Archive for October, 2006

Protected: My friend’s surgery went well

October 31, 2006

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Protected: Worry…and not close enough to do much…

October 30, 2006

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Useful Military Warnings, posted by

October 29, 2006




“Aim towards the Enemy.”
– Instruction printed on US Rocket Launcher

“When the pin is pulled, Mr. Grenade is not our friend.”
– U.S. Army

“Cluster bombing from B-52s is very, very accurate. The bombs are guaranteed to always hit the ground.”
– U.S.A.F. Ammo Troop

“If the enemy is in range, so are you.”
– Infantry Journal

“A slipping gear could let your M203 grenade launcher fire when you least expect it. That would make you quite unpopular in what’s left of your unit.”
– Army’s magazine of preventive maintenance.

“It is generally inadvisable to eject directly over the area you just bombed.”
– U.S. Air Force Manual

“Try to look unimportant; they may be low on ammo.”
– Infantry Journal

“Tracers work both ways.”
– U.S. Army Ordnance

“Five-second fuses only last three seconds.”
– Infantry Journal

“Bravery is being the only one who knows you’re afraid.”
– Col. David Hackworth

“If your attack is going too well, you’re probably walking into an ambush.”
– Infantry Journal

“No combat-ready unit has ever passed inspection.”
– Joe Gay

“Any ship can be a minesweeper … once.”
– Anon

“Never tell the Platoon Sergeant you have nothing to do.”
– Unknown Army Recruit

“Don’t draw fire; it irritates the people around you.”
– Your Buddies

(And lastly) “If you see a bomb technician running, try to keep up with him.”

Shayri from one friend to another….

October 28, 2006

From itsalouwelylife to amoghavarsha

Jis subah dil mein aapki yaad na aaye,
Khudaa karey aisi subah na aaye.
Mumkin hi nahin ki afsaanaa likhun dosti ka,
Aur usmein aapkaa naam na aaye.

amoghavarsha, that philistine, wrote back: “Torture.”

The rest of the photos of the Kanakapura birding trip

October 28, 2006

Now that I have the id of the other birds which I was not sure of, here are some of the other  photos from the trip:

click on this for the photographs

Back to the birds…

October 27, 2006

I had the afternoon free and found that amoghavarsha was free too, but it was too late to go too far out, so we just decided to go to Kanakapura Road, and went near the Valley School campus looking to see what we could find.

Well…the first beautiful thing was the sunlight through the moisture-laden clouds….this picture just doesn’t do justice to it, but it’s an attempt to share it with all of you….

IMG_0122 Light through the clouds

For pictures of some of the birds that we saw, click on this

OHO info

October 26, 2006


Still on the subject of social conversation….

Some people feel that they MUST make conversation, and this takes the form of asking for information which could not be of ANY possible relevance to them. I know an elderly gentleman who seems so insatiably curious about the minutest details of the lives of the people he is speaking to. As soon as the initial “hello”s are over, he will start off: “So, are you married?” “Yes”. “How many children?” “Two.” (probably here the other person, if they are like me, is fighting down an insane desire to say Fourteen.)”And where are they living?” “In the US.” “WHERE in the US?” “One in Dallas and one in Kalamazoo.” “Do they live in houses or apartments?” “Apartments”. “How many floors?”….and so it goes.

And for every answer, the gentleman looks highly interested, and before adding the next question, responds with one sound that takes the place of a word: “Oho!” (Meaning, “appadiyaa” in Tamizh or “houthaa” in Kannada, or “is that so?” or “oh, really?” in English.)

I am NOT joking, this gentleman asked my daughter how many balconies she had in her flat and how many potted plants she had on the balcony. She lives in St Louis and I do not envisage him, over 80 years old now, ever visiting to verify the answer. But…he is making conversation, and is interested. EVERYTHING is grist to his curiosity/conversation mill. “How does your husband go to work?” ” He takes the car.” “Oho….does he have a driver?” “Yes.” “Oho. Is the driver married?” (I kid you not.)

So now, when any of us gets information that is of no use to us whatsoever, we designate it “OHO info”! I was just retailing to KM the domestic help-related travails of my neighbour, and after listening to me, KM smiled, and with a twinkle, said, “oHO!” and we both cracked up!

Social lubrication conversation

October 25, 2006

When I was younger I used to get very impatient with what I used to call “inane” remarks and conversations, such as this one that I hear at EVERY social function I attend:

A: “Oh, HI!!! how ARE you? SUCH a long time since we met!”

B: “HI!!! Yes, it’s been a long time…so…how’s things with you?”

A:”All well, and how are your children/parents/family/dogs?”

B:” Oh, carrying know how it is….things are SO hectic you know…”

Well, I am much more tolerant of these conversations now. I know that it allows A to desperately hunt around in hes mind for B’s name, and for B to check out A’s children/jewellery (and also possibly recollect HES name), and each to size up the other in case they really can’t stand each other, and gives them the space to make polite further conversation about either how good it was in the old days, or some vague talk about “we must meet up soon” so that they can part amicably until they meet again at the next social gathering.

….and I viscerally HATE air-kissing and social,keeping-my-saree-and-jewellery-intact hugging. Any hugging that I do is genuine,so somewhat rare. My hand-shake is also firm and deliberate and I detest the limp pieces of flesh that are sometimes put half-heartedly in my hand. And I think there are only a handful of people on earth whom I would kiss, and THAT would not be just because I am meeting them….

I am NOT a socially adept animal!

Lovely day at Chennai

October 24, 2006

The first prerequisite to enjoy oneself in Chennai is that it should be a holiday so that the regular traffic is missing; the second, that it is cloudy and cool as the regular heat and humidity turn me into an air-conditioned-room-occupying slothful creature, barely able to lift a hand to click the remote or the keyboard.

But today, both conditions were met at Chennai..and even better, two of my close friends were off from work; one works for Deutsche Software and the other works with dyslexic children. Both are fun-loving women. itsalouwelylife, alas, had to work today…her “Id” holiday is tomorrow, not today!

But I cant really let a day go by without seeing my dear Itsalouwelylife, so when KM got ready to go to the airport to take a flight back to Blr (he will return tomorrow for the wedding) I decided to walk the 5 km to Itsa’s home. I reached there in time for a steaming tumbler-damara of hot filter coffee and the softest dosais I have eaten for a LONG time.

you want to read more? Click on this

Perfect Torrent

October 23, 2006

Yesterday, I sat at home through the afternoon, waiting for a friend so that we could work on something of his together…I was checking LJ every now and then and there were HARDLY any posts.

Today, I take a train to Chennai and use a slow dialup connection…and there have been a perfect SLEW of posts. A rant on awful customers, cockroaches eating kolams, a beautiful picture of fall leaves, another recounting of a accident to a car wheel thanks to bad roads, a birthday wish ( 😀 ), a post about Rabindranath Tagore, several thought-provoking posts, a delightful rendition of Carnatic music, a slurp-sounding recipe….

I do love LJ and my online friends. I think you all keep me thinking…and young at heart!