Thursday, December 22, 2011

Another Letter Is On The Way

Dear Nicholas,

Come December and every damn person on earth is mailing you for things they want. But trust me (just this once) this mail is not about “All I want for Christmas”. Yes, you can sport a big smile and let out off that “ho-ho-ho-ho” laugh of yours. Even Archangel Gabby has laughed in front of me.

Christmas is a season of good spirit, good cheer, good wine, good food and in general it is about everything good and nice. It means I can polish off a bottle of good wine without thinking about saving for tomorrow or about the bill that came with it or for that matter someone judging my alcoholic tendencies, after all it’s Christmas. It is the merriest time of the year, the weather nice and cool and celebrations are all around us.

Let us not forget it is also the time of caring- Of sharing love and joy with our loved ones. It is the time for sharing. It is a time when the privileged share their love, food and wealth with the less privileged.

I wonder how you manage this. Getting gifts for all? Do you fall short of gifts? Are there gifts that you are unable procure? You know the ones you cannot get even on Amazon. What do you do then? Do you buy consolatory gifts?

This year I thought I’ll share some things I have for which I have no use but some less privileged soul might have a better use. There are not many, just a couple of them. Oh, you can thank me later. Here’s the list:

  • Not everyone in this world is healthy like us. I mean like you and me to be more precise. I’m sure you have felt the same when you have those models on FTV.What is it without some belly fat I tell you -Ho Ho. And I hear some people are trying really hard to put on some weight. I have around 5-8 kilos on me which you can give to those skinny unhealthy girls on FTV.I can live without it.Really.God knows they need some flesh on them. Off course, some dresses would look quite loose on me but then I won’t complain.  Its Christmas time and one should not be selfish.
  • I am sure some poor kid in a poor country must have asked you this, ”Oh Santa, please bring a TV so that I can watch Tom and Jerry every Sunday or at least make sure Dada gets some extra money from his boss so that he can buy us one. And I promise I will never never be a bad boy. I will share my chocolates with Lil Sarah.”
I have one at home. I never watch it. My husband watches it too much (like his life and the energy of the universe depended on it). Please take it for that little boy.

  • I have a lot more stuff with me that I would love to share but then who needs bad memories. Instead do you mind giving a little extra love to those innocent little children who have no family? God has bestowed me with loads of love and I don’t mind sharing it with others.

You have couple of days more to think about them. Just in case you are running out of ideas or gift you are free to use the items I have offered. Santa; Merry Christmas to you too! Let me get back to work. Unlike you, rest of us have to work around the year to earn a vacation during Christmas. You get back to wrapping those gifts.

Blue Lotus

P.S: I know you have featured me in Naughty Souls list. Yeah, I figured that out myself or well, may be I have my sources Nicky. Listen, I’ve had wicked thoughts and words and some times actions as well. Some people deserved all that and more. Humphhh.

P.P.S: Since you won’t be gifting me anything I gifted myself a Kindle Touch. No Grinch can steal my Christmas from me. She was christened “Swan”.

Dear Readers,

Joyeux Noel!*

Lots of Love
Blue Lotus

(*) - That's "Merry Christmas" in french.I had to show off! :-D

Friday, December 9, 2011

When life taught me a lesson or two

A few things life taught me last month

  • There has never been a good work and a bad break.
  • If you think today is and will be the worst workday of your entire life, honey, tomorrow is just around the corner.
  • I used to like the idea of limits as in "Stretching your limits at work”. Well, mine tore last week.
  • Staring at your French teacher doesn’t essentially make you a French maestro but then it might make up for a bad workday if your teacher is cute like mine.*
  • When you think “What can go wrong now?” and then give yourself the luxury of a smile,” He” shows you “How things can go wrong now.”Tada! (Each time shit happens I know  God was bored of his life and decided to have some fun at my cost.)
  • It's a sin to shop and you pay the real price only when you shift homes.
  • My clothes have lost weight and have shrunk to a size 0.Off course I don't fit in them as I did not shrink like them traitors. I know it people. Something is seriously wrong.
  • Feign illness when you need a break from work. Nobody asks for medical certificates when a woman says she is having her bloody periods.
  • When you are absolutely tied up with loads of work you can take the liberty of snorting at anybody.Even your boss.

Now you know why I went missing. I had a horrible work “month” and in between this I shifted to a new place.I missed blogging and the blog world.You will find me leaving comments on posts even you have forgotten.Please bear with this erratic creature

P: S: Last time I counted I was working on nine projects. I stopped counting.
* Oh Yeah, I’ve been waiting to talk about him. He is super cute and has this incredibly beautiful pair of blue-grey eyes.I am pretty sure he is not gay.Fingers crossed.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Cook Away The Stress!

I am stressed. I feel a big boulder in my chest. My breathing is getting uneven. I can feel pain piercing into my cheeks and temples. Classic symptoms of sinusitis inflammation at display, Lady pay attention to us, they seem to claim. God! I want to scream. I want to go home. I want to take rest. Most of all I worry about that tiny drop of tear threatening to roll down my cheeks. I cannot dismiss it as just-one-drop. That one stupid drop will unleash an avalanche. I have no time for that. Those bloody traitor tears of mine have embarrassed me quite a number of times, giving my emotions away when it would’ve mattered to have exhibited a composed front.

Today I won’t let them bury me in shame. I rest my head on the seat and order my muscles to relax. I close my eyes and feel my spine against the seat. It feels good. I will myself to think about something relaxing. Something like swimming on a full moon night, only that I don’t know swimming. I think about cooking. I’ll make Upma.Not the way Amma makes, but the way her daughter makes.

I imagine myself peeling an onion, cutting it into two neat halves and soaking it in water. Soaking in water takes the burning edge out any fiery onion. It is a minor victory over a silly onion that would’ve made you cry. Ha! Revel mortal revel.

I sieve a cup of Rawa, white and coarse like desert sand. I heat the pan with a little desi-ghee.The ghee is frozen. It will take a little time till it turns in to the golden yellow liquid I love.

Meanwhile I slice the onion evenly into thin pieces. The chilies’, cut into small wheels of fire and crushed ginger bide their time.

In the now golden yellow liquid ghee I fry the Rawa.Mixing slowly and steadily. The practiced constant movements of my wrists make sure that the Rawa is fried evenly. When it turns a light brown I switch off the burner and tell it cool.

I take the Wok and heat Ghee in it. I shake out the bottle of mustard and the tiny black beads fall into my hand like soldiers up for a war. I pop them in the Ghee and watch them splutter. Tripp Troop Thudd .

It is time for onions. I fry the onions till they are soft. I lower the heat to add the chilies’ and crushed ginger. Oh yes the curry leaves; Fresh and clean with the smell of all things beautiful. I drink in the smell of curry leaves.

It’s time for water and salt. I measure two cups of water. I slowly pour the water into the hot wok careful not to burn my hands. I’m not careful, now it is a habit; a habit born out of handling hot woks and cold water innumerable times with unfavorable outcomes. I add salt.” How many teaspoons of salt do I add?” I think out aloud. I decide on two. I taste the water to make sure the taste of salt stands out.

As I wait for the water to bubble and boil I measure out a handful of raisins and cashews. I take out my priced possession, a baby wok. The wok I bought from Mysore market for Rs 20.A handy little thing when it comes to frying garnishes. I heat a teaspoon of ghee and wait for it to melt. I put the cashews and raisins in the hot ghee. Stir them twice, switch off the burner and stir in the heat of the wok. It is the golden rule that begets you golden brown fried cashews and raisins. I add a few curry leaves to the now cooling ghee

The water is boiling; bubbling with ghee and onions. I add the fried Rawa into the water in a circular motion as though I am making Jalebi or Murukku. Perfect concentric circles of Rawa drown in the boiling water. I mix them constantly to avoid the odd lumps of uncooked rawa.The water is soaked by rawa.The anger with which the Rawa is funny. It angrily spurts itself here and there and then quietly resigns to its fate. The spurting fades and Upma thickens.

I mix the Upma once again. I garnish it with fried raisins, cashews and curry leaves.

I sigh; a sigh of contentment. The stress is gone. Well almost. I feel relaxed until the cab driver tells me,” Here we are, at your office. Client visit in the morning eh?”

I smile and drag myself to the dreary office. May be in the lift I’ll imagine making Moru curry.

Actors in the order of their appearance:
Upma: a popular Indian breakfast dish originating in South India.
Ghee: Clarified butter used in Indian cooking
Rawa: Semolina
Jalebi: A sweet popular in Persia and countries of the Indian Subcontinent.
Murukku: A savory snack popular in India
Moru: Butter milk

P: S: The ghee is a girl’s calorie night mare. Well then, I was only imagining.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

An Evening Ride

Being grumpy is something I don’t like. But then I inevitably turn grumpy on Tuesday evenings. My eyebrows are creased perpetually through out the evening. I’ll snap at you for no reason and I’m “avoidable”, totally (These days I’ve even noticed my boss schedules meetings every Tuesday afternoon outside office so as not to cross my paths).So if you happen to see someone looking like me on the road and if it is a Tuesday evening you might want to cross over to other side of the road. Why do I hate Tuesday evenings so much? It’s because the next day is Wednesday, the longest day of the week* and weekend looks a far cry.

   Anyways on this particular Tuesday, the grumpy me took off from office very late, and this fact added another 22 ounces of grumpiness into me. Thanks to my inability to generate my signature magnetic smile, I didn’t get a seat in the MRT** and much to my annoyance I had to stand on my point heels, (Don’t even remind me of the man*** who discovered point heels and declared it as a mandatory accessory for power dressing) my soles aching and later on becoming numb, for the entire 32 minutes train ride. The conditions didn’t improve as I limped to the bus station and I missed the bus home by mere seconds, again, all credits to my heels. After a good deal of waiting I got my bus and plunked in to the front seat. I gave myself the luxury of a quarter of a smile. I still must’ve looked the embodiment of grumpiness and nobody sat next to me. That was when a young lady, oblivious of the “disturbing” atmosphere decided to share the seat with me.

By the end of the day at work, I look like a vagabond, my hair sticking out in all four cardinal directions, kajal smudged and clothes crumpled.Somedays I gawk at my reflection in the restroom mirror and wonder whether I slog in the software industry or the coal mining industry. Honestly I don’t know how some women manage to look fresh and pretty after a day’s work, I like to believe that they probably don’t work at all. (I like earning brownie points for making downright nasty comments. It makes up for a bad work day as well.)

On the contrast, the pretty lady looked fresh like the morning dew on a rose. Her black dress was prim and proper, hair tucked behind her ear and a smile played over her glossy lips. I could smell the whiff of a pleasant perfume.Inspite of the crinkled eyebrows, the woman in me had an urge to ask her the brand of the perfume. If you think I was getting envious about her, you are almost right. All I wanted to do was ask her how she manages this. But then our dear lady was very busy on the phone. Even when I was looking (or pretending to look,if you think so)out the window, my ears picked up the sweet nothings she was murmuring into her phone.

“Hey baby, missing me?”
(Yeah right! Here we go.)

“Now, now, be a good boy, I’m almost there.”
(If you are almost there, why don’t you put down the phone and save yourself the bill?)

“Give me a kiss, baby. A nice loud one.”
(I almost fainted here.)

“Here is a big one. MUAH.”
(Followed by giggles)

If you are going to reach home in 10 minutes, why do you have to make a phone call and say “I missed you baby?” There is no end to which people turn mushy.
The conversation lasted three bus stops.

I got up from my seat to get off the bus so did the mush queen.Aha! I waited for her to get down. I wanted to see the “Mush King”. So I unhurriedly tapped out of the bus.
I gave myself the liberty of sporting an attitude befitting a critic viewing Milan fashion week 2011 autumn/winter (winters make the critics grumpier)

And at last like the show stopper of a fashion show, Mush King surfaced. Trust me, I swooned, well almost. Mush Queen was showering him with kisses,”Oh my sweetheart”. I had never seen anything so perfect. The button eyes and soft brown hair; the complacent expression – everything about him was adorable. The happiness of meeting the woman he loves most in world had turned him rubescent. A tiny flame of jealousy burned through me.

He gurgled from his pram and gibbered,” a oo eewww shoo yaa ee,Mama”.He clapped his hand and said again,” Mama Mama”. The nanny and the mother laughed. I smiled in the background oblivious to the trio.

The bus stop was empty but for us. I walked to the coldness of my apartment leaving the mother and son glowing in the warmth of their love. I learned a lesson that day,” Don’t be judgmental on Tuesday evening. The foreshadow of Wednesdays tend to impair your judgment skills”

* Go read this post.Scroll to the end (if you are in a hurry) for the explanation of "why one should hate a Wednesday?"
** MRT: Mass Rapid Transfer train facility in Singapore
***I don’t believe any woman could’ve designed that instrument of self torture. It could’ve been invented only by a man.

Monday, October 10, 2011

The Avial’s of my life

You must be wondering, why this post? Refer 1.
Why Avial? Refer 2

Is she planning to write recipes on this blog? I’ll give the answer right now, a big emphatic NO. The truth is that I’m a little high on my skills in kitchen because I pickled three lemons yesterday (Don’t do that, that thing you are doing sounds like a sneer mixed with a giggle). Honestly I refer to internet for recipes. No, I don’t call Amma to humiliate myself.

Now people before I start my rambling there is a warning. A big one. This post contains immoderate use of coconuts and keralites.[It's a long post amply spiced]

We all know how much keralites like me love coconut in their food. No recipe comes without a “kutty-thenga”.Now the king of all dishes is “Avial”, the recipe of which I’ll be sharing with you shortly. Avial is very special because apart from tomato and potato every vegetable finds its place in this dish. You can put any vegetable you want.Ain’t that cool. And it is incredibly easy to make and extremely delicious.

The history of Avial dates back to Mahabharata according to Wiki.
“It is supposed to have been invented by Bhima during their exile. According to the legend, when Ballav (Bhima's name during this time) assumed his duties as the cook in the kitchen of Virata, did not know how to cook. One of the first things he did was to chop up many different vegetables, boil them together and top the dish with grated coconut”

Another version is as follows according to Aithiyamala (A garland of historical tales) by Kottarathil Sankunni:
The maharaja of Travancore used to perform Murajapam every year, a vedic seminar, in which a large number of vedic scholars participated. One year it so happened that there was no vegetables left for the last day of Murajapam.Only few pieces of various vegetables left over from the previous days were available. The cook cut all the left over’s into long thin pieces and prepared "Avial." The king liked the dish so much and presented him with a gold bracelet and ordered that this dish be served every year from then on.

I prefer to believe Amma’s version. According to her, Avial was invented by chefs or cooks who did not like wasting ingredients.” Unlike people of today,” with an exaggerated stress she adds,” people then thought wasting of food as a sin and crime. If you ask me it still is *.So when kings hosted luncheons loads of ingredients would be wasted. One intelligent cook added all this with coconut and made Avial.”

Come on, which dish has got so much fan following in Literature: D.

Presenting the amazing Avial

Don’t ask me silly questions on preparation time. All I know is its very fast and very popular in my household (You know,the one I run).

Vegetables (pick any or all) – 1cup cut into long pieces
  • Long Beans
  • Carrots
  • Yam
  • Plantain
  • Drumstick

For gravy: Mix all ingredients and grind into a coarse mix.
  • Grated Coconut -1/4 cup
  • Cumin seeds – 1 tablespoon
  • Green chilly - 4-5 no’s
  • Shallots –(2-3] optional

  • Curd (Real sour one if possible] – 2 table spoon.
  • Turmeric powder  -1/2 tsp
  • Curry leaves – a few
  • Salt to taste
  • Coconut Oil – ½-1 table spoon

·         Put all vegetables in water. Add enough water to immerse the vegetables. Add turmeric and salt and cook till the vegetables are half cooked. (We have to add coconut and cook it again in a while. If we make the veggies soft now after we add coconut it will be a vegetable pulp)
·         Grind the coconut, cumin seeds, green chilly and shallots into a coarse mix. (There is no benchmark for coarseness; you can make it into a smooth paste as well. Avial is incredibly flexible)
·         Now mix the vegetables and ground coconut and cook for few minutes.
·         When it boils, add the curd and switch off the gas. Mix well.
·         Garnish with curry leaves and coconut oil.
·         Close the dish with a lid for the aroma to seep into Avial.
·         After 15 minutes open the lid, take a deep breath and let the aroma waft around the kitchen for a while. :D.

You can replace curd by raw mango slices or tamarind water.

Avial-Two: The band Avial.Do we have bands named Muringakay Sambhar or Paneer butter masala? No. But we have Avial.Yummy as the dish; the band features very talented musicians.

I am not an authority on music or someone who can be a judge of rock music. I like music, I listen to songs and that gives me a right to say that I like Avial’s songs. I enjoy their instrumental music though I am allergic to rock music in general. Their lyrics are not of the genre,” I hate you, like I love you.” (NOM to the song. I love it too) but picked up from the folk songs that tell the story of a common man.

In a recent Malayalam movie, Salt-n-pepper (a light hearted comedy, recommended for all), Avial performed a song titled “aanakallan”.Google it up, I like the song and have heard it umpteen numbers of time.

 Avial-Three : Oh I forgot to mention as Avial is a mish mash of many vegetables, the usage also means a disarray.Sigh.
When I say,” My kitchen is in Avial form”, please bring a broom and cloth to clean up the mess for me. 
If I say,” My brain is in Avial form”, make sure you are at least 15 feet away from me. Mentally derailed people are not held responsible for their behaviors. No, it is not same as “pickled”.”Avialed” as I call it is cooler.

1. Because I was feeling highly philanthropic towards my fellow bloggers and felt it was time to share good things over the blog. Sharing over the blogs are normally experiences, I decided to share my favorite recipe and music band. (I am game for anything that doesn’t include sharing my box of chocolates and TV remote.)

2. Because I love Avial to pieces and I don’t know the recipe for KootuKalan.Happy?

3. She is Anna Hazare in her campaign against wastage of anything. Some call it a middle class attitude. I think she is being prudent. I may never be like her but I do appreciate her.

Friday, October 7, 2011

For Freaku...

“It has been two years. Two eventful years in which my world has changed so much that you wouldn’t recognize it at all. And I still miss you.

The last time we met in Mysore, you had bothered to come to Mysore from Bangalore on the way to Pune.You could’ve  chosen to sit in Bangalore airport all day long but no you made a 4 hour trip so that we could meet up. I wish I had hugged you a little longer. But no, I was conscious what the auto driver would think; after all we were in Mysore. I should not have given a damn.You are my friend and like a little brother I totally adore.
I knew this. You knew this. Rest of the world could think what it wanted; I should not have cared. When you decided it you are done with Pune, I wish I had forced you to move to Mysore instead of Mangalore.

Wish I had taken the trip to Mangalore as we always planned over our office messenger chats.
And that impromptu trip I made to Mangalore and couldn’t meet you because you were back in Kerala. But then it did not mean much as there as we said,” There would always be another weekend to meet up. “We had laughed over our messed up plan.
I wish I had talked to you on that Monday as I promised you over the messenger on the previous Friday evening before rushing to board my bus bound to Kochi.

And when I got the message in the morning that you are no more. I laughed. Bloody joke! I did not cry. I went back to office to check your messenger status. Read all the mails between us. Called our friends so that they would tell me it was a wrong message. I did not dare call your phone. I would not cry. I thought about your mother and brother. I thought about the MBA you so badly wanted to do. The crushes you had confessed to me. Of people who told had hurt you that you wanted run away from the world. The life you had dreamt.  How could God be so cruel to you? You had so many things to see and do. And this part irked me to no end. You were an angel and probably God felt that the heaven would be better place with you with Him.

A week later I managed to publish an obituary, which ran something like this:


You were too pure for this tainted world.
As I sit and look back, I can only see happiness.
The way you brought a smile to my face, the way you lifted my spirits...
There were too many things we did together, too many things we didn’t.
You were my partner in all nonsense, giving you the nickname "Freaku" which you sported happily.
And today a week after you left us, I feel the void, deep and dark...
I miss you dear, the pain would never go.
Wherever you are sweetie, you will be remembered, now and forever.

Love you hamesha

Each day I think of you lovingly and I miss you badly. You were one of my best of friends.Some days I wish I can hear you talk and laugh again. But then I know I have to let go of the sad regrets and smile at the beautiful days we had with our friends.”

That is my story. Do you have friend who is very dear to you? Whom you have been meaning to talk “some time today”? A person you are happy is there in your life. Don’t save those hugs for a better occasion. There are no better occasions than now. Call a
We do not have all the time in the world. Life is too short for petty fight and misunderstandings. Tomorrow might be too late.

[If you have a friend whom you have not called in a long time, call up that person or meet that friend in person. Share your friend’s response with me.]

Monday, October 3, 2011

Prisoner of Memories

Look at me,
A prisoner of memories
Or is it imprisoned memories?
Weird though it is true,
Today the prison and prisoner, are one and the same.
I have in me, locked away, and tied in strings of faded past,
A satchel of dreams, Fragrant like dried flowers,
Showering my present with visions from past.
Damp, wet and musty smell at times
And at others of flowery meadows of summer times.
A warmth penetrates deep into my bones.

A familiar sense of belonging,
A feeling of in tune with life,
Not a single note amiss.
I string along the music
Swaying my body, eyes closed in a trance,
Until the heat of today engulfs me,
Reminding me of my dilemma.
Yes, I am traveling across the spaces
Beyond the clutches of cosmic energies
Weightless like a feather
Dancing along paths long forsaken
For only I remember those paths much walked down.
Green leaves canopy those trails
Mist blows over those serene waters
The river shines and sparkles and shimmers
As the rays of light kisses it
A picture so exotic like a thousand emeralds shining behind a milky veil.
Forgotten are those memories,
For the entire world.
Past is long buried, they say.
But, for the prisoner of these dreams,
Life is now nothing but a shadow of this past.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

The way we are

I was reading Red’s post and the comments on it. I clutched the left side of my stomach to alleviate the pain from laughing .Men; I tell you. But suddenly I realized I wanted men to be the way they are. Why? So that I can nag them. After all nagging acts as an anti-depressant in many women.
On days I return home late I am no less bitchy than Rohini Hathangadi’s character in Chaalbaaz .I mean you work like a slave and then travel an hour and a half to home, come on, give that to me, I should be depressed. Even if you don’t agree I am .Now that you are familiar with my general mood on days like that read on about the imaginary account of an evening like that.

I must’ve sinned so badly last time, why else would I end up in this lousy job? Why else would I be miles away from my family? Most importantly why should I have a home which looks like an infant day care by the end of the work week? It is not my fault. The baby boy in the house is to be blamed.
I know what awaits me when I enter the house. Clothes strewn over the hall as if they themselves will walk and make their way to the washing machine. Filthy kitchen with dishes piled to top. The “baby boy” of the house lounged in front of the idiot box like the house cat in some face book video I saw last week.
I struggle through office juggle through house work and all I get is this!!! May be getting married was a mistake.

I open the door half expecting the blare of the idiot box.No.Nothing.It’s peaceful. I look at the shoe stand, everything in place .No; there are not any filthy socks hiding in the shoes. Bewilderment would’ve been an understatement. The clothes are in washing machine. Even the cushions are in place, tucked neatly in order.
Ha! I’m sure the kitchen is filthy .Men; they are lousy when it comes to dishes.
“Booom Daaam” .That my readers, was my heart .The food is cooked and neatly placed in one corner. The kitchen sink is clean, the vessels washed and dried. The kitchen emanates a pleasant smell of spices. Is this my own home? Did I get into the wrong house?

I hear a cacophony in the bathroom. I recognize the unmistakable source of the cacophony. So this is my home indeed. I am actually a little happy. I snort for the effect. I know he would be showering with out using soap. Don’t ask me the logic. Apparently when women use the words shower and bath interchangeably, men don’t. Shower doesn’t necessarily include the usage of soap or rigorous scrubbing. But then, now that you are in the bathroom stripped and under the shower why not use some soap? Beats me.

I patiently wait for the red carpet arrival of the city-cave-man. I had to talk to him to about the importance of soap in a marital life. Much to my dismay he comes out in a fresh shirt and shorts, smiling, smelling of “Chandrika” soap. I cross my brows in disappointment. How could he deny me the simple pleasure of nagging him?

“Long day eh? I’ve kept the geyser on. Go take a bath. I’ll keep dinner ready by the time you come out. Want some wine?”

I want to scream. I refrain. I say grumpily,” No, I don’t drink on workdays and especially on Wednesdays.” I wait for him to remind me of the bottle I finished yesterday. “

“Okay.” I can only sigh at the non-provocative remark.

I take a long bath and have my dinner in silence. I wait for him to say something so that I can snap. No, he doesn’t fall for it. The man has finally learned when to keep his mouth shut.

After dinner he offers to clean up. Another lost chance at nagging. I am tucked in to bed and he sleeps at his side of the bed .I am frustrated .I was waiting to take it out on him and here he was not giving me a chance.

“Khurrr Khurr Khurr.” I sit up in the bed and shout.” How many times have I told you not to snore! I cannot sleep. I cannot sleep at all .I have to work in office late and I don’t get a peaceful moment of sleep.”

That felt so much better .I slide to a dreamless slumber.

P: S: I am far from perfect .Yet I nag my husband on mundane things. Over the last two years we have fallen into a rhythm. Now there are lesser things to fight about. We understand each other in some strange ways. Women like to nag and at times I feel men like to be nagged too. And yeah, I wish my house looks like the way I have described when I get back from work.

Friday, September 23, 2011

The Wish Boon - III

Here is part one and part two.


I wake up late.Everyday.Dreams or no dreams. I snooze my alarm so much that now the button bears an uncanny resemblance to a worn out Hawaii chappals [flip flops are too classy a comparison].

This morning also I woke up late. There was an ominous meeting in the morning with a client who has a million issues in his life. Sometimes the way he speaks to me I feel he holds me responsible for all the issues in his life including the current state of the world economy. [My disaster wreck range is limited to my kitchen; world economy is a far cry. Let’s not digress]

To add to the chaos in my life, it was raining (it still is raining as I write this); raining cats and dogs (and dinosaurs as well if you want to add). And in Singapore there is no way you are going to get a cab on a rainy day. It is as if all the 30,000 cabs on this small country are out ferrying people across the island and I never ever manage to come in the top 30,000 who struggle to get hold of one.

But I don’t give up [Sleepy head? Yes, but quitter is definitely not my middle name]. What if today happens to be my lucky day? I try sms- a-cab and call-a-cab. No response at all. One SMS and one call wasted. Not a great way to start the day, I know, there is no need to rub it in.

I do a hop, skip and jump to the nearest bus stop and wait for the bus.
”Oh! God please please let me be on time.” I wished,”Yeah, right like it is going to come true.” All around me I could see the cabs with the big red lights “HIRED”/”ON CALL”

Sigh.Sigh.Check watch.Sigh.Sigh.

And out of the blue, a “HIRED” taxi stopped in front of me. A young girl got out of the cab and the driver smiled at me “Hop in madam, where can I take you this morning?”

So I guess that was one down. Four more to go…

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Wish Boon - II

Wait Wait.Did you read the part I ? Yes,then continue.Else,here it is.

My eyes pop out. I blurt.” Do you show ads of investment banking up there as well?”

"No. But we do outsource the terms and conditions and other legalities to Hell. They have most of the excellent bankers there."

“The terms and conditions are very simple. We have decided to be a little careful on stuff like these. A lot many boon-givers have ended in trouble. You give a mortal a boon and for all you know the next minute they’ll come with a battalion to take over heaven. Then I have to go and personally beg to the ‘Holy Trinity’ to fix the mess up.” He explained.

“Rule #1: You cannot cause harm to anyone. Mortal or Immortal.Fatal, serious or otherwise.” He declared.

(Damn! My ex-lovers just escaped. All the plans of revenge I made in the last ten minutes are sloshed)
I sighed.

“Honey, is there a problem or can I read Rule #2?” I thought I saw concern in his deep blue eyes.

“Don’t ‘honey’ me. It doesn’t matter. How many more these stupid rules do you have?” the disappointed me asked.

“Oh! Just four more rules and you are ready to go.” He checked his iPhone look-alike instrument and confirmed.

“Rule # 2: You cannot ask for extension of life or anything that relates to postponing death.” He added gravely,” See, God doesn’t control the ministry of “Death and Affairs of Hell”. It is run by an independent guy who does not like recommendations. And trust me you don’t want to question a man who rides a buffalo and calls himself Dharma Raj, not even when you are God.

“Rule # 3: You cannot ask for physical movement of any matter.’ Bring Alps to middle of Singapore’ or ‘Bring me the crown of Queen of England’. Honestly, if you ask me, such requests are absurd.

“Rule # 4: Don’t bother to ask for changing emotions.” Archangel looked up,” It’s so melodramatic if you ask me. Oh God! Let there be peace! Mortals I tell you.Heehehhehooohooo.”

 [heehaahoo continued for sometime. I did feel like pulling his white beard real hard. I did not find anything funny about asking for world peace. Did you?]

He said wiping imaginary tears,” If God wanted peace he would have it on earth no matter how many crank pots are here. It’s a bigger conspiracy. I shan’t tell you what it is. It has something to do with divine retribution.”

[Yeah right!]

“The last and final Rule #5: The God’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.” He looks up at me,” Am I clear young lady? And please use your wishes wisely.” 


And just like that he was gone.” Whatever” I murmured to self and pulled the blanket over me.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Wish Boon - I

 (This is the first part of a short story.It has no moral or educational value.:-D)

I had a dream, a beautiful dream. Archangel Gabriel came to me and told me.” Child, You have been chosen to be given a special package of fives wishes per day?” Smiling benevolently he looked in to my eyes. A puzzled me couldn’t keep the sarcasm away.

”Oh you mean to say that I’m getting a chance to redeem all my wishes at a rate of five per day which weren’t heard or fulfilled??” (I’m at my sarcastic best when someone interrupts my sweet slumber. And I don’t give a damn even if it’s Archangel Gabby himself!)

After all how many nights had I spent crying waiting for Him to grant me “that-one-and-only-just-this-time” wishes? Remembering those eves of exams and my heart wrenching pleas to which He had turned a blind eye and revealed the same by question papers which never failed to amaze me by their adequacy in covering all the portions I had skipped, I seethed in unabashed anger. Now when I’m ancient and exams are a thing of Napoleons time here cometh the package. I skewed my eyebrows at God’s marketing manager.

”Well, what this is for? And before we digress, most importantly, why now?”

The clever manager smiled “You seem to be the one with highest number of wishes unanswered. All your wishes were errr...err…re-routed to the deep black sea of souls by a tiny naughty perpetrator.”

Archangel positioned his arms to demo a baby sized villain,” Now when he was caught by his tails and questioned rather mildly he told us the truth. And God wanted to compensate for all that.”

“Whoa. That’s what happened to my wishes. And I hope this doesn’t happen to anyone else.”

“Never. We have declared that anyone caught doing such unscrupulous activities would be barred from having Fried Mars Bar In Ice-cream dessert for the rest of their lives.” Giving a quick glance around and lowering his voice Gabby added.” These celestial creatures are too corrupt I tell you. You don’t get it in heaven doesn’t matter. They smuggle it from hell. Everything is cheap there. It’s quite amusing their methods of working.”

"Ehem Ehem.” Gabby cleared his throat a tad too loudly and continued,” Now to the terms and conditions."

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Wake Up Call

Given my complete dislike of Wednesdays *, I make very exotic excuses about catching five minutes of extra sleep. The best part is I never remember these amazing things I make up in my half conscious state. My poor husband bears the brunt of hearing these blatantly nonsensical statements early in the morning.
But today morning I woke up with a bad case of migraine. I felt someone had opened my skull, removed my brain, filled it with pebbles and was using a ladle to stir the pebbles in the cavity. I had a tap dancer on my eyebrows as well. On the whole a very unpleasant experience, I should say.
After loads of Vicks, warm water and tea, I managed to drag myself out of the bed. Migraine and Wednesday is an amazing combination for me. (I turn sulky and move around like a disgruntled polar bear.) Anyways I hail a cab, after complaining to my mom that I’m sick and the whole world seems to be unperturbed about it. Thank fully she was accommodating and did not point out that “Kazhuthe(donkey),You are not the epicenter of the world.And rest of the world has better stuff to do in the mornings than worry about a whining you.”
          The cab driver was a very friendly man. He told me that Indian women are very beautiful and that they look like princesses when they smile. Needless to say I was flattered and told him,” Today is not a good day. Loads of work to do and I have a migraine”
He said,” Even my daughter has it. Poor thing.” And as an afterthought he asked me,” How old are you?” I told him my age.(Aiyya,you thought I’ll tell you my age just like that? :P)

“Oh, my daughter is 30.You are younger than her.” He said smiling.
I’m bowled, the man driving the car doesn’t look a day older than 40 and he is telling me he has a 30 year old daughter.

“But you look very young” I blurted.

He laughed,” My daughter is doing her final year Bachelors of Music. She is blind by birth. She doesn’t know how I or her mother looks like.” I am shocked for the second time. He passed me a magazine with an article about his daughter.

Rebecca Koh, 30 years of age, is blind from birth. When she was about six her father (my cab uncle) finds out that his daughter is exceptionally talented in music. He sold his musical organ to fund her music studies. She has never seen our world and cannot comprehend the concept of colors. But she has a brilliant memory and can play piano and guitar. When nature took away her vision, it opened another door. It opened the door to a gift which is God given and can never ever be acquired or taught .Music. I can teach you a song; I cannot teach you how to sing.
The cab driver told me his wife is suffering from depression and he has a full time maid to look after his wife and daughter when he is working. To fund her studies and other expenses, he drives for 16 hours a day.

He told me,” We cannot have everything in the world. It is foolish to want that. God never intended us to have everything anyways. So let’s live with whatever we have and not worry and fret about what we don’t have.”

I was in awe. I really respect him for the serenity with which he accepted his life. His complete dedication to his family and his belief in the existence of a supreme being in spite of the hardships he has to face every day.

It was a wake up call for me. I was whining over my work load, insensitive organization and Wednesdays. It was as if God wanted to tell me,” Lady, you better wake up and start counting your blessings. Stop whining and fucking get back to the wonderful life I have given you.”

So today is a different Wednesday. I smiled at people through my migraine waves. And this “smile” is for you.

* Wednesdays are the longest days of a working week.It takes away the memories of the weekend past and is far far from the weekend future.It is a "stuck-in-the-middle" day.
Trivia: I was born on a Wednesday.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

I Hate Love

“Have you ever been in love? Horrible isn't it? It makes you so vulnerable. It opens your chest and it opens up your heart and it means that someone can get inside you and mess you up. You build up all these defenses, you build up a whole suit of armor, so that nothing can hurt you, then one stupid person, no different from any other stupid person, wanders into your stupid life. You give them a piece of you. They didn't ask for it. They did something dumb one day, like kiss you or smile at you, and then your life isn't your own anymore. Love takes hostages. It gets inside you. It eats you out and leaves you crying in the darkness, so simple a phrase like 'maybe we should be just friends' turns into a glass splinter working its way into your heart. It hurts. Not just in the imagination. Not just in the mind. It's a soul-hurt, a real gets-inside-you-and-rips-you-apart pain. I hate love.”

It's a Neil Gaiman quote. And I feel he is perfectly correct to the last dot. A small dumb act and your life ain’t yours anymore. You know it is slipping out of your hand. Slowly, steadily; like sand tricking down an hourglass. You watch the reins you were so sure of; lying limply on the floor. The acts of stupidity do not end there. You keep waiting; remorselessly. So that the dumb person can come back and repeat the dumb act just once again. No he won’t. You probably know that more than anyone else. But you still wait. Patiently; hope flared by each ring of your phone, each new mail tag of your inbox.

Life changes, places, friends, offices. The yearning remains the same. You pine for the familiarity of your past. The warmth of the arms that once closed you off from the entire world. The soul and the body which cocooned you promising to be there forever. You close your eyes some nights and you can smell the faint cologne. You can feel the warm breath on your neck. Hear the voice which never professed love. But then both of you had heard the unsaid. It drives you insane; when you open your eyes and don't see the person whom you want the most in your life. And you shrug and carry on as if nothing has ever happened. Secretly you hope for a day when he would comeback. Hold you like before and tell you that he has come back never to go away.
Insane and cruel, that was what love was all about. And I hate it for breaking my heart and tearing it into pieces. ". .  I hate love.”

P.S: I had written this about a year ago when my heart was broken. Written when there were holes as big as the craters in moon. I do not claim that my heart right now is a cardiologist’s dream but I have managed to paste and staple it back into place. Fingers crossed. Now I don’t hate love, just a big wary as to where I put my heart these days.
I say a lot of nasty stuff but my poor heart cannot hate anybody. Even if that “anybody” has roasted my heart in stale cooking oil, my heart forgives. I kind of hate my heart for it. How ironic!

P.P.S: Purba, you told me I’ll make it, I made it.