Incidents Thought and Reason

Smells and more.

I have this bad habit of smelling. Wait! I only meant, I like to smell a variety of things… food, flowers, etc., etc. Flowers, for example. The last time a friend gave me a pretty bouquet of flowers, I breathed in deeply, and smiled graciously. My friend looked at me … oddly. I finally realized the flowers were of the non-smelling variety. Anyway!

As for the stranger smells that I like, petrol is definitely one of them. When we stop to fill the tank (of course in the pre-Lehman-collapse days), I simply love to inhale-exhale-inhale-exhale, for the smell of petrol charges my senses!

I also love the fragranced baby-wipes. Have the mums and dads here tried it? Mmmmm  …  they (the wipes) smell so wonderful, that cleaning up your baby becomes a pleasurable experience. Except, when you have just finished wiping the silky-soft bottoms, and a tiny hand reaches out to yank the tissue paper. And before you can say “Jack Robinson” (I would rather say “Jack Nicholson” – for his very apt line: “You can’t handle the truth!”), the entire room is covered with some brown stuff, which is far from being fragrant. It smells, indeed!

I wonder how some people (at work, mostly) always manage to smell good. They walk into a room, well-shaven and fresh, and a wonderfully strong male fragrance hypnotises you! So also with women. They walk past you, and the lovely smell lingers on, forcing you to take your eyes off the computer (or your colleague’s legs underneath). Always makes me wonder… haven’t they bathed today?

Another thing that I find pleasantly elegant – are the fragrant facial wipes. I used to keep a pack in my handbag. It was just the other day, when a group of friends and I were enjoying a late-night walk. It got a little sweaty as we panted uphill. So the “new and elite me” opened my bag and reached for the small packet of fragrant tissue papers. Darn! I couldn’t find it. I dug deeper into the bag, but all I found were some old grocery bills, and even older sweet-wrappers. Then someone helped me with a flashlight. While I stood there perspiring, the tissue-papers finally emerged. Pretty as can be. A very light shade of cream, with lovely pink flowers, and subtle green leaves. The fragrance spread over to the entire group of friends. One of two of them turned around. I smiled a victorious smile.

“Move along, buddy!! Do you want to stay here all night?!” they screamed. “The boors” I cursed. “Wait till you see this!”, I thought. I pulled out two sheets from the packet, and dabbed my face and neck with it. Oh! The smell was absolutely feminine…almost divine! “Now they’ll know!” I thought, as I victoriously marched ahead of the pack. “Hey, wait!” someone called. I turned around elegantly. “Hee..hee…heee…ha…ha…ohhh…huh…ohhh…” came the giggles and guffaws. “Why are the boors laughing?!” I wondered. My boyfriend quickly pulled me aside. “What’s on your face, Pavi?” he asked. And quickly wiped the bits and pieces of tissue-paper off my face and neck.

Since that day, I always carry a handkerchief (p.s – they do sell decent handkerchief perfumes, if you are interested!).


So come on now, enough reading. Share your favourite smells on this post.

Thought and Reason


(Inspired by posts from Meredith and pragya on S&Co., Ryze network)

Its been a long day. The TV plays something I don’t hear. I sit at the computer and type. Words that don’t make much sense (though I’m trying hard). All I want now is for Time to stretch, as I have so much more to do. Cook, clean, write, etc. etc. It suddenly hits me that I’m tired. The flesh is indeed weak! But the spirit ?? This comes as a shock – even to myself – that I’m ageing, when I’ve crossed only even half my life!

And then, in the background, my ears suddenly catch, soft strains of music. The familiar lullaby that my baby is falling off to sleep with. A lullaby about ‘twinkling little stars’. The music is soothing, restful…and heavenly.

If only for a few moments, the creases on my forehead fade away. I am a child myself. A child, with no worries, no fears, no plans. A child, drifting off into a deep, restful silence. Far, far away from the madding world.

Then, the tape ends.

Thought and Reason

Success follows the successful (Big B’s blog)

The reason I’m writing about his blog today is, I’m still trying to figure out what makes a blog popular.

Now, Big B’s blog is not a fascinating piece of writing. It is interesting, not gripping. One point in its favour is the fact that it reads terribly “genuine”. And Big B actually replies to some of the comments. Which is quite gratifying. considering he is “Tussi Great Ho” ! However, it is very ordinary, in terms of style, language and content (ofcourse, that is debatable, for his itinerary might interest me, and not you!). Yet, there are hundreds of comments on his posts, from fans across the world! So you see, he doesn’t have to TRY to be a successful blogger. Which is why the saying goes: Success follows the successful”.

Okay then! Got to go now …. I have to think of some “noticable comment” to write on Big B’s blog ;-)))

Book review

The Client – John Grisham

We bought this novel at the airport 2 years back, and it just lay in the cupboard, until last week, when I finally decided to clean up the room in anticipation of visitors.

In a nutshell, “The Client” is about a 11-year-old boy (Mark) who, along with his brother, accidentally witness a suicide. The person commiting the suicide reveals a very dark secret related to the Mafia, before he dies. Mark makes an anonymous call to the police, to inform them about the dead man, but he somehow gets caught in the mess. He’s a smooth liar, but even he cannot keep the police/FBI at bay.

With Mark’s brother slipping into a state of shock and his mother losing her job while taking care of the child in hospital, the police and the mafia are both after Mark’s blood, one trying to make him spill the beans, and the other, doing exactly the opposite. Mark fortunately finds a good lawyer to protect him, and a sane judge who remands him to juvenile detention centre until the time he agrees to speak the truth. The boy however, makes his escape from the centre. And…

For what happens next, do read the novel. Its gripping, and you won’t want to put it down. Unless you have to attend Nature’s call 😉 Or you have to cook dinner or something like that ! And if its the latter, check out my time-saving recipies at and spend more time on the book instead.

Caution – Since the book is about a 11-year old, sentimental mothers (like me) might have anxiety attacks. Still, a worthwhile read.

Thought and Reason

Looking for a job ?

What with the recession and living close to Lehman office, I thought the foll. links to job-sites might be of some use to someone (probably myself?!)

Some good job sites (if you are looking for a job in the UK):- 

Will add more as I remember!

Good luck!

Thought and Reason

Famous blogs

I open my blog and am THRILLED to see that sole comment on a story I’d written painstakingly (albeit hurriedly, in the couple of hours I could spare). Then I surf around other blog sites and related blogrolls. And scroll down to the “comments” section, only to realise there are about 50-60 comments, (sometimes, even a 100+ !). Then, I chanced upon Big B’s blog yesterday ( I must confess there was absolutely nothing fascinating in his posts – it was like a diary of what he did/when/where/etc. Can you guess how many comments “he” got per post ? 350+ to 500+ !!

So what makes a blog famous ?

– The blogger is a famous personality (for eg., Big B or any of the celebrity Khans, or a writer perhaps)

– The blog supports an important social cause (eg., Unchaahi)

– Interesting fiction, with an ethnic touch

– Exceptional self-deprecating humour (or humour on one’s lifestyle/race/culture/etc).

– Travelogue

– Negative publicity (there’s this guy/girl who writes crap about life in Chennai. I don’t want to name him only because he doesn’t deserve any more publicity than he already has).

– A good network of friends in Blogosphere.

– OR just exceptional writing skills !!

From all this, I finally realise – the blog must have a USP – a Unique Selling Proposition. Something to entice readers to visit the blog and identify with what you have to say.

Realisation is half the battle won. Hopefully, I’ll devote more time to my blog now.

Any tips, people – On the USP for my blog ?

Thought and Reason


I have been tagged by, not Spidey, but Ritu (

RULE #1 People who have been tagged must write their answers on their blogs and replace any question that they dislike with a new question formulated by themselves.
RULE #2 Tag 6 people to do this quiz and those who are tagged cannot refuse. These people must state who they were tagged by and cannot tag the person whom they were tagged by continue this game by sending it to other people.
1. Which is THE crappiest movie you’ve seen ?
“Mehbooba”. Yuck!! Sure you haven’t even heard of it!!

2. If you have a dream come true, what would it be?
Buy an island and take my friends/family over there, watch the gossip and the quarreling and then return home 🙂

3. If you could, whose butt would you like to kick?
The guys who started this Recession, in the peak of our career/life!!

4. What would you do with a billion dollars?
Lose all the excess pounds (Okay, kilograms, if you must).

5. Will you fall in love with your best friend?
Hmmm…if the best friend is a rich, handsome hunk, then why not ?!

6. Which is more blessed: loving someone or being loved by someone?
Being loved makes you selfish.
Loving someone makes you a nicer human being.
(U have my answer, right?)

7. How long do you intend to wait for someone you love?
Hmmm…my entire life, less 50 years or so.

8. If the person you secretly like is attached, what will you do?
Seen “My best friend’s wedding!”. phew. Let go!

9. If you could root for one social cause, what would it be?
Stop “Child abuse”.

10. Do you lie?
Never. (That’s the first lie for today!)

11. Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?

12. What’s your fear?
Wanting to answer the call of Nature, but not finding a bathroom for miles at a stretch!!

13. What kind of person do you think the person who tagged you is?
Hmmm…a nice person, mature enough to enjoy a little self-deprecating humour.

14. Would you rather be single and rich or married and poor?
Rich and married 😉

15. If you fall in love with two people simultaneously who will you pick?
The one who complements me. Unlike poles attract, as they say 🙂

16. Would you give all in a relationship?
Of course (except my passwords).

17. Would you forgive and forget someone no matter how horrible a thing he has done?
Hah…who are you kidding ? Neither forgive nor forget.

18. Do you prefer being single or in a relationship?
Every single person is looking for Ms or Mr Right. So, I’d rather be in a relationship, than keep looking!

19.  Your all time favourite song. Only ONE. And why?
“thomas the tank engine”!! that’s all I get to watch/hear these days :-((

20.  I TAG these 4 people because I’m sure they’ll have more interesting answers than I did !

– Shubha
– pavithra (
– prasanna (
– Yuva (

Short story

The train

The doors shut, and the surging crowd pushed Ram into a corner of the compartment. The train was packed. He took in a deep breath. And smelt Dior. Mesmerised, he hunted for its owner. There she was, standing next to him, a voluptuous nymph, clutching a red leather handbag. A long gold chain plunged down her neckline, bearing tiny letters in rubies, “Tina”.

She pulled a pink journal from her bag, and jotted something. “You can’t write much on a moving train!”, Ram said, to break the ice. She glared. He flashed a charming smile. Her luscious lips, painted in soft hues of pink, returned his smile and she looked down. Ram looked away. Then, she looked up. And their eyes met, more than once.

The compartment was cramped. A baby started crying. The mother, a rather plump, but pleasant-faced woman tried to pacify the child. “Don’t cry, Darling. We’ll reach soon!”.

Tina tried to concentrate, but the baby’s cries pierced through the compartment. She raised her manicured hand and delicately massaged her temples.

As if to distract herself, she suddenly turned towards Ram and said “I’m an events manager..”. Ram nodded, surprised.

“You know, Jo, the famous actress, is having her first baby-shower ? I’m organizing it!”.


“There’s so much to do! Look at this list!”, she continued excitedly, and showed him the journal.


Streamers…Starters.. Cocktails….”

“Interesting”, said Ram, surprised to see the words sprawled haphazardly, in big, childish letters.

“Its a wonderful event for a woman…” she turned the gilt-edged page…”I’ve even designed Jo’s outfit. Isn’t my drawing beautiful?”

Ram nodded.

The baby in the compartment wailed. Tina shut her ears. “Babies are such a pain, aren’t they?!”, she whispered loud enough for the mother to able to hear.

Ram winced.

“I mean, they just cry all the time. And the dowdy-looking mother! Can’t she tell the kid to shut up?!”

Ram shifted uncomfortably, and looked apologetically towards the mother. And angrily at Tina.

“What?! Its true. Children are demons!”, Tina scowled, looking more ugly than he could imagine.

The mother seemed oblivious to Tina’s rude comments. She lifted her baby out of the pram and rocked gently, until the sobs receded. The baby smiled, a lovely dimple forming in each cheek. The mother smiled back and kissed her forehead.

“Phew!”, said Tina, and resumed her monologue. She wrote down something on a page, tore it out, and pushed it into Ram’s hand. “Call me sometime!”, she said, with a feminine tilt of her head.

Ram looked confused, then slowly crumpled the sheet and pushed it back into her hands.

“Tina, your journal’s attractive .. Only on the outside”.

He looked away, towards the mother and child.

The next stop arrived. The mother pushed the pram towards Ram.

Ram put his arm protectively over her and said “I’m sorry I couldn’t help you when our baby was crying, Meera. I just couldn’t move through the crowd!”

And they made their way out.


On Teacher’s Day

To my teachers….
“If I can stand up to the world,
And speak out my mind.
If I am someone today,
And one of a kind,

It is all
Despite you”.
(I’m really sorry to be such a wet blanket. I’ve mostly had bad teachers at school/college – ones who played favourites and ones who humiliated – that I never celebrate Teacher’s Day! Its a pity that there are a lot of irresponsible and frustrated people who hold this noble profession).

Incidents Short story

And we gathered…(short story/incident)

I stood in awe of our neighbour’s apartment. Teakwood furnishings, glass cabinets, exquisite showpieces from around the world. In short, something that I wanted our house to look like. As we stepped out, and reviewed our unfinished apartment, I noticed something on the opposite side of the road. A tenement of smaller houses. Old, and evidently poor. Loads of black children played around, walking in and out through the chipped doors. I felt strange. I was a little afraid.


Friends came a-visiting the next day, and as we sat around the coffee table, chatting about petty things, we could sense an uneasy air around us. Something was happening outside these four walls of concrete, that none of us could gauge. In retrospect however, I think all of us knew, but simply didn’t want to acknowledge the fact. That our life was about to change.


It happened the same afternoon. My friend Aarthi (I even remember her name, after all these years) and I fought all the way on the staircase, over whose paints and brushes were of better quality. We returned home to interrupt a small conference that was going on in our hall. They were mostly our neighbours (including a Muslim man, with high contacts with the government, who left his wife behind at home to entertain his worthy colleagues!!). They looked very grave.


I peeped out through the window, and saw unusually frenetic activity in the opposite side of the road. But they were not all the black children that we had seen earlier. I stared again, and saw a lot of familiar faces (including that of my mother’s) having a meal at a big over-crowded oval-shaped dark-wooden table. All of a sudden, I realized that my own house was teeming with the black families. They were all over the place. And finishing off all our rations. “What will we do for food?”, I asked. “Eat the jam”, someone answered. I wondered how I could eat jam without bread! But there wasn’t any time to think, or even protest.


The blacks had swapped houses, and more importantly, swapped places. They had completely taken over our home, our place and our life. What scared the life out of me was that we had been pushed into their place…homeless, impoverished, and literally, under siege.


After the meal was over, presumably the “last supper”, they rounded all of us up at the top of the hill. It was crammed. There was no place to move. One wrong foot here, and we could very well be sliding all the way to the bottom of the hill, and onto the highway, so that even if we survived the fall, the speeding vehicles would vanquish us.


And suddenly, there was a commotion. Nobody knew who caused it. And the next thing I could remember was that the hill was empty! I remember seeing a colourful box-like toy hanging by a little bush.


Many years later, we met again. Purely by chance. We sat around the coffee table. There were four known families. Sadly, there were just one or two members from each family. Aarthi was gone. We sat with mugs of coffee in our hand, and talked in monosyllables. We re-lived. And shuddered.