Monday, March 31, 2008

Agony aunt and an agonising niece!

I work in the marketing section of my company. The floor where I sit is dedicated to various marketing groups. There are about 7 ladies working here in various groups. I am the only unmarried dame here. And as is wont of women, we talk. Ok…we yak. And as the only unmarried gal I am the Agony Aunt for these ladies. Most of them are very sweet and come down for a chat after pinging me to see if I am free. But there is one particular lady who is a different race of womankind altogether. This lady had all the problems in the world and thinks she can come and sit and talk to me for hours even if I am busy. Of course when she is busy she will not even look at you and will mumble a “No” when you ask her if she is joining the female horde going for coffee…characteristically “together”.

However she regularly drops onto my workstation and will go on and on and on about her problems. I tried SMS’ing friends telling them to call me so that I can feign a phone call and get her off my back but to no avail. She will patiently wait for me to finish the conversation and then start off again. If I were a doctor this is how a day in my life would go.

Nurse to me: Doctor!! A patient has been bought in with a bullet wound!
My colleague: Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah and Blah.
Me: Prepare the Operation Theater! Quick!!
Colleague: Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah and Blah.
Me to Nurse: Scalpel please…
Colleague: Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah and Blah.
Nurse: The patient’s heartbeat is slowing down doctor!!
Colleague: Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah and Blah.
Me: I am going to revive his heart with electric shock. Everybody stand back!!!
Colleague: Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah and Blah.
Nurse: Heart beat still falling Doctor!!
Colleague: Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah and Blah.
Me to colleague: err I am kinda busy here!
Colleague: This wont take too long...Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah and Blah.
Me to nurse: I am afraid we have lost him!
Colleague: Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah and Blah.
Me to relations: I am sorry...we tried our best...but the patient died five minutes ago.
Relations: *wailing*
Colleague: So sad! And Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah and Blah.
Me to Nurse: Please see to that they get all possible help with the discharge of the body.
Colleague: Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah and Blah.
Relations: *still wailing*
Colleague: Hey!!! Looks like you are free. And so I was saying…. Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah and Blah.
Me: *sigh*

When you can't beat 'em why fight 'em right? So lets look at the bright side and...thank god I am not a Doctor!!! *whew*

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Easter wisdom

Happy Easter everyone!!!! And to those who don’t celebrate, wishing you a rocking Sunday!!! I am in good old Gods Own Country Bar and Liquor Shop a.k.a Kerala for Easter. The weather is fine, the men are not err I mean most of them above the age of 18 are in various stages of recovery from alcohol abuse after the midnight Easter Mass. Before I go in and help the ladies toiling in the kitchen I thought I will sneak in and wish every one. If I am caught at the lappie, this might be my last Easter according to my amma :(

Anyways…onto my narration. I have been a very bad girl this Easter :( And feeling so happy about it too *GRIN* And why? You didn’t ask but I will tell you anyways. There were quite a few people who dropped in home yesterday for the usual pre Easter mingling. A teenage cousin called up from Mumbai to wish his grand mom and grandpa and upon being told that they were our place called up our house. My brother M picked up the phone. Let’s call this cousin brother Roshan Jacob (actual name).

Roshan: Hello?
M: Hello?
Roshan: Achchachan? (grandpa)
M: Yes!
Roshan: Happy Easter in advance achchacha!!!!
M: Happy Easter mone! God Bless you!
Roshan: Thank you achchacha. So what are plans for Easter?
M: The usual. We are meeting up here for lunch. Your ammachi (grandmother) is making the payasam (kheer). What are you all doing?
Roshan: Everyone is meeting here for lunch. Sanjay and Bobby are down from Dubai and Neils from Singapore. They leave for Kerala on Monday. So I am going party hopping with them tomorrow night.
M: Good! Good! Party safe mone.
Roshan: Awww achchacha. This is Mumbai. It’s quite safe. Besides we are going to our friends houses!
Me: careful. Remember the old adage. “Man who fishes in another woman's well, often catches crab.”
Roshan: What!!!
M: So be very careful mone.
Roshan: *gasp* Where did you hear that achchacha!!
M: hmmm I think Sebastian sent this to me by email.
Roshan: That is just a joke achchacha!
M: Joke? I haven’t heard anything wiser in my life!!!! Hmmpphh!
Roshan: But achchacha...
M: If I had got this 50 years ago…err never mind. So tell me, will there be girls at the party?
Roshan: Yes!
M: hmmm remember son, “Virginity like bubble. One prick - all gone”
Roshan: OMG!
M: Hummph don’t tell me you lost it already!!!
Roshan: No achchacha! I haven’t…I mean...
M: Good!! Remember the old saying “Man who wants pretty nurse, must be patient.”
Roshan: Achchacha please don’t take everything Sebastian sends literally. He…
M: What nonsense! I haven’t read anything this wise in years!!
Roshan (quickly): Rohan (younger bro) wants to wish you achchacha.
M: Wait! I haven’t finished yet! A young man like you will face many temptations in life. When you are faced with temptations, remember to say this small prayer “ It takes many a nail to make a crib but one screw to fill it." Amen!
Roshan: *very embarrassed silence*
M (continuing mercilessly): And will you be drinking?
Roshan: No achchacha! I am not yet 18!
M: Ha!! I know you will drink!! Rascal!!
Roshan (hurt): I swear achchacha I won't.
M: Remember the old saying when Satan tempts you, “Do not drink and park, accidents cause people."
Roshan: *squirm* Achchacha please delete mails sent by Seb.
M: Why??? And please speak up mone. I left my hearing aid at home.
M: Do you have a girl friend?
Roshan: NO!!
M: Good! This is not your age to be having girl friends. There is an old saying "man who lay woman on ground, do not get peace on earth"
M: Ah! Then you go through it well mone. It is something that every young man must read. I have taken a printout and put it up in the living room.
Roshan: What?? Aiyyyo! Achchacha. Please take it down!!
M: Why? It will be nice to show everyone when they come here tomorrow evening.

Sound of whispering in the background while M gives the cordless to the real grandfather.

Roshans mom: Hello achcha?
Grandpa: Hello!
Roshans mom: Roshan says that you have stuck some e mail forward in the living room!
Grandpa: Yes I have. Why?
Roshans mom: Well Roshan says it is a joke and not worthy of putting up in the living room.
Grandpa: But it is a nice pencil sketch of Mother Mary made by a Brazilian artist.
Roshan's mom to Roshan: Your grandfather says it is some religious stuff!
Roshan mom to grandpa: Oh! Ok we will call you tomorrow then achcha.
Grandpa: Bye.

I have a feeling that M f#%$ed up a teenagers Easter this year! But what the heck! It was worth a laugh in the house....amongst the group of cousins. The elders...ahem don't know about this or M will be the main course for today’s Easter lunch.

And if you are wondering where I fit into all this…well…I sort of promised Rohan, when he called me frantically that I would sprint across to his Grandfathers house and tear down that non existent paper stuck on the wall ….for a small fee ;) After all this is the season of hope and joy and one mustn’t be too cruel to ones own flesh and blood no?

Have a nice week folks.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Meeting my makers

Parent Teacher Meetings…the very word brings a flood of warm memories for me…and a flood of harrowing memories for my Mom. I smile happily in reminiscence while she cringes. I loved going for PTA meetings even if my report card and discipline record was the pits. My Dad always accompanied me and he had a healthy disregard for Parent Teacher Meetings (PTA). Like most primary school kids, the villains in my small world were mostly teachers and not ghost and ghouls and Goblins. And like most kids I was convinced that my Dad was a superhero and hence my expectations of him was err...a bit too high.

Dad’s friend: Shall we meet up today for lunch?
Dad: No. I have to go for a PTA meeting.
Friend: That would take about an hour right? You can drop by after that!
Dad: Nopes, My daughter says that I have to meet the Science teacher….
Friend: Well that shouldn’t take more then 10 minutes!
Dad (continuing): …and tell her that she is no good.
Friend: Huh!
Dad: And then I am supposed to meet the English teacher ….
Friend: Ok!
Dad: And tell her she sucks.
Friend: What language!
Dad: And she says I cannot use any other language.
Friend: tch tch!
Dad: And then I am supposed to go meet the Hindi teacher and pull her hair real hard.
Friend: OMG!!!
Dad: And then meet the Math teacher and punch him a bit and then threaten him so that he leaves class and there is no more Mathematics in school.
Friend: Jesus!!
Dad: Then I have to meet the History teacher and flirt with her so that she gives my daughter grace marks in History exams.
Friend: *shakes his head disapprovingly*
Dad: And then I am supposed to haul the PT teacher by the collar and drag him to the football ground and punch him around the ground, thrash him to pulp and then pick him up and throw him into the garbage bin.
Friend: :-O
Dad: After that, I have to barge into Sister Principal’s room and tell her that she should abdicate her post and give it to that nice sister Marie who teaches kindergarten and loves my daughter to bits.
Friend: That Nun is over 100 years old surely!
Dad: Exactly! And then I am supposed to intimidate the Canteen lady and tell to either shut shop or stock Chips and Bubble gum banned by the school management!
Friend: God!!!
Dad: And if I have energy left…I am supposed to slap the watchman for not allowing her to go out and buy Guavas which she is forbidden to eat. But she says she buys it for her friends you see.
Friend: Heh!
Dad: I am dreading the day she starts Computer classes next week.
Friend: Why?
Dad: Then I will probably have to beat myself up, as they don’t have a Computer Teacher yet !

Thankfully my Dad had no notions of being a super hero and tactfully ignored my creative suggestions in dealing with my teachers. He believed in handling the situation practically. So while most parents met the class teacher and then the rest of the subject teachers, my Dad bunked after meeting the Class Teacher. And since there was no record of the meetings we were never caught!!

Every attempt by the school authorities to get my Mom or elder brother to come for the meeting was futile as I was trained to give the PTA Meeting Slip only to my Dad.

Mom: When is you next PTA meeting?
Dad: Oh! That was four days ago! I forgot to tell you. heh heh
Mom: %$$#$ (turning to my eldest bro) I swear on everything that is holy and sacred to my family that one day I will get that slip.
Dad: Please make that your “maternal family”.

My Dad slept on the couch that day. But that was for the good actually. We got him all to ourselves to tell us a whole lot of tall tales in which he was the super hero!

I will give anything to walk those dusty corridors again, hanging onto my Dad’s hand, passing class by rickety class and glowering teachers. If looks could kill, a certain Dad and daughter would be deader than a Dodo fourteen years ago… killed instantly by the violent looks of the daughter’s History Teacher, English Teacher, Math Teacher, Hindi Teacher, Kannada Teacher, Geography Teacher, Science Teacher, PT Teacher, EVS Teacher, Catechism Teacher and Watchman.

( When in Dilli do as the higher IQ Dilli'ites do... says Babychen!)

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Down rediscovery lane...

I have lost my identity! I mean I have lost my cooking identity!!! I realized this today morning as I was making breakfast. The realization woke me instantly and I was able to swiftly douse the flames in the kitchen with the help of the Fire Brigade. Weekend breakfasts in my home is made by the three of us siblings so that our mother can get a break from cooking and concentrate on cleaning the mess after we have finished. We are very caring kids you know! And while I was getting breakfast ready, I realized that I was automatically making stuff that the people in the house like.

Now most married women here would say - So what's new ??
To which I would say - Heloooo ladies, I am not married. I haven’t lost my individuality yet!!!! pffft
To which the ladies will say - Yenjoy while it lasts dear *snigger* and *loud unladylike laughter*

Back to the post. So I realized that I was cooking what everybody in the house likes and that I have been doing that for years now. Egads!!! The realization hit me like a thunderbolt!!! I was like a married old hag errr I mean wife now, who had no likes and dislikes of her own. Eeeeks!!!!!!

Emergency repair measures were needed I realized. I had to get back that carefree gal that burnt water when she was 6 years old!! Yes peoples, yours truly has the distinction of being the first wannabe cook kid to have burnt water. Don’t ask me how. But according to my ma I did it and she is damn proud of it. (And that makes it a grand total of "one" thing about me that she is proud of.)

Mom 1: My daughter burnt the toast today. She is learning to cook you know! So sweet.
Mom 2: Mine burnt the fried egg. But only partially. I am so proud of her!!!
My mom: Mine burnt the water.
Mom1 and 2: Leelamme, do you know you have just set a world record for moms!!!
My mom (fluttering eyelashes modestly): I know! *blush*

Anyway I decided that I really needed to reverse the trend and enjoy some years of individuality before I totally lose it on the sacrificial altar of marriage in a couple of years. After some frantic reading of self help sites on the Internet I sat down to de-psyche me of my present culinary enslavement. I had a deep and meaningful chat with my inner me after hunting for her for a good one hour! I finally found her with the help of two stiff shots of Vodka. The poor thing was totally disoriented and had to be coaxed out of her shell with some gentle regressive hypnosis techniques

Silverine (S): Dear girl, today I shall take you back to your childhood and strip the layers of influences that has smothered the real you and then I will bring you back as a spanking new individual with a distinctive character of her own!
Inner Me (in a zombie like voice): Yes Silverine!
S: Think of the day you first felt that stirring to cook!!
Inner me (IM): Ok!
S: What did you want to cook?
IM: The dog actually. But I couldn’t lift him up.
S: err...I mean when did you want to cook like your mom?
IM: hmmm lemme think….
S: It’s been two hours since you have been thinking dear….
IM: I forgot :(
S: Sigh….
IM: I remember!!!
S: Good!!!
IM: The first thing I wanted to make was Ice Cream when I was 8 years old.
S: Good!!! And what ice cream did you want to make?
IM: hmm Dad said I should make Chocolate flavor, chetan ( eldest bro) wanted Strawberry , the other brother wanted Pista and Mom wanted a Valium to drown the thought of me in her kitchen.
S: And what flavor did “you” want to make?
IM: I don’t remember :(
S: That’s all right dear! What is the five operations in the production of ganja cigarettes?
IM: Huh!
S: oooops forget I said that …just one of those self help sites I stumbled onto when I was looking for help for our session you know! Ahem…now tell me what was the next thing you wanted to make?
IM: Cake!!
S: And what cake did you want to make?
IM: Dad wanted Coconut cake, chetan wanted sponge cake, M wanted Chocolate cake and Mom wanted me out of the kitchen!
S: *groan* and what did “you” want to make?
IM: I don’t remember :(
S: Sigh….Anju is there anything you remember about yourself?
IM (looking around): Anju? Who is that?
S: That’s your name for gods sakes!!!
IM: My folks call me Kookie!
S: OMG! Do you have a personality of yours at all!
IM: Duh!
S: (gritting her teeth):…and what was the next thing you wanted to make dear….
IM: Milkshake!!
S (sarcastically): Lemme guess…your Dad wanted Mango milkshake, chetan wanted Strawberry, M wanted Chikoo and your mom wanted out, right?
IM: Spot on!!! But how did you guess that???
S: Never mind. Another Vodka?
IM: Make it a beer. I have been conditioned to drink Vodka you see as the people in the house like Vodka on a Sunday.
S: Bravo!!! I am so proud of you! We are finally making progress!!
IM: Thank you!! Anyways….by that time I fourteen I was standing on my own two feet as a fairly accomplished cook!
S: Wow!! And what is your favorite cuisine?
IM: Dad likes Chinese, chetan likes naadan, M likes…
S (cutting in hurriedly): you have anything stiffer than Vodka or Beer? Like a bullet to the temple or a Grenade I can pop in the mouth perhaps hmm?

Anyway the session was good and I firmly resolved that I would henceforth cook what I want. And after cooking what I wanted for Lunch today and throwing most of the Eggplant Moussaka, Vegetable Lasagna, Spinach and Broccoli Au Gratin and Coconut Mousse in the dustbin, I also resolved that from now on when I cook what I want, I will make it really small portions. *sigh*

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Gimme a break!!

I have just been through a break up peoples. Now…now… hold the tissues and handkerchiefs dears. It is not what you think it is. It is a break up with a guy alright, but he is not my boyfriend. I am still single and unavailable like most Indian girls. So you might wonder what I am talking about right? Well let me explain with this chronological sequence of events….

(Girls on the other hand would have understood the post with the opening line itself and right now may be yawning and saying “lets go grab a coffee, nothing new here”)

Week one

Him (a colleague): Hi!
Her: Hi!
Him: Remember we met the other day. I was with Kevin!
Her: Oh yes!
Him: How you doing?
Her: Fine!
Him: See you around then!
Her: Bye!

Week two

Him: Hi!
Her: Hi!
Him: You had Coffee?
She: No!
Him: I am going over to the cafeteria. Coming?
Her: Sure! Though I have to get back immediately with the coffee.
Him: Okay!

Week three

Him: Hi!!
Her: Hi!
Him: Don’t see you around!
Her: Why? Did you need to speak to me?
Him: No! Just wondering where you were.
Her: Right here on my seat! (duh!)
Him: heh heh

Week four

Him: Hi!
Her: Hi!
Him: Hey did I say something
Her: Huh!
Him: I feel you are avoiding me!
Her: Why should I avoid you??
Him: Oh I felt like that!
Her: *gets back to work ignoring him*

Week five

Him: So where are “We” going this Friday!
Her: “We”??????
Him: Yeah! Movie?
Her: No thanks!
Him: Why????
Her: I have plans.
Him: Oh! Plans? You mean you have a date!
Her: I am meeting with friends.
Him: *phew* Yenjoy then!
Her (reaching for the phone): hmm thanks!

Week six

Him: Hi!! Movie this Friday!
Her: No!
Him: Why?
Her: Because I don’t want to see a movie that’s why!
Him: Dinner?
Her: No thanks!
Him: Then what do you want to do?
Her (shrugging): Nothing!
Him: Listen…if you don’t want to go out with me, then tell me clearly!
Her: I don’t want to go out with you.
Him: *hurt look*
Her: See you. I have a meeting.

Week Seven (first half)

Him: Hiiiiii!
Her: *groan* Hi!
Him: Listen, forget what happened last week and let’s make a fresh start!
Her: What happened last week?
Him: We had that little misunderstanding naah.
Her: Huh?
Him: See you in the evening for coffee then!
Her: No...I am going out for a meeting!

Week Seven (second half)

Him: Coming for coffee?
Her: No thanks!
Him: See!! You have not forgiven me!
Her: Forgiven you for what...for gods sake!
Him: Then let’s have coffee together!
Her: Not now I am busy.
Him: Ok! See ya in the evening then?
Her: I have no idea frankly what I will be doing then. Bye!

Week Eight

Him: Hi!
Her: Now what?
Him: Who was that guy with you at the cafeteria yesterday?
Me: When?
Him :11:26 am
Her: That must be Syed!
Him: hmmm you seeing him?
Her (annoyed): What’s wrong with you! He is one of our Product Managers!!!
Him (hurriedly): Sorry! Just kidding!

She walks away in a huff!

Week eight (Second half)

Him: Hi!
Her: *ignoring him*
Him: Listen I know things are not going well between us.
Her (eyebrows arched) : “Us”?????
Him: It’s because we don’t spend time together!
Her: What!!!!
Him: We won’t be having these tiffs if we spent more time with each other…understand each other…
Her: Ente ammey! (OMG)
Him:…. get to know each other….and..
Her: Listen! I don’t want to know you or spend time with you…
Him: But why?
Her: What do you mean “but why”
Him: I am not going to restrict you in any way if you are concerned about that! I am a very modern guy who….
Her: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, *Jesus give me patience or I might clobber him* 6. 7. 8. 9. 10...

Week eight (last day)

Him (calling her extn): Hello!
She: Hi!
He: Listen, if you are worried that I may not let you work after marriage…
She (biting back expletives): Marriage? OMG! What’s going on here! Listen you may have seen me here for some time, but that was as a summer Intern. I am not…
Him (cutting in): That’s okay if you too young for marriage. I can wait.
Her: Wait? You are going to wait for me? Aaarrrghhhhh *slams the phone down*

He (calling her again): What happened? You kept the phone down?
She (thinking quickly): Hey I would like to chat, but my boyfriend is waiting for me at the reception.
He: Boyfriend????
She (sweetly): Yes!
He: But you didn't tell me you had a boyfriend!
She: But why should I tell you I have a boyfriend?
He: But you should have told me!
She: But why? I don’t think I have to tell a colleague whether I have a BF or not!!
He: I feel like such a fool…
She: Why would you feel like a fool for accompanying me to the vending machine???
Him: Is that all it was “accompanying me to the vending machine?”
Her: Yep!
Him (injured tone): Bye!
Her friend to her: What boyfriend? You don't have a BF!
She: Necessity is the mother of invention dearie! ;)

That btw was my 567th “break up”. Next time I think I will say I am joining the convent. Or may I will say that I …..err hmm well...suggestions welcome!