Marriage & Motherhood, Work & Life

Please Help Me to Find Some TIME


Here is a mail from a very good friend of mine, “Dear Z, If you get time..please create a header for my blog..no time..my head is not working these days..becoming too much mechanical”…. I was glad that a veteran blogger like her was impressed by the concept of my blog-header. So I added it onto my to-do list.

But being a spinster, she can’t find time. How can I? Supporting Pari 24X7 and with a mechanical life oscillating between work and home, it is difficult to finally maintain this blog-life balance 🙂 Definitely all of you will have your own say on this. Be a spinster, wife, mother, house wife, working woman, grand mother, great grand mother.. None of us really have time for anything. So where is all our time?

Recollecting the busy life of spinster would be difficult now. But the present so-called busy-life goes this way..

The day starts with my morning prayer,after which every single thing is a messed up hustle. In the morning race with Pari (which she wins most of the time) in between the other house-hold, I will have to do the bed minimum 3 times. Day-care at office is a boon in all sense.They rock her to sleep all the day 🙂 🙂 I need to gain the momentum at my never-ending-work the very minute I reach my desk. Every minute I save here turns into those precious 60 seconds with my darling daughter. Of late, this part is a little relaxing as am not allocated to any projects, but a few managers creep in asking for favors.In between all of this, I have to leave some space in my brain for all those credit card bill payments which if delayed, will affect our living 🙂 And awaits me a beeline of activities – Rent payment, Car servicing, Salwar stitching, Parlour routines 🙂 , train ticket reservation – to be scheduled.Sometimes to make things worser, phone bill payment site will have a problem or the credit card bill will not be generated. Half an hour waiting for the Customer Service Executive to pick, half an hour trying to make him understand my version of ‘Malayalam mixed Tamil’ and then another half an hour arguing.Frequent calls come from the day-care as soon as Pari wakes up, when I have to leave everything that am doing and run. She has this bad habit of giving a siren scream after a nap, and that wouldn’t stop until she sees me 🙂 By the closure of business hours (which is again never-ending), I wrap Pari in her flannel and accelerate home to get a glimpse of my favorite serial 🙂 Then starts the evening race with her. No doubts!!She wins. I put her to bed or rather she sleeps at midnight, after which I scan through the web to read a few blogs and post one 🙂 But all that precipitates at the end of the day would be the ‘Only If I could have found time to do x,y,z…” And again add them onto that never-ending to-do list 🙂

Prioritising and classifying between urgent and important tasks is a skill, that I havent mastered so far…

After writing this blog, I decided that I should create a header for her. But she had already done it. Beautiful and Elegant!! And I realised again, am late like most of the time.. Huh!!

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Culture & Religion, Marriage & Motherhood, My thoughts & Interests

Fair is Beautiful


After Pari was born, I called up our relatives to share the launch of a baby girl into our family.
Aunty, we have a baby girl now”.
Congrats. So how fair is she? Fairer than you? As fair as Sayf?”

They did not bother to as about my health or the baby’s. They did not want to know how the labor went. They did not care to ask whether Sayf saw the baby or how are things at the hospital or at least what we have named her or at the least who she looks like. But ‘being fair’ was important.

Oh yes!! I have seen a lot of this. I am a victim of tanned skin, and this was one of the primary reasons for my delayed marriage. My education, qualification, job or salary did not matter, nor my character  or family background or personality mattered. All that mattered was fairness?!?!?!? Actually I have found darker people than me, but men saw only people who are fairer than me 🙂 :).

And when a ‘fairer’ Sayf fell for a ‘darker’ me, my mother showed her first sign of relief, “I’m happy that at least your children will be fairer”. What??!?!?

This is not just my case. ‘Dark skinned girls’ are considered ugly.

Back in high school, when a fair girl was befriended by a darker one, the guys referred them as Beast and the Beautiful. With great pain and effort, our friend’s circle made it ‘Bold and the Beautiful’. What people do not realize is that these harsh comments hurt their fathoms deepest emotions and sometimes become a reason to lose their self confidence.How unfair!!

How much ever I argue, degree of fairness is very important in India. For the same reason, skin lightening agents and fairness creams have gained huge popularity in Indian markets.

“When complexion gives you a headache and then plants seeds of jealousy and depression,it was Kajol who came to rescue me.She taught me that fair skin and threaded eyebrows are not necessary for being beautiful.It is the cleanliness of your mind and your energy level that makes you look beautiful”,Bhavia mentions about Kajol in 5 women I like.

Kajol and Nanditha Das are my favorite’s too. They are talented actors and very beautiful than a lot of other fair skinned heroines.They are towards the darker tone, but still have a huge adulation and fan following. It’s the same man-crowd who reject dark-skinned females, when it comes to wedding. So reel life can have black beauties while real life can’t?

And why doesn’t a man get rejected during a marriage proposal for being dark? Is it because the girl and her family are more sensible? Or is it the man’s job and woman’s fairness that together leads to a successful married life?

Fairness is closely related only to women, esp. Indian women. As usual, here is another inequality our dear society has shown to women on this line. They call men dark and handsome, but women can be beautiful only if they are fair.

On another note, have a look at the definition and Antonym of ‘fair’ in thesaurus. No comments!!!

My thoughts & Interests

A Grief-Stricken Tuesday


Nov 16. 6:30am.

I woke up with a heavy heart. Rubbed my eyes and checked my laptop for new mails. “No new mails”. My heart sank. I had no clue whose mail I was waiting for.I tried hard to dig  out the real reason for my mood swing.

Oh!! No, No. Am not that weird, except for certain days when I really do not know why am put off. But everything seemed out of the way since then.

My favorite puttu and chicken curry was there for break fast, but that didn’t cheer me up. Amma calledearly morning to remind me that the next day is Eid. Sayf called me to convey that Dubai is celebrating Eid on Nov 16. Nothing seemed to be interesting. After the usual chorus I started to office. It was raining heavily, my first drive in the rain. But that didn’t excite me either. The usual road looked sodiferent.

Gloomily I got to my desk. Opened my mailbox. “This page cannot be displayed”.

”Oh!!No,not today!! So everything has to go wrong today itself???!??!

I banged on my keyboard and got up for a coffee. No mood to work! Perhaps coffee could workwonders… Coffee was worser than ever. I met a few of my colleagues over coffee, gave them a bland smile and ran back to the shelter of my desk. I did not want anyone to notice me in despair.

I stared at my monitor for a while, and checked my mail again. “No new mails”.

I switched off the system and went to the candy machine, praying that I don’t come across anybody known. “Machine out of order!!”. What a great day!!

I walked to the food court, gulped an orange juice.

It was still drizzling… Certainly, I could not work so distressed. I grabbed my mobile and car key from the desk and went for a small drive. Obviously, I had no real destination. So stopped at the nearby RelianceFresh.Dark Chocolates are good anti depressants. I was not sure how many of them a day, would work against depression, but I took 3 of those big Bournvilles.Hardly 2kms from Reliance to office, but I had all the 3 during that drive.

I was confused after I reached my desk. Checked my mail again. “No new mails”. Gave a deep sigh and looked at my watch. 4pm. I called it a day at work.

Pari was very excited to have me back home.Her usual giggles which revives all sorts of stress did not excite me at all.. Blank at heart, I checked my mails again. “No new mails”. I fed Pari and put her to sleep. I had some dinner and unhappily hit the sack. I was disturbed from top to toe, and was irritated that I didn’t know why I was put off to the core.

I was definite to have a suicidal Eid if the same emotions remained in the air. Unsure of what has to be done, I checked my mails again.

“You have got a new mail”,my laptop flashed.The first moment of excitement in the last 24 hrs. I ran to check the new mail.

Joshidaniel has voted for your post on Indivine”.

”Oh!How sweet”. I hurriedly checked my post, his profile, viewed his latest blog and commented.

The day seemed to be a lot better, and I found out the reason. Since there was no response to my first indivine post, I was stuck for an entire day.. Thanks to Joshi for dropping in, but what got me so addictedto this?

A little more than a month ago did I step into the blogging world. Since Sayf was in Dubai, I thought of paying a tribute to him through a blog and that’s how my first blog evolved – The best thing aboutMarriage. Little did I know that this one would be an ice breaker. I took pleasure in scribbling my simple ideas. As the bits and pieces of my life appeared on screen, I appreciated myself. With a decent count of 20 blogs in this short time, all I cared was to pen down anything interesting, publish it and enjoy it. I continued writing, enjoyed the freedom of words and expressions, and was a happy blogger since then. But not after I posted one on Indivine. Traffic,comments,ratings,rankings,contests – everything had caught on to my head, at the expense of my one should-have-been-better day. For fans of Indivine, no offense please!!

Yes, all these are meant to create a competition and encourage better and better blogs.
Yes, all these are to brush up the crude writers and bring them into mature ones
Yes, It is nice to know that someone likes our blog.
Yes, It is a great feeling that someone thinks like we do.
Yes, I would love to write more and more and more and keep them published. But this time I would worry only about delivering quality blogs,believing that the latest one is better than yesterday’s and the best is still unwritten.

PS: I would love to see all of you in my inbox. So keep putting your thoughts across but please don’t ask me where am working at 🙂 🙂

My thoughts & Interests

Diwali Dhamaka


Sayf’s birthday kept me occupied throughout the last week, but posting this blog was behind my mind since Diwali time.

Diwali was on a Friday, which added onto the long weekend and I hate weekends these days 😦 However crackers started bursting from the previous night onwards. Pari, an already poor sleeper, was disturbed throughout. Needless to mention she kept me awake the entire night. Crackers went on the Diwali day and that whole weekend. So back then, I had a sleepless long weekend.

On Sunday evening when I went to the market, the road seemed to be immensely rich with cracker left-overs. I could see the little ones in smiles, running around and bursting crackers, then running away from it and seeing the fireworks at a distance. Thank god!! Some safety measures have been taught. I still feel that leaving them with the crackers and without guidance could be extremely dangerous.

Moreover they burst crackers right in the middle of the road. Any motor cyclist who steps over an unnoticed cracker could be in danger too.

On Monday, when I started to office, I could still hear the crackers burst. It was not the sleeplessness or the danger of the fireworks that bothered me. But crackers meant monstrous money. And 4 days of crackers meant immeasurable money bursting to fumes. I wonder when they will learn the value of these so-called-INR??? Am not denying the joy on those little faces. I know that the beauty of a flaming rocket transforming into a colorful umbrella is enjoyed by young and old alike. But some awareness has to be created on the enormous amount of money spend. If cutting off crackers for this celebration is considered sin, at least reduce the quantity and give it to people who are in real need of it.

I may not be able to change everyone. But if Pari demands for a colorful Diwali (sometime in the near future), I would lit a row of lamps, do rangoli with her, buy her a couple of those mild flower pots and chakras,make her hot hot jalebis, depict the purana of how Krishna defeated Narkasura and make her save some money for the needy.

After deciding on Pari’s future Diwali, I checked in to my project area and hurried to my desk. My colleague who went on a long leave gave a very hearty smile. I asked casually how did his Diwali go.

“No Z, We do not celebrate Diwali”.

“????. I thought you took a long vacation to….”

“Oh please Z. We belong to Narakasuran’s family. We do not celebrate Diwali”..

Hmmm.. What a nice joke to start my day with 🙂 🙂

Marriage & Motherhood

Challenges of having a lovable husband


There are only two days of the year when my brain works hard. I buy advises, dig the ground, seed imagination, plow the land and reap creativity for these 2 important days – Sep 9 and Nov 14, for that’s when our anniversary and Sayf’s birthday falls respectively.

The reason for this hard labor – I prefer personalized gifts.

My definition of personalized gift – Carefully chosen, crafted with passion, woven with lots of love,.. It should conquer the heart like ‘love-at-first-sight’. It should take them down the memory lane to the beautiful moments of our togetherness. It should create a moment of a special happiness that should drive them to a state of adulation. They should love to recollect it again and again. It should be the first of its kind that they receive :-). Tough!! But I managed to succeed so far.

There are a few complications with these personalized gifts.

1)Dissatisfaction!!!. Lot of hard work has to be put in to evolve a crude idea into reality. And me, a lazy-bum, drags it to the last-minute, under the name of improvising the gift and sometimes contriving a better one. Then after lot of running around, I somehow manage one which will look fantastic to Sayf, but I would still know that a little more of hard work would have made it look better.

2)Surprising him!! Acting as though am not even aware about the importance of the day ahead and still coming up with something really worth the wait. First part was tough for me as I did not use to drive then. I always had to take half day off from office, depend on autos and local trains for conveyance to manage the gift and fabricate a convincing story for being late to home that does not kindle the slightest doubt 🙂 This is not a problem anymore as my car has covered up my conveyance troubles and Sayf is at Dubai. Yet I had to be careful during the phone calls. My excitement sometimes lands me in major troubles.

3)Time!! With the daily chorus at home and office, I hardly found time to materialise or rather personalize the gift 🙂 And of late, Pari and her insomnia has added a lot of weight to this one.

4)Expectation! Compose one better than the pervious one.

5) This is the primary problem. SAYF!! The title of the blog should have rather been ‘challenges of having a husband with a sharp memory’ 😉 Honestly, am bad with dates. Besides, am rarely exposed to men who are good with dates:-):-) Even today, Nov12, my mother complained that I forgot her birthday. OK!!This is not the first time 🙂

Sayf is a package of surprises!!

On my very first birthday (Jan 9, ’08) that fell soon after our wedding, he had planned a treasure hunt at home. I had good fun tracking down those hidden little surprises. And then came a candle light dinner at Tangerine, a speciality restaurant at chennai. Their death-by-chocolate is amazing.

The first Valientines day (Feb 14, ’08), he contacted a colleague of mine, who decorated my cabin beautifully with his gifts, cards, little red hearts and what not. I was taken aback and embarrassed a little bit!! Ghee!! Let me admit. Not only that am bad with dates, but I have a poor memory also.. So valentines day also had to be remembered and celebrated.

Furthermore, I had a hard time fixing my fragmented heart after he introduced the concept of halfivesary (Half anniversary – 6 months after the wedding) into my life. He had planned a ride to Mayajaal multiplex on our brand new Avenger. Avenger was the surprise element. Its been 3 yrs of wedlock, 3 halfiversary’s passed, and I still have not remembered even a single time that it was Mar 9th. Shame on me!! Hope I would remember at least  the one on 2011.. Am happy to celebrate life, Am happy he gives me so much importance, but the pressure that I can’t gift him better. That’s what pricks.

And then came the first anniversary – Sep 9,’08. This time I had to get ready, for all I gave till then was a black forest cake during his birthday soon after the wedding – Nov 14, ’07 and a ring on valentine’s day. How I wish if his birthday had fallen after mine. At least I would have an idea how to celebrate it 🙂 So I planned for a surprise dinner. Hurried to spencer plaza, got a few perfume candles, a few archie’s stuffs, and when Sayf came home, there were candles everywhere, a baked chocolate cake, a few I-Love-You teddy bears etc etc. But needless to mention, my gifts always get dissolved. Sayf took out a Swarovski jewel set. Beautiful they were!! But before I could digest the beauty of the gift, along came the next news – A week at Shimla, Kulu, Manali. What a big scene I had to create at office to take that 1 week vacation 🙂 🙂

Earnestly, I cant remember what I gifted him on his 2nd bday, but I got a gorgeous Tanishq jewel set on mine. Oh!!I remember now.. A few poems were written as a tribute and presented 🙂 Personalized!!

2nd anniversary was carefully planned. Running on my second trimester, a last-minute mess was impossible. So I had a hand crafted book, with poems, writings and photos that covered our eventful 2 yrs.

Currently with 3 birthday’s, 3 valentines days and 3 halfiversaries post marriage,…and am plush with gorgeous jewel sets, elegant salwars, a whole collection of Calvin and Hobbes, a digital photo frame and lots more which my poor memory does not assist to recollect. All in the luxury of his love 🙂 And I appreciate his efforts behind the gifts. He captures those small things that we may casually mention during a normal conversation and makes a gift out of that.

5)This is the latest one. Distance!! How to ship it to Dubai?????

And now that Nov 14th is just a few days away, I was trying to do some online shopping. Most of the US sites does not ship gifts to Dubai. But a friend of mine, suggested www.cafepress.com. You should try this one. You can print photos, designs and tattoos on an umpteen range of gifts – T-shirts,buttons,magnets,mouse pads, even iphone cases and ship them to almost anywhere in the world. You can even start an online store of your own for free and earn commission. Have a look at mine – http://www.cafepress.com/Zradar

There are a few desi versions too. www.dilsebol.com and www.zoomin.com. Zoomin is my personal fav with a lot of in-built features.

However, none of them satisfied my definition of personalized gifts. But the word ‘personalize‘ was attractive. Presently Sayf has started with gym, so I decided to personalize a gym bag. This guy is a big foodie. One of his favorite jobs would be to replace foodie in NDTV Goodtimes. Here is the design which I created (personally created implies personalized gift 🙂 :-)) and gave for printing. Hope it reaches him on time. 

Culture & Religion, My thoughts & Interests

Balanced Wife = Balanced Life????


They say a family would run smooth only if the woman in the family knows to manage well. So I set off to find out how wives are expected to balance the string of family lives.

“For that you need to be a balanced-wife“, says a few. So what is a balanced wife?

If the wife gets up early in the morning, she “always runs away from the bed and puts him in second priority to the house hold”. If the wife doesn’t get up early, she “is too lazy and neglects the family”.

If the wife makes good tea, “it is just her routine”. If the wife doesn’t make good tea or breakfast for one day, she “is a bad cook”.

If the wife has to leave home early for work, she “doesn’t need to earn us a living. Family should be first”. If the wife goes late to work or comes back late from work, she “is a bad manager of time”. If the wife comes back early from work, she “has no big role there at office”.

If the wife buys a shirt for the husband from her salary, she “wastes a lot of money on dress”.

If the wife doesn’t like a dress that her in-laws choose, she “has no dressing sense”.

If the wife reminds you to pay the bill, “I know to do things”. If the payment goes beyond due date, “You should not have forgotten”.

If the wife asks for help in the kitchen, “it is your duty. If you can’t manage with just two of us, how will you manage when we have children?”

If the wife has a back pain and asks for a small massage, “Can’t u see that am busy?”

If the wife argues, she is arrogant. If she does not respond to an argument, she is irritating.

If she questions, she acts too smart.

If she cries, she is over-sentimental. If she cant tell why she did so, she is unreasonable

If the shirt is not ironed on time, “she doesn’t know to do things properly”.

If the clothes are not folded for a day, “she cant keep the house clean”.

If the children get low grades, “she is doesn’t take proper care”.

If her parents does not see his’ during a function, then “they purposefully avoided”. If his parents do the same, “Why should they go to her parents? It is they who should come and pay respect to the guys’?

If her parents give a visit without acknowledgement, “they are so informal”. If his parents do the same but unfortunately there is no one at her home, “they don’t give us importance”.

If her mother’s sister’s daughter’s in-law is getting married, not only his parents, but his father’s sister’s husband’s parents have also to be invited, else “they do not know to treat the guy’s family properly”.

This society who knows only to question, disdain & contempt the girls, wives, daughter-in-laws & mothers and believes that women and her needs could be neglected, compels me to derive at the conclusion that the expectation from the so called balanced wife is this..One who successfully takes care of the family (big or small) the way they want, attend to all their needs, satisfy all of them, follow their rules, be answerable to all their questions, be submissive throughout and accept any mental or physical piercing moment in silence…. Irrespective of whether she slept the previous night, Irrespective of whether she had something for tea, Irrespective of when she has to leave or come back from work, Irrespective of how her day at office was, Irrespective of whether she is healthy or not, Irrespective of whether she is respected or cared for, Irrespective of what she earns, Irrespective of whether her own life is balanced or not….

PRECISELY, A BALANCED WIFE IS ONE WHO IS AWARE OF THE RIGHTS OF THE HUSBAND AND HIS FAMILY. A BALANCED WIFE SHOULD ALSO BE AWARE OF THE RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE WIFE AND HER FAMILY.

Huh!!

When will be the time when they lay rules for the men?

When will be the time when they stop blaming and start helping?

When will be the time when they learn that respect is give and take?

When will be the time when they learn to appreciate wives and mothers for what they do?

When will be the time when they learn that a smooth family is the result of teamwork?

When will be the time when they learn that women have to be treated like humans if not equals?

Masti ki paatshala, My thoughts & Interests

Professionally innocent


My friend called this weekend, after she read the previous blog on CUSAT Arts Festival. We relived those old-but-gold memories of graduation. She hanged up after a while, but I was still stuck with the CUSAT times.

To a large percent of the population, professional colleges have become turning points in lives. Its you who choose to be good or bad, Its you who choose to be what you are,.. And some of you who would have joined the college, so naïve, so innocent,…. would be tuned,tamed and moulded into experts in technology and many other ‘subjects’ during these years.

It is during these years that girls (at least in Kerala) slowly overcome their timid, apprehensive, reticent attitude and show their inquisitiveness on one of the most important, rather interesting topics – sex. These 3 letters are deleterious, is what the parents normally teach children. Anyone who has a boy friend is taught to be treated as untouchables.When they hear about their daughter’s friend, whose sister has a boy friend, whose friend has seen an x-rated movie, the daughter would be asked to divorce that friend and keep no further contact. Good logic, eh?

Now, why I keep on mentioning ‘girls’ is because ‘boys’ somehow manage to jump out of this loop and find their on ways. Most parents have an explanation to this. “Afterall, they are boys…”Oh yes? Makes lot of sense!!

Under the impression of protecting their daughters, the parents are actually holding them so tight, that the children find no room to grow. No wonder that these ‘naïve’ girls, are either made use of or misuse their freedom, after they land in professional colleges..

However, during the millennium, when we joined CUSAT, there were a few in this category. So during one of the girls-only combined study sessions, topic got deviated a bit and the ones who knew, lined up to educate the ones who didn’t. I scored 50/100, and so was a moderator :-).  The class was done, but the talks went onto aligned topics, one of which was masturbation. Too much knowledge in one day, had made the class weary. But they were still ready for more KA, Knowledge-Acquisition. To remind the class about the seriousness of the subject, Neethu* – the most educated of all, quoted an example. She talked about a girl who had to be taken to the hospital as the test tube that she used for masturbation had broken inside her. There were frowns,grin and sympathy among the class for the poor female. But it all changed to a big embarrassment, when Lekha* asked, “So is that how test tube babies are born?”.

And this is why they are called naïve.

And this is why some parents should grow up.

And this is why Sex Education should be included in the curriculum.

* Identity not disclosed.

Marriage & Motherhood

The Diplomacy gene


My diplomacy is quite famous. I rarely argued, but got involved as mediator (I really hate those situations!!) in many arguments. Playing this role is tough and dangerous. I never took sides of an argument. Instead tried convincing each side, why the other side thought or did their way. Sense the danger??? Needless to mention, it has landed me into lot of troubles. But that’s how I am. I choose to remain this way.

However, my diplomacy gained huge popularity after marriage.

When any of Sayf’s relative ask me what kind of husband I used to wish for, I would clear and my throat and politely reply, “I only longed for someone whom I could adjust with, so that he or his family doesn’t have to adjust” 🙂

While going to dinner with in-laws, I try to find out the dishes that they like and order the same.

While playing the conciliator role, with two in-laws on either sides , I could only smile 🙂 Nothing else to be done!!

During pregnancy when people, esp Sayf’s relatives, inquire on what child I need, I go this way, “I would love to have a girl, but I wish I had a boy as he would grow up and be a good help to his father” 🙂 Actually after repeating this conversation for 9 months, I even frogot what I actually wanted in the beginning. It had gone so much into my blood.

These and many such occasions made me the ‘democratic bhabhi’ to my sis-in-law.

And finally when Pari was born, she was a typical ‘Sayf-look-alike’. After the crowd had their conventional comments about how fair she is, how pretty she is, how much she resembles sayf etc etc, I nodded my head, but I was a little jealous.

I am sure that later in life, Sayf would influence her more than me. I really hope that she gets all his good qualities along with the looks. But being a mother and after all the troubles of pregnancy and labour, I deserve some of my gene on her too.. That gives me the reason to be jealous!!

Now that Pari has started talking or rather her own rumble-mumble toddler talks, I tried to indoctrinate the word “Amma”, under the name of developing and sharpening her speaking skills 🙂 With Sayf at Dubai, teaching her to say “Papa” was put as the second priority. Sayf however tried “Papa” over his calls.

And just when I thought she would make me proud, Pari made her first diplomatic move. She said her first word. “APPA”. Amma + Papa = Appa??? 🙂 🙂

Now am happy and proud. Atleast my diplomacy chromosome has been passed on to the ‘generation-next’ 🙂

Masti ki paatshala

Arts Fest memories reloaded


This blog was in pipeline since the vampire blog. Blaming Pari always would be unfair, though she is one of the primary factors of my so called ‘busy-life’. The actual reason is that, uhhhhh.. I am a bad manager of time. Sadly, I am  🙂 But better late than never. Those wonderful memories of CUSAT and Arts Festivals, let me scribble some more of them right away.

Being the super seniors at college, we were in charge of Arts Fest 2003. Oh!! Back then, all of us were swamped, overloaded, having more than enough on our plates, so occupied,… that looking after Pari would be a lot easier 🙂 Each of us would be delegated an event (either off stage or on stage), and this would be in addition to the events that you participate in. People would need your help at green rooms. Back ground screens would be required for the dances and fashion shows. Guys provided the raw materials and girls proudly materialized their ideas 🙂 One time they even gave us a few buckets of paint and a huge screen which would be as large as a 9×11 dining hall, to create a desert background. We had a sleepless yet eventful night walking and rolling over the screen for the right sand dune impression. Well, sleepless nights were not a big deal when it came to winning the championship.

But Oppana, seemed to be the most effortless of all. Electronics (my stream) team had surpassed and wiped out all the competitors for the last 3 yrs. This being the 4th and final year, we had pressure to maintain the lead position. But as usual, it was a sure win.

So as mentioned in the previous blog, Parvathy (one of the Oppana team members) tried her best to overcome her heavy dopey eyes. We were yet to start our practice for oppana, which was supposed to be at evening 5.  Time would be 3:00am. Dead tired after a day’s eastern dance practice, I found myself comfortable on one of those class room benches.

Walloping hands woke me up. 5:00am. The oppana practice had started. I got up with a jerk, wondering how much they would have covered already. They were nothing, but a bunch of sleepyheads, lazily swaying and clapping hands, going round and round in their own ways, with a clumsy smile at regular intervals. I too was sleepy and was sure I would end up like them during the practice. But Parvathy who stood in the front row of the team, looked more energetic than ever. I still wonder how she carries so much energy in her tiny body!! Hastily, I joined them. During the breaks, Parvathy taught me all the steps that I missed. We were so spirited then that we even skipped breakfast. A packet of parle biscuit and some bananas, was all we had for lunch. The restlessness during two previous nights of insomina had eaten 90% of my grey cells that I could not even recollect 2 subsequent steps even when it was 5pm. The whole team was in the same boat, except for Parvathy. The schedule was postponed by another 2 more hrs. But it did not matter. We needed a plan and we came up with not one, but three.

PlanA. Try to remember the steps and dance.

PlanB. If Plan A doesn’t work, look at your pair and dance

Plan C. If your pair too doesn’t know, look at Parvathy and dance 🙂 🙂

It was 7:00pm when they called our team on the stage. All of us lined up on the stage. The curtains raised. The song started. With huge expectations, the Electronics crowd cheered us. We started our oppana, the dearest, most favorite and reliable piece of event which always earned points to score high on the chart. Step1,Step2,Step3 and then the song started looking different. Jasmine, my pair on stage, gave me a weird look. It was not just me, but she too could not remember the next step. The same “What next?” looks reflected on the other pairs’ too. But Parvathy looked confident. “Switch to Plan C”,Reshma from our front pair whispered. All of us looked at Parvathy, our own Parukkutty as she was known, and continued. A few more steps, and Paru too seemed lifeless. “The song going the wrong way man”, she yelled from the front row. The rest of the eyes protruded. In that whole day, all we concentrated was what step came after the previous one. We did not notice who sang the song or how she sang. Height of bloody over confidence!! This singer team mate of ours was getting it all wrong. But we were on a stage and some presence of mind had to be shown. So we made an immediate on-stage plan.

Plan D. “We leave it all to you, Paru. Guide us please….”

“Girls”, Paru took charge, “Line up in front. 3 of u on one side of the bride, and 3 on the other”. We did.

“Now clap hands. 3 claps to your left and 3 to your right”. We did.

“Clap again, swaying to the sides”. We did.

“Now form a circle around the bride”. We did

“Z, You stand up and walk to the bride. Whisper in her ear something. Let the broad smile. Shy smile man. Shy!! Shy!!” Paru was all geared up. Her energy gave vibrations inside. All of us moved around the bride in similar fashion 🙂

In Oppana, brides remain in the chair placed on the centre of the stage and often give light shy smiles and reactions to her friends clapping and dancing around her.

Sajni, the then bride and the beauty of CUSAT ’03, did not smile , but got embarrassed by our performance. Little did she know of the mishaps in that morning. Since the role of the bride was just to sit and smile, she had just joined us before we entered the stage. Moreover, she too was experienced in the same role for past 3 yrs.

The crowd too sensed something wrong. Electronics team clapped in slow motion, with a vivid question mark on their faces. The opponent crowd started howling and Paru ran out of steps. So we came up with the next plan.

Plan E. Clap hands, walk in rhythm towards the stage exit.

The plan worked out. We escaped, but there was the bride sitting all alone in the centre of the stage. Sajni didn’t know if she should run along with us or wait for one of us to come and pick her up. Brides do not step without an accompaniment, during oppana.  But we had broken the chord and crossed all limits, so before another plan was made, one of us (I cant remember who) ran to the stage and brought her along.

To make matters worse, it was an open air auditorium. We had to walk through the audience to the car waiting to pick us, and we literally covered our faces with a shawl.

We were obviously disqualified, but the rest of the class who were not present in the audience did not believe us. They thought that we were making up a sad episode for fun, when we told them what had happened. They had such a huge faith in us.

Years later, I still mention this as a joke to friends and family. But deep inside am hurt. Losing the title is no big deal. But the fact that we took the faith of a whole class so lightly, burns me even now. I still appologise……

Btw, the desert background screen won lot of applause!!