Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Guten Tag - 8 random facts/habits

So, I was tagged by Tanay to share 8 random facts/habits about myself. I have come up with some idiosyncrasies here. (Btw, idiosyncrasy is one of my favorite words.) I always marvel at how blogs allow you to peep into the life of a person whom you don’t even know. Have a peek into mine:

I pile up books: I love reading, but since past one year I have started buying books like never before. The heap of unread books in my room seems to increase by the day. I have resolved in vain to finish all the old books before buying new ones. But every time I see a good book, I am tempted and end up buying it, hoping to finish it sometime. My latest acquisitions being "The Divine Comedy- Hell" by Dante and "Journey to the center of the earth" by Jules Verne.

Chilli paneer, groundnuts and guavas (No, its not the latest novel I am reading.): Chilli paneer was a fad during the college days; people were actually fed up coz I used to order nothing else at eat-outs. (Still have it at times for ole’ times sake.) Guavas with namak aur mirch and boiled groundnuts, just love them; I go to Jayanagar at times just to have both of these. As far as bhutta is concerned its in a different league altogether.

I fast on Thursdays: The trend started when I was in 12th std. , there was this particular month called Margashisha, when we had to fast on Thursdays without the usual fast food (I mean permissible food during a fast.) and survive just on fruits. My sis and me actually used to long for fasts to eat (ya, it’s an oxymoron) coz fast food (usal, sabudana vada etc) is irresistible. But after fasting on fruits I liked the idea of having control over the tummy for a day and started fasting ever since. (Ya, I know, I am weird)

I can’t hear to a person properly without my specs or contacts: Now this is funny, haven’t come across anyone with the same quirk. But I donno, my auditory cognition abilities go for a toss if I cannot properly see the person speaking. One of the possible explanations that I have come up with, is that, maybe the lip-movements of the person talking contribute a lot to my cognition ability

I can watch any movie: For years we had no cable connection at home and I used to watch any movie that DD one showed, sometimes even regional movies. I have even watched movies in tele-serial format; our national channel does come up with unusual ideas.

I sleep like a cat: Probably because I was a cat in one of my births (ya, I do believe in rebirths.) I can squeeze and snuggle up anywhere and still manage to sleep soundly. My friends often marvel at this trait of mine, being thin does have its benefits, you see.

I believe in self-healing: I try to avoid going to doctors as much I can, barring the occasional visits for eye-checkup. I try to find ways to feel better when I am sick and more or less it always works for me.

I like train journeys: That I love to travel is obvious through my posts, but the mode of transport I love the most is the train, none other holds the same charm for me. The hustle-bustle, the hawkers, the chattering people, the vistas passing by; I never get bored in a train. And how soundly I sleep in a train; the chug chug is like a lullaby to me.

Gosh! I am done! The baton now passes to Debanshu and Steve the two people in my blogroll who are not already in the tag-loop. The rules are as follows folks:

1. Each player starts with 8 random facts/habits about themselves.
2. People who are tagged, write a blog post about their own 8 random things, and post these rules.
3. At the end of your post you need to tag 8 people and include their names. Don’t forget to leave them a comment and tell them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.
4. If you fail to do this within eight hours, you will not reach Third Series or attain your most precious goals for at least two more lifetimes

I have already broken the 3rd rule, but then, rules are made to be broken.

Happy tagging!
Guten tag!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Unleech yourself- How to battle whilst leeches assault you?

After ample experience with the leeches during the Brahmagiri trek. (I have seen a leech masquerading as a mole on a girl’s face, slept in a guest house where leeches kept falling from the rooftop, removed leeches with panache with my bare hands. This is definitely going to add to my resume.) I have come up with some leech gyaan that I hope will be useful to anyone planning to embark upon a monsoon trek in the wilderness. So here it is:

Don’t under-estimate your enemy; load yourself with leech protection like chunna, salt, lemon, tobacco stick etc (All this to basically alleviate the aftermath). Wear long socks (preferably two, leech socks if you have them) and military shoes if you can. Tuck your pants inside the socks, its better to be prepared than being sorry. Daub your shoes with chunna and salt, but never put these on your bare feet, you would end up with painful blisters. And don’t be afraid as you start, leeches can’t kill you!

All tucked in!

As always ‘It is all in the mind’, if you think that leeches are disgusting creatures and have no business of sucking your blood. (I do agree with you whole-heartedly.) Sorry mate, the battle is half lost already, this attitude won’t take you far. If the idea of touching those slimy creatures seems revolting, forget the trek.

Playing with the enemy!

The ideal frame of mind amidst leeches is one of nonchalance. You maybe loaded with all sorts of leech repellant but you would not find time to use this protection, believe me. You stop to remove one leech from your shoes and lo! You end up with modest helpings of 10-15 more! (Endearing, isn’t it?!) So keep moving don’t stop ever so frequently, even if you loathe the sight of leeches on your shoes, ignore it with all your willpower. If you find a rock that looks leech free, you are lucky, get on it and put the battery of leech-protection to use.

Keep kicking and stamping your shoes, try to remove leeches on one foot by administering a kick with your other foot (ouch!). This method worked the best for me(The dreadful condition of the shoes after this exercise is a different story altogether) but don’t lose your balance in this attempt. And do I need to tell you what happens after you fall in an area brimming with leeches?

And finally its over, or you think it is! You have safely crossed the leech-ridden area, the trek is over, and now is the time for status-check, harden your heart for the gory sight that awaits you. Remove your shoes and socks; take care to remove the socks carefully because leeches don’t like to be forced when they are sucking blood. (You have to be considerate to your enemy, you see.) Don’t panic, the battle is over, you just need to polish off the leeches now. The leech protection will come handy now, put some salt, chunna etc on the leeches kissing your bare feet and derive some perverse pleasure watching them drop off. It’s always safe to check your pants and shirt to be sure that no leeches are sneaking in, and if you do find any, you know what to do by now.

Here are some innovative ways to unleech discovered during the Brahmagiri trek:

Wear socks that haven’t been washed for a month; the effectiveness of this method altogether depends on how appallingly your socks stink and how bravely your fellow trekkers bear the stink.

Be thin like me, the leeches will scatter away at the very sight of you in search of more gifted prey. (Proof: I ended up with a measly four leech bites from the trek.)

Disclaimer: It seemed to work during our trek, but I do not claim to have any idea about the whims and fancies of the adorable creature. May be from tomorrow it starts assaulting extra stinky and thin people with extra vengeance, who knows?!

And if nothing seems to work just lament, curse the person who forced you into this nightmare. And if no one forced you into this trek, you came on your own volition, simple; accept the fact that you have always been foolish. Feel the peace that sinks in after having done this.

P.S.- If I have scared the wits out of you, I am sorry, my sense of humor is awful at times. It’s not as bad as it looks though; I ended up enjoying the trek immensely in spite of the leeches. And All’s well that ends well, isn’t it?.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

An obituary

I sought their company almost every time; be it a leisurely walk to nowhere, the daily jaunt to the office, the occasional strenuous treks, and my shopping escapades… But alas! No more! I have been deprived of one of my most reliable companion; my unfaltering shoes have finally given up.

They had faced ruthless treatment at my hands(or feet should I say?) even before, but without a whimper. But a trek to a national park infested with leeches as the heavens poured down was too much even for my reliable pair. And mind you, they didn’t go down without a fight!

The leeches, those wonderfully slimy creatures, so eager to suck my blood! Un aware, they were, of my tenacious shoes! Even though leeches from all possible directions assailed my shoes, they just let a precious few in. But in the process they ended up being; Soaked in muck disguising every sign of the faint silver and pink color that once was theirs, kicked and stamped heartlessly at all plausible leech-free zones, dabbed with all possible leech protection like chunna, salt etc.

I do feel guilty that I treated them so inhumanly, but what could I have done?! The sight of leeches had made my mind numb and when I came to my senses, it was too late. At the very first sight of my battered shoes I knew that they’d never be the same again. My heart pains to recall the pretty sight they were when I bought them a year back. They are unrecognizable by now, just a faint reminder of what once was.

I have no heart to wash them now, in half a mind to burn them! But lets see, maybe I’ll attempt to resuscitate them just once, I have given up hope though. I know that my shoes are dead by now, but their sole continues to live.

P.S. - Will post on leech theory and the trek in some days, I am still in bereavement.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

एक गिलहरी

Squirrels are hard to click, thats something I have realised. This was the only one I managed to capture in LalBagh last weekend, that too with much effort. The effort was worth it though,I like the pic a lot; the squirrel has come out real cute and innocent. Wanted to get a close up, but the squirrel disappeared before I could zoom in with the powerful 12 X optical zoom of my cam. (yeah right, I am boasting :D )

P.S. - Bear with my photography experiments for some more time people, I haven't gotten over my new cam still. :)

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

A bouquet from Kodaikanal

I had been to Kodaikanal last weekend, and with the new Canon S3 IS in my hands I clicked away to glory. I captured everything and anything that caught my fancy, and should say that having a 1 GB memory card definitely helped me indulge. The hotel we stayed in had some lovely flowers in full blossom, and I captured most of them. :)
Here is a bouquet, straight from Kodai, filmi ishtyle.

I believe I can fly, I believe I can touch the sky..

Ruthe ho kyun, maan jao na..

Smile, an everlasting smile...

Parde main rehne do, Parda na uthao..

Gore rang pe itna gumaan kar, gora rang to pal main dhal jayega...

Tu pyar hai kisi aur ka, tujhe chahta koi aur hai..

Rahe na rahe hum , meheka karenge, banke kali...

P.S. - The flowers in the first picture are dried NeelaKurinji flowers from which the Nilgiris derive its name.They flower only once in 12 years with the last blossom being in year 2006 and the next in 2018!

Monday, June 4, 2007

The taste of righteousness

She is very happy to be assigned an important task, to buy a bottle of shampoo for her mother. She is given a crisp hundred rupee note for this with instructions about the brand of shampoo, the size, the price etc. along with the warning to be cautious with the money. She wants a chocolate she says, but her mother gently scolds her because she has been having too many chocolates lately, resulting in tooth decay.

Disappointed and angry, she starts for the shop in the neighborhood, thinking…
What difference it would’ve made if I were allowed a chocolate just this once? Ok fine, I am getting cavities and the doctor has asked me not to have chocolates, but I’ve also started brushing my teeth twice a day. None of my friends’ parents behave this way; I am not a kid after all…

She is engrossed in the chain of thoughts, when she realizes with a start that she is already at the shop. As usual, the shop is crowded; she somehow manages to slip inside and is treated to the most tempting sight ever! Rows of containers filled choc-a-bloc with confectioneries; toffees, candies, lollipops, chocolates, gems and what not?! The shop has it all. She always craved for the sweets in the shop and her parents usually succumbed to her wishes. But not today, the same very sweets being out of her reach today, seem yummier.

Cursing her fate, she tries to grab the attention of the shopkeeper but her voice is lost in the hustle-bustle of the shop. But then something else catches her eye, lying astray is a chocolate that obviously must’ve left the busy hands of the shopkeeper as he tended to so many customers. She almost instantly reaches for the chocolate, but stops short to check if the shopkeeper or the customers are looking at her. She is relieved to see that no one is paying attention to her. But still she is scared; she feels someone’s eyes on her back and looks back again, only to find no one.

Now is the time, she thinks, and hurriedly chalks out her plan of action.
I will take the chocolate when no one is looking, put it in my pockets and then ask for the shampoo. After taking the shampoo, on the way back I’ll finish the chocolate before reaching home.

How clever, she thinks. She is ready grab the chocolate but is gripped by the thought of shame if she is caught. What will everyone think of her? And even if she escapes everyone else’s eyes what if her mother comes to know? She always felt that her mother has a knack to detect anything fishy. She almost panics as she imagines the dejected look on her mother’s face. She loves her mother dearly; even though she is angry with her today she cannot bear to disgrace her in such a manner. But one look at the chocolate makes her go weak again.

She thinks about it again and decides that it’s not worth the trouble after all. She can always ask her mother for a chocolate after some days and till then she’ll wait. Yes she loves chocolates but she loves her mother even more. Having resolved this issue, all the scary thoughts disappear; she suddenly has this very good feeling, which in her later years comes to be associated with every right decision she takes.

She stands there smiling, till the shopkeeper enquires her about the goods she wants. She buys the shampoo and as she walks back home the images of her eating the chocolate flood her mind. But this time she chucks the images with ease, because sometime back she has had her first taste of something even better, righteousness.