Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Ten Things I Love That Begin With "A"

I read a post at Lotus’s place that listed her 10 favorite things that began with the letter “B”. I loved it and offered to do something similar if she assigned me a letter. She assigned me “A”. Surprisingly I had some difficulty coming up with 10 things I love starting with that letter. Anyways here’s what I came up with.

1. *A*. The love of my life, friend, soul mate, wife and my companion of many years. She is my rock and the reason why I sometimes have it together. She is like the person who makes you feel that it will all be ok, just cuz it’s her you are with. Sometimes nothing has to be said.. just the feel of her against me or a look or the sound of her voice does wonders. I try to be as nice, gentle and giving a person as she is and I never quite manage it. It’s obvious who the better half here is.

2. America. My home. I heard someone say on the radio once that naturalized citizens sometimes love this country more than people born here. I am not sure if it is always true. But I love this place. As has been said America is more of an idea rather than a place, but it has been fraying lately. The gross mismanagement by this administration and the lack of will of politicians to make hard yet sensible decisions has put this country on a path which often makes me wonder how it’s all gonna work out.

3. All Things Considered (ATC) NPR’s afternoon news program. It’s not high on my list of 10 things I love that begin with “A”, although it's listed 3rd. I mostly consider National Public Radio to be “National Polite Republicans”, a big part of that has to do with their complicity (for whatever reason), in enabling the war in Iraq like the rest of our media with a few exceptions. Having said that, on the way home, rather than listen to music or crappy talk radio I prefer listening to ATC. Well, I am a news junkie.. not a surprise there eh?

4. Apple.. Computers made by Apple. I am a Windows guy, but after we got the dual core Apple IMac with the latest OS on it for *A*, I have to say I am a fan. There is a lot Microsoft can learn from them in terms of innovative user interfaces, features and a more secure OS. That and the ipod. The iphone in my opinion while it is a nice looking device is way too expensive and looks as if it could break easily and has no support for broadband.

5. Annie. (Not her real name, but it begins with an “A”). She is the daughter of “N” who is *A*’s brother who passed away a little over a year ago. I have always been able to spend time with her every year for the past few years I have visited India and the kid has a special place in my heart.

6. Anjeer (figs). That’s the Indian name for that fruit. This summer I made some Anjeer ice cream from fresh figs that came from a farm store a couple of miles from our home. I did not realize how much I had missed eating this fruit. I have memories as a kid about this fruit from India. We used to go from the muggy, humid and hot Bombay during the summer vacations, to the warm and dry confines of Pune where we would spend time with an uncle. Pune is about 200 km from Bombay on the Deccan plateau and we would take the train up the Sahyadri mountains, where the train would often stop or slow for a green light or to test the brakes on those steep inclines. I remember my parents buying fresh Anjeers from local village folk who would swarm to a stopped train to sell various fresh fruits. It is a memory that has stayed with me for ages. This is where I first tasted figs.

7. All of you. I mean all of you readers of my little blog. I love all of you, I appreciate that you care to leave comments and I read every one of them. I also love reading each of your posts and how each of you brings something different to the table.

8. An equal music… By Vikram Seth. We had this book for the longest time on our bookshelf. I finally got to reading it a couple of years ago. I felt myself living thru the highs and lows of the principal character. It is an amazing book.

While a music student in Vienna, violinist Michael Holme falls in love with pianist Julia McNicholl. They play together in a string trio, but when Michael has a nervous breakdown because of tensions with his stern and demanding violin teacher he abruptly leaves Vienna--and Julia--without warning. When, after some months pass, he tries to contact Julia again, he gets no reply. Ten years later, still in love with her, he meets her again in London when she attends a concert he is giving with his string quartet, the Maggiore. Still a performing pianist, she is now married to an American banker, has a child, and because of an auto-immune disease, is gradually going deaf. Unable to resist the power of their past, they begin to see each other again, this time under the shadow of Julia's marriage and her tragic hearing loss. Julia agrees to tour Vienna and Venice with Michael and the Maggiore Quartet and for a brief, magical time everything seems possible.
9. Akshay (forever, also the name of a Hindu god). He is my nephew (sis’s son). I am not as close to him as I used to be maybe he is almost 20 now, and like a lot of kids in India, all he has in mind is excelling at school. I am not sure if that is necessarily a bad thing, but as a kid he has had to witness things in his parent’ marriage that no one should have to. So maybe the focus on studying hard has a lot to do with that.

10. Appetizers. Last but not the least. I am not sure how some of you feel about appetizers. For me they are often the part of the meal I love the most. The small portions help too, as does the possibilty of being able to sample multiple treats.

I have one other tag to complete, will get to it in a couple of days. If any of you want to take up this tag, please let know in the comments and I will assign you a letter.

UPDATE: Dear leader will be giving the SOTU (State of the union address) tonight. I will watch with some alcoholic beverage to go along. The state of our union while not quite dire is surely very troubling.


Hollydolly said...

Lovely post Sanjay. Read it whilst eating my morning cereal, that together with reading your words, what a beautiful start to my day. I just love visiting your blog. a truly beautiful place to be.

Mona Buonanotte said...

Appetizers...we sometimes call them 'appe-teasers'. What's your favorite?

jason said...

Man. It is tough thinking under the gun like this...

A..? hmmm...

alphabet. apples. autumn. air.

...these are lame.

Sai said...

Hey thats a nice list! Lotus has assigned me a letter too....need to get off my butt and work on it!

Diana said...

Very cool. I've always wanted to try fresh figs. They just aren't available where I live. Guess I'll have to make a pilgrimage sometime.

Lucia said...

#1 was predictable and deserving. I hope you tell her this...often!

#6 I thoroughly enjoyed. Who knew one could make anjeer ice cream? The next book I've got queued up is Climbing the Mango Trees: A Memoir of a Childhood in India by Madhur Jaffrey.

Aditi said...

I am scared to ask for a letter.. the lsat time i had to list ten things i failed miserably.. neways go ahead assign me one.. although my blog is down..

ML said...

I'm glad you were tagged with A because I really enjoyed reading all your answers! I especially loved reading the first A.

Appetizers? Right on! I'm a huge fan of them!

Lotus Reads said...

Hi, Sanjay!

Believe it or not, after I assigned you the letter *A* (in honor of the love of your life), I started to worry that you might find it a little challenging (there weren't too many favorite things I could think of starting with A), but you've done a tremendous job!

#1...was definitely my favorite thing to read on your list, but I also enjoyed reading about Anjeer (especially the anjeer icecream, mmmmmm) and Vikram Seth's "An Equal Music" (I really would like to read that book some day). "All Things Considered" is also one of my favorite programs along with "As It Happens".

And thank you for #7, the feeling is mutual, we all love your blog Sanjay...I enjoy coming here.

Thanks for the great job on the tag!

@Sai ~ I don't know how you feel about doing the letter "K". Let me know if you would like another letter!

Sanjay said...

@Hollydolly.. Thank you for your kind words.

@Mona..lol. I am not sure I have a fave. I try everything in sight. :-d
I am partial to Chicken Satay, Bruschetta, kebabs.

@Jason, LOL yes it is tough being under the gun. Your list is not dumb, I should have thought about Autumn, one of my fave seasons.

@Sai. I look forward to hearing about *K*.

@Diana. Thanks :) Yes nothing like fresh figs. I go fig crazy once the season starts.

@Lucia.. I know I have to tell her in more ways than one. :)
Lucia would you like to do a book review about the Jaffrey book?

@Aditi.. You dont have to do 10. Wanna go with "D"?

@LOtus.. I did suspect that is what you did. :). Thank you for the kind words.

meno said...

#1, awww. That's such a great thing to read.

I can't stand watching/listening to Bush talk, so i will have to read about it later. I'm still in denial about the election. :)

MONA said...

....and I love ANNU, like you just read![ added information, he read his alphabets like this " A for Seb, B for Balla, C for Billi...!!]

Lol, Thanks for your comment on my blog. It was so kind of you to say such nice things!

I love your blog too!

starry nights said...

Loved your post and all the things you love beginning with "A".The first A was the best.You are so sensitive and caring. Have to read the book An equal music.never heard of it before. Pass me a letter.i would like to do this tag.

beenzzz said...

I too love appetizers. I think I could live on just that alone. I am eager to hear your take on "W's" speech!

Sanjay said...

@Meno.. Thanks.

@Mona. I can see why, that post was epicureanly excellent consumption. :) Thanks.

@Beenz. Thanks. Will do a recap tomorrow ( a short one.. Can't put my readers thru all that pain::)

Sanjay said...

@Starry..do you want to do the tag with the letter.. "S"?

I picked "S" because you embody the word "spirit" for me. And you know why. :) So go for it.

Shionge said...

Ahhhh.....ALL OF US....:D AAhhhh.....Ah Sanjay....All For One and one For ALL.

Ahhhh...you are so sweet Ah Sanjay!!

Love this great post!

Beach Bum said...

I'm a very big fan of all things NPR. Driving home in the afternoon All Things Considered will be what I listen to. Saturday mornings is Scott Simon and Weekend edition along the Click and Clack then Wait, Wait, Don't tell me.

Fuzzylogic said...

You have done quite a fine job here Sanjay with that tag,you really come across as a sensible,sensitive and caring person,a rare combo!:)#1 is really sweet,#7 is great too and its pretty mutual!I love coming over here to your blog.And about NPR,that was no secret you were a total NPR guy:)

Asha said...

Beautiful! Your wife is lucky to have a great husband!:))

priya said...

Sanjay: A beautiful tag well done. Every 'A" sends a special note.

Lucia said...

"Lucia would you like to do a book review about the Jaffrey book?"

Hmmm...maybe. Depends on how the book is...and whether I've got the time when I finish it!

Sanjay said...

@Shionge, Asha, Priya.. Thanks

@Lucia. There is a book review at Lotus's blog here, and I would love your take on it if you have time that is. :)

Sanjay said...

@Beachbum.. Not surprised, that you are an NPR fan too.

@Fuzzylogic, thank you for yur kind words.

Beloved Dreamer said...

Sanjay, that must have been hard to come up with 10 things that begin with A. It was a great list. I loved your memories of India. As Lotus can tell you I love all things Indian and wish I could see your birth country.
Thanks for checking out my new blog. Reading all of these books has been fun. My favorite Vikram Seth book is Two Lives. I like your blog and will be back.


Rose said...

I'm game. Assign me my letter, but be sweet. Do not assign me Q or U or Y or Z. lol

listmaker said...

Sanjay, that was a wonderful post, especially what you said about *A*.

I don't think I've ever had figs. I'm sure I've seen them at the grocery; I'll have to give them a try.

I,too, prefer ATC above all the other stations. If I can manage to get out of work on time I can catch the last 1/2 hour of world cafe which I prefer to end the day with rather than depressing news.

As for the sotu tonight, I don't know if I can watch, I'm all out of hard cider.

Orchid said...

Well done! Hope your wife read the post, it was also touching to see the nice words you penned down for your niece and nephew. And oh! thank you for the nice words you said about people who visit your blog...i am glad I discovered you...interesting read.

Keshi said...

hey Sanjay cool tag and cool answers!

'A' is a very lucky woman :)

Im glad u love and respect the country u live in - AMERICA. U know some immigrants always complain abt the country they live in. And I simply hate that. If they dun wanna be overseas, why r they here?

Annie...awww Im so sorry to hear that she's no more. Im sure u have a special place in ur heart just for Annie. Long live her sweet memory!

ALL OF US...wow tnxx matey! It really is amazing ha...this blog world.

that was a lovely post!

Sanjay said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sanjay said...

@BD.. Thanks. Yes I do know you are an Indophile. I have not read "Two Lives". I will add it to my to read list which grows long by the week.

@Rose.. The letter is 'T'. Thanks for doing the tag. - Sanjay

@Listmaker thanks.Do try figs, who knows you may love them.

@Orchid. Thanks. *A* does read the blog when she has time.

@Keshi.. Thanks. I think you got it wrong. Annie is here it is her dad who passed away.

Aditi said...

I cant seem to load my blog.. so i will do it as soon as its possible.. lets see what i come up with D

Id it is said...

The Vikram Seth novel sounds interesting. We also share our love for this country despite ......

Keshi said...

ooops sorry!

**She is the daughter of “N” who is *A*’s brother who passed away a little over a year ago

I got that line wrong hehe. OK Im so sorry to hear A's bro passed away! Was he quite young?


Sanjay said...

@Aditi.. no problem, what is wrong with your blog?

@Id it is..It's a great book.

@Keshi. He was 35, cardiac arrest.

deepsat said...

Beautiful post Sanjay!!

Have to say you are as much blessed to have someone like "A" beside you always!!

loved it!!!


Keshi said...

OMG thats too young!

So sorry to hear that :(

Sugarlips said...

Very nice list :)
I'm sure "A" feels so lucky to have you in her life :)
I love apple computers & Anjeer & I start drooling over appetizers b4 ordering :)

Stay Beautiful..!!

mridula said...

Wonderful post Sanjay. Nephews and nieces are among the best things in life. At a particular age, kids in India tend to get obsessed with studies but that too shall pass, hopefully. Sorry to hear about the other things the kids had to face.

I too have read 'An Equal Music' but unfortunately I do not remember much of it now.

Aditi said...

@ sanjay
I dont know I was having trbl accessing it and most ppl atlest in india were complaining that it wasnt loading.. i guess there was no problem in the states cuz ppl left comments in that time period.. ehh

chandni said...

so nice!

I am a big fan of appetizers too

and no surprise that food appears on ur list....

and yes, we love u too!

Now be nice to emand gimme a good letter....I wanna do the tag!

Lera said...

very expressive and enjoyable post ! So very True about the place we call Home, It reminds me "There" is no better than "here," When your "there"
has become a "here"

Anali said...

I love your list! Your wife sounds like such a sweetie!

And yum appetizers! You know how I like food. I like to go out and just order a bunch of appetizers sometimes instead of a meal. I never thought of it as a radical idea or anything, but when I suggest it to people, I get all kinds of different reactions.