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17 Jul 2009

Orkut Orkut

Sometimes, I go to other people's Orkut profiles from my friends list and read their scraps. Sometimes I read scraps from profiles of friends of friends. I rarely have time to do that but today was one of those days. Having been entirely absorbed in my little world of EMA for months and now that it was finally time to let go & move on, I spent a part of my day trying to see what's going on in people's lives.

Here's one really hilarious scrap I came across. I can't name anyone, of course!

hi xyz

how r u

you are very beautiful

I was in splits when I read this. Clearly, a wannabe trying to hit on a girl he doesn't even know. How miserable!

This activity can get real boring, however. Most people lead boring lives. It's mostly a bunch of bored guys and girls screaming at the top of their voices - 'Yay, I'm getting married', 'Yippeeee, I'm married', 'Yay, I had a baby', 'Yipppeee, I named the baby', 'Yay, I took a break'... practically everything that's considered normal is a cause for excitement in their otherwise pathetic lives. Not very different from mine, I would say if I were honest. I even hype up project implementations on my Facebook profile. Far from interesting!

So I do this to kill boredom, read about other people's bored lives and bore the hell out of myself! Now I'm writing this & getting bored... ewww, how many times did I say that already. Time to pack up. Ta!

EMA Night Eve - Movie night

I watched Harry Potter last night with some of the boys at work. As all things go in my life, it wasn't without stress. Waiting for last minute installations on my laptop, chasing up with the support guys... you know the stuff that always holds you back at work on an occasional day that you need to leave early!

The boys were great. They insisted on holding on to my ticket and waiting up to take me to the movie, even after I asked them to go ahead without me. And it wasn't even about paying for my ticket... I would've done that anyway. A really really nice gesture! Reminds me of the old days... college days... boys were always like that. Chivalrous. Drop a girl home after going out, wait & make sure all's okay. It doesn't happen so often these days, what with girls becoming independent and equal and all that. Boys don't have the time or patience anymore either! These fellows with me were nice. And yes, they waited with me after the movie until my husband picked me up. If not, one of them would've made sure I got home safe. I don't doubt that.

Their company was great too. No grumbling, no complaining about anything. We talked about the movie & Harry Potter for a long time after the movie. Abhi & Joy amaze me with their capacity to remember names of characters and spells in the book! They remembered what the movie missed showing too. Wow! That is so cool! I can never remember names and barely the details in the books that I read. Oh yeah, when I say names, I mean... full names. Including the Surname. A nick-name, had there been one, I bet!

I couldn't help overhearing a bunch of guys frustrated after the movie. Joy & I laughed when he heard them. They were wondering why Dumbledore died and why so easily, without even a fight. They were wondering what would happen to Harry Potter now and why there was no Voldemort in this movie. Snape & the BIG question - Good Severus, Bad Severus? The action was less & there was more of teenage drama ('snogging' et al). In fact, even our own Sham had those questions. Well, atleast they can read the next book if they wanted to. In our days, we had to wait for the next book to be published, then stand in the queue on the day of release from 6AM in the morning. No regrets though, it was totally worth it!

This is one of the better made movies in the Harry Potter series too. I loved the visuals. Harry Potter & Hermione have grown way more cute over the years (yeah, ok, Daniel Radcliffe & Emma Watson). Hogwarts brought back old memories from the book & earlier movies...

All in all, a very enjoyable evening. It's been so long since I'd been to the movies, since I'd gone out and since I'd been out with a group of fun guys.

Felt like a perfect way to get ready for the install night. Big night tonight. Hubby's promised he might stay up to give me company. That's nice, really nice :) I was worrying unnecessarily about having to work alone at home, while the rest of the crowd was at office. Not any more.

What does it mean when so many nice things happen to you at once? Happy days are here again!! Touchwood! A nail-biting wait, a nail-biting night, a nail-biting weekend later I'll know what ANZ Portfolio looks like in the real world. Can't wait for it!

11 Jul 2009

Veronika Decides To Die

Read 2 books this week. The first one was a gift - Veronika Decides To Die by Paulo Coelho and the next was A Place Called Here by Cecilia Ahern. Kind of abstract books, both! This isn't a very good review of either book, merely a brief summary of both,
simply for the sake of writing about each. Read them to find out for yourself, if they are good.

Veronika tries to take her own life with a few pills... for no reason other than she's tired of the mundane routine in her life. Somehow, she ends up in a mental hospital instead. She's treated by a Doctor who makes her believe that she has only a few days to live, with heart-attack like symptoms inducing medicine. She begins to appreciate life at the mental hospital, meets a supposed schizophrenic and then doesn't want to die anymore! The doctor is pleased for a successful experiment of making people want to live by bringing them close to a feeling of death. Well-written but not a new concept. Can't say I enjoyed it immensely but didn't think it wasteful reading either.

Cecilia Ahern has magic in her books. She paints beautiful pictures with her words. This book's again of a woman, not so normal. Obsessed with the need to 'find' missing things, she ends up in a place called 'Here' where all missing things go, after twenty four years of searching. Once she's found everything and returned home (in the same strange manner she landed in 'Here' in the first place), she's cured and comes home happy. She ends up together with her doctor-counsellor of many years.

I noticed a striking similarity between the two books - even though one was slightly dark and heavy whereas the other was angelic white and light. Both had women protagonists, strange women that no one understood and both had a happy ending. Both women turn out 'normal' in the end. Both stories were slightly far-fetched yet believable in a weird sense.

I'm wondering if I ought to read Sudha Murthy first or hit another Coelho. Got a few hours to decide, let's see!

9 Jul 2009

Real Estate in OZ?

Re-producing the article here for those who don't want to chase the link (click on title).

Google has added a real estate search feature to its Google Maps service in Australia, letting potential home buyers view available properties across all real estate companies in a particular area.

Google has worked with numerous property companies to provide hundreds of thousands of homes for sale and rent, which are displayed the map by small red circles.

A property search can be refined by price, type of property, number of bedrooms, number of bathrooms, and parking availability.

Clicking on a small red circle will display information about the listing and the contact details of the agent will be displayed.

Google spokesperson Andrew Foster says that even though Australian home buyers already use Google Maps for research, the new feature now puts everything in one place.

"Given the importance of location to a home search, we've made it easy for home buyers and renters to see listings that match their criteria on Google Maps even as they pan and zoom the map to different areas," Foster said.

Other tools on Google Maps include driving directions, Street View and public transport information.

Courtesy <>

8 Jul 2009

Get A Cycle Today

Okay, I'm in a mood for advertising today. Or maybe, just feeling very environment friendly. Some advice for you guys who want to buy a bike... read on...


For those who hadn't thought of it yet, read on. Then, go out and buy that bike :)

PS. No, nobody's paying me for this. My blog provides FREE FREE FREE Ad service. Only if I believe in it!

Let's Clean Bangalore in One Day

My husband found me this link and it sounds like just another one of those hundreds of organizations trying to desperately save what we can, of Bangalore. Another enterprising young (don't take my word for it) man using the internet to reach a wider audience. It is yet to be seen where this one goes, even though he doesn't promise much more than just 1 day's work. Nevertheless, just like all those numerous volunteers/activists, this sounds worthwhile, simply by nature of the fact that while it's being done, it serves a purpose.


Whether it leads to something bigger is not the question. As they say, charity begins at home. So let's start practising... pick up those brooms, give the maid a holiday and start cleaning up your homes. The countdown begins!

If you can form a group, there's nothing more fun than a volunteer activity... after all, it's not something we do everything... definitely not something you can do when you chose to. What's more... we can finally say we 'celebrated' Independence Day!

Why am I promoting this? Because I love my city. I love my Bengaluru!

Disclaimer: Please visit the link for more details. I am merely a citizen, trying to further a cause by putting in my tuppence worth. Thank you!

7 Jul 2009

Think Of An Angel...

... and hear the flutter of it's wings!

I tried that once. I was walking in my garden and I thought of an angel. Then I heard the flutter of wings. I was pretty sure it was a butterfly, the flutter was so gentle. I turned around, pretending it would be an angel, in all white splendour, smiling sweetly at me.

Horror of horrors! There it was! An angel, transparent wings, white attire... the whole deal! It wasn't as pretty as I'd thought angels were supposed to be. Well, once I was over the initial shock, I ran. No, not because the angel was ugly or anything - it wasn't - I just didn't know what else to do. I'd never quite really believed they existed and I'd definitely not expected to meet one... then!

I ran, round and round the garden I ran, but the angel caught up with me. Angels will be angels after all! Soon, I was to fall for his charms and grow fond of him. So much so that I when I looked back at my life, I wondered how I'd even managed the past without the angel in it.

He hugged me, showed me where happiness was during my gloomiest days, protected me and did all that the books say a guardian angel must do. I felt blessed.

One day, I woke up to find him gone. My heart broke, I felt lost and desolate. I couldn't picture the rest of my life without the angel. I didn't have a direction anymore!

Slowly and surely, I hobbled back to my old life - the one where white fluttery creatures didn't exist. There was not more ringing laughter to be heard, no more wings to hide under when I was scared, no more cute smiles to warm my heart. All I had was a handful of pieces from the days gone by, like a dream I was clutching at, hours after I'd woken up.

I look in the pensieve everyday and am grateful for what I have had. I do not know if asking for forever is allowed. To not ask is impossible! Every morning when I walk in my garden and I watch the beautiful butterflies, I wonder if I should ask them if they have seen my angel. I do not know if the angel will be back or if it was only a dream and angels do not really exist... for I hear the birds tweet, I hear all the beautiful sounds of nature but not the kind flutter that I had so come to adore.

Some day... some day! Like they say, when you love something, let it go; If it comes back, it is truly yours to keep but if it doesn't, it never was yours in the first place! Was the angel mine or did he lose his way from his beloved one and find shelter with me for a few days, I do not know. I only know that I will continue to walk down the garden path every morning and look for my dear friend.

I once read a book called 'PS. If You Could See Me Now' - it's a beautiful book. I could never read it again, though. The angel doesn't come back in that one!

6 Jul 2009

My old StatCounter used this code... in case I wanna revert...

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A Time In History

At 12:34:56 7/8/9, history will be made. Nope, I didn't come up with it, just saw a tweet from someone and decided that a reference had to be made in honour of this unusual observation.

Wasteful Musings: Ye Ishq Nahin Aasaan

Wasteful Musings: Ye Ishq Nahin Aasaan

BPO-Sutra, Another Wannabe Money-Making Attempt

Each Indian English author I read these days pushes me one step away from picking up another one! Funnily enough, it's only the male authors I pick up that turn out to be wannabes. I've read a couple of chick lit and they're not too bad.

The latest I'm reading is called 'BPO Sutra' by Sudhindra Mokhasi. So, he worked in a BPO for some years. So, he heard some stories from his fellow BPO friends at lunch or coffee or drinks or wherever else in hell. Instead of writing a blog which everyone reads for free, the smartass compiles a bunch of anecdotes into a book and is trying to sell it to gullible readers like me, who are desperately trying to find some good Indians who could write something that make their reading time a well-spent hour each day. I would probably find a needle in a hay stack!

Did this guy chose not to write a blog because then nobody would let him steal their stories? On the other hand, you tell people that you'll print their stories, they will willingly pour their heart out and not even charge you for it. Some are just happy to see their tales in print and you cash in on that. He even says in his book that you can email him any quotable BPO narratives you have for him. Hail, hail!

By the way, what's with the BPO hang-up? So, Chetan Bhagat wrote a book called 'One Night @ The Call Center'. Do I need more books re-iterating the same scene in the form of different repeated unrepeatable stories? The book doesn't even have a proper order in which the stories are lined up. Dude, don't you think you should have done some work atleast, instead of just stringing your day to day life at your workplace, page after page? For the 150 bucks I paid, don't you think you could have put in about a couple of hours worth of your own sweat into the book?

He's got a line out of Chetan Bhagat (who I like, incidentally) printed on the top cover of his book. It goes something like 'Not 10, Not 20, Not 50 but 150 stories from BPOs and Call Centres'. That should have been enough to tell me not to buy the book... why wasn't I concentrating? Note that Chetan says nothing about the content of the book... well, if you ask me, there really was nothing to say except what he has!

So, that's it! No more Indian English authors for me - not men atleast, not for a long time.

Let me see if Paulo (Coelho) can fix my mood... I've got his latest. Hmmm... think I ought to finish his earlier one before I start on the new book? Maybe!

From my best friend's folders...

Haath chhuuTe bhii to rishte nahii.n chho.Daa karate
Waqt kii shaaKh se lamhe.n nahii.n to.Daa karate

Jis kii aavaaz mein silvat ho nigaaho.n mein shikan
Aisii tasviir ke tuka.De nahii.n jo.Daa karate

Shahad jiine kaa milaa karataa hai tho.Daa tho.Daa
Jaane vaalo.n ke liye dil nahii.n tho.Daa karate

Lag ke saahil se jo bahataa hai use bahane do
Asii dariyaa kaa kabhii ruKh nahii.n mo.Daa karate

5 Jul 2009

'Tis All Fishy

Keeping pets at home is not easy but it's so much fun. They are so endearing. After leaving the fish tank lying in the garage for nearly 6 months, I finally decided to revive it.

The first step was cleaning the aquarium and the stand. And then the painting, to give it a new look. I stripped off the algae picture at the back of the tank and decided to leave it transparent from both sides. Once the setup was ready with the new look, it was time to find it a suitable place. Fortunately, that wasn't too hard to decide... found it a place where I could see the fish from both sides.

The second part involved bringing home the fishes. When I walked into Pet Planet, I looked for big fish that would fit into an aquarium the size I had. All the ones I loved were way above my budget, so drawing myself towards the less expensive ones, I ended up with a dozen Guppies. Again! As a treat, I allowed myself the luxury of buying a couple of Black Ghost Knife fish at half a grand apiece, in addition. Since I'd stripped the algae picture off of the background, I needed something to add colour in the tank, so I also bought a couple of green & orange soft rubber plants.

All along the way from the pet shop back to the house, my 4 year old nephew was so excited! He made plans to feed the fish - Day1, boiled rice and chicken; Day 2, fried fish (from the shop, not the tank) and boiled rice; Day 3, cereal made from Ragi... and so on. He couldn't wait to get home and put them into the tank! Kids are so much fun and so supportive when you bring home pets!

We came home, rinsed the tank, soaked the plants to wash off the chemicals, found some marbles to place in the tank, filled it with water and transferred all the fish into their new home! The guppies stuck to each other and swum in a group for a long while. It appears that they were really hungry, rushing to grab the flakes of fish food as they fell into the water. The BGK on the other hand, were busy checking out the new environment, by themselves. Once they were comfortable, they put up a little show for us... oh it was so lovely to watch them!

Unfortunately, one of the little guys couldn't acclamatize to the new place and died on his first night here. I hope the other beauties hang in there for much longer! I looked up the BGK on the internet and found out that they prefer to stay quiet during the daytime and are grateful for any arrangements to hide themselves. That explains why they kept swimming around the bottom of the tank and the dark corners. I've now placed my two plants in there and bro's getting me some pebbles, so that should make them happy soon enough.

Lucky was a little jealous when we got them home. Everyone kept saying 'fish' but she wasn't getting any to eat. Then everyone was getting excited about little things moving in a tank and she couldn't understand what the fuss was all about. She sulked for a bit and has now settled down to ignoring the fishes.

Each of the blackies has settled for one plant as his home. I love the understanding they have between themselves, no fuss about which is who's. The guppies are happy to leave them alone and be playing around, enjoying their swim with the entire tank to themselves.

I never realized when I lived with my parents, the excitement of bringing home pets and caring for them all by myself. It's a fair deal of hard work but brings so much peace and happiness! I hope my kids, when they come along, will love pets too.

Dog, fish, who's next?

3 Jul 2009

Think positive

Everything happens twice. Once in your mind. Then in your reality.

If you think you cannot do it, you are right.


Overheard in the coffee room yesterday morning...

A: Yesterday evening, did Rama give more tension?
B: No yaa, it's not tension. It's irritation
A: What is the difference of tension and irritation?
B: Means, tension is different
A: When you get lot of irritation, you become tension
B: No yaa, it is irritation only

Missed the rest as I was rolling on the floor, clutching my stomach!

Another interesting email sent out to a very large audience, providing 'Just a heads up' on some event. It says the sender is hoping to 'take co-operation from all of you' when the time comes. If he took away my co-operation, what will I do? he he he he he!

2 Jul 2009

One life, Live It!

I received a forward this morning and felt like I needed to save it.

An elderly man in Mumbai calls his son in New York and says, "I hate to ruin your day son, but I have to tell you that your mother and I are getting a divorce; 35 years of marriage... and that much misery is enough!"

"Dad, what are you talking about?' the son screams.

"We can't stand the sight of each other any longer," the old man says. "We're sick of each other, and I'm sick of talking about this, so you call your sister in Hong Kong and tell her!"

Frantic, the son calls his sister, who explodes on the phone.

"Like heck they're getting divorced", she shouts, "I'll take care of this".

She calls Mumbai immediately and screams at the old man, "You are not getting divorced. Don't do a single thing until I get there. I'm calling my brother back, and we'll both be there tomorrow. Until then , don't do a thing, DO YOU HEAR?" and she hangs up.

The old man hangs up his phone and turns to his wife. "Okay", he says, "It's all set. They're both coming for our anniversary and paying their own airfare!!"

>> No man / woman is busy in this world all 365 days.
>> The sky is not going to fall down if you take few days LEAVE and meet your dear ones.

PS. Forgive the language... I've kept the contents as is to preserve the feel of the story.

Mom's Yummy Chicken Curry

The below measures are for cooking 1 kg of chicken for curry

Part 1:
1) Wash chicken & cut into pieces

2) Marinate with:
+ red chilli powder (approx 4 tea-spoons; reduce/increase depending on how spicy you like it)
+ salt (to taste)
+ garam masala powder / chicken masala powder (about 2 tea-spoons)
+ coriander powder (2 tea-spoon, if garam masala used; 1 spoon, if chicken masala)
+ pepper powder (1/2 tea-spoon
+ turmeric (a pinch)

3) Keep aside for 20 mins

Part 2:
4. Heat approx 2 tablespoons of oil in a kadai

5. Add curry leaves, chopped onions and fry till onions begin to turn brown

6. Add ginger-garlic paste, tomato puree / very small pieces and fry for a few minutes (2 - 3 minutes)

7. Add the chicken from Part 1, stir for a minute

Part 3:

8. Cook the chicken in a pressure cooker, over gas, for upto 3 whistles


8. Cook the chicken in a microwave for about 20 minutes at 180 degrees (the way one would normally cook any other chicken dish, really... whatever suits you best)

Serve hot!

Best combo with:
1. Rice (Add a little water in Part 3 and make a gravy to mix with the rice)
2. Dosas (South Indian - rice pancake; my fave)
3. Chappatis (Indian bread)

1 Jul 2009

Perfect Prefect

Any journey becomes painful when you are a perfectionist... for the perfectionist as well as the victims of one. Yet, most people see it as a positive trait! Until they have to work with one, I bet.

When I was fresh out of college and preparing for interviews, someone told me to say 'perfectionist' when asked what my shortcoming was, in an interview. It was supposed to hit 2 birds with one stone - (a) Tell the interviewer that you had no negatives and you were perfect for the job (b) Tell the interviewer that your work was always of high quality. I never realized back then but having been on both sides of the interviewing panel, I can say for sure today that it does not work. When you say in an interview that you are a perfectionist, it only leads to more questions because, unfortunately your answer is not perfect, it's too abstract.

Over the years, I've met more and more instances of the bane of perfectionism. I know a person who cannot understand what you're saying if you didn't get the vowels and grammar right in your email. It's a habit hard to kill. It starts with convincing yourself that it's okay to make a mistake and not chastise yourself for a cluttered desk. You need to ignore the urge to fix things. It's almost like giving up smoking... the withdrawal symptoms, the quaking fingers, the whole package! Also, there's no help group to boot. Like all mental illnesses, it's not really recognized as something serious enough to warrant help. Pity!

Moral of the story: Being perfect isn't quite perfect!

Think twice before you say "perfect" next time. Actually, why would you want to do that? You don't have to be perfect and say "perfect" in not perfect situations. Sigh, there you go!