Tuesday, April 15, 2014

It's Vishu timee! :D

It has been quite a long time since my last post and here is one on Vishu :D
Vishu aka  the Malayalam New Year,falls usually on April 14 or 15th every year.It is celebrated with the usual  exuberance of any festival, it is also a harvest festival which is a reminder of the days of our forefathers. Vishu also means equal as it is the day during the equinox, when there is equal number of hours of daylight and darkness.
Now I shall stop providing Wikipedia like info on my blog and write what I wanted to about Vishu :P . Definitely my readers would by now know the fact that it is not that Vishu is a harvest festival nor that it has equal day and night hours that makes me feel so happy about the festival! *duuh* It is the festival where you get Kaineetam (Tradition where elders give money to the younger ones),Vishu Kani (the first sight in the morning), then the epic Sadhya ( feast) it is the elaborate meal on a big banana leaf where you will be treated to almost 25 dishes with rice ( a buffet where you needn't move around – everything comes to you in a specific order) then crackers and new clothes.
Yummy sumptuous Sadhya- The Keralite buffet ;)

 Vishu Kani arrangement is a fun thing to do in India, because the yellow golden Laburnum flowers are an integral part of the Kani and since we did not have these flowers at our house,we invariably plucked them from the trees in our  neighbors’ houses ,and in houses where they act like they can’t share a few flowers we take it without their consent *yeaah steal :P I am pretty sure that the people from whose backyards I “borrowed” some flowers without consent from  them will not read my blog, even if they do for the greater good they will forgive me :P*,  and in case it’s on the  higher branches all the monkey acts to get some so that the Vishu kani is perfect for the next day morning .Then setting it with Vegetables, fruits, mirrors, pictures and idols of God, Money, Gold and lot more things which depending on each household varies. And the even beautiful part is the view you have in the morning, usually my mother wakes me up and leads me to the place where the Kani is set and it is the first view that you have once you open your eyes. An auspicious Kani at dawn on the Vishu day is considered lucky for the entire year. It’s not every day that you get to see such a beautifully set view in the morning.

As a person who has spent only few Vishu’s in India with my relatives, the times I have are cherished memories. Especially watching my grandfather read the Ramayana and listening to him narrate the stories for me, also our conversations where he reminisces about his young days,then visiting the temple with him . Followed by, pestering everyone who comes home that day for Kaineetam. We used to literally visit *in reality,raid * every house in the neighborhood acting like kids spreading the joy of Vishu but there, just to get our money :D. Being the youngest one was good and bad then, because as the youngest some of my kind elders would give me more money and others would just be like’ you’re a kid what do you need money for !’ and give me less than my sister * What do they know about the financial needs of a ten year old! Hmph*.I also had to deal with extra” smart” brothers who would give coins and get away with it and their supposedly valid reasoning for it is that for Vishu Kaineetam it should be given only in coins and not notes! *Can’t blame them, coz I do it now :P*
The sumptuous lunch which is like a half an hour ritual *actually the time is variable, based on how much you hog*. After which there will be games and conversation and the usual laziness after a heavy meal! *burp :P*
Even in my 4years of hostel life, I used to set up Kani with great fervor , it was the only festival I religiously made sure to take the pain to celebrate. Though I don’t really believe in the auspiciousness of the Kani,the entire joy of setting it up and waking up in the morning to view it gives a sense of happiness that I cherish.

For those of my readers who could relate,I am sure you might have had a good time reminiscing old memories and for those of you who are getting to know Vishu for the first time- it is today and if you have Keralite friends around bug them to treat you with a Sadhya :) *fully vegetarian deliciouss meal! *
I would love to hear your favorite memories of the festival and for my readers who are wondering about Vishu it is a festival like Ugadi, Tamil New Year and Lohri *that’s all I can think of now*  .

So dear readers,   Vishu all a Happy Vishu ;D *pun intended* Hope all of you have a brilliant year ahead :)

Saturday, March 1, 2014

OMG !! It's Board Exams :O

It’s been long since my last post and it’s high time I wrote a new post and here it comes!

 Oh it was  the last day of the shortest month in the calendar and this day has been a nightmare for me during two years once in 2007 and the other in 2009,reason Board exams * I can already sense a feeling of solidarity from my readers: D *.
Before I unravel the misery of my board exams, I will tell you about my ignorance towards this pressure point date. Having an elder sibling in the house who has been through it before equips both your parents and your sibling with unfathomable expertise on the subject. And clearly when my sister wrote her first boards in 10th and fretted a bit about her exams, me being  the primary school kid - was laughing at it * yes, quite a pain in the neck sister I was, my sister still strongly feels that way! :P!*
And belonging to a family where academics is given high priority, it’s an unspoken rule that you need to score good marks*yeah that’s the scenario at almost every house!* .This is the score card at home:
·         90 % and above is extraordinary- You will be suffocated with love, surprises and what not! All this is hypothetical coz I haven’t ever got there!:D
·         85 % above is very good – You get lesser benefits than the above one but still can’t complain :P
·         80% - 85% we are satisfied but you could do better – in this situation I will be under scrutiny over why the marks went down.
·         Below 80%- I really don’t want to write it here: P and I have been in there quite a few times!

So when I was in 10th, pretty much my school, parents and friends were enough to make me understand the seriousness of Board exams. The scary stories of my answer sheets being evaluated by some teacher in some corner of India and that they might not understand my handwriting*oh yeah my handwriting is worse than the one on a doctor’s prescription:D*,then the nightmare of not attaching the graph sheets, followed by my sisters expert advice that I should use black ,blue  ink, underlining, writing in points so on and so forth!
And one of my best friends in school was also the topper of my batch, so you can imagine my state.  She would be well prepared, all set for the exam and I will be looking for my text book just then! She used to get a little nervous and that was my cue that I am totally underprepared! She was a positive influence I must say * Thank you J *!
So after all the model exams conducted by my school which is like the toughest exam you could give before facing boards coz it will make you feel like an idiot and that you don’t even have a chance of getting 80 percent in boards *yeah, those model exams are meant to scare you and make us work harder *!

Eventually, I  actually started studying only in February making up a plan and trying hard to follow it. That was my month of hibernation; I like to think of it like giving my brain breathing space for the rest of the year and making it work under pressure for just two months! Its effective, at least for me:D*My mom hates that though! Consistency is her motto! *


My dad pretty much gave me the end rule – I expect you to score well-I don’t care how you do it!
So Feb 28, was the last day before exams when everyone’s worried and wondering how the exams are going to be. It’s also the day I analyzed how effective my planning for Feb has been * I ain’t going to tell you how successful it was*. Both in my 10th and 12th grades  Feb 28th was filled with good luck wishes and calls from near and dear ones who seemed more worried than me! And their constant advice – Don’t get tensed, you’ll forget what you learnt so just relax and go and the best part is revise all that you learnt!  I so wanted to tell them that, firstly I need to know something to forget when I get tensed and secondly that “Revision” is something I can ever find time to do because to revise you need to learn first, which I do only last minute hence I combine learning and revision together *multi tasking:P* . And I am sure that Feb 28 is one of the busiest days for the Gods as he/she will be bombarded with lot of prayers from fretting kids, and anticipating parents &teachers.
This blog post is to all the students who are writing their board exams and to all those who have been through this pressurizing experience: P. And this is just a funny take on these exams from a person who underwent the grueling CBSE Board exam experience and did pretty ok in terms of grades *grueling is a hard word,I would say over accentuated*
All the very best to all those who are writing examsJ. Do your best and you will pass with great grades J.And finally don’t get tensed, after all its not the end of the world and board exams are pretty over hyped! And one of my favorite things to do in my exam halls were to smile at my examiners as they will be all serious *Boards duh!* and they also expect us to be tensed. By smiling at them they would come make conversation and help me get into ease :D *Please do not try this unless you can make meaningless social small talk :D ,coz else it will be plain awkwardness *

Till my next post keeeep smiling and have lots of fun J .And don’t forget to share your memories of your exams  J.

Live life Carpe diem  ;) *oh yeaah!I am using fancy vocabulary!Thats just a new word I learned ,it means  Enjoy the present !

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Lil Bundle of Joy !

This is my first post in 2014 , and I thought I will write about how a tiny lil one changed our lives at home since 2012. Being someone who has always liked kids but had  never carried a kid properly or taken care of one till I was 20 years (I guess that’s why when many of my friends cribbed that crying kids are annoying I always defended the kids :P). My baby nephew was my first live hands on experience  in handling a kid. What I didn't know was how he would change the lives of my parents, me and obviously his parents ( because at one point our mornings were his nights and vice versa)  . Before I delve deep into changes that Arya ( that’s my nephew’s name) brought into our life, I want my readers to just think of a small kid in your life whom you love so much and changed your days for at least some time J it could be a nephew, niece, baby sister or brother.
I definitely felt old when all my loving uncles and aunts  had derived such sadistic happiness from telling me that ’You are an aunt now’ (Like I didn't know!*sigh* I guess that’s their way of getting back at you for making them feel old when you were born :P then I must have loved it :P) .After that I was fascinated by Arya’s puny self , his diminutive fingers and limbs trust me I was so scared to carry him all I would do was just keep looking at him ,I think that’s my way of reacting to the tiniest sprout of human life up close. He grew up fast and since then he has grown to be a ball of energy bubbling with happiness and tears at the drop of a hat.

That's Arya! He is giving me the Look !*notice that raised eyebrow*

He made me go through two very fulfilling experiences that made me realize that my emotional side is not really dormant. One was him sleeping off on my shoulder and while I walked around the house tapping him to sleep. He cried incessantly for his mother but as she had gone out, I was playing with him, distracting him and  finally he got tired and crawled up to me and he just slept off in my arms.His soft body with his tiny hands around my neck just sleeping peacefully was a small act for him but it was such a joyful moment for me. Then, the second one was him sitting on my lap and we eating together, dissecting the food to the tiniest munch able bit for him and the happiness in watching him eat it .These are trivial day to day events for people with kids all around but for someone who is with a  kid for the first time these are embodiment's of trust, life, emotion, love  and care. My sister is still in awe at my  bigheartedness towards giving him all that he asks for, while I wouldn't even consider it if my sister asks for the same thing!:P. And he is definitely getting all my ominous privileges I used to enjoy being the younger one *my parents seem to have just upgraded me to a higher level of responsibility and its plain bad!*.
And he even becomes a mini walking alarm clock who does not enjoy the sight of me sleeping and devises new methods to wake me up like scratching, horse riding on me, pulling my hair and the best is him climbing on me and sitting like he’s just conquered the Mount Everest! *oops I forgot to mention the happiness my sister derives from watching me getting woken up!*
Right from the day he was born to this day, he is the special one in my house and in all our hearts. The way we animate ourselves and sing rhymes to his wish to put him to sleep *yeah he just lies in the bed like a majestic king giving us cues to change the rhyme when he gets bored!* or piggybacking him all of it are special moments  which I will cherish always .My nephew is quite the charmer you know, he knows to get his way with everyone and if he sees a slight flash of displeasure in us for something that he did he just comes up to us and hugs and says “I luub yoo” what more is needed to melt our hearts!
So this is to all the tiny little bundles of joy in our lives who have changed us, made us experience a lot of emotions, made our day and given us tons of memories. We all have been those little ones some time ago and made everyone around us feel the same. So let’s just enjoy the feeling and those who have such experiences do share and let me know what you feel J.

Till my next post keep smiling and shower all the love on your tiny ones and enjoy every moment of it coz soon they’ll grow up and you’ll wish they were babies again J.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Perks of being an Engineer :D

As someone who has spent the last 4 years of the beginning of my adult life learning to become an engineer, I guess it’s time I shared the quirky ,well known and funny perks of being one .
Before I vent out my opinions ,let me remind my dear readers that I respect and in fact love the marvels and technological innovations engineers can bring about and I am proud to be an engineer *yeah I am one :D atlast! * and I myself have smart focused engineer buddies who will sure create wonders( in short this just for fun) .
Perk 1: Your career isn’t restricted; you needn’t become an engineer after all! Haven’t we seen enough and more engineers venture out into so many different arenas like Arvind Kejriwal into politics, Chetan Bhagat into writing , Alfred Hitchcock into direction and production, Scott Adams into creating the cartoon Dilbert .So all my engineer friends out there who had so many more different wishes and ambitions I guess engineering is like the inflatable swim ring which is there to keep us buoyant in case we don’t do so well in our other aspirations. Long live the versatility Engineering offers us ;)
Perk 2 : 4 years for introspection : Trust me this is linked to the previous one ,but c’mon you have chosen engineering for reasons only we know (I still wonder what is that powerful force which made the Indian society get obsessed with Engineers or Doctors and force their kids to become one!!)  This gives you 4 long years to either develop interest in actual engineering or delve into various other passions like photography, entrepreneurship, event planning and so on. The best part is by the end of 4 years you will be a graduate and most probably have a clear outlook what you want in life and what you don’t want! Thank you engineering for the clarity you give us!
*Perk 3: Your temperament will be raised by the time you graduate(True story :D) .Yeah whether its surviving on bad food constantly( Best training ground –Hostel mess) , preparing for exams in 1 night (You would still ace with such preparation ),writing the most nonsensical gibberish and still scoring well (My Professional ethics paper was one such piece, it has the most hypothetical heartwarming ethical stories as examples), surviving the most enlightening lectures :P ,*sarcasm oozing out* you would have had  professors who are awesome as well as the not so good ones (I am being way too kind by not using other adjectives :P),filling up your answer sheets with your  well  perfected  art of creative story writing ( At least one answer in my paper would be  my  self professed technological creation, I pity my staff really! ).I am not quite sure how all of this will help you but I am sure it will (optimism another gem you inculcate ;) ). Engineering is after all a skill acquisition platform.

Perk 4: You will be left without choice, but to learn to live economically :D ! This was my basic way of surviving for a month :
Day 1- 10 : Yaaay! Dad’s credited money! Eat out, hang out, plan trips for the next month, and many other plans. (Oops I forgot , make the never enduring resolution to plan and spend :P)
Day 11- 20 : Alert! You don’t have much of your pocket money left! Hardly Rs 250 left from the 1000.You start cutting down. Try liking the mess food *sigh*, public buses and what not!
Day 20-30 : Trips planned during the first days are postponed due to insufficient funds, Search all my jean pockets for some long forgotten money, *sharing is caring* and making friends treat you :P   and in short even the dhaba walla gives you a pathetic look when he sees you counting all the possible change you collected from the gang of friends you went to eat with to pay the bill!:P
So this does teach you a lot and you learn to live more frugally :D.
Perk 5:This ones for students who are pursuing MBA after your engineering. We all know that an almost instant bond is formed with your new friends who are engineers, it’s basically because all of us understand concepts the same way and get confused for the same subjects: D !That’s when Commerce students rescue us J*our very own saviors’ ;) *

*P.S – My dear undergrad College authorities do not take any of this seriously: D, my graduation isn’t over yet so I guess you understand! *sheepish smile*

Now these are few of my observations and experiences from my engineering years J I am sure my engineering readers will have even more valuable ones, do share them and those who are  not engineers read and have a good laugh ;) and those who are laugh and relive those memories :D.

So Happy New Year folksJ Havee an awesome 2014 and I will continue writing do read and enjoy them!
As  always Stay Happy and Keep that Smile on J

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The Broom Revolution

It’s been quite some time since my last post and I guess it’s time I rebound like how Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has created a surge in Indian politics (incomparable, I get it :P).Now as someone who has followed politics initially without choice ( How can I not know politics when I listen to news involuntarily in 3 different languages and 2 mediums (TV and Radio) throughout the day *thanks to my mom J * ?!) then I started to like following politics ( my mom will be proud :D)  and forming opinions about the way we are governed, policies ,manifestos, corruption and so on. I was quite happy when the Jan Lokpal Bill movement which questioned corruption came into being and the Right to Information Act put to place as these were initiatives which empowered the common man, the people ,the Indian who bears the brunt of a good or bad government. I agree it might be too early to judge how AAP will govern or if they will they live up to their words but this is a new beginning for India. Most people expected AAP to lose out or barely scrape off few constituencies but the rude awakening was when it not only uprooted Congress from Delhi where it had stood firm for 15 years , it also left BJP shaken after all  AAP had a close sweep with the BJP( Wonder how long the “Namo” campaign will keep the Lotus from withering!). 
People from every strata are supporting and could feel a connection with the AAP, it is basically because the party and its leaders are common people who are just like any one of us( No big political legacy or Hindutva agenda). Then after the years of moral depravity in Indian politics when AAP showed that clean politics is possible and validated it with proof of the sources of their funds which in all these 66 years of Independence no party has even made an attempt to do(These parties still had the audacity to ask for the sources of AAP when it was clearly posted in their website, I guess that’s the way politics works- “Hey AAP I know your funds are declared publicly still I will bully you over it ! And don’t you dare question mine!”) . AAP also steered clear of caste and religion based politics and never banked on these issues rather voiced out the common problems like rising prices, women security and corruption were on focus. There was a ring of sincerity in their pitch unlike the false veil of concern that’s exhibited only when elections are round the corner.

And a factor which I quite liked in them was the contestants AAP had, all of them were educated ( I agree we have had few brilliant not so well educated politicians but education is critical )  and they also had separate manifestos for every constituency. This is quite refreshing after having seen constant statistics of uneducated politicians and people with tainted pasts being elected to important positions, the stand out point was when there was an accusation at one of the contestants he was removed the accused one ,instilling more confidence in the party. And another touchdown point was that even when Anna Hazare tore apart AAP, Mr.Kejriwal stood cool and reflected with respect to his mentor and saved us from the usual political drama .I may sound biased but I guess this is what lot many people feel ,we need a change and usually history has shown us that a quick surge in politics is like a fire cracker the energy and beautiful firework doesn’t last long but I have a good feeling about AAP (*fingers crossed*) .
Finally from the usual grunts of “you can’t do anything to stop corruption” ,”our country will never change”,” politics is the main reason for the nation’s state”, this rookie party has made us realize that each one of us can be the change we want in our country. If a party which is just 1 year old can strike a chord in the hearts and minds of the common man and resonate the change we wanted , I am sure it’s a new beginning and we are yet to see AAP in actual action. Lets hope that the jhadu (broom) cleans our nation and brings about a new era where you and me will not be tried to influence by manifesto's promising freebies but quality promises which will empower our nation . Jai Hind.

Now that was a serious post after my previous light hearted ones ,so do let me know your views on this post! Till then Keep that smile on your face and keep spreading the positive aura  J !

Sunday, November 17, 2013

The Glorious Kiddo Days :D

With children’s day just over, I was suddenly left thinking about my childhood (I always did of that glorious time, but now like actually thinking :D ).I miss doing a lot of things I once did like playing pranks, the street games, silly fights, carefree lazy times ,sibling war for trivial things and so on.So I thought I will list down few of my favorite memories of my childhood and I am sure you and I might have few similar cherished memories J and here goes the list :
1.       Trolley racing in the super market  -  This was one thing I looked forward the entire time we went shopping for monthly supplies. I would take my prized responsibility of being the trolley cart pusher ( I really considered it my Batcycle  J ) and would  just keep whirring away.(I have hit a fair share of shoppers and had my sudden breaks but all of it added to the fun :D)

2.       Funny email id – Yeah most of us had a mail id which looks funny or idiotic now when you think of it. I am not going to tell you what mine was let’s just say it has a wannabe tone to it :P and the most common adjectives we used in those mail ids were cool, crazy, princess, rulez, rockz ,shining what not :P Hilarious right ?!
3.       I played real games – Yeah we had actually running competitions instead of playing temple run(no offence, I play temple run too :P ) then street cricket, football ,hide and seek (all of which were specifically played in the corridors of my building much to the  annoyance of  our fellow residents and security guards :D)  
4.       Happiness of reading a letter –Yes, email was almost getting popular in my childhood but I had wonderful friends who wrote me long 3 to 4 page letters (fully handwritten with stickers and other artistic designs on them :D).Those letters always had a full summary of the recent happenings in my friends life with pictures as well. I still remember the happiness I used to feel when my dad hands me these envelopes and the joy of reading them.
5.       Boy cut –I loved my hair that way and had that hairstyle till I was in 6th  grade, I guess  J .The best part about it was it couldn't get messy and I didn't have to worry about drying it or even combing it ,I just had to shuffle it carelessly with my fingers and I would look presentable in a minute! J(ominous smile )
6.     Treated special – Who wouldn't like being treated special ;) ?! And I was lot many times. Being the younger sibling I got extra helpings of tasty sweets and dishes made at home ( I got vegetables and things I didn't like too ,but that’s not the focus here :D ).My grandparents always supported me in my silly whims and I even got away with extra time to watch TV or play in the computer :D.

Yeah there’s actually lot more,but these stood out in my mind and are fond memories that I associate with my childhood.I am sure all of us have such treasured memories and  must be having something similar like mine do share them here. These childhood experiences mold us knowingly or unknowingly like how the flow of water creates impressions on the earth.These leave lasting impacts on us.Now I may sound like a person who is obsessed with smiling (sounds freaky rite?) , still  I would like to add that people smile back spontaneously to kids with grins on their faces  ( Experience speaks .One of my sister’s biggest concern  is that I smile constantly at most people around me *sigh*she told me such scary stories to refrain me from smiling :D it just made me smile more and test those stories ;) )  .

So till my next post all of you out there , keep smiling and celebrate being a kid at heart  J . Cheers J

Monday, November 11, 2013

Why so serious? Smileee :)

As I have already told you guys, smiling is something I do all the time so I thought it will be ideal to write something about it J .All of us smile at various instances when meeting a friend, at a joke, a status, a memory and so on. But the sad fact is that there are various reasons for people not to effortlessly smile ( that’s an observation after noticing that people love keeping a glum face and strain their facial muscles ,when they can actually relax and help themselves with a smile J ).

So I came to notice that we have different kinds of smiles (not the obvious , duh !) like I’l tell you a few that I noticed:
1) Friendly glee – This one all of us do. Yeah the same one you give me when you see me  (I believe: P).This shows our happiness at seeing someone familiar.
2) Sheepish smile –This is familiar as well .The one convincing smile we use to touch a chord in the hearts of our staff ( reasons vary- like for attendance, extra marks etc ).
3) Family smile -  I usually use this to all my unknown aunties who have cradled and adored me when I was 9 months!*sigh* and they tell that to me when I’m 20 years ,how do they expect me to remember them when I haven’t met them for the past 19 years K .You can use it to uncles too or any other relative whom you have no clue about but looks and behaves like he’s very important and a close relative :D
4)Confident smile – This is the reassuring smile you give your friend before they go for an interview or the smile you and your friends give each other after you settle in the exam hall.Its just a means to soothe your nerves (Trust me it helps J)
5)Ominous smile –This is the smile I would call the evil one.You flash this smile when you have successfully orchestrated your prank or any “evil” act ( evil here is acts of the like of taking a bigger share of chocolate than your sibling nothing cruel J)  
So, there are many more actually but I have broadly classified it among these 5(Sheesh,that sounds like a line out of an engineering textbook :P ).Dear readers so don’t wait for any of these circumstances to arise to flash a smile.Smile at a differently able person on the road, an old lady or even a rag picker they will definitely smile back at you .And scientific research tells us that smiling is easier than frowning as well as it boosts your health and mood.Finally its been proved to increase your chances of getting promoted :D I guess I have given you enough and more reasons to smile! So what you waiting for ? Lets spread smiles.Yes its contagious J .

Till my next post ,here’s me signing off with a lot of happy smiles (definitely ,the friendly glee J ).