Month: November 2007

This is going to hurt just a little bit…

One thing I like less than most things is sitting in a dentist chair with my mouth wide open. And that I will never have to do it again is a hope that I am against hope hopen. Because some tortures are physical and some are mental, But the one that is both is dental.Ogden Nash I had been ignoring my cavities for a very, very long time. Sure, I’d get the usual pink note in every school health check up – “cavity filling recommended” which I would conveniently “misplace”. But recently my cavities came back with a vengeance which meant I had to make my long procrastinated dentist visit. After making the required calls to Apollo Dental Clinic, I found myself sitting in the waiting room. Since it was a morning appointment (9 am), there wasn’t too much of a crowd. There was however, a Chinese/Japanese guy talking on the phone, accompanied by his very Tamil friend/assistant/tour guide. The dentist was late, obviously. After the Chinese/Japanese guy finished his conversation in rapid Chinese/Japanese, he started looking for ways to amuse himself. “Hey, hey” he said to his assistant. “Yoo geth TheeVee? Remotth?” So the assistant guy, after a few minutes of blinking, asks the receptionist to switch on the TV. “News channel podatta^?” asks the receptionist Pat came the reply – “Enna pota enna, apdiye romba purinjidapordhu.^” After some smirking, the receptionist changes the channels and finally settles on Sun Music, which was playing the “Unna Vida” song from the Kamal Haasan starrer Virumaandi. Now, the C/J guy was really intrigued. “Ees dhat laykk moovie?” “Uh, no, it’s a…music! Yes, yes, Indian music” and nods his head vigorously. “Eendhiyan mousik! Yes, yes, very good, music, music” The guy is clearly fascinated by Kamal Haasan’s erm, skills and stays silent for sometime, staring at the TV, tapping his fingers along and bopping his head. By this time, the assistant guy starts chatting with me about the latest Tamil Deepavali releases. “Vel paarunga, adhu dhaan besht, Polladhavan pathi therila, Azhagiya Thamizh Magan samma mokka, climax..ayo..mudila..!” “Suriya padam-la…enna kadha-nga^?” Just as he’s about to reply, C/J guy gets hyper and starts pointing at the TV which was playing some Alaipayuthey song. “Looook! Beyootheeful place! Where ? Moombai?” The assistant guy looks at me and asks – “Adhu endha edammnu theriyuma?” I blink. Enough said. He sighs and turns back to C/J “Uh, Chennai, Chennai” “Ohh, Thameel Naadju, Thameel Naadju, vaery byootheefool.” He continues to stare at the TV, as if he were in a trance. I’m vaguely fascinated by the C/J and his perception of ‘Eendhiyan Mousik’. But he doesn’t notice me staring, he’s too busy watching Madhavan getting jiggy with Sophia Haque. The assistant clears his throat and I abruptly look away. “Vel oda Kadha enna-na…^” he begins. We are interrupted again, this time, the C/J squeals. “Look! Rap! Rap mousik! Thameel Nadju rap! Vewwy good!” and goes up to the TV and peers into it with awe. 10 seconds later, he’s grooving along to the beat of Polladhavan’s Engeyum, Epodhum remix. “Next?” Calls the receptionist. I go in, leaving the enthu C/J (who is still half dancing) and his exasperated Thameel Nadju assistant. What happened in the dentist’s chair was quite uneventful, I had a rather sweet lady dentist who made trivial conversation and went about filling my cavities. Amusement happens at the oddest places. ^ – Translator Podatta – Shall I put? Enna pota enna, apdiye romba purinjidapordhu – How does that matter? He’s not going to understand anything, anyways. Vel paarunga, adhu dhaan besht, Polladhavan pathi therila, Azhagiya Thamizh Magan samma mokka, climax..ayo..mudila..! – Watch Vel, It’s the best of the lot, dunno about Polladhavan, but Azhagiya Thamizh Magan sucks bigtime! Adhu endha edammnu theriyuma? – Do you know where that location is? “Vel oda Kadha enna-na” – The story of Vel is…”

The Next Time You Fly Indian….

Going anywhere on an Aeroplane is always an experience for me, especially if I happen to sit next to my father, the Candy-Man.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my Dad’s warped sense of humour but it somehow it seems to shine only when he travels by planes, rather Indian Airlines.

What He Does:
Airhostess Aunty (Indian Airlines, what did you expect?) comes with candy tray. My Dad puts his hand in and takes a fistful of Mint-o Fresh.

For What Joy:
Apparently, to see the look of absolute bewilderment on the Air-hostess’ face. She obviously wouldn’t have expected a guy like my dad to take a fistful, she can’t get mad since she’s been trained very strictly to smile at everything and at the end of it all, she doesn’t quite know how to feel.

End Result:
As much as it’s embarrassing, its really quite hilarious to see the look on the Air-hostess’ face.
And the irony of it all, my dad is a diabetic.

Also Seen/Heard:
Co-passengers seen “tsk-tsking”/Staring/Frowning.
“Edho avanoda soththulerndhu na share edutha maadhri look-vidraan paren”^
Couldn’t have put it better myself, dad.

What He Does:
If its a long flight, my father takes great joy in pressing the “call air-hostess” button.

For What Joy:
So that he can say “I think I pressed it by mistake, I’m sorry.”
And smile.

End Result:
Air hostess clenches teeth and smiles. After she goes out of sight, he presses it again and asks for a coffee.

Also Seen/Heard:
“Auntijis, all of them, let them budge for a change. Besides, flight romba bore adikardhu, konjam entertainment venum-la”^
Auntyji airhostess wasn’t the only one clenching her teeth, my mum was too.

My Appa rocks, I know.

On a closing note, He doesn’t fly Indian anymore though, apparently the Aunty-ji air hostesses glare at him every time he boards. Chee.

^ Translator:

“Edho avanoda soththulerndhu na share edutha maadhri look-vidraan paren” – That nut is looking at me as though I just stole a share of his property.

“romba” – very
“konjam” – a little
“venum-la” – required na?

Now playing: James Blunt – 1973
via FoxyTunes

Damaal Dumeel

>Eyes jolt open at 5 am, thanks to over enthusiatic 500 wala loving neighbour.

>Morning cracker session with Appa & Varsha, all of us still in pyjamas.

>Realise we look damn weird in the road, especially considering pakathaathu (next door) mama is wearing pattu veshti and looks as fresh as a daisy, while I’m still in morning ‘eh-whats-happening’ mode. The mama looks at us, holds up a wala and says “chumma adhuridhile!” We blink. He is disappointed.

>Paati dumps a tablespoon of gingelly oil on my head.

>Appa switches on TV, and surfs channels to find some channel that has some spiritual type programme running.

>Halfway through his search, he finds KTV putting songs from Veerasamy.

>Me, Varsha, Appa are glued to the television, laughing our guts off watching TR give “romaynteec look” while my mother’s BP starts shooting through the roof (Pandigai-mbodhu paakavaendiya program-a idhu? Chi! Channel-a maathu!)

>After full oil bath and wearing new-new clothes and all, I feel especially shiny. Deepavali effect.

>Go to Perimma’s house for lunch. Nicely have full south Indian pandigai meal complete with paal-payasam. Mmm.

>Afternoon, family gossip session starts. I try to listen about what this one particularly notorious member of the family has been up to but lose track after sometime, end up dozing off.

>Wake up at 5.30 pm. Find that the family discussion has veered off to “indha kaalathu pasanga”.

>Amma assigns me diya-lighting work. This job, I like.

>7.00 pm. Oh yeah. Damaal Dumeel time. Almost 20 of us – akkas, annas, mamas, mamis, perimmas, perippas, athimbers, aththais gang up on the terrace.

>Rockets. When a particularly enthu cousin of mine lit a rocket, it went up for around 10 cm, turned left, entered into my neighbour’s window and burst there.

>We stare in shock, wondering if the entire house would just burst into flames, like in the movies.

>Nothing happens.

>After one minute of silence, my uncle gives one loud guffaw and all of us fall about laughing.

>After all the special vedis, flowerpots, chakras and all are exhausted, we troop downstairs to burst the waalas.

>Suddenly we remember that match is happening today. Everyone stops midway and gathers around TV.

>We watch India lose.

>We decide to dedicate all our waala bursting to the Indian Cricket team (For what joy, I still don’t know)

>All cousins take turns bursting red-forts and lakshmi-vedis, making people walking on the road wince every 2 minutes.

>Get down on the road, lay out the 1000 waala, make 3 autos & a whole bunch of people stop. I light the matchstick and show it to the waala and immediately take it back. It wasn’t lit. I do this again 3 times until my dad asks me to just light the matchstick and drop it on top of the waala. I try to light it again, nothing happens.

>Auto guys get pissed. The Aunties on the road are just scared. The Uncles are not sure.

>I finally get it right, the spark comes on. And I run.

>3 whole minutes and a lot of noise later, my family cheers. One mama also claps.

>Deepavali finally comes to an end at 1.30 am.

>I dont know what happened next but I remember waking up the next morning with a big smile on my face.

Hope you had a Happy Deepavali as well.

Lights On!

Happiest Deepavali Everyone!

And in case you were wondering, I painted those Diyas.
Yes, I did.
And no, I still don’t know why I chose Finance over Design.

Every father has these major dreams for his daughter.
Dreams that he had ever since she was a puny little baby making gurgly noises in the hospital bed.
I fulfilled a long-pending one of my fathers today.

I rode a crowded MTC bus from Mylapore to T.Nagar.

Yeah, things like his daughter taking Public Transport has become a dream for my father. And I blame him for it. Hey, I was brought up in one total protected car-pick-up-drop way. Sure I’d hear the “When I was your age” stories all the time, but I was sure as hell my parents would never let me take buses when I was in school.
Unfortunately I’m out of school and apparently ready for getting initiated into the Big Bad World, which includes taking the Bus.
Well, it seemed like a fairly simple thing to me at first. Go to the Mylapore stop, wait for the bus which goes to T.Nagar (12B/12G), get in, buy ticket, and get out in T.Nagar.
Step 1 went smoothly, I went to the stop, there was quite a crowd there, each person craning their neck in the same direction. Then the 12B bus came, with people spilling out of it. It was like watching some kind of weirdly choreographed tribal dance. A person would topple out and another would jump in simultaneously.
Topple out, jump in.
Topple out, jump in.
I became so dizzy at the whole display of athleticism that I missed the bus. Not that there would have been any place for me considering people were hanging out of it.
So I had to wait for another fifteen minutes for the next 12B to come.
After the initial jostling in, the bus started.
And it was at that precise moment that all those physics lessons about inertia made perfect sense.
Also, it seemed that people who ride the bus regularly develop some kind of magnetic force in their feet considering I was the only person in the bus who was flying from one end of the bus to the other everytime it stopped/started.
Then a helpful samaritan from the back told me the universal piece of wisdom of all bus-riders – “maela rod irukku ma, adha pudichokknga” (hang on to the rod on top, child), followed by a smirk.
Clearly, the fact that this was my first time on the bus was more obvious than I’d have liked it to be.
I held on to the rod for dear life, although, to the onlooker it might have looked like I was drunk dancing.
The trip lasted for roughly 15 minutes (jostling included) and cost me 3 bucks.
I got down in T.Nagar and called my father to tell him my sob-story only to hear him laughing uproariously on the other end and tell me in between guffaws that he would sleep soundly today because his brat had seen yet another bit of “reality”.

Reality can go to hell, scratch that, reality can go ride an MTC bus.

Now playing: James Blunt – 1973
via FoxyTunes