Month: January 2008

Serial Killers

When I come back home from work, I usually head straight to my bedroom and sleep (my sleep cycle has gone off the charts recently, I’ve been clocking 15 hours a day of late). Or bug my mom for coffee. Or sit in front of the computer to check my inbox (for imaginary new email).
But today, instead of doing all those proper, normal things,I decided that I would read today’s ET and ‘improve my financial knowledge’.
I plopped in the living room sofa next to Paati (Grandma – who was watching some mega-serial on Sun tv) and picked up the pink newspaper. It was blaring about the great crash in the SENSEX the previous day. That was when Paati just HAD to turn up the volume. I put the paper down and was about to tell her to lower the volume when I actually started watching that stuff. Honestly, it was way more interesting than the FM’s comments on the robustness of the Indian Economy.

Scene 1:
Two school girls are coming back from school. Both of them have unnatural smiles plastered on their faces. They are received by a middle aged man, who is waving in such an enthusiastic way that his arm might fall off anytime.

Girl 1 (with creepy smile) : Haaai daddee!

Daddee: Ennada chellam, school mudinjirtha?
[Oh darling, is school over?]

(And to think his eight year old daughter could have dug her way out of the school toilet using the spoon packed with her lunch. Einstein ka baap, this one.)

Girl 1: Yes Daddee, idhu dhaan enoda baysht frienddu.
[Yes daddy, this is my best friend]

Girl 2 (with an ‘innocent smile’. Kudutha 100 Roobavum rendu plate bondakkum director gets full paisa vasool):
Haaaai ungil, ungaloda ponnu romba nalla padikara, yeppavum firsht vara, ava enna nariya nariya help panra ungil, ippo naanum nalla mark vaangaren, unga ponnuku naan romba kadamapattruken.
[Oh uncle, your daughter studies so well, she always comes first, she has helped me so much, now I get great marks too, I owe it her.]
(I used to say stuff like ‘appa, enakku ippove bathroom ponum!’ when I was 8. The times are sure changing.)

Ungil Daddee: Aama ma, indha maari ponnu kadaikardhukku na kuduthuvechirkanum.
[Yes dear, surely I have done some good deed in my past life to get such a daughter]

I groan. My Paati goes “ssh!!”
Strangely enough, I don’t stomp out like I would have usually done, i continued to watch the mind-numbing programme.

Scene cuts to Ice-cream kaaran.

Ungil Daddee: Vaama, Cup-Ice vaangitharen.
(cup ice!)

Girls clap hands in excitement, “Haiyya Ice ice”.

Girl 1: Daddee enakku kutchi ice DHAAN venum!
[Daddee! I want ONLY stick-ice!]

Ungil Daddee: Ha.Ha.Ha. Seri, kutchi-ice vaangitharen.
[Ha.Ha.Ha. Ok, I will buy you stick-ice]

Everyone goes Ha.Ha.Ha in an acutely constipated manner to celebrate the happy father daughter moment. The Ungil Daddee pays the ice-cream kaaran.
Suddenly the atrociously happy pingpong music which was playing in the background changes into a bad BSB(!) style bass guitar rip.

Adhavadhu….Tusht of story!
(TWIST IN TALE!!)

The ice cream guy won’t take the money!

The camera man shows his genius – zoom into Ungil Daddee’s loose-motioned look of shock

Apidye cut into girl 1 staring at ice-cream man with ‘knowing smile’.

Loose motion.

Papapapapapan doying doying
(bg meesic – avanga mood-a capture panraangalaam)

Knowing smile.

Papapapapapan doying doying

Ice cream guy.

Papapapapapan doying doying

Loose motion.

Papapapapapan doying doying

Knowing smile.

Papapapapapan doying doying

Ice cream guy.

Papapapapapan doying doying

Loo- suddenly my mother cuts in – “Yenma, andha icecream kaaran panam vaanga maatengaran? Andha kutti ponnu enna pei ya?”
[Why ma, why isn’t the ice cream fellow taking money? Is the girl a ghost?”]

“Illa di, andha ponnu pei laam illa….ava dhaan ice cream pudichindrukkaale, pei aala onnum pudichukamudiyaadhu la?”
[No, no…that girl is not a ghost – she’s holding the ice cream right, ghosts can’t hold ice-cream right?]

“Aama la…cha enakku thonave illa…apo yen andha ponnukku ipdi oru music? Edho irukkanum la…”
[Yea no…I can’t believe I didn’t think of that…then why is that kind of music playing? There’s got to be something fishy about her..]

“Andha ponnu edho oru Amman oda avataram….Kettavaala pazhi vaangarthukku vandhurka. Adhu dhaan kadha”
[That girl is an incarnation apparently….she’s come to avenge all the bad people]

My mother and Paati continue to delve into the deep logic of the mega-serial.

That was when I heard a vaguely familiar voice cry –
“Kolapanraanga!! Kolapanraanga!!”.
[They’re killing me!]

It was my brain.

“THU! Periya solomon pappaaya thangachi, vandhutaanga pattimandram panna. Indha kuppa serial-a edho periya Discovery Channel documentary maari okaandu analyze panreenglale, vekkama illa? Cha, kedu ketta kudumbamda idhu!!”

I walked out of the living room, Tamil padam style, munu-munuthufying all the way.

Just when I was about to feel all good and powerful for speaking my mind, I hear my paati – “Enna aachu, Lalu indha reality show-la vara pasanga maariye theva ilaama tension aara…”

Monkey say, monkey do.

We are dignified people, we shall take victories and losses in equal grace but call me a monkey and give me dreadlocks it sure feels good to go IN YOUR FACE, SUCKERS!. Amen.

I pity Harbhajan Singh, the poor guy is facing so much flak because he said ‘monkey’. Mind, if saying ‘monkey’ were a crime, my parents would have been jailed for multiple offenses a very long time back.
[Especially my dad. He has really creative ways of saying it, i.e ‘joker monkey’, ‘monkey brain’, ‘mad monkey’ and sometimes even combinations – ‘mad joker monkey’ etc. My mother prefers ‘koranngu’].
The point being, ol’ bhajji could have said a million other things but he went for monkey. I believe, strongly that monkey is not a racist term in any aspect. More so because –
1.Monkeys do not refer to colour/race in any way.
2.Hell, we were all monkeys once.
3.It could have been a compliment, monkeys are revered in India.

What the Indian team really needs is a sledging ‘Mental Disintegration’ coach (I do believe Australia is in possession of one). Someone experienced, someone who can swear in multiple languages and someone who can throw words without being even mildly apologetic about it. Someone like my mom when she’s driving in T.Nagar.

Oh yes.

—————-
Now playing: Rascal Flatts – Help Me Remember
via FoxyTunes

F.R.I.E.D

Like the few other million people in this world, I too, watched F.R.I.E.N.D.S. And continue to watch reruns whenever I can. The time I used to see the show, Amma would brush it off as ‘just another TV show’ and never really bothered.

Couple of days back, when I was watching a re-run, I didn’t really expect a change.
Big Mistake.

I was seeing the re-run most intently [The one with the male nanny] and my mother plopped next to me.

“Ennadi paakara?” [What you watching?]

“Friends, ma”

“Idhu andha serial dhaane?” [It’s that serial right?]

“Ya ma”

She watches for sometime and also sees me giggling at Ross’ antics.

“Ennadi solraanga? Onnume purila. Avan yaaru?”
[What are they saying? I don’t get it. And who’s that guy?]

“Ross, ma”

“Apo andha ponnu?”

[Then who’s the girl?]

“Rachel”

“Adhu avaaloda kozhandhaiya?”

[Is that their baby?]

“Aama”

[Ya]

“So Ross-um Rachel-um husband wife dhaane?”

[So they are husband-wife right?]

“Illa ma”

[No ma]

My mothers eyes go wide.

“Ennadi solra, ava rendu paerum orey apartment-la irukka, KOZHANDHA irukku, aana ava husban wife illaya?”

[What are you saying? They are in the same apartment, they have a BABY, but they aren’t husband-wife?]

My mouth turns dry. I try to explain it to her.

“Illa ma, live-in relationship maari vechukoyen.”

[No ma, it’s like a live-in relationship]

“Apo ava rendu paerum othotharoda paduthundrukkaala?”

[So they’ve slept with each other?]

I blink at her bluntness.

“Apdinnu vechukoyen”

[Yeah I guess]

“Aama, andha rachel oda amma appakku theriyuma? Kozhandha paththi?”

[Ok, do rachel’s parents know about the baby?]

Clearly, all those Sun TV mega serials have left a deep impact on her.

“Haan, theriyum”

[yea, they know]

“Cha, ponna control panna therila, enna amma appa? Indha Americans-ey ipdidhaan, culture-ey illa!”

[What, don’t they know how to control their daughter? God!]

“Uh, sollamudiyaathu. Maybe they were ok with it”

“What ok? Love pannu, seri oththukalaam, aana kalyanam pannama kozhandha peththupaala? Andha Rachel thappichcha, If I were her mother, things would have been different.”

I swallow. And change the channel.

“Yaen channel-a maathara? Adha vei, nee enna paakarennu enakku theriyanum.”

[Why you changing the channel? Keep it, I want to see what you watch]

My mother continues to watch it and give her feedback, while I continue to swallow my own spit.

“Andha ponnu yaaru?”

“Phoebe ma”

“Ava andha payyanoda dhaana irundha? Yenna paeru…aan, Mike. Avan yen indha aal oda irukka ippo?”

[Wasn’t she with that guy, mike? Why is she with this guy now?]

“Illa ma, David avaloda ex-boyfriend”

“Pazhe boyfriend dhaana? Yen kiss adikara apdina?”

[Ex boyfriend right? then why is she kissing him?]

“Innum pudichirko ennamo”

[Maybe she still likes him]

“Chi chi, enna pombala ava.”

“Ammaaa…”

And it didn’t stop. She just went on. And on. And on. I do believe that it was the longest half hour of my life. And I ran out of saliva to swallow as well.
When the credits came on (finally), she left the living room saying something about how “Pasanga indha maari programme paathu kettu kuttichavura pora”.

I made a mental note that day to watch the show on the computer from now.

Mothers.

—————-
Now playing: Polladhavan – PADICHI PATHEN
via FoxyTunes

Cali, Cut.

A wise man once said, “enna dhaan periya 5 star-la thanginaalum veetu bathroom-la onnuku pora sogame thani”
Truer words never spoken.

Kerala was good, pretty as a postcard. We were very well taken care of.

Unlimited supply of nendranga chips!

Something that was particularly interesting about this trip was the fact that all the managers thought I was some kind of ‘homely girl’. Let me elaborate.
Lunch. We eat with the managers.
It had been a particularly long day and I plopped onto my seat, very tired. When I’m very tired, I tend to swear. When I was 7 or 8, I used to say ‘aiyo amma’, I remember my thatha telling me, ‘don’t say aiyo, its bad, in fact whenever you’re feeling bad, say Narayana instead, umaachi will come and help you.’ So my habit started then, whenever I’m in a mood to swear and there are people in-front-of-whom-you-really-don’t-want-to-be-caught-swearing I usually say “Narayana”. That day, my back was kinda hurting, so when I sat down, it became acute for a moment. I couldn’t go ‘fuck’. Instead I said ‘Narayana’. The Zonal Manager decided to get all witty on me and went “oh, you are saying Narayana at this age itself, like a Paatima” (Granny).
I got mildly pissed. I asked him, “Yen sir, perumal paer sonna enna thappu? punyam kadaikkum” (what’s wrong in saying Narayana? You can collect good karma this way).
So he goes “Yes ma, but now is the age to do all the wrong things, you can collect punya later.”
Amusement.
I bend down and peer into my plate to prevent anyone from seeing me guffaw. Poor chap didn’t know that I needed all the punya I could possibly get. We eat. Midway, the ZM passes the beans to me.
Zonal Manager: “Indha ma, beans saapdu”
(here, have some beans”)
Me (in a meek voice): Illa sir, thanks, enakku beans pudikaadhu.
(No sir, thanks, but I really dont like beans)
ZM:Apo enna saapduva? Pavakka? Podlanga? Avarakka? Vendakka?
(Then what do you have? Bittergourd? snake gourd? some-weird gourd? Okra?)
I shake my head vigourously to show my intense dislike for the gourd family.
ZM: Apo pizza? burger? chinese?

I think. Frankly, I have had enough of pizza, I can’t really stand that stuff anymore. Burgers are a bore and my liking for Chinese food starts and ends with Topramen smoodles. I’m a Pasta-Mexican-Sub-sandwich-Frankie person.
I wonder if I should mention the pasta bit but I shake my head anyway.

ZM:Oh my! You really don’t know how to enjoy life!
Another Manager: Sir, these people are homely girls, confined to their homes. Konjam conservative.

Oh yes, me, temple-going, south-indian-meals-only-eating, filter-coffee-making, ACHUCHO-saying,very conservative Chutney girl. I found it so incredibly funny that I couldn’t even laugh. I just continued to look into my plate. And they continued to think that they were right.

Sometimes, ignorance really is bliss.

Going, Going….

I will be leaving to the airport in another 45 minutes, going to Calicut on a Bank Audit (PNB) for god knows how long, but hopefully not more than a week.
I will be good there.
Promise.

I have been to Calicut before, it was my first road trip, I went when I was 6 I reckon, Amma was pregnant with Varsha and I went with my dad. I was a good child then, all I did was pose cutely for the cameras in all those back-watery places. But I don’t remember that place.
I really don’t remember too much of Calicut except for the banana chips that I had there every single day.
Those chips are legendary.

Will be back in a week (hopefully, hopefully) . Don’t miss me too much. 😉

—————-
Now playing: Elvis Presley – Rubberneckin (Paul Oakenfold Remix)
via FoxyTunes

I miss school.

Another year whizzes by. 2007 was a year to remember, a year that has left me wiser in more ways than one. 2007 was my year, a year that will leave a very deep impact for more reasons than one. A year that I will love, a year that I will remember and a year that will make me go “what were you thinking?!”. But what I’ll miss most about 2007 was school.

The beginning of an end. School. 15 years of memories came to an end this 2007. From the hazy memories of preschool (Where I would watch other kids cry for their mommies with an expression of great amusement) to elementary school, where we would fight tooth and nail to be ‘class leader’, and the chosen ones would even ‘mind the class’ during lunch break (we later came to know that this way, they wouldn’t have to eat the thayir saadham that their mummies had packed for them as they were in pursuit of discipline. And their mummies would look at them as though they had just led the Indian Army into battle or something.) Elementary school was also when we all got nicknames. Be it ‘bad boy Vinod’ or ‘kutti krithikka’ or ‘cartoon shilpa’. The heights of wit, yeah? Our greatest obstacle in life was mathematics. Especially that 2 digit multiplication. I vividly remember my 2nd standard class teacher (useless as she was) suddenly giving us a ‘multiplication test’. The question I got was ’88 x 8′ and frankly I was stumped. They were very big numbers to the average 7 year old. And I blinked a lot ( I didn’t think much of multiplication then, so I had never practised my times tables) and she called me a “maramanndai” (wooden head person, which basically implied that I was a dunce) in front of everyone. I may have not known the tables but I did know what public humiliation was. And hell, I was GIRL! No one calls girls names! That day I vowed to learn tables in and out. Although, come to think of it, that day I had ice-cream (the coolest ice cream then too, chocobar) and called my teacher the unthinkable (at that time), namely ‘loosu’. But then again, the lesson I learned was not ‘learn tables in order to prevent humiliation’ but ‘if your teacher screams at you, have ice cream and call her a couple of names, you’ll feel much better’. I know, I’m most wisdomous. I see her sometimes, whenever I go to the primary block and every time I do, my head automatically calculates 88 x 8 = 704. I smile whenever I think of that and she thinks I’m smiling at her and smiles back. Oh well.

Middle school was no better – we thought ourselves to be the heights of cool – playing truth or dare, ‘teasing’ and that absurd 10 names game. Bottomline was that we were far away from cool, waaay far. My favourite memory of middle school is my maths centum in the 8th standard final exam. I got a 68 in english and 100 in math (my marks are usually the other way round). I remember my class teacher telling me that she checked the papers around 3 times to make sure she didn’t switch grades or something. I don’t mind that English mark. I can score anytime, but that centum gave me such a high. I had achieved perfection,and even my maths teacher was appalled. “You got centum? you?!”. Yes I did, and there is nothing you can do about it. (I was not a favourite, I used to sleep in class and submit incomplete work. But I studied for my final.)

High school, wow, High school. This is was character building stuff. The journey to maturity was not short, we passed through so many things, from ‘pen games’ to ‘boy-girl games’ to ‘derrty jokes’. Junior College gave way to class politics and pointless power games and dating (which I can strongly say I never tried in school. Never).
Main School gave me a chance to start over again, and chances like those are rare. I was quite a favourite among the teachers (Yes, I know, I’m nauseating.). But my favourite was Mrs.SS, my math teacher in the 12th. She was brilliant, she’s the reason I still have my 12th standard maths textbook. She demystified calculus for me, from scratch. 3 weeks before the boards. I had missed all my calculus classes thanks to the cultural hopping and would blink in her classes. Trignometric substitution and definite integrals drove me nuts. And that dreaded ‘miscellaneous exercise’ gave me nightmares. The sum I hated most was ∫tanx^4dx. Ugh, I still remember getting that ‘kozhi muttai’ (ZERO) in that sum in my half yearlies. But I know that sum now, I think.

School was something special to me, it made me believe that the world was a comfy place where everyone would be friendly. So much for that. The real world, well, sucks ya.

—————-
Now playing: Chris Daughtry – Feels Like Tonight
via FoxyTunes