Foreword

There is neither a structure nor a texture to this blog. The subject matter can be anything and everything under the sky that I feel about at any given point that I happen to sit and blog rambling about everything in general. My thoughts and views are basically influenced by what I read, hear, gather, and ponder... if there is any copyright violation which I have not duly acknowledged, kindly let me know.

Ref: Chichkoo is what I lovingly call my daughter, kiddo my brother, amma and taatee my late maternal grandparents, and OA is the other adult in the family.

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Jul 24, 2007

Winds of Change...

I sometimes feel like my wings are clipped and I did that to myself most willingly. Sometimes, I remember my free flights and rue and sometimes I am quite content that I need not fly, strange and self-contradictory, well that is what I have been all my life. I am really happy (hope telling it time and again does not jinx it) at this point, kind of gotten everything I ever wanted but there are little things that make me hyper and momentarily forget what I am blessed with.

There was a time when I just woke up every day and decided what I wanted to do for that day and did a lot of things just on the spur of the moment, no one to question, no one to answer to, absolutely nothing. I was a free bird, a wild one at that. Total freedom at home, corrected when wrong but never ever been stopped as I was supposedly "the responsible kid", the strong one who had her feet firm on the ground and dreams high in the sky working to hard to achieve the goals that I set to myself. Even now I am free, free to do anything but still I feel bound, just the need to think a 100 times before doing anything is getting to be difficult to a spontaneous person like me. The need to think about what others might think or what others might make out of it is something really bothering my free spirit. All the while, I thought if you dont have negative thoughts and bad intentions and just be true to yourself that is it.

Not that I am forced to do or not to do a particular thing but somehow it is just not the same. I am not me anymore.. it is we.. well, it is good in almost all the ways most of the times but there are days when I just feel like being ME as in me. I sometimes I feel like I have lost the vital elements of my old self just like that.

Jul 23, 2007

Raining Blogs :)

HeeeHaaa.. so much happening in the blogger.. a lot of people are joining the blog community, mostly food bloggers. That is a treat to my gastronomic adventures and a feast to my eyes with all the wonderful pics they keep posting.

Welcome all and just keep teaching me :).

Something From That End Finally.

After such a long wait.. nearly 4 long months, I got some reply from the USCIS guys requesting for more info, filled and sent the data required. I just hope I dont end up waiting another 90 days in the process.

It feels so nice suddenly doing stuff after a long hiatus, no matter how small it is, it feels good to see the progress... just root out for me guys, I have rusted real bad professionally :((

Jul 19, 2007

Heading To...

Checking all day long for mails, i.e., forwards from friends, nothing official; checking out if any of friends had blogged for the day; checking out the threads in the different communities I keep browsing; waiting all day for someone close to talk to; wondering what I am doing the whole day other than just killing the time; catching up all the episodes of Law and Order, Everybody Loves Raymond, or Friends :((

Where am I heading to?????????

Stooping Low!!

There are times when a person gets carried away with insecurities, fears, and some times about the most trivial things in life to the extent that it ruins his/her peace of mind. Why does one have to stoop to such a low level, below dignity, to do and say stuff which they dont really meant to but have just been triggered by some inconsequential fear. Why is that there is no control over the mind when in panic and tongue when in anger? When is that I learn will ever learn to hold my thoughts and feel secure!!! What is it lacking in me to gain that unique power of letting things go and stay undisturbed by every little thing that happens!!

God Grant Me the Serenity To Accept The Things I cannot change,
Courage to Change The Things I can...
and Wisdom to know the difference.

Jul 18, 2007

Reminder To Self...


Amazing Pravs Quote

I so need to remember this one. Why do I get distracted with silly things in life. Is there any difference between the distractors and me. I refuse to travel in the same wavelength (affirmation to self).

Woh Yaadein...


Some of the beautiful trip memories...

The Food Express...



So, the latest craze going around in our household is me trying out Andhra delicacies..

This is the easiest one by far..

1 cup sooji rava
1 cup sugar
4 ground cardamoms or a pinch of cardamom powder
4 tbsps ghee
1 cup milk
Cashew and Raisins..

Fry the sooji with ghee.. mix sugar and ghee-fried raisins and cashew with the fried sooji.. add milk one tsp at a time and make it to round balls and lo, the sweet is ready.. yummy yummy.. takes max 15 to 20 minutes for 2 cups...

Jul 17, 2007

My Kitchen Experiments!!

As a child, I always took it for granted when my granny used to make us whole lot of delicacies.. canfuls of chekkalu, kobbari boorelu, paala kovalu, kajjikayalu, karapposa, boondi, etc., etc. Hats off to their patience, cooking stuff on "kattela poyyi" (stove made of clay and which uses wood as fuel).. Yesterday, carrying forward my amma's legacy I decided to make chekkalu, (made of riceflour, butter, green chillies, ginger, chanadaal, salt, etc.)




With a little help from a friend and the OH, I managed to make the process a success and I miss Amma now, just felt like giving her a biiiiiiiiiiiiig hug and kiss and say thanks to all that she has done for us all the years. I love you Amma.

Recipe


Rice Flour 4 cups
Green Chillies 6 big size.
Ginger 2 inch piece
Jeera 2 tbsp
Saggubiyyam (sabudana) 1/2 cup.
Yellow lentil 3 tbsp
Chana Dal 1/4 cup
Salt per taste
Butter 3/4 stick.
Hot Water to mix the contents.
Curry Leaves

Soak the lentil and dal for 1 hr, drain the water and keep aside.
Grind the chillies, ginger, curry leaves into coarse paste (quantity can be varied as per the taste)
mix the contents into dough without lumps.
make small balls and using a hand or the poori presser just make them into small rotis.
Heat the oil and fry...

Yummy Yummy Chekkalu ready.. easy to make!!

Jul 16, 2007

An Overdose!

There are a lot of things that are happening in my life.. made lots of friends, not finding free time these days, doing nothing really constructive but at the same time I am not crying about being bored. The past few days have been really tiring at times with a lot of people dropping by and we going around.

When I began to crib about not having any Indians to talk to when I came here, it has come to a point now that I am cribbing I dont feel like I am in US any longer, it is so full of our people here in the apartment :(!! Well, it is good in one way and bad in many others. For once, I could see why some people prefer to stay away from the desi crowd.. believe me, there will be no moments of privacy or peace when the constant downpour of visits start. Too many people gathering at the same place, the competition which starts suddenly or maybe I am noticing it for the first time that it stands out. Comparing everything, the furniture, kids acheivements, my God!! It is good when you have a couple of really close friends to share your feelings and thoughts with, it just becomes a mess when the crowd begins to gather. I love this place and the beauty it has to offer us, the opportunities it gives us to enhance our life.. and yup, I am beginning to love the loneliness... err, the time that we have for ourselves that comes with being here.. check me again and remind me if and when I crib about being stranded here without people to talk to. I was doing way better with my books, TV, and the net...

A Humbling Experience..



I had been to a live dance concert as a child once but I had never ever been to one since then, so when there was a chance to do so, after pestering my OH and grouping up with some friends from Virginia and NC, we went to the AR Rehman's Third Dimension Tour that happened in Atlanta last month 23rd. It had been postponed and maybe that was the reason the show was not a total sold out but it was really amazing just being there. The music system, the energy in the participants, everything is so bustling with energy and high spirits that it soon caught up with us.

Most of the songs were Tamil, which I dont speak but since we had the same songs in Telugu and Hindi as well, we sang away to glory in the language we knew and no one really seemed to bother about the language. Even the extremely shy OH dancing away to glory speaks volumes about the show. The whole gang had fultoos fun and Vandemaataram at the end was the highlight. Missed Chitra in the show but Sadhana, Hariharan and the rest were too good to complain.

Watching Sivamani play the drums was really a dream come true for me, I just wished it would go on and on for longer time.

I was never really a big fan of Rehman. In fact, I dont like his songs from the first time, his music just grows on me as I listen to it. I just merely acknowledged him and his hit score. But seeing him perform, he proved it once again that all great things come in tiny packages. He was so unassuming, simple, and involved in his music and that made me re-think again!! Man this guy is so simple and humble and that moment I became a big fan of his. "Pray For Me Brother" was too good a rendition. Man, you have one loyal fan in me now!!! This man simply rocks!!!

The Work Permit..

.... and my woes still continue.. it has been nearly 7 months since I landed here on L2, supposedly eligible to work with EAD, which is still no where to be seen. Had taken an appointment with the immigration services office and been there to no avail. The employee made me wait for nearly 1-1/2 hours just to say that she has no info about the case and will mail me when she gets to know of the same.. :((... it was disheartening to get this response after going in a cab early in the morning, waiting there for quite some time... coming back, I came by a bus and train waiting for another hour or so just because I did not want to end up paying lots of money to the cabbie. Well, S gave me enough money for the round-trip but I was so down with nothing happening I just took the bus :(....

The site clearly mentions that we need not wait another 30 days after the 90-day processing time limit but no one seems to acknowledge the same even in the office. I guess Bureaucracy is same anywhere in the world or perhaps worse at some places :((

Jul 14, 2007

The Aftermath..

It is really nice when we go out for a vacation. The plans that we make, the places that we visit, the people that we meet, everything is so nice and perfect but God, it is so difficult falling back in to the routine.. We had been to NY for a real long 10-day trip, planned it some 4 months ago. The trip had been total masti for us and total tiring to our friends who had been hosting us for that Long time.

Got used to the luxury of not doing regular chores or cooking and being with friends playing, shopping, visiting new places etc.. Now, after coming back, even though it has been a week, I am yet to fall back into the old pattern. The house is full of small bugs which refuse to go despite of two pest-control treatments :((.. the weather is gloomy and so are my spirits as I am still awaiting my EAD after 7 months of stay in US.. :((((.

Jul 13, 2007

Inspiring

We are what we are because of the values given to us by our elders... let us pass on the same to our next generation and try to make them better individuals.. I am so moved and touched when I read forwards like this...


1 - First Important Lesson - Cleaning Lady.

During my second month of college, our professor gave us a pop quiz. I was a conscientious student and had breezed through the questions until I read the last one:

"What is the first name of the woman who cleans the school?"

Surely this was some kind of joke. I had seen the cleaning woman several times. She was tall, dark-haired and in her 50s, but how would I know her name?

I handed in my paper, leaving the last question blank. Just before class ended, one student asked if the last question would count toward our quiz grade.

"Absolutely," said the professor. "In your careers, you will meet many people. All are significant. They deserve your attention and care, even if all you do is smile and say "hello."

I've never forgotten that lesson. I also learned her name was Dorothy.



2. - Second Important Lesson - Pickup in the Rain

One night, at 11:30 p.m., an older African American woman was standing on the side of an Alabama highway trying to endure a lashing rainstorm. Her car had broken down and she desperately needed a ride. Soaking wet, she decided to flag down the next car. A young white man stopped to help her, generally unheard of in those conflict-filled 1960s. The MN took her to safety, helped her get assistance and put her into a taxicab.

She seemed to be in a big hurry, but wrote down his address and thanked him. Seven days went by and a knock came on the man's door. To his surprise, a giant console color TV was delivered to his home. A special note was attached..

It read: "Thank you so much for assisting me on the highway the other night. The rain drenched not only my clothes, but also my spirits. Then you came along. Because of you, I was able to make it to my dying husband's bedside just before he passed away... God bless you for helping me and unselfishly serving others."


Sincerely,

Mrs. Nat King Cole.



3 - Third Important Lesson - Always remember those who serve.

In the days when an ice cream sundae cost much less, a
10-year-old boy entered a hotel coffee shop and sat at a table. A waitress put a glass of water in front of him.

"How much is an ice cream sundae?" he asked. "Fifty cents," replied the waitress. The little boy pulled is hand out of his pocket and studied the coins in it.

"Well, how much is a plain dish of ice cream?" he inquired.

By now more people were waiting for a table and the waitress was growing impatient.

"Thirty-five cents," she brusquely replied

The little boy again counted his coins.

"I'll have the plain ice cream," he said.

The waitress brought the ice cream, put the bill on the table and walked away. The boy finished the ice cream, paid the cashier and left. When the waitress came back, she began to cry as she wiped down the table. There, placed neatly beside the empty dish, were two nickels and five pennies..

You see, he couldn't have the sundae, because he had to have enough left to leave her a tip.


4 - Fourth Important Lesson. - The obstacle in Our Path.

In ancient times, a King had a boulder placed on a roadway. Then he hid himself and watched to see if anyone would remove the huge rock. Some of the king's wealthiest merchants and courtiers came by and simply walked around it. Many loudly blamed the King for not keeping the roads clear, but none did anything about getting the stone out of the way.

Then a peasant came along carrying a load of vegetables. Upon approaching the boulder, the peasant laid down his burden and tried to move the stone to the side of the road. After much pushing and straining, he finally succeeded. After the peasant picked up his load of vegetables, he noticed a purse lying in the road where the boulder had been. The purse contained many gold coins and a note from the King indicating that the gold was for the person who removed the boulder from the roadway. The peasant learned what many of us never understand!

Every obstacle presents an opportunity to improve our condition.


5 - Fifth Important Lesson - Giving When it Counts...

Many years ago, when I worked as a volunteer at a hospital, I got to know a little girl named Liz who was suffering from a rare and serious disease. Her only chance of recovery appeared to be a blood transfusion from her 5-year old brother, who had miraculously survived the same disease and had developed the antibodies needed to combat the illness. The doctor explained the situation to her little brother, and asked the little boy if he would be willing to give his blood to his sister.

I saw him hesitate for only a moment before taking a deep breath and saying, "Yes I'll do it, if it will save her." As the transfusion progressed, he lay in bed next to his sister and smiled, as we all did, seeing the color returning to her cheeks. Then his face grew pale and his smile faded.

He looked up at the doctor and asked with a trembling voice, "Will I start to die right away?"
`
Being young, the little boy had misunderstood the doctor; he thought he was going to have to give his sister all of his blood in order to save her.

Jul 9, 2007

Back From The Break

Hey guys, am back from the self-imposed blogging break. Had been too busy the past few weeks, hosting little get-togethers, going to some, going to concert, cleaning the house, packing for the long trip, etc., etc. Finally, with everything done, I am back and will list out what all had been happening assuring to bore you all lot. Catch you all soon :).

For Evil Eyes on LO