Friday, June 27, 2008

An apology and the week's update

To all my well wishers, who expect me to return their calls or buzz them a how-dee!
Knock knock!
Whose there?
Police who?
Police accept my apologies!!
I am a procrastinator. I have been forever. Also, I am not too fond of the phone. My red Blackberry has not been able to help me. Although, I use it obsessively for the Internet and games. I am keeping busy- reading, watching TV, movies, writing, researching, cleaning the house, with my music. etc. etc. And when I remember all the calls that I have to make its not the appropriate time. I have not spoken to my mother, the past week. Although I am not worried that she maybe upset since she is with my brother right now. Or else, I would have put a reminder to make through the call to her. If its any consolation, I have missed many of SH's calls and that has resulted in fewer calls from him, i.e just about 2 or 3 calls a day.
So I apologise I will call you soon.
I have a new hair cut. I think I have become an expert at styling my hair. I asked SH to trim my hair but he refuses to touch the scissors and my shears. Its been almost a year since I had my hair styled and the parlour girl straightened it, thus began my self styling days. The first week, I got back from the parlor, after the razor cut and straightening, I must have cut my hair almost everyday. I thought my hair was too long and not sure if it suited me. So it was no use spending $$ when my hair looks nothing like how I left the salon. Right now my hair is quite long, but then, I don't want them that long and neither do I care for a short hair style. I was not sure what would happen sitting on the stylist chair and so I took my hair in my hands!
I think I did a good job and they look the way I wanted them to look last year- Step cut and quite nice. I don't feel like straightening and will give it a break for sometime. Its becoming a big bore with every Jane straightening her mane!! I am enjoying the waves that my hair makes.
Yesterday, I went shopping at Costco. I have got used to shop alone something I dreaded doing not so long ago. I saw these two young Indian wives shopping alone. They were so giggly and school girlish. They made me smile. I wouldn't have guessed that they were moms if I hadn't seen them picking baby clothes. I miss having friends but I don't have any with whom I can be a giggly girl. Right now all the people I know I cant imagine myself being all funny and cute.Its, mostly, dinners,gossips, random picnic or barbecue. No real activities as such. How wierd is that!! The only person I truly enjoyed my time being silly with post marriage, lives in NC and to think she was my senior is school seems light years away. I miss you. Sorry, I haven't called you either (So see the rest must not complain). But, then you have a very very busy life.
I am a greedy and selfish person. My greediness is at its prime when it comes to books. I am listening to one and reading one. And magazines are not even included. I have membership to three libraries and I have more than 2 books from all of them. My night table does not have a space to keep my glass of water at night. I dislike returning books but I now have the sense not to buy all the books I want since my household runs on a budget! I have a research paper deadline rushing on me and still I take out more time for my casual reading and blog. I am so greedy about books.
I did a lot of cooking and cleaning this week. I enjoyed it. Made some new stuff and trying to revive some cooking that reminds me of my childhood. Esp. Kaanch kola, fried rice like mom, and lau. Also, made an interesting blueberry smoothie with cream cheese. It came off so good that I am totally inspired.
And, have seen 12 movies in the last 3 weeks. But SH's summer semester is on again. Will post the movie list next, since I enjoyed all the movies. Most of them are laugh riots so I need it on this roll.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Where the Hell is Matt?

Ans- He is living a Heavenly life.

Matt's way is one of the best forms, that gives many people the hope, including me that whatever comes we are all one and together. We are more similar and that we still have the strength to feel happiness when we see another being smile. And, the fact that we are more similar than different from each other.
We smile when we are happy and dance when we include everyone in our happiness. And by dancing together we make everyone smile and laugh with us.

By the way, This is such a cute and sweet way to dance Matt.
Its difficult to email Matt so I am really wondering if someone would know whose is the background score. It sounds much like Bengali. See, I am looking for similarities. (added: Did I say it sounded Bengali, yup because it is. They Lyrics are from Tagore's Gitanjali - Stream of life or Praan. Sung by Palbasha Sidiqque and music scored by Gary Schyman.

Also, you can check the stride gum website and Matt's dancing there.
I enjoyed the dances shots that did not make it to the final edit.
I Leave you with one and you can explore the rest.

Happiness Always.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Compassion is crime-

Just got back from the library. Was checking news from India online, while my lunch defrosted in the microwave. This piece of news caught my attention. Do the officials even understand what they are doing? Does anyone really know what is the truth?

All I understand from this is that all three, the man, his daughter and the sloth bear have been put into separate prisons or zoo whichever term you want to use. One family is destroyed by the silly idiots called civil servants, who have studied for 18 hrs and lost their minds once they got through the exams.

I pray the man is reunited with his daughter at least.

Monday, June 23, 2008

A whole day of ironing and lesson on saving gas.....

... I also got the time to smell summer blossoms.

SH surprised me by taking a break right after the weekend and worked from home. So I surprised him by organising his wardrobe and ironed his laundry. It was my day's work. I ironed everything and that includes the night pajamas and all. In the process I became an expert in this art and realized its not that bad. I like ironing, I guess!!
I read on someones blog that she is happy when she washes utensils and scrubs the floor. Ironing sounds so much better than that form of happiness.

Can you believe those Piles and then there is more!!

I got some time to sit on my veranda in the afternoon under the shade of the old pine and look at the pretty view. It was bright and warm today and the flowers are in full bloom. California is officially going through drought period and water warnings have been summoned. At least that is not affecting the blooms here. The grass is dry on the hills and the Lexington reservoir is as dry as chapped skin. Worrisome. I hope winters bring some monsoons here.

In the evening, I got to drive the green car. Yesterday, SH drove and the consumption on the car screen read 99.9miles/gallon* . It was such a kick watching it. Some miracle, it was that we have never seen before. Keeping my fingers crossed for that to happen more often. The gas is running at $4.56 right now. And our bill for last month was $120. The month before it was much below $100. With 2 cars and SH covering around 60miles per day. It was quite a feat.
But, 99.9 was just a dream. Too bad that we drove just a few miles on that rate.

Today, when I drove, I brought down the average real bad. straight down to 49/gallon. That's when SH told me its all about the toe. I must put my whole foot on the accelerator for balanced weight, instead of the toe. I think it works because the car did react towards the positive direction(is there a pun?). Also, I observed the car is very touchy. She does not like to be handled roughly. You have to be gentle with her while pressing the brake or accelerate. She listens better and thus reacts better. Once I got the hang of it, I was able to get up to 53/gallon.

Nay, not 99.9 yet.

But, lesson learnt: Patience and Politeness, saves gas!!

* I am not talking about the Freeway though. This is only within the city roads.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

MTV India

Check the comments box of Perez Hilton's post on the MTV India attack by the Sikhs.
Interesting discussions. Just go through the comments and think over them.
Some of the people are just living to hurt and be offensive towards anyone who differs from them. Such actions do not come just from ignorance but from an inherent desire to be malice.
To be humane and sensitive towards others, one does not need to be highly educated. Its sad that we have to even argue about such things.

A New Planet

Now we have Planet X .
And I have a bulb moment!
If Planet M stands for Music, what does Planet X imply?
Wink ;)Winkie ;) Wink ;)

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Root Canal is a cruise...

..... and I can't help saying that. Monday, I had my first root canal treatment experience.

The general update that I have received from friends about root canal treatment is that it is a painfully traumatic experience. Last year, after all the praises on my dental health, the dentist informed me politely that I needed one root canal treatment. I was mortified. All the horrific stories that I had heard from my mother, my friends and more recently SH came rushing in. I did not want to see the dentist anymore and kept cursing the last dentist, back in India, who was responsible of this calamity. Five years ago, I had two of my teeth treated and instead of of the expensive enamel filling I opted for silver filling. That was the wrong decision. One of the filling came off two years later. That tooth went from bad to worse and now I needed a root canal. I never had the time and reason to go to the doctor once I came here for my Masters. I had a student medical insurance which did not cover dental and eye care. They were not compulsory insurances and I never purchased them.

With marriage come expectations and insurances. House, fire, earthquake, life but the one that absolutely eats our paycheck is the medical insurance. The first year of our marriage we visited a doctor maybe once. But during tax season when I realized how much we were donating away to the medical insurance guys, I was flabbergasted. Firstly, I changed the health plan from PPO to POS. Because, SH put his foot down against the HMO plan. POS was not so bad and since the Stanford Hospital is so close to our house, I was sure we had good medical personals close in our hands. Our family doctor was picked from Stanford. And the one complimentary dental inspection was done at someplace that was within the medical group.

This year we changed our plan to PPO once more because SH pleases so. Under the PPO plan, you get to pick the best of doctors and dentists, of your own preference, anywhere within US. SH did the picking and we went. The dentist did his routine check up and asked me to see a endodontist. I had never even cared to know that dental surgeons who specialize on root canals are known as "ENDODONTIST". All the horrific stories that I had heard came rushing in. When I told Ma about my oncoming root canal date with the surgeon, her 5 seconds pause followed by cooing sympathies were enough to shake my roots (no dental puns intended!!).

But, I kept repeating that it will not be difficult for me and it wasn't. In fact it was like a dream. The doctor was more like a Resort Spa masseur than a Doctor. I don't think the doctor would like this comparison but I cant get a more apt comparison. I was about five minutes late for the appointment. So they made me comfortable on the dentist's chair and then gave me the required compulsory forms to fill. It looked and felt more like I was their for a facial rather than a root canal. The X-rays we taken by the assistant. I have a tiny mouth and so x-rays of my back tooth are always uncomfortable. Once we got over with that and the form fill ups. The doctor came in. He asked me the usual questions if my teeth were sensitive? My last dental visit? How long before I knew about my cavity. And I told him the story of my filling, falling off and my consequent visit to him.The doctor made me very comfortable as I told him about all the painful stories I had heard. He assured me that root canal is not painful and I must let him know. The doctor gave me two injections. After waiting for 15 mins for the anesthesia to take effect the doctors started the process. For the next 40 min I just sat there and it was a cruise. At one point I just closed my eyes and was on the verge of dosing off. I woke up only because of the laughable thought that I was actually relaxing while a root canal was taking place on none other but me.

What an experience!

In the end doctor told me, you have been a wonderful patient and I said, no you are just awesome. Of course he found it funny. I came out to the reception area and SH looked critical,. He couldn't believe I was laughing and talking to the doctor, the assistant, the receptionist. He wanted to see my tooth and make sure that work was done. The doctor came to assure SH that root canal is not that bad.

And then I looked at the bill. The bill for my one root canal was enough to buy me a round trip ticket to India and back on Singapore Airline, Economy. Good that about 80% will be paid by the insurance. And even better that we had decided on having a annual medical account. SH told me that he had paid less than half of the amount on his root canal some 4 years back and that experience had made him averse to dental routines. I had not a single painful second. SH seemed more shocked than relived. He was so shocked that he asked me to drive his green car.
Even after the anesthesia wore off I did not feel pain. I was allowed to eat anything and no restrictions..
Quite uneventful and comfortable can that be said about root canal? Yes, I can.

Is there anyone out there who agrees with me?

More of God's Creations...

... who have recently joined all of us on this earth. Or should I say being acknowledged by the human world.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Sun and sand time...

The weather has been wonderful and warm in the bay area for quite sometime. We have a break of a week before SH starts with his summer semester. So today we planned a day at the beach before SH starts with his classes once again and before the typical Bay weather messes with our weekend plans. So today we took off towards the beach. It was a clear blue sky day and there was not a single cloud on the horizon. A perfect opportunity to use our new beach umbrella. The temperature was at its peak but it was breezy. Loaded with cool drinks, beach handy food, sun block, shades and ever important camera we drove to our favourite sand spot.

Our favorite beach is a tiny patch of sand sandwiched between a cliff and the sea. The only way to get there is a steep and narrow wooden steps which can be destroyed by the mighty Pacific any day as I have witnessed many times over here along the California coast. In reality it may be defined as a cove instead of a beach. Since it was so breezy the waves were bigger than usual and the small beach looked smaller than usual to the two of us. in fact the waves were so wild today that they were coming right till the wooden steps. We had to pick our sandals in our hands along with the all the stuff we already had our hands full with and then make a run towards the beach cove across the rocks trying to dodge the waves trying to drench us. once we were safe on the other side we went right at the back against the cliff and spread our beach towels, set the umbrella and took in the panoramic view.

In spite of the breeze and the high waves, the place was bustling with sun and sand lovers and surfers. The mast were flowing high on the yachts. It was a pretty sight against the blue Pacific and clear blue sky. The sight of surfers waiting for the next best wave to surf ride over it against the huge yacht against the background is lovely to look at. The dogs swimming against the wave currents to catch the ball was a fun sight. And the young kids dressed for their first surf lessons was touching to watch.

I had my current read with me but I was never able to go more than 10 pages. I did not want to miss any activity that was going around me as I lazed in the sun. The kids building sand castles, the playful dogs all drenched, the surf boards and the sea gulls busy fishing was exciting to watch.
Here are some pictures which say more than words. We left in the evening promising ourselves that we will do this more often.

My favorite pic has been uploaded here.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

The World Beyond....

...Our world is spectacular when it thrives and just as spectacular when it expires.

Beautiful pictures captured of the far, far galaxies that make us look at them with awe and wonder.
These pictures have been released by NASA.

On a lighter now they look like inspiration for some creative designs and colors.

But a reminder that all beautiful things come to an end but will be remembered till eternity because of their impressive nature.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Keeps my Idleness Busy -

My usual time pass, blog hopping, took me to India Uncut and read this news that I thought is funny. The whole Jury being dismissed because they were caught playing Sudoku during the trial- Can't blame them its addictive. I also found Sudoku through a blog. I went online to search more about the game, came upon the online web site and got hooked. I have spent many a days rushing through my daily chores so that I could spend my hours solving the puzzles. I even contemplated buying some Sudoku digests that were sold in my university book store but mostly I played online. I would often make print outs and keep them in my purse so that I would play on the way. Travelling on BART or Cal train, while waiting in the doctor's reception, any place where I was made to wait a few minutes I would search my bag and find an incomplete puzzle.

I also had a scrabble galore for sometime in between. I had registered myself with an scrabble website online and spent my afternoons playing scrabble with strangers. It was fun because one could play at the same time chat up with their opponents. I discouraged that part but sometimes it is fun just to know where the other person lives. Like once the person told me he was in Australia and I forgot to ask him what the time was at his end to verify he was telling the truth. But it was an online game and scrabble is not a mobile game with all the board and the cubes. I can't play it on the go.

My current favorite game is chess. It reminds me on my childhood. I learnt the game when I was in class VI. One of my grandmother's friends who was a neighbor came to our house during the afternoons. My grandmother had a habit of taking an afternoon nap and nothing could make her miss her siesta. So while she took her nap her friend taught my brother and me to play chess. After that many an afternoon the three of us would have competitions among the three of us and my brother and me actually got very good at it. Practice makes a man perfect as they say. But once the holidays got over we had to go back to our schools where both, my brother and me we were into outdoor sports and other curricular activities and chess took a back seat until we had our vacations.Now that my computer has the chess game installed in it. I am back to playing chess with the computer and I am so hooked to the game once again. This is one of the big reasons that I am unable to finish my book reviews as planned and they are piling high as the notes I make wait patiently next to my night stand.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The World Through the Lens

This is what part of the world had to go through today. And New York Times assembled them in an album of 15 pictures. The only peaceful picture according to me, is of the torrential monsoons of Mumbai. Every other picture tells a tragic story of natural, economic, political, or ethnic upheaval. A couple on sports is a last minute relief.

The pictures talk about- Pakistan bombed by the US Air force. The fuel strike in Spain killed people. Chinese earth quake survivors living in the open with no shelter over their head. Kenya going through a political chaos which has left hundreds dead and thousands homeless. Ocean life is threatened after another major oil spill killer near Uruguay coast. Midwest in terrible state and now has to bear power cuts as well.
Some good news on the spots front for some soccer lovers as Euro 2008 soccer championships go on.

When Gossip Becomes Stilettoes

Sometime ago Pandora's box voiced, that women can not do without gossip. I doubt if there is any living soul with their heads on the right shoulders who will ever deny the claim. But calling women gossip harmless is like declaring Roses do not prick. We all know better than that - They have thorns and one has to be very, very careful while plucking or handling them.

There must be few if any who don't appreciate " Sex and the City" and they may have their own reasons for that. But for women it must have been one unanimous decision. The ideal friend to whom you can run to in the middle of the night and she comes to your rescue even if she has to leave the best *** activity of the night. The “Sex and the City” scenario is a dream situation. Where 4 women with absolute myriad temperaments, needs and social standing come together and are San any malice. I will forever find it difficult to palate that in real life with my post college experiences, but then “SAC” is an ideal thought of the writer where, every girl can bake a cake and eat it too!

The movie released 2 weeks ago and I have yet to see it. But before that I finished watching the reality show of the Real Housewives, season2, which featured a group of NY socialites. The situations given were believable, had a lot of drama, competition, jealousy, I-am-better-than-you moments and wanna be desperates. But in the end you have to put your best foot forward, smile at everyone and savour the moment you are thrown in and behind their back grind your teeth and swear under you breath that you have never met such bull heads ever, even if you are literally one of them, when among them. No one is perfect and the sooner we accept it the better.

I think many of us have experienced the wonderful camaraderie during our college and school life, where you have one special friend who is always alert to your needs. Who is there to take the daily walks with you, who will suppress her fear of darkness to accompany you to the loos in the middle of the night, who will fore go the lunch fruit share for you because you have kept a fast, who will wake up early in the morning to give you your medicine because you have a habit to forget, that special friend who reads your thoughts and completes your sentences. To spend every waking hour together study, play and gossip. Situations where none of your inner thoughts can be hidden and you want it exactly that way.

Not many people may have experienced such friendships. If you have not experienced it you will not miss it. And its something that is difficult to replace once its gone. But, marriages take you to different shores and childhood friends become random emails and once in a blue moon phone calls. And the search is again on for that one who will be your therapy mate. Age and some experiences teach you to be cautious as well as suspicious of fair weather entities. And so gossip will never be held as harmless for me.

The lesson I have learnt is that don't make any opinion about anyone until you have spent at least 4 of your consecutive weekends with them.
I guess checking people in groups and as individual is a good idea. I have seen people behave different when they are alone with you and when they are in a group of friends.
Always listen to the tiny voice inside which will guide you in the direction that's best.
Stay away from people who are into too much of negative gossiping about others. Chances are, you will top the list, in your absence.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Lifetime of A Life

Ask a person their motto and their is a reasonably high probability that someone will say that their life's motto is "Live as if this is the last day of your life". I have been thinking of this particular phase for a couple of days since I just finished Garcia Marquez's work " Chronicle of a Death Foretold" and it made me think, what would I do with the last 24 hours of my life? So I decided to sit back and take the time to look at myself and the things around me.

I would never like to live so far away from home if i knew that I had only 24 hours to live. I would want to be near my parents and my brother. Although, I love my relatives and friends a lot. I think the only quality time I would like to spend with would be SH, my parents and brother. Before I left home for my residential school I prefered to keep quiet, talk to no one and just feel the house, the walls and the presence of my loved ones around me who would go about their usual chores. That is exactly what I would like to do on the last day of my life. Just look deep into each ones eyes and let them understand without my speaking, how much I love and appreciate them. Eat all my meals of the day with them together, watch the TV and go for a walk in the garden, water the plants and pluck some lilies and bring them for ma just like my dad does on some days. See her smile and go about her chores like any ordinary day.
In the afternoon while my ma takes an afternoon nap and Baba is out on an errand and brother is with one of his friends SH and I sit and read a book together before we take an afternoon siesta. We get up soon after to go up on the terrace and feel the heat of the sun and take cover under the shade that Baba has built.

Eagerly wait for the evening tea time and rush to make the tea while my brother ans SH stand there watching me and eager to help with anything possible. I serve the cake that I made in the afternoon for everyone and my Baba cant help being proud of me that I make such a wonderful cake. And we all sit together on the veranda and sip at our cups while watching the kids play cricket in the park in front of our house. Comment at the passing neighbours and wave a friendly hand at them. Sit in the veranda till the dusk turns into night and the mosquitoes come to feast on us. Then run inside and quickly close the net doors before my mom comes to check at us. all of us sit together and watch the TV together and listen to the local and national news. Watch mom's favorite serial with her and then help her set the table for dinner. Make the perfect round rotis for the last time and serve the ones that I made to Baba and hear him appreciate them and tell me that I must do it everyday for him fully aware that I will not.

After dinner I serve everyone the pudding I made for dessert see each one's eyes lit up while my mom just looks at me as if saying that you spoil them with this once in a blue moon feast and I will have to bear their complaints forever.
I look at her and grin much aware that time is fleeting by. Then all of us sit around the dining table and talk till the wee hours, the past, school, work, cousins, news and politics and the prices of fish and oil, the future. We laugh a lot together and feel as close to each other as it has ever been possible. And get up and go to bed after hugging my parents and brother. SH and I will go to sleep for the next day would bring something different for everyone.
I realized my last day said nothing about bog ambitions, gold and wealth. these things do not even come to my mind. So are they not important to me. My last day I would prefer to be just as simple ans sweet as it has always when I am home. And that is the most important thing for me.
I do not see myself doing nothing but be close to the most important people of my life.

Well, now ask me what I would do if I have a year before I leave this earth, and that would be a totally different scene. I will need 365posts to explain that ;))