Monday, October 27, 2008

A workaholics caution on spontaneous travel

Considering my birthday just went past, K and I decided to be adventurous and take a quick trip up the Pacific coast line, away from the laptops . Spontaneous and crazy , we thought but it had to turn out like a bad road trip movie. Listed below is the top 10 things that can and will go wrong, if two workaholics take an unplanned trip

10. The age old cell phone that K has preserved conks out the day before the trip. So considering the “emergencies” that might come up, we spend 4 hours calling around for a used cell phone that we can use. Of course K in all this is still waiting to buy the miracle cell phone which will give him the world in a box (and no! its not the I-phone), so it had to be used and not in contract .

9.We reach the inn 3 hours later and during sunset, only to find there is no coverage of any kind on any phone. So K spent the next half an hour walking around the Inn, over hedges and climbing up trees, trying to get a whimper of electronic spark.

8. The only entertainment around the place where we went is hiking , trails and bird watching. None of these which K and I could do after 5.30 pm where it was dark enough to be good for Halloween scare night and we had to return early the next day for the Sunday housework that we usually do

7.The place where we stayed was right out of Robert Frosts poems. Woods were dark and deep with fallow deer scaring the dickens out of K but standing fine in the middle of the road and top it all off, birds screeching suddenly. It was beautiful and scary all rolled into one, but having skeletons at road corners (due to Halloween) kind of made it all the more ghoulish . K and I haven’t walked through a stretch that fast since our wedding day when they yelled that food was getting over and the kitchen was closed.

6. Only one restaurant in 20 mile radius and the vegetarian option restricted to a cheese filled veggie sandwich and French fries. Considering I can't eat cheese it was back to curd rice for me. When your feeling the slight cold coming on and run the cold water on home made curd rice to make the rice loosen up, its at this time that I think back fondly and almost drooling about my moms tomato rasam (soup) with potato fry.

5.We turned on the wood burning stove and thought it was really pretty , till the sweating started. The place turned into a pizza oven in about an hour and we had to open the windows to get a little breeze in. Which is something we should have remembered to close before dozing off at 9pm. We woke up frozen to death at 11 pm and then turned on the stove again. So the alternate process of heating and cooling was followed the whole night, with constant things hitting the tin roof, just to wake us up when we were finally not sweating or shivering.

4.When we finally did get out the next day to go sightseeing, only to discover the fog had rolled in , so the wildlife and the light house we wanted to visit where totally out. Again “Check weather” part of the trip wasn’t checked – “DUH”

3.We decided to drive to high point for what constituted as a Bird Observatory. While climbing in our cozy car up the 10 mile mountain track we saw 2 woman jogging up the track. Reaching the observatory, which was also covered with fog, we noticed a few surfers making their way to cold stormy waters. One of the surfers, looking at our head to foot covered look asked us if he could help, sure we were lost :D ! Looking at him all hale and healthy, we mutely shook our heads saying we were there for photos. We tried following him down, only to turn back halfway. Groaning with the stress of the cold air and slightly uphill walk, we reached our car, only to have the lady joggers passed us full of smiles and good wishes. We looked like we had run the 10 miles instead of them.

2. Driving down, there was a beautiful lagoon filled with a million birds. Slight problem though, the only pictures we could take was by walking through marsh lands. Well considering I was in my summer crocs, I had to wade through funny slushy water to get to part where I could take pics. The joy was kinda destroyed by a sudden lick to my toe. Knowing that the lick was animal, I had to run back through the water to the car and carried enough mud to make a small sandcastle into the front seat of our week old car.

1. K and I forgot one major detail. We have become creatures of habit. We need everything planned and detailed. So even though I’m sure every one of those above details would not have been such a problem if we were not constantly dependant on outside help. Everything from the GPS to the net , which tells us constantly where to go , what to see and how to do stuff, was for once not relied upon . So though we were not lost, the urge to turn on the GPS for the closest starbucks had to be curtailed all the time.

I discovered a few things during this trip, one there was a Vedanta retreat in the middle of nowhere ,second its fun to sometimes not plan everything in life and third – I am so out of shape that’s its sad. The daily work has consumed not only our social activities but a lot of our healthy life as well.If we rewired our entire thinking and of course told our work and bosses to take a hike, this would have been a lovely trip. It still was, because it reminded us that nature is still the most powerful force on earth and more importantly nothing feels as good as home in the end :)!

For the smile

A man was driving along the highway, and saw a rabbit hopping across the middle of the road. He swerved to avoid hitting the rabbit, but unfortunately the rabbit jumped in front of the car and was hit. The driver, being a sensitive man as well as an animal lover, pulled over to the side of the road and got out to see what had become of the rabbit. Much to his dismay, the rabbit was dead. The driver felt so awful he began to cry.

A woman driving down the highway saw the man crying on the side of the road and pulled over. She stepped out of her car and asked the man what was wrong."I feel terrible," he explained. "I accidently hit this rabbit and killed it."The woman told the man not to worry. She knew what to do. She went to her car trunk and pulled out a spray can. She walked over to the limp, dead rabbit, and sprayed the contents of the can onto the rabbit. Miraculously, the rabbit came to life, jumped up, waved its paw at the two humans and hopped down the road. 50 feet away the rabbit stopped, turned around, waved at the two again, hopped down the road another 50 feet, turned, waved, and hopped another 50 feet. The man was astonished. He couldn't figure out what substance could be in the woman's spray can! He ran over to the woman and demanded, " What was in your spray can? What did you spray onto that rabbit?"

The woman turned the can around so that the man could read the label. It said:"'Hare Spray' Restores Life to Dead Hare. Adds Permanent Wave."

Keep smiling ppl

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

With a lil help from aunts , uncles and people I don’t really know…..

I am tired, just dog tired. Last couple of weeks K and I have been arranging a function which happened over this weekend. It thankfully went on well, with the help of friends and family and basically I was kicked that I survived with 2 hours sleep and didn’t freeze in cold October air (Don’t ask !!!). The last month was exasperating and exhilarating in equal measure.
When I was younger, I used to love family functions, this was the time to dress up and eat well. Of course mom and aunts would be running around, and we girls would twirl around in our pretty silk pavadai’s (skirts) , waiting for the time we could wear the Sarees and heavy jewelry reserved for special occasions. The running around, was primarily to feel the anklets and bangles jangling , against the rustle of silk. Growing up, I started avoiding the functions because it meant helping mom which essentially added up to cutting bucket loads of vegetables and a whole lot of preparatory cooking work. It also meant the older aunts who looked over you, judging when you’ll enter the marriage market and subtle hints on how I should stop gorging on the vadai’s (fried patties) to do so. (Well aunty, I didn’t stop and K still married me – So there :D ) !!. When I turned 25 these functions became concentration of excruciating pain. Every time someone blessed you, it was to find a “Good boy” quickly ( I mean how many of us girls are willingly searching for bad boys ???) . So through this subconscious blessing, you do agree to marry someone you have known for a month consciously thinking that the third degree will stop, but that’s where you are fooled. The next one is of course ( all married woman say this with me) “When’s the baby coming – your getting older”. Well I know , I’m getting older, but a constant reminder about my ticking biological clock, which might just explode because of the strain of my age is kind of worrying :) ! But thinking about it , its this pressure, that makes people go ahead and how do I put this delicately – reproduce. I mean in the current scenario, no one wants to change their life. I love my little quirks that are selfishly mine. I hate early mornings and any type of physical activity .I love curling up with a book anytime, when I don’t have to work. Cleaning is not my forte and cooking for two is my only specialty. With the rising prices, you really don’t want to spend a small fortune on diapers which last a sum total of 3 minutes. So I wonder, if these aunts , uncles and totally unknown persons who are just plain inquisitive were created for people like me. The ones who are perfectly happy to stay in one place through their lives refusing to move or change. If it wasn’t for these folks, I would probably be in my mother’s kitchen chewing on a vadai and reading a old Agatha Christy. Actually thinking about it, that sounds good now (Sigh!)

But its people also known as society which actually bring about improvements or changes in our lives. We might hate them and they may be the most annoying people around, who really just need a life. But to take the next step , these annoying infuriating people actually make you consider options that you probably may not. For all the single woman out there, I am not saying you should follow their every direction, but sometimes just looking at the direction they are pointing at, will maybe take you to a place, that you always wanted but never knew how to get there. It not only marriage or spouse related. I remember when I was younger, one of these busy bodies told my mother, that she should get me married when I was 18 , because there was no way I would pass my high school with good enough marks for college. Well to blow my own horn (as no one else will :D) I scored a perfect 100 in my main subject, just to prove her wrong. So Mrs.R , wherever you are , thank you !

This post is actually inspired by my 3 year wedding anniversary and better still my birthday next week (K’s joy is that they are on the same day, so all he has to remember is one date in a full year and my promise is that if he doesn’t, it gives me reason for justifiable homicide !) . With every birthday I analyze my year and figure out all the places where I could have done better. At the end of it I am so tired counting my mistakes, that I just fall asleep thankful I lived another year :D !! But this year , I call my “grown up year”. Why, because every person I met or spoke to , taught me something - not really life saving, but just something which I need to wrap my mind around. I learnt how people can be racist or plain rude, with no clue that are being so, people hold on to words spoken in jest so close that words are mightier than the sword and most importantly, you cant always win and sometimes its better not to. Somehow this year I keep going back to my childhood (No I’m not old enough to start reminiscing with “Back in good old days”!!). And now after this function, I feel that I am standing in my mothers slippers, during the days of the function. Where your so busy trying to just ensure that everything is going just right and sky doesnt fall on your head, you turn around to see little girls in pretty skirts and boys in their best dressed clothes running around, you remember what these occasions mean. Not only a time to bring friends and family together, but to see the next generation running around and understand what those aunts, uncles and other unknown individuals were actually talking about.

Also before I end, I wanted to do a shout out to my sis, whose birthday is a day ahead of mine. She is 7 years older than me and a thousand decades more wiser. So “Happy Birthday P, I’m sure this year every one of your positive thoughts will materialize into actuality ”.

For the smile…

Out Of The Mouths Of Babes.......
After teaching the children about Salvation, the Teacher asked her Sunday School Class: "If I sold my house and my car, had a big garage sale and gave all my money to the Church, would that get me into Heaven?"
"NO!" the children all answered. "If I cleaned the Church every day, mowed the yard, and kept
Everything neat and tidy, would that get me into Heaven?"

Again, the answer was, "NO!" "Well, then, if I was kind to animals and gave candy to all the children, and loved my husband, would that get me into Heaven?" The Teacher asked them again.

Again, they all answered, "NO!" "Well," The Teacher replied, "then how can I get into Heaven?" A five-year-old boy shouted out, "YOU GOTTA BE DEAD!"

Keep Smiling ppl,