Tuesday, December 18, 2007

question for all married women

If your husband and a lawyer were drowning and you had to choose, would you go to lunch or to a movie?

Monday, December 10, 2007

Bachelorette party

Hmm - I have heard about fanciest of them all- Vegas, pubs, strippers, blah blah blah. Well who would know that the best one in the world is happening in the cabana of archstone apartments.
My friends thought of surprising me so when I went they started a video- well our group is in major video making mode so though I was a little surprised but yeah somewhere I was seeing it coming. And the video started:
Sam: "Hi guys we are here to celebrate Arati's marriage to saurabh"
Ankur came and said: " Chodo yaar - no video-shideo this time We will give live performance."
And trust me this live performance was more thrilling that the Bryan Adam's contest I attended! Infact the Bryan Adam's thing can't even be compared to this. Everytime I see it I feel speechless :). This is the best gift anyone has ever given me :).

Sunday, December 02, 2007

updates to somewhat baked cookies

Added 8 recipes and 5 wishlists. Mary help me make some of the jaggery dishes mentioned there :)

Monday, November 26, 2007

the karma theory

My mom to her brother (both 50+) - Every action has equal and opposite reaction.
My uncle - Then you should do very very very bad things to everyone and then very very very good things will happen to you. Isn't that the opposite.
Ofcourse he was making fun of my mom. Basically what my mom wanted to say that what goes out comes back .
A per this theory everything should make sense in totality. But why sometimes this equation doesn't make sense in its sub-divided forms even if you try to get the global perspective? If you see a man suffering - is it because of bad karma? But what if the man suffering is sad and at that time is not being able to figure out why he is suffering? Why would I want to see a big picture over the 7 life times? I dont want to see.
And then in reality shouldn't things be perfect - the co-operating world - the equilibrium - but then one guy defected and then this other had to defect against him - but it should have ended there - unless multiple folks defected and we thought of redistributing the pairs - and it never ended - poora balance kharab ho gaya. Mother Teresa says- its not you versus me - it is you versus rest of the world.
That would mean that you hurt once and then one hurt would be inflicted upon you - may be from a random person. But then what about this random person who revenged?
And then again - what about people who hurt themselves. Every person committing suicide will probably have to be killed too to neutralize the defect he comitted albeit against himself .

Why do we think that always both side of the equations should be balanced -or the truth is that it is never balanced - and just keeps trying to balance itself in a continuum? Does the world thrive in this dissonance?

Friday, October 19, 2007

food for thought

"The only style worth having is the one you can't help"

A highly recommended read. Thanks Alistair (some of your mails seem to be useful too :) )

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Plug n Play marriages

Some marriages are plug and play. Some are like switching to a new OS ...

And you need to really experience the second kind to know how big the difference is :).

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

competetive desi girls..

..have met their match - hee ha ha

So I and Mary have joined a gym class - sculpt in 4 weeks- since last few weeks in proclub and suddenly this month there is this increase in number of desi girls. I was neutral - except with the mild concern that the number of folks might increase - restricting my decree of freedom. Little did I know that these girls flock and wait outside the door like flies outside a street lamp when the previous class is about to end to find a spot right in front below the instructor's nose. Infact after the class they were comparing notes as to when I joined because we have more stamina(According to them though we both felt that these girls had more stamina and lift 8 pounds weight in each arm - my max is still 3 pounds :( ). We both claimed that we joined only recently (and I reflected on the dialogues I might have had with my college and school competitors - I dont study much - I dont know how I got 20 out of 20).

And then today Mary was late and also these girls- dude its me so I went and reserved a spot for Mary too :).

Sunday, September 30, 2007

King County - Day of giving

Donate one day to your community - work on something that is not related to your work. King county is the county to which we belong.
Well so that was the day of giving. The concept was great - enticing of sorts - except when the day of giving actually arrived. When I woke up I felt that the day was colder than usual and the work was going to be outdoors. On top of that we had to collect and car pool from office at 8:30 am - what!
Well I managed to reach office by 8:30 only to find the co-ordinater missing. Hmm - well I was angry and as usual not too keen and doing my - I dont wanna go -stuff.
Well we did go though. Seems like it was seattle weather's day fo giving too as later the sun rose and was shining brightly. All the while I thought it would just be like some timepass stuff - until I got there. Seems like there was indeed some serious worked plan and we had to take tool and be responsible for well-defined tasks ..aah. The thing that we had volunteered for was laying down a trail for trekking purpose. So we had 3 tasks -
1) Decommisooning a road - when suggested for the first time -we thought it was useless- all we had to do that cover existng trails with logs and plant ferns at the entrance so that no one walks over it. We felt a "Do Not Enter" sign should suffice but seems like that was out of question so we rejected this task untill our guide who lead us far-far away to a trail and asked to do exactly that. And oh yeah we did and lo and behold -utkash uprooted a dead tree to cover the trail.
2) The second task after a chocolate cup cake break (and a walk back to the trial head) was cleaning the trail by cutting down plants and trees that were growing in the path of the trail. The concept was that stretch both of your hands and if a plant hits your hand then it is on the way. Hmm - I started doing it and suddenly the concept of cutting plants hit me. Why cut plants - if you cut a animal it is savage - cutting plant not . So I was careful to not uproot healthy trees but just trim them - not less savage but well good enough to provide me a reason to cover my guilt.
Then there was lunch break with Alex getting some meticulosly packed tea (incidentally russians also cal ltea as chai (and they mean from china by that), potato edd salad and ham sandwiches. All desi married men coming with there 3 floor dubbas storing 3 course meals. We ate haertily - little did we know that the next task would consume all the energy we gained.
3) The next task was filling cart with heavy stones and taking it where the trail was laid. And this was by far the toughest. I and Alex carried the cart - mid-way I gave up holding it as it just flipped me -while coming back though I carried it. Ofcourse Alex had his part of sense of humour - how to donkeys yell in India. I said - ee aah ee aah. He said do they carry carts too and I sad - yes - some of them do. And then he started laughing. Hmm - it took me a while to understand that practical joke.
I ended with a gift card from King County. "It wrote - Trees can't hug back to say thanks". Well - only if they knew what was our task 2.

Monday, September 10, 2007

1000s of fortune cookies

my office room has 1000s of fortune cookies. One of the typical messages in the cookies are:

"Search and ye shall find" - join the Search team.

This is the new marketing strategy our team has acquired to attract internal microsoft employees to join in the search team. Provide fortune cookies in the cafeteria of other teams.

I remember what Girish once said in total earnestness: "I cant imagine working at any place as exciting as this" and I couldn't help but agree. There is lot of kick in being part of a underdog team trying really hard to beat the big guys. Working over the months and also on this fall release has changed my outlook from hopeless, to hopeful to confident to passionate. I know it is no miracle - its not impossible - and it is good to be in the side of the fence that believes in this fact and works for it.

Fortune favors the brave - well so do fortune cookies.

P.S- do look at my new tiny bag also in the picture :)

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Hmm - watching independence day

Remember "Independence Day" The Will Smith -Alien flick - I remebered watching it in a theatre - one of the 2 english movies that I convinced my parents to watch with me. The other was Titanic (we will talk about that experience later).
anyways - this time during India trip to keep me occupied - my boyfriend bought 5 dvds each of 100 bucks for me. I got to see the bourne series over there and one of the DVDs were all Will Smith flick. It had Pursuit of happiness (bad print), Hitch - a very good print and definitely more likable than partner and Independence Day.
Well this afternoon - while cooking - I thought I would settle for independence day - anyways I had totally forgotten about it and then after a little bit struggle with the menu I managed to play it - every thing was good - the titles - the print - the special effects until someone spoke. Yes - the movie is dubbed in Tamil. Hmm. Lets settle for unpirated kill bill

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Summer of Seattle

Right here sitting in my apartment (taking a break from a tea break with friends) I miss people I want to be with right now. I want them in the same surrounding - experience the same summer wind, the same lakeside, the same bustle as I do and I know that I will never be able to reconstruct the same situation ever in future - The imagination of this experience is there in my day-dreaming head but then it wasn't felt for real and never will it be ...
and then I wonder - what hurts more - the absence of people or the beauty of summer...

Addendum - enough rona dhona - heading back to Mary's

Monday, August 13, 2007

my time ...

who can give back the time I have spent
...and then who can take it away....

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

remembering mom's visit

"This is the office kitchen - we have everything even microwave and see all kinds of juices and drinks - starbucks coffee, hot chocolate, cold chocolate, milk, ice tea, pepsi, apple juice orange juice etc etc" - kuch chahiye kya?

"Apple juice"

Monday, July 09, 2007

busy busy

Wondering what I have been doing so far - hmm - trying to bake some cookies.
Check out the alteranative blog that my brother might find useful when he starts to cook:

Saturday, June 09, 2007

New York !

Have you seen a small kid, with mud on her face, with dirty clothes, eagerly peeping into a colorful party room. The thing that shines the most in the image is that small girl's eyes. And that's what I liked about New York, it made my eyes shine much more than the sight of Brad Pitt in Oceans 13.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Parents day out

Yest went to Seattle's Pike's place market with my parents, VC's parents, Shankar's parents, Dami, Mary, Sam and Paramesh.Pike's place has the first starbucks shop (the differnetiating factor as pointed out by Shank was that in only that shop the lady is topless), there was a cheese tasting fest going but seems only I was interested in tasting cheese but I managed to munch on some until Dami said - chalo - kitna kha rahe ho moti.
Later went to Alki Beach too and played kho kho.


Is in the journey and not in the destination (is there one?) ...

P.S - except when you are flying to India.


Wednesday, May 02, 2007

India Shining ...

Well I almost titled it India Yelling - as I was yelled at >5 times by my mom while writing this blog on the eve before returning back from India. Each yelling had resulted in some punctuations and the final yelling has resulted in the abrupt ending.

My first morning in India began with a -
"Hello - How are you - New yorkk - hmmm" - remark from my 60 odd year old neighbour with a brisk handshake.
"No - Seattle" - was my reply
"hmmm uhmmm"
(We need to give Seattle more internaltional recognition. )

This was my first dawn in India(with a marathon 30 hours journey - 24 on flight and 6 on road).
Well the next morning began with a 6.30 am jog with my mp3 player strapped around my arm. On my way back my jog reduced to a walk on seeing a pack of stray dogs and that was the last time I jogged in India. The pounds I have piled over are testimony to that.

This time I went around India - Bangalore, Nagpur, Rajnandgaon and ofcourse Nashik. Travel on air, road and train. Met a ton of people - visited places ranging from a pub in Bangalore to a fort to the labour room of a general hospital (as a guest not a patient). I saw a whole world out there - just like here And I saw India changed like never before. The increase in consumerism reflected the evident rise in GDP, the increase of middle class people travelling in flights, surge of credit cards and online bookings (my dad using them!), and Ferrro Rocher in Raj Bhandar of a village. And the youth - never have I encountered so much energy, never have people tried to break the routine engineer, doctor profession, never have the doctors and engineers looked so enthusiastic (i met a small subset though) never had media been so visible (I have some issues with sensationalism and obsession with Ash-Abhishek marriage but I guess that would get tamed soon).
When in America - I always feel that I am in my mid-thirties. In India I felt as if I was in mid twenties. And that is India's age right now. And that is the promise it holds.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Can you beat this :) !

My first blog entry ever - didn't know it was still hanging around for so long until today whne ankur pointed out!


Thursday, March 29, 2007

its a small world afterall...

You start from a small family may be a small village - same set of people you run into - the milkman, the dhobi, the auto wallah, the grocery store guy, the same vegetable vendor, same friends of your parents, same friends in the school, same kids in the colony ...the same 2 km radius that contains your life ...that small world ...
and then you push your horizon - so far that you cant see it ...and you travel and meet people - new people - different people - you try out new things - you learn - you explore ... the world feels big - expanded ...
and then thousands of miles away from where you started - you set up a life for yourself - your friends, your office , your gym, your work, your mayuri chai, kahili's coffee, your routine, the 2 km radius ...

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Ah ...

and the satisfaction that a small piece of code gives ....who are the folks who do not include software engg in the category of creative fields...

The "k" dilemma

Hmm ...one of my classmates had a beautiful daughter and she named her "kshirin"... reminds me of the big time numerology or "k" fad going on in India with movie and tv soap names starting from "k". apparently it is the lucky charm.
Also while writing this post - I am reminded of some forgotten grain of rice that is stuck beneath my key "k" in th keyboard which is making me press press the key "k" extra hard. Don't know if the absence of "k" is a bad luck charm but one of my recent mails did read - " I am looing into it"

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Forced loyalty

Someone said today - all loyalties are forced loyalties.

Are they?

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Planning India trip

Me with my bro on email:
Me: What - I am going to Bangalore only for a day!!!!
My bro: 2 days! stop irritating me
Me: Why not a later flight on Sunday !!!
My bro: idiot this flight is 5K per person!and u sit in train afrom pune at 5 for rajnandgaon
Me:Is the round trip 10K total ? wh ydidnt you look for deals?
My bro: no its 14K total, 4K to go, 10K to come. 10K cuz 15ht is Sunday. And its ok.
Me: 6 K more for Sunday - why not Monday morning or late night flight!!! 6 K idiot!
My bro:moring was at 6AM. Dats why i booked late!
Me: Beevakoof Monday morning!!!
My bro: ask mummy, i just booked the days i got!

Called my mom - yelled - she called back - yelled back - then we mutually decided that we will stay in bangalore on sunday.

My bro: mummy called to cancel, ek baar main decide nahin kar sakte tum log!

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Templates ...

One of my friends today told me about his young days (arnd 16) when he was a hippie ...he used to go to the nearest beach - and make money by inscribing tatoos and selling his kisses! Later he thought he liked computers and here he was at Microsoft. He told me he doesn't like templates...People trapped in a pattern...everyone trying to be everyone else ...
And this was the second conversation I had on the concept of social freedom. The fear, the guilt, the insecurity - that traps us...the need to confirm ...the need to justify if you are different...the need to emphasize I am right and you are also right...the society, the religion, the gimmicks ...it is so important to break the mould and take your decisions for yourself...it is so important to realize it early in the life...what is it that we fear to lose ? What is it that we want to save that we won't lose eventually ...it is so important to make your own path...even if eventually it is same as everyone else's, it is important to know that you chose it. It is important to be awake...
Well I do realize that most of my friends are non-templatized :)... they choose... they are independent - secure individuals...they explore, they try new things, they take risks...infact now that I think they all inspire me in a similar manner... as if they are derived from the same template ...

Sunday, February 25, 2007

farewell ....

A little change of flavor -

Elizabeth Barett Browning (Love Sonnet VI)

Go from me.
Yet I feel that I shall stand
Henceforward in thy shadow. Nevermore
Alone upon the threshold of my door
Of individual life, I shall command
The uses of my soul, nor lift my hand
Serenely in the sunshine as before,
Without the sense of that which I forbore--
Thy touch upon the palm. The widest land
Doom takes to part us, leaves thy heart in mine
With pulses that beat double. What I do
And what I dream include thee, as the wine
Must taste of its own grapes. And when I sue
God for myself, He hears that name of thine,
And sees within my eyes -
the tears of two

And please welcome ...

Well whoever said that the world consisted of only married or single people. Seems like they missed one category - which everyone is part of at some point in their life - yeah - the "about to marry" (ATM) folks.
And then it doesn't matter whether you know whom you are getting married to or whether you know who you cannot get married to - there is the realization of the inevitable - you know you are gonna get married by "next year".
This twilight zone of your life make you go through a surge of emotions and hence I feel that this state merits its own category. If you are committed - you know to whom that one phone call of the day will be directed to (incase you are doing the long distance thing - btw people having their bf/gf locally are eliminated from this survey -you are already on the other side of the fence guys). If you are single you hope that one of these days (in a conference or during a journey or in the bar or in the coffee shop) you meet that special person ...otherwise your parents will do the needful ...
I feel the ATMs (of all kind) are increasing by the day - probably because its a stage where you have benefits of either stages of your life. There is this carefreeness and independence and to a certain extent you do have a sense of direction as far as your personal life is concerned. It is like having rights but no responsibilities ...It is blissful - though the bliss can sometimes be marred by a sudden marriage invitation of your childhood friend in your inbox or worse still a devastating announcement by another childhood friend - "We are having a baby"! - What - so soon?
...and you know the eventuality (and with all honesty you look forward to it - coz it has its own perks) - however since every stage in life deserves some inertia - so does this ...I mean, when in your life could you afford sudden trips to Vegas, dropping drunk outside a bar, having a girl's (guy's) night out, weekends in office, coffee at 12 midnight or guiltless flirting with a stranger ...

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Who mixed my colors ?

Growing up, I always hated the idea of being hated. Equations in life were simple - if people hate you then they are probably someone to be wary of and if they don't they are your friends...Over the years - some cynicism has crept in ... instead of feelings of love and hate (which are absolute), feelings relative to my expectations have started making me wary of people or liking them. In my recent conversation with a friend - I had said that unsolicited affection can be more dangerous than unsolicited hatred. It was a thought that stayed with me. Why would anyone not like someone liking them. Is it because we have learnt from our experiences that affection without any expectation is rare. And though everytime we meet great people who exhibit such qualities and our faith in our original innocent hypothesis starts increasing - something happens that makes us realize its naivete'.
My friend told that she refused to give lift to a woman who was wearing torn clothes. Later her husband gave her lift and he found that her son was in dire need of some oxygen cylinder and she was too poor to afford it. My friend felt bad for not trusting her when it was her turn - but can she use this incident to give lift to a next person in torn clothes? Isn't it difficult to keep up with the idea of an ideal world - especially when you know that that one wrong person, that one wrong incident, that one drop of guard might ruin the rest of your life (or end it)...

Why is the world no longer black or white? why is it grey ..with varied shades...how do I keep up?

Thursday, February 15, 2007

The need ...

The need to love, the need to be loved, the need to trust, the need to justify, the need to feel secure, the need to protect, the need to be fair, the need to avenge, the need to lead, the need to be guided, the need to be cared, the need to parent ...

Do we keep passing on the favors ?

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Taming the ghost (literally)...

Ok honest -how many of us were scared of ghosts as a kid ? and how many of us really are till date...?
I was really scared of ghosts as a kid. You know those white semi-transparent things that you saw in the movies.. I remembered one incident when I mistook an old man dressed in all-white early morning as a ghost (inspite of him being fairly opaque) and totally taken aghast at this sudden face to face encounter I started screaming non-stop very loudly at him...the old man was later heard complaining of a chest pain ...
More recently the movies like "The Ring" and "The Grudge" in IIT kanpur lab scared me and the ring girl coming out the TV haunted me again and again ...
Even till late in US (one of my side theories is that since christians are buried instead of being burnt the chances of person turning into ghost is higher - I guess I took the term "rising from the grave" too literally) and I was scared of ghosts so much that I used to sleep with lights on till last year...However gradually the ghosts in the waking life started taking precedence and I started sleeping with the lights off...
Until a few days ago ... I had a dream that there is a ghost in the apartment and the horror was so much that I woke up and I thought I heard something ...and in that semi-concious state I could also hear my heart pounding faster and faster ...and then I came back in my 100% consciousness and found myself wide awake but dead scared.
And then I thought what if there indeed is a ghost out here and he/she/it turns up and in that sleepy and tired state I didnt have the energy to even scream- I thought I will make the ghost sit and talk about my problems in life - my car got a scratch, my water heater is leaking, my apartment is not clean, my code is not working and blah blah blah ...suddenly I felt that the ghost (or the fear of it) was gone...
I realized that though I couldn't get over my belief that ghosts exist I could however co-exist with them - I finally made my truce with that clan - afterall what will they get out of troubling a single girl...

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Simply life

Simply life ...
A bright sunny day ..
tea with ginger
running into an old friend ..
trusting someone ...
a nice sweet
a kid's laughter...
an intense workout
movie with friends
a round of window shopping
15 pages of a good book ...
a hot shower
a hearty conversation
a clean apartment
simple home food
a sound sleep ..
simply life ...

"A simple life's my cup of tea"

soccer pic

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Well I am at it again! (some rambles)

Ever felt like Neo ... felt pre-programmed ...felt pre-destined?

Felt that your behavior, dreams, aspirations are predesigned in form (not content) - by something - may be at the core level by your needs, your desires, your insecurities ...but ...have you felt the constraints ? Have you felt constrained by your own survival instincts ?
- felt like you were slave before you were born ...or because you were born ...a slavery that doesn't extract your labour, nor does it curb your desires - coz it's easy to fight that out - but a slavery that ...that made you a human and not a bird ...that pre-defined you...
have you ever felt - helpless while comprehending anything that is magical, unexplainable, unfathomable, unachievable..why do we want what we want? why do we fear what we fear?

...and then have you ever missed that bird - the bird who could be you but is not - because you don't decide ... or do you decide ? Do you know?
Have you ever paid heed to this insane person within you ...

My new specs ...

And some models for it -

Monday, January 15, 2007

Hide and seek

...people play hide and seek with life ...sometimes we seek ...sometimes we hide ...
hope we always sought... But then we never know :)...

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Being flexible ...

Sam asked - "Is being flexible perceivied as having no opinion at all?"

How many times we only have a slight preference as to where we want to eat or what we want to do. But sometimes we do not express it because we let other people decide as we are "okay" with what others have in their mind. But is our okay with everything gives an impression that "he/she will agree for anything or everything?".
Where is the line - line between being agreeable and looking like a pushover ?

"If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings -- nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;"

Thursday, January 11, 2007

well the world is fair after all

The cafe' was closed today. I stopped at the vending machine in my office to have a helping of "Shrimp lo mein" - Good food for cheap-(2.35$) - I inserted 3 dollar bills - The packet came out - and what do I see - also all my money back - in 25 cents change.
Well after relishing it and realizing that my appetite is still not satisfied - and having the temptation of another free meal (the real motivation) - I inserted money again – the machine moved but the packet got stuck - and neither came the packet nor my money!

Eventually things do work out for themselves, you see ...

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Played football

...unexpected turn of events - but a good one -

Am in the team for the next season!

(Details coming up - Too tired right now.)

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Pursuit of Happyness

Must watch movie - Pursuit of Happyness
Trailer- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bp12T5hs3F8&mode=related&search=
Sometimes when things get too easy in life - you take everything , including your own potential for granted, movies like this just bring you back to be the person you had once set out to be!
People generally say that you can never achieve everything as per your satisfaction - if you don't have a car - you aspire for one - if you have a honda - you aspire for a beetel (so now you know it's a girl writing this blog) - and so on ...so you can never get satisfied - but well doesn't this dissatifaction keeps you going ... and in this pursuit aren't there immensely satisfying checkpoint moments that people living in their so-called blissful slumber do not experience. For me - it's tequila versus wine - I want to rule the world - let's save the buddhist philosophy for later years!


Anyways someone pointed me to my this year's horoscope - not pleased I surfed around and found various random horoscopes on the net and they all were so inconsistent among themselves that I just gave up ! However - there was one thing consistent in all of them:

Your expenditure wil exceed your income.

well I don't see my expenditure increasing ... so i think my income will decrease... err ...so what was the buddhist philosophy we were talking about ...