Wednesday, November 16, 2016

The Mushkil in Ae Dil Hai Mushkil.

Lately, I'd been a lousy friend. My friends warned me against watching the movie Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, but I went anyway thinking what can be so mushkil and even checked in on Facebook only to be trolled by them eventually. The people who helped this movie collect 200 crores are the ones who were carried away by that scene in the trailer wherein Aishwarya licks whipped cream off Ranbir’s face. Let’s not forget the highly addictive ‘Bulleya’, title track and ‘Channa Mereya’, which has been playing on loop in the ipods of most people.

We planned to watch it on a weekday evening, one hour after regular office hours. However winter has started and evenings are so dark and murky, that my son  thinks that I am picking him late on purpose. Well, I am not in a position to talk to him about seasons or the earth’s orbit, because I haven’t been able to explain how he landed in my stomach before he was born in the first place. 

Night driving is not my favorite sport whatsoever, but Fawad Khan makes everything possible. I was just two minutes away from the mall and in some inexplicable puerile excitement I missed the turn. The next thing I knew, I was driving on a four lane road, with direction boards above me pointing to Neverland, Nowhere, South Pole and Eternity. My head was completely blank; I had no plan B and was driving aimlessly in alien territory. Middle Eastern roads are very charming and unforgiving at the same time. Once you miss a turn you get to see the entire country with no one to ask directions to. The night was not getting any younger. Fawad Khan, you idiot. How can you be so handsome that you literally derail women from focusing on real life? This is not cool. Stop being so hot. 

Image Courtesy: Here
Down the road somewhere I saw an exit with a familiar name, took it, and in another 40 minutes reached back to the mall. During those 40 minutes of adventure, my heart thumped like never before and blood circulation was so wild that once I reached back to the mall I was revitalized in every sense. Rejuvenated, and fresh as a Lily. Who needs a spa when one can get lost and get the same effect?  However my brain was shredded and strewn inside my head and it took me some time to pull myself together and start remembering details like my name and phone number.

Basically I took so much effort and was even willing to get lost in the wilderness to watch this movie for the below reasons.
  • The melodious songs. I know that’s not a reason to watch a movie but for me it is. 
  • Shah Rukh Khan - He had a guest appearance for hardly five minutes. He did not look good, his role was horribly constructed and the dialogues during those five minutes were abysmal. 
  • Fawad Khan. His screen time may have been ten minutes, but anything for Fawad, any day. 
As a die-hard fan, I am highly disappointed with SRK for agreeing to say those dreadful dialogues in this otherwise below average movie. Secondly, lead characters making jokes about a terminal illness is dreadfully insensitive and callous to say the least. This Karan dude is funny on his talk shows. He does not seem to see the thin line that separates humor from absurdity.

The movie in general is a lame try to redefine love and friendship which Karan does in his every other movie. Dude, even my five year old understands the difference between the two. Friendship is a subset of Love, but Love cannot be equated with friendship. Karan tries hard to prove that LHS equal to, but not equal to RHS, and in the process, failed a movie, talented actors and scores of audience. To be honest, the movie up to twenty minutes after the intermission was tolerable. Beyond that, people continue to sit inside the theater either because there is some nachos left to be finished, or because they are watching the movie inside a mall on astronomical ticket prices. In my case, both. Sigh the movie was colder than my popcorn towards the end.

I now understand the value of my friends who advised me against watching it at a theater and wait for the dvd instead. What would I do without you guys? You know, what we have is not just friendship. I think it is love. Or is it?  

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

The hues of patience.

Image Courtesy: Google Images
There comes a time in everybody’s lives when their sanity, patience, and endurance threshold are tested for quality standards. This can be achieved by subjecting our homes to maintenance, otherwise known as painting. I begged, pleaded and threatened our building caretaker in that order for the past six months  for painting the house and stalked him until he started running at the sight of my shadow. Finally he messaged me on whatsapp “Madam shall we come tomorrow? Sure? Confident?”

So these are the same guys who frequently come to change the lights, pipes, and unclog blocks in the kitchen sink. Their proficiency to paint a wall is comparable to the kiddo using water color. The paint they brought saying ‘yeh bahut mehenga paint hai madam’ was as good as water. This is how painting is done when the quarterly goals of the maintenance department include ‘Paint the fourth floor apartments’ and all you have is two hours to finish it. Meanwhile some of our friends invited us to their homes to spend the night until the paint smell was gone. Well what do they know about the smell of water?

So the highly deceptive, pretend painting went on in full swing, with the furniture positions maintained intact as the wall behind them is clean anyway. Logic, people. Who is going to look behind the cupboard, c’mon! Whatever the kiddo wrote on the bedroom walls was also preserved, because they apparently assumed that the picture he drew was incomplete. ‘Picture abhi baaki hai mere dosth’ types. I have never come across such thoughtful and logical painters all my life. Coming to think of the whole ordeal, they were even concerned about our health, hence brought odorless (colorless) paint. I feel pity for my friends whose homes stank of paint odor. We should not just acknowledge these guys with regular wages; they need standing ovation for going out of the way to make sure nothing changes in the house. Literally, nothing. Meanwhile I couldn’t help noticing the man of the house walking up and down displeased and highly irritated. The last target, the living room is where his first family is lodged; the home theatre systems. His priority, concern and last but not the least, his love.

The living room escaped the highly professional water coloring because the man of the house did not want his first family to exist within the confines of cheap paint.  When you have a tiger for a pet, you also need the Gold Hummer for it to travel. So there was texture paint, surfaces meant to reflect and contain the sound, and a lot of technicality involved in what we, cheap humans consider as mere ‘painting’. Meanwhile some of our neighbors started wondering whether we have additional secret rooms as it was taking longer than it did for them. 

The dining table and chairs were moved around to keep more relevant stuff, which of course did not include food or humans that he shares the apartment with. Dismantled home theater speakers sat comfortably on the chairs while I had my meals standing and kiddo had his on the kitchen slab. Stuff from the living room was moved to other rooms. My time on those two days was effectively spent finding misplaced toys and arranging food for the professional painter. When the husband is gadget savvy, be prepared to be treated like a third wheel.

Finally the walls are done, and things kept back at their rightful places after a night of toil and backbone strength test. It looks like a brand new apartment. Finally it smells of paint in the living room.

And I guess we are back to being his first family ;-)

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Introvert Problems.

I am an unmistakable introvert- basically a creature that performs best inside my cocoon. This cocoon knows  tolerates the crazy me, and the self-attested laughter that can splatter the brains of people working and living with me. Outside the cocoon I am this confused, nail-biting, absent-minded, head-scratching, dumb-headed moron. I leave all my senses in the cocoon when I have to be outside it. Also brain.

Last week I went to an official presentation which required me to storm out of my comfortable space to a podium where I was supposed to say a few sentences that took no longer than two minutes. Headache and loss of appetite had started that very morning like a ritual, and this happens whenever I had to meet or speak with new people. Something had to go wrong and it did. My earring fell off when I was walking towards the board room. Of course my friends were super amused. Why did it have to fall off that day? Because Murphy’s Law.

This actually happened.
Image Courtesy: Here

You may argue that Murphy was a sadistic dissuaded person, but he was the only one from the pages of history that spoke the truth. I temporarily fixed the earring, but I had to keep a check on my head shakes to prevent it from falling again. Shaking head in agreement is the prime gesture in any seminar. I was forbidden from doing that. Before it all started, I started questioning my very existence. Of all the things that could go wrong at a presentation, this was one. It was right there. Disaster was basically hanging from my ears.

Cold hands is another phenomenon my body enjoys, to torture me in times of pressure. At the university exam, Viva, interview, appraisal meeting, you name it, I become Elza from Frozen. Forget all that, I was going to be seen by actual prominent people from the organization. I was supposed to be standing when they will be seated. To add to that I was seated at the corner of the room, where the AC was strategically located to weigh me down and freeze my nerves. 

Meanwhile, I mentally made a list of things that could go wrong.

  • My earring could fall off in full public view.
  • I could freeze the ipad. People may misinterpret it to be some kind of digital sorcery.
  • The communication of the brain with the rest of me could freeze.

Thankfully I was wearing two layers of clothing as part of my formal attire. I missed my gloves, monkey cap and thermals. As the time of presentation approached, I had blurred vision, shaky hands and sensitive bladder. I don’t remember what happened next, but people said everything went well. I gathered that the earring dint fall off.

I become more thankful for my job each time I go to such presentations. I write code, attend meetings with familiar people and chill with friends who again make my protective shell. New people I meet blend into the shell in time. Nobody barges in. Blend my friend, BLEND.

I came home and informed my parents that I am alive (after the presentation). They seemed to be relieved. I have stuck that earring in the least accessible corner of my jewel drawer and mentally tagged it as 'danger'. 

Probably only to forget and pick it up for the next presentation.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Keep Calm and Google It.

Image Courtesy: Here

Google turned eighteen yesterday. Let’s take a moment to close our eyes, take a deep breath, remember all those times it cleared our doubts without judging us, and pray for it to be immortal.

Google did not just find whatever I was looking for; it also brought me the best pages with the appropriate content that answered my stupid questions sensibly. I will forever be grateful to Google as it always found the easiest of ways to get things done from changing a diaper to making one-pot meals. It has been the lazy-girl guide to accomplish something in life without toiling too much or losing out on sleep. It has turned me from a person not knowing when the rice has cooked to one who can serve a decently home cooked two course meal (for friends who take the risk of eating my food).

The best asset of Google is its Artificial Intelligence, which uses the pattern of our search and suggests pages accordingly. So now, it does not give me any Sanjeev Kapoor recipes, but easy bachelor recipes with the most minimal ingredients. It tells me how to do winged eyeliner with just two eyes, and zero aesthetic sense. It has earlier taught me how to change a diaper without risking the baby fall off the bed. It has also taught me a million other things, exactly the way I wanted. Basically what I am today is because of Google (and my parents of course ;-) ).

Any software get updated with time and technology advances and so did Google. As of now the only shortcoming I can see, is that it can’t search for stuff inside the house. For example will there be a day my husband can go to Google and type ‘Where is my socks?’ and it says ‘one is still inside the shoes since last week and the other is in the washing machine’. He can then find another pair and move on with other activities like finding the shoes instead of annoying other humans. This would be an immensely popular feature with women and we will start to worship Google because let’s admit, we don’t care about socks. Even if we may pretend to search, we have no intention of finding them and we are being completely dishonest about our motives.

Whereas if I ask ‘Where is my watch?’ it should ideally say ‘under the pillow, sweetheart’. As days go by, I may get fonder of my digital companion. I mean when we have a digital mate who answers like that unlike the human mate who says ‘It went for a walk’ why don’t we make the digital relationship legal?  Google is always there, trustworthy, rigid, sweet and never lets us down. It would be the perfect soulmate.

The hubby has been searching for a pair of pants since a week which apparently for him feels like a decade. He had been requesting me to find it, and there was a noticeable tone change with each passing day. I chose to royally ignore. I don’t do search services anymore, you see, I have retired from that role. In an apartment with four rooms and two bathrooms if we start losing everyday stuff what would happen had we lived in those palatial houses like in Karan Johar movies? Even humans could get lost in those. So today he was totally pissed about missing pants and for once I decided to investigate. You would not believe it was right there, where he was seemingly searching for a week. In such situations when he asks Google 'Where are my pants?' while standing right beside it, Google should detect the shocking lack of sensibility of the user and say ‘You are kidding me, right?’  

Image Courtesy: Here

There are people actually getting married to pizzas and iphones. Google is 18. Just reminding. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

How to deal with Argh-sidfoy-asshole-o-maniacs.

We’ve all had good, bad, worse, horrible, shocking, devastating, normal, abnormal, tired and deadly days. Some days, the mind may be running a bit slow from the unending checklist of to-do things, traffic, sickness, responsibilities. Catching up with a fast paced life is not a race in which a winner emerges at the end. Most of us fall short, and people like me just want to go home and wind up on the sofa. However amidst all that, when I see familiar faces on the road, be it a neighbor, a person I knew from a decade ago, plumber, flat maintenance guy, an ex-enemy, or an office backstabber I smile.  I never turn my face away from someone who is smiling at me or if I run into someone I know.

But surprise! Not all people adhere to social etiquette as simple as smiling at a familiar face. It is interestingly noteworthy that people sometimes need to be in a good mood and all pieces of their lives fallen at the right places to be able to smile. Now the unsuspecting person, who walks opposite them, should telepathically comprehend whether it has been a good day for the said person before smiling. If you smile just because you know this person you will be met with a stone face that pretends not to know you at all. Then you end up being a total idiot with a wasted smile, cursing yourself and deciding never to smile again. How many times has this happened to you?

Image courtesy: Here

Once I was telling my Mom about a certain someone who sometimes smiles and talks cheerfully, and acts like a complete stranger on other days. Mom was exhilarated when she animatedly narrated the same incident that happened to her as well on multiple occasions by various people. So basically when the said person turns away and pretends not to know me, I have checked myself in the mirror inside the elevator-to double check whether I overdid the makeup that people are not able to recognize me. But no, I was just doing fine and everything was in place even my eyeliner. Secondly, I am not sure if there is a psychological condition wherein the victim does not identify familiar people on selected days. I cross checked with a friend who studied Human Psychology  and she confirmed that this is a yet-to-be-studied common condition called Argh-sidfoy-asshole-o-mania which in Layman terms, means being a psychotic a****le.

Well. I am sure Human Psychology is an interesting stream of study. Most psychological behaviors which are normally called a****le-ism by us actually have not been discovered yet.   Like for instance, she wishes me a happy Republic Day but on Independence Day she acts like she lost control over her facial muscles. I smile the same on both days like an idiot, thanks to inability to reciprocate in the same way as the Argh-sidfoy-asshole-o-maniac. There is only one way to deal with these people – ignore them at all times. Do not make eye contact. Pretend they don’t exist.

I have been practicing this beautiful, self-confidence boosting, sanctified ritual of ignoring people whose smiles are outcomes of their fluctuating moods. I would highly recommend this technique, which is non-violent, peaceful and not classified as sinful in any of the Holy Scriptures. It is also an enriching experience, and does not harm the environment or cause pollution of any kind.

You are welcome.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

For the love of Milkmaid.

As a child, I was enrolled in an all girls' Convent school, where we chanted Catholic prayers which basically were pleas to the Almighty to save us all evil like boys and nail polishes. This was a time before gadgets so the intimacy among friends was raw, unpretentious and one that assuredly grew stronger with time. We co-exist in harmony in a hyper-active Whatsapp group, the only group which is our support system, from which we don’t find reasons to exit. This is also the place we rant and pour our hearts out of our 18 year old hearts and a tad bit older bodies.

As little girls we had plenty of time at our disposal and ate whatever we wanted, thanks to non-existence of fat shaming and anorexic models. Chubby cheeks and love handles were considered signs of health rather than a subject of ridicule. Unlike 12 year olds today who are dieting and crying over breakups, we were a carefree lot who went around eating whatever we wanted (and it continues to this day). Oh the joy of licking our fingers after dunking them in a tin of Milkmaid! Milkmaid has been our strongest collective food obsession. As it was a vital ingredient for payasams and homemade sweets, our Moms made it a staple in the fridge rack. Dunking our fingers in the milkmaid tin when Mom was not looking became a sinful fascination for our naive selves, but soon we became seasoned culprits, uncaught in the mysterious case of the disappearing Milkmaid.

Image Courtesy: Here

Later when I was a teenager, during my study leaves I used to stay at home all day doing nothing. Whenever my sister and I crossed the fridge area, we treated ourselves with a few scoops from the milkmaid bottle. Those were magical times when calories dint count and ingredients were tastier than the end result. Initially Mom used to transfer the Milkmaid to a wide mouthed glass bottle which enabled us to use even the biggest curry spoons in it to extract larger quantities, but she knew that Milkmaid dint last long in the fridge and dint bother to make this effort. Milkmaid tin once opened reveals sharp edges and thus the challenges and trials we overcame to get our fingers into the Milkmaid tin made it a sinfully tempting indulgence. If you are now thinking why we don’t use a spoon instead, well 1. Lethargy has no logic 2. Who will clean the spoon?

My aunt used to stock Milkmaid in her fridge to make her payasams richer; however this was an enriching experience to all of us children visiting her house. The fridge shelves were incomplete without a milkmaid tin in it. Mom, realizing that this is an addiction, tried to replace butter from our bread with Milkmaid but alas, it was an effort that received a lot of flak from us. Milkmaid should be eaten as it is. Not on bread, payasam or pudding! I mean, how hard is it to understand?

Well, we have come a long way from teenage years but the love of Milkmaid stays. We are now mothers of brats, who fight with us for their share of the prized possession- the Milkmaid tin. When my son was almost three months old, one sleepless cranky night I sneaked into the fridge, dunked my finger into a bottle of milkmaid and shared with him as well. He seemed to enjoy it. This could be a revelation to everyone in my family; but how do you expect a baby with taste buds inherited from us survive with just bland milk all the time? Babies have cravings we shouldn’t take advantage of just because they can’t verbally abuse us.

The other day, in the said Whatsapp group of school buddies, there was an incident in which one of us got hurt trying to wipe out the last drop of milkmaid from the tin with her finger. The Milkmaid, which comes in a can, is very unforgiving once opened. She got hurt and had to get a suture and TT as well. Well, all of us girls were highly supportive, because it was for a noble cause and it is totally worth getting hurt for Milkmaid. Such incidents do not deter us from satisfying our impenitent gluttony for Milkmaid, but we would love to get the can revamped to suit our greediness. Milkmaid packing could be a bit friendlier, because most of the eating happens at night with just the fridge light on. For us, it is indulgence for the soul and the therapy that awakens our 15 year old selves.

Nestle, won’t you?