Vani’s Musings

Archive for August 2007

It is very common for people to have pet names and nick names. We all would be very familiar with names like sweety, munni, pinky, chintu, bablu etc.  (some of these pet names are literally those; “pet names”, You can find many naming their pet Pomeranians in the above names). 

We also find that most names that are more than 2 characters long are shortened to a more phonetically easy version…for ex, Madhusudan becomes Madhu, Parimala becomes Pammi, Pankaja becomes Panku, Srinivas becomes Seena and so forth. And this is not just an Indian phenomenon, in the West too, you get to see such shortened names, like Patrick becomes Pat, Jennifer becomes Jenny, Richard becomes Dick, Robert becomes Bob, William becomes Bill….and the list goes on.

 I get ample opportunity to read some really funny nicknames, which are used as aliases by a section of society.

 Here are a few samples. The name Manjunath alone, I have noticed, I guess has the highest number of “Prefixes” attached. I happen to read names like “Manjunath alias —“ the – can be filled up with any or all of the following aliases.

           Blade Manja

          Kathri Manja

          Razor Manja

          Deck Manja

          Don Manja

          Stone Manja

          KoLi Manja

           Anil Kumar alias Idli 

          Srinivasa alias Bhootha Seena

           Kumar alias Pambu 

          Sethu alias Phenyl 

          Raja alias Bikla

           Soma alias Kukka 

The first time I came across these names, I was literally rolling on the floor with laughter but now it is a matter of routine. But I still find it funny and at the same time sad to see some nice names being distorted like this. Most of the people with these nicknames are proud to be identified like this; it gives them a sense of importance. 

We have been so very influenced by these names that almost all of us have a nickname of our own. Now, if someone were to come searching for me, they would have a tough time finding me without my nickname.  

How many of you have some names like this? Let me know. 

Signing off now,  Ta. 

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According to the Hindu calendar, the year is divided into two halves, Uttarayana and Dakshinayana. Uttarayana commences from Makara Sankranthi and Dakshinayana from Karka Sankranthi.

Uttarayana begins in January and ends in July. Dakshinayana begins in July and ends in December.

Shastras prohibit the celebration of events like marriage or Upanayanams during Dakshinayana. Climactically speaking, this period is the time of heavy rains.

 In the olden days, heavy rains rendered people immobile. The Parivrajakas or missionaries who went around the whole country, as part of their religious propagation activities would stay put in one place for the duration of this period. As such, they spent this time in austerities and devoting their time to God.

The weather reflected on the food they ate, giving rise to a wholly different cuisine to be followed during Chaaturmaasa. The practice is still continued by our religious missionaries and conservative families to this day.

 The Vrathas commence on the Shuddha Ekadashi of every month and go on till the Shuddha Ekadashi of the next month.

 In the first month, the ShaaKha Vratha is followed, wherein the usage of vegetables and dicot plant produce is prohibited.

In the second month, the usage of curd and buttermilk and buttermilk extracts is not allowed.

In the third month, usage of milk products is avoided.

In the fourth month, there is a restriction again on the usage of dicots.

Sounds tough and hard to digest, doesn’t it? But the varieties that can be prepared without the use of the above food products are simply amazing.

I have sampled a few of the special dishes that are prepared during Chaaturmaasa and found them heavenly.

Want to try some at home? Wait for my coming posts.

Ok, so here goes. Most of you have been waiting to know about my workplace and surroundings. As I think of work, I smile. There are so many things I wish to say, but how to do that is the million-dollar question.

 Let me list out the positives first.

           Fixed working hours. Past 5.30 in the evening, you are literally shooed out by the establishment staff that would like to finish the cleaning up and lock up the halls.

          You need not be tense that you have a set target for the day. Work can always be kept pending. That is why the department I work is aptly termed “Pending Branch”.

          Fortunately I have a young set of colleagues with a similar mindset. So any amount of work that is assigned gets done in a jiffy and I feel I am back in college.

          Our supervisors are a cool pair; they withstand a lot of leg pulling by the guys and are cool about it. They do not try to show their seniority or power with us.

Now, the negatives:

           Lack of basic facilities. To be very clear, there are not sufficient toilets. And the ones there are, I can use two words to describe them – pathetic and disgusting.

          Indifferent seniors. No one wants to teach us anything. We cannot fathom why.

          Dust. Tons of it. Most of the records we handle are full of dust. To be precise, it is so bad that three days into work, one of our supervisors was admitted to hospital with Respiratory tract infection and had to take rest for nearly 15 days.

What ever, the positives outweigh the negatives. We are being sat on, rather hard. But it’s fun. Simply hilarious sometimes, very disgusting sometimes, utterly depressing at others. We learn to be clinical about things and not take issues seriously, as we have to deal with those files day in and day out. And hence I would say that it has been a nice experience so far, and hope to enjoy it in the days to come.