Monday, December 27, 2010

Love of my life : mathematics!

Ever since I put the title of the book up, 'the universal history of numbers', I knew this post was coming.. and soon.

I hate maths... completely.. from the bottom of my heart. Actually it is kind of difficult to distinguish the exact emotion I feel - is it hate or fear. More of the 2nd one , thus leading into the first.

As a child, I always questioned the necessity of knowing mathematics as a subject. Why does anyone need to know calculus or algebra or trignometry.. what is the application really... I couldn't wait to get rid of it. Unfortunately, it has always been with me through my life.. like an unwanted pus filled sore.

When I went to 11th standard, my parents thought I should continue with maths at least till 12th. Post 12th, I opted for Economics.. and guess what!!!!!!!!!!!!!! There's maths there too!!! And then MBA...

And now funnily enough, I am in a profession which requires a "comfort with numbers" as  a basic skillset.

How I am scared of Maths is not funny!!!!! Even though I have scored well in the subject.. in fact that was my highest scoring subject (!!!!!!!) in 12th standard boards.. I scored 88 or 89% I think!!! So even though I have scored well.. it just scares the s**t out of me!!!

In fact, in campus when the placement season was on.. we had these aptitude tests as the first level screening for many jobs. And I almost threw up. I went to my friend in tears.. and told him there's no way I could get a job.. . He very patiently tried to teach me.. I just have this big big a mindset..a block.. that I just cannot do it. Now matter how much I read the problem and try to understand it, I just doesn't get into my thick head at all!!! And I shed many tears.... I used to be a tortured soul.. but finally I did clear a couple of tests :)

During recruitment, I begged my would be boss to not put me in the "quantitative" department as I do not like maths. But he just pooh poohed the idea and there I have been for the last 9 years!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Now of course my confidence levels are higher - excel helps of course :)  ..

But ask me the area of a hexagon..the number of hours it would take for the water to drip from the tank.... I feel weak in my knees ...a bit dizzy.. (what helps is that my job, thank you god, does not require trignometry and the likes)

Any maths and I just zonk out for those few minutes from the meeting OR wait for one of those gifted individuals (who are always there in every meeting.. the first to raise their hand and give the answer ) to say something while I nod intelligently.

I cannot even calculate very quickly. If someone asks me to add stuff up.. I just go the excel sheet. If no one is looking or stressing me out, then I can calculate quicker. Mental maths always used to terrify me.

I think maybe its to do with my maths teacher. I used to be petrified. I wish she had been kind and gentle .. I for sure react better to that approach than the stick one. I just wish she had in my formative years made it interesting to tackle problems. I know so many people who delight in solving problems.. I am not one of them and I envy them for it!!!

Education could have been so much more fun.

So what was /is your favourite (read hateful) subject?

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Adrian Mole .. dont go ..

He is ill  :((

I just finished the latest one.. Adrian Mole , the prostrate years..

In the flight.. I was praying as I was racing through the book..hoping she doesn't kill him!!!!


The book is still funny.. though the world is not sunny (I did mean sunny and not funny!!) anymore.. as it used to be! One of my favourite literary characters.


I just got back from Bombay today. I am happy to be home.. I have been out for the entire week.. and by yesterday I was craving to be back home.. in my bed.. doing what I do .. instead of going to a guest house!!! I am growing old. Thats what it is.


My most exciting moment of the week : has to be when Scarlett messaged me on Tuesday to tell me Sidin Vadukut of Dork fame had commented on my blog!!!!!!! What a moment!!! My presentation was going to the dogs... the data was all c**p..the client was sitting on my head ....And I had a happy smile on my face.. my colleagues were astonished.. I had a spring in my step.. and feelings of pure joy were radiating from me..everything that the client was saying during the meeting was falling on deaf ears and I was all smiles!! He must be fuming... must be thinking.. what in the world are you doing woman.. you miserable twit.!!

And the most taxing moment , frustrating moment - not accessing blog during this time due to excessive work share the joy!!! Hrrrmmphh. Can be very frustrating.

Anyway, so I was on cloud 9.. and Bombay, the presentation, and everything else actually passed me by in a haze.


And I missed you guys so much... I am so happy to be back to my bed, home and my laptop. :)) I cant wait to meet my friends at work!!! You can make gagging kind of sounds, all that you want.. but its true!!!


Its Christmas!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And we had secret Santa at work. Everyone participated.. I was secret Santa to our security guard.. and from the day it was announced till yesterday we had to make our secret"child (that sounds weird) feel good. So I sent one egg puff on day 1.. chocolates on day 2.. a Christmas cake on day 3 and finally a box of chocolates on the final day!! Other people were more enthu and did nicer things :)

What did I get ? I will let you know tomorrow... I am so very excited.. being the materialistic person that I am....... I love getting gifts!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It is so very very very exciting.

On that note. goodnight!! And can I say once more.. I am happy to be back :))

Sunday, December 19, 2010

A little bit of perspective..

Its been a kind of an icky weekend.. cloudy, dull, grey, gloomy .. not to mention the work which has been on the back of my mind and I am really not doing much to solve it (by working i.e.) !!

And then we decided to visit old family friends.. actually relatives now.. Uncle has been hospitalised. While they have been in Bangalore last one week, we couldn't meet them earlier.

Uncle was diagnosed with cancer... was extremely unexpected.. he quit smoking a decade ago.. went to the doc for some check up!! Now they are here to get some tests done.. to check how much it has spread.

I find visiting hospitals really difficult.. if there is one thing I am scared of.. terrified of.. that is illness.. especially in the case of family. To see so many tubes and stitches (indicative of the operation)... a shiver passes down my spine.

And on these occasions, I do not know what to say - should one console or talk about other routine things to take their mind off things!! I usually opt for the 2nd way... but mostly people can make out from my face.. blood usually drains out.. and one conversation can have me in a flood of tears.

I wish people were never ever ill.

Over the weekend I have been worrying about a presentation.. this hospital visit has brought in a bit of perspective .. what idiotic things we worry about.. when actually you could be out enjoying..  and just being with the people you love. I get this jolt every once in a while.. I got it a few months ago when I resolved that I am going to stop being a workaholic and spend time with parents and with A.. I haven't met my sis in ages!!! And a month hence, I am back to working late nights.. traveling.. with no time for anything..

And today again as I introspect.. I have spent the entire year working, working and working more. And when I was not working, I was worrying... anxious about work ....thinking about clients, business, presentations.. I cant remember when I had a full day to myself when I was completely free from work, physically or mentally.

Sad isn't it.. It takes something like this to bring you back to earth with a thud.. makes you take a step back and look at your own life.. and wonder what is it exactly that you have achieved.

While I work over the weekend...

I hate working weekends. And as you can see I am in no mood to work.. since I am blogging and not working.. this slavery never stops!! Ho hum

But anyway on to a brighter note...


I finished Dork and boy is it a hilarious book!!!! I picked it up on Scarlett's recommendation. When I started reading the book.. I was like "Oh man, this is going to be a crass humour" kind of a book!! But joy behold.. it is not!!!! It seriously is laugh out loud funny.. literally!!!

It is about a Mallu Man trying to fit himself in, by hook or by crook in a consultancy firm!! What did I love about the book - whats there not to like!!! The affable character 'Robin Einstein Verghese' who in all his funny ways, is the most super confident being on the planet, no matter what the rest of the world thinks... and he is not worried either.. he breezes through without much of a care in the world.

When I say its laugh out loud funny.. it literally was for me. I narrated  the incidents from the book to my colleagues to work and went hysterical with laughter...  and that day when I came back home, I was like, was it really so funny. I dont think so.. it always seems funnier when you are in a bunch of hysterical people... and you also kind of, KIND OF start exaggerating things ... a wee bit....when you see everyone hanging on to every word... so that night when I started reading the book, I was conscious of the fact that I had read 2 chapters and not laughed out loud even once. I thought it was all in my imagination - OR what I liked to think I did.

And suddenly I started laughing and couldn't stop... even when I shut the book to get some sleep.. I was shaking uncontrollably with laughter remembering the book.. A, who was snoring away to glory by my side, woke up with a start and asked why I was crying!! lol

The scene was - Robin buying off a micro from his hated roommate when he leaves.. and he wants to cook food in the micro.. and suddenly he says.. that ba***d... the micro would only switch on for 20 secs.. so he has to stand next to it and press it every few secs.. and it took him 1 hour to make Instant chicken curry!!! And I laughed and laughed and laughed till I started crying!!!!!!!!!

It is a very good take on consultants.. actually office life in general.. the faffing.. the put on camaraderie...all of us who work would be able to identify with it!! And of course being a mallu I do identify with the mallu-ness.. what with babykuttys and blossoms..

Apparently a part of the trilogy.. I am waiting with bated breath. I am buying the next 2 too, Sidin.

I was so enamoured by the book.. I did a bit of search on the author Sidin Vadukut. Read his blog - which is as awesome as his book!! Read his post on his trip to to Sri Lanka.. I was rumbling with laughter even when reading that.. He is good. Now I "like" him on facebook, follow him on twitter and follow his blog as well!!

I have told everyone I know to buy the book.. and I have managed one sale as well!!! I should get commission!!! :))

Why cant I ever write like this!!! I want to be an author and make trillions.


Now I am onto reading The Girl who kicked Hornet's nest. I am also reading the universal history of numbers - I hate numbers but I like history. So there!!! More about my love for maths in the next post!!!!


I feel like the times when we used to have exams... When you need to study.. and you so do not want to study.. you take a break because of the smallest of reasons... you live for the breaks. That is my situation right now. I am chatting with people.. watching all kinds of mind numbing TV.. doing timepass.. I just dont feel like working!!!

Cant I just run away.


Off to bombay tomorrow .. thankfully an evening flight.

Watched MTV bakra after a long time.. Cyrus is a butcher who is offering fresh mutton to people.. and the fresh mutton is actually a human being.. one of the fresh pieces start screaming suddenly asking the shopper to help him....!!!! The guy got a scare.. scare is an inadequate term!!!! Cyrus will get beaten up one of the days!!!! In fact if I remember correctly, he did!!!

Screeching women on splitsvilla.. such a derogatory show.. why do women do it..


Now I should get back to work I think.. :((

I am not able to get the highlight to go!! oops.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

4 pairs of chappals, 2 pairs of al..

I just need one comment to get a boost and put in a post immediately!!! haha...

So here goes..


All you need to do is laugh a lot and believe me your day goes well. I have experienced this!! You literally float on air.. Only one thing you should be careful about.. accepting more work in all your happiness.. You may regret that!


I just finished reading connect the dots. It is quite an amazing book... so inspiring.. to read about these people who made it big.. just because of their passion and commitment. I wish I were'nt such a scaredy rat. :(


Took mom to Chitra Kala Parishat yesterday. It is a fair like thing wherein people from all over India put up their stalls.. handicrafts. clothes, paintings, ceramic... I bought 4 pairs of chappals and all together only for 700 bucks. Quite a steal. And 2 pairs of earrings.. 50Rs!!

I would have bought more.. there were lampshades.. rugs... diffusers... candles.. candle stands.. bedspreads..mugs..

A bought bastar men frames and 2 wooden boxes inside which you can light incense sticks.. it ensures ash does not fall anywhere.. and incense remains hidden inside the box..


Please watch the soap..saas bina sasural one day. It is very strange.. and thus humourous. This girl gets married into a household with very many men and no women. The day she walks into the house, she sees a mountain of unclean dishes, occupying one room!!! How is that even possible!! Apparently the men, each one of them, eat 3 plates of rice everyday...  And she cleans the kitchen in her nice clothes and jewellery... her father in law instructs her that she needs to get the food ready everyday by 1.30 as they like to eat then.

That I found extremely sad, not to say annoying. The first day in a new house.. and she is expected to do everything.. I guess that is the reality in many houses.

Though one thing I really really liked.. and believe me I was completely astounded to see this coming my way.. So the new bride cooks rice and daal on her first day. And while she is cootchie cooing with her husband, a roach falls into the daal. And this is where I was flabbergasted.. actually I should say happy.. the husband, to my delight, does not tell her to cook everything again or that his father / family cannot to be served this trash.. he actually removes the roach from the daal and asks her to serve the dish as is .. to his family. And asks her to keep her trap shut!!

I was so happy to see that at least there is at least one serial in which they have shown a progressive husband.

Tomorrow is monday again :((  ..on the top of that no Marion in MC australia.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Headaches, you ask!!

I get headaches very often! That would be about once in 2 weeks.. maybe!

I get headaches because of  -

Too much stress
Washing my hair at night
Washing my hair when its cold
Traveling by rick when chilly and not adequately warm
When I feel cold either due to weather or AC
When I travel a lot
When I sleep too much
When I sleep too less (less than 9 hrs)
When I stare at the machine for too long
If I do not eat, skip meals
If I put coconut oil on my head for too long

Basically I get a headache because of anything and everything... AC is the culprit more often then not!!

I get this from my mom's side of the family.. everyone has headaches!!! 

Well, saridon is my best friend.. I just took one. I definitely do not belong to the set of people who do not pop pills at mere headaches!!! I do not know or understand why people choose to sit through so much pain in the hope that it will go away.. the pills are created for a reason right!!

So anyway, today, the reason I think is............ cold... yup! Definitely the chill in the air and the washed hair combination!!!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

love it or leave it

I have been leaving it.. mostly.

Today again at work (yes, I have very many conversations at work),  we were talking about pursuing interests. And how we would not be able to sit at home doing nothing.. I know I am like that.. I need to work. I cant think of life without work.

Anyway, the point is, I thought of what my interests were - And I came up with reading, movies and of course blogging.

Till date I have never been able to sustain any activity that I have tried to pursue :

1) Drawing - yes I used to draw in school. Then one fine day, as an adult I decided I need to have some interests outside work and drawing was it!! I bought a sketch pad.. pencils.. colours , a book that teaches sketching.. I did it for one day .. exactly one day. Since then, I have torn out pages out of sketch pad and written letters!!! :))

2) Drawing again - 2nd attempt after 2 yrs. This time told A to teach me. He is good at sketching.. he made me draw a wooden chest.. and then told me about perspectives.. and then made me draw again and again.. till I just got up and left.

3) Swimming - yes, that still remains as the no 1 thing to do!! I found out eveything about classes - about 3 times and in different cities. Right now, its too cold to learn.. brrrrrrrrr

4) Learning a language - I decided first thing I should do is learn to read and write my own mother tongue.. my book on "learn malayalam in 30 days".. remains unopened.

5) Gym - you already know what I did. I also used to walk in bombay.. I think I did that for about month and then got bored. I bought walking shoes and gym clothese too!!!

6) Albums - I decided (yet again), that I should create an album of our jaunts..( I do not particularly like digital pics).. starting with london.. I bought a notebook which has handmade paper.. and I wrote LONDON on the first page..after that awesome (being sarcy here) start, I just didnt feel like doing anything with it and the notebook remains as empty as ever!! Oh if that wasnt enough, I bought a bright lime green colored book to record our pondicherry trip too... and it looks pretty.. pretty and empty.

I do not seem to learn my lessons, do I!!

So basically my interest wanes.. I make excuses like.. it is too cold.. do not get ricks.. I will join once I buy a car.. its too early in the morning.. its too late in the evening.. too much work.. its weekend...blah blah blah!!!!!  Nothing holds my attention.

Now blogging is the only thing that I have been able to sustain my interest in... And boy am I surprised. And I dont know how... look at all my pathetic excuses (as above) !!!
So the reason I came up with :

a) I have my circle of blog friends who I interact with - I read their blogs, they read mine. I am happy at knowing more people .. and there is no pressure to go out.. and meet .. one can just opine if one wants to.. or not!!! Know some people more.. know interestign people.. know who you want to know

Basically its only because of you guys that I have been blogging.

Of course, you cannot sustain anything if you are not remotely interested!! SO some credit, I do give to myself. You have to be motivated to blog. And I am motivated even now! Its been 2.5 yrs!!!

Actually I almost didnt blog - when I had to start the site.. I saw the form and freaked.. and I was like.. God... I have to fill so much information. And thinking of a name for the blog etc etc and I left it. And Scarlett insisted that I try once. And my first post... I felt ridiculous .. writing to myself on a public forum!

Thank you Scarlett for persisting.......... for introducing me to this fun! :) I would never have known it otherwise.