Sunday, October 4, 2009

Appa, what is an oxymoron? I asked when I was six. A quick answer from appa made me feel proud, yehh my appa knows everything.

Appa appa do you know how to play kabbadi?? I asked curiously when I was ten, waiting to teach him how I played kabbadi that day, but a detailed explanation about the game only made me cut short my days' events in just two lines.

Tell me Appa where do we use Bakelite?? I asked thinking myself an expert in science as soon as I joined my bachelor's in Science. He casually answered, in pressure cooker handles. A small sense of disappointment sank in me, how does he know everything?

Appa do you know that formation of the stars there is called the Great Bear, I said pointing towards the sky showing a set of stars in the form of Ariel detergent powder spoon. He replied, yes and that is also called the Great Dipper. In the coming days my early morning walks turned out to be detailed astronomy classes. He showed me Orion, pole star, Venus, Jupiter, and Cassiopeia. Hmmm I thought is there anything that I know and Appa doesn’t know?

One day when myself and Appa were waiting for one of his friend, I saw Lakshmi passing by and my college memories rushed in my mind, with a Jubilant mind I said, Appa appa do you know what is her name??? Before giving him an opportunity to reply I said 'Lakshmi'. My appa looked at the passing by elephant and asked how do you know?? Did you read her name tag???
I snapped, "Can you see any name tag around her??? But I know and I’ll not tell you how". A small smile cracked in my lips. Ahh finally there is something that I know and appa dosen't :)

Ananthi Sankaran

Friday, May 22, 2009

The most fascinating fact I ever came across. In Europe Indian food is synonymous to its spices. But an article in the newspaper THE HINDU says that

“There was no onion, garlic, tomato, green and red chilli before 10th century A.D.

Dry ginger and pepper were only used instead of chillies. Onion came to India from Mexico and chillies, both green and red came to us from Northern part of Chile after 10th Century A.D.

Portuguese brought garlic and cloves to India”

The link is given here.

I would really like to know the origin of the other spices, I’ll do a search this weekend.

Have a happy weekend

Ananthi Sankaran

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Of late bizarre incidents and dreams are happening in my life.
To start with, one day at 1 am, I heard a tap in my door. Thinking that it was one of my neighbors, I opened the door to find a drunken man asking if my name is Fatima. I was quick enough to close the door, but the next day when I narrated this incident to my friends, I got some hard, word bashing for opening my door at that time of the night without asking who it was.
Another night I had a very strange dream, I go to a shoe shop and find a really huge pair of shoes, just then a tall man comes to pick up his order of the exceptionally large shoes, when I asked what his shoe size was, he told me 1.25 meters!!!!! When I said about my dream to my colleagues, their question was, what kind of dreams are you getting? Are you alright?
After the laughing incident in my sleep (see the previous blog), I went home thinking about that incident and laughed again in my sleep. But this time no one was around and I laughed at myself in fact in my dream, thinking about my earlier dream (confusing is it?? But true)
One day, I received a mail from the president of the Doctoral school in my city, asking me to meet him. Since he does not normally send mails like this, (as this is what one of my colleague told me), I lost my one night’s sleep thinking why did he want to meet me? Is he going to throw me out of the doctoral school? After all these voracious thoughts I went to meet him the next day only to find out that he just wanted to ask how is my research going and to know if I need any signatures from him since he is leaving for another country the coming week for a very long period of time. Strange isn’t it??? My colleagues were disappointed by this news as they expected something juicy =)), but a small part of me was happy because, he called me for this chit-chat and not the other students ;)
Finally today, when I was walking back to my lab dreaming in my own world after successfully helping one of my friends with something, I saw a man walking in front of me. Soon my mood changed and I started listing the things I should complete by today evening, when I heard that man call me. He said something quickly in French. French is a language I cannot understand well even when people speak slowly, so I asked him to repeat again, and he said that “I am a handicap, and I am unable to carry this bag, can you carry it for me?” Though he did not appear to be handicap, I said ok, as I assumed that he might be having tennis elbow like my mother which does not allow you to carry anything for a very long time. When I stretched my hands to take his bag, he started laughing loud and asked me if I will believe everything what others say and will not verify if it is true or not? My first reaction was anger, but seeing this guy laugh, my anger dissolved and started laughing at myself. I smiled and said ‘Nice one’ and quickly marched away. But was wondering why do strange things happen to me? Or is it that I am analyzing my life more closely while others don’t?
I blame it on coffee:). Studies show that more than 4 cups of coffee a day will make you hallucinate :). Of late I am living on coffee. No wonder I am hallucinating even in my dreams. From tomorrow I’ll try to drink less cups of coffee and more cups of concentration. By the way, I am writing this blog with a cup of steaming espresso in my hand :)

Ananthi Sankaran

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Getting a BE seat was like a cake walk for Somu. Though not a hard worker, luck has always been in his side. His parents managed to buy a piece of land when he was young. Blessing from the rain god and Lakshmi has always helped them to give a decent education to their only son, who always took advantage of his caste to get into reputed institutions and now has been selected for Scientist B position in BARC, Mumbai. The humble parents were so happy that their only son has become a scientist. Somu, who wanted to profit his parents ignorance to the fullest, demanded things to done ordering them to bring and do various things. His parents’ extra attention to him made him think that he has achieved the unachievable and became more arrogant and demanding. He started showing his arrogance to the poor and uneducated villagers and the villagers as a sign of respect fulfilled all his wishes and demands. Soon the time had come for Somu to join BARC. A grand farewell was given, with hired musicians, hired elephants to garland Somu, and with great pride Somu left his village. As soon as he reached BARC, Somu could not loose his demanding nature. He started ordering things to every person he met in the guest house and in the canteen. Initially the people just because of respect for another fellow human being, listened and carried out all his demands. He failed to realize that BARC is filled with high quality scientists and being an entry level scientist meant nothing to them. Soon his demands grew more and more and the people around him to whom he ordered became irritant and impatient. One day they decided to pull him out of the bed in the night and throw him in the mud water. So when Somu was fast asleep, the manager of the guest house, who was one of the victims, provided the key to his room to help others accomplish the mission. They silently carried him out of his room and swayed him and dropped him in a puddle filled with muddy water. The shock woke Somu from his sleep and he stayed still, trying to understand the situation. I, who had been a witness to all the happenings, could not stop laughing seeing the mud filled confused Somu. But as my laughter saturated, I heard a distant laughter from somewhere. I tried to look around and I felt like coming out a whirlpool. As I opened my eyes I saw my friend laughing overcoming her early morning drowsiness; she said “yeh, sapnon mein koi comedy film dek rahi thi kya??? (Translation: Hey were you watching a comedy film in your dreams??)”

Ananthi Sankaran

Monday, May 11, 2009

I read this article today. No wonder my friend who I know and talk like best friends for the past two months asked me yesterday if I own a microwave, while I was constantly telling her for the past two months that my main equipment for cooking is my micro-wave :)

Next time I must insert the things I wish to be heard in a gossip!!!!

Men, it is not only you who is struggling to understand women; women themselves cannot understand other women :)

Ananthi Sankaran

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Last time during my visit to India, I had a terrible flight journey. I badly wanted to take Srilankan airlines, but when I took it, I seriously regretted it. The overly sumptuous Indian food provided in the airplane made my stomach upset and I had to do frequent visits to the toilet interrupting the wonderful ramarajan movie that I was watching. But it did not matter to me because the idea of seeing my parents and friends gave me extra enthusiasm. My friends had decided to make a get-together on the very day I land as another of my friend was leaving to Mexico the very next day. So, with all these plans and dreams, frequenting the toilet was quite easy. As soon as I landed Chennai, to my surprise, the plane landed 1hr before and there was no ‘Q’ in the immigration line. So I came out of the airport earlier than anticipated. So I thought of cancelling my late flight to Coimbatore and decided to take an early one. After doing the check-in, I finally came to the boarding area an hour early. There was a group of foreigners with an Indian friend who probably have seen one of the mariamman festivals in the south and was making fun of different people’s reactions and beliefs. I thought I’ll give a call to one of my friend to find out the venue of the get-together so I went to the telephone booth. After trying for nearly 15 mins to all my friends I called my parents to ask if any of them called. My parents said none of them called, I did not tell my parents about my early arrival as I did not want to trouble them. (To receive me for this flight they should have started earlier from my house and they‘ll reach only after my flight lands.) So with the blood boiling that none of them cared to call to tell me about the meeting I sat there furious looking around and thinking to myself the efforts that I took to meet my friends. Suddenly I saw an old couple may be 85+ marching towards the seating area with an airhostess dressed in red color. The lady was in a wheel chair. The airhostess stopped the chair next to me and said to the old man that when they announce the flight you please board, I’ll take you wife to the airplane in the end. So until they announce the flight please wait.

Taken from (

By this time my flight was announced and the passengers formed a ‘Q’. Since there was a blast recently somewhere, there were extra check points before boarding the bus. I saw the old lady whispering to her husband something and he was desperately looking around for the red dress airhostess. When he could not find he slowly started pushing the wheel chair away. Seeing this, I felt sorry for him and approached the man and asked if he needs any help. He said, please my wife has to go to the toilet and I don’t think they’ll allow me in the ladies room and I do not know what to do. Overconfident about the Indian work ethics, I decided to take her to the toilet. So I asked the lady if I could push her to the toilet while her husband sat there. She said ok and I took her to the toilet. The cleaning lady who was frowning earlier, when she saw me with the old lady immediately came to my help as she knew it was not a one person’s job. So after cleaning her hands and legs when I came out to the boarding area, I saw the ‘Q’ had vanished. I quickly wanted to rush to the airline to say that I was left out, but the grandfather held my hand and tears fell from his eyes and blessed that you will be fine wherever you are. Though, happy that I could help someone, my head was telling me to rush to catch the flight. After taking leave from the couple I rushed to the counter to say that I was left out from the boarding. The guy in the check counter said that one of the passenger had informed that someone who was standing in the line and gone to help someone and had requested to stop the bus. I was not even checked but everyone in the counter said bye and when I entered the bus, I felt all the people were smiling at me. A sense of deep satisfaction sunk in me, a kind of happiness I have never felt before. The anger that I had for my friends flew away, my overly big teeth shined bright as I could not stop smiling. We help a number of people in numerous occasions, but when you help someone who is in real need of that help, the satisfaction that you get is priceless.

(This story is dedicated to one of my good friend with whom I had an argument few days ago about why someone should explicitly show some of their emotions at places where it is needed)

Ananthi Sankaran