Thursday, October 24, 2013

The start...

I had posted about this earlier and I mentioned that the colour of my hand will probably be in the hands of my daughter and so far she has not noticed it. But others tend to notice.

The other day as I was taking a lift along with the family the lift operator kept looking at me. I did not realize its significance till he tells the wife “Akka, anna has got a nice hair style, I like it”. This was a first and even before I could flash a triumphant look at D came the rejoinder “avar style thala madhiri irukku” in case you missed that it translates to “his style looks like head”.  Well it translates that way but it means that the hairstyle looks like that of an actor who goes by the title of “thala”.

I suppose that is enough said on the topic. But I do take offense just because I trail a decade or so in age to “thala” does not mean that I follow his style. I started greying when I was 18 years old. I am nevertheless very happy that a public figure is not shying away from flaunting his greys. When I got home my eyes fell on a hair colour kit that lay open and mercifully unused, it is not often you get a comparison unfair or not with someone who tends to get the pulses of the fairer sex racing and even if the leader of many young men.

Secretly I am thankful that D has let the kit be as one hero is being compared to another hero of hers, whichever way you look at it and since she likes them both… Incidentally my short cropped hair cut was frowned upon when I first released on D as it did tend to highlight the greys. Today I look forward to my next visit for “thala mela vela”.

Incidentally I usually used to refer to the actor as “thalavali” unfairly just because of one movie called RED. If you have seen that movie you may actually forgive me for it even if you are a fan.

P.S. By now you would have figured out the story behind the title of this post, if you are still wondering, watch this

Saturday, October 12, 2013


I may have posted on this but this behaviour warrants a repeat post so here goes. There is a saying never wash your dirty linen in public, today people tend to wash their, linen, undies and everything in public though unintentionally. And aiding them in this effort is the ubiquitous mobile phone and their lack of phone etiquette. 

Many a time the relative peace of the moment is shattered by a domestic issue, errant client, missing consignment, truant school kid who happens to be on the other end of a loud and unsolicited conversation of which you are a part of no matter that you had no say in it. The loud conversation not withstanding you may also have to endure some furious gesticulation that aids the effect for the unseen other person.

I have gently reminded my colleague a few times that if he were any louder his family in Nellore would have heard him without the cell phone and it made no effect to his decibel output except maybe for a brief moment to say sorry to me, his boss. These conversations can be extremely annoying in movie halls (sometimes during a movie), restaurants and other public places where you hope to spend some quality time with the people you are with.

I must confess that there have been some genuinely unintentional funny moments when these phone conversations get out of hand…     
I have seen conversations when the person on the other hand takes the upper hand and the impact can be seen on the cowering person with phone before you. What can be sickening is some idiots romancing on the phone apparently oblivious to the spectators who have to endure sweet nothings complete with puppy dog facial expressions; agreed it may be worth a few laughs on good days but not always.

One type of conversation that puts me off is profanities on the phone, especially loudly in a public place. During a train journey with the family one such conversation using the foulest language made the women folk squirm in our cubicle. When I stood up to see the offender he was still busy with his stream of profanities till I interrupted him with my own. In true herd behaviour emboldened by my interruption the other passengers who were hitherto quiet stood up and gave the idiot some tips on etiquette. The idiot took out his frustration on his poor wife who tried to pacify him and save him from the wrath of the annoyed passengers whose numbers had multiplied by then. 

For all the idiots around, if you must wash your dirty linen, find a wash room…

Friday, October 11, 2013

Soups up...


I enjoy   pepper filled crab soup when I have a cold, its efficacy to battle a common cold may be disputed but the effect it haves on me makes me overlook any naysayers. When we dine out usually people go for soups especially when it is leisure dining with or without some fried starters. This has become a dining custom usually throwing up interesting fractions like 1/2., 2/3, 3/5 etc. Sometimes I wonder if that is just an indicator of how much water to be added to it.

Anyway soups and dining out seem to intricately linked to each other; the soups usually fall into the clear, thick and cloudy type. The cloudy ones are the ones that is usually corn flour and water, sometimes it may be difficult to go beyond the two. And before I forget there is the bright red tomato soup that sometimes reminds me of …well never mind.

I have observed that once the soup lands on the table something very interesting happens, some folks just start dumping salt and pepper into the soup before tasting it. I asked some friends if they had tasted the soup, they said that it was hot. I asked them how they knew that the soup lacked salt or pepper by sight only. They were confused, some embarrassed but some just said that I do it always. When we accept the food without second thoughts at hotels and public places why do we treat the soups differently?

At wedding feasts during the vegetarian meals being served on the plantain leaf, salt is usually served. But I suspect that it is usually used for the curd that closes the meal. In no other public meal do we see people altering something that the cook has made unless you take into account the behaviour of folks eating pizza with obscene amounts of chilli flakes, oregano etc because it comes along with the order.

Personally I would think that it is an affront to the chef who makes the food if someone alters the soup without trying it. Once it is tasted then customizing it is a given. Imagine in this exuberance the soup becomes too salty or too spicy to eat, what does the person do? Adding water IS an option. 

And of the pepper crab soup, I usually order it as crab soup; the pepper is added by the chef. I rarely have to alter it; I usually am busy wiping my streaming eyes…

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Beautiful - a very short story

She was getting ready for the wedding. It was a wedding of a distant relative so a lot of known people will be there and surely her close circle will not miss it. She looked at the clock, the visit to the parlour had not gone as planned again. She planned to just do one thing and then succumbing to the stylist she decided to do one more and now she was running late but one look at the mirror told her that it was worth the effort. Now she was rushing to get her clothes just right, the silk sari had come from the dry cleaners earlier, the blouse, the accessories, the jewellery all coordinated and arranged…

She came out and saw him lounging on the sofa with a scowl on his face, one eye on the match and another on the clock. The fact that the match was live was adding another crease to the brow. She noticed that he had changed into a "Friday dressing" shirt and pant and was wearing loafers, the only concession to his work wear. She looked at him for a comment and when nothing came she asked him “How is it?”,  “Nice” was all she got as they rushed to lock up and take the car.

At the venue she got drawn into her circle and he overheard “Nice sari”, “like your hair”,  “who is your tailor”… Driving back she said “You did not say anything about how I looked today, the others said that I looked very nice and they liked my new hair cut”. “Oh! You cut your hair…                                                                                                     
They journeyed in silence.

The next day she slept late, tired from the exertions of the previous night. She was in her old night clothes, her hair a mess, her face creased with sleep.  She felt the kiss and then heard the words “Good morning, beautiful…”

P.S. Eric Clapton may have written this, but...

Friday, October 04, 2013

Two hearts one life...

Do you know when the act of marriage in a Christian wedding is completed?
You may say when the thali is tied, or when the exchange of rings is completed or you may even think that when the groom kisses the bride. Sadly you missed the bus. In the excitement to catch the side shows that are done to satisfy the requirements of society and the people around the actual wedding gets lost and even the camera man and the parents do not notice.

If you are puzzled and still wondering what I am talking about I suggest that next time pay attention when the priest who is officiating the wedding asks the bride and groom for consent, when they have said their consent with “I Do” or its variants the priest says “Since it is your …you may join your right hands…” and that ladies and gentlemen is the wedding rite. Whatever happens afterwards is part of the spectacle that we love to behold. 

I like to wear a wedding band on my hand because it ensures parity between the spouses where each has the name of the other on their person telling the general public that they belong to each other. This is missing with the thali, the fountain of many sentiments in our movies where the wife has a thali around her neck and usually the “metti” on her toes. I am not challenging the sentiments attached to either but I personally feel that they are one sided. The man usually roams free of any encumbrances.

Among other things this thali can also be a cause for potential personal injury apart from mental injuries arising from marriage. In some communities they vie with each other to see whose is thicker and since the thickness is usually contributed by the gold in the chain they tend to attract the eyes of those wanting to make a quick buck also. I have been a part of a meet the neighbour police interactions where the policemen politely suggest that women at least cover up their sign of marriage to ward of potential chain snatchers but to no avail.

The other aspect of this chain is when it gets misplaced and then all hell breaks loose. The sentiments that come along with it can be nerve wracking as the momentary loss of it will make people fear for the strength of the marriage itself. And if this comes to the notice of the elders in the family the plight of the wife can become very pitiable. Such is the emotion that is attached to this chain which is the side act.

Remember marriage is the joining of the two hands and the marriage will last as long as the two hands are together with or without a chain or a ring.

P.S. This is for a Christian wedding, it may or may not be the same for other weddings but the principle remains…

Images courtesy Google Images
Wedding Song Video courtesy Youtube