Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Men who cook deserve to be in your phone book!

I always think of my friend Agneshwar on New Year's eve. That's the day I venture nervously into the kitchen with my fingers crossed and a tattered copy of his recipe for mutton biryani: a particularly fragrant concoction laced with mace, nutmeg, saffron and kewra (pandanus odoratissimus) water- along with the usual suspects: cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, black pepper corns and bay leaves. And none of that taste befuddling ginger-garlic paste, tomato puree and cilantro! It's scrum! Have prepared it a day in advance and ooh, the aroma!
I shall think of him and his lucky, lucky wife with even more affection this year because they gave me an interesting hamper packed with chorizo, pate, olives, smoked salmon and sun-dried tomatoes among other things to bring 2009 in. I can't wait to say goodbye and good riddance to a paricularly lousy year!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Freddy Mercury's Piano and Me!

Returned from almost fab holiday in Panchgani. Almost fab because:
1. The food was lousy, lousy, lousy. The ancient land of milk and honey is now the land of chicken and paneer. Those are the only things available everywhere. Hate both with a passion- would much rather eat paper. Had to settle for eggs (henceforth referred to as yuggs) and if I see another yugg in my life I'll throw up. Violently. Was desperately in need of a stomach pump after every greasy meal. On the last day (typically) finally discovered a decentish Parsi joint and stuffed self with strawberry milkshake, dhansak and mutton biryani. No Bhindi Paredu for me, though- yuggs ew!
2. Pillow talk: If ever I open a hotel, I'm going to give guests the freedom to choose their own pillows. Every darn hotel in the world I've stayed at seems to believe that mile-high fluffy pillows are the epitome of comfort. Such bullshit. I like my pillows firm and flat like abs. Needless to say I spent 3 miserable sleepless nights. The crick in my neck persists.
3. Beloved Husband kept threatening to attempt paragliding. I kept threatening to leave him in return. Would much rather be divorced than a widow- not particularly fond of the idea of the being haunted by Beloved Husband's ghost for the rest of my life. Going by our caring relationship, he'd probably be a poltergeist.

And now the good part: Visited Freddy Mercury's school (St. Peter's) and saw his piano. Well, the one he used to practice on. Touched it lovingly too. Have washed my hands thereafter, only because I'm an adult and not a rock star-struck teen. Was sad at the state it's in, though. It was rescued too late from a fire and now it's just a shell. No keys, no wires. The school authority who showed us round reassured us that plans are on the anvil to restore it to its former glory. He also said that the school owns many Queen CDs and plays them regularly. Yay!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas at Bandra

My very first Christmas here! And while celebrations are muted this year because of the ghastly terror attacks in Mumbai and solidarity for the Christians in Orissa, a little bit of cheer goes a long way.

Saturday night was lovely- a little area off the street where I live was cordoned off for a carol singing session with a live band - a come one, come all invitation was issued to the neighbourhood. I'd heard the singers practising in a building next door for a few months, and they were marvellous! One evening, trudging back from the gym, I was treated to a very special moment: They were singing a hymn I didn't recognise and a driver parked below had his radio tuned to a news channel. They merged beautifully. So now I'm wondering if that's how Simon & Garfunkel got their inspiration for their goosebump-raising version of Silent Night.

Begged Beloved Husband to accompany me to the carol singing session when he got back from work but he was doing his impersonation of Ebenezer Scrooge. Didn't feel like hanging out alone so spent the evening in the kitchen straining my ears to hear the carols. Was richly rewarded. A few days later, our building was warmly glowing with fairy lights and a ginornmous Star of Bethlehem. Lovely. It rubbed off on Beloved Husband too, who entered the house smiling, for a change. No 'Bah! Humbug!' that night!!! It feels so heart-warming to be included in other festivities- that's the nicest part of being Indian!

So peace on earth, mercy mild, and I do hope Orissa enjoys a lovely Christmas too.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Dinner at Colaba

Ventured into the terrorist-torn district for dinner last night. Reassuringly, saw lights twinkling in the neighbouring Taj Tower, and Ling's Pavilion was busy and bustling. Peered under the table to gauge if there was enough room to duck for cover (in a woefully cowardly manner), and mentally chastized restaurant-owner for not using floor-length table cloths! One drink later and I forgot to be edgy and alert. Whew. Rather enjoyed self, just like in the good old days before Bombay became Mumbai. Lurve Colaba.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Gentle admonishment from a reader of Girl Alone

An excerpt from an email from Sahiba- Am still giggling helplessly over it! This has just got to be my favourite piece of feedback from a reader!
"...and oh I have to tell you this. since really it was YOUR idea. I actually put an egg on my face and tried to make my dear-love-you-forever kiss me, just for kicks. and well, the result ... egg on my face! It was terrible! He just ran away saying I was losing it :-D And what's worse, he stayed away for the next 24 hrs. What a sissy ,I cried! What a freak, he cried back! Ha ha. I guess something's are better off in books. Hey you need to put warnings next time - you know something like this stunt has been performed by experts, do not try at home, may cause injury to self respect :-)"
Way to go, Spunky Sahiba! Rest assured this guy will never forget you! You've left scars on him for life!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Still in shock and anti-Pak feelings are growing stronger by the second

The papers have informed me that I'm suffering from post-traumatic stress. Well, I have all the symptoms they've helpfully listed. Beloved Husband said that it's my fault for watching the attack coverage like a junkie. He's a fine one to say that, considering that he's been religiously watching Nat Geo's special on terrorism this week. Brutal people committing brutal acts with brutal uncensored visuals to boot! Almost sicked up when I entered the TV room last evening. Hastily darted out, gagging. Have firmly decided that I’d sooner be locked in a room with a man-eating tiger than with an official from Pakistan's ISI. At least I’d have the forlorn satisfaction of knowing that the tiger would eat me out of hunger, not out of innate nastiness.
Also discovered in the papers today that the captured terrorist's real surname is not Kasav- the Mumbai cops gave him that surname: Kasav means butcher! Ooh I love the cops!
Which brings me to Mohsin Hamid's The Reluctant Fundamentalist. Read it a couple of years ago, and had serious problems with it. The book really should have been called The Ingrate or The Ungrateful Fundamentalist. Cut through the symbolism and literary devices and this is the story in short: Wealthy, educated, upper-class (and not overtly-religious) Pakistani works in a mega finance joint in the US. His White bosses love him, his friends love him, no reason to crib and carp. He falls in love with an American girl who is mourning the death of her long-time boyfriend. She likes the Pakistani hero but can’t love him- or anyone else for that matter. This gives him heartburn that no amount of antacids can neutralise. Then Kargil happens (for which he squarely blames India- tsk, was Hamid's hero really intelligent after all?) and he gives it all up to return to Pakistan. Thereafter, he becomes a terrorist, singling out Whites. A classic case of biting the hand that fed him. Even a dog wouldn’t do that. But, in all fairness, this book was a piece of fiction.
I didn't believe that Hamid really got into the psyche of a terrorist-can people be that ungrateful? Now, however, I see what he means: the fact that Pakistan is, by nature, an ungrateful nation*. The West will continue to flaunt Pakistan as an ally, foolishly wishing and hoping that they will actually help them. Proving, yet, yet, yet again that Westerners are ridiculously gullible. Practically every Islamic terrorist in the world today wears a Made in Pakistan lable. This is the only product that the country successfully manufactures. And look at how beautifully they are using this product to extract more and more money from the West. They’re chortling all the way to the bank. Asking them to help stop terrorism is like asking them to shut down their most profitable business. Dream on!
*Please do note, however, that I am not damning all the citizens of Pakistan in that statement. There are good people out there- but too few and far between. And if there are more than I can count on the fingers of one hand, they should speak out.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Be angry but don't be foolish!

First I wanted to attack the terrorists. Then I wanted to fling shoes at our politicians. And now I'm mad at the public. This dumb ass email that's doing the rounds-about the right to register a negative vote- has made me see red. Add to this the rants of some of the people at the rally:
-'Let the military rule for a year!' (What? We want to be like bloody Pakistan?).
- 'Give each city to a corporate group!' (Yeah, right. We want monopolies?)
-'Let the media take control of the country!' ( So you want Rajdeep Sardesai, Barkha Dutt or Arnab Gosmai for PM? All they'll say in times of crisis will be an insensitive, "How do you feel?").

What the hell are we? A mobocracy or a democracy? Stop being childish and foolish- please do vote!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Just read this in TOI. Want to vomit.

Politicians are not the only people dividing our country. There are a lot of despicable citizens out there. Do not read this article (link below) on an empty stomach. I don't know who this nasty venom-spewing Jet Airway's passenger is, but I assure you, had I been on that flight and overheard him insulting the Muslim flight attendant, I'd have made him weep for his mother. I'm ashamed that the other passengers who overheard him did not give him a piece of their mind. They stayed silent- including the passenger who eventually reported this incident to the press. India does not want people like that here. What the heck were all those solidarity rallies in India for? Community picnics?
Please do read this article.

Kerala CM Achuthanandan lives up to his name

The Kerala Chief Minister's name suits him to a T- if you pronounce it right, that is: A-Chut- Hanandan. Horrible man. May he be thrown out of power and into a gutter. Right now my contempt for him is as much as my contempt for Raj Thackeray, LK Advani and Narendra Modi combined. That's pretty powerful contempt.
Oh he's just apologised. Finally. Realised that he needs votes, no doubt.
And the rally at the Gateway of India is a tremendous success- have been watching it on TV. Thousands of Indians united against terrorists and politicians alike!
Honestly, I'm getting a little worried about the politician bashing now. We the people had better get our act together too and excercise some restraint or else this may lead to a state of anarchy. Not a nice thing at all. Shudder.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Sit on this, Lashkar!

A mega grieving session will be on at the Gateway of India this evening. Speeches will be made, candles will be lit and t-shirts will be sold. With messages like:
3. "I cannot leave the island. I was born here and belong." (This is the last couplet from Nissim Ezeikel's poem Island, on Bombay.)
You can order the tees at Time Out if you're not planning to be there. I'm not going- I don't do public grief. I did not order a tee either. But I did inform Time Out that if they tell the t-shirt maker to put the following message on their tees, I'll buy millions of them.
The message:
Visual: Graphic of a finger. Not an ordinary finger- the finger.
Copy: Sit on this, Lashkar!
I also wish Leopold would create a special chair in the finger gesture and place a little white card on it: Reserved for the L-e-T.
Those sodding brainwashed bastards deserve special treatment from us, don't they?

Sunday, November 30, 2008

A spirited defence of the TV news coverage of the terrorist attacks

The Government and intelligence agencies can carp and crib till kingdom come about the TV news coverage of the attacks. Admittedly, critical information should not have been leaked, but overall, as a terribly humble citizen, I'm glad it was covered. Or else every explosion or gunshot would have led to panic and widespread rumours.
Better still, this provided transparency. Now we can sleep at night without wondering whether some poor, innocent Muslim vendor was picked off the streets and paraded as a terrorist by the bone-lazy authorities. Sadly, we do not trust our politicians. And till that changes we have only the media and the judiciary to fall back on.

Way to go, Mumbai!

After so many days of darkness, finally we have reason to cheer:
-Hats off to the Muslim Council for categorically refusing to allow the burial of the terrorists in their cemetries! We are cosily united in our hatred for terrorists.
-Hats off to the news channels, particularly Arnab Goswami and Rahul Shivshankar of Times Now, for making scathing remarks about politicians rushing to deliver sound bytes after the attacks were contained. I particularly remember the incident outside Nariman House when the BJPs Gopinath Munde arrived on the scene to claim credit. Just as I was in the act of flinging my shoes at the TV screen, Arnab Goswani hastily intervened: 'Relax, he happens to be in the frame only because it's a long shot- we are not going to focus on him nor air what he says!' He admitted that howls of outrage from the viewers made him take that decision.
-Hats off to the people of India who circulated text messages about the cowardly Raj Thackeray and other slimy politicians.
-And finally, hats off to all of us for putting intense pressure on the UPA to unceremoniously dump the jerks who were in charge of Maharashtra.
Deputy Chief Minister R.R. Patil has finally resigned, yay! All the banned bar dancers must be executing some pretty mean moves in the privacy of their homes with joy too! And, better still, there is speculation that Chief Minister Deshmukh will be forced to resign as well- hooray! Both of them are utterly useless- they couldn't even stop that weasel Raj Thackeray and yet the Congress high command expected them to stop terrorist attacks? What the hell was Sonia Gandhi thinking? Ritesh Deshmukh should be hugely relieved though- no more dirty looks at the gym from a wacko woman (i.e. me). The poor chap always looked puzzled when I glared at him.

Today I also discovered what I'd suspected for a long time: Raj Thackeray's nasty antics were responsible for delivering crippling blows to the state's economy. This man loves Mumbai? Dream on. He loves himself and hates his cousin. Period.

And a big boo to all the cowardly Bollywood stars like Amitabh Bachchan, self-serving socialities/scribes and wily businessmen who prostrate themselves at the feet of the senior Thackeray and/or his dissenting nephew. You think we can't see through your airy public claims of, "Oh we only meet a couple of times a year- their wives/daughters-in-law are very sweet." Get a backbone. Get integrity. Stop associating with people who are intent on dividing this beautiful city. Or shut up!

A Lewis Carroll take on Indo-Pak relations

Well, well. The ISI chief is not coming, after all. My jaw hasn't dropped to the floor- has yours? Ah, screw that. I've been thinking how well Carroll's hypocritical Walrus fits in with Indo-Pak relations. And with due apologies to Lewis Carroll, I've attempted an adaptation of that poem- just changed a few words, not the meaning.
Here goes:
India was shining on the sea,
Shining with all her might:
She did her very best to make
Her global image shiny and bright-
And this was odd, because it was
The middle of a blood-splattered night.

Pakistan was shining sulkily
Because she thought India’s sons
Had no business to accuse her
Of the evil that was done-
"It's very rude of them," she said,
"To try and spoil our fun!"

India’s eyes were wet as wet could be,
Pakistan’s were dry as dry.
You could not see a cloud, because
Smoke had obliterated the sky:
No birds were flying overhead-
They were too scared to fly.

A Mulla and the ISI,
Were walking close at hand;
They wept like anything to see
Such quantities of blood on India’s land:
"If terrorists were only cleared away,"
They said, "it would be grand!"

"If India and Pakistan joined hands and
Pondered over it for half a year.
Do you suppose," the Mulla said,
"That they could get it clear?"
"I hope so," said the ISI,
And shed a crocodile tear.

"O Indians, come and talk to us!"
The ISI did beseech.
"A pleasant walk, a pleasant talk,
Along the briny beach:
Come one, come all-and rest assured
We’ll give a helping hand to each."

The wisest Indian looked at him,
But never a word he said:
The wisest Indian winked his eye,
And shook his heavy head-
Meaning to say he did not choose
To leave his cosy Indian-bed.

But four young Indians hurried up,
All eager for the treat:
Their coats were brushed, their faces washed,
Their shoes were clean and neat-
And this was odd, because, you know,
Terrorists had blasted off their feet.

Four other Indians followed them,
And yet another four;
And thick and fast they came at last,
And more, and more, and more-
All hopping through the frothy waves,
And scrambling to the shore.

The ISI and the Mulla
Walked on a mile or so,
And then they rested on a rock
Conveniently low:
And all the eager Indians stood
And waited in a row.

"The time has come," the ISI said,
"To talk of many things:
Of RDX-and terrorist-infected ships-and the LeT-
Of the economy-and Bollywood kings-
And why your rage is boiling hot-
And whether the captured terrorist did sing."

"But wait a bit," the Indians cried,
"Before we have our chat;
For all of us have gaping wounds,
And some of us smell a rat!"
"No hurry!" said the ISI.
They thanked them much for that.

"A couple of naans," the ISI said
,"Is what we chiefly need:
Onions in vinegar besides
Are very good indeed-
Now if you're ready, Indians dear,
We can begin to feed."

"But not on us!" the Indians cried,
Turning a little blue.
"After such reassurances, that would be
A dismal thing to do!"
"The night is fine," the ISI said.
"Do you admire the bloodied view?

It was so kind of you to come!
And you are very nice!"
The Mulla said nothing but
"Pass the salt:
I wish you were not quite so deaf-
I've had to ask you twice!"

"It seems a shame," the ISI said,
"To play them such a trick,
After we've brought them out so far,
And made them trot so quick!"
The Mulla said nothing but
"The ghee is spread too thick!"

"I weep for you," the ISI said:
"I deeply sympathize.
"With sobs and tears he sorted out
Those of the largest size,
Holding his pocket-handkerchief
Before his streaming eyes.

"O Indians," said the ISI,
"You've had a pleasant run!
Shall we be trotting home again?'
But answer came there none-
And this was scarcely odd, because
They'd eaten every one.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

A united India and Pakistan can defeat terrorists-so there!

Yes, yes I know anti-Pak feelings are raging high right this moment. But it's time we did a spot of introspection. The political scenario has changed dramatically. Who are we dealing with now? A military dictator or a man whose wife was a victim of terrorism? And never ever forget that some of the terrorists responsible for the latest sickening drama could well carry the Made-in-India stamp. Support must have been provided, at the very least. Why should we let our inept politicians off the hook?
Get real. I'm shedding my cynicism on this one. Who knows, I may be proved wrong. But if we don't take that chance, if we let history colour our view of the future, we may be unbelievably screwed.
In the recent past, Pakistani's too have become victims of terrorism. Finally they experienced what their home-grown, state-sponsored terrorists have been doing to us for years. Needless to say, they don't particularly enjoy the experience. I must guiltily confess that, inititally, I did experience fleeting moments of schadenfreude- serves you right, you bleeding Frankensteins, is what I thought. Stupid childish behaviour on my part.
We should, we must accept the olive branch that's currently being extended and let's see if that helps. Can't we do that to save our own skins? Here's hoping that the meeting with Pak's ISI chief leads to a better future. Oooh wouldn't it be luverly if he brought us a little present too? Like say, a pair of shiny silver bangles with Dawood Ibrahim attached? That ought to make us believe that Pakistan is serious about co-operating with India.
Just got a report: my schoolfriend was killed in the attacks. See how difficult it is to be friends with Pakistan? Yet, we must try. Even though I say this with considerably less enthusiasm this time.
Oh, and you must read this article by Mohsin Hamid. "bound by sorrows", about the mumbai terrorist attacks and india-pakistan relations, from: the guardian

Friday, November 28, 2008

The extermination of Lashkar terrorists in Mumbai

Glued to the TV for the third day in a row. Refuse to move. May have forgotten how to walk after this- will discover that only when the terrorists are sent to hell. Meanwhile, Arnab Goswami (Times Now) has become my favourite companion. Really, Times Now is doing a fab job!
A couple of terrorists are still lurking around the Taj. Not so easy to catch them- it's like looking for dirty filthy garbage-encrusted cockroaches in a massive structure. The Oberoi is cockroach free, whew. And work is in progress to make Nariman House cockroach-free too!
So, looks like, we may not need external help to rid our country of pestilential critters. Our men appear to be doing a fine job on their own. Give them the license to go ahead and they deliver!
At the end of it all, I suggest that our politicians observe a few moments of silence in their honour: about 6 months of silence at least? Particularly the two-faced LK Advani and, of course, Raj Thackeray. Just received an interesting SMS that's being forwarded about him. I've copied it below:
"Where is Raj Thackeray and his 'brave' Sena? Tell him that 200 NSG Commandos from Delhi (No Marathi manoos! ALL South & North Indians!) have been sent 2 Mumbai to fight the terrorists so that he can sleep peacefully. pls fwd ths so tht it finally reaches th coward bully!"
Hmm. Not very popular is he?

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Mumbai 24 hours after the attack began

Incredulty has given way to anger. Anger that blazed all morning and afternoon. And the evening brought with it nausea and grief. Stories of chefs and trainees massacred in the kitchens of the Taj; of a couple of floors at the Oberoi littered with bodies; of policemen no longer with us, who braved the battle with archaic weapons and without bullet proof vests; of a woman weeping for her husband who could not be traced; of a man waiting for news of his Dad; of a brother desperately seeking his sister; of a couple waiting to receive the wounded daughter of a friend; of hotel guests helplessly signalling to the crowds below; and, of a schoolfriend (my schoolfriend) whose husband is waiting for her outside the Taj, but no news of her-not yet.
Crushed. If any one uses the phrase 'Spirit of Mumbaikars', I swear I'll scream. Right now the only way my spirits will lift is if I storm into the hotels and beat the terrorists to a pulp. With my own fists. Oh, how I wish!

It's war in Mumbai!

The army's out! The navy's in hot pursuit! And everyone (well everyone I know all over the world) is wishing and hoping and praying that we save the hostages and equally important, beat the shit out of those terrorists aka brainwashed idiots aka pious retards. Okay so I said earlier that if there is a God he must be incomptent. I'm taking those words back. What I'm saying now is: if there is a God, maybe he was busy but as soon as he's free could he please look into the matter and save us from evil terrorists/brainwashed idiots/pious retards? I know one thing for sure: if I were God, I would spit on people like that even if they prayed to me every second of the day! I'd be insulted to have my name uttered by them.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I Want The Mossad!

For years and years and years I've been muttering under my breath that India needs to learn from The Mossad but now I'm screaming it at the top of my lungs: INDIA NEEDS THE HELP OF THE MOSSAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We can't seem to handle terrorism. And this is the understatement of the century.
Terrorists have evidently read Who Moved My Cheese along with their religious texts and are inventing new ways to get at us. Why bother to create these new ways, I ask -we're still a million steps behind. As I write this the seige is still on. I've seen paunchy* NSG chaps taking position, while one lithe terrorist does a parkour sort of act, jumping from one building to another and landing on his feet! Photographs of one of the terrorists at VT reveal that he's just a boy- my god, I want to slap the brainwashed idiot real hard and make him stand in a corner!
Reactions from family and friends: shock and horror of course and a few wisecracks too.
One said: It's like watching a movie, and I'm waiting from Katrina Kaif to come dancing into the frame.
Another said: It's like a Rambo movie, only Rambo still hasn't made an appearance.
If there is a God, he's bloody incompetent!
* Correction: Not paunchy! Beloved husband has astutely pointed out that bullet proof vests add bulk!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Terror in the skies

Am not the sort of person who starts praying when I fly. Not even if I fly the day after watching a program on the worst airline crashes ever on Nat Geo. I'm fairly 'sanguine' (fav newspaper word, tee hee) about stuff like that. But this morning my heart skipped several beats when I boarded an early morning flight to Delhi. A copy of the Hindustan Times was neatly folded and laid out on the seats and guess what the screaming headlines were: Pay cuts for Jet staffers. Great, I thought, now the staff will be anxious or angry and spill or throw food on us. But the worst was yet to come: the article went on to say that pilots were the ones who were going to bear the major brunt of the pay slash and that the Indian pilots demanded that expat pilots were axed. Gleeps. And to think that a second earlier all I worried about was getting food stains on my clothes before my meeting! So I prayed real hard that the cockpit wasn't manned by an Indian pilot and an expat co-pilot. Suppose they'd started hitting each other? Ooh that was a scary journey. Fortunately the only mishap was 'dog on runway' ! Well, that's what they said to explain the half hour delay in landing. Maybe the pilots were hitting each other after all while the plane was circling Delhi airport! Man, no more flying for me till the economy improves. Back in Mumbai now (whew), and I hereby solemnly declare that I'm not travelling further than Toto's Garage for a long, long while!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Vincent Nazareth a.k.a. Mumbai's legal mood elevator

There were days when I'd feel mopey and whine and moan about not having a life. Everyone's having a better time than I am, I'd think mournfully, and reach for the Kleenex. But not anymore. Oh no, not since dear old Vincent Nazareth came on the scene. My life seems so much more meaningful compared to his - and that makes me feel so much better.
Get this, this guy spends every waking moment crouching behind bushes, yearning for the moment when he can leap out to catch smokers who are breaking rules. What, was he a tiger in his last life? He does this every darn day, and the days that he doesn't catch anyone flaunting the rules, he goes home a broken man. He's even started whining to the papers that he hasn't caught enough people yet. Perhaps, dear Vincent, smokers are indeed following the rules? Think about that!
So the next time you feel blue, think of Vincent, and trust me, no matter how dull and drab your life may seem, it's not as pathetic as Vincent's - is it? Cheers to that!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Pink Floyd and my cook

I can never forget the very first time Dark Side of the Moon played at home. The cook came rushing out of the kitchen (wielding a sharpened knife at that!) at the screamy bits. It took my mother hours to placate him, and a raise was thrown in as well. Thereafter, we (my sis and I) were frequently treated to scathing remarks about our music. Tull's Aqua Lung was one song in particular that Mum took serious objection to: 'Snot running down his nose! You call those lyrics?!' but we turned her around, we did. She who loved Lulu, Cilla Black, Elvis and The Beatles developed a taste for The Scorpions. She pinched our tape-we heard her playing it during her me-time!
Anyway, Roger Waters is coming down for the Live Earth (I think that's what it's called) concert.
Thought I would go despite the other acts: pretty Bon Jovi and Black Eyed Peas, among others, but hastily changed my mind when the papers gushingly informed us that Bollywood stars would be playing nautch girls & boys at the concert too! Chee!
Now will have to wait for Waters to come on his own show, damn! Wish he'd hurry up! And wish the Stones would come back soon too. Not going for Spyrogyra though, was never a big fan. And, ha ha, the concert venue happens to be a stone's throw away from where I live, so maybe I can listen in gratis!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The re-classification of Pearl Jam

I don't care what genre Pearl Jam is classified as- I've coined my own term for it: Grunt Rock! Was listening to my old fav album Ten today, and I love Eddie Vedder, I really do, but I am not deaf to the fact that he grunts a lot. And dead sexy it is too. I lurve Grunt Rock! Saw the Dido music video on VH1 today (Don't believe in love) and was sorely dissapointed-such a nice song, nice-ish music, fab voice and a dismal video is created to go with it? Low in budget and way, way lower in imagination. Boo!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Wanted: Willing Victims For 5-Year-Old Nephew's Jokes

Rohan's joke of the month (in his words): Someone goes up to a dinosaur and says, 'Hello, you're extinct.' The dinosaur looks vevvy shocked and squeaks, 'What! I stink?!!!'

This, of course, is followed by helpless giggles for about 3 minutes 20 seconds (I timed him). Thereafter he sobers up slowly, only intermittent giggles follow for another 5 minutes. Then he's into his usual bang bang verminator games till another victim arrives on the scene and the joke is enthusiastically trotted out again. (Same timing for his giggles- that never varies!)

Rohan's riddle of the month (in his words):
Q. What goes zzub zzub?
A. A bee buzzing backwards, silly!
SAVE US!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Not So Grim Fairy Tales For Big Bad Girls-Part 1

Right. I'm in a fairytale mood, so I've ressurected a parody I'd written zillions of years ago for a teen mag called Vibes-Namita Gokhale was the editor then. It really was zillions of years ago- I was just a year into my first job in advertising and I felt dreadfully guilty about moonlighting but hey, I had fun writing those fairy tale parodies for Vibes. I also had an agony aunt column called Aunt Grizelda, where I'd make up ridiculous questions and answers-really wacky shit. Heck, you know you're old when you're into nostalgia. Anyway, here's one of the fairy tale parodies:
Once upon a time there lived a black queen who had a mulatto step daughter called So White. He disliked her with a passion because she was far prettier than him, and all his gay friends became straight the instant they saw her. This made him feel like the odd man out, a terribly uncomfortable feeling if you really think about it.

After a great deal of sleepless nights alone, he hired a punk to lure her into the depths of Harlem, and to do away with her there. Once in Harlem, So White’s womanly intuition took over, and she escaped. The punk didn’t bother to pursue her, because, as the old Harlem maxim goes, 'Why chase girls when you can chase cocaine?’

So White clambered up a rusty drain pipe, pushed open a window, and tumbled into a room belonging to an acid group called ‘The Dwarfs’. The seven men – Junky, Dopey, Stony, Drunky, Hippy, Snorty and Cokey accepted her immediately as they desperately needed someone to play the tamborine because their woman, Moll, had taken off with a New York Philharmonic cellist. And So White took to them instantly because she saw in them the realisation of her favourite fantasy : Seven at one blow.

The Queen happened to see her playing at his favourite gay bar in the Bronx, and immediately made enquiries. Having extorted her address, he injected some more female hormones into his veins, singed his hair, wore white socks with black shoes, dark glasses, and, armed with a syringe containing an overdose of heroin, he rang her doorbell determined to mainstream her. The minute she opened the door, he shot the needle into her arm, and sang ‘Beat it’. On returning home that evening, the Dwarfs found her lying in a stupor. ‘Dipsomaniac broad’, snarled the disgusted Dwarfs (no doubt due to the influence of their strict Mormon upbringing). They dragged her out into the porch, and set out in search of a tamborine replacement for that night’s gig at Brooklyn.

A few days later, America’s chart-buster Prince, happened to stumble over So White on one of his nostalgic walks down Harlem. He fell over and in love with this mulatto vision, and rushed her to hospital. Several hours later she opened her baby blue eyes to find him perched at her bed side. ‘Who are you?’ she whispered weakly, ‘Prince’ was his modest reply. ‘Oh you’re shamming’ she chuckled, ‘and cute’. Upon which he French kissed her, and she passed out again, but for a shorter period this time. After their marriage and subsequent divorce, they lived happily ever after.
The End!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

More on Sarah Appalin'!

Read this piece in seattleweekly.com:http://www.seattleweekly.com/2008-10-22/news/the-education-of-sarah-palin/
Hilarious! I so love the anonymous writer!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

My heart goes out to the Shiv Sena

The poor, poor Shiv Sena. They're dying for the Centre to arrest Bal Thackeray - absolutely yearning for it. Only because they're aching to bring Mumbai to a standstill- in a more violent and dramatic way than the MNS did. That way they can show Raj Thackeray once and for all that he's small fry compared to them. So watch out- provocative statements on supporting the alleged Hindu terrorists are on the rise. The real message however is, "Please please rise to the bait and say you're going to arrest Bal Thackeray, pretty please oh puhleez!!!! Send out an arrest warrant immediately, don't be mean, we beg you!"
Politicians, bah! More transparent than glass.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Why can't I get presents like that? Sigh.

Read in the papers today that a German man bought an orginal E.H. Shepard sketch of Winnie-the-Pooh, Piglet and Tigger for his wife because she was 'a long time Pooh fan'. Hello, so am I!!!!!
Incidentally, he paid mucho dinero for it- Rs. 23.7 lacs! That could have bought her some pretty cool diamonds too, but I assume the clever man thought that this was the more precious gift, much more memorable, and would possibly give him brownie points for the rest of his life. I'm sure she loves him all the more for it- and hey, I don't even know this man, but I love him too!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Obamgod, he won!!!!!!!!

Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Today is World Euphoria Day! Hugged equally exuberant husband who abandoned his customary early morning grouchiness for a brief moment and almost looked human, called equally overjoyed Dad and siblings and friends! We witnessed history! Today's not just the day Obama won- it's the day America won the respect of the world! Waiting for Barack Obama, the next President of the United States of America, (oooh, how lovely that sounds now) to make his speech. Must say though that while McCain lost, his defeat speech was so gracious, he was so big, he's a winner too- of respect. Hope we never see that Sarah Appalin again, though. Gosh, this is the best news I've heard in months!
Right. Just heard The speech. His speech. Not as rabble-rousingly stirring as Mark Anthony's 'Friends, Romans and Countrymen' speech, but emotionally charged in a fetching restrained manner. The crowd at Chicago, wow! It was like a rockshow, and eyes were moist. Sigh, waiting for the day an Indian politician in my lifetime will make my eyes moist too- with joy not sorrow!!!!

Friday, October 31, 2008

McCain and Pitt

Look at John McCain really closely. Then take a gander at Brad Pitt. Correct me if I'm wrong. but give or take a few (well okay, more than a few) wrinkles, and omigod, they look like two peas in a pod. Hmm, so this is what Pitt will look like some years from now. Which is why I don't find Pitt hot . Not even tepid. Oh no, I've seen the future and it don't look so good!
As for Obama, at first I badly wanted him to win because of Iraq. Now I want him to win even more because of Sarah Appalin!
Can't wait for the results next week. The tension is KILLING me!

Oral gratification of the non-sexual kind

After one month of being bed-ridden I can just about squeeze myself into my jeans. Can't even drastically work off the 2 and a half kgs I've recently acquired - Doctor's orders to go slow on the exercise or else another month of bed rest may follow, ew. So I virtuously had a bowl of soup for dinner. And then I thought maybe just a handful of sour cream and onion chips, as a reward for being good. And before I knew it, I'd not only finished the entire bloody bag of chips but all the chowder (chips powder) too, damn! Drowning in guilt, but even so, am seriously considering whipping up a spot of easy-peasy chocolate-coffee sauce. I've got all the ingredients at home: butter, bitter cocoa, coffee power and sugar. Double damn. See, that's why I'm an atheist. If God really existed, yummy things would be good for you! Imagine if cough syrup made your skin glow, if booze purified your blood, if cigarettes made your lungs powerful with all that puffing, if grass was brain food. Oooh, I'm so in the mood to contribute another goosebumpy verse to Lennon's Imagine!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Vacant positions- unemployed Maharashtrian youth please apply

Two fantastic job opportunities are open for Maharashtra's unemployed youth: the post of Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister. It's evident that Vilasrao Deshmukh and RR Patil aren't doing justice to their jobs, in fact they're not doing justice to anything at all. Apart, of course, from shielding Raj Thackeray behind their extraordinarily volumnious skirts. Pinched from jobless bar-dancers, I assume. See, now I know why RR Patil banned bar dancers- the selfish man wanted all those glittering ghagra-cholis for himself!
And what's with the media these days? One day I see a pix of Raj Thackeray with his Great Dane (hello, why doesn't he have a local street dog?), the next day they show us a pix of Raj Thackeray with a German sausage. Are they trying to portray him as a cuddly person or are they subtly implying that he's gone to the dogs? Oddly enough the accompanying caption did not attempt a take off on Gerald Durrel's best book: Raj Thackeray and Other Animals.
Now for a small quiz:
Q. What's the difference between Vilasrao Deshmukh, RR Patil and Raj Thackeray?
A. Nothing! Absobloominglutely nothing! For shame!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Western Ghats and the Law of Diminishing Returns

Ha! So off I went to Pune on work last Thursday morning. Started off with a grumble: Why oh why do I have to wake up so bloody early, damn this, blast that, the usual. Was mollified by the sight of the ghats: some barren ones with sparse tufts of grass (bootiful), others so thickly wooded that they looked as though they were clothed in emerald velvet, sigh. If I wasn't so sleepy I'd have been inspired to dash off a Wordsworthian sort of poem. On the journey back, however, the ghats failed to move me. My heart leapt up with joy only when we drove into the outskirts of Mumbai and saw ugly buildings. If I hadn't been so exhausted, I may well have been inspired to write a gritty piece of graffiti. Yup, the Law of Diminishing Returns at work!
And while on the word 'diminished', I'm reminded of that awful, awful early 2000 music video, Kaanta Laage. WHY was the song called Kaanta Laage? I strongly suspect it's because the chick in the video was wearing G-strings. See, Rash, granny panties should NEVER be knocked!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Jail Bird Saga

Yawn, so apun ka Raj was arrested again (yawn, yawn) and this time he had to spend one night in jail, the poor dear. My 5-year old nephew dislikes him with a passion because his much-looked forward-to outing was cancelled yesterday. He's started playing a new game in which he's the Verminator and he's out to get nasty nutters who hurt other people and make their friends burn taxis and buses. Well, looks like there's one unemployed youth in Maharashtra at least who's not particularly fond of Raj- yay!!! There's hope yet!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

On low life forms like me

Okay so I'm not the nicest person on earth, no big deal. What I like about myself is that I don't need Blahniks or need to go blah blah blah about bloody expensive fermented grape juice to feel good about myself. The fact that wannabe wine connoisseurs first take a critical sip and then delicately spit it out is enough to put me off that crap. Spitting, ew. No wonder so many Indians love wine!

What I love is comfort and grunge, and old friends who are as comfortable as circa 1999 torn granny panties (they're airier, see?) with weak elastic. They don't cling, they don't constantly remind you that they're around, which is why you never feel the urge to pitch them into a bin.

You're supposed to grow out of school friends, but two of mine have remained my best friends ever. We loved the same music when we were in school, laughed irreverently at the same things, and nothing has changed. Oddly enough, our views on politics are astonishingly identical. Here's an article on the Hindutva brigade by one of them: http://www.dnaindia.com/report.asp?newsid=1197746

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Hotel California- Kerala ishtyle!

Got this in an email, and could not resist sharing it. It's abso brill! The lyrics are below -fanfingtastic! Dunno how to attach the soundtrack though. Pity.
On the road to Trivandrum
Coconut oil in my hair
Warm smell of avial
Rising up through the air
Up ahead in the distance
I saw a bright pink tube-light
My tummy rumbled, I felt weak and thin
I had to stop for a bite
There he stood in the doorway
Flicked his mundu in style
And I was thinking to mysel
fI don't like the look of his sinister smile
Then he lit up a petromax
Muttering 'No power today'
More Mallus down the corridor
I thought I heard them say
Welcome to the Hotel Kerala-fonia
Such a lousy place,Such a lousy place (background)
Such a sad disgrace,
Plenty of bugs at the Hotel Kerala-fonia
Any time of yearAny time of year (background
)It's infested here
It's infested here
His finger's stuck up his nostril
He's got a big, thick mustache
He makes an ugly, ugly noise But that's just his laugh
Buxom girls clad in pavada
Eating banana chips
Some roll their eyes, and
Some roll their hips
I said to the manager
My room's full of mice
He said,Don't worry, saar,
I sending youMeen karri, brandy and ice
And still those voices were crying from far away
Wake you up in the middle of the night
Just to hear them pray
Save us from the Hotel Kerala-fonia
Such a lousy place,Such a lousy place (background
)Such a sad disgrace
Trying to live at the Hotel Kerala-fonia
It is no surpriseIt is no surprise (background)
That it swarms with flies
The blind man was pouring Stale sambar on rice
And he said
We are all just actors here
In Silk Smitha-disguise
And in the dining chamber
We gathered for the feast
We stab it with our steely knives
But we just can't cut that beef
Last thing I remember
I was writhing on the floor
That cockroach in my appam-stew was the culprit
,I am sure
Relax, said the watchman
This enema will make you well
And his friends laughed as they held me down
God's Own Country? Oh, Hell!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Now, whose pix should I put on my dartboard?

Aha, I bet you thought I'd say Ramadoss! But there happen to be people who are infinitely more odious than him. Strange but true. Like the Christian-assaulting Bajrang Dal. Their logo is going up on my dartboard. And if the UPA doesn't squash them like cockroaches ASAP, I'm NOT going to vote for the Congress. Not going to vote for the mosque-destroying, rabble rousing BJP either, of course. Over my dead bod. Who knows, Mayawati may be our next PM (eek). But if we have no choice, what's left?

In a blue funk

Got a song stuck in my head since yesterday. Don't recall the name or lyrics, only the tune. And you can't very well google search a tune can you? I think it's a U2 song - or a solo by The Edge. Not sure. Damn. It's given me a bad case of the fidgets.
Went out for lunch yesterday and while waiting for my companion to arrive, promised self that I'd buy a rubix cube to keep me busy since I can't smoke in restaurants. Will not go out on the streets to exhale. Ironically enough, the first victim of Ramadoss's anti-smoking campaign was raped a few days before the ban was in place: a German who had stepped out of a non-smoking hotel in Jodhpur for a smoke. And not a seedy hotel- I think it was the Taj. Sadly, I can see more incidents like that happening in the future. See, that's the problem with Ramadoss's plan. It may not have had any adverse effects in Europe because female smokers on the streets are not regarded as vamps and sluts. It's different in India. Maybe I should write a letter to Renuka Chowdhury (union minister of women and child development ministry). Look, I may be able to hold back from smoking in the streets, but other women may not. And you can't expect us to always have a male escort. Please, we don't want to go back to those sorry old days when women couldn't venture out without a protective male do we? Oh dear, methinks Ramadoss is creating Taliban-like conditions here. Help!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

And Ramadoss huffed and he puffed and he blew us all down.

Sigh. It's D-day. So thanks to Ramadoss I may never die of cancer. But die of boredom I will. That's for sure. Ciggies helped kill time while waiting to be served at restaurants, when flights were delayed, when I was stuck in a traffic jam. Damn. Damn Damn. Pasting article I wrote for DNA on the ciggie ban below. Was published a month back, but I just had to re-read it today.
Here goes:
Contrary to what my friends believe, I’m not going to burn a tobacco-stuffed effigy of Union Health Minister Dr. A. Ramadoss on the 2nd of October. Hello, why should I waste good tobacco? Besides, I’m a reasonable person, and I think Ramadoss has given smokers a fairly decent deal. In a gracious Marie Antoinette manner he has proclaimed, ‘Let them have all the streets and parks in the country.’ So kind. Incidentally, I’m betting heavily on the possibility that he’ll be forced to throw in a few government issue ashtrays too- not to placate us, oh no, smokers don’t have feelings, if you cut us we don’t bleed either. It’s the robust morning walk, barefoot-in-the-park brigade who will complain acrimoniously about doing a modern day version of the Great Indian Walking-On-Live-Coals Act. But hey, that’s not my problem.
And as for those scary visuals that will dominate cigarette packs, ah come on. As my hero Alfred E. Neuman says, ‘What, me worry?’ Pictures of infected lungs don’t make me shriek in terror or wail for my mommy. Now, if Ramadoss had any insight, he’d have put pictures of cockroaches and slimy slugs instead. Ew-creepy. Those may not inspire me to kick the habit either, but they certainly will make me shudder convulsively. That’s a step in the right direction, innit?
It’s the streets that give me sleepless nights, though. Ever since he issued that diktat, I’ve been forlornly singing a post-Ramadoss version of REMs Losing my Religion in my head. It goes like this: ‘That’s me in the corner, that’s me under the street light, being checked out by shady people.’ I don’t know what you’re going to do about it, but I have a plan in place. I’m getting a dozen tees printed with the following message: ‘I’m a good girl I am, it’s Dr. Ramadoss who made me do it.’ That would help clear the air considerably when passersby shiftily mutter ‘How much?’ Rest assured I’ve sternly instructed the printer to ensure that the message is repeated in Hindi and Marathi too. Get real, I’m willing to pay a hefty fine for smoking, but I’m not particularly keen on being lynched by our local political worthies.

The end of the article. And the end of my life too. Never imagined that this day would come. Also never imagined that I would enjoy Justin Timberlake and ACTUALLY ADMIT IT IN PUBLIC, GASP! But, hey, I kind of love Sexy Back. It's a sexy song.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Diary of a Hag

Woke up before the lark today. Beloved H had an early morning flight to catch, and considerately tried to walk on tiptoe in the dark. He's not v. good at this, so crashed into cupboard. Then crashed into sort-of-shoerack. Leapt out of bed and switched on the lights. Do not want people to think I'm a spouse batterer.

Cook, Cleaner and Driver broke into smiles when they discovered Beloved H was out of town- it's slack-off time for all of us. Esp. Cook. Don't blame her- am persuaded that Beloved H was a rabbit in his last life. Eats loads of greens and is very starchy about take aways. Cook has to spend at least an hour and a half slaving over a hot stove for him. For me, it takes 10 mins. max- I'd much rather eat out.

Did a spot of work in the day and wound up at 2 pm coz neck was screaming in pain. Degenerative tissues suck. Then lay down and spent a couple of happy hours reading Decline and Fall of a British Matron (by Mary Mitchell). Marvellous book. Caustic to the extreme and leaves you feeling a wee bit uncomfortable. Was first published in 1937 - those days the Brits could write! These days, um, not really.

Did my vampire thing after I was done with the book-waited for the sun to set before slinking off to the gym. Did a desultory work out, endorphins stubbornly refused to surface. Was obsessing over Pot Pourri's Pizza Funghi with bacon. Sternly kicked lascivious thoughts of 500-calories-a-slice-pizza out of head and went to new steak joint next to Toto's after gym. Glanced at the menu but did not order a thing. Am ashamed to say I could not read a word, point size very small. Okay, so I forgot my glasses. Once again viciously kicked thoughts of pizza out of head. Bought gigantic bar of chocolate from shop near Pot Pourri instead. Kicked wicked thoughts of Thums Up out of head too and started to wend my way home.

Had a temporary black out (alien abduction?) and when I came to, discovered that I was at Pot Pourri. Ordered a take away pizza, since I was there. Then went back to shop and got a bottle of Thums Up. Oh well. Will penitently ask Cook to make karela for me tommorow. Though knowing self, her dog will probably eat it the day after.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Sigh, and just when I was getting fond of RR Patil

Deputy CM RR Patil, He Who Turned Bar Dancers Into Bored Seamstresses To Keep Us On The Straight And Narrow, has provoked my disdain again. Oooh, and just when I'd begun to seriously admire him for his tough DUI stance! After the Bombay High Court slammed the state for its inaction (no, I won't say 'apparent' inaction like the papers cautiously do- it seemed like deliberate inaction to me) against Raj Thackeray, Patil has pulled up the law and the judiciary dept for its 'failure' to put up the state govt's case effectively in court.
I clearly recall Mr. Patil jumping up and down and going purple with outrage over the bar dancers. Compare that to his benign reaction to Raj Thackeray's actions.
Tsk, Mr. Patil, if you really believe that citizens are totally blind, what harm would the bar dancers have done to us, hmm?

Thursday, September 18, 2008

A Freudian trip

So I wake up this morning with a song in my head from way back: Animal Nitrate by The London Suede. How wierd is that? Haven't heard that song in years and it just pops right into my head. Wasn't too crazy about it either, come to think of it. Oh god Freud- where are you when I need you? This is driving me crazy!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Karat and LK have been nuked!

Well, well PM Manmohan Singh has pulled it off- hooray! And yar boo and sucks to Karat and his comrades and the BJP too! Dodgy old Amar Singh of the Samajwadi party has proved to be more concerned about the nation than that lot- even if his motives were suspect. And now, can we as a nation finally look China squarely in the eye and say, 'Hmmph, some friends! Now git yer stonking big feet out of our territory!' Hey, why should we act chummy with them? They've never been nice to us- not ever. Deceitful is a word that springs to mind. Over and over again. Will chuck old Made-in-China can opener in bin and buy a new Indian one. Even if that doesn't work as well! And will craftily distract nephew from buying Happy Meals that come with Made-in-China freebies. Am doing my bit for my country.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Mr. Makarand Part Deux

Written in moments of extreme frustration!

Just few days back only we is went to Mr. Makarand sir’s house,
After 8 hours Navratan co-op housing society meeting.
As I am telling to you before,
Mr. Makarand sir is hon’ble building society president.
Boss, he is so chakaas, this year we has made profit that will make Ambani & Sons look like beggerts,
even after paying fees to rat catchers, dog neuterers and ghoos to municipal corporation.
Hence we are unanimouse to get giant Ganpati this year, just fewer inches smaller than Lalbaug cha Raja.
Makarand Sir is in very excellent mood, and is asking gents members to take rum
and different different types chakna to celebrate,
But ladies committee members is getting rasna and puran poli because they are delicates.
We is all having jolly good time and going ha ha hee hee,
When Mr. Baburao is saying, ‘And what you piples is thinking about those nekkid dancing girls at sarvjanik dahi handi contest?’
Then party is becoming like trust vote parliament session-
Only Ms. Lata is doing blushing and whispering ‘hai la’,
Rest all is shouting angrily at sacred Indian culture being defiled by Western indecencies,
Arrey, why those imported girls can’t wear proper clothes, no?
But Mr. Makarand is saying ‘Oi chad yaar, ki pharak paaida’ in loud voice.
We is all shockinged. What if train-chaap party heard? He is not talking native Marathi, no?
I am most worried because Mr. Makarand is like blessed big brother to me
And my missus and myself is suspectful that Mr. Mangesh is party worker-
I swear on you we saw him on TV smiling and throwing stones at taxis few months back.
Silence is falling and we is all looking at our plastic paos Bata chappals.
Nobody is wanting to go against Mr. Makarand because we is all respectful of him.
Mr. Makarand is looking like cat who has eaten stolen surmai fry and saying,
‘You tell to me, which man is not secretly liking to look at nekkid ladies?’
Distraction is caused because Miss Lata is vomiting out her puran poli.
After Mr. Makarand’s missus is cleaning chattai with nimbupani-bena-shakaar look on her face,
We is getting back to discussion.
‘Krishna is bigger flirtatious than Sallu Bhai,’ Mr. Makarand Sir is saying jovially,
‘You is having guts to pass comments on god?’
Miss Lata is now urgently requesting for Patiala rum with rasna
And drinking it like pani-puri pani in one gulp and then asking for more,
Just like shameless girls in chicken little novels.
We is now more shockinged.
What this country is coming to I can’t tell,
Where our morals is gone if even Makarand Sir and Miss Lata are behaving like nonsense piples?

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

How to lose friends and alienate people

Absolutely lurve the title of this book (by Toby Young)! Haven't read it though and dunno if I want to. But that's beside the point- this is about titles. Another fab title that I chanced upon on the net was The Curious Incident of the Roach in the Night-time, and another: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-gown. Yum!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

What I talk about when I talk about being bed-ridden

Yes, you got it- I'm reading Murakami's What I talk about when I talk about running. Very inspiring, but can't even bend down to tie up sneaker-laces. The irony is I'm bed-ridden - yet again! This is the 9th time in my life that my back has packed up.

The first 7 times, I had to spend a couple of months in bed every damn year. Not so wonderful, I can assure you. Lots of chocolates have to be consumed to get a happy feeling, and calories only get burnt when you turn from this side to that. So say 5000 calories of chocs (hey, I was bloody miserable, I needed a massive dopamine high!) a day minus 3 or 4 calories from turning. Also, I was working then and all my leave was frittered away staring at the damn ceiling fan and wishing I were dead instead of just being dead bored. What's even worse is this- with all that time to do nothing, you think. And even if you become enlightened by all that thinking, all you really discover is that life stinks and nirvana is a damn good concept and hope it happens (to me) super fast!

The 8th time it happened, I went to yet another doc and discovered that, hello, the second coming has already come. This man, Dr. Vijay Sheel Kumar, is Jesus! He put me back on my feet within 48 hours- he made a bed-ridden woman walk again!!!!

Sadly, 5 years later, the problem is back (cheap pun) and Dr. Kumar's in Delhi, I'm in Mumbai, but Alexander Graham Bell has brought us together again. Medicines and physio precribed over the phone. Within 72 hours I'm going to be doing a Murakami- or else it's the ceiling fan again. Not staring at it but hanging from it. If I can stand up unaided, that is.
Only silver lining in my cloud of gloom: physiotherapist plays rock.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Ern Goon & Peter Griffin

Peter Griffin's organizing a godawful poetry fortnight, so if any of you want to participate or read godawful poetry (to feel better about your own outpourings) go to: http://zigzackly.blogspot.com/2008/08/godawful-poetry-fortnight.html
My humble contribution (below) is not my own work, though. It's by the best worst poet in the world: Ern Goon. Five Find-Outers & Dog- ring a bell?
This is the opening line of my fave pome by Ern: 'How sad to see thee, pore dead pig...'
For more of Ern's profound thoughts, go to:

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Wanna be a rock star

Heard Nickleback's I wanna be a rockstar. Enjoyed the lyrics, damn good fun, but the music stank. Not rock star enough! Then a few days later, I saw a promo for a film called Rock On, which I'm NEVER EVER EVER EVER going to see- unless someone in my family is kidnapped and that's the ransom price. It's by Farhan Akhtar- I've seen one of his movies (Dil Chahta Hai) and that's one too many. My extra large bag of popcorn doubled up as a barf bag. It wasn't even half-baked cool, more like a little less than quarter baked. I continue to hurl invectives at the person who dragged me to that @#$! movie, promising that it was super fun.
And while on the subject of movies, saw Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day last night- way too many holes in the plot, but sweet nonetheless.

A little less over the top, puhleez!

Sheesh. Those news guys are giving us a bad name. Bold headlines and flashing breaking news alerts screaming 'India wins its biggest haul of medals at the Olympics!' Get real. we got three. Only 3. Commendable but nothing to shout about. Now the rest of the world probably thinks we're beyond belief pathetic, making a huge song and dance over a minor achievement. Why do we do this to ourselves?

One guy becomes CEO of Citibank, and then the papers are crammed with pictures of him as a baby, as a toddler, as a gawky, gangly, zit-infested teen, getting married, his first car, and his mummy and daddy smiling proudly (but of course). Man, I even know what his favourite dish is now!

Can't we learn to take success in our stride? I like sharp-shooter Abhinav Bindra for that reason alone. He's so laid-back about his gold medal- that's so damn cool! I only wish that the anecdote about him doing a William Tell on his maid when he was six was apocryphal. That sucks. Now if he'd placed an apple on a doting, willing grandparent's head for target practise, I'd have ruffled his hair. Goddammit, the TOI reporter put that dreadful politically and socially incorrect incident in the papers too- in a yucky, gushing, aw-wasn't-he-cute manner at that. Madness. Utter madness.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Aw Mush!

So Musharraf has finally, finally, finally quit. And he's off to Saudi Arabia, ha ha ha. Wonder if Mush will rent the very same house Sharif lived in during his years in exile. Too early to ask Nawaz Sharif for comments, I assume- he must have fainted with joy! But in his opinion, this has just got to be Nemesis. Sharon Stone would say it's karma- that is, if she has the courage to use that word again, after the howls of outrage over her dumb and insensitive remarks about the earthquake in China. Ah well, I'll miss Mush- he gave me so much comic material to work with.

Monday, July 28, 2008

It's raining! It's pouring!

Yes, yes, I am listening to Have you ever seen the rain! And I'm watching it too- sheets of rain are coming down relentlessly. Got soaked today and waded in ankle-deep water- and it was great fun. A Savlon-enhanced bath followed to stave off leptospirosis. But damn- it felt good! House-bound and happy. Only cloud in my horizon is that I'm all out of essentials like chips and Thumbs Up. And too frightened to watch TV in case I spot the umbrella-wielding Srinivasan Jain* while I surf channels. Oh well, you can't have everything, can you?
* My astute** little sister's phobia
** Astute- a descriptor for Winne-ther-Pooh, a very stout and clever bear- and my all time favourite hero!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

There is a Rain God!

For the past few days I've been playing CCRs Who'll Stop the Rain at ear-bleeding volume. I cleverly changed the words to an indignant 'Who stopped the rain' in my head, and omigod, the man up there heard my howls of outrage! The sky's sprung a leak, and it's absobloominlutely luverly. Thank you Mr. Rain God. May we have some more please?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

It's a walking omlette- oops, it's Karat with egg on his face!!!!

Ha ha ha ha! Ha ha ha ha ha! Hah! Mr. Prakash Albatross Karat has been fixed good and proper- YAY!!!!!!!!! And did you see desperately-wannabe-PM Advani's face shrivel like a California prune after the trust vote yesterday? I did - and enjoyed the sight tremendously! Good for PM Manmohan Singh! Good for India! And I love Somnath Chatterjee even more- he was fantastic yesterday- abso brill. I do hope good things happen to him. Ooh- life is beautiful.
Dedicated to Manmohan Singh:
(A verse from The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by S.T. Coleridge)
The self-same moment I could pray ;
And from my neck so free
The Albatross fell off, and sank
Like lead into the sea.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

110 crore cheers for Somnath Chatterjee!

Well, well. Just when I'd decided to dedicate my occassional (and not coveted by any sane living being) Man of the Month award to prime minister Manmohan Singh for standing up to obstructionists (also known as the Left Front), another man, worthy of not just a Man of the Month but Man of the Year award came along. Yup, Somnath Chatterjee! The Speaker has spoken, and spoken very well indeed. It's rare to see this sort of integrity in a hard-boiled politician- and very welcome too. Oh, I hope he doesn't eventually bow down to the diktat of the obstructionists. He may have to eventually (they haf their vays), but even so, he will still remain my Man of the Year for showing us that yes, we do have a few good men in the government. One, at least for sure. My God- I actually respect a politician! Like bloody wow!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Sorry- no can do, Mr. Thackeray.

I really hate to go against Mr. Thackeray's wishes. Not because I'm a knee-buckling wimp but heck, have you seen those swords he allegedly hands out to his followers? However, I must heroically stand up on trembling legs and say this- sorry Mr. Thackeray, but good Hindus do not become suicide bombers. Neither do good Muslims, for that matter! We'd much rather be dull and boring accountants when we grow up. Thank you for your suggestion, though. It's nice of you to think of us. And by the way, I'm enjoying lovely weather out here in Timbucktoo.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Retro Reads

It's funny how time changes perspectives. Always trashed Dickens as being deathly depressing but these past few months, since I've been on a re-reading Dickens spree, I find him marvellous. Absolutely love his characters- particularly the minor ones. And just finished re-reading The Great Gatsby (F. Scott Fitzgerald) and the book moved me so much more this time round. Can't sleep, the story is still clashing around in my head, stirring up all manner of emotions. My views on Richard Gordon haven't changed though- he still has me giggling helplessly! Purloined two of his books from Mum and Dad's bookshelves during my last holiday home and have instructed my sister to pinch the rest of the set (whenever my parents discover an author they enjoy, they can't rest till they own the author's complete works) . Can't wait for her to return with the booty! Meanwhile I have Chekhov and Gorky to go through again- wonder what I'll think of them now.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Are we going to let hypersensitive half-wits ruin our country?

I'm just about sick and tired of all the touchy people in this country. Someone should firmly explain to them that freedom of speech does not mean the freedom to be violent. A bunch of lunatics attacked an editor's house because he rightly said that the state government shouldn't squander money on erecting a statue in the sea when that money was badly needed for more humanitarian purposes- like saving farmers lives. Yesterday a bunch of Sikhs attacked the MTV office because their sentiments were hurt by an ad- a reasonably funny ad, I might add, that no one in their right mind would object to. Some wierdos chucked bombs at a theatre because they believed that the play hurt Hindu sentiments. All this and more happened in just the last 2 weeks. In and around Mumbai, India's hippest city. Yeah, right. Now where do I go?

Saturday, June 7, 2008

The monsoon revisited

While attempting to de-clutter my laptop, I stumbled upon an article I'd written on the monsoon for Travel & Leisure mag a couple of years ago, and I still feel exactly the same way about the heavenly rainy season, so have duly pasted it below:

The people of Mumbai are, perhaps, India’s most enthusiastic rain-worshippers. In the run up to the rains, Monsoon reports bag front-page headlines, relegating political storms to the less important inside pages. Please, this is more interesting than the state of the nation! The Met Department is quoted more frequently than Bollywood stars, even if Bollywood stars have been very, very naughty. Good-natured bets are taken on the arrival date, and when the first pre-monsoon shower breaks, whoops of joy drown out angry rumbles of thunder. Children rush outdoors to do their versions of the Bollywood wet sari dance, and I have to shame-facedly confess that I do like-wise, though in a more refined and restrained manner. After all, the building watchman may not respect me thereafter.

When the earth turns to slush, mine isn’t the only brain that turns to mush. Romance lingers heavily in the cool air, and sentimental rain songs top request lists on radio stations and at pubs. Astonishingly enough, even songs from the Palaeolithic Age like Raindrops keep falling on my head are revived. Popular sea fronts like Marine Drive, Worli Sea Face and Bandstand are dotted with couples, some huddled under umbrellas, others unabashedly flinging themselves under the arc of muscular waves that soar gracefully like dolphins out of the choppy sea. Policemen who happen to catch them in the act flash spontaneous smiles; it’s obvious that they’re yearning to do the same.

But for me, nothing but Marine Drive will do. I can sit on a soggy bench for hours under a heavy downpour, tasting the salty ocean spray, inhaling the aroma of corn on the cob roasting on the promenade, chuckling evilly when fierce gusts of wind turn umbrellas inside out. Oh, you just have to see the faces of the stodgy umbrella-wielders when that happens! It’s only when bolts of crackling lightning rip the skies apart that I duck for cover. I could, of course, let myself be burnt to a frazzle, that’s one way of ensuring that I die happy, but that defeats the purpose. The whole charm of the Monsoon is that it makes me feel gloriously alive!

On weekends I make my way to the neighbouring mist-shrouded hill stations of Mahabaleshwar and Panchgani or Lonavala and Khandala (they come in pairs!). The ubiquitous couples are here too, enjoying romantic walks under sheets of rain, families picnic on damp grassy slopes and the more intrepid (usually alarmingly large gangs of college students) literally do what their rival gangs beg them to: take a hike!

Floods, squelching shoes, ticklish throats and runny noses notwithstanding, there’s one rain song Mumbai will never ever sing. And that is, Rain, rain, go away.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Here it comes!

Three brief flashes of lightning while at a Marine Drive signal. A fourth a few minutes later over Flora Fountain. And then the Monsoon made its appearance. Not a grand entry, just a very light shower, but at least it's here! Yay! It's like hearing the first cuckoo announcing Spring. The downside is, all we'll get to see on news channels for the next few months will be Sreenivasan Jain and his merry monsoon-watch brigade in wellies and armed with brollies! Ew! You should hear my sister rave and rant about this- she's hilarious!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Soldiering on

My life's going up in smoke and the blame can be laid at Union Health Minister A. Ramadoss's door. From October 2nd this year, exhaling at public places will be banned. My feisty sister is threatening to organise a tete a tete with him just for the joy of blowing smoke into his smug face. But me, I can deal with it. I'm training myself to develop camel-like qualities: inhale vast quantities of nicotine to keep me going for hours (or weeks maybe), before I step out into the cruel world where smokers are regarded as several notches more disgusting than spiteful people with infectious diseases.
Despite the annoying Ramadoss man though, I will continue to support the UPA. If you do a reality check you may well agree with me: communal parties are more injurious to India's health than smokers. (Said very virtuously, shiny halo hovering above head and all that! Oh, and Bharat Mata ki jai!)

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Face to face with my biggest regret in life

I do admire people who breeze through life confidently (and sometimes self-righteously) saying that they have no regrets. As I look back on my life and times, I have to confess that I have many - and my biggest regret is choosing a tooth cap with a metal lining! Why oh why didn't I opt for pure ceramic instead? Hate, hate, hate the taste of metal- it's driving me batty! But the idea of being a willing victim of the dentist again is going to kill me too. Caught between a rock and a hard place. Ouch!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Grey is gorgeous

It's that time of the year again when the title of one of Ruth Prawer Jhabwalla's books, Heat & Dust, comes to mind. And when I glare meaningfully at the sky, willing it to reveal at least a few pregnant grey clouds. When I wistfully recall gusts of fresh perfumed breeze that enthusiastically accompany a rainfall, and fantacise wildly about raindrops lightly moisturising my parched face as I sleep. When the boom of thunder and the crackle of lightning is the only music I yearn to hear. And I wish, really wish, I could remember which irresponsible idiot borrowed my copy of Alexander Frater's Chasing the Monsoon about 14 years ago, so I can get it back!
Oh God, why can't it bloody start raining now!!!!? I can't take this anymore!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Raj Thackeray breaks a rhino's heart

Ooh, I absolutely adore Raj Thackeray and his MNS gang- their weird antics give Mel Brooks and Rowan Atkinson (as Mr. Bean) a run for their money ! First they bar entry to migrants and now they ban exit to a rhino. This poor rhino at the Mumbai zoo has beem pining for a spot of steamy action for years and they REFUSE to let it out of the state in search of a mate. 'He is the pride of Maharashtra*,' an MNS chappie thundered, 'we will not allow it out of our state!'
So the poor rhino, bless his broken heart, will be forced into celibacy. But then, sex is a bad thing in India, innit? This restraint is probably good for the rhino's soul. Now, if only the MNS stopped its members from breeding too, the nation and the rhino could exhale. But then, who would make me laugh?
* See, that's why I tell my nephews and niece that it's vitally IMPORTANT to read the papers. How else would we have known that rhino's were worshipped in Maharashtra? Live and learn!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Chipmunks singing in my head

I could torture my sister for the trauma she's put me through. This morning she complained that the song playing in her head was, 'Lonely, I'm so lonely...'. I know that song, and I vaguely remember animated chipmunks or mice singing it in some movie, but I can't place it. And the damn song has been playing in my head non-stop in a squeaky chipmunky sort of way ALL DAY LONG! It's still there, playing on a loop. It goes like this:
Lonely, I'm so lonely, I'm so lonesome, I could die/cry.
Rash, if you're reading this, HELP!!!!! This is KILLING ME!!!!! And can't locate it on google. There's a Johnny Cash song with a similar title and several others but the lyrics don't seem to match perfectly. ARRRRRRRRHG!
Which movie? Who is the original singer? Tell me!!!!

Friday, April 11, 2008

"Bombay really shows you the finger!"

Those were the very first words a house-guest said to me late last night when I opened the door with a thine-genial-host smile plastered on my face. There he was looking tired and defeated and very, very soggy. This super corpo out-of-towner had spent all day house-hunting in South Mumbai. And his oft-repeated phrase of the day to the broker was, " You get what* for what**!!?'
*Unadulterated crap
**Astronomical figure
"Apartments in Noo Yawk are far cheaper and way classier," he muttered incredulously, while eagerly scanning the living room for a friendly piece of furniture that resembled a bar.
My humble home showed him the finger then. No bar. No booze. No cough syrup, nail-polish remover or glue either. I'm a born-again good girl, I am.
I unapologetically gave him a 2 litre bottle of chilled water with a cheerful, "There, there!"
"So you may have to live in the burbs if you want the house of your dreams," I shrugged.
"But the traffic to town? I can't do the bloody commute everyday!" was his alarmed rejoinder.
"Oh, the burbs do have their advantages," I airly said. And really they do:
1. You can start and finish The Rise And Fall of The Third Reich on your way to work, and start and finish The Complete Works of William Shakespeare on your way back to home sweet home.
See, Bombayites truly are street-smart!
2. No one in your family will attempt to kill you for your flat, so you save on food-tasters fees.
3. Your neighbours will be so exhausted from their commute they won't ring your doorbell to bother you for a cup of sugar and suchlike.
4. You get unscheduled holidays during the Monsoon, yay!
5. Finally, if you're really, really, really smart (like me), you quit your full-time job and work from home. Hey, what's the internet for?

One of my fav childhood poems- the one that always comes to mind when I'm being tortured in a Mumbai traffic jam:

A beetle got stuck in a jam,

And he cried, 'How unhappy I am'.

His ma said, 'Don't talk, if you really can't walk,

You'd better come home in a tram.'

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Lurve's Strict Vetting Process

So, I laughed myself silly over this NYT article titled It's not you, it's your books (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/30/books/review/Donadio-t.html?8bu&emc=bub1). It took me back to the good old days (sigh) when I was playing the dating game too. There was this guy who was hotter* (in the looks dept.) than an active volcano. Gosh, he really smouldered. On the first date, he said we'd have a small drink at home and then pop out to a restaurant. Cool so far? I ring his doorbell and he answers it with a copy of Ayn Rand (The Fountainhead, I think it was) in one hand-hey, can you get more obvious than that? Ew! Ew! Ew! My first instinct was to run, but I was way too stunned to think up excuses like, 'Oops sorry, gotta go, forgot to feed the hamster.' There was, needless to say, no second date. I couldn't even bring myself to talk on the phone with Mr. So F***ing Pretentious anymore!

*Truth be told, he was the hottest living man I've ever had the fortune to meet! Too bad about his taste in books, though. It could never have been. Not for me.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

The most intelligent comment on the Scarlett Keeling case

Hats off to Brinda Karat for this scathing piece in TOI- my sentiments exactly!
LEADER ARTICLE: Don't Punish The Victim
It's a free for all out there, isn't it? And now Mumbai cabbies have taken to kissing passengers too! And hello, no mistletoe dangling from the rear-view mirror either. Holy shit!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Omigod, I've turned into an Obama groupie!

I heard his speech on race (CNN) just now and was riveted! Couldn't tear myself away from the TV for even a second to refuel on post-dinner chocolates! Time flew, I only realised at the end of it all that I was half an hour older- hey, at my age, every second is precious. Of course, as a patriotic Indian, I flinched when he made references to outsourcing (yeah, the Democrats officially resent being Bangalored), but still. He's my rock star of the month, really he is.
Oh, and his song is sort of a Lennon cover- Imagine. But fiery, not wistful.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Bring me my broadsword!

Waves of nostalgia aren't just sweeping over me, they're whirling me away- am as helpless as Dorothy (Wiz of Oz). And guess where I've been planted- in bloody medieval times, that's where! Want to read TH White's The Once and Future King again (wierd, considering that I just re-read it last year) and listen to Jethro Tull's Broadsword and the Beast. So, that album has been running on a loop since last evening. Ooh, I love the grand, epic swells, the occassional war-weariness, the everything!!!!! For me this album is as brill as Thick as a Brick and Aqualung- no matter what the critics say. It gives me much more than great music and lyrics, it paints the most amazing pictures in my head. I must, I must, I must replace my old fave tapes with CDs.

A slice of life

I was thinking about this tired old saying yesterday- when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Not me, I would rather make tequila shots. Haven't had them in years though, so things are okay. Normal and dull, actually make that very, very, very dull. If it wasn't for our politicians, I may have died of boredom. TOI told us that the MNS chaps are yearning to get hawkish with hawkers since most of them are North Indians, but they're holding back while the SSC exams are on- hello, their beloved leader's son is cramming for the exams too! So considerate of them, innit? At least they care for someone. I do hope the young lad does marvellously well in all his future exams and gets a fabulous job in UP or Bihar. That way, his daddy can learn valuable lessons too.
And while on the subject of sons, Rahul Gandhi is making wonderfully naive statements, and a lot of us are brushing tears away and sighing, 'So like his daddy, isn't he?' My advice to him is, be like mummy- she knows best!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

And this is for all you women out there

So, DNA asked me to write an article for International Women's Day and I spent quite a while wondering how I should play it. Should I rave and rant over serious issues (and there are many) or celebrate the advances we've made? I browsed through the official IWD website. Celebrate, it said! Go on, celebrate, don't be a tight-arse (well, not that phrase exactly)! So that's what I did. The article has been published already, so I'm free to paste it below. Here goes:
International Spare Ribs Fest
I’m beginning to feel sorry for men, really I am. Women are so much better off, aren’t we- we’ve got one full day a year dedicated to us, hooray! Time to bring out the pink bubbly and listen to Cindy Lauper’s frothy Girls Just Wanna Have Fun till our ears bleed. Amy Winehouse’s smoky Back to Black is for later, when we’re all fabulously pickled and maudlin and muttering darkly about the Great Indian Bustard. Hey, it’s a bird, no offence meant to anyone, promise.

Of course, after all those years of oppression and injustice, we do have darn good reasons for a knees-up, and more important, an occasion to remind ourselves that the fight must go on till every man in the world is mentally liberated enough to regard women as equals. I’m not just talking about cave men relics in Afghanistan, but (gasp) America too. Recently, while on the campaign trail, a couple of hecklers shouted, ‘Hillary, iron my shirt!’ Mrs. Clinton refused to oblige and batted them off politely, but me, I’d have cheerfully hollered, ‘Sure hon, while it’s on your back!’ Maybe because I’m a warmer, friendlier person.

Still, we’ve come a long way. Unlike our primitive ancestors we don’t have to spend our lives ducking and hiding from men whose idea of fun was to drag us by our tresses to deserted caves. Gosh, no wonder those poor women had worse hairdos than pop stars in the Eighties. These days, with date rape drugs and what not, the process is much tidier, and so much more civilised, innit? Modern science, wow! Also, with so many cricket matches on TV these days, where can men find the time to bring us to rack and ruin? During commercial breaks?

And, joy, we don’t spend all our time barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen anymore, oh no. We’re free, gloriously free, to go to work and bring home the bacon. No big deal if we have to spend a couple of hours cooking it too. But be careful, accidents do happen in the cooking arena, so please do not be in the kitchen at the same time as your mother-in-law - particularly if she’s been talking wistfully about a new car. Look, I’m just saying.

But on to more cheerful things. Today, women have broken through most of the traditional male bastions, yay! (Note to self: check if the BMC hires female rat-catchers). Okay, so we’re not paid the same salaries for the same jobs, but that’s only because men are a bit slow –the precious darlings still believe that they are solely responsible for bringing freshly slaughtered Woolly Mammoths home for the family’s sustenance. Women are not seen as natural born providers, they would just squander their salaries on something silly like shoes, and you can’t eat those, not even doused in ketchup or accompanied with grandma’s sexy mango pickle, can you?

But, by far the most important reason to celebrate Women’s Day, is pants. Not just the fact that we wear them metaphorically, but literally too. For centuries, many cultures deliberately handicapped women’s movements by imposing a dress code on them that was only fit for one-legged critters or mermaids. Come on, how fast can you flee from predatory men in an ankle-length sheathe that binds your legs together? And really, how comfortable is it to sit side-saddle on a horse or a bike? I say this with deep feeling because of a sepia-tinged photograph in our family album. Picture this: the pyramids of Giza in the background, my grandparents on camel-back in the foreground. Guess which one of them is not smiling in a carefree manner- go on!

So yeah, all things considered, some of us are doing fine. A few bumps on the head from that blasted glass ceiling, but even so. Right, here’s to the sistah-hood, and may our powers increase!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

saltwaterblues, I lurve yous (making it rhyme, boss!)

So I'm spending some quality time this afternoon on http://saltwaterblues.blogspot.com/ listening to great music.
Yes, there's music on his blog! He has a fabulously eclectic collection- Suzanne Vega, Carly Simon and America, to name a few. And his writing is cool too. This is fun!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Spy vs Spy or Mickey Mouse?

Saw The Lives Of Others yesterday. Marvellous. Best movie I've seen in years- it made Hollywood fare seem loud and theatrical in comparison. I loved the restraint so much, that I even forgave the token schmaltz at the end. Heck, who doesn't like happy endings?

I'm not saying this is going to happen, BUT, you may find me sheepishly sneaking in to International film fests to watch edgy movies with subtitles. This is an image I've always shied away from, I'm frightened of being mistaken for a terribly earnest pseud thirstily absorbing culture. Come on, we all have our deepest, darkest fears! Maybe I'll wear dark glasses and an overcoat, like Don Martin's Spy vs Spy protagonists. Or should I startle the pseuds by wearing a Mickey Mouse mask?

Friday, February 29, 2008

A load of crock

India is shining, they said triumphantly. We've heaved ourselves out of the lowly third-world status, they said. Oh yeah? And so how come we haven't got rid of nasty third-world mosquitoes then? I'm saying this bitterly because I was rudely woken up from a deep sleep at 1.35 am by mosquito bites. A bump on one cheek, swollen lips (and no, I still don't look like Angelina Jolie, to add insult to injury), and another three bumps on my arms. All I can say is this: I'm not a big supporter of high end luxe brands setting up shop in our country every second. What I want is an effective mosquito repellent for starters. And fumigation of swamps by the BMC. Hello, Mr. Union Health Minister-stop gunning for fire-breathing film stars, do something for us common folk instead, will ya? Or else I'm going to trap those little blood suckers into matchboxes and set them free in your house! Goddit?

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Eek, I'm schizoid!

One of my fav columnists has me in a state of panic. He said that there are two kinds of people in the world: those who love Tin Tin, and those who love Asterix. Hey, I love both!!!!! So now am paranoid and am seriously considering blowing up my old age hip bone replacement fund on a shrink. Will have to (ugh) discuss childhood scars and other traumatic incidents in my life like when my sister hogged the car window seat when it was CLEARLY my turn! Gosh, the things you have to do to find out if you're normal.

Friday, February 15, 2008

That's not Superman you eejit-it's a rogue satellite!

Okay, so the defective US spy satellilte is expected to enter the earth's atmosphere on the 6th of March. Oooh, I can think of so many pompous people it ought to land on! Of course it could well annihilate yours truly instead, so am jotting down a to-do-before-I-die list with trembling fingers.

1. Eat more chocolate.

2. Eat even more chocolate.

3. Assiduously follow instructions in points 1 & 2.

Am currently reading David Davidar's The Solitude of Emperors (his take on communalism), and honestly, it wouldn't be such a bad thing if the end of the world was nigh! Too bad the satellite is merely the size of a bus.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Carry on, love is coming

Thinking of CSNYs lovely song, Carry On. Tomorrow squishy squelchy mush will rule the air waves, so am valiantlysteeling myself for the Bryan Adams onslaught. Quite in the manner of certain local political unworthies, I haven’t quite got Valentine’s Day (Hello, Valentine’s Day? What’s that? Since when did we start celebrating Valentine’s Day in Maharashtra?). Unlike them, however, I will not pulverise anyone who gives me a heart-shaped box of almond rocks (promise), so feel free to do so if you wish.
As I write this, hospitals in the city are gearing up their OPDs to treat battered adults who are caught clutching teddy bears. More importantly, they’re also brushing up on the Hiemlich Manoeuvre to save poor innocent women from choking to death on diamond rings deviously planted in pastries/cocktails. Tell me again, why do men do this?
Ah well, love hurts.

Raj's Ae Mere Watan Ke Logon moment

So (yawn) he was finally arrested, and he's out on bail too (yawn). Did you see him on TV- our precious little wannabe hero looked so excited, his cheeks were flushed, ears were pink and he couldn't stop smiling happily. What's the bet he was humming Ae Mere Watan Ke Logon as he was led in. And what's the bet his fav cousin was weeping enviously into his evening bowl of ussal-missal at Raj's photo ops, as our intrepid reporters kept us updated. But he surprised me, our Raj did. I thought he'd opt for judicial custody to up his wannabe hero image, but no, he took the coward's way out. CM Deshmukh made grand statements on Times Now, saying that Raj's divisive statements would not be tolerated, BUT hello, did you note that he made it very clear that Raj was arrested by the police and not the CM? Just in case...Ah, come on, Deshmukh, be a man! Anyway, just as well Raj wasn't arrested otherwise tomorrow morning's screaming headlines would have been his jail menu: Raj consumed one and a half chapattis , a glass of solkari, a bowl of dal but declined Amitabh Bachchan's favorite dish: alu methi! Ew! Good thing American Idol's on tonight- that's a jolly sight more riveting than this stupid farce. BTW, Jai Maharashtra!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Reptiles of the human kind

The most exciting piece of news in the papers today is that a new lizard species has been discovered in Satara (Hemidactylus Sataraensis, if you must know!). These newly discovered darlings have overshadowed the ridiculous hysteria over the lesser Thackeray's imminent(?) arrest, proving that some reptiles are decidedly more charming than others. I frankly don't give a shit if the rabble rouser is arrested or not- who cares, he'll be let out in half a second anyway. Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh is a weedy wishy washy wimp, incapable of saying boo to a goose (not even a dead, roasted, honey-glazed one!). And as for Deputy CM RR Patil, he'd only have taken stern action if the lesser Thackeray had claimed that North Indian cabbies moonlighted as transexual bar dancers! Which means Thackeray would still be out holding his head up high, looking comically stern and earnest, as is his wont. @$#%^*((*&$#@!!! And @#$ %^& $^ for good measure!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Play it again, Dave!

Last night Dave Barry had me in stitches with this article: This time, music failed to soothe the savage beast

Here he viciously attacks Toad the Wet Sprocket (but not as viciously as he may have attacked Barry Manilow- go on, read the article to find out! It's hilarious.). I don't just love Dave Barry for his sense of humour, we evidently share the same taste in music too. Remember America (the band, not the country)? Not hot, but not crap either, it's the 'easy listening' music stuff. Except for that dreadful muskrat song and Tin Man (shudder)-you have just got to read Barry on the yucky muskrat song, he's brilliantly caustic! And my sister breaks into angry red spots if she so much as hears the opening bars of You can do Magic- but I can deal with it. Why, I even went for their concert in Mumbai. Though I was shocked when some friends invited me to sneak a swig of vodka in their car- good heavens, you don't knock back booze before an America concert, you drink chocolate milkshake! Naturally, I refused-I have principles, I do!

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Vir Sanghvi's my rockstar of the month

No, I do not want Vir Sanghvi to autograph my tee. Please, I do not want anybody's signature on my tee, for that matter- not even Eddie Vedder or Roger Waters and I lurve them to bits! But, even so, I'm a shameless Sanghvi groupie. Mainly because he doesn't bore me to tears by pompously quoting Aristophanes and other worthies, unlike his look-at-me-I'm-so-damn-erudite contemporaries. He doesn't give a shit about impressing the socks off his readers- and that's one of the reasons why he's way, way above and beyond other edit page writers.The man runs rings around them! Of course, his casual, contemporary style and dry wit help considerably. But best of all is his fresh take on practically every issue. The last few days everyone and his chihuahua has wittered on about Raj Thackeray. You've read one, you've read them all. And I groaned when I picked up today's HT. Et tu Sanghvi, I muttered darkly under my breath- I have to read about the lesser Thackeray yet, yet, yet again? Woodsman, spare this tree! But, Sanghvi had me rolling on the floor with mirth, likening Raj to Mini Me! Wonderfully wicked man (Sanghvi, not Raj in this case). Please Santa, may I have Sanghvi for Christmas?
P.S. Have to guiltily confess that I've written on the lesser Thackeray too, but since it's for a monthly, it won't be out till next month. So you've been spared, lucky you!

Friday, February 8, 2008

The return of sabre-toothed tigers

Ridiculously mis-matched today. Caught glimpse of self in mirror and got a fit of the giggles. Bright red socks, faded black tracks and a beige pullover. Tres chic- but can't help it. Who owns woollies in Mumbai? Who would believe that it would get so cold? Jumped back into bed and blanketed up cosily with Hosseini's A Thousand Splendid Suns. Dry heaved every 10 minutes or so, as I turned the pages with trembling fingers, petrified of what was going to happen next- I want my mommy!!! Too much sadness, too much drama- but too engrossing too, to abandon mid-way. It doesn't help that a chilly wind is blowing, and now want a hot water bottle more than my mommy! Or, better still, a nice warm heater toasting my feet. Eating chocolate to feel better- that helps considerably. Dopamine levels have shot up, but the bloody mercury is dipping with the sun. This is global warming? It feels more like the ice age! Watch out, sabre-toothed tigers are coming back! Run! Hide! Me, I'm leaping back into bed to be safe and warm.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

And the Bharat Ratna goes to Mr. Makarand!

So I finally have my very own blog, yay! And to imagine that Mayawati (yes, yes, the CM of UP) made me do it. See, I was already in tut-tut mode when LK Advani pompously demanded that the Bharat Ratna be given to AB Vajpayee. And then Mayawati put in her vociferous claim for Kanshiram (gosh the way she's going, she's soon going to wrest the title of Ms. Banshee from Mamta Banerjee) and something in me snapped. I dashed to my PC, smoke spiralling out of my ears, and keyed in a humble request for my own nominee. Fictitious, of course, but what the hell!
It was published in Hindustan Times (Mumbai edition) today. And pasted below too, for your (hang on, ghastly archaic phrase coming up) kind persual.
I'd originally called this article, 'Give the Bharat Ratna to Mr. Makarand', but it was published as, 'And the Bharat Ratna goes to...Mr. Makarand.' Much better, really. And they did a fab illustration of Mr. Makarand too! So here goes:

Friends, please join me in on-line petition to respected Prime Minister,
Telling to him to give Bharat Ratna to Mr. Makarand on Republic Day function.
Arrey, if every neta is giving him ulcers asking for their own peoples,
What goes of anybody’s father if humble citizens humbly ask too?
We have voice also, no?
As great Indian saying is saying, what less is there in me?

Mr. Makarand Sir is hon’ble president of my co-op housing society,
And very fine man too, standing upright all the time,
Except when he is tripping over potholes and falling into manholes.
Then, hai la, he is cursing like Australian cricket team,
And screaming that BMC-wallahs will surely lose next election
For reason of anti-incompetency, not anti-incumbency.

Mr. Makarand is respecting every religion in Bharat and in world also,
Every night, top DJ is hired to play music on building lawns to celebrate.
Sometimes when one-two residents are complaining that children are failing SSC,
Mr. Makarand is smiling gently like enlightened sadhu in Amar Chitra Katha comics
And saying, ‘Forget exams-shegzams, they are passing as human beings, no?’
I am thinking he is best candidate for Nobel Peace Prize too.

One day, Mr. Makarand is putting up notice for neutering drive on notice-board.
All building peoples are queuing up with Jimmy, Tommy and Moti from locality,
But Mr. Makarand is shouting, ‘No no, dogs can go, only dirty-minded youths stay in line!’
He is sagely saying molestation cases are spreading like gastric disease,
And even small little childrens are knowing that prevention is better than cure.
Now all building ladies are solemnly swearing to make him rakhi brother.

Mr. Makarand is having very great friendships with environment also.
Why, when Aamchi Mumbai is recently doing batti-bandh campaign,
He is going from flat to flat carrying candle with mango scent,
Sternly warning us to switch off all electrical appliances in building-
Not lights-shites only, but life-support systems too!
Where else you will find like this integrity?

So please, I am requesting you with folded hands to vote for Mr. Makarand.
Even if you are migrant, don’t take tension,
He won’t give you one tight – God promise, I swear on you.
During humorous talks, he is saying he has new slogan for Mumbai,
‘Mee Mumbaikar, you Mumbaikar too’!
You won’t forget to give him your blessings, na?