Category Archives: Share your world

Sharing my world


I am in a dog-mood right now, thanks to a combination of PMS, painkillers and the fact that my left hand would be out of commission for at least a week, so my answers could get a bit nasty. Don’t say I didn’t warn ya.

If you were given $22 million tax free dollars (any currency), what is the first thing you would do? (This is just a dream question, remember anything can happen in SYW.)

$22 million is about a whopper 147 crore rupees.  That’s way too many zeroes than I can imagine.   I’d probably die of heart attack seeing that amount of money.

If I survived, I’d pull down my house (not the one we live in, but the one I inherited), and rebuild it in a more convenient and comfortable manner, with private rooms for everyone, and office spaces and a large study. I’d still have a lot (LOT) of money left over, so I’d buy and furnish apartments close by, and place all the oldies in my family in them.  I’d also instill a corpus fund, from which servants, nurses,doctors  and cooks can be paid in order to maintain the oldies that have been placed comfortably.

But seriously, right now, I’d rather not be in pain than have $22 million tax free dollars.

In what do you find the simplest of joys?

Being pain free.  Pain is a dog.

My better half says that I have a very low threshold of pain. I don’t think so. I have a high threshold of pain – remember, when the webbing between my thumb and forefinger got cut, I merely plugged the gaping wound with cotton and went about my cooking, and got it sewed up only after my work got completed?   And got the sutures without local anesthetic.  I can take pain.  I just don’t want to be in pain.  I hate it.

What would be your ideal birthday present, and why?

A pain free day.

Ok ok, You get it that I hate pain, and I am in pain.

So, perhaps, a day of solitude, in a private beach.


Sharing my world

Do you use paper money? If so is your money organized sequentially according to denomination?

Yes, but rarer these days because it is a pain to go to the bank and get cash.  I use cash for autos (a three-wheeled cab-mimic) and Uber, but for almost everything else, I use the credit card.  I never knew I’d come to this; I was a late adopter of the cashless.

And no.  I am very disorganized.  Money is usually strewn around inside my hand bag.  I need to get more organized, the bug has bitten, and I won’t rest until my money bag is regimented.  Thank you, Cee, for the kick at my backside to get into order.

You are comfortable doing nothing? For long stretches of time?

I wish I could say yes, but no.  I can be silent for hours on end, but I can’t do nothing, I am extremely restless.  I awoke at 4 AM this morning because the better-half was leaving for his home town and I had to pack breakfast for him and his parents. It is nearly 8 AM now, and the only time I have sat has been to type this out.  This is why I find meditation very difficult.  My mind quietens immediately, but my body cannot.

What is your greatest strength?

My sense of empathy.  I make for an excellent shoulder to rest heads.  Empathy is, however, also my curse because of the reactions inside me in response to auras outside.


Sharing my world

From Cee.


If you could have an endless supply of any food, what would you get?

I am sipping a tall glass of cantaloupe milk shake (musk melon smoothie, to some), with crushed frozen milk (I had frozen lightly sweetened milk in ice-trays to top milk shakes, without diluting it like regular ice does…try it) on top.  Considering how horribly hot it has been lately (and it’s not even peak summer yet sigh), I would think I want an endless supply of juices, milkshakes, rose-flavoured milk, coconut water, buttermilk, lassi (sweetened yogurt) and paanagam.

List at least five movies or books that cheer you up.

Any of the Jeeves books by PGW, Tintin comics, Asterix comics, Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers.

I am not a visual media person, but if I must, Oceans 11 (12 and 13), National Treasure (1 &2) and Harry Potter (especially the final three movies.

If you were a mouse in your house in the evening, what would you see your family doing? 

I’d probably scurry around all around the house, because none of the human inmates would be around.  The adults would go for a walk, and the semi-adult would either be cooped up in her room, doing God-knows-what, or out with her friends.

What did you appreciate or what made you smile this past week? 

The kid’s school finally closed for summer, hallelujah.  We were all getting very tired.

I had way too many guests, and I managed just fine, although I am a spent force at the moment.

Sharing my world

…after a long time.

From Cee’s Share Your World – April 9, 2018

Been anywhere recently for the first time?

A little less than a month ago, we moved to a different house, but I can’t really count this, because my friend lived in this house before we moved in, and I have visited her once when it was her house.

I am planning to go to our local neighbourhood nursery.  It is a hop skip jump away from where I live, but I have been too chicken, because the caretaker looks rude.  Still, I desperately want some potting soil and a Rangoon creeper (which will most likely bloom AFTER we move out of this house a decade from now, like the one in my old house did).

List three favorite book characters.

Konstantin Levin from Anna Karenina  (Fellow is pretty docile and confused like me)

Hermoine Granger from Harry Potter  (Nerd #1 like me)

A support character in my husband’s second novel (I, being its muse)

What is your favorite non alcololic drink: hot or cold?


Paanagam (jaggery water spiced with dried ginger, cardamom and a dash of lemon juice).

Neer mor (dilute buttermilk, spiced with green chilly, cilantro and salt)

Tender coconut water

Oh God, I am thirsty.



Sharing my world

Share Your World from Cee

What are you reading right now?

This question, and framing an answer to it.  But I suppose that’s not what was asked.

My book reading has gone down the toilet these past months.  Work leaves my brain fried at the end of the day, and I just want to read something that does not get me to think too much.  I am re-reading Agatha Christy, the book on my bedside table now is “A murder is announced”.  I like the Poirot series, but Miss Marple makes me gouge my eyes out.  Still…

Before this, I re-read “Evil under the sun”.

I am also reading Wodehouse (my comfort read) – Right Ho Jeeves.

When I say “read”, I use the term loosely. I read about a page in bed, by the end of which, my eyes are so tired that I shut them and just lie there.

That’s ok.  I read in cycles.  There would be a high of incredible reading, followed by a low such as now.   The high will come soon, I already feel the hankering arise in me.

What was your first adult job?

“Adult job” sounds a little, umm…suggestive, huh?

I vaguely remember answering this question once before.  My first paying job was a teaching assistantship in my grad school, I mentored the freshman chemistry lab. Hated it.  I am not good with labs and practicals – and the freshmen were a rowdy bunch that I wasn’t accustomed to.  I am great with theory. I wish I had been given a theory class to teach instead, but I was an “international student” from a non-English speaking country, and while “non-discrimination” was on paper and all that, the teaching gigs always went to native English speaking grad students, which was crazy, because despite my different accent*, my spoken English was as good as (if not better than) theirs.

*One of the rowdy undergrads that I called out in lab for cheating, complained to the faculty-in-charge that I didn’t know English and no one in the lab could understand me.  The faculty-in-charge called me to a meeting, presumably to make me take English lessons and concluded the meeting with “maybe you should teach English here” !  A tad patronizing, I know, but that’s how the cookie crumbled.

 What’s your favorite breakfast cereal?

I used to love Honey Nut Cheerios – I probably still do, I haven’t had it in ages.  Yes, you get them in India, but cereal is never sufficient for me – even when I did have cereal regularly for breakfast, I would be hungry within half an hour.  I make a substantial breakfast now  for me and my family – today, for instance was adai (lentil pancakes) and aviyal (mixed vegetable gruel).

I like muesli now, but not as a breakfast cereal, but as a topping for apple pie, ice creams etc.

What made me smile?

To wind down after a grueling day, I watched a Tamil movie called “Panchathanthiram” with my family, a couple of days back. Had me in splits for two and a half hours (Tamil movies are ridiculously long).

Sharing my world

In a very chatty (written chatty, i.e., not vocal chatty) frame of mind.  So, rambling replies to Cee’s Share Your World – February 19, 2018


How do you like your eggs?

When I was about 10 years old, I had jaundice and became very weak and emaciated.  Once I recovered from the illness, my mother took it upon herself to boost my health and weight.  I was fed a lot of healthy vegetarian food, but that wasn’t doing much to my energy, at least not at the rate my mom wanted, she wasn’t a very patient woman. Her domestic maid recommended eggs.  Now, I belonged to a very strictly vegetarian family that even shunned onions and garlic. Egg?  But torn between the need to fatten me, and not bringing egg into the house, my mother earmarked a glass for egg, kept it in the back yard, and the maid was required to break an egg into it, add milk and sugar to it, beat it well and give it to me.  I was required to drink that concoction at the backyard, take a bath and then come back into the house.  Contrary to what I had expected, I liked the eggy milk.  But that regimen was stopped once my mom thought I was fattened enough.

When I was about 15, I was hungry at a friend’s house, and she made me the only snack she knew how to make – scrambled eggs.  I loved it.  My family didn’t know about it.

When I went to grad school in the US, my friend was an eggophile.  He’d make the most awesome cinnamony French toast every morning, and I had piles of it every day.  He also introduced me to egg nog, and pancakes and what not, and converted me into a complete and total eggophile.    I continue to make some egg dish at least once a week for my new (husband and kid, i.e.) family – my birth family continues to not know that I am a traitor to the tradition !  Unfortunately,   my family and I have different tastes in egg dishes.  While I prefer sweet egg stuff, like French toast, pancake etc. or even bland (boiled egg), my husband and kid prefer omelette (I hate it). Still, egg is easy to cook, so I make both.

Strangely, I seem to be losing my fondness for eggs.  In fact, last week, I almost gagged at the smell of eggs.  Perhaps age rewires the brain now and then.

Have you ever met anyone famous?

Every day, in the mirror**.

What was the first thing you bought with your own money?

I am not even sure what my “own money” is.  I got scholarships through most of my post-school education – undergrad, grad 1 and grad 2.  The money went straight tomy education – the undergrad and grad 1 scholarships went into paying my college fee.  The grad 2 teaching assistantship went into supporting my living in the US.  Perhaps I must consider the TAship as my first “own money”.  I am not sure it was the first thing I bought, but I remember buying a pot of indoor rubber plant for my drab grad housing apartment, with one of my early salaries, and feeling terribly guilty about wasting money.

Ok, back to work.


** From the movie – The Thomas Crown affair:

Thomas Crown: You look wonderful!

Catherine Banning: Thank you! How are you?

Thomas Crown: Popular.


Sharing my world

Here is my answers to questions on Cee’s Share Your World this week

Are you a practical jokester?

Certainly not. I hate to do anything that makes another person uncomfortable in any way.  I don’t like being tricked either.  I, on the other hand, love humour, the sense of humour I dig most is the wry self-depreciating type, ala Wodehouse/Erma Bombeck.  I don’t relate to Indian humour one bit, because I feel Indian humour is largely built on teasing.  Brit humour gets me every single time. American, sometimes, yeah, sometimes not so much.

This is a bit of a dirty linen – I don’t like teasing.  I don’t like being teased. Call me stuffy, sensitive or un-fun, I simply hate the concept of teasing/ribbing/ragging whatever you call it.  My marital family, on the other hand, is big time into teasing.   There is no neutral conversation between any two people, any interaction always involves pulling the other’s leg.  When I was a newly wed, I was miserable about it.  Then I let the better-half know of my discomfort with teasing, and he stopped teasing me and around me.  Fifteen years since, I still hate to go to gatherings at one branch of the marital family because that branch is the royalty of teasing.

I like to surprise people though.  Especially my kid.  I like doing little nice things for her unexpectedly, and the look of joy on her face is priceless.  That does not count as practical joking, I am sure.

Who cuts your hair?  You, a friend, or professional.

Like I have hair to cut.  You can count the strands on the egg with a few fingers.  The rare time that the hair grows a fraction of an inch longer and tapers into an ugly rat’s tail, I get it trimmed at the local parlor.  I am not particular about which parlor – how complicated can snipping off quarter inch of seven hair strands be?

Did you have a stuffed animal when you were a kid, if so what kind?

Never.  I have never even wanted one.  When I was really young, I vaguely remember being scared of stuffed animals.  Now, stuffed animals scream “dust” to me – the place in which I live is very hot and dusty most of the time, and the idea of all the dust in the fur of the toy puts me off it.

I remember answering a similar question earlier.  Yes, there was.  I reproduce it here:

Is there a stuffed animal in your bedroom? 

My teenage daughter had a large sack full of stuffed animals (at least 30 of them) in her room until a month ago.  We live in a wooded area, and on the ground floor, which makes us targets of various creepy crawlies.  Last month, the kid saw a vicious looking centipede in her room before she ran out screaming like a banshee, and no amount of searching for it was yielding result.  I figured the creature had to be inside the bag with the stuffed toys and I unceremoniously chucked the bag out, toys and all.  As I heaved the bag, what do you know, the centipede fell out of it.    I sent it to centipede heaven with my slipper, and threw out the bag of toys because I didn’t want clutter in her room for critters to hide.

The kid was given a stuffed toy for her birthday last month, by her friend, and I have told her that this one toy is all she can have on her bed.  The moment I see it on the floor, it goes into the dustbin.  She eyes me with fear and hugs on to the toy every time I enter her room.

What did you appreciate or what made you smile this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination. 

I am not quite sure about the smile, because when deadline times overlap with PMS, there is no room for rapture.

I am not sure if you can call this inspirational, but my client is one heck of a chap.  He and I have been working together (in the immediate past) since end of November on various grueling deadlines, and while I am physically exhausted and just a tad bit brain fried, he is like that battery bunny, with nary a sign of humanness.  Yes, he loves the job, but so do I, and yet, my flesh is weaker than his; and he is 61 years old – how? just how?  Sometimes I wonder if he is a robot with an unending supply of energy.

There are also a few things I am a little on the tenterhooks about.

We booked a new car because our old one was more than a decade old, and was beginning to lose steam.  Compromising between my need for a simple, small functional vehicle to drive from point A to point B, and my family’s need for a large, fancy gas guzzler, we settled for, what is termed, an “urban SUV”, of local make, with the maximum fuel efficiency possible for that genre of vehicles.  I like the vehicle on an objective scale – it is pretty, fuel efficient, and local made (not international brand), but there is discomfort at having fallen prey to the rampant consumerism that I abhor – yes, call me a hypocrite, you are justified. Still, no point regretting compromises.  The car arrives sometime this week, and I am still not sure how I feel about it.

Another possible change – we moved into the present apartment ten years ago.  I love the apartment, but could do with a change.  We have applied for a larger apartment, we may not get it if some one more eligible than us applies, but if we do, we’ll probably move.  It is within the same wooded area, but further in, and is in two levels, with ample yard space for a garden, lovely trees around and insulated from the neighboring houses by a lot of buffer space.  We may not get it, and I may not be disappointed too much because I have nothing against where we live now, but it will be nice if we got it.  Keeping fingers crossed.

Wow, that turned out to be a long post, didn’t it?