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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Shopping spree with Papa and Mama!!

From time immemorial, this category of homo sapiens are very much known to accuse women- be it mother/sister/wife for ‘excessive’ shopping. This generously common species are called ‘Men’. Be it a saree, a plastic container, soap dish, or footwear, that we choose to buy, often they mutter, that it is the 65,687th one added to existing ones (non-existent, of course)at home. whatever. I have had this experience of hunting for Papa/hubby at shopping malls/exhibitions, as they just disappear in a fraction of a second to..I don’t know where.

Act I Scene I:
Papa is accompanied by me as he goes to the city to fulfill his lifetime obligation of paying bills on a pleasant Saturday morning. As we speed across Statue Junction,

Me: Papa there is a Wills Lifestyle showroom near Raymonds…I have a purchase there.
Papa: * Acting as if he is lost in thoughts*
Me: (Loudly, this time, the windows almost vibrating) I need to go to Wills Lifestyle.
If he refuses to change the expression on his face, the physical torture of shaking, poking, and other irritating activities are started and gradually ends after we’ve crossed the store.
Me: Where is that shop? It was somewhere here..
Papa: Oh ! I forgot to tell you. They closed down last week.
Me:$&&*(*() Aaargh!!

Act I Scene II. (True incident)
One fine morning I succeeded in pulling Papa to Palayam, and he walks along, hesitantly. All along, I am subjected to stories of how his great grandmother and her mother (he has not seen either of them) were so humble and undemanding , and would never go out of the house unless it is to feed the cows and would wear only what their husbands bought for them. I nod my head with an expression of sarcastic appreciation,as if he was talking about Indus Valley Civilization.
Suddenly one of my school friends appeared as if from nowhere and shrieked ‘Anitaaaa’ and everyone turned around to look at us, terrified . I introduce Papa to her, and she released me in around 10 minutes, from the prangs of hot and spicy 'girl talk' which comprised of common exclamatory statements like.. ‘who? Is it? When? She got married? Oh he cheated on her? She eloped ‘again’?‘ and lots of other hoo-haaa-ing.
* Meanwhile,Papa is in a selectively deaf mode now*

Back home, in the kitchen:
Papa: We met Anu’s friend at Palayam today.
Mummy: mmm.
Papa: And that girl asked Anu where she was going with her "brother".
Mummy: GRRR (Eyes popped out)
Papa disappears into thin air.

Act I Scene III

Mummy and me are going to Parthas. Papa is as usual, sulking and hesitating as soon as he hears ‘Parthas’. For him, “Parthas’ means ‘pestilence’ .However, we are conveniently dropped right at the entrance of the showroom and Papa promises ‘to park the car’ and would be ‘right back’.( He must have surely heaved a sigh of relief when Mummy and me got down).
Now, ‘To park the car’ means he is going to find the parking lot atleast 2 km away from parthas and we would finally have to hire an auto to get there. ‘Right back’ is the time starting from the drive from Parthas to parking lot, parking, getting out, smoking an average of 6 cigarettes, going to the nearby tea shop, getting back into the car, reading some 20 pages of Reader’s Digest, until a call from me squealing from Parthas is received.

Act I, Scene IV.
Go to style plus with Papa, and he disappears right at the entrance area itself ,and I would finally have to hunt for him.

If you find a cloud of smoke behind the car, he is there.
If you don’t find him there, he is at the lounge with four year olds, and would be frantically searching whether he has left out any piece of news in ‘The Hindu’, or if there is anything different from the one that we get at home.
If you still don’t find him, you will find him at the Books section, seriously checking the prizes of Pulitzer prize winning books. *eeks*
The last place where you can find him, would be, the Music and DVD section wherein he would be checking out on ‘Beatles’ and ‘Jim Reeves’ DVDs. :D

He he.. that was a series of shopping episodes put together… just thought of documenting them as I was gliding through those sweet memories of childhood.. above all that, Papa and Mummy were , and are the best people to be with. I guess not many of you would have had your mothers tying friendship bands for you!! Yes believe it or not, my Mummy used 2 tie friendship band for me and my sister on Friendship Day.Yes, they know all about my friends,most of the secrets we usually discuss about at school, jokes which they dont find so funny, but still listens not to let me down...Often they end up chatting to my friends when they call, and I'm not home...! They were strict parents when they had to be, and were our best friends (still are) after we grew up! I still prefer mummy and Papa along when we go shopping/picnic/exhibition/beach/restaurant…anywhere and everywhere…!! Love you n miss u tons….!!! Mwah!!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Calamity-Maker (Read Chapathi-maker)..!

Recently I went to a nearby store and found a chapathi-maker there. I was told by the sales guy that it made chapathi-making very easy. This almost lured me into buying it, taking into account innumerable days I sweat, groan, nag and sulk at the kitchen,laboring hard to accomplish the above mentioned activity. As most husbands usually are, mine is also selectively deaf at apparel stores and other ladies stores. I had to shake him vigorously to bring him to his senses when the sales guy delivered a totally overwhelming speech about the advantages of a chapathi maker.By the end of the speech, I was almost convinced into buying it. Smart as I always were, I got him pay the bill with an attached, personalized warning: ‘ medikkunnathokke kollam, Use cheythillengil nokkikko’. I was excited, conveniently ignoring the above comment.

We got back home, and the urge to ‘use’ the chapathi-maker was tempting. It had two heavy circular plates, connected to each other, and a lever on which we were to ‘lightly press’ so that the chapathi becomes thin and round. The dough was made with great hurry, and we waited till it got all ‘set. Meanwhile we watched idea star singer and indulged in creative activities like imitating the anchor and her Oxford style of teaching Manglish to Mallus all over the world.

I now step gingerly into the kitchen looking forward to make hot, soft, delicious chapathis using the chapathi maker.

Dough 1: I take the dough, which is quite the size of a table tennis ball, apply some flour on it, press lightly with my hands, keep it inside the chapathi maker , topped with lots of expectations. I press with the maximum pressure I could possibly apply. With beaming eyes, I open it, and saw that it had grown to the size of a puri, and is stuck at the top circular plate of the maker. I tried to detach it with all my strength. Exhausted and worn out, I started breathing heavily, and this invited him to step in hurriedly into the kitchen. He tried to hide the amusement the scene had brought to his lips, pulled it out as if he was doing some Herculian task and it emerged into the weirdest shape ( close to the shape of Sri Lanka as we see it on the map). I am totally embarrassed. I roll it up again to its original shape as if nothing happened and gave an ‘its-all-in-the-game’ look. He gave me a I-tol-you-na-that-it-wont-work stare and a sarcastic what-a-beautiful-shape-for-a-chapathi look and left immediately with a have-a-nice-time-with-your-chapathi-maker smile.

He left muttering words and I could almost make out ‘avalude oru chapathi maker’.

Dough 2: Now that was a call to prove myself.
The second dough is taken with utmost care, placed inside, and pressed after uttering The Lord’s prayer. This time, more flour, and the pressing becomes scrupulous that both my legs are in the air now, a few centimeters abover sea level err..i mean the floor .I open the chapathi maker again with a hell lot of expectations. This time, the chapathi is thin and rounded (thanks to each and every gram of my weight). I jump with joy and try to pull it out. The chapathi gives way to two big holes for the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea.

I solemnly placed the chapathi maker in the sink, and made yummy, reasonably shaped chapathis in the next half an hour, in the traditional way.

Thanks to chapathi maker for sending down the drain 500 bucks (which I could have judiciously spent at fabindia), for wasting 30 minutes of a working-day evening, water ,soap, and giving me a joint pain bad enough that I had to use ‘moov’ continuously for 10 days after that. The chapathi maker which made my life easy, now rests at the farthest possible corner of the kitchen cupboard and is available to all readers on an auction. If you are interested, you can mail me directly at my email id .

The item on auction can be disintegrated, and creatively used as
 Paper weight
 Stand to keep oil and other jars
 Hot vessel plate
 Cutting board
 Modern wall hanging

p.s:-If you happen to buy this item and use it for purposes other than those mentioned above, please let me know.


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Cooompromizes n Grieeeevancez!!!

1.When I was at school I had this habit of remembering all the ‘big jokes’ that my friends cracked and would wait to run home to tell everyone. However, Papa comes from office at sharp 6:00 pm everyday (I don’t know how this happens so accurately) and I would wait for him to join so that I don’t have to repeat the big ‘joke’. Now I start off, with Papa,Mummy and chechi listening with a seemingly interested expression on their faces. I complete the joke, and burst into an aggressive clatter (laughter, in my words). Papa and Mummy continues to keep the earlier expression thinking that the ‘funny’ part of it is yet to come.

2.I have a set of Winnie the Pooh stickers with which I frequently blackmail my hubby saying that if he doesn’t take me shopping I am going to stick it all over his bike. Although I am damn serious about this, he keeps the aforesaid expression (as in point no 1).

3.Papa always keeps a watch on me and my closest circle of friends. Once he told me, that my friendship with one of the girls in the gang is going too far and that girl is not so good to be best friends with. To this, I commanded him to stop all friendship with his best friend, who was working with him at VSSC for the past 32 years. Finally this girl about whom I was warned about , put me into an acute trouble which I was not involved or aware about, and had me in staff room half a day proving my innocence to the teachers. How did Papa know this earlier? GRR

4.My sister,was an absolute contrast to all my behavioral traits - silent, soft spoken, attentive and possessed all the blessed virtues of a student. She had the best grades ever at school.I, poor little underperformer (comparatively)bore the wrath of all the staff and at times,had teachers sarcastically pointing out disgraceful comments like, ‘Are u really Anjana’s sister?’ ( What the hell does she mean by the word ‘really’ here?)
I tell you, having a studious brother/sister/cousin in the same school/college/office ultimately makes you feel like a celebrity!! Each and every piece of news will reach your parents before you reach home!!

5.When the school bell rings for lunch, my friends and me run out of the class like a swarm of bees, to play the most popular game, ‘Touching the wood’. Five minutes before the bell rings, we run back to the class, almost at the speed of light, open our lunch boxes and gulp down whatever is there. We were some 10 or 12 naughty girls, and washed our hands conveniently through the window of the class, as the bell rang for afternoon sessions. The teacher came in and caught me washing hands through the window. All the other girls escaped and started staring solemnly at the teacher like heaven’s little angels and at me like I’ve done some grave, unforgivable crime. She had me write, ‘I will never wash my hands through the window of my class’ and get it signed from THE GUARDIAN. So I waited for the guardian (my Papa) to come back from office. I thought, ‘After all, this isn’t my progress report. So he is not gonna be mad at me’ (progress card was the only reason for my dearest Papa to be mad at me, and I cursed my own ‘progress’ because of that). Finally Papa came and I delightfully gave him the piece of paper to which hell broke loose.

Me: ‘Papa can u sign this for me..?’
Papa: ‘What the hell is this? Inspite of signing your report card, I have to sign this also! I never sent you to convent school to study maths and social studies. I sent you there to learn manners and discipline..! God what a blessed father I am!!’
Me: Papa please..papa.. She wont let me enter the class without your signature.
Papa: I love your teacher.
Me: (Burst to tears) Papa please…
Papa walks away.

Next day, Papa accompanies me to school ..the controversial piece of paper on his right hand, my ear twisted in his left. The teacher ( who looks more like the ugly wicked witch now) greets us gleefully and narrates a set of complaints between which I noticed that she was using the word ‘chatterbox’ too often. Papa tells her, (my ear still twisted, developing a permanent twist now), to write whatever complaints she has about me and inform him immediately ( I still hang from the tip of his fingers). I saw the rarest of sights – heaven and hell at a glance- heaven by having my little ear supporting my entire body from papa’s fingers, the ear twisted cruelly for around 20 minutes, and hell , with a gang of teachers and my Papa teaming up against me like demons.

6. When we were in tenth standard, slam books were the ‘IN’ thing, and all of us had one. During one of those days, Miss.N was in a hurry, and got another classmate Miss. A write in her slambook… Miss.N kept pestering her 2 complete it fast and Miss.A scribbled something. The slam book had a hell lot of illogical, unanswerable questions like, ‘your fav color? Dress? Movie? Actor? Actress? Villain ? director? Producer? Makeup man? Cleaner? ’ and other bull shit.
Miss.N came home and started reading the slam book.
It went like this..
Most Unforgettable Moment: “I don’t remember!!’

Miss.N realized she should have given Miss.A more time.

7.One day I was traveling in a KSRTC bus. As you all know, KSRTC buses are in perfect condition (haha), and are never crowded (haha )due to ample buses (haha) in each route (haha). My sister, even if she gets a seat doesn’t sit if I am still standing or she wants me to sit on her lap. However, I made her sit in one seat and acted very comfortable standing. Im sure she was having a hell of a time sitting there with my school bag on her lap, which weighed more than me. I was standing next to an aunty, who looked approximately 125 kgs, the bus kept crawling at 20km/hr, and I kept praying earnestly that she gets down soon. Finally God answered my prayers and I saw her helping her butt lift up from the seat as if it was stuck to it, and her thin and frail arms (!!) leaning on the seat in front. I rejoiced. As soon as the entire butt disappeared from the seat (my eyes focused on the seat and partially on her butt), I immediately placed myself there, and it felt like a football ground for me. I can only remember a roar of laughter from my sister and the passengers at the back. Aunty only leaned forward to take her ticket which had fallen down. Fortunately, God had more years ahead for me to live that she dint land on my lap..!!

8.Another day, my tuition got over at 6, and papa told me to come home by bus. I gave a warning signal in the morning itself, ‘Papa , unless and until u pick me from the tuition class I will not come home’. In the evening, I kept my promise, and waited outside the tuition class knowing clearly that papa is not coming to pick me anyway. My tuition teacher was however kind enough not to let loose her ferocious dogs (wonder why she needed dogs for security, she herself was dead scary). Papa sensed a 0.01% chance of me staying at the tuition teachers house and she in turn, complaining to the police about the menace that’s outside her class since evening. So Papa set out to pick me in scooter. I was delighted to see him, and got onto the back seat. However, at PTP nagar, a dog suddenly ran across and we landed up in the nearest hospital.

9.I had a cat during my school days and I was very fond of her/him. I still don’t know whether it was a male or female, but our maid chechi confirmed that it was a male ( I guess it was because it had a moustache). My sister hates all animals/insects/birds/human beings(selectively) and of course was not very keen in touching or feeding my cat. However she never does anything which hurts me. Dinner time, we are all around the table and kitty dear is near my sister (although I am its authorized local guardian). My sister, sissy as she is, gives all the fish in her plate to my kitty, and the kitty in turn gives them to its mother cat (who is a bitch of a cat, immoral to the core and is a permanent resident of the back side wall of our house). Sister dear later understood that kitty was taking advantage of her dinner, and stopped the entire fish outsourcing business. Talk to my sister now about my cat and you can see real wild expressions!!

10.When Mummy screams at me for talking too much on the phone during study hours, I pick up the remote and press the mute button at her, and the series of domestic violence is triggered.

11.I remember my sister crying and wailing like hell when she found her ‘hero pen’ in the freezer. She and Mummy still believes that it is me. Papa, however, has no doubts about it.

12.As I was comfortably sitting on the sofa, with my leg cozily hanging itself on the armrest, I had Papa telling me to hang it on the fan. How cruel!

13.My Mom has this disease of cleaning the house in regular intervals of microseconds and expects every little thing to be kept at the places defined by her. She gives us hell if we rub a piece of crayon or pencil on the walls. During those frequent catastrophic events like, a fight with my sister, I end up losing it all by being the first one to cry, and the biggest punishment I give her (eventually to myself) for hurting me, was to draw senseless pictures of mountains, sun, moon, stars, crows, children (whose arms and legs apparently look like they were born with polio) on the wall, and write my sisters name specifically below in caps. This name-mentioning at the bottom itself clearly shows that it was me, and I get an additional dose of parental harassment and my sister escapes giggling.

14.Arguments with one of my close friends at school eventually leads her into uttering curses like, ‘Anita, you will get married to an old man who is a native of Uganda, and there you will give birth to quadruplets’. This statement pissed me off regularly, and I usually end up picturizing my wedding album.

15.During five minute sleep breaks on the previous day of university exams, I get nightmares like: dozing off till the morning/ink of my pen getting over/getting short term memory loss/dozing off till afternoon and waking up to see my friends discussing the questions/my Mom coming as the invigilator/losing the hall ticket/ and the like.

16.Papa has this habit of snoring. There are several humiliating incidents of him snoring at the back seat of the church during Sunday mass, and people looking around to see, where this exotic music is coming from.Often, we had our neighbors (who stay atleast 2 km away)say that they too can hear his snores from their bedrooms ( I know that was too exaggerating for anyone to believe, but our neighbors are very creative and have a wild imagination). On some days I watch movies like ‘manichithrathazhu’ and get horrified. Even the telephone ring sounds like the magical inkling of nagavalli’s anklets. So brave as I always were, I prefer to sleep in Papa n Mummy’s room. The snoring starts almost immediately, which not only deprives me of my sleep, but enhances by innermost fears of Nagavalli appearing in the bedroom. Mom seems to sleep peacefully as if some lullaby is being played in the background. However, I fell asleep and got nightmares which when told sound amusing to others. Large, out-of-the –world type dinosaurs near our house, bawling and groaning out of hunger, and chasing me to death. I puff, pant and sweat from head to toe.
I open my eyes, see Papa snoring away to glory, Mummy still with the aforesaid expression. I take my pillows and all the other little things which people rarely sleep with, (book, water bottle, around 12 pillows) and get back to my room. I realized that Nagavalli was less scary.

17.HE (hubby dear) wears a mixture of AXE and Brut deodorants, applies hair gel for half an hour in the morning, sports a French beard, uses only branded shirts, pants, socks, upto the shoelace, and drives the car with music on volume 15 and still expects me to wear a sindhooram!! Good joke!!

18.If a spoon/fork/hairpin/safety pin/tv remote/rubber band/Vaseline is missing/misplaced, Mummy screams at the top of her lungs, ‘Where is Anu?’ Of course, not bothering to find it out herself. But most of the time she succeeds finding it by performing the above mentioned activity.

19.There is a plan to go to the church/beach/restaurant. The plan had been there for the past four days. As I cozily ease myself out on the sofa, my face covered fully with the fancy square shaped cushions, I hear the sound of shoes. Papa is dressed in a shirt and pants, shirt tucked in perfectly, and has the car key in his hand. He stares at me with anger and disgust. However I can’t figure out any language from facial expressions. Mummy also comes and joins him, dressed in a neatly ironed cotton saree. Sister is already there, you can’t really make out whether she is ready to go out or not. I look at them surprised. Then everyone walks out uniformly, uttering in seemingly low voices:

Papa: “Enikku nerathe ariyamayirunnu’
Mummy: “Aval varunnillengil venda..ivide irikkatte
power cut aavumbol
“ Ningal vandi edukku… avalodu njan 5647645 times paranjatha
dress cheyyan”.
Sister: expression of agony

Who? When?

I race to my room, wear some dress, carry comb, lip gloss, hairclips along so that such activities can always be done in the car. Simultaneously everyone gets into the car and the horn is sounded for the entire district to hear. The whole of neighborhood now knows that everyone is going out and I am applying ‘makeup’.
I am always blamed for having studied in a convent school without knowing the basics of punctuality!!. *sob*

Hmm… more grievances to be added…. *sniff* *sob*

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Finding nemo...

Here is a brief introduction abt the movie, "Finding Nemo'.

Finding Nemo is a 2003 CGI animated film. The film received overwhelmingly positive reviews and won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. It was a financial blockbuster as it grossed over $864 million worldwide. It is the best-selling DVD of all time, with over 40 million copies sold as of 2006 and is the highest grossing G-rated movie of all time.

:) I had the DVD of this movie, but couldn’t watch it … because of no reason whatsoever. However, I saw how touching and inspirational cartoons can ever be. I know some of u must be smirking at the idea of a cartoon film being ‘touching’. Hmm. The story boasts of a wonderful relationship between a father and son, much more poignant and inspiring than what we see in ‘Varanam Aayiram’. Theres a cute clownfish couple, Marlyn and Coral. Coral lays 400 eggs which were eaten away by giant sharks and Coral was killed in the encounter. Only one egg survived. That was Nemo. The survivor, Marlyn,Nemo's dad, loved him soo much and pampered him.Nemo asks his Dad, whether he has encountered sharks, how they are.. and to what age does sea turtles actually live.Marlyn , was a coward himself and has never been into risky areas in the ocean.

As days passed, other fishes of Nemo's age went to school, but Marlyn wasn’t confident whether his son was old enough for school. He thought that Nemo cant swim as well as he could. Nemo, insisted that he wants to go, and Marlyn agrees and takes him there, and secretly watches his son… during one of Nemos little adventures..he swims away from his school of fishes. . challenges his Dad… and gets attacked by a submarine…a diver comes out, and catches Nemo.

Nemo is taken away to a domestic fish tank at Sydney.

The story takes its twist when Marlyn sets out to find Nemo ..all the way to Sydney…thousands of ocean miles away.

He is accompanied by Dory, a female fish, suffering from short term memory loss. For a father who goes to find his son, a partner with a short term memory loss is a disaster. However, Dory tries to follow and help Marlyn , as much as she could. The movie depicts a wonderful chemistry between Marlyn and Dory. Dory is a friend, expects nothing in return, tries to overcome her weaknesses just to be with Marlyn and to help him find his son.She tries to remember things and seems to overcome her weakness when Marlyn is around! It is notable that Dory swims all the way upto Sydney even after Marlyn tells her to leave. But something noteworthy over here is that, this kinda unconditional love and friendship might exist only among fishes.

On the way to Sydney, they come across many hurdles and during a shark attack, they both are eaten up! Marlyn doesn’t give up and they escape from there also. Sea turtles come for their help, and shows them directions. There is one scene, where, amidst all these hassles, and not knowing whether Nemo is still alive or not, while bidding goodbye to the turtles, Marlyn asks them how old they are… cos he wanted to tell Nemo!! Marlyn wanted to tell him abt the sharks and how old the turtles were when he meets him next!! Marlyn was soo positive that he would get his son back..!

Finally after a movie-hour of challenging waters, sharks, and other hurdles, they reach Sydney.

After some more adventures there is a father-son reunion, which is again a visual treat.

Switching off my laptop.. I stretched myself and comfortably got lost in thoughts.

Did I ever have a friend like Dory?
If I were Nemo, would someone come for me, this far?

Monday, May 4, 2009

School days.. :-)

15 years down the lane I still remember one song , taught at my school, which we used 2 sing even during lunch time. Today, during power cut, I sang it aloud.
It goes like this...
In the forest there was a tree
The finest tree that ever we'd see
The tree was in the woo-oo-oods and the green leaves
Grew a-round and round and round
And the green leaves grew around...

In the second stanza, its like..
In the forest there was a branch
The finest branch that ever we'd see
The branch was on the tree..
The tree was in the woo-oo-oods and the green leaves
Grew a-round and round and round
And the green leaves grew around...

Then to the branch will be added nest, birds, eggs, and so on...we find endless little things on the nest (including worm) cos we'd never want 2 stop singing.
Today, when the power went off, I suddenly got reminded of this song and started singing soo loudly... forgetting everything.....the surroundings... everything. Its good to sing out like that, once in a while, forgetting yourself..and everythin that u bother about...

There was a game in our school too...where one person is chosen and made to stand in the centre of a circle of girls holding hands.Now this perso, is chosen by other versions of the popular, 'In Pin Safety Pin'. It is ...'Inky Pinky Ponky, Father had a donkey, Donkey died, father cried, inky pinky ponky. Father called the doctor, doctor called the nurse, nurse called the ambulance, 1,2,3...!!'...

The chosen person comes in the centre and performs the dance to the tune of the song sung by us. I bet noone can sing this song better.
We are goin to the party,
We are goin to the fair,
To see the son (!!) of Rita,
With flowers on our hair..
Oh shaky shaky shaky...( performs a belly typo dance here)
Shaky like a man ( !!)
Shaky like a machine
And do the best you can.
OH ! round upto the bottom, round up to the top..
Turn around and turn around and will u make a stop!!...

Now this song and dance, is very much by heart to me, although i dont remember even a line of any poetry which was in the syllabus.

Even today, when I go via Nanthencode, Holy Angels Convent my Alma Mater stands tall and prestigious, I get echoes of the golden times I had there...12 years of my life. Innocence personified.. a little angel..that was me.. How I left that innocence behind those gates as I stepped out of school on our last day...and how I changed for better or for worse.. I cant wish my school days back , which is unattainable..I never comes back.. I wish I had that angelic innocence of school back in me..

Spread the word!