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30 Dec 2009

Something On Golf

Disclaimer: This is purely a write-up for non-players like me, whose interest lie primarily in the game for purposes other than playing viz. general knowledge, understanding what cute golfers say on their albums, being able to spit out a few terms when drunk and confuse a few fellow-drunks, etc.

Recently, I read that GOLF stands for 'Gentlemen Only, Ladies Forbidden'. It sounded weird that a sport so popular could carry such gender bias. I was looking for a book on the internet and chanced upon a weblink that had FAQs on golf. The second question in the list caught my eye. It asked if golf really stood for 'Gentlemen Only, Ladies Forbidden'. Here's the answer:

Did the word "golf" originate as an acronym for "gentlemen only, ladies forbidden"? That's a common old wives' tale. Or, in this case, more likely an old husband's tale.

No, "golf" is not an acronym for "gentlemen only, ladies forbidden." If you've ever heard that, forget it immediately. Better yet, find the person who told you and let them know it's not true.

Like most modern words, the word "golf" derives from older languages and dialects. In this case, the languages in question are medieval Dutch and old Scots.

The medieval Dutch word "kolf" or "kolve" meant "club." It is believed that word passed to the Scots, whose old Scots dialect transformed the word into "golve," "gowl" or "gouf."

By the 16th Century, the word "golf" had emerged.

Sources: British Golf Museum, USGA Library

Such a relief. Considering that there are women golfers around the world, it's good to know that there is a real story to the origination than cheesy acronyms.

Speaking of origination, there was another interesting question on who invented golf. The answer says that golf "as we know it" emerged from Scotland but it didn't quite originate from there.

Here's what the USGA Museum says about the issue: "While many Scots firmly maintain that golf evolved from a family of stick-and-ball games widely practiced throughout the British Isles during the Middle Ages, considerable evidence suggests that the game derived from stick-and-ball games that were played in France, Germany and the Low Countries."

Part of that evidence is the etymology of the word "golf" itself. "Golf" derives from the Old Scots terms "golve" or "goff," which themselves evolved from the medieval Dutch term "kolf."

The medieval Dutch term "kolf" meant "club," and the Dutch were playing games (mostly on ice) at least by the 14th Century in which balls were struck by sticks that were curved at the bottom until they were moved from Point A to Point B. Sounds a lot like hockey, doesn't it? Except that it sort of sounds like golf, too (except for that ice part).

Something else that lends credence to that idea: Although the Scots played their game on parkland (rather than ice), they (or least some of them) were using balls they acquired in trade from ... Holland.

And the Dutch game wasn't the only similar game of the Middle Ages. Going back even farther, the Romans brought their own stick-and-ball game into the British Isles.

So does that mean that the Dutch (or someone else other than that Scots) invented golf? No, it means that golf grew out of games that were played in different parts of Europe.

But we're not trying to deny the Scots their place in golf history. The Scots made a singular improvement to all the games that came before: They dug a hole in the ground, and made getting the ball into that hole the object of the game.

As we said at the beginning, for golf as we know it, we definitely have the Scots to thank.

What's with golf and the animal fixation? Did the Scots love animals so much as to name their game after them? Or were they plain lazy (I can believe this)? I went through a list of golf slang and they have terms that include cat, dog, duck, chicken, goat, frog and even worm! Amazing! The comprehensive 'not slang' golf glossary is not too far behind either. Albatross, Birdie, Eagle, Fish... oh dear!

Ok, my knowledge of the subject is limited (read nil), so no point pretending to write. Heading off to get a good night's sleep.

28 Dec 2009

Miss Always Right

Time for some reflection. Another boring blog. If you are here and it is late in the night, you are probably suffering from insomnia. Read on and you may just win over it. The rest may stay and be grilled or leave at the period after this sentence.

Hmm. What was I thinking? I can't remember now. Nothing unusual about it. It's a given. It's my thing. It doesn't help that I'm switching tabs incessantly between this blog and pictures of an incredibly cute golfer!

I keep telling people that I'm always right. (Un)Fortunately, I'm right about that. Most of the time. Almost always. So, I think I'm always right. I act believing that I'm always right. Then someone comes along and then another one or two who believe the same. So on and so forth until we're all always saying "She's always right!"

BOOM! One day I'm caught unawares in a situation where it was obviously supposed to be the way I knew it was supposed to be but clearly isn't. CRACK! What happens next? Was I wrong? Was everyone else wrong? Of course I'm not always right, so why is it a big deal when I'm wrong once? Or twice or thrice, for that matter? Well, I guess we'll never know... for I'm never wrong. Have always been. Can't see why not... really!

I'm going in circles here. I'm confusing myself. Nothing unusual. It's a given. It's my thing. I do it all the time. If you're reading this, you're seeing stars too by now. If not, you shall, in a few seconds. Maybe you're one of those people who get hit very slowly. Like the effect of a vodka. Maybe tequila. I like tequila, I'm a huge fan, so let us assume tequila. Why? Because I say so! It's my blog! Remember, I'm always right!

Alright, alright, there is no "reflection" in this blog. I said that in my first sentence, I know. You know what else I said? Read only if you are suffering from insomnia. I didn't exactly mean this will put you to sleep, simply meant that if you are going crazy reading this, atleast I don't have to take the blame for it. It's your insomnia acting up. I also said something about grilling, as you will see if you went back up and read my first paragraph.

Since you don't seem to get off and you're still reading this, I shall stop writing. I cannot think of anything else to say anyway. I'm also getting late to go out, do more important things than have meaningless squabbles with my beloved readers. LOL.

Mind Over Age

I've had a Spitz for 10 years and I thought I knew everything there is to know about dogs. Hell no! I got a 6 year old lab-mutt cross as dowry during my wedding and she opened a whole new world for me.

For one, she doesn't raise her leg and pee on trees. Car and bike tyres hold no fascination for her, except for an occasional sniff to see if any dog has passed that way. For another, she doesn't want to boss over us. Don't think that it means she does not get her way. Her ways of getting her way are different. She talks with her eyes and how! So expressive that we cannot pretend to not have understood her.

She doesn't bark unless necessary and she won't move a muscle more than is required for a task. Call her lazy if you will but I think that requires an enormous amount of intelligence. At the age of 9 or 10, she learns new languages. She used to be a Kannada-speaking (you know what I mean) dog but she now understands commands in English. Languages are not the only thing she learns... you have a new trick and she's game.

So much for old age. Whoever said that age is in the mind is so right. She seems to believe that she's only 4 or 5 and lives the life of one. Arthritis, cataract, weak liver and overweight can't stop her from doing what she pleases and being who she wants. Such an admirable trait. I wish we people could learn from her. She fights and she does it with a will-power as if there is no option of 'No'.

Something we have all tried to understand but failed miserably. How does she know where you are hiding, when playing ball? She does not sniff, she has not seen you go where you went and yet, she heads straight to your hide-out as if you'd discussed where you were going to hide. How on earth does she do that? No matter where you go, she will be there with her ball, as if it's the most natural thing.

She knows who will walk her, feed her and play with her, at the time she needs all of those. She just knows everything that she needs to know to suit her lifestyle. She is spoilt and we don't even realize that we are spoiling her. She simply knows to get things done, like a smooth operator.

Does she need tea before her first walk or after? Does she need tea at all this morning? No cold tea, it has to be hot. Not smoking hot, though, it will burn her tongue. And here I am, dancing to her tunes, catering to her needs as if it's my duty... almost never complaining. She has trained me well. Yet, one has to only login to her Facebook account to listen to her bitch about me and proclaim her love for the husband. What a bitch! Oops, that doesn't hurt, does it? It's who she is!

26 Dec 2009

Colour Colour Which Colour

Blue. I had a fixation on the colour blue for many years. I woke up one day and found that all my clothes were blue and I had nothing else to wear but blue. What do you do when you're feeling blue and you need some colour in your clothes?

I switched to green. It was not intentional, just that I woke up one day and decided I had too many blues. I was hoping to get over my fixation but I only managed to get over blue! Green bedroom walls, green bedsheets, green clothes and so on...

For the last couple of months, I find myself leaning towards red and shades of red (if you could call brown that). Red clothes for the husband for his birthday, red trousers, red shoes, read ear-rings for myself, etc. When I need to pick my clothes, I find myself reaching out to brown tops and tees all the time. How much longer?

I wait for the day I will fix upon black. I badly need black clothes - a tee, a pair of jeans, a short gown, a dress, a skirt, a blouse, shoes, footwear and the list goes on. Black, black, black, I need black!

Oh wait, I need some white too. White tops, white jeans, white footwear, white bags, etc. Maybe I need a B&W fixation. No! That would be so boring.

Help! Fixation, get off of me! Help! Help!

24 Dec 2009

Xmas Christmas

I always imagined Christmas as a white festival. Sheets of snow was the first picture that formed in my mind. Then came Santa in his red & white attire, reindeers, turkey (yumm), home-made wine, snow-laden pine trees, bells and balls, etcetra.

Last year, when the husband was in Germany, he painted a bleak picture of Christmas for me. All shops closed, streets empty, no restaurants, no crowds or colours. Rather disappointed, I looked towards my friend in London. Whereas the weeks leading upto Christmas are rather full of excitement and festivities, the Christmas week and the day itself are rather quiet and mostly indoors.

This year, I spoke to a couple of my colleagues in Melbourne. They do not make wine at home, one of them had not even heard of such a thing. Melbourne celebrates Xmas in summer, so there is no question of snow or reindeers. The only reference to Santa was in the email which urged me to bill my efforts on the timesheet before the week was through.

In short, the last couple of years have completely trashed the picture of Christmas in my head. The only thing common across all places were the decorated pine trees and exchange of presents. Well, not all trashed I guess.

I have a short tree that I re-use every year (artifical because we don't exactly grow pine in India, for Christmas). I decorate it. I switch on lights in the tree in the evenings. This year, I also bought a star and a wreath. I plan to bake a cake (my office has stopped distributing the small plum cake we got every year, in the name of cost-cutting). Maybe I ought to buy some wine and make some chicken.

I have been a good girl, maybe somebody will buy me a present. Here's hoping...

23 Dec 2009

My Lists

As a kid, I used to have a list of books to read and places to visit. As I grew up and got busy with more important things, I found less and less time to read. I still had the list of places I wanted to visit and a new list for 'movies to watch'. Of course, I never visited or watched any. It just made me feel good to think that maybe some day I might. Funnily enough, OZ was always somewhere in the top on my list of places to visit... still is and I still hope 'some day'.

I took a break from work today and looked at some random blogs on blogger. There was a movie review of 'Julie and Julia'. These lines from the author made me want to watch the movie:

"Do go and see Julie and Julia at the cinema. Good fun for girls. It ticked a lot of boxes for me"

"But don't take a man to this movie unless he is very interested in cookery. The male actors are just there to support the heroines with the occasional word of wisdom and adoration"

I already said this morning that I wanted to watch Avatar. The reviews have been good, it is all over twitter and someone said to me that his kids watched the movie twice. I must find out why it is so popular. Actually, I just need an excuse to watch a movie. I think this will do, to convince the husband. So, when I read the review on Julie and Julia, I ended up making a list again. A list of 2 movies to watch, so far. How many more will go on the list before I get to watch atleast one I wonder.

Times like these, I wish I was 22, just starting to work, single and in Mumbai. Sigh! Alternatively, I just wish there were more people in my life who wanted to do the same things I do. Or maybe... ok, ok, I must stop. Time to get back to work. A document awaits me. Sigh!

22 Dec 2009

A Pinch Of Salt

As a fresher in the fraternity and through my days of being a junior member of staff in the industry, I used to wonder how the seniors seemed to have so much information about the organization. I used to be in awe of their ability to understand updates during the fancy presentations given by senior management and discuss them during coffee breaks.

Seven years in the software world and I find myself sitting in Townhalls and meetings, sometimes not just understanding the presentations but able to question the validity of the messages reported by the presenter.

I attended one such event last week. The presenter announced the introduction of a new tool and proceeded to explain how we were using it enthusiastically to prove improved productivity and were able to deliver better quality work. As one of the staff using the tool and being a strong crusader against its benefits, I was surprised at the declaration. One or two of my colleagues looked at my face when the announcement was being made, fully aware of my counter-campaigning. Not much one can say or do but be a mute audience in such circumstances.

Two days later, I overheard a couple of my colleagues who are part of the team being pushed to use the tool, discuss the broadcast made by the official. They were equally surprised and amused.

This reminded me of my days in an earlier organization where I had the privilege of sitting next to a communications manager. She was a lady with amazing capabilities to handle press and media, in any situation. Sitting next to her, I have inevitably and unintentionally, eavesdropped various conversations that went on at her desk. I, once, heard her explain to someone how one had to tweak information to make it look authentic enough while not exactly revealing facts that could harm the institution.

Every time I read an article in the papers, I wonder how much of it is really true. It was, most likely, a piece written by a public relations officer in a believable manner, veiling facts just enough to save the company's face. To think, I have spent my childhood years believing that if something was reported in the newspaper, it had to be the absolute truth!

Coffee Table Trivia (courtesy Jeena)

• In the 1400’s a law was set forth in England that a man was allowed to beat his wife with a stick no thicker than his thumb. Hence we have "the rule of thumb"

• Many years ago in Scotland , a new game was invented. It was ruled "Gentlemen Only…Ladies Forbidden"…and thus the word GOLF entered into the English language

• The first couple to be shown in bed together on prime time TV were Fred and Wilma Flintstone

• Every day more money is printed for Monopoly than the U.S. Treasury

• Coca-Cola was originally green

• Each king in a deck of playing cards represents a great king from history: Spades – King David. Hearts – Charlemagne. Clubs -Alexander, the Great. Diamonds – Julius Caesar

• In Shakespeare’s time, mattresses were secured on bed frames by ropes. When you pulled on the ropes the mattress tightened, making the bed firmer to sleep on. Hence the phrase .. "goodnight, sleep tight"

• It was the accepted practice in Babylon 4,000 years ago that for a month after the wedding, the bride’s father would supply his son-in-law with all the mead he could drink. Mead is a honey beer and because their calendar was lunar based, this period was called the honey month, which we know today as the honeymoon

• In English pubs, ale is ordered by pints and quarts… So in old England , when customers got unruly, the bartender would yell at them "Mind your pints and quarts, and settle down." It’s where we get the phrase "mind your P’s and Q’s".

21 Dec 2009

BPS 1996 Re-Union Part 1

The day arrives, finally, with much fanfare. Days of worrying and planning, arranging things, inviting people and going through the rigmarole of organizing an event finally come to an end. The evening before, when Ash dropped me off at the usual place on the main road, we sat for a few minutes discussing the dos and donts of the wardrobe for today. It was a special day, after all. Having been part of the organizing committee, we wanted to make our best appearance on the big day.

My house was a madhouse this morning. I cleaned out the wardrobe, trying to decide what to wear. Nothing seemed good enough, none of my clothes were perfect. They were either too short or too long or too conservative or too tomboyish or too girly or too bold or so many other things but not right for the day! After spending over an hour going nuts, I text a friend of mine in desperation. He replies saying, "Yes, I shall tell you how to lose weight before noon so that you can wear the perfect dress".

Another few minutes of rummaging through the cupboard, I meet the friend online. "Help me!" I scream. So we start going through my clothes, eliminating one by one. It comes down to "Okay, boring work clothes it is". Shit! This can't be happening to me! I can't wear dull office-wear to my school re-union :-O No! I'm ready to scream now.

"Let's try again", I say and we go one by one. Dresses are out, either too girly or don't fit me. Finally, it's a choice between blue jeans and a brown Tee or black jeans and a white kurta. "Go with black and white", he says. Not the best choice but well... maybe... "It goes with your school uniform", he continues. No!! That does it, I'm not wearing B&W. So, blue jeans and brown Tee it is. My eyes fall on a transparent brown printed top, I like it. If I fit into it, I could wear it with a matching spaghetti and black jeans. Spaghettis flying around, none matching. Back to square one. "Do you have a brown Tee that could go with blue jeans?", he says. No, no, no, I don't want to wear jeans. I want something better.

3 hours since I first started worrying, blue jeans and a light brown blouse is finalized. I rush to shower and when I step out, I'm not happy with the choice of clothes. I try to find a matching top for the brown, printed, transparent top. No luck. Sigh! I try on a couple of other tops, singlets, blouses with my blue jeans, then black jeans. Lohith calls me for pick-up, I don't dare answer! It's 11 and we have to be at the first teacher's place to pick her up, I'm still picking my clothes. I text him that I will meet him in 15 minutes. Then Ash calls and I'm half dressed, still haven't decided on the top. I wore a gown and decided that was it.

Ash says Lohith is going nuts, nobody has arrived at the venue. It's 11.15 and we cannot pick up the teachers without the students at the venue. Shit shit shit! Lohith is on the other line, I hang up with Ash and answer his call. Mohinder cannot come to the venue, Lohith has to stay back. Good God, who will bring the second car to pick up the teachers now? All 3 of us start calling students frantically, trying to get somebody to the venue. At 11.45, Ash calls. Lohith and I have to meet at the C V Raman Nagar junction, she will bring the first teacher there and we proceed to the next pick-up. By then, Ash & I have both had calls from a couple of teachers. Everyone's getting restless! Mad mad rush!

I take a rick to C V Raman Nagar bus stop (bugger loots me, grrr) and walk upto Domino's. Lohith calls to say he's only leaving the venue now, Mohinder has reached. It's noon. I ask him to meet me at Domino's. Ash calls in 5 minutes, she's just passed by Domino's and picks me up. We call Lohith as we proceed to pick up teacher #2. He has still not left the venue. We ask him to come to Thippasandra and call us, we'll tell him where to meet us next. Teacher #2 picked up, I call another teacher who is yet to confirm. She's not coming. I don't know what to say. I thank her and hang up. Ash takes the phone from me and calls back, finds out why the teacher cannot make it (I wish I could talk/socialize like her... damn!). Teacher's mum is ill.

At the third pick-up point, we have 2 teachers but they will not fit into Ash's Santro, so we decide to go to the fourth pick-up point and return to location 3. I call the teacher up and ask her to come down to the gate. Three teachers in tow, we each the next place. Lohith is still not here, the teachers say goodbye to the family and are ready to get into the car. Where is the car? Lohith's still not here! I call him, he's at Poorna Pragna School. I'm ready to faint. "Shishigriha school mate", I nearly yell. "No, poorna pragna", he insists. "Shishugriha, please come to shishugriha", I plead. He sees all of us standing, we were on the next road. Phew! In the meanwhile, the teachers are all excited to see each other. Thank God for that. They seem to have forgotten the delay for a few minutes.

We bundle up all the 5 teachers into Lohith's car. He will take them straight to the venue, where about 7 or 8 students have arrived. Phew! Ash and I have to hunt down one last teacher for Lohith, his favourite teacher. She has been invited but she moved residence in the last couple of weeks and her phone numbers do not work. We do not know how to find her but we have to.

We drove to the teacher's old apartment and I ask the watchman. He says there is no teacher living in the apartment and no one has moved in the last couple of weeks. I report to Ash waiting in the car. She is not ready to take that for an answer. We go back and insist that she lived there and just moved, he must know where she went. After arguing back and forth, he in Tamil and Ash in Kannada, while I'm on phone trying to find out if mum knows, I suddenly hear him say "Madras!". Yes, yes, yes! She just came from Madras, that's the one! I hang up in a hurry and ask him to show us where she moved. He knows exactly where she stays and takes us to her house, just a few buildings away. Bingo!

We ring the bell and she sees us. "Are you ready ma'am, shall we go?", we ask. "Where to?", she says. Silence! Ash and I look at each other. We remind her about the reunion but she says she cannot come because the house owner is fixing up the house for her. Then starts the begging and pleading, explaining how we cannot go without her, Lohith desperately wants to meet her and so do the others, her son could look after the house... Ash talks to the son too.. finally, she agrees. During the loo-o-oo-ng wait for her to get ready, we call up some students. Thirteen at the venue. Rajesh and Sudhakar have gone to get flowers, they call me for the final head-count of the teachers.

Finally, Ash & I leave to the venue. Lohith has given Ash directions and we follow it to the T. Wait! Something went wrong. We went over the hanging bridge and reached ITI. No Bhagini or Fern City in sight. We call him up, he has no clue where we are, neither do we! We ask an auto driver and he sends us right back over & below the bridge. "Vapas jao, bridge ke neeche jao aur flyover chado", he says (Go back over the bridge, take the road under it and go over the flyover). Lohith calls, everyone's here, where are you girls? He can't wait to see his fave 'miss'. I explained to him. "I told you to take the flyover, not the bridge", he screams. We are all laughing. What the fuck is the difference?

Ash and I are tired and starving, both not had breakfast, thanks to wardrobe tension, waxing tension, etc. On the way, Beli calls for directions. Ash & I are laughing so hard, I can't talk. I hang up, clutching my stomach. I can't stop laughing! Beli is at the hanging bridge. LOL. ROTFL. LMFAO. Anyway, all done, we finally reach the place.

The boys look at me and start howling. Martin and Rajesh grab me and want to see my watch. "Hey guys, is it 11 yet?", they say. And there it starts... sigh! Punctuality, 11Am arrival, they can't stop ragging me. It's 1.30PM. Martin is having a party at my expense. "Last year, she didn't turn up, we should be happy that she's finally reached, this year", he says.

Lunch, photographs, chatter, all fun. A quick extempore speech by our ex-headmistress, then Mohinder, some more quick conversations, fun. We give the teachers the 'go-green' calendars that we got them, they are so pleased. They are thrilled that the surprises kept coming. Good good good. Lohith takes all the teachers back home, while Ash and I sit down to have some ice-cream (lots of ice-cream) and start writing little cards for everyone. Sharu and Sri help us put them into envelopes and hand them around. Somewhere in the midst of all this, we have done some calculations and collected money from everyone.

Lohith returns, Ash hastens to explain the accounts to him, the guy wants us to pay for 35 people, we only asked for 30 plates of food, we only ate for 25 people... blah blah
Lohith: Let me just freshen up and come quickly, gimme 2 minutes
Ash: No! Listen to me first. This money, blah blah blah
Lohith: Ok ok, no problem, gimme whatever money you have. I'll pay the rest (he's shaking)
Ash: No! You have to listen to me. This is the account, blah blah blah
Sangeetha: Ash, he needs to pee badly, can't you see him dancing, just let him go
Ash turns red, Lohith runs, we can't stop laughing!

Lohith, Ash and I take a bouquet of flowers and a calendar, meet his uncle and aunt who have helped with the venue and lunch. We all break up and head home, planning to meet at The Beach at around 6.30PM. What a day it has been! So much excitement! I can't wait to go home and get some shut eye. However, that is not to be. Lucky wants to play with me, some quick Facebook updates, an email to my helpful friend from the morning and Ash calls to pick me up again!

Part 2 of the BPS Reunion D-day starts. That's a story for another day...

Sarabjit's Fun Collection

One day I hopped in a taxi and we took off for the airport. We were driving in the right lane when suddenly a black car jumped out of a parking space right in front of us. My taxi driver slammed on his brakes, skidded, and missed the other car by just inches! The driver of the other car whipped his head around and started yelling at us. My taxi driver just smiled and waved at the guy. And I mean, he was really friendly. So I asked, 'Why did you just do that? This guy almost ruined your car and sent us to the hospital!' This is when my taxi driver taught me what I now call, 'The Law of the Garbage Truck.'

He explained that many people are like garbage trucks. They run around full of garbage, full of frustration, full of anger, and full of disappointment. As their garbage piles up, they need a place to dump it and sometimes they'll dump it on you. Don't take it personally.Just smile, wave, wish them well, and move on. Don't take their garbage and spread it to other people at work, at home, or on the streets.The bottom line is that successful people do not let garbage trucks take over their day. Life's too short to wake up in the morning with regrets, so...Love the people who treat you right. Forgive the ones who don't.

Life is ten percent what you make it and ninety percent how you take it!

Have a wonderful, garbage-free day!


19 Dec 2009

13 years later...

The D-day is finally here! It's been a wait of nearly 20 years, even though it has been only 13 years since I finished school. During the days that I was still in school, I would sit and day-dream for hours wondering if, when I finished school I would have a re-union with my classmates many years later... just like in the movies. I would try to imagine the feeling and it was never once close to how I feel right now.

The anticipation of the events to unfold has been peaking slowly as the hours tick by. It's on tomorrow but today feels like such a busy day. What am I going to wear? Who will I meet first? What will the teachers say? How many people might have changed from how I knew them? The questions just don't stop. I can't find answers, just too busy wondering about so many things! Trying to make a list of people I should call. I wish I could meet some today, I want to share my excitement, just cannot seem to contain it!

Colours or B&W? Girly dress or tomboy jeans? Should I behave myself or forget myself and squeal when I meet people? Who all will remember me?

I have already met the teachers and it's been a hell of an experience. That doesn't stop me from wondering what tomorrow will be like. It's a whole new feeling given the different circumstances!

Hmmm... Fern City, here I come!

The plan...

Dear All,

Here’s an announcement, based on the request of the teachers for the
change in Venue, we have changed the venue for the reunion. The
address for the venue is below, and the route map is attached.

Ferns City - Club House,,Off Marathahalli Ring Road, Marathahalli,
Bangalore – East.
Land Mark- Near Bagini Hotel (Nakundi- location)
Ferns city is 1 Km before Marathahalli, 1.5km from the Ring Road which
connects Airport Road to Old Madras Road, and is just 5kms from

A poolside get-together and lunch has been arranged at the club house
of Ferns City. Please feel free to bring your partners along but
before that do inform us if you will be getting someone as we need to
make arrangements with the caterers.

And there is no need to be disappointed as the beach is still on…
after the teachers are dropped back at their homes we are all heading
to the beach where the party continues. Offcourse we are going to have
lots of fun so don’t miss it.


Lohith (Ashwin)

18 Dec 2009

Industries That Could Use Your Specialized Knowledge

The new job climate has many opportunities for individuals to take what they love to do and start making money at it. These industries require talent and skills more than they require a college degree. For example:

While print journalism is contracting, internet news is growing. Writers who know how to utilize search engine optimization (SEO) or keyword trends can be a huge asset to a news organization that is selling advertising based on the hits they bring to their site.

Those who spend all day on social networking sites, such as Facebook, MySpace, and others may also see a rise in demand for their networking skills. The marketing industry is relying heavily on those who are able to disseminate information to a large number of people instantly and persuade them to try a product or service. Coupled with message boards, those who are able to persuade the most number of friends to join the excitement of a new site, product, or service will be looking at new job opportunities where none existed before.

Other industry opportunities for those who have innate knowledge of organization and socialization are also abundant. Individuals who are just too busy to organize and schedule their own activities need personal assistants. Those who are able to pull strings to score tickets or restaurant reservations and who have impeccable organization skills will excel in these newfound positions.

While these new opportunities utilize special skills and knowledge, they are not always apparent and need to be sought out. Individuals must bring their skills and talents to the attention of the companies or individuals who can use them but don't know it yet. A dynamic resume is a great start. Once the hiring managers know what a candidate can bring to the table, anything is possible.


The TFN has been a dream for my husband since he heard about it last year. Inspired initially by my enthusiasm to cycle, his interest took wings as he registered for bike forums and biked long rides with fellow cyclists from the forums. Ten or eleven months since that first ride, today he is part of the BSA TFN 09, "striking one thing off his bucket list" as he aptly puts it.

The BSA TFN 09 has got a greater coverage this year than the last, on the telly, in the papers, by word of mouth and social networking sites. It is partly the excitement of the larger crowd, participation by the bikers and to an extent the presence of the State Transport Commissioner as one of the riders.

My interest was originally limited to the husband's biking in the TFN. I've been following the TFNers on twitter, FB and flickr avidly. As I read each update, I find that it is getting harder and harder for me to answer the question as to why I did not participate this year. I love cycling but I am lazy. While I occasionally bike to work, I am easily swayed and reasons like rain, traffic, time-limit, etc come in the way of my biking to work on a daily basis.

I must confess, however, that I would love to be part of this biking event next year. The riders only need to have a bike of their own and a passion to ride, the rest is taken care of. The organizers do a fabulous job of getting everything sorted. Right from the recce to the accomodation, photographer, medical support, briefing, etcetra, every little detail has been taken care of with utmost diligence.

My favourite part of the tour, as an audience or follower, is the live updates on Twitter and the daily photo updates on flickr. My happiness knew no bounds when a couple of the TFNers stumbled upon my tweet where I sighed about not finding a picture of the husband and they responded immediately. The next day, there was a picture. I was ecstatic! It is wonderful to see such amazing people and so much compassion.

Today is Day 3 of the tour and the bikers have started their day at Hassan, their second overnight stop, as early as 5AM in the morning. Looking forward to hearing from the husband and tracking their moments regularly via the web.

For pictures from the official photographer PeeVee, look in flickr.

Pre-TFN Kolar ride:
TFN daily updates:

Twitter handle : tourofnilgiris

12 Dec 2009

My First Baking Experience

As a kid I was always excited when mum baked a cake at home. I loved it more than any cake I could get from a bakery. So, we never bought a cake for any of our birthdays, it was always home-made.

As we grew up, time became a luxury and it was easier to spend a few bucks and buy a fancy pastry from the various available shapes, colours and sizes. It was good, no doubt, but I occasionally craved for mum's cake. For the last couple of years, I've been considering baking a cake at home. At one point, the husband even bought the ingredients necessary to bake one but never got around to doing it.

It was his 30th birthday yesterday and I was determined to bake a cake for him. He loves it when I cook and I couldn't think of a better thing for the day. I spoke to the girl-friends at work, researched on the internet and decided that it should be do-able. An hour's worth of work and that's it.

I got all the ingredients ready, put them into bowls and got started. It sounded like all of 5 steps in the recipes... mix, sieve, beat, mix, bake. Reality was nothing like it. Powder the castor sugar (that's what white sugar is called ;P), melt the butter, sieve the all-purpose flour mixture, beat the eggs-butter-sugar mixture... an awful lot of hard work it was. Beating the eggs was the toughest bit, had to get the fluffy, creamy feel. Phew!

I had to make a few 'adjustments' with the ingredients. I mixed baking powder & cooking soda, in place of baking soda. I melted salted & unsalted butter when I ran short of one. Fooled around with the quantities a bit. It was an hour and half before I could even set the microwave to pre-heat! By the time the cake was baking, I was beginning to worry if my improvisations would affect the cake.

40 minutes after I'd put the batter in the microwave, just as the timer beeped, I heard the key turn in the lock. Phew! My cake was ready just in time for the husband. I chased him off to walk Lucky while I got the cake out of the oven for cooling. When they returned, a plain-looking brown chocolate cake was awaiting them. Boy, were they surprised! Boy, were they pleased! Boy, was I thrilled!

We waited for mum to get home before we cut the cake. In the meanwhile, I poured some chocolate sauce over the cake and it just got better. Well, I'm no good with creative designs, so I just poured it all around the cake in a haphazard manner... was good enough for our little party. Yummy!!

One More Laugh

Top 10 Ways to Freak Out Your Roommate
Posted by: Jester
  1. Collect potatoes. Paint faces on them and give them names. Name one after your roommate. Separate your roommate’s potato from the others. Wait a few days, and then bake your roommate’s potato and eat it. Explain to your roommate, “He just didn’t belong.”
  2. Move everything to one side of the room. Ask your roommate if he knows how much an elephant weighs, and look at the floor on the empty side of the room with concern.
  3. Draw a tiny black line on your nose. Make it bigger every day. Look at it and say, “The hair, it’s growing. Growing!”
  4. Buy some knives. Sharpen them every night. While you’re doing so, look at your roommate and mutter, “Soon, soon….”
  5. Collect hundreds of pens and pile them on one side of the room. Keep one pencil on the other side of the room. Laugh at the pencil.
  6. Tell your roommate, “I’ve got an important message for you.” Then pretend to faint. When you recover, say you can’t remember what the message was. Later on, say, “Oh, yeah, I remember!” Pretend to faint again. Keep this up for several weeks.
  7. While your roommate is out, glue your shoes to the ceiling. When your roommate walks in, sit on the floor, hold your head, and moan.
  8. Make a sandwich. Don’t eat it, leave it on the floor. Ignore the sandwich. Wait until your roommate gets rid of it, and then say, “Hey, where the heck is my sandwich!?” Complain loudly that you are hungry.
  9. Every time your roommate walks in yell, “Hooray! You’re back!” as loud as you can and dance around the room for five minutes. After wards, keep looking at your watch and saying, “Shouldn’t you be going somewhere?”
  10. Talk back to your Rice Krispies. All of a sudden, act offended, throw the bowl on the floor and kick it. Refuse to clean it up, explaining, “No, I want to watch them suffer.”

Just For A Laugh

Today's joke, posted on Twitter. Providing the link here so one can go back & read more...

Nine Words Women Use

Posted by: Jester

Here, we will examine nine words and phrases that women use that are commonly misunderstood.

  1. Fine: This is the word women use to end an argument when they are right and you need to shut up.
  2. Five Minutes: If she is getting dressed, this means a half an hour. Five minutes is only five minutes if you have just been given five more minutes to watch the game before helping around the house.
  3. Nothing: This is the calm before the storm. This means something, and you should be on your toes. Arguments that begin with “nothing” usually end in “fine”.
  4. Go Ahead: This is a dare, not permission. Whatever it is, Don’t Do It!
  5. Loud Sigh: This is actually a word – a non-verbal statement often misunderstood by men. A loud sigh means she thinks you are an idiot and wonders why she is wasting her time standing here and arguing with you about nothing. (Refer back to #3 for the meaning of “nothing”.)
  6. That’s Okay: This is one of the most dangerous statements a woman can make to a man. That’s okay means she wants to think long and hard before deciding how and when you will pay for your mistake.
  7. Thanks: A woman is thanking you… do not question, or faint. Just say “you’re welcome”. (I want to add in a clause here – This is true, unless she says “Thanks a lot” – that is pure sarcasm and she is not thanking you at all. Be careful that “you’re welcome” doesn’t bring on a “whatever”).
  8. Whatever: Is a woman’s way of saying F– YOU!
  9. Don’t worry about it, I got it: Another dangerous statement, meaning this is something that a woman has told a man to do several times, but is now doing it herself. This will later result in a man asking “What’s wrong?” For the woman’s response refer to #3.

11 Dec 2009

Today's Birthdays

It's both my babies' birthday today. Baby1, the husband. Baby2, Lucky.

Baby2 got her birthday gift over a week ago and is happily using it. She loves it. I love her!

Baby1 got a host of presents, hidden all over the house, in sets. He kept looking, kept finding, kept getting excited. Just wouldn't let me get some shut-eye! All in all, it was a good night of excitement.

Can't wait to get started on my plans for today. Been a couple of hours since I've been up but it's a cold morning and hard to move the ass!

Need to make a list, lest I forget the things I plan. Yeah, I'm a list person... I need a list for everything. Thankfully, I don't need a list of my lists. I just have two, one at work and one for home. Of course, there's the occasional reminder requests I put out to friends and family. Well, that's me!

Baby2 is in bed, enjoying it so much. Baby1 and I were discussing last night. No matter how big a bed you get her, she has to spill out of it. Need to get her pillow inside, it's turned all cold from the weather outside.

Baby1 is at work. Just called a while ago to thank me for another surprise gift he found in his bag. He's thrilled. So many surprises, so many gifts, he doesn't know when it's gonna stop. Well, not yet, not yet ;-)

If I sit here writing, I'll never get around doing what I've planned. Where's pen and paper, need to make a list first. LOL

6 Dec 2009

Biking Again!

I have a single speed Hercules bike that I bought a couple of years ago. I rode it for a few days. I commuted to work on the bike and caused a few ripples in office. My neighbours were mostly amused or amazed. The family accepted. The husband loved it. I loved it.

Then one day, I just stopped. Sigh. Over time, the husband developed an interest in cycling. He bought himself a Firefox RoadPro costing 25 grand! Today he is preparing for the Tour Of Nilgiris, rides close to 100km per day and does an average speed of 30kph. He rides a Surly named Shirley (yeah, very creative)
He has subscribed me to the TFN emails and it's fantastic to see the enthusiasm of so many bikers all across the country and outside, waiting to do the 7-day tour! It's spiking my excitement levels to an all-time high. I cannot understand why I am not part of it already but hoping I can do it next year.

I've been meaning to start biking again and never got around to doing it. Finally, with a bit of pressure from the darling husband and my dearest friend, I started biking to work last week. I'm loving every minute of it.

The day I decided to start commuting to work on my bike, the husband was even more excited than I. He cleaned & greased the bike for me, fixed the lights on my bag, filled air in the tyres and just about everything that was necessary to get me going.

Day 1, I did not take the bike out. The husband was disappointed. The friend said something on the lines of 'ha ha'.

Day 2, I biked to work. Husband called to tell me how thrilled he was to find the cycle gone, when he got home from one of his long biking expeditions. He asked me if I really rode or if it was stolen. Yeah right, very funny! The friend said something on the lines of 'oh really?' Yeah ok, funny again!

The ride to work felt great with no traffic during the early hours. The weather in the mornings is perfect for the cycling. I rode back and forth twice during the week. I also rode when I went to school, to meet the teachers. Scored a brownie point when Ash mentioned it to Mrs. Vasumathi. All good, all good.

Today, the husband changed the wheels on my bike with the slimmer ones on his single speed BSA SLR. He says his bike looks funny now and mine is lighter. Can't wait to get on it and start riding. We're planning to ride around for today's shopping. Looking forward to it.

5 Dec 2009

Puppy Love

I love dogs. I adore puppies. Sometimes I think dogs never grow up. They remain puppies forever!

Puppies are the cutest, cuddliest things you can bring into your life. When it comes to strays, I've never seen one that's single. They're always atleast two of them and they always stick together. The bonding is so strong. There's two on the street behind my house. One fellow is always following the other, no matter what they are upto.

Puppies look even cuter when they are sleeping. They cuddle together, looking like a single ball of fur or coiled together, creating the warmest picture I have seen.

I saw these when I went to school a couple of days ago. The fairer guy woke up when he saw us. See that yawn? Oh my! You just want to lift him in the air & cuddle him! The other two lying one on top of the other, in the typical puppy-sleeping style. I just wanted to stand there and watch them!!

This morning, I saw the cutie-pie doggies in the street behind my house, sleeping in. At 6 in the morning, they were still not up. They were lying together... it was such a beautiful sight... it made my day! Each little fellow lying in a foetal position, one with his head on the other. So much warmth, so much comfort, being there for one another...

I love dogs. I love puppies. I love that dogs never grow up & remain puppies forever.