Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Last Blog for 2008

So when 2007 ended finally, I thought that 2008 will become better for me. Somehow it feels that there is this line that if we cross at 12.00am into Jan 1st every year, things will suddenly become better. But trust me, life is not so clear cut with boundaries. One thing flows into another easily. And I carried all the not-so-fun times from 2007 into 2008.

Here is my diary of things that happened in the wonderful and totally memorable 2008 (being sarcastic). This will remain as one of the years that I will always remember for the rest of my life, for all the bad things and the few good things :)

January
  • G, myself and S are alone for the second time, but this time for a long long time to come.
  • S turns three months old.
  • S has her first ever ear infection.
February
  • G leaves me for the first time ever on an official tour for a week.
  • S has her first ever eye infection.
  • She also gets a mild cough.
March
  • G gets flu
  • I get flu
  • S gets flu, in short we are all flu-ed
  • G leaves me for the second time ever on an official tour for four days when I am still sick...
  • S gets her second ear infection.
April
  • After almost 5 ear infections and 6-7 antibiotics dosages we get S her tubes on her 6 month birthday! Great gift.
May
  • S gets Urinary tract infection, thanks to all the antibiotics!
  • S gets slapped cheek syndrome.

June
  • G is admitted in a hospital for the first ever time in his entire life for five days and four nights. What an adventure. All of us are freaked out. The kind doctor tells us that he has never ever seen anyone in his condition alive before. I freak out more!
  • G goes again to the hospital but this time for just one night.
  • G goes once more but just for a few hours.

July
  • We go for our first ever three day vacation to NC, my bro's house for the 4th.
  • G's mom joins us

August

  • G gets hand foot and mouth disease from someone at work.
  • S gets that from daddy.

September

  • We do our first ever drive from Dallas to Houston with S and G's mom. G has problems sitting and driving the car but we manage and have fun.

October
  • S turns one.
  • My parents also join us and stay with us for a week.
  • G's parents go to Houston. Once again just the three of us for a month...
  • S gets ear infection again.
  • G undergoes a small procedure.

November
  • G starts feeling better finally.

December
  • G's parents leave. Once again all alone, just like we were when the year started.
  • Going to our second ever flight trip to CA, lets see how that goes...then it will be 2009 by the time I can pen back!




Cheers, and wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and a bright and prosperous new year 2009.

Da Frand...Dosth dosth na raha....

I recently saw pics of an old friend. A friend who went to college with me, a senior in my undergrad days. Things those days was very simple, take the morning college bus to college, get ragged and come back home cranky and then bitch about seniors over the phone with classmates for hours.

This girl in particular was considered to be scary because she actually ragged. But then she was also a city dweller like myself and we in fact lived in the same neighborhood. Ergo same bus. She was nice to me. She always let me sit next to her and also lent her shoulder a couple of times to me when I dozed off. And without a doubt we hit it off.

We had the same taste in food, clothes, men, fun, etc. Often times she would pick me up and we would hang out just the two of us, shopping, and watching movies. Lets call my friend, M...

Like everyone else, we promptly lost touch with each other right after we graduated from college. I moved to US and she to "I-don't-know-where." So I recently looked at her photo in one of my other senior's photo album and memories came back flooding to me.

One incident that I clearly remember is us going for a drive to Besant Nagar Beach at 8 in the night to meet her then boyfriend (now husband). The weather was ready for a down pour and I was not sure I wanted to go 25kms with her. But she desperately needed my company as the two of them were having some issues and meeting him might solve it. She pleaded me. I knew mom will say a NO...so I told her partial truth and went with friend on the pretext of doing some college work. We were struck by a thunderstrom and I really cannot imagine how we made it back home at 12 in the night with waters raising every minute on the roads and my mom waiting at the verandah concerned. The minute I saw amma, I could see that her expression changed from relief to anger, and this was pre-cell phone days...

Anyways, the other incident was when we were working on her thesis submission and our own design submission during my third year second semester. M and I sat in her house wondering how bored we were. So I reminded her that it would be fun if V was with us then. This was at 1.30am. She quickly jumped up and told me that we should just go and pick V up and that would be a swell idea.

We got out of the house and to our dismay we saw that her car was sandwiched between her house and her tenants car. It was the middle of the night but M being M decided to wake up her tenants at 1.30am. The door was opened by this cute guy, whom I knew as acquaintance****. He was stunned, shocked, angry, but quickly changed his demeanor to that of friendly when he saw me and obliged to move his car out of the way. We told him that the only way he can do it without waking her parents would be to push his car out. With the help of M's housekeeper we pushed his car out and then pushed ours out, all in an attempt not to wakeup M's sleeping family and then drove off 20 kms to pick V up.

When we got back home it was 3.30am. V still confused with the usual how, why, when, what and was wide awake. tired and done with all the exitement both M and I promptly crashed leaving V to ponder if we were crazy!!!

Whenever I was with M, I have always done something crazy, until one day she acted wierd with me when I was talking to her boyfriend. As if I was flirting with him or something. I was hurt and after that I lost touch with her and we moved apart...there ended a good friendship because of one silly act.

Now I see her in the photo, married to the same guy with a little son and I wonder why she behaved like that towards me, especially when I was a part of all her fun times and I did not do anything to make her think that I would snatch her BF away...

Anways...hopefully next time I am in Bengalooru I will get back in touch with her. Can't loose sleep over useless things from the past...I have the future to live and friends to make and keep :)


PS: **** indicated that this cute guy (CG1) was a friend of another cute guy 2 (CG2) from SVCE. I had gone there for intra college culturals and won prize for Dumbcharades and Rangoli. On our way back home we were sitting in the, the above mentioned cute guys behind me and CG2 could not stop talking to me. After a few months they came to our college for some Engineering Symposium and CG2 came hunting me down. Unfortunately I was MIA that day :(. There ended something that could have been...because we were so into each other then in just that one plus hours of flirting.
CG2...engirundhalum Vazhga... (live happily wherever you are).

Thursday, December 18, 2008

If I had the choice

of meeting an Indian actor, then it would be...


Surya!


I always loved Rajnikanth. Grew up watching his movies, his stunts, and watching my friends imitate everything about him. He was a star, today an icon and will be a legend tomorrow. And of course I would like to meet him.

But if you asked me now, I think it is Surya. He is not overtly handsome, can act, is totally cool, can match Aamir, Sallu and Hrithik on Physique, can match SRK on screen presence and yet is so South Indian.

I always tell G, that there is a thing about South Indian men. They might not be hugely tall, or fair or anything like what Sallu or Hrithik are but they definitely do not border on looking like women either. Surya does not need a mustache to make him look like a man. He is the perfect representation we can ask for.

Ajith too fair to represent the pamara (aam) South Indian and Vijay too average looking, but Surya has the combination cut out for him.

Ya, it is him. No two ways about it!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

I think I am a...

CLOSET SHAH RUKH KHAN fan!

Totally. I think I like him. I like his movies. Other than K3G and Veer Zara. The rest of mostly tolerable and his presence in a movie actually makes me want to watch it (like most of India does).

But. But, I don't think I will ever accept in the open like my friend RJ or SJ do. I wont go gaga for him in public. I am very diplomatic when people ask me. I tell them, that I do not hate him and do not mind him.

Which is why G reasoned with me two nights ago on our drive back home from Sams Club that he thinks I am a closet SRK fan. I am not aware that I like him.

Then I reasoned with him why I don't really feel bad about it (I would have cried myself to death if anyone had told me that I was a closet AB or AB Jr. fan).
  • I like the way he dances. You should try to imitate the steps he does in the song "mahi ve" from KHNH. The grace he has is so difficult to get to. I know this because six-eight of us tried to imitate him while we were rehearsing for a friend's engagement party and all of us sucked! I would like think that I did not, but...
  • He is self made...I really do not want to know how he got where he is now and his relationship to Mr. K. JO and so on...but he, like my other favorite Rajnikanth, came into the industry without having a star backing and are shining bright now.
  • He has stage presence. He is not immensely handsome but he is superbly charismatic.
  • He loves his wife.
  • A good businessman.
  • He is into chick-flicks and so am I.
  • He has a sense of humor.
I might have more to add, but you can help me too...

Friday, December 12, 2008

Tera Time Paisa, Aur Mera Time Waisa?

I hate going to doctors. The reasons are multi-fold:

  • Dentists plain and simple hurt you.
  • Eye doctors ask you to judge your vision.
  • General Physicians want to draw blood.
  • Gynaec's want to smear you.
  • And if you go to any other doctor then you are in some trouble!
All doctors as much as they save lives, are trouble and inconvenience. I wish I did not have to say that but it is so true. How many times have you been pleasantly shocked when a doctor walks into the room when you are only two minutes into the second article on Parenting book?

I wonder why they all have Parenting Books, there are non-parents too you know, and parents who don't want to read a bunch of commercials, get Reader's Digest or US Weekly for the love of God.

I digress. Most of my experiences are doctor's office has been spent staring at the wall with a cheap photo or a mass produced art work sitting smug on a cheap frame. My Gynaec during my pregnancy was the worst. Her name was Dr. Kathleen F. Varadi and she works near Plano Med Center in Texas. She absolutely sucks. She has made me wait for two hours once without an apology. She walks in and kicks me out in two small minutes with terse replies and annoying attitude. She was one of my wrong decisions.

I had just delivered S and she was stitching me up with a tech asked her if it was a 3rd degree or 2nd degree episiotomy, when she cooly turned and said, make it 2nd, I got cited for too many 3rds...I sat there wondering WTF!

Now the general physician that I just found is not bad. She is talkative and spends time talking to me and understanding my problems, but then I just don't like the place. It is not like what you call patient friendly. I hate the nurse there and the others who seem to give me the impression that they are doing me a favor.

Anyhoo, the point is:

  • All (99%) the doctors take their patient's time for granted.
  • They overbook themselves so that if anyone cancels out last minute they can still mint money to pay towards their student loans and their $3 million mansions and oh don't forget the Lexus.
  • They make you wait and feel that you should not complain.
  • Their waiting rooms suck.
  • They can cancel out on you and give you no excuse but you get slapped with $45 if you cancel out last minute on them.
  • They can make you wait for 2 hours but you cannot be late by 10 minutes.
  • The minute they walk out of the room you cannot remember any last minute question and ask them. They avoid you like plague and run and hide in their rooms. I know this for a fact because I designed and built two Medical Office Buildings in Dallas and all the doctors we were involved with wanted this convenience where they can go into hiding the minute they leave you in the room.
I can go on, but prefer to stop. One last doctor, Steven Peskind, Bab's ENT made me wait for the third time for forty five minutes. Just before he left the room he asked me, "so I will see you in six months?"

I told him, "No you won't."

He stopped in his tracks and looked back and asked me, "Why? Why do you say that?"

I replied, "I hate to loose my job because I spent an hour and half in the doctor's office waiting for him to come in spite of having an appointment."

"Did they do that to you?"

"I am not sure if they did, but you did."

"Sorry, I will make a note of it and make sure that this will never happen to you. Will you come back in six months now?"

"Ok."

I spoke, because I was mad, how many of us do? I should have told off my stupid gynaec Varadi when she made me wait 2 hours or 3 hours when I was pregnant and still working. But I did not then, I am done with taking their crap. If their time is so valuable that they don't have to be accountable for it to us, then I have choices too and I will find myself one who is more relaxed and punctual. Not like I expect immediate attendance, a 10-15 minute wait is ok...not an hour!

Tera khoon khoon, mera khoon pani??!!!! Damn it!

PS: Doc's nowadays rarely spend saving lives, they spend more time saving dollars! !@#@#$@#$@#$@#$

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A Story

Not long ago a wise person once told me a story. And I told Shilpa that I will write about it in response to her comment on my blog so here it is...

The story goes like this and it is retold by me so bear with mistakes and inconsistencies.

In England apparently they would remove the grass that grew in front of all important buildings during winter, roll it up, take it to a green house so that they can maintain it from getting destroyed and bring it back the following spring. This made the grass look green and healthy. So one researcher took it upon himself to do a small but long experiment.

He chose a ten acre piece of land and divided it into two halves. On both halves he sowed grass seeds, but he chose to maintain one like what they did to the grass in front of the buildings and the other he decided to let it grow on its own.

After ten years he conducted an experiment to check out what was left in terms of strain in the grass the grew on the two halves.

The first half, the well maintained one, showed that there was only one strain of grass left in it.
The other half, the naturally growing one, showed that there were about ten strains of grass still left in it from the original mix. One strain survived in moisture, while another survived rot, another was strong in winter, while one was strong in summer and so on. There was a diversity here that made the grass always look green.

The first half, well maintained strain would not survive past a spring if it were left to be on its own. All the other dominant strains had died and only one survived.

The moral of the story is that the more diverse we are the more strong our chances of survival is. If we try and force to make all of us to think alike and believe in everything alike, then we will never be able to survive past one summer...I think this story is very apt in the current scenario.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Monday Blues...

This weekend I did quite a bit of cooking. Nothing major, did not invite anyone home or stuff like that, but then it was a pretty much stay at home and chill weekend. So I helped MIL with the housely chores. Now MIL does cooking the traditional way, ie to make masala fresh, to make pickles in the house, to cook at the beck and call of her lazy ass son or her dear hubby, to cook fresh food for Babs every day and so on...and then there is me! The quintessential lazy ass!

Things I realized:
  • Had I been born a few decades ago, chances of my survival would have been bad.
  • Had I been born a few centuries ago, chances of my survival would be nil.
  • I like to cook simple and fast. Even if it making 2 minutes maggi noodles, I will try and look for a shortcut.
  • I love cleaning more than cooking.
  • I will do anything to avoid cooking.
  • I miss those days when I lived alone when an apple pie or maggi noodles made my day!
The reason for the first two points are because of the fact that cooking in the good old days was not simply add garam masala or pav bhaji masala...the first step would have started with doing those darn masalas.

I Imagine myself thinking a day ahead that I would like to eat chole masala. Soak the chole, and then the next morning prepare the masala, and then make the batura. I swear to god, all I see myself doing would be spending the rest of my life in the kitchen...a kitchen where we would have a chulha and not a flat top cooking grill.

Imagine making idli or dosa. This would mean planning two days ahead and then grind the paste and all that big deal. Even making dahi. I remember my mom making dahi every other night. I load the dishes in the dishwasher and forget to turn it on, that is how lazy I am!

Or making Chapathi, we would have to make the powder from the grain. Can you imagine? Ya granted those old lady's of yore did not go to full-time work and kitchen was their work, still, I would rather sit at work than in the kitchen!

Do any of you also feel like I do??!!!

PS: New header!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Blank Page

I am lost for words. I am not sure what to write either. Whatever I have to say has already been written somewhere on the www or it might sound cliched and untrue. Whatever I want to say might not come out the right way because I am still brimming with anger and words become daggers when you are angry.

But I know this for sure, something has to be done now. I am really hoping that the peaceful protest/demonstration in Bombay and Delhi do mount up to something. Change in our political system is going to be snail slow, but there should be a start. I hope the people don't once again give up and move on with their lives when things don't seem to change.

Anyways, I signed up at www.smallchange.in have you? This is one step that I can take living away from my homeland and hopefully we all can do our bit to the country.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

And Here it is!

My review for Slumdog Millionaire. G and I got to make it to the movie finally on Sunday night after I had been through almost 8 hours of cleaning. SV stopped by to help me organize my closets, I suck at it and she saw that I desperately needed help and came by. Thank you, now they look so beautiful that I do not even feel like distrubing things around.

I have a bit more stuff to take care of in the next two days and hope the house is spic and span before Thanksgiving. I am going to have a house full of people.

We also got to see Dostana last week and G and I also saw Zack and Miri Make a Porno (loads of nudity, funny movie, ends like a chick flick but ends fast). We did catch up on our movie watching schedule over the week and weekend. We also got to watch all episodes of Dirty Sexy monday (7 of them), Entourage (3 of them), Gossip Girl (5 of them, 2 more to go), all Monday and Thursday night comedy that were sitting and occupying our DVR hard disk. We rarely cooked and ate out most of our meals. It was fun. This was one week that I will never forget and I have to thank my in-laws and G's bro and his family for this. The perfect gift that any parents will ask for.

Can you believe it? I shredded two and half bags of documents that were collected over the last 6+ months and I am afraid that my shredder will be of no use soon.

As much fun as I had, I am also tired. Tired of sleeping late and waking up early, tired of cleaning (still have the bathrooms to do) and tired of watching movies and TV...

Come long weekend I might actually get home cooked food and some Baboo time too :)

Slumdog Millionaire (2008) - English Movie Review

Rating: 4.8/5

Cast: Dev Patel, Anil Kapoor, Frida Pinto, Madhur Mittal, Irfan Khan, Saurabh Shukla
Director: Danny Boyle
Music: A R Rahman
Story: Based on Vikas Swarup's Q & A


Plot: A street dweller makes it to the hot seat on "Who wants to be a Millionaire," in India. The cops take him to interrogate and find out if he is cheating on the show. From him they hear a tale of loss, jealousy, love, hatred, murder and much more that can make you cringe and which helped him answer all the questions. The boy does not want the money, all he wants to do is find his lost childhood love.

Review: The first fifteen minutes of the movie makes you cringe, at the pain that is inflicted on Jamal (Dev) as well as the pain and misery that Jamal has been through in his childhood. The movie does not dwell too much on any sorrow, it has a pace to maintain, so it keeps moving on in a fast pace. Which also helps us not get tied up to one event and sink in its sorrow. Until after the movie is over you are not wasting time pondering on every single detail but when you walk out of the theater everything hits you. That is the beauty of the movie, you actually remember everything.

In some way, most of the Indian viewers will find most of the story predictable, not in terms of how the kid answered the questions but the plot. We have seen many Indian movies with similar background storyline, but the amazing part is the narration, the screenplay that makes the movie powerful and unique.

Sitting in the big theater you wonder, is this what the world thinks of India? big slums and kids being sold off to be made into beggars? Is this what the world is going to see? But then you also feel that the director has caught the essence of India that only we know and no one else, at least until now.

Synopsis: Jamal Mallik (Dev) is on the hot seat and Anil Kapoor is asking him a question and he seems to know it all. The chaiwala knows everything and is one question away from winning the grand prize. Jamal is watching himself on TV as the cop (Irfan) is questioning him on how he figured the answers for the questions out, considering Jamal has had no formal education. Irfan is confused how a slumdog is able to answer the questions while doctors and MBA's have failed.

Jamal is hoping that his childhood live is watching the show and he is hoping to reunite with her through the show. If I by chance reveal any more than this, then you would not enjoy the movie much, so go and watch the movie and enjoy it. It is one of a kind.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Pep Boys...A Saga

Yup, it was...

G and I wanted to get the car tires changed on our old Ford CV, so we thought we could get it done at Pep Boys. When we called the gentleman told us that they could change tires in 45 minutes for us. Excited that we will have spare time, we headed there immediately after reaching home. I know why all of us go to change tire right? But we are like this only!

We reach there, choose the tire we want, the guy tells us, buy three get one free. We are happy. We sign up for alignment and take our seats.

After roughly twenty minutes, the dude calls us, "Aye, come here." I was thinking in my mind, WTF, no one calls us AYE!

We walk up to him and he tells us that he does not have the tires we ordered in stock but he will give us a free upgrade. Around him four other guys stood with a serious face. They have no idea how to make their computer do what he had promised us and they were all breaking their heads over it.

So the price he had given us was $62 per tire + loads of crap + $55 for alignment (which was discounted from $70) = $410

So after one and half hour of labor we saw the mechanic drive our car to do the alignment. So G and I decided that we needed new hubcaps for our car and picked one up along with new wipers. We went over to the billing and the lady there looked flustered as she received instructions from the service guy.

I peeped into the computer and saw that they had some "Road hazard warranty" priced at $22. G and I decided that we did not need it as we did not see owning this car past another year or worst case two. So I requested the lady to take it off.

More flustering and mustering...she takes off the hubcaps we had bought and the wipers and tells us $410. I tell her very politely, "M'am, we need the hubcaps and the wipers, just take the road hazard warranty off. Please"

Totally flustered she starts muttering off in a language we do not understand to her boss. G and I looked at each other, "shayad gaali de rahi hai humko, itna choti si instruction samjne mein kya tang aa rahi hai usko."

So G and I wanting to have the hubcaps installed tell her to just get the hubcaps and wipers...and pay for it. We request the service guy to resolve the dispute.

In between all this, some random guy in the store who also works there but was off duty now started to advice us. And both me and G were like, WTF? Can we have the whole crowd come and explain to us what was happening while no one cared to tell the lady that all we wanted to do was something simple?

So, finally, the car is done. We have been there 2.5 hours, no exaggeration...

We go to pay the bill, the service guy manages to take the warranty off. We pay. Then G looks at the bill and see that they short changed us $15. So he talks to the manger who has the "what now" expression and gets the $15 back...well G is a banker's son after all...

"And what about the mail-in-rebate for the free tire?" I point out.

The old service guy hands me a form and tells us we will not get it anyway because we did not buy the warranty.

I am raging mad now but I calmly point out, "no one told us that." The manager and the service guy have the "I give up" expression on their face and so do G and I. Only thing, it is our money on the line...we were about to loose $50 because no one explained the rules to us!

The manger was now really confused how he was going to give us the money back. He stood there breaking a sweat and trying to think for almost ten minutes. Then G pointed out to him that he did not care about the warranty so a gift card would suffice to make up for the difference. Then the manager looked relieved and gave us an in store gift card.

We were so exhausted and I am sure that they were too, but the point is:

  • The person at the front desk should be able to understand English better. After all we are in America which is a English speaking nation. I really wouldn't expect this if I was in France or even in India for that matter.
  • The computer system they have should not be easy for the floor people to manipulate but it should be easy for the manager to manipulate and change things. There are always situations that you do not expect and the manager should be able to resolve them easily without breaking into a sweat.
  • Give the customer all the facts and the total cost before you do anything.
  • Check your inventory before pricing a product. For us it did not make a difference if we got an upgrade...like I mentioned, we are going to trade in our car in the next year or so.
  • DO NOT PROMISE 45 minutes and make us wait 3 HOURS!!!!!!!!!!!! UNFAIR. We have a life too, you know!
There, our entire evening was messed up. Both G and I were tired after sniffing car products the entire evening. We had dinner and crashed. Had no idea what had hit us.

Anyhoo, if you are in Dallas, then this PEP BOYS is located on Forest Lane and Webb Chapel Road...Avoid it if you can!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Ramchand Pakistani (2008) - Hindi Cinema Review

Ranking: 2.5/5

Cast: Nandita Das,
Director: Mehreen Jabbar, Syed Fazel Hussain, Maria Wasti, Noman Ijaz
Music: Debatyoti Mishra

From the time the movie began and almost until more than half of the movie I kept expecting to see something very bad happen. Thankfully that was avoided and

it made the film watchable. If you are looking for pace and twist and turns then this is not the movie for you, but on the other hand if you are looking for

a one line story with simple narration and decent acting which at times can start becoming a drag then you might probably enjoy this movie. I have to

definitely commend the acting by all the cast members including the little boy playing Ramchand. The background score is simple and the locales where the

movie has been shot is rustic.

The story is about a Dalit family that lives on the border of India and Pakistan. The village is so small that even the luxury of watching TV or radio on a

daily basis is not available to everyone. Most of the villagers are living blissfully ignorant about a war ranging between the two countries. During these

troubled moments, a little kid after having a childish tiff with his mom accidently crosses the border from Pakistan and enters India. Promptly he is

abducted by the sepoys who are guarding the border. The child's father also wanders into the border to bring his son back also only to be abducted by the

Indian sepoys too.

Dad and son are in the Indian jail and the son sees the dad getting beaten and tortured to prove that he is not a spy. Both of them share a large room with

other criminals and those who are also falsely accused of being spies or such. The kids goes through a transformation and you can see the father trying his

best to keep his child innocent and far from the corruption that jail cells see. The child finds a caretaker in a lady cop who tries to give him the basics

whil keep him at a bay because of his caste.

My worst fear was that they might show some gruesome scenes (like what you saw in Chandini Bar) with the kid and I kept trying to look away but thank god the

director sheilded us from all those kind of information. Do the kid, his dad and mom get united? For that you will have to watch the movie.

The acting in the movie is impeccable, it is truly an art movie and not for the ones who crave commercial masala. The story like I said earlier is slow and you need a lot of motivation to watch it. I even stopped to wonder what the purpose of the movie is, considering there is nothing dramatic or drastic in the movie after the first 10 minutes. It is like a movie that was shot on a webcam placed on the boy and then edited to consolidate four years into 2.5 hours. I am not impressed with it but it can definitely be seen once when you have absolutely nothing better to do.

Dostana (2008) - Hindi Movie Review

Ranking: 4/5

Cast: Abhishek Bacchan, John Abraham, Priyanka Chopra, Bobby Deol
Director: Tarun Mansukhani
Music: Vishal-Shekar


First off, for those who think this is a rip off a "I pronounce you Chuck..." I am sorry but it is not. The concept is similar but the story is not. The movie is funny, right from the word go. Definitely seems to be the fantasy movie the K.Jo would enjoy making considering there are more scenes that expose John A's rear than we see Piggy Chops. Even though actually have Piggy wearing only the shortest of short skirts and shorts, the camera always seems to land on John's well toned chest or his butt...and of course there is a scene where John gets wet in the rain wearing a white shirt...If this K.Jo had a choice probably he would have made this movie with just John A in it.

Anyways, enough of that and moving to the story...Neha (Piggy) owns a posh apartment in Miami and is looking to lease two rooms to girls only. Sam (Abhi) and Kunal (John) are two bachelors who are trying to find an apartment in a short time and they keep bumping into each other all the time. Realizing that they both have a common need for an apartment and after falling in love with Neha's apartment they decide that the only way to move in would be to fake gay.

Right from the time Sam and Kunal meet, the movie starts rolling and you are always at the edge of your chair laughing. The love story of how Sam met Kunal, or when they are introduced to meet M, Neha's boss M (Bomman), or when Sam's mother (Kiron Kher) lands in Miami to see if her son is really gay, and her departure back to London is so well entwined into the film that it is brilliant.

Usually a K.Jo movie formula is like this, the first half you roll on the floor and laugh, the second half right after the interval you are crying your heart out waiting for the movie to end...but thank god since this movie was only produced by K.Jo I am glad that the first 3/4 of the movie is hillarious and the typical cheesy, corny, annoying parts of the movie are short and crisp and shoved to the end.

So continuing the review, Sam and Kunal being straight fall in love with the obviously hot Neha who is oblivious to it and instead falls in love with her new boss Abhimanyu (a stone faced Bobby). Abhi seems to suffer from facial paralysis and you cannot see any emotions from his stone face. Happiness, anger, sadness, excitement all looks the same. He is the only annoying factor in the entire movie and we could have probably had Akshay or someone else in that role.

This comes as a shock to Sam and Kunal who are already fighting each other over Neha. The rest of the movie is goes about how Sam and Kunal try and foil the love budding between Neha and Abhi. What happens? Watch the movie.

This is definitely a fun watch. The movie is very cool, and set in uber modern times, but certainly not one you will watch with mom and dad. It caters to both gay as well as straight community as you get to see loads of John A stripping down to undies at the blink of an eye and you rarely see Neha fully clothed. I absolutely loved all the dresses she wore though I am pretty sure they will look good only on girls with good figures but I am sure that I can carry a saree off better than her. The only saree she wore in the movie was vulgar and annoying and she herself did not look comfy in it.

Did I talk about the music yet? No...so here it is, even the music and its choreography is hillarious. All the songs are catchy and funny and they do not slow down the pace of the movie. I love the "munda satta dol chadgaya..."

Anyways, enjoy the movie and if you don't let me know why.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Slumdog Millionaire

Nope, this is not a review...why? I will tell you why...

Yesterday a friend of us sent us free passes to the movie Slumdog Millionaire, which had Anil Kapoor, Irfan Khan playing important roles and set in the backdrop of Mumbai.

We reached the theater at 7 but were told that the movie was already sold out. Not wanting to give up hope and having nothing else to do, we decided to wait for sometime before working on Plan-B. The wait was endless, well it ended at 8.10pm when we got to meet the director of the movie, Danny Boyle, a Brit.

He stopped and said very excitedly, "Oh you guys got a tee-shirt even," in strict cute Brit accent. Ya while we stood in the line, we got free tees that read "Slumdog Millionaire" in the front.

I quickly pointed out to him, "But, we are not allowed to go in to watch the movie."

"OOh, is it because the theater is full? Did you guys get the tee's as a consolation?" (Brit accent)

"I guess so, but hey, tell me what did you think of Anil Kapoor?" Me ask.

"He was brilliant. It was fun working with him. But this was his first English movie, so he was a bit nervous." (More cute Brit accent)

"And Irfan Khan?"

"Brilliant actor too. I had fun shooting the movie."

"And Mumbai?"

"The greatest city."

And he had to go...and there the four of us stood knowing the finality of the situation. If the friggin director could not get us in, then no one else could. We turned around and headed outside...angry but really feeling consoled that we got the tees at least and got to chat with the director, who of course might go on to win the Oscar for his movie or at least get a nomination...so yay!

And that is the reason why you guys won't get a review...yet!

PS1: My friend had a camera in his Google phone...but he refused to use it because he would not be in the frame as he would be the one taking the pic.
PS2: We had already tried the angle of "I want to see Mumbai...please let us watch the movie...haven't been to India in 6 years" angle with the ushers, and nope, did not work either.
PS3: We are still on for watching the movie this weekend, what say everyone?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Madras Bashai

I am from Trichy or Tiruchy or Tiruchirapally or Trichinopoly as the Brits called. I learnt speaking Tamil from my childhood in this city. My Tamil was very nice in those days. In the sense it did not have any adulteration that Tamil used in Chennai has. When I used to tell my friends that I was moving to Chennai, they used to tease me that I will start speaking Madras Bashai and I will no longer remember the Tamil I had originally learnt. I used to argue with them and tell that there is no way on earth I would forget the Tamil I learnt in Thiruvalluvar Nadu. No way.

I moved to Chennai and all seemed fine. People used to really speak a bit different from what I did. I sincerely tried my best to keep my accent the way it was.

Time rolled on and after a few years I had my own car and I would drive around Chennai running errands or spending time with friends. One day I was driving with my mom taking her to get some shopping done when an auto rickshaw cut me sharp and I braked just in time to avoid our vehicles touching. I got so mad that I chased this guy down near a signal and rolled my window down (forgetting mom was sitting next to me) I yelled at him, "Mavane sollitu vandhutiya? En vandi dhan kidaichitcha unakku?" (Dear Son, did you tell in your house and come? You found only my car?)**

I saw the auto driver's jaw drop. Looked like he was in a state of shock. He then saw that my mother was sitting next to me. He looked at her and asked, "Enna ma idhu? Ponnu ipidi pesudhu?" (What this is? Why girl talking like this?)

My mother polietly told him, "Sorry thambi, but neengalum konjam parthu dhane ottanum?". (Sorry brother, but you can also pay attention while driving right?)

"Adhukunu ipidiya ma?" (For that? Like this?)

"Bayandhutta pa." (She got scared) My mom told him. I quickly jumped in and said, "Bayam ellam onnum illa...kovam dhan." (No fear and all that, anger only.)

And we left the scene as the signal turned green.

My mom chastised me and told me that it was not right for me to abuse anyone, especially an auto driver, especially when I am alone. She kept repeating what if he had said something back, blah blah blah. That truly did not stop me from being polite while I was on the driver's seat...my dad told me that it will take driving on the streets of Chennai to turn a saint into a swearer...and I was no saint to begin with anyway.

But, the point is, that it was that day I realized that I had become a Chennai-ite or a Madrasi. I had blended in, I spoke their language. I could speak it as a second language and had no problem. Worse, I found out that I could no longer remember what it was to speak Tamil like a Tiruchy person. Damn and from then on, there was no looking back and all my friends who knew me in Chennai will attest to that. I could swear like a sailor and speak Madras Bashai with elan. No problems there!

Do I regret it? No, I will just add the dialect as a feather to my already existing list of languages I know to speak. It is a dialect that only a few of us can speak and understand! It is ours and ours only!!! Made in Chennai...

Why was I reminded of this? Well, I was listening to a Madras Dappankuthu song the other day from the movie Aaru, and it was fully in Madras Bashai and I understood not just the lyrics but knew exactly what he was talking about...weird...Yes I am a MADRASI! Even after 8 years of not exactly living there.

PS: If you have not heard it, listen to the song "Azhagukku Thai Poruppu" from Azhavandhan. Amazing song. Simply beautiful. The lyrics are great but the music is brilliant too.


**PS: Translation


The translation above it more like transliteration...
When people get angry at someone for doing some wrong driving then they usually question them with the "mavane..." It simply means, did you tell in your house that you won't be returning back? Did you find only my car to fall and die?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Ouch!

Life is so muddled up. Our brain makes us think that we are the only ones existing in the world. The world revolves around us. Everyone must see me, and see me enjoy life, or suffer and feel happy or sad for me whatever the case maybe. How can they forget to feel what I am going through? The mind thinks like this all the time, until of course reality hits.

That life is not about you (or me), at least not always. There are others, going through similar or polar emotions just like you are. Everyone is a center of their own world or universe. We must give everyone their due and give them time and space.


So I learnt today. That it is not just me who has problems. There are others around me who are my friends who are also going through crap. But in moments of tension and such I forget. And when I hear it from them, I am covered with shame, that I was selfish and thought only about myself, my baby and my family...

Friday, November 07, 2008

ABCD??!!! Really?!!


I wonder who it is actually we are talking about when we say ABCD (American Born Confused Desi’s).

Here are the reasons why I think that the first generation Indian immigrants are more confused than the second generation kids and how we cause the confusion in our offsprings who are born and raised in a foreign country…


  • Most of us do not leave India and move abroad because we felt oppressed, or were ill-treated, or had issues with the government or anything like that. People who actually face that do not have the choice of leaving India at all.

It is us, the middle class or the upper middle class who have everything we want (in moderation) in India that chooses to leave. We have had exactly the same fun and frolic in India as much as we have had here in a foreign country. It is us who have seen Gerber foods to Levis Jeans and seen coffee shops to Toblerone chocolates that decide to leave, because we have the choice.


This very choice also acts against us. For example the minute we land here we start looking around for comparable stuff, like the guy who irons your shirts for just Rs.1 (hardly even 10cents) or for the guy who will deliver your fruits and veggies to your home. From there the longing starts and for every other sentence we keep telling each other “This time, last year, I was eating home made food that mom made for Diwali, and look at me now, sitting here, in a new country, eating the nonsense that I cooked.”


  • It is our generation that always keeps talking about wanting to go back. Not that of our children, who are born Americans or Canadians and remain Americans or Canadians, and yet are called ABCD’s.


  • If the kid is sick, we are the ones who think, should we give them Ayurveda, homeopathy or allopathic treatment. The kids actually would prefer to go to a doctor and listen to them.


  • We are the ones who are confused because we want to celebrate Diwali and then Halloween too.


  • We want our children to learn to speak in English with the local accent but also send them to Hindi/Tamil/Telugu/whatever language classes in an attempt to keep them speaking in Desi when they grow up.


  • We are also the same parents that start talking to the kids in English as they grow up and then complain to the outside world that “My son only talks in English with him. I don’t know why he is not talking in Telugu any more.”


  • We are also the same parents who take our kids to Geetha classes, Vedha classes and also force them to live in a country which is not based on the Geetha or the Vedha.


  • We want to take our kids to Burger King but we want them to eat Veggie burger??!!!


  • We want them to learn Ballet and also learn classical music or the other way around, go to Opera classes and learn Bharatanatyam…


  • We want them to wear Ghagra to dance Dandiya and then change over to a cocktail dress to go to a friend’s wedding?? And you take them to a cocktail party but give them glares when they reach out for the champagne??!!!


And we do all this so that the parents (us) can boast that their kids are all rounders who are Americans or Australians but are very much Indian in their life choices??. Do the kids really ask you to teach them lifestyles from two different worlds? Do the kids really want to know what it is to be an Indian living in America? It is the choices we first generation immigrants make for our children and yet they are ones being called as ABCD… because for them, they are really Americans living in


This video will summarize what I want to say…part of at least.


With that I sign off this week...see y'all next week and hopefully it is more brighter for all of us!


PS: If you have an opinion but cannot express it freely in the fear of getting branded and you go with the herd then what is the point of having an opinion at all?


PS-2- Blogger is very annoying and is messing with my formatting! GRRRRRRR


Disclaimer:

This blog is not a take on any particular country. The only country that is a constant is India but the rest of it applies to Indians who have moved away from India and have established bases in various foreign countries.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The Elections and All...

I don't get to vote in the United State of America, so I particularly did not pay much attention to the elections. I enjoyed the debates and kept up with the gossip but that was it. I did not sit down and do calculations as to how my life will be affected based on who wins the elections. The reason I did not do it was because I did not have a say in the government. Which is also probably the reason why I was never strongly McCain or strongly Obama.

I must admit though that these elections were by far the most fun to follow. G and I stayed up last night to see Obama's speech before we hit the sack talking about it for sometime. Tears welled up in my eyes to hear McCain's speech. The respect I had for him just doubled the very minute he started talking. And when Mr. President-Elect came on the screen I could feel the energy, the vigor, and the charisma that we are going to have in the White House for the next four years and I felt proud.

Like many have repeated it time and again, this is definitely a change and the change has happened, and this sort of a change can only happen in America, which is exactly why this is one of world's greatest country. And I am so proud to be here.

PS: The small things that make me love USA more...yesterday I was driving back home with babbi on a crowded road and I saw an Emergency vehicle drive up on the opposite side which was so packed up at the intersection. But the minute he turned his lights on everyone scurried over to make room for him to drive. That very act of trying to let the person in urgency go made my heart well up.

Disclaimer: I am an Indian and will remain one until I choose to change it. And I love my country as much as I love America or even a little more for the memories and the great opportunity it provided me with. India was the country chosen for me and right now America is the country I chose...No one to attack me with "You are a fake Indian," and such comments...I spoke what was in my heart.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

The most heart wrenching thing

to watch is leaving your daughter at her baby sitter and walk away. Ignore the out stretched arms and the cry to go back home with you. Ignore everything and turn away and quickly run to your car. It is more so hurtful when the child you are leaving back is not feeling well. But such is life, to provide for the future of the baby mom and dad have to work and there is really no other way of justifying this hurt.

When Anu starts studying there will be a power cut - Murphy's Law for Anu

That is the story of my life. When I was in school I remember that on the days before exams I would waste time reading novels, talking on the phone, going for walks, playing with my dog, basically do everything but study. Then finally as the time got closer to getting dark, I would seriously open my books and sit down in my study room and start with a pencil over my ears and something to munch on, on the side. I would make silly rules like I will eat one serving of mixture if I finish one page among other silliness...

The mood is now set in, because the fear has set in. I am all ready to tackle the few knowns and the many unknowns...and then Chennai Electricity Board (CEB) decides to play with my life, er, exams. Magically the lights will turn off, the fans will stop running, no power. The entire neighborhood will walk out to their porticos and we will sit gossiping. This was the typical time for families to chill.

But then our heroine aka ME will be freaking out. There will be a couple of kids who would be smart alecs and would tell my mom, "I have to do third revision aunty, other than that I am ready." The my mom will look at me, and I would tell her, "I have to start reading amma." And the glare I would get back from her would summarize what she meant to tell, "Look at that girl and look at yourself, shame on you."

Why am I writing it now? Certainly not to make a joke of my then sorry plight but to draw an analogy. I moved to Dallas in 2004 and started working here. I had every opportunity to write my IDP exams and my exams for Leed...but what did I do? Party, party and more party. Now all of a sudden I want to prepare for the exams and guess what happens? Yup the power goes off, yet again, just in a different way, in that I am dealing with more responsibility in life.

I sit back and think, well, I cannot obviously blame Baboo, because I am now well aware that what I did not do before Baboo would not be done now and I should not blame her for my laziness in general. But I do know that I did pass those exams in spite of doing just one revision if at all, so my life still has hope!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Deepavali (Diwali) Story

Some days I can write two or three blogs in a span of two hours and be happy with my performance and then there are days when I know what I want to write about, have the blogger open and not write a word for six hours straight...stare at the tab, switch over to gossip mongering news on celebs and then switch back and think, "nah! not today I don't want to write today!"

Today is one such day...I kept flipping back and forth between tabs and never once writing...last night I knew tonns of things to blog about...of course among things I liked, there were things I liked to complain about and bitch and moan...but today I am blank...like a white board...ya...

But here is something that will keep you laughing...for those who stop by and politely comment and those rude intruders who spend time reading but not writing feedback...

Anyways...here is the story...a story I wrote when I was in my third grade. I only remember this because I was so proud of it then...Let me give you a brief background...this was way back when mosquitoes used to hound me (now it hounds G and I almost always bite free) and I used to hate them with a passion. My school had a story writing competition and I enrolled in it. I was so sure that I could come up with something original in two days...I discussed various stories with my dad and almost everyone of them had something to do with some story I had heard before, and the competition screamed ORIGINAL in bold letters. So dad told me to write something out of my personal experience...and this is what I wrote...a gist ok...from what I remember of it...

Once upon a time there lived a family of mosquitoes that lived on drinking sweet blood from people. The mosquito kept attacking a little girl called Anu everynight because she had the sweetest blood in town. Now, Anu ate a lot of sweets and so her blood was sweet and so the mosquitoes could smell it from far away. Anu was very angry and one night she decided to deceive the mosquitoes by eating no sweets and only spicy potato fry and mango pickles. That night when Anu went to sleep the mosquitoes came to bite her but then were revolted to find that the blood was no longer sweet but spicy and left her alone. Anu followed the same diet for two days and after trying hard for two days the mosquitoes decided to leave Anu alone. Anu was now bite free and she continued to eat sweets and her blood continued to be sweet thereafter...

Yay! Happy ending. I am the heroine, the smart one with brains! yay!

So embarrassing now when I look back at it. But it was ORIGINAL alright. I was in third grade so give me some benefit of doubt and I could really write stories then. And no, I was not on crack!!! There is only one thing I hope that really my story telling ways have changed since then, and hopefully more creativity has seeped into me.

Hope my story was entertaining...

Love
ART

PS: Happy Deepavali and Diwali to everyone!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

One comes and goes...

As I told you...I jinxed Babs health again...what is it about her and blogs? I don't get it...but then I am afraid...very afraid to write anything about her...ya she is a year old...and I want to write something just so if this blog is alive when she is 5 or 6 she can read these and feel what her mom felt like when she was small...

I originally wanted to spend the whole day with her and G did not care about it either way...but what actually happened??? I got to work till 2 that day then by the time I picked my parents and got home it was almost 4. Then I was busy cooking and cleaning that I hardly got time to spend with S. We later went to the mall and did some photos before heading to an Indian Restaurant called Maharaja (on Coit and Springcreek, which I will absolutely avoid henceforth). Then I dropped my parents at the hotel they were spending the night at and came home on time to put Babs to bed...ya...about two or three hours is what I got to spend with her...on the other hand G got to work from home and got to spend the entire day with her...IRONY!!!

But the next day was fun...MIL and I cooked...and cleaned till the very minute the guests came...and then also we did a bunch of stuff...here I have to mention that without my MIL there would have been no party...taking care of a one year old who can walk, make cute faces and ask you to lift her up all the time can really hurt your cooking and cleaning schedule...but MIL and I swapped responsibilities of taking care of Babs with her doing most of the taking care of...while I worked...and then when G's bro and SIL came in...it was even better...now we operated as a family...it was awesome...a well oiled family we were knowing what we were good at and doing precisely that...

I never had a big family...it was just the five of us growing up because we were always away from home base which was in Chennai...so in my house we did our own things our way...but G always had a big family and his family worked completely opposite to ours...I should say that I enjoy being with his as they are fun in their own way and I can blend in easily...the way we did the cooking cleaning and cleaning thereafter just proved that we could be efficient if we worked together and my MIL rocks...

I also have to mention that some people get an MIL when they get married...but I got another mother...I am not writing here to maska marofy anyone...my MIL or G don't read my blog...but this is how I genuinely feel about her...I am not going to lie to you that she never gets on my nerves...but all that is ok and negligible when I look at the amount of support both moral as well as physical she has been to me in the last couple of years...even on days when I am PMSing she is understanding...when I am all acting pissy and stuff she still talks to me as if I am being nice which makes me feel worse about myself after the PMS moment has passed...

Ya I owe and Babs also owes her first birthday party to my MIL (her grandma)...

And I have to thank the 13 selected friends whom we had invited and all but one came and made the occassion very special for us...Babs slept through most of it...poor her she was tired from lack of sleep the previous two days. With us cooking and all that Babs could not get herself to sleep and so she was awake till at least 12 for two continuous nights and did not compensate it with day time naps either...but then we had to wake her up so we could cut G's small cake that I had ordered for his Bday that fell on Sunday...It was a fun party...nothing major...but very simple...two other beautiful kids...very family like party...but I enjoyed it...

Thanks everyone :)

PS: See how smart I am...I digressed from Babs in the post here and there in an attempt to avoid the jinx...lets see if this works!!

Once again the syringe attacked me!

If you have been reading my posts for a while you would have known how much I hate needles from my Penicillin episode...but in case you haven't read that here is what happened this week...

We took Babs for her one year check up at her pediatrician and the doc advised that all three of us get the flu shot. Given how much we suffered this last winter G was prompt and had the shot taken a couple of weeks ago. I firmly stood ground saying that I would rather fight with the flu than with the pain of the shot. G was shocked at my attitude and said that I was putting Babs health at risk by my stupid fear of pain...

So when the pediatrician advised me...I reluctantly said I will take it...the doc then said, "your daughter is going to get five shots (vaccines) and you are afraid to get one?" So now I was challenged and had to do it...

Two nurses walked in to get Babs ready for her shot...one of them said ok lets get ready to give me the shot first...I was like what? No way...I saw the syringe and freaked out...I screamed...ran around the room...until one of the nurses pinned me down to the chair and the other grabbed my arm and I screamed and wailed (my voice was heard over that of other kids around) and when it was over I was like "What the??? Is it already done? I thought it was going to pain..." And G was standing with Babs at the corner of the room looking at me in utter disgust and embarrassment. He wanted to escape and vanish into thin air.

Ya...that is how ridiculously childish I am!!! I hate myself for that...but I hate syringes...I have a needle phobia (trypanophobia)...such a thing actually exists and my dad is needle-phobic...so there...it is not something I do just because I feel like it...

Even when I was in the delivery room getting prepped for a C-section that never happened...a nurse walked up and poked me with something on my left arm...that was the only time I came close to cussing...but if she had given me a warning I probably would have created another scene wasting their time...

But it is not as if I enjoying doing it...I have a phobia and people with phobia's should be treated with love and not anger (G you are going to get it from me solid tonight!)

Anyways with loads of trypanophobia...I bid thee adieu...

Friday, October 17, 2008

It's a YEAR!!!!!

Baboo is ONE YEAR Today!!!

I can still clearly remember almost every bit of detail (as much as my sedated mind can recollect) even today...Giri and I started tracking back time since last evening. I had blogged about it long back but had decided not to publish it...but now WTH!!!! She is one...

I wanted to blog about Sanjana's arrival before I forget most of the important details...not that any of it is easy to forget but time has a way with memory...

As most of you know Sanjana was due on October 8, 2007 and was scheduled for an induction on October 10, 2007 should she miss the due date...but then the smart Alec me decided to postpone the induction date to October 17, 2007 buying both myself and Sanjana a week to try and make it out the natural way...and Sanjana decided that she would indeed stay inside me till she was forcibly induced...guess she loved being inside me so much that she did not make any attempts at coming outside whatsoever.

Actually my water broke on October 5, 2007 night (early Oct 6th) when I was alone. I did talk to my doctor about it on my October 10th appointment and she told me to confirm the same through a sonogram on October 11th. The sonogram said that there was nothing to worry about and I got back home feeling better and happy that I had postponed my induction date to the 17th.

I also went to work on the 15th of October after initial doubts and then decided that I would take off the 16th and spend some ME time before heading out that night for the induction. I cleaned the house, I cooked and slept a little before the evening came. I was still hoping that I would at least be dialted one centimeter by the evening if I did all the work...Girish came home from work and the two of us along with Girish's parents headed out for a walk at Addisson Park and got back home for dinner. Giri took a quick shower and the two of us headed towards the hospital at 9.30pm from our house...we stopped by at the Quick Trip gas station on Plano Parkway and Girish picked up a Blazing Hot Cheetos packet for snacking through the night and we headed to the hospital. I was a bundle of nerves and was crying on and off through the short trip.

We walked into the labor and delivery unit in Medical Center of Plano at precisely 10.00pm and got myself admitted. I was shown into LDR Room No.23, changed into hospital garb and was ready for nurse Sara to come and walk me through the procedure of getting induced. First there was a bunch questions...and then there was the preparation for IV...it was not that bad and it was one of the things I was freaking out about. Then she told me to relax while she prepped to soften the cervix...She got me ready at 11.20pm and at 12.20am I started getting my first real contractions and boy did they hurt...at first not so bad but as the night progressed it just got worse...Around 3.00am I was hurting and around 4.30 I was screaming every few minutes...but the good news was that I was dilating and heading in the right direction...

Around 6.30am Tracy took over Sara and she gave me the option of taking IV Nubain a mood altering drug to keep me cool in between the contractions and I gladly agreed to try it out...and it really did not help me much other than putting me to sleep in between my contractions. The pain was still there...

At 8.00am the doctor came for a visit and decided that after using the internal monitor my baby's heart rate was not looking very stable during contractions and that I have to be cut to deliver as the baby might not take the pressure of making it out naturally...in a few minutes I was getting a fresh batch of shots and this guy walked in with a trolley and got to work on my back while I was writhing in pain through contractions...he was getting me prepped for epidural and in two minutes he was done and gone and I was in cloud nine not feeling any pain any more...I did not feel anything in my lower body as well...

Tracy then decided to do something different and took me off the internal monitor and hooked me back up on the external monitor only to show that the baby was not doing badly during contractions. So she called the doctor and passed on the information and the doctor came by to check it out and agreed that I did not need a C-Section and that she will try natural delivery instead.

Around 1.15pm on October 17, 2007 things started moving real fast. Tracy had the room loaded with trolleys carrying different things and then she and Girish together helped me learn to push the baby out...the pushing was so difficult considering I have no idea where to put the pressure considering my lower half of the body was completely asleep...and it took me about 6 to 7 turns before I got to push the baby's head out only slightly before which the doctor was called in and the NICU people were also summoned for...a few more pushes and then the baby's head was vacuumed out ...and in a couple of seconds the doctor threw the baby on my tummy...I could not believe it...

I had to know...yes...the gender of the baby...that was my first question to the doctor and when she said it was a girl, I could not believe my ears...very quickly the NICU people came and took the child away for inspection while I was lying there getting all stitched up and cleaned...Girish was on the phone and I heard Girish tell one of the NICU physicians that the name of the baby was going to be Sanjana...at that time I knew that there was no changing and that is what she was going to be called for ever...

Once she was cleaned up and all Girish held her in his arms for the longest time and then I was allowed to hold her for sometime. I tried to feed her but she was not in a mood and was cranky...then the nurse from the nursery took Sanjana away for further inspection and bathing.

I was given some fluids to drink and some rest while Tracy cleaned me up more and packed all my things. She brought in a wheel chair and a trolley. Girish loaded our bags onto the trolley and me onto the wheelchair and off we went to our post-delivery room.

I was tired as hell but could not sleep because people were coming in and out of the room but there was no sign of Sanjana. Then Girish told me that there was some oxygen problem and they were going to keep her in the nursery for longer. I took a mini-nap and then Girish took me in the wheel chair to see her in the nursery for about five minutes. Then we were back in the room...

First Rajeev and Vardhini came, then Sammy came and then Charlie came...Girish took all of them to the nursery. Ali, Fatema and Mustu came. They saw Sanjana getting her bath and all of them left without seeing her up close.

Megha and G came, and just as I was getting ready to go to the nursery the baby came in! I was so happy!!!! Then Girish got mummy and pappa, and RJ, Sameer, Sonika, and RJ's mom came. The place was full and everyone was happy to see the baby...The last to come was Shahid and it was already late and I was getting groggy. The nursery people took the baby away and I slept for two hours before being woken up for feeding...

Thus started Sanjana's journey into this life...

So there it is all out...I did not want to gross anyone out and neither did I want to forget it...but now she is one...all big and grown up...I am scared to write more here...everytime I write something about Baboo I have jinxed it and she has always fallen sick following it...it is one of the reason why I have stopped even mentioning about her here...Let me see how this goes and then maybe I will start writing about her...

Anyways y'all take care...I have tons to prepare for the big day! Already baked and decorated her cake...but major food cooking, picking up my parents and all that are happening...till I write back...

Toodles.
ART

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Enough with it already!

Everyone knows about what happened to Lehman Brothers, AIG, Wachovia. Even if you are not an economy buff you would have heard it or read about it somewhere. Since things started going downhill I started subscribing to some nice financial blogs to learn and understand how the system works. In the last few weeks I have even bugged my friends with some interesting post on this and on that which I keep forwarding every time I read something I think might be useful for them as well.

What I find funny is that most of these website try to instill on one thing. Do not panic.

Well if they don't want us to panic then why the hell is the entire blog world telling us exactly that but only a hundered times over??? Well if you don't want me to panic then you should'nt probably be giving me news to panic with right???

I am now afraid even to buy an organic water bottle (saving earth and global warming and those those fun stuff) because I am now thinking (panicking) what if I dont NEED it and only WANT it??? Well this is what happens when you get into the financial crunch mode...I now think (panic) that most of the things I do including Babs birthday cake is excessive. Gosh! It is driving me nuts. I was not programmed to think like this.

It is not me to feel like it even. I have been raised to spend. At least that is what my dad always told me. That I was born to spend his money which I am still doing consistently. Then there is the sudden fear of the financial crisis in the market (a market with which I did not even associate myself with 9 months ago) so I have to be frugal.

When people like me, who never knew how to balance books, do accounts, take care of their money and such are in this position, here is what we do - PENNY WISE AND POUND FOOLISH! ya! Because I do not know head or tail about managing my money. I think I am being wise when in reality I am just going from one blog to another and doing things that each of them are making me to. Well, that is not helping because the bank balance still stands at a BIG ZERO! If my being frugal had really helped then I must at least have a dollar in my savings right?!!!

So my point is. Everyone must do what everyone can. Reading all these blogs (that tell you not to panic) is pretty pointless. You should use your own sixth sense to decide what is good for you and your family and do it. Just because someone switched from using diapers to cloth diapers does not mean it will work for your lifestyle. Choose the areas where you want to be frugal and be wise. Market will be down and market will be up and it is going to affect all of us in someway or the other. Till it affects us let us hope to not let the slump dampen our spirits...because if we loose our spirit then what else have we got to keep us up?? It is the festival season so let us enjoy by not only being frugal but also having a little fun.

As always
Love
ART

PS-1: some of these blogs also tell us not to get financial advice from the TV pundits on CNN or something...well then whom do we trust? YOU the blogger??? What proof that you are not getting paid by some third party to write what you write?? Gosh this world has loads of holes!

PS-2: Blogs I read are:
Get Rich Slowly
Smart Spending Blog
The Simple dollar
Wise Bread
Art of the Coupon

PS-3: As much as I crib, I enjoy reading these blogs...they are good and probably when read by the right person it can be put to good use...like I mentioned above I am not good with money and therefore these things are as good as a hammer in the hands of a monkey (I am really not a monkey)...



Monday, October 13, 2008

Dandiya...

Last weekend...on Oct 11...there was the last night of Dandiya celebrations in Dallas...few of my girlfriends and I had decided that we would go for it...we put in some major enthu into the discussions that ranged from clothes to how much fun we were going to have...

Come Saturday...I got a call from SV asking what time we were going to meet up to which I said I need to talk to MG...the dandiya started at 8.30pm and we were discussing about meeting times at 5.30pm.

I called MG...we again discussed what we were going to wear and who was going to pick whom up and what time we were going to meet. We were excited...I called on another friend and she was the first to drop out of the plan claiming to have caught the LAZY!!! I also call SC...who said that he will either go Dandiya with us or come to our house and play cards instead...so there it was just MG and me...because SV also claimed she got SICK and backed out...

Then MG calls me back in an hour and tells me, "Anu, somehow I don't get the vibe you are totally interested to go..." I told her...ya...because now from a gang we have been reduced to just you and I...what fun is Dandiya when you have to go and join other's gang while typically others begged to join our totally happening group!

So MG came to the conclusion that somehow we are not young any more...she is married, I have a kid...and we are not fully into doing things that was the most important thing to us a few years ago...guess we have matured...moved on to doing higher things...being it spending time with the husband, his family, and the kid...that is what we are all about now...

We are still fun to spend time together...but when it comes to clubbing or going out past dinner time is now a "let me see if I can make it" thingy...hopefully this does not lead anyone to the other conclusion that "we are boring" now that we are committed to different things in life...you should really see how much fun we had at Preeti-Sheetal Engagement party or at SC's dinner party...we are still fun ok...

I think once Babbi is about 3-4 years...I will get back on track! Till then y'all wait...

Love
ART

Water Gardens at Fort Worth

We went their for the first time in the five plus years we have lived here...and it was the one of the most fun thing we had done in sometime now...probably our life isn't that interesting any more...but if you live in Dallas and get stuck in the loop of "Where do we take our guests to?" Then you have an answer to that...Water Gardens at Fort Worth!!!...it is fun, activity filled and close to Sundance Square and other interesting places in Ft. Wt...

Sorry cannot post any pics as I forgot to take our camera with us and hence we landed up taking in the fun visually and carrying it in our brains!!!

Other places of importance in Dallas where we have taken our guests to in the past...
  • Kennedy Museum
  • Downtown Dallas
  • Museums in Ft. Wt.
  • Sundance Square
  • Our Condo
  • Maggiano's Little Italy
  • Some random Desi restaurant (mostly Taj Chaat House)
  • Desi Grocery store
  • Drive up and down on George Bush Turnpike...
  • Sit in our Condo and think of where to go and decide staying home and watching a movie on the TV is more fun
  • Our Pool
  • Lake Lewisville
  • Lake Texoma
  • Lake Ray Roberts
  • Ft. Wt. Zoo
  • Galleria
  • Stonebriar Mall
  • Grapevine Mills Mall
  • Austin
  • San Antonio
  • Clay Pit's dance night for some Desi Dic-chak mujic...
  • Gaylord (MG Suggestion)**
  • Stockyards at Ft Wt (MG Suggestion)**
  • Thomas Crowe Museum of Art ( got a huge Asian collection) (Kavita Suggestion)**
We are still planning on going to the Fossil Rim and Big Bend...

If you know any places of fun around Dallas...jot it down for me so that we can try it out when we have the next batch of guests!

Thanks
ART

** MG Suggested this in her comments!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Who sets these guidelines?

  1. When you are pregnant, you must not drink coffee.
  2. When you are breastfeeding, you should not drink any caffeine or alcoholic drinks.

1) The reason I ask is because people around you take it upon themselves to enforce these rules without getting your permission first...this was something that bothered me a lot when I was pregnant because every time I ordered for coffee or asked for one people would give me the looks...do these people know that even when I was not pregnant I only had one or two cups of coffee or tea a day?? Did they also know that a few of my friend's parents had more than three cups of coffee and their kids are all normal...

I am sorry...but please whoever you are and if you chance to read my blog...and you are guilty of doing the above...please stop it...it is None Of Your business!!! A mother knows what is best for her child...it is not like she is smoking pot while taking drops of LSD and drinking Scotch on the side...she is just having coffee...When most people have kids...they are mature enough to read and understand what is good for them and their baby...if they still don't get it...believe me you are not going to change them overnight...and it is just coffee...one or two cups a day ain't harming anyone! (This is strictly IMHO...)


2) There was once this party where I was invited to...there was booze in the house...but the person who was the host...put me up for SPRITE!!! instead of wine/whiskey/rum/gin/or even the cute old COKE!!! ya SPRITE!!!!!!!! WTH...did this person ask me??? Ever??? Once? uh huh...No...I was informed that since I was breastfeeding I should only drink SPRITE!!! Really??? I don't like Sprite...I drink Sprite when I am out of all choices...I always go for coke (note: not even diet coke)...

Once again for the ignorant people...breastfeeding mom's can drink a glass of wine...it is ok...all they have to do is pump the next couple of feedings (or if you want to be extra careful pump the next few feedings) and dispose the milk...ya...that simple...not rocket science for sure! The baby can be substituted with formula...

And if the momma wants something to drink...give her what she wants...don't stand there and judge or make judgements...NOBODY ASKED YOU! Really...Mom's always know what they are doing...they never try to harm or hurt the child...there are some like those and I am not speaking for them...so please give the lady benefit of doubt...

As much as a non-alcoholic person I am it is unfortunate that I still remember it...the point was not that I was denied of a drink...the point is that I was denied of making a decision...because someone else decided that it was NORM for breastfeeding moms to drink non-cafienated drinks only...these people did not obviously do their research...Now, I am polite...so I kept quiet and smiled it away...and probably that is another reason that I am still irked about it...

Anyhoo...I have written a couple of instances...but there are many other things in which people think that is important to give their two cents on topics that they should not be involved in at all...Mature or rather grown up people can decide for themselves...unsolicited advices are often unwelcome...just like an unwelcome guest or bad taste in the mouth...Many a times we want to throw in our ideas and suggestions...but not everyone appreciates it...be sensitive...yes Be Sensitive...you might be absolutely right in what you are doing...but it might hurt someone...so be sensitive...

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Amway strikes....yet again!

Location: Wal-Mart in Dallas
Victims: G and I


G and I had to go to WM to pick up corner guards for our night stand as we were very scared that she might hurt herself but running into it. When we got to WM, we did the walk around the foodie aisles even though we did not need anything just for the sake of habit...On our way around the place I noticed this cute baby being carted around by a desi daddy...and I could not stop myself from showing G the baby who also agreed that he was cute...and then we proceeded towards the milk section...ya...bought nothing there and finally landed at the baby section...

We were looking at the different options we had when we saw the daddy with the baby still in the cart stare at G's tee...he was wearing a First Trade tee...G turned around and asked him if he needed anything to which daddy said...no just trying to read what is on your tee...G politely replied..."a whole lot of crap." We turned around and started checking out what we were looking for...

Instantly the wife jumped towards me and asked me if I could help her also find baby proofing stuff for her house. I saw the baby and then asked her how old her son was...she said 4 months...I told her...well you don't need to baby proof for another two months at least...to which she said "he is crawling all over." (I am not inexperienced...I have a baby too...) I smiled and picked up what I wanted when she grabbed what I had in my hand in the name of checking it out...I told her that it was the last corner guard and I wanted it. And all along the daddy dear was chatting with G about where he was working, what he was working on, where G was from, etc etc....

G looked at me...and said...I think we need more than one box of the corner guard...since WM does not have it, we have to go to Babies r us...they are going to shut down...so lets run...I said, oh ya...you are right...

We quickly bid adieu...but the man (daddy) would not stop...he asked G if he could give him his number so that they can get baby advice from us...to which G turned and looked at him and said...

"I don't have a phone with me...I don't own one..."

We left...
I could not stop laughing...we have been there before...not like I have not blogged about it...Sorry Amway/Quickstar/whatever you have to try harder...the economy might be down but that does not mean that we have kept our brains in a safe...we still carry it around...

And what is worse...it is always the DESI's who come and approach you...as it is we desi's don't smile at fellow desi's...if anything we give a snarl or sometimes a "I know where you are from" look...now these guys are just spoiling it for the rest...The minute G and I see any friendly smiling Desi...our Amway/Quickstar alarm goes off and we are on high alert...we ignore them and try doing rude stuff so they don't approach us...rude as in our expressions become unfriendly...

Gosh! They are so annoying...and this couple used their baby to sell Amway/Quickstar to us...how low can they stoop...AAAAAAAArrrrrrghhhhhhhhhhhhhh

Friday, October 03, 2008

Har Hair Ki Kahani

I have been crazy about hairdo's all my life...I can start posting pics right from my childhood where I looked real crazy with short hair...then let it grow, then cut it short, the cycle went on...

When I lived in Trichy, there were no beauty parlor's in our township in the early 80's...all they had were two Saloons (ya not salon's...and yes I know Saloon's are places of drinking...thanks...and in good old India that is where you got your hair cut)...and both specialized in cutting men's hair, shaving, and maalish (massage)...but that is the only place a little girl would go too...when I was in 5th standard my dad took me to this guy who promised a new hairstyle for me...I did not know any better...happily I climbed on the chair and when he was done I was shocked...I had bangs...ya like the cute Chinese girls...and ya I looked Chinese...my mom saw me and she was so mad at the barber...she took me back to him, yelled at him, then came home and yelled at dad (who has ever since refused to take any of us for a haircut) and I got a bit of crossfire too...

I remember I was in 9th grade...and I decided to cut my hair really really short...and when I went to a parlor near my apartment the lady touched my hair and said, "I feel so bad cutting your hair." But I told her to go ahead with a big smile on my face...the minute she put the scissor to my hair I regretted it...too late now!

My classmates (a few of the most hideous bunch...who were annoying PIA's...) called me Conie...meaning my hair resembled a coniferous forest...I was so mad...but these were lowlife creatures and it would definitely lower my status wasting my breath on them...one of the sicko's met me in orkut and asked me if I was the same girl he used to call Conie...I deleted his message and have blocked him too...oops...this was not a rant post...damn I digressed again...

I grew it out again...but never longer than just below my shoulder...until I was in my 3rd year college when I decided to cut it to fall just around my ear...one of my best friends in college (Sul) came up to me and asked me never ever to do that to my hair again...but I did it again and again...till I got bored of it...Sorry Sul...

Then I came here...to US of A...my hair was always hovering around shoulder length...then one day in 2002 I decided I needed a make over and got my hair cut in layers...being a newbie to styling hair I was at a loss for what to do...and I also noticed much to my chagrin that after layering that my hair felt thinner...I panicked and decided never to cut my hair in that fashion...

My mom told me that she would like for me to do the traditional South Indian hair style with hair ornaments for my wedding and requested me to grow my hair...which I did like the good girl I am...and my hair was long...the longest I ever had it at least...and for almost 4 years I just trimmed the edges never bothered to style it or cut it...

Ya...that is how long it was before I got it cut!

When I had Babs, I decided that I was up for a makeover and this time I have to do once again what I have to do...I went to this guy Peter...who cut my hair a bit short...the next time I went he cut it a bit more shorter


The first installment and second installment were not very short...but were coming close to the destination...

And yesterday I went I gave him a go ahead to cut it up to my shoulders...he cuts my hair...takes away the cape and then tells me..."you look so much younger now."

Mission accomplished...


This is me with my latest installment! God knows how short I am going to go...


But when G saw me last night...he looked a bit quizzical and then told me...you know you do look a bit Chinese...well that is a full circle...what I realized is...that it is not the hairstyle...it is me!!! I look Chinese no matter what...

Till then Xie Xie (shi shi - Thank you in Chinese) peoples...