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