Monthly Archives: December 2007

Saree shopping

Day: Sometime in November
Place : One of the biggest textile showrooms in Trivandrum , Parthas. Looting place is how I’d describe it.
Daughter needed a few saris since it was her final year in college and she had major events like farewell, graduation day etc, coming up where she needed to flaunt her femininity.
Mother drags her daughter to go saree shopping. Enter.
Mother to the salesman,” Show me chiffon or Georgette saris, with nice work”.
Daughter,” No ma, I want printed silk”.
Mother started advising her Saree-illiterate daughter, ” baby, you are too young to wear saris like that”.
Daughter,” O.K. Let the wiser one decide”.
By then, the salesman shows few Sarees, with loads of work. Mother is busy analyzing the quality of the material and daughter’s trying to hold the sari.
Daughter,” Ma, this Saree is too heavy, I can’t even hold it, how do you expect me to wear it?”
It looks too gaudy ma, I don t want these.
Mother,” O.K. please bring some lighter shades”.
Daughter finds one saree to her liking. Mother says,” but this material is not at all good”.
Another whole bunch of sarees. Mother found the perfect saree she wished for, ” look this one is nice”.
“Ma, Are you nuts? I ll look like a house on fire or rather I m caught in fire with this reddish-orange double mixed shade saree( or wateva)”.
“Darling you are attending a party, this is how it should be”.
“but its not my wedding party ma!”
Heated arguments followed and the salesman was getting irritated. He said, ” O.K madam, why don’t you take 2 sarees , the one mother liked and the one daughter liked”
“ya sure, paise tere baap ka hai na” daughter starts grumbling.
” O.K show me other shades you have in this”
“Sorry madam, these sarees are fast moving, its difficult to find other shades”. So the mixed double Saree is chucked.
“Madam, this saree would suit your daughter, it would complement her complexion too”.
Daughter in her mind,” Oh really?”
Mother “O.K Lets try, Material is also good, work is also good”
Daughter,” ya, it looks much better compared to rest of them”.
So the salesman was the wiser one this time. He knew where to pull the strings.
“O.K Ma,now I need another Saree which is sort of plain, Something which I can wear for mass in the morning”.
Mother glares at her daughter and mutters,” why didn’t you tell this before”.
“I forgot ma”.
So the hunt for the plain, elegant Saree began.
First the printed silk section. Mother didn t like what the daughter liked and daughter didn’ t like what mother liked. The salesman was cursing himself,” why the hell do I have to manage these customers out of everyone here”
Next Tussar silk Sarees. A google search later on revealed that Tussar Silk is produced by the larvae of several species of moth such as Antheraea mylitta, Antheraca proylei, Antherea pernyi and Antheraca yamamai.
Neither mother nor daughter liked any.
Salesman,” Madam why don’t you go in for kancheevaram Sarees.Your daughter will be married off in sometime. So this would be an asset.”
Now when did Kancheevaram sari become and asset for daughters in our country wherew birth of a daughter itself is considered a liability?
“Keep your assets to yourself” daughter muttered under her breath.
“No, she doesn t need such an expensive one now. She won t be careful while handling the Saree and all that”.
C’mmon Ma, you think your daughter has grown enough to wear a Saree but not big enough to handle her things carefully?”Daughter muttered again.
So kancheevaram , out of question. The salesman gave a disgusted look, partially attributed to his failure in selling a not-so -fast moving, but yet to be sold ( to cheat the customers) saree.
Next raw silk.
Daughter,”Ma, we don t have enough time to get the work done on it”
Ma,” Ya, you are right”
Salesman taken aback by surprise,”So this mother and daughter do agree with each other at times”
Without much arguments and confusion after that they got a Saree, which was not too gaudy, not too bright, good material, not very expensive. The main reason being, Mother was getting tired, daughter was even more tired and the salesman was tired of both mother and daughter.
The drama went on for approximately 3 hours and on the way back , mother and daughter sat silently thinking.Daughter didn’t know what mother was thinking, but she was thinking,” I will definitely blog about this one day, for sure.”

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What do you want to become?

Whenever I make an acquaintance with a kid, one of the very first questions I ask is, What do you wanna become when you grow up?
I was thinking, even I have been through the same stages and today when I look back, I can’t help but laugh at myself( no pun intended)
I remember saying, I wanted to become and IAS and then join the Missionaries of Charity as a nun, so that I’ll have the power, to serve the needy. Now that was when I only knew IAS meant something big and MOC belonged to Mother Theresa. ( I hope none of the nuns after me, see this old desire, coz I m busy evading them these days).
Later on when I wrote my first poem , when I was 6 years old or something, I wanted to be a poetess. Then I changed my plans and wanted to become an artist, a painter, an actress etc etc
Growing up and when you come to realize the way the world is moving on, you tend to flow along with the tide. I too wanted to become a doctor, then came the software boom and I wanted to be a “software engineer”. Then came the software crash, and lo the S/W engineer in me too crashed
Many people would ask me ” what do you wanna become?” and when I was in this utter state of confusion pat came the diplomatic answer, “I want to become a good individual” Now was that diplomacy or stupidity, coz I didn t know what was it meant and what it took, to become a good individual.
Meanwhile, I was polishing my skills as a keyboardist and seeing Yanni, A.R.Rahman etc I wanted to be a composer, musician etc.
While doing my tenth standard, I wanted to be a teacher and I used to go on and on about how a teacher can mould hundreds of intellectuals and serve people.
Soon after this, I happened to attend a week long seminar on emerging trends in science and technology and the scientist in me was born. I wanted to invent something. There were many things I wanted to invent, one of them being a gun, which can measure the intensity of signals generated in a person’s brain, and since each emotion has different frequencies, if that person has any criminal motives the shot from the gun would kill him… now I was not sure if such a hypothesis on brain signals and emotions existed and this seems to be the only scientifically innovative idea I ever thought of. Though these days I pray, a machine should be invented where you feed in the ingredients and recipe and the output comes as the dish you wanted to cook. Necessity is the mother of invention and this can be attributed to the lazy cook in me.
Forgot to mention, the patriot in me also rose, And I wanted to join the defence services. Inspired by serials like sea hawks, aarohan, udaan etc.
There was a time when, I had braces on my teeth and seeing the dentist mint money, for setting your teeth right, I too wanted to become a dentist. But, when I analysed other factors involved that wish too faded away…
Class 11 and 12, when you ought to seriously think about your career, I was adamant whatever may happen, I am not joining engg. I wanted to go into mass media and communication then.
Got into college, spent almost 3 wonderful years, got an opportunity to intern with one of the best companies to work with in the world, realized corporate sector was not my cup of tea, that s not what I want to do..
Now again I am at the crossroads of life, thinking about what to do next. And, my life goes on and on.. but one day, mera number bhi aayega


Train No.6526

Train No.6526, Bangalore-Kanyakumari Express.
This train is the one I have travelled the most in my life. The journey in this particular train has gifted me with so many memories.
I dont remember what happened when I was 3 months old( when I first travelled by this train), but I still remember how much I looked forward to travel by this train while I was a kid. Those days, this train known as Island Express, was the only regular train service available from Bangalore to Trivandrum.
The train used to start at 9 p.m and we used to travel to Wadakkanchery or Alwaye. For a nuclear family product like me, these journeys meant a lot, meeting my grandparents, uncles and aunts, cousins and relatives. The journey from Bangalore to Kerala was an overnight journey and the only fond memory I have is, creating a havoc to get the middle berth.
But the journey from Kerala to Bangalore, which was sort of during the day time, had more interesting stories.
Once I saw this man sleeping with his mouth wide open and I tried imitating him. The devil in me didn t stop there. I tried popping gems into his open mouth and mercy, he didn’t thrash me though both of us were embarrassed ( I didn t know such a big word then).
I loved having dinner packed in plantain leaves by my grandma. The menu usually consisted of rice, moru curry ( curry made of curd) and some pickle. Vegetables were not meant for me those days!!!!!!. And she always used to make Vattayappam ( a kerala xian delicacy) for a snack in the train.
Travelling by this train has some painful memories attached too. When my cousin passed away, we had to rush and travelled in unreserved compartment. The noise, the crowd, the stench etc were enough to make me ( then a delicate darling) sick if not for the emotions we had then. So also the case, when my grandpa passed away.
The time when we were transferred to Trivandrum and shifted was also associated with this train. I was running around the whole compartment flaunting my Ponnan( my teddy bear then)
coz it was the first time I got to take him with me while travelling by train. For 4 long years after that, we never travelled back to Bangalore. Then we paid occasional visits for my uncle’s wedding etc.
Then it was in April 2005, we travelled to Bangalore to give BITSAT. Though the exam was a fluke, the journey was life changing. While in Bangalore , the idea if joining my present college came up and it was after deep thought in the return journey that I finally decided to join .
So with packed bags, and ready for a new life, I was again back in Bangalore, in the very same old trusted chariot.. Train no 6526.
My first journey all alone was also in this train. I was pretty scared, but tried to put on this confident look in me as if travelling alone was like brushing your teeth( now dont ask why I thought of such a comparison or simile.. couldn’t think of anything else as of now). I dont know how much drama I created trying to be careful about my luggage, my purse etc.
But the second time I travelled home, after my 1st semester exams, did give me a scare.
There was this whole gang of medical reps in my bay and there were only 2 ladies. The guys were creeps, and were passing some cheap comments. I almost fell asleep, with all the grudge against these people, who didn t know what was it like to respect a woman. Almost by 6, the next morning, I heard the familiar sound of hymns being sung,( as it used to be in the chapel while we were in the hostel), and I thought it was the hangover. Only then did I realize, there was this whole lot of nuns from our convent in the next bay and the bay after that etc .. who were on their trip to Cochin. They had boarded from Majestic and I boarded at Cantt. Failed to notice as the lights were switched off.
It was in the same train, while travelling from tvm, I met an old school teacher of mine, and the conversation we had, had a great impact on me .
I have seen the changes happening to this train for a span of 20 years. From old people, Government employees and families in the old times the major travellers in this train today are the techies and nursing students. While there used to be only a handul of people to board the train form Cantt then, when the station wore a deserted look, today, the station is overcrowded when Kanyakumari Express arrives or departures.
But, to rightly put it, this train has seen me grow and change. From the 3 month old baby, to the 3 year old gems popping kid, to the 7 year old blabbermouth, to the 17 year old teen who was very much worried about her future to the 20 year old final year student who just came yesterday for her Christmas holidays.
This train has also seen many a tear I shed, while leaving behind memories of the vacations I had at home and travelled back to Bangalore. Because, it s only this train I am familiar with while I am all alone and sad. And that s train No.6526 for me.. sort of kuch apnapan sa..

P.S: Though I have travelled umpteen times by this train, Even now I m confused and fail to figure out at once which is the correct one 6526 or 6525.. b’lor -KK or KK-b’lor