Simply Me

Monday, June 30, 2008

Travelogues Part 1

18 hours after leaving Pune, I am still in Mumbai. Moreover I’m at the Intercontinental… Some of my friends had asked me to take pics of everything so that I almost have a photo diary… so though the diary needs to start at the airport, I obviously couldn’t take any pics there.

However, I can start by writing about the airport. My flight was at 11 p.m. Reporting time 8 p.m. I reached the airport at 6 p.m. Lots of calling people… Then I curled up with a book… At 8 p.m. I joined the line for check in… To cut a long story short, baggage screening, reporting, baggage check-in and being bumped to Business class from economy and a wait at the gate 16 for my flight later, we ended up in the plane… After about half an hour, we were told that 11 passengers who had checked-in were still missing. After they were escorted to the plane and an hour after the stipulated hour to leave, we were told by the pilot that there were some electrical problems. Please enjoy beverages… My neighbour was fast asleep from the time he sat at his seat. Another hour later another announcement… Hot meal would be served… The ground staff would be assisting us further... and we would disembark soon… At around 1.30 a.m., about 15-20 minutes from the time we were supposed to be in Abu Dhabi, we disembarked… Off to the Intercontinental for a halt… The hotel room is beautiful…

So now some important things… people I need to appreciate… the ground staff of Etihad… In a situation where, there were no systems, they co-coordinated really well when we were checking in… the counter was new… they had no computers… they had to confirm everything by mobile phones… the air hostess was all smiles and really sweet who managed the irate passengers really well (or maybe that had something to do with the fact that it was Business Class)… my manager Prashant Shah… a ray of hope really… He normally works in the Americas shift, but was ill and at home yesterday when I called him at 12 am in order to get word across to Ajit sir, who was to pick me up at Heathrow… I knew calling amma would be a waste… she would lay awake worrying… unfortunately I woke Prashant sir and unfortunately he stayed awake with worry… "Don’t worry," he said… I have family in Mumbai who can pick you up if necessary… “Don’t worry about Abu Dhabi either… I have my gang there…” It was really encouraging… Its one thing to know that the airways need to take care of everything, but to have someone say “Don’t worry... call anytime” is a whole different thing…

Well leaving now for lunch... the internet doesn’t seem to be working in the room… So just saving this as a draft.


Note: This was originally written on the day after I left Pune... the 19th I think... I am in Ealidng, UK since about 10 days now... I'll write about how that came about and the sights I saw soon (hopefully)

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posted by Tejaswini Shenoy at 11:02 PM 2 comments

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Happy Birthday Ajju...

Ajju (My paternal grandfather) celebrated his 100th birthday today, 16th June… We couldn’t go there… because of my job… We called him up today and amma made sweets to take to office… but it isn’t the same… I missed him a lot…

Ajju and bapama had lived with us since before I was born till the year 2000, after which they went to stay with their other son in Bangalore…Ajju is a retired high school teacher who taught kannada at Canara High School in Mangalore and Bapama was a house wife… What do I write about? I could talk about their 5 children… I could talk about how he was loved by his students and who still visit him and have called since yesterday… I could write about the stories he told when I was a child… there are way too many things that I can write about him and too short a blog space…

So I’ll write about some memories of when I was a child… the difference he has made to my life… the lessons he taught….

Ajju has always loved to sing and he still has a very strong voice… Last year, ajju and bapama had been to Dombivili for my cousin sis’s wedding and as I always remembered, he suddenly started humming to himself… We all kind of stopped chatting and listened to him… I took my cell near his mouth and asked him to sing… After he got over his confusion, he started singing… as he sang, his voice grew louder, he grew more energetic… he stumbled a bit in the second stanza but got over it really quick and remembered the rest of the song very soon… He sang the whole song… After the song was complete, he wanted to hear the recording… he heard it… I could tell he was satisfied with the way he had sung… ‘Kashi jalla ajju (How was it),’ I asked… ‘What can I say about myself,’ he said modestly… He couldn’t fool anyone really… he had that naughty twinkle in his eye which we always recognize… he liked what he heard…

As ajjus and bapamas go, my grandparents also spoiled me a lot… getting angry with amma and annu if I fought with them… and speaking on my behalf even when I fought with my grandparents… a pure vegetarian, I tried to feed ajju monginis slice cakes when I was playing with my toy utensils… ‘Oh… egg isn’t non-vegetarian,’ he said… well that’s a point for discussion…

A funny memory is when we made fish… Amma made fish for annu, me and herself… we had and still use completely different utensils for non veg… everything from the cooking utensils to plates and glasses are different… We would always have dinner together… the whole family… so on the days when we made fish, amma would ask ajju and bapama to have dinner first… the very same guy who had wandered in the kitchen about an hour ago would suddenly realize amma was making fish for dinner… needless to say, the door to his room would be closed to ward off the smell of fish… of course they never had objections to fish being made in the house… If a fortnight went by without fish being cooked, bapama would ask amma why we hadn’t bought it… they taught me to be tolerant and generous…

Since my childhood, I was supported whole-heartedly when I wrote poems… Creative genes I inherited from my father who in turn inherited them from his father… ajju helped me with my English grammar… Of course he never understood why our maths had to be so complicated… a complicated sum whose answer he could work out in his mind in a jiffy, we had to work out from a series of steps… he corrected my poems… taught me to classical music… and adored me with his love and affection and stories…

I was listening to an old audio recording the other day… when I was small, annu loved to record everything I said on a cassette… now I can be very stubborn when I want to… so most of the tape is my amma and annu trying to coax me to sing, which normally I would do all day at the top of my voice (I inherited quite a good voice from both sides of my family and with ajju as my teacher, I was quite well versed with classical music…) I was giggling away listening to the tape when suddenly comes the voice of ajju singing… More like humming to himself… but completely content…

One thing that comes out of being married to your wife for 73 years is that you know each other very well… you can recognize their voice… their breath… their whisper… last year at my sis’s, we were trying to get ajju’s attention… all calling out to him… ajju is hard of hearing now… Bapama is 12 years his junior but quite frail… she has always been delicate, but now she is almost fragile… In her tiny voice, she called to him, “Aikata vae… appaitaasa palaiyaati” (They are calling you…) Surprisingly that tiny voice reached his ears when all our voices didn’t…

Bapama was quite ill a while back… I think it took the most toll on ajju… he fell ill too… he wouldn’t recognize anyone at that time… we were all concerned for them both… Bapama got well… ajju got well… we were relieved…

Today when I took the sweets and told all my friends and colleagues that it was my ajju’s birthday, they were all very happy for him and for us… to have his blessings with us… I feel lucky to have him… Hopefully we will get to soon visit him… I’ll stop now… Find below two links… one of a song recording from about a year or two ago and the second an article in the newspaper about his birthday… Again… Happy Birthday Ajju

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nFE-GD2JgH0 (Special thanks to Nagesh anna who uploaded this last year on ajju’s birthday…. It meant a lot to me as well as our family to see and hear ajju sing)

http://www.hinduonnet.com/2008/06/13/stories/2008061359451100.htm

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posted by Tejaswini Shenoy at 12:21 AM 7 comments

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Studying...

12:30 a.m. and I am still studying... last time I was studying so hard was during my MCSE exams...

Tired... but still lots to do and gotta complete this today so that I can complete the rest tomorrow... exhausted... so thought I'd look at my own blog and cheer myself...


The stupid module I am reading is supposed to be completed in 2 and a half to 2 hours 45 minutes... yeah right!!!!

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posted by Tejaswini Shenoy at 12:26 AM 0 comments

Friday, June 13, 2008

Musical Game

My sis sent this one… Fun game… won’t tag anyone… lets see… if you guys try it, post a comment on my blog and I’ll check it on yours…

Here's a game.

Rules:
1. Put your MP3 player/iPod on shuffle
2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer.
3. You must write the name of the song that plays. No cheating! Don't change the songs!

Here are my answers:

IF SOMEONE SAYS "IS THIS OKAY?" YOU SAY?

Halka halka (Chocolate)



WHAT WOULD BEST DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONALITY?

Inner Smile (Texas)



WHAT DO YOU LIKE IN A GUY/GIRL?

Dil na diya (Krrish)(!!!)



HOW DO YOU FEEL TODAY?

Tere Bina (Guru)



WHAT IS YOUR LIFE'S PURPOSE?

L.O.V.E. (Ashlee Simpson)

WHAT IS YOUR MOTTO?
Sathiya (Sathiya) (Looks like I am getting to know my innermost feelings :P)



WHAT DO YOUR FRIENDS THINK OF YOU?

Ya Ali (Gangster) (Huh??? Friends could you please explain)



WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR PARENTS?

Bring me to life (Evanascence) (Isn't the tense incorrect???)



WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT VERY OFTEN?

Papa kehte hain (QSQT)

WHAT IS 2+2?
Zara Nazron Se Kehdo (Bombay Vikings)



WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR BEST FRIEND?

Khoya Khoya (Shabd)



WHAT IS YOUR LIFE STORY?

Nastes Ghari (Salil Kulkarni)



WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GROW UP?

Aankhen BAnd karke (Aitraaz)



WHAT DO YOU THINK WHEN YOU SEE THE PERSON YOU LIKE?

Mayya (Guru)



WHAT DO YOUR PARENTS THINK OF YOU?

Pretty Woman (Roy Robinson)



WHAT WILL YOU DANCE TO AT YOUR WEDDING?

Angels (Robbie Williams)



WHAT WILL THEY PLAY AT YOUR FUNERAL?

All out of love (OTT)



WHAT IS YOUR HOBBY/INTEREST?

Barso Re (Guru) (Heck... I always thought I hated getting wet...)



WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST SECRET?

Show me the meaning (BSB)



WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR FRIENDS?

Lekin mera dil (Nazia HAsan)



WHAT SHOULD YOU POST THIS AS?

Underneath your clothes (Shakira) (I repeat!!!!)

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posted by Tejaswini Shenoy at 12:06 AM 0 comments

Monday, June 2, 2008

Rules are made to be broken...

One of those great points about the cab service at office (touch wood!!) is the security measures they take... But drivers are quite adept when it comes to breaking rules... Moreover some rules ARE easy to break...

Here's one... Drivers and the front seat passengers are supposed to wear seat belts... and they indeed wear seat belts... for the 45 seconds that it takes to get to the gate... announce who is getting down last... and drive out of the gate... snap comes the belt out of the holder and back to its original position... the employee sitting at the passenger seat pointed this out to the driver today... Its ok for you said the driver... we can't drive with the seat belt... and there ends the argument...

Another says that the drivers have to go for a breath analyzer test before leaving the building... funny thing is, one of my colleagues smelt alcohol in the car one day and it turned out to be an employee... and there was the one time when they found a bottle of alcohol below the driver's seat... the driver was immediately terminated... Nowadays to save on time they do the breath analyser test before employees are seated... how that assures that they won't drink before leaving is quite beyond me...

Another rule is in between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m. or so, a female employee can ask for an escort or rather, she HAS to take an escort... Earlier, the drivers used to ask particular guards to sit in the car... now that means that they are friends... so how would the female employee feel safe? We raised this point and the management immediately took measures to overcome this...

Going back to the seat belts, a funny incident took place a few months ago... Two of my colleagues were in the same cab... it was just the two of them in the cab... a guy and a girl... the guiy was to take the last drop... they were both seated on the back seats... a security guy asked the guy to sit in the passenger's seat... After some argument he agreed to sit in the front seat... If you are wondering why he had argued, it was because of the seat belt... He has severe neck aches and can't wear a seat belt... No you have to wear the seat belt said the guards... First they make you take the passenger seat against your will and then make you wear the seat belt... is it strange or what?

A rule says, girls aren't allowed to sit in the passenger seat... My pregnant friend had to tell atleast 3 guards the reason why she couldn't sit in the back seat before we left the office everyday... she finally lost her temper one day when the guard said... Madam, please be seated in the back... NO... she said... who could blame her? Maybe, we decided, to add to the DOs and DON'Ts list, a pregnant lady should have a sign stuck to her forehead declaring as such so that no one pesters her...

When we spoke to the management about some of these problems, some of them said... Wow... we never knew... We come by car... Well, thats easy for them to say... not everyone owns a car and bike accidents on the highway are a whole different story...

Anyway, let me wind up... how do you decide when a rule is helpful and when does it cross the border of sanity?

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posted by Tejaswini Shenoy at 11:01 PM 5 comments