Friday, March 30, 2007

New kid on the blog

Sayesha: I wanna talk to her.

Apa: You wanna talk to her?!

Sayesha: Yes yes, put her on!

Apa: Put her on?! This is yahoo messenger!

Sayesha: I know I know. Give her the keyboard!


Sayesha: Wat is the background noise??

Apa: What?

Sayesha: Wat is the khat pat sound?

Apa: oh she's trying to type.

Sayesha: She's trying to type???? Hahahaha! Let her type! Teach her to press the enter key.

Apa: No no, she broke the enter key the last time.

Sayesha: But I wanna see what she typed.

Apa: Btw, I just saw the new pics you sent. U look great.

Sayesha: Oh u saw? Did you like the sari I wore?

Apa: gfggf ftr ftgrgbbbg

Sayesha: Eh? What??

Apa: gdgfgdhhdhdsggd

Sayesha: Ohhhhh! Hiiii, Aishu!

Apa: lklkl ii

Sayesha: hahahaha! more more! masi wants more!!!

Apa: 6fc mn

Sayesha: Hahahaa! She knows how to use the space bar! Smart girl!

Apa: bas! no more.

Sayesha: Oh you're back?

Apa: yes, it's time for her nap.

Sayesha: noooooooooooooooo!
u're taking her away???

Apa: yemnsmn

Apa: hhy

Sayesha: hahahahaha!

Sayesha: hey don't take her away!

Apa: nn bbbbbbbbb

Sayesha: See? She doesn't wanna go! You stay put, baby!

Apa: sh,e,m

Sayesha: hahahaha! She's using punctuation! And making very intellectual statements too.

Apa: m, mmhh

Apa: t

Sayesha: hahahaha! You go, girl!

Apa: gxzcdfaaaac

Sayesha: wow that was a looong word!
shabash baby!

Apa: yulxsxsxa

*long pause*

Sayesha: hello? u there? anybody home? Apa? Aish?

*long pause*

Sayesha: Le gayi! Hmmmph! Okay fine, bye! :/

Looking at how tech-savvy baby Aish is becoming, I guess it won't be long before I have a new reader on my blog.

Gosh, it's gonna take ages to baby-proof the bar! :O
Watch out, bewdas, baby on board!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

The rainbow and the pot of gold

So I was watching an old episode from Scrubs - season 1, when something caught my attention. By the time I blinked, the object of my attention had disappeared. But my suspicions had been aroused and so I made a straight dive for

Holy cow. I was right.

The nervous microscope-holding lab technician Franklyn who probably had a total screen time of maybe five and a half seconds on Scrubs was none other than the very popular Hiro Nakamura on the TV series 'Heroes'!

I don't really follow 'Heroes'. Maybe cos I just don't like any of the 'heroes' in it. Except of course, Masi Oka who plays Hiro Nakamura. He's the best. If he was the only 'hero' in the show, I'd glue myself to the TV. But I only come across the show during channel-surfing. If I see him on the screen, I pause just enough to watch his scene and then continue surfing.

From being the token Asian guy on Scrubs to the golden globe nomination for Heroes, Masi Oka has come a long way. And I started to think about what his thoughts would have been when he'd auditioned for the role of the lab technician in 2001. Would he have thought that he would get noticed, get a bigger role, be talked about, get interviewed, and have gazillions of adoring fans (including celebrities like Tyra Banks)? Would he have looked at the lab tech role as one the things you have to do to get into showbiz (a la Joey playing Al Pacino's butt double in Friends) or was it just a source of money in hard times? Did he ever think he would 'strike gold' like this? Was it a planned move - a dream he achieved - or was it a 'Take it as it comes' strategy? Was it persistence or was it sheer good luck?

Then I started to think of other people whose lives had also turned around like this, bringing in success and prosperity. Think Saif in his 'Aashiq Awara' days. Think Shilpa Shetty in her leopard tights prancing around SRK in Baazigar. Think Rani singing the 'Yeh meri sasural hai' song in 'Raja ki aayegi baarat'. It took time, but they've all struck gold, they're all in a better place now. So at first glance, the lesson seems to be - no matter what your dream is - that great job, that great fortune, that great love - if you never give up, you will eventually strike gold.

In an ideal world, yes.

But in the real world - how many of us strike gold - fulfill all our dreams - before we die? How many of us already have had our lives turned around? How many of us will have our lives turned around in the future? Is it really a cosmic rule that each of us will make it big after the initial struggle? How long does the initial struggle take? What is the 'big thing' that's going to happen to us? How big is the big thing? Do we have to do something or will it happen on its own? How golden is the gold we're going to strike? Is it going to be shinier than my neighbour's gold? Who will strike it first? Will it be my gold or will I have to share it? When I see it, will I recognise it as the gold, or will there be smaller misleading pots of gold on the way? I These are all questions that pop up in our minds, but we brush them aside because they make us uncomfortable.

My sister showed me some of the parenting websites she visits. She has subscribed to a weekly newsletter personalised based on when the subscriber's baby was born. So your seventh issue is all about your baby's seventh week, and what the baby should be doing by then. My niece seems to be doing everything the newsletter says she should be, in the correct order. Looks like they have figured out the steps and their correct timing of what babies should be doing at each stage of their lives. But is there something similar for us grown-ups? After the nappy happy days of sitting up, crawling, walking and talking, what’s next? Is there a newsletter somewhere that says "You are now forty. By now you should be doing blah blah..." and if we're not doing that blah-blah perhaps we're on the wrong path?

Life is tough. We're taking risks all the time, hoping that one/some of them would pay off. But what if the risks don't pay off? We can always make idealistic statements like "Oh but you have to take the risk. Otherwise you're not doing enough." but the truth will hit us hard on the face - some risks are wrong decisions. Yes, you pick yourself up, scrape the dirt and move on, but what's next? And when? What if you walk and walk till you reach the end of the rainbow, and there is no gold and no time to walk any further? Would your life be a story worth telling?

Many of my friends have jumped into the MBA bandwagon. Maybe that's their ticket to turning their lives around. Maybe a few years later, I'd be holding Forbes magazine and proudly telling people "This XYZ used to sit on the floor of my living room and have my home-cooked pav bhaji. Now he's the CEO of Google and the bugger refuses to recognise me." It's true - some people seem to have it all figured out. They don't go "Uhhh.. ummm..." when asked at an interview "Where do you see yourself in twenty years?" They have specific, well-defined dreams for a perfect life. Dreams carefully calculated. Correct to two decimal places. The dream income, number and gender of kids, number (and gender) of spouses, number of houses, number of cars. Others have a vague idea – happy marriage, sufficient money, goodkid(s). Will it happen for all of them? If not, what about the rest? Will it never happen or will it take longer?

Let’s move idealism aside for a moment. In a life full of struggles, how many of us will really make that million bucks, win Wimbledon, climb the Everest, go to the Moon, get the perfect love, be a best-selling author? Aren't the sky and the earth too small to accommodate everyone's rainbows and pots of gold?

It's at times when questions like these pop up in my head that I see my own split personalities.

All three of them.

The optimist in me says everyone has a rainbow and a pot of gold. You just gotta keep going and eventually you will strike gold.

The pessimist in me says that some of us don't have rainbows to follow and pots of gold to discover, we are
just part of the gold that others find at the end of their rainbows, we are meant to be the adoring fans instead of having them.

And the negotiator between the two says take life as it comes, but do remember to take some risks. If they don't turn out right, stand up for them still. And at the end if you don't strike gold, you just gotta look back at the good things and the good people that happened to you and call that your pot of gold.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Dil hai hindustani

Hum logon ko samajh sako toh samjho dilbar jani
Jitna bhi tum samjhoge utni hogi hairaani
Phir bhi dil hai hindustani
Phir bhi dil hai hindustani

Hanskar apni wicket gawaa de
Dekho hum hain kitne daani
Phir bhi dil hai hindustani
Phir bhi dil hai hindustani

Crucial match mein battakh banaayein
Apni hai yehi nishani
Phir bhi dil hai hindustani
Phir bhi dil hai hindustani

Jaate hi hum waapas aayein
Ajab se hain hum praani
Phir bhi dil hai hindustani
Phir bhi dil hai hindustani

Catch pakadkar drop karein
Hum hain kitne balidaani
Phir bhi dil hai hindustani
Phir bhi dil hai hindustani

Coach bechara sar phodey
Hum field pe karein manmaani
Phir bhi dil hai hindustani
Phir bhi dil hai hindustani

Tondu buddhe khel rahe hain
Team mein nahin jawani
Phir bhi dil hai hindustani
Phir bhi dil hai hindustani

Naye naye products endorsein
Par performance wohi purani
Phir bhi dil hai hindustani
Phir bhi dil hai hindustani

Jaisa channel, waisa panel
Us par Mandira devi sarwa-gyani
Phir bhi dil hai hindustani
Phir bhi dil hai hindustani

Ooparwale, thodi baarish de do
Kyunki dushman hai toofani
Phir bhi dil hai hindustani
Phir bhi dil hai hindustani

Apni aisi waat lag gayi
Ki hum na maange pani
Phir bhi dil hai hindustani
Phir bhi dil hai hindustani

Toss jeet kar game haarein
Pitch ho jitni bhi suhani
Phir bhi dil hai hindustani
Phir bhi dil hai hindustani

World Cup se toh kat liye
Apni hai yehi kahani
Phir bhi dil hai hindustani
Phir bhi dil hai hindustani

Ab India jaakar jaise taise
Jaan hai apni bachani
Phir bhi dil hai hindustani
Phir bhi dil hai hindustani

Chaar saal baad phir aayenge
Lekar naya josh, nayi rawani
Kyunki dil hai hindustani
Kyunki dil hai hindustani

TV se hum phir chipkenge
Bhoolke khana pani
Kyunki dil hai hindustani
Kyunki dil haiiiii hindustaaaaaani...

Thursday, March 22, 2007

The Koffee addiction

Youtube ki jai ho!

I have not watched a single episode of Koffee with Karan on TV, but I have seen most on Youtube. The best part about watching it on Youtube is that you can forward all the boring parts, and when you reach a part where everyone is laughing, you can go back to see who-said-what-that-was-so-funny.

I believe that I have seen every episode that's on Youtube, and many a times, I have been totally surprised with the presence of mind and sense of humour exhibited by the Bollywood people. And sometimes, I feel like I end up liking some of them (whom I couldn't stand earlier) just because of their witty answers in the show.

So here they are, my favourite moments from Koffee with Karan:

Karan: In those days, there were these alleged link ups that got written about that were completely untrue...
Hema Malini: Hmm, they were all true. Only true link ups were there.

Karan: What would you do if you woke up as Karan Johar?
Shah Rukh: Going by the rumours, I think I'm more likely to wake up next to Karan Johar, rather than as Karan Johar.

Karan: The three of you have come a long way since Kuch Kuch Hota Hai. Kajol's come back with Fanaa, and Rani's done a great job in Black. So what do you have to say about Kajol and Rani now?
Shah Rukh: Well, it's very nice to see that I have TWO blind heroines now!

Karan: Who comes to your mind when I say 'Miss wannabe'?
Zeenat Aman: 'Miss wannabe' who-will-be - Mallika Sherawat.

Karan: Ekta Kapoor keeps killing off the characters and bringing in new ones.
Smriti: Once I told Ekta this is too much, how can I keep crying all the time? And she said you have to cry as my TRP goes up when you suffer.

Abhishek (down on his knees): Karan, I'll do anything for the coffee hamper!
Preity (batting her eyelashes): Me too, Karan, me too!

Karan: How is it to be a parent?
Shah Rukh: I wouldn't mind walking around in Spiderman tights for the rest of my life just for Aryan.

Karan to Shahid (during the compatibility quiz): An actor Kareena would never want to work with?
Shahid: Oh my god, do I have to answer this?
Karan: Yes you do.
Shahid: Okay, John Abraham.
Kareena returns.
Karan: An actor you would never want to work with?
Kareena: What?? He answered that??
Karan: Yes he did.
Kareena: Shahid, you answered that??
Shahid (shrugs)
Kareena: Errr… John Abraham?
Karan: Correct!
Kareena: Shahid, I still can't believe you answered that!

Karan: Worst piece of astrological advice you gave anyone?
Shah Rukh: Go ahead - make Paheli.

Amrita Arora: I wanted to become a nun.
Karan: But darling that's not what you are doing right now…
Malaika: She is doing 'nun' of it. Let's put it that way now.

Karan: Your first impression when you first saw 'Dil Chahta Hai'?
Hrithik: I was depressed! I was thinking, "How did Farhan get this way? Where had he been these six years? I want to go there. What books he has read? What has he been doing?"

Karan: I found out that you waited tables when you were a student out of the country. How was the experience?
Fardeen: I took orders and when I didn't understand what people asked for, I'd just pretend to know and write something. The chef would come out and yell at me.

Karan: Do you think Preity's attractive as a woman? With or without make up?
Saif: Well, some mornings...

Karan: I read somewhere that the Prince of Morocco proposed to you.
Soha: We should ask my parents that because they'll know more than me. Sometimes proposals come that are filtered.

Karan: Would you like your sister to marry the Prince of Morocco?
Saif: Nice summer holiday…

Karan: 15 years ago what did you think Saif would end up as?
Soha: I thought he would end up as a guitarist in a small band.

Mallika: I love the way Mr. Amitabh Bachchan runs.
Abhishek: I want to go run in front of her. I want to see that look. Baby - I can also run you know!

Karan: Sorry Abhishek, women don't find you as sexy as they find your dad.
Abhishek: I know. (broods) But see, the thing is - he's married, I'm single! And I'm just a mere reflection of my father. So if you can't get him, I'm the perfect substitute.

Kareena: Rani and I belong to different genres altogether.
Karan: Achha? What are you trying to say - your genre is?
Kareena: (helpless laughter)
Karan: No no tell me, I would like to know. What is your genre?
Kareena: BAD films?

Karan: What do you have to say about Amisha Patel's comment that she would never do a role like in Jism, because her grandmother wouldn't approve of it?
Bipasha: I think Amisha doesn't have the physical attributes to carry out a Jism. I wouldn't cast her.

Karan: Can Mallika Sherawat be the girl next door?
Mallika: If you want the girl next door, GO next door.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The Cup brimmeth over

Many of my non-Indian friends express shock at how long cricket matches are. Frankly speaking, even I find test matches too long and so I only watch one-dayers when India is playing. Of course, even one-dayers can seem long, and often, breaks are welcome. However, this year there are just too many annoying things interfering with the match.

So I decided to make a list of annoying things that I think this year's Cup is brimming over with.

  • The two extra A's in EXTRAAA INNINGS. It really gets to me. Sounds like a cross between Ekta Kapoor and a bad classical singer.
  • EXTRAAA INNINGS starting two full hours before the match, resulting in the experts having nothing to discuss but the microscopic details of the pitch for one full hour - the type of grass, the bugs, the fertilizers used, the name of the mali, and what not. Ufff!
  • Emraan Hashmi in the Gopal pan masala ad. Like he needed anything else to make him sleazier than he is.
  • Ahana Deol in the water filter ad with her big sis and amma. Not only does she look totally uncomfy before the camera, it's obvious amma is testing waters by putting daater number two before the audience.
  • Abhishek Bachchan in all three ads - the air-conditioner, the fridge and the mobile phone. He has THREE ads and ALL of them are dumb??!!
  • Preity Zinta in both the Santro and BSNL ads. What was she thinking?
  • Sachin Tendulkar in the biscuit ad. "Ab har ghar mein Sachin"? What the...?!
  • The tiger cartoon character that pops up whenever something significant happens. That chap doing bhangra is the most annoying because you can't even hear the commentary in the background.
  • The chick who hosts the 'One in a billion' contest. "I'm having a blast! Thank you Sony TV for this wonderful holiday!" it seems. Someone please remind her she's there ON WORK! Can she do something more significant and relevant than playing golf in her high heels?
  • Mandira Bedi. It's good to have a female perspective of the cricket World Cup, but not when the female perspective consists of bimbotic statements like "Ooh the Bangladeshi women love Charu Sharma!" and "Well, my clothes can fit in a matchbox." C'mon girl, you're sitting in a panel with experts - at least stop screaming "Yeay India!" every three minutes and be a tad objective.
Sigh. Give us a break from the breaks.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Mix and match

Finally, India and Pakistan are bonded in true brotherhood. The 'let-any-random-team-saunter-over-and-beat-us' brotherhood. I did not watch the match but I heard enough about it from the very upset man who I live with. When we started watching the match, he was excited, I was ho-hum. When India had wasted many many overs and made only about 100 runs, I asked Viv, "Yeh kya ho raha hai yaar? I think I wanna go to sleep."

"Hmmm..." He said, and suddenly out of the blue asked,
"How many will India make?"

Him asking me that was really weird. I know less than 1% of the cricket he knows. But he looked really serious, as if he really expected me to come up with the magic number. But then he does believe that I can be freakily intuitive at times, which is a lot of pressure, I admit.

"192." I took a deep breath and answered fearlessly.


"What do you think?" I asked.

"Hmmm... maybe around 210?" He said.

"Hmmm okay. Good night."

"You're really going to sleep?"

"Jeet jayenge yaar. Aise hi karte hain yeh log. Phir end mein jeet jaate hain." I said and went inside.

The next I heard from him was around 5 in the morning. "Waat lag gayi yaar." He said as he got into bed. I wasn't sure if I was dreaming so I did not reply. At a more usual morning hour, he gave me the details. So one of my predictions had turned out true (well almost, missed by only one run) and the other didn't quite make it.

It was called the day of upsets. And I had to deal with a very upset man in the house. You know the man is upset when he calls up his father-in-law and says, "I'm very upset." I'm sure my Dad must have freaked out thinking Viv had broken another hand or something, but when he found out what the upsetting news was, he found himself unable to console the chap. You see, my Dad is the kind of person who thinks that a wide ball is a ball that has a manufacturing defect, and a no ball happens when the ball is hit for a six so far they never really find it.

Viv also went to great lengths to describe how badly we played and how badly the teenagers from Bangladesh whacked us, and how badly in need of fitness our team is. I also had to hear in great detail how the layer of fat in Sehwag's belly bounced higher than the ball when he jumped after taking a catch.

And as the upset man described all this to me, I had a guilty feeling. The guilt of not feeling. And then it struck me - how detached I had become. Even though I still supported India, I would always support India, and would never be able to support any other team, even if India was knocked out. Not even countries that are close to my heart like Pakistan and New Zealand. And well, Cambodia doesn't play cricket so that's easy. But this time, I seemed to not even care about how India played. And that guilt was trickling in.

The last world cup had been so different. Viv and I were neighbours then. He lived in the flat opposite mine with two guys and I lived with two girls. We were all good friends and would gather in his flat to watch the world cup matches. On the days that India played, the guys would wear the team India T-shirts (I really wanted one, but they were too big. Besides, I hate T-shirts with collars. I wanted the team India cap very badly (still do) but somehow couldn't get my hands on one) and I'd either wear something Indian or wear something that had any of the tricolours. Even though I didn't know (still don't!) all the terms and rules of the game, I could sustain myself on the emotion that I felt for my team.

I remember applying for half-day leave for a match once, and my boss (who was also one of my closest friends at work) said, "I'd have suspected you're going to attend an interview with the competitors, but looking at your weird costume today, I think not." I grinned sheepishly. It was true - I was wearing a bright saffron T-shirt with some white text on it, and an army green short skirt. And dark blue shoes. But in those days, cricket made you so superstitious you lost all sense of fashion. I had put together all the colours of the Indian flag and I did not bother if they went together well or not. And hell, it was not even casual friday. And yet, somehow I did not care. You never know what could work with India (anyone remember the 'Whenever I wear a pink dupatta, Jadeja makes a century' ad from the ye olde days?). Even in school days, my sister and I would be watching the matches and if we played really badly, she'd say "Ok if we switch off the TV for 5 minutes, things will improve." And we would actually do it, and yes, things did improve!

During the last World Cup, India was playing rather badly in some match and just as I went to the toilet, Sachin hit a six. I still remember how Viv's flatmates insisted that I stay in the toilet for the next two overs. And I did. Only for one over though. The moment I stepped out, Sachin got out. Yeah, I got scolded as if it really was my fault. The freakiest part is - a part of me actually believed it was my fault.

And I guess that is why I got detached over the four years leading to this world cup. The superstitions, the suspense, the predictions, the heartbreaks - they were really getting to me. Not to mention the tears at the 2003 finals. I still remember the multiple face-washing sessions. It took me a very very very long time to get over the finals. And that's when I decided perhaps it was time for me to gently move away. All this was not good. It was exhausting and emotionally draining because that's all the mind could think of. Did I say mind? Cricket is not exactly a sport in which the mind has a say - it's a game of the heart. A game of heartbeats. A game of heartbreak. At times I actually wished it was simple, logical, practical. But it wasn't. I decided that I did not have to break away completely - perhaps I could just objectively watch a match or two (only those featuring India of course) but not get too involved especially during the World Cup.

And so I thought I could get by this World Cup without the madness of the last one. I was totally prepared for this year's World Cup - I was not going to get all upset no matter what happened to the Indian team.

But I guess my preparation was not enough. One match is all it took. One match which should have strengthened my decision to not get too emotionally involved, but the opposite happened. One match is all it took to bring out all the mixed feelings in me, to make me realise that cricket can never be about only one type of feeling - it's always a mix. The highs will be too high and the lows will be too low. That's how it is. Just one match, and I want to go over to the other side already. The side of upset people. The side of Viv and the likes of him. I think I belong there.

And sometimes being upset is not all that bad if you have someone to be upset with, nahin?

Saturday, March 17, 2007

The funny bone

The dude may have thought that it would be great fun to break a bone right after the wedding, but it's so not fun to hear the same old "domestic violence" jokes about the fracture a million times over. Just yesterday he told me of the four hundred and thirty-fifth person who cracked the same joke. So-funny-ha-ha. I think the next time somebody grins and says to me, "Oh dear, what did you do to him? Giggle giggle!", I'll just say "Yes I hit him with a belan." with a straight face. Or in Russel Peters' words, "Somebody gonna get-a-hurt real bad!" :/

I mean come on, really, give the guy a break. He already has to put up with me making bad puns about the fracture - case in point being the previous statement. Sheesh. But when you see a man who instead of being out playing on the ground on weekends has to take a break (double sheesh!) from the sport that caused the injury, and resort to watching Mandira Bedi talk about how her clothes can fit into matchboxes (seriously, who put her back on TV??), you just wanna crack (triple sheesh!) any joke to cheer him up, even if it is a bad one.

Fortunately, the public and I are not the only ones cracking the jokes.

I'm washing dishes and he pops by with a grin on his face.
Viv - Hey, I'm sorry I can't give you a hand in the kitchen. Ha ha!

At the hospital, the surgeon takes out a digital camera and starts furiously clicking pictures of Viv's x-ray with the titanium screws.
Viv - Look look, he's taking photos of my x-ray!
Me - Hmmm... I wonder why.
Viv (damn excited) - Doctor, why are you taking photos? Is it like a unique case or something??
Doctor (with a straight face) - No. It's just a bad fracture.
Viv (thought bubble) - Darn!

I break a fingernail peeling garlic cloves.
Me - Darn, I wish you could help me with this. I hate peeling garlic. Next time I'm buying the peeled ones from Mustafa.
Viv - Mustafa carries peeled garlic??
Me - Yeah, don't you remember? We've bought it a couple of times.
Viv - Oh yeah, I remember now! The clean-shaven ones, right?

Viv and a friend are conversing over MSN.

Friend - Sorry for the slow responses. I'm typing with only one hand.
Viv - Hey, me too! (He had not broken [Quadruple sheesh! I think I need help!] the news to her yet.)
Friend - Why are you typing with only one hand?
Viv - Why are you typing with only one hand?
Friend - Oh I'm eating an apple. Crunch!
Viv - Oh I broke a bone. Crunch!
Me - :O

Of course, then there's the other joke of whether he will start beeping when he passes through the metal detectors at airports. Well, that one... we just have to wait and see.

But just in case, I've asked him to carry his x-ray along to the airport. :P

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Sari for the inconvenience

So it was a friend's wedding dinner last weekend and I decided to wear a sari. It was the first time after the wedding (and the subsequent celebrations) that I was wearing a sari.

My tryst with the sari started on a serious level a few days before my wedding, when I did a few practice rounds to ensure I wouldn't stumble and fall at the mandap. Once I got the hang of it, I decided to put myself through the ultimate test - to go shopping in a sari! Success!

By the wedding day, I was a pro at wearing a sari in five minutes flat and keeping it on in the exact state for a couple of hours. But my worst sari ordeal was the one I faced right after the wedding. And when I say right after the wedding, I really mean right after the wedding, like an hour! We had to go to the marriage registration office and get registered because we were leaving the next day and there were a few procedures to be completed before we could get the certificate, such as going to the studio and getting the wedding photo to submit for the registration. So here I was, 35 kg excess - in my sari, red & gold dupatta and gold jewellery, running across the crazy streets of Cuttack from one office to another with Viv, his dad, my cousin and my extremely adventurous Singaporean friend Starbreez who - high on Indian food - had clearly gone out of her mind and decided to accompany us to the many government offices that we had to run to.

On the roads, I got stared at like anything, cos the sight we presented was clearly a case of one of the following:

1. Girl running away from her own wedding
2. Guy and girl running away to get married
3. Shooting of some stupid TV serial

Now and then I'd pause to check that all my jewellery had not fallen off. I realised that I should have left some of it behind (I'd still look like a bride in the studio photo without six of the seven gold necklaces, wouldn't I?) but it was too late to be thinking about it. Luckily, all the practice I'd had held me well as I dashed across the roads weaving in and out of the traffic like a sari-wearing superhero. In fact, if there was a sari marathon, I think I'd be a strong contender! Provided of course, all moms and aunts are ineligible to enter.

After going back and forth between the same offices (government offices in India... sigh...) we were finally done. My worst sari ordeal was over and we were back in the car and heading home, armed with the marriage certificate. The jewellery was driving me nuts by then, and I took off some and passed them to Starbreez, who cleverly hid them in a secret pocket in her - guess what? - hat, of all things! So we went home, me in a sari and Starbreez with a load of gold perched on her head. If I wasn't a new bride, I'd have laughed my lungs out.

I jumped into the shower as soon as I reached my room, so I could get ready for part 2 of the wedding - the reception. My reception sari was even heavier with all the gold embroidery, but luckily all I had to do was stand there and join my hands to greet the hundreds of people I'd never seen in my life before. What a contrast to the daytime drama. Sari-superheroine by day, demure bride by night. Those who watch 'Goodness Gracious Me' would know why I'm ROFLing at the thought.

And I paused to think about the sari and all the troubles and inconveniences associated with it. There is so much thinking and logistics that go into what you thought was a mere 5.5-metre piece of cloth! First, it needs two other pieces of clothing of the exact same colour in order to be worn. Oh oh, almost forgot the sari 'fall' that needs to be stitched on to the sari before you can wear it. Not to mention that bangles and bindi must also be readily available otherwise it's no good. It is expensive, heavy and difficult to fold. Then there are the pleats, which can't be done perfectly without having another person around. Then there's the anchal, and you just don't know what to do with it. If you pin it all up on your shoulder a la Indian Airlines airhostess, you're safe. But if you don't have fab abs, you may want to avoid that, and rest one edge of the anchal on your left arm, in which case your anchal can't be its usual length, because you would just trip and fall. Worse, if it your sari is not chiffon or other such clingy material, you also have to watch out for unintentional poofing up of certain parts of the sari, giving you a very pregnant look, which somehow gets magnified in photographs! Going to the toilet can be a problem, even if you tell yourself that it's just a long skirt. The after toilet-look of the sari can be quite Victorian. Then there are the safety-pins which are absolutely essential if you want to preserve your dignity. I personally use at least four pins to secure my sari. Then there's all the thinking you need to do if you decide to wear it to parties and other fancy occasions after your wedding. Now that I am married, will everyone think I'm the gharelu type if I turn up in a sari?

Fortunately for me, I do not have any such doubts.

To me, a sari is the most gorgeous outfit in the world, and in spite of everything, it's totally worth it. :)

Monday, March 12, 2007

The human mockingbird

Holy cow the man is a genius! :D

Video courtesy Azgar Khan

Wednesday, March 07, 2007


Dear bewdas,

Kia Ora! (Multi-functional greeting in Maori language that I picked up in new Zealand)

The bar is taking a break - lock, stock and barrel (quite literally! :P) - so I can devote some time to finish the mammoth task of writing my travelogue about my 2-week NZ road trip.

The bartender

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Dude, you're screwed!

Viv often used to show me the various injuries his hands had sustained while playing cricket. It was true. His fingers did resemble the arms of a starfish - they looked like they were each headed in a different direction. Except for the little finger on his left hand, which was the only one that kinda looked normal.

So during last saturday's cricket practice, he decided to do something about it.

After practice, when he reported to me with the swollen hand, we rushed to the hospital. The x-ray confirmed that it was a fracture, but they did not put a cast on it. We were asked to go back on Monday to see the orthopaedic surgeon, in case surgery was required.

We were back in the hospital on Monday and saw Dr. Y, a sports injuries specialist, who confirmed that surgery would be required, and that he would need to put in some titanium screws and metal plates to hold the bones. He gave us a slot for the same day.

We went home to rest, and also to call the parents. It's strange how all moms of the world react in the same manner to news like this.

His mom - "Stop playing cricket!"
My mom - "Stop playing cricket!"

My mom (to me) - "Ask him to stop playing cricket! Yeh koi umar hai cricket khelne ki?"


So I decided to go into my drama queen mode.

"Mom, what are you saying?? Viv plays for Singapore! Would you ask Tendulkar to stop playing because he got injured??"

Of course, Mom did not dare compare her son with her son-in-law. Yes, just like millions of other moms in India, my Mom too truly believes that Sachin Tendulkar is her son. And you thought three wannabe-dads vying for Anna Nicole Smith's baby was too much.

Anyway, we went back to the hospital in the afternoon, and they wheeled him away for the surgery at about 5 pm. I waited in the ward itself. At first, I paced the floor like an expectant father, then realised it was not only futile (the surgeon had told me that the procedure would take about one and a half hours, add to that the pre-surgery procedures and I had a solid 3-4 hours' wait ahead of me), it was also tiring. Plus, there was nothing to really worry about, Dr. Y was very experienced, and knew Viv's cricket buddies, and I was confident he would do a good job.

So I decided to look out of the window at the man who was sweeping the carpark. After watching him for half an hour, I realised it was not fun anymore. I looked around for other things to do. Not much was happening in the ward and the other patients were also kinda quiet. I actually started wishing I had Robin William's red clown-nose. Sheesh.

Fortunately, Viv's bed had a TV with about ten channels or so. Unfortunately, the speaker was attached to the bed. I could not have increased the volume without disturbing the other patients. The only way was to get into the bed and watch TV there. Of course, the bed was for the patient, but hey, I was the patient one here! Anyway, I decided not to do it, and watch it on mute instead. After a while, Ellen Degeneres and Tyra Banks mouthing blank words made no sense whatsoever, and I actually got irritated at the laughing audience cos I was left out of the jokes. Hmmph! :/

So I decided to switch it to a Malay channel because it had English subtitles. Some cookery show was going on, and this chick was trying to learn how to make minced meat from an old lady. After the minced meat was labouriously cooked, the chick said she wanted to make something too. Fish and chips. The old lady looked impressed. After she'd made the fish, the chick took out a pack of frozen chips and put them in to fry. Looking totally taken aback, the old lady paused and then politely asked, "You bought the frozen chips?" I'm sure she wanted to stress the 'bought' but she stressed the 'you' instead. Oh only I know how I controlled my laughter. The chick said, "Yes, I bought them. Actually I wanted to make the chips from scratch, but it is actually very difficult." This time I could not suppress my laughter, and the patient in front of me gave me a queer look.

This too, soon got incredibly boring. So I pulled out one of the pillows from the bed, put it on the chair, and sat down. It had been about two hours. What can I do now, I asked myself. I was feeling worried, but told myself that if my worrying could solve problems, I'd worry all night. But it couldn't. So I decided to while away time coming up with really bad jokes about his surgery to cheer him up.

Spiderman ishtyle - "Titanium man Titanium man, friendly neighbourhood Titanium man!"

Sunil Shetty ishtyle - "Yeh haath faulaad ke baney hain, faulaad ke!"

"Log kehte hain meri ungliyon mein jaadu hai, tumhari ungliyon mein kya hai? Titanium screws! Muahahaha!"

Bimbo ishtyle - "Darlin', I bought you titanium for your finger. Wouldn't you buy me platinum for mine? With some diamonds thrown in too?" *eyelash flutter flutter*

And finally, my favourite: "Dude, you're screwed!"

After the endless waiting, Dr. Y came to see me. He told me that the operation had gone off well, that he had to put in "a lot of screws" and that Viv was still under the effect of the anaesthesia. It's a bit scary when a surgeon uses imprecise words like "a lot of screws" but I had faith in Dr. Y so I did not panic too much.

Disclaimer: Posting the before and after pics of the x-ray images was Viv's idea, not mine. :/

Half an hour later, they finally brought Viv out of the operation theatre. His hand was bandaged all the way till his elbow, he was on IV and he looked incredibly drowsy. The nurse told him, "Try to sleep, okay? No talking." Hey, why did she look at me when she said that? It was not like I was gonna blabber. :/

"Nurse, if he sleeps now, what about his dinner? He hasn't had food or water since 11.30 am." Okay fine, I did blabber.

She gave me one of those looks that nurses give you when you say something that implies they're not doing their jobs well. "He will wake up for dinner, trust me he will." She said.

Fine. Just asking! Hmmmph! :/

Then she looked at him and said, "If you don't sleep now, you can't go home tomorrow!" Kinda reminded me of my kindergarten teacher, "Sayesha, if you don't stop shooting pencils around the class, you can't go home today!" So I decided not to tell him my treasure of bad jokes in case I got scolded by the nurse.

But it looked like he had something to say, even in that drugged state. Even though I tried to 'shhh' him with sheepish glances at the nurse, he still managed to smile and say the three magic words that made me smile too.

"Blog about this?"

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Yehi hai right choice, baby!

Unsuspecting Aish is watching John Abraham on TV when her evil Masi creeps up on her with a hidden agenda.

Sash - Hi Aish!
Aish - Hi Masi, what's up?

Sash - I have decided that I shall not be the only one in the family who's crazy about ghazals. So I'm gonna induct you into the club, okay? Even though I don't want to influence your likes, dislikes and choices, I want you to be exposed to ghazals and see for yourself how wonderful they are.

Aish - Sheesh. Considering that you have tied me up in the stroller, do I have a choice??

Sash - Okay, I'll need to change the channel. Give me the remote control. We will start with watching Jagjit Singh. He's a really great artist. Of course, there's Ghulam Ali too, but we'll get there in time.

Aish - This is Jagjit Singh? Looks kinda old eh? Hmmm... I think I prefer John... Masi, does John sing ghazals?

Sash - Shhh... listen to the lyrics... amazing eh?
Aish - Hmmm.... this is kinda... uhhh... slow and... errr... boring, what say?

Aish - Masi said something like "guzzle"... I wonder when the guzzling part will happen...

Aish - Maybe time will pass by faster if I count on my fingers... one... two... three...

Aish - Sigh... Masi, what's the time? How much longer do we have to watch this?
Sash - Aish, stop counting! You'll offend him.

Aish - Ooops! Sorry, Jaggu ji! Darn... I should be more discreet with my counting...

Aish - eight... nine... and ten! All right, I'm outta fingers to count!

Aish - That's it, I can't take it anymore! Enough is enough! Somebody snatch the remote control from that crazy woman and give it to me!!