two thousand t(h)en: the year that went by :-)

2010. It was good, it was bad.

The year began with a long weekend, with JANUARY 1 falling on a Friday! Most of the month kept us busy house hunting. I had completely given up on blogging, and had not blogged at all, after 15 October 2009! Had joined a new company in November 2009, and was finding myself in a whirlwind. Though the designation and the job was the same, the medium was online (and not print) media and I was very new to it. Shifting from the house in J.P. Nagar, Bangalore, was a difficult decision. But the commute to work was taxing and we figured Koramangala was a mid-point for both me and the husband from our respective offices. By the end of Jan, we chanced up on the house we are at now – and the so-don’t-want-to-move decision became a can’t-wait-to-move one. To add to it, the owner of the previous house became a nag and started bargaining on the advance he had to pay back: finally, he paid us 15k less of what we had given! In a financial crisis ourselves, we almost wanted to smash his head, and waked out of their in fury 😀

We moved into this house in the first week of FEBRUARY and fell in love with the place. As for the owner, one gem of a person! A philanthropist of the highest order. Will need a complete post to describe him! 🙂 Anyways, most of Feb was spent settling in, and parents visiting, and making friends at work, and meeting neighbours, and other mundane stuff.

MARCH came in rather quickly, and I was completely settled at work. I made three real good friends there, and the 4 of us hung out like fevicol buddies! 😀 But apart from office and home, I realized I wasn’t having a life. And so, I came back to blogging. I had had one too many blogging breaks – and I was almost sure I’d be ignored, not read anymore and the like. But to my disappointment, most of the lovely bloggers I’d known and loved had left the blogville! That only made me more worried.  I’d have to start all over again, and make “blog friends”. I’m glad I decided to go ahead. Though I still miss the old “gang” (I still have ALL of them in my blogroll, in the hopes that they’ll come back someday, like I did), the new people I got to know are the best on the planet! 🙂 So, exactly 5 months after my previous post, I made my first post of 2010 on 15 March! It was also then that a school mate wrote me a lovely mail that took me all the way back to school. Thanks MC!

APRIL slowly rambled in and bought in its wake the loss of the husband’s dear mobile. I’ve never seen him so depressed! And I made a post out of it and got labeled ‘the wife who laughs at the husband’s misery’ 😀 Three days later – after a gap of 4 months – I called up one of my closest friends to know she’s pregnant! Again, all the way back to school I went. Those were the days! It made me think of how much I’ve changed in all those years—and I came to the sad conclusion that I hadn’t changed much. Andthat’s when I listed down some of my LOL stupidities in life—one of my favourite posts so far. April is also the month when the husband and I celebrate our ‘unofficial’ anniversary: and to spice up our life, we decided to go on a week-long trip. A getaway from everything else. Anyways, the father-in-law was retiring the next month, and he also wanted to go on a vacation with us: for gelling-better purposes 😉

We were on vacation all of MAY first week. We went to Coorg and from there to all of his relatives’ places in Kerala and then to Poovar, Tihruvananthapuram! We reached back, got back into the home-work-home lifestyle and I decided to go on a trip every month. Weekend trip, long trip, half day trip…I didn’t mind. I also took a few resolutions: swimming, driving, music classes, gardening and monthly trips. The first three didn’t work, while the last two worked for the most part. My parents relocated to Bangalore and took up the 1BHK on the ground floor of our house. So, we have the whole house to ourselves now! Yey! End of May, we also went ahead and booked our first-ever car: the Tuscan Wine Fiat Grande Punto 🙂 At work, things were getting bad. All four of us were fed up and was planning to move out. Personally, right from the day I rejoined after the vacation, I’d been fed up 😛

JUNE was an exciting month. My blog turned 2 and I was mighty proud 😀 At work, all four of us got new offers and things were being processed. We couldn’t be happier. I was the one who decided to move out, and pulled the other 3 into the bandwagon! So, when there was a plan formulated for a meet-up of us college friends, I couldn’t be happier. The day before our trip, I rushed out from office, requested a dog to excuse me and literally ran home to pack! We were off to Munnar! Cousins, Uncle and Aunt came for a week to Bangalore from Trivandrum, and we all had a great time! We went to Mysore and Srirangapatna – my first time to Mysore after I came to Banaglore 3 years ago 😀 Well, on the flip side, my uncle had a heart attack (!), my mom’s BP rose high, my aunt had a bad fall and my bro (alone in the UK) had a baaaaaad fever!

JULY came and saw us at Manipal: a most lovely place! It was also a month of so many changes: the Tuscan Wine Fiat Grande Punto came home, I got into IBM—new work timings, new sleep timings, new friends, new work profile… And I posted my first and last ever Thursday Challenge. It was ONLY to show off that photograph: I’ve never participated in a TC or a WW before or after that 😀

Starting 15 AUGUST, we celebrated the 10 days of Onam and made the pookkalams on all 10 days:
Atham, Chithira, Chothi, Vishakham, Anizham, Thrukaetta, Moolam, Pooraadam, Uthraadam and Thiruvonam. And after falling badly ill, the week after that, we went off to Wayanad: one of the best places I’ve been to! We trekked up to Edakkal Caves and the Wayanad Heritage Museum, went to Pookkode Lake, Banasura Sagar Dam and the Jain Temple @ Sultan Bathery and went for a safari to the Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary.

SEPTEMBER was a fun month, blog-wise. Chatterbox ran the Finish It To Win It contest, and it was a load of blogfun! I finished it to win some prizes! Was too caught up in this, had no time for a trip! 😀 😀 😀 😛

Now OCTOBER was horrid. Horrid, simply, indescribably horrid! Caught in a mad man’s world, we suffered a load of mental tension, sleepless nights, unproductive work hours and insult to injury! And if all those weren’t enough, there were even nightmares for rent! Was the WORST MONTH of the year, and filled us all with a lot of hatred and negativity! To ease some of that negativity and bad moods, uncle, aunt and two brats came from Delhi for a week-long vacation and we had fun. We went to Ooty and Mysore—didn’t want to break the trip-every-month vow 😀

NOVEMBER, every year, had always been my fav! That’s when my birthday is—and since the past2 years, the wedding anniversary too 😉 November 2, the day I turned 26, I got Pumbaa and the Canon EOS550 DSLR Rebel T2i: two of the most precious gifts ever…from a totally precious person—a husband who doesn’t just SAY “anything for you darling”, but DOES something about it too 😀 It was also the month when I ‘discovered’ an unknown relative through the power of blogging 😉 Of course, there were no trips in November—except the ones to the veterinary clinic with Pumbaa 😉

All of DECEMBER literally flew, with Pumbaa keeping us all busy—why, he even had visitors coming in, with appointment, to see him and play with him!!!—and the upcoming end-of-december vacation keeping me super busy at work—result? No time to blog! And on 24 Dec, wrapping up work and packing up clothes, food and Pumbaa, we were off to our Kerala-Goa vacation! Yep, travellogue coming up soooon!

So, a very good year in all, except for the dampner in October—which is like a dampner for life. Everytime we see the scratches on the Punto the blood boils!

Sorry for the boring post, but it’s a record of 2010—for future references, just in case 😀 😛

Anyways, here’s wishing you all a
FUNtastic, grace-filled, prosperous year ahead.  Let 2011 be the year of your dreams! 🙂

Injustice means “adding insult to injury”

Disclaimer: Foul language used in more than one instance. Written while in a completely disturbed state of mind: engulfed in fury and disbelief at the injustice meted out.

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News we hear very often, sending our blood to a boil and our minds to degrees of exasperation. But well, the ways of “justice” (or the lack of it) is something we’ll have to live with, I suppose. In spite of the amount of depth of the evidence we have against a ‘wrong’.

A girl gets raped on her way home from work. It’s the girl’s fault because she was wearing ‘provocative’ clothes.

A man sentenced to life imprisonment for suspected partaking in a terrorist act is let off after 14 years, on being found innocent. He’s lost his family, job, life. It’s his fault because he chose to be in the wrong spot at the wrong moment.

A woman is forced to get an abortion done. It’s her fault, because she carried a girl child.

[And in my own life:] Our cars were damaged, plants killed and us emotionally harassed and tortured. It’s our fault, because we are ‘outsiders’ who chose to live in ‘their land’, their Karnataka.

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Yes, when the Association people went to his place and handed over the bill, he refused to pay up.  Just like he refused to admit the f***er in the video is him.

The Association people tried to talk some sense into him saying we hadn’t even approached the law for this, while we could have, considering the proof and all. That we were being amicable…and expect the same from him. And the as***le unflinchingly says (not verbatim), “I’m not paying. If they go to the law with this, I’ll also file a case against this boy (Suraj), that he tried to kill me and my wife”.

And the Association people (fed up, knowing there was no use talking to this freak) came to this conclusion: they’ll get both our cars painted, at their expense (recovering only about 1/6th of the total amount from the old piece of misery). And again, it will be done only at a local workshop where the Association President has connections, and not at the showroom—in spite of the Punto being a new car and within warranty period.

PLUS.

They’ll get it in writing from us that we will not probe this matter further, or cause any trouble to the bast**d, or his family. And from him, that he will not cause any further trouble to us, or to any of the other residents in the neighbourhood.

AND THERE ENDED THE MATTER.

What gets me boiling with rage is the complacence with which everyone viewed the situation. “What happened, happened. Don’t lose your sleep over it now.” No one seems to think that it should NOT have happened at all.

No one seems to realize the agony he put us in, the mental torture we went through, the sleepless nights we had, the lack of concentration we suffered at work… NONE of those are considered.

  • the mental harassment is intangible (so, get over it!);
  • the plants will grow back (so, stop whining);
  • the anger and rage must be suppressed (it’s your young blood).

AND IN UNSPOKEN WORDS (though in good intent): You’re not a native Kannadiga and you don’t quite belong here; so stop complaining and move away, if you want a peaceful life.

“There is no calamity which a great nation can invite
which equals that which follows a supine submission to wrong and injustice”.
Grover Cleveland (22nd and 24th President of the United States)

What no one seems to address is the fact that a bloody f**king b****rd is being allowed to get away with his bloody b***ardly criminal act! At no punishment, at no loss, at not even the slightest sense of guilt! In spite of him threatening to file cases with false allegation of attempted murder on the husband!! And why!? Just because he has the unfair advantage of being a ‘localite’, while we’re from ‘outside’. “Outside, as in, Jupiter!?” asked a friend.

No one seems to realise or even think that he’s the criminal and NOT the victim! It’s the typical “forget the whole issue unless you want to get into deeper trouble” responses and reaction. Unless the son of a b***h himself pays for the loss he created, he’ll NEVER learn, will he!? But well, no one seems to think he must learn, in the first place.

“If you are neutral in situations of injustice,
you have chosen the side of the oppressor.
If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral,
the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.”
Bishop Desmond Tutu (African Spiritual leader and Novelist)

But I’m the only one who seems to be unable to stand this injustice. Everyone else seems to be tired of the drama. “Let it go”, they all said, including the family. In fact, I literally could NOT BELIEVE MY EARS when I heard the ‘verdict’.

So much for trying to solve this “amicably” through the Association. When they got involved, I thought they’d fight for justice and make the old miserable piece of sh*t pay for his act. But, like the husband rightly said, “everyone involved in this (apart from us) is getting fed up and wants only to put it all to an end and get out of it.”

Put it all to an end, leaving the ones who suffered to continue suffering.

“The Police here are very corrupt; and they’ll always choose to support a localite over an outsider; which means in spite of your evidence and everything, they’ll either try to trouble you or keep postponing this affair for years. Is this worth all that mess?”
Does that mean any localite can do any harm to ‘outsiders’ and get away with it too? And to top that all, try and silence the victim with false attempted murder allegations!?

And what the hell does ‘outsider’ mean!? This is all ONE country, right? Or has Karnataka been declared a free country since last evening!? Aren’t we all citizens of the same country? Don’t we have the right to live in any part of India? Or is the “right” only given to the “localites” to vandalize the property of people who’ve come from a part of the country slightly further down south!? What’s all this crap about ‘outsider’? No I don’t live in a utopia, but I also refuse to live a life of the oppressed! I’ve done no wrong and I DO NOT INTEND TO suffer in silence the wrong done to me.

If this is the attitude and acceptance, I wonder why we complain and create a hue and cry about racism and biased behavior meted out to “us Indians” when we go to a foreign country. It’s their land, isn’t it; and the law will support them, shouldn’t it; and they’re localites and we’re ‘outsiders’. Right!?

“Yes, right, Priya. But this isn’t something that happens only in Karnataka. It happens everywhere.”
Oh thanks, what a solace that is!

“There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice,
but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.”
Elie Wiesel (Romanian born American Writer, Nobel Prize for Peace in 1986)

Right from the start, everyone wanted us to “forgive and forget”. Everyone’s initial reaction was first wonder and then amused laughter. As long as the falling roof isn’t in your house, it isn’t a problem for you, is it!? When we told them it was mental torture and we couldn’t even concentrate on work at office, they all dismissed it with a shake of their heads and a laugh, saying “Don’t let such silly things bother you”. Silly!?? For whom!? It was only when they realized we were very adamant about making the freak pay, that they agreed to step in and ‘talk’ to him. But I suppose all throughout, this had been their mindset: get it over with.

What right did they, then, have to tell us NOT go to the law? It was their selfish need to keep away any chances of the Police coming into this particular residential area: 5th Cross, S.T. Bed, Koramangala 4th block, Karnataka, INDIA. It was their selfish need to make sure other residents in the locality were not disturbed by this event. It was their selfish need to prevent a member of their Association from getting entangled in the arms of the law. Our loss was purely ours, and no one else’s. And that’s the ultimate truth…the ultimate fact.

They kept saying S.T. Bed Layout is the best layout in Koramangala, Bangalore. Honestly, I beg to differ.

For everyone who were involved (apart from our house owner), it was perhaps just a matter of amusement and wonder initially (they were all astounded at the idea of the web-cam and ‘evidence’) and then a pure pain in the ass—and all they wished was to get out of the mess. And the easiest way was not to punish the rasc*l, not try to make him pay, but to pay up on behalf of the Residents’ Welfare Association!??

I appreciate their willingness to pay: I appreciate it completely. BUT. Is the lost paint on the car the ONLY issue!? What about moral values and principles? I think I’ll pass. I’m not walking around trying to live on charity. If that fu***r can’t pay, then I might as well pay from MY pocket. Why should I let the Association pay!? When did they scratch my car and cause me pain!?

I have a good mind to teach the old swine a lesson. But the father, mother and husband (and the brother too!?) has completely given up.

“Enough, Priya. This is all there is to be done. Let’s not talk about it anymore”, says the angry father.

“He has a lot of those low-class contacts. What if he arranges for someone to hurt us on the road? What if it costs one of our lives?” asks a worried mother.

“There’re just too many curses on him already: ours, our families’, our friends’, your blog friends’; he won’t be let off that easily. He’ll suffer somehow. We have as a forever and recent example, what happened to our previous house owner. Can’t we leave this here?” asks a worried husband.

The brother just shakes his head in contempt, and offers no words.

I understand the concern they all expressed. I completely understand and agree. But I think differently.

I seethe in anger, in pent up fury. I’m unable to sleep. I can feel no sorrow, only rage. And they flow out as tears. While the husband holds me close and comforts me as I shed angry tears, all I can think is “Unbelievable. Unjust. Unacceptable.” And I’m afraid at my own degrees of anger. I have multiple thoughts of revenge flowing through me. But at the end, I wonder if I can be that bad a person.

But I know for sure that he’s NOT getting out of this as easily as he thinks he has. Not especially after he’s threatened to file a false case against the husband.

In a mad man’s world

Scratches and dents, pain and loss;
Anger, shock and revenge after a pause.
Irritation, frustration and pent up rage;
Hatred, disbelief, plans of a war to wage.
Some of life’s surprises leave us appalled
When we live in a mad man’s world!

P.S.: Loooong post ahead.

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July 3, 2010: The Grande Punto came home.

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July 10, 2010: Punto gets its first deep scratch across the bonnet and on the side, near the left rear view mirror.

*we send swears at the ever-irritating passers-by who can’t bear to see a spotless car in town*

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October 1, 2010: Punto gets a new scratch on the front left door.

*devil be on you, you horrid passer-by*

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October 2, 2010: Punto gets a new scratch on the bonnet again.

*why us, why why why?*

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October 3, 2010: Two of our plants are broken off and thrown into our compound.

*now, one needs no rocket science to figure out this is no passer-by; it’s someone with a malicious intent*

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October 4, 2010: We install a web-cam to video record our cars and who/what’s damaging it. We see the following footage the next day morning…and we are shocked!

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This was at approximately 5.18 a.m.

This was at approximately 5.18 a.m. That’s him bending the antenna of dad’s car, the Alto. And he scratches on the bonnet…but since there’s nothing sharp with him, there’s minimal damage. So he goes back to his house and returns 10 minutes later.

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And then, again, at 5.26 a.m, he returns with his car key, scratches our car, and returns to his car.

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Since the web-cam was installed on the second floor, the face is not clear, though we can clearly make out who it is. But, as ‘evidence’, this will not pass. So, we decide to wait it out another day and install it again that night.We buy one more cam and install them both at two different spots.

We see this the next morning…again, done at approximately 5.20 a.m. He comes out of his house, throws waste into our compound and goes back. On the way back, he changes his decision and comes back to dad’s Alto and bends the antenna again and makes it an ‘Z’. You can see him only through the car window here since our kitchen window blocked view.

.

One more plant attacked.

We call in our house owner and detail the incident, showing  him the footage. We have a couple of hours’ discussions, along with a friend of his who stays close by. They take a look at our cars — the Punto and the Alto — all the while, talking loudly on the road. The house owner tells us to approach the Residents’ Association before going to the law. The Association President is out of town for 3 days…so we wait again. But the web-cam runs everyday. And gives us more and more evidence everyday.

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We see this the next day, done again at approx. 5.30 a.m. Here again, he is on his way after damagin another plant, and scratches the back door of the Punto.

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And the next day…at approx. 4.50 a.m., on his way back after parking his car at a safe spot, putting his hand in through our gate and breaking off two of my Christmas trees!

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And the next…at approx. 5.45 a.m. Here he scratches the back door of the Alto and moves to the boot. We found two deep scratches on the boot in the morning.

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It’s October 13, 2010 that day. That’s all we are willing to wait. There are now 7 scratches on the Punto; the Alto has suffered multiple scratches all around, plus one bent antenna now resembling an ‘Z’. I’ve lost 7 of my plants.

We have to nail the a*s*o*e asap, before he annihilates all our plants…and the cars! We know who it is…and we decided to make sure the entire locality know who it is. It’s our neighbour, Mr Govindaraju, who lives at #196, 5th cross, S.T. Bed, Koramangala 4th Block. Bloody &^#@%*)(^%#@%&*)(&&$$#@%^&( !!!

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Flash back to Feb, March, April, May, June…

We rented this house out in February 2010. We had a Pulsar and a Matiz, then. The neighbour [who lives on the other side of the road, and has ample parking space for the bike inside his compound, and for the car on his side of the road] always insisted on parking his car and bike on our side of the road, or even on the footpath adjoining our compound wall. We never complained (though we should have).

Ours is a corner house, so we get two sides of the house to park our vehicles against. We decided to let him park there, while we parked on the other side. In April 2010, dad and mom shifted to Bangalore. Which added an Alto to the family. Only one car can be parked on the other side of the house…and that’s where the Matiz rested. So, the Alto took the other side, always cringing for space after the neighbour’s Maruti 800. We never complained (though we should have).

We could see how possessive he was of his vehicles. Even if dad parks his Alto a bit further towards where he parks, the minute dad drives off to some place, he’ll rush out and re-claim his spot!And when the Alto and Maruti were parked bumper to bumper, with barely enough space for one person to fit in between, he’d park his bike in that weeny bit of a space, mostly kissing the Alto’s bumper. We never complained (though we should have).

When the Punto came home, we decided to talk to him and claim the space…but we didn’t; till July 9th, about a week after the Punto came.

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Flash back to July 9, 2010.

The husband had gone ot office in the new car that day, the next day being a second Saturday, a holiday. When he reaches home, we see our neighbour’s car parked in front of our house, and his bika also parked behind it, lengthwise, leaving no space for our Punto or for Dad’s Alto. Owing to lack of space, Dad had parked his Alto where we used to park the Punto. When the husband came back, he saw the bike parked lengthwise behind the Maruti, leaving no space anywhere for his car.

He parked it in front of our gate, walked over to the neighbour’s house and requested him to “please remove your car from there, I need to park mine.” The man came out and took away the bike. To put an end to this drama, the husband again told him “we have two cars now, and we need to park them here…so please park your car on your side of the house”. The man said he’ll do it later, to which the husband insisted he do it “now”. So he said he misplaced the keys and couldn’t do it then. The husband then got a bit irritated and said “No Sir, you’ll have to do it right away. I need to park my car.” And that’s when the man began yelling at the husband, saying “I’ll do what I want…let me see what you’ll do. Who are you to come here and talk to me like this…” and tried to slam the door on his face. The husband put a foot between the door and said “Now. I want your car removed from that spot now, because I have to park my car.” The man screamed the daylights out of the husband and refused to do it. The husband came back seething.

I reached home late that day, and when the husband narrated this to me, I scolded him, saying you needn’t have made this an issue…I’d have approached them differently and all that. I guess he was really hurt that I didn’t support him. [Today, I regret having scolded him!] We decided not to spend a single moment talking to such low people and forgot the issue there. My dad took the Alto back to kiss the Maruti, and the Punto was parked on the other side, beneath the tree.

The next day, we saw a deep scratch on te bonnet of our Punto. We thought it was a passer-by and cursed him/her.

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Fast-forward to September 29, 2010.

On my way to office, another neighbour of mine called me in and told me that the spot we parked the Punto at wasn’t very safe. Apparently, the tenants who lived here earlier had bought a new car, and used to park it there. One day, a dry branch broke off the tree and crashed on to the windshield. She suggested we park both our cars on the other side itself. And then I told her that this man parks his car there, and he’ll fight for the spot. To which she rightly said ‘that isn’t his private property, so h can’t say anything”.

And then onwards, we began parking our car there. The Maruti automatically moved to his side of the road…and we were happy for the absence of any more quarrels. Until the scratches began appearing.

So, that was it. All for the loss of a parking spot, he began damaging our cars!!! he wakes up at 5 everyday, plucks flowers from all over the place, and then washes the front of her house…the footpath and in front of the gate. And recently, he’s added two more items to his daily routine: damaging our plants on the way back from flower plucking…and then parking his car near the Park (his idea of a safe spot, away from the busy road) and on his way back, damaging our cars before he begins the sweeping and mopping.

We accompanied the President, Vice-President and Secretary of the Residents’ Association and went to his place to interrogate. Only his wife was there then. She said since the husband shouted at him three months back, they bot had no affection for us. That a youngster being rude to a senior citizen is wrong, not acceptable, etc. That’s when we showed her the clippings…asking her if these were acceptable. She was shocked: she couldn’t believe her “senior citizen’ husband was capable of such cheap, underhand tactics. She apologised profusely and looked shattered!

Then he came in. He saw us sitting in his house, with the hot shots of the residents’ Association committee. And he gave us all a weird smile. The President asked him what was the issue between him and us. And his reply shocked us all: “What problem Sir? I have no problem. He is like my son…i like him a lot. I’m like his father. What problem sir!?” Am sure we all felt pity and scorn for him. I am unsure what the wife went through at that poor show show of fake emotions and affection! That’s when they told him about the ‘evidence’ and showed him the first clipping. He was looking at himself walking across the road and damaging the Alto’s antenna. I wonder what he went through at that moment. Well, we were all waiting with bated breath…when he said “no Sir, this is not me. Why would I do it? Why? I’m not that kind of a person at all”.

And for the next 3 hours, he kept repeating that “this horrid boy, like a Hitler, stood at my door and yelled at me”… He kept on saying that for at least 25 times (I’m NOT exaggerating here). He refused all logic and sense, and blatantly refused to accept blame. In spite of showing him these videos, he confidently said it’s not him. We were all surprised. We put in our demand then: he had to compensate for the damage he caused. He agreed…and how!? By taking out two Rs 500 notes and offering it to the husband, and when refused, to everyone else assembled there. We rephrased our demand then: get our cars repainted. If he thought he could cover it up with Rs 1000, he could think again. We said we’ll take both cars to the service station and get an estimate of the repairs to be done…and give the bill to him.

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He’ll pay for his sins!

We took the Punto to the service station and took an estimate: two doors, the bonnet and the area between the doors and bonnet. Repainting costs Rs 17,000 + taxes. About Rs 20,000.
We took the Alto to a local workshop and took an estimate: all around the car + one antenna.
Repainting + repair costs Rs 12,350. [If it were at a service station, easily ass about 3-5k]

The friendly neighbour’s total expense: MINIMUM Rs 30,000.

If he wanted it cheaper, he should’ve bought himself a blackboard and some chalk to practice drawing lessons! A*s*o*e!

Today is when he’ll get the bills from he Association President (we’ll hand it over to him to do the honours). Even if this freak gets a heart attack on seeing the ‘fruits’ of what he sowed, I wouldn’t care. I’ll make sure he pays up every single penny!

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The mental torture he put us through for about 10 days can’t be explained! We lost sleep, concentration at work, peace, appetite… Every time I see my plants, I can feel the hatred rising…and all I wanna do is make his life miserable forever. I keep thinking I should just forget and forgive, but I guess for once, I WONT do that. I DESPISE people who hurt others without any provocation.

If it had been done in a moment of anger, we would’ve understood: that’s human nature. But for a tiff that happened 3 months back, if he decided to plan and execute a cheap revenge 3 months later, he better pay for it. Others can ‘plan’ too.

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I’ve always hated Bangalore; and this event just adds one more to the list of “Why”s. But if the freak thinks we’re going to run away from here, he can think again. I’m going to invest in a CCTV, no matter how much it’ll cost me. We’ll live here and monitor him constantly. I’ll make sure he doesn’t trouble us (or anyone else, for that matter) ever again. If this is a psychological problem of his, like a neighbour mentioned, he should either be locked up…or beaten up till his senses come back! I have no sympathy for such miserable people!

Feels good to have vented this out; but it hasn’t taken away all my anger. I’m saving some for him!

.

P.S.: I had been completely caught up in this…and was sooooo not able to blog. The only solace and comfort were reading all your blogs and forgetting this mad man for a few minutes every time one of you posted something. Thanks a ton for that, folks!

(On a lighter note.) In the midst of all this torture is when Vimmuuu calls a dozen times a day to ask his silly questions 😀 So, I HAD to put up that post on his questions (yes, Vimmuuu, I found time for that. I had to! :D)

Nightmares for rent

“Where will I keep the garbage? Will someone come to collect it?”
*no…we usually used to eat it the next day*

“Can I move the furniture around?”
*dude, you decide. Stop calling me for every simple thing*

“Who hung all these pictures here?”
*they got bored and hung themselves*

“Whose picture is that?”
*go figure instead of wasting my time*

“The stars in that room scared me. Who stuck them here?”
*thank god you’ve never looked up at the sky!*

“There’s a weird sound every night. What’s that?”
*probably the neighbours’ reaction when they saw you*

“What have you told the tenants upstairs about me?”
*the truth…which explains the weird night sound*

“What will I tell them if they ask me how I know you?”
*there isn’t much, is there? :P*

“Blah blah blah…”
*tearing my hair out*

“You know what? I don’t have Gtalk or Gmail at office :(”
*overjoyed at the prospect of limited bugging*

“I took a phone connection with 400 free messages and low-rate calls.”
*tearing the remaining hair out and thinking ‘why oh why did I do this!?:roll:*

“Blah blah blah…”
*keeps telling him my parents are the house owners, not me, but he doesn’t seem to hear*

.
When you know a crazed man, you generally stay away. You try and be polite (though you snub him every chance you get), but you generally keep away, keeping your family also away from him. You try to limit your connection with him to a few words over a chat or across a blog.

But at times, your sense of judgment fails you, and you break those rules, become friends, introduce him to your family… and WORST of all, rent out your house to him! 😮 That too, a good house in a good locality. And what’s more!? It’s fully furnished, fully furnished, fully furnished (there you go: three times over :P) too!

Damn! Now, before long, the house would be virtually invisible. All that passers-by would be able to see would be a huge blob of cobwebs 🙂 Serves you right, Priya, for renting out your house to that wannabe, pseudo-spiderman whom you’re always at war with.
😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

Oh…  Hi Vimmuuu… hows life? It’s always a pleasure talking to you!

Falling all over…

…myself seem to be my latest hobby.

Last Monday, I joined IBM. After a long day of form-filling, I was dropped back half way by a cousin. I got off the bike, stepped onto the footpath and the next instant, I was flat on the pavement!!! Some dork  had placed a flat piece of iron rod at the base of the footpath. The area itself was so dark, it just couldn’t be seen. In fact, I had to feel around in the darkness to figure out what I tripped over. Anyways, apart from a few bruises, I was OK. I limped for about 500 mts and found an auto, went home.

Week two at IBM. Monday again. We all left early today as there was some problem with the AC duct. A colleague staying close by offered to drop me home. Though I told him I’d take a rickshaw from 2-3 points on the way, he insisted on droppping me home. Finally, we reached, and I got off the bike. Or so I thought. In fact, my patiala got caught in his helmet-lock on the rear of the bike, and I lost my balance. My bag was darn heavy, with the laptop and everything. And bam! I landed flat on the road, right in front of my house (shocking the poor colleague and a few neighbours).

I soooo don’t look forward to next Monday 😦

what can we do NOW?

Saw this most disturbing video on Facebook. It was titled “Educational Video”, from PETA

And it left me almost puking. I could not see the whole thing. I had to close down! I couldn’t stand it. I couldn’t take it.

So, I wonder how the animals do! While just the visual pain is so horrid, I wonder what the actual pain would be like. Their indifferent, lost expressions wrenched my heart loose and shattered it. I may sound poetic or whatever…but I can’t begin to tell you how disturbed I am 😥

Are those the hands of real, living human beings? Or are they machines? How can people not feel wretched doing this?

And all this for what? Wool, leather and fur? To wear around you in the name of fashion, comfort and status?

I know writing a looooong post on this does not aggravate or alliviate the misery I went through, seeing this. The best is for you to see it yourself. and then, share:

WHAT CAN WE DO ABOUT THIS NOW?

A couple of years back, I broke open an egg to make an omelette and saw blood on the yolk.Struck by depression, avid non-vegetarian that I was, turned chronic vegetarian that instant. Even though I knew my giving up on non-veg does not save all the chicken, fish, pig, cow, and what not, of this world, I still gave up on my craving. And, it felt good. I was beginning to get over it, but I guess this is a timely reminder for me as well. I go back to my veggie ways.

I know giving it up does not solve anything. Giving up on fur, wool and leather also does not stop it. There’s something else that we need to do.

IF THERE IS SOMETHING WE CAN DO, WHAT IS IT?

P.S.: Puke, if you have to. But, I think you should all see this. At least, half way, like I did. If nothing else, itll make you happy to know you’re actually being tortured by the indifference; and not torturing with indifference.

Woods are lovely, dark and green

Woods are lovely, dark and green
But I have promises to keep
And miles to go before I sleep.

I love trees. I’ve always loved trees. And I’m sure I’ll never stop loving them.

One of the things I love doing is to look at the sky through the pinholes that a lush tree’s branches create.

Every time I look at a tree, I think, “Wow. Wonder how many years it took to become this big, this strong, this green, this beautiful…” Every time I pass under a tree and walk in the shade, I utter a silent “thank you”. Every time I see a tree swishing in the breeze, I can feel a smile pulling up the corners of my lips. Every time I see a downpour washing away the dust from trees and leaving them fresh and clean-green, I feel cleansed and rejuvenated! Every time I see new leaves peeping out from the branches, it gladdens my heart. Every time I see birds alighting on or flying off a branch, I feel serene.

Evevrytime I see a tree being cut, I feel I could kill.

The people responsible…the people who ordered for it…the people who’re doing it.

Very recently, about a week back or so, I left office right on time and was already pretty happy with myself for that. The sky had donned a deep grey overall and was threatening to pour. Unlike all the other days, I waited for a bus, hoping to get caught in the rain. Then, I got down at my stop and decided to walk. When I was almost home, it started drizzling and I took a different route, a slightly longer path that runs adjacent to a huge park near my house. Walking through the tree lined lane, with droplets bouncing off the leaves and branches right on me, made me ecstatic.

Until I reached home. There, I saw the two tress—they sheltered most of my house from the dust and direct view off the busy road—massacred. Literally. They seemed to have been cut done by someone who had a pen knife instead of an axe…and was asked to finish duty in 5 minutes! There were branches and twigs and leaves strewn all around. The parts where it had been cut, looked like someone had cut a bit through the wood and had wrenched loose the rest! It was awful! All that remained were the stumps! 😦

All my ecstasy drained right there. I was furious. Though I shouldn’t have taken it out on the wrong person, I snapped at the poor husband because he took about 5 long seconds after I rang the bell, to opened the door! I was swearing away in my mind, cursing the people responsible with the most horrid fates, donned the most fowl expression ever and even refused to attend my mom’s call (something which I never do, no matter what!).

I can’t even BEGIN to explain how furious I was. I don’t know what gets into me when I see a chopped down tree 😦 But it drives me up the wall, makes me furious, inconsolable and all that’s in that league!

On further examination of the area, I realised that about 12 trees had been chopped down, massacred similarly along one side of the road. And for what? To keep the branches from disturbing a wretched hanging electric wire! The ass**** (pardon me, but my fury is coming back! :() could have easily lifted the wire to a higher knob on the post than cut down 12 trees!!!!! Somewhere the power supply might have failed…and some dork must have decided it’s the trees’ fault.

I'm now sorry i didn't have a proper "before" pic; but well, I'm sure you can make out how tall the trees were...and how they are now 😦 😦

There’s nothing we can do, is there, to prevent such things?

I was recently talking to an aunt who’s demolished the house they’ve been living in, for years, and is now rebuilding it in a much better way! And she said, there was a coconut tree that had to be cut. And apparently, she needed permission from the Govt to cut it. After all formalities and everything, she ended up paying over Rs 35,000 to the Govt, for cutting a tree that’s right in her own plot!!!

But when it comes to electric wires, tress are a nuisance. Does the cost of getting someone to take up the wires to a higher level and get it tied there run into crores? Is that why cutting off fully grown trees to make way for these wires a better and oft opted solution!?

Bah! I hate people who cut trees. Even if it’s my very own brother who does it! There! Now that statement says it all! 😐

I guess for some…

Woods are lovely dark and green
But I like dust and heat than trees
And a million ones I’ll cut ‘fore I sleep.

E.T.A: Gosh! I know I sound dumb right now, but I had no clue today is World Environment Day! This post on trees here is a mighty coincidence! I’m off to plant a sapling now. And tomorrow, I’ll be at Lal Bagh to participate in “The Sapling Project”! Go GREEN! 🙂

The Sapling Project @ Bangalore
Venue: Lalbagh, Glass house.
Time: 10:30 AM
Contact: Joel Fernandes – 9008905774

Somethings 1 to 5 ;)

I’ve had a 9-day-long vacation a week back…and it made me realise a few things.

  • Vacations are life’s necessities
  • They’re good for relationship building
  • They’re good for your health (bad for the fat-hungry cells)
  • They’re such super stress busters
  • They’re addictive in a good way (makes you want to do it over and over again; makes your life better and healthier ;))
  • They’re other uncountable positives 🙂

Anyways, I hit office on Monday morning (after reaching home weary and tired on late Sunday night) and realised that I will NOT get back into the rut of a monotonous life of home-work-home. Bah! [Well, at least not for a while; I say this because it looks like I’ll soon get into an even worse lifestyle :D] I’ll do something about it.

.

Something No. 1
I joined for driving classes.

All through the three days at Poovar, the dad-in-law has been motivating us to buy a new car (he even offered to give us some monetary help. Yey! Shameless, I know!). So, in a moment of extreme enthusiasm, I called up a driving school the very Monday that we were back in B’lore. The guy came over on the following Saturday, made me fill a form, took the money and said the class will start on Sunday. I nodded my head so much that I was sure it’d pop off my neck. Woohoo! I never knew I had so much driving spirit in me 😀

He told us it’ll take 16 days if it were half-hour daily lessons; or 8 days if it were one-hour lessons. Of course, I opted for one-hour lessons.

Now, I’m OK about learning, and actually driving a 4-wheeler. It’s impossible to fall from one 😀 But a 2-wheeler is a different issue. He made me test my wheel balance, and I lost my enthusiasm (and all my dignity 😀 I could barely move the Activa without swaying like a coconut on the wall!). I immediately told the husband I’ll learn only the 4-wheeler. He pretended not to hear.

After much whining, he told me to imagine how nice it’d be to swish about in a brand new Activa, with a chic helmet and everything.
I closed my eyes; I imagined: and it was super cool! Wow. I was driving damn well and I was the envy of every girl walking by. The dignity meter hit ‘Max’. Then I opened my eyes, and went back to whining. “I don’t want to learn 2-wheeler driving. Let me just stick with the car…pls pls pretty please, with cherry on top”. He pretended not to hear.

On Sunday, the very first day of class, I bunked. 😀

Oh please. Who’ll wake up at 6.45 a.m. on a Sunday morning!? I texted him saying I had fever and that I’d attend from Monday. He called back, grumbled and said OK. Psst psst: the real reason is not that I didn’t want lose my sleep. The 2-wheeler thingy had drained me off all my enthusiasm…and I wanted to delay it the max possible 😀

Well, I’ve been regular since, and I must admit, it gives me a high to be able to steer a mechanical thing and make it go the way I want it too. Yippee. Wait a minute! I never tried imagining me swishing by in the car!

Wow! It’s super cool! I am driving brilliantly and I am the envy of every girl walking by. The dignity meter is trying to cross ‘Max’.  [Even when the eyes are open ;)]

.

Something No. 2
The swimming pool at the resort, like I mentioned here, made me resolve to learn swimming. I’m proud to say I’ve stuck to the resolve. This weekend, the husband and I decided to register for a swimming camp 🙂 Yey! I decided it’s got the “two birds with one stone” benefit. Nah…actually, three birds 😀
1.    I get to be in water!! (the best of it all)
2.    I learn swimming, an important thing in life 😀
3.    I get to tone myself down (it’s the best exercise, without doubt)
Well, the rate chart at the National Games Village Club, Bangalore, said the pool’s open for use for both members and guests. The registration fee for members was Rs 500, while guests had to pay Rs 1625. Hmmm.

Interesting! Which means if there’s a membership, the daily-use fee would also be much lower. “Oooh, let’s get a membership, pls pls pretty please, with cherry on top”, I told the husband. When we enquired about the membership, they said it’s a life-time thingy for a couple, including dependents (parents and kids). Hmmm.

Doubly interesting!! So, we can all come and have a family swim party 😀 The dad-in-law would be extremely happy! We asked about the rate, and the guy coolly said it was ONLY Rs 2.5 lakhs. Hmmm.

Not so interesting, suddenly. 😀 😀 Anyways, we were supposed to go today and make the payment and get registered and everything! Classes were to start either tomorrow or the day after. But when we went there today, the ******* people there said they’ve decided not to conduct classes, after all. Sickos. I’m in despair now 😦 I reeely want to learn! So, we went straight to Koramangala Club and enquired. Apparently, the classes began last Monday. And NO new batches starting. Come next summer, it seems. Grrrrrrrr. I’m big time pissed!!! 😦  Singing “Desperado” now 😥

.

Something No. 3
Bangalore is no longer the weather capital of India 😀 It’s been bloody hot this summer. But thankfully, the rains have set in (hope they stay for a loooong time ;)) Anyway, the heat’s been unbearable, esp on the top floor. So, have decided to start some small-scale farming on the terrace. The mother and father have re-located to Bangalore, and she is super excited about farming. So, yea. It’ll reduce the heat flowing down into the room from the terrace…and it’ll give us some free veggies 😉

But well, to go up there and water them every day. To go up there and do ‘gardening’. To go up there and pluck whatever’s grown (if they do, at all).  Mmm. Have to sub-contract it to the husband 😉 😉 Have already complemented the dad multiple times, saying anything he plants just grows and flourishes! 😀

There! It’s halfway through already, then. I’ll probably do my bit by buying the seeds for them 😀

.

Something No. 4
Dying to resume training in Carnatic Music. My beginning was while I lived in Guruvayur (1992-94), but the classes were on Sat/Sun, right during the DD2 cartoon hours: and she taught us just sa ri ga ma pa dha ni sa for 5 whole months. I quit!

Had a raging hatred for it for a number of years to come.

Was taken to Perumbavoor Ravindranath Master while in 5th Grade. Learnt for 2 years and almost reached varnams. Lost interest when he began stretching one for weeks, till every kid got it right. I quit!

Was taken to M.G. Radhakrishnan (a close friend of Dad’s) while in 7th Grade. He made me sing a few sangathis and all…and said I  had a lovely voice, superb control over it…and a great future in the music industry :D. Joined class again…but they started right from sa ri ga ma pa dha ni sa again. I quit!

A master used to come home to teach, while in Grade 11. But he always came in the late evening, just when I would begin yawning. Began on keerthanams. But shifted residence in a year…and he quit! 🙄

Finally, became truly interested in learning when I completed graduation. But parents were in the once-a-cat-in-hot-milk-always-a-cat-in-hot-milk mode 😀 They said I could learn music when I learn the value of a god-given gift and of money (paid as fee to these ppl!).

By the time I really learnt them, had relocated to Karnataka. Was thrilled. In the land of Carnatic music. But so far, haven’t located one single person who can coach me individually (or along with a max of 3-4 others).  I do not want to start from sa ri ga ma pa dha ni sa again! Any suggestions, anyone!?

Dying to learn. I’m losing my voice and the control over it, already. Too long a gap from music lessons! 😦

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Something No. 5
Planning the next trip already. Don’t know where to or when, but definitely planning the finances and the leave 😀 Yey!

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Now, isn’t this a good-enough beginning on NOT get back into the rut of a monotonous life? 😉

P.S.: Bangaloreans…I’m dying to learn swimming and Carnatic Music. Any suggestions?

P.S. of P.S.: Koramanagala Club and the National Games Village Club: both suck! Grrrrr!

Sophistication starts with an ‘S’. So does Stupidity :P

I am what I am! 😀

A statement like that’s the only way I can establish that if you need to like me, you just need to do it without getting judgmental or advisory 😀  Just assume that I’m a composed, sophisticated and so-full-of-attitude person. Because, sophistication does not come to me naturally. But I am trying my best 😀

I have (rather had) a habit of keeping a daily diary. And now that I’ve given it up (gave up after marriage…lest the husband gets to know the ‘real’ me ;)), I miss going back on years and reading about those days of stupidity. So, I thought, what better place than my blog to keep my secrets stupid…uh oh…keep my stupidities a secret, i meant! 😀

Anyways, here goes my favourite ones 😀 (Long-post-ahead Alert!!)

I was like 3 or 4, I used to spend the entire day in the company (or the lack of it) of my grandmother. She used to make me nap alongside her for 3 hours compulsorily (to keep me away from mischief while she slept). One day, devoid of any sleep, I was pressing her ruby locket into my arm and making impressions when she looked at me lovingly and said, “When I die, this locket will be yours.” I nodded my head and continued with the impressions; then suddenly, I woke her up from sleep and said, “marakkalle ammumma...” (Please don’t forget, Grandma). And she didn’t! It wasn’t forgotten like one for those “innocent comments” kids make. Sigh!

I was probably labelled dangerous to be left alone with Grandma any more. She feared for her life, I suppose. It was decided I was to attend kindergarten 😀

On my first day at Kindergarten, I was screaming away at full-throttle at the prospect of getting abandoned by my mom…that the teacher there made me sit on her lap to pacify me and make me feel safe. I decided that was going to be my seat everyday (and it definitely helped that she was quite plump; such comfortable seating, I say!). The next day onwards, I’d walk in, keep my bag and lunch pack on the desk allocated for me, and go climb on to her lap. 😀 It was like our family kindergarten: all my elder cousins, and my brother, had been to the same one; so, I did enjoy a level of freedom and partiality there 😉 Anyways, like most women, she also loved to gossip…and she did that religiously with the ayah there, discussing every parent that comes to drop off their kids. She once told the ayah that my mom literally throws me in and rushes off (in her defense, my poor mom had a punching system for attendance at her office and couldn’t afford to be late even by a minute!). I promptly went home and told my mom that…and she stayed a lil longer the next day to explain herself. I never retrieved my ‘comfortable’ seat after that! Sigh!

I suppose she kept tabs on me forever after that. “Teachers” were my greatest enemies ever since 😀 And especially so, if they taught either Hindi or Malayalam!

I was double promoted and put into UKG almost a month after I joined LKG. Guess she wanted me out of there asap! And then I joined an ICSE school. Since my dad had a transferable job, he decided that I should opt for Hindi as my second language, since he was sure his next transfer would be to some place in the north. And I was put into the Hindi gang there. Being an ICSE school, we had only two languages to learn. English, of course, was compulsory. And my optional was Hindi, and not Malayalam. By the time I reached my 3rd grade, Dad got his transfer to the “north”; only, it was to North Kerala, and not North India!! 😀 We packed off to Guruvayur. I was put into a CBSE school: and voila! two languages became three. English, Hindi and Malayalam. All compulsory. Damn! I was in big trouble. Our Malayalam teacher turned out to be a Sanskrit professor as well; in fact, that was her primary subject. So, one can imagine her depth of knowledge of the Malayalam language as well. I immediately got into her black list 😀 Mom became my self-proclaimed Malayalam tutor and started teaching me the alphabets. While the rest of the class raced each other in reading page-long lessons, I was trying to write “a aa e ee u uu” without mistakes 😀 Soon, it was time for the mid-term exams. I blinked. I knew the answer to just one question! I was elated too: at least, I won’t take home a zero! The question was to list two synonyms of Bhoomi (earth). I knew the answers — Kshoni and Paaru. But alas, Mom had taught me the older script, while the school was teaching the new script; in all that tension of getting spanked by the teacher again, I muddled up everything and wrote the answers in my own script. Apparently, I was destined to take home a zero! After paper valuation, my answer was read in front of the entire class. “Priya’s synonyms for Bhoomi are Keshani (gossip/jealousy) and Paara (backstabbing and the like, born out of jealousy or anger). Was a small school, and I became infamous! Sigh!

Anyways, after scraping through high school without much trouble, I got into a mad gang of friends in the 11th and 12th grades. We had an ever-irate classmate whom we all loved to fool. Once, during a free hour, we were all having fun when I saw this girl remove her shoes and stretch her toes. I slowly pulled one from under the bench and threw it out the window. Bad timing; for our Physics teacher walked by just then, looking for me! She marched in and ordered me out of the class (this had become an everyday affair, o there was no embarrassment). She’d been on her way to penalise me for writing a friend’s fair record (I loved Physics and was always more than willing to be where Physics was :D; and yes, he told me I had the best handwriting in school ;)). Anyway, she started screaming at me for being irresponsible, indisciplined and all that. And to top it all she had seen a 11th grader throw a fellow ‘studious’ 11th graders shoe out the window! And while the screaming went on, I stood there, head bent as much as it would bend, laughing my guts out and almost succeeding in keeping her unaware…till she almost went down on her knees to see my face. Though she did smile, she had a super report to give my parents! Sigh!

But she was a real sport the day I rushed in late for my 12th Boards final practical exam! I rushed into the dark coolness of the huge school building from a scorching sun, which made my eyes watery; and the running made me pant. When she hissed at me for my late arrival, all I could manage to say was, “Teacher, my grandmother…” and she just assumed my grandmother must’ve passed away! She immediately made amends, apologised (!!!) and directed me to my seat. When the external invigilator called me over to question my knowledge of the project I’d submitted, she interrupted her and told her, “Her grandmother…psst…psst…psst.” And, to my surprise, am excused from the Q&A session. AND. I passed the exam with a 29 on 30! 😉

Anyway, that marked the end of my tryst with the sciences. I was, any day, better off with Arts and the languages.

I gave up my love of Physics (my extraordinary talent in Mathematics made sure I never fared well in Physics) and chose to graduate in Literature. The college I did my graduation in, was set a little off from the main road: which meant all of us had half a kilometre to walk to and from the bus stop to college. Every evening, there would be about 100-150 girls (it was a women’s college) crowding at the highway bus stop 😉 Which meant, there’d be a good share of guys too 😀 On a certain day, a group of us girls were waiting for the bus, chatting animatedly when I noticed a guy giving our gang repeated looks and occasional smiles. And so, I told the rest of the gang “There’s a guy yonder, sending looks this way…he’s even smiling, as if we’re basking in his attention. Vrithikettavan. Vaainokki. Mazhuvan!” And then, one among the group became highly interested in the word “mazhuvan“, the meaning of which I started explaining most happily. I told her it means anything in the range of  ‘geek’, ‘useless’, ‘nerd’, ‘drip’, ‘bore’… And then, she wanted to know how I could make out so much about him. Like a wise ass, I told her, “It’s quite evident…look at his hairstyle…his stupid dressing…n that ready-made smile…and just about everything. Ivaneyokke kettunnavalde kashtakaalam (pity the girl who’ll marry him). I’d love to warn her!” “Yes. You just did,” she said, and walked off in his direction! Turned out he’d come to pick her up and was waiting for the rest of us to leave. Sigh!

Jesus! I wished I could sink through the ground then! That was the LAST time I made any comment about random people!

In spite of years of such incidents, I wonder why I took up Advertising and Public Relations for my PG! Hehe…any brand which’d trust their name in my hands would be doing so at their own risk 😉 OK! Am kidding. Am actually quite good at my work! 😀

Anyways, it was an autonomous college that focused on MBA and PGDM courses. I think the PR&Ad course was only because they liked the extra income 😉 We were a small group of 15 Malayalees in a college that hyped on MBA and PGDM, which had a high North-Indian population. And, we were the trouble makers ;); least popular of all batches 😀 They hated us, we hated them. Once, there was a National-level seminar held for the sake of the PGDMs, and since the professors didn’t trust us to behave ourselves if left alone, we were (like a punishment), asked to attend it too. And the moment the seminar got over, we sprang up from our seats and rushed out, making fun of the ‘panna’ PGDMs. I lead the rushing out, got my heel caught under the carpet and feel headlong onto the portico—in front of the entire college. I could hear gasps and murmurs. But all I could think of was the way I fell, and how hilarious it might have been to see. And, lying right there, I burst out laughing in front of some 200 odd students. Well, that was the only time some good came out of my ‘situations’. Our gang was not perceived as ‘stuck-up’ anymore! 😉

The icing on the cream cake was after my engagement. Suraj and I had created chaos in both families by falling in love: a Christian and a Hindu. After much refusal, esp. from his family, we’d gotten everyone to agree. Finally, the dates were fixed, and cards were printed. There was a formality of the bride’s parents “inviting” the bridegroom’s parents. We were on our way back to Trivandrum from Guruvayur, and dropped in at his place in Kochi. According to Hindu traditions, the bride does NOT step into the groom’s house before marriage! I was only too happy to stay back in the car. But his dad was a sport and welcomed me also in, saying, “We Christians don’t have such beliefs. Come on in.” I give a shy smile (pretending to be the polite daughter-in-law of their dreams), remove my shoe and (as is considered auspicious) keep my right foot on the first step. Boom! The transformer nearby burns off with a terrifying boom and vibrations, causing a bike to fall off its stand against the neighbour’s gate and crash. And obviously, the power goes off! Just like in the movies 😀 His dad managed to hold on to that smile, and (a little falteringly this time) repeats, “Come right in.” How I managed to sit through 20 minutes without bursting out laughing, I alone know! Damn, what an impression that must’ve made. Sigh!

The consequences…and my learnings:

  • I hate gold (and valuable jewellery) and did NOT inherit my grandmother’s locket even after she passed away 9 months back.
  • I’ve realised that gossiping (and even being a mute audience to it) does one no good; and try and abstain from it as much as is possible.
  • I have learnt to read and write Malayalam, in whichever script and font size it may be!
  • I do not throw shoes out the window anymore (but I still haven’t learnt to control my urge to laugh when I’m being scolded!)
  • I’ve never, since, started any sentence with “my grandmother”, esp right after running!
  • I do not make comments about random people anymore.
  • I do not wear heels anymore.
  • I swear never to step into the bridegroom’s house before my wedding, anymore. [I lead a very happily married life, and have proved that such incidents do not spell disasters (for marriages)!]

How to lose about 300 people in a matter of minutes.

Yea…you read that right: not pounds/kgs, but people!

I had had a long day at work yesterday, and had asked the husband to come all the way to my office and pick me up! The princess that I am, I refused to go home in an auto/bus. I had to have my chauffeur! Fed up of work — or rather, the lack of it — at a good-for-nothing office, he was already in a bad mood. Having to drive that extra mile amidst unrelenting traffic, and then, waiting for me outside my office forever (to which he’s become accustomed) did very little to cheer him up!

Which is when the thought of food came in—always the catalyst for a cheerful time!  So we went to a much-hyped Mallu restaurant near our place in Koramangala, Bangalore. Bad food, pathetic service, big-time delay and a high price tag. Did nothing but drive the husband deeper into the dumps!

A pack of VCDs had arrived earlier the evening (a few classic Mallu movies the husband had ordered from Moser Baer over the Internet), and i thought, “what better than a good movie to cheer up my movie freak” 🙂

So we reach home, settle down and decide to watch a movie — when he starts groping around in his pockets, beneath the cushions, under the sofa…and asks, “Where’s my mobile”?

The husband, when assured that the mobile is safe, usually does not budge from the sofa once seated, unless it’s a life threatening situation (like my heading for the TV with a hockey stick, maybe). But now, he’s up and about, searching for his mobile in all possible places a Sony Ericsson K710i can fit.
We call to his number from my phone and it says “The Airtel customer you’re trying to reach is currently out of reach…”. Momentary solace, hoping its way under the thick cushions of the sofa. Until I say that I’d heard a ‘thud’ when we turned the corner right after leaving the restaurant.

And then, pandemonium. Quick call to the restaurant: negative. Quick trip to the restaurant: negative. Not-so-quick survey of the entire lane: negative. Mobile lost: positive! And that was it. He seemed to have lost all interest in life (I wonder where I fit in 😉 ).

So, here’s how you lose about 300 people in a matter of minutes! Simple. Lose your mobile phone! 😀

Am sure the husband won’t be empathetic to my ‘simple’ analysis. He had to learn it the hard way, poor thing 😦 The thought of having lost about 250 odd contacts, many photographs and close to a million “I love you” messages I’d sent seemed to paralyse him 😦  How many contacts have I lost? How will I get back all those numbers?

And I say, “Call Airtel CC and  block your SIM. Ask them if we can get your mobile traced…isn’t there some IMEI number we can use?” The number is duly blocked and he promised to issue a duplicate SIM immediately, but the smart CC guy says the ‘Trace your lost phone with the IMEI number’ service is not available in India!

More depression and irritation. “Suraj, the sun” had set for a while 😀 [Perhaps this is what a baby goes through on Day 1: the world knows its identity, but the poor baby knows none!]

Which then made me wonder how much we all rely on that little gadget called a mobile phone (“we” does not include me; i rather believe mobile phones should be left wherever you please…and allow it to ring till it dies)

We no longer remember the phone numbers like we used to (of course, it’s much tougher to keep track of 8 digits compared to those cute 5-digit numbers :D); we no longer jot down numbers on quaint, alphabetical diaries; we no longer rush from our seat to attend that call on the phone resting on that antique corner stool (we’d rather the mobile phone rush to us: it’s ‘mobile’ for a reason!); we no longer scribble our loved one’s birthdays on our wall calendar; we no longer have use for that round little thing lovingly called an ‘alarm clock’; in fact, we’re in a stage where we wish everything could be located with a “missed call” !

Biting nails when boredom strikes are a thing of the past: it’s the mobile phone we play with.

Reading random magazines at the dentist is passé: why that, when we have games on our mobile phone?

Receiving no calls for one full continuous hour could only be because the battery has run out; not because you’re indispensible 😀

Owning a mobile is mandatory for anyone who wants to fall in love.

Etiquettes matter only at meetings and at the table; whoever said mobile phones come with a set of etiquettes? (Of course, I got a thick free etiquette book; but I sold it along with a stack of old newspapers! :D) If you are the proud owner of a mobile phone, the following are OK:

  • Letting it ring insistently with that irritating ringtone (while you grope for it in the darkness) at the theatre
  • Talking on it while in a flight (endangering other passengers as well) unless the pilot threatens to jump out with his parachute
  • Fiddling with the “End” button, only to change your mind, accept the call and brawl into it with a “In a meeting; will call back later… Oh, that! Man, that was funny…hehhehehe…ooops…in a meeting; will call back later!”
  • Waking up people from their sleep to say “Oh…did I wake you up? Sorry, didn’t notice the time… So, how’s life?”
  • Talking animatedly on the mobile phone while crossing the road, and getting (not just oneself) others too into danger
  • Talking loudly (not to mention the loud ringing) in libraries, hospitals, air-conditioned public vehicles and everywhere else!
    ………..
  • And a dozen other irritating stuff!

For someone who’s damn careless and absented about all things, and mobile phones especially, I’ve never lost one: so, I don’t know the agony of losing it. In fact, on those days that I forget to carry it along to work, I experience a particular sense of peace and calm — of not having to attend calls, respond to messages and ensure it’s not misplaced 😉

I wonder how we (rest of the world excluding me) lived when the mobile phones didn’t exist! 😉 It’s a ‘maaranam’ (evil) we can’t live without, now!

Any special mobile stories, folks?