The Sadism of Inanimate Objects


The Truant Towel: 10 degrees on a cold winter morning in an unheated house. You bathe under wonderfully hot water and then stretch out your hand to reach for the towel and find that somewhere in the middle of your hot shower it had sneaked off to chat with its girlfriends. You step out of the shower shivering and tiptoe naked around looking for the damn thing to find it draped over a chair in your bedroom sniggering at the goosebumps on your naked thighs.

The Callous Car key:  You are rushing pillar to post with a never ending list of errands and finally come to the end of a nightmarish day – running back to your car to finally head home – already hallucinating about a glass of wine only to find that after 7 minutes of rummaging through your bag – NO CAR KEYS. After 13 min of frantic searching inside the building you just exited – you find it – comfortably letting it all hang out INSIDE the car. I swear – one time – the damn thing raised its keychain and waved at me from inside the car.

The Petulant Pen: The pen that will keep appearing within arms reach every single time you move your gaze around but go scuttling and hide under a chair the moment you get an important call and have to take down an important message involving a series of numbers which you will not remember otherwise. Oh and sometimes – you do find it right by your right hand when you need it – except this time – it will be constipated and it won’t write.

The Homicidal Heel : The heel of your favorite pair of shoes which will let you parade all about the house when you try it on with multiple outfits without so much as a squeak and then make a break for it in a wedding reception when you decide to make a spectacle of yourself in the middle of a dance floor.

The Flatulent Flat Tyre: The one that will hold all its gas until you are in the middle of the wilderness and then let it all out in one massive odorless fart leaving you stranded on a dark deserted street and a mobile phone with no reception.  So now you are hobbling down NH76  like a one legged pirate flagging down lifts because not only you have a flat – you also locked yourself out of your own stupid car.

The Mobile Manure: When you park carefully by the side of the road and then step out right into freshly baked cow dung which you could swear wasn’t there 1 sec ago. And it will be open sandals. Always. Open. Sandals.

Sometimes they all conspire together. The heel and the key and the tyre. They hold meetings in the dead of the night. Like they are part of a resistance movement. They wait for you to settle into bed with a good book on a hot summer night and then go trip the circuit so that they can plot their next move in peace.

And that is when the most vicious object of them all – strikes.

Under cover of darkness – the corner of the bed tends to grow in the manner of Pinocchio’s nose. And on cue I will get up to check on that tripped circuit and my shin – oh my shin – will contact that effing edge of the bed – and I kid you not – I can hear the bed guffaw – the keys yell ‘bullseye’ while the towel and the pen hi five each other.

It is a cruel world out there.




They are on the road again

I was 15.

It was early evening.

Maybe 5 – maybe 6.

That time of day when you don’t really know if the sun is rising or setting

Unless you look at your wristwatch.


I was on my TVS scooty on my way to Biology tuitions.

Where we studied life and such.

I was about to experience it firsthand.

An unsolicited practical.


I took a turn into a lane.

There was a mob of men.

Young. Old.

And that funny age when you don’t know if you are young or old.


They spread out across the road like a giant organism

I stopped. I had to.

They came forward.

As one

They pulled me off my vehicle.

They looked menacing.

They had something in their hands.

They rubbed something on my face.

They were screaming something.

They were reeking of something.

They touched me.

Not one

Not once.

Maybe five men

Maybe ten men

Or did I imagine it all?

In the middle of the street.


I remember my eyes burning.

I remember crying.

I remember touching my face and thinking I am bleeding.

And yet I saw everyone was smiling.

Even passers-by.

Some even laughed.


Then they left.

Just like they arrived.

As one.


Was it 10 min ?

Was it 1 hour ?

I don’t remember.


I remember running.

I remember howling.

I remember a palatial house

I remember barging in

I remember curling up on a stranger’s sofa and crying like a baby.

No not a baby.

A baby has no real sense of loss.

I cried like someone who has had something precious – something irreplaceable snatched from them.

I remember a kind faced lady

I remember a glass of water

I remember a soothing voice.


Then I left.

Was it 10 min?

Was it 1 hour?

I don’t remember.


That lane was not lonely. It was a busy road beside a very prominent college.

It wasn’t late at night. It was evening. Before dark.

I wasn’t wearing a mini skirt. I was in full length baggy jeans and an oversized t-shirt.

I wasn’t a sexy looking woman. I was a skinny gangly teenager.

Those men were not menacing. They were celebrating.

That was not blood on my face. It was my tears mixed with the crimson powder they had rubbed into my eyes.


They weren’t screaming in rage.

They were screaming Ganpati Bappa Morya



It is that time of the year again.

It is 2 decades later.

The beasts are on the road again.

They have forgotten me.



A 15 year old remembers.

I remember.

Whaaaat ? 1

This is a new series.

Short accounts of things I have seen or have happened – things that surprise me or shock me or make me say – whaaaaat?

Some of these things happened ages ago – some I have already posted on Facebook – or scribbled somewhere and found them recently.

So this is from 2012

“Just watched a guy go down in one knee, slip a diamond ring on the girl’s finger, plant a kiss on her cheek and then say nonchalantly ‘ Happy Birthday’. Am I missing something or what? That gesture used to mean a proposal in the good ol days – when did it turn into a teenage surprise BUDDAY gift idea? “



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.

Cross Section of The Indian Driver(up-the-wall)

I like to think I have travelled a bit – so I do know what I am talking about when I say the average Indian driving on the Road is unique. I do not think any one country has the same diversity of species as can be found on our roads.

Forget roads.

One road.

Any one road in India will have at least one representative of all the following species.

Mr Thinker

That one man who will stop his two wheeler at the busiest intersection and of all things – think. I always wonder. What is that profound thought occurring to him at precisely this moment? What could it be that cannot wait ?

Socrates with a theory.

Einstein with a breakthrough.

A new financial policy ?

A way to eradicate illiteracy ?

The end of terrorism ?

Right there. Right then.

You have to stop in the middle of the road and think. Stop at the busiest turn. Look left – look right and see the oncoming traffic. But remain zoned out.

Into this place of incredible enlightenment.

Mr Philanthropist 

His heart is enormous and generosity unparalleled. From the windows of his car will come bottles, plastic and other fun non biodegradable stuff. He will pitch out wrappers.. subway sandwich leftovers.. water..a plastic bag… an unwanted relative or two…and when he has nothing more to give he will give of himself. Literally. Body fluids will be dispensed left right and centre.

At the RED signal – he will open the door of his Fancy RED car and spit out RED fluid – smile at his neighbors and go on unaffected without waiting for thank yous and accolades. Such a warm giving unselfish heart.

Mr Left-is-Right

He is the one with the right indicator on when he wants to turn left. The one who will take the left most lane when he wants to turn right. The one who will look  bewildered at you standing in the right lane – because according to his poor little mixed up mind – it is the wrong lane.

How can you stand towards the right when you want to go right ? How incredibly foolish and so sadly predictable!!!

Mr Politician

He is the one who will make the most noise for absolutely no reason at all. None. He will honk behind you at a red signal. Like Dumbledore you are expected to wave a wand and make the signal green so that you can move out of the way of his highness. He will Honk EVEN when there is absolutely no one on the road. Empty stretches of pristine road. And STILL he feels the need to announce his arrival. Empty vessels making the most noise and all that.

And he will go that extra mile to outfit his scooty with the horn of a truck – just so that he can make an entrance !!! So you hear a jarring siren and literally jump to the left imagining an 18 wheeler behind you .. and there he will be on a mangy little two wheeler grinning from ear to ear shuffling along like an 85 year old.

Mr Boss

He is the guy who will park at the doorstep of the shop he wants to buy something at. It doesn’t matter if that means double parking or triple. It means that for 20 min traffic will be reduced to a snail’s pace because a two lane road has been reduced to 1/2 a lane by the parking skills of a donkey. If it were possible to park inside the shop – he would. Most of the time though he will park badly in front of the shop and call out – chotuuuu… and make the proprietor come out to deliver his stuff. God forbid he needs to walk two steps to his destination. He may drop dead.

All land is his.

All parking spots are his.

All bumpers of cars he will dent because of his superior sense of orientation – are owned by him.

Even his car number will be 1 or 8088 – with the 8’s designed to look like Bs.

Mr Stuntman

He is Ajay Devgan from his Phool aur Kaante days. Weaving in and out of traffic. Jumping signals. Sucking his breath in and squeezing between a truck and a pedestrian. And the most dare devil act of all… taking on a school bus head on. Everyone knows school bus drivers are the most vicious of them all. The phone numbers written behind the bus in order to complain probably keep ringing off the hook.

Mr Diarrhea

He is in a perpetual hurry. On empty roads – in traffic jams. Red green orange blue violet signals – they all look the same to him . Yellow. The color of diarrhea. The kind he is constantly afflicted with. The reason he needs to race against time all day. An upset stomach. I usually make way for such people as a rule. Poor chap.

The difference between him and the stuntman is that the stuntman mainly is a daredevil. Not really in a hurry. This chap has an agenda. He isn’t doing it for the thrills. He genuinely is in a hurry. He is a stuntman with diarrhea.

He is the guy we should send to represent us in the olympics.. he will bring home the gold for us every single time. All we need to invest in for him are – adult diapers.

And Finally

Mr It-must-be-a-woman

This is most special species of them all. The ones who combine all of the above species and still blame all traffic mishaps on women drivers.

He has his left indicator on and turning right – bangs into a woman on a two wheeler and yells – ladeez..chalana nahi aata. ( Ladies .. dont know how to drive)

Is half drunk and bumps into the car ahead – ladeeeez park karna nahi aata…(Ladies dont know how to park)

Is speaking on the mobile and a woman dares to honk behind trying to move ahead – speeds up extra and says… what else ? Ladeeeez

And on a parting note –

If you are stuck anywhere -anywhere –  behind a parked vehicle – in traffic – in a narrow lane where the oncoming traffic is blocking your way – behind a broken down truck – at a signal – behind pedestrians jaywalking -at a blocked road because some genius has decided to erect a shaadi ka pendal mid road – in the middle of a procession on the road –   if you honk asking people to move – they will give you the quintessential Indian traffic gesture. No no – not the middle finger – that is western and oh so boring.

The Indian one is – right hand out and beckon…. like – come forward come forward – don’t worry – the road will widen on its own – space will be created on its own – things will move out of your way – your car will shrink – Angels will come down from heaven and escort you – soft instrumental music will play in the back ground – all you have to do is just be brave – come forward – come forward.