And No I didnt make those comment boxes….. Slightly corny dont you think…. Love Moment!;)!
so this is probably a good part of the reason why i bought a new phone. I spend a reasonable amount of time in a cab traveling to work and back. Am invariably clubbed with some random men who act like ten year olds whenit comes to deciding who gets dropped first.Now I can blog on the thanks to my phone. I am currently struggling with the keypad,but am sure it is a matter of time before i get quick. Also this is a good way to channelize my anger by writing hate posts against such men. one thing that has suffered after joined this job is my blog, so finally, i hope i can revive it. I still find it very difficult to go home and open the laptop after one tiring day where i have done nothing but stare into the screen. Currently I am noting the address of crazy cab mates so that I can drop some dung bombs outside their gates someday. He he.One of them was humming chak de along with the radio.He wont be so happy when he wakes up smelling the dung.
The sky was grey and thick with clouds.
The kinds which make you want to hurry your steps and rush under a roof just before you get soaked. I would have normally done that too. I hate the rains, the wet soggy feeling, the impending fever all make me wary of being caught in a downpour.
I walked behind a group of school children who were out on a learning trip with their teachers. The teachers stopped every now and then to herd the one stray brat who would wander away just like his mind asked him to.
I moved ahead.
No.23, No, 25, okie….ahead…..
I walked down a cobbled street and I knew the silent street would soon join a bustling junction. I had to find no.54 before that. I noted a few shops nearby which I could run into, just in case it would start raining.
I saw No.43. Okie, I was getting nearer. I hurried down the street. Then I came to it- No.53. Yes, and now for No.54.
No.55 read the next door number. And there was nothing in between.
How could they? Did they tear down the place? Is this what the world has come to?
Nobody cares for the past anymore?
I looked left and right, much like a lost puppy. I had to find No.54. The guide book said that it exists. Had the author made a mistake?
I approached an elderly gentleman nearby and asked him,”No.54?”
He thought for a minute and his eye lit up. “This way” and he led me down further down the street.
Oh! Good Lord . Thank You.A few minutes walk and I found myself staring in front of a bright blue door.
The elderly gentleman looked at me as though he wanted a reassurance. Was that what I was looking for?
” Merci!” and waved out to him.
I surveyed the blue door. Was it blue even then, I wondered. I was itching to open the door and enter, but I knew that would be rude. I wondered who lived there now. How did the place look like?
When all my wondering was done, I took out my camera to take a few pics. I requested two passerbys(one man and one woman) to take my picture. They at first gave me their xenophobic NO thinking I wanted to take their picture. When they realised that I was asking them to click my picture, their xenophobia vanished. With great deal of warmth and a certain amount of curiosity, the man took my camera and clicked my picture.
Just when I was doing this, one middle aged man opened the blue door and entered in. “So! It is you who lives here huh?” I thought to myself. How ordinary. I could have lived there.
The man who took my picture handed me my camera back and maybe it was the cheek-to-cheek, totally-pleased-with-myself grin that I was flashing that he asked me in broken english, “But why you want picture here?”
I pointed to a little sign on top of the door and said, ” Vincent Van Gogh, used to live here”
Vincent Van Gogh, who was in a mental asylum, who cut his ear off lived here with his brother Theo. Theo, the only soul who understood Van Gogh. He must have walked this very street. Wonder who in this building shunned him. Would he have even thought this little house of his would be visited by an Indian girl?
The man couldnt contain his astonishment. “Really?? I dont know my own city!”, he said.
Of Course you dont.And it is not just you but countless number of people including me who dont stop to find out more about the places we live in.
So you think getting married to a guy who is the only child at home is easy?
Psst, by Indian standards, getting married to a guy who has no sisters(to marry off) or brothers(whose wives I have to tackle) is the highest order of luck for a girl.
Little did I know that I was getting married into a family where I would be bestowed upon with the goodluck of dealing with three mother-in-laws. Who are they you ask?
Now you ask who Yellamma is? Yellamma happens to be Usha Aunty’s maid.
My first encounter with this walking talking terror mechanism was on the day of my engagement. This thin wiry creature walked in with much enthusiasm while I was sitting on the window sill.After the introductions were done, she went to proclaim that she has been around since Pip was a baby(to which Pip was shaking his head vigorously indicating that a big lie had been neatly tucked into the statement).After which she proceeded to ask me to get up and stand as a mark of respect to all the elders present. Oops.
Sorry Yellamma- not already and not on my engagement day!
In fact Yellama has quite a few tactics up her sleeve.
In her last birth she must have been a quack, because she is convinced that the juice obtained from squashing Guava leaves can cure even AIDS. She claims that she has cured Usha Aunty of many an illness with the same. So if Usha Aunty(who is a great believer in natural stuff) asks her to get some neem leaves, Yellamma will promptly get her Guava leaves!!!
Yellamma believes that she will get a cold if she eats during winter.
All the misery in her life (according to her) started when her cows died. In her version of the story, she had twenty five cows(read 5-6) and each of them would respond to her voice(which sounds like she has swallowed a blade and has loudspeaker built into her voice box). So when these cows contracted some mysterious disease and died she believed that someone was trying black magic on them.
Her life fell apart after the cows died. Her son got caught in the act of molesting a girl(really!) and was an active member of a gang which used to loot homes and were nothing less than goondas. But in Yellamma’s world, it is her brother-in-law doing the same black magic on her son, that killed her cows. The son was later arrested and has also been released and now lives in an undisclosed location,which she claims to not know.
She takes her children/relatives to the temple priest mid way through the doctor’s treatment when they are sick in hope of curing them. If they dont get better, she blames the doctor!
When Pip’s family was traveling to Coimbatore for the wedding, Yellamma was in charge of the house. Usha Aunty got a call from her on the day of the wedding- Yellamma had locked herself out.
She implores me to not touch my dog Munni with my feet, because she believes Munni is actually Usha Aunty’s ancestor in disguise.She in fact wanted to call the dog Divya(which is way better than the flower seller wanting to calling the dog Srinivasa-Munni is a bitch btw)
Once when I offered her some dinner, she refused because she was sick from having the lunch (in Usha Aunty’s house) which was full of salt, thinking I had made the food. Usha Aunty was traveling to Chennai and I was in charge of home. Little did she know that I was recycling what Usha Aunty had made the previous day! When I mentioned this to her she sang songs of praise for the rasam that I had just made.
She begs Uncle to not buy veggies on his own hereafter and instead send me to shop, so that I can learn to shop for household stuff. How kind!
She recently told Usha Aunty that she was very happy- I repeat she was very happy with me cooking every weekend. She was fearing that I would starve Pip, when I actually get to live with him.
She hates me calling Usha Aunty and often dictates that I should call her mom.
Usha Aunty has her fair share, actually more than fair share of trouble with her. When she instructs Yellamma to clean the garden, Yellamma who has powers to read stars retorts back that she would do it two days later because the starts are not good to cut grass today.
Remove the weeds- not when the marriage fixed.
In fact I think Yellamma is Usha’s mother in law also. The other day, I heard her shouting at Usha Aunty for wasting some vegetables, that hadn’t been cooked until then. The other day she was having a conversation with the maid from the neighbour’s house. We overheard her tell her,”Madam hardly cooks at home. She buys food most of them time from hotels.”
–This is when Usha Aunty cooks for her, even if she is invited for lunch outside.
She once very convincly shouted at the postman for a bringing a letter that was addressed to “Ananthalakshmi”. Usha Aunty thankfully caught the poor guy who was terrorized by then on time to get my letter. Yellamma was upset no one had told her my real name.
Yellamma will not stay in the house when Usha Aunty is not in station, because she very shyly says,”How can I stay in the house, when only Sir is there”!!!!!!
Yellamma also jumps the gate when there is no key around.
She has traveled with forest brigand Veerappan in the same bus, in fact he was sitting right next to her(or so she claims).She has certified that he was a very good man.
Think I need to beat up Pip. He has told her to take care of me.
Usha Aunty’s greatest dream is to donate Yellamma away to any willing family for free. She often thinks of given her a long period of paid leave. But every morning(rather afternoon) begins with waiting for Yellamma. Munni faithfully waits to be beaten up by her. I wait for her every weekend, to see her walk in, chewing her betel leaves for the much needed laffs for a relaxing weekend.
This is a post I started writing after Pip and my parents left.
Today is my first day if being truly alone after Pip left. My parents stayed back for a while. My mum continued to stay long after my dad left. She left yesterday and now am truly back to square one.
Made my modest beginning in my cooking escapades with our very own Idly! Couldnt have asked for a more perfect beginning. Wish me luck for tomorrow.
Went to the railway station yesterday and I was reaffirmed by the Indian Railways as to why I am not too fond of them. Why blame the Indian Railways. I am not too fond of any railway! So a simple trip to the information counter left me struggling with drunk men and while I managed to get out, one of my slippers didnt manage so easily. Thanks to a really helpful gentleman who pulled it out with no less effort than shouting at and shoving a few burly men away, I didnt walk barefoot.
That over, mum and I meandered to the platform with our cabbie who proved real helpful by offering to carry one of our bags(and thus saving me from haggling with porters). We waited for the train in a place in the platform which we thought was closest to the coach(marked by LEDS). My worst fears came true when we realised we were not near the coach and as ever I panicked. My mother seemed more relaxed and with help of a porter found the coach, carried the heavy bags and heaved them under the seat.
I am mortally scared of trains. Unlike Kareen Kapoor in Jab we Met who takes immense pride in catching trains even in the last moment, I am quite feeble hearted when it comes to trains. Trains somehow muddle my brains and train of thought(He he).
I have had a variety of experiences on train.
I have fallen off running trains- I had forgotten the concept of inertia.Once in a local train in Mumbai, I noticed that the buildings I had seen a minute back were reappearing and I realised to my horror that the train was on its way back and we had taken the wrong train. My dearest friend Anu jumped out at first and very casually asked me to get out. Me the great stepped right out and fell flat on my face. My third friend who was in her right minds refused to get out and very confidently shouted out,” macchan I will get out in the next station” and realised the next second that she had no money and she also jumped out. An elderly gentleman proceeded to scold us for our irresponsible behaviour. I dont blame him, I am sure it looked drastic- two girls falling off the trains one after the other! Anyways the bruises obliged to heal after an ice cream.
Once, in true filmy style, the doors closed behind Pip, leaving me on the platform of a railway station in an unknown city, with just a map and guide book. Pip had the tickets, passports, money and we had tucked the phone safely in the hotel room!
While Pip received advice from a co passenger as to how to get change line and get back to the same station, he used his head and stay put in the station where we were actually headed for and waited for me to come- ha my knight in waiting !!!
One time, the door knob wouldnt work and the train stopped only for a brief minute in that station.
Somehow automatic doors close when I am standing in between, I get into the wrong coaches depsite being literate and well educated, door latches dont work. I am thoroughly spooked that the train will move just when I am getting on and I will be squished to jelly format.
Pip explains it by saying that trains sense fear and boy they sure do sense.
I dont know if trains can sense love, if it can then am sure Pip’s in a harem filled with trains!He loves them and takes pride in taking the train in every city he visits.He even hoardes maps of city stations.
He cant read maps for nuts. He will even call up his friends in the US(who have lived for a long time in Bangalore) to ask for routes, despite having stayed here for almost 26 years! He cannot remember the street he was in two mins back and always heads in the wrong direction. But leave him in a railway station and it his dream come true. Suddenly the city makes sense to him. Once in a train he will speak endlessly about all the metros he has ever been on, the donuts he ate, the beggars he met. While I listen passively to his monologue, huddled up with my belongings, wondering when I will get to breathe again normally. He even has friends who sit in random local trains from Andheri to Virar(Mumbai Suburbs) and travel back again- just for fun.
I cant empathize with die hard romantics who are hell bent on discovering India and experiencing the sights and sounds of India by travelling on the steps of trains in the second class.
The other set of people who might hate me are the ones who love to travel on cars with no hood/ bikes so that they can feel the wind on their face. I hate it. Leaves me all teary eyed and tangled hair which can be untangled only by chopping them up! I like bikes and cars alright, but yes ones which dont go at break neck speed or those which tangle my hair.
Go ahead call me boring, conservative! Boo me even!
I love buses. Big shiny, nice bright, clean,preferably red ones(with no cheap lecherous men). I can sit in one endlessly. I love watching people, dogs,world go by(and No, I still dont prefer getting my hair messed up). I have even spent a night in one(during the cloudburst in Mumbai). I was stuck in a bus all night with a friend and we waded through waist deep water the next day to reach college.
Recently, my tutor from the writing class suggested that we turn in an original piece of travel writing on our experience of hopping from bus to the other in Bangalore.
Hmmmmm- am still contemplating. Any suggestions?
So on a manic Monday morning, I managed the following