November 29, 2000

thats why people “grow” up! they forget to play games!

after office, and dinner, mahesh and i played monopoly almost till three in the morning!

it was the first time i was playing this game (new trade, which deepu and i used to play as kids, was a very poor imitation of monopoly then), and i could see how i neatly used to get away with luck each time, while mahesh was damn good at his business strategies.

we’re planning to buy more games soon. finally, here is the chance to be with friends, have fun and be ‘normal’ again!

heck! who says you have to be at a pub to socialise!

andher nagari, chaukat raja, taka ser bhaji, taka ser khaja ;-)

grrr, i’d never travelled alone on the western line!

this morning, i started from sanjeev’s place at andheri to the packed station, hopped over three ticket counters and two platforms, looking for my train. finally got into a train that took me to wadala and then got into a nerul train from there. phew!

November 28, 2000

mehandi laga ke rakhna…

mmmmmm! how i love the smell of fresh and dark mehandi on my hands!

i finally managed to get out of office and leave for sanjeev’s place in the evening, to attend the mehandi and sangeet before anjani’s wedding on the 30th.

i remembered how jyoti (my didi) and i used to get ‘orders’ for such mehandi ceremonies…and i used to accompany jyoti as her “assistant”.

my first assignment was to apply mehandi to a bride (on her feet, all the way up to her knees) for 7 (seven) looooong hours. my eyes used to almost pop out, applying the delicate design, with all the eucalyptus vapours stinging my eyes. but i loved it. i’m not sure, but i think i’d just entered college then.

since the mehandi custom is alien to the south, it was a chance for me to see and participate in different cultures … i’ve been to rajasthani, sindhi and gujarati weddings (for mehandi, specifically, apart from my own cousins’ weddings), but it was interesting to observe that the excitement would be the same everywhere.

at the end of the day (which would often extend up to 11:00 pm), didi would give me my share of the money we earned.

gawd, it was fun…the age when girls meant a lot of mischief and boys meant cousins who pulled your hair and your leg, and stole sweets from your plate.

i miss those really hard-earned paid-by-the-hour-wages.

i miss the times we cousins would sit together to clean and filter the dry mehandi powder, and then mix it in a concoction of tea water, eucalyptus oil and methi seeds left overnight. all this was done at least a day before we made the cones, ourselves. i miss that almost-spontaneous-and-creative-at-pressure exercise, when you have to apply delicate mehandi using a cone that was ready to burst any moment, amid all that excitement and noise.

and while the mehandi artist at sanjeev’s house was applying mehandi on my palms that night, my eyes stung again.

where, and *when* did all that innocence disappear?

November 27, 2000

success is relative; the more the success, the more the relatives…

my cousin venkatesh (well, technically, my uncle) landed in mumbai along with my 75yrs-plus grand-mama (mom’s young-at-heart mama), venky’s friend lokesh and lokesh’s sis-in-law vanit(h)a. they are here to attend anjani’s wedding. anjani is sanjeev’s sister.

though they are my relatives, they stayed at sanjeev’s place, and will be there for another 3 days. not everyone in my house is happy with the arrangement. so what if they have come just for anjani’s marriage and have been invited to stay there…

when families are young, and kids are well, kids, visiting relatives mean a lot of fun and play, and yummy food.

kids do all the math then…who pulled whose ear, who cheated in the game, who lost, and who got to sit on uncle’s lap. the grown ups play the referees, spoiling the game, uninvited.

when kids grow up, the grown up do all the arithmatic.

and its fun no more.

November 26, 2000

home sweet (which) home?

reached home late sunday morning to the warm yet-not-so-significant-to-my-life chatter of my relatives, and of course yummy home cooked simple food…

but the party poopers turned out to be a group of network 21-ers who came home for their weekly meeting.

i cannot decide what disappointed me more…

that the tv was in the living room which is why i could not watch it.

that my parents could not spend time with me.

that i could not speak with any of my two friends, jayashree or mayura, both of who i’ve almost lost all contact with now

that i could not watch my favourite cartoon show — heidi.

the next thing i knew, i packed my bags and came back to nerul, and friends, and yummy lassi.

November 24, 2000


i never imagined that a verrry casual remark made by a (senior) colleague about another would upset him so much. this colleague also happened to be my best friend, and at the end of it, i was deeply hurt too.

myth: we’re all “professionals” working in a “fun” work atmosphere.


how long will we continue to fool ourselves?

November 23, 2000

rajeev’s coming to india!

hmmm, wonder how it is when you meet an “e-mail friend” after almost 18 months of …well, e-mail, and, since the last six months, chat…

gee, am i excited about the whole idea!

and to think that rajeev nair had landed in my mailbox accidentally 😉

(psst! scroll down to the fourth article there…grrrr, technology!! dunno how to link it to that piece)

after we meet, will we remain the same e-friends that we are now?

anyways, methinx i’ll write a story about this for web life on zdnet india.

November 22, 2000

o boy! at last, an adventure!!

last night, we were caught by the police.

it was almost 12:00 am when we left for home. mahesh invited parag over and so the three of us managed to get a lonely auto to safal.

on our way we were stopped by a rather arrogant policeman who hid behind a huge machine gun (or was it what they call a sten-gun? well, it certainly was no revolver for sure). with him there were two equally horrible-looking accomplices in civilian clothes.



i could feel my childhood hatred for policemen and doctors (which for me is still one of life’s unsolved mysteries), resurface almost instantly, and i stubbornly asked him why he wants to know…

HUMKO puchta hai?? arre tum ko section 151 mein daal dun kya? he growled back

i got the message, so what if he’d just thrown some random number at me!

the questions that followed reminded me so much of my grandmom…

yeh koi time hai office se aane ka? kaunsa type ka office hai ye? kya kaam karte ho tum?

parag was asked to get down from the auto, i decided to stay in, and so did mahesh who found the whole situation “hmm, interesting…” but could not contribute to our session because of the language-gap.

fifteen minutes of trying to convince him that we were just harmless journalists at a technology portal and not terrorists, he calmed down.

perhaps he was new, perhaps he was concerned…he told us to either stay in the office if it gets late, or go home early. perhaps he was a policeman.

one thing was clear. efforts were being taken to make nerul a safe place to live in.

anyways, we left, a little amused, a little shaken, but thankful, and very hungry.

but it wasn’t over yet.

anshul (mahesh’s room mate) was fast asleep, and never responded to our frantic and desperate knocking and banging the door. our food (mahesh and i share a dabba) was locked in, and we were locked out.

sighhh…but how boring life would be, if not for these little (mis)adventures 😉

November 19, 2000

dear shubhangi (teacher) karnik

happy birthday

and thanks for waking me up on time (even though it was a little late in the day!)

had it not been for you, i would be cooking for my husband, and taking my kids to school 😮

and as for me, no ma’am, i’m not there yet, but life has so much to teach…and i’m smiling too 🙂

another sunday at home

a little lie stalled a bitter reality…

sorry amma, ini samayam ayilla

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