Category Archives: Daily Medley

Sieve brain on a Monday

All through weekend, believe you me, I had so many interesting little thoughts to put out here.  Come Monday, I am drawing a blank.  Do you think this is the start of dementia?  I wonder.  I took a “what age are you really” quiz that someone sent me on WhatsApp (you are judging me, aren’t you?) last weekend and turns out that I am 29 years in spirit.  I am sure the remaining 16 years are pure flesh.

The week begins with a work queue already meandering from here to Friday.  I shook the inertia and completed one project – the tech/semitech ghost article for Huffpost. I felt a little uncomfortable about this article because it turned out very subjective, and as a professional writer, I like to keep my articles objective – that’s the good thing about science, it doesn’t matter if you like the smell of phenol or not, its molecular structure is objective and invariant (somewhat, unless you take resonance and inductive effects into consideration, which we shan’t) .  Still, it seems the client loved this article.  I have a feeling it would rake up controversies and trolling – this is when it is nice to be the ghost writer !  Please visit the article, read, like (even if you didn’t really like it) and share it with all and sundry.  Thanks.

I hope I remember what I wanted to write about here.  I know it was something that I felt strongly about.  Dang.

Have a good week, people.



Monday medley

..and no “work” work still.  I know this is the lull before the storm, and I am milking every moment of it dry (crappy mixed metaphors).


My meager excuse-of-a-garden is perking up a tad bit, despite the serious lack of green thumbs.  The moon flower vine has let out buds, as have the Dahlias.  The Rangoon Creeper continues to grow beautifully, but no semblance of flower yet.  Does anyone have any tricks up their sleeve to get it to bloom?  Don’t ask me to do risky stuff, like sing to it, or do a tribal bloom dance around it naked – I want it to bloom not die of shock.

The first crop of mint is ready to be harvested for Biryani tomorrow.  The curry leaf plant has become a tree.  I am tempted to plant more – plants, not curry leaf trees.  Despite the serious lack of green thumb.

Butterfly season is in full swing in our neighbourhood.  Between 11 AM and 12 PM, walking on the road is like being inside a snow globe, except that the snow flakes are actually butterflies.  The beauty is unbelievable.

Will it rain? Won’t it rain?  It had better.  The city is reeling under intense water shortage.


A listless websearch for “healthy tea time snacks” throws out the likes of muffins.  In which world is a concoction of white flour, sugar and butter “healthy”, may I ask?  Closer home, it is “samosa fried in olive oil”.  Right. Olive oil makes everything healthy, even if you are deep-frying white flour coated stuff in it.  Sheesh people.

And on the other extreme is “fruits”.  I will have fruits with my tea when I relocate to Mars.

I am still searching.  And going crazy.  I have somewhat optimized the other meals, but tea time continues to frustrate me.  Yes, I have been in charge of the familial nourishment for 15 years now, and I am still optimizing meals.  What’s your point, huh?


The kid said something extremely funny yesterday and I wanted to record it here. I forgot what it was. Dang.


Does the male gender have poorer self-preservation skills than the female?  A few happenings of hear-say make me believe that men lack the basic instinct for safety – and I don’t mean physical safety alone.  Perhaps I am being sexist.


I will probably share my world later today, once Cee publishes her questions.


My emotions have been swinging like crazy today.

Morning:  Had to run around to get my tax papers in order and spent frustrating hours at the bank.

= anger.

Afternoon:  thought the kid was coming down with a fever.

= worry/fear

(she thankfully didn’t).

Evening: heard that a cousin – a childhood playmate of mine, and one year younger than me, died of cardiac arrest.

= shock, followed by misery.

Late evening:  Forced myself to attend the Zumba session just to get out of the misery of my cousin’s death.  Ended up enjoying it despite dancing like a duck on steroids.

= joy.

Weird day.

Thumb not so green

No, my arms did not fall off, but the region below my chest decided to teach me a tough lesson for being stupid enough to walk into the wrong room at the gym.  But, that too passed and I am back in action. Sort of.

The heat saga continues (today was the hottest day since 2012), and the clouds turn constipated when they enter our city limits.  I am past panicking at this stage.  The only thing that is taking a beating is my garden-of-sorts.

I say garden-of-sorts because I wonder if seven plants, a garden make.  Why only seven plants?  The story begins nine years ago, when we moved into this apartment.

Our apartment is on the ground floor and we have a large yard.  I was excited about the yard because I had always dreamt of a house with a garden.  So I started a garden.  Hibiscus, jasmine, marigold, sunflowers, moonflower, Rangoon creeper, Holy basil, Ixora.  Soon enough I realised that the ground was sterile thanks to a potent mix of cement into it, and I toiled hard to replace the top soil with fertile soil.  I did not have a green thumb, to boot.  My plants grew slowly, very slowly, but grow the did, and slowly started blooming.  I posted pictures of every new leaf and bud in my old blog.  This was mine.

My then four year old would play in the yard every evening.  It was idyllic.

Until one day, I saw a snake in the yard.  A harmless rat snake, but a snake nevertheless. This is not surprising because we live in wooded area that is home to many animals and reptiles. I have seen snakes outside our compound, but this was the first time I saw one inside. The kid was thankfully not in the yard at that time.

A couple of days later two snakes engaged in a combat dance in the yard, oblivious to the surrounding humans.  That’s when I freaked out.

I had to choose between by child being able to play in the yard and me having a garden.  The child took precedence.  In one fell swoop, I axed down my garden. The hibiscus, jasmine, marigold, sunflowers, moonflower, Rangoon creeper, Holy basil, Ixora…

The snakes rerouted to outside our compound again, and the kid played in our yard every single day for the next nine years of her life.

Now with the kid old enough to probably run away if she saw a snake, the desire for plants returned.  I planted a few (6-7) in a small patch on my yard.  The ground continues to be potently sterile, and I continue to not have a green thumb.  Add to it an unusually hot summer (because of that Chinese hoax called global warming), a previously failed monsoon, and my plants are growing at glacial rates, driving me nuts.

But here is an interesting fact.

Of the gazillion plants I axed nine years ago, one vine doggedly kept coming back to life no matter how often I thought I uprooted it.  In my new garden, this is the one vine that had grown rapidly holding on to the jute string I gave it for support. This is the plant that has survived nine summers despite being ignored by the inmates. Despite being planted originally by a gardener without a green thumb.

This plant is called the Rangoon Creeper.

The plant is called Malathi in Tamil.

Malathi was my mother’s name.  My mother died when I was 13.


One of those days…

It is hot.  I have said it before, and I say it again.  It is hot.

I have a lot of backlog work and am bored.  I need a break from editing.  I have a week’s editing work left.  Need to get on to original writing.  Writing withdrawal.

I wanted to rest my back on the cool red-oxide cement floor of my living room for a few minutes post lunch, and fell asleep.  Not a good idea when there is a lot of backlog work and I have plans to go to the gym.

I skipped the gym today because of the previous point.  I am not happy with myself about it.

I had a rather large glass of amazing rose-milkshake this morning.  This brand of rose milkshake has been sold every summer for the past thirty five years (that I remember) by a milk shop near my childhood home.  I had to visit dad today for some chores, and couldn’t resist it.

I am marginally lactose intolerant.  That completes the previous point.

The rose milk also has a ton of sugar in it.  This negates the point three steps up.

My sil who visited me brought me a large box of Honey Nut Cheerios.  As a grad student in US, I had honey nut cheerios for breakfast, lunch, dinner, midnight snacks and all in between.  I avoid going to the kitchen because every time I go there, I pop a fistful of it into my mouth.  This negates the point four steps up as well.

I am craving for honey nut cheerios as I type this out.

It is hot.  I wish it would rain.  I wish I wish.




Bedroom questions

From Embeecee, who got it from pressing patience.

************** ************ **************

The Questions:

Do you have a “before bed” ritual that you do, well… before going to bed? If so, how long have you had this ritual? How uncomfortable are you if you cannot, for some reason, perform it?

I must change underwear, wash my feet and brush my teeth, in that order.  I don’t remember when I started doing this.  I can’t sleep too well if I have not done these.

Does sleeping in someone else’s space make you uneasy? or can you sleep anywhere?

Oh yeah.  I can’t sleep in anyone else’s bed, except perhaps my daughter’s, when she has had a nightmare and needs my presence.  These days, owing to the fact that she is as tall as I am, her single bed is uncomfortable for two of us. So, I snuggle up until she falls asleep again and get back to mine.

I don’t mind hotel beds, ofcourse, under the assumption that the sheets have been changed.

When I am staying in other people’s houses, I prefer lying on the floor, with or without a jamakkalam.  Or if there is a guest room, the guest room bed, but only under extreme duress.

Where is the strangest place you’ve spent the night? How well did you sleep there, if at all?

When I was in grad school in the US, I let a friend persuade me to take a road trip down to Nashville.  They were weird 4 days because I stayed in strange people’s apartments (other desi students I did not know) overnight, went pub hopping although I was a teetotaller at that time and spent the days in stupor because I had no clue what I was doing.  I slept on the dirty carpet for three nights and bathed in grimy bathtubs.  I still don’t know why I did it.

When you were a child, did you have a preferred blanket or toy you couldn’t sleep without?

I had a pet pillow that I hugged.

If you could build the perfect mattress for you, what would it be made of?


Do you sleep with your bedroom door opened or closed? or does it matter?

Open. Fully open.

What is the longest consecutive period of time time you’ve gone without sleep?

12 hours !

Contrarily, what’s the longest consecutive period of time you’ve slept?

12 hours !

Have you been informed that you snore? or do you sleep with someone who snores? What, if anything, do you do about it?

I snore when I am very tired.  My better half snores very loudly.

Everyone dreams, it’s a scientific fact, but do you — in general — remember your dreams?

Oh God, let’s not go into that.  My dreams would be the death of me.

Do you think that the dreams you remember are significant in any way?

Yes, they tell me the state of my hormones.  They also tell me that I am a neurotic idiot who really needs to learn to let go.

How difficult/easy is it for you to go to sleep once you lie down at night? and/or wake up once you get out of bed?

Out like a light. Waking up takes an hour and two cups of coffee.

Have you ever had an episode of sleep paralysis?

God, I hope not.

Do you wear bedclothes of any kind? or do you prefer to be au naturelwhen slipping under the covers?

In summer I sleep in shorts and t-shirt. In less-than-summer, I sleep wearing a really faded and soft salwar.

If you have pets — cats, dogs, and the like — do they share your sleeping space or is it a “humans only” area?

My pet shares my bed.  My better-half.

When it comes to going to bed and waking up, are you on a schedule (bed by X up at Y) or do you just go with the flow of your body’s rhythms?

10.30 PM to 6.30 AM.  Yes, I need a lot of sleep.

Have you ever had hypnagogic hallucinations?  They’re very common…

I get very disturbing dreams just before I wake up.  Perhaps they are hypnagogic hallucinations.

Can you sleep without blankets? or must you have something covering you when you sleep?

I use a thin coverall when it is chilly. Else, no.

Do you have any superstitions or taboos regarding the bedroom and/or sleeping? For example, no shoes and/or hats on the bed.

Feet must be clean before getting on to bed.  MUST.  My kid must show me her feet before she gets on to my bed, and only when I am satisfied that they are clean, can she get on.

All doors to cupboards must be fully closed.  Door to room must be open.  I like the window doors to be open too, but sometimes that’s not possible.  I have learned to live with that.


************ **************** ******************

The beauty

It has been a really really busy day.  What’s up with Gobblefunkist, I ask.  Why is she running around like a chicken on fire, on a Saturday?  Oh well, when it rains, it pours, when it comes to chores.  The day found me gallivanting around town again, following up the bank eff-up I had mentioned yesterday, getting some cell phone issue sorted out, gymming, going to the nursery to get some pots for plants etc.

The day ended (or is ending) with the movie “Beauty and the beast”.  Not the cartoon version, the Emma Watson version. It was aired in the open air theatre in our campus, and the kid was definitely not going to miss it for the world, and given that I drool a little over Emma, I tagged along.  Emma is amazing.  Got one heck of a talented head on her shapely shoulders.  I am almost jealous.

But here’s what struck me most.  As a youngster, I hated (or claimed to hate) romance of all kinds – books, movies, real life etc.  These days I actually like romantic movies.  I think I am just too old now to be a pretentious prick, attempting to look “cool” and hiding her own lack of romantic skills under assumed disdain.  Now I couldn’t care less, and romantic movies are charming and cute to me, as they are meant to be.  I wish I could go to the young me and say “its ok to feel fuzzy inside, you don’t have to hide behind the ice curtain”.

Oh well.

Good night folks.