Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Bribe ok! Fine yakke???

The title of this post is the motto of our Trafficku Police’u in case you are wondering.

Today, I was driving peacefully at a comfortable cruising speed of 40 kmph as stated in the Driving School Manual, when I saw the traffic light turning Amber. Now, as a good little product of a driving school I slowed down, braked gently and stopped short of the white line. The very next moment, twenty one pair of eyes were glowering at me very angrily.

The eyes belonged to the BMTC driver whose bus was halfway up the kerb, the cab driver whose Qualis was on top of the BMTC Bus, the Reva driver who was under the BMTC bus, the pick-up van driver whose van was shamelessly showing its privates as it lay on its back and several mobikers whose bikes were piled neatly on top of each other in a formation that would have my PT Sir very proud indeed. Bought back memories of Sports Day formations...sigh.

Did I mention the traffic copper who was half way up the flag post in the traffic island? That made it 22 pairs of eyes looking very angrily at me indeed. According to the Bengaluru Drivers Union Road Rules (as opposed to the Indian Union Road Rules) you are supposed to speed up when you see the Amber light!

I was so embarrassed!!! I wished the earth would open up and swallow me. But then the Driving School manual, page no 768, para eight states that “Thou shalt not leave thy vehicle on the road even if you desperately want the earth to swallow you up which is natural when you follow road rules in Bengaluru.”

Yes peoples I am a driving school product. :( A much hated, reviled and despised species on Bangalore roads. We are so despised that we had to make a support group to support our support group. We even despise each other. Every Saturday, in a dark corner of a room in that building next to Mayo Hall, we meet to discuss our problems and how we should deal with a world that is increasingly becoming hostile to minorities like us. Our meetings were raided twice by the traffic coppers. The laathi charge, the coppers hoped, would make us forget road rules and intimidate us into joining the mainstream drivers on the road. But we held our own folks. We taught them a lesson they won’t forget in a hurry. And how did we do it?

We ran for our lives in single file on the “left side” of the road.

Ha! That taught them a lesson! Long live the cause!! We shall prevail or die on the roads following traffic rules! *gulp*

I slid down in my seat while the people picked themselves up from their respective piles. The traffic copper meanwhile had climbed down from the pole and was miserably hoping he had stayed up there. Traffic was in a snarl and the drivers were practically baying for each others blood. An inspector and couple of more coppers rushed in and started clearing the traffic.
After what seemed an eternity the jam eased up and cars sped away clearing the road around. I felt a tap on the car bonnet. It was the Inspector. I was screwed. I expected a stiff fine and a lengthy session in Kannada epithets. Instead he leaned over, smiled rather agreeably and asked.

Which driving school?

As I sped away thanking my stars for getting off so lightly I felt an enormous amount of pity for the Driving School Director cum Sole Driving Instructor cum peon.

And did I get a ticket in the mail? No. I didn’t. But the driving school owner is now footing the bill of some traffic copper’s annual trip to Haridwar we heard. The copper has reportedly gone there to wash off his sins.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Hostage situation

Child psychology. I don’t haz it :(

Proof: A little three year old hyperactive, kinetic and nuclear plus Chocos energy powered brat was left at home for us to baby sit. Brat had a towering reputation as a nuclear reactor powered tornado who could talk faster than a tape recorder in fast forward. He also was not easy to amuse.

I decided that I would show him magic tricks while his parents darted to the dentist, did a hurried cavity fill and were back before brat could do some real damage to us.

So I took out a pack of cards and made him choose one and then retrieved the card from under a pile of cards. Brat looked totally unimpressed.

After hurriedly consulting the “Basic Magic Tricks: For Dummies”, I showed him the Cut and Restored String, Rising Card and other tricks, created specially for suckers. By the time I had finished the rising card trick, brat had disappeared and I heard my dad howling as brat dropped his precious TV remote to the floor from atop the TV that was on a highly complex show case housing his precious collection of liqueurs and cigars and other male artifacts from around the world.

Then brat picked up a really rare bottle of whiskey and decided to drop it from the liquor cabinet that was above my mother’s precious crystal collection, when my brother M appeared from nowhere and caught my dad in mid-swoon.

Grabbing a one rupee coin after depositing Dad’s lifeless body on the sofa, he showed it to the brat and then coolly put it in his back pocket without making any pretense of hiding his action. Then he showed his empty hands and brat clapped... after he had deposited the bottle of whiskey on the cabinet. He looked mesmerized.

M then took the one rupee coin from his pocket and showed it to brat. Brat was thrilled to bits and totally in awe of the lame ass show. From the corner of my eyes I could see my mom fanning my dad frantically with a newspaper. She was alternatively sniffing at some smelling salts. I was impressed by her multi-tasking abilities but could not leave the “magic show” to convey my appreciation. I just couldn't abandon my brother when he was in danger. There was no way I was going to break brat’s mesmerization which was directly connected to our collective sanity.

Then M told brat to do some magic tricks for us… and he did it and… how!! Brat picks up the coin, throws it behind him and shows us his empty hand. We scrutinize his hands diligently like overly suspicious morons. Then he searches for the coin around the room. I spot the coin under the sofa and quickly push it out onto the carpet. Brat spots it, picks it up and holds it up triumphantly for all of us to see. Every one claps. I don’t remember a family event where all of us have clapped with so much passion and emotion….of various kinds.

By the time brat had learned how to keep the coin on my dad head and retrieve it to the “astonishment” “admiration”, “gasps of disbelief” from his audience (and murderous rage of my dad), his parents were back. We were too exhausted to say bye, but the parents didn’t mind. They had the look of relief of people whose loved ones* are returned safe, after an armed hostage standoff.

By loved ones, I mean us and not the brat.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Whisky please and fill 'er up

Read this really umm... interesting news today about fuel alcohol, which, according to indications will soon compliment or replace altogether, regular fossil fuels in cars. I am not sure I am ecstatic at the news. I mean I have read about the dangers of using bio fuels too.

As per this news the world is ready to use fuel alcohol and it got me wondering about the "cheap, clean and non polluting gas" (as claimed) that will soon be used around the world. And it created disturbing images in my mind. Very disturbing images indeed!

Imagine driving on the highway in the night and some dacoits hold you up. You stop the car and get out and watch in fear then, bewilderment and then absolute shock as the dacoits drink up all the alcohol in the gas tank and do stupid things like mooning passing cars, dancing in the nude on the highway and then passing out cold while you escape in the pitch dark night hoping to hit the nearest gas station before you freeze in the cold. Scary no?

No? Well then think of this scenario. You and your husband are driving down a lovely seaside road and the husband stops the car because he has heard some noise in the back. He gets back inside the car and this is the conversation you have with him.

You: Honey, what was wrong?
Hubby: Oh nothing, just a false peg err alarm.

After the 25th stop to check tyre pressure, boot decor, roadside grass evaluation and other cheesy excuses, this is the conversation you have with him.

You: Honey, what is wrong? We seem to be having a lot of problems.
Hubby: *hic* Noshing...the gash tank was giving some *hic* problemsh *hic*

Then the cops come and stop you and arrest your husband for waylaying cars on the highway and drinking all the fuel from their fuel tanks after he had drained your car and then sending them on their way singing "Chalte Chalte mere yeh geeth yaad rakhna...*hic*"

And that is when you throw him into the sea. Kidding. And that is when you throw him into the sea... after fastening him into the seat securely with a seat belt and locking all the car doors.

See how dangerous it is!

But seriously folks, who would send a guy on the way with a full tank of alcohol? He wouldn’t get past the front porch leave alone the gate! I rest my case.

Monday, November 15, 2010

My mom and other hazards

There are different kinds of job hazards in this world. Scientists in nuclear facilities get cancer and coal miners get lung diseases. Some are physical, some mental. There is a professional hazard to being a mom too. Especially being "my" mom. Being my mom has a lot of hidden hazards that God never warmed her about. She bought another baby into this world thinking she will be normal like her eldest son and almost-normal-later-turned-crazy second soon.

One such hazard is living and dealing with the innumerable dogs that dotted my life from the age of three. Now dealing with dogs is not easy as you think. Over a period of time, you lose touch with reality and the ability to make sensible decisions etc. I realized that my mom had unfortunately fallen prey to the professional hazard of being my mom when I overheard this conversation between her and my doggy Honey.

Mom to Honey: Come back here and finish your food.
Honey: *woof?*
Mom (arms akimbo): I said finish your food.
Honey: *Yawn*
Mom: Don’t you dare yawn at me!! Don’t you know there are so many dogs in this world that have no food! Now finish everything in your bowl.
Honey (disparagingly): *woof* **

**Crazy lady! (in dog language)

Monday, November 08, 2010


I get so many mails from people who are interested in getting a dog after reading my blogs. These are genuine souls with a lot of affection for animals who want a companion that they can love, and care for. I try to help them as much as I can with advice on selecting a good breed according to the person’s temperament, lifestyle, type of home etc. Of course I do this for free. Who would charge for this noble work that brings happiness to millions of people across the world!!

Here is one such happy pet owner I helped out recently.

Dear Silverine,

I have been reading your blog whenever you write about your dogs as that is the only readable matter here. After reading about your dogs and your experiences with dogs I have decided that I will take the plunge and get me a dog. I just love they way they mew, climb trees and purr! And I think I am going to go for a Persian cat breed. What do you suggest?


Wannabe Pet Owner.

Dear Wannabe Pet Owner,

That is a splendid idea indeed! Dogs make great companions and are great to have as pets. I suggest you read a book on dogs and familiarize yourself with the different breeds and decide what you are looking for in a pet before you decide to buy one. And err Persian cat is not a good breed of dog, though they are a very good breed of cats.



Dear Silverine,

Thank you for your reply. I think I will need your advice on choosing a breed. This is kinda urgent you see. I am a single guy who is about to die with no one to leave my millions to when I die which will be about 40 days from now according to my doctor. Do you think a African Parakeet breed of dog is good for a lonely old guy living in a 400 room mansion in downtown Bel Air to leave his inheritance to?


Wannabe Pet Owner.

Dear Wannabe pet owner,

Where do you live? I am a dog. And I think I am just the right breed for you.



Who says you cannot make money from blogging. I just did! It actually works! Yoohoo!

p.s. See you folks in 40 days. Till then have a nice life and Ta Ta err... Woof Woof from my side.

Monday, October 25, 2010

It figures!

We stood in the crowded elevator, between fat pot bellied men, shapeless women and pale young guys who looked like they had stepped out of a cave after a really long time. All of them worked in a US MNC that shares some floors with us in our building. Getting into the elevator is a nightmare with this kind of crowd every day. They look ill at ease when they see us. Ditto with us.

Colleague (female) and me looked at each other over the well oiled hair of the people in the lift and made faces and barfing gestures. The motley, uninteresting, silent crowd looked as zoned out as crack addicts on a relapse.

Getting out of the lift, we wandered to the glass windows and looked wistfully at the other buildings in the campus and the normal looking guys err... I mean people that inhabited them. Pulling a sad face at our fate, we went to our seats to begin yet another day of work.

Lunch time and we are in the same lift with only one person, a fat jolly looking gal from the same company. Seizing the chance, we decide to quiz her.

Us: Hi!
Fat Jolly gal (FJG): Hi!
Us: What happens in your office?
She: Huh?
Us: We mean, is this a call center or development center!
FJG: Oh sorry. I didn’t understand your earlier question.
Us (rolling eyes): No problem!
FJG: This is the Finance Center of our worldwide operations.
Colleague: Oh!
Me: Aha!
FJG: We manage accounts, salary etc for all our operations worldwide.
Colleague: You mean all the people in this building are finance people?
FJG: Yes!
Us (looking at each other): That explains a lot.
FJG: Huh?
Us: Err... nothing.

We now use the stairs.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Pest cemetery

I was walking the dogs on the lane behind my house, when I heard what sounded like a cricket chirping. Kree kree went the shrill loud sound, and it was decidedly annoying. I remembered hearing it before. And then it struck me. I remembered a godawful device my dad had bought some years back (among others of course) that made the same sound. It was supposed to keep cockroaches away. We tolerated the sound for some time, due to our love and respect for our dad and patience borne of years of putting up with his counter measures against, cockroaches, ants, kambli boochees (tiny spiny caterpillars), bats and cockroaches. After what we thought was a respectful period of giving him and the device a decent chance, we threw it out of the house. Dad didn’t protest. He had got his chance and he is a fair man.

I giggled in derision at the house as I thought of the expression on their faces when they find out that it doesn’t work and that they were now 75% deaf and that the cockroaches were actually liking it and perhaps sleeping well after a long time listening to its sweet lullaby.

Smirking to myself, I started walking and nearly smashed a line of cockroaches walking out of the house with the godawful sound. Yes, they were leaving with bag and baggages. Some were wearing ear mufflers! The device was working! Puzzled I looked around and saw – you won’t believe this – that the cockroaches were walking out of that house... and into the neighboring houses!

And then I remembered that our neighbor who had come to inquire about the godawful sound emanating from our house had also bought the device after hearing about it prowess from my dad. So did a few other neighbors. In short, we had exchanged roaches!!

This information goes with me to the grave.

But before that, I need to go meet the neighbors of house with the godawful device, and persuade them to buy the device. *snicker*

Let the games begin!! And I don't mean the CWG, heh heh!

Have a nice week folks!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Connecting the dots

Soo Kim, my Korean colleague was distraught. Her visa papers were misplaced. She remembered giving it to someone in the office, but couldn’t remember her name. Distraught she approached me for help, after ascertaining that I looked equally bad in English as her. I did not disappoint her.

Yes, An Jalee
My hmmm visa paper hmmm cannot find, yes cannot find.
Cant find? Bad, very bad
Yes, yes!
Where did you keep it?
Where, you put? *gesturing into my bag*
No, no, no bag. Lady!
Great! We have approx 200 ladies here.
Yes, Yes, Yes!

I called all the ladies on my floor, told them the reason for the meeting and asked Soo Kim to identify the person. Soo Kim, looked around and shrugged her shoulders. A clever colleague we call "Einsteina, asked Soo “What lady wear?" pointing to her clothes.

Soo Kim thought for a minute and said "big mole". Crap, I thought, what if the mole was someplace where looking for it could land me into a sexual harassment case with the HR!

"Where?' asked Einsteina, pointing to her hand and face. Soo Kim pointed to the forehead. It was obvious she was referring to a bindi or pottu.

What color?" someone asked.

"Red" came the reply.

All heads turned to Ms Blah Blah, who wears saucer sized red bindi’s. She wasn’t wearing one we noticed. We groaned at the thought of identifying the person all over again when Ms Blah Blah spoke up “Oh! This is the lady who gave me the papers today morning! How do I know she is the same Korean. They all look alike!!"

After restoring the papers to the rightful owner, we got together and bought a pack of bindi’s that we stuck on Ms Blah Blah's forehead with super strong glue so that it doesn't fall off again. She suffers from oily forehead you see.

We get frequent complaints from her that it doesn’t come off even when washed with the strongest detergent. But what the heck, till Soo is here, we are going to make sure, it stays. Every landmark is important to foreign tourists and we at Dot Bust Corporation ensure that our foreign colleagues are well taken care off.

In the meantime does anyone know of an industrial solvent that will remove really strong glue off delicate material like err skin?

Monday, September 06, 2010

Personality developers

Human beings are people and like most people they shape their personality from traits inherited from their parents, environment and the substances they snort or parents snorted. Any geneticists, sociologists or anthropologists will tell you that. But to hell with geneticists, sociologists and anthropologists. It is the Astrologers, the highly knowledgeable community of people with their highly complex and scientific study of human nature called Zodiac Signs that dictate what we are and what we will be.

Here is an example of what Zodiac predictions have done to the people over the years.

Aries: Arians are normal people who believe that they are creative, adaptive, and insightful and the life of the party, (even if they have never attended a party) because it is written in their Zodiac description. They also believe they have excellent sense of humor thanks to the Astrologers who have drawn up the Arian character map. Most failed stand up comedians and known PJ'ists are rumored to be Arians. Also most party crashers are Arians who cannot understand why despite Astrological proof they are often not invited for parties.

Taurus: Taureans are people who are born between April 20th and May 20th. This is another group of people who reject evolutionary theories and believe in their Zodiac sign that says that they are like the animal that represents them. They are all about strength, stamina and will. Stubborn by nature, also a loving, sympathetic and appreciative sign. This makes them very confused and the result is that most loving husbands turned wife beaters are Taureans.

Gemini: Geminians believe that they are flexible, balanced and adaptable. They believe they can turn from hot to cold and may be prone to noticeable mood swings but have tendencies of being affectionate, and imaginative. Most serial killers were normal people till they read that they were a Gemini.

Cancer: I belong to this group. Period. I am NOT a traditionalist, and DO NOT enjoy operating on a fundamental level. I HATE history and am not fascinated with the beginnings of things (heraldry, ancestry, etc.). The moon is NOT my ruler; therefore I am NOT a bit of a contradiction and sometimes moody. I am NOT conservative, which makes me hide my moods from others altogether. I do NOT have a reputation for being fickle. However I do HATE astrologers who tell me who I am hmmpph!

Virgo: Another set of cruelly wronged people who are pleasantly surprised to hear that they have keen minds, and are delightful to talk with, often convincing others of outlandish tales with ease and charm. And that they are inquisitive and are very skilled at drawing information from people. They do not protest to this generalization because they are taken in by this outlandish description.

Libra: Libran's believe that they are about balance, justice, equanimity and stability. According to the Zodiac they can be quiet and shy if not persuaded to come out of their shell. In spite of their introverted nature they make excellent debaters, often proving a point from out of seemingly nowhere. Most alcoholics are Librans. Their alcoholic ramblings are an excellent example of their debating nature.

Scorpio: These are people born between October 23rd and November 21st. They are born pretty normal. But Astrology ruins them. They believe they are Scorpions who according to Astrologers are often misunderstood creatures. They can surmount seemingly all obstacles when they put their mind to the task, and they have unshakable focus when the situation calls for it. Most people lying dead at the foot of mountains are Scorpios. The creator of Superman was also a closet Scorpio though he refuses to acknowledge it.

Sagittarius: A group of people who were born between November 22nd and December 21st, forced to believe that they are philosophers. They are told that they have great abilities for focus, and can be very intense but they must channelize their energy or they will waste time and wear themselves out going in too many directions at once. Most people, who refuse to look at maps, or ask directions and can be seen sitting on roadside philosophizing about being lost are Sagittarians. Columbus was a famous Sagittarian though he denies it vociferously.

Capricorn: Another group of people who are led to believe that they are damn philosophical, good organizers, and they achieve their goals by purposeful, systematic means. They do not deal well with opposition or criticism but a healthy Capricorn will often shrug off negative comments towards their character. Suresh Kalmadi and most of the Indian politicians are rumored to be Capricorns, though they may not admit it.

Aquarius: These are ordinary folks who believe that they are simple and unassuming, and go about accomplishing goals in a quiet, often unorthodox ways. They believe that though their methods may be unorthodox, but the results, are surprisingly effective. Jack the Ripper was rumored to be a an Aquarian. His mom says that he showed no tendency to violence till he read Bheja Daruwallahs' book. The cops are currently looking for Bejha Daruwallah as an accessory to murder.

Pisces: Pisceans are people who believe they are beautifully gentle, and generous and hence taken advantage of. In the end, however, the Pisces is often the victor of ill circumstance because of his/her intense determination. They become passionately devoted to a cause – particularly if they are championing for friends or family. Most members of the Gandhi family believe they are Pisceans.


Leo: Leo's have been brainwashed into believing that they are about expanse, power and that they are natural born leaders, and they will let you know it as they have a tendency to be high-minded and vocal about their opinions. Most inmates of mental asylums are Leos, where they can be seen being high minded and vocal in their padded cells.

I rest my case.

Have a nice week folks!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Out of the frying pan...

Colleague to new colleague (NC) an ex roomie
: Where were you working before you joined us?

NC: ABC Pvt Ltd.

Colleague: What were you doing there?

NC: Same thing as here.

Colleague: Why did you leave?

NC: You referred me here. That's why! heh heh

Colleague: Any openings in your company for a similar post?

NC: My post is still open...

Colleague: Great! I will send you my resume. Please send it your Manager. I hate this place!

NC: :-O :-O :-O

Have a nice week folks!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Elephantine problems

Flash News: The All India Domestic Elephants Association (AIDEA) has declared a one day bundh tomorrow to protest against the injustices meted out to their tribes by the tourism industry. A spokesperson for the association, Pampady Rajan told reporters. “Earlier we ferried tourists and blessed them for money. Life was good. But now we have foreign tourists coming and scrubbing us during bath and that is taking things a little bit too far!"

"We love our daily scrub, but once a day please!" pleaded Kunjiraman an eight year old elephant working at the Wild Life Sanctuary. Kunjiraman is allegedly squeaky clean. The allegation may well be true judging from number of foreign tourists applying for the cultural experience of scrubbing an elephant.

Ithithanam, an AIDEA member from Thrissur-Kerala agreed that getting scrubbed by tourists was a pain. He gets scrubbed about 150 times a day and looks like a nerd he feels. "There was a time I looked for ward to my weekly bath and scrub. Now I have developed a phobia of water," shuddered the pachyderm in sheer terror spraying the reporters with copious amount of water

"And what is worse is getting fed about a dozen times a day by these tourists!” complained Kandan Koran, an AIDEA member from Guruvayoor chewing on a bunch of bananas thoughtfully. He spat it out immediately when he realized that he had already eaten 12 times that day.

“I have put on so much weight" sighed Gajaleksmi. "I have to eat for every tourist. And most of the time they get the angle of the shot wrong and I have to eat again" she said looking at her once round now grotesquely bloated belly.

“It is high time our grievances are addressed” thundered Guruvayoorappan in a bad temper. Guruvayoorappan suffers from acute stomach problems due to the vicious circle of feeding and immediate bathing. His mahout has been sacked for calling him a ‘gasbag’.

The Animal Welfare Minister has promised to look into the elephants problems. A meeting with the protesting Pachyderms went horribly wrong when the Minister was picked up by an irate elephant and hurled into the Pampa River.

He was heard shouting to his Secretary as they ran for their lives, "Next time you come up bright ideas like carrying a bunch of bananas and a scrub down as a peace offering for elephants, I will personally kill you, you #$@%#%!!!!"

The Minister, who is in good shape considering the manhandling he went through, has agreed to look into the elephants demands. Speaking from his hospital bed he told reporters, "That was a close shave! Phew!"

Monday, August 16, 2010

Hotline to heaven

A dear old aundy in the family was in shock, Her only living brother, a 176 (approx) year old apoopan called Varghese Chacko Alphonse Joseph Kurian was in the hospital. Doctors had given up hopes and suggested to the relations to donate his body to the nearest fossil museum.

But Aundy would have none of it. “He is only 176 years old” she wailed. "So young!!" she wailed some more. "How can he die!!!" she wailed again looking at the heavens, while we stuffed cotton into our years.

“We can only pray..." murmured the relations surreptitiously passing around the cotton.

"But the Potta prayer group would be closed now!!!" aundy wailed again while relations held their ears and groaned.

"It is true." my brother M whispered to us i.e. Mom, Dad and Me. "God would have gone to sleep by now." If looks could kill, M would be in heaven right now playing Hard Rock music on the Lyre.

"I think I know someone who might help!" said Elsie, aundy's daughter-in-laws, daughter-in-laws youngest daughter-in-law.

Everyone looked at her relieved. Aundys wailing and crying was getting on everyone’s nerves and people were now stuffing anything in sight into their ears.

"I will call my cousin Susan, She knows someone in Potta." said Elsie dialing a number on her mobile. Everyone looked at her admiringly. Having "connections" in Potta is like having connections in heaven. People nodded at each other knowingly and looked at her with a new respect.

"Ok! Susan will do it!" declared Susie after talking to Susan briefly.

After what seemed like an eternity but was actually ten seconds, Aundy's Son in Law's, Son-in-Law's grandson spoke. (He is 55 years old in case you are wondering). "What is happening Elsie? It is ten seconds and the news from hospital is still bad."

Before Elsie could say anything M looked at Aundy’s Son in Law's, Son-in-Law's, grandson and said solemnly "They are talking to God right now Appacha.”

"Oh." said Aundy's Son in Law's, Son-in-Law's grandson mollified. “Let us all go to sleep then.”

While the relatives rushed out of the house trying not to look too eager to leave, a certain gentleman and lady were seen beating a hasty retreat pushing their hysterically laughing daughter out of the house. The gentleman fought hard to keep a straight face until at least they reached the car.

M in the meantime had the air of a firefighter who had single handedly defused an emotional conflagration. He looked rather proud of himself.

Latest news: The family is still waiting for God's decision. In other words, apoopan is still alive.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

One way ticket to hell

One fine sunny yet not too warm and perfectly temperatured day, I decided to take the bus to work. Full of good intentions and absolutely proud of myself for taking the bus, I stepped into the bus and offered a ten rupee note to the conductor as fare. A little smile played on my lips as I thought about the good deed I was doing for the environment. I am sure a halo twinkled around my little head too, but I was too modest to check.

The conductor, a tall strapping young man who looked like he had been feasting on human blood the whole night and chewing the cud for breakfast, snatched the note brusquely, pushed his finger into his mouth, swabbed a generous amount of paan stained saliva on his finger, pried a ticket loose from the tight wad he held in his hand with the same finger and pushed the ticket into my hand before I could scream “Nahiiiiiiin” like Hema Malini in the movies. It all happened in a second. I had no time to react. The crumpled ticket with blood red saliva lay in my hand like a Maghai Paan House flavored bus ticket. The smell was overpowering.

I looked at the ticket in horror and then at the conductor. He was gone; to the rear of the bus to sell more paan flavored tickets I presume.

I gingerly lifted my hands and tried to throw the ticket into the bag. But it wouldn’t budge. The conductor has ensured that passengers will never have to worry about losing their tickets and paying fines by - you wont believe this - eating sweet paaan!!! Yes dear friends, the industrial strength sugar syrup in the paan ensured that I could do any Kung Fu or Karate, or climb a mountain "and" award a few Common Wealth Games contracts on the side without having to worry about the ticket falling down, EVER! Amazing.

I decided to look at the bright side. Suppose the bus turned sharply, rolled over a dozen times and then fell slow motion into a deep ditch like in the movies, I could secure myself by sticking my hand on any part of the bus!!! I would perhaps be the only one standing!!

But it was hard to be positive when there is a terrible stench emanating from your hand. Yes dear friends, by this time the paan syrup had started decomposing and my hand smelled like a morgue. Extending my hand in front of me and covering my nose with the other was an impossible task I achieved due to sheer nausea and great repulsion.

I got out of the bus with great alacrity and sprinted to the office toilet like someone suffering from diarrhea who has seen a toilet after a really long time. After washing the hand a hundred times and being refused the phenyl a hundred times (No dear, you don’t need phenyl to sterilize your hands. Soap is just fine)I walked to my seat, a changed person. The old Silverine was dead. In her place stood a female mutant bus ticket hating ninja turtle err girl.

Nowadays, when the conductor hands me the ticket, I no longer gasp and act like I am being handed a severed human head. I merely hold up an eyebrow tweezer and pluck it straight out of his hands. The ticket is then dropped into a plastic bag that is promptly thrown into the dustbin when I reach office. I do get strange looks from some conductors, but most of them are fine. Because they are too busy wetting their fingers with saliva for the next passenger, to notice.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

A little knowledge of Hindi is a dangerous thing

Mallus and Hindi are as similar as Roti and Puttu. And every other day some mallu or the other rams home that point with vehemence, just in case you have been lulled into an artificial sense of security that mallus have mastered Hindi. Today, one on my mallu colleagues reached the zenith of Hindi blooperism.

Mallu and couple of colleagues were discussing something very animatedly but in hush tones. It was obvious that they were gossiping. Another colleague walks past, glances at them and asks "Kya ho rah hai!"

A perfectly innocent rhetorical question that Mallu should have left alone.

But Mallu looks up and says "Gupt gyan* ho raha hai!"

Don’t judge him too harshly folks. The word "confidential information" is not easy to translate into Hindi. Anyone could have made that mistake.

Now let me go and continue rolling on the floor laughing my a**e off. I took a small break from LMAO’ing to blog this. Ciao.

p.s. Mallu was overheard saying "The word is 'gopneeya'! Dammit."

* loosely translated it means... s** education

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Successful Customer Retention. A Case Study

I love my Internet Service Provider and Land line Company’s (ISPL) Customer Service service. They make my dull and drab life so interesting. They make me appreciate the value of time and generally remind me of... well, let me illustrate to you what I mean.

You have a complaint/query and you pick up the phone that has been provided "by" the ISPL and dial a four digit number. You get this short message.

Please press One for English, Two for Kannada, Three for Hindi which we will try to translate using Google translator.

You press One and get this message.

For Bill Details press, One.
For Internet or Broadband fault, press, Two
For any other complaints or requests press, Three

You press the number Two and get another message...

For Internet not working Press One
For phone not working Press Two...
For... etc

After half an excruciating hour later of repeated stress injuries to your finger, you are a connected to a Customer Service Executive, who asks.

Please give your name, phone number and nature of complaint….” and you faint in sheer exhaustion at the thought of giving the information all over again.

And you never dare to call again. See how efficiently they deal with your complaint!

If you want to change your provider, it requires spending half a day pressing numbers One to Nine in various orders to make a request. No one has done it till now. And I have no plans of breaking that record either. *shudder*

I value my time and sanity too much for that.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Professional hazards...

3 pm and I am busy screaming at a vendor who hasn’t kept his promise of delivery yet again. The Internal Messenger pops up. “Cute guy at reception" says the message. I count the number of girls in the message. 5!!! This means in approximately five minutes 5 girls will make a laborious journey to the rest rooms via the Cafeteria, via the Sysadmin console, via the Travel Desk, via some cubicles and finally via the Reception to the loo that is in front of our cubicles. I decline because all I could think of was catching the sleazy bugger and choking his throat slowly till he died.

The girls near the target that is a meter away...

Girl 1 (aloud): And I have sent you the Excel with the metrics of the last event.
Girl 2 : I received it but I am waiting for that mail from Jamila.
Girl 3: Did anyone see Udaan?
Girl 4: Awesome movie!!

After target is out of ear shot...

Girl 1: He is sooooo cute yaaar!!
Girl 2: Hmm… yes in a boyish way.
Girl 3: True, very boyish but sexy nevertheless ;)
Girl 5: I have seen him before I think.
Girl 1, 2, 3 and 4: What!!!! And you went ogling without informing us??? *collective gasp*
Girl 5: Err… I happened to see him somewhere. I had no time to inform you gals.
Girl 1: About turn girls, I want to have a look at him again.

The girls about turn and promptly bump into me.

Me: Has anyone seen a guy with a gray shirt and white tie?
Girl 1: Yes!! He is at the reception. And he is damn cute looking!
Me: He is!! Is he??? Heh Heh *evil sneer* When I get my hands on him he will not look cute anymore…@#$%@!!!
Girl 2: Whoa... what happened?
Me: Arey! He is that same gift vendor Gupta, who has been hoodwinking me for the past six months!
Girl 3: Gupta? The same guy who called me ‘bery bery bootiful' on the phone?
Me: Yup!
Girl 3: Ugh!
Girl 4: He sent me a liver colored coffee mug with pink hearts for New Year! Ewwww!
Girl 5: Hey! Now I remember where I saw him!! Anjali was chasing him down the fire escape some months ago! *grin*
Everyone, looking at each other: Eeeeeeeks!!!
Me: Why eeks?
Girl 1: Err… nothing. We gotta go now. Bye.
Me: !!!!

Overheard as they walk way rapidly…

Girl 5: Looks can be so deceiving no?
The rest: *Gulp* Yes!

Music - Chemical Rush

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Close encounter with the government types

“You are going to *censored*,” said the boss peeping over the cubicle wall scaring the living daylights out of me.

“Take Kevin with you.” He said disappearing down the hallway.

“Why should I go to *censored*!!” I protested running after him.

“Because you met the Fisheries Director that is why!” He said without stopping

“So what!” I shouted furiously trying to keep pace with him.

“These government types feel good if someone from the company visits them. They feel insulted if the Business partner (Dealer) lands up for the installation alone.” The boss stopped to explain, before striding off.

I stared at the Boss’s receding back with a sinking feeling, walked dejectedly up to Kevin’s seat, sat down on a chair and sighed. Kevin looked at me alarmed. He didn’t have much client experience but knew from practical experience that if I came near his seat and sighed “he” was in big trouble.

“Oh god! Why does it have to be me?” wailed Kevin in despair. I grinned evilly, feeling a little better now. “We are going on a long trip...” I said peering dangerously at him. “A very long trip…from which I hope we come home alive…” I said sinisterly, before walking away with an air of mystery.

Next day we were at the airport at the crack of dawn. Me in a bad mood and Kevin in a pensive mood. The flight was uneventful save for Kevin trying his best to explain to his co-passenger that the picture of the black box in the brochure he was carrying for the client was a Server and not a refrigerator.

We reached the capital city of this umm State in good time and were met at the airport by a rather antique looking Ambassador car, polished to perfection, complete with white Turkish towels on the seat. The driver looked like a Naval Captain and I nearly saluted him. I was saved some embarrassment by his salute. That’s when we realized that he was the driver. The conversation in the car was err… interesting.

You coming from Bangalore sir?
Yes sir!
And you madam.
Yes Admiral err Sir!
You coming here for the first time?
No Sir!
Then you must know XYZ. Very famous place.
Yes Sir!
Call me ABC
Yes Mr. ABC!
No no, just ABC!!
Yes Sir!!

We drove to this huge dilapidated bungalow that was the Directors office and were ushered in by another government type. Thankfully he wore khakhi. Phew!

We looked around. The bungalow would make a nice setting for a horrible Hindi horror movie. There was a dilapidated staircase for the ghost to walk down singing a mournful song and windows that rattled about on single hinges. We wouldn’t have been surprised if a lady wearing white walked down the steps singing a ghostly song.

In the dim light we saw the fat and jovial director sitting on a nondescript table with a plastic drum next to his chair. “Welcome welcome” he beamed and shook hands with Kevin. I withdrew my hands when I realized he wasn’t going to shake it. He greeted me with a “Namaste” and motioned us to sit down.

After we were seated, we looked around again. The musty office consisted of several chairs, tables and cupboard in what once was an olive green color. “Do you want tea?” Asked the director cutting into our reverie.

“No, thank you.” we replied in unison.

“Then you must taste our Buttersilk* fish!! (* not its real name) exclaimed the Director.

“No thanks! We had breakfast!” we said politely.

“No no no! This is a delicacy. You MUST taste it” said the director emphatically.

The he leaned to his side like he was going to keel over and just when we thought he was going to topple; he straightened up with a wriggling fish in his hands. Before we say “Holy Fish” he bought the fish crashing onto the table with a bang. Scales flew everywhere. Kevin and I sat stunned, unable to comprehend what had just happened. I started giggling hysterically when I saw the scales in Kevin’s neatly gelled hair and chest. Poor Kevin was desperately fighting with the clingy scales on his face and neck.

The Director kept the half dead fish on a tray on the table and started reading the technical literature we had bought for him. There was no reaction from anyone in the room. As if on cue, a rather small made lady got up silently, took the now dead fish and walked over to the other room that I think was the kitchen. I think she was the stores in-charge. I could see her cleaning the fish in the kitchen. She left the cleaned fish in the kitchen and came back and sat at her table and resumed filing like nothing had happened.

Kevin and I looked at each other. There was no movement from any body in the room. Two minutes later, a quite soda glassed man got up and went into the kitchen. He was the accountant. He seemed to be cutting the fish and soon the aroma of frying fish filled the air. Now the dour looking man sitting on another table and writing a ledger or file, pulled out his desk drawers and bought out, one onion and a tomato. We gasped.

He pulled out a knife from another drawer and started slicing the vegetables with the precision of a salad chef. He finished cutting the vegetables and kept the veggies on a ceramic plate in the Out Box tray. Dour guy went back to work after wiping his hands and glancing at us briefly. Now we were very sure we were in the Twilight Zone.

Just when we thought the live demonstration of red tapism was over, the peon who was sitting on a stool at the entrance of the office got up and bought the plate of fish and salad to the Director’s table. We looked around. Everyone was back to work as though nothing had a happened in the room. My first instinct was to get up and run and not stop till I reached Bangalore. But this account was very important for us. I looked at Kevin and he looked at me. Both of us were looking very scared.

When the Director asked us to eat the fish, we didn’t dare to say “no”. What if the same people who enacted the chilling routine of killing and frying the fish did the same with us. Half an hour later, we left the office with Buttersilk fish coming out of our ears. To make things worse, the Director had packed some fish for us to have on the way. And oh yes! You guessed it right. The packing was also done with precision red tapism that I won’t get into.

Of course, we threw the fish packet in the nearest dust bin. We didn’t want to carry ANY reminder of the trip back home!

We are back in Bangalore and if the Boss so much as mentions “Client Visit” we pull out the Resignation Letters that we prepared with a vengeance the moment we got back to Bangalore.

Have a nice week folks!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Nightmare on adjacent street

“AAH… AAH… AAH!!!” Moaned a voice from House no 14 in the street adjacent to my house. Startled, I looked at the house. It was dark, save for a blue light coming through the bedroom window. It was the house of a newly married couple. I blushed in embarrassment.

I walked a little faster with my doggies trotting in tow, to give the couple some privacy.

“AAAHHHhh” cried another voice in anguish…or was it ecstasy from the next house. This was a not so newly married couple’s house. I quickened my pace blushing, and was at House no 16 in quick time. I seem to have made a terrible mistake coming on this quiet lane at this time of the night for a walk.

“OOOHHHhhh” cried a voice from the next house startling me out of my skin. I was thoroughly embarrassed now. It seemed like there was an orgy going on in this house. Or my neighbors were being murdered or were involved in a wife swapping spree. Whatever the reason, the noises were disgusting!!

I reached the last house in the street in a 100 meter dash, hoping against hope that I won’t have to listen to anymore unsavory noises when I heard the blood curdling...“GOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAALLLLL!!!!”

I smiled sheepishly and looked at my dogs. They were looking at me eyebrows raised with an expression that said, “So, what were YOU thinking huh?”

Music - Night forest

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Inter-party clashes

Heard this in the cafeteria the other day.

Some gal: Whose send off or birthday party was last week?
HR Exec: I don’t remember. There were quite a few.
Same gal: You remember, the one in which we got Samosas and Chips and Fanta!
HR Exec: Hmmmm...
Gal: The other two were the Black forest cake, Sprite and chipswallah party and the coke, chips and pineapple pastrywallah party!
HR Exec: That would be Nishanth I think.
Gal: Cheapo!!!
HR Exec: Arey! Why you calling him cheapo.
Gal: Whoever gives lime juice these days huh?
HR Exec (evenly): We organized the party!
Gal: Oh! In that case forget what I said. I thought he hosted the party. See ya!
HR Exec: !!!

Now I don’t remember from which send off/birthday/promotion party, I picked up this plate of Vada Pav and Vegetable cutlet from!

I am getting old :(

Monday, June 28, 2010


Heard this at a mall yesterday. A group of middle aged North Indians, who are perhaps on a South India tour, were sitting at the restaurant in the mall, discussing stuff.

Bunglore mein log English bolte hain! (People in Bangalore speak in English)

Haanji, yahaan sab log English mein baath karthe hain. (True, everybody speaks English here)

Kyon? (Why?)

Woh aisa hai, Bunglore ke log Anglo Indians hain naah, isliye. (Because people of Bangalore are Anglo Indians, that's why!)


I was too busy choking on the milk shake to hear the rest of the conversation. Hope they had a nice trip of 'Bunglore' though.

No offense meant to anyone please. And please excuse my Hindi. We Anglo Indians are not exactly proficient in Hindi. :)

Have a nice week folks!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Groomed to desperation

My cousin brother had just got admission in this Management Institute. On the first day of class, he was busy getting ready when his Grandfather, an ex army officer called from Kerala. Cuz brother ignored the call as he was getting very late. But gramps kept calling. Putting his phone in silent mode he went to class and during lunch break called his grandfather who had by now notched up about about 456 missed calls approximately.

Grandfather (yelling): I've been calling you since morning. Why didn’t you pick up the phone!!!
Cuz bro: I was getting late appachcha and then I was in class...
Grandpa (still yelling): That is no excuse!!!!!!!!! I wanted to tell you something important....
Cuz bro: *gulp* Sorry appachcha...
Grandpa (yelling more loudly): I don’t want to hear your bloody sorry!!!
Cuz bro (now panicking): What happened Appacha, is Ammachi fine? Something happened?
Grandpa (grouchily): Yes, yes, she is fine.
Cuz bro (panicking more): Then it must be mum or dad...
Grandpa: They are fine too.
Cuz bro (losing his cool): Then who is it!!!!!
Grandpa: Don’t shout!! I wanted to remind you to shave before going to class. Today is first day no! And to polish your shoes and make sure your shirt is ironed the way I taught you.
Cuz bro: Bl$#%y F@&!ing Sh#T!!!
Grandpa: What did you say!!
Cuz bro: Nothing appachcha. I gotta go….
Grandpa: Bye mone, and don’t forget to trim your nose hair....
Cuz bro: *SLAM!!*

His new friends sitting at the table were then treated to an amazing display of pyrotechnics when their docile looking classmate with an army hair cut, picked up a large text book and thumped the table again and again till it was reduced to pulp. He then walked off in a huff. They now keep a safe distance from him.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Training for beginners

How to convince the HR and your Boss that you actually read the training document on the Intranet.

Step one: Open training site.
Now open another tab and read some blogs.

Step two: Click first link of the training document.
Open another tab, Tweet

Step four: Click second link of the training document.
Watch Youtube.

Step three: Click third link of the training document.
Read news

Step four: Click fourth and final link of the training document.
GChat, Yahoo messenger, MSN etc.

Step five: Give very positive feedback about the quality of training material at the end of the document and submit feedback.

Wait for training completion mail to drop in Inbox and stick your head into Boss cabin and watch with great pleasure as he reads with growing disbelief the auto mail from HR about his employee's successful completion of training in two hours and twenty minutes covering all four topics.

Stick head out before he face palms and calls the HR #%&@*# morons!!

Pick up a coffee and bask in the satisfaction of a job well done.

Have a nice week folks!

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Sense and over sensibility

Mohapatra (not his real name), our Procurement Manager, was sitting in the cafeteria, trying to open a small bottle of Nimbooz. The bottle cap just wouldn't turn. The boss walked in and took a chair at Mohapatra’s table and said conversationally. “What Mohapatra, you cannot even open a small bottle!!”

Mohapatra stopped his struggle with the bottle, stared at the Boss from behind soda glasses and said, “You think I cannot open this bottle!! I can pick this table up with one hand!!”

“I am sure you can,” said the Boss trying to change the subject realizing that Mohapatra had not understood the friendly jibe. But it was too late.

“I was wrestling champion in school you know!” continued Mohapatra. “I won the trophy every year.”

“That’s great” said the Boss looking a little wary. He got up.

“Sit down.” said Mohaptra pulling him down to the chair.

“This cap is fused with the bottle” said Mohapotra holding up the bottle. “Otherwise I would have opened it just like that!!’

“I am sure you could have. I was joking Patra...” said the Boss getting up again.

“Sit…” said Mohaptra gesturing to the chair. The Boss sat down resignedly and looked around for help. But we were too busy snickering to be of any help.

“You think I am weak?” asked Mohaptra leaning forward and looking intently at the Boss.

“No Patra. I was just pulling your leg….” trailed the Boss helplessly.

“I challenge you to a match of wrestling!” said Mohaptra staring at the Boss without taking his eyes off his face.

“I am sure you will win heh heh” laughed the Boss nervously.

“I will win and show you!” said Mohapatra wagging his finger.

“Err no need of all that. I am sure you are a champ…” said the Boss edging slowly off his seat.

“Don’t ever doubt me again Boss.” said Mohapatra shaking his head shaking his head from side to side.

“I won’t” said the Boss relieved that the standoff was coming to an end.

“Yes, you shouldn’t!” said Mohapatra looking satisfied.

“See you then....” said the Boss getting up and walking way quickly.

“Boss!” called Mohapatra.

The Boss stopped, looked around warily and queried gingerly “Yes?”

“Can you open this bottle for me?” said Mohapotra thrusting the Nimbooz bottle at him.

We were too busy rolling on the floor laughing to see what happened next. But the group at the other table saw the Boss open the bottle, keep it on the table without a word and walk away.

Mohapatra picked up the bottle and drank nonchalantly like nothing had happened.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Counter strike

I had a call from a telecaller today.

Caller: Ms Anjali?
Me (crabbily): Whaddya want?
Caller: Would you be interested in buying phone numbers of…
Me: No thanks, we don’t do such activities! *slam*
Caller (calling again): I am talking about a database of over four million phone numbers in Bangalore ma’am!!
Me: Hmmm are these numbers genuine?
Caller: Yes ma’am. We take them from reliable sources like Banks, phone companies, hospital records, insurance companies, passport office… we have contacts everywhere!
Me: *gulp*
Caller: You can reach out to millions of people with your promotional SMS’es…
Me: Interestinggggg…!!!
Caller: Heh heh it is, isn’t it madam! Think of the possibilities…
Me: Thinking about it right now dude! Tell me…
Caller (eagerly): Yes!!!!
Me: How much would it cost me to have my phone number erased from your databases?
Caller: *SLAM!!!*

How rude!!!

Muzeek - Your Love Is My Drug

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Corporate bachelors

I was undergoing some training with this guy in our office. After sitting with him in his cubicle for an hour on the first day, I moved back to my seat on the 6th floor, and practiced the usage of a content tool that he had run me through. If I got stuck, I would message him over IM and he would promptly clear my doubts in between lots of smileys and encouragement to get in touch with him anytime. I wondered if he was sort of addicted to smileys.

Finally I got the use of the tool and messaged him to thank him for his help during the learning period. He replied with a smiley. I signed off wishing him a nice weekend. His response was “Cya on Monday!’

I turned to my colleague who was sitting next to me and exclaimed aloud. "Why is he flirting with me! Isn't he married?”

Colleague interjected sarcastically,“Shh... don’t say the M word aloud girl! We do not say that word unless people already know about it!”

“What!!” I said astounded.

“Look around” she said dramatically, standing up and waving her hands over the entire floor.

I stood up and looked at the sea of male faces and realized with a sinking feeling, that most of us girls didn’t know how many of these young guys were married and how many were not.


Note to self: On Monday morning, conclude the training session formally... by inquiring about the wife's health.

Monday, May 24, 2010


Here's some news I got as a ppt forward, that will make you feel good

Recent miracle in Dot Bust Corporation!

Broadcasted in Top News Channels of Byrasandra.

A Boss man in DOT BUST Corp, punished his highly efficient, beautiful and gorgeous Marcom Manager because she was reported to be blogging, by burying her alive in work!

He then reported to the Bigger Boss that the poor gal was on leave to hide the evidence. 15 days later, another team member was caught tweeting and when they went to bury him in the conference room, they found the Marcom Manager under the pile of work - ALIVE!

The whole office is outraged over the incident, and took a few seconds off from Internet browsing to cluck their tongue in disapproval at the boss. The Marcomm Manager was asked how she had survived and she said:- 'A man wearing shiny white clothes, with bleeding wounds in his hands, came every day to help me with my work. She said, 'This was none other than Jesus, because nobody else does things like this!'

It is clear that the girl could not make up a story like this, as she sucks at bullshitting (the entire office disagrees though) and there is no way she could have survived without a true miracle.

Boss and the Big Boss are going to have a hard time to figure out what to do with this, and the popularity of blockbuster movies like The Passion of Christ doesn't help! With the gal having a blog, you can be sure this story will spread. Christ is still controlling and turning the world.

Please let this story be shared..

Remember, Jesus said “He who defiles me before men with dreadful powerpoint presentations, I will also defile their careers with really bad performance appraisals."

So let us pass this on...

Now please put this message in a pretty ppt presentation and send it to 10 suckers and that guy/gal you fancy will fall in love with you. If you send it to 25 suckers, you will get laid/married soon. If you send it to 50 or more suckers, then we can guarantee that you will not die a virgin.

The Lord says, "I will bless the person who will not forward corny stories about me." (Silverine 17)

Monday, May 17, 2010

Close encounters of the unsporting kind

From the day I noticed some guys pushing a ball with a stick that seemed very much like my grandpa’s old umbrella stick, I have never understood Hockey. Now you might wonder why I needed to understand the game at all. And if I did not understand it then why bother?

Well... the answer to the aforementioned question is not very simple. My brother was a hockey player you see and represented his school in many glorious fights on the field and yellow cards, red cards and temporary suspensions and lifetime bans and while he was not cooling his heels on the bench he also played hockey. And when his school played against other schools in Bangalore, my Dad attended every match religiously with me. My Dad like a good and supportive Dad did not miss a single match if possible. And as a supportive Dad, he also believed firmly that all the referees were bad and had a personal vendetta against his son except the ones who let my brother off the hook for flagrant violations. I had a good teacher in my Dad and like most little girls; I too thought my Dad was always right. (I hope Sr. Genevieve is reading this and will understand my healthy disrespect for her authority).

Now being the only girl in the family of three very male males, my mom was damn particular that I should not turn into a tomboy. So while other girls wore Bermudas and pants with ease, my mother thought a very girly frilly frock is what I should be attired in to drive home the point that I was a girl…just in case I forget and do ungirly things like swear and climb trees. And she was right… I went on to become a nice little girl who wore frocks and swore and climbed trees.

So it was with frilly frocks and ribbons in the hair that I went to see the Hockey matches in various boys’ schools in Bangalore. I looked as natural as a nun on a dancing pole but then my Dad had no choice; it was that or leave me behind. And leave me behind he never did. He knew this was an opportunity to get me out of my mom’s nefarious “feminizing” designs. On the other hand he was also worried that I would grow up to be a girl. Therefore she never thought it amiss when my Dad told her that he was taking me to the hockey match to instill in me the sporting spirit besides he pointed out that I would also learn a lot from the experience. My Mom nodded pleased. She was sure it would be good for me.

As soon as we reached the grounds, the frilly frock would come off and I would be clothed in more appropriate denims and told to go have fun while my Dad joined the other Dads in cursing the referee. The result was that I came home looking like a dust devil wearing a very clean and neat frilly frock with the crease lines intact. There was nothing my ma could do. Dad had kept his end of the bargain. She still thinks this is one of the Unexplainable Mysteries of the world.

While the hockey match was in progress, us the non playing siblings of the sports stars had a lot to keep us amused. There was the school playground with swings and Jungle Gym and the balloon man who set up pole for every match. And of course the ice cream cart and various other vendors who lined up near the school gates. I just loved hockey matches for this. Unlimited ice creams and sweets and almost anything to keep me amused.

Me: Dad I want to go home!
Dad: Here is a fiver. Go buy yourself some ice cream.

Everyone agreed that I was the most sporting little girl around.

Now back to the game of Hockey. If I were to define Hockey, I would describe it as an enormous dust cloud! Frankly that’s all I saw of the game, besides dusty heads veering in and out creating more dust clouds in the grounds. Not that it mattered to me, but I had to come and give attendance to my dad from time to time to reassure him that I had not wandered off and it was kinda hard to spot him from the other dust covered Dads on the sidelines. It took some concerted staring to spot something familiar like a familiar shirt or pants or watch, to figure him out from the line of dusty Dads.

Me to a Dad: Are you my dad!
Dad: No! Whose kid are you?
Me: My Dad’s!
Dad: I suggest you look around baby!
Me: I did!! *sob*
Dad: Err don’t cry. How does you dad look like!
Me: He wears glasses!
Dad: Swell!

How did the dads make out their sons from among the dust colored players still beats me. Everyone looked the same! Sometimes bored of the swings and merry go rounds, I would wander in to watch the match. And then, I and the other teeny boppers played a unique game called Spot Your Sibling. This was a really difficult game and we rarely got it right! Another fiver and an ice cream set right the disappointment real fast.

After the game, the Dads sat around the outpatient lobby discussing the game, dissecting the scores and bad mouthing the referees while the sports stars got their hands and legs stitched up and black eyes attended to. Though I was not a hockey pro or a sports doctor, I sincerely felt that all that my brother and his team mates needed was the good old home remedy of... a solid arse whooping. My mother agreed. But who would listen to an eight year old? I sincerely feel that I had a bright future in sports medicine.

And yes, my brothers team never won a game, “because” of some spectacularly bad referring in favor of their highly talented, hard working and focused opponents.

Have a nice week friends!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Games people play

“What are you listening to?” asked my colleague peeping over the cubicle partition.
Me: Uff Teri ada. Sorry, didn’t realize I was playing it loud. I will use the head phones…
Colleague: No probs...
Me: (Spotting his ear phones): And you?
Colleague (beaming proudly): Beera Beera!
Me: Oh ok...
Colleague: You don’t like it?
Me: Frankly…no.
Colleague (eyes popping out): What!!! I don’t believe this!
Me: Me neither.
Colleague: *splutter* *choke* *gasp* you must listen to it again and again Anjali and you will like it after some time.
Me: Define “some time”. A month, year, century?
Colleague (exasperatedly): You don’t understand. You got listen to ARR’s songs repeatedly till it grows on you.
Me: Err it is over a month since it was released. I think I have given it enough time to grow on me and bear flowers and fruit and caterpillars!
Colleague: *groan* Anjali …you must keep persisting!!
Me: You have a point. I dislike lauki (bottle gourd), maybe if I persist it may grow on me and bear baby laukis.
Colleague: OMG! I don’t believe this!
Me: You say one word about people with no taste for good music and I will crack your skull open.
Colleague: Heh heh…*gulp*

An hour later.

Me: Err Harish…
Colleague: Oh hi Anjali. What is it?
Me: That music you are listening to for the past one hour…
Colleague: What about it?
Colleague: *gulp* Sorry Anjali. I thought you liked Uff Teri Ada!
Me: I did! But before you played it like a gazillion times in the past hour!!
Colleague: Sorry. Err...what are you listening to now?
Me (switching on Rubayee): Beera, Beera.
Colleague: You are lying! :(
Me: I know, but I cannot have you kill this one for me dude. Sorry!

We have an arrangement now. I give him the music I am currently into, as long as he doesn’t preach to me about music he is currently-not-into-but-pretends-he-is-into.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Poster wars

Sight at the office on Monday: Thousands of posters stuck around the office exhorting employees to save forest by not printing emails, recipes, love letters etc.

Sight at the office on Tuesday: Thousands of posters stuck around the office exhorting employees to save forest by not printing emails recipes, love letters etc. being carried away in trash cans. Thousands of new posters stuck around the office exhorting us to save the environment by recycling, reusing blah blah.

Sight at the office on Wednesday: Thousands of posters exhorting us to save the environment by recycling, reusing blah blah being carried away in trash cans. Thousands of new posters stuck all around exhorting us to run regular security scans, back up folders, and other PC hygiene behavior. Also an award for the best maintained PC.

Sight at the office on Thursdays: The thousands of new posters exhorting us to run regular security scans, back up folders, and other PC hygiene behavior and an award for the best maintained PC being carried away in trash cans. Thousands of new posters put up exhorting us donate unused note books, used clothes, toys, sports stuff etc. using the boxes kept at the reception.

Sight at the office on Friday: The thousands of new posters exhorting us donate unused note books, used clothes, toys, sports stuff etc. using the boxes kept at the reception being carried away in trash cans. Hundreds of notices all around announcing that the big conference room is booked for an important pow-wow.

Sight at the office on Friday evening: Thousands of employees hear in wonder and glee ,the Facility Manager, HR Representative, IT Manager and CSR Manager screaming...err I mean pow wowing about removing each others posters. A few black eyes and bruises later, it is decided that posters will now be mailed to each employee as paperless e- mailers.

And *groan* guess who gets to make them!! :(

"Print paper. Save the paper industry" is my new email signature.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Intern-al revenues

The pantry near my workstation has all sorts of posters stuck with messages ranging from saving water, environment to corny poetry, sad jokes, tragic attempts at creative writing and company results. Today, we had a poster put up by the HR folks, that announced that we had done some billion or million in revenues last year. The poster was obviously prepared by some dimwit, as it had given the revenue figures in zeroes, instead of representing it like for e.g. $ 50 Million or Billion, which would be the approach us, smart, intelligent, bright and beautiful communication people would have done. But then hey, everyone cannot be smart, intelligent, bright and beautiful right?

Today morning when I walked into the pantry for my regular morning fix of tea, gossip, slander, character assassinations and smear campaigns, I saw two Interns (girls) looking intently at the poster announcing our revenues. There was no one else at the pantry. Their conversation went something like this.

First Intern (FI): Ooh look! We have made solid profits last year.
Second Intern (SI): Oooh yes!!! Nice na!
FI: I think it is $ XYZ Million
SI: Or it could be a Billion.
FI: Do you think so? Billion is a very large figure na!
SI: But we are one of the largest companies in the world no!
FI: Let me count the zeroes. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5...
SI: I think you left out one zero.
FI: Really? Which one?
SI (pointing out): This one.
FI: Achcha, let me start again. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 oops I think I counted one zero twice.
SI: Wait, we will separate zeroes with a pen. Here you take one...
FI (holding a pen after three zeroes): You keep your pen after the three zeroes after the pen.
SI: Okay!
FI: Got it. Now let’s Google and see whether it is a Million or a Billion.
Me: It is a Billion.
Both: Oh! Thank you!
Me: You are welcome.
Both (looking at each other excitedly): Ooooh! Kitna cool hai na!!!
Me (under my breath): There seems to be a sharp dip in our Intern-al revenues though.
SI: Did you say something?
Me: Oh nothing. Nothing you need to be concerned about. Bye.

God help their Manager. May God give him strength, fortitude and lots of patience this year!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Verbal Diarrhoea

Our European Communications Head is a formidable Englishwoman called Mary (not real name). Impeccable English, stiff upper lip and aristocratic family to boot, the only Indian she likes is me. In fact the only non English person she likes in this whole world is me.

Whenever she calls for a conference call, the agenda and timing will be crisply laid out in the email and she doesn’t tolerate anyone joining the call late. If someone is late she just reschedules the call, after a few impeccably tailored barbs at the late comers that have made many a late joiner attempt suicide in sheer humiliation.

Into this picture comes Avarachan (not his real name), a sales executive, who was scheduled to join me and Mary in the call to discuss some global collateral his boss wanted made. Just before the call, Avarachan developed diarrhea and had to rush to the toilet. Mary started the call and decided to continue when I messaged her over instant messenger (IM) about Avarachan's plight. Mary may be a stickler to schedules but she is a kind person who understands such “emergencies”.

Minutes later Avarachan joined the call panting as he had come running all the way from the toilet. He decided to apologize to Mary over IM.

Avarachan: Good afternoon Madam, I am sorry for joining in the call so late.
Mary: No problem John.
Avarachan: Thank you Madam. I ate something that did not agree with me.
Mary: Ok! Let me conduct the call now.
Avarachan: I think it was the mutton. It was a bit off.
Mary: *Ignores him*
Avarachan: Have you ever had Mutton Biryani?
Very nice at Andhra Palace near our office.
It could have been the Paneer too though.
Or the heat.
Yes, it must be the heat that gave me indigestion!!!!
I have a delicate stomach like you English people heh heh

Mary: John, please join in the call.
Avarachan: I am in the call only. Anjali will speak on my behalf.
The raita was also stinking. Must be bad curds. But bad curds don’t give you stomach upset no? What do you think?
Mary: No idea! I....

Avarachan: you British people eat curds? We call it moru in Malayalam and Dahi in Hindi.
Mary: I am sorry; I do not have time to chat.
Avarachan: No problem, you keep talking!
Mary: !!!!!!

Avarachan: You married? How many kids?
I have three. All boys. Naughty fellows heh heh
Elder fellow is just like me. He gets stomach upset very quickly! When we went to Malayatoor last year, he was having full stomach upset after eating some Ice Cream!
Mary: Bleddy hell!

Avarachan: So what does your husband do? My wife is housewife only.
If you come to India, I take you to Hyderabad Delight. You must taste the Biryani there.
Mary: *groan*

Avarachan: Don’t worry; I will see to that you don’t get stomach upset. I know all the good restaurants here.
Mary: Anjali could you please tell John to stop messaging me!
Avarachan: Btw you know any good home remedies for stomach upset? I think I need to go to the toilet again! These allopathic medicines are so...
Mary: *SLAM!!!!*

According to Mary’s colleagues who sit next to her, she was seen rushing to the toilet to throw up. The call was rescheduled and Avarachan attended it in time this time.

People in the office are not convinced though. They are sure that like every cunning mallu, Avarachan deliberately got it postponed so he can join in time, the second time around. No one knows for sure, but Avarachan is keen to chat with her again. I told him that British people do not like to chat. Avarachan was disappointed but has decided to honor the ‘custom’.

When Mary heard this news from me, her colleagues report that this normally taciturn lady jumped up in the air, let out a whoop and danced around the office in sheer joy shouting "hurrah!!'.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Polite dissent

Have you heard those good natured jibes that men make about women? About the oh-so -funny little peculiarities of women like the penchant for matching clothes with accessories, wrapping presents instead of giving it in the plastic bag it came in bill intact, or the hilarious attention women pay to trivial details like slowing down at the amber light instead of revving up and speeding before it turned red etc. etc?

I have always scoffed at these jokes and regarded them as mere platforms men use to underline their manliness. And an incident (amongst others of course) proved that my theory was correct.

Serene Thomas, a colleague and very good friend got married a year ago after she and her husband Polite Antony had done the routine song and dance routine around electric poles and sang songs near the flower pots (trees and gardens too far away), before deciding that they were in love and should stop acting silly and get married. Serene is now consulting a divorce lawyer.

Alarmed at the news I called her up and asked her for the reasons for taking this drastic step. Over muffled sobs, she told me her sad and heart wrenching story. The story was told over 8 hours. I have condensed it for your reading leisure and due to the fact that she has threatened to kill me if I did not make this story spectacular. Yes, she reads this blog.

So let me start at the very beginning, i.e. the first week of marriage after the honeymoon, (where they did the song and dance routine in a real garden, around real trees and flower bushes) in their new apartment and progress towards the end of the year chronologically.

She: Which of these curtain swatches you like?
He: Anything “you” like munchkins. I will be happy even if you draped the doors and curtains in sack cloth.
She (beaming): Okay!


He: The house looks like a magician’s tent with these err ‘colorful’ curtains!
She: *maintains a dignified silence*
She: Do you think this wicker furniture would look good in our living room?
He: Everything looks good with you around pumpkin. You decide and take what you like.
She: Okay!


He: Sweet Jesus! The living room looks like a dentist’s clinic!!
She: *maintains a dignified silence*
She: Where have you decided to go today. Dev’s anniversary or Mohits?
He: Wherever you are comfortable going darling. I do not want you to get bored of the company, so you choose.
She: Okay!


He: Why are we going to Mohit's place?
She: We went for Dev’s sons naming ceremony last week, so I thought we will give Mohit and Sudha a visit.
He: You know that Dev is my best friend! He called me twice and told me to come to his place tonight.
She: * struggles to maintain a dignified silence*
She: Should I wear this Salwar or this Saree for the office party?
He: Anything my moonshine. You look lovely without err I mean you look lovely in anything!!
She: hmmm okay!


He: I am NOT going out with you if you dress like that!!!
She: I am wearing a Salwar!!
He: Yes, but does it have to look like ‘that’!!
She (under her breath): * $#%@&!*
She: What would you like to have for lunch?
He: Surprise me honey-bunch!
She: *maintains a dignified silence*


He: Chicken kuruma? * ugh*!
She: *dumps chicken kurma on his head, followed by the pulao and the payasam and water to wash it all down*

The guys in the office have decided to give him a Vishist Pati Medal. The girls in the office have decided to donate money to a) pay for her lawyer’s bill and or b) hire some thugs to break his legs.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Drunk in the spirit

It is Maundy Thursday. The day the bar in my house gets locked and sealed and an alcohol ban imposed till Sunday and the three men in the family put through regular breath analyzer tests by my mom.

Mom: Open you mouth and breathe out.
Bro (breathing in): There!
Mom: I did not get any smell!
Bro: That’s because I didn’t drink.
Mom: hmmm this is weird, you were stinking of alcohol when you came in.
Bro (with fake indignation): That is the devil's work I tell you. He wants to sow seeds of doubt in you, which will make me angry, go off religion and start drinking on Good Friday.
Mom (walking away with doubtful look): Hmmmm
Eldest bro: Now that you have given away a perfectly good excuse to drink, you have exactly one day to think of something else to have a drink this Friday.
Bro (facepalm): Tch!!!!
Dad: ROFL!!!!

Good Friday is the most painful and sad day for some people (mostly men) in my very 'religiously drinking' err religious family and these people actually suffer tremendous 'spiritual' agony on this day.

Wishing you all a very Happy Easter in advance. :)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Meeting your match - a 'seedy' tale of two duds.

Purab, my nice colleague was looking very disturbed. Now and then other guy colleagues came and offered words of encouragement and pats of camaraderie. I was instantly interested. I smelt a nice juicy story. Putting on my best fake “concerned expression” I walked over to another guy colleague….let’s call him “Pansy Prabhu”. Or PP as we gals lovingly call him. PP always gives us the dirt. And PP did not disappoint us this time too.

PP told me a rather sad tale of betrayal and double ‘facedness' and treachery of people that nearly broke my heart. Here is Purab’s sad story as told by PP.

Purab is living like most bachelors on the first floor of a house owned by an old thaatha (grandpa) and thaathi (grandma). Thaatha is immobile while thaathi is a sprightly 80. When Purab went house hunting, he faced the same problems bachelors everywhere faced. Landlords refusing to give the house unless he was married or staying with parents etc. With great difficulty he convinced thaathi to give him the house.

Thaathi I may be a North Indian Brahmin, but I am a Brahmin like you!
So, I don’t eat meat, or drink or womanize.
Which means you were born of Immaculate Conception yeah???
Err no, I mean I will strictly womanize with my future wife wonly thaathi.
Okay, okay! You can move in tomorrow. You know the rules right?
*Pumping his fists inside* Of course thaathi!!!

Purab settled in with a sigh of relief. He would leave for office everyday and thaathi would open the door for the maid to cook and clean and lock up after the maid left. On his part, Purab shared any nice movie he got with thaathi and did the odd shopping for her. Life was smooth, happy and full of empty bottles and chicken bones taken surreptitiously out of the room in the nights.

One day a friend, let’s call him “Satish” called with exciting news. He had a “CD” he said. A rare CD that he had got for one night only. A CD so rare that he dared not leave it at his home where his folks might discover and make it even rarer. Purab decided that the CD would be safe in his house and Satish left it on his refrigerator. Then both left for office with a shady smile on their faces. Around 11 ‘o’ clock, people in the office saw Purab rushing out of the office. He had just realized that the maid would come and thaathi would open the door and perhaps discover the CD.

Horrible images of being bodily thrown out of the house rushed before him as he tore through the roads towards home. He reached home and flew up the stairs like the wind and saw to his relief that the CD was on the fridge. He quickly locked it in his cupboard, drank a glass of water, thanked all the Gods in the Hindu pantheon and came back to office.

In the night, booze bottles adorned his room as the pals toasted to the “acquisition’. After a few drinks they put on the CD…and watched open mouthed as the mellifluous sound of bansuri (flute) filled the house. Then Krishna Kanhaiyya appeared on the screen and played a melodious solo. The pals rubbed their eyes. Then Radha started singing a devotional song so sweet that rumors has it that the alcohol in the bottles evaporated leaving behind pure amrit. Purab looked at Satish. Satish looked at Purab. Then they both looked at the TV screen and turned pale when Meera began a rather long but soulful bhajan. To cut a very long story short, Satish was thrown violently out of the house.

Next day Satish called Purab. The CD belonged to a guy who was six feet tall and kinda muscular. Six footer had his feet on Satish’s face and was getting kinda impatient. Purab was now convinced that there indeed was a CD and decided to interrogate his maid. He needn’t have. She told him calmly that thaathi had taken the CD as usual and returned it after seeing the “movie”. Purab gulped and turned white. Visions of being kicked out of the house crowded his mind. He did not see Satish walking into thaathi’s house to ask for the CD. He was back shortly. Apparently thaathi insisted that “Krishna Kanhaiyya” was the movie she had borrowed and “returned” and she wanted to know which “other” CD Satish was talking about. Satish said he was talking about Krishna Kanhaiya only and beat a hasty retreat.

The boys now look at thaathi with a new respect but with averted eyes and give her the wide berth...with averted eyes

p.s. did I say the sad tale of betrayal and double ‘facedness' and treachery of people nearly broke my heart? Sorry that should read - the sad tale of betrayal and double ‘facedness' and treachery of people nearly broke my jaws due to excessive laughter. Have a nice week folks!