Categories
Awards

More awards..

Happy Weekend everybody! And let’s begin it on this nice note…

 

Dreamer has awarded me with this precious ‘I Adore your Blog’ award.

J'Adore_Tien_Blog_Award_2009[2]

While I most gratefully accept it, I would also (rather promptly) like to pass it on to the foll. people, whose blogs are on the list of blogs that I admire…

1- Quirky Indian (though Quirky never bothers to acknowledge the award on the blog, or pass it on!)

2- Phoenix (for her wonderful sense of humour, and daring)

3- Shail (especially for her latest poem on Love)

4- Ratna (for being a wonderful writer..if you haven’t done so already, you have got to read her ‘Art of Having a Crush’)

5- Shankari (her stories lay the truth so bare, it could rip your soul apart) 

Cheerio!!

P.S: Dmanji is on an award-receiving spree, and has ever so sweetly passed them on to people in his blogroll..so I am going to ransack his collection of awards soon, and pass them on too 😉

Categories
55-er Short story

The silence of the noise (55-er)

I desisted breaking my siesta. Loud TV Soaps…Louder jazz!

But, it was ‘kaapi’ time.

Entered the hall…

Silence.

I stared, incoherent.

The photograph beamed at me.

The wife was long gone! My little ones, migrated.

It was Just me. An entire evening lay ahead!

I slumped onto the sofa. Grabbed the remote. Turned the volume to 50.

 

====

(Please excuse the silly title).

Categories
Humour Short story

The house of the SUNK (Fiction)

Our paternal house was beyond boundary. Mamma never took us there. The sign board outside the big rusted gate partly read: ‘The house of the Sunk’ I say ‘partly’ because moss had worn the gate as much as time had ravaged the house itself. Old, grey and deserted, is how I always remember seeing it.

 

‘Nisha! Neeessshhhaaaa….’, came a loud yell from the balcony. I looked up, to see Mamma waving out frantically to me. ‘Come upstairs RIGHT NOW!’ The timid girl that I was, I rose quickly, dusted the mud and stones off my frock and waved a quick ‘good-bye’ to my friends. They didn’t so much as bother to wave back. They just moved in closer, making a smaller circle, and continued with their game of Antakshari.

 

I climbed the three flights of stairs slowly, knowing Mamma would be angry at me at not having completed my homework before going out to play. The light was out. The grill gates were open. There was nothing sizzling in the kitchen. Mamma sat quietly in a corner of the sofa, just next to the telephone. She held her head in her hands. The pallu of her sari seemed to be wet. ‘Had she been crying?’, I wondered.

 

As I tiptoed into the room, Mamma looked up. She looked terrible. Shaken!

 

‘Mamma?’ I ventured softly.

 

She held out her arms and I involuntarily ran into them. For the next few minutes she became the child, and I, the parent.

 

Mamma finally set me down on the sofa, right next to her.

 

‘There’s some bad news…’

 

I gaped. In all of my twelve long years, I had never been told these words. I stared blankly. My heart raced. (In retrospect, I think the only thing that was I was thinking of, was Dadda). I made a quick prayer to my Friend upstairs. ‘Please let Dadda be safe! I don’t want anything else. Not even the new Casio for my birthday. Just bring Dadda home, please!’

 

‘Its Dadi-ma’, whispered Mamma.

 

‘Dadi-ma?’ I asked awkwardly. It took me several moments to associate an image with the word.

 

My mind raced back a couple of years. We were in the ‘House of the Sunk…’. A frail old woman seated on a rickety wooden chair. Her back was hunched. She peered at me from above the heavy glasses that sat perched upon her nose. Mamma and Dadda stood behind me, while the lady, who had been introduced to me as ‘Dadi-ma’ examined me. Atleast that was the way I felt. After having asked me the standard set of questions a stranger would… (My age, which school I went to, how I performed in my studies, etc.), she pulled me close to her, and most unexpectedly, planted a kiss on my forehead.

 

As I jerked back, I noticed her sparkling emerald earrings. They reminded me of Alice in Wonderland.

 

A sudden gust of wind made me tremble slightly. Through the grilled windows, I saw the leaves rustling, rather wildly, in what seemed to be the onset of a storm.

 

‘Get her my shawl’, Dadi-ma ordered Dadda.

 

‘Sorry, Ma. I am never entering THAT room again’, Dadda replied, pointing to a dark room in the corner of the hall. The lights were so dim that one could hardly make anything out, leave alone the green painted doors.

 

‘The house of the S U N K….’, the thought made me tremble more.

 

‘You are always silly! No wonder you married…’ started Dadi-ma.

 

I couldn’t hear the rest of the conversation, which was more like a brawl.

 

Mamma whisked me away into the car that was parked outside the rear door of the house. I watched the shadows of Dadda and Dadi-ma move animatedly. As I turned my gaze to the rest of the backyard, I noticed a heavy iron bucket standing, nay, dancing, at the edge of the well. A wicked-looking cat jumped near it, making the bucket sink right in, and me shiver in fear.

 

I think I fell asleep in the car. I never saw her again.

 

Until the phone call that Mamma had received this evening.

 

‘What happened to Dadi-ma?’, I asked, my voice quavering.

 

‘She… she…had an accident. Slipped in her bathroom.’

 

‘Oh! Is that all?’ I replied, a wave of relief washing over me.

 

‘No, Nisha. That isn’t all. She broke her hip. And when they tried to operate, she lost’

 

Tears started streaming from my eyes.

 

‘Don’t cry, my dear. We need to go there’

 

I didn’t reply.

 

All my growing years, Mamma and Dadda had kept me away from my Dadi-ma. I have never known the luxury of being spoilt rotten by a loving Grandmother. And all because these two people fought with one old lady.. Cut her out of their life. And mine too. And now? Now, she wasn’t even there. ‘If I could have just one chance!’ I pined. ‘To bring a little sunshine into my Dadi-ma’s life’.

 

If I had my way, I would pack a little bag with my worldly possessions and move to the ‘House of the S u n k…’. My Dadi-ma and I would spend hours together, reading ancient manuscripts from her worn-down library, tending to the wildly overgrown weeds in her garden, discussing the lovely tea-parties she had had when she herself, had been a little girl like me.

 

And at night, when the wind shrieked through the mango and jackfruit trees, I would huddle in my pretty lace nightgown and Dadi-ma would tell me stories to keep my fears at bay.

 

I missed her. Missed that very special bond (that I never had) that exists between a grandparent and a grandchild.

 

‘I hate you!’ I suddenly barked.

 

Mamma was startled.

 

‘Yes! I hate you!’ I shrieked and ran into my room.

 

‘Nisha! Baby! What’s the matter?’ Mamma ran behind me.

 

‘Dadi-ma is dead! And you never let me meet her EVER!’ I sobbed.

 

It took Mamma a minute to understand what was going on. As I sat crying amidst a pile of school books and pencils, she seated herself next to me.

 

I refused to look up at her. I could never forgive her! And Dadda.

 

‘Nisha!’

 

‘No! I am not forgiving you this time!’ I swore.

 

‘Nisha! Listen. There’s more…’

 

Now I looked up. Yeah! Dadi-ma must have left those priceless emerald earrings that she knew I loved so much, as her legacy for me. Tears pricked my eyes again, as I thought of the old lady, so forgiving and so generous…but had died unloved and uncared by her own!

 

‘Nisha! STOP that crying!’, Mamma commanded.

 

I wiped my tears (and my nose) on the edge of my sleeve.

 

‘You must know something, dear. Your Dadda and I met when we were very young, and got married against your Dadi-ma’s wishes. You know that, don’t you?’

 

I nodded.

 

‘So! Dadi-ma was very angry, and we moved into this city, and started our life together. And then you came! And we were both very happy. Dadda missed his Mummy, of course, but then, he knew that she and I would never gel. She comes from a very orthodox background, and I am rather modern in my thoughts. Do you understand what I am saying?’

 

‘I…I think so…’ I stammered.

 

‘OK…so, Dadi-ma was really cross! And refused to have any ties with us. So, recently, when she slipped and broke her hip, she kind of.. lost the use of her legs’.

 

‘Awww…..’, it was slowly sinking into me.

 

‘And she cannot live by herself any more!’

 

‘Oh! Wow! So, Mamma, are we going to live with her? Really?’ I muttered excitedly.

 

I instantly dreamt of the day Mamma, Dadda and I, would alight in front of the ‘House of the S u n k…’. The gates would open, as if by magic. The thick, overgrown weeds would miraculously make way for us as we walked into the house. Dadi-ma would await us in her big arm-chair. Her black cat would purr softly by her side. And when I bow to take her blessings, she would hand me a little silk red bag…and in it, would be those emeralds…

 

‘Nisha! Did you find that funny? Why are you grinning like an IDIOT?’ Mamma suddenly lashed out at me.

 

‘Hmph? Hmph?’ I muttered.

 

‘Didn’t you hear what I said?’

 

I smiled sheepishly, the effect of my day-dreaming still engulfing me in a warm, happy glow.

 

‘I said, Dadi-ma is coming to live with US! In our one-bedroom apartment!’

 

‘Whaaaaat?’

 

‘Yes! That’s the whole point! The old hag was so angry at your Dadda for having married me, that she gave away her palatial house in charity! And has reduced us all to the streets! And now, she is coming to live with us. And will make my life miserable!’

 

At this, Mamma started to cry again, until her eyes were swollen and could shed no more tears.

 

I gaped at her.

 

‘Its OK Mamma…that was a frightful house anyway… House of the SUNK…we could have never stayed ALIVE there, isn’t it?’ I tried to console her.

 

‘You silly child! That was the ‘House of the Sunkuvars’. The Sunkuvars were a very wealthy family, with plenty of property and gems and money! And this old woman has not only written us out of her will, she has even donated the bungalow that Dadda and me were hoping to move into, when she managed to forgive us!’

 

I shifted uncomfortably.

Suddenly, things did not seem so rosy. There wasn’t going to be any magic after all. No vicious buckets dancing on the ledge of a well, no overgrown weeds. Only a dirty black cat, probably!

‘Our hopes are sunk’, Mamma continued with a resigned air.

 

I rubbed her palm.  

A thought suddenly flashed across my mind, making me smile. ‘Maybe, we could rename our home, ‘House of the Sunk!’’. I didn’t dare mention this aloud. Mamma would kill me!

==============

(Wrote this short story for a fortnightly writing exercise on S & Co. on Ryze network – the theme being Old Houses with a line/phrase on the gatepost).

Categories
Movie Review

Dil Bole ‘Hadap’-pa

When? Oh! When?

When will B(/K)ollywood learn to be original? For how many more centuries will be continue to copy plots and music?

I really was looking forward to watching Dil Bole Hadippa, but then I read Quirky’s exhaustive review, and decided to skip it. The movie, I mean.

When I accidentally came across the story-line, I was disgusted, as this is a straight lift off the English movie: She’s the man. Now that, was a thoroughly enjoyable movie. So, I was upset to see Yashraj has simply hadap-ed an English movie, instead of letting their creative juices flow. I guess all they want is a juicy cash flow!

Ofcourse they will rake in the moolah. They have * handsome Shahid * Nautankey Rakhi!  * And crafty Rani. (I somehow find her sexy smile rather artificial and forced!)

Call me crazy, but am I the only one in the world to think Rani looks worn?!She doesn’t quite have that refreshing charm she exuded in Kuch Kuch Hota Hai or Ghulam (and I absolutely loved her in those movies!!). And to think of watching Rakhi Sawant, that itself is sheer torture. Much as I respect her outspoken-ness, she is a little too brash for my liking!

On another note, Aishwarya Rai seems to have gained a few tyres. Check out this video. Cheap thrill, that 😉 – the much-hyped Bacchhan Bahu isn’t quite the slender reed she used to be.

Now, now, now, Don’t you go pointing fingers at me! Neither am I a former Miss World nor do I get paid Crores of rupees, while being adored by the new Mummas-and-Pappas.

Another tidbit for you… when I tried to Google ‘Aishwarya Rai’ , this is one of the answers that came up featuring a link to ‘Wikianswers‘. What a waste of Internet resources. We Indians are crazy about ‘our stars’, aren’t we?!

Categories
Food and recipe Incidents

P!ng – I have news!

P!ng! I have news!!

No! Its not what you think. Its not on the personal front 😉 This is an interesting piece of info for all my Bangalore blogger buddies.

Most of my friends are enthusiastic foodies like me. And more often than not, we spend hours arguing about the ‘venue’ for a get-together or party or even a simple girlie’s (or boys, for that matter) hangout. The key points are either ambience or cuisine.

It is indeed challenging to zero in on a venue, especially when there is so much choice! You look around, and you are virtually mobbed by a variety of restaurants offering mouth-watering delicacies.

This is where  P ! N G   enters the picture.pingLogo1

A new entrant in Bangalore, P!ng Restaurant and Dessert Bay is a speciality restaurant, unique in more than one aspect.

These guys specialise in Dim Sum cuisine and offer around 35 unique varieties of Dim Sum. [Dim Sum cuisine, while very well known in the US, South East Asia and China, is not very well known in India. P!ng aspires to popularise Dim Sum cuisine for what it is – large variety, impeccable taste , great flavours and healthy ingredients]. (Now, that part is copy-pasted from their website 😉 )

 dimsum_header

 (By the way, they even have an exciting Children’s Menu).

The Dessert Bay (open from 10 am till 12 midnight!), is targetted more at the young student crowd, offers intriguing mocktails, ice cream and delicious pastries.contactus_leftHead

 

 Here is the link to the address and map. They are open 7 days a week – 12:00 pm to 3:30 pm and 7:00 pm to 11:30 pm.

If you are wondering why I wrote this, no, I have absolutely no ulterior motives 😉 (except, probably, the fact that this is owned by Rajanikanth*)!

delicious_dimsumI love going to restaurants that really have a difference! Locale, ambience, or Menu…anything that lends a certain charm to the place.

From the website and reviews, it seems like P!ng has it all! Try it out for yourself.

P.S. Did you know, they offer a free starter and dessert! He he! Now, if that isn’t motivation enough, then what is?!

You are also invited to follow P!ng on Facebook

(Pics: Courtesy: http://www.thepingrestaurant.com/)

* P.S. By ‘Rajanikanth’, I did not mean the Actor, but a friend of mine 🙂

Categories
Thought and Reason

What is it about F.R.I.E.N.D.S

Really! What is it about friends?! They add so much happiness to Life!

As most of my FB friends know, I met up with a friend from college, after ELEVEN years! And it was like catching up from just yesterday.  There was none of that foreignness or formality that we feel in newer friendships/relationships. We talked about this and that.. the past..eccentricities of college life, and the present and future plans (however vague or weird they might be!).

This afternoon, again, I made a long-distance call to a friend in Chennai. We have this strange relationship, where we never extend the courtesy to say ‘Hello’s or ‘Good-bye’s, but when we do talk, we gush over without inhibition. And there’s no grudge against the other for not having kept in touch!

It is tantamount to recognizing the fact, that that is a unique relationship, and is exactly the way it is… and you want neither more nor less. And that, I think is the basis for any sustainable friendship.

To be really honest, I find it extremely difficult to make friends, especially as I grow older. Because there are such few people with whom one can have that perfect wavelength. In all these years of post-college days, I can literally count my ‘newer’ friends on fingertips. Its that few!

I am not an anti-social person 😉 but I guess I am a bit of a loner, as I would rather be by myself, than gossip with an acquaintance!

Any day, I would (like the rest of you) prefer to be in the company (however short that might last) of my closest friends….

Those friends with whom I can talk endlessly. Where time runs out but conversation doesn’t. And where no Judgements are passed.

And there are the ones with whom I can spend an evening, over a cup of coffee (however badly made!), in complete silence.

To both sets of friends (and these very often merge!),  I just want to say ‘Thank you’ for adding Happiness to Life.

These days, ofcourse, I have a bunch of friends whom I’ve never met, but who read me, and always leave pleasant words, without ever judging me or my thoughts. Thank you, too, friends from Blog-samaj. I do hope I can meet you some day!

Happy Weekend, everyone!

Categories
Awards Incidents Thought and Reason

Far and away…(and Awards et al)

I’ve been away for so long. And nobody missed me 😦

Btw, I’ve been in a very non-www mood of late. Just too many things keeping me pre-occupied. But we did have a very nice weekend in Brussels…to celebrate our 6th Wedding Anniversary 🙂 Pics later.

I was thrilled to see Hitchy bhai’s interview on Blogadda, and PRG’s post on Driving License on Blogadda’s Tangy Tuesday Picks.

And totally J of seeing Pixie, Mon and gang meeting up in the real world. Anybody on this part of the world ? Pliss to let me know!

Oh, and THANKS a ton, Dmanji, for some lovely awards from you. Bless you with many more 🙂

International Blogging Community
International Blogging Community

Passing this on to:  Everyone on my blogroll!

Love Your Blog!
Love Your Blog!

This, I pass on to: Ritu, Piper, Vimmu, OG, Hitchy, Mystic Margarita, Quirky Indian, Prats

One Lovely Blog!
One Lovely Blog!

And this one goes to: Everyone on my blogroll, again.

THANKS once again, Dmanji! Awfully generous of you 🙂

Cheerio!!