Friday, December 29, 2006

Ek Glassy, do glassy...

‘Honey…’ I say in a melodious voice
‘Yeah?’ asks hubby warily. ‘You know those headaches I’ve been having?’
‘um-hmmm’ he says even more warily. ‘Well, I think we should do something about it. I plan to visit the opthal tomorrow.’ I say.
‘You mean they were real? Wow. OK. Yes. Opthal. Good.’ Says much relieved Hubby.

Evening, at Opthal.

‘Place your chin here please’ says Doc- pointing to a large intimidating thingummy. I do. ‘erm…. Rest your forehead as well..’ say amused doc- I had poked the chin forward and was looking like I was ready to bay at the moon.- which apparently is not how they check eyes nowadays. After looking at an ice-cream truck and white picket fences with both eyes for a while I hear… ‘hmmmm…’ ‘Interesting. Very Interesting.’ - Now that is not what you want anybody who’s peering into your eyes- who’s not drunk or your romantic love-interest, to say.
‘What? What??’ I ask nervously.
‘ hmmm… lucky… I wonder…’ murmurs Doc, to himself, completely ignoring a sweating me on the chair.
Finally, he pushes the machine away, thrusts an owlish looking frame upon me and asks me to read the gibberish alphabets chart. As I real the Last line… ‘ P N O U…’
‘No? hmmm… now? Yes, yes… I see…’
He sees? He sees?? Well, I don’t… Isn’t that why I was there? And things had only become foggier…

After a series of swapping glasses, and flashing blinding lights into my eyes, he says, ‘Yes. Are you driving?’
Startled by this sudden change in subject, I stammer ‘eh? Who? Me? Now? Right. No.’
He lapses back into silence with only annoys me more.. not only does he pass sweeping statements like ‘interesting’ and ‘lucky’ while peering into my eyes, he’s now taken to asking me about my driving habits and then going into these pensive silences… well, ok… so I forget to give that occasional hand signal (while turning, you perverts, not the one you gave to the boor honking his horn behind you), and yes, there was that one time when I had parked illegally for five minutes, but I failed to see what business it was of his… ‘ Good. The nurse will put some drops into your eye that will blur your vision for the next six hours.’ he said, interrupting my thoughts. Oh. I saw all… or rather was about to not-see at all in the next couple of minutes.

Five minutes later…
‘hmmm…’ said doc. I wished he would expand his vocabulary. Even eskimos have only so many words for ‘snow’.
‘so whats the verdict, Doc?’ I ask, looking at what I though was his face.
‘you’ll have to wear glasses, of course.’ Said a voice from behind me. I whipped my head around- I had been talking to Doc’s reflection. Further proof that I needed glasses, I guess. Glasses? That was the reason I was termed ‘lucky’ and ‘interesting’? feeling oddly deflated at such a mundane reason for the excitement, I staggered out into the waiting area, trying to stuff the prescription into my bag- and succeeding after 3 attempts. Back in the Doc’s cabin I could hear the voices floating out…’hmmm… inetresting…’ followed soon after by a panicky ‘what? Eh?’
Poor Sod. I could have told him he needed glasses.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

BRNAD DEAD!

well, Brad, as usual, had something to say about the last post. And here it was. So, naturally, I had something to say about that! enjoy!!










Thursday, December 21, 2006

Dilli, we have a problem, yaar!

In a bid to streamline the admistration, my company has decided to print all cards/ stationery and other sundry accessories centrally from 'dilli'. Which is great, provided,
a. I get my Cards on Time (which does NOT roughly translate to sometime in this decade)
b. I don't have to handle annoying administration guys suggesting that in the meanwhile I use a colleagues card, and scratch out his name and put mine instead.
c. When I DO get the cards, I'd be ecstatic, if they'd please, please not coin new acronyms for my position, and just manage to get the spellings right.

Right. For now I'm stuck with cards with read 'Sense- BRNAD SOLUTION (pliss to note the singular) MANAGER.

My clients now have the pleasure of choosing between scratched out, overwritten- cards, or ones which introduce me as a BRNAD Solution manager. Can we get the weekend here a bit sooner?

Monday, December 18, 2006

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

wORK wEEK

I'm celebrating a week at work. Well, OK, celebrations would be pushing it... people in my office are already looking shifty-eyed and start shuffling their feet when asked whether my joining was a good thing. Thankfully I have a thick hide, and refuse to take hints, so I simply carry on the back-thumping and the bush-esque shoulder massaging as if I didn't notice poeple scurrying for cover when they see me approach.
I must say this for the workplace though- they stand up to punishment well. I suppose it goes with the territory when you're selling media. here's an example of a typical conversation:
(over the phone)
Colleague: Hey... It's me. I'm not with ABC anymore. Yeah, I'm with XY....
Client (cutting Colleague off in Mid-flow): oh, ah... I'm tied up can you call back a bit later?
Colleague( as if no interruptions occured): sure thing.. in fact. I'll call you back. Just tell me when.
Client (pushed into a corner): er... afternoon? sure... bye!

Come afternoon...*brrrrring* *brrrrring*
metallic voice: the person you are trying to reach cannot take your call. Please leave a message at the beep.
Grrrrr!

Same Colleage and Same client, after the magazine hits the stands, and he finds his ad in the wrong posish.
Client: hey! it's me. I saw the ad. What's...
Colleague (getting her own back): hey... I'm sorry, but you've caught me at the worst time possible. Could you send me a mail on this?
Client (seething and vowing to wait till colleague comes back for business): sure, and I'll mark a CC to my boss and your boss.
Colleague (distractedly): oh? Oh. seeya then.

Next month: Colleague and client at it again.
Colleague: Hey... It's me. could we meet up ? i've got this great idea....
Client (cutting Colleague off in Mid-flow): oh, ah... I'm tied up can you call back a bit later?

-And so it goes. The Office. The best place to watch karma bite you in the arse.

Monday, December 04, 2006

All in a Day's work

*Beep* *Beep* - said a beligerent phone at 2:30 am. Then only reason I even heard the darned thing was because I had just woken up to feed Pickwick. Mercifully, Pickwick slept right thru' the cacophony.
Muttering dire threats at whoever was at the other end, I picked up the phone to see who wished to commit Harakiri. 'Twas the boss. Or soon-to-be Boss. Darn. Plans of wanting to see the colour of his insides dropped. For now. (which reminds me of a classmate who once insisted on calling all our undies 'insides' for the duration of the entire study tour. These insides are not the insides I refer to in my post. Just in case a few random readers had similar thoughts)
Bleary eyed I read the message- and Goggle. The chap wants me to call up some female in the morning and tag along with her as she heads to office at the other side of town!!! You may well wonder why I goggled. I mean, that doesn't seem like such an absurd request, does it? Ah, but there were wheels, as they say, within wheels.
Let me start at the beginning. Skipping early evolution and other trivial matters, I shall move on to the matter in Q. After a nine-month hiatus, I had decided to join the ranks of the gainfully employed. My first day was supposed be the first of December. Boss-man- who's a Diliwallah was to make a trip a couple of days prior and get me up to speed, so to speak before tossing me into the thick of things. As luck would have it, Boss-man cometh and boss-man goeth- all without having an opportuinity to have the tete-a-tete. So, boss-man sayeth- No point starting tomorrow. Take the weekend to mull over material (which he promised he'd be sending over the mail), and start afresh Monday. Good, I say. Great, even. Weekend to prep up, and Monday morning, shall be In My Element.
By Sunday evening, the plan seems to have developed a slight flaw- no mail in sight from Boss-man. No answer to frantic phonecalls. Ah. Oh well, I think. Tomorrow we shall try again, I think.
Only, that night- at 2:30 to be precise is when Boss-man replies! Now you see why I goggle!
All right, no reason to panic. We shall meet aforementioned lady, and she will give me the goods, I think. Only, Lady is Late, has no clue who I am and what I'm there for.
Office isn't much better. No one in office knows I'm joining up. So naturally no one knows what I'm supposed to be doing. Er... I shall spent the day constructively blogging about it. And I would, only apparently, there are just so many workstations, and a tad too many people. Long tea breaks? Naah- the tea is delievered into your hands! So I now know every story that was printed in yesterday's paper. Go on- ask me what was printed on page 4 of the entertainment supplement. Or page 6 of the main supplement. I shall tell you verbatim. Still, there's only so much time you can spend with your nose buried in the newspaper. So I did the only thing any good new employee would do- disrupt Work and engage everyone in so much chit-chat that nothing constructive was done by anyone for the better part of the day. Finally deciding they've had enough of me, they politely told me I could leave early (they tried hinting at first, but I was too dense to get it. They had to spell it out for me).

This morning, trying to head off trouble early on, they have given me my own workstation. I think I'm going to like it here. They catch on quick.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Pickwick Capers

Did a few rudimentary toons on strip creator- here they are
MOre to follow post refinement.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Family Tree

As my son fumbles about bravely trying to insert his tiny fingers into every available socket, it makes me wonder what kind of stock he comes from and if, as his mother I am going to survive his bumps and bruises.

Well, I don’t have too much of a reference point, considering both my great great grandfather (on the maternal side) and throw in another great and we have the paternal side; both of whom were adopted. So that leaves me with about 3 generations worth of stories.
We will dispense with the greats and get down to the grandparents, since I have personally never had the pleasure of meeting any of the greats, and hence have heard no accounts of their heroics first hand (although my granddad’s grand mom was allegedly bitten by a snake when she was pregnant, and hence they believed my great grandma was a walking antidote to venomous bites. On another interesting aside, the lady was supposed to be pretty venomous herself…That apparently accounts for my wayward tongue)

Lets start with the granddaddy (literally) of all stories- which involves the maternal grandpop (if he could see me being so irreverent now, he’d have my hide). Well, like all middle sons of families with not a lot of ancestral wealth, grandpop landed up having to support not just his family but also those of his brothers (the elder brother having pushed off to join the INA with Netaji and the younger one going about doing a fair bit of social work and bringing honour to the family- the bread and butter was really not his forte, but think honour and you had your man!). So off he want on some project with the Brits to Rangoon. Bear in mind, this was the time of the Second World War, and once a bloke vanished to far shores, it was quite often the last time you saw him. In fact the only way you knew the chap was still slogging away at some remote location was the money orders that used to arrive home every month.
So- getting back to the slogging ancestor in remote location- Grandpa was just getting into the thick of things, when suddenly, the Japanese took it upon themselves to Bomb the S*** out of Rangoon. Naturally, working with the Brits made Grandpa and his colleagues sitting ducks. Not liking the Sitting Duck posish. one bit, Grandpa decided to take matters into his own hands. NO, he did not grab a musket and charge the Japs- he was brave, not stupid! He packed a few of his measly belongings and decided to hightail it back to India. Now, since most of the ships were filled with ladies and families, and had left port long ago, the only way into India was by land thru’ the forests.
Now I don’t want to give you lessons in geography, but From Rangoon, he made his way to a place called Pittakoon and from there into erstwhile Bengal. Naturally, like all great travel stories, this had its fair share of bombs, murder, jungle fever, thuggee and wild animals. Two months later when Grandad returned home, he’d lost half his weight and most of his hair (or so he told me- C’mon, the man’s entitled to a wee bit of creative leeway after the ordeal he’s been thru’)
The grandmum, all this while wasn’t wasting away, pining for the husband (this despite it being a love marriage- Grandmum fell in love with Granddad and decided she was going to marry him, all at the ripe old age of 12.) She had mouths to feed and children to clothe. She’s also had the distinction of being the first lady in the family to have travelled from the southernmost tip of India to the north (to the Bhakra Nagal project, as a matter of fact) alone with her kids to set up house there- all this without knowing a word of Hindi at that time.
Now coming to the paternal side- Pretty uneventful life, if you consider having lost a fortune via gambling (that was the great granddad), coming to Bombay penniless and reclaiming the lost fortune for his dad bit-by-bit as uneventful. On the way he also managed to pick up a wife and have four healthy kids.
The Grandmum- ah she was a rare one. She’d come to Bombay after marrying granddad at the age of 15. She learnt to speak and read both Hindi and marathi within a short while just by watching the telly and speaking to people. The dragon lady, as I used to call her affectionately bounced back after an amputation- and was seen pottering about the building just a few months after the operation. This, despite having unchecked diabetes for ages and a heart that functioned at 20% capacity. The lady buried a husband and a child within two years of each other and came close to losing a grandchild. They say punters lost a whole lotta money betting on her early demise.

Considering the above facts, I can safely bet on a good-ish capacity to bounce back after setbacks from Pickwick. Now if only this bouncing-back thingy hadn’t skipped my generation…

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Sleepless in Mumbai

*sigh* My son is growing up. Last night was the first night he didn’t want to nurse…until 4 in the morning! That of course didn’t stop me from getting up on auto pilot every couple of hours, and it didn’t stop him from wanting to be rocked back to sleep during my semi-wakeful bouts. Hubby, naturally was blissfully unaware of the turmoil in my mind (Why isn’t he nursing? Is he sick? Maybe he doesn’t like the taste of milk anymore… what if he refuses to drink any more milk? So now my milk is not good enough for him, huh? Just like a man to want something one instant, and the moment he gets it, he loses interest! Ha! ), after a restful nights’ sleep wakes up, smiles pleasantly and asks for coffee. Poor chap. It was the wrong thing to have asked. I nearly bit his head off, and he hurriedly retreated to the bathroom with his morning paper, and refused to emerge until sanity made a comeback.

In the meanwhile, the other man in my life was up and about and smiling sunnily as though he had no hand in driving his poor mother up the wall with worry. Still, I have chosen to look at the bright side of this new development.

  1. Longer hours of sleep- translating to black circs. around the eyes retreating to manageable levels. Now I can stop looking like a reality show participant.
  2. More time can be spent away from Pickwick- meaning we can now sneak in that odd movie or two.
  3. Pickwick will (hopefully) not scream blue murder every time we step out with him coz he wants me to nurse him in the middle of a mall/ restaurant/ train/ wedding/ funeral and other public places with absolutely no privacy
  4. My bust can now return to normal proportions, and (again, hopefully) head northwards again.

    I was just beginning to cheer up again, when Pickwick looks at me, gives me a killer smile (complete with just one tooth) and promptly settles down on my lap to nurse.
    OK. So maybe it isn’t just time yet for point four. But we’re getting there. In the meanwhile, I’m planning a killer wardrobe to be worn at the beach, all in my head.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Weekend Getaway

I spent last weekend in Matheran. I had no clue I'd be anywhere near there. In fact I'd happily made plans with Smithy to be her date at a Halloween Bash (three whole hours with no Baby or Hubby! wheee!). Then come friday, Hubby lands me with the Matheran Plan. On asking why it's taken him this long to bother informing me, he say in all earnestness, 'but honey, it wouldn't be a surprise then, would it?' Bah. Sorry Smithy, I can't argue with that!




So, off we went, with Pickwick in tow. Here are a few excerpts from the weekend:

Cottage No.13

Yeah, that's right, that was our home for the weekend. A British-era Cottage with the number 13. And nothing remotely eerie to report! (damn!)


It's a tree...it's a stump... it's...it's a dustbin!


Male Bonding

One of my favourite father-son moments during the trip
(that and Pickwick swinging his undies in the air a la Saurav).



Here Comes the Son!

I know! Corny! still, that's what i feel like singing everytime i see this picture.


NO Clue what existed below the vines.


Cool Pool
No, Really. the water was Frigid! Hubby bravely strolled out of the cottage in a towel and swimming trunks, only to return 3 minutes later, after having dipped his toe into the pool and retracting it with a howl!
P.S. By the way, i strongly recommend 'Sakville's' for all your foody needs- he may be no gourmet, but he's given us better service than I've seen at star restaurants. besides, you also get to catch all the hubub of the market place from his place!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Back Room Business

I have seen the backs of more restaurants and pubs than I care to remember. Now I know what you’re thinking… get your mind out of the gutter- that’s NOT how Pickwick was conceived. In fact it is precisely because of Pickwick that I have the … er… privilege of visiting these places. Well, it’s either visiting the back room, or flashing unsuspecting customers, making them swallow their soup the wrong way. Very unsettling. And totally bad for business. So in the interest of his regulars, the owners/ managers of these places generally give me a guided tour of their back rooms.

The back rooms Or in some cases glorified broom closets) of these restaurants are mighty interesting places. Not only do you find the occasional odd creatures all limbs intertwined (which makes you immediately want to separate them with a water hose and yell at them while holding Pickwick aloft ‘Exhibit A’) but also the friendly neighborhood spider (who’s NEVER as delectable as the movies), the inquisitive rodent and despicable stars of ‘Joe’s apartment’ (why aren’t they on the endangered list?)

What is interesting to note is you learn a lot about the place and the people who work there from the back rooms. For example, you see a neatly folded trouser and shirt all nicely tucked into a plastic bag, and you KNOW you want that man serving you at the table. You see the carelessly tossed jeans along with the body hugging t-shirt and you can safely surmise that this man is here to fulfill his tinsel town dreams. You see the worn half shirt neatly pressed, and you can imagine the wife faithfully ironing out this chap’s shirts and he trudges off to work. Once you head back to your table it then becomes an interesting game- to put a face to the clothes in the back room. Naturally these are often met with very strange looks- since this is probably the first time any patron will be looking so hard at the waiters and Maitre D’- with a knowing smirk on her face, no less…

You can also hazard a guess if the water’s safe to drink at this place, from the back rooms- I mean one look at where they store their tipple and as Wodehouse would put it- All Is Revealed. You may well wonder where all this is leading to- and I don’t blame you- in this post I have rambled on more than usual (which is like saying that the Mahabharata was just a tad long-ish). At the risk of sounding repetitive, All, as they say, will be Reveled- I’m dabbling with the idea of starting off a restaurant critique from a ‘back-room’ point of view. Just wanted to know if it would pique anyone’s interest or am I the only odd-ball restaurant voyeur in blogdom.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

True Vacation

Last week, we were in Goa doing what you should truly do in Goa- no, not living it up. You have Mumbai for that, for crying out loud. We were there to hibernate. Relax. Pig out. And not move a muscle. Well, we did all of the above. Almost all. There only so much inaction your six-month old will permit you.

The weather was crap. It was raining all night- and most days. Which suited us just fine. All we needed was a bit of sunshine so we could hit the pool (which was just outside out room) and the beach (which was just beyond the pool). Pickwick loved both. The beach had him a tad confused, with what the waves and the ground beneath his feet literally slipping away. He didn’t like that. No one does, I guess. The pool was more his scene. He was basking. In the sunshine and the mini admiration society which seemed to have formed around him as soon as he stepped into the pool. So naturally he wants to show off for his fans and tried to float. To our utter amazement he actually succeeded! He even got so bold as to venture a few Kicks. Sigh! The things one has to do to please people!

The food was especially good. I pigged out on sea food while poor hubby stoically held back his urge to puke. I guess he thought it’s the least he could do for the woman who’s bravely decided to spawn his offspring (Yes, I’m going to hold that over his poor head for another eighteen years!). Having this scandalized three generations of the iyer khaandaan, I decided to reserve my second tattoo plans for another day. We don’t want to kill the poor fellow, do we?

Our return journey was another adventure altogether. After having raced to the station to narrowly make the train (thanks to a forgotten jacket in the lobby of the hotel whose pockets held a mobile phone and tickets to the very train we were about to board…), we board the one compartment in the train that is bursting at the seams with kids. You should have seen the night sleeping routine. 35 mums trying to put 40-odd hyperactive kids to bed. Sometimes, even now, when I let my guard down, I hear “Shhh! Look at that nice boy. He’s not troubling his mummy.”

So, it’s no wonder I took so long to write this post. I needed a vacation to recover from my vacation!

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Mee Mumbaikar

And now, ladies and gentlemen, presenting a post for the express reading purpose of the Mumbaikar…

Overheard in the second class ladies compartment:

*self- fly on the wall- or at least plastered to the partition near the entryway*

Plump Lady (to skinny one nearer the door): ay! Dadar?
Skinny: nai
Plumpy: toh idhar kay karti hai? Andar jao na!
Skinny: kaisa jayegi? Jagah kidahr hai? Tum side se jao na!
Plumpy: ai! Kya baat karti hai? Mera size dekha hai? Tum hi ja nahi sakti, main kaisa jayegi? Ab dadar ayega to tum utarke phir chado..
Skinny: arre... main kyon utregi? Main nahin utregi. Tum side se jao.
Plumpy: getting more annoyed: he bagh! Jyada mach mach nahin karneka. Tumko malum nahin Dadar mein utrneka nahin to idhar nahin khada rahneka? Malum nahin kidhar kidhar se train mein aa jata hai.
Skinny: getting equally riled: ai! Tum idhar dekho- kya kar legi tum? Kuch bhi bolti rehti hai. Phir mai bolne lagoongi
Plumpy: gearing up for full-scale war:ay chokri- tu jaanti nahin main koun hoon. Main roz yeh train mein jaati hoon. Train mein chadhne ko atta nahin to kyon aati ho?


Skinny was just about to launch into a tirade of her own when the train pulled up into Dadar. Although she put up a brave fight, she lost her battle to the tide of people flowing out of the train and had to decend at Dadar.

30 seconds later when the train pulled out of Dadar, however, I did a double take. Not only was Skinny back on the train- right next to her was a mournful Plumpy- who was pushed back into the train by the incoming tide! Looks like Skinny had the last laugh!

Ah! It’s good to be back in Mumbai!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Irwin Lives!

It is just like the Polterigeist, only, in reverse. Somehow, the spirit of Steve Irwin has managed to enter my son thru' the telly! there's no other logical explanation for it...
... I'm not much of a fan of watching creatures behind bars for no fault of theirs, so I tend to avoid most zoos (Also, I have been asked by certain curators to keep a safe distance from the primates, as apparently, I make them nervous). I especially made this a point while I was carrying Pickwick. Neither me nor my husband have ever campaigned for the SPCA, PeTA or any such group- not because we don't feel for the poor things having to share the earth with us humans, but simply because we're really not the campaigning types. I didn't even campaign for my own elections as school captain (I got elected by deafult- all the other contestants fell ill or discovered lurrve- both of which have remarkably similar symptoms, by the way), simply beacuse it involves a lot of, you know...work!

so how else can you explain the fact that my son's favourite method of locomotion resembles that of an Aardvark- as demonstrated bythe previous post. And that's not all- he's taken to making sounds like a pelican (which causes me to go into an instant panic attack and I end up vigorously thumping a surprised Pickwick on his back). Most recently, he's started to practice hopping on our laps like a kangaroo. He never tires of this activity, and he results are evident on all our bruised thighs.
Hence I have concluded that it's the ghost of Irwin that's possessed him, and we have patiently been taking him out in the sun and urging him to 'go towards the light'. Passers-by have not taken kindly to this urging and make hissing sounds- which seems to excite Pickwick all the more. We wish Irwin to be at peace and have erased Animal Planet from the telly favourites. Pickwick in the meanwhile has learn a new word which sounds suspicoiusly like 'bee-u-tee'

P.S. Since publishing this post last night, Pickwick has develeoped strange new symptoms where he creeps up on your unsuspecting hand, and does a complete salt-water croc style stealth attack, including the death roll. Things Seem to be getting worse before the get better(I hope...)

Sunday, August 27, 2006

History Repeats Itself

August 2006
This was Pickwick trying his hand at locomotion. Overheard on observation"What a weird way to move around... I never seen such a sight! Wonde where he got that from "


June 1979

Ahem...

Monday, August 14, 2006

Que Sera Sera

Ten years ago, if you had asked me what I’d be doing ten years hence, you can bet your last rupee the answer wouldn’t have been ‘Married. With Kid. Currently Unemployed.’ And yet, here I am, busily washing drool off my keyboard as I type, while former classmates who at that point had the ambition of a snail are busy attending conferences in Thailand and Singapore and planning vacations in Bali.

People who knew me then would fall off the chair if they found out I had an arranged marriage, let alone mothered a child. Somehow they’d be more willing to believe that I’d run off on a trip to Rishikesh where I’d met a bearded weirdo and we were currently shacked up in the foothills of the Himalayas waiting out the winter so we could continue our trek to Nepal. Well unless hubby decides to quit cushy job and turn into a Yeti, I don’t see that happening anytime in the near future, which is going to cause quite of few of those ex-classmates to shake their heads and wonder what the world was coming to.

I recently ran into one such then-unambitious, now-jetsetting friend last week. ‘Sense! Is that you? Why you look positively… feminine!’ he said. ‘So do you.’ Said I, thinking it was only fair that I should return the compliment.
So… where have you been? What naughty things have you been upto?’ he asks, lighting up a smoke. I stare at him open-mouthed- this was the same chap who used ro get a coughing fit every time our canteen wallah maroed a tadka!
I’ve just got back from a 4 day conference in Singapore.’ He continued, 'life’s a bitch, man. Shitloads of work. Had to even cancel my plans of watching the football finals!’ ‘on the telly?’ I ask innocently. ‘No way dude. In Germany! You couldn’t make it either huh?’ ‘Nope. Was otherwise occupied.’ I said. ‘Oh? Work? Play?’ he asks elbowing me in the ribs and wiggling his brows.
Well, you could say that, although dangling a ball in front of Pickwick can’t technically be called play.
Pickwick? New pet?
Nope. New Son.’ Just then Hubby saunters in with cherubic face and a grinning Pickwick. ‘This is hubby- and That’s Pickwick.’ I say to the gawking classmate. ‘I’d love to stay and chat, but I gotta rush home and make dinner…’I throw out as I make my exit. That should remind him- I was always unpredictable.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Ode- To a C'Ode

There's nothing more sorry to behold,
than a lady with a cold...

...sorrier still
is that lady was over the hill

But the sorriest of all
is if this lady's son looks set to bawl!

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Why People Keep Blogs

This post is dedicated to Smithy, who dug up this piece I'd written long ago and took the trouble to save it!Reproduced here with a few minor changes...

I bet if you took a poll on reasons why people keep Blogs, sheer boredom would be in the top Five. The number one reason of course, being vanity, i.e. people actually think their thoughts count. Yeah, right. So, why, is it people keep Blogs? I suppose it would be to pen down what they’re feeling at that particular moment. But really, is what you feel at that moment that important? Is it even real, coz one night you might be writing about the cute lurve of your life who could do no wrong. And a few posts later, he’s the jerk who won’t take a hint, (Unless you’ve impulsively married this loser, and you need to keep reading that one post to remind yourself that the sod once made you feel that way.)

Wow. I had no idea I was this cynical. Hey! That’s why- Its to probe deeper into oneself, to understand yourself better – and its either this or singularly bad poetry. But then, we’re back to my original Q. Why probe? Why prod? Let's not open the can of worms here. I mean, how boring would it get if you knew yourself so well that you’d know your exact reaction to every situation. Surprize yourself I say; sometimes go the extra mile and positively shock yourself! You’d be surprised how good that’ll make you feel – and it serves the same purpose – Its amazing what it does to your vanity – and you save a whole lot more time this way.

However, most people have to get it out of their system. They start out on this writing spree – in search of their literary masterpieces. The one really good book they haven in them. There’s just one hitch – This book they have in them – most of the time its good as long as it stays in. The moment it takes a peek out in the open, it sucks! I think most people would be cured of this bug, however if we forced them to sit down and read what they’ve written.

You’ll have a 50% fallout rate here already cos they can’t read their own writing. That leaves the wilier customer who decided to type out his masterpiece – double spaced. Out of these another 36% will drop out when they see that they haven’t proceeded beyond the first line after 16 tries and several days. That leaves the really nasty 14% of ‘em, who’re what I call ramblers. There are the ones who’ve typed page after page of any thought that has popped into their head.
A solid 75% of this 14% turn out to be long-suffering husbands who have never gotten a word in edgeways with their wives. They include thoughts that jump from the sandy beaches of Hawaii where a story of intrigue is set, to the grocery list the wife dictated over the phone.
About 10% of the 14 then drop out meekly, cos u see they’re used to dropping out meekly. The really resilient 4% are the tough nuts to crack. They’re the ones who’ve decided, I Have An Opinion And I Shall Voice It (And You’d Better Listen To It – Too). Unfortunately dear reader, at this point I must tell you that I head the pack when it comes to the aforementioned 4%!

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Travel Travails

I am exhausted. And for the first time in 3 months, Pickwick’s not to blame for it. I am recuperating from my first travel experience alone with Pickwick, and guess what- he was the best thing about the entire affair.
Now there comes a time in every new mother’s life when she has the take the bold step to venture forth with her young ‘un unassisted. Well, suffering from a massive superiority complex, I thought I’d make this landmark occasion more challenging by adding enough luggage to the equation to single-handedly overload the plane. I packed not just my entire wardrobe, but also Pickwick’s along with his odds, ends, toys and bathtub. To top it off the hand baggage (which contained all the rations for self and Pickwick in case of a nuclear holocaust) had to be precariously balanced- one on each shoulder. Remove one, and you would just topple over like the proverbial pin. Thusly armed, I proceed to the check-in counter, leaving Pickwick for one last time in my parents’ care. I was fully confident of getting the royal treatment- on account of being upgraded to business class, thanks to hubby’s frequent flier card, and being the hapless mother of a young papoose.

I was greeted by a stony eyed manager who takes one look at me and decides I’m one on the bourgeois elite and mentally knitted my name into his woolies.
Me (smile wavering slightly at the stony look): Hi… I’ve already tele-checked in. Could you give me some assistance? I’m travelling with an infant…

Stone man: Eh? I’m sorry, but we can’t upgrade you. Your husband not part of the multi-platinum class, so your voucher’s no good.

Me (a bit slow on the uptake): But I have a voucher. I’ve tele-checked in, my ticked, upgrade and seat were confirmed. Now about assistance with my infant…

Stone man: Sorry. Pay the difference if you want to sit up front. Next.

Me: Next?? There’s no one behind me you daft man! I’m the only one in business class, so just upgrade me!!

That last remark didn’t sit to well with the desi Defarge and he ignored me, but I could just picture the knitting needles clicking away at a feverish pace.

Five minutes later, after a frantic phone call to hubby, his irate phone call to the airline, and their livid phone call to stone man
Stone man: yes. You can sit up front. But there’s no upgrade voucher for your infant. He sits in economy.

Me: eh? He’s 3 months old! You can’t just pat him on the head and ask him to proceed up the aisle!

Stone Man: Next!

Another five minutes and frantic, irate and livid phone calls respectively…

Stone Man: Yes. He can sit with you.

Me: No! really? Gee thanks! Now about my luggage…

Stone man: next!

I gave up. I trudged up to my parents, like a wounded but triumphant soldier, to see my parents struggling to keep Pickwick’s volumes down. Pickwick in his finer moments has been known to render unsuspecting salesmen passing by the house temporarily deaf. One minute they’re walking along, merrily whistling a tune, the only thing on their minds being how to outrun the subsequent pet Pom, and the next they’re tottering away in shock trying to make sense on the ringing in their ears. Now at such times, I discovered quite by accident that the only thing that distracts him, is to do a little jig with him (to the latest Himmesh Reshammiya number, preferably)
So imagine my distress when I came across panicky Parents with Pickwick in the ‘Naach Chhamiya’ mood. Of course, having no alternative, I tried to surreptitiously do the cha-cha-cha mumbling ‘oh oh aashiqui’ under my breath at the airport lounge (I distinctly saw a few firings trying to capture this authentic Indian experience on their still cams). Mercifully, by this time Pickwick had calmed down some, and loaded with baggage and Pickwick, I proceeded for my Sec-Check, bidding a final adieu to wailing parents who were too busy to notice, since they were bidding goodbye to squirming Pickwick.

I finally made it in safely onto the plane. The journey from then on was largely uneventful, barring stray incidents like unscreened baggage, threat of offloading and the insistence of a flight purser that I nurse Pickwick during take off and landing. (Pickwick had his own ideas about that last bit). On landing in Mumbai, I was so relieved to touch ground in one piece, I decided not to tempt fate for quite some time, and have never ventured out alone with Pickwick since.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Fathers Down the Ages

Terms of addressing:
Granddad: Appa
Dad: Dad
Hubby: Yo Pops! (If not the first name, in which case, poor Pickwick is going to have a mighty sore bottom)

Earliest memory:
Granddad: Frowning down from a distance, as you look up from the cradle, saying- “ erm…I think he’s pooped again..”
Dad: Look of consternation as he’s holding you – “erm, I think he’s pooped again”
Hubby: “aww- look he’s pooping! Quick, ask him to hold on while I get the camera!”

Discipline:
Granddad: The Look (and you’ve already peed in your pants)
Dad: “harrumph!” followed by The Look
Hubby: “Just you wait to you Mommy gets home”

On education:
Granddad: I want you to be the top 3 in your class!
Dad: I want you to do your best
Hubby: Just make sure you get decent results, so I won’t have to visit the principal’s office too often

On sports:
Granddad: don’t you play enough in the evenings? Now you’re doing it at school too?
Dad: I want you to do your best.
Hubby: Cricket? Wait for me! Anything else- ask you mum.

On Arts:
Granddad: No one in our family’s made a decent living yet out of being an artist!
Dad: I want you to do your best.
Hubby: You think we should be saving his doodles? I can’t for the life of me figure out what he’s made, but hey, I can’t get Picasso either!

Career Options:
Granddad: harrumph! Engineering.
Dad: Do whatever you’re best at.
Hubby: The world is your playground- but don’t expect me to push you swing!(at which point Pickwick demands a translator)

Equal rights:
Granddad: Some men are more equal than others
Dad: Of course women are smarter. Just look at my daughter…ow! Ow!!… and my wife
Hubby: I’m now going to fight for equal opportunity for men!

Music:
Granddad: Hindi film songs? Gah! Humbug.
Dad: AC/DC? I’m not surprised that cacophony comes from electrical malfunctions…
Hubby: You paid HOW MUCH for the Sting Concert???!!!

On daughters:
Granddad: hah! The fool doesn’t deserve you!
Dad: hah! The fool doesn’t deserve you!
Hubby: hah! The fool doesn’t deserve you!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

To Be Me

Sunday was a good day...

- My husband, who generally won't even notice if I wandered about in a gunny sack said I looked good.

- My Mom made me my favourite dish for lunch.

- My son,who generally reserves his smiles for ceiling fans and such, gave me his first gummy smile.

- My friend called up, Just Because.

- I celebrated my First Mothers Day.

Sometimes, its good to be Me.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Ode to My Mum

I know it looks like I've been doing nothing but making lists off late, but I promise,this will be the last one... for the time being.

You know it's unconditional love when...

...there's Poop or pee on every single dress you own, but you think your baby's smell ought to be bottled and sold as perfume.

...your nipples are cracked, sore and painful, but you allow you baby to chew on it meditatively so he can sleep peacefully

...you haven't slept for more than two hours at a stretch since the baby was born, but you're wondering if 18 hours of sleep is enough for you baby, or is he suffering from sleep deprivation

...you stop looking for yourself in family photos (and act of pure self-preservation, since you look like crap in all of them) and look for your baby instead

...you think spiky, patchy hair is the best hairstyle God ever made

...you can sleep thru' a deep purple concert, but spring into action at the tiniest wail

...you wonder how people can confuse him with some other baby when he looks so distinctly unique!

...you marvel at this miracle of God everytime your baby burps.

...you've just emerged out of the feeding-pooping-peeing cycle and can sleep thru' the night for the first time in years and you say,'Wow! lets do the whole thing again!'

...Twenty-five years after you've done it twice over and thought you were finally finished with it, you sit up nights again- just because your daughter's going thru' it!

Thanks, Mum. I love you.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Bloggy Recognition!

Was pleasantly surprised to find my post mentioned in the bloggy awards! here's the link!
Rather nice to get back to such words! *sensorcaine takes a bow*

Isn't It Ironic...

Call it one of the cruel ironies of life- The one time I have breats that look like they'd give Pam Anderson a run for her money, the only male interested in them is 3 days old and looks at them purely from a sustenance point of view!

Yes, the stork finally decided to pay us a house call on- would you believe it April fools' day! Needless to say, when my dad sms-ed all my friends with the news (I'd thoughtfully given him the phone numbers and the message to be sent in advance), they ran true to form and refused to believe I wasn't pulling a prank, and insisted on speaking to- you guessed it- my parents!

I went into labour at 6:30 in the morning and by noon I was convinced that this had to be a new Guiness record of sorts coz there was an amazing amount of pain but no baby. Finally with much reluctance (do you blame him?) my son decided to put in an appearance at a quarter to two! whew! The doc promptly informed my parents- 'Ais ais... for a first-time labour, it went very fazzt,you see.'
very fast? huh? I just think if you ain't got a uterus, your opinion don't count, buddy!! Someday I shall be up do describing the whole crazy scene in greater detail*shudder*.

Anyways, Junior looks like his dad but has managed to inherit my night-owl tendencies. Somehow I have this crazy feeling, someone up there's got a cruel sense of humour. He's now having a quiet chuckle everytime my baby wails at one- two hour intervals thoughout the night but sleeps like he's been knocked out throughout the day!

Well, moutains of soiled diapers to wade though which threaten to take over the bathroom if I dont' start making serious inroads into them. And all of them are the efforts of my son injust one afternoon. I always knew he'd be a superachiever! sigh! Grey hair, here I come!

Thursday, March 09, 2006

DOC, DOC, WHO’S THERE?

I consider myself to be one of the privileged few in my ken who have hitherto escaped the agonies of a visit to the dentist very often.

My few visits* to the Dentist consisted of:
1. Getting my first tooth out at the age of 5,after which ‘I was so brave,I deserved a lolly pop’
2. Getting my upper pre-molars extracted at the age of 11 coz I had buck teeth, and my teeth needed space to fit themselves while they were being forcibly shoved back into my tiny mouth (after which I was so brave, I deserved a lolly pop)
3. Getting my braces removed, and finally being able to see the whites of my teeth again (after which I was so brave, I deserved a nice boy)


* In the interest of the reader, I have mentioned only those visits which were of significance… weekly visits to ‘tighten the band’ have not been noted

I was in a blissful state of ignorance of the torture chair until a few months ago, when I was happily chomping down on a scrumptious paani puri when a pain radiated from my molars that had me breaking out in cold sweat. A thorough investigation carried out by my tongue confirmed that it was indeed my molars that were a bit tender. Never having experienced such a thing before, I though it an aberration, and continued to thoughfully suck air through it for the next few days, to check how much punishment I could take.
As it turns out, I’m pretty chicken, and couldn’t avoid going to the dentist any longer.

It had been quite a while since I visited the dentist’s office, & I felt an odd sense of homecoming when I spotted the magazines that were in the waiting room for our ‘reading pleasure’. It took me just a few minutes to pick out my favourite magazine from the lot- the same one I used to read when I’d visit the dentist for my ‘tightening’ appointment at the age of 12!

Doc, naturally, not having spotted my mug for quite a while failed to recognize me, and taking one look at my grin said, “Ah! I see the spaces. Not to worry. Six months of corrective braces, and the gap between your teeth is as good as gone!”

“But Doc…”

“No, no, no need to worry. It’s completely painless. And if you’re really brave, we’ll give you a lollypop!”

This time I was a bit more forceful in my interjection. “ Doc! I did have braces. You put them on. And you said I looked just fine!”

“I did? Oh. Ah! I see now! Yes, yes… perfect row of teeth. Straight as an arrow. Erm…why are you here again?”

So I set about describing the painful tooth. One grave inspection later comes the verdict-“Yes. I see it. It’s a cavity. And a pretty large one. Looks quite deep… we may have to do a root canal…”

Had I not been spread-eagled in the chair with 3 instruments poking out of my mouth, I would have made the roadrunner seem sluggish. Well, as it turned out, I didn’t need a root canal just as yet, but the verdict was that it was inevitable. Like aging. And death.

But the ordeal wasn’t over just as yet. He wanted to do something called a filling. Now for those of you who haven’t had one, it simply means they scoop out the messed-up portion of your tooth, and fill it in with metal ( here, you’re just hoping that you won’t beep everytime you pass thru’ a metal detector at the airport). Sounds simple enough…
But really not so. First there’s this drill they use to clear out your tooth. A sound so bone jarring, it can only be compared to nails scratching across the blackboard, only, a hundred times worse, coz this stuff’s happening in your mouth! Then you hear those ominous words… “Now hold still. This won’t hurt a bit.” Re-he-he-he-ally? And I’m Queen Latifah!

When it was finally over, I was just so glad to get out of that chair, I swear I didn’t even blink when the doc wrote me up the preposterous bill for filling my mouth with a smidgeon of metal- that wasn’t even gold!

Two days ago, my tooth started to trouble me again. I have firmly told myself to stop being such a baby and just put up with the minor inconvenience. I am also eating out of just one side of my mouth.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Dog (?) Tagged!

I have been tagged by Anjaan.

The Rules of the game are:
1. The tagged victim has to come up with 8 different points of their perfect lover.
2. You need to mention the sex of the target.
3. Tag 8 victims to join this game and leave a comment on their comments saying they’ve been tagged.
4. If tagged the 2nd time, there’s no need to post again.

Ze purrfect Love(r)

First off, I think it's an oxymoron- I mean, how can he be perfect if he's male???

OK. OK. calm down... I have this women's Lib. thing out of my system now, with that last shot. Now for some serious business...

1. Vitruvian man: hey, shoot me for having an artistic eye!

2. SOH: I know its been done to death, but I can't emphasise enough how vital this is. Any man who can't laugh at the world and occasionally at himself, ain't for me. (for my part, I shall refrain from laughing at him at the most inappropriate moments, like in front of his boss, when he's in the buff- the two being mutually exclusive, mind you.)

3. Mover and Shaker: No No, don't get me wrong- I'm not a social climber. I mean he should know his way around a dance floor. There's nothing more attractive than a man who's in complete control of his hands, feet, elbows and other sundry body parts when grooving to the music.

4. Vanity thy name is turn-off: Taking pride in your appearance, clipping unwanted hair from nose and ears, avoiding BO and regular bathing is acceptable. Discussing the latest beauty product to avoid wrinkles, being more woried about getting a tan and spending more time in front of the mirror than me is NOT.

5. Friend- Friendly: I have my set of friends. Now he may not like my friends, in fact he can even think they all belong in a menagerie, but he has to like my having friends. The feeling shall be reciprcated in kind- he can have his Boys' Night Out, so long as he doesn't show up the next morning with a bra peeking out of his trousers and lipstick on his cuff (who kisses people on their cuffs and collars, anyways, is what I'd like to know!).

6. Music be the food of love: Music- of any kind is to be appreciated. The day applied physics takes precedence over music, please don't let the door hit you on the way out!

7. Boys Don't Cry: The glistening of the eye, the surreptitious wiping of a tear is Great! Bawling because the bahu in some soap has been subjected to whatever injustice bahus in such soaps normally get subjected to makes me a tad bit uncomfortable.

8. R-E-S-P-E-C-T: and I don't meant just me. There's a lot that can be said about a man from the way he treats his mother, when he gives up his seat to a young lady with a screaming toddler, stops at traffic lights even when on-one's watchng, or there's no one in the approaching lane or when has a serious conversation with a five-year old.

Well, there it is. It's not a complete yet, but it's a start!

My turn to tag people:

Ideasmith: Coz I'd be fascinated to know...

Traveller: The Doppelganger

Joo: Should have an interesting take- if oyu can get a straight answer from him

Creatiwitty: Feel free to entendre away!

I stop, coz the list of blogger I know ends here.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Birthday Resolutions

1. Thou shalt not get sozzled.
Every birthday its the same thing. People masquerading as your friends insists on making you gulp down copious amounts of alcohol, preferably neat, and before you know it, you are trying to flirt with a coat rack

2. Thou shalt, therefore, remember where you live.
We cannot get lucky all to time to have kindly taxi drivers driving you all over town, in the faint hope that something looks familiar. (and The shopping mall, although familiar CANNOT be where you live)

3. The creepy female you met 3 minutes ago cannot be qualified as ‘best friend’
True you look up to her… but thass coz you’re 5’7” and she’s twice your size! Also, not a good idea to pass on personal information like mail ID and phone number. Borderline stalking leads to high-stress situations.

4. Thou shalt not address your mom, aunt & mother-in-law as the golden girls,3 witches of Macbeth or the weird sisters.
…At least not to their faces… and until you are sober enough to distinguish their behinds from their fronts… say nothing at all!

5. Cake goes into the mouth. Preferably yours.
Eyes, noses, ears, etc have distinctly separate functions, none of which involve ingesting cake. In fact, when feeling nauseous, avoid cake altogether.

6. Thou shalt not covet thy husband’s arse in Public.
I mean, I’m sure he likes being appreciated, but telling the watchman you can bounce a quarter off this butt is definitely not on!

7. Thou shalt not be ashamed of thy true age
Screaming at everyone who wishes you ‘happy 27th!’ or, God forbid ‘happy 28th!’ is not a good way to ensure that friends stay on at the party. And ‘I feel 16 in my head!’ is NOT a good-enough excuse

8. Thou art NOT invisible
Of course giggling, making loud shush-ing noises, tripping over a potted plant does not help

9. People trying to wish you at noon is not ‘blasted calls in the middle of the night’
And one of those calls may be from you bosses, so you’d better be courteous.

10. Thou shalt not swear upon your sisters’ grave, so you can get rid of the hangover.
Especially if you sister happens to be alive and eyeing you with displeasure at the moment.

Friday, January 27, 2006

On a Patriotic High

Was watching this news channel last night that was conducting a Pan-India Survey which brought forth some heartening news:
  • Close to 97% of Indian polled were proud to be Indians. And Muslims rated higher than Hindus in these polls, with 98% of them saying they were proud of their nationality. The only other nation that comes close to such a high percentile is the US of A- which had about 94% say they were proud of thier nationality.
  • Our most reconisable National Icon is still Mahatma Gandhi with the Bachchans and Tendulkars still having a long way to go before they can catch up.
  • Our national moment of shame (though the menu here was quite limited): The farmers' suicides. We are still comapssionate as a nation- and largely forgiving, considering our MPs taking bribes could post only second place
  • About 70% of Indians feel friendly ties with Pakistan should be encouraged, and do not encourage 'Big Brother' policing.
  • The most popular Chief Minister is Bihar CM Nitish Kumar, despite being in the post for just over 2 months!

Happy R-day people. There was also some seriously disturbing news in the polls which raised concerns about the level of awareness, our so-called liberalism and equality. that however is for another post, on another day. Right now, the mind wants to float on a cloud of Patriotism.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Nostalgia

From: sensorcaine@nostalgia.com
To: All@oldhighschool.com
Date: 1st December ‘05

Sub: Coming into town

Dear all,
Hey listen you no-good louts, my office has finally deemed me worthy of an official trip down home. So not only will I be re-haunting your city, but I shall be doing it with a generous expense account to boot! I’m going to be there next week, so thass plenty of warning…

Luv,
Sense

From: faffingatwork@highschool.com
To: sensorcaine@nostalgia.com
Cc: All@oldhighschool.com
Date: 1st December ‘05

Sub: Re: Coming into town

Sense you old rogue!
This should be good fun. I’m up for a reunion. Who else is in? Remember, all- sense has promised to fund this booze and binge party! I shall personally select the most criminally expensive joint!

Luv,
Faff


From: mailto:daddys_own%20business@highschool.com
To: sensorcaine@nostalgia.com
Cc: All@oldhighschool.com
Date: 1st December ‘05

Sub: Re: Coming into town

Sense, Faff,
I’m in as well. It’s been a while since I got out. The last time I went out to town was when Govinda was still doing a couple of b-grade movies with alarming regularity. Faff, I don’t trust you to choose the place. The last time you chose a venue, we narrowly escaped landing up in the slammer. The police still have records in the name of a Chandeshwari Bhatavdekar, 16, chalu galli, Chinchpokli!

Cheers!
Daddy-O



From: marriedwithkids@highschool.com
To: sensorcaine@nostalgia.com
Cc: All@oldhighschool.com
Date: 2nd December ‘05

Sub: Re: Coming into town

Hey Guys!
This is good news! Will con hubby into watching the monster-brat for one night. We can’t afford a babysitter just yet! The last one couldn’t take it for more than 45 minutes, and we had to call hubby’s parents in desperation! Ma-in-law has never let me live it down… daddy-o- you know my no… gimme a buzz- I gotta to. I think the hell spawn just spilled something on my new bed sheets!

Laterrrrzz
Harried




From: itgeek@highschool.com
To: sensorcaine@nostalgia.com
Cc: All@oldhighschool.com
Date: 2nd December ‘05

Sub: Re: Coming into town

Hey all,

I’m in. I think. Actually depends on my boss’s schedule. Can we meet some weekday? I find that I get off earlier on weekdays, than on weekends. With luck, I should be able to drop in for a couple of drinks, and head right back to work.

Be well and prosper
Geek



From: sensorcaine@nostalgia.com
All: All@oldhighschool.com
Date: 3rd December ‘05

Sub: Re: Coming into town

Whoa! Whoa! WHOA! Good you know you’re all landing up, but hold your horses on the bill-footing thought! Please arrive with pockets laded. I ain’t footing anyone’s bill! Here I am thinking I can mooch off one of you guys, and I get this nasty shock!

Still shaken,
Sense



From: mournfullyminimumwage@highschool.com
To: sensorcaine@nostalgia.com
Cc: All@oldhighschool.com
Date: 3rd December ‘05

Sub: Re: Coming into town

Hey guys!

I’m so happy we still keeping touch. Who would have though that we’d all be together after so many years. I still remember that sweet rose Flash gave me when I was recovering from a severe case of somnambulism. And daddy-O, who used to share his luncheon with everyone… and who can forget the lovely Harried- the pet of all the teachers; they never noticed a plain Jane like me. But not geek. Geek- who used to sit in the front row and never grumbled about the wet paper pellets flung at him…by Sense- I think.

Anyways, I was thinking, instead of spending so much money on a reunion, why don’t we all donate that amount to the charity I work for? it helps people whose parents have a substance-abuse problem and they are born deaf-mute-blind and with cerebral palsy. In fact, the only way we know they’re alive is because of all the money that keeps coming in from foreign grants that we absolutely need for our laptops and state-of-the-art offices.

Conscientiously,
Mini


From: toobusytobother@highschool.com
To: sensorcaine@nostalgia.com
Cc: All@oldhighschool.com
Date: 4th December ‘05

Sub: Re: Coming into town

Hey peeps,
I don’t know my schedule, just as yet, I may have to fly out to Frankfurt for a top-level hush-hush meeting for my company. In case I’m in town, and I don’t have to attend a page 3 party that night, I’ll probably drop in for a drinks with my new boyfriend- Diamond.

In a rush,
B’zee


From: sensorcaine@nostalgia.com
To: All@oldhighschool.com
Date: 6th December ‘05

Sub: Re: Coming into town


Erm, guys! I’m in town, and have realized that I have no one’s number. Is this a deliberate plan to make me foot the bill? It won’t work I tell you…

Sense


From: sensorcaine@nostalgia.com
To: All@oldhighschool.com
Date: 8th December ‘05

Sub: Re: Coming into town

Guys! I’m leaving in a couple of days, and still no news from you! OK OK. I’ll fund your first drink… and this time, I’m attaching my number at the bottom, so that excuse won’t work.

Miffed,
Sense


From: faffingatwork@highschool.com
To: sensorcaine@nostalgia.com
Cc: All@oldhighschool.com
Date: 8th December ‘05

Sub: Re: Coming into town

Sense, Old pal,
I’ll pick you up at your place, and well go out from there. Found this perfect place…

Will tell you more when I meet! Keep those gold cards primed!

Cheers!
Faff



From: mailto:daddys%20own%20business@highschool.com
To: sensorcaine@nostalgia.com
Cc: All@oldhighschool.com
Date: 8th December ‘05

Sub: Re: Coming into town

Sorry guys! I don’t think I can make it. Daddy’s seen this absolutely horrendous guy from my hometown, whose family owns the hometown and the surrounding 20 villages! Now I have to meet him today and I’m fervently hoping he dislikes me at the first glance!
Sense- I’ll catch you the next time you’re in town –with a fiancĂ© in tow *shudder*

Disturbed
Daddy-O



From: marriedwithkids@highschool.com
To: sensorcaine@nostalgia.com
Cc: All@oldhighschool.com
Date: 8th December ‘05

Sub: Re: Coming into town

Sense,
Have to beg off this time. Hubby’s got this important business deal, and both in-laws are down with the flu. Can’t imagine lugging brat pits around while I’m trying to catch up with you. Sorry!

Harried.

PS: Geek called. He tried to get in touch with you, but got the voice mail. You know how paranoid he is about leaving voice messages… something that ties in with his conspiracy theories on the government and phone-tapping- anyways- he’s out. His boss is on a golfing vacation, and he can’t meet his deadlines… H

PPS: Mini has refused to join ‘this decadent demonstration of frivolous & excessive spends’ in protest. -H

From: sensorcaine@nostalgia.com
To: boss@getsmygoat.com
Date: 9th December ‘05

Sub: application for leave

Dear boss,

I’m writing this message from a friend’s borrowed blackberry. I’m currently held up in the- er… detention cell- But it’s all a big mistake! However I can’t make it to office today, as scheduled. Kindly grant me a day’s extension on that leave.

Sincerely

Sense.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Reminiscence

In one’s old age, one is apt to remember fondly, all the idiocies one commits in one’s youth and gladly categorize it as 'experience'. My first study tour was one such unmitigated disaster.

Lets look at the bare facts, shall we:

The study tour was entirely in the wonderful state of MP (or maddha pardes, if one was to get colloquial). Law and order isn’t exactly this state’s forte.

The only responsible members accompanying us were two professors (Both male. One drew the short straw in the staff room. The other was absent on that particular day, so he was unanimously voted in). The teacher student ratio on this trip was 1:20. A rather generous sprinkling of teachers, we thought.

The student group consisted of 40 teens, split halfway down the middle according to gender.

Even one of the above should have warned the authorities of the incumbent disaster. Take all three in conjunction, and we have a Chernobyl in the making. However, by pure luck, these facts were overlooked by the usually hawk-eyed princie, and we sent off on our 20 day adventure.

Did I say set off? I mean almost set off… all students were supposed to reach the appointed station by 12p.m. Unfortunately, opinions varied on what one would call the ‘appointed station’. Certain students mistook this to be a multiple-choice question, and were found loitering at arbitrary stations, looking like lost puppies. Finally most people managed to make it just as the train was puffing its way out of the station.

Once aboard the train came the task of finding seats. This was easier said than done. Not only were we assigned berths spread out over the entire train, we also had to compete with the cliques- who decided they would sit seven at one go, or not at all! So it was decided that the luggage would occupy the odd seat, and the rest can squash themselves in the remaining space. Here again, the glaring differences of ‘bare essentials’ to a boy and girl came to the fore.

The boys all had a small suitcase (duly packed by mum) which contained about 3 pairs of clothing, their Nintendo- or whatever gizmo which was their current crush and a few pairs of clean shorts. Their only preparation for the winter cold was this snazzy jacket they had thrown about their shoulders under the impression that it made them into instant studs.

Girls had a minimum of four pieces of luggage, a food basket, a vanity case and a small purse. Winter clothes- 3 pairs to co-ordinate with each set of clothing they’d brought along and matching shoes. Also cold cream, conditioner, manicure kit and sharpened pencils and sketchpads as instructed by the professors.

(to be contd…)

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Sportfan

I am an avid sportsperson. Or, at least, was one. Now I just look it, which isn’t very flattering, especially when people ask you if you are a swimmer, not coz you have toned body, but because you have broad shoulders. Erm. Thanks. I bet I would be flattered- if I were a man! For years I have longed to be part of that delicate, petite brigade of women whom men instantly fall allover themselves to protect. No such luck. All I get a resounding thump on my back with a ‘You OK, there, mate?’ At least I could take pride in my athleticism and ability to excel in most sport I competed in until disaster struck in Std X.

I was a freshie in my school- this was one of the most reputed schools in Chennai, where being admitted to the school- that too for the tenth grade was like winning the lottery.

Well, apparently part of the induction process into the school system included throwing the fresher into every single activity organized by the school, irrespective of talent and inclination. So there I was, being tossed into dramatics (possibly history’s worst Portia), quizzes (youngest member, hence all suggestions, even for the right answers, being ignored) and sports.

Sports included a whole host of track and field events as well as team sports. So my sports day went something like this:

I, having qualified for the 100mts was waiting for my finals, when I hear my number being called out.

I trot over, a bit puzzled to my coach to find out what new faux pas I had now unwittingly committed when he says- ‘Go… its your turn…’ ‘My turn? For what??’ I ask, still totally in the dark. ‘For the jump, of course!’ says the coach- talking slowly, like he would to a favorite idiot child. ‘Jump? Jump where? I haven’t signed up for any jumping.’…says me. Coach nods sagely and retorts- ‘I know. I signed you up. You have good legs.' As if that should explain all! All I could gather from this drivel was that in more civilized societies, that comment would border on sexual harassment, and I was supposed to be jumping into a wet sandpit at the word go. ‘But… but I’ve never done this before. I don’t know how!’ I protest. Coach brushes these arguments aside with ‘tchah! What is there to know? You run very fast, and take off and jump as far as you can. You have good legs.’ He reiterates. Riiiight. Of course, if it was so darned easy, it wouldn’t be an Olympic sport now, would it? And what has good legs got to do with it? Cindy Crawford wasn’t jumping into every stray pit of sand she saw, was she?

Anyways, too dazed to protest, I do the requisite run-up-and-take-off-and-land-as-far-as-you-can. Through dumb luck, I not only qualified, I landed up on the podium! Hmm.. maybe there’s something to this good legs theory after all.

Spurred by his recent success at this wild experiment, the coach goes beserk and puts me in every other track and field event as well! The next one of course was short-putt! (‘You have broad shoulders’ was coach’s explanation for that one). Sadly there was a bit of miscommunication on coach’s part. All he said was to ‘heave the ball as far as possible’ what he omitted to mention was the direction in which this heaving was supposed to occur. The result was that my putt shot off into orbit, scared a few crows flying over the field, narrowly missed a low-flying airplane, and landed with an almighty ‘thud’ six inches from where it had begun its journey. After this disaster, my name was hurriedly scratched off the javelin throw, and I was sent to the track where I could inflict no more harm.

The worst humiliation was yet to occur, though, when I discovered my name signed up for basketball. Reason- I’m tall. Well, they had me there.

On the day of the first match, we’re being briefed about the rules of the game. To top it off, we’re duly informed that we’re up against state level players. Great! This should be fun!

As the warm-up for the match begins, the only instructions the coach gives us- ‘I don’t expect you to win. But please, all I ask is One basket!’ Hmmm… inspiring. I’m sure Larry Bird could take a few pointers. Let the freak show begin!

Five minutes down, I’m battered, bruised, confused and exhausted! No one told me there would be this much of running- especially when you don’t have the ball in your possession. So as the coach calls for a time-out ten minutes later, I beg to be substituted. Since I look like I would be in immediate need of CPR any second, he puts in another reluctant player. Thirty seconds and half a breath later, the panicky coach yells at me to go in again. ‘You’re the one they’re committing the most fouls on! At least this way, we get somewhere close to the basket!!!

We lost that match to a glorious score of 36-2. The only basket made by us was for a foul committed off me. Coach was so happy he wept. We were treated to a lavish feast of ice creams. And though some of us never fully regained to use of our legs again, we were bigger heros that our boys’ team- which actually won the tournament.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Cater(wauling) 2 U

This song is wrong on so many levels, I don’t even know where to start.
Gone are the days of ‘Survior’, Beyonce and co. now want us to cater to our respective men- which is fine- but I draw the line at fetching his slippers!

The first paragraph seems fair enough with them crooning about how wonderful the man is and her being all agog about showing her appreciation… then begins the bizarre lyrics, which reads like a beauty treatment at an expensive spa- complete with manicure, pedicure and foot rub. Huh? Baby, I love you, I really do, but if you’ve had a tough day at work, well my job ain’t no picnic, and I certainly am NOT extracting your feet out of those smelly socks to give you a pedicure!

Kelly then gets into this bizzaro act herself, and insists that if she’s not being subservient to this chap(who is he? The king of Utopia?), there are going to be plenty of women who’ll be falling all over themselves do be so! Um, apparently ladies, maturity, trust and equality in a relationship are passĂ©, and the only way to hang on to your man is ‘to keep yourself up’. God help you if you’re a bit podgy, or in the family way- coz you see, the man is apparently going to run in the opposite direction, if he comes home and finds you not sporting a tight, skimpy hot number and you hair doesn’t look as if you’ve walked out of a shampoo commercial. All this naturally, after you’ve made that five course gourmet meal and run his bathwater…

Michelle of course doesn’t want to be left out in this race to be the World’s Most Subservient Woman. She expounds on the many virtues of ‘her man’, pledges her undying love to this chap, who she will naturally serve even on her deathbed. Strangely enough, the man doesn’t need to be too… anything- since she loves him ‘just the way he is’!

Now I don’t know WHAT Destiny’s Child were thinking when they penned this drivel. Maybe they decided they needed a larger male fanbase- which could have been easily achieved with skimpier clothing, and they could be singing about snow in Alaska, and they’d still have ‘em riveted… but at least women wouldn’t be subjected to ideas and lyrics that would make a caveman blush.

Crumple, rumple, not-so-simple…

After a long hiatus, I decided it was time I got down to reading a few contemporary writers. So I checked out this book from BCL called cRUMPLE zONE by Nick Barlay (best-selling author of Curvy Lovebox- the blurb informed me). It was supposed to have best dialogues ever. After a healthy dose of Wodehouse and Richard Gordon, I though to myself, “How bad can it be?”

Well, after the first six pages, I found myself hurriedly turning to the back pages for the translation. I wasn't sure that I was reading English. I mean a couple of 'innit's thrown in for effect is fine. But really... an entire book where there's not a coherent sentence is a little too much for me to take.

Sure, I'm the last person who should be complaining about coherence, but when dialogues aren't in between inverted commas and you're struggling to figure out what’s 'dialogue' and what's narrative, and how exactly all this can pass for English, you have you hands full.

And it isn't even funny. Going through this pure drivel for some ray of black humour (heck humour in any form, size shape... even crass slapstick...) would have been bearable, but imagine Thomas Hardy writing contemporary Burmingham with his head full of smack so only he can make sense of the pathos…Hmm. I wasted a Sunday. So I though I might as well spread the pain... Love me for it.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Chicken Run

The more I look around me, the more I’m tempted to ask, who voted these guys to power, again? Definitely not me!

Take for example the road where I live- and walk to office on...yes, I am one of the privileged few who can actually walk to work. Well, off late, I ain’t feeling all that privileged. The municipal corporation in all it wisdom has decided to dig up both sides of the pavement abutting the road. Now generally, whatever department is the culprit proudly proclaims the handiwork as its own by means of a decrepit sign hanging somewhere along the length of the mauled road. But this time there were no signs, nothing. Just earth being thrown up at unsuspecting pedestrians as they go about their daily business.

Looking at the kind of activity going on down in those holes, I have gathered, that the frenzied digging was for a spanking new paving, complete with road- abutters and the like. Which is all well and good, but was it absolutely necessary to do both sides of the pavement at once?

The journey on foot is perilous enough to undertake during broad daylight, but come nightfall and its like playing a game of chicken with a headlong rush of motorists barreling down the road with the sole intent of causing you grievous bodily harm. Throw in a blindfold- since there are no working streetlights, some roadblocks in the form of animal and human excreta and the picture is complete! All this while, you are fervently hoping that the bight pink jacket you have donned is sufficient warning for the motorist to swerve off at the last moment so you don’t find yourself being the hood ornament for an errant car.

I have now given up walking on the roads and find it safer to walk inside the three-feet-deep holes. The advantages of which are twofold- you are taken back to the wonder years when your were six and were two and a half feet tall- and have a mini treasure hunt along the way, where you never know what your next step might uncover… *sniff* *sniff* gasp! I think my shoes uncovered something totally unholy- and tracked it into the house… helb… need gazz maazg!

went to a Farmhouse on the 30th where i chanced upon this perfect leaf. Posted by Picasa