and our adventures will find a place here...
and our adventures will find a place here...
V's article about blogging published in chennaionline.com is here
You might remember V is busy soul searching.. here are some random thoughts from her mind
Well I am not sure if it makes sense to you without knowing the context of her thoughts but it does make sense to me...
This is an interesting conversation between V and her mom. This morning they were having a voice chat across the miles.
Venue 1 :V’s childhood home in Trichy.
Participants : V’s mom, V’s granny and V’s bro KA
Medium : Yahoo Messenger
Venue 2: Our home across the miles in Houston
Participants : V (and yours truly)
V’s Mom: So how did you do in the test last week? Did you get the scores?
V: Yeah! I got #$
V’s Mom: That’s a good score!
V: Yeah (half-heartedly)
(Background voices in Trichy)
V: Speak up! I can’t hear you! don’t talk amongst yourselves. talk to me. btw what were you discussing?
V’s Mom: (diplomatically) Oh nothing important!
V: Well I know…you must have said “She is not happy with her score… don’t I know my daughter”
V’s granny: (laughing) You even said the exact words.. how did you do it?
V: Well.. don’t I know my mother!
Me: (to myself) aww!! Cho chweet!
KA: Fools think alike…
(and being the baby bro.. he gets away with it)
(Yes and KA is going to be wild at me yet again for calling him baby brother!! He has already warned me after reading my previous post about him..Don’t be angry with me!! It’s all out of love!)
In memory of VA uncle, who passed away yesterday…may your soul rest in peace Uncle!
And when I learnt that Cirque du Soleil (translated means circus of the sun) was in town I was quite excited and I could barely imagine a circus sans animals. We were at Sam Houston Race Park last night where Cirque du Soleil had set up their big top. The atmosphere was electric and as vibrant as I remembered from back home!
The Corteo was a festive funeral of a clown - the clown sans his red nose! Sort of a flashback into the clown's life.. yes remember the tortoise coil spirals from the movies! the same! The music was vibrant and kept the theme and spirit of the show. The acts of the Corteo can be found here. My personal favorite is the Helium dance where Valentyna, a dwarf flies aided by 6 huge helium balloons, bouncing and laughing, she was so pretty!! V tells me even 100 helium balloons cannot lift me up (sob! sob!). R loved the Chandelier act the best... four women swinging on giant chandeliers! Impressive indeed! V's favorite was the juggling act.. defying gravity they juggled with hoops, clubs and rings.. an amazing display of juggling and aerobics. Yes the tightrope walker scared me. How does she do it?
It was indeed a memorable night but for the over-priced popcorn and drinks (a small tub of popcorn for $5.00 and a small drink for $5.75!!! day-light robbery!!). If there is a Cirque du Soleil performance near where you live do visit them! And as always do not support circuses that train wild animals.. bears, tigers, lions and all other animals and birds are better off in their own habitat.
If she makes any major life altering decisions I'll sure let ya'll know! Yes and this is the time she expects to be remembered and dear longlost friends take note.. leave a comment, send a mail or whatever!
Boy! I do hope she cheers up morrow!! We are off to the big top to see the Corteo by Cirque Du Soleil. Look forward for my take on Corteo coming up soon
We were driving around this weekend and I saw this one and cracked up!
This one was for a tickets sales center near the Galleria in Houston
ADMIN HELP WANTED
V and R played a game of rearranging the words and it was quite a fun game...try it and post your comments
Rockets - Houston's professional basketball team
Astros - Houston's professional baseball team
Wicked - A new Broadway musical
Police - A rock band
To the outside world we all grow old. But not to brothers and sisters. We know each other as we always were. We know each other's hearts. We share private family jokes. We remember family feuds and secrets, family griefs and joys. We live outside the touch of time. ~Clara Ortega
Today they are all in different corners of the world but the special relationships these siblings share is indeed amazing! It puts me to shame quite often, me the bear who hates sharing my space with the other furry residents at our house (have you ever heard me speak anything about them? well I make sure they stay invisible in the background while I take the honors!! :) smart aren't I?)
Here are some fond memories V and R treasure about their siblings and my take on them!
Today he is the super cool college student, painting the town red with his antics.. but I have known him since he was in his diapers and have seen his relationship with V all through the years. All through the growing up years V and KA acted as if they never cared for each other but it was all an act and you could see the affection they had for each other clearly.Today the baby bro acts like a big protector and though he would never admit it... admires his sister quite a lot!! :) And V enjoys being teased and pampered and protected by her baby bro!! Yes there are times when his teasing gets on her nerves.. a few sharp words, few unshed tears and then V is back to normal....
There are tons of memories and happy moments V can think of about KA and she clings to them tightly till the meet next (yes pretty soon KA is coming to Houston!!). They have shared numerous wonderful moments and it would be quite tough to pick out just one! well the shocked KA hugging her on receiving an ipod sure ranks as a great moment!
All V wishes for today is that her baby bro works hard to make all his dreams come true...
AK & HS:
R remembers growing up as the leader of the gang featuring his siblings AK and HS. He remembers the days as a kid playing catch me if you can with AK, running around the house resulting in cuts, bruises and stitches! Meanwhile, HS the li'lest sibling was the 'akkakari' (the big sister), demanding and getting her way! They are a close knit group of siblings, even though it may not be apparent when you first meet them. R remembers so many great times he shared with his brother and sister, on so many trips with their parents. R has a great collection of audio cassettes he collected by basically convincing AK and HS that they would love to listen to R's favorite singers and groups.
Now, they are all grown up and live in different corners of the world. AK is working with their dad in India as a structural engineer and HS lives with her hubby and sweet li'l kid Swetha in Singapore. You can see a pic of Swetha here. Even though they have moved so far apart from each other, the bond is still as strong as when they were kids.
V's Rakhi bros:
These are guys I definitely need to talk about. Meeting up during V's undergrad days in NITK, they have formed a bond - a relationship that is very special. V's post talks about her memories about SC,K and RN.
V's structural and math teacher is just another way to identify him. They spend hours slogging through previous years exam papers in the library, talking about just anything under the sun, emailing and just having a fun time together. Yes they did fight, long crazy fights and often drove others crazy but like all siblings they made up and forgot the past! Today NJ is in Bangalore with Oracle and does something V never thought he'll do. But NJ if you are happy that's all that matters.
They shared a post in SPIC MACAY. KC was V's guide to learning the ropes of being a treasurer (well the truth is she never learnt it!) But the friendship that grew during the SPIC MACAY days (there are numerous stories about these days.. that is for some other day) still continues. As I pen down this KC is in San Jose working and V hopes he finds his dream job soon
The newly-wed! It has been a crazy time with NT (well you see a pattern here right?) NT was someone V enjoyed playing the elder sis and still does.. Our best wishes to Mr.and Mrs. NT! Wishing you love, luc and happiness forever!
btw the cute sister book, was a gift from NJ to V and KC is now back in Bangalore
here are some of my favorite traditions - the ones I miss the most,
- Fight for the Young World (Children's section from The Hindu) on Saturday mornings between V and her bro KA
- The puris and sundal breakfast on Sunday mornings
- Reading aloud horoscopes on the Magazine section of the The Hindu and laughing on Sunday mornings at the marble steps in front of V's home in Trichy
- Racing down the stairs to welcome V's dad home from his trips on Saturday morning.. yes the auto horn was the indicator
- Scraping out the bottom of the big aluminium kadai after V's mom had made chocolate!! yummy!
- Picking up the pavalamali flowers for puja..hmm we grumbled and whined over the chore but it is still a memory
- Making garlands with the flowers in the after-siesta hours... this tradition dates back to the days when SV anna was in Trichy for his studies...
- Power cuts and sitting in the backyard/front yard catching up
- Quizing over dinner time at R's ancestral home in Madurai
- Maligai poo, pacha poo in summer
- Birthday dinners at Gajapriya, Femina and in the recent years in Sangam in Trichy
- After work/school meetings around the dining table with great food and V's mamaiyaa
- Word games on road trips and friendly competition between R and his siblings
- Briyani and Fish lunch on Sunday afternoons
- The 5.30am phone calls when V was in hostel
- V's mamaiyaa dropping her for every single board exam
and the list goes on...
here in Houston we have our built our own set of traditions
- Friday night dinners to unwind
- Diwali party to catch up with friends
- Putting up Chirstmas lights before Diwali till New Year
- Early morning in front of stores on Black Friday to hit the sales
- After Chirstmas sales shopping!
- Gulub jamuns made from scratch for Diwali
- Lazy picnics in Kemah
- Fruit picking in summers.....
- Chirstmas tree in Galleria ice rink
This is the weekend! V's dance recital is around the corner and we are busy! I'll have more interesting news, trivia, R's take on the recital, R's photos from the recital and lots more coming up Monday!
btw have you wished V and the others at SPAC?
leave a comment!! I'll make sure they get the message!!
To start off, incase you don't know, Houston is one of the most allergy prone places in US...the chemical industries, the smog, the trees, the pollen.. whatever, half the people in Houston complain of allergies every spring, once the trees start pollination... and V has always been a sneezer... she has been allergic all her life.. an inherited trait.. popping cosavils, and allegras she survived and then finally she decided to dig down to find the cause of the allergies...and soV got a skin test done for allergies today. The test is very simple in concept, to identify what you are allergic to, your skin is exposed to allergy-causing substances (allergens) and then is observed for signs of an allergic reaction. A list of 56 allergens were chosen and they are just injected in the top layer of your skin... first 56 points along the inner arms were marked and then started the injecting part..It really wasn't painful for V.. just a mosquito bite sort of sensation... but imagine at 56 points along your inner arm.. and then V had to wait for 20 minutes to see the reactions.. that was the tough part.. due to the allergens, the skin starts itching and you cannot scratch or more the arms.. painful, itching, irritating.. you name it and it was felt... and then you could see red bumps developing at 56 spots along the arm.. then Marisa (she was V's nurse.. and she did a great job) started measuring the bumps.. it was clear from the reactions that V was really really allergic to dust mites (a variety of them), house dust, a few types of grass and trees, fish and surprisingly, chicken and egg whites and pecans!!! The arm was cleaned and an anti-itch cream applied.. gosh the hand looked bad...
and then the secondary testing started.. this is more scary than the first, the allergens which did not show clear reactions the first time (in V's case 24 of them including cat hair, dog hair, mold etc) are injected on the upper arm right below the first layer of skin and it is a little painful (V was wincing a lot!! and I know she hates looking at needles, trying to keep her face averted she survived) 12 on each arm... and another 15 minute wait.. a couple of allergens tested positive ... Marisa has made a list of them and V has visit with her allergist scheduled soon...
well the skin-allergy tests are no fun.. but it beats sneezing and managing a runny nose without knowing what is causing it.. now that it is medically proven V is allergic to dust, I bet she is going to use it as an excuse to escape from household chores.. poor R...
Check out this link for a video on skin testing...
Celebrate the women around you...
This is a forward V's dad sent.... author unknown... but it is for all the great mother's around..
And I dedicate this post to V's granny, V's mom, R's mom and R'sis.....
'CAUSE THEY ARE MADE FOR THE LONG HAUL......
(and they can't die because they still have things to do!!!)
Thankfully R was able to get off work early and we took the shuttle to Reliant Stadium. Entering the arena, the atmosphere reminded me of all the exhibitions and chitirai porutkatchis I've been to in India. A lot of stalls, games, rides and air smelling of fried and sinfully good food ... As V likes to put it, its a 'thiruvizha', 'jallikattu', 'maatu sandhai' all put in one, served Texas style! V&R first took me to see the livestock!! There were so many cows!! Big, big cows, much bigger than their relatives in India. It surprises me that they let those big cows inside the Reliant Center... who in the right mind will let them in? I guess I should pen down a song "who let the cows in??" Well might be these realized the Holy Cow concept and let the cows in for good luck...(you know like how they get the cows inside new homes..;) Well I can just home that atleast these cows bring some luck to the Texans (the Houston American football team) next season!! I am real tired of them losing to everyone.. Well that is a another story for another day) I wanted to see some rabbits, but we couldnt find them. Next we went into the stadium to see the big show. We sat through calf roping, bare bronc riding, team roping and saddle bronc riding. It was a fun show, even though I felt bad for the calf that was being roped :( After that we headed out to the food stalls (well this is the reason why I came to the rodeo right ;)), and V&R got me some quesadillas... comfort the Tex-Mex style! But I was shocked by the sky-high prices... gosh! I could have walked into my favorite
Tex-Mex place (and that would be Chuy's in the River Oaks area) and had a full dinner for the price I paid for a measly plate of quesadillas and a hint of pico!! Then we walked around the carnival with so many rides and games. I remember those scary rides and laughter all around....V & R played a game to see who was a better marksman. V won!! :) and she got me Crawly - me newest friend! By then, it was getting cold outside and V and R started thinking about their next day at work... So we rushed back home. It was a fun trip!!
Neither an adult nor a kid, the age when you see the world as it is and not through those rose colored glasses.. the time when I spread out my wings and take off the cocoon my parents had lovingly created.. to leave the safe world was an adventure, a step into adulthood...It was exciting and scary!! And it was during these days I became a victim...
Counting down days, I waited for those long-awaited trips home.. study holidays, festivals and semester holidays.. each holiday I religiously traveled back home... these long trips involved train journeys and bus journeys... and then I realized how bad the world was....
Those gropings and touchings once the lights were off in trains and buses were indeed annoying and scary making night-time train travels a nuisance .... Men of all ages, irrespective of anything else, derived a pleasure in such activities... I was a victim....till I decided I was not going to sacrifice my sleep and peace to evade Mr.Gropy hands, I needed to do something ...
The next time, the groping hand came towards me, I was ready... the common safety pin holding my dupatta is place was ready to strike and the howl that followed was music to my ears...and I did have one of the well-rested train journeys that night...
The world outside is like the big, bad wolf.... it will huff and puff and try to blow you away... the secret of survival is just being strong...
Today am no longer a victim and am no Hero.... but I am a woman against sexual harassment...
We support Blank Noise Project. Please share your experiences and help spread awareness about sexual harassment.. I have copied their email below... do your bit! V's experience coming up soon!
Last march 8 (Women'sDay), we had a blog-a-thon that asked you to blog stories of street sexual harassment. It began with an announcement on this blog that was picked up by bloggers across India, and soon in different parts of the world. We shared stories we had never shared before, sometimes stories we thought we had long forgotten, stories that we had often wanted to bury. We read each other, we linked to each other and we linked back to the Blank Noise Project blog. We were touched by each other's stories, moved by them, and, we like to imagine, drew strength and sustenance from the the long, cross-cultural chain of shared experiences.
It's this strength that we're asking you to share experiences of, on March 8th, 2007. The baton is handed over right here, right now! Announce this on your blog and on the morning of March 8th, 2007, share with us a story (or two, or five or...) of fighting back?!
When did you flip a situation so you could resist, when did you give back as hard as you got? When and how did you choose to confront? When did you become an Action Hero?
Action heroes have formed the theme of the last few Blank Noise interventions and it's this spirit we ask you to share and celebrate on March 8 , 2007!
So announce the blog-a-thon, and on March 8, share your action story!
If you are a male blogger and wondering how you fit in, tell us about an Action Hero you know!
1. announce the event.
2. blog your story
3. email us about it and we will link you right away!
This is an attempt to understand how different women ( across age groups/ cultures/ communities) have dealt with street sexual harassment in their everyday lives. Male bloggers are encouraged to share stories of women in their lives and how they have dealt with street sexual harassment. Non bloggers are also invited to participate- email us your story. We will upload your email at www.blanknoiseactionheroes.blogspot.com
Please email us at email@example.com/ subject titled Action Heroes Online.
Coming up more about the rodeo in the next post!
And here it is from all of us to our friends from school and college days with whom through the marvels of modern technology we still keep in touch...an ocassional mail, a scrap in Orkut, a phone call on birthday's..
we are far apart but still in touch.. this one is for you friends...
and for the long lost friends who still can bring smiles...
Was thinking of old friends & friends today and how many of them have slipped away, Moved, got married, or stopped calling so much, Found new friends and friends got busy, and just lost touch. It reminded me of falling leaves. Every autumn the leaves fall from the trees.Some stay longer than others, but eventually - each leaf must fall, I'm told,Leaving the tree alone to face the cold. Why is it that in the time of utmost need the leaves would seek to leave the tree? And when we need our friends around we look and they can not be found? Of course these friendships come and go. And in the spring new leaves will grow. But I prefer autumn friends of old - with crackling laughter and colors bold. It saddens me now I must admit how somehow, someway, I did forget laughing with old friends of mine during summers when the sun would shine. And then I thought of you. That one stubborn leaf that won't let go, that lingers despite the winds that blow.Fighting ice, and snow, and winter's stings Hanging on right through till spring. So I guess that's what you are to me - The very last leaf to leave the tree. I know it seems silly, but it's true. When I see that last leaf...I think of you.
* Author unknown
Hundred bucks of petrol. ....A rusty old bike. .....And an open road.
Maggi noodles. ....A hostel room. ....4.25 a.m.
3 old friends. .....3 separate cities. .....3 coffee mugs.......1 Internet messenger.
Rain on a hot tin roof. ....Pakoras deep-frying.....Neighbors dropping in...A party.
You and mom. ....A summer night. .....A bottle of coconut oil. .......A head massage.
You can spend Hundreds to celebrate birthdays,Thousands on festivals, Lakhs on weddings, but celebration could even be such small things in life, the loved ones & your time .
Been there and done that.. I can relate to each and every one of those words...
Make everyday a celebration!!
Yuppie!!! V & R are going to the rodeo tonite!! And guess what... They're planning to sneak me in!!! I'm so excited. I've always wanted to see the bucking broncos and the cart races! After all thats what Texas is known for right!!! I'm so excited! And then there's a performance by Gretchen Wilson. Dont know if I'll stick around for that! Me no country music person! I can't bear (pun unintended) to hear singers crying about their dog dying or wife leaving or such crap!!! I'm a happy bear!!
Stay tuned for my review tomorrow!!!
V wrote this up for her friends in December... just thought I should share it with y'all..
I don't know what set me off.. guess it is the rains.. after a cold and below freezing temperature fortnight, the temperature warmed up yesterday and we had rains and not the usual Houston rains... the Surathkal rains.. humind and non-stop.. Walking between buildings with the drizzle on my face and struggling with the umbrella brought back so many memories and the most treasured memories were that with you.... guess I have sweet memories with all you guys and I have learnt so much from you all... I just needed to talk and relive those days.... Let me start with
It has been a great experience with you.. I have learnt to take things as it comes and don't be worried about speaking what I feel from you. I'll always remember the walk we had in the rain... soaking wet from main lobby to GB after the dhandiya practise...
You literally forced me to tie you a rakhi remember? SADS? and am so glad you did.. we share birthdays and a love for books. With you I guess I am most comfy being me. Just me.. I can vent, rant and cry and you know what I feel.. thanks
We were always around.. we spoke often but I guess we never were the chummy chummy friends... but I remember the late night talk in Main lobby..I don't know why but that remains the lingering memory of you.. you were very practical and told me to take life as it comes.. and believe me I needed the reminder at that point of life...
You got in as you were K's bro and initially I did think you'll be overshadowed by your bro but you proved me wrong and proved me that you are your own person. And that is what I learnt from you, to be myself and not to do something just coz everyone wants me to.
I guess you'll never have the time to read this mail but I just wanted to let you know in many ways I admire you. For taking the cruicial decisions regarding your life. Always soft-spoken, you have made some tough decisions in life.. letting go the past and embracing the new and finding happiness in it! I admire you for it...
It is easy to say what I learnt from you... it is a lesson I wish I can follow.. from you I learnt what hard work really really means..You gave in 100% to what you did even though many of the choices were forced on you.
If it was one thing I could say about you.. I admire the way you carry on... inspite of everything you smile. I have never seen you sulk. I wish I could do that. Sweet I guess rightly describes you and no one would deny that.
From you I learnt never to say die.. even if it is end of the world I learnt I can go on from you... You showed me that when I feel my world crumbling I can still get up and walk and build a new world...
I am touch with you more regularly than the others..just coz we live closer... and from you I learnt worrying about tommorrow is nothing but borrowing trouble. I learnt to take each day as it comes and keep cool. Tomorrow is just a dream...
With you it has been another fun fun time.. I don't deny we had our moments of misunderstandings. . I remember the late nights in my room talking and talking... about everything.. and how in sync our thoughts were.you were ready to break the rules and that is something I admire you for.. and you broke lots of rules for me.. thanks for that..
Your principles I admire you for that.. you were ready to stand for them and defend them no matter what... and with you I could let myself go.. not care... you always treated me as a kid sis and I guesss I enjoyed it a lot..remmeber our chocolate meetings.. and remember how you complained to S (your party mate) that I did'nt tie you a rakhi!!!
Writing about you will be the toughest.. Memories a lot.. the times with you.. the shopping trip for your mother's saree.. Udipi with the gang and the fight.. the nights counting stars and swapping stories in the SAC.. need I say more? You have been there for me.. I have laughed and cried with you... I have learnt numerous lessons from you..to let go and live... is probably the best thing I learnt from you. You were there for me... thanks and thanks
I can write more...much more... but you know sometimes putting what I feel to words is tough.. but the relationship I shared with each and everyone of you is Unique and special.. and I am proud to be your friend... I admire you for who you are and what you have achieved in life.. and I am proud and glad to share a part of my life with you...
we are far today but the memories I have are forever..
thanks for being there for me.. for teaching me, for guiding there, thanks for being my friend....
We live in a cable-free blissful world…we have an antenna and occasionally catch the local news if we are really really bored.. else the TV is just another décor in our well decorated home… V and R feel that TV takes away their time together.. and prefer reading and other activities to watching TV. Most of our friends never understand this.. their constant question.. “how do you survive without cable?” Are people not watching cable so rare these days?
the mornings sitting on the small parapet wall along the hostel, book in hand, enjoying the sea breeze and a few silent hours of solitude before joining the routine days of classes, notes and friends....willing the phone to ring and the long conversations with granny and grandpa... memories of those days...when friends were there always for you, around you... hmm those days.... were sweet...hey "gang" incase u are reading this.. remember "pooh"misses y'all
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