Wednesday, December 19, 2007

auf weidersehen 2007

Xmas is round the corner and this is the only second time in my life I ll be spending time away from home on a Christmas Eve…Nevertheless it is a time which brings lot of pleasant memories…

The best part I loved about Christmas is making the crib which we would industriously do and present em to folks at home gallant about the engineering marvel made of sticks, twigs and hay…Every year we would take Jesus, Joseph and Mary from the cupboard and give a nice polish before we start it all…Sometimes we change Joseph with the latest Joseph available in ‘Chinnu stores’ because he looked less glamorous than last time…Mary is given a fresh coat of paint and Jesus is given decent makeup…I cant really think of something else as satisfying as making a good looking crib...Christmas as a kid fully revolved around the crib. Those days reminds me of cribs we used to make with playing cards and replacing the shepherds with hulk Hogan and undertaker because we thought they were more cool...I often wonder if the lord was born in a 3 BHK house it would have been such a pain to make the crib...Unfortunately now it revolves around Christmas sales and Gluhwein…

The festive time was nice for it promoted a heightened state of ‘spirituality’ among all the uncles and there were plenty of good X’mas special delicacies for us…Most of the time the Christmas eve would be at our native in changancherry where the entire family goes enmass to the nearby church...On the way back my elder cousins would buy us kattan kaapi to beat the night chill…The church program is elaborate on xmas eve as you know. But I usually miss out a good deal due until they burst the crackers at midnight…I remember one particular xmas which turned sour when we four cousins skipped the church prayers and went back to the cars to catch a few winks. We had planned to get back inside the church when the prayers were almost over…Unfortunately that day we just forgot to wake up on time and the solemnity of the day saved our ass.

The festive time also means as escape from the school routine and the all awaited trip to naadu…The anticipation of the trip several days before the actual trip when we boarded the vanchinad express are cherished memories...It would be the time when Ammachi would ensure that we did kumbasaram(confession) before the Christmas eve ..I still remember confessing to one particular priest...”njan ammayude bagil ninnu mottayi kattu eduthu”(I stole a candy from Mom’s bag)..And the priest misunderstood it for egg...and he advised in typical priest like demeanor...”motta ellavarkkum vendi ollathu alle”…maybe the innocence of being a kid didn’t make me ROTFL in the confession box…Not as bad as these days when the confessions I make can cause the priest to abandon clergy out of sheer desperation...

It was also interesting that when uncles used to get together for the Christmas special military rum…and when we kids used to lurk around the corner to relish the beef fry ‘touchings’ there would be someone who anticipated the hidden intentions and give us a teaspoon of rum…There would be someone who might be celebrating the breaking of noyambu (lent) on that day with a mid night peg...Little pleasures and little satisfactions were all that mattered those times..

I can’t stop wondering how things have changed now…I can’t anticipate the gifts anymore…I have unfortunately become the gifter…I can’t anticipate the Christmas cards from abroad and save those stamps…

Christmas for me is all about sharing joys and meeting up…Almost all Christmas we end up talking about the last Christmas before...Amma would say the Appam came of better than last time...There is a feeling of time passing by which sort of hit you as the new year is round the corner as well…I love the last 5 days of the year…though they say resolutions can be made any day, I feel there is still much more motivation to make one on a new year eve than any other day…This time I would love to get my parents in here for the summer...In this race I find it difficult to choose the resolution than actually doing it…Probably I should stick to easier ones like “I ll shave at least twice a week” or like ‘learn Deutsch”..

Since I would be on holiday from next week this might be the last post of the year…Till then AstaLaVista amigos...
Christmas greetings to all and have a great year ahead!!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

time machine

Blog rating: -16(suitable only for kids under 16)

This post is not for is for the next generation kids…

Some decades from now a grumpy old Mathew would be sitting near a riverside and a bunch of kids would come and talk to him…The kids having finished playing the last of the play stations because Sony would have ran out of ideas by then. They ask the senile man to tell stories of the past coz they had nothing else to do…

But the old man knew no stories and thought of teaching them things they never knew or heard of …So they all went to his house and squatted on the couch…That’s when he asked the youngest kid to go and get the Bible from the shelf…Little Bill gets that heavy book and is happy that the old man would actually read stories from his favourite book..

‘Son…why did you bring the Harry Potter…I asked you to get the Bible’
Glumly Bill asks him ‘Isn’t that the Bible. I thought that it was the one…I have been reading this ever since I remember’

‘So that’s the first thing I would like to tell you…The Bible came much before Harry Potter…I used to think Tintin was the Bible when I was a kid…you know..’

‘Children... probably you need to learn the basics first…tell me who is God’

There were eager faces ready to give answers…



‘Michael Jackson??’


‘Hohohohoh…children I think you are too young to learn all these…I think we have to leave this for another day…I tell you something else’

Many many years ago we used to have Postman…Do you know what a postman means…??

There are confused faces all around…

‘Okay…A postman was a person who used to send letters…He comes in a bicycle and puts the letter in your letter box…If say I wanted to send a letter from Delhi to Bangalore, I would first put the letter in a box in Delhi…and the postman would take the letter and give it another postman…and then finally the last postman would put it in the letter box in Bangalore…’
Amidst yawns one of them interrupts…

‘Apoopa…Do you mean...its something like e-mail...we just download it from our mailbox.’

‘Download..?? I thought we do that in the toilet…haven’t you got a better word for that.’

That’s when one of the older boys came to pick up his bro…He looked all angry and was seemingly furious…

‘What’s the matter son?’
‘Dint you know that...they are taking back our jobs…’
‘Whose you mean that the one about closing down call centers of BPO companies’
‘Yeah...the Americans are taking it from us…they say its their right to handle the phone bills…electricity bills…of the people in United audacious …’
‘But was their job before we took it from em’
‘Old don’t understand the times don’t you….uff…’

Now most of the kids had gone back home…Only Isabella was staying back and she walks with him to the church…

The old man meet a few priests and talked to the nun’s who were going for prayers…And after sometime when he looked at Isa, she was all sullen faced…

‘Why do you look sad mole?’

‘Am cross with you…Why dint you tell me it was Halloween today...we are the only people here without a costume…I want one of those white robes which all are wearing …please Apoopa’

It took lot of time to convince her the priests were not indeed the people who are in Halloween costumes…After sometime the old man walks back home contemplating the years bygone...On the way he met another bunch of older noisy kids who were like showing the middle finger at each other..

Children...what is that you young fellas are doin here...’

‘Hey...that’s how we say hello to each other…quite customary oldie’

‘Really??.…think am really out of touch with the times…we used to do it with folded hands and say namaste…the new style looks a bit weird though…’

‘Never mind hello to you fellas….’

No points for guessing how the old man said hello…

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Being un-eeek...

Just when I was hopelessly running out of ideas to blog I got tagged after a really long time by a blogger who can write blogs out of thin air…Abracadabra …just like that!!

The tag sounds simple and should have been a cakewalk for rocket science experts like me. But the ‘unique’ clause in the tag made me ponder a bit… Neways here goes the tag.

5 Unique Things Found in My Room

Since I have changed house thrice over the past one year, I don’t really have a room which is close to my idea of a room…Nevertheless I guess like all single guys who are lazy enough to polish their shoes by nonchalantly brushing on those bristles on the elevators, there is always something special in our rooms…
  • F.C St Pauli scarf...Not a football buff but love the ideas what the club stands for.
  • A Mozart memorabilia miniature violin which I bought during the recent trip to Austria...Got to parcel all the stuff gathered over the last few months else I ll have to check-in at the airport carrying a 60 kg baggage and pretend I never knew that they allowed just 30 after all..
  • Highly confidential documents printed from the office printer about places to visit during Christmas…
  • A trainer cycle which is a unique decorative item in the room. There is always a next day for starting the exercise...right?? ;-P
  • A bottle of ice-tea which is such a good drink when you are watching television.

5 Unique Things Found in My Bag
  • A ‘Saint Nikolas’ chocolate gifted by a colleague in office. It looks so good that I am having trouble to eat it.
  • It sounds so girly, but I carry a Vaseline lip balm because it gets so cold out here. ;-P
  • Any novel which I always carry in case I get bored. right now its “My name is Red by Orhan Pamuk”
  • A small pic of Mother Theresa
  • An airplane model which I got to gift to a family here…

5 Unique Things Found in My Wallet
  • Visiting cards of travel agents who can give me tickets for 0 Euro but with taxes and surcharges of 100 euros…clever eh..
  • A washing machine coin which I need for washing clothes here.
  • It is silly…a bit of paper with bank account numbers...I have never managed to remember all those numbers even till now.
  • Old Indian sim card ...I was supposed to be abroad for three months and I assumed to use the old number once I got back...But it has been a long 16 months and I still don’t feel like throwing it away.
  • A million one of those rich dudes kind…driving Porsche’s…dining at the Ritz…flying private jets…yeah all these after I cash that piece of paper (they have written on the lottery, the first prize is a million Euro)...I was joking...hahaha...I don’t need that money!!...No..No..On second thoughts, I don’t mind… ;-P

I will pass on the tag to new friends in here… abhi..Ann..Regil..Elijo and Zee.. I am sure i can carry on this espionage and submit the reports to Agent Silverine who is doing a psycho-analysis report on bloggers..

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Edelweiss and Apfelstrudels!

Edelweiss, Edelweiss
Every morning you
greet me
Small and white,
Clean and bright,
You look happy to meet

Blossom of snow
May you bloom and grow,
Bloom and grow
Edelweiss, Edelweiss,
Bless my homeland forever

Nice poem isn’t it…When I was a kid I used to sing this and enthrall my folks during weekend get-togethers(just kiddin..due to scientific reasons if I ever sang it might cause the dead to come out of the coffins)…But unfortunately most of you know that this is indeed a song from “The Sound of Music” and probably the sweetest song of all times.. ;-P

As I had mentioned in a blog before I was away on vacation to the place where Julia Andrews pranced in the Alps with a bunch of kids in wartime Austria…The flight to Vienna was pleasant thanks to Lufthansa airhostesses who makes you feel that you’re a judge in a Milan fashion show while they are walking down the aisle as if in a ramp show…and who said flying isn’t fun anymore...and when that 6 foot Claudia Schiffer look-alike said “auf weidersehen” while getting out of the aircraft I was heartbroken..;-(

Neways a old friend of mine was joining the trip from UK and I had a plenty of time waiting for him to arrive…This guy who has been staying in England for sometime isn’t really well versed in German…When we met at the hotel he looked crestfallen and told me that the people in Austria seems to be very racist .While coming to the hotel he kept asking local passerby’s for directions and he said he was showered with expletives straight on the face all the way…Now it didn’t take much long to figure out coz I had faced the same trouble during the first few days in Germany...For the uninformed the Germany word for “Okay” is “aahsoo”..As you see this word when pronounced in a particular slang can be interpreted as a widely popular expletive. I had to do a bit of convincing there that Austrians are actually very nice people…

Talking of Vienna I must say I absolutely loved the city...Smaller compared to other European capitals like Paris…Berlin…or Rome...This city is bathed in typical European charm...Gothic style churches...Wagner architecture...and trendy shops too.

The next day took a train to Salzburg…the same train in which Shahrukh goes Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenga in every film…Checked in at the hostel and set out for a tour of the town...We did a packaged tour of Bavarian Alps and the salt mines where we were shown the Eagles nest...Hitler’s guesthouse which was completed bombed after the war...It was so ironic that such a evil man was born in one of the most beautiful places of the world...I couldn’t stop wondering at the anti-climax of it...

The tour guide was a funny chap whose interesting quotes kept the tour in good vibes...Like on of the announcements…

You can leave your luggage when u get out of the bus...our driver is a thorough professional”
After a short pause he says...”Robert will make sure that you won’t even notice it”

That evening was spending roaming the narrow alleys of the town where Mozart was born...and ofcoz had lot of Gluhwein, Apfelpunsch and Orangepunsch to keep our spirits high!!

The tour we took on the second day must definitely be called the highlight of the whole trip…Called the ‘Sound of music tour’ which takes you to all the main locations where the movie was shot..

Now here we had a Brit woman as the guide and she was at her humorous best...And ofcoz to our embarrassment she cajoled all of us to sing ‘Do-Re-Mi’ during the bus ride…Considering the ‘Sinatra like’ voice I have it was such a pleasure…all I could do was a 'LaLaLaLa' in between laced with 'HoiHoi..HoiHoi' which was hopelessly out of rhythm inside the bus…The stares just reminded me how a powerful German punch on my Indian face could crush my jaws…

The places we were taken to was simply stunning and I was transported in time to the settings of Sound of Music...The best part was in the end we had to fill a feedback form where one of the questions was the number of times we had watched the movie...that’s when my travel mate confessed that he hadn’t ever heard of the movie...forget having seen it..!!

During the ride the guide was pointing out one of the beautiful villas on the way and mentioned for the info of the ladies in the bus that it was owned by the most eligible bachelor in Austria...And of coz after a short pause and by the time all the guys in the bus were sulking at being brushed aside she revealed that the owner was apparently a 90 year old eligible young guy..

Back in Austria we visited all the well known palaces, museums and touristy areas…and not so touristy areas like the Mozart toilet which is one of a kind in the world where you can relieve yourself to Mozart’s symphonies…Nice marketing there..;-P

The trip was memorable having been able to meet a old friend after a long time and seeing a place which is almost picture postcard like…I must say the country beat my expectation and infact Switzerland you would have been nowhere but for your banks and marketing!!..