Posts from the ‘This and That’ Category

Priceless Conversations

Some conversations are worthy of documentation.

A: *laughs ‘aiwein’, as he likes to put it*

Me: To that, imagine me saying ‘kuchh bhi’, nautanki style.

A: Help me visualize.

Me: Imagine me standing in front of you. Now imagine yourself laughing for no good reason. Then imagine me saying, “kuchh bhi!” in a voice that manages to scale three pitches in two words. Simultaneously, imagine my arms swooping in from my sides up to your face, like you were a damsel in distress and I were your knight in shining armour, saving you from a bad sprain. Now imagine all this synchronized tomfoolery ending in a Bharatnatyam flower-mudrika.

A: *prolonged silence*

Me: Now I shall go imagine you taking an aspirin for the headache all that imagining gave you.

Happy holidays, everyone!


Anger and Other Bullet Points

It has been over a year since I left behind the agony that was Chennai and returned to Delhi. Though the two cities are chalk and cheese, the one common denominator they both provide me with is the ability to seethe with anger. Why Chennai made me angry is a mystery I shall leave for my million-copies-selling book. Why Delhi makes me angry provides fodder for this ten-minute post.

Delhi has some of the best planners in the country residing and working in the capital, yet every morning sees the pedestrian daring the automobile owner to run him over and the automobile owner challenging the pedestrian to risk crossing him and escaping unscathed.  You have office complexes across the road from major metro stations, yet no one with the sense to place a foot over-bridge across a six-lane carriageway. You have a single pedestrian path, scarcely two metres wide; leading into metro stations that should cater to incessant footfall, leave alone provide separate access for ingress and egress. And then you have the quintessential couple that decides to saunter right ahead of you, ready to break into a love song at 8:30 on a Monday morning while you cuss and swear and consider taking your chances at getting off the footpath without having a truck mow you down.

You walk home every Tuesday evening when the weekly haat takes over a kilometre worth of road space right outside your home with absolutely no police intervention that can prevent the delinquency and thefts that occur. Of course, there is also no alternative traffic route suggested for that day, so you have man, car and cow struggling for space on the same road, while the vegetable hawker along the shoulder refuses to budge an inch. All while you patiently wait for Bittu and Tina to finish their Sporty Lamon Soda, so that they allow you the tiny space you need to walk into your lane.

We haven’t spoken of aunties the size of Third World countries, yet, have we? The same ones who eye that little space between you and the girl adjacent and then do the shifty dance with their bum while you splat into another human being. They choose to rather comfortably spend the journey half lodged on your left thigh, till you sigh, give up and relinquish your spot to them. In return, they extend to you a look of gratitude that clearly says, “Ha! I win!”

The icing on the cake(walk) that is my journey, of course, is the share autos and Grameen Sewa tempos that dot all of Delhi’s borders. Twice a day, I am made to truly feel like cattle when fifteen of us are herded into a space meant for nine while U.P’s auto drivers all oscillate between secretly giving in to Schumacher-like tendencies and emulating Rajnikanth. There is a complex hate-hate relationship that these transport providers have with the local police. One day you find them shaking hands and standing watch while you board or alight, another day the same guy informs you that these ‘illegal auto waale’ have been banished and you are left stranded at 8.00 p.m. at Delhi’s border with no way to get home.

But, all that stands apart from the loaded looks your kurta gets and the ‘mistaken’ brushes against your thigh, the way the autowallahs stand too close when they want to know where you want to go and the leering smiles they give you when your hand accidently touches theirs while handing them the ride’s fare.

If shooting dirty looks could kill, I’d be a happier Delhite.

Doggie Tales

You know how some seriously cute stuff happens when you least expect it?

My sister takes me to visit a friend of hers and to my utter child-like glee, I find out that she has a teenage Labrador puppy, Iris. Although she is only about three and a half months old, I still refer to her as teenage because she still clearly has the mind of a child and doesn’t quite realize that her body has grown way faster than her head has (I can already see teenage brickbats being hurtled my way). Anyhoo, Iris doesn’t really care that when she licks my feet now, I worry more about my toes ending up detached from my feet, than responding to the unending tickling it is causing. After much pampering and puppy-talk, I am then led to an inner room, having been told that I am going to be introduced to ‘Archimedes’. While my extremely fertile imagination runs amok, I find my sister holding a guinea pig! It was a brown ball of fur and looked utterly confused with all the attention (and I refuse to accept any counter-arguments that state that guinea pigs are incapable of evincing emotion).

Formal introductions took place in the form of, “Gini, meet guinea”, and no, it is not as funny as it sounds 😐 Once I took Archimedes into my arms, I distinctly refused to let anyone else even touch it, assured that my namesake was the happiest continuing it’s perennial nibbling while it was with me. Iris had other plans though. As soon as I made myself couch-comfy, she came bounding up to me and climbed on my lap, salivating and trying her best to swipe Archimedes into her mouth. Petrified, thinking that if Iris doesn’t get Archimedes she may try her luck with my nose, much squealing occurred while I held Archimedes in the air like it was a Wimbledon trophy, Iris barked and whined and basically walked all over me and the other humans in the room reveled in the entertainment.

All chaos and potential injury notwithstanding, I adore dogs.

Last May, my erstwhile roommates picked up a wounded puppy they found on a roadside and brought him home to nurse him back to health. Christening him was a matter of much discussion and after the throwing about of some extremely sensible names, he was very innovatively named Puppy Singh; further shortened to Puppae (sigh…). He was the stupidest, greediest, love-hungry, attention-seeking twit I had ever come across. I suppose the reason we all were nuts about him was because he was so needy all the time. It seemed to validate our existence for those few days.

Since we would eat on the ground, we would lock him out of the room, for we once found ourselves sharing a bowl of dal with him. Those ten minutes outside the room would give rise to howls that would lead you to think he was dying and we would scarf our food down. When he would be let in, he would give us the most wounded look and we’d all spend hours after that, individually making up for the audacity of wanting to eat our dinner in peace, to him. He was quite the Casanova too. Girlie parts, if you know what I mean, were of great intrigue to him. I had this roommate who had waist-length hair and Puppae loved nothing more than sleeping on her draped-out hair while she slept on the floor. This one time, we were all sitting on the floor and he was about the house playing Sherlock, when ‘Bachna Ae Haseeno’ begun playing on the speakers and this lil thing comes jumping inside with great enthusiasm… it was hilarious, the timing of it all. Of course, it isn’t quite that funny if you weren’t one of the roommates. Or Puppae. He always found the most inaccessible, unpleasant areas to relieve himself on and the house almost always had a few hundred newspapers spread out over an equal number of spaces. He loved baths and even more so, dirtying himself up soon after. The neighbors saw, on more than one occasion, an overexcited puppy bounding out of the ground floor flat in B block, closely followed by a distraught, panting house-member trying her best to cajole it back in. He loved hugs, legs and Pepsi. He was a complete pain-in-the-ass and I miss him like crazy.