Sunday, January 20, 2008

Jet Lag and more..

This is a first for me I must say.. I woke up at 7 AM on a SUNDAY MORNING. If Amma knows she's going to faint!! All these years of trying to wake up Ne early.

I havent had the time to blog the last couple of days.Inspite of having two months to 'prepare' to leave, I couldnt escape the last minute stuff. One cannot pack a month in adavnce even if she wants to right??? My room looked like it was hit by a tornado. clothes, shoes and accessories all over the place. Being a girl, clothes are just one part of it. We have so much of other stuff. It pained me to leave behind so many things. Although I managed to squeeze in ALL of my new shopping and memorablia. 23 kgs * 2 is nothing. NOTHING I tell u. Those stupid suitcases take up 5 kgs EACH by themselves. Needless to say all my luggage was over-weight. Including my backpck. The said backpack was around 11 kgs. It was HUGE. I was the only one on the flight with such a big bag..on my back. Let alone people leaving way for me, they had to leave way for Mr.Heavy too. Now I know how the turtle felt. Carrying its house on the back and that kind of thing. My back went for a sixer. I was aching and paining the whole time. To make it worse, I was going from chennai-doha-washington DC. Which meant my flight left at 4 AM, reached doha at 7 AM THEIR time. And landed at D.C 7 30 THEIR time.
Essentially I was travelling in sunlight all through. I thought I prided myself on my ability to sleep through thick and thin. I survived 4 years of sleeping from home to SRM in the college bus. I swear I was jinxed. Everyone put 'kannu' on me all through. Ne can sleep anywhere. She can sleep standing was Amma's fav statement. sigh. I dint get a wink of sleep. I read, ate, watched Game Plan, an Italian and a french movie with subtitles. Also 'Friends' and 'Joey'. For the nth time.

I kept thinking about my family and friends. When am I going to see them again? A year later? Im missing out on getting to know my brother on a more grown up level. He'll be 16 now. The previous day, my house was literally bursting at its seams. Every one was at home. I felt so loved when they came to see me off. Im going to miss this. Mindless chatter and coffee, Talking to nana, cooking at home, making stuff my brother likes. Although now, i'm closer to A and to schmetterling. It was a weird feeling. Like as if I was outside Ne's body and looking at her getting ready. Saying bye. Hugs and kisses. Amma forbade tears. This is a happy occasion,higher studies. No crying.

Listening to everyone's first experiences in America, I must say mine has been awesome. Nana's friends came to receive me at the airport, and brought me to their place. A very smooth transition. This is just like home. I dint have to battle the cold,snow and lug 3 over weight cases with me. I am being taken care of so well. It feels wonderful to know such good people. At times like this, one realises the strength and importance of good relationships. Be it family or otherwise. This is something that will be understood as time goes by.

As nik said, The little baby has to eventually fly away from its nest, or run or walk away even if its too late and grows into an ostrich.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Madras Music And Dance Festival

I was wondering what to name this post. Initially, I started off with Madras Winter Music and Dance Festival. But then realised where I erred. The words 'Madras/Chennai' and 'winter' dont go together in the same sentence!I duly changed it.

I'd gone to see a dance performance last evening, by Alarmel Valli(Bharathnatyam) and Madhavi Mudgal(Odyssey). It was fab. Im not a connoisseur of dance, but I do know just that little bit to say if a performance is really good or not. Bharathnatyam as a dance is of straight lines, and a cutting smart performance. Odyssey is more slow and sensuous. The contrast between the two was quite pronounced. It was apparent especially during the first 3 dances which Madhavi and Valli did together. I felt that Valli stole the show and outclassed Madhavi. Maybe that was because odyssey being a slow dance has its own pace and beautiful when seen by itself. It was obvious during Madhavi's solo performance. Danced to hindustani music, a story about Krishna.

My favourite was the 3rd number, a thillana by the both of them.Composed by Balamurali Krishna, it was lively, and absolutely stunning. Valli's posture, movements and rhythm were superbly flawless. Madhavi was more fluid and smooth.
Valli finished with a slow dance, a tamil song sung for a baby Amman. Resplendent in white, the essence and expression was very nicely portrayed.

I generally like fast paced dance and needless to say the thillana was my favorite of them all. Amma and i enjoyed ourselves, and felt it was totally worth going early, and getting good seats.

Although I was sent for music classes(just like 99.99% of all south indian brahmin girls) I've always wanted to learn dance.Now its too late. They send girls to learn at a very young age, and now a 22 yr old girl prancing with 5 and 6 year olds will be slightly weird I must say.

This whole cultural experience takes on a whole new turn when we visited Dakshin Chitra today. Its this heritage center where they have recreated South India of the 1900s. Brick by brick, built ancient houses from Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Karnataka. It was definitely beautiful. To enhance the feeling, there are numerous activities. We got our future told by one guy with a parrot which picks out cards, (where Hema and Aishu were told that they were actually supposed to be born as boys, and I shouldn't wear black for the next 6 months), did pottery,block printing. and took tons of pictures.

As soon as we reached, near the reception was a gift shop. True to ourselves, we went in there first. Where I bought the cutest kalamkari pouch bag. Hello. We have a reputation to keep up. How can we not go into a shop right in front of us?? I know I have lots to carry and am being warned about excess baggage everyday. But I have my priorities right. As many clothes, bags and shoes I can manage! :-)

Thursday, January 3, 2008

A new chapter??

Jan 3rd is a bit too late to be wishing everyone, better late than never! so.. Happy New Year to all u guys!

I usually don't celebrate new year as such, Its just an excuse to meet up with friends and go out(which we usually aren't allowed to do on account of bad 'elements' and their drunken driving). I'm not complaining..As i've said before, I'm perfectly content sitting around and chatting with friends. The last new year when I was in college, we coudn't do anything even if we wanted to. Coz we had an exam the next day. Now, how lame is that? An exam on new year's day? There was this big rumour that for our seniors, the university released their exam results on new year's eve. So writing an exam dint seem that bad after all.

This year, just a few of us school friends went out to dinner, not too far(for reason, pls refer paragraph 1, line 2) and got back to my place, chatting till the wee hours. But this time around, I actually did have a reason to celebrate even if according to the telugu calendar Ugadi(telugu new yrs day) is a few months ahead. A new phase of life awaits me. Moving half way across the world, to become a student again. A new country, lifestyle, people,surroundings.
I've been told its not as bad as I think, that when they went 50 years back it was so different. By they I mean tons of relatives and family friends, who are American Citizens now. Drinking only Evian, and snapping away with their Nikons, Jansport backpacks and buying look alike ivory elephant carvings for their friends ar work. Will I end up like that? Living in a different part of the world, my kids speaking with a foreign accent.Or maybe, I'll end up living in India itself? Only time will tell.I will look at this blog a number of years later and recollect the mixed feelings I have right now.OR

A part of me is looking forward to this move. I am gearing up myself. A part of me wants to stay back here. With family and friends. But later on I don't ever want to regret my decisions saying I should have taken the opportunity when I had it.

For now, I celebrated this new year, for new beginnings and a new life ahead.*Cheers*

Strawberries galore

Strawberry cake, with cream cheese and strawberry frosting and fresh strawberry.. yes, it does taste better than it looks, et oui, I baked it from scratch. I have to show off. Does good things to my ego! No, there's none left. The family polished it off!