December 30, 2002

The Big Things in my Life
I finally started with the big P in my life-Project. Simultaneously started with the big B-Books. Now can’t say didn’t read books this vacation.Reading Selected Stories of Leo Tolstoy. That’s goodbye to the world till tomorrow afternoon, the evening will usher in the new year with friends. Alai Payuthe’s too good, but the analysis will have to to wait till next year.

December 29, 2002

Alai Payuthe!
Sitting amidst a plethora of gifts. Enjoying it to the hilt. Making good use of my gifts-seeing Alai Payuthe today.Look out for Alai Payuthe vs Saathiya tomorrow.Who do you think is cuter, Madhavan or Vivek?

A Book to Read……
These holidays I’m yet to be home a whole day at a stretch. Yet to touch a book…..
After O’Henry’s short stories 2 months ago, I haven’t lifted up a book. Those summer vacations come to mind. With nice book like Wodehouse in hand, the perfect place to sit was on the terrace,a light breeze blowing, with a tall glass of lemonade and cookies for company. I am oblivious to the whole world then. But its long since I got such a chance.Why do we engineering students have so short vacations? You hardly have time after the exams to visit all your friends, make sure that you get all those promised treats,watch some movies than the next semester begins.( I made a resolution 3 years ago not to read books during college time as I seem to neglect everything else in life , even forgetting to eat.)Where does that leave time for books?

Thank You!
Thanks to Priya for helping me in my search for a blog title & to Ramanand for information about the commenting sites.
Keep helping me!

December 27, 2002

My First Blog…. The starter in the blog fare you’re going to get for quite some time to come.
I start off with ‘Hari Om’ !! The bloggining should be good!
Its my way of diverting my writing energies instead of bombarding the whole wide world with my incessant mails.Let’s see if it makes you hurry to Hari’s site frequently!
My first topic is going to be as trivial as a name. Even Shakespeare said ‘What’s in a name!’
But methinks otherwise. Throughout my life I’ve always been reminded of the various connotations my name has in different languages. I’m proud of my name; it’s uncommon (A google search shows me as unique)and not liable for anyone to forget so easily but the world takes its liberty in inventing variations. I’ve had my name spelled as ‘Hurrypriya’, split my name into two with ‘Priya’ becoming my middle name, even been ‘Haridiya’ in a certificate.
I’ve been without a surname for 20 years of my life, but the guy issuing passports seemed to think otherwise, so since last year, I’ve got a brand new surname.
Interestingly, this lack of a surname led to me being nonexistent in COEP after FE. During my SE admissions, my name did not appear in the list of students allowed to take admission. My efforts to persuade the person-in-charge that I was a student proved futile.Their motto was ‘No name on list,no admission’.Then I was put through a barrage of questions on whether I was a transfer student,had a backlog,had missed a year etc.My answers to all these being a big NO,I was told that I had to be one of these kind else I was lying.I was at my wits end trying to prove that I existed,the I-card was not proof enough, it seems. Finally I hit upon the idea of looking up the previous year’s register.The person looked it up, saw that I had a roll-no there and grudgingly admitted that he was wrong.I was redeemed and issued a roll-no again.I was so relieved, that I even bore his speech about how my name was not included in the list as I did not have a surname(no apology there) without uttering a word.I always thought till that day that marks were enough to promote you to the next class!
Another vexing way of people is to write my surname as ‘Rajagopalan’. People have this irritating way of stereotyping any Tam Bram with a surname ending with ‘an’. So here goes my surname with dropped a’s and added suffixes.If someone actually manages to write my name right on first try, he has to split up my surname making ‘Raj’ my middle name.
In school my teacher had a habit of saying “Hurry up”. The whole class used to turn their heads towards me sitting on the last bench and say with delight “Stand up now!”. My friend Neha coined the name ‘Harry’.(I wasn’t very pleased, harassing people indeed!)College was no different. Due to an abundance of Priya’s in my class, my name became just ‘Hari’. The name stuck and now the only people who call me Haripriya are my teachers and strangers. Someone called me Haripriya a few days back,I looked back in surprise only to realize that the ‘Hari’ was for me and the ‘Priya’ for my friend Priya! I’ve had funny situations with this variant too.
All my friends pretty much have it entrenched in their minds that Hari’s the name of a girl, courtesy me. Now I’ve got a cousin named Hari Srinivas (Southies just love double names, don’t they?). So when I introduced him to my friends(as just Hari),he was asked why he had a girl’s name!
And of course,my name’s my favourite colour in Hindi! Another name added to my list is ‘Greenpriya’. There’s never a chance let go when I wear a green dress!
Befittingly, how can I ever forget the songs made up in my honour!
Here’s my reply to them:
Hari,ahe mi bari,
Nahi karat ahe worry,
Lihite ahe basunnach ghari.

What’s cooking?????
Lately I have been stepping into the kitchen, taking advanced cooking lessons from my Mom. What I’m experimenting with now is mouthwatering stuff like Payasam(Kheer for Non-tamils),Vadai, Appams and Chaklis.I plan to learn not just one but many kinds of each of the above. I already know how to cook a decent meal for myself, ensuring that I don’t ever starve. Then you may ask, pray what are the advanced cooking lessons for? You see,I don’t intend to be tied to Mommy’s apron strings for long. Also ,both my parents being great cooks, I think I should learn something worthwhile from them. My modus-operandi is simple-If I am alone, ever ,and miss my mom badly, I’ll just cook myself something delicious.What can be better than ma ke hath ka khana (or something very near it) to bring back happy memories and reduce your homesickness!

A Wonderful Trip…
A recent trip where I enjoyed myself a lot is our group trip to Satara.Exams got over on 16th evening.Believe it or not, 20 of us were at the Swargate bus-stand the next day at 7.00am!Ok,that’s exaggerating, but all the public appeared by 8.30.After lots of trivial talk, when we finally went towards our bus,all I saw was an ST. Now I refuse to climb in these buses as I have a history of bus sickness. So I was coached on the merits of these non-stop buses.The clinching argument in their favour came when I looked inside and saw nice cushioned seats instead of the normal ones. Thus pacified, I boarded the bus and after lots of Polo,singing(even singing serial songsJ)and some sleep, we reached Satara. Supriya started jumping with joy as all hostelites do when they go home.
We reached Suppi’s place, freshened up, gorged on cakes, chocolates and coffee, and were ready to roam. We had 2 sumos arranged for us-one each for the boys and girls.We picked out all nice cassettes,but had to hand them to the boys anyways as the tape in our vehicle refused to work.Then Suppi had the brilliant idea of taking the portable,but now the boys wouldn’t give us tapes.So we just went, got new tapes of Saathiya (which everybody desperately wanted)and RHTDM(which has all trip memories) and blared it back at them.Sweet revenge!!
We had a wonderful day, visiting their Health resort,climbing on trees & tree houses,swinging on tyres, climbing on slides (its not enough fun just sliding downJ)singing ourselves hoarse on the ferry trip, dancing on the boat till it rocked precariously and we were screamed at, teasing each other to death. During this trip we saw 2 movies which are actually fit for only people with an IQ of 5 . Comments on the movies galore, that night we all chatted away till the wee hours of the morning, munching away on the nuts in ice-cream in the middle of the night.
One special mention I’d like to make is of Suppi’s Mom. She was so hospitable, missed her work for us,roamed with us all the time, yet found the energy and time to cook sumptuous dinners for 20 of us for 2 days and serve it topped with a smile. I don’t mind ingraining myself with some of that attitude. Hats off to her!!!!!
The next day after awakening so late as to spoil the plans to go to Sajjangad, we went to Chalkewadi to see windmills.They’re really magnificent.We saw how they work,On the way Vikrant had the brilliant idea of sitting on the roof of the Sumo, so we then had a host of monkeys for the rest of the trip!! After spending a lazy evening, looking at photos, seeing a movie (again) we dropped off to sleep.
The trip back was as enjoyable as uneventful.Back home safe n’ sound, happy but tired, the first thing I couldn’t help doing was taking a snooze.That turned out to be such a long one that I only awoke the next morning!
This was the first time our whole group was together on a trip! All in all, merveilleux!!

You are invited to………
This year really marriages and engagements seem to abound .For the past three months, I’ve been invited to atleast 2-3 marriages every week. So many of my acquaintances are getting engaged too. Looks like love is in the air!!
I puzzled over this fact for quite a while until I was enlightened last week. It happens that I am in demand for another reason than to just receive invitations. My friends, all in a flurry to go for cousin’s marriages, have to finish their exams and go, which means most don’t reach in time for the mehendi ceremony. I happen to be the friend-at-hand to solve their problem. So I’ve had a gala time during Pl’s as well as after exams doing something I like. ’Twas drawing mehendi for such a friend that she told me that there is no muhurat from May for 1 year coz of some unusual planetary positions. There’s some specific terminology, forgot it.
Seems to me that this means I’m going to be invited to a bounty of baby b’days a few years down the line!

Christmas Gifts
This year Santa’s visiting my house albeit a bit late. My sister is in a very generous mood. So I include in my gifts this time, dispatched in the convenient hands of a friend, a portable CD player, pearl necklace, jacket, cosmetics, chocolates, CD’s of the movie Alai Payuthe(That's the original of Saathiya).Thanks a lot Indu, though I wish you were here too. Maybe Santa will take note of this and I’ll see you soon!!

Yesterday was the first anniversary of our Industrial Tour.A day spent in pure nostalgia.
Wishing that exams would get over soon…the packing…the panic when Deorankar didn’t appear till the last minute…those train travels…the beaches….the boatrides….authentic Kerala food…’Hoton se Chulo tum’… the Munnar cancellations…..the singing…RHTDM...the dancing….31st party… the tea gardens… Mamaji…Echo point…Deorankar’s philosophies… the moonlight walk at Kodai…the girls with their blue & gajra days.. the guys with their shorts days…the venpongal…Ooty’s botanical garden &waterslides…those proposals…the freezing cold….the cold water baths….never sleeping more than 5 hours at a time….the search for good food…..the picturesque views….the Mysore palace…Vrindavan Gardens…Truth or Dare….the search for an industry to visit….the trip to Bangalore….a wonderful day spent roaming about…..the shopping….the bargaining…..HMT mixup…the Infy visit…the trip back….celebrating with Sonpapdi for our excellent organizers Vishal ,Priyank, Rohit & Vikrant….three and a half cheers………
Need I say more?

Who’s That!
For the past few days, wherever I turn, I seem to bump into old friends. Be it the bank or the dentist’s, some familiar face seems to pop up. The best part is, all of them have some wonderful news to tell;they’ve got jobs, are getting married or got into good colleges for further studies. All of this is perfectly fine except for one thing, my school friends can’t for their life seem to recognize me! I need to refresh their memories ,the name brings up a light of recognition on their faces , and the first comment that I hear is “But you look so different!” I know I’m not the dusky girl with two plaits and braces anymore, but have I changed so much as to be unrecognizable? This one’s for those who’ve known me pretty much my whole life.


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