Showing posts from 2010

Tera (Item) Number Kab Ayega?

Given the recent fever over Munni and Sheila, I strongly believe would-be parents have one more criteria in selecting a name for a child, especially a girl-child - never select a name that can fit into an item number. But that is easier said than done. One would have thought it’s the sexy sounding ones which fall prey to bollywood. But bollywood proved us wrong. Prior to Dabaang, the name ‘Munni’ conjured images of a sweet, cherubic child. Thanks to the item number, the innocent ‘Munni’ became a slutty Lolita.
Sheela/Sheila is the name of my mom’s generation as far as I know. I have not come across any of my friends name their children ‘Sheela/Sheila’. So I can safely say ‘Sheela/Sheila’ largely represents a population of middle-aged women. I feel truly sorry for them. Farah Khan says the song should be taken in a humorous way, and we should just enjoy Katrina’s dance moves. Of course we will! But we are just a wee bit worried about those million men in India who can’t help touching…

The Labor of (Royal) Love

In one of the FRIENDS episode, Monica tells Ross that girls probably plan their wedding from the time when they are five. I don’t know if this is true. But I can tell you for sure that all girls without exception dream about a Prince Charming who will suddenly burst into the scene and sweep them off their feet.
And it has to be Prince Charming in every which way. Incredibly handsome, rich, sensitive, brave, virtuous gentleman. Girls don’t dream about the local shopkeeper or the newspaper guy. It’s different with guys of course. Let’s not go there.
Perhaps it is genetic. Perhaps it is conditioning. Even before your milk teeth have fallen out, you are introduced to some of the world’s most popular damsels in distress - Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, Cinderella. I still love these stories. They capture a child’s imagination completely. I remember getting stressed out when Cinderella was ill-treated by the evil stepmom. I was terrified when Snow White was sent away to be killed. I loved the…

My Time Machine!

It’s hard to imagine Moms and Dads as youngsters isn’t it? They always seemed like such dorks when we were growing up. And when we finally ‘grew up’ and built our own nests, Moms and Dads became the infallible, indestructible Gibraltors of our lives. It is really difficult to imagine the Dads goofing off and loafing around during the college days. It is really difficult to imagine the stern and ever-so-practical Moms simpering over Rajesh Khanna. And that’s why, this particular book is so invaluable to me. It is probably 40 years old or more. It’s my very own time machine. Like Calvin’s cardboard box. Like Dumbledore’s pensieve. All I have to do is open those pages, and tumble into Amma’s younger days.

First of all, it looks like she had this note book right from college. She got married while she was studying, so she must have brought this book to her new home, which makes it all the more endearing. I can almost imagine her, a shy bride with her precious and sparse belongings, accep…

Mr & Mrs Wild

If there was an award for ‘The Wildest Couple’ – The Husband and I would win it hands down. We have redefined ‘wildness’. We make all you bohemian folks look like kindergarten kids. Oh yeah! We love to live life on the could say we have ‘risk addiction’!
This wildness quotient increases in winter. On the weekends when The Husband is at home, things can get unpredictable.
“Do you see that small pin-prick of bright spot in the grey sky?” The Husband asks, his nose glued to the cold window.
Me. After a lot of squinting. “Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes!”
We both look at each other. The pin-prick of light is a humongous thing in the British sky. It means the sun could break out of the miles-thick layer of clouds.
“Let’s go!” The Husband exclaims.
We quickly wear the woollens, the overcoats, the shoes and rush to the lift.
We stand outside and take a deep breath. Why does my throat feel like a PVC pipe? Must’ve frozen. Fucking wind. Ripping, tearing, ice-cold sonofa****h wind. Blowing from up n…

Twinkle Toes

I slipped on the floor today. Went from one end of the living room to the kitchen faster than the speed of light. I came to a stop after I hugged the fridge. These things always happen to me. In the younger days, I would be mortified. But now, I don’t give a damn.

The earliest occurrence of this trait of mine – to fall down, to walk into walls and closed doors etc – took place sometime when I was a six year old. I was enjoying a summer afternoon. My enjoyment usually meant a dull, throbbing headache for the parents. So I was put out of the house like a cat. I was delighted to see that two of my best friends had met with similar fates. We decided to play ‘Kalla – Police’; but soon got bugged. We decided to explore a ruined house on our street. We were never allowed to go there because ‘it is where the Road Bootha which eats little children lived’. In reality, this place had a well in the backyard, and the elders were afraid of unwanted accidents.
This ruined house would have been a d…

Deepavali during simpler times!

Deepavali! No other festival is as...well...festive as this one! This is one festival which I look forward to with a child-like enthusiasm (and will continue to do so, no matter what age!)
Back in the 80s, when apartments were unheard of in Bengalooru, Deepavali used to be a very homely affair. Take for example my road in Malleswaram. I think barring a couple of families, majority of the residents were tenants. All this 11-month rental contract business was unheard of in the eighties. My family was in the same rented house for over 15 years. So were most of my neighbours. So yes, neighbours were as good as family – and there was such an emotional bond that it disproved the notion of blood being thicker than water.
Quite naturally, Deepavali was a communal affair. Of course, all the families did their puja and bought their own fireworks; yet, some of the fireworks were bought with contributions from everyone. These were the ‘dangerous’ ones, which only the local boys could handle. T…

My favourite horror picks for Halloween!

Halloween in my part of the town has been quiet – except for the occasional drunken hoots of teenagers. However, the weather seems to be in accordance with the spirit of Halloween – gloomy, grey with a constant drizzle. I am well stocked with popcorn; and all I need to do is get the scary DVDs out for a cosy evening.

I’ve always been a fan of horror movies – not the yucky Evil Dead types – but the more psychological ones; the ones that can stir a fear in you and make you sleep with the lights on.

Here are some of my favourite picks (in ‘ascending’ order – least scary to most scary. Nonetheless, all ARE scary.) I’ve included trailers too!

• There is a Kannada movie called ‘Naa Ninna Bidalaare’ (literal translation – I will never leave you... LOL!) It’s a simple storyline – a girl is spurned by a guy (she has a crush on him, he loves someone else). She tries to seduce him, but he throws her out of his house. She raves and rants, and meets with an accident. Yeh, she dies. And comes bac…

Bright Side Of The Moon

If you ventured into this blog, hoping to find out about vampires and werewolves and people who turn into dogs and other animals...sorry to disappoint you. This is really about the moon. But in my next blog, I promise to write about these fascinating there!

When someone uses the phrase ‘dark side of the moon’, it goes without saying the first thing that comes to my mind is Pink Floyd’s monumental album. The second thing that comes to my mind is all those geography lessons about how we always see only one side of the moon.

After my 10th standard, (which I completed about 600 years ago), I don’t think I’ve given geography and astronomy much thought, least of all to the moon in particular. It is of course a fascinating subject. But thanks to our examination formats, I ‘learnt’ the facts by rote, without understanding the ‘why’ behind the facts. All other ‘knowledge’ was gained by hearsay and Hollywood and X-files type conspiracy theories. A friend of mine, another dodo l…


Right from school, the constant emphasis on correct pronunciation, correct grammar, correct tone, correct modulation ... still rings in my head like an irritating calling bell. All of us sounded like Mrs.Marple without exception. But once we stepped out into the big bad world devoid of Mr. Darcy and Holmes and Emma and Lizzie, this outer polish was eroded. English, after all, will always be a foreign language. One can never take out the native tongue from an Indian. I now delightfully slather my English with a dash of Kannada whenever I speak. Something which was done in record time would draw out a "So fast aa?" Or something that went wrong ...yet not so wrong to invite the F word would invite "EEE thu!" At work, the Mrs. Marple's accent was reserved extensively for customer visits.

We have a peculiar love-hate relationship with English. At one point in time, learning English had an elitist value. Putting a child into ‘English medium’ school was as important…

Acoustically Yours!

My first fascination with music systems began with the Murphy valve radio. I was probably 4 or 5 years old. I loved to watch the valves slowly heat up and glow orange. And for some strange reason, I also loved to pull out the knobs and throw it around. Yes, I had bizarre ways of amusing myself when I was a kid. There was no T.V those days, and even after the Dyanoras and Solidaires flooded the market, we bought our TV only when I was around 14 or 15. Till then, our only source of entertainment was Vividhbharthi and my eccentricities. On weekends, my day would usually start with ‘Nimma Mechchina Chitrageethegalu’ – that played between 8:30 AM and 9:30 AM and later on till 10:00 AM I think. I loved to listen to the requests more than anything. All those people from so many unheard of towns and villages – who took time off from a difficult, backbreaking schedule to write to this program, requesting them to play their favourite song... it somehow fascinated me. Similarly afternoons would…