Month: January 2009

The Twilight Zone

 I have been made to re-assess a few things over the past week, ever since my father asked me if I had a “plan”. 
I didn’t. I still don’t. My father just tsk-tsks and gets back to his laptop. Honestly, I don’t believe in plans. I don’t believe in marking a specified route and then taking it. 
I know it sounds extremely stupid, coming from someone who took up Finance as a career, it’d probably sound more convincing had I been some kind of a pothead drummer in a punk rock band. 
But that’s what people don’t get. I didn’t get into finance because I had a plan. The whole Oh-my-dad’s-CA-let-me-become-CA-my-life-will-be-settled plan. 
I took it up after flipping a coin.  
Contrary to popular notion, I’m not nuts, I just like a little adrenaline. However, its not flowing at all these days, which is a little unfortunate. 
So yesterday, instead of charting a study plan, I wrote a little list. A list of 25 diet crazy (read cheap little thrills) things I intend to make happen before I’m 25. After which I will devise a new list. Some of the items are extremely Anti Ram-Sena but whatever.  As I tick each item off the list, I know I what I would have done was super dumb, and some other times are not very ethical/moral and even some other times not very me.     
But I won’t have regret. 
All my life, I’ve been known to be the good responsible girl, a little too smart and a little too varalakshmi-nombu programmed/thayir saadham to make the dumb mistakes of life. Very true. I’ve always been responsible, I’ve always been smart. Which is why I am not revealing the contents of my little list. But I’ll tell you one thing. The next time you see me with a smug little grin on my face, you’ll know I’m one item lesser.  
I’m going to be taking a break. Don’t pop the champagne bottle just yet, I will be back in 3 months. I’m not going to be posting since there is something more important in my list of priorities, namely the Professional Competence Exam. And trust me, one cannot prove any kind of competence if they’re going to be following my routine of eat-internet-sleep. Hence I will be on something like a self imposed exile. But when I clear, and become 60% chartered accountant, it’s so going to be worth it. Don’t miss me too much. Tough thing to ask, but please, try. 🙂 
UPDATE : Apparently even ICAI didn’t want me to stop blogging and have postponed the exam to June! No break takings now. I am back. (Cue for Billa/Don music)

An Almost Magical Evening

After much convincing (and some mild threatening/fit-throwing) I had dragged my family to the Chennai Sangamam in Venkatanarayana Road on the 13th. To cut a long story short, it was brilliant, something that one doesn’t see too often in the city. It was probably the closest that one back home can get to an authentic Village Thiruvizha. The crowd however, was extremely large and my mother immediately began fretting – Kozhandhellaam kaanampona enna aardhu? Yaaravadhu kidnap pannita? (what if one of the kids get lost? or get kidnapped?) to which my father, like always, had a reply – “Yevan kidnap pannaporan unoda pasangala? Apdiye panninaalum avan rendu naalula bondi aayiduvan. In case tholanju pona…” (who’s going to kidnap your brats? Even if someone did, he’d become broke in a couple of days. In case they get lost…”)
Tholanju pona?”I interrupted. “Oru kudumba paatu vechukalaama? Na tholanju pona edathulerndhu paadren, vandhu kandupudipeengalaa? Ilena oru dollar-a renda odachu…” (Get lost? Shall we have a family song? If I get lost, I’ll sing it from one end, will you find me? Or shall we split a pendant into two….) 
“I was going to say I’d  call you on your cellphones, but andha kudumbapaatu idea pudichirku. Edhavadhu TR paatu set pannikalaam!”
However, before we could actually decide upon a family tune, the sound of drums beating blasted our ears, the evening had begun. The performances were something none of us had seen anywhere, except maybe in Ramaraj’s Karagattakaaran movies. What was amazing was the continuity of the performances, how they followed one another in an extremely smooth flow, we just didn’t have any time to look away from all the colour. 
There was this one particular performance of Dappankoothu which was noteworthy. Upon further investigation, turned out these gentlemen were from the very prestigious TASMAC school of dance. However, the performance had to be cut short since one of their key dancers (and singer) had the sudden urge to run towards the nearest dustbin and stick his head in. Which was a pity, because they were extremely entertaining. 
At around 9.30 pm, we had to leave since my sister was really really hungry and when she is really really hungry, she tends to snap at people and talk like a rhino with a stomach disease. Hence we had to cut our little field trip short and head towards a restaurant nearby since the queue at the food stalls looked like it’d take next Pongal for us to get anything to eat.
On our way back, there was a line of Jakkamas (Fortune Tellers, usually old women). I had always always wanted to get my hand read by a Jakkama. Even my sick-rhino-sounding sister was intrigued. The Jakkama took my hand and let a deep sigh, in an attempt to sound mysterious and all-knowing and took my right hand. 
Unoda raasikku…“she began. “Aayisu getti….padippu, velai elaam nalla varum, pannathukku korachalle illa…” She looked at my face for a minute and continued “Amma appa sella ponnu ma nee….Mangalam on vazhila vardhu…..Ameriga-la settle aava ma..amma appa sandooosama irupaanga” she finished with a special flourish on the sandoooooosam. 
(For your sign, long life…education, work will be good, you have always been spoiled by your parents,  auspices are coming your way, you’ll get settled in the US, your mom and dad will be verrrrrry happy) 
My father, who was standing next to me hearing the whole thing with a rather amused look on his face,  quietly handed a 20 Rs note to me to give her, which I dutifully did. 
As we walked back to the restaurant, I was still on my good-prediction high. What disturbed me was that my father still had this cheshire cat grin spread on his face, which was quite undutiful-fatherly since he was supposed to be happy in a non cheshire cat way if his daughter had a good prediction.  
“Nalla vishayam dhaan sonna la? Apdi enna sirippu unakku?” 
(She said nice things right? What’s the grin for?) 
“Nee paakala?”
(Didn’t you notice?)
“Enna paakala?”
(Notice what?)
“Ava frauddu di. Ponnungalakku left hand dhaan paakanum, ava baatukku thapaana kai-ya paathundu edho olarina, nee vera adha nambitta. Mothathilla 20 Rs donation.”    
(She’s a fraud. For women, you have to see the left hand. She just said something and you believed it. On the whole 20 bucks donation)
Like I said, an almost magical evening.

Out with the old, in with the new

2009 is a very important year for me, for more than one reason.
Its the year of the Exam, for one. All my talk and scene of “doing CA” is going to be put under the microscope and I have to start full on prep to tackle my syllabus which looks the size of Mount Everest. I have already started the apple polishing to the big dude above as I always do before major exams. It worked for boards and CPT so yea, Big Awesome Dude up there, I hope you’re listening.
I actually have some resolutions this year, namely:

1. Try to study seriously, focus instead of playing text twist and jumble online.

2. Try to study, seriously, focus instead of doodling my IT class faculty as different varieties of pregnant hippo

3. Try to study, seriously, focus instead of taking “power naps” which last for a powerful one and a half hours.

4. Try to study, seriously, focus instead of watching Heroes for 6 straight hours.

5. Try to study, seriously, focus instead of undertaking “Operation Clean Room” to induce better concentration (apparently its a Zen technique. Clean rooms bring better concentration) but get too tired halfway and go to sleep

6. Try to study, seriously, focus instead of wasting time on the road by taking long twisted routes back home in order to increase geographical knowledge of the city.

7. Try to study, seriously, focus instead of going on to the internet for motivation and end up on facebook instead.

8. Try to study, seriously, focus instead of practising my signature in my notebook. Note to self: that signature is not worth anything until you clear your exams!

9. Try to study, seriously, focus instead of searching for new “TR Terror” clips on youtube.

10. Try to study, seriously, focus instead of opening the saliva/peanut factory every 5 minutes by practising extreme self control and self restraint.

Well, as you would have noticed, they are very diverse resolutions.

Happy New Year! And for putting up with me for one full year, you get a little treat.