Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The object of my affection - tagged by Preethi


Prabhu was a stamp collector at 15. He had 2 albums. One - a huge album with a floral design on the glossy cover (which could easily be mistaken for a wedding album!) with 100s of stamps inside. But the other one was what held his interest- the secret dark green album. The ones that will hold the real valuable stamps.

A tri triangle stamp, a cook Island stamp, a gold and silver stamp etc.... all originals.

This was the book that was exposed ONLY to the ones he trusted. You see stamp collectors can get very tempted, they would steal it if they think it is valuable at that age. So one had to divide the treasure from the tradables. So the green book was a secret. Only his closest of friends knew about it and his sister of course. Nothing escapes her eyes you see ;)

The tag - the object of my affection........A small photo album full of things other than photos...

At 12, seeing him, I wanted to collect something too. I was so attracted to all this very serious business of collecting. The discipline, the amount of time spent on it and the discussions associated with it all looked so grown up! And most of all the prospect of keeping secrets was most alluring.....
So my trials began, i started with the stamps of course, spent 2 days collecting and trading and on third day realised i was not up to that mammoth job of remembering the country names, capitals, assessing stamps for trading... and besides it’ll take forever to catch up with my brother. So donated my little collection to him!

In the next couple of days as I was walking home from school i heard some strange noise coming from the side-roads. I knew i wasn’t allowed to stray but couldn’t resist, so two doors down that lane found its source. A house with a huge bird cage in the front yard, filled with love birds.

It was a sight i’d never seen before. I mean they were close to around 100 and they all seemed to be talking at the same time. keeech -keeeech- keeeeech. I was super thrilled. There was green, and there was greenish yellow, dark green but the best looking ones were the ones in blue.

Yes, collecting feathers was my call.

That day was the beginning of innumerable days of returning home late! The next day I mustered enough courage, called for the owner, begged them to sweep the floor of the bird cage for me to collect the feathers. They were amused at first but saw how serious i was and kindly obliged. I began my collection in a humble white box and finished in a humble photo album. But the next 2 years i spent on collecting and trading and secretly storing and all those memories that come streaming in now cannot be traded for a million bucks.

But i wasn’t as wise as my brother. I would flaunt it to anyone who wishes to see my collection. So lost 2 of my loved ones. One a huge soft feather of a brown-white eagle that i had climbed a tree to collect :( and the other of a peacock, a very small feather with its eye right in the middle. Learnt my lesson that day. I cried for 2 days i think!

The best one though was a beautiful feather of the five coloured parrot (pancha-varna-kili). My granny’s gift to me from her village. My crowning jewel!
Green-red-blue-just a tinge of yellow-a hint of blue.......all in one feather.
I remember sleeping with the album beneath my pillow that day.

Every now and then I flip through the pages of the little photo album full of things other than photos ...... remembering all the stories, names, friends, traitors and best of all, the givers ... keeeech-keeeeech-keeeeeeeech love birds, parrots, eagles, peacocks.................:)

Thank you Preethi for this wonderful tag. I thoroughly enjoyed it....

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

You're invited....

No feminists, MCs or politically right statements please... I'm fed up!
You'll know why in just about a minute.....
Anything true, honest is welcome with open arms...

So what do you think happens when families meet up in the US.
Young couples/ young couple with kid(s) get together for dinner mostly.
It gets interesting after this.
You see i was and still am new to these things.
Even though i love meeting up with people, getting together for such meetings is one of the most boring things that a woman can go through in her life. Why you ask? Will get to that in a short while.
You ask why do you go then?
I like the feeling of being included. Simple.
Lets move on now, You reach the designated house around 7ish. 7 families invited.
Here is the interesting factor.
The males and the females get split up.
Women enter one of the rooms after the 'hai, how are you?' factor.
The men stay in the den. Mostly the host keeps them interested with things...

The women start with their kids,
mini achievements,
then move on to recipes,
then some healthy gossip,
more recipes,
restaurants. Stop.

Before i forget
healthy Gossip= no body bitches about anybody, no swear words (kids are around!), just information gets passed on about the ones "not invited for the party". Nobody can ask why they weren't invited because "It's personal choice". You don't ask such personal questions!!!!!

Then you'd think some real conversation will happen...... but
The women start with their kids,
mini achievements,
then move on to recipes,
then some healthy gossip,
more recipes,

"World just goes on round 'n round" la la laala laaaaaaa whatever.....

Then the hostess forgets that she's supposed to pass on the starters(the first course) to both men and women, I offer to help. ('cos that's what you do! you offer to help, never mind the fact that you're seated cosily in a corner)
But lo behold what do i find out? The men are having the Real Discussions in the den- Google story, stock markets, books!!(spcl hugs), movies, intrepretations of the movies, unknown factors about the same, asteroids.........

I'm with the plate full of starters and forget about distributing, start eating them, find a seat and join the gang!

After 5 minutes.....
Rashmi (name changed) peeps from inside.....
"Preethi what are you doing here?
We are missing you inside!!"

And i'm thinking Why? why? why? why the hell are you missing me?

Then i say "Oh! just found the conversation here a little interesting for a minute" (smiles smiles)
I can distinctly see the crease, mild frown appearing on her face....
It vanishes in a second,..........

She says ....Oh God these guys can never talk about anything else but movies, sports and stock markets and weird stories....

And i'm thinking 'Exactly!'

But i follow her.................. (sniff! sniff!)

Monday, January 28, 2008

I want you now, here
I want you to cherish me
I want you to love me
I want you to trample me
I wish to be crushed by you,
only by you
‘cos i want to know you completely
I want you to feel me in every emotion
I want to see you in every act
I want you to throw me out
‘cos the wait to return to you
is unmatchable.
I could almost die for that ‘wait’
but NO
I want to die for you,
only you
I want you to possess me
in death too.
I want you to give me pain
because i don’t want to
leave anything of you untouched
I want you as a man,
a complete man,
who has both love and hate for me
for i’ll be jealous of those
who you hate
Because you are thinking only
of them when you hate
But, i want to be thought by you
at every waking moment
You have to have me possessed
all the time, all day
Both love and hate of yours
should have me, only me,
and anything in between
and beyond them too
I want to submit myself to you,
only you
I want you to hold the key
of my very existence
I want you to handle me without caution
as careless as possible
only then
can i be a granted thing to you
you’ll have the power to do
anything to me
and you’ll do anything,
because i want to be handled by you,
only you
without any thought, any dignity
any reasoning
because if you think of them
i’ll be jealous of them too.
I want to seep into your existence
into you
as yourself.
You’ll love, hate, cheat, punish,
submit, analyze, deprive
and all the other things that
you do,
I want you to do it to me,
because i want to reach your soul
I want to get into it
and wait for you
to do anything to it
Just anything
Because only then
will i be you
and you can call me, I.

Yes i penned it. A long time ago.
The title of this shud be.....
Dominique to Roark...

Saturday, January 26, 2008

I've been tagged for the first time

Here is the tag.... thank you Solitaire. Special day for me

Instructions:Remove 1 question from below, and add in your personal question, make it a total of 20 questions, then tag 8 people in your list, list them out at the end of this post. Notify them in their chat box that he/she has been tagged.

1. Name Three Most Valuable Assets?
My family, Integrity, Intellect.

2. If you have the chance, what would you probably say to your beloved one?
Never fear when i am here!

3. If you were to be stranded on a desert island, who are the 3 blog buddies you would take with you?

Deepali: She is most entertaining with all her quirky thoughts. Makes me smile, laugh and think all the time. And also she is one person i feel i’ll be most comfortable with.

Ceedy: He is one very dependable, very nice guy, extremely optimistic too. And also, he being an architect might be in a better position to build a raft/boat for us to get out of there :)

Cosmic joy: Dunno why, but seems like an obvious choice for me. Again it is the comfort feeling, wise man with a steady head on his shoulders and with a good sense of humour too. When Deepali, me and ceedy fly with all our grand thoughts he’ll keep us grounded! he heeee

4. Where is the place that you want to go the most?

Somewhere in space where i can see the Earth from far far away.

5.If you can have 1 dream to come true, what would it be?

I dream about my mom most of the days. She’s passed on. I will want those dreams to be true.

6. What are you afraid to lose the most?


7. What would you do if you found a briefcase full of money?

First i’d chk who it belongs to. Look for an address and such. If i don’t find the owner i would most definitely give all the money to charity.

8.If you meet someone that you love, would you confess to him/her?

I have and it feels great.

9. List out 3 good points of the person who tagged you...

Great observation skill.
Writes pretty well.

10. What are the requirements that you wish from your other half?

When single looked for these...... and found them all in the person i am married to :)
Love, good sense of humour( v.v. imp.) understanding, live with a sense of freedom.

11. Which type of person do you hate the most?

I dislike Self-absorbed people. (not hate)

12. What is your ambition?

To write a book that sells (in millions) :)

13. What is the thing that will make you think someone is a bad person?

When someone Commits a sin/crime again and again being fully aware that it is wrong.

14. Christmas is coming, who do you like to celebrate with?

In Hogwarts with Harry and his friends.

15.If you could do one thing different in life, what would it be?

Wish i had been more focussed in life regarding my carer.

16. Are you a shopaholic or no?

Oh yes. I am.

17. What is your stress buster?

Writing, shopping, chatting with my closest of friends, reading.

18. What should be done to people who make such long tags

Hug them for making us feel special for the moment. ((U))

19. What are the 2 skills you wish you had or would like to learn?

Horse riding, Professional photography.

20. Name one favorite song of yours.

‘Hey there Delilah’ by Plain White T’s

Ok. It is done. Had to think hard for a few questions!

Solitaire has tagged some of the guys i’d have liked to tag... deepali, cosmic, solitaire and Ceedy so am going to tag only 4 of the 8 i’m supposed to, since i don’t know another 8 people..

KP, CU, Preethi and Romila.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Appearance of Who!!

Inspiration is the life force of the written word. Don't you agree?

An interesting post by a fellow blogger - Reeta Skeeter set me off on my own clicking of my mouse. Starting from finding the meaning of the word 'Theophany' to some truly interesting facts and questions.
By the way the meaning of the word according to Wiki...
Theophany - an appearance of a God to man, or a divine disclosure.

I didn't know there was a word for it! 'Appearance of God to man' concept is still contested right? Nevertheless they decided to give a word for it i suppose! Who are 'they' by the way?

I suppose 'they' are the same ones who decide what is 'myth' and what is 'history'?
'They' are the same ones who've ignored the fact that India was far more advanced in astronomy than they'd ever care to accept.
'They' are the same ones who conveniently say most of the population in India are 'Aryans' who migrated to India in some godforsaken B.C years!
'They' are the same ones who disagree to the fact that 'Vedas' were the words of God directly spoken to the mortals.

Inspite of the fact that 'they' have coined a word for such an appearance! Phew!

Anyway i've never understood why Greek mythology is far more popular than Indian? Even though ours is action packed as well and comes with a moral most of the time. Has a solution for every grave situation that humanity faces today! Maybe all this 'morality' puts people off! Who knows! Well, i was kind of excited when i came upon a Greek king,
Agathocles of Bactria (who reigned between 190 and 180 BCE)

whose coins apparently has the avatars of Krishna on them. Here is the picture from Wikipedia.

(For use of this image anywhere please read the copyright laws of wikipedia)

Left: Krishna with His Chakra
Right: Balarama (another avatar of Krishna)
The writings though are in Brahmi script. The official language of the ancient India.

Later as i did some further research found that the only reason he had made these coins were to impress the people of India. Why you ask? Well, so that when he does invade, they wouldn't see him as a threat. He had it all planned out. Further research revealed that similar Buddhists coins were also made by him!
Starting from Kings to researchers, scientists, phonologists and even historians they all seem to ignore/exploit our rich culture. Why?

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Damn the fotos!!

The past 3 days have been fun.
Lots of football (quality time!) at home. And the fact that i watched an amazing movie...'Cloverfield', will write a proper review after couple of days and also
'Patriots' won! yipeee!! They sure are getting closer to their Super bowl (much against KP's wishes! he heee)

Anyway as always i was fiddling with my computer and came up with this urge to post my picture in the blog profile. And what do you think? Out of 100s from my recent California trip, I couldn't find that one perfect picture!
Not enough light, looking too serious, shadow on the face, looks too fat(!), not smiling enough, smiling too much, not a good angle, too far away, too close............. all rejected!
After loads of searching, cropping, posting, not satisfied and searching again.... the only consoling feedback from Arv was an amused look!
After my incessant,
What do you think?
What do you think?
What do you think?
he finally said....
'What you have is what you see!'
How very helpful!
He actually might have a point there!.....
It just got me thinking if all you folks who have your pic. on blog or have thought of posting one found it as difficult.

I 'll just hate to add one more to my 'weird problems' list standing all alone there. mmmmm....

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Tanya and me in our musical adventure....

Today, I thought i could just elaborate a little bit about raising kids.

You see along with it being a huge responsibility, with loads of diapers, sleepless nights etc. it can be an absolute fun ride if you have a good sense of humour!

And also i personally get to influence another little human being. How cool is that?
Before you go judging on me, whether a parent agrees to it or not, however hard one tries to avoid influencing the kid, it is there, at least to a certain extent.....

Anyway when such is the case, my daughter's total disinclination towards music was a shocker to me. Although i never admitted that it disturbed me, i was like why? why doesn't she get interested?... Although she liked a few rhymes and a little bit of music here and there she never had any tolerance for good music. As a mother you tend to question yourself...

Maybe i did not listen to good music during my pregnancy!...
Maybe there is something going on in her ear drum...
Maybe my daughter is different. Yes i'm proud of that! ( Although you know you really aren't!)

Such was the musical quest until my hubby bought an ipod and downloaded some songs in there. For the first time i saw her totally engrossed and she was automatically making all the cool dance moves, the head banging and everything with the ipod plugged into her ears!....
Here comes the moment of revelation my friends.....
She was plugged into hip-hop ... SEAN PAUL was on her ears and boy o boy she was going crazy. She wouldn't give us the ipod. 

She looked at me like, 
why didn't you ever listen to such good music before? 
All those 'Plain White Ts, goo goo dolls and James Blunt were killing me. 
Look at me now baby!... accompanied by the head-banging of course....

She would top all those crazy females you see swaying for hip hop. 
A true authentic natural hip-hop fan who is three years old!
Now, Sean Paul fills my house and I borrow some cool dance moves from my daughter...

 I know what you are all thinking! ---- Look who was talking about influencing!! I know.

Friday, January 18, 2008

A comment from the author in my BLOG!!

There are a few days in one's life my friends when the cosmos works its magic entirely to make you happy!
I think we generally live all our other days in anticipation of this day.
What will this special day bring us?
A call from a long lost friend, some unexpected money from somewhere, a beautiful gesture from the one you love or a totally unexpected wonderful comment on your BLOG which just brightens your day! :)
In my case a comment from the author of a book that i previewd
We Came in Peace for all Mankind- the untold story of the Apollo 11 silicon disc
by Tahir Rahman...
just two posts before. Click the link The other silicon disc to take a look at my post and below is the comment i recieved. I feel somewhere close to feeling honoured....

The comment by the author Tahir Rahman himself...

Thanks for your interest Preeth. Nice blog! I hope that my book makes people aware that the moon landing was definitely real. Young people seem to have lost the reality check here. I have met many of the 12 moonwalkers including Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin. They really did go to the Moon!

The silicon disc has many messages from the world. I like the fact that there are messages from India, Pakistan, Israel, many Arab nations, the Vatican, etc.

My parents immigrated to the U.S. from Pakistan in the 1960's. The moon landing was mankinds greatest adventure. It is my hope that the worlds unites again for mankind's next great adventure into the heavens.

Tahir Rahman, author of We Came in Peace for all Mankind- the untold story of the Apollo 11 silicon disc

Wow! What do you know! I sure i'm going to pick that book up. A review of that will be posted here as well.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

In the name of Pepper....

Don't you just love books? I do.
I've written about this before. I just adore the fact that books have this capacity to transfer us into another world. That too in about a minute or two!

I just finished reading 'Water for elephants' by Sara Gruen. It is one of those books where you are not really sure whether you liked it. It just grew on me as i was reading. It was in first person, which put me off slightly but, the story i suppose was different, circus in America during the depression. Anyway, it is the next book i laid my hands on which compelled me to write this post... 'Freedom at Midnight'. History that runs like a novel! That too pages and pages of Indian freedom struggle, of British Raj, of Viceroys and Queen, of Pakistan and Kashmir and of Indian Independence of course. In other words what should have been a technically boring 600 pages turned out to be the most entertaining and informative book! A true masterpiece. 

It is just a wonderful feeling when one's prejudice gets broken. I remember hating those times when i was compelled to answer history questions. 'Quit India Movement', 'Clement Atlee' 'Indian Mutiny' etc. How i hated the history question paper! But today i can't wait to get back to those pages. Well, what do you know?

Just thought I could share this bit of information here.... It seems the Dutch privateers who controlled the spice trade raised the price of Pepper, five shillings a pound, which the merchants in England thought was outrageous! Hence 25 merchants decided to hit the seas in search of the 'Land of Spices' - India. Thus was born the East India Company, hence the Imperialism and Independence and hence the title....

Thursday, January 10, 2008

The other silicon disc...

After having seen more than my share of fantasy movies and space movies and having read at least half the numbers, it is hard to believe that the only real ‘out of the world’ mission we’ve accomplished so far is going to the moon and back!

I never gave much thought to this. I had already mentally accepted the reality of space travel. Tomorrow if some scientist came up with a way to make space travel, a reality , i am sure am going to think “Well, it’s about time!” .... Just like how my daughter is totally cool about dinosaurs. If at all they start walking on earth i think children would be the only ones who’d say...
“ what’s the big deal?”

Browsing through i came across a little untold story from the past, to be exact, from the year 1969 when Apollo 11 first landed on the moon. As inconsequential as it may seem it just made me go back in time and relive their grand achievement.

We all know about Aldrin and Neil Armstrong’s visit for about 2 hrs and 30 mins on the moon. Along with planting the American flag there and collecting some 50 odd moon stones, answering a surprise call from President Nixon, they had to do something else.... Leave a small silicon disc (not a cd) a coin shaped object about the size of 50 cents with Messages of Peace from the then World leaders (from 73 countries) inscribed on them.

Houston had about a month to collect the messages in time, inscribe it, place it inside a box about the size of a woman’s compact, place that inside a cloth bag to be left beside the flag. Phew!

The message around the disc reads


I say these words are cooler than the coolest of sci-fi stuff i’ve ever seen or read!

here, take a look, Tahir Rahman has written a book on this...

The Silicon disc.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Breathing the fresh air my friends!

Today is one of those days when you just cannot help but be happy.... :)
Why you ask?
Jersey City is at the moment 64 degrees F.
It should technically be somewhere in 20s and must be snowing!
Instead feels blissfully like a spectacular spring day.
People are sporting skirts.
There are joggers on the road.
Dogs are taking a lazy walk.
No gloves, no over-sized jackets, no head gears, no snow shoes...
I'm looking human again!

Sorry to disappoint blog mates who visit this page looking for something other than just weather report! But i just can't let this pass.
I went out with my daughter for a long walk-play-chomp-chomp spectacular day.
Sunny, bright, warm first week of January. (that's a paradox right here!)
It literally feels like Winter saying ...

" You know what i'm taking a day off. I mean i'm just bored with all the cursing and swearing especially from those immigrants who just can't take a few chilly-windy-frosty months!. And this constant comparison with their country! I'm sick of this. Go have a summer day...!"

Well Winter, please do stay in your mood.

Friday, January 04, 2008


Barack Obama wins the caucuses in Iowa.
I know this is the headline in almost all the newspapers here in the USA and perhaps a few outside the country as well.
But it is personally, both a victory and a self-defying moment for me.
I who have never voted but once back in India and that was because i had just turned 18 and wanted to claim my right to vote and get the black spot on my finger had one of those unbelievable moments back in Mumbai almost a year ago.

You see my Grandpa has walked with Gandhiji during out freedom struggle and he used to tell me how grand his speeches were. He used to talk about Nehru's  speech and how people used to leave everything they own including relationships to walk with those galvanic personalities during our freedom fight. I just couldn't understand how people could do this. I mean if you personally feel that you need to participate in the struggle, i can understand. But turning to 'freedom struggle' after listening to a speech was something i just could not comprehend. 

But my friends i was sitting in my cosy sofa back in Mumbai flipping the channels and landed on BBC and there i first laid my eyes on Barack Obama. I understood that day. Yes, am deliberately making this sound dramatic because it was such a moment for me. He was simply astounding. He was talking about 'hope' and 'belief' and 'change' and i was just zapped. A bomb could've gone off and i wouldn't have known. When the speech ended i wanted more, i didn't know who he was yet i wanted to walk with him, vote for him, and wanted to participate in his struggle. I just couldn't believe i felt so much for a complete stranger in a different land. 

That evening i told my hubby that Obama will be the next American President. I was so sure of it. Aravind was kind enough to not laugh right at my face. He took a moment and said, 'he's a 'black' preethi, America will never make a black ... 'The President', trust me. But i just knew he was different. I wanted him to win. Yesterday i had my own small victory. 2008 has brought with it my first victory. I know it is too early to say that he'll be the President but i am going to hold my head high. A state with a 98% white community selected a Black leader. 

This has made me look deeper. I'm not indifferent to Politics after all, it is just that i don't find such candidates in India. Sad but true. I don't vote because there is no one i trust enough. That is the fact. When will i see a young new blood who trusts himself completely and readily brings about a change in India. Corruption will end. Education will rise. People will turn to honesty because it is still the best policy and they will have a proof that it pays. Where is such a leader? God, how long has it been since i felt this way? How long has it been since i loved my country enough to wish for a change. I don't deny that we've risen economically in the past few years but how grand would it be if there was a man/woman with a spinal cord. 

'Hope' has not forsaken my heart afterall...