Thursday, April 29, 2004

Everything must go

Suddenly realized I need a huge amount of money in May, to pay off the builder and the interiors guy. Am selling everything, including my soul. All my mutual funds, the SBI and ONGC nest eggs - everything.

Even then, am still a few lakhs short. How much are kidneys trading for these days?

Thursday, April 22, 2004

How I spent my summer vacation

Through a window, clearly

The first glimpse of Kerala always floors me. The mode of transport doesn’t really matter. A train window does offer a different perspective compared to the view from above, but the effect is the same. Wonder. Happiness. Awe.

Sindha looked outside and said, "I see only coconut trees. Nothing else - no houses, no roads, nothing." I smiled back. I love this land.

The Heat

We could feel the difference in climate from the moment we alighted. Hot, humid, sultry as hell. Rachu got affected the most; the first day was pretty bad for her. She cried a lot after reaching home, got very cranky in the evening and scared off most people who came close to her. Luckily, we did have a bit of rain a couple of days later, which cooled things somewhat. Sleeping with the a/c turned on also helped. Rachu perked up immediately when the a/c kicked in. She grinned at us, did somersaults on the bed and went to sleep without too much fuss.

But it was still hot most days. We didn’t venture out anywhere during the day.

The Songs

It was all about one song, really. Lajjavathi was everywhere. Three year old kids who couldn’t put a normal sentence together were crooning the lyrics. Sixty six year old grand-moms whose last song sung was Aatmavidyalayame were singing while working. The song played in shops, in movie halls, from loudspeakers on cars on election duty and on every channel every day.

The song is quite catchy, of course. It’s easy to see why it’s such a big hit. Jassie Gift’s singing style adds a tangy flavor. However, I doubt if he can repeat this phenomenal success.

I bought a few CDs - 4 The People (of course), Hits of Manju Warrier, Bharatham, Panchagni+Nakhakshathangal+Kaathodu Kaathoram (the best Malayalam soundtrack CD ever) and an assorted collection of the latest hits.

The Books

I badly wanted to start reading Malayalam literature. I’ve always been ashamed of having read novels like Kazhakhinte Ithihasam and Yakshi in English, rather than their native Malayalam. Went to Current Books and bought a pile:

1. Kazhakhinte Ithihasam by OV Vijayan
2. Marthandavarma by CV Raman Pillai
3. Ummachu by Uroob
4. Mayyazhippuzhayude Theerathu by M Mukundan
5. Payyan Kathakal by VKN
6. Asuravithu by MT

Sindha bought Mrs. Mathew’s cookery book and an English translation of Premchand’s Godaan. I started reading Payyan Kathakal, found it light and enjoyable. The others will be more difficult, I guess. Might need a good dictionary, too.

The Movies

We couldn’t go for any movie, for obvious reasons. Or rather, one reason - li’l Miss Rachana Madhav. 4 The People and Vellinakshathram were the current hits, from what I understood. Mohan Lal had a new movie called Vismayathumbathu, which appears to be a pale reworking of Manichitrathazhu. No one apart from a few die hard fans seemed interested in the film. Sad to see one of the best actors of my generation slowly sink into oblivion.

The Friends

There aren't too many of my friends around aymore. Jamy is the only one from what I call my inner circle, who is still in Trivandrum. Sindha, Rachu and I went to Sreeji’s house and met his parents, two brothers and other folks. They were quite happy to see us, after a really long while. Met Jamy at his house, but he had a personal emergency and we couldn’t get too much time to sit and talk. We wanted to go to Jayasankar’s house too, but lacked the energy to go up to Vattiyoorkavu in the heat.

Sindha's circle has three friends, out of which two were in Trivandrum. We visited both of them. We also did the obligatory visiting neighbours thingy too. Smiles all around.

The Sights

Veli was packed with people the day we visited. I was sad to find that my favorite coconut tree, the one which leant over into the backwaters, was missing. That apart, it was quite relaxing to sit next to the lake, with the cool sea breeze gently touching your face. Rachu was delighted too - she really enjoyed being next to the water and watching the birds fly by.

We did visit Shankhumukham beach too, but the kid was exhausted by then and we had to leave.

The Food

Staying at Sindha’s place is always fun. I never feel hungry from the moment I step in. Chicken - curry and chilly, three different varieties of fish - each fried and curried, tapioca, mutton cutlets, crab curry, fried prawns and the usual vegetarian spread of avial, sambar, thoran, ithyadi. The whole trip was one gastronomic delight. I also managed to get meat puffs from Jayaram Bakery and halwas (pineapple, grape and fig) from Sweet Mahal.

Net increase: 2.5 kilos per person. Rachu has also put on weight. Not bad for a week’s visit.

The End

Back in Bangalore. Back to routine, back to work. Back to pressures and deadlines, expenses and bills. But also back to what we can really call home.

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Couldn't vote

Turns out my name was removed from the rolls. I guess the good folks from the Election Commissioner's office had checked my previous residence, found that I don't live there no more and happily deleted Sindha's and my name from the list. I don't exist, apparently.

Bah! This is the first time I've not voted, in the three elections that have passed since I turned 18.

Sunday, April 18, 2004

Monday, April 5, 2004


Saw Sethuramaiyer CBI and Nandanam yesterday. The first was just about watchable, mainly for the nostalgia value. I liked Nandanam, in spite of being prejudiced against it. It is a syrupy sweet love story, but there was a freshness in the presentation. The bhakti bit didn't jar either. Navya Nair deserved her state award.

In other news, I love .