Friday, July 31, 2009

The Memory Remains!

I was sitting at my desk, seething mad at the code that compiles but refuses to run and generally angry at the whole world. Then the guy sitting next to me, opened a book that was on his shelf for ages. The old book smell. I was immediately transported back to Easwari Lending Library - looking for Enid Blyton books. Especially the last book in the Malory Towers series that I never seemed to find. Trying to finish some small book before Amma had picked out hers! Secretly trying to sneak in a couple more books than my allotted limit. Where did that little girl go? I miss Chennai. The fastest cars in the world and the tastiest Italian food cannot fill the void in my heart that yearns for Madras!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Tiny Story: The Modern Woman

She looked at her husband seemingly flirt with her friend and sighed. She wished she could expose her traditional, small town values without losing the trendy society woman image she had carefully built over the years. Maybe "traditional yet modern" made sense outside of matrimonial ads too.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Why Is It?

Why is it that people are so proud of buying something for cheap. "I bought the same GPS that you have for $30 lesser" I bought my GPS when I needed it (for a long road trip from NY to Raleigh), you waited until Thanksgiving to buy this refurbished one! And I hate it when people play those guessing games, "Guess how much I paid for this?". I always respond with such a ridiculously low figure, that they become embarrassed and flustered and admit that they paid more than that.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Tiny Story: The Fancy Meal

She was taking notes furiously, while trying to absorb everything that the cook was saying on TV. Her husband sighed with the knowledge that he was going to go to bed hungry that night. He cheered up a little when he realized that the next day he could brag to his co-workers about the gourmet Thai dish (with an unpronounceable name) that his wife had made for him the night before.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Why I Will Miss the US of A

In the past I've written a lot about how I hate NRIs. And even after coming here, I haven't always been kind to the USA. But after living here for 2 years, (both as a student with no money and as a software engineer with some money) I've come to realize that when I move back to Chennai, I will miss a lot of things here. I decided to put them on black and white here, so that I can come back and read it when I feel particularly homesick.

1) I will miss the food here definitely. Even for a vegetarian, there is so much of delicious food available and not just American. Will miss pancakes and waffles (the ones at IHOP, Perkins n Waffle House as well as the ones I make), cheap Chinese restaurants, Chipotle and other such Mexican places, McCafe, Burger King, P.F Chang, the awesome sandwiches at Subway, Potbelly, Milios etc, the awesome deep dish pizza at Old Chicago, Olive Garden (the bread there is heavenly) and other similar Italian places - these are just a few.

2) My car. Owning and driving a sedan as opposed the hatchbacks in India (I know there are nice big cars in India too, but I can most certainly afford only a Santro or Swift when I move back)

3) Driving at 80-100 mph on a deserted highway in the night, with just the radio for company. I love driving through the night on road trips with S. Stopping at the McD at 2 in the night for dinner, watching the sun rise across the horizon. Again, I love road trips!

4) A lovely apartment that overlooks the woods. The view from my patio is sooo amazing. I love sitting on my patio with a book and a nice tall cold drink.

5) My awesome French tutor. I have been learning French for a couple of months now from this French girl who is studying at UW. I like learning a language better when I am not in a class and when there is no fixed syllabus. The lesson just flows based on what I want to do that day.

6) Ok this is a bit frivolous, but people here laugh at my jokes! Really they do. The most inane comments and sarcasm cracks them up :-)

7) Fast internet, Wii and other such things unavailable in India.

8) The fact that I am able to return something if I am not happy with it. And actually getting money back and not store credit. Sometimes, reading all the reviews in the world does not guarantee that you will like that product.

9) I like that most people on the street have a smile for me and take time to say Hello and Good Morning. The world is certainly a more beautiful place with more smiles.

10) The feeling of being independent and confident that you can do whatever you set your mind to. I see people in their 60s doing a Masters after retirement and people building their own patios and fixing their car. Even after just living alone in my apartment, I feel more self reliant. I know women in India who live with their husbands or roommates and sometimes in laws, have servants to help them clean (house, clothes, dishes) and still complain that they do so much work. I love the fact that I live alone (on and off with my husband), and still I manage to cook and clean and keep my home neater and prettier than most of my friends' in India. I have lived alone for extended periods both in India and in the US and life in the US is tougher hands down and I feel I am a better person for it. I have to thank America for making me believe more in myself and for showing me that I can do it!

I am not giving up my Indian passport, nor am I losing the tingle when I hear our national anthem, but I do have something to say. I love America!

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Door County - A little Slice of Heaven

So I am now back to the real world after a fabulous 3.5 days in Door County, WI. S and I haven't had a vacation since our wedding - nopes not even a honeymoon. After a lot of planning, poring over brochures, checking flights and hotels, we zeroed in on Door County, which is about a 3 hour drive from here. (I ruled out all destinations on the West saying that's too far to fly, and S vetoed nice places on the East like West Virginia saying they are more beautiful in the Fall. I really hope, for his sake, that he is planning an awesome WV/Virginia vacation in September as promised)

If you search for accomodations in Door County, you get like zillion options right from tiny motels, Bed AND Breakfasts, vacation home rentals, Resorts and so on. My first choice was a Bed and Breakfast, since the room was soooo pretty and everything seemed so quaint. But most of the ones that had rooms available didn't have any water view and we finally picked Westwood Shores Resort which was one of my last choices. But I am so glad that the other places were sold out - because Westwood Shores was amazing!

As soon as we arrived, we were told that we were upgraded to a 2 bedroom suite. And the first thing we noticed when we entered the room was the amazing view.

The suite itself was clean and had a lot of (tasteful) nautical themed pictures and knick knacks all over. So after loading all out stuff into the smaller bedroom, S and I head out to the private beach in the resort. We spent most of our time in the chairs on the pier, taking in the water or lounging in their indoor pool. We made ambitious plans to take the ferry to Washinton Island and to do a cavepoint kayak tour - but as I said earlier we spent all our time by the water. The best realxing unwind trip ever!

While I am at it, I would like to announce that the Inn at Cedar Crossing has the best pancake ever! When I came home I wanted to throw away the pancake mix that I usually use to make pancakes. S adds that he vouches for the French Toast there.

So if anyone is planning a vacation anytime soon, pick Door County - you won't be disappointed!

P.S I have postponed posting the story since I don't feel it is good enough. To make up, here is a post I wrote about a trip that I took 3 weeks back and forgot to post.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Tiny Story: The Mother-In-Law

Pankajam peered through her thick bifocal lens and waited anxiously for her son in law and his friends to finish dinner, her stomach growling louder by the minute. At least with a daughter in law, she could have had a vocal fight.

I know, that I had promised another feature on Thursdays and I missed the deadline last Thursday. To break the suspense (if any), the Thursday's feature is Extra Long Story - a story that would be broken into atleast 3 parts. But here's the deal, I have started writing a story and I have some idea about how I want it to end, but it's not written in black and white yet. So do I start the feature and let the story take its course as the weeks progress or do I wait for to finish before publishing it? Ideas will be appreciated, criticism will be tolerated and references to mega serials will be obliterated! :-)