Sunday, 14 June 2015

The six yard wonder and me!

It happens every Friday morning. By the time the clock ticks to 9.30, my room looks like an island ravaged by a crazy dinosaur. The sight of blouses lying astray on the cot and sarees piled up in a corner gives my servant shivers as she enters to clean up my room. Even it doesn't spare me when I return back home in the evening, to a room that bore the brunt of my blouse hunt. 

Ahhh...the blouse hunt! Such a beautiful cliche'. Finding the blouse amidst the pile that was once your organised cupboard is no easy task. You have to wade through that olive green skirt, erst while snow white and now muddy snow brown turned antique inner wear, lehenga top, letters written by your friends two decades ago and your naphthalene scented bharatanatyam attire to reach the saree of the day. It always happens that your mind freezes on blue- this day you feel like having a blue coffee, wearing blue accessories, crave blue berry jam and even wish you could turn the entire household to electric blue. Only now luck has it that you can't spot that royal blue chanderi cotton you really want to flaunt that day.

You pull out the blue saree finally and along with it come down a meteor shower of blouses in varied colours and hues, except for the matching blue blouse. Now starts the treasure hunt. You look for clues. No, take deep breaths- inhale, exhale and stand before the mirror, trying to figure out when was the last time you wore it. Was it on second friday of the third month or third friday of the second month? You may even go the gym and be back alive, yet never repeat the same saree in six months time. So probably, the blouse must have been somewhere down under. Or rather did you send it to the dry cleaner and the fellow cheated you out of it? 

A cold sweat breaks up on your brow, as you rummage the cupboard, your hair dripping wet with water from the shower and the underarms wet with sweat. Did the thief steal your blouse? That four thousand rupees worth aari-work blouse with  beads and zari beckons you like a light house on a rainy day. As a tired sailor, you sail around your cupboard, still unable to trace it. By the time the third rack is emptied and its contents scattered on the floor, the blouse behaves and decides to stop the hide and seek, showing up under the heavy benares saree. You heave a sigh of relief...and then starts step 2 of Project Saree, pulling it around your torso.

Always remember- the blouse has a mind of its own. It is a free thinker, no less than Socrates and Aristotle. You can never tame it like a wild tiger. You have to whisper sweet nothings, coo softly and blend your body into it. You have to hold your breath to button it up and if you just blow your breath somewhere in between, poof...both the sides go out straight to your back. You have to call it again. It is the Leonopteryx that only the Na'vi can tame. If you are successful  in taming the widening blouse, you can very well be the Neytiri of Pandora! Once you complete the buttoning process, next is the toughest part- tying the saree.

The six yard wonder blinds you- literally with the bling. It can put Bappi Lahiri's chains to shame with the thousands of sequins attached to it. The higher the bling factor, the pricier it gets. Operation Four Folds starts now, trying to fold the pallu into four with equal distance and placing it on the shoulder, you have to do all the circus with your right hand and left hand placed together. It needs a bucketful of perspiration and half a dozen safety pins to hold the saree in place and by the time you are thinking you are ready, you find the top most fold too lose to your liking. The process starts again...Ufffff...the saree....But the moment you step out of the house, this is one dress that gives you poise, dignity and grace. All this struggle to look graceful and you rock, indeed!
Graceful...ain't it? :P

p.s.: I think I have been ignoring this page and I am truly deeply sorry for that, cloud nine
p.p.s.: I am loving Sushma Swaraj Ji. She is definitely one kind lady- anyone got visa applications or passport blacklisted, do appraise her. The lady has a heart of gold, I say!
p.p.p.s.:  AP Government has started levying taxes for street lights. What an idea Sirji! Keep going and tax those fellas for the oxygen they breathe :P

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

The midsummer train tales

Half way through the summer, as the sun scorches and variety of under arm odors gas us, we run in the crowded platform where the piss perfumed compartments await us. Summer- brings with it travels and travails that we wish we could avoid. The platform teems with people, spit pan and banana peels, where the fan pushes in hot air from under the asbestos, baking you into walking human cookies. Yet when you stand near S3 and read the chart running your fingers over 22F and 24F, along with your name, you feel a high that even dope can’t give! You’ve got tickets, in a bay where there are two young girls! That too from Chennai to Mumbai in this peak summer! 24 hours in wheeled heaven!

Getting confirmed tickets in peak summer is by no means an easy task, tougher than scaling the Everest or getting an appreciative nod from the missus! So how do we hit the lottery? How do we get a confirmed ticket in the summer? The art of procuring confirmed berths in summer is perfected by few and a careful study ahem…of these successful people will help you learn the ropes.

You have to be a voracious reader, reading newspapers left to right without missing a single letter every day. You have to keep yourself abreast of every Railway budget. One fine day, your proficiency in Railway rules would earn you a berth, so keep reading. The advance reservation period is so unpredictable like the weather forecast. When you expect that to be increased, they roll it down and when you expect a decline, they increase it to 120 days as of now. It is better to take the help of the parrot astrologer down the street who can tell you if it is 60 or 120 days the moment you decide on your travel.

Once you decide the date and calculate the advance booking date, using all calendars- Gregorian, Grecian and Roman, next comes the task of deciding how you do it and when you start the prep work. The day before opening day, you line up at the reservation office sharp at 8 pm, armed with water bottle and a newspaper. Beware of the hijackers. The moment you close your eyes sitting in the rusting chair, these hijackers move front and back the row, the more you sleep, the farther behind the queue you would be. The best way out would be to shake your legs once in a while when you sleep. Or better still, don’t take a bath two days prior. You will be a sitting mosquito magnet pulling mosquitoes that hover miles away from you. Your swats and turns will ensure no one dares jump the queue.

Don’t worry about the morning when you wake up, while still in the queue. Ensure that you wash your face with the water, not your mouth. You need that special oral perfume to ward off the queue jumpers and your special breath ensures you get the ticket in a fraction of a second from the already fainting counter clerk. Always check if you are seated in the correct queue. There are separate ones for women, senior citizens, representative and self counters. You may even check with analyzing the people in the queue before or behind you- the balding heads, snow white hair and wrinkles mean that you are in the senior citizen queue. The extra bouncy hair, kohl laden eyes and blemish free complexion means you are in the senior citizen…oops…ladies queue. You can be sure you are in the representative queue if you happen to notice ear stud sporting, fair complexioned guys spitting pan all around the place and armed with applications for Navjivan Express, squatting on the chairs.

Leaning and craning your neck, you watch man after man leave the queue with success and you pray your favorite God that you will tonsure your father-in-law’s head if you get a confirmed ticket. Please make sure that he does have a sprinkle of hair, or the God’s wrath may turn on you! By the time your turn arrives, the reluctant clerk will either get a phone call or will get a nature’s call. Thank your lucky stars and open your mouth to say a ‘Good morning’ with a toothy grin. Your breath will ensure he issues your ticket first and then dashes to the restroom to puke out his brains. Awesome! You’ve now got your coveted berth, the counter clerk has even given you change. Congratulations!

Do you intend to get a ticket online on the opening day? Please make tasty vadumangai (dried mango) pickles and send to your second uncle’s fifth cousin in Dallas or Houston when he comes on vacation. A simple missed call will do the trick. When the poor fellow calls you back with saliva dripping from his mouth remembering your wife’s yummy pickle, you draw the net around him. Just tell him you need a ticket on opening day and exactly at 9.00 am Indian time, which makes it midnight for the hapless prey who nods still in a daze. Bait him in, US servers are far quick and should you not capitalize on that? Just add a pinch of sentiment in your chat. Tell him how much you miss him, hallucinate him as Hrithik Roshan with his six pack abs, even if he is filled with a family pack.

If US relatives don’t work, look at single guys in software field. These are easier preys, in twenties and handful of money, they know not what they want. All they know is you have a drool worthy daughter in her teens and whatsapping her the ticket details will be their dream come true. You may or may not repay the card money, who asks money from you anyway? Ensure the lady blocks his number the moment you get the IRCTC SMS to save further trouble. Or if you feel getting online ticket on opening day is the basic qualification for your future son-in-law, just go blind eye. After all, your daughter might get confirmed tickets for her summer travels!