Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Rush Hour

The past few days have been one big blur of activity. This evening is the first breather I have had since the weekend. I have made two startling but interesting discoveries:

a. I can actually survive almost a whole day without checking mails/blogs.
b. I can listen to more than 8 hours of lectures and actually find them interesting (except just before lunch (too hungry) and just after lunch (too sleepy)).

But this post is not about my brand new discoveries. Remember, sometime back I wrote about how I always choose houses close to my work place just so I don't need to commute long distances to work? Also remember how I gloated about feeling smug and superior whenever I saw the struggling commuters on US-101 freeway? Well, every dog has its day and the smug people of the world will be suitably rewarded for thinking too highly of themselves.

So sometime back, at work, I was asked whether I would like to go for some training. I agreed quite happily. Then I was told that the training was to be held in the city of S, about 26 miles from my house. My heart sank immediately - going to the city of S meant taking the notoriously overcrowded US-101 freeway for commuting. Due to various reasons, carpooling with my other colleague going for the training was not possible and I resigned myself to four days of commuting.

The training started on Tuesday. If there is one thing I hate more than driving in the freeway during the rush-hour, it is driving in the freeway during the rush-hour when it is raining. So of course, on Monday evening, predicted thunderstorms (not just rain) for both Tuesday and Wednesday. Oh dear!

Tuesday morning I set off a good one hour before the training-class started. Of course, I took the Yahoo maps estimated 32 minutes travel time with a huge sack of salt and gave myself enough buffer time to get to class on time. Thankfully, it wasn't raining when I left home and after getting caught in a few bottlenecks along the way (nothing too terrible though), I managed to reach the training center in S in 35 minutes - hurraaah! And that too with just one U-turn. Pat on the back :-)!

That evening too, it stopped raining just before I set back home. Again there were a few traffic jams sporadically on the freeway but nothing major and I was home in 35 minutes. I was begining to wonder why people made a huge deal about commuting. It was not as bad as everyone made it out to be.

Then this morning I got up to see a cloudy and gloomy sky outside. It was raining as I set off. Ah, I thought, Big deal, like its going to matter too much to the commute time. Smarty-pants thought, right? Right! 20 minutes later, I had just reached the city of M, which is like a measly five miles away from my house. My car was literally crawling along the freeway. I have driven at faster speeds in my apartment parking lot. Have you watched the movie "Office Space"? I felt like I was acting in the open sequence of that movie. Anyways, thankfully the traffic eased a bit after that. It was a bit unnerving to go splashing through all the rain water (it felt a bit like Moses going through the parting of the Red Sea - okay, okay that's an exageration) - but it was COOL to be zooming again. And I reached the training center in 45 minutes. Not too great - but okay.

Then this evening happened. From the time I set off, there were only traffic blocks after traffic blocks. For a brief point in time my speedometer touched 65mph - just when I was congratulating myself, the traffic came to a grinding halt. Yes, GRRIIIIIIINNND and HALT. After that we began to millimeter-forward. It was worse than crawling. I would have been a whole LOT faster if I had just got off and started jogging on the shoulder of the freeway. At no point did I manage to cross even 25 mph. And the thing to be noted here is that the car pool lane was, of course, almost empty and hence vehicles with more than one occupant just zoomed by. I suspect that the car pool drivers put on an extra spurt of speed just so they could make us lesser non-car-pooling mortals feel even more miserable. It was darn annoying see them enter the freeway, squeeze themselves past all the other lanes, hit the car pool lane and then zoooom away. Grr (people, people, please hold the lecture on incentives to save fuel - mez not going to listen now).

Finally I was ready to pull out all my hair out of frustration when I spotted an exit whose name I recognized - I only had a very vague idea of how to get home via a non-freeway route from there. But I was willing to get lost in preference to spending any more time on the terrible freeway. So I took the exit and resumed breathing normally as my speedometer hit 35mph again.

Thankfully, for a change, my direction instincts worked correctly, and I was in the right direction. After I reached the expressway (that's my favorite expressway for the simple reason that it is hardly ever crowded), it was smooth sailing all the way home. When I reached home and checked the clock, it was a whole hour since I had started. Goodness knows how much later I would have reached if I had decided to stick with the freeway.

Now my concern is, if you look at my commute timings, its been increasing with alarming regularity. Me thinks the first day was just a false trailer to lull me into a false sense of security. Now, I am wondering how much worse its going to be tomorrow :-O! The good part is has not predicted rain for tomorrow. Yaaay.

I am expected to do this for two more days only (as of now anyways) and I am already upto my neck with it. Now I have a new found respect for all the people who drive for more than 30 minutes one-way to work everyday. Wow!

And, that is all I have to say about that. I wanted to crib and people who got till the end of this tirade, thank you and I will listen to your commute cribs whenever you ask me to!

p.s. Sorry, no pics with this post. My net connection is acting up again and preventing me from hunting for pics. Ciao!

Saturday, March 25, 2006


I might quite possibly be the last one to get on, but I finally jumped onto the bandwagon! I succumbed to months of temptation and bought the iPod nano today :-D. Till I got to the store I was still debating whether to buy or not to buy. Then the sales-kid (note, I specifically say kid because he was probably just into his twenties) showed me his own iPod nano as the sample. My jaw hung open as I re-realized how extremely tiny and cute that thing is. Then the next realization hit that the that the kid owned one.

I walked away from the store with my own iPod nano :-))! From the time I came back home, I can't stop admiring it. Guilt ebbed away as I realized that I was happy just looking at it (ah, it sometimes feels real good to live in a materialistic world ;-)). Any remnants of guilt was washed away when both the friends whom I excitedly called and confided about my new purchase to sounded extremely delighted for me and positively implied that I needed an iPod in my life (ah, my dear friends, what would I do without them :-)).

So my cutie is charging right now. That's the iPod on my hand :-). I can barely wait to start using it. I already bought my first song at iTunes too - its Keith Urban's "You'll think of me." Long ago I had written about how I was smitten by the song. Well, I am still smitten by it and yesterday I actually took a detour while going home in my car just so the song (which was playing on the radio) could complete before I reached home :-/! No more detours :-)!

Now, to justify my iPod I am thinking of all sorts of new activities to take up. One is to jog everyday (hahahaha). Next is to train for a marathon (bigger hahahaha). Third is to walk everyday after dinner (hmm, finally something doable!). Let's see what happens.

Meanwhile I shall continue to droool :-D!

Update: I wrote all the above in the evening. Now, my iPod is all charged and ready. I must say Keith Urban sounds even more heavenly on the iPod :-D!

Friday, March 24, 2006

Writer's Block

Hehehehe, I used that hi-fi phrase 'coz it gives me the false sense that I am a writing pro or something ;-)! In any case, here is a C & H cartoon to commemorate this occasion:

And while I rack my brains to come up with a topic to write about, happy Friday folks :-)!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Play time

I lifted the idea for this "game" from here . Its good fun to play :-)!

Reiterating the rules, basically you need to add a comment to the post stating which letters you got for word verification. You also need to add how you think the word should be pronounced and what you think the meaning would be.

For e.g., my word "definition" comment on that post had been this:



Pronounciation: hem-hef-cow

Definition: A cow which can't make up its mind.


What are going to come up with :-)?

Monday, March 20, 2006

Why I like Wodehouse

Here are some classic examples of his writing. People who have known me for sometime now would have got this one forwarded from me at least once - you folks can skip this one :-)! Or maybe, you can laugh all over again! Enjoy :-)!

Wherever a man could bulge with muscle, he bulged. He even bulged in places where one would not have expected him to bulge.

Say what you will, there is something fine about our old aristocracy. I'll bet Trotsky couldn't hit a moving secretary with an egg on a dark night.

It was the look which caused her to be known in native bearer and halfcaste circles as 'Mgobi-'Mgumbi, which may be loosely translated as She On Whom It Is Unsafe To Try Any Oompus-Boompus.

You could tell it was classical music, because the banjo players were leaning back and chewing gum; and in New York restaurants only death or a classical specality can stop banjoists.

Her departure left behind it the sort of quivering stillness you get during hurricane time in America, when the howling gale, having shaken you to the back teeth, passes on to tickle up residents in spots further west.

The adjective "cross'' as a description of his Jovelike wrath ... jarred upon Derek profoundly. It was as though Prometheus, with the vultures tearing his liver, had been asked if he were piqued.

Unseen, in the background, Fate was quietly slipping the lead into the boxing glove.

He walked as if on air, and the whole soul had obviously expanded, like a bath sponge placed in water.

The cloud was passing from what, for want of a better word, must be called Lord Emsworth's mind.

The more I see of women, the more I think there ought to be a law. Something has got to be done about this sex, or the whole fabric of Society will collapse, and then what silly asses we shall all look.

He had the look of one who had drunk the cup of life, and found a dead beetle at the bottom.

It was a confusion of ideas between him and one of the lions he was hunting in Kenya that had caused A. B. Spottsworth to make the obituary column. He thought the lion was dead, and the lion thought it wasn't.

She looked more like Marilyn Monroe, than anything human.

Behind every poor, innocent, harmless blighter who is going down for the third time in the soup, you will find, if you look carefully enough, the aunt who shoved him into it.

I turned to Aunt Agatha, whose demeanor was rather like that of one who, picking daisies on the railway, has just caught the Down express in the small of the back.

"Are you," asked Lord Emsworth, ``interested in pigs, Mr Er-Ah-Umph?"
"Plimsoll," said Tipton. "Pigs," said Lord Emsworth, raising his voice a little and enunciating the word more distinctly.

If he had a mind, there was something on it.

. and if there is one thing which gives the man of sensibility that sinking feeling, it is the cold accusing eye of a ptarmigan, or whatever it may be that has had its internal organs removed and sawdust substituted.

She was feeling like a mother who, in addition to notify him that there is no candy, has been compelled to strike a loved child on the base of the skull with a stocking full of sand.

He might have been a motion picture star whose face had launched a thousand bags of popcorn.

Mr Waddington's expression was now that of a cowboy who, leaping into bed, discovers too late that a frolicsome friend has placed a cactus between the sheets.

It was obvious that only the fact of his having no soul prevented the iron from entering into it.

Presently, the door opened and his head emerged cautiously, like that of a snail taking a look around after a thunderstorm.

Looking soiled and crumpled, like a Roman Emperor who has sat up too late over the Falernian wine.

It looked something like a pen wiper and something like a piece of hearth-rug. A second and keener inspection revealed it as a Pekinese puppy.

He tottered blindly towards the bar like a camel making for an oasis after a hard day at the office.

It was as if nature had intended to make a gorilla and had changed its mind at the last moment.

He was a long, stripy policeman, who flowed out of his uniform at odd spots, as if Nature, setting out to make a constable, had had a good deal of material left over which she had not liked to throw away but hardly seemed able to fit into the general scheme.

Bingo uttered a stricken woofle like a bull-dog that has been refused cake.

One half of the world doesn't know how the other three-quarters lives.


Saturday, March 18, 2006

Of books, reading and libraries

When I eventually move back to India, the one thing I will miss the most about the USA is the library. I love reading and any place with a lot of readable books (I enjoy the so called "heavy" books from time to time, but the "simple" books of the kind Florence Craye* will never persuade Bertie Wooster to read appeals to me the most) is like paradise to me. Just the sight of rows upon rows of books fills me with happiness and I can spend ages together in a library without getting bored.

My immediate family is filled with book-lovers. From childhood, reading was the indoor recreation activity of choice in my home - I mostly saw my parents reading rather than watch TV when we weren't doing anything else. It was only natural for me to assume that reading is the ultimate "fun" indoor-activity :-). Till date, though I have participated in full-fledged TV-watching marathons from time to time, I prefer reading a good book to watching TV.

The very first books I remember reading are the "Tinkle, amar chitra katha, phantom, mandrake, superman etc." comics. Basically I used to read anything which had lots of pictures in them because these were much easier to follow than full fledged novels. I used to wonder at how people were able to read books without pictures. That would be so boring!

When I was 8 years old, we moved to Calcutta. Right across the street from my apartment was a lending library. During the summer vacation, my mom enrolled me and my sis in the library. The lending library allowed us to take 3-books at a time. My first three books were all archie comics. Then I saw my sis taking "grown-up" non-comics books. That was it!When I was younger, like countless other hapless younger siblings, I wanted to do everything that my big sister did. So I decided to borrow "grown-up" books too. I remember my first novel - it was "Five get into a fix" by Enid Blyton. I really LOVED that book and the rest, as they say, is history. I was hooked. It was just a matter of time before I went through the entire Famous-five, Secret-seven, Five-Find-outers, Malory Towes, St.Clares....and so on series. If there is a special writers heaven, I am sure Enid Blyton would have gotten the most premium spot in it. I think she single-handedly inspired scores of Indian children to take up reading as a hobby. I still enjoy reading Enid Blyton books. Surprisingly, I don't find them too often in American libraries. I wonder why and I feel sorry for the kids who haven't gotten a chance to experience her magic!

As I grew older, from Enid Blyton, the logical progression was to the more "teenager" kind of books - Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, Three investigators etc. Those novels were my first glimpse into American life (besides Archie comics). At that age, it was the first introduction to "romance" of any kind in books. The characters in the novels had *gasp* girl-friends/boy-friends!! Wow! Even at that age though, I found Nancy Drew stories incredibly unbelievable. Hello, smart girl is okay but 18-year-old Ms.Drew seemed to know everything from driving a tractor and flying a jetplane to single-handedly defusing bombs. Even my rather gullible 11-year-old mind couldn't digest stories about such super-gifted persons :-D!

On the side I discovered Sherlock Holmes (still one of my favorite detective series ever), Agatha Christie, Jeffrey Archer, Robin Cook, R.K.Narayanan and the classics. Little Women and Pride and Prejudice still rank as my most favorite classics of all time. As I grew older, I was finally started learning to appreciate the writing rather than just the story contained in a book. I don't remember exactly when I got introduced to "The Master" - P.G. Wodehouse. But I do remember the first PGW book I read - "Jeeves and the Feudal Spirit". I laughed so much and realized that subtle humor can be as or even more hilarious than slapstick comedy. I remain a staunch P.G.Wodehouse fan to this day and reading a PGW novel never fails to brighten up my mood!

Surprisingly, I was in 11th grade by the time I read my first Sidney Sheldon novel. All the books I had read till that point were always completely "clean" - my parents saw to that! But of course, when friends started talking about Sidney Sheldon, I had to know what on earth it was all about and my first Sidney Sheldon book "Sands of Time" was sneaked home from the school library. I never finished reading that book - though I did read his other books. And yes, I finally know what the fuss was about :-)! Hmm, I guess I was a pretty naive kid back then!

While I was consuming books by "popular" authors, it was also time to delve into more thought-provoking stuff. I started reading people's autobiographies, books about riots, the big bang and a whole bunch of other myriad topics. I discovered a lot more good authors who wrote on "light" topics - both fiction and non-fiction. My favorite kind of fiction is the kind which combines facts into a good story - like the kind written by Frederick Forsyth and Michael Crichton. That way I get to learn new things even as I get the entertainment of reading a story :-).

These days, other than dead-on serious and high-brow stuff, I pretty much enjoy all kinds of books. My family (especially my sister) and my friends often give me pointers to good books. I try to read them all but somehow always manage to forget most of the names when I get to the library unless I write them down :-(.

While in India it was not a very easy task to get my hands onto all kinds of books. Lending libraries typically stocked only the most popular authors. School/colleges mostly catered to the academic needs of students. And somehow (okay, I admit, I was lazy) I never became a member at any other library. So the supply of books mostly came from borrowing or rarely, buying them.

When I came to Davis, I completed the formalities for using the university library on the very first day of my arrival. We could borrow 3 books at a time and the UCD library had quite a decent collection of non-academic books too - yippee! I used it fully and well the 2 years that I was there.

It was then time to move to the bay area. When I first arrived here, I barely knew anybody. It did not help that my first roomie was hardly ever at home. It looked like I was going to die a slow death due to boredom.Then I learnt from a friend that the city library was just a short walk away from my apartment. So, at the first opportunity I got, I set off to the library. The "short" walk turned out to be a brisk 25 minutes away from my house. By the time I reached the library in the hot August sunshine, I was panting and on the verge of collapse. That is, until I put my foot inside the building. Looking at all those books was like having a sudden shot of caffeine injected into me! I soon found out that membership was free (you've got to be kidding me) and though I would be allowed only 3 items (books/cds/dvds etc) on my first borrowal, I could borrow upto 40 (jaw dropped - can anyone borrow so many things at once) items from the next time onwards. I could barely contain my glee. My first three books were read and returned in exactly three days. From then on, going to the library was a weekly pilgrimage. Though I took the bus at times (this was during my pre-car-owning days), I mostly just walked there. As long as I got my books, I couldn't care less about the excessive exercise.

The library has since moved to bigger and better location. When my family visited me last year, they too were thrilled with the library. I made full use of my card and we did manage to check out 40 items at once at some point too :-D!!

Considering that there are so many facilities in the library - internet, study kiosks, magazine sections, discussion rooms and so on, its very nice to know that all this just a free community service. This is the one place where I don't mind being "fined" when I forget to renew on time. And to think that most counties in the USA have their own libraries for use by their residents. Something so wholly done for the comfort and well-being of the public - that's just so incredible. I have spent many a happy afternoon at the library. One of my favorite library activities is to get a good book and sit reading on a couch facing the park. Time just flies.

I will miss this place for sure when I get back to India. Not just the books - the whole atmosphere is something I will cherish!

p.s. I am currently sitting with my laptop, typing this post out in the library. Today is another one of my happy, while-away-at-the-library afternoons :-D! I think that also kinda explains why this post is soooooooo long ;-)!

p.s.1. All the photos are those of my city library :-)!

* If you don't know who Florence Craye and Bertie Wooster are, please to read P.G. Wodehouse's Jeeves stories. You won't regret it :-)!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

San Diego

* This post is kind of a travelogue of the highlights of my two-day trip to San Diego with my friends A and S *

Cafe 222
A was the one who spotted the raving review of this breakfast/lunch place in a magazine. Hotel B, where we stayed, is bang in the middle of downtown and Cafe 222 was only a few blocks away. So we decided to walk. In spite of hearing the forecast of rain on TV, S was the only one who carried an umbrella when we set off. A and me were filled with (blind) optimism that it would not rain (as it was not raining at that particular point in time) and did not even wear rain-jackets. Sure enough, as soon as were too far away from the hotel to turn back, it started to pour. Yeah, pour, not just rain. So all of us tried to squeeze under one tiny umbrella and fast-walked/ran the rest of the way to the restaurant. We arrived partially drenched - to find a loooooong queue in front of us. But hey, we were out of the rain (even as we watched, the pouring rain turned to hail :-O!) and we could drink our lattes standing up! When we finally got our seats in the funkily decorated place, the food arrived quickly. Boy O boy! The waffles were simply out of this world! Yummy, smaaaccckkk - we all contemplated moving to SD just so we could have the waffles every day!!

This place was sooo good that we decided to return on day 2 too. Bill, the usher, actually recognized me from the previous day when I went to put down our names on the wait list! We were initially told that it would be a 30-minute wait - but for some reason, the wait extended and all the waiting customers got free banana-bread (yummy!) as compensation (good, strong coffee was already free for the waiting folks). Though A, S and I did not complain at all (what the heck, with breakfast so good, 45 minutes of waiting is a cinch), for some reason, the restaurant folk felt guilty. And guess what, after we were finally seated, midway through our meal (the "Joe's special" frittata I had that day was heavenly too), Bill appeared at our table and said that he had given us a discount on our bill as a "sorry" for our long wait. So when we got our bill, guess how much the discount was? We had been given a rockin' 50% discount!!! Sweeeeeeet :-)! Next time we go to SD, Cafe 222 is most definitely on our "spots-to-visit" list!

I love the downtown in most of the cities. Not as a place to live in maybe, but definitely as a place to visit. Somehow, being in the midst of the vibrant and active crowds gives me a natural high! San Diego had a lively downtown - not as big as SF or NYC of course, but nice enough! We walked through the "gaslamp quarter". It had a whole lot of eating-places - we had time to try only two restaurants though. The food was decent, as was the music. It was amazing to see the crowd in spite of the rains! My personal food item in that whole place was the Ghirardelli icecream I had (yeah I know Ghirardelli's is a chain) - the warm milk chocolate fudge topping was simply out of this world!!

La Jolla
For the uninitiated, La Jolla is pronounced "La Hoya" (aaargh - these non-intuitive Spanish pronounciations). La Jolla is where UCSD is located. And as the city's tag line says, it really is a "jewel by the sea". Each of the roads in that city seemed to end with a stunning view of the beach. Lucky residents! We went to La Jolla cove, a spot by the beach where we could spot pupping seals. I just had to stand with my camera and spin around slowly while clicking to capture one stunning vista after another. Someone please buy me a house there!

Mission Beach
It is yet another pretty place by the ocean (not fair, one city gets so many pretty spots). It has a cool walk/bike path which runs right besides the beach. We visited here, open-top convertible and all, on day 2 - when it no longer rained (hallelujah) and had a lovely walk by the sea. There were cute cottages/beach-houses for rent right by the beach. I am currently in the process of convincing S that she really needs to own a beach house ;-)!

Old Town San Diego
It is one of those quaint old-fashioned village type places, which seem to be popular in tourist destinations. We mostly shopped there :-D. I guess it will be VERY easy to spend a whole day here without getting bored. We barely got to see even the periphery of this place though(we ran out of time).

Cabrillo National Monument
Forget visiting the monument. Its good, but in this case, its the journey rather than the destination which is even more memorable. Just seeing the views as you go through that piece of land jutting into the ocean, with the San Diego bay on one side and the Pacific ocean on the other, will make your trip worth it. They also have visitable tide-pools there. The colorful pebbles on the sand, the shells, other marine-life, the carved patterns on the sea-cliff - just about everything adds to the experience!

And etc.
We decided to not visit the usual Sea World/Zoo or other proper "touristy" destinations in SD - I am glad we made that decision. We just pooled in all the sightseeing suggestions we had got from various people and then picked out the places from a map. I did most of the navigation (A and S did all the driving) using only a detailed SD city-map as an aid (with S acting as the supervisor) and ah, even if I say so myself, I think I did a very decent job (when you know that when I went to LA, thanks to my navigation skills, even with yahoo map directions to Disneyland, we actually drove 15 miles in the direction opposite to that of Disneyland, you will realize what an achivement this is for me).

Going with great company elevates even a trip to a so-so place into a "nice" trip. In this case, with a super destination and super companions, my trip to San Diego gets a five star rating :-D.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Debating point

Question for the day: Can deciding to not make a decision also be considered a decision? I came across the pointer to the Dilbert strip below from the Scott Adams blog.

In the third panel in the third row, Dogbert states "Your ultimate goal is to look decisive without making any real decisions". Is it always possible to "make" decisions without actually making one? Even if you do make a decision, can you ever find out if IS the right one? Or since the you did not experience the grass on the other side, you will never be able to tell? Or once you make a decision, do you just believe in it and not wonder about how following the other alternatives might have turned out?

(Of course, I am talking about big decisions here - not the "should I have oatmeal or cereals for breakfast" kind)

Random thoughts floating through my head - triggered by reading a comic strip. I think I think way too much!

Monday, March 13, 2006

I am in love!

... with San Diego. Spent the past weekend in that vibrant and beautiful beach city. More of the story soon!

p.s. Today I successfully complete 26 years of life on Planet Earth. Yaaaaay :-)!

Update - On turning 26 ...

* "Happy birthday and don't forget you are now twenty-SIX." - followed by laughter.
* "What are you cribbing about? I am already 26."
* "Well, you are anyways close to 30 now" (after hearing me crib about how I mistakenly raised my hand when my fitness instructor asked the class who the people over 30 were).
* "What's there? 25, 26 - its all the same!"
* "How does it feel on the other side of 25?" (grrr...)

Ha, I am the kada-kutti (last born) and hence will *always* be the baby of my house 0:-D!

"Oh no, I can't be turning 26. I have barely registered that I turned 25!"
"No, no, no - I don't want a birthday this year."
"Hmm, a birthday is fun anyways" (after being treated super special by almost everyone).
"I am twenty-six! A birthday is like my own private new year. And a fresh start to everything."

My consolation
Air hostess asking me on the plane back from San Diego : "Are you on your spring break?" (Note: I conveniently assumed that only young students go on spring breaks).

Cliched but true - you are only as old as you feel. So, I am a very young 26 *grin* .

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Jeena isi ka naam hai

So, for the past few days, for whatever good reason, a miracle has been happening viz. I don't feel too hungry and hence haven't been putting away too much food. Such "Acts of God" happen only once in a green moon and I have been thrilled - ha, a new, slimmer me - yipppeee! Yesterday I found out that I am getting slimmer alright. In my fingers. Yes, the only thing which has gotten looser is the ring on my right ring-finger. With so many potential spots from which body fat can melt away, I lose fat from my fingers. Sheeesh!
Yesterday, after I got home, I wanted to clear up the unwashed dishes in my sink. I turned on the tap and waited for the hot water. And waited. And Waited. Cold water continued to gush over my fingers and no sign of hot water. God, what happened? I quickly ran to test the other faucets in the house. At the end of all my tests, the only thing which happened was that my fingers were frozen to the marrow. As I sat in front of the heater, thawing my fingers out, it struck me that I was stuck with cold water in winter. A call to the apt office confirmed that the boiler was broken and wouldn't be fixed until the next day noon. So yours truly had a semi-shower in ice cold water this morning. Lazy me had of course chosen potentially contracting pneumonia over losing sleep and going elsewhere for a shower. But you know what, ice cold water has a way of waking you up completely! Nevertheless I hope they fix the boiler soon. Else I am planning to heat batches of water in the microwave and use it. Even if takes all morning tomorrow.
I can crib quite a lot about work and whenever I get the chance, I keep voicing my support for potential laws (if any) of bringing about four-day work weeks. But from time to time, it's brought back to me all over again that my work defines a lot of what and how I feel. This week has been hectic but productive at work - and hey presto, I feel rejuvenated. So, no matter what I say, turns out I am most at peace with myself when I have had a "good" day both at work and outside of it. I know it but still, I persist with my hopes of winning the lottery someday so that I never have to work again. But you know what, even if I do win the jackpot, somehow I suspect that I will still be voluntarily working.

Monday, March 06, 2006

When life imitates art

Sometimes when you are watching a movie or a show on TV, you wonder about some of the situations depicted and scoff "What are they going on about - something like that will never happen in real life. In any case, it will never happen to me!"

What do you do when some situation straight from a television series does happen in your own life? That's when realization dawns that inspiration for any art comes from real life. There are certain catch words and phrases which I have never heard being spoken outside of a television box. At least never heard them being used in the same context as on television. Yesterday, for the first time in my life, I actually used them - and yes, in the same context I have heard it being used a million times on television.

In a way it is disconcerting to know that what seems like a big thing to me is so common that they actually depict it on TV with actors. In another way, it is comforting to know that so many other people apparently go through similar situations and seem to come out of it fine. In my case though, I have no script dictating how the ending will be.

But isn't it the unpredictability of the outcome which makes life so much more interesting?

*Random musings on a moody Monday evening.*

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Shutting down shop for a while ...

Taking a break from blogging... will try to be back soon!

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

India Everywhere

Below is the link to a very nice article about India in Newsweek. Desi folks, if you haven't read it yet, do so, to get your today's "feel very good" quota :-)!

Thanks a lot to Floridora for pointing me to this article! As for my opinion, I thought the article is pretty well-balanced and pretty accurately reflects what's actually happening in India right now.