Naukrishuda... Engaged to Work!!!

At 7 pm on 30th December,2006, I got my first job. Couldn't think of a better new year present. I'm employed... and the feeling is yet to sink in...

I wore my first executive suit yesterday for the interview. I think I looked quite smart...although my hair refused to submit to my will and looked as unruly as ever. After 4 long hours, the results were announced..."They want to make an offer for placement to only one candidate..." and called me in. At that moment, it felt surreal, supernatural. It was as if I was detached from my body, and I could see the whole scene playing before my eyes as if I was a spectator. I could see my still-well-pressed suit, a muffler hanging absurdly under my ear on one shoulder, my hair standing in all directions (I discovered that mist makes my hair frizzy..or should I say frizzier..) , looking utterly woebegone (that can happen when you're sitting in an ice box, without wearing any woollens, for over 4 hours).The people from the company smiling at me, asking me if I wanted to accept their offer right now or needed time to think. I could see myself blinking stupidly and saying something about the placement people knowing it better..and then saying "Of course... yes... I want the job".I could hear my voice saying, "Thank you" hand was frigid when I shook hers ,and she said "Welcome.... to the company".

A Trip To Paradise

Imagine this- its 7:30 in the morning in the beginning of January,the peak of winters.There is absolutely no mist, just a few rays of sunlight falling on an endless row of snowy peaks, bathing them in a golden hue.Now imagine yourself actually standing in the balcony of your room, before this awesome wonder of nature....

This was just one of the amazing sights we saw on our trip to Mussourie last winters. There were reports of a snowfall in Dhanaulti, just above Mussourie, and 9 of us made a spur of the moment plan to go to see the snow.And so, one misty January early morning, we set out to discover Nature at her best.

I could see God's hand in every mountain, every green glade, every valley,every waterfall that I saw on the trip.We had snow fights in Dhanualti. It was such huge fun.At one point, all the 4 guys in our group covered
me from top to bottom in snow and made me stand there posing like a Christmas tree for a few photos!!

We went to two waterfalls- saw one by moonlight, the other in the afternoon, when we waded into the ice cold water!! Wherever we went, we were lucky to find absolutely no crowd at all.In fact, at Kempty Falls, we were the only tourists there, and the entire village was in pitch darkness, except for the bright moon and the clear sky filled with stars. We were the only people who saw the beautiful falls by moonlight, with the moon shimmering and shining in the water as if the pool was filled with electricity.It was stunning.I swear I have never seen so many stars in all my life. They stood twinkling merrily in the vast,velvety,inky blue sky, with Orion shining bright.And the silence that surrounded us only added to the charm.

All along the way from Dhanaulti to Mussoorie, we saw the panoramic view of majestic, snow capped mountains, dipping valleys, steps cut out of sheer rock where hardy farmers tried to eke out a living for themselves. Rustic, old worldly cottages, a few scattered barns, perhaps a well or two.. the only signs of habitation in those rolling dales. As we travelled on those winding, snake like roads, we were dizzy with joy and excitement (and admittedly coz we were pukey as well!!!). Breathing in deeply the fresh mountain air, feeling on top of the world (at that height, it wasn't a far guess anyway!), overawed by the sheer beauty surrounding us....

We reached Mussourie late in the evening. A whole lot of reconnaisance later, we ended up taking two large, extremely comfortable rooms for just Rs.500. We were helped by the facts that the hotel was brand new (we were among its first customers), that we told them we were students from IIT and would get them a lot of future customers, and since it was officially off-season, they were happy to have us anyway.We had warm beds, extra quilts and mattresses and sheets and pillows, and so (naturally) we spent all night staying up, enjoying ourselves thoroughly !!! We spent the next morning walking down the main road, seeing a few shops, and generally wandering about. We left after brunch (it was too late to call it a breakfast by the time we had it) for some arbit park sort of a place, and from there to what someone told us was a lake, but was nothing more than a concrete puddle, the size of an average fountain,with a few attitude filled ducks, who thought (and rightly so) that they were the bosses of the place. A quack, snap and splash later, we were done with the place. One of our classmates had told us about a hitherto-undiscovered- by- the- multitude waterfall. And so we made our way there.

And we were not disappointed. It was clean, unspoilt and serene... no chattering crowds, no pushing and shoving to see the water (and ending up in it too, what with all the jostling). Since it was high noon, we decided to step into the water. And it was bone chilling!!! The water was mossy green and the pebbles slippery. Slipping and sliding, we somehow managed to walk across the pool to the far corner where there was a cave from where more water was coming. We sat in the clear, winter sun, warming our frozen feet, with the bubbling, murmuring stream flowing by. When finally it was time to go, we walked along an abandoned dam, peering into the rocky,grassy, arid pit on its side.

As we finally left the hills after several hairpin bends and many a queasy stomach, we all looked back for one final sight of the proud mountains, with a glowing sun setting behind them....a perfect parting.....

Food For Thought

Ever since we shifted to Bangalore, Ma has taken a rest from her job - teaching maths to school children. And suddenly now she has a whole lot of time on her hands and doesn't quite know what to do with it. A busy bee, never to be seen lying around doing nothing, Ma has decided to devote her time to applying her culinary skills. In fact, she has become a compulsive cook. At any given time of the day there is somthing bubbling, simmering, frying or baking in the kitchen.

And if I am at home, its a food bonanza. The first thing Ma does when I come home is to list all my favourite dishes and draw up a schedule for them !!! By the end of the day, my stomach is groaning in protest , and Ma is showing no signs of relenting. In fact, she's just started and is looking forward to a whole week of cooking some 100 dishes. No point looking to Dad for support. Although he himself eats hardly anything, he gets all caught up in the flurry and becomes enthu about the whole affair and actually contributes his own ("I'll make my special fried rice today!!!").

At breakfast Ma discusses the menu for lunch.
At lunch she discusses the menu for dinner.
At dinner she discusses the menu for the next day's breakfast.
Each meal has at least 3 different kinds of dishes.
There is a brunch between breakfast and lunch.
And a "high tea" between lunch and dinner.

My sister raises a strong protest ("No fried stuff for me...and NO Ma I will NOT have a third helping...Of course its tasty but how much can one girl eat anyways???"). So Ma has unofficially adopted two of my school friends who're in Bangalore and plies them with food every time they come to visit (which is oftener than me!!!!). No wonder Ma is a hot fave with all my and Pree's friends. Its amazing how much food can be cooked in one day and by just one woman!!

So much love, so much affection, so much enthusiasm and care goes into the preparation of each delicacy. Standing and grinding the idli batter for hours.. sifting, mixing, boiling to the right consistency.. baking till its just right.. beating till its soft and fluffy.. stirring tirelessly to make sure it doesnt burn.... who else but Ma could do all this just for the pleasure of seeing others relishing those exquiste flavours, savouring the aroma. She hardly eats anything herself, but fills herself with the satisfaction of seeing me bloating before her very eyes as I take that extra helping which I promised myself I wouldn't take...

There's magic flowing through Ma's hands..and the magic comes from her heart... Love you Ma!!!

Single Belle

From the rantings of a demented mind:

Single belle, single belle,
Single till this day.
Santa please just give me a guy
On this Christmas day.

A dashing and handsome beau,
With a funny,charming way.
Together we will go
Every every where.

True love's all I need
To keep my spirits bright.
Santa Claus please pay some heed
And bring my gift tonight.

Single belle, single belle
Single all the way.
Santa Claus is bringing my guy
On his one horse sleigh....
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