A common situation

I have trouble saying ‘No’. And when I say Yes, I take complete charge of the task, convinced my reputation, relationship and future depends upon it. Sometimes, I can’t execute the task for reasons beyond my control. I can’t just explain that to the people depending on me. I don’t use the simple truth, no no. I rely on a grand lie. I am not only letting you down, I’m letting you down TO BROKER PEACE BETWEEN NATIONS. Sorry, I can’t style for free because I need to fly out to Pakistan. I’m sure you understand.

What do you do?


1. So in Tushar’s household, they make this awesome kheer. It’s immovably thick on account of reduced milk, condensed milk, ghee roasted almond slivers and vermicelli. It’s angel semen. Wouldn’t it be awesome if biofluids could be engineered to taste yummy? You Stanford, MIT-wallahs, are you on this?

2. I have a business idea. Ganpati is big right? You’ve seen the pandals. There’s a Subhashchandra Ganu, a baby Ganu, headlines Ganu. I sense an opportunity. Dashboard accessories — chattri, havan pind, scroll, mouse, turban, crown, etc. Different figures — student Ganpati, scribe’s Ganu, long-distance traveller Ganu, gunning down terrorists Ganu. Different costumes. Who’s got China on speed-dial?

We want to live in Pune

Pune is in the middle of a real estate explosion and it’s really building aspiration. All manner of adjectives are being enrolled to sell us homes. No hyperbole is safe. Nothing is beyond belief.


For instance, you should live at Balmoral estate just for the pleasure of watching mythical humanoid- animals romp around the compound. Judging from the sign in the right-hand corner, UK has made some heavy investments in Pune.


In this complex, the surfaces are always dustless, home-makers make dinner wearing gowns and elevator music fills the air.


Unlike it’s crass neighbour, Pune hires wholesomeness. Milind Gunaji is their poster boy. Instead of leggy, pouty, east European models, narayan-peth and nath wearing homely beauties sell you cars and atta. Still, I can’t equate Sharman Joshi with sophistication and elegance, even if he does have a Greek column.


Are you cheerfully ready? Prompt and willing? Are liveliness and briskness your middle names? This is the address for you.


Wanna do something naughty on date night? Hook up with them.


Some places recommend fiscal imprudence.


Others hint disturbing intimacy.


And liveliness.


Here’s a building called Pride Purple.


There was even one that sold a 2BHK in the crotch of an armored angel, but I missed taking a picture of it.

Which brings us to the question, what would you name a housing complex?

Tushar: I’ve waited 9 years for you to ask me this question. Anthony wadi.

Phrases I am going to throw around more often

L’ at
Like that.
A usage mostly among Catliks.

One fine Bandra evening, Alan is nursing a feni.
He is listening to “The Best of Lionel Ritchie”.

Ryan passes by.

Ryan: What you doin’, men?

Alan: L’at only.

A person who has unbelievable expertise with certain things.
A: Dude, I’m getting a lot of errors during run time in this program.
B: Go to Santosh man, He is a Bond when it comes to correcting logical errors in Java.
A: Lo macha, networks 2 nalli yenu gottila.
B: Santosh hattra hogo, avnu aa subjectnalli bond. Yen bekadru helkodthane.

I have been told that in certain circles (read: Danda, Khar), Bond also refers to one’s father. I like that usage better.

Ineffectual bumbling fellow that displays a combination of slothfulness and sketchiness while also being unrefined; used as a a term of endearment
Ryan is a total porki! Look at him with his hands in his pants doing nothing useful.

Of course, now there is kolaveri, giving name to the undescribable rage within.

Popularized by the song Why this Kolaveri Di

It means a murderous rage felt by a jilted or spurned lover but in everyday parlance refers to unnecessary anger. Also see KLPD to understand the full spectrum of male rejection in India.

Girl : I called you a few times last night, why didn’t you pick up?
Boy: Oh sorry, I was watching TV.
Girl : Dude, how dare you? What if it was something important? Don’t you have any sense of resonsibility?
Boy: Hey! Don’t over-react. Why this kolaveri?


I cut open a papaya and find no seeds. It has been genetically modified. Isn’t the flesh of a fruit programmed to be juicy and fragrant to invite birds which, by eating it away, will free the seeds to fall and regenerate? I can think of a profession which would benefit by such an agenda — to make the flesh sweet and alluring, and remove the possibility of reproduction. Did I sexually exploit a fruit?


What would it be like if my friends wrote porn, or starred in porn, or were porn. or induced porn.

Jaison: She looked like the perfect plate of spaghetti — well sauced, with a bit of bite and the right kind of meatballs. He attacked her with gusto.

Merlin: He knew where the right button was but wanted to see what the other ones did first.

N: There was only one way to stop N’s whining.

Wardrobe essentials

Upon deep contemplation, I have decided that you need only two things in your closet: A red dress and a quality shoe.

When I find it, I’ll pull that garment
from its hanger like I’m choosing a body
to carry me into this world, through
the birth-cries and the love-cries too,
and I’ll wear it like bones, like skin,
it’ll be the goddamned
dress they bury me in.

What Do Women Want? by Kim Addonizio

You’re gonna want to smile in them
If you’re gonna walk a mile in them
There’ll be times when you’ll be blue
To laugh at rainy days and then
Make your getaways in them
You’re gonna need a quality shoe

— Quality Shoe by Mark Knopfler
Given to me by merlin, who of course, is my quality shoe.

Projects that lasted a day

1. My dad was never big on imparting his “culture” to us, much to our handicap. When people ask why we’re matriarchal, he says marriage to a g***** is unconditional surrender. Now I speak to him in Gujrati and he answers in Marathi.
But that Thursday night in 1989, AS was staying over and my loving, malleable father thundered: “Fruit of my loin! Thou shall learn Gujarati! Tomorrow we commence your training at 9 am sharp! Okay, 10 am.”
My brother was harbouring adolescence in his room and learning Gujarati was not going to help him further his career as a GI Joe.
So me and AS gathered in the morning in front of my cupboard. The doors were painted black so that I could draw and play teacher-teacher on it.
My father wrote out the alphabet and the numbers one to ten. We copied them down studiously and repeated after him. Then we broke for lunch and he suspended lessons for a nap.
We went out to play hopscotch. He never mentioned the lessons again, even though I wrote about them in a composition on ‘How I Spend my Fridays’.

2. During the 1991 Gulf war, we (mother, brother and I) were sent back to India for a few months, like many other Indians. That was a tragically wrong move because those were the best days to be in Bahrain.
Destruction was imminent so life was tuned to Full Swing — there were random days off from school, US troops brought excitement, shops went on sale and when we came back, everyone had these really cool Gulf War tee-shirts.
We landed mid-term in Navi Mumbai and my parents were keen on us continuing our CBSE education. The only school was in Nerul, three towns away from Vashi, where we lived. It only had classes up to Eighth grade and my brother was in Ninth. My parents didn’t want to separate us as I couldn’t travel alone.
So they enrolled us and we got brand new uniforms. A tie and belt would seal our admission. I was really excited about them because 1. I had never worn a tie before and it looked very official 2. My skirt kept falling off.
But by the end of the day, my parents decided that it would not do for my brother to lose a year, nor for us to be separated.
That’s how I was in ApeeJay school for one day.

3. 1994-1995 was a bad year for concentration. Over every class, ever conversation gathered dark clouds booming the importance of Board exams. They thundered stress and guilt. Everyone was fine-tuning their approach to distinction. I found I could “study better” if I went to the terrace in the evening. Between reading chapters and drifting off, I caught sight of birds flying right to left.
I would study their patterns, I declared to my rapt inner audience. Present a paper on them after my board exams were done. Look, they only fly out in pairs! No they don’t! They head only in one direction! I could count them and see if they number tallied over days! They might be a rare, undiscovered species! My life had a purpose! Up yours, Board Exams! The inner audience stood up to applaud.
I forget to go up next evening.