Saturday, August 28, 2010

A Naughty Kid!

Before u start wondering, let me tell u that the kid mentioned here is me. The stupid things that one’s baby does in its initial days in the world are a part of the treasured memories of any mother. The 2 anecdotes here are ones shared by my mom with me and show me in a real bad kiddy light… check out!
Such a Sweet Kid

My mom was entertaining guests at home. I was not yet walking, but could crawl, and crawl pretty fast I guess! Assuming the safety of my lack of mobility on legs, my mom left me in the bedroom to do my own thing while she spent some time with the guests. In those days there was no kissan squash. It seems a brand called ‘Fruitamun’ or something was served to drink. We had pineapple squash of fruitamun at home which my mom had just mixed and served to the guests.

Now hyperactive me could not keep to myself in the bedroom for long. I crawled out and moved quickly into the kitchen (of all places!). And there I was faced with a bottle of sweet smelling goop – yeah! The fruitamun squash concentrate. I laid my hands on it and…

Hearing some sound from the kitchen, my mom n the guests came in to check. And what did they see… the little me is soaked from top to toe in fruitamun!!! The whole bottle of squash had been emptied and I was happily lolling in the sweet smelling stickiness. My mom says that, on getting an audience, I was even more overjoyed and started playing in the liquid even more!

What happened next? Well, the guests beat a hasty retreat, n mom carried me (at an arms length probably) and deposited me under a tap. Phew! To this date my mom marvels how I managed to uncork the bottle and decide to bathe in that stuff!!!

The Little Electrician

Since my mom was busy with my little brother, my dad one day carried me to hospital with him (he is a surgeon). I was seated on a comfortable window sill while dad got busy with his work and a nurse flitted around getting the medicines n stuff as required.

Suddenly my attention was attracted by some yellow and red thingies. Turns out, they were actually electric wires sticking out of a loose switch board, some distance from me. I dragged myself to the switchboard with the nurse n dad busy with a patient. I noticed the tiny holes on the switchboard, just the size of my middle finger. I pushed my finger in and clicked on the switch…

The next moment I was wailing in pain… luckily for me, the power there was very weak and I managed to extricate my finger in a reflex action as soon as the pain hit. The nurse was the first to reach me and gave me first aid for my shriveled middle finger.

Though I know I escaped real cheap, to this day I wonder at my curiosity which made my finger a plug in a live socket. And I still carry a small shrivel mark on my right middle finger…

[Uncharitable people have asked me after hearing the incident whether the switchboard and the power in the building survived after being plugged in with me… ha ha… yeah all 3 survived… the power, the socket n ME!]

Again there was the time I almost swallowed an earthworm… ok, I wont to go into that… but these kiddie acts should be remembered and shared with others… and that’s what I just did…!


Sunday, August 22, 2010

Call u Later... Bye!

How many times have you heard this exasperating statement which results in getting ur call cut abruptly? And how many times have u said this to hang up on someone? As far as I am concerned, this is one of the most irritating statements I can ever hear on a call, especially when I am talking to someone I care for. A lot of my friends and relatives have the habit of hanging up promising to call back later, never to actually do so. Hence I have come to the conclusion that the above statement is just a means of hanging up in a courteous way – u don’t intend to call back at all, right?

I guess people who use this statement feel that they can dignify an unceremonious hang-up with it. But I am one of those dumbos who wait till eternity for the person to call again. I feel restless and then end up calling him/her back myself, only to realize that the conversation was anyway deemed closed…!!!

I want to ask the people who make this jhootha promise – what do u gain by saying that statement? Won’t it be ok if you just say a bye casually and hang up? Do you think the person on the other end does not understand? Or do you think he/she is so keen to talk to you that he will not hang-up gracefully and hence u have to dangle him the carrot of calling him back later?

So the next time you hear this statement from someone, make sure to ask a time frame within which he will call back (that will stump him!). If you are in the habit of using this statement unthinkingly, please reconsider ur words. And if those words mean nothing to you, whether you hear them or say them, please, can you let me know the secret of being indifferent? ;-)


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A Lovers’ Tiff

“So what shall we do this Saturday… I have half day class and so will be able to escape from home making full day class ka bahana… bolo na… shall we go to Marine Drive?”
“Shruti, have u thought anything about what u will do after B.Com?”
“Vicky, whats this, forget na… lets plan for Saturday!”
“No Shruti, I hope u r not taking the CET lightly… there are just a few weeks left and u should become serious about MBA now…”
“But Vicky, all these years I was only studying, let me chill for a few months, then I will decide on PG!”
“Definitely not! A few months of rest means loss of a year… look at me… in spite of doing my MBA, I m still giving CFA… in today’s world forget graduation, even 1 PG is not enough. Anyway, my CFA Level 2 exams are also due in a few weeks. Nowadays I do not get much time to study in the evenings. So I want to spend Saturday with books.”
“Hmph… so ever since we started dating u have lost ur precious study time…?”
“Arre, did I say that… I m just saying, along with spending quality time together, we should also make time to spend with ourselves… I see a great future for u Shruti, u just have to make up ur mind for it. Spend some time planning for that!”
“Vicky, I never realized that our dates are troubling u so much… (in tears already)… u should have told me na…”
“U stop crying, n chalo, lets move now, else we shall be late for home.”
“Yes, let’s move, after all u have to study for CFA!”
I never realized that I am a liability to him… do I really trouble him so much? I loved all those evenings we spent together at Bandstand… never thought that all the time he was probably lamenting the loss of precious time! If he feels that I m not spending enough time thinking about my future, it also means that he himself feels he lacks time for that… courtesy me… Anyway, he always confesses that he does not love me yet… does that mean I have been plain pushy all this while? Dragging him with me to dates when he would rather spend time with family, friends or his study? O god, why do I love him so much and why does he not…? No, this is not done, I shall exit from his life and save him all the trouble… he has to do his CFA, he has to go higher…. And I don’t want to come in the way of that…
A day has passed after the tiff… Shruti has switched off her cell knowing that Vicky will msg. She spends the day moping in her room. She has had a good cry reading ‘I too had a love story’, not coz of the story, but coz she too is in that ‘I too had a love story’ mode! She is feeling calmer now and feeling that she can do this, after all it is for the benefit of her Vicky, and she will do anything to make him happy!
But Vicky Is worried. Shruti has not replied to his messages. She is not taking his calls. Watsup? But he does not give up. He persists and finally, after 2 days, Shruti attends Vicky’s call.
“So u succeeded in making me attend ur call!”
“Shruti, watsup?”
“Nothing, how are ur CFA preps going?”
“Hmm… leave at 5 today. We shall meet.”
“And what after that?”
“You leave that to me. Leave at 5.”
At 5, Vicky meets a sullen Shruti. She is ill at ease.
“So u dint want to speak to me?”
“Coz I don’t want to be a liability for u, I want u to do what u want always, don’t want to come in ur way…”
“Hmm… and did I say u r a liability to me? Don’t u think I treasure the time which I spend with u?”
“I don’t know Vicky, I just want u to be happy…”
“And my happiness lies with u Shruti, u know why? Coz… I love You…!”
“Wh… What…? What did u say?”
“What I should’ve said a long time back dear Shruti… I love you and want to be with u all the time…”
“Oh Vicky…!” (Shruti is beside herself with joy)…
But Vicky has something more to add:
“Par shart yeh hai ki MBA ya CFA exam time na ho…!”
“Vicky… u rogue…!’
And they hug… and the embrace is so tight… it appears they will never let go…


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Second Chance

A few days back, I got talking to a fairly middle aged lady at the pool in my club. The lady revealed that she had been a working woman till 3 months back and quit her job coinciding with her marriage. I did feel that it is a pretty late marriage but was taken aback to learn that she has 2 teenaged kids. “It’s my second marriage!” she said. Though I don’t know what happened to her first marriage, fact is that life has given this lady a second chance. She has grabbed it with both hands – she would me moving to Texas soon with her hubby n kids – and would try to live a full life, something she probably missed out earlier.

I believe all are dealt a certain hand in life… but there are always second chances. And as a friend rightly pointed out recently, second chances are available to all; not many really take them…!

The time in life where one can really enjoy is the student life. But a lot of us miss out on this enjoyment running after grades. And finally, when you are in a job and are running after deadlines and targets all the time, you realize what student life actually means. There is a great freedom in being in the care of parents in a life where the greatest worry is flunking any subject. But sadly, we realize this only when those days have passed…!

I had my real chance at life during my MBA. Being in hostel at some point in time is essential as it gives you the right balance of being answerable to parents as well as being responsible for yourself. And I am glad I made the best of those 2 years! Living life to the fullest may not always have a happy ending, but at least you never regret not experiencing everything… right?

Second chances also hold a true in terms of the career one opts for. How many of us are actually doing what WE want to do? There are a number of examples around us who left the rat race to do something they wanted to do. Nagesh Kukunoor left a cushy job to make films he believed in, Chetan Bhagat quit the investment banking arena to write novels on simple concepts… a lot of stories like these are seen around us. Maybe instead of doing something as drastic as these guys, one can start by doing the thing he/she likes as a hobby… who knows, it might one day just become a passion and give you the confidence to take that giant leap…!

In my life, I feel today I am living my second chance. I have the freedom which I lacked as a kid in a small town, I am doing a job I enjoy, I have the company of friends like I always wished I would… and I have today the will to see the silver lining in every cloud. So here’s to second chances… Hurray…!!!


Sunday, August 01, 2010

Dumb Me…!

I did something stupid this Saturday and just realized how dumb I am…! Anyone who knows me and has travelled some distance with me knows that I am direction challenged. Never do I get the right-left right… east n west are the same to me, be it anytime, day or night! This situation is heightened when I am in the train and keep wondering till the last minute which side the platform will come. But this Saturday, the blunder I committed really takes the cake…!!
Now before I narrate my bungle, let me give u a simple overview of the western Mumbai suburbs around Borivali where I live:

(Virar end) Dahisar-->Borivali-->Kandivali-->Malad-->Malwani (Andheri end)

On Saturday I had to run an errand at my bank in Kandivali. I also had a visit to the dentist due. I decided to kill 2 birds with 1 stone, go to the bank and later take the bus route 207 (Malwani<-->Dahisar, via kandivali and borivali) to reach the dentist. I also took a single day bus pass of Rs.20 by virtue of which I could travel any Mumbai suburb on that day without further paying for tickets.

Work at the bank done, I crossed to the other side and immediately got a 207. Because of my pass, I didn’t have to tell the conductor where I needed to go. The bus was nearly empty. I sat at a window seat enjoying the rains outside. Surprisingly, I noticed quite a few burqa clad girls in the bus, a rarity in the borivali-kandivali area.

10 mins later I noticed that till then I had not passed any place I felt familiar. The area looked new to me. But I attributed this to my general lack of direction and the fact that I had not used this route in a long time. 20 mins down, I passed a popular Mumbai college, Atharva, which is in Malad.

I got confused… do we have to pass Malad again to get to Dahisar in 207? Common sense told me that that was not possible. Means I am in the right bus, but the wrong direction. Oops!!! I wanted to ask someone and confirm my fears, but to do so would mean a total loss of face… wont they laugh at me! Then I had a brainwave. I asked the schoolgirl sitting next to me:

Yeh bus malwani jaa rahi hai na?
Haan, 207 hai na, malwani jaayegi!

I was totally taken aback! Malwani is a known muslim ghetto (check out Chandan Arora’s recent movie ‘Striker’ set in Malwani). I started thinking what to do. I had never visited the area before and was hoping that I could get back in the right direction soon.

I got down at the very next stop, not at all sure where I was. But I crossed the road hoping a 207 for Dahisar would come soon. A few minutes of waiting later, a 207 came. I thanked my lucky stars and got in, this time sure that I had the direction right (obviously, there was no other option :-P).

I reached the dentist just in time for my appointment, thanks to the detour I took. Anyway, the incident is too embarrassing for me, hence disclosing it only on my blog… ;-) I am actually very smart, just on a few occasions do I end up making an ass of myself, so please, kissi se na kehna ki Saturday ko Sri gadhi ban gayi…!!!

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