Next stop, insanity

Monday, October 30, 2006


Ever since Taj El-Din Hilaly spoke in defense of his sexual predator brethren there has been a lot of talk about burqas. But thinking about, I think men should wear burqas. There are actually a lot of benefits of wearing a burqa. Here is why:

  • You don't have to shave regularly
  • Your wife won't nag you saying "Didn't you wear the same shirt yesterday?"
  • We all have been in situations when you dash into a store to pick up one thing and run into somebody you know. You have to be polite and stop and chat. If you wear burqa, you will go unnoticed.
  • You don't have to put up a smiling face when a guy asks you, "Is it OK if I set the meeting at 5PM on Friday?". You can make whatever face you want as long as you keep your voice calm.
  • If you smoke, burqa provides another layer of filtering
  • When you are in a store and your wife wants you to buy something expensive, you can pretend not to be her husband and walk away
  • You don't have to be all macho and say, "Oh, it's not chilly at all." You can wear a sweater and nobody will notice
  • Nobody will know where you are looking. Just saying, not that you will check out girls or anything.
  • "Dressing up" for dinner only involves wearing formal shoes (These events will be called "Black shoelace events")
  • Host of excellent pick up lines like: "Hi, will you join me in my burqa?"
  • (Don't talk about hair, Don't talk about hair ) There won't be any more bad hair days (Damn couldn't stop)

May be I should start a new fashion trend.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Recipe: Lemon Olive Fuzz

I always liked how those food blogs look, especially the pictures. I wanted to post something like that and here is my chance to shine. To give credit where credit is due, this recipe is invented and perfected by my wife.

  • 4 tables spoons of fresh lemon juice
  • 1 table spoon olive oil

  • Mix the olive oil in the lime juice until it becomes sticky and slimy
  • Apply the concoction thoroughly to your husband’s hair
  • Note: Applying may be tricky because you may face some resistance. Blackmailing in some way works well
  • Make sure the mix is evenly applied to the hair and, if possible, to ears and eyes
  • Let the hair dry completely, while the slime drips on his t-shirt. Natural drying is preferred unless he mutters too many obscenities, in which case you can advise him to go stand in the sun.
  • There is an easy test to find out when the hair is dry. When you touch it, it should feel like uncooked Top Ramen (or Maggie)
  • Wash the hair. If needed, remove the grease with Pinesol
  • Don’t forget to compliment him on how silky the hair looks and feels – who knows, for a moment, he might actually forget that nobody in the world would notice a married guy’s hair, even if he dyed it orange.

(OK. OK. I know I exceeded my quota of hair posts)

Monday, October 16, 2006

A barbaric experience

The cloth tightened around my neck rendering me completely immobile. He ran his fingers through my hair and said, “You have thick hair.” From the corner of my eye I could see the glistening knife on the table. Then he asked the question. I knew my answer had no bearing on the outcome. I know my fate has been sealed. He repeated the question.

“Do you want your hair short or medium?”

Yes, I was at the barber. As you can see, going to the barber is not something I look forward to eagerly. I generally let my hair grow until I have almost the same hairstyling options as my wife. Last week after finally yielding to my wife’s helpful hints and the annoyance of hair failing in my eyes, I dragged myself to my favorite barber.

The advantage with my barber is that he doesn’t leave a hole in your pocket, but the disadvantage is he might, on your skin. On the day I decided to visit him, he was apparently out of town and entrusted his uncle, an old Vietnamese gentleman, with mowing the hairy heads that wander thither. I didn’t view it as a cause for concern at the time.

After he worked on my hair for half hour with a variety of instruments including three kinds of scissors, a knife and an 18-cerntury looking electric razor, I started growing concerned about the state of my hair. He firmly assured me everything was alright and advised that I go right back to watching the TV. While I tried to engross myself in the game on the TV, which I couldn’t understand a bit of, he tried to make small talk by asking, “You are a fan of baseball, eh?” That jolted me to rapt attention, alarm bells ringing loud. Because it was football that was on the TV, not baseball. That is when I realized, that guy was practically blind! I tried to salvage my remaining hair by being his seeing eye, but without much avail.

Needless to say I emerged the barber shop looking like a poodle run over by a lawn-mower. That is the price you pay for not paying attention when a vintage Vietnamese guy is going at your hair like he never cut before.


Never has a photograph been so much in demand since The Sun printed Saddam Hussein in underpants. I wish I had a taken a picture as soon as I came out of the barber shop when the damage was most visible. After 10 days and some strategic readjustment, I have recuperated now. I promise to post a pic next time I am in a shape to provide quality entertainment.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

10 Kinds of Saree Wearers

From the time I was quite young, as young as 10 years old, I used to enjoy watching women in sarees. Ya, kind of an early bloomer. I used to categorize the women in some loosely defined categories. Here is what I can recollect.

  • The perfect 10s: The saree looks perfect on them, as if the saree-weaver had this woman in mind when he wove the saree. Each fold of the saree enhances their beauty and each thread seems to be happy to hug this women. They also invoke hackneyed poetry like this in onlookers.
  • A-la-Egyptians: They follow the Egyptian mummy wrapping method of wearing a saree. They cover each inch of their body with the saree, very efficiently hiding the gap between the waist and the blouse in miraculous layers of the saree. Makes you wonder if they are wearing one saree or two!
  • De-pleaters: Do you know the law of conservation of pleats? The number of saree pleats (called kuchchiLLu in Telugu) that originate at the waist must be equal to the number of pleats that end up at the feet. The women in this category are in criminal violation of the law. The pleats that start crisply at their waist lose their way around knees and end up in a lump at their feet.
  • Saree-capris wearers: These women's saree does not cover the full length of the leg, leaving a couple of inches of the legs uncovered at the ankles. Inadequate experience, rather than the width of the saree, is the root of the problem. A very bad way to wear a saree, especially if the texture of their legs generally resembles a wool carpet.
  • Luck-pushers: These women do wear the saree well, but somehow forget that their garment is held in place by a puny physical law called friction and that excessive tugging at it will render it out of shape. While wearing the saree they venture into tasks fit only for Romanian gymnasts, such as catching a running bus, moving furniture around and so on. As a result, 15 minutes later, the saree starts to look like it may fall off anytime. (But it never does, so no use following them around)
  • Sideshow artists: Women unknowingly fall into this category if they forget to make sure that the pallu (the lose end of the saree) is covering the side of their left shoulder. Whenever their hand is not parallel to the body, they provide a profile view of the body parts that are generally carefully tucked under the folds.
  • Pincushions: They use excessive number of pins to keep the saree in place and to prevent any accidental revealing of skin. It is a miracle how they manage not to tear the saree every time they move a limb.
  • Googlers: The most recently added category. The women in this category trust the Google-Gods to guide them through the unexplored territory of garment origami. Armed with online tutorials, a lot of imagination and blind faith in themselves, they become their own guinea pigs. These attempts could go either way, but alas, we will only come to know of the successful attempts and they all look stunning.
  • Wrap-duo: This category is not about the style of wearing a saree but about the act of wearing a saree. Some women are skilled enough at the art of saree wrapping that they can manage on their own. Some take a friend into the dressing room to help them wrap the saree. I don’t have any problem with that except that nobody ever asked me to help
  • Navel revealers: A mythical category. Rather, a fleeting category. Some women momentarily fall in this category because of some (fortutious) slip. The the saree gets readjusted faster than you can tell if it is innie or outie. By the way, I refuse to put movie heroines in the category. I should probably invent a new category for them, something like, “This saree must have been super-glued to their bodies to stay in that position.”

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Little professors

There are two kinds of kids. The first kind, when they meet me for the first time, hide behind their moms and start crying. I don’t know why. But when the initial shock wears off, we become best buddies.

The other kind develops an instant desire to get on my nerves and drive me up the wall. They do this in various ways, using methods akin to medieval torture techniques. I met one such kid when I was visiting a colleague. The brat was about 4 years old, showed above average reading and torturing skills for his age.

When I entered the house, he looked innocuous enough, playing in the corner with his flash-cards. But as soon as he spotted me, he carefully approached his pray and camped near where his parents and I were trying to have a conversation. He started interrupting our conversation repeatedly by showing me the flash-cards of animals, which mostly looked Martian to me, and provided gratuitous information on their names and habitat.

After a while he figured the game was not interactive enough for him so he took the game up a notch. He started showing flash-cards and asking me to identify the animals. I identified them with ease. When I confidently announced “Ring-tailed lemur,” his father helpfully informed the brat, “Uncle is just reading off the flash-card.” The brat went, “Hey, you are not supposed to read off the card.” What? Are you expecting me to recognize a ring-tailed lemur? Do I look like an expert in… whatever subject that studies ungodly animals like ring-tailed lemurs?

Round three of the game constituted the brat covering the name of the animal and asking me to identify. At this point, I made my intentions not to be part of the fun clear by ignoring the brat. But it is hard to ignore him when he stood between me and his parents shoving a card in my face. I looked expectantly at his parents hoping they would say “Let uncle talk to us kanna.” But no. They were actually looked at me expectantly to answer the brat. After a brief to and fro exchange of expectant looks, they won.

Brat: OK, what is this?
Me: Deer

The brat smirked. I didn’t even know kids can smirk.

Brat: No, it’s an impala

I don’t know. They all look like frikking deer to me.

Brat: You don’t know the difference between deer and impala?

I wanted to tell the brat how much I care about the difference between impala and deer but I was afraid the brat may not understand the reference to rat’s ass. I looked at the parents hoping they would come to my rescue. They looked very amused, smiling proudly at the brat.

The pop-quiz continued.

Brat: What is this?
Me: Rhinoceros
Brat: No, rhinoceros

He corrected my pronunciation. Alarmed, I looked at the parents. Of course they are going to sternly admonish the brat not to be rude. Nope. They had their proud smile plastered on their faces.

Brat: What is this?
Me: Horse
Brat: What is it called in Telugu? (Telugu is my mother tongue)
Me: It’s called “gurram”
Brat: No it’s called “gurram” (Pronouncing it like an American)

The parents laughed out loud at the cuteness. I was not laughing. I was not mad at the brat. I was mad at the parents. I felt sad for the brat. He will grow up with the reinforcement that it is okay to be rude and it is okay to insist that he is right even when he is not.

Of course, a few minutes after that I suddenly remembered a very urgent matter I needed to tend to.