Monday, 30 January 2012

Nothing much...

I don’t have anything in particular to say. Life is going on the same as usual….tests, projects, church, hectic weekends, birthdays, DSF…u know, the usual stuff.





Seriously, that’s all there was.

Leaving you with a very valuable tip on how to get rid of houseflies...

Naina is a genius, isn't she;-D

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

I've been awarded a Tag:-))

Deeps thinks I’m this very resourceful, adaptable, nifty, useful, flexible kind of blogger. What other reason could be there for her to award me “The Versatile Blogger" award;-D.
Thanks Deeps, love my award & am going to put it up immediately. There is also a tag attached to this award called the random tag. I’m supposing the ‘random’ has been added deliberately to show how ‘versatile’ one can get in a single post;-P. Anyways here goes….

The rules of this tag:

 Add the Versatile Blogger Award picture to your Blog Post
 Thank the Blogger who nominated you
 Share 7 Random things about yourself
 Nominate 15 fellow Bloggers
 Inform the Bloggers of their nomination

I always thought almost all the posts on my blog are kinda random but now I’ve got a hepper word for it.....Versatile........I’m a Versatile Bloggah...….haahhh.

Alright let me get randomer than usual…..

First things first….

Update on the chess learning: I already told u about beating Naina but guess what, last week I also managed to win against Nikita. And it was a convincing win!!!! But now nobody wants to play chess with me anymore;-(. Nope haven’t mustered enough confidence to challenge the better-half yet;-P.

In the inside is a cycling track
I found a park, quite close to where I live, which has a good walking track. It shows us how many metres we have covered and I just love that….as of now I’m covering around 1.5kms in 30 mins…everyday… huh.

Just realised, shdn't have clicked it against a white bckgrnd
One of Nikita’s classmate's father had to be rushed to India for an emergency surgery in December. The child missed almost a month of school. When her mother worried about the notes I got her to send across some of the child’s notebooks with Nikita. Whenever I had a bit of free time I would update all the books. When the child came back she[and mother] were thrilled to see her books……. all completed. She got Nikita some knick-knacks from India and one among them was this cute little keychain of a zoozoo. And her father is fine now and well on the road to recovery:-). ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Can't wait to try out some of the recipes:-))
The Gulf News[newspaper] has this Magazine called Friday which we get every friday[duhhhh…]. It has 2 competitions in which I faithfully take part every week: the crossword and a quiz on Books & their Authors. Every once in a while I win a Dhs.100 voucher[from the quiz] to spend in any Jashanmal Bookstore. I usually get books for the kids with the voucher but this time I picked up a book I had been eyeing for a long time. The kids were not very pleased;-D.

Barun Sobti as Arnav Singh Raizada
I’m going to tell u a secret now….. I have fallen hard for a fictional character called Arnav Singh Raizada. I chanced upon him in this show called Iss Pyaar Ko Kya Naam Doon on Star Plus when I went home to India last August. In real life I would probably run a mile away from him; ASR treats the female protagonist with scant respect. He mocks her at every opportunity and manhandles her all the time. His excuse: he has a PAST. He stares, glares, smirks, ….at her and does everything a hero of a show shouldn’t. But one small smile from him and I’m ready to tolerate another 30 episodes of the same nonsense;-(.

The Virgin MegaStore
Went to one of our favourite booknooks one weekend & I noticed they had changed their layout a bit. I was looking around trying to get my bearings when I saw some books piled up on the floor. The book on the top had a very interesting title “Books for sitting”. How very novel, I thought & tried to open it. I tugged and tugged thinking it was stuck. I know, I know I can be so dim sometimes;-/.

I spent 15 minutes trying to make this pic vertical;-(
The shopping festival is going on full swing. Visited the Global village last weekend. We did the usual rounds and guess what I picked up amongst other things….a trolley shopping bag from the Chinese Pavilion. I've seen so many people on the Metro with these trolleys and kept thinking it would be very convenient for times when I went shopping for groceries alone. So now I don’t have to wait for taxis anymore, simply load my trolley[it can carry upto 40kgs....just saying;-D] and get back home on the Metro itself.

Phewww…….and that’s it….7 random things about me.

Now I would like to award and tag...…


An Open Book

Anita Jeyan Sandeep

Destination Infinity











Vaidegi j

Monday, 9 January 2012

The Backward Pawn

Nobody around me knew how to play chess when I was small. My parents didn’t know nor did my friends. Atleast I think my friends' didn’t because if they knew, you can be sure that I would have learnt it by default;-D. That’s how I learnt to play most of the games like scrabble, carroms, chinese checkers, Uno, bluff, roller-skating, riding a geared bike….I can go on.


Oh please Snakes & ladders & ludo were kids stuff. Even now I mentioned it only because you asked;-/.

And whatever I knew I was quick to teach my kids. So they knew how to play Carroms, Chinese checkers, Scrabble, Uno…no, not bluff[ I havent introduced them to playing cards yet], before they even knew how to read.

Alright alright Scrabble came after they learnt how to read.

Gosh u guys nit-pick so much;-S.

Now chess is the one game I never learnt but heard lots about.….

Not everybody can play Chess….
You need to be good at maths to play chess....

People who play chess are very intelligent...
Chess has to be learnt young….

Eating lots of okra helped chess players….

If I tax my memory some I’ll definitely recall more useless information. But as a child & even in my teens I swallowed all these stories verbatim.

When I was in my 20’s one or two people offered to teach me seeing my interest but I shrank back from…..I don’t really know what. One reason could be that I thought it was too complicated and the person teaching me will think that I’m a fool. I had also convinced myself that it was too late to learn.

Vishwanathan Anand was a genius in my book. I never missed any article about him in the sports section. Much of the jargon on chess would have gone over my head but I still read every word on him. Chess was not like cricket or football. It was about mind games….. and Vishwanathan Anand battled against the BEST in the world and came out tops. In my mind he seemed of the few celebrities I idolised.
Oh for goodness sakes, let’s just leave Salman Khan out of this conversation shall we. Sometimes I wonder why I tell u guys all my secrets;-/.

During the shopping festival here, some malls put rows and rows of chess boards for people to play. No prizes offered just pure entertainment for the players and the crowd. I would have no clue what was going on but I’d stand there and watch. The facial expressions of the players, the tension in the air, their fingers deliberating over the next move, everything fascinated me.

The kids playing on a life-size board
And then there are these life-sized chess boards which are put on the pavements…..mostly monopolized by little children who play the game with their companions or parents. It is heart-warming to watch little geniuses carefully considering their next move & then manfully dragging the huge pieces across the board.

The better-half taught the kids how to play the game 2 years back. I was so thrilled when they grasped the nuances of the game & began playing on their own. But soon was disappointed because they didn’t really concentrate; they played but often abandoned the game over flimsy reasons. And because I didn’t know how to play I couldn’t guide them or judge who the offender was.
The tragedy was that unlike the other games they never took the chess board out on their own to play; I had to coax and cajole them into it and they played like they were doing me a major favour;-(. Naina especially was so irritating. I would often hear her ‘Chechi look, you can kill me if you do this’. Even though I didn’t know chess I definitely knew Naina was not going to win matches if she was showing people how to score over her. After sometime I too lost interest and the chess-board was carefully packed back into its cover & stowed away.

Recently the kids went to a birthday party & Nikita won a chess set as 1st prize for some game they had played. Interest in chess returned tenfold and they spent a lot of time setting up the board and walking around the house with it. My elation dipped when realisation dawned. You see it was a magnetic chess board. They walked round and round the house with the board & its pieces facing downwards to the ground basically to test the magnetic pull between the board & the pieces;-/.

When they were finally convinced that the pieces were not going to crash to the ground they settled down to play. Their father helped them renew their memories and skill and soon they were playing with a lot more interest than what they showed last year.

“You don’t know how to play chess????” queries Naina incredulously recently when I tell her why I can’t play with her.

I shake my head mournfully.

“I’ll teach you mama” says Naina excitedly.

“Not now Naina maybe someother day, go play with chechi now” I reply absent-mindedly, my mind occupied with mundane matters.

But Naina had made up her mind she was going to teach me. She followed me all around the house with the chess-board and went on and on about the game.

I admitted defeat after sometime and sat down to let her teach me. I had to get her off my back somehow. As soon as we started Nikita appeared on the scene and competed with Naina to teach me. They then proceeded to argue, debate, shout eachother down while each tried to educate me about how chess should be played. I held my head in despair and tried to think clearly thru the din. My 1st instinct was to walk away but I knew the kids would be so disappointed. And I always wanted to learn how to play didn't I??
I finally restored calm & issued a direct order that both were not to open their mouths until I asked them to. I then asked all the questions to each of them in turns.

2 hours and 3 games later I was beginning to see the light. I was royally beaten by both of them but I got the hang of how the game worked. The very next day I beat Naina and felt like a world champion. I haven’t been able to beat Nikita yet though I scared her once or twice [yes she’s good at it but I could be biased;-D].

Honestly I was taken aback at how easily I took to it……all my life I thought that chess was some complicated labyrinth which required super powers to understand. At the ripe old age of 38 I finally learnt to play Chess.

It was all in my mind….the mental block which made me think I'm a dimwit who would not be able to grasp the rules even if somebody taught me. I’m so glad my little one bullied me into learning it. Though I pretend to be very reluctant about playing[reverse psychology…… to get the kids more interested in the game;-)] I am hooked.

Things I don’t understand I clarify with the better-half. I haven’t played a game with him yet. But one day I will. In the meantime I’m secretly practicing my moves to knock his socks off.

Oh get your mind out of the gutter people, I was talking about my chess moves;-D.

Are there any valuable tips you want to leave for this blog friend and chess enthusiast??? I need all the help I can get. I’d also love to hear about your experiences with chess.

Edited to ask: Just suppose I am at a point where I have to give up either my Bishop or the Rook, which one should I sacrifice: the Bishop or the Rook???

Thursday, 5 January 2012

My New Year Resolution...

to learn to play Chess:-)
[click image to enlarge]