Monthly Archives: February 2013

the man who was shelling the peas and the double beans…


had only seven fingers.

i muffled my shriek in the market. 

i saw the three stubs and he told me about the industrial accident that maimed him.

he was working cheerfully, matter-of-factly on a fine motor task that certainly requires 10/10 when he had only 7.

i stood still for a while.  taking in his reality. he had moved on – a morning of activity near the beans, and the cauliflowers.

 i met him at 9 am, and it usually takes me five minutes to compose a tiny post like this one.

 i have backspaced about 345 words and made four drafts. and it’s almost 9 p.m. 

i think the feeling i am having  as i replay this morning’s sight is  ‘respect’ — to have met a superhero who filled the blanks of living with three fingers less, with his dignity.

when i actually read a newspaper


there ARE things to read.

i saw a pic of the chief minister promoting a bar of chocolate. aavin, the govt-run milk supplier, is breaking into the chocolate segment.

aavin and co have chosen the eminently suitable , original, marketable and very subtle name for their chocolate bar — ‘nutty’


a brand new chocbar hits the market in 2013, and the powers-that-be come up with ‘nutty’.

i read on, hopefully, to find if they did better for the next bar – but the milk chocolate with nuts is called … ‘milky and nutty’

aavin, i say to you what my chemistry teacher wrote on my report card 20 years ago.’can do better’.

in other news,
some new trains are going to become double-decker now.
at once, i felt these things should have happened when i was 10 and easily entertained.

but hey. not much has changed 24 years later.
wherever the train is going, i am going too.

reading over my shoulder into the edit page – firstborn wants to know what ‘winning the battle but losing the war’ means – and when i heard my explanation i was sad about how poignant it sounds, to a 7 year old.

and here’s my fistpump chennai moment– purebred chennai company TVS buys a british firm – awesome, wot.

chennai people never bought anything more expensive than plain dosai, when i was growing up.
‘rava dosa is rs. 14 masala dosa is rs. 15, let’s eat plain dosa at rs. 8.’ was the ingrained thought-process when i was as high as firstborn. life minus sambar, chutney and aloo was considered worth living.

and look at ’em chennai folks now. awesome wot.

tom alter is only 62 years old. i thought he must be nearing 200 or something.

rocky singh and mayur sharma WROTE their own book. didnt know that. i loved their tv show, many moons ago. should totally buy their book.

i read the Grand Sweets and snacks has branches at tnagar, ra puram, chetpet, porur , mylapore, guindy and a half-dozen other places…
at once, i felt this should have happened when i was 10 and always hungry.

but hey. not much has changed 24 years later.
hello badushah here i come.

and i am now firmer in my resolve never to have a tv.
what if i flip channels and accidentally tune into vijay tv.
prakashraj, [shudder], it is announced in a half-page ad, is the new host of the tamil version of kaun banega crorepathi.

run for your life.

goals for the type Z


what if you aren’t type A?

if you arent working from 8.15 am to 7.45 pm. or from 7.46 p.m. to 3 a.m. or aren’t an artist, or an artiste, or a teacher or a homemaker, or an MBA, or almost famous, or famous.

who are you in this world… ?

if you dont have the glint in your eye. 

drifters have no place. i today realize that i live in india — where it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place, just like the Red Queen told Alice.

 but this is my ordinary life. i stalk oprahdotcom. i do a dainty flower arrangement. i lift toddlers and hug them. i meditate for an hour. i hang clothes. i fast. i smile. i read. i water plants. i climb stairs. i smell the rose so closely that the thorn poked me. i segregate garbage. i yell at firstborn. i drink organic milk. i draw kolams. i pick frangipanis from the roadside. i talk to my mil for an hour. i eat coriander chutney. i sit in padmasana and i dont move a hair. i blog. i dont blog.  i dawdle. i procrastinate. i hurry. i worry. i keep a tidy home. i make coffee for the watchman.  i laze. i nap. i dont keep a tidy home. i change sheets. i bathe at noon. i listen to a kutcheri. 

 you could call me a human being as opposed to a human doing.  but how do i explain it in chennai-terms 

so what is my mission statement to someone who’s running twice as fast i can.

or what is my vision statement — oh. and this rant is not about the MMMIm -coz he’s only type A about himself .

what is my goal.  what do i tell them type As — and  chennAi is only type A. i need to dangle a believable, plausiable realistic tangible [ i hate these words] goal.

help me. someone. everyone.


on the other hand


there are ragas that TOTALLY ruin my morning – i need malayamarutham in my life as much as i need unscheduled powercuts.

today’s vidwan upped the torture by topping it off with subapanthuvarali

and i endured the one hour of music hoping a nuance here or there would salvage ’em — but nope they continue to annoy me — right up there with firstborn’s whining, the mmmim’s type A ness and baby param’s punch-first-think-next-ness.

Bharat bandh was yesterday, and MIMbandh is today

i am shutting down and evilly passing on the sourness…


 the malladi brothers bring a lot of gentleness to their music– but who can love manasa yatulo

and here’s nithyashree with …

 run for your life.

room pottu siripeenglo


room pottu yosipeenglo

that’s chennai-talk which means being an ideasmith; since you have all these great ideas, you’d better hire out a room so that you have the space and time  to cogitate and ponder


 room pottu siripeenglo


that’s my own helplessly laughy situation — now i need my own room to laugh–  i was laughing while making the beds, laughing while hanging up the clothes, laughing while making muttar-panneer…  in response to utbt’s comment about the aadhar card. she said ;


The husband started off with, ‘One for the head of the family and one for every dependent’. I bristled and started off with why he is the head and why I am the dependent, when he is so dependent on me even to figure out how switch on the water heater. Then we heard rumors that one center had lathi charges and stuff. So I let him be the head of the family 🙂

and that’s why i needed my own room to LOL.

and i heard vasudha keshav singing aadum chidambaramo on air. i love it when behag pours into my morning.

happy gets happier with

if it’s tuesday it must be…


we were looking at photo albums.

to my intense surprise, i can’t seem to identify which one is firstborn and which is baby param, when i was looking at pictures of when they were one, two or even three years old.

-‘look at the elephant. it’s Munnar’, so it must be firstborn

– ‘oh it’s Penang, we had baby param by then, so this must be baby param’

– ‘who went to school with teacher S ? then that boy in the pic must be firstborn’


soon, i’ll need someone to point out to me in the photoalbums. sigh.

in accordance with my practice of posting events


way after they happen

and way way after everyone has forgotten about it.

i have to write about the chennai book fair.

i spent three hours with the books and the mmmim and sons spent three hours at the food stall, and getting interviewed for a local tv on the book fair [hey this man, hasnt read a book in so many years] , and collecting 3 free copies of a magazine no one reads, and making crucial decisions without my help — whether they were going to eat pav bhaji before the popcorn or pav bhaji after the popcorn

while i was at it

i found some unusual books…


and the usual…


and here is the book that may salvage my self-esteerm … how much easier my mornings in chennai are going to be — i cannot tell you.