Thursday, May 28, 2009
When Mahesh said, “ Look lady, I have only 5 pairs of shoes and you got 36," I was not in the least ashamed. I was actually grossly offended like hell when he said throw all but 5 away. Are you kidding Mahesh? I need them all. I will wear them even if i have to wear them one upon the other. For sure I would. I simply onioned* myself to develop the symptoms of selective hearing and swiftly walked away from the offending words.
Coming back to STML-short term memory loss. Everytime we opened a box, we started to keep the stuff at the right places-only in the middle of the journey to the ‘right’ place , we forgot where we were going and why. Five zombie like creatures - (Mahesh, my mother, Rasan, Jai, Mampi )still managed to give a shape to the new house-and in the middle of the STML also managed to laugh out loud at the one who came saying, “Yaar, where was I going? Where did I place xyz?” The zombie situation came full circle on Friday last when Mahesh and my mother - after I lay dead in the bed with rough feet and dry hands-spent a whole night in moving furniture and shifting stuff. Moving as in moving things physically. Thank God I am a heavy weight otherwise I would have woken up with my bed shifted under the mango tree in the courtyard. The most interesting part is that they would stand still when I would sleep walk and sleep talk asking them what were they doing moving about at that god-forsaken hour. They would grin and pat me back to sleep. In the morning, I would have believed I was in a dream if I had not seen the furniture moved to strange corners.
Enough about the people-here is something about the house. This government accommodation came into existence sometime between 1920 and 1947. Yes, I am the unofficial restorer and caretaker of the heritage buildings of the Punjab. Only they do not offer me any honorarium, rather I have to spend from my own pocket to indulge myself in maintaining it. Okay, not my pocket, but Mahesh’s. However, doesn't gurbani proclaim us Ek Jot doye moorti (We are one in soul though two physically)? Therefore his pocket is my pocket after all-especially when I put my hand in the pocket and come up with crisp new notes of 1000 bucks. We had to spend on getting the big watertank of 300 litres replaced with a bigger 1000 litre ; a flush system had to be put in place – for there was none. The previous occupants made do with throwing bucketfuls of water in the pot after potty. As an aside, I wonder how do you save enough energy to do this exercise after a good session on the pot? Even the kitchen supported the old Indian style of sitting on the floor and doing the dishes. My thundering thighs would have been strengthened to rocky hardness if I had to do dishes like that. The primitive style has now been replaced by a stainless steel sink. The taps that had forgotten to deliver water are now gracefully throwing out water. The quantity of junk thrown out of the stores would have put a good junk dealer into thought and would have made me richer if only the departmental policies had not required me to procedurally write them off and sell them to fill the governmental coffers.
For now, we have settled in the house. The house has settled down on us, I mean it has gotten used to us. We do not have an AC, nor a good old khus-cooler, but the mad May heat has not gotten us down yet. The high ceilings, the 18" thick walls with lime plaster, the cross ventilating windows and doors are a bliss. And also thanks to the loads of vegetation around us, we are enjoying almost sylvan surroundings. Soon we will make the house more livable and then I will probably post some pictures also. This was primarily the reason why I had disappeared from the blogworld.
*little boys (never heard of any girls doing it) in Punjab keep a peeled and raw onion under their armpit to induce fever-so that they don’t have to go to school. (there is no such word as onioning, but then who says we cannot make new words?)
Friday, May 01, 2009
Fling a shoe at me please. I want to be popular. More importantly, I need shoes. Shoes of all variety-running shoes, heeled shoes, chappals (for I develop corn on my little finger sometimes), pump shoes, thin shoes, fat shoes, platform heeled shoes, pencil heeled shoes. Fling a shoe on me when I am looking my best for I understand that the media would surely like to report the shoe-incident and I do not want to be caught on the wrong foot with the wrong makeup and with a wrong shoe being thrown at me. I wish that I make it to the front page-looking as stunning as I always do in my photographs. (Just between you and me-I look far far more stunning in my pics than I really am-so if my photographs have managed to enamour you-pull yourself out of your crushes. They are hardly worth the pain in you-know-where.) All the national dailies and regional, vernacular dailies, weeklies, monthlies, yearlies, decadalies, centuralies would want the picture of a good looking me-ducking the shoe, or maybe very charmingly holding the shoe close to my bosom so that you end up envying the shoe and cursing yourself aloud why you didn’t fling yourself instead of the shoe at me. Just for your information-if you had flung youself on me, you would have tasted the heavy Punjabi slap that I am capable of delivering. The Shoe would not suffer anything like that slap, so do not envy it. And otherwise also, I have a tendency of paying people back sooner or later-usually in my own coin. So a shoe thrown at me would not mean that I would tell the press beatifically that I have forgiven the thrower of the shoe. I understand that the forgiving in shoe throwing is the in-thing. However, I would not want any legal action to be initiated against you (for this is a request to you to fling a shoe at me). I would, instead, very forcefully throw the shoe back at you and there is every chance that it will hit you, in the face or below the belt-depending on my mood and the energy quotient at the moment.
So please, throw a shoe at me.
But why would you throw a shoe at me? After all, I am no minister belonging to a party which has successfully conducted pogroms of minority communities; after all you are no frustrated youth peeved at false claims; you are no drunk father upset at your son’s unemployment and you are no victim of a religious wipeout. Also, you are no independent candidate from my opposition party. I even will manage to conduct shoe proof political rallies, press conferences and public meetings
I deserve this treatment because I am guilty of not reading your blogs for about 3 weeks, not leaving my comments there and of not putting up a blogpost. People must get hit with shoes for these major offences.
Here end my hopes of being hit with a shoe flung from audience while I use the mic to glory.
Understandably, I accept that I would never be famous.