Friday, November 20, 2009

Another Vinsome year

I would have put off this post till eternity for want of doing it right and never gotten around to doing it. So here goes, unedited and as it comes..It'd be passe to say the man did another surprise act. I can see you guys go all yawn, tell us something new, on me.
But me, m a sucker for surprises and for sweet things in life. First up tonight was a chocolate treatment. And as I lay wrapped in layers and layers of yum(didnt get around to tasting it, coz that would have been so teenage girlish of me, and I was strutting around till then as if I did chocolate treatments all the time!..but hey it smelled awesome and m sure it was yum) chocolate, I felt so lucky and so happy. Call me vain, call me a woman! The middle class girl from smalltime Kerala popped up at regular intervals and asked the inevitable much dyu think his costs! Some of your relations can survive a month on this..What would your parents think of such splurge ..sort of badly timed questions. But she was promptly silenced by another slather of chocolate and two deft pairs of hands doing their job..Ofcourse I'd never have paid and gotten this done myself, but what are men for after all :)
Next we went to dinner at Oberoi and they did this whole cake and bouquet and 6 course dinner anniversary do..And got home to a bunch of yellow roses from two of our guy friends. Is it with me or is the world generally getting all sweet and thoughtful these days?

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Just my luck :)

So the DH has been upto some weird stuff lately. Like the other day I came home to find a bournville chocolate on top of which he'd put this.

And today I walked in to see this. It says, 'Always keep' and has a helpful arrow pointing up to smiley in case you're lost.

The kind of stuff he wouldn't admit to, even to save his life.
Which makes me think its gotto be either:
- One, he's got himself a mistress, you know the guilt-driven stuff..
- Two, I must have accumulated some incredible good karma in my past life to land this chap!
For the benefit of both parties concerned, we'll go with two, shall we..?

Friday, August 21, 2009

Viva La Goa (Means some exotic thing in some exotic language)

PS 1: If you're here looking for useful information, like places to stay or stuff to do in Goa, now's as good a time as any to turn back. There are any number of smart useful websites for that as a cursory google will tell you.
Why would a bunch of sensible (presumably ie, take it as true for want of evidence to the contrary) levelheaded 28 yr olds go on a beach holiday when there's news of torrential rainfall and the coast itself is washed out. Why would they not do the prudent thing of hitting the hills perhaps or wherever else is the right place to go in Monsoon (Kerala tourisms monsoon ads notwithstanding.). Bcoz they were drunk thats y. There's no other logical explanation to how we ended up booking ourselves - 12 of us - on a trip to Goa in what is apparently the 'peak of offseason' on a hazy sunday morning a few months back.
Once we decided to go, we were all very organized about it, thanks to the entrepreneur in our midst. Committees were promptly formed, food&wine, watersports, travel, shopping, beachilpaatumpaadinakkal etc etc..there were about as many committees as there were of us. Several parallel mail chains were triggered, and gmail storage limits were, for the first time in recorded history: exceeded. Ofcourse not that a lot of good came out of all the planning, save for keeping the Scroogej entertained through many lonely days at work..when he would otherwise have wallowed deeper into self pity on account of hitting Goa with 5 couples and a fellow stag.
And thus the day dawned(as is said in narratives..), and armed with enough booze within (thanks to strategically located standing bars close to the station) and without (in sprite bottles..yawn ..what an old collegeboy trick that is..) we boarded the train. After giving some elementary gyan on the functioning of Indian rail to the newbie in our midst (no, they dont distribute blankets in sleeper class, and no trains dont run on coal thats only in the movies, and the water for the loo? ofcourse they recycle..) and irritating the hell out of the poor old lady who happened to be stuck in our compartment we went to sleep. Woke up to the cheerful news of a railway bridge having been washed off and how our train would go only till Hubli. At this point, most of us resigned ourself to 3 yucky wet days of being cooped up drunk in hotel rooms playing cards and pictionary. And the rest set about bargaining with taxi drivers and setting them upon each other to vie for the noble task of taking us across to Goa.
However the cynics - self included - were in for a pleasant surprise. The weather was just short of awesome with showers only in the evening. Most of the time it was that perfect cool climate perfect for biking. Ofcourse the sea was rather rough and those among us that had hoped to come back with parasailing pics and banana boat tales were sorely disappointed. That would have to be another trip. That apart though we rarely ever missed the crowd, and definitely not when we got nice offseason discounts on everything from hotel rooms to trinkets at the flea market. Its the kind of place that grows on you, is Goa. Nice little package, and something in it for everyone. I got off the train and went yawn this is soo like Kerala, but revised that opinion rather quickly. Well, there are parts of Kerala to substitute for almost very part of Goa, but all of it packed together in a few couple of square KMs, now that is something. And ofcourse thanks to the Portuguese stopping by a couple of centuries back their architecture and food and everything has a nice firang touch. Oh and the food, by my own estimate I consumed a whole poultry farm worth of eggs for breakfast over those 4 days..
The first night we hit the Casino. Spend the night alternately gambling (to me as also for most of us this amounted to deciding where on the roulette table to keep those chips to maximize gain, but the more serious among us tried to apply what they had learned in the blackjack books ..hangover style..) and making up for the 1500 INR cover charge in the form of as many cocktails as can be downed in the course of a night. The place was rather crowded actually, I hate to think what it must be like in season. Self was designated driver (yet again, so will skip the rant).
Most of the remaining days were spent checking out one beach after the other -Baga, Arambol, Anjuna etc. The ride to Arambol is what I loved most in the whole trip. We had bikes and had a ride that took us through verdant paddy fields, hills, the sea, and riversides all in some 50 kms. There was a spot of beach football, thus arranged only so that the footballer could entertain himself at the expense of the rest of us running after him and the ball. Oh, and we did go to the titos and mambos of the world. In fact the best food in Goa was had at Titos, and at 8.4k for 12 people (with wine) it was surely a steal (anything looks like a steal, compared to bleddy blore prizes.) We stayed well off the touristy circtuit though and gave a miss to the Dona Paulas and the Cathedrals. DH & I even missed the Fort Agoda coz we got there just about closing time, and I sulked for the rest of the evening about it..Oh well, we have enough reason to go back..

Friday, July 03, 2009

While you were away..

So we went to the Rahman concert. If I made a bucket list, if the 17 year old me - the one that bought his cassettes on the first day, and listened only to his songs on endless loops, and was always ready to pick a fight with critics and discuss favorites with the fans - made one, I'm sure she'd have put that in, listening to the real life Rahman. And it was indeed a fitting fulfillment. The packed stadium, the galleries singing along, thousands of cellphone lights flickering against the dark, and then the man himself, walking in, and in his ever-so-cheerful voice few precious words, and then the music, and hariharan making a music class of a football stadium..There were the technical glitches the sound wasn't loud enough and being Kerala, the function was a huge mockery of people "ponnada anikyikkaling"(decorating each other with those gold scarf like thingies is the closest translation). But who cares, for me nothing could take away from the magic of that night. And wonder of wonders we entered Thrissur back in the wee hours of the morning, just in time for the pooram fireworks (The pooram is another close to the heart cause, handed down from Achan this time. Another post...). Who said you couldn't have the cake and eat it too?

Friday, April 17, 2009


If I don't argue with you it means I consider you too dumb or stubborn to be on the other side of one.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Life, the universe and a birthday..

There is so much that went unchronicled, so this an attempted snapshot.
The bday was awesome, Barney style awesome :). Sis and DH, among others, threw a surprise gig on the eve. The gang turned up from various corners of the city to on a midweek evening. Self felt suitably flattered. Ofcourse, once the cat was out of the bag, self was herself calling up the invitees and threatening them with "come to my surprise party or else" :) We left there at about 11.30, wishes and all done. On the way back, DH suggested we drop in at the Leela Barista for a coffee. (We go there about once a fortnight, sometimes more often). And dumb as I am, I was taken aback when we got there and saw the same gang, popping out one at a time from behind the huge Leela Pillars :) The cake was brought in, cut and shared, and I must say I was almost disappointed when I got home and didnt find anyone else hiding underneath the cots or sofas..I felt truly special, senti-mush-special.
I did land a job. Is ok, great in fact, given recession and all. But work aint much to write home about. One cant have the cake and eat it too.
I got my laptop. Its a super looker Dell studio XPS 13. Will review it sometime, gotto sign off now, before I crash on this beautiful backlit keyboard and destroy it.

Friday, March 27, 2009


She was bugged with him. With his having spent the whole day glued alternatively to the laptop and the PC. With another weekend of installs and configuration (this time upgrade to the new ubuntu?, but we digress). With the prospect of another day at home being spent intermittently trying to get his time. (Often succeding as well, she knows what works, 3 years :)) Was by his side for another round of cribbing, when she spied the machine name. Pepe! His name for her. And broke into a smile. And that took him off the m/c for longer than both of them bargained for..

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

In favour of discretion

Godin's latest post touched a raw nerve, so thought I should rant some. I can recall at least two instances in the recent past when I was at the receiving end of this playing_by_the_rule_book problem. And while I appreciate the fact that, as he rightly points out, exceptions are costly and complicated to make, I'm sure some intelligence behind_the_counter could have left me - the customer - feeling less bugged.
Take the first one. Bunch of us had dropped in at a highway coffee day on a big football game night. (It can be argued that we should have stayed home and watched the game in the comfort of bean bags beer and flatscreens, but there's a story to that..) They were playing MTV - and here's the best part - on mute, and we wanted them to switch to ESPN. And the guy behind the counter just wouldn't budge. Quoting the rule book and telling us CCD has an agreement with MTV to play music channels alone. (on mute? now that makes for some entertainment! Turns out they have another agreement with Worldspace to play their music. AARGH!) This in spite of the fact that every other table joined our cause, they had all in fact asked for the same and been turned down. This isn't even so hard a case as renting out a DVD to a foreigner. The TV wasn't hacked to only play MTV. Every group hanging out there wanted to watch the game. What good is it having men behind the counter if they cant/arent allowed to use their brains? We might as well have coffee vending machines. Of course we put up a fight and walked out, and found the nearest bread-omlette and tea dhaba where we watched the game on a 17 inch screen with no remote.
I'm too tired to go into the next one right now. Just wanted to make the point that enabling and educating the frontend guys with the power to make exceptions can only help the cause of the business. And like Godin says in his post, it doesn't always have to be by yielding to the customer's demand. As long as we feel we're talking to a human and not a bot on the other end we're cool, so talk common sense not rules!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Amberina, lest I forget

Was a textbook holiday, the one that the doctor prescribed for a work-weary, burned out couple :) ehm, might as well drop the act and stop pretending self is work-weary anymore, but when we went there I was still fresh off the job-loss. So..
We went midweek and were the only guests, it felt like owning the place, the palatial tea estate with its fireplaced rooms and cook-gardner-butler on call. Days were spend lazying around, book in hand or watching movies/ Poirot (this gave me the creeps, the place is a perfect setting for one of those Agatha Christie murder mysteries :)). Come dusk, they play lovey music and we curl up by the fireplace and read some more or play a game or two. Food was yum, lover even wanted to hijack the cook and bring him back. Very enterprising we are :). Morning/Evening walks through the estate, tea served in the garden yadayada..
All said, lovely place for frayed nerves. But hardly anything to "do", so don't even consider it if you're in a gang and want to go there, trek here and the like.
They have another place called the wild stay, which might cater to such needs. They're priced a little higher than I'd like and charging extra for food where there isn't even any question of eating anywhere doesn't make for a nice touch.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Pondy log

Oh well, just reposting to say we did this.

Over the last weekend. Drove there. Stayed in a beach shack. With sis and her significant other. The drive was nice and the food great. The service sucks, outlook calls it leisurely, but
1) leisurely != non existent
2) there is no excuse for sad cold cheese omlette at the most recommended place, after a wait of 45 mins!
Beach shack for 4 (with breakast) @ 350 bucks is damn neat anyday.
We caught the sunrise, but no cliche'd pics of people holding the sun. Go elsewhere for those.
Auroville is bloody expensive but I bought some namesake glazed pottery which the place is famous for. I also bought a sarong so a beach trip is now in order so I can sport it.
- Coffee on the way from roadside stalls in TN
- Gingee fort, we climbed one of the hills, on man's insistance (so why should anyone else be spared the heave-pant-climb experience!)
- Food at rendezvous, satsanga was not impressive. Also Le Cafe, run by the Govt. by the beach has a nice view.
- Stay at a shack. The trick lies in finding a tidy lil one. This is a must.

One in which she is, quite literally, jobless!

Its been a year and some more since the last post, and to even attempt to pick up where we left off is utterly foolish. So lets just start, here and now.
I'm writing this in the happy comfort that it wont be read. Coz this blog is dead and buried for all who cared. Which is just as well. For now.
Its been a couple of weeks since I got laid off, pink slipped or whatever fancy term you want to use. Much has been said of it already. Puns and play on words have been explored and exhausted as well, leaving me with nothing remotely funny for the title of the post.
Its a strange thing, losing your job. One of those things you thought you read of in papers and happened in the US of A not quite in India. And definitely not to you. For me in particular its a 'be careful what you wish for' deal. Coz lets admit it. While its been fun moving out, staying with Vin alone (been more than a year now). But its also a hell lot of work. And between the hour and a half commute and managing the kitchen (man has been insisting we get a cook, but how can I pretend_kitchen_queen concede that my fare can leave him wanting more/better! its almost as bad as him wanting a mistress. well, not quite. but we digress..) and deadlines and my own issues abt what I was doing (requires a whole post by itself) there have been times when I've wished for a slower pace. And here I am, my first day entirely at home - coz thanks to the holiday season and parites at home and outside every other day(where by the way, i was quite the celebrity-the first one around to get laid off- and much light was made of it. oh what, but, are a friends for!), and a couple of trips (new car is super and fun to drive. oh wait. make that, be driven in coz the man cant get his hands off the wheel on long drives) i havent really had the time to sit at home, and get acquinted with my joblessness and generally fret. so, half an hr of channel flipping and m bored to death. Ofcourse I have in the meanwhile taken care of so many random chores around the house, like curtains for the living room, a hob and chimney and the kitchen and such other exciting stuff. I have also been quite the homemaker packing food for Vin, dusting the figurines on show and all that. Finished books pending reading: check, movies to watch: check, travel stuff: some done some more in the pipeline. Ne'rtheless end of it all I think what we're seriously lacking around here is purpose in life. Thats what comes of deriving your sense of identity entirely from a 9to5(and some more hrs, a lot more) job.
Interview calls have been few and far between. And none, save one maybe, that Id want to get. Oh yes, we are still riding very pricey and very high on self worth. In spite of being turned down at a couple of places if I may say so..
Anyways, such is life and all that. Lot more to write, but I'm posting this now, just to please myself with seeing it out there.