Friday, July 28, 2006


Me trying to watch a movie in PVR or Inox: Show ticket to security at entrance, get frisked by security lady, get bag checked by security lady, asked to finish my cold coffee before I enter, all food stuff in bag confiscated.

Three youngsters trying to meet the Prime Minister of India: Just zoom past hordes of security persons in a Sonata, right up to the PM’s house and ask for him.

Looks like I’d rather try meeting the PM than watch a movie at a multiplex!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Surprise Day

Yesterday was Surprise Day. And surprising it was :)

Allow me to explain the concept of Surprise Day.

See, for San and me, our celebrations – birthdays, anniversaries etc – are over and done with in three consecutive months. The rest of the year is just dry, with no reason to wrap up gifts, or cut cakes, or send flowers, or light candles, which I find very unfair (of course I am not counting the big festivals, which are anyway family events). So then, if everything in the world from anti-smoking campaigns to your pet dog has a dedicated day of celebration, then why not a day for surprises?

Going by that theory, sometime last week I declared July 26 as Surprise Day. The rules are simple. I throw him a surprise, and he throws me a surprise. Anything, as long as it is not nasty. And it was a grand success : )

I reached office to find a bunch of blood red carnations waiting for me. And I spent the rest of the day explaining to people that there was no particular reason for my husband sending me flowers. “No, it is not my birthday. No, it is not our anniversary. No, this is neither the day we first met, nor the day he proposed. It is just another day. No we DID NOT have a fight. No, he is not going to be travelling for the next six months. It is simply a day made brighter with flowers.” Evening saw me rushing to get home before him, armed with a bottle of wine and lots of candles. The look on his face was precious!

Spread the word of the Surprise Day. Pick a day of your convenience. Sure, just the act of naming a day for surprises takes away a bit of the surprise, but then the build up of suspense is awesome. You start with “Will he remember?” go on to “What would it be?” and “When will it be?”

Monday, July 24, 2006

Who is a feminist?

Who is a feminist? Or rather, what makes a person a feminist?

When I was some 10 or 12, we had a guest at home, and my father commented at some point that I don't like him smoking. The guest (I have no recollection of who the chap was) immediately said, "Oh, so you are a feminist?"


Today, during a three-minute discussion on whether I am a feminist or not, someone told me that for some reason he has always related anything to do with feminism with me. He asked me if I am "anti-men".


I will tell people to quit smoking regardless of whether they are male or female. It has nothing to do with feminism.
If I were anti-men, I wouldn't be married.

There are many more things like that. The typical egoistic Malayali man with his 18th century attitude towards women I find obnoxious. Does that mean I am a feminist?
I believe women should be given equal opportunities in every field. Heck, we are in the 21st century, we should have stopped debating this point decades ago! Anyway, does this make me a feminist?
Am I a feminist because I lash out at men who try to paw me?
Or am I a feminist because I have a job and lead an independent life?

Well, I never though of myself as a feminist, and I don't know if I am one. Someone tell me if I am.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

A public campaign of sorts

You see that second name on the top right hand corner of this page? Well, he's the other person who is supposed to be blogging here.

I have tried many things so far -- have pleaded, have offered to ghost write for him, have threatened to kick him out of this space. None of those worked. Though now he is the one pleading -- pleading not to be thrown out of this blog.

Anyway, I am now putting it in the public domain. It may work. I don't think anything else will. So here goes. San, please write.

Heheh!! There's one guy who knows exactly what he's getting!

Friday, July 21, 2006

Big Brother

This I found in an article on the BBC website:

India is still a relatively conservative society. Very few couples live together before marriage, and intimate acts, such as kissing, are never seen on TV screens.
However, soaps regularly feature storylines about infidelity and pregnancy out of wedlock.

Heheh! The western world must think we are one confused people!

Anyway, that article was about the reality show Big Brother, which is soon hitting Indian screens. But the version we see here will not have anything to do with sex, since we are scared of that word. Read about that here.

Thursday, July 20, 2006


When Picasso’s Guernica hangs in the editor’s cabin, it gets a whole new meaning. Picasso may have been capturing the agony of a war. But in a newspaper office, it could be so many things. I mean, just think of the possibilities!

It could be a reporter’s trauma when his story is slashed and pretty much reduced to tatters.
It may signify that a newspaper office is pretty much like a battle field.
It may be a warning as to how grim things may get.

As Guernica bears silent witness to the editorial meetings, I stare at it and gulp…

Blocked no more!

And we are back on the road! Yay!! :)

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Blocked blogs

I use the links that help one get around the block on blogs, I read blogs, then I come to my own, think of posting, and then say to myself – But who will read??? And then I sigh and close all windows.

I am done with feeling infuriated about it. Now I hope just someone knocks some sense into the government. Allow us peace-loving bloggers to continue with our harmless rambling…

Wednesday, July 12, 2006


Floods, riots, bomb blasts. How long will Bombay take this battering? How many more times will the people of Bombay "bounce back", like our news channels love telling us? How much longer will the spirit of Bombay endure the slow torture?

Monday, July 10, 2006


Abhipraya pointed me to this hilarious post. Story of our lives, isn't it? Domesticating myself was difficult enough, when I realised I would also be responsible for domesticating and home-training the husband.

Which reminds me of a theory of mine... Why do you think the elders insist on marriage? They have learned from experience that managing a husband is very very similar to managing a child. So if one is married at least for a year before having kids, one knows what to expect from the kid. Managing the husband becomes practical lessons on how to bring up the kid.

Good no? :)


A good weekend after a long time, though France lost and Zizou got a red card and the World Cup is over. For one, I wasn't sitting alone at home through Sunday!

I finally found the right pair of jeans, but only after being told by a young salesman that the very high waist jeans are worn by "housewives and very traditional girls". So disapproving was he of one such which I liked for its colour, that I finally obliged him and chose a not-so-low waist one. Nevertheless, comfortable as hell.

I didn't cook one bit because we've run out of gas and the gas company refused to give us a refill until we wrote them a letter saying we need refills only once in six or seven months, because that is our rate of consumption. The lady who was supposed to take the booking had thought we had left the country because they hadn't heard from us for so long. But waat to do, that is all the cooking we do...

Ended the Sunday with some new friends, a lot of music, a lot of gobi manchurian, a long drive and of course, football.

And yay, Federer is King! :)

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Old friends

It is such joy to meet old friends.

To discuss who looks like who, and who has got who’s expression.

To discuss where the old over-sized hooded jacket has disappeared in the last ten years.

To discuss the viability of people, of situations, and of ideas.

To sit in Koshy’s and discuss how to control the decibel level there on weekends: Waves of silence and noise could be created by flashing a light bulb on and off. But no one would notice the bulb. Then let’s control the entire lighting of Koshy’s – dim means you stay silent, bright means you talk. Or we could have decibel level monitors. If you cross a certain limit, a bell would go off. No, better still to have ejector chairs so that if you cross the decibel limit, your chair ejects you.

To discuss how the house has grown; how from a building on a bare bit of land it has grown, evolved, matured, as a home.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Fight for your pay

Pull up your socks women, get your acts together. Get paid what you deserve, don't get left behind your male counterparts. Read how.

Friday, July 07, 2006

The taste of cyanide

Did you ever wonder how cyanide tastes? I never did. But apparently, many people have been wondering. Obviously, no one who tasted it ever lived to tell. Now, someone has actually been considerate enough to write it down before dying. Read about it here.

And if you don't want to go to the link but are still curious, it's acrid, they tell us.

The sea and Neruda

I miss the sea. Trapped here, caged before a computer screen, surrounded by piles of paper and people who seem to be in a trance, I miss the sea. The spray of water, the salty wind, the sand between my toes, the soothing sound of waves, the seashells and scurrying crabs. And what have I here? Tapping of keyboards, ringing phones and the chill of the a/c.

So, I indulge in some Neruda. One of my favourites.

Ode to the Sea
Pablo Neruda

Surrounding the island
There's sea.
But what sea?
It's always overflowing.
Says yes,
Then no,
Then no again,
And no,
Says yes
In blue
In sea spray
Says no
And no again.
It can't be still.
It stammers
My name is sea.

It slaps the rocks
And when they aren't convinced,
Strokes them
And soaks them
And smothers them with kisses.

With seven green tongues
Of seven green dogs
Or seven green tigers
Or seven green seas,
Beating its chest,
Stammering its name,

Oh Sea,
This is your name.
Oh comrade ocean,
Don't waste time
Or water
Getting so upset
Help us instead.
We are meager fishermen,
Men from the shore
Who are hungry and cold
And you're our foe.
Don't beat so hard,
Don't shout so loud,
Open your green coffers,
Place gifts of silver in our hands.
Give us this day our daily fish.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Ties and jeans

These men are capable of going on and on about how getting married, or tying the knot, is equivalent to tightening a noose around your neck and so on. I can't help but wonder why they don't feel the same about wearing a tie. Now that is a noose. I mean, literally a noose.

How many times I have wanted to strangle nasty men with their own ties. Just one pull, and watch their faces going red, blue, purple. I still nurture the dream of tying this particular chap to the coffee machine with his tie, or trap the tie between the doors of the lift.

Now would probably be a good time to assert that I dislike ties. Absolutely abhor them. They just doesn't serve any purpose, are mostly ghastly in colours and designs, and make a perfectly respectable guy look funny. Why do people wear it at all? There is a nice Malayalam expression that quite describes how ridiculous the tie looks, but I don't want to mention it here :) Anyway, the only reasonable explanation I ever got in favour of a tie was that you could use it to wipe your mouth after eating.

While we are on the subject of clothing, have you tried shopping for jeans recently? Women are getting a raw deal, I say. Search all you want, but the only kind of jeans you will find are "low-cut flare". Which means if you wear them, there will be precious little covering your behind, but metres of cloth flapping around your ankles.

Where are those perfect, normal jeans? If you don't want the low-cut-flare types, your only choice is the uni-sex jeans, which are actually just the men's jeans. And to say they are bad fits will be putting it very mildly.

What happened to the right to choice? Isn't there a right like that? I want my normal jeans, and I want them in normal shades of blue. Not the ragged ones, not the sequined or beaded ones, just plain, normal and blue.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Mobile phones

We have all suffered at the hands of people who refuse to put there mobile phones on silent mode or turn it off. But some people are so exasperating. I don't know if it is a case of them being thick skinned or thick skulled.

There was this book launch in Landmark once, and there was a discussion on cricket as part of the launch. Press was invited. There were Sanjay Manjrekar, Ramchandra Guha and others, along with the author, on the discussion panel. As usual, the MC requested everyone to turn off/silence their mobile phones.

The discussion was in full flow and Guha was in his element narrating one of his favourite cricketing anecdotes when the phone of a reporter sitting right in the front let out a full throated song. Guha froze, fixed his eyes on the chap, and I knew that if I was at the other end of the glare, I would have turned to ash in about 35 seconds. But not our pal. He took a few seconds to realise he has to make the phone stop ringing, fished it out from somewhere, took his time in figuring out the number, decided this was a call he had to take, and slowly ambled out. On his way out (phone still wailing), Guha shouted at him, "I can out-shout a mobile phone any day!"

Just today, I was at another event. A meeting with about 60 people, two speakers. One of them was animatedly explaining his project, when the phone of the chap at the very front (why do they always sit in the front?) burst into an orchestra piece. The speaker stopped, and stood there looking at him. Every one else in the room, including the light and sound guy, sat there looking at him. And him? He sat there looking at his phone. No kidding. He just sat there and stared at the phone. After an agonisingly long wait, he cut the call. With this look of disgust on his face, the speaker asked everyone to put their phones on silent mode, and continued. Barely three minutes, and the darn phone starts singing again. Now the speaker wore a look of utter disbelief. Anyway, this time chap was faster in cutting the call. Another five minutes and one hears another phone ringing, and I looked around for a target for my glare. It was the same guy! And he was fishing out his second phone from the depths of his pocket.

Really, thick skin or skull?