I have no idea what is wrong with the site banner and some of the navigation buttons on top. Yes they need to be fixed and hopefully we'll get to them this weekend. Remodeling the house in addition to regular chores and the extra dance practice for the big program on Saturday results in chaos. And hopefully we can breath a little easier after Saturday!

Pulivacha Kolam Podu...

V writes,

It was just a lucky year when I got a couple of days off early this month and it turned out to be diwali time. It was plain coincidence and after days of working over my thesis and defense I was more than ready for the festive break and by Wednesday afternoon I had elaborate plans for a party on Friday. Deepavali sweets, party foods were planned, lists made and all that was left was to shop and start cooking. I was looking forward for the experience. After days of eating lesa ippidi lesa appadi foods, I really wanted to eat some traditional foods to celebrate the day.

As expected, my plans to take off early on Wednesday evening to head to Hillcroft, Houston's Little India backfire with work being assigned at the last minute. And it was a frantic race to the stores before the traffic hit the streets. I have already mentioned why I hate shopping at Hillcroft and the reasons just don't change. Just more added every time I shop. After shopping at the Targets and Krogers, Hillcroft stores offer a chance for me to play hide n seek. You'll usually find things hidden behind cardboard cartons stacked or totally irrelevant items stacked next to each other. It sure is fun if I had the time. But being pressed for time, I was literally running from aisle to aisle and mentally ticking off my mental list. Almost done, I head towards the check out counter and I spot two cardboard boxes kind of blocking the pathway and the curious treasure-hunter and seasoned Hillcroft shopper in me made me take a peek inside the box.

The boxes held packs of pink, blue and purple powders. I held my breath, just the sight transporting me to another world. I still was not sure if I need to buy the kolam color podis after all I was pressed for time and I was sure I will not have time to decorate the small 2x2 concrete doorstep with a kolam. I almost walked away but I gave in and picked up the bags wondering how much they cost. As always you rarely find prices in the bags in Hillcroft and I stood in the que mentally drawing kolams and coloring them with my 3 colors. I was in a totally different world that I even don't feel like complaining about the happenings in the checkout lane.

After what seemed like eternity, my items were being scanned and bagged and as I waited, the guy checking out told me the price of each bag of the kolam podis and asked me if I really wanted it. By then I had no doubt, I wanted it no matter what. My grandmother who is the family's official color kolam podi purchaser would have a shock if I told her how much I spent for those three bags. But I wanted it.

And after frantic cooking on Friday morning, around 12.30pm I was done and decided it was time to indulge in and decorate my door step with my kolam. Yes at 12.30pm, the time when no self-respecting tamil ponnu is found drawing a kolam. After cleaning the area, I took the white rice powder and started tracing the lines. The feel of the coarse powder in the hands just felt right and I wondered why on earth was I not doing it regularly.

Mixing the colors I started coloring the design and soon it was a trip into memory land. The first mosquito started buzzing around (yeah Houston has mosquitoes and they are Texas sized!), I could literally smell the tortoise coils we used to light up in Trichy as we sat late at nights finishing off pretty kolams. I remember the designs to well, the girl with a head full of big flowers for my cousins birthday, the peacock one for a deepavali and so many more. It was one of those activities I loved so much when growing up. A part of my childhood, safely locked up in the back of my memory till I now.
I remember the competitions in school. I participated in the essay writing, the elocution, the quiz, the general knowledge and the rangoli competitions. I won everyone of them expect for the rangoli competitions. My lines were never straight and crisp as they should be. But I practiced for this one crazily every day, in the allotted space in my back yard. My grandmother and aunt supervising my progress. Every year, I scan the results of the rangoli competition feel dejected and then look at the other results.

I remember walking around my colony on Jan 1st and Jan 14th just to take a look at all the massive color kolams in the neighborhood. And I remember how angry I used to get when my baby bro stepped on one of the kolams or drove his bicycle over them.

As these memories filled my mind, my hand painstakingly drew the design. The lines even today are not straight or crisp as they should be. But I just have learned to accept it. And as I sat there, finishing up my design, I promised I'll write about it and draw kolams regularly. A couple of months late but still here are my memories.. to be treasured forever

Yamuna Cleanup

Caught this on MSN and it is worth a read!

And on further research I came across their site.

The Wiper

There was another cold front moving in. She had grown used to the rather warm winter this year and now it was back to the jackets and gloves weather. The evening commute back home was a killer. Traffic inching along slick roads and the creeping migraine just the fitting end to a long and hectic day.

The weather suited her melancholy. The dark clouds overhead seemed to match her confused state of mind, the roles she had to play. The drama called life she flirted just like the clouds from one to the other, sometimes white and puffy and others stormy and dark just like today.

Gripping the wheel with a death grip, eyes peeled on the road she inched forward. The wiper worked overtime to clear the raindrops on the windshield and she drove towards home. Her mind matching the overworked wiper. She had but no choice just like the poor wiper.

She drove on and it was yet another red light. It was one of those days she thought, every signal I cross is red and the wait is long. Her feet firmly on the brake, her mind mentally working on the dinner menu – the onions, the ginger, the garlic all to be finely chopped, the tomatoes and the garbanzo beans (she repeated the word a few times, she just loved the way the word rolled off her tongue) from the can. And then was the squeaking noise, the irritating one – rubber on the glass.

She faintly registered that the rain had reduced to a mere drizzle by now. Turning off the wiper, she peered hopefully through the windshield for a sight of the sun. And no such luck. Well it was past 5, too late to expect to see the sun in winter. And as she moved with the traffic and the drizzling rain alternating turning the wiper on and off, she wished she could wipe off her mind so easily! So easily just like the wiper…


Football is a religion in Texas and ofcourse with baby bro visiting us during football season we sure had to take him to a game. R and baby bro ended up at the Texans Vs. Jaguars game at the Reliant Arena. It is another story that Texans won but there was this interesting ad that Comcast (the cable company) that caught my eye.

Take a look at it!

The New Job and the old ones

As you probably know, V started her brand new first full-time job! It is sure a difference from working as a graduate assistant. The biggest difference being the working hours. As a graduate student, one loses track of day and night. Every waking hour is spent either TAing or trying out crazy ideas the adviser has. And now with fixed 8 hours of work, V kind of feels jobless! Gosh!

V's big dance program, Aaradhana is coming up in a few weeks. Sweating it out, is a pleasure! Details about the program are here. If you are in Houston, it would be great if you can drop in at the Meenakshi Temple Kalyana Mandapam on Feb 2nd for the program.

And we are still continuing our efforts with remodeling our home. The master bedroom is the next. The walls are painted, new furniture being put together. The room still has a long way to go. But it is fun and a pleasure to put in hard work and see the results.

And that is the happening at Poohsden!

A sorry excuse

This space has been lacking activity for quite a while now. And as always, I can come up with 110 reasons to explain why it is so and get away with it. Might be that is the advantage of blogging, no deadlines and no one pressurizing me to write something. And yes of course the famous writers block sets in!

I have numerous half-written drafts saved away and half-baked ideas floating around and hopefully I can get over this phase and write about things and issues that touch our lives!

Happy B'day sis

Wishing R's lil sis HS, a very Happy Birthday and many more happy returns of the day