Perceptions

The way I see everything!!!

Archive for June 2006

Peeping toms?

with 3 comments

MMS… Been there, seen that. well, thats exactly the reaction that i seem to get from guys nowadays. From Preity to Kareena, DPS to Vidyaniketan, everyone seems to have a video of their own. I raeally dunno whats happening to us. Now I dont wanna sound like an avataar of some saint here… Yes, i have seen these MMSs too. But a few days back, when i was talking to a friend, he was like, “dude! i feel like a peeping tom”. One line… Think it hit a spot somewhere… Whats happened to us? Are we becoming a nation full of peeping toms? Is nobody to be trusted? I was never against getting physical in a relationship… I mean, thats the couple’s personal choice, and we need to give them their freedom, their privacy. But today, I doubt i there is anything like privacy left at all… Have we forgotten the meaning of the word trust? Whats wrong with us?

Written by shivnarayan

Sunday, June 25, 2006 at 4:04 pm

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Back to the Pavilion!!!

with 3 comments

Well, the time has come… The vacation has ended… The doc says I am alrite and can get back to work!!! How… Exciting… (obvious tone of sarcasm n boredom). Well, for those who have not been keepin abreast of whats been happenin in my life(which is basically the rest of the world except me), I was in Mumbai for almost 9 days… Was unwell. U know, this is the part i hate… ‘Unwell’ is such a soft word! It can never do justice to how ‘unwell’ I actually was… But then, that is a different story altogether… In the last 10 odd days, I
1. realised that half of the worlds population lives in the local trains of Mumbai.
2. found out that the formula for finding the actual cost price of any dress in Mumbai is the Quoted Price/2. In case of decent shops, it is Quoted Price/3.
3. found out that there are cheats with fancy restaurants who sell sugarcane juice for 20 Rs per glass. N the next shop sells the same shit for Rs. 3 per glass!!! So, when it comes to food items… there is no specific formula for actual Cost Price… it is determined thru years of experience.
4. realised that The best place for a free body massage is the Mumbai local trains… provided u can bear stinkin arm pits…
5. Created my own Blog!!! Wrote one article, begged a cpl o friends to read it and post their comments, and actually replied back to the comments (like they are gonna visit my blog again ever!).
6. Came to the conclusion that my family doctor is a genius. Well, he is the only one who can cure my perennial ulcers (Oxymoron???).
7. My Dad cant drive a car for peanuts. Neither can I!
8. Any car is only as goodas its driver,… So our Ford Icon is a worthless bauble.
9. Nothin can ever beat home food!
10. Meetin up with an old friend is one of the most refreshing things ever! It can keep u smilin for till the bill for the dinner comes!
11. Restaurants in Mumbai cant make Hyderabadi Biryani. Their idea of the same is Green Chutney mixed with rice! Help!!!
12. Our cable tv operator has no movie sense… and he actually puts soft porn (May i add lousy too) after the last football match of the day is over!
13. Nobody is indispensible. I was not there for 10 days, and nobody missed me @ work! Not that I made a lotta contribution at work.
14. Mumbai is just as sultry as Chennai… So i should stop comparin the 2 cities.
15. All Dads love travellin by King Fisher Airlines… while I always have the pleasure of travelling in Indian Airlines! When ll they change their service approach? They can be lousy! They are lousy!
16. Football is low scoring as compared to cricket… but Lotsa fun!!! I an become an expert in analysing post match performance even without knowing A,B,C of football! 🙂

Basically that winds up my break. Work Beckons… As Arnie put it… Ill Be Back… (Like it is gonna make a difference! 🙂 Adios!!!

Written by shivnarayan

Sunday, June 18, 2006 at 3:27 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Saapadu…

with 5 comments

Well, having lived in Mumbai for almost 17 years, I wud always say that I am a Mumbaikar at heart! I mean, i can live on the Vada-Pavs and the Paani Puris sold by those hawkers standin by the railway station or the signal, with the busses,cars and every other vehicle possible adding to the flavour (courtesy pollution). But still the taste is brilliant! For all those of you, who love the cleanliness while makin food, this might not be ur recipe for a sumptous meal… but then, who the hell cares… The food tastes great, and this is Mumbai for u!!! And i loved it all…

U know, being a Tam-Bram based in Mumbai is sooo cool, esp if u are a foodie! I mean, at our home, I can remember being fed idly sambhar and dosa chutney, even before i was fed cerelac (intentional hyperbole!!!). N once i grew up, I remember the breakfasts having Pongal too.. Ven Pongal with chutney and Ghotsu. For the ill informed, Pongal is the tamil version of Kheer, Ghotsu is well… Ghotsu! Ven Pongal is lotsa Ghee with Pongal! And then ofcourse who can forget the elixir of life, thair sadam! (curd rice!) I mean, no true tam-bram who belongs to the lineage can deny loving Thair Sadam… and the innumerable helpings of mavadu or some other urga (achar/pickles). Whatever said and done, i feel Sambhar has been our contribution to the world… well, to Indian cuisines across the world. I mean, all my friends relish the crap that i cook and feed ’em, callin it Sambhar! My cousin abroad has her American n punjabi friends swoonin over the Liquid she proclaims as Sambhar too… 🙂

Oh! i forgot the kara kolambus… (the sibling of Sambhar, which is stronger and more spicier!) and Rasam (Sambhar without too much dal, and with lotsa tomatoes and Tamarind!) So u see, what a vital role Sambhar plays in our lives!!! I mean, it is the perfect side dish. With rice and dollops of ghee, with Curd rice, with dosa, pongal, idli, pakoda, u name it, and it can be used! (hell! when my mom is not lookin i actually have it as a side dish for pulao too!!!). Vada Sambhar is another famous combo which every tambram must know accept and relish!!! And the poriyals too… the Urlakalangu (Potatoes) and its siblings (senai) played such an important role in our brought up! And the Avials too!!!

Today I am in Kochi, cookin my own crap, eatin my sorry excuses for food! And missin ghar ka khana… call me a foodie to have devoted a whole blog for food! All typical tamil saapadu… whatever said n done, nothin can bring the taste of Veetu Saapadu (Home food!) All that talk has made me hungry like hell!!! As i cant gt home food, ill settle for the next best thing! Ill grab a beer (with urga!) n then some chicken 65 and finally end up with some fried rice from the roattu kadai (read as hawker) and go to sleep! Buonas noches n Bon Apetit! (different Languages i Know!!!)

Written by shivnarayan

Friday, June 16, 2006 at 5:50 pm

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My first time…

with 6 comments

I came across this mail some months back… I ve treasured a copy, beacuse it was my first foray nto the world of TamBrams as such. Yes, I am a Tamil Brahmin but i dont bear any resemblance to ’em. Except that I am an engineering Grad myself! There ends the similarity. I dont do ‘Sandi’, eat Non Veg, strictly against going to the US for settling down, said ‘No’ for IIT classes, speak lousy tamil, hate madisar clad women, hate floral rangoli on my classmates/colelagues head, have never been invited to see the gollu bommai! When i got this mail, I just realised what all had i missed to notice… Brilliant stuff!! 🙂

YOU graduated in Literature, right?” asked my young cousin. “No, in Economics.” I hastily clarified . “Economics honours,” I added for good measure. The question coming from anyone else would have been innocuous, but from my cousin who was a third year engineering student,it was almost offending. As a card carrying member of the Tamilian Brahmin community,or Tam Brams, as the endearment goes, I knew that in his world-and that included his parents, relatives, colony friends, project group,dorm mates-someone who graduated in Literature obviously did so because he or she had a learning disability. The poor thing was a freak who couldn’t get admission into an engineering college or even a pitiful, but definitely more acceptable, science course. Or worse, such a specimen was a wasted wanton whose desire to do B.A. was an irresponsible, rebellious act, almost akin to joining a Neo-Nazi like cult group and living on the edge of civilised society. In any such conversation with a bonafide Tam Bram, I find myself fervently hoping, that despite falling under the horrifying category of B.A Economics,with its connotations of statistics and analysis of numbers and trends, would redeem me a little in their maths-science obsessed eyes. For a Tam Bram family mathematics and science are not merely subjects in the school curriculum. They are a religion. And the dharma of every Tam Bram student is to master them and pave his way to the heavenly portal of an IIT. Or at least to the ordinary portal of a local engineering college,which the family will eventually reconcile to, in the absence of the ‘real thing’.The first time I seriously understood this was when I was in primary school and on one sunny day was gleefully reading out my final exam results to Grandpa who was sitting on the porch and frowning in attention. “English: 90 percent, Hindi: 85 percent, Social Studies:87percent..” I prattled on. “How much in maths?” interrupted Grandpa. “Maths: 97 percent,” I said grinning widely. “What happened to the remaining marks?” was his unexpected reaction. After which he asked me to fetch the question paper,spent the next two hours going through each problem and figured out where I could have lost the precious three marks.”Nothing less than a centum in Maths next time.” he said finally.’Centum’is a word unique to the Tam Bram world, that a child grows up listening to. It is a figure that even if sometimes elusive, is never lost sight of throughout the academic career. Centum, Maths, Science, Brilliant Tutorials,Engineering, IIT, B.Tech, Computer Science, USA, Financial Aid, I-20, Student Visa, M.S, San Jose, California, Oracle, Microsoft, Intel. These words and names are like carefully arranged furniture in the mental landscape of a Tam Bram boy-and increasingly girl- below the age of 25. Care is taken not to clutter it with anything related to useless stuff like literature, history or art. Show me a Tam Bram boy who wants to be a fashion designer, VJ, historian or air force pilot and I’ll show you something wrong in his blood line. For all such are heathen, a blemish on the fair face of the community. Till about 15 years ago, the only heathens were girls who did not sing. Formidable maamis from the neighbourhood would drop in> for a casual afternoon gossip session with grandmom and on espying any hapless young girls in the vicinity, would pounce on them with the dreaded entreaty, “Oru paatu paadein.” (Sing a song). A simple three word sentence, you would think, but in maamiland it is a deceptively camouflaged barometer of the girl’s cultural grooming and readiness for Tam Bram society (read marriage market) and her mother’s efforts in making her a fine Tamilian lady. A Tam Bram girl’s singing talents always have to be on standby, as they could be called upon by anyone no matter what the time of day, nature of the occasion or profile of the audience, by simply uttering the three powerful words, “Oru Paatu Paadein.” And woe betide the girl who in shameful ignorance, takes the words at face value. When the words were uttered by a visiting neighbour, I readily accepted and joyously broke into a popular Hindi film ditty. I had finished the second paragraph when I stopped to check audience response. My mother had a strained, embarrassed smile on her face, grandmom was scowling hard, an aunt hurriedly excused herself and went inside and the venerable neighbour looked so disturbed, I thought she was on the verge of a heart attack.”Well..that was nice, but don’t you sing any varnams or keerthanais?” she finally asked, after an awkward silence. My mother hurriedly explained how in the culturally bereft North we were unable to locate a Carnatic music teacher nearby…but hopefully by this summer she would manage to do something about it. That’s when I realised that the only music that was expected to pour out of your mellifluous throat where classical Carnatic songs. If you didn’t know any, you simply shut up and ducked out of sight of visiting maamis. And if like me, you are a non-engineer-non-Carnatic-trained loser of a Tam Bram, you should be drowning yourself in a drum full of idli batter for having wasted this lifetime.

Written by shivnarayan

Friday, June 16, 2006 at 4:55 pm

Posted in Uncategorized