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Showing posts from April, 2009

Seems like yesterday

It's been five years since I ran the London Marathon. It's something I never fail to bring up, even in a casual conversation which might go like this.

You: Nice day, isn't it? Me: Yes, a most pleasant day to go running. You: Yes, did you hear about what happened to that ship that was attacked by pirates? Me: Pirates? Bet they never go running. You: They threatened to kill all on board if they weren't paid a ransom. Me: And if they are killed, they can certainly never go running. Did I tell you about the time I ran the London Marathon and someone came dressed as a pirate?
As you probably guessed, I'm darned proud of having run the 26.2 mile course. Here are some pics. (Rest assured I will do the same year after year. Write about my day of glory that is, not run)



25 Random things about me

It's one of those tags that never came my way. Still, here goes.

1. My name has always been no.1 in the school attendance register.
2. My name is usually the first on mobile phones. And I get a lot of calls from kids who happen to be playing with the mobile. Usually at 3 in the morning.
3. I share my birthday with my father.
4. I rarely wear anything blue.
5. I ran the London Marathon five years ago.
6. I get annoyed when people say they ran the Mumbai Marathon but omit to add that they ran the half-marathon distance.
7. Recently, I was surprised to learn that I am a shoe size bigger than I'd previously thought.
8. I have two sons. Both of them are boys.
9. I once auditioned for Countdown on Channel 4.
10. Routines tire me.
11. I had never ironed a shirt until I came to the UK.
12. I dreamt of my firstborn's name.
13. I am terribly ambitious.
14. Some days, for no apparent reason, I get a big buzz just waking up in the morning and then want to go climb Everest before breakfast.
15. I cri…

Memories of food - Murukku & a Paati who made them

I don't know what made me think of her. It is quite possible that it was the sight of the still half-full packet of murukku on the top shelf that triggered the memory. Long before Grand Sweets and Snacks took over the murukkus of the world, there was murukku paati. I don't think she had ever been murukku-young girl or murukku-lady before she became the grandmother who squeezed out the best murukkus out of the mould. She was nobody's grandmother in particular and yet everyone in the neighbourhood called her paati.

Paati was a widow and she wore a widow's garb of pale pink cotton 9-yards saree. Her head was shaved and she wore no blouse. When she sat down, her pendulous breasts would rest on the folds of her stomach like a well-fed cat on his owner's lap on a Saturday afternoon. Snug, settled and unrushed.

I do not remember her face very well. But when I think of her, I can see her holding a large mould filled with murukku dough and squeezing it over a vat of boiling h…

Origami Abhirami

I want to spend an afternoon with a few friends folding paper. Hands up if you are interested. p.s. Ahiri, there will be a place marked for you on the table. In case you wish to join us.

Around The World - A Tag

I look around me. There's torn paper all over the floor waiting to be tidied up. There's also a sinkful of dirty dishes to be washed. Lunch to be cooked, nappies to be changed. I have yet to glance at the day's newspaper and my cup of tea has grown a thin layer of cream on top. But I want to sit here and sink further into the sofa. I don't want to disturb the chaos. I no longer wish order around my household. I'm still in my pyjamas as I settle down to respond to a tag from the wonderful Sur (I'm still waiting for your phone call). I'm supposed to write five things I love about being a mother.



1. I love the fact that I no longer need to appear civil in public. I can go to the supermarket looking like I've just spent an hour inside a tumble dryer along with bottles of jams and pickles and sauces and I'm likely to get sympathetic nods from fellow travellers.

2. I'm glad that I no longer need to bother with cosmetics or anti-ageing creams. The frowns…

A quick tale 226

The alternative is unthinkable

This is not the sort of dilemma you have in mind when you are filling in a job application. My application pack asked me questions about where I studied and what marks I got in my graduation. There was nothing about how I would handle a situation like this. But then of course, you cannot always prepare for every eventuality. Each day I come to work, I come in the secure knowledge that so many hundreds of lives depend on me. That if I mess up even the slightest, not carry out my checks thoroughly, not probe that little bit extra, there could be trouble ahead. But you don't always think about all this when you are at your job. Like when I'm on duty, checking passengers before they board, running the metal detector across their body, dabbing my hands all over their person (strictly for reasons of security) and poking suspicious bulges, just to be sure. I rarely make eye contact with the passengers as I go about my work. I just ask them to head this w…

Rock, Hard Rock and Me 2

When I was in the 6th standard or so, I saw my school seniors practising a dance routine. The tune was catchy and I wanted to know more. But when I drew close to the stage, I realised with shock that the chorus sounded distinctly like 'Peede...peede'. Why would anyone choose a song with abusive words in them? And worse, they were going to dance to it? With teachers watching and parents cheering on? Didn't these girls have no shame? Don't they risk being called peedais themselves? But I kept my anxiety to myself and it wasn't until much later that I learnt that the song was actually 'Beat it'.

But finding out the song didn't actually make me go 'A-ha! I get it now'. I was further confounded with a series of even more perplexing questions. Beat what? Beat whom? Why beat? These mysteries have remained unresolved since and I suspect I will take them with me when I go. I don't wrestle with serious existential questions. My demands are far less exa…

Rock, Hard Rock and Me

I envy anyone who knows their pop from their rock from their jazz. I positively glow with jealousy whenever I hear someone say how they grew up listening to Joan Baez or Bob Dylan. Me, I have not a chance in hell when it comes to English music of any genre. I wouldn't know Bob Dylan if he fell on me and broke my neck (that I wouldn't be alive to recognise him as such is immaterial here). When I was young, only the seriously hip and the ones who had sold their soul to the devil listened to English music.

For a long time, the only pop musician I knew was Michael Jackson. Though I wasn't sure if he really sang in English as I could barely follow what little I heard of his songs. The husband recently told me that there were heated debates in his school over Jacko's gender. With over half of his class convinced that he was a woman!

Back then one of my uncles used to have LPs of Osibisa, ABBA and Boney M and he would play them on his record player and we would dance around fee…

Food for thought

I love a good food blog. I love spending hours looking at all the wonderful pictures, so painstaking in their effort that it hurts to think that these bloggers are doing it for no reason other than the love of it. There's a variety of recipes, all presented ever so professionally. A drizzle here, a coriander sprig artfully tucked there. They also makes me acutely aware of my shortcomings. Admittedly, I had my own food blog for a while before I surrendered to my incompetence. For I can never, in a million years do dainty drizzles. Unless I happen to spill some by mistake. My food is chaotic. Served in mismatched bowls. With not a napkin in sight. At home we eat food with our hands, often messily. And when it's good, we lick, slurp and devour it with abandon. With an energy best left for the passions of reunited young lovers who have been apart for a year.

I go back to the food blogs and I see such a lot of quest for perfection. There is none of the burnt pans and runny cakes and…