Monday, July 31, 2006

Do I write about this or that?

Spent the whole drive to work shedding uncontrollable tears. My eyes are red. I am still waiting for this yawning to stop so my jaws can get their well deserved rest. For something that sends a signal that one is sleepy, this yawn goes on to make you more tired than you were before you even started the yawn series. There should be a legal limit for the number of yawns per day after which you should be able to take sick leave. It doesn’t help when you begin to write something comprehensible and end up thinking about the significance of yawns to human society and how they could be harnessed to provide energy for sleep deprived people.

Needless to say, I am a little tired now. Sleep deprivation usually results from two main activities over the weekend- cracking the D'Agapeyeff code or too much partying. Since I didn’t know who the heck D’Agapeyeff was till today, you are safe betting that I partied all weekend.

There is so much to write about, but time has reduced itself to a bonsai. For starters, I could write about this PhD ordeal coming to an end and how I will have to look for another topic to nag Pi about. Or I could write about the Great Alaskan Odyssey (just a cool name for the vacation we are planning to take this week). Once I am back from this backpacking trip, we pack and leave to Pittsburgh. I can write about how much it’s going to suck to leave and about the house that was never bought. I am dying to talk about the backpacking in Europe and the India trip that ensues in October. On a totally related note- anyone living in Paris or Salzburg ready to host one beautiful girl and her friend? Please send in your statement of intent along with your wife’s endorsement of your character. If I said ‘the friend’ was the author of this blog, I may be refused blatantly. That’s one of the reasons why S is coming with me, to help with the advertising. Am planning on using her to get free rides and museum passes too. My feeling is that her hubby wanted to get rid of her somehow and hence allowed her to go on a trip alone with me.

Or even better, I could write about how…..yawwwwwn!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Aah, the Horror!

You know what really irks me- the fact that India's Department of Telecommunications passed an order to ISPs to block several blogs. I was hoping someone would do it here. My dream of doing something worthwhile with my time has been thwarted yet again. My way of protesting- I will put a self-ban on blogging till all my friends in India are given the right to while away productive time by blogging. If this ban is not lifted in three days, I'll rethink my protesting strategy.

Update: Unblocked. People do listen to angry bloggers! Now if I can get Pi to make dinner.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006


When natural calamities like floods and hurricanes strike, you have harrowing moments, gripping fear, immense sadness, sense of helplessness and a resolve to move on. But when something like this happens, all of the above is reinforced with feeling of pure anger. And when did anger solve any issue?

Scenes from Mahabharat at Home -IV

Pi's take on my Mahabharat series:

The Kauravas. Pure Evil. Hundreds of them lying around when only two[1] are required/significant.

[1] Dhuryondhana & Dhushasana

As mom Gandhari, I am mighty offended.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Better safe than sorry?

The worst part is you aren’t even allowed to make fun. Last time Pi went to a doctor was because he had a cold. The doctor, who was slightly shocked that there are patients who love to challenge him from time to time, simply stated that he needed to ride it out. Pi was distraught, ‘My wife said the same thing and it can’t be true. Could you please give me some medication other than Halls so that it looks like I had some sinister viral infection?’ So as a consolation, doc looked at his ear and removed some wax. Pi came back home a happy man (to know he wasn’t bidding adieu anytime soon) till he realized that my voice was loud and clear while I was trying to bask in my 'Itoldyou' moment. ‘Shhh. Softly softly. I think I need to see the doctor again. I need protection for my eardrums.’

This morning Pi decides that he needs to see a doctor... AGAIN. It’s an emergency he declared. Every time that happens I have a hard time keeping a straight face and feigning concern, ‘What’s the matter, Kutta?’ (Now Kutta doesn’t mean dog; it’s a male version of kutti (not bitch), discounting the fact that kutti means ‘little’ in Tamil.)


‘Oh my god. That is a serious problem. Why didn’t you tell me before, you poor baby? Is it happening now?’ I sat on the edge of the sofa.

‘When I’m on a treadmill.’

The doctor's co-pay and the gym membership fees could have been used for logical things such as counseling for me. While Pi knows how to get to the hospital with his eyes closed, he had to introduce himself to the treadmill yesterday.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

But I Love Their Sandwiches

Day 1.

‘Indian?’ asked the equally Indian looking lady behind the Subway counter.

I nodded and smiled genially.

Day 2.

‘Try this Southwest Chipotle sauce. Bahut accha hai.’

I nodded and smiled genially. I ate sandwich with Southwest Chipotle sauce.

Day 3

‘Have a cookie. Rakh lo beta. No, no, I am not charging you for that.’

I couldn’t believe this. Me, who doesn’t even win a single pepsi can in lotteries, is getting a free cookie from strange Indian lady. I ate sandwich with Southwest Chipotle sauce and free cookie.

Day 4

‘This sandwich is on me.’

Woah! Hold it lady. Next you’ll give me your shop and I don’t think I can handle this business. I ate free sandwich with Southwest Chipotle sauce and free cookie.

She came and sat next to me , 'Beta, where do you work? What is your caste?'

‘Brahmin? That’s ok. I think we can adjust.’

‘You must meet my son. He owns this store. Have you seen him? He is 45 and we are having a hard time finding a bride.’

I broke the news of my long standing torrid affair with my husband expecting an uncomfortable apology and maybe another white chocolate macadamia cookie for peace.

She got up and walked off unceremoniously. Luckily she didn’t grab the last bit of the cookie that was being stuffed in a hurry.

That’s when I realized I was her investment, a risky one at that. It would have been better if she was selling Amway products. I could have at least thrown a few curses and walked out in a huff. A 45 year old? Aiala!! Wonder if Botox is the way to go.

Strange encounters with Subway women don’t end there. So as you would have guessed, I stopped going to that place. I wouldn’t have been able to deal with the trauma of not getting free stuff anymore. I tried another Subway joint. Again an Indian lady behind the counter. Much younger and hipper. She spoke incessantly without ever letting me interrupt her for what I wanted on the sub. ‘Err..I don’t want those onions.’

‘Forget that, what I was saying is my husband comes to work at 5 pm. Till then I have to run this store. For a graduate from NIFT, I don't think I deserve this. I was better off attending parties in Delhi. Now I have three kids. I know it doesn’t look like that…..’

I got to eat what she thought was good for me. Even as I ate, she managed to leave her work to somebody else and continued her yak sessions with me. I munched on my lunch and she spoke about the travails of living in the US as a bread-wali. 'Imagine what my friends in Delhi must be thinking of me... yada yada... zardosi sarees...yada yada...'

Today she couldn’t get off from her duties (silent prayer of thanks), so she quickly ran towards me and slipped her phone number.

‘Give me a call. We should go on a date on Sunday.’

Whatever it is, I better get busy looking for another Subway restaurant in the area.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

World Tibet Day and Dalai Lama's Birthday

My little Tibetian friend, Aqua, has pointed out that June 6th has been picked out to spread the awareness of Tibet's long non-violent freedom struggle against China. Learn, educate and act. Don't let your love for Chinese fried rice impair your judgement.

Monday, July 03, 2006

A Meek Wife's Horror Tales

I don’t know how other women do it, but I just haven’t been able to domesticate Pi. Not even a bit. Puppydoglike is absolutely ruled out; he isn’t even close to transforming himself into a pet cobra (or any other ferocious animal if you have hyperactive imagination involving cobras). I take complete blame for this lack of management and delegation skills.

Just the other day, I asked him for help in the kitchen. ‘Could you please chop these onions?’ (Ok, it was more like- Get your sluggish mass here and cut the freaking onions if you have any devious intentions of eating what I cook today.)

He used the famous three strategies-

1. Eardrum failure to external noises other than TV.

2. After I managed to get his attention (which by itself was a horrendous feat worth a whole new post), sudden important work that needed his immediate attention came up and he promised to cut the onions as soon it was done.

3. He continued acting like the work was of never ending nature, hitting the keyboard at regular intervals and closing his eyes in deep meditation whenever I passed by.

An hour passed and the onions were the ones crying unable to bear the suspense of their demise anymore. To preserve my sanity and to prevent myself from smashing his computer in abject hunger, I decided that the onion cutting process would take only 2 minutes if I took the high road. Ambitious plans of disciplining him could wait for another day when I was less famished.
When I got back from work the next day, I saw him lying on the couch in the same position I had left him in the morning. I was certain that he had blinked once as the settled dust from his eyelids had fallen on to his cheeks. He mentioned something about an integral chapter of his PhD work that he intended to complete for the day.

‘Why don’t you do it now?’ I asked with growing concern.

‘I’m waiting for you to ask me to cut onions.’

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Scenes from Mahabharat at Home-III

Yatra yogeshwara krishna yatra partho dhanurdharaha
Tatra shri vijayo bhutir druvo nitir matir mama

Translation- Where the yogeshwara Krishna who represents vision is present and where Arjuna who represents action is present, then there is success, justice and wealth (and a nagging wife).