Wednesday, December 17, 2008

What's in a name anyway?

It is not my favourite novel but somehow on those " 10 minute flicking the pages of a book mood" days,its the only one that I reach out for. I find the movie based on the novel interesting too.Good direction,good performers and good story though for the fact that the novel wasn't a huge success.I feel that The Namesake tells the story of every Indian and I reconnect with the book as soon as this topic of discussion comes over at dinner table.

The Sridhar family dinner involves everyone's involvement( It bewilders me how we manage to get a morsel of food inside us when all that we do is talk).So as my dad calls Mallu and Juja(snigger!!) for dinner I reason with him the way Gogol did with his dad....

Ok fine; Mallu!; I can bear with it but Juja ?How does Gautam not get embarrassed about it?

And my dad with a twinkle in his eyes lists off the numerous names that he likes to call me as- Mal,Mallak,Mallik, etc etc, and adding that I was really lucky to have so many fond names when my poor brother has only one.

To add insult to injury my mother laughs and tells me how I was going to be named Aashima( you see how much involvement the book has in my life).My uncle stopped her from doing so( she was heavily influenced by buddhism at that point of time) for he felt it rhymed with arshi mav and dosai mav (rice batter and dosa batter in tamil) and would become a topic of joke later on in life.

He saved me a great deal ,but my ordeal continues.

  • I'm pelting out great numbers,the band supporting me totally rocks,the crowd is mesmerised with the music and once the curtains fall and I begin to exit the stage,I hear those familiar sounds which make me feel like crawling to the depths of the earth.The ' Mallu' rantings and cheering which form a part of my wildest dreams come true here.The same happens as soon as my theatre act gets over.
  • During submissions when friends 'accidentally' address me as 'Mallu' in front of the professors who look around in a bemused fashion for the person with the funny name and the concerned has vanished out of sight.
  • No wait! the name is not restricted to friends,classmates.batch mates,professors,wardens or practically the entire college. My friends' boyfriends call me as such and as for their parents, they don't even know what my real name is!
  • The cute guy checking out scenario is full on and just when you feel that, well ; maybe you are getting the attention, it is busted up, as your pal shouts out 'Mallu' at the top of her lungs for the entire place to hear.The only thing that strikes you at that moment is to stare at your knees and avoid the bewildered,funny and scandalized glance of that cute guy.End of seduction one-o-one as Gogol rightly puts it.

and I am not the only one who faces this. All those who have the 'u' suffixes attached to their names- the Divu's,Nitu's,Deepu's,Neeru's,Adu's,Siddhu's etc etc. or all those who have purely laughable pet names like Ladoo( the poor guy had a smug expression whenever he was addressed as such) or Pappu( my dear cousin who always got irritated when his mother called him so. His brother got back at me by calling me Malli- Palli(lizard in tamil)) or well, Golden( yes it's hilarious for a guy.I would have cried my eyes out had it been me).A man of my grandfather's age introduced me to his middle aged son,as Duku(though his name is Ganesh).Since then I call him Duku uncle.
...and so the saga continues for many.I don't know whether they like it.I put up with it.The only fond name that I am so fond of is the one given by the person who gave me my name - my grandfather.I love it because he always calls me' Mallika' and I love it when he calls me his Chum Chum .

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Of Snores and Chuckles

I chuckle as I write this and I chuckled last night as a grumpy looking Gautam( my brother) got up and squeezed into bed with my mom amd dad(???????).Upon interrogation by my very sleepy mom he mumbled...mama(mother's brother) is snoring too loudly.As for me, I was sitting and poring over my books or rather 'trying' to, while the different sounds of the night world droned into my head.Especially, as I was sitting in a very centrally located room of my home and the sounds from the three bedrooms were so proportionately directed towards me.( have got my head so full of engineering stuff,the stress is probably reflecting here too ;) anyway at first I was amused and shrugged it off but then later it was hard to ignore.Worse,all the snores of the four men in my home had a certain rhyming fashion,as if they were conversing through their snores or moreover a song sequence was going on with varied frequencies and tones.And all of them went breathing one after the other such that it was hard for me to even catch in a word out of my books between the intervals(if there had been any!!)
As I usually sleep like a log( yes! even the earthquake does'nt wake me up) it hardly makes a difference when I'm in a deep slumber but times are really difficult when I am awake and Gautam is asleep.Most of the time I'm just leaning over to his side of the bed and plugging his nose or writing on his face( haha I know I torture him a lot).This really does get him as then he mumbles off abuses and gives the " see what I do to you when you sleep" look.And somehow my mother seems to brush off the whole affair when I tell her about it.Says that he has a history of bronchitis which is the reason why he snores...Any excuse!!
So when today we were just discussing about the sleeping arrangements and Gautam refused point blank to sleep in the same room as my uncle,so did I,then my mother subtly put it across to my uncle about his snores.He gave the lamest excuse ever- of him having deviated septum of the nose which made him take the air through only one side.This just made me burst out laughing.
And so starts the the age old denial by men when they are confronted with their snoring issues.
My dad denies it point blank with a sheepish grin on his face( I wonder how I am going to put up with it as tonight I'll be sleeping in the same room as my dad and brother).
And when I cuddle up to my grandfather and listen to stories, he tells me how some people snore mildly( he is a mild one) and some so loudly that it sounds as if someone is whistling .He then remnisces and chuckles to himself.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


I am an ardent fan of The Beatles...That was the first band ever that I had heard as a kid ( all day long till the cassetes almost got worn out and I panicked and reduced the frequency) but over the years i have listened to such a wide range of music that The Beatles just got lost in the crowd of my music collection,a mere ghostly rememberance,something I felt bored to play.
This post is dedicated to my rekindled passion for the band which happened a few months back.I just don't know how this transition came about but I have really felt good after reconnecting with the music and the band that I adore so much (and well I will put it that my first baby crush was on the bassist,George Harrison and I still find him uff...Hot ..sadly he is no more.This is for you Nikhita....Okay laugh on at my dead guy crush and fine!!!! at the coffin joke too and so here it comes especially for you )....

A pic of George Harrison at his very best when he connected with India

some of my favourite numbers are, While my guitar gently weeps, Hey Jude,Yesterday,Let It Be...and its so difficult to choose i seem to like even their worst senseless lyrics numbers(Get back is an example)...

Imagine there's no heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky

Imagine all the peopleLiving for today...
Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the peopleLiving life in peace...

You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the peopleSharing all the world...

You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will live as one

One of the best works of John Lennon...there is one pic of theirs too which was taken for the 'sgt peppers lonely hearts club band' album.

For all the passionate listeners of The Beatles.......(Div for you too ;)


I always look forward to ‘the’ day when I can breathe a sigh of relief from work and just flop down on the couch with a novel or close my eyes to some soothing melodies while a sackful of books and assignments lie in some corner of the room to be tackled on Sunday night. The sense of exaltation that engulfs me as the day arrives, which makes me think that I have to stop thinking. As my faithful friends put it for all of us“bas pad jaana”, that’s what happens to us on this day. This is the beauty of Friday (after work).

Friday(at work) is like the final blow of death that any student can get(a student of third year, entc dept at my college).The design of the time table is such that the slow torture continues for the entire week with Wednesday, tsk tsk Wednesday of all the days when college starts at 10 and gets over at 3.The day when there are no pracs, lectures which should be bunked and a potential day to scurry off for a ‘matinee picture’ as our not so ‘sarcastic’ professors politely put it. Couldn’t the day be a Friday? Well no, because the sadistic brain behind the planning of the timetable just cannot bear the poor tormented souls who just want some moments of happiness in their lives…(this para is especially dedicated to Nikki Koul, champion criticizer, who will slowly form an acknowledging smile after reading this..Something that she would have definitely said and proud of the fact that this remark is coming from me)

Anyway coming back to Friday, its two heavy duty practicals in a row starting at 8 so that means submission of two journals that day and two lectures after which coming back to a dim curtained room and an inviting bed with fluffy pillows is definitely an enticing sight.That is why most of the Fridays, as soon as I come back from college and rest my head on the pillow I go into a sweet stupor so deep that my friends have to shake me awake to accompany them for dinner. And I eat on,with my hair all ruffled and sleep dripping from my eyelids and still dreaming of going back to my comfy bed and definitely not thinking of the assignments which I would not start until Sunday night. This is how my Friday goes, when I’m recuperating from a very hectic schedule.
And Friday night after dinner is so much fun. The hostel is alive and buzzing with activities .The night when students have ample of time to get hooked on to the phone with their special someone.
As for me this is one night when I can create a ruckus in the hostel. The night when me , Nikita, Shipra and Anu just scream out songs out of the window loud enough for the entire complex to hear, when we have our fist and ‘hair pulling’ fights, or shout away while playing uno. This always makes the warden arrive in her scary white nightgown, hair open and cold eyes that give us the ‘I will rusticate you tomorrow’ look..but some things never change and the story continues every Friday night...sometimes we enjoy a quiet movie or else just cook maggi in the middle of the night and talk for hours galore as if time had stopped...
Wish time did stop…for I find myself waking up on Saturday with wonderful memories of the Friday that went by…

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Written over!

This was something that i had jotted down on a piece of paper in class,frustrated and bored with the droning lectures.So basically it had been formulated a long time back and i will just 'type' it down again for my post(thankfully its just typing and you will soon know why i am saying so)

"I pick up my pen and open up my notebook.I stop and stare stupidly between the lines.I find myself stifling with the heat in the room and the voice of the professor is just boring into my head like a drill. I look down at my hand which is furiously clicking away at my pen but I am still not able to write.I knew what i had to jot down but then the complexity of the problem was how? when i am not sure of the basic thing that is required by me to write-my handwriting"(yes its true, it takes me minutes to configure later on whatever i scribble and well its a' painful' task)

So this brief interlude of my thoughts in class has a long story behind it.It started when I was four and got my first writing lessons.My mother, a staunch supporter of the cursive writing had to slap her way through to make me cross my t's and loop my l's.My dismal four lined notebook,frequently rubbed and nearly torn used to fetch me a meagre B at the end of the day.My mother with grim satisfaction carried out her daily ritual of making me write one page of writing till the time I came to third grade.
I admired my new best friend's writing a lot.It slanted towards the left.I started learning how to write again.She taught me,Both of us sitting at the last bench and scribbling away to glory, and myself carrying out the complete act of defiance to my mother's painstaking efforts.What followed after this with my mother,I don't remember(or maybe don't want to if rightly put).It was traumatic. I had guessed it from my mother's narrowed down eyes and pursed lips when I had questioned her about it in my later years.I managed to write left for two years when a little trick was played on me.She hurt my little ego by praising my uncle's artistic writing and my cousin's prim and neat one.It was then that I could take it no more and was introduced to my first ink pen.I started slanting my handwriting to the right now.It was painful, emotionally and physically.The end product? ahem...was neither prim nor artistic.It deserved only a grimace.Nevertheless I didn't stop writing and kept on at it till it became better and I started getting little praises for it.I was elated when I was told to write certificates for the school function.I started imagining all those students staring fondly at their names on the certificates, written in my handwriting.
So school got over,mother was happy and I too.College saw me jotting down lectures and writing in exams at top speed till all the beautiful cursive beacame completely blurred and none of my friends and professors understood what I wrote.Worse!one of them said my letters danced like in Eshaan Awasthi's of Taare Zameen Par fame.My marks in exams drooped to a miserable low and finally after blaming my brains,my ill luck,my destiny,I thought of more realistic things.It was again a blow to my ego and a sad submission for my mum to whom I explained that the inevitable had to be done again.So my handwriting has changed again.I break my letters now( to which my dad offhandedly remarked without realizing that I was already so distraught and irritated.." Why dont you try writing straight now????") and hope that the examiners are able to understand it.My mother fondly looks at my old writings and says that she hopes to see me writing like that again.

What I pray and hope is that besides my signature,I have to do all the written stuff on the computer.Thank God!!!!!! sorry Bill Gates for Microsoft Word.

Monday, October 27, 2008

The Beginning

Okay,so I have finally managed to start a blog...but yes before that I would like to express my humble apologies for shaking the very foundations of the English language, in which I am going to express my thoughts (or pondering as I may put it) by naming myself as the 'retrospector'. A name that I came up with to sign off..a salute to my meditative spirit!..laughing out loud( hope it is not sounding too obnoxious) or put more aptly by my friends as being the perfect' lost world' character they may have had the chance to encounter.
Anyway, I think I am returning to the writing scene after one and a half years. People had actually given up on coaxing me to write.Me,the lazy person that I am had a list of excuses lined up,my favourite being-the inspiration just doesn't seem to come.So initially I was quite apprehensive before embarking on this blogging experience as I feared that the blog would eventually die a slow death and I have been ignoring every one's suggestion for more than a year now.All the more, I was not very fond of the world wide web.For purposes of study ( and to download music and check out the lyrics of songs) it does have its uses there,rest I had others creating mail id's for me particularly the one that I am using to manage this blog( my college placement cell was embarrassed by it..yes its true,ha ha... I am well past 18 and cool???????)
So here ,as always , I liked to feel blissfully unaware of the Internet advancements(read: no access to the net for a very long time) was prejudiced about the blog concept(waste of time blah blah),but my urgent need to start writing again made me resort to it.
Hmm.. I am at the beginning of my blogging journey and well this is for you, my grandparents,my family and friends and readers..hope I don't disappoint you(sorry I wont be able to write poems..can't rhyme my words at all..will try though).
signing off for now.