Friday, July 28, 2006

Raja Ko Rani Se Pyar Ho Gaya

Because the house wakes up in spurts, between 4 and 5:30 in the morning everyday, the house sleeps between 10 and 11 every night. So the other night was no different. Lights out at 11 and I'm lying in bed thinking of the day when I'll be allowed to sleep on my bed in my room, and not have to hear my mother snoring or waking up and watching CNBC in the middle of the night to check what price stock markets all over the world have opened at. If no man wants to marry me because all that's left of my face are a pair of dark circles around the eyes, you know whose fault it is.
Anyway, I'm quite the thinker. I can lie in bed and stare at the ceiling and draw concentric circles in my head. Sheep float in and out of them, and on some days zinger burgers on wings. I can wonder for hours whether 1 is a prime or a composite number. I can rue not having been able to figure out permutations and combinations. Or calculus. I'll turn on my side and fret over whether I'll wake up with dengue in the morning. On days I'm feeling optimistic, I think of waking up with Johnny Depp.
Continuing thus with my philosophical musings and thoughts that will change the world, I heard the sound of a motorcycle. I haven't been a fan of the motorcycle since it started being owned by men with shrunken penises and big egoes. Something was happening to this motorcycle, though - here, in front of my house, at the ungodliest hour of the night. It appeared to be growling in crescendo and pacing about in a flurry of activity. Of course, behind all devilish activities, there is a man. I held my patience for a while and lay waiting for the bike to go away. But it didn't. And then I heard a man slur and yell for a particular 'Rani'.
Now, I'm not Rani. Never was. And if your going to be a man slurring his speech in front of my house at a quarter past 12 in the night, you're pretty much trying to do the mambo on my nerves. So I got up. Giving this illustrious individual benefit of the doubt, I figured maybe he wasn't screeching at my house and calling it Rani. Maybe he wanted a neighbour. In which case I'd be happy to provide directions to the edge of eternity.
I look out the window and there he is. Going round and round in circles on the bike - like a dog looking for a good spot to poop in. By this time, I'm very very angry. He's not even bloody pretty-looking.
I'm assuming anyone who deigns to read this blog understands hindi and bangla. So I'm not going to bother to translate.

Me: Erom majhraate chNyachachhen kyano bolun to?
Drunk Dude: Raniiii-eh! Raniiii-eh ko bulaooooooo! Abhi bulaoooooo!

My Hindi. It's dynamite.

Me: Kaun Rani? Aare bhai, iNha pey koi Rani-bani nahin rehti!
DD: Raniiiiiiii-eh! Aaj mein tujhe ley ke jaooonga nahin to yehi pey jaan dey doonga Rani!!
Me: Aare ki mushkil! Hum aapko bolta hai ki iye Rani ka ghar nehi hai, aapko bishshaash kiu nehi hota?!
DD (ok, he's very very agitated now): Raniiii ko bulaooo! Abhi bulaooooo! Maar daloonga! Rani Ko BULaoooooo! Bulao bulao!

By this time, the caretaker of the building next door is up. He's not only up, he comes out with, 1. A torch [even though the street is sufficiently lit up in orange], 2. A whistle [ I haven't a clue why], 3. A stick [honest].

Old caretaker (most suspicious): Didi, apnar bondhu?
Me: Aare na rey baba! Kotha theke eshe tokhon theke Rani Rani kore chNyechiye cholechhe! Ektu dekhoon to!

The stick appears to have elicited a favourable reaction from our friendly easyrider. He's cooled down drastically, and is eyeing the caretaker warily.

Caretaker: Ui chhokra! Idhar sey jao nahin to hum poolish ko bula dega!
DD (reasonably): Mujhe sirf Rani sey milna hai.

Suddenly, it dawns upon me. My mother, pleasantly snoring at that moment, goes by the name Indrani.
Egad! Was some ugly twit half her age harbouring romantic feelings for my MOTHER?!?!?! Seething with rage, all non-violent thoughts vanished from my mind. I wanted to tear his well-oiled hair into tiny shrivels and scoop his brains out and mash them with my stilletoes.
Nudging my mother awake, I told her some crazy boy was screaming out her name.

My mother: Baaje bokish na. Ghum bhangiye dili! Thhash kore maarbo!
DD: Raniiii!
Me: Shunle?!
Ma: Uff. Choti khule maarbo, jei hok na kyano.

She sprang out of bed. When my mother is angry, she can take a hundred Saddams out of ratholes and make them pee in their pants.

Ma: Aei, ke rey tui? Bhaag ekhan theke nahole Police ke phone korbo! Darwanji aapni okhaane dNariye dNariye moja dekhchhen kyano? Maarun na dhorey!
Caretaker: Madam, maarbo?
DD: Aunty! Rani kahaan hai?
Ma (she's up in smoke. she's about to rip apart the window grill, jump out of the window and pounce on DD down below): RANI?!?! KONO RANI NEI EKHAANE! DARWANJI OR BIKE TAAKE DHORE RAKHUN TO, AMI POLICE KE KHOBOR DICHHI!
DD: No no, please! Galti ho gayi aunty. Mein shayad galat gali mein aa gaya phir.
He revs up his bike again and is gone in a flash.

Don't drink and drive. If you wake up my mother, there'll be a vision of hell you don't want to see.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Can't Hardly Weight

Soooooo, since we all love talking about my weight [oh yes we do! at least, we'd better] let me go ahead and plunge right down to it. I'm not saying I enjoy waking up at 5:30 in the morning and knocking over every article of furniture on my floor to get to the bathroom. To begin with, it bruises. Besides, I can't take a crap under pressure, I just can't. And don't you dare ask what pressure, cuz everybody knows if I don't make it to the gym by 6:25, every treadmill and every cross-trainer in the vicinity will be taken over by musclemen and middle-aged women trying to burn last night's hangover and teriyaki. Which is OK. But if I'm making the effort to gargle with toothpaste before exhaling like an efficient dragon on the treadmill, I expect YOU, and yes I mean you in your orange sleeveless vest panting right next to me on the cross-trainer, to do the same. It's all part of some large scheme to never let me lose any weight, as I've gathered. Now that all else has failed, some greater force is trying to suffocate me with garlicy crap-breath first thing in the morning, the moment I start a slow trudge on an incline. I mean, it's uncanny, this one guy will hang around running his fingers over the weights, and then the moment I'm on the treadmill, he'll hop right on to the c-t next to me, and WHO, i ask you, WHO stuffs his face with garlic first thing in the morning? Well, this dude does. Major conspiracy, I tell you.
And because of this spirited stenchman, every morning I hold my breath till an unhealthy angryish hue overwhelms my entire face, and I'm looking like a perfectly turned out baked tomato. When I can't take it anymore, and I go "AAAAAAAAAHRGH" to fill my lungs with toxic fumes from the neighbourhood, our friendly neighbour will look innocently at me and say,"Good workout, huh?"
:-[
Is it any wonder then, that I'm not getting more than 10 minutes of treadmill time? I mean, I'm not a maniac, I'll choose death by obesity over asphyxiation any day, thank you.
Anyway, the other day Page 3 Aunty M and my mother were discussing over ab crunches how they couldn't lose any weight off their stomach because they'd been pregnant. 27, and 23 years ago, respectively. Aunty M whispered conspiratorially that she had once considered joining VLCC. My mother, ever ready to jump the bandwagon, threw her hands in the air and shouted,"Liposuction!" much in the fashion of an elderly person discovering volume in his bathtub in erstwhile Greece.
We're women of action, we are. The next day, my mother and I found ourselves at VLCC. She wanted a tummy tuck because that apparently was the only thing stopping her from being .. yes, you guessed it - Shakira. Me, I just wanted to be able to buy a pair of jeans from the Ladies' section.
So there we were. Polite attendant smiled plasticly and bade me step on a gigantic weighing machine as enormous men in tiny bathrobes passed me by. Measurements and whatnots later, 'twas time for the "Consultation". Here's how it went:
Polite attendant: Hmm. The results of your weigh-in are quite favourable.
Me (starry-eyed): Really? Do I satisfy fatness requirements? Am I really really eligible to pay you tonnes of money to take things off my thighs?
PA: Akchooally, myadam, you are only 4 kilos overweight, according to height-weight ratio.
My Mother: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
embarassing silence
My Mother (holding stomach): HAHAHAHAHAHAHA
Me: Uhm .. there must be a mistake. According to my calculations, and those of my gym instructor, I'm about 8-10 kilos overweight.
PA (firmly): No madam, only 4 kilos. You will be perfect figure then. I am telling you, no?
Me: Are you telling me I'm 4 kilos away from looking like Heidi Klum?
PA (smiling, she's got the drift): You will look like Priyanka Chopra!
MM (making a dishonest effort to suppress laughter by clutching stomach and looking like Constipation itself): Hnyeh! ...hNyeh hNyeh ... 4 kilos!!!! hNyeh hNyeh... kirom murgi korchhe toke!
PA raises eyebrow delicately.
Me:[Offo! Chup korbe tumi?] Uhm... actually, I have huge thighs, I was looking in terms of doing something about them. I exercise, but nothing seems to come of[f] it.
PA: Please stand and pull up your top so I can observe your thighs. Madam.
Me: Uh ... woah?
PA: I must see your thighs and evaluate them. Madam.
MM: Don't, please. Traumatic experience.
:-
I do as I'm told.

PA (a trifle worried): Hmm. Yes, it is a problem area that requires immediate attention. I will make you a package specially designed for your thigh-type, ok?
Me (aghast): There are thigh-types? What thigh-type am I?
PA (very, very, gravely): Madam. That is confidential company information. I cannot tell you.

AWRITE awrite, so maybe I exaggerated a bit. But most of what I've written is true. Honest.

Anyway, there wasn't any chance my mother was shelling out 11k for an inch and a half off my thighs and buttocks. Like taking a drop out of the ocean, really.
Frightfully disheartened at having missed an opportunity to drain the family finances, I thought up a different plan.

Sunday morning. Breakfast table. Everybody's reading the papers:

Me: I want to pierce my eyebrow.
Mother (not looking up from paper): Hoochie Mama.
Father (not looking up from paper): Tart.

:-[

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

My mother has looked me straight in the eye and declared unapologetically that she wishes Shakira were her daughter. Clearly, my hips are not to her taste. She has also mentioned in passing that I look like a "hoochie mama". It is most indiscreet of her, of course. Especially considering that she hasn't the foggiest idea what a hoochie mama means. Not that I do either. She's been quite taken by the term after she found Tyra Banks using it while flipping through portfolios of wannabe models in that reality TV show 'America's Next Top Model'. It was observed that those falling under aforementioned category were promptly rejected.
And now I'm supposed to be a hoochie mama. Ki volvo. Incidentally, kindly desist from commenting on our incredibly cerebral taste in TV programmes.

Moving on, I now love Zizou. I want to hold him to my bosom and nurse his angst. So I'll have to wear a butt-proof vest, wotis there.

Friday, July 07, 2006

This is such a forced post.

Was in Chennai for a couple of hours this weekend - en route to Tirupati and back. I like the city - get to see it for a few hours every year. Nice houses, every area I've been to so far looks like Salt Lake. Came back with dead calves, as in, the ones on my legs, not the cow variety, don't be tiresome now. Traditionally, sinners atone for their misdeeds by climbing up 7 hills - about 10,000 odd steps, from Tirupati to the Lord Venkateshwara temple in Tirumala. My mother, who takes non-conformism to limits of eccentricity, chose to climb down the hills - a 7 km steep downhill path - well, stairs with a bit of path, mostly. Also, she chose to take it more as a substitute for missing the gym than as a pilgrimage, a moment to ponder on God and His greatness, or otherwise, if you've been having a hard life. Don't know what sin she needs to purge, but there was plenty penance for sure, what with swollen feet and sundry ghastlies. Didn't help that we completed what takes 3 to 4 hours in 2 hours and 10 minutes. Me, I went for the spectacular view. Also to ensure that I don't have to meet a battered mother with smashed bones in Tirupati. We're a very clumsy accident-prone pair.
Like I said, this is a forced post and I can't go on. Thought I'd write something to put my mind off something else I'm trying to forget. Isn't working so far! :-]
Yennyhooey, heard this fantastic song on the Chennai Radio Mirchi - it's number 2 on my top of the pops, after Mika's "Tyall me sumthing, sumthing sumthing, tyall me tyall me", which is giving me sleepless nights. Think of absolutely any '80's dance-pop number, say, Modern Talking's "Brother Louie". Now, add the following words to that sort of music:-
"Indeppo, yennammaaaa! *something something*
Kaaaaaalej-uh! Teeeeeeeeenage-uh!
Kannammaaaaa Kannammaaaaaa!"
Mind it, as Rajnikant would say, I've only heard the song once, and I don't know a word of, Tamil, I suppose it was. No offence to any South Indians please, obviously i've messed up the lyrics - but this is how i've been singing myself the song on the potty everyday. Wish I knew what it means, though. I suspect it makes a strong statement about love on campus.