Saturday, 30 July 2011

Ufff...Rakhi goes again!

Save the TIGRESS- Rakhi in PETA ad!
The most auspicious day and we have the Wedding of the Century happening in India. No, not that of Rahul Gandhi- he has reserved tickets in the Bachelor Express till eternity. This is the second on screen wedding of Rakhi our Drama Queen to the Bakra Baba Ramdev. The Yoga Guru might need to re-invent a few positions to handle the histrionics and media craziness of his new Dulhan! The Indian Press is munching away madly on the histrionics of Baba Ramdev and Babhi Rakhi Sawant. What a pair!!! Baba and his Yoga stunts, Babhi and her publicity stunts! Rakhi's antics and media stunts are world renown, what say Elesh Pajuranwala? Married to Elesh in a swayamvar and separated due to irreconcilable differences, filing suit against Star TV, stripping down for PETA ad, call her the Drama Queen or better- The Controversy Queen.

Our Queen spends more time in wrangling legal battles on court and winning many off the Courts. Lakshman Prasad of Jhansi committed suicide after degraded by Queen who called him "impotent". And police judiciously booked a case against Rakhi for abetting to suicide. Amen! That is the last we hear of the case. May be her Dad the Ex ACP, is helping her solve this case, off the court of course! "Yeh case bhi hai mirchi"! Item songs gained glossiness only after our Rakhi babhi's movers and shakers...ahem...No wonder singer Mikha Singh kissed her forcibly....He was treading the waters to taste the botox you see! Babhi carries more plastic than a full fledged factory's output...hehehe! Didn't we ban plastics long time back???
That is Babhi Rakhi ready for Baba!

I kept counting and recounting starting from beaus- Abhishek Awasthi, Elesh Parujanwala, open invites to marry- Rahul Gandhi and now Baba Ramdev...her cup brimmeth over! This is certainly a trap for Baba by the politicos, i say! Lok Pal Baba will now be Rakhi Pal Baba, thanks to Congress bigwigs who have deliberately set up Baba with Babhi...Poor Baba. All his asanas will not save him from Babhi's craziness! I would seriously suggest some drugs to keep him hale and healthy. At the drop of a hat Babhiji calls anyone impotent...Beware baba! Our Englees Bahu Shilpa Shetty Masterni can also teach Baba some stress relief...

Ah! Thats the Baba with his scintillating six packs ab!

The soft corner of average Indian female to the Babas and Swamis is well known and Rakhi is no exception, i hope. As of now all that Baba can do is pray. Pray that Rakhi babhi is bored soon of this fiasco and shifts base to another alpha male!

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Falling in love- again and again!

She waits at the airport's car park, seated restlessly in her car. The hand- held mirror works overtime, depicting flaws in eye shadow and powder coat missing in her nose. As she powders her nose, her thoughts go back to the last time she saw him, pushing the luggage trolley towards the exit gates. She has the grit to smile and wave till the last moment his perfectly chiseled face disappears as a distant blur. Then sting the tears that she successfully hides behind her sun shades that trail down her cheeks, crossing the barriers. She is nocturnal- her nights are always longer than her days. Not clubbing, but just reminiscing, weaving myriad dreams of future with him. 

Days are always busy with chores that extend beyond horizon to be finished. It is the nights that bring back memories, memories taken out of a few happiest chapters from her life. Her first walk holding hands with him in the rain drenched evening, the early morning coffees with her swinging in the bamboo swing and him sitting on the patio steps- all remain etched somewhere in her memory that boasts of volumes of sweet nothings through the past nine years. The rough stubble on his chin, the contours of his crafted face, the eyes that always twinkle with love...she does miss him, alright!

Her thoughts are broken by the announcement from the PA system. Its time. She smooths her frizzed hair and steps out in the scorching sun. Tens of anxious faces wait outside the entry and she joins the troupe. The roving eyes narrow down on that shock of dark hair and weather beaten face. Her face lights up like a lone lamp in the dark. Was he so tall? She tries to search her memory card for data and fails. He does look very drawn and thin, she thinks to herself. As he draws near, she can feel the magnetism drawing her to him, she wishes she were just a kid. The children dash towards him shouting- " Appa!" and she holds her back tightly holding on to the hand rails. She mentally snaps his smile, to be stacked away in the Memory folder for use later and slips her hand to hold his strong, work calloused palm. 

The car is booming with the kids' baubles and laughs. The duo exchange a few knowing glances and smile in silence. Her hand still holding his, they revel the silent togetherness. The thirty days granted as life rushes by in fast track, with numerous trips and travels. The day of packing arrives and the pickles and powders sit silently, watching the last few hours of muted packing. The stuffed suitcase is heavy like her heart, ready to explode any moment. She is hard as a rock, never breaking up in adversity. Calmly resigned to affliction, the last night ticks by. All she can hear is the peaceful snoring of him- her man and the slow piling of tears in the corner of her eyes. 

Eleven months of wooing, skyping and yahoo chats for hours together...she discovers and rediscovers love- once a year. She longs for that cup of coffee on the swing, that long walk holding hands, that gentle snoring on the other side of the bed, the strong shoulders that she loves to lean on, the slow heart breaking smile every morning on waking up and the occasional stolen kisses. All she now has in store for her are eleven more months of solitude- to fall in love again. Hopelessly falling in love again and again, she is now resigned to her fate. So are the tens of thousands of women who send off their husbands to deserts in the Gulf every year, after a month's leave. Cupid strikes every year, falling in love was never so painful, yet beautiful...

Saturday, 23 July 2011

What an idea Sirji!

My maid turned up with puffy eyelids, a gash on her chin and a swollen face, to work two days ago. After continuous prodding and pestering, she spilled the beans. Beaten black and blue by her husband. Burning with fury, i gently chided her for being so submissive to his incessant beating. And i almost died laughing when she said she too bit him, kicked him and he was on leave, ashamed to exhibit his black and blue face. Not the first time, i thought as i remained aloof from the quarrel. Today morning i could see them both happily chatting away with a cup of chaai at their doorstep. Moral of the story- People seriously need solutions, MY TYPE to overcome their domestic misunderstandings!

What makes minor differences of opinions between couple evolve as full fledged duels? Here are some real life situations sirji and madamji find themselves in. I am offering holistic solutions to SIRJI for solving petty issues at home front, from Madamji.

1. I talk, you no talk

This situation occurs usually when your mother in law is visiting you, boss. You purse your lips so tight that you look like a badly mauled orangutan, day after day after day. Motherinlaw dear is a blood thirsty vampire who can suck till the last drop of your blood. Beware! The hush hush that immediately stops the moment you enter the house are certainly ploys to topple your ' dictatorship' at home. The best method to tackle this problem would be a return ticket back to hometown in second A/C for the blood thirsty vampire. You can heave a sigh of relief when she waves you off at the train regally, hanging on to your prized possession- that lovely Kashmiri shawl you drool over...

2. The big bangs 

Madamji does not approve of your plan for Sunday rest. Every Sunday Madamji invents plans to keep you busy, starting from cleaning the fan to washing the car. Seriously man, Sundays are meant for little sleeping on the bed, dozing on the couch, snoozing while watching the Sunday evening movie. Madamji loves to keep you on your toes, ordering job after job. You sneak out of the house for that cup of coffee with your best pal and the big bangs occur when you are back at home. Your chappati lands unceremoniously on your lap, jumping from the plate that has been banged on the table. The dishes, cups and spoons land with a b-o-o-m on the counter top. Solving the big bang is cake walk, you can sing real loud, blast the TV volume, yell over your phone where no one is on the other side or simply, plug your ears!

3. Khichdi Khichdi

It so happens, sirji, how much ever you try, there are knuckle heads who drop in at most inopportune moments at your home. Not a word or call in advance, they just arrive bolt out of the blue. You have no other option but to cut short Madamji's blaring snores. Red eyed and still blurred with sleep, Madamji enters the kitchen for some refreshments. The onion pakoras and accompanying tea that arrive, taste so Heavenly, that your friends and relatives head straight to the restroom and directly walk out of your house for that last time! As punishment, you have to consume the entire plate of pakoras which even your pet dog doesn't sniff. And as for the tea- you could water your crotons for a week with it! 

There is another ilk of visitor- uncle, aunt, cousin, all from your side of the family. Madamji's first treat would be chicken curry. Next day arrives the brinjal sambar and the third day comes the khichdi. Beware when the khichdi arrives. That is the last day for your guest at home! The best option in this case would be to see off your relative at the bus terminus or railway station at the earliest, to save them from khichdi again.

4. Greater than less than

Madamji is the best assessor in the world when it comes to sarees, jewellery and household items. Comparing and contrasting her mixer, grinder, TV, bangle, necklace, car and sirji with the lucky pado- sin ( neighbour) is her favorite pastime. She draws micro and macro comparisons and publishes the results every night when you try to usurp the sleeping demons. Alas! what finally transpires is the universal onida truth - neighbour's pride, owner's envy! The solution here would be to act like a sex- starved maniac at nights, raining kisses on that luscious mouth that keeps on taunting you with < and >...

 5. Soceraphobia ( fear of parentinlaw)

Sirji must understand that Madamji is a patient suffering from Soceraphobia. She can tolerate lizards on her walls, roahces is her kitchen, even occasional snakes in the garden. What she cannot comprehend is the affinity of sirji for his parents. Once married, he has to severe all ties with parents, right? How dare he tread on dangerous waters of spending for them, without Madamji knowing? The day Madamji comes to know of your bank remittance slip to Daddy conveniently forgotten for months in the car dashboard,  she suffers from a severe bout of Soceraphobia. You try every medicine- even a pacifier, but no cure...The best treatment on offer would be a strong dose of morphine, not for her, but for you sirji, to overcome the inherent pain caused by Madamji's karate skills. Madamji is next only to Mrs Wendi Murdoch in swiping at offenders!

This post is the first post of the series on Domestic Problems, penned specially for SIRJI. Help for Madamji will arrive in the next post!!!

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Playing the Daddy's game!

As L Junior shouts in her loud shrill voice- " Families are big, families are small", all i can do is smile...Ah! Families...They can be anything- big, large, extra large, cute, bad, loud, silent but they can never be SMALL! I wish i was born to Chin Mun Ho or Hu Jintao even, but not in India. Families in China are uber cool, super small- One family, one child. Alas! our forefathers had nothing proper to do, rather than enjoying their hobby- playing Dad! They loved to play the Daddy's game again and again that catapulted India as a major player in population. Little did the Government do to control the population, that by the time they woke up to reality- a nation bursting to its seams with people, enough damage was done. The machinery got to work overtime to stop Daddy's machineries going on top gear. Pro natalistic attitude took a back seat in the 80's when wherever we went, we were hounded by NGOs and Government advertisements begging us to follow Hum dho, hamare dho. This was of course followed by poor Daddys who found their wallets shrinking. 
The symbol of family planning in India
Even as China and India embarked on sterner drives to combat population explosion, Indian families continued their quest for that son who would carry forward the family name. Awaiting that baton bearer, Daddys and Mommys had many more girls on the way. What not did the Government do to stop us? They tried to teach us contraception- the youth hooked on to it instantaneously. They taught us abstinence...What abstinence? Hahaha! We abstained from using condoms. They installed vending machines to sell condoms, they gave tonnes of condoms free everywhere...( so much so that we saw little children play balloons!) but the average Indian male refused to budge.  

Proactive thinkers we are- aren't we? We were advised of sterilisation and vasectomy. Our super egoistic males refused to even listen about vasectomy. As women, we bear the brunt of population control measures- almost 60 to 70% of us are subject to sterilisation, whether we like it or not! Another sizeable amount of women bloat and suffer the side effects of IUDs...all just because, Daddy wouldn't stop his game, or play it safe...Boy, would we love to trade places with men, when it comes to family planning issues. Now comes the morning after pill that finds its way to the most inopportune places- you know where. Even following all these, we are giving a stiff fight to the Chinese, we sure will beat them here. What if we can't beat them at the Asian Games? We can beat them at daddy's game! Go India GOOOO!!!

And following suit is Daddy Beckham...The Beckhams have been branded "bad example" for families. No, no, not because of the soccer antics of Mr Beckham or the fashionista Victoria. It is just because the Beckhams have just added their fourth child to the family.

Poor Beckhams...anything they do, negative press. I say, we give amnesty to Beckhams. We make them our role models in welcoming that baby girl!  We shall send them to Rajasthan and Bihar to educate the importance of girl children. Daddy Beckham must be made Brand Ambassador of Girl Children. Every girl child born will receive an autographed soccer ball from Daddy Beckham and a signature Beckham perfume free for every girl child from Victoria! We Indians are suckers of freebies and so...a soccer ball and a perfume can do the magic of curtailing female feticide and infanticide. Playing the Daddy's game is just cake walk, these days. Who cares about population explosion anyway? Cancun and Copenhagen forgot the issue and so let us too conveniently forget. After all, as per age- old Indian values, " Children are Gift from God- the more, the better!"

Friday, 15 July 2011

"Bride seeing" ceremony, anyone?

Complementary warning: This post is exceptionally long, but with some patience, you will certainly be smiling at the END card!

Arranging a wedding is thought akin to building a house, goes a famous Tamil saying...The process is so laborious and painstaking that at the end of the D-Day we are so relieved. I almost imagined St Peter opening the Pearly Gates for me on that day. No, no, this is not another boring post on arranged marriages and the troubles plaguing them. I am dealing herewith the bride/ groom selection process! Dad and Mom married after a short family meeting and a few fiery deal talks. My paternal grandmother had heard of my mother through some of her relatives and suggested to Dad that they go see her. Dad was then in the Andamans. After a few weeks, he came home to visit the would be in laws' house. Mom was Tomboy Number 1 in our family, her picture in stiff NCC uniform with a stony face was what Dad first saw in the inlaws' living room. Poor guy! he knew his fate was sealed then and there. The bride and groom were not permitted to talk to each other in our households then and so he stole a few glances when coffee was served by Mom. That was enough to get his nod for the ultimate sacrifice(!) and their wedding train was flagged off by elders who had a lurid free for all, in deciding the terms of wedding.
A Catholic Wedding, down South

Well, all that happened in 1977 and when history repeated itself in 2002 when Mom's little darling entered the wedding market, Dad was in for a rude shock. Mom loved to mock every word said by the so- called elders of Dad's side...My my, her memory went overdrive in remembering all trivial details, including her sister in law who had selected a wedding saree which Mom never liked!  Now came the task of looking for the boy. After lot of deliberations, it was decided to hoist an advertisement in The Hindu. Those were the days when was in its fledgeling stage, Thank God for that! Dad scrutinized the applications received and i joined the fun, reading the bio data and had hearty laughs...Nevertheless, Dad shortlisted few and pursued fewer. Finally, my parents decided on an engineer working abroad ( Those were the days when working in GELFFF was a novelty, only to come by a few lucky ones!).

One cool Sunday afternoon, the would be bride (I) had a hearty meal and dozed off in my shorts and tee, luckily in my room! The door bell rang and arrived an elder from the prospective groom's side. He sought to see the girl after preliminary investigations about the girl and the family nearby.  I had exactly ten minutes to transform from a la Tomboy to a typical Southie Mysore silk clad lass. The saree was draped urgently above the shorts and the hair pulled back as a tight pony tail, flowers kept, kajal in the eyes, a bindi and lo...the ugly duckling became a beautiful swan in exactly 9 minutes and 45 seconds. A record no girl could beat, i challenge! Glancing at my toe nail ( as instructed by Mom) I tried not to tumble on the feet of the elderly gentleman before serving a juice.  My timid Vanakkam with folded hands ( ahem, it was one among those few all my life!) was greeted by a smile and nod. I stood near the door, ready to take off the moment Mom would show her eyes. My eyes followed her face for orders and i stood rooted with a colgate smile plastered to my parched lips.
My all time favorite Mysore silk saree.

 The moment my signal to move in came, i almost dashed into the safety of my room. Now that elderly gentle man was satisfied, then came test 2. The brother and sisterinlaw of the groom wanted to meet the girl- me. After much pestering from Mom, i agreed to the same, under one condition- i shall meet them in a church. Bedecked in a silk saree and few jewels ( as per Mom's orders) i flashed my best smile at the husband wife duo, one March evening at the church. We talked a little, my sisterinlaw's scrutinizing eyes were so unnerving, i had to spill coffee on my silk saree in the hotel, where we went after the rendezvous. Satisfied they went, or so i thought. (Un)luckily, again the father, mother and other brothers, sisterinlaws and sister of the groom...a long list indeed, wanted to see me again. I was s sick of the "bride seeing" ceremonies that i argued and argued for hours together with Mom and was blackmailed to meet the family. Oh Mom! You were the best in that!

Another Sunday evening, there was a showdown at home, with Mom guiding me. I was questioned on why the nose ring...why such short hair and finally when the would be inlaws left, i heaved a sigh of relief. Oh, not so fast, girl. Then came the final litmus test, the groom wanted to meet the girl. This time, i agreed without much ado, I had to see and talk to the groom. Ironically the groom arrived from Gulf on the most auspicious day to meet me- the day of my Business Mathematics MBA exams. Already a genius in arithmetic only next to Arya Bhatta and Ramanujam, i was petrified at the prospect of failing first time in an exam. Who would listen? No one. I don't remember much of the exam or what i wrote then, all i could remember was i came out of the hall in two hours! ( who would sit three hours in an exam which you would fail anyway!) Again after tinkering and painting ( hehe...make up, you see), i was ready at the church by five, half an hour before time...
A typical Southie woman on her bride seeing ceremony!

The groom and his brother arrived by six- after dark and i remember smiling a lot that day. We were offered ten minutes graciously by the elders, to talk in person, at the church lawns. The humid summer air and the sweat in anticipation did not help us at all...I felt my mind go blank, all my check list questions forgotten.  L talked a few minutes, i honestly don't remember what he narrated. I kept blinking wildly at the long nimble fingers, the rise and fall of his Adam's apple and his shoes ( Oh Mom, why do you always ask me to look at toe nails?) And when he cleared his throat, i felt he asked me something. Nothing had registered and i had to say something. L was awaiting my reply anxiously and i was fumbling for the answer. Why fumble when you don't even know what was asked??? I cleared my throat and opened my mouth as if i was going to answer, when God Himself decided to help me out. 

The watch man of the church called out to us, asking us to quit the place. L put his query again, albeit urgent to retire. Thank Heavens, his question was the ominous one- Will you marry me? I hid my relief...mmmmmmmph....and nodded my head affirmatively, so fast that L started eyeing me with suspicion. He must have thought Why so much of a haste? I was glad the ceremonies were finally over, i was off the market now. We then started to move after the elders decided the next course of action. I felt or heard nothing of all these trivialities. Only when L flashed his cute smile and said Good bye, did i come back to my senses. With a wave, I kicked my scooty and turned the accelerator so fast that i ended up smashing it on the lamp post! All of those match makers were roaring in laughter and L was laughing his head off! I smiled sweetly, though fuming inside at my stupid bike. It always betrays me at the most inopportune moment...L and I went on to have the fairy tale wedding and the live happily ever after part and i count myself Blessed and lucky. Not all girls have the luck of repeating four bride seeing ceremonies for the same groom, you see!

Here is the END card!!!

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Puppy love!

I seriously don't understand why i chose to write on this! To a puritan soul who once thought Puppy Love synonymous to loving your pet puppy, reminiscing the little titbits of teen life brings a happy warm glow. Ahem! There, i am a puritan, i have declared already...This story happened long time ago, when i was in school, sporting two pig tiny pigtails and a loooooooooong pinafore. Thank God, I was not wearing braces and a funny thick rimmed spectacle. But for sure, I was a dull head when it came to puppy love or calf love. I had heartfelt interest in academics and i excelled in it. As for the other teen 'happenings', i remained totally oblivious to numerous puppy loves blossoming around me.

 Brought up in a typical South Tamil Nadu conservative household by a very disciplined teacher- mother ( how unlucky- I had to tolerate the duo in one!), I was prim and proper. So much that i had transformed into a Tom Boy. I took special antagonism against girlie girls who sat in the last benches, giggled a lot at nothing and bunked classes whenever they could. If there was something i loved the most, it was competing- fighting with the guys whenever i could get the tiniest of the opportunity. I pounced on every occasion to belittle the opposite sex and the Love was indeed mutual! Except for a few overtly mature boys, the others ridiculed and tried to provoke the tiny Tomboy who was like phosphorous out of water!

One fine morning, i was confronted by a boy of my class, with a piece of paper crumpled into a tiny ball in his sweaty palms. He must have thought- Should I or Should i not? a thousand times before he promptly handed over the paper to me. I, all of fourteen years, mistook it to be a prank and got it. Only when i read through the three words scribbled hurriedly on the paper did it dawn on me that it was my first love letter! Dumb head! I deposited the letter promptly to my mentor in school. The puppy love stricken guy was beaten black and blue. Poor guy. I really feel so sorry for him now and would ask for his forgiveness if i ever met him again. The raging hormones in pre teens can do funny flip flops and can make you go insane with infatuation. Sad, these Tom boys arrive late at the puppy love station! By the time they arrive, the last train would have left with the X mark at the back...

Do all these puppy loves die a silent death? Definitely no. There are some who settle down with their puppy love partners. But how come you wake up every morning, dreaming of the same ol' face for decades, starting from your teen age, is something i can't comprehend. I read somewhere- Puppy love will lead you to a dog's life! Years later, when after innumerable match making attempts, i met L, strange things indeed happened, Yes! I was very much infatuated, to the man destined to waste(!) his life with me. Every furtive glance we stole, every word that was said, every tingling touch- ahhhhhhhh! Love came a bit late, but boy, it was not puppy love. It was something destined to last a life time, or so i believe.

What is your take on puppy love? I would love to have some feed back on some puppy love you came across or you heard of...

Monday, 11 July 2011

Its all about money, honey!

Gold coins unearthed from Lord Padmanabaswamy Temple
Our entire nation is going gaga over two incidents- one our own Lord Padmanabaswamy of Thiruvananthapuram and shooting of thirteen year old Dilshan.  The fascination surrounding the unearthing of Lord Padmanabaswamy's bounty keeps burgeoning day by day. As vault after vault is opened, Mittals and Ambanis are losing their sleep over how a tiny deity in a dilapidated temple could hide thousands of crores worth treasure for centuries! Ah! Mallus and their fascination for gold is reasserted once again to the whole wide world! ( Mallus please excuse this comment from a Pandee!)

Lord Padmanabaswamy, Thiruvananthapuram

The assets unearthed so far from Padmanabaswamy's secret vaults reads 500,000 crores today with one more vault to go. Poor Lord! Now that his assets will be valued, slowly pilfered and scratched, we will never hear of it in a few more days. We, the Indian public, have mastered the art of forgetting anything that is of national importance. See, we already forgot about the crores and crores booted out from Shri Sathya Sai Baba's abode. Anyone ever heard of it again??? The best part of Lord Paddy's episode is the staunch refusal of the Travancore Royal Family to stake claim to the treasure unearthed. Promptly called Padmanaba Dasas, the current scions of Travancore Royal Family have expressed their desire to safe keep the treasure in the temple itself, close to their own Padmanabaswamy. Wishful thinking- Can we pay back our World Bank loans with this treasure?

Dilshan, 13, shot dead by retd Lt Col. K Ramaraj
And how does it feel when you come to know a thirteen year old boy shot dead for plucking almonds from a tree in Army enclave?  Dilshan and his friends plucked almonds from trees inside Army Officer's Enclave. Retd Lt Col Kandasamy Ramaraj, who considered the boys a nuisance in the peaceful Army area, shot him dead. Simple, cold blooded murder of a thirteen year old boy, who wanted to just pluck some almonds. And to think people mature with age....*sigh* And again, the retd Lt Col will fade away from limelight in a few more days.

What irks me is the contrast of our society- a deity that owns tens of thousand crores of gold and an innocent thirteen year old shot dead for a few worthless almonds...To Hell with equality in society and all are God's own children. East or West, Lord Paddy is the BEST! Its all about money, honey!!!

Saturday, 9 July 2011

When Hell comes Calling!!!

Do listen to this audio before we even start this topic...

Poor Gunjan! Sharat took the daylights outta her!  How good is our telephonic conversation skill? Having worked for over eight years in Railway Enquiry, i can categorize calling customers as these types-
1. Hurrying Harry
 He calls you as if running a 100 meters race. The moment you greet him warmly, he bombards you his question. Sorry, no time for pleasantries. Impatient to the core, he cuts his call when you are explaining, but seriously about the vacancy position in all trains. You can realize a few seconds later that Hurrying Harry is gone. Whoooosh!

2. Doubting Thomas
  Mr Doubt- fire is certainly on fire, immediately on connecting the call, he asks- " Oh! Madam, is it afternoon?" Then comes a flurry of questions- " What time is the train? Which platform?  How many minutes will the train stop? Which side will be S4 coach?" Finally you lose your patience when he asks- " Will there be water in the coach" Only after your sharp retort- " How do i know if there will be water in S4 coach on 29th July, 2011?" , will he budge, saying a lethargic Thank You which you can never hear anyway...You would yourself be disconnecting the call already!

3. Deaf Duffy
 This man is probably at home, all alone, in his late 70s. His son or daughter will certainly be in US, you can bet! He needs to travel to Chennai to receive the grand children, so far so good. But when he calls up to ask if there is accommodation in a specific train, starts your nightmare. Here goes the conversation-
You- " Good morning! Railway Enquiry."
DD- " Excuse me madam, is this railway station?"
You- " Yes Sir, RAILWAYS"
DD- " Oh son is in US"
You- " Good sir, what can i do for you?"
DD- " He is working in an IT company, a green card holder"
You- " Ok sir, how may I help you?"
DD- " Is this Railway station?"
You- Gritting your teeth- " YES SIR. RAILWAYYYYYYS"
DD- " Don't yell, i am not deaf, okay?"
You- Oh no! " Ok sir...what do you want?"
DD- " I want to go to Chennai"
You- " Which train, sir?"
DD- " No, is not raining here..."
You- " No sir, i am asking which TRAIN you want to go?"
DD- " hehehe....train? Rockfort Express"
You- " What date sir?"
DD- " Any rate is ok for me"
You- OMG..." I am asking you what DATE you want to GO?"
DD- " hehehe...i am little old you see? On July 20"
You- " Waiting list 21- second class"
DD- " Oh...are there seats in Second class?"
You- grrrrrrrr..." No Sir, it is waiting list 21"
DD- " No, No, i want to go on 20, not 21"
You-  ( almost yell) " I said WAITING LIST 21"
DD- " Be patient with customers madam. Talk softly. Why are you shouting?"
( As if he would understand, you explain again that ticket is not available and by the time you finish the conversation, you seriously need a hearing aid and a mike!)

4. Touch Me Not
 This is seriously a different type of customer. You pick up the phone after a few rings, what with attending two other phones, you can't attend all the calls in a single ring. Touch me not starts the second you say Hello. " Why did you not attend the phone for a long time? What were you doing? I am trying this number for the past half an hour. I want to complain about you." And ultimately comes the shocker- " What is your name, huh?" You can react two ways- either duck or chuck. I always prefer chuck, i say- " I am really busy here, if you have no other question to ask, shall i hang up, sir?" There! That does the trick usually, but not Touch Me Not. If he wants to teach us a lesson, or if his Madamji is on full fledged war with him, you are doomed! He barks some expletives over the phone and hangs up while you watch stupefied at the receiver. Well, you have been a receiver here!

5.  Repeat call Romeo
 If there is the worst of all customers, it is this type. He loves to ring, hear your pleasantry and hangs up dutifully. May be that is his pastime, but it sure unnerves you when all the other three phones ring tring- tring in unison and Romeo on the other phone chuckles at you! How much ever you scold, threaten or reason out, Romeo never gives up. May be if he sees you once, just once, he will run for his dear life, never touch the phone ever, all his life. Period!

Oh...and i must not forget to mention a tribe from my own side- Brother No Bother. Cool lad, he is, how much ever the phone rings, he is unmoved. He attends one out of every fifty calls, or worse he picks up a phone that never rings and talks to the absent customer for over ten minutes! It is these Brother No Bothers who earn a bad name for us, the customer care.  Calling enquiry? Count your lucky stars you don't end up with Brother No Bother! And in customer care? Pray, you don't want to talk to all the above types!!!


Wednesday, 6 July 2011

I hate homework...

It is eleven pm, the clock's silent ticking and my son's pencil scratching the paper is all i can hear. Back from a tiring shift in office, i droop and wake again, only to find the poor fellow writing ba+ee= beeeeeee....snore....wake up girl...Home work- how much do we hate it? My childhood days too were filled with thick rimmed spectacle wearing teachers and voluminous assignments. My trysts with homework started long back in my Kinder Garden ( what a funny name for a place where kindness is scarce!) I must have written B-A-T and A-N-T so many times, i had nightmares remembering the spellings of bat and ant. If i had started writing blogs then, i would have written 10000000000...posts by now! 

The education system has taught us to write home works in abundance and understand nothing! I could blindly recite any verse in Thirukkural ( Tamil literary work) without an inkling of what it meant. My memory was school-famous! I could memorize random numbers in any order and repeat without missing a single digit. That was how home works changed me- Mugging Queen. I thought the world had changed in twenty years since i left school and was in for a rude shock. My son is now slowly taking up my post...psttttt. Mother used to spend hours together with us, which made me wonder- why is she up all night pestering me to complete homework? Alas! History repeats now, as i half-sit and half-sleep on the couch as my son writes his homework. Poor chap! If he were lucky enough, he would have been my brother or classmate, enjoyed the little happiness left with veteran homework jugglers.

Fun went around everywhere with us, whether we played hide and seek or cooked rice with eeny wheeny little pots. L Junior doesn't know any game other than chess and scrabble or his silly video games. Children these days probably write more homework than PhD's research work! Every time i watch the nimble fingers holding the pencil struggling, i hate it. I hate it that we keep watching as our little ones lose every ounce of their happiness and childhood. After all, it is their childhood and we treat them as if they are Engineers and Doctors! We lecture them about responsibility, sincerity and obedience, trying to instill our long forgotten dreams as their own.The personal space they must have of their own- the scribblings of rockets and planes on little pieces of paper, the tables written on walls, the soap bubbles floating all around- all these....are they the property of an elder generation?

 It is quite absurd to watch little ones role play as professionals- we are creating a phoney generation who have no imagination, no creativity and no pastime that can be fruitful. How sick! And those teachers who give tonnes of home works- if i were the Education Minister, i would have flogged them on their thick hides. Or better, we can publicly lash them for punishing the kids. is getting better now...We can give them imposition, let them write the loooooooooooongest answer 100 times in a single evening!  And let us feed the home works to the dogs. Oh, they too wouldn't sniff it...

 L Junior keeps peeping at what i blog right now. When he read the title I could sense a wicked chuckle and a twinkle in the corner of his eye! Thank Heavens, there is little innocence and childhood left in him!!!

Saturday, 2 July 2011

To let- or not to let?

Every person alive would be dreaming of his house- own house. Whether it is a pint sized shack or a sprawling regal mansion, dreams of a house continue to enthrall us. Building a house is worse than marrying the one you love- so many obstacles come your way, nurturing you as a steeple chase champion! Ask any one who has built a house just now- tch tch...the narration would be of trials, tribulations and tortures by builder, architect, plumber, mason, electrician, entire army of tyrants! And when the house is a little spacious, that inner being will act smart, asking you, pestering you, taunting you- You have a big house man, now why not rent it out? And your friends ( read foes) who arrive for your house warming ( they would have secretly wished it to be a house burning ceremony!) advise you on minting money with the newly built house.

Madamji who already looks down at you as an useless piece of furniture sniffs her nose and wets her eyes with her saree pallu, telling some distant bloated relative- I know, i know...he is not that smart...if he were smart, he would have built this house ages ago! Arey madamji, if you were that smart, would you have married her in the first place? That bloated woman relative has stuffed a whole chicken and done her job well. Madamji turns to the opposite side of the bed and refuses to even look at you! Your first day( night!) in the new house is ruined thanks to that aunty! You love to stand for hours at all vantage points and admire the house- your new love! Madamji continues her Bed Satyagraha until you relent one fine night, in letting your house's first floor for rent.

Madamji promptly supervises putting up the TO LET board and then arrive the steady stream of visitors. You can see wide variety of them- madamji rejects every possible decent tenant you like. It is madamji's appun ka choice, you know! After much deliberations, altercations and harrowing fights, you agree to let it out to Madamji's approved tenant- the man with no job! The entire family looks like having come running from the psychiatry ward, they behave like zombies. They invite you for their house warming function, nevertheless. And you indeed go there and watch the fumes of Ganapathy Homam engulf your living room. The tenant's pet doggie scratches the wooden door as it likes. Controlling your ire, you walk out to office in foul mood. Madamji doesn't help it at all, when she calls you up promptly at lunch time and shrieks out in a shrill voice- "They are driving nails into the wall". Your curd rice comes back to your mouth and you gulp it down with anger.

The brrrrrrrrr and grrrrrrrrr of the drill greets you when you arrive home.The zombie tenant is in no idea of resting the drill, it seems. You try to reason out with him and say- no more nails. Bugger is unmoved. You return home as usual as furniture, incurring the wrath of Madamji. Tenant one finally gives up drilling and the next time when you see his living room, it looks like a photo studio! Finally the zombies decide to vacate the house after a year and the moment you set foot after they move out- you faint! The kitchen has never been cleaned ever! An army of roaches and mice greet you and the oil layer on the kitchen top takes a week to clean up! Sick to the stomach, you give up cleaning on your own and call up help. Your Saviours clean the mess, repaint the first floor, change the door and charge you the entire rent that bugger might have given you. Next comes the Mr Scratcher. He makes a point to scratch your car every time he parks his two wheeler in the portico. When he moves out, you decide to let out only to single women. And enjoy(!) the feeling of used Carefree dumped in your backyard!!!

Argh! Now you really are fed up and decide to have some decent bachelor guys. So decent, the rogues always forget there is a front gate to the house. Climbing the gate and pipes seem very funny to those apes. And the trash they throw up ( literally!) includes Johnny walker who walks all the night and Napolean who is always at war with you! Ah! There ends your thin patience. No more tenants, Madamji pleads you. Finally you decide- Not to let. Don't let out your house, let you Rest in Peace! And every time i see a TO LET board on a brand new house, i send my silent Prayers to the Heavens Above!!!