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Friday, April 29, 2011

To catch a thief

First year of hostel life had its charm- the first time I was away from home- and the only birthday when my seniors and classmates stood me up against a wall and threw eggs at me to celebrate it. It was a year of discovery- of the beauty of some people and the ugliness in the hearts of some. It was a year that made me realize that everything wasn’t black and white. Sometimes, my heart aches to think of the naiveté with which I viewed the world back then, and the fearlessness I fostered in my heart. I believed I could do anything. I still do… somehow…

I heard rumors from my batchmates about this girl who lived a couple of floors above me in my hostel room. We made jokes about her stealing sanitary napkins- she was so indiscreet in her choice of ‘resource allocation’. I suggested with all the goodness of my young heart- that maybe she was a ’kleptomaniac’, who submitted to impulses and needed clinical help. My argument was refuted by the fact that she often stole money and other valuables. But a tube of half-used apricot scrub? Evidently, when anything went missing – even your favorite red bra- we assumed it was MP. (Hope she has a better career now)

Half of the hostel had begun to boycott her for her stealing habits (many people vouched for it), and the rest avoided her for dressing like an attention whore and grinding seniors on DJ nights. (It was quite scary at that time, and unless you were doing it too- it could be quite a taboo)

Thursday, April 28, 2011

10 things a man should know

The idea of a perfect man changes with age. The prurient teenage fantasies about the physique of Fabio give way to the hope of finding a caring man like Roberto Benigni in Life is Beautiful, who will call you his princess and believe so too. Soon we learn that a good sense of humor is the most important thing needed to live life. So, that would be numero uno in my list. The rest are enumerated in no specific order.

1. A man should know how to laugh at himself and occasionally, at you so that you don't take yourself too seriously.

2. A man should know how to make a meal. Even fixing sandwiches is a good quality.

3. He should know how to talk to children, to elders, to waiters- in fact, to anyone. He shouldn't be verbally challenged, shouldn't be garrulous either. Everyone will have their own fulcrum on which they balance the extremes.

4. He should love to travel, to explore new things. Novelty should excite him.

5. He should own a vehicle and know how to change its tires.

6. He should know to play at least one musical instrument. Better if he can sing along too. You can thank your stars when he serenades you or begins to hum your old favorite. Writing poetry can be a supplementary trait, or dancing, or painting -actually, anything in fine arts- you get the drift.

7. He should know his threshold of alcohol intake. Nothing is more embarrassing than a man who drinks beyond reason and makes a complete fool of himself socially.

8. He should know how to challenge you. Shouldn't agree with everything you say. You can't be right always. And if you needed a feet-licking pooch, you'd have gotten one. A man looks a man when he can give compelling, rational arguments to prove you wrong. You probably wouldn't like to admit it, but you'll be glad to see things from a different perspective.

9. A man should know how to take care of himself. He should follow a healthy exercise regime, try to eat right and nudge you to do so if you feel lazy at times.

10. He should know how to love and how to make love. I don't have to explain that.

Saturday, April 23, 2011


12:51 AM PST
A little while ago Dad called to say that she passed away around 12 noon, IST on 4/23/2011, Saturday. I knew it when I saw Dad's number on the caller id. 1- He never calls up so late at night. 2- We talked about her often, and he never sounded so disconsolate about her gradually deteriorating condition before like he has been recently. So, I knew before I heard it, and had cried through evening wondering how it would be to never see her again- if Dad's fear were true.

It seems so unjust that just when I have begun a new life, someone so dear to me should end her earthly existence. I can't say it was abrupt- we had been expecting it for months now. But bereavement is never easy- apprehended or not.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Riddle me this

Riddle me this- which saree was I actually wearing? 1, 2, 3 or 4

Friday, April 01, 2011

Bleed Blue

As a very young kid, I walked into the TV room and saw my family getting excited over a match. I asked my elder brother- ‘How many goals have been scored?’ He laughed and said, ‘Stupid, it isn’t football (American : soccer), it is cricket! You don’t score goals; you score runs or take wickets. I would have probably forgotten the incident, but he makes it sure to remind me once in a while my naiveté about a game that defines a country, unites its diversity and rekindles passion in many a passive existence surrendered to the daily grind of day-to-dayness of life.

Over the years, my education on the game continued with my family participating actively in my grasping of new terms -onside/off-side, pacers/spinners, no ball/wide ball, lbw (leg before wickets) – I learned the nuances of the game as I got acquainted with basic cricket vocabulary.

Cricket means family and friends to me. Cricket means what almost every kid plays in the gullies of India, believes in the superiority of his skills and brags about it to his GF when he grows up. Cricket means seeing people get pissed off because the team you support is misfielding in a stadium, miles away from where you are watching the match. It means a new leash on life, a chance to forget mediocrity and bask in the excellence of a few. It is a reason to reach home early in the blaring traffic or to stay up all night. Cricket also means when a star player can sell you anything from shoes to cold drinks. But most of all – cricket means a religion – something you believe in, something that drives you- even if it is just for a few days.

My mother is one of the bigger cricket fanatics I know, who watches any match that is broadcasted, but her frenzy reaches its crescendo in World Cup every four years. I know, even today she will get back from work just in time to watch the final.

Here’s my recollection of some matches: