May 31, 2011

The 50th...

I thought I'll make my 50th post special, with yet another experiment- 55 fiction.


He sat in the dimly-lit hospital corridor, remembering the countless times he had been mean to her; promised to take her shopping but turned up two hours late, turned over and fell asleep immediately after making love to her. It was time to start anew.
The nurse came out, smiling, and said “It’s a girl”.


Psstt! Before you judge this, let me tell you that I was planning to post "50 things about me you should know whether you want to or not" as my 50th post. Now doesn't this seem better? ;)

May 29, 2011

An ordinary day...

I'm trying my hand at writing vignettes, inspired by this blogger.
I'm completely new to this form of writing, so go easy on me, will ya?


The day started out ordinary, but she knew there was something extraordinary about it. There was magic in the air.

Today was the day. He was coming home for the first time. For the first time in the four months that they had been dating, he was finally coming today. She had invited him over for lunch, and he had accepted with a twinkle in his eyes. He had then taken her hands in his, come close to her, and whispered into her ears “I would love to. Can’t wait for Sunday to come.”

She was so excited, she couldn’t even set the table properly. Even though she had planned the entire thing immaculately for a week, she was still a bundle of nerves. “Why am I acting like this?” she asked herself. “It’s just lunch, after all. No big deal.”

Ya right.

At the back of her mind, she knew why she was so excited and nervous at the same time. Today might be THE day- the day he finally told her that he loved her. Till now, they had been hanging between “I like you” and “I like you a lot.” Even “I love spending time with you.” But they both knew they had crossed that stage. It was time for some serious confessions.

She had prepared his favourite dishes- Veg fried rice, chicken curry, paneer masala, salad, papad, and gulab jamun. She’d woken up at 7 in the morning and started cooking. And that’s when she realized she loves him too. Never before had she woken up that early to cook even for herself.

She hurriedly finished off the cooking, leaving the utensils in the sink to be washed later. She still had to take a shower and get dressed. Freshly powdered and smelling of tuberoses, she emerged half an hour later, all set to welcome the man of her dreams.

And then she heard his car pulling up outside her gate…


Do let me know what you think of this kind of writing. I find it quite challenging to write vignettes and plan to explore it more.

May 28, 2011

Tag time!

A tag that I flicked from here.

I love writing tags, so the next time any of you guys get one, please do count me in.

1.What is your current obsession?

The Big Bang Theory (The sitcom, not the actual theory. I hardly paid attention in school, what will I obsess about now.)

2. What are you wearing today?

Umm.. Let’s see. Wore jeans and a top when I had to step out in the afternoon. Now back in home clothes.

3. What’s for dinner?

Dinner was roti, a bit of rice, and chicken! :) (Yes, I’m a foodie. Sue me.)

4. What’s the last thing you bought?

If it’s a major purchase you’re talking about, then has to be groceries (read: lots of unnecessary stuff that was not even on the list) from Spar supermarket. If it’s in the literal sense, then butter chicken from the dhaba nearby.

5. What are you listening to right now?

The fan whirring in the hall where I’m sitting. Was watching a movie, so no music on.

6. What do you think about the person who tagged you?

I stole this tag from another blog. And I think her blog is great. :)

7. What are your must-have pieces for summer?

Lots of cotton stuff that doesn’t hug to my body, especially white tees.

8. If you could go anywhere in the world for the next hour, where would you go?

Anywhere that is cold. The Hyderabad heat is killing me.

9. What is one thing you want to learn to do?

Play guitar.

10. What’s your favourite quote?

“In three words, I can sum up everything I have learnt about life- it goes on.” Frost.

And this one too:- "But who prays for Satan? Who, in eighteen centuries, has had the common humanity to pray for the one sinner who needed it the most?"- Mark Twain.

12. Who do you want to meet right now?

My bunch of friends from school.

13. What is your favourite colour?

Purple purple purple. That’s all I can think of lately.

14. What is your favourite piece of clothing in your own closet?

No one particular piece of clothing. But I do have a special liking towards my denim three-fourths and the cotton t-shirts that I have, about four of them white. (FYI, Ginger has THE best cotton tees. Just love them. And they’re easy on the pocket too.)

15. What is your dream job?

Where I don’t have to wake up early in the morning. And one that keeps me occupied a lot, so that at the end of the day, when I hit the bed tired, I know I would’ve earned it. (And yes, two-day weekends a must. I need my weekends.)

16. What’s your favourite magazine?

Filmfare! Go ahead, judge all you want, I still love the magazine.

17. If you had $100 now, what would you spend it on?

I would spend it on what I usually spend the most on- either food or books. Oooh yes!! I would buy the Calvin and Hobbes Box Set!!

18. What do you consider a fashion faux pas?

Too much of accessorizing. I really don’t think wearing a chunky necklace with chunky earrings and hundreds of bangles makes one look gorgeous. Keep it simple. And nothing too flashy. Flash does not equal fabulous.

19. Who are your style icons?

No one in particular. I don’t follow anyone’s style. I’m not much of a fashion-monger.

20. What kind of haircut do you prefer?

Used to have a straight cut before. Did layers a while ago. Lost a lot of hair. So now I think I’m gonna stick to a simple straight cut. Although, layers do look good.

21. What are you going to do after this?

Get back to watching the rest of Sandesham.

22. What are your favourite movies?

Too hard to say. Seriously.

23. What are three cosmetic/makeup/perfume products that you can’t live without?

Moisturizer (I have nightmares about dry skin), Kajal ( If you ever see a girl on the road with eyes made up like Kathakali artistes, go over and say hello. That’ll be me.), and lip-balm. I can’t name a particular brand for any of these, because I keep trying new ones.

24. What inspires you?

A lot of things. It can be a thing, a moment, a person, a word, an image. Anything.

25. Give us three styling tips that always work for you.

Clean hair, lots of kajal, a good earthy shade of lipstick. And for some strange reason, pearls.

26. What do you do when you “have nothing to wear” (even though your closet’s packed)?

Jeans and a tee.

27. Coffee or tea?

Coffee. And Bournvita.:)

28. What do you do when you are feeling low or terribly depressed?

I switch off my phone, or simple ignore it. Then I go someplace that will lift my spirits, like a book store. Or I go get a haircut (always works like a charm. Try it). If I’ve completely gone bonkers, I go get a piercing done. That’s how I got my ear pierced the third time, because I was depressed and wanted to inflict pain on myself ( Please don’t think I’m a nutcase. I really am not. Please believe me!). I feel it works better than inflicting pain on somebody else. My nose is next in line.

29. What is the meaning of your name?

Means divine, I guess. Hah, what an irony...

30. Which other blogs you love visiting?

All the ones that I follow, and any other blog that can make me laugh.

31. Favorite Dessert/Sweet?

I don’t have much of a sweet tooth. But I do love ice-creams and gulab jamuns.

32. Favorite Season?

Winter!!! I love cold weather, in spite of the dry skin that it brings. Maybe because Kerala doesn’t really have a winter season, I wait for the Hyderabad winters now. It’s just lovely. And I’m a lot less cranky when the weather is cold. In summer, my crank-button is jammed on.

33. If I come to your house now, what would you cook for me?

Maggi. Kitchen closed, sir. Maggi is all you’ll get.

34. What is one book that you would suggest the whole world reads?

Another tough one. Hmmm.. R.K.Narayan and Ruskin Bond, anytime. Can’t think of anything else as of now.

Go ahead tag yourself. It's fun to do. :)

May 25, 2011

The Black Swan in you...

When Indiblogger announced the Real Beauty blogging contest, I was very excited. I thought, this’ll be a piece of cake. This is not rocket science, I just have to write, and god knows, that’s the one thing I’m good at. So I opened a word document, words and ideas tumbling over one another in my head, eager to be let out.

Ten minutes later, I was still staring at the blank word document.

Maybe I had too many things to write about, or maybe I had nothing to write. Who knows. All I know is, this was one of the rare times where I was at a loss for words.

So I decided to close the word document, and took out my trusty notebook and pen. “My notebook won’t fail me”, I thought to myself. “Maybe the real beauty lies in writing it directly down on paper and not typing it in the computer”. (See how I managed to connect the topic to real life? Sheer genius, I know).

I scribbled my signature a couple of times, doodled for a while, read the other things I had jotted down in the notebook, and then finally came to terms with the fact that real beauty, after all, is not so easy to write about.

Why is that? Is real beauty non-existent, or so elusive that writing about it is this difficult? Or have I just failed to recognize it whenever I’ve seen it?

I abandoned my efforts for the time being. I didn’t want to force myself to write just for the heck of entering it into a contest. Because if I have to force myself to write, the real beauty of my writing will get lost between the lines.

Then last night, I happened to watch Black Swan, the Oscar-winning movie, starring Natalie Portman. No no, I’m not going to give you a review of the movie, because honestly, I’m still a little dazed. It’s a powerful movie- it’ll make you cringe, shiver, and best of all, it’ll make you move your body involuntarily when the dancers glide across the screen. I’m not sure if it’s a good movie or a bad one- I might have to watch it again to figure that out- but it sure is a powerful film.

And that’s when I realized, I was so busy looking for beauty elsewhere, that I didn’t see the truth- Real beauty, lies within each one of us. There is a Black Swan in each and every one of us, and that’s what makes us unique. That’s what makes us special. It is easy to accept the White Swan in you- the pure, angelic, fragile beauty who epitomizes everything that is good, because at the end of the day, we all want to be good. But it is not easy to accept the Black Swan in you- no one wants to accept that there is another side to you that is not so pure and angelic. No one wants to show their evil twin.

But without your evil twin, you are incomplete. And the sooner you accept it, the easier it will be to understand yourself better. Be happy about the helpful side of yourself, but do not shun the side that is selfish once in a while. Celebrate your perfection, but do not criticize the side of you that wants to break free and dance wildly. Yes, shout out proudly to the world that you’re a topper, but do not be ashamed to admit that you also drink and smoke. Preserve your virginity, but do not hesitate to let go of it if you find the perfect person to give it to, because you need to know at least once in your life what true passion is.

And most importantly, do not let anyone else decide for you what you are- good or bad. Because no one knows you like you know yourself.

Let go of yourself. Embrace the Black Swan in you.

And you will then see, real beauty.

May 18, 2011

Valediction- I

Acha’s retiring this month-end. As of now, he’s travelling through Kerala, attending farewell functions being held for him.

So this afternoon, he called me up and asked me write a few lines for him that he can speak at tomorrow’s function. I readily agreed and started writing, and before I knew, ‘a few lines’ had become three pages. For someone who hadn’t worked even a single day in BSNL, that was an awful lot to say.

That’s when it hit me- I’ve never given a farewell speech. Ever. Not in school, not in college and not in the university. By the time I reached 12th std, the school didn’t allow farewell parties anymore, during my college farewell, I think they selected a representative to talk, and during our university farewell, we were too busy dancing the night away to glory to bother about speeches. And most importantly, nobody invited me to give a speech. Sigh...

So here are my farewell notes, to the places that have played a significant role in my life. I don’t know whether it matters now, after so many years, but I want to tell it.

And besides, I don’t think I’ll ever work in any place for more than two years for them to throw a party for me. Yup, a truth that I have come to terms with. So here goes.

So long, farewell, K.V. Pangode. You showed me the beginning of the road.
What do I say to the institution that I’ve spent eleven years in? A mere thank you won’t suffice for sure. It has, after all, made me the person I am today. My school.

This school has seen me as a naive child who forgot her father’s name at the interview and who used to cry every single day for the first few days soon as she joined, so much that my teachers had to call my father to come pick me up; it has seen me as a curious adolescent, who is just starting to discover the difference between a boy and a girl, and who cried at her desk when she was told by someone in her class that one of the boys has ‘line’ on her; it has seen me as a gawky, confused teenager, who was acutely conscious of the fact that she was quite dark and that her breasts just didn’t seem to develop fast. It has seen me as the first-prize winner in C.C.A competitions, and also seen me shirking away during Mass P.T. Saturdays. It has smiled and shook it’s head at the bunch of girls who just needed any excuse to bunk class and go for ‘dance practise’. It has smiled proudly at the all-rounder who was never a topper, but managed to be consistent with her marks (Till the 9th standard. Consistency went for a walk then).

If you ask me what are my fondest memories here, I will either be speechless, or I will be rambling for hours. But yes, I do remember when Manjula Ma’m walked in while a third standard Hindi class was in progress and asked me whether I was part of any programme on Annual Day. When I nodded a no, she took me right away and just like that, I was the white-frock-wearing letter A in the Alphabet Dance. I remember being the adolescent Indira Gandhi in the tableau, and trying hard not to smile or move for fifteen full minutes (god knows how difficult it was for me). I remember being made the Deputy School Pupils Leader in 5th standard, and the brown badge that I used to proudly wear. I remembered being pushed into the water tank in 4th standard during lunch break along with a friend and how petrified I was (Till date, I don’t know who it is that pushed me in. I guess it’ll remain one of those greatest mysteries of the world. Or of my life. Whatever). I remember the Onam day celebrations, the programmes I used to compere for, the classrooms, the steps we used to have lunch on, the library, the playground...

Every single day spent here has been a lesson, be it the good days, or the horrible days. And I’ve seen plenty of both. I have been a good student, I have been a failure.

I have had some truly amazing teachers, teachers who taught me more than just lessons. Sarat Sir, to whom I owe my love for the English language. If not for his classes, English would’ve been just another subject that I had to pass in. I hope I have not failed him in any way. Well, except for my hand-writing. That still remains inexplicably horrible, sir. Sorry. :) ( Tired of writing ‘Improve your handwriting’ on almost every page in my notebook, finally one day he wrote ‘Beautiful handwriting’, hoping that I’ll improve at least then. Sir, the only thing that has improved after that is my sarcasm).

All my teachers in the primary section- their job is the toughest, you know. There’s a proverb that goes “A child’s mind is like wet cement. Whatever falls on it makes an impression.” It’s a huge responsibility on their shoulder, to mould the minds of 5-6 year olds’, with undying dedication and patience, because one wrong move can scar the child for life. One of the main reasons why I never took up teaching is this- I knew I would never have such kind of patience.

Becket Sir, for having faith in me even when I used to fail in every single Physics and Chemistry exam in 11th and 12th. He always saw beyond my marks. He would look at my report cards, shake his head sadly, and say “You are such an intelligent girl. Why are your marks like this...?” His grief that I was getting bad marks was very genuine, and I could never fathom why. Later on I learnt from somebody that he had a son with special needs, and then I could understand why he felt so sad at my performance- here is a girl who doesn’t use her brains even when god had given her some. When I went to school to collect my report card after the board results came out, he told my mom that I should apply for Civil Services- he was telling the mother of a girl who had just got compartment in her 12th standard Physics board exam, that her daughter should apply for Civil Services. No, it wasn’t pep talk. It was just good old confidence. He was one of the first people to suggest to my parents that they should let me study literature. Thank you sir, for having the faith in me that I myself had started to lose.

A heartfelt thank you to all the teachers who have been great role models over the years, and who have been patient enough with nutcases like me. You’ve, for sure, reserved a place for yourself in heaven. :)

I may have left school seven years ago, but I still have something very precious that I managed to take away from there- a truly wonderful bunch of friends. Each time I see them, I’m reminded of the days that I’ve spent in those vast grounds, those noisy corridors, the pristine classrooms, the huge playground, the cacophonous school bus... these guys are my prizes, my marks, my certificates, my everything... Thank you, you lovable brats.

Thank you, K.V. Pangode, for having taken care of me for those wonderful eleven years... in case I haven’t said it enough, I love you and will continue to do so till the time my memory takes leave of me.

Note:- I realised if I give all my farewell notes in one post, all of you will doze off middway. So the next valediction in the next post.

May 17, 2011

Curiousity killed Google

You know what's a really fun pastime? Open Google, type in random letters or words in the search box, and wait for the instant search results to come in the drop-down menu.

I don't mean to sound like a know-it-all, but technically, shouldn't 'How to get pregnant' come after 'how to kiss'? Just wondering...

I agree, Google has all the answers, but isn't asking it 'Who am I' taking it a little too far?

'Panties in a twist'??? I didn't even have the guts to click on that and wait for the results to come up. It may have had images of ladies doing the twist in panties. Or twisting in bed in panties. Or twisting panties. Or shut up.

Is it just me, or is it an irony that 'When will I die' comes right after 'when will I get married'?

Without dress. Anyone will do. Even if it's a koala bear. We're not fussy that way.

And the best of the lot...

Brother of Dennis, are we, Mr.Pennis?

This post has some funnier suggestions.

What all people search for... Sigh...

May 16, 2011

Look at me I'm so cool!!!

I used to have a Spice Girls slam book in school. In tenth standard. For no reason except that I thought it was cool to have a slam book. I used to approach all and sundry to fill it up, so that I could know about their ‘Spicy Birthdate’, ‘Spicy Memory’, ‘Spicy Ambition’, and their ‘Spicy words about me’. Gah.

Of course, everyone had a slam book in 12th standard, when it suddenly strikes people that school is getting over, and we want to know as much as possible about our classmates whom we previously had no real interest in. It’s a tough decision to make- do we finish writing our record books that are due for submission tomorrow, or should we fill up the slam book? After all, there is so much about me that I’m sure all my classmates are eager to know. Now is the last and final chance to show them what a delightful and witty person I am. Screw chemistry record book.

School was a magical time, wasn’t it? The time of learning, loving, growing up, teenage crushes. And also the time of a million trends that would make us cringe now when we think back on it.

Here are some of my time:-

# The bright, shiny friendship bands that came free with Top Ramen noodles and pretty much everything else. I used to wear two-three at the same time. Ewww.

# After the Malayalam movie ‘Niram’ came out, everyone was ‘da’. “Hi da’, ‘hello da’, ‘No da’, ‘Of course da’, ‘Get lost da’. Sheesh!!

# You know the colourful beads that used to be a fad at one time? I used to braid my hair in thin plaits and wear those beads. At all times. Even to school. Not just beads, I used to have tiny clips shaped like butterflies, toffees, tweety bird, etc. I used to be known in school for my ‘cool hairstyle’, till one sour old fart (read: a teacher) told me that we are not Africans to be wearing beads to school. Hmmpph.

# Eyeliner. To school. What was I thinking??

# My socks always used to be rolled down or folded down, and my skirt was never below the knee. The effect of watching too much of “Hip Hip Hurray”, “School Days”, “Just Mohabbat” etc on T.V. and whatever came on T.V was cool, right?

# I also refused to tie my hair in two plaits or ponytails when it grew longer. It was always one pony, even though the end of my hair used to look like a comma/question mark. And then they made it mandatory in school to wear two plaits/ponies. Determined to come across as ‘cool’ even then, I wore red satin ribbons instead of the normal ribbons.

# My nails never NEVER used to be nail-polish-less. And they never used to be short. As if wearing one colour was not enough, I would put two colours at the same time. Double ewwww.

# Oh wait. How could I forget nail tattoos!

# Multiple stickers on pencil boxes. I bet all of you have done this. Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, The Little Mermaid, theme stickers, even Flag Day stickers. Anything and everything used to find its way to my pencil box. And then we would compare our coolness in class.

# And ooh ohh!!! Pencil pouches!! Not boxes, but pouches. I had a variety of them!! They were SO cool, and they could fit in so many more pens and pencils. By the way, I used to collect pens too.

# It was so totally cool to bring cold water to school. It was, like, THE most happening thing ever. And those with Milton water-bottles ruled this game. It was also very happening to bring Maggi and any other variety of noodles to school.

# How can I forget those notebooks with film stars on the cover? Mammootty, Mohanlal, Aishwarya Rai, Abhishek Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan etc.. I used to have a huge crush on Madhavan at that time (and still do, actually), and would ask the store-keeper to particularly give me only those with him on the cover. And then I would sit and look at his face and fantasize about an Alai Payuthey-esque scenario during tuition class. Did I mention I had compartment in my 12th standard Physics Board exam? Ahem.

# Bell-bottoms jeans!!! I had one too many of those, and this, unfortunately, continued till college.

What were the cringe-worthy cool trends of your school days?

(An apology to a certain reader for writing another post that is about I, me, myself. Not entirely my fault. My muse refused to let me write about anything else. I have reprimanded Miss.Feisty for the same.)

May 12, 2011

The roads I have taken...

I may not have topped every class since I could spell A for Apple and B for Ball.

I may not have cracked the IAS.

I may not be an IIT graduate.

I may never have won a gold medal.

My picture may never appear in the newspaper for outstanding achievements.

And the only thing I know about Quantum Mechanics might be the spelling.

But I had wonderful parents and a sister.

I had a cheerful childhood.

I had an apt adolescence

I had a turbulent teenage, just the way it’s meant to be.

I had a life outside of classrooms and tuition centers.

I was given the option to read things other than textbooks and study materials.

I was given the option to dance to not just the tunes of an education system.

I was allowed to learn by rote poems and stories and not just math formulas and theory of Relativity.

I was learning about the solar system in class two for the joy of learning- not as a preparatory for the entrance exams 10 years later.

I was taught that ambition is important, but I was allowed to choose that ambition.

And that has made all the difference…*

*From The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost.

May 11, 2011

My purple friend...

I miss my cycle. My purple (no surprises there) Miss. India Junior cycle, that had been my constant companion for two years- two wonderful years in HCU.

Sometime during my college, I think it was my second year, I decided that it was finally time that I learnt to cycle. No, I didn’t learn to cycle when I was a kid. I did not have a pink bicycle with supporting wheels and a pink basket. I did not have scraped knees and bloodied elbows. Instead, I had asthma. (Not as cool as it sounds). I was not allowed to go out and be adventurous. No frolicking around the park with my girlfriends, and I would hardly call my alarmingly frequent trips to the hospital, unable to breathe and fear looming large on my parents’ faces, as fun. I played with Barbie Dolls, kitchen sets, and read books- non-strenuous stuff.

So I spent my entire childhood and adolescent years being ribbed by my friends for not knowing how to ride a cycle (I aced at ringing the bell, though. Thankyouverymuch). No one missed a chance to poke fun at me, and finally, at age 19, I decided it was time to put a stop to all that- I was going to learn how to cycle and nothing could stop me!

The determination lasted exactly one day.

I pestered Acha to arrange a cycle for me, which he promptly did- an old, not-too-bad-condition cycle from someone in the building, took it to the mechanics, and got it ready for his little daughter. Father and daughter set out early next morning to conquer the two-wheeler world.

Two things to keep in mind before I go on:-

# Acha’s patience levels are legendary- it rarely lasts for more than five minutes, something that he managed to pass on to his younger daughter.

# I’m not very tall, but the cycle was.

Once I attempted to climb onto the cycle, I realized that I could either sit on the seat and someone could hold the cycle firmly to keep it from falling, or I could not sit on the seat and pedal with my bum in the air- the two just wouldn’t happen simultaneously. My legs refused to magically elongate to reach the pedals.

Fifteen minutes later, I was red in the face from just trying to keep myself from falling off the cycle, and Acha’s patience was starting to wear out.

“Ayyo! I can’t do this anymore Acha! Please, let’s go back home!”

“What?? Nothing doing! You have to keep trying!”

“I can’t! I’m tired, and this cycle is too big for me! It’s not my fault that the cycle is bigger than me. Enough for the day!”

“So what’re you planning? Learn cycling in one year??!!”

“It definitely can’t be learnt in one day, right??!!” Told ya, I was his daughter.

That was the last day we ventured out to teach me cycling. I somehow managed to learn to ride a two-wheeler, and get a license too, without learning how to cycle (I conveniently choose to ignore the fact that I had to take the test three times before I passed. 8 is just too hard a number, I say). I relaxed smugly thinking that
my have-to-learn-cycling-what-a-shame-otherwise days were over for good.

Till I joined HCU. It’s a 2700-acre campus - a fact that every HCU-ian never misses an opportunity to proudly boast about- and cycling was a necessity and a way of life there. So I decided to face my fear again, and went bicycle-shopping. That’s when I first met my beautiful purple Miss. India junior cycle, in which my legs beautifully reached the pedals! Yay! Next day morning, my friend Arun reprised the role that my dad had tried to play all those years ago, and ran behind me and my Miss. India, holding on firmly.

But this time, I was not scared. I was patient. And I was confident. And after running for a while, Arun let go of the cycle… And I didn’t fall!!! I did fall a few days after that, and two times after that too, but it doesn’t really count. I finally had the scraped (scarred for life, whatever) knee that I should have had as a kid, and instead of hiding it, I proudly show off my battle scars- for learning to ride the cycle may not be a big deal for others, but I felt as though I had conquered the world. So what If I fell down a bit? I at least learnt to ride it as well as I ring the bell, didn’t I?

Now I truly believe, if I can learn how to cycle, I can do pretty much anything I want in life. Sooner or later, I’ll get there.

After I left HCU, I lent the cycle to me previous house-owner’s daughter. Never saw it again.

My dear purple Miss. India, I hope, wherever you are, whichever little girl is riding you, you’re fine. I hope my little daughter gets to ride your little daughter after a few years. We will then sit back and watch them and smile over the sights we’ve seen and the places we’ve been.

May 10, 2011

Dontcha wish your country was cool like mine?! Dontcha!!

Why we Indians think we are the coolest thing to have happened to the world since low-waist jeans and Elvis Presley:-

# We have ATM’s. We also have dustbins in the ATM’s. But we would rather make a carpet out of the receipt slips than put them in the dustbins. That way, the dirt on the floor can be hidden. Way cooler.

# We have railway tracks. We also have trains running on them. And we also have people shitting on those tracks, and occasionally, people get pushed on to the tracks too. Who else will make such multiple uses of the railways?

# We don’t believe in standing in queues. That’s for people with a lot of time on their hands, and we don’t have that. We pleasantly ignore the people waiting in the queue and push to the head of the line. We are in a hurry, we have other places to grace our presence with.

# That’s also the reason why our population is steadily increasing. We are always in a hurry. And we are proud of it.

# The roads are not for the faint-at-heart. It’s for the warriors like us. We race, we honk like mad, we cut traffic signals, we bump someone off their vehicle, we swear generously, and we reach our destination. I mean, isn’t that what really matters?

# Yes, yes! We’re a developing country! We have built IT parks, we have the best hospitals, we have the best of educational institutions. We have even built public urinals on roads. But we still prefer to pee against the walls or under trees. You see, it’s beneficial for the trees. There is a do-gooder in every one of us.

# We believe in the power of human contact. That’s why we overload our buses and autos. The more the people, the better the contact, the higher the chances of being groped. We try our best to do noble (not to be mistaken with ‘nude’) gestures.

# We understand that every woman wants to be appreciated and complimented. That’s why we whistle at them and pass comments. Tch tch. And you thought we were perverts. We are such a misunderstood bunch.

# We are proud of our culture and our scriptures. Especially the Kamasutra. That’s why we are eager to try out as many positions as possible. Getting the girl to agree is difficult, but that doesn’t deter us. Sometimes we just gag and bound the girl, but we take care to use the softest cloth and ropes.

# We do not have Osama bin Laden-types in our country!!! But we do have politicians. No connection though, whatsoever.

# We know our National Anthem by rote. We sang it for 12 years in school during morning assembly. That’s why we don’t bother to stand up when it is played in multiplexes and other functions. We’ve already been there done that.

# We don't believe in interfering in other people's lives. So we don't do anything when something happens to others. We wait for it happen to us. Every dog has a day, after all. That's the right thing to do, isn't it?

You see now, why we love our country and are proud to be an Indian?

May 8, 2011

The Big Fat Malayali Wedding.

We Indians are obsessed with weddings, aren't we? Doesn’t matter if the marriage itself doesn’t last long, but the wedding? Oh the wedding has to be a big fat affair.

While the west may stick to just one basic format of conducting a wedding, India has many. Each state has a different custom, some lasting up to five-six days.

And that’s where we Malayalis fall short. Ouch.

Our weddings last for five-six hours, at the max.

(Whatever I’m writing, is based on a Malayali Hindu wedding. I haven’t been to many non-Hindu Malayali weddings, so I don’t have any authority to talk about them. But I would love it if others could share their views.)

# Out of the five-six hours, three hours will be dedicated to photography. It does not matter if the bride and groom get boiled under the heat and lights, they still have to maintain the five-kilometer wide smile. And pose with uncles, aunties, friends, colleagues, mom’s brother’s father-in-law’s sister’s son’s daughter. What is supposed to be the most special day of their lives rapidly turns into one that they just want to get over with, so that they can drag their tired bodies and aching mouths to bed at night. (Do 'First Night's still happen? I wonder how they can still have the energy!)

# Let’s not kid ourselves- we go to a wedding to have the food. You know I’m right! And having food at a Malayali wedding is no easy task. To quote the Cadbury’s Bourneville ad, you can’t just eat a sadhya, you have to earn it. There are a few qualities that are a prerequisite before you even consider having a sadhya at a Malayali wedding. (a) Determination (b) Sportsman spirit (c) Incredible strength (d) Complete disregard for other people, and e) A little bit of shamelessness. Be prepared to say goodbye to your best silks and cottons, because believe me, it’s a fight to the finish.

# And once you get inside the dining hall, don’t relax thinking that the worst is over. This is where your speed-eating skills are put to test. Either you eat fast, or you wait for the serving people to dump everything on your plantain leaf at one go, and then relish the indescribable mass of food at leisure. Your call. Oh, and don’t even for a second think that you can eat at leisure. If the dining hall has glass walls, then may god help you enjoy the food. How, pray, can you eat in peace when people are watching you eat from the other side of the glass walls, impatience (not so much hunger) etched on their faces, tell me?

# The bride and groom have to pretend that they are elephants, or hermits, for the day. A lot of milk and bananas are going to be shoved into their mouths.

# Whose wedding did you come for? Your friend? Your colleague? Not able to find her? You see that girl over there, covered in silk and a hundred kilos of gold, unable to move, with a pained expression on her face, resembling a procession-elephant on diet? That’s your friend. Don’t punish yourself if you are not able to recognize her. It’s not your fault.

#Is the actor/actress within you waiting to get unleashed? Just get married. The photographer will make sure that all your acting skills are put to good (laughable for others) use. Then bury the wedding album in your backyard and ensure that your children never ever find them. They won’t be able to take the trauma.

# There will be a battalion of jobless women, also known as relatives and acquaintances, who come to weddings to do nothing better than comment and criticize. “Oh why is the girl wearing such less gold? At my son’s wedding, his wife was almost falling down due to the weight of the gold she was wearing! Such a proud moment for us *sniffle sniffle*”. And if the girl is wearing enough gold, it’ll be the food. “What??!! Only four types of payasam?! Such a shame.. *BURP!*”. (At my sister’s wedding, she refused to wear gold, and my dad was so tired of explaining to his lady colleagues that the reason why his daughter is wearing only necklace is because she doesn’t like wearing gold, that he finally told them he had gone bankrupt, so he couldn’t buy any jewelry for her.)

# I've always wondered why people gain weight once they get married. Now after seeing my cousins and my sister getting married, I think I know the reason. No no, it’s not because of all the love that they’re probably making(Is that just a myth? Married people, enlighten us.), it’s because they are made to stuff their faces with so much food at the houses of the hundred relatives that they have to visit after the wedding, that it’ll take them years to burn that much fat out. I’ve seen skinny girls transform into mini-elephants a month after their wedding. Come on, it HAS to be more than just ‘love’, right?

IS there any way to have a registered wedding but still keep all the cash and gifts?