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Keep in mind

20 May

What I enjoy the most are conversations with my daughter. I pride myself that I can argue over everything (mostly argue for the sake of arguing), yet when it comes to her, I just can’t win. Don’t think I am indulging her, I am fiercely competitive irrespective of the age.

This is our today morning telephonic conversation.

She: Can I go to my friend’s place to play?

Luckily my wife had already warned me that I cannot give her any permissions today as she has been punished and home bound for the next two days. I normal circumstances I always give in but this time I was threatened with dire consequences if I relented.

I: No, you cannot go to your friend’s house for the next two days.

She: But I want to play with them.

I: Your mother has punished you and you are not allowed to go to anyone’s house. Call them over to your place.

She: Now I will never be able to play in their house. I also want to play in their house sometimes.

I: You can go after two days.

She: No I can never go.

I: You can go after 2 days.

She: No I can never go.

I: Why?

She: Because mama said, don’t go out of the house. That means don’t go out of the house ever. I will have to stay here all the time.

I: No it is only for 2 days.

She: But mama….

I: If she said ever, I will tell her it is only for 2 days.

She: Mama, punished me, she is a bad girl.

I: She punished you because you are naughty and one who tries to teach you good manners is a good girl.

Time to change tactics.

She: Then why doesn’t Aarav gets punished? You told me yesterday that you will punish him because he boxed me but you didn’t.

I: Darling I forgot when I came back from the office.

She: But you promised you will.

I: But you should have reminded me.

She: Why should I remind you. Why can’t you keep it in your mind. Like I keep our grey house in my mind, your old office in mind. You should also keep in mind.

I: Ok I will keep in mind today.

She: You didn’t keep that in mind, why you keep in mind that I cannot go out.

I: …..

She: Can I go out?

I: No.

Phone banged down.

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The lasting thoughts – 2010

3 Jan

The year opened with a fight.

Dec 31, 2009, time to celebrate, time to rejoice, time to make resolutions, time of gaiety, frolic and fun, that’s what the wife wanted, I and another kindred soul were of the opinion that being amongst zillion strangers was not the way to bring in the year. I won, simply because I refused to lose myself in crowd.

So 2010 was ushered in amongst tears, fights, arguments and all their synonyms.

I find it very difficult to remember things specially when I’m trying to, but lemme at least cover what I can recollect, I am sure, I will miss a lot.

Jan always is the month of my daughter’s birthday because she starts two weeks in advance reminding me what she wants and keeps talking about it for 2 weeks once it’s past. So that covers Jan.

Feb as such is a short month, flew at the same speed without leaving behind any trace or memory.

Actually, this is not working out, if I go with month approach, all would go away saying nothing happened. I will try another way.

In 2009 lot many changes had happened, many of the friends had got married, some good friends had left the city to find their fortune somewhere else, and the time that was usually spent together was no longer there. So four of us decided to take a weekend out, go somewhere and spend time together. Errol flew in from Mumbai, Neil joined, Swagat planned and I just drove everyone to our nowhere destination. We all spoke like motor-mouths, drank like fish, pulled each other’s leg, ate like pigs, fought like dogs and slept like logs. Somewhere in the second night, discussion went to ambitions, not work ambitions but something beyond, more like dreams, so we all being little less cautious baring ourselves, spoke our hearts. I said I would like to someday try and write a book. I actually had tried writing something, a number of times but had never ever finished beyond chapter 1 before. So neil, asked do you have a story, I said no but Swagat has something on which we had planned to collaborate, though structurally we had a similar context but on manifestation we could not agree. So while Swagat wanted to make it in a film script the way he saw it, I wanted to take the thought in a different direction. Though the genesis of the idea was Swagat’s he was willing to give it to me for me to develop it the way I wanted. That’s beside the point, important is, I wanted to share my thoughts with everyone, when Errol said fuck-off. We all have heard your ideas before, so finish it and send me, I would read it this time.

And I did write, it’s not the question of how good or bad the final output is, the fact is it finished thanks to Errol at that moment. And he followed that by checking every week, how many words I have finished, how it was shaping up, till it got its own momentum eventually and reached the conclusion. And the interesting part is Errol doesn’t read much, he hasn’t read it, doubt will ever read it yet he ensured in his own way that I finish.

Thank you Swagat for being generous enough to share a wonderful thought without a second thought. And thank you Errol for being a pain.

And journey was most joyful for those 8 months.

Throughout the year the usual routine continued, going out with friends often, getting drunk regularly, till October end. When one day after another maddening all night session, I woke up feeling sick and the inanity of over-drinking dawned on me. Not that I took an oath that I won’t drink ever again in my life but I somehow haven’t felt like drinking since that day. It’s been couple of months I haven’t had a drink. But if someone asks have you quit, I say no, I’m just choosing not to drink. It’s always good to have a choice, without it you are just a prisoner and not an exponent of free will.

I acquired lots of new possessions during the year, I got a new DVD player, I got a new Nintendo Wii, a bought myself i-touch, then I also got an i-pad. I spoilt, actually destroyed, the old DVD player, my son ruined by X-box, my PSP is gathering dust somewhere. I bought 4 pairs of new shoes, one was thrown after being used for a week, the transition from love to hate was quite dramatic there, other 3 are still around.
Oh, around reminds me, my most major achievement of the year, I turned 40. I’m so happy to be around. I had planned major celebrations around the event, one was to get 18 year Russian virgin twins and some other such ordinary innocuous things to do. These were some of the gifts I had planned to surprise myself with but then eventually I dazed myself by doing nothing. It somehow seemed appropriate to mourn the tragic event in solitary isolation listening to some heart-wrenching poetry about death and misery of old age.

As soon as I turned 40, I got a jolt out of the blue, so shocking that it could have made my poor heart give way. I got a mail, from a girl saying she likes my writing. For a second, I thought it’s a spam, then the realization dawned that it’s an April fool trick but the calendar was showing August, so maybe a practical joke but actually it wasn’t. So not only did I get an actual appreciation mail, I met the lady also, and she was, ahem… quite attractive (wife reads the blog sometimes, else would have told the truth). Go burn.

What else happened during the year, I did my once a year trip to Chandigarh/Panchkula. As usual had a halt at Delhi, stayed with Sudip, was amazed by his son Anay, saw the Lion that the tigress Anu had won, faffed with Kundan, got drunk as usual.

I played badminton quite regularly this year, golf very irregularly, gym was skipped, and running was only in the mind. But a healthy year in the larger context.

I am forgetting something.

Oh yes, the family and especially the wife.

Archana as usual, pushed me to live healthily, was despite her reluctance quite benevolent enough to edit my book of gazillion grammatical mistakes, she even read it, or so she says because every time I ask her she feigns amnesia, but I’m sure she has, and as long as she remembers me and my face I’m good. My healthy eating was directly linked to her plans, if she was trying to lose weight I would get the right food and if she went off her diet, it was safely assumed by her that I’m off too and the ghee laden, butter soaked paranthas would grace my plate, and my every protest was laughed off. If she joined gym, so did I, you get the idea. But she was extra generous on my 40th birthday. I got 2 cycles, 2 seats, 2 bells, 2 speedometers, basically 2 of everything, but closer inspection showed one cycle was tad bit shorter than the other, I thought maybe she wasn’t very sure but surprise surprise, one has for her. Did you, dear reader, even get an inkling of such machination, I for one never suspected. But yeah, she again insured I lived to see 2011, she is clear other than her no one or nothing else can kill me. And she ensures that by making me live healthily.

Kids as usual were wonderful. Out of superstition will not write how amazing it is to have them around, my bundles of joy, my stress-busters, nerve-wreckers, hair-pullers, scream-happy-machines.

My brother was graced with twins, sad haven’t met them so far.

There is more to write but I’m kind of tired now, I missed about travel, some parties, few friends, work I don’t write about, and some happiness in tummy moments.

2010 year ended with a kiss.

And 2011 opened with a kiss.

10 reasons that prove my kids love me more

9 Nov

1. When they wake up in the morning, they run to their mother so that I can read my paper in peace

2. When we are leaving for office, they hold their mother’s legs and howl, while I get a kiss and a beaming bye

3. They want their mother to feed them, so that I can eat my food in peace

4. When they are happy they run to me so that I can play with them

5. When they cry they run to their mother so that I don’t see them unhappy

6. When their mother travels, they listen to all I say; watch TV, eat your pizza, gobble chocolates, drink your juice, throw things hard, shout harder, go play, so that I’m not harassed

7. When I travel they make their mother cry when she says; eat vegetables, finish your milk, eat fruits, come back home, switch off TV, finish homework, so that I know they are missing me

8. They want to do homework with their mother so that I can play with them

9. They want their mother to help them sleep, so that I can read my book or watch TV

10. When they wake up in night they pull their mother’s hair, so that I can sleep in peace

11. When they make something they show it to their mother, when they break something they show it to me

I must be the world’s greatest dad.

My Cruel Wife

22 Oct

My wife is cruel.

First comes the statement all that is left after that are the facts.

So ladies and gentlemen, hear me, as I state on a public platform, my wife is cruel, plain and simple, she is a cruel woman, heartless, coldblooded and pitiless .

And this sudden realization makes me a very nervous man.

Now let me tell you why?

In life people have various hobbies, some collect stamps, some are in love with coins, some fall in love with trivia, some even collect dead butterflies; all kinds of people have all kinds of hobbies.

But guess what my wife’s hobby is?

She collects fools.

Yes, you heard me right, she collects fools.

Nothing intrigues her more than a fool. Where normal people shun the company of fools, she goes out of her way to seek them. You should see her when is with one of that kind, her mouth is wide open, leaning forward so that she doesn’t miss a single word coming out of their mouth, eyes are darting absorbing their every minutest of movement and gesture, waiting for the moment when the magic would happen, like a cat playing with a mouse, watching before she can pounce and capture and imprint it all in her mind. And she is devoted to her pastime. A sane person would not even take their call, or if would see them coming from the other side would change his direction, she on the other hand, defying all logic, calls them, invites them and tries to spend as much time as possible with them. Where sane wallow, she revels.

And she is very democratic in her choice, she collects them all; people with funny voices, weird accents, warped way of looking at life, too serious about life, anyone and everyone who can amaze her and entertain her. There is only one condition, it cannot be normal behavior. Any and every kind of bizarreness; strange, eccentric, weird draws her to the person like moth to fire.

And why does she do it?

Because all these encounters enrich her and give her stories. Did I tell you she is a story-teller?

Yes sir, she is one and a very good one at that. She can relate these stories with lots of gusto and enthusiasm; she has everyone rolling on the floor when she narrates her joyful ludicrous interactions with her ‘friends’. People love her stories.

I used to love them too.

But then one day I was sitting I felt this peculiar sensation, my stomach churned; I rushed to the loo and vomited.

I for the first time knew fear.

All because I asked myself a question; why did she marry me?

And the answer that came back like a catapult jolted me, shocked me, enormity of my position couldn’t escape me.

What more would she want in life than to have a fool around her all the time?

Then I started noticing things, as they truly were, the mask was peeling from the charade.

When I am in the house, I have seen her looking at me, watching me, I used to think that was out of love and affection but now I noticed the strange glint in her eye. One day, I came back home from office, she was sitting with her friends, as soon as I entered, all went quiet and were looking at me with an odd expression, as soon as I stepped out of the room I could hear the peals of laughter resounding behind me, they were giving each other high-fives.

Then I noticed something else I have no idea how that could escape my eye earlier. She normally likes to sit with me and ask me things. But now I noticed, when she asks me something, she always has a pen and a notepad with her and switches on the camcorder. She scribbles furiously, doesn’t utter a word, except sometimes in between to ask me to look towards the camera.

All this very subtle behavior has made me very nervous.

Today when I see her I run away screaming.

Right now, I am hiding in the cupboard and writing all this. I can hear her calling my name, asking me to come out.

So if you are reading this, please save me.

P.S: I will wait here till you come. It’s the second cupboard on your left when you enter the house.

Some Battles are always lost

26 May

I have been married for a long tyme

On which I can write a very happy rhyme

But then as they say life should have spice

For that you cannot be always nice

And spend together time can become full of delight

If you can season it with your fair share of fight

So listen to two of my tales

Which again show a husband frail

Battles and wars, gnarling teeth and scratching claws

Caution thrown to the wind followed no laws

One we used to have every day

Never a chance went to my skin flay

Yet there are some when the sky fell

Those are the stories to tell

Gone we had out in our zingy car

The fight she took a bit too far

Opened the door at the signal, out she bound

For hours I went round and round

Nowhere was she found

Penniless, walked she many a mile

Cursing, abusing, sulking ready to rile

Came back and I just stepped in

When I saw the price of my unintended sin

Books torn, favorite things destroyed, as I stood devastated

Anything I loved in front of my eyes was annihilated

Even my compass went for a toss

Of that I still feel the loss

I was reminded as I stood there and trembled

Maggi days would be back if I again fumbled

Then there is another that shook my soule

Since the penalty was too foule

In her fights she is never just

And always my tricks go bust

How it started, to time it is lost

But etched in the memory is the end cost

There I stood, in my hand my bottle of brew

When in a rage I flew

Quickly I checked how much I had drunkg

Before to the wall it was flung

Bottle took a graceful toss before it hit the wall

Sound was loud, millions of pieces were all over strewn

Proud of my smart action, I stood there tall

I wear the pants here, in my mind was playing this tune

Smugly I looked up to find her still there rooted

Wondered I, why she still hadn’t scooted

Then she did walk, but towards fridge to my horrer

As the first bottle came out, I felt in my heart a frightening terrer

For there were beautiful bottles nineteen in the chiller

And then warrior princess started like can’t be seen thriller

Before I could think or react or quickly say a word sweet

Bottle flew, swished in front of my nose and hit the wall concrete

Gone now was the time for any reason

Death by torture was the verdict for my treason

One by one all came out and joined the old fleet

Only then stop her hand and feet

All the glass laid around, mind numb, plan tumbled

Once again the mistress and her ingenuity had me humbled

As I spent the next three hours, mopping and throwing the glass in bin

Of one thing I was sure, beer in future will be bought only in a tin

Such has been the end of chronicle each

In the end she triumphs, beg, grovel mercies at her feet I beseech

There are many anecdotes that one can describe

But why disgrace yourself when you are the scribe

But all her these wily machinations

Has led me to these ruminations

How come every time I get tricked?

Why only my hot air balloon gets pricked?

To this part of our matrimony this would be the conclusion

She would win always, I resign, by some divine collusion

Tagged

8 Jul

Tagged by Gauri. Never been tagged before, but this one comes with a divine intervention for reasons best kept secret.

So the tag is about 5 things (i would double that) which the better (by a mile) half (just half???) has changed in me. That really requires not much of thinking, possible to answer with one word – EVERYTHING.

But I assume tag requires one to be more specific, so here it goes-

  1. She has changed my outlook towards marriage. I assumed life would change after marriage and I was right and completely wrong. It changes but surprisingly for the better. Not only do I do all the things which i did (boys nightouts, golf, video games, all night movie watching, drinking insanely) before marriage but now there is a friend at home also to continue the party. Now i actively recommend marriage to everyone, including strangers, even people I hate (this I used to do before also but for different reasons).
  2. A little (this one is miniscule but of astronomical proportions relatively) sense of responsibility. Reminders are required, but her positive attitude towards anything, home or office, has brought a definite change. And even that small change has helped in my professional life – I procrastinate less, take more responsibility, am little more proactive, less lazy. Its gradual but i am getting there.
  3. I have been to, seen more places with her and because of her. She has this itch in the feet wherein we need to do things and visit places where we have never been before and things done before. Journey is still on and before we are done I am sure she would ensure we have visited every country in the world and every city in India worth seeing atleast once.
  4. She has been able to change pronunciations that were genetically coded in my thick punjabi accent. Enunciation is better, I can not only write this word but say it too, and also entrepreneur, strategy, milieu and zillion more.
  5. Due to her unparalleled cooperation i am today a superhero, conqueror of the universe, the bete-noire/nemesis of green goblin and father of an adorable daughter.
  6. Her amazing optimism and zest for life has rubbed on my head in the sand pessimism.
  7. I read better books, change my wardrobe once a year (against the earlier average of when the threads vanish with washing), have clipped nails, clean haircut and a shaved, well scrubbed face. And better manners – now i remember to say goodbye to the hosts when we are leaving their house.
  8. I have a better career because of her, she encouraged me to change, take risks – do whatever I wanted.
  9. I can tolerate my relatives now, just barely. I do not get angry while driving (that probably saved me from getting shot one of these days). I have learnt it is possible to talk to people you are meeting for the first time or don’t like in more than monosyllables and about things other than weather.
  10. I am in a better shape to flirt than I have ever been in my life, so good that I think I can probably manage another wife (hey come on, you can’t expect me to say only the right things).

So thanks to her I am still ME but a BETTER ME.

i tag

Manoj

Sudip

Kundan

Anupama