February 20, 2010

"Rose day 2010"

I apologize for delaying our "This day this year" V-day blog since I was simultaneously working on this blog too.  

So without any further delay, I'll tell you in short about our wonderful V-day eve experience since my hubby has done the laborious part of it, writing the same in detail in  his blog..hehe..;) 

Everybody likes surprises, don't you? I am no exception and my husband gave me one for the Valentine's Day! He didn't give me even a single clue till that Friday (12th Feb) when he gave me a copy of our travel plan.

Guess what??? He planned for a road trip on Saturday (13th Feb) to the Cape Paterson - Inverloch Coast Beach for our first V-day after marriage. Australia is very famous for its clear and beautiful surfing beaches. I was super excited, not that I was going to surf or swim but to go on a long romantic drive to the beach with my hubby on a clear, mildly warm day!
We had earlier exchanged gifts for V-day. He gave me a long, sleeveless dress (of course, I went with him to shop). I just loved it. I gave him our wedding photo framed, a greeting card and his favourite Ferrero Rocher chocolate box. 

I gave this to my hubby.

 This is the dress my hubby gifted me.

We thoroughly enjoyed the road trip. Thank you sweetheart for the wonderful surprise. Plz note I welcome many such surprises in future too..;-)

You can read about our road trip in detail here and see all the photos here.

"You can't handle the truth!!!"

This is the first time I have been tagged and thanks for that Banu :) As per this, I need to say "10 honest things" about me.
Sorry Banu I could not stick to 10..so "14 honest things about me"..I am very frank you see..;)

Scene 1: Court scene

The clerk calls out " Aishwarya varaar..varaar..varaar"
I step on to the box. Tensed, sweating all over!
The clerk asks me to swear on the Bhagavat Geetha and say " Whatever I am going to say is only truth and nothing else"
The lawyer clears his throat and.......

Scene 2: Where ever you are sitting now and reading my blog

I am not any distant relative of Mr. Harichandra, still I don't lie unless I am compelled to. You get the naalu-peeruku-nalladhu-panna kind of point right..;)

Ammaappaakka and hubby, I am sure you will not get surprised after reading this anyway, because you know me inside and out. For all others, my friends, cousins, relatives onnu vitta and rendu vitta etc., I am revealing my other side. Can you handle the truth?..lol..;)

Anyway straightaaah coming to the pointtttuuu!
  1. For GOK why I don't have a liking for odd and decimal numbers. Since school days, during maths test, when I used to get some odd number with decimal as the result, I PANICKED LIKE HELL! I have been scolded by my maths teacher (Mrs. Kalyani, one of my favourite) not to worry when the solution is anyway right! Again GOK ;)

  2. I can't stand any form of dirt. My hostel mates would have seen me sweeping my room quite often. Now don't think I am the cousin sister of "Monica" (as in F.R.I.E.N.D.S). I am just a believer of "Cleanliness is next to godliness".

  3. Suspense is something I can't tolerate. When I start reading a book, I quickly turn to the back cover to see if I can get some clues about the end. Cleverly, authors give an overview and not the climax. I know that the whole point is lost when I know it, but then its something inside me which can't take it!

  4. Even till end of 12th grade, I felt very uncomfortable wearing a dupatta on just one side. Now I can see you ROFL. Thanks to my akka, I overcame this. Now I just can't stop trying out clothes of all forms when I go shopping! Poor hubby..;)

  5. When I try solving maths/physics problems and don't succeed for a while, I desperately wish for the solution to simply appear miraculously. I know it's not the way it is supposed to work, but I can't keep scratching my head for long. I remember pestering my poor akka if I didn't get the solution. However, she would want me to keep trying but eventually this would take me to the verge of crying and howling. How silly right..;)

  6. Till date, I always take my time in getting ready. You must be thinking that since I would naturally take more time than my hubby w.r.t the "ladies-getting ready-rules" this is legal. But then, this was even when I was in hostel. Any outing, girls would ask me to shower and get ready first but alas, I was the last even then. Gosh, it is a lot of work man...!

  7. I always had a wrong notion that going to tuition was a disgrace till I joined my first tuition ever in 11th for Hindi. Definitely not because my Hindi was poor, but rather to refine my skills so that my total score in the 12th board exam didn't reduce because of language.  My amma tried so hard to convince me it was ok till the morning when the tuition was to start, and I finally overcame the feeling that I was committing a great blunder. I owe my good Hindi skills to my tuition teacher.

  8. I can't stop talking. Even when I did, my friends enquired if something went wrong! Perhaps this helps me to make friends without any inhibition.

  9. In spite of doing a lot of cultural activities, I still have a bit of stage fear. 

  10. I fight and also reconcile soon. Ok I get the logic that, instead, I needn't fight at all. Still, that instant rush of anger makes me quarrel. I am an ice breaker. "Both good and bad"

  11. I have acrophobia. Don't know to what degree but I feel so...;)

  12. Once I dislike a person for some reason, it's hard to change that opinion. I know it's a drawback and I am still working on that.

  13. Sensitive, get moved by movies easily. I even cried for the climax of Alaipayudhe picture. Imagine!!!

  14. Be it any sport (except when Indian cricket team is playing), I don't want others to support my favourite player/team playing, instead I want them to support the opponent (don't ask me the logic behind this). There is no fun if we don't have a kutthu sandai while the game is on.                                                                                                      
(Appa remember our fights when Steffi Graf (my favourite) played against Monica Seles (your favourite)???)

I hope I have done justice to this blog. Now its my turn to tag people.
                                                      My hubby

Have fun ;)

p.s: I just realised that my wedding date and Steffi Graf's birthday are the same, 14th June! Also I have stated 14 things here..Wow man...:))

Here you go with the translations:

"Varaar": Coming (This is how entry of every person is announced in court in TN, India)
"Bhagvat Geeta" : Holy epic, used like how Bible is in courts of western countries
"Harichandra" : According to Hindu mythology he was one who spoke nothing but truth
"naalu-peeruku-nalladhu-panna" : For the sake of 4 peoples' welfare (literal translation)
"onnu vitta and rendu vitta" : Distant relatives
"GOK" : God Only Knows
"dupatta" : scarf-like wrap around cloth, common in Indian women's wear 
"Alaipayudhe" : A Tamil movie
"kutthu sandai " : boxing (fighting in this context)

February 11, 2010

This day that year - "Rose day"

This day that year... (14th Feb 2003-07)
It was known as Rose Day in my alma mater for the very reason that roses were exchanged between the boys and girls. Some were genuine and the rest proxies! These proxies later became the seed to kindle romance between them..;) Whaaatttaaa majja!

This coming Valentines day, our first after marriage, also marks our 8-month wedding anniversary, and I am very much reminded of those "Rose Day" celebrations in my college. This was when the whole hostel (both boys and girls) used to be at the height of liveliness. Preparations for this day were mainly taken care by the "STEP TREC" club. They would put stalls inside the hostel selling Valentine's Day cards and roses. The latter included red, pink, yellow, white and black (we had thorns instead) colour roses.

Our versions for these roses were:
Red stood for Romance/Love
Pink stood for "the ship which never sinks" you guessed it right...Friendship
Yellow stood for Sibling-like love
White stood for Peace
Black stood for Hatred

Those who bought roses were given printed cards which had space to write our message. This came with an envelope which had a box on the top right corner to shade the colour of the rose being sent. Since our college had strict rules forbidding boys and girls from entering each others' hostels, these STEP TREC members acted as the pura, "messengers of love". They collected the roses and cards from both the girls' and boys' hostels and delivered them to their respective destinations. Didn't need any tracking number. So trustworthy were the members (DHL, FedEx laam thothudhu!). Moreover, it was their responsibility to pin the appropriate roses to the cards. Hats off to you guys..!!! You toiled those days even without minding the cycle (monthly) tests just around the corner.

Let me make this clear, I am not very aware of the happenings in the boys' hostel during these days (I have mentioned the reason before), but this is how it happened in our girls' hostel, "OPAL".

The sale of cards would begin 2-3 days before 14th Feb. Most of the girls from 1st year to final year, except those who were very paavam and chamathu, would spring into action!!! There were some genuine "committed cases" who would express their pheelings by sending red rose to each other! But others were the so called maanathai kooru pottu vikkara sincere thozhigal! These friends, in groups, would take great enthu in sending proxy roses to the boys (now you got the sincere point..right?), without worrying about the piles of books to be read for the cycle tests. Oh yeah, and not just "any boy" but to that particular special one with whom the girl is most chaatted with! It could be just one guy or several! (I don't think you want to know how many proxies were sent under my name..do you?) The kavidhai aatral of some in the group came in handy here! They would "smith" the words so well that the reader could really think that the girl had some feelings for that boy! This would be done without the knowledge of the girl, but sometimes even with her acceptance (come on ya..can't she have some fun..or WAIT..did she really have feelings for him and not show it???..whatever)! So once the "love letter" was composed, the initial job of sowing the seed of love was complete! The rest would be dealt by that boy and girl! ;)

From early morning, girls would be anxiously waiting to find how many roses they would be receiving, sometimes even more anxiously than the day before the release of exam results! The club members would break the tension by knocking each door in hostel and delivering the card with roses. The gala time begins thereafter.

We would go room-to-room to see who got what kind of rose and from whom. If that was a RED rose, that was the end of the story!  Someone would read the letter aloud for everybody to know how much pheelings that guy has for the girl (it could be a proxy from that guy too). We could see the girl blushing even though she knew that the letter was probably just a proxy. They were some unlucky girls too who received thorns for they might have had some "ruff and tuff" time with some boys. Nevertheless this day was fun every year for many other reasons!

Now, I don't want to paint a picture like I was the heart throb of my batch (I got few red roses on all 4 Valentine's Days during college) since I am very sure all of them were proxies..come on ya..mine is an arranged marriage. In addition, many proxies were also sent under my name thanks to the above-mentioned thozhigal. Sorry guys, if this caused any heartbreak to you..;) I still preserve those cards as part of other senti stuff and am eager to see my hubby's reaction when I show them to him sometime...(they are in India) ;)

The club also honoured the girl and the guy who got the maximum number of red roses by arranging a date for both of them (sounds cool right..when someone else takes care of your date's expense)! Apart from this, they also organised a Rose day night in the barn or EEE auditorium. It was a get-together where songs were played as dedications from both the sides, some shows were conducted and there were good food stalls.

The aftermath of this Rose Day was the very next day in class when the students gossiped about the proxies and true roses shared. From then on, new chaatings would also start! It was always better if these things were not taken to heart and just taken as fun.

Look for the next post...This day this year... in next few days

To all those reading my blog, and to every loved one around the world, I wish you A VERY HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!!!

P.S: Look below for the translations:
Majja: Enjoyment
Pura: Dove bird (In olden days this bird was used as a messenger of love)
DHL, FedEx laam thothudhu: It means "Even DHL, FedEx might not do the job so well"
Paavam: Innocent
Chamathu: Very obedient
Pheelings: Feelings
maanathai kooru pottu vikkara sincere thozhigal: it means "Girl friends who make you feel ashamed of something"
Enthu: Enthusiasm
Chaatted: Teasing
kavidhai aatral: Poetic talent
Gala: Enjoyment
Thozhigal: Girl friends
Senti: Sentimental

February 7, 2010

No.6, 5th Avenue

When I was thinking what my next blog should be, I had no choice other than dedicating one to my house in Kalpakkam Township where I spent the major part of my life. The house which has seen me growing from a kindergarten child to a NITTian, the house which has seen most of my happy and sad days! If I have a choice of settling where I had stayed before, "No.6, 5th Avenue" would be my first choice though it was just a quarter. But I simply loved our quarter! You all might think what the big deal in a township quarter is, but perhaps by the time you reach the end of this blog, you might think it is.

So here goes a blog exclusively to my "No.6, 5th Avenue, DAE Township, Kalpakkam -603102". ( Wow I still remember the pin code..!!! Kalakkare Aishu...;) The credit goes to Meera teacher in 1st std in school.

I suppose those who have spent some part of your life in a township will be able to appreciate this better. For others, no worries..I'll take you through this wonderful experience.
Ready Set and GO!

Township is basically for those people who work for an organisation/company/plant etc. My appa worked as the Head of Instrumentation Group in IGCAR. Now I reckon you will understand my inspiration to take up ICE in my undergrad though it was the most threatening dept in my college (a whole different story....I don't want to mix that up with this blog.) So where was I? Hmmm.. ya township..

Before living in "No.6, 5th Avenue", we stayed in many other quarters which were smaller in size. The funda is the higher your amma's/appa's seniority becomes in the aappice, the bigger your quarter. Fair enough?

Since my dad was very senior, we got this bungalow with 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 1 kitchen, 1 living room, 1 dining space, 1 store room, a big terrace, large garden in front, an equally big backyard with washing space, 1 small outhouse behind (for servant maids/others), and a big garage...try calculating how much such houses might cost now..phewwwww!

I vaguely remember the time when we moved into this quarter. I guess I was doing my UKG (upper kindergarten) then. Nallamma (my nanny) used to take me to Shalimar kindergarten school where I think was in Lotus (what a name!) class. Every morning, I would walk to and from school with her. In the afternoon, after coming back, I'd play in the jula and have lunch listening to radio (God knows what I understood!!!). I used to be an attention seeker then (come on ya..I was a kid!), so I would make a big fuss wanting to see amma in spite of knowing the fact that she was still in school. My poor akka, after coming back from school, would try hard to dissuade me from crying, carry me and give me a ride on her bicycle. Nothing stopped me from crying though, till I heard amma's moped's sound.

Our garden was the very first thing every guest used to get attracted by. There was a big neem tree in the front garden on which a big money plant (jade plant) would grow leaves as big as plantain leaves. It was beautiful and quite astonishing to see how huge that money plant could grow! There used to be lots of flowering plants and croutons as well, which added to the beauty. Amma used to make bouquets with great care for akka and myself to give the teachers on teacher's day at school. I remember securing first or second most of the times in the flower arrangement competition in my school as it was pretty easy to make a good flower vase with the flowers in our garden. 

Apart from these our garden had 2 orange trees, a mango tree, 2 lemon trees, 2 coconut trees, many plantain trees, a guava tree, a pomegranate tree and many more. The whole credit goes to amma who took utmost care of the garden, watering them daily and nurturing them in all possible ways. On Sunday afternoons, we usually plucked the mangoes and oranges from these trees. All 4 of us used to do it and here is how we did it:

1. Appa used to stand on a big stand with the long stick with a kokki at the end,
2. Amma used to hold the stand from bottom for stability,
3. Akka and I used to hold the ends of appa's angavasthiram to catch the mangoes/oranges which  appa would pluck and throw down.

A very simple desi procedure yet effective..right?

Akka and I would move a bit here and there at times fearing that the fruits might fall on us and miss the target. This would end up in the fruit falling on the ground and we would blame each other for the kannunjifying of the fruit. Typical akka-thangai illaya?
Our trees used to bear so many fruits that we used to give them to many of our neighbours. It was to such an extent that if in case in a season our garden didn't bear much fruit, they would even sometimes enquire "where are the fruits this time?"

My most favourite spot was the jula in the patio. Right from my school days to college , during every class test, unit test, quarterly, half yearly, annual and semester exam, you could find me on this jula studying! I used to keep swinging and studying so loudly that people walking on the streets could hear me..;-p Actually speaking, I would spend most of my time on the jula except for sleeping.

Most of the time, it was me who kept Krishna paadham on the cemented path from our gate to the pooja room during Krishna Jayanthi. During Pongal and Deepavali, amma and I used to clean this floor the night before and draw huge kolams and put rangoli on that. I miss doing that here since our floor here is carpeted.  

The next fascinating thing was our terrace, long and broad. Amma, akka and I used to make jevvarusi and vengaayam vadaam and dry them on this terrace. We did kaanum pongal's kannu pudi also here. I used to be very excited to light diyas on the walls of the terrace during karthigai. I still remember reading before my exams, lying on the terrace in the dim evening light, something appa didn't like.

We had huge space in front of our house where my friends and I played shuttle and softball in the evening. This also used to be the morning walking area for appa, and the place where we used to light the bussvanam and shankachakram during deepavali.

Our house shared an edge with a coconut groove. Needless to say, we got to see many uninvited reptile guests too, in many colours (green, black, grey)...ya man, I mean snakes! I am scared even to type them!!! Usually, amma used to spot them but the moment I saw them, every wire I saw for the next week would look like a snake! Gossssh!

The location of our house was convenient because it was close to my school bus stop, market, playground, open air theatre, temple and most of my friends' houses. I remember Madhu anna waiting with Shruthi in front of our house to take me to school bus stop. 

Apart from all these, I consider this home special for the following special occasions:

1. Akka got placed in IBM in her campus placement.
2. Akka got admission in University of Utah for persuing MS.
3. Akka got engaged.
4. Akka got married.
5. Those adventurous days appa and I spent without amma when she was transferred to KV-Tambaram for a short time.
6.  When appa used to buy Paneer butter masala (my favourite) for me for dinner and wait for me to come from AIMS coaching class.
7. I came 3rd in school during 12th board exam.
8. I got admission into the NIT, Trichy college.
9. When akka came alone first time from USA for holidays.
10. My parents became paatti-thaatha after Ranju was born.
11. Appa got retired from IGCAR.
12. Amma was lucky to get transferred to KV in Tambaram near to our house. 

I cherish each and every day I spent in that quarter, but the sad part was not being able to accompany my parents when they shifted house after appa got retired since I was having my semester exams then. Good in a way because I might not have even let them do that! 

I hope that I get a chance in future to go back to Kalpakkam and get a glimpse of my "No.6, 5th Avenue".

P.S: Look for the translations below:
NITTian: National Institute of Technology, Trichy - ian 
Kalakkare: Impressive
Appa : Father
Funda: Logic
Amma: Mother
Aappice:  Tamil/English slang word for office
Jula: Swing
Akka: Elder sister
Kokki: Hook
Angavasthiram: Towel
Desi: Indian
Kannunjifying: Ripening
akka-thangai illaya?: elder sister - younger sister right? (literal translation)
Krishna padam: Foot print of baby Krishna
Pooja room: Prayer Room
Krishna jayanthi: Birthday of Lord Krishna
Pongal: Harvest Festival
Deepavali: Festival of lights
Kolam: Decorative patterns made with rice powder
Rangoli: Decorated with colour powder
Jevvarusi and vengaayam vadaam: Sago and onion rings usually deep fried
Kaanum pongal's kannu pudi: Day after Pongal (Harvest Festival)
Karthigai:  Birthday of Lord Murugan, Festival 15 days after Diwali
Bussvanam and shankachakram: Fire crackers
Paatti: Grandmother
Thatha: Grandfather