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Am a contradiction of sorts. i love going out and having a good time with friends, and i can also stay home chill out over a book or a movie.. Am very passionate about writing, so give me a topic and watch me float away into wonderland... I Am crazy about music,books,friends and my doggie... :)

Monday, March 29, 2010

Days roll by

Its been over a week since i landed in Blore, but this trip i know has been different from my earlier ones. Last evening as i was chatting with a friend,who i met after ages, i realised the experience we carry about a town is not just about its climate, culture and cause. It is largely to do with PEOPLE,and am not just referring to the random stranger walking on the street, or the hoity toity Manager you meet at the client place..It is to do with people you know, you connect with and you are close to... There are days when i just chill out on my own, or catch a movie, or sit browsing in a book store, but off late its changed.. Am either spending time with friends, or meeting new ones!!


Since the day i landed, not a minute has been free, rather not a minute has gone to waste... There was something or the other happening, keeping me in HIGH spirits and making me look forward to the next day..  And it dint matter what i was doing, as long as it was with someone called FRIEND.. There were times when we did nothing, but just go about our work, sharing nothing more than the room and the wi-fi connection, other times it was sipping a cuppa coffee humming to the music playing in the background; and sometimes it was walking up and down the park clicking pictures, sharing a moment of "wow, its beautiful" amidst the silence that surrounded us...

Yes, everyday religiously i was at the client 's office, working away, chatting, catching up on other projects, being part of meetings/discussions, etc etc, but post work it was shopping for a friend, going to a movie, just driving around aimlessly, house hunting, meeting new landlord, paying bills, or cracking up over a  movie...

A smile sneaks into my face as i relive those moments, every coffee we sipped, signals we made fun of, friends we met, interesting characters we encountered and best of all the little white lies shared... What fun~!!

Met a couple of Twitter/Blog friends for the 1st time...
Explored a new coffee shop
Made a visit to the India's largest Mall- Mantri Square, ploughing through a trillion people who had made the streets their HOME and wouldnt budge!!! :)
Spent a lot of time with a dear wacko friend :-)


Maybe its cos of all this , but whenever i hear someone rave about Bangalore/other city, all i have to reply is - Its not the town, but the people that make the difference... Agreed, the events or what the city has to offer makes an impact, but thats not all, its not enough... I've been burning it in Blore Heat , and yet it hasnt affected me too much...There are days when am out in the blazing sun, roaming the streets,walking up and down completely unaware of the Sun... A day when we had breakfast, and just multiple cups of coffee and chai till dinner bells rang...

 
 
Amazing what a difference it makes when you have good friends around.. There are more who i've been interacting with - some for few weeks/months others over years.... when will i meet em!! :)


Ok, think am gonna stop my FRIENDS series with this.. could go on and on... but you get the picture, dont you!!?? [if you dont, then go out there and earn some friends.. ;)]

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

That's what friends are for...

Keep smilin', keep shinin'
Knowin' you can always count on me, oh, for sure
'Cause I tell you that's what friends are for
For good times and for bad times
I'll be on your side forever more
That's what friends are for .........

A topic that i love writing about...  Would love to even share my experiences and make a book of it!! This latest one was inspired by a dear [new] friend, Avni.

FRIENDS.... Need i say more? 

The days go by thanks to Friends
Happiness doubles thanks to Friends
Sadness vanishes into thin air thanks to Friends 
Issues are sorted out thanks to Friends 
Decisions are made easier thanks to Friends 
[and yes, thanks to friends, we have been through many heart aches and painful days ]


For me,some friends are more than Friends, don't have a word for it, but i know when i die, they will be there crying and missing me oodles, laughing over my quirks, and sharing jokes /secrets, bitch[why not right] that i've sworn them to[You all who know who am referring to,remember lips sealed....] ... and am sure some will turn just to make sure am Gone!! ha ha ha ;)

Some of the wackos i have in my life know me more than i know myself... They can sense what am going through without a single word, they understand what is running in my head with the silence, or the change in my tone.. Infact there is one special dear darling wacko looney friend, N, in Bombay, who i feel is a part of me... She smothers me, pampers me, is so protective possessive, infact so is her hubby and 2 bratty adorable kids and she is among the few i turn to when am UPPPP or DOWNNN.... Sensible, in your face advice is what she will give- no fancy cushioned words, no mincing around , no being "polite"... Oh, did i mention she is part of the 3stooges? One who is the inner voice i need when i doubt myself.... 
Apart from her , i've got quite a few close friends/sweethearts...- we might not meet often...heck, we dont even talk to each other that much.. but i know i can call/text if ever i need help/support... if i go silent, they will be there to jolt me awake.

Now, its not all hunky dory... there are some who were dear friends, but went their way, and just lost touch... i too got tired of keeping the friendship going[how much can one person do...] n then others who are caught up with life[atleast that is the excuse i tell myself] and forget friends ... Oh well, c'est la vie!! :-)   [ learnt it the hard way not to have expectations from anyone... ]


Offlate, I've also managed to meet some amazing online friends [who I've met as well and some of which are now completely offline].... 
Ryze
Facebook
Twitter
Blogsville

We connect for various reasons --
Gizmos n gadget freaks
Books
Movies
Music 
Poetry
Travel
Similar line of work 
Aussie cricket team ;) 
Food/cooking
Travelled together... 2random people talking!!
For no reason - yep,this also happens.. You just have a fun chat and voila, something blossoms

Honestly, does it matter where you found that friend? Do they have to have a label or a tag ???
We have known each other since school
Or maybe we were best buds in College
How about we did this "asaf" course together at "so n so place"
Oh, we worked together  and shared bitching sessions
Our families have been friends for eons 
She/he has been my neighbor from when i was "yeh high"[ hand gesture showing a height of about 1 foot or so... :-) ]

The reason for this post???? -- 

All i wanna say is Judge me BY my friends and not HOW i made these friends!!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Rebound

Is it that am back in Chennai after 2weeks being away?
or that there is so much work that i am looking for ways of keeping myself going?? 
or just a phase where the creative in me is peeping out?
well, i also think it has got to with some new friends i've made, who are bringing out this side in me.... 


Yellow flowers filled the streets of Blore..

Wrote a poem yesterday and a 55er today.. J

ust like that and like earlier, dint spend too much time, just let the words flow and well, i think its fairly decent..

Why dont you read and let me know!! Thanks!! :)

Monday, March 15, 2010

Rewind Please -II

There are some who bring out the twinkle in your eyes, and others who just light up our entire body [ok, now don’t ask me what that means, you need to feel it to know what am talking about] ... So, anyways, as i got back from Blore on Friday, spoke to mom, quick updates and she then mentioned the magic words "Sunder mama and all are in town,... ".. I dint hear a word beyond that... "Has Aswin come? Tell tell ma" was all i remember screeching...

Yes, of course, but he is here just for a few days... she replied....

Woww, ok, so where are they staying? Do they have a local number? Fwd it to me plss... i screamed excitedly...

Hang on, here it is... "9.............."

Ok, bye!! [I had hung up and was already dialling the number mom gave]

Ringing.... waited with bated breath...

"Hellow... "

"Hi, Sunder mama... Happy Birthday... How are u???? Till when are you all here? When did you land? When can we meet?.... " i ranted away.....

"Who's this?"

"It’s me, Aarti"

Hieee... eppadi irukka?? Gosh, been so long Na... here, talk to Radika ... she's been dying to see you......
........ And then after 2mins chatting with aunty, i was like - err, is Aswin there, aunty?

Hang on, he is grabbing the phone from me...she replied and disappeared...

"Hieeeeeeeeeeeeeeee kiddo, how u been?" [Imagine a zillion decibels of happiness in your voice and double it...that’s how i sounded]

Heyy.. Am good, how are u? Looking fwd to seeing you tomorrow... better turn up..... Wow, this is amazing.... [We spoke for like a good half hour before hanging up]

On Sunday, i woke up happy chirpy, got dressed and headed to the mandap... and the minute i saw him, and aunty and uncle - we lost it... a bunch of tight tight hugs and oodles of love exchanged....

It’s been ages since i saw them all, and man, it felt good meeting them... after all these yrs, and the love/bond still remains :)

We caught up on our lives, got introduced to rest of their family, his cousins and best of it was people walking up to me/mom/dad asking us how we are related to the family.. And our reply was always - we are not related, but as good if not closer than family....

Even though years have gone by, even though we are no longer kids, the love and affection continues to grow along as well... this is one family i know i will look fwd to no matter when/where/what and will make time for as well... infact, my sis has gotten quite close to them as well, sweet thing... and Aswin is like the big bro to her..heehaw...


I keep threatening him on Fb n otherwise that i shall unleash all hidden secrets about him ... lolz...


A bit of flashback here....

I spent about 6yrs in this small town in South Tamil Nadu- Tirunelveli... Dad worked at India Cements and we were just settling in... That is when Sunder mama also joined ICL, and i think he had just gotten married...

So, dad brought them home and that is how the friendship between the families began...


We would go to the club together - play shuttle badminton, go out for dinner, movies, spend time in each others home etc... and then Aswin was born.... brat that he was, practically spent all the time after my coming home from school at our place.. or i was at their place.. he loved my mom's cooking, and would freak out on pachcha arisi dosai [ raw rice dosa]... and aunty used to make yummy cookies, cake, noodles with veggies, boiled beetroot [yes, that was where i was introduced to these kinda food items] and our families got super close....


Few yrs later, we moved to Chennai, while they remained in Tirunelveli, but still remained in touch with them.. and now Sunder mama has changed jobs, and Aswin has gone to USA for further studies[infact working now] they all live abroad, but we mail/talk/chat and meet whenever they are in town... tunder mama and aunty also had twins few years later -a boy and a girl who we dote on just as much, and they with my sister .....

All the time we spent with each other, brought Aswin and me really close, and its a lovely bond we share!!! Possessive about each other, always looking out, caring, worrying, and some more.............. [Touch wood].....

Such Sweet memories.. they dont come often, but when they do, it’s a treasure!!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Rewind please

Started this post on 2nd March, and then it got lost in drafts... Anyways, decided to get going and share the incident that i remember vividly today, 12yrs later!!

It was sometime during Feb '98, i was in my final year of B Com, and the day began with a notice from the principal. The Circular said we all need to either pay an additional 2k with our fees or figure out another way to contribute atleast 1 lakh per department towards the college Auditorium fund.

[brrr...brr.... rewinding..] Let me give you a brief on my college-- when i joined in '95, it wasnt very popular, infact most people dint even know where it was...was a nightmare giving directions to friends and autowalas.... go near the CA institute on N H Road, turn left near the tree at the corner of the street.. there was no Ispahani center back then!! :)

And our college had only an Open air theater at the back, where we held all shows, and when it rained, gosh, dont even wanna remember those days...traumatic! rushing into the main building, people screaming, wet and yeck....

So, the 3 stooges and few more from my class approached the principal saying we want an Indoor auditorium, which is when she sent out the circular...

At that time, it was a college that had girls from across income strata, some from the lower levels as well. and so when we heard the circular, me and 2 other friends got talking and then we discussed it with our classmates. We knew not many will be able to cough up the extra 2k, and so why not do something to raise funds? Like have a show or something similar?


The 1st reaction from Principal was - No, this is not possible!! Light music just wont happen, you cant make it happen...  

We were upset, but dint relent.. I still remember- 5 of us went and sat in the OAT, pulled out a few sheets of paper and started writing everything that came to our mind... 

People
Performers
Money
Funds
Sponsors
Tickets etc etc.... 

With a plan that sounded halfway sensible, we went back to the Principal and this time managed to shut her up!! So did our HOD!! 

Thus began the chaos called FUND RAISING!! .we [the 3 of us] ran across town, looking for sponsors, fnding an angel in Shakti Soya.. they had recently done a program at our college and so happily came forward to help us. Oh, and it probably helped that one of the 2stooges had won the big prize of a Scooty in the contest Shakti soya held at college :)

The date was fixed for Mar 2nd, Monday, for no reason but that face that Kamaraj Hall was available only on that day!! Yes, that is the hall we ended up booking[ only one that kinda sorta squeezed into our budget]

For music, we finalised on Laxman Sruti- went to their home, met them, spoke to them, convinced them, and they were sweet enuf to say " we come for free,dont have to pay us"... 

It was already nearing mid week Feb and we had soo much to do...   here's a list of activities that the 3 stooges went through... sheesh, looking back now, what idiots we were!! 

1. Got tickets printed with just basic details
2. Sat and wrote seat numbers on all of them [ we spent hours going through Kamaraj hall.. physically.. no jokes]
3. Roped in others from our department to help sell the tickets and brought out a contest saying the winner of max tickets wins a prize
4. Convinced dad's of 2 girls in our dept [ they were owners of jewellery stores] to sponsor a gift and one more to give a momento for the Chief guest... 
5. We were at the hall making sure everything was set, gifts, stage, music, lights, etc etc till about 5pm on 2nd March...!! Had not more than few minutes to head home, change into sarees and return to the Hall [ as the audience began pouring in]
 6.. err, true to our fear... last minute, the celeb chief guest dint turn up.. and another classmate knew a star, not so famous, but one who obliged and actually came over within half hour... :)

The show was a rocking  success.. went on for about 2hrs... everyone enjoyed it... the hall was FULL...we had sold out 1400 odd tickets[remaining were used up by students and sponsors]...

Only thing we had missed out in all this frenzy was to organise a photographer... :( Sigh.. we dont have any pictures or videos to remind us of the night!!

At the end of the show, our principal came on stage, called the 3stooges and praised us in front of the world and sundry!! [how awesome the moment was.... we were beyond proud of ourselves...our parents were so proud and dint stop raving about our achievement...] and yes, we gave prizes to 2 gals who had sold max no. of tickets!! :D

And... guess how much we raised???? 3.75 Lakhs.... Much to the amazement of everyone on the College board and teachers and other departments!!

This day will always be special... Every year on march 2nd i say a silent thanks to the Man up there and smile reminiscing the day way back in '98!!

Monday, March 1, 2010

The "8' Tag

 Was tagged by Rakesh longgggggg back, and finally got the nudge i needed and doing it... :)

Drumroll please........
 

 8 TV shows I like to watch:
1.  HOUSE MD [Addicted to it, thanks to Mr hugh laurie, these days i wait for the show to be aired in USA, watch it online  and reruns on AXN as well]
2. F.R.I.E.N.D.S [whenever i end up watching TV over the weekend]
3. Two and a half men [seen Season 1 – 4 thanks to my cousin, on my hard drive, but love watching them over & over and the reruns telecasted on TV]
4. Jamie at home [A fun cooking show on Discovery Travel & Living]
5.  The Amazing Race [AXN]
6.  Music – English /Hindi /international
7. Seinfeld [have it all on CD’s and watch when I get really bored]
8. I actually don’t watch much TV these days

8 favourite places to eat (and drink)
Am not a foodie, nor a fish, but here are some places i like going to
1. Home [kitchen]
2. MASH, Besant Nagar, Chennai -just for the ambience
3. Fresco, Bangalore – bestest pasta ever
4. Street food across the country - Vada Pav, Momos...
5. Maddur Tiffanys, Mysore – Madur vada
6. Ajnabee in Fountain plaza, Chennai - chaat
7. Koshys, Blore- Spanish omelette
8.  Friends’ homes – diff cuisines, diff favourites

8 things I look forward to
1.  The days to come.. [in Blore]
2.  Travelling to some new places around Blore
3.  Learning to drive again
4.  Catching up with long lost friends
5. Spending time with my friend’s son [he’s a little over a year old]...
6.  Finish reading all the books i have stacked up @home
7. Carrying my camera around and clicking more shots
8.  Enjoying a show/concert/play/workshop/international film once a month

8 things that happened yesterday
1.  Woke up at 4am [train was at 6am]
2.  Travelled by Shatabdi [twice in 2months] to Blore
3. Played with Floppy for a few precious minutes before hopping into the cab
4. Bird watching while on the train – good fun... J
5. Dint read a book during the journey, dint even open it
6. Tweeted through my phone while on the move
7. Watched a Tamil remake – No Entry. Salman Khan was a riot
8. Wrote a story in less than an hour J

8 things I love about winter
We don’t really have winters in Chennai but it does get cool Dec –Feb.. Here is what i like about winter in Chennai and other places i’ve been to...

1.  Going out for long walks
2.  Having a hot cup of coffee and snuggling up with a book
3.  Being able to wear any fabric and not worry about sweating [ref to Chennai Summers]
4.  Taking pictures of morning mist
5.  Playing in Snow [have done this all of once, only once in Rhoutang Pass, during a college trip.. will it ever snow in Chennai??? L]
6.  Not having to be crushed by sweaty souls [Chennai summers can do that you know.. walking on the street or inside a mall.. sweat and BO follows you around]
7. Waiting for the sun to rise while waiting with a camera on the beach
8.  Going on long drives with windows down.

8 things on my wishlist
1.  Travelling all over India – either alone or with friends
2.  Driving [ literally, not driving people over the wall..that i anyways do..] J
3.  Getting a place of my own
4.  Travelling abroad – Bali /Greece/Egypt/Turkey/Cambodia/SL/USA/Aus/UK....
5.  Bungee jumping
6.  Keeping in touch with friends [touch wood, have managed it so far]
7.  Figuring out what I want out of life...[the million dollar question]!!
8.  Continuing to live life my way J

8 things I am passionate about
1.  Travelling
2.  Writing  [fun & work]
3. Travel writing [ want to learn and get going in this]
4.  Dogs
5.  Helping others
6.  Being myself
7.  Love
8.  Butterflies

8 words or phrases I use often
1.  Hmmmm
2.  Oks doks smoks
3.  Chill[ax]
4.  Awesome
5.  Howdy doody
6.  For what joy?!
7.  So?
8.  At the end of the day...

8 things I learnt from the past
1.  Friends are very important to me and I rely on them more than my family
2.  Money isn’t everything.  There are some who are amazed that i am so happy with what i make [well, i never really chased the Vitamin M, and have always been happy with what i got]
3.  Never try to please those around you- you cant and there is no point trying...
4.  It is always easy to give advice... Only if you live in that person’s shoes will you know what they are going through.
5.  Take risks, it is part of the learning you get in the journey called LIFE.
6.  Some are lucky, and some aren’t. That’s how it is.. [Stop being jealous of me ‘cos am lucky. He he...]
7.  Travel light, but bring back stories worth a lifetime
8.  Always remember, everyday is a NEW DAY!!! J

8 places I would love to go visit or see
1.  Greece [for its beautiful white and green buildings]
2. Egypt
3.  Every nook and corner in India
4. Coorg [with same bunch of wackos i travelled last time with]
5.  The Big 5 in Africa [absolutely]
6. The Grand canyon [cos the postcard my uncle sent of it helped earn few extra marks]
7.  Goa [Wanna go again....J]
8.  Angkor Wat, Cambodia [Dying to go there]

8 things I currently need or want
Don’t really need/want anything, but what the heck!!!
1.  More work
2.  More hours in a day
3.  To travel
4.  To read every book in this planet
5.  A home of my own
6.  Some love
7.  Give al doggies a home and some love...
8.  To keep smiling.. :)

And I need to tag 8 people… 

Following in Rakesh's shoes, the 1st 8 to comment shall be tagged and anyone else who wishes to take it up, feel free.. :)