Monthly Archives: November 2005

Photoblog : Shadows

Somewhere around home
Boston, Massachusetts

They say a picture is worth a lot of words. So I figured that, for a change, I’ll stop my yakkity-yak and let the photo do the talking. Oh c’mon now, you don’t have to look *that* happy. Sheesh. Anyways, this was shot on a partly cloudy day, so the background was cast in shadows while the gerbera (That is what it is called, yes?) was in sunshine. Shot in sepia mode with minor contrast and saturation adjustments in Photoshop.

Also, the gentle reminder is back to haunt the folks who ignored it the last time. Please to be updating your blogroll links from the old URL to the new? If you don’t feel motivated enough to make the change, remember — the sooner you do it, the sooner I’ll stop tagging these nagging reminders at the end of each post and there will be much joy and relief everywhere. Thankoo much.

Update: If your ISP blocks images from Flickr, you should call their tech support and make them listen to Anu Malik sing. Any song should work just fine, seeing as it won’t play for long. But right after that, you can visit here to see the image. Hope that helps!


There hasn’t been a post on this blog in a while so some of you have probably given up reading it. Worry not. Here’s a mega-long post full of stereotypes and blanket generalizations, so I can tick off some more of you. Oh, and if you are an Andhra-ite and the Gult nomenclature bugs you, then this post is sure to annoy. Okie, done with warnings.

I recently got a comment from Jethro asking me why I don’t seek inspiration from my Telugu roots often enough. I am after all, Gulty as charged. You see, I have never been much of a stereotypical Gult. I don’t care much for pickle and spice, I prefer chapatis to rice and I cannot tell Pavan Kalyan apart from Uday Kiran. And of course, I never stereotype. Heh heh.

But there’s a bigger, emotional reason why I don’t pick on Gult heroes. And before people start to question my love for Andhra I need to set the record straight. Tender childhood tales need to be told so you understand why it is that I do not and cannot make fun of Chiru. So let me use my favorite rotating black and white circles along with a crescendo of violins and flash back to a story that goes thus —

I was a little girl with mismatched rubberbands who had just arrived in Hyderabad. Fresh from the trauma of pulled-pigtails, I trusted no one, and especially so — men! Those vile creatures. All they knew is to steal, harass and cause grief, I thought.

Now, I am Gult by birth but had never lived in Gult-land until then. I spoke the language (somewhat), but only because mom had tormented and force-taught it to me. She was just doing her part in instilling some Gult-hood in her dotty, I suppose, but it didn’t really work much. I found the language strange and the people who spoke it, stranger. It also didn’t help that I had really demented cousins, so the association of Gults = weirdos was rather easy to make.

Upon arriving in Hyd’bad, it was time to put the fish-out-of-water into school. Now, my third-language until then had always been Sanskrit. Not that I was particularly good at it, but at least asati, asatah, asanti were a familiar enemy. But now suddenly, mom had recognized my ‘telugu inti aadapaduchu‘ potential. That’s the ‘cultured Telugu girl of good family values‘ types for the non-Gult readers amongst you. My grandma, who had started to notice the decreasing skirt-length and hair-length of her grand-dotty also joined in support of mom. And they collectively decided I was going to take Telugu in school. I resisted, I fought, I cried! And then I shuttup and went to school.

I was awful at the language. People were writing essays and spouting Vemana Satakam while I was barely saying the alphabet. And to add to my woes — my Gult teacher, a nasty agarbatti + hair oil smelling man, constantly reminded me that my Telugu was ‘trash, I zay! kompleeete trash!‘. Hmpfh. Men — nasty. Men who pulled pigtails — nastier. And Gult men — nastiest. Did I mention, I never stereotype? Heh. Anyway, two months of smelling tomato-pappu breath while being yelled at, and I decided I had enough. I pulled my brahmaastra. Sanskrit is the grandmother of all languages, I said. And if I was learning a grand-mommy language, then my grand-mommy cannot be complaining about it, can she? Shockingly enough, the logic worked and the torture finally ended. Bye bye, Mr C S Anjaneya Prasad.

So there I was — back in Sanskrit class, giggling at the pondy connotations of conjugation tables and gleefully hating all things Gult. And then one beautiful Sunday morning, I walked down to Raja Video Parlour. As Samantha Fox pouted back at me invitingly from the ubiquitous poster, Raja surreptitiously slipped a video tape of Kondaveeti Donga into my hand. I instantly protested. What is this? Give me Kishen Kanhaiyya, I demanded. Don’t have, madam. It is out. Okay, how about Baap Numbri Beta Dus Numbri, then? He smirked and then looking at me rather like a rancher approaching an unsuspecting cow with a cattle prod, said — Take this. Chiru. Superb dancing. You will like.

A handful of words that changed my life. Chiranjeevi in a Robin Hood-esque role complete with Zorro-like cape and boots, wooing the voluptuous Radha and Vijayshanti, dancing to Ilaiyaraaja‘s tunes and wreaking havoc on the villain Amrish Puri, a tantric Temple-of-Doom-type baba, with glowing red-bulb skulls, chanting hreem kleem chamundaaya namaha spells to make people work in his research lab. Yes, Baba Atomic Research Centre, if you please. Hee haw.

With a formula like this, what’s any self-respecting girl supposed to do? Fall hook, line and sinker for the man, of course. Hey, if you saw the gentleman wearing painted-on black leather pants, walking in slow motion or dancing to ping-u pong-u body, jing-u shing-u lady in response to the gal’s tip-u top-u look-u lip-u meeda kiss-u you would understand why I was reduced to a shivering noodle in his screen presence. Oh that reminds me, Gult film lyrics will teach you that you can add a -u to any English word to get its Telugu equivalent. Pretty simple, yes?

In the coming weeks and months, movie posters and billboards were drooled over from moving cars and autos, and every newspaper and magazine article that had a Chiru photo accompanying it, was read, devoured, cut out and saved for posterity. And to do all this, I learnt to read, write and speak Telugu like there was no tomorrow. And that’s how this Gult discovered the joy of being a Gult. And *that* is why I don’t mock the man. What mommy dearest couldn’t accomplish in six years, Chiru did in six months. And the proverbial West was won.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I had a crush on Chiranjeevi and I am not ashamed to admit it. The Megastar was Megha’s star. Yeah, I said was, so you can all stop sniggering now.

Gentle reminder

Dekho bhool na jaana, ECE bulb laana ..

Okay, this isn’t really a post as much as a reminder. No, not about ECE bulbs. This is for all you nice people who presumably read this blog and like it enough to link to it. And hopefully, won’t notice my attempts to sweet talk you.

Please update your blogroll links to point to the new URL — And while you are at it, if it is not too much trouble (well, I know it is, but I’ll say it anyway) — please update links (if any) for individual posts too? I have the redirect script on Blogger in place for now, but there’s no telling how long it will last, and ideally, I’d like to give the old blog a respectful burial at some point, rather than have it languish in redirect land for all eternity.

Sorry for the inconvenience and thanks much. We will be back with our regular inanities later tonight.


GrrrrWe’ve moved into our new home, the curtains have gone up, and the customary milk-popping and champagne-boiling are all done with. So now for more exciting things. Since we don’t rant often enough on our blog, we thought we’d mix things up a bit this time. After all, as we are often found saying — variety is the garam masala of life. Or MDH Chunky Chaat Masala, if you prefer that.

A majority of the readers of this blog are nice people who visit and share their opinions via interesting comments. Those who just visit, but don’t comment — you guys are nice too. But there’s the other folks. Yes, you know who you are. This is for you.

  • I don’t usually throw a hissy fit on my blog. Yes, I said on my blog, so those of you who know me in real life, shoo! But patience, is often mistaken for incompetence. The fact that I do not react doesn’t mean I cannot. As I have said before — this blog has, for the most part, been a cheerful and positive place and I intend to keep it that way. The day I decide to change that, *I* will do so, not you. If you don’t like what I write, run along. I am sure you will find a ton of blogs that suit your discerning and eclectic tastes.

  • I don’t expect you to agree with me on everything. Sure, disagree. But be polite about it. I believe the world is an inherently nuanced place and there are few absolute rights and wrongs. You have your views and I have mine, and they can be diametrically different. And my neighbors don’t have any views, now that the curtains have gone up. But if you don’t like or agree with something I say, do not resort to name calling and cheap shots. Also, sarcastic digs like ‘ooooh, you are a cyber goddess, we don’t have a choice but to agree with you’ will not be tolerated.

  • Don’t complain about my style of writing. This is a personal blog, so it will always be reflective of my style and my interests. Yes, you can have your likes and dislikes, but don’t expect me to cater to them. I am glad you like some of what I write, but expecting that I will only write in a way you like is akin to expecting Rahul Roy to make a comeback.

  • Do not attack other commenters. I get very den-mother-like about such things. What you think of a fellow commenter’s intellect, sense of humor, levels of desperation or unmentionable body parts, is information best kept to yourself. In addition, if you have any ideas of torrid affairs between commenters StudMuffin and CoyGiggler, sell them to Vikram Bhatt who will make a movie out of it. It will be stylish, have no substance and star Udita Goswami in very little clothes. But on my blog, I am the drama queen and we don’t need your filmi romances to add to the mix.

  • If you sass me, I can sass you back. I am supremely good at it and I suggest you don’t try to find out how good. But if you think I’ll get into a who’s-the-bigger-smartass match with you, think again. If I don’t have the inclination to deal with you, the delete button will start looking vaiiiiry attractive.

  • Yes, if you write something that I think doesn’t deserve to be here, I will delete it. How do I decide what to delete? I am glad you asked. Mostly it is my purely subjective opinion, but as a general rule of thumb — anything that is inflammatory, attacking, derogatory, nasty, or any variant thereof — it will appear and disappear faster than Mallika Sherawat’s clothes.

  • Whether you visit here because you like what I write, or whether an obsessive desire to puke brings you here, remember — my blog is my home on the web. When you are in my home, you will play by my rules, or you will be unwelcome. If you behave like an ass, I have some very angry henchmen who are looking for a refund on hair-regeneration products who would love to use you for shot-put practice.

Now, after all this, if you’re still wondering who I’m addressing, let me help you. Remember that mouse-like extra behind Zeenat Aman in laila o laila from Qurbani (1980) ? He has no actual value whatsoever, but manages to make his presence felt by going aaa-aaaaa in a most unpleasant manner? You want to look at the sexy bombshell but instead you have to deal with a scrawny guy with a handlebar moocha, rotating his head in a laws-of-physics defying freakish way. Yep, that unwanted sidey is who this post is for. But the rest of you Zeenats should read it too.

New beginnings

Yes, the clouds have a new home. We’re still settling in, so watch out for falling objects and cascading style sheets. Yeah, that’s a li’l geek humor for you, so pretend it is funny and smile pleej. Oh, and if there’s anything you see that’s not working, do let me know.

Regular programming shall commence in a few days. In the meantime, I hope you all had a wonderful and sparkly Diwali, and hope the new year brings you lots of happiness and the best of everything you wish for!

Thank you much for stopping by the old place and hope you like the new one even more!