Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Tagged by Sra - 7 weird things meme

Tagged by Sra of When my soup came alive. I cant remember if I've done this before, but since I like tags, I'm happy to do it again. I just hope I don't repeat myself!

1. Indians and Japanese (that I know of in particular) are sometimes seen as "weaselly" – or even as downright liars - by some Westerners because they (the Indians and the Japanese) agree to suggestions or statements even when they really disagree or when they have no intention of doing anything. This is not because they (yep, the Indians and the Japanese) are untrustworthy or congenital liars, but because they (yeah, the Indians and the Japanese) are polite. It's just that they hate to disagree with or contradict a customer (who of course is always right), or to refuse somebody something – so they nod their head where they should shake it, and say "PaNnidalaam saar" (translation: it can be done saar) where they should truthfully (but not so politely) say "PaNnamudiyaadhu saar" (translation: It cant be done saar). Excessive politeness is what gets them (yeah, still the Indians and the Japanese) this somewhat unwarranted negative reputation.

So that's the background for my first characteristic: Vagueness. But that is deliberate. I prefer not to lie and my personal motto is "If you cant say something nice without lying, don't say anything at all". This sounds admirable, but quite often is really tricky to carry out in practice, especially in real life – by which I mean when you're face-to-face with somebody wearing something hideous who asks you: "What do you think of it?" I evade the issue with something like "That's different" or "Where did you get that?" – or is that weaselly too?

It's easy to remain silent on blogs. Nothing to say that won't be trite or meaningless? Easy. Don't comment!

2. I like to map out a plan of action in my head before an appointment or anything that requires me to be someplace at a certain time. I divvy up the time available, allotting myself so many minutes to do this, that or the other. If things don't go according to the PoA, I have to rearrange the remaining time to my plan. If that doesn't work either, or if it seems like the whole thing is irretrievably messed up, I've been known to simply abandon it and go off and read a book instead. All this planning and rearranging happens in my head - it's not vocalised or written down. So, to anybody who's watching, I've got elaborately ready to go somewhere, then just flopped down with a book. (I'm not weird, honest.)

3. I don't like parties. I especially don't like parties where I might meet people I don't know or don't like. I go to great lengths to avoid them (parties and people both) – and yes, those are occasions where telling a thumping big lie is not only unavoidable, but required! (I only said I prefer not to lie.)

4. I'm a creature of habit, of late. I'm not organised, but some things are nearly sacrosanct. For instance, my car keys always go in my handbag. If I put them anywhere else for any reason, I completely forget the keys and their location both. In fact, if you were to ask me where I'd placed the keys, I'd say "In my handbag" even if I myself had left them elsewhere. Nothing to do with telling a lie and everything to do with habit. Then when they're not in my handbag when I need them, I go around yelling "Who moved my keys?" and unfairly accusing Pete of having Done The Deed. (Well, isnt that what husbands are for?)

5. I get artistic "urges" - usually to do some embroidery or fabric painting - which I find embarrassing. I don't consider myself a proper artist because I haven't done anything original. Those arty urges always seem like "adhigaprasangi-thanam" (rough translation: "presumptuousness") in me – I feel they should belong to a real artist. That said, though, when I feel like embroidering or painting, I cant think of anything else until I get that urge out of my system. Sometimes the urge is purged before I complete the painting or embroidery. In which case the work stays unfinished till the next "gotta do it" impulse comes along.

6. I have a great sense of rhythm when it comes to music. Unfortunately it remains internalised. If I try to give in to my inner rhythm, it manifests itself on the outside, to the onlooker, as a series of little twitches. I’ve been told it looks like I’m being given little electric shocks. (That’s another reason to avoid parties.) I don’t dance.

7. Just looking at a slug oozing along makes me want to barf. Slugs are the best emetic as far as I’m concerned – never mind salty water or anything else. Show me a slug and the contents of my stomach will make themselves evident remarkably quickly. I HATE slugs!

I dont know who else has or hasnt done this tag already - but I'm requesting these folks to take it up if they dont mind or if they havent done it yet: Suganya of Tasty Palettes, Linda of Out of the Garden, and Chitra of Taste Goblet


Aparna Balasubramanian said...

Just came across your blog and this post by chance.
Enjoyed reading what you've written and can identify with some of them, especially the the creature of habit and slug bits!

DK said...

hehehehe! This was funny! Its also funny how I missed ur blog all this while! It was fun.

Srivalli said...

I liked the husband part best...:D...well most of the things..sound quite regular...not sure why you feel these are weird..hahah...I was rolling when I read your sense of rhythm...Its nice to know that you are still talking to yourself in tamil!

Shammi said...

Aparna: Glad you enjoyed reading it. :)

DK: Dont know how you missed my blog either! ;) It's so FAMOUS!! (not)

Srivalli: You think these are regular? I'm glad to hear that, but also cant help wondering how weird YOU must be! :-P Only jokin'!

Srivalli said...

oh yeah..surely we will hit off like a pack of matches...sra and I hit off like anything..so any friend of hers will surely be on the same wavelength...why not we start a club..:)

TheCooker said...

Yesterday evening on my way back from work, at a traffic light I caught myself doing something similar to your electric-shock-keeping-the-beat type thing. Had to pull over to enjoy the laugh.

sra said...

ROFL, like I predicted. And you haven't done this meme, I checked before I tagged you. I esp like the part about the husbands (a regular scene at my place) and the twitches. And 'Who Moved My Keys?' That's priceless.

Alpa said...

woman, you crack me up! i love #5, i think we're related... i just bought a sewing machine off of CL with no idea of what to do. this girl at work sewed a beautiful kimono dress and next thing i know, i was out buying a damn sewing machine.

Linda said...

Hey Shammi, it's nice getting to know about you through this meme! We share more than a few traits ;)

Thanks for checking up on me... and for the tag. I will take this up soon :)

BTW I am not a fan of lemon sweets, but the glaze on your ten-shilling cake is awfully tempting...

Rachel said...

Neat read....I cannot handle people I don't like either!

Vartika said...

Hi There!
I loved loved loved this post of urs! In fact i do relate to most of it...
Do write more.

Anonymous said...

Srivalli: Sra for president? :)

Thecooker: Do you twitch too? Oh joy! I'm not alone!

Sra: I knew you'd get the "who moved my keys" reference :)

Alpa: Wow, I've neer gone out and bought a sewing machine... but that's because I dunno how to use one! :)

Linda: Glad you're around, and I'll be waiting for your post:)

Rachel: *sigh* We need to learn how to do it, though with better tactics than hiding under the bed with the lights out! :D

Vartika: Glad you liked the post. But I have to be tagged to write more! :D

Anonymous said...

Hahahaha - that was a fun read. Re: #5, I think you had post on some of your embroidered pieces abt 2 years ago (I've been reading your blog for almost 3 years btw) - going by what I've seen, it is something you ought to be proud of.


Pravs said...

It was fun reading your meme. Thanks for coming by and got to say you have delicious recipes out here.

Shammi said...

Mamatha: Hey, thanks! :) That's really nice to know.

Pravs: Thank you :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Shyamala,

I greatly enjoy your blog; I've been an avid reader for a bit now!

I'm from a Tamil background myself (but live in San Francisco), and have been trying to get back to my culinary roots lately. Your posts on Mor Kuzhambu and Arachuvitta Sambhar were not only inspiring, but particularly reminiscent of my mum (recently demised)'s culinary genius, so thank you!

Please keep those great posts coming, and happy cooking!


Shammi said...

Hi Anuradha, thanks for your lovely comment! :)

Anonymous said...

Vazhakkai/Nendrankai and Mor Kuzhambhu-feast for the Gods, indeed! And isn’t it amazing how our mothers managed to turn those out from the daily kitchen…?!

Thank you for your kind words.

Looking forward to more of your great posts.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the ‘mesmerisation’ caused the memory loss…? ;) Certainly did in my case; took me almost a week after to remember enough details to post!