Archive for August, 2010


My first Flipkart book just arrived. Yay. It makes me happy because its hardbound, its something I really really wanted to read, its the best deal I could have got, and it came at my doorstep! Flipkart rocks.

They also have a prompt helpline. Canceling is easy too. I wonder why I hadn’t done this before. Time to make a new wish list.


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sujith’s student

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south indian english

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True. There was nothing else to do. We were waiting for the insti bus and cribbing about the heat. But does it justify scribbling your name with a leaking pen on the back of a seat? Or pulling out the plastic handle behind it and digging wider holes into the cloth thus torn? I asked her to stop it. Did I even need to mention why? I didn’t know who she was, hadn’t seen her before. Maybe that made intervening easier. Some 20 year old sensible girl doing something so uncalled-for! And she retorted with a “it’s already ruined. heeeheee heeeheee”. I decided to throw her pen out of the window. And I would have done that too. It was too painful to make sure she stops her nonsense thereafter.  But then I asked myself, what is it going to achieve? Will she even be convinced that she should stop doing such TNR* stuff? How do you make such people behave responsibly? I went on and on and on…My friend sitting next to me had been giving me a sheepish smile for quite some time now. “Have you done it too?” I asked. “Once”, she said meekly and we both burst out laughing.

Here is an article by Jug Suraiya on how Indians treat their homes as clean places that they should be, and use the whole world beyond them to throw all the things they don’t need. Do check it out! It’s funny. At least now check it out.

For some reason, we don’t look at a resource as a thing of some value in itself. It is either our property, or someone else’s. If it’s ours, we will protect it with all our might. If not, we will either try to degrade it, or make no efforts to save it from harm. This attitude should change! We should be more considerate and value things better. Why do we need rules to make sure people don’t mishandle public property? Why does the proposal for a new washing machine struggle its way through the GBM challenged by people who think it will be ruined in a month? Why do Shiv Sainiks set fire to BEST buses of all the things when they are unhappy about another shop displaying a banner in gujrati and not marathi? Why don’t they burn their own vehicles instead? Because they don’t have to pay for the ruin. They can not be made to pay for it. Since there is no direct liability, these things always get maltreated.

Collective property and public places belong to all of us. Why do people treat them as if they were some resource which miraculously survives on its own? Do they forget that it is they themselves who end up paying for the damages, even if collectively? At least a selfish reason as this should enlighten them a bit!

I was wondering if this attitude exists only in India or if it can  be seen in other places too. I believe that its no less uncommon in France.  Oh and the French litter too. Just that there isn’t enough of them.

*TNR: Totally not required

Seen at Trocadero, near Eiffel after the FIFA finals screening

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pretty women

Infrequently, I have to visit what are called beauty salons and appreciate the so much that still remains to be learned These occasional trips make me realize how less of a pretty girl I am, according to the beautician. To start with, she bluntly comments on every possible aspect of my face, and hair, and hands and feet! And I have to agree with all that she says and do the ‘ya I know’ and ‘oh is it?’ sounds every now and then as she rips off each part of me pointing to imperfections therein.


The lady in power: Your hair is too dry. It has no shine at all.
I to myself: Why does it need to shine?
She: which conditioner do you use?
Me: umm umm
She: what shampoo do you use?
A small voice in my head shouts, “What’s the difference?” *
“I have a foundation which will make your acne marks lighter”
“Huh? I have acne marks? Where?”

She goes on chopping and threading while you stare at the posters on the walls, the brown, suave, sleek and chic women giving out the surprised, catlike or orgasmic expressions. And you have to put up with an occasional humph from her as you take your hand out of the apron to brush hair strands off your face.

The other day, a friend and I were window shopping when a cosmetics saleswoman stopped us and urged us to try her surma. This is same as kaajal as she explained to us. Girl with me was skeptical about wearing it as she was wearing her contacts. I gave it a shot. After much of ‘oh, not that deep, wait it burns’ I finally managed to put it on. When we asked the guy accompanying us who by now was gloriously bored to see how it looked, he gave a ‘what’s the difference?’ look. Grrr, so much for the effort!

*This was a couple of years back. Now I know the difference. Conditioners are more expensive.

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photo post

We took a lot of pictures. Some of just the surroundings, some with us along with the surroundings, and some with many more people in it too, since tourist destinations tend to be so crowded..

A few are close to my heart. Not because the Eiffel looked especially golden in them, or the Lake Geneve particularly blue, but because they captured emotions so well. All credits go to Vijay :)

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dear aji

My grandmother wrote me this letter when I was studying in IIT Madras. This was definitely my first year. I am glad I have some of her handwriting. She has also written a book translating and interpreting Sanskrit Subhashitas from Sanskrit to English. I actually found a link online. Let me know if you would like a copy! :-)

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