Thursday, 31 December 2009

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Leaping Lizards

In a recently conducted survey by 'The sanity of women' Foundation, it has been concluded that 'House Lizards' have again topped the list beating 'Cockroaches' as the top ranking pests to scare the living daylights of women, worldwide.

The survey was carried out by an independent consultant associated with 'Lazy Pineapple'. The survey was conducted when it was found that a phenomenal number of women and some men turned temporarily insane at the sight of a Lizard, crawling on the wall of their homes. Though, the number of men was significantly low, they comprised of nearly 20% of the sample population.

I had always been intrigued by the creature called 'House lizard'.This unpredictable reptile has been my middle sister's nemesis from when she was a moppet. I remember her practically jumping out of her skin at the sight of 'lizzy' on a far off wall. She still has a the same hate relationship with the creature. It used to amuse me to see her screaming hysterically and leaping on the bed to safety as if, 'lizzy' was going to miraculously sprout wings and attack her. I am sure 'lizzy' was equally scared of her since, he knew that his days of peacefully clinging to walls and eating flies in our household, was to come to an end.

My father and I were officially appointed to send 'lizzy' into exile every time he or one of his relatives paid us a visit. We usually did it by shaking a stick or broom near his vicinity and that usually did the trick. Many a times 'Lizzy' became obstinate and refused to relinquish his place and some serious action was needed.

Even after marriage, I have still retained my post. Hubs has the same hate relationship with 'lizzy' and I am left to do the dirty work. Ma-in-law is just short of fainting at the sight of 'lizzy'. She is always on the lookout for new products in the market which will fortify her apartment against 'lizzy'. The usual scene is Hubs and Ma-in-law standing atop a chair and giving me encouragement and directions about how to make 'lizzy' go away.

I admit, I myself do get queasy sometimes when 'Lizzy' suddenly decides to change direction and starts moving in my direction when I am trying to make him run for his life.

I have seen many people just start shivering at the sight of 'Lizards'. It must be the most hated and feared household pest in the entire world. There have been many innovative ideas to get rid of 'Lizards' which have made me laugh aloud.

1) Using Peacock Feathers- Apparently Lizards hate peacocks.
2) Using Broken Eggshells- Lizards hate the smell of Eggshells?
3) Adopt a Cat.
4) Invite some Chinese friends over and point out to the luncheon menu on the wall.

If you know of anymore ideas, do send them to me.

Note: 'The Sanity of Women' Foundation is a fictitious organisation. The survey is a figment of my imagination.

Note: I am going to be thrown to the 'Lizards' by hubs and Sis for revealing their secrets.

And it's a 100

I hit a Century with this post. (Imagine, I am taking a bow to your thunderous clapping)

A big thanks to all the Readers who so valiantly have still stuck around since the start of this Blog. A big welcome to new Readers.

This blog started off as a whim. It has now become an outlet for my thoughts and emotions. I am very happy and surprised that I have authored 100 stories. Posts which have topics ranging from Tiger conservation, movie reviews and personal life.

I look forward to writing the next 100 with equal gusto for which I will need your continued readership, comments and motivation. Thank you once again.

Friday, 18 December 2009

Haagen Daz- A bitter aftertaste

There is a big uproar in the online media about Haagen Dazs brand of Ice cream committing a terrible Faux- Pas during the launch of their outlet in Delhi. They have stated it as a teaser campaign.

Have a look at this picture and things will be clear why Indians have their panties in knots.

It's a franchisee owned by an Indian Company and it's opening an outlet in India. It means they want to sell the product to Indians, Right???

The 'Access restricted only to holders of International Passports' part kuch jama nahi.

I really wonder about the advertising agency that made this poster and the people in marketing department of Haagen Daz, who approved this poster. This is a blatant insult and racial discrimination done by Indians to Indians. As if, we already do not face that in other countries.

We now say that 'India is a happening Place' then why do we feel like a second grade citizen in our own country. Does it mean that a person with a International Passport is superior and hence will get special treatment? I feel, we Indians suffer from a 'Gori Chamdi (Skin)' syndrome. We think anything made abroad is always better than 'Made in India'. Please wake up and smell the coffee. I am living in 'UK' for past two years and all I have seen is 'Made in India' tags or 'Made in some other Asian country' tag on all the stuff. Here in the 'UK' , they proudly sell their goods as 'Homegrown' or 'Made in UK'. Why are we so ashamed of 'Made in India'?

International Passport Holders have already tasted Haagen-Dazs. For them, it is how 'Amul' or 'Vadilal' is for us. I too admit Haagen Dazs is delicious. But, it's just an Ice cream for God sakes.

Haagen-Dazs came to India with a Bang. I am sure they must have done some research on Bollywood Stars on 'how to get free publicity'. This controversy has given them free publicity and free advertising.

In spite of the uproar and so many blog posts written on this insult, people will soon forget what the whole fuss was about and enjoy a delicious scoop of their 'Baileys Irish Cream'.

'We are like this only'

P.S: Photo Courtesy 'Times of India'

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Things that made me go, Huh?

When you are a kid, a lot of things remain unexplained and you are just left with lots of questions in your mind. You try to make sense of them on your own. Some mysteries get solved, when a older sibling obliges you with their vast intelligence (at that age, you think everyone is a genius). Other mysteries get solved as you grow older and some linger on till you forget about them.

As a kid, TV became the biggest source of unexplained things. Ads and movies sometimes were not what they seemed. Let me explain it to you at length.

1) Condom Ads: I came to know of, what a condom is, much later in life compared to today's generation of kids. Hey! now forget the picture of 'Condom' in your head and now picture a scene where a family is sitting down to watch 'Hum Log' , baccha company an all and suddenly a 'Nirodh' ad comes on TV, the reactions of all members should be noted carefully. My family excepting me, suddenly used to become busy with what-nots. My father used to dive behind the newspaper as if his life depended on it, my mother suddenly used to become engrossed in cleaning beans, my eldest sister would join my mother and my elder sis was left as clueless as I was. Everybody evaded my eyes, lest I raise a curious question. There was an uncomfortable silence which made me wonder about the ad.

2) Pointy Boobs : Most of the actresses of Hindi movies in the sixties had a set attire. A big bird's nest on the head, a tight sari, bloodless lips and pointy boobs. Though I saw these movies much later, I always wondered about their bust line. They looked pointy enough to pierce the hero in the chest. Normal women had normal boobs so why theirs looked unreal. My eldest sister always cracked jokes about them. I pretended to understand and laugh along but was clueless till I had left puberty around a corner.

3) Mysterious Barfing: In today's movies there are no mysteries left for imagination. But there was time when things were subtle. The hero and heroine fall in love. They dance around trees, then they kiss, which was always portrayed by two flowers coming close or the director gave you a shot of bright blue skies. After a few days inevitably the heroine goes on a puking spree and then the evil vamp who is usually her stepmom starts spewing 'Kulakshini','Kulta' 'Kahan mooh kala karke aayi hai? I could not understand ,why she said that. The heroines face seemed all right to me. Maybe a stomach upset had caused all that barfing.

4) Neem Trees: I knew what Neem trees were, don't think of me as a slow kid. There were assorted tales of ghosts and demons that put the mystery in Neem Trees. I always had a penchant for ghoulish tales and still do. I used to lap them up like butter. Most of the so called ghost stories, started in a cemetery and ended with the ghost vanishing in the Neem or Banyan tree.
My childhood home has a soaring Neem tree in its front yard. When I was a child, my whole family slept out on the terrace on summer nights, the swaying tree always made me shit scared. I always used to wonder why all the ghosts prefer uncomfortable places as their homes like cemeteries and trees.

Though, all the Huh!! quotient has evaporated from these things now, I spent a better part of my childhood and adolescent life mulling about such inane stuff. I still do, about unexplained facts like UFO'S, U.S. banking industry and honest politicians.

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Scrooge or a Confused Hindu?

Please find below a Guest post from my friend 'Radhika'. She has a funny bone and I bet you will be tickled silly with the below Blog post.

Christmas in America is the single most frustrating event of the year for me. I love the lights and the feel good movies on TV as much as the next person, but Christmas in America confuses the hell out of me.

Since all my education in India was in a Catholic establishment, Christmas was about the nativity play, cake on the last day of school, before holidays began, getting bebinkas and cakes from Christian friends(kind of a thank you for the Diwali Besan Ladoos I gave them) etc, etc.
In short it was about Christianity, the birth of Jesus, the three wise men , the star and so on.

Cut to 17 years later in America. Arguably, the most conservative nation in the western hemisphere, where every 4 years politicians are out to prove what good Christians they are, where you could win or lose the presidency depending on your Good Christian quotient , where Bible thumping is a way of life. So why is it that this nation founded apparently on Judeo Christian values has a hard time saying, ”Merry Christmas” during Christmas?? Why are people supposed to have Holiday Trees and not Christmas Trees, why is Santa Claus, an acceptable secular God?? I have often wondered about these people , who are so easily offended by the obvious?

My sons, who are in Pre kindergarten had to take holiday goody bags with treats for everybody in their class. But we were told, the bags can have no religious items, the bags can say, Happy Holiday, but not Merry Christmas, but Santa is of course acceptable! ARRRRGH!! So after 17 years here, I now look forward to Christmas like the next wave of H1N1 scare news. It is inevitable, but I don’t have to like it!! And I’m still looking for that Hyper Politically Correct person, who is offended by my, Merrry Christmas, so I can say to him/ her, “Enjoy your holidays and by the way, Merry Christmas to You and Yours”. You know, Scrooge loved to be evil during the HOLIDAYS!!!!!! HA, ha, ha…..

I wonder where does political correctness end and going off the deep end lunacy begin???

P.S: I would like to thank Vinita for letting me write/vent on her blog. We are related, our husbands grew up together in the same building, back home, but Vinita and I have never met! We became friends because of her blog, which I love! So, thank you, Internet friend. I hope to meet you soon….

Monday, 14 December 2009

DawG Days

Yesterday, while going for a quick visit to friends in neighboring town, I saw many people out walking their dogs. All walked/trotted peacefully with their human companions.

I remember that all my walks with my canine companion were disastrous, just like tug of war with both of us vying to win the top post. Exceptions to this were the first few months when 'Buddy' was still a clumsy puppy. I had an upper hand then and could lead him where I wished to go with just a slight tug of my wrist.

Within a few months, things dramatically changed and the balance of power tipped on his side. In spite of being a superior(That is what I was made to believe) being with two arms to perform any complex task, I was unable to be the ultimate victor in this war. His powerful neck was capable of dragging me in any-which direction as he wanted.

Our walks used to start off fairly routine with me walking and talking calmly as a rational human being, belying the sudden dramatic change in events to happen in the very next moments. The minute we stepped out of the parking lot onto the road, a sudden dose of adrenalin would gush into his being and I was dragged along in the flow of action. Most of the times I used to be half asleep in the mornings and used to be easily coaxed into running helter-skelter behind him. We fought most of these battles during my conscious moments which were during the evening walks.

The war used to start of akin to dialogues between India and Pakistan about 'Kasab'. Both of us would maintain decorum in the beginning with me giving slight tugs to his leash to maintain control and him pulling with only a bit of force. Just like these dialogues, things would deteriorate at a very high speed with both of us trying to maintain our stands.

To walk your dog in India means, everyone in your neighbourhood would know that the fun has begun. Its an activity in which you will always have spectators around and people just waiting to see you embarrass yourself. At first you give polite apologetic smile to passersby and shopkeepers and try to ignore their looks.

Slowly as 'Buddy' would get more determined (just like Pakistan, still demanding for proof and vehemently denying everything) his nose would be stuck to the ground and he would just plow on without thinking of his mistress and best friend supposedly, still attached to the end of his leash. I, in spite of my considerable bulk (to make you understand the gravity of the situation, no snigger's please) used to practically half jog and half walk behind him screaming epithets in a language you would not want to hear now.

He would give me one look of sheer joy and his tongue lolling out of his mouth always used to make me feel he did all that 'Tamasha' on purpose. As if, he was secretly in cohorts with my neighbors and other dog owners and has to win the bet he placed on me to see 'how fast he can make me look like a raving lunatic'.

Other dog owners would give me a look of pity and took their dogs as far away from 'Buddy' as not to have a bad influence on their 'Best Friends'. Some courageous ones did befriend me and we became members of a club called 'Our dogs rule and we bite dust'.

Yesterday watching those pooches walking serenely besides their masters brought a smile to my lips. I miss 'Buddy' and my crazy walks with him. Hold on with the tissues and tears. 'Buddy' - The crazy brown Labrador is hale and hearty and is now waging this war with his adoptive parents in Nagpur. Someone else has now become the victim of his shenanigans. He is ruling the roost strong as ever with a whip of his neck and the swish of his tail and those laughing green eyes.

Saturday, 12 December 2009

Bored with Boredom

Define Fun? Can you ? I am so bored at this point that FUN has become 'Fantastically Uninteresting Notion'. No wonder the posts are not being updated regularly on this blog.

Have you ever been bored so much that you thought life was just a blur of picture frames and you wanted to pull your hair out?

Well, I am not so desperate yet, but going there at warp speed.

I am too old for dressing up and going clubbing and pubbing on weekdays and weekends. Old for getting sloshed and waking up with a massive hangover. And too young for being a grumpy old woman, sitting in warm woollen booties and talking of the good old days.

I feel like a misfit these days. Some of my friends are a decade younger and in their mid twenties and those about my age, are busy with families and kids to give me the time of the day. The younger friends are caught up in partying, work, boyfriends and having a good time.

I get along very well with younger friends. I can actually still identify with them on some level but been there,done that makes me feel jaded. Friends my age, have complicated lives . They have children, one area where I cannot share any pearls of wisdom. Also, I always feel like once they start talking about their kids, its all Greek and Latin to me. Believe me, I do try to use my minuscule grey matter, but sometimes it fails to generate the required enthusiasm. Where do I fit in?

These days my mind is full of mixture of bloody, violent scenes and cleaning products. A result of watching too much Law and Order and How clean is your home? Well, nothing good to watch on telly any more.

Myriad thoughts about my next post and the desperate attempts at humour (Somewhat like this post) are taking up most of my time. Rest is spent in reading novels and hunting for jobs (something, I am least motivated at this point of time).

I guess, I have to absolve myself with a really funny post, real fast, to avoid being thrashed by friends.

Do any of you feel like a misfit any-time? Do let me know your thoughts.

Friday, 11 December 2009

Why I hate Shopping!!!

Hey! I don't mean that literally. It was just a ruse to grab your attention. Plus, I don't want to disappoint those people, specially men, who like to package women into stereotypes . For instance, how much women talk and shop, how they want their husbands to change after marriage and such other nonsense. Bah!!!

I love shopping. To be more explicit, I love shopping when I get to buy stuff for myself (I can feel the negative vibes people). I don't mind being the go along person too....remember the don't mind part. My idea of shopping is to go and make quick decisions and buy what you want quickly. I am not so much of a fan of endless shop hopping for e.g. a dress ,that is the exact shade of 'Mauve' that will go with my Nail Varnish types. I hope you get my drift. I call such people Pain-in-the Ass-Shoppers (PITAS).

And god knows why, I am surrounded by people like that. My eldest bro-in-law and sister are both fanatic about shopping and are complete PITAS. I remember going shopping with them one time 10 years ago and we must have visited all the shops on M.G. Road in Bangalore for one brown coloured trouser. How finicky can one be? After that experience I still get nervous jitters when I am invited as a go along person with them.

Another PITAS is my darling Hubs. He is a sweetheart, but going shopping with him to buy stuff puts a sudden urge in me to make a 100 metre dash and disappear. Just yesterday we went shopping for a new mobile handset for him. It started off with a innocent little trip to buy groceries and a visit to the bank. On the way, he gave me a casual, 'I just want to go and check the mobile deals' statement. I am a sucker for his sweet statements and I went along dutifully. The mobile deal version turned out to be a 4 hour walkathon in the biting cold. We walked and checked out deals in all the mobile shops. Finally, when I was about to pass out he finalised the deal and I gasped a sigh of relief. At the end of it my butt was numb from the cold and my legs were about to fall off. Hence the name Pain in the Ass shopper.

Another time it was to buy a Suit. I had picked out a suit within 5 minutes of entering the first shop. But as you now know he is a PITAS. We spent an entire day searching for one black suit and ultimately ended up buying the one which I had chosen the first time. At the end of the day, I was about to collapse. And I get to hear statements like 'You are selfish and don't like to shop with me'. How was I to be excited at the end of the day and also that none of the shopping was for me.

I believe shopping should be fun and not a chore. When its starts becoming a torture then its time to make a quick and painless exit. So, I hate Shopping.

P.S: Please call emergency number in case you don't hear from me soon. Hubs and my sister will be thirsty for my blood after they read this post.

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