There's something supremely satisfying..

..when you get to bake cocoa flavoured biscuits for the first time, and ahem... they become a super hit. Also I wasn't very happy with the ginger biscuits monopolizing the "men" shape. And since I was bored baking the same old butter biscuits time and again, I hunted the net for a simple choc recipe. Since I was spoilt for choice with the numerous recipes out there, I brought out my own version. I didn't bother with the measurements at all. I had exactly 125 gm of unsalted butter in the fridge. I cut them into tiny pieces, and giving the blender a break, used my fingers to knead the butter with caster sugar, cinnamon powder, baking pwdr and few drops of vanilla extract. Then mixed the little corn flour that I had at home, about 2 tsp of cocoa pwdr and added as much plain flour as the mixture could absorb, to reach the consistency of chapati dough. Popped the dough into the fridge and took it out after couple of hours only to find the dough to have become like one stiff, heavy rock. I regretted a second for my stupidity, and then a tiny light bulb flashed and made me sprinkle some milk onto the mixture. Voila! Out came the rolling pin, the biscuit cutter and the oven trays, and the biscuits got baked at 180 deg c, for 15 minutes. (ofcourse I had to pre-heat the oven). Since cocoa tastes bitter, and I was a bit doubtful if the sugar I've added would be enough to counter it, I sprnkled some sugar when the biscuits were still warm.

I guess this is the first time EVER, I've made something without cup measurements. That's an achievement of sorts for a person who doesn't cook a meal without levelling off rice on the measuring cup!

Tamil Rhymes for children

Here are some entries for Tulika's Blogathon. The beauty of any song/poem, lies in the rhyming words in the original language, and the same gets bit disrupted in literal translations. There, I've given a lame excuse for my inept translations!

This "sanjadamma.." is one of my favourites. There are other versions too, but I've given the one which is popular in our household. When the baby is able to sit without support and tries to swing back and forth, we say:

"sanjadamma sanjadu
sayakkiliye sanjadu
kuthu vilakkae sanjadu
koyil puravae sanjadu
kannae maniyae sanjadu
bhushanamae nee sanjadu!"

sanjadu-sway/rock back and forth.
sayakiliye-colourful parrot
koyila purave-Temple pigeon.
kannae maniye-dear, darling
bhushanam-precious, valuable thing.

"Vikkal azhagi, vilayada pona
Vikkala vittu, vekkalai sumai"

"Hiccupping beauty, while going to play
sod the hiccups and pick the haystack"

This one is for when the baby gets hiccups. A tiny thread is held near the child's face and the rhyme is narrated thrice, while circling the thread around, so the baby gets distracted, and finally the thread is placed on his/her head, so h/she looks up and the baby's back is rubbed so as to wind him.

"chinna chinna motor
periya periya motor
naan virumbum motor
Naalu chakra motor"

Tiny, Tiny car
Big Big car,
My favourite cars
4-wheeled cars"

This rhyme is used for toddlers to help them differentiate small from big cars, or some such things.

(Edited after The PrintLover's comment with full verse AND translation. Thanks a lot TPL!)

"amma ingae vaa vaa!
aasai mutham thaa thaa!
ilaiyil soru pottu,
eeyai thoora oattu!"

unnai pondra nallaar
ooril yaavar ullaar
ennaal unakku thollai
ethum inge illai

aiyam indri solluven

orumaiye balamam
oathum seyale nalamam
avvai sonna mozhiyaam
ahde enakku vazhiyaam

"Mummy, do come here!
and give me a kiss,
serve food on the banana leaf
and swat the flies away

good folks like you
who else are in town
trouble due to me
will be none

I'll tell without a doubt
unity is strength
Advising is for welfare
this was prescibed by avvaiyar (tamil poet))
and this will be our way of living

"maambazhamam maambazham
malgova maambazham
Salethu maambazham
thithikkum mambazham
azhagana mambazham
alwa pondra mambazham
ungalukku venduma?
ingu odi vaarungal
pangu poattu thinnalaam!"

"Mango, Mango!
Malgova Mango
Mango from Salem
Very sweet Mango
luscious mango
Halwa like mango
Would you like to have some?
Come running here
We'll share and eat!"

Giving an intro to summer's delightful fruit, while emphasising on the sharing habit!


"Aanai vanthathu thoppula
arupparuthathu maambazham
Kuthirai vanthathu thoppula
kotti parichathu vilampazham!"

"An Elephant came to the field
and harvested mangoes
A horse came to the (same) field
and plucked a wood apple"

The mention of Yaanai (elephant) is enough to evoke those never ending giggles from babies!


"Meow Meow saar!
Milk kudikkum saar!
Naalu kaalu saar!
Orae vaalu saar!"

"Meow Meow sir
Milk's your favourite sir!
Four legged sir!
But only one tail sir"

Used to sing for toddlers running behind cats, trying to befriend them!

"Dosai amma dosai
neyyila sutta dosai
arisi maavum, ulundhu mavum,
kalandhu sutta dosai
appavukku anju
ammavukku naalu
annanukku moonu,
akkalukku rendu
paappavukku onnu
thinna thinna aasai
innum kettal poosai!"

"Dosa dosa
Dosa made with ghee
rice flour, urid flour,
mixed to cook the dosa
5 for dad
4 for mom
3 for brother
2 for sister
1 for baby
if someone asks for more
they get a scolding"

As is obvious, this one is used to enable baby to count backwards!"

I had absolute fun doing this. I do remember few more, albeit some like "thaa kuppi thanthana kuppi" and "amma kuthu dhimma kuthu" have some words which have no meaning, but babies gurgle with delight more for the sheer sound of them!

Can anyone guess....

... which track my train of thought leapt to, when I spotted (and bought) these?

Its amazing the way our brains could think of n number of things in split seconds. Oh ofcourse! in my case, there's an exception : when I'm hungry, my mind goes numb until my tummy is happy;)

So my Grandma was right all the way

"Girls should NOT speak loudly" rebuked my grandma every time I started a conversation. I accused her of being very partial and unfair. She shook her head wisely and said "Your voice is bound to shoot up by several decibels once you have a baby, so practise speaking softly" she declared emphatically.

Maybe grandma is right is what I thought when I, along with another friend went to meet H.
////Now, permit a little digression, dear reader-
H is a friend from college. She is one of those soft natured and gentle girls, whom one could turn to when in need. Only, one needs to have a really sharp ear, when on a phone conversation with her. "The handset wouldn't complain of aches and pains if you be a bit louder" we all used to tell her. But on or off the phone, hardly audible she remained.////
So, few years later, when we went to meet her, we had forgotten the block number of her aptmt. There were 4 blocks, all similar. Just as we were about to call her mobile, there came a deafening THUD. Followed by a loud, angry voice asking the child to behave and giving a huge explanation about how expensive things are. Though dumbstruck, we instantly recognised the voice, followed it and knocked at H's door.

Cut to present. This morning I stepped into the elevator with my little one gaily smiling at the only other person in the lift, and trying to reach for the elevator buttons from his buggy. I was using the oft-repeated, famous-word-of-late "NO" to him. And we got out on our floor. Few minutes later, I heard a knock on the door. It was none other than the man on the lift, flaunting a little shoe which I've seen not rarely. "Guess he kicked his shoe off!" he said, and much to my displeasure, added "I knew you got down this floor, so I came back down, and heard you the minute I stepped out of the lift and followed your voice."

Ofcourse I was not flattered. My flat is the farthest one from the lift. Tips for speaking softly, please!

Angadi Theru

T.Nagar is synonymous with mind numbing traffic/crowd, sweat, shops, pollution, commotion. One factor viciously paving way to the other. This Tamil flick Angadi Theru, (Market Place) is based on the lives of the young & vulnerable salespersons slogging at the multi-storey one stop shops in Ranganathan street.

The hero of the movie (remarkable performance for a debutant), forced to shoulder responsibilities after his father's sudden demise, discontinues his education and joins as a salesperson in such a shop. He is accompanied by his friend. [With the dhoti-clad, Lord Murugan worshiping owner of the shop being addressed as annachi, all sales people speaking Nellai Tamil and actress Sneha modelling for the adverts, it wouldn't take long for anyone to guess which shop is focussed here actually.]

The hero and his friend are thrilled to work in the air conditioned premises of the showroom after a brief stint of godown work. Their child like enthusiasm is checked by their greedy supervisor, who sqeezes every bit of energy from all the boys in the form of work, not to mention making passes with the girls in the name of punishment. With young boys and girls around, would Cupid's strike be far off? Another check in the form of seperating the boys from girls, by making them work in different floors. However the hero who by now is in love with the vivacious heroine (co-worker), decides to walk off from the job and decide to work along with the street vendors. How they pull off, and what kind of fate is instored for them forms the remaining part of the story.

There are 2 sub plots in the movie. One is how a jobless youth, cleans up the public toilet, collects money from every user (although that may not be legally right, he atleast makes it usable) and makes a living. The other is a lame person marrying a prostitute and sheltering her from trouble makers. Though a bit deviating (with the heroine's sister story etc) and a bit more gloomy than necessary, the movie spells optimism.

The movie is surely not one of those family entertainers. But its a revelation. Something on the lines of the inside story of all those big shots, who get away with everything, even after a film is made of it and all the stark realities beneath the flowery exterior are exposed. If not anything, one could learn what NOT to ask in an "annachi" shop. That you could get from pencil to pattu podavai far more cheaper than rest of India, is in itself an indication of how poorly the staff are paid. I really hope some social organisation (not the ones who cry foul at the venue of a fashion show) steps in and does the needful. As for the common public, I SO wish everyone could boycott the shop atleast as much as possible.

The hungry, tired and sullen faces of the sales staff, the strict vigilance of the supervisors in the real shop )on which this film is based) makes one believe their trials shown in the movie are not exaggerated.

Couldn't stop adding : when a Vinnai Thaandi Varuvaya manages to make this much noise, why doesn't a movie showcasing the hardship of a meagre wage earner make a similar mark? Also, I have a problem with the phrase "movies for masses/classes". Though not an assiduous movie-goer, I do understand what that means. But, I think the phrase is a kind of double entendre too. Cool movies appeal to the creamier part, while "uncool" hard to believe yet true movies fail to register the required accolades.

A dive into the chocolate pool!

I don't know if I fall under the category of a chocolate addict. With all the calorie consciousness that I am at times engulfed with, I rarely buy chocolates. But when I give in to temptation and DO buy, I presume it my duty to greedily gulp down the whole bar. Though I must say I enjoyed my shared portion of chocolates during childhood much better. My parents were never the buying little treats every now and then type. (That as grandparents, their views have taken a u-turn is a different story). Buying a big bar of chocolate (which almost always would be Dairy Milk) was a rarity. When the precious thing does arrive, it would be shared equally, among siblings and cousins. I wouldn't say I enjoyed sharing. Nor did I dislike it. It was just the way we ate chocolates back then. But the wait for the occasion was in itself a pleasure, equivalent to the taste of the chocolate.

Then there was this uncle who used to visit Madras on official purposes. His trips were mostly sudden and short ones. But every visit would fetch a dairy milk for the two of us. So when I open the fridge and find the chocolate and if the date was nowhere close to salary day for my parents, it would mean that Bombay uncle has visited.

Because I was the only one in the household who wouldn't drink coffee, Bournvita was the supplement. On weekends (before tea swayed me over) it was bournvita ice-cream. Recipe? Pop the mug of bournvita your mom prepares into the freezer. Voila. That's it. I was slowly lured towards Complan, but since my brother refused to say "I'm a complan boy" there was no fun in me being the complan girl for long.

Bournvita and Dairy Milk. The twin significant part players from Cadbury's in the past weren't enough reason for me to visit Bournville. But since the place was very near to where we had decided to go during the weekend, we went there. It is a quiet and serene countryside though not very far from the hustle bustle of Birmingham City. The signboards, the fence, the gateways, whichever direction you turn, you could see purple. The colour of Cadbury. Normally I dislike theme based colours. I consider them to be loud in emphasising their product. But here it seemed really pleasant. (Though I think it is the "you like someone/somthing so much, you tend to see no fault" thing)

The minute I stepped out of the train in Bournville, I told my husband that I could smell chocolates! OK. I do fantasize a bit. A quick stroll and we stepped into Cadbruy World. I plonked the child in the husband's arms and hopped off. One would think listening to the origin of cocoa beans and conceptualising the idea of milk chocs would be boring. It wasn't, as the demos were in such a way that even an impatient feet shuffler would sit back and listen. Heck, even if it had been boring, I just would not have regretted, as being in a place which made me reminisce fond memories was in itself satisfying!

And surely you would love a photograph of yourself fully made of chocolates? Then there was the world's biggest Cadbury shop. I'd have expected the shop to be really huge, but it wasn't! It is one of those places which really would stay close to my heart. Purple rules and reigns, I say!

When will there be good news?-Kate Atkinson

How hard could it get to put the bitter part of your past behind you? Hard enough, when your shadowy past threatens to strike again.

Six year old Joanna Mason witnesses what a child her age couldn't stomach. The murder of her sister, baby brother and mother, by a complete stranger called Andrew Decker amidst the fields of rural Devon. It couldn't be said that the little girl lost her idyllic happy family, as the happiness was snatched already by her novelist dad who left them all for another woman. Not a self starter by nature, she's prompted by her mum "run Joanna, run!" and she flees before the psycho killer could take her life as well. And is later found safely sleeping behind grass.

Thirty years later, the little girl is Dr.Joannna Hunter (Jo for short) (married to Neil Hunter) and a mother of a young baby. Reggie, 16 (with looks of a child but with an ancient soul) is the mother's help. Chief Inspector Louise, knocks at their door one morning to inform (and warn) about the release of Andrew Decker and the unwelcome media attention that the doctor may be subjected to. Jo reckons it would help to "escape" for a bit.

So one morning when Reggie drops into the Hunters' house, she's sent back by Neil saying Jo has gone to help an ailing aunt for few days. To Reggie it appears that the doctor has "disappeared". Leaving behind her mobile and purse was so unlike the very organised doctor. She voices her suspicions to Louise, who only asks her to stop fantasizing. Only, the mystery surrounding Neil's business and his weird behaviour makes Louise think in the same "disappeared" angle. It turns out that the whole aunt episode is a farce. So has Joanna heard her ancestral voices prompting "run Joanna run" yet again, and fled with the baby to escape from Decker? What would explain Neil's mysterious business which invites legal intervention? Is the intuitive Reggie merely misleading the police force by making a mountain out of a molehill?

The author parallely brings in Jackson Brodie, ex soldier and ex policeman, who ventures out in search of an identity which he never claims till the end. The train he travels crashes and he is saved by Reggie resuscitating him. The cause of the accident is an old Ms MacDonald who is Reggie's tutor. As a return favour, Reggie seeks Jackson's detective knowledge to find Jo. Interestingly, Jackson was the policeman who found 6 year old Jo sleeping in the field where her kin were slaughtered. Would Jackson find Jo again?

The pace of the narration doesn't slacken even once. There are no loose ends. If there are any at all, the reader is not left with any time to ponder on those. The appetite for what happens next, grows with the turn of every page. And the author assures absolute pleasure to the reader with her dry humour and gripping narration. My only problem with the book was Jackson Brodie, the ex cop, portrayed as a person being cheated time and again in his marriages. But hey, successful professionals, at times do end up as personal disasters. On a quick recap of the story once I was done with the book, I did feel that it was the flow and eloquence of the author's prose which superseded the not so unique story.

I understand that this book, though not a sequel, does bear characters from Atkinson's other novels. Some may categorize this as mystery/crime fiction, others may tag this as a family saga. In any case, the book promises a delightful read. Isn't that enough good news ?


The Gift - Cecelia Ahern

I haven't read Cecelia Ahern's more popular PS I love you. Occasionally, reading the gist of some books seem sufficient to me. Also, sometimes for no particular reason, I don't read books/authors which I always see on the shelves. Both the reasons hold good for me not going in for her books. 4th March was World Book Day and the whole month was full of book sale, film nights with movies based on books etc in the library. "The Gift" occupied one of the coveted space for "great reads" in the past month, and I took the chance to read the author for the first time. (This would most likely be the last time as well).

The book starts off with a teenager, in a fit of anger throwing a turkey on the window of his dad's "other woman's" house on Christmas Day. He is detained for this act, and the police chief Raphie, in an effort to put some sense into the boy's head, tells him the story of Lou.

The character "Lou" is no strange one in today's world. He is an ambitious guy, with a high flying career, is married and has 2 kids. He has no time for his family because "Job could fire you, but family will not". He has given his family everything except him, his time and his fidelity. (Bored already?)

Here comes the (supposedly) interesting twist in the tale. One morning on his way to work,he offers his coffee to a man called Gabe, shivering in the cold Irish winter, begging. He's impressed by the young guy and eventually offers him a job in his office. Soon Gabe gets into the good books of everyone in the office. Lou, who always has 2 things to do at the same time, two places to be at the same time,
finds the efficiency and agility of Gabe intimidating. Its almost like Gabe is omnipresent.

Till this point the book seemed promising.

Gabe seeks to help Lou double up (literally) by offering him some pills so he could satisfy his family, while being there at office as well. Lou becomes a star at personal and the professional front. Now, things happen in such a way that make you wonder just WHO this Gabe is. Is he God Himself or a product of Lou's hallucination or a man with powerful knowledge in science and research? You tend to sift through the pages again but will not get any answer. Although I do like it when the reader is left to guess, I dislike it when the reader is left confused, or do I say even betrayed. However, that the ending is a sad one, is a clever move by the author. If not for that, one would definitely tend to dismiss the book as a boring preachy and philisophical sermon. The book does pick up pace here and there but one would prefer a subtle approach to what we all have heard over and over again in our Moral Science classes (value of time etc), than saying time is precious, in so many words. We have never liked advices, have we?

I'm not sure of Cecelia's other books, but this is not the best book to try start reading her works. Because I've read this first, Its going to be difficult if not impossible for me to try her other works.

rating : 2.5/5

Its all in the mind, really

A friend invited me to her son's second B'day. I dropped in early to help her decorate the house. After sellotaping the balloons and ribbons I started arranging the letters of the boy's name to pop them up. She pulled me aside and said not to be angry, but she's changed the kid's name, based on the numerologist's advice. I was gobsmacked. Because, she had already changed the way her name is spelt sometime back. And her initials. And her wedding anniversary date. I was worried for her. But she felt (and still feels) these changes have indeed solved some of the problems which were posing as potential threats to her peace of mind. I am convinced that its her positive thinking combined with stubborn determination which bounces her back from any depths of worries and NOT any magical rearrangement of alphabets or numbers. But I know better than to advice her on this. I would never dissaude her from believing in her theories. If those things make her happy so be it.

But I draw a fine line when it comes to astrology/numerology. I'm not the kind who'd call them absolute humbug. But I would not run, horoscope in hand, at the first instance of trouble striking.

I'm not a very religious person either. I follow traditions only to the extent that I can. And I do them for my own/immediate family circle's satisfaction or just of out of habit. My father says one should either follow the system to the T, or be bold enough to say NO to such practices. but I'm content to balance (not hang) somewhere in between.

I don't make a face or ruffle my nose when someone eats non-veg, and consider people who do make faces to be really rude. And I do not like comments such as "She claims to be a vegeterian, but try tempting her with this pastry, you'll know!". Yes I've tried eating eggs, but disliked them. But I do eat some cakes made of eggs, as hey, they are tasty, so. If asked whether I'm a veg or a non-veg, I say I'm veg. If someome says I'm not being true to myself they're wrong. And I will not try and argue with people to prove my point.

I keep a bindhi even when I wear jeans/skirts or the most elegant frock coat. Well, the size of the bindhi may be small (Resembles a mosquito bite, is what my mother would say). But I don't panic when my bindhi falls off even when I'm in a saree and I couldn't find the bindhi packet in my handbag;

But I'm a temple person. It is not that I need to visit temples on a regular basis, but when at close proximity, I make it a habit. So when this friend of mine said there's a Vinayakar Temple 5 mins from where I live, I set out. I usually google any place before I visit, but since my friend said its about 10 steps from the shop I frequent, I went without doing the usual homework. The Temple was a small one but I was happy that there's a place of worship to visit. After returning home, I surfed for some info like how long the temple has been there etc. and came to know that the place where the temple now stands was apparently a leisure centre. Also, the tone of the article in which I read this was meant to give an idea of how people have gone to the extent of huddling many Gods together in for convenience sake. I was jolted a bit but not utterly shocked. So what if the place where a Peter was probably swimming or running on the treadmill has now become the place where a Palani comes to seek blessings from God? One could pray with solemnity at any place (be it a temple or not) is my humble opinion.

Mind and our numerous beliefs could really get complex. Not very frequently, I have found myself contradicting what I used to believe/follow. But why not, I ask? Its ok to change as the circumstances so warrant.


I lack the virtue of Patience in the most frivolous circumstances. I can patiently wait for hours/days months together, but could lose my cool when it comes to short waits. This unfailingly happens whenever I've got to choose an id. So when I was recommended by a friend about a review site, I was hooked on to it within seconds and wanted to participate within minutes. Whenever I'm excited I'm at my creative worst. (Safely, let's not talk about the scenario when I'm not excited here). Interesting things happened much later, and following the trail of people for whose sake I would have clung to the site, I walked out of the site. As though the site was waiting for my exit, there came an option where one could change their IDs.

In the meantime, Smita decides to blog. I decide to frantically participate. To know what happened next, pls read words in italics in para one again. (if you have patience, that is). ALthough, this time round, I really loved my id. Only, I was not happy in not having a proper blog name. Now, that's taken care of.

Enna Kodumai Saravanan idhu

I realise that there's less than a pint of milk in the fridge.
I wrap myself with the hooded coat, scarf, gloves, boots what not. Plus wrap the child with all mentioned, and force him onto the pushchair.

All set to go.

Back from the shop with the milk can. Found panju sleeping, so quickly gave it a thought. Because I'd like to spend more time out, than getting ready to go out whenever possible, I decided to shop for a ball for the child, something I wanted to do, ever since he started walking. How simple does that sound? So I first went into the local supermarket. They turned me down and suggested toysrus (exclusive toy shop). At toys r us, they only had basket ball or football, which even I found it hard to lift. I showed my child and told them I'm buying for him. With a big grin she said "I know what you're looking for" and went in and brought a huge packet full of blue and green, pink and orange balls. "I'll have the orange one please", I said. "No darling, they come in packs of 100.. we don't sell them in singles!". I don't need 100s of them cluttering my house. Thankuverymuch. So I went straight into this corner Chinese shop, and bought this one monster of a ball. Hope its not too small for a 15 month old;)

Belatedly watched and read

Maybe because it has been snowing unusually for about two weeks dissuading me from venturing out, I was able to catch up with 3 idiots, Paa and London Dreams in the DVD. Enjoyed 3 idiots. Though it was heart breaking to see Maddy get less droolable these days. I even wondered why aging stars had to do the roles. Anyway I've got to read FPS to understand the controvery surrounding the movie better. About the much talked about delivery scene, I felt the scene was a bit forced (though it was certainly not as bad as the infamous Salaam Namaste scene).

And what was the idea behind Paa? If it was to showcase ABs acting prowess, I didn't appreciate much of it. To me it was a story, done to death. It would have touched a chord, if a child suffering from progeria was roped in.

I liked London Dreams the most (save the ending). I have always liked Salman and Ajay. Only, I disliked Asin and her wasted role in the movie.

Now finally, Palace of Illusions. (I really feel like the only person on Planet Earth to have read this book so late). I liked the book. And I was expecting to be awestruck but I was really not. I was transported to a different world with the way the book started, up until the stage when Bheeshma comes to take Panchaali and the Pandavas after their marriage. After that, to me, it was just the story which was told, and not much from Draupadi's pov. Maybe I was just greedy for more of a woman's perceptions. But the magic in the writing just seem to wear off.(atleast till the Great War started).

I am now very curious to know if the episode on Karna and Draupadi's love for each other is just a figment of the author's imagination or was it real. I found the mysterious love very fascinating.

I am now hooked onto Anita Desai's books. (Though something tells me its going to be a year before I finish the books. Having a toddler at home, helps you in citing him/her as the reason, for you slowing down. That you may have born with lazy bones all over would be conveniently pushed to the background ;)).

What crossed my mind

Just like every other peron, on the last day of 2009, I was contemplating on the happenings in my life, when few childhood reminiscences brought a smile on my face..
...I used to dread the thought of someone asking me what my New Year resolution was. (Why was it was an unwritten rule that everyone ought to have a resolution?)

...I thought saying "same to you" was unfriendly when someone wishes you "Happy New Yr". Wish you the same was slightly better, but I was happier with "Happ New Yr". And being the wicked guy that my brother was, he used to chase me throughout the day with "same to you".

...Dec 31st is a close friend's B'day. So few of us, friends, used to gang up in the terrace of her house, and have a blast. (If nothing, we just used to talk the whole evening. Girls can never run out of topics to chat).

...I used to join granny in giving long lectures about how people throng temples on Jan 1st, while there's only less than half the crowd during Pongal/Varuda pirappu.

...On New Year's eve, I used to strictly tell dad not to rebuke me even if I forget to switch off the motor when the tank overflows, and to mom not to take it out on me if she missed the ladies spl bus, and had to board the already packed to capacity bus. This, as I felt if I bear the brunt of someone's anger, on the 1st day of the year, I would face with similar situations every other day. The senti idiot that I was!