Friday, February 27, 2009

Who moved my beer!!




And then there was silence.


Folks interested in geography might be aware how they describe the rocky mountains….or marine lovers might know how the experts describe blue whales, huge...enormous…colossal …massive….etc…. those are adjectives which very well could apply to what I witnessed that morning as well!

A human specimen lying flat on the ground with limbs spread apart like the vitruvian man, looking hardly aesthetic and visibly short of breath…And what I described earlier would be the vast expanse of his tummy which was effectively blocking the sun outside and forcing me to put on the lights to understand the full gravity of the situation...GRAVITY, I understood very well indeed when I attempted to get him on his feet! I must tell you friends, there are times in your life when you wish you had a JCB at home.

But I knew this situation did not warrant a 911 call coz this was not the first time me witnessing such a fall…Almost all my previous roomies who were tying the knot soon, did this ritual a few months before marriage…A ritual unknown to most woman, where men indulge in this unimaginable brutal and banal practice called “PUSH-UP’s”!! Along with other practices like pull up’s, crunches and lifting weight’s they encompass a wide array of torture practices .. And all these just for looking good at the wedding. Let me tell you Mr. Van Damme these pagan customs which you follow are widely looked at with contempt in the intellectual circles…Our idea of a completely relaxed afternoon nap are often broken by your folks who completely disregard our constitutional right not to look like underwear models. Yeah...but this was a case where my poor roomie was trying to change the contours of his big fat stomach which if painted carefully can pass of as a prop for earth in any sci-fi movie.

I am not a shrink but it’s easy to predict how this change happens in men as soon as they get engaged. ..If someone here still remember biology, it’s like that transformation from a larva to a pupa and then hoping to be a butterfly just in time for the marriage. And this sucks coz you are living with it when it’s in the Pupa stage. A stage where it suddenly realizes the need for healthy food.

It actually begins when you realize that the person is not now particularly interested in the nutella, burgers or crispy fried chicken legs and instead starts developing a taste for raw cabbages, carrots, egg whites and olive oil…Remember dude, there used to be a time when you bought a bean bag when I asked you to buy beans from the nearby shop… and once you bought fat free pizza’s coz you thought they were giving it free of cost.. The beer which you once described as God’s own drink is now a member of ‘axis of evil’ and replaced by sugar-free, calorie-free grapefruit juice which once your atheist friend tried and blurted...’Dear God!!’. Even those rasgulla’s from my Kolkota friend, Chandler Bong who by the way is a huge fan of F.R.I.E.N.D.S, was not given the respect it deserved. I was getting really irritated with infringement of my food rights and immediately protested by making butter chicken for five consecutive days!!

Apart from this unfortunate transformation in food habits the person starts asking us questions which you find awkward answering to…..”What do you think…Is this hair style good or this one better…?? ” . And he was bald...
Some questions are even harder to answer like when he asked the other day while prancing in front of the mirror “Don’t you think I lost weight?”. I am quite sure if he lost atleast one percent of his weight, Air India would turn profitable after years of losses attributed to this frequent flier… It has to be understood that by unwritten men’s law you DON’T ask other men such questions!! But it’s okay if you ask the question like... “I weigh 70 kilos now, yesterday I weighed 73…Does it mean a reduction of three kilos? “ The important thumb rule is not to use the taboo word “think?”!! Coz we hate to do that...

As you see these guys start behaving odd in ‘engaged’ mode…For someone whose visit to a book shop is as frequent as a clever remark attributed to me, last week he bought 3 books on “Secrets of successful marriages” , though I was glad to tell him that it was no secret that 2 of the authors are now successfully divorced. Thankfully he stopped reading the books but that was like a little ‘hope-toast’ tossed at me because it often happens that some engaged men prematurely start behaving like married men. They find hard to laugh at silly jokes if I go by what their face says...”That-was-funny-but-I-wont-LOL-coz-I am-engaged!”. You ll suddenly start noticing how hard they try to act all refined!!

Mankind should understand that one of the things which universally all single men love is chaos…For e.g. I get irritated if I can’t find my shoes inside the microwave oven every time I am searching for it…and some guys do have this medical condition where they become dizzy if they come across a fresh pair of ironed and folded jeans.. Last week one of my friend’s being the antique collector he is, fainted when his ‘engaged’ roomie threw away a 7 day old pizza!!.

The order in life can make us feel uneasy. And women complain that they sacrifice a lot in a marriage…Just remember dear ladies, that there are ex-roomies who suffer ….a lot more ……..especially when they live with men who are in Pupa!!

Have a nice weekend.

P.S. This is kinda with parental supervision..

Friday, February 20, 2009

Quirk Quirk!! Who is there?

Quirks...hmm...that was the tag from my bloggie friend Usha who as I see is quirky enough as per World Quirk Standards! ;-D

Rules of the tag:

1. Link the person who tagged you
2. Mention the rules on your blog
3. Tell 6 unspectacular quirks of yours
4. Tag 6 following bloggers by linking them
5. Leave a comment on each of the tagged blogger's blogs, letting them know that they have been tagged

1) Punctuality hysterics
You would rarely see me running for a meeting or a place coz I am kind of obsessed about not being late…Therefore, I happen to reach the airport or bus stops well before time almost always. I guess this obsession was there always as I remember being adamant reaching a theater well in time for a show or reaching the railway station early enough to get the side seat!! Surprisingly my brother and most of my friends are exactly opposite.

Infact I keep my mobile like 5 minutes fast for that psychological allowance.…Strangely the fact that I don’t sport a watch might be antithesis of this quirk, but I put enough buffer wherever I go that I don’t really need one…One of the rare things that irritate me are the breed of people who don’t care a damn about other’s time…But I guess, I have now accepted that there no point in being fussy abt it. This quirk causes awkward situations like am often the first visitor if someone is hosting a party putting me in a spot if I don’t know the host well enough.

2) foodaholic
I don’t believe in the motto eat to live…;-P
I have huge respect for people who make spectacular food and love to read anything about food…Thankfully I am not gaining weight in proportion to my appreciation of the same!!;-)

I used to be a spicy food buff and was often stared down when I used to comment on really hot food that it was not spicy enough…At home I used to be the official fish curry certifier and often the answer was chilly is less…
But for the past few years it seems like I don’t have the same spice power probably since I am eating much milder continental meals in office …

It is always great to have foodaholic friends too since I remember umpteen restaurant visits with a friend and often we used to sit in a table for four coz the regular table for two was too small for our palette!!;-D

Another food related quirk would be my obsession to have tea or coffee really warm... …Infact I came to know that it was like that since a long time when grandmother told me that they had to give me the feeding bottle wrapped in a towel coz the milk would be too warm for me too hold!

3) I am afraid of adventure rides
Call me for a mountain hike or a fishing expedition I am game…..But I am quite afraid of roller coaster rides, bungee jumping....or any ride that has rapid acceleration. ..I have once had a “forced” roller coaster ride which left me screaming “Karthaavei” to the whole of Hamburg and an even more interesting ride in Salzburg saltmines which actually was more exciting…You actually slide sitting down without any protection for some 30 meters at like 75-80 degrees...

It will be hard to get me on such rides again…Infact 2 years ago when I had been to Disneyland I was like a opera fan attending a rock concert!! Though I loved the Disney Studios!! ;-D

4) Coffee addict
I drink like 3-4 cups of coffee in a day… I prefer to drink it black and without sugar…Coffee fascination runs in over family esp. with relations from Mom’s side…There is always a flask of black coffee on the table for all uncle’s to have their occasional sip… But I have started drinking more coffee since coming to Germany coz my colleagues are even bigger addicts…I have even got a nickname “Default Coffeeman” coz whenever they cook coffee they don’t check if I need as my answer by default is always “YES”!! Talking of coffee though am not fuzzy about food in general, one thing I cannot stand is paada (floating cream??) in tea or coffee…yuck!!

5) Extensive Wiki/Google user
Probably a quirk that developed over last few years…It’s an irritating quest to know more about things I don’t know using wikipedia and read all material which I can get hold off…It would date back to college days when it was newspapers that I used to read religiously…So when I spread knowledge it often lead to comments from friends like “Oh…ravule Hindu vil vannu kaanum!!”

Another quirk courtesy internet is my habit of taking pics from google maps to find route and store them in mobiles if I am visiting some place. Something that has become a habit here since I don’t want to end up lost or end up asking someone for directions…I even store the bus timings in my mobile..

6) Fascination for Jewish History
Something which started after I watched Schindler’s list….
And over the time I watched more movies…read articles and books like “The diary of Anne Frank”…There is a deep feeling of sympathy I have for Jews even though some of their current policies are not justifiable...Its just those first impressions that has stuck with me and being in Germany I have visited few memorials to pay homage….I hope to visit Auschwitz one day too ...Somehow I feel guilty for no fault of mine about the sufferings they had..

That pretty lot of quirks on me…I would like to pass on the tag to anyone who would like to take it up…

P.S. Enjoy this wonderful song as its Carnival time here...;-D
have a nice weekend..

Saturday, February 14, 2009


John was very happy today… His birthday was always celebrated with lot of fun and gait...When he throws a party, people come in large numbers…colleagues...friends….acquaintances...and this time it was not going to be different either.

His wife took great care in getting the house ready days before the guests would start pouring in. John made sure that there was plenty of beer and wine stocked in.

Marielle woke up earlier than usual and she was excited too... She wanted to wish daddy before anyone did and she had other plans too…something which she never did before…to give John a birthday gift.

In the wee morning hours armed with a spade and stuff from the attic she went to the backyard and set off to work for something she dreamed long ago…this winter was perfect, she thought.

Meanwhile John and Susan worked in the kitchen making cookies, cakes and other delightful delicacies…they did not want to disappoint guests for they were legendary party hosts.

Marielle was tired after a tough time at the backyard…lifting heavy spades twice her size was no child’s play…but she was happy and proud because it was for someone special.…
Back at home, she ran towards him and with a broad smile on her face she said... “Happy Birthday Daddy” and pecked a kiss on his cheek…

“I love you daddy”
“I love you too...Marielle…Now get ready and put the best dress you know lots of people are coming”
“Daddy...I have a gift for you…Would you come with me outside”

John was busy baking the cookies and he told her that he would check it later….Marielle was sad.

By afternoon the first guests arrived….His boss had come too and John was taking extra care to give the best piece of steak to that wiry old man…Promotions were round the corner…Susan was showing her colleagues the beautiful paintings she had done….There was lot of fun in the party and the mood was jovial…John smiled to Susan in approval…

As the dusk set in and when the last guests had left, Marielle went to John. She was tear eyed and her cheeks swollen red…

“Daddy…..I lost my gift for you”

And she hugged her dad and said she was sorry for that….John told her it was Okay. Susan pulled her back and took her to bed…It was sleep time for Marielle…

After cleaning up the house John went to the backyard to throw away the party junk…And there he saw his old shawl…his old jacket…a hat….and a picture of Marielle hugging him...That’s when it stuck the wonderful gift his daughter had made…A snowman .

A snowman just like daddy….and now what left was his old stuff lying on ground scattered amidst melted snow and dirt…Sometimes it is too late to see the gift someone has for you..

John guilt struck told Susan that night…

“I hope one day…I ll be able to love someone as she loves me….”


Saturday, February 07, 2009

Praying m-anti(c)s

‘In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth “
‘Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep”
‘and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.’

And God said, "Let there be light" *

And as I opened my eyes a brilliant flash of light struck my face …and a voice from behind thundered amidst heavenly digital hymns...

‘Wherever you go, our network follows’

I KNOW!! , but not so soon my good lord!!, I cried desperately…

And the voice said... ‘HUTCH!!’ That’s when my cousin who was reading the Bible went to the other room and switched off the TV. It took a few seconds and a brain restart to conclude the power cut was finally over, marking the conclusion of a carefully laid out prayer schedule perfected by traditional mallu christian families who share a fluctuating relationship with KSEB (Kerala State Electricity Board)...Due to the recession its during these daily power cuts we all sit down and winzip our grievances to the Lord.

These are fervent prayer sessions where folks have own positions and strategies like in a football team... There is usually a striker who would be praying the loudest and sitting closest to the mini-altar… Then there are mid-fielders, usually the ladies at home who are somewhere in the middle of the pitch halfway to the kitchen….Defenders are usually the brats who are lazy and get fired up only when the team goalkeeper (usually the senior most player) give them a mouthful I believe in Aramaic language…But the entire team works in unison with the sole goal of getting the almighty to listen to us…and he better hear us, the way some try to get him listening.

In our home to make it really sure that the message gets across we sing a song at the end of the prayers... And being blessed with a voice that is …I am trying to type in here “heavenly, melodious and soothing” but seems like a warning message from MS Word dictionary “Do you mean, terrifying, fear-instilling and lethal? “. I think we got the point when we tried to sing that song at my uncle’s home which he warned is adjacent to a cemetery.

It is generally very difficult to figure out what goes on in the minds of people…But my theological analysis has shed light into what goes behind the deep intensity and fervour in some prayers…

*Mom is praying that the Appam comes of well tomorrow morning.
*Dad is praying that the telephone bill is lesser this time around.
*My cousin who was born with an identity crisis is praying that he gets to see Bourne Identity sometime.
*Our attacking mid-fielder aunt is praying passionately for Sreekutty who is bed ridden with cancer, beriberi and flu …’Sreekuttyude dukham’ the third in the mega serial series just completed 400 episodes in Asianet.
*There is someone at the back who might end up as a fine entomologist considering the interest he shows in playing with the insects hovering near the emergency lamp.

Apart from this due to the competitive nature of these prayer sessions, every other day there is someone trying extra hard …like for example, maximum words spoken in a minute…The abridged version of the Bible was written after recording one such discourse caught in slow motion. Most of the prayers are dictated like a car which starts in 1st gear and goes directly to fourth and then halts abruptly… We kinda assume that the middle part is for God to deduce... To avoid any miscommunication with God as it happened once to the horror of elders around, when I had emphatically articulated “Yeshu paatu paadi marichu” instead of “Yeshu paadu pettu marichu”, Bible reading went to kids who were on the slower lane….But soon we will get them trained to reach the expert level…

It so happens that God reminds us during such bible reading sessions the harsh realities of life in his own little ways…

“Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, spoke up, "Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how will we feed so many?"

Hearing this I have once seen mom hurrying up to kitchen at 200 km/hr yelling…

“ayyo...meen karinju poyyi kaanum...”**

See the Lord has his own ways of reminding people at the right time…However we remember the Lord primarily according to the power cut schedule …So last week someone thought this alarming trend has to end and called up the parish Priest…

“Father…could you do a talk this Friday evening on it”

“But Son…we have cancelled the sermon…no one misses the IPL kick-off match!! Which team are you…….?”

*passage from Old Testament of the Bible
** oops the fish must have got over-fried