Friday, May 29, 2009

ATL-STL update!

Hellooooo... Im back in good ol' Springfield!! My break was simply awesommeeee!!
ATL: My first destination was Atlanta, GA. Even though I've been there a couple of times before, I was really excited going back.. Somehow it reminds me of home.. Not to mention the delicious Tam-Brahm food I stuffed my face with! SIGH! My aunt is such a great cook.. Each day she prepared a dish of my choice such as Avial, Molagootal, kootu etc etc etc.. I realized how tasty vegetarian home made food can taste! Seriously, once I get a job and move into my own apartment, I'm calling her and asking her recipes! Anyway, Day 2 my uncles arrived!! It was sooo great to see them! I have the greatest uncles in the world... They are so fun loving, carefree and hilarious!! We went a little sight seeing such as the CNN Center, Coke Factory etc.. Of course, they are such shoppers so a stop at Kohl's, Wal Mart, Target was mandatory. I now know where I get this passion to shop.. runs in my family.. We also went to one of my favorite stores "ToysRUs" :) I bought a BenTon toy for my cousin whose birthday was coming up!!

The rest of the days just flew by.. we did a lot of walking, riverwalks, eating, shopping, eating, watching movies and more eating!! lol.. I watched a horror movie called 13B starring Madhavan(he's still eye candy!).. Was spooky to me.. you know me.. I get scared for the slightest of things.. but seriously, this movie scared the crap outta me. I couldn't sleep for two nights!! :(

Before we knew it, it was time for them to leave...They were flying to Baltimore and I was leaving to come back to St. Louis..

STL: I love STL!! I don't know why.. There is something about this place that makes me feel good!! There's always things to do.. its gives a big city feel yet there are places that make you feel at peace.. I met with all my friends there and most importantly was good to spend time with my significant other! ;) I had another friend from school who was home for the summer.. So we went together to Grant's Farm on Day 1.. It was a huge expanse of land filled with greenery all around.. Breathtakingly beautiful! I fed the goats, clicked pics, ate Dippin Dots(yummy!), and watched an elephant show.. The next day she and her friend were going to the STL Zoo and I said I would tag along..That night we met a couple of friends for dinner at an Indian Restaurant(but of course, any trip to STL is not complete without eating at a desi place!)..

Day 2: Zoo STL is a heavenly place... loved seeing all the animals lazing around in the sun.. The reptile place was awesome.. They had so many different species that it was unbelievable.. unfortunately a lot of animals were lazy because of the heat and they were just sitting in their dens without much activity!! So I barely got some interesting pics.. Nevertheless, a visit to that place keeps me happy!! That night a bunch of my Monsanto friends showed up at home and we ate dinner and watched "Andaaz Apna Apna".. What a riot that movie is! Some of them even knew the dialogues by heart!! And of course for old times sake, we played some Taboo, made a lot of noise much to the annoyance of our neighbors..!

Day 3: I had promised a couple of guys I would meet them for lunch that afternoon at one of my most favorite restaurants in STL called Stir Crazy!! Its a novel place.. you get to pick rice/noodles, meat of your choice and mix n match your own veggies(even things like ginger, chillies etc), sauces(teriyaki+schezwan being my fave!) and then the chef prepares it right there.. Whether it tastes "out of the world" or "god-awful" depends on your creativity! Fortunately for me though whatever I tried till now has tasted excellent!! After lunch I went back home and watched a movie called "Provoked" starring Aishwarya Rai. I was soo disturbed after watching it particularly because its a true story based on a Punjabi woman.. I was shocked to learn that it is widely prevalent abroad.. A lot of parents back in India think that it is ultra cool to marry off their daughters to NRI guys who earn in dollars/pounds.. Little do they realize that more than 60% of these guys have no respect for women, treat them like slaves and have illicit relationships with "goris"..The movie disturbed me a lot since Im the type that gets involved in it too much..

Anyway that was the last day of my vacay.. Couldn't believe that a whole week had gone by so quickly.. I had a fun fun break and I was fully charged up!! It felt great to be back in good ol' SGF.. I've missed this place :)

Friday, May 15, 2009


I woke up this morning with a "not-so-happy" text message from my Uncle in India. He said that my grandma had a fall and had fractured her hip bone!! I called my Dad immediately and he said that she was going to be fine.. It was just a minor hair line fracture.. I was relieved.
But this got me thinking.. I mean, when I first knew about it, I had this feeling of helplessness.. there was nothing I could do... I love my grandparents from both sides and I still have all four of them alive and kicking.. :-)
Coming back to how I felt... If I was at home, I would have rushed to see her and spent the day entertaining her and making sure she was feeling better and loved.. Sure, my cousins are all back home. But the feeling I had is sort of hard to explain.. It was a feeling of helplessness, misery, and homesickness sort of combined together!! I started thinking to myself if my decision to stay here for a while was a good one... Staying away from home, especially someone sooo attached to family is extremely tough!! In a strange way, I felt guilty about being so far away from her when she needed me.. She has done so much for me in my life and all the money that I eventually earn here will never be able to compensate her love for me!!
Sorry for getting all mushy there... but it got me thinking...
I know that once I get busy with other things, this incident will pass by... but I am just doing what Im best at.."ranting"... :-)
On another note, am leaving to Atlanta and St. Louis this weekend!! U know, I simply CANNOT wait to leave this place.. Am soo bored of being here without taking a break! Could do with some good family time... The folks from home are bringing back some goodies for me too :-) Cant wait to lay my hands on them!! I would love to visit the STL Zoo.. I absolutely love it!! Only thing is, I might have to do it all by myself.. I dont care though! I think its one of the best Zoo's in the country! Will write a whole separate post on that.
Tomorrow's graduation at MSU.. Cant believe that its been a year since a couple of my good friends graduated and left Springfield.. Man, talk about time flying!! I am excited to wear my new top.. which..ummm.. I bought at the mall last night and for which I still haven't forgiven myself! :-( Its sooo hard! I think I've been good these four months and I really deserved to get one!! Will put up some pics of it.. Happy Friday!! :)

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Vah Vah!!

Bored?? I found this really interesting cooking website on youtube. He is called the "Vah Chef" and he is plain awesome!! I mean, the way he cooks and dramatises the whole thing is hilarious.. Its a riot watching him.. I especially like his "Sambar" recipe.. Do check him out at
I shared this with some of my male friends and as expected they ripped him apart! They find him so stupid and fake! Well, I do agree that he has a fake, wannabe American accent... "Welcome to Vah Re Vah DAAT CAAM(dot com)".. "The sambar is so AATHENTIC.. lol.. He is funny to watch!! :-)) However, he makes the entire show lively, does a great job with all his recipes.. and the best thing is he gives small tips in between the show, which I find extremely helpful!
His tagline is to inspire others to cook and I am positive he does a great job living upto it! Whenever I see him cook, I want to try out the recipe.. and that is a BIG DEAL to a lazy bum like me!! Especially cooking!!

Even if you are not gonna cook, watch him to kill time and laugh!! :-)
Bon Appetit!!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Chachu and Me

Happy Birthday to u.. Happy Birthday to you.. Happiee Buddayyy Chachuuuuu naaa.. Happieee Budday tooo UUUUUUUU!!! :-))

April 30th 2002 - Trivandrum, Kerala : Chachu aka Sachin came out screaming into this world!!

May 29th 2002 - Chennai, Tamil Nadu: The first time I laid my eyes on this precious bundle of joy... He was 30 days old!! His mom brought him home from Kerala and they moved opposite our house.. Little did I know that it was gonna change my life forever!! He wore a small white piece of cloth and diapers of course.. He was chubby, extremely fair(a very Mallu trait, that is!), wore a small gold chain, and had no teeth!! It was love at first sight for me... :)

2002 - 2003 - Chennai, Tamil Nadu : I started seeing him almost everyday when I got back from college... He always had a blank expression when I carried him and kept him on my lap.. just kept looking at me.. slowly I tried to take him home for Appa and Amma to see.. He was calm when he was with me.. The minute he looked at Appa he'd start bawling.. I mean, he was LOUD! Quickly, I'd take him back home.. that happened for about two weeks.. things changed eventually... a month later, he hated going to his house!!

2003 - 2005 - Chennai, Tamil Nadu : Best times of our lives!! I mean, it was magical!! Chachu and I became inseparable!! He'd go wherever I go.. except to my classes of course.. Thatha nicknamed us "Mary and the little lamb"... and Chachu of course loved all the attention from my grand parents, aunts, cousins, parents, friends(the girls, of course!)... He soon became a part of my family.. He was at all family events, weddings, birthdays.. He stayed with me till 9pm.. We ate breakfast and dinner together.. lunch was together over the weekends..

A conversation at Chinmaya Vidyalaya(Chachu's school) between the Principal and him, when he was there for his "admission interview"

Principal: "Sachin, how many sisters/brothers do you have" ?
Chachu: Two...
Anju(his Mom) completely perplexed!?!?!
Chachu(continues).. "Devi Chechi and Aishu Chechi" ***

Me thinking to myself... AWWWWWWWW!! :-))))

Another conversation between the two of us at home on a boring Saturday afternoon.. He was 4 years old then!!
Chachu: "Aishu Chechi, I'm sooo bored here!! "
Me: " I know da.. me too"
Chachu: "Come lets go to Coffee day"!
Me: "Whaa-ttt" ?? lol..

August 2006 - Chennai, Tamil Nadu: I try telling the little one that Im about to leave.. to UMM-REECA(in his baby language!).. He hates that place.. He understands that Im about to leave and would not be back to be with him for a long, long time...... He always tries and avoids that conversation.... even when I try and talk about it, he changes the topic..

Aug 10th 2006 - Chennai, Tamil Nadu: The day Im leaving home... I packed up all my stuff, got all my documents ready to leave home to go the airport.. Fortunately for both of us, he was asleep.. I still remember kissing him on his forehead... just crying sooo much.... that relationship we shared was/IS soooooooo special... I wanna cherish it forever!

April 30th 2009 - Me in Springfield, Missouri and Chachu in Trivandrum, Kerala : He's moved to Kerala now, for good.. family situation not very favorable in Chennai.. Anyway, I called and spoke with him for a good one hour on the phone.. He's still the same... Its soo strange how some things never change... He still fights with Devi(his elder sister) and tries to grab the phone to talk to me, chats endlessly about cars(his latest fave being Audi), still asks me to come and spend time with him in Kerala.. still wants to fight with my Mom(over chocolates!), still makes me tell him funny stories... and laughs in his cutest, funniest way, still loves me and misses me!!! He's the younger brother that I never had!! :-)

Chachu baby.... I love and I miss you.. I know am gonna see you really really soon!!!! Hope you have a truly fantastic birthday!!! :-)

*** - Chechi is Malayalam for elder sistah!!