Sunday, 30 October 2011

Excuse me madam...Weight loss?

This happened last week when i was waiting at the traffic signal for my green lights. My new two wheeler shining and my face radiant ( read- oil oozing out of every damn pore!) i stood in the blazing afternoon sun. The guy who stopped his vehicle next to me showed a fleeting smile as i glanced carelessly at the surroundings. He took out a card from his pocket and waved it at me. I being the Good Samaritan as always, thought he was looking for some address in the vicinity and got the card from his hand. The address read- Sutharsan Nutrition Center. I couldn't remember any center by that name and dutifully said- " Sir, there is no address like this in this area." He widened his smile saying- " No madam, we have a weight loss program, do pay us a visit". Well, you can imagine how i would have felt- dropped from the Eiffel Tower with a boulder tied to your neck. I did the most reckless thing next- locked my vehicle and got down from it. The weight loss wallah was happy, thinking he caught a big fish- oops, a blue whale! What he was next to see was the ugliest side of a seemingly normal woman...

Oh yes- you get rid of my weight and my money too!
Pic coutesy-

The conversation went thus- 
Weight loss wallah (WLW): "Why madam..we can't talk here! Please come to my clinic."
Myself: "Why the hell would i do that? How dare you ask me to enroll for your program?"
WLW: "No madam, you are obese and you must reduce weight."
Myself: "I am happy the way I AM!"
WLW: "No no...please change your diet here, you can eat anything you want to!"
Myself: "Who said i am gluttonous? I know what to eat and what not to eat. You just mind your business. Next time i see you selling your clinic anywhere on this road, i am going to sue you!" ( By now my volume has almost gone to monstrous levels with curious onlookers and a traffic policeman rushing to clear the commotion!)
WLW: retreating slowly- "I just asked if you could enroll here. It is not an offence..."
Myself: "In that case, you created a public nuisance by talking indecently to a lady...come let us go to the nearest police station!"
WLW: No words...kick starts his bike and rushes in full throttle.

The traffic policeman gives me a big friendly smile, his large tummy dancing! We are both in the same side- the heavier side! The onlookers move on, disappointed at a no show. I reached home fuming and in a definitely foul mood. I tried looking at the full length mirror in my bedroom and i feel, i am certainly not that obese...Phew! People these days have the wrong opinion of seeing plump women as obese. May be the size zero factor has an important role to play here. I really feel pathetic when i see pencil thick legs draped in jeans when i visit a mall- poor girls...they are just a bag of bones! And if there is one breakfast that annoys me the most- it is corn flakes! If i ever get to lay my hands on the man who invented breakfast cereals, i am going to gouge his eyes out! PONG! Period!

My poor sister in law once enrolled in a slimming program that required her to weigh her cornflakes- only 80 grams! And it was 50 ml of rice with 100 ml veggies for lunch. I can never ever think of a pure vegan diet- i'd rather die and be buried. End of story. Recently i went to our obstetrician ( again read- 'obese'trician) who advised me to control my weight. "If you are obese, you will end up with diabetes, high blood pressure and your children might not take care of you if you are sick in your old age", she chided. Exercise regularly- yes, very good doctor, i would love to, but who gives me the time? She said- where there is will, there is a way! By the way, doctor dear, who is this Will? And why must he give me way to lose my weight?

I can never diet, i do not find time for exercise and i am happy the way i am. So will the world shut up and move on with something that is more important than my 76 kgs frame? Next time anyone is going to sell weight loss program, slimming center, fat loss powder, heat therapy, fluid extraction or any other such programs, think twice before approaching me. I am a fat-fanatic!

P.S.: Wondering if 76 kgs is overweight and obese for a 5 ft 2 inches person?
P.P.S: Even if it is overweight, i give a damn! Excuse me for this ranting;)

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Bodhi Dharma- the forgotten chapter in Indian history

There has been much hype and hoopla surrounding the latest movie to hit the theatres this Diwali in Tamil- Yezhaam arivu. The multi crore budget movie has been marketed well and the expectations it has created has raised many eyebrows, including this movie buff. The story of Bodhi Dharma is by itself very intriguing- a Pallava Prince turned Buddhist monk of the sixth century. The Father of Chan ( zen) Buddhism and the man who named ‘tea’ from TAI…Fondly called Daruma in Japan and Da Mo – “ the blue eyed barbarian” in Chinese. When Chan spread from China to Japan, the myth of Bodhi Darma too sailed across to Japan. Today traditional Daruma dolls are an essential ficture in every Japanese home. Every monastery in China houses his statue. Bodhi Dharma is also said to have propagated the mix of yoga, silambattam, varmakalai and Indian martial arts and existing Chinese martial art forms to the Shaolin monks at the world renowned Shaolin Temple. He is father of Shaolin Arts- that reshaped into modern day’s kung- fu!
Oldest painting of Bodhi Dharma from 12th Century, Japan. Courtesy-
Tanlin, the Chinese scholar of the sixth century mentions Bodhi Dharma in his book-
“The Dharma Master was a South Indian of the Western Region. He was the third son of a great Indian king of the Pallava Dynasty. His ambition lay in the Mahayana path, and so he put aside his white layman's robe for the black robe of a monk. Lamenting the decline of the true teaching in the outlands, he subsequently crossed distant mountains and seas, traveling about propagating the teaching in Han and Wei.” This is the first ever mention we find of Bodhi Dharma in China.

Prof Tsutomu Kambe - Univ of Tokyo provided an answer to his birth – “Documents published just after Tang dynasty (ending in 907) describe that the name of the Kingdom of Bodhidharma’s origin as expressed with two Chinese characters ’香至. A likely pronunciation is Kang-zhi (Kanchi).” Various accounts say Bodhi Dharma was born the third prince of Pallava King, who followed Buddhism under the able guidance of his master Pragnyadhara. This is again a slight variation from Gautam Buddha, narrates Osho- “he was not averse to initiate women as sanyasins like Gautam Buddha- he himself was a disciple of Sanyasin Pragnyadhara”! It was Pragnyadhara who prodded him to move on to China. It was her unabated streamlining that made him shed all his material love . He followed his master’s orders to reach China- the land of Zhen Dan. He probably sailed to China- a proof to again show the Indian Kings had naval prowess and crossed to mainland China by crossing the Yangtze River. The interesting interpretation of his crossing the Yangtze by using a reed, not a boat, depicts the smooth sailing of Dharma over the turbulent waters of samsara!

Bodhi Dharma, crossing Yangtze on a reed- courtesy

He practised a unique form of yoga- zazen in Japanese, his own style- the ‘wall gazing’. He is referred to as the ‘wall gazing monk’. That may be a method of finding the truth behind a wall- the mind...This was definitely not meditation.  Every monastery in China and Japan boast of a statue of Bodhi Dharma, but Indian history has no trace of him. He himself had to relinquish worldly interests including the Pallava throne to spread Buddhism which was almost extinct by then, with the re-emergence of Hinduism. His death and fag end of his life is also shrouded in mystery. Legend says he was poisoned and died. He was buried, but a Chinese official named Shung Yun who knew him, saw him alive after three days heading towards India, barefoot, with a sandal in his hands. When enquired, Bodhi Dharma answered he was returning to India once for all and moved on. Only when the Chinese official returned home did he know that Dharma had been dead for three days. His tomb was immediately dug out and all they could find was a single sandal. His corpse was missing…History talks volumes of Jesus’ resurrection, but there is no hint of Dharma’s death and awakening. He simply vanished in thin air.
Daruma eye painting- at the beginning of the year and the end.
Pic courtesy-
In Japanese folklore, Daruma is looked upon as a symbol of prosperity, Daruma dolls, drums and figurines are made even today. People buy these Daruma dolls- a Japanese egg shaped doll that tilts back upright when knocked over. Its wide-open eyes and lack of legs come from the Bodhi Dharma legends. People buy these dolls without eyes, paint an eye at the beginning of a year. By the end of the year, as a thanks giving, they paint the other eye! Daruma dolls are used as talismans to ward off evil spirits and as lucky mascots.
Prince Charles painting a Daruma doll's eye!
Pic Courtesy-

Here are few teachings of Bodhi Dharma-
"As long as you look for a Buddha somewhere else, you'll never see that your own mind is the Buddha."
"And as long as you're subject to birth and death, you'll never attain enlightenment."
"If we should be blessed by some great reward, such as fame or fortune, it's the fruit of a seed planted by us in the past."
"The ignorant mind, with its infinite afflictions, passions, and evils, is rooted in the three poisons. Greed, anger, and delusion."
"The mind is always present. You just don't see it."
A forgotten history has been now revived and it is indeed great to be a part of the nation to which Dharma belonged to!

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

I want a female doctor!

Lot of humor posts at a stretch and now i really want to talk something serious. Medicine is one noble profession, that is much sought after everywhere in the world. One in two little kids say with dreamy eyes that they would like to be a Doctor someday. I too had that sky- high ambition till that fateful day i boarded the rail network. You can find a wide variety of doctors these days, starting from the high- end speciality surgeons in super specialty hospitals to those who sell sex pills on late night TV slots. This post is not about doctors as a whole, but a rather sensitive issue that Indian women seldom discuss.

India boasts of thousands of qualified doctors- with Indian degrees and the lesser mortals with Russian degrees. So, how does it feel when you end up in a hospital for delivery and the gynecologist about to examine you is a male? Yes, you read it right- a male gynecologist? Or how it would be to consult a male radiologist for a mammogram? A male radiologist  who examines female genitalia? Though female gynecologists are aplenty, women often find themselves in tough corners when it comes to taking medical help in extreme cases. India is not a country that has limited medical aid and so why should the women compromise?
Genital examination by a male physician, in a 'compromising' position

We are a very conservative society and so it irks me when it comes to women consulting such male doctors in hospitals providing health care, especially in Government run hospitals and departmental health units. You can all it medical ethics, professionalism or anything under the sun, but a MALE IS A MALE! And there are few perverted men who put Hippocrates to shame...You must look at the way they handle their stethoscopes when they check women! The very thought of it is sickening. Will there be a law that allows only female doctors examining and treating women patients when the diseases pertain to gynecology and even breast examinations? Or atleast the patients should have the right to decide the sex of the gynecologist they would like to consult. Nobody is forcing women to see men doctors, but it just happens that hospitals- the super specialty ones that boast of infrastructure, state-of-the-art technological expertise plainly say they don't have a female radiologist. How irritating! Imagine the plight of millions of women who are deprived of medical care, just because they cannot shed their inhibitions in seeing a male gynecologist or radiologist. Is it logical to expect the uneducated and underprivileged women to get medicare?

Of course, the case is otherwise too. It might be unnerving for a few men too, when being asked to cough out and at times a prostate examination by a female doctor also has the same effect. So, why should we put up with something that we don't want to happen? Again, i am not trying to say here that every doctor on the block is sex- starved, unable to control their libido. This is just a plain problem of " Why can't I see a female doctor, if that is what i want?" It would be better if departmental hospitals have male as well as female doctors when it comes to such sensitive physical examinations and treatments. There are Government hospitals and primary health centers that have a single male/ female doctor taking care of everything starting from a delivery to mammogram. Probably that might be the reason why most rural women shun these hospitals.

Let there be no bullshitting saying- this is an insult to doctors of the world and all that blah, blah...How many of you know the unfair advantage doctors take on such unlucky women? Whether there is a chaperone or no chaperone, their sexual apparatus goes on an overdrive, sensing helpless victims. Sexual Boundary Violations ( SBVs) have burgeoned at an alarming rate in India-  which include unnecessary physical examinations, inappropriate touching, sexual jokes with patient, sexual touch and finally there are cases of sexual intercourse too...Read this study published in Indian Journal of Medical Ethics. Unless the doctors try to get their medical ethics right, this problem will be persistent in Indian society. And will the Government bring a bill to say- " Women doctors for women and male doctors for men"??? That is a million dollar question.

Pic courtesy- wikipedia

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Hairy Tales!

The audience in the hall erupts with volcanic laughter and i stand transfixed. The song plays on, evoking no response from me. Mother looks at me aghast and rushes to my rescue, as always. I stand rooted to the spot, with my false hair ( sauri) snaking between my trembling hands. My cutely bobbed hair bounces, as i jump down the stage. Whistles deafen my ear as tears start to swell in my eyes. Blurry eyed, i hang onto Mother as she ties the sick thing again to my bob and i enter the stage for my performance. The song starts from the beginning- " Maha Ganapathi..." The soothing voice of Jesudoss fails to catch my attention and i sway like a zombie. This is not my first honeymoon with false hair, i have been donning one, right from my early barathanatyam days. Barathanatyam needs elaborate hair decorations- starting from nethi chutti, rakkodi, jata set, suryaprabha, chandraprabha...Where would all these ornaments go if there is no false hair???

The Nethichutti, suryaprabha and chandraprabha

I adored my grandmother in my school days for the long plaited hair that danced till her hips. One Sunday morning, there was an eeny-wheeny malfunction for poor grandmother and she called me to rectify it. I entered her bedroom where she was drying her hair after her bath, armed with a comb and a fleeting smile. I was elated that i could touch and feel her silky locks that i drooled over. And what did i see? Grandmother was sure fan- drying her hair, which glistened with moisture. " What are you doing here?", she demanded. " My hair is in the other room. GO AND COMB IT". Excuse me? I stood like Arnold Schwarzenegger of Terminator fame, holding onto my dear comb, devoid of any expression. She was here and her hair in the next room??? Only then did she pull her raven black locks to the front and what did i see? Limp, curly hair till the nape drying in the air. I tried to control my laughter, but as usual, failed dismally. Granny gave me a look that i would never forget! I rushed outside the room, roaring in laughter...not at her short hair, but at my naivety. All that glitters is not own hair!!!

So, how did the bobbed hair girl continue her dancing? Simple, by tying the sauri with the rope of her ottiyanam ( hip chain)! Double fastening, i say! Every bride hangs onto her false hair on her wedding day, more than the groom nearby! Furtive glances and shaking fingers are not for the darling husband, but for the false hair! Lest it fall in the agni kund and burn...Oh my...what a disaster it would be. I do wish false hair makers invent something innovative- see our dear Shane Warne...Does it ever look like his gorgeous blonde waves are false? We better beg our Shane to provide us with the secret recipe for the adhesive he uses- both on his hair and on Liz Hurley!
There is the false hair, with raakodi ( jura pin) and kunjam at the tail end!

And a small request to the guys out there- PLEASE STOP CALLING GIRLS WITH SHORT HAIRS AS "MOTTAI"...It has been gravely insulting all these years to be called Mottai ( tonsured head!) everywhere...If the tresses fail to grow like Rapunzels, it is not our fault! And Rapunzel had a Prince climb the tower holding her tresses...without fear. How many of our Romeos can climb more than the third floor without panting, hissing and cursing??? And imagine the shampoo and conditioner expense you will have to shell out for your loved one's hair...As austerity measure, we prefer having hair short, cattle class, you may call it. So next time you drool over that raven tresses that flow below the waist line, beware, guys-  all that would have been (h)airlifted straight from Tirupati! Govinda! Govinda!!!

Friday, 14 October 2011


This is the first guest post in my blog. With Cloudnine nearing 30,000 hits before its first Birthday, i thought it would be great if someone penned a guest post for me. This is an amazing post from my friend Malini, a contented mom, constantly trying to do the balancing act - managing work and home. When she is not working, she chooses to read, sing, cook, garden or narrate stories to children. Thanks a ton for the post, dear!!!

My alarm clock is gathering dust deep inside my cupboard. The Alarm Application on my Android mobile is hardly being put to use these days -  Thanks to the little monster that arrived at our home with all the bells and whistles (poop and pee to be precise) two and a half months ago. You might have guessed by now as to what I'm talking about and I'm sure your guess is either partly or completely incorrect. Yes, it has something to do with a baby, but not a human baby - I'm talking about my 4-months-old Labrador Retreiver!

Years of anticipation, frustration and occasional starvation (yes! My past has seen fasts and hunger strikes, not in Anna's scale though, just to persuade my parents to get a puppy for me) came to a gleeful end, the minute we(my husband and I) laid our eyes on him. Our first son Sangeeth had also been trying to talk (?) us into getting a puppy. I have to admit that he was cleverer than me; he would start nagging whenever he spotted a dog, gradually levitating to a feverish pitch and ultimately using the lethal weapon - tears! Poor boy, he could have saved his tears for a different bargain; we were anyway planning to bring a puppy home.
The cuddly fawn-coloured pooch that we spotted at the kennel was quite as playful and PEEful as any other lab puppy. We brought him home. Did we live happily ever after? Hmmm, not exactly. Read on.
My son was initally jumping around with excitement. He suddenly became the hero boy - he was the only one among his friends to have a puppy brother! If I had ticketed the daily evening shows, where the pup would be showcased scratching, yawning or just doing nothing, I would have recovered my initial investment and covered my first month's expenses!
There he is! Ain't he cute?

Ah, the christening process ! Believe me, naming a human boy is easier.
Ganesh? - Come on, Ganesha is elephant God, why re-incarnate him as a doggy? 
Hercules? What will you call him - Hercu?
Honey, Sunshine? No way, he is HE!
Puppy? We all know he is a PUPPY!
I would suggest a name and my husband would instantly give a thumbs-down. After many rounds of brainstorming, he came up with 'TOFFEE'. 'From this day on, he will be known to the world as Toffee'. Period.  Hmm, I didn't dislike the name either.
Many, including my vet, advised me to keep him confined during the initial days. Keep him bonded was the last thing that I wanted to do, so I made a cosy little home for him using a cardboard box and some soft bed sheets. The first day, he seemed to like it. So I left him there, in the corner of my bedroom and went to sleep. I was woken up by a shrill noise at 3 in the morning. He had managed to roll up his bedsheet mattress, use that as a ladder and jump out of the box! Poor thing, he was probably so petrified by the darkness around him, that he decided it's better to whine and wake people up. From 3 to 7 AM, he slept peacefully on my lap while I yawned away my time till sunrise.

Patience is a virtue. I had come to terms with it when my son was born. I realized that I needed to finish my Masters or something on Patience to bring up Toffee.I was beginning to grow tired ( in less than a day), cleaning the shit and pee all around the place. I would make him pee in the balcony and then let him free, expecting the next one to happen where I wanted it to happen. Alas! It felt as if it was never going to happen the way I wanted it to happen. All furniture in the house were beginning to have their legs adorned with little dots, the consequence of my puppy's boredom and teething troubles. Ahimsa, Ahimsa, I would say to myself. I would just switch to my Kaali avatar, grit my teeth and hold up my son's cricket bat. That would mostly work - he would go and snuggle up in a corner. Very rarely, he needed more than that to learn his lesson. All Maneka Gandhis and SPCA/CUPA activists out there, please don't gang up against me now, I'm just talking about a pat on his back - no animal abuse here!
Blissfully sleeping- our Toffee with his favorite toy!

Having been an avid watcher of K9 shows for years, I decided to teach my dog some tricks. I managed to make him sit down, shake his right foreleg and lie down, responding to the three commands in a row. He always obediently ‘performed’ all this when asked to, until one day when the lazy pup decided to act a little too smart. He chose to directly jump to the last command; just lie down so that he would get his reward sooner! Very clever! Little did I know that he would later learn to do all the three tricks much quicker and become the "Neighbours' envy and Mommy's pride".

One of the early discoveries that I made about him was equally shocking and disgusting - he loved to munch on his poop! I was taken aback, deciding that he was developing abnormal food habits and rushed him the very next day to his vet. The vet said casually, 'He is quite normal. Most of the puppies are poop lovers. They quit once they grow up'. Hmm, I better clear it before he could turn around to munch. That day onward, my son became the unofficial poop spy. He would come and inform me the moment Toffee squatted, and I would reach the spot in a jiffy, armed with the tools of the trade to collect and dispose the droppings. These days, roosters are a rarity in the city. After all, who needs one! Same is the case with alarms, as I mentioned earlier. Every morning, sharp at 5:15 AM, I would be woken up by Toffee's bark(Yes! he switched from whining to barking recently) pounding my ear drum, which would stop only after he beheld the yellow pedigree pouch. I could not help but think of all the failed 'wake-up-early' new year resolutions of the past.(However, at times, the pedigree would simply be a snooze button, I would go back to sleep.)

One day, I was seated on a couch, with Toffee by my side, munching on a toy. As I was typing my way to glory on my laptop, I watched Toffee get up, go to the balcony and ... wow, he just peed and pooped in the balcony! My joy knew no bounds. After all, my efforts had paid off. My three-months-old lab had just demonstrated that his master had been a good toilet trainer! Having said all that, I still vouch for bringing home a pet. Be it a mongrel or a great dane, you will for sure have tough times ahead. Nevertheless, that can be easily traded off for the unconditional affection that you get back. I bet, no one, not even your lover or spouse is going to shower as much love as your dog

Love you darling Toffee!

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Women drive me mad...

The afternoon sun blazes by and i race past in my bike, trying to concentrate on the road. My thoughts are somewhere, when i catch a glimpse of raven black hair billowing near by. The girl in the scooty jizzes past with her thick locks flying everywhere, some whipping my face in the process...Achoooooo! I send out a sound sneeze and my bike almost threatens to topple down. Damn! These girls...I grit my teeth. What probably increased the irritation was not the sneeze, but the vision of waist length straight hair blowing out from under the cap. Fuming in indignation and helplessness- my locks never grow down the nape, they cling strongly to the skull and refuse to grow, just like my own self!

Pic courtesy-
It is pretty scary when i see women with lose locks fluttering who whizz by on busy roads. By the way ladies, how do you manage to untangle the frizzy hair when you reach home? There is another tribe who cover everything, starting from hair to the finger nails to toe nails. Probably they escaped somewhere from the Middle east- every millimetre of their body covered. The hair- i seldom see beyond the dupattas draped as odnis, the face- half covered by a BIG shades, probably a gift from cunning boy friends- who ensure the entire face of their sweet hearts is never visible! The rest- is covered by dupatta as usual and the gloves that cover the hand upto the forehand looks kind of funny! I feel like roaring in laughter when the dusky darling reveals her face- reaching her place...All this pain to maintain this complexion, dear? Ufff...women and their vanity...

The worst thing about women who drive is the flowing dupattas...Some let it lose, just to gain some space to drive! Afraid that these nooses will strangle their necks, men maintain careful space when these flag-dupatta girls drive nearby! It was shocking when i watched two such episodes when such dupattas caught up with vehicles nearby and the ladies rolled over...We must probably ban the dupatta costume for women who drive. And the speed with which menfolk rush to help the women who fall off bikes will put any social worker to shame! Quicker than lightning, i must say!

It might take two minutes to tie our hair in a tight bun or pull it as a ponytail. We need safe drivers on road, not Rapunzels! And as for the over-doing girls who cover everything- please do cover your tops with the shawls- they are meant only for that...Save the poor guys from falling into pits, seeing your attire. And another kind request- do wash your scarves and gloves atleast once a year- every Diwali, may be? I detest it when you use it as your personal suffocant in terms of emergency. A pepper spray might be decent! Above all, we are driving to reach a place safe and without hassle. Our ride is not a race to showcase our driving prowess! Drive cautiously and responsibly!

Monday, 10 October 2011


This post has been selected as Blogadda's Tangy Tuesday Picks, Oct 11, 2011. Thank you, Blogadda!

This post is dedicated to my friend Jeyanth. ( You give 'some' ideas mate!!!)

We hold our hands tightly together and step on the red carpet. I look at Gajalalita on my right. She gives my hand a tight squeeze and a knowing smile. She always has the charm, back from her old Diva days, you see. And the lady in white on my left frowns and peers at the stage. She hates travel by air and that has probably made her irritable. Why the hell there are no trains between India and Europe? Jiji loves traveling only by train. May be in her next term as Minister, she would introduce a Jan Noble Express from Kolkata to Europe. Her army of supporters would sell rasagollas enroute! I try to pull my dupatta and cover my dusty black shoes. Oh my...where is my PSO? Damn, that dumb*** was supposed to wipe my shoes with his fresh new handkerchief. Rolling my eyes, i think of my brown peep toe Jimmy Choos sandals. Good that i have ordered a chartered flight, to bring it from Mumbai.

Image courtesy- TOI
Holding hands together, we trio march through the applauding crowd and reach our guest seats. Gajalalita occupies the largest seat- she needs two chairs atleast to sit comfortable. Jiji curls up in the smaller one and i sit comfortably in my chair, crossing my legs. I see my shoe again and lose control. I gesture to my PSO who seems totally distant, embroiled in his own dreams. May be i must make him wipe my shoes for five more years, i muse. How disobedient! I am seething in anger and my eyes point to my shoe. Jack*** doesn't pick my clue and keeps smiling idiotically at the flashing cameras. I wish i had worn something flashy like Gajalalita's green Kanjeevaram saree with her trademark 'ottiyanam' ( hip chain). The diamonds of her ottiyanam twinkle in the shimmering lights. Alas, she looks longingly at the lady seated behind her. They share an intimate lopsided smile and i am rolling my eyes upwards. These women!
Image courtesy-

Jiji is always my hot favourite. I love her Bengali attire- simple but sweet. What i can't comprehend, is her twisting lips when she speaks her Bengali. Boy, if she wins the next elections, we three could change India for good. We would redraw the entire nation's map. We could shift Indian capital from Soniji's Delhi abode to Kolkata.  10, Janpath is too crowded these days. And wait till we three lift this Noble Piece Prize- we will change the world for good. Obama would come calling telling- "change is inevitable". We would replace the Statue of Liberty with my own and name every street in our capital serially as Jayawati Road1, 2, 3...Jiji would take care of all the ministerial portfolios and Gajalalita would go on a long vacation with her soulmate Jesikala to her Iyderabad vineyard or Todanad Tea Estate. Happily these women would help me in changing India and the world.
Look at our reactions when the Prize is announced!

 "I am extremely happy that Noble Piece Prize is awarded to all three of us" , i boom on stage. The whole world is watching us...I wait for the organizers to garland me before giving away the award. What a futile wait...They hand me a silly bouquet! I was hoping for a Euro currency garland, the size of my earlier Indian one...Misers! Finally we three hold hands together and receive our Prize and smile away for the media. Women power! Wait till we get back to India folks...we will give Soniji a run for her money! And i sincerely wish Horlicks casts all three of us in their next ad campaign for Womens' Horlicks. Or better still, Hero Honda Pleasure's next brand ambassadors would be just the three of us- " Why should boys have all the fun???"

P.S.: All characters in the above story are fictitious. Any resemblance to anyone alive or dead is Purely Coincidental! The pictures depicted are illustrative only;)

Monday, 3 October 2011

Shaky shaky Indians!

Here comes the last over and once this gets over with, i can have a  cool relaxing bath, i think. The heat of the ground and the incessant drum beats make me erratic. 'I played some lack lustre cricket  today', i say to myself. May be i can plan my shots when the next bowler comes up. I send a silent prayer Upwards, trying to duck the balls bowled. Cricket runs in my blood- i drink cricket, i eat cricket, i walk cricket and i talk cricket- no, i am not Mandira Bedi, i am NINE(TY NINE)DULKAR...As i wait for the next over, there comes the Bawalpindi Express, straight on tracks. Oh no..not today! And not this bowler. The very thought of him brings me the goose bumps and makes me weak in the knees. He is a nightmare, straight from a horror movie. I gingerly brace up for the first ball, trying to avoid eye contact. His long mane bouncing, he charges straight for me...oh, my stumps. I duck as usual and heave a sigh of relief when the ball rolls along the wicket straight to him. He sends one of his piercing glances in my direction, which i choose to ignore anyway.
Picture courtesy- The Dawn

Next ball, i evade dutifully and that is when i see the giant screen in the ground, flashing the look in his eyes- that killer look i have been carefully avoiding and there ends my poignancy. My legs tremble and shake, my head goes around on a carousel and my whole body shakes like a leaf. That is when Mr Clean@' saaf'ridi sees me.  I am ashamed that 'Saaf'ridi sees me at such a sorry state, but when you are facing the Bawalpindi Express with biting menace, you can't act mellow and soft. I dutifully forgot this whole 'shaky shaky ' episode until Mr Express published his autobiography- Controversially Yours. Bawalpindi Express had claimed that i was afraid of him and my whole nation burst into denial mode.

Then came the shocker- Mr Clean@ 'saaf'ridi, who has never ever met a bookie all his life, but was sadly(!) banned from international cricket claimed my legs shook facing Express' delivery. I vehemently deny the claim Mr Clean@"saaf"ridi- that day, there was a mild earthquake measuring 5.0 exactly on that pitch with epicentre at the batsman's end. How dare you level such an allegation against me? You know, i have the meteorological readings from my country's Met Department which never goes wrong on its predictions. See how exactly we predicted the tsunami and the recent Sikkim quake? It took just 24 hours for Mr Clean to come clean on his allegations, he retracted the earlier statement. Ah...i can breathe in peace now. We Indians have the disease of shaking and trembling seeing our neighbors, don't we?

Ah...there arrives the plane, a distant dot in the deep blue horizon. My heart skips a beat as i wait near the tarmac. The wheels touch down perfectly and the plane pulls over to a stop. My heart too stops a bit and beats faster than ever. Damn! Why did i forget my pressure pills today morning? The very moment i heard she is headed to meet me, i felt the whole wide world beautiful. I smiled a lot, waved a lot and tried to look chic and smug in my designer coats. I changed my reading glasses for a brand new Police and sported a trendy salt and pepper but pampered hairstyle. I felt floating in the air and peered to get my first direct glimpse of her. Trust me, her blurred pictures where nowhere near the original breath taking beauty. When she stepped down the stairs...i felt like swooning, my legs shaking and giving away. My pulse racing and heart throbbing, i gulped down, trying to smoothen my coat with trembling fingers. My shaking legs must have been a give away, for she adjusted her cool Gucci shades and flashed that fleeting smile of hers. Oh my God...i thought, this is one neighbor not to miss and not to mess.
Picture Courtesy- Hindustan times

 My eyes rove over her and so do hundreds of shutter happy paparazzi who almost blind me with their flashes. Sending her sweet 'i mean business' smile towards them, she breezes towards me with her Jimmy Choos heels thumping on the red carpet. I stand rooted to my spot, the big bouquet in my hand, all sweaty and wet. I adore the way she holds her Louis Vuitton tote bag and the graceful charm in the pearls that fervently glide over her neck. My legs shake- cramps, you see. As we both clasp our hands and shake it tight, i feel thankful. Thankful that no one ever saw me shaking, looking at our neighbor. Newspapers and tabloids were in a frenzy- NINA, NINA they chanted her name as if in a trance. All the channels telecast and re- telecast her style statements and luckily missed my 'shaky shaky moments'. I refused to wash my hands that shook hers for a few days and till the moment she left for the airport, i was her Guardian Angel. We signed and shook hands, dined together and talked business. But every time i see her, i tremble- Indians tremble seeing their neighbors....what do you say, people?

Disclaimer: The pictures above have no relevance to the story...which is PURELY FICTIONAL!

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Moving to Afghanistan...

Why don't we move? To Bangladesh? Or better still, to Afghanistan...Taliban warlords are far better than our Planning Commission Members. Now you know where Cloud Nine is headed to! The most adored man by economists of India, only next to Mr. "Mann"mohan Singh is our M.S. Ahluwaliah. Born with silver spoons and educated in Oxford- all our Indian economists share the same traits, don't they? And what is it with bureaucrats who always think they are "above ordinary"? The moment they sit on those turkey towel clad cushion chairs, these men do have that special "aura" surrounding them!
Pic courtesy- wikipedia

This is a personal invitation to Mr Montek Singh Ahluwaliah to live in Attaiyampatti and Alamarathupatti. I would be glad to provide him and his army of 'book-bug' economists Rs. 26 every morning and see how he survives. A cup of tea in the morning costs Rs. 5, breakfast Rs. 10, lunch Rs. money for lunch Mr Dy Secretary! And dinner- forget it, gentlemen! So what do 'aam admi' do for his other expenses starting from housing to education, including medical expenses? Sugar costs Rs. 30 a kg and cooking oil costs Rs. 90. "Aam admi" is lathi- charged in PDS shops where serpentine queues swell into unruly mobs, all to receive a kilogram of lentils at Rs. 40. I would love to hog tie the Members, Planning Commission and make them stand in my PDS queue every month to buy rice, wheat, sugar and oil.  

And what about our poor two- wheelers? They are parked at our doorways gathering dust. Who will check the price of petroleum? Probably we ought to find alternate source of energy to run our vehicles- why not half RC Whiskey for a ride of 50 kms? Works out cheaper than a litre of petrol! And you can have a 'tipsy' drive too! The cost of housing has sky-rocketed in the cities so much that at the rate of Rs 26 and Rs 32 a day, we can buy a duplex bungalow in posh localities...Dear babus, come out of your Government allotted bungalows and spend a day in our humble abodes. As austerity measure, why don't we slash your pay packets? We ought to make rural service and 'ordinary' living a compulsion for these Planning Commission Members. 

Pic courtesy-
"Aam admi" has taken enough of all these...After all those white kurta- dhoti clad politicians, it is now the turn of Bureaucrats to intimidate the poor man. Sad to say, the hide is so thick for our 'aam admi' that he can take anything! So, let us cut short our dhotis, diet every night and walk everywhere. Or better still, we could have Afghan visas stamped in our passports and move on...I hear petrol in Afghanistan is cheaper than India!