Saturday, December 27, 2008

A sabbatical- and back!

Yes. This is long overdue. My apologies to this blog for not being faithful. It has been 3 months since I wrote over here. Something I deeply regret. But then, I have realised that not 'having time' is a lame excuse. You don't get time, you make the time to write. I hope to do so on a regular basis, if not frequently. I fear that my writing skills will rust; something I consider I am endowed with. So, I would like to hold onto that. Writing here is like talking to myself. Which also implies, I haven't done that for a while now. But, it's always good to be back home! 

Readers of my blog (if any) will know that I do write one blog at the end of the year.  Reminds me how long I have been into the fascinating world of blogging. Also, how time passes by. I don't want to break that small 'tradition' of mine; and so, here I am. Taking a rough mental stock of the year that passed by.

This year is special for a variety of reasons, on the personal front and in general. To start off on a personal note, this year marks my 'transplantation' from my State, Kerala, to another- Karnataka; from home to hostel. A remarkable change for me!

Thoroughly bred on home food, enjoying the comforts of being at home, and pushing my mom around, I am now in another State and another city- Mysore. Destiny and CAT has put me at the foothills of Chamundi. And so, here I am in SDM IMD. Finally, I have a record of this on my blog! A good journey so far; hope the best is yet to come. 

I was always a bit hesitant at the thought of being away from home; but having done that, it doesn't seem such a big deal. 
Sometimes, I wonder- have I outgrown my home? My town? Is that possible? 
Pretty late in the day, others would say; especially those who have done their under-graduation in hostels; or have been in residential schools all their life. But, everything has its time, and this year was for me to shift. After 13 years in Kerala, I have shifted base. Talking of which, the number 13 plays a VERY significant role in my life. Maybe more of that later.

And yes, yours truly is the Associate Editor of the SDM IMD quarterly student’s journal, Dimensions. Well, just telling you that, ‘cause that’s a first in my life; another interesting ‘dimension’ to me!

Another significant event- dad has finally come home to stay! After a 27-year long stay in Dubai, he has finally quit the place and come home for good. Given the fact that mom was alone (since we both are at Mysore), we thought it best to ask dad to come back. No point in a 'scattered' existence (if I may say so). So he's happily back to lazing around and enjoying day-long cricket matches! Most importantly, to where his heart is- at home.

Talking generally, the economic slowdown stands out as the singlemost prominent event. Greed never pays; the financial crisis, hopefully, has opened the eyes of many.  Move over Kareena's zero-size figure; the only figures people seemed to rant were the inflation rate, repo rate, reverse repo rate, CRR, SLR and so on and so forth! And not to forget, the blasts across time and space that have disrupted peace and flamed violence. Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Mumbai....pardon me if I can't recall all...there have been many in the past one year. And add to that communal and regional chauvinism (read: Orissa church attacks and Shiv Sena-Maharashtra imbroglio) and then you can surmise how the year was.

Silver lining? Hard to find...Abhinav Bindra's Olympic Gold Medal? Parvathy Omanakuttan's runner's up title? Sometimes, all this seems futile. I am in no way belittling their accomplishments. Yet, if we could all sleep well at night and not fear the unknown lurching in the dark, I would say, that was worth a million titles. These tragic incidents appear to my mind like incidents aimed at disrupting the social warp and weft of our country. Instead of being divided, it’s the time for Indians to be together and react as a unified nation; and not get bogged down by the nitty-gritty. No wonder it was a tough year for the Government. Crises to be handled, public to be pleased. The year 2009 is no doubt going to be a crucial year, as the elections are scheduled as well.

Well all is not lost. Life goes on, and so must we.
Hope you all have a fantastic year ahead. Let us hope and pray that this year gives a bunch of pleasant surprises and makes possible the impossible. Happy New Year !

"Thought for the day: Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly."
- Lanston Hughes

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Daddy's Little Girl

Daddy and I went to the park.
And boy, was I thrilled!
I touched the clouds,
When on the swing.
The world was spinning,
When on the merry-go-round.
My heart leapt,
When on the giant wheel.

We came back; Mommy ain’t back yet.
“Li’l angel”, he called;
“Where are you? Come to Daddy.”
I was hiding in his bedroom,
Underneath the bed.
“There you are!” he exclaimed.
He swept me off the floor,
And threw me onto the bed.

He tickled me so hard,
That I couldn’t stop laughing.
Then he planted a wet kiss,
On my cheek; it felt weird.
I looked into his eyes.
But couldn’t seem to find my Daddy.
He looked more like a stranger to me.

He gently pushed the curls off my face,
He put me onto his lap.
He started to touch me all over.
I wanted to cry; but didn’t know why.
I wished my Mommy would come soon;
Maybe she could help me now.
But then… he can’t be harming me…
I am Daddy’s little girl.

This one is for all the perverted Dads out there. Don't crush these blooms even before
they blossom.

Thought for the day: " Children are like wet cement. Whatever falls on them makes an impression."

Friday, August 01, 2008

The Night - Flash Fiction

The wind was unusually cold that night. But Rita did not mind. She liked sitting on the low bridge, with her feet touching the surface of the water. It felt like she was dipping her feet in a pool of black ink. It was quiet and serene, except for the croaking of frogs and the occasional hoots of owls.

The curtain of clouds hid the moon. She waited. She had to see it.
Gradually, the clouds parted and the moon revealed itself, like a coy woman emerging
from her veil. Rita soaked in the grandeur of the night.
It seemed like the most beautiful night of her life.

She did not realise when her vision started to blur; or when she started to feel dizzy.
The blood was still flowing from her slashed wrist when she fell into the stillness of the lake.

P.S. This is my first attempt at a genre called 'flash fiction'.

What exactly is flash fiction ? Well, that in itself, is a very debated topic. Also called microfiction, sudden fiction, micro-story and postcard fiction, it is characterised by extreme brevity. The average flash fiction will be less than 400 words, with some exceptions that reach as much as 750 words. The form is strictly prose.


Thought for the day: "Death is more universal than life; everyone dies but not everyone lives."

Friday, July 04, 2008

If I could

If I could just embrace you once,
And feel the warmth of your arms.

If I could lock my lips with yours,
And seal the deal of romance.

If I could look into your eyes,
And see the same passion raging wild.

If I could have you by my side,
And whisper sweet nothings to you.

If I could entwine your hands in mine,
And walk along the sunny seashore.

If I could be with you for a day,
And that day would never end.

If I could, I would let you know.
My dear, I would never let you go.
Thought for the day: " Love does not consist of gazing at each other, but in looking together in the same direction."
~ Antoine De Saint - Exupery

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Forbidden Fruit

“Regular please”,
Akash ordered. The waiter bowed and left.
He liked coming to this hotel. The ambience, the dim lights, the peace and quiet (but for the occasional brawl) and the soothing music. He was transported to a different world. A respite from the routine of day-to-day activities. Here he was one among the many. Unnoticed and undisturbed. He waited for his drink. His thoughts, meanwhile, meandered.


There was none like Meera. She was young, vivacious and charming. She was no extra-ordinary beauty. A plain Jane, if you will. But anyone would take note of her. A smile forever plastered on her face, a song forever on her lips. Music was her life.
It was no surprise then that Akash did not fail to notice her. He didn’t realize when she had not only moved into the next house, but also into his heart.

How did it begin?

Music…music it was. It was the one thing that drew him close to Meera. Though a very mediocre singer, he was an avid fan of old Hindi songs. She was his voice. When she sang his favourite songs, the lilt in her voice enamoured him.

“Akash uncle”, Meera called out, “We shall meet tomorrow”.

That was the only problem. Uncle. He was married and a good fifteen years elder to Meera. And he despised it.

Whenever she was free, Meera would come over to his house. He knew that his wife, Malini, was also fond of Meera. The couple was childless and Meera was the only solace in Malini’s life. Her incessant talks and music filled the barren house. In the evenings, he and Meera would settle down to a session of music and movies. She would eagerly devour the anecdotes he narrated. And she would sing songs and mesmerize him.
One day, his heart quelled the doubts that disturbed his mind. Yes!
He was in love- with Meera.


“Your drink, Sir”, the waiter announced. It disturbed Akash from his reverie. He nodded and the waiter took leave. As he took his first sip, his thoughts loitered. He picturised that particular evening in his mind. He remembered it distinctly; like it had happened yesterday.


Malini had left for the temple. She would be late, she said. She would stop at Shyama’s place on the way back. They had to go shopping. Akash found it an extremely pleasant proposition. Now only if Meera would come.

And she did. “Where’s Malini aunty?” she enquired. “She’s gone to the temple”, Akash replied. A couple of songs later, Meera suggested, “I guess I should leave”.
One more song Meera”, Akash requested. And that one song made all the difference.

Aaj jaane ki zidd na karo
Yunhi pehlu mein baithe raho
Aaj jaane ki zidd na karo
Haay mar jaayenge, hum to lut jaayenge
Aisi baatein kiya na karo
Aaj jaane ki zidd na karo

Akash was moved beyond words. Farida Khanum seemed to mouth his sentiments. And Meera, with her eyes half-closed, stirring passionately with every harkat in the song aroused in him feelings he had bottled for long. She continued…

Waqt ki qaid mein zindagi hai magar
Chand ghadiyan yehi hain jo aazad hai
Inko khokar mere jaan-e-jaan
Umr bhar na taraste raho
Aaj jaane ki zidd na karo

He didn’t want to repent not trying. He touched Meera’s hand. She stopped singing and opened her eyes, to find his hand on hers. Akash couldn’t hold his thoughts back any longer. They tumbled out like stones rolling down a steep slope. He felt like a well-shaken champagne bottle that has just been unplugged. Everything was out in a moment, with a lot of fizz and very less remained to be said. After this barrage of words, he felt exhausted yet exhilarated. Finally relieved to get it off his chest. Meera just listened. And then she smiled. She felt as if someone had put her thoughts into words. She had felt a strange connection to Akash. And then the moment had revealed it – the feelings were mutual. Akash couldn’t believe it. She echoed his sentiments. From then on, their rendezvous took another flavour.


The waiter appeared again. Akash ordered the next drink.
Where had things gone wrong?
Ah yes! He recollected…


Malini had gone to her native place. He was alone. And Meera had come along, as usual.
There was a particularly uncomfortable silence between them that day. Tension was palpably in the air. She started to sing…

Piya tose naina laage re
Naina laage re
Jaane kyaa ho ab aage re…

The next thing she knew, Akash had almost embraced her. He felt his heart thump hard. He had almost engulfed her in his warmth. But he froze. His eyes fell on their photo. Malini and him. Together and happy. A pang of guilt confounded him.

Meera snorted. “Thought of your wife, didn’t you?” she mocked him. Something he could not deny. He remained silent. She stepped back and continued,
“This relationship has no future. It’s a dead end. Cul-de-sac. You have your family and that is your priority. I will have one in the future; that will be mine. Why fall into a pit with eyes open? This will be labelled as infidelity, promiscuity and what not! I will be called the seductress and marriage-wrecker. I am the woh in 'Pati, patni aur woh'. Can a tawaaif ever become the wife???” And she laughed at her own self-depreciatory joke.

“I may have a place in your heart, but none in your life. This is a forbidden fruit, Akash. Don’t taste it. You will live to repent it.”

“It’s not meant to be, Akash. Just not meant to be.” She said. “I have a career to pursue, in singing. One day, I will be a famous singer. Remember me then.” Saying this, she left his house. And his life.


“Your drink Sir.” Oh yes…he had ordered one. “Thanks” he replied. The waiter left him to himself. He had always wondered. Was it true love? A heightened sense of admiration? Or a passing infatuation? He would never know. She never gave it a chance. But he could never forget her.

Ek tum hi nahi tanha
Ulfat mein mere ruswa
Ulfat mein mere ruswa

Meera still had that lilt to her voice. Akash opened his eyes and saw her sing; with her eyes half-closed. Years had added grace and depth to her singing. He smiled sadly. For all her ambitions, she was relegated to a singer…at a hotel. But he knew she was born to sing for him. Forever.

Is shehar mein tum jaise
Deewane hazaron hai
Deewane hazaron hai

In aankhon ke masti ke
Mastane hazaaron hai….

He closed his eyes and reclined in his chair. He drifted into a world of his own. Where all his dreams came true…
Thought for the day: " The greatest thing you'll ever learn
Is to love and be loved in return."
~ From Unforgettable with Love by Natalie Cole

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Safety Pins

I'm guessing no one's unfamiliar with this thing called the safety pin.

Of course, it prevents the 'drapes' from falling off and causing embarrassment; it holds the dupatta in place and averts the breeze from being mischievous.
But there's more to safety pins.

Picture this. I am in the dark interiors of a cinema hall. A Hindi movie is ablaze on-screen. I am comfortably settling to the proceedings. The movie is Kareeb.
And then, I realize, much to my discomfort, that there's an intruder!
A man, seated behind me, has stretched his legs and is wiggling his toes at the back of my seat.
I guess I don't have to tell you how 'exactly' it was unnerving. For the uninitiated, it was in the vicinity of my derriere (this is as explicit I am going to get!).

All of thirteen then, it was my first brush with the lecherous lot. It does suffice to say, I lost my innocence right then. And the irony...let's just say, his feet were too Kareeb for comfort !

My brain is pushed into the fourth gear. I wonder how to tackle this? I have half a mind to stand up, turn around and slap the guy. But, that will just attract a lot of attention; and not to forget, I will ruin the movie experience for others as well. Moreover, I was with my family and I didn't want them to know this (I don't know why!).
In despair, I look around. And EUREKA! A movie scene distills out from my memory. And I proceed with 'Operation POKEmon’. I carefully extract the safety-pin which I used to pin up my dupatta. The man proceeds with his next attempt. I let him. And then, I strategically position my safety pin and wait patiently; like a tiger lying low for his prey.
The next thing I feel is a pressure on my pin!! Needless to say, the humble pin had done its job.
I am only amused that he didn't shriek out in pain. The jab prevented further attempts.
I watch the movie in peace.
Now you know why it's called the 'safety' pin.

Being a woman, I am used to this and more. The 'innocuous' brushes and 'accidental' touches by men are commonplace. I am sure others from my ilk will agree. Women who commute daily by train or buses will have more stories to share. And that's why chilly powder, pepper powder and safety pins have replaced diamonds as a 'girl's best friend'. These household items have a newfound respect in women's hearts.

Thank God for the safety pin!!

P.S. – Actually, thank Walter Hunt. He invented the safety pin. The safety pin was invented while Walter Hunt was twisting a piece of wire, trying to think of something that would help him pay off a fifteen dollar debt. On April 10, 1849, the safety pin was patented. Walter Hunt also thought little of his safety pin as an invention and soon sold the patent for four hundred dollars. Then he watched his latest brainstorm go on to become a million dollar money earner for someone else.

Thought for the day : " Imagination was given to man to compensate him for what he is not; a sense of humor to console him for what he is. "
~ Francis Bacon

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The 'Brand' new Indian !

Mera joota hai Japani,

Yeh patloon Englishtani,

Sar pe lal topi Roosi…

Forget that it was circa 1955. Forget that it was Raj Kapoor á la Charlie Chaplin tramp.
Forget that he was a penniless vagabond, content with the ‘small things’ in life.
Wipe off all pre-conceived notions and sing again; probably the image you will conjure up is that of a modern-day yuppie. That is today’s Indian for you.

He is a walking, talking advertisement for the latest brands. He gives a new meaning to the phrase ‘brand ambassador’! Armed with a swanky mobile, latest four-wheel drive, and suitably decked in designer wear; he’s all set to take on the world.

Thanks to globalization, India has opened her floodgates to foreign companies and brands. With a burgeoning population of one billion plus and a booming economy, India is the market to capture. Consumerism seems to rule the roost. And no wonder. With the explosion of media, we are constantly at the receiving end of vigorous campaigning and advertising. And today, armed with a hefty pay packet, the yuppie has innumerable spending options. And surprisingly (at least for me), India has been pushed into the league of the most brand conscious countries globally. India comes at the third place in this survey, at the heels of Greece and Hong Kong.

A news channel recently termed this phenomena ‘affluenza’; and rightly so. We are becoming richer…too soon; too fast. The filthy rich have the ‘got it, flaunt it’ syndrome. The flip side is the increasing tendency to gravitate towards brands. And woes betide you, if you don’t know the brands. “Arma…what?” - and you will get disbelieving stares. “Gooki?”- (Gucci) and you will be ridiculed!

And that explains the booming ‘mall culture’. Everyone is out to grab a share from the ‘affluence’ pie. “Niche is the new mass”, screamed the cover page of a business magazine. Companies are targeting the ultra-rich in order to boost their bottom lines. Profit by increasing sales volumes is passé. Premium pricing and exclusivity is in.
Limited editions, anyone?

And move over adults and teens. Tweens are the next big thing. “Catch ‘em young”, goes an adage and the companies are taking it to heart. Disney has already struck gold with Hannah Montana and High School Musical. The collectibles are selling like hot-cakes and has left the tweens gasping for more. Add the passing on of guilt money, and we have a recipe for disaster. Quality time not spent with kids is settled with ‘pocket money’, leaving children in the driver’s seat. They are far more aware of choices at their disposal, and now have the resources to indulge. Subsequently, consumerism has trickled down to the very base.

What is more disturbing is what eventually comes out of this- exhibitionism. Everyone is fixated with showing-off their priced possessions. Add to this concoction, the off-shoots of such a lifestyle. Now we even have something called Oniomania (A medical term for a shopaholic). Oniomania, can now replace diabetes as a ‘rich man’s disease’. What more can happen, only time will reveal.

Back to the song:

“Phir bhi dil hai Hindustani…”

I leave that for you to figure out.

Thought for the day:" Life is wasted on the living."

Thursday, April 24, 2008


It was the Vishu weekend and we switched on the TV. All the channels were dishing out their usual fare. As we surfed the channels, we chanced across one channel showing Manichitrathazhu. And needless to say, our search ended.


Nakulan (Suresh Gopi) and his wife Ganga (Shobhana) come back to his native town for a vacation. They insist on staying at the Madampally tharavadu, much to the discomfort of his uncle Thampi (Nedumudi Venu), who is displeased at their decision. Nevertheless, he gives in to his non-superstitious nephew, but with a terse warning never to unlock the Thekkini. The reason is this: the house was haunted by the ghost of a Bharatanatyam dancer of yore, Nagavalli. The Karnavar (or the King) apparently didn’t approve of the love that bloomed between Nagavalli and a local dancer, Ramanathan. Hence, he is said to have killed her. The ghost is said to have been haunting the place since then. After much trouble and pujas, she has been trapped into the Thekkini. And unlocking the room means unleashing the troubled ghost thirsty for revenge.But one day, Ganga gets a duplicate key made and unlocks the thazhu of Thekkini (much like opening the Pandora’s Box) that leads to a series of strange, inexplicable occurrences.

Misfortune befalls the family. Plates break mysteriously, sarees catch fire, a forlorn voice sings Tamil songs at odd hours of the night, a girl is almost suffocated to death and a ghost walks the house with her ghungroos creating havoc than music!
Nakulan refuses to concede to the ‘ghost theory’ and concludes Sreedevi (Vinaya Prasad), his cousin, is mentally unstable and is the one behind the mysterious happenings. Nakulan beckons Dr. Sunny Joseph (Mohanlal), his friend and renowned psychiatrist, to pitch in and cure Sreedevi of her ailment.

And one day, truth unveils itself, as Sunny realizes that the real patient at Madampally tharavadu is not Sreedevi, but Ganga. And how he goes about to save Ganga from her psychotic alter ego forms the crux of the movie.


Undoubtedly, Shobhana takes the cake. The contrast she brings in her portrayal of the affable Ganga and the blood-thirsty Nagavalli is remarkable. No one can forget the scene where she is denied permission to go shopping for gold. The change in her facial expressions and intonation (along with the super-human feat of lifting a cot single-handedly) engrosses the audience and leaves one spell-bound. Sample this:

When she growls, Vidamatte??, a chill goes down our spines!
As also her dialogue that starts: “Innekku Durgashtami...unne naan konnu...”
And she puts her dancing skill to good use, in the climax, where Ganga has been completely taken over by Nagavalli. The song ‘Oru murai vanthu….’ is a tribute to her exceptional talent.
No wonder then, that this performance got her a National Award.

Another person who needs to be mentioned for contributing to her splendid performance is the dubbing artist, Bhagyalakshmy. The role wouldn’t have been half as effective, if it weren’t for her voice.

Mohanlal appears towards the latter part of the movie, but is highly effective in his role. He goes on to show that it’s not the quantity but the quality that matters. The scene where he discloses that Ganga is the psychotic patient, to Nakulan, is a classic. His style of narration is absolutely riveting.

And of course, the climax, which he masterminds and compels Nagavalli into believing that she has avenged her death is brilliant:

He also carries off the comical scenes well, like:
** His arrival- the way he elaborately ‘enacts’ how he reached Madampally.
** The bathroom tiff with Lalitha
** Scenes with Vinaya Prasad (when he goes to check on her)
** ‘Kindi’ scene (with Sudheesh)

Suresh Gopi is adequate as the doting husband. He is convincing as the non-superstitious, new age guy who finds manthravadam and puja karmams out-dated.

The others, including Nedumudi Venu, Innocent, Lalitha, Vinaya Prasad, Kuthiravattom Pappu, Ganesh Kumar, Thilakan, etc have also given commendable performances.


The songs are good and appropriately placed in the movie. They are not forced into the plot (except for maybe “Pazham tamil paattu…”). Special mention must be made of Johnson’s background music. Most of the time, the suspense and ‘horror’ is created and sustained by the background music alone.


Fazil has done a brilliant job as the captain of the ship. It is also common knowledge that Priyadarshan, Sibi Malayil and Siddique-Lal helped with the direction (some say, even split and directed the entire movie). This movie could be slotted into the ‘horror’ genre. But it’s interesting to note how the director doesn’t rely on graphics, weird animations or bhoots in white saris holding candles (!) to create the aura of horror.

My Take:

I can never tire of watching this movie. I have watched this umpteen times, since the movie released (I was 8 years old then). It never fails to thrill me. This movie, for me, is equivalent to wholesome entertainment.
I have never ‘dared’ to watch the remakes of this movie. It has been re-made in Kannada (Aaptamitra), Bengali (Rajmohol), Tamil (Chandramukhi) and off-late, in Hindi (Bhool Bhulaiyya). It’s purely because I am dead-sure that NOBODY can recreate the magic of Manichitrathazhu. Nor can anyone be as convincing as Shobhana.
It is, no doubt, a classic. Watch Manichitrathazhu and unlock the ‘spirit’!!!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Hide and Seek

This is my latest creation. A poem.
Read it and let me know what you thought of it !


"I am going to start counting",
The little child screamed.
His excitement was mounting;
The game was fun; or so it seemed.

"One, two, three, four, five, six;
You better find a good place to hide";
Life held up its sleeve strange tricks;
Unknown to him, his childhood had died.

He opened his eyes only to find
Himself in a land so strange;
"Now am I out of my mind?
Or did things around here change?"

Books seemed to float mid-air,
This must be my worst nightmare!
Calendars without holidays?
Oh boy! What can I say?

You finish off work to get more instead?
Is this all you do till you drop dead?
Infinite chores and unpaid bills;
Worries don't end there; there's more still.

It hit him then...he could see
That life wasn't as it used to be.
He was drained of every drop of joy;
Realization dawned; he was no longer a boy!

The child retorted and then he said:

I want to go to the beach and get sandy,
And sink my teeth into cotton candy;
I want to enjoy climbing a tree,
Be in Nature's lap and breathe free.

With my friends I want to play ball,
Lay down on a heap of leaves in fall.
And get all wet in the rain;
Knowing no sorrow; knowing no pain.

But then he awoke after a sleep
And was extremely surprised to find,
He was a boy again; it made him weep,
God is great! He is indeed kind!

I will have to grow up tomorrow,
And face life's joys and sorrows.
For now, let me have things my way;
Let me be a child today.

Thought for the day:
I'd give all wealth that years have piled,
The slow result of Life's decay,
To be once more a little child
For one bright summer day.
~Lewis Carroll, "Solitude"

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

What's in a name?

Now that I have nothing much to do, I am either reading books, watching TV or surfing the internet. Well, out of sheer boredom (and also probably to massage my ego) I decided to Google my name and see what results I get. are laughing; but I bet atleast some of you have tried that. Just to see what wonders your name might reveal in this unending expanse that is the cyber world. (Or is it just me? Am I the sole nut case?)

Nevertheless, with high hopes I type in "vinitha" in the search bar and hit 'go'.
And lo ! Behold ! Many links pop up...
The first one-
*Vinitha Menon ...Hot Indian Desibabe
( I don't have to tell you what kind of a site it is).
Yuck....I dread to go on....Is there nothing good associated with the name?

I garner hope and go ahead to the next link...and what do we have here?

* Vinitha- famous Tamil heroine: arrested on a charge of prostitution

Gosh ! I wished for something 'good'...and it goes from bad to worse.
Neeeexxxttt !

* The next few links turned out to be profiles of other Vinithas on social networking sites.
Not interesting.

* Then there was the "kanchi silk sari vinitha".
Confused ? turns out that Vinitha is the name of a particular model of sari being sold online....the sari wasn't bad, by the way !

* Then I stumble upon "Vinitha Industries"- manufacturers of machines.
That's a good start, I think to myself. There's an enterprise by my name !

* My biggest find was Vinitha Nedungadi. She's a Mohiniyattam dancer. I'd seen her performance at the Siva temple near my house (for the Sivaratri celebrations held there).
I was mesmerised by her performance. It was a pleasure to have discovered her site.
Well then... I'll soon be contacting her and paying her compliments for that performance. (Though I think her site has not been updated for quite some time now).

Well, not bad. There's a danseuse by that name... my hopes rise; I proceed.

* The next site I stumbled upon was that of the artist Vinitha Anand. And guess what?
She's the great grand-daughter of the sister of Raja Ravi Varma ! This is the first time I got to know of her. I browsed through her site....and I'd recommend you to do that as well. Under the 'gallery' section of the site, you'll find a display of her works. I loved the use of lines and colours. It might appear simple, but I bet you need a LOOOT of talent to put that on canvas. I especially liked the "Music in nature" series.

Wow ! An incredibly talented artist by that name....

* Then I find out that there's a singer by that name. She has sung in the recent Malayalam movie, 'Calcutta News'....and guess what ? There's another singer by the name Vijitha !!!
How creepy can this get ? I mean, you have singers Vijitha and Vinitha, who have sung a song in the movie !!! That's my sister's and my name !
Anybody who can furnish further information on these singers are welcome. Well, here's
hoping they become GREAT singers!!
(Am I wishing so because of their names?! Am I trying to vicariously become famous?)

Well, so much for me and my 'googling' ! I didn't (obviously) go through all the links that were there. After all, the search results run into pages on google.

What are you waiting for ? Google your name and 'discover' more.

Thought for the day: "A man's face is his autobiography. A woman's face is her work of fiction." - Oscar Wilde

Thursday, February 07, 2008

On being twins

Well, it has been quite a while since I posted. So I thought that I should share with you my experience on being twins ! Actually, I had written an article in my college magazine echoing this sentiment...and hence, I'm going to reproduce it here verbatim.


The woman in the pink sari has been staring at us for some time now. She approaches us, albeit hesitantly, and asks, "Are you both sisters?"
I smile and say (for the nth time), "Actually, we are twins".
"Aaah ! I guessed as much. Both of you look the same!", the lady replies. We smile back (as always).
Believe me, this is not an isolated incident. We've had strangers strike up conversations with us at supermarkets, in the bus, at hopitals and even on the roads! Yes....because we happen to be twins. Many a time, it's subtly acknowledged. When people notice we are similar, their eyes dart like tennis balls on court. Their perplexed expression gives way to a smug look as they 'deduce' the fact that we are twins.
In other words, life is 'different' being twins. For one, you get noticed instantly; and you are not forgotten easily either. Now, I still haven't figured out whether it's advantageous or not, because attracting unnecessary attention isn't exactly my cup of tea. We've had our share of amusing incidents as well. For instance, I attend a viva voce, and my twin later steps in to attend hers. And the teacher unwittingly asks, "Didn't you just attend the viva? Why are you back?". Or like the other time a Sir came to class, looked at both of us and said, " You both seem to be related", at which the whole class broke out into laughter.
When we were small, we used to be literally 'mirror-images', that is, the same dress, hairstyle, accessories and so on. I guess it was quite a 'cute' sight then. Now we consciously avoid wearing the same kind of outfit (would look quite strange now, don't you think ?)
As much fun as it may seem, there are some 'not-so-nice' things about being twins. If I were to single out the most prominent disadvantage, it would be being considered 'substitutes'. We are not the same; we are just similar. This fine difference is often neglected. Teachers jumbling up our marks at school is ample proof of their non-chalance when it comes to our 'identity' ! Thankfully, here our names are not in alphabetic order and hence no confusion arises. Another of our constant worries is the 'double' expenditure we simultaneously incur. But then, it's inevitable, I guess.
Even though I may crib about such minor inconveniences, the fact remains that it couldn't get better. Being the same age, having the same friends and doing common things (so far) have made us almost ' inseparable'.

Let me end with a few 'interesting' questions we've answered in the past two decades of being twins.
Why 'interesting' ?? Sample these :-

* Question to me: "What's your date of birth?"
And then to my sis: "And yours?"

(Hhhmmm...and that too inspite of being told we're TWINS!)

* Old bottle:
To me: "Which class are you studying in?"
To my sis: "And you ?"

( Okay.....why ? Did you expect one of us to fail ?)

* "Can your parents distinguish between you both?"

(Yes they's amazing, isn't it ?!)

* "Will you marry twins?"

(No comments!)
And by the way, a friend of ours even went to the extent of imagining us marrying twins and having twins of our own.....leading to confusion among the four kids ; not to mention,the husbands!

* Oh ! You've rhyming names !
( helps to further confuse people!)

* On seeing us, people say either of the two:
"You look just the same" OR " You can't be twins, you both look different!"
For the record, we are FRATERNAL twins; not identical twins.

* "Do you both fight/quarrel ?"

(Yes we any othe pair of sisters.....or are we not 'supposed' to ?)

So long folks !


Well, at this juncture, let me add another angle to this 'twin' business. We've always stayed together since birth. I can't think of an extended period of separation we've undergone. But things changed when, for our RAWE programme, we were 'split'. The class was divided into two batches and we were to intern at separate research stations. And we were (intentionally) put in two separate batches. It was for the first time that we were going to be separated for weeks. Initially, I found it difficult....let's say, 1-2 days. I got over it pretty soon. My sis, though, took some more days to adjust. That's when I realised another flip side to being twins. When you are close to your twin, you will not think of making another 'close' friend (atleast for me). It holds you from socialising, as you tend to be real close with your twin and you know that nobody else is going to be as close.
Often, friends told us that we (my sis and me) stay away and that we are happy with ourselves. It hit me the most during the weeks of separation. I realised that it's necessary to be apart from your twin to try and know others better....most importantly, to discover yourself.
For once, I was alone... I was an individual.
Infact, I got to realise my individuality when I was alone. And I realised that others also got to know me better. The fact that we are together deterred others also from knowing us individually. In short, the whole incident was an eye-opener.
Now, we again stand at another milestone of our lives. We're done with our graduation (yes, the same course, same college..and in the same class!).
Twenty-two years of togetherness....quite a lot, isn't it ? There have been times when we fight like crazy and we have had terrible verbal much so that if somebody were to hear our tirades against each other, they would think that we were enemies !!! But through all that (and more) we've stayed together. Let's just say we 'agree to disagree' at times !

But let me say this much, having a twin is great....infact I came across this statement said by another twin in the TWINS community in orkut. She said, "I think the others are lonely because they have no twins".

I'll drink to that !

Thought for the day: "Failing to plan is planning to fail".

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

My last post

Last post.....for the year that is !!! Gotcha... hehehe.

Well, looking back...what a splendid year it has been.
I feel reaaalllly nice when I think of the year that passed. I frankly don't remember the
first half of the year. It was pretty uneventful. But the latter half of the year just rocked.
First of all, we finished off the 'exam' business... atleast for the time being. We wrote off the last exam in the 7th sem. After which we proceeded to the Rural Agricultural Work Experience (RAWE) programme, a four-month long training process. Boy ! Was it fun....
It was tiring to say the least, but I guess these 4 months gave more memories we'd cherish than the past four years in college. Saying that things were not going 'well' within our batch would be an understatement. We actually had enough of it and were dying to leave (atleast I was!).
But then, we began to bond well during our training... and then, the rest of the days were like
a celebration....of togetherness !!
Made me wonder why we didn't even 'try' before.
It took a RAWE to bring about a semblance of amity in our batch.
Well, as they say, 'better late than never' .

And on the 'professional' front... I gave the dreaded CAT on 18th November, 2007. And that was one helluva experience. Its repercussions will reverberate in the year that ensues. Well, let's say I avoid thinking of the prospects. God save me.

And on the personal front.... things are getting nice. Got to know a few interesting people who have drastically influenced the way I now perceive life and the things around me. Truly I believe they are God-sent. I'm lovin' it!

But even in this moment of joy, I'm reminded of two people who left this earth. One is Reji chettan, my cousin's husband. One fine morning, in January, I woke up to a rude shock- his death. He was a very friendly and kind person of cheerful disposition. He used to visit whenever he came back to Kerala. And to realise that he won't be coming ever again... won't ask for that glass of water (as he always does) when he comes home... And that we won't have those long conversations wherein he updates us on everyone else... Indeed saddening. I couldn't attend the funeral because I had to attend college. But then I realised, having him in my memories as a person full of life was better than seeing his mortal remains- lifeless.

The MOST shocking news I received this year was undoubtedly Gopi's death.
Untimely and uncalled for.
His instant death in an accident was far too much to take in. And I was having my final exams then. So (again) I miss his funeral. Again...I think...lucky that I didn't have to see him that way. He was this ebullient spirit who could easily make friends. I still remember how he'd joined Hari Sri in the 7th. And by the next year, he was everybody's friend. He had this amazing ability of befriending everyone and everyone would think that Gopi is his/her 'best friend'.
He was the first ever guy to whom I talked about my first crush.
I remember the times we used to do all the crap talk..... all the times he'd stop by at our home for a small chat... the time he forgot our b'day and came that evening with a b'day card....the day he turned up at our doorsteps with Friendship Bands for Friendship Day.

And little did I realise that I was seeing him for the last time at the reunion last year. Strange are the ways of the world.

And though not a personal tragedy, Benazir Bhutto's death (assassination, actually) was a shock. I remember, at the fag end of last year it was Saddam Hussein who was executed. And this year, Benazir is killed. It was brutal and the imbroglio surrounding her death and its cause is nothing but a disgrace.

But after the night, day has to come.
And so we proceed into the next year with hope.
All the best to all out there....
Have a great year ahead !


Thougt for the day: " Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday."


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