October 31, 2005

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May the light burst forth…!

The rocket shoots across the skies and bursts forth into a million twinkling gems. For once the stars aren’t the only glittering things across the sky! A new beginning for smiles and pleasantries. A time to reconnect with family and friends.


The festival that ushers in light and joy and colours!

May this deepavali bring you loads of happiness, health and wealth! May the light burst forth…!

Here’s wishing you a happy, safe and prosperous deepavali…


October 30, 2005


Ghanan Ghanan Gir gir aaye badhra
Gane ghan ghor kar chaye badhra
Dhanak hanak bole badhra ke danke
Chamak chamak dekho bijuria chamke

Smoothly this song plays on my ears as the rains lash out their fury outside, enveloping the entire world outside in a translucent white sheet. Not drip-drop-drip but pitter patter pour with a ferocity henceforth unknown. Tales of the years back Chennai floods are told with renewed vigour. Water runs back again on Lake View Road transforming it to what it might have been
*above a photo I clicked in the rain!!! :( long long ago, very long ago when it was once a lake midst thick foliage!

Houses transform to mini pools, much to the wee ones’ joy! They thump about in the water, splashing it on to the older ones’ faces! As schools and colleges declare holidays, we wake up to lazy mornings, steaming hot up of coffee and horlicks awaiting us. Cupping them in hands, letting the warmth seep in, and slowly lifting the eyes from the hot concoction and out into the maddeningly slushy roads and joyously dancing trees!

Chennayil oru Mazhaikalam- after a hell lot of longing for water, now it pours…and how!!! Kuduthalum kuduppan, kooraiya pichundu kuduppan! Lovely fragrant earth tantalizes our noses and fills it with its intoxicatingly sweet perfume. Mother Earth heaves out a huge sigh and lets out the huddled summer’s heat in one burst of steam, as the first drop of rain falls on the cracked soil. The erstwhile blazing gold firmament adorns a steely gray and a kohl-black attire and threatening, menacing clouds huddle up and flash a toothy sparkling smile and let out a raspy harsh laugh to chill the bones.

I remember my periamma recounting her younger days when she was advised tochant ‘Arjuna Arjuna’ at every thunder clap. Divinely beautiful, I feel- both the magical alluring lightening and the simple trustful chanting!

Paralyzing all work, roads get blocked, electricity fails, newspapers become a soggy dump of paper pulp. Too lazy to move, too cold to work, all the eyes do, is to san the invisible horizon for one streak of golden sunshine to warm the benumbed bones!

Little street kids let out their dreams afloat on the puddles, steering their paper boats-one pirate ship drowning them all. Mud fights in the construction site opposite my house. Rail tracks forming an Olympic-length pool with beautiful partitions for the swimmers. Trains waiting for hours, impatient anxious men looking out for movement; fear, sorrow, tire-all flash across in a moment on their faces as they let out expletives cursing the rain. Endless waits. Soaked clothes. Droplets glistening on a wet umbrella. Pearls falling from wet pipes to fall one by one on outstretched arms. Puddle dance in the balcony. Shivering crows and pigeons taking refuge in the terrace. Craning necks, checking out water levels on street with Turkey towels for cover. Endless calls to friends confirming a holiday. Rainy morning wishes on sms. Plastic covers on heads; pants transforming to stylish capris. Warm baths. Sweaters and socks-English dressing in India. Dirty jeans. Steaming vethakozhambu. Mists of Swiss, swirling near the skies. Anxious ‘are you ok” enquiries. Beautiful thoughts digging their roots deep into the fertile mind. Wild fancies and delightful music. Rubbing of palms. Cold shivers and chattering teeth. Sudden humming of rain songs. A distant rumble of thunder, a flash across the skies. Arjuna Arjuna.
Chennaiyil oru mazhaikalam!

October 26, 2005


My name using Egyptian Hieroglyphs!
S A N D H Y A  R A M A C H A N D R A N

http://www.thejackol.com/cgi-bin/egyptian.py" method="get"> Try'>http://www.thejackol.com/2005/06/05/hieroglyphs-meme/">Try your name

Script by


I’ve always loved my name and thanked my stars over and over again at the thoughtfulness of my grandmother for naming me Sandhya and not Abithakujalambal or Ammini!

Sandhya. Dusk. Twilight. My name couldn’t have had a better meaning than that of my favourite part of the day. The ONLY time in the whole 24 hours of time (other than the few odd hours of sleep) that I’m peaceful, tranquil and unusually quiet. When thoughts, rather than words take centre stage and help with a tryst with the divine. A time of contemplation and retrospection of silent smiles and bitter remembrances. A beautiful tranquil time! Am I not glad my name means twilight?

But that’s not all! I’ve been someone who loves to name things and has been given a dozen nicknames too! When this girl of yours was a kid, she loved to play make-believe games like teacher-teacher, hostel-hostel, house-house, tailor-tailor, office-office, etc etc(Now don’t ask me why everything had to be double-double, it just HAD to be!!!)

When I was playing teacher-teacher, I used to frame an entire roll-call, roping in both my imaginary playmates (Nick, Jo, Nancy) and my sister’s (Sita Rajan, Gundu Ponnu). I was Karen and she was Ellen. We used to ‘travel’ to school-Mackintosh High(from the Mackintosh Quality Street chocolate box) by TRAM or METRO! Our house was called Brindavan Gardens and guest house :D –Rose Garden and Ellen and I, with Nick, Jo and Nancy used to have fun in hostel, home and dance parties!

As I grew up and when sweet innocence slowly faded into know-how, when ‘Anne of Green Gables’ came into my life, I began to name places. There are two trees- ‘Old Lady with Green Fingers’ and ‘Rippling waters’ in my school. A mountain range called ‘Horizon’s Coronet’ in Cumbum etc. And today it continues and extends over to naming people!

Sample these: Sweetie pie, Sweet heart, Sweets, Sweetie, Sweeto, Whiny, Moron, Zero Best friend, Bunty,Monkey Thatha, Sir Abi Reddi, Pompogoa, Poonsie, Ahu-Kuhu, Arvi boy, Grand Paws, Meanie, The lofty one, Shabby, Maerel, M.Shabida Gore(daughter of Madhavi), Thala, Boss, Cow, Dosti etc!!

Now what exactly am I coming to? Well, the flip side! Due to this incurable habit of naming people and places, I, Sandhya Ramachandran has become the object of naming by all and sundry!

Bajju has been my pet name at home. Very rarely am I called Sandhya by my periappa, periamma and cousin. So much so that, even a couple of my cousin’s friends call me bajju!

I’ve lived with the name and so no probs on that! I don’t mind it but I don’t love it as much as my self christened ‘The Dreamy Dryad’. Now that makes it three names. “Quite normal”, you say? Ahem! Wait!

Begin crackers (chumma oru festive side-effet thaan! :D)

Sandhu, Sandy, Sanyasi- Names I’ve been putting up in school, with Sandy extending limbs into college.

Then there’s ‘Bubbly’. This has a long story behind it. There’s this 4 yr senior of mine (Architecture’s a 5 yr course) who’s the sweetest guy I’ve ever met in life. He’s one helluva dancer. We did a dance together and ever since been bum chums! He named me ‘Bubbly’ after my enthusiasm and insisted I call him ‘Bunty’. So from then, we are, ‘Bunty aur Bubbly’ (not Babli, ok?) And that’s how the whole department knows us!!!

‘Cutie’ is how my class guys call me! This name I totally love… For obvious reasons, duh!

Well if all the names above have been sweet, look at these… My Grand Paws(another 4th yr), a 6’4” guy whom I fondly call “the lofty one with an ALTITUDE problem” and Anoodha calls “the one who gives everybody a pain in the neck” calls me “JABBER JAWS” of “JAWS”(chellama! X( )Two reasons why. One-cos I’m a nonstop chatter box. Two- cos apparently I resemble the shark in ‘Finding Nemo’ and a ‘A Shark’s Tale’. I watched both the movies and well, I declare, I LIKE THE FIRST EASON BETTER!!! Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr To add to the insult Meanie No.2, another guy whom I partnered in a dance, calls me ‘Sora Meen’ cos- he HAS to be ‘mean’ to me!

Queen of blah is yet another name that two third yr gals and a guy named me! And this guy came to know my real name only recently! :”(

‘Tam-Tam’ is another recent inclusion to my Names Directory.
‘Akash Vani’ is Praveen’s fond contribution! X(
So many names for one dear soul like me! Now I just want you to let your imagination wild and name yourself three evil and three cute names. Also add on three evil and three cute names for me too… Wanna see wat more I can get.

Remember, the latter category is COMPULSORY. The former, you may omit!
He he…

October 18, 2005


I’ve not been regular at the desk! I have never visited many of your sites all along. I check out only three regularly. Still you all keep coming. Twice, I gave it up and a little later, continued again. It’s created a million blossoms with a million thorns.

*drum rolls*

No… this is not going to be a big thank-you list but it’s one retrospective post with a few thank-yous (come on, I can’t cut that out, can I?)

An year of blogging, with a dial-up connection; with frequent quarrels erupting at home due to the telephone bills can be quite a lot of pain. There have been times when I actually cursed myself for getting into the habit. God, why did you make Sudhish tell me that there was something called a blog where you could let out steam? But well, for reasons unknown, God DID make him tell me and I got into this obsession.

Initially I blogged frequently, visited many sites, left comments-sometimes for the joy of commenting, sometimes to maintain my readership. But later with no time at hand, mounting college work and huge bills, I gave it up an regularly visited and visit those three blogs (Vani,Harish,Sudhish) and also frequent two others- Murali and Vinesh. I visit loads of others too, but irregularly!

I’ve had a great time reading other’s thoughts, raves and rants; trying to understand the genius or lack of it in their writing, laugh, cry, scream exasperatingly at kadis(you know WHO I mean,don’t you? ;) ), read some super creative stuff, some simple but beautiful pieces of literary worth(Vani’s stories), made great friends and got a dear loving brother(Murali), attended two Blog meets and had a wonderful unforgettable time(esp. St.Thomas Mount!!!) and most importantly listening to people appreciating me and having the confidence now that ‘I can write’.

On the downside, I’ve had numerous arguments and fights at home, unsubmitted assignments, poor internal marks, stopped mailing people, writing on paper reduced drastically, troubled and disturbed my mind as to what to blog next and a million other reasons, felt the pains of a writer’s block, felt the pain of almost giving up what’s grown to be a most-looked-after-weekly-joy and to sum up underwent a rollercoaster ride of emotions with its shares of ups and downs!

I may not blog regularly even now, but I sure will tell my tale when I have one. Blogging has changed many facets of my personality and is helping me evolve, collect my thoughts, try different genres of writing prose (sarcasm, wit, direct), let out my poetic outbursts and at the same time mould the writer in me with the feedback I get. As a person too, blogging has changed me a lot. For better- it’s made me take criticism in the right spirit, made me bold enough to meet new people, make new friends,etc. For worse- broken my confidence in myself at times, took away the scrap of modesty that I possessed till date, made me a big muddle-head and mess-pot!

I look back at this one year with both fond and bitter memories. I realized one thing- I should NEVER give it up because it lends a purpose to my life! I’ve loved this year here and though with a mixture of joy and a streak of regret at having started to blog, I want to say, I’ll continue to keep DREAMING ON, now and forever!

Now for my thank yous………

Thank you, Sudhish for introducing me to blogging
Thank you, all of you who’ve visited my blog, even once! It made hell of a difference!
Thank you, my dear critics- my sister, my classmates, to members of my family who check it out regularly (Shreeram anna, Navin anna, thanks!), to one of my friend who’s a regular visitor(Anita, thanks!), to all those who’ve read even a scrap of my crap(hey that was just for rhyme! You better not think that way, ok? :D )
Thank you, Vani and Harish, for reading every single bit of my trish-trash, it REALLY made a difference!
Thank you, ALL… Do keep dropping in! It makes a great difference. I’ll visit you whenever I can! I promise!


October 09, 2005


(Title copyrighted strictly under Copyright Act 09-5678A to Sir Abi (Zero) Reddy)

This post is to all those who’ve had frizzy hair all their life! My deepest sympathies and condolences are with you.

Sniff Sniff!
Ladies and Gentlemen, this is a story of an 18 and a half year old girl who always dreamt of straight hair. This girl was born under an unlucky star, a bad omen, you might say! With no pity, The Creator bestowed her with frizzy hair and made her Looooong for straight hair according to the rule-The Other side of the grass is always green!
Actually when she was born, madam ‘elikunju’, (that was how her appa used to call her. Not anymore, duh!!!) had a thicket of hair covering her itsy-bitsy head. This hair, sources say, was quite straight. As she grew up, the hair slowly started to kink and curl around. Neither tears, nor heart-wringing pleadings could move the creator’s stony heart! Neither Sunsilk Curl Control nor Clinic All clear make it ‘smooth and shiny’ as they promised.
Now the girl, I, Sandhya Ramachandran, 18 and half years of age, has been suffering inexplicable pains in relation to this black clinging mass!

In my XI, owing to rules like, ‘if you have hair that drops below your shoulder, you should put double pig tails and fold them up’, I had to cut my long thick hair short! Come on, WHO on earth will like to parade around in pigtails when you’re like way there in the ladder of seniority in school?

Then came college. My hair was still short and I just trimmed it. But now it was not the length that mattered but TEXTURE!!!

It’s my mom’s gift- my unmanageable curls! There are these SHORT curly bits right on top of my forehead…too short to be tucked into my pony and too long to remain inconspicuous. So they stick out in every possible direction, much to my embarrassment and others amusement! They remind me of those yummy ‘Twistee-lee’ Kurkure from Lays. Just that this isn’t yummy! (No, I’ve not tasted them…. GROSS!!!)

So my hair was the most amusing creation according to my lovely friends. Every morning after oiling or applying my ready made and inexpensive ‘water’ gel, it looks fine. But after that hour long journey to college, my my, the frizz surfaces!
If that was bad, you should see it at the end of the day. All my hair, twistee-lee included, stick out, giving me this eccentric batty look! Not that people in my college don’t have other reasons to call me weird!
Initially I did not like to undo my pony tail and put it back again, cos I always never liked others doing it. It made me feel as if I’m being too vain! But then, to hold on to that scrap of respect that people have for me, I undo my pony these days and put it back again, with a trifle help, sometimes, from my water gel!
On Freshers’ day, after a dip in the pool, my hair frizzed out totally and my class people thought I looked quite nice. But well, good things don’t last long and yeah, it was back to being madam frizzy head from the next day!

So when I got this Rs.500 voucher to ‘carry out any beauty treatment’ at Naturals Unisex Salon, I was flying high! Cos in fine print, along with beauty treatment, was written four magical words- includes HAIR STRAIGHTENING TREATMENT!!! I couldn’t have wished for anything better that day!

So off I scoot to Spencers wit my cousin in search of that ‘Dream Factory’, only to find that Hair straightening costs a bloody 3500Rs! So much for hoping for a revolution. I sighed one deep sigh and thought I would have step-cut/layers as they call it. Lots of my friends have it and I’ve wanted one ever since I saw it on someone’s head.

Me: Can I have a layer cut then?
Hair Stylist: NOOOO! Your hair is FRIZZY, CURLY, BRITTLE and DRY! You SHOULD NOT do a layer cut. You’ll NEVER be able to manage!
Me (beseechingly): I can… Could you PLEEEEEZ do a layer cut!
Hair Stylist: Definitely Not! You need to bond and straighten your hair first. Then, maybe yes!
Me (with fading hope): How much will that cost?
Hair Stylist: Straightening alone is Rs.3500. Bonding will be another 100 or so!
Me: But I’m not prepared for that!
HS: how about facial?
Me: No… I don’t want anything on my face. Only something for my hair.
HS: Try ironing then!
Me (with raising hopes): how much is that?
HS: Rs.500 only!

That did it! I jumped at the opportunity. HS said that it would last till I wash my hair next time. And it also straightens your hair. After a good 45 minutes, I saw a new me on the reflection. DEAD straight hair. All my low confidence on my looks vanished for that second. I looked GOOD! REALLY, TRULY! It will ALWAYS remain one of those unforgettable moments in my life forever!

With flying spirits I turned to my cousin for her opinion. She said, “You’ve never looked prettier before. You generally don’t look tom-boyish but you don’t look girly either. But today you look so much like a pretty traditional girl. You’re looking a little old, yes. But nice!” I was thrilled. And for the first time I did what I have ALWAYS wanted to do. Walk around with my hair fully let loose in a public place! My… One more dream fulfilled. I felt nice… Very good about being myself and for the first time in my life, SO ASSURED of my looks!

We came back home by bus. Bad decision, we realized and got down mid-way from the terribly crowded bus. As I got into an auto, my cousin looked at me and said-“You know what? Your hair has started to curl up a little in the ends”. Horror of horrors, yes! It really had.

By the time I went home, THAT effect was gone and my hair looked wavy instead of straight and my parents and my sister did not find too much of a change! After listening to a whole half hour of “You’re looking beautiful, you’re looking pretty” from my cousin and my own secret peeping at myself in the glass on the shop windows, all I get was this!!!

I was so dejected and down in the dumps! I was almost in tears when Harish lightened my mood by some very funny messages! Thanks da! I owe you one more! :) Next time pakumbodhu unakku chocki, ok ya?

Go to college next day and no one finds a change! So sad! Very Bad! More disheartened! I thought I’ll go to college with my wavy hair let out. But mom and dad din quite approve. So I thought I’ll let it down in college one day and do some pist! But since no one found any change even after I sadly told them about the ironing, I so LOST ALL my confidence that I stuck to my pony!

Well my hair is now thankfully more manageable than before, but that would be only till tomo when I have my hair bath! Sigh!

But the silver linng in the story is that my dear friend Ahu gifted me a Schwarzkopf Magic OSIS + (Anti-frizz serum) and a Lakme Hair Next serum and they seem to make my hair manageable than straight. I’m GLAd about it. Thanks Ahu!

Well temporarily, whenever I use this, my hair looks better. Otherwise I still am Madame Frizzy head [No one calls me that. It’s self-christened! :) ]

Maybe in distant future I’ll permanently straighten my hair, maybe I won’t. But that single second, looking at that full length mirror, dressed in one of my favourite kurtas, hair all straight, eyebrows trimmed, I experienced one PERFECT moment in life… Something that shall always remain cherished and help me digest the fact that till then I shall remain HAIRY SCARY!
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Maira Gall