Friday, November 21, 2008

My latest craze is to write a book and get a booker prize. When I said writing I remember that I am now writing something close to a book.
1. For writing a book one does a lot of research on what he/ she writes-Myself for sure have done enough research on what I am writing.
2. In a novel, the author uses several pages just to explain that a person is sleeping,-I have done that in my writing, infact I have this repeating every now and then
3. The work must be original and captivating- My work is original and captivating for some, no offence but I found God of small things the most boring book, so I think I'll pass in this too.
4.The author must belong to a common wealth country or UK or those small islands up there- I qualify easily for that :)
5. All I need is to find a publisher, but that 'll not be a problem ;)

so, what do you think of submitting my

PhD THESIS for Booker!!!!

Ananthi Sankaran

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I learnt about this group from one of my friend's profile. I immediately fell in love with their "toss the feathers". I found their other songs too, they are truly amazing, the kind of songs i can listen to anytime of the day :)

One of my favourite

Ananthi Sankaran

Monday, October 27, 2008

I could not hate my life more than I did today. Today is Deepavali-Festival of lights and I am sitting here writing a blog. During this day, my father, who is a hyper energetic lazy man, wakes us all up at 3 am and drives us one after another into the bathroom, and my mother, stuffs something in our mouth even before we had a chance to open our eyes and see what she is stuffing. Then she makes us sit on the floor and draws something with turmeric and kumkum in our palms and legs and generously pours oil on our heads, that the oil starts dripping all over your face and dress that even the person who hates to take bath, 'll run towards the bathroom to get rid of the grease that is conquering every inch of you. Then comes the best part, after a huge effort of getting rid of the oil, my mother presents our new dresses for the day, and when we are about to wear them, she stops and says "ooooh nan manjal thadava maranthuten" (i forgot to put turmeric for your dresses). This is a tradition in our family and in many families, before we do something auspicious, the things involved are given a touch of turmeric, so that whatever is happening becomes a success. Then we wear our new dress and my mother hands over one sparkler to each one of us and asks to play with it and change the clothes as fire from the crackers might make small holes in them. When I was a child I used to think she was crazy, now i see her point :D. Then when the day breaks, we start distributing the sweets that my mother made to our neighbors and our neighbors too send across their sweets, which sometimes had no resemblance to the real ones. Then we go to the temple, have a family get-together, get blessing from elders, which comes with money ;) Have a sumptuous meal, watch TV non-stop, it is day of rest for the books :), and start bursting crackers. The happiest of all of us is our mother while bursting crackers. She is very frightened to burst them, but she used to never give up. She takes a meter long paper and lights one end of it with fire and places the cracker in the other end. We all wait for a lifetime for the fire to reach the other end, and finally when it is near the other end, the fire gets bored and it extinguishes. So again my mother comes with another paper, this just goes on and on.
Today, morning, I woke up at 8 am, saw that I was running late, quickly took a shower; spoke to my parents with the crackers bursting in the background. To shake off my dullness, had a quick chat with one of my friend, came to the lab getting wet as I did not open my windows to see if it was raining and after I saw I was in no mood to climb up my stairs to take the umbrella. But since I like the rain I was ok, but it is not always nice to see the people at work, when you are drenched in water, but today I was not going to worry. Coming to this place has made my happiest day of the year, the dullest day of the year. Just now had lunch, raw carrot salad, boiled carrot with pasta, one cup of curd and one banana. I can't hate my life more. Next year where ever I am, I am going to India and be with my parents and wake up at 3 am for diwali.

Ananthi Sankaran

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Aravind Adiga won this year's booker prize, woow, I am just so happy that a lot of Indians are getting added to the winner list of this prestigeous award!!!!!
This must be his most happiest moment in his life. Infact he is a debutant. His win is definitely going to give a boost to the young starters and writers. May be i should think about it tooo ;)

Ananthi Sankaran

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

These are some of the videos that i grew up with, singing along with the artists, i never understood the meaning back then. Now when i see them i get goosebumps. Doordarshan was the only channel that we used to have earlier, wonder if anyone still watches doordarshan and does DD still make videos like this?

Ananthi Sankaran

Monday, October 6, 2008

Today morning before leaving my studio I was desperately searching for my cellphone as I am supposed to receive an important call from someone, so I quickly made a call from my landline to my mobile and found that i had already packed it in my bag of unessentials that i carry around. But then it is amazing that u can find ur lost phone this way, but what abt other things?
May be all the things should have a micro or a nano tracking dot, so that it is easier for people like me to find out the missing things.
Or is this technology already out there? I really hate to come with different combination of socks every other day like i did today :(

Ananthi Sankaran

Friday, October 3, 2008

This story has characters E, S, Y, W, L, and M (the real characters would not mind using their names, but i am lazy to type their sometimes complicated name :D

Creepy feelings were getting into my mind as the D-day was approaching. I suddenly started worrying about my life I never cared about. Completing a silver jubliee staying in this planet has a lot of side effects too. Have to find a job, have to take more responsibilities, have to worry abt the future (which again is finiding a job etc.). I was just envying myself during the times i used to be India, when my only worry was what dress to wear tomorrow, or did i wear this lately? Is my prof. going to ask me question today in the class? 'll appa allow me for a movie this weekend? Do I have enough money to squeeze in to buy a cake that costed arouns Rs. 5. And birthdays were special, new dresses, surprise gifts, unlimited food in the restaurants, free ice cream in the ice cream parlour and they even sing when they give u that special multi coloured icecream, I never cared about harmful colorants, bloating stomachs, falling hair, facial lines, hmmmm I really envy my life I had few years ago. Those times i used to see the people going abroad with admiration, thinking how lucky they were and 'll i ever get a chance to be like one of them.

Now I am like one of those admirable fellas, sitting in a unknown land, where people try hard to make you understand something that they do not what you to understand, where you sometimes get mistaken for some african origin and the shop security keeps a close watch on you wondering if you'll run away with something. I am now in a land where fish is considered to be vegetarian and making fun of others and whinning is the only way to interact and get dissolved in the crowd. Everytime when someone sees me with admiration I am so tempted to tell that you are so lucky, you opted to stay here, but my stupid ego never gave way for that.

Three years in this city has not spared me from acquring the habit of whinning, so I was whinning to one of my most unfortunate friend S about my lovely days in India. My B'day was a big event, back then, get up early in the morning, take a nice oil bath, get blessing from amma then go to the temple and get the blessing of god, ofcourse all these happens while i am wearing a new dress that i had carefully selected and stitched from a tailor who was one step short of getting mad while understanding what i actually need. Then I go to my college with all the marks in my forehead showing that i visited temple, so that people think i am very religious (a style back then in south India). Then my friends wish and they admire my dress and I become happy and blush sometime, and then for the lunch, myself with my close buddies go to some resto and eat, eat, eat. Forget that there are classes in the afternoon, and if not very late catch up a movie and then go home late where amma is waiting with special food, fill my stomach and finally go to bed thinking again and again and smiling to myself all the wonderful events i had on that day.

Now, it was one day before my b'day and I have no tailor made dress, for that matter nothing new, wondering should i make something sweet, or should i take bath, as it is a weekend. So while thinking about my ill fate, another of my friend E told me, "hey why don't u come from dinner tomorrow?" My crooked brain got thinking, ooh so she is calling me to have dinner that means she knows it is my birthday tomorrow, hmmm so i need not spend my birthday alone in my studio which by the way has never seen a broom ;) (i use brush :D), So i asked if i can bring my friend too, and she said ok and asked me what am i doing in the morning? I had to buy some clothes for my gym classes so i said i'll go for shopping and she offered to accompany me. So with all these things happening, i went home wondering, if tomorrow's party is just going to be the three of us or are there many more? and does she really know that it is my b'day????
The next day, my beloved friends from India bashed me with calls left and right, and I was feeling ecstatic. With the happy feeling the three of us went for shopping, so in the mall, when i went to pay for things, my friend said, ooh don't pay it is a present from us for you b'day. oooohhhhhhhhhhoooooooo, that is nice, if you had told me this before i would have bought something costly, so i thanked my two friends, but S told me no it is not from me. Hmmm then y did E say 'us' when she bought me the gift? so are there more people involved in this? or is my poor friend having problem with grammer. I preffered to think that there were more people involved, so smiling we went to the provision store. So S, bought a cake, hmmm so there is a cake too for my b'day, but y didn't they tell me there is party? Were they planning a surprise party? Hehehehe I wanted to tell them, if you want to throw a surprise party then please hide that cake. As they were not doing any effort, I decided to hide myself from the view of the cake by not looking at it :D. As soon as we came out of the market, Y called E to know if she is at home and E tried to talk as low as possible so that I could not hear, but c'mon i was sitting right next to her and i heard that Y is waiting for E to open her appartment. Ok so this is a party with me, E, S and Y. Good all my good friends are there. So feeling happy we reached E's house and met Y waiting outside and we all went in and relaxed ourselves with some nice music. Y and E immediately started cooking. I helped them to cut vegetables and then a call came from W, saying that he'll reach in 10 min with his GF. Ok so there are more people coming, hmmm good. So after sometime Y asked me if I would like to cook something I can, and later she'll use the stove. I said no i am not cooking as i did not know all of you are comign before. So my beloved Y told me, ooooh it is a surprise party for you from us. UUUFFFFFFFFF, that was a great surprise, i never could guess at all what was going on, frankly. I just wished i could say that out. Later, L and M came with some big music player and something nicely covered and lots of food. I was wondering if M thought he is going to a house that does not have a music player. I must tell u, the house of E has everything, from extra tooth brushes to Wii ;).

After the chefs cooked their food, we preyed on them, everything had turned out wonderful, then we were playing out favourite songs on youtube. So when my turn came, i was too much confused on what to play. Coming from a country with wide cultural diversity, i was confused if i have to play bollywood, kollywood, mollywood, or tollywood? I chose to play an album song, hindi ofcourse but my favourite. After all the wine and dine, Y and W got ready to leave are they were missing the last bus. so E quickly brought the cake that we bought together and finally blew the candles praying that I should not have one more of those white devilish creatures growing from my head. After feasting on the cake M, decided to finally reveal what he had under those covers. M is a friend of L and is actually a street performer and real life chef. His culinary skills were evident from the dishes he made that day. so to see this street performance he took his gigantic player and those things under cover turned out to be things with long chains to make those designs with fire. Just see the pictures. I must admit, it was awesome. He did some tricks with two long chains, and burnt his head, then passed the fire through this dress and took it from the bottom, and even swallowed the fire (but this trick i have seen even in the temples were some people swallow the fire). There were even passer bys watching the beautiful designs that the flame created against the dark black ground. Finally when he finished we even had a police car stopping by to see if we are doing something out of order, but nothing serious. So after Y and W left, we went back to the cosy warmth of the appartment talking to M abt his life and plans bla bla bla. After sometime, when i felt i cannot keep my eyes open for one more sec, i opted to leave, kissing everyone good bye ( a french ritual, which now i have got used to). Smiling all the way i reached my studio and cleaned my bed and prepared to sleep. I thought the beautiful day i had with all my gifts and cake and shopping and food, and wishes and the surprise fire show. I gently fell asleep with the smile stuck to my face, thinking hahaha this was fun, what 'll be my next birthday like??????????

Ananthi Sankaran

Monday, September 29, 2008

I just wanted to see if posting video works and it seems to be, anyway my favourite song for the time being :)

Ananthi Sankaran

Sunday, September 28, 2008

On Saturday morning, as soon as i got up, my first thought was, "was there a presidential debate yesterday"? I quickly switched on my computer as started looking at BBC, and yes the debate had taken place and someone even named John McCain as the winner( though that was a biased website, infact many reported there wasn't a winner at all, it was a draw, hehehe it is like one of the patti mandrams of Soloman Pappaiya). I had mixed feelings as I really do not have much idea who might be the better choice of the two to be the President of US of A, which by the way is getting blows after blows in all fronts. So whoever is elected, must be prepared for sleepless nights for at least four years and he for sure not taking up the captaincy at the right time.
BBC had posted some video clips of the debate and frankly, i felt unless you are a person who does not require some drama and action to get the things to ur brains, this would have been a good one. Or may be presidential debates are always like this, but i enjoyed every bit of their conversation. So as i viewed the last clip, i decided i 'll search any of my family or my friends who has seen the whole debate live on TV. So first I called my father, who is normally very active in knowing the world politics and according to me, he has the answers for all my question. He though knew there was such an event going to take place showed no interest to watch it as his defence was, how does it matter?
These were the answer i received from few of my friends too. For me it is the Greatest election in the History of America. First there was fight between Hillary and Obama, though for many republican supporters, McCain was their unanimous choice. The democratic fight between the candidates actually bought me interest to follow this election. And i must tell u, i felt the fight that Hillary and Obama had is no where close to what the presidential candidates are having now.
So coming back to the topic, why is no one showing interest to know, who is going to be elected as the President of the most powerful country in the world?
In the past two years, the world has seen lots of elections, some fair ones and some unfair, and ofcourse these elections came with a plenty of drama, be it in asia or in Africa. I do not remember if the elections were so nail biting like this some 5 years ago, or is it that the election details are more accessible now because of internet. But one thing is for sure, the media now is playing a very very important role, and it is so keen to analyse the candidates that they are even providing free marketing solutions for some eye glass brand which is used by some canditates and this is put as a news in its first page by some websites. All i can say seeing these articles is Oh My God.
These petite news, too much drama obviously has become a part of this generation election campaign. Some country votes for some candidates because of some emotional reasons, while others are forced to vote. I think too many commotions created during the election campain, which is hyper exaggerated by the media has certainly made a good a number of people numb towards the exciting turns that the political situations are taking us. Each day is like in a roller coaster ride, which by the way is my favorite, and i do not think i 'll stop enjoying this ride anywhere in the near future, so i am looking forward for the second debate between Palin and Biden on Oct. 4 :D, which i think 'll be more intresting than the one last friday :) I plan to sleep in the morning as i can be awake to watch the debate, due to the time difference :D

Ananthi Sankaran

Monday, September 15, 2008

Earlier i always wanted to write comments on BBC have your say, but i was timid, thinking, are my thoughts worth publishing in a site like BBC?
Then during the BIG BANG experiment i took courage to write a comment and asked my friend to publish, but BBC never published :( i was disappointed, i just used to check all day and night for two days until they categorised that discussion as a read only segment :(( :((
Today i was reading as usual BBC and again could not resist my hand clicking the "Have your say" and saw that there was a discussion abt Zimbabwe politics. I thought i'll post a comment, who cares if it is good, anyway they are going to reject it, n i posted.
Later when i was working i got a call in my mobile, normally when the caller is named 'withheld', it is my parents (i do not know y it comes that way).
But it was from BBC, for an instant i was frightned if i had offended someone in my comments, but then came the surprise
They said that they do not normally receive comments from France, so would i like to take part in some programme in BBC radio today evening!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
wooow that was not expected and i still cannot stop smiling :D :D :D
Unfortunately, I have some things to do in the lab so had to say no, but still BBC called!!!!!!!!!!
I am searching for someone to call for a toast, so let me go
:D :D :D (it is bad that u have no real smilies here, or is there an option???????

Ananthi Sankaran

Monday, September 8, 2008

I know what r u wondering ;)

Friday, September 5, 2008

Found this pic from another blog :) thought it was funny but can love be blind to this extent ;)

Hello all,
First "Happy Teachers day" :)
today i would like to thank all of you, who i have met, about whom i have read, abt whom i have heard, for all of you have helped me learn, often without knowing that you were doing so :) so merci tout le monde!!!!!!

Ananthi Sankaran

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

I came across this news today while forcing myself to get back to work :)

So after reading this article, i was just wondering,

does presence or absence of some kind of genes really affect a person's character? atleast for this case science have proved yes. That means a persons behaviour may not be predicted by astrology or numerology or palmistry but by the constituents of our body.

But atlest in my case though i am not a staunch believer of palmistry, certain things predicted by the palmist have come true, so does that mean presence of these genes influences the lines in our hand?

Astrology, which has been the backbone of most of the indian marriage atleast until the last decade is assumed to predict the stability and durability of a married couples. So, are the presence of genes influenced by the cosmic rays which inturn can be precicted by astrology?

I am not an expert in any of the these subjects so experts who think i am blabbering, enlighten me, others think with me if u have time, anyway i am searching for things that 'll keep me away from writing my thesis and seems i am succeding ;)

Ananthi Sankaran

Thursday, August 28, 2008

I thought my next blog 'll be abt my trip to India, but i came across this famous speech of Martin Luther King in BBC, and felt that no one must miss this, so posting the weblink here.
I was truly drowned like many millions. It is just not like any speeches given by our leaders, but something that truly came from his heart, something that he honestly yearned for.

so sit back, relax, read, feel and enjoy!!!!

Ananthi Sankaran

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Next day we headed for Schönbrunn Palace, another UNESCO heritage site (two important heritage site in two days yipeeeeee) where we had to stand in a long Q to buy the tickets to enter, an usual thing in all the touristic attractions. This palace was enormous, gigantic, and so much different styles, some were the traditional Austrian and few rooms were decorated in Chinese and Japanese styles. The queen at that time Maria Theresa of Austria, was very much influenced by the eastern style of décor. After strolling in the palace and taking into as much info as possible from the audio guide that they gave us with the ticket, we headed for the fun part in the palace, the palace gardens. They had zoo and games like maze, musical steps, some science related games. After finishing a typical Austrian lunch in the palace restaurant and hopping into all the games possible, we headed for the famous Vienna state opera. The Opera was closed by 6 pm so we could not visit inside but met two people who were trying to sell the tickets for an opera somewhere else. We thought the prices were rocket high and politely refused the offer and headed for the St.Stephen’s cathedral to have a look inside as we peeped into another church with the same architecture and found the interiors were more interesting than the exterior. This is the place where Ludwig Beethoven, discovered that he was totally deaf, ok that is another story, so we entered the cathedral and were taken aback by the beauty, the sculptures that ornated the pillars, the main altar was a lot different from the ones we find in Germany or France. So after taking in the beauty completely we decided to head towards a theme park which is supposed to have a giantest giant wheel where we can see the whole city. So while coming out we again met another person who was trying to convince us to buy tickets for the opera. Since kee has not been to an opera we agreed reluctantly for the offer, plus he said that he’ll give us seats in one of the front rows, and at the centre, which he called the golden rows. The next set of rows were called the silver rows and the third may be the bronze, but I never bothered to ask as were so excited to watch an opera which consist of Mozart during its first half and Strauss during its second half, sitting in one of the front rows, with beautiful ballet dancers dancing for the tunes. So after buying the tickets of a hefty sum we set out to eye the whole of Vienna, through a giant wheel. What we did not know was this wheel is nothing but a theme park that offers this ride, and since we had to pay for each ride separately our minds quickly wandered away towards the more exciting rides than giant wheel.

Ho ho that was the most fun I had in a long time, these adrenaline testing rides always made me happy, so first we climbed on water splash where we got wet and the hopped into a roller coaster to dry our clothes ;) then my devil friend got fascinated by a ride that is like a swing, that swings and also rotates 360°!!!! And the swing is not something like a normal swing; it could swing a whole 180°. After she decided to take that ride, I refused to have a look at the ride, as it was too much frightening. Finally our turn came in the Q and we jumped into our seats, and I called all the possible gods existing, to save me until we have a safe landing. After fastening the belt and the armor around the shoulder, the ride started, hehehe it was a total fun, u feel nothing in ur stomach like in the giant wheel because that armor is pressing on ur stomach. But I just had one fear that I’ll slip in between the armor and the seat and fall down, given my extra strong physic, I thought anything is possible ;) after a safe landing, and thanking all the gods I called for help ,we headed for the opera as we were getting late. Our hair were totally bad because of several 360° rotations and we started to run for the opera trying at the same time to fix the hair. Luckily for us the ticket vendor said that during summer it is not necessary to go in formals, else with my bowl like pants and her colorful summer top, we would have got kicked out the instant we enter the gates. So with lots of struggle of reading the map we reached the place where the opera was to be held, a full two minutes late and the person rushed us to enter the room as we were late and the opera was abt to start, and he showed the door, for an instant from outside the door I could get a view of a part of the room and thought OMG should be enter through the stage, is it the only way are we that late and then I peeped into the room and I could not belive it, and I came out again and then again went in to absorb the reality, “we were cheated”. The room was like a 50 m2 room with 100 people, sweating like pig because of the heat, and we were asked to occupy the last rows!!! There were no gold or silver or bronze rows, for that matter we had some sort of chairs which were not neatly rowed, but were scattered. And totally there were only 5 artists, three in the violin, one on the piano and one with the big violin (I do not know the name). kee and me were stunned, that we paid so much to watch this disaster. As to pour oil in the fire, there came the opera singers, I could at least stand the male singer, but the female singer instead of just singing, started showing expressions which were terrible. Kee could not stand both of them, I even thought of whistling like in some road side shows as we were totally disappointed. Then came the dancers, they clearly had a tough time dancing ballet in the small space given n we felt pity for them, but then we were wondering, if all the artists were a part of this cheating process, n then concluded that only the master in the violin n that big violin man could be a part of this as they had a crooked smile in their face. We were curious to ask if all the people in the hall have given money like us, we nearly asked a German lady in front of us, but could not ask directly and she left. Then we went to the rest room where kee was determined to ask someone there and she was talking to someone when I was in the rest room and after we came out I asked kee if she asked someone n she replied yes and they paid more than us, at last that cracked a smile in our face hehehe ;)

I know we are terrible people, but we were not that badly cheated like the other few ;) but soon we were dull again thinking abt the opera and decided to eat our dinner cheap. So we grabbed a bite from Mc. Donald’s and started walking n suddenly we came to a big square with a beautiful building and after admiring for some time we crossed the building to find another nice, one and another, and we found that we are in the street which connects all the important monuments in Vienna. So we took a walk seeing the beauty, all the buildings are beautiful in the night with the lights highlighted at certain places. So after a long walk we reached just in time to catch the train back to our hotel. Me and kee slept like angels after a long day of adventures.

The next morning, we had a so-so breakfast at the hotel, checked out the room and went straight to the opera. The opera was breath-taking and magnificent. It was destroyed during a war and what they have now is a mixture of different type of architecture. The funny thing was the emperor who built the opera house was not an opera man and used to sleep with the curtains drawn inside his sitting box!!! The guide who guided us inside the opera told us that the tickets cost normally €10-€250!! And with the lower cost tickets u cannot have any view of the orchestra. And during the Vienna ball which is held during the month of February, the entrance ticket alone is €250 and can go upto €17, 000, I have made no mistake in putting zero’s, it is true!!! And for a concert of Mozart, there are normally 50 musicians and for Strauss, nearly 150, hehehe now u can imagine the frustration that we had yesterday. After the opera visit, we were again reminded of the haircut plan and started hunting for a decent hair salon, n to our frustration we found none. Then we started hunting for a pizza shop as our tongues were totally dead by eating that morning breakfast. And for a while we could not find any, if we found they were those high class restaurants, not affordable by students. Then at last we found one and had a sumptuous meal and had our favorite dish and with the feeling of ecstasy we set out to take the bus for the airport. Towards the bus station, we were walking happily discussing abt the food we had and laughing back like small children. The bus driver announced that again that transport is not free and we have to pay for the tickets. Since the price was not that high as that of that green colored ticket, we started digging our bags for the money, an enormous tip for the happy food that we had in the cute Italian restaurant left is with some shortage feew cents. With the bus departure in 5 min, we had to search for an automat to take out some money and as if the day was not for us, not even one automat was in the vicinity, I stopped a lady hoping to ask where the automat was, but before I could ask she said I do not know anything and walked off in her awful golden dress, which would have been cute if she had replied me, then finally found an automat took some money paid the driver and off we went to the airport losing all the little happiness we felt after eating a wonderful lunch. Reached the airport, finished our security check and stopped in a souvenir shop to buy something to remind me of this now stupid trip, which ‘ll be a wonderful trip that we made and make me laugh at all the stupid adventures when I grow old.

After writing this blog I actually would like to visit this city again and make things straight between me and the city, Vienna I love u :)

Ananthi Sankaran

Hi, this is a long post, and is in two parts, so people who have no time pls do not read as it is going to consume ur time :) so off i go abt my trip to Vienna

My trip to Vienna was an unexpected one. Last Wednesday when I was abt to close my lappie after a tiring day of work, my friend from Düsseldorf buzzed me just to talk for 10 min, n share some gossips ;) so I had no choice but to agree to talk. But what started as a short 10 min conversation, ended in a full 2 hrs chatting and the end was two tickets to Vienna in two days!!!

So the flight was from Köln, a city in Germany, since I live in the border between France and Germany, for me going to Köln is just a 2 hrs drive. So, I decided to surf a car sharing website to take to Köln and luckily found a person travelling to Köln a lot earlier than my flight schedule, but I agreed to share as it is cheaper and asked my friend to reach a bit early so that I would not get bored in the city roaming alone.

So Saturday arrived and I was so excited about my instant trip to the land which is the home of Mozart and Strauss, where the classical music was in the air. Someone told me that if u r in Vienna, u have rewind your clock 200 years back as it is full or history and wonders. Being a fan of classical music I could not wait to see and feel Vienna. So in spite of me being a late riser, I got up early to reach Luxembourg to share the car to go to Köln. My car partner was supposed to meet me in front of the railway station at 9:30 in the morning, but instead of him, I received a mssg from him saying that he is sick n cannot come to Köln today!!! Had this thought dawned earlier in his mind I could have had my good morning sleep and would have started late? So with a hurry I went to the ticket counter to buy train tickets to reach my destination, and ended up paying four times more the price than what would have been 2 hrs quick drive for a lot less money. But I made up my mind not to worry too much as this short vacation is for relaxing after a too much hectic schedule I was having for the past several weeks. So to pass my time I bought a novel called the “girls of riyadh”, which the author compares itself on the lines of “Sex and the City”, except for the city in not New York. So I started reading, while waiting for the train and in the train, which turned out to be a pretty comfortable journey, that took some three and odd hrs to reach Köln and I had no neighbors so I stretched myself like in a very comfortable couch and preyed my book. In between, I thought, since my flight is around 6pm, I can get into some hair salon and have a quick hair cut which I wanted to do for a long time, also my friend is there so she could give me some suggestions for the styles, so I quickly thought abt the different haircuts I would like to try and thought of convincing my friend too, to get one as it’ll be fun, maybe we could end up getting a similar hair cut and go around like sisters!!! So with all my different dreams, I reached the Köln station and immediately found my friend waiting for me. So I told her abt the haircut plan and she readily agreed (there was no use of planning so much as I thought she would not be interested, n was thinking abt ways of convincing her, a total waste of time, lol) so when we came out of the station, immediately there it was the largest cathedral in Germany, a UNESCO world heritage site, right in front of us. I never expected the cathedral to be so close to the railway station, u come out of the station and u face the cathedral which was one the tallest structure in the world. So admiring its beauty I asked Kee (my friend), so when is the flight, shall we have a haircut n go to eat, or eat n go to the airport (for both of us having a good meal is very important, something we learnt after come to Europe) n she replied, yes if it is possible, the flight departs by 4:00 and we have to be there by at least 3:00, and half hr to reach the airport so we have to start from the main station by 2:20 pm for train, and then the time was 1:45, so we postponed our haircut plan for Vienna and quickly rushed to have a bite at the nearest restaurant to be in time for the train. At the airport, both of us had a small backpack, very small to be checked in but some things which needed to be checked in, so we asked for a check in baggage, and the airline asked us to pay extra for the check-in, for which we had to pay more than the things in our bag, so we dumped the things that were forbidden and took our bags as hand luggage and boarded the flight for Vienna. We had a long list of things to buy, as few of the things we dumped and the rest because of confusion, both of us had not brought. So we planned to do some shopping in the city. At the Vienna airport, we went straight to the information, to buy some two days pass so that we need not buy each time a ticket when we travel, so we asked for some information and the man behind was frowning for all the questions we were asking, so I left the job to my friend who is now an expert in German thinking that hearing German can make him smile as it is the official language in Austria. Ha ha but that did not help too, may be it is what he is :D so after confirming twice with him abt the validity and the transport systems that we can take in Vienna with the two day card that we purchased, we headed for the train that transfers us from the airport to the city center. In the train every one had a ticket that was different from us, which was in green color that matched with the train interior and exterior. We laughed at others for buying a separate ticket for this train when there was an option of buying a two days ticket that can include all transports system and is nearly the same price as that of the green ticket. The trick of buying two days pass is an education we learnt after numerous travels in Europe. So when the ticket collector came we happily showed our passes to her, n she with a stern look said, ur ticket is not valid. We argued with her that we double checked that our ticket is valid everywhere in Vienna, and she said but u r not in Vienna, u r outside Vienna and ur ticket is not valid.

Hmmm so finally we had to buy those stupid green tickets and felt that now it is others turn to mock at us, we were so confident of our pass, but we did not think that rules are different in different cities though there are in EU. So after reaching the city centre, we hunted for a shop to buy the basic amenities that we did not have, so we were walking for long to find that all shops are closed, I rechecked with my friend that it was not a Sunday. Finally we stopped a Vinniean (resident of Vienna) to know y are all shops closed and she casually replied, ooh it is Saturday all shops close before 5pm. For both of us it was surprising because, in Germany shops close at 8pm sometimes even 9 and in Berlin station, I never found the shops closing, and in Paris too u can find some shops open till 9pm and Vienna which is another big capital , the shops close very very early. So to soothe our nerves we quickly grabbed an ice cream, and marched towards the cathedral, which is built in the baroque style, something we both have never seen. But as soon as we reached the cathedral we were not very happy as it resembled very much the cathedrals in Europe except for the roof n few sculptures, so we had no interest to see the interiors of it and so we strolled around the place searching for other interesting things and hoping we’ll find at least one shop that is open. After lots of hunting we decided to retire for the day as the clouds seemed to be budging with water were threatening us with its murmur. So we took the metro towards our hotel that we booked and by the time we reached the station, the rain started pouring heavily. We waited for few minutes until it stopped and marched towards our hotel following the map. The hotel had written in the website that it was only 350 m from the train station, but we never seemed to find the hotel at the place it was given. So we again stopped at a pizza shop to fill our stomachs and started walking in the slight drizzle that was soon going to turn into a heavy downpour. Finally we reached a hotel that had no name outside except for it is a hotel, and entered to enquire abt our hotel and later found from the floor mat that this is the hotel that we had booked. So with all the stupid stares and the not very good conversations with the reception we went to our room discussing y are people here so cold sometimes?

After getting refreshed we were wondering what to do as both of us are not used to sleep that early hr, so we settled to watch the TV that they had provided. We switched the TV on and soon found that the remote and the channels were not working, so we called the reception and said our problem and in minutes a man came and checked the TV, he got little electric current from the back side of the TV and finally declared that the he cannot do anything and‘ll have to wait until the morning, when the rain might stop. So after he left, we found that the TV was working but with no volume. So to change the mood to a happy one, first we started guessing the dialogues of the hero and heroine in some movie and then we found a radio and played some nice songs. Then we started talking long stories that were untold and her adventures and mine, Indian economy, food, clothing, our future, our present, others future and others present and finally we dozed off.

Ananthi Sankaran

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Two days back, we had an all girls party, it had been a distant dream for me after coming to France for studies.
Coming from India, my conversation with boys has always been restricted to certain subjects, and some were untouched during discussion, this is how a normal conversation goes between girls and boys in colleges and schools, some three years ago. So when the only girls join together, there is much more fun, with unlimited gossips and discussions, questions and answers.
During my college days we were a gang of six, three boys and three girls, we used to have so much fun together, but we had more fun after the boys left, chitchatting, eating at the road side eateries etc.
After coming to France, i wanted to have friends like i had earlier, but here the lifestyle is different, all discussions are made in open in front of everyone, even if they are not their friends, here their priorities and secrets are different from us, and slowly i forgot my priorities and started tuning in myself to the lifestyle here. But few days back i happened to read a book by Stephen Clarke " Merde Actually", where he explains abt his life in France, believe it or not, each and every single word he explained abt France is true.
So he had written that after he went back to England when he saw a group if girls chatting in England, he realized that he never saw a gang of girls in France (the phrase is not exactly the same but the meaning is this one). Though i was not sure abt it, i decided to make a survey. So every time i saw a gang of people, i counted the number of girls in the gang, and found that there are never more than two or three girls in a gang and a girls gang always consist of two people. I do not know y but this is been the case most of the time, so i packed up my dream of long gossiping and chatting and criticizing, until two days back we had an impromptu party and finally it turned out to be an all girls party!!!!!
As expected there were no French, we were one Estonian, two Romanians, one Russian and one Indian and that is me!!!! We had a little slow start, but then our party got momentum and we had lots of fun, lots of food, lots to drink and lots to discuss and lots n lots to gossip. Finally, my dream was fulfilled and my soul is rejuvenated, i am feeling content now :) this is enough for me to run myself for another three weeks, i'll be going to India and 'll visit my friends again!!!! I am excited :D

Ananthi Sankaran

Thursday, July 3, 2008

I wanted my second blog to be beautiful, expressive, well written and was planning something for some time now. But something happened in my life that needs a mention.

Until few days ago, my life was like in a fairy tale, happy and peaceful :) except for the prince ;), and then reality hit
!$&*!"$'# baam*!$&*!"$'#
i became restless thinking abt the future that is in hold for me. I think most of us tend to think abt the worries more, than abt the happiness that is waiting around us to be relished.
But today morning, one of my friend, who i lost contact long long time ago because of a small fight, called me n said, "life is too short to worry n fight abt things, so lets be in touch again"
I am sure everyone has received mails saying things like this, all the time, but u never receive the right one at the right time, or we are too much pre-occupied with the worries that we fail to see the signs sent by the supreme power to lift us up. At this moment, i would like to thank my friend, i do not know what made him call me after such a long time, but it has defenitely put me back into the right path :) so here i go to continue my fairy tale and hope i have a " happily ever after :D"

Ananthi Sankaran

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Come out my baby, u have been inside the shell for a long time, she heard her mother cajoling.
She had always taken the safest side of the road, never experimenting and not even once have taken a risk. Her fear for the unknown, was mounting the pressure inside the shell, but she knew she could not stay in there for a long time. She could not suppress the voices of the devil, but she had to take a decision.
The shell cracked, the decision was made, the new air made her happy and she shrilled

"hey friends here i am entering the blog world with a hope to make my voices heard everywhere :)"

Ananthi Sankaran