Wednesday, November 4, 2009

My first choreography

For the Deepawali 2009 celebrations hosted and organized by the Indian Association, Charlottesville; this is what I presented. Its a lovely composition by sitar maestro Pandit Ravi Shankar. May this be the first step on a long, wonderful journey of Kuchipudi choreography!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


I've been having this craving for chocolate recently. Oh k ... chocolate's welcome anytime into my mouth, but the other day, I just had to go beyond my usual MO, which is 'pressed-against-window-salivating-looking-at-chocolate' or 'just-smell-the-chocolate-its-all-the-pleasure-and-no-calories'. So I walked into the Lindt chocolate shop on the main road. I think heaven smells like a chocolate shoppe. I've no doubt about it. Aah ... that heavenly scent (at this point, I draw a long 'lost-in-choc' breath). All around me was a riot of colour. Chocolates in blue, gold, orange, red, cream wrappers - all encasing that one drop of Swarg.

After a great deal of thought, I decided to go for a $1.25 small bar. (Less cals, and craving's gone too) before my eye crept up to its luscious neighbour - The chocolate mousse stuffed, dark chocolate covered Lindt bar. The catch? Serving size 4 pieces. 200 (or was that 270?) calories, 120 from fat alone. Gulp.

Out went 4.50 bucks, in came the chocolate. And what a chocolate it was! The mousse was semi-solid protected by that semi-sweet dark knight, and there I was biting into it, and I swear by the heavens, I might've floated a little ... I'm telling you - I distinctly felt lighter when I bit into it for the first time.

I mean, whoever came up with the idea of stuffing chocolate mousse into dark chocolate? Do these chocolate creating guys just sit around mahogany and walnut tables and come up with these delicious, mouth-watering, fattening, calorie-ridden combos?

Sigh. Hey... what can I say? Bring 'em on.

Thursday, July 30, 2009


I was looking at all these old DD documentaries today on Youtube (bless that site). My personal favs are the "Mile Sur Mera Tumhara", and "Baje Sargam". Where are those kind of films now? I think apart from the short documentaries' inherent goosebump-y appeal, there was the charm of DD also.

Its just sad that children these days aren't growing up with these wonderful films. I remember running to the television set every time these films would be broadcast. I remember Byomkesh Bakshi, the detective serial aired every wednesday at 9.00 PM. And I don't know if anyone even remembers "Stone Boy". That serial had a haunting title song.

Then there was the "Purab se surya uga" franchise - the heart-warming short films stressing the importance of education. Sigh.

I'm glad I was born in the 80s.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Chronicles of a married couple ...

Act1. Scene 1.

Me (washing dishes). Husband (cooking).

( continuing conversation)
Husband : Tumhe maaloom hai, Rajasthan mein relatives ko 'sa' bolke address karte hain ... like bhaisa, bhabhisa ...?

Me : Haan ... maine sunaa hain yaar pehle ... oh maybe in that Hindi serial that comes on COLOURS channel back in India, Baal Badhu or something.

Husband : Arrey usme bhi hai na ... woh Jodhaa Akbar mein ...

Me : Oh haan ... wahi tho main soch rahi thi ... kahin aur bhi sunaa hai maine ... usme Aishwarya kitniiiiiiii pure aur beautiful lagti hai (Note : Let me reiterate that I'm no fan of her acting ... but I think she looks like a billion bloody bucks) ...

Husband : I swear ya ...

Me (looking at him warily ... ) : "I swear ya?!?!" Isn't that a girl thing to say?

Husband (leaning in) : I sweaaar yaaa .... Ai-swar-ya ... get it ? :D

Me (At this point, I am forced to hit myself with the cleaning scrub in my hand ... address him in a tone mixed with horror and pity ... pity for myself that is ..) Pleaaaaaaaaaase baaaaaaaap ... don't torture me. Doing dishes is punishment enough!!!

Husband (bursts into a song ... (he always ... always has a song for every occasion. Yes, this is what I've married into ... voluntarily. :D)) : Mera emooooootional atyaaachaaaaaar.... Tauba tera jalwa ....

Rigours of a married life eh? :D Love it though :).

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Fly high. And let it be first class :D

We just returned from a one-week trip to San Francisco! Now that is one beautiful city. I had a great time seeing the Golden gate bridge, Lombard a.k.a the world's most crooked street, Fisherman's Wharf etc etc. More SF, more 'walking-around-so-much-your-feet-threaten-to-dislodge', and finally Yosemite National Park. It is one beautiful beautiful place. And if you like to be close to nature without getting swamped by people, plan to go there on a weekday. Less crowd. Trust me. One week went away in the blink of an eye. But the best ... was yet to come.

Our flight back home was set to leave on Saturday evening at 7.45 PM. Unfortunately the airlines we booked (UNITED) did not turn up on the runway. It was delayed/cancelled/who knows/who cares and we were in an unfortunate 'standby' list; which as it is with standby lists, never would get cleared. Now generally airlines overbook as is standard policy. So before you ever get onto a flight, there exists a full possibility of your getting kicked out of it if you are an 'overbooked' passenger. So anyway, there is a 'waiting' list and there is a 'standby' list and a w-list takes precedence over an s-list. Never mind, if both lists contain names hanging in there like hot potatoes. Though the airlines have to first accomodate the waiting list-ers and then go to the standby. As a result of a mixture of fate and mathematics (its a long explanation as to how that word got into the fray) and policies, we were stranded in the airport.

When we spoke to the guys at the help desk, they apologized profusely for all the inconvenience caused. Nice.

We asked them when we could actually get to see the inside of a plane.

They said 'We don't know.'

And then they went back apologizing profusely for all the inconvenience caused. Oh, and also handed us these little pamphlets that spoke eloquently on UNITED's rights and reservations and stuff. Just in case, someone decided to sue for emotional trauma.

We then went dragging ourselves, along with the luggage to a second customer-centric help desk.

And that's when we met our angel.

She put us up at a lovely hotel, presented us with 2 $15 food coupons and two tickets to Washington, via Denver.

First class.

Ahh. The flight to Denver was good ... I mean, instead of the economy 3-seater, you have a two-seater covering the same space. So more leg-room yadda-yadda-yadda and we had a good flight. But then .. the flight to Washington ... oh my oh my. They had these individual 'S' shaped areas. It was about having your own space. No neighbours. You are all there. On your own. A laptop-monitor-sized personal TV, storage at your fingertips (literally I mean ... one button and ta-daaa ... a door pops open from somewhere revealing hidden compartments ... it was like being on Treasure island :D) , two large pillows, and a very soft blanket.

Then I found a magic button. Just press it, and your seat unravells itself to be a wonderful soft bed. It was studying metamorphoses all over again I tell ya. All in all ... San Fran has been gooooooood to us!

I believe now ... if there's heaven above... baby ... its first class :D.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Ramlalji, aaj main bhi maan gaya ... Jo jeeta wahi sikander!

So I've been watching Jo Jeeta Wahi Sikander again. And again. And again. And again. In a space of 5 hours, I have watched that wonderful climax at least 6-7 times, not including the whole movie everytime cheering for my beloved Sanju aka Aamir Cutie Khan. (Note: I don't care if you think I am jobless.)

However I think they made a mistake in the filming of the race. Everytime the race is on, the commentator speaks of "Baramullah ke khatarnaak pahaadi" and tops it with the "Kodaikanal road". I thought the whole story was set in Dehradun. So unless Kodaikanal is mountain range in Dehradun, (which I very much doubt), the filmmakers made a mistake here. But I nitpick. I just love that movie. First of all, there is that sure fire theme of the underdog win, which I in general lap up like a hunger-ridden Jack Russel. Then the songs. There's peppy, romantic classic, awww, so cuuuuute, you take your pick.

My favourite is however not any particular song though (I like all of them, even the "Naam hai mera fonseca"). My fav in the movie is that climax track. The part where Sanju is right behind that Shekhar Malhotra and the music goes from adrenaline-squirt to adrenaline-pump. And slowly he overtakes him in that 'dhin-chak-dhin -dhindhin-chak' drone. A.W.E.S.O.M.E.

I have been thinking though, if there were a sequel to JJWS, what and how would it be. Forget sequel, after Sanju gets home with that gigantic cup in his hand, I wonder how his formidable dad would treat him? Finally give him the bhaav he has been craving for since Act1, scene1? His brother Ratan would be incredibly proud of him though, but maybe the attention would get to him finally and he would start feeling jealous of his kid bro? I wonder what would happen. There really should be a sequel to this. Really.

Until then, I shall watch that climax (and maybe the whole movie) again :D. Jai Ramji ki mai-baap!!!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

The chronicles of a married couple ...

N : Honey! I'm home!
M: Aa gaye!!! (The whole hindi phillum style ... wife standing with belan in hand scene) Ab yaad aayi tumhe ghar ki?
N : Mujhe bahut bhook lag rahi hai? Khaana do mujhe...
M:(Taken aback) Tumne mujhe samajh kya rakha hai? Naukraani hoon kya tumhari?
N : Jo bhi ho ... raani tho hoooooooo
M: (Rolling eyes) Why do I even bother?

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Fortune fame, mirror vain, gone insane, but the memory remains.

I am back! From Sunny Florida baby! Of course, the 4 days we stayed there, it was raining, freezing and in general far removed from its out'ray'geous title. I went up ... down rather, to meet up with me bro who studies there. And K is his roomie. K, a.k.a, sthitham.

Trip over, it was time to leave. I vowed to myself that I would sleep ASAP and get up real early (at this point in time, my husband snorted and excused himself. Probably to laugh himself silly, but oh well...) and leave the next day at 8.00 AM. And then we all went ahead and stayed up till 2.30 AM. I don't know what it was that started our trip down memory lane (you see, sthitham, me bro, and I, have known each other since 16 years. Ok. I've known my brother longer, but you get the general idea.), but we picked up speed and started recounting stuff that went past the Jurassic era and clamoured back to my pre-US days.

I think the discussion started out with how my brother owed me money. (:D) And our fights, our first swear words ... stuff like that. Bonding, bonding, and more bonding. My husband of course was only a poor, imprisoned witness to all our ramblings. As I said, we were bonding.

It was in the course of the conversation, (by this time, we had come to my pre-US days) that medical care in the US came up, and how it was so absurdly heavy on the purse. (And the soul, coz to pay for stuff here, you might just have to sell it to the devil). And of course we had to then launch on our injuries through the years, our cuts and bruises, going into indepth detailing of the various hues and fluids that spawned out of it. Dentists can't be far off when you speak of injuries and that's how this story came up.

Just before I came to the US, I got my two remaining wisdom teeth removed. From the moment, that damned dull ache started in my jaw I knew that it was time to bid goodbye to my two remaining structures of sapience in my jawline. "To the dentist", was the slogan raised. When I went in, I didn't recognize him at first, (he did put on some weight and had grown a moustache (its amazing what a difference that thing makes to a face)) but obviously it didn't take long to exchange courtesies and there we were, on that familiar dentist's stool+sofa+couch+electric chair thingy with that blinding light on my face and the dentist's voice telling me that 'This might hurt a bit'. (You think?)

After the first tooth was removed, and somewhere between removing the second, the dentist goes "Please ma. Don't bite." I nod and mumble "Ohe hoechor". After a couple of minutes, the dentist says again in that sing-song voice of his, "Pls ma ... don't bite ma. You are biting my hand ma". Ouch. Embarrassing. Thanks to the anaesthetic, I had no sensation of biting anyone and I thought his first statement was more of a 'I'm doing this in your mouth, there is a chance that you might clamp your jaws on my palm. Please don't' kinda warning. Poor chap. I really was sinking my teeth into his hand. Ugh. Of course I scrambled as much as I could in that dentist's chair thingy, and wishing heartily to turn into vapour, I mumbled an 'Oh' and many-a-sorry, all starting with 'h' and sounding like a bunch of 'h's and 'o's.

By the time I finished that story, I had tears in my eyes. Actually everyone did. I think everyone might have had internal injuries too, from all the laughter. (Chuckles) Yep... some trips truly rock. Especially the ones that involve memory lanes. They are fun. And they are free. :D

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Where there's a leak, there's water

I had my first housewife adventure today. My apartment got flooded :D. And the reason I'm gleeful 'bout this is, as my ever-helpful husband puts it ever so subtly, ' you don't have to do anything but sit on the couch". Now the question is, what the hell am I doing sitting pretty on the sofa while the house fills its insides with water? Not definitely waiting for a little dinghy to wing by and rescue me.

It all starts when I wash up my dishes and come out into the hall to relax a wee bit and also help myself to a chocolate milano (aaaaaaaah ...) cookie. Unfortunately, the hall decides to wash itself and there's a film of water stretching all the way till the carpet, devouring a bit of it already. After a 45-min session with the mop and the floor, I ditch the milano and decide to go in to the kitchen to replenish my strength with a glass of milk. And what do you know. More water. And I had JUST finished a 30-minute session with the kitchen BEFORE I had that 45-min session with the hall and I CAN'T TAKE THIS ANYMORE!!!

I decide to pop by my neighbour and ask him if he could help me a bit and hey!Its the maintenance guys in there (Empty apartment + place crawling with maintenance guys = relieved and happy me). And before you know it, our place is crawling with the maintenance dudes. By the way, ever since I've moved in here, I have been wanting to mop that hall, but owing to a variety of reasons, mainly laziness, I've been putting that off. And now, that hall's been cleaned five to six times. And I'm not the one doing it!!! :) God bless those maintenance chappies.

The work's still going on by the way, even as I type this. There's a pipe in there that's leaking and the chappies have decided to blow a hole in the wall (not ours, the empty apartment gets the brunt of it. Yet again.) to fix it. I hope it turns out all fine and more importantly, dry.

So that's that. I'll get going now. Have to visit a temple.

PS : Runaway leaks, flooded house and visiting temples. I really AM a housewife.

PPS: Love it.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

The strange case of the issue with the tissue.

I'm generally not one for body humour ... especially if its the lower half of the body and its multifarious aspects that's under scrutiny. So it took a long time for me to decide on whether or not to write 'bout whatever it is that I'm about to write now. You see ... its about (hushed whispers) my tussle with the tissue.

I recently got married (normal voice) and like many married women who move to the US 'coz their corresponding pati parmeshwars stay there; I did too. Our flight route took us through London, starting from Mumbai, and finally landing at Washington DC. Now the thing is, just before we left, I had an attack of gastroenteritis, and that meant that I had to rush to the bathroom at the slightest gesture from my poor stomach. So there I was in that constant mumble-y state of mind, and rumble-y state of tummy and it was with that, that I left my beloved Hyderabad. Anyway, we soon landed in Heathrow and nature called, and then eventually started to yell.

I had to rush to the loo, and... no water! And tissue... ewwww. Is it me or does anyone else also find the whole tissue thingy gross? 'Coz using a piece of paper to do away with your job is really not my idea of a job well done. (And I can't believe I just typed that!) Anyway, what happened had to happen. When I came to the US and stepped into my new home however, I decided to put my foot down. No tissue. I lost. Well, not half actually. I got a jar.

Hey its not like I didn't try you know. I did. But I think I stay jarred. The other day, I went out with a couple of friends to play pool. A few half-hours later, my friend G draws me aside and asks me if I'd adjusted with the tissue. As you know, I'm a shy and retiring person, who generally shrinks from discussing stuff like that. I tried to wriggle out of the situation. I know I'm going to regret writing this later, but I think I mumbled something 'bout alternating.

But the question is, is it just me? I want to know if there are other stricken humans out there too who grapple with the issue of the tissue. If I can be brazen enough to write about this fragrant topic, I'm sure the comments can be air-freshener-ed in too.

It’s what they say ...'Speak up Amreeka'.