Monday, February 28, 2011

R.I.P Meenamma

It started out as a really fine Saturday morning. Finally I had a weekend all for myself after a long time, the last one was chock-a-block with a graduation day, meeting a family and hospital visits. Plus paati had been discharged from the hospital a couple of days back.  S and I were at restaurant on the ECR chatting away to glory and suddenly Appa called. I thought it was one of those “where are you and when do you plan to come home calls”, so I sent him a text saying I’ll be home by 4.  He called again, to break the worst news ever – Meenamma passed away, come home right now.  I was too shocked to say anything at all. The next hours were a blur.

Meenamma is Appa’s Amma and none of us in the family have ever addressed her as Paati. I don’t know who came up with the name, but I’ve called her that for as long as I remember. She moved in with us way back in 1990 when Amma and I were to join Appa in Bangalore, she’d been living with us since then. She’d always been a constant at home, my folks were working, when Adi and I returned from school, she was at home to greet us.

In all these years, I’ve always shared a love hate relationship with her. 

She was a very different Paati, not a very devout woman, she found solace in arts. She was a very sharp woman, with an opinion everything; music, politics and movies of the yesteryears. She could read and write English (beat that!) and was a voracious reader as well. She was an awesome cook; she took real good care of Adi and me, when the folks were away at work. Her people skills is something I will die for; everybody who came home ended up striking a rapport with her, she knew everybody by name; the bai, paperwala, milkman, cablewala, you name them she knew them.  She was exceptionally talented – at the age of 85, her voice was still quiver-free, you have to believe me when I say she could sing Keerthanais without missing a beat,  she was the best when it came to handiwork, all those toys made of beads in the showcase are her creations, the sweaters in the wardrobe are all hers. She had a memory of a super computer; she remembered people, dates, and events with the details intact.

What I never liked about her was gossiping.  Even today I’m fiercely protective about my family. You say a word against them, I will rip you apart. And that’s precisely what happened with her. Somehow in her 25years of knowing Amma she never came around accepting that she was the best daughter-in-law of the family.  There were a couple of other characteristics I dint like – one was her partiality to her older son, two never appreciating what was bestowed upon her.

So, when Appa broke the news to me I couldn’t react – I was too stumped to say or do anything. When all three of us were in the car, Amma broke the silence; in between sobs she asked “eppdi”, Appa said “terile”. Honestly, all of us were shocked. The first shocker was seeing a woman with a steel body lying in the ICU with a ventilator on. For one she’s never had any ailment in all her 85years – no BP, no sugar, no cholesterol or anything of that sort. The only thing she’s complained of is a backache, which is quite normal.

I’m yet to come to terms with the fact that she’s not around. It is a very very big void which nobody can work on. I will miss her terribly. I’ll have to get used to opening the door using the keys, something that I’ve not done in 23years. I’ll miss those days when she sneaked a couple of 100Rs notes under the pillow; I’ll miss trying on those sweaters that I’ll never wear in Chennai’s heat. I’ll miss fighting for the remote control. I’ll miss being protective about her, taking her to the bank every 5th of a month or just making sure she had her food on time. I’ll miss just having her around. Those fights, moments of emotional outburst will remain etched in my memory forever.

No matter wherever you are, I hope you will be happy.
I hope there is a nice little shop upstairs where they sell toffees’ and wool.
We will miss you – Amma, Appa, Adi and I.
Bye bye Meenamma. RIP. 

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Curtains Down

Another chapter in life came to an end on the 19th of February 2011, the post graduate degree was conferred and it’s the official end of academics. There is an underlying sentiment attached to it, primarily because this was the last straw.

I’ve attended two grad days now! *yaaay* I can now draw comparisons between the both – in terms of college, junta and management. Are you really interested? If you promise me that you will not doze off then I’ll give it a shot. MOP was like the perfect girls college – ingredients include; cat fights, bonding and lots of gang rivalry. SoMCA on the other hand was very subdued, quiet, and there was ruckus on a few occasions, but most of them are dismissible. To think about it; I survived both.

What I really liked the best about this college was the transport; I’m a public transport travel averse, so when they offered pick up and drop facilities, I was more than happy to take it up. The grind began at 5.00AM on a dim Saturday morning; because I was wearing a saree and had to catch the bus at 6.45 from the stop (which eventually did not happen).
The show time began with a lot of euphoria and festivity. For some it was a time to prove to the rest of the bunch they have arrived, their new found independence and the extra fittings that come along with it. Some were totally hung on the concept of “meeting friends” and a handful of them junked it, the ones who had absolutely no plans of looking at the people back in college.

I was a little of the last category I mentioned, I was in two minds until Friday evening; I wasn’t too sure if I wanted to be there among the people, but I did go, to meet a few friends and most importantly to collect what was mine – the MBA degree from godforsaken Anna University. I owed to myself because I survived it all – syllabus, evaluations, mode of education; so it would be pretty sad if I dint go on stage to take that certificate wave it in the air and say “THIS IS MINE”.

This time around, we were the minorities; the MBA class had hardly 60 people and we were seated in the front row – that eliminates the option of sleeping. There is one advantage of being an MBA in this case; they apparently considered this to be the highest degree to be awarded, and so we were called on first to collect our certificates.

After the applause subsided we did walk back to our seats, cheered the rest of the crowd, waited ravenously for the lunch, took photographers, smiled at random people and went back home as post graduates.

Cheers :)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Appreciating Spoilsports

Think about this – ever wondered what life would be like; if it was picture perfect, there were no glitches, nothing to worry about and if everything worked like a charm? Now apply the same equation to the people around you. What would it be like – if there wasn’t a single person on our hate lists, nobody to bitch about, if we loved everybody equally and considered each one them angels?

It would be a picture perfect,  fairy tale. But wait, every fairy tale needs a villain / or an evil scheming person. There certainly must be a character at each phase who is annoying, who is such a pain in the wrong side and we simply can’t put up with, a certain somebody who is out to make life miserable or so we believe. 

These people should be crowned the most hated people of all times – bring on that diamond studded tiara.
If you’ve read the above paragraphs and shuddered saying; Hell no! There isn’t a single person in my life in that category of an annoying moron; you are either lying or a disciple of His Holiness Sri Sri RaviShankar.

The other day, I was majorly angry at a certain somebody, sadly I was pretty helpless. All I could do was – fume, crib and go mad about it. I called up a friend, and we got discussing, in girl-talk terms its called cathartic treatment. We called them names, dissected their sad lives, and in the end I felt much better than I did before the call.

I was mulling over these people later that day, I figured out that we actually need them. These people, who freak the hell out us, are actually necessary evils. Think about it, if everything at work went on like a charm, then there would be absolutely no fun in working.

In other words, anything that is uneventful actually goes unnoticed.

What is the fun in travelling by an auto when you don’t haggle with the driver?  Or a bus journey, where a conductor returns that 50p. What’s the fun in driving when there is no irrational motorist who cuts across your lane? A good movie gets raving reviews, but a bad one or the one which doesn’t match up to our expectations, get ripped; everybody wants to discuss how terrible it was. These are just a few of them, you can add more to the list.

Likewise in life, the good people are all in the background, the real angels who keep us going, but in reality the demons make it interesting. They are our emotional ventilators without whose help, we’ll be inane beings. They instil rationality, give us a better picture of the world, and help us appreciate the goodness around us.
These people make our days in one or more ways. If not for them, our days and lives would be very predictable and unexciting.

Now, think about it...

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Randomization Part-III

A few Ads that caught my attention in the recent times, I'm not much of a video posting person, but I couldn't resist these.

1) The Tata Nano Ad - I like the last part where the kid applies Kajal to drive away evil

2) Big Rock - Hilarious Stuff.. Anybody can start a business :P

3) Blackberry Application - Naukri + Shaadi + Make My trip. Ideally I'd like to skip step-2 and head to step-3.

4) Bingo Cream & Onion Chips - Ippo anybody can be International :D

5) Bodhi Vidyashram - Velammal School. This school apparently imparts integrated IIT-JEE Coaching to it's students. Yeah right! I think the next in the line is, P.S Senior Secondary School coming up with a school which says, we will coach our commerce department students to become Chartered Accountants, Cost Accountants and Corporate Secretaries as soon as they pass out from school. Added advantage can be a CFA or a FRM course.
Wonder what will happen to outliers like me then ;)

I couldn't find the video for this, if you get hold of it, pass it on.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Random Musings

A random conversation between A and I. I was being the generous older sister, and see what I got in return..

Me: A! Adidas Nike and Levis  la edho sale irruku.. Do you want something? T-shirt floater or jeans venuma?
A: No :-)
(I was a little shocked and surprised. So, I decided to egg him on a little more)

Me: Aye loose! Sale da :P we can buy two at the price of one. Last time you wanted floaters na? We can buy one for you and me. Even a bag should be fine.
A: Bag vendam, appa will scold. Save money for my new mobile, adhu porum.

Me: Ooh…

Now I get why the little one was acting all nice and sweet by saying he dint want anything. 

PS: all you young semi-independent boys and girls, take note of such unusual behaviour when your little one refuses to buy your deals.