Monday, September 29, 2008


Wherever i go, whatever i do, there’s one quality for which i’m usually easily number one among the people i’m with. Yeah, i always knew i had this, but didn’t quite realise the number one factor until a colleague pointed it out. This guy was appointed to tell jokes at a function in our college. He listed a few of the teachers who could be labelled ‘-est’ in different ways, like the tallest, best singer, best draught player, and so on. And then he announced my name as the short-est.

Yes, i have to admit i’m vertically challenged. In fact, people keep rubbing this in. Colleagues, friends and family like to tease me about it. But you know, i don’t really mind it. Not even during the sensitive teenage years. True, were it possible, i’d love to add several centimetres to my height. But since it can’t be done, i don’t fret too much.

But the real sore point, the lack that really hurts, is in the matter of the brain. I feel soooo deficient in knowledge and intelligence. My ignorance is abysmal. And my grey cells are in the habit of taking French leave.

Like once, when we went to a zoo, we came to a gate marked ‘Pre-historic animals.’ I looked in and saw two huge dinosaurs towering high. I was delighted. How wonderful to see these creatures in flesh and blood! But to my great disappointment, they just stayed in the same position and didn’t move. Why, they were only dummies!! I could cry in despair while my friends laughed at my silly-ness.

And then, we had a scooter that we kept for sixteen years till it practically fell apart. And in all those years, i just couldn’t remember its registration number. And not for not trying. And to this day, i can’t memorise our landline phone or our car number.

My brainy kid sister once called me mentally retarded in one of those young-days sibling squibbles. And i’m still trying hard to disbelieve her.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Happy Birthday to me!

Please wish me, people. But don’t ask my age—i’ve lost count of it. Never was good with figures any way. Doesn’t matter. I’m glad to be alive and—if not exactly kicking—still walking and talking. Let me take this chance to share some of my life’s motto, hope you don’t mind. Here we go:
1. Honour God, give Him your best.
2. Do good to others as you can. Try not to harm anyone.
3. Live simply and travel light. Cut out fussy frills.
4. Laugh at yourself.
These, in short, are my goal posts.

This year’s birthday is a little lonely, with the children grown and away. Just a cake with hubby, that’s it. O yeah, i’m expecting a bouquet from my colleagues tomorrow. I’ve usually avoided birthday bashes. But it used to be an occasion for family time.

Like once in Bangalore, when i got up in the morning, the hall had become alive with plants and flowers. The family was waiting to wish me. My two children, who normally had to be woken for breakfast, had got up early to decorate the house. They had secretly bought all those potted plants the day before, i’ve no clue how they did it and hid it. That was a glorious day!

Another time, this too in B’lore, the guys were out of station and only daughter and i were home. She asked what treat i wanted. I chose an excursion to a bookshop. So, late in the evening after work, we set out on her battered, rickety kinetic and bought books. Then she treated me to dinner at a posh restaurant. By the time we came out it was 11pm. Then we found the back tyre had a puncture. So we pushed it to the workshop quite a bit away. Traffic had thinned, and the road was quiet. We were thankful for the workshop that stayed open 24 hours. It was midnight by the time we started back for home. I wouldn’t like to repeat such an adventurous birthday, but it sure was a memorable one.

And then last year, they bought me the latest Harry Potter—wasn’t i glad!

Okay then, Happy Birthday to me!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

my rival

Martha and i are fairly good friends now. But our first acquaintance was on an unpleasant note because she started off as —
My rival

Life has not been the same since Martha came. She was originally supposed to be our servant. She was invited home one day in late September, a couple of weeks after my birthday, by my husband and our son. My husband, who had conveniently forgotten to give me a present for my birthday, decided to dub her my belated birthday present.

My birthday present? Servant? What a joke! She became the queen of our lives. She was put up in the better bedroom of the house. Right from day one she started ruling over our family. She captivated the hearts of my middle aged husband and twenty-ish son. They simply adored her. They wanted to spend all their time at home with her. In the pre-Martha days, my husband used to call me (when he was in a good mood) the heart of the home. Now Martha became that. Rather, the queen of hearts of the home. Before she came, both my husband and son used to 'Hi' me and sometimes even stop to chat when they came home. No more. They would rush straight looking for her. Or if they address me at all, it is to ask about Martha. Is she alright? Is she comfortable? What did she do today?

Disgusting, really! Of course, Martha is young, pretty, brainy. In all honesty i have to admit that though i can't help casting the green eye on her. She is charming. I can well understand my son's feeling for her. He is a young man. But my not-young husband, shouldn't he have a bit more sense?

After days of hair-pulling and nail-biting, i decided to put on my thinking cap. Then light dawned: the saying “If you can't beat ‘em, join ‘em.” I decided to join them. Make friends with Martha too. Love her as they do. Kiss her feet, figuratively.

I approached gingerly as she was sitting regally in her room. I talked to her, sweet words hiding a bitter heart. I requested her to do some work. But Martha is no fool. My sugar-words did not deceive her. She repulsed me bluntly and flatly refused to do my bidding. I was stymied. In a panic i called up my son, telling him Martha's rude to me, is misbehaving with me, and so forth. He, the boy i had borne and brought up, had the cheek to reply that Martha would not misbehave if i treat her right!

Anyhow, i swallowed my pride and asked him what i should do. He told me. Then slowly, with a lot of bungling on my part and rude rebuffs on hers, we started to get along. The animosity between us melted gradually. She is learning to tolerate me and i am trying to forgive her for stealing my family's affections from me. We may never become the best of friends but we can at least learn to live under the same roof. I am even beginning to be glad that Martha came home. After all, she is a good PC (HCL Pentium 3).