Wise and Otherwise

This is the name of the latest book I read. Its authored by Sudha Murthy. ( Yes, Mrs.Narayanmurthy). What I really loved about this book was that it wasnt of a particular genre. It wasnt exactly an autobiography nor was it fiction. It was what I would call a conversation kind of a book. Stuff she would have told her friends over a casual meeting. Things we usually tell each other when we spend time together. No fancy english words, no complicated sentences. Pure English, written beautifully.
But it was very inspiring all the same. She wrote about how her B.E in Computer Science actually took her places. Though she has also denied learning anything very practically useful in college, she described engineering as an experience. An experience that made her bolder and changed her perspective of life. At the same time, it planted seeds of inspiration in her . What interested me more was ( on the same lines of thought as ripvan winkle) her observation on the pretence of people. It was hilarious reading about so many incidents which happened to her (and they are very normal ones..not the one-in-a-zillion coincidences) My favorite was the one where she and her driver, wearing the infosys t-shirt go vegetable shopping. The vendor angrily tells her in kannada” These IT people! runing our city. They just come asking for the costs and dont buy a thing!!” he quotes nearly triple the cost of the mangoes to her driver!
She also describes her chance meeting with her husband and how he was so impressed with her boldness and courage to venture into a male-dominated side. (Engineering was taboo for girls in those days). The relationship they have today is highly reflective of their excellent education and forward-thinking.{btw..I didnt kno it was a love-marriage :P}
Lastly she described her relationship with her children and how they are still kept away from the media glare and made to work on their own. (Both are in USA).

Overall a refreshing read. No jargon, no flowery lingo, just life .

PS: I found my coin-collection. YOYOYOYO! I has evaded me for the last 4 years. Never found it in dehradun despite hundreds of hunting expeditions. 😀

Here and There

These vacations I finally managed to get a chance to go inside a battle tank. ( If my project leader is to be trusted, I can claim to drive one too by the end of the project.). Contrary to the rough and rugged outside, the insides of the tank are full of extremely sophisticated technology. (Many of the systems are not even made in India, imported directly!). It is a cacophony of various electronic instruments buzzing and display of so many screens. One needs a ladder to climb inside the tank.I felt so bad that such a beutiful fusion of technology is destroyed in battles.

Priced at Rs.5 crores each and weighing a massive 45 tons, the tank does look intimidating.
The first thing one notices is that it is air conditioned inside. The drivers are given air-conditioned suits in real battle conditions. A massive engine occupies nearly 50% of the tank. It thunders at a speed of more than 100kmph. (If u make the mistake of standing near the exhaust, you will be bathed in a fine spray of diesel). Everything is electronically controlled (which is why I was there in the first place to design heat sinks for their cooling). From computerized gun control systems to fuzzy logic systems to control speed and temperature,from lasers for positioning and other night vision devices, to battle tactics like fogging, it was so nice to see fully functional systems working in tandem so perfectly with one another(a nice change from the non-functional lab equipment!). With a gear box of 8 gears, it took me enormous effort to change them. The drivers are obviously so good at it that it seems they are driving a luxury car. With more sophisticated stuff than even aeroplanes, the auto-pilot and GPRS intact, driving a tank seems more easy than a car. For one, no one would dare come near, no hassles of traffic signals etc(lol). but again no windshield to see for yourself. All you have is a periscope like device to see whats in front.

But the roads need to be compulsarily made of stone. the tar roads do not stand a chance of survival under the huge tank-tracks. With beautiful proof-ranges having tacks at various angles and elevations, the infrastructure sure is awesome. Pity, the ministry of defence is always in the news for all the wrong reasons.

And yes! The story telling experience. It was simply amazing. My audience was largely 4 to 7 year olds and their accompanying parents. All sat down to listen paitently. It was the best audience I have had so far with no cat calls, booing and every word being abosrbed with utmost sincerity. The “oohs” and the gasps of the little girls when described about the magic of fairy Godmother was enough to take me back in time. In the end a spree of questions like “Did the stepmother say sorry to cindrella?”, “Can I get glass ballerinas?”,”Where will my Fairy Godmother come from?” rained on me. It was fun answering them. But the toughest one obviously was “Where is my prince Charming?”. I smiled. I wish I could answer that. I wish I knew myself 😉

It was one of the best things I have done so far. Later I went to watch Aaja Nachle. (ok dont raise those eyebrows at the choice of the movie!). But choosing a movie to watch with parents doesnt leave too many choices. (You know what I mean).

Aah..salsa class beckons. Sadly my schedule is tighter in holidays. But hey! its sooooo much fun.

Whisky’s Commandments of Life

1. Life is all about the time one remains awake between my night’s sleep, post-morning-walk nap, pre-lunch nap, post evening-walk nap and pre-night-sleep nap.

2. People to contact for :
food: Mummy
Walks: Daddy
Fun and cuddling : chotu
Leg Biting : Chimmy
Frightening: jiju and the others.

3. Ants are life-savers. They provide entertainment, serve as walking snacks and sometimes its fun to spoil their trail.

4. Cats are no problem as long as mum/dad/chotu dont pat it more than me.

5.I H.A.T.E crows and sparrows coz they dont fly even when I bark.

6.Food is to be eaten in minimum 1 hour time and tantrums are a must.I hate dog biscuits unless they are soft and chewy. (hard ones require too much work)

7.Liberty chappals are yumm. The stilletos are difficult to pick up and run. Socks are fun to bite.

8.Papaya is the world’s best fruit. I can eat only papaya for my lifetime.

9.Bath times are nice provided the water’s temperature is okayed by me.

10. Nights are scary. Rains and wind are also pretty scary. I dont like the whoosh sound.

11.Dont kno why people raise their voices. They disturb my sleep. Prolly humans should learn to talk softly. Too much noise pollution.

12. I dont like the watchman’s shoes.

13.Servants are allowed only in the stipulated time. Rest of the time they are also outsiders.

14. Nothing should be taken from the house in a polythene. If it is to be taken, I should approve of it first.

15.Rats are irritating coz I can never catch them. Bloody they run too fast.

16.Sonia Verma was amazing on NDTV news. Sadly my family doesnt watch it anymore.

Life’s good 🙂

Pitter Patter raindrops!

Yaay! Its raining in Chennai again. I will not say I missed it much. ( It rained sooo much in Goa in the sem-beginning that I thought prolly water would dissolve us all). But still, rains manage to bring a smile to my face. The whooshing of the wind, the noise of the raindrops falling on the portico, the gentle spray of the water on your face if one stands near the windows, dip in temperatures…oooh. Its so heavenly.

I still remember my school days when I last cycled to the school ( way back in class 6), i used to ensure I zip through all the puddles on my cycle. Kho-kho in the rains was so much fun. Jumping around in the puddles of mud, raincoats and umbrellas scattered across the classroom, the chilly weather…all are simply amazing. I might be the only one who grins at the news of a cyclone coming chennai’s way 🙂 .

I do not miss the cold like my parents. They love winters. I dont. I hated the last winter I spent. with subzero temperatures, layers of clothing, nothing but curling up in blankets and sitting in the sun all day. Noooo…I love this. Im not complaining.

PS: I got selected for story-telling in Landmark today. I would be reading Cindrella to a bunch of 3-4 year olds. Wish me luck people. I am going to enjaay it!!

What would you like Ma’am ?

This is a very common phrase when one goes to any shop. Mostly one can associate it with a restaurant or even a small grocer (though they are non-existent in today’s era of malls and retail supermarkets), but yesterday I was in for a pleasant surprise. This was what the shop-guy asked us when we entered a jewller’s store.

Tables beautifully arranged, with glasses of water (no napkins though) was the first thing one notices. Eh? jewellery shop? One looks around with showcases lined with the latest in the jewellry line. As we take our seats, the table incharge comes around ” What would you like to see ma’am?”. As my mum described whatever she wanted, I was looking around. (Mostly at the TV coz some Animal planet special was coming “Dogs at work” :D). I was amazed with the concepts which people come up with.

So next time u visit ( or are forced to), be prepared for a free massage and spa experience as you pick up the latest peice of jewellery or sleep while you shop at a supermarket!