Tuesday, July 28, 2009


- People who start/accept a game of Scrabble, and if it looks like they’re losing, they either forfeit immediately or simply abandon the game. FINISH THE EFFING GAME!

- People who drive at 25mph in a 60mph zone under the impression that they are “driving safely”. They are NOT! They are the primary cause of road rage.

- People who drink too much and then spend the entire evening glued to me, saying the same boring nonsensical things over and over till I could scream.

- People who bring sodding huge pushchairs/buggies (festooned with bags full of “bargains” from trendy shops) into narrow aisles, with not an apology for getting in the way of others.

- Gale-force cold winds that shred my plants beyond hope of recovery, and rain that drowns what's left, even though it's supposedly summer.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Sashi? Who she?

Do you remember the nursery rhyme “Where are you going to, my pretty maid”? It’s the basis of my possibly first ever (totally unintended) joke, when I was maybe 9 or 10 years old. (This was when we were living in Tanzania.) I was hanging out with girls who were much older than me. These goddesses were between 14-17 years old, and they were rehearsing for the Indian Association’s annual “get-together” in Dar es Salaam, when a variety of performances were staged by children and adults throughout the day.

Anyway, I was at that awkward age where I didn’t fit in with the little children (in my opinion) nor with the older ones (in their opinion) and in any case I wasn’t taking part in anything. The only reason I was even in the room was because the mothers had decided to put me with the older girls with instructions to be quiet and not disturb their rehearsal.

I more than willing to be quiet – it was thrilling just to be there because I considered these teenagers to be impossibly sophisticated. And so it proved, because after I was sworn to silence about everything they did or said, they proceeded to talk about exciting (and sometimes puzzling) things - the latest fashion, the latest Hindi movie dance steps, shaving the hair from their arms and legs, boys who were considered flirty, and so on. After a good bit of gossip and giggling, the girls finally began to rehearse their programme – three of them were “men”, the other three were milkmaids, and they sang the nursery rhyme “Where are you going to, my pretty maid” as a duet.

I hadn’t heard this before, and after the first session, I turned to the nearest milkmaid and asked, puzzled, “Who is *Sashi?”

She looked just as puzzled and said “What do you mean, who is Sashi?”

“You all were singing it - “I’m going amilking **Sashi said”,” I explained.

Her face cleared and she started laughing.

“It’s not “Sashi said”, it’s “SIR she said”!” she explained, before asking me to repeat to the others what I’d said. There was a lot of laughter, but luckily the girls chose to see my question as funny rather than stupid, and even praised my sense of humour. It was a heady feeling, being “accepted” in the older group. It was an even headier feeling when I got a lot of laughs from the adults later that evening while we were watching the performers go through the rehearsal in public, and I trotted out my ignorant question as a deliberate joke.

I’ve never forgotten that day, or the rhyme, or the melody.

*In my defence, I knew a girl called Sashi.

**And in my further defence, that’s how “sir she” sounded to me when the girls sang their line, repeating "sir she said" three times as per the tune to which it was set.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Timepass meme while I wait for a real idea...


- Available: Nope
- Age: Twice twenty
- Annoyance: Noisy music
- Animal: as in favourite? Dog.


- Beer: No, thanks.
- Birthday/Birthplace: March 1/Baroda
- Body Part on opposite sex: Smile
- Best feeling in the world: The last day of work.
- Blind or Deaf: Deaf, if I must make a choice.
- Best weather: Warm, but not hot, with a gentle breeze
- Been in Love: Constantly.
- Been on stage?: 2-3 times *shudder*
- Believe in yourself?: Yeah – for good and bad.
- Believe in life on other planets: Don’t I have to believe in other planets first?
- Believe in miracles: Godly ones, no.
- Believe in Magic: Hell yes.
- Believe in God: Yes – too bad it’s the kind of God I don’t want for a God.


- Car: Mitsubishi Shogun
- Candy: Dark chocolate.
- Color: Orange.
- Cried in school: In public? Yes, as a kid, I’m sure.
- Chocolate/Vanilla: Vanilla frosting on chocolate cake.
- Country to visit: Can’t limit myself to just one.


- Day or Night: Day.
- Danced: Never.
- Dance in the rain?: Prance, yes. Dance, no.
- Do the splits?: Never


- Eggs: Plain omelette, made by expert omelette chef in restaurants.
- Eyes: Mine? Small. Ideal? Anne Hathaway’s (“The Devil Wears Prada” actress)
- Everyone has: Something to whine about.


- First crush: Hahaha. A LONG while ago
- First thoughts waking up: Jeez, is it getting up time already?
- Food: Vegetarian.
- Greatest Fear: Losing my loved ones.
- Giver or taker: Changes according to mood.
- Goals: Yes. One or two.
- Get along with your parent(s)?: Yep.


- Hair Colour: Brownish reddish black (and some white).
- Height: 5’8”
- Happy: Mostly.
- How do you want to die: Peacefully and painlessly.
- Health freak?: Would like to be.
- Hate: Religious fanaticism.


- Ice Cream: Strawberry with real strawberry pieces in it. Or vanilla made with real vanilla beans.
- Instrument: Favourite to listen to – flute.


- Jewelry: Preferably not.
- Job: Would like one that pays better with less work. Any offers?


- Kids: No thanks.
- Kickboxing or karate: Don’t know don’t care.
- Keep a journal?: Used to.

- Love: All that’s mine.
- Laughed so hard you cried: Yep.
- Love at first sight: Living proof.


- Mooned anyone?: Nope.
- Marriage: Only if you can be faithful.
- Motion sickness?: Never, and I’m so pleased about it!


- Number of Siblings: 2
- Number of Piercings: 2


- One wish: That religion didn’t exist. Would save human beings a lot of trouble.


- Place you'd like to live: On my own island (with all possible amenities available, natch).
- Perfect Pizza: Don’t much like pizza.
- Pepsi/Coke: Coke.


- Questionnaires: Love ‘em, especially this kind. Not official ones, though.


- Reason to cry: *sigh*
- Reality T.V: Call it reality? Hahahaha!
- Roll your tongue in a circle: No.


- Song: current favorite – As long as we’re clear that it’s MY current favourite, not on the charts… Sunidhi Chauhan’s “Kaisi Paheli Zindagani” from the movie Parineeta; and Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama”.
- Shoe size: 7
- Slept outside: Often as a kid.
- Seen a dead body? A few, unfortunately.
- Smoked?: A few puffs as a teenager.
- Skinny dipped?: Nope.
- Shower daily?: Yep. For the hair if nothing else.
- Sing well?: Nope.
- In the shower?: Occasionally
- Swear?: Swear that I sing in the shower? Or swear in the shower?
- Stuffed Animals?: Yes please.
- Single/Group dates: Party for two.
- Strawberries/Blueberries: Strawberries.
- Scientists need to invent: A personal time-adjusting machine – “Slow” setting for good times and “speed up” for bad times.


- Time for bed: When I’m sleepy.
- Thunderstorms: Time for samosas.
- TV: Scrubs, Law & Order (all of them), Friends, and many more.
- Touch your tongue to your nose: Nope.


- Unpredictable: How do I predict that?


- Vegetable you hate: Aubergine/brinjal/eggplant
- Vegetable you love: Potato (but there are many others too, honest!)
- Vacation spot: Ever-changing.


- Weakness: Food.
- When you grow up: Hope never to.
- Worst feeling: Losing my dad.
- Wanted to be a model?: No.
- Where do we go when we die: To your favourite childhood place.
- Worst weather: Wintry sleet and icy winds.


-X-Rays: Yep, had ‘em done a couple of times.


-Year it is now: 2009
- Yellow: Greedy fellow :D


- Zoo animal: Platypus (not that I’ve seen one)
- Zodiac sign: Pisces

Monday, July 06, 2009

I dont get it

There are plenty of things that get my goat, but none so quickly as the “marked down” items in supermarkets – the “reduced for quick sale” shelves, which display items that are past their sell-by dates. That wouldn’t be so bad in itself, except that when it comes to fresh (!) produce, the fruits and vegetables there are not just past their sell-by dates, they’re well past the use-bys too. Sometimes the only thing they’re fit for is the rubbish bin (or compost bin, for the greener type of folk) because honestly, the fruits or veg are literally decaying, putrefying under the plastic wrap.

And yet the supermarkets have the gall, the absolute effrontery to sell these nasty worm-food items with stickers that say “half price”! Is there nothing they wouldn’t try to make quick buck (or quid) off? I can’t believe people would pay for these things. It takes the concept of “basics” to disgusting depths and my dearest dream is to package the rotting items for special delivery to the multi-billionaire Lord Whosits and Sir Whatsits who own these behemoth supermarkets. Preferably personal delivery, thrown with accuracy and care at their fat-cat smirking faces.


Next, fashion – women’s fashion, to be precise. Form-fitting clothes are the norm, with t-shirts and tops outlining the female shape, sometimes cut low in the front to display cleavage. But if there is any hint of nipples in that outline, watch out - that is a fashion no-no. I don’t get it. And which fashion expert decided that it was unacceptable, anyway?

Why is it acceptable for the shape of the breast to be outlined, but not the nipples? I’m talking about visibility through the cloth – not skin displays! What’s the big deal about nipples, anyway? They’re part of the breasts. Everybody knows that. Everybody has them (excepting the rare anomalies for whatever reason). So why do the same women who wear fitted or tight clothes go to such efforts to disguise the presence of their nipples at the same time?

“They attract men’s attention” doesn’t cut it as a reason – that’s what the tops/tees do in the first place.

Any rational explanations, folks?

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Sunday Scribblings - "Toys"

I don’t think I had many toys when I was growing up, mainly because I begged for books instead. I do remember having one doll – with long golden hair - which mostly lived in the cupboard because I didn’t play with it much. For a while the doll remained in the original packaging as my parents didn’t want the doll to get dirty. But the packaging was eventually discarded.

The doll had a comb for its hair, but that idea didn’t work very well because the nylon hair had a tendency to get terribly tangled. I didn’t have the patience to untangle it - which is perhaps the reason for the mysterious hairstyle change that the doll underwent one day.

I honestly don’t remember how it happened, but the doll’s hair became short in the back, with uneven bangs over the forehead. I admit to having had a fascination with the “Sadhana cut” and with Zeenat Aman’s hairstyle in the movie Qurbani, and I remember my dad’s amused remark that I had probably played hairdresser to the doll – but I protested my innocence then and I maintain to date that I have no recollection of any such events... if the deed was indeed mine, so to speak.

In any case, the doll’s appearance was not improved by its shorter hair. In fact, it became sort of bald, revealing the little holes in its cranium which had once held the golden strands. The doll remained shut away from everyday life thereafter, although it dutifully traveled with us wherever my dad was transferred. I don’t recall what happened to the doll in the end – I think perhaps that a younger cousin took possession of it, bald head and all.

The one type of toy that I did play with were cardboard dolls. I had received a couple of books as birthday presents, which had dolls made of cardboard with dresses and hats made of paper, that I could cut out and attach to the dolls by means of little foldable tabs. There were only a few dresses, and I soon got bored with their limitations. That was when I began drawing and colouring my own dresses for the dolls.


When the original cardboard dolls eventually lost their heads and hands, I began drawing my own version of the dolls – very basic, with their arms and legs ending in bland curves, with no hands or feet.


But soon I evolved a thumb for the hands (but no fingers) and a foot shape for the legs (but no toes) because it was difficult to draw gloves or boots for bland curves, and even more difficult to attach them to the cardboard doll.


At first I painstakingly cut out the clothes that I’d drawn and coloured, fitting them to my basic dolls to check if the designs (!) looked nice on them. Fairly soon this grew to be a painfully boring process – especially if I forgot to draw or cut out the tabs, which made it impossible for my dolls to model the clothes – and I stuck to merely drawing and colouring the various dresses, gowns, swim suits, hats, boots, shoes and other accessories on plain sheets of paper. In the end it wasn’t the dolls that interested me, it was the artwork involved. I enjoyed doing this for a while, especially when a friend of my mother admired my “creativity”, remarking that I could be a fashion designer.

Unfortunately, though, books turned out to be consistently much more interesting, and the few thoughts I’d had about fashion fizzled out completely, replaced by a strong desire to become a journalist (helped along by the fact that my best subject in school was English composition).

And so the loss to the world of fashion design came about... although I can't really claim that the world of journalism gained anything either.

Oh well.

PS. Please forgive the extreme amateurishness of the illustrations. I can't draw with a mouse!