Category Archives: Conversations – weird, funny, etc.

Decalage horaire

Parents went to USA. And I’m stuck home alone with Maternal Grandma, who’s not senile, but I suspect is very stupid. Dad celebrates birthday in the States. And us mere mortals here are faced with the dilemma of calculating time differences and figuring out when to call him to wish him.

At 12 pm.
Grandma: Oh! Today’s your dad’s birthday!
Me: I know. It’s 1 am there now.
Grandma: Oh. Okay. So when will we call him?
Me: In 8 hours. It’s apparently very cold there, so they sleep in till 9 am.
Grandma: Oh. Okay.

At 2 pm.
Grandma: Shall we call your dad now?
Me: What? No! It’s…. 3 am there. We can call at 8 pm our time. That’s in 6 hours.
Grandma: Oh. Okay.

At 4 pm.
Grandma: Shall we call your dad now?
Me:’s…. Sigh. No. Okay? It’s not morning yet.
Grandma: What?? It’s 4 in the afternoon!
Me: For us, yes! Not for them!
Grandma: Oh. Okay.

At 4:30 pm.
Grandma: Shall we call your dad now?
Me: No!
Grandma: Oh. Okay.

At 5 pm.
Grandma: Shall we call your dad now?
Me: No!
Grandma: Oh. Okay.

At 5:30 pm.
Grandma: Now?
Me: No!
Grandma: Oh. Okay.

At 6 pm.
Grandma opens her mouth.
Me: No!
Grandma shuts her mouth.

At 6:30 pm.
Grandma looks at me.
Me: Sigh. Look. It’s still night in that country. Across the seven seas. You know? They. Are. Still. SLEEPING. We’ll call when its 8 o’ clock here. Then it will be 9 o’ clock there.
Grandma thinks for a moment. Says: Will it be 9 o’ clock in the morning or 9 in the evening for them?
Me: Just…..don’t talk to me anymore, OK?


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Mummy in da house

Mum and I are surfing the www. Me on laptop, mum on desktop.
I’m trying to proof a particularly boring piece of writing – and I put on some EDM.

Mum (rocking to the beat): That’s catchy. What is it?
Me: Um. It’s called house. House music.
Mum: Oh.
Rocks. Rocks. Then smiles and says “Hey, look at me.”

She makes swishing moves with her hands.
Me (befuddled): “Are you pretending to sweep the floor??”
Mum: “Haha. No. I’m COOKING!”
Me (brow wrinkled): “WHY?”
Mum: “Coz it’s “house” music no? Mwahahahaha.”
Me: Facepalm.


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Memory. All alone in the moon light.

Just when I think the worst is over, Bitch Granny has come to stay for the weekend. Again.
Why? Don’t ask. Now, she has this tendency to sort of stretch the truth. Exaggerate. All right, lie. Bald facedly.
What I didn’t realise is that lying has now intermingled with senility.

Granny: You know, when I was younger, I was so fair. And so beautiful. And so thin.
Me: (thinking, because clearly, I am only one of the above. And not the second or third.): Hmmm. (Also, trying to write an important mail but constantly interrupted by GUESS WHO.)
Granny: In fact, your grandfather had come to see another girl. But ended up marrying me.
Me (Sigh. Snark is the only way.): This is why burkhas are popular in some countries I expect.
Granny (happily): Yes yes. (Mystifying, that.) In fact, I was wearing such old clothes, and still he told me I looked like a queen.
Me: Like Snow White’s stepmother?
Granny: Yes, yes! I had a mirror also.
Me: (Dumbstruck as usual. Sometimes I wonder if she’s ignoring me or if she’s crazy.)
Granny: And after that first day when he saw me, he told his mother he’s not marrying anyone else. Because I was so beautiful, so fair, so think, so well spoken…
Me: So bloody young.
Granny: Yes yes. I was 12 years younger than him.
Me: That’s like marrying a child. Yuck.
Granny: Yes, yes. In fact, (coyly) on our first night, he gave me a bangle and told me that he was in love with me.
Me: What??? Are you sure? My grandfather? (Outrage. He barely ever spoke. To anyone. Who knew the old boy had it in him?)
Granny: Yes yes. He held my left hand and told me that my hands were so beautiful and so fair and so thin. (Sigh.) And that he had fallen in love. And he’d had such a hard life. And his sister was the only other girl he’d spoken to…
Me: (cutting her off) His sister? He didn’t have one no? He was an only child….
Gran is suddenly thrown off guard. “Ahh…”
Me (suddenly, the light dawns): I think you’re remembering wrong….this is a scene from the Telegu movie we saw last night. You know? The hero says all this and then says that he won’t talk to any other girl the way he does to the heroine.

Granny and I are both embarrassed at this. Me because its rude. And I’ve put my foot in my mouth. I mean, I don’t like her very much. But I don’t want to hurt her. Granny, however, recovers magnificently.

Granny: Yes yes! This happened to me! But the man who wrote the film Mr Subba Rao, was a very good friend of your grandfather’s. That’s how the scene happened.

Me: Okay.
Granny: Yes yes.
Me: I have to go to the bathroom now.

Luckily, my shower is loud enough to drown out any giggling.



Hell is other people.

So Bitch Granny is staying with us (my family) for a week. That’s 6 days and 23 hours too long. Day 4 has been slow repeats of days 1, 2 and 3. Each conversation is pretty much the same, between mom, me and Bitch Granny. Dad has luckily escaped because he works. Sniff.  Why don’t we have a “Take your mother to work” Day in India?

Mom: Gran, do you want some coffee or tea?
Bitch Granny: No, no, I’ll become fat.
Me (thinking: what does she mean “become”? Fat ass) : Mom, I’d like a second cup please.
Bitch Granny: Oho. Why? You’ll become fat.
Me (thinking: What does she mean “become?” Fat ass) : Granny, I already am fat. I think I’ll risk it.
Mom: Okay. Lunch is rice and gravy ok Gran?
Bitch Granny: Yes, yes, no more. I’ll become fat.
Me (thinking: What does..Fuck it. Fat ASS)
Bitch Granny turns her beady little eyes on me: Are you skipping lunch?
Me: What? No. I’m planning to eat seconds.
Bitch Granny, outraged: But you’ll become FAT!
Me: I am FAT! Too late!
Bitch Granny: Yes! But skip lunch and dinner and breakfast and you can become THIN! Then you can get married!
Me: Then I can be dead! Of anorexia!
Bitch Granny: Nonsense! No one dies of not eating anything.
Me (thinking: I give up. Shut up! FAT ASS!) I have to go.
Bitch Granny, approvingly: Yes! Walk around. Then when you skip lunch, you will have burned some fat off.

Sigh. When is Thursday getting here, please?



Notes to my 26 year old self.

Recently read this somewhere – Every human being is stuck at a certain age in their heads. What age are you stuck at?

Now, it’s probably different ages at different times for different people.
But it got me thinking. Right now, I think I’m stuck at 26.
And after watching too many episodes of Big Bang Theory and especially one about time travelling, I wondered – if I could go back in time, what would I tell my 26-year-old self?

Technically, this is a letter to myself now. Because I’m 26 in my head no? And more conundrums. So anyway, here goes.

i) This too shall pass. No seriously. You’re stuck in a job you’re scared you will never get out of. You’re stuck with a person you’re increasingly fed up with. In a year, both will be gone. Sometimes I think my best memories of advertising come from that job. Unbelievable isn’t it? So. RELAX. Till 2011, things are fine. I think things are fine beyond this too, but I can only confirm that in a letter from my 29+1-year-old self.

ii) Oh yeah. Till you’re 29, you keep rounding age up. As soon as you hit 29, you’re going to start thinking about 29+1, 29+2, etc. Enjoy these halcyon birthdays. Don’t make faces and not go out with people who want to take you out. ALWAYS accept invitations. ALWAYS. You can walk out mid way. But if you don’t go, how will you know? What do you mean that’s a bad rhyme? Shut up! And take notes.

iii) You know how you already dislike advertising mightily? Well, that’s not going to change. Start working on a book, a degree, a hobby, a play, articles – anything. I don’t know if it will change anything career wise, but even writing one article a year will give you a sense of achievement. And I mean girl, there are days coming when you will contemplate suicide and cutting and drugs. Just contemplate. But this annual article might help you not cry so much. If you have something concrete on paper, you feel better about yourself. And that brings us to

iv) You know how bitching is so much fun? And sometimes you’re rude to people you don’t like? Yeah. That’s going to haunt you. Like the time you stupidly kept calling that guy when you were 21. The haunt date of your dating mistakes come with an expiry and forgiveness date. But I can guarantee you that when you say or do something hurtful, the person it most hurts, is you. Your soul will never allow you to forget it. I know. It’s so reiki isn’t it? But true.

v) At this point, you, the 26-year-old child, is probably thinking “Gosh, the old me is so irritatingly zen.” Firstly, I’m not old, you bitch. Secondly, nope. Not zen. Still a long way to go pal. All the fights you’re having with your parents? About marriage and losing weight and idiot arranged marriage candidates? Not over. Not by a long shot. The good news is, you make up with your sister. Sort of. When she calls. Oh, you should really tell your sister she goes to America. Of course, the jury is out as to whether she stays there. But yeah.

vi) You know the boss that you’ve made the centre of your work life? The one whose mood dictates if you have a good day or a bad day? The one you spend your day avoiding or trying to impress? After a year, he will not matter. Yeah. Even the slightest. The worst punishment for him is one he inflicts on himself. So forget him. And oh, his life is far more fucked up than yours can ever be. So pity him. Also, you will never stop trying to understand why people do what they do. But in some cases like him, and the other girl at work who blocks you after a point, don’t bother. There’s no point. Yes. Soon, you will understand the wisdom of “leaving well enough alone.” At least on some occasions. PLEASE add spur of the moment hair cuts to this list of occasions.

vii) Oh and talking about work. SAVE EVERY SINGLE PIECE OF WORK THAT YOU DO. I cannot stress this enough. In 3.5 years, all those campaigns you’re worried about will go through round after round with idiot CDs from Mumbai who have more attitude than manners. Brains are also debatable. But the little business owners, the IT guys, the indie businesses – they want to see your BROCHURE work and your internal com work. At 29, I have NOTHING. Please save every single piece of work you do. At the very least, when you wonder where 7.5 years have gone, you will look at what is hopefully a full USB drive and can at least know where your youth went. Also when you show off those glossy brochures you can charge double. Really.

viii) Remember that guy who asked you out last year? And you said no because you were afraid you weren’t thin enough? And intelligent enough. And funny enough. And intellectual enough. I could slap you for that one. Say yes. Go out. You could get laid. Or get a funny story. God knows there are never enough of those.

ix) You know the office sluts who make you want to cry? Ignore them. You will realise that there is a little iron fist in your head that will not allow you to do what they do. Resistance is futile. Accept it. You have certain values. And fighting your inner you? Just makes all four of us unhappy. (What four? You, your inner you, me, my inner you. Obviously, our math skills have improved.) So you will always be the girl who isn’t drunk, who can’t and won’t get drunk. But you will always be the one who knows she can get home safely on her own. You will be the one who doesn’t have to embarrass others or put people out to get dropped home. Yes, there will come a time when that happens to these girls too. You’ll also realise they have issues that go far deeper than weight. And you will be thankful. So make life a little easier. Let go.

x) Last one. When you go to Singapore next year, buy two Creative Zens. I have an Apple iPod. Yes. I know. I know. Stop screaming. Yes. YES, AN iPOD. No it is not the spawn of Satan. iTunes is. But there’s no choice. Buy two Zens so one can replace the other. Else you’re gonna have your soul sucked out by iTunes.

I think these are enough to start. Honestly, I can’t see life going very differently no matter what you do. I’m still confused about destiny and fate versus free will. And although I am much much more spiritual, I have far less tolerance for the rituals our community practices. Far lesser. Anyway, the Time Machine gives me only 10 points and a preamble. Now, I must get back to the future.

What? Yes, that movie still rocks. No, Michael J Fox doesn’t get cured. We’re still waiting. Great Scott!


Posted by on December 15, 2011 in Conversations - weird, funny, etc., Nostalgia


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Movie plans.

So mom and I were discussing going for The Ides of March. I wanted to see it because tense thriller, yada yada and CLOONEY & GOSLING. Yeah. That.
Mom was going coz I’d been whining about no company, maybe I’ll go alone and get murdered etc.

So an hour before we have to leave home, I suddenly think to check its certification. Given my family’s propensity to embarrassedly change channels when Disney characters are kissing, I thought it wise to just make sure politics was all we’d be seeing on-screen.

Blast and bugger it all. Ides is A rated for language. And what I hope were scenes involving Gosling or Clooney with their clothes off. But obviously Mother could not be taken to it now.

I bounced out to the living room where she was frowning censoriously at soap opera where a husband was patting his wife’s shoulder.

Me: Okay, I think we should re-think. This movie is rated A.
Mom: Oh. Not A-plus?
Me: Mom, an A rating doesn’t refer to how good it is. It’s rated for Adults.
The Mother’s brow wrinkled.
Me: So there might some “scenes” and some bad language. And you’ll just get irritated.
Mom: No, I won’t get irritated. It will just ruin the mood.
Me: Yeah, so you’ll get irritated.
Mom: No, I won’t get irritated. Just my mood will be ruined.
Me: Yeah, meaning you’ll not like it and be irritated.
Mom: You mean like you’re irritating me now?
Me: Don’t you mean like I’m ruining your mood?
Mom: Sulk.
Me: Sigh. Is there any chocolate?


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ADventures 11 – No country for young women

Big agencies always have Big Daddies coming over. Why, no one knows. Presumably they must do something to fill their time. And skipping from office to office commenting on loo hygiene and the peeling paint on the walls satisfies their life purpose.
Note: This entire post is based in reality fictional. 

Monday morning in a fictional ad agency in a made-up galaxy far, far away:

Servicing hottie: “Tra la la! Another day of tormenting creative people! Wheeee!”
Art Director, smoking, watching her go: “If that bitch comes near me before lunch, I’ll cut her.”
Copywriter: “Fuck, really? Wait, I’ll call her now only.”
Racuous laughter. The day has begun.

Monday afternoon, post lunch siesta, two female copywriters are discussing their love lives brand strategy
Copywriter: “Servicing cow has sent mail…FUCK.”
Other female copywriter (OFC): “What now? The client wants my fucking uterus in the script?”
1st Copywriter reading mail out loud: “Ladies, Heard through the Glassvine that Big Daddy will be in town tomorrow. Please take appropriate action.”
OFC: “Has she marked everyone necessary?”
1st Copywriter: YES. Bless her, she always does. Okay, we need to leave early and shop.”
Male Art Director: “Haan! Finally! Stop wearing these old things. Go sexy! We need something to look at!”
The combined gaze of the women reduces him to ashes which are wafted towards his computer. His mouse now moves like in an ouija board.

Next Day, 10 am
Bright and sunny morning. The Branch Head steps out.
“Good morning!” is chirped out at everyone. Cleaners are gently reminded that if any dust is seen, their heads will be parted from their bodies. Secretaries are told to please polish the fucking china and get coffee from a decent restaurant this time.
The office is on time. The punctuality KRA of the quarter has been met with this one day alone.
Branch Head stops short in his journey towards the Creative Dept. Where are the women?
He bounds back in. And stops. ALL the women are in Indian clothes. With dupattas almost swaddling them.
He clutches his hair and almost wails. WHAT IS WRONG WITH THESE FUCKING PEOPLE? Why do they roam around almost naked on most days and look like they’re attending a funeral TODAY of all days?
A secretary walks past with some cups and his attention is diverted.

11:30 am.
Big Daddy enters. A welcoming committee comprising the Branch Head, Ass Licker 1, Ass Licker 2 and the new hire, an Account Director in her 30s – is stationed at the door.
Big Daddy walks in. “Hello, hello, hello all. How are you all?”
Hands are shook, flattery happens and then, Big Daddy smiles: “Oh helllooo. You’re new. What’s your lovely name?” He asks New Hire’s boobs, both of whom seem shocked speechless at this level of unprecedented attention.
New Hire’s mouth kicks into action: “F-f-f-fine, thank you. Er.” Her boobs are confused. Weren’t they being talked to? Why was Mouth answering?
Glances are exchanged amongst the rest of the (male) party. Bets were mentally calculated as to how long New Hire would last post this trauma.

12:30 pm: After an hour closeted with the Branch Head, Big Daddy is ready to explore virgin territories. Literally.
Servicing Saviour dials 1st Copywriter on extension: “ALERT! ALERT! The Vulture has landed! ALERRRRRT!”
Dupattas are stapled into shoulders, hair is scraped back – every woman now looks like she works in an NGO.

Big Daddy enters with welcoming committee, minus the New Hire who’s been sent home for rest and recuperation.
Big Daddy: “Hello, hello, hello, so nice to be here again!” He speaks from his heart, to the region around he women’s.
Assorted raggedy bunch: “Hiiiummhgfgh.”
Branch Head, maniacally nodding: “SUCH a pleasure to have you with us!”
Big Daddy surveys the range of swaddling dupattas around him. “Very….PLEASURABLE to be here.”
Mentally, every woman throws up.
Lips are stretched, rictus-like.
Beads of sweat start to appear.
Big Daddy is engrossed in a distance evaluation of thick South Indian cotton. What lies beneath indeed.

Branch Head, cracking under the pressure, brightly: Lunch?
Big Daddy: “Ah, yes. Great idea.” He points at the youngest sacrificial virgin servicing girl’s boobs. “Why don’t you come along? I can find out what you think of the agency.”

Strained laughter is heard. German prisons have more joie de vivre.
The Youngest smiles uncertainly. First her boss told her to dress conservatively and then piled an extra dupatta on her. Now she had to go for lunch?

The other women tearfully watched her go.
Servicing girl: “Poor thing. We should have put a third duppatta.”
1st Copywriter: “Or locked her in the bathroom.”
They sigh.
Life goes on.
The duppattas were put into storage till the next quarter.