Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Fast and Furious!

What happens when a person who has just learnt to move hands and legs in water is taken to Deep ocean for a Swim?
I Know how it is!!

I had learnt driving in Dombivli, India from a driving school. after 7 months I went for a license exam, and got the Drivers license , International Driving Permit , et al. I also enrolled fro practice sessions with my driving school. I could take only 5 classes of half an hour each.
I have reached US 2 weeks ago. And I see that as I was informed, you are handicapped if you cant drive. But since driving is easier here, I felt I could manage.
So I got a rental car at company expenses. My friend, Hemendra asked me to drive on his colony road, and found that I know very little so he dint let me drive later in the day when we went to get Lisa, our American Friend and went on to dinner at another friend's place. The whole Stretch includes two Interstate highways, 2 Intrastate highways and the roads in the City of Hamden, Milford, East Haven.
As we went to the place Hemendra was driving all the way, as he had seen my driving.. We had a great dinner , it was Mexican without spices and Spanish. About the Dinner later some time. This story starts after the Dinner and the movie..

So After the Dinner and Movie, Lisa insisted that I drive back to her place, Hamden. and she navigates me to drive. Hemendra warned her against it.. But she was quite confident of me. And it took only minutes before she was sorry..

I was instructed .. "When I say right , you turn it on my side , when I say left turn to the left, when I say fast you have to step on the gas , when i say stop apply the brakes and slowly" So I was first to get the car out of Parking lot. in a reverse gear. Now hence onwards I dont speak.. Its Lisa or Hemendra .. "Right , RIGHT , You will hit the Car" "Slow Slow, brake brake " and I stepped on the Gas !!
Just missed the car on left. Now On the roads. In US of A you have STOP signs at intersections, where ther is no need of Traffic lights. AT each STOP sign you have to stop the wheels completely and then move forward. So as I encountered each STOP sign or signal.. "Stop Stop STOP" "Brake brake APARNA BRAKE!!!" and then when it was a turn .. "Right right RIGHT" , "left Left LEFT! APARNA LEFT" "Now stop doing that girl"
Thank god the roads were empty.. Slowly and bumpingly we reached the highway or the freeway that is an Interstate freeway.. Now the rules for Interstate freeways is that you have to maintain your laneand not to drive under 40 miles per hour. All the vehicles hence speed at 80-90 miles per hour.. and me was hardly reaching 20 miles mark.
As we entered the Highway , I was in full panic-I was at the wheel, three other people in the car. Some other vehicle hits in full speed and dunno what next.
Now anything after this is something I have heard from all these 3 people, I hardly remember the way.. The speed shot up to 55-60 and the wheel was shaky.. I was continuously drifting to the left and I had to drive on the right side of the road. I was drifting to a higher speed lane without any intention to drive faster, and without any indicator. atleast 3 cars whizzed past too closely and everytime Lisa pulled the steering to her side.. It must have been an hour or probably half , I really dont know and we reached Lisa's Town.. and slowed down.. Again a slow and bumping ride till her apartment came.. and when I stopped finally and parked and pulled out the keys, everyone came out.. And Fati, Hemendra's wife found her voice, after 5 minutes of coming out of the car. Me too regained a little of myself.
Because all the time I was driving
1. I was confusing between the Brakes and Accelerator(Gas Pedal)
2. Left turn was a fulllll left and a Fast one
3. Right was equally a full turn and fast one.
4. "BRAKE" word made me hit the gas pedal
5. "RACE" word made me hit the brakes.
6. Hitting any of the pedals with leg was quick, hard and fullpressure everytime, so a Brake wud be bringing the people on backseat to front and speed increased by 5-10 miles.

From Lisa's place to Hemendra's home ,Hemendra took over.. He had to :-)
This started my driving training all over again in US 0f A.. Story of this week long training some other time.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Radio Idli Softs!

Radio Idli .. an innovative concept.
It started off with a discussion to start a BAND of musicians in our Idli house Council. Idli house Council itself had started off by a bunch of Saraswat friends who had met over the Internet and thought of meeting offline. The meeting point was Idli house, a place run by the legendary A Rama Nayak family - a place where we got the typical Saraswat taste in the idlis / undis / khotto replete with all the Saraswat specific accessories like hinga(asafoetida ) chutney, pitti chutney or moolga pudi, karbeva chutney or nimbda pudi , loni( home made butter), Daalitoy whatever you ask for! This was a treat for all those who had left their homes for a job in Mumbai!
Soon this council of Idli house outgrew the Idli house capacity and as it grew , people from all walks of life , all ages of life were included in this enthusiastic group.
Meets and treks made all of us to do something more than fun and the Vision 2007 was born. To know the hidden aspects and talents of everyone and put it to some use of the community, Counselling, Job hunt, whatever possible.
As talents uncovered, it was found everyone had a great love for music, and so it started of as Radio Idli. Record your song and send to Nagesh.It can be a filmy song, it could be just your take at instruments, it could be a bhajan in any language, no bar! Nagesh took time from his busy schedules to upload it it on a blog as a snippet, give some of his RJ comments. Soon With songs came the music and so did some pep-talk. Sankalp peppered the Chutney Chat - interview sessions, Spontaneous Questions and interesting answers. Then came Lokabhiraam, he came , he spoke and he conquered the hearts of all young and old.
Radio Idli grew from being a Cherduvale Timepass to a Regularly awaited and heard Radio. In todays time when we have 8-10 FM Channels and all hooked to the RJs and the repetitive songs , Radio Idli is different. It has no bandwidth, It sits on a blog, frequency is weekly , yet it has its own audience.
Today its getting a lot of Media Coverage. I hope this week and further it doesnt pull down the Servers hosting the blog and the one storing the multimmedia clips !

As one of our veteran says , we should not say Radio Idli Rocks cos idli when become rock-like they arent eatable. So Radio Idli Softs!

I love Radio Idli!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

I want to get well soon..

In our younger days, I had a lesson about a boy who wanted to fall sick. In his family everyone used to fall sick and he had to get medicines for each of them. One day, he thought I will fall sick and everyone will envy me. So next time when he went to the Doctor to get medicine, he told "It pains in my stomach" As the Doctor knew his obsession of sickness, he took a totally serious face and started examining. He examined his pulse, took his blood pressure, then tapped on his stomach. The boy was curious, kept asking questions, "Did I get appendicitis? Do I have malaria? Atleast do I have a fever? or atleast a little cold and cough? "
Doctor completed his examination without uttering a word. and then called him to his seat. "Little boy, you have got no disease, you are fit and fine. Now take this medicine for your sisters cough and run home" Our boy got dejected and went home...

I used to get simple headaches, skin infections, common cold, etc. But nothing that will give me a days leave, like fever or anything.. I got a lesson and a quite heavy. I got malaria, when I dint want it. so I am on a week long leave, when I should be fit and fine to prepare for my trip to a distant place. The fever comes at a fixed time and takes away all the energy i had collected till that time of that day. Every thing becomes so hot that its unbearable. My hands and my feet eject heat.
Slowly bu surely , the medicines have taken effect and now the fever is gone.. But the so has my energy.
I have to rejuvenate and get ready for my trip!. Probably this was the time I got to think over calmly about all the things I need to do and Should not do.To clear my thoughts out of all the confusions and repercussions and face the new day with renewed vigour!

Friday, March 02, 2007

Something that I liked ..


Somethings affect you in a different way..

Last saturday, I woke up early for a Driving class. After getting back, was not interested in sleeping again.. Sometime later, a sound was heard I our building. It was found that, an old lady staying alone, on the floor below, had tripped and was not able to get up. She was not able to reach the door to open it, So the people standing out were not able to assess the severity of injuries. After half an hour of discussion and trials to break open the door, my aunty struck the idea of calling a worksman from the Interior decorator shop downstairs. He came , he saw , and then he removed the window grill, entered inside, opened the door, fitted the window grill again and went back. All of us entered inside, saw that she had just not been able to get up and there were no injuries.. Three of us carried her inside to the bed. Someone got some tea and biscuits. She ate her medicine and then rested. She was alright next day and was at her door as usual.

This event set my thoughts running. I had long been postponing my visit to my Grandma. This event hit me hard and I tried for an earliest departure to her place. But alas, I could not get a ticket. I cancelled hte plans.. but it dint leave me.. Then suddenly I was too bored to go to office and felt like having a getaway.. The thoughts of visiting my Grandma came in.. Checkd the ticket status and miraculously there was one available.. I seized the moment booked the tickets. and here I am , At Karwar.. and my Grandma or Bapama as I call her, is sitting across reading one of her books.. She cant hear well, but her memory is sharp.. She can remember my birthdate, and my brother's too.. She remembers her visit to Mumbai, my aunt, my other grandma.. She remembers the time when she was young and tells me stories abt it. She doesnt flinch when I dont understand, when I cant relate, but continues.. She is 84 now.. and I wish she lives longer!

Its nice to be with her and my uncle here.. Its a differnt world..Slow paced, surrounded by hills, silent and peaceful. Its nice to see the smile on my Grandma's Face, thoughI was never so close to her.. I dont have a return ticket booked. But I dont worry.. As miraculously I am here, I will be back too..