Monday, 26 February 2007


I've always wondered WHY green vegetables taste so...well, boring. (There's no other way to put it politely.) Look at the rest of the bunch (pun unintended) - potatoes, onion, tomato, bell peppers (now these even manage to look good as a bonus)... Nowhere on their résumé do they inscribe: Pick me up, I'm boring to the taste. Unlike all greens. Now, they sure do a brilliant job of it.

Okay, okay, so they play up on their 'healthy' angle, promising you some zillion benefits they claim potatoes never will provide, wax eloquent about pumping up your iron levels and the like... Somehow, they can never convince me.

I'd rather a pair of bright red and yellow bell peppers did the salsa on my kitchen counter.

Saturday, 24 February 2007


Where's the party tonight? Hmm, good question - for me, that is! Actually, maybe the previous post needs to be amended a notch: the family goes all out to make you feel special, too!

Here I am, trying every devious little scheme in the book to figure out what's on the agenda, hee hee. Not much success. Grumble. Hmm, looks like everyone's been coached well. Whatever information I do glean points towards a dinner out or something of the kind.

Nothing, though, prepares me for this - a surprise birthday bash, right here in my own living room! Loads of friends, family and fun make for quite a heady combination! More cake (whatever are calories?) and still more conversations...

For my family: A thank you would just about start to cover it... Just about.


Friends have a way with things. At work, they can make special days even more so. Cake (chocolate, of course: it's a religion), a birthday card (inscribed by all, which is the point to be noted here) and loads of warm hugs and still warmer birthday wishes.

The highlight being a whiteboard, specially adorned for the occasion. Is it festive, or what! And hey, don't miss the arrow. If you were clueless as to where my desk at work is, well, now you know!! Clichéd but true: a picture does say a thousand words, doesn't it!

To my friends: a big thank you.

Sunday, 18 February 2007


"Dhadak dhadak
Dhadak Dhadak
Seeti bajaye re..."

This is the first of many songs in a loop, and then some. I've always wondered where on Earth do Mumbai's rickshaw-wallahs (drivers, to the uninitiated) get their music from. As I hop in to a rick en route from work, I'm uhh... treated to some such delightful numbers. The prerequisite for this is the word loud, and I do mean LOUD. I have a firm belief that they're remixed to the Rickshaw Beat purely for them. Blaring from torn speakers, delightfully distorted know, the works. Basically, the cute guy in the rick three lanes away should hear the din. And you'll cringe when you notice just how cute he is, and that he notices you in a 'singing' rickshaw. That's one. Second, the 'ambience' in most such ricks...

There are embellishments to set the ambience:
a. Pom-poms and sundry other danglers gaudy enough to put a belle at a local fair to shame.
b. Holographic stickers, the more gross, the better: pouty red lips, hearts with arrows stuck through them, knives through hearts replete with drops of blood dripping off the edge and the like.
c. Social service messages roughly translated from the local language would read thus: A girl educated signifies progress, A small family is a happy family, yadda yadda.
d. Now this is a classic: Names. These can include anybody and everybody that the rick guy dreams of / includes in his list of family and friends. (Pappu, Monty, Sonu, Chinky being favourites, whoever they may be. Sometimes I think they're arbit generic names, like Xerox for a photocopy.)
e. Posters of Bollywood stars, mostly female with loud makeup (specially enhanced for the said poster).
f. And traditionally, last but not the least, lights! Now these have to be in flourescent colours, running the gamut from pink and green to a sickly (and sickening) yellow. If some of them can be programmed to march, blink, flicker... Wow. Err, whatever.
g. The horn. Tinny, bullfrog, bass... It doesn't matter, as long as it's effective to make meandering cattle (both human and four-legged), other unsuspecting vehicles and various other life forms jump out of their skin and incidently, out of the way of Mr. Dashing's three-wheeler autorickshaw.

The rick flying over potholes, the speakers screech:
"Meri haathon mein nau nau choodiyaan hain..."


Always wondered:
1. Why it takes longer to cook than it does to eat the stuff you've made.
2. Why if a guy swears, it's okay. If a girl does, she's using language more colourful than a sailor's.
3. Why lying is accepted if you're being politically correct.
4. When the fish in my fish bowl sleep.
5. Why most of us are so afraid to change. And maybe of change as well.

Wednesday, 14 February 2007


Borrowed title. But so very apt. As I type, we're slowly inching towards a brand new day here by IST. February 14, 2007 is (almost: 30 minutes to go) officially over. Finis.

A quick poll would probably reveal stats that look somewhat like this:
a. Moths flying outta empty wallets. (When'll payday roll around?? Despair.)
b. Rejected flowers (and wannabe lovers) scattered around.
c. Cash rich card companies / gift shops and their kith and kin.
d. Stray angry protestors lugging along remnants of burnt effigies / cards / V-Day symbols, feebly singing their angry songs.
e. Lovesick puppy dog looks (tails wagging et al) on some teenybopper faces. And don't miss the teddy bear tucked away under one arm...

I rest my case.

Monday, 12 February 2007


She got to know him in her teens. Until then, he was the tyrant of her summer holidays. Use the fork. Don't pick at your food. Sit straight: you'll get a hunch. She used to dread visiting him, not knowing when the next reprimand would fly at her. She was little, single-digit age group, and understood softer words (and toys!) better.

Reprimand? Or was it affection? Just that he couldn't express himself, tell her in so many words how much he loved her?

One evening, she was to drive down to meet him, a good four hours away from her home. She was late, the result of an event at her management school. She was flooded with endless calls en route, where he'd enquire, gruff-voiced: Where are you? It's late. Don't you have any concern at all for me? She reached his home to find him waiting up for her, at the ungodly hour of 1:00 a.m., with her favourite coffee blend bubbling away in the percolator. Her hug was brushed away with an abrupt, Thank God you're here: I can get some sleep at last. She couldn't know that he was watching for her from his bedroom window, waiting for her car to drive in, struggling to stay awake.

Sigh. Some things don't change. Don't they? She got to know him that weekend the way she never had before. That under his gruff manner lay his affection and concern for her. Every little gesture spoke a million words. He made her feel special.

They spent a lazy Saturday browsing through old family albums, he acquainting her with aunts and uncles she'd never known existed. Regaling her with countless stories. Having her roll around in mirth at the funniest anecdotes brought guffaws to his lips, too. She made him feel young again.

As she knelt by his grave, his face seemed to smile up at her. Carefully, she placed the lilies on the stone. Cold, as he was in death. She'd never forget that one, heart-stopping moment. As she'd never forget him.

I miss you, Grampa.


There you go, another year's flown by. That's one more candle on the cake.
"Any more, and the cake'll collapse with the weight of the candles. Tee-hee!"
"Now that you're over the hill, Gramma..." *snigger, snigger*
Funnnnny. Not. Okay, so I don't think so. I mean, it's me that's standing here, blowing out the candles! ("Careful, you'll singe your hair!")

What's the year been about, anyway?
A path-breaking career move? A personal high? New beginnings? Sure, interspersed with the lows. The time your relationship tottered, more precarious than a Miss So-and-So's high heels. The evening when you got in from work and mentally knocked your co-worker's face off the Earth. Wiped the floor clean with the annoying neighbour who objects because "your dog barks and I can't sleep". Whine.

Ah, familiar. That's how it is, year after year. Add another for good measure.
Milestone? So go on, already.

Sunday, 11 February 2007


Yes, boys and girls, it's that time of the year again, when you open up your hearts (and more importantly, wallets) to pour out your feelings to the love of your life, yadda yadda. Never mind the beloved - thanking you, rubbing their hands together in glee as they trot to the bank, are your good ol' card companies, soft toy manufacturers and suppliers of sundry other trinkets / baubles for the 'occasion'.

The colours of the season are:
a. Pink
b. Red
c. Nauseating variants of [a] and / or [b]

So what's on the agenda, anyway?
Step # 1: Go to nearest store.
Step # 2: Pick out card.
Step # 3: Pick out stuffed toy in any of the colours listed above. Toy with heart? Take 20 bonus points! Heart inscribed with those three little words (No, no, not 'Pay the bill'!)? You've got it made, buddy!
Step #4: Open wallet. *sigh* Part with dough. *bigger sigh* Realize it's more than you'd planned to spend. *still bigger sigh* Remember that you've not yet picked out the bouquet. *glub glub glub*

Next, flowers.
Normally, they're in an affordable price range. This close to V-Day, you're paying for every petal. Dearly. Worse, the object of your affection doesn't like them. (How could you forget that I'm allergic to pollen???) Start to count the thorns, too, buddy. That's all you're gonna get. Ouch.

Baubles, as mentioned in paragraph one.
Diamonds, set in white gold or platinum. Anything else, refer to the paragraph above. Add one more thorn.

Same time, next year: Same story. Different love?

Friday, 9 February 2007


Now, these can tell you a story.
Of Love, of Hate
Of Violence, of Peace
Of Happiness. Joy. Ecstacy
and Profound Sadness.

Colour me Red. Black. Blue. Green. Maybe White.
Reflect my moods, my thoughts.
Is life always black and white? Or gray?

Sometimes my mind screams out.
Nobody hears me. Nobody understands.
Colours, they do.

Tuesday, 6 February 2007


In any shape and form, bread makes the world go around. (Okay, my world, at least.) Picture this: fresh baked bread, warm from the oven, soft to the touch, the aroma gently wafting right under your nose as you take in a deep breath... And fall in love.

So do we bread lovers discriminate? No way, José! The only requirement is that it should be pure, unadultrated bread (read: no butter / cheese / whatchamacallit), as light as air, and with that unmistakable aroma.

Heaven, here I come...

Saturday, 3 February 2007


A moment of inspiration -this one's for you, Viv!

Always wondered why wedding invites are so...well, for lack of a better word, uhhh...uninspired. I mean, are people actually expected to attend an event where:
a. They'll be bored outta their skulls.
b. The food is always bad. (Even if it's good, the ubiquitous ample silk-draped aunties have to label it bad. It's the norm. Of course, to the bride / groom and family, it's the best they've ever eaten yet. Gushingly so.)
c. Someone's checking you out / vice-versa. And that's the only form of entertainment. And not always fun: the groom's cousin looks like Dilbert on a bad hair day.

And to top it all, the invite doesn't clue you in on any of this. It's always bland, carries images invoking all the possible supreme beings, their extended families and pets, and says "Gifts in the form of blessings only". Now, one has to read that to understand it as: go ahead and give the gift you've gotten to my mum / aunt / so-and-so, right over there in the corner where the camera's never ever gonna capture your mugshot!!

Wake up and smell the coffee, world - it's time for a change!


So after a busy week at work, the only thing I have on my mind Friday evenings is - WEEKEND!!! It's a one track mind sort of thing, when all you can think about is what're you gonna do Saturday and Sunday?? Of course, when THE days are finally here, you wind up doing...nothing. Yes, precisely that. Nothing. I mean, here I am - updating this space, and thinking, what next? There just isn't a next!! Whoopie!

Happily sipping a tall glass of strawberry milkshake (yum!) - contrary to my fitness consultant's advice (it is revolutionised food and therefore has no real nutrients and just piles on the bad fat) - I lazily contemplate doing nothing for the rest of the day. And a lovely thought it is.

Weekends are made just for this...