30 August 2005

I keep thinking of things I should blog about, but there just seems to be no time.

I am hoping that things will quieten down after Sept first week, so should be able to do some writing then, if my muse cooperates.....

24 August 2005

My movie wishlist

Mangal Pandey: The rising

for many reasons, the most important being Aaah-mir, of course. Second being Mangal Pandey, a character who has for long (since history lessons in school actually) been something of a real life hero by officially inaugurating the thorny path to Indian freedom. Third, just for the thrill of being able to see an Indian movie in the theatre.....


for just one reason : it's a Shankar movie, but I do realise I may be disappointed big time. Still, I am willing to take the risk! After all, this will at home and on video/DVD only!

12 August 2005

In the blink of an eye

Power cut suddenly, at 8 p.m. All went black. Gosh, was it only in our house? I pull the curtains and look out, and it is all darkness in our little part of town. Sigh of relief, then sheer terror. How do I now this is only a power cut? Maybe it is all a part of some dastardly society, a la al-Quaida. AFter all, we never ever (almost never, that is) have them here in NZ, it being part of the wonderful circle of developed countries!!

I ring the city council and they haven't even heard of the power cut.

I am tense and almost alone (Nandita is with me). Called a friend, and found out there was power at their place. Hmm, I wonder.....it's been half-an-hour.

Shiv and Nandana are back, the power is not. I call the Council again and they know all about the power cut now, but call Genesis, they say (that's our power company). So I do, and Genesis tells me that a sub-station on the corner of Damian/Mission Sts has blown up. Heck, that's outside our house...I try to peer into the darkness outside our window to see if there is any activity going on near the sub-station, when in a sudden, brilliant moment, the lights come back on.

Big sigh of relief. It's just a technical fault, not a terrorist act. Gosh, I am getting paranoid............. just like the rest of the world.... we live in the modern dark ages, I am sure of that!

G'nite everyone!

10 August 2005

Te reo Maori

Tena koe, nau mai haere mai (translates to roughly hello and welcome)

The last week of July being Maori language week in NZ, I went along to a training session at work on te reo Maori, which promised to teach me the basics of the language, especially regarding pronounciation.

It was a good opportunity for me to find out what was the right way to say many words, especially place/river/mountain names, for many are still in Maori here. And they sound like totally different each time, depending on who is doing the talking.

I thought with my limited experience of NZ, I would find it hardest. But if you know other languages (apart from English that is), it isn't too bad at all. The pronounciation is very similar to Tamil or any other Indian language. And the class was fun. And what's more, everyone was maha impressed with my multi-lingual skills. After all, four launguages and bits of a couple of others is quite good to people who can speak just one!

Anyways, I came away, much heartened and a little more knowledgeable.

Some interesting facts about Maori.
The language and the people are both called Maori (same for plural).
All words end in vowels.
It is now fashionable to use Maori in workplaces as well, so we go 'Kia ora' or 'Morena'
The NZ or Aotearoa national anthem has two parts, first in Maori and second in English.
Maori is one of the official languages of NZ.

Kaki te anou, for now.


Funny people, these Brits!! Decades ago, children in school were caned by them for speaking in Maori and told to speak only in English. And now, they spend millions of dollars each year to revive the language which was dying. After having very nearly killed it in the first place.


Reminds me of what my grandfather used to tell us about his school days (apart from quoting Milton). When he was young, in India, you would be rapped on your knuckles if you spoke any language other than English in school. Ho hum, the colonial mind wasn't very imaginative, for sure.

8 August 2005

Point of Return

Reading `Point of return' by Siddarth Deb. Quite nice, although he is, as is to be expected from an Indian writing in English, catering to a Western audience by talking about the depressing side of life in India. But I'll push on for now at least he isn't yet talking about nubile young goddesses bathing in asses' milk and mango juice............ or about Kama Sutra poses. Aaaaaaaaaargh, those bloody stereotypes make me mad!!


Reading is back in my life again, thanks to the train commute to and from work. Finished `Bridget Jones: The edge of reason'. Quite funny, although a bit hard to read after having seen the movie. Loved the interview with Colin Firth, though, a real scream!


Have got a movie to watch tonight _ `The Terminal' - Hanks and Zeta-Jones. I liked the story, hope the movie will be nice as well.


And finally,
Life is...
worrying about your (almost non-existent) moustache (to pluck or not to pluck) and then having that worry resolved by noticing that the lady in front of you in the train has one that is far more luxuriant, a black upper lip, so to say. I think I will wait patiently to reach that level.

4 August 2005

....is over

The vet rang yesterday. Apparently, we were very unlucky with Rus. It wasn't anything we'd done, nor was it the vaccination Rus had the Thursday before she died. It was a massive rupture in her stomach, caused probably by all the pus and other horrid things due to an infection she had. And she had no diaphragm. The poor thing must have been in so much pain and when I connect the post-mortem report to the way she was just before she died.... God, that makes the whole thing worse in a way.

Vaai-illa jeevan, poor thing, she was. If it had been us in such pain, we would have been screaming, keening with the pain. She was looking terrified and thrashing about here and there madly. Something from outside scared her, we thought. But it was all inside her little body.

It was probably a congenital problem that she had and the vet reckons that we should be fine should we decide to go for one more. But I am afraid to. I don't know what Nandana and Shiv will decide.

But mercifully, Rus was finally laid to rest last night in our backyard.

3 August 2005

The waiting....

is very hard. It's already been 3 days since Rus passed away and the time has gone in grieving and trying to think of enough distractions for Nandana.

So, every evening as soon as she comes back from school and I get back from office, we dash out. So, on Monday, we went to do some shopping and then went to the library. On Tuesday, we went to 'Madagascar'. Loved it. Especially the Raccoon's accent! And his 'I like to move it' song. Cheered Nandana up immensely.


Waiting for the post-mortem results on Rus. Although we were loath to do it initially, we needed the reassurance of rationale. What actually killed her? Hopefully, we should know soon.


Losing a pet is so hard. I've gone down that lane often enough when I was a kid in Mylapore, Chennai. But I didn't think I'd have to do it so soon after getting a pet now. And unbelievably, it was equally hard even now, although I am so much older. I am surprised at myself........


It was a double blow for Nandana. It was bad enough when Rus and Stapy ran away on June 18. She spent plenty of time putting up 'lost' posters on the roads and flyers in neighbour's letter boxes _ in fact, she covered all of our little community up on the hill. Luckily, though, her efforts were not wasted, we thought, as a neighbour came to us and said that one of the rabbits was in his garden. That was Rus and she came back to us on June 25. Only to leave us forever on July 31.

1 August 2005

A pet passes on

Unblinking eyes, cold fur
Even in sleep, as cuddly as ever
And left for us, tears and grief
This was one small child
we just couldn't keep.