December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

Alright, people. I'm off home tomorrow, to celebrate christmas and ring in the new year with my folks (and that includes my family, my friends, my neighbours-everyone). I don't know when I'll log on to the net again. I kinda like to disconnect myself temporarily when I go home. So in case I don't get to wish you guys later on, here it goes!



Eat lots of cake. Sing lots of carols. Watch lots of TV. Sleep in till noon. Wear all your new clothes. Enjoy the holidays.

Most importantly, be happy.

I hope the coming year brings in loads of happiness and fulfils all your wishes.

2011 has been a great year writing-wise. I hope 2012 is better.

Two pieces of news I want to share with you:-

1) I actually won the Calvin & Hobbes Box Set give-away hosted by Sumitra. Yes!! I won that one thing I've been wanting more than anything else! :) Once I get my hands on it, I'll post pictures and make you all jealous, ok? :)

2) I just started contributing for an online magazine called ignitink.com. Do go over and have a look when you can.

See you all next year with lots more of my sense and nonsense. :)

December 20, 2011

Christmas Star

It was a very pretty star. White colour, made of paper, with many little Santas in red laughing all over.

It was a very very pretty star.

We weren’t exactly one of those families who put up a star during Christmas every year. Not because we didn’t believe in Christmas- we are Mallus. We believe in ALL festivals, religion no bar. We just need a reason to celebrate and eat and drink. We just didn’t have a star. The one that was bought even before I was born had lived its full life and had to be thrown away. So I didn’t really have any memories of Acha taking out the star during Christmas and tying it to the light-bulb. But I loved stars. Absolutely loved them. I used to go around the whole apartment admiring my neighbours’ stars. Aren’t they just lovely?


So one Christmas, when I was in college, I pestered Acha to get me one. Off we went one evening, father and daughter, star-shopping. I dragged him along to numerous stores until I found the perfect one. Normally, he would’ve taken whichever star he found first in the first shop and bought it. Not exactly the patient shopper, my dad. But for once, he seemed as excited I was, to buy a star.



Shiny ones, huge ones, small ones, ones with intricate designs- we found loads of varieties. But I didn’t like any of them. I wanted one that, when I looked at it twinkling in my verandah in the evening, would make me smile and appreciate the spirit of Christmas. Not one that would hurt my eye with its glossiness and give me the feeling of being in a very tacky discotheque. Nope, I didn’t want a disco ball.

After a couple of hours of rigorous searching, many rounds of screening and elimination, we finally found one. It was very simple, the simplest of the lot. There was nothing outstanding about it. But the jolly little santas on the white background brought a smile to my lips instantly.

I was like an excited bunny all the way back home. I couldn’t wait to hang it up. I didn’t even let dad change clothes or have a sip of water once we got home. It HAD to be up immediately. And so he pulled out a few wires, found a bulb, and hung it up. I spent the entire evening outside in the corridor, admiring my star. I knocked on my neighbours’ doors, dragged them outside and showed it to them proudly. I just loved the way it lit up our corridor. Before going to bed at night, I went and peeped at it again, said a ‘Goodnight’ to it, and went to bed a happy, excited person.

For the next couple of days, I couldn’t wait for it to be dark outside, so that I could switch on the star-light. I didn’t let Amma or Acha switch it off till late into the night.

One morning, I was standing outside in the corridor, talking to Ritu Didi and Amma, when I felt something amiss. I glanced up at my star- and all I found was a bulb hanging there.

Somebody had stolen my Christmas star.

I don’t know which bastard could do such a cheap thing. A Christmas star, of all things?? And that too such a simple one? Till date, it’s a mystery. Where could my star have gone? No, it could not have got torn and flown away in the wind, because there were no remains of paper or the string on the bulb wire. It had been neatly cut away.

I haven’t bought a Christmas star after that. I was heart-broken. I know it’s over-dramatic to be so dejected over such a simple thing, but to me, that star was special.

Dad bought another star a couple of years back. It’s big and shiny and twinkly and lights up our verandah.

But it’s not as pretty as my Christmas star.

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I didn’t want to write a negative Christmas story, but I wanted to share this with you guys.

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What are your favourite Christmas memories?




P.S: I’m going home on 24th morning. HOME! Yayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!!!!!!!!! :) :) :)

Images courtesy Google and The Raw Hen (also goes by the name of Rohan)

December 16, 2011

Two Fates: The story of my divorce- Book Review.

I was in a crappy crappy mood a few days back. As in, REALLY CRAPPY. I was ready to bite off a few heads. There was an invisible neon sign around me that said “Beware. Cranky woman inside. Will bite.” I got home, had dinner, and went straight inside my room with a copy of ‘Two Fates: The story of my divorce’ and locked the door. I did the customary ritual that I perform with every new book- read the last two pages first. Then I flipped to the front, read the dedication, acknowledgements etc, still with a scowl on my face. Five minutes later, I was laughing my head off. I had even forgotten what I was so upset about.

It’s one of those books that you can call un-put-downable. And the fact that it was written by a blogger who I have been following for a long time and whose writing leaves me open-mouthed every single time, made it all more exciting for me.



“Two Fates: The story of my divorce” by Judy Balan, is about Deepika and Rishab, a Tamilian ponnu married to a Punjabi munda. They fell in love, fought with their parents, did a lot of drama, got married, and now four years later, they’ve fallen out of love. Not so uncommon in today’s time and age. They fought over kissing with morning breath, leaving the toilet seat up, fart jokes and indulged in meaningless sex. So they decide to put each other out of misery by getting divorced. Simple, right?

Not quite. Because now, the families of the two have fallen in love with each other. There is major North-South bonding happening, and over all the sambhar-vadas getting mixed with the butter chicken and rotis, Deepika and Rishab find themselves in a fix. How do they get divorced when the families are so obviously in love with each other? Not just that, they consider Deepu and Rish as the perfect couple. The rest of the story is how they plan to get divorced, and in the quest to get away from each other, they find themselves drawn more strongly towards each other. And in the process, they discover what they truly want to do with their lives.

Judy is a self-confessed Grammar Nazi (Psstt! She’s a Virgo too :P), so even if you scrounge the book with a magnifying glass, you won’t find any errors. If you’ve read her blogs, you will also know that her language is impeccable. Neither too flowery, nor ordinary. Just right. And her book is just like that. It screams ‘JUDY!!’all over. And that sense of humour. Simply superb. It will leave you guffawing aloud. And the best part is, it all seems so effortless! There is no forced humour. She’s taken a dig at every possible clichĂ© that you’ll find in your run-of-the-mill love stories. And we the likes the funnies, don't we?

The battle-scenes between the two protagonists are highlight! So cute are they, that you would want to have fights just like that. I swear. And if you’ve read “Two States: The story of my marriage”, you will enjoy the humour even more. :) Now here’s one more author who will manage to make India read.

Maybe it’s because I’ve been reading her blog for a while, and also because I comment on her posts and inbox her on FB once in a while, all the while I was reading the book, I felt as though I was reading a book written by someone I know very well. Someone of my own. And it thrilled me to bits that I could actually let her know personally (or as close as I can come to ‘personally’ on FB) what I felt about the book. And she was sweet enough to reply to it promptly.

So go buy the book pronto. And instead of placing it in the shelf and forgetting about it, read it. You won’t regret it. I promise.

Dear Judy, please write your second book soon. I want it ready to help me through my next bout of depression. Seriously.

December 13, 2011

An atrocious love story

Some of us write. Some ramble. Some jot down stuff in their diaries. Some of us type and save it as a draft in our phones.

And some, like my guest blogger today, scribble. And that too atrociously, no less.

And he scribbles all the way over from Germany, where he is pretending to study but is actually lusting after cars and going on vacations to Switzerland (that I'm not even remotely jealous of. Hmmph). More than just a blogger, he is a diligent reader and critic. He doesn't believe in mincing words. His subtle sense of humour has had us all rolling on the floor and laughing. And he somehow, SOMEHOW, manages to write without any exclamation marks! I just don't know how he does that. Seriously. A fellow weirdo-Virgo, he is one of the few of my blogger-friends who actally GETS me. In many ways, I feel he is the male version of me (you lucky dog, you!).

If you still haven't got who I am talking about, come here, let me give you a knock on your head.

Ta-da! Here's Atrocious Scribblings, or Sringo as I like to call him (long story. Some other time).

When I requested (Alright! Ordered) him to write me a guest post, he promptly responded with yes and sent me the post within a few days(I know, right!). Then he put on so much of formality, I wanted to go all the way to Germany and whack him on his butt. After asking me a million times whether the post is ok and whether I would want him to redo it, or whether he should write another one, I finally told to shut the eff up.

So here is AS, talking about his love story. And just like a Yashraj movie, it has picturesque locales, beautiful characters, and a killer ending. Imagine 'Tujhe dekha tho ye jaana sanam' in the background, if you will.

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My Love Story

Being a 20-something is difficult in this day and age. People on either side; the 30-something’s and the Teens see it as the place to be. Little do they know about the pressures and struggles involved in being a 20 something these days. Especially a 20 something in a land far, far, far away from the one he deems his own and more importantly in love. I`ve been asked this one simple question in all possible permutations and combinations and it all boils down the simple humanistic curiosity behind the intrusive – What is your love story?

So here goes mine.

It was during my first few hours in Germany, a land I had chosen to bring myself to, to hone my craft and better my life for the good. I stood blank and clueless in the Baggage claim area of the airport in quiet contemplation as to what the plans destiny might have in store for me in the Land of Cars, Beer and Bratwurst.

Tugging 50 kilos of luggage on a minuscule trolley to the railway station at the basement of the airport is not something you would ideally like to do on your first day abroad but that was what Karma had planned for me. The chilly weather was not helping matters one bit as I waited impatiently at the railway station. The moment I caught a glimpse of her, it was pure magic; in a flash all the chilliness seemed to vanish and was replaced by comforting warmth enveloping my chest. I knew that very instant, something special was going to unfold.

She came galloping into the station drawing the attention of a crowd of 40 odd people in what can only be described as Angel like fashion. Angelic she indeed was, dressed in impeccable white with an elegant red border she gave me the impression that the big guy up in the heavens who had been oh-so kind to many of my friends had finally found the time to send me an angel and how; In a manner that would put Shahrukh Khan’s romance in DDLJ to shame. It was undoubtedly love at first sight.

I did an imaginary fist pump on learning that we were going to be travelling to the same destination, as we set off on the almost hour long journey. I could have sworn our hearts were racing at more than 300 kilometres an hour in no time and I was instantly reminded of what Einstein once remarked ‘When you are courting a nice girl an hour seems like a second. When you sit on a red-hot cinder a second seems like an hour.’ and sure enough time seemed to gallop like a prized brown stallion being controlled by its tactful jockey.

Throughout the journey I was so awed by the beauty and the peace within her that I just sat in my allotted spot silently admiring her as we passed by several crop fields, lush greenery and the serene German countryside until destiny caught up with us and we had reached the end of the line.

I was finding it very difficult; both literally and figuratively. Literally owing to the big pile of luggage that I was to push and shove again and figuratively because it was her I was destined to go away from; with absolutely no certainty on when or even whether our paths would cross again. With a heavy heart we parted our separate ways to proceed to our respective end destinations. I could only walk a few paces at a stretch and kept turning back in the wild hope that she would reciprocate; with a huge pile of luggage to tug it seemed like an intelligent enough excuse to me. I kept walking to another platform until I could see her no more.

She was gone forever; lost in the hustle and bustle of the milieu.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
Or so I thought, until I managed to spot her amidst the chaos and snap one quick picture of her for my own sanity.



WHAT IS YOUR LOVE STORY?

PS: Anyone dare call her a ‘TRAIN’ will find themselves run over by her before you can say ‘I.C.E’

Thanks a ton Ms Spiff, for letting me Atrociously use your blog space for my Scribblings.

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If you guys haven't read his atrocious scribblings yet, then go over right now and spare me from giving you one more knock over your head.

December 8, 2011

Abu jaan

Abu came into our lives as a tiny, scrawny 2-month-old baby. But we had already decided that he was the most beautiful baby and that we would love him no matter what, even before he was born. Even while Ritu Didi was carrying him, we knew he would be one of us. More than Ujesh Unlce and Ritu Didi, his parents, the four of us- Acha, Amma, Chechi and me- were excited about his arrival.

Didi left to Chandigarh for her delivery. It was a complicated case, because she was highly diabetic. The day she went into labour, we heard that it was going to be difficult. She had gone into labour two months prematurely. Ujesh Uncle kept us updated about what was happening. He was tensed. There were chances that they won’t be able to save the baby. We were all praying fervently for the baby we had never set eyes on even, but were waiting excitedly since the past seven months for. Finally uncle came and told us and Abu had entered the world, after a lot of difficulty, drugs and drama.

Abhishek Sharma was born on 23rd August 1998.

And ever since that day, he has had two dads, two moms, and two sisters. Five years later, one brother too.

He lived in our house, pretty much all the time. Didi used to put him to sleep, place him on our sofa and then go for her bath and to finish off her chores. So tiny was he, people who came to our house were hardly able to make out that the small lump on our sofa is actually a sleeping baby. He slept at our place, he ate at our place, he played at our place. He grew up at our place. Since his flat was right opposite ours, it didn’t take him much time to just cross over and come to our flat. From 7 in the morning to 12 at night, our door used to be open all the time, because a) it was getting tiresome opening the door every five minutes to a tiny little fist banging on the door and yelling “Viji Mummy, darwaza kholo!” and b) he had figured out how to lock doors from outside. So just when we had to go out somewhere urgently, we would pull on the door and realize that Sir Abu had locked it from outside. We would then stand at the window and yell for one of our neighbours to open the door for us. So ya, it just made better sense to leave it open. We had to device new ways to make him eat his Cerelac, because he was a very fussy eater. Chechi and I would sing songs, jump around, twirl that spoon-fork-knife set (that looks like a merry-go-round) in his face, and when he’s watching open-mouthed at his two mad elder sisters, Amma would shove a spoon of Cerelac into his mouth.

He called my dad Chandran Papa, my mom Viji mummy, and of course, we were Lachu Didi and Ammu didi. Chech and I used to play with all his brand new toys first and only then give it to him. He would say “Didi, please, abhi mujhe khelne do na.” He was more fond of my mom’s mallu cooking than his mom’s Punjabi style, and he had no qualms about accepting it. We would make fun of him saying that if his Viji Mummy gave him even uncooked dough to eat, he would polish it off happily. Didi used to cook something and stealthily give it to my mom, telling her to feed it to him passing it off as her cooking.

He would take serious offense if we introduced him as our ‘neighbour’. Once I had gone to pick him up from the bus stop when he returned from school, and a girl from his school who got down at the same stop, who had only seen his mom coming to pick him up, asked me who I am. I told her that I’m his neighbor. I could feel a small face staring up at me. Once we got home, he complained to his mom that I had called him my neighbor. “Why did you call me your neighbour?? Why didn’t you say I’m your brother??!!” And he threw his socks at me. Well, that was the last time I made that mistake!

He grew up with us. And in that process, we became kids once again. Amma made him eat, Acha taught him Malayalam (his first Malayalam words- the song Kandu kandu kandilla- and he speaks flawless Malayalam. He can even read and write), Chechi and I made him a bakra for all experiments. He had long curly hair till he was about 3, because they have this custom of shaving the head for the first time at a religious ceremony (it’s called Mundan, I believe). So till then, he had soft curly hair lovelier than that of a girl’s. Chechi and I used to drape a shawl around him like a saree, tie his hair into a ponytail, put bindi, chain, bangles etc, and dress him up like a girl. And then we would click his photos and laugh at him. We were such bullies. Paavom… he just loved his didis too much to protest. Whatever we did, he would play along with it. We made him dance, we made him sing. Our world revolved around him. His first b’day celebration was no less a celebration for us too. Exactly five years later, his brother was born. Yup, on the same day. They share the same birthday. :) Aditya Sharma, Vibhu at home. I lovingly call him Toofan, because he’s nothing less than one. He too followed in his brother’s footsteps and spent most of his time at our house.

But Abu was special. He was OUR baby. Our brother. Our son. They shifted from the apartment a few years ago, but even now, Abu spends most of his time at our place. He’ll come home and say “Viji mummy, I want your rice and sambar ok.” And Amma, just to pull his leg, will say “No no, you go home. I don’t have any food for you. Go tell your mom to cook for you.” He’ll go give her a hug, say “You’re also my mom only no”, go out to play with the apartment kids, and will be back promptly by lunch time.

Ya, Abu is special. It’s hard to believe that he’s grown up. He’s as tall as me now. Every time I go home, he’ll first give me a crushing hug and then come stand next to me and say “I’m as tall as you Didi. Next time I’ll be taller.”

And now, when I see my little Abu jaan on Facebook, uploading pics of himself in his new spectacles, commenting on his friends' pics and updates and posting links of songs from “I Hate Luv Storys”, ennala thangamudiyaathu kadavule, thaangamudiyaathu! :/


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Ennala thaangamudiyaathu kadavule- I can't bear it, god!

December 7, 2011

Double the joy

You know that One Day match in which Sachin Tendulkar took 200 runs? You remember not going for sussu even, in spite of drinking four bottles of beer, sitting in front of the TV, praying fervently to the cricket gods to let our very own God of Cricket hit his very first double century in One Day International- the very first double century in ODI by any cricketer EVER. You remember that moment when Sachin set a world record (one of the many he has set)? And do you remember how you cheered for him when he hit that 200th run? You jumped in the air, yelled, hugged surrounding people no matter who they were. Some of you cried, kissed the T.V, took off your t-shirts and other items of clothing. You cried out “Sachin Tendulkar ki jai!”.



Ok, now, jump in the air, hug surrounding people, whoever they are. Some of you can cry, kiss the computer screen, take off your t-shirts (or other preferred items of clothing), and cry out “Spaceman Spiff ki jai!”

Because my number of followers has hit 200!

Yay!

No no! Don’t stop doing all those things I instructed you to do! This is also a momentous occasion wonly no!

Ok, enough with the exclamation marks. I’m starting to feel like the energizer bunny that’s had three shots of espresso.

I know I know, it’s not the number of followers that matter, it’s what you write that matters. But let me just bask in the glory for the time being, alright? Because tomorrow, the number of followers may come down to 199. Or 198.

Seriously. Over the last one month, two people unfollowed me. :( So that beautiful 200 may come down any day.

But till then, yay! :)

And Jane & John Doe gave me another reason to hop around excitedly. Thanks, you both!


Also, I allegedly rocked PeeVee’s socks. I know it sounds gross, but trust me, it’s not. In fact, it’s because of her award that I got those three-four new followers to hit 200.


Well, such a momentous occasion deserves nothing but the best music to celebrate.



Yenjaay folks! And don’t forget to sing along Silsila hai silsila! Over and over and over and over and over and over again.

December 1, 2011

…that it’s just meant to be

They fell into bed together even before they fell in love.

Not because they were desperate. Simply because it felt like the most natural thing in the world, you know.

They didn’t talk about how they will sit on their porch together and watch the sunset, deciding on names for their babies. They did not discuss about what sort of a house they will build, their house of dreams. He didn’t tell her how much he loved her laugh or how beautiful she looked in the morning. She didn’t appreciate how caring he is or how she loved the fact that he made her laugh.

Instead, they spoke about how much they wanted to kiss. They spoke about how they turned each other on. They spoke about how they can’t seem to keep their hands off each other. They spoke about luscious lips and broad shoulders. They both knew, even without saying it as much, that they would end up 'doing it’, sooner or later, because, you know, it felt like the most natural thing in the world for them.

They did not want love. That’s not what they were looking for. Love was rubbish, they both agreed. It had only brought them pain so far. Their pasts had taught them that. So they had decided, mutually, that there were no commitments from either of them. Nope. None whatsoever. They didn’t want to give a name to this. They were happy the way things were. He had never felt this way for any girl. No girl had ever turned him on the way she did, and she wasn’t even a babe. But there was something about her. She hadn’t felt this sort of dizziness around any other guy. Each time he was around, the world stopped spinning around her. It was just him and her. In many ways, they were xerox copies of each other.

She knew that this may never last. She was no fool. And definitely not an emotional fool. She knew what kind of a guy he was. He was the kind who ran in the other direction at the mere mention of love and commitment. But at that point, that’s exactly what she wanted. No commitment. No future. No “Where is this going?” No "We'll go to Mauritius on our honeymoon." No "We'll have one son and one daughter". She was aware that at a later point in life, she might regret it, but she also knew that she didn’t want to live her entire life not knowing what being passionate about someone was. She didn’t want to regret that she had the opportunity to feel that way for somebody, but had let it pass because she was afraid to take a risk. She had never been a risk-taker, but she was willing take one, just this one.

And so she did. They did. It was the first time for both of them. The very first. And it was not tender and soft or anything of that sort. It was mad, urgent, crazy. They couldn’t wait to explore each other’s bodies. It was an adventure for them.

But when it came to the actual thing, they couldn’t do it. Because it was just too painful for her. They tried and tried. But he couldn’t bear to see her in so much of pain. She didn’t want to disappoint him, so she held back her cry. But the minute he saw her tears, he stopped. I’m sorry, she said. Never mind, he said. We’ll try some other time.

So they tried again. But it refused to work out. Somehow, it just wasn’t happening. How come when they show it in movies and write about it in books, they make it out to be so easy, they asked each other. They would try for a while, and then they would just lie there, exhausted. Exhausted just out of trying. And then gradually, they started talking more. Talking about their lives, their past, their dreams, their hopes. They started sharing about each other. They spoke about how they were both afraid to commit because they had lost faith in love. They spent many afternoons, lying next to each other, wondering what this was. He was still afraid to commit, and she still didn’t know if she wanted a relationship. She even told him that if he ever decides to walk away, she will never try to hold him back, but will always think of him as the guy who had stirred never-before-felt feelings in her. She would always remember him as the guy she had almost given her virginity to.

And then, somewhere along the way, it had stopped being just physical. Somewhere along the way, emotions had crept in, unknowingly. Somewhere along the way, love had crept in. The bastard.

And that’s when they stopped trying to have sex and started making love. And then it happened. Just like that. The magic happened. It didn't hurt anymore.

Maybe falling into bed together before they fell in love worked for them, in some weird, inexplicable way.

He’s still afraid of commitment. And she still considers him the biggest risk she ever took.

But they both know…

November 28, 2011

Why Spaceman Spiff di?

Umm.. So there seems to be a slight confusion regarding my gender in blogsville. Kinda like the Miss.Chanandler Bong-syndrome. Quite a few people are mistaking me to be a guy, because of my username.

I swear, I’m a girl. Promise! Even though some of my guy-friends refuse to count me as one, because I don’t have too many female characteristics (like shame, for example) in me, I’m very much a girl. You can read this post if you’re not convinced.

So why Spaceman Spiff, seems to be the question most bloggers have asked. Spaceman Spiff is the name of one of the alter egos of Calvin, from Calvin & Hobbes. Now, if you ask me “What is Calvin & Hobbes?”, I will hit you with my green-colour handle-wala broomstick. I swear. So spare yourself that and go Google it if you don’t know.
For those of you who do know, you know how fabulous C&H is, don’t you? Bill Watterson is like, The Best. I first started reading the strips when it used to appear daily in Hindu Metro Plus. Then I just got hooked.



I generally am a comic-lover. I then started collecting the books. I have the e-version too. Now I’m waiting for some benevolent soul to gift me with the Box Set (in case any of you were wondering what to get me for Christmas. Or New Year. Or sankranthi. Or Pongal. Take your pick).


C&H is like a totally different league, altogether. The wisdom that Bill Watterson tries to convey through that little brat is just wonderful. He creates sheer genius in three tiny little panels. And some of them don’t even have any dialogues!





Check out this little gem:-

Calvin and Hobbes are playing out in the yard.
Hobbes: How come we always play war and not peace?
Calvin: Too few role models.


See what I mean?

So why Spaceman Spiff, and why not Calvin, or Tracer Bullet, or Stupendous Man (which are his other alter egos), you ask? Hmm.. maybe because I’m a spaced-out person, and I could identify with the name. I tend to live in a parallel universe. I lose track of a conversation if it doesn’t interest me. I’ll sometimes be on the phone, saying “Hmm..”, “Ha..”, and in my head, I’ll be singing 'Ischool ke tem pe'. I have serious concentration issues. My ex-boss once told me, “You don’t really need anyone else to entertain you, right? You can never get bored. You’re perfectly capable of entertaining yourself.”

Or maybe because I like alliterative phrases. And hello, I couldn’t have made it Spacewoman Spiff, no? That would be blasphemy. But not to worry, my Bluetooth is named Tracer Bullet. :)

So what have we learnt on this fine Monday?

a) I’m a girl (Even though many people have raised that doubt in the past, I never thought the day would come when I would actually have to justify/explain it. :/ Sigh…)

and

b) I LOVE Calvin & Hobbes.

And since everybody and their uncle are talking about “Why this Kolaveri di”, I’ll also mention it. *insert appropriate mention about the sooper song*

Happy? Run along now. Let me get back to work.

November 24, 2011

The rape of the whore and language

Language is a very very strange thing. Especially Indian languages. Some of the words of a language will be similar to a word that means something else in another language.

I hadn’t really understood the full extent of this until I came to Hyderabad. I got to hear so many words here that would mean something very different, and sometimes scandalous, in another language. Like:-

Reppu- It means ‘tomorrow’ in Telugu. The word of often gets shortened to a very simple and plain ‘rape’. You can imagine my shock when I first reached here and heard everyone says ‘Rape rape’, right? :/

Randi- Hold your dirty mind. Let me first translate. ‘Ra’ in Telugu means ‘Come’. ‘Andi’ is used as a term of respect. So ‘Randi’ loosely translates to ‘Please come’.

Now put (1) and (2) together. Say it out loud.

You get what I’m saying about ‘scandalous’? The first time my friend Arun heard this, “Reppu randi”, he was so shocked, he couldn’t speak for a while, which is a record in itself. Then he thought, “What a disgusting place! They discuss so openly about raping! I have GOT to get to know these people better!” Ok, maybe that last bit is not true.

(In case you haven’t got it yet, ‘Randi’ in Hindi means ‘whore’)

But it didn’t stop there. There were some other gems too.

Palli’ (with the ‘ll’ pronounced like the sound in ‘love’. Malayalam has two different sounds for l, if not more) in Malayalam means ‘lizard’. So I was sitting at the Necklace road station one night, waiting for the MMTS back home. This old man comes with a basket, calling out ‘Palli palli’. For a minute, I thought I had heard him wrong. But no, he was saying ‘Palli’. I was wondering why he was selling lizards. Was it like a popular snack here? When he came closer, I peeped into the basket and saw that it contained groundnuts, because, well, ‘Palli’ in Telugu means ‘groundnuts’. :/

We had all gone for a field trip to Medak from HCU once. We were at this organic restaurant to have dinner. Some of the boys had finished their first round and were calling for the second round. That’s when my friend S, a Jammu ki kudi, heard one of the boys call out “Pappu pappu!” And she was like, “Arre waah, yeh tho waiter ka naam bhi jaanta hai!” (Oh wow, he knows the waiter’s name also!). Oh it was so much fun to explain to her later that ‘Pappu’ in Telugu means ‘Dal’! :D

I still remember the first time I heard my Punjabi neighbour Aunty’s mom ask “Beta kundi lagaya?” and I cringed. You guys know what ‘kundi’ in Malayalam means, right? It means one’s private parts, or as Russell Peters would say it- Punaani. :P I still laugh whenever anyone uses that word in its Hindi context!

I was also very confused the first time I heard people here use the word ‘Gaali’ for no apparent reason in their conversation. It also turned up in songs. And I genuinely couldn’t understand why ‘Abuse’ would be a part of romantic songs! I later learnt that ‘Galli’ means ‘Air’ or ‘Wind’. :/

There’s this song in Telugu that starts with ‘Kuthire Kuthire’ (‘th’ like the sound in ’the’). And I thought, "Oh nice! A song dedicated to horses." Because that’s what it means in Malayalam. I hadn’t seen the video of the song, so I asked a friend whether the video has horses in it as a backdrop or something. With a pained expression, he explained that ‘Kuthire’ in Telugu means ‘Set ho gaya’, or ‘It’s all set’.

Equally confusing was when I heard “Kallu baagundhi” for the first time in Telugu, which translates into “Eyes are nice”. Kallu in malayalam, with the heavy ‘l’ sound and not the one in ‘love’, means toddy. :/

There are so many more such language mishaps that I can’t recollect right now. But let me tell you, each one of them has left me flummoxed and wondering at those people who were just too lazy to create words for each language, so they threw words from one language to another, and expected us to be ok with it.

Have you had any such experiences with languages?

P.S:- I guest-posted for Keirthana. Please do drop in and have a look. :)

November 22, 2011

The one where I like my own status updates

(This post can also be called- *cough*Lame Show-off*cough*)

Sometimes I really miss FB you know. Especially when I can think of one-liners that would be perfect for status updates but too short for a post. At one time, I used to put a lot of thought into coming up with good status updates (good in my opinion, that is). And by good, I don't mean the “Good morning- 50 people like it” kind of good.

Here are some of my favourite status updates, in no particular order. Ok, maybe just the first two.

1) You know it’s time to take a break from the internet when, instead of telling the auto-wala “Bhaiyya, u-turn”, you say “Bhaiyya, youtube.”

2) So is the government absolutely sure that it’s a temple vault? Or was it just another Mallu wedding?

3) Dear Mango,
Summer has arrived. When will you?

Love,
Divya.
Ardent Fan.

4) Dear ATM,
Please start dispensing 10 rupee notes. Don’t you think it’s unreasonable to expect me to withdraw a minimum of Rs.100 when I have only Rs.90 left in my account? Please think about it.

Regards,
Divya,
Broke Customer
Pennilessvania.

5) Sometimes, success is something as simple as the fact that your saree stayed on the entire evening.

6) I hte ppl hu typ lyk ths.

7) Is it really just a coincidence that ‘MALE’ is an anagram of ‘LAME’?

8) You can do all the reading you want, learn a lot of good words and even use them in your daily conversations. But when you play Scrabble, all you'll get is cat mat rat aim air sob dog no in an out on. So much for improving your vocabulary. :|

9) (Divya Nambiar) is in a relationship.
With Blogger. And Facebook. And her phone. And her laptop.
Somebody please intervene before she permanently settles down with them.

10) For all the times that I have licked clean the cream from a cream-biscuit and given the biscuit to my mom, she takes revenge on me by eating the egg-white and giving the yolk to me. :/ Sigh...

11) Somehow the charm of a water-proof kajal wears off once you've spent half an hour trying to scrub it off but still end up looking like a raccoon.

12) Criticism that comes with a smile is also known as sarcasm.

13) "I don't want to fall hopelessly in love. I want to be hopeful in love- hopeful of a future with the person I'm in love with, hopeful of a life together, hope of having someone to share my ups and downs,of finding the one who I want to wake up next to every single morning,of being with a person who will love me even through my bad hair days...Why would I want to feel hopeless in love?"

14) One of the sterling examples of the fact that humans, by nature, refuse to accept certain realities:- Pulling on a door that has 'PUSH' written on the handle in bold-all caps-75 point font.

15) To err is human.
To umm and uh is intellectual.

What are some of your favourite status updates? Your own, that is.

***

I watched Tintin. Sooper fun I had. :) Go watch it!


P.S: Keirthana, I haven't forgotten about your guest post. I just didn't want yet another guest post to be about FB. Sorry. :/ I promise I'll send yours soon.

November 17, 2011

How I got noticed, got followers and got a meaning to life

Exactly seven months ago to this day, on a dull uneventful afternoon at work, I opened a word doc and started writing about an incident that had happened the previous night. I wanted to vent. And clarify certain things.

And that led to “The Essential Mallu food-guide for non-Mallus”.

When I had finished typing out the post, I mailed it to Arun. He read it and said “It’s great!”. And I remember asking “What? You liked it? I thought you wouldn’t like it!” because he’s not the kind who’ll say “It’s great” to everything. And he replied “Arre! How can you decide what I like??” I said that I didn’t feel it was a great piece of writing. Then he made a few suggestions, I made some changes here and there, and finally published it. I also published it as a note on FB.
What followed next left me completely overwhelmed and at a loss for words.

Over the next few days, the note got shared on FB multiple times. I had only learnt the theory of nuclear fission. I saw how it could be applied in real life with this note. My friends shared it, their friends shared it, friends of their friends shared it. Juniors, seniors, classmates, acquaintances, strangers- everyone shared it, and actually made the effort to drop me a message on FB to let me know that it was a kickass piece of writing and that they were looking forward to reading more from me. And like a broken record, I replied “Thank you! :)” to everyone. I didn’t know what else to say! It was just too overwhelming. I was getting friendship requests from all over the place, simply because they loved my writing. That day, I realized that it’s not just the hot girls with model-type profile pics who get fraandship requests from strangers. :p I even came across a family friend who I had heard a lot about but never met! Suddenly, I was that girl who everybody wanted to know and call their friend. It got me believing in the power of the internet.

And then someone asked me whether I have a blog link for the note to share, since not everyone was able to share it on FB because of privacy settings. And so I gave the link to that guy.

My number of followers went up from 11 to 39. In one day. And it kept increasing. Each time I opened blogger, I was thrilled to find that I had got two more followers. And more comments too. I was living in a completely different world. I could not believe that little old me was actually this blogger who everybody liked to read. Ya, it was not like winning the Booker Prize or something, but for me, it was a HUGE deal. Till then, I didn't even know that I could be 'funny', that being funny and sarcastic was my thing.

After that, every post I wrote, I was aware that I had a certain standard to meet. A standard that was set by me. And I had to meet the expectations of all those kind folks who had faith in the writer in me. It was hard. After the initial excitement wore off, I started getting worried. What if I’m not able to write something equally interesting? What if I’m just a one-post wonder? What if they lose interest and don’t read my posts anymore? Will I be able to handle criticism after all the adulation? But I continued writing, because it was the only thing I knew to do. I continued writing, promising myself that I will try to meet not just my readers’, but my own expectations as well. The number of followers increased, I made a conscious effort to write regularly. I formed a circle of friends who I now call ‘My bloggers’ (Yes, mine. I’m a bit selfish that way). And even though no other post of mine has come even close to the popularity level of that post, I know what I’m capable of. I may not be on FB any longer, but some of my posts still get shared there.

As I was sitting in office today, wondering what is wrong with me, why I’m not able to write, why I’m not able to come up with anything worth reading, why the block refuses to go away, where my muse has taken off to, I opened the very same post to read. And saw the date. And it was exactly seven months ago that I had written that.

Reading that again, it restored my faith. That I will be able to write again. That even though there is a lull now, I will eventually get back to my old self. That the person who wrote the ‘Essential Mallu Food guide for non-mallus’ has not gone anywhere. She’s still alive, maybe not kicking because of various factors, but alive nonetheless.

Yup, I’ll be back. Meanwhile, please don’t write me off.

November 15, 2011

I'm not twenty-four- A review

“There are two types of stories. One, where you sit up and say “This is so me.” Second, when a story takes you to a world you would hardly believe exists.”



Saumya Kapoor’s story is of the latter kind, says Sachin Garg, author of I’m not Twenty Four...I've been nineteen for five years. It chronicles the experiences of city-girl Saumya, who, ‘cursed’ with a unisex name, lands up in the god-forsaken village of Toranagallu because she was mistaken to be a boy by the HR team of Lala Steel, her employer (and her first ever job).

So go to Toranagllu she does, after a lot of whining, denial, and finally acceptance. Once she reaches there, she realizes that having a unisex name is the least of her problems. Toranagallu is a village with no coffee shops, multiplexes or good-looking eye candy. She also realizes that all the crazy shopping she did during her last two days in Delhi were a complete waste, because she has to wear a uniform, like the rest of the employees at the company! Worst of all, she has to work in the Safety Department of the company. So she has to come to terms with seeing severe acid-burns, severed limbs, and all sorts of hazards. She almost runs away, but then decides to stick it out, because she doesn’t want to be known as the city-girl who quit. Also add to this a romantic angle with the intriguing and mysterious, gypsy-like Shubhrodeep Shyamchaudhary, and that’s I’m not twenty four for you.

Ok, now for the review. The story is good. By now, we have had thousands of MBA graduates churning out books by the dozen with pretty much the same story- hero/heroine, life in B-school, corporate life, good/bad boss, stroke of inspiration, girlfriend/boyfriend etc. I was starting to wonder whether simply joining for an MBA would ensure that I would eventually write a book somehow or the other. (Is ‘writing’ one of the courses they teach in the MBA course? Genuine doubt). Sachin Garg manages to take a slightly different route, thankfully. Yes, essentially, it is still about an MBA graduate and her job, but the job and the atmosphere here are very different. He takes us out of the plush AC offices and into a steel plant in a tiny little village. He describes a world that is very difficult for many of us to fathom (just as he’s promised in the synopsis).

He hasn’t cluttered up the narrative with too many characters and sub-plots. He has kept it simple. Also, the USP of the book is that it is written from a girl’s point of view, i.e., Soumya’s. I’m not sure if he has done complete justice to it, but yes, a decent job.

But, just as how at the heart of every Bollywood movie is a love-story, at heart, I’m still a Grammar Nazi. And the Grammar Nazi in me was very very VERY disappointed with the typos and grammar mistakes. Were the editors watching Bigg Boss while editing this?? At one place, he’s written ‘shows’ for ‘shoes’- TWICE! And ‘struck’ for ‘stuck’. These were just a couple of the mistakes. I was somehow not very impressed with the language. The words just did not jump out of the pages and grab my eyeballs, if you know what I mean. You don’t? Ah well… I’m not saying you have to write in flowery language to be labeled a good writer, but they did not have an impact.

So yes, while I liked the basic story and the narrative, the ordinary (for lack of a stronger word) language and poor editing kinda put me off. Over all, I would give it 2.5/5. Go for it if you aren’t a Grammar Nazi like me.


This review is a part of the Book Reviews Program at BlogAdda.com. Participate now to get free books!

November 10, 2011

The hippo breaks her silence

You know what’s the problem with having been thin all your life?

When you put on even a bit of weight, everyone gets shocked. They can’t digest it. They think something’s wrong with you.

Yup, that’s exactly what I’m going through now. Or rather, that’s what I’m being subjected to now.

When I went home in September, everyone, starting from the maid in my house to my neighbours, my friends to my dad’s friends, had only one question- “You’ve put on weight! What happened?!”

What do you mean, what happened? Biryani happened! Kebabs happened. Haleem happened! Cheesy pastas happened! My own cooking experiments involving generous amounts of ghee and cheese happened! Growing up happened! And also a bit of lack of exercise and some laziness. But those are just minor details.

Amma and Acha were happy to see a bit of flesh on me, especially Amma. She was delighted. And she tried to stuff me with more rice and fish. But I had heard so much of “You’ve put on weight” that I was scared to eat anymore. No one was actually calling me fat. They said that it was good weight, but they ended their sentences like this- “ You’re looking good, but don’t put on more weight.” :/ By the end of the trip, I was feeling like a hippo. It doesn’t at all help that I’m short and hence tend to look like a extra chubby if I put on weight. One friend even said I look beefy. :(

And yesterday I happened to go to my old office, Red FM. After they managed to close their open mouths after five full minutes, I got to hear some more of “What’s happened to you?!” But in their defense, the last time they saw me, even though I was only a bit thinner, my hair was longer and I was wearing specs. So I looked like a completely different person.

So from a girl who was so skinny, people thought her parents starved her, I’ve become the girl with sumo-wrestler arms and tomato-cheeks.

From a girl who laughed out loud at the mere mention of a diet, I’ve become the girl who thinks twice about eating Biryani.

From the girl who couldn’t imagine a meal that did not include rice, I have become the girl who doesn’t mind not eating rice for days together.

From a girl who used to obsess (and secretly rejoice) that her weight never hit 50, I’ve become the girl who whines when she sees the scales tipping towards 52.5.

From the girl who used to confidently buy any type of clothes because nothing used to look vulgar on her, I’ve become the girl who only picks out clothes that hide her figure.

From the girl who used to complain that even XS size is big for her sometimes, I’ve become the girl who has resigned herself to buying Medium sized clothing.

I know exercising is an option, but I’m yet to convince myself to do that. Right now I’m dealing with the wallowing-in-self-pity part of it.

And you know what’s the worst part? When I get depressed, I eat. :/ So it's like a vicious cycle. Eat-put on weight-people notice and comment-get depressed- and that'll bring us back to eat eat eat eat!

Nobody says “Hi,how’re you?” to me these days. It’s “Hi, you’ve put on weight!”

Yes, I KNOW that, dammit!!!

******

Do you like sambar? Then you should definitely check out this post!

November 6, 2011

The things money can't buy

A quarter bottle of Old Monk rum- 122 bucks

A small bottle of Pepsi to have with the rum- 25 bucks

Water to go with it- 12 bucks.







Expressions on the faces of the over-the-hill uncles and just-hit puberty boys at the liquor store (a palatial one at that) watching two girls animatedly walking around the store and discussing what to buy, picking up bottles, considering them, finally deciding on one and confidently paying the bill, meeting the cashier uncle in the eye- PRICELESS.

November 4, 2011

The phallic (il)logic

There's a school very close to my house. It's a popular school franchise, with branches all over India. This particular branch has a pretty small compound and the building has a Shivalingam on the roof- a HUGE one.

Me and my roomie Hosku(No, that's not her real name) were returning home tonight. When we passed the school, having studied in a school, college and university with HUMONGOUS campuses, I remarked:-

Me: How can you have a school with such a small campus??!

Hosku: How can you have a school with a penis on its roof?

:|

November 3, 2011

Eskoos me

Urban dictionary describes Blah as a word used in an after-sentence, when no one is talking, or when a person has nothing else to say.

Use in a sentence:-
I'm in a very blah mood these days. I don't feel like writing. Or reading. I open other blogs, read halfway, and close the page. I don't leave kilometre-long comments. I haven't updated my blog in almost a week.I can't think of anything even remotely interesting to post. I have about three-four half-done posts in my drafts, victims of my laziness and lack of concentration. In spite of having a holiday yesterday.

So ya, BLAH.

But then, just like a donkey sometimes needs a kick to start working, so do I (No connection whatsoever, I swear). I got some from PeeVee and Kalpak. Thanks, you both. The fact that there are people waiting to read what I write was the kick I needed.

But even then, I'm not in the mood to write anything new. I racked my brains, then raided my drafts.

I had written this post a few months back, but never published it. Now that I'm not on FB anymore (Yes!! More than a month and I'm still off it!), it really doesn't apply to me anymore, but at one time, it did. And I'm sure it still does to a lot of people. Some are from personal experience, some from observation.

So here it is. Add on if you have more.

You know you’ve got to take a break from the internet and your mobile when...:-

1) …instead of telling the auto-driver “Bhaiyya, u-turn”, you say, “Bhaiyya, youtube”. (I swear, I said this to the autowala. I'm not exaggerating.)

2) …your dreams become very specific. Instead of random visions, you see little thumbs-up’s, numbers followed by ‘friends like your status’, etc. (Kalpak, this is not exaggeration. Mereko sacchi mein aise sapne aate the, especially the day I had put up a new status update. And then I would wake up in the middle of the night and log onto FB. Teri kasam. :P)

3) …you have a brand new expensive watch on your wrist, but still take out your phone to check the time.

4) …there is a literal itch in your fingers to log onto the net every two minutes.

5) …you don’t have money to buy rice and vegetables, because you thought it’s more important to get your SMS and internet recharge done.

6) …you don’t throw a hissy fit when your mom tells you that your favourite white top is now yellow-blue-purple in colour because the maid washed it along with another dress that runs colour. But you sulk for hours if you’ve got only ten likes on your status or photo.

7) …you think the internet can give you a better recipe for cake than your mom can.

8) …even when you’re out having a coffee or at a movie with friends, you need to log on and check how many of your Facebook friends liked and commented on your status update.

9) …you would rather say LOL and ROFL than actually laugh out loud and roll on the floor and laugh.

10) …you keep alarm to wake up in the middle of the night and check whether your torrents have finished downloading, and then queue up a new one.

11) …you are constantly on the lookout for things that you can write about in your blog or put up as a status update.

12) …you’re on the net the whole day in office. On your way back home, you log on to the net from your phone, you know, just as a time pass while the bus is stuck in traffic. You come back home and you switch on your laptop and net even before you have a sip of water. Just before you go to sleep, you log on for one last time from your phone. What if something new has happened in the last one five minutes?!

13) …there is a voice at the back of your head that’s been telling you to give it a break, but you ignore it, justifying that the internet is a treasure trove of information, when all you do the whole day is Facebook and read blogs and play online games.

14) …you almost fell into a ditch and escaped walking headlong into a tree because you were busy chatting on your phone.

15) …you didn’t even hear the abuses hurled at you by drivers who spilt coffee on their shirts while putting a sudden brake to avoid ramming into the girl who was replying to a message while crossing the road.

So as I was saying, blah blah blah, blah, blah blah blah. Blah blah blah blah, blah.

October 27, 2011

This one’s for you...

This one’s for you..” He smiled as the memory of that day flashed into his mind. How long has it been? Five years? Ten years? The memory was still as fresh in his mind as though it had happened just yesterday.

He was on his way back from work, and had taken a different route that day. That’s when he passed it, the International School, where he used to have music classes. Every Sunday afternoon, for two hours-that’s where he gave wings to his passion. He came alive in those two hours, transforming all his emotions into notes. His keyboard was his friend, lover, companion, everything.

What’re you smiling at?” His wife’s words broke into his thoughts.

Nothing.” He continued smiling.

What?? Tell me...” She gently prodded.

He’d never told it to anyone, not even to his wife, who was his best friend and confidante. He felt that it was somehow too special to be shared, as though the beauty of it would get spoilt by just a narration. But, looking at his wife, he knew that no one else would understand it as well either. As he started talking, his mind flashed back to all those years.

***

Hunk, daredevil, hero, singer, rockstar- he had had a lot of tags attached to him during his youth. The star of his college, the heartthrob of girls, he was used to reducing girls to a simpering pile of mush with just a look. Passionate about music, he used to go for keyboard classes at the International School, certified by the Trinity College of Music, London.




It was the day of his final recital, and he had overslept. He woke up to his friend’s call, and rushed to the school, not bothering about the prescribed dress code. As he entered the recital hall, a shiver of excitement went through him. “This is it”, he thought to himself. “This is where years of my learning will be tested, and I will finally be certified.

The hall was filled with nervous, hopeful musicians, waiting for their turn up on the stage. Some of them were familiar, some new. That’s when his eyes fell on her. He’d never seen her there before, so he assumed that she was probably among those NRI’s who’d come from the U.S to give their recital. She looked up at him, just a glance, and looked back down at the notes in her hand.

Now this was new. He was not used to this. Girls always gave him a second glance, and then a third, fourth, fifth glance.

But then, this girl, there was something different about her. She was totally unlike the usual bimbos he had met till now. Everything about her was delicate, feminine, beautiful. Her flawless complexion, pink lips, warm brown eyes, light brown silky hair pulled back from her angelic face in a ponytail- and no trace of make-up. She looked like Cindrella, he thought, and for the first time in his sixteen years, he had fallen for a girl.


The performances got over one by one, and then it was his turn. For the next fifteen minutes, he was lost- lost in the world of music. As the crescendo descended, he became aware of the sound of thunderous applause. He got down from the stage and wound his way through the rows of chairs to the only empty chair he could find. As he sat down and glanced at his neighbour, a jolt of excitement shot through him. It was her! His mind went blank. And then he heard a soft voice calling out to him.

Nikhil, right?”

Y-yeah.”

Hi, I’m Anamika. What you did up there, that was awesome.”

Oh, thank you.” His senses seemed to have taken leave of him.

Big fan...” She kept her hand over her heart as she said it.

Thanks..” He gave a dimpled smile.

“Next performance is by Anamika”, came the announcement.

As she left her seat to go up on stage, Nikhil thought he heard her murmur something; something that sounded like “This one’s for you.”

Did you hear something?” he asked his friend seated next to him, who said that he hadn’t. “I guess I must’ve imagined it”, he said to himself. There she was up on the stage, on the piano, and she was singing. He couldn’t recognize the song, but the lyrics went “I think of you...” And all throughout the performance, she didn’t take her eyes off him, and he didn’t attempt to look away either. It was as though someone had pressed the ‘Pause’ button on the rest of the world. There was magic in the air.

As she came down the stage, cheeks flushed a lovely red with excitement and joy, and resumed her seat next to him, he kept his hand over his heart and said, “You know what? Big fan..” The most innocent smile he’d ever seen lit up her face.

Did you say something just before you went up on stage?”

No...”

The show was over. Everyone had had their fifteen seconds of fame. As she got up to leave, she glanced back at him, and with the slightest hint of a smile, said “You heard right, you dumbo.” And then she was gone, just like that. He felt as though he was flying.

He eagerly waited for her the next Sunday, and yes, there she was. He experienced the same buoyant feeling in his heart that he’d felt when he first saw her. It was like his heart was a red balloon, floating up, up and away, sky the limit. Her smile seemed to light up the room.


Hi, how’re you?” Her accented English blew him away more.

I’m doing good.” He’d managed to untie his tongue.

“Ok...Umm..I’m just here for a few days actually. I live in the U.S, came down here just for my performance...”

Oh...ok...” Somewhere up there, God was laughing at him.

They chatted for a while, two shy teenagers, blushing each time their eyes met. It was time for her to leave, she said. As she went down the stairs, she kept looking back at him, and he couldn’t move from where he stood.

Nikhil, would you mind walking me till the gate?”

Sure.” He had to be careful not to run too fast.

As they went down the driveway, neither of them spoke a word. And yet, there was something comfortable about that silence, as though neither wanted to spoil the beauty of that moment with meaningless chatter. The silence spoke volumes. They reached her car, and they looked at each other, warm brown eyes softening the intense black ones.

So, bye then..I guess...” Maybe the soft voice lessened the blow the words had.

Ya...bye. I’ll see you again soon, I hope.”

“Ya, hopefully.” She smiled.

And then she was gone.

***

I never saw her again, you know. I searched for her the next Sunday, but she wasn’t there. And then my course got over, so I didn’t go back there.” He could sense that he had turned nostalgic. The boy who had yearned to see his angel for just one more time so that he could just sit with her, looking at her- the boy he’d hidden away somewhere, had resurfaced.

You didn’t take her number, email id, anything?”

Nope. Nothing. I tried searching for her on some sites, chat rooms, even Google-searched her name”. He laughed at the memory. “But I never found her. Maybe that’s why I still remember her. She came into my life like an angel, like a gentle breeze on a hot summer’s day, gave a little joy, made me aware of a side of me that I never knew existed, and then she vanished. I won’t call it love. No. It wasn’t even a crush. But whatever it was, it was beautiful. She touched my life like no one ever has.

Hey!!” His wife swatted him playfully on his head.


They were back home. He felt lighter, happier, that he’d shared it with his wife. Maybe the reason he’d never shared it was that it was inexplicable. He had gently packed it away in his heart, like he’d seen his mother pack away her silver, so that it remained pure, untarnished, without so much as a blemish. He went to his keyboard, and as he started playing his favourite composition, he said to himself, and to his Cinderella, “This one’s for you...”


***********************************

I wanted to write something special for my 100th post, but couldn't figure out what. So I decided to post the first ever short story I ever wrote, over a year back. So this is an amateur's attempt. Pardon me if it's not good enough. :)

Dedicated to the person whose true-life experience inspired this story...


All you need to do is look around you, and you'll find a story in every person, in every smile, behind every drop of tear, in every song, around every corner...

October 20, 2011

Of shades in the dark and my favourite post.

Have you guys ever laughed at one of those idiots who wears dark glasses/shades after dark? Come on, don't tell me you haven't. I know I have, many many times.

Well... I no longer will. That person could very well have been the victim of a lens blunder.

I'll explain.

I recently started wearing lenses. So I'm still getting used to the whole sticking-finger-into-my-eye ritual. I take about ten minutes to wear my lenses because each time I bring the lens near my eye, my head moves back on its own accord. So I have to keep an imaginary hand behind my head and push it forward. Then after a lot of rapid blinking, treating the lens as though it's the small ball of chapathi dough that your mom gives you to play with (to keep you out of her way mainly), and lot of eye-watering, it's finally in place.

But I was having trouble going out with it because dust would get in my eyes. So I went and bought a pair of shades. The other day, I was leaving from office in the evening, and a colleague of mine had offered to give me a lift. Since I was going on a bike, I thought it would be best to remove my lens and wear my specs. So I went to the washroom, removed my lens, placed them in the case, and took out my spectacles case.

Only to find that I had forgotten to put my specs in the case.

So I push the lens back into my kajal-laden eyes (if you're a lens-wearer, you'll know that it is advised to wear eye makeup after you've worn the lens, otherwise it'll get dirty), put on my shades, cover my head and half my face with my stole, and avoid looking at anyone the entire ride back home.

I'm telling you, don't EVER laugh at someone wearing shades after dark. It's NOT out fault. Well, maybe a little.
***

There's a small bit of news I wanted to share with you guys.

Sometime in 2010, a bunch of writers based in Bangalore had published a book called Mind Blogs 1.0- a collection of their blog posts collated into a book. They also have a blog for it. Earlier this year, they had invited guest posts from other bloggers, and I had sent one of mine in. Here it is.

So a few days back, one of the writers of Mind Blogs 1.0 mailed me and informed me that they're having a reading of the book, and that they're also inviting the guest bloggers to come and read aloud their posts, and whether I would want to join in. I was like 'Why not?!'. So it's happening in Bangalore this saturday. Do come down if you're in Bangalore and are jobless on Saturday evening. :)

Details of the event can be found here.

I know it's not all that big a deal, but for me it is, because that post is my favourite. It's the one I hold closest to my heart, and the way I see it, it's a fitting tribute to one of the most amazing human being I've ever known in my life (Originally published here).

So drop by if you can. :) And if you're planning to, just leave me a mail and let me know, so that I can watch out for you.

A small step for Divya. A giant leap for Divyakind.

Ok ok! I'm sorry! :/

October 18, 2011

Elevated...

Introducing PeeVee to bloggers is like introducing the Pope to christians. Or introducing Tarla Dalal to kitchen enthusiasts. Or introducing Rajnikant to God.

Err.. You get the point.

You all know her. You all read her. You all follow her. And you all love her.

She's one of those writers who can entertain people even if she writes only one small paragraph.

But right now, she's got more than a paragraph. She's got a little tale for us. One of those that never fails to delight us with it's simplicity, emotions, brilliance.

So here it is, a guest post from my fellow-blogger, friend, fellow foodie and FRIENDS-fanatic, and a kid sister- PeeVee (who I'm often tempted to call BeeVee, but then that would be just too gay), from Confessions of the chocolate obsessed.

Ta da!!


***

Elevators always give me the feeling of having left my stomach behind.

As this one went down, I checked my reflection in the mirror, more out of habit than anything else. While I earned a few snicker-filled glances for my supposed vanity, the good part was that I saw the perverted old man trying to look down my shirt stealthily. I gave him my best “fuck-off” stare and ignored him while the others in the lift wondered where my sudden rancor came from.

Not that I cared, the afternoon was dull and sluggish either way.

As the doors opened, I shrunk back to save myself from the melee; the way the others rushed out, it was almost as if the KFC had set up stalls of free chicken buckets outside. I waited till everyone was out; I was in no hurry, no specific planes to catch, worlds to save. That was when I noticed him.

He was by no means the cutest/hottest guy I’d ever seen; certainly not a Greek god – not even tall enough to pass off as one. Nor did he have the perfect body to drool over, what little I could see of it. He didn’t even stand out of the crowd, just another face… another person waiting to take the elevator.

But I had a slow-mo* moment. I saw him smile at something his friend said, deepening the dimples in his cheek into deeper grooves. His eyes sparkled with amusement, a feat very few men can genuinely achieve; smile with only their eyes, that is. His hair stood up at the back of his head like Harry Potter with such adorable charm that I could only stare. The light purple stripes on his shirt made him look almost handsome.

You know that feeling when you instantly crush on someone? The quick tightening of the intestines, a sudden awareness, to say silly things to him, a need bordering on desperation for him to respond, to at least notice?



I didn’t freeze nor did I fall head over heels for him at first sight. In this desert of cute-starved women, I was just another survivor who witnessed a mirage.
Mirage, I say, for he was gone before I could even process the words to make one sentence. Gone with the melee going into the elevator this time; almost as if God had destined us to go in opposite directions and never meet.

I shook my head to displace the stupid thoughts of God being jobless enough to sit and plot out scenarios to make my love life interesting and started walking but I couldn’t help looking back inside the elevator.

And tripped over the unused mannequin on the side.

As luck would have it, he was looking at me. With a grin. It was one of those moments when I wish I had Sita-like capabilities of being swallowed by Mother Earth.
Ah well. It wasn’t like he was going to marry me anyway, I thought to myself, plunking my slightly-hurting tush and slightly-bruised ego on the stool. As I ordered my chocolate crusher, I found myself still thinking thoughts about him.



Simple attraction. While the world had gone on and become muddled and tripped over its own tail about love and related maladies, these two simple words had lost their way. How about two people liking what they see of each other, acknowledging the same and moving on with their lives? Or in my case, ONE of us doing all the liking and acknowledging. But why couldn’t it be that simple? I wished it would be after wondering how he liked his coffee.

I wondered if I was making up the philosophical angle to explain away my own unusually flirtatious behavior, as uncharacteristic as it was, or if it actually held any weight. As I slurped my way to the rocky end of the crusher, the waiter placed a cup and a napkin on the table startling me out of my thoughts. I started protesting about not asking for the coffee when he pointed at the napkin.

Coffee?

I spun around to see the dimples firmly in place, eyes almost daring me to refuse. It was almost like he knew I didn’t crush like this often. I walked over and spent the four most prolific hours of my love life by that cafĂ© window, right before he had to catch his flight.



Turns out it WAS that simple.

And I found out that he liked his coffee black.

P.S: Dedicated to that unknown cute guy outside the Kalyan Silks lift (with his girlfriend/wife) who didn’t quite meet my eye the second time :)

*slow mo moment – the part in movies when everything moved in slow motion and you can see everything in HD like the heroine flipping her hair and her ‘dancing’ eyes and the hero reaching for her hand and shit. You get the point. If you don’t, you obviously haven’t watched the prescribed amount of Bollywood.

***

October 17, 2011

Ra.Too-many

This festive season, bring home the new Whisper Ultra with wings, that soaks the extra dampness and keeps you dry and happy all through the day.
Just like G.One.


This festive season, bring home Pedigree dog food. It keeps your dog healthy and active.
Just like G.One.

This festive season, bring home the New Harpic toilet cleaner, which goes deep into your toilet and kills germs.
Just like G.One

This festive season, bring home the new range of undergarments from V.I.P. It gives your body parts the necessary support that it requires.
Just like G.One.

This festive season, bring home the new Pril Dishwash Liquid. It’s lemon formula goes into the gehraai of your barthan and cleans it, leaving it sparkling and khushbudaar.
Just like G.One.


This festive season, bring home Itchguard. It prevents you from facing embarrassing episodes of scratching.
Just like G.One.

This festive season, bring home anything. You’re sure to bring home either Ra.One or G.One along with it. And when you get them, please put them inside your attic and lock them in there.




At the risk of sounding like a lesbo, I must ask- doesn't Vidya Balan look absolutely delicious in the promo of 'The Dirty Picture'?


Saw 'Mujhse Fraandship Karoge' last night. One time watch. The two main leads have done a wonderful job (Saqib saleem and Saba Azad), especially Saqib. But no matter how 'youthful' YashRaj Films tries to be, the movie's got the 'Y' stamp of candy-floss romance and elaborate-dripping-with-drama endings imprinted on it clearly. I would give it 2.5/5. Raghu Dixit's bollywood debut is fair enough. I really liked the songs "Uh oh uh oh Pyaar hua (I guess I'm falling in love)" and "Dheon dheon".

P.S:- Will someone please help Esha Deol find her father? She’s been yelling “Mujhe mere dad ko dhoondhna hai.” ‘Mujhe mere dad ko dhoondhna hai!”, “MUJHE MERE DAD KO DHOONDNA HAI!!!” every time I switch on the T.V. All this yelling only must have driven him away. Bleddy.

And no, don’t even bother. I will continue to watch T.V and crib about it.

PeeVee's guest post is coming up in my next post. So you know you're going to stay tuned. :)

Images: G.Images

October 14, 2011

The too-long post with too many random things

I’m looking at the world through black-tinted eyes now…




No need to read anything deep or significant into it. I bought a new pair of shades, my first ever, and wanted to show off. That’s all.


May I take a moment to say ‘Thank god it’s Friday!’ *doing the very popular and trendy step that Himi grooves to in ‘Tandoori Nights’ from Karzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz*




Isn't he just priceless? I want to marry him and have nasal-voiced cap-wearing babies with him.

I got another award! Yay!!!

I was given the ‘Your Blog is Great/Tell me about yourself’ Award by Ashwini. Thanks Ashwini!



And I have to write seven random things about myself, yet again. Random, you say? Alright. Random, I’ll write.

1) I hate it when people ask me the power of my spectacles. Keep in mind, people (note this down, if you want)- Never ask a girl her age and her chashme ka power.

2) I don’t watch T.V too much, but when I do watch something interesting, then I’m deaf and blind to the rest of the world. These days, if someone calls me at night in between 9:00 PM and 10:00 PM, this is how I reply. “HelloI’mwatchingMasterChefAustraliaI’llcallyoulaterokbye”. And if someone comes over, I mostly tell them on their face to get out soon, before the commercial break gets over.

3) I wish to give my voice for an animation feature at least once in my life. I used to do a lot of ads when I was in Red FM, and I also did other voice-over assignments (If you pick up your phone and it’s one of those IVR messages from a mobile service provider, don’t hang up immediately. That might just be my voice :/) It’s an art, knowing how to modulate your voice, bring emotion into it, maintain a pace, and sound pleasing to the ears. I used to absolutely love doing it. I had done a show for AIR long back, in college, and that’s when I fell in love with that whole exercise. But I lost touch with it once I quit Red. I really want to get back to it now. Before I spoil my voice with too much ice-cream and chilled Slice.

4) I drop my mobile phone on an average of two times per day. Once I got down from a cab and heard a crunch. I searched for my phone but couldn’t find it. There it was, safely wedged between my foot and the road.

5) I’m so confused, I could give Confucious a complex.

6) I love imli. I can sit and eat a whole packet full of imli candies at one go without so much as a wince. I used to finish off a whole dabba of Hajmola Imli in three days. And no, I didn’t kill anyone with toxic gases.

7) Umm.. Ok, this one’s a little embarrassing, but it’s time I admitted it and found a solution to this. I cannot sleep if there is anyone else on my bed next to me. I may drift off a bit, but I just cannot sleep. My mom once slept next to me, and in her sleep, put her arms around me. I woke up shouting “Ayyo ayyo! Somebody put their hands on me!” Amma doesn’t sleep next to me much anymore. Do you think I should put this on my matrimonial ad? "25, post graduate, has issues sharing bed with anyone."

What? Random only I wrote off no?

I’m supposed to give the award away to a few more bloggers. I thought I’ll take this opportunity to give it to some of the new blogs that I recently started reading and who I haven’t awarded yet. (No offence to the veterans. You guys still rock).

a) Krishna Sruthi Srivalsan- From the ashes

b) Sushmit- Blogwati

c) Atrocious Scribblings

d) Supernickkk- The devil’s workshop

e) Kalpak- Noises of my empty vessel

f) Darsh- Serenading Serendipity

g) Deepthi- Confessions of a life-a-holic

So there you go. Please do go over and read each of them if you already haven't.

# My current favoutire song of my jaanu Himi.



I keep humming "No touching no touching. Only seeing only seeing. No kissing no kissing. Only seeing only seeing." What lyrics, no? And I like how his mouth is constantly open in the song. So sesky.

Shake that biscuit baybe. Shake it for me!

Happy weekending!

October 12, 2011

The Effing blog

So ages ago, before even the wheel was invented, I asked Mr.Ranjith Raj, one of my favourite bloggers, to write a guest post for me.

The first thing that got me reading his blog was the blog name. I distinctly remember, when I opened his page, I did a quick check to look around and ensure that no one was around me, lest they think I'm surfing porn in the office. He's honest, funny, unpretentious (well, maybe a little, like all Mallu guys :P). And he writes awesomely. If only he would write more often. He's a celebrity of sorts, with his pic and blog being featured in a Bangalore daily recently(Ah!! So THAT's why you put up one 'sumukhan susheelan' pic in your birthday post!!)

So without further ado, presenting to you :-
R-A-J from fucklove!

And dude, just so you know, if I ever do get kicked out of my job for allegedly surfing porn, you'll have to pay me blogmony (the bloggers' version of alimony).

Over to you...


***

The future of the blogginzzz...

The news is that Divya the most useful, asked me, the most useless, to guest blog on her impressive site.

Her mandate was that my post should be funny. I suggested to her than in that case, I could write about my life plans; everyone seems to laugh at them, but then she said it also had to be sensible. (Damn! :( )

So as I thought about what to write on, I thought I could write on ‘time management’ considering that she told me that she needed this piece within a week. And I also faintly remember that she told me the same some two months back. Brilliant time management skills I have, I know, I know… :)

On blogspace, we follow each other. We’re avid bloggers and she’s more active on the blogspace than I am – while she posts, waits and posts more, I wait, post and wait more. Also, a good chunk of people come to my blog from hers.

And that’s when it struck me of the growing number of friends that I’m making because of the bloggingz, Divya being one of them. I mean, in my heart, I know that if these fellow bloggers had known me in real life, they’d probably have gunned me down by now because of my good behavior (like they say, some people are still alive cos it’s illegal to kill them!) But in blogspace, I’m making a lot of friends which is pretty much the opposite of what is happening in my real life. :)

So in the light of this new medium which has given me new friends, my bright idea is: - to write on …..The future of Indian bloggingz!!! (…tada…)

So what is the bloggingz? Well, like the poet once said, Bloggingz is one of the greater movements that has democratized the net – anybody with a keyboard, reasonable writing skills and varied levels of sanity can write about anyone, anyhow and anywhere. Of course, in India, Facebook provides a better means for this. But FB is still about one liners; but think you this about this really cool idea – people try really hard to come up with smart and witty facebook status updates but if you could take all the status messages that really awed u and collate it into one place, you’d have one absolutely great read! For example, when Steve Jobs passed away, the many facebook updates changed from the mere informative (“RIP Steve Jobs”) in the morning to more intellectual ones by afternoon (quoting his Stanford speech) to the creative ones in the evening (see cool pic here). Just collating all of these status updates would have created one hell of a great write up on Master Jobs! And a blog and the bloggingz are a lot similar! It’s a collation of thoughts, structured into a fine flow with the guiding force of its popularity always being – “the cooler the content, the better the blog”.

In the west, bloggingz went from proliferation, communities (a la Indiblogger) the eventual consolidation and the resurgence of niche blogs. In India, bloggingz is still in the nascent phase but as long as nothing can beat the magic of a great read, even Rajni agrees that the future of the bloggingz is supposedly secure.

So how is the bloggginz scene in the India? Well, people smarter than me say that in India, the whole bloggingz cycle has been going strong and is still in the proliferation phase. Sure there is attrition in the existing set of bloggers due to the inherent challenge of maintaining quality content, but more and more mango peoples are getting into the Indian bloggingz bandwagon through better net connectivity, lower net usage rates and to satisfy that innate need for self expression. Following are some of the trends that me thinkz shall impact the futurezz of the Indian bloggingz:

•The 4 Cs of any successful blog are content, content, content and content.

•Facebook, Twitter and other social media tools will empower bloggers, contrary to the naysayers’ view that social media will weaken bloggingz.

•Women bloggers are increasing – however at last count, men still outnumber women 3 to 1 in India.

•Majority of Indian bloggers still have a casual approach to bloggingz and with time, more will crack open the monetization angle, thereby increasing the incidence of bloggers who make money out of their blogs.

•The growing association of mainstream brands with bloggingz shall increase, though I’m not sure if they have yet figured out how to make the most of this medium.

•One’s blog will be another added facet to one’s personality in the future.

•And the bestest thing about the bloggingz is that people with abysmally low levels of intelligence like me, can use big, big words like democratized, proliferation , consolidation, moneti….etc and still get away with it… :)


And as for the funny in this post…..

Well, an old man walks into a saloon thinking it’s a restaurant.

So the old man, “What do you have?”. So the barber, “Cutting and Shaving”.

So the old man, “OK, bring me a plate of both then!” :)
(For the mallus out there, the real deal here.)

Bloggingz rules man! My jokes clearly don’t! :)

Just december dat!

:)


Research/plagiarism references: watblog.com, google, indiblogger, own gut.. :)

***

In case you were wondering why his blog is named so, here is why, from the man himself. And while you're there, read the rest of his blog too. When you've finished laughing, come thank me.