Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A Series of Unfortunate Events.

I saw this on someone's blog today and remembered an article (true story, yes!) that I had written based on my flatmate's and my experiences with domestic help in the city-that-never-sleeps. It has languished in my drafts folder forever....

My mother often says that she'd like to write a book on her experiences with different maids over the years. From the one that bit my sister to the one who chased me around the house trying to break my skull with a butter-churn, to the one who had the bigamous husband (who was married to her sister, no less!!), they're all worth a lot of page space.

Having moved out with a fellow designer from the dry state and having polished off the better part of a bottle of very pricey scotch that a friend had gifted me, I was rather alarmed to see the remaining alcohol's level dip rapidly in the bottle. Does Scotch evaporate?, I wondered. I checked and rechecked that the bottle was closed tightly, but lo and behold! the next time I checked on it, the level had dipped alarmingly AGAIN!

Having come to the conclusion that flatmate had been having a night-cap to relieve work-pressure, I did not spare it a second thought, though I had assumed upto this point that she was strictly a wine drinker, while she assumed that I had been imbibing copious amounts of scotch!

It turns out that we were subjected to a rather one-of-a-kind specimen of the house help category. Let's call her Urvashi. Let it be known that Urvashi was a silent shadow upto this point, who came, did her bit and disappeared, with little conversation exchanged with either of us. And then one evening, came a phone-call that rattled us both!

It was our house-broker, who happened to be in the area while we were both at work, to register a tremendous ruckus ensuing from our humble abode. Initial suspicion that it was the TV was quickly dispelled when he, and a LOT of other people came upon Urvashi, who was not just a wee bit tipsy, but completely SMASHED!

So much so, that she could barely stand, and so was sitting there wailing her head off!
But wait, it gets better!!

Not content with the level of inebriation she was at, Urvashi had evidently intended to continue the party, because a search of her possessions revealed not one, but TWO bottles of country liquor that she presumably brought along to supplement my (now meagre!) quantity of hooch!

The little to-do involved her screeching, building people assembling, many tries to bring her to her senses (including water being flung at her through the balcony grill - we were on the ground floor), and finally ended in our broker taking away her keys, getting the woman into an auto and in both of us receiving calls from him, informing us of the exciting activities of the evening!! Since our building society mainly comprises of senior citizens, we were a little apprehensive and wondering when the eviction notice would come! But methinks, that this being SUCH an unusual situation, they figured it was really not something we could have predicted.

So now, we're looking for house help again... and this time the main question in the
interview is "Have you or any member of your family been prone to bingeing on alcohol?
If yes, then how many drinks can you take before getting completely wasted?"

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Distance Education!

This is actually in reverse order of posting:
So the first image is distance and places covered on Day 5.
Day 4:
Day 3:
This is Day 2.
The image below is the Day 1 of our Uttaranchal trip.

Well, the first day, we did a whopping 200 something kilometres all the way from Dehradun to a place called Pipalkoti. (thats a place that acted as base camp for 2 nights )

Needless to say, we couldnt feel our butts for a while!!

Its SNOW, no?

Serenity and Calamity are back from their very eventful tour of Delhi, Agra, Fatehpur Sikri, Dehradun, Mussoorie and a bunch of other places in Uttarakhand (formerly Uttaranchal, even more formerly a part of Uttar Pradesh!) What Uttar Confusion, I say!

Monumental occasions on the journey:
  • Calamity saw snow for the first time in her life!! (Only saw - on distant mountain peaks. Snow angels will have to happen another time!)
  • Serenity spent 5 days with a taxi driver who spoke purest of pure Hindi. (He nodded and agreed to things he didn't completely understand!)
  • Calamity forgot Serenity's birthday (third year in a row - explanations to follow!)
  • Serenity saw the Taj Mahal (FINALLY! after being asked by many different nationalities in many different countries, and having to regretfully say he hadn't seen it himself!)
  • Calamity saw Fatehpur Sikri (FINALLY! after making numerous trips to Delhi, but never being able to do so!)
  • Serenity and Calamity got a man arrested for vandalising the Agra Fort (more to follow, but Calamity is very pleased with herself!)
  • We had a cup of tea at the Last Indian Tea Shop before the Tibet border!
  • I saw SNOW!!!! (yes, its a little hard to get over that!)
  • We discovered the most MAJESTIC landscape and discovered that neither of us is fit enough for high altitude treks!
  • Calamity rode in a ropeway (cable car?) and was severely disappointed it was not more of a roller coaster ride!
  • Neither of us got motion sickness or high altitude sickness (and yeah, we're damn smug about it!!)
  • Serenity met a lot of Calamity's friends... and finally met one who had championed his cause all along during the Great Arranged Marriage Saga!
There are lots of funny incidents that happened along the way. All in all, it was a GREAT ten days away. The funny bits will come soon... Watch this space!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

This makes my blood boil....

Yes, this is quite late and all that. But I just happened to see this on someone else's blog today. It is footage I hadnt seen yet and yes, it still makes my blood boil.

I spent the night of this carnage looking for minute by minute updates online,
looking for causes, but seeing only effects.
One man's holy war that orphans children and kills with no purpose.
No religion teaches hate this way, and any one who would say
"I'll call you back in an hour so I can hear you kill them"
deserves a very, very painful death.
As for the lone survivor, I dont know what he thinks he's playing at.
His crocodile tears and lame stories of being brainwashed just dont do anything for me.
I'm one who firmly believes that India's muslims are Indian first and last.
(Though I did have an interesting conversation on religious extremism with a cabbie
this time when I was in Bombay)
More than any other emotion, I felt only pride when I read the article that said that the
remaining terrorists' bodies were unclaimed because no Indian muslim kabristan wants them
buried on our soil.

I loved that other clip which showed an Indian Mullah telling Musharaf to back the hell off,
and to stop assuming that Indian muslims sympathised with his cause in any way.
This 26/11 carnage scared me beyond belief thinking of a friend's mother who runs a store
at the Taj, of a friend who had by then quit her job at the Oberoi.
Selfishly, I couldnt help feeling glad that the people I knew were okay.
But not everyone got that lucky.

Watch this clip.
It will open your eyes to levels of inhuman behaviour you never thought existed.

Holiday! Celebrate!

I never EVER get tired of travelling. I think I'd happily do three trips a week between the city that never sleeps and the one that wakes up early. So its been 10 days there, and now I'm back to Serenity's company and yeah, I'm happy to be back. This trip back to the city that wakes up early reminded me of trips to the Dry State and stocking up the hooch for the semester. :) (Cue for yet another foray down Memory Lane!)
Serenity and I both appreciate our whiskey, but white wine is a habit that I seldom get to indulge here because of the beauty of a state owned liquor franchise that believes in catering to the masses, rather than the classes. On a recent trip to Pondy, I ran to a hooch shop on our way back to pick up a couple of bottles of wine, only to be told that the white wine was 450 bucks apiece. Deeply disappointed that my "sasta, sundar, tikao" brand of wine wasnt available, and deeply resentful of shelling out this much and getting only 2 bottles, I cribbed and whined. Until Serenity and I sampled our Pondy booty, and figured that the wine within was a sweet, pleasant white. Hmmm.... not bad.
Then I went to the city that doesnt sleep on work.... and one day I see this bottle on the racks. So, casually I asked how much it was, (fully prepared to gloat at how much less I'd paid for it in a Union Territory!!) only to be told it was 150 bucks per bottle! My jaw hit the floor! And the man who owned the store laughed his head off on being told I'd paid 450 bucks for the same. "Arre medem! you pay 450 for THIS??? 450 ke liye, you get nice wine, medem"
And on my way back here, I picked up the quota I forfeited in Pondy! :D heheheehehe.
Happiness is defeating the system!! :)