Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Salman looked so adorable in this advert that I could not resist the temptation to put it up here :0)

Monday, March 29, 2010

Men should come up with better pick-up lines!

Venue: Café Coffee Day, Jayanagar 7th Block

Situation: 4 women in their late 20’s meeting (probably for the last time together for years to come) before bidding adieu to one woman who was shifting base to Hyderabad.

Hero (H) – Medium height, faint beard and moustache, average looking, dressed because wearing clothes is a necessity

Scene – H walks past a multitude of tables placed outside the shop and approaches the table occupied by the 4 women

H – Hi. I am Rajeev (extends hand)
Me – Urggh….Hello (Furiously trying to recollect if she had met H before and shakes hands)
H – Do you work for Accenture?
Me – No (Oh! Now I know what you are getting to)
H – Do you stay in Sahakarnagar? (Damn, the introduction as well as the workplace question did not work)
Me – No (Duh!!)
H – Ok. I thought I had seen you somewhere. That is the reason I came and spoke to you.
Me – Ok. Bye.
H walks away without any information leaving behind 4 women laughing out loud. He sure did provide comic relief to an evening that was filled with yakking that had crossed the norms of decency.

Why do men try so hard, especially when the person they want to converse with is sitting in a group? I have to say that this guy was gutsy to approach me like that. Had there not been a table, a chair and another person sitting next to me, the scene would have probably been different.

However, D will be missed, but this last meeting remembered forever. The evening was pure fun, lethal in places for the nature of conversation, nostalgic and of all the things that we never did in the last 12 years. We will, hopefully, meet again. Life is short and it is too small a world.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Monday, March 15, 2010

The Curious Case of Shobha De's Incorrigible Writing

I have abstained from reading Indian authors for a very long time mainly due to the fact that they tend to present India in 2 extremes – either full of cows and snake charmers or a society that is liberal to a sickening extent. None of them have come close to finding that evasive balance. The only Indian author I liked was R K Narayan for his simplicity of writing and real characters. V S Naipaul put me off Indian authors for almost a decade of my literary journey.

I recently joined librarywala to read works by Indian writers because these were books I did not want to own but did not mind spending a nominal fee for being able to read them. The first book I asked to be delivered – Snapshots by Shobha De. This is undoubtedly going to get tagged as the biggest reading blooper of my life. The story is about a reunion of schoolmates, all women obviously, after a gap of 15 years. Being set in Mumbai, the story grapples with infidelity, incest and sexual identity crises. Women have affairs with brother-in-laws, brother sleeps with sister, women run amok with their friends’ husbands and bosses have flings with their subordinates. I am not naïve to think that circumstances presented to the readers in this book are anything but true and is not happening all around us. These issues are the bane of our generation. But what the book lacks is a basic amount of finesse. Never has anything ever come close to being so sleazy, not even the Mills and Boons I read. M&Bs never pretend to be anything but a romantic diversion. Although a tad too saccharine, they have always been written keeping escapism in mind.

We subscribe to The Week at home and I have come across a few close to sensible articles from Shobha De. After reading this novel, I seriously doubt that any of those were actually written by her. “Snapshots” is proof that she is nothing but a glorified sleaze writer.

Sleaze number 2 for the week – Actress in Nithyananda’s video saying that she was offering seva!! Forget giving a massage, how can one remotely imagine touching that guy even with a bargepole?

The most carnal show ever made – Emotional Atyachar. I will write about this in a post later on. This show is screaming to the I&B ministry that we are in dire need of censorship.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Kashmir-Delhi-Agra trip - Day 3

Day 3 – 1-Feb-2010

Every morning I loved to wake up to the loud chirps of the birds around the hospital. And (once every two days) to the relieving thought that I needn’t bathe that day! :D I hate bathing on holidays. In Kashmir, a bath every two or three days sufficed :D. Added to these pleasures was the blanketing silence. And the cold. And the snuggling into all the warm woolens. I cannot describe the deep calm joy that gave me!
So the plan for day three was to drive around Anantnag. In Bangalore we had planned to visit Sonmarg on day three. But the place was closed due to heavy snowfall. So off we went on our Tavera, first to Achabal – Mughal Gardens. The name is self explanatory. The pictures would’ve given you the idea. Green captivates my senses. The sound of trickling water was also quite new to my ears. I would’ve loved to laze on the grass with a yummy book to read, to ponder, and to take a small nap :P

But alas! The mood of the travelers was quite the contrary. I had a headache – courtesy the early morning outdoor photography without a cap covering my head. My fellow-women mumbled about feeling low and mildly depressed. I too began to believe that I too was depressed. Reason? Not sure… the cold maybe, or affected female hormones or (in my case) home sickness. Fayaaz’s songs were adding fuel to the fire. Man! Melancholic men and women, howling and sobbing about their departed lovers!

The next destination was Kokernag, where we believed was where the river Jhelum originated. We first lunched at the gardens. Walked around. At one end we observed a thin stream that appeared to originate there. My! Such a tiny stream gave rise to the Jhelum?! Where did the water come from? Must be from those micro bubbles we could see towards the center of a puddle. Anyway… we moved on, wondering about the mysteries of nature.

A couple of Kashmiri women who were cleaning fish drew us into conversation. As was the norm, they invited us to tea at their home . We preferred to take snaps with their kids; there was an apple amongst them! The poor kid was struggling between his desire to pose and mingle with us and his mooku-chali (running nose).

Then back in the Tavera, we moved towards Verinag. By now we girls were a little restless. L warned that if the songs continued, it was very likely that we three would commit suicide that evening. We conveyed this to Fayaaz who promptly came to our rescue, like a chivalrous knight in shining armour that he was, by switching off the songs :D.
Verinag had some mildly warm sunlight. Traces of snow from a previous snowfall were melting. And at the gardens we received enlightenment from the locals :P. *This* place was the source of the Jhelum river! And how our imaginations had taken a walk in Kokernag!
The source spring was beautiful! The highlight of the day! The water had a rare deep blue hue. It was transparent and had several fish in it. The spring was 54 feet (or was it meters?) deep, having 3 levels of 18 units each. It was surrounded by a low wall, quite well architectured and had a couple of Shiva Lingams. Wonder how they came there.
On the way back home, we made a couple of halts. First for a break at a chai shop to drink noon chai (salt tea). That’s where we met a person called something-something-something-Bhat. Bhat it seems is a Kashmiri caste. He was a totally talkative guy. It seems the noon chai helped to energize. It was ok-ok. I liked kahwah which is a sweetish tea with almonds etc. The chai uncle refused to accept money, but then we convinced him to. Bhat invited us to return to Kashmir again, that we could stay at his place, that he considered us like his sisters and requested us to talk good about Kashmir and its people. Not all of us are militants he said. That touched me. But S told me later that he also said something like – we’re all Indians – and his countenance suddenly changed.
I somehow find it tough to believe that all the courtesy and kindness that we received by random Kashmiris wasn’t true. That it was all tourism based. That behind those smiles, they didn’t really like us.
Anyway the next stop was at a cloth store. The guy made about Rs.3000 worth business :). I bought myself a sozni work salwar set for Rs.380 which I thought was a great bargain. I wasn’t very fascinated with the Ari work salwars. Unlike me the others had siblings etc to shop for. I suppose an advantage of being an only child and having non-demanding friends. Disadvantage? Sigh!
That night had something in store for us. We went down to the hospital. And we met half-a-dozen newborns! The women were all excited to see us. They even wanted us to name the babies! Hehe no such risk-taking ever!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Why do men stare?

There are 2 elevated spots over the front wheels in a Volvo bus which can be used like seats. To sit comfortably, although not as much as the regular seats, one needs to fold his/ her legs and face either the road in front or the inside of the bus. I had occupied such a seat, facing the inside of the bus, during my travel back home last evening and the 70 minute ride was abominable. Men stare and how! Age is not a prerequisite at all for this activity. Men from all age groups adopt such stares that it feels like a hole will erupt on your face any moment. If only telepathy would really work in such situations. We could then pass on our thoughts about being subject to such odious behavior. The different kinds of stares I have come across:

The Sizing Up Stare – This look is given as soon as you get into the bus. You are immediately sized up. For what, I have absolutely no clue. This happens everyday without fail from everyone and makes me ponder if I have suddenly grown horns or have been talking to myself loudly which I am completely capable of.

See the name on the ID Stare – Starts with people trying to locate the ID card. Once located, eyes then immediately zoom in to your ID. I detest this one as much as the next. I am comfortable wearing my ID around my neck and will not change this habit for anyone. Some men who are at quite a distance also try to see your name by bending/ craning their necks into a twist. I feel like whacking the guy for these antics but end up compensating with giving the dirtiest of looks one can ever be the recipient of. This works quite well. You are not subject to a repeat performance.

The Ranjith Stare – These are the most disgusting of the lot. When some men look, I am reminded of Ranjith, the man who played truant in films in the 80’s. This one not only makes women uncomfortable, it is in a way very scary.

I totally disagree with people who say that a stare is 2 way. It is not in most cases. You get a prickly feeling and you instantly know that someone is watching you. And being a woman, I can say that we immediately know why we are being looked at. It is most definitely not because we are from the same planet. I discount stare cases where the woman also is interested. Such instances have no place in this post.

Coming back to last evening’s ride, Mr. Stare stares, stares, stares (considering he is sitting right opposite 2 seats away), gets down and waves his hand in a goodbye gesture. I so wanted to tell the kid that I am probably years older than him and whoever taught him to stare taught him wrong.