Saturday, November 05, 2005

A cracker of a start to Diwali hols!

Two weeks back my Dad surprised us with the news that he had booked a holiday for us in Goa after our visit to Kerala for the Diwali hols. This was an unexpected windfall as I really needed a break after last months hectic work schedule due to the IT.In. My jaded mind was too numb to even manage a smile when my Dad made the announcement. Proof enough that I badly needed a holiday. I was too tired to even pack till Friday night just before departure. I left work around 5 pm and headed straight for home to finish my packing. Now, my family is a seasoned bunch of travelers and long years of traveling with the pack has wised me up to certain eventualities that happen before/during/after the travels.

Packing for the journey is a mutlipronged activity with each family member unique in his or her packing habits. My Dad packs the fastest. Two bottles of scotch and a couple of bottles of Vodka thrown carelessly into his suitcase and he is ready to leave. My mom will then, patiently fill the suitcase with not-so-essential material like underclothes, toiletries, clothes etc. My Dad doesn’t waste too much time on the mundane.

My eldest brother ‘G’ is more organized. He starts packing at least a week in advance. He is the person we will most likely turn to in the middle of nowhere for an Antacid or an earbud. Mom and me are a close second to “G” in packing efficiency.

This leaves out a very interesting packer in my household. My second elder brother 'M’ who everyone says is a classic example of a Bohemian born into a mallu family. He is even more prudent than my Dad in packing. Dark sunglasses and a tube of hair gel thrown into the suitcase is all that he needs to hit the road. For the past several years I have done the not so enviable job of packing his bag, to avoid the inevitable confusion when my eldest brother realizes that his shaving kit is missing in the morning or when my Dad realizes that his Bermudas and Tees have somehow migrated to his second son’s room. M also wears and discards clothes at the rate of three pairs a day. Which means I have to mentally calculate the number of days we will be out with the number of clothes he will wear. After some complicated mathematics, I simply empty his cupboard into the suitcase/s.

My Dad goes into hibernation the moment we leave Bangalore and leaves all decision making to ‘G’. This leads to lot of snide comments from ‘M’ (for my ears only of course, for he has a healthy respect for Chetan) about favoritism and nepotism and all other isms that he can think of which may be totally unconnected to the situation like ‘communism’. The fact that he cannot even decide whether he should shave or not before leaving is ignored in the feeling of righteous indignation.

Both the brothers share driving duty. Prior to departure ‘G’ would have stored all his favorite numbers into his MP3 for his stint at the wheel. He is also a very safe and able driver and the first half of the journey will go uneventfully. It is when ‘M’ takes over the wheels that the atmosphere inside the SUV changes dramatically. My Mom removes her rosary beads and talks wistfully about seeing her grandchildren before she dies. My Dad looks like he has just been told that he has only a few hours to live. I usually say a silent prayer and adjust my hair and makeup incase I have to enter the Pearly Gates in a hurry. (I better look good to cover up for my vast multitude of sins).

Past experience has taught me that a sober collection of music will make “M” drive at a steady speed of 60 mph or so. Heavy metal makes him do crazy things like trying to take hairpin bends at 90 kmph. To avoid total decimation of the family I have to perform the vital task of loading his MP3 player with a collection of music that will ensure that we live another day to see yet another sunrise.

Friday night, just before we left I sat down and carefully chose some not so raucous numbers for M’s MP3 player. While waiting for them to transfer I decided to finish my packing, dinner etc. Finally we left after my Mom had made us say the mandatory prayers and we had handed over the house and dogs to my aunt. We reached Coimbatore by midnight and spent the night at my Uncles place. Next day after breakfast M took over the vehicle for the next lap to Cochin. ‘G’ as is the practice switched places with me and migrated to the back, so that he could better control the itch to snatch the wheel from M every time he swung the vehicle like a madman on a suicide mission... which he usually does once every half an hour.

M, after adjusting his sunglasses and smoothening an invisible lock of hair into place, drove out like a pilot taxing to the take off point. We left Coimbatore and cruised on the Highway. The speedometer showed a comfortable speed level and I sat back to read the newspaper. After 100 kilometers or so the vehicle screeched to a sudden violent halt. M looked like he had seen a ghost. The entire family ( except Dad who was sleeping like a lamb) looked around to see the cause of this sudden stoppage in the middle of the road. M then slowly removed the headphone and turned around and glared at me with black murder in his eyes. He pointed to the headphones and said “ there is a cat wailing in here !!!!!”

Perplexed I took the headphones from him and listened. The mellifluous voice of M S Subbulaksmi (MS)wafted into my ears. She was hitting a particularly high note of some carnatic raga. But how the hell did she get in here ?!?!

Now... a mixture of MS Subbulakshmi and M is a more volatile combination than candle and gunpowder. They have a particularly violent history since the days my Dad would insist on putting on an MS tape in mornings. After several unsuccessful attempts by Dad to get the family to appreciate MS, M finally got fed up and threw the tapes over the fence. M has developed a virulent hatred for anything to do with Carnatic music because of the force fed diet of such music in his earlier years. I realized that my Dad must have loaded some of his favorite MS numbers onto the MP3 not realizing it was M’s.

The culprit was fast asleep. M was fuming because he felt that his ‘rhythm’ was disrupted. My mom was giggling hysterically when she realized what had happened. I was holding my stomach trying not to laugh my guts out, while G’s face was contorted as he unsuccessfully tried to stop the paroxysms of laughter.

M watched us in disgust for some time and grouchily went back to the wheel when he realized that it would take some time for the laughter to subside. He drove in a black mood till Ernakulam and then to his utter delight and our utter dismay found a heavy metal CD in the glove compartment. A collective groan arose from us as we realized that we would have to endure some heavy duty noise for the rest of the journey.

However the look on M’s face when he switched on the music is something I will remember to my dying day. Instead of heavy metal music, Daler Mehendi bellowed lustily “hogayi thi balle balle, hojayegi balle balle”.

The culprit was fast asleep.

(The less said about M and his relationship with Daler Mehendi the better! Suffice it to say that they don’t share a very cordial relationship.)

54 comments:

SnM said...

Me being a 'G' in my family, I can appreciate it to the core :) Only one change here: its me who listens to all the rock and blues and hindustani in my whole family. The others are happy with Carnatic.

Jithu said...

lets hope 'M' will not be reading this. well he seems to be THE guy! btw written really well. i was literally ROTFL. hey hw did u manage to ROTFL inside the SUV btw?

One More Reason said...

Sounds like a wonderful family. I am now curious about M and Daler M.

Btw..how was IT.net. Bangalore was almost flooded when that happened right ?

If you happen to take some pictures while you are in Goa, please do post them

If I tell ya, I'll have to kill ya said...

hey girl. liked the entry. your family sounds wonderful. growing up, i always wanted a couple of older brothers whose weight i could throw around...

since that never happened, i just learned to throw mine :-)

Alexis Leon said...

Hilarious as usual. Very well written. How was the holiday? Keep writing...

silverine said...

@snm:No one likes carnatic in my house except Dad. And you are the G of the family? Good for you :)
@Jithu: He does read my blogs and so does legions of his friends. Unfortunately none of them blog or you would have read some entertaining posts about his school and college days.
@onemorereason: Daler M burst into the indipop scene during the IT boom time and one Pub played a Daler M number on request of some techies from the North on a Saturday night. M hated him after that.
@ifitellyaiwillhavetokillya:It is nice to have elder brothers but I do miss having a sister very sorely.
@Alexis Leon: Thank you. The vacation away from the comp and keyboard was wonderful thank you :)

Thanu said...

I want a brother too...
Great post. Was laughing all the way till the end. Our family (2 sisters) takes road trips, my mom is the one usually sleeping. It was fun to read this.

kickassso said...

at least glad to hear that you got to goa all right! Came back? or is there an even more thrilling trip back?

Meesa Madhavan said...

I heard some where that crazy drivers never go to hell because while they drive everyone else is praying. Better than the "driving" was the "packing" part though. Once for a formal meeting I packed so badly that I ended up wearing sports shoes with my blazer. Guess what I was the "cynosure" of all eyes.

slain_angel said...

hmm,nice humorous blog
nyway this is the first time am readng urz and it kinda rockz and applies to the hidden sense of humour in all of those who actually read it,nywayz hpe ya had a blast in goa,
lukng forward for more of ur blogz

Khakra said...

fine music, an easy ride... truly, a "jaane ki zid na karo" moment..

Ganja Turtle said...

ROTFL...actually sympathize with M a lot...MS and Daler Mehndi make me break out into fits too...poor guy...perhaps ur mom read Catcher in the Rye more than once before M was born and some kind of intellectual osmosis happened? ;-)

And anyone has any idea of how to make this text verfn thing mandatory for any comments?

chips said...

Lol...u seem like quite a family!! Hmm..posts like this make me realise only too sorely what I'm mising by not havin bros of my own. But yea...I got a sis who tries to make up for the loss in whatever ways she can!! So maybe I shouldn't complain too much. Anyways..is there a sequel to this? Something along the lines of 'the memorable trip back from Goa when we disowned our bro?' :-))

lash said...
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lash said...

back in action !!! gud.

Ur dad is indubitably the dad of the century... with two bottles of scotch he is a fferffect candidate..!!! i wish my dad ttok some lessons from him not jus in drinkin but also in handing over responsibilities to a son.. i am always ignored at home :((

and hair pin at 90mph is not heavy metal its heavy mental!!!
happy that ur back safe..

Praveen said...

hmmm.. that was a very eventful journey to Goa, I wonder what funny events happened there :).

By the way, how long do you take to pack? You never mentioned that. :)

Jiby said...

haha, nice post...its funny...in our family, roles are reversed...my dad's the crazy driver in the family...i keep stamping on the car floor in fear when he drives like i gotta brake there...and he retorts with an "angane chowttaathada...kuzhi veezhum" dialogue!!! finally when he handed over the car to me while in college the only thing in excellent condition wuz the brake!!

HoliDevil said...

Nice Post!

Heavy Metal n a hairpin bend @ 90mph sounds fun.

But pray wats wrng wid Daler ?

TC

Joker said...

hmmmm quiet a faamilly! Would love to give your second brother some ideas! *GRIN*

had 2 elderbrothers... 10 and 7 years older.... called me the pocket dictionary that came free with the big 2 volume dictionary or some such cheesy stuff... Eldest still treats me as a kid... GRRRR!

Nagu said...

as usual another gud one madam

~*. D E E P A .* ~ said...

heyyyyyyyyyyyyy

kewl one !!!!!

love ur ' M ' ... do pass on my regards .... me listen to Nirvana , Mettalica and R D Burman n Kishore kumar alternativley ....

do pass on all my regardsssssssssssssssssss to ' M '

Leon said...

I guess you could call me 'M' in the driving and packing department... This summer after my trip to India, I landed with ONE suitcase less than half full!

I guess my $150 speeding ticket speaks for my driving.. :-(.. I'm safe though.. ;-)

Good to hear you had a fun vacation. Makes me want to take a trip back home.. (sigh)

Dr. Pissed said...

Awesome dude
Every single thing you've written till today has always made me laugh/smile.

Thanks!!

Safari Al said...

Ok...i have sto stop reading your blogs in the lab. I got into trouble with my teacher again today.

You really arent supposed to laughing out lound in the middle of a lab when you ought to be engaged in activities like writing programs that search text for patterns.

Safari Al said...

Btw, you dont drive???

Casablanca said...

Really cracked me up :D

hope and love said...

lol..
tell us more abt the trip..
plllzzz

flaashgordon said...

Heheh that was a good one ; hope u have more spicier goa tales to tell.....
I can really empathize wth M; how ca n anyone actually drive with Daler on;i have my choice depending on moods..Heavy metal is best at night with light traffic; "Du hast" aftr getting slightly drunk makes u feel invincible

btw everyone in my family has a driving license but only me n dad drive. My elder sis's driving career started when she broke off the indicator knob tryin a perfect right turn during the Driving test with the Vehicle Inspector watching on. It ended when she smashed in the wall of our local church. They still havent repaired the wall...tho we sold the car soon. Younger sis took a license but started driving only in US with a automatic transmission car..
Mom perfectly landed our car in a paddy field b4 giving up; leaving me n dad as the only drivers of the family thus dispelling all undercurrents of Women's Equality

keep'em coming Silverine
Cheers
flaash

Jagan said...

glad to kno that u had a gr8 vacation .btw..is there a sequel to this post . u havnt yet completely told us what happened after that :-) u guys reached kerala/goa ?

Goan Pao said...

Trip with the family..well one is bound to have experiences on these trips...Poor M..i sympathize with him...Daler mehndi. :( Id rather crash and go to heaven than listen to a note of that irritating beat...
well how was the Trip to GOA?
it seems silly to ask coz a trip to Goa has to be fun..all that fish curry...Im gonna be there in Dec...
looking forward to a lot of beer by the beach..
Carnatic music: sadly I must say though i like the violin played in carnatic style..not a big fan of the vocals..

hotICE said...

ha ha ha.. hilarious indeed!! missin my bro after reading your post

Matter of Choice said...

ah well my sympathies are with M...women are the worst backseat drivers :)

abt a decade back my dad was down with an accident and bro was out of station. so dad asked me to take out his brand new car, reverse and put it back in the garage to charge the battery!. me did a good reverse, banged it on the pillar in the garage. From that day to this day mom insists on back seat driving whenever i am behind the steering. Things have got so bad that i am now boycotting driving dad's car untill mom learns a lesson and dont back seat me too much!!

cheerio
MoC

QuaTros said...

Hey Silverine, tell us some more about your experiences in Goa too.
And yep, do post some snaps of Goa too!

anthony said...

Welcome back Silverine.. Long time..and like always nice post.

Shifted ur fav cookblog to blogspot

>|' ; '| said...
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>|' ; '| said...

and how was the return trip..did M finally get ne heavy metal cds :-?

Ganja Turtle said...

Hmmmm...what else happening in M's life? This is turning out to be as much an account of his life as it is yours. Check out the no. of people asking abt him! Or is it just your prose? ;-)

Geo said...

What has happened to the charm of Goan beaches? Where are the brawns-baring-bay-watchers?

Our lady seems to be spending her time in cafes rather than on the beach... too bad
;_)

I guess ur admiration towards your sec bro knows no bounds... you have already given him a cult status thru ur posts :_D... I cud see so many concerned enquiries about his well-being... (I know u will enjoy reading this comment ... bhu ha ha ha )

silverine said...

@thanu: I envy you your sister, you must do so many sisterly things together!! That must be fun.
@Kickasso: That was the first leg of the journey to Kerala, from there we went to Mangalore and Goa and now am back safe in Blr :)
@meesamadhavan:That must have been some sight LOL, you seem to be like my brother :))
@slainangel: Thank you
@khakra: Yes , fine music does make the drive seem shorter.
@Ganja Turtle: yes , i break into hives too when I hear Daler lol

silverine said...

@chips: we did have a memorable trip to Goa from Mangalore, but the trip back via Mangalore was uneventful.
@lash: We are all happy to have our life and limbs intact :))
@Praveen: I can pack in 20 minutes flat, side effects of living ut of the suitcase last year.
@Jiby: That wuz soooooo funny, I cant imagine a Dad rash driving lol
@JOker: aah at last a fellow sufferer :)
@holidevil: Nothing wrong with Daler. Just that when I hear his nasal twang, I get the strong urge to hit my head with a hammer :))
@nagu: Thank you :)
@Deepa: Your regards have been passed on ;)

silverine said...

@leon: hey you are an M clone lol :))
@drpissed:thanks da, u still in Mumbai?Have the ladies followed you home or are they still discussing you? ;)
@safari Al:I do drive but I cant handle an SUV :)
@HnL: The next post will reveal all;)
@casablanca: Thank you, its always a pleasure seeing your comments :)
@flaash:Yeah, driving does dispel all notions of gender equality lol

silverine said...

@jagan; The sequel follows ;)
@goan pav:We have a number of Goan friends in Goa and they made the trip truly memorable, but I did see the ugly side of Goa as well :(
@hotice: So your brother is like mine? :)
@MoC: In my house my Mom and me and cool but my Dad does indulge in back seat driving when M is at the wheel :))
@Anthony: Thank you, I checked you cooking post. Your recipes are tried and tested I can see that :)
@Poison: He did get his heavy metal numbers which he was able to thankfuly load on the MP3 instead of bombarding us with the noise on the car stereo system:))
@geo: Cult status? well that was unintentional ;) Unfortunatley I can't narrate the trip without highlighting his antics. He is the practical joker in the family :)

anthony said...

hey silverine.. Sorry for my poor memory, but i thought i know u since ur last blog only,,,the hilarious one on PC and i was truely surprised when i saw a comment u post on my older blog..before i shifted to Blogspot..:-) world is small.. blogosphere even smaller..

here it is silverine's comment on old blog ;-)

anthony said...

BTW who was ur mom's wistful comment about not wanting to die before seeing her grandchild aimed at?? u or ur bros. U know my grandma does that to me.. and U know what I told her, i am not marrying just to keep her alive..i don't want her dying soon as i get married and that she would live another 5 years hahahaha, she almost died of shock hearing yrs..

injinuity said...

how viciously devious of you to make a rocker listen to some crappical music. You are lucky your bro didnt sleep off on the wheel...

PETR (People for the ethical treatment of rockers) will get you baby.. and I hope they do..

- Another rocker.

Anonymous said...

dear chechi,
i am a regular reader of your posts. this is just to tell you that there is much much more that 60-65(who writes comments) readers. i think the majority will be those,like me, who simply reads and enjoy and not ready to be a 'commentator'.

never stops writing.

dileep
NIT,Calicut

~*. D E E P A .* ~ said...

Madam , pls UPDATE .....

Safari Al said...

Ah i see.

Long time no see. Put a Post on my blog. Drop by some time

Lost in trance... said...

You had me in splits...That too in office...especially the screeching brake...i totally empathize with M :))

Anonymous said...

Haha.....totally aligned with mr.trance above. Normally read your blog when work gets to me. I laughed out so hard everyone wanted to know the joke. My fav one was the 'cat wailing in there' mainly bcz I'm a big fan of Carnatic - have been trained in it for many yrs (in vain). MSS is my fav of 'em all.
That trip must've been something.

Keep writin'.
A.

Unnikrishnan said...

I dont remember how I got in here, but your blogs are interesting and quite humourous. But this one had me in splits.. I was ROFL in my office in front of my PL, who was of the idea that I am working hard on a new enhancement. Do I need to tell any more..

silverine said...

@A and Unnikrishnan: Thank you :)

Srinivas said...

ais there a possibility any future trips be videotaped and videoblogged?

that was real funny.

silverine said...

@Dillep NIT Calicut: Thank you so much for your comment. Really glad to read it :)

Srinivas: Thank you :)