Wednesday, November 25, 2015

What my teacher unintentionally taught.

Summing up the week, saree day went well and most importantly, it did not fall apart. My son is a big time fan of the saree because the Principal of his school wears it oh-so-elegantly every single day. He thinks she looks like a bride. Yes, Bride. Since he was born four years ago he must have seen a lot of brides by this time. His grandmothers have tucked their sarees to the top shelves and are flaunting their churidhars with chiffon shawls with much élan. All Indian dudes grow up to be total suckers of the saree, because a major part of their lives are spent watching others suffer – be it wearing a saree or in a labor room.

It is a fact that we all adore well-dressed teachers. Particularly in colleges where students are only physically present and are forced to focus their eyes on the teachers. My Mom was a teacher and she dressed immaculately every single day to college. She, being a fan of well ironed and tediously maintained cotton sarees, effortlessly gained respect from students and colleagues alike. A teacher who has a sartorial sense gains respect irrespective of her teaching abilities. Some others may not dress as well, but has good knowledge of the subject. Others are friendly and just let live. Then there is that fourth kind.

About that.

Image Courtesy: Here

So back in my Engineering days, most of our teachers were really young so they were fun and harmless. Then there was this lady, senior most in our department, short and stout, shrill, and always carries a ‘F you’ expression. She taught us that not all teachers deserve to be respected. Unfortunately, semester exams came every six months, and during the final classes of each semester, most of the staff used to get friendlier and wished us best of luck. Engineering exams are passed only by God’s grace which roughly translates itself as ‘luck’ in Layman terms. However, the lady in question begged to differ. She used to walk in on the last class before the exams and curse us. “You know what. I wish you guys don’t pass this semester. None of you. I will be here in my cabin and I want to see each one of you coming year after year to clear your arrears”.

I did not fabricate that sentence. These were the exact words spoken to us. Not once, but on multiple occasions. Most of us, far away from home, just needed a gentle push to keep going. A few words of kindness to keep ourselves afloat. In the case of this lady, if she hadn’t turned up at all, that would have been a big favor for us. However, she decided to do what no teacher should do under any circumstances.When I told this to my parents they couldn’t possibly believe what they were hearing. Even though I was capable of hating anyone who did not agree with me, they knew that it was beyond me to make this up. My Mom was literally shocked to know that anyone can talk like this, let alone a teacher. Just because someone is a ‘teacher’ according to the payroll of a college doesn’t mean she is one. 

Such people come into our lives for a reason. Now I know how a teacher should not behave. Some kids have shown me what my son should not grow up to become. Some have shown me that a degree in medicine does not make a Doctor. Some friends have taught me never to trust a single human being. Since I have been doing a lot of learning, I am exhausted. It is high time I start teaching a lesson or two.

Now, what do I teach? :-|

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Mission Diwali : Almost Impossible.

It is that time of the year again. Diwali is just round the corner and so is the mandatory saree day.

While everyone I know can’t wait for saree day to come, I have my own prejudices about it. The only reason I still wear it on Diwali day is that in the movie Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Shah Rukh Khan started romancing his lady after she started wearing sarees. Well, that is some solid reason for a die-hard fan to wear it right?  Secondly I am bored being normal and insignificant all year long, so here is a chance for people who haven’t noticed me before to get amused. Coming soon at the office in Muscat, the ultimate chance to watch in flesh and blood, the walking documentary of ‘HOW NOT TO WEAR A SAREE’. Thank you very much.

The reason I still resort to this impossible mission.
Image Courtesy: Here

I have never in my life rocked a saree look. On my wedding day, the saree was obviously heavy so when the stylist draped it around and put it accurately in place with around 86433 safety pins, it stayed put until evening. I will not attribute the massive success of that to the safety pins or the stylist, but to the saree whose weight made it stay. Saree falling apart on wedding day would have been a kind of a major setback for the dignity of my family. Anyway blessings followed us on that day and beyond because neither the saree nor the marriage fell apart :D

Coming to the groom’s suit, hubby was kind of overweight that time. So bringing both sides of the suit together at the tummy and sliding the button on was a challenge. Throughout the wedding he was expecting the button to burst into the altar with a thud and the videographers covering the entire footage in detail, so occasionally I kept reminding him, ‘Hold your breath, Hold it! Hold it!’ . Meanwhile somewhere between the infinite folds, a pin was about to succumb to the weight of my saree. In general, our wedding day was a strength test day for safety pins and buttons.

Nowadays we have readymade blouses which have actually made life much easier. Who would have thought that this day would finally arrive! It has everything inbuilt (if you know what I mean ;-) ) so everyone is happy ( if you know what I really mean *wink* *wink*)! I got mine from Trivandrum when I went blouse shopping with Mummy. Well, I got a lot of time to try and choose the right one, as Mom was there and my son was trying to figure out whether the mannequin near the blouse section was male or female. So in general, peace prevailed during blouse shopping.

The one thing that makes saree impossible for me is the long list of prerequisites that makes it unreasonable and time consuming. I am not very systematic; my things don’t sit in the same designated place every day. Hence I buy dozens of safety pins every year for this purpose, and when I am done, they just vanish into thin air. Which is good because storage space is saved. For the chronically absent-minded person that I am, a checklist should be in place. There is a probability that I may miss something in the checklist itself, so I am off to Google ‘Dummies guide to wearing saree’. 

Okay, then.  

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Toys R NOT Us.

It had been one hell of a week. Today, after a refreshing weekend, I saw this news that ZARA owner, Amancio Ortega topped the Forbes list leaving behind Bill Gates, to become the richest man. Ladies, ZARA owner’s win is our win, basically. For sure behind the success of this man there are a lot of women including us. Yay! So three cheers to Amancio!

The reason why it was one hell of an awesome week for me is that hubby was out of station for five whole days, which gave us full ownership over the TV. The kiddo was missing his Appa a lot, but he fell for the unlimited Disney offer. Another shocking revelation was made during this period, which is that the house was surprisingly clean these five days. Till date I was under the impression that it was the little one, but boy, I couldn't be more wrong. The kiddo and his girlfriend played in our living room all these days, and still the house was reasonably organized. So the bottom line is that one should think twice before blaming children for the untidy house. The real culprit is actually hiding behind the innocent child and never caught.

Another thing I noticed is that things stop working when the hubby is not around. The day he announced his official tour to me, the bedroom switch, the shower in the main bathroom and the kitchen sink overheard it somehow and all of them went on a collective strike. Initially, I planned to call the plumber after hubby came back, but the kitchen sink could not wait. Finally, I got things fixed. It was nevertheless obvious that most of the switches and appliances were pissed. Like how employees come to work after a negligible yearly increment. I was basically expecting a ceiling fan to fall on me or other things that happen only in ‘Final Destination’ series, but things went fine and we are alive. So yay. 

Another proud moment was when I actually drove the kiddo to school despite not having driven at all in the last two months. This car and I are not like friends who catch up even after ages like they spoke the previous day. Like I have mentioned before, the car thinks that I am a b***h (and I think the same way about it too).  Anyway we made our peace and things went fine.

On Saturday, hubby came home to super excited shrieks of the little one. He brought him helicopters! Till date, whenever I came out of the kitchen I looked left and right for any remote operated speeding cars, scooters or cycles because once it hits me or I accidentally step on it, the excruciating pain actually takes me to the doors of the labor room. Tiny cars are everywhere. The ones under the pillows are worst because some nights I have woken up with something pulling my hair and haven’t been able to go back to sleep, even after throwing the car into oblivion and cursing it. The next morning I step on it of course. Other days I wake up with a car imprinted cheek.  Still these things stuck to the ground (thanks to gravity) and I almost got used to the places they are likely to strike.
Image Courtesy: Here

With the advent of helicopters, my life is endangered.  Unrestricted flying objects have added to the countless cars among other things with wheels under them. My whole existence is compromised now. This reminds me that I should get my health insurance renewed. Also I should start wearing those CAT trekking shoes and helmet at home.

When the helicopter takes off and goes haywire across the hall, there are multiple emotions. Hubby’s heart beats really fast because there is a TV in the same room. I keep a straight face, but I am actually praying soulfully yet silently to the Almighty for a smooth landing. Then there is the kiddo whose elated big eyes follow the helicopter everywhere while he jumps with joy.

That is worth wearing a helmet for. 

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

All About HBDs.

Birthdays from my childhood are incomparable to any sophistication we have these days. Nowadays birthdays are bigger and they dig such holes in our wallets that we end up feeling like the entire economy has slowed down. To be honest, it actually slows down for us in the following months.

Not much long ago when I was a child, birthdays used to be really nice. The highlight being, one can’t get scolded on that day. As school uniforms were worn five days a week and the nuns made it mandatory even on weekend classes, our parents thought that dresses other than uniforms were a luxury. We got two new dresses each year, one for birthday and the other for Christmas (still there was no place in my wardrobe, which is a mystery). On my birthday, the happiness factor for me was that only I had the new dress (unlike Christmas when everyone has one). 

My Mom baked the cake always; I don’t remember a single time birthday cake was bought. Baking a cake is not a cakewalk, and the smell of homemade cake from the oven defined the real birthday atmosphere.  One could actually catch the scent from outside too. Despite our in-house differences, (sometimes we couldn’t stand each other so badly that it hurt to be in the same room) we all came together and sang ‘Happy Birthday’ as I cut the cake. 

That feeling. 

Nowadays birthdays are not bad either. Hundreds of wishes I get from Facebook, Whatsapp and the excitement of showing off the birthday dress. The little girl in me is still particular about the dress. Random people I don’t know much about wish me too. I want to be wished, I want people to like my pictures and all the people on my list to see where I checked in. That is the whole point of Facebook right?  According to the unwritten laws of Facebook etiquette, this is where normalcy ends.

HBD, my friend. Really...HBD...I mean it !  :D
Image Courtesy: Here

Then, people take this birthday thing to a whole other level. The thin line which separates normalcy from eccentricity is compromised.  They are the ones who type “HBD”. I want to talk to these people, like really.  Dude. How long does it take to type H-A-P-P-Y  B-I-R-T-H-D-A-Y ? I mean, you are not Barack Obama. Or Narendra Modi, or anybody we know is extremely busy. There is no justification to typing ‘HBD’. For the uninitiated, HBD is nothing but ‘Happy Birthday’ according to the ‘Encyclopedia of imaginary jargons for jerks’. To be honest if someone said HBD to me on some other day I’d think it is something like HIV or H1N1. Just because it was seen on someone’s timeline on their birthday, I made this wild guess that it must be ‘Happy Birthday’.

So a happy anniversary is gonna be ‘HA’? And ‘Get well soon’ would be GWS? If I had a daughter and someone says ‘GWS’ to her when she is ill, I’d tell her ‘Sweetheart, this guy who said GWS. You should marry him’. When are GoodByes and Farewells going under the knife? 
You know Farewell could be just ‘F’ and that would be epic, considering how popular the alphabet 'F' is, in general.  

We have the luxury of being reminded about people’s birthdays. Let’s use it to make a person feel good. Don’t be a CJ.

P.S:- CJ – Complete Jerk. 

Monday, October 5, 2015

Fresh gyaan, straight from The Alps.

To be honest, I am not a punctual person. I respect punctual people. However, I will not fuss too much for plus or minus five minutes. Mostly plus five minutes, because there has never been a minus five minutes. Of course, the invigilator at the exam hall may not agree with me, but generally it is my personal trait. Every single day I run from home to office to swipe my fingerprint before the machine crosses the 8:00:00 mark. I will not do anything from my part to reach before time, so contrary to whatever anyone who sees me run may think, I know for one that people who come earlier to office than what is required are losers.

When we talk time, we should discuss two people whose murderous looks through my childhood haunts me till date. My parents. They are the type of people who reach before the hosts at a birthday party. I was the type who equated ‘late’ with ‘latest’. I scooped that from a Rajnikanth dialogue, but we are all Rajni fans aren’t we? We are allowed to do that.

Every single Sunday, we reached the church at least ten minutes before the service started, and these ten minutes felt like ages. Once it started and the sermon was over, I could feel wrinkles on my face. My peers who came on time or at least ten minutes into the service always stayed young and fresh even after the service. I blamed my parents for this. God was not giving out blessings on a first-come-first-served basis. Even trips to relative’s houses or shopping always began with arguments because when I start to decide what to wear, these two along with my sister would have got into the car already. Each time they honk after that, something inside me ticked off. I think that was my sanity. People need time!

As if reaching the store before the security arrived was not torture enough, they also gave me gyaan. That punctuality defines you. I thought, yeah the security decides your character. He will issue conduct certificate which you can use to avail discount. Man, I don’t understand this! The psychological move to improve my time management failed miserably. I do not clearly remember which category my sister belonged to, but as far as I know her she may have made it on time just to avoid the free advice.

When the train and you are 'On Time'.
Image Courtesy: Here

So last month we were in Switzerland on vacation. Switzerland makes all the expensive watches for a reason, my friend. Time in Switzerland is more expensive than Cartier watches. In Switzerland, it doesn’t matter if you come latest. Nobody cares. If you come late, you miss the train. If you miss the train, you wait. Also, in India you can safely assume that the train may be late. Even if you are unlucky with your predictions, you can put your money on this one. However, this assumption is invalid in Swiss. If the train is scheduled to arrive at 6:57 pm, it will. You adjust your watch with the time the train arrives.

Surprisingly there are no Rajni fans in Switzerland. People are religiously punctual, and they act like each second counts! I mean how can all the people in a country act like my parents? This is weird. I was like, this is not the place I want to be…Escaaaaapppee!

Honestly, my parents should be in Switzerland. They will have a whole country of like-minded people for friends. There will be no dearth of principles to live by. Plus, Tissot is cheap. Victorinox is available in plenty. Going by the culture of local train passengers, there are more readers than gossipers. This is like the Promised Land for them.

I’d like to add here, that the train that arrives at 6:57 will be there only at 6:57. If you get to the train station for this train at 6:00, this does not get you brownie points. You will search for seats in the train the same way the person who arrived at 6:55 does. Switzerland is cold, so you better stay warm at home for some extra time. That is my gyaan for you, straight from the Alps. You are welcome.  Okay, Bye. **runs away**

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Updates from the virtual living room.

Did you know that slipping and falling down is funny when it happens to others, but extremely painful otherwise? Did you also know that the pain is directly proportional to the number of people who witnessed it? I am just adding to Murphy’s Law, because Murphy never fell down and hurt his ankle with at least 25 people watching him. Pretending that nothing happened and walking away without making eye contact is easy because the pain is already blinding.

Image Corutesy: Here
This happened to me when the week started, and I did not tell my parents. We have a family group on whatsapp so anything that is said in it, is like talking in our living room.  There are not enough emoticons in whatsapp that represent most common emotions from our living room, but whatsapp has certain limitations you see. It cannot cater to the emotional demands of every family. However, the shocked emoticon would have been used more often, if whatsapp existed in my school days.  If you are wondering why my parents should be shocked, you don’t know me enough. My report cards usually evoke feelings of shock. I sometimes wish that had I been a school girl now, I would just take a picture of my report card and send it on whatsapp before opening the door of my room. This way verbal abuse and emotional blackmailing could be avoided. The luxuries kids enjoy these days! Back in time, we had to make eye contact with parents on report card day. It was so hard I tell you.

I decided not to tell parents about the ‘great fall’ of this week because it was not as fatal as the one Humpty Dumpty had. However, I am the ultimate dumbo who  took a picture of my foot in ankle support and accidentally posted it in the group. Don’t ask what happened next.

I am kind of responsible for most some of the disasters happening to me, so I owned this one completely. Thanks to WhatsApp I didn't have to make eye contact and I also have options to send flowers, hearts, wine and beer to cool them down. And it is FREE ! Now it is all fine.
We have some upcoming holidays (perks of being in the Middle East) and a Switzerland trip coming soon. Real soon! Adding a cherry on that cold coffee with extra cream, this blog was chosen by Blogadda as one among the top five blogs in India under the ‘Humor and Satire’ category! How cool is that? That is cooler than Switzerland right now!

Well, there are so many things happening. The ankle should heal, packing is pending, and it is getting busy at office each day. I have to update my virtual living room as well about the progress I am making. I am doing pretty well in heels today ;-)

My son had been asking me repeatedly to show him exactly where I fell down. He likes my ankle support and wants to wear it too. Which means, he probably thinks once he stages a fall there he will get to wear ankle support too? Man, how his brain works! My son has widened my imagination exponentially over the years.

Hence I solemnly dedicate the blog award to him.