nottuB nimajneB hctaw ot em koot ti sruoh flah a dna owt eht ni sraey derdnuh a dega evah I
December 30, 2008
Ok! If there are any readers left, could someone please help me with this? I cannot find ideal all-purpose rice in Bangalore. By all purpose, I just mean stuff I can use for making boiled rice as well as the occasional pulao. I don't want basmati, because we eat rice frequently and basmati seems to be really unhealthy, and I don't want red/parboiled rice etc. either, because they don't work for us on a daily basis. (Palak dal with white rice: your average living-on-the-edge-with-a-safety-jacket diet).
For a long time, I just picked the Rs29.50/kg rice from the local Foodworld shelf (dumb ole me did not even check the name! I am the reason Gainda phenyl and Ship matches have amazing brand value! 29.50 rice indeed!) Now the inflation ruined everything and I cannot find the same rice. It might also be because Foodworld is on a mission to ruin my happiness on every possible level, but that's another story.
So I'm trying out various kinds of rice, and I invariably end up picking up Sona Masuri under different names and prices. And boy, when that rice boils, it smells….well, not very vegetarian (neither set of parents is gonna visit soon, my sixth sense tells me). Also, the pulaos and khichdis turn out quite flat.
So that's that. Any help is welcome. Preferably with some idea on where I can get the rice, and of course, no expensive solutions please!
December 26, 2008
December 15, 2008
चाहें baby हो या granny, औरत तू है मंगल गृहणी
घर में मरनी कुछ णा कैणी, औरत तू है मंगल गृहणी
खाना बरतन झाडू पोछा... इनसे आगे कभी न सोचा
हंस के यह ज़ंजीरें पैणी, औरत तू है मंगल गृहणी
सास का झाडू, पति के पेटी, माँ की गाली खाती बेटी
किसी से अपनी पीड न कैणी, औरत तू है मंगल गृहणी
December 12, 2008
December 05, 2008
At Gangaram's, MG Road, Bengaluru. 10 minutes before closing time.
Man with chit of paper in his hand: Do you have this book….expecting fathers…
World's least interested saleswoman: What?
Man: Expecting fathers….
Saleswoman: Fiction or non-fiction
Man: Non fiction
Me: cough cough splutter splutter
December 03, 2008
The road to office is lined with bakras and bakris who're having a street party. They must be quite surprised at the sudden change in their fortune. Green goodies are being flung at them regularly and they're chomping away, merrily one assumes, since their expressions don't give much away. Perhaps their parents/cousins went to the city last year for the party. They were never heard from again.
If there were a way to keep a goat in a 1-bedroom apartment and prevent it from eating up your worldly belongings while you were at work, I'd have bought one today.
November 30, 2008
I have a new business plan. I'm going to be an AutoYogi. After over two years in Bengaluru, where the roads are rivers of yellow and black, I'm close to mastering the art of coping with autorickshaws. I can definitely whip up an audio-learning course with basic breathing exercises to tackle the stress of meters that tick a bit too fast, and the anxiety caused by a long string of autos that refuse to take you to your destination without extracting your day's salary. Available in mp3/mp4/wma/wtf and downloadable off the iTunes store.
Almost burst into tears when the Bharatbala rendition of the national anthem (the Siachen version) played in the cinema hall yesterday. I thought I was numb to it all.
Meanwhile India's battles against itself continue on the roads, where yesterday a non-Kannadiga passenger, obviously fleeced by her burly auto driver, was involved in a huge bye-lingual (two people speaking to each other in languages the other doesn't understand, so that they could as well bid communication bye bye) argument. The girl lost her cool finally and yelled at him: "Don't talk in that phonetic language!"
Bharat bhagya vidhaata…
November 27, 2008
November 25, 2008
November 23, 2008
I is shlightly bishy and alsho shlightly tipshy becosh of liqueur chocolate that turned out to be not so subtle after all.
Big things are happening, or threatening to happen, so the blog is suffering. Thankfully it does not get cobwebby like the windows, fungussy like the balcony floor, or overridden with flying insects like Foodworld rice. So it's gonna be neglected some more.
November 04, 2008
Early this morning
Me: Wake up! I made tea for us!
Me: It's getting cold!
Me: Look! Obama is winning!
He: Yay! Coming, coming!
By the way, what is "Change We Need" supposed to mean? It doesn't seem to make grammatical sense. Is it a corruption of The Change We Need? Or perhaps it is an excerpt from Yoda Speak: "Spent beyond our means we have. Around our heads our stocks crashing are. Change we need."
October 21, 2008
Have become addicted to about 10 new blogs, which leaves me with no time or inclination to post on my own. Also going through a bad patch in the vocation department, and my facial screensaver is set to grumpy-grouchy.
Must list ten good things about life right now, to cheer up self:
- Amazing Bangalore weather
- Doting Husband
- Wise Sister
- Google Talk
- Air Tickets to Delhi (to be with parents)
- Upcoming Diwali holiday
- Chocolate desserts at Barista and Coffee Day
- Access to movies
This list is in no particular order, of course!
October 17, 2008
Since you and I are both too militant for me to observe today's fast, let's just be careful to avoid accidents etc. Knowing your propensity for dreaming up stories and writing code in your head while you walk, I dedicate this song to you:
Babuji dheerey chalna
Karwa chauth pe gir na padnaa
Haan badey bhookey hain
Badey bhookey hain is raat mein
P.S.: With all due respect to the fasting ladies. Wish you and your loved ones a long and happy life.
October 16, 2008
Remember how in the good ole days, when your mobile phone was lying next to your computer, the computer screen used to go all weird about two seconds before a call came? That no longer seems to happen! What has changed? The computers, the handsets, or the micro-waves???? Most puzzling!
October 10, 2008
पाँव थके तो हैं पर दीवाने भी तो हैं
जहाँ नहीं हैं रस्ते वहां बनाने ही तो हैं
उस धुंधली सुबह से जो वादे किए थे
चाँद डूबने से पहले निभाने भी तो हैं
तो चल के यह हसीं मंज़र तेरी मंज़िल नहीं
इस मोड़ तक आके जो रुक जाए वोह तेरा दिल नहीं
कुछ दूर अभी है अंजाम तेरे इस सफर का
ओ बाँवरे भंवर यह तेरा साहिल नहीं …
October 01, 2008
(The drop down list, of course contains two more years: 3909 and 3910.)
I don't think it is year 3908 according to some non-Gregorian calendar, unless they're also one day-of-the-week behind for some reason. It simply means that all hotels in Prague are full till Kingdom come, although there might be limited vacancy for the week before.*Not going there anytime soon. I was window shopping for a vacation. Is that so bad?
September 29, 2008
Right between Johnny Johnny Yes Papa (moral: Lie all you want and get away with a big smile) and Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew (moral: students in the West have an awful lot of spare time), there is this stage when every kid reads cutesy stories with hardcore morals in them. Some memorable morals are that in all Russian families, there are 3 sons and the youngest one is the most kind, intelligent and forgiving, small animals are kinder than large animals, demons are vanquished by the cute and not the brave, and anyone with three kids is either gonna die and leave them squabbling, or face a lot of sorrow in life.
I read an awful lot of moral stories too, but the one that probably defined my attitude to life was an unfortunate little book, of which, for some inexplicable reason, we had two copies at home. Probably some wise kid, not realizing she was inviting two sisters to her party, gave us both the same book as a return gift… there is really no other explanation.
Now in my ripe old age, the title of the book has escaped the zoo of my mind, but the story was roughly this: there's a barnyard in which there are many little animals, and they're all hungry, so Mother Hen says let's bake some cakes… I now wonder where barnyard animals got their fascination for processed food from, but at the time, hen-made cakes sounded like a good idea. So she and her kids gather some grains, and nobody wants to help them….she asks some random critter to thresh the grain, and he flat out refuses. She approaches someone else to knead the dough, and they make excuses; for baking again, nobody helps and she makes it herself…ultimately, the hen and her babies do everything, and the cakes are ready. Now almost-ready cakes give off this nice cakey smell, even those made by hens…..so all the barnyard critters are sooper excited and run up saying hooray let's have a cake party!
And then comes the masterstroke: Mother Hen tells them all to bugger off and has a party with just her kids! No being nice to lazy asses! No being charitable! Pure, unadulterated, triple refined, iodized justice! I dunno if the book was intended to teach me the steps of baking or the basics of the English language…what it entrenched deeply into my kiddie brain was that if you're working your ass off, what you get out of it belongs to you.
And therefore, despite spending 14 years in a school that made kids have debates on topics like"which is better: sharing & caring OR loving & giving?" I am a staunch believer in earning and keeping.
September 28, 2008
Since nobody else is updating this blog, I'll just have to do it myself, won't I? Huh!
With the new long working hours, I feel like a machine. All my waking hours at home are occupied by non-voluntary activities, and that makes me mad. Never ever have I sat in one place for as long as people expected me to. I like to think I work faster than most, and can finish most exams in half the time allotted for them. I also rarely have problems meeting deadlines, so I think I deserve and extra star, or atleast the flexibility of leaving when I am done. The school teachers who did not let me leave after I finished my paper were plagued with the crashing sound of my sketch-pen-castle collapsing in a silent exam hall, or elaborate drawings on the question paper, which they had to scan for "cheating" material embedded into the artwork. I am still thinking about how I can make an entire office miserable so that they'll let me go home. It's tough.
September 15, 2008
One night last week, a bunch of people stopped us at the Brigade Road-Residency Road junction around 9pm. The group of two men, two women (in bright pink saris) and two kids (ten and one) asked us for some money for food, since they had not eaten for a while. In my usual Dilli ki Bandit Queen style, I walked past without paying attention, but the darling Husband stopped to listen. He offered to take them to a restaurant instead of giving them money. The only place we knew of nearby was closed, so we walked up Brigade Road to a shady-ish place. They sat down and we ordered Dal, Sabji and Kerala Parotas (is that how it's spelt?) The Husband paid up the bill and we waited for the food to arrive.
Ten minutes later, there was no sign of the food, and knowing we had a long walk ahead of us, we were keen to leave. However, Cynical old me was convinced this was a scam and right after we left, the folks we brought in would leave too, either with half the money from the restaurant manager, or without anything, coz they'd get thrown out of the place. So we decided to step out and stand in a place from where nobody in the restaurant could see us, and watch what happens.
As I had suspected, barely ten seconds after we stepped out, a guy from the restaurant came out, saw us, appeared to walk past, made a call, stared at us again, and then went and sat on the nearby steps. We stood our ground for a few more minutes, and then walked past the restaurant again. This time, we saw the waiter laying plates on the table. No food was in sight still. The spy was still sitting on the steps, looking at us.
We gave up and walked back home. We'd like to believe everyone was honest, the folks got fed, and the spy guy was probably doing something else. But I think the reason we walked away is because we sort of knew that would not be the case…
September 07, 2008
So after the grand success of the marriage registration, we moved on to step 2, getting each other's name added to our bank accounts. The husband took the initiative, and we submitted our papers one Sunday to ABN AMRO (Pronounced Yeh Bhi Hain. Aa Maro!). Fifteen days, two visits and many phonecalls later, we were told that no such request has been received. As I sat in the waiting area playing City Bloxx on the phone, the bank lady (there's only one person in the branch on Sundays, and employees take turns to do the Sunday shift) had the following conversation with my husband.
Sir, who did you hand over the form to?
One of your staff members, she was sitting in this same seat. You must have records of who did the Sunday duty on Aug 24.
What did she look like?
Umm…medium built, no spectacles….(my wife is sitting right here you idiotic woman….)
Did she have long hairs? Like till here? (pointing to hip)
(most uncomfortable) I think her hair was long…
Only one girl has the long hairs in our office, rest all have short hairs (this girl herself had fairly long hair, by the way)
I can surely recognize her if I see her…Do you have photos of all your employees? I can tell you right away!
No sir… but did she look like she was from here… was she pertaining to Bangalore?
Umm..er…maybe she was from here…yes
Oh then it must be XYZ!
Yeah I don't know her name….the next week on Tuesday she was sitting there (pointing to reception)
Oh PQR! You gave the form to PQR!
I have lost all hope of ever getting my golden debit card from here. The husband is also quite shaken, and we are thinking of shifting to HDFC (yeh chadhi, yeh phansi) or ICICI (Hai! Syaahi Syaahi!) bank. If you are pertaining to Bangalore and are knowing of any bank with equal hair length employees who may or may not work on Sundays but who do not lose forms, please let me know!
September 03, 2008
August 16, 2008
Here's a guide for those who are temporarily living in Bangalore and are trying to get their already-solemnised Hindu marriage registered.
- A copy of your wedding card. Make sure it's not tacky looking, because that arouses suspicion.
- Photographs of your wedding: 2-3 showing you guys at various stages of the ceremony should do. Make sure you have one with both sets of parents in it. If the parents are looking happy, it proves that they are not absent from the registration venue because they are mad at you, just because they're not in Bangalore.
- Five photographs of the two of you in size 2B. This is a mythical size that is not explained on the Internet, and is perceived differently by photo studios and registrar offices. A 2 by 3 inch size is ok, you can cut it smaller right there if needed.
- Proof of age. A tenth class certificate is good. A passport is also good, but causes problems if your address there is your permanent address from your hometown, and not Bangalore. Go with the school certificate.
- Proof of residence: This is the tricky one. Lease deeds don't work. Mobile bills don't work. Private bank statements don't work. The jury is still out on national bank statements. The usual suspects: passport, driving license, gas bill, ration card, voter ID all work, but I am guessing they are all marked with "back home" addresses for many of us. Loan receipts and Airtel fixed line bills have worked at one office each, but don't bank on it.
- There's also a form to fill which is available online. Print it back-to-back, else it's invalid. Even then, some offices have a different version of form, and that requires witness signatures in two places instead of one, so it's just safer to get the form from these folks.
- You'll need three witnesses to sign, and it's better - though not compulsory - to have at least one relative of the bride or groom do this. The witnesses need not be present at the time of registration.
- Take a pair of scissors, a fine felt-tip pen (for signing on photos), a gel pen, a ballpoint pen, a stapler, and a glue stick along. Helps a lot!
Where this will happen: At the sub-registrar's office. Each area has one assigned, and you can do it in the area where you live, or, if you got married in Bangalore, in the area in which you got married. The complete list is available at: www.karigr.org . It's ok to call up any one of the less busy ones during office hours (Mon-Fri 10:30 to 5:30, Sat 10:30-1:30) and find out the phone number of the one you need to go to. They're helpful, and will put you across to someone who knows English if you're Kannada-challenged. It might even help to pay a preliminary visit and have your documentation checked out when you go get a form.
Miscellaneous: I cannot go into too many details here, so I'll leave you with some pearls of wisdom.
Take a good, hard look at the person you've just married. Are you willing to go through endless days and nights of torture with him/her? I'm not talking about the life that lies ahead of you, just the registration process. Remember, after you have been through this ordeal, you will be unable, out of sheer exhaustion, to be able to divorce him/her for the next 100 years.
P.S. This blog is not ad-driven, so it's just out of zeal to help out others in my condition that I request you to click on this often, and share it with anyone who needs this info, so that it shows up in the early Google results and saves some folks a lot of time and worry.
August 15, 2008
- Take a kadhai and heat a tablespoon of oil in it.
- Add some chopped garlic or garlic paste
- Step back and shout four letter obscenities as the oil sputters angrily out of the kadhai.
- When the sputtering stops, add 75% of a 200ml tetrapak of tomato puree into the kadhai.
- Step further back and shout mother tongue obscenities as splotches of orange appear all over the walls and shelves when angry oil reacts with benign tomato water.
- Steps 3 and 5 can be avoided using a cover for the kadhai, but then what's the fun I say.
- Add salt and pepper to the puree, and cook it for some 7-8 minutes in all.
- Add finely chopped pieces of paneer (up to 250 grams should be good). Stir.
- Add 50 ml of milk. Stir.
- Add some fresh chopped coriander or some kasoori methi, let it all heat up nicely once, then switch off gas and cover and leave until you wanna eat it with hot hot ragi-and-atta chappatis.
*This quick-fix recipe has this unusual name because it was thought up while we were coming home after watching The Dark Knight, which finished at 9:40pm. (Fifty minutes later, we had finished dinner)
August 08, 2008
July 31, 2008
This morning I had my third quarrel with autowallahs in a row. It seems that the new 14-rupee meters have been successfully rigged en-masse. Now there are various opinions about haggling with autowallahs over fares, especially when the amount is so small, and it means so much more to them than to you, and all that sort of thing. So my rule is usually to pay up quietly for up to 15% rigging, argue at anything between 15-25%, and politely tell the autowallah that his meter is very, very obviously rigged and I am paying only what I pay everyday, if the hike is 25% plus. Only in the middle case does the autowallah shout at me, in Kannada of course (to ensure I feel like an encroacher and a cheat and an ignorant ass). So now I need to find a non-hypertension-inducing strategy to deal with this situation.
While on the subject of autos, there's this nice system in Bangalore where the autowallahs display their licenses on the back of their seats. Except the typist at the transport office often does not care for spacing and punctuation, and so I've had the pleasure of being driven by a CLINGARAJU and a TRAMESH. And yesterday, the auto ahead of mine read: "I must be dead because this is heaven and you are an angel". Which was nice, except our heaven was a traffic jam, and the angel, my autowallah, was honking like a maniac at the auto that bore the wonderful words. AND his meter was rigged. Sigh.
July 26, 2008
So it's official. The new Bangalore airport (henceforth BIAL) is falling pathetically short of space, not to mention the pain and expense of commuting for an hour at least. One of the solutions under consideration is opening up the old airport (HAL) for certain flights. Now my question is: Suppose you were to decide how the load is to be divided, what would you do?
There are three possibilities that I see:
- Budget airlines move to HAL: Lower airport taxes and commuting costs mean the cheap flight is cheap again. Or is it? Who'll want to fly Kingfisher from BIAL when Spice is leaving from their backyard? The business traveler loves luxury, but does he/she love waking up at 2:30 am for that 11 am meeting in Delhi? And again, if the demand for cheap tickets goes up, will the budget airlines raise prices and use this chance to come out of the red?
- Fancy airlines move to HAL: The corporate traveler wakes up at 6 now. The budget folk spend 1000 bucks on the taxi, 200 for airport food unless they pack their poori sagu along, and pay huge airport tax to fly. What the heck! I'll give that extra 1200 and then some to Kingfisher and fly outta HAL! (Another twist to the tale which I thought of was making the HAL people pay BIAL airport tax, and vice versa. Keeps BIAL tickets cheap as an incentive for those who have time at hand.)
- HAL operates flights only at peak times: Every airline has a primetime flight or two that leaves from HAL at a higher cost than from BIAL. If you have commuting issues, just pick from these. If the flights are sensibly spaced out, every airline gets to profit.
Would you vote for any of these? Do you have a better solution? Please post it here!
Unrelated: One of the Bangalore bombs went off at the end of my lane, exactly where I walk every morning on my way to work. Not so funny anymore.
July 25, 2008
With due respect to the blasted city, the media madness is a bit much. And you, TV Channel ki Dilli Billi, do you know what "normal traffic" even means in namma Bengaluru?
All the best to everyone. Hope the blasts achieve no more than they set out to do. These days, even that's a mercy.
July 22, 2008
Who grew on me like a blister
And I never ever missed ‘er
But now I need to stand in queue
For at least a day, sometimes two,
To hear “I, I M fine, how are u?”
Earlier she was a royal pest
Now she is always writing a test
They say growing up is for the best
But with me this does not register.
July 21, 2008
1. Link the person who tagged you
2. Mention the rules on your blog.
3. Tell 6 unspectacular quirks of yours
4. Tag 6 following bloggers by linking them
5. Leave a comment on each of the tagged bloggers' blog, letting them know that they have been tagged.
And here are the quirks:
1. I sleep with one ankle stuck between the big toe and first toe of the other foot. No clue why.
2. If the fan is switched on, I want it off. And vice versa.
3. I can wake up from a dream, sit up, drink water, maybe even go to the loo, come back, fall asleep and continue from where I left.
4. I cannot eat at a restaurant where the menu card is dirty.
5. I never voluntarily listen to western music, because I cannot catch the lyrics, and when I do, I regret it.
6. I forget what cataclysmic means five seconds after I check the dictionary. Every Time!
And I tag: Rash, Hyde, Ravinder, Wendigo, Ritu Di, Ankur Bhaiyya (whom Trinaa wanted to add but could not!)
July 19, 2008
July 10, 2008
जवानी* के वोह गाने जिन्हें रोज़ सुना करती थी।
बाज़ार, अभिमान, खामोशी तो सब आ गयीं
मासूम का CD कवर कम्बख्त खाली निकला।
* हाँ हाँ भाई अभी तो मैं जवान हूँ
(खूबसूरती का अपमान हूँ
जोडों के दर्द से परेशन हूँ
चार दिन की मेहमान हूँ
पर अभी तो मैं जवान हूँ :o)
June 27, 2008
June 25, 2008
Just thought I'd share my recipe for a desperate meal with anyone who cares to read! This is a "healthy" variation of the North Indian kadhi, fast to cook, and if the doting husband is to be believed, good to eat as well!
- In a heavy-bottomed pan (sounds so funny), heat a tablespoon of desi ghee.
- Add some mustard seeds, hing powder, red chili powder
- When the seeds pop and before the powders burn, add chopped garlic and curry leaves
- Before it all burns, add a medium-sized onion, sliced into thin moons.
- Before the onions burn, add half a big capsicum and one orange carrot cut into strips, and one drumstick chopped up.
- Stir stir stir, then add salt and cover. Let it simmer. Don't peek. I know it smells bad right now. Shh.
- Open a 400ml pack of Nestle dahi that is closer to its expiry date than its mfg date. Add two tablespoons of besan into the jar.
- Stir the besan into the dahi gently, without forming lumps and without spilling dahi all over the kitchen counter, floor, or the office clothes you have not had time to change out of.
- Wipe all the surfaces on which you have spilt the dahi.
- Add a bit of turmeric to the gooey mixture in the dahi jar.
- Try to convince the husband that this is a beauty pack and you could give him a facial.
- Now that the husband will no longer venture near the kitchen, continue with full concentration.
- The vegetables should be done in about 20 minutes. No need to check. I'm telling you! Also, this is all stuff you'd eat raw, so don't worry if it is undercooked.
- Add the dahi-besan-haldi beauty treatment goo into the heavy bottomed pan that the veggies have been using as a sauna.
- Rinse the jar with 200 ml water and put that water into the kadhi. Never waste anything.
- Stir the kadhi and cover and let simmer for about 20 minutes. When you bring it to a boil, the orangey tadka will rise to the surface.
- Taste to ensure that the besan does not taste raw. Have some raw besan for reference first if you dunno what you're looking for.
- Serve with rice. Two hungry DINKS who do not get snacks at work can finish this off. Would be enough for three civilized people otherwise.
* Etymology: Student from the English student: A person studying in England who has no inclination towards deep frying pakodis for kadhi, but still wants to eat this bachpan ki favorite dish. Kadhi from the Bollywood song "kadhi kadhi kya soch rahi hai chal ho jaayein nau do gyaarah, tan tana tan tan tan taara, chalti hai kya nau se baarah?"
June 23, 2008
Please translate the Bangla bits for me!
amar prothom dekha brishti-r jol-e
bhasiyechhi bhela khelar chhol-e
sei jol gechhe mishe, kon nodi-te
gechhe hariye kon sagar-e
majhi re, o majhi re,
dekhechho ki tumi tare?
majhi re, o majhi re,
dekhechho ki tumi tare?
nouko amar, chhele belar, kagoj-er...
amar prothom paoya aankar khata,
amar prothom lekha kobita,
sei chhelbelar, sopno hajar,
gechhe hariye kon sagar-e
majhi re, o majhi re,
dekhechho ki tumi tare?
majhi re, o majhi re,
dekhechho ki tumi tare?
nouko amar, chhele belar, kagoj-er...
neeli ambar si naiyyan meri,
lehorn ki dhoon mein beh chali,
gehri sagar mein tanha kahin,
geeton ko tumhare khojti..
ekta jholse jaoya bikel belai,
ekta laalche sagar-er jole,
jaye bhese jaye sopno bojha-i,
nouko amar, kagoj-er
majhi re, o majhi re,
dekha hai kya tumne usse,
majhi re, o majhi re,
dekha hai kya tumne usse,
kagaj ki nao, mein hain bhare,
sapne mere... o majhi re....
Thanks, Rahul for the lyrics. Lovely is the song!
June 16, 2008
This weekend it was FINALLY time for a super-mega-ultra-hyper cleaning exercise in our house. Four years of my husband's bachelorhood and close to two years of DITLAWM (Double Income Two Lazy Asses Without Maid) were furiously scrubbed away by a crew of 5 professional cleaners, 50 rag cloths, one industrial vacuum cleaner, one floor scrubbing monster machine, and 10 litres of blue and green chemical stuff that could boil your eyeballs in three-millionth of a second. When they left, we were not only poorer, exhausted, coughing, but also quite sure that it wasn't the same house! The bathroom floor is light grey! There is a tree outside the kitchen window! There is no longer a mummified Neanderthal in the loft!
We've thrown away one third of all our worldly possessions in this cleaning cycle. It's amazing how much stuff you can easily do without. Pretty soon, we'll have ten pairs of clothes (we're the same jeans AND kurta size), three computers, five utensils and 10 books. Then we can do our own cleaning.
June 12, 2008
It's quite sad when society judges and ostracizes people based on its random criteria. You might be a great person, but you will be abhorred, shunned, taunted or even killed for being unable to fit into some crazy ideal the world has built for everyone. Usually, when religious, caste-based, language-related or even clothing-or-lack-thereof-based ostracism takes place, a lot of protest is heard from intellectual quarters. But these days a good person is being publicly humiliated, and I don't see anyone objecting. Some of the brightest brains in the country are, in fact, participating in the humiliation by repeating the taunts endlessly themselves!
Yes. So Pappu can't dance. What's so wrong about that?
Pappu has an MBA (that requires SOME brains), holidays in France (money AND taste!), plays the guitar (extra-curricular star, plus sensitive, music-loving man), Gucci perfume (metrosexual, probably has a feminine side), born with a silver spoon in his mouth, has a Papa who has great expectations of him (parents usually stop having false expectations of super-success when their kids turn 18, so this guy has something going for him), and is a yaaron ka yaar (a hit with his friends) and kudiyon mein kraze! Add to that his hot hot looks!
Most newspaper pullouts these days spend one ad-ridden page a day telling women how not to expect all the Pappu qualities in one man. Here is one man who defies the ad-ridden advice and is so close to perfection that it is mind-boggling. With those riches and that musical ear, he could join Shiamak Davar's classes and maybe even learn to dance for all you know! And hey, you think Mukesh Ambani or Sachin Tendulkar can dance? Come on! If Pappu does PT, then PT is the new dance!
And let me not get started about the losers who are ridiculing Pappu. One day, Aamir Uncle will drop you like a hot potato, Irfan, and you will soon be acting and dancing solely opposite ShivRajkumar, Genelia. Pappu and his poster-girl of a wife and their two chubby kids will not even cast a glance in the direction of the C-grade theatre where your latest shockbuster is playing, as they drive past in their BMW. Pappu, honey, you rock, naache tu ya naache na!
June 09, 2008
June 05, 2008
June 03, 2008
I resent being made to switch to new technology. I still cannot find the Tools menu on this one. And the blue background? What were they thinking? Did they presume that our miserable Excel-Word-Powerpoint infested existence could be enhanced by a clinically insanely happy shade of blue? Please!
May 31, 2008
News of the day: Defence Minister passes out during Passing Out Parade (Headline by The Husband)
In other news, I saw the first live cricket match of my life! The IPL clash between Bangalore and Mumbai! Some observations:
1. The cricket field is really small.
2. The wicketkeeper stands really far away from the batsman. And still the ball comes flying to him!
3. Those fielders? They actually run! When u can’t see any on the TV screen as the ball hurries towards the boundary, that’s coz the camera is too focused, not because the fielders are knitting baby booties and chatting in some other corner of the field.
4. There is really no time between one ball and the next, or between overs in fact….the ads create an illusion of time, and have warped our senses forever.
5. After a great shot, they show a replay on the screen in the stadium, and no matter where you sit, part of the screen is blocked by a pillar. Anyway, when they show the replay, you instinctively turn your head back to the ground to try and see the replay better! But guess what? Tendulkar does not swing the bat again for you. You feel extremely foolish at having missed the replay on the screen behind the pillar.
6. The neighborhood kabootars are driven insane by stadium lights. Is a pity.
7. In Chinnaswamy Stadium, the wafers seller does no business for the first three hours of the match. The banana seller then walks in with 50 bananas and sells them all in three minutes.
8. All the players obviously look like specks on the grass in the distance, and it only gets worse when your sister has coffee at Barista with Tendulkar, Jayasuriya and the rest of the Bombay Boys at the BIAL airport the next morning.
May 23, 2008
But now my obsession with him, and his brain-messing with me have got to a point where I need to call it off forever. Don’t have the guts to do it in person, so I’m doing it on the blog. So the next time, my dear Wikipedia, you tell me I have any kind of cancer if I confront you with a silly symptom, I’m gonna wipe you off the Internet! Somehow!
May 11, 2008
After a BLR-CCU-IXB (Bagdogra) flight-hopping session, we were driven to the border hamlet of Jaigaon by a maniac in a Maruti Van. Theme song: “Bangali mein kehte hain, aami tomake kamikaze” The waiter at our hotel asked: “What will you see in Bhutan? It’s only mountains and roads….nothing to see…” His idea of a vacation was probably getting tripped and pickpocketed on the escalator of Forum Mall by a group of ladies with babies and baggage, which goes to show that the grass is always greener on the other side, except that there will soon be no grass or anything green except bank notes in …
Crossing over to Phuentsholing, Bhutan was really a journey into another country! If the British Airways crew sprays pesticides, insecticides and homicides in the cabin before taking off from India, the Bhutanese folks spray water on the car tyres, leaving you wondering if they’re getting the Indian muck off or symbolically washing your feet most respectfully… I remain mesmerized and ignorant…
Across the border, everything was neat, clean, traditional, and also very modern! All those fancy Toyota SUVs and buses get into Bhutan by road through Jaigaon! Wow! We’re a conveyor belt for goodies we never get to sample!
Our first stop was Thimpu, and since Phuentsholing-Thimpu is a main trade road, we ended up in a major traffic jam caused by a landslide. Which was great, because my dearest co-passenger, who had been awestruck by the sublime grandeur of the Himalayas for half an hour, was now in a red and molten condition with wet palms and dilated pupils… Alti-Dude sickness! Having come from a family of mountain goats, I did not know what to do to help, so we just sat and counted trucks till he regained his wits. The break helped immensely!
Having road-tripped across Sikkim-Darjeeling-Kalimpong some seven years ago, I was expecting a similar experience here, but I was pleasantly surprised when the landscape was much better preserved. Architecture was strictly regulated and every little building conformed to traditional design. The road meandered though the mountains and valleys, and we spent whole days drinking in the beauty of a land that takes great care to preserve itself. Back home, my days there all seem to blend one into the other. We used to wake up early, travel almost all day, stop for lunch and a little stroll, arrive at our destination, explore a little bit, and retire early. We ran into several tourists, and with the exception of a couple and a family, none of them were Indians.
Curiously, the consistent neatness and cleanliness we saw everywhere was missing in the monasteries or dzongs, where litter and foul smells seemed to have taken shelter. Ever since I came across Buddhism in my school textbook, I had thought of it as a possible religious faith that I could embrace. Sadly for me, the dzongs, the many gods, the tussles for power, and the prevalence of myth quite destroyed that hope. Perhaps I just will continue to believe in Divine Justice and hope for the best.
Did Bhutan take my breath away? Yes! Was every possible shade of green on display? Yes! Were there rhododendrons painting the mountain faces pink? Yes! Is the art and architecture by far the most fascinating I’ve ever seen? Yes! Is it pointless to go on about all this for another six hundred and twenty-five words? Yes!
I’ll post pictures as soon as the photographer has chosen the ones he wants over at his place. You know you’re a “ghareloo babe” when you remember to put naphthalene balls in the drain before you go on a trip, and pack a sterlisied syringe for travel emergencies, but leave your camera on the table at the last moment. Still kicking myself!
April 30, 2008
My tiger friend has got the sled,
And I have packed a snack.
We're all set for the trip ahead.
We're never coming back!
We're abandoing this life we've led!
So long, Mom and Pop!
We're sick of doing what you've said,
And now it's going to stop!
We're going where it snows all year,
Where life can have real meaning.
A place where we wont have to hear,
"Your room could stand some cleaning."
The Yukon is the place for us!
That's where we want to live.
Up there we'll ge to yell and cuss
And act real primitive.
We'll never have to go to school,
Forced into submission,
By monst, crabby teachers who'll
Make us learn addition.
We'll never have to clean a plate,
Of veggie glops and goos.
Messily we'll masticate,
Using any fork we choose!
The timber wolves will be our friends.
We'll stay up late and howl,
At the moon, till nightmare ends,
Before going on the prowl.
Oh, what a life! we cannot wait,
To be in that arctic land,
Where we'll be masters of our fate,
And lead a life that's grand!
No more of parental rules!
We're heading for some snow!
Good riddance to those grown-up-ghouls!
We're leaving! Yukon Ho!
Mr and Mrs Inky hope to post complementary travelogues in some days.
April 21, 2008
April 19, 2008
Ok. So Allianz paid TOI lots of money to get a highly visible slot on the website. Then they probably gave someone the task of coming up with an ad. The someone took a medium-sized advance, and then forgot to make the ad. Three days after the deadline, the client asked him where the ad was. He said he’d be at Allianz with the ad in fifteen minutes! He leapt out of his seat, took a picture of the man in the parking lot outside, wrote some copy while navigating his bike with the other hand, and reached the client’s office in thirteen minutes…. There is really no other explanation.
Now if an Insurance, Asset Management and Banking concern used a scantily-clad babe, it would be perfectly easy to interpret. She’s pricey, so the bank, your wife might find out, so the insurance, and from the lots and lots of her that’s visible, you can figure out that she’s managing her “assets” pretty well. But what’s with a constipated-faced hassled man parked outside a temple and trying to save his rear view mirror from getting knocked off by a couple on a bicycle who’s obviously doing something to bug him and not letting him get out of the car? What do we make of this work of art? First the man on the bicycle…is he wearing a lungi? The passenger behind him: do his/her fingers naturally end abruptly like that? Or is he/she holding on to a big placard? What’s going on behind that killjoy blue rectangle? Why is Driver man so upset? What is the message of this ad? Is it “This is how hassled Allianz employees are, coz they’re trying to protect your assets (rearview mirror) for you from the big bad wolf of fluctuating markets (Lungicycle and Stubfinger)? Or is it that Allianz’s insurance, banking, and asset management will make sure you never have to constipatedly clutch at your car accessories in a traffic jam ever again, because you’ll be financially secure, and can buy a million rearview mirrors (you pervert) with your pocket change?
April 10, 2008
March 21, 2008
I had been waiting for over half an hour, which is not very fun with an upset tummy, and I tried to tell him so. There is a mosque across the road from where we were, but I decided not to tell him so. He said it was Friday and it was very important for him to go to the mosque. So I said ok and let him go. As soon as he went in, the receptionist girlie scolded me! Why did I let him go? He ALWAYS does that!
Why I let him go is quite simple really. I am trying to cut down stress levels, because I’m on the verge of a breakdown. So I’m being patient with people. And the first set of people I’m being patient with are those who do unethical stuff in the name of God. Why? Because if it turns out there’s a God and there’s a Hell, they’re gonna be my dorm-mates or something!
And by the by, as he was drifting out and I was shifting in, I heard the doctor say: “You can use an earbud or a spoon, anything that is convenient…” “A spoon????” said the God-fearing queue-slasher, with those many question marks in his voice. Now, tell me honestly, isn’t that a lovely fragment of conversation to mull over? Hehehehe!
March 10, 2008
If you miss the train I’m on you will know that I am gone
You can hear the whistle blow a hundred miles…
March 04, 2008
Just when Orkut was reduced to a pain that hampers office productivity, Facebook opened its doors to all and sundry! Suddenly everyone is inviting you to join, people are putting up their real pics, and a million crazy applications are spreading like ..well…now everything spreads like facebook applications, so that itself is the metaphor….
What colour is your metaphysical liver? Which kind of dental cavity are you? Which social networking site matches your underwear?... There are people who have added so many applications to their profile, that they regularly use an app called “Which apps should you purge this week?”… and while everyone is free to do what they want on their own homepage, it makes me mad when I get involved willy nilly! Every fortnight or so, Facebook tells me people have compared me to their friends on various criteria, and here are the results:
I am the least attractive, have the worst hair, would make the worst date/kisser/girlfriend/partner, have a terrible sense of humour, cannot speak, and yet, I am the perfect potential mother… these people are obviously thinking of single parenthood and some kind of parthenogenesis! And then there are those who think you are a hottie, which means they have been forced to think everyone is a hottie, coz otherwise they cannot add the “Which fictional character would rather be dead than be seen drinking cheap booze on Friday night with you?” app. And the things people throw at each other! Tinkoo has thrown Humpty Dumpty at your wall! Pinkoo has thrown a tractor at your nose! Pappu has sent an elephant in one ear and out the other.... Uff!
Then there are the games…the ones that have prevented me from deleting my facebook page! The never ending movie quiz which is just a never ending ego battle, and says “I have more time to click random FAQ answers than you do”. The online Boggle, which shows you that you were probably the gully champion ages ago, but you can eat some humble veg pie now. The perfect addiction, I say! Can get too addictive even. Am already thinking of adding the "I need medical help getting off Boggle" app...
Just got a poke! Rimpy from school who IS a techie lives in Canada with her husband wants to play Boggle! Tada!
February 27, 2008
Shops around the establishment are conducting business as usual, traffic if plying normally, and people are crowded around the restaurant. It takes more than a fire to stop the mad scramble that is Namma Bengalooru…
February 24, 2008
I am guessing I am a woman after all, and can gape in wonderment at jewellery and gota-patti ghagra cholis for three and a half hours. That and Hrithik’s acting. The booming sasurji in the background has good reason to worry about bahuraani if that boy looks at her like that!
And the scenes with all the food right before intermission: was THAT a deal between Gowariker and the popcorn wallahs? Talking of food, here’s Mr and Mrs Inkspill’s version of “Kehne ko jashn-e-bahaara hai”:
Kehna ko baingan baghara hai
Taste kuchh aur hi aa raa hai
Lauki sa koi milaa milaa hai baingan mein
Kaddu bhi koi gir hi padaa hai bartan mein
Saare log to khaa rey hain
Hum to sochtey jaa rey hain
Baingan aise thode hi banaatey hain……
Don’t ask why.
February 13, 2008
The partner system works well as a support group (Can I lend(sic) your rubber(sic)), or a vigilance mechanism (Miss! She is eating her tiffin under the table), depending on the equation between partners. There are those who help you answer tests, and there are those who are eating YOUR tiffin under the table while you asking to lend their rubbers! There are those who weep inconsolably when your seats are changed, and there are those who draw impermeable Indo-Pak borders with a compass to demarcate your area of the table and theirs… And there are always those who have been too busy for weeks to have a bath, which is the reason your mom talks in serious and low tones to your teachers at the PTA, even though you have topped the bleddy class!
The partner assignation processed can be classified into three kinds: Simple, Arbitrary, and Rocket Science. Simple is when the teacher lets you sit next to whom you please, which results in Ekta Kapoor ke soap-like politics among people, and location-wise as well, there will be some prime seats that everyone wants. Also, the people who nobody wants to sit with get emotional scars for life, which is very helpful if they’re gonna grow up to be artists, but very bad if they’re gonna become prime ministers, and since you never know, the simple system should just be considered unsustainable.
The arbitrary system is when the harried lady who steps into a 10feet-by-10feet room consisting of 60 kids, their unwashed aromas and their lunch smells has to, without fainting, assign people seats. Based on an assessment of their characters and natures made during the 40 minute class, where she glances at them once in a while, she decides who sits where. The smart teachers make the tallest girls sit at the back, and the rowdies sit next to the nerds, and thereby all human curtains for mischief are gone! And the nerds never really benefit from being with the rowdies, they just bury their noses into Moral Science books as the rowdies make fun of them TO THEIR FACE!
The rocket science system was tried once or twice in my school with moderate success. It works like this: each row of twin seats has a left side and a right side, right? So all the people on the left stay static in their seats, and all the ones on the right move one seat ahead every week, and the frontbencher moves back to the last seat, like a conveyor belt. So you have a new partner every week, which in the adult week is called being a jerk or being a player, but in school world is called social adjustment 101. When you sit with so many different people, you no longer care who your partner is, you don’t know who has your rubber or whose tiffin you just ate under the table. You learn to go about doing your own thing, and grumbling each time you are forced to accept change JUST when you got used to the previous idiot, and this sort of prepares you for adult life more than the stuff in the books!
Ok. I have spoken enough. In fact, I had spoken enough 100 sentence ago. Now if you please, leave a comment about your most memorable “partner”.
So the new phone allows me to play nice music on it, and if I switch out of the music player mode, it shows the song name on the home page, just above the location. So it's "Just the way you are Bannerghatta Road" and "Shaam dhale gagan taley J P Nagar". Not bad, right?
I've put the "Rock" equalizer on, because that's the only way I can hear anything above the traffic sounds... so Umrao Jaan is now rocking on the phone, but what the heck? Zindagi jab bhi teri bazm mein BTM Layout!
And the next thing is setting personalized ringtones and photuss for regular callers. So I set "Pal Pal hai bhaari jo bipdaa hai aayi" for my boss, and told him as much. He even posed for a cute Ravan-like photu to go with it!
I got the internet to work on it today, and it's amazing how legible everything is on the kutty screen! I heart kallumal!! Ok enough!
February 10, 2008
Got an early Valentine's Day gift (yeah yeah!) My first music phone! My first 2 megapixel camera phone! My first fancy phone! Heck, my first real Valentine's Day gift!
Feel like singing (both to the phone and to the dude who gave it me)
Meri zindagi mein aaye ho, aur aise aaye ho tum
Jo ghul gaya hai saanson mein woh geet laaye ho tum
Tum hi kaho
Tum hi kaho
Dil jo aise gaaye
Koi kyun na gungunaaye?
(Kallumal is black, so nazar nahin lagni chahiye! :) Touch wood!)
January 31, 2008
And so way out of my fancy-free range!
He pines for me when I’m not around
And I cannot bear that heart-wrenching sound
But when I’m around, he doesn’t seem to care
What I’m doing, as long as I am there!
Coochie-cooing leaves him in giggles
He imitates my smallest twitches and wiggles
Even if I look like rag, he sees a halo and wings
And he pouts his way out of unpleasant things
Talks gobbledygook most of the time
Thinks missing meals or sleep is a crime
And all this is bizarre and strange because
The baby’s not mine, it’s Mom-In-Law’s!
*Behold the flying pigs!
January 21, 2008
Let's face it Kareena Aunty ke saath future is shaky. But she wants tattoo, so what to do? Humre bhaiyya bhi ishmart hain! Ek teer se do shikaar! Agli baar toh bahut kam effort lagega! Check out humraa artwork in red...
Kitni soni lagegi jodi! Saif and Kaif!
January 14, 2008
And then there are the ropes.... I've come to the conclusion that the smaller the settlement, the more the proportion of shops selling ropes of all kinds....and it can't just be because of all the coir...coz this is definitely for local retail... so is rural life held together by ropes? The sample below is skewed because it seems to have lots of cattle jewellery as well, but you get the picture.
And then there were these mountains whose strange rocky formation seems to have only one explanation: Ladies and Gentlemen, presenting Mount DinoPoop:
There was an imposing fort at Gingi, but we sped past, and reached here:
Now Pondy is nice and all, but as the Sistah said, veggie teetotallers are not really the target audience. We got to do some anthropological study, though. Check out out conclusions on beach etiquette: The gora way versus the bhoora way.
And then there was this sadistic take on the thirsty crow's story....notice the hole in the jug:
The French architecture was all very pretty, and very easily copy-able, as many under-construction buildings showed. The Bharat Sarkar office, however was a "site for sore eyes". So here's the French one only( Wee, Vella France :P):
After ogling at the expensive silver jewellery and designer clothes in town, we finally ended up at our home-away-from-home and did some token Pongal shopping!
And of course a visit to Auroville: mostly for the bakery, and also for the hype. Nice place, but this mandir really scares me, especially the desciption of what's inside. Too scifi baba!
And finally, what I've been avoiding all this while: the hotel we stayed at! Please avoid Tata ki hospitality ka azeem-o-shaan namoona: Ginger Pondicherry. Whoever came up the 2 room colours idea totally appropriated the privelege of setting the tone for your holiday: Check it out. Which room you get surely determines how you feel, doesn't it?
Stuck in the blue one, we were also plagued by three men trying to repair our AC at 10pm (we had woken up at 4:30am to beat the traffic) crazy kids banging our door and running at 11, a call from the reception to please return the keys for some random room at 11:30, and a drunken dude knocking and asking me for his keys at mignight. Add to that the cold and exorbitant buffet and the already falling apart room accessories, and you have the Hotel from hell:
Ginger is a crap name for a hotel anyway! So when Sri Murugan decided we must leave before the Rahu Kalam on Monday Morning, we were more than happy to get out. The holiday was good, but it made us love Bangalore more!
Sober version of the tale here.
Signing off with my newly-acquired Tamil Nadu manners: "Vanakkam and Nandri to all and sundry"
January 05, 2008
January 02, 2008
January 01, 2008
This is from the same time last year, when we were Honeymooning. On New Year's Eve this time we saw two films, both set on the South Bank! London yaar tu mera peechha chhodta kyun nahin????
The usual resolve to post daily, of course. How cutely we kid ourselves again and again... Anyway 2008 seems to be the year of spooky song coincidences if today is anything to go by. We were generally looking around for houses and the song in the property dealer's car was "And I'm sorry for all the lies" or something like that, and then at the "beauty" parlour as the hapless technician's feeble thread equipment struggled with my steel eyebrows, the radio asked "Naazuk yeh dor hai kyun..."
Ok. That's all. Must leave something for tomorrow na!