Promises are meant to be broken

I’ve been playing around with the title on this one for quite a while now. I don’t know why but to me, I need to have a good title to my posts for me to actually continue writing. And usually when inspiration to write strikes, it does in the form of a title. That said, the reason why I think this one is apt is pretty obvious I guess, if you read the previous post. I had decided to break my silence on this page and had taken a solemn oath to write everyday. But I failed. Pretty miserably considering I did it just once 🙂 In my defense, my laptop crashed and I did not have internet for more than 2 weeks after that. And well, sanctity of promises apart, walking down to the library to write  a post when I haven’t stepped in there to borrow a book in a long while is a little…over. I assure you my conscience is successfully punctured (not just pricked).

So, things have been busy. Studies are tough, days just fly by. I live homework-to-homework, class-t0-class. Exam week just went by and I’m definitely not too happy with the way I’ve done. There were things I’ve not dealt with earlier and the fact that my background is totally different doesn’t help. I’m trying hard not to do the retrospective introspection that would only add a little lime and chilli powder to that punctured spot I mentioned earlier. I chose to be here for my own reasons and I must live with it. I think it’s something to be proud of if you can actually take a decision that most people are against (including yourself) and stick by it. Unfortunately the cribber in me would be proud yet crib 🙂

I had a good good summer in terms of activity. I got my weight down significantly which is something I’ve been battling for a while. Training for a half marathon (that I never completed – both the training and the run itself) got me running quite a bit. Maybe not too fast, maybe  not the entire distance but I did get up to doing 6miles and am quite proud of that. For someone who couldn’t jog for a whole 2 minutes, that’s quite an achievement. And all those muscles were an added bonus 🙂 At the expense of sounding vain, I must tell you I spent quite a bit of time admiring myself and my newly acquired muscles. BUT, and how I hate these buts, the start of school kind of put a stop to my I-can-run-from-USA-to-India-if-I-want dreams. I now sit on this one spot on my bed, sprawled as I am, laptop in hand and books, calculator and other paraphernalia around me. How I crave physical activity – the high it gives to complete a run! I’m hoping for some semblance of a schedule to arise soon (I know I need to work on it).

Anyway, I’ve got nothing much to say now. Not that what I’ve written till now made sense but yet 🙂 Until next!

Day 0

Aaaah! I could do with a Cleopatra-range copper tub full of goat’s milk and rose petals type of bath right now! I’m learning the art of independence and god, it’s tough stuff! For someone who’s been protected silly by a super protective, tad-bit chauvinistic yet awesomeness personified Dad all her life, lifting carton, furniture etc and loading them into trucks is no mean task. That is something I’m definitely thankful to the U.S of A for. I’ve kind of become a self sufficient person – emotionally and monetarily. And ofcourse in ‘ household’ matters  too – cooking, cleaning etc etc. Infact, you know what I think? Hyper Indian Moms should most certainly send their ‘of marriageable-age daughters’ here a year before the D-Day. All that responsibility thingie will be taken care of. The downside, though, is that we women will become a little too independent and wouldn’t need men then 😀 Anyway, been a productive day. I realize if not for anything else, I have an excellent career opportunity as ‘domestic help’ considering the basin is almost mirror-like right now 😀

Until tomorrow 🙂

One a day?

Ok, so I haven’t written in close to a million years. 45 million to be exact. If you’re going huh? Well, I have no ida why I have an obsession with the number 45, I seem to use it when I use numbers to exaggerate.Ok, digression.Oh, actually not, I wasn’t talking about anything specific. Anyway, my current state of mind is kinda grey, or is it blue? Maybe greyish blue then because not only am I mellow but I’m constantly in a state of confusion etc etc. I really wanna resort to writing to purge my soul. I know I just killed the remaining 2 readers I had with my declaration of participation in the sob-story competition. But well, like I said, I really need this. And so, as random as I may sound, I’m going to write everyday! (ok, please shut the door as you leave, thank you).

See you everyday!

I miss you baby

February 29th 2004: Me, Dad, Dolly and Mom walked into Adam’s pet clinic, Adambakkam, responding to an ad in the local daily. We heard scuffing in the corner and spotted two tiny fur balls going at a newspaper like it was a piece of bone. In a couple of minutes, there were bits of paper strewn all over and 2 very contended, panting babies. As we moved closer, the tinier of the 2 came rolling to us, jumping furiously at our heel. Dolly picked it up and suddenly a tiny pink tongue came sticking out and licked her on her nose. We were taken. We took the little Lhasa Apso to Dad and said we’ve found the one. He wasn’t too happy because he felt it was too cute to be a guard dog and was very particular we get a German Shepherd. And so, dejectedly, we handed over the cuteness to the attender there and went back for the other pup. She was in the same corner where we spotted her first, playing with the scraps of paper. She heard us and  hid behind a stool and peered at us with scared yet inquisitive eyes. Dad whistled lightly to call her out but she refused to budge. She cowered slightly and we noticed her legs were trembling. It was such a heart-wrenching sight. I went closer and slowly, tenderly carried her into my arms. We don’t know why, but the first thing that struck me and Dolly on seeing her was “Chintu” (and the name stuck, a misnomer that). Her heart was beating so fast that we had to constantly coo to let her calm down. With that, she was ours. After 20 long years of me being the youngest, we finally had a new baby in our house.

Ever since then, our daily talks with anyone and everyone would be peppered with Chintu’s antics. For the 6 years that she was with us, we spoke about her everyday, like every little thing meant everything to us. No matter if she did the same things each day, we would talk about it with the same enthusiasm because it meant so much. We admired every move she made – the way she would flop down by our feet and listen to our talks, the way she would rub her eyes when my mom would tell her “kanna thodachuko” (wipe your eyes), the crazy stalker looks she would give every peanut that would drop from our hands, oh I could go on. She was, simply put, not just the apple – but the whole damn fruit salad of our lives, with the cherry on top.

She was a kind girl – with a docile personality, unlike others of her kind. She sat mutely through baths, didn’t as much as whimper for her injections and never complained even when she was in pain. She wasn’t friendly with other dogs really, but she was quite the human magnet. Being vegetarian, she was a lot tinier than the average adult German Shepherd, and was often mistaken for a pup. I’ve seen her laugh and I’ve seen her cry. She’s comforted me when I’ve cried and gone crazy with anxiety when my mom wasn’t well one day. She was our agony aunt, our comedy show and our stress buster all rolled in one.

We still cannot believe that the little girl is no longer with us. That fateful Halloween day of 2010 when God decided he needed her up there to show the other doggies how it is to be a good girl and ofcourse, increase the cuteness quotient up there a notch. I miss her – every time a mutt runs towards me on the roads here, the memory avalanche sets in. I’m even silly enough to believe that every friendly dog I meet is my Chintu, sending her message from up there that she loves me still. It takes a whole lot of effort not to focus on the sad parts because, honestly, I can’t get myself to accept it. It hurts so bloody much just to go over that day’s events and I really,really don’t want to remember her the way she was that day.

We miss you Chinnu. Truly, madly, deeply. We wish you were here with us, like we took for granted you always will. We never imagined you would go so soon, leaving us bereft. Actually, we never imagined you would go at all. You were like the, what do I say, proverbial brick in the wall, that would always be around. We were stupid enough to never imagine life without you, maybe it would have prepared us better? I don’t know. All I do know is we love you silly. Come back now, will you?

Following a Dream

I wrote this ages back and left it lying in my drafts. I decided to upload it today because I wanted to get back to writing. So much to say!

The last time I wrote about my study plans (/escapist route), I remember getting a lot of skeptical comments, from well-wishers ofcourse, who either believed the timelines of my plan were too short or that the grass on the other side is not necessarily gonna be green, and infact may be fraught with even more troubles than the ones I wanted to escape. Trust me, though it may not have been evident, I paid attention. I took all the aspects into consideration but when personal turmoil became a little too difficult to handle, I decided to forge ahead stronger to make my dream into a reality. And Here I Am, in the U.S of A, trying to add another degree behind my name. Nice.

Things have been good. I’ve found great room mates, an awesome house – comfortable, furnished and all that. I bought myself a good bed (my best investment ever; anything for a good night’s sleep!). Homesick you say? Oh ofcourse I am. I miss home, my familiar surroundings, my best buddies, everything. I miss things like crazy but you know what, I haven’t cried since my first night here (almost a month now). I don’t know whether it’s because the reality hasn’t sunk in yet (very likely) or whether I genuinely am relieved to be here (also likely). Initially when I got here, I felt like I was in a Hollywood movie 😉 White people around talking American English. I’ve lived abroad but I’ve been around Arabs and so to be in an entirely White (not in the racist sense) environment was funny. My exposure to it has been solely through the television soaps and comedies I’ve followed all through and to suddenly be right amongst people like that, well, like I said – funny.

It’s colder than anywhere I’ve ever been and I think it’s adjusting to the new weather that takes a while. My skin is officially akin to that of a lizard. Or maybe a snake, considering I seem to be shedding a substantial amount of my epidermis daily. Anyway, the boots are sexy and  make up for freezing toes. Sweaters are smart and flab covering. Advantage too.

So, all’s well isn’t it? Apart from / nags tiny glitches here and there, everything seems fine and smooth right? It is.  Everything but my mind. I don’t know why I am so restless all the time. It’s kind of beginning to annoy me. I’m just never satisfied with what I have. Or maybe I’m on the lookout for the wrong things. I don’t get what it is that I want. I couldn’t have asked for anything more. I’m so super fortunate to have around me those little angels called friends. They have made sure I get here and have a comfortable life. They were my cushion when I fell, helped me – monetarily and emotionally. They believe so strongly in me that it almost hurts to be dissatisfied with myself.  But yet, I’ve got a million complicated loops in my head. Let me try and articulate them well enough to be understood.

I don’t know why I believe that though things come to me only after a struggle, I always seem to have people bail me out with their help and that ensures I’m stable. Uhm, I don’t think I make sense. Ok, let me try and elaborate with an example. See, to get here I needed money (and a lot of it). It was difficult thinking and planning for it – it entailed tears, fights and sleepless nights, but yet my friends lent me money (again, LOTS of it) to make sure all my work got done. That’s a good thing right? But I feel spoiled. Another case,  I have heard tons of news’ of the kind of dismal and frugal lives grad students live here. Penny pinching etc etc. Yes, I am doing that too because I’m on a loan, but yet my friends have made sure I have enough money to eat well, sleep well and live well, even though when they were grad students they lived like beggars. Bless their hearts. But the thing is, I’m just wondering maybe because I get things easy from others, I have to struggle to get things for myself. Like I’ve never lived like a beggar. I have a new laptop, great new clothes, boots etc etc. So to anyone looking at me, they’d think I have tons in the bank while the truth remains that from head to toe I’m probably an oc party. I’m not proud of it. I’m getting used to the luxuries of being pampered and having friends help me out. And that’s a bad thing. They are successful because of their wise frugal ways earlier. Whereas here I am, comfy as ever and at the end of the day – will I be successful too? It scares me you know. Call it irrational if you want to, but the more I go along, the more worried I am.

But I’ve changed. I wrote whatever’s above like in January and really, things have changed now. I have become a lot more independent and wiser in my approach to things. Or atleast I try. A good part of last year was washed away in tear flash floods. But this year has thankfully been different. I am lot more happier and rested in my mind here. It feels good to believe in yourself and to do a lot of things I never imagined I would – from trivial things like diets to HUGE deals like doing a PhD. I’m doing it all now and I’m increasingly becoming proud of myself. And I am pretty curious to see what’s in store for me in the days (or years?) to come!

Ok! Enough of self-praise/blame/admiration – I’m not used to it and so must stop! 😛 Hope everyone’s doing great and are happy 🙂 See you all soon!

Thalaivar & Endhiran

Disclaimer: I write this as a Die-hard Rajini fan. So my views are definitely, definitely biased. I know there are contrary views by the dozen out there, but, as I said I am a Thalaivar-worshipper and to me, All is Fair in Love, War and Thalaivar movies.

Now I’m not a movie-reviewer or a critic because I, as a person, am emotional. I tend to associate everything around me – food, movies, music, people etc – with emotions. So, I find it pretty difficult to rationalize objectively and present a review devoid of my judgements. To top it all, I’m not technically-knowledgeable on the nuances of a movie. Camera angle, Director-oda (‘s) secret thoughts and reasonings etc etc. I don’t get all that. For me, a movie could be kandraavi (horrible), edho (ok), paravala (not-bad) or super. The logic behind my rating could be based on the niceness of the songs, the actors (and their personal lives sometimes. Yea, that’s me) and so on. Now that that’s clear, let me move on to what I thought of Endhiran.

It kicked ass. Agreed, it lacked the mass introduction of Rajini – he did not ride onto the screen in his mattu-vandi (bullock cart) with “Oruvan Oruvan Modhalali” blaring behind, driving the audience into a frenzy. He was merely sitting and working, and that was it. But then the movie is about Robot and not Vasee and so both Chittis were introduced with a punch. Version 1.0 through Pudhiya Manidha and Version 2.0 with his spine-chilling, shoulder-shaking evil laugh. Total palpitation material it was!

Rajini shone in this movie for the brilliant actor he is. This is something that has been universally agreed upon. He no longer needs punch-dialogues to mark his presence – every other mokkainaay actor seems to be doing it. He doesn’t need to develop a style for every movie – Thalaivar nadandalum, pesinalum, sirichalum style – it’s intrinsic, koodaye porandadu! His expressions – the scrunch of his face to depict evil, his body language (the way he pushes up his sleeves and walks when Sana supposedly wants to see him. Yappa!), everything – were beyond perfection. After a point, I couldn’t even scream – I lost my voice after each of the 3 times I watched it!

I honestly cannot comprehend what people are complaining about. I’ve heard so many complaints – the movie’s too slow, first half bore, second half too long, fight sequences too bleh, CG too contrived, music not great (!!) etc etc. Most people, I think, take pleasure in donning the hat of a critic and dissing popular movies. I’ve seen that happen a lot of times. There’d be one unanimously-vouched-as-brilliant movie and there’d be some nuts raring to take a contrary view. Listen to this, there was someone who felt the movie ‘wasn’t believable’. Dei maanga, aduku paeru dan Fiction! If it was to be believable, it would’ve been a ‘reality’ movie. For that you need to watch  Angaadi Theru or Paruthiveeran. In that respect, I think Shankar’s attention to technical details was pretty impressive. Like scanning the book and the ISBN being recorded. Even if he hadn’t done that, Fiction, as Wikipedia defines it, is “any form of narrative which deals, in part or in whole, with events that are not factual, but rather, imaginary and invented by its author(s).” And so, it is acceptable. You can accept Harry Potter just because it is Hollywood and admire the imagination there but namba oorla oruthan yosichu, avan imagination a padam aa edutha poraamai thangaadhe!

And for those who cannot understand the hype behind Rajini, well, you don’t have to. All you have to do is accept the fact. If there are a million people going berserk over one man and his actions, then there must be something about him (that is beyond definition), isn’t it? Something indescribable that captivates the audience – call it charisma, charm or whatever, it is there in abundance. Like with Michael Jackson.

Endhiran is an ensemble of greatness, a show case of Shankar’s grandiose imagination, Rajini’s brilliant (repetition, for lack of a better word) acting and Rahman’s haunting music and background scores, with no aspect over-powering the other. And, Rajinikanth is a cult, a phenomenon, or as someone* said “He’s not an actor but a Force of Nature”.  Whatever he does seems alright. If someone else does, it comes across as a comedy of errors. Noone knows the Whys and Hows of it, but it still remains that he is, and will always be, a (THE) Super Star.

*I’ve read so, so, SO many write-ups on Endhiran that I find it impossible to remember who said what. Please pardon.