Monday, November 16, 2009

Can you help me, please?

Hi folks,

I am doing a project on "Understanding the helping patterns of people in the society" out of my personal interest. As part of that, I have come up with a survey to get inputs from people.

I am looking at having 200 responses. I need your help in reaching that number.

You can help me by
1. Taking the survey
2. Getting at least 3 of your friends take the survey.

Survey link -

It takes around 5 minutes to complete the survey. So, please go ahead and give me your inputs.

I will be happy to hear any comments you have.


Sunday, November 15, 2009

I want to enjoy my childhood, ma

"I want to enjoy my childhood, ma", this was an article in the last Sunday's Hindu paper. This article really moved me and I could so much identify with that child.

What surprised me even more was to see Dr.Abdul Kalam's response to it in a few days. His reply was also publishes on the Hindu. Here is a poem from his article that I liked very much.

The Student’s Prayer

Don’t impose on me what you know,
I want to explore the unknown
And be the source of my own discoveries.

Let the known be my liberation, not my slavery.
The world of your truth can be my limitation;
Your wisdom my negation.

Don’t instruct me; let’s walk together.
Let my richness begin where yours ends.

Show me so that I can stand
On your shoulders.

Reveal yourself so that I can be
Something different.

You believe that every human being
Can love and create.

I understand, then, your fear
When I ask you to live according to your wisdom.

You will not know who I am
By listening to yourself.

Don’t instruct me; let me be.
Your failure is that I be identical to you.”

I thought, there is a connectivity among young hearts even beyond ocean — “I only want to enjoy my childhood, ma” and “The Student’s Prayer.”

All these meaningful articles make me more fond of Hindu than any other newspapers :-)

Friday, October 23, 2009

Just Books

Today me n N dropped into this new book library 'Just books' on IndraNagar 12th Main road on our way back from the team outing. I should say this place is awesome and their idea is just so cool... As I write even I am wondering what makes them so cool, they are just a library.

I have not seen (m)any good libraries in Indra nagar area in the last 5 years. This one is really a blessing for people like me who need some motivation like a big collection of books to read. They have some rare collection of books. I was sweetly surprised to see the English version of Kalki's Ponniyin Selvan there. The staff were so friendly and kind enough to take requests for books unlike the other famous big ones in the city. They have a cool sensor based book checkout to bypass the long queues and waiting for someone to make an entry. To top it all is the various membership options -- they have a basic plan where one can take 2 books + one magazine at a time, pay Rs.175 as montly fee and 250 as registration. There is a 1000 bucks refundable deposit. They have other options too but I found this one perfect for a slow reader like me. Ooops, i forgot they even deliver books to home. I am just waiting to take pv there to get ourselves registered.

I am so damn excited to get back to reading...

BTW, that remind me I am currently reading "Making It". I will post the review once I am done.
The more I see such places, the more I get enthused about giving life to my own ideas :-)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

"Good or bad!! Short or long!! I want to write a post today. How many long days will I keep telling myself different reasons for not writing one. Enough is enough", I told myself on my way back from office and I decided to overcome this inertia.

This post is about our diwali celebs this year. I have so many other things to write about too. Two weeks ago, I suddenly came up with the idea of celebrating 'Green Diwali'. I wanted to be that caring ecotizen (hahaa...self coined) who does not pollute the environment. I told pv and he agreed to celebrate a green diwali by not bursting crackers. Immediately my mind made plans (totally involuntary) on how else the crackers money could be spent :) . I came up with the next brilliant idea of buying diyas and decorating the house with them.

Then I searched and searched on google to find some NGO selling terracotta diyas (my latest interest) and ended up finding few which did not seem to have good designs. I then went around the Tippasandra market and finalized on the shop where I got a good deal. Pv and me went there and purchased diyas for 500 INR. Pv was shocked on seeing the amount.

We started our diwali celebrations with Pooja followed by yummie payasam made with Milkmaid. After sometime we got bored with the tv programmes and felt something was missing in our celebrations. We heard every one bursting crackers and we could not resist ourselves sitting inside the house. In few minutes, I gave my ecotizen status and went to buy crackers :)
In the evening, we did a small rangoli in front of the house and decorated it with diyas. Then started our foto session and pv's wonderful clicks. We burst some crackers in the night with friends.

Overall it was a good diwali. One big realization for me was, I cannot celebrate diwali without crackers as they form an integral part of my diwali. I can't even imagine any other way of enjoying diwali. I should find one before the next season so that I can be a true ecotizen then.

I have uploaded pics here.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

I know but still ...

Sometimes (actually most times) I feel there is so much in this world to do than to sit in a company and be at the mercy of somebody's decision. I mean, there is so much one can do in every damn field, then why do most of us end up sitting in an office, doing work that does not interest, end up feeling unrecognized for their work and above all don't have any say in the decisions made by the management. We know for sure that we can put our talents to better use in a place which demands so much public attention for improvment, yet we settle for a heavy pay check that gives us all the materialistic pleasures than satisfaction.

I have come across so many so many ideas recently that I wonder why I haven't been able to think about them. Maternova -- bringing maternal and child care by connection health workers, health facilities and innovation in that space. Imagine how useful a handheld ultrasound would be for those rural women who can't afford to travel to the hospital which has the equipment. They have come up with a motor bike ambulance. Another intelligent idea I came across was Sasix - It is a social investment exchange. They have given a truly different shade to the concept of 'donation'. All social development projects are listed out here and people can invest in it like buying shares. They get regular updates (say quarterly) on how the projects are going on. This helps in funding the project for the beneficiary, at same time gives a kind of realistic view to the share holder on how the money is being used and makes the beneficiary accountable for the change they are trying to bring in society.

These aren't any rocket launching ideas, but they are on their way to become path breaking ideas. I am sure they are gonna make a big positive impact on the society. If we carefully look at our society, almost every domain - health, transport, environment, people, education, care, family, agriculture, crafts, tradition, tourism and countless other things are looking for ideas which could greatly benefit. It is not that we don't know -- we know and we still IGNORE.

I started out writing as "I" and ended up as "We". Let me get back to I. I know every time my project at work gets put on hold, I get to think it is His way of telling me that 'Aarthi, why don't you go out and try your ideas. It will be of help to the people.' I know it will be helpful, but I am scared to dirty my hands, am shit scared to quit my job and try. Now I have the time, but the whole project put on hold at work only makes me dejected, disappointed, frustrated and disoriented in life. I know I have to get past this and use this time to try out my ideas. I know.. I want to... I will...

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Too many things to write about

There are too many things I want to write about and don't know which to add and which to omit. Does this happen when one does not write for long???

I will try to cover tid bits of everything I want to write about.

Pv and me took a '2 marriages and a week's vacation' sprint a week ago. We started off with Hyderabad - the city of foodies (no offence) as I would like to call it. Attended a marriage in the morning and went to PARADISE (rightly named) for a round of Veg biriyani and Qurbani ka Meetha for lunch. If you are new to Hyd, don't miss the biriyani here..its yummie and the best of Hyderabadi cuisine. For the first time, I wanted to be a non-veg so that i could taste the other varieties. Visited charminar, for a change I spared pv wallet :) and then had a lovely walk on banks of Hussain sagar.

Wanted to watch 'Magadheera' chiru's son's debut movie but ended up watching 'Gopi Gopika Godavari' :( Don't ask me how the movie was, that emoticon says it all.

Saw some prawn cultivation fields on the way to Kaikalur. Could not get to go closer and check how it would be, I din't want to go near thinking it would stink :)

Auto wala robbed us on the wee hours of monday morning as the rain Gods welcomed us with a heavy shower when we entered B'lore. We paid 100 bucks to come home from CMH rd BDA complex. This is called 'Pagal kollai'.

Yesterday turned to be a memorable day in the life. I had my first convocation on completion of the social entrepreneurship course. Wow!!! I found the course really useful, especially gave a lot of clarity to my thoughts on venturing into social sector. Mom still is apprehensive of that.

Another piece of good news is my mentor agreed to help me out more on my project. Oops.. I dint tell abt my project yet. Its not making science more fun and easy to understand for kids. I have started out with the grade5 children of Ashwini charitable Trust and so far its been ok. However, I am struggling to get simple concepts like sound, environment to children. We (me and the children) created some hand made telephones to understand how sound travels. I enjoyed the whole session more than the children :) I am waiting to get the help of my mentor to take this project further.

The tv at home is down with flu. I mean the picture tube is having some problem. All we get to see is a horizontal line when it is on. Gotto get it repaired. I am slowly realizing the power of 'No TV', atleast I got myself to blog after long time...hehee...

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


me: Hello
on the fone: Good afternoon Madam, how can I help you?

me: Good Afternoon. I need some info... some information on filing my tax returns.
on the fone: Sure Madam. I need some details before to help you. Can I know your name?
me: I am Aarthi

on the fone: Your father's name Mam?
me: Muralidharan

on the fone: Your PAN number?
me: AG........

on the fone: Your date of birth?
me: 20/7/xxxx

on the fone: Thank you for giving the details. How can I help you madam?
(Here comes the funny part of the conversation)
Can you tell me my name... I mean my first name, surname and last name?
(I was laughing at myself after asking this question...How can I ask such a thing!!)

on the fone:
Sure Ma'm.
Thank you, can you tell me my father's first name, last name?
on the fone:
Here you go madam....
Thank you so much.

on the fone:
Is there anything else I can help you with?
Nope, thank you.

Imagine calling up someone who does not know you and asking them your name and your father's name. How much more weirder can it get??

Well, that's what the income tax dept is expecting us to do. I was filing my returns online and I could not get past the registration page with every possible combination of my name for the first name last name.

My God!! Who ever introduced this concept of first, middle, last, sur names????

At least I am happy, my name has only 1 word.. imagine the fate of those who have too many words in their names... heeheee.. I pity PV...

My weirdest conversation ever!!!

BTW, if you have not filed your returns yet, you can do it online on the incometax website. It is pretty easy if you know your name right :-)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Birthday Bash

I had a superb birthday eve this year. Basically everyone decided to be very nice nice to me and asked me to buy anything I wanted. I quickly grabbed the opportunity and bought so many things...

2 watches (I almost selected the third one too, then from deep in me there rose some pity for PV who was buying the 2 for me, so decided to get the third one later). Now, I have atleast 5 watches in my collection.

Lots n lots of clothes - Oh man!! there is some 'upto 50%' discount in every other shop. So got a good deal in most of the places.

American diamond studded earrings - Mom surprised me with a cute ear ring.

Roller skates - I used to feel so J of those kids who used to skate their way on the roads. Pv fulfilled my long time wish to have my own skates and zoom on the roads. Now, I will wear them and make the kutti gundu girl on my road feel J. Heheheee.... Ok ok ..for that I first gotto learn skating.

A lovely b'day cake - creamy choclatey..yummie.. I jus loved it.

Apple palgoa - Mom's innovative sweet recepie for my b'day. She started making apple rabdi and the milk got spoilt in between. Instantly she changed her plans and make apple palgoa.. It tasted really good.

cute b'day card from aunty n uncle. Aunty was too pro-active knowing my laziness she bought me a salwar stitched the last time she came here :)

With all this, I was all set for my birthday to have lots of fun. Finally, I fell sick that morning and had to take a day off. But I din't miss the fun at home. Happily slept, saw 'While you were sleeping'. In the evening we went out for dinner.

Totally it was an eventful birthday!!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Let's clean Bengaluru in ONE day!!

Does that sound impossible?? It may, but it is worth a try.

We have been complaining of the dirty roads, garbage strewn all over, plastic covers flying around and what not. This time, lets take it on ourselves to change the place we live.

Check this out -- Clean Bengaluru

Aindian is an NGO which is a group of people who are committed towards a clean Bangalore. They are organizing a clean-up drive in the city on August 15th 2009.

There are multiple ways by which one can take part -
1. Volunteer for the clean-up drive
2. Tell your friends, colleagues and ask them to participate
3. Find some sponsorship for this event
4. Spread the message - Blog/facebook/twitter/orkut ...

Each of us together can make a huge difference.

Come, be the change you want to see!!

Friday, June 26, 2009

The Mayonnaise Jar

I was reading a forward some time back and liked it way it explained the priorities of life. Here it is for you to read.

When things in your life seem, almost too much to handle,

When 24 Hours in a day is not enough,
Remember the mayonnaise jar and 2 cups of coffee.

A professor stood before his philosophy class
And had some items in front of him.
When the class began, wordlessly,
He picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar
and proceeded to fill it with golf balls.

He then asked the students, if the jar was full.
They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured
them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly.
The pebbles rolled into the open Areas between the golf balls.

He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar.
Of course, the sand filled up everything else.
He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a
unanimous 'yes.'

The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and
poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively
filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.

'Now,' said the professor, as the laughter subsided,
'I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life.
The golf balls are the important things - family,
children, health, Friends, and Favorite passions -
Things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, Your life
would still be full.

The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, house, and car.

The sand is everything else --The small stuff.

'If you put the sand into the jar first,' He continued,
'there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls.
The same goes for life.

If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff,
You will never have room for the things that are important to you.


Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness.
Play With your children.
Take time to get medical checkups.
Take your partner out to dinner.

There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal.

'Take care of the golf balls first --
The things that really matter.
Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.'

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee

The professor smiled.
'I'm glad you asked'.

It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem,
there's always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend.'

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Alternate solution for meetings

"If you pull me into meetings all day, when do you except me to work?..."
Does this sound familiar to you? Have you been saying this for a while now.. I find myself repeating these words many times.

6 out of 10 times, I have always felt that meetings are/were such a waste of time as people did not have an agenda to begin with, some people don't share information for what-so-ever reasons, the information shared is irrelevant to some folks present, no conclusions reached at the end and most of all there is no consistent way to track the action items. These meetings end up being such waste of time and money for the company.

One of my colleagues just forwarded me an article which talks has an alternate solution for meetings. I am sure you would have heard of "Yammer" which the 'Twitter for enterprise'. I liked the article and thought I would share it with you all. This does not promise to delete all the meetings from your calendar but if practised well, we can cut down atleast 50% of them.

Here is the link to the article - My microsharing success story . Its a nice one, don't miss it.

I am all game to try out Yammer if I can avoid some useless meetings.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

What a way to code!!

Listening to A.R.Rehman songs on my "ipod" ear fones with a chocolate bar half inside my mouth and the other half waiting to be munched and coding... I love this!!! I am in love with my work if all these accessories are there with me everytime I work :-)

Can't believe, y'day I was cribbing and boring myself to death in office and see today, what a change!! Moral of the story - Let me be free, let me listen to music and the most important give me more and more chocolates. Mommie..plesae don't hear the last part and blame me for all the cavities. That reminds me of the Himalaya's tooth paste add - 'If you want to eat like a child, brush like an adult' :-)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

So boring

Wednesday 1:13pm
I am getting bored to the core... No mood to work today as I managed to complete 75% of my work yesterday. After moving to the new team, I almost forgot what it means to browse. In the last 5 years of my work, I always made sure that I spent 30 - 45 minutes post lunch in reading something that is not work related. Now, its almost like work work and work... No enthu around. People are so silent glued to their monitors as if something is going to fall from there and they have to catch it. I know I know.. its all signs of boredom...
Let me quickly turn on my music player and get hold of my ear phones. Guess that will get me going.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Run for Ashwini

The Sunfeast Bangalore 10K run is happening in Bangalore on May31st. Yeppie...its coming again!! I am all game to run the 5.7kms, it was so much fun last 2 times.

Like the last 2 times, this time too I am running for the cause of 'educating under-privileged children' supported by Ashwini Charitable Trust fondly known as ACT.

I've been volunteering for ACT for more than 4 years now. It has been a truly wonderful experience for me being with those children, see them grow and come out in flying colors.

ACT is participating in the run for
1. Creating awareness amongst people about the cause
2. Raising funds to pay the children's fee for the coming academic year (2009-2010)

Today, ACT supports around 100 children of age groups varying from 3 years to 18 years. The estimated cost of educating these kids is around Rs.10Lakhs for the coming year.

If any of you think you can help these children by sponsoring for their education, please please let me know. We need support from everyone to accomplish the mission.

I have no doubts on the capabilities of these children - the proof of the pudding came yesterday when we heard 2 of our children made jobs by themselves without any recommendation in big firms.

The table below will give you an idea of how much it costs to educate a child for one year.

Let me know if you would like to sponsor a child. If you are interested to Run for Ashwini, go ahead and get registered. I promise you, its going to be fun and a more satisfying experience as you help spread the message.

All contributions are eligible for tax exemption under section 80G

For more details on the Run for Ashwini campaign - check the blog

Friday, May 22, 2009

Netru illada matram ennadu?

All long when she wanted to breathe, her neck was almost strangled. Now when she is about to be let free, there is so much breathlessness in her.

Though she sees the fresh air gushing in front about to enter her nostrils, there is this weird feeling. Her heart seems to have suddenly stopped craving for the breath.

She has got used to the absence of freshness that makes her heart feel she can do away with it in the coming days.
The mind sends signals to her heart asking it not to sink in the sea of comfort where she has been sailing so long. It tells her to get out of it and inhale the fresh air - For all the struggle was just for that!!!

...Idu daan Vaazhkai enbada??

For those of you don't understand tamil the title of the post meant 'What's the change that was not there yesterday?' and the last line meant 'Is this what life is about?'

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Tour de Chickmagaluru

Another weekend, another trip. Last weekend we had been to the Srirangapatna, Rangantithu bird sanctuary, mysore. It was a great day visiting places of different genres.

This weekend we are planning to hit the coffee country of Karnataka - No its not coorg, it is Chickmagaluru where coffee was first cultivated in India. Our plan is to stay there for 2 days - visit Kemmanagudu, hebbe falls one day and Sringeri, hornadu, kalsa the other day.

I wish the Sun God shows some mercy on us where we are there. I have been wanting to visit Chickmagaluru for long time now. Now, its all coming true. There is just one more thing to do - book our tickets to chickmagaluru for tonight :-)

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Looking forward to the weekend

I am looking forward to this long weekend.
PP is coming here, am gonna meet her after 2 long years!!! Hope to spend some gud time together and meet many friends.
I am planning to cook lunch for PP - delicious gift from a sweet cute friend :-) [or punishment for missing 2 important weddings in her life]. What it would turn out to be will be decided post lunch :P
Couple of friends have booked for a day's koothu (fun) in a resort and the best part is I have to ride all the 30kms on my Pleasure with PP behind... As they say, why should boys have all the fun??
And then aunty n uncle are cumng home on sunday, looking forward to that.

So many things happening in one weekend... Hope to have gud fun.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Time is flying

Time is flying as fast as it can and I am trying to catch up with every moment. So many things to do, so much time and so much much laziness too ...

I have been planning to write a post since long time and I don't need to complete the sentence now... Just got too many things on top of my mind that they evaporate quickly in the heat of the summer making me oblivious to them till they condense and pour as heavy showers in the night when I am too tired to move my limbs to do anything about them.

I am falling in love with Bangalore again and again for its wonderful weather. How I wish the rains followed the GST (Gelf Standard Time) (thanks to Chandu for coining GST, I really liked it) so that it rains after we get back home from work. It is such a mess to drive in the rain when the roads are flooded with water and the car guy next to you splashes it on your not-so-often-washed bike. Anyways, its much much better than the scorching heat that does not let you sleep in the night. Okay!! I know I know...I can hear you... Bangalore heat is not heat at all... God salute to those who bare the heat in places like Kothagudem. For all I realize that I have withstood worser temperatures on both sides of the scale in Pilani. Times when we had to cover the entire face just leaving 2 holes for the eyes to see the road.. times when we were blinded by fog and could not see what's ahead ..Yep, those were times of the past. Now, I am used to the chill breeze of Bengalooru and my body screams to the scroching heat.

Oops.. from where to where.. I wanted to write about something else and ended up analyzing my reactions to the heat and the rain. This is exactly what happens to me, I start with something and end up some where else... Anyways, coming to the point (what's the point??)... Yea!! My list of ever-to-be done things...

1. Write a post which I am doing
2. Write a post on RunForAshwini blog specifying more details on sponsoring a child.
Hey!! If you have not seen this blog, please go and check it out.
I am planning (and planning) to write a separate post to cover this topic.
3. Start reading the book of this month for my OT challenge.
With all enthu I bought the book 'Train to Pakistan' spending close to half a grand (huh!!!) and have not gotten my hands over it yet!! Days are running.. got only 5 more days in this month...
BTW, I have found the book for the next month - 'Love in the Times of Cholera'. Thanks to Goli for suggesting that.
4. Next month is going to be fun with uncle and aunty. It would be good if Shravs n Bunny join. That means, pv n me gotto finalize a place for the trip. If it is damn diffi for "us" to find a place for dinner (the other day we drove from HalliMane in Malleswaram to Bobs in Jeevan Bhima Nagar not being able to find even one suitable place for dinner - Why?? That needs the space of a post for itself.. so I will write about it sometime later. We finally ended up having puchka's, sandwich and juice for dinner), I don't need to say about the rest. But, we shal together come to some conclusion atleast the day before the travel... So no worries.
5. Put clothes for wash - Hurrah!!! I did that, but one more round pending.. Pv says its my favorite job.
6. Have to buy Shabo's wedding gift - She got married Nov last year and I am yet to gift her.
7. Mom is coming tomorrow which means I gotto clean the house and make it look neat atleast on the first glance. It is impossible for me to achieve her cleanliness goals, still gotto do something.
8. Pin-up board - this was part of my new year resolution that I would list down the places I have visited in the year and the ones I want to visit on the pin-up board. Neither did the visiting happen nor did the pin-up board stay up :-) Pv n me put all our efforts n knowledge of physics, chemistry, math and bio too to fix it on the wall and let it stay but the board was too adamant and always want to fall. This time, its gonna be a hang-or-throw situation. If its not gonna work this time, I am gonna throw it off and buy a ready made pin-up board :-)

By now, I realize that the rest of the things have already evaporated and will come back as part of the evening showers. I shall complete these now.

If you are still reading, my thanks to you. In all probability, you might have seen some part of you in the above lines, I am happy to see you too sailing in the same sea if not the same boat :-)

All in all, this week seems to be a pretty satisfying one, I completed my own 'windows task manager' like application @ work, did somethings towards a change in project, managed the house when mom was not there (my huge success item.. well!! 1 more day to go), had been a good girl as always. Full Stop, no comments expected on the last line.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Break the silence

For those (??) who have been checking this place for a new post, I will soon come up with one!!!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Our little garden

Few pics of our little garden.

Flowers so beautiful
Courtesy - Aunty

Methi and our new gamla

Methi harvested :-)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Gift

Book - The Gift
Author - Cecelia Ahern from Ireland
Challenge - Orbis Terrarum

My review
If miracles had chemical equations then everybody would believe
One of my favorite lines in the book. This one is truly a gift. Read it if you want to know the value of time. The story is about Lou who always wants to be at two places, who thinks of office while having dinner with family, who though is very successful keeps running to be on top of things at work and hardly finds the need and time to spend with his family. There are vivid descriptions of Lou's state of mind, the endless confusions that he battles against to prioritize work and family. Each character is depicted so well that you don't feel it is a piece of fiction. The essence of the story is 'Time can't given. But it can be shared.'

I am so happy that I completed the first book for the challenge. I am not an expert in writing reviews but I want to give it a shot so that I will soon get the hang of it. I am not sure if the review did any justice to the book.

My next book - Train to Pakistan

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Back to books

I came across the 'Orbis Terrarum' challenge in Ramya's blog recently. I found it very interesting and am planning to take it up. The best part of this challenge is it has simple rules. All you gotto do is choose 10 different books, written by 10 different authors, from 10 different countries and read them in 10 months. The challenge begins this month and ends in December.

My theme - Select books written by authors who are from the countries I want to visit in my lifetime
I've picked up 2 books to begin with ...

The Gift by Cecelia Ahern from Ireland
Train to Pakistan by Kushwant Singh from India

Send in your fav set of books to help me select the rest 8.
Just waiting to get started and njoi the ride.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Shopping O soppinggggggggg

A wallet loaded with hundred rupee notes
Mom by my side to give company
Set free to do anything I wish
What more do I need?

Ended up shopping lots of road side ear rings for a couple of hundreds (literally a couple of hundreds ONLY!!!). It was so much shopping without any prior planning. I've now added 6 more pairs to my LITTLE collection, Happy appy... all smiles... :)

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Kathodudhan Naan Paduven

I heard this wonderful song tonight sung by none other than L.R.Easwari herself on tv. The melody was almost like 'then vandu paayudu kadinile' (literal tranlation - honey flowing in ears). I liked the huskiness in her voice is just too good and brings the scenes right in front of my eyes.

I have been googl'ing to get the lyrics but no success. I managed to write it down as I heard this again on The song is written in a very simple language which is also one of the reasons why I was able to enjoy its beauty instantly. Here is the link to play the song.

I am sure this would be there on all tamilians fav list.

Kathodudhan naan paduven
Manathodudhan naan pesuven
Vizhiyodudhan vilaiyaduven
Un madi meedudhan kanmooduven

Kathodudhan naan paduven ....

Valrandalum naan innum siru pillaidhaan
Naan arindalum aduvum nee sollidhan
unakketra thunayaga ennai matrava
Kula villakaaga naan vaazha vazhi kaatavaa

Kathodudhan naan paduven ....

Paaloota oru pillai azhaikindradu
Naan padum patta oru pillai rasikindradu
Ennakaga iru nenjam thudikindradu
Idil yaarkettu en pattai mudikindradu

Kathodudhan naan paduven ....

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Right now

Why do I always have at least 10 things to do and end up doing none of them? Right now, I want to ...

Do some glass painting
Read a book, don't ask me which one
Create my own app using flex
Plan for vacation in July
What will be a nice gift for pv's b'day
How will masinagudi be in April
Why am i not able to keep up my words
Stop watching tv
Buy a fish bowl
Make my own kitchen garden
Buy a gamla from dailydump
Moisturize my dry foot
And the list goes on ....

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Lost in Andamans

There is a long pending post (gonna be an year long if I don't post now) on mine and Pv's trip to Andamans. Now that I have a reader for this post (its u Arun, you better read) who is going there, I thought it would be useful for to blog it. Also, this gives me a great chance to relive those chweet memories :-)

We took a kingfisher flight from Singara Chennai to Port Blair. As the pilot reached well ahead of time, he was asked to fly aorund in the skies of Andamans before they could find a landing space in the Veersavarkar(named after a freedom fighter) airport. The pilot kept circling the various islands and told us about each of them. The flight was not full, so we managed to get a window view to see those lovely bluish green shades hitting the sands, the bushy bushy islands -- a splendid sight I should say.

For those of you who know us well can guess what we did for the acco - yep, we went there without booking any acco. From some friends we got contact of this person by name 'Andman' Sekhar who became our tour guide (finally we realised that there was no need for a guide). We checked each and every hotel there and finally decided on Fortune Bay Island Resort. We had to make stories to the receptionist there on our futile attempts to make a prior booking. You can make such stories there to show that you really really wanna stay there and they will give you a room. But hey!! It is always better to book ur acco ahead of time unless you are like one of us who deliberately does not do. We were lucky to get a sea facing room.

DAY 1 - We planned for a week's stay in Andamans. The first day we went to cellular jail. It was so heartening to see the place and read the sufferings of the freedom fighters. The place is well maintained and don't ever miss the light and sound show. Its so good and just moves you so much. From there we left to 'Chidiya Tapu' in a omni arranged for us by A.Sekhar. On the way we saw some remains of the tusnami disaster. It has a beautiful beach and there is hardly anyone. Though we could not go all the way as some tree had fallen, we really enjoyed the beach. Actually there were only 4 people including us. It feels so nice to be out of the maddening crowd that too after marriage :-). The most memorable part of this place was we suddenly started hearing some hushing sounds coming so close by and we could no identify where the sound came from. Soon, we saw the rain moving in the direction of where we were standing. It was so cool and refreshing. On the way back, we stopped at a tea shop to sip some real hot chai....

DAY 2 - The next day, we left early morning to wandoor. This is the place from where we took a jetty to the Jollybuoy island. As we approached the island, we were asked to move to some smaller boats which had a glass bottom thru which we could see the fishes and corals underneath the water - it was a sneak peak of snorkelling. Just as we reached the place, one of the sailors took just took a jelly fish which was moving on the shore. It was a slimy feeling as I held it in my hand. We were a group of 25-30 people out there on the island. There were couple of guides there for snorkelling. To blow off some myths about snorkelling -- You don't need to know swimming, You will not feel it suffocating on wearing the mask. Just listen to what the guide says and hold the rope he shows. Just dip your head in to the water and keep going into the waters and see the real beauties of nature's creations. Some wonderful fishes, colorful ones, sea cucumbers which are the most laziest of the lot not wanting to move. Its just an amazing experience - don't ever miss it. Remember to take spare clothes to change after snorkelling.

DAY 3 - On the third day we took a ferry to Havelock island which is supposed to be one of the loveliest islands there. Make sure to book your tickets in advance as there are only 2 boats every day. I would recommend taking the Rs.150/- ticket and not the normal Rs.100/- one as it is really hot out in March and so one can't spend much time outside in the deck. Also, the ship is a very normal one not the luxury ones like in Titanic. So, there will be the smell of diesel and if you hate that do take the seat in the air-conditioned coach.

We reached Havelock in the afternoon after some 2.5 hours of sea-sickness for me. Like before, we did not book any acco here too. We used our usual tactis to get 2 day's acco in Dolphin - Government guest house. We have never seen such a beautifully maintained 'government' guest house. We took the Rs.1500/- cottage - sea facing ones. They were so big and nice. After check-in we got help of some local guy there (one of the guides whom we met at the Jetty - most of the guides are reasonable and trust worthy) to rent a bike. It was mid day and we rode to Radha Nagar beach - Asia's most beautiful beach. On seeing it you will realise why. We spent a lot of time on water and then drove back to Dolphins for lunch. The food was good like home made and only costed us 300 for 2 full days - can you believe that!!! That evening we went there again for sun set which was so beautiful.

DAY 4 - We had put alarm to get up ealry morning for sun rise. We were so dumb found on seeing the sun rise. That day we left for elephanta beach for another round of snorkelling. The next day we moved to Sea shells as we had to check out from Dolphins. Sea shells was good but Dolphins was great. DAY 5 - We spent our last day in havelock just relaxing on the sea shore.

DAY 6,7 - We came back to Port Blair the next day and spent another day just lazing around in Fortune enoying the breakfast there. Not to miss at fortune - breakfast, aaloo kaju sazbi, walk in the resort and the resort itself :-) If we go next time, may be we check if they offer candle light dinner. Even if you don't get reservation in Fortune, just go there for a meal.

One place we could not cover and desperately wanted to go - Baratang island, the place where you can find the tribes and if I remember correctly it was one the way to Nicobar. This is a day's trip by itself - so plan accordingly.

Other places one can visit if there is time - Ross island (has some British style buildings), some beach in Port Blair (not worth really) and other islands.

Time to go - Season is between Nov-Feb. It is good to go just after the season as it there is absolutely no crowd. Infact you will see the same set of people as in your flight :-). However, it will be hot.

Carry - Sunglasses, sunscreen lotions, tissues, hats
Wear - Loose clothes, tshirts, capris, tracks

Eat outs - There are plenty. If you are a veggie Annapoorna is a good choice. Remember that all these places close around 9pm as it gets dark very fast.

Shopping - There a whole lot things one can buy - t-shirts with pictures of Andaman, shell based wall hangings, some pearl jewellery (not sure of its authenticity), sea shell like ear rings which come for 10-15 bucks (my fav)

Wallet factor -- The total trip costed us around 50K. Stay at fortune is expensive but as many people say the place you stay can make or break the trip. Snorkelling can cost close to 500bucks. If you hire a guide, it might cost close to 3K for him and the vehicle. It should be okay to take an auto to move around and they go by meter.

Overall, it was a lovely trip and we had a great time. All I can say is -- we are waiting to go again!!!

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Running and Catching

Life has become a running and catching game for me in the last few days. My day starts with the alarm ringing and me snoozing... ring...snooze.... in dreams... with school mates... wingies... office people... work.... and suddenly a full blown up pic of my manager's face and then there is no more snoozing or ringing -- I wake up and it is 6:45AM. "What Aarthi, even today u did not get up early, that's really bad", I tell myself and fold the bed. As I walk down, it feels like I enter a totally different world -- the world of 'running and catching' awaits my entry. I feel just like the kiddoo Ishan in the song 'Duniya ka naara Jame raho..' from Taare Zameen Par.

Over the last few days, I have been so much caught in the R&C game - wake up -- prepare brkie (rather help mom) -- pack lunch boxes -- drop mom -- come back -- drop pv sometimes -- come back -- get ready -- courier mom's application forms -- from there rush to office -- !!!halt!!! take a deep breath and relax at office trying to get things work -- gear up to face the rest of the day -- get back home and then it starts all over again -- rush to meet the eye doc -- as if you did not book an appointment, they make you wait and wait -- finally the eye doc asks to visit once again (oh man!! do they ever know how much of running it is for me?? :-( ) -- go home -- make dinner with mom -- have dinner and keep thinking and thinking of the csim project (sheeshh!! when the hell will I pull myself to do it, I need some scoldings from Aruna, else nothing is going to work.) -- clean the dishes -- and am totally exhausted and jus waiting to hit the bed.

I hate this R&C. I want a change -- Nopes, not a vacation, I've had enough of it. Though I get help doing all these tasks , I just feel I am always running to catch up with things. I have not been able to update my blog, read pv's blog post, not been able to sit in peace and close my eyes (sleep not counted here). Anniversary is coming, have not made any plans!!! Have been thinking of trying my hand at glass painting and I have been only thinking. Wanted to clean the water in the aquarium, my fishes are crying everyday, infact they are on a strike, they have stopped eating offlate.

Hey!! But life is not all that bad. I managed to complete many tasks too. Transferred all the saplings to big pots last weekend, attended ACT annual day, got to spend some good time and fun there, completed all the rounds of eye check-up and doc told me there is no need for glasses, managed to take one step towards my new year resolution, made my wish list of gifts for anniversary (very important)......

Its just that I have too little time to do everything. Lemme spend some time to restructure my day. May be I should get up early in the morning to add a few more hours in my kitty.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

The White Tiger

I wanted to start this year by reading a good book. I had my eye on 'The white tiger' for some now. However I hesitated many times before picking this one from the store. The last time I tried reading the booker prize winner 'Inheritance of loss', I almost concluded that the booker prize winners are more for people who are fond of literature. The story moved at such a slow pace that a leaf falling from the tree would be so awesomely described in two pages. I understand from the view point of the author that she was trying to put in all creativity in describing it but for a reader like me - I lost patience. I could hardly reach 50 pages. This time, as PV also wanted to read it, I managed to break through all my assumptions of how this booker winner would be and took it to the counter for billing.

I don't want to tell the story as it is a true pleasure reading this book. Aravind Adiga has truly captured the economic divide in the Indian society through his fictional story characters of Balram who turns to become Ashok. All through the story, the author has picturised the state of the country from the eyes of the poor who always lives in the dark and thrives to see the light. The sarcasm in the narration has added a totally different flavor to the narration.

A few times, I got so angry at Adiga for continuously talking about the undeveloped India and leaving across the so many achievements or developments the country is witnessing. Going beyond my angst, I could see the majority of us today are lost in the developments and the developing developments that we fail to see the other side. There are many a people and things I notice today as I go on the road which I have not previously. He makes us confront the issues that are there in India today.

There is no place where you can see Adiga exaggerating the economic divide or under-playing the facts. This makes me wonder the extent of his research before writing this book. He must have spent a lot of time talking to people from different stratas of the society, observing them, their actions to understand what is going in their mind.

Sarcasm well wound in words, narrated as a fictional story bringing to light the not so good looking parts of India which we always try to hide or hide from. I neither know nor have read the other contenders for the Booker prize but there is no doubt, this one deserves it.