Thursday, October 30, 2008

Azad Lane

When I was young, this was something I used to boast about. Imagine living in a lane that is named after your grandfather! I don't think anyone paid much attention then but now I do want to brag and let the whole world (or to all those unsuspecting ones who read my blogs) know, that yes, my grandfather had a whole road dedicated to him.
But this is not just on that but on the things have changed there, at Azad Lane. This was the most peaceful area in Kottayam, we had all the advantage of living right at the heart of town, with the great Thirunakkara temple a furlong away, and yet we were away from the hustle bustle of traffic.
Azad lane connected two main roads and was a broad tarred one with few shops on either side of it. Yes, there was a shop, which kept sweets (the loose ones, no branded ones then) and bananas. This was strictly a residentional area with houses on either sides, the only big ones being our cousins at the beginning of the lane and then Pukalacaut way down. There was only one office here and it was ours, a big building with a press behind. It was called the Cinema Masika Building and this compound was fairly crowded with workers and film boxes. But soon even that became a thing of past. There was a workshop on the left of the office and our Maths tution Sir lived just beyond this. Well, he was one charachter, who didn't opened his mouth (he chewed paan and sometimes he had his mouth full of paan spit!uggh) nor smiled, just scribbled out problems on our notebooks and withered us with his looks. His scribblings ranged from faint noiseless ones when he was happy with our mathematical skills to noisy angry and huge engraving (he has torn pages with the force he wrote) when he was angry with our efforts. Thinking back, he resembled one of the teachers at Harry Potter's Hoghwarts school of witchcraft but he was a good soul and that all of us knew.
Down further was the Chellapaan Bhavani teacher's dance class. All of us girls had to endure the dance classes, though we had varing abilities, from my mother who was a very good dancer, my sister who was good too, to me with my two left feet and always a source of embarassement for I was constantly reminded of moms skills in class.
Well, thats it, this was Azad lane, 25 years ago.
Now this 120meter long road is the busiest road with 2 hospitals, 5-10 shops, lesser residences and numerous offices, facing it. (all this in a 120 meter long road)
It has its advantages, the land price is quite high as there is not an inch available and you can rush to the hospital for emergencies, but they end there, the advantages, I mean.
It is difficult to drive and to walk through this busy 'intersection' with the auto drivers ruling majority of the road space.
Azad Lane has become a difficult place to live with all the facilities available right there and that is the irony!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Happy 10th Birthday, Bloggerworld

Imagine, bloggers have been doing this for 10 years. And initially it was the world the NERDS used to frequent, an imaginary coccon, which has grown so much that it has ordinary folks like me writing in it and exploring the fun of expressing online. While I have been at it for less than a year, I know of people who have confidently written for years and do it far more professionally.
But then, this world, is one which doesn't require us to be professional, does it?Isn't this one medium where you can write any damn thing? I see it as a diary of sorts, which can be viewed by a select group who love to read it. We are not writing reports, there is no oath of authenticity but a sharing of views or opinions, a sounding board of sorts, where we can sound off our fears, our faults and even gloat over some personal truimphs.
Read this for some great insights into the world of blogs, for some definitions of blogging ranging from the universe of rumours to blogs being only as good as the information presented.
It is this that made me reflect that the world of blogging is not what it is to me, it is also about having diverse viewpoint on a matter of global importance and in some cases have also helped in bringing out to the open many crucial issues like the instance when the sheer number of bloggers writing about public affairs had a transformative impact on Chinese politics. (though not much!)
So for all those who are writing in this medium for various reasons of their own, Happy Blogging for many more years.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Crossing All The Limits

I felt this was coming! Call it sixth sense or plain common sense or just knowing your colleagues, I knew this was coming. This issue of ‘understanding’ and being in a multi-cultural organisation, works only one way and it is their way…
All of us work in an organisation and understanding others cultures is a way of life, or at least a way of our working life. We empathise with them on their cultural issues, ask, discuss, give vent to our doubts and genuinely participate in all the regional, religious and cultural events with as much enthusiasm as we can muster. So for once, we thought, it was time we are understood. So we organise a small party for Diwali and call the gang for a small ‘food’ party at our pantry.
And then what I had sensed would happen, happened. Some prominent members of our team just disappeared at that time, conveniently and didn’t answer calls too. And surprisingly, when they came, they just had the food and walked out as if this doesn’t affect them at all; all this party had nothing but the food on offer!
All of us were angry, yes. But some of them felt, well they had the food, so what is the big deal, which is when, a colleague, pointed out, ‘If you are invited for lunch, do you come for dinner?’
Yes, they did this and deliberately, I am sure, and it all shows at their lack of professionalism and maturity to survive in a multi-cultural society.
I feel proud of myself and the small group of ‘US’ here, who have adjusted, forgiven and gone ahead with life, taking lessons from all this and again prepare for future Eid parties! Though I would say, there is a limit to this pampering of egos (I do that too often…) and the limit has been crossed.

Sunday, October 26, 2008


Why don’t I feel strongly enough about any issue? Is it that I lack the initiative or is it that I feel being moderate is safe? Why is that I always take the easier way out instead of the difficult hard-to-tread path of oppositions?
No, not that I am afraid of consequences, but I hate to rock a boat that has been sailing smoothly. Is it because I like to see life without major upturns or upheavals and like to peacefully co-exist with all that is going around?
When my colleagues respond about the issues that affect the world or just them, I sit and read and agree silently, most of the time, until I feel so strongly about the matter that I DO react, by blogging…
Why do I have no complaints to take up with my daughter’s teacher? I am happy with the way they have been teaching our kids and just want them (both the kids and the teacher) to be in sync. My husband, went a step ahead and praised the teacher, (at a recent PT meeting) he has taken lessons from his PR department, I guess.
I feel strongly about how single ‘un-kept’ Asian men are shooed away from malls here but my feelings don’t matter, nor do the feelings of tons of citizens, who have been reacting quite openly in the papers, and are met, with no reactions, positive or otherwise. Now I ask quite plaintively, why?

Sunday, October 19, 2008


I am still in awe of all this:
1. The web wide world, how open we have become and how a message is conveyed across the seas with just a click!
2. Planes and flying: Even now when I look up to the skies and see the large aircraft soaring towards the skies, defying all laws of gravity, with all the tiny pins holding those massive giants together...I am wonder struck!
3. Television: How it brings to you news, stories and what not from around the world.
4. Of the Search Engine, say Google: How it gets you all the information you want…
There are much more, but these are the ones I am aware, day in and day out, and that makes me revel on the wonders of mankind!
For all the technological advances we have made, I feel the internet surpasses all, for how else would you be reading this?

Saturday, October 11, 2008

A small step for a better future?

I am proud. Proud to be part of a great step taken for a greater good. To be part of a process that is the first of such initiatives take here in the country. I am sure, noone of us, knew the implications when all this started out. This was initially seen more as a marketing venture or a brand building activity and that the awards were much more than that is what makes me proud. The effects of this will bear fruit and benefit us over a longer period and we can hope for positive steps from various insitutions and maybe even from the Governement. I am proud, because this is one cause I believe firmly giving back to the environment, for all the benefits we have reaped from it.
I am proud because as the lights dimmed and the BBC video depicting mankind’s comercialisation of nature, its implications with experts commenting on what is in store if we continue this onslaught was shown, I realised that one of the experts who commented, David Suzuki, an expert environment activist, was someone I had interviewed two years back.
This is what I love about the job, how, through such small steps we continue to positively affect the masses (I know I am going a bit over board but well, atleast the readers).

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


This is that time of the year we loved, the two days when we were asked not to study!. Just imagine, mothers, pleading with kids to stop reading…! Well, that happened just once a year and it is during Navarathri, when we keep our books for pooja.
We four, would cover our books, the textbooks we found most difficult to comprehend, in an old newspaper and write our names prominently outside (the thought of not getting the book back was frightening) and then walk to our temple.
The walk was a joyous, carefree one. We contemplated on what to do the next day. We avoided reading huge posters and feigned horror (we imagined the Gods would punish us if we broke the custom) when we did. The jokes were fresh and the laughter uninhibited. We hummed songs and almost danced our way to the temples, where the final act of handing over the books to our Gods took place. Once that was done we breathed even more freely, revelling in the fact that the Gods would take all our issues under his folds and solve towering History and Science problems and with that conviction we enjoyed our redemption from books.
We had also come to the conclusion that the 2nd day was the shortest day of the year. How the day flew past! It was difficult too since we couln't read anything (and the no TV at home too and even if we could watch it Pukalacaut, there was just DD1)...and we invariably broke that rule, imagine how can you not read the paper, atleast the headlines!
No books, no angry looks from our mother or insulting jabs at our irresponsible lazing around. .
And the next day morning, the same ritual walk to the temple, this time the treads were heavier and the looks a wee bit sad. After scrambling for the packet of books from the heap that had collected, we walked back home and opened our books and studied intensely, and loudly, as if making up for the hours we had lost and also in the hopes that the books coming back from the Gods sanctuary would give us extra memorising powers.
Do you remember, M,S and R?

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Expressions I love

The gleam of cunningness in her eyes, when she intends to lie and get away
The slight curl of the lips
Then the victory reflected in her eyes…
All of these on my tiny four-year-old’s face
Makes me want to squeeze her and somehow capture all these fleeting emotions into my heart,
But I put on a stern face to scold her
And then the victory gleam in her eyes dissolves into submission
A sad and ashamed expression pleading mercy
I fall prey to her game and leave her
Then I see the cunning, victorious look…
And I know she has conned me again!
But this time I have let her, to see, yet again, all the expressions I love.

Expectations and meeting them

Friends and expectations. Should one go with the other or do they never go together?
Should we expect more because he or she is a friend or less because we understand and vice-versa?
I am confused. Because that is what it has boiled down to, expectations and then when they are not met, disappointments.
You expect friends to remember birthdays, because you keep a tab on theirs too and memorise theirs and their kids bdays too.
Then when you go on trips, you expect to go in a group and when that dosen't materialise, because your husband works, or because the others are going on another trip the next day, you feel left-out. You feel more so when noone remembers to ask you to tag along with kids(more so because you have always been extra careful and sensitive and asked the wives and the kids to join in when the husbands aren't around). Again disappointment!
This is how I see the whole picture, you aren't a S or an A, but a Mrs.K and when the male counterpart isn't around, you just don't exist!
So friends are all good, when you move as a group, but the minute you are just a S, you have few to fall back on.
This is what I meant in my earlier blog on friends and the lack of good friends, friends who like me for what I am and not because I am someone's wife.
Not to forget the lesson learnt from all these -- the lesser you expect, the lesser disappointed you feel. And this goes for all relations, not just friends.