Saturday, April 26, 2008

Oh! Ye of simple faith!

Mary (name changed) a distant cousin of mine is 29 and still unmarried for various reasons like fussy parents and unsuccessful attempts to get her married to a boy working in Kerala.

Today her parents are desperate. They realize that they have delayed too long. They are unable to get her a suitable groom due to her age despite their best efforts and several advertisements in newspapers and registrations in matrimonial websites like Kerala Matrimony. In their desperation they turn to another aunt of mine in Bangalore for some comical err I mean spiritual relief from their dilemmas. This aunty lets call her Aunt Dogoody (AD) sets up an exclusive prayer meeting for Mary at this Catholic (but not endorsed by Church) Prayer Centre at Bangalore. While the prayer meeting was going, this is the phone conversation that took place between Mary's parents in Kottayam, Kerala and my aunt in Bangalore.

Uncle: What is happening? Has the prayer started?
AD: Oh yes....the lady here has seen a vision.
Uncle: *gasp* Really? What did she see?
AD: Your daughter, happily married to someone by this year end!
Uncle: Really! Who is the guy?
AD: She says it was not very clear. We need to convene Friday for another prayer session.
Uncle (in awe): Oh!!
AD: Please send Rs 500/- towards the next prayer session.
Uncle: Sure! I will send the money to you today itself.
AD: Make sure it reaches before next Friday or we will not be able to hold the prayer meeting and the vision may fade!

Next week:

Aunty: Hello Valsa, has the prayer started?
AD: Yes, it has. The lady is getting the vision again.
Aunty: What does she see?
AD: She says he will be between 29 and 35 and of medium height.
Aunty: That sounds good. Anything else?
AD : shhh!
Aunty (whispering): Ok!

The following week:

AD: The lady with the vision says that there is a thadasam (impediment) in your daughters marriage prospects!
Uncle: Aiyyo!
AD: She will be going into a meditating session tonight, to find an answer for the same.
Uncle: *gulp* Ok! Anything we can do?
AD: Yes you can give a donation. These people don't charge anything you know for their services.
Uncle: Sure!! I will send you a cheque right away! How much?
AD: M it Rs. 5000/- You can afford it besides it is for a good cause.
Uncle: Sure!!!

The next week:

AD: The lady with the vision says that she has prayed and removed the thadasam in your girls future.
Uncle: Thank god!! What should we do next?
AD: She suggests Kerala Matrimony!
Uncle: Oh!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

People to people pigeon contact!

According to Scott Adams if we were to “connect citizens in different countries at such a high rate it would be politically impossible for the two countries to start a war.

What an idea! We could all make an email pen pal in "the neighboring country" (NC) and ensure that the two countries who share a lot in common like Shah Rukh Khan and Madhuri Dixit, never go to war!

So I went right ahead folks and made my very first pen pal from the Neighboring Country!!

Dear Neighboring Country Pen Pal (NPP)

How are you! I am fine by the grace of my amma. It is so nice to have a pen pal from NC! I don’t know much about your country. But I hope together, we will discover the great cultures of our country.




Dear Silverine,

What a pleasant surprise!! You are my first pen pal from India too. Although I did try to *censored* before, but it was *censored*. I am also hoping and praying that *censored**censored**censored*. Besides we have so much in common like *censored*. But I really like Indian *censored**censored**censored*and *censored**censored*.

Warm regards
City: *censored*


Dear NPP,

I finally have my very first reply from a friend in NC!!! I am so happy. My friends say "Hi”. My boss wants to know if you get daaru in NC and if so what is the rate of Jack Daniels. My Big Boss wants to know if you will marry me and take me off his hands. He jests heh heh. Funny man he is. But he says he will pay for the wedding.



Dear Silverine,

I am so happy to see your reply and the great interest among my new Indian friends about my country. Please tell your boss that *censored* costs *censored* here and we can always arrange to have it sent across the border via *censored*.

p.s if you see too many “censored” in my mail do let me know. I will have to try and send you mails via pigeons.



Mail Admin: General Mush Rough! Please note mail intercepted by our alert and patriotic Mail Filters!
Re: Shoot down all pigeons going into India.


Dear NPP,

Thank you for the information. Your mail is full of *censored*. What do I do?




Dear Silverine,

What the *censored*!!!!!

Mail Admin: What the hell is ‘fcuk’?
Re: *censored*
Mail Admin: :(

Dear NPP,

I am afraid I didn’t understand your mail. There seems to be a serious miscommunication between us. But I guess these are early days for us. We will eventually understand each others language. So take heart and keep mailing. In the meantime here is a small article on the History of India.



Mail Admin: Caution!! Subject is talking of a “miscommunication”. I sense covert transmission. Advised further sustained surveillance.
Re: Don’t shoot our Pigeons you moron!!!
Dear Silverine,

Your post was very informative. Thank you. I am greatly suffering to hear about the sufferings of Indian school children. We are suffering too. But with a different suffering called *censored*.



Mail Admin: Nice list of places.
Re: They are not Night Clubs you dunce!! Now get back to work!

Dear NPP,

Please tell me about your cuisine. I have attached a recipe for Curd Rice, a delicacy in South India for you to try out.


Mail Admin: Red Alert! Subject has sent some recipe in the attachment. Handle with care!!
p.s This stuff tastes yuck!
Re: You are not supposed to taste it you idiot! It might explode in your mouth.
Mail Admin: It just did. I think my taste buds are dead.
Re: Re: Re: @#%&#$!!!!
Mail Admin: :(

Dear Silverine,

Thank you for the recipe. The attachment was missing though. Attached is a recipe from my Mother.

p.s do you have pigeons?



Mail Admin: General, this seems to be a harmless recipe for Pigeon fry!
Re: How do you know? Did you check?
Mail Admin: Oops!
Re:Re: Idiot!!!!
Dear NPP,

Thank you for the delicious recipe. It was yummy! My mother says “Thank you!” and she says that she would love to have you and your family visit us when you come to India.




Dear Silverine,

Thank you so much! We will definitely visit India and meet up with you and your family. I will start packing the Pigeons right away.



Mail Admin: Red Alert! NPP is fleeing to India!! I am sure he is fleeing with our Nuclear Secrets!
Re: Over my dead body!!! I am going to launch the nuclear bomb!! First strike will be ours by Gods grace!!!!! Stand back everyone!!
Re: Re: @#&% Chinese triggers!!!!!!!

As you can see dear friends, increased people-to-people contact is the only way we can expedite the Indo-NC peace process. So I urge all of you to get yourself pen pals from our neighboring country and aid peace in this region!

Thank you!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Surviving the wonder years!

I am planning on writing a book on guys. No, no... it is not a book on 'how to snare guys and keep him in 10 steps' kinda books. But the kind of book that makes a guy less of an alien to girls.

I grew up in a house infested with guys. That was two batches of friends of my two brothers and some gate crashers. Till today we have no clue as to who the gate crashers were. In fact we came to know of this phenomenon at a family dinner the other day.

Dad: And must be almost 20 years since you met G (eldest bro) right?
Suman: Yes! But I am not his friend.
Dad: Then you must be M’s ( second bro) friend.
Suman: No.
Dad: hmmm then how do we know you?
Suman: I was walking by your house one day and saw your dog. I stopped by to pet him and aunty came and made me wash my hands and sit for dinner. Since then I come here regularly.
Dad: Ah! Some more chicken son?

We had boys all around us. In fact I am sure I saw one of my brother’s friends when I first came into this world.

"Uncle come see what came out of aunty’s stomach!!"

Ha ha I am kidding, but I am sure my Dad would have rushed to the hospital with at least a dozen boys in tow as leaving them in the house would be more destructive than leaving a running unmanned bulldozer in the house. And people who would have noticed a man rushing into the maternity ward with several small boys in tow, would have shaken their heads in exasperation and pointed their fingers at my Dad as an outstanding example of the failure of the country’s Family Planning policies.

If there was an Earthquake in Bangalore, most people would grab their two kids and run out of the house. My folks had it a little more difficult than others. They would have to look under the beds (sulking boys), water tank (chilling out boys), garage (taking the car apart but dunno how to put it back boys) kitchen (snacking boys), kitchen cabinets (collecting cockroaches boys) kennel (teasing the dogs boys) Outhouse (sneakily trying out cigarettes boys) trees (climbed up but dunno how to climb down boys) etc. etc etc etc The only place there were no boys in the house was my room. Most 8 – 12 years olds treat little girls like vermin.

If we were invited for weddings, the card specifically said, Mr & Mrs Philip and “their” kids. People realized soon enough that mentioning the word family would mean that the Philip family would outnumber the guests 1 - 10 out of which 8 people would be very dirty, very unkempt and very uninvited guests! My parents usually attended weddings alone so that one of them could baby sit the house to ensure it is not burnt down by the time they came back from the wedding.

Meal times in my house were interesting. Guys eat only meat! Period. And the ones who didn’t were soon converted with or without their knowledge!

Venu’s mom: What is that thing Venu ate at your house yesterday? I searched the whole vegetable market but no one had Shahi Mussalam!
My mom: err umm it is out of season at the moment. Will let you know when it comes into season.
Venus mom: Ah! Appadiyaa!

Venu's mom waited many seasons in vain and then forgot all about it and blamed her son's subsequent conversion to pure non vegetarianism, to Kalyug!

Side stepping the vegetarian parents and maintaining good parental relations was a task more daunting than ballet dancing on a tight rope!

Mrs Srinivasan: Mrs Philip, what is that bonda you packed for G’s lunch the other day? My son says it was delicious!
Mom (cursing G) : err that is called Potato Kabab!
Mrs Srinivasan: You must give me the recipe!!
Mom: I am so sorry I can’t. It is a secret family recipe handed over from my great grandom you know!
Mrs Srinivasan: I understand! I wouldn’t part with my secret Lemon Rasam recipe either! Heh heh
Mom (nervously): heh heh *whew*

Since corporal punishment was banned in the house via my Dads diktat, my mom had to take her frustrations out on the then cat called Amminikutty!

Mom: I am so mad at those boys. One day I will land in a mental asylum because of them!!!
Amminikutty: *mew*
Mom: How long can I keep side stepping peoples questions!!!
Amminikutty: *mew*
Mom: Soon people will stop talking to us!
Amminikutty: *mew*
Mom (breaking down): I can’t take this anymore!
Amminikutty: *mew*
Mom (brightening up): Thanks Amminikutty! You are such a great help. Here is a piece of fish for you!
Amminikutty: *mew!!!*

Amminikutty died of feline obesity soon after but not before my Mom had learned to better control her feelings with Valium.

There were certain rules in the house for my brothers and their guests. No swearing. Water bottles had to filled up and kept back in the fridge after use, no littering and no troubling their host’s sister and her friends (and thus the cockroaches collected had to be set free).

Dad: Rajesh! How many times have I told you that you that you cannot put Cockroaches in the girls room!!!
Rajesh: But Uncle you told me to release them!!
Dad: You make sense I won’t thrash you! Sigh.

Now having two sets of boys in the house of two different age group had its problems. Especially since the age difference between the two group was three plus years. The elder group members (EGM) considered the younger group members (YGM) essential vermin as they were easy picking as child labor for their various activities. As a result, the younger group earned quite a lot of money in my house, fetching stuff and polishing bicycles and telling lies on their behalf.

YGM to Dad: See I got 50 paise for cleaning Vinods bike!!
Dad: Good! So you must be making fifty paise per bike everyday? You will be a rich boy at the end of the month!!
YGM (proudly): This is my whole month’s salary for cleaning all the bikes!
Dad: $%@&!!

The EGM’s however underestimated their slave’s capacity to hold fort for them.

Dad: Where are the big boys Anil?
Anil: They are studying!
Dad: And what are they studying
Anil: They are studying some girl’s pictures behind the house!
Dad: $%@&!! err I mean thank you!

We girls were also entrusted with special errands by the EGM and made quite a lot of chocolates out of them!

Dev an EGM: Tina, will you give this note to Anita in 8th A tomorrow?
Tina: We are not allowed to go to the High School!
Dev: Please!!! I will give you a Chocolate da!
Tina: Ok!

Next day while Tina and me chomped on the chocolate wondering how we could get past the Primary School gates and reach the High School, Anita walks past!

Tina: Dev gave this for you!
Anita: Thank you! Is he your brother?
Tina: No!
Anita: Then how do you know him?
Tina: We deliver notes for him!
Anita: $%@&!!

Dev spent many a day hoping for a reply and then resigned himself to rejection. This was his 657th rejection and Tina and me became a beacon of sorts for the high school gals…a beacon that says, here comes the girls who deliver notes from losers!

Atul (another EGM): Anju, will you take this note and give it to Sheela in 9th B?
Me: What is this?
Atul: err just some Maths homework!

Next day, while Tina and me chomped on the chocolate wondering how we could get past the Primary School gates and reach the High School, who but Sheela’s Maths teacher walks past! No prizes for guessing what happened next, but Sheela and Atul spent some quality time in detention...alone and the entrepreneurial talents of two budding Courier tycoons was very tactfully, nipped in the bud.

Now with experience this rich and varied, I am sure you will all agree that that my book will be a definite best seller!

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Keep it Short Message Service Stupid

Have you got an SMS asking you to join in a promotional contest by your mobile service providers? You might have got several! According to a Press Release by the Mobile Service Providers Association (MSP), in future the contest questions will be customized to specific regions of India like the South, North, East and the West to keep the contest simple yet challenging.

Here are the contest questions framed for Kerala subscribers which was leaked to us by a BSNL employee.

1. How do you say “Yes” in Hindi?

a. Haan
b. Ha Ha Ha
c. Ho Ho Ho
d. He He He

2. How do you say “Me” in Hindi?

a. Mein
b. Mein aur meri thanhayi
c. Mun Mun Sen
d. Main Khiladi Tu Anadi

3. What is the Hindi word for “You”?

a. Tu
b. Tu Tu Mein Mein
c. Tu meri laila mein tera John Abraham!
d. Hum tum ek kamre mein band ho...hai...hum...err wotever!

4. And what is the Hindi word for “Go” ?

a. Jao
b. Jaagte raho
c. Jaan - e- man
d. Dum maaro Dum

5 What is meaning of the Hindi word “Khaana”?

a. Meal
b. Khana Khazana
c. Khana Peena
d. Kentucky Fried chicken

6. And how do you say “Greetings” in Hindi!

a. Namasthe!
b. Saale!!
c. Kuththe!!!
d. Kameene!!!

According to a top official of the MSP who prefers to remain anonymous, none of the respondents from Kerala got any of the answers right! The last question was later withdrawn when a subscriber argued in court that all the answers to that question were correct.

Reporters who went to popular actor Sohan Pal’s residence to get his views on this debacle were told that the 70 year old actor was away shooting for his new film “Cambuzz” in which he is starring as a 16 years old teenager, in love with his 15 year old junior played by 15 year old actress Sonia. The film is slated to release for the school vacations. The Censor Board are reportedly trying to give this movie an ‘A' certification so that young impressionable minds are not scarred for life after watching it...which according to studies leads to antisocial activities like unionism and communism among kids in later years.

p.s. the correct answer is “A”. Among the mallus who attempted the questions and got all the answers wrong, congratulations! You just proved yourself to be a true blue Malayalee !!

Among the non mallus who attempted this contest and got all the answers wrong, congratulations!! You have just become an honorary South Indian!!!

A sneak preview of a contest question made for North Indian subscribers is given below!

Q. Where is Kerala?

a. Wotzat?
b. Karela? Lemme guess....subzi mandi?
c. Aapke paas do rupiya ka chutta hoga?
d. Chintu bete!! Google and see where is this Ke, Ka, Ki…umm…Madras!!