Monday, August 28, 2006

Beery important traditions

Sunday afternoon… and as is the custom passed down to my family by our achayan (Syrian Catholics) ancestors many many many centuries ago, my Dad was having his Sunday afternoon Beer. This tradition was first started by my great great great great great great great great great great great great grandpa Mathai Thommachan Phillipose Abraham Kuriachan Varghese Geevarghese K. (Some people say that this tradition was started even before the invention of Beer).

Since then no men in my Dad’s family have broken this tradition except that one day, two centuries ago when there was a big rain and my great great great great great great great great great great great great grandpa Thomman Isaac Patros Ouseph Chacko Bartholomew Alexander Anthony K could not find his umbrella to go to the kallu shaap ( liqor store).A total of 7568587 masses were offered in 7568587 churches to appease our male ancestors for that single transgression. There was another transgression when my great great great great great great great great grandpa Aloysius Basil Cyril Emmanuel George Ignatius John K contracted Small Pox and died on a Sunday without having a Beer. Then there was yet another instance three centuries ago when my great great great great great grandpa had a severe hangover and slept through the Sunday. By the time he woke up it was already Monday but he had the Beer anyway.

The family journal maintained by my Ammachi also mentions another trespass when another great great great great great great great great great great grandpa Lukos Michael Philip Raphael Stephen Tony Zachariah K was in jail and hence was not allowed to have a Beer even though it was a Sunday. He filed a case of ‘Unimaginable Cruelty’ and the case is still pending in a lower court. (We achayans take our Sunday Beer very seriously.)

Beer has had several notable effects on our men. For example, it has served to loosen the tongue of our men who are actually a reticent and decent lot (when they have not had their Sunday Beer)

Achayan to prospective Achayathi: Ahem…hmmm…err…
Achayathi: Aiyyo!!!! Speak up man or has your mother cats got your tongue?
Achayan: Ahem…hmmm…err…

Same scenario after a Beer:

Achayan: What I was trying to say pumpkin, before I had a Beer, was that if your father is willing to give me that Rubber Estate on the hill then we can be wed in Holy Matrimony!
Achayathi: *blush*
And they lived happily ever after. (See? The power of a single Beer!?)

Anyways to get back to the narrative, this Sunday we had only one big bottle of beer in the fridge and both the brothers were not at home to share a bottle with Dad. I never drink during daytime and my Dad will have only one glass of beer. Now my Dad like a true achayan didn’t want to waste spirit, ( a sacrilege among achayans punishable by one whole hour without alcohol of any kind, even the ones doctors use to wipe your hands before injecting you with distilled water) but the tradition had to be kept alive at any cost.

So moiself in the name of all that is holy and sacred to our ancestors, agreed to split the beer with Dad (for the sake of family honor wonly, mind you!!!!)

I poured the beer into two beer glasses, but there was some left over in the bottle. So I drank that. Then I realized that the beer glasses were full and we both like our beer topped with some Sprite. So I, like a dutiful daughter took a large swig from both glasses ( to make room for the Sprite of course). I then tasted the beer and Sprite mixture, it was too strong….there was too much beer in it. So I took another large swig from both the glasses, but by now there were four glasses in front of me. I then realized what I had overlooked when I poured the beer…that we have guests in the house. So I poured some beer from the beer glasses into the new glasses and spilt a whole lot of Beer onto the table. What can I do when the two new glasses were appearing and disappearing in front of my eyes?

I tasted the beer again. It was still too strong and we, i.e Dad and me like our Beer mild. So I had another generous swig from the glasses and this time I saw 8 glasses on the table. Now I am a peace loving, M&B reading kinda girl. But I hate uninvited guests. But then back in the good old days many gene pools ago, my ancestresses, a long line of hospitable achayathis were known for their generosity and sharing spirit. (and that was because they didn't drink beer and hence did not have to share it).

So I decided that I will share the Beer with the eight uninvited guests. I poured the Beer from the two glasses that I could grasp from the table and poured it into the eight glasses...

...and it was because of this reason, that the great great great great great great great great great grandson of my great great great great great great great great great grandfather i.e my dad, committed the shameful, dreadful, appalling, shocking, grave and unforgivable trespass of not having a Beer this Sunday. *hic*

Friday, August 25, 2006

Testing times...

According to a recent news report, Medical professionals and Medical Insurance companies are at war. Apparently Insurance companies do not want to reimburse big medical bills of patients, and want doctors to prescribe less expensive treatments. This is being construed as interference by doctors who allege that Insurance companies are now advising them on treatment.

Doctor: Nurse, this patient has Brain Cancer, we will give him a Pre-Irradiation Taxol Administered as a 96 Hour Infusion followed by Irradiation 9-Amino-20(S)-Camptothecin (9-AC) Administered as a 72 Hour Infusion and in the third phase ....
Insurance man: er…..sorry to interrupt doc, but don’t you think a 'Crocin' will do just fine!?

The Insurance companies on the other hand are alleging that doctors are piling up huge bills by ordering unnecessary tests and procedures when they see that a patient has medical insurance.

Doctor to patient (gravely) : I am afraid you have Coryza ( common cold).
Patient (aghast) : Oh my God that sounds horrible!!!! *sob*
Doctor (sadly) : Yes, it is terrible!
Patient (breaking down) : No no no...
Doctor (soothingly) : There, there, all is not lost. Here is a list of tests you will have to do so that we can commence treatment immediately! Everything will be just alright after the test er...I mean treatment.

List of tests and procedures:

Abdominal MRI
Barium Enema
Cardiac Blood Pool Scan
Decompressive laminectomy for spinal stenosis
Fasting Blood Sugar Test
Gallbladder Scan
Hair transplantation surgery
Ileorectal anastomosis for ulcerative colitis
Joint X-Ray
Kidney Scan
Lactic Acid Dehydrogenase
Neck X-Ray
Obstetric Ultrasound
Paternity Test
Quick Strep Test
Radical prostatectomy
Skull X-ray
Thyroid Biopsy
Upper Gastrointestinal Endoscopy
Vasectomy reversal
Weber Test
Xylose Tolerance Test
Y ( oops no tests beginning with Y)
Z ( ditto)

Patient (looking at the list) : oh my gawwwwd I am going to die isn't it? *waaaaah*
Doctor (sadly) : I am afraid so, if I don’t have the test results quick. And *sniff* don’t forget to tell the Lab that I sent you!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

A color by any other name...

Conversation in the cafeteria today:

Gal 1: Did you see that Reshmi’s salwar? What UGH color!!!
Gal 2: What color was it?
Gal 2: It is was such a horrible shade of red …dunno how to describe it.
Me: Like MS Word colors ?
Gal1: Exactly!!!
Gal 2: *ewwww* Horrible!!!!!

Thursday, August 17, 2006


Independence Day holiday was a day of great languor and tremendous inactivity and the only physical movement I made that day, was get up from the floor every time the dogs pushed me down. It’s been a long time since I watched TV and I had almost forgotten how the contraption worked. So I curled up in bed with a cup of tea and two dogs and several ticks who were actually uninvited but I couldn’t do anything about it as they were my dogs guests. The ticks were very well behaved though.

The Television or TV for short is a wonderful and entertaining device. It shows a lot of commercials, which are sometimes interrupted with a few programmes like soaps, talk shows and News. The commercials being shown these days are just “wow”. Some of the commercials I liked are given below.

Pepsi TV

Kareena Kapoor: Hello viewers, today I shall show you how dumb you all are. *giggle* Have you heard of Pepsi TV? You haven’t? Me too. *giggle* But if you watch TV while sipping Pepsi, you are all dumb.
Priyanka Chopra (smiling coyly at viewers): I second that clever observation Kareena. These people are so dumb.

Pears Pink Soap

Mother: Kids, lets show these dumb people how we dance and sing on a weekday morning when most people are rushing to work and school.
Kids: wheeeee
Dad: And watch me lounge around in white pyjamas expressing amazement at this pansy pink soap while I should be stuck in a traffic jam on the way to office but since I am a model I don’t have to.


Wife who spots hubby eating in the park: Look at him hog pani puri while he tells me that he is out jogging!!! Grrr I will teach him a lesson, I will buy Saffola.
Husband carrying wife: Wheee, see I can carry you; you have become so light though you bought the oil for me. Thank you saffola!!!

Nestle Munch

Rani Mukherjee: See me sit on the ship and eat Munch, yummy!! Why does this guy want to stand with me like Leonardo De Caprio and Kate Winslet in Titanic? I will just push him down the ship and then throw him the lifejacket.

Kellogs Cornflakes

Mom: Rahul please show these stupid people that you know Savita maasi’s number by heart because you eat Kellogs Cornflakes.
Rahul: "Twenty eight multiplied by three is eighty four, divided by two is forty two, so the number is 28384242"
Mother: Amazing!!! Come let us sit and eat Kellogs Cornflakes together, chumma just like that.

Krakfin Airhostess Training Institute

Poha Ali Khan: Arey Radha, what are you doing in that nice IT job that you can retire from? Dont you want to be an Air Hostess like me eventhough I am actually an actress and am only doing this for the money?!!

Friend: What to do I am not the daughter of an actress like you!

Poha: So what ? Krakfinn hai naah.

Poha and Friends in Air Hostess Costumes: Look at us... when you pass out of Krankfin you get to wear these cool Air Hostesses clothes and a certificate to boot too. See us pretending to fly with our arms stretched under an aircraft taking off breaking all aviation rules. You too can pretend to fly too if you join Krakfin.


Ajay Devgun: oops my daughter just dropped Tomato Ketchup on my shirt.
Kajol: Thank you dear daughter, now we will show these people how Whirpool magic will wash and remove stain which can be done by any other washing machine too.
Whirlpool Stain Wash ke six sense. Hotwash aur one-two, one-two handwash mitaye chhey ziddi daag for perfect dhulayi.

Next day getting ready, Ajay Devgun deliberately drops some ketchup on his white shirt. As his shocked wife and daughter ask the reason:
Ajay: Fight scene hai …besides I don't know what else to say this script is so stupid, so just look indulgently at me you two.

Maggi Noodles

Autorickshaw Driver to Priety Zinta: Madam panch rupey aur doge though I dont know why I am asking for more...
Priety Zinta: Will you take Maggi Noodles? Because it is only five rupees and I can go and buy one and give you one instead of giving you five rupees as you asked.
Autorickshaw Driver: Maggi noodle aur panch rupey mein?
Priety Zinta carrying a Maggi packet and singing: Maggi chota pack, bas panch rupey ka only.
Sanjh subah har bacha khaye, lehar mazey ki daud gayi.
Kyon kahin aap bhi bekhabar to nahin. Maggi noodles ka chota pack...dam sirf paanch rupey
I-know-I-am-making-no-sense-but-what-the-heck-I-get-paid-to-sing- carrying-this-stupid-packet. I-hope-it-is-not-carcinogenic-but-I-don’t-care-because-I-don’t-eat-it.

Saffola Mom

A football match is in progress on the school grounds. The rain comes down in torrents, but the kids continue the game. A Saffola mom carries an umbrella and runs behind her son like a moron, shielding him from the rain.

The first half of the match was tied at 2-2, since Mom prevented free play with her umbrella, however the Non Mom Team reflecting their brilliance went ahead, pleasing the crowd, then Mom came in between and Sons Team not only equalized but went 2-1 up. There were cheers as we hear Apne bache ki dekhbhaal ke liye aap kitnimushkilein uthaaiyegin? NayaSaffola NutriBlend, jismein hai...internationally research kiya gaya Oryzanol aur Vitamin E. Aapke parivaar ki surakhsha ke liye...Saffola.

Even my dogs groaned and covered their eyes with their paws at this juncture.

There was no second half in this game because by now the message was loud and clear, "avoid playing with boys whose mom uses Saffola"

I swear after this, the ticks jumped onto the remote and switched the TV off. But no one believes me.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Happy Independence Day

Hello peoples and all my readers…(all five of you). Hope you had a nice holiday today and hope you were not too intrigued or disturbed by some people waving a tricolor flag and all that. And in case you are wondering why these people were waving the tricolor flag, today was Independence Day. Today was the day our freedom fighters demanded and got us freedom.

Freedom fighter(FF): Nikal jao hindustan se!!!
Britisher: I say ‘ol chap, you trying to say something or wot?
FF (in English): I said "get lost!!!"
Britisher (shrugging): O.K...fair enough.

Me is been very busy and so have been unable to post besides I am going through a severe cash crunch as the bank has just returned my salary cheque for the nth time. Apparently, 'peanuts' is not an acceptable currency in India :p

Ciao folks, will post soon.

Jai hind!!!

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Over the cuckoos nest

Many years ago, a young mallu Dad toiling away in the gelf was shopping for his return home. He came across a toyshop selling wooden blocks with the numbers 1-10 painted on them.

“And ideal toy to teach your youngster numbers”, the shopkeeper assured him.

The young mallu Dad’s eyes took on a far away look as he visualized his little daughter playing and learning Math and rapidly growing up to be a brilliant Accountant and helping him evade huge amounts in income tax. With such pleasant thoughts in his head and a spring in his step the young mallu Dad bought the wooden learning blocks and took a cab to the airport.

He had a pleasant flight home, except for a strange incessant urge to make a hole under his seat to retrieve the wooden number blocks from the cargo bay and teach a lesson or two to the cabin crew in in-flight hospitality.

After landing home safely (which was a miracle of sorts since he flew Air India), he opened the gift and showed it to his one-year-old daughter. She developed an instant dislike to number five and threw it out of the window. Soon she developed a dislike for number seven and it too met with a similar fate. Then she developed an instant dislike for numbers one, two, three, four, six, eight, nine and ten and they too followed suit…out of the window. The parents of the little gal looked ominously at each other. Two of their worst fears had come true.

1. They would have to pay their Income Tax like other law-abiding citizens.
2. Their daughter didn’t like wooden blocks with numbers painted on them.

That was my rather unfortunate introduction to Mathematics. Since that fateful day, I have had a love hate relationship with this subject…more of hate than love really, like 99% hate and 1% love. The one percent love that I felt towards the subject was when the Math teacher was absent and we could go out and play.

My Math teachers on the other hand, made sure that my foundation of hatred for Math would be strong and deep rooted and that I would never add, subtract, multiply or divide, even to save my own life.

Man with gun: Tell me what is 2 x 2 or I will shoot you dead.
Me: I don’t know.
Man with gun: O.k. I will give you another chance!
Me: 6?
Man with gun: *bang*

It all started with the teacher teaching me Addition. The first sum was quite easy, even though it looked complicated.


Very simple no? The teacher beamed at us and we all beamed back. It looked so easy. And then teacher gave us homework, so that we could practice this ‘easy subject’ at home. When I took the homework home, my Dad’s developed an instant dislike towards my math’s teacher. My homework was:

Add 56455675478 and 12907563

Next day, the teacher taught us multiplication. And my very first sum was:


Very simple no? The teacher beamed at us and we all beamed back, the suckers that we were. It looked so easy!! The homework this time was:

5347585 x 3366

My Dad cursed fluently and my mom had to physically restrain him from calling a “bhai’ in Mumbai and putting a ‘supari’on the teacher.

Next I learnt Division. The first sum went thus:

1/1 = 1Quotient Remainder 0

Very simple no? The teacher beamed at us and we didn’t beam back… we looked uneasily at each other, we had learnt our lessons by now and it definitely wasn’t 'Division'. That day I took my homework to my neighbor’s house and left it there for safekeeping. As a precocious child I knew that having a jailbird for a father would damage me for life. Besides a little girl needs her pay her bills when she will not be a little girl anymore. Even at that age I was so mature and farsighted.

After my first Math teacher, many other Math teachers came into my life and left, wringing their hands and gnashing their teeth in despair ( because corporal punishment was banned in school). Math remained an enigma to me and I was the only problem no Math teacher could ever solve. And it is because of the combined effort of these never-say-die Math teachers that I am, where I am English graduate and proud of it too.

Thank you all ye Math teachers.