Monday, May 23, 2005

Pitcher perfect friendship

A few days back, I checked into to this company on the first day of Summer Internship. I was assigned a cubicle and a Compaq that refused to run on Windows! I was asked to meet the administrator regarding my comp, in the server room. So off I went in the general direction of the server room and yanked opened the door.

This would be the last time in my short life that I open a server room without knocking. The scene before me was horrific. Leaning languidly against the wall was a tall and strappy young woman kissing a man who seemed halfway down her throat. She was pretty engrossed in chewing him but soon noticed my presence. She stopped mid chew, regarded me with great interest and spat out the poor guy who wobbled out in a jiffy. I retreated from the server room ashen and shaking.

1 pm: My computer was now behaving like a good comp and I was busy with the half done tasks of the last incumbent. Suddenly a blow landed on my back and I was eyeball to eyeball with the keyboard. I have never been so close to the keyboard, in fact I have never been so close to anyone. I collected my breath and looked up fearfully. The ‘server room woman’ was regarding me with an amused expression on her face.

“ Hi, I am Sunitha from Q&A . You the new Communications Intern?” Her face was friendly and I reluctantly nodded my head in affirmation.

This is how I met Sunitha two months back. Two months, that was to change my life so drastically that I once attempted……..immigration.

Sunitha was ( I am sure) a Texas cowgirl in her last life. She was part Coorgi, part Punjabi and part man-eater. She rode a Yamaha (or was it a Bajaj or a TVS?), weighed 150 pounds and was bright eyed and bushy tailed even after dunking a couple of gallons of beer. She lived life kingsize and smoked the same brand too. Sunitha drove at a break neck speed of 100 or 120 kmph on Bangalore roads. And red lights would see her sail effortlessly into the rear window of a BTS bus or the lap of the nearest software techie on bike. She would then flutter her lashes and act like the ‘maiden in distress’.

She became my self appointed guardian and friend and nicknamed me ‘billi’ that’s Hindi for ‘cat”. No, I don’t have blue eyes but a light brown that she said reminded her of her cat back home in Madikeri !

Friday nights turned to nightmare as she regularly landed at my room to drag me Pub hopping. I had trained my friends to thwart her when the door rattled at 7:30 pm every Friday night.

Knock Knock
Friend 1 tremulously: Who’s there?
Sunitha! Where’s billi ?
Friend 2: Gone to Kerala
Friend 3: Gone to Commercial Street.
Friend 1: Gone for a walk.

Sunitha would snort in exasperation and push open the door and glare contemptuously at my brave friends cowering like frightened mice behind the door. And I would be dragged willy nilly to the nearest pub. Over a period of time I kept a scarf and dark sun glasses near the door that I could grab while being dragged out. At the pub, Sunitha would demolish pitcher after pitcher of draught beer while I took tiny furtive sips from my small glass of beer. I would of course be wearing the scarf pulled low over my eyes and the dark sun glasses kept my identity a secret.

She would roar as I made ads describing the 'challenging environment" my company offered to prospective employees, and chuckle at the brochure I designed describing our spectacular first quarter growth and would roll on the floor laughing when I made product brochures that expounded their superiority over the competition's!

An outrageous flirt, she could have the best of ‘em weak on their knees and did her best to ‘fix’ us up with what she thought were ‘good bets’. The good bets were smooth, urbane and immoral creeps.
“But what the heck yaar, at least they won’t insist on getting married.”
Her wisdom beat me hollow and she soon realized that she would have to choose between friends and match fixing. She chose the former.
“What the heck yaar, I prefer friends to one night stands.”
To this day I haven’t understood what she meant.

Sunitha is flying across the seven seas to a job in the west and we are going to miss her vivacious presence terribly. Life seems much duller somehow.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

I am going to Heaven ;-)

Your Deadly Sins

Greed: 40%

Sloth: 40%

Wrath: 20%

Envy: 0%

Gluttony: 0%

Lust: 0%

Pride: 0%

Chance You'll Go to Hell: 14%

You'll die in a castle, surrounded by servants.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Yet another compromise

Another friend, another story. What is it with us girls? Gluttons for sob stories. This friend of a friend of mine has an elder sister. I shall call her A. She met and fell in love with a guy called B. They decided to get married. Now A and B follow different religions. After marriage A went to live with her husband and in laws. She was forced to follow B’s religion leading to tensions and an eventual walkout. B was not willing to live separately too. I was flabbergasted when I heard the story. Didn’t A and B think this through before marriage?

A was six months pregnant then. Her son is now 12 years old and she is working in a leading software company on Airport Road.

Last week, he lands up at her place begging to be taken back. But too much water has flown under the bridge and A has burnt her bridges (apologies for the corny clichés).

I want to throw the zillionth question into the arranged vs love marriage maelstrom. Does a girl marrying a boy from a different community realize that SHE will have to make the compromises if she will be living with the In Laws? Has anyone given a thought to this aspect of intercommunal love marriages in our country? I have nothing against love marriage or arranged marriage. Both are fine with me. But when two people of different faiths meet and fall in love, shouldn’t they take the conscious decision to live separately to nurture their relationship?

Sunday, May 08, 2005


My mom is the most incorrigible and loving person I know and I am not going to elaborate with paeans of mushy prose. But the world is a better/worse place for having lost her talents to motherhood.

What I mean to say is that my mom could have been:

· A CIA agent, but then CIA agents do not like their hair combed into submission and teeth brushed before they set out on covert missions.
· A RAW agent but she would have indignantly refused to pry into the neighbor’s affairs.
· A cop but she would have used her infamous neem drinks and prayer sessions as third degree and gotten the police force a bad name. ( I mean no one is known to have survived these sessions).
· A Doctor, but then she would have advised patients against surgery, anti-biotics, cesareans, unnecessary tests.....
· A librarian, but then she would have shredded expensive books she thought were bad for young people.
· A soldier but then she would have killed the arms industry by dragging the enemies by their ears and making them kiss and make up.
· A Nurse, but she would have driven away patients with her nasty,smelly home-made cure-all brews.
· A bar tender, and driven away patrons by insisting on “delicious and healthy ”alternatives like hot milk and cardamom tea.
· A traffic cop, but she would have rapped negligent drivers on their knuckles with a ruler and made them do sit-ups in full public view.

And the list goes on. The world’s loss is our gain.

Happy Mothers Day Ma!

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Hostile planet

My friend Aruna had a break up with her fiancé. This was their umpteenth breakup and I treated it as such. This time the reason was a tiff over having babies!!!!! Her fiancé “J” wants children after marriage. But Aruna is adamant that she was not going to bring children into a miserable, waterless, forestless, futureless earth. I have to accept that she is right. However having been appointed the official referee for this duel, I have to be fair and hear both sides out.So Monday evening we set out to Cubbon Park for the face off. Aruna swears that this meeting will decide once and for all her future with “J”.

Both parties have their say, but I am sympathetic to Aruna’s views. “J” her fiancé is not backing down. He wants children. I ask him why? He replies that they would be a little piece of him to leave on the Earth.

Now … “J” has changed four jobs last year. Aruna asks him if he would want the same for his kids. The struggle to get admission in school, pass exams, struggle for college admissions and then the struggle for a good job. The struggles for a home, food, water, clean air, time and the struggle to grow old in dignity and to live your old age in dignity. “J” has no answer to her queries. He is sullen. Maybe the primal urge to procreate makes him blind to the ground realities.

The whole issue makes me ponder. Are we doing the right thing by bringing children into this world?