Thursday, September 28, 2006


Aamoi went to heaven today.

Monday, September 25, 2006

making my day

The ironing guy comes everyday and these days I barely have two shirts to give him on a regular basis, since I have stopped wearing clothes that need ironing. Tough hubby tries his best to dirty as many as possible regularly.

"Aagle hafte aana." (Come next week.) I tell him as I take the crisply ironed shirts.

"Theek hai, bhabi. Aap phone kar dena." (Okay, call me up to collect it.)

"Accha, intercom pe?" (Ya, on the intercom?)

"Nahi, hamara phone number hai na aapke paas?" (No, you have our phone number, right?)

"Nahi hai, accha, number do..." (No... give it to me...) I grab a pen and the night before's pizza delivery bill, lying nearby.

"Aath..thaish... biyaalissh..."

I tried to remember my 2nd standard Hindi. "English mein bolo." (Tell me in English)

"English nahi aata, madam, mein likh ke doon?" (Don't know English, madam, let me write it for you.)

I give him the pen and paper, watch him scribble, and take it back from him.

"Aare, tumne toh English mein likha!" (Wow! You wrote it in English!) I looked at the uneven numbers written in English.

"Yeh English hai kya?" (Is this English?)

"Haan. Tumko aata hain. Kahan seekha?" (Of course! You know it! Where did you learn?)

"Toh mujhe English aata hain!! Madam, mujhe English aata hai! Sirf bolne ko nahi aata!" (That means I know English! Madam, I know English! I just don't know how to speak in English!)

I watch an 18 year old give me the most jubilant smile and go off with a new found pride and confidence, towards a whole new world ahead, waiting to be conquered.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Long runner

Whenever I run for more than 20 minutes on the treadmill, the trainer puts up a public notice, "Treadmill strictly for 20 minutes".

So the other day, I catch up with him, "Why do you always put up this notice whenever I run a little extra?"

"Don't be silly, ma'am, it's not for you!"

"See, sometimes I really feel good sweating and don't want to stop, so I just go on. My body starts warming up only after 20 minutes..."

"Of course, ma'am, you are one of my best members."

"But it's not everyday. Maybe twice or thrice a week."

"This notice is for the others..."

"Who others? It's in my face."

"You know, the afternoon ladies never want to get off the treadmill. You don't worry, you carry on."

"Listen, I will pay extra for it."

"Ma'am, now you are embarrassing me. Please use it for as long as you want."

So I go on. For an hour sometimes. Against rules that are made, knowing fully well they are made for me. But I guess the trainer will have to suffer me till he gathers the guts to tell me on my face, or charge me more.

Or till, I am ready to move myself to another gym.

Monday, September 11, 2006

applying the dictionary

My friend was sitting smugly in her new office. Trying to look very serious and important in the swanky conference room when she gets a call from her daughter's school summoning her immediately.

The 10 year old daughter's class is being taught to use the dictionary. And the daughter with a friend, after some self education, is going around school, asking eighth standard seniors if they were 'virgins'. A teacher complained that the kids called her a 'whore' too.

After complaints were made and heard out the two girls were rusticated for a day and sent home with the mothers.

The 10 year old daughter was last heard telling her friend, "if we learn bigger and dirtier words, we'll get a 2 day holiday, you know."

Friday, September 01, 2006

10 days - canned, stored and treasured

There I was, 2 weeks of vacation ahead, and staring blankly. For once, I didn't go home. There was a reason for not going which I don't remember too well now.

Then out of the blue my friend calls and tells me to be part of a TV talk show. There was a reason for this too, I think. Maybe she didn't find anyone else.

"What do I have to do?"

"Just do what you always do. Talk, dhakkan!"

"Forget it!"

Then she happened to mention that the whole show was in Delhi, and they have booked the tickets and would take care of everything.

Why not! Just when I was lamenting that I didn't have enough money to take my own little holiday! So with another bored cutlet, I was packed and sent to Delhi where we were put up in a sprawling guest house. Well, so far so good. We were supposed to be joined by other participants from other corners of the country.

In the night, I crawled out from under the warm quilt to check the commotion that woke me up. The three others who had arrived before us were already in the living room in their pyjamas and looking dazed. The cause of the racket was, the Calcutta guys had arrived and were not happy with their rooms. The next moment someone said "hi" and I look up at the most gorgeous male I had seen in a long time. Smartly clad in jeans, brown leather boots and a beige jacket. I waved an oversized sleeve of my nightdress and looked down at my santa-red-socks clad feet. What do you expect at 2am on a winter night, I thought to myself, as I tried to smoothen my hair.

Morning dawns and at the breakfast table I realize the object of my admiration in the night looks even better in fresh daylight. We repeated names again and made polite talk. By the time we left for the studio, we knew a lot about each other. RG was Doon school product and promised to show me places I had never seen in Delhi. How exciting!

By the afternoon, we were inseparable, linked arms and all. We ate together and went everywhere together. The others made room to let us be together in the same car always. After the day's shoot we got into our press tagged cars and RG took me to cute little shops and showed me his family's locked house. At night, all of us sprawled in the cozy living room watching movies late into the night with me taking warmth under his blanket and sleeping on his arm.

Thus passed the days of rehearsals, shooting, laughter, and huge lunches on the sunny lawn. And evenings when we roamed the markets and made the long drive back to the guest house. The nights were fun. He went out in the cold looking for ice cream because I wanted to have some. I followed him and we walked on for 2 hours in the fog and silvery moonlight seeping through, without realizing it. A spark flew into my hand when I struck a match to light someone's cigarette and RG put cream from a tube and tied my whole hand in his handkerchief. And when visibility waned and walking in the dark got difficult, he picked me up and crossed the little uncertain patch. I laughed but loved him for it. The nights were freezing and beautiful. RG and I took long walks, our cheeks and noses numb with the cold, sometimes on the empty roads, sometimes on the lawns of the compound. He told me of his father's death and how it shattered the family. I held his hand and he held me close and we sat silently on a flat stone for ages.

He told me about boarding school and his dreams for the future. I told him about mine.

And suddenly it was time for us to get back to our lives. We hugged for the longest time at the airport and his eyes moistened as we waved ourselves out of sight.

I have never met RG after that. We haven't even kept in touch. There was no need to. It was one of those times that come into your life, make it richer, and pass by. Leaving you feeling special for having experienced something so beautiful. A bond formed, pure and exquisite. Without expectations, without promises. It was like a dream. It will always remain that.