Monthly Archives: January 2017

Quick hi

  1.  I am alive and kicking.  Just drowning in words and documents. I dread February 7th, which is when my deadlines for the next few months will end because after the adrenalin boost of now, there would a crash, which usually does not agree well with me.  Give me more work is all I can say.
  2. I have started bathing in cold water and it is still January.  The following Indian summer is going to be scorching, I can see.
  3. Re-watched Christopher Nolan’s “The Prestige” sometime last week.  Excellent movie.
  4. The family made a pact on new year, that we would each read a book in Jan that we have been avoiding for whatever reason.  I was to complete “Lord of the Rings”, the better half “La Misarables” and the kid “A Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy”.  The kid has about ten pages to go, and I have read ten pages of mine.  Tsk Tsk.  But to do justice, Jan and Feb are deadline months.  I have been working nearly 16 hours every day.  When I fall in bed late at night, I am dead to the world.  Hopefully I’ll fare better in Feb.

I promise I will come back with more.  Don’t forget me because of the silence here.


Must stop

…reading the newspaper in the morning.  Not good starting the day off with seething anger, no?

I read “The Hindu” for local and international news, and “The Guardian” for Western news (“international” is different from “western” in my mind).  Both invariably make me nervous for the future of this world.

Did you know India is on the red watch list for corruption?  Of course we did, but seeing it in print makes my stomach lurch.

And what’s with the orange fellow elsewhere?  I don’t give a damn about his wall or even his anti-abortion sentiments (because I didn’t live there during the reproductive phase of my life, although I pity the women who do), but his oil-rigging and anti climate stance could cost the whole world. Hmm.


Humour, where art thou?

I read somewhere that the frontal lobe of the brain is responsible for humour.  The frontal lobe is also the emotional centre, it seems.  Of course, the working of the brain is not as simple as that, and what we are is a mind-boggling interplay among various sections firing.  Nevertheless, there must be some more significant connection between fear/worry and humour.  I notice that my sense  of humour goes for a toss every time I am worried about something.  Like now.  This is bad because I don’t think any of us can survive any adversity without a sense of humour.

I think JKR was talking about this when she developed the concept of dementors – that their presence would make you feel like you can never be happy again.  By “be happy”, I think she meant laugh.   I have been reading posts by really funny people lately, and they are at their funniest best, but I don’t feel that loosening of the jaw muscles that I usually feel when I read them.  For me, this is very important – being able to laugh at myself is my best defence mechanism and when I can’t do it, I spiral into greater and greater depths of negative thinking.

I don’t think I am a pioneer in this thought as well – thousands of years ago, our philosopher poet Valluvar said something to the effect of laugh-when-things-are-screwed-up.  Right now I feel like bonking the fellow in his head.

Wonder what my patronus is.




My head is out to kill me.  There has been so much chatter – unnecessary, indeed harmful chatter – all day that I feel exhausted now.  I am almost afraid to wake up tomorrow morning lest the brain would go into hyperdrive again.

In the middle of the chatter I thought I had a minor epiphany about how life must go on no matter the chatter, and it is best to let the chatter be without letting it mess up the chest area. Like I said, it was a minor epiphany, and it soon passed, and the chest got heavy with the hyperactive reactive thinking, which has left me a spent force now.  And it’s not even PMS time, thank God for that. If it had been, I might have done a lot of damage by acting on the thoughts.

Yes, this is a difficult period in my life, I agree.  But this isn’t new.  I have faced equally difficult or worse periods every now and then in my life, and although they seemed like a mountain at that time, like it does now, they have always passed. But somehow, when the brain is on hyperdrive, the argument is never convincing.


I am always guarded when I talk, because I believe that the spoken word can do more damage than people think. I never raise my voice (except when I am nagging the kid to do her homework or clean her room – but I am justified there) to other people, never say an unkind word (although often enough my mind is using expletives that can’t be written in a blog read by semi-decent people – but karma is a function of actions, not thoughts) and never, never, never tease anyone.  Teasing is a sign of arrogance and you never know whether or not it would hurt the recipient.  I am a boring person.

Yet, last night, thinking I was being funny, I said something that ended up being hyper-mean to my better half.  The fellow was taken aback, and I felt like crap for the rest of the evening (despite apologising profusely).  Ah well, another notch lower in my own eyes, I fall.


Been doing a lot of translation and editing work today.  I know a mom shouldn’t have favourites among her children, but of the three kinds of work I do in my job – original writing of scientific ideas, editing other people’s documents and translating, I like the first best – it is challenging and makes me feel so alive.  The other two are not bad, there is something magical about seeing a messy document get cleaned and seeing an idea in one language being transferred into another, but those leave me physically tired at the end of the day.


I suck at socialising, have I told you that?  In a crowd, I clam up or worse, squeak.  There are a bunch of moms that blah-blah outside school every afternoon. I stand with the group but can’t add any value to the conversation.  Not that the conversation has any value in the first place – they are usually talking about stuff like astrology, religion and stuff that I don’t care a rat’s ass about.  That notwithstanding, I suck at socialising.


Wish me luck for the next two-three months.  A lot is at stake on the personal front, and I hope I emerge from them in some shape.


A weekend, finally

A brief respite, considering the two more deadlines – DoD and DoE, which will arrive like transition pains in labor soon enough. I am usually very apprehensive before I plunge into the whirlpool, but once in, I revel in the swirls.

I spent Saturday deliberately relaxing – took a one-hour oil bath, and read Lord of the Rings in between on-and-off dozing-on-the-couch.  By the end of the day, I was guilty for not having used the weekend to finish up projects that I had set in the back burner during the NASA deadline.

But no worries..I finished half of that today. One of it was English-Tamil translation work – I have never translated for money so far, I translated two cancer booklets for an NGO into Tamil a few years ago, but that was voluntary work.  I don’t think I am great with Tamil, but my client seems to think I am a miracle worker in all languages.  While I am flattered and all that, it also puts enormous pressure on my limited skills, especially when money is involved.  Nevertheless, with ample help of a thesaurus, I managed to translate a 10-page technical document from English to Tamil.  I actually enjoyed it. Talking of translation, I translated the contents of the CD cover of Mahler’s symphony, in German, to English for my better half this morning.And translated Tamil to Hindi and vice versa in a conversation between my neighbour’s mother and his maid this morning.  Languages are beautiful, aren’t they?

While we are at Mahler’s symphony – why is it that I simply can’t relate to symphonies?  I can’t understand them, heck, I can’t even enjoy them.  Mahler’s fifth gave me a headache this morning.  And it’s not just Mahler.   I can listen to sonatas and the like, but all symphonies make me hyperventilate – they are too violent for my  timid sensibilities.  Either that, or  I am terribly culture-challenged.

I don’t think store bought pizza agrees with me anymore.  Having had errands to run, notably buying footwear – I wore mine out, what do you imagine when I am walking 10 km every day, I bought back pizza for lunch.  I only had two slices, but have been palpitating and a migraine seems to be in the offing (can’t choose between pizza and Mahler as a cause).  The stomach is not as robust as it used to be.  In fact, I didn’t even enjoy eating the pizza like I used to.  All I wanted was some pepper rasam and potato fry with rice.

Oh yeah.  The family finally got rid of two hundred DVDs today.  The better-half has been collecting movies for the past fifteen years, but now with movies available as files (either ripped or bought or ahem, downloaded), DVDs have been rendered obsolete.  I have been asking (nagging, pestering, hen-pecking) the fellow to throw them out, but he has been dragging his feet.  Today, finally sick of the cardboard box that has been sitting on the floor of the dining room and gathering dust for two months, he left them out in the curb for the garbage collectors to pick.  I know one part of him regrets it, but my argument is that if you haven’t used something for a year, you don’t need it.  I am evil that way.

There has been a protest in our part of the world against the ban against jallikkattu, a bull taming game that has been a Tamilian transition for centuries.  The ban has been provoked by the animal rights activists.  Tempers are running high both in and out of social media, and I don’t want to add to the fire with arguments here – just a brief statement that I am for the ban – tradition and culture that endanger lives (of men and animals) need not survive – I will not approve any troll comments against my opinion.  But I bring this up to share an interesting incident.  I was out and a bunch of protestors crossed me on the road chanting

கோழி போடும் முட்டை

நடத்து ஜல்லிக்கட்டை

(kochi podium muttai, nadaththu jallikkattai)

A loose translation is “hens lay eggs, let bullfighting go on”  yeah, it cracked me up too.

The week will start tomorrow and I will have to hit the ground running.  How exciting.

Have a great one, folks.

I am invincible

Deadline met.

With ten hours to spare.

And more delivered than committed.

Will the client ask me to help with “just one more, please?” because there are ten hours left?


Will I do it?

I would if my brain were not fried to crisp.  Physical limitations keep me sane and not walked over.