Thursday, December 28, 2006

I'm Back I'm Back...

After my longest vacation ever I am back to my sunny California (which is actually real windy these days).

I had a wonderful time:

  • spent time with family
  • travelled a lot.
  • met old classmates.
  • saw lots and lots of movies.
  • ate a lot.
  • met Shekar's friends.
  • heard childhood stories of Shekar.
  • shopped a lot.
  • attended weddings.
  • sang Christmas carols
  • attended early morning Christmas service
  • took loads of pictures...
Happy New year to all.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

India, Baby

(has to be read with the same energy Joey says London Baby in Friends)

Yes folks, my much awaited India trip is almost here.

The past few weeks I have been very busy shopping and deciding on what to take, as I hate doing things last minute. I still have loads and loads to do so will not be blogging regularly (like if 2 post a month is regular..), and will not be reading blogs too.

On the bright side when I come back I will have loads and loads of things to post about.

So wishing Everyone, Happy Thanksgiving, Merry C'mas and a very very Happy New Year..


Friday, November 10, 2006

I Wish I Wasn't a Kid Anymore

So as promised here is my part 2.

  1. Corresponding to the point 1 below, I always used to have bruises. My elbows and knees we always scrapped. I have so many scars even today from all those falls. The reason I hated every time I fell and scrapped my skin I would go home bleeding. Before getting any sympathy from mom I would get yelled at, hten she would wash that wound in Dettol. I call still feel the burn all that feeling comes back when I see a bottle of Dettol.
  2. Hand me downs: This was one thing I hated the most. Having a sister older, who kept her things very neat and clean meant it would be passed down to me. In the earlier days my parents thought it would be so adorable to see both their kids dressed alike, so they would get us the exact same dress. Later we were told this was done to avoid conflict. So which meant when we outgrew our dresses I would get Veena's which was not a bad it, but it ended up being the same dress I wore years ago. Now after so many years, Veena and I are the same size so when we visit each other's we raid each others closets and take what we like.
  3. Competitiveness: I used to be so competitive back when I was a kid. I had to win in everything I took part, be it sports or giving speeches. It has worked to my advantage now that I think of it, but I wish I had taken it slow back then and enjoyed school days than overly cautious about making sure I was the best (or at least tried to be) in everything I did.
  4. Sunday School: My parents took us to church every Sunday, which was okay. But what I disliked was going to Sunday School (Sunday school is classes held at church before or after the service where kids are taught about the religion). Going to classes, learning new songs were all fun, but we used to have exams and competition which I wasn't much of a fan of. The main reason was none of my non-Christian friends had to do this, so every Sunday I remember complaining to my mom so and so doesn’t' have Sunday school why should I. But these days when I got to church I feel so happy that my parents sent me to Sunday school.
  5. Curfew: This was more of a teenager thing. I was supposed to be home before 10.00 PM no matter where I went. When I was in college all friends would hang out till late at night, but my parents would never let me. I have had so many arguments with them regarding this. Now when I come to think of it I would act the same way when my 17 year old would ask me about staying out late at night.
  6. Unable to keep in touch - I had so many great friends back in 3rd grade, 6th grade and most of us moved around so we never kept in touch. 9th grade and 10th grade we started writing letters. I so wish when I was younger I had a way to keep in touch. I'm able to track most of them now on orkut, but still am looking for a dear friend from 3rd grade.
  7. School Uniform: We did not have a fun uniform, navy blue skirts and white shirts. But what I hated about the uniform was that fact we had to wear read ribbons. My younger days I had short hair, so it wasn’t much of a deal, then my hair grew longer and I hated those pig tails I had to wear to school with red ribbons at the end. Who wears ribbons anyways?

I could come up with only seven…(this too I had to think for a week)

Thursday, November 02, 2006

If you carry your childhood with you, you never become older - Tom Stoppard

This is a two part tag, tagged my Silverine.
Write 10 things you loved about your childhood
Write 10 things you hate about your childhood
Tag other people.

I put together a list of things I loved and I seemed long enough to be a post so the things I hated will be a post by itself.
Things I love about my childhood:

  1. The amount I could play. Everyday after school I came home changed my uniform and played with Veena and other kids outside till our mom called us. No I get back from work and need a huge motivation to even go to the gym. It used to be catch, then skipping, then Badminton. How many of you remember help sister? Even school had designated periods to play.
  2. Friends - It was so much easy to make friends and keep friends. Nothing I said upset his/her feeling. We would be do (Katti) for a while then palam (batti) soon. Its not that I don't have friends now, I do but one has to very cautious what one says as one gets older
  3. Food - The amount of food I ate had no bounds. I was never an obese child but I ate a lot. Not having to worry about carbs and sugar was definitely better times, all I had to do was munch munch munch
  4. Sneaking and Eating - This is something that Veena and I did regularly. We would sneak into the kitchen and steal food. It was not because mom never fed us, but it was mainly for the rush and thrill one feels. Things that we ate were Maltova, Thenga (coconut), sugar and not just limited to these. Above all was the joy when mom woud take the Thega and see bite marks on it and ask who it was, we would both together say it was a mouse.
  5. Sibling - Veena was the best sister one could as for, we are still close, but we both have lives of our own now. As a kid she watched my back, she stood by my side even when she knew I was wrong. In private she would come and tell me what I did was wrong. She played with me everyday, even though I was 3 years younger than her, she would play all my games with me patiently. We still talk everyday but miss chechi a lot.
  6. Energy - Not once I remember getting tired as a kid. I can not even recall complaining to my parents that my feet hurt as opposed these days something or the other is always hurting.
  7. Festivals - Be it Christmas, Easter, Onam my parents always made sure it was celebrated. Dad always took days off for Onam (Christmas and Easter were holidays) every year and he would tell us the same story over and over again. For Vishu our neighbors would come and wake us up take us (with eyes closed of course) to their house to see Vishu Kani.
  8. Ela Podi (rice packed in a banana leaf) - After summer vacations when we travelled back to Tamil Nadu in train mom would make this Ela podi. It had Choru (Rice), Chuttu areche samandi (Coconut chutney), Etheykke mezhukuperrati. We were told we can eat our podi when we get to Ernakulum as that was the mid point of our journery. It is still fresh in my memory how Veena and I used to bug my mother from Kottayam asking is it Ernakulum yet, how far is Ernakulum. I haven't eaten a Ela podi for so long.
  9. Time - As a kid I was never busy. I had time for everything, study, play, read and eat. Now I hardly find time, did the days get shorter as I grew up? I don't study or play these days, still rarely find time to read a book.
  10. Passion - I had loads and loads of hobbies as a kid, stamp collection, currency collection, sticker collection and I used to be so passionate about them. I used to trade them with friends. It was all showcased in a book or album. Thinking about it, I believe it is still in storage somewhere. Now I can not think of one thing that I’m so passionate about, I do have new hobbies now but not the passion I had back then.
Part 2 to continue soon

Monday, October 23, 2006

Clown Feet

Every time I go to India, I set time (and money) apart for shopping. Shopping is a huge thing for me as I rarely buy Indian clothes here, because I think they are very over priced. Plus I visit India quiet often so I can resist not shopping for Indian clothes till my next visit.

The only thing I do not shop for is footwear. It all started during my India visit in 2003, I wanted to get a pretty pair of sandals to wear with my new gorgeous saris that I got 2 days ago. So I went into this shoe place in Ernakulum, as most of my shopping is done in Ernakulum. I visited 3-4 stores but none of them had my size. I was little disappointed as I saw few patterns that I adored. So gave up the sandal’s hunt and went to Goodwill (Goodwill is a huge accessory shop in Ernakulum and has 4 floor of just accessories. Once can spend more than two grand there in less than 30 minutes). Got me some Jewelry, bindi and I was in much better mood.

Next stop was Thiruvalla, went to couple of store in my quest to find sandals, still no luck. Having no success there Antony chetan (he drove us around during our whole trip there), feels sorry for me and say "Molle there are lot of store in Chaganacherry I'll take u there" So I nodded with all the excitement and went to Chaganacherry.

Unable to find sandals in two stores I was disappointed. Antony chetan again cheers me up by saying there is another store in the corner lets go there and see. We pull up to the store and I saw that they had a huge collection, and that sight made me have faith. So I walked in and they started showing me sandals. After 20 minutes of still not having luck the salesman brings out this not so good looking sandals, and as luck would have it that fits me perfectly. I stare at these sandals as I do not want to get something that I may not wear then it strikes me this is guy's sandals. I ask the salesmen "Ithu anugalude cherupu alle? " (Isn't this guy’s sandal?) For which he replies with out a twitch that "Ithre valiya kaal unda penugallum iganethe aanu idunathu" (Girls with such big feet do wear guy’s sandals). I smiled and dragged my mother out of there and ever since I have never visited a footware place in India.

Now Indian things are so "IN" here that I can walk to any store and pick up nice Indian looking sandals to go with my sari, and yes I can find them in my size.

For all the curious people who are wondering what size I wear, I wear a US size 10. This chart might help to put things in perspective .

This post is inspired by M where she describes her ordeal of finding shoes in America

Friday, October 20, 2006

Its Diwali...Play it safe

Everyone has his or her way to celebrate Diwali.

Ours was entirely different we didn't have any pujas (we being of Christian faith), but my parents did not want us to feel left out so they always bought fire crackers for us.

On the way back from work dad would pick up the crackers that we would like from the store, this happens like a day or two before Diwali. Veena and I would wait for dad to get back from work those days just to see which ones he picked out. In the beginning years he would only bring Chakram, puthiri and kabi thiri (I’m so sorry that I can not translate this, but this should help)

The day of Diwali like everyone who celebrated Diwali, we would take showers in the evening, wear our newest clothes (newest means - among all clothes, clothes we haven't worn that much, we never got new clothes for Diwali) and wait for dad and mom to light the crackers. Finally they would come and all four of us would enjoy spending the evening together lighting things. As we got older dad started getting us things that went boom, rocket and mala padakam.

All our fire cracking session would end with mala padakam, then we would call it a day and go inside and eat all the sweets our Hindu friends brought over to our place.

Years went by and one year Veena says “Do you realize we are just burning money on Diwali”. For which I replied, no not really, we feel happy when we burst fireworks so we are paying for happiness. Some how she convinced me (I was may be 13 years old) that it was better to ask dad for the cash he spends on fire crackers to be evenly divided between her and me. So for Diwali every year from then both Veena and I got cash and we stayed home and ate sweets while the whole neighborhood was outside burning cash. I never felt guilty about not enjoying that day, as I got cash instead.

For me Diwali was not about Ram coming home, or victory of good over evil, but it is about my parents spending time with us and making each Diwali memorable, even though it was something that we did not believe in.

No neighbors to bring sweets over, so I'm making Kesari today.

Happy Diwali to all.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Happy Birthday To My Abode

My blog turns 1 today (I actually forgot about it, and Jaguu reminded me - Thanks Jagu cheta). I can not even believe that it has been one year, since I started blogging. Even though I have only 68 posts in this one year, I managed to stay alive and kicking.

I have had couple of people tell me that reading my blog makes them happy, that it brings a smile to his/her face. I'm so glad that I have had this effect on all you people.

What better post to mark a year than this, a tag from Alexis

1. Are you happy/satisfied with your blog, with its content and look? Does your family know about your blog?
I'm so happy with my blog. I never considered myself as a writer and I love to have a medium where I can put thing I feel like and have people read it. This blog has introduced me to so many people and so many places. I love the look of this blog, it is so peaceful and serene. The best thing about this template is you do not see the face of the girl, so she can be happy or sad, but you never know. So more attention is given to the environment and it dictates happiness regardless of how the girl feels. No one other than Shekar knows about this blog, and I like to keep it that way.

2. Do you feel embarrassed to let your friends know about your blog or you just consider it as a private thing?
I consider it a very private thing and I would never send the link to friends or family, because then I would be more cautious of what I write.

3. Did blogs cause positive changes in your thoughts?
Not much really, I'm a very positive person. Regardless of how bad a situation is I can find something about the situation that is good. My blog is mix of my everyday life or my memories nothing much thought provoking. But when ever I write about my memories I feel very happy for rest of the day.

4. Do you only open the blogs of those who comment on your blog or you love to go and discover more by yourself?
I do both. I definitely visit people who comment on my blog and I bloghop. Mainly DesiPundit and Kerala Blogroll are my sources. If I'm on someone's blog and I read an interesting comment I definitely click and go visit them .

5. What does visitors counter mean to you? Do you care about putting it in your blog?
I do have a visitors count. I the beginning I used to be so excited when the number went up. I was so happy when it hit hundred (25 was my refresh I confess), then 1000, then 5000. Now it is more like a number, I'm more interested in where people come from, what they read. I have more readers in US then in India. Like when I was creating the new template it helped me by showing what majority of reader's resolution was so I could cater to that. I love the most about my visitor count is to see visit lengths. I just get happy when I see people spend more than an hour here.

6. Did you try to imagine your fellow bloggers and give them real pictures?
I've actually seen most of my fellow bloggers who I follow regularly (yes Archana, I have seen yours too). More than look I associate age with my bloggers.

7. Admit. Do you think there is a real benefit for blogging?
Benefit in the sense I have met some nice people. But there other blog like Mumbai Help which benefited lot of people in times of need. I always liked writing but I never got started, this has provided a medium to express myself. I just hope it lasts for a while and after years I can look at this and go wow.

8. Do you think that bloggers society is isolated from real world or interacts with events?
That is a misconception in the real world. They think bloggers have no life, on the contrary I believe bloggers are just regular people who writes in a public forum.

9. Does criticism annoy you or do you feel it's a normal thing?
I rarely get criticized, its not because I have the perfect grammar BUT it is because the people who read it. I have a very few loyal readers who let it slide if I make a mistake. There have been instance I read one of my post after few months and I realize that I have the grammar wrong, this post would have like 15-20 comments, but no one mentioned that mistake. It is because my readers do not really care about these mistakes I make. I do realize that my usage is incorrect, but they do not make it a point to point it out to me. There are few instances, someone has pointed it out and I have corrected it soon.

10. Do you fear some political blogs and avoid them?
I have an inclination for personal blogs, and those are the once I follow. Political blogs never attracted me, so I avoid them. It is not fear, but it is just not interesting to me.

11. Did you get shocked by the arrest of some bloggers?
I think everyone is responsible for what he/she puts out on the web. If the content or the intentions for the content requires an arrest as arrest should be made. A freedom of speech does exist, but according to me that is one freedom that comes with lots of responsibilities.

12. Did you think about what will happen to your blog after you die?
I have thought about this few times. I have decided to give my log in to Shekar so he can put a note up here, so all my readers don't keep wondering. I'm sure Shekar will do no such thing, but hey at least I tried.

13. What do you like to hear? What's the song you might like to put a link to in your blog?
I'm still a sucker for slow melodious Malayalam songs.

Movie Name: Aniyathi Pravu (1997)
Singer: Sujatha, Yesudas K J
Music Director: Ouseppachan
Lyrics: Ramesan Nair
Year: 1997
Director: Fazil

Ennum ninne poojikkam ponnum poovum choodikkam
Vennilavil vaasantha lathike
Ennum ennum en maaril manju peyyum premathin
Kunju maarikkuliray neeyarike
Oru poovinte peril nee izha neytha raagam
Jeevante shalabhangal kaathorthu ninnu
Iniyee nimisham vaachaalam………..

(Ennum ninne poojikkam)

Ezhezhu chirakulla swaramaano nee
Ekaanthayaamathin varamaano
Poojakku nee vannal poovakam
Dhaahichu nee ninnal puzhayaakam
Ee sandhyakal allithenchintukal
Thoraathe thoraathe dhaaha meghamay…pozhiyaam…. (Ennum ninne poojikkam)

Aaakasham nirayunna sukhamo nee
Aathmaavilozhukunna madhuvo nee
Mohichal ninte manavattii
Mothiram maarumbol vazhikaatti
Seemanthini sneha paalazhiyil
Eeyormmathan than lillyppoonthoniyil
Theerangal theerangal thedi oomale…thuzhayam….. (Ennum ninne poojikkam)

And I tag ROS

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Tagged again..

Rules of this tag:

  1. Name the person who tagged you.
  2. 8 things about you.
  3. Tag 6 people.

EU has tagged me, she rarely tags me so I had to get on it right away as opposed to my 1 month to do tags. In the beginning these kinds of things were easy. Now to find 8 things that no one (almost no one) knows about me is hard, so here it goes.

  • This is one thing that will come as a surprise to all, I do not like to cook. I can do all the dishes in the world, fold all the clothes, iron all the clothes. If I did not have to eat I would never cook.
  • I never gamble with money. I think there is no point in loosing hard earned 5 bucks at the slight prospect of getting 10 bucks.
  • I hate to loose, be it anything. During school years I had to win in everything that I took part, so I worked very hard and most of the time I did win. This leads to the next point.
  • I only bet when I know I'm 100% right. I almost never bet money, especially these days most of my bets are with Shekar and I bet chores these days.
  • I'm very good at giving space. If I even get a slight hint, that the person needs to be left alone, I would not mind leaving them alone.
  • I'm very good at keeping in touch, be it on phone, emails or personal visits.
  • I can not sing to save my life, but that doesn't stop me I still sing.
  • I love to pop bubble wraps.

6 people who I tag

  • Archana - She reads everything I write.
  • Deepthi - She is purani reader of my blog, but I have never tagged her.
  • Jaguu - usi ka line, I do a tag and you don't, yeh kabi nahi ho sakta.
  • Shilpa - Like to know more about you, that simple.
  • ROS - If I don't she will jabardasti make me do it.
  • Wolf - My first tag to him.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006


Growing up I was a very naughty kid, I know it is hard to believe as on my blog I come across as this matured women (I hear Shekar scoffing). I some how landed in trouble. I used to be very curious, not about people, but about things. How does this work, what would happen if I did this? This quest led me to do a lot of stupid things.

During summer vacations trip to Kerala happened every year. These were loads of fun as there were more places to explore. So one fine day I walking by the Erithil (shed for cows), saw an empty bulb holder. And I went wow, let me stick my thumb in it and see how it feels. Gadagadagada - that is how it felt, I ran and told ammachi (grand mother) what had happened because by that age I had figured, you tell mom, you get yelled at, you tell ammachi, you get sympathy. Ammachi knows lot more than my mother, because she brought my mother up. (It didn't take a lot for me to change that view as I got older because I was convinced that I knew more than my mother - Now I'm back to mom knows more). Ammachi explained it to me that I should never touch things that I don't know about, and that was it as opposed to mom which would have been a chutta peda (spanking)

Years passed by and I'm supposed to get wiser, that is a myth. In my earlier teens I used to have short hair and the only hair accessory I had were band like this.

I had dozens of this kind of band, of which my favorite one was the black metal one; hence I wore it a lot. One day I was for some reason I was staring at an outlet (the thing where we plug in stuff), and I went voila, how fun it would be to put both ends in the outlet and saw what happened. As most of you would have assumed I felt the hair band go gadagadgada and I threw the hair band out of my hand, and that was the last I saw of it.

Mom had this huge thing about hair not being clean. Anytime we touched our hair we were supposed to wash our hands. As I grew older (again not wiser) I started wearing my hair long. So hair used fall on my face which very gracefully I used to tuck behind my ear. Then this one day I got this idea to play with my hair using my tongue (kinda gross now that I think of it). I would just go round and round and that kept me entertained (life was so simple those days). Then one day it happened, one single hair got knotted around one taste bud and boy did that hurt. There is no way I could go to mom for the rescue, the first questions I would get was what was hair doing in your mouth. So I quietly went to my room, looked at the mirror and worked on removing the knot. After 15 minutes of struggling I somehow got knot removed (or the hair broke or something). After this experience never ever has my hair got anywhere near my mouth.

These are just a few, I got loads more. But before I put those up, what stupid things have you guys done? Or am I the only one?

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Order Order

I am a huge preacher and follower of order (like I haven't mentioned that a million times). And by order I do not mean Order as in Law and Order, but more like this goes here, that goes there.

Even as a kid my room was always clean. I had a table that had 3 draws and on the bottom were thing I rarely used, middle draw had things I used often and the top one had pens, pencils, glue and miscellaneous stuff like that. My Badminton Racquet was on the wall once I was done playing and with the birdie on the top of that nail. During my early school years books were arranged in my bag based on the order the classes were. If first period was English, English book was on the first one, and after using I would put it all the way in the back so next period's book would be up front.

I would put everything back after I used it. Years have gone by and this need for Orderliness grew with me.

Here is a list of things I do on a regular basis:

  • I need to fold clothes right after laundry is done.
  • During folding I have a pile going on by the side called, the ironing pile. Once all the clothes have been put away I iron the clothes in my ironing pile. So when I am in a rush to get to work I can pull out any outfit and it will be ironed.
  • My closet is L shaped walk-in closet, and in there I have dress clothes on one side and casual clothes on the other. Each side is further divided in to pants and shirts, and a small section for skirts. Indian clothes are tucked away as I rarely get to wear them.
  • All the kitchen skills (I don't have that much skill, so we can call it kitchen habits) are learnt from my mom. Whenever I helped her in the kitchen, I was supposed to put everything away after use. So it is like, take salt from shelf, use it and put it back. So now when I cook I put back all my masalas, so when I'm done cooking there is less to clean.
  • I need to pay all bills on time (more like the day they arrive).
  • My spoon draw (everyone has a spoon draw right?) is compartmentalized and all the spoon heads should face the same direction (it just looks so pretty like that).
  • Like I mentioned before everyone on my IM list is grouped based on where I met them. I have a group school1, school2, college, work.
  • I have a list going on for all the books I would like to read, as I blog hop and see something that I like I add that to my list.
  • I have the same thing (as above) for movies too.
  • All the books on my shelf are arranged by size, if two books have the same size, then it is alphabetized.
  • Speaking of Alphabetized I have this major need to alphabetize everything that can be alphabetized, it is so easy to find it.
  • While listening to CDs (I can put 6 CDs in the dash of my car) I can not just listen to few songs and play another CD, I have to finish all the songs in the currently playing CD.
  • After I get back from any trip, I need to unpack as soon as I can. I have to put all the toiletries away. I have to download all the pictures from my camera (this is more b/c I really wanna see the pictures).
  • After shopping when I get home I need to put away all the groceries I bought. They just can not stay in a bag. Not just groceries, be it clothes, shoes everything.

These are just few of the things I could think of, but believe me there are a lot more.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Amma Veshakunnu - Mom I'm hungry

Warning: This post has a lot of Malayalam in it.

Jaguu and Jiby tagged me this a while back to write about 10 Things I Miss Of Mom's Cooking. When I read his tag, I decided I'm gonna keep a list (me and my obsessions with lists) at work and home and when ever I think of a food I will it down. Today as I sit to compile these two lists together I have more than 20 dishes, so I'm going to put down 10 among those twenty.

  • Achapam - Mom is the queen of snacks, she would randomly make snacks. Achapam is something she used to make often and she would make loads of it too. Now all her snack making schedule coincides with Veena or my visit. So dad asks us to visit more because he only gets to eat these when we girls go home.
  • Adda - Adda is again very easy to make but requires bannana leaf that I have not managed to find it close to my place. Mom used to put little extra sugar in Veena's and mine and she would mark the banana leaf so we could spot ours.
  • Appam - Doesn't matter Pal appam or Velyappam, mom used to make these so regularly on Saturday morning. She used to make mutton or potatoes stew to go with this.
  • Beef - Don't get me started on mom's beef curry. I make beef curry too, it is no where close to what she makes. My beef curry's gravy is never enough to eat kappa, by pieces are usually bigger. Above all mine has an orange color and hers has a nice dark brown color.
  • Chakka Kuru mezhukupurrati* (Jack Fruit seeds)- This is something that she used to make it when we were in Kerala, due to abundance of chakka kuru. It takes lots of effort as there are really small and to individually peel them is very time consuming. Veena, mom and I would sit around a heap of chakka kurru and peel. Veena and mine combined heap of peeled chakka kurru would be always less than moms.
  • Kappa(Yucca/tapioca) - This is a favorite dish of everyone who has ever tasted it. It is not the fact that I don't know how to make kappa (yellow color, not the white one), but it never comes out the way mom makes. Sometimes it is over cooked and sometimes it is not even cooked well.
  • Koorka mezhukupurrati* (I don’t know the translation for koorka, I googled it and saw some references to Chinese potatoes) - This is also very similar to the above, very time consuming to peel. This was my favorite; even to this day I can just eat this as a meal. Now here in US we get frozen, peeled koorkas that one can buy. So when mom hears that I'm going to visit she gets 2 packets and makes this. 1 packet for me and 1 for rest of the family.
  • Parupu Vada - This is a snack, Uzhunnu vada is more famous and u get them in all eateries but only few offer parupu vada. It is little hard to make, because we have to get the right texture so that it stays together when it is dropped in oil. I made it last month and as I dropped it in oil and it disintegrated, I served them as mini and micro mini parupu vada.
  • Puttu and Kadala - (Kalada – Chole) Puttu is very easy to make and back when I used to stay at home I used to make it under mom's guidance. These days breakfast has changed to cereals, waffles and bagels, as I do not have time in the morning to make elaborate dishes. Mom says to make it in the evening, for which I reply who wants to eat puttu for dinner. My Kadala curry is good to be eaten with roti and not puttu
  • Upperi (Banana Chips – Should be called plantain chips) - This is a mixed effort from both my dad and mom. Dad is the one who slices all the plantain. When we were kids, the weekend before Onam dad and mom would be making upperi. Upperi has become a tradition (detailed post on it later) in our house now. Anytime when we visit or when my parents visit they bring upperi.

Other day I made some rasam and I told mom that it is not as good as hers for which she responded, "I have been cooking for more than 30 years and you for less than 2 years". She also added "when I started cooking my food never tasted as good as yours do now, so don't worry you will be just fine". She then says "Your cake and Ethyekka appam is so much better than mine."

* mezhukupurrati - The vegetable (in my case, both are starch and not vegetable) is Julian cut, then cooked in water (80 %), salt, turmeric, chilli powder. Then tava is heated with oil and the vegetable is sautéed. We cook almost all vegetables like this.

All the above links are just so that my non-mallu readers can get a rough idea about the dishes. These are not my mom recipe's.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Vroom ZZZzzzz

I have not updated this space for the longest time, so a very sincere apology to everyone who kept checking this for updates. Especially Neihal her comment has prompted this post.

Since the weather is nice we have been riding our bike a lot. Other day we went to Yosemite on our bike. I really wasn't all excited as Yosemite is more than 200 miles from our place. But Shekar was so excited about taking those curves, so I agreed.

It was all nice and fun the first hour then I started feeling sleepy. Falling asleep on a bike that is moving 70 MPH is not a good idea so I made Shekar stop for coffee. After a huge cup of coffee I was little awake and we continued again.

If you guys haven't realized yet, I'm not a quiet person, so being quiet for the whole ride drove me crazy (it is very hard to talk and we both have full face covered helmets and winds are so strong that even when we raise the shade the other person can not hear). We basically communicate with a tap and touches. (Shekar has promised to buy us a pair of helmet headsets so we can chat).

So I can not talk to Shekar, can not listen to music (we have these heavy duty ear plugs to avoid wind noise), can not sleep so I just sat back and enjoyed the ride, I got bored again and thought of things that keep me entertained. So

  • I played athaksiri with myself
  • Did some self reflection
  • Thought about all my friends who I had not called recently, and made a mental list to call then when I get back home.
  • Thought about topics to blog about - (don’t remember any of those topics though)
  • Made a mental list of things to do when I get back home
  • Counted all my teeth with my tongue (did a best of three to get the correct count)
  • Counted how many male cousins I had compared to female cousins (9 males and 16 females), than calculated the ratio.

After few long hours we finally reached our destination, spent some time there and then rode back again.

On the way back I was so exhausted to do any of the above mentioned, but did manage to stay awake some how.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Turn Right to Tighten

I used to be dad's little helper around the house. So every Saturday morning, I used to help him wash his scooter. I was small, so he would make me slide under the scooter to clean it. I loved working with him and so he included me in all his projects.

As I grew older, he started giving me bigger responsibilities as hold the ladder as he climbed to clean the roof gutters. Then finally he started giving me projects of my own.

All this changed when I got married, now dad does all his projects by himself, and Shekar has got himself a little helper (not so little anymore, but little because I only help a little).

Working with both of them I realized that they actually love working with me and not another guy mainly because:

  • After working for a while, I would ask Kudikan vallom veno? (Do you need anything to drink).
  • I never tell them what to do, only assist in what they do.
  • I keep them occupied with conversations.
  • I can never tell if they are doing something wrong.
  • I will never make a statement "I have done this so many times before and you are doing it all wrong" OR "This is how you do it", OR "Give it to me"
  • I never boss them around while they working on car/bike/house because that is their turf and I obey.
  • If they get mad at me, I don't take it personally I know they are just annoyed it is very similar to when I cook and things don't turn as I like them to I get mad at them (especially Shekar and he knows not to take that personally).
  • I clean up as we go, if they wiped grease off their hands and the paper towel is on the floor I make sure I take it put it in the trash.
  • Above all I know my tools, I know the difference between flat head, Phillips, TORX screwdrivers. I know my wrenches and a lot more.

The whole last week was spent working on our car and bike and I have graduated from little helper to must have for Shekar (not that he has an option).

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

A-Z Tag II

I have already done a A-Z tag , but this is a little different, so here it is.

Tagged by

My Accent: While I'm talking to folks here I have an American accent.

Booze: Not huge on booze, but living in wine country, have wines occasionally.

Chore I Hate: (thought so much about this) There is nothing really I hate. I don't love to do any chore, but I don't mind doing them.

Dog or Cat: Dogs, cats I fear.

Essential Electronics: Microwave

Fragrances: Heaven from Gap, Mambo from Claiborne, Curve from Claiborne.

Gold or Silver: Silver, but I wear gold.

Home: Currently California.

Insomnia: Been blessed with the ability to sleep through anything every time.

Job Title: Blogger

Living Arrangements: With Shekar

Most Admirable Traits: Helpful

Number of times in hospital: Never been admitted *touchwood*

Phobias: Cats and snakes, fear of loosing a loved one.

Quote: "Hope is not the conviction that something will turn out well but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out." -- Vaclav Havel

Religion: Christian

Siblings: I older sister Veena

Time I Wake Up: Weekdays 8.00 AM....Weekends - do I have to wake up?

Unusual Talent or Skill: Can always strike up a conversation with anyone.

Vegetable I Love: I like them all, maybe everything other than Broccoli

Worst Habit: Short Temper

X-Rays, Last time: Dental almost a year ago.

Yummy Food I Make: Fish Curry

Zodiac Sign: Taurus - Now that explains a lot.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Sun Shined Last Night

When I started blogging it was never my intention to make friends, but was just to write what I felt like. Well, at least that is what I thought. Then one day, while I was on a trip I took few pictures of sunset and when I looked at them, I saw Rays of Sun, not the blog world ROS but regular rays of sun. So I thought I would send it to ROS.

Little did I know back then that this was going to be a start of a brand new friendship? The first emails were exchanged in late October and since then I have talked to her every day till today, other than the weekends and exchanged countless emails.

We are 2 very different people, share very different interest, the only thing we have common is that we both appreciate life. And that is what has held us strong. We know so much about each other's everyday life as to even what is going to be served for dinner.

After all the emails and phone calls later yesterday, ROS came to visit me. We spent a whole evening together like long time friends who haven't seen each other for a while. This was the first time I invited a person who I met online and I'm very glad that I did.

This meeting has only strengthened our friendship and I hope to see her more often as she has fallen in love with my Golden State.

As a tribute to this friendship, I'm adding the pictures here that started all this.

PS: Jagu, Malika, Vikram ,- As promised I served her Masala Dosa and Sambar for dinner.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

I Feel Pretty oh so Pretty

I'm a strong believer of beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

For me a girl to be beautiful, has to have curly hair, should have great calves and biceps. By calves and biceps I don't mean the body builder type, but more like a defined shape.

So I was all into getting biceps myself. So I started lifting weights. Shekar guided me through this whole process. He showed me the correct way to lift them, the way to stand when I lifted and all.

So I would lift weights, started with 8 pounds, moved to 10, then 12 and finally 15. So I started seeing the shape on my arms and I was a very happy person. I would flex my muscles and show them off to Shekar. I did this for almost a month and whola, I was pretty according to me.

Then one day, I was getting ready for an occasion and I decide to wear saree and then the unthinkable happened. The blouse for the saree doesn't fit me anymore, because of my newly existing biceps. Since all my blouses are the same measurement, this meant, none of them are going to fit.

So I have decided that I do not want biceps anymore I just wanna wear my sarees.

Hopefully this happens soon as I love wearing sarees.

Me to Shekar: What should I lift for my biceps to go away?

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Travel 101

I had specified in my one of my previous posts that I am organized and my organization skill comes to life when I'm planning to go on a trip.

I'm flying tonight (just me, no Shekar) to go spend the weekend with Veena and here is a list of things I did to get ready for the trip.

  • Got the ticket almost a month ago ( I can never be spontaneous)
  • Both at home and work I have a list of things I need to take with me. If I remember something new I run and jot it down on my list so I don't forget.
  • Make sure I have books to read on the plane. Went to the library and got two suspense novels. It has to be suspense else I would get bored after the first 20 minutes (flight is almost 6 hrs)
  • Week prior to leaving I have all the outfits planned. Friday I'm gonna wear Capri pants with white t-shirt and so on.
  • Check with Veena on are we planning to do anything special. Like Sunday are we going to church? If so I need to take Church clothes.
  • Week before the actual day my packing starts. No it not packing in actual sense, it more like I make a trip pile and add things to it every day. Actual stuffing into suitcase happens the day of the trip.
  • Decide what I am gonna bring back from Veena's place (Remember when my mom came I gave her 2 sarees to stitch falls, she left it at Veena's place when she visited her place like 2 weeks ago), and take the suitcase according to that.
  • Cook, since I'm only gone for 3 days, but still made some food so Shekar has enough to last him till Sunday.
  • Do the laundry 2 days before the trip so I have good choice available clothes for me to decide what to take, and when I return I do not have to worry about not having clothes to wear.
  • I hate coming back to a messy house so I start a cleaning spree 2 days prior to the trip.
  • Day of the trip:
    • Print Boarding Pass
    • Get some money from the ATM
    • Straighten my Hair
    • Final packing (stuffing into suitcase)
    • Make sure cell phone is charged to 100%
    • Check the weather both here and at Veena's place
    • Skim my lists and make sure I haven't forgotten anything

Yes, folks I'm going to visit Veena today and will be back Sunday night. Till then all you guys take care and have an awesome weekend.

I know I'm going to.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Dad and World Cup

This is the first world cup that I am watching without my Dad by my side screaming Goooaaaaaal, Eda Adi eda (hit a goal), Avante Karyam (this can't be translated).

We being a family of two girls, Dad has passed on all his passions to both of us. Football (Soccer) being the first and foremost.

I remember when World cup would come on TV Dad would ask us to join in. When we were kids we didn't care, we got to watch TV and we would sit next to Dad. As we grew older he would explain the game to us. He would say this is Corner Kick and would explain what it meant.

During the match he would quiz us and ask is this a Penalty Kick or a corner kick? Those few days the lingo around the house also changes. If we did something bad, Dad would say you are gonna get a Red Card. Veena and I used to run and hide when we heard this.

Veena and I started liking these matches and we would watch them and keep track of the points and would show off our knowledge to Dad. We used to say this team has 3 points and since that game was a draw that team only got 1 point.

Years have passed by and Veena, Dad and I we live in three different parts of the country, but everyday since June 9th there has been a phone call from me to Dad and from Veena to Dad just to discuss the matches that day.

Dad thank you for sharing your passion with us.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

To Dear Dad....

Father's day is on Sunday the 18th, so this year I decided to send a gift to my father as opposed to the usual Fathers Day card. So after hours of thinking and googling I finally decided to send him a coffee mug with Veena and my picture on it.

I am very particular about people getting gifts on time or earlier because it breaks my heart for fathers day to come and go and my gift is in still in the mail. So by end of May I had decided what I was going to give to dad, then I started looking through my collection of photos to get a good picture of Veena and me. I narrowed it down to three pictures and emailed it to Veena for approval.

Finally we decided on a picture and I placed that order. This was last week Tuesday and I have been waiting and tracking the package till today.

My cell starts ringing and I see its my parents calling. I grab the phone, yeay they got the gift. It was mom on the other line.

Mom: We got your gift.
Me: What gift?
Mom: The cup, with your pictures
Me: That isn't for you, that was for papa put him on the phone
Mom: (calling out for dad)Hold on, I can't seem to find him.
Me - holding and thinking oh dad must be so happy
Mom: Hold on, he is in the kitchen, making coffee in his new cup.
Me: (Excited) Oh really

Then dad comes on the phone

Me: You liked the cup?
Dad: The box the cup came in had a receipt that said this was almost 20 dollars.
Me: hmmmm (I see where this is going, the usual lecture about how I shouldn't spend money.)
Dad: That is an expensive cup.
Me: pakshe (but) you liked it right? Else give it to mom, she will be happy to have it.
Dad: Nooooo... its my cup I'm going to drink coffee in it every morning and every evening.
Me: :) (thinking - oh he loved it)

Happy father's day to a wonderful dad.

PS: Just an update, spoke to mom the other day and she says dad drinks juice, coffee and everything liquid like (oatmeal) in this cup.

Thursday, June 01, 2006


Every given day I utter this word quiet a few times and every time it is because I have hurt myself. I'm very accident prone ( that's how I like to put it, as opposed to what Shekar calls me - Careless) .

  • It starts with waking up in the morning, and on my way to the bathroom, my shoulder hits the corner of the wall - Ouch
  • Come back from the bathroom to wake Shekar up, my toe hits the bed stand - Ouch
  • As usual I'm running late, so grab my plate with waffles and walk to the living room to watch news. My eyes are on the TV and bang I have kicked the coffee table again - Ouch
  • As I open my front door to get out, I forget to move my feet and I open the door, and it come and hits my toe - Ouch
  • I manage to get to work safe and I'm in a meeting at work. Most of the time I sit with my legs crossed at my knees. So I'm at this meeting listening away and I lift my right leg to cross over my left and thud, my right knee just hit the table - Ouch
  • After my day at work I return home. On of few things I do immediately after I get home is empty my dishwasher. So my dishwasher is lying open like this and I'm putting the dishes away and walking around the open lid, and as you all would have by guessed now, every evening I hit the part below my knee on this open door - Ouch

These are incidents that happen to me everyday. Then there are incidents that happen to me only once.

Other day at work, we all had a 30 minutes presentation to go to. The organizer did not realize there would be a good turn out, so he booked a small room that had seating capability for 10 people and we were like 20. So I got this nice spot by the door and just stood there. So I was standing there pretending to listen and all of a sudden I scream Ouch. The whole place went quiet and I had 20 pairs of eye staring at me, like what is wrong with you, Did you see a spider?

For a split second even I did not know what happen. It felt like someone had grabbed my hair and pulled it. When I turned around I realized that someone had shut the door and my hair got caught in between the door and its frame.

Then there are other days....

Thursday, May 25, 2006

What Else is on TV

"Men definitely hit the remote more than don't care what's on TV, men only care what else is on TV. Women want to see what the show is before they change the channel, because men hunt and women nest." - Jerry Seinfeld

The first time I saw Jerry saying these lines all he got was a small chuckle out of me. Little did I know back then that it was the whole truth.

Every evening when Shekar and I get home there is a dash towards the remote. So when we are sitting and watching and a commercial break comes, he switches the channel. I on the other hand don't mind the commercial break, for me it is a break to do little chores like go wash the cups that we had coffee, or start prepping (just prepping not cooking) for dinner.

And when Shekar switches he sees something else and then he stops at that channel. By this time I'm back after doing whatever I was and then seeing this new program I also loose interest in the old one we were watching.

So recently I have given up on TV and have started reading a book. Now, I'm so glad that I get to read so much more. In the last month I finished 4-5 novels.

But there are some shows that bring us together to watch TV, before watching I make Shekar promise that he will watch this whole show.

Indeed men only care what else is on TV.

Thursday, May 18, 2006


Have been tagged by Jaguu and Quils

1. Grab the book nearest to you, turn on page 18 and find line 4.
I’ll ask you to be on your best behavior. He smiled and looked at the guest.
-The Firm by John Grisham

2.Stretch your left arm out as far as you can.
I touched Shekar's nose now he is staring at me like I'm a retard.

3. What is the last thing you watched on TV?
Law and Order, CI

4.Without looking, guess what time it is?

5. Now look at the clock, what is the actual time?

6. With the exception of the computer, what can you hear?
Music,Thumbi Kinnaram from Malayalam movie Naran

7. When did you last step outside? What were you doing?
An hour ago, went to drop off books at the library.

8. Before you started this survey, what did you look at?
Gmail account. I’m addicted to my gmail account.

9. What are you wearing?
White T-shirts and pink pajamas (till like right now I didn’t realize it was pink, I have a strange dislike towards pink)

10. Did you dream last night?
I always dream… I don’t remember it though.

11. When did you last laugh?
While talking to mom 10 minutes ago.

12. What is on the walls of the room you are in?
Just a Calendar.

13 Seen anything weird lately?
Nothing weird..

14. What do you think of this quiz?

15. What is the last film you saw?

16. If you became a multimillionaire overnight, what would you buy?
An island

17. Tell me something about you that I dunno.
I’m very accident prone.

18. If you could change one thing about the world, regardless of guilt or politics, what would you do?
Get rid of corrupt people.

19. Do you like to dance?
Who doesn’t?

20. George Bush.
No comments

21. Imagine your first child is a girl, what do you call her?

22. Imagine your first child is a boy, what do you call him?

23. Would you ever consider living abroad?
Been here for a while, so I guess yes it is

24.What do you want GOD to say to you when you reach the pearly gates?
You are here already, GO back its not your time yet.

25. 5 people who must also do this meme in their journal.
Everyone I know have done this before.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Birth of Thanu

As most of you must have figured Thanu is not my real name. Over the past few months I had couple of people ask what kind of name is Thanu (Yeh kya nam hai Thanu? - Nitin). So here is an effort to explain Thanu.

I had been reading blogs for a long time and then one fine day I decided to try my hand on it. But I didn't want to blog with my real name, the main reason that time was I did not want anyone (read prospective employers) googling my name and finding this blog. Other reason was I did not want anyone from my family stumble upon this blog (not because I bad mouth them here) as then I would loose my anonymity.

So I sat with on my Firefox browser and started scratching my head for a good nick name. After few hours of rigorous thinking I came up with names like Susan, Shilpa, Sitara, Preethy (that was my favorite) but they all sounded like very genuine names. I wanted a name that sounded fake, and viola Thanu was born. I don't even know anyone by that name and I googled it and there were almost next to zero results.

Along with Thanu, came Shekar(husband) and then Veena (sister).

After a month of blogging I told Shekar about the site and asked him to read and give me his views. All he came back was with Shekar? Shekar? You couldn't find a better name (No offense to any Shekar's out there) .

Other than Shekar no one who knew me personally (ROS, I see u rolling your eyes) read my blogs. Till one day I made a huge blunder and commented on my friend's blog signed in as Thanu and commented and added my name. That poor soul was so confused, but finally this soul agreed to keep my little secret.

For everyone who feels deceived and thought Thanu was my real name, I'm so sorry. I can not believe you folks thought that mallu parents would name their daughter Thanu instead of a Beena, Lizy, Mini, Siby, Sophie .... The list goes on.

In this world of blogs I'm a Thanu and love being Thanu.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Secret Fives

Anil, Geo, and Jaguu tagged me to reveal few of my secrets. So here it goes.

5 people who top your shit list:

  • I did think a lot, but I don't think anyone makes it to this list. I can never hate anyone so much.

5 Close brushes with death/danger

  • I've never had any of these, thank god. I have had my share or fender bender, rear endings (of my car I mean), but nothing major
5 Preferable modes of suicide

  • Again, I'm totally against suicides, I think is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. But, then again I have heard arguments that it is a solution. I can never understand what can be so bad that one needs to end his/her life.

5 Guilty pleasures

  • Desserts Tiramisu, Creme brulee, Flan Just to name a few.
  • Sleeping in
  • Crime Dramas - Spike TV has CSI from 7pm till 11pm and I can spend the whole evening in front of the TV.
  • Banana Chips
  • Meen Varathathu (Fish fry)

5 things you never want to forget

5 things I wish to forget

  • Nothing really, may be I already forgot.

5 really exotic dishes you have tried

  • Anything from Bahama Breeze
  • The best seafood from Atlanta Fish Market
  • Mango Glazed Thai Ribs - Had this at a Thai place. It was so good.
  • Chicken Scaloppine from Macaroni Grill
  • Beef Achar - My mom makes the best beef achar. (All you people going ewww at the sound of this, you have to taste it to believe it.)

5 crushes/loves in your life

  • Shekar
  • Shekar
  • Shekar
  • Shekar
  • Shekar

(me being married and all)

Strangest dream you ever had

I dreamt that I became disoriented and couldn't understand anything, so woke up Shekar in the middle of the night and asked him to say something. He said go to sleep and I understood that crystal clear, and was so relieved.

5 most valued personal possessions - this is hard so I'm going to stick to Materialistic things

  • Minnu and Wedding Band
  • Our Car and bike
  • Our Wedding Album, it weighs like 15 pounds.
  • My collection of photos
  • My music collection

5 favorite superheroes

No favorites, I like them all the same way (I don't know what that statement means, but my mom used to say that when I used to ask her, If she liked me or Veena more?)

Friday, May 05, 2006

Om Kreem Kuttichatha

Warning: This post has a good amount of Malayalam words used.

If you folks understood that title of this post then you are a great lover of Mayavi.

Growing up every household in Kerala had atleast one copy of Balarama (Children's magazine, published in Malayalam). We grew up in Tamil Nadu and did not know how to read Malayalam so we never got Balarama, but got Tinkle, Amarchitra Katha and as we grew older we got Reader's Digest, and then Competition Success.

But Veena and I used to love Mayavi in Balarama, and when ever we visited Kerala, our cousins used to read them to us. So our mom came to know about it and she got the text book for first grade and every evening she would sit and teach us to read Para pana thara . Veena was 13 and I was 10, and we use to complain that none of our friends had to learn how come we have to. Mom would ask "Do you want to read Mayavi?" We would start reading again.

As we got older, mom used to make us read Malayalam bible. In the beginning we would just turn to Psalms 23 and read Yehova ente idayan akkunu ... or Psalms 91 Athyunathante Maravil Vasikyayum ... as we knew those by heart (These are the two Psalms that every kid is taught during his/her childhood days). Mom figured it out soon and then she used to say which passage to read. Every evening during family prayer Veena and I had to read Malayalam bible after we read our English bibles.

Years went by and both Veena and I started reading Malayalam that was printed (reading Handwritten Malayalam is still hard for me.)

Last year when I went to Shekar's cousin's place I saw a Balarama and I just picked it up, turned to Mayavi and started reading. The whole family there just stared at me, I think they expected to pick up Vanitha (Women's weekly, also published by Manorama) which lay next to Balarama.

Little do they know that is it because of Mayavi I can read Malayalam.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Birthday Weekend

Thank you everyone for the Birthday wishes. I had such a great day, actually weekend. That is the awesome thing about having a birthday on a weekend (Saturday 29th), we can celebrate it all over the weekend.

Has ROS had mentioned I got a very beautiful card from her that got me all teary eyed, not because I never get cards, but this was because it was the first time I have a great friend that I have never met, yet she is such a huge part of my life. Thank you ROS for all what you do and all what you say.

Saturday we celebrated with going to a nice restaurant and dinning. I prefer a very quiet evening with Shekar than a huge bash.

Sunday was very special too. In our church everyone who had a birthday/wedding anniversary in the past week, go and kneel before the alter and the priest comes and prays for them. As a kid I always used to look forward for this occasion as birthday was the only occasion we kids could do this. As opposed to the adults who went and knelt there for communion (I didn't take my communion till I was 15), birthday and wedding anniversary.

This particular moment has become so important to me, those 2 minutes that I kneel, I feel so thankful for all the things I have been blessed with in the past year and all of my life. And a huge wave of faith rushes in my heart that the coming year I will be blessed. The whole church is so quiet (we are taking about almost 200 people) when I am having this moment, that makes it all the more real.

After church, we came home and that is when Shekar said he had a trip planned for us and we are going to Bodega Bay and we were going on our bike there. We had such a great time getting there. As I promised last time, I did take my camera with me this time and here are some pictures.

PS: Anil, Geo, Jaguu, and Quils - I'll get to the tags soon.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006


Tagged by Jaggu The tag is to write about 10 things that I miss the most

  1. Childhood: I had one of the best childhoods. I would come back from school and eat and then play and then do my home work and study. Veena and I were allowed to play till it got dark. Then mom would come out and call us. Having an older sister meant I always had someone to play with. I am blessed with the greatest parents who were supportive in everything I did. The most I miss is I can not get back from work and go out and play and come home and all I have to do is study. I miss me not having to worry about things as they were always provided to me. Miss my summer vacations when mom used to take us to Kerala and we would spend two months in visiting friends and families.
  2. Grandfather: My mom's dad passed away when I was nine. He was one of the best people I have met so far. That was the first death I saw and I always wished that he would come back to life once. Veena and I were his first grand kids and so he always told us that we were very special. The sad thing is, only Veena and I remember him among all our cousins.
  3. Dhvani - She was the first real friend I had. She is married and settled in Chennai and is busy and we rarely get to talk. I haven't seen her since 97, but not a days goes by when I don't think of her.
  4. Sally I - My first Car
  5. Short Hair - Life was so easy with short hair, shower and get out of the house, now it more like blow dry, straighten and by that time I'm late. People ask me why do I just chop it off and I just smile.
  6. Mom cooked food - No food tastes as good as one's mom. I miss the way how everything she makes tastes just perfect and I know I'll never get there.
  7. Following Cricket - I used be a huge cricket fan, during the days when Sachin had started and Azar was the captain. I used to always have a tummy ache and stay at home when Indian played. After I moved to US I rarely watched a game (should I call it a match) and now I have lost complete interest in the game.
  8. Being Engaged - That is the best period in one person's life. I was engaged for almost half a year, and Shekar used to come visit me once a month (he lived in west coast and me in east coast) and we used to have a great time. Even now I tell Shekar, I like engaged Shekar more than married Shekar.
  9. Riding a cycle - I used to love cycling to places, I used to go to school on a cycle everyday and it used to be so much fun. Now when we go visiting new cities, we try to rent cycles and ride them around. This summer we are planning to buy cycles and go ridding over the weekend.
  10. India - I miss being India and everything about India.
Thank you so much Jaggu for bring back these beautiful memories

People I tag
ROS - I have too nahi tho she gets upset, Just kidding re I know you will love doing this.
Nina - She is all about memories, and has a great way of putting them in words.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Visit from our folks

My parents visited last weekend and since both of them work, their longest stay at our place would be like 4-5 days. Last weekend it was Easter and my parents came over to celebrate Easter with us.

A week before their arrival

  • Plan what to do when they are in town
  • Plan out the whole menu for their visit
  • Go grocery shopping, so I have all the things needed for the above menu

Day before the arrival

  • Cleaning - By cleaning I do not mean the usual when guest comes to house cleaning, but major cleaning as they are parents and are entitled to every room, every closet, every shelf. They are also allowed to make statements like "There is so much dust here."
  • Prep for cooking the next day

Day of arrival

  • Cook, cook and cook some more
  • Final cleaning touch ups

Day 1 of parent's trip

  • Parents very impressed about all the food I made
  • I told mom that she was on vacation and she needn't do anything around the house
  • Mom tries to help me with chores and asks me where every dish is

Day 2 of parent's trip (and every day from then)

  • I wake up and go to kitchen, mom offers me coffee
  • Then she has already made breakfast and planned out what is for lunch and starts prepping
  • She has figured out where all dishes are

Day of departure

  • Mom Cooks all day so that I have food when she leaves.
  • Parents enquire when Shekar and I are going to visit them again.
  • Give them couple of stuff to take it with them like 2 of my sarees that need saree falls stitched
  • Talk more and say that your this visit was short make sure next time you come for more than 4 days

Day after their departure

  • Me calling them at their place, "Mom I can not find my spatula, do you know where you kept it."
  • Me calling again, "There is a cup in the fridge with white stuff what is it". Mom replies "Its Thenga pal (coconut milk), that came extra. Use it when you make apam"

Week after their departure

  • Me to Shekar - "I need to start cooking now, alle"

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Wake up

I’m one of the selected few who can fall asleep right after I lay down and once I’m asleep nothing wakes me up. This was something ingrained in my system. My mom used to say that I was the perfect baby I always slept and only woke up when I was hungry (life used to be so simple back then).

Back when I was in college, I used to pull a lot of all-nighters and since I used to work during the weekend I was always sleep deprived. Then it happened one Friday evening I got home around 2.00 pm and I went to my room and changed and went to sleep. My family was very understanding and they only woke me up when I have to be woken up. So I’m in this deep sleep and Veena (older sister) comes and wakes me up saying “Jolikku Pogande?” (Don’t u have to go to work). For which I sleepishly reply Samayam Enthu aayi (What time is it?). Veena says 6.30. I jump up from bed, as I have to be at work at 7.00 AM, and my work place was almost 30 minutes away. I grab the phone to call and let people at my work know that I’m running late, then Veena says I’ll call you get dressed. (such a great sister). So I dash to the bathroom and start brushing my teeth and then I get ready to take shower, Veena runs into the bathroom screaming and laughing and she says “Oh my god I can not believe you actually fell for this, it is 6.30 PM on Friday and not 6.30 AM on Saturday”

I got out of the bathroom and chased her around the house and I saw my parents just staring at us, there were probably thinking, wasn’t Thanu sleeping and now how come she is chasing Veena around or Do 21 and 24 year old siblings still chase each other.

Now when Veena visits me or vice versa, or we both go home, I make sure I wake up early and wake her up, but every single time she wakes up before I do, be it my place, her place or our home. But, one day I'm going to get her.

Friday, March 31, 2006

Flop Week

I'm not a great cook but I can cook, decent. Or at least that is what I used to think, till last week.

It all started this Monday, Shekar had a small cold and I volunteered to make Rasam. I've never made Rasam so I googled, read couple of recipes, but wasn't satisfied and I finally called one of my aunts, (my mom - who I usually call, is in east coast and it was like 11.00pm there) and she gave me the recipe.

So I go and start cooking. Aunt told me to put fresh pepper instead of ground pepper. So I made rasam and tasted it, it was not hot enough, so I added more pepper... still not hot enough so added more pepper, so I kept on adding pepper till it reached my expectation. Then my rasam had now become a think paste of pepper. I added some more water to dilute it, so it looked all good. Little did I know the hotness of the pepper increases as it stays longer. So when we started to eat, the Rasam was so hot that we could barely eat. On the bright side, the overdose of pepper cleared all the congestion Shekar had.

Couple of days after that I made Moru Curry (for all non-mallus, this is a curry made with yogurt- something like kadi, and is a very common curry in every mallu household) and this is the first curry I learned how to make. We add jeera powder to it and I accidentally added Garam Masala to it. It was too late before I noticed it. So we had Morru Curry with Garam Masala.

Then last night around 9.00 pm I was making Double ka Meeta, thank you ROS for the Recipe. I rarely make desserts other than cake and cookies. So I start warming up half and half and then I'm supposed to add sugar to it. So I put 2 huge scoops and then I realize, damn this is salt (My salt and sugar are in 2 entirely different looking containers, and they are placed on different levels of the cabinet). Nothing can be done to undo this, so without disturbing the mixture I tried to slowly drain my entire half and half. Then I tasted the half and half and it was so salty. So around 9.30 I go confess to Shekar and beg him to go to the grocery store. Not having another choice he went and got me a new quart of half and half (I also bribed him with couple of extra pieces of double ka meeta).

As I was stirring the half and half, I started thinking how come I messed up so many times this week? May be I've become more confident that I do not pay attention as before. Or maybe I just am not a decent cook.

Jo bi hai, my Double ka meeta turned out very well and makes me happy and brings my confident back (a little).

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Vroom Vroom

I have always had a fascination with two wheelers. The only two wheeler I know how to ride is a cycle and when ever we are traveling, we make sure to rent bicycles and ride them around the city. I love driving a car but I never feel so close to things outside as on a two wheeler. I moved to US during my mid teens so never got a chance to learn or drive Scooty/Sunny/Kinetic Honda (these were the two wheelers that were there in India back then).

Back when I was in college I wanted to own a motorcycle and my dad would never let me so I used to drive around in my car envying all the biker that went Vroom Vroom right by me. As I grew older my dream to own and ride on a bike seemed to vanish. Not because I did not want it anymore but, I did not have the guts to go out and take lessons anymore. But, I wanted it so badly.

Now I'm married and Shekar has this avid love towards bikes and we finally got one last year. Over the weekend was my maiden journey on a bike and it was just great, we rode for 3 hours. One of the great benefits on living in California is that the weather is so great that one can go biking in early months.

So Sunday afternoon Shekar and I geared up and drove by the mountains and the sea. It was so beautiful and any words I use will never do justice to that sight. Since we were on a bike we did not take a camera with us else I would have posted pictures. The road by the mountains we so curvy and steep, but it was thrilling to ride. After riding for almost two hours we stopped on the side of the mountain and pacific sea was at the bottom of that mountain.

This was my first ride on a bike and I can not wait for more. But, for some weird reason it seems like it rains every weekend. We are expecting rain again this Saturday and Sunday. On the bright side, spring is just starting and I'll have lot more riding days. Hopefully I'll find a way to take my camera with me the next time.