January 27, 2010

My First BBQ

26th January...Republic Day in India. I was reminded of those good old days when I used to go to school early in the morning, dressed in white and white uniform, white ribbon tied to my hair, a small India badge pinned to my shirt. Feeling a bit sleepy I would reach school and join the music troupe to sing the patriotic song in the school assembly. The National flag would be hoisted, a chief guest would be invited to give a talk and we all would be waiting for the speech to get over so that we could get back home and continue our sleep..;-p

All students would be given small packet of laddoo and we would rush to our school bus. I would usually finish the laddoo in bus itself because I would be super hungry. It used to be packet of chocolates at times instead of laddoo.

Hmmm those days were fun..how carefree I was.

So it's my first Republic day away from India and coincidentally its a national holiday here too for its Australian day here. Its one of those "Thanksgiving Day" kinda controversial day which is celebrated in a very happy mood much to the opposite of what actually happened on that day. To read more about Australia Day, have a look at this.

It is a tradition here to have a barbecue on Australia Day. Much to my surprise, I didn't find any flag hoisting and parade unlike how it is in our country. Then I understood..that that country, that that tradition! hmmm...

My hubby and I also followed the tradition by attending a BBQ at his colleague's place. This was my first BBQ unlike for my hubby who has attended many BBQs when he was in Amrika!

As planned we left home to our colleague's place in Kensington which is quite far (almost 1:30 hrs travel in train) from our place. There was already another colleague of my hubby there when we reached around noon. After waiting for the rest of the guests to come, the BBQ was lit. I was quite excited to see how the food was cooked in that. The host had rented a very nice piece of BBQ and it did do a good job. We had taken along with us a salad and some drinks. Me being a vegetarian (except for egg at times), I was provided with vegetable burgers and sausages apart from the salads, chick pea salad, bread, cheese cake, cream cake, fruit platter, chutney, soft drinks etc. We were 14 in all and everyone brought some food. So there was a lot of fooood...;)

I spent most of my time standing near the BBQ and even trying my hand on it at times.

I met some of my hubby's colleagues and their families whom I hadn't met before. There were 2 kids of my hubby's boss, the boy 4 years old and girl 5. So you can imagine how the atomosphere would have been. Yes shouting, howling, running, jumping playing all over. They kept the environment quite lively. We had very good food and had nice chat with all of them.

After a few of them left, my hubby, his close colleagues and I had a chat for some more time. It was around 5 when we thought we should leave to reach home before the Aussie Open Quarter finals between Nadal and Andy Murray started.

We reached home at around 6:30 and sat down to watch the match. Unlike other matches, both of us supported the same player, Murray. He played a fantabulous match against Nadal against whom it is not that easy. Losing the first 2 sets straight by itself was very unusual of Nadal and finally his knee didn't co-operate with him any more. I didn't want Murray to win like this, but I am happy that he won. Sometimes it's nice to see some one else other than Federer and Nadal winning (for a change ya!). Let's see who gets to play with Federer in the finals.

After the match got over around 10:30, we went to bed and called it a day. On the whole, we celebrated our 60th Republic day in a different but enjoyable way. You can find the BBQ lunch photos here.

p.s: "laddoo" : A sweet yellowish orange in colour and spherical in shape.

January 24, 2010

Enjoyed Australian Open '10 - Day 6

Finally my hubby and I have witnessed the Day 6 of Grand Slam. It was a very new experience and I want to share the same with all my readers...:-)

As we had planned the previous day, we left home at around 8:45 am to be at the stadium by 10 since the matches were going to start by 11. We packed sandwiches and some chips with us so that we needn't stand in the queues there for food and miss the matches.

We caught the train to Richmond (nearest station to Melbourne Park) and reached there by 10. We thought of upgrading our ground pass to the Rod Laver/Hisense arena passes so that we could see Federer and S.Williams matches, but to our bad luck the day tickets were sold out. But the good part was we got ground passes for the day of the women singles final. So we can enjoy the match in the big screen there (better than seeing the same match on TV at home...what do you say?). I shall keep you updated if we make it. Then we proceeded to the courts inside. There were lot of stalls like those of Wii, ANZ, Head, Yonex, Wilson, Heineken. We played some games in small stalls, saw the Wilson stalls were rackets were being made. There were big screens placed in many areas that allowed the visitors view the matches in Rod Laver/Hisense without getting in.

Firstly, as advised by few of our colleagues, we peeped through the practice courts expecting to see some seeded players warming up for their matches later. To our luck we saw Nikolay Davydenko practising in court 4 and Leander Paes,  whom we were expecting to see later in the men's doubles match, in court 6. I wanted to get his autograph and ran behind him as he was getting back to his change room but missed him very narrowly. But I didn't lose heart as we were going to see his match later and I was sure to get him then.  Then, I was fortunate enough to see Andy Murray while practising. But to my bad luck I was not able to take his snap since the digi cam was with my hubby who was reserving seats in court 6. Before the men's doubles, there was a women's doubles match and we got to see Jelena Jankovic . It was not a very competitive match and to our surprise Jelena and her partner were losing against their opponents bit clearly. Anyway, we just cheered both the teams on their good serves as we were not seriously supporting either of the teams. During this time it was drizzling in between and thanks to our ponchos (which we bought in Universal Studios, LA) we kept ourselves dry.

By then, gradually lot of Indians started occupying the seats to watch Paes' match. We were happy that we would not be the only supporters! After the women's doubles match got over, I got from my seat and ran towards the entrance of the court, from were the players would enter the court, to get Paes' autograph. After waiting for a while he came to the court and when I asked him, he refused saying "After the match please". I was very disappointed but still wished him good luck. With a heavy heart, I came back and told the same to my hubby and he got a bit angry saying how could he refuse. Anyway the match started and we spread our Indian flag and felt quite patriotic doing that! The small Indian group in the audience kept cheering Leander and his partner Lukas. Leander has improved his serves and was playing well. His shots were just above the net and very close to the opponents' feet which made them difficult to hit back.

Actually I felt like Leander did show off a bit..;-) Who cares...we wanted him to win. Thats it. My hubby and I finished having our sandwiches while watching the match. During the match, the drizzling stopped and it became very bright and hot. Like all others, we kept applying sun block in between (ok...let me make one thing clear..the reason for applying sun block was more than just being beauty conscious, the ozone hole is somewhere just above Australia!). We all shouted in between like "Go Leander", "What a shot", "Well done guys" "Come on Leander" etc. Much to my surprise Paes had non-Indian fans too..;-) The lady (guess an Aussie) behind me used to shout on top of her voice and even stand from her seat and encourage the him and Lukas. The match ended like we wanted it.YES...LEANDER AND LUKAS WON THE MATCH!

I didn't want to leave this last chance, hence i jumped our the seats and ran to get Paes' autograph and YES I SUCCEEDED! I was very happy. My hubby also shook hands with him and congratulated him. So finally we didn't go embarrassed after all that shouting and waving out Indian flag. Mission accomplished...:-)))

Then we headed towards other courts and happened to see Tommy Haas , Svetlana Kuznetsova, Victoria Azarenka, Agnieszka Radwanska, Maria Kirilenko and many more players whom we couldn't identify by name. These courts were not big ones like where the final matches take place. They had fewer seats. So we headed to Margaret Court which is a bigger court accommodating around 10,000. We had to stand in the queue for a while to get seats there. The stadium was packed with people. After waiting for a while, we got seats and saw the Men's singles 3rd round match between Fernando Verdasco and Stefan Koubek. Just the first set got over and it seemed to be an one sided match and Fernando looked to be the obvious winner. Much to our disappointment, Stefan ended the match by being retired hurt.

Bit disappointed we waited in the same court for the next match. It was a mixed doubles of unseeded players match in which we were not much interested. We headed to Court 2 where we saw the men's doubles match between Fernando Gonzalez, Ivan Ljubicic and Carsten Ball, Stephen Huss (Aussies). Court 2 was also a big one comprising around 5000 people. As expected there were lot of Aussie supporters shouting almost every serve and waving hands. It was enjoyable to see a cheerful crowd.  The former lost the first set as the Aussie pair gave a good fight. It was almost 5:30 and we thought of leaving the court since we wanted to avoid the entire crowd to the station again.

We caught the train back to our home and continued watching the matches on TV. We were lucky that we didn't get the tickets for Hisense/RodLaver as the most awaited match between Hewitt and Baghdatis ended after the latter retired hurt.

We came to know that yesterday (23rd Jan, 2010) had the record crowd ever in the Australian Open and we both are proud being 2 of them!!!

You can find the photos taken during the Day 6 matches here.

January 22, 2010

Deuce, Advantage, Game, Set...

You must be knowing where all these terminologies are used..yes TENNIS..and this season is the Australian Open tennis tournament. My hubby and I like to watch tennis (in fact my hubby had represented his school in Singapore) and we cannot afford to miss watching atleast a few matches when its played just a few stations away from our place.

So we had booked our tickets long back...eagerly waiting for tomorrow. We have got the day pass which means we can watch matches in all the courts except the Rod Laver and HiSense. Never mind..We wanted to have a feel of the Grand Slam and we shall have it!

If we are lucky enough we may be seeing Leander Paes tomorrow in the men's doubles match. Here is where comes the use of our Indian flag which my hubby has preserved it all this while and even brought it to Melbourne! (yes desabhakthi) Watch out for my hubby and I holding the big Indian flag somewhere in the stadium if you happen to watch this match on the tele. Apart from that I am praying that I should see as many seeded players as possible. If you wanna have a look at tomorrow's schedule, look here.

I shall get back to you with lots of photos and my first experience of witnessing Grand Slam very soon. Till then keep your fingers crossed that our Indian players keep winning through all the rounds. Jai Hind!

January 21, 2010


Finally..I have started blogging! Wow its such a nice feeling to pen down your own ideas in your own way..! I have always thought about blogging but something made be feel like, "why should I blog?", "what will I write?", "who will read?", "if at all I blog will it be worth reading by others?", "will people like my blog?"...blah blah blah...Even when my hubby said "Why dont you try blogging? Its fun" I said I shall think about it. OK OK i hear from somewhere "big deal..why do you need to think so much..just blog..end of story!"

A big thanks to
my hubby, Sary, Boo, Blogeswari who inspired me to start blogging. And a special nandri to my akka (I know you heard it right."akka"..might sound wierd at this century..but I like calling her so) who sent me the blog links of Boo, Blogeswari and many more for me to read when i get time.

So here I am writing my first blog. I have so much to write about. I shall write them one after another as i get the flow.

May be I shall start with the story about how I started blogging. Fine..I get the picture of you guys almost dozzing to sleep with a kurattai when I say STORY..but its not that boring..may be give it a try ;)

I am a pretty newly married ponnu (about 6 months) who moved to Melbourne, Australia with my hubby after marriage. This is my first time to stay away from parents, away from India and away from many many more things. I was bit homesick, nervous about my new phase of life, having "what next" kinda feeling. So I was initially getting adjusted to the new life style, new place, people etc staying at home. I used to wake up, make breakfast, send my hubby to office, go to a near by park, do some jogging (fine..walking + jogging), do household chores, talk to amma through skype (wah what a varaprasadham for all of us who are outside India la), browse for a while, watch tv, read books, start thinking about what to cook for dinner, look into few cooking websites and finally make up my mind, finish making dinner almost when my hubby comes back from work, talk for sometime, have dinner, watch tv and then go to bed. Time just rolled..

Then the career woman (just to add, I was working in Baroda, India before i got married ) in me gradually felt like i was not keeping myself busy, so started the velai thedufying phase. Appadiyo, "campus placement is a boon" i realise now.. Anyway I am greateful enough to find a volunteer fellowship in a research lab here. Though I am not getting paid, I feel like I am occupied in a better way. So I am happy doing this.

During this period I felt like why not I try blogging since I felt like lot of things have happened and are happening in my life that I needed to keep an account of them for my sake so that sometime later it might be fun to read them and today for the same reason its special for me.

So this is my first day in the blogger world. Happy Birthday "MelbourneMangai"

p.s: For all those readres who are not that well versed in Tamil here are the translations:

"melbournemangai" : Lady staying in Melbourne
"nandri": Thanks
"akka" : Sister
"kurattai" : Yawn
"ponnu" : Girl
"amma" : Mother
"varaprasadham" : Boon
"velai theudfying" : Looking for job
"Appadiyo" : Sighing like "thank god"