Thursday, June 29, 2006


There is this old house I pass by every morning on the way to the main road. From amidst the trees that grow in the house a lilting warble of a bird can be heard sometimes. I have strained to see the bird but have never got a glimpse through the dense canopy. One day, I opened the gate and went into the house. I thought I would take the owners permission to look around. Suddenly from nowhere a Neapolitan Mastiff (NM) appeared and came lopping towards me. I was terrified. A voice from inside the house called out “Appu..NO!!!!”. The dog stopped in his tracks and looked extremely disappointed with a “what will I sprinkle on her-pepper powder or tomato sauce before gobbling her down” look.

A small and wizened lady came out of the house. She would easily fit under the dog. But the dog clearly knew who the boss was, because he slinked to her side and gazed at me with another “maybe I will eat her with mayonnaise but mayo is so fattening" look.

Old Lady: Don’t worry Appu won’t do anything, he is just a baby!

‘Baby’ was still drooling and looking at me with a “maybe a dash of Paprika will be good but not too much as she is rather skinny” look.

Appu go and shake hands with her” ordered the diminutive 5 feet nothing Aunty. ‘Baby’ came rather reluctantly with a “oh so now I have to be friendly with my Lunch” kind of look. He refused to shake hands and we both faced off with each other..err it was more like me facing off with his knee caps. I was like a Lilliput in front of him. For the first time I felt sorry for the Lilliputians whom I had roundedly cursed for tying up Gulliver and making him a pin cushion, though why they wanted a pin cushion in those days beats me. But then I was 5 years old when I heard the story and didn’t know back then that people had not looked at the Spear and thought “why don’t we shrink it so that it may come of use when paper is invented?”

Shake hands!!!!!’ said aunty sternly and ‘baby’ proffered a paw the sight of which would make an elephant take anti depressants. ‘Baby’s paws were HUGE!!!! I gingerly took one nail and we shook hands solemnly. Was it a glint I saw on baby’s face? Because… before I could say “ Howdy dude” he kept his entire paw in my hand with an evil look on his face. Now an NM is born with an evil look. If you see one with a not so evil look you know where he is been….yes, you are right…to a plastic surgeon! (yes sadly there are some plastic surgeons doing work on the sly for dogs who wanna look good. Look out for doggy hair when you go to a clinic next).

My hands sagged under the weight while ‘Baby’ had this look which said “I would be enjoying this if I could only gobble her after the introductions”.

Removing my hands with a baleful look in his direction I turned to speak to aunty. Aunty had just moved into our neighborhood and was pleased to make friends with me. After the usual pleasantries I left for work. As I walked away from the house, I could almost feel Appu’s gaze, burning into my back trying to Tandoorify me.

From then on Appu would wait patiently for me behind the fence and jump up with a resounding “WOOF!!!!” just when I passed by, scaring the daylights out of me. Then he would slink away with a satisfied look. He always managed to startle me due to the sheer volume of the ‘WOOF’. A sort of unspoken war was declared between us and for every ‘woof' I stuck my tongue out at him and called him “Appukuttan Ungle” (the Radio City guy). This seemed to enrage him and he would whine in sheer frustration because the fence prevented him from a quick mid-day snack.

One day as usual I was trying to tip toe past his house when a pack of stray dogs came snarling at me. There were four or five of them. People living in my area are familiar with these packs of hounds that snarl at unsuspecting passersby. Before I could bend down to pick up a stone, Appu appeared from nowhere and gave the dogs a piece of his mind. Oh the language, the profanities he used against the dogs!!!! Makes me blush.!!!

The dogs realized they had met their match in cuss words and took to their heels. Talk about a dog’s bark being worse than his bite!!

To cut this rather long story short, Appu and me have become friends. I made it a point to be civil to him and get to know him. Appu has realized that he can tolerate me and nowadays, whenever I have the chance I take him for a walk…err I mean he takes me for a walk. He zips around the block with me hanging onto the leash for dear life. If you see a Brown Neapolitan Mastiff zipping past at 450 mph with a girl flapping in the wind behind him, please don’t call out “Appukuttam Ungle”. It might just be the excuse he is looking to sample some road side fare.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Towards a better bottomline!

Hello everybody. Sorry for not posting for so long. I have been very busy since we received this mail from our HR last week. I think I will make it to the CEO desk, if I follow the effective time management and productivity enhancement measures that my company has arranged for us. Wish me best of luck. Any on you HR Types reading this may take note and learn. I have given the mail from our HR below.

Dear Employees,

1. Starting today all latecomers’ computers will be configured to starts on its own. It will then open . Screen savers have been blocked and will not save your face. The said page will not close after 9:30 am. To reset, you will have to contact HR.

2. New screen savers have been designed and installed compulsorily. A message on the screen saver will flash ”THIS COMPUTER IS LYING UNUSED” accompanied by loud horns if the computer is not used for more than four seconds. To reset contact your manager. Ditto for lunch break, pee break etc.

3. Internet Browsers have been configured with inbuilt timers. Internet browsing is chargeable at Rs.1000 per hour which will be deducted from your salary. Ditto with Messengers.

4. In order to improve our quarterly results, we will charge Rs. 500/- for every salary appraisal.

5. Lunch will hence forth be served at your workstation. We have arranged for people to feed you while you are working to save time.

6. Married employees are strictly advised against having babies while in our employment. Those undergoing Sterilization procedures will be given additional incentives like an extra 5 minutes tea/coffee break. You can make up by staying an extra 5 minutes late.

7. On the other hand, employees who have babies may please enroll them at our crèche for team building and indoctrination exercises. On successful completion of the course they will be given a certificate which will give them an advantage while applying for employment with us in the future.

8. Those willing to get our logo tattooed on their forehead or any visible part on their body or their family, friends or neighbor's bodies will be given an increment of 1%. This is a drive to save on branding costs.

9. As part of our drive to help you multi task all employees will have to undergo training in typing with your feet. After successful completing of the course you will be given an additional computer and additional tasks.

10. We are working on a new technology that will shrink 24 hours into 8 hours. All employees will have to volunteer for testing this project.

11. Only Managers will be allowed to backstab. The rest of you will help reduce Managerial frustrations by turning your backs to your manager’s faults from time to time.

12. All employees will have to go through Telepathy and Levitation Courses to save on telephone and travel bills. Requests for Flying carpets denied.

13. To save on stationery costs, printers have been configured to print on any body part. The ink is washable. Shower charges extra.

14. Employees will contribute for Projects that go out of budget.

15. Sick employees will be provided a workstation at home complete with access card swiping facility.

16. We have decided to restructure our management team and get rid of the deadwood. Ramesh the office boy, Suresh the boot polisher and David the arse kisser are hence fired.

17. All employees will have to attend Time Management Seminars on Friday, Saturdays and Sundays.

18. Please carpool while using the lift.

19. Air conditioner temperature disagreements have finally been resolved. The A/C temperature has been set at a comfortable 80 degrees. A coin slot has been provided for employees who want further decrease/increase in temperatures. The accounts dept. will be selling 5 rupee coins for Rs. 8/- only.

20. Employees will be fired in their mother tongue to soften the blow. For language options please contact HR.

21. All games in your computers have been reconfigured. Since the computers belong to us, you will have to pay us for every game you lose against the computer. On the other hand winning employees will be charged @ Rs. 1000 perhour for using the computer during their working hours.

22. Employees will be taken FREE to the cinemas on National Holidays where you will be treated to a four hour presentation on Giant Screen on Effective Working Techniques. The snack shops in the theater accept Sodexho passes.

23. We predict a 1% increase in our next quarter results. Employees are therefore advised make reservations at your favorite restaurant which accepts your Sodexho passes early to avoid disappointment. You wouldn’t want to be sitting at home when everyone is celebrating would you?

24. And finally Investment advice to employees is herewith stopped as employees who availed the same made enough money to quit our company.

Yours truly,

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

A mentor, guide and a friend...

My Boss almost died today after getting a near fatal shock! He is alright now and declared out of danger. Thank God for the visiting Doctor who was in the building at the same time. It is funny how momentary and fleeting are the moments we call life. He is such a nice boss and a gentleman to boot. You are the best Mr. MK

Footnote: Mr. M. K wasn’t electrocuted or anything like that. Just that he saw a certain Silverine at her desk at the stroke of 9:30 am today.

( I am sorry boss. What to do, I got up early and so came to office on time. I didn’t mean any harm. Pliz don’t hate me :( )


Saturday, June 17, 2006

Coming out of the closet

The title will give you a clue to the content of this post. I thought for once I will do away with the usual titles and be straightforward. Many of you may snigger after you have read this through, while some of you may leave shell-shocked. Some of you may actually feel a dislike towards me. However after much thought and much procrastination I have decided that I will be honest and write about something that I wanted to reveal for some time now. It is the least I can do for my fellow bloggers who have taken the trouble to read my posts and leave comments.

There is no right way to come out, but I hope I can avoid some of the pain and drama of coming out to my family and friends.It doesn't matter if you live in a small town or a large metropolitan city, nothing can be more isolating than the first coming out. You can be surrounded by familiar people and still feel you are the only one that is "different"

Accepting your 'inclination' can bring about a number of fears. Will your family or friends stop loving you? Will you ever get married or have children? Will you be discriminated against or made fun of?

Disregarding all these fears and hoping for your compassion, me Silverine, hereby declare on this day i.e June 17th , 2006 that:


It's true dear bloggers....from the time I heard “Aashique banaaya” Remix I was hooked. And then one remix led to another and I realized that I was different from the 'phlegminem' crowd. I realized that I was in the majority who were different, but were ashamed to admit it. I led a life of deception and laughed at all the jokes about his songs and their nasal tones, pretending to be normal. But I will not live this “lie” anymore.

Fellow bloggers, I am really sorry if this confession shocks you or makes you the target of ridicule for being associated with me. You can always say that you never knew about my inclination.

Dad you always taught me to tell the truth. ( I can almost hear you saying “Clauses!!! I should have clauses for every advice I give her!!! Grrrr”).

Mom… remember I am still your little girl. (I can almost hear you saying "ente karthave!!!!")

And my dear brothers, I know your friends will snigger behind you back, some in front even (back stabbers!!!), (I can almost hear both of you saying "OH MY GAWD, did you see that goal?!!!")

I am sure the good doctors and fellow bloggers Mind Curry and Sarah will vouch for me and reassure you that this is normal ( both of you had better or else I will hack your blogs and make it a Himesh Reshamiyya Fan Site!!! grr).

And all you fellow bloggers, I am sure many of you may be similarly inclined. I appeal to you to ‘come out’ like I did or keep those headphones on. *sniff*

Sunday, June 11, 2006

To some special men..

Happy Fathers Day to my Dad and all the Dads of the world!

Thanks for being my Dad. Guess you had no choice :p

You will always be the number one man in my life. Guess you have no choice here too :p

Thanks for being such a gentle man. I grew thinking that all men would be like you. I should thank my brothers too for being the reality checks..that not all men are gentlemen :p

Thanks Dad for all those times you let me pluck your moustache hairs. I used to be so fascinated by hair growing on someone’s face.

And thanks for letting me comb your bushy eyebrows and letting me walk around in your huge shoes.

Thanks for letting me sit in your lap while you drove. (And sorry that inspite of that I am such a bad driver)

Thank you for the Sunday picnics in Lalbaugh and the long walks with numerous stops while I painstakingly went through each flower and leaf.

Thanks for being the most patient man in the whole world.

Thank you for trying and succeeding in getting me out of my thumb sucking habit by spending hours in the kitchen making concoctions like bitter gourd juice to paint on my thumb.

Thanks for obsessing over my running nose and cleaning it a million times.

Thank you for being so biased in my favor.

Thanks for doing all my school projects prompting the teacher to announce “And as usual the best project award goes to Silverine’s Dad” :))

Thank you for showing childlike enthusiasm whenever I got a project because you so loved doing them.

And thanks for taking over my projects completely making them elaborate with the help of electricians and then coaching me to explain it to the teacher. I am still in the dark to the numerous award winning projects I did in school :p

Thanks for letting me watch the intricate electrical stuff you did with your mind boggling array of gadgets, tools, soldering irons and other stuff. ( I am sure Mom would like to thank you for repairing everything under the roof without blowing up the house).

Thanks for flooring my teachers with your ‘Yes Ma’m” and “Thank you Ma’am”. In an all girls school with an all ladies staff that was a huge bonus for me.

And thanks for making the teachers all a twitter whenever you came over. I was always the gallant gentleman’s daughter. (Hope my Mom doesn’t get to read this. And after I have penned this you and me are gonna have a talk…as to why you came so often to my school. I don’t remember getting into trouble so many times hmmmm :p)

Thank you for quietly eating all the stuff I made when I was learning to cook. I know my initial cooking experiments were horrible.

Thank you for being the first to make up after I went into my famous sulks because you refused to break your famous rules.

Thank you for not being over ambitious for me. That was a huge relief.

And thanks for the firm belief that “My daughter can do no wrong”. Made me toe the line so that I live upto that belief. (Nice tactic Achcha)

( Fathers Day is on Sunday 18th June ) :)

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Mobile woes

My first phone was a Siemens handset that an Ungle from the Gelf had bought for me. Sturdy, reliable and built like an Ox, it was the kind of phone that would come very handy if someone snatched your hand bag. You could use it to club the robber black and blue and it would still be intact! And if the robber takes to his heels with your bag, then you could throw it at his receding skull and be sure of some spell binding acoustics effects when it connected with the cranium.

You could then nonchalantly pick it up, blow the dust away (like James Bond blowing the smoke from the muzzle of his gun after he had shot a target that was moving at the speed of 475358 kms a second) and walk away from the scene with your hand bag amidst applause. Of course nothing of that sort happened but that was because no self respecting robber would grab my handbag unless he was desperate for loose change.

A week after I was given the phone, a new model was released and suddenly I was trying to pass off my ‘outdated’ mobile as a rectangular block of grey plastic that I was carrying around to defend myself. No one bought the story though. My Dad refused to buy me the new model and suggested gently that I wait another week and my friend’s new mobile would be outdated and I wouldn’t feel so ashamed of my block of plastic. I refused to talk to my Dad for a couple of days after that. This was good because four new versions of the same phone were released during those couple of days and suddenly all of us had outdated phones. The new models releasing in the market was a great leveler as none of us could afford it and hence we were content with our prehistoric gadgets. ( In ‘phone age’ a month equals a decade and anything more than that is classified as pre historic).

When I started summer internships, I gave up my mobile because I had a Big Boss who would call me at all odd hours and a Mom who would call me at all even hours of the day. (Between the two of them they succeeded in reducing the sparrow population in Bangalore to catastrophic levels).

Big Boss was easy to evade.

Big Boss: Helloooooo
Me: Helloooooo
Big Boss: Damn!! This phone echoes! *slam*

But my Amma was a smart cookie.

Mom: Hello?
Me: Hi, this is me. Sorry I am unable to take your call right now but leave a message and your number and …
Mom (interrupting): I know you can hear me. You didn’t eat breakfast today blah blah I took so much trouble blah blah blah got up at 6 am blah blah I am never going to make breakfast again. *SLAM*

After scintillating conversations like these I decided that I would preserve what little of my brain cells that were not fried, poached and flambéed by the microwaves and threw away the phone into the deep recesses of my cupboard. My cupboard burned down shortly after that.

Mental note * Shut down the mobile before stowing it away in flammable places like wooden cupboards*
Mental note number 2 *And don’t leave lighted candles in the cupboard*.

Recently I agreed to be the guinea pig for a highly secretive International experiment. I agreed to borrow a mobile phone from my friend for a short period of time at the insistence of friends. Since it was a trial period I decided to borrow my ex colleague’s CDMA mobile that is serviced by a company whose credo is ‘Love your brother as thyself’. My friend’s circle heaved a sigh of relief. Friday jam sessions would be so easy to plan.

Step one: Call Silverine
Step two: Make her buy the booze.
Step three: Enjoy maadi.
Step four: Let her clean up as it is her house.

And now they would also be able to call me up at 2 am and ask intelligent and thought provoking questions like:

Do you think Red is my color?”
Do you think I should allow Gaurav to kiss me?”
Guess what I was dreaming? I will give you a clue: I am in a bikini, on a beach and this handsome hunk
……” *giggle*

( *sniff* such good friends I have and it is only 2 am).

My patience was wearing thin and scalp thinner. I decided to leave a recorded message so that I could avoid trivial calls and more brain death.

Hi this is me. I am very busy right now; leave a message ONLY if it is a matter of life and death

I got several important messages that were a matter of life and death and grave importance.

Mom: Where did you keep the chilli powder?
Telecaller: Hello! I am Smitha calling from ABC Bank. Congratulations you have just been suckered. To know more call me at 12345678. Hurry!
Unidentified caller from STD booth: *heavy breathing*
Friend: I have put on two kilos over the weekend *bawl*
Brother: Did you brush the dog with my hair brush?!?!?!?!

The last straw was an incident that happened last week.

Mom: What is the difference between a snowman and a snow woman?
Me: I don’t know. What is the answer?
Mom: I don’t know, it doesn’t say here.
Me: Holy crap!!! You have been reading my SMS’s?

I quickly checked the said SMS and gasped at the answer, and silently thanked all the angels and saints that my mom didn't know how to scroll down.

The answer was "Snowballs".

( I have since given up my mobile phone)

Saturday, June 03, 2006

The Time of India

Latesht news: It has been positively established that no cocaine was found in a prominent late politicians Son's blood samples.Vikram Singh the family’s loyal driver and servant for the past 15 years, donated the blood for the blood test. He will be nominated for Veertha Puruskar by the Party a spokesman said.

Vikram Singh who lives in Pali Hill,expressed shock at the allegations that the Son had snorted drugs. "The allegations are a lie! It was actually the absolute lack of drugs that made the Son so critical!!!" he exclaimed tearfully.

The Son’s family is so happy at the turn of events. His uncle Maru Anna said “We just can’t believe that our Son was not under intoxication. This is a miracle!!!" The family then went to the Temple/Gurudwara/Church/Mosque/Synagogue and offered pooja in thanksgiving in front of the TV crew.

A hospital spokesperson said, “The blood sample given to us does not contain cocaine or any other drug. But the donor has AIDs and STD and will live for another three months only.” The driver reportedly swooned when he heard the news.

The driver's CT scan report is also normal and hence the Son has been put off ventilator support. Apparently he was hyperventilating.

The Minister’s secretary Viv Mota, who was also brought to the hospital along with the Son and driver, had allegedly imbibed the Son’s share of the drug. He was declared dead on arrival. “Serves him right” said a family member of the Son.

Doctors at MAIMS have conducted an autopsy on Mota's body. An FIR has been lodged against him and his body was questioned for over four hours. The body was released to the mortuary when the interrogation unit broke for lunch. The temperature in the mortuary has been turned up so that the interrogation unit can resume interrogation immediately after lunch. Preliminary investigations are on against the body. So far they have found only a mole on the right butt.

Meanwhile, police are interrogating the three people whom the cops have managed to 'convince' that they were present at the Minister’s residence on Thursday night.

"We are trying to get the big picture here," said, the Big Cop. “ We have specially ordered a wide screen TV for this purpose." The cops were closeted in the TV room for hours. Addressing the Press Conference after that the Big Cop said “Kyon Ki Saas bhi Bahu thi is crap!!” According to neighbours, who spoke to this reporter, the Big Cop slept on the couch that night.

The Big Cop, however, remained tight-lipped about the suspect drug angle to the episode, saying the white powder found at the scene was being examined by forensic experts. "The CFSL report is being prepared by us er...I mean by the doctors and is awaited," he remarked. When asked persistently whether the powder was cocaine he said . “All I can say right now is that it smells awfully like Sandal Wood”. The police have made no arrests so far.