My little garden 

Dear all,

Since it’s been a while, here are some pictures of my garden. I love the small roof garden I have. Although I am making use of only a quarter of the space available, I have a variety of plants growing. 3 eggplants, Mogra, chamberi, exotic creeper (I forget the name) one each, onions in a round pot, 4 hibiscus plants, potatoes in a pot, bitter gourd, ridge gourd, pole beans… I will share the ones that are available on my iPad. I will share some more soon, maybe once the onions are bigger and potatoe plants have grown in size… 

So enjoy! 😊 I know I enjoy my garden.. it teaches me life lessons I couldn’t have learnt elsewhere.. I think gardening should be made compulsory for all children..  they will get to know so much.

Also following my post on ‘Pruning negative thoughts’ 

https://awkwardlyinconsistent.wordpress.com/2016/12/11/pruning-negative-thoughts/
I thought I would add a quote or story or simply a gardening tip from a fellow gardener I speak to or read about in newspapers or blogs or Facebook posts (don’t worry I will always cite the source, so you can always check them out if interested). If you want to be a part of this, please do email me at amulysai@gmail.com with the subject ‘Gardening tip’ and I will add your story or quote.

Gardening tip 1: drainage holes. A pot must have drainage holes, if you don’t have/want them, then make sure to add a thick layer of stones at the bottom (at least 2 inches). This will act as a drain layer that will keep your plant roots from rotting. One of my friends, a fellow urban gardener based in the US says, 

“I learned that if in closed vessels plant will drown and wilt also (much like people in suffocating relationship).. so always have holes in your pots” — Mersad (24 July 2017, Instagram exchange [he grows orchids and the one he shared on insta is the prettiest little thing I have ever seen! I couldn’t take my eyes off it]). 

  

  

Following are pictures from my roof garden 😊

  
  

  
 

Monsoon in Himayatnagar

One might think that living in Himayatnagar would mean a lot of pollution and traffic, but the not so tucked away Minerva lane has so much green cover, thanks to CPI building, a Muslim family that takes care of a sizeable piece of property next to us, and the Indian Red Cross. The CPI compound has loads of Asoka trees — which I must admit is sort of a problem. I will discuss this in the next para. The IRC society has loads of shrubs and bushes, any number of coconut trees, and one huge mango tree tantalising us with it’s golden yellow mangoes that they don’t harvest (also problematic, again: next paragraph for details), the property next to us has mango, custard apple, and sapodilla trees. While the green helps us on hot summer Noons, when our house is at least 5 degrees hotter, getting perfectly baked from all the sides, my bedroom which does not get a lot of sun but does receive fresh air because of all the trees is a soothing, balming spot for all of us.Now that it is raining, it seems like all the trees and saplings are grinning, with the brown being shed and shining new growth taking it’s place. Visit the nearest garden/park near you. Believe you me, I am not exaggerating. 

Now because of all the wealth we have, is it any surprise that every morning, just before dawn, we hear so many birds chirping. Parrots (one left it’s feather in a pot on our terrace, so I know they visit or at least used to. Pigeons are a menace, they do not allow other birds anywhere near the area, and all they do is peck their way into delicate saplings. They don’t even eat the leaves, they just like plucking them off), sparrows, koels, a little black bird that’s got the loudest voice ever (pitta koncham kootha ghanam), woodpeckers, bats (thanks to Asoka trees, where they nest away happily) and wowie wow, a snowy owl. I don’t know where it came from, but I suspect it has a nest in one of the Asoka trees as well. When I go up to the terrace, late in the evening, after an early dinner, for a walk I tell myself, but mostly to hunt grubs, I wait for the owl to take its flight. When it takes off, against the backdrop of velvet blue sky (and some stars, where have the stars gone?) It’s a sight to look at! So majestic! 

Oh and we also have occasional monkey raids. I must admit they have never destroyed my terrace garden, they eat what they want (onions and cucumbers) which I haven’t grown for a while now. But the attack isn’t as bad as it is in our aunt’s place in Nallankunta because 1) it isn’t as hot, given the presence of so many trees in summers and 2) they would have already feasted on the mangoes and custard apple next door, and really who can blame the monkeys for not wanting to eat green leafy vegetables and the boring cucumbers? 

Which is why I say those trees are ‘sort of’ a problem, they attract monkeys but we won’t have it any other way, thank you! If we have winds, just the winds, right before light thunderstorms, the Asoka trees do a lot of self-dusting, by the time it rains, our sofas and doors are covered with a fine layer of dust that annoys my mother to no end. Just as she brings the duster, there is a power cut! So we retire to my parents’ bedroom which has a large window, with a hot cuppa coffee. It’s the best spot on a rainy day. We sit and look at the trees glistening with rain drops, and those birds, oh those lovely lovely birds hopping from tree to another, inviting the shy ones to join them. Muddy pathways in the IRC compound, dogs barking at monkeys hanging from trees (usually just two or three at a time because a monkey infant was killed three summers ago), and in the evenings, bats have a free reign, I am not kidding when I say a wall on our terrace is a work of bat dropping art. 

This is beautiful. We have butterflies and bees now (bee is the sign of a healthy garden). I must remember to grow plants that attract more bees. The monsoons are beautiful in Himayatnagar.

Telugu film industry is creepy 

Chalapathy Rao- one of the creeps in Telugu film industry

Now, the Telugu film industry is the most patriarchal, disgusting industry there is. Imagine, someone like Radhika Apte who has been a part of many regional industries has lamented on the state of affairs in Tollywood (9http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/telangana/radhika-gives-tollywood-a-piece-of-her-mind/article7063529.ece). Not to hurt the ‘Telugu pride’ after Bahubali and all the records it seems to have broken, so progressive in terms of VFX and CGI, that the regressive turn of events that came in the form Chalapathy (cheapathy from now on) Rao’s words brings us rudely back to our, in colloquial terms, “true colors”. He said, “Girls are not harmful, but they are useful in bed”, this at an audio function of a movie called “Rarandoi Veduka Choodam”. But the tragedy isn’t that the audience laughed, Rakul Preet Singh who seemed to be on the brink of laughter (I can give her the benefit of doubt because she hasn’t learnt the language that well to understand the vulgar comment made), Naga Chaitanya (Akkineni Nagarjuna’s son and hero of the said movie) also happily chuckled, the male anchor completely in agreement with the comment made jokingly reprimanded the female anchor for having gone to cheapathy to ask if girls are harmful. 

The tragedy, however, is that TV9, a regional news channel interviewed cheapathy, almost providing a platform for him to make more such comments for the benefit of.. well am not sure why he was given that space at all? This uncle asked the news anchor as to why women were hounding him when the real issues of child rape, rape, and reality shows are not being addressed but his innocent comment has got all kinds of attention. Anyway, women’s groups in the city, and tweeple made it a point to let cheapathy know exactly what they thought of his comments, for that also he had a reply. He said it depends on how we choose to think of his words, see we can think it is good, because obviously ‘pakka’ (bed) can also mean bedsheet, but our brains are so perverted we chose to take it in the wrong manner.

He also asked why women’s groups are after his life. I wanted to tell him, check Youtube or Twitter, even men have condemned your statements. Anyone with an iota of intelligence would, but this senior artist has a reputation for making sexist statements, he once laughed at the fact he has raped many times… wait for it.. in movies. Yes, that’s right, he thought and obviously still thinks it is hilarious that he has raped many a times in his movies. I regret watching his movies now. I don’t think my ears stopped bleeding from everything I heard in a span of twelve hours.

For those who are unaware of how convoluted the Telugu films in particular are, oh wait, you have seen Bahubali 1, right? So, you must know that industries down South have this disgusting fascination with stalkers. Directors, mostly male cannot conceive stories that do not follow the logic of “a woman will fall for me if I stalk her enough”. Yes, you heard it right, and you have seen it in Bahubali too. But this logic is not for all heroes, read: those that come from “star families” For instance, Ram Charan Tej would never be seen stalking, or even Balakrishna who said, “audience would not want us heroes to run behind heroines, we should just go kiss her or get her pregnant, pinch her”, meaning that consent has no space in our Telugu films, heroes are Gods, and heroines can be on their fours (reference: Mahesh Babu’s shameless poster with Kriti Sanon on all fours, and JBTW Kriti Sanon said Mahesh Babu is a great human being). Balayababu, as he is fondly called, also referred to Shraddha Das in the same speech, who reacted by laughing, or maybe she was trying to swallow the bile rising up her throat. Radhika Apte was unfortunate enough to work with this uncle.

And since I referred to Mahesh Babu, I might as well state here that his movies are not complete without him insulting or slapping (sometimes both) the heroine(s) in his movies. There is no point in bringing fans into the picture, think of Fan Bhakthi by Madhav Prasad. We worship our heroes, and will troll anyone, especially if it is just an actress. Samantha was trolled by Mahesh Babu’s fans for her “provoking” statements (she said that the aforementioned movie poster was regressive, OMG! So provoking– http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/entertainment/telugu/movies/news/Mahesh-Babus-fans-attack-Samantha-Sid/articleshow/27576545.cms).

When you read that the South Indian actresses are done with sexism, and are speaking out, well, not all actresses, just the Malayalam industry actresses (http://www.firstpost.com/entertainment/malayalam-actresses-form-a-collective-to-tackle-sexism-in-film-industry-will-kollywood-follow-suit-3470838.html). Given how precarious their position is in the industry ruled by demi-Gods called Chirnajeevi, Ramcharan, Nagarjuna, Balayya, Allu Arjun, Mahesh Babu, there is just nothing to be done. I empathize with the women, really. Not only is their “shelf-life” short, they must pander to the extremely fragile egos of these men who are comfortable with prancing around trees with girls less than half their age. I mean, have you watched Chiranjeevi dance with Kajal in the song ‘Kummudu’? Such cringeworthy moments! Eeks! I wanted to die, no I wanted Chiranjeevi to take a hard look at himself, and reflect on how heroines from his younger days have moved on to playing mothers and grandmothers, but this man is still romancing heroines who probably don’t have the choice to say no.

Of course, we live in times, when someone like Amitabh Bachchan says he loves working with Ram Gopal Verma, so I guess this should come as no surprise at all, eh?

So yes, the Telugu film industry is the ultimate site of patriarchy, sexism, and misogyny, and before you think oh she is just throwing words, please, read the damn article (I am looking at you, fan trolls).

Hello She Teams! 

Someone recently brought to my notice, a very obnoxious song (Hello guru prema kosamera jeevitham) full of groping and harassment, so I rewrote the lyrics to that song. Link to the song here: 

Only Telugu people will understand the lyrics though. Both the original and rewritten. Sorry! I will try translate both some other time.

Hello guru prema kosamero jeevitham 

Premaku pourushanikela sambandham?
Preminchavu sarey

Ventapadatam not okay

Herolu vahvahlu ichchinna wrongey
Ungarala chudduvadivi

Chaduvu sandhyalu unnavadivi

Kani ivanni nenu ninnu adigana?
Goppa valla intivvadivi

Akkineni antavadivi

Consent gurinchi vinaleda?
Neekanna, naku nachinna vadey better amma

Naventa padi paruvu enduku teeskuntavu?
Nuvvante kadanna ladies ni choopistanu

Kani neekante pedda stalker ni choodaledabba

Don’t stalk me darling

Section 354 (A) waiting 

Hello guru She teams kosamera waiting

Camera phone and hawk eye app ey na bestfriend

Old friends, old routines?

I went to one of my very good friends’ wedding. I also met some of the old gang. I met my (ex)crush (I had a crush on him for the longest time in all of history) with whom I shared a love-hate relationship. We were friends, then we weren’t, I secretly liked him, he never did, I didn’t except him to, we became friends and then it was time to say bye bye school, he got a girlfriend, I still liked him, then suddenly, one day I didn’t like him anymore, but continued being friends, I respect(ed) him loads. He had the brains, and that I really liked. 

The problem with meeting your old crushes is the disappointment it causes. Oh I don’t mind the occasional taunts, teasing, and the small fights we have when we so very rarely meet. I guess I have an extreme reaction to him, even though I don’t like him like I used to. But when people get offended because you have strong opinions about something (for instance I don’t drink. I won’t drink just because someone thinks it is cool, I will drink if I ever the feel the need to, and honestly I don’t think I ever will). There are things in life you cannot control, but staying away from addictions? I can, most certainly. I don’t know how to manage my emotions, and people like me need to look out for themselves so they do not rely upon external stimulants to manage their lives. I didn’t feel the need to share this with him, he construed it in another way, that I think of drinking as a sin. 

I crack dirty jokes too. With my closest of friends. I don’t feel comfortable cracking such jokes with just about anyone. He called me uptight. But I think he froze any emotion I could feel when he belittled my education, and made it seem as though feminism is a dirty word. Oh and also, he proceeded to ask me why I was so bitter (courtesy my Facebook posts). We chat on whatsapp, but I guess those chats mean nothing. The point is I try my hardest not to offend him, and yet I guess I do, because I don’t see why else he thought he had to attack me? I might have offended him, I am sure.

For all those times I thought I really liked him, it seems, I was not very bright. It also seems as though I am going to continue to react extremely to him. So anyway, bye for now, from an uptight, bitter feminist. I guess I should be glad I wasn’t called a man hater and a bra burner. 😁. Also, I don’t trust my choices anymore. I have seen the guys I like, I don’t think I should be trusted with choosing a guy for myself. Suckfest. Over. 

Kiss/hug and run

Where do people get ideas of fun from? What’s viral in India is a guy kissing/hugging women and running away. It’s a prank, apparently. Other popular videos seem to be those where young boys scare women into thinking they are going to touch them. But they don’t. Hahahaha. Such jokes. Much wow,right? 

Wrong! 

Where do boys get these ideas from? How is trying to scare women into thinking you are going touch them inappropriately, funny? This has happened to me a couple of times. It seems, the idea of me finding it uncomfortable and also get a little scared is funny. How’s it funny? Someone, please explain? I find it very inhuman for anyone to find satisfaction, humour, happiness in such things. It isn’t funny, except for those who might as well be perpetrators of everything that’s unholy about this society. And no, I am not going to say what if it is your mother or sister. Every human or creature is to respected for themselves. I wonder where we go wrong, so much so,that even young boys think it’s funny for them to use their ‘power‘ to make women cringe and cower. 

There is a dire need for masculinity studies. If only governments of states realised how important it is to understand how boys are socialised, funding for such studies would be more. We need to find a way to socialise them into not buying ideals of hegemonic masculinity. We need more people to understand why teenage boys need to display their ‘power’ in the name of fun and pranks. And the onus squarely lies on us. All of us. If we were to be more aware of passing on our prejudices and sexist ideas and refrained from doing so? For instance, I saw this woman in Numaish who was scolding her boy for playing with toys. Apparently, it’s ‘girly’. Shame on her and everyone else with such a mindset. You are probably that sort of a parent who thinks your boy is a hero because he dates, but his girlfriend is characterless because she dates. You are the sort of parent who thinks you have done some kind of a wonder by giving birth to a boy. You are the kind of parent whose boys go playing ‘pranks‘ on unsuspecting people in the name of fun. 

Dell xps 13 Kaby Lake

As promised, my review.

I am not going into a detailed review of the specs. To keep things short, it’s FHD matte 13.3, 8GB RAM, 256 GB storage unit in rose gold chassis. Please read more from mobile tech review if you need to know how the system works  and specs in terms of RGB, scaling etc. I am here only for the end user, no idea about warm cool colours, sort of a review.

The key travel is normal by today’s standards, doesn’t feel short, as if it’s keys are sinking into the system. It’s nice. Sometimes, I seem to miss hitting the keys properly, maybe because I am used to the old keyboards, with more travel and are also slightly bigger. This is not to say, things are cramped here, but you do need to get used to it if you are coming from using laptops from a couple of years ago. 

Battery is what am used to, in fact, a little better than I am used to. On any given day I get about 8-10 hours, maybe more, but I don’t do anything intense on it (neither is it really equipped to run AUTOCAD or editing), but the standard word, excel sort of a thing. It’s really my PhD laptop, so I don’t even watch too many videos. It’s all work, work, work.

It’s not LIGHT, but it is light, again, I come from a really old generation of laptops. It takes about 15 seconds to boot. Sometimes, Word crashes. I haven’t able to figure out why yet, but the Dell Cares Pro has suggested something that I need to try out. 

The precision trackpad (and multiple gestures) is amazing! Not like my old Dell where cursor jumped with no prompt from me, or worse, would not work at all. I did have a ratting problem with it, that has since been attended to by a dell technician. Please contact Dell Cares Pro and not Dell Cares on Twitter, because the latter will tell you it was designed to rattle. Needless to say, it wasn’t. If this is what you are facing, return the system or get it looked at. Mine does not rattle anymore, and all it took was for a technician to tighten things up. I wouldn’t suggest anyone to do it on their own. The dell guy needed three different types of screw drivers to open the unit. Things are real compact, inside. 

It does not heat much, it might, just a very little, while charging. 

My only problem is with the internet. The killer card does not do any wonders for me. The first day I used, oh my God! It took ten minutes for it to load Gmail. So I updated my BIOS and wifi drivers. Just as a very interesting aside, I expected better quality control from Dell. Trackpad aside, they could have shipped my system with updated BIOS, which was released on November 29, I think. My system was not one of those ready to be shipped ones,so I thought they would give me updated everything. Also, things seem to work better, internet wise, with system updates, and especially when plugged in. 

Watching anything on YouTube is a pain in the ass, therefore. All other devices work well. But the laptop, oh my God. Also one of the reasons why I don’t feel like watching anything on it despite it having the famous infinity display. 

But do I like my laptop? Yes. I don’t have big problems per se, and I did spend a little too much on it to not like it. 

Would I recommend this to anyone? 

Actually, yes. I love the laptop because of how it looks and weighs. It’s sleek and so well designed. I get so much done on it, work wise. It’s my constant companion. And somehow, not being able to watch movies on it because of the internet seems to have increased my productivity. 
Also, you get about 232 GB of storage of which about 200 is left after all the updates. That’s all for now. I will add if I see or do something on it that makes me really happy or is of concern.
EDIT: too many problems with the machine. Do not buy this. Not worth your time or investment.