Monday, January 24, 2011

Laws of Revulsion

Excerpts from “Every Indian guy’s secret guide to impressing a woman”

1. Stare. Stare. Stare. (Creepiness is irresistible)

2. Talk at the top of your voice. Be brash, rude and crude. (Gentlemen prefer blondes and genteel women prefer Attila the Hun)

3. Sit with your legs splayed apart, tapping one foot in a slightly epileptic gesture. (Nothing screams “come hither” louder than a rampant display of sexual frustration)

4. Send her a note through the waiter so that she is blown away by your ability to scrawl like a four-year old and form sentences like you’re six. (It could bring out her maternal instinct, increasing your chances)

5. Walk up to her, plonk your glass of beer in front of her and squat on your haunches. Then rock back and forth on your heels while you compose your thoughts. (There is something irresistibly sexy about this particular simian-like stance)

6. Do the “cool dude” dance which involves alternatively clutching at your family jewels and revving a pretend motorcycle. (Smooth movements vertically are indicative of smooth moves horizontally)

7. Imbibe so much alcohol so as to crash into her on the dance floor sending her grappling at her girlfriend for support like a desperate lesbian. (Nothing like a little girl-on-girl to get a party started)

8. Send her a text or an email that reads “Hai” (spelt exactly like that) and for added effect use the clawing “Dear”. (Imagine hearing her say, “You had me at ‘hai’” a la Jerry Maguire)

9. Be an “ass wipe” at the gym. Literally. Leave rivulets of sweat on a workout bench. When the woman, looking to use it after you, asks for it to be cleaned up, wipe the perspiration off with your bottom. (Don’t forget to laugh raucously at your cute innovativeness)

10. Ogle at the print on her t-shirt and say “Nice” very appreciatively. When she looks at you all aghast, quickly remark, “No, I meant your tee.” Then add, “Not that THEY are not nice…” before scuttling to safety. (No bigger turn-on than the scent of desperation)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Blahs Must Be Crazy

“Is there a history of mental illness in your family?”

Humph! That was ripe coming from Terror #1. You know, the little pipsqueak of a boy, who, along with his younger and brattier brother Terror #2, supplemented his childhood diet with little chunks bitten out of me. All because they believed they were vampires - a delusion that lasted a few years, closely followed by another few years of forcing me into playing mud-ball cricket with them.

Anyway, I digress. Mental illness in the family. Right, let’s see.

Paternal grandfolksies

Grandpa would physically place a bowl over his head before instructing a barber to cut hair only along its rim. The proverbial “katori cut” of the Indian army. He did not believe in stopping the practice even when he lost most of his hair in his dotage.

Grandma thought the ideal snack for a long-distance car journey in sweltering heat was a boiled egg. Actually, make that a bunch of boiled eggs (wrapped in an ever-dry nappy) that she would choose to open with all the windows tightly rolled up. The vicious onslaught upon the olfactory senses of the unfortunate occupants of the car made them think something had died - and the maggots within now celebrating puberty in gaseous delirium.

Maternal grandfolksies

Grandpa was one of the earliest proponents of gender equality. He vociferously stood up for women’s rights. However, when it came to sheep, his views were exactly the opposite. He was blatantly sexist and racist when choosing mutton at the local market. Only a male white sheep would do. No butcher could hoodwink him. He would insist on inspecting the tail of the sheep before buying his week’s supply of mutton.

Grandma was clear evidence of the serious lack of wealth-management knowledge in our family. She insisted on transporting tins of sand - collected by her slightly mental kids at the beach - around with her, for dozens of years, believing them to contain something of great value. She never opened them to check. Just hoarded them. OK, so if one were to argue that it was, perhaps, some sort of misplaced sentimentality, how would you explain her throwing away boxes of rough rubies? Yes. BOXES. She thought them to be worthless stones collected by her slightly mental sand-collecting kids, who had also supposed the reddish stones sieved from a river bed were just reddish stones to be hoarded for a rainy day when the world ran out of reddish stones or something.


Dad thinks the answer to all the problems in the world is WD40. That spray for squeaky, rusty hinges etc. Crackling telephone line? “It will clear up now. I gave it a squirt of WD40,” says Dad in all seriousness. Ulcers, rodent infestation, head lice, noisy neighbour, irritable bowel movements. My Daddy says there’s nothing WD40 cannot alleviate.

Mom has a distinctive sense of interior decorating style. For reasons best known to her, she left two rotund apricot seeds and a phallic-shaped smooth white pebble strategically arranged in a little glass bowl. It was hard not to look at it and see a bizarre representation of the male genitalia. It may have been her way of explaining the birds and the bees to yours truly of the young and highly impressionable mind.


Scion believed that throwing salt on a sparrow’s tail would render it flightless. OK, so even if I do admit that I might have planted the idea in his head in a moment of mischief, explain why Scion concluded that a bird dropped a giant pair of ugly chequered pyjamas on his balcony? He tends to overestimate the physical capability of birds and underestimate their aesthetic sensibilities.

By process of elimination, it would appear that I seem to be the only sane one in the family. Or am I?

Note to self: Quick, start coming up with rational reasons for having called out to random men on the street thinking them to be valet parking attendants, groping people inappropriately whilst fainting at the sight of blood or having an inexplicable need for Gummy Bears as soon as the power goes out (vis-à-vis a torch).

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Quipper Snapper

Given my current spring-cleaning state of mind, I’ve ruthlessly hacked through my burgeoning shoe rack and closets, discarding everything that hasn’t been used in the last 24 months. In keeping with the anti-clutter spirit, I turned to the random store of photographs on my mobile. The ones that I keep clicking and saying, “I so have to blog about this!” and then doing nothing about. Here is some of what I found:

This is possibly the closest I’ve come to doing it like an Indian man (peeing, you know, in maximum public view et al - if goats count, that is). The ladies restroom at this Kamat in Amboli, while on a road trip to Goa, took some getting used to. I walked in, whooped and did a bit of an “oh-my-god-I-did-not-expect-to-win-this-crown” pageant winner act while the washroom attendant eyed me expressionlessly. I then clicked a couple of pictures, which got her to raise an eyebrow before shaking her head, calling upon some God and returning to her mopping. Shrubbery made up most of the missing fourth wall, and I battled with performance anxiety as a few curious goats peeked through the foliage every now and then.

I know, I know. Misspelled signboards are a dime a dozen through our land. Don’t you just love them? I cannot get enough of them. So this guy seems quite capable. He can vanquish your "enemy" "abrode". As long as your problem does not pertain to beating that enemy at the national spelling bee, all is good.

Appetising, innit? Available at your nearest Barista. I must add here that KO loved it. But then KO would, considering her penchant for rotten food. Yes, you read right. Spoilt, stale, rotten – any food item in its dotage. At the top of the list reads rock-hard buns and putrefied paav bhajji. See, KO is the type, who, while the rest of us are gagging and rolling up the car windows in a hurry while going past a sewer, will wind down her window as much as possible and inhale deeply. She claims "seweromatherapy" is aphrodisiacal in nature. Personally, I think this donut would tackle that enemy better than aforementioned Mr. Life Problem Solver.

What exactly does one say to a friend who has exited a suffocating, dead-end relationship, none the worse for wear? While most people fumbled with what to say, BC, Bin and KO did it with typical panache. Nothing says “Hurrah! We’re glad the gangrene’s gone” better than a surprise plate of gooey Mississippi Mud Pie and a cheery “Congratulations!”

This is a picture of BC’s foot preparing for attack. BC has crab claws for feet, I swear it. One word out of place and you feel those pincers pinching an apology out of you instantly. I am quite certain BC's dreaded foot must be part of the country’s clandestine cache of torture implements.

Right. So my mobile is all cleaned up. Next stop: Facebook "friends" list.

All this getting rid of old and useless stuff reminds me of Chennai's "Bogi" festival, which I heard about during a (mercifully short) stint of schooling there. I was clueless about "Bogi" so a classmate condescended to explain it to the alien child. The conversation went something like this:

- Everything old and useless is burnt in a giant bonfire. Do you want to contribute anything?
- Oh. How about Radha Miss*? She is old and useless, no?
- Radha Miss! White Pig** wants to kill you in the fire!
- White Pig!
- Yes, Miss?
- That is a bad joke. Good girls do not joke. They work hard for centum***! Get out I say!

Tsk. And to think I wasn't even joking.

*A crochety Math teacher
**Literal translation from the Tamil nickname my endearing class had given me. I love their originality.
***Chennai's obsession with 100% in every subject.