Monday, July 11, 2011

I Have a Dream......

I have a dream...... A song to sing
To take me through ..... Everything!!

Hi all.... its been a crazy week. Times when I have been so jittery that I almost bit my nails right down to their skins, and other times when time seemed to have stopped altogether.

The highlight of the week is ....... wait for it........ (as Barney Stintson would say) .... *drum roll* ... My published story!!!!

Ladies and gentlemen I present to you.......  The better Half   Ta-da!!!

Please do read and leave comments. It would really do a world of good to the dream I carry that I just may write that book which says "Written by Meena Nambiar Bhatnagar"

Friday, July 8, 2011

Have you ever...

Today I am in the mood to ramble off without using much of my brain cells. What do you mean I can't afford it? Well, yeah you are right. Friday just doesn't seem to move past six!

How many of these have you done?
  • Closed the fridge while trying to look if the light went off when you did?
  • Tried to sing through your nose, while tilting your head a certain grotesque angle... a style popularly called "a la Himesh-the-cap-for-hair", in the shower?
  • Bit your cheek when eating something you tried to hide from someone?
  • Hopped a few times with one leg in the trouser and trying to put the other in?
  • Balanced a pencil between your nose and upper lip? And then have the very person you want to impress, walk in on you?
  • Written your name on a dusty glass window of a car with your finger?
  • Blow 'smoke' out of your mouth on a cold winter morning?
  • Peed while laughing? Oh OK then... coughing? No? Fine....sneezing, definitely?
  • Run across the room in slow mo?
  • Sing into a hairbrush? In a towel?
  • Blown a kiss to the mirror?
  • Do a bow-and-arrow-with-eyes-closed-murmuring stuff, the way Sagar Productions propagated?
  • Fallen down and looked up instantly to see how many witnesses, BEFORE looking at the physical damages?
  • Look at your finger-nails in the mirror after a nail paint? Almost have an accident because you were looking at your NAILS while driving?
  • Asked for extra paper in exams just because EVERYONE seems to need one, except you!
  • Sharpened pencils while trying to keep the shavings in one single piece?
  • Refused to watch a movie where the hero dies?
  • Throw a cat into a pond and see how it swims back? (if Maneka-you-know-who is reading this, neither have I.)
  • Laughed at someone who fell off a chair? In an interview? YOUR interview?
  • Fallen asleep with any edible / potable substance held in your hand? Woken up next morning and finish eating / drinking it?
  • Been caught making a face at someone? And convert the sticking out tongue into an Albert Einstein smile? OK ... at least a My-Name-Is-Khan-smile?
Brain freeze......

Please feel free to add to the list.... :-D

Thursday, July 7, 2011

I am a little Teapot

An interesting blog I read  had a brand new look at the so-called 'Bad' experiences in life - the mistakes or the embarrassment in certain stages of life. She called them the "Ishmaels" of her life. Let me elaborate in her words :

"In the Old Testament, God promised Abraham and his barren wife Sarah - much after she had crossed the acceptable baby-making age - that they would have a son. Years went by without God fulfilling His promise and in her desperation - seeing how they had no heir - Sarah got Abraham to sleep with her maid Hagar so they could have an heir through her. Now, God had promised that the son would come from Sarah. The story goes on to say that Abraham and Sarah did have a son as promised - whom they named Isaac. But the maid's son Ishmael (born much before Isaac) turned out to be a wild donkey of a man who was constantly at war with the son of promise (Isaac) and basically was Abraham's Big Mistake. So in Christian circles, Ishmael is synonymous of one's Big Mistake - the thing that you did on an impulse which continues to haunt you or be a source of regret - an Ishmael can be something as innocuous as an expensive gadget that you can't make payments for."

We all have our Ishmaels, don't we? Stuff that caused embarrassment, pain; harrowing experiences because of wrong decisions in our lives. But there is another side to it. I don't think I would be what I am today without all those Ishmaels in my life. Am sure you have them too.

A few scenes spring to my mind from the earliest of my memories....
  • Scene 1 : An embarrassing episode on stage dressed as a teapot. No really, a TEAPOT! In the middle of the poem "I am a little teapot, short and stout...." looking around for parents, and upon seeing them, forgetting the rest of the lines.
  • Scene 2 : Playing basketball with the same fervour we currently have for blackberrys - At it constantly! Losing an inter school match, sitting under the net, sobbing like a baby..... in my defense, I was joined by others in a few minutes.
  • Scene 3 : Altering the distance between socks and skirt after reaching class. Then looking around to see who had the highest levels of gumption (Use limited imagination here)
  • Scene 4 : Scaling a 7 feet high wall in traditional Kerala long skirt (we were supposed to be in a Saraswati Puja, dammit!), with other miscreants, to play badminton in the adjoining club. Getting caught, paraded into Princi's cabin, avoiding eye contact with her for a whole month!
  • Scene 5: Wearing a sari, high heels, lipstick and eye makeup for the first time for the school farewell. Tripping all the way to the stage, saying dumb things while trying to look all grown up. Realizing how everyone else looked better than me. 
  • Scene 6: Red in the face with all the impressive sweeping, mopping and dish washing within the first two days of joining hotel management college. The fact that a few others from the same batch were dressed in formals and dining in the restaurant added to the color on the cheeks and hot air in the lungs.
  • Scene 7 : Burning papers, cards and other stuff in exaggerated ceremony with friends. Thank God the memories we wanted to burn still remain......
  • Scene 8 : Falling flat on my face in the middle of a cricket field. This was followed by years of practice in falling down from various heights on various occasions to perfect the art.
  • Scene 9 : Extended shifts, worked our a***s off on New years Eve, pink champagne and swimming pool. Dangerous combination. Not to mention embarrassing. Ask me and my then room mate. What say, Vini?
  • Scene 10 : Crashing down on a kinetic Honda. The friend who owned it was sitting behind me, and she had a minor heart attack. The cow (or bull- don't remember) we hit errr... I hit survived, though.
  • Scene 11 : Declaring to mom that I'd get married only AFTER I buy my own car. Sheepishly telling her a few months later that I was in love, and the car could wait.
  • Scene 12 : My daughter on stage, looking out for me, forgetting her dance steps when she saw me waving out to her. I remember not to get embarrassed this time. Life DOES take a full circle, doesn't it?

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Autograph Please!!

Chances are, if you passed out of school before the Orkut/Facebook/Twitter era, you will have, amongst your forgotten belongings, something called an Autograph book. Yes, the little red and gold (which was my book's color) or pink and peach (my sisters'), with cartoon characters like Winne the Pooh (a hot favorite with girls) or Race cars (you guessed it!) on them. The paper was usually textured for extra effect, and everyone was SUPPOSED to have one.

Its not the kind of stuff stalkers of movie stars or cricketers have - I am talking of the one we all had in our school or college, where we poured out hormone ravaged, acne inducing emotions to our friends.

It was much more than a book, mind you. It meant many things:

  1. The owner of the autograph book had his / her personality scrawled all over the first page. It could be sinister warnings about who it belonged to, or sweet introductory messages about the person. It could have profound philosophical messages (such as, "Friendship is the best ship in the world." - I swear, this is for real!) or cheesy but talented acronyms (such as FAF - friends are forever)
  2. The number of pages you had filled out indicated the number of close friends you had when you were leaving school / college
  3. The number of autograph seekers you had indicated your popularity in class - infact, there were a few of us who used wait with bated breath when we saw anyone approaching in our direction with a smile and that little book in their hand. The biggest insult you could give off to anyone without getting suspended, was to NOT ask someone for their autograph on the last day.
  4. The messages ranged from sly, coy, shy, funny, sweet to absolute nonsense. Look at this one: "I saw a monkey hanging from the tree, Upon closer look it turned out to be you! Keep in touch forever!!" I mean, really! Who writes stuff like this today? Even 7 year olds write more sensible stuff today. But guess what? This was written to me by a young pimply girl in the senior class who I adored to the heavens, and I couldn't stop grinning for a week after she wrote that to me!!
  5. This was also a medium for shy messages to show some signs of a crush you had been hiding all these years. In the days I am talking about, SMSes and chatting were not an option. Even phones were the ones which had parallel connections, so talking to your secret crush was out of the question. Then came this opportunity in the form of a farewell message - we would write our heart out in that! E.g. "I will always remember your smile....." The fact that we probably would never see the person again added to the drama of it all, and made us a little bolder than we really were.
  6. It also served as a talent showcasing event. The good artists, poets, sketch artists, comedians, linguists, avid readers, Shakespeare fans ..... each person would put out their talent in that little page. Sometimes, the good ones used to get pulled out of the autograph seeking crowd, taken to a corner, and a pen pushed into his/her hand with a request for something 'special'
  7. The autograph writing also served as a water-under-the-bridge message. Sworn enemies in class would walk up to each other and offer their autograph books as a peace pipe. Ofcourse, we had to think up clever stuff to write in there too. "Wishing you all the success in your life." (yeah sure!!). It is surprising how years later, if you meet that very person, you can spend hours together, laughing like old friends, no sign of animosity!
  8. Good friends used this as an opportunity to write their addresses and phone numbers down for each other, so that they can 'keep in touch' - remember, there was no Internet, and we had to rely on those numbers called pin code! 
  9. The most serious autographs came from teachers. The same teachers we were fond of, terrified of, in awe of .... they wrote in their blessings or their mantras for success - we would then flaunt the messages to each other.
I don't know how many of us still know where our 'autograph book' is. But if one is lucky enough to come by it in this fast paced thriller called life, a few hours of nostalgia will bring on that extra energy needed to fulfil at least some of the wishes expressed in that little red and gold book with textured paper.