Thursday, March 31, 2011

wheehoo! :D

Alhamdulillah :) Just won a spelling bee on a radio show while coming back home :D Listeners had to dial in and pick a category between: a dish, a place or an animal for the first word and then the RJ'd change it on her own.Two listeners called in before me, making 4 and 5 respectively. So I just had to get 6 right to win.  I chose 'Something to eat' but I can't remember what the word was :| I guess I'll just list them in the order that I remember:

Weasel
Barracuda
Guangzhou
Honolulu
Croissant

At this point I'd got 6 correct and was waiting for the 7th one. I guess the biggest mistake I made was to spell them out really fast and confidently (which the others hadn't done even when they knew the spelling), so I shouldn't have been surprised when she said, 'Okay, so going back to 'something to eat', spell the cheese, canonbuhr.' She repeated it almost 3-4 times, saying that it was not n but m, but I couldn't get it right. And then she said, it's spelt: c-a-m-e-m-b-e-r-t. Camembert :| When she spelt it, I realized that I'd actually read that word before, but since I really don't know my French pronunciation, I'd pronounced it exactly like I read it! Anyway, she called me up again later and said that I'd won and that it was really good that I was such a good speller where 'these days people don't even get simple words right' :) (alhamdulillah :) ) and that she would only give me the prize if I sounded abnormally excited :| Turned out that I really couldn't do that when she put me on air again (ooh, that sounds so lovely :D) so she made me do a 'woohoo' :| which I did... and won a Landmark voucher worth Rs. 500 :) She called me back again later to tell me that her team would get in touch with me in a week and let me know how to pick it up :)

YAYYYYYYYYYY :D Ok, the showing off ends here :D Tta!

Friday, March 18, 2011

pich

Rajaa Alsanea was telling me a story over lunch. I was quite engrossed and extended my lunchtime, well a little bit. I don't like the sensationalism on the cover but I liked the writing. Recommended, especially to Saudi expats. Where are all the non-superficial girls though? Is it the same as 'nice girls finish last'?
 
I have interesting work today! So, I'm off! I'm still a little lost in storybook world though. Will need to shake it off.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Updates

<This was written yesterday…>

So happy Alhamdulillah. The husband has just won ‘Associate of the year’! Masha’allah, I’m really proud of him. I really have never met a person who is so focused on excellence and going the extra mile. From staying up late at night to meet deadlines, like his (and mine K ) senior manager said to attending to a bronchitis-ridden wife while taking care of a seriously ill cousin… he does it all, and well, masha’allah. It really does all boil down to single-minded focus, something that I find increasingly hard to achieve. One minute I’m working, the next I’ve opened up another tab and am googling for a particular recipe or looking up somebody on Wikipedia or my most addictive habit: reading blogs. Justthisoneandi’llgobacktoworkpleasepleaseplease.

The senior manager sent a wonderful email too and I’m so happy, I can’t stop smiling. Of course, I’m still wondering if the M is wearing anything resembling a smile on his face right now. M is the epitome of equanimity. In some ways, we really are poles apart. For example, this weekend (which btw was the funnest weekend I’ve had in a long time) we played a number of games… at a video arcade (or whatever it’s called) we played air hockey, raced cars… at home we played Reversi… and then we were playing tennis on the wii. So we’re playing air hockey, a more advanced version where multiple pucks come on to the table without warning, and I’m dashing my striker(?) wildly to the left and right, trying to play defense and Mr. M just keeps calm, finds a great angle and keeps shooting the pucks into the goal (okay, I have no clue what it’s called). I scream in frustration (quite unladylike but completely involuntary) when the score goes 14 – 7, obviously in his favour, and I look up at him and he has the tiniest smile on his face and his eyebrows are a millimeter above their usual position… and I think, it must be this zen-ness that works so well for him…

My new friend, let’s call her Amita, will swear and rant at traffic unless I keep her occupied with conversation. M rarely, if ever, loses his cool. So there are people standing in the middle of the road and the standard Chennai response is to honk  everyone’s ears out, M just gently swerves the car around the blockers and proceeds on his way. If I could be even half as calm or half as focused… (well, you probably wouldn’t be seeing this post :D)

I think when it comes to giving it his all, he’s the son my mom never had. His manager frequently goes on and on and on about how great M is, and his manager is pretty great at his job himself… and while a part of me goes I wish someone would say something like that about me, I know after living with him that he’s wayyyyy up there and I’m busy trying to drag myself out of the latest hole I’ve dug into. May Allah ta’ala continue to bless both of us… ameen.

Speaking of Amita, we’ve been invited to their house for dinner J It makes me so happy to have ze girlfriend. I have no women colleagues and I’ve given up trying to make girl-talk with M, he’s just not that kind of guy. I often find myself staring wistfully at girls giggling away near the elevator and remember R & S at my previous job. I have no one to go to lunch with too, so I often have lunch with Agatha Christie or John Grisham or Marian Keyes depending on what is available on my kindle (M loaded it with an Agatha Christie collection of 69 books and a similar collection of John Grishams, they’re great company). So those 1.5 hours that I spend commuting are actually a pretty pleasant part of the day and I’m grateful for that, Alhamdulillah J Considering that we started off quite badly thanks to my foot-in-mouth disease, it’s great that we’ve now built such a good rapport, that one day we spoke the exact same sentence at the same instant! J (I’m totally acting like a little girl who got herself a best friend K)

<…continued today>

M of Mimmu, I guess I’ll just call her Mimmu, now has two babies, two gurls, masha’allah J Hope we can make it to Hyderabad for the aqeeqah. Muster, fuster and ammaarah travel to the U.S. tonight. I’m so going to miss Ammaarah L And my parents too actually, considering that I feel jittery if I haven’t spoken to them at least once a day.

I have a lot of things to be grateful for, many, many, many Alhamdulillah. I need to act more deserving of them though… time to go, for now.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Holidaying

Please to excuse the long absence. Two weekend trips and bizzybizzyness at work.

I finally got around to copying pictures from the camera to the laptop. Here we go!

Pondicherry's French Quarter:


It probably doesn't look very different from a normal Indian setting here but you can feel the difference when you're there. Also, it's much, much cleaner.




 It's a rather boring place though: the beach isn't much different from any of those along the ECR which are closer. We didn't go to Auroville though. This was on Diwali and it was closed.


I have a thing for red and I loved this house.


And now on to Coonoor, Ooty's little brother. We stayed at a lovely hotel. View from the reception:


Love the antique wood feel and wooden flooring. 

Another  view:


View from the rooms

 The lovely lawn. Couldn't get enough of it.



 The hotel:


Mudumalai Tiger Reserve. This is supposed to be a forest. I was so disappointed.

We were warned by the taxi driver to visit the reserve in the morning; we'd have a better chance of spotting some wildlife, his constant refrain being: "Don't waste your money madam. Don't waste your money madam".

He didn't know we were the kind of people who think a free buffet breakfast beats wildlife spotting.


I wish this photo had come out better: Mr. Peacock rushing away from our car. 


This Mr. Axis Axis (yeah, the scientific name for the Chital) decided that he would pity us poor city folk and gave us a pose.


 We supposedly went to Ooty to attend a wedding reception. This amazing chandelier at the Fortune Hotel in Ooty.


When we got back to the hotel around ten p.m. and walked into the lawn, there were chairs arranged in a circle and firewood burning in the center. It was quite chilly and the fire was just warm enough to make you want to sit there.



There were cycles of all sizes standing in the lawn. The M & I cycled for a bit. I hadn't ridden a cycle in ages. It took some time to get the hang of it again. Fo much fun.


The lawn again. You can see I'm quite obsessed with it. There's something about the setting and that air... wished I could set up house there for good.


My pretensions at being a writer:


See, cycles! I also sat on a swing late in the night and remembered swinging at Kpuri. Sniff.


The tea plantations. PAX :'(




Sim's Park. Thankfully not one of those manicured parks, but a natural breathtaking beauty.


While boating at Sim's Park.


Back to the daily grind now. Sigh.