Wednesday, December 31, 2008


The year started with me at 62.5 kgs and it is ending on a bloated note too.

The year was an important one in my life- my LLM, my first job, my first business card, my one and only convocation and my one and only niece- Isabel (towards the end of the year).

This was the year of travel- UK, Netherlands, Germany, Brussels, France, Monte Carlo [was I at London School of Eco or Lets See Europe!!??!!!]

This is also the year where I saw nearly 50 % if my friends and all cousins younger than me get married and pregnant.

Next year i am hoping we will all come out 0f the financial crisis as stronger & humble individuals.

Till then to all my relatives, friends and acquaintences who are worrying abt my 'unmarried' status- "This is the year of recession and i am trying to cut costs. No unnecessary expenditure this year..."

A Happy, Healthy and Posperous New year to one and all....

Monday, December 15, 2008

Izz est arrivé

Baby Iz arrived today...
meaning my 'baby'-status at home has been snatched away from me...but Iz is someone for whom i was always ready to give up the status..

So presenting the new kid on the block....Ms Isabelle Jose (a.k.a Izzy/ Iz)......she sure seems like someone who is going to break the hearts of many young worthy men!!

PS: Iz and Eljo are doing good. thank u all of you for praying for them

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

When IZZZ she gonna come???

We will soon touch another milestone....
Chech supposedly feels like a jumbo jet. Chettan drinks cerelac-tini, served in a chilled glass [shaken not stirred]. Mommie dearest is now with Chech. Dad, otherwise anti-baby man, now acknowledges presence of other stranger babies who are next to him in public places. I am dreading the name i will be called [Aunty...aunty...aunty.....]. This blog turned pink be hoping it would be a girl....
Short point, we are all waiting for u Iz! :~D (praying for your safe landing)

Saturday, October 04, 2008

The journey back home….

Yay 2 posts a day!!!!

Warning- verbal diarrhoea ahead!

I was progressively delaying this post and it just could not have been more ill-timed because it has been nearly 4 months since I am back home and 2 pay cheques down ($$$$$ :~D ). Some of my blog friends will by now be aware of the fact that I am terribly prone to trouble in the airport and this is the mother of all such situations!!!

4 months ago, as part of finishing my exams (and I am still praying for my results and I request all of you to do the same), my dearest Chech and Chettan decided to treat me with a trip to the French Riviera and yes the place is beautiful and I would love to marry a rich old man who has a villa in Nice (but full and half monty by old uncles/aunties is NOT fun!)

After 5 days of fun in the sun and a nice tanned look (read ‘karambi’ or ‘kaliya’ for the Malayalam challenged) it was time to head back to London and after a day of packing, back to India and my lease agreement with the uni residence was terminating the day after. Ordinarily, I wud take a flight out of Amsterdam and reach London in 2 hrs after munching on the boring oatmeal cookies that British Airways provides. This time, being my last trip to Amsterdam for sometime, the ill-famed adventurous side took over and I was choosing between a train or a FERRY!!(thank god the ferry idea didn’t materialise) Now Annie McBeal saved 50pounds (eer…it was her father who actually saved the money-sorry dad) and booked tickets on the Eurostar on their summer plan, thinking she can see the deep blue English Channel ala Singapore SeaWorld style!


So journey began on a tram in Amsterdam, which Chettan and I caught after beating Usain Bolt’s Olympic record time. Hopping on the next train to Schipol was also at record time and it was the last train from Amsterdam that wud reach Brussels in time for my next train! The only time we were ever on time was to take the nice NS train to Brussels.


Sitting in NS train Chettan and I discuss on topics ranging from worldly wisdom to mallu stardom, choosing between oysters or moules for lunch and salivating at the thought of it. At Brussels Zuid- happy-thinking-about-moules me gets up to find….TADA!!

A STOLEN BAG!!... so what!!

Eer..the bag had my passport, bank cards, college id, return to London tickets, clothes, postcards from Nice, my favourite skirt, fake brasil hawaiana chappals and my pen drive with lots of fotos. So how does it feel to be in a country without your identification documents? Very nice I say- because I still had a smaller bag in which I had my camera and ipod!!...

Hey Bag-flicker-dude u attacked the WRONG bag and the passenger next to me had a laptop in his bag.

Chettan and I are among the few priviledged citizen who have seen the interiors of the Indian Embassy, Brussels. At first, they laughed when I said I lost my passport and I don’t have a fotocopy of it either…I am Ann..please believe me. Then the google search on Indian government website happens and after 15 minutes the lady came out with a paper and started asking me questions-
1) What is ur name?- Ann Mcbeal
2) Spell ur father’s name- Za…… (my father has a name that is nt easy for most non malayalee or non-westerner to pronounce)

Passing that difficult exam, I ws given a certificate saying yes I am an Indian and YES India will take me back.

I guess all of u might have experienced this- sometimes it is in the worst times that u find ur dream fantasies coming true. Now everyone is aware of my extreme respect (*ahem) for men in uniform. So when u have the hottest-policeman-i-have-seen-till-date attending to ur case, u can understand why the FIR was drafted by me was in shoddy shape. Inspectuer Nick Noël, with the biceps ripping out of his uniform (he has a proportionate body mind u!), armed with a pistol in the holster and handcuffs on his belt and to top it all- a smooth talker and a charmer and genuinely good-looking…sigh! (I wished that things would go forward like Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves in Speed..but alas!

With a shoddy FIR in hand and leaving Nick Noel behind, we ran back to the embassy to be issued a passport hot from the lamination press at 1745 hrs (15 minutes before the embassy closed for the day)!....chood chood passport! All said and done, I needed to get back to the UK to pack my things and move out of Europe-but minor problem- No UK VISA!!!

For some strange reason the British peoples think that they have to sit in a secured fort-like the Tower of London in every other country and they call such forts- UK Embassy! To prevent any non-british person from seeking justice/mercy/kindness or showing anger/frustration before the embassy, it is secured by towering gates I am told. So all we can do is make a fone call on the next day –

Ann- “Hi, I am ann, I am a student in London, blah blah…bag…blah blah stolen…sniff..i need to get back to London to pack and leave London for good!..if delayed I will not have a place to stay in London ”
Embassy ‘helpline’(bull crap!) lady- “Give me your number and I will tell the embassy to get back in touch with u”
Ann- “WHAT!!!...okay thank u so much for ur help”

With no call in the next 60 minutes, came brother-in-law’s last attempt at sending me across the English Channel- We reach the Eurostar counter and the UK Immigration Border and stage our Academy Award winning performance. So moved were they by our acting that the immigration lawyer gave me a 2 month UK visa and Eurostar gave me a free ride on the ticket which expired. (The cost of the ticket was 350 pounds on the day of my travel!!!)


Soon I was on the train to London, sitting next to a political journalist writing about Communism. And then the tunnel came- time for SeaWorld-ish view. But what I saw was a dark tunnel for 20 long minutes!!! The next 16 hours were spent clearing out my bank accounts, returning library books, packing everything and moving lock, stock and barrel out of Covent Garden to Heathrow. The 17th hour I was back on the India bound flight enjoying chicken tikka.

Ab Mumbai door nahi….

Points to note:
1) Always keep fotocopies of ur travel docs in all ur bags and with some close relative and soft copies too.
2) If stolen, after getting a passport try to ask the airways if anything (other than getting a new visa) can be done when transiting through countries.
3) The Europeans are quite understanding when u have a genuine cause.
4) Nick Noel is still my fantasy man. I even tried looking up for him on facebook (sheeesh!).
5) The UK Embassy at Brussels have still not contacted me.
6) It was not nice being stuck in Belgium without a visa to go to London or closer still Amsterdam.
7) If I had taken the flight out, I would not have had this trouble but may be some other trouble.
8) During our mad running around, I cursed the bag-flicker-dude, saying may his days from now be bad- to which Chettan replied- ever since he flicked ur bag his worst days have anyway began- WHY?- the bag mostly had only soiled clothes!!!
9) Had it not been for Chettan and the his company’s Brussels team, may be by now I would have been married to a Belgian and making waffles and frites in Grote Markt for a living. Thank you all of you.
10) If anyone of u sees an Indian woman on a ‘magazine’ in any of ‘the’ shops in Brussels or Playboy (if I am lucky) please do notify me- my pen drive had a back up copy of all my fotos. [u can compare the mag cover with my pic on the side of the blog]
11) Nick Noel….sigh!

Red Light Management

* title courtesy AJ's firm's new project

Dear youngster-on-the-pulsar-near-portuguese-church-at-10:45, 4/10/2008.

Sometimes there are many things in life that are more important than waiting at the red light. Dude that light wasn’t put there so that some men and women can solicit business under it at night. It has a purpose and that is to save your life and the lives of everyone around. Today morning u couldn’t wait for 3 minutes to get a green signal. Had my cab not been 5 seconds late, any/all of us could have been injured/dead or worse crippled for life. I know u r smart enough to know that my cab was approaching late, but sometimes things don’t go as planned. One of your drunk friends has already run into a friend of mine last week and he is already stitched up and hence I am pissed off with ur kind especially today. Hope u will pay some heed to this…


[After learning what happened to Alexis Leon a.k.a Alex Chettan, red-light-jumpers, as I call them, make me want to chain them up to a red light without food or water]

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Week 1-3 Excitment to Dejection

Week 1-3

The excitement of the new job has waned away..these days I only feel stupid…I correct my previous statement- I no longer want to ‘prove my worth’ but just want to know WHAT am I supposed to do and HOW!!???!!!

Sitting in a dejected mood after failing the 3,4, 5th senior in office and most importantly MYSELF :~( :~(

A ray of optimism- hope these days will soon be over...

Friday, August 22, 2008

Annie McBeal Vol II.

I hit myself hard on the back of my head for not paying any attention to this littal space of mine. I have lots to tell...from 'jurisdictional' adventures in Europe to domestic mishaps at home. But for now i am back to my Ann McBeal avtaar- the lawyer lost in a corporate firm, sitting among men speaking in corporate jargons (i am the only other female lawyer in the place :~O, the other feminine touch is a senior with truckloads of knowledge and experience). The expectations from me are high because of the 9 month vacation i had in london and at a personal level- a huge challenge to prove my once again i take the liberty to ignore this space till i get some spare time (backslap myself again!).

PS I cannot say 'miss me' because i presume by now u have all 'forgotten' me!!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Fruit of the Womb

I wanted to write a big bang comeback post or something on the lines of London in hindsight (yes dear peeps I am back in India, it has been over 2 weeks- how I reached is reserved for another post), but recently some news and something I saw flabbergasted me, that I decided to write this.

During the few catechism classes I ever attended in my life and the quick 3 minute family prayer we have at home, I always liked a particular line of ‘Hail Mary’ which goes as follow-
‘Blessed are you amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb Jesus’.
Since we pray faster than most Grammy winning rap artists, I thought we were referring to some fruit in the form of a fruit salad rather! It was during another long boring Sunday sermon in church that I opened the hymn book to read what the line actually meant-‘oh JESUS is the fruit!! How unexciting!’ (I was aged 8 then)

Unlike most women who fantasise being pregnant (I know a few of them, so please don’t think I am bull s***ting), child birth has always scared me and it still does. Reasons I don’t know, may be because my first visuals of labour was on Discovery Channel and not Indian movies (where the lady is goes into heavy labour just when her water breaks!) or I read a book on pregnancy before the time was right (it was the only book lying in the loo, sitting there can also bore u). I never really understood wat was so ‘miraculous’ about birth.

Four months back I got news that Chech and Chettan are on their way to make me feel older by making me an aunt. So I kept asking her so does her skin ‘glow’ and is she looking her best, like a huge jumbo jet. Much to my surprise, she, Chettan and me had a paunch of the same size!!! (UK size 14 to be precise) and abt her skin glowing- that was courtesy the humid weather. She herself saying Malaika Arora Khan can say she is looking her best cause she capable of doing nothing other than visiting spas. So wats is the whole deal abt pregnancy, never understood me.

On coming back I got news that Mum was scheduled for a hysterectomy in less than 48 hours (talk abt surprises when u get home- but no I didn’t react like an Ekta Kapoor heroine cause this was expected some day or the other for Mum). She is doing much better and recouping well, thank u very much (after all I am taking care of her!!) After her surgery, a male nurse, with a bottle resembling the Horlick 1kg bottle on tray, emerged out of the OT walking around as if he was a waiter in Sarvana Bhavan serving masala dosa to someone!! In the bottle, swimming in red solution was a fist size ‘thing’, which Dad said was Mum’s UTERUS!!!! My reaction at that point was WHAT THE HELL I LIVED IN THAT FIST SIZED ‘THING’!!! THAT WAS MY FIRST ROOM!!

I manage to get surprised at the thought of that sight even today. After the whole episode my Mum went at great length to explain the entire childbirth process (a little late- cause cousins younger than me are mothers of 1 and 2 year olds and the ‘conception’ part was avoided like every Indian mum! :~P) May be this is the whole ‘miracle’ of birth- not just 2 cells merging with enough data in them to create a whole to life (not just the ‘fun’ part peeps :~P), but how a fist sized organ expands to accommodate some of us who are around 3 kgs at birth, how we hv an egg shaped head at childbirth and how most of us manage to come out the ‘tiny’ hole.

But that still hasn’t reduced my fear of child-birth or have my bawling at the first pics of Baby Eljo (courtesy ultrasound of course- I couldn’t understand anything). Rather to put it in malayam- to think I was once the ‘fruit of a womb (which is sooo small!!)’ njaan sherikum wonder adichu poyi!!

PS busy with mum and dissertation...pliss to be missing me!!

PPS this is in response to Brat's comment- it is not that i lack sex education-i was a bio student, but then practicals is lot different from theory and hence wonder adichu poyi!

Thursday, June 05, 2008


Just when i finish my first exam i turned PINGGKK.....
and i get a tag!!!..YAYYY!!! Thank u boy!
(okie so i also watched Sex and the City-movie cause everyone went on and on abt it and all i found was 4 women sitting around food[although all of them are in perfect shape!!] talking abt sex or lack of it!!! Sigh-for all that media hype!)

The "rules":
Link the person(s) who tagged you- Brrrraaaattt!!!
Mention the rules on your blog
Mention 6 unspectacular quirks of yours
Tag 6 bloggers by linking them
Leave a comment on each of the tagged bloggers' blogs letting them know they've been tagged -

1) I need to wash my feet before i sleep and my feet have to be WET when i get into bed!!...(this practice is avoided in Delhi winters where houses do not have radiators)

2) I am over-superstitious during my exams (i guess all of us to an extent are)- this expecially includes not bathing for 48 hours before the exam (i feel i will wash away the crammed up knowledge) and not going to a parlour/saloon for normal clean-ups (in maletalk-thats equivalent to not shaving the entire exam period starting from study holidays) ending up in people seeing only eyebrows on my face on the last day.

3) I need go through my notes atleast 3 times before i head for the exams (otherwise i feel terribly underconfident till i see the question paper) and i am competitve and i am seriously trying to control this.

4) I apply ghee on my hair..yes yes ghee!!..(and it actually works!! although i smell like Sree Krishna Mysore Pak till it is washed)

5) I am an 'extremes' person, if i like a song i will listen it on loop till i delete that song from the computer, if i like something i will eat it till i cant bear to look at it again and the nice flavours will soon be 'odours' :~$

6) I always need to have something to look forward to- some experiment, some randon trip This motivates me (yes i am incentive driven)..current idea is to see the seven wonders of the world over a span of few years (ofcourse) especially Christ the Redeemer (but i know that will have to wait for a loong loong time)

I have no one to tag as all my blog-neighbours have already been tagged :~(

eeh...did i mention that i am impulsive and just recently picked up the scissors and cut my hair just like my sister (i had to get some leftover curly bits). its not that bad..i think i have to apply to toni n guy...hmmmm.....

Saturday, May 10, 2008

To market to market....

Okay yeah i know i have my exams..and this is not my big bang comeback post...but today i am celebrating cause i just wrote a
mock exam and felt good that i could do it. With the exam adrenaline rush, i got into one of my infamous 'adventure' moods
and just left college and headed for Borough Market why because there lived the one character i identify the most in my life- Bridget Jones!!! The place is fiercely expensive (because they are Orrrragahnic!!! or award-winning!!... But me still loves the place...)

Things go fine till i explore the place...
(Ann's thoughts- Aah i can buy these cherries..What the hell i jus paid 2 pounds on 10 '0'
cherries...sigh!..wat can i get for Mum- balsamic wont like it- when she
hears the cost!!)

It is lunch time and ....then my adventurous evil twin takes over....
On the lunch menu today is Ostrich Burger and Brazillian Wheatgrass Juice....
(Ann's thoughts- "Wheat grass shot is a equal to a weeks' greens!!!...Wow i jus ate an aint fact its actually good....hmm now i jus need to lose 10 kgs to ride on one...")

[Note- me knows me need a manicure..that too a french one, will get tat done soon!! Chech are u listening..err.reading!!]

Post lunch back in my room...
Ann's thoughts- (Aaaarrggg!!!..if only i could puke out this is making me so SICK!!!....[flush]...aaah watte relief!!! i HATE ostrich!!!)

PS- But i did get my mum the 'finest vanilla pod' from Madagascar to think of all the vanilla ice-creams i am gonna eat:~P

Friday, April 11, 2008

Blog Break...

Spring is in season...i am in amsterdam, finally learned to travel around this place on my own...visited some lovely fishing and windmill villages, met one of the best tattooist in amsterdam and realised wat a down-to-earth woman she is, was hit at by a middle-aged indian uncle in the sex museum (now i am hardly the kinds who gets a 'look' from a guy, forget even a second look...and wen i do manage to get lucky, its a 35 yr old man and watte choice of location!!!)...was comfortably lazing around with Mum n Dad in town...and then i saw my study materials and passed out...!!!..So a blog break taken to do the much needed studying as exams are jus 2 months away!!!..See u all in sometime....hoping to remain sane by then...hopefully will have cleared my exams too....Cheers...

(PS: if i scrap or ping anyone of u please remind me to study :~()

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

30 FAQs About Ann

(Dear Brat ur tag is a little difficult for me to do. So i am doing the easy one first)
(I am very bad with my hyperlink-ings due to lack of please excuse that too...)

So the Bachelor Ambrosia tagged me (yay!!) but unlike wat he expected i was not the first person to do it [njaan demand vechatu alla- karthik had done it by the time i saw this tag ;~) ] After this tag i presume my selfish, quirky nature will be revealed to all :~(

I dont remember precisely. I think it was Dhoom 2 as part of the last college 'outing'. I remember being the only girl in the hall cheering with the guys when bipasha made her grand bikini entry. (i am straight-just was shocked at seeing her from flab to fab in that movie)

'Societas Europaea' by D. Kraakmann. (Yes Kraakmann thats the name of the author-prolly thats the effect the subject had on him) Too busy with syallbus textbooks to pick up anything else. :~(

Snake n ladder and ludo (the ones which had the games on either side of the board). Scrabble n chess required brain activity so avoided them.

Nothing in particular as it depends on which magazine is available at the reception where i am waiting. However i would love to feature on the cover of Forbes and Time. (I will need plastic surgery for the Cosmo or Elle or Vogue cover)

Being the foodie that i am i love the smell of onions cooking :~) Also like the smells of shoe polish and orange rind.

These days i like the sound of Dad's caller tone cause i know i am calling home. Else sound of breaking glass (yes i am weird) and the hissing sound made when water touches a hot surface...

When i realise how much time i have wasted (I am feeling so right now too :~P)

I actually say this- "F$#@ i am late again!!!" or "Jus half an hour more...zzzz....zzzz" followed by "F$#@ i am late again!!!"

Natraj Dahi Bhalla Centre in Chandini Chowk, Delhi. In London, the 4 kebab shops in Leicester Square.

Being a true blue malayalee, it will be a nonsensical mix of my name and that of the child's father's. Since i do not know the latter's name, i will have to skip this question. But i can assure u that the name will not have a will only be a 'sound' (like jiji, liji)

Get Mum enrolled in some gourmet cooking classes across Europe (Dad can enjoy post retirement bliss with Mum in all these countries) and enroll myself in Pineapple Dance Academy [they r so damn expensive :~(] All this after investing a major chunk of the money as per Dad's advice, so it better be LOTS of MONEY [PS- Mother Teresa is not my role model and this is no beauty pagent]

Only wen dear Balbir bhaiya was present and we were on a national highway. Its over a year i touched the steering wheel. :~(

No. Was/Is too much of a tomboy to do so.

Would have been cool if they didnt wreck everything on their way.

I m still a stingy student, so no car yet. Though the first one driven was the maruti 800 with a pair of clutch and break, one for the driving instructor and one for me.

Totally depends on my mood. All time favourite is Banta from Chandini Chowk. (Lemonade with the goli kuppi soda and a special masala) The dirty water and unhygenic surrounding made it taste better.

Pursue dance once again, learn a new language....

Yes. But would try and avoid eating this vegetable given a choice.

After bronze, blonde and orange streaks and a perm my hair is not ready for another experiment. But as the question says "IF"- then it wud have to be Neon Red streaks. (I like solid, jango colors)

Trichur, Alwaye, Madras, Bombay, Ernakulam, New Delhi, Chennai, Delhi, Mumbai, London, Amsterdam (I have spend 1/3rd of my time here)

The only thing i ever watched on ESPN was All State Cheerleading Championship!!

Great culinary skills (that make me jealous :~D )

Hollow space- jus like my head

Yes..but as a more patient and organised person.


Either as per the mood.

A bed anywhere warm and cozy. Relaxing for me = Sleeping

Apple pie which Mum makes cause thats the only 'margarine-free' pie i am aware of and she also puts raisins in it-jus the way i like it. Occassionally Xmas Mince pie.

Mum's pineapple ice-cream. Ever since in London, Ben and Jerry Cookie Dough.

[My mother's culinary skills is every child's fantasy come true. For a middle-aged malayalee mother she makes a variety of continental desserts. She will be receiving her third Michelin star this year :~D So dont think i am blah-blah-ing when i say "Mum's apple pie", "Mum's ice-cream". She even makes the cleanest, unadulterated chocolate truffle and cheese cake too :~P]


And this tag goes to..

Macadamia- The Nut (I dont know ur name :~( )

Brat- Bharat

Aishwarya- Aishwarya

Farsan- Maneesh

Dgrail- Dhivya

Zenmaster- Arvind

Alex Mcone (i dont know ur name either)

Friday, March 07, 2008

Fitness Freak Me.... :~D

After the bicycle misadventure, I was ordered 2 weeks rest and complete pamper by the cute Doctor Bakshi at NHS. Now thats the perfect advice for a couch potah-to like me. It was complete binge time..sometimes eating upto 4 meals a day and the midnight snacking too. But the wildest ideas strike you in those 'pampered' moments. After finishing 'another' pack of crisps I limped carefully to the mirror and saw to my horror that all what i shed a month back (850 grams to be precise ;~D) was back with a vengence!! So I checked out some pics of the good old 'slimmer' days, my mum's and sister's pics and made myself feel miserable. Finally resolved to take charge of the situation. In a nutshell my new fixation is FITNESS.
At this point I must confess that like everyone I am extremely jealous of people who wear spandex and jog for an hour at a stretch. I am very fond of fitness programmes (which i watch while munching on french fries). And though extremely ashamed to accept this, it was just two years back when I was training to be dance instructor (can i hear is the truth people..but the 100 crunches EVERYDAY killed me, so dropped it midway).
Now gym membership was out of question as university gym always has a long serpentine queue behind it (I am embarrased to jog in front of those 6pack abs students). So friend and I sign ourselves up for advanced aerobics and we see that a guy named Mark is taking the session. Accordingly friend goes shopping for chic sports wear as she has this 'gut' feeling that Mark will be hot! (a GUY taking aerobics!!! dearest friend MEN dont take 'AEROBICS' generally)
Due to a missing-key-mishap from yours truly, we reach the building just in time. The class was supposed to be in 'studio 1', but we ran into 'a studio' where we saw a few students warming up (this is after we nearly took a short cut through a Shower Room, which ended up being the Mens shower room-friends idea!). To my horror, some girls I knew from my hall were also present in their sexy spandex flexing their toned muscles (the world is indeed a SMALL place!!! aargh!) Suddenly the music is pumped up, a woman (who i am believe is German for some reason) tells everyone to pick up weights. Now we were only expecting aerobics, where we just jump around and we were expecting MARK...where the hell is MARK?? On enquiring with the girls from the hall on whether it is the advanced aerobics class- i get the reply..'What aerobics??? ' Before we could react, the instructor shouts- 'quick pick up your weights...we have no time to lose'. That is the first time i was shouted at in London!!!
What happened after that is ...(Instructor with stern look and foul mood)
We begin with simple squats....yeah come on 5 more..I WANT 5 MORE squats with weights....go pick the rod with weight and lets do squats AGAIN...go LOWERRR....complete your slow squats...all you lazy bones...move it people move it....hey dont drink water.....and 4..3..2..1...hey where do u think you r going...we now do lunges...come on give me 30 on each leg..get moving people, stop faking cramps!!! pick your weights...lunges again.....okay..are we done with 30 on each go get your mats...i want 20 crunches in each position..NO RESTING in between....lets begin... cross leg.....18...19...20...have u finished your 20 so another 20.. next side crunches...hey stop looking i want 20 pushups...and go slow......everyone stop being lazy...lets jog!!!...okay 45 minutes...STOP!!!"
What a relief. The next 15 minutes saw friend and me walking back to our rooms taking the support of the walls of every building in the way. We were still clueless of what that bootcamp class was all about, but were too tired to think for the night. Next day morning saw our bottoms, flabby 'abs' and thunder thighs sore (now sore is an understatement) and I still need support to sit, stand and even use the WC!!(have i ever told u that i am an aquaholic...groan!) The suspense was killing me, so went after college to figure out what was it that I underwent....and now the moment of truth...We had walked into the wrong class and the class we attended was aptly called...

Monday, February 25, 2008

On a nice August afternoon 3 years ago….

“ he is a CA very good…Christian…Roman Catholic..oh even where is he working…oh IT company..hmmmm….not bad…ooh yes yes we know their relatives..very good people….but wait they are from from…WHAT!!...HE IS FROM KOTTAYAM!!!”

……..engaged tone……………

That was how the Big J entered our lives. A father’s second worst fear was coming true when he heard about a marriage proposal for his daughter from the Kottayam side* (the first being marrying a non mallu and/or non roman catholic). So much was Dad’s shock that he didn’t bother to ask the groom’s name or enquire about his family in that call!!! It has been over three years since u entered our lives ‘by law’ and have changed my sister’s and my sense of humour for the worse. Winning the hearts of all the ammachis with your ‘stuti kudukal’**, all the uncles by thrusting a drink in their hand and all the aunties by giving them compliments. And today I am using the ‘power of the internet’ to wish on your birthday cause next year u r officially going to be in ‘old’ men’s league!!!

Happy Birthday Dear Chettan….

Thank you*** for all the sensible advise on life and relations, all the Amsterdam trips, all the expensive shopping, all the confidence boosting sessions, all the ‘how-to-hook-a-guy’ lectures, all the pub hopping and ‘drink all nite’ outings, all the new words in my Malayalam vocabulary, all the ‘places’ I wanted to visit for my desire to be a ‘learned’ person (tho I am still no good)…and thank you for being a BROTHER and not just another BROTHER-IN-LAW….

(* no offence against the Kottayam dudes and dudettes, just another one of Dad’s pet peeves)
(** a Malayalee Christian style of greeting elders which is now not ‘cool’ enough for most of us to follow)
(*** half of the ‘thank you’ applies to your better half too)

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Going Dutch on a Vicious Cycle

I always look forward to those trips to Chech’s place as the pleasure derived from shopping without looking at the price tags for a chronic miser like me is …well….cannot be expressed in words. This trip, being my 3rd in the last 3 months was extra-special, cause I was confident that I had made some progress on my ‘lose weight’ resolution. So after 4 weeks of jumping in aerobics sessions, running by the side of Thames (evoking laughs from ppl who saw fat girl running), trying to avoid looking at my favourite ‘chewy chocolate cookies’ in the supermarket, I looked forward to the moment when I will stand on the weighing scale and the needle will gladly deflect to the left from my previous weight, when I wear the much sexy outfit and not look outrageous, when I can finally get some looks from deserving men, when I will finally choose a design for the tattoo that I was chickening out all this while. This was also to be my ‘Binge Week’- so in comes the drinks, snack-in-betweens and out goes the salad! I also kept getting info that Chettan (brother-in-law) was also making plans for happening weekend.

With all this optimism I head to the airport. Travelling for the first time with my new reissued passport, the worst of my fears came true. Seeing the foto in my passport (where my look is heavily inspired by a cross of Veerapan and Amy Winehouse), I was escorted for ‘additional’ security checks. Now I am someone who ‘silently’ walks across the metal detectors till date & here I was standing in weird positions (eg standing like a lizard) in front of an invisible X Ray machine!!! Once the woman at the security desk learnt that 'they' are real (not fake as thought 'they' were) and not the new way to conceal ammunition, I was let off... So far so good- I touched Schipol, met Chech-Chettan. Okay so I was jealous seeing that Chech has also lost weight, but I was happy to know that my ‘size XXL’ cheeks where only ‘XL’ this time.

Scene I- After a dinner of pizza I complain of having too much carbs for a day, when I was suggested that I can go cycling. Cycling in Holland, that is like French kiss in France!!

Scene II- Next second, I am on the cycle, enjoying the Dutch scenery at night and burning all the carbs. We were looking for Chinatown to see the leftovers of the Chinese New Year celebrations and on one of the bridges, I am distracted by the looks of another cyclist crossing my path, wearing aviators at NIGHT!!...

Scene III- I am head over heels or rather ‘cycle’ over heels, shin, ankle, foot’

The passers by surround me, and a woman asks me – “have u broken anything or is it jus a sprain?” With all due respect lady- HOW THE HELL AM I SUPPOSED TO KNOW!! A black ‘gentleman’ [I believe an Usher’s look alike] is lifting the jeans of my right leg, when I had hurt MY LEFT LEG!!! Soon the whole event sank in when Mr. Usher’s look-alike, with his hands stretched out in a chivalrous manner, told me- ‘If ya havent brok’n nythin’ then stan’ up, why yee sittin’ down’. I replied – I need sometime to come to terms with what jus happened and next second he vanished!! I wanted to tell him- dude your women are strong, but we Indian women take more than 45 seconds to come to out senses and STAND UP!!! So there went my "looks from deserving man"...

Scene IV- back at home and got to know that the ‘vicious’ cycle had made Chech also ill with ‘over cycling’. For her adventure click here. From then on it was a weekend when Chettan was taking care of 2 beautiful patients. Since I was ‘injured’, partying took a backseat and it was binging all the way- with comfort food like bakhlava, biryani, bbq flavoured chips, bacardi… :~(

But then I also cooked… (yes yes thats my creation..entry sent to Ripley's Believe it or not!)


Drank…. (Chettan's Mojito-[read lemonade])

and with restricted mobility there is always ‘tomorrow’ to start exercising :~P

Scene V- The two sisters cast an evil eye on ‘healthy’ Chettan and he is now sitting with a football size foot!

PS: The last time I cycled was 15yrs ago, when I stopped cycling because I fell off the cycle!!

PPS: My Valentine's Day wishlist is out-

1) A cricket team-preferably the Mumbai team

2) 100 or more Reliance Power shares

3)Macbook Air

and no Tata Nano will not do.....

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Malayalam Ariyilla

(Dont know malayalam- when spoken in the 'fake' mallu accent can also mean 'cannot SLICE malayalam')

A little knowledge of malayalam is advisible for this post.

I have read many posts on misadventures of malayalees speaking hindi- some original, some copied. Quite ashamed to admit it, but in my family we have had our embarrassing moments trying to speak our mother tongue- Malayalam.

During those long evening family prayers (when all except Ammachi are alseep), in response to the Litany to the Blessed Mary everyone mechanically responds ‘Njangalku vendi apeyshikanamey’ (pray for us)...Now the jus-returned-from- Ooty-boarding-school uncles in an attempt to actively take part in prayer and listening to Appachan started responding ‘En CONDITIONamey’….

In Malayam, (if I can translate per se) we try to ‘make sure our prayer reaches’ God. (That should explain one and half hour long Sunday mass) My sister is generally good with her Malayalam, except one day when she told father- “Daddy nammakku prarthana CHETHIKYAM”… Dad with the 'why-did-I-bring-these-girls-out-of-Kerala' look, corrects her- ‘Moley prarthana CHETHIKYAM alla, ETHIKYAM (refer to ‘reaching prayer’ logic)’
P.s chettiya has no sensible meaning as far my knowledge of Malayalam goes.

Yours truly- the worst in the lot. My knowledge of Malayalam is purely phonetical and vocabulary mostly picked up from movies or Asianet. If my younger cousins want to outsmart me all they do is ask me the numbers in Malayalam-especially 85 and 95. If they want instant entertainment, copy of Malayalam Manorama is pushed in front of me.

Once sitting and watching Ammachi dry betel nut (adakya) in the sun, I innocently asked Mum- “Ammey idano olakyya”!!! (Dear cousins don’t say ‘olakya’ or ‘thenga kola’ in front of kids). Or the regular question I ask Mum- Amma ente pillowna evidey? (Mum where is my pillow- talona in mallu) The other day I wanted to scrap a malayalee friend ‘endu patti’ (wat happened)..typo error it ended up being ‘enda patti’!!

When I was enrolled in St. Teresas’s school in class 8, girls in class viewed me as the NRK mallu from Bombay and I did get a good share of attention and respect. So much so girls would try (uncomfortably) to speak in English or not talk to me at all. [Little did they know that I was not speaking to them cause I was not comfortable with my malayalam]. In addition, the strict Chemistry teacher was my aunt. So no messing with the new girl in class. Now the tailors were taking more than 3 weeks to stitch the new uniform. On enquiring

Me- Uncle uniform eppo kittum? (wen will I get the uniform)
Tailor- “uniform chuvayazhicha kittum” (u will get the uniform on chuvayazhicha)
Me- “chuvayazhicha paranya” (what is chuvayazhicha )
Tailor- “kuttyikku Malayalam ariyillale- toosday toosday” (kid u don’t know Malayalam. Tuesday)

Now on the way back, I chat with some other northy friends and laugh and say “ooh chuvayazhicha matlab magalwaar” and all of us repeat that line a zillion times in the break. Break ends. Class teacher walks in.

Teacher- “Anndey uniform ready aayile?” (Ann isn’t your uniform ready?)
(Since the question was posed in Malayalam and I was not on guard I respond back in malayalam)
Me- “Illya ma’am. Tailor parayanu enikku uniform MANGALAZHICHA kittum” (No. Tailor said I will get it on MANGALAZHICHA)
Rest is history- I was the butt of jokes in class for the next one week. I was reduced to a normal student and started speaking in broken Malayalam and my friends in English to me...

I am very grateful to my father for taking us out of Kerala because with our family practices, my priorities today would have only been a husband and two kids. But somewhere along the line I regret the fact that I do not know much about my state, my culture, my language (and most of my relatives). And it is sad that most malayalees take pride in saying that they don’t know their language or their culture. And even if they do know, deny it and fake a 'malayalam-is-so-difficult-for-me' accent. And i have noticed this is more among the fairer sex. Those chechis at St. Teresa’s college and convent junction, endless heroines in movies, kitty party aunties in Ernakulam south and rotrary clubs, the funny hostess of Idea Star Singer… What is sadder is that NORMALayalees tend to put these ABNORMALayaless on a pedestal!!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Doing fraandsheep on Orkut

“You don’t know Orkut, the whole world is on orkut.”
That line and a dirty stare-like smiley from a friend three years ago was how I was initiated into orkut. Four years back started what I would call a revolution (atleast in India and Brazil)- social networking sites. In the beginning this concept caught my fancy. I met friends with whom I had lost touch for over 5-10 years. Checked out the profiles of the erstwhile high school babes and bitches and got jealous (I am human!). Found all my past crushes, checked out how they looked after all these years and their present relationship status too ;~P. I hate to admit it, but yes orkut is a part of my e-life. Wat makes orkut interesting?

Names- (& u thot I will start with fraandsheep :~P) I thought our parents named us Ram, Shyam, Sita, Gita, Libby, Tibby. But who names their kids ‘trust no one’, ‘love is blind’, ‘don’t believe wat u c’, ‘love knows no boundaries’, 'smell of love ummm...'. What compounds the problem is the display pic- the place is infested with Deepika Padukones, Shahrukh Khans, Che Guevaras, Emma Watsons, Brad Pitts. Do they realise how difficult it is for their scrap recipients to identify them wen they get a scrap from ‘MorOniC WoMaN’ and the profile picture shows Rakhi Sawant or ‘Blessed Gurl’ with Pam Anderson. And we also have stars, hyphens, asterisk marks decorating your name..

Albums- So all of us know that photos in orkut till sometime back were not safe as one could save a pic at the right click of the mouse. But there were (are) still some people who want to put their pic, but still fear and we end up seeing their backs, hand, torn jeans end, eye, a newly-shaped eyebrow, nostril and puppy’s tail, rahul dravid, some hills and valleys..

Foto captions- Some ppl come up with brilliant captions for their pics. Captions like ‘I am hot, am I not?’, ‘isnt she smart?’ [y do u want our opinions too], , a pic with a girl in front of the computer ‘This is what I do when I am boring’.

“Mah-moi” language- Our wannabe-ism has been taken to new heights with this language. So sometimes the new ‘about me’ columns have ‘This is mah life, I live with moi parents’ or photo caption ‘moi sister and ma’. (my heartfelt sympathies for the French.)

This one worries me-
Kiddie champs- Sadly orkut is getting very popular among kids-The Orkuttans and Orkutties and their folks don’t understand the dangers I presume- so we have a random Tia Mol who writes ‘I am not 18 I am jus 9, here to have fun. Relationship status- open marriage, orientation-bicurious’. But that apart there are these dashing heroes, all of 10, putting up their macho pics- a) Where they are wearing ‘full pants’ standing with their chettans and wearing plastic ‘cooling glass’, b) with folks wearing a wet t-shrit in Veegaland and other such concerns . Their ‘ideal match’ is Emma Watson’ or ‘Miley Cyrus’. And they converse in the ‘mah-moi language’ more than teens.

Fraandsheep request- It is through orkut, I learnt that ppl are seeking ‘frandsheep’ and not friendship and that they don’t want to ‘befriend’ you, but rather ‘do frandships’ or ‘make frandsheep to’ you. Take for example

“H@!!!!!!..I'm Gikku,Nw Frm Mavelikara..I would like to Make a Good Friendship with u..(I kno these r usual words of Every Guy to Start a chat with a Gal.) Bt I'm not. I realy like Good Friendships.If U havnt any Objection...... I expecting Ur Rely.. For More abt me go through My Profile.. Take Care.”
“i am a cool dude with good sense of humar as my Existing friends say,i found your name and profile, it's very intresting , if u want to maintain a good friendship
u r most welcome u can reach me @ 98XXXXXXXX”

Followed by the regulars- u r my ‘hart’, ‘sole’, ‘liver’ etc, ‘there is somethOng in you that I like a lot’ (talk abt I and O being next to each other on the keyboard)

I tried to wean myself away from Orkut, but with fraand-requests like this who can live without Orkut :~P

Friday, January 04, 2008

New Year Revelations

Lot of revelations happened last year, especially in the last quarter, when I left home for the first time to firang land. Here are a few of them.

- A ‘please’ or ‘sorry’ or ‘thank you’ will only get your work done in England. Never said so many sorry, thank u please ever in my life.

- Even an Englishkaran (Englishman) has problems in understanding my English, which I thought had a neutral accent.

- It is the policy of National Health Services to ask you if u r pregnant on routine check up. It is not that they suspect/ accuse you of being pregnant.

- Don’t get shell-shocked if prophylactic is provided in the ‘student induction pack’.

- I still manage to get ‘looks’ from old 50-65 yr old Englishmen. Wonder y they keep thinking that I am interested in them!!!

- Rajma bursts when heated in a microwave and dal needs to be soaked before it is cooked.

- You have to attend to the milk kept on the hob. The hob doesn’t switch off on its own.

- I look like a Bangladeshi and Dad looks European Chinese (according to my Polish hallmate). And I thought we looked INDIAN!!

- Gatwick Airport resembles Bhatinda railway station as the Europeans also convert their bags into pillows and lie on the couches in the waiting area, thereby not letting others sit.

- Our ‘Cuticura’ is an international brand. Saw it lying in a dutyfree shop.

- When they have no reservations on a train, the Europeans like Indians will sit outside the loos and in some cases even inside.

- Inter City Express (ICE) touches 300km/hr only from Cologne to Frankfurt. (We should have gone further!)

- KÖLN is Cologne (this was my biggest revelation)

- Read about a place the next time I head somewhere. I have to go to Cologne once again to appreciate the Cathedral.

- Eau de Cologne is different from the water flowing in River Rhine through Cologne.

- Fallen snow resembles ice found in a refrigerator without defrost.

- The dumb actresses of the Indian film industry deserve some amount of respect. Its not easy standing on snow with a backless blouse and chiffon saree.

- I should just stick to juice as just one glass ends up making me dance much to the embarrassment of my company. (Disclaimer: I am not a drunkard, I dont go beyond a drink except that one dreaded time)

- Chech and I still look ‘under 18’ [according to German standards] as we were the only ones asked to show our passport for entry. (Man did I feel good!)

- Mum is still not concerned about my advancing age, Dad is still concerned about y he is not receiving any ‘pocket money’ demands from me.

- Ammachi thinks I am a little girl, she still calls me Minukutty (aargh!)

- Never rant about any blog in particular to Chettan to an extent which irritates him. He ended up attacking an unsuspecting fellow blogger, followed by attacks from Chech and yours truly. (Disclaimer: We r a heady mix, but we aren’t as crazy as we appear)

- Chettan is the brother I always wanted (Thank u Chech for the kidilum choice, Chetta- my Euro trip ;~D)

- Chech has become a very good cook, and I have gotten over the paranoia that she is trying to poison me.

- College is the best time of your life and u realise this only when u finish college and land up in an office staring at the computer and trying to sound pleasant and more importantly ‘knowledgeable’ to your clients.

- Office is the best time of your life and you realise this when u land up in college after a 4 month stint in an office and start hating homework and taking down notes in class. Suddenly ‘end of the month’ lost its significance and excitement.

- May be middle of this year when I am out of grad school I will appreciate it more.

- A stricter boss is a better boss. (BFD u r still my best mentor till date)

- There is no place like mum’s kitchen. Never looked forward to idiappam and puttu as I do now (Mum are u listening??)

- There is no better place to study than a room where u can overhear Mum humming. Over the past three months I ‘hear’ silence more often than sound. And there is no better luxury in knowing that ‘Dad will take care of everything’.

- I can never find a replacement for my best friend Vidhi. May our friendship continue forever and ever. Amen