Freefall

Posted: January 5, 2014 in Rants, The Bloke and I
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Freefall. And that is what 2013 has been like. And December is the cushion that I very much-needed. I wish I had seen it earlier.  There were many a time when I resisted and wasn’t ready to take the plunge, many a time when I held on to a rubble and decided not to budge.

It could have been a carousel ride. A merry one. Probably, in rain. The one that leaves you dizzy with happiness for no apparent reason.  It could have been all that if I had not been so scared and hesitant.  So, I turned it into a roller coaster ride. But hey,  when the belts are on and if you didn’t throw up,  what is not to enjoy about a roller coaster, I say.

What is all the hoopla about, you ask?  So when this year started which always feels like just yesterday, I had few plans for the year. No, not resolution just plans. Nothing fancy. Nothing that required discipline or drastic lifestyle change. Just mundane but uphill tasks like getting a address proof which eventually would be used to get a DL.  Yes, I didn’t shoot for the stars and all that. Just quite simple realistic goals they were. But then as it always happens, the evil universe conspired and planted the idea of buying a flat in The Bloke’s mind. How does that affect the plan, one would ask. Take my word, it does.

“What is so wrong with wanting to buy a house”, The Bloke asked me million times. I had a different answer each time. Or rather a question. What if the bore well dries up or what if the work place moves to another end of the city, I asked.  Up until  a few years back,  I was a nomad. Every few years our life would be sorted out, labelled and boxed and moved to a different city or a different locality and we would start anew all over again and somewhere along the line, I started falling in love with the whole process.

In short, owning a house and settling in is all fun and nice when everything is new and fresh but once they are rusty, old and dusted, I may want to flee but then the fact that I “own” it would stop me but I do not want to be stopped and that is the whole point. And every time I dished out this theory to The Bloke he either scoffed at me or asked me why I would want to run. Grr. I gave up.

While the first half of 2013 was spent in my theories and counter-theories, the second half was spent in making earth shattering decisions of high significance like the color of the wall. Bleh I know and I would have also said “Bleh” but that was before I came across the range of colors. There are zillion yellow shades. Yeah I did other rotten investigations like “How to choose the right yellow paint” and all that and then there were serious investigations like download a pretty image, open in paint, lookup the hex value of the color and then choose the paint with the closest value.! encycolorpedia.com anyone? After all these path breaking discoveries, I decided the shade of yellow from an advertisement that I chanced upon.

After a long wait when the move happened finally, I thought I might miss the house a wee bit given that The Bloke and I, started our lives together in this house but to my complete surprise and disappointment, I didn’t. On the contrary, we missed the small things that were infused in our humdrum existence. The friendly shop keepers who always hand-picked the best drumsticks and coconut for us knowing our puzzled expressions, the street dog that used to pester us for biscuits every time we stepped out and the happening chai shop.

Now, I think both of us have moved a wee bit from our earlier stances. The Bloke kind of understands my theories and I think I see his rationale.

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Double standard

Posted: October 1, 2013 in House full, The Bloke and I
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Few months ago, The Bloke and I attended a cousin’s wedding.  While my mom stomped her feet and declared that I should wear a saree, the dress code was relaxed very much for The Bloke. No worn out jeans, was the only rule he had to abide by. But then I couldn’t let him revel in that and so I pushed him to don a Dhoti. Having never worn it, he was quite diffident about it but then I cajoled him – “How tougher could it get? Just wrap around and you can even wear a belt” I said.  The belt did the magic and he was lured.  one of his friends loaned him a Mundu and also provided him with instruction to “wrap” it around.  We thought we were all set for the wedding but then there were few glitches in the plan. The wedding was supposed to be a early morning one held in the bride’s ancestral place while the bus in which we had booked tickets would drop us almost at the same time but in a different town, Karaikudi which is almost hundred kilometers from the wedding venue. We couldn’t do much about it but this meant we had to stay at a hotel in Karaikudi and I had to drape the saree on my own and the last time I had tried draping, I had got it perfectly right but something looked amiss and after thirty minutes of brain storming, The Bloke pointed out that I had draped the Saree on the wrong side!  So I ended up saving few pictures of “How to drape a saree” on The Bloke’s mobile for emergency. Okay, who am I kidding? Those pictures were my guide!

The previous day when we had to catch the bus, we were at our best by which I mean we had surpassed all our previous levels of disorderliness and  I was very sure that the bus would be late and for once, The Bloke agreed to go by my estimate. Half way through the traffic, it started drizzling which usually is just a coincidence but then if it is Bangalore, it is just the way of life or rather the “way of evening life” and just yet another reason for the traffic to double up.  We were stranded for a long time and after much drama, we stepped  into the bus.

Karaikudi is a small town and though you may not fall in love with it immediately, there is something quite comforting  and inviting about the place and people. Probably, that is the case with every small town. Or with every small town where you have your heart set.

After arriving at the hotel, we were on our mission and surprisingly, accomplished it in lightening speed with few flaws. The Bloke had tied the Dhoti perfectly, albeit tightly and he ended up limping. My attempts at coaxing him to tie it once again went futile. I gave up and we set on our hundred kilometer journey.

After what seemed to be a little over an hour, with the help of passerby, we reached the venue. I spotted my parents as I emerged out of the car lugging yards of fabric. My mom was elated.  I had never seen my mom that happy. No, not even when I had got my first job. Nor when she sets her eyes on myriad of colorful  sarees in Pothys.  I was exhilarated looking at her elated state.  I commended myself for having thought of the pictures beforehand. As I sauntered towards her in a daze, she headed straight to The Bloke. “This looks great on you”, she gushed. I readied myself for my turn and I went and joined The Bloke. My mom shot a glance of “intense disapproval” at me and said I hadn’t tied the saree well.

Hmph! I wondered if I should point out that The Bloke was actually finding it too hard to walk in his looks-great-on-you attire. But then my tummy growled and I feasted on a plethora of dishes neatly laid on fresh plantain leaf while The Bloke  fumbled with many of them trying to figure out what they were and with his preoccupation of what was on his plate or on his leaf in this case, missed out on second serving of the best dishes. Serves him right!

Hope and music

Posted: August 29, 2013 in Uncategorized

Hope and music springs in my washroom. Yeah, you read it right. We live in an old styled apartments which has a hollow shaft running through its length and the window of the washroom in some of the flats open into the shaft. Not a pleasant proposition, if you ask me but then every cloud has a silver lining and so does my washroom.

It all started a month back. It was just another Monday morning and I woke up grudgingly.  I stepped into the bathroom, expecting the blast of cold shower to fix my mood and spirit.  Yes, I am optimistic that way. Few minutes into the shower, I heard someone sing.  The sound of my shower drowned the lyrics. My curiosity was piqued. I turned the shower knob and listened intently.  The singer had a deep baritone and he was singing quite passionately. For the record, it was the song “Adhisayem (Ajooba?)”. Initially, I giggled. The turn of events made me feel a bit adventurous and sang few lines along with him. I did dream of a Jugalbandhi but then just a pause followed and then he again started from where he had left. Sigh!

Now, it has become a daily ritual to look forward to the “Shower song” and he is quite versatile and mostly sings my favorite numbers 😉 . And yes, our shower timings seem to coincide almost every day.  Sometimes, I try to put the face to the voice but then I guess ignorance is better and that way, I am left with just the song and my very own memories associated with it.  I was amused at how a familiar beat from the past could take you down the memory lane and leave you all elated.

It is not just me who is at the receiving end. The other day, The Bloke had a bad case of stomach flu.  He threw up the entire contents of his stomach. one look at it and anyone could very well reconstruct what we had cooked the entire day. Gross, I know. I told him there was nothing more to throw up and he could get some sleep. But then he was determined to throw up more and well, he did.  He popped a pill and I coaxed him but nothing helped. He threw up again and just when he finished, we heard voices(through the shaft, of course). Someone else was also throwing up. “His condition seems to be pretty bad. Looks like it is just seasonal?”, The Bloke said. I nodded. I totally didn’t understand  his reasoning. Actually, the fact that someone else in the building had the same condition was a bit worrying but the same thing seemed to make him think that it was trivial and he found solace in it. I let it be since he had changed his stance about throwing up all night and agreed to sleep. He woke up the next day, hale and hearty!

For all other times, when I hear someone brawl or fart, I turn on the shower knob and let the sound of water drown everything else.

Word play

Posted: August 8, 2013 in Tales from past, Travel
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During my short trip to the US, I spent most of the time working from the hotel. Sigh! We were given a studio apartment. The ‘bedroom’ end of the room opened into a powder room that had this motion sensor lights.  At first, I was delighted with it but then in night, every time I tossed and turned, the lights turned on. I spent half the night putting them  off. Hmph!

I worked from one corner in the ‘living room’ and I was confined to this place, most of the time.  The only highlight of the day, other than the scrumptious breakfast was the Mexican woman who would come in to clean the place. She turned out to be quite chatty and  I went on to explain her that I was tagging along with The Bloke and that I would be gone soon.  She wanted to know more. I yielded. She spilled her story in broken English.

Then she went on to surprise me with the Hindi word that she had learnt from her friend – “Accha”, she said.  Not wanting to be left behind, I smiled and added “Hola!” (Yes, Thanks to Katrina and ZNMD). She merely smiled.  I was not going to give up easily and I looked up Spanish translation  for “Thank you”. I practiced the word quite few times in my mind. I decided to spring it on her  after her work.

She had proceeded on to making the bed and as she straightened the duvet, she asked. “No kiss?”

To say I was flummoxed is an understatement.   Zillion thoughts ran through me.  What did she see in the bed that made her ask such a question?  Or She wanted to be kissed? Or probably, she thought that I was too orthodox to kiss. As if to wake me up from my stupor, she asked again, “No kiss?”.

It was then that I realized what she meant and I replied, “No kids”.

Ps: Oh, yeah I managed to thank her in Spanish. Erm.. She wasn’t floored. I give up!

House full

Posted: July 26, 2013 in Uncategorized
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My parents and the sister were here for the last weekend and within the 2 days we managed to visit few places around, savor few home-made delicacies, relax and we were also caught for going over the speed limit! In our defense, the road was empty and we had exceeded the limit by a very less margin. Sigh!

In short, we had this crazy weekend and here are snippets from the pandemonium.

Sis: *Dash*  *Daash* *DAAAAASH* (She was playing some racing game on The Bloke’s mobile)

The help (in her typical nasal accent): Kapdai hai? (Any clothes?)

Me (in an equally nasal tone): Aaaj poncha kar do (Today, mop the floor instead)

The Bloke (armed with a knife and papaya): Anyone ready to eat papaya? (Dude, no one is going to answer that question. You need to replace papaya with coffee!)

My mom (to me): Let it get steamed for 7 minutes. Only then, it will turn out soft. (Dishing out cooking instructions makes my mom happy. She almost makes it all sound like Sanjeev Kapoor show)

The Bloke: What is cooking?

Mom(with all smiles): Kolakattai, it is our traditional food.

The Bloke: Kolkatta?

Sis: Dash Dash DASH

Sis (Looks up for a moment): It is like Momos minus the filling.

(The Bloke is all confused and perplexed now)

Me:” It is like Akki ‘Idly’ rather than Akki roti!”, I assure him.

Dad(to my mom): Coffee podriya?

(Erm.. Roughly translates to “Will you make coffee?”)

The Bloke : Papaya, anyone?

Mom( to no one in particular): Did the maid sweep the floor?

Sis(Finally, giving up on the game): Uhhh…. She completed and left long back!

Dad: Coffee podriya?

Kolakattai was steamed, coffee was made and the madness continued! Needless to say, I loved it to  bits ( The madness, I mean).

Teary eyed

Posted: July 1, 2013 in Uncategorized

Though I went about my work after reading about the floods in Uttarakhand, the news about his death left me teary-eyed and frozen. I wonder why? I never knew him. Is it because of his age? Is it because he hailed from the same place? Or is it because we went to the same college? But these questions are for a different day.

The past two days I scurried the internet to know what happened on the fateful day and I hoped for a befitting farewell.  The old, the young, the eminent and people from all strata of society did flock the streets of Madurai to pay their tributes and  at the end, after the 21-round gun salute, the skies opened up and wept.

Rest in Peace, you braveheart!

Madurai gives a hero’s farewell to braveheart IAF pilot

The past two months were just too bland, punctuated with deadlines and the days whizzed by. The Bloke was equally busy. Or, probably busier.And at times, when I decided to push the work aside and took time to laze around, I tried to write. But I went blank  and  mostly ended up  sleeping with the laptop beside me.  And along with me, the draft as well went dormant.  Now, I guess the mayhem is over. I mean the work and deadlines.

Two months back, when there was a lot happening (comparatively, that is), I missed updating about few things. Actually, I completely missed writing about my travel to places half way across the globe! It was quite a short trip and we had just one day for sight-seeing and rest of the time, The Bloke slogged in office and I worked from the hotel. Even now, that travel seems so unreal that if  The Bloke ever told me that it was all a dream, I would believe him. Erm.. okay, he may have to delete all those pictures that we took at Golden gate bridge.

The Bloke had to travel for work and I never even thought of accompanying him but he had different plans altogether. I planned on staying with her while The Bloke would be away. But as luck would have it, she relocated and moved out of  Bangalore!

“See, you are destined to come along with me”, The Bloke yelled. I dismissed him off. No, we are not that philosophical about ‘destiny’ but we are those complete duds who use ‘destiny’ to even decide on the place for dinner.  Mostly, destiny helps us in the forms of traffic lights and rains!

Anyway, I digress. The reality struck me when we booked my ticket.  The entire flashback  of  my misplaced stay extension approval letter (from previous travel)came back to haunt me and someone had warned me that it was required for subsequent travel.   I spent sleepless nights after that, waking up all sweaty and parched from nightmares of being deported. Erm.. okay, that was in March and that explains the sweat and thirst.  But the nightmare would always end before the climax.  I was always left wondering if The Bloke would join me back or if he would continue with this work and travel!  It was after rigorous ‘Google’ search’, I realized I was misinformed.

So, just like usual, we packed on the day of travel and at The Bloke’s insistence, reached airport  much much earlier.  It was a long flight. At times, The Bloke and I stretched and walked around and I saw so many fellow passengers flirting with the air hostess and boring them to death that now I can very well write a book titled, “How to flirt under 30 seconds”. Seriously!

Once it was our turn at the immigration check, I duly went along with The Bloke. While he explained the nature of his travel and work in many words, I just added, “I am accompanying him on his travel” and dished out the marriage certificate.  “So, you don’t trust your husband?”, the immigration officer  asked and burst into a peals of laughter. My jaws dropped to the floor. I was dumbstruck and bewildered. The Bloke joined him and my expression was quite a sight, I believe. While I was still retaining my composure, the stamped passports materialized out of nowhere and The Bloke ushered me out.