Hello once again! So, we were talking about the ‘Whatsapp forwards’ (I am not sure about you all, but at least I was). The variety available here is simply mind-boggling, to say the least! And the speed with which they proliferate! If you read one message or a video in one group, within a few minutes the same thing pops out of multiple other groups! Continue reading
You start your day and the first thing you do in the morning is to check your phone. (Who says I am addicted to social media or the phone? No please, …..it is only to check my mails, you see). And what do you find in your phone? Many many colourful flowers (or babies or puppies or kittens or….some such cutie cutie things) popping out of each ‘group’ to wish you a happy day. Continue reading
After the weekend, generally people are neither in a mood nor in any hurry to start the new week’s work. So, in my experience, new work assignments are not initiated before Tuesdays; earliest could be the second half of Monday.
Having nothing much to do, is a rare thing and most of the female brigade would agree with me here. Didn’t require much time to finish reading newspaper — and then I realised, the copy of the daily newspaper was so very thin. Hardly any material to read. Continue reading
So, carrying forward the saga of the Great Mobile, here is what happens at a super-mart.
As such, supermarkets are places infested with harried shoppers, the long grocery lists in their hands or phones, even more longer check-out queues and the shopping carts which invariably create traffic jams. Continue reading
Lot many people must have already written about this and I am sure, by now there are tomes and tomes describing this great quality of the new technology. However, I can’t resist this urge to scribble whatever I see around me.
Looking at these happenings, I get pretty convinced that this thing called Mobile phone has some magical powers that mesmerise the users and make them forget the world. Continue reading
Thank God! I’m not mad ——- or at least there are others like me on this earth.
Last Month I came across an article in the newspaper (10th March 2016, DNA, From Editor’s Desk) – and I heaved a huge sigh of relief. So after all, whatever people might say, I am not the only one.
The article stated how the writer (Editor of that daily, Ms. Sarita Tanvar) jumped out of a vehicle and yelled at a man who was strangulating a stray dog. This saved the life of the mutt. Bravo! We need more such people around on this planet, more people who realise and believe that we solely do not own this planet, it also belongs to other living beings and they too have full right to live here — as much as we do.
Many a times I suspect that around the place where I live, I’m known as ‘Mad Aunty’ (Of course, behind my back). Reason? I can not stand cruelty to helpless stray animals and I never hesitate in yelling, shouting, fighting if I ever see any human torturing a dumb animal.
I try to visualise this through the eyes of the hapless animals. The various large groups of kids-n-moms waiting for their respective school buses, are a major source of nuisance. Just to catch up with their daily dose of gossip, the ladies drag their children hours before the bus time. For some unknown reason, the entrance of our housing society is the unofficial, unwritten stop for buses of all the schools of neighbouring two suburbs.
So as soon as the females get their heads together, they conveniently forget all about their wards. Once the kids are inside the gate and society garden, mothers are assured that they are safe and no need to keep a watch over them.
Then, if the gang of kids notices(which is quite often) any stray dog, cat, kittens or puppies, suddenly the spirits of our warrior ancestors take over them and the whole unruly bunch of 8 – 10 children gives out loud war-cry and runs after the tiny kittens or puppies. Scared , if the kittens/puppies hide beneath a parked car, the kids bend down and throw stones, sticks, any handy ‘weapon’ at them.
Imagine! Tiny, one month old kittens, just learning to bounce on their fours — and chased or assaulted by human forms that are physically fifty to hundred times larger than them — all shouting at the top of their voices, wielding sticks as swords and throwing stones.
A Road Trip To South Maharashtra
So I threw a few things together and hopped in the car. We weaved through the office-hour Mumbai traffic, crossed Navi Mumbai (New Bombay) and left the city behind. I put on ear-phones, shuffled my favourite numbers and sat back.
But a few miles later we noticed something odd – the cars in front were taking a U turn and were going back. At first we didn’t bother, but then our car came to a stand still — just like the rows and rows of cars in front of us — and soon, even behind us.
The sun was moving towards its noon-time zenith and it wasn’t exactly comfortable sitting in a motionless car. From the rows ahead and behind, people were stepping out of their cars and were discussing ….. discussing what? Isn’t it strange that whenever such public situation arises, total strangers (especially drivers) immediately bond like long lost friends or Kumbh ke mele mein bicchade brothers?
Rows of cars stuck on the winding roads of Western Ghats
Then on the scene arrived an angel on a bike, carrying news from the opposite direction. Naturally every soul in that never-ending car queue was all ears for some news …. any news arriving from the direction where it all had started.
“Patthar gire hain — there is a land-slide. Nothing can move till four or five o’clock in the evening.”
There was a mad rush to turn around, before the U turn or the express-way in the opposite direction also could get blocked….. we were not exception. Herd mentality — yes, we too were guilty! Nobody tried to verify what that biker said. How blind (& also deaf n dumb) can we get.
So we went back a few kilo-meters and took the now-rapidly-filling up old Mumbai-Pune road, abandoned since the easier, faster option of express-way was opened.
So the old,scenic route started winding up the ghats, unfurling old memories of childhood travels. But loosing oneself in the sweet past wasn’t possible, as the reality wasn’t all that rosy. The ‘curvaceous’ ghats and their steep, winding roads were causing naak mein dum for all the cars.
People usually generalise that city females find it difficult to put up with hardships. (being a female from city, I of course do not subscribe to this opinion – Absolutely Not). Applying the same (wrong) logic, the new age city cars were fast buckling under this sudden challenge.
There was a quickly spreading epidemic amongst the cars — with rapid succession they were falling victim to the ‘smokey’ phenomenon. Looking at the scenario, we were getting more and more worried about our ‘old faithful’. Whenever we detected even a whiff of smoke, we immediately stopped and checked whether our ‘grand dame’ has got a whim of having a smoke.
One after other, the cars were being pulled on the side for a breather, bonnets were opened to let out the clouds of smoke. The cars on the roads were anyway moving at a snails’s pace, so I tried to have a look at the open bonnets of a car or two. But in return I received dirty glares.
Well, well, how well the human brains perceive what exactly is in the mind of opposite person — especially if it has some dishonourable thought like taking a picture of the gaping bonnet full of smoke. So a dirty glare was a natural reaction, I guess. Suppose if we were in their place, with our poor baby having tough time? No, no ….. it was not charitable on my part even to entertain such thought. So mentally wishing ‘get well soon’ and ‘speedy recovery’ etc. to those coughing, spluttering cars, we inched our way, keeping our fingers crossed.
There the next problem stood in the form of a traffic police — No going further on the old road, take the old-new connect and resume the journey on the express-way. Everywhere, on all the levels, the roads in the ghats were completely jammed. I wondered how the drivers could differentiate between old and new roads?
So we were back to the point from where we had taken a U turn. The same slow motion process continued till the ghats ended. There we saw the real reason – an oil/petrol tanker had overturned, causing oil-spill. By then the area was made safe by spreading sand and gravel over the spill, so as to avoid any skidding. So much for the ‘Land slide’ of the biker messenger!
So the first half part of the journey we covered by car and the second part we completed by flight. Yes, we flew the rest of the way. You see, these professional drivers simply loath any kind of delay, they hate it when they get late ….. let the reason be anything.
So to make up the lost time, our charioteer just vroomed the rest of the way. There was so much to enjoy along the way — the totally black soil, the swaying sugar-cane fields, the fully white, slim bullocks with long, pointed horns …… thanks to our dear driver the rest of the journey was simply a blurrrrrrrrr.
Even after our repeated reminders that we were not in any life and death hurry, he refused to ease his foot off the accelerator. At a point, I almost pictured myself wearing a helmet inside the four-wheeler. And no, it wasn’t a funny picture.
And this wasn’t my imagination, I’m pretty sure it was there — just above the rear-view mirror there was a sign flashing ….. Fasten –er, no, not fasten — ‘Tighten your seat belts…..we are taking off to the space!’
When we finally reached our destination, I realised that all this while I had been holding my breath!
Cosm(et)ic Invasion !
The door bell rang on a windy winter afternoon. Still deeply engrossed in the book in my hand, I opened the door to a young girl of college-going age, apparently on a survey – cum – sales promotion.
“Good noon, Ma’am! Which facial cream do you use?” She fired her first query. No preamble, no introduction of herself or her company.
“None, I don’t use anything,” Still entangled in the plots of the novel, I blurted out the truth.
The vast array of fast fleeting expressions that my answer brought to the opposite face really shook me and jolted me out of my trance. Wonder, shocked surprise, disbelief and ultimately, incredulity; each replaced the other in a rapid succession. I am sure even a seasoned Thespian couldn’t have managed such fete in his best performance.
“Nothing??!! You mean absolutely nothing? Even in this winter season?” I was about to offer some support, in case she fainted of shock. But after all, she seemed to have been made of sterner stuff.
“No,” I replied, then added, “I don’t need any. You see, I have got an oily skin.” But it made me feel mad at myself. Why should I give any explanation? So what even if it happened to be the truth, where was the need for me to give justifications?
Not to be outdone so easily, she offered solution for my every objection.
“Oily skin? No problem, Ma’am. This cream won’t make you look oily at all.”
“But …. I don’t need anything.” I tried to stand my ground, “I’ve never used anything and I don’t want to start now—”
“If you try our product just once, Ma’am, you’ll never stop using it!” This said with an unshakable confidence any promise-giving, pre-election politician would envy.
“No, no….but….you see..” I groped around blindly for something — anything.
“Oh, take my word Ma’am, you can’t imagine how different you’d feel once you use this regularly,” This could be my Granny telling me how her medicine would be good for me. “And within months you’ll see the transformation. Your husband won’t recognise you, so young you’ll look!”
Young? Of course! Wasn’t I the doddering ancient relic with countless wrinkles? (At that time I was around thirty)
But in the first place, if I belonged to such bygone era, then what was the need to resurrect me from my fossil form? And the bit about my husband not recognising me, well, wouldn’t that be the Prime Dangerous reason NOT to use such transforming magic potion? It took all my might to stick to my rejections.
Even then she tried her best with the tenacity of a true sales person, entire conversation conducted with an irritatingly patronising – or was that sarcastic? – smirk fixed on her face.
“It can be used as a fairness cream, too,” She persisted. I am sure this wasn’t said taking my skin-colour into consideration, at least I consoled myself so.
The Case Of An Angry Tooth Fairy!
Resolution? Surely not!
- So the first one on my Not-To-Do list would be – No Resolutions for the new year! There! I guess it is working already! Well, well I am already feeling light, you see. No trudging through the entire year with heavy burden of broken promises — which I had stupidly made to myself. No guilt of ‘Why-Couldn’t-I-Keep-My- Resolutions -even – for- a- decent – time period’. Hah! That’s some Freedom!
- The next one is every female’s favourite! This year I do not resolve to go on any diet. No detox-diet, no vegan-diet, no low-carb or no-carb or whatever-carb diet for me. Enough is enough. Aren’t the repeated, innumerable, half-hearted, unsuccessful (There ! I finally did admit THE real reason!) attempts over the years sufficient reason to add this to my Not-To-Do list? So, now I can eat anything. ANYTHING!! Isn’t that a great, thrilling thing? Whatever the end-result or aftermath of this — it would be solved with the next year’s resolve.
- It is not my resolve to endure the torture of the idiot box – which, by the way, is growing more idiotic by each passing day. In any given serial, I could never decide who is the mother, who is the grandmother —– or great grandmother ……so on and so forth. Any given set of females looks exactly identical – age wise, costume wise, in every conceivable way. If these sagas of the ‘Supposed-to-be-COMMON-Indian-household’ were not amazing enough, their mythological counterparts are dying to compete with them. Just a part of a mythological serial, which I accidentally stumbled upon recently, left me wondering whether I had mistakenly wandered into Jurassic Park. Nothing more to say.
- Another of ‘Not My Resolve’ for this year, would be – not to hope for any change for better in the prices of my daily household requirements —–namely, pulses/lentils. Garlic (??), veggies ….. this list could go on. Looking at those prices, I guess I need not fret over the diet plan. The rocketing costs would automatically ensure that my diet (and consequently, my weight) would remain in check!
- innumerable things could be eligible for this list —- many things one would wish to add to Not-To-Do list. But I better stop here, or else the readers might put ‘Me’ into ‘Not-to-read’ list 🙂 🙂