Category Archives: My family and other people I didn't choose

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.



Au revoir

Until we meet again.

I’ll lock the doors like you showed me. Sometimes several times in the same hour.
I’ll try to read up on vaastu, mainly because you obsessed about it.
Every time I walk past a guy selling corn, I’ll remember how you used to buy me corn.
Every time I travel by bus, I’ll hold on to the rail for you.
I’ll walk in the garden and look suspiciously at the plants for you.
I’ll hug Grandma for you.

Goodbye Thatha. You were the best grandfather I could have had.
I’ll miss you in 2012 and every year thereafter.
Till we meet again.



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?



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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(Female) Friend’s spambox has a mail regarding “Get the large penis you always wanted.”

Friend: Wow. I should reply to that.
Me: Um. You want a penis? That’s quite a lifestyle change.
Friend: Oh it’s for me? Hah! I thought it came attached with a man.