Thursday, July 26, 2012

Varalakshmi Vratam

Tomorrow is the Varalakshmi Vratam which is a puja observed typically on the second Friday of the Shravan month of the Indian Calendar.

My mother in law particularly loved this one. She always used to decorate the goddess' idol very lovingly with all her artistic skills imbibed and also adorn it with various types of jewellery, both expensive and fancy.

Every year since we moved, we've done this together, once at their place in Hyderabad and the rest of the years in our place here.

Every year, her health declined progressively.

Every year, she used to breathe a sigh of relief after the puja was over and thank the goddess for giving her enough strength to sit through it for yet another year. In 2010 too, she made all the traditional food items like gaarelu and boorelu (this she used to make just for me, since I loved them).

Last year though, she was not able to even start it. In the middle of the cooking, she sort of lost her strength and just had to sit in one place. I finished the rest of the cooking (I still remember the yucky semiya payasam I made - it was my first time) and did the puja while she watched from a chair at the back.

I could see how this broke her from inside. Every year, it was a measure of her strength in her assessment. Last year she failed it. After that puja, she alluded to how this maybe her last one in some vague terms.

And how sadly true it turned out to be :(

Tomorrow also happens to be Subhash's birthday by birthdate. Both my Mom and Dad were born on the puja day so it's both their birthdays too, the son also finishes 34 months tomorrow.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

The blessings

Yesterday was my mother-in-law's ninth monthly ceremony. Nine already! Anyways, since my father in law is in the US, he wanted to watch it via webcam, we arranged for it and he was able to sit through the whole thing although I did feel bad since it was 3.30 in the morning for him by the time it got done.

Towards the end, we all do the namaskaram  for the pindams. When I finished mine, I noticed he was extending his hand on the web-cam too. How sweet! Normally since he is here, he does it in person.

I don't know if I ever mentioned it earlier on this blog or not, but I strongly feel that whatever good comes upon us is because our parents bless us. Blessings not symbolic ones (when you touch their feet), but those moments when they are truly happy or appreciative for something nice you have done and a "God bless you" goes out from their heart, those moments are what keep you warm and safe in any weather in life. I had many such moments with my mother in law. I hope I can gather a lot more from my parents and father in law :)

Thursday, July 12, 2012


So I happened to fall into the Tatkal booking trap just two days after they implemented the new rules. My, what an experience. Now I understand why the web-indians were all rage

1) I logged in, selected my train, went ahead with booking, came all the way to the screen. Then decided to go for 2AC instead of 3AC. (This was the BIGGEST MISTAKE)
2) It logged me out.
3) Then I logged in again, went all the way and it was stuck in Book option for the longest time and when I tried navigating back, again it kicked me out.
4) Then I tried logging in again - now it just would not let me login (the-only-two-logins-per-IP rule I guess?)
5) Then I connected to our SJ VPN and logged in again - happy that it at least let me do it this time.
6) Went all the way to booking and clicked on Book.
7) Threw an error saying you are only allowed to book two Tatkal tickets between 10 AM and 12 PM.

I go, WTH?!?!?!

I never booked any ticket at all still it counts the click on the "Book" link as having booked I guess? Stupid, stupid website.

In between I tried using Subhash's login, his mobile needed to be updated and it would just not let me finish the process saying there is some error time and again. Tried logging in using my father in law's account - would time out. The whole process is already 1 hour old now and I just saw the 2AC ticket go to WL1 :( What can I say?

In this one hour I cleared out my entire backlog of work from overnight - yet I could not be productive enough to book a couple of tickets on IRCTC!! Like I read somewhere, it makes you feel like a criminal - but all I am trying to do is book a ticket!!

UPDATE: After the learning from the first experience, I navigated the website deftly the second time around and managed a Tatkal booking on Sunday in 20 minutes! :) Quite nice!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Of sons and their sense of duty

Recently one of my colleagues in SJ had a very sad news to share. She lost her mom. It was around the time that my mother in law also was going through serial hospitalizations - and only then I realized, life can be far more shocking than a gradual disease that kills you slowly.

Her story was moving. Her mom was swimming and had a heart attack and before someone could help, she was gone. She had a brother, R, who was doing his masters in the US at that time and they both rushed back to be by their dad.

Her brother was now in a dilemma. At the verge of graduation, should he take on a job in the US or move back so suddenly to India so he can stay by his Dad? He started looking for opportunities here in India and thanks to one of his friends who was in our extended team, he actually did get in! And he moved to Bangalore. He had come by to meet me during his first week here and I told him that I was very happy to meet him and what he had done was very impressive. I really wish him well and hope he makes great strides here. He has done what very few people would do, especially in this generation.

I always intended to write about this - his move really touched me. I wish my own son would grow to be so amiable and giving, not just towards us, but towards anyone whose happiness lies within his power.

R is now involved in one of the projects I am working on so I get to see his emails often. Which finally reminded me to jot this down. Good luck R, and hope you are happy always!

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Water finally?

After four full months, we saw the BWSSB supply yesterday finally! It did fill only half the storage sump but still, it is something!! I am hoping, it is not a one-off incidence and finally we will get back to routine water situation.  Rains are still eluding Bangalore big time and it has now reached a very worrisome situation :(