Sunday, June 24, 2007

The thinking blogger!!

I am afraid that I’ve taken an endless amount of time to respond to the Visitor’s tag on the thinking blogger.ITW was also kind enough to mention me in her response to the tag and finally Gauri has again asked me to list 5 bloggers who made me think. I really had no access to the computer while I was vacationing and when I managed to open my blogspot at my sister’s place all I could manage was a passing glance. I was, as I mentioned earlier hopping from a reception to marriage and again to a grihapravesh and Shashtiabdapoorty fitting in somewhere in the midst of a hectic trip. I met so many of our relatives in Trichy after a lapse of 14 years and the affection they showered on us was intoxicating as well as overwhelming. I could not help feeling lousy for not having visited them earlier. I am also glad that I managed a visit this time ‘cos 2 of my husband’s aunts are nearing eighty and wanted to know details about my children whom they had seen in their pre teens. Toddlers would be more appropriate. So, I apologize to all of you who’ve placed so much affection on me for the delay and I continue with the hope that I do justice to the task assigned to me.

I would like to classify the blogs I visit into categories. I got the idea on reading Usha’s response to the tag. Had we been children Usha would have made a face at me and said ‘Copy cat, killed a rat……’ etc and I might have run after her. I dare not run now because a broken limb or a fractured skull may take longer to mend at my age.

My five categories of bloggers who set me thinking are-

1) Golden oldies: We who ought to stay put in a corner seat but insist on sharing (boring??) our thoughts with the world. Yeah! I refer to Mahadevan, hillgmom and Usha. Each of them is an inspiration. Mahadevan for his depiction of characters in R.K. Narayan style, hillgmom whose enthusiasm is so catchy-be it the pictures of orchids or birds that visit her garden or a family get together. I always feel like a family member – loved and included. As for Usha I love her inspirational posts and her choice of subjects. There can only be ONE Usha with the magical effect of livening up every topic that she takes up. I don’t know if I can get away with calling Usha an oldie. I know that a number of you are Usha’s fans, my daughter included and I am prepared for a dressing down from one or all of you.
2) Superwomen: I refer to Artnavy, ITW, just like that, deepti, sunita and all other mommy bloggers who mange a demanding career, find quality time for their children as is evident from their writings and find time to appreciate the works of fellow bloggers.Reading their pieces takes me back to the time when I was a young mother myself. I also try to imagine what my own grand daughters may be doing on reading about these children. Apart from this Deepti gives an account of places of tourist interest in Hyderabad and ITW and artnavy write about shopping centers and eateries in Chennai. Hats off ladies! We could learn a few things from you people.

3) Reviwers: I refer to the Visitor and Balaji. When you have limited time and want to get an instant feed back on the interesting reads that blogs offer you can just hop into their blogspace and you have a fair review and update of the writings of other bloggers. They are indeed doing a great service perhaps even without realizing how important their work is for novices like me.

4) Sensitivity: passerby55, starrynights and Srijith Unni belong to this group. It is a pleasure reading them. They have a way of expressing their thoughts and their expression touches a vital chord in one’s mind. Unfortunately passerby is off on a long leave and Srijith has a busy schedule. So we don’t get to read more of them.

5) Gen X: the kid, vishesh, mnowluck , venky etc belong to this group.I’ve been able to get some insight into the minds of young girls due to my interaction with teenaged girls in the college. But reading the blogs of these boys I think I am able to understand their perspective as well. The kid almost took me to task on my views on feminism and vishesh manages several blogs, each for a different interst.

Apart from those mentioned above there are bloggers like ammani whose quick tales are interesting, archana bahuguna whose poems are as inspirational as her writingsand visitra who spends time with orphans during her free time,monika who balances between two culturally different families ………… the list is long but each one of you has contributed to the ‘thinking process’ in your own way. Whenever I read your blogs I always seem to think -‘That is a new way of looking at the issue’ or ‘I hadn’t thought of it that way’. I have learnt something from each one of you and I have to thank ITW, the Visitor and gouri for tagging me and making me ‘think’ of what I have learnt from you.
I welcome all those mentioned here to take up this tag and identify 5 bloggers who made them think and deserve the thinking blogger award.

Saturday, June 16, 2007


THIS WAS THE FIRST PIECE I WROTE 3 YEARS BACK WHEN I DECIDED TO TRY MY HAND IN WRITING.Okay, it got rejected by the magazine that I sent it to.But it still remains my favorite.Since my readers have learnt to accept me as I am, I've decided to present it as my 100th post to mark the end of a year of 'happy blogging'. Thank you my dear readers for encouraging me.I'd be a big zero were it not for you guys.

Thirty years back every south Indian home had a hand grinder manually operated by the lady of the house to prepare mouth watering delicacies like dosai, Idli and vadai for the family. We were no exception. Ours actually belonged to my great grand mother in law and my husband had developed a special personal attachment to it. He often recalled the manner in which it was transported it to Jamshedpur when he was a child and how the transportation had cost his father double the actual price of the grinder. He spoke fondly of the wonderful service rendered by the grinder-the quality of its stone which did not chip off easily and the quantity of rice it would grind at one go etc. The lady members of his family including myself who had spent hundreds of man-hours grinding several kilograms of rice and dal to feed the family were conveniently forgotten. I finally decided to call it a day and decided to purchase and electrified model of a wet grinder. I felt that my problems would end. Little did I know that they had just begun?

I gave myself a pat on my back when I managed to convince my husband that I was getting on in age and if we did not purchase an electrical grinder his favorite south Indian dishes like dosai and idli would stand cancelled from our breakfast menu. He was perfectly at liberty to order for their home delivery from a local restaurant but I was not going to “hand grind” the batter. He bought the electrical version albeit half-heartedly and spoke at length on the merits of hand grinding whenever he could, right from the physical exercise it provided to the increase in electricity bills on account of the new monster. I slept through these lecture sessions or chose to develop selective hearing impediment as per my convenience. He would make a sour face and I would turn a “blind eye”. I was glad to have my way and he could rave and rant as much as he wanted. Unfortunately that was not easy. “Idli’s don’t taste good” he’d announce, ”could be the quality of rice” I’d retort. “What proportion did you follow?” He was not one to let go.” The same as before.” would be my answer and this would go on and on as if I was a novice and he my coach. After all I could not be deaf, dumb and blind at the same time! So I decided to ’give away’ the old grinder hoping that out of sight would perhaps put it out of mind! I deliberately use the term because neither was I competent enough to sell it nor would my husband hear of fixing a price for this piece of “precious” stone. He looked so upset and appalled at my suggestion that I felt like the witch in fairy tales who troubled good children.

I started looking out for a prospective customer who could offer a home to my superannuated grinder and around the same time I realized that my daughters had reached their marriageable age. I succeeded in getting them married within a year but it looked as if our precious stone would remain my companion for life. I tried convincing everyone including my present and former servants, our launderer, young brides who had budgetary constraints and needy ladies who expressed the remotest desire to become financially self dependent. I offered to pay for its transportation including the charge for “downloading” it from our third floor apartment. I transferred it to the best balcony in the house so that passers by would be tempted to own it. Finally I did manage to find a person to take it after confirming that I would not charge him for it. The more difficult task of convincing my husband that his ancestral property was going into good hands took me a month. The hour long interview that he took of the future owner of the grinder, making sure that he realized its worth, filled me with pangs of guilt and remorse for the next two months. I still expect it to be returned with thanks any day so do not be surprised if I try convincing you of the merits of this archaic piece. I know it by heart from what I’ve heard. Remember I only feigned selective deafness!