Friday, October 24, 2008

The Broken Dryer...

" Rain Rain Go AWAY
You make my days oh so grey
The pitter patter on my pane
Is driving me quite insane
My toes are wet, my clothes are damp
If you went, who'd give a damn ?
So, Rain Rain GO AWAY!!! "

As bad as my friend's poetic skills were, I found it hard to repress my mirth at the irony of the situation. Here I was praying for torrential rains to wash away the Diwali crackers while she desperately spouted bad poetry to bring back the scorching Chennai sun.
" V, why don't you just stay indoors with a steaming cuppa and enjoy the cozy weather?"
The withering glance my suggestion earned should have fried it to a crisp, but I was too ebullient to even notice.
"Considering that I am almost running out of clothes, I will have to do just that..Stay indoors downing cuppas after cuppas!!!"
"So, why on earth aren't you using a damn dryer?" I demanded crossly, every fat cell in my body quivering with exasperation.
"Because darling," She purred "WE LIVE IN A BLOOMING DRYER...& NOW IT'S BROKEN!!"
:) :)

Pop Goes The Ear Drums!

" Monday's Diwali" I announced gloomily. Next to me, kitty's face reflects the very same emotion, but with much greater intensity. Only DSK perks up, seemingly oblivious to the misery of his women folk who were huddled together on the couch.
" Maybe the depression in the Bay will hang around for a couple more days. If it continues to pour through the weekend, then not very many are going to venture out to burst firecrackers....Or would they?"

Hope does spring eternal in the feline breast though Ging looked anything but convinced. Her expression spoke volumes about the nasty loud bangers that was going to wreck havoc with our nerves, the acrid smoke which would sear the linings of our nostrils and throats before it encased our lungs in its vice grip and the deluge of store brought boxes of sweets which was coming our way.
Kitty's caustic glance, so pregnant with meaning, vapourised the tantalising glimmer of hope that had dangled before me just minutes ago. Even at my optimistic best, I could not imagine Diwali being a wash-out in Chennai.
As I muttered mutinously to myself about people's selfish ' Oh, I couldn't care less' attitudes, the endangered planet and the trauma that awaited hundreds of orphan animals in the city, another unpleasant truth struck me.... The rains were bound to plaster the cracker debris on to the dusty streets and tarred roads, escalating the city's litter quotient to unprecedented levels for the next couple of days!!!
All at once, a wet weekend did not seem very appealing!

" Well, at least you can crawl under the bed and hide....I can't even do that" I told Ging huffily.
Kitty groomed me a bit to soothe my ruffled fur. It seemed that, for once, she wouldn't mind sharing her hidey space with mommy. We were after all sisters under the skin, united in our dislike of all things loud and offensive to our senses.

" It appears that your wishes may come least in part" Dsk pops his head out of the paper long enough to give us a quick update "The papers report that crackers are not only more expensive this year but they are also in short supply due to the rains..."
Another ray of hope glittered before me....
Who would have guessed that inflation would prove to be an ally in our war against the bangers?
Barely able to supress my glee, I peered out of the window to mumble a few more fervent entreaties to the dark rolling rain clouds....And at that precise moment, the sun chose to smile down on me
*deep sigh*

Monday, October 20, 2008


Yesterday evening, the Government in Tamil Nadu exploded a Diwali pataka on the unsuspecting electorate....By unveiling its " Use Less, Pay More" policy for power consumption.
In about 2 weeks from now, domestic consumption will necessarily have to be reduced by 20%, failing which families will have to shell out 50% more for every additional unit consumed.

The same holds good for shops, restaurants and other such low tension commercial & industrial users.
Heavy Industries and Software firms are to cut consumption by 40% and also, delink from the grid for the prescribed 4 hours in the evenings.
And the icing on the cake? The state will continue to experience scheduled power cuts as well as those of the unscheduled kind. Of course, h
ospitals, educational institutions, media houses, telephone exchanges, railway connections, milk processing units are all exempt.
And rightly so.
Also among those who will escape the axe are Embassies, Fertiliser Factories and.......*Gasp* Government Buildings. To think, I actually believed darkness provided the perfect cover for nefarious activities.....
But surprise of surprises!..... Temple festivals are also exempt...
Religion is indeed sustenance for the soul. And community celebrations, fun unlimited.

But since when did it sustain economic development or put food on the tables of the masses?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

A Time For Bread & Water ?

The recession is back. And this time, it seems scarier than ever. The media keeps churning out reports about plummeting stocks, credit crunches, bankruptcy of Companies and even Countries, disaster sales, layoffs and downsizing!!
Speculation is rife. The air is thick with fear and insecurity. Cost cutting has become the mantra of the day as businesses tighten their belts and gird their loins to ride the storm. Desperate times most definitely call for desperate measures.And I was not too surprised when I arrived at an office for a meeting this morning to find only one elevator operational. The other had been temporarily shut-down because the management did not trust its employees to voluntarily reduce the frequency of their rides. As I waited in the lobby, I was all too aware of an orphan telephone in the background which rang shrilly.. incessantly....and most annoyingly. There was no operator in sight....Perhaps he too had fallen victim to the recession. A harried gentleman who was waiting for the lift with me, kept answering the phone. He had an aura that screamed seniority and I was impressed by his willingness to attend to the lowly telephone in no man's land. All the more so when I heard him exasperatedly instructing subordinates to shepherd their visitors in themselves as the operator and day security for the building had been let go.
We, the gentleman and I, had waited 15 minutes before the elevator eventually opened its doors to reveal its insides crammed with youngsters...tighter than sardines in a can. Much to our surprise, none stepped out and the elevator doors shut in our face amidst giggles from the sardines within.
" Did they actually board the elevator on the 3rd floor, ride all the way down and then back to the second floor?" I incredulously asked the gentleman.
" Yes, indeed. The youngsters in this building actually ride the lift between single floors. The staircase is only a meeting spot where they catch up for their cuppa and hot gossip." He sighed deeply " This is the problem with the young new workers of today. The modern amenities that offices provide have spoilt them terribly and they are increasingly unwilling to stretch a little, even when the times are hard. And then they crib and fight when they are laid off. I don't understand why they are unable to realise that they have no reason to expect any Company to take care of them when they are unwilling to participate in the very same Company's survival efforts. "

His words rang in my ears long after we parted.
Back in my office, later on in the day, as I read reports of the now famous Jet Layoffs and the politicians who had jumped into the fray as defenders of the unemployed, I could not help but wonder out aloud how anyone could fault the airline considering the large employee costs that it incurred to keep their flying crew happy. A colleague who overheard me, raised an eye brow in silent query. And I found myself narrating the morning's incident to him.
Much to my surprise he agreed whole-heartedly. " Most of the youngsters of today have stardust in their eyes" he declared " They think their education, regardless of what it is, entitles them for a job, fat salaries and handsome perks. They lack the commitment to themselves - to learn, improve and grow, let alone to the Companies they work in . They are just interested in the easy money and status symbols - cell phone, laptop, bikes... And their arrogance is unbearable. Their attitude is my way or the highway...How does one deal with that?"
I wasn't very sure if this attitude pertained to youngsters only. Money, I suspect, has a way of turning any one's head. A lot of my peers in various industries,used to the good life, have had no compunctions about deserting the ship in search of greener pasteurs. For a moment, I thought about the staff at Jet Airways who had been taken off the roster without any warning. Imagine their horror the next morning, when realisation dawned that the non-appearance of their ride to work was not due to a flat or a break down but because they no longer had a job. Surely no one's arrogance could not stretch so far as to render them immune to the the reality of being unemployed.
"I have indicated to some of my subordinates that if the present trend continues, there will be no increments forthcoming in spring 2009. And can you believe it, they are not only upset about it but they also crib about the fact that our Company has tightened its spend on little luxuries like cabs, power, air travel, etc. How much will it the cutting of a couple of thousands help, is what they ask me. Can you imagine??? Instead of being grateful that they still have a job, they are cribbing."
Maybe, I told him, its time for all of us to realise that we need to forgo the butter, margarine and even the toast. And on that parting thought, I left to book my train tickets back home....
Viva La Compania!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Resurrection Of Ms. Piggy

" Do you know what my little one is up to these days? " Although Pradeep's voice was deceptively innocent, I thought I heard a trace of repressed laughter and suspected that my karmic sibling was about to deal a blow to my self-esteem.I was right. "She keeps stalking my father trying to tell him the story of the three little pigs. The only problem is that she can't get past the first line and keeps repeating - There were three little pigs: Rekha Piggy, Shaki Piggy and ETA piggy- over and over again "
This was indeed a blow. I had become an oinking porker, courtesy my little niece ETA, and I had only myself to blame.

It all started one Sunday evening, a few weeks ago, when Dsk and I had gone over to Pradeep's place for drinks and dinner. A few cranberry Breezers later, I succumbed to his elder daughter's pleas for a bedtime story and a historical one at that. So when the clock struck 10, we snuggled together on her bed and I tried to narrate the story of Elizabeth I without divulging much about the lurid details . I had barely progressed to Anne Boleyn's pregnancy when our little cuddle bunny ETA clambered on board and wedged herself firmly between her elder sister and me. Quite naturally, the circumstances surrounding the birth of Queen E was far too complex for ETA's baby mind and before long, she was clamouring for a simpler tale. It wasn't an easy switch to make and the only one which sprang to my mind at such short notice was that of the Three Little Pigs. You know, the Three Little Pigs who went to the woods to build houses of hay, sticks and bricks and was pursued by the big bad wolf who gobbled up two porkers after blowing down their houses, but eventually was outwitted by the third who was shacked up in the brick house. This was how I had heard it as a child and when my mother read it out to me, it did not occur to me to do anything more than listen with rapt attention. But ETA being ETA was not the one to accept my tales quietly.
" Once upon a time, there were three little piggys"
" piigyysss? who?"
" Well, the 3 pigs were Rekha Piggy, Shaki Piggy and ETA Piggy" I am rewarded by a gurgle of laughter. ETA, obviously, approves of my choice of names. " The 3 piggies went to the forest"
" Why?"
" They did not have houses to live in and wanted to build houses for themselves." In the darkness, I could make out faint creases of the frown that wrinkled her little forehead. But before she could ask me what happened to the parent piggies or the house she lived in, I hurried on " They sang and danced in the forest. And suddenly came across a pile of hay. Rekha piggy who was a lazy piggy decided to make a house of hay and live in it."
Now I am normally not so self effacing but something told me that if Rekha Piggy did not lead the way in the story, her two little charges in real live would be sleepily squabbling late into the night. Besides, the call of the Breezers was rather strong and I was dying to get back to my drink. Shaki piggy and ETA piggy went further into the forest until they found a pile of sticks. Shaki thought a stick house would be strong and decided to make one to live in. But little ETA piggy who was much much smarter decided to find something stronger to make her house. So she bravely went on by herself till she found a pile of bricks and built herself a brick house. One day, a big bad wolf came..."
" Wolf? what?"
" Wolf...errr...."
" She does not know what a wolf is...tell her lion or dog" That was Vishaka a.k.a Shaki piggy who had come to my rescue
" OK, one day, a big bad dog came to the hay house and wanted to eat Rekha piggy. He asked her to come out but Rekha piggy thought her house was strong and said no to him. She made rude piggy faces which made the dog very very angry. And so he huffed and puffed and blew down her house....and gobbled her up" Beside me, I could sense movement. ETA was on her haunches, patting me all over to check for missing fingers, hands or feet. " ETA, I am OK...nothing's happened to me....this is only a story" Not satisfied, ETA settled herself into my arms ostensibly to chase away any doggy that might appear to swallow me whole. "The bad dog then went to Shaki piggy's house and asked her to come out. But Shaki piggy was smart. She asked the bad dog to count to ten and then ran out of the back door all the way to ETA piggy's house. So, the angry dog huffed and puffed and blew down the stick house, but found no one to eat."
I figured one dead piggy provided sufficient violence for a modern day fairy tale. And besides, I did not fancy being sued by my niece many years later for psychological trauma caused by me consigning her to a fictitious dog's rumbling belly!!
" Rekha, you also come to my house"
" Errrr"
I wasn't so sure about introducing resurrection into the story but Shaki piggy once again interjected
' You better go to her house. Otherwise she will argue with us all night and we will never finish. I want to hear about Elizabeth I after this. "
" When the hay house was blown down, Rekha piggy ran to Shaki piggy's house. And..."
" Rekha, you come my house"
" All right, so Rekha piggy ran straight to ETA piggy's house..."
The look of pure joy that lit up ETA's face would have put a Christmas tree to shame. I almost hated myself for reintroducing the dog and bursting her bubble, but ETA the self proclaimed piggy warrior was raring to go.
" And for some time, the three piggies lived happily in the brick house. One day, when they were drinking tea, the big bad dog came to the brick house....He growled at the piggies and asked them to come out so that he could eat them....Rekha and Shaki were scared....."
In my arms, the ferocious little warrior princess flailed her limbs to drive home the message. As I was at the receiving end, I had no choice but to concur, hoping all the while that I would not be taken to task by some over zealous animal activist.
" Yes ETA, you beat the dog and he ran away...never to come back again...And the 3 piggies lived happily in their house"
" And papa and mama"
" Yes, with papa and mama"
And I thought that was the end of the tale.
So you can imagine my surprise when Pradeep enlightened me about my little PR agent, who was enthusiastically spreading the word that I was a pig!!! This must have been how Victor Frankenstein felt when he beheld his Creature.
As my sibling dissolved in helpless laughter, I made a mental note to try Cinderella the next time....And No prizes for guessing who the protagonist is going to be.
Rekharella...rolls well off the tongue, doesn't it?

Sunday, October 12, 2008

The Tailor Up My Road

I must admit that dividing time between Bangalore and Chennai most definitely has its advantages.....I get to catch up with old friends, eat my favourite cuisines and above all, continue patronising my tailor who has been outfitting me these past many years. In fact, I sometimes think I have the best of both worlds....A thought, which I confess, does not go down very well with Dsk.

The sight of me carefully packing bolts of fabric for a trip to Bangalore never fails to irk hubby dearest and provoke eloquent speeches on the skills of the Chennai dress makers. No small wonder that I have taken to packing my bags in the dead of the night, long after the household has retired to bed.

But despite the best of my efforts at subterfuge, a few days back, Dsk managed to stumble on a pile of fabric beside my Bangalore bound bags.
" I really don't understand why you have to carry all this to Bangalore? When will you wake up to the fact that there are good dress makers in Chennai as well? You don't even give them a chance"
" But I am comfortable with the tailor I have. We understand each other and I just don't want to change something that is working well"
*Sticking my thick lower lip out mutinously*
"Where is your sense of adventure? I mean, you might just find a tailor here to be so much better..Why not try? There is that boutique up the road. Why don't you check it out?. ..."
I would have liked to argue further to and resist Dsk's efforts to prise me out of my comfortable rut. But his dig at my sense of adventure hit home. What if there was a better seamster round the corner, just waiting to be discovered? And what was more, the boutique up the road did offer to undertake embroidery as well, something my current dressmaker did not.

So the next morning, armed with my fabric, I marched purposefully up the road in search of the Ladies Tailor and soon was stepping into the cool confines of Chitra's Boutique.
The boutique was quite unlike anything I had seen so far. The walls, shelves and the windows glittered and gleamed with a variety of sequined, gilded creations in all colours of the rainbow. As my eyes adjusted to the kaleidoscope of colours around me, I spotted a diminutive, short sighted gentleman with a manic grin and a measuring tape slung around his neck.

Clearly, this was not the Chitra of the name board fame....Unless she had undergone a gender change.
I contemplated retreating with my precious fabric but his hunter's instincts proved to be greater than my survival instincts and I was soon effusively escorted to his work desk.
" Err, I want to stitch salwars....I have drawn designs...." He peered at the proffered scrawls with a frown. "I would like some embroidery on the salwars as well..Can I see some embroidery designs?"
Embroidery, it appeared, was the key. For all at once, his brow cleared and with puppy dog enthusiasm he responded "Madam, don't worry... I do and give"
" Okieeee, but what will you do? Can I see patterns?"
" Patterns? No patterns...I do and give"
I had half expected him whip out half a dozen design books and his thread palette but instead he seemed to expect me to blindly trust his creative genius, of which I had had no experience what so ever.
" What will you do?" .
I persisted, not willing to be swayed by his infectious enthusiasm. And perhaps he sensed my doubt. With a grand flourish, he waved at the dazzling creations all around " Madam see...All I do...I make beautiful dresses for you"
Little did he realise that his marketing spiel had only sent madam's spirits plummeting faster that the stock markets!!!
" No, I do not want anything like these...I don't like shiny gold all over my dresses...I have to wear these dresses for meetings and office....Not in Chennai but in other cities as well....I need sober, smart clothes...Can you do that???"
" Madam no like chamki?" he asked me incredulously, his eyes wide open.
" No"
" Sequins? Gold Ribbons?"
His hopes were being bludgeoned to death by my icy glares. "Do you understand what I need? I don't need clothes for a wedding...I need to wear them to work"
My blood pressure was rising to dangerous levels and yet, he wasn't giving up
" But madam, how will dress have GET-UP??? At least I use gold thread? I put design here and there, OK ya?"
His dogged determination wore out my resolve and I decided to stop arguing and entrust my precious fabric into his care. " OK, I have explained my likes to you..Now, let me see how good you are..After all, I am the customer and I need come back if, and only if, I like the dresses you make"

Having said my piece, I was about to sweep out of the store with my head held high, when he stopped me in my tracks
"But madam, after I finish, you cannot tell me that you did not like the dress or refuse to come back.........."
I back tracked just to check if he was joking, but his steady gaze indicated otherwise....The man was dead serious!!!
Wonder what Martin Luther King, Peter Drucker and the Gurus of marketing would have made of this one???

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The Wrath Of The Spider Woman

"Maids, can't live with them...can't live without them" I announced to Ging, who looked as harried as I did after taking in the mess on the floor. Our maid Shanthi, in a fit of rage, had just swept jars of our favourite pickles off the counter on to the floor and was now glaring most defiantly at me. And the cause for her ire? That I had dared to draw her attention to the gossamer laced shelves in the kitchen!!!
" I wonder why we suffer this....I am so tired of living with a gazillion spiders and the most truculent maid in the world!"
This most definitely was one of those moments when Ging and I balanced ourselves precariously on the edge of reason, and contemplated drugging and packing Shanti off to the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust .
Yes, I know...I shouldn't be cribbing and I can almost sense eyebrows being raised by my sisters all over.
But face it people, those of us who are privileged and can afford daily help cannot help but bewail their carelessness, unreliability and a gazillion other flaws. And those who go without, would shake their heads and perhaps with a little frown creasing their brows, wonder what the fussy haves are ranting about.
All through my decade of independent living, I was fortunate to not have experienced much maid trouble. Which probably was what decided the powers above that 10 years was too long a run for anyone, especially when it came to domestic help. The eleventh year brought into our home, Ms. Shanthi, the local spider conservationist and the Defender of Arachnids......Life has never been the same ever since.
To start with, our mornings became a never ending game of Catch Me If You Can with our very own Spider Girl. Every single day, the three of us would jolt into wakefulness at the crack of dawn just so that we could catch her in the nick of time. For you see, Ms. S had this strange habit of silently scuttling away faster than her beloved spiders, if we failed to catch her within minutes of her first ring. And to make matters worse, punctuality was not one of her finer points. Shanti could put in an appearance anytime from 6:30am onwards...It could be 7:15 one morning....7:45 the next...6:45 the third and 8:30 on the fourth. Strangely though, on Sundays or any other holiday for that matter, she would not only be at our doorstep with the lark but would also insist on leaning against the buzzer until allowed in. In vain have I wished her away or pretended to not hear the insistent ringing of the bell just so that I could sleep in. But on a holiday morning, Spidey always loomed large like a nemesis of sorts
Like every other maid in town, she would ever so often disappear for a day at a time, only to resurface with extraordinary tales of disease,death and all things morbid.....Her mother was bitten by a dog...her sister-in-law died...her sister's in-laws fell ill in turns and then died....We figured that over a period of 10 months, she must have decimated 3/4ths of her clan many times over to justify her disappearances. But eventually, even Shanthi ran out of relatives to consign to the grave and much to our relief, progressed to weddings and events associated with birth - the next spoke in the wheel of life.
These of course,were, the least of our worries. What drove us stark raving nuts was her grim determination to convert the moggie household into a spider farm. Yes, indeed....Most people had to deal with careless maids and the dust and grime remained after a vigorous cleaning. We had spiders and cobwebs to contend with.
The arachnids were all over - in the corners, floors, windows, beams, ceilings, around paintings, on objects, amidst my crystal, in the kitchen and even the bathrooms! For the life of me, I could not figure out Spidey managed to keep the house sparkling clean without disturbing the cobwebs. On occasions where the house was in danger of turning into a giant cobweb, Ging and I would nervously retrieve the broom from her sullen hands to evict our unwelcome tenants.....Only to be rewarded with broken jars of our favourite foods, crockery and even our trinkets, if Shanti did not find utensils to wreck in her rage....Very much like the present moment which had us stressed, cross and ever willing to throttle our spider girl.
Fortunately, reason prevailed and Spidey lived to work another day. As she stomped out of the door at the end of her day's work, I tentatively suggested that she start her next morning's work clearing out the cobweb covered ceiling of our porch. "After all, just how much damage can she do out there?" I smugly asked Ging, brushing aside her panicked glances at the car. "Surely, even she would not try damaging the Verna, would she?"
" No mommy, she wouldn't...But remember, she comes inside right after...what then?"...And outside, as if to reiterate Ging's concerns, Ms. S rattled and banged the gate ominously on her way out....
With a sigh, I got up to gather the breakables in sight & burn some incense at the altar. After all as Murphy's adherents would say, even if destruction is seemingly is not possible, good old Spidey would eventually manage it!!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Here Comes The Cat Girl...

" Ah,here comes the cat girl" chirped the lady at the local dry-cleaners,as she spied me hauling my load of washing up the street. Her breezy introduction was obviously not meant for my ears. But as there isn't much that a kitty ear misses, I was forewarned of an audience within and therefore, forearmed.
It wasn't that I was offended by her description. How could I be, considering that the moggies did not know the name of the lady in question and in private, referred to her as Doggy Auntie or Auntie D on account of the legion of street dogs who walked her home after work each day. However, what I was beginning to take exception to was  Auntie D's habit of introducing me as the cat girl to all and sundry. And even worse, her revelations to the world at large about the on-going power struggle between Ging and me.
For a moment, I stood uncertainly on the street with the sun beating down on my bare head as I contemplated scampering back home. But the sight of Auntie's beaming face at the window and the fact that the shop never seems to be empty decided the case for me. Girding my loins, I whipped on my sunniest smile and sailed forth to face the inevitable...
" Ah, there you are..I saw you coming and was just telling my friends about your cat....And..."
*Yes Auntie D, I know...the wind carries voices you know...*
" ...And how she sleeps on your bed and sheds her hair all over the covers and sheets..."
" Oh, sho schweet"

I couldn't blame the roly poly listener for gushing. I would have if I didn't know any better. Auntie D's description evoked visions of Ging in baby pink with a floral coronet encircling her ears, floating down the aisle scattering rose petals instead of cat hair!!! But all visions of Ging went up in a smoke when Auntie D opened my laundry bag with a flourish.
" See, See....." She was brandishing my pillow case at her captive audience " You can find her cat's hair even on the pillow covers....Just imagine that little mite curling up on a pillow" *Yeah right, like Cleopatra's kitty on her red velvet cushion!!!* "So cute no?"
Maybe, it would help if I tried to look rushed and anxious to leave. And so I busied myself in savagely pulling out the rest of the clothes from the bag. Big Mistake!!! Because out came my skinny blue jeans, a light shawl, a sweater and finally, my best black party jeans...All covered in orange cat hair.... Damn!!!
" Oh look at that.....Are these all your clothes?" * Blank stare at Auntie D*
*Does the lady really think Dsk would fit into them???*
" Is your cat sleeping on your clothes now?...awwwww.....She must love you very much"
* Raised Eyebrows* *Did Attila the Hun ever love anyone?* Auntie D's beady black eyes are now dancing wickedly. My sixth sense tells me that she has scented blood...And the hunt is on!!!
" You mean, she looks for your jeans and sleeps on them?"
* my jeans, my saris, my night shirts & lingerie, my books, CDs and my travel bags......anything which has the Mommy fragrance on it*
" Err, yeah...Ging is kind of partial to my things.."
" It must be your smell that she wants around her all the time...Even though people say that cats are independent, they are also very very loving...Your cat must love you so much"
* blank stare again*
* Too many blank stares....She must think I am a retard..I need to say something -anything- to redeem myself before the audience.*
" If it is the smell, why on earth would she burrow into the freshly laundered clothes in my cupboard, which by the way, only reeks of Tide despite the Dior soaked cotton balls around them?..The only thing that emerges from the cupboard smelling like expensive designer perfume is Ging"
Again, Big Mistake.
* I should have kept my mouth shut instead of blurting out the first thing that came to my mind*
Auntie D and her friends are now guffawing loudly, much to my chagrin.
" Your cat has expensive tastes...." More laughter.
" Maybe she is trying to imitate know like how little girls try to dress up in their mother's heels and pearls..."
" Imitate me? Auntie, I think that is the last thing on Ging's mind...Forget sleeping on my clothes and stealing the Dior fragrance away from my dresses." Unable to restrain myself, I went on much like Jim Carrey in Liar Liar sans the facial contortions
"She shadow boxes my scrunchies, uses my spectacles as her chew toys and treats my flip flops as hockey pucks....She claws my bags, chews my make up brushes and even pokes her spotty nose into my plate at meal times..Nothing of mine, I repeat, nothing, is sacrosanct as far as Ging is concerned!!!"
The Ging Fan Assoc had almost collapsed, weak and helpless with paroxysms of laughter. I have to bite my runaway tongue to stop and not a moment too soon...Anymore words and I would have been officially demoted from the Cat Girl to the Crazy Cat Girl.

Gathering the shreds of my feline dignity, I muttered a hasty good bye and departed without a backward glance at the convulsed ladies on the floor.
Sometimes, it is a dog's life for the poor Alpha Cat. *sigh*

Thursday, October 2, 2008

A Rose By Any Other Name.....

Some time back, I was privy to a rather entertaining conversation between two colleagues of different nationalities, living in different continents.
One was in the thick of putting together a legal report which required every teeny tiny detail to be deadly accurate, while the other was coordinating with agencies and, people for information gathering and transmission.
Everything was going well.

Until, the one on home base, received a missive which threw her off guard.
The document referred to a certain Mr. Anthony, who seemed to hog credit for all the tasks currently handled by her good friend Tony. Perplexed and chagrined, she shot off an express message asking him who the mysterious Mr. Anthony was.

Much to her surprise, Tony nonchalantly claimed to be Mr. Anthony without offering any explanation what so ever.

Which prompted yet another mystified mail from her "What IS your real name...Anthony or Tony?"
And his response "What is in a name? A rose by any other name would smell as sweet....I personally prefer Tony but either would work on official documents"

His words lingered on in my mind, long after the laughter abated.

What is in a name indeed?
Everything it would seem, if, one was to go by the names, people seem to come up with, on the social networking sites.

In the days that followed, I found myself taking a greater interest in the alternative names that ordinary people like you and me come up with for cyber spaces.

Most were ordinary first names.
Some communicated a mood, an event or an experience.

There was the odd pervert who solicited or raved, ranted and abused like a certain Ms. Fatafat who seemed to think the world was interested in her pantie liners!!!
* Violent Shudder*
Talk about persecution complexes and extreme reactions!!!

And then, there were the bizarre, bordering on the funny, like the King of Devils, Error and BlOoDsUcKeR sCaR.
*Laughing out loud*.

Seriously why on earth would anyone refer to himself/herself as an error or a bloodsucking scar???
Low self esteem?
Or, a flair for theatrics?
Your guess is as good as mine...
These, my friends, were the not too wild ones.

My other favourites included:
The Alien Has No Name
.... *rolls eyes*.
Duh, isn't that why they are called Aliens???

Kalari Panda
*Laughing My A*** Off*
Now, how cute is that??

Hate me or Add me
Bad Command or File Name, Nice Try Though
*deadpan expression*
I am still trying to figure these out.
In the Monotone of Idiosyncrasy
*Wide Eyed*

Uh huh, sounds suspiciously like Magic Mushrooms, Floyd, Cheap Rum and Random Musings....
Still He Was Butter Phulka in a CD player....
*taps forehead*
What ever...I am not even trying to figure this one out!!!

Maybe, I should spend some time thinking up a bold new mysterious name for myself instead

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Ms. Stalkarazzi

"She is cyber stalking me now.......That *@*#*^@ ^ " .
I yelled at hubby dearest, in fury mingled with triumph...

The she in question, referred to a silly little mosquito who had been inadvertently removed from her murky marshes and now, buzzed aimlessly across the oceans in the Promised Land. It was the perfect example of a non-entity marrying above her station and reacting to the change in her fortunes with an assumed air of superiority. One would have assumed that the stench of her marshes would have kept her sufficiently grounded in reality. But sadly, this little mosquito was lacking in common sense as much as she did in breeding. With the rapaciousness of a true blue vector, she sought to milk her new station for what it was worth, channeling her new spouse's savings into the coffers of her parental home. An understandable reaction from a woman who had grown up with deprivation, envying and coveting the advantages others around her had.
But the greed was the least of any one's worries.

It appeared that her financial and moral insufficiencies weighed down her ego, because in midst of her willful ways and extravagant shopping sprees, she also decided to declare war on her extended family. If thine eye offends thee, pluck it out and cast it from thee said the scriptures. And follow it to the letter was what Ms. Mosquito did. Her new family and friends offended her. And the ensuing battles she engaged herself in to pluck them out was the stuff melodramatic sitcoms on Indian television were made of.
Like most sensible people, I would have consigned her to hell and gotten on with my life.....If it had not been for the fact that, for reasons best known to her, Ms. Mosquito had reserved the bulk of her venomous abuse for me. Why? I hadn’t the faintest clue. True I did not like her. But I had at first swallowed down my dislike, and responded to her appeals for help…And then judiciously kept out of her path while she was battling it out with the rest of the world. All to no avail…This mosquito was in no hurry to get off my my tail.
Desperate for any little tidbit of information about me which she could distort and use in her vitriolic attacks, she took to cyber stalking me with a host of abusive fake profiles on social networking sites and my blogs.
But pride does go before a fall and so was the case with Ms. Mosquito. While I could not track down her fake profiles on the networking sites, the location tracker on this blog did record her visits. And it was in that precise moment of discovery that I turned to my spouse in triumph and annoyance.
“ Look at that…Cleveland, Ohio…I told you that she was cyber stalking me!!! Earlier it was Woodbridge, New Jersey!!!....”
Hmm…yes indeed. Maybe she is trying to learn the art of blogging from you...” joked my husband but his flippancy only stoked the fire.
“You must be joking!!!. She can’t even string a decent sentence in English..Besides, she is so incredibly selfish that she can’t think about anything beyond herself. "
“….You know she is a complicated person with a massive inferiority complex….Especially where you are concerned….She hates it that you score over her in every respect...Her inadequacies makes her want to put you down...”
“ Well, if she has an inferiority complex, she should just stay away…Why stalk me with filthy profiles? And write vicious lies about my family? What does she even know about them? If your family had not vouched for her pedigree, I would have assumed that she was born in a fisherman’s hovel..She sure behaves like one. Arrrrgh…..If only I could give her a tight slap across her ugly pock-marked face!!!”
A hit below the belt, my conscience gently reminded me.... but I was beyond caring.
Dsk on the other hand, seemed rather amused
“ Come now, don’t complain…You should be most flattered…I mean how many of us normal people can stake claim to our very own personal stalker cum publicist ??? ....Only celebrities can boast of being stalked & written about in this manner....”
I gaped at Dsk in shock, with my fists still clenched in anger. As usual, he had turned the tables on me, effectively ending one of my tirades even before I had warmed to the topic. And, he was not done as yet.
"But you really should ask her to provide links to your blogs on all those fake abusive profiles she is churning out...Hell, what good is she as a cyber paparazzi if she can't offer her readers the proof of the pudding???"
Talk about saving the best for the last..... *# ^@*@!!!