Sunday morning Zen

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We are enjoying the sun and the sea

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Guilty as charged!

Trashed - August

I cannot wait.... Patience and me are day and night. I am know to start snooping for birthday gifts a week before and fighting and demanding for then 2 days ahead of the big day.

And today, Friday the 29th of August, I could not control it. I wanted to be in September. Wave good bye to another month and move closer to the end of the year.

The logical me (it does exist) tries to reason out why I want to move over to the next month. And I am out of answers. Might be it is the end of week and awaiting the long weekend feeling? Might be the dreamer in me wants dreams come true in September?

Well, whatever it is, my office calendar pages are turned to September!

Welcome September

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Chocolate Twirls

We hit Prego at Rice Village for our anniversary dinner and loved it. We have heard so much about the place, lived 5 minutes away from it and never got a chance to head to Prego.

In spite of the over-crowded space, noise levels and slow service, we would definitely head back to Prego for its amazing food and decent priced.

Our suggestions - Make a reservation and skip the dessert! Ruggles - a couple of blocks down is a better place for lovely desserts.

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Bitten by the Twitter bug....140 characters to translate the mood of the minute. Any other Tweeters around?

All that needs to be done now is to integrate my Blackberry with Twitter.... Soon promises R

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Grapes and Harvest

Last Saturday, we headed out to Messina Hof, a winery some 100 miles away from Houston. They were celebrating their harvest festival so we joined in the fun. Picked luscious Spanish grapes, stomped them and learned a bit about wine making and oh yeah I did forget to mention the wonderful harvest lunch served. In all, a real fun trip! Here are some pictures


Is it just me or does the whole world ( or at least Houston) look fresher and brighter? Finally the skies cleared out to a beautiful day - perfect for celebrations.

Bring out the cakes and candles! 369 candles for a really special city and 4 candles on our special cake!

Time to celebrate, time to be grateful for small and big things and time to relive and recollect memories.

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Monkey Bussiness

I have always seen three monkeys together - the wise monkeys depicting the old Japanese proverb "hear no evil, speak no evil, see no evil" I saw this at an Indian restaurant in Houston - 4 monkeys together. Does anyone know the meaning/ story behind this?

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Mosaic Squares and Answers

My favorite Houston foodie writer
tags me to do this wonderful tag! I just loved doing it.

The Rules:

  • Type your answer to the questions into flickr search
  • Using only the first page, pick an image
  • Copy and paste each of the urls in the Mosaic Maker

The Questions:

1. What is your first name?
2. What is your favorite food?
3. What high school did you go to?
4. What is your favorite color?
5. Who is your celebrity crush?
6. What is your favorite drink?
7. What is your dream vacation?
8. What is your favorite dessert?
9. What do you want to do when you grow up?
10. Who/ what do you love most in life?
11. Choose one word that describes you?
12. What is your Flickr name?

My Mosiac:

1. _7160178, 2. rasgulla, 3. Wide Angle Test, 4. yawn, 5. Saawariya, 6. Strawberry Milk Splash, 7. Galapagoes, 8. , 9. Look out., 10. Showtime!, 11. The Dancing Shiva - Nataraj, 12. Misty Morning

And now to tag,
That Guy

Taste of thunder

Growing up, it was the "grown-up's drink". Kids drank milk, fresh fruit juice and at times maaza and frooti. It was way ahead in time, when giants like Pepsi and Coca Cola had not made their way to where we grew up.

Anything prohibited is fascinating and so was carbonated drinks. In the market those days were Thumbs-up, Limca, Bovanto and Paneer Soda and everyone of those drinks I drooled over as I drank my frooti.

I do not remember my first taste of Limca, Bovanto or Paneer Soda but I clearly remember sipping Thumbs-Up and hating it. I later feel in love with Bovanto and Panner Soda but never had the guts to try Thumbs-Up.

Fast forwarding to present day, I regularly guzzle down diet coke and pepsi. And this trip to India I made sure I had my fill of Bovanto (it is available mainly in southern Tamil Nadu but found certain stores in Chennai stocking them up) and panner soda (a Trichy exclusive). I wanted to try Thumbs-up and see if my taste buds had evolved over the ages.

R being an ardent devotee of Thumbs-up started his search in the famous supermarkets and petti kadais in Velachery. No one stocked up Thumbs-Up and finally he hit gold at a small tea kadai. Excited he tasted thunder and was left disappointed.

It seems trademark strong taste of Thumbs-up had been replaced with. a rather washed down taste. Small talk with the shopkeeper enlightened us further. It seems that Thumbs-up is now a part of Pepsi and unlike Pepsi shopkeepers so not get any incentive for stocking up Thumbs-up.

Another bottle down the drain! RIP Thumbs-Up they say you were the best. I regret not trying you and loving you in your heydays.

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Rainy Tuesday

Views from the 7th floor on a rainy Tuesday morning... Who wants to work on a day like this? Bring on the pakodas n bajis....
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Homecooked meal

Homecooked treated me with a wonderful recipe for my favorite Matar Paneer (oh yeah it was a small bribe for completing a tag from her on time ;)) So, I started cooking. By no means, am I a talented chef but at times I enjoy cooking and check out the results!

I did make some small adjustments to the recipe - instead of paneer, I used ricotta cheese (whisk 15 oz of cheese and spread onto a 8 inch pan, bake at 350 degree for 35 minutes, cool, cut into pieces and fry them) and substituted butter with oil and heavy cream with fat-free milk . These substitutions were mainly because I did not have the required items on hand and I wish I had made fresh paneer instead of using ricotta cheese. It just does not taste the same.

The ingredients

Thanks Homecooked! We loved your recipe!

And our dinner - Matar Panner with roti, pickle and curd

Saturday morning fog

Guess what we are upto this foggy Saturday morning?

We are armed and dangerous

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The relationship we share

It is Raksha Bandan morrow and hopefully the brothers (KA and cousins) remember to tie thie rakhis.

As a family, we never celebrated raksha bandan. It was a tradition, I brought in some 10 years back. The brothers graduated from mickey mouse rakhis to simple elegant ones.

Sometimes, I wonder why each year I bother to do it. They love me and share it in their own way and I in mine. But like always, I send it and like always they have something special for me the next time we meet.

Beyond this thread tied once a year, there is a relationship of love, fights, jealousy, hatred, security, pocessiveness, protective instinct we share - these that make life worth living.

Good luck and may all your dreams n hopes come true!
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Blank Month

Do you have a monthly calendar? The kind where you flip the sheet over end of every month (or is the start of every month?)

What is the first thing you look for? As a child it always was the pictures, we fought to get the calendar with the best pictures and treasured them. Long after the month was over, the colorful picture was either preserved carefully or it formed the cover of a notebook.

Times and perspectives have changed, now I scan the calendar as I turn the sheets every month for holidays. I know it sounds kiddish but mid-week holidays and long weekends make it a happy month! I feel happy even if it not a holiday where I work, it is just a feeling of holidays. It is like getting a whiff of briyani at your friend's place though you know plain old sambhar sadam awaits you at home.

August is a blank month and everyday I stare at the calendar and it depresses me. As if my stares can change anything. The lovely picture of Black-Eyed Susans in the calendar unfortunately do not make me happy.

It is almost September, I consoled myself and took a peek into the next sheet. Joys abundant, labor day, ramadhan, first day of autumn and more!

I think I need an Indian calendar at work to cheer me up. After all, the blank month of August boosts of all the Aadi festivities, Varalakshmi Puja, Avani avitam and Gokulastami.

BTW, why are Christmas stuff out in all stores? It is months away and I have millions of nitty-gritty stuff to do before Christmas.

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Indian Pride

Tamil Mirchi, the radio station we are a part of is having an interesting discussion/poll on reasons to be proud as an India. We would be really grateful if you can take a minute to pop over there, vote and voice your views. You can check it out here!

Travel Tales

Travelogues of our vacation are being updated at
Take a look

Photos from the trip will at some point of time be up at

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View from the 7th floor

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Classified ads!

If bored and you need something entertaining and fun to do (after checking all the mails, reading all blog posts, commenting, reading n replying to wall posts and scraps) online the best place to be is reading the fun stuff on classified websites like craigslist and backpage. Believe me, they are better the "fair, beautiful, slim, homely" matrimonial classified that grace Indian newspapers and websites.

I just came across this on Houston's Craigslist and doubled with laughter. Here is what the ad reads,

Painting for sale of which that have not yet been painted.

I am not an expert in painting but I have strong emotions. I do not have a porfolio but I have faint memories of what I have created in the past. My mind is creative but is handicapped because I lost the love of a girl and the obsession of my mind may have what caused the lost.

I will paint a painting of your choice and influenced by my handicapped creativity and broken heart for 1 million dollars. After I have painted the painting if it leads to the reuniting of myself and the heart that I long for then she will paint you a painting (she knows not of this).

Anyone got a million dollars to spare to buy the above mentioned paintings?

The "I" Tag

Just as I am trying to sort through my muddled thoughts, Homecooked tags me... so here we go before I forget

I am: currently confused

I think: all the time

I want: World peace (ha! Now I get the crown;))

I have: nothing I asked for but more than I ever expected

I wish: I can take life as it comes without micromanaging

I hate: hate is too strong a word... it is rare that I hate anything... I dislike hypocrites

I miss:being around family.. life seems complete when around loved ones

I fear: losing loved ones

I feel: happy yet worried and worried yet confident (oh yeah! I said I have too many muddled thoughts on my mind)

I hear: almost silence other than my fingers typing away on my keyboard

I crave: family time

I search: for unless trivia all the time...

I regret: not being able to spend more time in India

I love: too many things

I care: about people and causes I am passionate about

I am not: easily content

I believe: in the support of loved ones

I dance: like there is no tomorrow

I sing: very rarely

I cry: for petty stuff

I don’t always: follow my heart and regret it later

I fight: for what I believe in

I write: my emotions

I win: because I want to

I lose: because I lose concentration mid-way

I never: will say no to travel

I always: believe in living every minute

I confuse: myself and others around me

I listen: to lot of unwanted stuff!

I can usually be found: with my laptop

I am scared: of what I fear

I need: alone time every now and then

I am happy about: the fact that I was able to spend nearly a month in India!

Too many muddled thoughts

Tropical Storm Edouard fortunately left us without much damage. Some rains and a holiday were the most we got out of Edouard. There are so many assorted thoughts and things I want to write about but putting it into sentences and trying to make sense of them seems to be a hard work so am taking the easy way out. I am just going to put down a list of things I want to write about least I forget them and hopefully in the next couple of weeks I get back to these topics and write about them.

  • Trichy memories
  • Family reunions
  • Velachery
  • Gated communities
  • Horns
  • Parking
  • Emirates
  • Dubai - old n new
  • Smog in Dubai
  • Thumbsup
  • Bomb blasts n mirror!
These are the ones I can think of for now! Some many not be individual posts, some might be linked to our travel blog... but yes I need to get back to blogging!

Bringing in a hurricane

We are back in town, right in time for a hurricane. Tropical storm brewing in the gulf, ready to hit the gulf coast. Houston does need somw rain.
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Test post from the new Blackberry. I am falling in love with it
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Back in Houston!

We are back in Houston after a long tiring journey. This trip has left us recharged yet exhausted, happy yet sad.... yeah complicated...

As we get back into routine, we plan to unpack not just the 200 odd pounds we carried back but the baggage each of us personally accumulated during the trip. It will be a journey within ourselves and the lessons we learn and discover hopefully will make a difference to ourselves and others.

India trip was wonderful inspite of spending quite a lot of time, coughing and sneezing! Will have more about our trip soon....

Kuselan - After Dasavataram another ego trip of a different kind!