Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Enter code as seen in image (case sensitive)

I dont like trying the same thing again and again until I get it. I dont bother to be perfect in everything I do. When I cant be perfect I do things to the extent I can and get done with it. But sometimes you just cant move on until you get it right. Especially, entering a code for verificication.

Yesterday, I was trying to check the visa appointment availablity for my parents. The website required me to enter certain characters in a box just as displayed in another box. I got tired after 10 attempts. I just couldnt go to the next page. I was still on the same page trying to match the characters. I finally succeeded in my 15th attempt just to see the message "Interview
appointments not currently available, please check back in 24 hrs".

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Making Sweets!!!!

Everytime my mom prepared sweets for us, I used to comment on the quality/quantity of those sweets without putting too much thought into it. I once said "It tastes really good but it could have been a little more crispy and better shaped", and then she would go on to list the probable causes for imperfections, and stay concerned the whole day wondering if she could have made those sweets better. After seeing her so despondent, I would tell her that it was the taste that mattered the most, and not the shape of the sweet. Recently for Deepavali, I made the seven cup sweet. But I just couldn't make those pieces in proper shape at all. It came out like an halwa at first. So I put it back on stove for sometime and tried it again. Only this time it came out hard like a stone. So hard that I couldn't cut it at all. So I put it back on gas again, added more milk and tried again. I was fighting with this for around two hours going back and forth before I finally got tired. So I brought the sweet back to its halwa state and let it cool. After some time, I was happy to see it become moderately hard but without the stone-like hardness. I let it cool for around 1 hour.

I then gave a piece of this sweet to my husband and eagerly awaited his comments. I was kinda of happy on the job well done and I was almost sure he would appreciate me for putting in so much hard work. I heard nothing for the first few seconds...and I finally heard him say, "The taste is fine, but its a little hard like a cookie". There I go....I felt like telling him "Cant you just say it tastes good". After struggling hard for two hours, I wasn't ready for even a small bit of criticism. I then realized it was very hard to accept criticism when you make something for a person whom you love the most and that person did not say it was bad but didn't say it was the best. I now know how my mom felt. I guess you live and learn.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Wife as a Source of Humor

Debra: What I don't understand is that you always make fun of my cooking, but when I finally make something you like you're still making jokes about it!
Ray: Honey, don't be upset. Don't worry about what those guys think.
Debra: I don't care what those guys think of me, I care what YOU think of me!

I always wonder why men enjoy making fun of their wives to their friends. May be as Ray says they dont have anything interesting to talk and grab attention. The interesting part is they dont even realize that they have pulled a prank on their wives, atleast that is what they say :-) I have seen men who go on and on about their wives in public (trying to be humorous) until they get a long stare from their partner.

Is it the case with all men or are there exceptions?

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Marriage: First day in my husband's home

It was a new beginning.

Getting married and moving to my husband's house was a thrilling experience. From the moment I woke up, in the morning, in my new house, everything seemed so different. I checked my face and hair, before I walked out of my room. Something I never do. In my parents house I have never cared how I look when I get up in the morning for that matter any time. I actually walked out proudly, thinking that I would be one of the earliest to wake up. Ha! It was a surprise! I was totally embarassed to find I was the last one to wake up. I glanced at all the faces that were familiar but still new. It was a bright and sunny day and family talks were going on as if it was 11:00 AM. I thought I had risen earlier than usual and checked the time and I was right. It was 6:30 AM. 6:30 AM in the freaking morning. Well! my husband was sitting with his Dad, uncle and others having filter coffee( I hate coffee). What was I thinking? 'early riser'. Hmph. I needed to rewrite the definition for 'early' in my dictionary.

Being married and moving to a new house is like changing companies (except this doesn't happen as often as it does in work life. I have changed three companies in one year. May be that transition wasnt this tough). Suddenly, I found myself concious of everything I was doing. There was this sudden feeling that every one around me were watching me. Even when they were totally not. During the first few days there were atleast 20 people in the house and so many functions and dinners. People talked to me like they knew me for years. They were all so cool. But, I didnt know that. I found myself answering in monosyllables during conversations. Even for those simple questions that were asked as part of small talk. Soon, every one thought I was a silent girl. My mind immediately went back to my reaction in my house when my shawl was missing. I have never dreamt of being one. I gave my standard smile as an answer for most questions, even though I actually had something to say. I didn't plan on being this way. It just happened. This wasn't me. It was someone else. I wondered - Why was this happening to me?

So on the first day at my new house, I did not call my mom or for that matter, any one in my family the entire morning. During some chat in the afternoon, my mom-in-law asked me "Did you talk to your mom?" . I was happy to hear her ask me that. But I surprised myself by asking her back in a soft voice "Can I make a call?" . This totally caught her by surprise. She replied kind of shocked and confused, Oh! don't have to ask questions like this. Feel free to do anything you want. My husband had clearly told me, "This is your home, you can do what ever you want, all you got to do is be yourself." . I had no clue why I was so silly.

From that moment onwards everyone started trying to make me feel at home. That only made me more self-concious. Evening came and my husband's Uncle, who has a great sense of humor came in. I was sitting with my husband's cousins and was trying to make some conversation. We were chatting and generally having fun. The marriage had just gotten over. All of them talked to me about my family, school, college, etc..etc..I was loving every moment of it. I suddenly heard the Uncle's voice say from behind, "Periyava vandha ippadiya okaradhu, ezhundhu nikka vendam, oru mariyadha illa", [ translation- "Is this the way you keep sitting when elders come in, shouldnt you get up and give some respect." ] I popped out of my chair, with my heart pounding, even before he finished the sentence. Everyone around me burst into laughter. And the uncle said "Valayatuku sonnen, nee un purushan thalai mela kooda kaal pootu okaralam, thappe illa." translation- "I was kidding, you can sit with one leg on top of your husband's head. no harm." Even now I smile uncontrollably when I think of it. How could I be so naive?

Those were precious moments. They will never come back. Sometimes I feel silly thinking about those times. But in a way, they are sweet. Even when setting the breakfast table, eating, drinking, walking, dressing, talking and so on, I was very conscious. I have always felt that any opinion about the daughter-in-law is formed during her first few days in her new home. May be that influenced my behavior. Who knows?

Now, things have changed. 7:30 AM (even 8:30) wake-ups, chats with my MIL (on skype and MSN), with both agreeing that my husband is the biggest absent-minded, buffoon in the whole world, pulling pranks on my husband's cousins.

Ah! Time changes everything.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Credit cards

I used to think managing credit cards are very simple until I had my own. I have seen lots of credit card companies setting up tables in the malls, college campuses etc. Despite having huge student loans, students still opt to have a credit card and incure more loans. God only know why? According to a study conducted by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG), students who obtain credit cards at campus tables have higher unpaid balances than those who do not. Of the 79 percent of surveyed students who use credit cards for multiple purposes, only 13 percent reported limiting credit card use to emergencies. Incidentally my husband is a student and we fall under the remaining 66 percent.

Off late I have realized that credit cards can be helpful only in case of emergencies and if you are able to pay off the balance each month. I mean the balance and not the minimum balance. My husband and I would have done justice to his summer internship salary if we did not have a credit card. Our recreation expenses wouldn't have been $200 every week if we did not have the credit card. We have been trying to pay off our credit card bill for last two months, but we are still on the same place where we were 2 months back. Its tough to believe that we spend so much.

Does every one who have credit card have the same problem or is it just me?

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Afternoon Sleep

I enjoy my afternoon sleep more than the usual regular night sleep. I have never missed my afternoon sleep beginning from my school days till the time I joined for a 9:00 AM - 9:00 PM work. My sleep time during school days were from 4:00 PM to 5:30 PM and 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM during my college days. My mind just can't think if I dont sleep in the afternoons. I was surprised when I heard some work places have dormitories, where the employees can sleep and relax. Why wasn't I working in one such company?

But now after marriage, I have got back my sound afternoon sleep. Dependent visa status, for all its worth has replaced my job with my sound afternoon sleep. Maybe, I wished too hard for an afternoon's sleep when my boss was flogging me at work. But I digress. God bless whoever invented the afternoon sleep.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Scared of Dogs

I have this habit of walking to the Lake every evening. The walk to the lake and the walk on the lakeshore has always been pleasant and relaxing except for the fear of dogs. I dont hate dogs but I'm scared of their very sight. Most of the houses in America have dogs. From the moment I step out of my apartment, I become cautious. I cautiously (but pretending to be cool) switch to the other side of the road every time I see a someone walking a dog in my vicinity. I hate it when the owners untie the leash and let the dogs play. They know that dogs are friendly, but they must know that they are unpredictable too. I feel they should realize the potential danger that dogs can present.

The street dogs in India are even more scary. I often avoid going to houses that have dogs or even cats. I remember the instance when me and and my friend were walking down the steps from my friend's apartment and she was few steps ahead of me. When we were coming down we saw a fearceful dog inside the gate and it started running towards us as if it was waiting for us to come down. We immediatley turned back and started climbing the steps, fast..really fast. Oh! I didn't know until then that we could run that fast. Suddenly, I heard a "aaaaahhhhhh!!!" sound and I then realised it wasn't "we" but just "me" who climbed the steps quickly. When I came running down my friend was lying on the floor crying and the dog was running furiously the other side and then we took her to the hospital for all those series of injections. By the time we got back, the neighbours told us that the dog has bitten 3 other people in half an hours time.

They say American dogs are not like Indian Dogs. I dont think so. The fact is "They are Dogs"!