Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Search Me!

Jabberwock posted some time ago about the longest Google search that led to his site.

"I just want to play a hindi song kal ho na ho in my piano and i am having 31 keys please show me the number keys to play"

'Cho chweet!' said Jabberwock.

'Tho fruthrating', the poor seeker must have said, because none of the 5 search pages that Google threw up - yes, I had to check - yielded any number keys for Kal ho na ho for pianos with 31 keys.

Google is God. Or at least that's what seekers out there believe, who beseech Google for a mind-boggling array of requests from 'tupperware' to 'accepting unfairness'. For some time now, I've been checking my Sitemeter account not so much for the hits (which have been curiously and boringly unvarying, week after week) but for the Google searches that lead to my blog. Any time I'm in need of entertainment, I only have to refer to the word document where I've stashed away some of the cute and quirky key words and phrases.

Not all are as riotous as Jabberwock's piano player, but there's a certain absurd thrill in finding out that someone's looking for
'tickled feet' or 'Prince Williams horoscope predictions' or 'inches bubblegum her she' (!).

Here's a sampling of some of the others:

The 'Most-Wanted' Type

Healthy tiffins in mumbai (there are some serious health fanatics out there!)

Brand Equity quiz questions (the event was over months ago, but the queries haven't stopped.)

Burmese Khau Suey (this is one popular dish)

The 'Ego-Massage' Type:

Absolute lee

Leela alvares blog

Leela Day
(Splendid idea, I say)

Leela copywriter

The 'What-on-earth-did-you-want-that-for' Type

nose bubblegum

gum bubble bigger than her head
(is there a kinky bubblegum fetish club?)

stuck in the washroom

The 'You naughty-thing-you' type

wearing tight underwear

my aunt aroused me

hacking the yahoo

sexy ads

free goodbye letters to office colleagues

sweaty woman

The 'Tell-me-why/what' type

why do eyes twitch

obituary writer what do

What is a paperless office

What happened to the idea of a paperless office?
(My ex-office had a paperless loo if it helps)

Salaries of copywriters (inflated, just like their egos :)

Selling price of Souk Madinat Jumeirah (has got to be one of those rich Arabs. 'Ah very nice this 'otel. Must get me one of them.')

The 'Huh-what-was-that-again' type


looked up azad

"starts with a ends with b"

michael slater india mentally weak

humor statistics bow low

fat guy singing mila he mila ho

The 'Careful-with-that' type

lip accidents with dental drills (owwwwch!)

open beer teeth

bone sticking out of my gum bone surgery why (I get nightmares about this one, especially after I've been through this!)

The 'Fans-are-dying-to-know' Type

how tall is aishwarya?

ayesha takia worst pictures
(must be the ex!))

aditya chopra gay (is that a question or statement?)

The 'One-that-has-me-stumped' Type

preeti+leela+monkey (is that my brother you're referring to??)

To all those whom Google has (mis)led here, a warm welcome. And thanks for all the entertainment.


Rediffblogs has finally gone about making the long-overdue changes in the template - especially in the Blog Editor. But things haven't been ironed and nailed down yet. My
latest post refused to show up on screen. And bloglines revealed a brutally mangled version. Will try posting it later with crossed fingers.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005


You’ve never met them but you almost know what they look like. You’ve never spoken to them but you know where they went for dinner last night. You don’t even know their name but you know some of their darkest secrets.

20 months of blogging later, I'm still enamored by the paradoxes inherent in blogging. And although I’ve met a dozen or so bloggers, I’m still a cocktail of elation, anticipation and nerves each time I meet a new one.

So you can imagine my state last week when I met three bloggers – two of them, for the first time. I met them individually, of course. For some reason, the idea of meeting a group of bloggers (group of anything, in fact) unsettles me. There tends to be a bunch of knots where my tongue usually is. And things go downhill from there.

Not so, when I met…

…Josephine Fernandes

Josephine’s been a frequent a visitor to my blog, and she emailed me in response to the posts about my sister. Her friends were surprised when she announced that she was attending the funeral of someone she’d never known. I knew I had to meet her. She seemed quite a fascinating lady – an export manager, an aerobics instructor, and best of all, a grandmother!

I was expecting to be surprised, and Josephine didn’t disappoint. Dressed in a Nike sweatshirt and trousers, she was the most ‘with-it’ grandmother I’d ever seen. But beneath the trendy exterior, I discovered an extraordinary woman. Jo, as her friends call her, has had a bumpy ride through life, but each time, she’s proved she’s tougher. I was impressed with her self-awareness and poise, and her disarmingly immodest views on aging gracefully. Jo is proof that it’s never too late to live out your dreams. In fact, one of Jo’s newest ambitions is to work in a fast food chain (I forget the name!) in the US. Why, I asked, astounded. Because I just like the idea of serving people breakfast, she replied. Oh Josephine!

Uma Mahadevan-Dasgupta
I’ve been following (or rather, doing my best to keep up with) her blog, for a few months now. I think it was Amit Varma who once described her as the blogger who ‘writes like an angel and updates like a demon’. (It strikes me that Uma and I have diametrically opposite blogging styles – 10 posts per day v/s 1 post in 10 days!) I enjoy her pithy comments on the articles she links to, sometimes, more than the article itself. Uma, apparently, reads like a demon as well. Quite fast, she said, modestly, when I asked half-enviously.

Like Jo, Uma, too, responded to the posts on my sister. And with an ailing mother, knew exactly what the ‘waiting-game’ was like. She’s been extremely supportive and I looked forward to meeting her. Like with Jo, there were no awkward pauses when we met at the Tea Centre in Churchgate. We whizzed from blogging to books, advertising to bloggers and traveling to, well, blogging. Apart from Indian Writing, she also pitches in at Animal Rights India, loves travelling, reviews books and movies, and somewhere in between it all, also has a full time job! Uma was rather generous in praising my humble blog, and insisted I give that ‘book’ a shot. Gee, Uma, that’s a scary prospect, but one of these days… :)

Kahini Roy

Kahini is an old new-blogger (just coined that one) and, in fact, one of my early ‘blog friends’. I used to be in awe of the seamless prose she hammered out day after day until she decided she’d had enough. Fortunately, she’s back to doing what she does best. Check out her ode to Toast and Porridge.

Kahini is back in the city she loves after a long (TOO long, she’ll say) hiatus. And we had a lot of catching up to do. A meeting with Kahini is always preceded with a flurry of text messages. ‘Hey, are we meeting today?’ ‘Then you know where. Grin’ ‘In case you’ve forgotten what I look like, I’m the intellectual with the book and cig.’ Actually, there’s no forgetting Kahini. At Toto’s, her favourite watering hole, neither the manager nor the waiters, nor even the cigarette vendor outside, has difficulty in recalling the girl with OODLES of attitude. The last time we met, we got free drinks in another pub where an ex-waiter from Toto’s recognized her! We chatted about books, bloggers, Bombay and other random topics, which didn’t necessarily begin with the letter B.

Jo, Uma, Kahini… it was a pleasure!


Surprisingly, for a person who loves lists, I haven’t made up too many on this blog. So starting with:

Bloggers we’ve met:

Aekta– Angel on Fire

Amit L – Amit’s Musings

Carpe Diem - Good Times, Sad Times, Changing Times

Josephine - Happenings of the Heart

Joshua Newton - Reportage

Kahini – Here We Go Again

Manu George – Georgie’s Jungle

Smiley – Joie de Vivre

Spaceman – Residual Self Image

Uma – Indian Writing

Prashanth - Unratiosenatic


Uptowngirl (ex-blogger)

Bloggers we’ve had lengthy conversations with and made promises to meet up ‘soon’

Rash – Good Days Bad Times

Alpha– Pieces of the Puzzle

Parmanu - Parmanu

Colours - Vibgyor

(and just for lists’ sake)
Faymbus Blogger we met at a job interview aeons ago (erm.. who did the interviewing)

Peter Griffin - Zigzackly

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Preeti's Journey: Complete Series

Spare a prayer for Preeti

What is best for Preeti

Reality Checked

The ties that bind and choke

50 days later

Farewell, Preeti

Life after Preeti

Life after Preeti

There’s something remarkable about condolences. People come to share your pain, to commiserate, to listen to you. And invariably, sometimes without realising it, they start talking about their own brush with grief and loss. Suddenly, your own tragedy isn’t the biggest in the world. Pain, you realise, is omnipresent, tucked away behind smiles, soft sighs and the occasional bitter word. Sometimes, your own load almost seems a flyweight as compared to someone else’s. The galling unfairness becomes easier to accept; likewise, the grief. You observe the dignity and detachment with which they accept their crosses. And rather than wallow in sadness, you begin to take your first steps away from it. There's truly something remarkable about condolences.


A few months ago, I had posted about a fire at my workplace and the prospect of ‘losing everything’. At that time I wrote,

“The reality and inevitability of loss never hit me harder.”

I mentioned how a man’s acceptance of losing his entire family to the tsunami disturbed me more than the images of devastation.

“Everything included three children and all seven grandchildren. He spoke in a sad yet calm voice… ‘The Lord gives and the Lord takes away. It is the cycle of life.’”

At that time, I could not fathom his grief, nor how he and others would cope. Now I can. Anicca, (or impermanence) as I experienced it in Vipassana last year, has a much deeper meaning. As the old man said, the cycle of life trundles on.


P.S. Thank you all who've kept us in your thoughts and prayers. Thanks for your lovely messages and for being with us through this time. We truly appreciate it.