Saturday, December 8, 2007

Gerbera Died and Jasmine is in Coma : A lesson learnt :(

It was all my fault. I didn't take care of them the way, I was supposed to. With many other things running around the mind, their thoughts didn't even enter my thick head. I was inside the house, with the shades drawn, wearing two sweaters, and with the heater on. The poor things were standing in the balcony in this freezing cold, without food for last 4 days. Today morning when I suddenly remembered them, I ran to them with water. But by then the Gerbera was almost sunk to the base of the pot and the Jasmine was trying hard to stand straight with all its leaves shrivelled up. With pangs of guilt conscience aggravated with J's lecture on "fulfilling resposibilities", I tended it, pruned it, changed the soil, watered it and shifted them from patio to the bedroom window.
I had thought about bringing them inside last week but postponed it because I felt lazy to do it. I am feeling sooo bad ... "if only I had been a little thoughtful and brought them inside last week...". This incident taught me the importance of doing the right thing at the right time, but at the cost of my plants. I wish I could do something to make sure that the fragrance of Jasmine never leaves my home....

Friday, December 7, 2007

Am I too filmy ???

December 2nd holds special for two reasons. One, it was the first snow of the season and second, my home pregnacy test showed two parallel blue lines.

And when I told the positive news to J , who was banging on the bathroom door impatiently, his reaction was a "wow", with a big dazed smile plastered across the face.

And I stood there expecting for more reactions (P.S. We planned to be in family way since August) . Afterall that was what I saw in all films, (atleast when pregnacny is from wedlock).

Recovering from the surprise , J came near me and hugged me tight and I thought "now he is going to sweep me off the floor "(though I preffered any other room than bathroom for it ).

Hugging me he told, "Now that you are going to be a mother, be regular in your diet. Take food on regular time, never skip your breakfast, add more vegetable in your diet, avoid sausages and other junk food". (I am addicted to sausage). And he released me from his speech and hug, with final advice "always think good and dont think too much".

Now I dont know which is the most difficult part in his set advises cum orders, taking breakfast daily, skipping sausage or thinking good always. Well, I zero in on "thinking good always and not thinking too much".

Are we becoming too practical ? Is sweeping off the feet too filmy?

In almost all the movies I have seen , the scene will be either two of these.

Scene 1 : Husband returns home in the evening, tired from the days work. He finds in his house, either the parents or (in some cases,) neighbours sitting around his wife. He becomes tense and asks them the matter. The reply will vary according to the films, but most will be " you are not just two anymore" or "your wife will tell you" or sometimes some sly comments like "after doing everything you are asking us the matter" with a lot of giggling in background.

Scene 2 : The wife is sick, nauseating and dizzy. Dearest husband takes her to a doctor ( in most cases, lady doctor; with a poster of baby saying "shhh...." cellotaped in the wall), who conveys to him the happy news.

Whether it is the scene 1 or 2, the climax of that scene will be all the same. The highly elated husband, jumping with joy, picks his fragile wife from floor, raises her to the ceiling and rotate her till the wife begs to leave her down.

After J's " non - sweeping from the floor" and "we planned for it attitude" , I sat thinking (totalling going against his last piece of advice).

Is the mordern day marriages too open that there are no elements of surprises left ?
Are we too open and communicative that makes us predictable?
Isnt those filmy pantomime sometimes necessary? Doesnt it invigorate the relationship? Afterall this is once or twice in life occassion.

or is it as simple as this" I Am Being Too Filmy"...??

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

I Baked my Cookies Right

Whew, after two tiresome attempts and resultant absolute failures I finally baked my cookies right. I am an infant in the baking world. Till this August I didnt know even the basics of baking ...ssshhh...
My first attempt in baking was Brownies!! Brownies and subsequent batches of cakes came out so well that I started believing I am a natural baker.
Armed with confidence I tried baking my first batch of cookies but it was a complete washout. The reason is that I added a little milk to make the batter loose .(I thought the batter for the cookies should also be loose like the cake batter). Result: cookies in form of crunchy sheet cake. The second time when I baked I did a new mistake. I didnt put enough gap between the cookies. I put around 20 cookies in the small cookie sheet!!! I didnt expect the cookies to expand sideways. And the result , another batch of slightly burned sheet cookies.
I partially accepted my defeat until I saw the recipe of snickerdoodles in "Cooking Light". I toyed with the idea of making snickerdoodles for a week and finally decided to go for it. Voila, after 30 minutes I had 25 snickerdoodles in my snack box. Cool isnt it? Perseverance do help:D .
(PS: All the "I"s in this post is I + J. J is inevitable while I bake as he is the one who whisks the batter )

Monday, October 8, 2007

My Favorite Carrot Cake

My most favorite cake is Carrot cake. It is a combination of goodness. Goodness in various ways. First, it has carrot so it is healthy. Second it is moist and soft, without being soggy. And third the ingredients are less so preparation time is less and finally since ingredients are less and preparation time is less the dishes for cleaning is also less. The recipe was completely followed from Nic of Baking Bites, except that I added walnuts and sultanas.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

My First Dance Class - Zydeco.

This happened two days back. I enrolled for Zydeco. I proclaim this to be my first dance classes officially, though my parents insist that I was given dance lessons whilst I was 3-4 years. Well I don’t remember about learning dancing, but I do remember of scheming to avoid dance classes.

Zydeco is a form of folk dance and it is a partner dance.
As the time neared, I was in a dilemma. I had not danced after college and I felt that two years is really a long gap. My dances in college was with group where no one really cared how one dances. So long as the music is good the audiences will also be busy dancing/ boozing/ howling etc. But J was highly enthusiastic about it and I was left with no option rather accompany him.

I was in for a shock when I saw the dance class venue. I had expected a room, with doors closed. But it was in an open stage, with Cajun music blaring and fully illuminated. The time of dance was 7' PM and it was getting dark. Anyone going through the road could see the stage. I wouldn’t have dared to dance there even if I was fully drunk. I looked to J's face to detect any sign of withdrawal. Though he was a little surprised, was not abashed like me. And I walked towards the arena with my valiant J.

All my fears left when I met our "classmates" and the instructors. They welcomed us with open arms, completing deflating my fears. It was just the basics of Zydeco on the first class. It consist of 8 steps 1,2,3, Tap and 1,2,3 tap to the opposite side. And we danced for 2 hours till 9'. Zydeco opened up a new world for me. A new community, meeting new people, and most of all the realization that J dances better than me.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Bloated Cricket Team Vs Famished Hockey Team

You need to be aware of what others are doing, applaud their efforts, acknowledge their successes, and encourage them in their pursuits. When we all help one another, everybody wins.” - Jim Stovall

The first interesting news I read today was that the Indian Hockey team is all set to go for a hunger strike irked by the double standards of Indian Central and State Government. Indian hockey team won the Asian Continental Championship early this month (that too without losing a single match).

Totally ignoring it there was announcements of US $2 million cash award for the Cricket team, apart from this there are a lot of individual prizes for team members notable of which are houses to all team member sponsored by Sahara, 1 Crore Rupees cash award for Yuvaraj Singh for hitting six sixes in an over conveniently forgetting that On 5 September 2007, ODI India Vs England, Dimitri Mascarenhas hit five consecutive sixes off the final five balls of England's innings in Yuvaraj's over (well, of course ODI is not equal to so called Twenty Twenty World cup) . Heard that he is also getting a Porsche!!!!

In the newspaper I read this news there was also a comment column " Do u think Hockey Team is justified to protest". Well I think every person is entitled to protest against unequal treatment. When it is totally unjust there is no wrong at going on a hunger strike, (after all they are following the Gandhism). I saw another comment from a hardcore cricket fan (so I guess) that it is not good for the Indian Hockey team to be jealous of Cricket team for their riches. Well, that was not a fair comment. Nowadays the cricket team is getting unjust enrichment. Hockey is our national game and it has its place (But I confess that I cant recite the order of hockey team player as I can do of cricket team players). The winning statistics of hockey is much better than that of our cricket team. The media attention and the hype the cricket community is receiving is far above from that of received by hockey or any other sporting event. It is the media attention that brought cricket into the spotlight. Every sport should be equally encouraged. Only then there will be an instigation to achieve more. Too much of overshadowing and giving over importance does no good. Thus I extend my full support to the hockey team.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Religion in Cricket: A 20/20 Review.

Kudos to the Indian team.
I love cricket. I still howl, scream and clap (and occasionally
whistle) when I see good cricket (one of the signs that marriage has not
definitely changed me :)) The final match between India and Pakistan, the
proclaimed arch rivals, in 20/20 world cup was a dream final to most of the
cricket fans and the finishing was a nail biting one.
Undoubtedly Pakistan also played a very good cricket. My cricket
craziness knows no boundary. Whilst watching the final I was admiring Misbah ul
Haq. The cool and composed way he played till the end of the match. It was
optimistic cricket.
But when Shoab Mallik , Pakistan Cricket Captain addressed the crowd,
he thanked for supporting and further, apologized to the Pakistani people
and to the Muslims around the world for not winning. That attitude
disturbed me. Why did he apologize to the Muslims alone? I am not a Muslim and I
love Pak cricket team. I like Shahid Afridi, Younis Khan... They play
good cricket. But why thanks and apologies to the Muslims alone? Aren't
other people entitled to support them?
The cricket players in a way represent their country. They are looked upon, admired and followed by many people, particularly the younger generation. So when they state something I think they should do it responsibly. They should set an
example of tolerance, rather than compartmentalizing the fans. And
Shoab Mallik is the cricket captain and I think the comment was highly
disappointing, inept, unwanted, unwelcome, unbecoming one.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Love Is In The Air


Last weekend we were highly romantic. We were at Niagara... such a beautiful, refreshing place.
We decided to go to Niagara just on a whim. We were severely warned by our dear friends that there is not much to see there except water falls.
And keeping this warning back in our mind we started off early Saturday morning. The 7-hour drive was blessed with rains and sunshine alternatively. The lush meadows, green mountains winding roads added more charm to our journey. The trees without leaves gave the signal of the autumn coming. It was a drive without any break. There was no tiredness and no yawning. Totally mesmerized we drove on, with me continuously clicking the camera.

We reached Niagara by 1' noon. Had a quick lunch and found an abode. Kept our luggage and we were all set to explore Niagara. The lovely maid (of the mist) was stunning and the horseshoe falls breathtaking. Later as the sunset we moved on to see the cove of the winds. That was the ultimate. We spend more than an hour getting drenched. It was so cold and raining yet we couldn’t tear ourselves from the place. We stood there with no concern of time.

The next day plan was to visit Thousand Isles and Finger Lakes. We woke up early by 6' we went for a morning walk with a cup of coffee in hand. The sunrise was beautiful, the breeze cool, promising a beautiful day ahead. We packed back and before returning we thought of seeing the waterfalls once again.

There was a big rainbow waiting amidst slight drizzle and again we lost the track of time. Niagara in day looks so different from what it was night. We just loitered around the place with no intention of visiting Thousand Isles and Finger lakes. We walked around till noon enjoying the three Sisters Island and small bridges. We drove back home wondering about the places we missed in Niagara and promising to visit again. Sometimes I just hate Mondays. It was one such weekend.

Friday, August 31, 2007

The Innocent Man and Capital Punishment.

“Many men have been hanged on far slighter evidence,” I remarked.“So they have. And many men have been wrongfully hanged.” - Doyle, Sir Arthur Conan

I just finished reading "The Innocent Man" of John Grisham. It definetly rattled me. More than that it made me think and rethink about the so called justice delivery and about Capital Punishment.
In my teens I have had the "tit for tat" attitude and still I have confess I have traces of it. I always believed in the "Retributive theory of punishment", and felt that "An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth" definitely made sense and is fair. I have always maintained that the reformatory theories and the "correctional " prison system which intended the Criminal to regret the crime committed was an "utopian idea" and was never going to work .

But it is true that the words of Mahatma Gandhi, "An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth and the whole world would soon be blind and toothless" made me think . But I let it off after a good laugh on it as my alligience to the retributive theory was so deep and well founded. With this (thought) background it would be no surprise to know that I have always been an ardent supporter of capital punishment.

But changing times brought some changes to my attitude and thoughts. I started thinking "prudently". I understood that we are living in a "not so perfect" world and not all the convicts are criminals in a real sense . Judicial decisions doesnt necessarly be right, as the evidence can be fabricated, wittnesses can be bought . And also that not all the criminal activities are "crime"as I started understanding the notions of "Necessity", "Private defense" etc. And also that the word "Criminal" is not an inclusive one.

Now after reading the "The Innocent Man" I am shocked. The review of the book is true to its words. "....If u believe in death penalty this book will disturb u . If u believe the criminal Justice system is fair, this book will infuriate you..". Men sentenced to death for a crime they have not committed and that too without any direct or circumstantial evidence . They waiting in death row for many years..Police and prosecution lazy to arrest the real culprits even though they have all the DNA evidence with them. A person arrested and sentenced for death on a "dream confession" Confessions taken forcibly and used against them, though self incrimination is against constitutuional guarantees. Trial and conviction of an innocent, mentally unstable, indigent man. And all these overlooked by the judges who are supposed to be the "guardian angels" of justice. My first thoughts was "What world are we leaving in"?. Then I comforted myself thinking "After all it is a fiction. No one can mess up this much and no justice delivery can be this blind."

I cant express my shock when I found the photographs of the characters in midpages. Only then I realized it was a true story and not a fiction as I had comforted myself. The pains they endured to come out of jail and after releasing, the fear with which they live in this society, the suspicion the members of the society still have on them even after they have proved to be innocent, the non acceptance by their church. And I wonder how cruel/blind our criminal system is. Who is answerable to their losing years ( Many of them arrested in 20's . Prime of everyones life and released after 15 or 20 years.)? The investigating officers, prosecutors, snitch wittneses, jury, judge ????

I remember a convict asking the question "Is it innocent till proven guilty or guilty till proven innocent"??
It made me think do we really need capital punishment??? Is our justice delivery "a myth"?

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

To Kill a Mocking Bird and a reminiscent

I njoi reading as thousands of others. I took up reading since.....well,.. since ... before my 1st form I guess. (coz I started going to school since I was 2 years). This happened not because of my high IQ but because of the simple reason that my parents were employed. A job that was not worth to be resigned, u could say they were "highly employed". ( Twenty five years back the concept of "day care" was not very "prominent", neither was "benevolent maternity and paternity packages" as now nor were they comfortable with nanny's taking care of me). So my parents didnt have option rather than asking their friend who owns this school to admit me. And I went to school. But I have no hard feelings on it. I enjoyed being the youngest member in the whole school with special previleges. I can sit in the classes I preferred (my preference of classes depends upon the "dresses and loveliness of teachers" :D)and leave the classes whenever I wanted. I remained the youngest member in class from my school days till I finished my Masters.

Back to my reading habit. I read anything with some exceptions, some of which are Mills and Boons and such other silly romantic books, Harold Robbins, (I read one, and I didnt like it, then I thought I should give another chance as I beleive an author cant be strictly judged with one book but I cudnt reach till the half of the next book) and a few more. Other books that I dont read/ dare to read is philosophy and also those "highly helpful" books like "how to influence people" "How to make friends" "How to lead" "How to crack joke" etc.( Simply bcoz I dnt need all those. I am too good in that already and there isnt anything left to improvise. Too much of confidence?).

I had never tried reading "to kill a mocking bird", simply because I classified in to come into "those motivating" section. Then one day whilst on a vacation in florida a friend asked "why didnt you read it"? No usual advices like " u must read it once" "it is wonderful etc". The way he asked me I felt I didnt do something mandatory or which I was supposed to do. I finally decided to read it.

After finishing it I asked myself "why didnt I read it before"? It is a simple book of innocence. The comradeship and understanding between Atticus (father ) and children was so inspiring. And the communication and the friendliness between the brother and sister, again made me crave for a big brother ( I always wanted a elder brother. But it had stopped by the time I turned 16, cos I felt that they always hindered ur freedom unless one is very lucky.) The simple way of saying the story, describing the political and society's attitude is so absorbing. The thoughts and the thought processes are very stirring. All the characters in the book has a special place of their own, and showed their importance or worthiness when required. Let it be Boo Radley or Calpurina or Miss Maudie or Mr. Cunningham and Ms. Dubose too :D.

The book captuered the innocence, attitude, Situations, friendship, the craftiness or shrewdness , the principles of the people. The book was beautiful and very refreshing. A definite must read...