My dad is great with words – English and Tamil. It comes naturally to him. He makes up funny one-liners, acronyms, puns – a true wordsmith. I thought of starting a category in my blog to record those thoughts and words. Here are a couple of examples of daddyisms

When I visit a place (travel, restaurant, friend’s place) with friends or family, and before leaving the place, I usually remind them to make sure they have taken their belongings, which are usually Mobile phone and wallet or handbags.

I did that once to my dad. We were about to leave some place and I asked my dad if he had taken his wallet and phone. He told me that he has a checklist of 3 P’s – Pen, Purse and Phone. Now I just remember 3 P’s.


Recently, when we visited my brother’s home, he saw a decorative candle on the center table. My dad held it in his hand for a while thoughtfully and said “This looks so good, no one will want to light it.”

I just smiled, knowing there was more to come.

“This is how some Christians have become” he continued, “Jesus asked us to be the light of the world, ‘let your light shine before others’ Jesus said, but they are so sophisticated that they have become mere adornment.”



Books I plan to read this year

I used to read more earlier than now. Same with writing. Also, I feel they are correlated. Don’t know how true that is. To put that to test, I’m planning to read more this year. There are certain books that require a lot of thinking (for eg. Mere Christianity) and there are some that require no thinking (eg. Killing Floor). There is a trade-off, the first kind takes a lot of time to finish and latter takes lesser time but leaves the reader unsatisfied. I’d like books that fall somewhere in the middle.

Luckily for me, someone I know was throwing away a bunch of books and I picked these ones to read this year. 8 months to go, 8 books here. I read somewhere that if you have a goal and you share it with the world, then you won’t complete it. Let me see if I can prove that wrong. 😉

The books are:

  1. Chicken soup for the Unsinkable soul
  2. My utmost for His highest – Oswald Chambers
  3.  —
  4. Where are you going, you monkeys? – ki. Rajanarayanan
  5. Prince Caspian – C S Lewis
  6. My Days – R K Narayan
  7. Buttertea at sunrise – Britta Das
  8. Three-quarters of a footprint  – Joe Roberts


The Munias are flying

We hosted a Spotted Munia couple a couple of months back. You might have heard the recording of the chirping hatchlings that I posted a week back. The hatchlings have started flying around now. I have spotted two hatchlings now but I think there is more to come.

The parent has brown spots on its underside, whereas the young ones’ underside is plain light brown.



That’s the whole family of 4.

spotted munia and small ones

HDFC being human

HDFC bank

I’m sure you must have spotted long queues outside certain outlets. More often the queues even extend to the footpath outside these outlets. This is no thanksgiving sale or iPhone fans camping outside the Apple stores. This is the queue to exchange the old 500 and 1000 rupee notes after these were banned by the Government.

I spotted one those queues today, but what made me take notice is that this HDFC bank has provided shade to the their customers. That shows how much they value their customers and their willingness to go the extra mile.

HDFC bank

Proud to say that’s the bank I bank with.


All this 500 and 1000 business


As the news pours in that the Govt of India has banned the usage existing 500 and 1000 rupee notes, I started discussing with my wife what the repercussions of this would be. Neither of us are experts in matter of economics, so we soon digressed into questions like:

1. If businesses are collecting cash even after this move(there are a lot of big hospitals that take ‘cash only’), won’t we have this problem soon with the new 2000 rupee and 500 rupee notes? Shouldn’t the government take actions against businesses that take only cash?

2. Why aren’t the old 1000 rupee notes replaced with the new 1000 rupee notes, why replace with 2000 rupee notes.

3. Shouldn’t this have to be approved by lok shabha and rajya sabha? If only we paid any attention during our Civics class!… speaking of Civics and the sabhas, why do they have such hard-to-remember number of seats, 500 something and 200 something. If they had rounded off those numbers, I might have paid more attention in the class. Wife quipped ‘maybe they built the parliament first and realized they had only so many seats to accommodate.

oops, I digress again… anyway, if any of you understand any of these, please let me know.

Sound of the spotted munias

spotted munia

It’s been a while since I spotted sparrows in the city I live in. So when these small birds (similar in size to a sparrow), Spotted Munia, started to build a nest in our balcony, we welcomed it. Now they have started a family here. The excited chirping of the hatchlings when the parent(s) visit the nest to feed them is wonderful to listen to. Here is a recording of that.

These are the birds:

spotted muniaspotted munia

Not my cup of tea


The best of tea and the worst of tea, Sometimes I make the best tea and some days I make the worst tea. It’s really bad, it almost tastes like hot salt water (ok, not that bad, but close). I honestly don’t understand how sugar, water and milk can taste like that but it does, you just have to take my word for it. I’m sure I’m using sugar and not salt, unless my wife swaps them both when she leaves town to make me miss the wonderful tea she makes. No, she won’t… can she?! nah!

This is a story about one of the times I made the worst tea. A maid comes home regularly (as regularly as maids come!) in the morning to wash the dishes and mop the floor. My wife makes tea for all three of us, one of the perks the maid gets. The maid likes her chai time, she goes to the balcony, sits alone and sips it while looking down on the garden plants, not condescendingly but because we stay in the second floor.  One week, when my wife was not in town, I made tea and offered it to the maid. She drank in silence, that’s usually how she drinks it. I did the same the next day and she drank again. The third day she came to work, saw the tea boiling on the stove and told me not to make for her from the next day! I do appreciate the fact that she gave the tea two chances and she’d had enough.

Free up!



Have nothing in your house that you don’t know to be useful or believe to be beautiful. – William Morris

We (wife and I) are on a cleaning spree. Not floor cleaning or anything like that, but giving away things that we don’t use. OR storing stuff that we do use sparingly in a better way to get more free space in the house.

Thanks to Quickr and OLX (no, they haven’t sponsored this blog), those sites are super helpful. I was cynical at first but the response was overwhelming and sold off some things in a couple of weeks. I digress.

My wife mentioned this quote to me and it made/makes so much sense. Think about it. If you have not used something for a year and you can’t think of a use for it, then just give it away. For example, a pair of shoes or some clothes or a piece of furniture or college books that you are not going back to. What are you going to do with ‘Fundamentals of fluid dynamics’ or ‘Material theory’ when you are working in an IT company. The only thing about fluid dynamics you will want to know is AC dehydrates and you should drink a lot of water.

So, give it away, your unused clothes,chair, water bottles, those amazon cardboards and the Bigbasket plastic covers. Maybe to your maid (she might not be super joyous but at least you will know it is being used by someone)  or find an orphanage or just sell it. But get rid of it. It feels good! When you wake up to a free space, it just feels good.

BTW, I was watching some video on youtube and apparently in Japan, December is a month of cleaning. They take out all the clutter they have been gathering throughout the year and give it away.

Go ahead, free up!

Feeding the cows

My brother and I petting the cow at my Granpa’s place (LONG time ago)

During summer vacations we used to visit our Grandpa’s place. He had 4 cows, 2 goats and some hens in the ‘cow shed’ area. My brother and I would pet the cows and feed them banana peels and drumstick leaves. It felt good to know nothing went to waste. The milk and eggs came from the cows and hens respectively. The extra milk was given to a collection center at a nominal price which sold that milk. The dung was used as manure for plants. In a village that was sustainability.

Let me not talk about sustainability, I’m no expert in it but I just think it is a good way to live, to not ‘waste’. I try to do this bit even in the city where I live. Near the garbage dump, sometimes there are cows and dogs. Whenever I need to throw something which is eatable by an animal but not by us (banana peels, watermelon peels, fruit peels, expired bread (by date but not gone bad to look), I put it in a separate cover or a paper bag. If I see the cows, I take these ‘eatables’ out of the bag and feed the animals. It just feels good, the cow eats and garbage is reduced.

try it. 🙂