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Monday, April 28, 2008

May the tribe of nomads prosper!

This tag is one of the two that are pending and I am attempting this one first only because the questions appear easier to answer than those in the other one.

Last movie seen in a theatre?


What book are you reading?


Favourite board game?


Favourite Magazine(s):

Reader's Digest, India Today

Favourite Smells:

Lime, Cocoa

Favourite Sound:

The exhaust note of my motorcycle, guitar riffs accompanied by drums

Worst Feeling In The World:

The burning sensation that follows having found out that something I would never have wanted to happen has happened and when I can not seem to either laugh or cry.

What Is The First Thing You Think Of When You Wake Up?

Is it morning or is it afternoon?

Favourite Fast Food Place:

McDonald's and the most likely purchases there include Chicken McGrill, Cold Coffee, Vanilla ice-cream with hot chocolate sauce.

Future Child’s Name:

We shall cross that bridge when we come to it, if at all.

Finish This Statement. “If I Had A Lot Of Money I’d…”

...spend it on myself and on friends and family.

Do You Drive Fast?

Not really. I have never driven faster than 110 kilometres an hour, even on a national highway.

Do You Sleep With A Stuffed Animal?


Storms-Cool Or Scary?

Any kind, as long as I am at a secure location.

Do You Eat The Stems On Broccoli?

I have never eaten Broccoli.

If You Could Dye Your Hair Any Colour, What Would Be Your Choice?

I am not sure if I would ever want to dye my hair.

Name All The Different Cities/Towns You Have Lived In.

Hardwar, Chandigarh, Indore, National Capital Region of India.

Favourite Sports To Watch:

I am not particular about watching any sport any more. While I am channel surfing, however, I am likely to stop if I come across a telecast of motor-sports of any kind or Football (Soccer) or Cricket.

One Nice Thing About The Person Who Sent This To You:

He writes very well.

What’s Under Your Bed?

There is nothing under my bed, but inside it are the quilts and blankets that are likely to stay there until next winter.

Would You Like To Be Born As Yourself Again?

Only if I am born with a large inheritance, the next time round, so that I never have to worry about making a living.

Morning Person Or Night Owl?

Night Owl

Over Easy Or Sunny Side Up?

Sunny Side Up, with a generous sprinkling of salt and pepper.

Favourite Place To Relax:

Any place with a couch and access to a few newspapers, magazines, a computer with an internet connection, besides a television with a cable-television connection that shows my favourite news-channels and the appropriate appliances for climate-control (which could actually be a ceiling fan or a room-heater, depending upon the weather conditions). A large window offering a nice view would be a bonus, of course.

Favourite Pie:

Apple pie.

Favourite Ice Cream Flavour:

Vanilla with hot chocolate sauce

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Corn-cobs, anyone?

These goats were lounging about on the foot-path besides one of the main streets in Ooty, until one decided to inspect the stock, when a corn-cob seller stepped away from her stall for a while.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Southwards bound: At Cochin

After having enjoyed an interesting journey from Delhi to Goa, seen some marvellous specimens of architecture there, made some new friends and having enjoyed some of the sea and sand at Goa's beaches, we went on to Cochin. It was a little more than an overnight journey and we arrived there on a rainy afternoon.

Lunch, comprised of traditional South Indian fare including rice, daal (lentil soup), curd and pickle, was had at the Ernakulam railway station itself and then an auto-rickshaw was hired to take us and our luggage to a budget hotel. By the time we had checked in, relaxed for a while and freshened up, it was already evening and we decided to set out to explore the place.

The driver of the auto-rickshaw that we hired to go to the nearest point on the sea-shore turned out to be quite gregarious. He told us about the antipathy between the local people and migrants from the neighbouring state of Tamil Nadu, who are mainly engaged in unskilled and semi-skilled labour.

As we drove over a bridge across a channel to reach a man-made island created by the British from the materials dredged while deepening the port in 1935-39, where the headquarters of the Indian Navy's Southern Command are also located, we could see a couple of naval boats that had been painted completely grey to match the colour of the sea. Many other multi-coloured civilian craft bobbed up and down around them.

We saw several colonial-era buildings on the way, some of which, I believe, were occupied by the Indian Navy. The style of architecture certainly appeared somewhat different from that of those we had seen in Goa. That could have been because apart from the Portuguese, Cochin had been occupied by the Dutch as well as the British, during different periods of time in its history. We passed a museum, as well, but it was closed, either because it was well past its closing time or it was meant to remain closed on that particular day of the week.

At the sea-side, there was an elevated, paved path along the shore that was separated from the edge of the water by rocks and pebbles of all shapes and sizes. In the distance, we could see some ships at anchor. As we walked along, we came across several wooden platforms that were supported by wooden poles and extended well into the water. At the far edge of each of these, were fishing nets of a peculiar kind that had been mounted on large wooden frames.

A dog hopped, skipped and jumped over the rocks to find its way to a shiny little fish that lay dead on one. It is difficult to imagine whether it was already dead when the waves deposited it there or it died later as the tide receded or if being smashed against a boulder made it lose its life.

Soon, as it began to get dark, we returned to where the auto-rickshaw was parked and asked to be driven back to the hotel. The driver, however, had another idea and took us to the baazaar (market-place), where he knew of a shop that sold a huge variety of the most exotic of spices. My mother was obviously pleased to be there and made several purchases.

A gigantic structure that we saw while getting there, my father told us, was part of a ship-building facility. I also noticed that several of the buses plying on the roads did not have any glass window panes and had tarpaulins instead, which could be folded up to let in plenty of the breeze, in order to provide some relief from the hot and humid weather.

Finally, we bade farewell to the taxi driver and went for dinner at a restaurant near the hotel. We had biryaani and Kerala paraathha, a variant of the Punjabi paraathha that Keralites have devised.

Early the next morning, we left for Ooty.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Golden Oldie - II

Here is another rare gem that I have been able to unearth, once again, with the help of Tasveerein on the B4U Movies channel on television.

Film: Funtoosh (1956)
Singer: Kishore Kumar
Music Director: S. D. Burman
Lyricist: Sahir Ludhianvi