September 30, 2005

CRY’s FACT Quiz-2005

Hey all! CRY(Child Relief and You) is conducting Free A Child Today(FACT) quiz 2005 tomorrow at CLRI, Adayar from 4:30 onwards.

Leading corporate houses are sending teams for the quiz, which has a written preliminary round. The selected finals will go through a rigorous round of quizzing to be conducted by Mr.Gautam Bhimani.

People interested to be part of this event put up for a good cause, do drop in tomorrow. There are audience prizes that you could win!


September 25, 2005


It all started with me going to college. The enthusiasm that always washes over anyone when they begin something new, washed over me too.New bags, new clothes, new matching-matching stuff and new sandals too! I got a pair for some 120 bucks- a nice new workable yet fashionable slipper.

I never was great at handling flashy slippers- any slippers, for that matter! The only pair that has lasted longest is my high-heeled 250 bucks sandals that I got in Mumbai’s markets in my eighth. That too I had to discard last year!
Actually, my use of shoes was only limited to the black and white pairs of shoes which I wore to school. Miraculously they used to last me only a year. But of course by the end of it, they would have developed a million holes.

So slippers and I were never any great friends. Some lasted just an year. Some a month and one lasted just a DAY!!! No, I’m neither exaggerating nor am I bragging about my slipper-handling talents. This piece narrates the saga of Sandhya and her Slippers.

Coming back to that pair of sandals I got for my college, it seemed to be quite friendly with me, no shoe bites, no blisters and no pain in the leg too… But alas well begun is half done and in this case, pain in the run… It was one of those blue days when I get up late, when my half-an hour bath extends over to a 45 minute one, my bus mate who picks me up sometimes, bunks. I had to run to my stop (a 15 minute walk from home) away from the tirade of “YOU OUGHT TO BE MORE RESPONSIBLE AND QUICK. YOU’LL MISS YOUR BUS TODAY, JUST SEE…” back home.

And what do I see? Just as I come running near my stop, my bus already has reached the stop and is almost about to shoot past… I gather all the energy and with a burst of force, fly to my bus and plonk myself, panting, near my friend. A few deep breaths later, I notice… something is dangling loose near my leg… OH MY GOD! My sandals have a cut exactly in the centre… Not a very deep one. Quite manageable for the day. But TOMORROW???

Sigh! That’s how it began… After a good bit of scolding (Tirade repeatu!!!) amma got me a new pair- this one, a cut shoe, very workable. Result- two gaping holes at the bottom which burnt my leg due to the scorching heat… My poor mom convinces my sister to lend her slightly over-size spare slippers. It looked a little ‘bathroomy’ and snooty me refused to wear it initially. After my mom made me understand that it doesn’t fit in her budget to buy me a new pair of sandals every week, I wore it to college, much to the surprise and amusement of my class mates. “Sandhya, sandhya, do you know you’re wearing a bathroom slipper?” asked one and all. I cheerily answered,”Yes”. They gave up on me.

If you thought, there ends the tale, I’m sorry… there’s more left! What happened next is an unimaginable thing in the life of a so-far respectable, decent girl! Gulp… It takes every onunce of my courage to publicly declare this. But well, let this be my confession box!

It was April 1 2005 and I had left my slippers in the shoe rack and gone into the Computer Lab. After 2 hours of struggling to complete plans in AutoCAD, I come out, to discover my slippers missing. Thinking it to be a prank of my friends, I go ask EVERY SIGLE one, torment them, bug them and I also strangled a couple of them! My prankster friends, for a change, had not stolen it! And one lone pair was left in front of the lab. Informing the lab assistant that in case anyone comes searching for their slippers, it was with me, I happily wore that pair and walked to class. Now one- I still thought someone had accidentally taken my slipper. Two- I did not think it wrong to wear their slippers. Come on… better wear some slipper than walk barefoot. And remember my loo which is a zoo? Now how on earth could I ever muster courage to walk barefoot into a seething insect factory?

Well the day passed and no one had claimed this pair of slippers. I remembered that my friend from another department had lost her slipper somewhere near just a week ago and she too had been left with a different pair which she was wearing now. So we decided that mine WAS stolen! I went home all dejected. My mom decided that I was jinxed and she told me to wear this slipper for a week or so till she gets me a new pair. I agreed shamefaced.

Next day I meet my friend from the other department near the restaurant in our campus. I told her my sad story and ended by saying, “But I think this pair is a better one than my earlier. It’s from KHADIMS” My friend let out a soft gasp and looked down and screamed, “That’s my pair. Then one I told you I lost a week ago…” I was flummoxed! God, what a great thief that person was. Steal one, wear it for a week, leave this, take another policy! I exchanged the pair she had been left by the thief with her own. Now this pair had these straw like strings and was bloody uncomfortable. But I had no other choice and decently handed over my friend’s pair to her. She left happily and I left with blisters… :(

I went home, narrated the tale and everyone had a good laugh, and I had the last laugh, of course. My mom gave me money and my cousin and I went to buy a new pair. I got a fashionable local pair. I wore it the next day to college and… TORE it! I had to ask my friend in the hostel to get her spare slippers. I wore them that day. My mom was wild and she gave me a bathroom slipper to wear.(“Unakku inime Ramar-odu Paadhagam thaan vaangi kudukkanam.” We should get you the wooden slipper that Rama wore) A few weeks passed without accidents and as I have this uncanny affinity towards slippers, I damaged this one too. The best part was, my friend had broken her slipper the same day and the hostelite had lent her, her spare. Now I didn’t have any thing. So I made one guy in my class to get his spare NIKE floaters for me and I wore it. It was twice my size and I was some specimen that day! Thankfully I did not tear his and returned it the next day.

No no… It doesn’t end hear. Appa… Have some patience!!! Another bathroom slipper came to my rescue and I wore it for a while. Pitying me my mom gave me money to get myself a new pair. Again cousin and I go and we got a moulded slipper-THAT NEVER BREAKS! But sadly, it turned out to be very tight and uncomfortable and my leg was swollen for a week!(“Vaangumbothe idha ellam pathu vaangamattiya? Endi ipdi nee enna pottu padutharai?”Won’t you see if it fits you before you buy? Why do you trouble me so much?)
So I took my mother’s spare ‘kohlapuri-yish’ slippers and they were good. But they now look very worn out after practicing dance with them for two weeks. And I got them stitched again. But the effect is still bad. My mom repaired that fashionable slipper that I tore the first day. I wear it sometimes, on important occasions. But it is bad for regular long time use and that too when it involves a lot of walking. So last Sunday for the Chennai Poets’ Circle seminar, I stole my sister’s slippers and wore them, after emptying half a Vaseline bottle on them! But sadly, they were of no use and my legs have developed the most ugly and most painful blisters! My sister still believes that it was God’s punishment for stealing them for a day!

So now, it is back again to my faithful, old, almost faded, 30Rs. Bathroom slippers! I wear them to college, for important occasions, to Spencer’s also!!! I’ve stopped caring. As long as it’s comfy, it’s fine. But it still seems to amuse my friends and I regularly get comments like, “Oh what a beautiful pair of slippers, you’re wearing!” My mom has decided to marry me off to some cobbler or a slipper factory owner! So till then, its back to walk life’s lanes in BATHROOM SLIPPERS!!!


September 18, 2005


(A filler post till I get over my creative block. This was an entry to ‘The Sundaram Fasteners, poetry contest. I didn’t win. But this poem gave me a lot of emotional satisfaction…)

I sigh
It’s been a weary day.
My limbs are aching
Hunger comes in the way

My bus goes on its rickety journey,
Back to where there’s food and rest waiting
I look out through the window,
Lifting my droopy dead eyes, out into the city
Out into Chennai’s cityscape
Painted; at the same time alive
Buzzing and peaceful
Going about its work…

The sky is all gray with clouds
Outside looks so much better a place to be!
The earthy-rain smell makes me go high!
I smile, I relax, I look out and see…

There the wayside tea-shop sales
Are roaring on, like the gale.
The brown concoction steaming,
Creating abstract art forms
On the canvas of air.

There the lady with the pink umbrella
Stands, awaits the bus.
The evening sun is setting down
And home beckons with its work and fun

Here the lonely cycler walks,
Looking at the beautiful world
Drinking in delight, its golden beauty.
“Ah sometimes it should just be nature and me!”

There the beach stretches along
With a thousand hidden pearls
And secrets, well kept.
Its echoing waters call me,
Its waves lick the ground
I look and the blue expands,
Expands… till I can see no more!

There the beggar woman sits
Black eyes, looking out to nothingness
All around her, lives go fast…
Her life is filled with nothing but the past!
She cries and begs for a coin,
The beauty of the world, notwithstanding!

My city, in its shades of green,
Its shades of grays and blues and pink!
In shades of black and brown and more,
Stretches ahead on my road.

I see it now; I’ve seen it before,
Yet, it’s got something new in store.
Every time, a jolt of pain, a bloom of joy,
Life here makes you laugh and cry!

I look on outside, at the cityscape,
Tall buildings, hut, sun and rain!

September 13, 2005

My exceptional skills in photography... Ooty snaps...

Full of mist and fog... boy, I'm so thrilled i took this snap

September 04, 2005


I never in my wildest dream thought that an elephant, a pack of hyenas, a hectare of forest and a human being could all be stuffed into a single matchbox. Well, they CAN, you know!

Enough of that stupid example. I’m now going to vent my exasperation, dejection and disappointment here- about the two most horrible weeks I’ve just had. I’ve cribbed and cried to friends and family . now let blogsville hear it!

To tell the truth I don’t want to put this up. But then I thought I HAVE to post it, to serve as a reminder of my stupidities! Here goes…

Piled up a helluva lot of work on my head.and ended up infuriating all of my profs who’ve declared I’m IRRESPONSIBLE!
Wanted to VERY badly do the sympo work for my dept. Did a bit too. But due to point one, the responsibility’s been shifted and I like a kid sat down and cried!
Did something that I did not expect to do at least for the next few years. And I am confused regarding the merits of my act. Hasty unthinking me!!!
But the BEST part is nothing has changed. It’s all as if it never happened.
“Things change. People change. But some bonds remain forever.”
Long live friendship!!!
Have been fighting, cribbing, crying all the time!
Had to study for my assessment from scratch and ended up staying late into the night.
Had to finish my design in less than a day and ended up getting lousy marks and now have to re-do it!
Going to college on Saturdays too for practice for the zonal NASA(National Association for the Students of Architecture).
Been feeling miserable due to my rising expenditure!!!
Been feeling miserable cos a few people have been treating me like filth. Its always like this. I go to the ends of the world for friends and they always throw me away! I’ve felt miserable due to two such different incidents.
I’ve just realized what a lousy dumb idiotic specimen I am. The past few days have exposed all my negatives, not only to me, but to the WORLD!
Lost my friend’s design sheets. He took it bravely cos he had a copy of his design. Go own up to the prof. Get jacked majorly. Try stepping down from all responsible positions cos my confidence on my abilities is low. Prof asks me not to be a loser and escapist. Realise folly. Go to Computer room. Lo, my friend’s sheets are there! Relief! Exasperation! Confusion!
My bad memory power became worst! Forgot deadlines. Forgot books. Forgot where I was after taking my friend’s design sheet. I sadly asked,” ma’am, do you remember where I went after getting the sheets? Which day was it? What time?” to get an incredulous reply,” At 18 you’re this forgetful???”
Made a fool of myself repeatedly!

Bad is too light a word! It was the worst.. no most WORST two weeks! Things are no better now. No cell recharge for a while, I’m bunking the whole of this week for practice, have to clear my desk, buy my friends, brother and sister(all buddays coming one by one) gifts for their birthday when I’m broke!

The only good thing is that a little girl sitting next to me in the bus yesterday, as I was going to college, made me very happy. She had come with her very sweet grandmother who was sitting a little way off. The two of us were closing our noses as this old man in front of us was smoking a beedi. The smell was awful and even his wife was complaining. Both of us closed our noses at the same time and we found it funny for no reason. And we giggled. I found her very sweet and she had the most pleasant face amongst all the girls I know(in guys, it goes to my classmate Faheem!). As I got down, I would have waved and yelled atleast 5-6 byes! We were instant friends! And somehow the stress and depression of the two horrible weeks melted miraculously. From then, it’s been better comparatively.

I just realized that with all my faults, all my stupidity and all my hastiness, it’s still easy to make me happy! It just takes a friendly smile from someone around and a smile back from me for my miseries to melt…

Thank you girl, wherever, whoever, whatever you are! I’ll nEVER forget you, nor that beatific smile of yours!

© Dryad's Peak
Maira Gall