Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Just special i guess

You wake up to the sound of the drums. Not harsh and loud. But beautiful, like a call to jump up and run out and welcome the day. The beat grows and spreads. Gradually down the street, till it reaches your house.

You smile, as you open eyes, your head still on the pillow.

Then you hear a babble of excited voices. Young, old, middle aged, as they pass your window. You straighten yourself, and peep out. Orange flowers on trees, a slight nip in the air, and women dressed in red, and brown, and white and gold. And men, suddenly taller, also dressed in silk and cotton.

Then, the smell, that lovely smell. That envelopes you, and settles all your fears and tells you you’re safe, you’ll always be.

And suddenly it dawns on you. At nineteen, this is your first Durga Puja. And even before you can realise it, you’ve been swept away.

Every year where ever you are, the smells, the sounds, the voices will come back to you. And you’ll feel happy for no reason.

And this is the first short story i wrote. It is not about the pujas, but just about things I remember around it.

The maid sat on the floor. Bent over a boti. a steel dekchi, battered with the constant scrubbing it was subjected to, lay on the newspaper.

Ranu checked the stove in the corner. The rice was coming along fine. She turned her attention to the gas. One burner had a round shallow kadai. The potols stuffed with kheema were just beginning to brown. The other burner had a large kadai on it. Its handles had turned black with years of use. Ranu frowned. The maid never bothered to scrape the handle with a knife. That's all it took. No point telling her anything. Maids were hard to get these days. And of course no one could be like Suti Mashi.

Now those were the good old days. Suti Mashi ran the house as if it were her own. Of course she also drank at least one litre of milk with her morning tea, but look at how much she worked. The floors would shine, the kadais would sparkle and the way she cooked. Cubes of kumdo. Small tangra mach in tomato gravy. Slivers of baby papayas. And small florets of gobi cooked in a tangy mustard paste.

" Hoye Gache." (It's done)

Ranu looked at Chayya. And thought, " Chayya. Now days, even their names are fancy."

Chayya returned her gaze with one of her own. And drawled, " I can't use this boti anymore. Why can’t you get a nice knife and chopping board. Like the Mehtas upstairs. They even have a micro..."

"Never mind what they have, Ranu snapped. " They have no idea how to cook or cut their food."

Chayya shrugged sulkily and got up. She clutched her knees while doing so. And twisted her face in pain. Ranu noticed it all. “Playacting. She can just go to those Mehtas. They are vegetarians. Let’s see her stuff herself with rice and fish curry there."

The mustard oil was hot. Ranu held the steel dekchi in her left hand. Fat pieces of Katla bedecked in turmeric and salt lay glistening in it. She waited patiently. If it started smoking, the smell would disappear. If it wasn't hot enough the fish would stick, or even worse break.

This was the moment she knew by heart. That magic moment when with a deft hand she would slide the pieces in. One by one. The oil would sputter, threaten to spill all over her. But she was ready. With another slice. And yet another. Together they would catch the oil by surprise. The hissing and spluttering would stop. And that lovely aroma of frying fish would fill the house.

Even Chayya would come and stand beside her. She would nod her head from side to side. Ranu knew that nod. It meant no one could do this like her mistress.

Ranu smiled and said, " Aajke tui amader shonge khabar kha." (Today, you eat with us.)

And finally, I wanted to put up a song (Good Morning Blues - Van Morrison, the skiffle sessions) because it is one of my favourite blogger ka budday. But I still haven't learnt how to put up a MP4 on the music player. Damn. Still, it is the thought that counts and all that jazz. Sorry blues!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Slide and lift and slide and drop. No, not dead.

Last night i took a belly dancing class.

And here’s what I learnt.

Shakira is not human, she’s an alien. Then next time you see her dance, watch in slo mo, and you’ll see her cockroach like tentacles are what she uses to hypnotise you so you think she’s shaking every part of her body in different directions. Actually she’s just standing around regurgitating some vile green shit.

I am a medical marvel. There are muscles in my body that simply do not exist. I tried and tried to locate the ones that would help move my hips in one direction and my ribs in another, but after an hour and a half and many rotations I came to the conclusion that I’m joined in the hips with my ribs. They refuse to separate.

I have also located some new muscles. Which at the moment are singing in pain. In fact there is a full fledged concert happening in my body right now, and I have a VIP pass to the pain and ache area.

It is possible to dislocate your bum. And your hips. And your ribs. And your boobs. Or at least it is possible to feel like that.

And on the topic of boobs. If you are the kind who without blinking would have only one answer to the question The Most Significant Invention In The History Of Mankind Is...(drumroll) Padded Bras, then here’s a tip. Wear a padded, push up, lift off and anything else it promises bra when you belly dance. Because if you don’t have anything to heave and lift, it is positively depressing when the teacher keeps yelling “come on, you, lift and drop” and you meekly whisper, “but I am!”

The shimmy. Just when you get to the point where you’re congratulating yourself because your bum is shaking like there’s an earthquake under it, beware. That shake is being caused by fat flying around, and that is not the shimmy. The shimmy is when you start to feel strange muscles in your abs and your chest contract, till you think you’ll pass out.

And finally, I most definitely must have been dropped on my head as a kid, because I woke up thinking wow, I had such a great time last night. So I’m recommending belly dancing to all the women who’re reading this. (the problem with recommending the same to the guys is I keep having visions of hairy belly’s, and might never be able to sleep in peace again).

And yeah thank you V and E and M.

image@fichman israel

And so today we’re playing the Alien Anthem featuring Ten Headed Tentacle Waving Hypnotiser.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

and we're up and running

a big thank you to SwB for helping out with the music player thing. darn. it was so easy.

So here's Neil Young with heart of gold for SwB.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

why i will not get a farewell

So S asked Y to buy her a pair of slippers from Bangkok.

Y bought the slippers and sent them back through Z.

Z walked up to me at work and said, “I got you your funky slippers from Bangkok.”

I was like, “What funky slippers?”

“The one’s Y bought for you. They are beautiful. Purple silk.”

Me, I got all teary eyed. Really Y was too sweet. Just because I’m leaving she got me purple silk slippers. And we’re not even best friends. So I sniffed and prepared my thank you speech.

The next day Z hands me the slippers. And they are fantastic. Purple silk with crazy gold lines. All kill bill.

I stare at them all day, and sigh. And think really, I must be so fantastic, and everyone must love me so much. Sure, they don’t always show it, and most of them think I’m a bitch, but now that I’m leaving, they must be sad.

In the evening, just before I leave for home, I dump my bag and the slippers on S’s desk, before popping in to the loo. (apologies to Sulabh Sauchalaya, my old friend)

I come out of the loo, to see S eyeing the slippers.

Just as I’m about to gush, she says, “Where did you get them from?”

“Bangkok. Y, the sweetest thing on earth bought them for me.”

“That’s strange. I gave Y money to buy me the same slippers. I even drew my foot size for her, and gave her a reference picture of the slippers.”


I clutch the slippers. I’ve stared at them all day. Tried them on my feet all day. S is staring at me in shock. She’s been waiting for them for days.

Anyway, we both wail and cry for fifteen minutes, and then S finally lets me have the slippers because I’m leaving, and I use that as my trump card.

But, it doesn’t end there.

The next day Z is teary eyed. She’s discovered that she made a mistake; she was to give the slippers to S.

Y is fuming.
“Why did you give the slippers to that bitch? And who asked you to give the slippers before I got back from Bangkok. I bought them, I should have given them”

Z protests. Then she asks me to return the slippers.

I laugh, and flatly refuse.

Y sails in to her some more. Z is so upset. She cries on S’s shoulder. S and I laugh. Y stops talking to me. Z promises that she’ll get someone she knows to get the slippers for S. Y is not happy with the compromise. And stops talking to Z as well, who by the way has stopped talking to me. I laugh at them every time they pass, and wave my pretty slippered feet around.

Wow. How will I survive without the thrills of office life.

Back to the lousy computer in office. Today is Traveling Wilbury’s day. I’ve been playing Tweeter and the Monkey Man non stop, because I absolutely love the song. And since I can not for the life of me figure out how to put the music player thing on my blog, and I can’t find the song on youtube, I’ll just link you to End of the Line instead. Which is equally awesome. Also check out Dirty World and Last Night.
Happiness is not a cigar called hamlet, it’s a band called Traveling Wilbury’s.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

baby you can drive my car

Trying to start your own business is not easy.

Specially if you are dyslexic, have a deep rooted fear of math and cannot remember anything beyond the 5 times table.

Add to that some more of my dazzling skills in the arena of losing bills and receipts, and you’ll figure why I’m having sleepless nights.

Apart from my pathetic skills at cooking, sports, math, I do have a couple of redeemable features.

Like I can lie around on the futon and read all day.

And I can drive brilliantly.

And neither of the two life skills are going to help me run a business.

See, i have reason to be stressed out.

The other big problem with me is I keep thinking everything is a big production. And so one day I’ll throw myself into something, because in my head I’m playing that role. And I’ll do it with so much conviction and enthusiasm, that half way through it I’m done with it.


One day I decided to be Domestic Goddess.

So I bought lots of things for the house, and even went to the market and bought fruits and vegetables. And decided to cook dinner. And take more interest in the maid and other such stuff.

By the time I had planned everything out and bought everything, and run all the scenarios in my head, I was so tired of it all. So I chucked everything I had bought into a box, ordered dinner from outside, and told the maid to take the fruits away from my sight.

And for three months I filed Domestic Goddess away.

My fear, Business Chick should not end up in the same boat.

PS: Okay Su, if you are reading this, do not freak. It’s a Saturday night, and I’m doing excel sheets with our costing. So you have a partner who’s trying okay. And if your mouth is starting to go dry, call me immediately!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Okay, so at some point we’ve all met someone with really bad body odour. You know the if you raise your arm once more I’ll gag and pass out variety.

And we’ve secretly told someone else, “ shit, he/she has such bad BO.” And then the follow up conversation is usually about chinese food gone bad and the fact that if you are close friends then maybe you should tell the person.

But I’m a coward and can never figure how you tell a person that. And don’t tell me you should gift them a deo. Because that’s as good as taking a spray can and writing ‘you stink’ in shocking pink across their chest.

Any way this post is not about that. This is about the visible panty line.

Two women in office. With the worst case of loose cotton panties ever.

First, if you are wearing pants, then make sure the panties fit well. And are somewhat close to the shade of trouser you are wearing. So, unless you are colour blind, no maroon panty with white trousers. And no white panty with white trousers. Try something called skin coloured instead.

Second, do not wear aunty type panties with your low rise jeans. Wear a thong, wear boy shorts, wear anything, but don’t have yards of loose cotton panty stuffing sticking out from your backside.

Third, we all know you're probably wearing a panty. But it doesn't really have to stare us in the face. So maybe you've got rid of the clumpy cotton panty, now please try and find one that has no panty line. Believe me, they are available, and will spare us all the trauma of seeing how woefully tight your undies are.

Oh and while I’m at it. Just one last thing on the bra scene as well. Frayed once-white, now-yellow bra straps are not meant to be seen. Keep them for when you are playing holi.

Now how on earth do I tell them all this, without them thinking I’m a bitch of the highest order.

Which I probably am anyway.

st. germain: rose rouge. fantastic! if you don't want to drink copious quantities of wine and play poker after listening to this song, i'll change my name.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

be my baby

Three girls. Two just about in their teens. One younger than that.

A well meaning father who gets the girls a movie, so the parents can go out for the day.

A hot summer day. A cool living room.

The three girls scrawled on the floor, staring up at the Crown TV. With no idea of what’s going to come their way.

Then the movie starts, and in half an hour there’s a hush in the room.

Not one of them moves. The phone rings far away, it’s the parents checking on them.

But the girls are hypnotised.

They have no idea that this is possible. That chemistry is not just something they’re going to learn in senior school.

The movie gets over. The girls keep lying there, staring at the screen.

Slowly they get up, and walk out to the veranda. The sun is setting.

They stand there, looking out, still in a trance.

Then the youngest looks up at them and says, “I want to fall in love.”

The two older girls, who usually make fun of her, don’t say anything.

She’s just hit the nail on the head.

Dirty Dancing changed the way my hormones ran around. So rest in peace Patrick Swayze, and thanks for making birthday parties in my teenage years so much fun!

image @

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


If one more person in my office uses the word cunt, because they think they are so cool and they can use it to describe anything from a sandwich to the car they dislike, I will kick the moron where it hurts the hardest.

The reason I say this is because it is the guys who use it.

No, it is not funny. Not funny at all when you’re in a room with a bunch of guys, and it is supposed to be serious meeting, and you are the only woman around, and the guy who's leading the show starts to say, “ Let's go get those cunts”

First time it happened, I didn’t react. Thinking I’ll seem so prissy. But now it’s like the worst sort of contagious disease going around.

And one that I’m not sure how to handle. I don’t feel like laughing because honestly, I don’t find it funny that you’re calling the canteen guy a cunt. I don’t find it cool because at some level the guys who’re saying it seem so pathetic with their desperate need to be noticed.

I just find it very offensive. It’s like those crappy sexual jokes that guys make around you. And these are guys who are not even your friends. They are just some idiots who work with you. They obviously think they can get away with it, because if you complain you’ll just seem like such a dork who’s so not with it.

Also I’ve noticed when very junior guys say stuff like this, everyone looks at them disapprovingly. But if the guys with the fat pay packet and even fatter designations say cunt all the time, nervous giggles are soon replaced with everyone calling everything cunt.


That’s the problem with so called liberated work places. People will do anything to seem cool.

now that i have vented, i shall leave you with someone who was really really cool. ibrahim ferrer. a introduced me to buena vista social club some years back, and i was hooked.

this is probably how i'd like to lead my life. sitting in the shallow waters of palolem, thinking of nothing and listening to ibrahim ferrer.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

in theory i was already doomed

Theory 1: cold kills cold

So I had a cold. And I put 5 ice cubes in my rum and coke. Drank only super chilled thums up in office. And ate frozen gelatos two days running.

And yesterday I woke up, barely able to breathe or speak.

Theory 2: If you rest through the day, you’ll be able to party at night.

So I thought why bother going in to work, considering we were all meeting up and feasting at night. Let me dose on the antibiotics, and I’ll be fine by evening.

Theory 3: Goofing around never killed anyone.

Then I thought, “ gosh, let me watch some entourage, now that I’m full up on antibiotics. But before that let me bug the dog.”

So, get this, I stick my face right next to my mild mannered dog, who by the way is fast asleep and probably dreaming of some hot bitch, and suddenly yell, “ Miloooooooo” right into his ear.

Theory 4: Ha. Ha. Who’s scared of some blood?

It’s fucking sprouting like a fountain. Red, dark red and like thick fat drops falling all around me. And I’m like a zombie, running from one end of the house to the other. Suddenly I can’t remember how to work the phone or turn on the tap. Should I put ice, should I stick my nose under the tap, should I climb into the freezer?

Theory 5: Be nice to the patient.

I’m the subject of many amused looks and yells. Bed 6, dog bite on nose! A can’t stop laughing, z insists they’re going to graft the skin off my bum on to my nose. This is not looking good at all.

Theory 6: When you’re stressed you can’t sleep.

IV’s, rabies injections, doctor visits, test injections. I nod off. Hospital beds are most comfortable. And with the nice blanket, I feel like I’m in a hotel room.

Theory 7: Doctors don’t have a sense of humour.

Finally I’m in the OT. Waiting for them to numb me, and start stitching my nose up. The young doctor assistant who’s been acting very cool and staring down my chest while they strap the ECG thing is chatting on his phone as he cleans my gaping wound. The plastic surgeon arrives and asks me to open my eyes.

The assistant has got solution in my eyes, I try opening them, blinking frantically. And suddenly I see the surgeon’s hand reach out and slap the assistant hard.

I almost faint, the doctors are hitting each other. Dude, get me out of here.

Anyway assistant sort of whimpers and shuts his cell. The doctor boss has words with him. And then I’m all stitched up.

So finally there is only one theory that the world rests on. Everything else is shit.

Let sleeping dogs lie.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

at the risk of pissing off the stylist and living my life under a hat

A clarification:

This is for all those who think i am rich or too fucking stoooopid.
I have not had the 3000 buck haircut.

It is a different matter that I look like something the yeti brought home. And that my experiments with cutting my own fringe have resulted in shorter eyelashes. But like a lot of you out there I refuse to pay 3000 bucks.

So, at the moment I am sucking up big time to my stylist (notice from hair dresser and barber, I've gone on to saying stylist), in the hope of a free haircut.

And second, I am now catching unsuspecting women on the street and saying, “Nice haircut, where did you get it.”

Needless to say, if you are a guy do not attempt this.

And if you are a girl, you will realize no woman wants to part with a good hairdresser’s number.

So I’m stuck with being the thing the yeti brought home.

And on the music scene, because SwB made my day with his comment, we have Bad Moon Rising playing on my sorry excuse for a computer. I'm not even sure if the link will take you there, because my office people have given me the shittiest computer for the rest of my notice period. It doesn’t even support Chrome, or Firefox or anything apart from MS Word.

Don't go 'round tonight
it's bound and take your life,
there's a bad moon on the rise.
I hear hurricanes a-blowing,
I know the end is coming soon.
I fear rivers over flowing.
I hear the voice of rage and ruin.

Ooh, brilliant. Dire predictions of doom, in that voice - totally gets me.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


My parents got it all wrong.

They insisted i fucking study and do something with my life.

Now, I work like a slave, make nowhere near what i should be making and listen to snotty fucking MBA’s as they rave and rant and use works like brand osmosis and cultural denial while discussing some shit soap that i wouldn’t even touch with a dirty undie.

And all this, while my hair dresser which is just a fancy word for barber, jacks her price to three thousand bucks.

Ya, three thousand bucks to take a scissor and a comb and cut my hair to make it look like I have just-out-of-bed hair

Really, what is she charging so much for? The three thousand bucks does not even include a free shampoo.

All it includes is loud music and some skinny women who’re all munching gum and wearing horribly hip clothes.

My parents were so clearly out of it.

And I’m so clearly paying through my bleeding nose to look cool.

Image credit:

The perks of being on notice period is that i seem to be drowning in music. It’s on the pod, the laptop and blaring out of the speakers at work.

So today is Suzie Q by CCR. I love CCR, especially John Fogerty. Drool drool. And I love songs that have a honky tonk lament. If there is a song that sets the mood, it is Suzie Q. Enjoy.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

sometimes i have clarity, most times i have rum

So the other day a friend tells me, “ Women, they’re just obsessed with getting married. And once they hit thirty they behave like they have a ticking time bomb strapped to their backs.”

I of course deny this.

I know some chicks like that. But most of my women friends are pretty cool about being thirty. And I don’t think they’re obsessed with marriage either.

But what I don’t tell the friend is this. I think most guys turn out to be the ones who want marriage. Ya, men are closet marriage wanters.

Case in point. All the guys I went out with spoke of marriage, even before I ever did. Including a (heh heh, the cat is out of the bag!)

Even now I see some of my guy friends, and in their weak moments I can see they are dreaming of settling down. Anyway I didn’t say all this to the friend because he’s a guy. And they’re very touchy when you turn the tables on them.

In fact I remembered something. I used to have this recurring dream. That I’m getting married to my previous boyfriend, and I’m struck with terror, and I’m feeling so doomed that I just want to run away. And I’d wake up drenched in sweat and realise I’m lying next to a. And sort of sigh weakly in relief, and go back to sleep.

So, last night I have a dream. And it is just as scary. Orlando Bloom (go figure Freud) is hanging out at a friend’s place. And suddenly he turns to me and says that he wants to marry me.

I’m extremely polite in my dreams. So I don’t laugh my head off. And instead I say, “Great idea, let me just come from the loo.” I shut the living room door on my way out to the loo, and scoot. I bolt out of the house as fast as my legs can carry me, race down the stairs and am out of the building like a shot.

Weird dream.

Think it means I’m not a big fan of Orlando Bloom.

Or rum and coke does not suit me.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

boy meets girl - a romance


she waited for his call

she collected his sms’s

she ran every conversation they had in her head a million times

he ordered Chinese take away

and watched the man u game a third time


she thought he liked her

she changed her outfit

he thought she liked him

then why bother to change

where is the horse tranquilizer when you need it?

I’m going to hunt down the person who wrote the whisper line “have a happy period”. Then I’m going to take his/her spine and yank it off their back, vertebrae by vertebrae.

After which I will dance on the said person's head and tear out clumps of their hair with my bare hands.

Happy period my ass.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

things i learnt over the week


Karaoke is tougher than finding a taxi that’s willing to go from bandra to mahim.

The words go too fast, drunk people who are not part of your group mumble right into your ear and throw you off; peanuts when thrown at the back of your head can be felt. And dutch courage will make you do anything.

If it wasn’t for the other two brave girls, I would have dissolved into a little puddle right there.


I am a hypocrite.

A friend told me about her friend whose boyfriend is ten years younger than her. And I gasped and said, “That’s not good, it’s doomed.”

She looked at me scornfully and said why, and I was left mumbling something about parents, and older sisters and children. She walked off shaking her head in despair. Dude, I’m stuck in the nineties.


I am so wannabe.

I got invited to a party by a lesbian couple. And I was so excited that I called most of my friends to tell them that. A turned to me, and said, “What’s the big deal you know?”

Yeah, what’s the big deal? But I just felt so cool to be invited to a rainbow party. And I have lesbian friends too you know. Seriously, i’m so not cool.


No.1 job for horny guys

Yes, I shall direct you to the right place. I have been watching entourage on DVD, and I just figured that when they showed the stuff on TV, it was tamer than Tulsi Virani.

They just cut off all the nudity, the making out, the playboy mansion shots. All hacked. By some guy who goes ‘oh my, there’s boob, chop chop.’

What does he say when people ask him, “ Beta tum karte kya ho?”

“Aunty main apke bacchon ki maan maryada ka khayal rakhta hoon.”


“Aunty main slasher hoon.”


Too much of a good thing is well, too much.

Back to back Entourage. For six days. Think I’ll throw up by the time I finish season 4 tomorrow.


Women can be bitches. And how.

So there’s a guy they think is cute. He doesn’t give them much attention. They’re not his type, he’s not their type. They tell me he’s doing so well for himself because he’s sleeping with the woman boss.

Grapes are sour, when it comes to scorned women.


Booty call

A friend enlightened us. We laughed our heads off. Ya, this is what he said, “When we have nothing better to do we get together for a booty call.”

Nothing better to do??? Like nails are cut, cable is not working, not even a half decent book to read, Ipod is bust, fine then, let’s just give a booty call.

okay, whatever gets your motor running i guess.

picture credit: