Sunday, February 26, 2012

Thrilling Thursday!

This is a tale spun around Niharika's visit to Marina beach on a random Thursday evening.

Niharika works for an IT company located in the extreme end of the city outskirts of Chennai. One fine day, she has to go to the beach because her best friend Anjali has come to town from Andhra Pradesh. Why the beach, specifically? Since Anjali will be in Chennai only for two days, meeting up before she leaves is important to Niharika. And besides Anjali loves the beach. So why not there? And that's how they fixed up on where they'd meet on the Thursday. Okay, 5:00 to 5:15 pm - Pucca, they mutually agree. Anjali decides to come along with her best friend Gautham to the venue at the above decided time. Gautham lives close by where Anjali stays.

~ Flashback ~
So how do Gautham - Anjali - Niharika know each other? It all started long ago, maybe around the middle of 2008. That's when Anjali and Niharika came to know about each others' existence through a site which is now dead and gone - called Orkut. They've met only once before now and that happened over two years back. Gautham and Anjali got acquainted with one another through the same dead site which was once known as Orkut. But then, Anjali is the common person for the other two. Niharika and Gautham don't know each other well. In fact, Niharika had noticed that Gautham's height was half of a palm tree's, only while meeting him in person on Thursday! :-D

The Three Musketeers!

~ Present ~
As planned, Niharika comes on an early shift to office, talks to her leads and obtains permission to leave office early. She's off at 3:40 pm and everyone who's been to the outskirts of the city where she works knows it takes nearly 90 mins to reach Marina from there. That's with no traffic and on a clear weather day. Niharika arrives early and she waits for nearly 50 minutes at the beach waiting for the duo to arrive. A lot of patient waiting, one angry bird SMS and one sukku kaapi later, they arrive. Nihu is irritated to the core, and she shows it in her eyes when Anjali walks up to her and says she's sorry about the delay. Gautham parks his car and arrives where they're standing and quite unexpectedly, they begin to walk towards the waves and the water. Nihu wasn't expecting this to happen. Anyway, she's the one who tells them to take off their footwear and feel the specks of sand on their feet. :-p

They touch up on a variety of topics while conversing - OI people, OI Cricket club, Facebook, Ratna Cafe Idly Sambar, Coimbatore, Calcutta, Mobile phones, Tambrahmism and non-veg eating, Owning and using a DSLR Camera, keeping the city clean, pollution levels, France, how Gautham badly needs to pick up his glasses and a lot more things. It's difficult to believe that they're all meeting for the first time. :) So that's how the meet up takes shape. They decide they want to have dinner somewhere. Pizza hut - no. Cafe Ashvita - no. HSB - no. where to get Lebanese food - We don't know. So finally they zero in on Eatalica, a small Italian/ American restaurant.

Since we don't want to focus or give priority to the details on food, we're skipping that part. When they're done with dinner and posing for lots of photos, it's already 9:15 pm. Shucks, Nihu is in deep trouble because she's a Tambrahm living in Tambaram. This is where the real story begins. Keep reading. Gautham had already assured that he'd drop Niharika at Mandaveli at 8:15 pm that evening after dinner. Great, they're more than one hour behind schedule now. Together, they start off from the bistro and Gautham drops Nihu at Mandaveli bus stand, after she refuses to go home from Adyar.

It's pretty much a deserted bus stand. Niharika feels scared within, but she boldly bids them byes and gets out from the car. She starts walking towards the bus stop, but she decides to check with a Fastrack car driver on the street before walking up to there. The car driver fellow confuses her - makes her walk into the deserted bus stand - and after hearing from someone else, she confirms that where she was headed first was the right place to go to! Silently cursing the car driver for his bad directions, she reaches the bus stop. There, she almost boards a bus to Perambur instead of Thiruvanmiyur. She doesn't get into it, thankfully. Her route bus arrives, 15 minutes later. There's so much crowd standing inside and she lets her "I will only take a bus in which I'll get a seat to sit in." policy fly in the air while boarding it. :-P There's a missed call from Anjali but she discerns it and makes a call to mom, explaining to her that she's on the way and she'll ensure she arrives home safely. Anjali and Gautham, in the meanwhile, reach their respective home by the time Niharika even boards that bus. The bus journey goes on for an hour and she reaches West Tambaram safe. Rats! No straight bus from there to home in the West bus stand at 10:40 pm. Now, Niharika needs to walk through a subway and an over-bridge - then take another bus after that.

She walks a little way towards the direction of the Subway.. Then decides she'll play brave girl by crossing the road straight and jumping over the barricade separating the two lanes. She gets ready to cross the road when the Auto wallas who have parked their vehicles on the sides of the road yell "No madam, don't cross this road directly. It's very dangerous. Please use the subway. It's just a few metres off from here". She hears their rambling despite having the ear phones plugged into the ears with music on full volume. Did they know that Niharika would gladly cross the traffic/ jump the barricade than to walk through an empty subway at 10:45 pm? Given the situation and the fact that a Traffic constable was watching the GST road silently from a little distance away, she decides to take the auto wallas' advise and starts walking towards the Subway. She calls out to the gods to protect her, makes a Cross across her chest and keeps walking with her head held high. Dhigil only, in all senses! It's a deserted Subway, except for a few people here and there. She crosses it triumphantly and begins to ascend the steps to reach the Eastern end of the railway station.

On the Eastern side now. There's no bus that's ready to depart though. She doesn't risk traveling by a share auto because who knows where they'll take her once she's boarded? After ten minutes of waiting - an MTC bus arrives and almost everyone who's been standing there at the stop rushes to get into it. The conductor takes some time to issue tickets to everyone and then signals for the driver to start off. Niharika looks into the watch, it's 11:00 PM. "Ten more minutes and you'll be home safe, Darling" she consoles herself. She gives one message to Anjali mentioning that she's still on her way. That's the only thing she tells Anjali from the moment they parted. Ten minutes later, she reaches home - as expected. She's invited back home with her mom giving her that smouldering "I could kill you for all this agony you've put me through" looks. She decides to get in without saying much. Her mom locks the doors, walks in and starts giving her a variety of advise. It essentially boils down to this much content: I trust you and that you'll do your best to reach home safely.  But the city is full of rogues. And as a mom, I was scared. Don't put me through this, okay?

Niharika silently gives consent to abide by her mom's request. She informs Gautham and Anjali that she's reached home safe, unwinds to go to bed, sees all the pictures taken that day in her camera once and goes to sleep. "And so I did meet Anjali today! And Gautham too", she tells to herself. And smiles with her eyes closed! :) It's going to be a long day at office on Friday. And hopefully, mom's sour mood would've lifted by the next morning.

P.S: All the characters portrayed in this post are for real. Any resemblance to real-life people is purely non-coincidental. If you've identified all three of them, then I'm pretty convinced that you know them in person.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Spexy Girl!

Top Six reasons why you should try wearing contact lens:
1. 360 degree rotation. You see everything around you clearly, without confining your vision to the edges of your spectacles.
2. No glasses = more confidence. Better looking face.
3. Say YES to sunglasses.
4. No more nicknames like specsy, jishmish (SRK calls Preity like this in KHNH) soda buddi etc.
5. No nose-pad mark on the wedge of your nose, or constantly sliding the specs up and down your nose while you're sweating.
6. You can pose for photos without having to remove your glasses (and hiding it somewhere beyond the frame of the picture) fearing the camera flash will reflect and ruin the picture. Too much personal experience here.

Five reasons why you should probably stick to wearing glasses:
1. No problems such as ensuring not to cross the hours acceptable for wearing lens.
2. Can rub/ scratch/ scrub the eyes without worrying "OMG! I can't do that. I'm wearing lens!"
3. Can sit in any sort of a place with a blast of wind blowing on your face.(Bus window seat, for example)
4. Can walk into a shower without having to remove the lens, scrub and place in their solution. Not to forget, you certainly shouldn't go to sleep wearing lens. (All the rinsing formalities you have to follow before putting it in solution. Phew!)
5. The smallest particle of dust or a pollen grain can give you painful, agonizing moments if it enters your eyes while you're wearing lens.

As you could've guessed by now, this post is going to be about my new avatar - Lensy me! :-D It's not like I'm wearing contact lens for the first time though. It all started in twelfth grade, when I used an year-long pack. After which my power increased by a bit and that alarmed me. So I went back to glasses and it was the specsy-me until third year at college. There was some irregular usage during my college days - Ah, how I'd hurriedly put on the lens in the morning before rushing to catch an auto. I'd be running late already and I'd be counting on my bus driver to arrive after I did. :-D Again, the power went up, contact lens went down. It was history repeating itself all over again.

After nearly two years' worth hiatus I'm back to wearing contact lens. What's so great about it, you may ask. I don't know how to describe the feel. It's as if you're wearing something new amidst the people you work with and you're eager to know what they think about it. Oh yes, it's like going back to the Wrap Around Skirts times. You're wearing something different and people are going to judge you based on that! :) Not that I'm scared or worried about what they'd say. I'm prepared to hear comments like "Oh dear, why did you shift from glasses? This lens-look doesn't look so good on you. Not a bit" / "Your face looks so bloated and different minus the glasses. And your eyes look so sunk-in too". :-P I heard all these reactions at school and college after the change over. Most importantly, their comments isn't going to stop me from wearing the lens unless I'm out of time or interest to wear them to work here on. But I agree, even my face seemed strange to me with the contact lens in place on friday. It was as if I was looking into a stranger in the mirror. Seriously. :-/

I'll get used to it soon. Or atleast, I should! The mental feud on which is more comfy and easy to wear is still raging in my head. I don't think I'll arrive at a conclusion on this EVER! So here begins the legend of lens vs specs mind voices. Either ways, to be stuck without glasses would make an ideal nightmare experience. Well, that's the consequence of being heavily dependent on glasses for everyday life-as-usual to go on! :-)

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Wrap Around Skirts.

Mom and I went on a shopping spree yesterday. And among the many things I bought, there were the Wrap Around skirts. Infact, when I viewed them on the shelves I didn't even know how they were to be worn. I got the help of a salesman who showed me a demo on himself on how it's supposed to be tied up. Neat, I thought to myself. And thus, I picked three of them in a vibrant splash of colours. What I'm wondering now is - How and when am I going to wear them? Sounds stupid & shallow, right? But that's really how concerned I feel about wearing them. Welcome to India, a place where your dressing patterns/ styles can holler louder than your talking! B-)

Wrap 'em around!

I remember the day when I went to office in a maxi red skirt paired with a cream colored shirt. This was some one or two months ago. I must admit that it fetched me a mix of stares and surprised looks! A friend of mine said that I looked like a Sri Lankan. LOL! For one thing, a girl of 22 (Marriageable age, mind you!) can't be caught wearing even maxi skirts in a place like Chennai! Unless you're at a party. If you're going for a party in some posh place (Dublin, Pasha or some place THAT posh), it's acceptable to go around in see-through coats, tube tops, skirts, micro mini's, strapless gowns and a wide range of other daring clothes! Other places? NO NO NO! Talking of all this, I admit that I'm a conservative dresser. Other than salwars/ occasional jeans and even more occasional Skirting around, there isn't another dress that I've worn outside.

I've always felt over conscious of my body shape, body contour, whether a dress could completely blow out, blow up when worn outside. What if it's too windy? What if my skin is seen while I'm boarding the bus? Or what if someone accidentally puts their leg on the hem of the skirt while I'm walking and it tears? *sighs* Yikes, that's all unwanted and embarrassing drama! It's essential to dress modestly, which I completely adhere to. And here is one country where the temperature is high for most of the year. Unless you're wandering around the city in an A/C car with music on full blast for most of the time, stay away from clothes than expose the skin. :)

Now coming back to the point - The Wrap Around skirts that I've purchased are Maxi skirts. They're ankle long. Only thing which makes me jittery is what happens wearing them on a windy day. I tried to pin them at the edge but that makes my walking awkward. Plus I wouldn't be able to board a bus with that kinda pinning up. And so, I've come up with a practical solution - Pairing it with white leggins underneath!!! :-D Holy Lord, I'm a sheer genius. B-)

Among the other things that I bought were a teddy bear and a green tops for my friend D. A belated birthday gift of sorts! I just hope she likes it. I am still not sure if it'd fit her. If it's going to be a bit loose - She should gain weight. If it's going to be tight - I suggest she slims down to fit it. Muhahaha! :-D

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Mangalyam Tantunanena Mama Jeevana Hetuna!

No, don't get over-excited. I'm not getting married yet. This post is just reflections of my thoughts up on marriage. I was watching Namma Veetu Kalyaanam on Vijay TV and today's show hosted an Iyengar pair who shared memories and glimpses of their courtship, engagement and their wedding to the channel's viewers. Seeing all those functions (A few snippets, here and there!) got me so enthusiastic to write about it. :-D 

The Oonjal Ceremony glimpses!

A Tambrahm marriage is really long run of different ceremonies that go on for 3 days. Phew! It is quite tiring, isn't it? There's the traditional Nichayadhartham, the Kaasi Yatra, Oonjal, exchange of garlands while sitting on the shoulders of elderly maama's, Mangalyadharanam and a lot other functions for the couple. All of these traditional functions and a few fun games (Such as nalangu) help ease up the tension between the couple before they enter into Marriage union. Well, it's quite an amazing thing - the Indian wedding. South Indian. And Tambrahm weddings are elaborate and grand in their own style. There's so much to decide, to plan and work on before the Wedding Day arrives. For one thing, the bride wears and changes around 3 different sari's (Madisar style, that too) on the Wedding day morning and not to mention, with the special bridal make-up and flower/ garlands all perfectly intact. :) Difficult? You haven't heard it fully. The ceremonies begin early in the morning and so, the couple and their immediate family are forced to wind up late on the previous day evening and start off with preparations for the next day during early hours of the morning. (As early as 4.30 am!) I just hope that my eyes don't appear puffy or small and betray on the lack of sleep. With my contact lenses intact and all the surrounding eye make-up, appearing sleep-deprived is the last thing I want to be captured doing on the Wedding pictures/ videos! Any make-up person who can skillfully hide this early-morning aspect are most welcome to reach out to me with the details on their packages. :-P

Of course, there are certainly difficulties one succumbs to (Read: The girl's side) - Arranging pandits, Deciding on the perfect muhurtham time, Fixing the mandapam, Deciding on the make-up, jewels and saris to be worn, Buying new clothes for the near and dear ones, Calling out to each and everyone and trying not to miss anyone while inviting for the wedding. I must mention here that attending weddings is always so much fun. :) All the wonderful mouth-watering food, getting (Or rather, demanding for) extra spoons of your favorite sweet or ice-cream, catching up with friends or relatives after a long time, meeting up people, saying things such as "Look there, R maami's sari is so nice." or "Wow, the bride's jewellery is so attractive. Ma, I want something like this for MY wedding." etc. Sometimes I wonder why the Wedding ceremonies have to be so elaborate and winding in the Tambrahm style. And it strikes me - An Indian wedding is about people catching up with each other and taking responsibilities on various things through out the function days. Which does involves a lot of expenditure as well. But the girl's side really don't mind all that - provided their daughter is married off to a well-meaning groom family. :) A wedding is a one-time trip after all!

Idhudhaana Idhudhaana!

Wrapping up, I really don't know where my Prince Charming is or what he's doing right now. But he sure does exist! And I'm waiting to witness and be a part of My Big Fat Indian Wedding with him! ;)