Friday, December 21, 2007

Dear Santa...

Dear Santa,

Your gift for this Christmas orphan was purrfect. This proves that I have been a good girl this year. I am not going to be lonely for Christmas. :~). But I also know that I am the punishment you are giving that couple in Amsterdam for being very naughty this year. ;~)

!!!Merry Christmas Everyone!!!!

PS: Mum i am missing your plum cake and that famous mallu Ann's bakery cake still makes me nauseous.
PPS: New year resolution- to stop laughing like a hynea...

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Marriages made in heaven...

As a child, 14th April was the deadline by which we had to reach Trichur (for the uninitiated a place in Kerala) in the summer hols. It was my maternal grandfather's (Appachan) birthday & every year it was celebrated with great pomp & grandeur. All of us remembered Appachan's b'day. But many didn't realise that Ammachi even had one.

One day, on telling Ammachi this, she told me that Appachan also complained about the same thing. Further her b'day was at a time which did not clash with any holidays. & then he had told her that he would do something so that people will remember her b'day.....A few years later he died on her b'day. Appachan did what he promised. People now remember Ammachi's b'day. Because of his popularity in the business community, even business associates remember.

This for me was love in its purest form. They had seen the highs and lows of life. Been there for each other for nearly 50 years. I then see my folks- 2 totally contrasting personalities who have been with each other through thick and thin for 30 years. And there were just two people in these relationships.

Circa 2007. I see people around me. Some with a string of flings behind them, some seeking non-commital sexual relationships (the bastard* didnt want to pay for a service i presume), dangerously flirtatious married people, now with Mr, with Mr Y a few weeks later and these are your average Indians. Am I getting too cynical or am I expecting too much from the world or are we getting too westernised or am I too old fashioned? what happened to marriages like that of Appachan-Ammachi or Dad-Mum?

Call me boring & old fashioned, but i do have a problem in equating sex with just another physical need or a favour for a promotion..

Wedding season has set in. For Xtians starting 26th December all churches, priests, florists, couturiers, saloons etc will get busy. I got the news that my best friend and ex-colleague got married, another cousin is getting engaged (& yet another pregnant & one had a baby-all of them younger to me..sigh!). Some arranged by family and some self-serviced marriages. I am happy for all of them. Hope all ur marriages are like my Appachan-Ammachi’s or Dad-Mum’s and may u live 'happily ever after'.....

* I do not generally swear, but here I think it is justified.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Unique-ly yours!!

(yay! my first tag)..listening to Blue Danube Waltz celebrating the end of my first term....

Tagged by agent Egg Bonda (because of whom i hv watched Sound of Music 4 times in the past 2 weeks), i am expected to disclose unique things i possess.

i dont possess anything unique as Chech. (but i shall steal some of them this Xmas and make my room unique) But I think the sentimental value associated with some of them is wat makes them 'unique'..atleast to me.

5 Unique Things Found in My Room

1) A rosary which i picked up from the one and only retreat centre (in and around Trichur) i visited in my life.
2) An old dupatta of Mum's which she gave me to use as a rag(!!!). But it is not yet used as rag..guess i am getting emotionally attached to it.
3) 3 different plastic bags for 1) biodegradable waste, 2) glass and plastics, 3) paper [environment friendly Ann :~) ]
4) Brochures and pamphlets which are invitation to college parties, tube farelist, day trips out of london, tabloids containing lousy gossip which i use as coasters and tablemats.
5) A tastelessly done collage containing pics of my close friends and family. (also revealing the gradual increase in my weight over the years)

5 Unique Things Found in My Wallet

1) My college Id card which entitles me to highly important things like discount at Subway & other eateries, tube etc. and entry to half the buildings in college.
2) Some Austrailan 'chillar' (change) which i have been carrying with me ever since my eventful trip to Melbourne 2 yrs ago.
3) A very old visiting card of Dad's in the hope that his presence will forever be on my wallet (okay at least till next year)
4) Rs. 130 given by Dad at the airport just in case i wanted to get anything at the airport.
5) A note from sis wishing me 'Good luck in London' which came in the pocket of my 'life-saving-in-winter' jacket that she sent me.

5 Unique Things Found in My Bag

1) A copy of 'London A to Z' (which i never consult to navigate my way through this city as I have always managed to get lost with it) and college map (why have classrooms in various nearby buildings too)
2) A windcheater. It rains anytime and everytime here or at least wenever i am in the 'exploring' mood.
3) Black ink pen and passport size fotos. Thanx to the englishmen's fixation for 'black ink pen' for completing practically every form. The foto is back up option as many a times i was made to queue up again because i didnt have a foto!
4) The 17 yr old watch which was actually gifted to my sister wen she was 10. I upsurped it & wore that to all my exams. Its like a goodluck charm. However now only the dial is left. NO strap, no battery.
5) My room key which works on some weird technology that most of the time either i am locked out or everyone expect me can open the door.

So thats wat is 'un-uniquely unique' abt me...

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Dream to dare

(for ppl in the real world [as contrasted with the blogosphere] who know me this post will leave them in splits)
In my dreams…

I am a wild girl constantly ‘living on the edge’ or a biker babe. Myself dressed in the trademark riding jacket, boots, gloves, waterproof jeans, helmet et al…(zzzzzippp- fastening my jacket) zooming past the motorways. Going on a road trip on my bike…zzzzoooommm…..


I am a don’s moll, constantly showered with costly gifts by my gangster-drug dealer Don. In the dimly lit-with neon-lamps discotheques which my Don owns I shall give my special sexy performance (where I will be wearing a gold sequined slinky dress and high heels). And in a room in the top floor, Don shall be threatening a middleman for messing with the cocaine consignment and eventually shooting him point blank. Of course I am also having an affair with the doorkeeper of the disc.(wonder y but even in reality I find the disc doorkeepers with their long overcoats, blue tooth devices/bugs(I think that’s wat they are called) in their ear and stern face so hot!)


I am a Baywatch lifeguard. In this particular dream I am blonde (Pamelaji ki Jai!!). Wearing the red swimsuit, standing on my watchtower keeping an eye on the beach with my yellow binoculars. And when I hear the frantic call ‘help! help!’ I make the dramatic 'slow-motion' run towards the water and rescue him. Of course later myself and hunk (who I jus rescued) go on a date and then kiss with the sunset in the background.

In real life…
A law student trying to finish her reading before class, understand wat is being told in class, (as incomplete readings lead to incomplete comprehension), hope to clear her exams and get a job with her new found postgraduate status. Adventure quotient- nil, Social life- practically nil, Party scene- nil, Love life- what is that?

I cannot handle a normal TVS Scooty, forget handling a superbike. Infact I can’t even ride a bike. Drugs, deals, dons petrify me. I haven’t been to a disc/bar unless accompanied by brother-in-law or sister (and I also have the dubious distinction of being the only one landing up in track pants on a Friday nite) Imagine the sight of me introducing my doorkeeper boyfriend to my folks (i.e. if the Don spares us both). Red swimsuits and tanned bodies- my attempts at learning how to swim ended with me being highly hydrophobic, so much so that even a powerful bathroom shower can scare me off. And I will be charged for the offence of obscenity and indecent representation of women if I try to fit into a swimsuit and run. (huff pant pant…)

The closest I got to an exciting life was wen I was caught by the receptionist returning back to my hall on this early Saturday morning (the first time ever). Trying to sneak in without waking him up, I tip toe into the hall when
Receptionist: Hello young lady
Me: (deer caught by a headlight look) ooh! Hi good morning..
R: Well it sure is a good morning for u, isn’t it? (giving a cheeky smile looking like 'i caught u coming back from ur boyfriend's place')
Me: (trying to act brave, simultaneously walking to the door)..hahaha..well then have a nice day..
R: u sure did have a nice day afterall right… (nodding cheeky smile again)
Me: (by then ran up to my room)
[I let him live in the misconception that he is in, little does he know that I was at my friend’s place last nite and cudnt get a bus back from her shady area!!! At least somebody thinks I have a happening life!]

Sunday, December 02, 2007

I amsterdAM!

Kehte hain agar kisi cheez ko dil se chaho toh poori kaynaat usey tumse milane ki koshish mein lag jaati hai....

After reading The Alchemist, I did start believing in destiny. I do look out for signs. Ever since I reached London, the thing on my mind, after (‘wat to eat for the next meal’) was when I will be invited to Amsterdam by Chech and husband, Chettan(ok I correct myself-wen i will get a 'relatively' free weekend to go-the it ws an open invitation). I wished for it ‘poore dil se’ and did have an eventful trip….

Sign 1- My visa was processed in 5 hours contrary to the regular practice of 24 hours. All thanx to over cautious approach to the documents by sister and the kind lady at the counter. (also thanks Dad for all money invested in my dental braces for my charming smile-I brushed my teeth twice that money). Although I had to spend the entire day in beautiful-in-autumn Kensington Garden without a camera and became frozen meat due to insufficient dressing, (I dressed according to central London weather!) the wait was worth it. I proudly called up Chech saying- Breakfast in London, dinner in Amsterdam.

Sign 2- Woken up at 9 for a class at 10 by Chech, I was warned to not be late for the flight. According to my calculations, to reach Heathrow at 3.15 I had to take the 2.15 tube. Reaching the platform I was reminded of Rajiv Chowk metro station!!! There was not an inch of space left all thanx to maintainece work on Picadilly Line. But 3 yrs Delhi Metro experience and a few months exposure to Mumbai Local, I was the first to get into the tube.

A journey which was to last for 50 minutes, took 90 minutes. Then the real action began. Everyone at Terminal 4 on that day would have testified that they saw a crazy Indian girl running about the terminal between 15.45 hrs to 16.15 hrs on 16 Nov 2007.

Ran out of the tube, hit a few passers-by, dropped a glove, ran back to collect it, took the lift, ran to the BA counter, looked puzzled at the boarding pass ‘vending’ machine only to be helped by a customer services member.

Running to the security line and I met an interesting man who was blocking my way while I was trying to pass him, on being asked, told him my flight takes of at 16.05! Good enough to let me ahead, we were stuck at the counter. Took out laptop, metallic things on person, jacket, i-pod, cell fone (which rang while in the X-machine-making me look suspicious to the English cop), shoes…(the next time they might just expect us to strip right there). During this entire exercise, the interesting man tells me BA will put me on the next flight and there was a huge public transport problem in central London.

Ran (again) to the BA counter to be told to run FASTER to gate #. With only Indian airport experience, I expect gates to be in one line, each at a distance of 10 baby steps apart. But run as much I did, gate # was far far away.

Reached the gate (pant huff puff!!). Sardar BA official called up the pilot and then turned to me saying Miss Jose (pronouncing it HOSSEY- I am not Hispanic plz plz) “u jus missed ur flight”. [Come on dude u can do something, u Indian, me Indian..but how wud u know I am Indian, u keep calling me HOSSEY!!]

Chech called “Are u in the flight…no…it says ‘last call’..u can still catch it
Chech I missed the flight
“…………….silence…………” (Thinking- how many times have I told her to be on time)
Well they told me go to flight connections
Ok..bye” (Thinking- my money!!)

Chettan- “Don’t worry..u take the next flight. If need be buy a ticket for the next flight
what…are u sure?...ok” (Thinking- The next flight only has business class, cheapest being GBP 385, I don’t think he checked it)

Running (yet again) to flight connections, I put up the famous ‘damsel in distress’ act- explaining to them how I was harassed by the Piccadilly line, its maintenance and Indian style tardiness. The act successful, I was put on the next flight with no extra charges but with a warning that the tube is not trustworthy and I should learn from this lesson.

Dad- “So u r on ur flight to meet chechi
Dad I missed my flight
“……silence……” (Thinking- eeh kochine kondu thotu- basically this girl has crossed all limits)
but I have been put on the next flight and that’s an hour later
ok…but are u in a safe place??? "
huh??...Dad airport terminal…duty free of course” (Thinking- its Heathow ppl ppl everywhere)
Oh ok then, DON’T MISS UR NEXT FLIGHT” (Thinking- She in a dutyfree shop is not a safe place for me especially when her monthly bill comes)

Sign 3
I amsterdAM!!!!

Moral of the story: “When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it”....Apart from this ‘want’, I also had the desire to overcome my laziness and start exercising. That was also fulfilled on this trip- in A’dam, I ran behind buses, trams, trains and even a PLANE!!

End mein sab theek ho jaata hai…Happys Endings!!!

for pics (if interested) check out-
(i am just a rookie though)

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Sibling revelry

Warning: Chech-Both of us are not very ‘vocal’ about our feelings, piss offs and craziest thoughts, but this time I guess it’s the weekend hangover that has led to this verbal diarrhoea.

As the youngest at home, life was fun as my folks didn’t experiment their parenting skills on me coz they were all tried and tested on big sister- Chech or Chechu as I call her. I was entitled to the bigger serving of ice-cream and the last piece of chocolate, not subjected to corporal punishment and always talked back to my folks. On the flipside, my middle name was entailed to rhyme with hers (malayalee parents fear being in breach of Section 3(2)(ii) of Kerala (Nonsensical Names) Act, 1951), received all hand-me-downs, wore similar clothes (I am sure that was mum’s way of saving money) and was constantly compared to the ‘well mannered, hardworking, less talkative’ sister.

From Rivalry…..

For some inexplicable reason, I was born with no hair on my head and 4 year old Chechu (who had jus received a ‘live’ doll) used to call me ‘motta vava’ (bald baby). She even composed a funny but irritating jingle on the bald ‘beauty’ (ahem). As a child, I always thought that I was adopted because Chech’s baptism, ‘1st birthday’, holy communion et al were ‘social’ events which relatives attended and mine were just a formality. And the child prodigy that Chech was, reaffirmed this fear. She convincingly told me that a scary looking man, appearing in an old album back home, had plans to finish off Dad, but then spared him subject to me being given to him when I complete 10 years of age [Dad agreed to give me off coz I was the adopted one]. And the stupid kid that I was, would count on my fingers how many years were left. (and I couldn’t beyond 3!!!)

Not that I was an angel in disguise. Whenever I sensed that Dad was unhappy with Chech’s studies, I would run and get the biggest ‘eerkkili’ (broomstick) for her punishment. We fought tooth and nail for frivolous things like remote control (cartoon network versus MTV), stationery, chocolates till Mum intervened saying – “ooh eeh kochungale kondu thotu!” (I have given up on these kids). She had the neat handwriting, systematic approach to study (waking up at 4.30 to prepare for her Chartered Accountancy exams), a voracious reader blah blah & blah and I was constantly told to ‘learn from her’. In a nut shell, she had made my life a living hell and I would tell people how lucky they were coz they didn’t a have sister like Chech. I wanted nothing to do with her.

….to Revelry

Times have changed now. We both look nearly alike (bad news for me coz she is 4 yrs elder!!!!). She lives with her ‘charming’ husband- (Chettan) just an hour away by flight and that is what keeps me sane here. The loser that I am, moved out of home just 2 months back. From being the carefree butterfly (though I doubt if my weight will permit me to defy gravity), I am forced to do my cooking, cleaning, washing and studying- apart from worrying about work prospects next year. Theories on mergers and acquisitions, pending laundry, bank account, what to prepare for dinner all in one go!!

Chech has, to an extent, now taken Mum’s place (as mum doesn’t talk much on the fone, and I need to ‘talk’ abt life’s happenings and not-so-happenings, not ‘write’ abt them in emails) especially when she says ‘get up get up its 5.15’. Her cooking has improved by leaps and bounds (if I describe her kitchen skills 5 years back she will sue me for defamation). I have special interest in her professional and financial success as it is directly proportional to the gifts I am showered with. (get the hint Chech, I am coming with more food requests next time). She always keeps a check on me & the gossip at my end- her’s and Chettan’s latest worry being my lack of lady like elegance and premature ageing.

Back from a much awaited weekend trip to Amsterdam. My clumsy nature made the process of getting the visa, hopping on the flight and the events thereafter surprising-embarrassing-and-fun in that order (details of which shall be elaborated later). But what I enjoyed the most was being carefree once again.

Now I tell people how lucky I am to have a sister like her. Further due to her, I now have a big brother(in-law) who provides all the fun element and sensible advice. (How much hv I flattered u today) Years back we were the good Roman Catholic girls who went to church and Sunday class every week. Thanx to Chettan’s sangria, last Sunday night we were two lightly drunk women (our first time ever) standing at a tram stop remembering those crazy childhood days, singing the ‘motta vava’ jingle and giggling. Chech just imagine what if Dad had seen us there??!??!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

London-y Snickets- A Series of Embarrassing Events

Absence from the blogsphere for a long time (like anyone cared!) is blamed on my inability to manage time efficiently. A lot has happened ever since I saw “The Namesake” (no I did not paint my full name as a graffiti on the walls of Mumbai- the innumerable C-grade movie posters didn’t spare any brick of the wall). I left my traineeship and got an Annie McBeal certificate. Since the boss was left speechless seeing my performance, he asked my goodself to prepare the certificate. I shopped for 20 days and packed everything into 3 bags and left the country to fufill my teenage dream- to meet Prince William! (he is balding and re-engaged but he still is in the second in line to the throne). On a serious note, I thought a li’l bit of London education may save my future employers.

The Journey

All my bags are packed, I ready to go
I am standing here outside the check-in counter
I hate to unpack all the excess baggage
Coz I am leaving on a jet (airways) plane

1) 20 days of shopping for an entire academic year. Linen, towels, cutlery, stationery, spices, pots, pans and finally some clothes..all packed into 3 bags.
Permitted weight = 28 + 23.
Packed weight = 35 + 33.
Finally checked-in weight = 30+ 25
Value of left behind Excess baggage= Priceless
Stares from the nearby people straight into my suitcase = Embarrassing
Lesson learnt- always weigh your luggage before a trip

2) When Mumbai was hot and happening at 35 C, my goodself was the only person in the airport with a sweater and a padded jacket (which made goodself look like an eskimo) and drawing unwanted stares from the NRIs. (you wore the same out-of-season clothes the first time u left the country!!!!)
Lesson learnt- ignore them.

3) Seated comfortably in the flight, goodself thot- lets watch some in-flight entertainment. So all buttons on the remote is pressed, touch screen is touched again and again till fingerprints ruined the screen, passengers seated nearby look and think ‘another FOB student’ and laughs and goodself thinks-‘Oh another IT onsite FOB’. In 15 minutes all misconceptions cleared- IT onsite dude is not an FOB, but a frequent flier (overheard conversation with third passenger) and the touch screen works once the inflight announcements take place and hence he laughed.
Lesson learnt- don’t turn on the entertainment as soon as u take ur seat. Be patient and wait for the flight to take off.

4) Dinner is served and it is some chicken achari roll (sounds good tasted ridiculous). The roll came in a cover double its size and goodself tries to put her hand all the way through, but the role doesn’t come out. IT-frequent flier-dude again laughs and then jus rolls down the cover half way till the actual achari roll is reached.
Lesson learnt- when u know not what to do, jus watch what others are doing (mebbe u too could get a chance to laugh). Your greed can wait!

5) The flight lands after circling London city 6-7 times as its too foggy for the ATC to give clearance and then thud! The flight touched the ground...(yay! I am in Lundun). All the passengers rush to the door and goodself thinks ‘dude this is Mumbai local train behaviour’ and casually wears the jacket, straps the laptop and pulls of the ‘overweight’ inflight bag (managing to look like an FOB all the more). People rushing all the way, running down the escalators. Soon the suspense ends at the immigration counter (or ‘UK BORDER’ as it is written in bold letters). At 6 am the rush at the counter resembled the crowd outside ‘Jalsa’ for Bacchan Jr’s wedding and it will take an hour to ‘cross’ the UK border.
Lesson learnt- the ‘Mumbai local train’ rule is universally applied at every international airport.

6) Lucky I was to meet a student (SM) also heading to my college and she suggests that we take the tube to our hall. Goodself had planned on taking the ‘sexy taxi’ (the famous black cab). Once across the trolley limit, the real adventure begins- getting our heavy luggage (each person pushing-tugging [I refrain from using the word ‘carrying’ which we were incapable of doing due to the weight] upto 70 kgs) to the tube. Goodself gets frustrated and comes up with the bright idea- THROW THE LUGGAGE down the escalator. So SM pushes the bag from the top, the bag tumbles and reaches goodself upside down, in the process also providing some comic relief to the passers-by.
Lesson learnt- Always travel light. (u get over the rupee-pound conversion soon)

7) So goodself reaches Holborn, again tugs at her luggage and manages to look helpless. An Indian student visiting London takes pity and helps. Together we pull down the luggage on the stairs and the wheels go manage to irritate everyone present.
Lesson learnt- Never do this when ur folks who funded the new luggage is around u..i was picturising the look on my folks face- the thot scared me.

8) Goodself stands on Kingsway hoping a ‘sexy taxi’ comes by…waits..waits..waits..(thinks-I SHUD have taken the cab at the airport)..waits..waits…(WTF!!!)…waits…waits..soon a cab finally comes..tells the cab driver ‘please take me to Drroorry lane’..he says ‘what’..goodself repeats.. ‘drrooorrry lane its jus the parallel street’..he says.. ‘oh druhry lane..i didn’t understand’!!
Lesson learnt- Even if English is the only language u can speak, don’t think the world will understand u. I thought my English was good, (I pronounce ‘r’ like the Americans do, not ‘arr’) but guess I was wrong.

9) Seats herself inside..nice I am in the sexy taxi..looks straight ahead to find the meter and sees the fare running at pace faster than the second needle in a clock. Reaches her destination and pays 6 pounds for a 3 minute ride. (Heathrow to Holborn- 45 minute ride-4 pounds!!)
Lesson learnt- the taxi is not that sexy afterall.

10) Goodself is now at her ‘home’ for the next 9 months and she didn’t know how to pronounce the name of the building. But this time smart enough, she did not take the name of the building, but quietly showed the offer letter and carefully overheard the receptionist talking over the fone and learnt pronunciation.

Conclusion- it might seem that I learnt all my lessons in 12 hours. But this is not the end of the story. More events happened but if I sit to write all of that I will not be prepared for tomorrow’s class. (what I actually meant to say is that it wud jus bore u to the core)

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Birthday resolution

....a lot happened since i snatched the 'annie mcbeal' certificate from my( no ex-boss)....i realised that an idle mind is definitely a devils I turned a year older and decided to get back to things i I AM BACK!!!!!...and this time hopefully to stay!!!....

PS i purposely took this resolution on my birthday and not on new yrs as the latter resolutions r meant to be broken....

Friday, August 03, 2007

The Namesake

This post is slightly on the serious side. Last nite I watched ‘The Namesake’ (yeah finally!) and must say I loved the movie, not because of the stellar performances by all the actors, but because how close that movie is to my own life. Don’t worry unlike posts seen in many other blogs, I am not gonna write a review of the movie.

Watching the movie I felt that the lead characters Ashoke and Ashima were a reflection my dad and mum. Dad like Ashoke wanted us to stay outside Kerala cause a metro city was the ‘land of opportunities’(for further reference please refer to the post ‘Leema I got transferred’) and mum like Ashima still has the distinct accented English. What is strikingly similar is the relationship they both share, the downplayed romance, the concern over their ‘slightly’ indifferent children. I was reminded of my folks in the scene where Ashoke explains to Ashima that just because other husbands don’t build the Taj for their wives they don’t love them any less, where Ashoke calls Ashima to be with him in Cleaveland and when Ashima asks her husband ‘u want me to say I love u like the americans’ and the way she does not say it.

Similarities don’t end there. There are shades of Gogol in me coz I too have issues with my name. I always complain to my folks that in an effort to match my name with my sister’s, they have given me a lousy name. Why did they have to give me 3 names, y give me a name does not mean anything, y put my ‘good’ name, pet name and dad’s name in the school register, the names are three small names which they sounds ridiculous when taken together, y cant I make my dad’s name an initial and take my granddad’s name and…on and on and on. But in the scenes where his father says that Gogol can change his name and when it hurts him when Gogol’s wife says that she intends to retain her maiden name, I realized how much I hurt my folks wid my ‘name changing’ tantrums.

Sorry dad and mum coz I hurt you with alternatives for my name..after all whats in a name.. a rose by any other name would smell as sweet and there is no more room for granddad’s name in my name- Dad this is for your 'namesake'....

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Annie McBeal

Blogging frequency has become dismally low [like anyone cares, but still] these days as I serve the society as a corporate lawyer by raising bills on firangs. I am no more ‘just a student’ and since (wo)manhours are being billed, I chose to something more productive (but if I am showered with comments I will choose blogging over billing). So everyday Annie McBeal packs herself to the office and does wonders!! Here is an excerpt of what my certificate will be:

XYZ Associates

(* we dont except anybody to be concerned abt her)

Miss Annie Macbeal worked with us for the past____months. Listed below are the wonders she ‘performed’ during her stint at XYZ Associates.

Wonder 1- Dress Code
Annie McBeal is the only person in office who wears jeans on a weekday. On other days she obliges the firm by wearing Indian formals. But in that she appears to the client like a social worker striving for the cause of the downtrodden and destitute and not like a hard core mercenary willing to help firangs sell nuts, bolts, lubricants, plastics in India. She still carries a ‘backpack’ in contrast to a boring ‘formal’ bag and wears ‘funky’ socks instead of classy silk stockings. Her hair is in dire need of an ‘iron’ or at least a comb.

Wonder 2- Body Language
Annie Mcbeal is the classic case of ‘rebel without a cause’. She looks like a college student who has still not left her ‘glorious’ past behind. Her sitting posture resembles a Ramdev aasan. In her first month at office, to show her displeasure at a delayed pay cheque, she broke a chair. She breaks into a jig on solving a query. A complete clean freak it is not surprising to see her frequently cleaning the keyboard, mouse and office stationery with sanitizing lotion. [Warning: She needs to seek medical help on this issue] She needs to hone her choice of mobile ringtones, ‘Sexy back’ is ‘cacophonous, jarring sound’ affecting the office environment (I know sexyback is now passé..but that’s till I get some time to download a more “cacophonous” sound).

Wonder 3- Work culture
Annie McBeal has absolutely no clue of what she is doing in office. Her knowledge of corporate law at present is zilch and we are not contemplating or expecting any change in this regard in the ‘far’ future either. She can draft something, however we attribute this to her excellent talent at ‘cut, copy, pasting’. She gets jittery on meeting a client and in the process manages to get clumsier. Her patent dialogue to client is ‘We will have to ask boss about this. We shall get back to you in some time’. All in all she is our Bridget Jones.

To conclude, it was a delight having Annie McBeal in our office and it is BIGGER delight NOT HAVING her in the office. We wish all her future bosses good luck and success in all their endeavors.


Monday, July 09, 2007

Rainy days are here again!!

"Rrain rrain go yaway
Come agyain anotherr day
Litttel Jhony waaants to playyy
Rrain rrain go yaway"

As a child i remember singing this rhyme (in that irritating voice and strong mallu accent-that explains the spelling) on a rainy day coz the rain ruined our evening play plans and we had to be content with indoor games. In school 'games' period became an extra-class period by the history teacher (of all the subjects HISTORY!!!). Folks would never allow me to get wet in the rain saying i would catch a cold. (if thats so then y didnt we catch cold wen we took bath under the shower!!!!). I hated wearing the raincoat, coz i thought it hid my curves (tho i didnt have any!). I wanted to carry an umbrella because all grown ups used an umbrella (i was 8 wen i thot this!)
Rainy season was something i wanted to enjoy sitting at home coz schools wud be shut for a day or 2, get wet, jump into the puddles of water and splash water on a newly painted wall (of course not ours, some others')- but cudnt coz it was banned by folks. So i would enjoy rain from my balcony with those few raindrops (which showed some mercy on me) falling on my outstretched little palm. (damn that parapet!!!!!) I was FORCED TO AVOID the rain.

"Raindrops keep falling on my head
But that doesn't mean my eyes will soon be turning red.
Crying's not for me
Cause I'm never gonna stop the rain by complaining.
Because I'm free. Nothing's worrying me."

In college, rain symbolised fun and romance (tho nt in my case sadly-the good (read stupid) mallu girl i am u see) , coz folks could no longer exert much control (mind u my folks r still very strict). Rainy meant teachers in no mood to teach and taking a walk in the rain with friends (some of them were given the much needed bath by mother nature herself) and yes ur heart would skip a beat wen u see the university heartthrob all wet and sexy(and for that moment the fact that he cant speak english and that he is just a gawar gaonwala doesnt matter-he still was the heartthrob as our univ lacked good choice). I once took a walk with my friends in the rain- walking wid that somebody who u think is secretly nursing feelings for u and suddenly the orange stain of the henna applied on my hair the previous day started draining and it resulted in orange spots on my my cream dupatta!!! [HOW ROMANTIC!!!!! and it also resulted in no more feelings being nursed]. I NO LONGER AVOIDED the rain.

At work, rain is taken in the same breath as traffic jam and boss' bad mood coz u jus cant save ur ass from it!!! Be it a 10km stretch traffic jam or ur assignment getting reviewed by boss wen his mood is at its foul-est peak or incessant rain- u still HAVE to be in office and show that pleasant face!! A rainy day means more stink in the bus, never ending traffic jam, overflowing gutters, multi-tasking trying to prevent ur umbrella from flying off and making sure that ur pyjama ends dont get wet (being all grown up i now carry an umbrella, but i realised that a raincoat is better!!!) and after all this battle sit freezing cold in the airconditioned office and finally catch that cold which ur folks always warned u abt. Now I WANT TO but CAN NO LONGER AVOID the rain!!!

"Rain rain go away
Come again another day
L'il Johny wants to play
Rain rain go away...."
These days i have resumed signing the same old rhyme, but the accent has changed- (its all the influence of Star TV!!)

Monday, July 02, 2007

From Walled City to Maximum City

2 months in Bombay and my good self can see the difference between saddi dilli and amchi mumbai. here are a few.....

1) first and foremost- I don't think I am short anymore! (the delhi crowd gave me a complex!)

2) fat aunties with low neck crepe suits and fatter uncles yapping in punjabi have given way to fit dada and dadis jabbering in marathi

3) neon colored polythene lifafas have been replaced by psychedelic prints- wali thaili

4) sweaters have given way umbrellas and rain coats

5) no more papdi chat, dahi bhalley, chole bhature, jus vada pav, pav bhaji, pav samosa, pav this, pav that

6) bbye golgappe, hello pani puri :~(

7) no more lecherous looking uncles, infact hardly any leching these days and a man to woman conversation happens eye to eye (thank god)

8) um still trying to find a woman who wears make up, as contrasted to the quintessential delhi woman with all the make up on her face 24/7

9) sleek metro is no longer a luxury, only ur local Mumbai local

10) we have gateway of India instead of India Gate

11) green colored CNG buses replaced by red colored BEST buses with all directions written in marathi except 'Purchase your ticket'

11) no more nosey neighbors or prying public, only the bindaas bombayite, who can be very impersonal at times

12) paneer has been elevated to the status of "Chef's Special" and so has its cost(!!)

13) I no longer begin my day hearing MC, BC and its cousins

14) I am learning to value time

15) I am enjoying the sense of independence that Mumbai has given me!!!!

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Walled City to Maximum City

2 months in Bombay and my good self can see the difference between saddi dilli and amchi mumbai. here are a few.....

1) first and foremost- I don’t think I am short anymore! (the delhi crowd gave me a complex!)

2) fat aunties with low neck crepe suits and fatter uncles yapping in punjabi have given way to fit dada and dadis jabbering in marathi

3) neon colored polythene lifafas have been replaced by psychedelic prints-wali thaili

4) sweaters have given way umbrellas and rain coats

5) no more papdi chat, dahi bhalley, chole bhature, jus vada pav, pav bhaji, pav samosa, pav this, pav that

6) bbye golgappe, hello pani puri :~(

7) no more lecherous looking uncles, infact hardly any leching these days and a man to woman conversation happens eye to eye (thank god)

8) um still trying to find a woman who wears make up, as contrasted to the quintessential delhi woman with all the make up on her face 24/7

9) sleek metro is no longer a luxury, only ur local Mumbai local

10) we have gateway of India instead of India Gate

11) green colored CNG buses replaced by red colored BEST buses with all directions written in marathi except ‘Purchase your ticket’

11) no more nosey neighbors or prying public, only the bindaas bombayite, who can be very impersonal at times

12) paneer has been elevated to the status of “Chef’s Special” and so has its cost(!!)

13) I no longer begin my day hearing MC, BC and its cousins

14) I am learning to value time

15) I am enjoying the sense of independence that Mumbai has given me!!!!

Sunday, May 06, 2007

"Leema, i got transferred"

This is the line that sister and me dreaded everytime we were in a particular city for about 3 years. My dad has a transferable job and he is one of those few employees who LIKES transfers.
A 'few years' back to when i was 6 yrs old (i am not very old) when dad got transferred to Madras (Back then it was Madras) In fact he wanted to transfer himself to Madras for he wanted 'without Mallu accented English' speaking daughters. So we shifted ourselves from Alwaye (Kerala). Madras gave us a slight culture shock. Children conversed in English and my knowledge of English was restricted to 'cat', 'bat' and 'rat'. Others spoke Tamil- a word of which i didnt know. I didnt speak for a month to anyone outside home (for ppl who know-this should surprise them!!!). In a month we joined our new school, learnt the new language (English and Tamil-all the English i know today and my accent is courtesy our stint in Madras), ate tamilian food etc. All this for 5 years....

Just wen we got comfortable, the dreaded fone call came. “Leema, I got transferred”. This time we packed off to Bombay (it was Bombay back then). From now on the cultural shock was less, cause we were used to city life. But now everybody spoke hindi and i had to study marathi for school.

Two yrs later, the call came again. This time to Kerala- a stint we or rather i didnt enjoy much. We lived near our relatives, so we HAVE to meet them every sunday for some function. I didnt miss my cousins anymore, so i no longer had the excitement to meet them. Dad saw this coming, he too felt that we relegating back to the 'rice and fish' culture (i would like to mention here tat dad has the highest regard for mallu culture, but he didnt like those functions eating into our study time)

then the calls became frequent- Kerala to Delhi, Delhi to Chennai(ya then it became Chennai), Chennai to Delhi- then in Delhi for 6 looong years. Till the call came again....this time to Mumbai (name changed!!)

Thanx to transfers, we have a cosmopolitan upbringing, we know more languages, more places, friends in these places, 7 schools (thankfully only one college) i did grades 8-12th in 4 different schools!!! Transfers made us bold and confident. We are 'non mallu accented english speaking' girls!!...But transfers also made us thick skinned and hard hearted. We longer feel very close to people. We are apprehensive of getting close to people, cause we know that one day soon we have part. People say that we have friends all over, but line 'keep in touch haan..' is just a formality. Nobody keeps in touch- even with the advent of orkut, hi-fi. When we go to any place, we have an identity crisis- we are not south indians for an ordinary south indian- we are dilli or mumbaiwaalis, while we are in the north, we are tambis!!

But Dad was very particular that we always see transfers in positive light, we just could not complain about a transfer. “Every new place holds new opportunities”- thus spake dad. Lets see wat oppurtunity this mumbai stint has in store....

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Rickshaw ride....

Delhi is known to be one place where the past and present are closely linked wid each other, so much so that every dilapidated building has a history. Mum and urs truly jus need an excuse to go and explore a new place. so today we decided to head to sadar bazzar thru an unexplored route. for the uninitiated, sadar is delhi's age old wholesale market, with each 'gali' specialising in a particular product, along wid scary looking ppl, pollution, animals which add to the fun. and y do we head there...well to eat chole bhature and great discounts!!!

so at 40 C, 1.30 pm ventured out. hopped into the metro. got down at 'new delhi'. went by my 'gut' feeling. took the wrong turn. landed up in 'kamla market' (back in first yr of college i was told that Kamla market is near GB Road-one of delhis biggest red light areas). fought wid the rickshaw pullers to take us by the road we knew, none agreed. then bargained wid the rickshaw pullers abt the price. finally we are seated on a royal rickshaw, as it has no roof we cover our heads wid scarves.

the ride begins, and um looking at the 'new' street. the new street is better as there us lesser traffic. mebbe because of its afternoon. strangely there are very few women on this route. and the few women who are present on the street are passing contemptuous looks. thats strange. havent they seen women travel alone on this road.

soon the suspence ends...closer scrutiny of the address of the area reveals that mum and urs truly are on GB ROAD!!!!!!!! and we are two women wid our lovely (ahem) faces covered wid scarves!!!need i say more....

(oh ya the exploration trips have been stalled for sometime now)

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Smart Girl

'Just wat have u done to ur hair....kid are u alright'!!!! thus screamed mother.

"nindey mudi (ur hair)...this costed u a grand!!!!"- dad joined in wid that disapproving look.

few weeks back.....

mum plz let me get it done..plz plz plz...look at my hair, when i tie it up it looks like ageing horses tail (no more the perky 'pony'tail)

but do u think it worth all the chemicals, u r not a kid now, u know we have to go to kerala this year...

mum plz plz plz......

go and ask dad

"dad i wanna do something to my hair, u wont understand wat it is. but its gonna cost"(sheepish grin)

how much

'one grand'

"ONE GRAND!!!!' (muscles tense, eyes turn red..thankfully breathing returns to normal)...listen u r a responsible girl...i hope u know wat u r doing." (that means i wont buy u a wig if burn all ur hair)

and wat did responsible girl do???...she underwent 'permanent waving' (perm for the uninitiated)....hey then y this reaction- preity zinta, meg ryan, nicole kidman, even oprah looked good....because some ppl also end up looking like this.
no i didnt grow a mush tho thankfully!!!

(i didnt bother much abt the formatting..i have hair to take care of)

Monday, February 26, 2007

Being Balbir Singh.....

"Bhaiyya mai...."
-(oh no not again!!...y God y do u do this to me....)
"Jee theek hai"
-(1 2 3 it didnt turn off today)

"bhaiyya station change karna...yeh wala nahi...102"
-(there she goes ...changing the station again..she cant control the wheel and she wants to multitask!)

"haan...hi yaar...kaisi hai"
-(damn these cell fones..the light has turned green..the cars behind are honking..hang up will u!)
"woh gaadi peechey horn maar rahi hai"
"haan haan bhaiyya ek minute...chal vidhi rakti hoon...bye"

-(ridge road..thank heavens its a straight road, no bends or turns.. smooooth)
-(wat the....)
"gaddha dekhke"

"bhaiyya parking mein dal dena"
-(Another day another ride is over and am ALIVE!!!!)

Thoughts of our driver and trusted friend, Balbir Singh ji when i am driving. He has a family to feed and no insurance policy for cover, but fought all odds to 'try' teaching me to drive. Its been 5 yrs since i got d licence, but i cant control the wheel or park or take reverse, but i can drive straight...straight into a ditch! And he still has hope.....

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

"khaney mein kya laya hai varun?"

"tera favourite, gobhi"

"jo doosron ke liye gaddha khodta hai, woh usmein khud gir jaata hai"

"pata hai mayo mein na...."

"namrata ghar se 'sussie' ke laddoo layi hai"

"mujhe kaalu bhula rahi hai, woh badla lega!!!!"

"toom log kya kar rahey ho...main bhi karrrooonga!!"

"...(silence) baat se chori.....(eternal silence)......"

Why do these thoughts keep coming back and haunt me? I saw this coming, one day we all had to part ways. But i never thought it would affect me as i have been shifting base most of my life.....Mebbe because in the past 4 1/2 years they had a powerful impact on me, the most powerful till date. They are addictive and now its the withdrawal symptoms.

....vidhi, varun, neha, akshat, dhannu, addy, vipin.....pyaas ke paranthe, 'kal-raat-ki-subzi' ke paranthe, bhaigan ka bharta....the red brick wall, the endless chit-chat in class, futile plans to go to assam, karnal kahaanis, jamunapaari jokes, fash p, rakesh sirs class, last minute moot submissions, varuns lunch, gluttony at my place (leading to depleting stocks of the months provision), mayo.......

Thursday, February 15, 2007

V-day is here again!!!

Y day I celebrated my 23rd 'single' valentines day. Actually all my V days have been 'single v days' coz I don't believe in being committed for the sake of being committed (read a passive and lazy person who hopes for a marriage broker to do the needful!). but V days have always been eventful. On one of my V days I got to know that the guy who I had a huge crush on was interested in my best friend!!! (Ouch!)

In my first v day in college I got a whole bar of chocolate from a nice friend (tho I was one of his many friends who got it- but its chocolate who cares, I jus want the whole bar to myself!!!!) and that was my one and only v day gift till date. The second V day in college, there was a huge fight among the guys (for as usual a trivial reason). Third valentine had all my friends pack ourselves to CP and watch other couples. V 4 girlfriends nearly created a rift between a couple as when his girlfriend was busy trying some outfit, the boyfriend was more interested in talking to us. Finally he left the store and she didn't buy anything. 4 th valentine in college, our results were out!!! That is my college's method of playing the moral police - release the result and dampen the sprits of most of the students. 5th valentine in college (that is yesterday) was ruined by my dads foul mood (over the ever increasing phone bill I think), thereby making my mums efforts a complete waste of time.

As for me neither do i have to do anything, neither do i feel good or bad abt wat i did... Um so happy being single on valentine…..

Sunday, February 04, 2007

this is my all time fav forward... reply to a matrimonial classified

I am an olden young uncle living only with myself in Bangaloru. Having seen your advertisement for marriage purposes, I decided to press myself on you and hope you will take me nicely.

I am a soiled son from inside Karnataka. I am nice and big, six foot tall and six inches long. My body is filled with hardness, as because I am working hardly. I am playing hardly also. Especially I like cricket and I am a good batter and I am fast baller. Whenever I come running in for balling, other batters start running. Everybody is scared of my rapid balls that bounce a lot.

I am very nice man. I am always laughing loudly at everyone. I am jolly. I am gay.Especially ladies, they are saying I am nice and soft. I am always giving respect to the ladies. I am always allowing ladies to get on top. That is how nice I am.

I am not having any bad habits. I am not drinking and I am not sucking tobacco or anything else. Every morning I am going to the gym and I am pumping like anything. Daily I am pumping and pumping. If you want you can come and see how much I am pumping the dumb belles in the gym.

I am having a lot of money in my pants and my pants is always open for you. I am such a nice man, but still I am living with myself only. What to do? So I am taking things into my own hands everyday.That is why I am pressing myself on you, so that you will come in my house and take my things into your hand.

If you are marrying me madam, I am telling you, I will be loving you very hard every day. In fact, I will stop pumping dumb belles in the gym. If you are not marrying me madam and not coming to me, I will press you and press you until you come.

So I am placing my head between your nicely smelling feet and looking up with lots of hope. I am waiting very badly for your reply and I am stiff with anticipation

Expecting soon,

Yours and only yours

Thursday, February 01, 2007

i am biologically a female, but somewhere i wasnt blessed with that touch of feminity. i am at times jealous of those girls who can carry off anything pink and look girly and cute. my attempts at wearing pink made look like well um trying not to remember.
back when i was a kid, my folks got me a pair of shorts. i was so relieved that i no longer needed to be bothered by the breeze the next time it came, that i banned skirts and every other lowers-without-a-seat at bay. little did i know that i bade my feminity also goodbye. once ppl asked my father 'the kid' (urs truly) was a boy or a girl, as they had a bet on my gender!!!
after realisation dawned on me, every year i think that i need an extreme makeover and add that feminine touch to my personality and every year has me heading to a cosmetic store to get myself some of the following-a chocolate shower gel, a sunscreen with really high SPF, a lip balm with an exotic flavor, a face scrub, a BIG bottle of moisturising lotion blah blah.. then begin the attempts to grow my nails, leave my hair open, wear salwar kameez with open sandals.
a week later- the ants sensed the presence of "chocolate" lying in the corner of the bathroom, some tasted it and died. the sunscreen now adorns a dusty basket in my room. the fruity lip balm gives me a headache. the face scrub is getting dry. moisturising lotion is awaiting winter, when my mum will use it. my right eye has a red spot as my 'long' nail poked it accidently. my hair is cut short. my feet is black with delhi's dust. and i have a pile of kurtas and pyajamas to iron!!!
feminity anyone??

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

the post office

i took a resolution mid last year that i shall do all my application work on my own (which in itself is a long story). part of this new challenge had me walking in and out sarkari offices for attestation and other routine formalities. this adventure today took me to the Post Office, Rajinder Nagar. now um not really proud to admit this, but it was my first visit to a post office.

firstly ever since it became functional the office, the furniture and its employees have not been renovated or changed respectively . the dim tube-lights, plastic wired chairs with wooden frames, the green colored glass, the extra-milky tea transported me to a bygone era. secondly service to the public is not really their first priority, but harassing the public definitely is.

i went there with the same enthusiasm and excitement as is present when i go to the DHL office only to find the lady at the enquiry counter 'not at her seat'! and nobody else in the office was really interested in helping the confused souls like me. so i waited diligently hoping that someone wud help me out. 25 minutes into this ordeal one 'uncle' came out from the inner office and i quickly pushed my envelope into his face asking him (requesting rather) to 'pleeese' tell me the denomination of the stamp. as per the rules, he weighed the package and pondered for some time before muttering 'pandra rupay'. now purchasing stamps dont take much time as its they who r getting the money. with the exact change provided, stamp purchased and stuck and all that jazz, i was told to leave my envelope at one corner table!!!

this is how i posted my acceptance to an offer for a course that um dying to pursue for the last one year. but for that business reply card with a post box address, i wud have couriered it by my trusted DHL. if the particular office receives my acceptance (which i hope and pray it does), i am going to nominate the indian post offer as one of the 'wonders of the world'!!!
this is, to be honest, my fifth attempt to blog. i always signed up, chose the fanciest template and by the time my now-outdated-but-still-trustworthy dial-up connection managed to reach the page for 'creating new post' i lost interest! this time they bugged me more by telling this computer-illiterate soul that they had some new exciting features so 'upgrade now'!!! in other words this time i will have to wait another extra 15 minutes, so that i again lose interest. but this time i decided to be patient as i have nothing else to interest me.

now that i am finally here, my next task is to find out for exactly how long i will stay here. (considering my other endeavours i really dont think it will last long)