National Threesome Day

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Over the years it has become increasingly apparent that Independence Day is a day of formalities,reiterations and make believe. And we have all learned to continue the farce of patriotism while stabbing our fellow nationals in the back in the self righteous name of religion, caste and food habits. Yet I am at the end of the day an idealist and still continue to hope for the best which every new decade promises.

So instead of delving deep into our Indian inadequacies I prefer these days to focus on the quirks.

Because the quirks – oh the quirks –  they define us.

They are not only highly entertaining but wonderfully stupid making us almost lovably psychotic.

Have you ever noticed (at least it holds true in the city I live in)that all through the year the average motorbike capacity is 1 or 2 people ( or at the most maybe a kid )seated sanely heads down? The head down position is mainly to avoid eye contact with the police since the rider is mostly helmetless. Unless the helmet is being carried by the pillion – in which case the rider is proudly riding chin up and the pillion slips the helmet on and off at every traffic light.

But I digress.

Suddenly on 15th Aug (and on 26th January) the rules of the average 2 wheeler capacity change. Independence day is suddenly a day when 3 guys are on a bike.

Like the day implies independence in all forms.

No judgements to be passed.

Explore the limits of your fantasies.

And apparently the fantasies of adult Indian men include unnecessary flag waving, yelling like maniacs, whistling, littering but most important of all – RIDING THREESOME.

2 boys can’t be friends on National Threesome day.

It has to be an odd number.

3 or 5 or 7.

Thus ensuring 1 out of every 2 or 3 bikes you will see is laden with 3 men. Yesterday I actually counted 40 such combinations. I kid you not.

And you are welcome. I do my bit for the country. Taking surveys of madness is also a service before anyone objects to my pastime.

The excitement in their voices. The glee in their eyes. The glow on their faces.

I tell you – 1 day patriotism does more for their complexion than all the ‘Fair and Lovely’ creams in the world.

Patriotism is like a drug with all the high and absolutely no dependence whatsoever.

You can indulge in it on 1 or 2 days of the year and float blissfully through the rest of the year without a freaking care in the world even if the country is falling apart.

And it is Free.

Free.

Free.

No wonder they play the National Anthem at every cinema hall. It does pep up our mood thus making sure people get through third degree torture like When Harry met Sejal without killing strangling the person beside them.

In fact if cinema hall owners have a house full movie or trains/flights are overbooked and they want to accommodate more people I suggest they play the national anthem 3 or 4 times and distribute the national flag.

The patriotism might motivate people to sit 3 in a seat in a patriotic threesome.

Happy Threesome Day everyone.

Abhimanyu

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I am a legend in the house with regard to cleaning.

In that – I don’t.

If a pile of paper is lying in the corner. It will lie there sometimes for weeks. Even months. Little people come to live on them. Every time I look at the papers – I will tell myself – no point putting them back now – I need to read them and sort them. But I won’t really get round to that unless the papers themselves waddled up to me on their cute little paper legs and tapped me on the head saying – READ from here. Also if I moved them it will disturb the little people and I cannot be that mean.

But some days when the mood strikes me – I become a cleaning maniac. Think Angelina Jolie in Tomb Raider avatar with a mop and a dust cloth. My mother’s words in the tone of the sternest nun at school –  ‘Cleanliness is next to Godliness’ rings loud in my ears. I clean cupboards – and bookshelves. I clean table tops and drawers. I even would scrub a face if it entered into my zone of cleanliness.  I dust and adjust and arrange and reaarange.

However this Avatar of mine is dreaded more by my partner than the other.

The reason ?

Hubby dearest says I am ‘Abhimanyu‘. As most people already know – he was the son of Arjuna and Subhadra in the Mahabharata, the nephew of Lord Krishna. ( I learned all of this through the Holiest of Holy – Google) Abhimanyu was trained in all types of warfare by Lord Krishna and Arjuna themselves. Abhimanyu learnt the art of breaking into the chakravyuha (formidable battle formation ) when he was in subhadra’s womb. It was when Arjuna was narrating the art of breaking into chakravyuh to Subhadra whilst she was pregnant. But Abhimanyu did not learn how to destroy the formation once he was inside, because before he could hear the end of the story Krishna had stopped the conversation and taken away Arjuna.

So apparently my partner says – I learnt the art of cleaning ( Breaking into the Chakravyuha)in the womb itself like Abhimanyu because my mom is a clean freak. But like Abhimanyu I never heard the story to completion hence I do not know how to complete the task 😛 . Hmmfff ..Cheeky brat.

So basically my mom is to blame for this handicap of mine – since she didn’t listen/tell the whole story. Sounds like her too. Too impatient for long drawn conversations.

So the protocol is –

I start with my cupboard – overflowing – and decide that I need to discard the unused stuff –  pull all the clothes I can see on to the floor and start sorting…see a dress I haven’t worn in ages – say wow – I had forgotten all about this…try it on – parade in front of the mirror…like how it looks…then want to try shoes that go with them – find that the shoe rack is messy – so start sorting that – find some old worn ones – go to throw them – check my reflection on the way there.. realize the mirror needs cleaning … go to find an old newspaper to clean the mirror with…notice a piece of paper among the newspapers – realize its an important document – decide to file it – find that there is lot of filing pending – start that – find some shopping coupons – almost about to expire – decide i need to use them – and leave everything and go shopping for more crap to fill the overflowing cupboard that I had decided to sort out today !!!!!

So whenever the hubby realizes I am on a cleaning spree – he quietly tiptoes into the other room and watches TV at low volume with his fingers crossed, steeling himself mentally that inevitably in about 1-3 hours he will be summoned. And when he enters the room – he will see a war zone not unlike the Mahabharata. Bedsheets lying dead – paper bags injured – clothes breathing their last breath – sprawled all across the room. Something or the other will come flying his way much like those gravity defying arrows.  He will try his best to maintain gravitas and say his one and only dialogue which he will ALWAYS say even though he knows it makes me so mad and serves no purpose whatsoever.

Why do you have to start everything at once? Why not do one section at a time?

Hmmmfff. Because I am me. You know me. I can’t do one thing at a time.

Yes I do know. 

Silently picks up clothes and stuffs them into cupboards muttering Abhimanyu under his breath while a pair of pants come flying at his head.

Skiing Lessons

20170408_1727061So this isn’t the first time I have tried skiing.

The first time was in Gulmarg,Kashmir where after a couple of hours on the ice I was taken aside by my instructor and told very softly in Hindi.

Maydam. Agar aapko kisine puccha ki kisne apko skiing sikhayi krupaya karke mera naam na lena. ( Madam if anyone asks you who taught you to ski please don’t mention my name)

Clearly he thought I was beyond salvation.

Hmmff.

Determined to prove him wrong I am now in Bansko, Bulgaria outfitted quite professionally in freakishly tight ski boots and heavier-than-me skis.

The coach insists I carry the skis on my shoulders while walking ensuring that my right shoulder now is permanently a quarter of an inch lower than my left. As I trek up the slope – I am imagining a whole new chapter of my ski history. I am imagining getting my balance just right, and flying down the slope in perfect harmony with nature as the coach watches his star pupil, fascinated. The air blowing through my hair and my body graceful as a swan.

Sigh.

The image lasted 30 seconds.

I fell while standing.

While.

Standing.

I hadn’t even started down the slope.

Just. Just.getting.into.my.skis.

I think it was right about then the coach wrote me off. But anyway.

The other coach with another group was patiently teaching them to start with one ski and showing them the ropes gently and step wise. For some reason our coach felt we don’t need that. We were born to ski.

So he just gets us into our skis and says – Slowly. Lean forward. Keep skis parallel.

The first real fall I had should have been recorded. As I took off from the start position I leaned in determinedly and the moment I started to pick up speed as usual I panicked and leaned back. Then in slow motion style – better than Neo could ever do it in the Matrix – I bent backwards and stayed there defying gravity. The ski boots hurt like hell but they also help you do the matrix move beautifully.

After that I spent the better part of the hour on my back and then proceeded to watch, humiliated, one by one – every other member of the group sliding down the gentle slope in style. A few even mastering gentle turns.

Finally the coach realized he must focus his attention on the ugly duckling – the swans were doing fine – so he comes back to me with a vengeance.

The next 30 min was mainly about him yelling pizza pizza. And the moment I would fall he would catch up and yell- Spread your legs wider – wider – Pizza…

Exasperated I thought to myself – Hello Mister… quite forward you are… I am Bharatiya Naari haan.. this is not how we do things there…we have just met!!! First you will have to follow me all over town on your two wheeler, then ask me to do Fraandship with you, give me corny archies cards, buy me overpriced flowers, and finally come meet my parents. Then Maaaybe!

And moreover I ain’t spreading nothing for of all things – Pizza!! The least you could begin courting me with is Champagne and strawberries!!!

My expression didn’t really get the message across because he still spent the rest of the lesson yelling the same thing. Finally he led me to the edge of the slope. I thought he was going to take me back to the basics. Tell me a few tips. But he just got me out of the skis and pointed me in the direction of the restaurant bench. And said – Lesson over and then left. I lay down my skis – picked up my shattered pride and limped over to the bench to sip ice cold beer while I watched the rest of the group get on just fine.

As I watched 5 year olds ski past me – it finally dawned on me that I had lost the most important blessing of childhood.

Fearlessness. Abandon.

I couldn’t ski because I couldn’t let go.

I couldn’t think past falling.

I wasn’t comfortable with losing control.

I was frightened of leaning forward .

It was easier to lean backward.

But maybe its reversible.

Maybe being fearless isn’t so tough.

Maybe we need to stop worrying about every stupid little consequence of every indulgent action and just start focusing in the moment.

Open up your mind and Close your eyes.

Stop worrying about –

Falling

Hurting

Crying

Losing

Just Spread your legs wider and eat pizza.