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