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Tuesday, February 15, 2005
Valentine and moving...

I got a Valentine's day gift.

This blog has moved to http://colours.typepad.com .

Hopefully that one will be updated regularly.

Posted at 2/15/2005 10:55:47 am by colours
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Thursday, January 27, 2005
Jan 27-th....

Reading the Financial Times of January 27-th in a public place in Germany requires a little bit of jugglery.

I was sitting in the doctor's waiting room, sneezing and sniffing, trying to handle a few tissue papers and my insurance card while reading the newspaper. After reading the article on sale of IBM's PC unit I turned the paper over and read about the Weinberg's (Goldman Sachs's CEO) planned return to US. I turned the paper again to the side that had been turned away from me all this while. I was confronted with the headlines "Germany braced for jobless to reach 5M". I hoped there were only employed people in the waiting room.

Realising that Germans are probably not too happy about this situation, I quickly turned the page. After glancing at page 2, I turned over to page 3 which had faced the outside for a short time and read "German Universities win right to charge student tuition fees". Oopppssss.... I hoped that only the supporters of this, the business leaders and university administrators, were sick today - not prospective University students or their parents.

I overturned the paper to the top of page 3. To my chagrin I saw a picture which had been exposed for a few seconds to the patients. The picture showed a survivor of Auschwitz concentration camp walking under the camp's infamous entrance. The infamous words hung over the gatepost - those words which had caused a few serious faces at office when a colleague from India had written it on our white board and forgotten to wipe it away.

Well... I decided to wrap up the paper and concentrate on the handsome father reading fairy tales to his children, the mother with the small baby in her hand and the small girl sitting in the play corner. She was bemoaning that too many children come to the "Praxis" and use the color pencils leaving them too blunt for her to use.

Posted at 1/27/2005 8:34:08 pm by colours
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Monday, January 24, 2005
Gesundheit.... and that is not all

I love my work. It is not just the screws and the engines of aircrafts that get me excited. The different people in my team enrich my life.

We are four in a room - A Russian, a German who was a Croatian until two years back, a Swede and me - an Indian. One sneezed - three sang a chorus : "Gesundheit".

I work with two 25 year old boys (I feel like a grandmother already) - an Irish and a German. Last year there was a desk calender of "art in black and white" in their office. It belonged to the Slovakian colleague who sits in their room. This calender, gifted by his girlfriend, increased their adrenaline and motivated them to work - or so they said. This year, the girl friend gifted him something else. So they decided to get the Pirelli calender for their office. There are moments of leg pulling, mock fights and "bier"s before the weekend. The number of empty bottles lying beside the wall on Friday evenings will put a bar to shame.

One wants to know: "If I travel to India and meet you there - can I give you a hello hug? Would anyone mind?"

Another says: "I read that prostitutes in India donated a day's earning to Tsunami victims. I thought there would be no prostitutes in India".

The one from Ukraine says : "My sister loves Bollywood films". He was terribly excited today that Ukraine might have a woman as prime minister. His wife is learning German nursery songs to sing to their daughter who just started visiting the kindergarten.

My sister-in-law's friend asks: "Are there televisions in India ?"

The Romanian calls me this weekend: "colours, we plan to make a curry from the book you gifted us. What will go better with the curry - Naan or chappathi ?".

The Chinese is married to a Taiwanese and they are expecting a baby. He has posters of Taiwan with People's Republic of China written on it.

The German whom I accompanied to India was dazed for the first days of our trip. On the first Friday we were in India, I introduced Bangalore to him. I showed him restaurants where he could eat, explained how to hail an auto and showed him that it is easy to cross the road. I worried as he spent the weekend on his own. On the day of return he wanted me to buy him Pappad.

I had gone for the Bavarian colleague's wedding three years ago. I remember the men dressed in lederhose and the ladies in traditional Bavarian dresses. There was lot of singing, dancing and games. I thought Punjabis in India had the most entertaining weddings. I was enthralled by the fun after the catholic wedding in this part of the world.

The French colleague married to a Japanese gave a presentation of the product he is working on. Every alternate slide was on Japan. With the land of rising sun interspersing the pricing scenarios, we never forgot the commodities that encompassed his life.

The British colleagues, from documentation team, discusses whiskeys during the "bier" sessions.

The Brazilian greets me daily with folded hands and says "Namaste".

Posted at 1/24/2005 7:41:25 pm by colours
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Friday, January 07, 2005
Last quiet day

Last 2 weeks have been amazing. Even if I came to office late at 9 or 10 I could get parking on the second floor of the parkhaus. I walked along the corridors with empty rooms on either side. I felt I was one of the few responsible employees. I reached my desk and switched on the music in full blast and sang along. Ideas flew faster - ideas for blogs were generated. Just as I logged into blogdrive I remembered - oh yes ! I have to do some work also. So I turned to the logon pad and opened the system. I clicked some buttons and pressed the back buttons aimlessly. At around 5 in the evening I gave up and decided that my ill husband needed me more. I switched off the computer and the lights. I walked back along the almost empty dark corridors. I heard some responsible discussions on work from the few occupied rooms - I felt a little guilty till the cold blast hit my face when I emerged from the building.

I went home and when opening the door remembered the clothes the sick person should have put for washing. I entered the house singing "Have you put clothes for washing" in the harshest tone possible. All the time I knew that he would not have put the clothes for washing.

Jan 10-th, I dread you and I dread the work that will start in full swing.

Posted at 1/7/2005 12:22:59 pm by colours
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Thursday, December 30, 2004
I wish..

I wish I was a witch so that I can reach the Nagapattinam coast in the next second to help the people there physically besides providing financial help for the Tsunami victims .

I wish there was a machine by which we could speed up the different activities so that the people who are affected can get back to their normal lives soon.

I wish there was someway I could help to rebuild the houses of the people who have lost their houses and not in the next 6 months to 1 year but in the next couple of weeks. I wish I had studied more during my engineering entrance exams so that I could be an architect now with a team of construction workers.

I wish I could somehow remove the fear and despair the fishermen will have about the occupation on the sea. This will be a stumbling block for resuming normal life.

I wish I had studied properly before my medicine entrance exam so that I could be a doctor.

I wish I had answer to my question "How else can I help those people ?".

Posted at 12/30/2004 1:35:10 pm by colours
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Wednesday, December 29, 2004
December 26-th 2004

December 26-th: 1:15 a.m local Srilankan time: "This cottage has no power. We have just 3 hours to sleep. How can they give us this cottage ? Don't hotels check their rooms before allotting them to guests ?". I was determined to write a blog about the quality of service at Tamarind Tree in Colombo.

I complained about the room.They shifted us to another room after 15 minutes. I asked them to give us a wake up call the next morning.

"Ma'am, the vehicle will come at 4:30 a.m. Shall I give a wake up call at 4:00 ?"

My husband knows me better: "No. Please wake us up at 3:45 a.m"

"Yes Sir."

Later: Phone rings.

I look at my mobile to check the time and am thrown out of the bed. 4:00 !!!! I asked that guy to wake us up at 3:45. In a panic I pull out clothes from the different bags, wake up Parmanu and push him into the bathroom and rush around without any idea about my actions. He is ready in 10 minutes and I just get into the bath at 4:15 when there is a knock at the door.

"Car Sir".

I hit the ceiling. They wake us up 15 minutes later and the car arrives 15 minutes earlier.

December 26-th: 4:30 a.m: I glare at the receptionist and get into car. He smiles and waves. The raging waves had already started building up in my mind.

December 26-th: 6:30 a.m: We have finished immigration check, bought gifts for friends, had some refreshments, crossed security check. We watch Jayasuria, in New Zealand, hitting a boundary, a six and then getting out while attempting another six. A group of crew going into the aircraft stop in front of the TV screen to watch the replay of the wicket falling. A few German co-passengers look around listlessly as they wait for the announcement for boarding - they are not interested in this game. There are not too many passengers on the day after Christmas.

December 26-th: 7:25 a.m: The flight has just taken off. I look outside the window. The scenary is a lot like Kerala except for a white stupa in between the coconut trees lining the coast. The buildings and houses near the coast seem to be asleep. There are small catamarans on the beach. Towards the west are the calm blue waters. They are separated from the golden beach by small white waves.

December 26-th: 14:30 Central European Time:

"Why didn't you both call up Mummy and Daddy from the airport ? Why is your mobile switched off ?"

"Call up from airport ? We said we would call late in the evening. Our mobile does not have charge".

"There has been a huge earthquake in Srilanka at 6:30 in the morning. We have all been very worried."

Posted at 12/29/2004 1:43:49 pm by colours
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Tuesday, December 14, 2004
My Indian Holidays

Our last trip to India for 3 weeks flew by with our search for an apartment. We left home at 8:00 in the morning and got back home at 11:00 at night. My inlaws expressed concern at our so called "holiday". We promised them that once we buy an apartment everything would be fine and our next holidays we would spend relaxing at home. On the last day we fixed a dot on the chart of one of the apartment projects.

One and a half years later we are back for our next stinct in India. Besides the house warming festivities (the arrangements of which we delegated to my inlaws), we also worked from our company's branch in the outskirts of the city 1.25 hours travel from where we stay. We are here primarily to fix up a carpenter to do the interiors of the house, to select someone to build our kitchen and to buy the water heaters and the electrical fixtures for the apartment.

The Saga of our Indian holidays continue. We leave home at 8:30 in the morning and get back home at 11:00. After that we pour over the 10s of catalogues that we collected from the numerous interior designers, kitchen designers, lights and electricals showrooms and carpenters. Added to this are the visits to bankers, visits to lawyers and registration authorities, the visits to notary for transcripts of the University marksheets, the trips to office and the deadlines at work, the war with the traffic in Bangalore and the struggle to accommodate the visit to each of the relatives.

We sure are having an exciting time.

Posted at 12/14/2004 2:20:04 pm by colours
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Friday, November 05, 2004
Leela's blog

It was a weekend and I was staring at the flat screen monitor sitting in the study at home. Parmanu normally gets easily distracted by the bikini thinnie, Naked Aunty and the farex babies who often walk on the street outside the window. These hardly hold any interest for me till the handsome 'Employee of the year' comes out with a Farex baby in his arms.

As 'EOTY'  and his baby were missing on a particular Saturday morning I concentrated on the screen and went to Absolute Lee. When I first saw the new look of Leela's blog I found it interesting.
The black band in which the girl stands looked fashionable. The light greenish blueish tinted white background was strange. However I could not read the beginning of the entry titles as part of titles were black letters and lay inside a black box. I thought she wanted to start a guessing game in her blog.

I wondered whether she was the black and white kind of person. I love colours and was known for making colorful PowerPoint presentations. Although I missed colours on her blog, the girl at the top more than made up for it. Black and White.... oh well... I know someone who likes it - as expected, Parmanu agreed with my feelings about the look of the blog - he loved it.

Come Monday morning and I reached office - threw the bag on the floor, jacket on the jacket hook, scarf on the chair, wallet on the table, my notebook on the other table, my butter pretzel into my mouth and settled into the chair to check whether any upadtes had been made in the blogs. I reached Leela's blog and sat straight. How could she read my mind from so many thousands of kilometers away? The red was lovely - it was wonderful of her to change the black to red. It looked good against a pure white rather than a blueish greenish white. I could read all the letters of her entry title. The girl looked even more mischievous against a red background – just as if she was preparing to paint the city red.

Later in the evening, I again sat at the monitor at home and opened Lee’s blog. Lo! It was black again – what was she playing at? Parmanu – “It is our monitor, something is wrong with it – it does not show red – none of my sunset photos have the red or orange in them”. So now I prefer reading Leela’s blog from office while Parmanu reads it from home.

Posted at 11/5/2004 10:55:50 am by colours
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Tuesday, October 19, 2004
Ooopppssss.. here comes another one...

ok.. good.. this time I can comment to the right person since both Rash and Leela have commented. Before Leela discovered my mistake, Parmanu discovered that I had replied to Rash instead of to Leela in my previous comment box - Leela let me assure you that I was thinking about you all the time (I hope this makes up for it and you will not punish me like the others do).

Since I haven't done this for quite sometime, I had assumed that I was cured of it. Now I understand it is because I never got the opportunity.

A friend had sent me a mail telling me about all her travails in life. I got the mail at office when I was pressing F5 F5 on my keyboard debugging some stupid problem, which refused to get solved without effort. I clicked on the button on top of the mail, typed "She is seeking sympathy" and pressed 'send'. I had forgotten to type the recipient's email address as you would normally do when you forward the message. I waited for outlook to complain that there was no recipient in the box but ... Viola!!! The mail disappeared. In sheer panic, I dug into my sent box and there it was. The button I had initially pressed was a 'reply' button...Outlook already knew the recipient.

Needless to say that was the last I heard about her travails :( - my womanly soul has been deprived since then.

Posted at 10/19/2004 7:24:44 am by colours
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Friday, October 15, 2004
Tribute to Ironing fetish

Come winter and the use of iron decreases. The winter clothes are out and the summer clothes go in. Jumping into the first jeans that come into the hand, yanking the creased T-shirts out of the cupboard before pulling it over the head in a hurry has become the norm of the day. Finally the sweater is carefully drawn off the hanger and delicately pulled over the head.

As I got ready this morning, thoughts came floating into my mind when Poopi used to iron all his shirts and pants meticulously. Even during his busiest schedules, he ensured that he was dressed in creaseless clothes. After he ironed his clothes it was the turn of our starched uniforms. Later as we grew older, he started reminding us of many of our friends who used to iron their own uniforms and whose fathers did not have to do it daily for them. In our hearts we knew that there was no one who could do it as well as he could. Slowly as we took over (yes Poopi we did take over), he taught us how to iron the different types of dresses. Then we moved to Madras where there was an ironing person stationed outside every apartment. My sister, mother and I started giving our clothes to him for ironing to decrease our guilt. Yet Poopi continued ironing his own clothes. He also knew that no one could do it better than him.

Nowadays as I sit in a bank I see the bankers in suits and the creased shirts inside the suits. I remember a banker with creaseless clothes taking quick strides into his cabin. I cringe feeling the creases under my sweater. Why don't fetishes get passed on via genes?

Posted at 10/15/2004 9:58:12 pm by colours
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