Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Hmmm, it’s been a loooonnngggg time since I have been giving the cold shoulder to this tiny space of mine. I have several solid reasons that I can tell you but I am not sure whether you have the patience to listen to them.

Well, excuse no: 1: Pregnancy - I tell you, this is an excellent excuse to get away with anything and everything :-)

Sample this …
Hubz: "Why have you not posted nephew’s b’day card?"
Eljo: *said b’day card had totally skipped her mind, takes some time to think* "Oh, I am pregnant!!! How can you ask me to do any task???!#&$&"

Hubz: *comes home tired hoping to eat something nice and warm. Sees there is no food* “What??? No dinner??? ”
Eljo: *busy switching channels on TV* “Hmmm, I am pregnant. How can you expect me to cook food??? #@^$& ”

Eljo: *busy polishing off chocolate mousse cake before moving on to palada payasam which a friend has generously shared*
Hubz: *looks on with genuine wonder as to how one person can eat so much*
Eljo: “Don’t even think about it!!! I am pregnant and I have the license to hog”
Hubz: “But I didn’t even say anything…”

So you see dear people, this one reason itself has been so good and effective that I haven’t had the opportunity to rack my brains for any other reason. But now that there is barely 8 weeks of pregnancy left, I have to seriously start thinking of other reasons to continue my obnoxious behaviour and generally take life easy.

So my dear peoples, please to give me some solid reasons so that I can continue to get away with doing exactly as I please and poor Hubz has no choice but to keep his mouth shut. Your suggestions would be tried on Hubz to test the effectiveness and the person who offers the most successful suggestion would have my undying gratitude and can expect similar suggestions from me in their times of need ;-)

Monday, June 23, 2008


* comes wearing a thorth on the head and checks if anybody is looking. Relieved that nobody is looking, quickly posts and scoots away lest she gets some pulicha therry from blogfriends*

Me dears, I don’t think anybody would have really noticed my leave of absence from the blogging world. Yeah, yeah, except for the two of you :-)

Well, hubz and me have been on this mission to expand the Indian population in Holland.
If all goes well by end Dec / early Jan, we will be adding one more crazy mallu to our midst.

So why this long delay ??? you rightly ask…

Me dears, by no means is this an easy mission. The only silver lining I see currently is the license to hog. While earlier people would look horrifyingly at fast disappearing plates kept in front of me, now people look indulgently.

Me seriously thinks that hubz is also having some “good news”. This mind boggling Sherlock Holmes kinda deduction was made after observing hubz’s ever increasing appetite. You know one way its good to have company as we both can waddle to some nice restaurant and polish off food like there is no tomorrow and still not feel the lightest tinge of guilt.

So bring on all the high caloried till now eating only in dreams kinda grub. We believe in not wasting any golden opportunity :-)

See ya around …

Thorth – towel
Pulicha therry – not to be confused with ripe cherry. Plainly put means choicest abuses.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Hair Raising Tales – Part II

Statutory Warning: Any resemblance to any living persons are purely intentional ;-p

Scene 1:

Cast: Guy, Gal and Gal’s sis on visit
Time : Friday evening relaxing at home in the weekend mode.

Gal : *depressed as her new hair cut is not making her look younger. In fact, it makes her look like a wet hen with spiked feathers, owing to the stupid mousse the hairdresser used* “My hair is a disaster $(#%(#%)%”

Guy: “Here, have a glass of red wine” *Guy’s way of solving all problems in the world is by having a glass of red wine. Alternate solution is having a glass of beer of course!*

Scene 2:

Gal: *Drinking her red wine contemplating for the nth time why the hairdresser had to use the mousse*

Sis: “Chech, remember the fringe you had ages ago???”

Gal: *getting out of her reverie* “What, where, when??? Oh, the one I had a decade ago! ”

Guy : *guffawing* “Fringe!@#$& You had a fringe ”
Gal: *selective hearing mode on. Conveniently ignores Guy. Listens to Sis*

Sis: “You know you used to look quite cute with the fringe. ”

Guy: *still guffawing* “Fringe!@#$& You had a fringe ”

Scene 3:

Gal: *slinks away to the bedroom and chops off a lock of hair, looks at the mirror and checks whether she looks 10 years younger. Sees that answer is NO and chops off some more*

Guy & Sis: *hears no sound of Gal and comes to inspect, as they are sure that Gal is upto some mischief as she is unusually quiet*

Sis: What???@$$)@#$* You cut your hair.

Gal: *a wry grimace and tries to cover up the disaster*

Guy: *still guffawing* “Fringe!@#$& Now, you have a fringe. Is this what is called Fringe Benefits??? ”

Sis: “You know we should cut some more, then only it will be even”

Gal: *Lets Sis chop off some more hair*

Scene 4:

Gal: *gets up in the morning. Sees the “fringe” standing up like that of Dennis, the Menace. Infact looks even worse; it actually resembles a “ra” written in Malayalam* “Sis#@*$* you better take a life insurance. There’s no way I am letting you walk away from this. ”

Guy: *howling with laugher, but tries to muffle his laughter owing to the steely glare from the gal*

Sis: *slinking away and not making any smartass comments owing to her fear for her life*

Scene 5:

Gal * desperately applying water, oil, gel to straighten the said “RA” to make it look more decent & respectable*

Moral of the story: Never underestimate the power of one glass of red wine especially when drunk on an empty stomach. It makes you do unimaginable things….


Thursday, April 10, 2008

Tagged Again!!!

After the last tag, I thought my blog friend had enough of me, but NO! He has tagged me again. You have no choice but to obey the BIG CHEF.
Warning: These trivias of self has the potential to give you a headache. So read it at your own risk….

1. LAST MOVIE YOU SAW IN A THEATER: Now movie theatres and me don’t get along well. I prefer watching movies in the comfort of my home without taking the trouble to dress up and looking presentable. I guess the last movie in a theatre was Om Shanti Om.

2. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING? Stopped serious reading ever since I got married as I realised the food doesn’t cook by itself and the clothes don’t wash by itself. How I wish I had a magic wand!!! The problem with me is that when I get a good book I forget time and place and don’t budge until I finish reading. Currently re-reading “Daddy Long Legs” by Jean Webster in e-version. I had read this book umpteen times but still feel all mushy and nice when I read this book.

3. FAVORITE BOARD GAME? Don’t have the brains or patience for anything except Snake & Ladders and may be Carom. But I am terrible at Carom.

4. FAVORITE MAGAZINE? Used to be Reader’s digest, but now I find that it has more ads and pics than content. So I stick with old issues of RD, courtesy FIL’s book collection.

5. FAVORITE SMELLS? Nail polish / Paint, Kerosene, Aroma of freshly cooked food wafting from Mom’s kitchen (anything except fish and meat), Smell of citric fruits.

6. FAVORITE SOUND? Mom humming in the kitchen. Hearing the ruckus the entire family creates on get-togethers especially the little cousins.

7. WORST FEELING IN THE WORLD? Feeling helpless.

What do I make for breakfast????

9. FAVORITE FAST FOOD PLACE? A nameless chat-wala who sits next to Roopak Dry fruit centre in Ajmal Khan Market in Delhi. He makes the most amazing Aloo chat and Aloo tikki.

10. FUTURE CHILD'S NAME? After loads of fights, tears and tantrums (from my side), Hubz & me have agreed on ISABEL. Fighting, tearing and tantrumming still continuing on a suitable Boy name.

11. FINISH THIS STATEMENT. "IF I HAD A LOT OF MONEY I’D...?Quit my job and open a children’s library. It would be exactly like Meg Ryan’s “Shop around the corner” in “You’ve got mail”

12. DO YOU DRIVE FAST? I hate driving and I don’t drive unless there is absolutely no other way. I drive SLOW.

13. DO YOU SLEEP WITH A STUFFED ANIMAL? Would Hubz count? To my defence, he is really stuffed to the gills after dinner ;-)


15. WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST CAR? Cars & me don’t go hand in hand or should I say hand in wheel.

16. FAVORITE DRINK? Hot water, Fresh fruit Juices, Masala Chai.

17. FINISH THIS STATEMENT, "IF I HAD THE TIME I WOULD sleeeeeppppp to my heart’s content. (my wishes are very primitive)

18. DO YOU EAT THE STEMS ON BROCCOLI? Slurrrrpppp, absolutely….

19. IF YOU COULD DYE YOUR HAIR ANY COLOR, WHAT WOULD BE YOUR CHOICE?Earlier had streaked red, now I have natural silver streaks. I am guessing given a choice it would be copper.

20. NAME ALL THE DIFFERENT CITIES/TOWNS YOU HAVE LIVED IN.Trichur, Cherthala, Aluva, Madras, Bombay, Delhi, Ernakulam, Bangalore, Pala, London, Amsterdam.

21. FAVORITE SPORTS TO WATCH? Figure skating, gymnastics.

Strictly tongue in cheek characterised by the smiley ;-P I guess looking at the smiley, the right expression would be tongue out of cheek. Has a knack of brightening up people’s days through his writing.

23. WHAT'S UNDER YOUR BED? Kokachi, me thinks.

24. WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE BORN AS YOURSELF AGAIN?Yes, but a less moody one.

25. MORNING PERSON, OR NIGHT OWL? Morning person

26. OVER EASY, OR SUNNY SIDE UP? Can I have an omelette, please???

27. FAVORITE PLACE TO RELAX? Wherever my family is at that moment. High on the list is definitely Kerala.

28. FAVORITE PIE? Hot Apple Strudel with warm Vanila Sauce

29. FAVORITE ICE CREAM FLAVOR? Lychee & Ginger from Haigen Daz, Strawberry cheesecake from Ben & Jerry’s, Tender coconut & Seethaphal flavours from Naturals.


And this tag goes to…some of the nice people who took the trouble to comment on my blog. The others were already tagged by sis and other bloggers :-(



Monday, March 31, 2008

Arrivals & Departures

Don’t you just love arrivals at international terminals??? I for one am totally in love with them. The whole place is seeped in positive energy. Had to spend quite a lot of time last friday at arrivals as sis’s flight was severely delayed thanx to the wonderful operation of T5. If you just check their website they promise you a wonderful travel experience and if sis’s experience is anything to go by, I wouldn’t be travelling via T5 any soon.

Anyways, I am digressing. So I was mentioning about my love for arrivals. I love waiting by the arrivals and looking at the expression of the people. If by definition the person who arrives is the “arriver”, you don’t need a load of brains to decipher that the person who is waiting is the “waiter” ;-)

I love to observe the flock of waiters at the terminal waiting for their loved ones. The look of eager anticipation, balloons and flowers in their hands and sometimes whacky messages in huge cut-outs. I so love when little kids are also present. Usually they have the most honest expressions. Where as adults, we are more tied down by acceptable social behaviour in public; the kids are lucky that they are not bound by such silly norms. Its always heartening to see the little ones running to their grand parents / parents / cousins / or whomever they are waiting for with such unbridled enthusiasm.

I got to see this most touching scene last Friday. A father was waiting alongside me for his family. The door opened and there came his wife and two little kids; a little girl of about 4 and a small boy of about 2. The way the kids ran up to their dad and jumped on him calling him “Pappy” I felt he was the richest man in the universe. Then came the turn of his wife and they looked deep into each other’s eyes, and they hugged and kissed. The kids had made some drawing for their dad on the flight and they were busy showing their pictures to their Pappy who was looking at them very appreciatively. I could sense that I was not the only one who was watching with this scene with the utmost interest. I turned around and saw many more people smiling wistfully looking at this cute family. I am sure that this scene will remain with me for a long time.

All this positive energy really gets to me and poor hubz is left wondering how his ill-tempered shrew of a wife turns all marsh-mellowy once she lands at the airport. Conversely, I am terrible at departure terminal. Even if I am not feeling terribly sad, all the sobbing and nose-blowing gets to me and I am back to my usual ill-tempered self.

I am partial about Arrivals specifically at the International terminal as the emotions there are multi-fold. Nowadays domestic air travel is so common that emotions are akin to boarding a bus.

And if you were wondering how I greeted the sis, we air-kissed. Showing emotions in public and US….. NO WAY!!!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Impressions on Dubai

We were on a “blink and you miss it” trip to Kerala for Easter and had the opportunity to visit Dubai enroute for a day.

Till some time back, the name “Dubai” conjured up visions of wealth, rich Sheiks, dates, palm trees and of course gold, camels and desert safaris. This perception changed a bit when I got to see the wonderful movie “Arabikatha” by Lal Jose. This movie was an eye-opener. Earlier in Malayalam movies anybody coming from the Gulf was shown as having pot loads of money and arriving in a taxi with atrocious goggles, a garish bold printed shirt with the first three buttons unbuttoned, some 2-3 gold chains around the neck, a thick gold bracelet (ewwww) and baggages arranged vertically on top of the taxi, Lal Jose showed a different Dubai; where people were suffering, where people were willing to do anything to survive and support families back home in Kerala. Actually being in Dubai, we felt we were in the land of Cuba Mukundan. (Protagonist of Arabikatha). Lal Jose has done a pretty spot on depiction of the life of mallus in Dubai.

The one thing which hit me immediately on landing in Dubai was that it was an XXXL version of our own Amchi Mumbai. The amount of mallus just shocked me. Whereas here in the Netherlands, hubz and me get away with gossiping about passers-by in Malayalam, there we had to be on guard as every third person on the road was a Mallu. Added to the fact that our cabbie was a Mallu, Saravana Bhavan was playing mallu movie songs, the tamilian waiter in the said Bhavan spoke mallu; after a while I got the feeling that there were more Mallus in Dubai than in Kerala.

Well, everything in Dubai has to be the tallest, the biggest, the largest… (Hmmmm, we get the picture, don’t we?) The amount of construction, which is happening there is shocking. The malls there are gigantic. Apparently there is this group of people called “mall-walkers” who walk around the mall for exercise!?!? Covering about one tenth of the “Mall of the Emirates” I can understand that you can burn some calories by just walking around the gargantuan shopping complex.

Traffic jams are much worse than Bombay and Bangalore. Living conditions are even worser than Mumbai chawls. Our friend was considered leading a luxurious life as he had a single room all for himself inspite of the fact of shared kitchen and shared bathroom facilities. Apparently in a room like his, it is the usual norm for atleast 3 people to stay. Rents are exhorbitant and unless one has an extremely well paying job it is not worthwhile to stay in Dubai.

I wonder what were the mallu people thinking in marrying off their daughters to some bloke in Dubai without even checking about the quality of life there. I guess the same question applies to people marrying off daughters to guys in US, UK and a host of other countries as well. Just because the guy is working in “foreign”, the guy is considered as a “good catch” !!!

Its quite a strange paradox that while Dubai’s emergence as one of the world-class cities attributes quite a huge chunk of its growth to the toiling mallu populace, it is the same mallus who still act as a hindrance to Kerala’s growth.

P.S. I am talking about the life of an average mallu here and not that of the super-rich.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Specs Appeal!!!

Yes, that’s right! Not a typo, not an oversight, I did write Specs Appeal. This is something, which I have by the truckloads.

Now I see you people scratching your head and wondering what is this darn thing? *taking my time and enjoying my 2.5 seconds of fame and speculation* Ok, Ok before you guys get bored and run away, let me get straight into the explanation… It’s a long story…Mind it! Rascala ;-)

As per Section 2 (d) of the Intangible Qualities Act, “Specs appeal is that extra quotient of unidentifiable matter which alters your appearance significantly with and without a pair of spectacles that an acquaintance takes 2 seconds longer to identify you”.

I have been hearing about how different I look w / w out my spectacles quite often that I came with this term “Specs Appeal” to pacify the confused / startled acquaintances.

Typical Scenario:

Day 1: Me in spectacles greeting a newbie at office.
Eljo : Hi, so everything fine? Did you get accommodation? *and similar such pleasantries*
Newbie: Yes, fine. Settled quite well.

Day 2: Me in contacts greeting oldbie *IT lifecyle is really rapid*
Eljo : Hello, so settled? *scratches head to ask questions not asked the previous day and settles on the lifesaving topic “weather”*
Oldbie : Huh? Have we met before?
Eljo : *thinking there it comes* We met yesterday.
Oldbie : Oh, its you! You look so different!
Eljo : Yeah, its Specs Appeal! Bye. *runs away before more questions are asked*

Now all this looking different business started a loooonnnggg while ago.

Cut to the Sepia tinged flashback: *background score: songs from Maine Pyaar Kiya, Kilukkam, QSQT*

Spectacles became my shadow and companion ever since 8th Std. The first pair, which I got, was an Ugly Betty type and just like her I also got my braces the very same year. All you have to imagine is a gawky spotty teenager with thick soda glasses, braces on her teeth and a ponytail and that’s exactly how I looked in my initial teenage years.

Braces don’t stay on forever but spectacles do stick on like a leech. So in a few years time the braces came off but the specs stayed on but they did metamorphosise into contact lenses by the time I turned 18.

Now don’t imagine a makeover story of how the gawky & clumsy teenager turned into a babe and everybody was gasping the next time they saw her. If there were any gasps, they were only from mom on seeing sis & me dressed in jeans for yet another family function. This would be start of her standard rant which went like this “Ho, ee kochungale kondu thottu, namade veettil pani edukkan varunna Kamakshi vare evare kalum menakanu poruthe pokunney!#$!”(In angrezi all it means is “I am fed up with these girls, even our help Kamakshi goes out better dressed”) Thankfully I had sis for company and after lots of negotiations suitable outfits would be found to be worn to the countless functions.

The funny thing is about looking different is the ensuing conversations with relatives. Now that we had been away for a long time from Kerala, most of our relatives had a couple of years old image of me with the braces and specs and then they take one look and go:

Relatives: “Ayyo, ithu Eljo aano??? Aalu aake mari poyallo, pandu engane irunnathayirunnu?” (Is this Eljo??? You have cbanged a lot since the last time”)
Eljo: “Enthu cheyyam aunty, vayasai varuvalle ;-)” (What to do aunty? I am growing old)

I do realize that you don’t need to change drastically for the above- mentioned conversation. Every annual vacation to Kerala, sis & I were subjected to the very same conversation.

Cut to present time: *background score: songs from Taare Zameen Par, Bheema, Jodha Akbar*

Though I do have my contacts I prefer wearing my specs ever so often for the simple fact that I am L.A.Z.Y. and half the time I can’t be bothered about dressing up and looking presentable.

So the next time, you see a woman running around in Netherlands in unwashed jeans, hair looking like a crow’s nest, an overflowing shoulder bag and spectacles / contacts, don’t forget to come & say Hi as in 99.9999% probability its bound to be me.

I have realized over time that having Specs Appeal is actually a blessing in disguise. I look like a homely “pavam” girl when I have my glasses on. So if I have to get something done all I have to do is wear my glasses and act na├»ve. Other benefits include hiding from the manager to whom I had promised some requirement documents. All I have to do is just do a quick flashback and check whether I worn my glasses the previous time I met him. If Yes, wear contacts, look different. If No, wear spectacles, look different. Zo Zimble, No??? ;-)

Monday, February 25, 2008

Happy Birthday Kaattu Maakan!!!

Dear Hubz,

You know we are not one of those picture postcard type couples; the types who are the epitome of maturity, wisdom and of course love. Coz we are as different as they come. If one said “ka” the other would automatically say ‘Ma”; If one likes “gulab jamun” the other likes “roshogolla”; if one is a pure non-vegetarian the other is a brahmin in disguise; if one is a pala achayan the other is a metro-mallu. Though the success rates of our shared hobbies keep fluctuating like a patient’s heartbeat in ER, still we manage to co-exist and have not yet clobbered each other though at times we have come very close to it.

You know that I am somebody who finds it very difficult to display emotions in public whereas you are so open about the way you feel. Coming from a family where display of emotions physically is a rarity, it was a culture shock initially to come into your family and start kissing everybody. Now that I have got the hang of kissing, could you plzzz invite those yummilicious cousins of yours? *wink, wink*

It is becoming increasing difficult to tone down our terms of endearment or should I say “name-calling” especially since we have so many guests at home. People visiting us would be forgiven if they mistook our place for a zoo what with all the names being used…

Why don’t we stick together till our ‘soulmates’ (in your case a certain Milano and in my case Pierce Brosnan or George Clooney whoever comes first) comes a calling?

I can’t think of irritating or fighting or nagging anybody else from whom I derive such great pleasure …

And Oops! Before I forget…. Here’s wishing you a very very happy birthday…

Loads of Louwe,

Friday, February 22, 2008

Its official!!!

Its official my dear friends, romans and kandry fellas that I am a certified baking disaster…:-( Now disaster is a very mild word… more like a catastrophe …if there is some other word, which can encompass the enormity, plzzz let me know. Will put in that word…) *sigh*

The whole problem started the day I got hooked onto food blogs. All these online food goddesses & food gods were posting drool worthy pics and were giving me the impression that baking was a dream. I do partially agree to their statement except that baking is turning into a nightmare for me :-(

Now to list my case:

i) First effort was a simple microwave chocolate cake, which came out well… surprisingly… Now it looked like a cake, also if you were blindfolded and asked to bite it, you would have bravely guessed “Cake???” Now your guess could have been at the risk of your life, so you had no choice but to guess “Cake???” (mmm, we get the picture, don’t we???)

ii) Fortified by the first result I went about making an eggless cake for one of my veggie friends on her birthday. The end result was a rubbery concoction, which could only be eaten with the same pleasure as that of eating chavaprasham or drinking kashayam. Now my friend is an expert in PR and to give the gal credit she bravely took one bite of my creation and had even the grace to go “mmmm” when her mouth was seriously begging to form an “ewwww”. Surprisingly she is still friends with me after that fiasco though very clearly there has been no more requests for cake…

iii) Then the “volcano” cake… this one was designed by soul sistah and yours truly. Before people get wind of this superlative dessert (?) we should run and patent it. The end result was an erupting lava spewing cake (?!?).

iv) Now seeing my success rates with the cakes, I decided to bring my goals a li’l lower and set my sights on making “puffs” or the “nadan pups” (not to be confused with kutty doggies). As per the instructions all I had to do was cut pastry sheets, insert filling, gently cover it and place in the oven for abt 12 min at a certain temperature. The end result should have been golden brown puffs waiting to be bitten but what I got was a broken plate and soggy pastry sheets. With utmost haste and horror, the resulting mess graced the garbage bin within nanoseconds and a suitable dish was made to appease hubz to get him into the mood to listen to my disaster…

The ever insightful and long suffering hubz has discovered that it is infact cost effective and remarkably tension free & not to mention hassle free if we simply bought these little devils from our local baker. I can imagine his viewpoint. He feels like having the sinful (but so bad for waistline) Choco-Dutch Truffle.

Scenario I: Have a smile on his lips, walk barely 5 feet and greet our sweet assistant at the bakery or bakkerij as they say here. Order two truffles and walk home and bite into them. (Hah! Life is simple)

Secnario II: Now, if I were to make the little devils at home.

Eljo: Hubz, I am making Choco-Dutch truffles today…
Hubz : *in shock, thinks of ways to dampen my enthusiasm* I don’t like those darn things.

Eljo: *rubbing her hands in glee* Whoever asked you in the first place???
Hubz: *realizing tactic is not working tries another strategy* You realise what you are getting into???? I will not clean up the resulting mess.
Eljo: *conveniently goes into selective hearing mode*

After about three quarters of an hour
Eljo: *panicking* err… HUBZZZZZZZZZZ… I think we have a SMALL problem…
Hubz: Not responding *read selective hearing mode ON*

Eljo: Plzzzz… I promise not to try baking again.
Hubz: *selective hearing mode OFF & wondering for the nth time when Eljo will concede defeat * rushes to help Poor Eljo(whose plates are broken but not yet her spirit)
Hubz:Is this the right time to say, “I told you so”???
ELJO: @&*&$*@#&$
Hubz: Yeah, I thought not…

At present, I have a restraining order against my oven. Nowadays when Hubz catches me looking longingly at the oven, he tries distracting my attention. It looks eerily similar to handing lollipops to kutty babies so that they forget about the crystals and delicate jars they were planning to inspect.

Lately I get the feeling akin to Godzilla when I enter my kitchen. I swear I can feel all my glass plates shivering and running to the end of the rack so that its not their turn to lay down their life in my quest for that sinful dark yummilicious chocolate cake.

So, my dear sympathizers do put in a good word on my behalf to dear hubz so that he lets me near the oven again…

To my defence, my point of contention is whats life without a little adventure … and some broken plates…and a royal mess to clean up… and *sniff* whats that burning smell??? Oops dearies, time to go… Ta da….

Friday, February 15, 2008

She came, she saw, she fell…among other things

In a synopsis, that’s what our last weekend was. (For more details, you could take a peek here). The weekend, which was eagerly awaited, ended in an anti-climax. Oops, before I forget the climax was of course the part where I called up emergency and they asked me how was I sure that I am dying right now???&@*$

Sis was here last weekend. We had major plans of taking her out owing to unusually good weather but all we did was sit at home and peek out of the window… *sigh*

Things started going downhill on Thursday evening itself. I started feeling unwell but then decided to ignore hoping I will feel better by the next day. Friday dawned, my health no better. But still went about as usual.

Friday evening 6.45 pm:
Airport, pick up sis.

Friday evening 8.30 pm:
Finish dinner, me feeling positively unwell. Hubby & sis decide to check out Chinese New Year celebrations in central part of city. They are cycling their way there.

Friday night 10.30 pm: Mr. Murphy in full action.
I have no choice but to call emergency. Hubz and a limping Sis arrive due to her dare-devilry atop the cycle. I mentally prepared to call up emergency.

Conversation ensued as follows:
Me: Hello, this is Eljo. I am ….
Emergency lady: What is your full name?

Me: But I am feeling …
Emergency lady: Now your Date of Birth.

ME: I am …
Emergency lady: Now your postcode.

By now I am sure that she is not going to ask me why I am calling her in the first place.

Emergency Lady: *very exasperatedly* now what is the problem?
ME: *thinking of saying “Fire on the mountain, run, run run” but realizing that I have called emergency and not fire department start with the problems*

Emergency Lady: *very disinterestedly* Oh… but can’t this wait till Monday??
ME: I don’t think I will be alive till then… (They don’t call me drama- queen for nothing!!!)

Emergency Lady: *Convinced by my dialogue delivery * Ok, come and meet the doctor tomorrow morning at 9.00 am…
ME: *relieved* OK, thanx
Emergency Lady: *Thad!!! plonked the phone down*

In the meanwhile, hubby helping out limping sis with volini…

Saturday, morning 5.30 am
Me feeling worse and am pretty sure that I am on my way to pearly gates very soon. I do a quick rewind and scan my past for any deed for which I will be sent Down Under. Skips aside all the nagging and fighting with hubby as acceptable way of life as that’s why it is called martial life (oops! Sorry…marital life)

Saturday morning 5.45 am:
Again call Emergency and stuck with the same Emergency aunty. What are the odds of that??? Like I said before Murphy uncle was in full form…

ME: *in a dramatic voice* I had called before…
Emergency Lady: What is your name?

ME: you have all my details. Pls this is urgent.
Emergency Lady: Now your date of birth.

ME: *how about 31 April? Seriously this lady was pushing her limits*
Manages to squeak out DOB and postcode details lest she assumed that I had changed houses in 5 hours time.

Emergency Lady: Why did you wait so long?
ME: *What the ****? * You told me to wait till tomorrow morning….

Anyways to cut a long story short, managed to see the Doc on Saturday morning. Found out that it was not as life threatening as was assumed by yours truly.

Came back home and 2 injured sisters decided to penalize one miserable guy to do as per their bidding. Poor guy got so fed up that he decided it was better for him to sprain his ankle and sit at home rather than running around satisfying demands of two high-maintenance drama queens ;-)

Pssst: If you find one tall guy limping around saying he got a sprain while playing basketball, don’t believe him!!! ;-)

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Of Daggers & Spears, Of Knives & Forks…

Before you reach the conclusion that I am planning an ambush let me clear up the confusion and wave the white flag of peace. Well, the heading is just an indication of my erstwhile (or should I say continuing) fear of cutlery…

For Neanderthal people like me who only had to use one’s hands for the purpose of feeding oneself, cutlery and allied things used to be looked at with sole distrust and a bit of fear, which would never be admitted in public. It also helped that Indian food per se, didn’t need the use of things like knives, forks and dessertspoons. All you need is utmost a spoon and your trustworthy hands and you could relish your food to the maximum.

Dad, the banker always used to stress the importance of learning to use cutlery which his tribal daughters would barely be listening while stuffing their faces with “palaharam” all the while keeping an eagle eye on mom’s plate so the first claim could be made for the last “pazham pori” or whatever was remaining. The taste of something fought for tooth and nail and eaten or something stolen & eaten is exponentially higher than eating amidst plenty. Dad used to tell us horror stories about some random banker who wanted to show off his table manners and ended up having to run behind his flying chicken fry after using the fork and knife. Even at Bankers club parties, the only “birdie dance” which we children partook was the flying birds out of our plates into our neighbour’s plates courtesy our supreme cutlery skills ;-)

Then came the time of leaving home and starting a job. In our induction we did have a small presentation on table etiquettes but no one was paying the least attention as our batch of trainees were busy trying out all items in the buffet and giving a general feeling like we just landed from Somalia.

In my earlier job I had to co-ordinate interviews for my organization on a few occasions. These interviews were held in 5 * hotels and as I was present the whole day there, I used to invariably lunch with the EVPs of my organization. Even though the co-ordination part was a breeze, I used to get butterflies in my stomach just thinking about having to lunch with the top-shots of my organization. I had visions of me ending up like Julia Roberts in “Pretty Woman” with the waiter catching the crab. My hands used to tremble while taking the menu and then my eyes used to busily scan and look for dishes, which would necessitate the use of hands.

Eventhough I would have to loved to try the restaurant’s special ‘lasagne’ or “chicken steak” (afterall it was my company that was paying) very wisely with a heavy heart I would choose a burger or a pizza as that’s something I could very confidently tear apart with my bare hands. My admiration levels for my bosses went sky high when I saw the dexterity with which they could handle their cutlery. For me they were equivalent to Antonio Banderas in the “Mask of Zorro” and their use of cutlery was as good as the intricate sword fights.

Coming into the world of IT, I have been a witness to lot of cutlery gaffes.
I have seen so many sights akin to that of a torture camp; examples being stabbing a cutlet, beheading an apple and don’t get me started on the main course! The lack of skill becomes pronounced especially when you end up having to attend hi-fi lunch meetings wherein you are expected to dazzle the client with your supreme business skills and the cutting edge technology, which your company professes to possess. Half the time you are busy saying the rosary at breakneck speed and hoping for a divine intervention so that your application functions as claimed and the other half you are trying to cover up the fact that your hands are shivering and hoping against hope the fork in your hands stop rattling and stays put.

The one thing I have realized over time is that eating with hands is also an amazing skill. This conclusion was drawn after seeing some ‘phoren’ colleagues come home and trying to eat ‘desi khana’ with hands. Their method of eating was (i) drop food into mouth from a distance or (ii) take food by the fist and stuff the said fist into their mouth.

Feels good that my dear colleagues are also getting a complex about not able to eat delicately with their hands ;-)

Please, pls, plzzz tell me that I am not the only suffering from cutlerophobia…

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Hair raising Tales

Statutory Warning: Any resemblance to any living persons are purely intentional ;-p

Scene 1:

Cast: Guy, Gal and Guy’s uncle on visit
Time : Monday morning mad rush from home to office.

Gal : *busy running and getting things ready* Onnu vegam irangunnundo….(Get ready quick). We will surely miss the metro if you take this looooong for your make-up.

Guy: * very painstakingly applying hair gel and creating tiny spikes on his already short hair * mmmmm… I am coming.

Scene 2:

Guy : T uncle, we are leaving for office now. Will come early today.

Guy’s uncle : * busy looking at Guy’s hair* Nee engane aano pokkunney? (Is this the way you are going?) Shouldn’t you be combing your hair before going to office ???

Guy: *turning bright red in embarrassment and giving a valicha chiri* Ayyo uncle, itha eppozhathey latest style (Uncle, this is the latest fashion)

Gal: *busy smothering her guffaws and trying to be the ideal marumakal* Ok uncle, we are leaving.

Scene 3:

*Guy mercilessly teased by Gal the rest of day *


Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Childhood Scares

Just the other day hubby was not going to sleep and I told him “ Go to sleep, allengill kokachi varum” {meaning kokachi (a dangerous beast) will come}. Both of us burst out laughing and instead of going to sleep ended up discussing about the ridiculously named scary creatures of our childhood.

As far as my understanding of kokachi, he is this scary ghost, which resides in dark rooms and will take away naughty and disobedient children who refuse to sleep. Like the famous dialogue of Sholay “So jaa beta, nahin toh Gabbar singh aa jayegaa” my family (the maternal side) used to say “vegam orangikko, allengill kokachi varum”. When I checked with hubby, he said that he was familiar with such a similar creature but only the name was different. In his place, the name is “makaan”, “Kaatu maakan” (creature of the jungle). Ok, Ok, I got inspired by Bond, James Bond :-)

The other thing which naughty children were threatened with was that they would get “konthram pallu”. Now my Appachan (grandfather) and uncles have a vivid imagination and they used to describe “konthram pallu” as this huge tooth, which used to grow in the nose. It would grow bigger and bigger and then come out of the nose making the face hideous. The innocent children that we were, we used to touch our nose and check whether “konthram pallu” was growing after we did something particularly naughty.

I should say my uncles had such a gala time, terrorizing us poor nieces and nephew that we are planning to sue them for mental harassment. The next on the list of their cruelty is the story of the plant growing inside your stomach if you accidentally ended up swallowing seeds of fruits. Evenings were the time when the entire family used to gather for tea and palaharam (snacks). When one of the overzealous aunts used to feed fruits to the children, Appachan and uncles were waiting to pounce on the poor child who would invariably swallow a seed. Then would start stories of how the seed would become a sapling in the tummy and then grow into a tree that has branches, which would grow out of your mouth and ears. Stories would go on in full swing ignoring warning looks of the aunts and Ammachi.

We, as kids, used to love looking at the old wedding albums of relatives. It was quite hilarious to look at the yesteryear fashions like bell-bottoms and big moustaches. When we were looking at the album of any of our little cousin’s parents wedding, our uncles were ready to rag the poor child. They would start by asking seemingly innocuous questions like who is the bride and the kid would say ‘amma’ and then move for the kill. After turning a couple of pages, uncles would innocently ask the kid, where he was on his parents wedding. They would further say that his parents don’t love him enough and that’s why he wasn’t called for the wedding. Now our 3 yr old is in doubt and off he runs to the kitchen to find his mom to ask certain tough questions. The poor mother would end up hemming and hawing and give some pacifying answer like the kid was in her stomach and so on….

It brings a smile to my face when I end up reminiscing about the childhood days and I should say that we have had our revenge on our uncles as we used the same tactics on their kids and scared the hell out of them. It was particularly nice to see them squirming at their tiny tot’s question of where was I at your wedding… muahahaha…*evil laughter*

I am sure that all of us were routinely scared by “yakshi”, “pretam”, “rakshasi” and a host of other ghostly things. Do you have any names or incidents, which on remembering now sounds ridiculous?

Monday, January 7, 2008

Sister Act

Came back yesterday after dropping sis at the airport and the house was eerily quiet. She was here for her semester break and it was fun to go back to a non-empty house when she was here. This time around, sis & me have been tickled pink by hubby’s & my colleagues being stumped by our resemblance.

Sis & me look very similar. Infact, the truth is she looks like me. Ha! I can say that with confidence, as I am the elder one. When acquaintances met sis and started chatting with her assuming it was me, it was fun to watch their expressions on later being told that it was sis and not me. Infact one colleague went up to sis and told her it was amazing that I had lost quite a bit of weight (Ahem, warning bells about my increasing weight, which for the time being I am refusing to hear.)

All this takes me back to the time, when we didn’t want to be dead caught wearing anything remotely identical. Rather we despised being told that we resemble a lot. Being the eldest grandchildren in both dad’s & mom’s side, we were invariably the flower-girls for most of the uncles’ and aunts’ weddings. The aunts on their wedding day lived in mortal fear that their bridal veil would be dragged down by us in the midst of a tug of war for the larger portion of the veil ;-)

Mum adding to our consternation had this habit of dressing us in identical frocks. This went on till the time we refused to get out of the house if we were dressed in anything remotely similar. The 4 years age difference between us, which looked so insurmountable back then now looks very trivial. For a long time for me, she was my baby sister who was busy snitching on me or was busy snooping around my personal diaries or plainly making my life miserable by wanting to ape whatever I was doing. The bond between us actually got stronger only when I left home on my first job. That was the time that we actually started speaking with each rather than the usual petty fighting. You know it always used to surprise me that we would be watching TV or looking at somebody and would come up with the same comment at the same time. Talk about Telepathy!!!

Now that hubby has also joined the gang it is great fun that we have this amazing wavelength where only one has to start a sentence and other would finish it. Most of the time, they are ganging up on me and deriving sadistic pleasure in pulling my legs.

Well Min, loved having you here. I feel really touched that you feel close enough to your chettan & me to count us in your list of close friends. I am closing this post by asking you the question, which Tina (hubby’s niece) asked you…. Entha elayammede pole irikkuney??? (Why do you resemble my aunt so much???)

p.s. Soul sistah : you better keep your side of the bargain now that I have written an entire post on you... ;-p