Saturday, June 5, 2010


This post has been published by me as a part of the Blog-a-Ton 11; the eleventh edition of the online marathon of Bloggers; where we decide and we write. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton.

Mrs Sharma and her brigade was at the door. As usual.
“He’s so naughty Neeta. Not that I am complaining” she said as matter-of-factly while biting into the sandwich; “He needs to be- you know- taught to behave” She flashed her fake smile at me.

“Look at my children – Simple and Dimpy- So well behaved. No?”
I flashed my fake smile at her. The other day I had seen them sneaking out Mrs. Sharma’s make up and forcefully applying it on their maid’s face. It reminded me of the movie Chalbaaz. Yes the Sridevi one.

Draining her tea, Mr. Varma adjusted herself on our couch and asked “So, your Mister…. Is he not at home?” She asked speculatively. “Today is Sunday- No work No?”

“Well- er- he’s out of town on government work” I gave my well rehearsed reply. “You know the summers are about to start. He’s been asked to help with the Government Project”

“Of course of course. I understand.” She cleared her throat and made a face. She sure masked any signs of "understanding".
“ I just asked because the last time I saw him…” she pretended to mentally calculate and said “… was ten months ago” “Right after you moved in here”

Some of the ladies took a mini gasp at my statement minus the background score of a televised soap. In a town like ours, for a husband to be away from his family was the second most gossiped topic at the kitty party circles, building corridors and playground parks for unemployed wives of rich businessmen.

I sighed. “Yes, but his work is important. You know how government projects are. Er- please have more cake. I baked it” saying that I glanced at my plate to see the leftovers of my son’s birthday cake. I quickly excused myself to refill more potato chips and rushed to the kitchen.

I could still hear the chatter of the ladies and munching of crisps as I absentmindedly filled the bowl with more chips. A sideways glance and I saw my son all tired and angelically curled up in his bed still having his brand new sneakers on him clutching his brand new Iron Man figurine.

Banter in the family room ceased after the neighbours had left. I started to clean up and then-
“You sure know how to make an entry” I said.

“Well. Its my son’s birthday. I wouldn’t miss it for all the stars in the galaxy.” He said while climbing through the window.

“Well then you should have been there to help me field the questions. You heard them-“ And unconsciously I had started to well up. He noticed this and in a flash he was right beside me.

“I know my dear. I cannot apologise enough. It is- difficult – for me. You do understand don’t you? See, I have got something for you”

I turned to him and a shining stone gleamed out of his hand. It shone with such a gleam that I could not be angry at him for long. It was beautiful. Just like him.

I sniffed. “Ah! All the sacrifices I need to make while being married to a super human” I mocked lovingly at him.

He chuckled. “Being hidden from the eyes of world is easy. But being hidden from you….I cannot even think of it”

While his cape billowed in the cool night breeze, I forgot all my worries and the surrealism of it in his sweet embrace.


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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Renovation Frustration

Here Ye Here Ye!

And I am back to blogging… once more.

Sabbatical. On a break. What-cha-might-call-it. And its good to be back. And will stay that way.

Although I passed out of college in July last year still the euphoria of friends around me all the time was strong. Reminiscing all the good times, scandals and the likes. Some left for gora desh and other gora desh-es.

Some even left for further prospects in apna desh.And I was still pondering at the crossroads.

Sitting at home and wondering whether I’d be fitting as a researcher or as a manager was indeed torture topped with dollops of renovation work driving me to my wits’ end aaand a persistent brother persisting me to coax my Pop to buy “us” a 2 wheeler.
That wasn’t it, since now I was home ALL the time the chores’ burden rest on my shoulders. It was as if I did not move a finger at all! Not fair, I did move to Cuba and Bangkok for indefinitely when I had to complete a job for my Mafia on Facebook :P

Thinking about those choices (Management vs. Research) and in the situation (or dump called my home) I can’t say that I didn’t explore those choices.

See, I had to search for a house to live in temporarily while my home was getting renovated not forgetting rummaging through the designs of bathroom tiles, hunt for a contemporary kitchen designer, and also learn enlightening things like what happens when wall tiles and floor tiles are switched or to know how a perfectly good kitchen bowl can be turned into a cocktail of cement puke.

That was the research part.

Management part was inbuilt:
Operations Management was the result of the workers’ research. Cutting granite into 3 inch long strips first and then joining them together into a single whole was their idea, and at the receiving end of my dad's wrath.
It was also managing the space at home i.e. Human Resource(s) management. Since my research to find a spare apartment was hopeless, my bedroom turned into a kitchen; bathroom was the dressing room and living room was out of the house. I cursed myself for having so much furniture lying around that banging my toe each time I entered any room was so routine I did it once to see if I was still conscious.
Noise was nothing. Meaning it was so goddamn much you could hear nothing but it!

I mean it was the constant drilling, cutting, hammering, breaking, welding which felt like listening to a badly recorded death metal CD. Two days of hammering later our maid was absconding and was heard to have been advised by her doctor to go to her native to treat her ears.

There was so much cement and rock bits lying around the house that I wouldn’t be surprised to have inhaled from the air or ingested some with my food like a garnish.
I think while asleep at night and dreaming; I must have dreamt to have woken up just out of the blue laughing out loud and then coughing out a cement block- which later I would have used to upgrade my chop shop in Mafia Wars. :D

Some neighbours were empathetic and some lauded our effort to stay alive in the mayhem of muddle and misery. I used to beam and receive the compliments gracefully.

Little did they know how desperate I was to just stay out of my own home. Thanks to my really good friends I was kept virtually sane by hanging out with them from time to time; out of my house obviously; else I would have shrieked with agony and crouched into a fetal position with the remotest prospect of having to hear another hammering sound.

Food was next on the management agenda. Call it (Not-visiting-the-)Hospital and Healthcare Management.
Since the kitchen was officially in the bedroom, the idea of sleeping next to the cylinder is like sleeping with a ticking time bomb.
Thus we had to order food in, so much so that the regular joint anna had my address by heart and sometimes my order too. It goes like this:

Me: Hello, VinVin Hotel??

Anna: Haan, bolo..

Me: Address likho. V for- (interrupts)

Anna: Haan. Veee for victory, Duss-a number-a?

Me: Haan haan barabar. Order hai- (interrupts again)

Anna: Duss-a Chap-pati, Ekk-a Bhindi Masala aur-a… aur-a… Ekk-a Daal Fraay??

Me:  (Surprised) Haan bhej dena.. (Slams the phone)

Then I get a call. It was anna.

Me: Hello?

Anna: Haan. Madam-a aaj-a Rs. 500 ka change-a nahi chaiye?

Me: :O

A week later Anna calls me and tells me that his chapatti-wala has gone to his native and he insists that I switch to roti now.

Our daily dependence on Anna’s vegetarian fare was so much that I guess he must have recovered the costs of his daughter’s wedding.

Finally the renovation work got completed, and so did my “pondering”, a good 3 months 20 days later. The work done was great. Beautiful marble and granite flooring, larger windows, wider space, brighter walls. I didn't feel like I lived in an Adam's Family-ish home.
I was happy. My hope was beautiful, livable. It somehow paid out handsomely for bearing the so called torture and misery. Cloud called renovation had a silver lining afterall. 
I was happy. So happy that I screamt my lungs out in joy and punched the air in the jubilation of not having to see another stranger lying around my house.

It was then that dad broke the news.

Dad: I think the bathroom needs to be redone….

Me: (Swoon) (Thud)
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