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Life Lessons From Indian Roads

If it appears to be too good to be true, it usually is. The road appears without potholes, no traffic and the view is just perfect. Watch out. Right there. There is something that does not meet the eye and you cannot put your finger on, but just watch out.

To get to anywhere worth going within a reasonable timeframe, you have to break a few rules.

There will always be jerks who will slow you down, distract you with stupid antics and cut in between. Decide your approach beforehand and be prepared with all jujutsuness.

Within the realm of your car or helmet, you are the best singer. As long as nobody else is accompanying you. 🙂

You can work hard for a long time. For optimum results, you need to take a break so the engine does not go kaput.

Sometimes, it is ok to just keep your eyes on the view.

There can be only one driver per vehicle. Even one more causes chaos.

All journeys end. You can take different paths. But at a different time. At any given time, you can ride/drive down only one road. There is only one you.


My Musical journey – Ga

So, the whole music lessons lied dormant for sometime. While I was glad, the hunt was already on to find a teacher who could make me sing. Well, if only someone had that talent! Sigh!

Then, entered Lakshmi maami – the longest in my music learning journey. She insisted we start from the beginning – so, saralai varisai it was. The upside – she lived in an apartment down the street with 50 apartments in the complex. That gave me access to a few friends to play hopscotch, “Queen of England lost her ring” and the likes. It was such a welcome break after playing cricket with the guys on my street and always being picked last for the team. Grrr. I still hate cricket and all the guys on my street.

We moved to janti, tarasthaayi, daatu, alankara, geetha and then the varnam and keerthanam. All this took around 8 years, I subjected my neighbours to the torture of hearing me sing many days from 7:05 am till 7:25 am till my dad left for work and stop abruptly to get ready for school. While walking to school, I would ensure I don’t make eye contact with anybody on my street lest they figure out the voice behind the cacophony they hear every morning. 😀

With my music going in cruise mode and maami cribbing about ‘not enough practice’ whenever she sees my mom and me eyerolling, the time came when I wanted to just stop singing. I had stopped enjoying it and my 10th grade gave me just the right excuse. While maami was aghast and brought in examples of 12th grade ppl coming, relaxation from my studying all the time (like that happened ever), my loss of interest won and I stopped there.

I was glad I didn’t have to go 2 days a week and I could instead take an afternoon nap on Saturday and study on the Thursday, which, by the way, never happened. I did read a lot that year. So many books from the library. I had already attempted to start preparing for IIT-JEE in 8th grade holidays and given up. So, I was clear that the mediocre path didn’t warrant so much effort. So, the time of preparing of IIT was now given to Nancy Drew, Hardy boys, three investigators and the likes.

Apart from the coaxing of “I paid so much for your classes. Sing here, Sing there”, life was largely peaceful. I did not even regret the decision to quit at this time.

That ends the note ga.


Ouch.. So much dust and cobwebs! Need to go to work right away. Brooms out! Creaky doors.. Rats scurrying away! Takes a peek into to assess the place.

Back to my home in the internet.

Will I stay? Let me first clear it up! Too early to say! I don’t know. I really don’t know. Ouch.. Watch the drama! By the way, there are 2 of us now. I realised that with the dialogues in my head, it can’t be just one of me. There are 2 of them always contradicting each other.

Grown older.. My belly fat refuses to go! Got more responsibilities in life! But one thing that has remained unchanged is my madness quotient! Evident in the re-opening, right?

Well, hello world! Let’s kick but!  (Pun intended, if it qualifies for one)


It’s been a nice journey of blogging, of writing whenever it feels like, to not write whenever you want to hold your silence. But there slowly comes a point where you need to exit. Every show must end.

I may come back a few days later and claim I was just taking a break, or just disappear into the anonymity of the blog world never to resurface. I’ve enjoyed some conversations, some interesting people I’ve met over this.

Deleting my orkut account was an instantaneous, no brainer decision. Reason – not a single scrap on my birthday. But ending this blog was a more mulled over and thought out process. But here, it is.

The patterns of Aurora give way to the rising sun. And with the blinding light, the patterns disappear. Till we meet again, so long.

Now, what just happened?

Is it possible to wake up one fine morning and realise that you feel indifference for everyone in the universe? And everyone includes just about everyone. Sigh!

Bring back my English too..

With the new Americanisation, (I refuse to replace the s with a z in spite of the red wriggly line) – most words are forced to drop their u. Like colour is color, parlour is parlor..
And one by one, extra l, t all are getting dropped.

With the SMS trend in vogue, ‘oo’ are getting replaced by ‘u’. Maybe it’s a way of getting back at dropping u in the Americanised version. And everything is shortened that it needs longer to decode. So, sum total of time spent in the communication is a constant. This again goes to prove that time can neither be created nor be destroyed. Oh. I’ve digressed. Back to where I was going.
A sentence goes like – so ve ma star b dayz on diwali every year..cut two cakes dis u din wish cakes for u
oh, you sure know what I’m talking about.

When all this can survive harmoniously in our day to day communication and official communication too, why not the English that we spoke as kids and the harmless words we used. I demand a comeback. Please use the following liberally in your conversations and pitch in with what you can.

1. Sim-simply: This means without any specific reason.
Example: Miss, she is sim-simply laughing, miss.

2. Sud-suddenly: This emphasises the suddenness of the event. And the prefix brings on the force of immediacy.
Example: I was crossing the road, sud-suddenly a bike came.

3. Different-Different: Saying different once means that the objects are distinct, but using it twice shows how truly different they are. This one, I’m sure is still around and will survive the test of time.

4. Same-to-same: Exactly similar to each other.
I saw her answer paper, it was same-to-same as yours. Who copied from whom?


When I think of all the festivals celebrated and if I have to rank them, Thiruvaadarai would top the list with Pongal coming a close second.

The decoration is simple, yet beautiful. It is a padi (utensil of measurement) filled with rice, placed on an ammikkal, wrapped in turmeric clad threads. The ammikkal is placed after smearing chemman (red colour soil) on the floor. Thiruvaadarai

The 20 short and sweet Thiruvembavai beginning with “Adhiyum anthamum” – each one ending with Thiruchitrambalam and a showing of karpooram. Everybody has a copy of one book or the other that has Thiruvembavai and is religiously keeping in sync with the rest of the group.

The short prayer is succeeded by the grandest dinner of the year comprising of 7 poriyal, paruppu, 3 kuzhambu, vaazhakkai chips, chenai chips, rasam, thayir and the killer stuff – inippu adai and kaara adai.

Everybody slurping, licking on fingers and burping, the guests slowly get up to leave and I gorge on the extra adais. What bliss!

Today is Thiruvaadarai! Significance of the festival – if somebody knows, please to write in. As far as I’m concerned, it’s a day to truly celebrate life by eating all that is yummilicious and be happy. 🙂

Sword of destruction

Weapon in hand, enemies in sight
Swoosh in the air, down goes a flicker of light

Vanquishing with a display of might
Victory at last that brings delight

The dead collapse succumbing to the blow
Single-handed, one goes with the flow

Self preservation, eradication of another’s race
Head held high in pride, hand carrying the mace

Discard the coil and throw away the mat
All rise, Hail the mosquito bat!


Time flies, life stands still
Wind blows across the windmill

Distilled memories are all that remain
Of the sun that shone and hailstones of the rain

The long walks, the long talks,
From the corner, memory stalks..

A step forward in steadfastness
Impelled by life’s forces

A stealthy glance at the paths trod
Fuelled by the heart’s passion

Time flies, life stands still
Breeze flows across the windsill

The IITians by Sandipan Deb

In the beginning of my career, I was sitting in the lab checking the performance of a product. And while the tests were going on in the background, I settled to read this book. It belonged to another engineer. We took turns working. And while we alternated getting measurements or tweaking for better performance,  we also alternated reading the book.

I forgot the name of the other engineer. I forgot all details of the product and the performance.

I remember the book. I remember it’s author’s name. In spite of not seeing it anywhere on the book stands, I remember it clearly. And I remember it left an impression. I also remember that my ‘then manager’ brought it into the appraisal discussion that I should have spent the time bettering my code rather than reading this book in lab.

Strange that you forget things that you were very busy doing in mainstream. And stranger that you remember vividly the things where you lost yourself in the moment, threw caution to the wind and just lived the moment.