Thursday, March 29, 2007

Been busy

I am here. Been busy busy busy. Work, school, skunk works, family, soccer… tired – but I am here.

A gazillion little rocks are strewn all around my room. I don’t know what is it about my kid. Where ever he goes, he seems to attract rocks destined to be brought back and scattered in my room. They arrive in truck loads in his shoes, socks, in pockets, and some even confined in the inner sanctum of his tiny underwear.

Talking about rocks, I am assaulted by bitter sweet memories of my own school days when my brother and I did the same thing - except that we brought home beach sand instead of rocks. Our school was beside St Andrews beach where we dug holes and buried our bare toes in the soft, damp, loose sand. We escavated ruins of ancient sea life and unearthed seashells and other nautical treasures. My son is doing the same thing. Only thing is he dont have a brother to collect rocks with him. I think I need to fix that.

It is a shame that Cricket fans are burning shops and brushing tar. These lunatics need treatment. Like swamiji said, it is time we treated cricket no better than Kabbadi or Kho Kho.

A colleague of mine came by to invite me for his wedding. He is marrying the daughter of an ex minister in AP. He was happy that he is getting 7 rice mills, one engineering college, one dental college, one mineral water bottling plant, several medical stores in Hyderabad, flats, farm houses, half of west Godavari district, and one butt ugly wife. I did not know what to tell him - whether he had been blessed or extremely unlucky.

When I see “experts” like Ann Coulter serving liturgical sermons on Fox network I can understand why more than 30% of Americans believe that the war in Iraq is going well. Ann Coulter should be led away to somewhere quiet, where uniformed staff make sure that she take her medication every day and change her diapers as needed.

Friday, March 09, 2007


Yesterday I was video-chatting with my parents. Sriram, my 4 year old, was sitting next to me. I asked my father if he could small Sriram’s hair.
“Yes” – he said.
“No, Achachan!” my boy said “You can’t smell me”
Then he explained to us that Achachan is sitting in India and he can only see and hear ‘mon’ but not smell him.

Later he came up to me and asked if Achachan could INFACT smell his hair. I said ‘may be’.
“Can daddy smell me?”
“Yes” I said
“Can you smell me when I go to school?”
“Yes I could just close my eyes and still smell you as if you were here”

That IS true. I can smell him even when if he is not around. Ramu bears the scent of almond baby oil and pears soap. He smells of dirt and water color, played with enthusiastically. His hair smells like sweat, full of innocence and pure of caffeine or cholesterol. To me he smells of nothing but pure love I have ever known.

Of all the five senses, I think olfactory is the one that is directly wired to the brain. The presence of some scents can snap you right back to a time and place in your life where memories are alive and vivid.

Strong smell of wild trees takes me back to a trip we made to Kudajadri from college. I smell sour curd and my grand father comes to mind. I can SEE him feeding me rice mixed with curd. Thick buttery curd dripped from his hand. There are certain smells that I associate with my Amma. The smell of petrol reminds me of my friends Sujith and Jacob. And so does the smell of beer. Certain cells in my olfactory are plugged directly into my memory.

For me, memories of home is triggered by the smell of cattle and hay and goats and chicken manure. Scent of ripe mangos and guava and tamarind and jackfruit and rotten coconut leafs and the smell of dust that rises when my aunt sweeps the front porch with a broomstick. I can't say all of those were pleasant, but it is firmly lodged in my memory. Once upon a time, that was how my home smelled like, and I can still smell it.