I havent been blogging lately.Either things are really hotting up,or are too mundane to find a place in the blog.Or,a bit of both.Well,exploring Cincy's downtown on the pretext of applying for an SSN and going to Tri-county and Walmart to shop,meant I now know the metro routes and services well,and of course,that I have discovered a way to spend my solitary long weekend.Cooking turn today saw me make "coriander rice".Comments welcome!!!!

PS: Why should history repeat itself,and everytime???

Okay, I am relieved.I made a job few days back,meaning I am financially independent.So now I can totally relax.And blog.It has been real fun so far.Using all creativity to write about that fictitious "computer consultant" job at IPC and the "Student helper" job at the ARC,creating your own recipes at the kitchen, and watching those poor faces subject to the agony of having to gulp down your food,and say"Wow, thats too good" in response to your enthusiastic dinner invitations...life has been ok.

Today afternoon, I made one of my favorite dishes,Oh correction here, I made a dish, which ,until today was my favorite.It is a south Indian pasta kind of preparation called "Sevai".Today was different,because I decided to make myself the guinea pig before I rush in enthusiastically to hand out plates and plates of my preparation to my subjects and watch them mericlessly torn between their integrity and the need to preserve their future eating sources. And, the result, if you still remember the "sevai", was decent!!!! So much more because,my sister, who I can , with all honesty assure you is a real gourmet by my standards,couldnt prepare it well so far!!!!So this december,Jeeju , who loves sevai is going to get a real treat from yours truly!!!!!

(*flashback* after those nite-outs(of course I was chatting with friends,you didnt think I was ghoting did you !!!!)mom getting up early morning to make yummy sevai and curd-tomato side dishes!!!!)

Sevai apart,the past few days have been fun with my batchmates.Tripping sessions,orkut leching sessions,Dumb Cs and cooking adventures.. It hasnt been bad at all.Infact, yes, I really think it is going to be a good ride.So wish me luck !!!!!

Yipee !!! In a few hours it will be monday morning in India!!!! that means mails !!!!! and chats!!!!!!and scraps!!!!!!
Weekends are the worst.Only, they are not much different, or new.So I am used to this running around constantly to avoid thinking,feeling,or anything.This past week has been hectic,only because I didnt want it any other way.Today is still weekend.Oh God !!!!Why did I have spare time !!!!Even a teeny weeny bit of it sucks.There are a thousand things I can write about right now,but,then , non-anonymity sucks too!!!!
It happened !!!! I cooked !!!! Bisi bele bath and aloo mutter!!!!!
It is a problem when you are not the only Indian/BITSian in here.Much less a blogger.Watever you want to say about your experiences in the US of A you find alteast three people talking about the same things.Well,to cut a long story short, I have been doing pretty much what all desi-grads do when they come here - trying hand at cooking(yes,the cartography bit too!!!!),looking out for jobs in libraries,offices,and labs,finding out calling card rates to call India,watch movies on bolygrounds.com and of course,stay on the net forever.Will write about more in a few days time, and,of course,will not bloghop before I log on to blogger.Cya then then folks!!!!

And yes,One more in the family blogs now!!! Yipee!!!! Nazim a.k.a url,emoclew to the blogworld.

In Cincy !!!

Okay,after those long back breaking hours of flight,luggage hauling and super train ride at chicago here I am. Well,technically today is my third day in the US.I have shared most of my experiences with people through long mails,so would rather not write more about the german family or the view from my ninth floor apartment.Got quite lucky though,would be living on-campus here.These days I ve just been doing the usual stuff- running around,completing formalities,and resetting the body clock.
US has been treating me good so far,and yes, I might be having a good time here in the days to come!!!

There is this cute thing, who decided to write an entire post for my going away!!! (Interested Junta can read it here). What can I say, except,I am truly touched,and how special she is,not just to me,but to all of us.

On my recent blog hopping spells, I ve been noticing,most people either about to come here,or are on the way,or are here already.So I ve been reading quite a few
"This-is-my-last-post-from-India" posts.And " I am leaving on a jet plane" seems to be the song of the season for lots of other people too!!Good to know!! What a real nice song !!!!!

PS: Notice changes in the countdown portion of the sidebar??

So long, Farewell...Good Bye!!!!!

Okay, here it is. I had planned a good senti-ladden last post from India.Just blog-hopped a bit and found lotsa people who are on their way or have reached the US. Okay, I guess it is slowly sinking in. I am going to be spending this weekend, and countless more to come, thousands of miles away from, well, I wanna say home, but i'd rather not.I am going to the University of Cincinnati,Ohio. Hope I get to blog much more in the days to come.

Some days you feel like an idiot.Some days you blog.

Dont start off... this was one of the "punch-lines" on blogstickers.com. Which by the way is a cool place to be. So, the bidding goodbye spree is in full swing now.Attending calls from friends and relatives, I often face the question.The inevitable "So , are you excited??" Excited??Oh yes, you can send someone off to No mans land(Well,not exactly, put her in a cell, give her grub(or rather condemn her to eating grub she makes herself!!!!),assign her days of math and programming,make her sweat out for that daily bread, and call it fun, or excitement !!!!

What do you think !!! We live in 2004. An average of one and a half person per family as been to twenty different countries thirty different times.You almost know all about SCI,mortage,wal-marts,garage sales,port of entry,daylight savings,and the CK undies sale !!!!

Okay, I think sometimes, it takes that little element of surprise or eagerness away from living.Not just about US, about everything else.Too much information at hand kills the joy of getting there.With a thousand people giving you the "been there,done that" talk over these innumerable egroups,message boards and other discussion forums,not to mention the fact that your going to be stuck there for eternity, and get paid a little more than our dhoodwala...doesnt make things anymore fun,does it?

Which leads us to one fundamental question.Why?Simply put, a lot of things.Well,dont like the way things work in the industry here.Or for that matter, a lot of other things too.And the usual career advancement crap. Come to think of it, I probably never could have gone back to good ol' days of living with family.Oh, I still love my folks and all.Only, I think, after a point you develop your own individual personality.Which , if not respected,can lead to trouble. I personally think,everyone has to live away from home for a few years.Does the person a lot of good , believe me.

Anyways, I really want to write one good post before I leave India.Or, well, make that , I want to write one good post.Makes more sense!!!!
Raindrops on roses
And whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles
And warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages
Tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite things.

When the dog bites,
When the bee stings,
When I'm feeling sad,
I simply remember my favorite things,
And then I don't feel so bad

Cream-colored ponies
And crisp apple strudels
Doorbells and sleighbells
And schnitzel with noodles
Wild geese that fly
With the moon on thir wings
These are a few of my favorite things

When the dog bites,
When the bee stings,
When I'm feeling sad,
I simply remember my favorite things,
And then I don't feel so bad

Girls in white dresses
With blue satin sashes
Snowflakes that stay
On my nose and eyelashes
Silver white winters
That melt into springs
These are a few of my favorite things!

When the dog bites,
When the bee stings,
When I'm feeling sad,
I simply remember my favorite things,
And then I don't feel so bad

I simply love the song. It brings back fond memories. Those good ol' days when you didnt have a care in the world(or so you thought !!!).Those days where me and kola used to walk back from cnot,singing this song loudly for all to hear..... playing "I saw..I saw"....those front bar bicycle rides with the kids....all of us mauling kolas cycle,playing val-friend,the day I made my first Job,pulling everyone out of slumber to tell them I made it.. meeting the gangs crushes,my gang people making sure we met them,bonded with them or like them.Gatecrashes,those long gate-calls, MB motor room,kols-kaks mush corner,we playing cupid for them,those late nite discussions with kutti and prabha,me playing agony aunt,those accross-the-balcony conversations with sumi !!!!!

You know, since my first year, I sort of went on a mission- to find out what is love, why people fall in love and so on. I have always wondered what makes people click. A weird anecdote comes to mind. There was this scientist who wanted to find out why peole die.So he did it to himself slowly, and tried to record his experiences as he was dying. Depressing as it is,the point being,that most people say it is experience (sort of getting sucked in the whirlpool yourself, if you will),not much can be theorized, or put to reason.

But since then, I did make progress in my reasearch,but I dont think it has led to any strong conclusions.Or, summary, or recommendations for that matter.Oh I might come up with a few quick,on-the-fly recommendations, but that can wait. I saw a lot of people on campus"going senti".There seem to be a class of them, who want to have a girlfriend/boyfriend because it is fahionable,or because everyone in the wing has one, or this sentisem thing that says" I have a job,a good gre/cat score,apped, the only thing I need now to complete the circle is a bf/gf".Most often a bakra is a freshie girl who promptly gets dumped by the senti semite bf (or the other way round)the minute he goes out of campus.

And then there is a category of senti-goers.To them they are each others world.You can see them attend classes together,have lunches together,study together,well,you can even see them waiting outside the loo for each other.Well,if the girl wants to check mails, she calls the guy.The guy,dutifully marches to MB in a borrowed cycle,drives her all the way to the IPC, where the patiently wait for those extra chairs,sit glued to each other in the same comp, and check both their accounts.In case you havent guessed already,they have the same password. They fill other peoples autograph books together with entries for questions like aim in life going " to get married to each other" !!! Of course, they already know what their third kid's second bicycle's color will be.

There are these other people, who hang out because they are bored, or what to know how it feels to be spotted with the opposite sex around campus,to increase their "dude/dudette" indexes.They are the typical "Pam Anderson - Vayyapuri" pair.Or the "Tom Cruise- Kovai Sarala" ones.Of course, flirts around till you get bored of the other person.

And then, you have this pair who universally win acclaim as the batch's best psenti couple. I dont know about other batches,but our 2000 batch sure had one. You ask anyone on campus, "who is the best couple on campus" pat comes the reply " ABC and XYZ" of course !!!! I sure cant claim to know the specifics,but to a casual eye this is what it seems :They are part of different clubs and departments. Each has their own gang,own priorities.They have a wing, go for wing treats, wing trips,dept duties,dept trips and so on.The are not the only ones who give each other gatecalls. They get tripped with other people. It is so healthy,mature.Not the "I-cant-keep-my-hands-off-you" kind of thing.

There are other fuzzy categories too,but cant quite seem to put a name on them.Maybe a little rusty,its been long since I passed out !!!!!Maybe a wee bit of whirlpool myself !!!!
As I sit down at 1 40 to write down a post, munching on yummy fresh badams and masala cashews -- Oh yeah !!! Pyaari beti is going videsh now, so needs a lot of extra "poshaak" not to mention the addition of a few extra pounds, which by the way, may not make a difference to my already ponderous self. Yes, so where were we? yes, I sat down to write a post.

Why is it that whenever, I mean whenever without exception, I sit down to write something, my mind automatically switches the background and foreground processes.It is like it has an inbuilt swap() function that is triggered everytime I open blogger,or notepad, for that matter.Okay, if you havent guessed already,yes, I tried to sit down with some c++ today. Well, before I digress too far, the background process is sometimes a to-do list, sometimes a what-if-I-do-miserably-there thingie , so on,and so forth.

I have been with this for too long.I guess after a long time, today, this feeling has finally metamorphosed to tangible thoughts.Anywayz, people interest me a lot. I mean, the class people. Not the specific objects. I dont know if all of you do this, but when I meet new people, I always try to figure them out.Now in case this gives you a weird naked feeling - sort of like a clutching your clothes and hiding away in the closet thing - well, thats not what I meant. You know it is a sort of a jigsaw puzzle. When you meet people, you have some bits, and you try to fill up the rest.

The average human brain probably does something like this : Sometimes you fill it up too quickly, and hastily, because it is easier for you to box people into categories, and because you already have stereotypes, based on your past experiences-- for instance , men could be,MCPs,the insecure lot, the playboys, the mamas boys(who also are these bitchy girly types), the caring ones(I added that as a last minute revision!!!!) and so on so forth.And girls could be, well, say the bitchy-girly type, the outwardly-tomboy-inwardly-mylapore-maami type, the hard-core-mylapore-maami- type, the cool-tomboy and so on. For most of these, you also have a face in mind.

And, when you meet other people these things can happen.You first box the person into one of your categories.Oh by the way, against each of your stereotypes, is a column - a tickbox a sort of a yes-no-maybe thing.For instance against your MCP coloumn you will have a yes , no and a "Spit right on the face, show the middle finger, then keep away" button.As an afterthought you probably deleted the yes button to save your processing resources(Oh yea!!! comps fundaas!!!). So , if a girl/guy fits in with any of your acceptable, very acceptable or totally cool categories, or is in any other category and graduates to the former list,you go to Phase II.

In Phase II, slowly, over a period, your mind unconsciously matches your list of stereotypes to his/her class of stereotypes. The more closely they match, the more you say the percentage of wavelength match is.The more you can probably relate to each other.As time progresses,these people start getting an idea of the tickboxes against each columns.

Phase III I guess, is probably what people term"bonding". It happens when, gradually, over a period of time,these people concerned are subject to similar experiences, meet and interact with the same people,talk more freely about the stereotypes and tickboxes, and why in your mind you have tickmarked a particular box for a particular category and so on. Then, these databases almost merge, or alteast are in sync with one another. I would like to think that there is a Phase IV,but I really dont know if there is.If there is, I dont think I ve been there. If there is one, and if I ever get there, of course, I ll blog about it surely .

Anyways, the point I was trying to make through the whole post is:

Yeh life ki humor Bhi na !!!!

You meet a lot of people in life. Some exit at Phase I,simply because they either go away or you dont give them a chance thanks to your tickboxes . Some proceed beyond and go to Phase II.Only to have some cruel force take them away from you. Going to Phase III is a huge step.For me atleast. It takes up a lot of mental bandwidth, emotional drains, adjustments, readjustments,fights,heartbreaks and pain to get there. I dont mean to sound a pessimist- the good part of Phase III is,it does make your life easy,happy,and worth living - and with some people you may even realise what those damn poets were talking about.The whole process, takes a lot out of you. And when life's vagaries take you away from such wonderful people, sometimes, you simply dont have the strength to go through the whole charade all over again.

By the way, those categories, are something similar to those entries in the database of yours truly.But not quite there yet. These are hazy boxes, and the line separating these, gets blurred all the time.Yes, I guess people get less and less judgmental as time grows. I am thinking I should delete the entire database-you know like format it, and start all over again.But then,I guess you try and build on as you go, careful not to step on that thin red line between calling on past experiences and letting these experiences narrow your field of vision and bind you to artificially created boundaries. God help me !!!!!

PS : Okay now, the next thing, I know, is to answer a whole spate of questions concerning my sanity !!!!!! If there are still any questions that is !!!!!
Okay, I am back.But for some strange reason I am too tired... almost always.It is only 9 days away, my going away I mean. I really dont know what I am feeling.Not much until today.I really dont know what I am feeling.For starters, I am not excited.Next up, I am not feeling any emotion at all.Atleast I think I am not.I promised people I ll write a good long one.Sorry dears, I am not upto it right now.
Oh by the way, I turned 21 yesterday.

"The Road not taken"
-- Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference

I have no idea why I am posting this poem now. I mean I have been wanting to post this for a long time.. but it is not like it is significant here. Okay. I know I should stop crapping !!!!

There are a lot of people I should thank profusely - Pom, Geetha,Kattan,Nithya,Srinath,and Priya for the bash and the time we spent.Thank you all friends for the thoughtful gifts,mails,calls,and scraps. Thank you guyz, that was really really nice of you to do. Sorry,I know I should have sounded more cheerful about the whole thing -- probably shouted "Happy Birthday to me" on the post,decorated the post with some balloons and festoons,but I am really not upto it now.I will however post that Yummy black forest cake that disappeared into our tummies in no time very soon.