Thursday, November 27, 2008


I never was interested in food. Eating has always been just another task for me. When someone asks me: “Which is your favorite dish?” I never ever really know what it can be. But there are times when I really feel like having samosa chat at the bandi opposite S10, pani-puri near the police officer’s mess in masab tank and the sweet chutney along with samosa in agra sweets, the Indian spice pizza at Universal Bakes…. Oh my! My mouth has already started to water. You may ask, do I miss all these dishes now that I am in the US. No way! I am not a food buff.

Yet there is something that has changed a little here. I have started testing with new varieties of food. I am amazed at the choice of vegetarian items that is available here. Ever since this travel plan was scheduled for the first time, I have been brain-washed, that there is hardly anything to eat for vegetarians and that, vegetarians will have a tough time here. It’s not true at all!

Thanks to Vikranth, I get to different restaurants and taste different kinds of food. The first new dish that I tasted here was a Mexican preparation called Tamale. Almost at once, I became a fan of the dish.

I was working in the Libertyville plant. Vikranth came into the CAVE, where we work. He placed something rolled in a yellowed corn husk on my desk. He gave me a fork and knife and also some pepper. “Try this! You will like it,” he said.

I eyed at it as though it were an object in the museum. I pulled behind the cornhusk and a delicious aroma spread around me. It looked like rava upma. When a cut a piece, I could see that it was stuffed with something that resembled paneer. I put a morsel of it in my mouth and it was too tasty. The plate was empty in no time.

“What is this called?” I asked Vikranth.
“It’s called Tamale, a Mexican preparation.”

Mexican is closest to Indian food. Many people may disagree with me and say that Thai food is closest. I am looking at it from the spices point of view. Mexican food uses turmeric and other spices that make the food spicier.

We went to a Mexican restaurant for lunch a couple of times. I can’t remember its name, though I can say that it looks like a shed from outside. But it is always crowded with people. The food is yummy and at the same time the price is very reasonable.

As soon as we are seated at the table, we are offered corn chips and tomato gravy. We can have how much ever we want. It’s all on the house.
I have observed that in most of the hotels, the water is always served with ice. And people drink even water using straws. In fact Vikranth had to literally push the straw towards me, when I lifted the glass to drink water without the straw. He saves my grace at such occasions, when I don’t know how to eat or drink. Everything is so different out here.

The staple food in a Mexican meal is Tortilla. In our Indian language, we can call them corn rotis. Every dish has these tortillas. Burritos are like paneer wraps that we get in Hyderabad. A bean burrito will have beans curry with cheese and sour cream and tomatoes wrapped up in a corn roti. A taco will have roti and other curries, cheese and sour cream on top of it. We need to roll it and eat!

And in vegetarian, we get beans only, and of course tomato. They probably use only these two vegetables.

A quesadilla looks like our dil-khush but it’s not sweet. I had a cheese quesadilla. It was very very delicious.

We even tried a cool drink there. It’s called Horshata. It is made of rice. It looks and tastes like Rooh-Afza.

Oh my! I have written so much about Mexican food, I should have named this post as Mexican food! I have lot more to write about food. Rest in next!

Sunday, November 9, 2008


Last Friday night was a special night for me. I had the first glimpse of light snow – what they call here as flurries. When we finished our shopping and came out of the mall, it was raining outside. Everyone rushed into the car. After I locked myself up under the seat belt, I looked outside. It was not that heavy a rain, yet there were lots of thumping onto the roof of the car. That was when Vikranth pointed out, “These are called flurries.”

I observed the windscreen. I could see rain falling onto the glass, yet the drops would not drip down. The wiper had to literally wipe it off the glass. I realized they were not drops of water. They were more like granules of ice. They looked more like a bird’s dropping on the windscreen and wiper having to clean it. Sorry for the pathetic comparison. But that was the first thing that came to my mind when I saw the first blob of flurry. I don’t know what they are called. As we say drops of rain, could we call them blobs of flurry? Or will flurries of snow be appropriate? I am not sure.

So finally I got to watch the snow! I am so happy.

Today, I was drawing back the curtains when I noticed some white feather like particles floating in the air. Oh my God! That was snow. I was so fascinated that I shut down all the lights in my room and pressed my nose against the windowpane to observe the white thermocol ball like things flying outside my window. I was disheartened for a minute, when I thought they might be some insects moving around. But no! It was snow. A very light one may be, because I could not see any white thing covering the lawn or the pathway outside.

I don’t think I would have given anything in the world in exchange for that moment. I was behaving like a child. I was so excited. I was on cloud nine. After all, it’s not that bad to be in Chicago in November!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Early Life in Chicago!

With all your best wishes with me, I reached Chicago safely. The flight started an hour late and so the connecting flight was also late.

All in all my first flight journey was a pleasant experience. I enjoyed watching the lights below during the night flight journey and then during the my second flight journey, I loved watching the fluffy clouds. It was so exciting to watch the rivers and terrain from above. What I enjoyed the most was the scene outside when the flight was landing. It was awesome! :)

I took a taxi and reached hotel room by 3:00PM. I observed that there were not many buildings on my way to the hotel from airport. As I was alone, I concentrated more on the signboards and the driver's conversation on his mobile, rather than on the scenery. When he dropped me at the hotel, I sighed in relief and gave him a huge tip! :)

Sreeram took me out on the very next day. We went to Lake Michegan and then to Downtown. I got on top of a 97 storey building and had a great view on Chicago. I even walked on the Millenium Avenue, where all the branded shops are present. May be we both were not feeling that comfortable in each other's presence. There were long silences in the conversations. Though we were trying to please each other and make the other feel at ease, there was still a kind of distance between us.

The whole I first week, I had my lunches and dinners with Sreeram, Vikranth and DK. I got to meet Vikranth's wife Sapna and her little daughter, Samika. They all take care of me like a family member. I feel so lucky and special!

It's all a new and strange kind of an experience here in Chicago.

First with the driving; the steering wheel is at the right... So many times, I have opened the driver's side of the door and then realized that I have to sit on the other side. I hope I am making sense. Anyway you got to read all my nonsense, because it's been ages since I have written to you.

My hotel room is very nice, with all the amenities. Imagine, I even have an iron box and hair dryer!

When the hotel management took so much care to provide all the necessities, they forgot on the basics. I have the entire kitchenware in the room, but there is no peeler. How am i supposed to cook and eat vegetables like beetroot? Strange... Last week, it took me almost an hour to peel the beetroot with knife and then cut it...

I was told that the weather is too cold in Chicago. The day I reached here, I was sweating from head to toe... Now that was not because I was nervous, it was because the weather was hot and sultry! It's becoming chiller day by day and I pray everyday that it should not rain. I forgot my umbrella in Hyd.

When I travelled, I paintstaking prepared the list of items to be carried. I managed to bring everything, except for a water bottle. So sad! You may ask: Why so sad? I will tell you. It's sad because the ppl here use a water fountain to drink water. And it took me almost 3 days to understand how it works. And during that time, I had to wait till I went back to my room, to drink a glass of water. I bought a bottle of coke for 1.75 dollars... that's close to Rs. 80, just to get it to office.

During the weekend when I had to wash my clothes, I realized one thing. How do I wash it with my hands? There's no bucket or anything. I went to the laundry and put most of my clothes in that vending washing machine. Still I had some more which I dint want to put in the machine. I dint want to give it to the hotel laundry either. So, how did I wash them? No, I dint fill the bath tub with water and wash... ha ha ha.... My wash basin in the bathroom has a stopper. I put the stopper and fill the basin with water (Mind you, the basin was really really clean.) Then, I put some washing powder into it and soak my clothes inside the wash basin. Funny no? Then somehow, I wash them and rinsed them inside the wash basin itself. And for drying them, I put them into the dryer downstairs. It charges me 1.5 dollars. The clothes that come out are wram and dry. But every positive point will be associated with side-effects. the side-effects here: wrinkles! every part of the garment had a wrinkle... Even the polyster and chiffon duppattas had wrinkles... Oh my God! My entire Sunday went away in ironing the clothes.

I went for a long walk in the afternoon last weekend. The place where I stay is called Buffalo Grove. It's in the suburbs of Chicago. The trees were in varieties of colours. They were shredding away their leaves. The sun and wind were playing with the trees. There was so much breeze. I felt very very happy. I observed the different kind of trees and flowers. I also noticed that there was nobody walking on the road. May be that's not the American way of enjoyment!
Thanks to Vikranth, I commute to office easily. He picks me and drops me up everyday. Must be a pain for him; yet he does it methodically with a cheerful face.

I am still getting used to the environment in office. There's not much work, except forwarding the mails from offshore to client and from client to offshore. I sometimes feel I am working in postal department. And sometimes I feel I am more like a telephone operator. ha ha ha. Let's see how things change in course of time.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Cockroach that brought me closer to God!

I enter the bathroom carrying a cauldron full of boiling water in my hands. I pour the steaming water into two buckets and open the tap. Cold water pours into the bucket while I cautiously dip my hand in the bucket to check the water temperature. The water is too hot!

I undress and sit on the short stool placed next to the buckets. I put the small cup of shampoo next to me on the bathroom floor. Oops! I forget to close the tap and the water has become lukewarm! But that’s fine. The weather is not that chill today.

I wet my hair and start applying the shampoo to my scalp. While the lather spreads to my hair, I notice a little black crawling creature near the drain hole.

Oh my God! It’s a cockroach!

I am initially too shocked to react. When I regain my senses, I try scaring away the cockroach by pouring hot water on it. That only makes it wriggle a little and then it changes its direction from right to left. What do I do? Obviously, I can’t rush out of the bathroom with lather on my hair and with water dripping from my body. And that too with me dressed like a newborn baby!

The shampoo starts to get into my eyes and I shut them at once. Shutting my eyes, calmed my senses too and starting humming a song that my aunt taught me when I was in school. It’s a song on Lord Shiva which has a line saying: “If we want to chant Shiva’s name all of sudden, it will never come in your mouth. Hence, start chanting his name from now itself, so that when your end is near, you can easily remember HIM.”

I was surprised at the number of songs that I could recollect from my childhood days. The songs that my grandmother taught me, when I must have been hardly 5 years old, are still clearly etched in my memory. I enjoy singing each one of them. The song that describes the features of Little Krishna and another one that talks of all the pranks he played on the Gopikas and my favorite being the one in which Little Krishna tells his mother, Yashoda, that all what the Gopikas are telling is baseless and that they are all lying…

I even chant Hanuman Chalisa while massaging my scalp with the shampoo and rinsing it off. Even the famous Bhaja Govindam does not escape my notice. I get mesmerized in the world of philosophy when I listen to the verse that says:
“Maa kuru dhanajanayouvanagarvam
Harati nimeshaatkaalah sarwam
Maayaamayamidamakhilam hithwa
Brahmapadam twam pravisha viditwa”

It means:
The pleasures and riches of worldly life are deceptive appearances. Understanding that they are all but a passing-show, be detached and dispassionate, cultivate renunciation and seek Brahman.

I wash away the last traces of shampoo from my hair, while singing, “Oh Paalan Haare Nirgun Aur Nyaare…” from the movie “Lagaan”. I was one of my thatha’s favorite melodies. And then slowly I get back to singing filmy songs with those jataks and mataks.

I don’t even realize when the cockroach disappeared back into the drain hole. But finally when I am rubbing myself dry, I realize one thing. If it had not been for the cockroach, I would have never thought of God at all! The little fear in me on the sight of the cockroach made me chant hymns and slokams.

And it also made me realize that there is hardly anything in our hands. Whatever will happen, will happen! Of course we have to put in our efforts but there is someone up above us watching and making us do things.

Thank you Mr. Cockroach for making me sing those songs and taking me back to my childhood days!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Why do they never seem to understand?

Why doesn't any guy want to get married?
Pat comes the reply. "I am not ready to take any responsibility" or "Why should I lose my freedom, yaar?" or "It's too early for me to get married."

Whenever the girl-friend tries to broach the subject of marriage, the guy either gets irritated or gives a deaf ear to it. Why?

Girl: "My parents are looking out for matches for me..."
Boy: "Hmm..."
Girl: "Shall I talk with them about you?"
Boy: "Well... I am not sure dear! Shall I tell you something?"
Girl: "What?"
Boy: "I have always felt that I am not the right guy for you."
Girl: "So?"
Boy: "There are much better guys in the world, sweetie."
That simply means go find another groom for yourself. Well, the guy knows deep in his heart that nothing like that will happen. His girlfriend will definitely wait for him. So, he has nothing to lose. But how about the girl? She will have to bear the pressure of her parents from one side and handle her relatives who try to bring new matches for her everyday and endure those people who keep asking why she is not married yet.

Girl: "It's been five years since we've been seeing each other."
Boy: "Oh yes, honey! Never realized that the time could fly this fast!"
Girl: "I think it's time we get married."
Boy: "But don't you think it's too early for me to get married. I am just 24."
Girl: "So, am I... And for a girl, 24 is high-time that she gets married!"
Boy: "Can't you wait for me?"
Girl: "Atleast let's get engaged."
Boy: "So, you don't trust me?"
How is the girl supposed to answer that question? First of all, the society does not spare a moment to harass her with questions about her marital status, as though that is the most important thing in the world; and to make the matters worse, there is no support from the guy also. If the girl did not trust him, then she will never allow him to come any closer. The fact that she has been going steady with him for five years, implies that she completely trusts him. But can he not reciprocate her trust by getting married to her or atleast getting engaged to her?

Girl: "Darling, will you marry me?"
Boy: "Er... er... your question kind-of shocked the hell out of me?"
Girl: "What's there in it to get shocked?"
Boy: "Well, that was a very unexpected question dear..."
Girl: "You have not answered me yet."
Boy: "To be frank, I have never wanted to get into any kind of relationships."
Oh! So he was not interested in any relationships, but he did not mind getting closer and make her a little more than a close friend. What happened to his so-called principle of not getting into relationships, when he took her out for a date? And what did he not think about his principle when they continued to see each other continuously for two full years?

I say: "To hell with such guys!"

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Best book I ever read!

Recently I read "The Five People You Meet in Heaven" by Mitch Albom. Opened the first page and could not put the book even for a minute. It is neither a mystery nor an adventure. Yet, it holds our attention till the end.

It is the story of an old person who dies while trying to save a little girl at an amusement park. The story is about the five people he meets in heaven, after his death. These are the five persons who were responsible for the turning points in his life....

Simplicity is the word to describe this book.
My sister, who does not read anything but adventures and mysteries, finished this book in a single go, in 5 hours. :-)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Chand Mera Dil...

It feels so happy to see people in love. They are simply lost in a world of their own.

The passion in his eyes when he talks about his beloved...
The glow on his face when he receives his soul-mate's call...
The smile on his lips when he gets an SMS from her...
His excitement when is about to meet her...
The blush on his cheeks when someone teases him about her...
The feelings, he puts into any song he sings, probably imagining that he is singing it for his beloved...
The frustration he shows in everything he does, when his date gets cancelled...
The devadas look when he has had a fight with her...
The longing in his eyes when he knows that they will not be able to meet for long long time...
Oh my! It simply fills me with so much warmth for them!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008


My present feelings can be aptly described by the following quote:
There is no greater impotence in all the world like knowing you are right and that the wave of the world is wrong, yet the wave crashes upon you. - Norman Mailer

Monday, April 28, 2008

Getting Married Part-VI

(Continuation of "Getting Married Part-V")
“So, when are you getting married?” asks Bhavana.
“Do I have to?” I reply.
I look at the expression of disbelief and shock in her eyes.
“How can you talk like this?” she asks, “Is it a case of love-failure?”
Now it was my turn to be shocked.
“Does it have to be a love-failure, when a person decides not to marry?” I retort back.
“Well, that’s what happens in most of the cases.”
“I don’t agree with you.”
“Then tell me the reason why you don’t want to get married,” she starts pulling my leg.
Instead of answering her, I ask, “Why do I need to give you an explanation?”

Before we could argue any further, I get a call on my extension and Bhavana gets back to her cubicle.
“Hello?” says a very familiar voice.
“Yes Radhika.”
Why do I not show my anger on her? She ditched me, her childhood mate, for her 6-months old fiancé; yet I don’t scream and shout at her. Why?

“Are you busy sweetheart?” she asks with a hesitation in her voice.
I am reminded of the time when she wanted to borrow my skirt for a fancy-dress competition, when we were in our primary school. There was the same hesitation, the same quivering in her voice. We were such close pals that everyone in our class would wonder why their friends were not that understanding. All my anger melts away and all that I remember is the shy smile of a sweet girl of five.
“I am in the office, Radhika,” I reply, “How are you?”
“I… I am fine,” she says and then words tumble out in a flood, “Could you… Could you do me a favour?”
“Of course dear!”
“There is absolutely no balance in my cell phone. I was wondering if you could go out and buy a re-charge card for me and sms me the 10-digit code number.”
“Where are you?”
“I’m in a bus traveling from my aunt’s place to home.”
“Is it that urgent?”
“Hmm… I just checked my balance; it’s just ten rupees. It’s will take me an hour to reach home. Meanwhile I thought I could talk with Siddhu…”
The mere mention of her fiancé makes me feel frustrated. I want to end the call as soon as possible.
“Why don’t you ask him to get a recharge card for you?” I ask
“No… No… How can I do that?”
“He’s after all, your fiancé.”
“I can’t do that,” she exclaims, “What will he think of me?”
“Oh come on! You are going to spend the rest of your life with him.”
“You will not understand!” she shouted and cut the connection.

I wonder what I will not understand. Radhika stopped finding time to be with me since so many days and now when I thought she had called to talk with me, all I get to hear is: Another help required! Am I a departmental store or a personal assistant to get things done for anyone? I also have feelings. Just because I don’t call her, it does not mean that I don’t have any feelings for her. It hurts not to be with her, not to share my thoughts with her, not to talk with her… But all that she is bothered about is her Siddhu!

He is going to be her husband; yet she is uncomfortable asking him for a small help. Is she mad? Why does she need to keep pretences with her closed one? She did not bat an eyelid before she called me to ask. How mean of her! Why do people take others for granted! Why do they not realize that even others need love and affection? They feel terrible when someone uses them and then forgets all about them…

A voice cuts into my thoughts.
“Back to your dreamland?” asks Bhavana giggling, “It’s lunchtime.”
“Give me a minute,” I cry, “I need to rush the restroom!”
While I hurry, she calls me back saying, “I am still eagerly waiting to know why you don’t want to marry.”

(To be continued in "Getting Married Part-VII")

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Bundled Messages in OA page, the solution

Thanks to Manoj.. Or Should I say, Lalith :-)
I found the solution to the problem.
The Solution:
1) Import the following Java classes
import oracle.apps.fnd.framework.OAException;

2) Create the following methods in the file:
private void addToBundle(Exception ex)
ArrayList a = (ArrayList)getOADBTransaction().getTransientValue("BUNDLEDEXCEPTION");
if (a == null)
a = new ArrayList();

public void showBundledMsg()
ArrayList a = (ArrayList)getOADBTransaction().getTransientValue("BUNDLEDEXCEPTION");
if( a != null)
throw OAException.getBundledOAException(a);

3) Usage in AM methods:
Whenever there is a validation error, instead of doing a "throw new OAException()", do a "addToBundle(new OAException());". Also use a boolean flag say "showMsg" and set it to true whenever a validation error occurs.

OAException msg = new OAException("XXTMG", "XXTMG_PV_VALID_FULLSKIDQTY", null,OAException.ERROR,null);

Finally when all the checking for validations is done, cheack the value of "showMsg". If it is true, call the "showBundledMsg" AM method
if(showMsg)//Some of the values entered into the OA page are incorrect

Well, that solves our problem! :-)

Friday, April 25, 2008

Bundled Messages in OA page

Suppose an OA page has three fields:RollNo, Name, Rank and a Submit button.
The form requires the following validations:
1) RollNo should be an integer
2) Name should be a string
3) Rank should be an integer.

When Submit button is clicked, the code in the controller is called. Here we first check the value in RollNo field, throw an Exception if it has an invalid value. Then we verify the Name field and throw an OAException, if an invalid Name is entered and lastly we validate the Rank field for invalid entry.

Suppose the user has entered wrong value into all of the fields. When he/she clicks on Submit button, then first the error message related to the RollNo field is displayed ("RollNo has to be an integer. Please enter an integer in the RollNo field.") The user enters an integer to the RollNo field and hits on Submit.

Again he sees the error related to the name field ("Name has to be a valid String. Please enter characters only into the Name field") He does accordingly and hit submit for another time.

Another error message is displayed. This time, it is related to the Rank field on the OA page.

Instead of making the user hit Submit three times, is there a way in which we can display all the error messages in one go?!

Thanks to Manoj.. Or Should I say, Lalith :-)

I found the solution to the problem.Will post it soon! :-)

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Quoting John le Carre

Coming home from very lonely places, all of us go a little mad:
from great personal success,
or just an all-night drive,
we are the sole
survivors of a world
no one else has ever seen.
- John le Carre

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

How to check if the user has entered an integer or a float value using Java?

I realized that Java does not provide any standard library method like isInteger() for the verification.
I came upon two good methods for checking if the user has entered an integer value or float value.
Solution 1:
String enteredNumber = "6.234";
double d=double.parseInt(enteredNumber);
if (Math.floor(d)==d) {
// d is an integer
// d's not an integer

Solution 2:
String enteredNumber = "6.234";
try {
int v = Integer.parseInt(enteredNumber);
valid = true;
// it's an integer
} catch(NumberFormatException e) {
valid = false;
//it's not an integer


To get the fractional portion of a number in Java

Problem:How do to get the fractional portion of a number in Java?
Suppose we have a number 4.56.
We need to get 0.56(fractional part) of it.
double fraction(double d) {
if (d >= 0)
return d-Math.floor(d);
return d-Math.ceil(d);

Thanks to this link:

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Farewell to S10

For the past 2 years, S10 has been my second home. I think I must have spent more here rather than at my home. :-)
As all things are prone to changes, so is my location. Our project has been shifted to Campus and from tomorrow, we will be working from Campus.

This sudden change is making me feel very insecure and restless, I don't know why.

For the past two years, S10-4F10 has been the adda for most of our NCG-10 ppl... For the guys working in non-S10 locations, this location has been the baggage counter(cloak room).. By 6PM, my desk has been decorated with your bags, jerkins, helmets etc. etc. Most of you have used my system at some point or the other, for sending mails or to play games or to copy photos using USB ;-)

But from now on, this desk, this location will be used by someone else. S10-4F10 has been my location but now I will have to leave it for someone else to occupy.

My desk drawers have been home to all the sauce sachets from McD, for snacks that would come in handy during late-night treats and also for paper-plates, butter-knife, spoons etc. etc... It was also a stationery unit where one could find staplers, pins and other knick-knacks... I have emptied the drawers now, for I have to submit the desk keys to the facilities... I have never seen my desk, this empty..

Whoever gets a call from 6405 will say, "Haan Arathi.. Enti? Cheppu..." (even when it's Spoo or Shank who is making the call.. ) The number 6405 has been an permanent extn number for me.. But from tomorrow, the calls to this number will not be picked up by me... :-(

You must be thinking, what an emotional fool, I am... But guys, this is what I feel right now.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Getting Married, Part-V

(Continuation of "Getting Married Part-IV")
A girl leaves her home to spend the rest of her life with a completely different/new family. She adjusts her life style, her dressing, her working hours etc. to suit her new home. Yet she is not the bakra here! Only the guy is bakra!

She has to forgo her professional career if they decide to have a baby. Yet the guy is the bakra!

After marriage is there any change in the way a man lives? Not much, in fact the change is almost negligible! He still continues to get up at seven… gets a ready cup of coffee and breakfast once he gets ready… His clothes are readily pressed for him as always… Even after he returns from office, he gets to watch his favorite TV programs…

How about the girl? She is expected to cook, wash and clean and take care of the family… She is asked to do things that she has never done before. She has to manage home and office… Yet the guy is the bakra! How mean! Why is life so partial!

Bhavana and I are having our lunch together when I see the wedding card of her friends. It says: “Sanjay weds Sarika(alias Gautami)”

“What’s Sarika doing?”
“Who’s Sarika?”
“Sanjay’s fiancée.”
“Oh! You mean Gautami?” she says, “She’s a school teacher. Actually, her name is Gautami only. But according to Sanjay’s horoscope, he should marry a girl whose name starts with an S. Only then he will be wealthy.”
“So? So, she has changed her name for him?” I ask.
“Oh no! He has asked her to change it to Sarika,” she replies and adds, “In fact, she did not want to change her name at all. But her parents insisted that she will never get a better marriage proposal; so she had to change her name.”
“Bad! Very bad!” I exclaim and add, “Very sad too!”

In general the girl’s surname changes after her marriage. In fact, after her marriage, Bhavana prefers to be called as Bhavana Dubey, rather than Bhavana Sharma. One day, I asked her, “Why did you change your name after marriage?”
“That is our India tradition, dear,” she said and continued, “One day, even you will change your name.”
“Do you like being called Ms. Dubey rather than Ms. Sharma?”
“Yes, of course!””Is your husband called Mr. Sharma?”
“No,” she replied in a shock, “Why will Vinod be called a Sharma? He was born in the Dubey family.”
“But you were also born in a Varma family not a Dubey family,” I argued.
“You don’t seem to value Indian traditions.”
“It’s not like that. People do not wish to change something that has been continued for ages. They don’t want to see a change. They don’t want to be singled out and pointed out. Or sometimes, they have been brainwashed to such a extent that they accept all the norms of the society without any question. If someone goes against these general norms, he/she is called arrogant.”
I got so angry that day that I stormed out of her cubicle. But now, changing of surname seemed so small when compared to changing a person’s name. We have been called by a name since our birth, it is the same name that we see in all our school certificates and ID cards, and now all at once, it is printed differently in our wedding card. It’s so sad! Why are we forced to change for someone else? If Gautami was interested in changing her name, it would be fine, but this change has been against her wishes. I pity at the plight of most of the girls in the society.

(To be Continued in "Getting Married Part-VI")

Delightful Dosa, Part-II

(Continued from Part-I...)

Two months later:
The Mom prepared the batter for dosas and put it in the fridge. The next day was the dosa-day. They all would have dosas for breakfast. She prepared the spicy onion sambar and the sweet coconut chutney and set them on the dining table. As the daughter was busy solving a puzzle given by her Dad, there was no banging of plates and spoons and no shouting slogans. It was a calm Sunday.

The Mom wanted to start making the dosas but the Dad was missing. He had not gone out but he was not inside the house either. The Mom called out to the daughter to fetch her Dad. Just then the phone started ringing. She went to the drawing room to pick it up. It was one of her childhood friends. She chatted with her without the sense of the passage of time.

In the mean time she could smell the making of dosa. She thought she was just imagining things. But she was wrong. Soon the Dad and daughter got a tray laden with a hot, crispy dosa, bowl of sambar and a bowl of chutney to the drawing room. They dragged a side-stool and placed the tray on it. She was so much overwhelmed that she hastily ended the call and sat transfixed. The Dad cut a piece of the yummy dosa, dipped it into the tasty sambar and put it into the Mom’s mouth.

Mom’s eyes filled with tears of gratitude. After almost five years, she was having a homemade dosa. After the initial hesitation, she ate and ate and ate till she could eat no more. The Dad put dosa after dosa onto her plate and she gulped it down at an equally fast pace. When she felt that her tummy would burst, she put the plate in the sink and washed her hands. She saw the Dad in the kitchen making more dosas for the daughter and for him. She simply put her arms around him from behind and gave him a warm hug.

That night after the daughter was tucked into the bed and fast asleep, the Mom and the Dad lay on a thin mattress on the terrace, gazing at the stars.

The Mom asked, “Where did you learn to make such good dosas?”
“I learnt them from your mom.”
“But when?” she asked in surprise.
“Why do you think I have been coming home late for the past two months?”
“Oh! So, you have been meeting your mother-in-law in secret?” she teased.
He laughed and said “I have always wondered why you always ordered for dosas whenever we went out to eat. But you would never eat them at home. I thought, may be you don’t like home-made dosas but then you always eat them when you are at your place. That was when I went to your mother and asked for the reason. She said that sometimes when we use a lot of oil during cooking, we would be left with a nauseating feeling. We might not even like to have anything, even if it were our favorite snack. The same would hold for vadas, puris, pakodis and bhajjis.”

He paused and took her hands in his and asked, “Why didn’t you tell me this, dear?”
“Tell you that I don’t feel like having my favorite snack anymore?”
“Not that. You should have told that you were sacrificing the food preparation that you like the most, just for the sake of us.”
“It’s not like that!” she argued, “I love it when I see you enjoy your dosa.”
“While you choke yourself in the smoke inside the kitchen?”
Mom could not say anything more.
“I could not bear to keep quiet after seeing you doing so much for us,” said Dad
“So, the person, who hates to even make tea, has now learnt to make tasty dosas,” she chuckled.
He nodded and replied, “From now on, I will be the only one making dosas…”
“...And I will be the one to eat them,” she added happily.
“But of course,” he added, “You will have to make the sambar and chutney!”

Mom snuggled closer to Dad realizing how happy and fortunate she was to get a husband like him!

(Well, that's the end of the story! :-D)

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Delightful Dosa

The Dad and the daughter were sitting at the table making sounds by hitting the plates and glasses with spoons and forks. It was music to their ears. Mom came into the dining room. She has two bowls in her hand. She put that down and went back into the kitchen. Dad and daughter started sniffing at the bowls imitating dogs. The aroma of onion sambar and smell of freshly ground coconut hung in the air. This made them all the more hungry and they started singing, “We want dosa. We want dosa,” at the top of their voices. The banging of plates and tumblers gave them the required background music.

The Mom smiled at the two and hurried back to the kitchen. She had two tawas on the gas stove and started to making dosas, two at a time. She put a little oil on the tawa, then poured a ladle of thick batter onto it and spread it evenly on the tawa’s surface. She put some more oil around the edges of the dosa, flipped it on the tawa and waited till it cooked. The dosa, after completion, would go directly on the plates of Dad or daughter. The Dad helped the daughter cut a piece of the crispy dosa, dip it into a cup of spicy onion sambar or sweet coconut chutney and put it in her mouth. The Mom was reminded of her childhood days when her Dad would so the same for her. When she could eat dosas to her heart content. These days things had changed a little.

While making dosas, the entire kitchen would be filled the smell of burning oil. Even with the exhaust fan switched on, the smoke remained for sometime. While making the first few dosas, the mother’s mouth would water, but with the Dad and daughter eagerly waiting to taste them, she would want to serve them first. By the time they had finished eating, with the smell of smoke around, the mother would lose her appetite and sometimes would have a feeling of nausea. She would not make any dosas for herself. Instead, she would eat a little curd rice. She would be alone at the table as the Dad and daughter, with their tummies full, would be lying on the divan in the hall and watching some cartoon programs.

That day, also the same thing happened. She was having her curd rice with pickle when the Dad came to the dining hall to drink some water. He sat beside her and asked, “The dosas are simply delicious. You are a great cook!” She smiled back at him and continued to eat. “Why did n’t you eat some?” asked Dad. “Of course, I ate,” she lied, as always, “I had two dosas and now I am having this curd rice so that I don’t feel very thirsty.” Dad gazed at her for sometime and then patted her back and went back to the TV room.

Two months later:

(To be continued soon.. I know, you people hate to see this line at the end of almost every post of mine. I promise to end this in the next two days :-D)

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Happy Extra Day!

Today is 29th February...
The extra day that comes only once in 4 yrs...
On this special day in this special month

(Feb is the only month that has less than 30days),
I want to wish all those special persons

who have added so many cherished moments in my life...

Looking back at my life,
I realize that how happy and contented,
my life has turned out to be, in the last few months..

It's all because of your presence...
My loving dears, you have touched my soul!

You are simply amazing...
I am very proud to have you all, so close to me... :-)

I pray that your life be filled with countless number of special moments..

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Do you believe in Telepathy?

Well, I don't know about you, but I do! :-)

This night our dear Mandu asked me if I needed anything for dinner. I was sitting at my office desk, fully-exhausted and dead-tired. I had already eaten my lunch for dinner, so I told him:'Nothing'. He joked that 'Nothing' can't be ordered for dinner and that it is very difficult to get 'Nothing' for me. I just smiled and got back to work. Infact I was feeling like having some sweet paans. You know what I like the most in Tabla? The sweet paans that come along with the bill. ;-)

When he returned from dinner, guess what? He had got sweet paan for me. I was utterly surprised and extremely delighted. How could he read my thoughts? Or was I silently in my thought, asking him to bring me sweet paan?
No one knows but he did read my mind and this was not the first time! :-)

So, atleast now, do you believe in Telepathy?

Monday, February 4, 2008

God is still there!

Last night I decided to take some parcels for home from Dosa Plaza. As we all know, Dosa Plaza is in the second floor. We have to take the stairs to the place. As I was about to climb the steps of the building I observed two boys (Ones who do valet parking), talking to each other. I heard one say to the other: “Take care of this girl also na!” and then both started laughing. To my disbelief, that guy started following me. I was terrified. My saree did not allow me to climb fast, yet I managed to take two steps at a time. But he was catching up fast. When I was almost at the second floor, I looked back to see him climbing faster with both his arms stretched towards me. He was at a distance where he could almost touch me. Luckily for me, two other persons were coming in the opposite direction and I rushed into Dosa Plaza.

While I was waiting for my order, I was wondering how to get out of the building. I was sure that that guy would be still lurking around. With everyone already at home, I could not call anybody. But for moral support, I just sent home an SMS telling my situation. This is what I got for reply, “Wait! Ask the waiter to drop you. He will; he knows us dear. Act quick. Courage. Nothing will happen. God is there. I wish I were there (with you).” I read it several times. But how could I ask the waiter? What would I tell him, if he asked for the reason why I wanted him to accompany me? While all these thoughts stormed my mind, the waiter got the parcels and the bill. I paid and got up to leave.

Just then the power went off. There was no provision of generator for Dosa Plaza and other outlets in that building. I cursed myself. How would I get down the stairs in dark and that too in a Saree? I felt so vulnerable. Meanwhile the waiter asked me to wait and he fetched a torch and showed me the way out through the stairs, all the way till I got out of the building.

While we were walking down, I noticed the valet parking guy following us. He was using a matchstick for light. I felt relieved that I was not alone. When the reached the last step of the staircase, I thanked the waiter profusely.

This incident has increased my faith in God. Yes, there is surely someone up there taking care of all of us.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year

Thanks to my sweet little sister, I have realized that New Year is not just partying.. It should not be just like any other year... There's much more to it.. There's much more that I have to set as my resolutions...

Here's the mail that has inspired me...

As the dawn breaks into a new day….a new year is born!!

When the entire world seems to be celebrating the new year….this is for the ones who are rushing with their lives relentlessly….

Just take time off for yourself and do want you want to do…
think of the things you have been dying to do but have pushed to the back of your mind just because you did not have the time….its time now…
break the routine…you need not keep looking at the clock…relax…take things slowly…
relish those small things in life that you don't even notice…
sleep the extra hour…don't gulp the tea down,enjoy every sip…
finish that half read book….enjoy the leisure….
When you keep running all your life, leisure is all that you need…its sometimes good to be lazy too…
Give yourself a treat…
Talk to those long lost friends who would love to hear from you…
Tell the dear ones in your life how much they mean to you….
If you can, think of the ones who have no one to care…
We all take things for granted…
Be thankful for what you are and what you have…
Aferall new year is not just about partying…..

….Its time to put the past behind…
To let go of things that need to be forgotten….
But to carry along those sweet moments of the past year woven into memories in our minds….
Its time to celebrate….the joy of life itself.
Its time to forgive too….
Give the ones who hurt you a second chance…
Its time to mend friendships…relations…
Let that dear one who wandered away know that you care.
Its time to realise how fortunate we are…
To be generous to the ones less fortunate.

New year brings with it lots of goodwill and happiness…energy and excitement…
May the sense of novelty and every positive thing that it brings with it last throughout the year!

Wish you all a wonderful year!!!!!!!

This seems a bit too long right?u can delete it if you do not like it.
Thank you for everything!

After reading this, I have decided to give more time to myself... To talk to my long lost friends and also to patch with people... Happy New Year all! :-)