Archive for December, 2006

You want an OJ (Orrible Joke)?

December 30, 2006

We had taken the Shaffers to an Indian restaurant and they ordered both Saag Lamb (yes, that’s what it said in the menu!) and Badami Rogan Josh. A little while later, JS remarked, “Well, the conversation seems to have died down!” and I told him, that was the silence of the lambs…

I *warned* you….

A Prayer for the Stressed

December 30, 2006

From an email from a friend of mine….


Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,the courage to
change things that I cannot accept,and the wisdom to hide the bodies of those
I had to kill today because they got on my nerves…

Also help me to be careful of the toes I step on today as they may be
connected to the feet I have to kiss tomorrow..

Help me to always give 100% at work..
12% on Mondays
23% on Tuesdays
40% on Wednesdays
20% on Thursdays
5% on Fridays

And help me to remember when I am having a bad day and it seems people are
trying to wind me up that..
It takes 42 muscles to frown, 28 muscles to smile, and only 4 to extend my arm
and smack someone in the mouth….

Weddings everywhere…

December 30, 2006

Weddings everywhere are pretty similar, is the observation I have to make after watching a Baptist wedding. I thought an “American” wedding was a half-hour thing…but no, the ceremony today started 20 minutes late, went on for about 2 hours, and was preceded and succeeded by “rehearsal dinner”, “Pre-wedding brunch”, post-wedding reception, and there will be a “day after” brunch at the bride’s place…can you see any difference? Everyone was milling around, making tremendous amounts of noise as they circulated and conversed; only at the ceremony was everyone seated and perfectly quiet (that is one part I would like to integrate into our chaotic weddings!). The rituals were chosen to be meaningful…there were poetry and prose readings, and I was especially moved by an Apache wedding message that is given to the newlyweds of the tribe. The preacher spoke very movingly, and quoted the lovely poem of Yeats which ends, “Tread softly, for you tread upon my dreams.” For the few minutes when the vows were said, I became the bride’s mother once again, and it was my daughter getting married…the beauty of the long-known words still made my eyes moist.

The bridegroom, in the seven years that I have known him, has grown from a callow youth to a confident and mature young man. And when he brought his then-girlfriend to my daughter’s wedding in 2005, I was struck by the quality of sweetness that I instantly felt in her. So it felt good to see them getting together!

Of course some things were different…it was funny to have a sit-down dinner where we had to get up, go downstairs, get the food and then come back to the table (each table seated about 10 people and we had to go table by table)…and during the reception, suddenly the Yacht Club people decided to lower the heating; I thought it was me, and went downstairs to the cloakroom to get my coat and found several others there, saying it was too cold for them, too! Luckily someone spoke to someone else and the heating was turned up again…even that, though, reminded me of the many snafus that happen in our weddings!

I think that a wedding, anywhere in the world, is a covenant between two people (I firmly believe that marriages need not be only between opposite sexes)..and is a beautiful thing to behold as it starts, with hope and happiness.

Lovely time in Mystic

December 29, 2006

Amazing how people are the same everywhere…

Visited the Yale campus (NOW I am going to tell everyone, with a casual wave of my hand, “I went to Yale”…)and had pizza at a restaurant(Frank Pepe’s in New Haven) nearby, so famous for its “tomato pies” (it dates back to the time before it was referred to as pizza!) that there were 30 people in line before us!

if you are interest4ed, read more by clicking on this


December 27, 2006

With a few exceptions (eg, a lovely house designed by Chitale in Madurai), “architect-designed” homes in India are pretentious, impractical affairs. The house is fancy-shmancy, doesn’t gel with the lifestyle of its owners, doesn’t take mundane everyday details (like drying clothes, or storage of old newspapers, to quote two usually glaring omissions) into consideration.

So the home I am staying in now is great to see and experience. It has such innovative features as a “wave” roof…it’s a “very desirable” property on the oceanfront…it has not only been featured in an architectural magazine (it was designed by LS, an architect, for herself!)…but the builders use the house as an illustration in their advertisements, which says something! Various furniture companies and LL Bean regularly shoot their catalogues in the house.

And for all that, it is not a “house” but a lived-in home. There is clutter..but even that is, somehow, “artistic clutter”. There is so much of practicality, excellent use of space and superb design details. Various aspects of living…lounging, dining, laundry, the office area, and so on…have all been addressed. The quality of the construction, and the fixtures and gadgets, is superb.

Above all, it is NOT a house where that god of the “typical” American home…the garage…dominates. Yes, there IS an entrance to the garage, but the facades of the house…both the main entrance and the view from the sea shore…have the garage as an appendage and not the main feature of the house (like I have seen in many homes here…as my daughter says, “these are houses where the cars live, and, incidentally, their owners!”..we recently visited one home where we just pulled up to the garage doors…the house was TOTALLY tucked away behind the garage and we never saw it from the outside!)

The view from the windows, of the woods or the ocean, is absolutely picture perfect. Spaces are generous and welcoming. The home is reflects the way the S’s live. I don’t know many kitchens where one can watch the ocean while doing the dishes or chopping and stirring….

If I ever wanted an independent house in India (I don’t…too much trouble to maintain)…I would ask LS to design my home for me.

LS has promised to scan some pictures of her home for me. Will post them soon…

What a pleasure it is to see a home like this. LS cut down the design of the much larger 100-year old home they were living in earlier and she has done a great job of retaining the essentials, adding some superb features, and making a smaller, yet not smaller-feeling home.

Enjoyed my stay here, as always.


December 26, 2006

beast_666 and I were supposed to meet up tomorrow and we wanted him to join us for dinner. Today he called up and said that the last bus to where he lived would leave at 7pm, and so joining us for dinner would not be possible.

We then talked over our schedules for the day and gave him several options by which he could even spend a little time with us when we were driving around doing the various chores before the wedding….. and we could then drop him back at the bus station…but apparently these options didn’t appeal too much to him.

But I don’t know…beast, didn’t you look up the bus schedules in the several, several days that we planned this meeting? Why is it that I cannnot shake off a feeling that there is more to this cancellation than meets the eye? Being a typical Indian, I cannot help wondering…is it something I said or did, or something that I didn’t say or didn’t do?

Feeling sad..not a nice way to feel on Christmas Day. I have been trying to meet several LJ-ers…enigmaticash, beast_666, travelertrish…all with about the same degree of success…it is sad that logistics seem to be more in favour of meeting over the Net rather than meeting face-to-face…

But oh well, I have been able to meet several OTHER LJ-ers…shortindiangirl, “LJ user=”chaibacca”>, “LJ user=”madrasi_in_mo”>, “LJ user=”mriga”> (though this LJ-er never posts anything!)…and hopefully, my proposed meeting with varshax (coming down to LA to meet me) won’t get cancelled as well….and I hope to be able to visit wondernoon too…

Hope…hope…but it is really difficult–AND expensive– to even plan to meet people in this vast country….I do love meeting up with friends when travelling to their part of the world…but things sometimes don’t work out….

Christmas in Maine

December 25, 2006

We took a very early morning flight to Portland, and here we are, in the home of the S’s, a lovely, warm, welcoming home. LS’s mother, at 83, has flown in from Florida..she still looks so exquisitely beautiful. We just finished a late lunch and I am typing on the bridegroom-to-be’s laptop….Have to go and gift-wrap stuff now, and I am pretty glad that there is NO snow around here, however cold it is!

Will post a few pictures soon, I hope…but until then…all of you….enjoy yourselves!

It’s a Jolly Holly Day!

December 23, 2006

We are leaving for Maine (Christmas), Connecticut (wedding on the 29th) , and then California (KM’s entire family is getting together) , early tomorrow…don’t know how my internet access will be…so here’s wishing everyone a Merry Christmas with this spray of real holly, that I photographed just outside the St Louis Cathedral…


Lights at Meramec Caves

December 23, 2006

During our trip into the Meramec Caves, the guide switched on these lights…Photos: KM

Lights two at meramec caves, dec 10, 2006

and this…

Lights in Meramec Caves

My most sensible post today

December 23, 2006
My Peculiar Aristocratic Title is:
Her Exalted Highness Duchess Deponti the Sardonic of Waterless St Mildred
Get your Peculiar Aristocratic Title