much information all in one screen without clutter. It is simply amazing. I have seen American Express, Wells Fargo, US Bank, ICICI, HDFC and a myriad other banks' web interfaces and none comes even close to UWCU's extremely user-friendly interface.

And customer support is easy, prompt and very helpful, again without the need to make calls, all through their web portal.

So I thought I'd give them a kudos in my blog!

Good work folks!


Yesterday Subhash's parents left after a month long stay with us. It was a tad bit depressing since it was just the two of us again with the baby. I am a people person. I need lots of people around me all the time. And it sure feels good to have parents over since they dote on the son so much, it is nice to see them entertain and getting entertained by him.

We are hoping he won't miss them too much. If he is like me, he is very likely to demand that all grand parents stay with him when he is a little older ;)

Friday, April 16, 2010

Census 2011

Today when I came home from work, the Census 2011 guys were at home asking some questions. They are taking down names for the National ID cards project that Nandan Nilekani has been assigned to. Apparently they will start with Karnataka. And they asked some pretty nice questions like what is the sanitation method, how is drinking water supplied, what type of kitchen we have, does the house have a bathroom, is LPG the fuel for cooking etc.

I can see how relevant these questions are and if accurate data is polled it can go a long way in ensuring basic facilities reach places that don't have proper sanitation, water supply etc. But I wonder if it is possible to do such a mammoth task with accuracy.

The ladies who had come home were happy we opened the door. Apparently most people don't. And even if they do, they do not answer questions patiently. And these ladies are government school teachers. They are given some target areas and this many houses to do. And the worst part is that all apartment buildings are considered  1 unit. So if they are assigned 300 houses and 200 of those "houses" turn out to be apartment complexes each with lets say 10 units even (we know how apartments are these days, 10 is miniscule), they need to easily cover 2100 houses. And that is a mammoth task. I do not envy the teachers in government pay anymore.

Nevertheless the intention is there and I hope it will see the light of the day, this national ID program.

And Rohan is officially part of the Indian population now for the second time already ;) ;) Earlier the regular census guys had come and we gave his name then too!!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


Prelogue: As I was writing this post the power to the wireless went phut, and when I hit Publish button is when I realized that it no longer worked. Turns out my $100 APC power adaptor just went kaput and I had to replace it with another APC power adaptor (luckily which we bought in spare when moving back to India). And the BESCOM guys have woken up from their snoozes and realized their call of duty and now we have no power. (Actually I did hear the transformer outside doing one more blast when the power went out, so they are probably still snoozing)


It is raining. Last couple days the rains had graced all of Bangalore except us. Our area got a few minutes of drizzle and that was it. Nights and early mornings were as sweaty as ever.

But today the skies have opened up and the thunder is so loud that the baby is wading out of his sleep because of the tremendous noise. And it is raining!!!!!

I just heard a tremendous blasty noise outside like some transformer was struck by lightning. And even in the house there were two such loud "phut"s. The power supply seems to be on, so I am hoping all is well. 


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Punctuate those lines!

On an unconnected note, I am super thrilled with the response my 20-30 blog got. Thank you folks!

These days I find more and more that my comma usage has gone for a toss. Of course in emails I still maintain strict grammar and spelling but mostly the chat lines are all one long string of words. Often I've caught myself unable to understand what I've written to someone on chat in the last one week. And I HATE it.

Of course in this generation where English is murdered left and right, where "the" is written as "d" (This one I absolutely HATE the most, tops the list, and what more one of my ex-English teachers' also uses it!), and through becomes thru even in official emails (I am also guilty of typing thru in chat but if and only if I am carrying the baby in my right hand and trying to type fast and get some message across with the left hand), I guess my lack of commas will go absolutely un-noticed. Still, like someone said (I don't know who), so far as I know my work is faulty, I cannot sleep in peace.

So here is making a conscious effort to get those commas back in chat ;)

Monday, April 12, 2010

Blasted heat!

Don't know about fellow Bangaloreans but last night was horrible. The night, unlike typical summer nights, never cooled off and the whole night we spent tossing and turning and unable to sleep properly for the heat. And this morning, it prompted us to get out for that walk much sooner at 6.45 but still we came home all sweaty and my hair felt like I just washed it. Yuck! So much heat I have never felt on a summer night. Summer days yes, not nights. And Rohan kept waking up for the heat :(

Maybe its time to ditch that green thing and buy an AC? Sigh!

ToI carried a piece on the main page saying yesterday was the hottest day ever. They forgot to add, hottest night to the equation.

Today a HUGE cloud is looming large and black. Hopefully it rains cats and dogs and we can all have some fun now.

Friday, April 09, 2010

How did I ?

Welcome the thirties I mean. A lot of people asked.

I am doing a daily dealings kind of post after a long time :)

Well, the day began as usual, Subhash's mom made boorelu and Mavidikaya pulihara for me.And his parents gave me a gift. The touching thing about it was that his Dad actually made the effort to buy a nice envelope to put it in on one of his previous visits to the post office :) It was so sweet of them.

Then Subhash went to work and I went about my usual business, bathing the baby, working from home, emails, calls, meetings etc etc etc. Subhash came home early and he bought a cake for me! I wasn't really expecting him to since he didn't tell me he would and usually he doesn't like surprising me ;) It was a yummy mango cake. Then we went to the temple, got Archana done, came back home and then went to Leela for dinner. There this little guy got restless and we took turns, me, Subhash and his Dad to carry and show him around while the others ate. We came home around 11 and retired.

Today, my LT gang at work got me another cake which was equally yummy! A choco-chip one and we all hogged on it. Then went about business as usual. These days when I go to work, it is a mad whirl of meetings and more meetings (obvious, considering I go only for meetings). So got back home pretty hot (from all the walking in the sun) and tired :)

That is all :)

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Hurtle out the twenties, bring on the thirties!

Like I said, in two days I bid farewell to my twenties.

In any person's life, I think the twenties are the most significant emotionally and mentally. Sure, 0-10 you grow up and learn a lot of stuff hitherto completely unknown. 11-20 you come to terms with some realities, face some new issues of growing up and in general spend some turbulent times.

Then on its one big roller coaster. You are stable enough yet not mature enough. And the next ten years completely alter the colour of your character like nothing else. Age sobers you and by the time you hit the thirties you are all philosophical. Well, at least this has been my experience :)

I thought, when I was 10, I couldn't really articulate well about 0-9. When I was 20, there was no blog where I could reflect. Now that I have both articulation and blog space all figured out, here is a simple life story.


Probably the most significant thing that happened when I was 20 was that I gave GRE. I always knew I wanted to go to the US because that is where I could make a quick buck and get back. My purpose was fueled by the typical middle class aspirations. And I cracked 2220. Which was good. I wanted to get into Wisconsin. I did. Big Ten, Top Ten. Done.

The next most significant thing that happened was I took my first flight ever. Which happened to be an international flight to Kuala Lumpur to present some paper. I was a student. The 5000 INR which was converted to ~100 USD weighed heavily on my mind and jeans pocket. It was the first time I was carrying so much cash, traveling alone, taking a flight, getting out of the country using my freshly minted passport and what not. I had butterflies in my stomach and heart and that is a gross understatement. I somehow finished and came back and I felt all grown up.

Life by 30 has come a full circle and my son, all of 20 days, did what I did when I was twenty years old, took his first flight :)


I graduated. My first degree. A B.Tech. I went abroad. To study, to achieve. I met frustration for the first time in my life. I paid taxes for the first time in my life. I knew what a valuable thing money was. And I knew what "not-knowing-where-your-next-meal-is-coming-from" feels like. And I swore I would move back some day when my Dad had his second heart stroke and I couldn't do one damn thing about it sitting half way around the globe with no money to travel and trying hard to fight off that 10K USD tuition bill. One good thing that happened is my whirlwind Europe tour in 2001 Dec. I went from living all my life in India to visiting three continents in just 10 months! I hit the gym for the first time in my life!


I learnt some serious life lessons. Saw treachery staring in my face. Spent god knows how many tears over life's ruthlessness.Felt cheated and used by one of my closest friends. Moved into my own accommodation as soon as I got an internship and could afford to do so. Realized that no price in money is too heavy to pay for a little peace of mind. I bought my first videocam and laptop :)I get my CCNA


Probably the most significant and long term impacting year. I finished my Masters. My second degree. An MS in Electrical Engineering. I saved some serious dough for the first time after moving to the US. I had a near-death accident (I-94 between Milwaukee and Chicago, just before Waukegan) from which I escaped miraculously with a minor neck ache. I got offered marriage on a platter by a very very dear friend and I was torn between wanting to say yes and not being sure about it all. I get my CCNP.


From here the years get all incrementally more important.

I spend my birthday at home after 3 years. Subhash buys me some sweet thing after a lot of contemplation if I will take it or not since I officially never said yes. I buy my first BIG ticket item (at that time, 5K USD was BIG), my Black Honda Accord. 97 model :) I face the pink-slip situation, I get laid off. I've just moved to a new town and bought a car and leased an apartment and I am jobless.

I remember that one day I walked back home with a heavy heart after paying my rent for the month. I had just enough left in the bank for a month's rent. And that spent, I was broke. No money to buy food too. And I didn't want to go into debt. So I was contemplating moving back, marrying Subhash and settling down as a housewife ;) Luckily the manager who had to lay me off, really wanted me back and somehow managed to smuggle me back in through someone else's budget. And I was back on track.

But from then it was one uncertain day after another. Always the invisible axe hovering over my neck.

After being stupid about it for six months I finally say yes :)

The H1 drama is witnessed. The guys who contracted me cannot do it so they sub contract me to someone who can. Finally I get my H1, one day before my OPT expires, on Jan 19th. I interview with Cisco on Jan 20th and hear positive from the first team I interviewed with. Since then the career has not looked back.


My parents visit me in the US. Subhash and I get engaged. Subhash moves to the US to be with me. I get married! Need I say more? :)

I forgot to add, I started this BLOG! ;)


Thanks to a great manager at work, the career really starts rocking. Slowly the cash starts building up and I start to spend with a vengeance for all those days that I spent hours in front of the cereal aisle trying to decide which is the cheapest one to buy.


I buy my dream. My Merc C-Class. I cannot believe that just three years ago I was living from hand to mouth and I realize this is why the US is called the land of opportunity, anything can happen here. Subhash's parents visit the US. After they leave, I finish my CCIE. We finally start to plan the move back now that their trip is done and all check list items have been taken care of. My parents visit, my Merc and his parents visit, my CCIE. All done. We move back home. To India!


Settled down to life in India. In fact we moved 10 days shy of me turning 28. This birthday too I spent at home, the first one after 4 years! I get my first hair cut ever in life in a salon. We buy another dream, our home in Bangalore and we have a dream house warming to boot! We discover we are going to have a baby!


We settle in our home, I make an important career role change mark, we have a baby boy, we name him Rohan, he turns 6 months and life seems all set to go! 

So there, I feel life is just beginning. The twenties is one decade I will NEVER forget. I hope I never forget the struggle and the value of some things which were learnt the hard way. The baby has transformed life in a sense that I feel completely aged and responsible for one more life in a way I have never felt before. It is a very fine line I trod, giving it my very best at every possible stage yet trying to keep things low key and not make a big noise about it. I hope I turn out a good wife, great parent, cool daughter and so on and so forth. Here is to the thirties. Let's rock!!


-Sometimes you have to suffer fools. And chest-thumpers.

-It makes it easier to sympathize and/or empathize or for that matter to even talk to some people when you don't know too much about their opinions. Subhash always tells me this. But sometimes I am too curious to heed his wise advice and end up causing a lot of heart burn for myself. Unnecessary.

-I realize time and again how lucky it is to have at least one person in life who takes you for what you are, no frills, no obligations, who takes your every whim seriously and tries to fulfill all those that he/she can :) I think everyone knows whom I am referring to :))

-In two days I bid farewell to my twenties, or tweens as Subhash's dad calls it :) So all the growing up :)

Monday, April 05, 2010

Kaaki Effect

There is a proverb in Telugu

Kaaki pilla kaaki ki muddu

Which translates

A crow finds its baby cute

It basically means every person finds his/her child cute no matter what their absolute beauty quotient is.

So whenever I tell Subhash that Rohan is looking cute, he says, yeah "My Kaaki baby"

And he calls it the Kaaki effect ;)

Taco Bell and other stuff

Taco Bell has opened shop in Mantri Square Malleswaram. And he advertises in a big banner on Koramangala Inner Ring Road. Wonder what he is thinking. And that too he advertises his Crunchwrap Supreme which is my Taco Bell all time fav :(( Well, next time I am in Malleswaram I need to check it out. I am sure the Indian version will be far better than its American cousin. Also apparently thjis Mantri Square has Marks and Spencer et al. All you traditional Bangaloreans, what is the deal with this mall? Is it posh? Also we certainly seem to be going Brit with out stores, that many more UK brands than American ones.

Today was marathon power outage. Let me just say, if the same happened in the Bay Area, there would be a huge hue and cry, but this being India, I am sure it won't even find a spot in the local news. Apparently some work was getting done because of which we didn't have power from 2 to 9. The inverter ran as much as it could and gave way at 6.30. And today was Rohan's first experience with darkness and candles. I was telling him he better get used to it, this is part of being Indian :D

Apparently a kilometre away on the Airport road, the BJP candidate was celebrating his victory with fireworks in the BBMP polls. And I just wanted to ask him what he finds to celebrate when the whole place is plunged in darkness. What irony that, eh?

Oh good lord!

A couple days that I do not login into reader I now have 35 unread items!! And that is huge for someone who always reads everything and keeps it clean. My fellow bloggers have been extremely active or what? Now I have some serous reading to do towards the end of today. Phew!

Saturday, April 03, 2010

My gadget geek

Subhash is the best gadget geek I have known personally. The amount he reads up and keeps abreast of in gadgets is simply mind blowing. I wish I had a similar passion in any one thing that I did.

The latest discoveries I have made on stuff that my geek has done recently is that he has enabled internet on our TV and we can now watch YouTube videos direct on the 55". And his phone I figured today has Voice search for Google. It is pretty cool, we were driving and he wanted the address of the Samsung showroom in Indiranagar and all he did was took his phone out and told it to look for "Samsung showroom in Indiranagar" and it translated accurately and Google gave us results. My god! Google Voice search is something. I recommend every one to try it :)

So there, my gadget geek makes life more interesting and easy with every passing year ;)

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Two years!

This past March 26th, we finished two years of life back in India. And I am still saying "Lovin' it"! :)

Roads and me

When I was 16 I loved the road. It gave me a new freedom and a new sense of race. I loved the breeze through my hair when I used to race around improving my driving day after day.

Till pollution hit and so much so that when I was 21 and in the last leg of my engineering, I used to go out like a masked warrior, jacket helmet et al. Else by the time I reached where I had to go I'd usually have 2 mm of soot on my face and I used to hate it.

Cut to the US. Driving became pretty much a routine thing. Something which I did as part of earning a living. It took me from home to work and back. Of course there were long drives etc, but still it had become a routine. Not "fun" anymore.

Back in India I stopped driving completely. I don't believe in unnecessarily stressing myself out. So I cut where I can. And driving I cut. We moved in 2008 March (people BTW, it has been two years since we moved back!!) and only this past week after a full two years I started taking our car out. Because it had to take me to work and back. I am inclined to get a driver but Subhash thinks it is an over kill so it is hanging there for now.

So I am back in the driver's seat. Since I go in the off peak hours it is still sane. But a couple of times I had to wade through traffic and it really made me wonder, why people drive at all ! The clutch-break routine is awfully painful! I always hated it. Period.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Of affiliations and keeping them that way

Not sure how everyone's sentiments go on this but I went to a campus college of engineering. Which was a big deal back then. So we said "we went to JNTU" and now I notice almost everyone says "we went to JNTU". Only when you probe deeper, you figure that they actually went to some XYZABC private college almost outside of Hyderabad. If you put it that way in resumes, it is OK, I think everyone needs a little fib to push themselves up in life, but I did catch some people saying something along "we used to do this when we were in JNTU" and I went "What, you went to JNTU? Which batch? What a small world, how odd that I missed seeing you on campus ever" And then they'd go "Ohh no, we actually went to XYZABC, but it is too long (and maybe too embarassing) to pronounce, so we just say JNTU".

I completely "opposite of heart" this.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

I voted, did you?

The much-awaited BBMP polls were today. Although all candidates came campaigning, only the BJP guy actually showed up at our door-step. But even to him I couldn't pose questions like will be make sure water supply is regular, why is trash not being taken out every morning etc. But I sincerely hope it will do BBMP a good turn, these elections. Today, we went and voted.

Did you?

Saturday, March 27, 2010

6 month old am I !!

People, see my time ticker. I am a 6 month old mamma today !! Yay!!!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Exams Done!

It is that time of year again. Heat beats down on you. Children start having morning schools and eventually summer vacation.

Our colony kids are finishing exams one after the other. One of the last ones gets done tomorrow. Every time I see kids wishing each other Happy Holidays, my heart does a jig! I am truly happy for them. Summer vacation is the best time of year! And when it is June and they slowly start to go to school one after the other I feel really sorry that summer is over.

It all starts with morning schools. Damn the heat in which you have to get home. All I can remember is that the school days were short. You go at 8, come back by 12. Every day is a half day for a full two weeks at least. Can anything get better than that? Yes. The raw mangoes sold on the bandi outside school. I used to love those days when  could buy a raw mango with salt and chilli powder mix sprinkled in it and eat it in the school bus after spending just four hours in school. Of course, no lunch box, you get home and eat. I used to listen to my favourite songs of the time and day and finish homework soon and it would still be only 3 :D Time for Swabhimaan during some of my adolescent years. Of course it all meant only one thing, that exams were just around the corner, but who cares about those.

Unluckily for me, I was born in April and somehow or the other, it would always be Maths exam on that day and inadvertently I'd do bad and get scolded by my Dad. Then mom would say since it is my birthday he shouldn't scold me. So after a couple years, I figured it was best if I had Maths on my birthday. Of course this also meant I never got to distribute chocolates and enjoy wearing a civil dress for one whole school day. Ever in my life.

Summer vacation. What can I say? Mangoes, Heat, Rasna, Ice and water. Heat, ability to sleep on the bare floor with no need for anything like sheets and rugs. Turn on the cooler. Sleep right in front of it on the floor in the afternoons after just hogging on a couple of rasalu mangoes. Shower at 11 AM or even later if the fancy caught, with cold water!

We also used to stay over at grand mom's place or aunt's place. My aunt used to live in LIC quarters and we used to religiously go up, me, my sis and my cousins, to the terrace, pour a bucket of water on designated sleeping spot, come down and have dinner (which would invariably be mixed and served in morsels direct to the mouth :D), and go back up with bedding, by this time, the hot terrace would have cooled down because of the water and be all set for us to lie down. Talk till we fell asleep looking at the sky.

Pure bliss!