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Archive for August, 2011

Hello people…to a wet, Wet, WET Monday!

Its late in the day and I was about to let go a post…the wet season freezes my fingertips 😐

I have loads to say , but my chattering teeth and numb fingertips refuse to oblige. Office is currently an ice-factory because we have guests from the USofA visiting. Apparently, the cold cold weather is just not cold enough for them, or so the office administration surmises before turning the temperature gauge towards the negative. Result being, we are feverishly trying to work with numb fingers while trying not to let our arms touch the table and making sure that the shawl/sweater/jacket doesn’t let in that cold breeze thats blowing through the AC vents. Pleasant, it isn’t!

Anyhow, Eid is almost here, the fasts are going by pretty fast (Ha!!) and there’s LOADS to do by way of cleaning up the house. Given the wet weather, the paint-job was bid good-bye…maybe we’ll do it when the weather’s a little more dry. For now, we’re just trashing what we haven’t  used in ages and making space for collecting more junk 😐 . I swear!!

Thats all that I can update now…..will do a proper post once I’m able to defrost my fingers into life.

Till then, don’t forget your umbrellas and raincoats. The rain gods are here to stay 😀

Happy wetting.

(wait a minute. That didn’t come out right!)

(Oh forget it…my fingers are dying 😦 )



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New Look —- Old Look

Going through rediff yesterday, I came across the just released poster (first look, they say) of Ranbir Kapoor’s upcoming movie “Rockstar”. Here’s the poster :-

Rockstar poster

Looking at this picture, can’t help but wonder if the inspiration came from this :-

Che Guevara

Remove the guitar and button up the trenchcoat and Ranbir might just as well look like this :-

Or is it just me who sees the similarity/inspiration?!!

😐



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This happened last week.

I’ve been meaning to do this post since then….but inner dilemma prevented me. I’m still on the fence about the course of action required, and after much deliberation, have decided to turn to you all for assistance.

Last week, I was at BigBazaar, doing some emergency shopping. I was late already and was fasting. Needless to say, I was in a rush to get back home. Once done with the shopping, I headed to the parking lot to get my bike. As I was keying in, a voice piped up behind me,  “Joota polish kar dein?!””

I nearly had a whip-lash injury as I jerked around to see who it was. The voice was familiar…and so was the opening line.

He was the same boy from last year!!

One fine day last year, I was shopping from Big Bazaar on my way home and came across this urchin. He demanded money and me, being in a hurry , brusquely asked him to get out of my way. Minutes after leaving Big Bazaar, I was racked with guilt and I vowed to make it up to him the next day.

I went back the next evening and looked around the parking lot. He was not there 😦

Since then, every time I went to Big Bazaar, I’d keep an eye for this boy. But he never surfaced again, until last week. He even looked the same. There was hardly any change in his look or size. Malnutrition, maybe. I immediately dug into my purse to pull out the money I intended to give him. He took it mutely and stayed put. As I was stuffing my purse into the dicky, he said –

Boy :  Hamein paise nahin chahiye. Aap hamein books do.

Me :  What? Books? School jaate ho?

Boy : Nahin hum school nahin jaate. Joote polish karte hain.

Me : (perplexed) School kyun nahin jaate?

Boy : humko paise kamane hain.

Me : Phir padhayi kab karoge

Boy : (looking bewildered) Hum nahin padhte.

Me : To phir books kyun chahiye?

Boy : Books nahin didi….hamein Box chahiye. Joote polish karne ka box.

Me : (trying to figure out why the boy wants to earn) Kyun? Ghar par aur log nahin hai kya?

Boy : Hai na. Mummay hai. Dadi hai. Dadi hamesha beemar rehti hai. Usko bahot dawai lagta hai . Mummy kamati hai. Mujhe bhi paise chahiye. Aap box doge to mujhe aur paise milenge. Yahaan baki sab ladkoen ke paas box hai. Mere paas hi nahin hai…..

Me : (stunned into silence…trying to figure out what to say)

Boy : (looking at me keenly) Didi humko pata hai box kahan milega. Aap bas mujhe box khareed kar do.

Me : (mumbling more to myself than him) Sochenge.

And with uttering this so-called profound word, I pressed the starter and made my way. The boy kept yelling ‘didi’ behind my back. I didn’t look back.

And just like last year, I felt rotten all over again 😦

It isn’t fair. To him or to me. It is not a big deal to shove money into his hands or even buy him that shoe box. I can convince myself that he will have a respectable job and income.

But is that what I would want for a 10-11 year old?? The moral dilemma eats at my brain. One part screams that I would be encouraging the boy into child-labour. The other part yells that he already is earning his wages, either by brushing shoes with that single shoe-brush or begging. A shoe-box would at least give him a decent income.

Much as I’m tempted to buy it for him, a part of me resists. This time, it is not about charity. This time, the issue is much bigger. I can simply give him the money and walk away. Let him buy the box or squander away the money. My job is done.

But the guilt of ruining a childhood, or being a party at it would constantly nag at me. I can never be at ease if I go ahead and give him what he wants.

The worst part?

After all this verbal exchange and moral monologues, I realized that I never bothered to ask him his name!

Trying to distance myself from him and his plight? Maybe.

But the fact remains, I wouldn’t feel at peace unless I do something. And I’m just not sure what I should be doing.

Any ideas, folks??



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Quite a mouthful, that title, isn’t it?!

I’ve been reading a lot lately (actually, Pre-Ramadan) and even watched a few movies (again, pre-Ramadan). I’m awful at reviews of both, so I usually don’t try. Only when a book/movie really takes up 80% of my attention span, does it get mentioned here 🙂 . So anyway, I was watching this movie ZNMD at a cousin’s place last month. The reason I stayed back to watch it was because the movie was by Zoya Akhtar, whose Luck By Chance remains one of my most favourite movies of all times. Don’t ask why though. I wouldn’t be able to explain 🙂

Another reason would be Hritik in Zoya’s movie and NOT having the lead role (both the movies were focused on Farhan Akhtar 🙂 ). There must be something about the pressure of being a lead actor I guess. Because most times I find that when an actor is cast against his type, when the onus of carrying a film does not rest on his gym-pumped shoulders, he gives a performance which is far more nuanced, and makes his character feel far more real. Case in point – Hritik’s role in Luck By Chance. A supposed cameo, but so effective. The expressions in Hritik’s eye in this movie are yet to be seen in another film! The haughtiness at the beginning, the smug look which eventually boils down to simmering resent, with a dash of jealousy and regret in equal measures! Wow! I guess this why I stayed back to see Hritik in a Zoya movie once again. And I wasn’t disappointed. At all 🙂

ZNMD is a beautiful movie. Not because of the road trip or the locales. Not because of Katrina or her Spanish friend (who looks lovely by the way!!). But because, none of the three leads carries the baggage of making the film a hit. They chip in with relaxed ease. Each actor doing his bit and then some. The eventual outcome is a movie we can relate to. There are no corny jokes and very few profanities. The one or two places they are used are justified! The movie touched the right chords in me and I enjoyed it thoroughly. What came as a gentle surprise though, was the song ‘Senorita’ sung by the three leads themselves. What a brilliant idea! It added so much to the charm of the song and the movie as a whole! In fact, I’m really liking this idea of actors singing their own songs ( and full marks to Alisha Chinoy for bringing out this issue into the open!!). Of the three singers, Hritik was definitely The Best! No second opinions there. Its a wonder how this speech-handicapped man not only mastered his stammer to spout urdu dialogues in Jodha-Akbar, but also warmed his vocals to belt out beautiful numbers! His 5-min monologue in Guzaarish is all the more appreciable because of the effort that must have gone into delivering it. This man is the epitome of hard-work I say. In spite of all his fame and fortune, he still takes an hour’s speech therapy session everyday. Btw, who else loved his English number in Guzaarish??

Anyhow, back to the song from ZNMD. I liked ‘Senorita’, because it sounded so unique and so fresh 🙂 . I’m still on the fence about Farhan’s singing talent (its the voice I guess. But he can string a note for sure !) . The shocker was Abhay deol ! But he was given precious little to do. The chorus was very well executed and thats why even all this time I find myself humming that song 🙂 . I think Zoya Akhtar is a director to look out for. This woman knows the tricks of the trade…but best of all, she knows how to do sensitive well. Very well.

Talking of Zoya, can’t help but remember this book called ‘The Zoya Factor‘ by Anuja Chauhan. I think I guessed the end in the first few pages itself. That it took another 500 for me to be proved right was a tad painstaking. Firstly, because I HATE cricket (sue me!) and secondly, because the female lead appears so daft! I really think we need to get out of the M&B mode (here in India, they term it as Chick-Lit). So all and sundry can see the sparks flitting between the leads and yet, they themselves are unaware of each other’s sentiments. Give me a break! Real women are seldom oblivious to the reactions of the opposite sex. And coming back to Zoya the director, I think I can now say why I liked Luck By Chance (and now ZNMD). Because the women in her films are not caricatures of their selves. They are real flesh and blood, the types who can say no to a relationship and be happy about it! That part in LBC where Farhan’s character seeks out Konkona’s character to ask for forgiveness and another chance at their relationship, was priceless!! Because I just couldn’t imagine what would come next. It was such a pleasant blow that instead of rushing into his arms sobbing with relief, Konkona’s character actually talks him into why it wouldn’t be a good idea to get together after all! Take that buster! If you think you can play hooky with today’s woman and get forgiven, you got another think coming your way! Redemption be damned 😀 . That the female lead could hold her head high and be proud of her choices in life was such a breath of fresh air 🙂 .

After watching ZNMD,  I’m not critical towards Katrina Kaif anymore. I never liked her before (too vapid for my liking) but ZNMD proved me wrong once again. KK’s character was real too. Not too pretentious and just enough charisma to hold her scenes well. In fact, all that I now want to do, is see Hritik crooning a love number for Katrina Kaif in a movie directed by Zoya Akhtar. I bet my last penny that I’d be there to see the First Day First Show First Row.

😀



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Monday’s here again and there’s loads to share from the past week and weekend. As usual, the fasts continue, no major volcanic eruptions yet (between me and the BF. Between MIL and GMIL. Between BIL and FIL. Between Lui and Shobs. Between me and the Nanny. Between…. oh forget it! Lets just say there’s peace all around 😀 )

Last week I was caught up with work and didn’t do any real posts. Sure, the Leh series were put up, but mostly because I wanted to preserve Bro’s wonderful adventure more than he did 🙂 . Anyhow, now that the series is over and there is surely no way out from work, I really must put in more effort (and some time) towards keeping up this blog.  There are so many thoughts running in my head, if I don’t put them down now, surely I’ll explode 🙂 !

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Had the Twin’s official Parent-Teachers meeting on Friday. Awful timing, I say. Since the school gets over at 12:30, the meet was scheduled between 12 to 1 , so that parents could take their children home after the meet. Since the BF was in another part of the city (around 30 KM from the school) he couldn’t make it. That left me to make the necessary trip from home -to office – to school-to-home-to office. Yeah! Peachy, right?!

Anyhow, fighting the heat and dust, I reached the school on time. Met the teachers who, once again, reminded me how different my kids were at home and school. Lui received a little flak (disinterested, does not listen in one go, impulsive, etc 😦 ) and Shobs was heaped with praises (obedient, sociable, skilled 😯 )

When I narrated the same to the BF later, he reminded me that the same adjectives apply to the twins at home, but simply swapped! Shobs is the lazy, disinterested types and Lui is the one who is friendly and has good motor skills (the teacher asked me to teach Lui to pick pulses from a bowl to improve her motor skills. That evening, I found Lui skillfully plucking the pomegranate seeds from its peel. Her speed was to be seen to be believed. She is now the official pomegranate picker 😀 . I seriously wished the teacher was around to see it for herself!!)

We got the kid’s workbooks and art-books to have a better idea of what all they have learned in the last 2 months. Their progress is impressive 🙂 (even if I say so myself).  I don’t teach the kids poems and stuff at home. I teach them generic stuff. I let them know what a vacuum cleaner does or how to put the lids on lunch boxes. The MIL taught them how to fold clothes, but then, one fine day, Shobs discovered that pulling out folded clothes and tossing them in the air gave him more pleasure. Lui loyally assists her brother in this clothes-carnage. We’ve been hiding the clothes from them since then 🙂

Anyhow, the crux of the matter is that I know my kids are doing well….one at school and one at home. So I’m not worried 🙂 Things are going well. The teacher once again appreciated the lunch-boxes I send for the twins and I’m now even more inspired than before to make lunch times as exciting as ever 😉  . Suggestions for the same are obviously, most welcome 🙂

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Since we are a working family, weekends are the only time we get for Ramadan cleaning. Needless to say, this last weekend was awfully hectic , what with pulling down all the stuff from over-head lofts, cleaning, washing, drying, repacking and then re-stuffing back to their location! And here I was, thinking that I’m the world’s worst hoarder! Appears that my in-laws are miles ahead of me 🙂 !! So we have utensils dated early 1930’s-40’s, belonging to the GMIL. They are copper and brass vessels, unused, patina-ed and smelly. But we pull them down, scrub them to shiny perfection (thanks Pitambari) and then stuff them back where they came from. The GMIL refuses to part with them( of course) and we have no idea how to use them . Our kitchen is already overloaded with utensils and stuff!! As I counted yesterday, we have 2 non-stick tawas, 2 iron tawas, 2 aluminium ones, 3 non-stick pans , 2 iron kadhai, 2 aluminium kadhai, 1 non-stick kadhai, 3 cookers (5 ltr to 1 ltr ), 8 steel vessels in varying sizes, around 20 aluminium vessels , ranging from ones in which you can make 10 Kg pulav to one in which you can boil an egg, around 20 stainless steel containers, innumerable pearl-pet jars (varying sizes), two-sets of dinner plates, 2 sets of quarter plates, two sets of stainless steel glasses and innumerable katoris. And I’m just listing the stuff we use on a regular basis. I’m not getting into the glassware and melamine section now. Not even the utensils I got from mom as a part of my wedding collection!!

What!? we are a Big family, remember?!

Anyhow, point is that a whole lot of time was spent in washing, cleaning, mopping,sorting, sweeping, collecting, dumping, sighing, running, cooking and finally, collapsing 😐

BTW, I made killer sabudana khichdi and Dhoklas for Iftaar (since there is no one else who will sing me praises, I’m compelled to do the needful myself  *humble-mumble* ). The twins crashed at 12:30 last night. I got up at 3:30 for Saheri. Still alive and kicking! I tell you people, keep fasts. OR have children. (The adventurous or the unlucky ones might opt for both 😉 ). There is no other kick-shot method to test your endurance and stamina 😀

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Remember this post??

Okay, so the same girl ran away from home and married an office colleague 😀

Needless to say, the last few days at work have been interesting. VERY interesting. Good friend SK from work was a major factor in convincing the girl to take the step and must say, the effort from all sides was worth it 😉

Okay, since all the story above makes no sense, I’ll start from the beginning.

The said girl, lets call her SG(who is a Jain) , who fell in love with a colleague , lets call him SB (who is a Maratha). The minute her parents found out about the direction in which her heart beats, they whisked her away to her hometown and kept her in house-arrest. Initially, she gave the excuse of sick leave. But after some time, had to let the managers know that she was quitting. When asked why, she gave health reasons. The managers insisted that she get well soon and then join (wise decision, that. Not all managers are that considerate).

Anyhow, the guy pined for her, pestered SK for ages, asking for suggestions, help. SK did her bit and convinced SG to either take the plunge or opt out. But not to keep a guy waiting indefinitely! The girl, for once, took her own decision. So one fine day, SB took leave from work, went to SG’s hometown. The girl came out of her house on some pretext. The two eloped, went to a city nearby, got married and then returned to the guy’s family in Mumbai. SB’s family warmly accepted SG and then they all went back to SG’s parents to soothe ruffled feathers.

All in all, all’s well that ends well. Everyone’s happy (yes, including SG’s family. They were saved the humongous expenses that come with a Marwari wedding 😀 ) . So when these two trooped into office one day and declared they were married, there were hoops of joy (from those who knew) and loud exclamations (from those who didn’t). There were also loads of broken hearts, since SG is a looker and had quite a fan following 🙂 . Frankly, we were all tickled pink 🙂 . I was nostalgic …about all the times me and the BF pondered over how our lives would turn out had our parents not agreed to our union. I’m glad my parents supported me, because I for one, could never ever leave them for the BF !! And the BF knows this 🙂

*Sigh*

The air here is just resonating with romance….and there are quite a few guys who think its time they took the plunge too. I’m just waiting for another love story to rock our sedate work environment 😉

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I’ve been meaning to do a post on Hritik Roshan’s singing talents. I wrote a draft after I saw Kites…then deleted it because it didnt have much material. Then I started with one when I saw Guzarish. Scrapped that too (I’m not sure why). Then I saw ZNMD. And now, I really, really MUST do a post on him! Seriously!

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I have finally succumbed to the cold-cough virus 😦

Lui is still coughing, MIL is hacking her way through the fasts and the GMIL is still nursing a runny nose. I fought valiantly, but I guess the battle was lost last night. This morning, I woke up with a stuffy nose and a itchy throat (horrible combination). Needless to say, I’m not fasting today (woe me 😦 ) . A few cups of warm water since morning have kept the throat clear. But its my nose that’s giving me trouble. Am sneezing terribly (for the record, I don’t do dainty sneezes. Thats the BF’s department.  I sound much more like a whale, out to get some air!) .

I’m a tad worried about the MIL though. She’s been suffering for close to 2 weeks now. She’s had loads of medication, but no reprieve 😦 . Even home remedies are not working. For the first time ever, she missed her fasts because of the cough. It is the season, I guess. Practically half the people I know are down with the cold-cough flu 😦

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Thats all for now folks. Gotta get back to home and heart(h) 😀

Life’s good, weather’s sunny and there’s fish to fry (no, there isn’t. But it sounded good 🙂 ). Catch  up with ya’ll tomorrow.

Ciao 🙂



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Style-Bhai and Style-Behen!!

"Hell Yeah, we ROCK!!"

Twin’s  Dress : Max. Lui = Rs.450. Shobs = Rs.350

Hairband : Off-the-street, Rs 10.

Goggles : Courtesy, Nanny.

Style quotient : Priceless!!

PS : Poor picture quality attributed to BF’s blackberry. All its redeeming features aside, a BB just cant take pictures!! And for that reason alone, I hate it 😀

(Never mind the skewed angle on Lui. The girl’s yet to develop a nose bridge to support the ‘gogs)

 



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Yeh Leh – Part III

(….Contd from Part-II)

 

Day11: Monday July11, 2011:

Snow capped peaks

Prabul reached us at 9 AM. He started early despite fever & we owe him for that. We packed and departed Leh around 11 AM. Kashmir, here we come! Or so we thought. End of day, we could only reach Kargil! Ate delicious Kashmiri Wazwan and a shopkeeper narrated stories of the infamous 1999 Kargil War. Amazing to note, the town bounced back into a major commercial center, despite being ruined during the war! Nothing special about this day, except that I felt I was riding through history. Nice feeling.

 

Day12: Tuesday July12, 2011:

Rugged, rugged terrain!!

 Left Kargil at 9 AM after a local tea & breakfast. Rode past Drass around 11 AM. Stopped at the Drass War Memorial. The highlight this day was – a sign just after  Kargil town  that says “You are under enemy observation”. The place is called Sando Top, from where you can see Pakistan Army posts AND THEY CAN BLOODY WELL SEE YOU! We didn’t have the guts to stay and find out. Rode like hell out of that place 🙂

War memorial

Crossed Fotu_La, the highest point on the Leh – Srinagar road. Rode on to cross Zoji_La, one of the most treacherous roads on that stretch. At one point, you can see the base camp of pilgrims heading to Amarnath (place called Baltal). Reached Pahalgam for lunch and left from there at 3 PM. Reached Srinagar, the paradise on earth at 6 PM. Found a place to crash. Freshened up, rode out to the town, did some shopping. You’d be surprised; the night-life in Srinagar extends up to at-least 12 mid-night (unlike Bangalore where the cops insist you sleep at 11 PM). We learnt that next day, Martyr’s Day was being observed & that we were actually living in the middle of the hottest spot in Srinagar (called Lal Chowk). We decided to crash early & leave early the next morning. Ate the best Chicken dishes on this side of the equator 🙂

 

Day13: Wednesday July13, 2011:

Shikara on the Dal lake

Left early around 6 AM, only to run smack into a CRPF check-post. The soldiers were friendly, but wary of us as there was hardly anyone else on the road. A bandh had been declared and there was cops/CRPF/Army everywhere. We had to prove our credentials to be let thru. We asked if we could see Dal_Lake, they said “go ahead, at your risk :)”. We did a quick visit to the lake which was surprisingly bustling with people, early morning walkers & tourists. Strange! We lingered for some time, shot some pictures & then rode. We hoped to reach Pathankot via Jammu that day. Road out of Srinagar is beautiful, all the way to Jammu. Only glitch, it is 100% twists & turns, which can be very painful for the wrists & shoulders. Rode thru the Banihal_Tunnel & landed at Patnitop for tea at 4 PM. This being a tourist spot, we were mobbed by locals & tourists, asking about our ride and how adventurous it was. Refreshed and rode again, only to reach Udhampur at 6. By then, shoulders & arms were paining a lot. Saddle felt like we’re sitting on a bed of pine-cones. Still we had a destination to get to. We decided not to take the NH as traffic would be high. We took the State Highway, with the plan to halt at Samba for the night. Man Proposes… We don’t know when we crossed Samba. It was dark already. Reached a crossroad where a small tea shop owner insisted that we freshen up before he answered any queries. He also knew we were LOST! After 2 cuppa each, he gave us directions. We rode the rest in pitch dark conditions, with only headlights to guide and taillights to follow. Dinesh led us thru the darkness, not because he was a messenger from God, but because he had the best headlamp 😀  We landed at a JKTDC guest house at Kathua, still 45 kms short of Pathankot. It was already 9.30 PM, but fortunately they had a lovely restaurant open till 11. We don’t recall when we slept.

Towards Patnitop

 

Day14: Thursday July14, 2011:

Woke up to realize it had been raining the whole night. It was still raining as we rode out at 9 AM (BIG MISTAKE!!!). For the next 5 hours, till we crossed Jalandhar, it was raining. I can proudly say, that was my biggest rain ride. I can also say I have weathered many a storm! 🙂  With water inside the shoes, pants and everything else, it became even more tiring. When the sun came out, we were pretty close to Ambala. We were also pretty close to the end of our endurance. Sheer exhaustion and severe saddle sore doesn’t listen to any reasoning. The milestone said – New Delhi – 200 kms. My sore posterior said “Forget it”. Fortunately, others agreed and we packed up at Ambala! Found a GATI store to ship our beloved bikes back, we would get them in our parking lot only after 5 days . Found a room to party our successful ride & slept.

 

Day15: Friday July15, 2011:

Wished bye-byes and good luck to Dinesh who had to ride all the way to Ahmedabad. Prabul & I took a BUS to Delhi & a flight back home. Was home at 10 PM. Another dull day… Back to the daily grind… hmmm 🙂

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Thanks Bro, for sharing all this 🙂

As usual, I can do nothing but envy him!! I married a man who doesn’t have an inch of adventurous bone in him 😦 , so my chances of ever visiting such lovely places comes down by 50%!! BUT! Hope persists and InshaAllah, one fine day, I might just take off to such places myself 🙂 (a girl can dream, cant she 😉 )

AND, since I love drooling over those lovely sights, I’m gonna post some more pics here –

Pangong!!

 
 Somehow, I just cant get enough of this lake!!

Crystal clear water !Awesome 🙂

Sparkling Beauty!!



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