Posted On September 1, 2011

Filed under Comme ci comme ca, Food, Thoughts at two am

Comments Dropped 8 responses

It’s that time of the year when friends and members of my diverse, multi-religious family are either fasting or discreetly feasting. Our house emanates the earthy smell that only wheat and gur being sauted in ghee and can create. The plump little elephant god is hardly fussy (as I understand it, he will eat anything made with love and some amount of sugar) but his worshippers are a more demanding lot. So there are the steamed modaks of Maharashtra, decadent churma ladoos from Gujarat and for the South, a bowl of chana spiced up with mango, mustard and curry leaf.

I wonder what kind of dinner-table conversations the laddoo loving, happy-go-lucky Ganesh had with his more austere father. Shiva is pleased with the simplest things – raw milk, flowers and leaves. Motu must have exasperated him with his penchant for sweets like modaks which require a high degree of patience and kitchenskillery to make. Not to mention the cholesterol counts and the enlarged lipid profiles?

B and I are the presiding pandits and are innocently making a royal hash of it. We aren’t helped at all by people like the Fraud, who loudly asks for divine help in finding out who transferred the songs of Speedy Singh to his Ipod.

We mix up the order.
The modaks are not perfect.
CI forgets to formally ask if we will “pass exam”.

And yet, it’s really quite okay. Either way.

Our plate is full. And I hope yours is too.


Eh Eh What Else Can I Say

Posted On April 11, 2011

Filed under Craas Talks, ISB, Time wasting

Comments Dropped 10 responses

There’s this peculiar bug always floating around at every graduation ceremony of the beloved a.m. and it finds its way into the system of every brand new alum. To be fair, some students already have it, some are getting there and a very miniscule minority valiantly fight it as much as they can. But even they succumb at this penultimate stage.

The bug causes WayTooMuchVerbalitis or a tendency to give gyaan in whatever mental frame of mind we might be in, in whatever circumstance we might be in and however murderous the other person might be feeling. Basically we become nonsensically eloquent the minute we get our impressive diplomas (and in some cases, much before). After that you can expect an opinion on everything from blood glucose levels to the most obscure matters of public policy.

The Maghreb? OF COURSE I can talk about the Maghreb. Mines in Mongolia? This is how you buy a mine in Mongolia. No mines left? Dude, I know a really good guy in Africa.

Some of it is truly useful. But some of the time, speech becomes the pure unequivocal sound of full on gas.

Thankfully, this state of affairs doesn’t need to last, especially if you have blunt, loving friends like I do. After two years of being vibrant, chatty and a little too talkative, I am slowly returning to good health and intelligent silence.

Ok, relative silence (Stop guffawing, Fats). But in keeping with the flow, the next couple of posts will be written by another, a guest blogger while I head out to watch Kung Fu Shifu. My buddy writes emails which are never more than three lines long, so I doubt much verbal rambling will happen, if at all, but you never know! I’ll be around anyway for double entertainment :).

So much for the mob mentality

Posted On March 31, 2011

Filed under Comme ci comme ca, Media

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So the epic semi final is over. The problem with these kind of matches is that everyone gets so breathless and fully charged about every minute of our neighborly encounters that anything that comes afterward just feels so stale and ordinary. Even if Obama were to announce he wanted to pad up and have a go on Saturday, I doubt we would show as much enthusiasm as we did when Ramiz Raja suddenly went quiet in the commentators box. The best part of the match for me though, was the return of the Nehra. I got countless BBM jokes about the poor boy, and Dhoni’s lunacy up until the second innings. Friends on Facebook were fuming, and Mr.Sidhu expectedly had a lot to say before he begun.

Every language has its own version of the saying that you can never judge a book by its cover, yes? Our boy came through yesterday, and how. 10-0-33-2-3.30! One of my favorite scenes from the match was his calm crinkly half-smile as he took the Gulwicket. So why are we so quick to vilify? It’s so much better to be on the other side!

Dil toh baccha hai ji

So a few little tykes have been surreptitiously writing to me, asking why I don’t have more posts on ISB. I did, but in the process of shifting blog addresses, I lost them to some labyrinthine word press archive that I couldn’t seem to navigate too well. Don’t ask.

Anyway, so you can’t see my alternately frenzied and alternately amused posts while I was away at school. (yet). But the next best thing is to read a nice new post that I’ll write specially for you hopefuls who start school in a month, as requested.

For the moment though,  full attention to the circus unfolding in front of me – big fat shaadi coming up in the next kilometre. Time to put on the lehenga and dance my heart out to a thumping Mohit Chavan remix with a bunch of tipsy Mehtas and Mittals. Hiteet!


Posted On January 27, 2011

Filed under Comme ci comme ca, Traveltale

Comments Dropped 2 responses

The Fraud Buddha gets into an astonishing amount of scrapes and still remains bright eyed and bushy tailed.

He volunteered to give us a ride to the airport, and decided to give us some unsolicited advice on the way.

Lectures, Fraud Buddha style, very quickly degenerate into completely nonsensical discussions. I can’t really say they are arguments, even though each person in the party not only has an opinion but very clearly thinks the other is a complete idiot. In spite of all the devil’s advocates, everyone in the group remains friendly and peaceful and happily convinced of their own supremacy. I once told the Fraud Buddha that was his biggest achievement – there’s democracy, there’s discussion, but even if it’s heated, everyone still walks out arm-in-arm afterward. He blinked and said, only half jokingly. “But my aim was actually full domination.”.

Satori, said M, in complete, dreamy seriousness.

B and I looked at each other and guffawed simultaneously.

The Fraud sternly looked into the rear view mirror at our winking reflections.

Jokers – concentrate.

Suddenly there was a pseudo explosion. We ducked and screamed.

The Fraud had, in complete mindfulness, driven the sturdy SUV over a sharp, crackly steel pole. We rushed out.

I still don’t know how, but he managed to kill both front tyres. Regardless of the fact that Tyre Left went over the pole, Tyre Right could not escape the effects of the Fraud’s driving efforts and succumbed.

We were stranded – with five pieces of luggage, four Just-in-Time-But-Now-Really-Late passengers and standing on the pavement of a cab-less city.

Everyone started speaking loudly. M bellowed that the driver of this car had established beyond doubt that he possessed zero brain cells, I kept telling M to calm down and get into the car, B was interrogating the only sensible person around – the super efficient P, who was quietly trying to figure out the logistics of fixing two flats with equipment for one half.

The Fraud disappeared.

He came back in a few minutes and stood next to us. We had quietened down a bit by then, and were mostly smiling, and ribbing the Buddha. O enlightened, klutzy one, please guide us.

He smiled back and said nothing. We were alternating between brainstorming and Fraud Buddha bashing, when a sleek black SUV suddenly whizzed to our side.

The Fraud had managed reinforcements.  In ten three quarter minutes, and with one of the fastest, most famous drivers in the city who went on to get us to the airport in twenty two minutes flat.

How does he do it? Our Fraud is not your typical saint – he gets annoyed, he sulks, he is stubborn.

And yet he manages to live life in effortless style. Sun Tzu would have been baffled. There’s more enlightenment to the Fraud than we know.

The farthest I will go

Posted On December 26, 2008

Filed under Craas Talks, ISB

Comments Dropped 6 responses

The next couple of posts are for those of my lovable batchmates who have demonstrated that despite busy choc-a-bloc consultant/banker/other top perches in the corporate jungle schedules, they are still vella enough to visit my blog.

The good-hearted Kato who made consistent, dignified enquiries about my blogger’s block to which I made promise after airy promise that things would soon be up and running.

Big Bearded Figure who crossed his arms and mock sneered, as I was making yet another breezy proclamation in the Atrium this past weekend.

“I’ll believe it when I see it.”

The lovely Ruch, who has been so prolific with her blogging, as to goad me into picking up my own rusty pen.

And more.

Oh, and I am also trying to put up all the blog posts which I took down in a fit of god knows what earlier this year. The elitist Egyptian bonanza will have a counterpart soon as I head to the rainforest. Stay put, dear readers. All six and a half of you.

Much love,


Posted On April 1, 2008

Filed under Comme ci comme ca, ISB

Comments Dropped 7 responses

Packing up is hard to do.

My room in college was sparse, almost minimalist. There was one print on the wall, bought from the V&A. The bed was made up in a hospital green.

It went up marginally in Cambridge. K and I lugged in a comfortable sleet gray couch from a yard sale and deposited it in our ground floor apartment. Two more prints in the common room, and I bought some silly yellow flowers from a street vendor outside the main building.

Over the years, I have become either less austere or more indulgent.

My room at ISB literally explodes with color. I landed with two sets of blue sheets, one rug, a lamp and a soft grizzly. The only thing I did not bring was floating candles and a pappasan chair.

It was worth it.  I ended up supremely attached to my cozy dwellings. I watched the sun set everyday from my west facing room, and gazed out at the flowery Champa tree in the monsoons instead of doing my DMOP assignments. I lent a sympathetic ear to friends who sat on my bed and shared confidences over chocolate biscuits. We did Kota Fibres here!  

Now, at pack up time, I look at all the stuff I bought with me. Silky red blousons and swirling skirts that I never once wore in my capri clad existence on campus. Books (Pamuk, semi touched). I toss them in with alacrity. The red rug (well worn by now) and my little lamp – those things don’t fall in to the suitcase easy. The minute they go, my room will begin to look as anonymous as it did when I first walked in, eleven months ago. And it will be time to move on.

Allow me one more day of nostalgia. Please 🙂

And so it ends.

Posted On March 29, 2008

Filed under Comme ci comme ca, ISB

Comments Dropped 2 responses

My last submission at the ISB ended up being an all nighter. A fitting ending to a year of last minute group assignments, malfunctioning staplers and vending machine caffeine. As I walked out of the SV at 6 am, clutching my still warm exam paper and savoring the fresh morning air, it finally struck me that this was the last time I would watch the sun rise over the student village and carefully step away from a sleepy frog on the lawns. 

There are still things I want to do, and yet others that I crave to undo.   Damn. I admit – I’m quite in denial.