Tuesday, October 31, 2006

The Wonder Years Tag!

I wrote in a previous tag that I miss childhood. That got me reminiscing and one day I chanced upon this post by Pophabhi where he has described Vishu during his childhood. His description is so vivid and the memories seem so warm like the glow of lamps in the poojamuri. We all have vivid memories of our childhood, both good and bad. And I realize that it would be so therapeutic to revisit childhood and relive those memories. So I decided to write a post on it. And that is how this tag was born.

The Wonder Years Tag

1. Write 8-10 things about childhood ( 1-12 years) that you miss.
2. Write 8-10 things that you disliked about childhood.
3. Tag a few people.

What I miss about childhood

1. I miss being pint sized. Because my dad would carry me around and I could sit on his lap, my favorite place to sit, while he read the newspaper.

2. I miss being fed by my mom while I read an Enid Blyton with great concentration. I used to be hand fed till I was 8 because I was a lazy eater. Then in school, my class teacher found out about this and refused to let me go and play till I showed her an empty tiffin and I learnt to eat on my own.

3. I miss the story telling sessions by my grandparents/dad in the night before we fell asleep. My dad was a horrendous story teller, so he read from books and usually fell asleep before he finished, which prompted me to pick up the book and finish it while he snored. This also developed the reading habit in me.

4. I miss the amazement that books created and the places it took me to, sitting right here in Bangalore.

5. I miss the fuss when I fell sick.

6. I miss childhood Christmases. Christmases in childhood were so special! Decorating the tree, making the crib,helping mom make the cake and lots of things besides that. It was like living in the Winter Wonderland.

7. I miss the childhood vacations in Kerala, when you could run and play in the estates and do anything you wanted. Today I am grown up and expected to behave like a propah lil miss.

8. I miss the carefree days of wearing frocks and going topless during summers.

9. I miss childhood birthday parties and giving sweets in class and wearing ‘colored clothes’ to school on my birthday.

10. I miss getting away with just about anything because I was the youngest.

What I disliked about childhood

1. Drinking milk. I disliked being forced to drink milk and almost every time I vomited it out but my mom wouldn’t relent.

2. Hospitals, Doctors Clinic, Injections,medicines and Vaccinations...I always got fever after that

3. I disliked dinner because I was a hyperactive kid and would be too exhausted and sleepy by dinnertime. But there was no escaping dinner and till today dinner reminds me of hot rice and drowsiness.

4. I disliked spicy curries and biting into a green chilly. Even mildly spicy curries would have me drinking tonnes of water and eating sugar. A bowl of sugar was a permanent feature on the dining table in our house. (I love spicy food now)

5. I disliked hot food because it burnt my hands and I wouldn’t touch it till it was cooled.

6. Being bathed by mom, because she used the hard Pears soap, supposedly the safest for the skin. It would poke me. Till today the smell of Pears, reminds me of childhood baths.

7. Polishing my shoes

8. Fountain pens. It leaked and I was a splotchy mess by the time school got over.

9. I disliked doing the ‘drill’ in the sun, which was compulsory practice for sports day.

10. Getting up in the morning for school :)

And with great delight, ignoring the epithets flowing in my direction I tag.

1. Alexis
2. Mind Curry
3. Jiby (if you have the time)
4. Thanu
5. Praveen
6. Lijo
7. Jeseem
8. BVN
9. Mathew
10. Dhanush
11. Quills
12. Kusum
13. Leon
14. Pophabhi
15. Fleiger

...and anyone else who would like to take this trip down memory lane :)

Saturday, October 28, 2006

The singles dilemma

“So how come you are single?” this is a query guaranteed to make me slap someone, one of these days. What pisses me off is the absurdity of this question. And I do tend to snap when someone asks me this question. Not because it is personal but because it is so stupid.

Yesterday a male colleague asked me this question. Normally I would have given a deliberately vague answer but I am a little fed up of the frequency of this question since coming to this company and so turned around and counter questioned him sarcastically.
"So how come your sister is single?”
He got the point and mumbled an apology.

What irritates me is the fact that I have to give him and others an example to drive home the point. Can’t they see that having a boyfriend is not common but uncommon for an Indian gal…even in the Metros. I can count on my fingers the number of gals among my college mates who have boyfriends, and these are long term relationships. Then why do they ask such questions? And it is not just me, but lots of single gals who complain of the same.

This incident set me thinking of this whole GF/BF thingie. For most of us girls, getting to know a guy and in the event that you hit it off with him, then going in for a steady relationship is not as simple as it seems. For most of us (please note the emphasis on ‘most of us’) a BF is a potential life partner and hence we tend to look for people from within our community or religion. This rules out 90% of the guys we meet. The remaining 10% are scattered and the chance of bumping into someone on your own is slim.

For guys the above-mentioned aspect may not be a consideration at all (or maybe yes, please correct me if I am wrong). There are a few gals who will get into a relationship just for the heck of it, or because it is cool and because you can go for a movie together etc. Quite ok if both parties are not serious. But for the rest, it is not that simple. Our society rules state that a girl should have a good reputation(whatever the meaning of the stupid term) in order to qualify for the post of wife. And since most Indian gals have to get married, it sort of puts a dampner on any hopes of having a relationship that may not work out (read as 'past history').

Besides we have parents to think about and touchy brothers too, who would not like to be informed by their friends that they saw their sister with a guy at the theater unless he is her steady/fiancé/husband/classmate/known colleague.

A few creeps also spoil the party for the good guys. These and a lot of other factors, makes girls vary of dating or having a boyfriend. Which is why so many young people are single today. Most of them are resigned to it, while many especially guys miss having female companionship.

Among my colleagues who stay in PG digs or away from families, many date regularly, chiefly because the fear of being caught or seen by the family is absent. Dating is slowly becoming an accepted thing, but the hesitancy to be seen together unless the couple is very serious is still the norm. There is hope yet. If not our generation, I am sure the next generation will have things easier on this front.

Monday, October 23, 2006

The gentle way of life

Early in the morning, the road in front of my house looks like a farmers market. My house stands where the village limits ends and the tarred road begins. There are about 20 or 30 push cart vendors living in the village. The village still lives in the last century, like so many pockets of areas around the city. The difference between the city and the villages are growing and these people present an interesting study of a people who live in the same city as us but are very different from us.

The push cart vendors (both ladies and gents) congregate in front of my house and then unpack their wares, mostly fruits that would be neatly covered and tied down with plastic before they retired for the night. The vegetable vendors would have already left to pick up produce from the middlemen’s trucks that come into the city bringing fresh vegetables. A farmer will sell his cauliflower for a rupee or two to the middleman and these are sold in the city for Rs.20/-. So it is not hard to imagine the plight of farmers. However the middlemen’s syndicate is very strong and they use mafia style tactics if any farmer tries to sell produce in the city on his own. Sometimes abject misery makes these farmers come furtively into the city at night, to sell their produce. We always make sure we buy from such people. The government has set up a farmers market in the outskirts of the city, but hardly anyone ventures there. City folks are busy people who do not have time to go shopping for vegetables through traffic jams to far away places. The very idea is self defeating.

These vendors like most village folk have a personal rapport with most of the ladies in the area especially South Indian ladies my moms age or ladies who have come from small towns and hence can relate to them. They talk the same language and their conversations are about the weather, children, illnesses, natural cures and just about everything that people in villages sit and talk. When they get back from their villages after important festivals, they bring back something for us. Fresh farm produce, home made sweets, drumsticks and a variety of other things like bangles for me when I was a kid. Their generosity despite poverty is heartwarming. It is not a rare sight for a lady from the village to come knocking on our door for a bit of sambhar or curry or medicines, the relationship we have with them is that of friendly neighbors. For them, our families are like an oasis in an otherwise strange city.

In the evening I wait on the balcony to see them trooping back. There is a bounce in the step and a song on their lips as they plan to go to the movies or discuss the latest releases. Small gifts like a bunch of curry leaves or coriander leaves, a few bananas are left on the gate post for my Mom, a small token of friendship and respect. These are the people who bought Neem leaves when we had Chicken Pox or a herb that is used for treating Jaundice when I had Jaundice. They make it a point to stop and ask our welfare and fill us in with the latest news like weddings and babies in the family.

What saddens me, when I see these people is the realization that they rightfully belong in the villages. They seem so misplaced in the city. I wish that villages provided them livelihood so that they could stay back and carry on with their unique way of life. I dread to think of an India without villages, villagers or village culture. Our villagers are the repositories of our culture and heritage and I wish the government realizes this and does something.

I have a lot of admiration and gratitude for the myriad people like Bina Ramani who have promoted and preserved the rural arts and crafts, but we need more or the gentle people of the villages who are the last remaining practitioners of the Indian way of life will be wiped out to be replaced with a class catering to the cities as cheap labor.

( Do check out this heartwarming tale by Abhishek)

Friday, October 20, 2006

Anything sells

Today when I went to Infant Jesus church I remembered an incident that happened approximately four years ago. We had gone to this famous Infant Jesus Shrine in the south and a guy selling various religious objects approached us. Among the prayer books, medallions and plastic figurines of Infant Jesus were plastic boxes with a small piece of bone kept on cotton. I have seen such a relic in another shrine too, where a piece of some saints bone is kept for public viewing.

According to this guy, the bone was Infant Jesus’ bone and he would sell it for Rs 1000/-. My brother M as usual picked up a box with exaggerated interest and then turned to us with mock amazement and said “Just imagine...Jesus was boneless from childhood! Wow!!"

The man slunk away while we were laughing...we felt a little sheepish that had he our attention for a while. Dunno how many gullible people are venerating the ‘bone’ of Infant Jesus in their homes today? :P

Happy Diwali everyone!!!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


Today I was watching the news…it showed an Asian boy being rushed to a hospital in London for emergency treatment. The people in the hospital reacted quickly as the people who had ferried him from a country in Asia …all whites, looked on anxiously. It didn’t matter to them that the child was non-white…they did their best to save his life.

Over the years so many people have gone from Asia, Africa and other third world countries of the world and settled in England and US and some other countries of Europe. We have enjoyed their hospitality and made use of the sworn principals that governs these societies i.e …freedom of speech, religion and beliefs. And today, we have like snakes, bitten the very hands that feed us.

No matter where we go, we take our prejudices, fanaticisms and intolerance with us. It seems to be genetically rooted. We carry our personal vendetta with us and incubate it in the fertile climes of the foreign soil where our beliefs and prejudices are respected under free speech and then strike at the country of our origin and at our hosts…like parasites.

We use the freedom of speech the West grants us to stifle the freedom of speech of people who disagree with us. We abuse their hospitality by turning on the very society that gave us shelter, work and a charter to live as human beings.

Today the West is under siege. It’s principals eroded by the very people it gave shelter to. The West is facing its greatest challenge. Will it buckle under like France that banned any form of overt religious symbolism or hold onto the principals of individual freedom which may see a return to intolerance. Only time will tell. I for one am waiting to see the compromises the West will make to deal with this abuse of their trust.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Quick on the draw

I was Google chatting with this famous guy blogger the other day. The chat went thus:

Him: You on Orkut?
Me: I was, not any more
Him: Why?
Me: Well, it is more like a pick up zone...
guys seem to think it is a place to meet girls
Him: That's what I heard
I am in Orkut...
but no has tried to pick me up yet
Do you think there is something wrong with me? :)

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Spot ‘em young and watch ‘em grow!

Nowadays when I open my mailbox, I see many job offers, due to my other blog. Earlier it was small companies, nowadays it is big ones. A mail from the HR of a large American media house caught my eye the other day.

This company entered India around the time I finished college. When they advertised for 'Content Writers' I remember applying for the same even though 'Content Writing' would be too narrow a field for me. I did not get a reply. Of course I was in a good company then and I did not bother. I got another mail by the same person yesterday for the same job, describing his organization hoping to entice me. Finally, today I replied back. I told him about the fact that I had applied to his company earlier and asked him why the scanning process of his company did not spot me then. I went on to ask him how he could justify the fact that they had not even considered my resume! I got an incoherent reply that I didn’t understand and politely sent a letter of disinterest in working for his organization. I hope he does a thorough check of the recruiting procedures of his company, because another friend and classmate of mine who applied with me is now an established writer with a foreign magazine.

I am afraid I am very arrogant with HR folks when they call asking if I am interested in joining their organization and I have every reason to be. I have proved myself and I don’t need to take the nonsense that is the recruiting procedure of people in the communication and support services field.

The scanning process of candidates for interviews is ridiculous. Usually it is the HR team that does the initial scanning of resumes and it is here that the biggest mistakes happen. Spotting a good candidate for a particular job requires scanning of resumes by a person in the same field. But this rarely happens. The HR team does the first scanning of resumes and forward these to departmental heads. By this time many good candidates are rejected or ignored due to the inability of HR teams to evaluate the resume due to their lack of knowledge in this particular skill.

The interview procedure is even more ridiculous. Most of the time, the last incumbent would have quit and people with no knowledge of the field will interview the candidate. I had an HR executive calling asking me if I know how to draft a Press Release. It is like asking a Doctor if he knows medicine!! And this girl belonged to the HR department of one of the largest Semi Conductor companies in the world!! I wasn't looking for a change and declined the offer.

In my first and second job, the concerned Manager insisted on going through the resumes themselves and that is how I was spotted. In my last company, when I was short listed for the job, the then HR Manager protested vehemently because " she is too young"!!!! My boss put his foot down and I was given the job. Since then he made it a point to go through every resume that comes for a job in his department. His actions didn’t go down well with the HR powers-that-be, but it spoke volumes of his perception of the HR department’s abilities to get him the right talent.:p It was no wonder that his department had 0% attrition.

I am afraid that such practices by HR departments are robbing companies of talents and talented people of the right jobs. My classmate in college a really gifted and wonderful writer now works in software marketing.

How many such talents have been snuffed out no one knows.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

The ideal man

Who would be my ideal man? This was the topic of conversation last Saturday between us friends. Each of decided to give this topic a really really wild shot. No holds barred kind of expectations from our future mates. ( guys pleej to note this point)

I am not a teenager anymore, when your idea of the ideal man would be a judicious mix of the looks of a romantic star with a body of an action hero and the sense of humor of a comedian. So my shot at the ideal man was very ‘wild’ too but in a different way. Here’s my take:

My ideal man would have had a live in arrangement with a gal for at least a year. (Freshers need not apply.) The one year would have made him fairly used to living with a gal and it would have smoothed out the rough edges off him. He would of course be over the girl too by the time he becomes my ideal man :p ( It would be just like being gifted with a cute puppy that is housebroken and trained, my idea of a perfect gift!)

There was pin drop silence when I let out this piece of information and then lots of “What!!!!!!” and “Are you crazy?!!??!”. Then strangely enough there was a grudging acceptance of my view of an ideal man. After all we were being wild and not boringly serious weren’t we? The girls still had the age old feeling of distaste at the thought of a man who had already lived-in with another woman. But the more we talked about it, the more the idea became palatable to the crowd. Suddenly the girls began seeing more and more advantages in such a guy.

Ok I admit that maybe subconsciously I am trying to do away with the first few difficult months in a relationship when a guy has to be housebroken (:p). (yeah girls I can see the nodding of heads).

As the gals warmed up to the idea some brilliant suggestions started pouring out. For example, one bright soul in the group hoped that that her ideal guy would be used to helping his ex putting mehendi on her hair as she finds it difficult to do it on her own, another hoped that her ideal man would have been taught by his ex to put nail polish on her toes, yet another gal wanted him to be thoroughly coached in cooking by his ex…. and there is more. One gal wanted her ideal to be trained by his ex in aerobics and another in pole dancing. By this time we were rolling on the floor laughing. I shall refrain from revealing some of the ahem…other talents the girls wanted in their ideal guy.

I for one am happy that we had that talk session. It was liberating in a sort of way because from a hesitant start the girls got really creative ( the Breezers helped). And after the discussion as it always happens with us, we fell into a collective silence, as we ruminated on the fact that each of us had a personality of our own and based on that we had some idea of the kind of man we would like to spend our lives with… and the sobering fact that for most of us, an arranged marriage awaited in the distant future.

But till then we are gonna party!!! :p

(Penned this in-flight on my lappie with a weirdo sitting next to me trying desperately to peep into my lappie)

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Songsters of the sky

Verditer Flycatcher
Photo courtesy Kolkata Birds

As a kid, around 8/9 years of age I found a couple of magazines in my Dad’s small library of magazines and books, which he had collected while in the Gulf. The magazine was titled ‘Outdoors’. I think it was a Canadian magazine. The colorful pictures of sprawling blue mountains, snow covered slopes, rivers winding through snow and the sheer beauty of the landscape had me hooked. In the same section of the library I found books by Jim Corbett, and E P Gee and some other authors. I was a voracious reader then and these books were devoured in a trice. ’Outdoors’ was a magazine for hunters and I soon developed distaste for it. My Dad had apparently picked it up at the Airport Book Shop.

However chancing upon this magazine and these books on Wildlife was a life changing moment for me. I had found my calling, my passion…perhaps it was the genes…perhaps not as my Dad was an accomplished hunter in his younger days… or maybe yes, because he changed after he read Jim Corbett, E P Gee and Rudyard Kipling. Till today my Dad cannot explain how or why he purchased these books as he had no inclination or interest towards environmental issues then. But these books somehow landed in his possession as though placed there by fate for me to chance upon. I of course expanded this library. My Dad gladly let me take the books for my collection and these books were the first ‘serious’ books among my Golden Key comics, Enid Blyton, Asterix, Tin Tin and Kiddy Encyclopedia collection.

It was the book, The Wild Life of India by EP Gee that influenced me the most. It’s simple narration and helpless tone over the fast vanishing wild life of India was just the thing to ignite and interest in wild life conservation. I must confess that one cannot just read a book on wildlife and get enthusiastic about conservation. The matter has to take root in your heart and in your mind. As a kid I was fascinated by birds, I have been through the ‘jumping from the table flapping my arms trying to fly routine’ several times. I have spent hours watching birds fly in formation is sheer joy and free abandon from the terrace. The sheer color of their plumage and absolute freedom to swim in the air held me in thrall. E P Gee talked at length about Salim Ali in his book, a man he admired a lot. So it was no wonder that my interest in Birds took a firmer root when my parents presented me with a book on Indian birds by Salim Ali.

Salim Ali pioneered ornithology in India and made it a serious pursuit. It is because of him that ‘Birding’ and bird conservation has become a passion for several individuals and organizations who are now working doggedly to save India’s birds from extinction. Salim Ali died in 1987 when I was a few years old. I wish he had been born a little later so that I could get to meet him and shake hands with him. He is a living proof of the existence of God. Who else but God could have put him in our midst to remind us of these tiny and gentle creatures that form a vital link in the cycle of Nature. Besides delighting us with their color, wonderful plumage and sweet songs.

I am by no means a professional birder or ‘twitchers’ as they are called. My support for the various organization working for conservation is monetary, besides the regular birding outings with our amateur group and awareness camps in college and now in office. However birds are my life long passion and I cannot imagine a world without them. Spotting a rare bird is like a ray of hope that all is not lost. I cannot describe the delight of spotting a bird, recognizing it and following it with your binoculars. It is an addiction and like an addiction there is always one more spot you must try …and you keep walking and tracking through calls or a flash of color or movement in the foliage …till you realize it is sunset and you got to head home.

Nov 12th is Dr Salim Ali’s birthday. God bless you Dr Salim Ali!

( I am travelling from tomorow. Hope to log in and reply to comments. See you guys next week. Poomanam too will be updated only next week. Caio!)

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Winds of change

Today was Karnataka bundh…but I went to work and found quite a few people at work especially the unmarried gals many of them living in PG digs. Over the past two weeks I have met and befriended most of the girls working here. It doesn’t take long for girls to become friends, though I see the opposite in guys. They tend to make a couple of friends within their team or have friends outside the office. Whenever we are, we girls immediately form a group; it is the most natural thing that happens. Soon your problems become theirs and vice versa and we sort of know what is happening in each others life. A married gal would greet another in the morning with a question about her day after she went home, unsolved tiffs with hubby or inlaws or other irritants that would be general knowledge among the gals.

In my last company I was witness to a spate of weddings of my gal colleagues. Most of them marrying with stars in the eyes and then the troubling lightening crash to absolute boredom or irritation with married life within weeks!!! The married gals of course, chuckled with an "I told you so" kind of look.

Today I see a subtle but definite change in the attitude of girls. After living under oppressive and restrictive middle class parents, then tasting freedom and financial independence at PG digs and employment, they are not willing to get back to that kind of lifestyle via marriage. As I write this post four marriages are in the divorce court from my last company and an equal number in this office too. In all these cases, the girls just could not take the pressure of job and housework and realized that they had a choice not to live like this. They had done their best, but when you have lived in a PG/home where food was served on time and all you had to do was make sure you got up in time and reached office in time, they kind of wonder why they have to give up such a lifestyle. The US work culture, lets face it is not conducive to an Indian kind of marriage where the woman does most of the work. And this realization is dawning on girls nowadays. Today gals are taking a good hard look at marriages and what is in it for them. The fact is all of them know what’s in it for them…housework and the onus of looking after another human being. Besides nosey interfering in laws and relations. This is the cold analysis of a marriage from a working gals viewpoint.

The married girls on the other hand, swear that their daughters will not be brought up to believe that marriage is the ultimate goal in a girl’s life. And this generation of girls will soon be upon us and they sure will be very different from this present generation.

Like most oppressed people, the womenfolk of India, at least the younger lot too is beginning to raise their voices and rebel. The world of the Indian gal is in a churn and I for one wonder what this churn will throw up. Will it be embittered feminists or die hard single career girls? No one knows, but the change is underway and what direction it will take depends a lot on the Indian guys.

Will the Indian man rise to the occasion or through his refusal to change make extremists of these girls? The juggernaut of change cannot be stopped but I hope it goes in the right direction.

The ball is in your court dear Indian gentlemen!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

I'm happy!

No folks I did not win a Jackpot or a promotion. I am happy because of some other reasons. When I came into this office I was given a brand new comp with *UGH* freeware like OpenOffice *puke*. I immediately got rashes (I swear this is true) and demanded to see the Sysadmin. Now my Chief Syssie here is a jovial Bong, sweet and chubby and round as a Rosogolla. (But the poor man has a completely mallu team. He still manages to smile despite such tragedies). So I told him of my problems and he laughed. ( He laughs at anything... for example I remarked that it looks like it is going to rain and he was ROFL.) So my MS Office problem had him shaking with laughter and every muscle and fat group in his body got a well deserved exercise. ( The fat group clearly outnumbered the muscle group though at the ratio of 1: 756385754)

Amidst uncontrollable laughter he told a rather shy chota sysadmin to attend to my distresses. The rather shy chota sysadmin came shyly into my cabin and opened ‘My Computer’ very shyly. Then he blushed when he saw that he had forgotten to install MS Office. So he downloaded MS Office and went away blushing.

A few minutes later another chota sysadmin who was a little better than the other rather shy chota sysadmin in the shyness department came and installed Photoshop. After which another chota syadamin came and installed Corel Draw. After everyone had got a chance to come and install something or the other on my comp, the March Past of the Sysadmins stopped. ( it was fun and educative while it lasted, I got to see a variety of Sysadmins and their bumblings. Made me feel very human ) For example:

Chota Syadmin: I have installed Adobe Photoshop for you.
Me: er… I want Adobe Photoshop and not Adobe Acrobat.
Chota Syadmin: ooops ente daivame!! Sorry tow!

So now I have my beloved Microsoft Suite of products without which I frankly cannot live. ( I can almost feel Aashiks evil grin right now :p ).Maybe I am too used to it. I have been using MS Office from the time I was a teeny bopper and could reach the keyboard. It was easier to use the thesaurus in MS Word than consult a dictionary with a million pages and tiny miniscule print. And of course the teacher was none the wiser. I even got honorable mention for ‘Consulting the Dictionary’.

I know, I know I keep taking digs at MS but then I take digs at my Mom and second brother too don’t I? You take digs at people you love. See, I never make digs at Anonymous commenters!!!

After the installation, suddenly all the documents changed their icons and the familiar MS Word icon appeared on them like magic. It was truly a wonderful and breathtaking moment. And then I clicked on MS Word and as the familiar window opened I almost kissed the monitor. (Trust me after beholding Open Office Writer you will kiss even your boss.) So me is back on track and life is good once again.

Pssst don’t think I wont take digs at Papa Billy and his armamentarium. That will continue as an when it irritates or annoys me.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

On blogging...

Picked up this heaven sent tag from Pradeep. Been wanting to write about blogging for some time now.

1. Are you happy/satisfied with your blog, with its content and look? Does your family know about your blog?

I am very satisfied with my blog, because I have no aspirations or ambitions for it. All I wanted was to write without censure and editing. My family knows about this blog and I started blogging with their approval. I am happy with the feel as I am not obsessed about my blog.

2. Do you feel embarrassed to let your friends know about your blog or you just consider it as a private thing?

I am careful about who knows about my blog. I come from a conservative community and everything I write has the potential of a scandal. So only some close friends and relations know about my blog. I also work in a company that requires me to admit to any blogging activity and so I write under a pen name. I would love to blog under my name but then it would restrict the freedom of expression and I do not want to write politically correct posts.

3. Did blogs cause positive changes in your thoughts?

Yes. I never thought when I started blogging that anyone would be interested in my writing. But surprisingly there seemed to be an increasing number of guys reading my blog. And they were such gentlemen!!! And I say this not because they liked my posts, but because they seemed tolerant of a gals outlook on life and guys in general. My perceptions about guys have changed. I have realized that the community of guy bloggers are thorough gentlemen or maybe only gentlemen blog :) I feel good to have connected to so many people.

(All you gals scouring shaadi portals...you know where to get the best guys...at my blogs!!!!!!!! And it’s FREEE!!!!)


4. Do you only open the blogs of those who comment on your blog or you love to go and discover more by yourself?

There was a time when I had time to blog hop and that is how I discovered most of my blog pals and I sort of settled into reading some on a regular basis because I like their writing. Through my blog pals many people discovered my blog. But nowadays, I comment only on posts that I like reading. If I come across interesting blogs I do comment.

5.What does visitors counter mean to you? Do you care about putting it in your blog?

I put it the Statcounter at Poomanam on Leon's advice last October (2005). It has been a real eye opener. I realized that there are more silent readers than commenters. I get an average of 10k hits at Poomanam and 2 K hits per month at Think Pad. I did care about putting in one at this blog for the same reason. However the fact is, nothing affects my writings. I write what I want and will keep writing till I feel like, whether there are readers or not. That is my blogging philosophy.

6. Did you try to imagine your fellow bloggers and give them real pictures?

No, I didn’t.

7. Admit. Do you think there is a real benefit for blogging?

By real if you mean ‘monetary’ then I do not know. Otherwise it is a great help…most reticent people turn very eloquent while blogging. And once you get used to expressing your thoughts, you get a clearer picture of who you are and what you want in life. I would call bloggers a ‘mind community’. When you see a person in flesh and blood, some prejudices like the way a person looks or some mannerisms can cloud your impression of the person. But in blogs you respond only to the person’s thought process, which I think is the most honest form of interaction.

8. Do you think that bloggers society is isolated from real world or interacts with events?

I don’t think there is a bloggers society. I think we all have our offline life and do not spend our entire time at our blogs to be called a society. Blogging is just another small part of our daily lives. But when it comes to calamities, bloggers do rally around and do their best to help.

9. Does criticism annoy you or do you feel it's a normal thing?

Criticisms of my writing style annoy me because I am not a professional writer. My blog is like my personal diary. You don’t peep into people’s diaries and comment on their writing styles do you? My blog is the same. Just another random rambling. Criticism also means you are taking away the right of a blogger to freedom of expression. Period.

I also do not like expectations from me, something that is happening regularly these days. I do not like my blog (Poomanam) being in the limelight though inadvertently it has. I want it to be considered just another blog and not a regular syndicated humor column, which seems to be the popular perception now.

10. Do you fear some political blogs and avoid them?

I don’t fear political blogs. My favorites are on my blogroll at Poomanam. But I know nothing about politics so don’t comment on political blogs except at DOC and Vinod's and lately Brijesh's blogs… and that is because these people tolerate my comments and have not booted me out yet. :p

11. Did you get shocked by the arrest of some bloggers?

I didn’t know anything about this. But if they have used their blog for criminal or anti State activities then they deserve it.

12. Did you think about what will happen to your blog after you die?

It will die with me. My blog is uniquely me. My friend and my brother has my User ID and password. So they will keep it open I guess till there are readers for the archives.

13. What do you like to hear? What's the song you might like to put a link to in your blog?

I would like to hear:


I see trees of green, red roses too
I see them bloom for me and you
And I think to myself, what a wonderful world

I see skies of blue and clouds of white
The bright blessed day, the dark sacred night
And I think to myself, what a wonderful world

The colours of the rainbow, so pretty in the sky
Are also on the faces of people going by
I see friends shakin' hands, sayin' "How do you do?"
They're really saying "I love you"

I hear babies cryin', I watch them grow
They'll learn much more than I'll ever know
And I think to myself, what a wonderful world
Yes, I think to myself, what a wonderful world

Oh yeah

I can hear anything as long as it is melodious or has a good beat. I would put a new song everyday on my blog :)

This is one time I will take great pleasure in tagging some people. And these are a few of my favorite men err..I mean tagees :p

Alexis, Mind Curry, Jiby, Mathew (if the Germans allow you to blog), Ganja Turtle, Fleiger and Emmanuel. And a very eloquent and elegant gal blogger...Quills!