Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Godfather of Soul - James Brown



James Brown, a great musician, known as the Godfather of Soul, passed away yesterday at the age of 73. Ramesh introduced me to his songs soon after we met and I thought that I'd put one up here as a remembrance.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Freedom of expression



Most of you will have seen Sangeeta's email update by now where she's talked about writing and painting. Sangeeta writes about recent events and subjects that move her for The Afternoon, Mumbai. I thought I'd add to her email by posting excerpts from two of her most recent articles, Maqbool Fida Hindustan Par...! and The Afzal hanging.... with a link to the rest that have appeared till date
Maqbool Fida Hindustan Par…!
Saturday, November 25, 2006 8:50:6 IST

I felt really bad reading about Hussain being trapped in London, pining for home, longing to walk through the streets of Byculla and Grant Road but being advised not to return thanks to the nine hundred cases filed against him! Couldn’t help thinking of Bahadur Shah Zafar similarly home sick and exiled in Burma writing poignantly about not getting even two yards in his homeland for a burial! The man is ninety-one years old. If he does not come home now when will he come? He has apologised for unintentionally hurting the sentiments of people and even offered to destroy work that a three-member committee comprising a VHP member an art critic and a lawyer might find objectionable. But for the twenty nine thousand people who have signed a petition against him on the net this is not good enough.

The Afzal hanging....
20th Oct 2006

The Afzal hanging has generated much debate and hysteria in the last couple of weeks gaining momentum with each day. It is a relief for the moment that October 20th has come and gone without a hanging. Apart from anything else both religions can afford to be spared the distress and drama of a controversial hanging bang in the middle of the festive season!

I too was one of the signatories in the ‘Save Afzal Petition’ on the net. My comment was simply when in doubt say no. Don’t hang Afzal till you are certain that it is the right thing to do. Having done that, the truth is that all this doubt over the sentence has arisen thanks to a flurry of activity and media coverage that has unfortunately come a little too late in the day. Why did all these activists remain silent for so long? If Afzal’s defense was inadequate or even nonexistent why are people organizing morchas now and not more appropriately at the time. Public opinion is a vital factor in a Democracy why was this tool not used to it’s fullest earlier instead of leaving it till days before the execution of the sentence and the culprit!

and the photograph above is of a painting of hers that I like very much.

You can read the rest of the first article on the web and the 2nd article is an exclusive and has been posted only to the yahoo group folders. Another incentive to join up :D

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Paint a Mural



During my recent visit to Bangalore, Tea at Sangita Ohri's was very exciting as along with the fabulous chaat I got to see her art. One of these was a beautiful Trompe L'Oiel she'd painted into a niche in her dining room. I looked it up :P they are murals that create an illusion of a three dimensional space and I think translated it means Fool the Eye. If you ask I'm sure she'll put up a photograph :D When I saw this article over a month ago, on my current favourite site, Lifehacker, I immediately thought of her. I dont think she needs this article she's already an expert but it's for all those of you who might want to be adventurous.

About 10 days ago Sangeeta Bukshi wrote me about her daughter painting a wall in her room and how a while later she was sorely tempted and followed suit. I got all excited about it and remembered this post that I'd saved up as a draft :D I need to get my head fixed, I keep forgeting things! Putting it on record so that I'm forgiven for all the things that I might forget henceforth :D

Both Sangita and Sangeeta do share photographs. I for one am mighty interested. I sounded out Ramesh who said that it would be my responsibility to get it cleared by the landlady :D I'm already thinking of painting the wall in the balcony. People on the lake will get to see and enjoy it and me of course :D Now I have to come up with the idea :D I like being a copy cat :D Maybe I'll do cats :D

Anybody want to join me? Remember, we now have 3 experts to consult :D

Monday, December 11, 2006

13 December : A Reader

13 Dec invite


Penguin India is organizing an event to launch the book 13 December: A Reader, to which Sonia Jabbar has contributed. The event will be held at Gulmohar in the India Habitat Centre New Delhi, at 4 pm on 12th December. Read Hang The Truth by Sonia which appeared first in the Hindustan Times on October 17, 2006. And here's the introduction to the book by Arundhati Roy. Those who are in Delhi might be able to make it for the book launch. And don't forget to go out and buy a few copies for yourselves and friends.

Did some surfing on the Net and here is a write-up on a film that she had made earlier
Read a review by Beena Sarwar on Chowk on Sonia's film Autumn's Final Country on the suffering of 4 displaced women living in Kashmir.

This post is about a much more serious side of Sonia. Dont be disappointed thinking that she's changed completely because the Mad Hatter still exists. To catch up here's a bit of background on what she's been up to in these past two decades. I've shamelessly copied the write-up from a review on this very film on Asia Source

Sonia Jabbar has been politically active since the early 1990s and has worked on Kashmir issues as a rights activist, journalist, photographer and filmmaker since 1995. She has founded several Indian movements for nuclear disarmament, and after the 2002 Gujarat riots she co-founded Aman Ekta Manch, a citizens' group in New Delhi that worked for peace between the communities. She has initiated Indian-Pakistan peoples' conferences at the grassroots level and in 2000 she received a research grant from WISCOMP (Women in Security, Conflict Management and Peace), founded by Nobel Peace Prize winner HH The Dalai Lama.

Saturday, December 9, 2006

Keep a track at Traineo

traineo
traineo

You guys have heard me complain about the excess weight that I'm carrying around. I've signed up at Traineo to keep a track of my weight loss goal. I want to lose 15kgs in a year. I've signed up Ramesh as my motivator and he'll get weekly progress reports on how I'm faring. Hope to have fun along with losing weight! Anyone joining me at Traineo? We could have a LMOG group :D

Friday, December 8, 2006

Million memories tease my heart!



Credit goes to Kshitija, a friend of mine, for finding this gem. She sent it out a few months ago and it has been enjoyed by many. Hope it makes you smile and if you catch yourself humming.... eeef you come today... dont blame me, blame Kshiti!!

Sunday, December 3, 2006

What Life Teaches Us

Well hello there all you happy people. Ujji helped me get this stuff going online. Thought I would share a little philosophy about what life has taught me in this last year- and I am gung-ho now that I have learned these .
1. If you have been toying with a decision for a long time... wanting to take the plunge but scared if it wont work, TAKE THE CHANCE.
2.It's not decisions that fail. It's people who do.
3. If your decision looks like the wrong one, keep working to make it a success.
4. More often than not, you KNOW your own mind. Lots of well meaning people may discourage you because the choice you make may not be easy or conventional. But, if you want it badly enough and if its not a snap decision, its probably the right one for you.
5. Don't accumulate posessions. Nothing is worse than having to clean stuff all the time. Life is for 70 or 80 years. The only thing you really carry with you all around is your mind. Store lots of stuff in your mind. Like happy memories. Even if some of them cost a bomb ( a trip to Tibet? )... its worth the memories.
6. Photograph everything and take prints of the ones you like. Digital cameras are nice because you can pick and choose the ones you want to print. But for goodness sakes, PRINT them. They are the only things that are precious to me apart from my memories
7. I know you have heard that ' family' is everything, and this is true. But sometimes, we pick up 'family' who isnt related by blood. This is the family of choice. Care for them as you would your own. Take their help when you must. I am ever grateful to Linda ( Thomas ) my dearest and closest friend, without whom I would never be where I am today. I can never do for her or give her what she has given me, but she inspires me to help others and hopefully, this is what is meant by the circle of giving.
8. You are dispensible at your work place. Your employer will survive, and thrive without you. But you are Mother, Daughter, Wife and Friend to very few people. To them you are irreplaceable in that role. Take THAT job very seriously.
9. No one is intrinsically bad. We just allow them to do hurtful things to us and by doing that we teach them that unacceptable behavior is OK . When we repeatedly allow them to behave in that way, it becomes a habit with them and character is quickly formed. I truly believe 'evil happens when good men do nothing'. If someone repeats the cycle, then distance your self, physically. If that is not possible, distancing yourself mentally is always possible.
10. Take up an activity which does not rely on anyone else. It will be your mainstay when you are alone - never lonely. And as we grow in years, we will be by ourselves at least some of the time. I have sewing, exercise ( running on the beach these days!), reading and music which keep me going - all solitary pursuits and all give me a high.

Peace and Contentment to all of you.

Essie

PS: have gone vegetarian . Thanks to my new employer, a wonderful group called IHHR - lots of very kind, helpful, principled people. I work in their property in Mauritius. It's spearheaded by Mr. Ashok Khanna who ( as all his employees would agree ) is a truly enlightened soul ! He has taught me a lot by example. www.shantiananda.com

Friday, November 17, 2006

Kya haal hai?


Hi Everyone,
Have not heard from you all in a while. Life has been going at full speed here (is there any other way for us working women/moms?)!! We are going to Vegas next week for the Thanksgiving break. Hubby feels that I may not want to come back home!! Very tempting...
Will keep you posted and try to get some good photos! Take Care Gang!!

Thursday, November 2, 2006

Chinese and Indians



Friends of ours introduced us to Russell Peters sometime last year. The guy is ridiculously funny. I hope most of you havent seen this excerpt already. And if you like it you can find many more on Youtube.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Online Safety Measures for Children

This article has a bunch of steps that you can take to increase the safety of your children online. One of them was to be there when they are online and I think that this would be the best way - to be in the same room when they choose to go online. Schools have their own filters in place, you need to have some at home. Feeling technically challenged is not going to help :P Have a look and take some steps if you havent already.

Source: Cool Cat Teacher's site has this and many other interesting articles. Found the link on Lifehacker.


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Sunday, October 22, 2006

Esther Roshni Chandy

Dont know how I missed posting this one. It got left as a draft in my attempts at spacing out the posts.

Esther as always spoiled me silly with dinner at her place after she'd had a hard day at work. I was keenest on meeting up with her as she'll soon be moving out of Bangalore. Here are a bunch of photos of Esther, Rebecca, Philip and Gertrude or was it Griselda?? Esther help me out here I've forgotten your doggie's name.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

So much hasnt changed!

kolkata - 1946 -47

Got the link to this site from an old friend Subha. There are 60 odd photographs taken between 1946-47 by American Military Personnel based in Kolkata. These have been acquired recently by the University of Pennsylvania and uploaded to their library. Thought that you guys might also enjoy them too.

Looks like a lot hasn't changed - the photographer was complaining of traffic jams - people as well as buffaloes. :D Burrabazaar and the signages. Overloading of public transportation. Makes me want to rush back home to old familiar sights! There are others of the Hooghly without the bridge. A Chowringhee square that I did not recognize and other gems. Enjoy!


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Thursday, October 5, 2006

Sell by, Use by, Best before

I have so far treated all 3 as expiration dates, this article explains why they're not. The other new thing that I learnt was that the temperature of the freezer within our refrigerators is not sufficient for long term storage of food. Read more in this Business Week article on The Truth About Food Expiration Dates.


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Tuesday, September 26, 2006

At the Baseball Game

At the baseball game, the Oakland Athletics beat the reigning champions, the Chicago White Sox. It was a great afternoon to be at the ballpark with the family. It reminds of the times I went with my father to watch a cricket match in Chepauk and Eden Gardens. I still remmeber, Eden gardenswith great fondness. One of the most awesome sights was when you came up the stairs and the whole stadium opened out in front of you! These are times when man made structures inspire great admiration.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Art, artists and inspiration

It is a known fact that artists are inspired by the work of others - past and present. "Good artists copy, great artists steal", a quote attributed to Picasso. And why am I talking about it? Because of the recent debate about the songs in Bob Dylan's new album Modern Times having words identical to another poet from the past, Henry Timrod. Two articles that I thought you might like to read regarding this subject

Translations - Creative Copying and Originality and
The Magpie Tendencies of Genius - read the comments that follow too.

Would love to hear how you feel about it?

Monday, September 18, 2006

Reading bit by bit

Technology and gadgets seem to be taking away our leisure time instead of giving us more. Catching up on reading for pleasure seems to have taken a back seat. Here's a novel way of getting some reading done. Reading Classics that you did not manage to do in college or since.

I recently read an article on LifeHacker where the blurb said " No time to read? Email service Daily Lit sends you a bite-sized chunk of a novel to your inbox every day". This site will email you a page or so of your favorite classic to you everyday, Monday to Friday. I signed up immediately :D

It's not as if I don't have the time to read. I have a lot of time but can't seem to get around to knocking off a few from my list that have been there for years. Ones that I keep there because I still want to read them. Instead I find that I read books that catch my eye in the shop or ones recommended to me recently or whose review I have liked. As you must've gathered from the header and the excerpt, Sons and Lovers is a book that I had wanted to read when I was in school (!) and I still have not got around to it.

This book will be sent to me in 218 installments. Each will take about 5 minutes to read. And if the experiment proves successful, I shall sign on for another. Today I got my first installment. Here is an excerpt from the book.
___________________________________
Sons and Lovers (1 of 218)

By D. H. LAWRENCE

PART ONE

CHAPTER I

THE EARLY MARRIED LIFE OF THE MORELS

"THE BOTTOMS" succeeded to "Hell Row". Hell Row was a block of thatched, bulging cottages that stood by the brookside on Greenhill Lane. There lived the colliers who worked in the little gin-pits two fields away. The brook ran under the alder trees, scarcely soiled by these small mines, whose coal was drawn to the surface by donkeys that plodded wearily in a circle round a gin. And all over the countryside were these same pits, some of which had been worked in the time of Charles II, the few colliers and the donkeys burrowing down like ants into the earth, making queer mounds and little black places among the corn-fields and the meadows. And the cottages of these coal-miners, in blocks and pairs here and there, together with odd farms and homes of the stockingers, straying over the parish, formed the village of Bestwood.
___________________________________

Daily Lit has a selection of 93 classics, from the public domain, available for you to choose from. So whether like me you have the time or like most others life's keeping you a bit too busy and you want to catch up on some reading here's a new way to have a go at it.

You'll find quite a range of reading material from Emma, Christmas Carol to Freud's Dream Psychology all sent to you in small installments. And if on a particular day you have the time to read more or you just have to know what comes next just ask for more and you'll get the next installment sent to you immediately. You wont have to wait! I'm sure you'll find something you'd like to try out. If it works for you do let me know.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

4 Generations!

Dipa's family - crop

I've been in touch with Dipali right through the years and we meet up regularly. This time was no different.

I was meeting Diya for the first time though. She was shooting all over the place, a bundle of energy and absolutely adorable. Managed to grab her for a few seconds for a photograph but she wriggled right out. She has everyone wrapped around her little finger especially her mother. Aditya is much taller than when I saw him two years ago and is very gentle with his little sister. Rajeev is still the same, still spoiling Dipu silly. And her friends too :d Fellow Aquarian like me need I say more?? :D

Meera Aunty had come over for dinner. Meeting up with her was an added bonus :D She's still keeping busy. Has an exciting job that keeps her on her toes. Khana has always been superb at the Sikand's and the tradition continues at Dipu's.

Something that I discovered this visit. The Sikand's have almost taken over Oakwood. Meera Aunty's mother has recently moved in and lives there on her own as she's very independent. So is Meera Aunty who was the first to move in there and has maintained her own place. And Dipu has her own. 4 generations practically under the same roof. They have their independence but yet are close enough to run into each other homes and do dinner regularly. I think it's fabulous!

Friday, September 15, 2006

Choopa Rustom

How many more of these out there?

During my recent visit to Bangalore, I met up with Sangita Ohri now Jain. It was a pleasure catching up with my first friend at LMC, all the way back in '76. We happily managed to meet up on 3 occasions during those 10 days - a pub, a chinese restaurant and chaat at her place. She did not let me dig up any more details about her years since school than those that I had already gleaned from a common friend, Kshitija.

Sangita is a gold medalist from NIFT, the first batch. Before that she got into NID and left to join NIFT . Sangita then spent some time becoming famous in the world of fashion, got married, had two kids and like a lot of other people I know, gave up her job to bring up the kids. Recently, with a bit more time in hand, she has started painting again and the few that I got to see are truly lovely.

Leave me a comment if you want to know what she looks like now :D

Thursday, September 14, 2006

After a break

Sangeeta (Bukshi) has started writing again, for the Afternoon, after a break of a few months. Check out her latest article "Why is everyone up in arms against poor Pratibha Nathani?" I'm sure you'll agree with her take on the subject against exposing children to violence and adult content. This is not her first article on this subject.


Archive of Sangeeta's articles

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Daily Horoscopes and such like

Ok, before you go any further let me confess that most of you will find this to be a silly one! It's after 1 in the morning and I tend to do silly things if I'm awake at around this time. Proceed at your own risk. :D

I have been a daily horoscope reader for years :D Didn't really believe it (honest! :D). I guess because most of it didn't apply to me. I haven't been so good about reading them recently given the bad internet access, travelling etc. . But lately, I've noticed that the one that I subscribe to online is pretty accurate.

Background thoda toh dena padega. I have been complaining to (all who within reach mostly ramesh :P) about feeling rushed all the time. I even refused a trip to Delhi this week because I just wanted to be in one place and not travel for a while.

My horoscope says "No wonder everything is such a blur -- you've been moving so quickly. It's time to chew your food, rather than gulping it whole. Be calm and focused and perform actions mindfully, and you won't feel at the mercy of the fate"

Maybe I'm am now, after years of reading them, able to imagine :P, extrapolate, extend anything that is written and make it applicable or maybe this method of forecasting works for me. Whenever I come across them I enjoy reading them. Mostly I find them efficiently filed as "Junk" Mail by gmail.

If you feel like checking it out. Choose the daily horoscope option on this page. Unsubscribe after a couple of days of checking it out and dont forget to give me feedback!

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Movies !

Thought I would drop everyone a short note to say hi as it's been a while since I last logged on.
I saw an Almodovar film 'Volver' starring Penelope Cruz. It's in Spanish but with English subtitles . It is thoroughly enjoyable & you will soon forget that the dialogue is in Spanish. I went along with some friends and it was a good way to spend an evening. See it if you can! Has anyone else seen anything interesting? All the best - Rahat

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

From Dakshin Chitra


This one is for you Ujwala. I am sure that most of you have heard of Dakshin Chitra, outside Chennai. This is from their Karnataka home. I was in love with all the old doors and woodwork there. The children enjoyed the arts and crafts. If you have a chance you must visit it!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

howdy folks

Hi Everyone
Just got back a few days ago. Still jet lagging! International travel was a huge hassle specially security. It gets worse when you travel with children. Have any of you travelled recently (after the UK scare)? Our trip was very enjoyable. The weather cooperated as well.
Uj- I hope you have settled down to your Dhaka routine.
Arti- big Hi.
Geetanjali- big Hi
keep the posts coming.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Zazame


zazame.jpg
Originally uploaded by HughPee.
Zazame, the sound of rain, is a range of exclusive fashionware for women designed by none other than Nilufer Bose and Premika Posaw of the batch of '88. Have a look at their current collection and be prepared to be dazzled :D

Sunday, August 13, 2006

How to Fold a Shirt

I know you guys can do it well but this lady is amazing and it's certainly a method that I want to pick up. Hope you like it

Monday, July 31, 2006

Hong Kong...

Hi Everybody
We landed in Hong Kong yesterday and I am amazed by this city. The energy in the air is tangible. People are running around constantly but don't seem rushed. Shopping is incredible. I went to a bazaar called Ladies Market in Mongkok. It has a large variety of everything imitation. I think I was a little overwhelmed and did not buy much. My kids on the other hand had no such inhibitions. There was one small hat stall where the lady grabbed me by the arm and pulled me inside hoping to make a sale, when Aditi (my older one), got totally freaked out and yelled 'Run Mom run, she is trying to get you!". It was hilarious! The food is very very good. Hong Kong apparently has more restaurants per person than any other place in the world. We ate at a chinese restaurant which is completely vegetarian and had dishes like shrimp, abalone etc made out of gluten and tofu- totally delish!
Wish you all were here... you know I am thinking about you all... blogging on vacation!

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Pinhole Camera

Make your own Camera

Linatree is providing a template to make your own pinhole camera. Have a look at the "Download a Camera" sub header on the main home page, I'm sure your kids will definitely want to have a go.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

An old photo

This is an old photograph from 1975- my birthday luncheon (I think!)
Floor (L to R)- My sister, Me, Chandra, Arti,
Sofa (L to R) Nomita , Poonam (non LMC), Anita, Seema, Deepanjali.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

India censors sites!!

Apparently the Indian Govt. is censoring domains. For example the domain blogspot on which lmog exists has been blocked by various ISP's. I had heard of a similar block quite a while ago but that it is still happening is news to me!

Have a look at the details at
http://yro.slashdot.org/yro/06/07/17/1732209.shtml

UPDATE: July 22, 2006: I believe that the domain is no longer being blocked.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Reservation in India

I have for many years firmly believed that there should be reservation but at the primary school level. Bringing everyone to the same level field or almost and then basing admission especially in fields like engineering, medicine on merit. Esther forwarded me this note and it made me rethink my stand. It made me feel quite miserable and now for the first time I'm beginning to feel that reservation and that too a higher percentage is what we need. But I wish there would be some benchmarks so that the there is accountability and when the need for these measures reduces the reservation percentages should be reduced too.

Written by: Barkha Dutt, NDTV 24*7

Saturday, June 24, 2006:

One of the most awkward - and yet, strangely compelling - things about journalism is that sometimes your work makes you hold a mirror to your own life.

This past week, a quiet, but determined 16-year-old became an unexpected reflection of my education. I have always believed that my school and college years were the first architects of my personality; like every middle-class Indian, I take pride in where I studied and what I was taught. And yet, the gentle idealism of this young girl made me pause to wonder: Had my public-school education been shamefully elitist?

At first, the story seemed straightforward enough. Garima Godara, a CBSE topper, with an astonishing 97.6 per cent had taken the entrance exam for the Delhi Public School (Dwarka), the school closest to her village.

The daughter of a police constable who earned less than Rs 6,000 a month, the school's fees would have been a problem. But the family was undeterred; perhaps there would be a scholarship or a loan; surely the school would be keen to admit the girl who had topped the national capital's merit list.

Garima's proud father had spent months battling the entrenched patriarchy of his peers, fending off nosy neighbours who gossiped about why she didn't spend enough time in the kitchen. Now, he was even more determined to give his daughter the best education her marks could buy.

This could have been the story of New India and its emerging, self-made middle class; a proud milestone for a country that dares to dream. Instead, here's what happened: DPS turned her down. Her results were good, it conceded. But marks aren't everything, said the school principal to NDTV, and besides, her English was poor, and just didn't cut the grade.

Later, listening to Garima in the studio, it was hard not to feel both angry and moved. Angry because of the obvious injustice: not only was she as bright as her results indicated; there was nothing about her spoken English that suggested that she would have been unable to keep pace with the syllabus.

Yes, she spoke with a regional accent that some would consider insufficiently sophisticated. But there was no doubt that she could not only follow a complex argument, she could also make herself understood to any English speaker. But it was her calm that was almost heart breaking; a quiet courage that belied her teen years. It was almost as if we were more outraged and indignant than she was. During the course of the programme, a principalfrom a well-known school in Dehradun called in, offering her admission and a scholarship; others promised to get DPS to change its mind.

But betraying only the slightest sense of hurt, she said firmly that her aim now was to show DPS that she would do better than any of its students. She had already got herself admitted to another school, and DPS could quite simply, take a walk.

As she spoke, viewers clearly shared my anger. The online poll showed that 90 per cent of viewers believed that the English language exerted a disproportionate influence over the education system. Yet, were we all being hypocritical and dishonest? This time it was DPS under the microscope, but were any of us any different? Let's say she continued to do outstandingly well in school. The next stage would be college. I pictured her trying to take the entrance interview at my old college, Delhi's St Stephen's. Would she get in? And even if she made the cut, how would other students react to her presence? Would they admire her for her academic brilliance? Or would they snigger at heraccent, titter each time she made a grammatical error and then, melt away, leaving her alone to find her own friends?

Garima's story is a metaphor for India's twisted tryst with the future. I learnt after the programme was over - and it is significant that neither she nor her parents brought this up themselves - that she is an OBC.

For some months now, as the debate over reservation has raged, opponents of the quotas have made the same point again and again: we should be a society where merit matters. It's a compelling argument, and one that I have personally supported.

But what do the anti-quota street fighters have to say now? Here's a girl who competed in the mainstream, her own Hindi medium DAV pitched against the trendier, richer, big names. But her merit was swallowed up by prejudice.

Is it any wonder then that supporters of reservation believe that the system is stacked against them, and that merit is a con-word used by upper-caste tricksters? Her story is also a scathing comment on the class divide in India. It is fashionable for marketeers and economists to talk about the burgeoning middle class. Each day a new figure is conjured up to demonstrate the size of the Indian market, and the clout of the new middle class; is it 250 million this week or has it already reached 300 million?

We embrace these statistics, because we like the idea of India as this century's favourite financial destination. We feel flattered when Time magazine puts our country on its cover, and we talk glibly, especially to foreigners, of social mobility and how the gap between the rich and poor is closing; we argue that India's tomorrow is being built by its industrious and enterprising middle class, and we feel like the future is unfolding, right here and right now.

But here's what we never admit. We're just the worst sorts of snobs. The social mobility of the last decade has meant that the new middle class does not consist of people like us. Instead, it is made up of people like Garima, who we still find excuses to exclude; we sneer at their lack of Westernized sophistication; make fun of their accents, and we try and ensure that our children have nothing to do with theirs. Finally, Garima's story exposes India's paradoxical relationship with the English-language. Nobody in the world speaks English like us. We have our own idioms, our own words and our own accents.

We pretend to love our own English and brag about how it is India's great selling point; the reason we dominate the global outsourcing business. But of course deep down we know that our English is not the English that the West really wants. And so, each time we talk to Britons or Americans, we subtly alter our diction and inflection. When we set up our call centers, we drop the subtlety entirely and start accent classes to teach our young people to abandon the speech patterns of our own society and to migrate to a virtual, linguistic middle America, where they become impersonators of people they will never meet and never know.

But within India, we still treat our own English as the great social decider. We laugh at regional accents, smirk at those who make grammatical errors and feel most at home with those who talk like us. Everyone else belongs on the other side of the English divide. And as it turns out, the other side of the class and caste divide as well.

Maybe we cling so tightly to this tiny community because secretly we are just insecure. Outside of our little bubble, India is changing. Every major institution in recent times - Parliament, the bureaucracy, the military, our colleges and schools - is being forced to re-write the rules.

A new breed of Indians who no longer look towards the West for self-affirmation, is making its presence felt. We like to call this a decline in quality. But actually, it's the rest of India waiting to get in.

How long are we going to keep the gates shut?

Saturday, July 15, 2006

From a Mumbiaker.....

Dear Terrorist,
Even if you are not reading this we don't care. Time and again you tried to disturb us and disrupt our life - killing innocent civilians by planting bombs in trains, buses and cars. You have tried hard to bring death and destruction, cause panic and fear and create communal disharmony but everytime you were disgustingly unsuccessful. Do you know how we pass our life in Mumbai? How much it takes for us to earn that single rupee? If you wanted to give us a shock then we are sorry to say that you failed miserably in your ulterior motives. Better look elsewere, not here.
We are not Hindus and Muslims or Gujaratis and Marathis or Punjabis and Bengaliies. Nor do we distinguish ourselves as owners or workers, govt.
employees or private employees. WE ARE MUMBAIKERS (Bombay-ites, if you like). We will not allow you to disrupt our life like this. On the last few occassions when you struck (including the 7 deadly blasts in a single day killing over 250 people and injuring 500+ in 1993), we went to work next day in full strength. This time we cleared everything within a few hours and were back to normal - the vendors placing their next order, businessmen finalizing the next deals and the office workers rushing to catch the next train. (Yes the same train you targetted).Fathom this: Within 3 hours of the blasts, long queues of blood donating volunteers were seen outside various hospital, where most of the injured were admitted. By 12 midnight, the hospital had to issue a notification that blood banks were full and they didn't require any more blood. The next day, attendance at schools and office was close to 100%, trains & buses were packed to the brim, the crowds were back. The city has simply dusted itself off and moved one - perhaps with greater vigour. Plus, unlike other countries, other people don’t go on the rampage plundering, looting, stealing and raping at such times.
We are Mumbaikers and we live like brothers in times like this. So, do not dare to threaten us with your crackers. The spirit of Mumbai is very strong and can not be harmed.
Please forward this to others. U never know, by chance it may come to hands of a terrorist in Afghanistan, Pakistan or Iraq and he can then read this message which is specially meant for him!!!
With Love,
From the people of Mumbai (Bombay)

Monday, July 10, 2006

FIFA World Cup Finals

Was that awesome or what? ! It was a fabulous match with both France and Italy playing their hearts out. Zidane's red card performance was shocking, especially since this was his last world cup appearance! I guess the best team won. Hats Off to the Italians!

Saturday, July 1, 2006

For Ro the Footer Fan

Monday, June 26, 2006

And my Diya turned all of 2 on June 8th


Just thought I'd share a snap of the little brat who turned 2 a few weeks back, taken on her birthday...hell she is a handful. Love DS

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Hello to All

Hello to All

It is wonderful to be in touch again and get everyone's news. I'm based in London and hope to see you here sometime. I have just come back from a short holiday to Kolkata - had a great time re-visiting old places and also plenty of new malls/restaurants and hope to meet some of you on my next holiday! Take care and do keep on keeping in touch - Rahat

Friday, June 16, 2006

Art Rage 2.0


I stumbled across this application a few months ago. Art Rage is an drawing, painting software programme. It is super easy and great fun to use. And unlike a lot of other software it isn't disabled in any way. It does have more features in the paid version. I've been using the free (basic) version. This is my second attempt at painting. I havent yet mastered using the mouse with suitable dexterity as yet :D

Since Summer Holidays are round the corner, I thought that your kids might enjoy using this and/or that you might too. In any case, in todays digital world even art is made on a digital canvas so you'll might as well make an attempt to learn :D I had great fun making this painting in the morning and quite a lot of it was because i could just start and didnt have to go running around for a canvas, brushes, turpentine or even a rag cloth!

Hope you guys do try this out and enjoy it as much as I do. Honest, this one gets a 10 on 10 rating from me. And have you heard me rave about something like this?

One bit of exciting news is that for the first time I shall have a room to myself for my art!! I'm very excited about the "studio" and I'm hoping that it will get me to spend sometime everyday drawing, painting or just reading. Well, I can hope, cant I?

website : http://www.ambientdesign.com

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Summer is Here


Hello Everyone,
How are you all?
What are you doing for the summer?
Do Share....
I am posting a picture of the coast of Hawaii's Big island.
It is a beautiful place with enormous amount of volacnic activity.
What you see here is solidified lava.
Please click on the picture to make it bigger.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Its thrilling and I just had to share.......

Hi All !

Sorry I havent been able to log in for a while....... I am just thrilled to bits and I just had to share this with you all..... I launched my first global office in Singapore last week and we have got the most tremendous response ! It feels so good , I can't explain ....moving from a garage to Singapore's Central Business District and getting written about all over the local papers as if we were the best thing to happen to Singapore after sliced bread and dumplings :) ...
What makes me even happier is that for very long lesconcierges was dipali...... now it goes much beyond that and it is an entity with a personality of its own right and the professional team I was able to put into place after many years of slog...have created the company and will take us to many global shores.

And for those of you in Singapore ( Nisha ...Sabha ...Veronica ) and for those of you who know people who have only 24 hours in a day living in Singapore ( wink ) : do use our services...... would love to help.

Hugs

Dipali

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Tolly





I had a lovely holiday with my a parents in Kolkata. It was a bit hectic but we still managed to squeeze in quite a few things - My Fair Lady - Musical put up by Calcutta Club, several new restaurants - The food at Tajas which we stumbled upon as Banana Leaf wouldnt allow reservations was very good. Food in Tolly is vastly improved from our school days. But sadly a trip to school wasnt one of them. :(

I hope to convince those living in Kolkata to post new pictures of school and the teachers with their comments. Abha, if you're reading this please take a picture of Subhag Aunty for the blog and get her comments too!

What was your favorite poem?


Remember all the poems we learned? Some good, some great and some downright boring.My very first poem was 'Someone came knocking' by Walter de la Mare.
I loved 'Lochinvar' ( Sango, remember?). Also remember 'Lord Ullin's daughter" which was really depressing! I also remember the one about Queen Gulnar (? name of the poem?). Enjoyed the 'Ballad of East and West'.
I had a really hard time with Julius Caesar in 9th and 10th- when there were so may other ones that they could have picked. Which ones did you gals like?

Tags:

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Hearst Castle

This was taken when we visited the Hearst Castle in California. On a hot day like today, sure would be good to jump in!

Sunday, May 14, 2006

HAPPY MOTHERS DAY

Sunday the 14th is celebrated as Mother's Day here in the US.
I wanted to wish all my dear friends a VERY HAPPY MOTHERS DAY.
Hope you have a day of peace, love and hapiness that will carry through the rest of the year.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Mishti Dohi....Anyone?

We have been talking back and forth on the wonders of Mishti Dohi. Does anyone have an original recipe? I have been dying to make this over the past years and have never had great success. Please post your recipes here- do share. I love the stuff!!

Friday, May 12, 2006

Thanks Soma



Here are two more pictures of a picnic we went to in class xi or xii..not sure which one. Thanks Soma (Jot) for sending them. I have more pictures on the lmog83 members only site, so Soma and others you may want to sign up and check them out.

A picture and another good read


Hi:
Thought I'd post this picture of the blue heron who visited a nearby lake. Also wanted to share that I had read Reading Lolita in Tehran : A Memoir in Books by Azar Nafisi a few months ago and really recommend it.

Monday, May 8, 2006

My friend the budding Poetess

Dipa's delightful little rhyme was hidden away in the comments of another post. If you want to see more of what she had to say, click here

My clearest memories of days of school
Include only those where FUN would rule.
Mrs.Mathews chemistry Class
Oh how much we would her harass
While she climbed one we would run down the other flight of stairs
Throw our books in ryhthm and turn around our chairs.
We would bribe Sulaiman to ring the bell early
Never Abdul for he was too surly.
Steal aloo bombs and eat 30 paise hot chips and orange bar
Wait outside on the road to see the dudes directing our car
Once we went to see a movie in a hall
We all got into such a squall
Piya sprayed the hall with birds of paradise scent
And UP and I under our chairs went.
Samiya would always be with a book
Roopa would dream of a new brawn to cook.
Abha would eat and yet remain skinny
Ham sandwisches were a speciality of Vini.
Dosas and idlis were Rohini's treat
Geetanjali would rule the roost on Park Street.
Arti would sit an continuously giggle
While UP from a new escapade try and wriggle.
Chidiya , Sreela, Madhumita, Sangeetas five
Around the class they would jive
I remember teaching them to hum loudly like a bee
So that Mrs. Malhotra would give us time off from Hindi.
And UP shouted "Horatious" one elocution day
"Coffee with the meal" I said and fainted away.
Fan dance, pet shows , carnivals and more
We really had a good time : guess that was in store
Shucks the more i think of things the more I smile
for the sequel of this poem you may have to wait a while

DS


Friday, May 5, 2006

must read...

friends,
I just finsihed a great book which some of you might have even read as its been out for a while...its called Kite Runner.
A great portrayal of life in Afghanistan from the '70s to present day.Its fictional interwoven with true facts and is quite a page turner.
If you all get a chance - do read.
Any suggestions...looking for something exciting to read.Any recommendations??

hugs and have a great weekend y'all.

arti

Thursday, May 4, 2006

Class Teachers

Hi Gals:
I was trying to remember our class teachers in each Class, and I must admit my memory is not what is was.
Can you help fill in the blanks?

Class XI, XII: Mrs. Nainan, Mrs. Brown
Class, IX X: Mrs Kar, Dayita Dutta, Mrs Gangee
Class VIII. Mrs. SinghDeo
VII Mrs Menon,
VI Mrs. L Kumar
V Mrs. Puri
IV Mrs Kumar
III Ms. Jacob

See...total amnesia.
But I am sure between us we can fill the blanks.
And does any one know where any of our teachers are these days?

Thanks Ro, Uj Arti and Dipali for your input. Have updated the list.

Tuesday, May 2, 2006

My retirement spot


Don't scream and say why so early. But I just had to plan my retirement abode. And when we found this land in Ooty, we rushed past the many years ( hopefully we have ) and bought this little paradise in the blue hills. Laden with tea and herbs, skirted by sleepy lakes that are filled with rainbow trouts, now named Nani's Nook ( after my mom and grand mom who are both old Ootians ), this 3 acre land now looks forward to ideas from you guys for a perfect get away home where perhaps we can all meet and enjoy. So if any of you can help with a link or design sketch or some ideas on how to make a perfect home here..... please please send this me ... thanks ......

Monday, May 1, 2006


Spring is here in all its glory, here in North Carolina too. Thought I'd share this rather Van Goghesque picture...Hey Uj want to do a Tulips in the Sunflowers or Irises mode?
Am also putting up some more pics. on the lmog site.

Tranquility

Aditi was cleaning up trash in a local park as part of the Earth Day celebrations when we came upon this tranquil spot. Thought I would share it with all of you.

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Mediterranean Blue




Even though Meera D'd told me about Borg El Arab and how blue the sea was I did'nt figure just how blue that blue could be! Borg el Arab is about an hours drive from Alex.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Toronto gang!!

Hi gals,

Mira and I met up on Sunday afternoon after twenty three years and it was like yesterday and we had the best time ever!!!
Where did all this time go...honest gals,it was like we had just left school.Mira looks the same and has a lovely home and two beautiful kids..I did not get a chance to meet Vikram as he was away on a business trip and it was well timed as he would not have had a chance to get a word in!!!(poor guy).We had so much to share and so much to talk about that even fours hours was not enuff.
Its so nice to have another friend from school and we are so fortunate to have been in school together - we are really blessed.As Dipa said in another note,the best part is that all the good ol' faces are still the same good ol' people and no one has changed.Its nice to pick up from where we left off and may it always remain the same.
Hopefully more of you will join in the blog and participate and maybe even join us in Toronto on vacation or work or heh!! you might just move here like we did!!!!!
take care everyone.
(beware - if Dipa and Roopa are together,its quite a deadly combo - they woke me up at four in the morn)

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

To all my Compadres....

Hello Everyone,
Hope all is going well in your lives. We have not heard from too many of you recently. We are soon going to have big gap here 'cos Ujawala will not have internet access for a while at home. How about we all step up to the plate and a make a post or two? Otherwise you will have to hear the boring details of my life on a daily basis!
Easy steps.....
1. Accept the invitation that Ujwala sent you.(if you have not already)
2. Go to the log in page- the little button at the left hand top corner which says blogger. Click on it.
3. Type in your name and password to log in.
4. Press the green '+' sign
5. Type whatever you want in the box that appears. Type a title in the title box.
6. Press Publish Post
Viola! it then it gets posted!

Friday, April 21, 2006

And Roopa has come to town

I wish I could put up a snap of the 2 of us reuniting after 23 years..... but I would need a wide lens camera and a very stoic photographer to actually dare to do justice to this potrait... never mind.. we are still ravishing and sexy and desirable and wonderful human beings and with sooooooo much of us for all of you to adore ( enmasse ).

Roopa and I have been together since Nursersy ( Ms. Higgins ) before we joint LMC together in 1973. And we have had the pleasure of creating plenty of strife in many people's lives.
Last night we met up with lindy and had a couple of vodkas while being bitten alive with BLR's infamous mosquitoes. It was fun and it was good to hear the cackles and bursts of laughter and recollection of what exactly I would do to deserve the special Ms. Mathew chair for me ( inside a dustbin ).

Nonetheless..... this mail is to tell all of you... come on over to BLR .... you all are always welcome

Take care

DS

Thursday, April 20, 2006


To go with Rohini's post about houses...here is Hastings '82, I think.

Which house were you in?

Ok folks I want to know who was in which house at school?
I was in Martin House which did very well for the long spell that I was there.

Martin
Rohini
Arti
Roopa
Abha


Macaulay
Ujwala
Meera D
Linda

Charnock
Dipali
Samiya
Vinita Kapoor
Sangeeta Bukshi
Rahat
Archana Goenka

Hastings.
Geetanjali

Where are the rest of Hastings and Macaulay
?

Lets find out from the rest of you as well...
All you have to do is add a comment at the end of this blog.

You don't need to sign in, just write a comment anonymously if it is easier and just sign your first name at the end.

I will update it.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

It only takes a spark.....

500 miles, Amazing Grace - John Newton, All things bright and beautiful, Away in the Manger, Beautiful Dreamer, Billy Boy,
Blessed are the Pure in Heart - Bible songs, Blowin in the wind, Brown Girl in the Ring, Can it be true?, Clementine, Count your blessings - John Oatman, Down by the Riverside, Ducks, Finniculi Finnicula, Give me oil in my Lamp - Karen Mitzo Hilderbrand, Go tell it on the mountain, He's got the whole world, Hevenu Shalom Allekum, If I were a rich man, It's a long road to freedom, Jambalaya, Jesus stand among us, Joshua fought the battle of Jericho - Paul Robeson, Kookaburra
La Cucuracha, Love is like a Magic Penny, My Grandfather's Clock, Nina Pretty Ballerina, O Come All Ye Faithful - John Wade, O Susana - Stephen Foster, Obladi Oblada, Oh Sinner Man, Pass It On - Kurt Kaiser, Polly Wolly Doodle, Scarborough Fair, Skip to my Lou, Tie a Yellow Ribbon, Tom Dooley, The Wayfaring Pilgrim, Una Paloma Blanca, We shall overcome, When the Saints Go Marching In.


These are the ones that I could remember. I'm sure you guys will remember plenty more. Please add in the comments and I'll find links for them. UPDATE : i've put in the ones that Rohini,Dipa and Sangeeta named. And for Arti - Malaika - but i dont think we learnt it in school or did we?


Sunday, April 16, 2006

Bihari Ishtyle English


Here is a photo I got form Essy..... taken in a dhaba close to Patna ..... had a good laugh.... thought I'd share this with all of you. Love Dipali

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Mrs. Nainan's class- XII



Here is another class picture from a rather under represented section of the batch of '83. Common girls, where are you.
Have more pictures on the yahoo site, so do check.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Endangered !! Salman Khan


Hi ! A few of you may know that one of my "esteemed "classmates in college ( St.Xaviers, Bombay) was Salman Khan.... here is a poem written in a few minutes...by my husband ( Rajeev )... since I had a good laugh over it.. thought I would share this with you all.

Dipa



From:
Rajeev Kumar
Sent: Friday, April 14, 2006 8:21 PM
Subject: A rhyme for salman :)

Here's the hero, pumped on steroids
walks like he has got hemorrhoids
liked to sow his oats all over
Somi, Aish, Katrina but not Gulshan Grover

He had many a success in Bollywood's lane
his movies were hits, though his acting inane
the ladies loved the bod, the dudes were jealous
our man had a temper and was often quite zealous

Thought he was macho when he held his gun
decided to slay helpless fauna for fun
too bad his limited brain cells failed
they were endangered, so Sallu got jailed

Though our muscled friend did try his luck
to worm out of the case where he killed black buck
he had more grief when his big landrover
flew off the road, ran a poor soul over

Too bad that life seldom imitates art
PETA just branded him a stupid upstart
a killer of chinkara and innocent black buck
he should have just gone and eaten bombay duck

Though the cases meandered the judge was harsh
and Sallu couldnt hide in a field or a marsh
in front of family including pumped up Sohail
the cops slapped on the cuffs and took him to jail

In jail he could play carrom but didnt get mangola
nor a contract to act in an ad for Thums Up cola
The three days that he spent in Jodhpur cells
taught him that life is not about lifting dumb belles

The PETA folks rejoiced and danced and sang a little song
they rejoiced cos Sallu was wrong, he shouldn't wear a thong
anyone that ventures out to hunt innocent fauna
will be roasted on a spit or locked up in a sauna

They granted bail, he left jail, atleast for now
maybe he'll go vegan and not eat a sacred cow
PETA folks were not too pleased cos Sallu's on the loose
They will only be at ease when he's dangling on a noose

Sallu had a bright career but he let his ding dong
rule his limited brain cells and goad him to do wrong wrong
Hope Katrina takes an iron and clocks him in the noggin
he might give up hunting and just take up morning joggin'

Though the man has been a jerk he does have a heart kind
he's going to help out inmates, give them some peace of mind
upgrades to living conditions in sickly government jails
good food and time pass for inmates and maybe access to emails

This my friends is the tale so far, the plot might still just thicken
If he's cool, he'll clean his act and maybe hunt a chicken
Lets hope for the sake of his kith and kin
he sticks to showing skin and avoids all sin

Thursday, April 13, 2006

23 and 31 years ago... we lived in happy harmony




I found some great pics of us all in class 8, 10, and 12.... hell so many years ago..some of you have kids this age now........... well... all i know is that i feel very much the same and being back in touch with all of you just reinforces that....
Please have a look at our class pics and guess who is who... I was able to put a name to each one.... I am sure you will be able to too.

Love
Dipa

PS any one copies of these snaps , just mail me telling me which one and I will be happy to send them

now in techni colour... class X , I believe


Look at Piya and Abha and Mun Mun and dimple saldhana,nisha, trina,rahat , roopa, vini, julie,ratna , dolly,kavita nahata,oni, madhumita,nilina, archana, indira,sukanya, sangeeta,ruby,anupa,raakhee, with Mrs Kar. I have only forgotten 2 peoples name in this ...some one please help..... one I know starts with S ( she is snuggled b.w mdhumita and oni) and the other pleasantly plump one ( i know she was in the hostel ) behind julie, close to abha.

HELP close the loop.... first one to answer correctly gets an all paid for vacation to Bangalore :)

More photos...



This is Class 5 - 1975 . Class Teacher was Miss D'Souza. This was a while ago. Brings back so many memories.

This is Mrs Jacobs' Class 3 at LMC- 1973. How amazing is this! My son is in 3rd grade now and wow does time fly!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Another Big Hello to ALL :)

This really is a great idea –thank you again Ujwala and thanks to everyone else for making posts. It has really been a fun trip down memory lane, and am looking forward to connecting with even more folks.
Been great catching up with Ujwala. Am posting a sort of summery of my mails to her about where I have been and what I have been doing over the past several years on the yahoo groups. Am now in Cary, North Carolina. Am married and have two girls, Maya and Ayesha.

Again, each one of you, it is wonderful reconnecting. Little in life comes close to the beauty of the innocent joys and tears we shared and the adolescent discoveries we made together, during those wonderful years in school…okay ...okay I sound maudlin and sentimental … but that is where this blog takes me.
smiles
Geetanjali

Thats Life...



I took this picture while driving back from the Florida Keys over the winter break. Thought it was cute.
CLICK ON THE PHOTO TO ENLARGE AND VIEW BETTER.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Mira Aunty's chocolate cake recipe

Been getting sms's and messages and sighs and " I miss, I want, I need " lines from the gang asking for mom's chocolate cake recipe ........which by the way she has dedicated to the girls of '83..... so here goes for those that wanted it .... Mom requested those of you that try it , email her and let her know how it came...she is available on mirasikand@yahoo.com

Sift together 1 3/4 cup flour, 1 1/2 tsp soda bicarb. 1/.2 tsp salt 6 tbsp cocoa powder
Beat together 1/2 cup shortening ( mom uses dalda ), 1 1/2 cup fine sugar, 2 eggs, 1 1/2 tsp vanilla essence , 1 1/4 cups curds

Beat altogether well..pour into a well greased and floured pan. Bake in moderate oven ( 150 degrees )for 30-35 mins. Keep aside for 5 minutes and then over turn the tin....

Monday, April 10, 2006

Why are we Old girls from La Martiniere??????

Essy ( Roshni ) and I are seated in this luxurious cabin in our office and we are extremely worried that we are referred as "old " girls.....( lamartiniere "OLD " girls '83 ). she says there is nothing old about her..she is youthful, energetic..... ( I say juvenile ..but she objects )...... therefore this posting is to plea on her behalf ...to change the blog name......down to OLD.. no more OLD girls...

possible alternatives that Essy and I suggest are :

Some Ex Students Association '83 ( short form S.Ex.Ass '83)

La Martiniere Young & Ravishing ' 83 ( short form La-MARTYRS)

Ujwala Prabhu's Youthful & Ravishning Students '83 ( Short form UP-YouRS'83)

Please vote and let us have your feedback / alternatives

Love

Dipa and Essy

Saturday, April 8, 2006

For Indira Velukutty

Indira.jpg
From her sister Archana:
For Indira...
This is a post different from the previous ones since it is being sent on behalf of a member of the LMOG 1983 batch.
It 's in memory of my sister Indira (Indu) Velukutty who passed away on April 29th, 2005 after a long battle with breast cancer. She and her husband Rajeev Menon moved to the US in 1987. She lived in Fremont, California & raised three beautiful children; Viraj (15) Vishak (10) and Kamini (6). Indu's courage and determination in the face of all odds is an inspiration to the many lives she touched during her short lifetime.
My sincere thanks to Ujwala & the rest of you who have connected so many people through this blog... for me it's a link to Indu's childhood & many fond memories.

Archana Velukutty (LMOG - 1987)
Berkeley Heights -NJ

Tuesday, April 4, 2006

BIG HELLO TO ALL!!

Dearest friends,

Firstly a very big thank-you to Dipali for tenaciously making every effort to track me down in the perma-frost region of Canada!!! (Yes,we have all scattered into the four corners of the globe!)
Also to Ujjwala for creating this wonderful site where we can all connect after almost two decades.

A very big hello to all of you and look forward to sharing in all your happenings over the last twenty years...looks like we have all carved our niches in different areas and seems like most are focussing on families,careers and loved ones.

My story is one of many ups and downs over the last twenty years as I am sure is the case in most peoples lives...though I must admit there have been more "ups" than "downs" and pray may it be the same for all the wonderful gals of the class of '83

I moved to Toronto in the summer of '88 with an alcoholic and abusive husband and fortunately was able to reconize the signs of a disastrous future ahead and subsequently took a bold step that I never looked back on and with a few pennies to my name and a few worldly belongings I decided to abort the relationship...basically nipped it in the bud and embarked on a new journey all by myself.
Fortunately I had a good job that allowed me to sustain myself and with the support,love and care of a wonderful family and a few new found friends in Toronto I managed to sail rather than sink!! (was determined to do so)

Through many twists and turns on this journey I must admit I have been blessed with the oppurtunity of meeting wonderful people,forming great friendships and relationships and traversing the globe has definitely broadened my horizon on life and made me a much better person overall.
Living in Toronto I have been able to interact with people of all walks of life and being such a multicultural melting pot its been a great experience assimilating with people from all over the world...what a wonderful history and geopraphy lesson in its self....more than what Ms.Dutta or Ms.Choudhury could ever have taught me!!!!

i am currently residing in Toronto,work for a communications company called Bell Canada and work in sales for high revenue business markets.I keep a busy routine with work and play and enjoy the change of seasons but I am not so sure "tropical birds" like us are a good fit for the long and arduous winter months!!! I really enjoy playing squash,doing yoga and working out and love to cook and entertain ( so if any of you decide to visit - I promise you wont go hungry)
I also spend a lot of time with a wonderful man whose has been friend, companion and the love of my life!!!

Now,if only I knew how to post a picture of myself.I think I look pretty much the same,maybe a wee bit older
Stay tuned...maybe next time I will post a mug shot

How is everyone else doing?? Roopa,I think of you often and Gopi and I talk regularly and often remember good times at school socials and Tolly!!!
Deepa,I saw your site and you are doing great guns!!! Keep it up,that is fantastic.Your kids are gorgeous-bless them always!
Meera,I hear you are also in Toronto - we must connect.
Rohini.I still remember all the wonderul idli-dosa lunches at your home after school.
Vinita,we spent a lot of good times together and so did our folks ....remember??

This is so nice gals...nice to reconnect after aeons.Stay in touch and hopefully we can all meet up one day and truly have a great big reunion.

love and hugs to all and look forward to hearing from you all

always,

arti manaktala

LMOG - La Martiniere Old Girls '83, Kolkata

LMOG - La Martiniere Old Girls '83, Kolkata
We need more juice here. I know its the middle of the week and everyone is extra busy but....
Chennai is very hot right now. Not able to run the 20 miles that I usually do- (yeah right- Ok who believed that?)
Have you folks seen any good movies recently- regular /independent/ TV etc?
I am glad to see so many Indian authors on the horizon as well as fabulous art locally. Also have been able to catch up on cricket. It is good to see ODIs live instead of taping them watching them in fast forward!
Don't want to sound too domesticated but can each of you post your favorite recipes here?
Keep on blogging..

Monday, April 3, 2006

We can't be outdone by the class of 1982

dipu's find.jpg

Admit it.... once you log on to this site ( www.lmclassof82.com) you will discover a) that they have been able to link up to more people than we have b ) that there are many names on this list that are undoubtedly familiar and bring back many a sigh.... I admit... the first guy I ever danced with ( Founders Day Social ... ) he is there in full glory BUT wife and bacchas by his side..... and I can see one of UP's fav and one of her die hard fan and there is Abha's and Vini's admirers here too and then there are plenty of of them that formed Roopa's hit list

....... and then there are some of those guys that some of us would secretly lust for and pray would notice us ( especially some of them who stood outside to direct cars and traffic ) ...wouldn't it be just super to have them do it even today !!

Well ... if I bring back stronger emotions..... direct them to UP... I was just hoping to evoke some happy memories.... take care and be happy.....


Sunday, April 2, 2006

Nonu, the skating Squirrel

For those who havent got a copy of Nonu, the Skating Squirrel, you might want to do so now - because Vinita is the illustrator for this book by Anita Nair. I found this on the ndtv shopping site a few days back and Vinita sent me some more images of just Nonu, yesterday. All have been put up on the lmog Zoto site. She also illustrates for Verve and I'd put a link to one of the articles, with her illustration, in the sidebar on the right. Way to go Vinita! Hope to see many more.

Saturday, April 1, 2006

Hi Everyone...From Rohini

This is so much fun. Ujwala, thanks a ton for doing this.
I am in Chennai for a short while and then head back to the US.
I live in San Jose, California and am practising medicine there.
I have 2 children, a wonderful husband and a great big labrador.
I saw all the photos and is wonderful to see everyone again. I have 2 old photos- one from Mrs Jacobs' 3 grade and one from Mrs D'souza'a 5th grade. I will scan and post them when I get back.
I talked to Samiya (after centuries)- she is in Columbia University in NY.
It was good to see LMC- with brand new paint and all! They have not changed the PT uniform (in 25 years)!
Guys, keep the posts coming... Rohini .

Thursday, March 30, 2006

27

and counting.

I've left out Samiya as, even though the mails havent bounced back, we've recieved no confirmation. Rohini Raghunathan got in touch leaving a comment on the blog and I'm hoping to get her email id to add her to this list. Lastly, Smeeta, who I've met often in the recent past, including dinner in Dhaka! I've realised that I dont have her email id. She did give it to me but I guess it was verbal and I forgot to note it down thinking hey, it's so simple how can i forget?? Looks like I did!

Without them the count is at 27. I've put the names in a box in the sidebar on the right. Have a quick look and let me know if you know of others that i've missed or can get in touch with and any other errors that you spot or blanks that you can fill. please email me the details.

And for those who are in the least bit curious, I've used an online database app, Lazybase to host this information.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Writely - Word on the Net

writely.jpg
Sango, this one is especially for you. There's this new buzz called Web 2.0. Basically it's about online applications. One of the applications that is already available and quite effective even though it's in the beta stage is Writely. It is basically a chota bhai of MS Word. It is available online and it is free. 90% of the tools provided by Word are not used by people working on regular office documents - Microsoft is just a very good marketeer and has practically everyone using their applications. All that is about to change :P.

Realised that I've spent more time talking about Word than Writely so here goes. Click on the header above. It will take you to the Writely website. Register and start a document. Now you can update it, collaborate with someone, work on it offline or online. It is simply fabulous. And Sango you will not need a laptop coz wherever you go you will have access to a computer and the net.

Got into Dhaka a few days back. House hunting has started in earnest. Smeeta was here in Dhaka on work. Had dinner with her last night. Wonderful to have had someone familiar over so soon. The rest of you plot and plan and get here. Will suss out all the shopping haunts and restaurants by then. Keep posting!

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Hello - My first time doing something innovative online!


Hey everyone!!

So im finally on this thing and tryin' to do it! It's going to take me a while to get completely familiar with it and for me to use it more frequently but everything's going well and good so far. =) So give me some time to figure this out and I shall come up with some smart and well written posts!

But for now since I'm not completely sure about what i have to write in this....here is what I look like of late(I'm posting a picture of myself..hope it shows up!) and my two kids Amrusha who is 15yrs and Angraaj 12yrs(fondly called Amu & Angu). Amrusha's writing her class 10 ICSE board exams and Angraaj just finished with class 6.

As for me, I'm not working or anything but I'm dying to get in touch with you all and want to know what's going on in everyone's life!! Do visit my blog which my daughter just created for me. It isn't complete but maybe you could leave me some comments and let me know how I can make improvements. The link is www.transcendence-roopa.blogspot.com

Catch you later!
Much love-
Roopa