Sunday 24 June 2012

UP the Karma!

Why does this always happen to me? I do a thorough research, visit an array of shops before finalising the product, but they always fail me:( Someone said- "the household appliances you buy always are determined by your Karma". I think in my previous incarnation, i was born Kamsa and i murdered all them seven children who now are reborn- as my fridge, washing machine, mixer, gas stove, A/C, TV and laptop. And boy, how they exact their revenge! Women these days can seldom live without these gadgets and gizmos. Do we worry about the erratic power supply that plays hide and seek with us? Never!
The memory of our first fridge dates back to 1985, when we were the first family in our town to own a white Godrej 165 L. Mother was so possessive of it that she never let us, the three musketeers, any where within 1o feet radius of her fridge. She remembered her lesson well- my elder brother once tried to push his wailing younger sibling aged 6 months into the fridge during a power cut. The innocent elder brother wanted his little brother get some cool air and stop his incessant wails. Only when he tried to close the door did mother notice the little hand dangling out of the fridge! Imagine her shock. Elder one got the beating of his life that day;) 

The white mammoth, heavy Godrej worked relentlessly for almost 20 years. Wow! A fridge that worked without a hitch for 20 years! Wow! Must have been a Guinness record! As days went by, the white elephant looked a tad out of fashion, which mother refused to acknowledge. It breathed its last after successfully completing twenty years. We gave it a decent burial- exchanged her for another green Godrej which has worked a decade in mother's home, still going strong. Mother had by now become a fervent Godrejist! When i married and my uncles gifted me a fridge, she was shocked when i asked for a LG fridge. I seriously had no idea how the new brand worked, but mother prophecised- "You will regret this one day!"
My electric/ electronic gadgets always fail me, ASATC- As Soon As They CAN, which is ironically just the day after their warranty expires. The recent addition to the failure list is my brand new Whirlpool fridge which lost its compressor, seven months within its purchase. I wonder how mother used the same mixer for 10 years- i had to recoil my mixers' motor umpteen number of times, exchanged it once and have shelled out a fortune in maintaining the current piece that sputters and groans like an old engine off the tracks. And the cooking gas- it has an 'on and off' relationship with my lighter. They love each other and click the moment i strike some days. At times, the lighter boy just doesn't want to touch the burner girl. I have exchanged three stoves so far, in a span of  10 years! I wish the current butterfly glass top doesn't forsake me in the middle of a meal with guests teeming in the house!

The washing machine- can i forget him? The current one is my second washing machine. I loved my first whirlpool washing machine so much, that we ended up with the same model again. Why? Because i am a dancer! And i love my washing machine's moves. He can put MJ to shame with his twists, turns and moves. We have tied him to the tap with a strong rope, lest he runs away from our home! I was shocked to see a 'Quiet wash' washing machine in my brother's household the other day. Washing machines are supposed to entertain us with their gyrating dance moves and eerie music, ain't they? The entire street knows when i am washing my clothes- so silent is he. At times, he pulls in quirky clothes within the drum that requires a mechanic to repair, who charges a cool three hundred bucks. His last visit was to pull out my little one's slip worth fifty bucks from under the drum! Next time, i better use surgical forceps to remove the dresses caught inside. Oh, i forgot to mention, my washing machine just loves skimpy inner-wear!

The A/C? How can i not mention it? Split or window, they always are a pain in the behind. Either the gas fizzles out, or the tube is blocked, the power point gets burned or simply it stops working in the middle of a hot summer night, for no reason. Oh...and it works again like a puppy the next day morning, when the mechanic arrives, earning him an ill- deserved five hundred rupees for the visit and his switching it on! 

The laptop...i am the proud owner of a HP mini notebook, which has a peculiar characteristic- the "A"s, "Q"s, "1"s and "0"s don't work, even this moment! I use an onscreen keyboard and click away the missing letters using the mouse! The Fujitsu laptop i used for almost five years was a darling, till it gave me trouble one day- the fan sprayed so much hot air that i had a burnt lap;) Suddenly it refused to work. I gave it to my dear hardware 'specialist' who formatted the laptop- along with eight years' documentary, pictoral evidences of my happy family life after wedding...I had to nag, beg, brag and kick the hell out of everyone at home to copy down the lost pictures from their hard disks. As for the 'specialist', he still is in oblivion- has never crossed my path again. God saved his behind!

As for the inverter- my Gosh, the most wonderful invention of man, it always fails in summer.  We had to sleep huddled together in a single room, under a single fan that threatened to die any moment, the whole summer. The inverter's battery works like a politician contesting an election. During collection of annual maintenance charges, it works tick-tock like a clock. The moment i pay the money, it plays hide and seek, tripping whenever we switch on a second light!

 The mobile phone- the lesser said, the better. I dropped one in a ditch while seriously contemplating a turn, talking to a friend over it. The next one refused to just switch on, on a fine morning. The third one was duly washed by my little one, 'as it was dirty'. The others were discarded, as they were out of fashion. I-phonemania caught up with me years back. I have been bugging L for a new i-phone right from i-phone2 days. 3 came and went, 4 slipped by and now 4S is going strong, but the new phone is nowhere in sight. Ironically, the nokia 5800 express music that i've been clicking away the last two years refuses to stop working! I've dropped it ( i swear, i dropped it accidentally!) innumerable times, it stops working every now and then, but due to my Karma, it just revives itself! It is unkillable, unstoppable- perpetual! May be it is the Krishna Himself!

I type away, overcome with fear over what will stop working next...the last two months has seen repair works for A/C, fridge, washing machine, gas stove, inverter, etc. So the next in list ought to be??? Never in my life have i felt so afraid and helpless. May be i should UP my Karma, or undergo  a penance pleading long life for my electric/ electronic gizmos. Om Shanthi!

Wednesday 20 June 2012

Gangtok- Heaven on Earth!

Snow is what i had been yearning for a long time. I love cold weather, ask L. He knows how i pucker and shiver in the modest cold weather. When i declared i wanted to visit somewhere very cold with snow, ice and blizzards, L must have been mortified. May be he was reminded of his previous trips where he had to fight for extra blanket, heater and anything under the sun to keep me warm. When i selected Sikkim for the summer vacation, L was sure baffled. Yet, i went on- booking tickets, hotel rooms and what not. When the eventful day arrived, we boarded the train, loaded with home made food for three days!

 The look on poor fellow passengers as we wheeled in our luggage said it all. Chapatis, chapatis and more chapatis- by the end of travel, i fell sick of just looking at them. Thankfully, the tour went well, as we had a great time in Darjeeling- the local market caught fire and burned down- the moment we set foot in the town...Gone were my dreams of buying Kashmiri Pashmina shawls and woolen wear. The planned Kanchendzonga sighting in the early morning at six bombed, the mist refused to let us see the beautiful sunrise. And imagine waking up at 4 am in a chilly morning for a glimpse of the famed tiger hill sunrise, jostling with an army of newlyweds huddling together...The drive from scenic Darjeeling to Gangtok is mystical, magical. I enjoyed the drive every ounce, jumping and hitting the roof as the mahindra max we had rented, thundered down the road- like pathways. West Bengal government ought to learn a few lessons from Sikkim in maintaining roads.
A view from room's window- Gangtok
Settling down in the hotel room, sipping a chai and few pakoras, inhaling the fresh mountain air- crisp and clean, Gangtok looked heavenly. We had planned to visit Nathula pass and Tsomgo lake the next morning. As the trip needed   military permits, we ran all round the town trying to locate an gent who could see us through. Finally we got an excellent offer from Sunshine travels, who got the permits ready by ten the next morning. I had managed to sneak around alone the early morning, for a fantastic view of mist rolling cliffs, Kanchendonga's magical look bathed in orange rays of early morning sun, blooming flowers in the hotel's terrace. 
Gangtok's sunrise

Snow-clad Kanchendonga backdrop, rolling mist 

The drive from Gangtok to Nathula is one of the most memorble one in my life. With mist floating, every climb so steep that you feel your breakfast is on its way up your throat, waterfalls gushing in every rod turn, the drive was precariously heavenly! Thank God we booked an innova this time, pertrified with max. Not for us the weak hearts, you see. We stopped by at a quaint village for snacks- piping hot momos. I stood mesmerised by the scenic view of ice capped mountains above and a gurgling stream below. This window is perhaps one of the most beautiful in the world.

You can see the road that we took parted by mist!

Sighting peacefully grazing yaks, we ascended more than thirteen thousand feet above sea level, where the scenery changed dramatically to frost, ice nd snow piled atop everything- house tops, roads, frozen waterfalls...A huge blanket of white spread over everything in sight. The entire area beyond Tsomgo lake has heavy military presence, travel beyond the check post becomes more arduous, as oxygen levels drop sharply. A traffic jam right at the top of Nathula at 14140 feet and we had to wade in ankle high snow with  a blizzard blowing away mercilessly. Junior L, who is barely six and her grandfather who is sixty, climbed the stairs- about 50 of them, gleefully, while poor me was huffing, puffing and almost gave up twice, to be pulled up by L. Happy i am, that i went all the way up to the border post, where both China and India's borders lie few metres away. The moment i stood braving the wind, all i could think was - God how do these soldiers spend years working in these conditions? Salute to them.

China's military post, Nathula

He got scared of me!
The ride back was more fun, with the kids ( that includes 80 kg cute kid me too) playing in the snow, making snowballs, hitting each other and a ride atop a poor yak along the Tsomgo lake. Tsomgo is a holy lake which remains crystal clear. Mooning at the tranquil waters, we return exhausted and almost flop on the bed. As usual, my temperature increases drastically, an after effect of all the play in snow. Gulping down a few tablets, i feign sleep, unable to face a frowning L. 

The next morning started with a stroll in MG Marg- the shopping area of Gangtok. A lovely place to while away the time, a lazy morning whiling away gazing at nothing- MG Marg is just peaceful. 
MG Marg- refreshing!
A visit to Flowershow was next on the cards. We had a long drive ahead to Pelling that evening and was heavily persuaded by L to cut short the trip. I am glad, i did not succumb to it. Orchids, lilies and what not- Gangtok flower show is a visual treat for ardent plant lovers like me.  L and the kids had a tough time posing for the camera. Hues of red, white, pink, purple- orchids that i have never come across, adorned the green house. By the time we visited the Banjakri waterfalls, i was too tired to even pose for the lens. The kids spent some time admiring the energy museum at the Banjakri falls and we started our long journey to Pelling- the earlier capital city of Sikkim during the Rabdentse dynasty rule.

Orchids in various hues and colors- Flowershow, Gangtok
Picturesque Banjakri Falls
p.s.: Summer is over guys, get the hell back to schools and work. Don't keep travelling and pestering us for tickets:(
p.p.s.: I hate CBSE syllabus that makes me work more:'(
p.p.p.s.: Don't lick the rupee notes for counting...YUCK, IT SUCKS!

Monday 11 June 2012

Men are from Mars, women are from Venus!

Every turn of your life, he is there for you. He smiles with you, laughs at your blunders, ruffles your unruly hair on disappointments, shares your pain and at times is your worst enemy ever. You wish you never set eyes on him that fateful day, yet the memories of that catastrophe come back to haunt you every night. He wooed you with his condescending smiles and furtive glances. All you have now is a wedding album laden with funny pictures. A skinny version of your partner staring wide eyed at the camera man- " Oh, this fellow must be paid the balance 20000 bucks". And you would be staring at the camera with a huge stupid smile- " God, is my make up still okay?" Ah, we women!

Isn't it true, men are from mars and women are from venus? The union of these two aliens brings about a new combination species that drives out every inch of sanity from our small brain. Love starts easy all the time, a few glances, feathering touches and raging hormones can spell your end. What makes the relationship tick is the tougher part. Newly married, Sirji would bend the heaven, scour the vessels, sweep the floor, mop the rooms and what not. Few years into marital bliss(!), all troubles start. Damn the cricket matches. The moment they announce one, the alien in Sirji starts acting over smart. Feigning a head ache, the couch potato refuses to rise up to your bait, your coffees and chais just go down the drain ( throat) in huge gulps.
The standard TV pose!
And a visit to the mall always starts with an argument and ends with a cold war. The only thing men hate in the world all over is, shopping. And trust me folks, women love to shop till they drop. Men just survive the shopping fest by enjoying the beauty of the malls and the beauties shopping there.( Other than the wife, of course!) Why do we then take them shopping along with us? Men think we love their opinions on dresses and cosmetics- trust me, even our house maid wouldn't like their choices. Then why? Of course, to carry the bags and drive us back home. Add to it, the security of a white haired, bespectacled oldie accompanying us- wards off even a mosquito!

Why do husbands always peer so close at things, starting from our hair clips to our sneakers? They say they love to watch every intricate details about us. How believable...Don't fall for it. All they see is the imaginative price tag that accompanies every visual of our accessories. A look at the hair clip says a hundred bucks and an approving glance at your hand bag means- " God, is that bag Gucci?" Another tribe exist that don't even know if the wife wears a hair clip or holds a bag! And count yourself lucky, if you are wedded to one;)

Does he say those three most dreaded words often- " I love you!" He is definitely foregoing picking up the little devil from his class or escaping the dish wash session. Men are cats, they like to yawn and stretch on the couch all the time, munching fish while the females of the species keep watch over little ones, bark and snare at the cats! Even then, if a cat and a dog spend a decade together under the same roof- it is celebration time!!! Happy Anniversary to my dear Tom...sincerely yours- Spike! 

p.s.: Happily celebrating tenth wedding anniversary!
p.p.s.: Wondering how people celebrate silver and golden anniversaries- real tough:(
p.p.p.s.: If i was Spike, Sirji Tom, who would Jerry be??? Yes, you are right- the jerries are hiding behind the sofa now!!!

Monday 4 June 2012

Fatwarya Rai- a dream come true!

Something that had happened in the recent past had me almost yelling with joy...A picture that made every cell in my body sing with happiness. This is what we all had been waiting for almost a decade. And thank God how he granted our wish- all aunties of the nation now have their own icon. Let us all welcome the new auntie to our tribe with pride and glee...Welcome Aishwarya!
That is the dream girl!
I can still remember how husband dear used to watch the pretty damsel with dreamy eyes. Fuming, wasn't I? And now all the aunties of the world can heave  sigh of relief! Aish is flabulous, after all! And her styling in full flowing caftans has made the press guess- Is she fat, is she not? Thanks to her, aunties of the world are now stocking caftans galore in their wardrobes! Hopefully, i shall jump the bandwagon of caftan sporting aunties. L please note;) And oh...can we forget those dimples? What a beauty! Next time i check in the mirror for those extra fittings hanging underneath the chin like punching bags, i shall sure remember this image. And all the plump and voluminous housewives can now laugh and be happy. We have no competition! Of course, let us wait for the size zero bebos to get married;)
We love that gown, don't we?;)
And how dare the menfolk expect all that baby fat to vanish in thin air in six months? Chanceless. I wish Aish carries on this full and curvy figure, flaunts it more often in Cannes, not in India. She might be crushing a million dreams of poor men. For more than a decade we have been listening to drooling men's ooooh... and aaah....on her. Thank you my Lord. Revenge never seemed so sweet! Husbands please note, Aish is not the yardstick for rating your wives, just like we don't rate husbands by SRK-o-meter or Hrithik-o-meter! Good looking wives- definitely a plus, but does that mean all wives should be look- alikes of Aish? Out of the entire aish episode, i discovered something great- Elie Saab creates gowns XXL size!!! And i am glad i can fit into one;) To save some grace, here is a picture of Aish before the baby-

p.s.: Sorry, i have been really irregular with my blog of late, thanks to L on his vacation. Now that he is back to his home in the Sandbox, i am free;)
p.p.s.: Kindly excuse me, i haven't touched many blogs for a long time. I promise to go through once i get some time.
p.p.p.s.:  Why don't i get paid for the two months i have managed the little devils at home? Teachers please send me my share of your pay! Summer vacation- how i hate you:'(