Monday, October 25, 2010

CCNA Prep - Key points

Main functions of switches
1. Perform switching in the hardware
2. Address learning
3. Loop avoidance
4. Forward/Filter/Flood
5. Store and Forward(get full packet into memory buffer and then forward), Cut-through(read only destination mac and forward), Fragment free (read first 64 bytes and then forward)
6. increase bandwidth
7. increase collision domains
8. reduce size of collision domain

Spanning Tree Protocol
- runs on a per VLAN basis - 802.1d
- to prevent switching loops
- it takes time to converge... is completely converged when the all ports are either in forwarding or blocking mode
- root bridge has all ports in forwarding mode - but don't get confused, when etherchannel is configured also, all ports will be shown as forwarding
- etherchannel configuration
int port-channel 1
int range fastethernet 1-10
switchport mode trunk
channel-group 1 mode desirable auto

- disabled, blocked, listening, learning, forwarding

forward-delay is 15 seconds - 15 seconds in listening and 15 seconds in learning
wait interval - 20 seconds.. wait for 20 seconds for hello packet before stp is recalculated.

BPDU - Bridge Protocol Data Unit - Bridge Priority:Mac Address
The root bridge is the one with the smallest Bridge ID.

On access ports turn on portfast to reduce STP overhead or we can run rapid Spanning Tree Protocol 802.1w - does away with listening and learning states
10MBPS - 100
100 MBPS - 19
1000 MBPS - 4
10000 MBPS - 2

Port Security
switchport port-security maximimum 2
switchport port-security mac-address sticky
switchport port-security violation shutdown/restrict/protected

UplinkFast - actively finds the next best path to be enabled in case the currently active path fails
switchport uplinkfast

BackboneFast - enabled on access switches. When a switch recieves an inferior BPDU from the designated switch, it knows that the link to the root bridge has failed.
switchport backbonefast

BPDU Guard - puts the port into err-disabled state if a BPDU is recieved on the port on which this is enabled
switchport bpduguard enable

BPDUFilter - removes the port from portfast mode once it receives a BPDU
switchport bpdufilter enable

- process id is locally significant
- process id can be from 1 to 65535
- link state protocol
- sends hello packets every 2 seconds
- link state advertisements are sent out only when there is change in topology
- administrative distance is 110
- suitable for multi-vendor networks
- metric is cost
- for routers to become neighbours
* get hello packet
* same area
* same network mask
* same hello and dead timers
- types of routers
- backbone router - at least one interface in area 0
- area border router - between areas
( all backbone routers are area border routers but not the other way around)
- AS border router - during redistribution
- internal routers - all interfaces in same area
- auto-summarization
router ospf#area 1 ip range

56KBPS line - 1785
64KBPS line - 1586
T1 line - 1544 KBPS - 64
Ethernet - 10 MBPS - 10
FastEthernet - 100 MBPS - 1
100000000/speed in bps

version 1
-broadcast routing updates
- holdowns, split horizon, route poisoning used to prevent routing loops
- holddowns - wait for a particular duration before taking the next step
- route poisoning - advertising a route as unreachable
- split horizon - don't forward a packet out the same interface that it came in on
- uses hop count as metric
- classful
- no support for VLSM
- administrative distance is 120

version 2
- classless
- supports VLSM
- administrative distance is 120
- multicasts routing updates to
- suitable for small networks with fewer hops
- metric is hop count
- ip summary-address rip

- AD is 90
- classless
- supports VLSM
- suitable where mutliple routed protocols are to be supported
- not suitable for multi-vendor networks
- metric is bandwidth, delay, reliability, load, MTU

- modes - server - update own database and send advertisements - is the default mode
- client - can not update their local database on their own. process and update based on advertisements from server
- transparent - used to just forward VTP messages in between. Can update their local database but not advertised
- vtp domain and passwords need to match for switches to share VLAN information

Router on a switch - to communicate between VLANs
- router has sub-interfaces, one in each VLAN subnet and the ip of the sub-interface is set as the gateway in each vlan
- the encapsulation type has to match

Frame Relay
show frame-relay map - shows DLCI and IP address mapping
States : Active, Inactive(remote side problem), Deleted(incorrect mapping entry)

show frame-relay pvc - shows all DLCIs configured with statistics

show frame-relay lmi - sequence numbers should keep increasing depending on keepalive value set in "show interface serial1/0"

LMI acts as keepalive in Frame Relay.

Frame Relay encapsulation types
encapsulation frame-relay ietf
encapsulation frame-relay - defaults to cisco
The encapsulation has to match between DTEs.

LMI types
frame-relay lmi-type ansi/q933a/cisco
LMI types have to match between DTE(Router) and the Frame Switch

DLCIs can be anything between 16 and 1019.

Status can be seen in show interface serial 1/0

On point to point links, frame-relay interface-dlci 111
Otherwise, frame-relay map ip 111 broadcast

Inverse ARP - used to find the dlci given the ip address
Proxy ARP - router returns the MAC address of its interface when the destination is on a remote network
Reverse ARP - to find the IP address of a known mac
ARP - find mac given ip address

PPP consists of HDLC(Encapsulation), LCP(Link Control Protocol - to establish,maintain connections), NCP (Network Control Protocol - to determine which Network Layer Protocol)
LCP provides multilink, callback, authentication, compression

OSI model - to let different vendors interwork
Application/Presentation/Session/Transport/Network/Data Link/Physical
Data link - Logical Link Control and MAC - Media Access Control

TCP/IP model
Process/Application(App/presentation/session) -> Host-to-Host(Transport) -> Internet(Network) -> Network Acess(data link and physical)

TCP - connection oriented, flow control, error detection and recovery, sequencing, windowning
FTP 20/21, SSH - 22, Telnet - 23, SMTP - 25, HTTP - 80, POP - 110, SSL - 443

UDP - connectionless, best effort delivery
DHCP - 67/68, SNMP - 161, TFTP - 69

DNS - 53 on both, 24 on both for mail

Wireless technologies
- 802.11, 802.11a, 802.11 b, 802.11 g, 802.11n
- 900MHZ, 2.4GHZ, 5GHZ - frequency
- 802.11a - enhancement to basic 802.11 - 6 to 54 MBPS speed on 5GHZ - uses ODFM - 12 channels
- 802.11 b - 1 to 11 MBPS on 2.4 GHZ - uses DSSS - 3 channels
- 802.11g - 6 to 54 MBPS on 5GHZ - uses OFDM but switches to DSSS if there is even one 802.11b AP - 3 channels
- 802.11n - 23 channels
- Basic Service Set - one AP
- Extended Service Set - multiple APs all using same SSID to enable seamless roaming but different channels

Memory components
EEPROM - flash - stores IOS
NVRAM - stores startup-config, configuration register
RAM - stores running config, ARP cache
ROM - stores ROM Monitor(piece of code to test, debug), POST, bootstrap, ROM IOS - very basic IOS - to enable an interface and other maintenance commands - loaded if IOS is not found in flash or TFTP server

Configuration register - 0x2102 - default value - load IOS from flash - follow boot sequence in NVRAM
0x2142 - escape startup configuration values to recover password
Ctrl+break while booting will take u into rom monitor mode.
0x2100 - rom monitor mode rommon>
0x2101 - rom boot mode router(boot)>
0x2102 to ff - boot sequence in NVRAM

1. Ping localhost - to test TCP/IP stack implementation
2. Ping local ip - to test NIC card
3. Ping local gateway - to test local network
4. Ping remote address - to check if it is a remote problem

interface is administratively down - no shutdown has to be given
interface is down - ip address not set on remote interface or remote interface has to be issued no shutdown
line protocol is down - some logical issue - no keepalives(lmi) or encapsulation mismatch or clock rate not supplied

- ip nat inside
- ip nat outside
- ip nat pool Pool1 prefix-length 29
- access-list 1 permit
- ip nat inside source list 1 pool Pool1 overload
- static translation - ip nat inside source static
ip nat inside source static interface serial0
- each nat translation entry takes 160 bytes
- nat helps conserve ip addresses, reuse ip addresses, reduces overhead when changing ISPs, connecting networks with overlapping address space
- nat can cause routing delays, end to end ip traceability, some applications don't work with NAT
- show ip nat translations
- show ip nat statistics
- clear ip nat translations *
- ip nat translations max-entries
- ip nat translations timeout

access lists
1. standard
1 to 99, 1300 to 1999
filter only on source address
access-list 1 permit host
access-list 1 permit
access-list 1 permit

(config-if)#ip access-group 1 in
(config-line)#ip access-class 1 in

2. extended
access-list 100 permit tcp host host eq www

3. named
ip access-list standard 1
permit host
deny host

Don't forget IMPLICIT deny at the end

3. lock and key ACLs - require the user to telnet and login to get authenticated
4. dynamic ACLs - specify time during which ACL will apply
time-range NO_TELNET periodic weekends 10:00 5:00
ip access-list 100
deny tcp any host eq telnet time-range NO_TELNET
permit tcp any host eq telnet time-range AlWAYS

floating routes
- when the default administrative distance of a static route is changed

configuring use of SSH instead of Telnet on vty lines
hostname aaa
ip domain-name

line vty 0 4
transport input ssh telnet

crypto key generate rsa general-keys modulus 1024
ip ssh authentication-retries
ip ssh timeout

configuring DNS on IP
ip domain-lookup
ip name-server
ip domain-name

configuring dhcp on ipv6
ipv6 unicast-routing - global
ipv6 enable on an interface
ipv6 dhcp pool pool1
prefix-delegation pool pool1 lifetime 3600 3600

config-if)#ipv6 dhcp server pool1
global - 2000::/3
six to four tunnelling - 2002::/16
unique local/site local - FC00::/7
link local - FE80::/10
multicast - FF00::/8

Modified EUI - insert FF:FE into the MAC address to get IP v6 address and change second bit based on whether it is a local or global address
First and second bits of mac-address
I/G and G/L in MAC Address
I = individual when 0
G = multicast/broadcase when 1

G = 0 globally administered by IEEE
L = 1 local administration like DEC

Creating a IPv4 dhcp pool
dhcp pool pool1

ip dhcp excluded-address

Cabling standards
10Base2 - 185
10Base5 - 500
10BaseT - 100

100BaseT - 100
100BaseF - 412

1000BaseC - 25 metres
1000BaseT - 100 metres
1000BaseS - MMF - 550metres
1000BaseL - Single mode - 3to 10km

a - 6-54mbps - 5GHz - 12 channels - 190-75
b - 1 to 11mbps - 2.4Ghz - 3 channels - 350 - 160
g - 6 to 54mbps - 2.4Ghz - 3 channels - 300 - 90
h - 6-54mbps - 5GHZ - 23 channels
n - MIMO - 23 channels - upto 250mbps

Wireless authentication methods
shared key
mac based

wpa - TKIP and AES

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Drive to Palakkad and back to Bangalore

There was a long weekend coming up and hubby and I decided to hit the road. Since it had been some time since we'd visited his parents, we decided that Palakkad should be the way to go. We took down every possible route that we could take from Bangalore to Palakkad. We had finalized on going via NH-7 and then onto NH-47 all the way. We both took the previous day also off. Hubby dear was the first to wake up out of excitement on that one Thursday. We were off by 5:15 am. Hubby took the wheel and we had some initial hiccups on ORR getting onto Sarjapur Road and unfortunately we took the Harluru Road to E-city which was a nightmare. There are so many speed breakers. It is almost like each and every house now has to have a speed breaker right before the gate. Once we crossed that, it was all smooth. It was a nice cool day and Pras was enjoying the drive, looking very comfortable at the wheel. NH-7 is awesome. However, as per our plan, we were to go all the way to Salem on NH-7. Unfortunately, we diverted onto State Highway 20 following a sign board. This road is not that bad but the initial part has a lot of pot holes and passes through all the villages. One really good thing about this route, was Mettur Dam. It is so beautiful. We stopped to take pictures but read in tamil that photography was prohibited. There are no proper restaurants on this route until you reach Bhavani. We reached Bhavani around 10:00 am and had breakfast. A cute grasshopper, whose tail resembled a leaf, was happily resting on our windshield. I took the wheel and Pras found a pet for a while. He was so cute, happily hopping around Pras. We finally got onto NH-47. Once we got onto NH-47, to confirm the route, we asked a lorry driver the way to Coimbatore and his response was "Go straight. The speedometer should not come below 100" :) NH-47 has a lot of ongoing work to widen the roads. Well, the wide roads and 4 lane highways are awesome to drive on, but it's pathetic and disheartening to see that they've cut down all the trees, never to plant another one to replace the cut tree. Since we were off on a weekday, the traffic was negligible. We touched 120+ on this route where the stretch was very good. Pras was getting a stiff shoulder and hence, we kept taking turns to drive. The stretch post Avinashi towards Palakkad is horrible. There are many pot holes and huge lorries parked on either side. Fortunately, we did not have to spend any time at Walayar check post. We reached Palakkad at 2pm.

We started back on Sunday. We started at 6am and got to Bangalore by 1:30pm. The road from Palakad till Walayar was depressing with so many dogs/cats lying pools of blood. There was quite a bit of traffic, it being the end of the long weekend. Most of the cars on the road were Karnataka registrations vehicles, all raring to go, without a single thought. The funny thing about the National Highway is that there is these "Kurk Chalai"/cross roads for villagers with zebra crossings.Each of these had many sign boards one of which was a "Don't Sound Horn" sign meaning that the pedestrians have right of way. Further, the villagers cross the road with cows/goats without looking to neither left nor right. And the drivers knowing that the pedestrians have right of way, don't stop for them. Accidents are eminent. There was a swift and a wagon R behind me. I used to brake or take my leg off the accelerator when we neared these crossings. These guys waited for a chance, when I was behind a bus and overtook me. At the next immediate crossing, the swift driver rammed into a bike. The whole village surrounded his car. Fortunately, no one was hurt. There was a blockade on the Dharmapuri road due to a truck that had run off the road and was being pulled up. This took upto 45 minutes of our time. Another irritating thing were these TOLL PLAZAS. Oh god, we spend almost 200 rupees or so on toll charges, each way. At one toll plaza, the road was bad just before the plaza. Hence, I asked the man sitting at the counter "You are collecting such hefty tolls and the road is not good in front of the toll plaza itself". He shouted something.. not sure what. At one toll plaza, I went to the toilet and guess what I found when I opened the Ladies toilet door? Another man doing I-don't-know-what in the toilet. I was dead scared as to how he would respond as Pras had stayed back in the car. Anyways, I acted very innocent and shouted "Sorry" :P
We took the elevated highway from E-city to give it a try and it is not really a highway.. it made me feel sorta claustrophobic - the walls are high giving you a closed feeling. We had lunch at 'The Dhaba" and ate the scrumptuous food that Pras's mom had packed for dinner.
Overall, it was a great experience. I am sure Pras is now very confident about driving which is a worry as well as a relief for me. Worry - he may not let me drive at all. Relief - I don't always have to drive through traffic.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

My version of Bharwan Karele ;)

Well, Pras loves his Karela. However, he loves them the south-indian way - with the skin not peeled and only the hard seeds removed, as a poriyal. I had other things on my mind when I picked up these tiny baby karelas from the store last week - yes, Bharwan Karela. ;)

I got home on Friday evening with plans of making this dish but had a customer feedback session by 6:30pm and I was sure that I would not be able to make the dish in time. Fortunately, Pras and I had a fight and we both went to bed hungry ;) Come Saturday morning and I was all set to make the dish.
It turned out real good that things were back to normal between Pras and me... So,here's how I made it :)

You will need :
Baby Karelas - 5 (preferrably soaked in salted water for a few hours)
Onions - 1 medium sized chopped finely
Tomatoes - 3 pureed
Garlic pods - 3 crushed
Garam masala powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Red chilli powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Cumin seeds - 1/2 teaspoon
Salt to taste
Oil - 3 table spoons

For the stuffing :
Besan/Gram flour - 1 cup
Red chilli powder - 3/4 teaspoon
Turmeric powder - a pinch
Coriander powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Cumin powder - 1 teaspoon
Garam masala powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Onion - 1/2 finely chopped
Water - to bind into loose lumps
Salt to taste

Method :
1. Scrape the skin of the karelas. Slit the karelas lengthwise - make sure that you don't go all the way through. Scoop out the seeds et al. I discarded the peels as well as the insides. Some people suggest using them in the stuffing.
2. In a bowl mix all the ingredients for the stuffing. Add just enough water to bind the ingredients together till they resemble coarse bread crumbs
3. Fill the empty karelas with the prepared stuffing
4. Heat oil in a wide skillet. As the oil heats, add the crushed garlic pods and cumin seeds.
5. When the cumin seeds crackle, add the chopped onions and fry till they turn golden brown.
6. Throw the red chilli powder and fry for a minute.
7. Put in the tomato puree. Fry for 3-4 minutes. Add garam masala powder and salt to taste.
8. Place the stuffed karelas in this tomato chutney. Pour some water till the karelas are partially covered. Cover the vessel and cook on low heat. Every now and then, you can turn the karelas around to make sure that they are cooked evenly.
9. Garnish with coriander and serve with hot rotis.

I loved it and so did Pras. The karelas were a bit bitter but the sweetness of the besan and the sourness of the tomato chutney blended with it well.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Nuances of modern communication

I, being a fairly frank person, love modern communication methods. Email, texting as well as chats allow me to BE the frank ME. I have been able to put across a lot of my thoughts to my good friends through chat which I would not have been able to do, had I been facing them. It is really hard to be outright FRANK when I am face to face with a person. Up to a limit, I shall go but beyond that, I always prefer to use other means.
However, there are drawbacks too. Like, you can be misunderstood easily. The reader can also get the tone wrong though you never would've meant it. The reader can and will read in between the lines, which can not be clarified there and then, leaving a mark most of the time. And, the worst of them all, emails are living proof that "You Did Say It"!!!. When you talk face to face, there is no proof unless it has been recorded, of course.
The last two days have taught me a lesson to proof read my mails before I send them out and that I should never ever be brash in emails.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The big fat Sindhi wedding!

Well, as most of you do know, I studied in CIT, Coimbatore. During those 4 years, I stayed at my dad's youngest sister's place. She has two sons - Kunal and Dilip. When I heard that Kunal was getting married, I was like "So soon?".. Never occurred to me that I had got married a year ago and people around me are growing up. Anyways, Kunal's wedding was fixed for August 17th, 2010 to bubbly Deepika Punjabi. The mayhem was to start on 15th August, 2010.
Pras and I booked our tickets and then applied for leave. Sadly, Pras's leave was not immediately approved. Since he does not believe in lavish weddings, he did not try asking one more time. It did prick a bit but I was looking forward to the cocktail ring ceremony, with or without him ;)
Free hair cut:
I worked late till 1:30 am on Friday night, to try and show the device team engineer that the issue was actually on the device and the management software could not really solve it. However, was unsuccessful. On 14th, Saturday, I went to YLG salon in Frazer town for my scheduled free haircut. I had bought 2 bars of Galaxy chocolate, with which I got a coupon for a hair cut worth 350 rupees. However, though the haircut cost 600 odd rupees, it was all free :) We took the Lok manya express coming from Mumbai to Coimbatore. The train was FILTHY!! Ugh!! After ages I was travelling in sleeper class. As usual, I got adventurous and we got off at Peelamedu Railway Station. We then navigated our way to the closest bus stop, took a bus to Singanallur and then from there to Ramanathapuram, Sungam to freshen up at Venu chettan's place.
Venu Chettan's place:
It was nice to be at Venu Chettan's place for a few hours on the 15th. For the first time since my wedding, Chaitu and Mridu played with me. Chaitu has spoken to me before but this time it was really nice. I got to know both of them quite well. After a hearty breakfast and a tummy filling lunch, Pras and I left for Rajasthani Sangh in R S puram. My parents were put up there. I was expecting Guddu to be with them but alas, when I entered the room, it was Adi with them. Anyways, it has been long since I visited Ooty. I wanted to see my dad who has been suffering from gout since a few months. I am going to Ooty along with Vidya and Abu in September for FOUR full days :)
Cocktail party :
I wore the shoulderless/backless frock which Priya had gotten me when she left Chennai. Pras was part of a the cocktail party for an hour or so. He left totally irritated though - not really sure why. The cocktail party was at Jenny's Residency opposite CIT on Avinashi Road. The party started off with the exchange of rings and cutting of the cake. Following that, there were some dance performances - they seemed never ending.. I was yelling for them to stop so that I could have my fun. While waiting, Pras left and I had a drink - vodka+sprite. I had just gotten high and the dance floor was open to all. Attack!! There was one really tall guy - Abhishek - who kept trying to dance with me. I tried avoiding him by dancing with Guddu/Jhanu or jumping into some group but he never got the hint. ;) At one point, he took my phone and put it into his pocket so that we could dance with no interruptions... Ahem!! I snatched my phone from him as soon as I could and turned away. Got to the room at 1:30 am that night. Danced till the very end.
Day two - Mehndi and reliving the past:
I had planned that I will roam around CBE and go for Peepli Live. However, that never happened. People kept asking me about the guy I was dancing with - Abhishek - I said I had no idea. They told me to tell him that I was married and that he would not come near me ever again ;) I was asked to go for the Curry Chawal function to feed Deepika. I got to apply Mehndi there. I applied on one hand then. I came back and got mehndi applied on my other hand. Hence, I was not handicapped with wet mehndi on both hands at one time :) Smart eh? Sadly, not everyone was as lucky as I was. They all got to apply on only one hand. Hmm!! Talk about cost cutting!
Later that day, we had the "Tel" ceremony where we apply gingelly oil on the groom and tear all his clothes - like a new beginning for him.. Kunal was so despo to get it over with and meet Deepika that he sat silently while we all applied "COCONUT" oil on his head and make on his face umpteen times while his dad kept wiping it all away. They refused to give us gingelly oil!!Grrr!! My bro applied rotten tomatoes, egg, etc. on Kunal's head. When we began to tear his clothes, Kunal willingly removed his clothes and gave it to us :) Ha ha ha... Usually, the guy would wear many layers to save his shame but Kunal was ultimate. He had no issues with getting naked in front of all his relatives.
Had tea with Sid, Suraj and Mohan. Sid is the same guy who had once stayed at our place and had come out of the toilet with just a towel around his waist when I told him that a girl, Reshma, had come looking for him ;)
Post that, Suraj told me not to sleep but to join the guys to play cards. While waiting for the guys, I got to know Sonam. Sonam is Kailash's sister in law. She is so different from her sister Radhika/Sangita(we change the name of the girl once she gets married based on her husband's stars - fortunately, no such thing applied to me ;)). Finally, we played cards. It was like reliving the past when all of us cousins would play cards in Ooty during the summer vacation. Missed Jeetu a lot then. Wish he was with us. Wish Kanchan also was okay to have joined us while we played late at night. Slept at 3:30 am that day.
The finale :
While waiting for the "baaraat" at Rajasthani Sangh, I once again bumped into Abhishek. I then told him that I was married and that I work for HP. He was stunned. He felt that I was may be in the 10th or 12th and in college maximum. He was a friend of Deepika's and he was from Andhra. He had scored 98 percent in his CA exam (I think) and was currently working for ICA in Coimbatore. Once again the dancing in the baaraat with Sid and Suraj while Mohan was busy pressing the right button in the toilet.
Post that, I was off to decorate.. umm.. spoil Kunal's room for the night. Could not do much as I had to rush back as my in-laws had reached. When I got back, I went shopping for new clothes with my in-laws. Bought a new salwar set as it has been ages since I bought myself one. Wore a saree for the reception. Many people were like "from a tomboy to a pretty butterfly" :)

I will miss these 3 days. It is good it was not longer as it may have turned sour. I will also definitely miss the "JEALOUS" people who went "most people put on weight post marriage but you still so slim"..... ;) I just wish I got to tell them that!! Ha ha ha

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


I just love cooking. It is so relaxing, especially when you know what you want to cook and have all the ingredients handy. However, I am always in a dilemma. I have so many recipes that I want to try out and taste. I miss home so much. My mom is a fantastic cook who makes loads of variety. Hence, I am used to all cuisines. Cooking is my way of reliving my days at home and eating yummy food. Further, after a stressful day at work, when the food is tasty and yummy, the results are well worth it and the day is all fruitful :)
A few weeks back, I met up with Compromise and Namroos. I follow Namroos's blog like crazy. All her north Indian recipes are so much like how my mom makes them. is her blog - check it out.
Pras gets really irritated when he sees me browsing for new recipes or watching cookery shows on television. How mean!! Does he not enjoy the yummy food I cook? Hmm..
The other day I was chatting with Ambareen and she was talking about different variety rice recipes. I thought to myself, "When was the last time I thought of making variety rice? It has been ages since I made the plain tomato rice and potato fry". I always end up trying so many different things that it is a looong time before I try out the same recipe. However, a skinny south Indian meal is a standard once a week as Pras loves his rice, being a mallu.
Tonight I am gonna cook up the tomato rice and potato fry as we have run dry of veggies. No matter how much I buy never seems to be enough these days. Two reasons : Pras works from home and secondly, I keep trying out different recipes that sometimes I cook two dishes for a meal. Fortunately, super markets these days have so much variety, that one does not have to run around to take a grab at ingredients.
I however do miss baking and dessert making. I remember making all these yummy desserts when I was at home. Mom, Meema or Susheela would do the regular cooking and I would do the desserts - rock cheese cake, black forest cake, etc.. I also remember trying out exotic dishes which would require hours in the kitchen like the boats recipe - half cook the potato, scrape out the centre and then bake them, following which you stuff the centre with some filling and what not. I really don't think I have that much time and energy to try out those things these days. I would love to but for now I will have to make do with the jhat pat khana which is not bad in any way.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


I was so excited when I came to know that Binu was getting married. I was like "FINALLY".. I had to wait until Aruna told me so that I could call him and congratulate him.. But guess what? He did not recognize my voice.. Hmm.. Anyways, I was too excited then to get angry... I had already started making plans - we had already visited Alleppey the previous year... Coaxed Pras into nodding the way I wanted, for a trip to Munnar. Well, it was all planned - a budgeted trip this time. We booked and cancelled and rebooked quite a few times as we were not aware of the buses.. sadly the trains were all booked by the time I could confirm that Binu wanted us to attend his D-Day :)
Binu's wedding was on a Monday - the 28th of June, 2010. We decided to spend the weekend in Munnar. Being from Ooty, we booked a resort away from the hustle and bustle of Munnar. The resort was called Eco-Exotica Holidays. I was not too pleased with the name but was blown away when I saw a picture of the swimming pool. Just as we left to catch our bus to Munnar, Amma called telling us that there was a strike in Kerala the following day against the then recent fuel price hike. Pras and I decided to go ahead and check with the KSRTC officials. They said the bus would reach Munnar at 11:30 am the following day. Trusting them and believing that there wont be any issues for us on the way, off we went. Once we reached Coimbatore, I asked the driver if he knew about the strike in Kerala and he was like he had got to know about it just that morning when he had stopped in Coimbatore. Hmm.... I then asked him to stop so that we could have some tea at least. He stopped an hour from Coimbatore, just before Pollachi. There was this one girl on the bus who waited patiently while all the other passengers, including us, all of 7, had our breakfast - she had to get off just 15 minutes away from where the bus stopped. My heart went out to her when I knew that we had made her wait for over 45 minutes to get to a place just 15 minutes away.

At the Udumalpet check post at the border of TamilNadu and Kerala, the bus stopped saying that they would wait for other buses - which would be safer. Fortunately for us, there was a dam close by where we could spend time. Off we went to the dam.. walked around in the sun..ate fried fish, dosa and AWESOME fish curry and got back well before the earlier stated deadline of 2pm. The bus started at around 12:45pm from there and we were stopped by CPI activists. Each vehicle that was stopped there was given a time at which they could proceed from this point. Crossing this stop, we were stopped once again. This time it was more dynamic with one gang of drunk chaps imitating the activists. One of them waved the CPI flag in front of one the activists who was happily allowed by the others to proceed. Humiliated by this, all vehicles were allowed to move. We finally reached Munnar at 5pm. It was raining - the usual June July weather of Ooty. A taxi was arranged to take us to the resort - some 20kms away from the town. We did lose our way there once - the freaky resort had no sign boards whatsoever. Finally got to our destination around 6:30pm. We were told that the tree house that we had booked was not available cause of the rain and that we could spend the first night in their "SUPER DELUXE" rooms. The flicking room was no better than the room that we get in hotels near my house in Ooty at 500 rupees a night. I do agree that the location of the resort was good and we could pay a bit more just for that but not 2500 rupees per night. Further, the damned place had no power - they used to run a generator in the evenings.. Hmm....
The resort was not that good - they shared the same compound with another resort - Wild Elephant resort which had not got very good reviews. No wonder the same swimming pool picture was put up on both sites!!!!
From the resort, we had a good view of a lovely waterfall. We visited that waterfall and I almost took Pras down with me there with my butter feet :) The food at the resort was also not good.
Google maps says it is a 3 hour journey from Munnar to Kayankulam - the place of Binu's wedding. The resort guys told us it would be 4.5 hours. Preparing for 4.5 hours, we started at 6:30am on Monday for Kayankulam. Stopping on the way for breakfast, we bought Bamboo rice - which is supposed to flower once in 40 years. Bamboo rice is medicinal - helping with night blindness, joint aches and is also called natures's viagra. ;)
Our journey took 7 hours and we reached after the muhurtham time - we did get to meet the bride and groom fortunately! After a heart meal and yummy payasam, we braced ourselves for another LONG journey homeward bound to Palakad. First we went by taxi to Ernakulam, jumped onto a bus to Thrissur. At thrissur, we boarded the very train which I had suggested we take from Alleppey itself, ticketless in the Unreserved compartment. It brought back memories of the time we travelled in the second class compartment during one of our school excursions. However, this time there were just too many people cramped inside - some sleeping on the floor.. some cribbing on and on... was fun.. I could not stop laughing and there was one lady who kept shouting at me for laughing - well, I was not laughing at her.. was just laughing at just how good the trip had been!!! :P
Finally, the romance with kerala has actually ended. For a while, no more Kerala trips....

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Outdated!! Am I?

Well, if you have been reading my blog, you will know that Pras and I are now the proud owners of a second hand alto. (It's actually funny that now I can't stop saying hubby or husband rather than Pras/Prashanth) Since Pras does not have hands on driving experience, we've been going on short drives near our house so that he gets a hold of changing the gears, managing the clutch and accelerator with his feet as well as handling the steering wheel all at once. Last weekend, after the lessons, we went to total mall. As we entered, I was asked to open up the boot and I said I did not know how to open up the boot - basically I thought it had to be done like in old M800s as that's the only car I have really driven around for most of my life so far and I was too lazy to get out and open it up. They let me in by checking via the back seat.
Today, after having had a minor accident - for which both of us are at fault - I shouted at Pras and he hit the HIGH foot path while taking reverse. Fortunately, nothing serious - a small tear in the mud flap :) - we went to fill petrol. I was asked to open the tank and I dutifully got off the car to open the tank with the key as in the cars I've known so far. Sadly, there was no keyhole :( I felt like a fool. The guy working at bunk called me to the driving seat and showed me where the control to open the fuel tank flap was available.
After these two incidents I feel like may be Aditya, my colleague, was right. May be I am really "outdated" (in his words). It is not a nice feeling..... :(

Thursday, June 10, 2010

June 9th

Looks like June 9th is bound to be an eventful day every year for Pras and me :) My friend Sakthi, never forgets to remind me of these important days in my life. He did call me y'day morning too, telling me that it was a special day and I was wondering what it was. I was already feeling low cause of the number of things I had missed while making changes for a SERIOUS bug. Once I had had a talk with my manager, things in my head cleared up and I saw that it was the very day on which, 3 years earlier, Pras and I had met with an accident. We had been to two movies and had a lovely time together. We were riding back from Subway in Besant Nagar, when a speeding bike crashed into us as we were crossing the road. Pras did not get even so much as a scratch. I fainted like twice and remember seeing things in green. I could make out Pras's face but could not see his eyes or nose or mouth. I was in so much pain that I could not feel pain. Anyways, it was a very minor accident. I got away with some bruises. However, the guy who crashed into us ended up with a fracture. I got 10 days off from work thanks to my swollen knee. However, this fracture did bring me close to Binu whom I really respect for his brains. And guess what, Binu is getting married end of this month. Am so excited about his marriage. It is nice to know that people who really need some love in life are finally getting married after not accepting it for a long long time.
Well, that was about June 9th in 2007.
Y'day Pras and I went to collect the second hand alto in Koramangala. We had gone there on Pras's bike thinking that I would drive back the car alone. However, we drove back together leaving the bike at the consultants' place. After a late lunch, we took a bus to HSR BDA complex, from where we had planned to take an auto to Koramangala to get the bike back. However, just as the bus was approaching the stop, it started raining cats and dogs, just like in Ooty. I have never once got wet to the bone in Ooty - thanks to the luxury that my parents have bestowed upon me. I did get wet once in Chennai - was returning home after having watched Blind Date in satyam cinemas along with Sakthi and Nirmal. Well, since Pras and I did not want to get wet, we bought tickets to the last stop that the bus was headed towards which, was not too far, Central Silk Board. The bus driver stopped in the middle of nowhere and asked us to get down. Pras got down from the door at the back. However, I was unable to get off as the ladies in front of me did not want to get wet in the rain. A frustrated driver, closed the doors and took the bus, made a U-turn and stopped the bus on the other side of the road. Pras could not find me and hence called me but I was too busy trying to get off the bus. I did try calling him as I got off but my phone battery gave up. The thing here is that Pras did not know that the bus had taken a U-turn. I now had a choice of waiting in the bus shelter feeling guilty that Pras will be tense or I could run across the flooded road in the heavy rain and find Pras. Well, as most of you know me, I ran across the road. By the time I found Pras in one of the many shelters at Central Silk Board, I was completely drenched and I could not stop laughing. I kept laughing till we got home :) From Silk Board we took an auto to Koramangala, handed over address proof letters to the consultant for transfer of ownership of the car and then rode back home on the bike. We then had yummy hot maggi with an omelette for dinner.
It feels great to get wet to the bone in the heavy rain, more so when the rain reminds you of home. I miss Ooty. I love Ooty. I would still do anything to go back there. Just wish Pras would love Ooty as much.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Invictus - a must watch

I am now a Rugby fan. I watched Invictus in parts while travelling to Lakshadweep - most of which was on the train journey from Bengalooru to Ernakulam. I always stayed away from history and geography. I am still weak in these areas - I got my lowest marks in these two subjects in school. I am so much a fan now of Invictus and Nelson Mandela, who has accomplished so much. I wish I could emulate him or the Mahatma. I would have gone mad had I been made to live in a small prison room for THIRTY years. I can hardly stay at home 24 hours at a go. I definitely have a lot to learn from these great people. I am glad that such movies are made which educate bimbos like me on things that really matter - which make me realize who I really am and what I really should be doing.
I always liked Morgan Freeman and his acting in Invictus is outstanding.
I recommend that all go watch this movie.

Lakshadweep - true heaven on earth

My husband has been in between jobs and we were planning a trip. I had managed to get my leave approved but we were unable to finalize on the holiday location. We initially tried Uttaranchal and then the north-east. Failing both, my husband chose Lakshadweep - India's only coral destination. I was not very impressed initially. I had my own inhibitions but I obliged as life has been really different for me these last few months - have been travelling a lot, work has been a bit hectic and worst of all, I have been undergoing a lot of treatments. I really don't know why I go to those doctors and then fall for what they tell me. Anyways, I am done with that phase again :)
This package to Lakshadweep is a Government of India organized trip. There is a Government ship named Kavaratti, which sets sail from Cochin in Kerala. They have a fixed schedule. The ship is not intended only for tourism and has other agenda as well and hence it is requested that you stick to the schedules given.
We took a day train from Bengalooru to Ernakulam on the 3rd of March, 2010. Hubby and I planned to watch movies and pass time through the day and sadly, the laptop power charging socket had an erratic power supply. I did, however, manage to watch most of "Invictus". We had a hotel reservation at the "Hotel Abad Metro". We had eaten at this place on our earlier visit to Alleppey. The food was awesome and value for money. We checked into the hotel, took a bath and took a walk around the streets of Ernakulam.
The ship was to set sail on the 4th of March, 2010 from Matancherry Wharf, Willingdon Island. One word of advice here, eat your lunch and then head for the screening spot [ a few metres from the Wharf, where your luggage is checked and they ensure that you are not carrying any alcohol as alcohol is banned on the Lakshadweep islands]. The itinerary does mention that you will be served lunch aboard the ship but that is not the case. However, you can catch up on a kerala thali for 30 bucks at the second class canteen aboard the ship meant for the bunk class passengers. The food in the second class canteen is really better than the food served to first class cabin passengers a.k.a tourists. The ship sets sail around 4pm, around which time tea and tiger biscuits are also served to tourists. We noticed some pink nosed dolphins just off the coast of Cochin - was my first time seeing dolphins :)
The cabins are really cozy, if not luxurious. You are provided with a table, 2 chairs, a 2 seater sofa, 2 cupboards, life jackets and 2 comfortable bunk beds. The toilet is also very cute and comfortable. Drinking water, towels, blankets and soap is provided - I guess it is included in the package cost of 20.5k per head. Warm and not hot water is available for bath. Since the ship has other agenda and not just take tourists sight seeing, it is requested to keep your valuables under lock and key, whenever you are not available in the cabin - there is no lock provided for the cabin. The ship is a means of transporting people as well as other goods between the other islands. Lakshadweep consists of 36 islands out of which 10 are inhabited by humans. Kavaratti is the capital of Lakshadweep and is the largest amongst the islands. Minicoy is the second largest island. Coconut farming, livestock rearing and fishing are the major sources of income for people. All people are government employees and 99% of the population is Muslim. It is believed that there is 0% crime rate on these islands. Alcohol is prohibited and most of the islands are not open to foreigners. All the people living on the islands speak and understand Malayalam or one of its dialects. Minicoy has its own language called "Mahal" which is a dialect of the language spoken in Maldives, however, they do understand Malayalam.

Dinner is served at sharp 8pm and consists of dal, roti, rice, fish fry, chicken curry and some vegetable dishes too - the vegetable side dishes depend on the vegetables that are being transported, I guess - we had brinjal on all 4 days - even on the islands.
Morning tea is served at 6am and breakfast is served at 7am. Breakfast consists of bread, butter, jam, a local delicacy - such as dosa/upma/idli, coconut chutney and sambar.
At 7:40 am, all tourists need to assemble for disembarking to proceed to the island.
We visited Kalpeni first. Kalpeni is the smallest of the 3 islands on the agenda and I feel had the warmest and friendliest people. We are taken by means of a boat between the islands and the ship. We are then taken to the government run resort by means of some vehicle. The beaches are very clean, the sand is very fine. The water is crystal clear - with two shades - a lighter blue where the water is shallow and the dark deep blue of the sea.The first activity was water sports - kayaking and snorkeling. I got into my swimsuit only to be stared upon by the aunties and uncles from Bengal and Ajmer :) Sadly , hubby and I were the only "YOUNG" couple in the tourist crowd. We first went kayaking from the island to another smaller island close by. From there, we were given snorkeling equipment. The water was about 3feet high[low tide] and the corals in Kalpeni are really sharp so wear your footwear when in water too. You need to float and look into the water and get a good look at the fish and corals. I am really really scared of water and especially of it getting into my ear - by the time I got comfortable of putting my head into the water, it was time to head back for lunch. I did however see something.. We also saw sea cucumbers - which shrink when taken out of the water. There was one which was like a snake and was moving. We have to stick to the schedule as the ship has to stick to its schedule ;) Post lunch, we were taken around the island.Kalpeni has a hosiery factory and a khadi bhavan. We bought tees for 63 bucks from the hosiery factory. We were shown how the weaving is done. However,the raw material comes from the mainland and that may add to the cost that we eventually will pay. I loafed around while people took their time at the hosiery. I made friends with Saifudeen who wanted his picture to be taken. His mom offered me some coconut fruit - this grows inside a coconut. After tea and some cultural programmes, we are taken back to the jetty to embark back onto the ship.
The next day we visited Kavaratti - the capital. Kavaratti is more commercial and has a population of 10k. We were taken on a glass bottom boat ride where we could get a good view of the corals and fish. We got to see the colourful sea anemone and many other corals. On payment of 200 bucks, you can get to go snorkeling for 30 minutes. I was a bit sea sick after the boat ride and decided to stay back. I did change my mind at the last minute but my hubby said that he would not take care of me - there are guys who come to help and take care of people but my hubby insisted I save my energy for the scuba diving the next day. I am told that the snorkeling at Kavaratti is a must-do. Post lunch, we had some cultural entertainment. We also went to the desalination plant which is the source of drinking water across the Kavaratti island. This plant was installed for an initial cost of 4 crores and one litre of water costs 15 paise. People are however not charged this amount. The technology for this plant is all Indian coming from the National Institute of Ocean Technology, Chennai. We also visited an aquarium and museum of preserved varieties of fish. I loafed around while people took their time and made friends with the villagers. After tea, we got back to the ship to proceed to the next destination - Minicoy.
Minicoy was very beautiful - had 3 different colours to the beach - a white, crystal blue and the deep blue of the sea. This was because of low tide. By afternoon, this had changed. The landscape of Minicoy was very different from the first two islands - there were a variety of trees that could be seen. In Kalpeni and Kavaratti, it was hard to find a tree other than a coconut tree. We first went to the lighthouse. We climbed all the way to the top - from which we could see a small island with 12 coconut trees, named Wringley island - after Lord Wringley who was buried there. It was a beautiful sight. Back at the resort, we registered for scuba diving. I mustered all my courage to go scuba diving. However, with an impatient, discouraging helper and my non-supportive hubby, I did not make it. I was very depressed post this - felt like a failure - could not overcome my fear for the water and deep blue sea. My hubby and the others kept talking about the beauty and of a big fish hiding inside a small cave. I was given back the 750 rupees as I had cancelled the scuba diving - I did however get over most of my fear for water. Post lunch, we had a cultural programme. We were informed that in Minicoy, the husband moves to the wife's house post marriage and the entire expense of the wedding is borne by the husband's side. Minicoy has 10 villages with each village having a central village home. The people in Minicoy were least friendly when compared to the other two islands. Minicoy was also more hep in terms of resort look and feel, etc.. The boat ride back to the ship from Minicoy was what I enjoyed the most. The sea was rough and we were completely drenched once we got back to the ship.
The next morning we were back in Cochin. Hubby and I visited the Jewish synagogue in Jew Town. I met the beautiful Amelia, who works as a nurse in London but is from New Zealand. We bumped into each other again at the Dutch Palace museum.Hubby and her partner Rowan, who is from NZ but works as a carpenter in London, got acquainted with each other and we had some nice chit chat after which we bid each other adieu. It was nice to meet them as hubby and I plan to migrate to NZ for a while. We had tea at the Ginger House Restaurant and lunch at Caza Maria restaurant. We then took a local boat to head to the railway station - we did bump into one of the crew members of Kavaratti who was heading home until the 10th of March, 2010 when the M.V.Kavaratti would again set sail.

I am really amazed at what the Government of India can really accomplish. The islands are so clean and people so friendly. It is hard to believe that they don't have any crimes reported there. Alcohol being a no-no, makes it all the more appealing to me - though I really wanted to get drunk on a cocktail or two ;) More important is that they have preserved the beauty and culture of the people. Kudos to the Government for this. I recommend this trip to everyone - even if you are not a water person.
The government has other packages where one can opt to stay on an island. People say that it is better to stay on one island for 2-3 days so that you can get a better feel of the island and visit the places that may be of interest to you. Our package was called the Samudram package aboard M.V.Kavaratti. Aboard the ship we did not really feel sea sick - mostly cause the sea was calm. However, in case you do feel sea sick, the best way to feel better is to look at the horizon.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

When the in-laws visited

Pras and I had found that BIAS-8 would take us to the airport about 30 minutes before the landing of the jet on which my in-laws were coming. We woke up by 5 am, made lunch ready, munched a quick breakfast and walked to the bus stop. The bus was supposed to be there by 9am but came by 9:20am. We then bought 2 tickets, 150 rupees each, for the airport. We reached the airport at 10:40am. Now, we had to spend over an hour waiting. For a while, we walked up and down, had a hot chocolate, read some papers, took another walk, commented on the number of muslims who had come to welcome their kin who would be returning from Haj, cleaned bird shit off Pras's tee and went to the loo. The flight was about 10 minutes delayed - my in-laws had boarded the flight at Coimbatore. They seemed very content and relaxed when we saw them - I thought they may be a nervous wreck - as it was their first time on a flight. We got onto a taxi and we were on our way home. On reaching home, they were impressed with my cooking - except for less salt and the rice a bit under cooked by their standards. They then took a nap while Pras and I watched TV. In the evening, we went to the mall, where amma bought a saree. Now, I must tell you that amma can never say "NO" to a saree :) For dinner that night, I tried my hand at "Kerala Parotta". Well, it came out quite ok - except they would have been softer had I used some egg while making the dough. The next morning, we had aloo paratas for breakfast and then Pras and I went off to buy NSC certificates - I need to submit investment proof between Jan 5th and 15th, 2010. My mother-in-law made sambar while we were away. When we got back - Pras was a bit taken aback that he would have to have sambar on the second consecutive day - but I must say, the sambar made by my experienced amma was really good. The same was had for dinner.
Now, you must understand that my in-laws don't really know what to expect from me cause of the difference in our cultures and the way I've been brought up. It was a welcome surprise to them that I was able to cook and that I would keep the house clean and all that. Amma has just recovered from a broken right wrist and hence, can't do too much cooking. Achcha helps her out and due to this, he has become less particular about the taste of food - thank god. I was really worried as I always use less salt and achcha had once gotten very angry when the salt was less in the sambar made by a relative after my wedding.
By the second day, things were really cool and going smooth, especially since there were not too many expectations.
On the third day, we went to watch Avatar. We had an awful lunch at the food court in Swagath Garuda Mall and I must say - the cinema inside a mall is a real no-no - there was not enough aisle space. We got our 3-d viewing glasses and had a nice time watching Avatar - this movie is a real must-watch - for the graphics as well as the message - "You can not keep screwing with nature". We returned home, had a light dinner and went to the bed.
The next day, we woke up early, had a tasty upma for breakfast and embarked on our tour of Bangalore. We visited the Bannerghata National Park, LalBagh Botanical Garden, Sankey Tank, ISKCON and Shiva temple. BNP was a welcome surprise - I loved the drive to there and the place was nice. The Royal Tiger was so majestic and I just could not get enough of it. Amma and Achcha, though, did not seem too satisfied with this. LalBagh also did not impress them. Sadly, LalBagh did not impress me much too - it has changed so much since when I used to go with my cousin sis and sit on the rocks and chew on roasted corn. We had lunch at "Woodlands" and got to know that ISKCON is open to public only at 4pm. Hence, we went to the park near Sankey Tank - very beautiful and spent some time there. We then went to ISKCON - which is now a "COMMERCIAL TEMPLE". They asked us to buy a special ticket worth 150 rupees which also entitled us to books worth 50 rupees when they actually don't have a single book worth 50 rupees there. So, eventually, you need to pay more :P
We then started back home and on the way visited the Shivan temple at Marathahalli. Well, Pras and I were not very interested in waiting for an hour in the queue and hence stayed in the car, had a chai, bought a small piece of cake to celebrate amma's missed b'day. It was Amma's b'day, the day she landed in bangalore but they never told us :( The next morning, Pras went to IIM. I made chutney, sambar and dosa for breakfast and for lunch, we had sambar and rice. I had a long chat with amma and achcha and made them realize how corrupt even religious institutions have become. We cleaned the house after which Achcha and I bought fish and amma made fish curry with fish fry that day. The next day, we went shopping again and Achcha bought Pras and me a top each :) Achcha insisted I buy a jean too but I refused as there were no offers on. The rest of the day, we relaxed and talked.

I must say, it was really nice to have my in-laws over. I was a bit tense in the beginning and so were they but when they saw that I was at ease doing the work, they relaxed. Yes, I did get a bit irritated when they stepped on my feet while I was cooking but that is ok - I need to get used to having someone around me in the kitchen. Staying alone and being independent has its pros and cons - you learn a lot but makes you so independent that any extra help seems like an interference.

Lasik Surgery

I have wanted to get this done for a long time now. However, earlier I used to wonder if it was worth spending 25k on correcting what nature has given me and sometimes used to think that I would feel lost without my glasses - behind which I often hide. Well, my hubby is a really fantastic guy - he just has this do-or-die attitude sometimes and he was my strength all through. The date and time of the surgery were fixed just the day before the surgery on the 31st of December, 09. Yes, I was doing the most unthinkable - getting operated on the 1st day of the New Year :) We were asked to be at the hospital around 11am. Till I woke up on the 1st, I was still wondering whether I should really go in for the surgery or not. Well, as fate would have it, out of anxiety, I got my period earlier too. Now, for people who know me well, know what this means - I will be flat on the bed. But, hubby dear perked me up and off we went. My "know-it-all" uncle and cousin sister came over to give me moral support. This sister, Subbu, has undergone this surgery before too. So, it made me feel a lot better. There were a few last minute tests done to confirm my actual power. The doctor met me and gave me strict instructions - keep watching the green light at all times, it may however, disappear for 20 seconds, but don't get tense. I was shown my room and asked to change into a "LARGE" purple coloured outfit. I was a bit reluctant cause of the size but once I was in it, it felt like heaven - the cloth was so soft and wearable and the colour kind of soothed my nerves. Drops were inserted into my eyes two times - they were either antibiotic drops which also helped numb the nerve endings in the eye. Though I was told that the surgery would take place at around 12pm, I was called at around 12:45pm. A cap was placed over my head and I was given large gauzy shoes for my feet. I said a final good bye to my hubby dearest and went into the room, where I was seated and a last dose of drops was administered. Pras did sneak in and I did get a last glance at him before the nurse shooed him away :( I was really nervous. I wanted to just run back home.

I was taken into the surgery room and asked to lay on the bed. The nurse was a real darling - so warm and I could the warmth of her smile radiated out of the mask too. The doctor, then asked me to open my eyes wide, look up at him. He then placed a shield so that my eyes would stay open through the surgery. I asked the nurse to hold my hand. She was holding my left hand. Suddenly, there was cold water running down my face and I panicked and lifted my right hand to stop whatever it was that the doctor was doing. This really pissed off the doctor. He was just flushing my eye out. However, I have this fear of water going into my ear. But the doctor did not give me a chance to tell him of my fears :(. He always cut me short as soon as I had uttered "But doctor....". The doctor then attached a lens of sorts onto my eye. This time again, I got tense and started telling him that I could not see the green light . The doctor got really angry and told me that he had already informed me that the light will disappear for 20 seconds or so. I relaxed. Then, a light beam, like the one in the xerox copier which moves from one side to the other, went over my eye and once more the eye was flushed and cleaned and I was told that the right eye was done. And then, I started shivering. I wonder why I was shivering after the procedure was done.
Now, this doctor, he got on my nerves by telling me that the easier part was over and he was about to do the left eye which had more power and hence required more co-operation. The doctor kept contradicting himself - one moment he would tell me that I was co-operating well, following all instructions and the very next moment he said that I was not at all following his instructions. Now, amongst all this, the doctor had also moved aside the overhead green light and while my eye was searching for this, he shouted at me to stop searching and to look at the green light, which obviously was out of my line-of-sight. Then, when I told him that I could not see it, he asked me to at least look in the direction of the light, after which he realized that it was moved aside and corrected its alignment with a humph!! This time, they placed a ball of cotton in my left ear to prevent the water from going in. He did shout at me one more time for moving my eyeball from one side to another. At last, it was all over. As soon as I got out of the theatre, the doctor complained to Pras about how tense I was inside the theatre - obviously - my first surgery!!!
I was sent to my room, administered some drops and given the "Gola - Italy design" goggles and asked to wear those. We ordered lunch from the cateteria and were waiting, when we were asked to meet the doctor. There was another gentleman who had been operated before[luckily] me, cause he was mentioning some sort of issue in vision after the surgery. As soon as the doctor saw me - "Jyothiiiii, you made my life miserable in the theatre" to which I promptly replied "Sorry Doc". I will never forget the accent and tone with which he said that. I also thanked the lord that I did not get operated before the other person - imagine what would have happened if the doctor had to operate the other chap, who had -7.5 power, after I had irritated him.
I was then told what I could do and could not do and was sent home. I was able to watch TV. I was able to read.
For 15 days, I can not splash water on my face - hence no face wash nor hair wash. I am not supposed to touch my eyes nor rub them.
I had a follow up check up yesterday and my power is nil now - though, the left eye is not 100% clear - but they had already told me that they can't guarantee a 100% correction. However, with both eyes, my vision is now a full 6/6. I was told that I need not wear the sunglasses anymore too.
This morning, I woke up and was watching SRK on "Lift Kara De" and guess what?? My hand went up to push my spectacles up my nose, only to realize that I wont be wearing any henceforth - fingers crossed :)

P.S. I got my surgery done at Sankara Eye Hospital, Kundalahalli Gate, Marathahalli, Bangalore.