February 27, 2009

Run! Quick!

Go before someone protects Indian culture!

February 25, 2009

Yeh Andar Ke Kaale Bandar Ki Baat Hai!

I think I stumbled upon some proof of the universe being designed by a genius today. Was looking at the online resevation chart for this evening's show of Dilli 6, and since the movie is not a hit, most of the theatre was empty. The only seats full were the most coveted ones, and their graphic representation is uncannily similar to innerwear. 

Most multiplexes have a mix of big and small halls, so...

This is conclusive proof that innerwear will pop up in the strangest of places without warning, which is what Poet-Prophet and my personal hero Gulzar probably meant when he wrote: 

Masterji ki aa gayi chitthi 
Chitthi mein se nikli billi 
Kaan mein jhumkaa, naak mein batti 
Haath mein jaise agarbatti 
Agar ho batti kachhua chaap 
Aag pe baitha paani taap 
Taap chadhe to kambal taan 
VIP underwear baniyaan... 

Baaki Dilli 6 had both me and my dude sniffling and wiping our eyes more than once. If only the plot had not been a 10-headed Ravana...

February 21, 2009

Life In A Metro

By God ki kasam sitting all your life there in Dilli 6 or 60 or wherever your birth and brought up happens to happen, you hardly come to know what nautanki all the Indian languages do with each other! It's like they all sat down together one drunken night and made a pact to marry off one of their harmless words to one of the naughty ones of the other language and watch the fun as their speakers get tossed about in the bhelpuri of modern India!

About a week into my new job in Bangalore, the boys got courageous enough to distract me from my work by pulling my hair. Am really impressed it took them that long, because before this, I have been everyone's kid sister from very early on, and hair and cheek pulling has been a cruel part of making new acquaintances. So there I am, working at my new job in a new city, when yank! my ponytail is attacked. I turn back and ask: "Yes, what do you want?"

"Nothing! Just chumma" says the little boy

I am certain I heard that wrong. "What?"

"Arrey chumma man!"

I want to pack and go home to mommy daddy immediately. Look at the innocence and nonchalance on this guy's face. He's like 7 years younger than me!

Ok. So chumma means JUST LIKE THAT FOR NO PARTICKLER REASON in Malayalam. And of course kiss in Hindi, another (horrific) word for it being bosa, of which the plural is bosay, which is how all the security guards in London hostels like to pronounce the Bengali surname Bose, which is so obviously another story that I dunno how I got into it.

Back to work then. Over the years, have grown used to the inordinate amounts of Malayalam that flies about the office, and wait patiently for my turn to speak before informing whoever is talking to me in that superfast language that I did not get any of what they just said. Makes me mad at times, but then these lovely souls make up for that by proclaiming every now and then: "We are mal. We are proud to be mal."

"Oh yes! That you are," I say. "Top quality mal" (for the uninititated, mal (say mull) in Hindi is, umm… poo)

Nehavish once told me the story of her flabbergasted and horrified Tamilian mom's first Delhi encounter with the hindi word "kundi" (latch in Hindi, bum in Tamizh… what did I tell you about the drunken languages?). You should get her to tell it to you, because I distinctly remember laughing till I fell on to the floor of the District Line tube from Blackfriars to East Ham (home of Sakthi store and Sarvana Bhawan) when she told it to me.

Today, one Hindi- and one Tamizh-speaking carpenter is (are? is.) working in my house. As I asked the Hindi speaking guy if I needed to use the kundi each time I close the cupboard, my foot was in my mouth one nanosecond after the words left it.

Aaaaargh! <foot caught in last remaining extraction stitch>

February 18, 2009

The Obligatory Dentist-Bashing Post

It would be completely out of crackter for me to not write about my visit to the dentist, and my first ever (tang-da-dang) dental surgery. I can't even pretend to hope it's the last, for God knows I have sinned and will pay.

After being scared and reassured by more or less the same number of people, I went into my wisdom tooth removal procedure pooping in my pants, because it really has nothing to do with other people, does it?

On behalf of mom-in-law, I asked the dentist how long he's been practicing, and 8 years of post-grad dentistry seemed just about passable (after all industry mein naye talent ko chance dena chahiye etc).

It did not take the 20 minutes the ex-boss's wife told me it would. It did not take the one hour the dentist had told me it would. It took two godforsaken hours, the anaesthesia ran out in the middle, there was a time when three heads and four hands were inside my mouth looking for a tooth that was completely hidden behind a bone (wisdom is nothing if not deep-set). Meanwhile, I drank a lot of blood and "irrigation", which is probably the original recipe for a Bloody Mary, coz I sure was drunk by the end of it all.

Now two days have passed and all that's left is a cut at the corner of my mouth from the steel clamp holding it open for two hours, loose threads hanging in my mouth from the dentist's shoddy needlework, and the superhuman air-tasting ability of my tongue thanks to Ciplox TZ. Any parents reading this must have fainted or started weeping by now, for which I am very sorry to them. But the part of my wisdom that was sensitive to readers' feelings is lying in five pieces in the dentist's dustbin!

Actually, I'm doing quite well and having a happy day after a long time. :D

February 14, 2009

Valentine Diwas

After months of nagging from our side, the landlord relented and sent the painters along to paint the house on Valentine's Day of all days. So the morning was spent in the healthy marital discord that acoompanies any self-respecting couple's accomplishment of domestic tasks. The rest of the day was spent sneezing and watching helplessly as the loving landlord's minions painted our humble abode a very very pale shade of pink (Like shy is coming for lily to see roses kissing in neighbourhood flowerbed. Yeggzackly. Pls wipe your throwup yourself.) 

The shooing off of painters was celebrated with rooftop Punju dinner on Church Street, and exchange of gifts (I replaced his deodorant which I had finished, and he got me gazillions of good bacteria that will prevent my antibiotics from killing me. We're leaving the dentist to do that on Monday.) 

Whatever else you say about our V-day, the Sri Ram Sene would approve of it I am sure!

February 12, 2009

Verdict: Wait For The D(e)VD

Are you too old, or too jaded when Dev D does not scandalize/impress/provoke/amaze you?

When we were kids, we had this stupid joke where we'd form a snake's head with our hand, twist our arm in a zigzag serpentine motion and ask the other person: "what is this?" and the other person would invariably say "a snake". Then we'd make the snake hand and dart it straight ahead zupp! and ask "and what is this?"… the pathetic answer was "a drunken snake!"

Why am I blabbering about this? Because after 4 days of 1500mg cocktail antibiotics, I am seeing the real world pretty much as Dev Bhaiyya on his chosen drugs, so all those psychedelic scenes and pretty much the whole movie seemed pretty much straightforward and simplistic to me.

No seriously, even the riddickulous Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi had its moment of glory with drunken Raj/Suri's little chat with the mannequin. Where was Dev D's moment of greatness?

*Spoiler Warning: Where did Paro's inner life disappear? How's Dev gonna stay out of prison beyond the happily ever after type credits? And random references to real Delhi events? Very tacky! Gimme Oye Lucky any day!

*End Spoiler Warning

P.S.: The husband wanted more footage for the dog. Probably an hour or so more. Which dog? Don't ask!

P.P.S.: It's not that the movie sent me home with nothing to think about. I'm very interested in a sociological observation of whether Abhay Deol can bring the unwaxed male torso back into Bollywood!

February 08, 2009


Have been unable to sleep for the last two nights because of severe pain, and this morning I was informed that my lower left gum is in labour and baby Wisdom Tooth will need a C-section. Now you normally expect a dentist to deliver this kind of news, but this being Bangalore, and it being a Sunday, not a single dentist is at work, even in hospitals! I was running from pillar to post with only a monstrously swollen and menacingly colourful-looking gum, but how about a kid who gets all his pearly whites knocked out by a sibling over who gets the TV remote on Sunday morning? And how about busy corporate types who can attend to niggling tooth problems only on their day off? Why is the most profitable-for-business day chosen for work-life-balance-management by Bangalore dentists?? It's crazy!

Anyway, the doctor who finally told me that the "gum ka baadal" over my last molar is not infected and is just due to wisdom tooth volcanic activity was a teenager-on-emergency-duty at a 5-star hospital. They gave me a nice bed, stuck a thermometer in my armpit (below normal) and even took my BP (normal) and asked me about my profession as part of emergency room courtesy. What left me smiling, despite the physical challenge posed by the gum, was the doctor's indecipherable signature: he was either A.K.Ram or Akram.

February 04, 2009

Hooray! Irresistible Valentines Day Offer!


Sri Ram Sene (association of the patients of Madhuri's husband Sri Ram Nene) is going to catch dating couples in Bangalore on Valentine's Day and forcibly marry them off (using a stub of turmeric, according to the Times Of India), and then, and this is the best bit, they will take the couples to the sub-registrar's office and register their wedding!

So if you've been putting off marriage registration for lack of time, no permanent address proof, fear of being discriminated against for not knowing Kannada, and not being able to afford bribes in recession time, this is your chance! A 100-rupee meal for two at McDonalds with your feet locked under the table and one had locked over the table while you tear open the unopen-able ketchup packets with the other hand and your remaining teeth: that's all you need to get caught and married legally.

Tip: Leave all evidence of already being married at home, and try to look at each other lovingly. And don't fight over the fries; not only are they bad for health, but that will totally give you away!