Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Hum do(st)

Happy first anniversary, buddy.

May the madness never stop. :D


Saturday, January 26, 2008

Aap ki Kkapoooorrr

The word had reached Himesh. His new movie Karzzzz was short on funds. Some of the producers, after seeing his moronic behaviour on TV during Zee Saregamapa, had decided to pull back. Himesh decided to take matters into his own hands. He got his secretary to send letters to all movie producers to ask if they would be interested in funding his movie. Interested parties were to meet him in his office the next day.

Sayesha Smitten showbiz kitten sniffed out this piece of news, and as usual perched atop a tree outside the office, furiously taking notes.

Himesh (to his assistant) - Ankooorrrr...

Assistant (pleadingly) - Sir, it's Ankur.

Himesh - Haan, wohi toh! See if any of the producers are outside?

Ankur steps out and is back in a few minutes.

Himesh - So? Anyone out there?

Ankur - Sir... woh... ladies...

Himesh - Ladies? There are ladies out there? My fans?

Ankur - Nahin sir... Not fans... woh TV wali ladies...

Himesh - TV wali ladies? You mean TV reporters?

Ankur - Nahin sir...

Himesh - What nonsense are you saying Ankooorrr? How many ladies are there??

Ankur - Only one, sir.

Himesh - Huh? Only one? Toh 'ladies' kyun bola? Pehle bus conductor tha kya??

Ankur - Jee, sir.

Himesh - Theek hai theek hai, send her in.

Ankur escorts the "ladies" into Himesh's room.

Himesh - Hi, have we met before?

"Ladies" - I doubt it. I have heard about you though... I mean I have heard you.

Himesh - Oh... thanks. But are you a producer?

"Ladies" (smiles) - Yes, I am.

Himesh - Oh okay, but I can't quite remember sending you the letter. How did you get it?

"Ladies" (coyly looks at her nails) - Oh I have my sources.

Himesh - Hmmm... okay. So are you interested in funding my movie Karzzzz?

"Ladies" - Very much so!

Himesh - But why?

"Ladies" (coyly looks at her nails) - Well, I am Ekta Kapoor. I'll fund anything that starts with a 'K'.

Himesh - Oh, you're Ekta Kapoor! THE Ekta Kapoor? Woh TV wali?

Ekta (blushes) - Oh thanks! Yeah, that's me.

Himesh - I am so flattered that you agreed to fund my second movie! Did you like my first movie 'Aap ka surroor'?

Ekta - Oh I loved it!

Himesh - You did? Thank you. What did you like the most about the movie?

Ekta - The fact that the word 'surroor' in the title had three Rs.

Himesh - Huh? Errr... okay. But what did you like in the movie?

Ekta - Oh I'm sorry. I didn't watch the movie.

Himesh - You didn't? You didn't watch my first movie but you're ready to fund my second?

Ekta - Well, I am Ekta Kapoor. I'll fund anything that starts with...

Himesh - Ok ok I get it. You'll fund anything that starts with a 'K'.

Ekta (grins) - Correct!

Himesh (scratches his cap and whispers to Ankur) - Dekh toh Ankooorr, baahar aur koi hai kya?

Ankur is back in a second.

Ankur - Nahin sir, bas yehi ladies aayi hai.

Himesh - Hmmm... Theek hai.

Ekta - So tell me about the movie.

Himesh - Well, it's a remake of the old movie Karz. It's about a boy who is in love with a girl and then he gets killed and...

Ekta - Oh no I don't need to know the story... I have never cared for the story even in my own TV serials!

Himesh (slightly annoyed) - Then what do you want to know about the movie?

Ekta - Important details... like how many Zs are there in the title.

Himesh - How many... what the... uh... okay.

Ekta - So?

Himesh - Four maybe?

Ekta (looks horrified)- Four maybe?? Let me call my astrologer, this is an important decision.

Ekta exchanges a few hurried words with her astrologer on the phone.

Himesh - What did he say?

Ekta - He thinks there should be five Zs.

Himesh - Five? But the promo posters are out, and I think they have four.

Ekta - You *think*??

Himesh - Ankooorrrr, madam ko poster dikhao.

Ankur (holds up the poster) - Dekho madam. 4 hain na? Hilela effect hai na, aasani se pata nahin chalta kitne Zs hain.

Ekta - Theek hai, hilela hai toh thoda aur hilne do. Ek aur Z laga do.

Himesh - But... critics are already slamming the movie because of the ZZZZ. Some are even saying that the review of the movie is already in the title!

Ekta - Sorry Himesh, I'm a stickler for correct spelling. I can only fund this if it has 5 Zs.

Himesh (resigned look) - Theek hai theek hai. Ankooorrr, poster redesign karwa do.

Ankur - Jee sir.

Ekta - I notice you have removed your cap in this one.

Himesh - Yes, I have.

Ekta (mutters under her breath) - Pehle topi pehenkar audience ko topi pehnaya... aur ab...

Himesh - Do you like it?

Ekta - Love the new look! Achha, who's the heroine?

Himesh - It's a new girl Shweta.

Ekta - Photo dikhao?

Himesh (shows her the photo) - Pretty, huh?

Ekta - She's okay-okay. We'll need to change the heroine.

Himesh - Change the heroine?? But we've already shot some scenes!

Ekta - So? Minor changes in the storyline will do the trick. We'll just kill her off, and then reveal that she wasn't dead. Plastic surgery and poof! We have a new heroine!

Himesh - Minor change... but it's not the girl who's supposed to die... it's me.

Ekta - Don't worry. Instead of killing you off, we will give you amnesia. So you won't even realise the girl has changed.

Himesh - But...

Ekta - Any objections?

Himesh - No, I guess...

Ekta - Good. So are you composing the songs as well?

Himesh - Of course! That's the whole point, right? I'm an actor-cum-singer-cum-composer.

Ekta (mutters under her breathe) - Well, I think you're a moron-cum-moron-cum-moron.

Himesh - In fact, I just composed the title track for the movie in my head!

Ekta - Really? That's great. Can I hear it?

Himesh - Sure! (picks up a magazine from the coffee table, rolls it up and holds it in his trademark upside down microphone style) - Huzooooooorrrrrrrrrrrrr........

Ekta (jumps) - Uhhh? Isn't this an old song of yours? Are you recycling??

Himesh - Patience, Ekta, patience. May I continue?

Ekta - Uhh... sure... sure.

Himesh - Huzooooorrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr....

Ekta looks at her watch.

Himesh - Huzooooorrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr....

Ekta (clicks impatiently) - Himesh, I'm kinda getting late...

Himesh - No worries, here comes the punchline after the last huzoor.

Ekta - Go ahead.

Himesh - Huzooooorrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.... Ekta Kapooooooorrrrrrrr!

Ekta (looks up startled, but ecstatic nevertheless) - Oh. OH! I'm in the title track?

Himesh (grins) - Didn't I tell you I just composed it in my head? Do you like it?

Ekta - Oh I LOVE IT. Especially the punchline. It's like music to my ears!

Himesh (glares angrily) - It is music.

Ekta (bites her tongue and then quickly recovers) - Of course! Of course! What I meant was... it's a very... erm... musical... uhh... piece of music!

Himesh - Thank you, Ekta!

Ekta - Okay then, I'm off. Will give you a buzz later.

Himesh - Oh no no no. Give me a buzzzzz! (winks)

Ekta (turns to deliver a fake laugh) - Ha. Ha. Ha. Himesh, you are so funny. Sure sure. I'll give you a buzzzzz. (rolls eyes and walks out)


Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Give and take

When you're a six-year-old who's half as tall as her elder sister, you have no choice. You gotta wear the hand-me-downs. Not that the hand-me-downs are dirty or old or ragged or torn. They're fine, they look like new, they're just too small for your sister and that's why you're getting them. But you, in all your six-year-old's sense of dignity, feel offended at being expected to wear a hand-me-down. I hated it. Even though whenever Mom and Dad bought my sister new clothes, they’d buy new ones for me too, I’d look at whatever they got her and think, “Cheh! Next year I’ll be wearing that!”

Mom used to stitch dresses too. Every once in a while, she’d stitch a really nice one. I remember this frilly dress she made for my sister. It was white with blue and lavender flowers. I envied it so much I asked my Mom to stitch me the exact same dress. Well, she did, but in my envy and stupidity, I forgot that I would be wearing my dress first, but as soon as I grew out of it, I’d be donning my sister's version. So for the longest time, I had the same damn dress!

I think it was my body revolting at this revolting system when it decided to grow as tall as my sister’s, and over the years slightly taller too so I’d never have to wear her clothes again. And then something rather strange happened. She moved away. First hostel, and then she got married and moved to the US. And I started craving the hand-me-downs. Guess it was partly because I missed having her around. And so, whenever she’d send me stuff, I’d lap it up. I’d even ask her for things. And I still do. I ask for things. No, actually I demand things the way I used to when she was in a hostel and she'd buy me stuff with her hostel allowance (I didn't get any, my parents never believed in pocket money for kids who stay at home, and boy am I glad they didn’t!)

And perhaps it kind of surprises her that I happily grab the stuff she gives me, because I am no longer the tiny tot who used to ask her elder sister for her things. I have a job and money of my own to spend, but I still make demands, and I like to. The strangest thing is - back then it used to really bug me - having to wear her hand-me-downs. But now I don't mind. In fact, I love it. When people give her brightly-coloured stuff (she doesn't wear bright colours), she sends them along apprehensively and I, in a grand gesture of shamelessness, grab it. In fact, Mom complains that I almost always reject clothes she picks for me, but I lap up anything my sister sends, including stuff rejected by her.

We being polar opposites, my sister is obviously as out of Bollywood as I am into it. It is therefore, highly amusing to get her reaction to my highly filmi statements.

Sis (before Mom leaves the US) - What do you want me to send for you through Mom?
Me - Kya bataoon bahinnn... aapka diya hua sab kuchh hai maai baap, aur kya chahiye?
Sis - (I can sense her rolling her eyes) Hey bhagwaaaaan!
Me – Kuchh bhi bhej do bahinn… main toh tab bhi tumhara rejected maal pehenti thi, aaj bhi tumhara rejected maal pehenti hoon.
Sis – I am hanging up.

Sis calls while I'm trying on a dress she sent through Mom, and munching on chocolates (also sent by her).
Sis - So what are you doing now?
Me - Kya bataaon bahinnn... tumhare diya hua pehenkar tumhara diya hua kha rahi hoon...
Sis (rolls eyes again) - God! This girl!

Anyway, she sent a whole load of clothes and accessories through Mom, thus helping me stick to my new year's resolution of spending less on these things. Too bad all of the stuff she sent is new. I don’t know, somehow I like the sound of the statement “Oh, this is my sister’s!” It has such a nice ring to it. I can literally feel the affection. I may buy a lot of fancy shoes and clothes, but there's nothing quite like what she sends for me – be it clothes, shoes, belts, jewellery, make-up and what not. Especially if it was used/rejected by her.

Despite half a world’s distance between us, it kind of keeps a part of our childhood alive. And I love it.

I guess our sisterhood is based on give and take.

She gives. I take. :D


Thursday, January 17, 2008

Independence Day

Those of you who're already shaking their heads thinking that I'm one of those NRIs who can't keep their Independence Day and Republic Day straight, and is hence blogging about Independence Day about a week before Republic Day, here's a *thwack* off my hypothetical rolled-up newspaper. This post is not about India's independence, but mother India's independence. I mean my mother's independence.

So I took Mom for a walk to the beach today. What Viv and I brag to everyone as 'just a short walk' turned out to be not so short when Mom was concerned. And for the first time, I understood what Viv feels like when he walks with me, what with me furiously trying to keep up with his giant strides. So on the way back, Mom was really really tired from the walk and I smartly decided this was the best opportunity to get her to become independent.

Mom is terrified of taking the bus by herself. So I suggested that she take the bus back while I walk it as I did not have any value in my bus card. Of course there were a thousand ways to get home, such as taking a cab, or me taking the bus with her and paying by coins instead of the bus card. But the point was to get her to take the bus by herself, and since it was a very short ride, I figured it was the best time to let her try travelling by herself. Just this morning, my chhoti mausi had suggested the same thing - that I let her take a short bus ride by herself and see how she does. She even delivered a mini-scolding to Mom about her lack of independence. "You should be able to get around by yourself by now! This is what, your third visit to Singapore?" Mausi had said to her. She had a point. Besides, Mom was also inspired by my mom-in-law who's very savvy when it comes to travelling by herself.

So she agreed to do it.

I showed Mom to the bus stop. There was only one other guy sitting there. I asked her if she knew which buses she could take.

"10, 12 or 14." She said confidently.

"Great! Okay, I'm going to start walking now. You know how to flag the bus?"


"Okay, and remember to tap your bus card at entry and exit."


"Do you know which stop to get off at?"

She looked a bit uncertain.

"It's two stops from here. Press the bell after the next stop, and get off at the one after that. Okay?"

"Okay. I'm just worried whether I can unlock the main door."

"Of course you can. You have done it so many times."

But I knew what she was talking about. Though she had unlocked the door several times, it was always 'in my supervision'. She has taken the bus several times as well, but again 'in my supervision.' And that was exactly what I wanted to avoid. I wanted her to be able to do these things by herself.

So I started walking, and walked rather fast so I wouldn't take too long to reach after she did.

I'd been walking for almost 10 minutes, and there was no sign of any bus overtaking me. There were 3 buses she could take. A little fear crept inside me. Would she panic because no bus was coming by? Had I been too demanding? Maybe I shouldn't have left her by herself? But there was another guy at the bus stop. But then what if the guy at the bus stop was a crook? What if he robbed her of her purse? Singapore is safe and all that, but you never know. What if when the bus came by, she fell asleep because she was so tired and woke up only at the last stop near Changi airport or something? What if she couldn't spot the bus stop she had to get off at because it was too dark?

On the way, I decided to pop by the ATM near our house. Since there was no sign of any bus behind me, I knew she wouldn't reach before I did. Besides, she had the keys. And that's when it struck me - she didn't have the keys, I did! Holy cow! But there was still no sign of the bus. Had it passed by without my knowledge? Was she home and wondering where I was? To add to my annoyance, there was this idiot in the queue before me who, instead of depositing all the cash he had at one go, made three thin stacks of notes first and manually counted them. Then he placed them in the cash deposit machine, one stack at a time. He even paused midway to answer his phone. Sheesh! I wanted to kick his ass and say, "Dude! If you can trust a machine to count three thin stacks of your money, surely you can trust it to count just one??"

All this while, I was panicking more. What if she thought she had the keys and that she had lost them? Would she walk back to the bus stop to see if she had dropped them? What if she went home and rang the bell thinking I'd be there, and I wasn't? Would she wait outside the house? What if I went back and did not find her outside the house? Where would I look? I cursed myself for my so-called smart act. What was the urgent need for her to be so independent anyway? Maybe she wasn't ready for it yet.

Gosh, had I just abandoned my mother at a deserted bus stop at night in a country foreign to her? What the heck was wrong with me??

But then maybe I was just being silly. Paranoid. But what if I wasn't?

After I was done at the ATM, I ran home like mad.

There she was, sitting besides the swimming pool, waiting for me.

Smiling, no less.


*breathe, Sayesha, breathe*

*breathe in*

*breathe out*

*breathe in*

*breathe out*

How the heck my parents brought my sis and me up without going mad with worry is seriously beyond me.


Sunday, January 13, 2008

Bless you, my child

So Mom told me of all the things she's taught baby Aish to say. I was eager to test her. So when my sister called, I asked her to pass the phone to Aish.

Sis - No no... She will just hang up on you.

My thought bubble - What the...?!

My speech bubble - But I want to talk to her! I want to test what Mom taught her.

Sis - Okay, I'll put the speaker phone on.

Me - Hello, Aish! AAAA-CHHOOO!

Aish - *silence*


Aish - *silence*

Me - Sis, why isn't she saying what she's supposed to say?

Sis (to Aish) - Aish, Mausi is sneezing!


Aish - Blechyu!

Me - OH. MY. GOD. I can't believe this! Did she really say "Bless you?"?? Even we don't say "Bless you" when someone sneezes!

Mom (beaming proudly) - Of course! I taught her to say that whenever someone sneezes.

Me - But she's not even 2! And she said "Bless you!"

Sis - Yeah, she repeats whatever you teach her.

Me - This is unbelievable. I have to hear it again. Aish, AAAA-CHHOOO!

Aish - *silence*


Aish - *silence*

Me - Sis, tell her I'm sneezing!

Sis - Aish, Mausi is sneezing! What do you say when Mausi sneezes?


Aish - Babblebabblebabblebabble!!!

Me - Huh? What was that??

Sis - No idea...

Aish's thought bubble - I said "Go see a doctor, you crazy woman!"


Wednesday, January 09, 2008

A score to settle

When you have two sisters living in opposite ends of the world, and the parents live somewhere in between, there is always a tug of war as far as parental visits are concerned. Someone really knew what he was talking about when he wrote the "Tumhaare paas kya hai? Mere paas maa hai" dialogue.

This actually holds true for Dad too, but since he works, for now my sis and are fighting over Mom till Dad retires and no longer has the "I can't get long leave to visit you" excuse.

When my mom cut short her visit to Singapore for my master's graduation to go to my sister's place, I sulked for days. I sulked over the phone, I sulked over email, I sulked until what I was sulking for happened. Dad said, "How about Mom stays with you for two whole weeks on her way back to India, instead of just transiting?"

That was the ultimate sacrifice from my Dad. For a guy who has never even boiled an egg, Mom's absence is tough. My heart melted at his offer.

So I said. "Okay. Thank you!" :P

So Mom's here with me after a few months in the US, while Dad's discovering the cook (*cough cough*) in himself.

"So Dad's retiring next year... both of you will come stay with us for a few months every year?" I asked Mom as she unpacked her stuff.

"Few months?? Hmmm... we'll see..."

"What we'll see? You want to go back to the US, is it? You have become an Amreekan?" I scowled.

"US? Haha! No way!"

"Oh... You didn't like the US?"

"No, I liked it, it's quite nice. But it's too far away."

“I agree! You can come here in 4 hours straight. You need like 20 hours to get to the US. Plus jet lag… uff!” I played narad muni.

“Yeah, exactly.” She said.

I took out my hypothetical notepad (yes, I have a hypothetical newspaper, notepad, and what not.) and did what a mature 27-year-old does. Scribbled the score.

Sash - 1
Sis - 0

As Mom unpacked, I saw some dried flowers and maple leaves in a ziploc bag.

"What's this??" I asked.

"Oh, I collected this when we went to see fall in the US. Ohhh... fall is soooo beautiful! You must see it for yourself one day."


Sash - 1
Sis - 1

"Achha? What else did you see?" I asked.

"Oh I saw snowfall too! It is AMAZING! I even made a snowman!" She said delightedly.

Sash - 1
Sis - 2

FALL and snowFALL and what not. Hmmph! Singapore has FALL too. That too all year round! It's called rainFALL! :/

"So did you roam around a lot on your own in the US?" I asked.

"On my own? No way! It's very hard to get around on your own if you don't drive."

“You didn’t walk around on your own?”

“No no… can’t do all that there.”

"You know Mom, you can walk to the beach here? It's like a 15-minute WALK." I said.

Sash - 2
Sis – 2

“Achha, we’ll go watch Taare Zameen Par in the weekend, okay? It’s supposed to be a really good movie.” I said.

“Oh, I’ve seen it already!”


I couldn’t believe my ears. I’d held off watching it just so I could watch it when Mom comes here. I even called up the theatre to ask them how long the movie will run so we don't miss it. I’d thought she’d be so deprived of hindi movies.

“It’s a very good movie. You should watch it.” Mom said.

“Yeah yeah… I will… but tell me first, when did you watch it? How?? You went to a hindi movie theatre there?”

“Naah, your jeeju got the movie, we watched it at home.”

Okay, fine.

Sash – 2
Sis – 3

Realising that I was fighting a losing battle, I decided it was time to use the brahmastra. I made her sit on the massage chair (I’d ensured it was delivered before Mom got here), put on her favourite music (the chair has a system whereby the massage can be synced with the music you play) and said, "So do you like the chair?"

"I love it! What a brilliant invention!"


Sash - 3
Sis – 3

And so went on the score. It had reached the point that I was trying to score on every little thing Mom mentioned about her US trip. It was a very close game, you see, and I had to win. I had to make her pick me over my sis. I had to increase my reasons and reduce hers. Naturally I was nervous and touchy.

Yesterday, we were randomly chatting, and Mom said, "So the other day baby Aish..."


Mom - "Huh? What did I say?"

Me – “Baby Aish! That's what you said."

Sash - 3
Sis - 3 gazillion bazillion trazillion...



Monday, January 07, 2008

A helping hand

Every time I watch India playing a cricket match and struggling against good fielders, I wish I could extend my hand and put it through the TV screen, all the way till the fielder, lift him up using my thumb and forefinger so that he dangles from my little nail hundreds of feet above the ball that is now going for a beautiful FOUR. I then gently put him down and retract my match-winning device or helpful hand, through the TV screen back to my living room, in preparation for the next one. Now that is what I call getting really involved in a match. A couple of days ago, I discovered that matches are not the only things I get involved in.

Recently, I got myself all three hindi channels - Sony, Zee and Star Plus. The main reason was that my Chinese friend Starbreez whom I'd inducted into the ‘Bollywood zindabad baaki sab murdabad’ club, had started supplying me with the latest Bollywood trivia and I was freaking out. I had to get back in the groove, I had to expose myself to the latest songs and trailers and then tell her things she did not know but I did. Hah!

So I told myself that I'd treat myself to the hindi movie channels after wrapping up my latest book (for the uninitiated, I corrupt young minds by writing books for them) as the work on the book barely gave me any TV time. Last week, the publisher called to tell me the book had hit the stores (pray for me, will you, that it doesn't end up in the 'half off' bin?) and I promptly subscribed to the hindi channels. Besides, Mom's dropping by Singapore on her way back to India from the US and since I can't get leave for the entire two weeks, hindi channels would serve as the best entertainment for her. (Of course, no amount of hindi channels can be as entertaining as baby Aish singing "Haina bolo bolo" in that baby voice of hers, but sorry Mom, I've gotta work with the resources I actually have.)

Anyway, so I have been watching quite a bit of the three channels I got in order to decide on which of the three I'm going to keep after Mom goes back. Keeping all three would be a waste – I don’t watch so much TV. My only criterion is that I will keep the one with the least number of saas bahu serials. Maximum Bollywood. Minimum bawling. So I've been noting down all details of saas-bahu serials that crop up during my channel surfing. And that's where I came across the trailers of this new (?) serial called "Baabul ka aangan chhoote na". Oh, the audacity to call it that! Wait till you hear the plot.

This bahu-looking err... bahu is asking the audience, "Pati ke liye karwa chauth ka vrat ya apne beemar pita ko aspatal pahunchana? Aap meri jagah hote toh kya karte?"

After thunking my head on the wall several times, I decide it’s time to lend a helping hand.

The bahu is rambling on about other events that are putting her in a spot when suddenly, the shoot is interrupted by the hand of Sayesha, which has somehow entered the grand haveli where the bahu is whining. The ghar ka wafaadaar naukar yells out in excitement, "Phata poster, nikli Sayesha!" Sayesha’s hand picks up the newspaper from the coffee table, rolls it and thwacks the bahu's head repeatedly. A voice booms in the living room, "DUH! Your dad is so ill he has to be rushed to hospital. Your husband is just standing there eating laddus while you starve the whole day for his long life. Do I really need to tell you main teri jagah hoti toh kya karti?"

*resounding slap*

The bahu is now lying on the carpet, holding a hand to her cheek. The camera focuses on her face, zooming in and out repeatedly until the audience gets a headache. The camera than pans to show the expressions on the faces of each of the people present there including the family dog. Some weirdass music plays in the background. The bahu looks stunned. Her husband in his bhola-bhala kurta pyjama looks stunned. Her father-in-law with his fake white hair looks stunned. Her mother-in-law with her purple lipstick looks stunned. Her sister-in-law with her super-short wig looks... you get the drift. Wafaadaar naukar (who is actually the bahu's real dad) looks at bahu’s expressionless face and says, “Lagta hai yaad-daasht chali gayi hai.”

The giant hand punches wafaadaar naukar in the nose and tries to make its way out of the giant haveli. Before it can get back into my living room, a girl in a kurti and long skirt runs towards it, grabs it and shakes it and says, "Oh my god. What a plot... I'm bowled over."

“Kaun hai be?” the voice booms again as the hand struggles to free itself.

"Hi, I'm Ekta... meri nayi serial mein kaam karogi? Serial ka naam hai “Kkkiiska haath?"

Giant hand picks up the rolled-up newspaper again.


Wednesday, January 02, 2008

What a charade!

It was the year 2001. The university inter-hostel cultural competitions were on. The event was Dumb Charades (DC). The 'ultimate DC team' comprising of ‘the gods of DC’ which included Viv, was facing the 'not so ultimate DC team', which included me. The eyes of the audience were filled with pity for the hapless 'not so ultimate DC team' that was about to be massacred by the ultimate DC team.

Just before the 'IT round' (Don't go "Sheesh!" on me. What kinda rounds do you expect when a bunch of engineers play DC?), I got my team together and purely on a hunch said, "Guys, if we get a word like ‘pseudocode’, I'll just point to my face and then shake my hand."

I went to the stage and picked my word. Holy cow. If I had a penny for each freaky thing that happens to me… Yes. Yes it was pseudocode. We won. Time recorded - 3 seconds. Everyone in the audience was dumb-founded. They were all wondering how the heck I mimed pseudocode and how the heck my team guessed it in 3 seconds flat. It would have been 2 seconds actually *looks coyly at nails* if I hadn't wasted 1 second just staring at the word cos I could not believe it actually was pseudocode.

It has been 7 years and I still do the victory dance every time I relate the story of how we beat the crap out of the supposed DC gods. Viv of course shrugs his shoulders and says it was a fluke because we'd decided on a code for pseudocode just before. Sheesh. We could have picked any word at all - why pseudocode? I say flukes happen to deserving people. And deserving people get repeat performances. Even if it’s 7 years later.

So yesterday, we had a small chaat & mango margarita party at home - Shub, Pizzadude, Viv and me. Years of being crushed by the Christmas and New Year crowds out there has taught us a big lesson of life – stay at home.

Check out the spread!

As we settled down to play DC with hindi movies after lunch, I wasn't very sure how well we'd do. Truth is - I've never played DC with hindi movies before. Strange that I prefer DC’ing to english movies over hindi ones, since I watch like ONE english movie in a year. Anyway, we decided to give it a go. We opened Raaga.com and went to the movie index page. Each team then picked a movie for the mimer of the other team.

As you all know by now, Viv, is a timeless man. Be it pictionary or DC, he thinks he can play without worrying about how much time it takes. How the heck does he play one-day cricket, I wonder. Nevertheless, the beauty of his thought process and incomparable creativity are very entertaining when he plays pictionary or DC because the long-windedness just never ends, and neither does the laughter. A couple of months ago, when we were playing against Aarti and her hubby, Viv started miming the whole Ramayana - he mimed Ravan and Sita and Lakshman and Lakshman Rekha and what not, and it turns out all he wanted to show was "deer". :/

His "best work" yesterday is yet another testimony to his talent. I gave him a one-word movie to mime. First, he gave me a dirty look and said, “I don’t know the meaning of this word.” So I told him. He thought for a minute that then started miming. He showed the following things: kids, glasses, motorcycle, baby, magic wand, big guy, motorcycle, baby, motorcycle, motorcycle. I was just sitting there laughing helplessly because only I knew what the heck he was trying to do, while his team looked on in bewilderment. He was trying to show Hagrid from Harry Potter. Why Hagrid since it was a hindi movie DC? Because... from Hagrid he planned to somehow get to the movie he was actually supposed to be miming. Can you guess what the movie was?

Shagird. :/

Anyway, Shub and I whacked the guys' asses, rather royally I must say, and we set some records similar to the ones set in 2001. It's amazing what a great team we made, specifically when she was miming and I was guessing, considering we've never played anything in the same team before!

Here are some snippets.

Act I

Viv and Pizzadude pick what they think is a very difficult movie. Shub starts miming.
Shub shows three fingers.
Me - Three words!
She joins her hand in prayer and lifts them up.
Me - It's a God?
She nods and shows a bow and arrow.
Me - Errrm… Kaamdev?
Everyone explodes into laughter. Darn, four seconds lost.
She shakes her head.
Me - Ram? Shri Ram?
She nods her head vigorously and shows a person standing next to her.
Me – Oh! Lakshman? Rampur ka Lakshman!
She does a victory dance and we do a high-five.
Pizzadude and Viv look at each other in utter shock.
Viv - What movie is that?? How do you even know it?
Me - The one with Randhir Kapoor?
Viv - Hainn??
Me - The one with that song "Gum hai kisi ke pyaar mein..."
Viv continues to shake his head in disbelief.

Act II

Shub shows two fingers.
Me - Two words.
She gestures that it's a movie from long ago.
Me - Very old movie?
She gestures someone singing classical music.
Me - Tansen? Oh wait, two words… Baiju Baawra??
She high-fives me.
Viv - WHAT? Who is Baiju Baawra????
Me – He was a singer. You didn't read the story of Tansen and Baiju Baawra in school?
The guys have the usual expression.


Shub shows two fingers.
Me - Two words.
She shows a goddess.
Me - It's a goddess.
She shows books.
Me - Books?
She tries to show a musical instrument but she doesn't know how to hold it. It kinda looks like a guitar.
Me (thought bubble) - A guitar playing goddess? Shakira?
Shub (to the guys) - How do they hold it?
Viv shows her how a veena is held (his sis plays the instrument).
Me - Veena! Goddess! Veena! Saraswati Chandra!
Shub - Yes!
Viv - What movie IS that? How do you know that?
Me - I think I have a song from that movie...
The guys repeat previous expression.

Act IV

Shub shows one finger.
Me - One word.
She holds the edges of her top and shows it off.
Me - Libaas!
She high-fives me.
The guys' jaws are on the floor.
Viv - That's libaas??
Shub and I - Yeah! Libaas means dress. Clothes.
Viv - I didn't even know what the word meant!
Pizzadude - Me neither!
Viv - Yeah! I thought it's some high fundoo urdu word meaning good behaviour or something. Like parents ka libaas karna chahiye!
Me - You mean lihaaz karna chahiye? Hahaha!
The guys – Libaas means dress?
Me - Yeah! Half the tailors in India name their shops Libaas yaar! How could you not know?
The guys shake their heads.

Act V

This is my favourite one, the one that shocked the heck outta the guys.

Shub shows one finger.
Me - One word?
She nods.
Me - Erm... Ijaazat? Abhiman?
She nods like mad.
Me - Ijaazat?
Shub – YEAH!
We high-five again.
The guys - WHAT??? She didn't even mime anything!
The gals - Muahahahaha!

Loved the dumb start to the year!
Happy New Year, bewdas! :D