Sunday, July 31, 2005


A few years ago, when he was educating himself on computers, my Dad came across the concept of CC'ing an email. He was really excited.

"This means I can email you and send the same thing to your sister! At the same time! Isn't this great?" He asked.

"Yeah, Dad." I smiled to myself.

What I really wanted to say was, "Dad, you've been using the CC function for years now. You just did not know about it."

Here's the story:

I call home on a Sunday evening.

Dad picks up.

Sayesha - Hello, Dad! It's me. How are things?
Dad - Good! Good! What about you?
Sayesha - Great! Life's a mess right now. But otherwise great.
Dad - That's good.
Sayesha - So where's Mom?
Dad - Mom? She's in the kitchen. Busy.

Loud clang clang noise. 'Click' sound of Mom picking up the phone in the other room.

Mom - I am here, I am here! What do you mean 'busy in the kitchen'??
Sayesha - Hi, Mom!
Mom - Put the phone down!
Sayesha - Huh??
Mom - Not you! Your Dad! Put the phone down!
Dad - Why should I put the phone down??
Mom - Because I want to talk to my daughter.
Dad - Your daughter? She's my daughter too!
Mom - Yeah, but you can talk later.
Dad - Why don't you talk later?

I interrupt meekly.

Sayesha - Mom, Dad, I'm making an IDD call here...
Mom - See, now you're wasting her money!
Dad - I'm wasting her money??
Mom - Yes, yes, you are. Put the phone down. Let me talk to her.
Dad - I want to talk to her first. When she calls on Saturdays and I am at office, you get to talk to her. So I get to talk to her now.
Mom - Well, she can only call at her own convenience, isn't it?

And I listen, CC'ed in the conversation Mom and Dad are having.

Sayesha - Okay, instead of you guys talking to each other, why don't I talk, and the two of you just listen?
Dad (indignantly) - Okay.
Mom (indignantly) - Okay.
Sayesha - So what did you do in the weekend? Watched any new movies?
Mom - I wanted to, but your Dad doesn't want to watch Hindi movies.
Dad - That's because you only watch 'dhishum dhishum' movies.
Mom - What? No, I don't! Munnabhai was not a 'dhishum dhishum' movie!

And I listen, CC'ed in the conversation again, beginning to get impatient.

Sayesha - So are you going to talk to me at all today?
Mom - Oh, sorry!
Dad - Yes, yes, we want to talk to you.
Sayesha - Cool. So have you been exercising?
Mom - I have, I have! Three rounds on the terrace every morning.
Dad - That's not enough! You must come with me on my morning walk.
Mom - No, that tires me.
Dad - You're just lazy.
Mom - No, I am not! You're the one not taking care of your health!
Dad - What did I do??
Mom - What about the coke you drank yesterday?
Dad - I only tasted a little bit.
Mom - A little bit?? Yeah, right! And what about the cake you had?

Sayesha - Ok I'm gonna have to take matters into my hands now. This conversation is cute, but I am kinda running out of patience, and money on my phone card. So I am going to make this short. May I?
Mom & Dad - Errr... huh?
Sayesha - Dad, You've gotta cut down your sugar. Mom, you've gotta start those morning walks. And I've gotta go. Talk to you later, okie?
Mom & Dad - Okay. Bye! Call us next weekend, okay?

Sayesha (smiles to herself) - Yeah. I will.

I will.

Friday, July 29, 2005

My TCTSTFTS theory

I have a theory.

It's called the TCTSTFTS theory -- Too Close Too Soon, Too Far Too Soon.

Have you ever met someone whom you instantly connected with? Someone who made you wonder why on earth you'd never met before you actually met? The circumstances you met under seem bizarre and out of this world, and yet, on some levels, perfectly normal. He/she may be exactly like you or completely different, but you feel like you were meant to be friends, and friends for life. Just by virtue of knowing that person, you feel special.

The closeness, comfort and warmth you develop within an extremely short span of time, is unbelievable. You feel fortunate to have that person in your life. You feel special. Really special. It amazes you so much that you ask yourself if it is too good to be true. You know it's not a crush, and it's not love. It's just the most incredible kind of friendship ever. Something that logic cannot explain.

You talk to each other until you feel you're gonna run out of words. And you laugh over it.

But one fine day, that's exactly what happens. You run out of words. You run out of conversations. You run out of feelings. Just like that.

"What just happened here??" you ask yourself. And neither you nor the other person has an answer. There was no fight, no misunderstanding, no other feelings. Nothing. It just got over. Without any reason. And each person walks his/her own way feelinglessly. They get on with their respective lives. But it hurts. What hurts more is not the fact that it is over, but the fact that you just got on with your life as if it had never happened. You try to figure things out. Sometimes by judging yourself. Sometimes by judging the other person. Trying to find whose "mistake" it was. But it doesn’t help. It was no one's "mistake". No one was a bad person. Yet, it happened.

I’ve experienced it, felt the heart-breaking pain of losing what I thought was a great friendship, and thought about it for long hours to explain this phenomenon. And finally, I came up with the TC theory, which at least to me, makes sense.

Putting it very clinically, I believe that people have spaces in their hearts that they lease out to other people they care about. Each one of us occupies such a space in other's hearts. Often, we vacate the space, either of our own will or of the "owner's" will. But sometimes, only sometimes, we get (or give out) lease for an infinite time. And these are the people who stay in our hearts forever. I feel that on some levels, to get to that state, we must not occupy one big space in someone's heart, but occupy "micro-spaces" spread out across the heart. Like a stubborn tenant who is all over the place, and cannot be gotten rid of. And to be able to seep into the spaces in someone's heart like that -- like rainwater in the soil, you need time and patience. Lots of it.

I believe in my theory to the point of paranoia. It's always -- Sayesha, are you getting 'Too Close Too Soon'? Beware, because 'Too Far Too Soon' is on the way! With a real connection, if I get the feeling that it's happening unrealistically fast, I get scared. I back off. But I tell the person about TCT. If they understand, great. If they don’t, it simply means that we never had the connection I thought we had.

So if you have that kind of connection with someone, it's a keeper. Cherish it, nurture it. Most importantly -- give it time.

And that's what Sayesha's TCTSTFTS theory is all about.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Of CIGs and pigs

Have you ever had a creepy guy on the Internet (I call their clan CIG -- Creepy Internet Guy) suddenly adding you on MSN, and sending you weird messages?

Here's a conversation that happened between a CIG and Sayesha. (The only reason this conversation was so long was because Sayesha is generally not rude, not even to CIGs. One has to really piss her off to see her rude side.)

CIG adds Sayesha.

CIG - Hi there! *smiley*
Sayesha - Sorry, but do I know you?
CIG - No, you don't. But you can, if you want. *winkey*
Sayesha - I'm not interested. Sorry.
CIG - But I am. *smiley*
Sayesha - Well, I am not.
CIG - Come on! I just want to be friends.
Sayesha - But I don't.
CIG - Why not?
Sayesha - Because I don't talk to strangers on the Internet.
CIG - Are you from India?
Sayesha - I don't think I have to tell you that. Please remove me from your list.
CIG - What if I don't? *winkey*
Sayesha - Then I will delete you.
CIG - Haha! But I can still message you.
Sayesha - No, you can't. I will block-delete you.
CIG - No, you won't. *winkey*
Sayesha - What makes you think so?
CIG - 'Cos I know you're just acting girly and pricey. You wanna be friends with me too! *winkey*
Sayesha - Oh yeah? Want to try me?
CIG - Oh yeah! *smiley*

Sayesha does a block-delete.

Sayesha (to herself) - Hah! *smiley*

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Conversations with Grandma

I was in the bus on my way to uni when I suddenly thought of my grandma. My only surviving grandparent, she must be close to 80. I call her up now and then to find out how she is. And every time, this is how our conversation goes.

Grandma - Hello?
Me - Hello?
Grandma - Who are you?
Me - This is Queen, Grandma. (Yes, she has a nick name for each of her 15 grandchildren.)
Grandma - Are you Queen?
Me - Yes, I am. I just said so.
Grandma (to my Aunt) - It is Queen.
Aunt's voice in background - Yes, I know.
Grandma - Queen?
Me - Yes, Grandma?
Grandma - What are you doing, Queen?
Me - I am talking to you, Grandma.
Grandma - You are talking to me. Yes. Have you had dinner?
Me - Yes, I have.
Grandma - What did you eat?
Me (pauses to figure out how to explain mee goreng or wantan mee or whatever) - You know noodles?
Grandma - Noodles?
Me - Yes, like maggi? Something like that.
Grandma - You ate maggi.
Me - Errmmm... yeah, okay.
Grandma - You did not cook dinner?
Me - No, I did not. I don't get much time these days.
Grandma - Okay.


Grandma - What time is it there?
Me - 12:30.
Grandma - Afternoon?
Me - No. Night.
Grandma - Past midnight?
Me - Yes.
Grandma - That is very late. It is 10 pm here.
Me - Yes. I know.


Grandma - So when are you coming here?
Me - I don't know. I don't have much leave left.
Grandma - Not much leave left?
Me - Yeah, not much.
Grandma - Office won't let you come here.
Me - Yeah. They won't.
Grandma - Then when will you come here?
Me - I don't know. Maybe next year.
Grandma - Next year?
Me - Yes. Next year.
Grandma - But I'll be dead.
Me - No, you won't. Don't say things like that.
Grandma - I am bedridden. I can't move. I'm very ill. I'll be dead by then. Can you come this year?
Me - No, I can't, Grandma.
Grandma - You can't.
Me - No. Can't.

By then, I can't control my tears anymore and my voice starts to shake.

Me - Grandma?
Grandma - Yes?
Me - I have to go now. I'll call later. Okay?
Grandma - Okay.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Life cycle

Sayesha, your life used to be so simple. What did you do to it??

6:30 am - I wake up.
7:30 am - I catch the bus to work.
8:15 am - I reach office.
12:30 pm - Everyone goes for lunch. I am either at my desk, calling up house agents, or viewing houses. (??!!)
1:30 pm - I am back at work.
4:00 pm - I am off to class.
5:00 pm - I am working in the train.
5:45 pm - I reach university.
6:00 pm - I pack/skip dinner.
6:30 pm - I start lessons.
9:30 pm - I end lessons.
9:45 pm - I catch the bus out of uni.
11:00 pm - I have a house viewing. (??!!)
12:00 mn - I reach home.
01:00 am - I crash.
6:30 am - I wake up.

And it starts all over again...


But it's not all bad.

God bless the incredibly cute French guy in my class.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Fat Chick

"Fat chick, man!" I hear a lot of gals being thus dismissed by my guy friends.

But to me, the term 'fat chick' has a different meaning altogether. A 'fat chick' to me means precisely that. A fat chick.

In the year 1998, which was my first year at university, I saw a stall put up by the Red Cross Society in the canteen. They were having a charity sale. And that's where I first saw Fat Chick. Almost round in shape, she was sitting there, in all her fat glory, beckoning out to me, "Buy me, Sayesha. Buy me!" Now I am not really a soft toy person (I think teddy bears are ugly) but this one was special. The stall holder showed me how Fat Chick flapped her wings if you pulled the ring on her tail. I decided to buy her. I was due at a lecture in five minutes, but I did not want to come back after it, in case someone else had already bought Fat Chick by then.

After I'd paid, it suddenly struck me how fat she really was (I'd say she'd fit snugly in a hollow sphere of diameter over 1 foot), and how embarrassing it would be if I walked into the lecture theatre, holding Fat Chick in my hands. So I did something quite cruel. I stuffed her into my school bag. On top of my books and lecture notes and everything. It was really difficult, but I managed. And I rushed to attend the lecture I was already late for.

As I tried to slink into the lecture theatre, I realised that all the 'safe seats' (the ones at the back) were taken, and the only vacant seat was the one right under the nose of the lecturer. I sheepishly made my way to that seat and plonked myself down. As I caught my breath, the professor announced, "Please take out your lecture notes and turn to page xxx."

Horror of horrors, as I hurriedly pulled the zip of my school bag to open it, Fat Chick suddenly popped out and rolled down on the floor (yes, she actually rolled! Did I mention she is round, like absolutely round?) between the lecturer and me. He paused for a full ten seconds, looking at Fat Chick on the floor, the open school bag and finally at my red face. As the rest of the class burst into laughter, I picked Fat Chick up and stuffed her back into my bag.

I don't think I can ever forget the look on the lecturer's face.

Friday, July 22, 2005

The untold tales

Hi Mom, Dad,

I may sound age-ist here, but I don't let the upper generation touch my blog. So you're never gonna read this. Which is why here goes -- some things about me that I never told you:

- Remember the plant in the living room that was so healthy it used to amaze people? Well, I fed it with a staple diet of the milk that I was supposed to drink every morning.

- During 'study hour' on Wednesday evenings, sis and I used to put the TV on mute and watch 'Chitrahaar'.

- When I was in the 12th standard, I was made to stand outside the classroom for one whole day with all my classmates. The class teacher walked past the class and sarcastically said to me, "Aap is school ki head girl hain na?" ("Aren't you the head girl of this school?") That was terribly embarrassing.

- I never finished the long course of those antibiotics that I was taking. In fact, I used to toss one tablet out of the window every single day to see how far it travelled.

- I don't know what I was thinking when I used to say that my dream was to be an engineer. I think it could be because 'doctor' was taken by sis.

- I never actually studied seriously for IIT.

- I lied when I said I have a lot of savings when I quit my first crappy job without a back-up. I was down to my last 100 bucks. I just did not want to take money from you.

- I never really looked for another engineering job after I quit the first one.

- "This whole editor thing" was actually not a temporary thing as I'd told you.

- In my first year at university, I was climbing down a flight of steps when I saw this Mauritian guy. He was so freakin' good-looking that I tripped and sprained my ankle quite badly. It still hurts sometimes.

- Remember when I broke my leg within six months of landing in Singapore because "I fell down while jogging"? Well, I conveniently omitted to tell you that I broke my leg because I was crazy enough to go jogging on the road at 1 in the morning.

- I went to a bachelor's party once where I was the only girl other than the stripper. And the guys asked her to give me a lap dance. Yikes.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Noticed the board?

I took a picture of my notice board at work today.

Here's what I have:

(I have used terms used by guys to check out girls, to easily locate the stuff.)

11 o' clock: Something I made in honour of my two homelands. The Indian and Singaporean flags crossing each other.

12 o' clock: A comic strip I cut out from a newspaper that describes my job very well. Shows the boss telling the employee, "This project is extremely important, but it has no budget, no guidelines, no support staff and it's due tomorrow morning. At last, here's your chance to impress everyone!"

1 o' clock: Sketch of a rabbit I made long ago. This is to remind me that I have other hobbies I should give time to.

Half past one: A peacock feather to colour my working life with my favourite colours.

2 o' clock: A white plastic fork I mutilated in a fit of stress at work. I believe it is a spectacular piece of art.

4 o' clock: A rose I sketched using only pencil dots.

6 o' clock: Yet another sketch. A house in the countryside.

9 o' clock: An ad I cut from a newspaper when I was in India. It shows a dog dreaming of a 'total-chill' life, and has the words, "Does your job make you so happy that you've stopped thinking big?" I look at it now and then and ponder over the truth behind the words.

Centre of clock: My motivation statement in life. "Tough times don't last. Tough people do."

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Sayesha's hate-list

Having recently realised that other than the familiar "I-love-the-world-and-I-love-everyone" Sayesha, there actually are other Sayeshas, I decided to try and see if I could come up with a Sayesha's hate-list. And to my surprise, I did pretty well. Here's my top ten list.

1. I hate it when girls make their boyfriends pay for everything.

2. I hate it when after coming back from a pub, my clothes and hair smell of cigarette smoke.

3. I hate it when people make me wait endlessly.

4. I hate it when I miss the trailers before a Hindi movie.

5. I hate it when perfectly good old Hindi songs are ruined by meaningless remixes.

6. I hate it when road romeos stare and sing idiotic songs.

7. I hate it when I am with a bunch of guys and we bump into an old acquaintance, and he asks everyone, "So dude, where are you working, man?" Everyone except me.

8. I hate it when people send those forwards that ask you to forward it to a hundred other people.

9. I hate it when friends try to play politics with me.

10. I hate it when people try to take advantage of my belief in the basic goodness of the human soul.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Home's where the heart is

In the wee hours of the morning of 18th July, 1998, clad in a black dress and a pink scarf, an 18-year-old clueless soul landed at Singapore's Changi airport.

Today, I completed exactly 7 years of life in Singapore. The amazing thing is -- it is the longest I have lived in any place! When I was a kid, Dad's frequent transfers made it difficult for me to identify with any city as my 'homeland'. 'Home' was always where Dad and Mom were. And 'home' changed every few years.

But now, it feels like maybe I do have a 'homeland'. A place close to my heart. A place that has given me some amazing people and some amazing experiences.
A place that welcomes me back whenever I return from my other 'home'.

Today the clueless soul has completed 7 years in Singapore.

On some levels, she's still clueless. And lovin' it.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Split personality? Me? Well, we beg to differ.

Sayesha and Starbreez are watching 'Kabhi Haan Kabhi Na' on a relaxed Saturday afternoon at Sayesha's place.

Enter the house owner's agent with two people who want to view the house.

"Already?? Geez, it's already happening! We really will be kicked out of this place in two weeks?" Emotional Sayesha shudders.

Practical Sayesha plays it cool and says, "It had to happen. We knew it was going to happen. Take it easy now."

The prospective tenants ask, "So do buses go to the city from here?" Before Emotional Sayesha can open her mouth, Practical Sayesha has answered at once, "Yes. lots of buses. Half an hour to Orchard Road. 20 minutes to Suntec. Even the MRT is a short bus ride away."

Prospective tenants look very happy.

Emotional Sayesha rolls up a hypothetical newspaper and thwacks Practical Sayesha's head with it.

"What is wrong with you, you moron??? Did you just market the house away??"

"Ouch!" says Practical Sayesha. "Well, yes. It's true, isn't it?"

"True, my foot! Do you want to continue living in this house or not?" says a very angry Emotional Sayesha.

"Well, I would like to. But we have no choice, do we?" Practical Sayesha is still rubbing the bump on her head with a pained expression.

"We could get another month's extension. But not if you go and market the house like that to prospective morons who think they deserve to live in this house!"

"Well, they asked me about the buses! What do you expect me to say??"

"Just say that this is the most ulu (Malay word for 'remote and backward') place in Singapore. There are no trains and no buses. It takes you two hours to walk to work every day."

"Ahem..." says Practical Sayesha.

Emotional Sayesha sits on the couch and sulks.

Half an hour later, more people come to view the house.

Emotional Sayesha looks at them like she's going to kill them. Practical Sayesha smiles at them.

Emotional Sayesha says, "Could you not do that? I can't handle the conflict in expressions!"

"Well, they may be living in this house soon. Be nice!"

"Living in this house? I think not! We live in this house, okay? This is our house!"

"Well, it's not."

"Hmmm... Maybe we could buy it??"

"With your current job? I see your sense of humour has not deserted you even in such a stressful situation."

Emotional Sayesha sits on the couch and sulks.

Half an hour later, the agent calls again, "Would you be in the house around 5 this evening? Some more people are coming to view the house."

Practical Sayesha has picked up the phone. Emotional Sayesha whispers furiously, "Tell her you won't be in!" and threateningly holds up the rolled-up hypothetical newspaper over Practical Sayesha's head.

"I can't!" Practical Sayesha whispers back.
"Yes, I'll be in." She speaks into the phone.

Emotional Sayesha shakes her head in disbelief. THWACK!

"Let's dirty the house at least! No one would want to live here then!"

Practical Sayesha preaches, "Oh come on, remember the time we came to view the house? We liked it because the earlier tenant had maintained it really well. If it had been dirty, we wouldn't have moved in. Then you wouldn't have fallen in love with it!"

"Oh cut the crap, miss-goody-two-shoes! I don't want anyone liking this place, understood? Period." says Emotional Sayesha. She goes back to sulking on the couch.

By evening about ten people have come and viewed the house.

The last batch of viewers leaves.

Emotional Sayesha bursts into tears.

Practical Sayesha thunks her head against the wall in slow, repeated motions.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

But I wanna make it rain!

When I was a little girl, I used to think that clouds are made of cotton wool soaked in water, and that if I could squeeze them, it would start raining.

So you can imagine my disappointment during my first ever flight when the air hostess told me to stop trying to open the airplane windows in mid-air.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

How many uncles does Lily have?

My magazine has a section for jokes sent by kids. It's one of the most popular sections and gets a lot of entries. I have to periodically do a filter to separate the good ones and file the rest in a file called 'Unpublishable entries'. It breaks my heart to think that these jokes, which I'm sure my li'l contributor must have guffawed over for days before sending in for publication, will never see the light of the day. Which is why I can't bring myself to trash them.

Kids laugh at everything. Really. They do. I find it very difficult to filter the jokes I receive. I do not want to hold back what I think is a bad joke, but which the readers will find utterly hilarious.

And that's why I am so thankful for my tuition kid. Not only are my Wednesday lessons an absolute delight, but they also transfer me into the world of primary school children and what makes them tick. When I see the things my tution kid laughs at, I find it easier to put myself in the shoes of a reader when I am assessing the 'bad jokes' I receive.

Take today for instance. My tuition kid was telling me about a classmate of hers who's taller than each of the boys and girls in her class.

"You know... Everyone looks up to her!" She chuckled delightedly.

I laughed.

looks up to her!" She repeated, just to make sure I had not missed the joke.

I laughed again.

"But she looks down on everyone. Hahaha!" She said, as she went back to solving the question she was working on.

Within a few seconds, she was looking up again, "And you know? She even looks down on teachers. Especially the short ones. But she has to look up to the tall teachers. No choice! Hahahaha!"

Uncontrollable laughter on her part. Polite smile on mine.

And how can I forget the day she was telling me about how she likes bowling most of all. "But my mother wants me to study all the time, do a post-graduate degree and become a professional. Siao! (Crazy person!)" Now she did not pause enough between the words 'professional' and 'siao' and I quipped, "So your mother wants you to be a professional siao, huh?"

"Hahahahaha! Professional siao! You're so funny! Hahahahaha!" She said. I looked around, embarrassed, to make sure no one was listening to the conversation.

And then there's the multiple choice question she was struggling with today.

Q: To be a good lawyer, one must be ______________ in court.

(A) flair (B) eloquent (C) fluent (D) dilemma

Finally she gave up and declared, "The answer should be "present"!" She squealed in delight. Ok, this one was hilarious. And just watching her laugh at her own joke made me laugh uncontrollably too. (I think her mother will fire me if she finds out about the insane amount of laughing that goes on during my lessons.)

And here's another one. Part (a) of a question with a picture of an amoeba read, "Identify the organism shown below." And by mistake, I read part (b) of the next question which was based on a family tree. So I read out, "How many uncles does Lily have?"

"What??? Lily?? Who is Lily?? Hahaha! You read the wrong question! Hahaha! Who is Lily?"

"Maybe Lily is the name of the amoeba?" I suggested.

"Hahahaha! Hahaha! Lily the amoeba! How many uncles does Lily the amoeba have? Hahaha! " I had to literally hush her into silence.

And even today, whenever she sees a question with parts (a) and (b), right after solving part (a), she says without fail, "How many uncles does Lily have? Hahaha!!!!"

Oh the joy of being a child...

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Who reads 'em, man?

Warning to myself: Sayesha, don't post this. Computer engineers and others of their brotherhood may kill you for this. (But what the heck, this is my blog and I wanna post exactly what I feel!)

I get surprised looks from people when I confess that I do not read a lot of books. I don't know how to explain it. Could be because of the nature of my job. When you work on books the whole day, you rarely feel like picking one up at home to read.

And probably on some levels, I never outgrew books I read when I was a little girl. And so, books for grown-ups do not really do it for me. Especially, if the books are on things like Java and C++ and XML.

Now don't get me wrong here -- I am a lover of languages, yes. If I had my way, I would learn every language the world has to offer. But not programming languages, please. Every time I see a book with 'C++', or 'Java++' or whatever-else-plus-plus screaming on its cover, I run in the opposite direction. And as I run, I wonder, "Who reads these books, man? Really? Who?" (Shameful behaviour from an ex-engineer, huh?)

So, when preparing to move out, my housemate and I were clearing out old books, and I saw the amazing number of thick books on XML, Java, C++ and what not, housed in cartons, in plastic bags, strewn everywhere, I wondered again, "Really, who on earth reads these books???"

I had just dumped them all in a carton to dispose of them when suddenly my Filipino maid (the same one who almost knocked out my housemate here) exclaimed, "Ber are my books??" She was holding an empty plastic bag.

"Your books??" I asked.

"Yes. Yes. They ber in this plastic bag!"

"Oh dear, I must have dumped them in the carton over there! Which books were these?"

"Two on Jaba. One on Kelkulus." came the reply.

"Java and Calculus?????"

"Yes. Yes."

Speechless, I fished out the three books from the carton, and showed them to her.


"Yes. Yes."

I could not contain myself. Remy reads books on Java and Calculus?????

"Errr... Remy, so you like to read books on Java and Calculus, huh?" I asked, desperately trying to hide my shock and act cool.

"No, these are por my daughter. I got them from the other place I work at."

I don't know if it was right, but I actually felt a sense of relief.

May I say it again -- 'Phew!'

Monday, July 11, 2005

Sayesha's India Week kicks off!

Singapore is gearing up for its National Day celebration, which is due in a month. Parade rehearsals are on, for which roads are closed on certain days. Not to even mention the army tanks roaming the roads, looking like lost penguins in the Sahara.

And a very indignant Sayesha thinks, "Well, my national day is also in a month. I'm gonna rehearse too! A month in advance."

So, today I kickstarted my own India week.

In this week, I shall:

1. Wear only Indian clothes to work.
2. Have Indian food in at least one meal of the day.
3. Call at least one person in India every day.
4. Email at least one person in India every day.
5. Listen to ONLY Indian music.
6. Talk a lot in Hindi.
7. Watch as many Hindi movies as I can (Just came back from Paheli. Don't ask.)

Day 1 was quite fun actually, as I roamed the inter-cubicle pathways in my office, dolled in 'un-me' clothes, surprising people.

And the best part? Realising that I actually can pull off a bindi! Yeay!

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Moving out and moving on

It's the end of an era.

It started with six friends moving into a beautiful housing complex in 2002. Three boys in one apartment (let's call them B1, B2 and B3), three girls (G1, G2 and G3) in the one opposite. Fresh from university, full of zest for life, they had all just started working. It was perfect. And great fun. Just like in the sitcom 'Friends'.


Occupants in girls' apartment: G1, G2, G3
Occupants in boys' apartment: B1, B2, B3

G1 moved out because her office was too far away. G4 replaced her. B1 got married and moved out. B4 moved in.
Occupants in girls' apartment: G2, G3, G4
Occupants in boys' apartment: B2, B3, B4

G4 moved out to do her MBA in the US. B4 did too. B5 and G5 entered the picture.
Occupants in girls' apartment: G2, G3, G5
Occupants in boys' apartment: B2, B3, B5

G2, B2 and B5 leave for their MBAs. B3 has no housemates and hence moves out to live elsewhere.

The boys' apartment becomes empty. The girls' apartment will be too. G3 will have to move out. Soon.

G3 is heartbroken.

G3 is Sayesha.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Of comments and commentators

As I mentioned before, many of my blog posts are inspired by comments on the previous post. And after reading Anonymous' comment and others' retorts on my last post, I am inspired.

I have decided to come up with a list of the many possible types of blog commentators that I think exist in the blogsphere:

For the mere sake of simplicity, I shall use the pronoun 'he' throughout, without any hidden implications. So please refrain from attacking me on that.

The casual reader
He drops by your blog now and then, and reads a post if the title sounds interesting, if it's not too long, and possibly if it is accompanied by an interesting picture. The post has to be significantly significant for him to post a comment.

The friend
He is your friend. Reads every post because he knows you very well. If he is not in the same city, he reads it just because he knows that both of you are too busy (read 'lazy') to email each other. Comments once in a while. Your blog becomes a way of staying in touch.

The banterer
He reads all your posts and comments on almost all of them. He grows to become a part of your blog, and often, the reason why others visit the same post again and again. They love to read his comments and other banterers' responses, and to generally "see what's happening" on your blog.

The loyalist
He reads all your posts and likes your writing (most of the time). He checks your blog several times a day, often leaving a permanent window open. He feels a certain sense of ownership and loyalty towards the blog. And if someone is out of line on the comments page, he will rise to the occasion with aplomb to defend you.

The silent reader
He reads all your posts, but never ever posts a single comment. He is the answer to the surprisingly large number of hits on your page compared to the number of comments.

The 'almost there'
This chap is gonna set up his own blog any moment. He is extremely tempted about the idea of having his own blog, but for some reason does not have one yet. Looking at your blog gives him hope that he will have one some day. He is a deep thinker, a characteristic often reflected in his long and well thought through comments on your blog.

The judge
He like to judge. Often, he is obviously angry with you over something, or has a grudge against you. He reads every one of your posts, and waits for the kill. Once he finds a weak point he can use against you, he goes all out. And yes, he prefers to remain anonymous.

The mistake finder
He reads all your posts. However, he only leaves a comment if he manages to spot a mistake (not typos, but factual errors) that you or a commentator posted, and he thrives on the joy of being the one who spotted it.

The 'I've given up' blogger
This dude used to blog regularly before giving up one fine day. Now he reads other people's blogs and wonders how they sustain it. He hopes that one day, he will be inspired enough to resume blogging.

Which one are you?

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Girl, interrupted

Hell hath no fury like an editor in the middle of a week with one hospitalised team member, two absconding authors and three killer deadlines, interrupted by a Marketing guy asking for irrelevant stuff at the most inappropriate of times.

This cheeky Marketing guy walks up to me, points to a book he's holding and says, "Need to change cover. By next week. Can?"

In spite of the absolute fury I'm harbouring, I refrain from strangling him to death. Instead, I maintain a straight face, point to myself and say, "Need to change job. By next week. Can."

To my surprise (and amusement), the chap goes and spreads the word. A few minutes later, a bunch of horrified-looking Marketing people surround me. "You are quitting??? Really??? Why???" they ask. One of the Marketing girls punctuates every sentence of hers to me with a syrupy "You're our favourite editor. You know that, don't you?" "Sure! Sure!" I think to myself.

Inside, I'm laughing like a hyena.

Hmmm... that was kinda fun!

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Dimaag mat khao

This is probably one of the funniest pics I have ever seen. Every time I look at it, it never fails to crack me up!

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Return of the blog

Guess who's back in town??

And here's a preview of the paradise where I spent my weekend.

View of the beach at Perhentian

I take a solitary walk along Long beach