When shorthands become too short

Shorthands. Some blame it on the character limits on texts, some on conforming to the trend, some on sheer laziness, some on the inadequacy of time itself. And this is not even a teen or an young adult thing anymore. When my “Take care, grandma” was responded with a “K.Tx.U2”, I knew, this thing just got real! Seeing that text, I thought, “Poor grandma couldn’t handle multiple tabs, she typed the captcha text in the wrong screen.” Or, did she just give me her password? I would not have taken a second look, if not for the fullstops.
There is enough ramble going on already about how irksome and utterly confusing shorthands have become. Honestly, I’m tempted to do just the same and add noise to the chatter. But for a change, I thought I’d look closer and find patterns if I were lucky enough. And lucky I was. One thing short hand enthusiasts do is, they get rid of all the vowels. Their firm belief is that, the English language can, and in their world does exist without vowels. The only times they can be allowed to stay are when they are the first or the last letters in a word. If you can manage to dispose of even that, then great! Why would you type “exam”, when you can just say “xm”? But things can get worse. When my friends shorten my name to Pearl, well, that’s cute. When they choose to go all lower case, I pacify myself saying, “No big deal. They are comparing you to the real pearl. Chill.” But imagine my dismay when I see something like, “Hpy bdy prl.” Prl? I think things have gone way too far. So what do I infer from that? Parallel? Peril? Oh, a peril I can really be!
Observation number two. No repetition allowed. Letters aren’t meant to be repeated. Not for emphasis, not for stress, not for anything. Just cut it out. “Bel”,”bles”,”les”,”adres”,”coment”. This is beginning to sound French!
That brings us to the third and final observation that I would like to record. This is more than just a shorthand practice. This is pure humility. The absolute denial of self. The strong opinion that “I am not important.” So why put myself in caps? I shall rather be addressed “i.” Whether I start the sentence, appear midway or am right at the end, let me be made smaller. Quite a conviction, right?
I believe there are so many more. But the Grammar Nazis out there would have already died a thousand deaths reading this. So, I digress. Or rather, i dgres.

The Mirinda Mess

This post is about one of the funny incidents that happened during our family reunion earlier this month. Actually it didn’t start out funny but we all ended up laughing over it! So readers, get ready for some messiness! 😉

It was the last day of our reunion and almost 80 percent of family had packed and had taken off to their homes. So that night just a few of us were staying at our uncle’s house. One of the great things about the house is that a massive wall has been built on the rooftop so that we could project and watch watch movies and videos. A few of my cousins, my grandma, my uncles,aunts and I decided to watch a movie before bed that night and as there were a lot of kids, we wanted a nice Kids movie. Luckily I had “Denice the Menace (1993)” on my laptop and so we decided to screen that! It’s amazing how this movie never gets ancient and you are never too old to watch it 🙂

When we were almost halfway through, I had to go downstairs to change to my night wear because at that point my chudithar was getting really uncomfortable. As I had watched this movie several times before, I didn’t mind missing parts of it!

Continue reading “The Mirinda Mess”

I don’t want a spoon, show me the tap!!

It’s crazy how difficult it is to find restaurants that read “Indian” in India! 😀 Especially in metros, where you can easily spot Chinese, American, Italian, Mexican, Thai and myriads of other cuisines but will have to do some legwork to land in a good Indian restaurant.

Lucky enough for me, we did spot a nice restaurant which, though not really Indian, offered some great Indian dishes. The only thing that was standing between me placing my orders and me digging in was the one hour waiting time. I learnt one hour is actually not a big deal, which came as a shock because down south, if the waiter is going to take more than 10 minutes, there are going to be words exchanged.

A plate full of steaming rice and mouth watering chicken gravy arriving at our table with one other extra item which I didn’t ask for. A spoon.Maybe for serving, but why one for each plate, wouldn’t one large spoon do? As I was contemplating, I could hear the cling clang of spoons hitting plates. Rice? With a spoon? From a plate? Well, no thanks. I am a typical South Indian who grew up eating with her hand. My mom taught me to do so, my grandmother taught me to do so and I’ve practically aced the skill of graceful eating with the food touching the fingers, but never the palm. But now I’m asked to throw that tradition out the window and eat with the spoon! I would have consoled myself and accepted my predicament if I was atleast given a bowl. But here I am with a flat utensil and a spoon to pick food from it. No way! So I just nudged the one next to me and asked where I would find the wash. It was then I was given “that” look. The look which told me I wasn’t supposed to ask for a wash in such places and that I would  be given a finger bowl if at all some particles of food manage to touch my fingers. All my insides were screaming and I regretted ordering rice! Acting like everything was okay, I hid the real struggle I was having with my spoon pretty well. The pain only worsened when I saw several grains of rice sticking to the plate and when I realised my incapability to pick them up with the spoon. If only I had used my hand, I would have wiped the plate clean.

And then there is the South Indian wedding scenario. While half the guests come to bless the couple, the other half come only because they’ve been invited and because they want to feast upon the scrumptious biryani, the taste of which can never be achieved at home, no matter how many times you try. Comfortable seats, tens of servers running around with food and the joy of eating on a banana leaf-talk about bliss! Now the tables have turned. Servers stand and we are the ones who move about with plates in hand to get us a serving. Those are super heavy plates which cannot be lifted for more than a few minutes if you do not have significant arm power. I wonder, should I enjoy the food or have pity on my hurting arms or try to hold my anger as I look at the spoon? It has one advantage though, makes you want to get less weight on your plate, thereby helping you stay true to your diet decisions.

I’m having a hard time putting up with this. Maybe I should go on an “anti-spoon” campaign where like-minded Indians  can come together and do a hand-eating demonstration! That sounds like a plan 😉

This is the sign to look for!
This is the sign to look for!

But as of now, let me just wait desperately hopefully for that day when South Indian weddings will go back to being truly South Indian and restaurants will have signs saying “Hands are allowed. Spoons not mandatory” and “The wash is this way”.



The Adventures of Cleaning My Room!

Why is cleaning a room an adventure? It’s just a common task! No big deal! But trust me, it sure was an adventure for me 😀

I know how in the West children start living independently once they finish school. They pay for their college tuition, live in an apartment and all that. But here in South India things don’t work that way. We are dependent on our parents until we get a job or get married. Especially when we do college as day scholars (i.e staying with parents and going to a college that’s close to home) we are highly dependent on our parents and they would do everything for us just like how they did when we did our schooling!! May sound so strange to some of you! Well, welcome to our world!! It’s a little different for the hostelers I guess. Since they have to share rooms with other students, they develop a sense of responsibility over time. Well, I am a day scholar, so you know what category I fall into 😀

My mom likes to keep our house neat and presentable at all times. She does the same with my room. But after I completed school, she insisted that I start maintaining my room by myself. Even after that, when arranging the things in my room, my mom does most of the work. I do maybe 10 percent of the entire work.

As my irresponsible nature began to worry me and as my room was overflowing with more and more stuff, I decided it was time for me to chuck the unwanted things out and clean my room. As I had been hoarding things on a large scale the last couple of years, my mother said she would help me too. But this time she would do the 10 percent work and I would do the rest!!

Later that day, I got into the mood for challenge 😉 So I went and told my mom that I would be doing ALL of the work. She gave me the “look before you leap” look 😀 But I felt I could do it!

And oh my God what a challenge it was!!! In my post The Child In You I speak about how I stopped becoming a hoarder as I grew up but I was so wrong!! I’m still a BIG BIG hoarder! As I started on my new expedition 😉 , I decided I would take out all the things from my cupboards, keep them on the bed and the floor and then I would arrange them back after dusting and replacing the paper sheets in my cupboards, organizing everything in a more proper way so that it’s easier to search for something I need. Once I was done taking everything out, this is how it looked! Brace yourselves! 😀 (There was still more inside the cupboards! Books, clothes,much more!!)


This was when I wanted to scream “Mommy” and ask her to rescue me because I had no idea where to start. But as I said, it was a “challenge” and I stood my ground 😀 (Except there was no place for me to set my foot in my room!!!!)

It’s actually a very small room but it took me three days, yes THREE days to finish arranging everything and finally say “phew”!! My mom said she would have managed to clean all the rooms in our house and then some if we gave her three days!! But then she was really proud of me because it’s just a start and my room looked as if it had gone through a successful makeover at the end of the third day!

And why was it an adventure? Because of the things that I discovered in the course of cleaning my room! It is those little stuff that stole my attention.Then I would drown in memories and maybe that is why it took me three long days 😀 Some of the things that I unearthed didn’t deserve to be there in the pile of junk 😦 This gives me reason to clean my room more often and put things in their proper place.

Thought I would share a few pictures of some of the memorable things I found!! The first one right here is a beautiful photo frame gifted to me by my best friend when we were in, maybe 6th grade! It was actually my first proper gift from a schoolmate. Photo1715I call it “proper” because it was impeccably wrapped, rightly addressed and given to me by the most attention-giver-to-every-detail friend I’ve ever had! And I fell in love with it the minute I saw it!! I somehow kept believing that all these years it was safe inside a glass showcase in another room. But seeing it here in the mess was a shock! So I took it, fitted the above photograph and now the pretty frame sits elegantly on my table!

This HUGE pencil right here-makes me laugh!!!! This was like a hit in school some nine years ago. Here in our place we have yearly exhibitions where many sellers come together and sell things for a cheaper price and ridiculous amounts of people shop there every year.Photo1714 Every friend of mine in our neighbourhood and many at school had this pencil and they were proudly flaunting it! I thought “I need to get it”, but I really HATE crowds!! So I asked my parents to get this pencil for me without fail when they go to the exhibition. Finally after a week or so, I got it!! But it didn’t thrill me as I expected it to! It was so common by then ,almost everybody had it, so guess I just put it away. And here it has been all these years hiding out in my cupboard!!! This is one thing I have no trouble throwing away!! 😀

This piece to the left is a key holder. This not only brought back so many memories but also reminded me how much I’ve not been doing 😦 Photo1719As a kid, I used to be so fascinated by Do It Yourself activities. During every summer vacation, I try and do some amazing DIY decorative pieces on my own. So my parents decided to send me to a summer art class that was organized in our school and I thoroughly enjoyed that experience. This was our first activity there-decorating a wooden key holder to make it look like pieces of glass stuck together using glass colours. This one has a lot of flaws..there are colour bubbles and voids in many places but still I absolutely love it! Then I walked to another room where I found more of my hand works. Made me think that I shouldn’t have stopped doing them! I must get back to them sooner and enjoy the thrill those activities give me!!

Ah! another wonderful school memory!! These are the merit cards that our school gives to the topper of each class in the monthly exams! Photo1726These were to die for those days!!! 😉 “Tippy Torch” was our school mascot and we could see how their arms(flames) move, in these 3D cards! So cool! B-) If we collect five or more in a year, we were promised a special prize at the end of the year which I guess the school authorities forgot about! But I remember eagerly waiting for that “special” prize to come!!

Finally I would like to show you this hair clip which found!Photo1728 I don’t remember how I got it!!!?? Did we buy it or was it a gift, I’m not really sure! But I refused to wear it because it was a black rose!! How could a rose be black was my question back then! But now I realise it’s actually a pretty hair clip! 😉 I put it on last Sunday and many seemed to like it 🙂 And one more thing, black roses are now a reality!! Spotted them in a park a couple of years ago! Some hybrid variety I guess!!!

Told you right?? It’s always the little things that occupy a big part of my heart and awaken many memories!! 🙂 It was such a great experience cleaning my room and I know I’ll have something surprising me everytime I do it! 🙂 Hopefully I’ll develop even more good habits down the line 🙂



Some of my past “encounters” have been with the members of the insect family…Again,my  post , Housefly Vs Sedative was about an annoying housefly..And this time it’s a totally different and funny tragedy.Maybe most of us have gone through the same 😉

Singing is my passion 🙂 And I experiment singing new and high notes when I’m home alone 😉 Amazingly,one day I accomplished singing a note which I’ve never tried before.Happiness overflowing,I thought I should test how long I can sustain the note.I took a deep breath and went for it.I sustained the note for a good few seconds.As you know,after singing a long note,obviously we take  in air with a greater speed.A mosquito which was flying by around my sphere of influence ,was pushed along with the flow of air into my mouth!!!

Since it accelerated straight into my throat,I couldn’t spit it either…I started choking and tears rolled down my eyes.Larger things have traveled down my food pipe( I mean food,mind u!!! ) but the fact that it was a mosquito kept me trying to force it out. Well,if you think I failed doing so,you guessed it right.

So now my only choice was to swallow this poor little guy!!!I drank water and started putting any eatable I could find into my mouth(What was I thinking?? That it would somehow become a mosquito sandwich???!!!??) The mosquito must have traveled to my stomach by then,probably in parts coz of  my many efforts to bring it back up!! But still I had the feeling of something stuck in my throat for a very long time…..

If you are not afraid of mosquitoes going through your food pipe,do try this method to get rid of the mosquito population in your house! 😉

House Fly Vs Sedative

Sleep -” a natural periodic state of rest for the mind and body, in which the eyes usually close and consciousness is completely or partially lost, so that there is a decrease in bodily movement and responsiveness to external stimuli.” Hmmm….for me,it’s just lying on the bed and getting lost !!!
Staying awake when I’m feeling sleepy is the most difficult thing to do.It only gets tougher when you are under any medication for common cold,fever etc. because most of the tables prescribed for intake at night are sedatives. My eyelids close and I’m asleep!! Nothing in between…but some of our friends ( I call them friends because they are around us almost all the time !! 😉 ) from the “fly” family seem to nullify the effect of the sedatives..Can’t believe??Hear my story!
A few weeks back I was under the attack of common cold and so had to take tablets which were supposed to act as sedatives and put me to sleep.They were doing their job just fine and my eyelids slowly began closing..Just when I was about to “fall” asleep,a fly flew by..the buzzing sound disturbed me a teeny tiny bit but I didn’t care.I didn’t know that the fly’s next destination was my face.There it landed,safe and secure!!! I was almost asleep ,I couldn’t even gather enough strength to lift my arm and shoo it away. So I made some really funny facial movements and so it flew away, only to come come back and perch on a different part of my face this time !!! It didn’t bother me much until I realised that this fly was actually keeping me from sleeping….
The fight continued.My eyelids were begging for sleep and so were my systems..but this fly!!!!!!! Seeing that something was disturbing me,my mom stepped in to solve it for me..The result??? Both of us were hopelessly trying to shoo a fly away,at one point even trying to finish it off!! 😀
In the war against sedative and housefly,clearly housefly won and just flew away after accomplishing its mission! What a day!