Jun 23, 2007

Ptolemy's Gate

Blog update. Got posted below this somehow!

View the picture but I warn you that it is a spoiler if you intend to read the book anytime.

One of the best fictional trilogies I've read. I cried.

The fantastic four : The rise of the swift squirrel !

You'd think I'm a blockhead to get the name of the movie wrong. But wait. Draw no conclusions. This is the story of four ordinary people who did not go through some kind of magnetic storm and did not get their lives changed forever. This is a story of four people who......who...erm...um..cough cough..

So as it happened, I was on my first visit to lakshmi's house. It was a perfect day so far. Something wrong was bound to happen. I knew. But I did not know it would happen then. Exactly 5 minutes later. And it came in the form of a critter in a guy's ( wearing knickerbockers) hand. A squirrel to be precise.

One little being which would torment our lives and send us on a wild chase for the next thirty minutes of our life. Size doesn't matter ( Aaha!! Got a tagline!). It seemed friendly enough. But it was a mask. A mask to hide the face etched with the lines of slavery. I got an intuition that this was gonna be the seed of the apple, when he ( assumption ) jumped from my hand to Haran's neck. It was a jump wrongly aimed. We saw it as a cool trick. Then... He struck.

He sensed the repulsion in nithya. He knew I would hold him up for her. The split second was all he needed. No more mistakes. A perfect leap when my hand was the lowest from the ground. He landed without a sound and scurried away. He underestimated our speed in the beginning I guess. Trying to outrun us in that cramped idea was a big mistake. Haran, me , abi, lakshmi and nithya blocked all possible ways. Then he saw his escape route sitting in front of him smugly going by the name of "chevrolet optra". A quick jump and he was gone. Settling inside the mudguards seemed a master plan. Or did he have something else up its sleeve(or fur??)

We kicked, banged, screeched, crawled to no avail. Taking pity on the kid we went to "meet the parents". They came down all dressed. they were like the S.W.A.T team. Armed with milk and tutty frutty instead of the bazookas and Ak-47s. A further ten minutes later, when the not-so-fantastic four were about to give up on their search and salled it "the squirrel's quest for freedom" to ease their guilt. ( I did!!). Then a flurry of feet a swish of the tail
. The critter had crept to the next car in the lot when we had ventured up. A chase. Three ran after him, One crept the other way. He would not give in easily without a fight. He dived into the space beneath the slab beneath the electricity box before we could snare him.

He was an amateur alright. A pro would have gone for the trees. Thus we rounded up the case. Or rather left him waiting under the slab under the watchful eyes of the S.W.A.T team. We got a report that they had drawn him out an hour later. The day was saved. Or rather our skins!

P.s : This has already featured here . To keep up a promise of having two versions of the same story I posted this. Blame Nithya if you got bored!! :D

Jun 20, 2007

The fish and the skipping stone

The softest of touches
Of Wind on his skin
The smallest of tears
Slides off his chin.

A calm breeze, a warm rustle
Why did we have a tussle?
The sun peeks through, weak,
It was never so bleak.

A fish swims along fast,
While he's buried in his past.
The bait would seal its fate,
Why did you have to be my bait?

Rings of water spread around,
As he sinks a small mound.
The disturbance scares the fish away
It lives to fight another day.

He picks up another stone
It was flat, it shone
He threw it in sorrow, In despair,
It bounced off the water, into the air.

It bounced thrice, did a pirouette,
Before getting completely wet.
It all came rushing to him,
His first bounce; he had given in.

He gets up, brigther, the sun shone,
He smiles at the fish and the skipping stone,
They had told him what he should do,
While education did not have a clue.

The breeze blew stronger again,
The sun shone brighter again.
So whenever hope seems long gone,
Remember the fish, and the stone......

Travelogue part II

This gets posted above part I but you can scroll down can't you? :)

I left you stranded at Darjeeling last time.

"Let's move" said my dad at 9.00 AM. We had half an hour to have food before the taxi came to whisk us off to sikkim. Or rather was scheduled to come. It took an hour more than was expected of it and gave us ample time to finish our food. SOmething really funny happened then. My dad was waiting for the driver to come whilst me and mum went to our room for a fresher. The driver had not recognised my dad and vice versa. Quite understandable given the fact that they had not met previously. So naturally when he came up 5 minutes later with our suitcases in his hands my dad was shocked and almost ran after him! After a quick recap and a few laughs we headed to sikkim.

The roads which led to gangtok were as if they had been taken out from a postcard. Excellent places for photography and a quiet evening stroll with dad/mom/boisterous little kids/grandpa with walking stick/your girl/your guy/or with your dog at your heels with the slightest of drizzles and strands of mist floating about. I loved every moment of it. There were rhyming slogans on the road sides too. The ones against fast-driving.
"Around my bends,
Drive slowly my friends!". (for example) My poor memory does me in.

On the way there was this wonderful place which you might have seen in the album (Next time onwards nithya!!)...The two different colored rivers. One coming from Nepal and the other from SIkkim. Both mix and then join the yamuna before entering bangladesh. What a sight! The tista river followed us around, hugging the road wherever we went occasionally shadowed by a few bridges. This river has West bengal on side and sikkim on the other!

The remaining half day was as normal as normal can be. Except that we met one of Dad's colleagues in gangtok, had a bit to eat and them walked through the mist, my dad, talking about work here and there, my mom window shopping, me, just looking around and humming a tune to myself and occasionally pointing out stuff my mum missed!

There is this strange rule in gangtok. At four thirty many sirens placed at equal distances along the road wail. The reason- No cars should be parked on the side of the road to make oom for the people to walk! Awesome eh?

The next day broke(Is this right?) Gangtok beckoned to us. There were round about 9 to 10 spots to visit. About three of them were monasteries. So Nothing extra special about them. We went to a botanical garden, a flower show, a handicrafts expo(Hand made paper caught my eye. I was forced to pry them away from them), a waterfall which you can see in the album. It is called the Bakthang falls. Another different name. Talking about different names there was this bridge. I could not take a photo because we passed it in a flash. It was "Tarkhola" bridge. Significant or just another coincidence?

There we were shepherded by another guy "Aman" that's the smart driver guy talking to my dad in the album. It was fun watching dad and his broken tamil and the driver talking slowly for his benefit. My dad has this habit of using past tense for every sentence!!(He is way good for a beginner though! Son no let dad down you see! :) ). Some sentences just turn out really funny. Ah.. sweet memories.

The remainder of the day was spent at home watching french open finals! It was disappointing to see Federer lose though he virtually gifted the match on a platter to Nadal. A disappointing end to a great run. NExt day I woke up with a start realising what was going to happen. We drove to the river TIsta. This river is famous for a lot of things. Its reunion with Rangeet, Its friendship with the road, and its White waters. The very same rapids in which I was to go rafting! The first time of my life!. Man it was awesome! The water was Chilling to the bone! I had to row. My dad too had to row. Three little guys aided us. Guys smaller than me. They were Sandeep, sunny and purna. We taught them our cries of Yelelo ailasa!! And they taught us their various methods. These people had rafting as a job. How cool is that??I nicked a few stones from the banks. They were beautiful. One was green in color!

A few hours later, we were headed back to calcutta. The place where it all started. On the train back we met two couples. It was a great experience. We were supposed to be in AS2. We got into what we thought was AS2. The couples there were also to be in AS2. The train Driver(Or what do you call him???) had parked the train a tad wrongly. So we had to shift from AS 3 to AS2 . Those two couples too. They had been to bhutan for the vacation. Listening to them rant about their vacation was great! Each man shared tales with his wife giving the apt nods and chuckles at the appropriate places. All of them were above 55. Life does begin at 60 dunnit?? :)

We reached calcutta. With the many tales of bhutan and their lives ringing in my ears I made the walk back out on the platform.

Calcutta had never been hotter.

to be continued....

Jun 19, 2007

Travelogue..Part I

With great patience and a sense of foreboding(whether I might be able to finish this before I sleep) I begin this inked-up ( or rather electron-ed on a picture screen) version of our exploits this june 4-14. We payed (nice usage!!) a visit to calcutta(I like this name better), darjeeling and gangtok.
It all materialised due to the lapse of my mom's LFC every two years. :)..Better not waste them right?

So we went to chennai by train. It was a busy schedule. We landed at 2 in my patti's house and the plane was at 6:30. Giving me very little time to eat the sumptuous-how-many-times-u-eat-you-don't-get-bored patti's food. It was a special menu as asked by none other than me!. Super food. Then a hurried departure only to find that the plane was delayed by 2 hours. I was stranded as Tom hanks from the terminal ( too much. free a vidu!!). I spent my time roaming around the airport and looking around innocently.(Hmm..) Went to a bookstore to find out that the two books which I had my eyes on cost 1000 bucks. Not so dejected I went to the waiting area. Without further delay the plane took off. Oh my God, the make up had a face of a air hostess if u ask me. I could scrape of a cm thick layer and still have a lot to work on. They would have been cuter without that!

The plane landed...blah blah..(Fast forward yuo see!!) And we reached the hotel at midnight. Midnight snack time!! After two hours on the plane with darkness outside and cookies inside, the likes of roti with aloo made me drool. A quick bite, Some reading then snore.

Next day we drove around calcutta in the sultry weather. Nothing of much significance other than the usual places except the fact that we ate lunch at a restaurant in which the people spoke madrasi tamil and had been there for 20 years!

Next day we took a train to siliguri. As mettupalayam is to ooty siliguri is to darjeeling. From siliguri we took a taxi to darjeeling. The driver was an exhuberant guy named Robin. There's his photo in the album- (the one with the slit eyes and without the beige coat). He took us through mirik and jorpokhri, sukhiya pokhri ( his hometown), all kinds of towns whose names you are more likely to come across in a fairy tale than in real life!! We set our feet upon the sands (Tar, to be precise) of nepal. just a km or two in the market there. I got myself an original nike bag for like 40 percent its original cost.(Human's seventh sense- The power to bargain)

The lake at mirik was serene as one of the photos shows. So silent with the lake acting as the sky's mirror, the horizon being the end of reality and the beginning of the reflection. A couple of ducks quacked around at jorpokhri and we trudged on a road which was bordered by nepali houses on one side and indian houses on the other. Cool huh??

The roads were excellent. The scenery was mystic(Literally). My camera had a field day! Then we reached darjeeling and found a good hotel to rest in. For two hours atleast. We met a really fun guy called Jimmy who acted as our guide and a friend in the end. He was one of the few guys who spoke english in this place where they spoke nepali.

There are apparently four different tours in darjeeling. The two point the three point, the five point and the seven point. In total this included some 4 monasteries and three view points.(the view is as great from the road as these view points!!) But we learned a lot form that guy!

*There are two sects of budhists. The ones who wear the red gown and the ones with the yellow one. he was a red-der. The red people treat buddha as God and believe in his re-incarnation among men. The yellow ones who originate from Japan treat Buddha as a leader and don't believe in re-incarnation.

*The spin wheels (As in the album)

*When they give birth to atleast two sons, one is given to the monastery as in, they are made to study there grow there, eat there, sleep there and occasionally they come out have fun with the family and stuff. They don't marry even. Complete detachment from wordliness.

*The gorkha stadium which is the highest in India( highest stadium I mean)

*He was a sherpa and he took us to tenzing's house.(The gate I mean..Oh did you imagine me having a chat with him?? Talk about a far-fetched tale!!)

*His daughter's name was poonam!!

*But the best of all was Ava art gallery which exhibited the works of Mrs. Ava devi. The base used was black charts or easels. The medium used was...guess?..No not oil paints. No not pencil shading. No not water colours or vegetable colours. The medium used was thread. All her works were hand embroidered on black sheets. The result was phenomenal. One particular work depicted a man's face half shrouded in shadow. The shadow part was, in fact, the background itself. She had the enterprise to imagine the face half shrouded and better thread only the areas which revealed the features. Imagine that. Good if you can. Not too bad if you can't because google might have something about her! Sad part was she died some two years back and so no sale or photos were allowed. The last time somebody offered to buy was two years back when the sale was allowed. And the cost went in lakhs. Bravo!

*Unfortunately tiger hill was shrouded in mist and we couldn't see the panoramic view that R.K saw.

*Then we visited other places like the zoo, Mountaineering institute etc..

The third day was eventful for many reasons. We had very little places to see so had time to roam about. We walked up to the mall and visited a few curio shops.(The dagger, I saw there)
We tried to walk to the shop but my dad was a bit winded from walking so we rested at the mall for a while. The centre of the mall is actually a circular are where people gather to spend time. I magine a park without grass but surrounded by curious shaped buildings on either side. It was there that I took the photo of the pigeon and the girl in pink. Her cap had ponytails attached in it!! I was tempted to buy one myself. But the effect would have been rather disastrous.

Then my dad went to grab some shut eye but me and my mom decided to see a movie at the INOX there. Spiderman 3 was running. I hadn't seen it. My mom came along to get a feel of theatre. The pop corn was amazing! Tomato cheese flavored bucket(Literally) of popcorn. And the other stuff were great too. But the funny part is. In the whole arena only nine people were sitting but nevertheless the show was run. There you go. A show for just nine people in a theatre of capacity 300 I guess!

I had all kinds of food there. Chinese, Jain, South Indian , continental etc. The Jain bhojanalya was OMG-amazing. Unlimited thali (Rotis hot form the stove with a drop of ghee on it with three side dishes and rice if u wanted..(O yes I wanted!!)). Sumptuous treat!

I had my fair share of chocolates too! I laid my hands on some dark chocolates I'd never tried before. And also some other choc called Go-fresh. It was good too. And then the usual take-home- Fox's candy box!

A few hotels you might like to eat in when you visit:

Hasty tasty (Way to the mall)
Lunar (ditto) for south indian stuff
Jain bhojanalaya
Big bite ( on the way to INOX)

One more treat was WAI -WAI noodles which is seldom available at my place. Have a cup or a mug of them after getting drenched in rain and then you'd understand what I mean. I was tempted into buying whatever stock they had. Another unfinished business...:(

That's about it till darjeeling. More in part II in the near future. (:D). My eyes are drooping. It was a hectic day(Yea right!!) at college. The first day(or rather first half day) of the second year was a drag except the part that we met up after 15 days with our exploits and snide comments on each other's holiday transformations!! .More on the first day in the a-little-far away in the future but not so far post after the near-future part II of the travelogue.

Cia then!

Get off your asses and continue your work!! (After leaving a comment of course!!)


Jun 15, 2007

A multitude of colors...

Some colors from Where Iwent for vacation

Click here

For those who are lazy to do that......

(No captions for the lazy folks!!! ?Because it hides a part of the picture)

Explanation of the photos and a detailed travelogue in a short while on this same website!!

Till then...I'm off!

P.S. : A pat on the back(nothing more) for anyone who guesses the connection between me and my new profile name! (If u've noticed that of course!!)

Jun 3, 2007

On vacation!

Hi all...I'm off on a tour to the eastern part of India..kinda like the north east- Calcutta Darjeeling and Gangtok. I'm supposed to leave tomorrow morning at 5 Am. So that means I've just lost a lot of my precious sleep. Lots of photos when I get back.

But first!

Happy birthday to Nithya (6 June) - You already owe me a Gola. There will be no meet at your place I guess. Cha.

Happy birthday to chubbles!!(Upasana's sister Preethi) (June 10) - Cha ellaamae mudinji pochu la??

Happy birthday to visak (June 11)- Rock on mate!

And I'm gonna finish reading two of the three books of the BArtimaeus trilogy. Yay!

And this is the first time I'm gonna be on an airplane for onger than 15 minutes and the first time was actually when I was 3 yrs old! Yea rite I was dumb then.

So cia all. Priya (Iyer), Nithya slow down a bit. Or else it'd take me an eternity( not really) to read up!

So virtually I don't exist for the next ten days. No contact with Coimbatore! Yay I'm born again!

CIa people haffun!

Jun 1, 2007

Round shiny colorful heads...Sigh

The title is quite obvious I guess. Yea. No helmet no ride your two wheeler. Give the policeman 600 bucks. Ok I accept it is for the safety and stuff but then look at the magnitude of change it produces in life.

* Babies born today will never see helmetless heads around!!

*Aliens from out of space would think that we were some kind of deformed species with a fragile outer skull!

*Helmets hide pretty girls' faces!!!! :(( :((. Looking at a round colorful head is SO NOT fun :(

*What's the use of growing long hair if you can't let it fly!! ( Guys' point of view...As chandler says " If i were a guy.............")

*Pillion riders should also wear helmets. Brake at a speed breaker and you can hear two helmets clinking each other!!

* U sweat like a pig!!

A few funny sights I was treated to!

*Milkmen and dhobimen wearing helmets on TVS 50 s excel supers!!

*A woman wearing a helmet for a sunny!!

* Husband riding. Wife sitting behind has her helmet in her hands keenly looking out for her cue to wear the helmet, the police.

*Helmet stands in every street selling all brands colors and sizes on May 31 st.

All because of this...

Definition of " C.R.A.P"

Ok. Crap is primarily a kind of an exclamatory word to express ur distaste or disapproval. There are various forms that can be used, each one has its own meaning and that is what the user wants it to mean.

What crap?? ---> Blabber
AAhhh Crap! --> Used in place of shit,fuck etc!!
That's the crappiset song I've heard!! --> U are better off listening to a zombie shriek

And many more.

Well today's definition is based on a story . A true life story.

All characters in this story are REAL. Any likenesses to real characters are not figments of your imagination.

So as it happened I was sitting on the couch after watching "At world's end" at a theatre near me. Trying to pass my time. By the wya that was a super movie!.

The itme was 7 30 and "Malargal" was on TV.(My dad sees em) If you are wondering what that is, stop right now. It is just one of those tamil mega serials. ( Man women are so contradictory. Mega sleeves -->really small sleeves. Mega serials---> No one has estimated the length of this yet ). So it was the final episode of the series. Thank God!! (You think??From monday they are going to air another one called "Megala"). The final episode was almost over. They are at a marriage. The marriage of the hero and heroine's relatives. They have almost passed around the thaali when the VIllain guy comes in. (Yea you guessed right..Green shirt with a gun tucked in his crotch!!)

The guy happens to be the bride's ex-lover.(That means he loved her but she did not). He enters with a touching dialogue( YOu kidding me??)

"naan evlo thaan avala kaadhalichi ava enna vittaalum ava santhosham thaan mukkiyam"(the girl's father mannichifies him too!!)

So he goes in and sits up front. When the ceremony is almost complete the guys takes the gun out, has a good look at it then keeps it back. Voila!! No one notices!!

Then as if that wasn't enough, one minute later, he takes it out (very obviously) aims it like they do at shooting ranges, and people all around him don't even notice!! For the love of God there's
people like one metre away and they don't notice. You see thats because the hero needs time to drag his fat ass to knock the gun out of his hand exactly when he fires. As if that wasn't enough, they let him go without even calling the police.

Manidha thanmai???

Want more? They finish the marriage as if nothing happened. Everybody is smiling. They live happily ever after. (At least till the subam sign comes on TV. )

That's all the patience I had. Before Anjali came on I scooted of to the recluse of my computer!!

Redefining crap. A thousand times over.