Monday, 26 November 2007

Do we care for India?

A recent conversation between me and a friend, I summarize here.
My friend is a PG student in Texas University. And I am working in Sweden.

She: Its very envying to see the modernized and organized west. India must change.
Me: But who will change India?
She: Its the government, they are the reason for the problems in India.
Me: But who is the government?
Tell me one thing; do we have enough rights to point our fingers towards the government? Who selected them? We can’t say, we have not voted. So why did you not vote? Then the expected reply, "I did not like anyone, so".
At least I would say, all these explanations are just escapism.
Especially she and me and many alike, I would say, we don’t have any real 'Akkarai' towards India. We only care for our bank balance. Simply shouting in some Google chat across time zones, "India must progress, lotsa things must change in India, Its the politicians who are responsible for the corruption" does not mean we care for India.

How many of us cared for traveling to our constituencies and register our votes?
How many of us registered our self in any constituency?
All of us will vote, if there is online voting available and if the government posts the login,password details to our home address. That is all we can do for our India. So lets not complain.

And one more thing, we must not compare India with the West, rather compare with India itself how it was 20 years before, 10 years before and now.
Certainly there is progress. You and I are blessed with the western exposure. But that does not mean we can complain about India in the name of CARING.

Knife and Fork!!!

That was my first travel abroad, 16 January 2005 to Paris.
I was flying Emirates. The trays were served. I was quite hungry, did not mind or rather did not know about any eating manners. Just took the spoon and started to eat the rice. The man next to me, we got introduced to each other when the flight took off, seems he is basically an Indian but settled in France for about 17 years ago. He was fully loaded, however he managed to advice me.

He: Is this your first travel to Europe?
Me: Its my first travel outside India.
He: That explains. You must not eat with spoon,use fork and knife. When you share the table with your western colleague, dont eat with spoon, you will set a bad example about Indians...

Shame on me, I did not know this till he told me. But how can I suddenly learn?
I started observing people how they eat.Knife in which hand and fork in which hand, how they cut the meat, how they manage with the little left overs in the knife and so on...slowly learnt it.

Now I am very comfortable with this, but I think of THAT man with thanks whenever I eat with knife and fork so comfortably.
I am overwhelmed with some friends asking me,"Why no posts of late?".

Actually was busy with writing some personal stuffs.
Also wanted to slow down this blogging stuff with a purpose.

A dear friend of mine adviced me to slow down as I also agree, because any interest wears out with time. So, instead of being so fast in the beginning, I just thought I must slow down a bit but be consistent with blogging.

Last weekend was good.
Christmas fever all around. Lotsa lights, shops are decorated. Christams trees, Santas. City sqaure is crowded with Donut shops, Candy shops, Candle shops...
Super markets are selling balloons, crackers, gifts etc...
Ok, this is the usual stuff for Christmas.
But what was special in Sweden? There was this 'Glogg', samples served to the pedestrians.
It is a Scandinavian punch made of claret and aquavit with spices and raisins and orange peel and sugar.
I did not get to taste it, but father in law did and said, it tastes like our sukku coffee.

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

Some of my friends, on reading this space, asked me some 'interesting' questions.

The best one was,"Hey, Are you on BENCH???"...
And some more like, "How do you get the time for blogging?" and so on.

My answer was simple:
If you like to do a thing, you always steal time from somewhere else and do it.
If you are not that keen on doing a thing, then you say, "I DONT HAVE TIME".


I am in cloud 9, to see the comments about my blog.
I am very much motivated.

By the way, what is this "In Cloud 9".
I did not know what it means, until I read "Hai Madan" in last weeks AV.
Generally the clouds can be at a maximum height of 8 miles. So when we want to express some high, happy feeling, we say, I am in cloud 9, like beyond the possible height of clouds.
Americans introduced this word to English in 1965.

I liked this, and hence this info sharing.
Could be a repeat for some of you though.
One of my husband's friends read my blog. He always rags me for my cooking.
Donno if he means it, But I prefer take it as a joke...:-)Safe!

His comment, I put it in Tamil, to best reproduce what he said, "
"உங்களுக்கு recipes லாம் post பண்றது கொஞ்சம் over ஆ தெரியலையா?உங்க கையால சாப்பிட்ட ஒரு நாலு பேரு இத படிச்சா மொத்த blog ம், தமாசு னு நெனச்சுக்க மாட்டாங்களா?"

Though I was the one being pulled, cant stop appreciating his humour sense.

Monday, 19 November 2007

The Danes,The Swedes and A Swadesi

Blessed me...I am exposed to these two quite yet sound countries of Europe,Of Scandinavia, Denmark and Sweden.
I travelled alongwith my husband,about two years back to Denmark, rated Top as 'The happiest country' in the world. I landed in January and all I could see was WHITE. It snows cats and dogs in Denmark in the winters.
(Phrase finder 'cats and dogs':
Whatever geography I read in school, "There are four seasons in a year, spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter", I could actually see them all here. It is very beautifully distinguished by Mother Nature.

The Danish population is not more than 5 Million - 50 Lakhs,so the countryside for a train journey is like heaven, lot of open space, too many colours in the other three seasons than winter...The Autumn colours especially are a visual treat!
In winter it’s just white and white all around.
The lake nearer to our house was all ice in the minus degree times, and it was fun to watch the ducks just walking on it and no need swimming.

The Danes are too too good people, honest and helping.

They speak English if required, but they are particular about their language. I went for an interview in a Danish telecom company, and found it surprising that their intranet, official emails, documents everything was in Danish. 'W' has no place in the Danish alphabets, so they pronounce it as V V when they have to spell out say WLAN for example. They have three extra alphabets and I somehow managed to learn to pronounce them, its like aa,ae and oe. My laptop was bought in Denmark and I have those three letters in the keyboard.

The danish pronounce the J as Y and Y as U. So when we pronounce Jylland the Danish are like clueless what are we saying, as they say it Yulland...:-) Funny initial days with this pronunciation stuff. We lived in Islandsgade, its pronounced as Eeslandsgale in Denmark, so if we tell the taxa(that is taxi)driver, Ilandsgade(like in English), he is like Whhhhhhhheeeeeeeeerrrrrrrrreeeeee??
And me and my husband were knocked out when we had to tell our house address to our family back in India, we said Eeslandsgale, and spelled it like I S L A N D... our family went crazy, "You people don’t know how to say Iland and you are abroad?"

The taxation is the highest in Denmark, we pay half of our earnings to the government, but the facilities are like AWESOME. The hospital is completely free of cost. The public libraries are amazing with free broadband, free local calls, and the public transportation, THE BEST.
One thing that I did not like about the Danish doctors was they were very procedural. I mean at times, there is emotion that comes first and then what they read in medical books - This is my opinion.

Denmark is not a place for Tourists. But standing on top of the light house in Skagen, the northern tip of denmark and watching the rendezvous of Baltic sea and North sea, the mixture of sea blue and green colours, AN EYE CANDY in no doubt.

The danish parties are so so wet, lots and lots of liquors. They start with white wine and then it is red wine during the meal course,vodka,whisky and what not with dessert...its not so much fun for non-alcoholics to party with danish. We have to look like dumb with coke and fanta, but how many soft drinks, can one drink really? And the person next to you is like filling glass after glass and also different glasses for different type of drink...:-)one small for vodka, and two wine glasses for red and white, and a hot drink glass...and he also at times takes soft drinks and water for a change. I think beer sales are at its peak in the weekends, I have seen people packing too many beer cases from the supermarkets.

The Danish are crazy about sun. It’s just three months in a year that they get to see proper sun, so they really love it. They wanna go beaches, get sun tanned, and have lotsa barbeques. Its funny to see some of my colleagues being proud about HOW BROWN THEY BECAME, after a sunny weekend in a beach:-)

So now Sweden, moved here about three months ago, well, not much different from denmark. But the population made it worse, when it comes to searching apartments, fixing a doctor appointment and things like that. But otherwise, an equally good country. But I liked Denmark more.

BUT I LOVE INDIA, the most most.

Useful info: Jylland(Peninsula in northern Europe that forms the continental part of Denmark and a northern part of Germany) in English is Jutland and the Southern part of Sweden, is known as Skane.
They have different currencies, the Danish Kroner and the Swedish Kroner.

Recipes on request:-)

Thanks for those who commented on my blogging.
Recipes follow, for you to try and comment.

Chicken fry:
Its actually a very very simple recipe.
Ingradients: Onion, Tomato, Boneless chicken(cut it to small sized pieces), **chilli powder,coriander powder, garam masala, turmeric powder** or as an alternative to these seperate masalas,** any chicken masala thats is available ready made**,curd,ginger&garlic paste,salt and oil ofcourse.
Marinate the chicken with these masalas,curd,ginger garlic paste and salt for 30 mins.
Heat the oil in the pan. Oil quantity is like more than seasoning but far less than deep fry.
Fry onion for a while really well and then tomato and then add the marinated chicken.
Wait, now dont add any water. This is why I asked for small pieces of chicken.Fry for while in high flame and then sim the burner.
Just keep frying and frying and frying in low flame, until the chicken is cooked and becomes dry. One must really be near the pan with a spoon all the time....and turn the chickens all side.
Now the delicious mouth watering Chicken fry is ready to taste and eat and HOG.

Procedure is pretty much the same for lamb too.
Except for the masala and no need to fry any onion, directly you may fry the lamb.

Lamb fry Masala: Coconut+Small onion+Redchillies+Souf/Cumin+Ginger+Garlic ground together coarsely.

Friday, 16 November 2007

Gender of the baby - Who is responsible?

I did some reading about this in the internet during my blessed pregnancy time, and I wanted to shout from the bottom of my stomach that it is the men who is responsible for the gender of the baby.
It is yet a big problem,atleast in India - Baby girls.
I personally have come across some families, where the lady of the house is blamed for being incapable to deliver male child. Well, is it a mistake by the way?

Now the matter, the medical stuff that I read is translated in my language.
Women's chromosome is XX, and Men's XY.
Which of these men's X and Y is the dominant at that point of time, and that decides if the baby is going to be XX or XY, I mean a girl or a boy respectively.
XX + Xy is XX -----> Xy by which I mean Dominant X
XX + xY is XY -----> xY by which I mean Dominant Y.

Tail piece: It is the women who is responsible for the number of the babies at one conception, i.e, twins, triplets and more sometime...:-)
I shall try and post the source of this information soon.

My blog - Naming Ceremony

I initially named my blog

After the first day's posts, I showed my husband, who has been actually encouraging me to blog.
His first comment:

'Blogname must be changed'.

He says I might fall into identity crisis ,when I post strong thoughts in future.

Identity Crisis??? Isn't he optimistic? I am not even sure, how much serious and regular will I be with this?? Least expected of me, a busy and equally lazy person.
But I must react on the first ever comment about my blog.
My husband also says, blogname must be catchy and intellectual.How tough for me?

Anyways, I rewound my soft disc(my little brain only), to name my blogspot something.

Can I find a thing from movies?? Like Abhiyum Naanum, Blog um Naanum...Not so good.
From the Harry potters, YouKnowWho types, NO NO.
Can Mahakavi Bharathi to whom I always seek help for any writing, help me? He says No too.

One must not think, on reading the above three lines, I am a great reader or watcher or so.

I remember a manager in my previous company quoting,"I can speak technology as much as to make the attendees believe that I KNOW technology". I am just trying to sound like him here:-)

This technique does not work all the time.
Happened to dine out with my team a few days ago, and a person sitting opposite to me, kept on praising Zidane, he is a foot-ball big fan, I just said to him out of Aarvakolaru, "Such a great player should not have lost his temper, in the grand finale, had he been there in the penalty shoot out, they might have won the title". God! Why did I say that? That was just all I knew about the foot ball world cup, or even foot ball for that matter. Just one match that I watched fully in my whole life so far. That guy apparently thought, I am a big fan like him too, and started talking about many other foot ballers, and even Swedish club matches. Then I told him, all I knew was just what I said to him about Zidane, and I am otherwise a vacuum when its about football. He gave me A look! Poor me!

So now what?All through my bus journey to office, I was thinking of A name for my blog.
One sudden flash, SYNAPSE. having some medical meaning with nerve impulses and neurons, could also be liberally translated as a junction,conjunction.

I steal this name from Aparna, my friend, who named her team Synapse, when we went for a softskills workshop for "Communication Skills", I think 3 years ago.
I happened to be in the other team with a not so good name, but liked this name lots.
But there are beautiful brains who already took this name from blogspot, so I had to prefix or suffix something, and that is 'junctionofthoughts'.
Not sure, how catchy or intellectual it is, but naming ceremony is over.
Huh, I finally did justice to the title of this blog inspite of lot other blah blah.(Courtesy: Kadhal Padikatugal by R.Parthiban in JV,he ends his article ' Seethayanam', with a note, "Appada oru vazhiya title a cover panniyachu" or something like that).

Thursday, 15 November 2007

A pat on my back!!!

Oflate have been cooking lot of fry s, Fish, Lamb, Chicken.

Surprisingly, all turned out so well, and father in law commenting,"idhu mari oru fry naan en life la sapitadhu illa".

Happy me...:-)

I am an appreciation craving freak.

Happy that, I could use something similar to Anbe Sivam's 'You are a last word freak'... How I love that movie.
Actually I would like to blog about my favourite movies, may be soon.

Happened to hear, 'Engeyum Epodhum' remixed in Polladhavan yesterday.
Have fallen in love with SPB's voice again. How versatile is he!
I discussed this with Raji, a good friend of mine, and she forwarded me another classic bit of SPB, Raagangal 16, from Thilli mullu. But unfortunately could not listen to that, as no headphones with me now.

A Big sigh!

Read Kavi perarasu in Kumudam, replying a question about Indians living overseas,

" தன் வாழ்நாளின் கடைசி ஐந்து வருடங்களை தங்கள் இஷ்டப்படி வாழ வேண்டும் என்று நினைத்து, அதற்கு முந்தைய நாட்களை இஷ்டமில்லாத வழியில் வாழ்ந்து கொண்டு இருக்கிறார்கள்."
I doubt if I reproduced exactly what he said.

But being one of those last 5 years dreamers, I can only heave a big sigh.

But said to myself, "திரை கடல் ஓடியும் திரவியம் தேடு.".

Thanthai Periyar - A Feast!

Heard my Father-in-law, quoting thalaivar Rajini's speech,"Thanthai periyar is like a feast, people take just what they want and leave the rest".

Unfortunately in that BIG FEAST, most of his followers - so to say, have taken only "NO GOD", and left or rather wasted the rest.

Thanthai Periyar, a Legend.

Men and Women - From Mars and Venus Really!!!

During one of the hot argument between me and my husband,
Me: Men are like salt, cant eat without that, cant eat it all either....
My husband: Women are like sweet, initially we are sweet toothed, slowly diabetic.

When I shared it with a few friends who are married, they replied, "Howwwwwwww TRUE??" huh.....

My first blog...

This is my first blog.
Got really inspired by Chinmayee's WhatToNameIt, and thought, why not me???
I dedicate my first blog to her with gratitude, and perhaps I inherit her style of writing too...
I am curious, how well my blogspot would grow...:-)