Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Brrrr... Happy New Yearrrr! :)

I've experienced winter in only two countries -- India and the UK.

And seven years in Singapore have taught me a big lesson. No matter how optimistic I am, it's high time I give up hope that Singapore will ever have a cold winter. Or just a winter, for that matter.

I need winter. I need to have a cold new year 2006.

The London winter almost killed me. Besides, I can't afford a trip out of Asia this year.

I have no leave left to go home for an Indian winter.

And Sayesha really needs a cold winterrrrrrrrrr
That won't kill her but will make her go brrrrrrrrrrr

So I'm off to a random cold place for a short while with a very dear friend of mine. Hope she survives the ordeal of being my travelling companion and listening to my nonsensical banter.

Happy New Year to everyone at Sayeshaz! :)

Will miss you guys!

Don't touch that dial. I'll be back soon! See you next year. Right here. :)


Mole tol ke bol

My friend Virdi is hilarious. And most of the time, he doesn't mean to be so.

So Virdi notices something on my Christmas post and calls me up.

"Oye Sayesha!"

"Bol, surdaar!"

"Teri dadhi par mole hai kya?"
(Do you have a mole on your beard?)

I almost said, "Yes..." before realising what he'd just said.

In my head I went, "WHAT THE...??!!" before I decided to explain some basic concepts to him.

"Chin par, gadhe. Chin par. Mere chin par mole hai. Meri daadhi nahin hai. Teri hai. Nahin, teri thi! Tuney nikaal di! Clear?"

(On the chin, you donkey. On the chin. I have a mole on my chin. I don't have a beard. You have one. No, you had one! And you shaved it off! Clear?)

And this senseless conversation led me to write a post on the mole on my daadhi... err... I mean chin.

When I was very young, I wasn't too fond of the mole. Mainly because my cousin Sid (I spent at least a third of my childhood plotting his murder) used to say, "Do you know who has a mole like that?"

"Who?" I'd ask happily.

"Aruna Irani!"

"Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!! Aunt, your son is teasing me!"

And Aunt would come over and say, "Don't listen to him, Sayesha. He's talking nonsense. Do you know who else has a mole like that?"


"Zeenat Aman!"

"Really?" My face would brighten up.


(I still don't know if Zeenat Aman really has a mole on her chin. I hope she does.)

My sister used to call my mole 'Sayesha's emotion button'.

When I was five and she was nine, she used to do this odd routine.

"If I press it once, you will smile. I press it again, and you will stop smiling, okay? I press again and you give me a sad face. Okay?" She'd say.

"Okay!" I said happily. Sheesh. She really ragged me without my knowledge man.

And she'd proceed to 'press the emotion button' and I'd happily change expressions just to see her laugh hysterically.

As I grew up, I realised I wasn't very fond of it. In fact, there was a time when I hated it so much I wondered how I could get rid of it. So once I put lots of Mom's compact on it, and blended it so it was pretty much invisible.

My mamaji almost had a heart-attack when he saw me.

"What happened to your mole, baby?????" he asked.

"Oh I got rid of it."

"Got rid of it??? How???"

"Operation." I said seriously. I was all of seven I think. Operation it seems.

"Operation??" Mamaji was all set to give my Mom a big lecture when Sid burst out laughing, and so the show was over. I got the lecture instead.

"We love it, okay? It's beautiful!" Mamaji said. "Never ever think of getting rid of it, understand?"

"Okay." I nodded.

Years passed by, and it kinda became my identity. I was 'the girl with the mole on her chin'. Even on my passport it's my identification sign. Mom and Dad used to call it my 'beauty spot' (they still do!). Everyone told me it's my lucky charm. My friend's mom told me it was my inbuilt kala teeka to save me from the evil eye.
My grandma told me that it was sign of good fortune. Somehow over the years, I found myself liking it more and more.

Oh, I almost forgot the weirdest incident associated with it!

A couple of years ago, I was standing outside Mohammad Mustafa when this sadhu baba ('holy man') in saffron robes and one big teeka walked past me. Suddenly he paused, turned around, walked up to me and peered at my face. I tried to move away from him, cos I had heard about these sadhu baba type conmen who will tell you your fortune and ask you for money. But he refused to budge. I was beginning to get slightly nervous.

He pointed to my mole and said, "You are very fortunate. You are meant to spread a lot of happiness around."

I gaped at him, now knowing what to do. I figured that I had to pay him since he had already 'told me my fortune'. But as I opened my bag, he shook his head and simply walked away, leaving me very very puzzled.

But I never quite forgot his words. I believe that the first part of what he said is true.

I'm working on the second part.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

What was that again??

I am very particular about song lyrics. Hindi ones especially. (I don't care too much about English song lyrics, 'cos half of them are indecipherable to me anyway.)

I get incredibly pissed off if someone sings the wrong words or changes the order of the words of a song.

But I gotta admit I am guilty of it too. There is actually a list of songs for which I did not get the lyrics right the first time. When you hear a song for the first time, and the volume is either too high or too low, you may hear the wrong thing. And the lyrics may sound really really weird, when actually, they're not.

So here is a list of such songs that I heard all wrong the first time I heard them.

Actual lyrics: We're going to Ibiza.
What I heard: We're going to eat pizza.
My reaction: Gosh, the Vengaboys are crazy! Who writes a song about going to eat pizza?! Fine go eat your pizza! Jao na! I'm going to eat pani puri. Hmmph!

Actual lyrics: Zindagi ke safar mein guzar jaate hain jo makaam
What I heard: Zindagi ke safar mein guzar jaate hain jo makaan
My reaction: Must be a poor tenant who has been kicked out by his landlord and is now wandering on the roads, singing about lost property

Actual lyrics: Aaja mahi, dhoonde yeh akhiyan (Tauba tauba from Kaal)
What I heard: Aaja mahi, phoote yeh akhiyan
My reaction: Whoa! She's going blind so she's calling out to him? He must be an optician or something.

Actual words: (Spoken by Abhishek Bachchan in 'Panchhi nadiya' from Refugee) Oopar wale ne apne sadke mein hum sab ke liye (dharti banayi hai)
What I heard: Oopar wale ne apne sadke mein hum sab ki le li
My reaction: So true. Sometimes the ooparwala really screws us over man! But how can they have such crude language in such a beautiful song?

Actual lyrics: Shania Twain's That don't impress me much - I can't believe you kiss your car good night.
What I heard: ****HEAVILY CENSORED****
My reaction: I could not believe my ears!! I was HORRIFIED that Shania Twain dared to say such a thing!
ps: Even if you guess it, please keep it to yourself. Don't pollute my blog. Please!

Actual lyrics: Snow on the Sahara by Anggun - Be the moon that shines on your path
What I heard: Be the moon that shines on your butt
My reaction: Sheesh!

Actual lyrics: Shania Twain's 'You've got a way with me'
What I heard: You got away with me
My reaction: He got away with something and she's singing about in such happy tones??!!

Actual lyrics: Ello main haari piya
What I heard: Yellow main haari piya
My reaction: What game are they playing man? Sounds colourful.

Actual lyrics: Kab se kare hain tera intzaar
What I heard: Kab se khade hain, tera intzaar
My reaction: Arre yaar, baith ja na! Railway station par toh benches hoti hain!

Actual lyrics: Tinkon ke nasheman tak
What I heard: Tinkon ke nashe mann tak
My reaction: Smoking pot? Grass?

Actual lyrics: Maine yeh hijaab tera dhoonda (from the song 'Maina poochha chand se')
What my friend heard: Maine yehi job tera dhoonda
His reaction:!

Actual lyrics: Tu jahan jahan chalega, mera saya saath hoga
What I heard: Tu jahan jahan chalega, mera saya saath hoga
My reaction: Geez! Farewell gift bhi diya toh saya? Ek rumaal de deti bewakoof!

Actual lyrics: Ek sau solah chaand ki raatein, ek tumhaare kaandhe ka til
What I heard: Ek sau solah chaand ki raatein, ek tumhaare kaandhe qaatil
My reaction: Whoala! Killer shoulders, huh?

Actual words: Sanjiv Kumar says during the 'Tere bina zindagi se song' from Aandhi, "Arre! Tumhari shawl kahan hai?" Suchitra Sen says, "Ohh! Bhool gayi!"
What I heard: Sanjiv Kumar - "Arre! Tumhare shauhar kahan hai?" Suchitra Sen - "Ohh! Bhool gayi!"
My reaction: Wow! She forgot her husband behind and did not even notice it till he asked? That's one forgetful lady!

Will add on if I remember any more.

Do you have any? :)

ps: Read the comments section. Hilariously delightful!

Monday, December 26, 2005

Sayesha's on the left

When we're kids, we all look so cute and adorable.

What the hell happens to us in the years man??

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Of waves and rubber bands

Once upon a time, there were four blog friends. Two guys and two girls who had never met each other before. Let's call them Hyde, Kelso, Jackie and Donna.

They met at this bar called Sayeshaz and soon became the best of friends.

Two continents. Three countries. Four time zones. And yet, nothing could come between them. Their friendship grew with each passing day. No day would pass when the four of them were not in touch. When it was day for Jackie and Hyde, it was night for Kelso and Donna. And vice versa. On any given day, Jackie would be up first shooting impatient emails, followed by Hyde, Donna, and finally the lazybum Kelso would get up.

Things were going great.

Till the day Donna got mad at Kelso over something he said. Although in Donna's head, it was a big big fight, the most amazing thing is that Kelso had no idea that she was mad at him. Jackie and Hyde knew and asked Donna to talk things out with Kelso, but Donna wanted to cool off before she confronted Kelso.

Once she had cooled off, Donna realised that there was nothing to confront Kelso about.

Because it was all a case of Men are from Mars, women are from Venus.

And I, Sayesha, the silent observer of Donna's virtual big fight with Kelso, decided to write a post on this.


I call myself a girly-tomboy. That's the best word to describe me really. On days, I can be so girly that I freak myself out, and on others, I am so tomboy that well, I freak myself out.

When I found myself buying the book 'Men are from Mars, women are from Venus' because I was getting a huge staff discount at my company bookstore, I was girly like never before.

Two main reasons:

1. I was buying a book on girl-guy relationships. Geez.
2. I was buying something I did not need. Just because I was getting a discount. Double geez.

I refused to take the book on my commute to work, or other such long journeys. I wouldn't be caught dead reading it in the bus or the train.

I did not want to gift it to anyone because I believe it's an insult to give someone a book like that. So it lay there for months and months and months, till I came across a quote by the author John Gray on the net somewhere, where he said "Women are like waves. Men are like rubber bands." It sounded interesting. I dug the book out, dusted it and flipped through. And sure enough, there were two chapters on these two topics.

And though I am not a supporter of generalisations, I am amazed at the wave and the rubber band theories.

Women are like waves
The gist of the theory is that a woman's self-esteem rises and falls periodically. Just like a wave. When she hits bottom, it is time for emotional housecleaning. If she had suppressed any negative feelings during the upswing, during the downswing she needs to vent it out. She needs to talk and be understood. And when she's on her upswing, it may seem like whatever was bothering her has been solved, but that's not the case. It may resurface again.

Men are like rubber bands
The male intimacy cycle involves getting close, pulling away and then getting close again. Just like a rubber band. Men have this instinct to pull away before they can get closer. A woman pulls away when she feels misunderstood or hurt. A man pulls away to fulfil his need for independence or autonomy. When a man springs back, he picks up the relationship wherever he had left it, to the bewilderment of the woman who is still wondering why he pulled away in the first place and if she had done anything to make him pull away.

So I concluded that
the worst misunderstandings occur when the two things happen simultaneously. The guy has pulled away, and the girl is on the downswing.

And that's probably what happened with Donna and Kelso.

Donna was hurt. And all she wanted to do was talk to her friends about it. She did not want a solution to her problem, she just wanted to vent her frustration. But Kelso made a general statement about women based on what she had said, and that infuriated her. It was a classic case of invalidating a woman's feelings -- probably the biggest sin a guy can commit with a girl's feelings.

So here's a bit of gyaan on it for clueless guys.

When girls express themselves in front of guys, they don't want to hear things like "Goodness! All you girls blah blah..." or
"You shouldn't feel like that..." They're already feeling like that dammit! By saying this, the guy is not helping. On the contrary, he's implying that the girl's feelings are trivial.

Also, when a girl expresses her feelings about a problem, she is not necessarily looking for a solution from him. That's where he goes wrong. Just because he sees a damsel in distress does not mean he has to immediately pull on his shining armour! There is no dragon here that he can fight. And that confuses him. Because guys are simple-minded. They are trained
only to fight dragons and not girly tears. And in their confusion of not being able to find a solution to the problem, they end up making insensitive remarks that hurt the girls.

Such misunderstandings work both ways. Often, girls don't understand what and why guys say what they do.
And the worst is when neither understands the other, and storms off. There are so many such situations where there are two ways one can take -- one that's the right one, and the other that is totally off-track. How do you know which one to take?

So what's the solution really?

From what I believe, there is only one basic thing to remember. That guys and girls are essentially different from each other, and that there is no point even wondering why a girl can't think like a guy all the time, or vice versa. They are different, they process information differently, they feel and react differently. That's that. If only we could remember this basic theory and apply it like a universal law, I believe we will have fewer problems with the opposite sex.

Ironically, the biggest lesson from the book is one for which you don't even have to open it. It's right there on the cover.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

A tale of Miss-Tree

In the last three years, every Christmas, I seem to have had a different kinda headgear.

2003 - Headgear of snowflakes

UK. My first snow. My first snowball. My first snowball fight. The very experience of looking up at the sky, and watching the tiny snowflakes slowly descending on my little black dress. Masi screaming at me and my cousins, "Get inside!" and we screaming back, "Get outside!" Finally, we dragged everyone out and had the most awesome snowball fight. Almost got knocked out by a snowball Sid threw at me! :|

This is me holding my first ever snowball!

2004 - Santa cap

I convinced all editors in the Science and Maths teams to wear red to work on Christmas eve. We even bought Santa caps for everyone. Everyone was very enthu about the caps all morning.

My Managing Editor looked at us and remarked with amusement, "Whatever happened to my editors today? I only see Santarinas around!"

The santarinas were all over the office, spreading cheer. However, by lunchtime, most caps came off, but I, the stubborn one, refused to take mine off.

One of my designers P came to me and said, "Now this is my kinda Santa!"

The evening was also all about Santa caps. I was at my friend's bachelor party, and in the true Christmas spirit, we were all wearing Santa caps, this time the one with flashing lights.

Then somehow all the caps got mixed up, and later I decided not to take mine home. For the very simple reason that Lady K had been wearing it. Not that there's any problem with Lady K wearing my Christmas cap. Except for one slight issue. Just like the other Lady K in the movie Titanic who said "wearing only this", my cap was also the only thing this Lady K was wearing.

I learnt the valuable lesson that being the only girl apart from the stripper at a bachelor's party is not such a good idea after all. The things she did with the cap left me with no desire to take it back home.

I even came up with a corny spoof song for Lady K a la George Michael:

Last Christmas I gave you my cap
But the very next minute, you were sittin' on it
This year, to save me from fears
(Have not thought of a fitting last line yet!)

This year, one of the attendees of that bachelor's party sent an email to the rest of us. The subject of the email was 'I know what you did...' and the body of the email said 'last christmas'. After laughing uncontrollably for about a minute or so, I did a reply all saying, 'Shouldn't I, as the only girl, be sending this email to the rest of you??" That email sure brought back not-so-pleasant memories.

So this year, I had no plans for any Christmas headgear. But it looks like fate had other plans for me.

2005 - Hawa-hawaai headgear

My company had a Christmas party this afternoon. At the entrance, we were asked to pick a hat each from a rather horrendous looking collection of plastic hats. Should I take the pink n blue one, or the multicoloured one? Realising that all of them were equally ugly, I picked one up that was a screaming fluorescent yellow with a black band. If you're gonna do it, do it in style, I say.

They say that the choices you make lead you to your destiny. It was true for me. The hat I chose led me to my rather interesting destiny.

The organisers asked us to form groups of ten based on the hat colours, to play some game. We were asked to number our group members. Then there was an announcement, "Number seven of each group, you are..."

"The group leader! Yippee!" I mentally completed the sentence.

(Errr... Yes, I was number seven. And I can get very competitive in these kinda games.)

"The Christmas tree!" said the person making the announcement.

"Yippp... hey wait a minute, did she say Christmas tree?????" I stopped in my tracks.

"Yes, she did!" said my delighted groupmates. "And now we're gonna make a delightful Christmas tree of you."

Before I could say "What the..??!!" there was another shocker. We were given a box that apparently contained materials for decoration.

On opening it, we found a roll of toilet paper and a roll of scotch-tape.

Thanks a lot man. Whoever thought of it.

But at least we were given the option of using any other material we wished. The best Christmas tree would win the prize.

My team soon got busy.

Over my fluorescent yellow hat, I had an assortment of fake fruits, apples, peaches, grapes, the works. I believe I strongly resembled Miss Hawa Hawaii from the movie Mr. India!

My costume was a three-layer white dress made of strips of toilet paper. There was a mini Christmas tree stuck to the top of my hat, possibly to give me a triangular shape. My earrings consisted of humongous golden Christmas tree balls. Puppets in the shape of characters from my books were stuck all over the white dress. There were empty boxes, more puppets and more fake fruits around my feet to act as Christmas presents.

I looked at the other groups and their 'Christmas trees'. Most of them looked quite tortured and traumatised. But I was having a ball! It's not every day that you have three guys and seven girls dressing you up. I felt like a pampered bride from a royal family in medieval times. Only difference is that the royal family in medieval times probably did not wear wedding dresses made of toilet paper.

Suddenly we heard an announcement that the tree should have a theme and an explanation of the objects used to decorate it. That's when we panicked, because obviously, we were just having fun, and there really was no theme to what we were doing.

Finally, after many many corny jokes ("Save the trees, recycle toilet paper!" being just one of them), we decided on 'Environment-consciousness Christmas tree'. As the spokesperson of my team described every bit of my 'costume', I stood there and animatedly pointed at each decor item as it was being described. I kinda felt like an uninterested air hostess aboard an Air India flight, telling uninterested passengers about where the emergency exits were.

For some strange reason, I had a yo-yo with a model of the globe in my hand. My spokesperson pointed out the yo-yo with a concluding line "That shows that the earth is hanging from a string. Save it!" It was a blast. Howls of laughter greeted the sight of me, which I am still not sure was a good sign or a bad one. People started taking pictures with their phone cameras dammit! My own editor Banana was having quite a good laugh looking at her boss looking like a moron, and was clicking away to glory.

The picture reproduced here is from her collection. I can't really post the others 'cos of privacy issues, as people are visible in all of them. So I cropped out my hawa-hawaii hat, and here it is!

We did not win. Of course. This is real life, not Bollywood. The cool guys don't always win in real life.

But they do make sure they have a blast of a time.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

No control!

I may play the fool most of the time, but I rarely play pranks. So when I discovered a ye olde text document saved on my computer as evidence of the last prank I played, I had no choice but to ask the 'prankee' for permission to post it on my blog.

This was in my final year at university. I was talking to my friend Rahul on ICQ. Suddenly, I saw this freshie Sanjiv at my door. He had come to pick up his dinner. (We used to get an Indian caterer to provide dinner for a bunch of people. The food was delivered to my hostel room every night, and everyone would come and pick it up from there.)

So when I saw the freshie at the door, I brb'ed Rahul.

By the time I got back on the computer, the evil forces in my head were already at work. I had decided to play a prank on Rahul.

I pretended to be a very lost and technologically-challenged Sanjiv on ICQ.

This is a copy-paste of the original transcript.

Of course, names have been changed to protect the identities of the hapless people involved.


Rahul 8/16/2001 9:02 PM gone?

Sayesha 8/16/2001 9:03 PM Sanjiv here

Rahul 8/16/2001 9:03 PM anha!!! howcome???!!! :)

Sayesha 8/16/2001 9:03 PM I mean Sanjiv here. I am Sanjiv.

Rahul 8/16/2001 9:04 PM Hi Sanjiv! wat happened to Sayesha! and how come u r snooping into other ppl's accts???!!! :)

Sayesha 8/16/2001 9:05 PM no I came here to collect my food from Sayesha. I order from jaggies

Rahul 8/16/2001 9:05 PM still 2 more qns unanswered...! :)

Sayesha 8/16/2001 9:06 PM no I am not snooping. she asked me to check because something was blinking at the bottom of the screen

Rahul 8/16/2001 9:07 PM hmm...:) Okhay...!

Sayesha 8/16/2001 9:07 PM so how are you?

Rahul 8/16/2001 9:08 PM hehe... I am fine... thank u... How are u?

Sayesha 8/16/2001 9:09 PM I am ok. and I am still not snooping just checking my email account to see if there are any new messages

Rahul 8/16/2001 9:10 PM :) okhay... I wasnt accusing u...! Sayesha gone off?

Sayesha 8/16/2001 9:10 PM Sayesha is here only. She was watching a movie on the computer. Now I am also watching.

Sayesha 8/16/2001 9:11 PM You are Rahul isnt it?

Rahul 8/16/2001 9:11 PM //You are Rahul isnt it?? who did u think this was till now?

Sayesha 8/16/2001 9:12 PM no I was confused because on the screen I see Rahul with an eye. so I thought that I should confirm

Rahul 8/16/2001 9:13 PM The eye means I am invisible to ppl till I dont message them... and which movie u ppl watching?!

Sayesha 8/16/2001 9:14 PM but why are you invisible to people? We are watching the Sridevi movie

Rahul 8/16/2001 9:15 PM invisible to avoid ppl msging me for the heck of it... wat can u do when some 150 ppl are in ur list and half of them msg u...?

Sayesha 8/16/2001 9:16 PM you mean 75 people message you at the same time? Doesnt your computer crash?

Rahul 8/16/2001 9:17 PM I said what if they do...? SO I remain invisible... to avoid unnecessary msgs...:)

Sayesha 8/16/2001 9:18 PM but tell me doesnt your computer crash if suppose you receive 75 messages?

Rahul 8/16/2001 9:18 PM of course it wudnt!!!

Rahul 8/16/2001 9:18 PM and is Sayesha sitting there and enjoying this enlightening conversation the 2 of us are having rite now?

Sayesha 8/16/2001 9:20 PM Sayesha is sitting on the floor and eating her dinner. that is why I am sitting on her computer

Rahul 8/16/2001 9:20 PM and she knows we are having this wonderful conversation? :)

Sayesha 8/16/2001 9:21 PM no she is talking to her room-mate. she is hardly watching the movie. I think she doesnt like the movie

Sayesha 8/16/2001 9:22 PM are you invisible?

Sayesha 8/16/2001 9:23 PM because you are not replying now?

Rahul 8/16/2001 9:23 PM I am here...

Sayesha 8/16/2001 9:24 PM are u invisible?

Rahul 8/16/2001 9:24 PM I am not invisible once I msg u...

Sayesha 8/16/2001 9:25 PM oh okay but when u just went off now were u invisible to me also?

Rahul 8/16/2001 9:25 PM no, I wasnt... as long as u see me 'online' on ICQ, I am not invisible

Rahul 8/16/2001 9:25 PM ok, tell Sayesha this: Not to let other ppl use her comp and have fun with her ICQ...:)))

Rahul 8/16/2001 9:25 PM if u were some wicked chap with not so good intentions, u can really get her into trouble, cant u? :)

Sayesha 8/16/2001 9:26 PM what can I do with her icq? I mean I can only talk to u or whoever is not invisible only. Right?

Rahul 8/16/2001 9:26 PM u can message some other chap some wierd stuff, cant u?

Sayesha 8/16/2001 9:26 PM weird stuff? what weird stuff? I dont know a thing about icq!

Sayesha 8/16/2001 9:26 PM I cant see u online on icq! does that mean u r invisible?

Rahul 8/16/2001 9:27 PM I donno why... I am online... Did u tell her the thing I asked u to...? if not, tell her NOW...:)

Sayesha 8/16/2001 9:28 PM I did. She said "Sanjiv, write whatever u want to"

Rahul 8/16/2001 9:29 PM hmm... too bad for her... now u choose some random person online in her list, and send him/her some gaali... See, she has given u permission!!!!!!!!

Sayesha 8/16/2001 9:30 PM tell me some gaali. I dont know what to write. And where is her list? I cant see anything. whenever yr message blinks I click on it

Rahul 8/16/2001 9:31 PM double click on the flower icon... u will see ICQ and list

Sayesha 8/16/2001 9:31 PM can I come to your room will u teach me ICQ? Sayesha was saying she was going to your room later to learn some photo (photoshop) thing? Can I come too?

Rahul 8/16/2001 9:31 PM ok, tag along...:)

Sayesha 8/16/2001 9:31 PM u mean the green flower? that doesnt look like a flower

Rahul 8/16/2001 9:32 PM yah, the green flower...

Sayesha 8/16/2001 9:32 PM I clicked on it. It says sonique playlist editor.

Rahul 8/16/2001 9:32 PM nah, that's not it... another flower...?

Sayesha 8/16/2001 9:33 PM there is no other flower. there is a loudspeaker and a triangle with a head on it

Rahul 8/16/2001 9:33 PM else do this: Press Control + Shift + 'A' all together...

Sayesha 8/16/2001 9:33 PM I think she doesnt have control key

Rahul 8/16/2001 9:34 PM click on the bluddy control key... left, down end of keybd!!!!!

Sayesha 8/16/2001 9:34 PM there is no key that says control!!!!!!!!!

Rahul 8/16/2001 9:34 PM ctrl !!!

Sayesha 8/16/2001 9:35 PM oh

Sayesha 8/16/2001 9:35 PM u should have said "ctrl". You said "control".

Rahul 8/16/2001 9:35 PM is this the first time u using a comP? :)))

Rahul 8/16/2001 9:35 PM hahaha:)

Sayesha 8/16/2001 9:35 PM no I use it in hall 7 computer room to send emails

Rahul 8/16/2001 9:36 PM hmm...! and u dont know the control key...!!

Sayesha 8/16/2001 9:36 PM but I never use control key for emailing

Sayesha 8/16/2001 9:36 PM I think hall comps dont have control key

Rahul 8/16/2001 9:36 PM shaddup...!!! EVERY computer has a ctrl key!!!!!

Sayesha 8/16/2001 9:36 PM but the one in hall ??

Rahul 8/16/2001 9:37 PM IT DOES!!!!!!!!!

Sayesha 8/16/2001 9:37 PM maybe I havent seen

Rahul 8/16/2001 9:37 PM yah, so say so... there are no comps without control key...

Sayesha 8/16/2001 9:37 PM whats the meaning of the toilet sign here?

Sayesha 8/16/2001 9:37 PM near Chetan's name on her list?

Rahul 8/16/2001 9:38 PM toilet sign???!!!


Yupp, that's the end of it. By then, Rahul was so exasperated that I felt sorry for him. You could see how frustrated he was, and was yet trying to "be nice to the freshie". Also, I couldn't continue because of the insane amount of laughing I was doing. So I had to stop this amazingly entertaining conversation. And guess what? Rahul was at my door in two minutes! I took a while to even open the door because I could not stop laughing.

<--And oh, if you're curious, this was the 'toilet sign'. The 'Occupied (Urgent Msgs)' mode. I always thought it looked like a raised little finger. Hence the name 'toilet sign'. :D

I don't think I had laughed harder in that entire semester.

I'm so glad I saved the conversation. Even now, four years later, every time I read it, it cracks me up.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

The big day

This is a true story.


He asked, "So today's the big day?"

"Errr.. yeah!" She said.

"Nervous?" He winced.

"What do you think??"


"Nervous is an understatement, my friend."

"All the best! Hope it's painless!" He said.

"I hope so too." She said.

"And hope you cope well. They're monsters, you know!" He smiled.

"Yeah, I've heard." She thought to herself. And she wondered.

Would it be a he or a she?

"What do I want -- a he or a she?" She asked herself.

Actually, it did not matter, as long as it was fast and painless and there were no complications.

Dr Chen Jung-jung was doing the preliminary check-up.

"Yeah, everything looks fine, no complications. So are you ready?"

"Errr... Doctor, just one thing. Can I have the numbing thing?"

"Numbing thing??"

"The numbing thing. You know, the one that numbs all sensation?"

"Oh! That! Are you sure you want it?" Dr Chen smiled.

"Yes, I do. Please." She pleaded.

"Sure, no problem. Lie down, please."

Tick tock tick tock.

Fifteen minutes later...

"All right. We're done here!" said Dr Chen.

She was amazed. That was fast. And painless. It was over!

Oh, by the way, in case you're curious, it was a she. And she was no monster. In fact, she had the face of an angel.

And you could see that even through the dentist's white mask.


This was a true story.

Sayesha's story.

Sayesha is done for this year. YEAY.

And here's a big bright smile to prove it.


Monday, December 19, 2005

Please press 0 for frustration

A couple of days ago, I was supposed to meet a friend to pick some stuff up at the train station early in the morning on my way to work. When I reached the station, I realised that she would be alighting at the bus stop from where I would be taking the bus to work. So I sent her an sms to ask her to meet me at the bus stop instead.

I crossed the overhead bridge from the station, and waited at the bus stop. And waited. And waited. And it was 8 am and I was afraid I'd be late for work. So I sent her another message. I immediately got a call from her number. Her mother was on the line! My friend had actually left her phone at home, and the poor thing had been waiting for me at the station! So I dashed up the overhead bridge again, picked up the stuff, and dashed back again, in heels that are only meant for only one overhead bridge trip per day.

And my heart went out to my friend. I can only imagine how her day would have passed without her phone. We have become so helplessly dependent on our mobile phones, that it's almost become a part of us. And it's a horrid nagging feeling to not have our mobile with us even for a few hours.

I remembered the last time I had forgotten my mobile phone at home.

I was uneasy the entire day at work. I cancelled my dinner plans as I wanted to get my hands on my phone asap. It's quite annoying how desperate we are to stay connected, and how uneasy something as trivial as leaving our mobile phone at home can make us. It's amazing because I don't even use my phone much. I am not the compulsive type who looks at her phone every three seconds. But I just need that sense of security that the phone is somewhere around where I can reach it.

The entire day I kept freaking out at regular intervals. I kept imagining -- someone would be calling me now, and getting frustrated with me. Someone would have left seventeeen pissed-off voice messages. Someone would have sent sms after sms, and cursed me for not replying. What if one of my authors called?? (My authors, for some weird reason, like to bheja-fry me by calling my mobile.)

The day seemed to stretch on and on. And I got more and more worked up.

Visions of the whole world trying to contact me crossed my freaked out eyes.

What if my parents call? My folks have a tendency of freaking out when I don't pick up the phone. My Dad would first leave a voice message that only says "This is Dad." and then another one to tell me that he's left the first voice message. And then another one to say there are two messages for me. And then he would send me an email to tell me about the voice messages. And then he would leave another voice message to tell me that he has emailed me about the voice messages. And this cycle would continue till I call him back.

So when I reached home, I tore through the house to my room, found the phone on the bedside table, and almost threw myself at it in my excitement to see who had called and who had left messages.

And there it was.

The blank screen, staring at me. No missed calls. No sms messages. Nothing. Nothing at all.

I shook it. I stared at it. I even rebooted it. Twice. Yet, nothing. The screen was as blank as my mind at that point in time.


Sometimes all it takes to put us in our place is a non-living thing.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

The perfect example

I work with children's books. Often, when I find that a concept is not explained very well by the authors, I think of ways to make it simpler and more understandable. Sometimes, I try and remember how my teachers had taught me that particular concept when I was in school, and try and apply it in my editing.

Recently, I was working on a chapter on magnets, when I came across a paragraph on magnetic keepers. It brought back some rather unpleasant memories.

My Physics teacher in school was Mr. Banerji. He was incredibly popular among the students, but I did not like him. Mainly because every time he asked a question in class, he'd say "If you know the answer, raise your hand. Except Sayesha." (I was that girl, remember?) And to put him down, I'd still put my hand up, and he'd conveniently ignore me. He knew I disliked him, and it gave him great pleasure to annoy me.

Very qualified and experienced, he was known as the 'examples waley sir' ("the teacher with the examples"). In his teaching, he used to give very good examples to explain concepts, and even I had to admit that Physics was fun because of him. He had very fun examples for pretty much every concept he taught. The class used to actually applaud some of his examples!

One day, he was teaching us about magnetic keepers. We were not quite getting it. And he kept repeating the same thing again and again. I realised that he probably had no examples for this one. This was my chance to annoy him.

"Why don't you explain to us with an example, sir?" I said with an 'innocent' smile. The whole class murmured their approval.

He looked at me, and I could see that he hated me for it.

A moment's pause.

"Ah!" He said. "Okay, I have the perfect example!"

"Sayesha!" He exclaimed. I jumped. What what what??

"Sayesha is the perfect example." He motioned me to stand up. I did so unwillingly, looking around suspiciously, wondering what was in store.

"Now our Sayesha... she has a lot of energy, doesn't she?" The class giggled.

"She is too hyper. If left unleashed in the classroom, she will go quite berserk with joy, run around crazily and break all the benches and desks, isn't it?" The class nodded with giggles, still very curious as to what he was getting at.

I was too busy taking offence at the usage of the word 'unleashed'.

"And after a while, she will lose all her energy and sit down, very very exhausted, isn't it?" The class was imaging the whole scenario. What's worse, I was too! The only difference was -- they found it hilarious, I found it insulting.

"But what if we give her a 'path'? And we make it a rule that she can only run around that 'path', and we ensure that there are no desks and benches in the path. She will continuously run around that path, but there will be no destruction, and she will not lose so much energy."

The class was nodding vigorously now.

"Well, a magnetic keeper works in a similar way. A keeper is a soft iron bar used to join the magnetic poles. By using the keeper while the magnet is being stored, a 'path' is provided for the magnetic flux to continuously circulate through the magnet. So there won't be any flux leakage. Clear now?"

The class applauded. They actually applauded as I stood there, feeling rather silly. As for me, I just wanted to punch whoever came in my 'path.'

"Sayesha, you may sit down. Hope the example helped you to understand the concept." He smiled that devilish smile of his that I disliked so much.

I sat down, my face red with anger and embarrassment. I had figured out why I was chosen to be the example, but I had still not figured out why I needed to stand during the entire duration of his explanation.

"Amazing example na? Banerji sir is too good!" My desk partner turned to me and said excitedly.

My vocabulary did not include the legendary "What the..??!!" at that age, and so I had to be content with just gritting my teeth, and looking at her with eyes that would bore a hole in concrete.

'The Sayesha example' as it was known for the rest of the year became a legend, much to my discomfort. Even during last minute revision before exams, I heard the phrase being uttered too many times for my own comfort.

And now I hate magnetic keepers.

And I hope that in some part of the world, his kids are being made to stand and used as examples in class.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

What an item!

It takes me over an hour to get to work every morning. And on the commute, I listen to songs on my Ipod (it's actually not mine, it has been kindly lent for an infinite time period by my friend, (who happens to be the most generous soul on earth) to the cannot-afford-an-ipod-but-will-wilt-without-music Sayesha).

So I conveniently plucked out all the English songs he had and filled his ipod up with 667 old and new hindi songs (for now). Yeah, I'm not a big fan of English music, unless the songs have deep, soulful and meaningful lyrics. And there are very few such English songs that touch my heart. One is the song 'Shut up, just shut up, shut up' by the black eyed peas. (Now that song has a soul, and it says so much in such few words. Totally love that song.)

Going back to what this post was supposed to be about, I made a rather interesting observation this week as I walked from my place to the train station.

When an oldie is playing on my ipod, it takes me 15 minutes to reach the train station.

When an item song is playing, I get there in 10 minutes.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Growing up in India

Not that I have had the opportunity to grow up elsewhere, but here are some of the zillions of reasons why I loved growing up in India:

  • Playing pittu and gully cricket in the streets with the guys
  • Spinning tops and flying kites on the terrace
  • Climbing a wall to explore the bhoot bangla ('haunted house') in the locality (doesn't every locality in India have one?)
  • Eating the neighbours' pickled mangoes left to dry in the sun
  • Rainy day school holiday
  • Orange lollies for 50 paise
  • Tiny packets of tamarind with salt (one for 5 paise)
  • Chaat and panipuri stalls outside the school, which both teachers and parents discouraged us to patronise. And yet...
  • Making a 'neighbourhood fireplace' in the street during winter and huddling around it with friends
  • Watching Mom haggle with the sabziwala (vegetable seller) and learning the tricks
  • The bhaiyas ('elder brothers') of the neighbourhood that used to come knocking on the door asking for donations during Diwali to make our street's ladi bomb (or 'ladibum' as they used to call it in hindi) the longest and the loudest in the city
  • Dad shaking his head at the bhaiyas as he put in his donation, knowing that half would go into sponsoring alcohol for them on Diwali night
  • Roaming around the city as multi-coloured hooligans on Holi (festival of colours)
  • Placing diyas (earthen lamps) and candles all over the house, and making rangoli during Diwali
  • Tracing my foot on a piece of paper and giving it to Dad before he went on trips to other cities, so he could bring back shoes for me (yeah, I started young!)
  • Cycling back home with friends after school
  • Extra classes during holidays when we did not have to wear the school uniform
  • Sitting in the dark during power cuts, eating pakodas, alu chops and vadas, and chatting with family
  • Watching the ads before the sunday evening movie, and walking out as soon as the movie began
  • Making paper boats and racing them in the muddy rainwater
  • My landlord's huge dog Jimmy to whom I used to do a Virdi-style 'Thrrrbbbrrrrt' and sing "Jimmy Jimmy Jimmy, aaja aaja aaja!" sending Mom into fits of laughter (I was petrified of Jimmy but because it was always leashed, I dared such stunts)
  • Plucking leaves from the henna trees in the neighbourhood and pleading with one of the aunties to grind it into a paste for me (now that's natural henna, everything you get in a packet is nonsense)
  • Refusing to play with the boys (hence pissing them off) cos 'I had henna on my hands which would get ruined if I played'
  • New books, notebooks, stationery and school uniform at the beginning of each new year
  • Reciting the Gayatri mantra and the Athaishwarastutiprarthnopasna (No, I'm not making this up!) mantra (chants in Sanskrit) in the school assembly every day
  • Making Dad late for work 'cos he had to drop me to school in the car 'cos the 'auto wala did naga' (did not turn up)
  • Watchman finding out about my exam results and asking Dad for bakhshish ('reward money') 'cos 'his blessings were with me'
  • Reading Tinkle and Chacha Chaudhry placed in between pages of textbooks, in class
  • Roaming around with a handmade bamboo bow and arrow after watching the mega-serial Ramayana on Sunday mornings
  • Refusing to be Sita 'cos she did not get to carry a bow and arrow
  • The horrendous intro music of Doordarshan (national TV channel) and 'Yeh akashwani hai' ('This is national radio')
  • Climbing the neighbour's guava tree and stealing guavas and then giving them to the younger kids in the neighbourhood 'cos I don't like guavas
  • Waiting for summer and the aamwali (mango seller) to go around the streets with her big tokri (basket) yelling "Aaaaaaaaammmmmmm!"
  • Refusing to get out of bed and get ready for school during winter
  • Laughing when Mum asked me to take a bath 'cos the water had frozen in the taps
  • Getting almost knocked out by a hailstone the size of my fist
  • Sitting on the terrace on sunday mornings in the sun with my sis, and painting Christmas and New Year cards for friends and relatives with Camel water colours
  • Pouring the milk that I was supposed to drink, into Dad's plant pots and telling a very surprised Mom that I had finished it all
  • Making faces in spite of Mom adding complan to the milk (once she found out the reason behind Dad's super healthy plants)
  • Watching Rangoli, Ek Do Teen Char, Fauji, Circus, Udaan, Samandar, Spiderman, Indradhanush and Chitrahaar on TV
  • Watching Dad make bonsais
  • Watching with fascination as Dad shaved, making him laugh so uncontrollably that he almost nicked his cheek
  • Learning to make chai by watching Mom as she made it every day for the kaam wali bai (maid)
  • Drinking Rasna with friends after a hard day of play
  • Summer holidays spent lazing at Grandma's place, getting pampered by grandparents, three masis (aunts), two mamas (uncles) and my childhood nanny
  • Long drives with the family and stopping at dhabas to have moti wali roti (errr... fat chapatis) and tadke wali daal (yummy lentil dish)
  • Going to the zoo every month and looking at the same animals with the same kinda fascination
  • Elephant rides at the zoo and realising that an elephant sways from left to right when moving forward
  • Being made class monitor 'cos the teachers figured that was the only way to control the hyper Sayesha
  • Finishing half a bottle of Hajmola with my cousin at one go
  • Going shopping with Mom on Saturday afternoons and drinking Maaza and Thums Up on the streets during the commercial breaks
I guess it will take me some time to make as comprehensive a list as possible. Will take a few days to add on to this. :)

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Caught off guard

Today, something made me remember him.

My master's course includes certain workshops now and then. They are optional, so the attendance is really really low. Most students, especially those who work full time and attend night classes, do not take the trouble to travel all the way to the west for these workshops. In fact, the university actually provides free dinner after these workshops to entice more students to attend them. But all in vain.

So it was no surprise therefore, when a couple of months ago, a total of 3 students from my class attended a workshop meant for 25.

When I entered the lab, he was the only one sitting there. Thankful to see one familiar face, I went and sat next to him. He looked thankful to have spotted me too.

"Hi!" I said.

"Hi! You're from my Research Methodology class!"


"Errr... we never spoke before..." He extended his hand.

Before I could take it, there was an announcement from the instructor, "Errr... let's wait a few more minutes, maybe some more people are on the way. There's dinner outside... " She said, but you could see that hope had died in her eyes. Both of us felt sorry for her but we couldn't help laughing at the pathetic attendance.

Usually, my classmates and I don't have time to interact in class as most of them rush into the classroom late because they got delayed at work. So this was the first time I actually had an opportunity to talk to a classmate as we waited for 'those who would never turn up'.

We got to talking, and talked about everything, about how some of the professors were so cruel, about how the full-timers had such an easy life, about how little sleep the part-timers got, and how scared both of us were about the three projects that were due that week.

Our most vulnerable side was open to each other.

And somehow, we connected. You know -- it's that moment when you know you connect with someone, when you feel that you could be great friends? Well, we had that. We gave each other the "I like you. We could be great friends." look. It was nice and comforting to have found someone in class whom I could sit down and talk to, compared to the zillions of nerds (and not to mention, pregnant women by the dozen, who freak me out with all the birth talk).

We kept making jokes throughout the workshop, and soon it was time for dinner. We continued our conversation and both of us agreed that it was actually the food that was driving people away from the workshops. We found each other's jokes funny. We laughed at a lot of things.

Then suddenly it struck both of us -- we did not know each other's names!

"Sorry I forgot to introduce myself, I'm Sayesha."

"Me too! Hi, I'm JS." And he gave me his business card. I furtively dug out mine and gave it to him.

And suddenly the whole world froze as we looked at each other's business cards at the exact moment.

Deja vu. And both of us felt it.

And at the same instant, both of us realised that we had done the exact same thing months ago.

"You are Sayesha?? Sayesha from X publishing company??"

"You are JS?? JS from Y tourist attraction place??"

It was a true Salaam|Namaste type Nick-Hambar moment.

And I realised why his face looked SO familiar. I had seen him before. And not in my classroom.

Here's our story.

Many many months ago, Sayesha, the editor of a children's magazine at company X and JS, the PR manager of company Y were working on a collaboration Z. His company was to provide free tickets to their tourist attraction place for the young readers of the magazine. In return, we would provide ad space in the magazine. Disagreements over the number of free tickets led to the decision that they would increase the number of tickets in return for us doing a free write-up for them.

I had finished the entire write-up when he dropped the bomb. They wanted an extension, as they could not meet my deadlines. I had wanted to advertise the free tickets in the issue that was going to be out during the school holidays, cos it was the perfect timing. They wanted it later, which would have been smack in the middle of school exams, when such an offer would absolutely go to waste (besides getting us flak from angry parents). He thought I was being a bad-ass unreasonable editor who was too hung up about deadlines. I thought he was being a bad-ass unreasonable PR manager who had no respect for magazine deadlines and kids' exams. And thus, we parted ways, crushing each other's business cards.

And collaboration Z fell through. And we were both so pissed off, we decided to call the whole thing off.

Zoom to the present. Here were the same guy and the girl who had stormed away from each other once upon a time, sitting there, making jokes, laughing, and connecting, and becoming friends.

What a contrast. Each of us now liked the same person he/she had thoroughly disliked the last time they'd met!

Just because this time, it was a different setting and we had both let our guards down.

Weird, huh?

And I could not help but wonder. It's amazing how our feelings for someone can change so drastically when they let their guard down.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Sayesha takes some silly tests

Geez I can't believe I actually took these tests! :P

Your Inner Child Is Surprised

You see many things through the eyes of a child.
Meaning, you're rarely cynical or jaded.
You cherish all of the details in life.
Easily fascinated, you enjoy experiencing new things.

You Are Mexican Food

Spicy yet dependable.
You pull punches, but people still love you.

Your Birth Month is April

You are trustworthy and highly ethical in all facets of life.
Helpful and steady, you are able to solve any problem.

Your soul reflects: Bliss, playfulness, and curiosity

Your gemstone: Diamond

Your flower: Sweet Pea

Your colors: Yellow and red
What Does Your Birth Month Mean?

Your Blogging Type is Confident and Insightful

You've got a ton of brain power, and you leverage it into brilliant blog.
Both creative and logical, you come up with amazing ideas and insights.
A total perfectionist, you find yourself revising and rewriting posts a lot of the time.
You blog for yourself - and you don't care how popular (or unpopular) your blog is!
What's Your Blogging Personality?

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Too close for comfort

Recently, I had a rather embarrassing moment on MSN messenger with a friend, when something I wrote could be construed either in the 'normal way' or in the 'guy way' and he being a guy, chose to do it the 'guy way', resulting in an extremely embarrassed Sayesha yelling, "I did not mean it like THAT, you idiot! Geez! Guys and their one-track mind!"

Not wishing to further embarrass myself by describing what exactly happened, I shall move on to describe THE most embarrassing MSN moment that I have ever known. And thankfully, it had not happened to me. I had merely been a spectator.

In my second year in university, my room-mate was a final-year-student. One day, she came back to the room after an exam, when a classmate of hers, V, sent her a message on MSN, "Hey, how was the paper??"

"It was absolutely horrible! I think I'm gonna flunk!" She wrote.

"Mine was really bad too!" He said.

Now what she wanted to write next was this: "I'm so depressed, V. Let's go and jump in the Nanyang Lake!"

(The Nanyang Lake is a really filthy lake in my university.)

Stony silence from the guy for about a minute made her go back to read what she'd written. There was a sudden horrified scream from her, "Oh my God, Sayesha! What did I write??!!"

I rushed over to her computer. What I saw was enough to keep me laughing for the next few years every time I thought of it.

Well, it was not really her fault. The J and H keys on the keyboard are really too close to each other.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Red roses -- from a gal to a guy

If you have read Virdi's latest post, you may be interested in knowing this side's story too. So here goes.

In a life that is full of surprises, it is ironical that the ability to surprise has become a rare commodity. In a world where unconditional love has certain conditions, and a no expectations deal has expectations, it
has become increasingly difficult to give people genuine suprises. So if you're getting a chance to do it, grab it with both hands, I say.

Which is what I did.

People on this blog would definitely know who Virdi praji is. People who have been on this blog for a while would also remember how Virdi and I became friends. So when I found out that his birthday is on the 11th of this month, I could not resist but come up with a master plan to surprise my dear friend Virdi -- one of the most amazing guys I have never met.

Pure at heart, genuine, happy, selfless. The one who always makes everyone smile. I wanted to give this guy a reason to smile. For himself. So I decided to suprise him on his birthday, by having a surprise package delivered to him. At his office address. For maximum impact of the surprise.

Step 1 - Decide on what to send

Red roses. There was no deciding to be done on this. I wanted to send him a bunch of red roses, not just because it is so rare for a girl to send a guy red roses, but also because he deserved nothing less. And a chocolate cake to tone down the extremity of a girl sending a guy red roses to his workplace! ;)

Step 2 - Find out Virdi's office address

I cornered Kini the flatmate. Found his email in a silly forward that Virdi had happened to send long long ago to many people including Kini and me. Kini readily supplied me with the office address.

Now what happened after that is really funny. One evening, Kini had forgotten to close all his windows before freeing up the computer for Virdi. Virdi saw my name in Kini's inbox, and started jumping up and down, "Oye what's happening between you and Sayesha?? Why is she emailing you??" I had sworn Kini to absolute secrecy, and being the sweetheart that he is, he played along. Instead of answering Virdi, he just smiled.

Virdi, with his overactive imagination immediately created in his head, a world where Kini blushed at the mention of Sayesha and sang romantic hindi songs to himself, and maroed dialogues such as "Kuch kuch hota hai, Virdi, tum nahin samjhoge."

Apparently, Virdi even gave Kini some fundas (read warnings) such as
"Achchi ladki hai! She's a nice girl. Don't you dare fool around and betray her!!!" Yeah, Kini told me this himself, along with a plea, "Meri ma, can't you send him the gift asap and get this over with??" Hahaha! Poor thing!

Soon, all of their friends, Shubham, Arun, Priya and others, got worked up about who Kini's "chick" was. Kini's comment space got flooded with queries about the chick. Soon, even his undergrad e-group got involved in the discussion.

I was having a blast. I even suggested that I should send Virdi a 'joint birthday gift' with the words "With love from Ritesh and Sayesha". This freaked Kini out to a considerable extent. Alternatively, I suggested that I should send some red roses with a matching love note (What a heartwarming sentimental song! And what meaningful lyrics!) addressed to Kini at his home address, making sure that it was Virdi who 'accidently' got the flowers and the 'lurrrve note'.

Kini's response to this idea of mine?
"Yeah, send the red roses, and a garland too for my funeral ceremony!" Hahaha! :D

Virdi and I were talking on yahoo once, and I dropped a few hints here and there about Kini. Virdi said he was gonna save the transcript to show Kini, so I went a bit more ballistic and said things which would have made even Kini rub his eyes in disbelief.

Then sometime during this hoo haa, Virdi calls me, and in the course of the conversation asks, "Achha yeh tere aur Kini ke beech mein kya chakkar chal raha hai? Tell me what's happening between you and Kini??" and I went all blush-blush (Yeah I can blush on the phone -- it takes special talent!) then he was like "Should I ask Kini then?" I was like "No no, don't ask him! When the right time comes, we will tell you ourselves." That made our sardarji go absolutely bonkers! Awesome fun!

Anyway, along with the Kini story, my surprise plan was also shaping up well.

Step 3 - Find out if sending flowers to his office would be embarrassing for him

I managed to prise out the information that his boss is a real cool chap, and not a jealous and khadoos one who would fire Virdi for receiving red roses at work. Also, I know some of his colleagues (they visit my blog now and then) and I knew they are all very cool.

Step 4 - Find out if Virdi was going to be in the office on the day

Some people take leave on their birthdays. Others resign before their birthdays. I was worried that my gifts would reach the office when Virdi wouldn't be around and my cake would end up in the stomachs of Fao, Hobbit, et al! (If you're reading this, sorry guys, but you guys seem like a scary and perpetually hungry bunch who would snatch the cake from the 12-year-old Virdi and gobble it up!) Kini to the rescue again! I asked him to inform me if he learnt of Virdi taking leave or handing in his resignation.

Now this is where the most important discovery was made. During my discussions with him, Kini brought to my notice (with utter glee) that Virdi's birthday would actually fall on Sunday! Well, that wasn't gonna dampen my spirits! I decided to send the stuff on Friday instead. Anyway, sending them earlier would have upped the surprise value too.

Then I decided to bring it forward by one more day, to Thursday, firstly because I was too excited to wait anymore, and secondly so that if there was a screw-up with the delivery, I could call up the delivery guys on Friday morning and blast them just in time for them to do a make-up delivery before the office closed for the weekend.

So on Wednesday night, as I clicked and dispatched my order, I was really excited. Last morning, I emailed him to make sure he was at work. The moron told me he would be going to work late! I panicked. I kept asking him throughout the day when he would be in the office, but I did it cleverly so he did not get suspicious. Soon it was time for me to leave the office and yet there was no jumpy email/sms/call from him to tell me he had got my gifts. I panicked again. Before I left, I could not resist emailing him "Dude, I'm outta office now, talk to you tomorrow. Sms me if something happening happens today." ;)

I waited and I waited and I waited. It was freakin' 9:30 pm here. 7 pm in India. Visions of the delivery guy giving my precious red roses to his blushing sabzi wali bai and sharing my choc cake with her, crossed my mind. As each half-an-hour slot passed, I got more and more impatient.

Finally, my phone rang. But I was in a very noisy bar, so I didn't hear it ring. Luckily he called again, just as I took my phone out to see why he hadn't called. And there it was, the call I had been waiting for all day! Let's just say that no amount of alcohol in that bar could have given me the high that I got when I heard the excited voice of my dear friend telling me what a great surprise I had given him, and how totally unexpected it was, and how no girl had ever sent him red roses.

He even read out the note I had enclosed, where I had instructed him to save one of the roses and a slice of the cake for Kini for taking so much flak from the public for me. Thank you, Kini, for your help and for being such a sport all the way till the big revelation. Hope you got the rose and the cake slice. By the way, to your utter relief, this marks the end of the love story of "Kini and his chick". And though I set you free with a heavy heart, I will wish that your eventual chick is exactly like me. (Hey, why are you running away? Did I say something wrong???)

Anyway, here's wishing a very happy birthday to my buddy Virdi, who has brought countless smiles to me. May you always stay the way you are. 'Cos you rock. And I rock. Actually, we both rock.

And Kini rocks a little bit too.