Cutie

Last Saturday, I visited my cousin who was here on vacation from Malaysia with her 13 month old angel. Here are few pics I clicked from my 2 mega pixel camera in the night without flash. :) Though, the little one never came to any got down of her mother's lap in spite of pleading her, it was fun watching her.


I clicked loads of baby pics and told my cousin that I would blog her cutie's pic. She is a regular reader of my blog. Since she requested not to post any of face pics, I'm not posting it here. :) Last time, my cousin posted cutie's pic on Orkut and people put an eye i.e. drishti or buri nazar.
I got these from my cousin. Since I am an avid collector of coins and notes, these are indeed a treasure:
1 Malaysian ringgit = 0.276434 U.S. dollars
1 Malaysian ringgit = Rs 14

PS: The picture quality is low and noisy since they were clicked without flash and low light conditions.

© Manasa. All rights reserved.


Twitter

I came across a link to this site: twitter while I was browsing the various links on a blog. For a while, I couldn't figure out what twitter is all about. Hence, I decided to sign up and I've been experimenting from April '08.

Twitter  is a microblogging site which allows the user to send updates called "Tweets" upto 140 characters long. You can also "follow" others on twitter to receive their tweets when you login. Initially, twitter provided sending updates through gtalk and mobile phone, though the former is no longer supported. Apart from following others and updates, it provides "@replies" (replying to others) and "direct messages" with an inbox; updates can be public or protected to only those who follow us.

Apart from updating by logging into twitter homepage, there are several widgets/installers which allow us to login and refresh at regular intervals.
Few of the installers are:
Twitterfox : an add on plugin to Firefox.
Tweetdeck, Twirl , Twibble : require Adobe AIR to be installed.
Betwittered : widget that can be added on igoogle page.
m.slandr : A web page login.
Twitterrific : Used for iPhone or iPod Touch.
iTweet : Web page with auto-refresh.
Twitpic : Allows to upload the photographs.
Grouptweet : provides message broadcasting to a group.
Twitter counter : A badge to display no of followers on your website/blog.
Mobile web : accessing twitter from mobile phone.

I've been addicted to twitter and slangs like tweeple, tworld, tweets..!
My current tweets : 777

You can follow me on twitter and be my follower. ;-)

© Manasa. All rights reserved.


Few learnings

Its been a great learning experience from a month(22nd Oct - 19th Nov). I've learnt many things from my experiences on each wednesday starting from 22nd Oct to 19th Nov, a week ago. A dream which is yet to turn into a reality is shattered, a long lasting hope is lost. Over a month, each week has made me realize the sweetness, happiness, patience, bitterness, sadness and of course mastering your mind. At times, heart goes out of control of your mind and mind tries to console your heart that this is the way people are, the world is and you should move on, for time waits for no one and it is no worth brooding over the past. Each happening is a learning experience, the long lasting lesson taught by life.

Last wednesday, 19th Nov, I learnt a lesson that I shouldn't brood over the past and thinking about the failures would hurt me more. Time will heal the pain and I waited for time!

Life gives you what you deserve and not what you desire,
At times it gives you more than what you desire...!!! ??


Regarding "What happened?", I don't want to write about it and hurt myself more :)

© Manasa. All rights reserved.


Silver Lining in Gmail Themes


Google introduced themes for gmail inbox. Google came up with 31 themes on 19th Nov . Silver lining is one of their themes which is also my blog title!

How many of you have chosen Silver lining theme? :)

© Manasa. All rights reserved.


In the pink

Pink - The color which all gals prefer over any given color. Women of all ages, be it a teenager, a little gal of age six or even an old lady of 60 admire. Pink, in other words is always referred to "girly" and hated by guys. If a guy admires "pink" or wears a pink shirt by any chance, they guy is treated like a gay!

Though, guys love red, they hate pink to such an extent that they express with weird expressions on their face. Whereas, we gals chose pink in lipstick, shoes, shirt, skirt, curtains, cell phones (oh, that moto phone) or even pink scooty ;)

A fortnight ago, my mother and her friend had been for shopping and bought many household stuffs including a dustbin. When my father noticed he dustbin at a corner of the house, he yelled, "Why pink? :( " with a weird expression.

We ladies, don't even spare a pink dustbin. ;)

© Manasa. All rights reserved.


Paanwala

One of the jokes I received in a forwarded email.

Joke of the Year

Ek Aadami :  Chacha kaise ho ??? (Uncle, how are you ?)

Chacha: ab kya batau.... (What do I say!)

Bada beta share broker hai... (Eldest son is a Share broker)

doosara beta Jet Airways mein hai aur (Second son in Jet Airways)

teesara software mein hai aur (Third son in software field)


sabse chhota PANWALA  hai... Bus Wohi ghar chala raha hai.... (Last one sells paan. And the whole family is dependent on him)

© Manasa. All rights reserved.


Mahashweta

Drafted: 16th Nov '08.

Mahashweta  is the book authored by Sudha Murty . Till date, Mahashweta is believed to be the best book written by Sudha Murty. The book was written in Kannada and later translated to other languages including English, Marathi, etc.

The story revolves how Anand, a successful doctor by profession; handsome and hunk is seduced by Anupama's beauty and marries her, though she hailed from a poor family. Anupama, whose father was a school teacher and had lost her mother during childbirth had stayed away from home from the clutches of her step mother and her daughters who always disliked her. Anu, was a bright student, who stayed in a hostel and thrived on the scholarship she received till she completed Master of Arts. Anand, impressed by her acting as "Mahashweta" in a drama: Mahashweta, decides to choose her as his partner.

Anupama is married to Anand and the wedding expenses were borne by Anand's mother. Anand's mother had reluctantly agreed to his proposal since she did not want to break her son's heart. Anu's mother-in-law(MIL) and sister-in-law(SIL) had disliked her since she was from a poor family and Anu was more beautiful than her SIL.

A couple of months later, Anand decides to go to England and her mother-in-law insists her to join her son after performing Lakshmi Pooja during Deepavali. During the Pooja preparation, a red hot charcoal falls on Anu's foot and the pain was unbearable. A few days later, she develops a white patch on that skin area which begins to spread. Secretly, she consults one of the best dermathologist whose prescribed medicine doesn't cure nor stop the white patch from spreading around her foot.

Meanwhile, her mother-in-law discovers that Anu had been suffering from leukoderma  before marriage and blames her for cheating them. Anu is thrown out of the house and sent to her father's house in a remote village. She is humiliated by the known and unknown as well. Her repeated letters to her husband in England, turn futile as he never replies to her letters.

Once she hears two ladies in her village gossiping about her sister-in-law married into an affluent family and her husband had given his consent for second marriage. She's heartbroken, having lost faith in her husband, who had made promises that he would never leave her until death parted them, had now deserted her and loved her just because she was beautiful. His promises were false though he was well educated, a doctor, but poor at heart or hadn't fulfilled the responsibilities of a husband. She thinks of jumping of the cliff from a hill top and questions why should she kill herself when the person whom she loves doesn't even bother to understand her. She leaves to Bombay where her best friend, Sumi, during her college days, stays.

She finds a job, with the help of her friend's husband, as a clerk. But soon, her husband who called Anu as his sister, misbehaves when her friend was away from home. Anu finds a new accomodation in a week. She had made bunch of friends who would help her before she would utter a word. She joins as a Sanskrit lecturer and actively involved in the dramas. Most people would appreciate the way she directed the plays. She had grown stronger and never self-pitied. Instead, she was cheerful and faced life with boldness. But Anand's memories haunted at times and that hurt her.

Anu meets with an accident and when brought to the hospital, the doctor on duty, Vasant, instead of Dr. Satya, cures her leg injury. Since all of them were Kannadigas, the trio become good friends.

Years later, Anand returns realizing his mistake. He traces her with a great difficulty but the difficulty she underwent couldn't be compared with anything. He had deserted her when she needed him, he had known that she did not suffer from leukoderma before marriage. Yet, he remained numb when she was thrown out of his house and insulted by his mother and sister. When he pleads for forgiveness and requests to join him, she expresses her reluctance. Anand had left her years ago, just because a white patch had appeared for no fault of hers.

Dr. Vasant puts forth his proposal of marrying her. What would be Anu's answer for his proposal? Will she marry him or remain as she is? Read the book to know more. I know curiosity kills a cat. :)

"Maha" means Great and "Shweta" means white. Anu once regrets that she had played the role of Mahashweta and now had become Mahashweta with white patch all over her.

The story brought tears and I couldn't close the book until I completed in the midnight.

Men are attracted to beauty that they forget to discover the inner beauty of a woman. Does beauty refer only to fair-complexion and not the goodness within oneself? Why do we admire the beauty when it doesn't stay for a long time. When husband is ill or bed ridden, wife serves him selflessly, day and night, until he gets well. Will a husband ever serve his wife just the way she does? In the epic, Mahabharata , Gandhari  blindfolded herself with a black cloth throughout her married life since her husband, Dhritarashtra; was born blind. Would Dhritarashtra blindfold if Gandhari was born blind?

Sudha Murty has brought the suffering that a woman has to face throughout her life. In the postscript of her book, she writes that a gal had developed white patch after engagement and her fiance was reluctant to marry her learning this. He, once read this book and decides that he shouldn't be a coward as Anand in the story and marries her. The couple had invited her to the wedding and the gal gifted her a saree.

This was the first book I read authored by Sudha Murty and I've fallen n love with her writing :)

This book would change your mindset if you're looking forward to marry someone who is stunning with breathtaking beauty. And don't marry if cannot commit or support your spouse during bad times. This book is a must read.

Edited on 18th Nov to add: I had written the ending. Since the ending kills the curiosity, I've given the twist. Read the book and find out yourself. Thanks, xh.

© Manasa. All rights reserved.


Interpreter of Maladies

Drafted: Nov 5th '08


Interpreter of Maladies is a collection of short stories by Jhumpa Lahiri . Jhumpa Lahiri, a Bengali author, portrays the life of Bengalis in this book, mainly living abroad. Each story depicts the loneliness, silent untold sufferings faced in day-to-day life by the NRIs who live thousands of miles away from home. The wish to see their beloved ones: be it friends or family members. The moments when they learn that the dear ones have departed forever. The silent cry within and the struggle in spite of owning the so called "best" thing. In spite of staying abroad, Indians never forget their rich culture, the way they were brought up, the values and principles. A few stories also speak of Bengalis in India.

The book is a collection of nine short stories:
  1. Temporary matter.
  2. When Mr. Prizada came to dine.
  3. Interpreter of Maladies.
  4. A Real Durwan.
  5. Sexy.
  6. Mrs. Sen.
  7. This Blessed House.
  8. The Treatment of Bibi Haldar.
  9. The Third and Final Continent.
The book won Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in the year 2000.

© Manasa. All rights reserved.


Bachpan ki yaadein

One of the fowarded email I received had the following attachments which brought the memories of good old serials on Doordarshan channel, a decade or two ago.

For those who grew up watching Doordarshan, its indeed a delight to listen to title tracks:


Bajesargam:


***

Byomkesh Bakshi



***

Duck Tales



***

Jungle Book



***

Karmanye



***

Malgudi Days



***

Mile Sur Mera Tumhara



***

Surabhi



***

Bharat ek khoj



***

Tipu Sultan



***
© Manasa. All rights reserved.


34 Bubblegums and Candies

Title: 34 Bubblegums and Candies

Author: Preeti Shenoy

Price: 95 INR

34 Bubblegums and Candies
The book has been written by the popular blogger, Preeti Shenoy, who is also an artist. I picked up this book since I am a reader of her blog and like her style of writing on various subjects. The book is a collection of blog posts each story 1-2 page long. As I have been a regular follower of her blog, I felt these were just printed in the form of a book and finished reading in less than an hour.

If you're looking for something new or thrilling, then you would be disappointed. It is a good read for the first time readers.

My rating 2.5/5

Beloved Paati

During my higher primary schooling days in 5th Standard, there was a new joinee in my class. As kids, we would address any new joinee as new gal or new boy. The NEW gal was grabbed by bunch of gals and the circle of friends increased. Similarly, the new boy was pulled by the gang of guys.

During the first two days of school re-open, teachers would revise few math tables, rhymes and let us play inside the classroom. If the teacher was good, she would even narrate a moral story and we listened. The teacher noticed the new joinee and asked themselves to intoduce to the class. At the lunch break, newbies were subjected to many questions: which place are you from? Where do you stay here? What's your mother tongues? siblings? ... The newbie had no other choice than reasoning! Phew. Nope, it wasn't ragging, but it was out of plain human curiosity to make friends.

Once the gal said where she stayed and I yelled out of joy with my eyes wide open--"yaay, you stay near my house. From now on, I have a companion while I walk to school and back home." Now, she was not only my classmate but my neighbour, too :) After evening snacks at my home, I would join her to play badmitton or carrom along with her elder siblings who also treated me like their younger one. We also did combined study which at many times turned out be mere gossip!

During summer vacations, her matenal granny joined their family. Her granny who was 70+ and a widow, who had a hunch back, her voice was feeble and one could listen and understand her only if the person knew Tamil, which I didn't. My friend and her siblings called her "paati", meaning Grandma in Tamil, with love and affection. I hope "Paati" spelling is right, if not please let me know. Soon, I started calling her paati. With paati's arrival, I found a new friend. :)

She has no muscles and the wrinkles would speak her age. The spectacles rested on her nose were huge, with a semi-cicle at the bottom of the glasses and a black thread tied to the edge in order to prevent it from breakage. She read Bible written in Tamil, everyday.

Every Sunday morning, my friend's family would visit the Church. Since Paati couldn't walk much distance, they left her alone at home. I was the lone listener and that would kill her boredom. She taught me few Tamil words like Moru (Buttermilk), Tairu (Curd) , maaDu (cow)... and framing them into sentences. When I couldn't follow her conversation, I would nod my head in reply that I understood and noted the words and asked my mother to explain the same after reaching home. I made a note of the words I wanted to say Paati. Paati would point at the objects and spell the name aloud. When she was thirsty, she would point at the water bottle and say "tanni" which meant "water".

The frequency of my visits increased day-by-day due to Paati's presence. Paati had lot to narrate: her family, her kids, her sister, her grand children. She had studied only till 4th Standard which was considered to be an equivalent to Ph.D , she would smile as she said this with joy. :)Before moving to Bangalore, she had stayed whith her son's family in Madras (now Chennai) for six years and before that, in Vellore. Now that it was her daughter's turn to look after her, she was in Bangalore. Each of her children looked after her for a fixed no of years after she had lost her husband. Once she said that Vellore had only two buses and a popular medical college.

Now, I had learnt to converse in Tamil with my dear friend and she appreciated it, too.

One day, Paati heard the sad news of my friend's paternal granny's demise. She remained hunger and mum for the whole day and prayed in silence.

My friend stayed in a rented house and the owner pestered them to vacate the house. As a result, they shifted to a far off place and I missed seeing Paathi regularly. After schooling, I lost in touch with them. Since they were shifting frequently and had no telephone, I couldn't trace them, either. I've even forgotten the last time I spoke to them which must've been more than six long years. Later, I learnt that, Paati was no more and she was bed-ridden and suffered till her last breath. When I heard of her death, I skipped my dinner and prayed for her just the way she had done, once.

I was just eleven year old when I met this 70+ year old friend of mine. I never knew we could be such good friends inspite of such huge gap between us. Though, both my parents knew Tamil very well, they never converse in any other language other than mother tongue, at home. Nobody might even believe me if I say I had a friend who was 70+ and taught me a language. She's the only one whom I've ever called "paati" so far.
Sometimes, my friend was jealous that I was close to her granny and granny was more close to me than her.

A couple of days ago, few of my teammates were conversing in Tamil. They assumed that I couldn't follow nor understand their conversation. One of them cracked a joke and I burst laughing aloud which they never expected! One of them asked "How do you know Tamil?", I replied, "My friend taught me during my childhood."

And you know who that friend is ;-)

© Manasa. All rights reserved.


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