Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Let's go on a drive...

Windsor pub is this legendary drinking hole in Bangalore. The highlights here will need to be the beer, the music which is mostly blues, jazz or classic rock and the food - my favorites are the vedi erachi and the crab meatballs. It’s one of the places that become the fall back plan if all the new places in town seem too noisy, pricey, pretentious or too tish.

They have a dust bin right outside their shutter where one can dispose of trash. So while we step outside for a smoke, I ensure that garbage goes into the bin and not outside it. So I’d been there a while back with a friend (strangely this seems to be the only place we meet when we do so every once or twice a year). There was another random dude smoking a cigarette outside, sitting right near the bin - actually a step lower. Once he was done smoking, he threw the stub down. He then proceeded to eat mint, treating the wrapper in the same fashion as the stub. 

My blood boiled! I typically threaten friends and acquaintances with violence if I catch them littering. This man was no friend nor was he an acquaintance. So I took a few deep breaths to calm down, counted to 5 and addressed him politely. 

Thus ensued our conversation. 

Me: Hi, it will be great if you didn't litter. There's a dustbin right behind you. 
Random Dude: Oh, I didn't see it. 
(I then proceeded to pick up his trash. I've realized this makes litterers squirm more)
Random Dude: No, no, no. I'll do it. I usually don't litter, but I didn't see the dustbin.  

Matter dealt with and litter in the bin, the friend and I  continued our conversation only to be interrupted by random dude once again. 

Random Dude:Do you want to go on a drive?
Me: Eh? 
Random Dude: Like a drive, a clean-up drive. You, me and a few friends, we can drive around cleaning up areas.  
Me: ???

It honestly didn't sound like he wanted to clean up anything. Drive it seems. Like really? Bloody idiot!

Bee in my bonnet

There's a bee harassing me
Donning a black and yellow jacket
Armed with a sting 
My hair's on end and I can't stay in the same room as him

Go bee, go
Live your life outside my window
I have Apiphobia 
And I won't be held responsible for my actions

Monday, 25 March 2013

Holy Smoke!

I love jaggery syrup. Two reasons - it tastes yum and I think it's healthier than sugar or honey. Most breakfasty items that I eat require jaggery syrup. Bella coffee, oats with mixed nuts and jaggery syrup, jaggery syrup on toast.  It's very simple to make. Put said jaggery in boiling water till it completely dissolves. Continue boiling till syrup reaches desired consistency. Right?

I had about 3 bottles of jaggery syrup that I had made around 2 weeks back. Made in a hurry, they really didn't really match up to the desired consistency. So this morning, I woke up at 8:30 am - 3 hours before my regular wake-up time. That meant I had more time on my hands than usual, and to do justice to the preciousness that is time, I decided to fix the syrup. 

I pulled out the pan, poured my 3 bottles of syrup into it and placed it over low flame even before I had my breakfast. Breakfast was oats with mixed nuts and slightly diluted jaggery syrup with a cup of black coffee, and was had whilst watching the television. I sometimes let the coffee rest for a bit before I drink it. Today was one of those days. From time to time, while the coffee was resting, I'd get a whiff of it and think 'Ooooohhh, the jaggery in there smells so wonderful' and get so excited about eventually drinking the coffee. After about 20 minutes, the coffee was still not drunk and the beautiful whiff got stronger. I looked to my right to see smoke, actual smoke coming in from the hall. 

Only then did I realize that the beauty whiff I was smelling was burnt jaggery. My house was filled with smoke. Smoke that reduced visibility to less than 5 feet. Really! I never saw anything like it before. I'm surprised that my neighbours didn't venture out of their house to save me from what could have been a raging fire. 

So I enter the kitchen and there is my pan of what should have been lovely, golden jaggery syrup engulfed in flames. I quickly snatched the handle to douse it in water. Each step I took towards the sink was difficult as the wind blew the flame against my hand. It was as if it was seeking retribution for killing the syrup. It was bloody hot! Pan doused, I quickly turned on all the fans. My eyes were stinging, my throat burning and the fans only seemed to be spreading the smoke to every inch of the house, percolating into everything. From the balcony in the other room, I could see smoke billowing out of the hall windows. In all honesty if I had seen it from an outsiders point of view, I would have certainly alerted the fire brigade. 

It took about 15 minutes for the smoke to dissipate. It's also likely that it will take another 3 days for the smell to completely disappear; it seems to have sunk deep into everything, my clothes, the furniture, even my books. 

If you're wondering what happens to jaggery syrup when it burns, it becomes carbon. Black, porous and mean! Also tough as hell to scrape off the damn pan. 

So yes, word of advice while making jaggery syrup. Put said jaggery in boiling water till it completely dissolves. Continue boiling till syrup reaches desired consistency. And set a timer while you're at it!  

Tuesday, 19 March 2013


For the past couple of months, considering I want to be a writer, I've been thinking about writing   about something besides myself. Articles on topics that interest me, non-fiction, poetry maybe? I wasn't really sure where to start. Then opportunity presented itself, and a friend suggested I join the Write Club, a bunch of people who meet  every week to write. This was a chance to actually write about something apart from the sordid details of my life. 

I went for my first ever Write Club meetup in Bangalore a couple of days back. The topic of the meetup was Hint Fiction or Short Short Stories. Hint Fiction is a story of 25 words or less that suggests a larger, more complex story. The story is supposed to get the reader to imagine what is left unsaid. The most famous one is probably by Earnest Hemingway. It is said that he won a bet where he had to come up with a story in six words. So came about For Sale, Baby Shoes, Never Worn".

We were given 2 exercises - writing a hint story and building a larger story from the first. So here I have documented my first attempts at writing that something else. Of course, like everyone else, I too did have a go at 'Composition' during school time - it was in fact my favourite part of the English Language paper. I even remember getting a 25 on 25 (NERD!!!!!) for one of them, titled Yearning - the story of an unborn child. In retrospect, I wonder why I chose a subject so morbid... So yeah, back to my first attempts at writing that something else.

Exercise 1: 

The man followed the trail - hoof marks and scat. It turned a corner and disappeared behind a bush. As he flew through the air, he thought to himself, "That damn buffalo."

Exercise 2: 

There was hardly a sound; except for the mating call of a yellow beaked bird. The jungle was still, the leaves on the trees barely stirring. If one listened carefully, one could discern the footfall of the man, the rustle of his clothes and the crack as a twig snapped beneath his foot. 

The man continued on the trail - following the hoof marks and scat. He picked up a brown pellet off the ground. It was still warm, fresh. The trail turned a corner, disappearing behind a bush, not really a trail anymore.  

The man paused; a premonition that in a moment or two, his destiny would change. Thirty thousand dollars. That was what was promised in exchange for the bulls head on a trophy. A new rifle, new boots and then some. Thirty thousand dollars would also buy him a ticket, a new lease at life.This would be the last time. The man shook his head as if to banish his thoughts and deal with the matter at hand. 

It would only be a few more minutes. Just as he cocked the rifle, the wind was knocked out of him. He flew through the air and landed seven feet away.  "That damn beast", he thought before it lifted him once again and flung him further away, then proceeding to trample him. He was one with the earth now. One last thought flickered through his mind as he breathed his last, "The hunter has become the hunted."

Don't think it's really good, but it's a start. And it's not bad either. Hah! Will try more of this. 

Two last things, 

1) When Roald Dahl said, "You never know when a lovely idea is going to flit suddenly into your mind, but by golly, when it does come along, you grab it with both hands and hang on to it tight. The trick is to write it down at once, otherwise you'll forget it.", he must have meant getting inspired by Hint Fiction. 

2) Woody Allen too writes some semblance of it. My favourite one is from his book "Without Feathers", a piece called "A Day in the Life of a Doe" from the chapter Lesser Known Ballets. So it goes like this "Unbearably lovely music is heard as the curtain rises, and we see the woods on a summer afternoon. A fawn dances on and nibbles slowly at some leaves. He drifts lazily through the soft foliage. Soon he starts coughing and drops dead." I love it!

This side up...

So yes, the poor stupid man.

I don't have any of his problems. Thank god for small mercies - and ACT Broadband!  

Thursday, 14 March 2013

And splat goes the mosquito!

Before I proceed, I must inform you of the following.

a) I love most creatures that make up the animal/bird/bug kingdom. Mosquitoes however are undeserving of my love.

b) This post is graphic. Many, many, many mosquitoes were harmed, tortured or killed during (and prior to) the making of this entry.

Mosquitoes have been a very wretched part of my life since my childhood. I have them to thank for the many, many scars that my otherwise sexy legs are riddled with. I believe they are fond of my blood. Even when standing in a group, they smell me out. They drink large quantities of my blood. They make that znzzznznznnznz noise around my head, yet stay invisible. And once darkness sets in, they are the bane of my life.

I've had enough! And I have now developed a thirst for their blood. Quid pro quo. And therefore this post. Also since I am such a thoughtful personality, always looking to save mankind, I must share tips on HOW TO KILL A MOSQUITO AND ENJOY DOING SO.

Method 1: Grabitty Grab

Grab the mosquito, as you would somebody's shirt collar when you're itching for a fight. One of the 3 things happen.

1) Your timing is a little off and it escapes. No worries.. life usually gives you many second chances. 
2) It gets smashed somewhere in that pretty hand of yours. Oh happiness and joy. 
3) If there is still some flicker of life left in it, hold it by a leg or a wing and pull out every other appendage. For best result, start with the legs and then proceed to the wings. 

Method 2: One tight slap!

Slap it how you would a creepy man or someone you loathe. Here as well, you are presented with two scenarios.

1) While it feasts on you. 
2) While it rests on a flat surface engorged by a mad feeding frenzy; one that has left you with an itch that certainly needs scratching. 

In both cases, it will most certainly leave a mess. But your appetite for destruction will be fed, for a while at least.

Method 3: Fried!

Find that that magical device called the Mosquito Swatter that's available on most city streets for as little as Rs. 150.  They come in bright colours, and if you're really lucky, the one you pick up might even have a mosquito motif on it.  Ensure you charged it well for best effects.

The minute you sense a mosquito invading your airspace, wave it over your head and everywhere else. It's alright if you miss it the first time, the second or the eighth even. The minute it makes contact with the bat, it's truly a treat for the senses. You see that pretty silver spark before you snuff the life out of it, you hear the crackle of it getting fried and an acrid smell fills the air - not really a pleasant one, but one very satisfying.

For a spectacular fireworks display, it would do you good to find a dark room where the mosquito and its mates roost. The kitchen is ideal. Switch on the light and dance away.

Method 4: The Clap

This method works best when you are wearing black and you have a little whirlwind of those infernal creatures flying over your head - open your palms and clap them just above your head. If you happen to make a killing (more than 3 nos mosquitoes with a single clap), wash your hands and then pat yourself on the back.

This also works when the whirlwind is over someone else's head. Two things here - you startle that someone else, but 100% satisfaction guaranteed.

Method 5: Protector of the Universe

When you see a friend in danger, quickly put on your superhero cape. The mosquito is likely to be poised to sit on the aforementioned friend's back or hair (really!). Your hand action should be similar to Tip 2, but much much gentler of course. You wouldn't want to hurt your friend, would you?

Word of advice here - Most people don't understand that they are required to express gratitude to you after this manoeuvre. They usually care only about themselves. They respond with one of the following. "Yuck, that's gross!" or "Oh no, my hair!" But fret not, secretly you know they are grateful. 

So yes, these are some of the ways in which you can save the planet, one (or more) pesky mosquito at a time.  In case you're wondering what brought about this act of selflessness and sharing, it was the Grabitty Grab! 


Saturday, 9 March 2013

Colour me happy

Trees with flowers purple and yellow
They make me a colour happy fellow
From rage, it transforms my mood to mellow

Thursday, 7 March 2013


So yes, on the aforementioned subject of Panic, a solution has been arrived at. Confession.

While it really drained me emotionally, I wouldn't do it any other way. I fucked up spectacularly and the day of reckoning had to arrive. Today was my day of reckoning.

And I am better as a result of it.

Just an aside, my parents handled it brilliantly. It makes me look at them with new eyes; with more respect, with more love, and oh so much gratitude. My brilliant father also confessed to having done similar things in his younger days; the only difference being that he didn't get caught.

They really rock!

Wednesday, 6 March 2013


So I screwed up about a year back with respect to something my parents had asked me to do. I kept putting it away thinking I would do it at some point of time. I really meant to, but i kept making excuses, and now it has come back to bite me in the ass.

Lessons learned. 

  • Procrastination is a bitch. 
  • If I lie, I should be able to pull something off; but I wont be able to live with it. 
  • If  I tell my parents about it, they are never again going to trust me - with anything. Ever. 

I typically pride myself on being able to tell them what is going on in my life, rather than lie about it. I hope I can find a solution to this with as little drama as possible.

I don't think I've ever been more ashamed of myself than now. It's a wake up call.

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Family... the ties that bind and gag

Once there were 2 siblings
Born on the same day 5 years apart
They were as close as close could be
Each married, had a family of their own 
The families too were close

There was this piece of property 
It was never established who it belonged to
Time passed by 
Speaking about the property was taboo
As each one claimed it as their own 

The property was then put up for sale 
The siblings shared the income from the sale
Time passed by 
All could have been happy 
But speaking about the property was still taboo

A feud began
Tempers flared and ego reared its ugly head
Time passed by 
The siblings didn't speak any more
The families grew distant 

Once there were 2 siblings
Born on the same day 5 years apart
One of them is ill now
The other an alcoholic
Today is their birthday

Friday, 1 March 2013

The importance of being occupied.

Is it just me or does anyone else notice the regression from happy me to not so happy me over the past couple of months? As the time passes by and I do nothing, I seem to be getting more and more dissatisfied and disinterested. I have slipped into this false sense of comfort and have let it cloak every pore of my being.  

It feels like time will run out soon and my once content heart will be filled with regret. 

I need a new worm! NOW!