September 30, 2011

The 8th wonder- Television

Imagine a buxom blonde, big boobs, pearly white teeth, silky straight hair. In a colourful bikini. She’s one of the participants on a contest-type show. The audience is cheering her on. It's one of those shows that has been dubbed, so the white American host is speaking in flawless Telugu as though he was born and brought up in Machlipatnam.

The contest? The blonde has to hold a chaddi in her hands in the way you hold it when you’re about to wear it (please, I cannot get any more descriptive than this). Then holding it a few inches away from her body, at a little below knee-level, she has to jump into it and out of it. Into it, out of it. Into it, out of it. You get the picture? She has to get both legs into it and right up to her bikini-clad bums each time, only then it is counted. She is given a minute to jump in and out of the chaddi smoothly and given points for each time she does it perfectly. Then everyone claps.

Imagine a guy wearing a t-shirt and an underwear doing the same thing.

Now imagine what I must have gone through watching this on TV last night on Maa Junior (their perception of what is 'junior' is skewed, clearly). I vaguely remember the blonde being gifted a jewelled underwear for her wonderfully wet-dreamesque performance.

Maybe I wasn’t missing all that much when I didn’t have a TV, after all…

September 27, 2011

The old monk who sold his rum.

So the story goes, there was once an old monk who lived in one of those lands that are always so far far away. He was a travelling monk. He had denounced all worldly pleasures and used to roam around the land. He was given food by kind people. He was dressed sparsely, a simple saffron robe protecting him from the elements of nature. He never spoke much and only uttered a few chants to bless the people who gave him food. But he could always be seen muttering something under his breath, maybe prayers.

He walked most of the time, head bent low and arms swinging on his sides. He only carried with him a saffron-coloured cloth bag, in which he kept all the things he owned in this world- a string of prayer beads, a notebook, a pencil carved out of wood and a bottle of rum. The rum kept him warm during the harsh winter days and nights. He made it himself. His forefathers had taught him how to.

One day, when he was out on one of his walks, he passed by an inn. He was stopped short by the heavenly fragrance of something delicious being cooked. He generally didn’t give in to temptations like this. He was a monk, after all. But this time, he couldn’t resist. He walked into the inn and up to the manager.

“What is that heavenly scent wafting from your kitchens, oh good man?”

“That is the scent of a new dish that we’ve discovered, oh monk.”

“What new dish?”

“It is made of rice and chicken mixed together, with spices and other things. It’s called Chicken Biryani.”

“Would you be so kind as to let me savour it, good man?”

“But of course! I cannot refuse a pious man like you! Please have a seat.”

As the inn-keeper walked out of the kitchen with a plateful of Biryani, his wife, who had overheard the whole conversation, flew into a rage and hissed at her husband. “What do you think you’re doing?! The rice and chicken, and especially the spices, are very expensive. We spent a lot of money on buying the stuff. How can you just give it away for free??!!"

“But dear woman, he is a monk. I cannot take anything from him. Plus, I don’t think he carries any money with him.”

“I don’t care. I cannot give it away for free.”

The inn-keeper reluctantly walked up to the monk with the heaped plate and told him shame-facedly “Oh good monk, please pardon me. But my wife is unwilling to give this dish away for free, as it cost us a lot to prepare. We would require payment for this.”

“But I do not have any money.”

“I understand, oh monk. Is there anything else you can give in exchange?”

The monk rummaged in his bag and pulled out the only thing he could bear parting with- his bottle of rum. He handed it over to the inn-keeper, who accepted it gratefully.

“Thank you, good old man. I hope you enjoy your meal.”

The monk took a bite. He closed his eyes and let the taste of the dish sink in. He seemed to be at peace. “This is delicious. Would you mind pouring me a bit of that rum too, dear inn-keeper?”

And that’s how the monk sold his rum. He passed on the recipe to the inn-keeper,who perfected the art of making it and named it after the person who has sold it to him. Old Monk Rum.

And that’s why, to this day, Chicken Biryani tastes best with a bit of Old Monk Rum.

P.S:- No offence to monks, sages, any community, religion, or class of people. I request you to take this with a pinch of salt and a plateful of yummy Biryani.

*To know the actual story, kindly go Google it up. And send me a link if you find it.*

Dedicated to a certain somebody for introducing me to the Old Monk.

*Images courtesy Google.

September 26, 2011

Breaking up...

I hesitated. I was not sure if I wanted to do this.

I mean, it’s not like this was my first time. I had done it once before. So I knew what it felt like.

But a lot of time had passed between then and now, and I wasn’t sure if I could do it again. What if I didn’t like it? What if I got paranoid in between? What if the voices in my head didn’t shut up?

I had heard from others who had done it that it was difficult, but they had felt good at the end of it.

I was afraid of what I was going to lose. I wasn’t willing to think of what I would gain.

Me: Yes, I want to do this.

Efbee: But why?! Is it something I did??

Me: Yes, and no. I cannot deny the good times I’ve had with you. You brought a new light into my life. But I’ve reached a point where I don’t find you interesting anymore. And yet, I can’t seem to let go. I’m weirdly addicted to you. When I think of you, I’m reminded of the song “With or without you” by U2.

Efbee: Let’s work on it! I’m sure we can still be together! Please!

Me: No, I need a break from you. I need some time and space. I need to get away from the whole world and be by myself for a while. I may or may not come back to you. But right now, I know this is what I want.

Efbee: Are you sure?

Me: Yes, I am. I have thought about it for a while. I know it’s not going to be easy. But I’ve made up my mind. I want to do it.

Efbee: But… I thought your entire life revolved around me!! That you couldn’t live without me!! Remember, you had told that night, that you could not imagine a life without me. What happened to all that??!!

Me: My life?? What sort of a life is this? I’m sick and tired of playing it safe! I’m tired of being afraid to do what I want! I’m tired of the whole world!

Efbee: But.. I’ve changed!! I’m better now! I’m more interesting now. And I’m trying everything possible to keep you in my life forever. I’ve brought you closer with your friends even! I need you! Don’t you understand that?!

Me: No, you don’t need me. If I leave, someone else will take my place. There are many others who are addicted to you, just the way I am. Maybe they don’t have a problem with that sort of an addiction, but I can’t handle it anymore. I’m just one tiny little person. You’ll survive. You’ll live. You don’t need me for that.

Efbee: Will you at least think about it? About coming back to me after a break?

Me: Yes…

Efbee: Alright then.. I’ll miss you.. you really are special to me..

It was time to end this.. it was time to move on. Delaying this any further was only going to make it tougher for me to leave. It was better to do it quickly, like ripping off a Band-aid. In one swift motion. Quick and painless.
With a deep sigh, I clicked on the “Deactivate your account” button.

September 20, 2011

Happy Mother's Day, Shree

Has it really been that long, Sree, since we first met? 7 years?

Has it been seven years since that day, my first day at college, a month after the rest of you had joined because I had my compartment exam to clear, where I met you and the rest of the gang, and decided immediately that you were too snooty and hyper for my own good? I had looked at you through narrow, skeptical eyes, and then turned around to talk to someone else. This was college, not school. Choose your friends carefully, my parents had advised me.

But of course, it must’ve been Fate. Why else would I get the only seat remaining, which was right in front of yours? I had to endure one full day of your constant chatter from behind, with Neethu, Arun and Arjun contributing to it. I had figured out by now that you were THE Gang. By the end of the day, I had decided to sit somewhere else the next day. But the next day, all seats were taken and I had no choice but to go and sit in one corner of the side bench, with the other end occupied by Arun and Arjun. Remember how Shirley Ma’m then rearranged the seats, and somehow, you, me and Neethu ended up next to each other on the ‘side bench’? Who knew, that would be the beginning of one of the most special relationships of my life.

Has it really been that long since you welcomed me into the ‘gang’ wholeheartedly, and the squabbles that followed? Remember that day, we fought with those two and I took my bag and walked out of class? You and Neethu consoled me while I sat crying in the Ladies' restroom. It hadn’t taken me long to figure out that you and I were of the same type pretty much. We both liked to roam around the campus rather than sit in class during free periods. We both shared the same interest in the wonderful pastime called ‘vaayanokkal’. Remember how we used to call good-looking guys as ‘chaakara’? :) I can never look at fish again without bursting out laughing at that. Remember how we used to doze off during Yohanan Sir’s Hindi class? Of course, was it our fault that they kept it right after lunch break? I still remember the look on Sir’s face when he handed out our half-yearly exam answer sheets and saw that we had scored above 70. The girls who paid the least attention in his class had scored such decent marks! I hope your students don’t fall asleep like that in your class. :) I wish I could go back one more time and sit with you in the chapel- so peaceful, so calm. The perfect place to hide when we wanted to bunk classes. And we used to promptly go and break the tranquility by our giggly whispers.

Remember how we used to bug Neethu in YG’s class, making her sit in between the two of us and pulling at her bra strap? :D God, if it had been anyone else, they would’ve given up on us long back. I wonder how our sweet little Annama put up with us. And how you put up with me- your cranky, temperamental best friend who was confused about a lot of things and had a penchant for messing up not only her own, but others’ lives too.

But you did not judge me. You did not give up on me. Yes, you laughed with me, consoled me when I cried. But when you saw me going down the wrong path, you also reprimanded me. And you stood up for me when I had failed to do it for myself. You were like a lioness guarding her cub, lashing back at anyone who spoke against me. When I had got lost somewhere in between, you brought me back. And our excursion, remember? That was the first time you ever got upset with me and ignored me. Till then, I had not realized how much you meant to me. But I could not bear the thought that you could be angry with me over something, even though the fault was entirely mine. Why did you punish me, Sree? Why did you make me cry? Maybe because you understood that it was the only way to make me see things for what they were. And you were right, whatever be the method you chose. I don’t know what I would have done without you.

You know what I want to do the most right now? Go to Minus 24 with you, order one Slush each, Orange for you and Mango for me, and sit there for hours together, gossiping, laughing, checking out the scarce pasture, and basically being carefree. Remember how you used to accompany me on those special meetings? Then we would go to Style Plus and shop for absolutely nothing. And to the CCD in Kowdiar. Sit on that corner couch and waste away three-four hours, ordering the Cool Blue that looked so much like Harpic and was so cold that it froze our tongues, turning it blue, and gave us a headache.

I don’t talk so much on the phone these days. I don’t like to, I get bored after 5-10 minutes. But I miss talking to you twice a day, minimum half an hour each, during the study holidays, discussing anything but studies. Remember how we used to strike a deal? “One call you make, the next time, I’ll call.” I pestered mom and dad to get me an Airtel connection saying that call rates to other Airtel numbers would be less, so I won’t use the landline to call you. I used to end up messaging you, calling you from the cell, and then again call you from the landline to check whether you got my message or not and why you missed my call. What a pain I was, no? And I still remember calling you at midnight, petrified, scared out of my wits and emotionally drained. But you heard me out. You consoled me and told me to go to sleep, more so because you yourself wanted to sleep. :) I really missed you in the last two years, when, you know, all that crap happened.

You know how I like to correct others’ grammar, don’t you? But it doesn’t give me as much pleasure as it used to when I pulled your ear and you yelped out “Ok ok!! HAVE to, not WANT to. Got it!!!”, muttering abuses at me under your breath. Do you do that to your students now? :) Every time I get into a bus, I remember how we used to sit on the side seat in a bus and create a ruckus, so much that by the time we got down, the rest of the passengers heaved a rather audible sigh of relief.

Has it really been that long? Today, when my phone pinged the arrival of your husband’s message “Sreedevi and me blessed with a baby boy”, my eyes filled up. I could not contain my joy. My dear Sree, who only I have the license to call ‘Shree’, had become a mother. You, who used to roam around the city with me, checking out guys and eating mutton cutlet and French fries at Oasis in Saphalyam Complex, had become a mother. At an age where I still can’t handle the idea of marriage, you had actually gone through labour pains and brought a tiny little person into the world. My love and respect for you has just multiplied. I know we have grown a little apart from each other over time, what with being in different states and jobs and, in your case, a husband and all, but each time I call you, it’s as though we just spoke last night about catching a movie the next day or complaining about the stupid essayists who’re ruining our sleep.

Congrats, brand-new mommy. You have a lot on your hands now. You have a new person to look after. Just don’t forget that this friend of yours loves you a lot, and still wishes to go back in time and relive those carefree days, when we never ran out of topics to talk about and missed each other even on weekends. I hope your little bundle of joy brings as much happiness into your life as you brought into mine.

God bless you, my dear. My dear Shree…

September 16, 2011

Nailed it!

Did you see read this piece of news?

World record for longest nails.

That's not a record! That's just bad hygeiene!!!

How?? And more importantly, WHY???

How does she eat?
How does she cook?
How does she chop?
How does she wash her hands?
How does she wipe herself after doing potty?
How does she apply kajal?
How does she brush her hair without getting the nails entangled in the bristles?
How does she scratch her chin thoughtfully?
How does she scratch anywhere at all?
What does she bite when she gets nervous?
How many bottles of nail polish must she be buying just for one time of painting?
How does she scratch her husband's back during you-know-what to show that they were lost in the throes of ecstacy?

How??? And why???

And the worst part is, she's not the first one out there. Sigh... WHat all people do to create records...


P.S 1:- I complete a year at my current job today. So far, the itch hasn't surfaced (well, at least not too strongly). Let's hope it stays that way. (Crossing all fingers and toes. Not too hard to do, since I don't have 10 km-long nails.)

P.S 2: WHY is everyone making such a big deal out of the Miss.India not bringing home the Miss.Universe title? You win some, you lose some. Give the girl a break! It's not like Neha Dhupia or Celina Jaitley won at the international level. Is it just because she's a Southie? She must be depressed enough as it is for not winning. The media should stop humiliating her like this. She'll probably be earning more in a year's time modelling and acting than these so-called journalists who are trashing her.

September 15, 2011

"Hi, I'm Crazy. And you are...?"

You know what else is cool these days, other than IIT-IIM-graduates-turned-authors and Lord ‘the dude’ Shiva?


Ya. People seem to love to come across as crazy, insane, whacky etc etc.. Anything but normal and sane.

When did it become fashionable to be a loony?

On social networking sites and blogs, people love to describe themselves as crazy, mad, insane, one-screw-loose types. I have done that too. Spoken and written about the crazy side of me. Still continue to do so...

I was going through a blog sometime back. The writer had described herself as ‘sensitive, intelligent, well-read’, etc. The first thing that came to my mind is “What’s wrong with her??” and not “That’s nice to hear. Let me read her blog.”

Has it really become THAT abnormal to be normal?

I mean, seriously. Wasn’t there a time when people wanted to come across as well-behaved; girls dreamt about guys who are kind, help in house-work, don’t mind picking up groceries; guys looked for a girl who was sweet, beautiful, was capable of feeling shy, did house-work, was polite to in-laws etc. But now, everyone wants the crazies! And wants to be one too! Like one of my friends said “To each person, his or her friends are the craziest”. Girls go for guys who dress differently and are rebels, because they come across as crazy. Guys fall for girls who smoke and drink, have belly-button piercings and have no qualms about cussing, better still if she can’t cook (and is proud of it) again because they’re different.

Really, when did it all start?

I'm not talking about the clinical condition. That's nothing to be mocked at. I'm talking about the 'forced' craziness. Or maybe 'adopted' craziness.

Has ‘different’ become synonymous with ‘crazy’ now? And has ‘crazy’ become synonymous with ‘cool’?

No offence to anyone, trust me. Just wondering… Maybe you could give me some answers.

(Images courtesy Google and a bit of Powerpoint editing)

September 14, 2011

Two Five

My biggest achievement on my 25th birthday- I replied to each and every person who wished me on Facebook.

That means that either I’m a very sweet person, or that I’m utterly jobless. You pick.

So ya, in case you didn’t know, I turned 25 on the 12th of September.

(I’m actually acknowledging my age on a public forum. Man, have I grown up or what…)

And it was a wonderful birthday. It began at midnight with three of the best people in my life, along with the yummiest cheesecake and wine. Sounds more like Christmas than a birthday no? There was no smearing of cake thankfully, mainly because there was no cream on the cake, but also because it was just too yummy to be wasted away in cake-facial. Got calls and messages, wishing me a happy birthday. The monkeys from school didn't give me the usual conference call at midnight to wsh me, but it's ok. Since it's them, I can let it go. Also got an unexpected mail from a blogger buddy, wishing me. Thank you, Atrocious Scribblings! :)

Last night, my friends and I went for the b’day dinner. A continental place called Urban Asia, obviously my choice because I LOVE Chinese and Thai food. But the main reason I picked the place was because the colour scheme of the place is purple and black. :D

It was one of my best birthdays ever. Yummy food, amazing margaritas (tried it for the first time, and now I’m hooked), live music playing, and the people I call my family in Hyderabad around me. I was surrounded by love and goodwill. And someone very special went up to the live music counter and sang for me. I couldn’t have asked for anything more. Really.

So… the big Two Five. Quite a milestone, huh? It is for me (remember my fixation with multiples of five?). It’s been quite an adventure. I’ve had my share of down’s, but the up’s more than made up for it. I’ve learnt lessons the hard way, lessons that I will never ever forget. Like:-

1) Only if you do what you like, will you like what you do. My tryst with science in the 11th and 12th standard taught me this. In one way, I’m glad I got compartment in my Physics paper in the 12th boards. Otherwise, I would’ve gone ahead and taken up engineering. And if I had done that, I STILL would be writing back papers.

2) If I can learn how to cycle at age 21, I can do pretty much anything else in my life, if I put my mind to it.

3) If you can fall in love, be ready to accept the possibility that you can fall out of love too.

4) Never plan your life so immaculately and so far into the future, that when suddenly things fall apart, you are left stranded and lost. Till two years ago, I had the next five-six years of my life planned. And then… then all the plans unraveled, and my life was a big question mark. I didn’t know where to go, what to do. I decided then that I will not plan so much. I will live each day as it comes, and the most I’m going to plan is the dinner for the day or a movie for the next day. That’s all. So far, it’s working out fine for me. Ya, sometimes I feel direction-less. But I have faith in God and in myself. He has a plan for me, and things will happen when it's the correct time.

5) NOTHING in life is permanent. Be ready to accept that. Someone who calls you beautiful today might call you ugly tomorrow. You’ll just have to deal with it and get on with your life.

6) Mobile phones and internet can be a pain at times. Sometimes it’s nice to be totally disconnected with the world.

7) Give your all to your job. But not so much that you forget to have a life outside of your office. Sometimes, you need to choose money and convenience, and a life, over passion.

8) Money is a dangerous thing. It can break human relations to the point where it cannot be repaired ever again. But then again, some relations are better left unrepaired.

9) No matter what you feel about them, your family is your biggest support. EVER. Don’t ever forget that. They will surprise you with the kind of understanding they can show when you least expect it. You can yell at them, fight with them, push them away, but they will still love you. Unconditionally.

10) If you have a handful of good friends, who will stick by you no matter what, it is a sin to even ask for anything more in life. iPhones will come, Mercedes’ will go. But friends will stay.

I leave you with a quote from one of God’s greatest gift to mankind- Calvin and Hobbes. Bill Watterson, you are THE ultimate.

“Life is like topography, Hobbes. There are summits of happiness and success, flat stretches of boring routine, and valleys of frustration and failure.”

I’m somewhere between a summit and a valley as of now…and yet, I’m strangely at peace. Maybe age does that to you.

Happy birthday, Divya. Time you started acting 25 rather than 2+5.

September 13, 2011

The Empty Head

People, have you met Kalpak yet?

Please go over and say hi.

One part of me wants to stab him and kill him for being so damn funny, but that part is pushed away by the one that is crying out of laughter.

Damn you, Kalpak!! I'm still more sarcastic than you are!! Hmmpph!!

September 8, 2011

Undetectable Extension Charm*-ed

A guy’s wallet
Cash, a photo of mummy-daddy/girlfriend/wife/best friends/god/self, one or two receipts, ID/credit/debit/visiting cards, a condom (or so I've heard), .

A woman’s handbag
Wallet(with cash, cards, passport-size photos, five years-old train ticket, an old sim card, corrupted memory card, an earring without its pair, keys to desk, photos of gods) , emergency sanitary napkin, bank passbook, cheque book, phone charger, headphones, a small diary, big diary, notepad, an audio cd, two pens, old phone that doesn’t work anymore, two hairclips, a hairband, toothbrush, hand sanitizer, soap strips, kajal, moisturizer, shampoo sachet, wet wipes, hair serum, spectacles case, lip balm, a pack of tissues, a stole, handkerchief, foldable hairbrush with mirror, ID card, a small idol of Lord Ganesha, papers of undefined usage, Disprin tablets, umbrella, house keys, another small purse with visiting cards and letters.

Or maybe it’s just my bag…

*Remember this, from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows?

September 7, 2011

What I needed was a mind-guard

In every person’s life, there comes a moment of epiphany- a moment where you realize that all what you’ve believed in, had faith in- the very basis of all that is shaken to the core.

For me, that moment came on Monday night, somewhere around 10:15 PM, when I saw a jet of water from a pipe ripping apart Salman Khan’s shirt in ‘Bodyguard’.

I’m yet to recover from that fiasco, so pardon me if I trail off in between.

The first time you use a story for a movie, you USE it. The second time you use it, for a remake in Tamil, you RE-USE it. The third time, it’s outright ABUSE. How else can you justify a movie like Bodyguard?

True, it has Sallu Bhai in it, which itself should be enough to make a hit. But unfortunately, for me, it’s not. I clapped and yay-ed when he appeared on screen the first time, I clapped and yay-ed when he beat up the villains, I clapped and yay-ed whenever he cracked a joke. And then I clapped and yay-ed that FINALLY the movie was over.

Ok, let’s be fair. Let’s see both sides of the coin.

The tolerable part
Salman Khan:- He has acted well, if not outstanding. His innocent-bordering-on-dumb Lovely Singh is endearing, and he’s been portrayed as not just an action figure, but also a romantic. That works. To an extent. After a point, watching him walk as though he’s got boils under his arms is a little tiresome, but still, it’s Sallu, so a little bit of pardon and all we can give no?

He has been styled well. But he has pretty much only one expression on his face all throughout, and even when he smiles, he looks like he’s in pain. And in his introductory song, where he does that step with his biceps, it seriously looks like he’s sniffing his underarms for body odour.

Kareena Kapoor looks beautiful. I’m considering selling my laptop and buying some of those kurtas and accessories she’s worn in the movie. Her acting is ok, but her looks make up for it. And I would love to know how you can wake up in the morning with every hair still in place.

The comedy is ok. It works in the first half. The fatso Tsunami Singh’s act is funny at first, but gets irritating as the plot progresses. His graffiti t-shirts are superb.

The kid. Very cute. And not too irritating, like most kids in films are.

The ‘WTF!!!’s.
The blatant advertising at every point, be it Sony Vaio or Blackberry, it’s just in your face all the time. Ugh!!

The story is quite weak. The villains’ reason for vengeance is quite weak, and Aditya Pancholi appearing with kajal in his eyes doesn’t help at all. Neither does it help that he sends a remote-controlled helicopter as a weapon. Seriously, dude?

The best friend suddenly changing her mind is baffling. Why?? Nowhere in the rest of the movie did she display feelings of any sort for him, then suddenly why? Even after the other bad guy had walked off, she still could’ve explained. Did Lovely Singh’s six-pack suddenly turn her on that she changed her mind? And Jesus!! Please stop throwing expensive mobile phones out of trains yaar!! Ever heard of something called a ‘switch off’ button??

Just because Kareena is wearing Kurtas all through the movie, they put one romantic song towards the end (Teri Meri) where she’s wearing bras (or was it a blouse? Who can tell…) and barely-there sarees and showing off her skin. I liked her traditional avatar much better.

Salman Khan digging the diary out of the kachra dabba on the railway station (they don’t show him actually digging it out, but it’s understood). Chi chi chi!!! And how on earth did he finish reading the diary, which explains the entire story of the movie, in two-three minutes?

I could’ve done so many better things with my 150 bucks. Sigh..

Oh and did you know, item numbers are these days known as ‘Friendly Appearance’? That’s how Katrina Kaif has been credited. Ya, right.

Even if you classify it as a masala entertainer, it fails to impress. Songs are ok, with the light-hearted “I love you” being my pick of the lot. There was really no need for “Desi Beats”, and “Teri Meri” has nothing extraordinary about it. The title track is good, hummable and dance-able.

I hope the director is not planning this in one more language. Dear god, I hope not. That’ll be rape.

The most interesting thing in the movie? Lovely’s mobile phone ringtone. I wonder where I can download it.

My score- 4/10.

What say you, people?

(Images courtesy Google)

September 4, 2011

Another one bites the dust...

I'm back from my very short, miss-it-if-you-blink-or-sneeze vacation home. I couldn't eat as much fish I wanted to, didn't watch as much TV as I had planned to, didn't bug mom and dad to my heart's desire and didn't stay awake till 4 in the morning and wake up by noon every single day. Couldn't fleece my sister out of all her money (ya, she's like my personal bank. She and dad), and dind't roam around the city till midnight with my friends, riding around our old school and getting all nostalgic.

But all said and done, it was good to be home.

Celebrated my dad's 60th b'day (which was in July) in a small way, met my mental friends, got sloshed with them and danced till the wee hours of the morning (which left me with a sore throat for the rest of the trip- apparently, laughing and talking too loud does that to you. Who knew!), attended two weddings (the wedding season is on in Kerala. My parents are going crazy trying to attend all of them, sometimes two in a day. God, give them the energy please), one of which was our best friend's. Have known each other since the 4th standard.

When you've known a person that long, it's hard to imagine them getting married, and much harder to actually WATCH them get married. Most of my best friends are getting married now, but still, it's hard to digest.I could hardly believe that the beautiful bride in the red pattu sari was actually the same girl I've seen in the school uniform with two pigtails, the one I sat next to in class for pretty much all my school-life, the one I've copied Chemistry test-papers and assignments from, the one who I used to sit and giggle with in the middle of the night when we were supposed to be doing 'combined study'. The same girl I used to bunk classes with to go for 'dance practise' and make excuses to skip Mass P.T on saturdays. She had lived in my apartment building for a few years, and everyone in the building peeped out when I used to yell out 'Meeeeeeeeeraaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa' from the fourth floor down to the second floor. We had this vicious circle going on when one of us caught a cold. One of us would get it, pass it on to the other, and by the time the first person gets over it, the other would have passed it back. And since we refused to sit anywhere other than beside each other, this would go on for at least a month. She's also been a complete and total snob at times and we've fought like crazy. She's still a snob and an ass, but we fight less. ;) She fought tooth-and-nail to spend the rest of her life with the guy she loves, and the happiness and triumph was written all over her face on her wedding day. For me, it was as though I had gone to watch yet another dance performance of hers (She's an excellent dancer. Has been dancing even before she could barely walk).

Dear Maari, I wish you and Hari a lifetime of happiness and love. But please keep in mind that for me, you will always be the girl I sat next to in class and copied from during test papers and giggled the most with. Also keep in mind that since you're going to be in the U.S from now, I will be really really really looking forward to your visits home. Only if you bring me everything on the list I sent you.

P.S 1:- Please don't hesitate to send me a ticket to come visit you whenever you miss me terribly. The more frequent, the better. For my Visa interview, I shall say that you're my lesbian partner, and since we're frowned upon in India, we're going to get married in the U.S. Zimble.

P.S 2:- Please don't make Hari feel bad about the fact that you love me more than him. We all know that's the truth, but still, don't let the poor guy feel inferior about it. Instead, make him understand that some truths just have to be accepted for what they are, without question.

P.S 3:- Love you.