Thursday, July 30, 2009

Weekend In Ahmedabad - Part II

The next day, i.e. on Friday, the 25th of July, we were all up by 9 making plans for the day. Sakhi had prepared breakfast for all of us-- some dish called "rosti" made of grated potato and cheese, and when Chirag added that she keeps experimenting on guinea pigs like them, I was a little hesitant to taste that thing! I said my prayers before I could take a bite, and it turned out to be so YUM that I took another helping of it!! :)

We got ready and first went to Isha's school for a PTA meeting. I set my foot into a school after ages and suddenly, I started feeling like I was so old! Toddlers ran past me playing amongst themselves, and I could see a couple of ladies in their late twenties hurrying up to make it in time for the meeting, and oddly, I felt like I had missed out on my years back then.. it was a strange, strange feeling.

Anyway, once it got over we went to my first "sight-seeing" spot - "Adalaj Step Well"
Frankly, when I looked at it, I thought it was a piece of crap, all I could see was a temple and a few pillars jutting out but I trusted Sakhi enough to know she wouldn't take me some place just for the heck of it and kept mum. And I'm glad I did! As we stepped inside, I just kept on looking in awe ! The place is a marvel !! The step well is actually 60 feet down ( 7 storeys below), they've made steps to climb up and down, and carved all over. The carvings were so intricate and so beautiful, each a different one...we didn't keep our camera in one second! We then headed for lunch at Havmor and I spotted a camel on the way!! I don't get to see many of them here; my excitement puzzled Sakhi :D

Lunch was delicious : Karaari Rumali Roti and Cholle Bature followed by Sweet Lassi and Cold Coffee. I fell in love with that Karaari Rumali Roti,it was crispy with ghee and masala in it; my mouth waters each time I look at this snap!

Post lunch we went to IIM-A
One of my friends Nissim studies there, I was supposed to meet him and he had offered to take us around the campus- both the old and the new. The campus was nothing like I had imagined it to be, it was even more beautiful ! I have seen nothing so serene and heavenly. I felt like I had come to a whole new country :D It's full of trees, and he said we had come at a good time, it had just rained and made the place a lot more greener!:) The classrooms and the dorms are huge (everything is huge basically), and there are huge circular openings on each building for the light to come in. The library is amazing. And there's a 132 feet gallery connecting the old campus to the new one.The new campus is just like the old one, except that the in the old one, the buildings have a natural aura because of the bricks that have been kept unplastered or painted, while in the new one, the buildings have a sleek grey (concrete) look. The circular windows are also relatively small in the new one. We had a cup of tea in their canteen "TANSTAAFL" which stands for "There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch", one of their professors came up with the name! :D

Next, we went to Law Garden for some shopping. They have legal stalls lined up there for the tourists. It's worth visiting even if you don't really want to shop. The place is vibrant with colours and mirrors reflecting the lights of these stalls! There was a huge variety of chaniya cholis, dupattas, embroidered hand bags, mobile pouches, junk jewellery, bangles. I bought 2 hand bags, one with "Kutchi work" on it, a small purse, a dupatta for mom and 6 embroidered mobile pouches for my dear ones!

We then stopped for dinner at Swati's, this time Sakhi ordered for me. She wanted me to taste typical Gujarati food and so, we had khichu and dal-dhokli. I liked khichu!

It was time to go back home and start packing again. I was to leave the next day (Sunday, the 26th of July). I felt like waiting a day longer but didn't really have a choice there.

Sakhi came to see me off the next day, I gave her a big hug and boarded the train (Gujarat Express) at 7 am.
My journey back home wasn't good at all. I enjoyed an hour with Kayan who just kept staring and smiling
at me but soon, the compartment was occupied by too many people with no sense of hygiene at all ! I tried my level best to ignore them; my novel and my cellphone (Twitter) kept me company all throughout, even managed to catch a few winks and soon it was 4pm.. The train halted at Dadar station; It was pouring...classic Bombay! ;)

Monday, July 27, 2009

Weekend in Ahmedabad - Part I

Just two weeks back, my blog friend Sakhi and I were on Gtalk as usual discussing plans for the weekend. None of us had any, and she randomly suggested I come over to Ahmedabad for a weekend! I first thought she had gone bonkers, but when she later added that it was just a matter of 8-10 hours, I considered the idea and got all pepped up! The next hour we were talking about where all we'd go once I got there and what all we'd do. I didn't give a thought to whether my parents would even send me there considering the farthest I've gone to all by myself is Panvel :D She offered to speak to them in case they had a problem with it, and so mustering a lot of courage, that night, I asked my dad over dinner if I could go. It was more like-- "I am going." That always seems to work better than "Can I go?" :D Anyway, he didn't say anything, neither yes nor no, and that always means "Yes". (I should probably write my next post on "dads & their lingo" :P) Mom had said yes already. The next morning I looked up for tickets and pinged my dad the train timings and schedule, and he readily agreed! I called up Sakhi immediately who was just as excited as me! :) I prepared a few chocolates for her that week, and on request, added ONLY raisins in them. Also got a book from Crossword that I thought she'd like ("Unaccustomed Earth" - Jhumpa Lahiri)

My train -- Karnavati Express, was scheduled to depart on Friday, 24th July, at 2:17 p.m. from Borivili Station. I took a half day off from work and went straight to the station. Waited, waited, and waited some more. I started getting worried when I asked this chap on the platform whether the train was to arrive there or on some other platform and he casually replied
"Karnavati toh nikal gayi!!". It was when I asked a few more people that I deduced that the chap was a complete idiot. I had even got my coach number wrong, but luckily I managed to find my seat once I was in the train. I took out my novel and began to read it. Meanwhile, also made friends with this young girl here "Pankti", who was travelling with her mom to her grandmother's place for a wedding. Another lady seated on my left , supposedly named "Neha Shah" started making conversation with me, and when I mentioned I'm from Bombay, she didn't leave me alone one second. She asked me about what I do, where I work, what my parents do, how many siblings I have and then she went on to tell me her own family history so much so that I had to put down the novel I was reading and listen to her!! Apparently, she was a Rakhi Sawant fan and asked me if I follow her show "Rakhi ka Swayamvar" !!! Now you all can imagine what a character she was, and just when I thought I had managed to get away when I was was about to get off at Maninagar station, she asked for my number! I didn't have much of a choice there and had to give it to her and store hers too.

At the station, Sakhi, her husband Chirag, her daughter Isha and Isha's friend Rutwa had been waiting for me since an hour!!
After exchanging a few pleasantries at the station, we went on to have dinner and chatted on the way. None of us felt like we were meeting for the first
time and no one could tell we were ages apart too! After dinner, we headed to her house where I was to spend the night. I gave her the book and the chocolates, she said she had already read the book but would add it to her
collection nevertheless :)

She too gifted me with a shower gel and body lotion pack. Isha was the cutest,
she gave me a chocolate and Chirag later mentioned she gives it to people she
really likes. I was happy! :) We retired to bed pretty soon since a long day awaited us ahead.

(To be continued... :D)

Monday, July 13, 2009

"What's up, Dude?"

Its been more than a month since I joined my organization, and it's been good so far. Wherever I go, I always happen to notice the way people talk, there usually is a common pattern that they follow. Likewise, I've been observing the dialect of the people here, one of them being the excessive usage of, "Typically", "Dude" and "What's up". It's something you pick up just by being a part of the company. I always avoid picking up such words to avoid being tagged as a stereotype, not always successful at that though. I remember having a hard time holding myself back from saying the F word when it was an overused word of the vocabulary of most people all around me. I don't understand why people use such words so often though, in places where it's really not required. Maybe it just gets passed on.

Some people just adopt that in their daily lingo because they hear it being used frequently. Others just do it to be a part of the clan, many of them do it to sound "cool", irrespective of whether they know what it means, or if they can even pronounce it. Most of them would say "Dooodh" (milk) for "Dude" and walk away feeling like they are the coolest of the bunch. It's okay to say it casually out of habit, but it's noticeable when they are trying to put on something.

Dude is a slang term used to refer to a friend or partner. The term dude generally

refers to a man; the female equivalent, "dudette" is used less often. However, "dude" has evolved to encompass both genders. Dude is a slang word, and this was true even in the 1950s, when the word was used in its more traditional sense.

Historically, the word usually has been used as a noun describing a type of man, or as an interjection. The tone and inflection of the word "dude" are used to convey the various meanings. For example, someone may be a "surfer dude." "Dude" is considered to be slang, similar to the phrase "man".

"Dude" is also used alone in a sentence as an interjection denoting a feeling of surprise, happiness, disappointment, amazement or other emotions. As an interjection, a short, clipped "dude!" might be used to convey annoyance with someone, while a long, drawn-out "duuuude" conveys amazement. The word might also be used almost anywhere in a sentence in order to convey such sentiments in conversation, as in, "Listen, dude, we have to go."

Other, older definitions include those of a well-dressed male, or one who is unfamiliar with life outside a large city. These definitions may go hand-in-hand, hence the phrased definition "an Easterner in the West" (United States).

Over a period of time, the excessive use of such words completely changes the meaning of the word itself! The F word, for instance, can mean a lot of things now, and not just the activity you perform in bed.

"What's up" is taking the same course. It has replaced "Hey", or "Hi" now. I see people passing by each other everyday saying "What's up?". Most of them don't even wait for the other person to respond, as if they don't really give a damn to what's really up!! I usually reply by "nothing much, what's up with you?". Some try to be funny by saying "The ceiling, duhh!!" , or "The sky!" or even "Why don't you look for yourself!!".

This one can leave you thinking why you even asked the person in the first place -- "Nothing much, just broke my arm last week while I was away on vacation climbing the Everest. And oh yes, my dad's blood report came in. The old fella's got cancer. I'm on my way to work now, gotta complete some formalities, just got fired you see. What's up with you?"

It has taken different forms too-- "Whaddup!!" , "Wassa" , "Whazzup", the most concise version being "Sup!"

Contrary to the popular belief
that the phrase is derived from the the famous catchphrase 'Whats'up, Doc?' of the cartoon character Bugs Bunny, it is not. The first referance to 'whatsup' can be found in a short story The adventures of Shamrock Jolnes
from Sixes and Sevens (1911) by acclaimed American short story writer O' Henry (September 11, 1862 - June 5, 1910) when the character Shamrock Jolnes says, "Good morning, Whatsup".

Bugs Bunny made its first appearance in 'A Wild Hare' on 27 July 1940, many years after the publishing of the book 'Sixes and Sevens'. However it can be said the phrase was made popular by Bugs Bunny.

Jack London's The Sea Wolf 1904, page 157 "what's up" I asked Wolf Larson


Some slangs/words are used so frequently that they get added to the dictionary over the years."Google" for instance was used so much ("to google up for" means "to search for something on Google") that it got added to the Oxford English Dictionary and Webster's Dictionary as a verb.

However much we try not to use them, we always find ourselves using them some time or the other. I remember a time when I used "sexy" as an adjective for everything right from a hard-bound notebook I had bought from A1 stores to the new Google Chrome interface! Can't help it really, can you dude? :P

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

A well spent weekend..!

As everyone kept cribbing about the monsoons, and about how the dark clouds kept playing dirty games with us especially when it would rain heavily for an hour followed by a dry spell throughout the day, we were all taken aback when the showers hit Mumbai on Saturday, the 4th of July!

I had spent Friday night at my uncle's place and was coming back from there to attend a birthday party. It was Aditi's birthday and she was giving us a lunch treat at Classic. I was looking forward to it, it had been a long time since we all celebrated a birthday together. I was running late. There was water logging in many areas, some tracks were even flooded, I had to wade through the knee-deep water on the station road. As soon as I got home, I changed and hurried to Classic. Sure enough, like I had told them, they hadn't cut the cake! :) I seated myself, the cake-cutting session followed and we put on these funny birthday caps, clicked pictures and acted crazy!

It was still pouring outside and we were tempted to go to Irani and enjoy cups of hot tea while watching the rain. After a lot of gossip and jokes over 2 hot cups of lemon tea, we finally left to go home at 5.30 pm. I still felt like making the most of the rains that had hit the city after really long and so, I started cooking! Within an hour, with my mom's assistance of course (actually,she did more than just 'help' but I like taking the credit :P), I had prepared aloo and banana bhajiyas, fried 3 different kinds of papad and made ginger chaai. Okay, the bhajiyas do look a bit over-fried,agreed,but that just makes them more crispy :P

Sunday was good too. I spent most part of the day lazing around, the weather bureau had predicted rainfall heavier than Saturday, and everyone was advised to stay home. It didn't rain a drop the whole day (I should've known!) so I finally went shopping with my best bud Chinky in the evening. We went to Dadar and Colaba. I bought a formal John Players olive green full-sleeved shirt for dad since it was his birthday the next day. After a lot of shopping for junk jewelery at Colaba Causeway and hogging at McDonalds, I was back home. I wished dad a Happy Birthday when the clock struck twelve, and gifted the shirt to him.He wore it to work the next day, so I'm assuming he liked it, he didn't say much though. But again, dads aren't very expressive, are they?

All in all, it was a well spent weekend... I hope this week goes well too. So far, it's been good!
College starts from tomorrow, looking forward to it :)

P.S. Don't mind the alignment of the pictures, spent way too much time on it!!! Planning to just write the whole post in HTML next time!