Archive for October, 2007

Ever wondered..

..why the moon is round, or

..why the only impossible thing on Earth is trying to squeeze toothpaste back into its tube, or

..why we see the Sun shine only in the morning, or

..who made the rule that there should be only 24 hours in a day..

No? Neither have I. Until one or more of these questions (and a host of others) were posed by tiny tots varying in age from two to eight. Each time I thought, Now why didn’t I ever ask such questions when I was younger. I tried to think of what I did do. My failing memory, trecherous being that it is, characteristically refused to come to my rescue. I was probably waiting for the next meal-time, or nap-time, or the chance to say thooki (lift me) when we stepped out of the house.

I do wonder a lot about the questions kids ask these days. (This ought to go into the You know you are old when..series.) Specifically about what it is that kindles their curiosity. What goes on in the mind of a two year old when she observes a line of ants in the kitchen and the ‘ant-powder’ placed near the crack in the wall? What makes her ask What is that white powder? Posion? What is poison? How does it kill the ants? Why do the ants need to be killed?

Or the six year old who proclaims avial to be her favourite food ever. And when asked why, replies without batting an eyelid that It has all the vegetables, and vegetables are good for me, that’s why. (Now that’s an achievement on at least two counts- one, for liking avial at age six, and two, for knowing that vegetables should be eaten ’cause they’re good for one’s health. Or was it just me? Was I the only dumb kid of my generation? Don’t answer that.)

So I constantly endeavour to question everything. It takes more courage than I’m used to displaying but I theorize that my childlike wonder and inquisitiveness will overshadow the (mundane, silly, oh my- what exceptionally stupid) questions themselves. Which makes me wonder about the progeny that we shall put forth.

How does one pass on the creative-inquisitive trait? Genetics can only do so much. Perhaps engineer it in? Not a far-fetched idea, but will take a couple of lifetimes to be put into practice. Perhaps condition the child to receive rewards only upon completion of ‘project question’ for the day? Or better still, talk in questions. Answer with more.

Maybe it would be worthwhile to conduct a rehearsal while we are at it. Exciting possibilities present themselves before me. The husband would ask Don’t you think the people who created the XBox simulation games are geniuses?, which I would counter with So is it true then that men are really from Mars (or Jupiter, or 2003 UB313). Ah, endless possibilities!


Igosology♣: I had to post. Besides, I hadn’t used Igosology since..well since its first time here. So!

Imaginary Greek word derived from the individual components of igos, for idea and -ology for- ‘the study of’.  In short, I’m offering a peep into my mind and the thoughts that it slew forth.


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Feed a Hungry Child

You know how you feel frustrated about wanting to contribute to a worthwhile cause but didn’t know how or where to start?

A food blogger, Vijay K Narayanan who runs the very popular blog My Dhaba has started a not-for-profit charitable organization called Feed a Hungry Child. The aim? To fight hunger, one child at a time.

FAHC hopes to collect USD 3,360 by October 23rd. A contribution of USD 25 entitles you to a raffle ticket to win one of the many varied prizes on offer at the lucky draw.

If you are interested in contributing, please take a few minutes to read through these:

FAHC’s website- http://feedahungrychild.chipin.com/feedahungrychildorg

You will find details of how to contribute and the prizes on offer at:

Indira’s website- http://www.nandyala.org/mahanandi/

Jai and Bee’s website- http://jugalbandi.info/2007/10/donate-smiles-win-prizes

Here is a brief description of how to contribute, from Indira’s website:

Contribute: Via Paypal or credit. You can donate any amount. Each $25 donation will give you one raffle ticket towards a prize of your choice.

After you donate, please forward your payment confirmation message to donatesmiles@gmail.com, clearly specifying which prize you are interested in. Do mention how many tickets per prize, for example, a donation of $50 will buy you 2 raffle tickets for a cookbook.

For all correspondence by email, please use the same email address that you have used for your Chip-in contribution. This helps us validate your entry to the raffle and to contact you should you win a prize.

The event will close on 23rd October and raffle prize winners will be announced on 25th here at Mahanandi and at respective blogs. (The drawing will be done manually).

In Jai and Bee’s words-

Cynicism may be cool but compassion always rocks!

You may contribute here.

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Got the heebie jeebies?

Samahan to your rescue! Good for health Great for cold®– I say, you can say that again!

Really people, this thing works. From the I-want-to-stay-stuck-to-the-bed person on Saturday, I got transformed into this energetic I-want-to-clean-the-house and not-one-more-day-at-home-when-I-should-be-at-work normal self (honey, but could you please take care of dinner tonight?) by this morning. All ’cause I consumed Samahan by the mugfuls. And no visit to the doctor’s. Repeat- no medicines! That to me is the ideal solution.

I can’t recommend it enough. Drink up, everyone!

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The romantic poet

Ooh baby!

How you break my heart

My heart that is made of glass

It is so brittle

Your words are like a hammer

They shatter my heart which is made of glass

You can see through me ’cause my heart is made of glass

And you put your hammer right through it

Oooh baby..oh baby!

Sung to the tune of ‘The best of the tuneless home tunes’.

The husband sang this to me some minutes back when he noticed that I was doing my own thing and he started to complain about how I don’t spend any time with him. Guess I married a closet romantic after all.

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Lost..and found!

This morning, as we were on our way out to do a spot of shopping, we stopped by our mailbox. After sifting though the pile of junk and collecting the absolute must-reads (bills) we proceeded to the shopping mall.

It happened to be an exclusively electronic-ware-peddling high-rise building. This is the kind of place that the husband reserves his Looook (pointing to any of the umpteen non-living items on display)! Isn’t that just the most beautiful thing you have set your eyes on? for, and insists on seeking my opinion despite knowing fully well that the answer would be a loud No as soon as Look is out of his mouth. He exacts his revenge by reversing the reactions when I comment on how stunning the sunset is.

So- we finish our business quickly and I magnanimously offer to walk around with him in case he feels the need to take a look at the various devices that he covets. He throws me a suspicious look but takes me up on my offer anyway. We wander around for five (boring) minutes when he suddenly exclaims I don’t have the house keys with me.

Don’t worry sweetheart. You must have left them in the car. Let’s go and check. (I scurry to the elevator at this timely opportunity to leave the mall.)

No, they aren’t in the car.


!@#$! I think I left them on the mailbox!

You’re kidding right?

Do you have the spare set with you? (Accompanied with an I’m sure you don’t expression.)

Ahem. No. *How dare you blame me for this! Atleast I didn’t let my spare set dangle alluringly at the mail box.* I’m soo sorry. I promise to carry it with me from now on, handbag or not.

He shoots me a You are incorrigible look which I (try to) counter with a Same to you. Remember this is happening for the third time look but of course by now he is already at the lift lobby. Where we bump into a colleague who, after hearing our story, helpfully suggests that the best way to go about it should we not find our keys, is to break open the door.

So we speed (well within limits of course, Singapore is not known as a “fine” city for nothing) back to our house with images of it being completely cleared out, playing on our minds. As we approach our building, I let myself out in quite a daring stuntster’s fashion even before the husband has had a chance to bring the car to a full halt.

We lift the mailbox flap and there are the keys, kindly replaced by some good samaritan. We look around to see if the samaritan is around, but apart from a couple who give us weird looks for storing our keys in the mailbox, there is nobody.

Happy (and honestly speaking, not very surprised) that everything’s happy ever after, we head to another place for lunch and more shopping. Did we not want to go up to our apartment and check if everything was there, you ask. No. ’cause we knew they would be. Besides the husband convinced me with his (twisted) logic that if anything did go missing, we could lodge a police complaint, and a couple of hours more wouldn’t make a difference to that.

Let me explain why we weren’t surprised. (This has happened before, although that time the keys were hanging from the door, courtesy who? You know who. So yeah, we know from experience.) For all its notoriety for being a “fine” city, Singapore also happens to make you feel safe and very secure. Not that it would be advisable to leave your doors open even if you are not at home, as is supposed to be the case in Norway.

At the end of a mildly frightening but happy-ending episode I felt the need to put a thank you note near the mailboxes to let the samaritan know how much we appreciate his/her gesture. The husband counselled against it saying there was no need to advertise (his) our propensity to act as satan’s messengers.

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My mother-in-law is a riot to be with. When the in-laws come visiting, one thing I always look forward to is dinner time (not least ’cause dinner’s ready and waiting for me to gobble up). We eat at the dining table instead of plonking ourselves on the sofa in front of the TV, talk a lot more than Hmm, I think the sambhar needs more salt. Do you think the sambhar needs more salt, and take anywhere from an hour to a couple to finish the entire process compared to the otherwise thirty-minute gulp routine. (Whoever said ‘Indians cook for three hours and eat for thirty minutes, westerners do the opposite’ was so sharply observant.)

What I’m going to talk about now is not dinner time tales (which deserve a separate post ’cause..you’ll know why) but about how the MIL can be such a source of amusement.

The first year after the husband and I got married, during every phone call home she would ask Are you happy (with a very insistent emphasis on happy)? To which I’d nonchalantly mumble yeah/sure/of course and such like. When one day I guess she couldn’t not ask anymore and she said I mean are you really happy? You know, sex-wise?

I could not stop laughing. Still trying to control my giggles I assured her that I was. You would have thought it stopped there. It continued to be a phone tradition for the next few times. But getting bored of the question, when I once emphatically told her that we were very happy, she stopped.

(Stopped asking over phone that is. Personal visits are not spared the mandatory question.)

So dear readers, are you happy?

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You can never, ever cook like him

Watching Jamie Oliver at home together-

Advantage- It’s wonderful to ogle at and salivate over Jamie (me) and his creations (both), food-addicts that we are.

Disadvantage- Partner wants cooking at our home to follow Jamie’s style implicitly- litres of olive oil, copius amounts of butter/cream/creme fraiche. Vehement denial to follow instructions earns me an ‘I’m disgusted with you’ look followed by the title of the post.

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