Goodbye 1800 JPA

Posted July 27th, 2002 by Deepa and filed in Personal
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season summerToday is moving day. After 2 years of staying in Apt # 52 , my lease ends. I have spent the last couple of days packing my clothes, my books, my knickknacks. In the course of two years my room had become a comfortable place to be. Every item had its own place, some by choice and some by chance. As each item gets packed away my room slowly is getting a bare look. All my wall hangings, posters,  key- chains and mementoes of the various places I have visited are packed away in a suitcase. My wardrobe is empty, the clothes are already in suitcases. The biggest challenge was to pack my books. Two cardboard cartons, a suitcase and an airbag are filled with books. Suddenly the room, which was cosy and homely, looks bare and cold .

It was my first house: MY house…and now its time to say good bye. I’ll be staying here just for a few more days while I complete my Masters.

Hmmmmm….

seasonfallI guess I am having a writer’s block….I wrote this 2 hours ago and now can’t think of anything else to write….Probably comes from the fact that I have written 90 pages of my thesis in the past couple of weeks. There is nothing that stems your imaginations and arrests your creativity as much as a piece of scientific literature…Measure your words ,re-read them, re-word them, re- arrange them…till the whole thing looks impersonal and something that another person has written.

Or it is the lack of topic to write on. My daily routine has simplified….Lab does not take up much of my time…All I do is write the thesis and train a new student to take over my work when I am done. And I swim every evening….One of the changes associated with a roommate who is a guy. Much more exercise….I swim at least thrice a week, have played golf, done canoeing and kayaking. I also see a lot of movies. With both Atha and me having the ability to enjoy any crappy hindi movie , we watch a fillum every night. Its almost always Hindi till Subha puts her feet down and then we watch an English movie….And we have these long late night chats…Atha, Subha and I or sometimes just Atha and I about everything in the world…..

seasonwinterI know I am having a lazy lazy life…..I have a feeling it is the calm before the storm though.. There are just 24 days left for my thesis defense and then I am sure everything is going to happen in a fast forward mode…Can’t wait for the climax…

I guess it is time for you guys to write in and let me know how you are doing…..

Books

· The Inner courtyard : Collection of stories by Indian women authors · The left hand side of darkness : Ursula LeGuin. ( I have never read much sci-fiction….however I think its time to start. Am really enjoying this one)

Movies

· Devdas .. grand sets, beautifully choreographed dances, two beautiful actresses……It was not that bad as I thougt it would be. I was expecting another Ashoka but the director was wise enough to limit Shahrukh’s scenes which I thought made the movie bearable
· The Vagina Monologues ( The girl at Blockbuster told me “It’s a great show….makes you feel oh so good that you are a woman”. She was right…I loved it

· Run Lola Run : German movie…a sort of Sliding Doors like story….

Bunch of hindi movies ( Kya Dil ne kaha, Shaheed, Badhai ho badhai, Hum Kise se kam nahi) each one worse than the last.

Websites

Just a bunch of Bollywood movie sites I check in occasionally for reviews and gossip.

· http://www.screenindia.com Updates every Friday….
· www.upperstall.com …..Infrequently updated
· www.b4utv.com……lots of gossip
. www.rediff.com/entertai/enthome.htm…great old memories page

Oye Ohio

Posted July 15th, 2002 by Deepa and filed in Travel
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I have a new roommate…Surajit Atha.My new roommate has an old friend. K.D.The new roommate’s old friend has a roommate,Tehseen. And this new roommate’s old friend’s roommate has finished her graduation and has not found a job. Tired of living on credit ,she decided to go back home. Understandably KD and Atha wanted to have a “last” trip together. Several destinations were discussed and discarded before we finally hit on OHIO. Having already finished seeing all the states adjoining Virginia so far…we are venturing farther and farther out. Atha,by means of tempting,ordering and cajoling manage to get Subha and me excited enough and I roped in Seejo and Seejo roped in his friend and by the time we started we were a huge party.

Ohio is a 7 hour journey by road. We started on Friday night,picked up Ashu and Seejo on the way and drove till Akron,OH.  Ninad, ( my D.J S classmate) stays there in a HUGE house with 4 of his friends so we crashlanded at his place for the night. The main attraction in Ohio was an African Wildlife safari. When we planned it we were not sure how good it would prove to be and were apprehensive that it would just be an attraction for tiny tots.However it was quite worth a trip to Ohio.

The place had a zoo kind of thing initially with a lot of exotic animals like the kangaroo, some wild monkeys, ocelots and warthogs and anteaters. The safari actually as a drive through were we drive through a mile or so in our cars and the animals are roaming wild.

We could also feed the animals with a packet of food provided by the safari authorities. As soon as we entered the safari area .A huge eland (taller than our car) sauntered towards us. It was pretty amazing soon we were surrounded by llamas,elands and varieties of deer. We could roll our windows down and feed the animals while they slobbered all over our car. I fed some deers and enjoyed watching them jostle each other for the food. Next set of animlas ere the more exotic ones. zebras,camels giraffes and ostriches. It was pretty neat to watch ostriches and giraffes stick their long necks thru the window of the car to stare and at you and eat the food right off oyur hands. Tremendous experieelandnce for sure.

We then went to a mystery spot in Ohio which “defies” gravity. It was similar to the stuff in San Franciso. bt the San jose one was much better presented and preserved. Ended the day by swimming/plying in the beach off lake Erie. We drove back to Pittsburgh at night and landed at Vrushali’s place for the night. The next day that is Sunday we went to sight see Pittsburgh. It is a beautiful city. Two rivers meet and join to form a thrid river right in the middle of the city. Hence there are about 435 bridges which crisscross the city and have earned it the nam of City of Bridges. We could view the entire landscape from a point called the Dunesque Incline. I will put some photographs up soon….

Reached home late night at 2 am.

A Long Time Ago

Posted July 7th, 2002 by Deepa and filed in Personal
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This incident took place fifteen years ago when I was in class V. There was a spate of petty thefts in my class. Small iterms were missing…some pens, a particularly nice eraser, some loose change brought by the student to spend in the school canteen during the “short” break. All these things were missing…Some one was quietly stealing these items when nobody was around. We had a thief amongst us.

For the four of us who were fascinated by Enid Blyton adventures this represented a great opportunity. We could try and solve this mystery. The four were Somila, Naheed, Priyanka and myself, and coincidentally we were the monitors of our respective houses. None of us doubted our ability to catch the thief for an instant…after all we had not read all those Famous Fives and Five Find outers for nothing.

There were new security measures announced. All the students were asked to lock their bags, keep money on person, and for good measure we were not to remain in the classroom for any of the breaks. As monitors we were entrusted the task of seeing the classroom was empty during the breaks. We were excited …and requested special permission from our class teacher to stay behind in the classroom to verify that the class room indeed stayed empty. Our class teacher Ms. Anagha agreed. May be because she was a novice at her job ( it was her first teaching experience) or may be because she was amused at our enthusiasm and wanted to humor us. I don’t know the reason ..( but she was always my favourite teacher after that).

So we were all set. Priyanka and I informed our respective mothers that hereafter we would eat lunch in the school. We would wait till the last student left the classroom and then hurry downstairs, gobble up our lunch and then rush upstairs to wait for the thief. Each time we entered the class after lunch we were almost sure that we would stumble upon the thief. We hid beneath the benches, waiting for the culprit…more often than not scaring any unsuspecting girl who forgot her lunchbox or her book or something trivial.

Looking back I am amazed at how professional we were. One of us ( I forget who) recollected that there were some such incidents in her class the previous year. Since students are shuffled as they enter the secondary from the primary, we could make a list of all the students who were in that class the previous year and then ended up in class V B. Then we proceeded to strike of each of the suspects one by one. First we struck off those students whom we felt “could not” be (read our particular friends). We laid baits, checked for clues, looked at every student with suspicion and I am ashamed to admit even managed to take a sneak peak into some school bags.

We never did manage to catch the thief. But the robberies almost ceased. Perhaps it was the security measures instilled by our teachers, may be it was the fact that with the four of us in class there was no opportunity to steal, or may be our antics just scared the thief off. (I am assuming it wouldn’t take much to scare off a 10 year old)

We laid vigil for one entire semester. Ofcourse after the first couple of months our enthusiasm had worn off. Then we just sat there and chatted, played antakshari, and generally hung out together. That semester laid the bonds of a friendship that endured throughout my school life. And beyond that….

Somila married soon after we left school and we lost touch with her. But Naheed, Priyanka and I are in contact even now ,although we are miles apart. I haven’t met Priyanka for the past six years and I talk to Naheed about once a year. But some relationships endure….perhaps it is the memories of shared childhood experiences that keep them strong.

Are you wondering what started off this ramble…..Well I spoke to Priyanka this week after nearly a year ( in spite of staying in US). Initially it seemed funny but soon the initial awkwardness wore off and we were chatting as we did when we were back in school and talking on the phone was a novelty!

And activities of this week:

Books
Silence of the Lambs : Thomas Harris

Movies
Eat Drink Man Woman: A Chinese movie about a master chef with three unmarried daughters. Funny in some parts ..emotional at other parts…nice movie over all
Minority Report: I liked the movie. Took some effort to understand the story but it was gripping and rather horrifying at times

Websites
http://www.embarrassing.us/  ——-> Funny stories….on most embarrassing moments
http://www.fourth-of-july-celebrations.com/html/uncle_sam.html ——–> And this one for the ID4 weekend

And finally, speaking of independence day, I have finally decided on my Masters defense date. How does August 15 sound to you guys???