Friday, March 28, 2008

Saying thanks ...

I've come to be acutely aware that all the times I've asked for something from the "powers that be" that I believe are somewhere out there, I'm usually granted some version of what I asked for.

(The secret is also that when it's really too important, I ask amma to ask for it, her prayers seem to evoke better response than mine, better karma I think).

So anyway, what I've also realized is that once these prayers are granted, I usually am very very bad at saying thanks, sometimes even just once.

We all tend to do that as people no? (Or is it just me? Am I an ungrateful wretch, and the only one around?) We're really earnest about the "asking" portion and much much less earnest about the "thanking"?

Just writing this to remind myself and everyone out there who ever has wishes, don't forget to say your thanks when they're granted.

Many many times, if you can.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Long time no see no?

I really do want to write. But am unable to for the moment.

You know how sometimes, you're trying really hard to do this thing, and you know inside your mind and heart that you really want to be another place, doing something else? I have that feeling now.

It happens when I read these days. I used to have this voracious appetite for reading once upon a time, and now when I sit with a book, I'm haunted by this feeling that I'm not really doing anything useful, and so I shift to painting, talking on the phone, or cooking something.

Writing is kinda becoming like that.

Or is it just that my offline conversations are letting me say it all, which is why my thoughts online are devoid of content?

Did I come off sounding sad right there? I feel quite the opposite, really :-)

Oh well.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Chemistry anyone?

I wrote this 3 months ago, and sent it out by email to a select bunch of people. It's just the kind of thing that would invite too many "Is something up *wink wink*" kinda questions, you know?

But someone replied to it only today, and I was reminded of it, and how strongly I felt about it. And so I'm putting it up anyway.


I've cracked it, I think. That thing we call chemistry.

I think it has mostly to do with laughter.

When you think about it with all your heart, what really is it about someone else that makes you want to be with them for extended periods of time? Their ability to make you smile through everything, no?

Sounds awfully simple but there's another layer to it all. The fact that someone CAN make you smile is in itself already an important thing, it means you can appreciate the things that seem amusing/ interesting to them, there's already a bond there, but the more important thing is something that goes beyond their ability - it's intent.

No one needs to spend time putting a smile on your face, really - they don't. We all have better things to do with our lives than sit and wait for someone to laugh, much less TRY to make them smile or induce happiness.

But for this person to stay there, in conversation with you for hours and continue to put that smile on your face.. that level of INTENT .. that's something! For you to sit there and make them laugh in turn is icing on cake, the two rarely occur together, so when they do, it's sorry to have to let go of it.

Opinion could of course be divided on how sustainable this smile thing is. I mean people do stop at some point of time, the laughter does die out. But laughter, and subsequently the shared happiness is the best way to carve a place in someone else's heart, and it carves nice and deep so you make this long term space for yourself there. Know what i mean?

So even when the laughter is gone, you're still there. Of course, this is assuming the intent to keep someone in ur life and heart persists, assuming nothing else (another life away from them, another person, another interest?) replaces it and u keep them in.

But that's chemistry. It starts with the ability to smile with someone. I'm not saying it's the same as being able to love them - I'm just saying it's chemistry.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Of cloudy skies and silver linings ...

I rush through the day, fast enough to acquire one of those special aches in the shoulder.

But everything gets done as planned. At work and outside work.

The day is packed with meetings when I view my calendar at the start of the day. My flight's at 10 pm, my last meeting ends at 7 (which accounting for the usual delays implies 7.30).

Yet, magically through the day, most meetings get shifted to earlier, and I'm done with meetings at an unprecedented 4.30 pm!

There's still plenty to be done, and after it has been achieved, I run out of work pretty darned sure I'll miss my flight this time. It's raining and the queue at the taxi stand is LONG. I have 3.5 hours to my flight and I still haven't started to pack. For a wedding!

Which is when I notice a friend standing at the head of the queue. My house falls en route to hers. And she's happy to drop me off.

Our taxi, bless its soul, decides to go "gasp, gulp, stutter... THUD!!!" and as I'm praying desperately that this be literally just a little hiccup, cabbie uncle looks back and with the solemness of a doctor announcing bad news states "I'm sorry".

Thankfully we're still only 2 feet ahead of the taxi stand and we get into the one right behind, hoping this one doesn't decide to follow suit. It doesn't.

Once home, I'm completely disoriented by how much I have left to pack. I rush around in a daze, change 3 suitcases, throw in and pull out clothes, almost forget my toothbrush and finally resort to calling a friend to calm me down and remind me of the must haves.

He does. (Disoriented, or not, I'm a bloody ace at packing, I tell you! I got everything on his list, and MORE!!!).

Taxi called for, luggage hauled down, and 1 enormous Jigsaw puzzle in tow, I'm convinced I've just manage to escape the doom of a missed flight by pretty much the skin of my teeth.

And then I land at the airport to find my flight delayed by 3.5 hours.

They're not checking us in yet, I have no earphones (I planned on buying them at the duty free place BEYOND the check in counter, you see) so I can't use the ipod, no power cord (my host and I decided he has a Dell lappie as well, so I could use his, yeah we're super bloody smart!) so my lappie will run out of charge in about an hour (all of my U.S. time zone friend base is currently in Madras, so who would I chat with anyway?) and the only book I'm carrying is close to over.

LOL!!! And considering this has been a day of cloudy skies and silver linings in turn, I'm waiting for the next silver whatever to happen.

Ummm ... God? You there?

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Click count ..

A friend mentioned to me once that he believes every person has an average "click" count of 10 in a single lifetime - i.e. in a lifetime there's likely 10 people that we will bump into, that we'll beautifully "click" with. (He told me he'd met 4 of his 10 and hadn't ended up with them for a variety of reasons ...)

Obviously and understandably, it can't / doesn't have to translate into something with every single person, for all you know, you won't even end up meeting some of them, but it's still a concept I found rather fascinating.

So, here's my quota of curiosity for the day.

What's your "click" count so far?

I'm not asking you to take names, dates or cite the outcomes of those clicks. So just be honest with the count, ok? Oh and feel free to provide more details if you WANT to. We all enjoy a good story no? :-)

Edited to add: Gah people!!! I didn't know this one could get SO tricky to define. So i'm clarifying. I specified "romantic" or "almost romantic" clicks cause outside of those, we'd really lose count!!! Not cause I don't think they're worthwhile clicks, just cause I think you'd be able to count the "romantic" ones a lot easier!!! That's all!! If you remember both, put them in! There's no word limit on the comments section on my blog!!! :D

Monday, March 10, 2008

Arty farty ...

I'm back to painting cause it's gift season ... so here's shameless displaying of wares again!

Err the people in question can just guess who what is for ... and I hope they don't get it all wrong!!!

Those .. are coaster sets .. 2 each per head ... yes I can count, there's only 1.5 set .. cause one side of one duo isn't done yet.

And...... finally ....

That .. is a jewelery box .. i don't construct! Just paint the wooden thingie with base coats and patterns ... some varnishing etc is left .. but it should turn out to pretty water proof and all when done ...

As you can see, the weekend was verrry constructive!!!

K i'm off now, Mogambo's friend Sarah is teaching me how to make paneer from scratch!!! Curdled milk and all ... apparently Mogambo taught her when they lived in LA and yes, I'm hanging my own head in shame ... Alas!

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Weddings ...

I've consistently hated the idea of weddings/ social functions/ gatherings all my life. Mostly attending them, partly the extravagance they constitute.

The reasons varied with age ...

As a gawky adolescent,

I was the ugliest 13 year old I'd set my eyes on (Yes, ALL 13 year old girls feel that way about themselves). For this precise reason I'd hate going to weddings. I'd look like the ugly duckling amidst the pretty swans that seemed to get prettier as I only got uglier with every passing social event.

Add to that, I unwittingly had the worst taste in clothes back then, and didn't really know how to smile for the camera (Really, it's an art form to find ones 'photoface' - I didn't find mine until 24!)

Between the ages of 13 and 21,

I discovered a new weapon that would serve as my excuse, no questions asked - "I have studies to do/ A test coming up/ Exams in a month's time/ Classes for XYZ" and so on. Needless to say, in my tam bram family that invariably treats academic credentials with unwavering awe and respect, this was one excuse no one could turn down - EVER.

The only hitch was that my logical yet untactful approach had amma subject to questions such as "Is she the ONLY one studying? Aren't there other kids in the family who study? Aren't they here? What's so special about her eh?" and she'd come back home to replay them to me hoping I'd at least share some of her discomfort if not assuage it.

"Poor amma", I decided. Not fair to be putting her through this. Not to say I decided to change my non attending ways, I just decided to give her something unique to "excuse" her daughter with no lame questions to be fielded. I studied even harder, tried to compensate for what I lacked by way of personality and social grace with my marks.

I spent 14 hour days studying for the board exams (really, I did, no exaggeration meant), and consequently my mom was armed with a series of "merit list" labels and school/ city ranks to take back to the extended family. This seemed to put everyone at rest, coz finally this girl who skipped functions seemed to have something to show for it.

Of course, the flip side was when I did decide to attend a function every once in a rare while, the only way I now got introduced was "Hey isn't this is that Unpredictable girl who was Nth in the merit list in Class X, Pth in the Merit list in class 12, now studying in (insert name of top engineering college in city)? smart girl this. My son/ daughter is preparing for the boards. Can he/she call you for tips?"

It did get pretty tiring sometimes, but was a blessing compared to the "Oh, you're so tall, how will we find you a boy to marry" / "So how long before you get married" questions the other girls seemed to have coming their way". So I played the part of "gyaan guru" the best I could. After all, if there was only so long my academics could distract them, might as well make the best of it no?

In my 20's

I moved out of home to another city to experience b school life. By this time, people had pretty much stopped asking about me, assuming my nose was buried in my books, this time in a new city. My mum was relieved too, and seemed calmer about the idea of me having disappeared off the radar. Her pride had always been genuine, only now, it wasn't mixed with the anxiety of "OMG, if she doesn't attend anyone's wedding, who will attend hers". Happily enough, she evolved with her kids, putting inane fears behind her and not just letting us be, but also enjoying her share of social gatherings without letting the awareness of our absence bother her.

Living through b school, however, did something rather unexpected to me. It brought along a renewed interest in the festivals and traditions of my country and specifically my state, thanks to the many many festivals we seemed to celebrate on campus. Somehow, when the knowledge came without the pressure of "you NEED to know this cause it's our culture", it sounded more captivating than anything amma had ever tried to teach me.

Every time I called mum to tell her something new I'd learned about a wedding ritual or a festival, she'd be pleasantly surprised. I even started to try and keep track of weddings in the family and promised I'd attend as many "happy" occasions as possible.

What I hadn't counted on as having the ability to put me off them all over again, was everyone's inability to enjoy these social events, without letting the need for perfection and weird sense of competition getting to them. You know what I mean? It's shameful to say, but we even encountered relatives who had petty cribs like "You didn't seem to appreciate the arrangements at my son's wedding, how come you're being so appreciative at her daugther's? *sulk, pout, sulk*". Yeah, I know!!!

I was off weddings again.

Until Mogambo invited me to hers.

I visited her family last weekend as she landed in Chennai. Unknown to her, I was already there on work, and simply extended my stay to the weekend to ensure I had 2 days with her. Apart from the slight abberation where she screamed bloody murder at the airport on seeing me (cause, emm, she didn't know I would even be in the country) and made her in-laws to be gape in shock at the devil their DIL was turning out to be, the trip was the most awesome prelude to a wedding I've ever encountered. :-) (Oh yeah, the wedding's only next week!)

Her family exudes joy and cheer, the likes of which I haven't encountered in a long time!!! They're there for each other, they make each other laugh through the pressure and they have the camaraderie of childhood friends - backslapping and making jokes whether or not the occasion presents itself. And this isn't just her parents, this is her extended family, aunt's, uncles and the lovely cousins :-)

For the first time ever, I feel terrible not being part of pre wedding prep for more than 2 days :(
I miss being around them, and cannot wait to be there for the wedding. What's even cooler, is they ask about me and every time I call to speak to Mogambo, there's atleast 2 other people I end up speaking with - an aunt, her mom, a cousin - always someone - always telling me how much they're waiting to have me back there. :D

For the 1st time ever, I'm looking forward to a wedding when it has so little to do with me :) Despite my looming work deadlines. Despite the crazy confusion of my own personal life. Despite the fact that it has no reunions with my own parents or brother involved.

Really, close knit families that inspire so much in a cynic like me ought to be something. :D Here's counting the days to Wednesday ...

Thursday, March 06, 2008

And .. To women ..

The Penguin has left for home and this post was supposed to come even before the earlier one... for some reason I couldn't get myself to dictate it .. So here goes ... to women .. again .. likely a section that this isn't addressed to .. definitely a section it IS.

- What is it about heels?

They're uncomfortable, they're bad for the back in the long term and really, no one even notices we're wearing them. So why do we put ourselves through the trauma of wearing them? Yes they look elegant to our own eyes, they endow upon our persona a grace we formerly couldn't notice, and maybe they make us feel good about ourself. But given the long term ill effects, are they really worth it?

- Why is being in good shape limited to before you get hitched?

No really. It's irritating when you make it seem like everything you do is in preparation to be married. Especially that weight loss thing.

How did you conclude that it was necessary to be thin before you got married, then during the wedding, and suddenly completely redundant once you're over the uncertainty of being single and done being in the public scrutiny of a 100 people, most of whom will criticize the food/ preparations/ clothes at your wedding anyway?

Why does it not matter to you anymore? I understand that many of us cannot control what we look like and how much we weigh, but it's just irritating when we can and choose to stop doing something about it just cause we're "settled"!

- What's with the need for a streak of "gray" in a man?

I've heard this so many times. This thing about how a man must have a little evil in him. Ah yes, that's where the charm lies no? Nice/ sweet/ good is boring. Let's bring on evil in regulated doses please! And when the evil manifests itself and goes from being adorable and quirky to being plain bad, then what? I don't know know myself, I think I even belong to the masochistic breed that proudly proclaims the above. Gah!

-Why do you feel obliged to do the done thing?

It's another thing to do it cause you want to. It's entirely another to do it cause "it's what's done". The wearing more salwars vs. jeans once married? The avoiding of temples and kitchens at "times of the month"? The participation in rites you don't believe in, no questions asked? Planning for yourself that extravagant wedding because so many others want you to, without so much as offering the possibility that it could be another way, a simpler, less expensive way? Why?

Imagine passing on symbolic inanities to the generations in the wings, vs. passing on a solid set of values? Imagine telling our own daughters they have to sit, talk and walk a certain way just because "you're now married". How long can this nonsense go on and get passed on? Can we please absolve ourselves of this cross that'll otherwise be ours to bear?

Please to be honest. Do we even try? To influence change? Trying will be enough for now. Our mothers aren't people we can influence too much, much less change completely. The least we can do is influence our children no?

- Why do we nit pick and nit pick and nit pick over the nicest men?

No really. A good friend has pretty much given up on my kind for how harsh we are (I'm one to talk given my last post!) esp to the nice guys. "You're looking for something you seem to not want to find" he says. Pretty much the same as the thrill of the chase for men no?

Why do we dismiss people so easily? Give them such few chances? After all that complaining about how there's such few good men out there, we eliminate them over the smallest of things - bad grammar, taste in music and blah like that.

Yeah, I know and maintain that when we do bump into someone we really like, it goes past so called documentable "flaws". But in the process, on the way, we're really harsh. And what's worse is we're helping each other feel OK about being that way by being "supportive" of like minded women friends. More gah!

I know i had more to put in here ... will edit and add as things come to mind ... Also, I know I come off as judgmental, and I don't necessarily care if you think I am, but suffice it to say, even I'm not above the things I've listed above.
There - I'll give you honesty, even if not impeccable logic :)

To men

[And since the Penguin refuses to say this in first person, it'll have to come from me that today, her fingers take over the keyboard and I turn into a "dictator". At least three times so far, we planned to execute this simple arrangement in the best interests of my hand, but I backed out every single time coz it just felt like the words wouldn't come to life until my own fingers touched the keypad. I have however, been convinced to give this a shot, putting concern for my health over the fear of a potential writer's block. So let's try this and see how it works. And needless to mention, a BIG THANKS!!! to the Penguin.]


At the outset however, let me clarify. There's maybe 50% of you that this post is addressed to. Definitely not all. So let's get right on with it...

- What is it about the thrill of the chase that is so bloody appealing that makes you don your best hat ?

You know that hat? Witty, charming, eager to listen, eager to confide, eager to express.

And what is about acquiring the object of the hunt that turns you into a mutated version of your erstwhile lovable self?

We just don't get it. How can a man who hung on to every word at one point of time now start to act snappy when we exceed our daily quota of words? How can he feel ashamed to admit that he loves us in public? How can he suddenly get so harshly judgmental about the most casual things we say? How can the laughter he once deemed the sunshine of his life now make him cringe in the embarrassment of having a loud girlfriend?

- What is that thing you men do - get drunk, lose control over your tongue (or maybe the truth is spoken best when you are drunk?) and talk about how getting married was the worst decision ever?

It's sad enough that you do it when you are drunk, it's sadder still that you can do it when you are sober and find it obligatory to pass uncomplimentary remarks about the woman in your life around your buddies.

Is that how you bond? Is lamenting the permanence of your relationship for men, the equivalent of gossip for women? Is that why you do it? 'Coz if not, then you do really mean everything you're saying. And I hope and pray desperately that I never end up being the woman in question.

- How come it's always our job that's less important? How come it's your career that's more?

Regardless of how we meet - fall in love, go through the usual rigmarole of romance or meet each other through our parents, why is it always taken for granted that I'll move countries to be with you, and not the other way round?

Aren't there well-defined principles in place to guide decision making of this magnitude? Say, for example, the one who has the more stable job/the more convenient location/is closer to both families/has lesser chances of finding a career in another place stays?

It's bad enough that your parents assume (and mine, no less) that I'll willingly uproot the career I've built on the foundation of an equally strong education, after having burnt the same litres of midnight oil, and having worked equally hard to climb up the ladder. It's worse still when you back them up in that inane assumption. And it doesn't matter if you live in remote Africa or Scandinavia (neither of the two places I have anything against). It's still me who has to make the move.

Excuse me, but as the left-brained, more mathematically inclined, more analytical superior being that science has established you to be, could you explain the logic in any of the above?

- How is it that the first question you get asked is "So where do you work?" and the first question I get asked is today's very subtly, yet shoddily disguised version of "Can you cook/run a house?"

Again, it's bad enough that our families impose ridiculous stereotypes despite their alleged evolution. But it's worse when you tell me that you can neither eat outside nor eat what the maid has cooked, implying in a rather underhanded manner that I'd better know how to.

I wish I could write something that cohesively links up all of the above and gives this post a nice conclusive end. But seeing as this post was a product of scattered thoughts connected by the tenuous link that is a certain breed of men, I will refrain from forcing a conclusion on it. I do however, want to clarify 2 things -

a) I am not a feminist. I would cook, run the house, move countries happily enough to be with someone I loved. But I'd only do it because I wanted to, not because someone else wanted me to.

b) As stated at the start of this post, all or even some of it do not apply to every man out there. At least one of them is however, true of even the best of men we know.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

There's only space for one of us in here .. or is there?

And since i haven't spewed out the daily dose of entertainment to the usual suspects over chat or the phone, let me indulge for the evening. There's simply too much running through that little mind. Please to skip coz it's all contextual and all personal.

For the last 2 years I've dreaded coming home to an empty apartment. For that more than for rent savings, I always lived with someone. There's something about quietness that I never did do too good with. Uncannily enough it was the Penguin who pointed that out to me. There'd ALWAYS be something running in the background in my room. Music, a 22nd rerun of an old F.R.I.E.N.D.S. cd or ever since I've acquired cable, the TV. Always.

And suddenly for the last few months, each evening, as I put the keys into my apartment door slot, I find myself hoping it's empty when I enter.
(Don't get me wrong. My flatmate isn't bad at all. She and I live separate lives except for exchanging accounts and discussing what's run out and needs re-stocking. And we're super happy with it. With not having to make mandatory small talk early in the mornings, when we're both keen to just brew our own cups of tea and be out the door. And with not having to join each other's social circles or participate in the other's life. So it has nothing to do with her.)

I just want, emptiness in the literal sense of the term. I find it most evenings. And I sigh in relief.

And I find that so... so ungrateful .. given posts that various bloggers have written about how the emptiness engulfs you with its silence that some noise, any noise is welcome. And think to myself, since when did I turn into such a man?

I say man, cause I know most guy friends are this way. They hate having to come home to instant chatter. Even that of a loving girl friend. (LOL just as I wrote this, N's girl friend who lives upstairs, walked in!!) Esp in the evenings. But give them some time to be on their own, and you'll find them ready to do conversation. And I find that happening to me a lot these past few months. From 7 to 9 I'm quiet and pottering about the house ... and then suddenly there's blogging, chatting ... all of that.

With most current friendships and the only one relationship having been long distance, I'm now worried that I might be able to function around people, maybe even love them sufficiently, only when I'm away from them. Worrying thought that.

And if that's not bad enough, after having spent the last 2 evenings readying my saris for M's wedding and grappling with about 2 pairs of every accessory to choose from for every SINGLE sari, I wonder, what kind of schizophrenic lives inside me - the caveman acting snappy and needing "space" one moment and the woman putting together coordinated accessories the next.

To think I started out thinking I'd do a tag this evening. I think I've pushed the hand to its limits though. Ta for now and see you tomorrow! :-)

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Ettanother tag!!!

I loved this tag by Chandni .. and so shamelessly as ever, am going to take it on although she didn't tag me (alas). Just as long as the hand lets me do this without scowling. After that, normal programming shall only resume tomorrow. To cc paste from Chandni, "It's going to be all about me and very personal, so feel free to skip!"

Else ...

Read on!

Ten things you wish you could say to people right now ( don’t take names)

- Please remember, you'll never be "average" just cause you put yourself through some inane rituals - not to the people who matter anyway. The rest can just go to hell no?

- Getting to know another person is usually a slow painful process that cannot proceed without adequate motivation. And it's happened SO easily with you. Amidst so much laughter, hope and wit. You know more of me in this little time than even my oldEST friends do. You make being "unpredictable" a tad impossible with how perceptive you are. And after all that, all that can be said is *sigh*. Much alas no?

- You're the only person who fondly addresses me by the 1st 2 letters of my name. You're one of the reasons my favorite city is my favorite city. I know i'm impatient and short with you for being the sentimental fool that you sometimes (ok, most times!) are. For putting up with that and much more - THANKS! (())

- Sometimes, I can't believe all of the above (and some more) awesome people entered my life in some way or the other through you. But it's true. They say people enter and leave our lives for a reason. Should I officially conclude that I know yours?

- I know you think you're harsh and a "bitch" sometimes. I also know, however, how much you care. You make it worthwhile coming back to this city after the loveliest vacations which earlier filled me with dread of coming back to an empty house. Now I have you. :-)

- We've come so far in the last 2 years. So much has happened in both lives many changes for the better. I may not come to you with every detail and problem in my life, but I need you to know, i'm really glad you're around.

- The only thing I apparently said (repeatedly so) in my "happy" state at Cambodia was how sorry I was to be putting you through the guilt and the disappointment that I am now. I really am sorry. Please remember to never take guilt upon yourself- they're my choices and i'll deal with the consequences myself.

- I know how u look up to me. Amidst all that awe and respect, I do hope you also love me.

- I owe pretty much all of what I am professionally to you. You left big big shoes for me to fill and most days I'm just left wondering why I can't do as good a job as you did. Gah!

- How could you "hate" me over something as trivial as your cited reasons?
For so long, I felt terrible and wondered what I did wrong. And when i found out, I almost laughed cause it was just so sad. I feel really bad for you and for what regret at your choices has turned you into. And still hope you can find happiness somehow, somewhere.


The rest for another day .. Ms Hand needs rest for now .. Tagging Quirkyquill, Vish and Potpourri to do this one :-) until tomorrow, ta! everyone :-)

Baby Unpredictable ...

Again I'm not sure who tagged me for this one (if anyone did, that is) but here you go. Me as a 2/3 year old.

Some observations:

1. I'm scowling. Now for people who know me, you're likely thinking "Oh! She's ALWAYS been like this?" and for those who don't, you're wondering what I have against the people forcing me to look pretty for the camera. On all of the above, I'm with you. I really am!

2. Photographer uncle seems to have tried peace tactic in the form of the red Godrej (fine fine, i edited that based on feedback!) Talcum powder box. Either that, or he had seriously weird notions on what constitutes "cool accessories", cause it actually matches what I'm wearing!!

3. Note how no part of me is left unadorned. Ears, eyes, forehead, hands, neck and legs (you can't see it, but I'm wearing silver anklets) all can boast of some form of decoration. As you can well imagine, I take no credit for being the "inventor" of this "More is better" theme.
(Take a bow mom! Round of applause please, everyone!!!)

Right, so now that I'm done with self humiliation, in public, no less, I tag Penguin, Potpourri, QuirkyQuill, Sumit, Nutty,and Vish to put up their baby pics.
(I'd have tagged Puppy Manohar and Baby Vaijayanti too, but they don't do this kinda stuff. Lessee if they oblige anyway.)

Anyone else who wants to do this? Feel free to take it on!

Oh also, I'm officially back to the world of 24 hour onlineness and blogdom! :D More stories from my trip last week coming up in the next few posts :-)