Saturday, May 28, 2011

Lucky Star... My latest craze!

WARNING: A lot of Anime lingo ahead! Proceed with caution!

Aaaaaah... My first Model Exam for JLPT N5 is over and I did worse than I hoped for. And that means I need to put in more effort!

As for the sudden involvement in doing better at studies? Well, this is what a clean table and bookshelf can do to you!

Now, all my books are arranged neatly and can be accessed when I want to. It was quite something trying to find a particular book from the mess that was my table before! :) And I'm also watching Lucky Star. It's a slice of life anime series about an Otaku girl named Konata Izumi. I believe I've positively fallen in love with all the characters in it. Especially Tsukasa!
Tsukasa... kawaii Tsukasa!!!
I don't know... something about her seems so pure and well... adorable! I feel like hugging her whenever she's bullied and smiling when she does something clumsy. Ah, how I wish I had a sweet and lovable sister like her! I'd protect her from all the baddies of the world and be so happy when she smiles! (Kagami-san, I am beginning to understand you a lot better now!)
And the other characters are just as sweet! From the gaming geek "Kuroi-sensei" who secretly is worried about her single status to the Manga freak "Otou-san" of Konata! I absolutely love all of them! :) This is quite a change from the usual type of Anime and Manga that I read. Most of them have a lot of fighting or are equally random - like Gintama! But this anime, sure, it's random like Gintama but somehow it's not as risqué as Gintama is!

Well, I shall be writing a detailed review on the anime after I've completed watching it! So, wait a while longer for that folks! :)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Hmmmmmm moments

Aaaaah... I've finally reached the end of my JLPT N5 class at the institute and as I wait for three more tests to happen before I can get my certificate, I can't help but look back at the times when I first walked into class. The people who welcomed me there and the image I have of all of them...

I did mention Shimizu-sensei in a previous post and our final class was one where she encouraged us to speak in Japanese to another sensei who'd dropped in just the day before. We were all so apprehensive about speaking with someone who we'd only met... and who was Japanese. Sure, Shimizu-sensei's japanese as well... but somehow, you can't feel anxious or scared with her around. She's that awesome! :D Anyway, the new sensei happened to be just as forthcoming as Shimizu-sensei and she got along like a house on fire with Humaira-chan! They seem to share their taste for Techno J-Pop and Shoujo Manga! LOL... I wonder what she'd think when she gets to know my interest in Bleach and Naruto and not to mention Gintama?!

As for my classmates, I'm really happy to have them around!

Humaira-chan is a picture of how I was some five years ago! Into Japanese anime and J-pop... unaware that Japan is bigger than just that... crazy about Japanese guys who look like girls... finding it very hard to pronounce Japanese words... Ah... those were good times! I'm sure that if she were to work just as hard and put in more heart into it, she can floor any person with her Japanese!

Swarna-san is another classmate of mine and she's the one with whom I discuss lessons with. These discussions are more like "私は全然勉強しない!" (Translated: Er.... I don't study at all!) And it gives me a totally different perspective when she tells me about her day... how she has so many things to do and jobs to juggle and yet manages to have a smile on her face all the time! I wish I be like her when I end up with a demanding family of my own!

Hmmm... Partings are so difficult but we carry memories with us wherever we go... and that makes life all the more beautiful... I hope I never get to lose contact with these people who're genuinely nice and kind! 

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


Has anyone seen the recent ads for Tata Manza and Bajaj Pulsar? And am I the only one who find them in bad taste?

Okay... for those who haven't seen them yet, I'll give you a short summary - 

For Tata Manza, they have a bunch of Japanese people waiting with a Tata Manza for their CEO from some company called Nippon Motors (In reality, Nippon Motors sells used car engines from Japan and is based in California).They find the car amazing (what's new!) and he asks them the rhetorical question, "What should we do?" for which one cocky engineer replies that they should buy it immediately. For this, the CEO (Called Tanuka-san) locks the cocky engineer in the boot of the Tata Manza and drives the car home (presumed). 

(The Ad under discussion)

Here's what I find appalling in this ad:
  1. In the current scenario, the Japanese are some of the best there is in the field of automobile engineering. Sure, the Indian counterparts are good. But let's not forget that the Japanese spend more on R&D than Indians. And after having gone through this ad, I guess I'm beginning to understand where the Indian companies spend their money!
  2. Japan is an extremely hierarchical place and you will never find an employee address the CEO by name! Heck! I'm sure they call their CEO something like "CEO-sama" or "Sachou-sama" or some other thing along those lines! Yep! Japan's like that. Deal with it!
  3. Coming to the cocky engineer, it would've been marginally better if the engineer was someone working for Tata and the CEO decided he needed the extra brain to make better cars for his own company. I highly doubt if the CEO would actually pack his own employees into the boot for stating something that he must be thinking himself! I'm sure if the car is all that, the Japanese would buy one to reverse engineer, straighten the kinks and sell it right back to the Indians! Or... they might come up with a better idea altogether!
  4. The CEO from the ad looks and behaves more like some leader from the Yakuza than like the head of a multinational.
  5. Then again, when I did Google "Nippon motors", I got the website of a company that buys used engines from Japan. Hmmmm... maaaaaybe, the folks at Tata are saying that their car gives a better performance than a second-hand car with a second-hand engine from Japan? If that is so, I'm sure it isn't something to feel proud about! Ah... a self deprecating pun in the ad, eh Tata?

And now for the next ad that irks me!

The Bajaj Pulsar DTS-i. It has a couple of scenes where you have Japanese people in different settings exclaiming "Hontou?" and then the stupidity takes over with some puntz dropping a caption - 

"HUNTO = Unbelievable"

The first time I saw this ad, I was most unfortunately in the middle of drinking water. And without a doubt, I almost splurted it out!

(Only two words escape my mouth - Oy Vey!)

I am not going to list out the different things that's wrong with this ad... because it would be endless.

If there's one thing that ticks me off is when someone assumes they know the culture of a country and then butcher it with the ignorance that clouds their pea-brain. If I could meet the Baka who came up with this ad idea, I'll have him fed to rabid Mononoke without a doubt! Forget the bike specifications and how Bajaj is supposed to be better than the Japanese counterparts, why would you murder a language when you probably had more than enough resources to do your research to know that THERE IS NO SUCH WORD AS HUNTO IN JAPANESE!!!!!? 
I mean, you have enough funds to film in Japan, show the Yakuza relaxing in an Ofuro, Japanese women in furisode (with their right lapels over their left - they only dress the dead that way... so, they're dead women discussing automobiles?! Seriously... research, idiots!) but you can't take a Japanese dictionary off the shelf of some book store to check if a word like HUNTO exists? (you don't even have to buy the god-damned dictionary!)

And then calling the Pulsar a "sports bike"! Ai Eru! I may not be the most auto-savvy person on the planet, but I know enough to say that the Pulsar is NOT a Sports Bike! I'm the one who drooled over a Hayabusa and THAT is a Sports Bike! Jeez... are they taking Indians for idiots? Or have the higher ups at Bajaj finally lost their noggins?! 

I think they should be locked up in the boot of the Yakuza CEO's car for punishment!

Disclaimer: Sure, I don't know much about bikes or cars. And yep, I still hate the ads mentioned above for the simple reason that they are inaccurate as far as the Japanese cultural aspect is concerned. I don't understand why we get so worked up about somebody showing India as nothing more than a land of the poor and the superstitious but we wouldn't think twice before twisting some other country's culture out of context!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Aaaaaah..... iinda naaaa~!

Ah... my Japanese classes are coming to an end soon. And I'm undoubtedly a little sad. Sure, the institute isn't really humongous and I'd studied in a bigger place before.
But there's something about my Japanese institute that's heart-warming and welcoming. Maybe it was the bright and kindly smile that Shimizu-sensei awarded me with on our first meeting, even without knowing what my purpose of visit was. And I should say, I have become a total fan of her! If Japanese people in general are like her, Japan must be the closest thing to Heaven!

And Madhumitha-sensei... irrespective of the fact that I am older than her, I still consider her my sensei for the simple fact that she is one! :) But she hardly deals with us in the way a "teacher" does. She is more of a friend and I hope she has the best of everything wherever she goes. It would be hoping for too much if I wished Madhumitha-sensei would continue taking classes for the next level as well... Ah well! She is one of the reasons why I wish I could teach Japanese! And I am sure I'll do a satisfactory job because I've never been more passionate about a thing than what I've been with Japanese.

I plan to continue my next level here as well. And truth be told, I can't wait! :)

Sunday, May 22, 2011

I love Kawaii!!!

Okay... I'm finally coming out of the closet with this post! I accept unashamedly that I am fond of all things kawaii! And for those of you out there who're scratching your head wondering what in the name of Hello Kitty's polka dotted bloomers is Kawaii, I'll explain.

Kawaii is Japanese for cute. And when the Japanese mean cute, they MEAN IT! I mean, it can be anything... from a friendly toast with cute button eyes and a kindly smile or Jack the ripper! (and yes... they can make Jack the ripper kawaii as well!).

But I'm not that overdosed on Kawaii yet and I guess I never will be. My addiction to Kawaii remains confined to admiring purses with cute animals on them or pencil pouches with cupcakes and loads and loads of stationery. Forget the fact that I can never afford any of these (the shipping alone shall kill me!). But I guess I goad myself to do better in whatever I do with self-made promises of getting that cutesy Memopad or that ubercute scheduler.

And before I sign off, a visual representation of what's kawaii and what's not! Pay close attention! :D

P.S. If any of you would like to send me gifts that consist of Kawaii stationery or other paraphernalia, I shall unabashedly build a shrine in your honour and reside as the resident Miko! :D

P.P.S. How many times have I used the work Kawaii in this post? @__@;;

Saturday, May 21, 2011

A letter to those who gave life to me...

Respected Incensed Parent,

I am well aware that the world requires me to multi task with cleaning the toilet bowl and attending to a career at the same time. And I am also aware of the fact that the chauvinistic bastards who call themselves prospective grooms expect a slave more than they want a wife, I'm aware that my disability to cook good food will be my downfall,the fact that I have talents at numerous other things that can make the world a better place not withstanding. I am also painfully aware that you wish to see me off to my "husband's house" as soon as possible and irrespective of how much you drone about societal pressures, I can't shake off the feeling that being a girl is equal to being a burden. And so, it is but natural that you belittle my achievements in a "language class" that is nothing more than a hobby for you. But do realize that for me, it is life. I thrive on the fact that finally there is something I'm not terrible at. And that my worth is appreciated there. And the fact that I can have a career there, doing something I love is something that pleases me. I am well aware that you feel I shouldn't work hard to be good at my Japanese because I don't spend enough time being the prospective and lucrative bride.

I am hurt. Not that either of you would actually give a damn! But then again, why should you? Especially when you will never read it. Anyway, this is just one of those letters that I write for the simple reason that writing it made it seem like there was someone to talk to. I am aware that once I post this, I shall once again return to being that single "weird" entity whose sensibilities are at once alien and silly to you and like-minded adults.

Your differently-abled daughter.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

I'm alive!

Ah... it's been long!

This post is just a shout from me to indicate to the world in general that,

"HAH! Tough Luck! I still live!"

© Julia Grace M via Flickr

Friday, May 13, 2011

Aaargh! I need to rant!

The title is sort of self-explanatory!

It is kinda disgusting at times how some celebrities behave with the people around them... just because they're famous! I mean, sure... you're a celebrity... there are some out there who are really interested in what you do with your life. And people actually seem interested in when you eat or sleep or fart! (something that I fail to comprehend!) But that does not render you immortal or into something that is to be worshiped on a pedestal.

Dear demented celebrity,

Get off your high throne! You're not as great as you think. You're the same decaying pile of carbon as every other person.

An irate 'normal' person.

In other news,

 I absolutely hate it when my father comes up to me talks to me about responsibility! He's the one to talk! And if you want me to be more receptive, dear people who begot me into this pathetic dying world, please refrain from connecting every aspect of mine to marriage and how that will affect my future with someone none of us know! It's plain irritating and I'm on a very short fuse right now! :)

Seriously! The way things are going... it's almost they can't wait to be rid of me! X(

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Humour of the Human thought

In a time when everyone wants to get ahead of everyone else, I came across an incident that made me stop right at my tracks and sit down and introspect!
  • The XII grade results are out and everybody is out asking the marks of anybody who's given that exam. Now, I am sure that's natural. But unless the person is comfortable divulging their marks, one shouldn't pester them for it. And if they don't tell it, it is really silly to assume that they probably failed!

  • The reservation issue is something everybody's talking about. But it just occurs to me how important and deep set this entire practice is! My neighbour is apparently a forward caste person in her state of birth but here, she happens to be backward. And strangely, her caste people are asking to government to recede their status to "Most Backward" in this state. Weird... I guess mine is the only country where people actually take pride in being called backward!

  • Everybody has an idea of what their kids want to be. Some are sure they know best and little do they understand the trouble they're landing their kids into.
Ah well... just tidbits of thoughts that floated above my head... we live in a funny world!

Kanji.... kanji.... So many of 'em!

Remember when I told you guys that Kanji was really easy? Well, I spoke too soon. I wouldn't say it is gargantuan in difficulty but if one doesn't really put their heart and effort into it, one will find it very difficult to actually make head or tails of what is going on. All is fine actually... except for the Onyomi and the Kunyomi! Why would one need two different words for the same Kanji? It's quite the daunting task when one has to decipher which one to use.
My expression precisely when I can't make head or tails of what I'm doing!
But, that being said, the complexity of the Kanji renders an innate beauty to the language... Now I know why the Japanese Haiku are phenomenally better than what we "English-speaking" folks try to emulate in a language that is so lacking in finesse as Japanese.

And to know that I am on my way to understand what a Japanese person understands when he sees a waka or a haiku verse... that which is lost in translation... it gives me all the energy I need to get on with my Kanji practice! 

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


The mellifluous and lilting voice... she beckons... of hope that still flickers... of a future that is still not as desolate as I'm led to believe. And for a moment, I'm at peace as I float away like a dandelion's petal in the summer breeze.

And then, as the final notes of her music die, I am back in the void I had found myself to be in before she came along. And I struggle to grapple the reins of reality. I'm back from the land of the flying gulls and cliffs half clad in misty clouds. And I yearn to go back to where I was. Back to the birds in the sky as they fly into the sunset... for a while, everything is bathed in the dying sun's glow and all is beautiful in the world.

And I listen to her voice again... and all is well... for a while atleast!


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

And so..... it begins!

Hello there, fellow inhabitants of the world!

I've some glorious tidings to share (well... kinda depressing actually! But I'm supposed to be putting up the happy face here!).

My folks have finally decided that enough is enough! They're looking out for suitable victims (er...I mean bachelors) who'll be brave enough to put up with their weirdo out-of-this-world-loony daughter... Cest Moi!

So, let's see... they hope someone would actually give a damn about a girl who's no job, has a degree in a subject not many people know about and who sings random songs in weird languages that need an imported lexicon to understand! LOL.... This is going to be veeeeeeeery interesting! Bring in some extra popcorn folks! This is going to take a while!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Bring it on, buster! I'm more than ready for the likes of you! HAH!

I don't know how many people out there actually remember my rant about gaining weight.... The time when I found out that I'd gained 8 kilograms (that's 13 lbs) in a month, I was hitting every single panic button I could find! And so, yours truly was looking more like this!

And thus, after some careful consideration and research, (read whining and googling about flabby body parts and their disappearance), I've decided I'll be doing a lot of this...

A hula to the left
and a hula to the right!

And some more of these,

Until finally, I am back to the wonderful shape that I was in before!

Wish me luck folks! I'm going to need all the encouragement I can garner! From tomorrow, I'm meeting Fat, head on! WASHBOARD ABS HERE I COME!!!!

絶対 できるよ!!!!万歳 よ!!! 

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Mother's Day is almost upon us!

My mom's been sending me hints for quite sometime now! But she didn't have to, honestly! I haven't forgotten! :) May 8th is Mother's day, folks! And since I'm quite the magnanimous person that I am, I've made a Mother's Day greeting card for all of you! Yep! It's an 8"x10" landscape pic that you can print out on any paper of your choice and present it to your mom. I don't know if it's "Hallmark" Quality, but I'm sure your mother will be touched by the thought that went into it! :D (Do let me know if she liked it if you use it!)

And without further ado, here you go! :)

Sooooo..... there you go! I don't mind you using this photo. But do remember that the really sappy lines were penned by yours truly and if you want to use them in your own graphics, go right ahead. Just send me a link to your work. I'd love to see how you've integrated the words into the image. (I'm sure many of you can do it better than me! :D) Oooh, and do mention me in credits. It took quite a few brain cells to come up with the verses! LOL

I'm thankful to The Graphics Fairy for the vintage mommy images!

In need of some therapy here! And I know just the thing! :D

As many would know, I've been really sick the past few days. And to make matters worse, the medicines that I was advised to consume were the vilest ever! I can still feel the retch return when I think of my cough syrup!

And I'm craving for some sort of healing.... and you know what would heal me the fastest?

And some more of THISSSSSS!

Oh... And a whole shelf of these!

And who could resist this!
I mean, look at all those beautiful pencils!

I must get to a stationery shop as soon as possible! So, if we were on a (friendly) date to some mall and you suddenly found me missing, you'll know where to find me. I'll be by the stationeries with this expression on my face!

Ah well... Now if you'll excuse me, I'll need to put my Faber-Castell's and Staedtler's to sleep. The poor things have been worried sick for me! :P

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Osama's dead.... now what?

There I was, happily napping on the couch thanks to the heady medicines I took to keep my lung infection in check. And then suddenly, I hear sounds of people shouting coming from near me. I blearily open an eye to see random American folks hugging each other and chanting "USA! USA!" and a few others went on like "OBAMA! OBAMA!" The very next frame had the headline "Osama Bin Laden Dead!" and I jolted out of my stupor wondering if I was actually dreaming. And as the remnants of sleep drifted away from me, I realized... The US, after a decade of trials had finally managed to do exactly what they'd set out to.

But even as I saw the reruns of people flocking outside the White House and on Ground Zero, clearly jubiliant about how the destroyer of World Peace was finally destroyed, I had a nagging worry in my head.

True, Osama Bin Laden had taken thousands of innocent lives in his quest for the perfect world. It is also true that his death will not bring back the ones he killed. Irrespective of whether he was an evil man or not, he has been killed... a life has been taken. I don't say that is wrong. Afterall, you reap what you sow. But the Americans could have been a tad bit more sober. It reflects that their value of Human Life is skewed. Irrespective of whether he deserved Death or not (and I personally believe he does!), killing should not be celebrated no matter who is being killed. This celebration is what incenses the opposite party and what causes tension.

As for me, The death of Osama Bin Laden is something that shall bring a partial closure to the ones who lost their loved ones in terror attacks. It will also be the beginning of yet another war on terror with the ones from Osama's camp now having a probable reason to retaliate. I feel sad even... a man who could've taken up his ideals in a more moderate and peaceful way and have achieved perhaps greater success fell into darkness and ended in a way where the whole world seems to celebrate his death. What a waste of a life!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

I've a headcold! And the case of the ouchies!

Alrighty.... I have the worst head cold in the world! And to top that, my entire body seems to be buzzing and the winner fact? I am actually laughing! That's an indication of how much pain I'm going through! ROFL! A lot... I believe the common cold is one of the most irritating illnesses in the world! It's only when you have a cold that your nose blocks up constricting breathing but the snot still flows out with almost negligible viscosity! Argh.... Physics... you're not taking care of things in the universe as we hope you are!

And Mom and Dad seem irritated when I tell them my body hurts. Well, excuse me if I feel like being torn apart by the clones of Entei! One would think they'd be happy I'm not crying and being a baby! Goes out to show how much tolerance people can have for others' suffering... even family! It's a sad and despicable world we live in.

Alrighty! Since my arms feel like lead and I've taken some medication that requires me to sleep off, I'm cutting this post short here. Weird, how I get the headcold more frequently in Summer than in Winter!

Ah... Do send me some vegetable broth if you can, folks! :) (I have no shame and shall ask for what I want! :D)

P.S. Please tell me I'm not the only one who thinks Twitter is banal? I mean.... seriously! You just wait till I get better! I'm going to write an elaborate post on why I think so! And yes... I had a twitter account. And I'm wondering if I was drunk when I created it!