Categories
Incidents

Monkeying around

Overheard at Landmark, Chennai city centre.

Father: “Stop jumping around like the monkey that you are!”

Daughter: “Papa, if I am a monkey, then I ought to jump around, isn’t it?!”

Categories
Incidents Thought and Reason

Sugar-coated pill?

The Tropicana juice we bought yesterday brought with it, a ‘free’ packet of sugar! Being slightly sugar-conscious, my mum offered the sugar to the maid. The maid replied ‘No thank you – we only drink tea. Because, if there’s sugar, we need to buy milk, and coffee. We can’t afford all that!’.

We are still feeling bad 😦

Categories
Incidents Thought and Reason

At home for Diwali

As always, we booked our air tickets (to Chennai) at the very last minute. Then, we moved about like we’d completed our board exams. Until, the travel agent called to say the booking was not actually done. So we had to re-book. For a date that was a week in advance! And via Bangalore. All right! As long as we get home in time for Diwali!

So we reach a week earlier. We are all excited to meet our relatives, and have fun planning our shopping and activities for the festival. We fight with all our might, against the strong army of mosquitoes. But we finally succumb. On Deepavali, we lie in bed, drained by fever/cough and cold.

We now wait for Karthigai, to burst the crackers we had fondly bought a week earlier.

Categories
Incidents Short story Thought and Reason

Body and soul

I look around. Nobody is watching. The husband is busy at the computer. The baby is engrossed with a toy-train.

I walk surreptitiously to the corner of the room, and gently climb onto it. My heart is in my mouth as I slowly bend forwards. I inhale, and exhale. And exhale more, so that I can feel the vacuum within me.

I stand still. In perfect harmony. Body and soul are in tune.

My eyes are fixed. Now they squint. Then they frown.

The scales are still at 90 😦

I am very depressed. Can I have another ice-cream please??

Categories
Thought and Reason

Sarkar Raj II

So what do you call this ? Power of the media ? Power of youth ? Or Power of Sarkar ? Or Power of Raj ?!!!

‘Jet has decided to reinstate all the sacked employees’. If, and if only, someone could shake the guts out of the US government in a similar fashion, and make them bail out the economy!! We would be in the ‘Kabhi Khushi’ phase again.

Hats off to Gunda Raj!!! This happens only in India.

Categories
Incidents Thought and Reason

Till death do us part

She is 93 or 94, maybe even older. Nobody knows her birthday. Or her parent’s names or lineage. The family simply knows her as ‘Paati’ (grandmother). I was never close to her. To tell you the truth, I was in fact a little wary of her sharp tongue and incisive words. Every we met she would tell me that I’ve grown darker and that my hair had thinned. Which made me angry, but which was, in all probability, the truth!

 

She was the typical old woman… she loved gossip – who married whom – against whose wishes – how many kids they had – one dark, the other fair, and so on. At 85, she was fit as a fiddle – she could still walk, climb stairs, and see everything clearly – things that were within eye range and way beyond! Which is certainly not the same I can say about myself. At 30+, I am terribly overweight and pant my life out to climb up just two flights of stairs!

 

Today she lies on a bed, weak, unable to move, unable to swallow. Still talking, enquiring about people the way she always does, (unintentionally) prying into things she has no business in, and reminiscing events – weddings, births, deaths – that occurred ages ago. Where she always took the trouble to be present, never once mentioning her small illnesses and discomforts. Of which we were ignorant, anyway!

 

Today she is in a world of her own. A world that is foreign to us, but one in which we still command a presence. Why ever not, for her entire life has revolved around us. She has seen every member of my family being born and growing up. Though we never cared to know much about her. And while we have made no place for her in our hectic life, we still are present in hers.

 

She has seen it all. The beginning of the century – the days of plenty. The days when she herself was a child, carefree and happy. She has survived the daunting phase of poverty, and the challenge of single-handedly bringing up eight children. And at the end of that tiring journey, she has also lived through the phase of being ‘unwanted’.

 

Today, as she lies in that bed, we squirm to see her suffer, and in our selfish interest, we want it to end. But then, in a remote corner of our heart, we want her to survive this too…. we want her and us, to escape the inevitable. We want her around just a little longer…until our children can grow up…until someone here gets married…or someone there has a child.

 

Because, the world isn’t so scary a place, if we can still make that weekly or monthly phone call to a ‘Mummy’ or a ‘Paati’ and unburden ourselves. If we can just talk about things as mundane as the grocery bill. And share our worries, without having to speak about it.

 

Today, as she withers away into a ‘certificate’ from the hospital, we want ‘her’ to take the enormous effort of consoling ‘us’. To say those words – ‘Don’t worry, everything is going to be Ok’, even if it really isn’t!

 

Because, as long as our elders are around, we can still, remain ‘children’. And Hope exists, for a happier Tomorrow. Till death finally do us part.

 

And life goes on.

 

 

Categories
Incidents Thought and Reason

Sarkar Raj!!

Trust Star News to make a movie out of the Jet Airways layoffs. The newsreader starts with a pitiful story of how this young boy has his hopes dashed, and is at a complete loss as to what to do, because he has lost the most important thing in the world – his job.

And on the other hand, we have our esteemed politicians making a ‘Sarkar Raj’ or should we say, ‘Gunda Raj’ out of the situation (they say, they won’t let the flights take off from Mumbai airport, unless the retrenched staff are re-instated). http://desicritics.org/2008/10/15/173701.php

I agree, losing a job is terrible indeed, and I’ve been through that phase not once but twice so far! But its NOT the end of the world, as the media makes it out to be. Its not like the kids there have lost a leg and a hand in a blast. The hard reality is that the whole world is in recession and layoffs are inevitable. But we can find other alternatives…we are young and strong, and finding another job is not the world’s most daunting task.

Grow up, people, and find ways to beat the situation. Don’t make another ‘Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham’ out of this please! Spare us, we are bothered sick by the recession already.

Categories
Incidents Thought and Reason

introduction

Just posted this as a comment on another blog, and decided to Ctrl C ctrl V it here, unfortunately I Ctrl-C’d something else, so re-typing it.

‘I remember the first time i was introduced to hubby’s colleague. She tries to kiss me (yuck!) – it lands in the air near my ears, though I am quite certain she meant to plant it on my cheek. Then she holds my hands and says effusively, “Its absolutely wonderful to meet you!!”. I am still recovering from the shock…and say…”Oh..er…um…(amidst glares from hubby)…oh (again!)…thank you…thank you…”. She laughs it off. And walks away. Never to meet me again.

Now, after having spent a few years spent in this country, when I am introduced to anyone, I am the first to say , “Its lovely to meet you”. The firangs reply, “Oh the pleasure is all mine!”. Then I say the same to my countrymen (just for the kick of it) – they stare for full three seconds, then nod and smile. And nod again. And turn to their hubby!

And I giggle silently.

Categories
Humour Short story

The SMS

“Long time no C. Kithe ho?” – the message beeped on my Blackberry. I squinted as I read it, daylight not having broken yet. I wondered who the sender was. “Who’s this?” I replied groggily! No answer. The message had failed. There wasn’t a number to reply to! I peered at the phone through my glasses, as if it would reveal a secret number. It was pointless. I shook the sheets off and went into the bathroom. Here’s to the start of another tiring day! “Beep..beep”. I rushed to pick up the blackberry. Another message. “Free today? Coffee @ 5?”. I screamed back “Who d hell r u?”. Again, ‘message failed’.

The clocks on the wall ticked away, showing the time in various countries (as if anyone cared!). I was in the thick of a bad-hair-day and a near-migraine, when the boss rounded us up for a “productivity improvement meeting”. A “hmmmph” here, and a “grunt” there, but we entered the long conference room with a resigned air, and cups of thin, bitter coffee in hand. Well, anything to stall the brain-death during the brain-storming!

“So, what do you think, Ms.Shikha?” Silence. “Ms.Shikha, we would like to know your ideas”. The Miss Shikha suddenly jolted out of her reverie. “Um…er…I…I fully agree, Sir. We should produce…I mean…do productivity…er…increase prod….”. “That’s enough”, the old boss snapped. He glared around the room, hunting the next victim. I bent down to adjust something…shoes, perhaps. “You…Ms….what’s your name?”. I continued looking down. Then someone nudged me. “Me, Sir?” I asked innocently. “Yes, you…what do you think of this initiative?” I tried hard to come up with some intelligent monosyllable…but my throat ran dry. My fingers gripped a pen, and my knees trembled.

Suddenly, “Beep…beep” went the blackberry. Several heads turned in my direction. “Hey sexy, coffee @ 5?” the message read. I was paralysed. After what seemed ages, I quite involuntarily muttered, “Bloody bast***”. And suddenly, I was the star! Eyes rolled. Someone stifled a laugh. Someone coughed. Someone else giggled out loud.

“Whaaat??? What…did..you…just…say?” a voice thundered above my head. The old gentleman was fuming. So much for a productive meeting! I suddenly realised what I’d done. “No Sir, I mean…sorry Sir…I didn’t mean you…it was just…this…”. I was just short of falling at his wrinkled old feet. “That’s enough”, the old badger screamed, and, with no marks for guessing, ordered me out of the room.

I left the room, my head throbbing, and eyes red. I cursed my job (I hated it anyway) and my phone (I was getting to like that!). As I entered the pantry, someone rushed towards me. “Hey Shiks!” he yelled excitedly. Before I could fathom what was happening, I was suddenly squeezed in a bear hug. When I finally came around, “Hey Prithvi…when did you arrive?”, I asked him (my first crush at work). “Just this morning, but am flying back tomorrow. Lots of work at the Gurgaon office. How about dinner and a movie today?”. ‘That was quick’, I thought, but smiled at the prospect of a pleasant ending to a horrid day. “Okay”, I nodded. “Fantastic!! See you then!” he replied, and rushed towards the crowded elevator. I waved, tiredly. It had been quite a day!

“Beep…beep”. I picked up my phone. No number. I trembled and started cursing, as I read the message: “Thanks swt-hrt. Pick u up @ 9”.

Categories
Incidents Thought and Reason

Small un-e-verse

Beware of the rant…..

Well well well, we live in a small world. Every other person I know on the internet is connected to someone else I don’t know, who is actually a friend of someone I know. I find old schoolmates, long forgotten ones, ones whom I had admired, ones whom I avoided or was avoided by! I am often tempted to leave a message for them, a casual message, but then the clock (hangs like Damocles’ sword!) keeps ticking, reminding me how little time there is, and how many chores there are to do.

Like doing the dishes for example. The kitchen sink is sparkling clean in the morning. Then a spoon falls in (Ting!), followed by a plate or a cup (Clang!). Then a few mugs (Dang!) that once contained strong coffee (not filter, I’m too lazy for that!). By noon, the sink still looks quite empty. In a couple of hours, more utensils (Ting! Clang!), more plates (Clang! Clang!), more cups (Dang! Dang!!), and somehow, by nightfall, there’s a little mountain out there. Mums would be horrified, and MILs would be vindicated 😉 They always knew this girl didn’t know a thing! And I don’t care, I mean, about the pile of dishes. Because I am having far too much fun Ryzing. Until…. Clang! Ting! Clang! Dang! Crash….ooops, looks like there’s been a landslide in the kitchen sink!

Cheerio! (Or, Chore-io!)