Monday, 31 December 2012

An evening of the crumbling shoes, blouse-watching and slinking away

Weddings, as you already know, are events that call for remarkable theatre. Thus, to endure the ordeal, I have a theory: arrive early enough to be seen, leave early enough so you aren't missed. And, come Sunday, I  was all set and colour-cordinated to attend the wedding of mum's friend's son. Theory in head, I marched out, gift-laden, lip-shimmering, and hair-flowing, to St. Patrick's Church, where I was to wait for another friend.

I walked around the car park. Smiled at unknown people. You know, the usual. Then, ten minutes into the classic clacking-around cars-and-adjusting-hair routine, my feet began to feel rather sandy. I leaned against a car, reaching down to dust off my footwear. 

Holy. Mother. of. Ten-headed. God.

It wasn't sand in my feet, but my footwear - crumbling. Literally. Crumbling to pieces. Breaking into bits like old biscuits. Self-destructing like the Terminator. Committing shoe-suicide. As if my evening wasn't going well already, a stray heel even decided to simply wrench itself off. Drowning in self-pity, I bravely yanked off the other heel, and walked all the way down to Brigade Road to buy a pair of cheap sandals. 

At a quarter past seven, I arrived at the wedding; gift-laden, lip-shimmering, hair-flowing and - feet-flat. And I realised -

I'd no idea what the host looks like.

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Just in case you are wondering...

I haven't gone AWOL.

Naturally, it would be ideal if I had, but I hear they do have internet connectivity in the Antarctic. 

Sunday, 1 July 2012


Despite this being a morning of spectacular beauty, with the world waking up to biscuits and bajjis and whatever-the-hell-there-is, I was cautiously seated, head tilted, and right-eye shut, swallowing a sneeze. Any other time, I suppose, idle chatter is welcome, but such needs are as inane to demand in a 'Chinese beauty parlour' in India as chicken curry is in Uzbekistan.

'Excuse me?' I sneeze.

The young girl, with shining porcelain skin and poker-straight hair , looks at me and murmurs something in a sing-song voice to her friend. They giggle. I get this sinking feeling that they're talking about me, yet I'm not too sure. Now, my left eye is shut while she tweezes my other eyebrow.

Tick, tock.


The weirdest thing about stepping into a politically incorrect institution such as this is not just trying to make sense of its oddities, but the possible outcome of such pursuit. I risk offending someone either by referring to them as Chinese, or by not recognizing them if they really are.

Friday, 9 March 2012

Understanding Facebook couples and the strange biology of conjoined heads…

is easy. Really.

I’m not particularly fond of the social networking hoi polloi. Bah. But I must admit, the minute-by-minute status roll of how - ‘Master Doctor Jesus has performed a miracle!’, ‘Krishna, Allah, Jesus - All Gods are in control’, ‘my cute baby doll is the cheweetesttt’, and ‘my husband is the best thing that has ever happened in my life’ - don't amuse me as much as virtual lovebirds do.

Turns out, if someone is in love and the diagnosis eventually leads to a wedding of sorts, their profile picture is immediately upgraded to one with the better half...meaningfully conjoined at the head. It appears this gesture never goes unnoticed; it is followed with a string of comments about how fabulous they look together, and tens and hundreds of 'likes'. The smiling couple, usually in their twenties, thank everyone for appreciating their timely pseudo celebrity and follow up with more photos of their wedded bliss.

Then, there are those couples who have forgotten the last time they celebrated an anniversary; more commonly known as our parents, their parents and older relatives who you've added as friends (and carefully put on limited access) because you were supposed to. Strangely, none of them have profile photographs with anyone conjoined at the head, not even an arm around a tree for that matter. The only invites I get from this lot are invites to farmville, fishville and whatever-pointless-facebook-game-there-is-ville. Curiously enough, it seems, that invisible nerve that once conjoined their heads, doesn't anymore.

Interesting, now facebook allows you to track your journey from head sake to headache on something called Timeline.


Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Are you a cat person, a dog person or just....a stupid person?

For sometime today, I paused to think of this. Here I was, lover of all beings furry, four-legged and instantaneously lovable - and every time I am subject to this maddening question 'cats or dogs?', I can't help but be at a loss for words.

We were at over a friend's place, sipping on a drink, when the topic shifted to our love for animals. I admit, not particularly a topic anyone would want to debate on at 12 p.m. but with the alcohol working its magic into the conversation, an intense, unworthy exchange of mindless logic was inevitable. Then this girl, holding a glass of whisky in one hand and stroking her sleeping retriever with another, vented loudly, 'I love dogs. You know...I'm such a dog person'.

I suppose she had done well for a conversation starter, for there was an immediate chorus from a few others from the room; 'Me too, I love dogs. I'm such a dog person' - 'Really, I hate cats... I'm so not a cat person' - 'I love dogs too, my sis and I are dog people'. Erm. Amused, I asked the girl in front of me 'So, have you ever owned a cat? Why do you hate cats so much?'

'Yuck. I'd never own a cat. I hate cats, they're sneaky and cunning. They're not like dogs', she proclaimed, 'I am not a cat person at all'.

Interested, I asked, 'So you hate cats without ever owning a cat as a pet?'.

She nodded.

I tell you, the density of human intelligence. Sigh. Anyway, I was thoroughly interested in small entertainment. I went on, 'Well, I think it's pretty silly to hate something you know nothing about. I have dogs, but I also have cats, and they are as lovable.'

Clearly, I ruffled a few feathers. The girl in distress quickly looked about for some support. The guy near me, visibly gearing up for an ode to canines kept this drink down, and said matter-of-factly, 'I can't stand cats. They are such sneaky, sly creatures'. Turns out, not only has he never had a cat at home, he had barely touched a dog in his life. Even better, all the supposed canine lovers complained that 'cats climbed tables', 'they scratch', 'they aren't loyal', 'cats like to steal'.

Half-way through this mumbo-jumbo I asked the girl with the retriever if she liked dogs simply because they were obedient. I proposed that if she adopted any animal, and cared for it enough, it usually did the same in return. 'No,' she dismissed, 'I like dogs because they like us back'.

Humans, I believe, are a half-witted creation intended (quite literally) for the amusement of some deity. We seek love and acceptance in the strangest ways and still don't realise what a lot of horse-crap we talk about nature.

Special Dedication:
This post is dedicated to my family and all the animals who are a part of our crazy lives. Mr. Bugs, my meat-eating rabbit, my numerous dogs- Bertie Wooster, Coco Chanel, Moti, Snoopy, Humpty, Dumpty, Jack, Jill, Apple, three nameless rabbits, the guniea pigs that we hid in the freezer of our broken fridge, the squirrel family that live in our living room shelf, the squirrels that eat Vadai in our garden everyday, the bulbul family in the first lightbulb, the three lovebirds, the numerous peacocks who come home to eat during the day, puddytat - the smartest stray kitten we adopted, Cat- the little bundle of joy from blue cross and her many kittens, esp. Max orange one and two, and little Curry bean and finally - Mushu, my baby turtle, I'm sorry I had to give you away.

A snapshot of one of the baby squirrels that come home to eat vadai everyday. Erm. Terribly greedy Tamilian squirrels with an appetite for South Indian snacks.

A peacock sneaks his way to find some food in our garden during the day. He often visits with all his girlfriends...

His girlfriends for some reason like huddling over our compound. Oh well, women.

Coco Chanel, who has successfully spent the last ten years watching the world go by. She barks only when she gets grubby or needs a belly rub.

After all, that's all we need don't we?