Thursday, March 31, 2016


Remember those nasty kids who pulled your hair, called you names & made you miserable in general way back in school? They grew up & continue to exist in the corporate world. 

Bullies, those jealous, rotten tomatoes who've probably been bullied themselves as children. Bullies comes in all shapes & forms at work. It can be your boss, your colleague or that new kid who joined your team.

I witnessed a colleague of mine being bullied by an ex-boss of hers in the cafeteria today, for her attire. I was shocked at first & could not believe my eyes & ears. But there she was, a middle aged, bitter looking woman, with 2-3 chronies of hers cackling away as loud as ever & commenting endlessly about my colleague.

She was rattled at first but I told her to stay strong & take the b*%#h head on. My mind flashed back to that one reckless career decision I had made last year to join a random company just because they offered me a few peanuts more to my existing pay package & bumped up my designation. 

My ex-boss was gay & snappy. He made personal remarks about my clothes, my shoes & even about the organizations I had worked for in the past. I tolerated his nonsense for over a month & then called his bluff. I barged into his cabin sometime mid-week after a whole night of crying & told him to f*%k off. I threw in my resignation the same morning & walked out those doors a whole lot lighter. 

We work to acquire new skills & to rise up the corporate ladder. But most importantly, we work for our self respect & dignity. Anyone who snatches that from us, deserves no time & effort of ours. 

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Saturday, March 26, 2016

Kapoor & Sons

A gem from Bollywood after the longest time, Kapoor & sons hits the nail on the head, without beating around the bush, sans the over the top cheesy K3G "it's all about loving your family" bhaashan. 

There's death, sibling rivalry, a hilarious grandfather, an unnecessary love interest & a cheating father. Most of us can relate to these characters within our own families. Rishi Kapoor as the perverted fun loving grandfather reminded me of my own grandfather minus the perversion. 

Ratna Pathak as the protective mother who clearly loves her older child more than the younger & even goes up to the extent of stealing the draft novel of the younger to give it to the older, is also something I could relate to. It's okay mom, I know you love your older child a little more, I've made my peace with it (I'll probably get whacked for writing this but it has to be said!) 

With picturesque Coonoor in the background, this movie was a frame by frame dream to watch. Kapoor & Sons is a delicious shot of nostalgia in an old dusty wine bottle that everyone must indulge in. 

And yes, it indeed is "all about loving your family" as Karan Johar has droned on for years & years. The extent to which we can go for the sake of our parents, grandparents & siblings can surprise us.

No family is perfect. We say mean things to each other, we fight, we patch up, we fight again but the bottom line is, when the shit hits the ceiling, no one can clean up your mess better than your family & no one can slap you back into reality better than your family. Hold on to them tight because you need them more than they need you. 

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Thursday, March 24, 2016

Parallel Lives

A colleague of mine was describing a job interview of hers to me, which did'nt go as well as she had planned. She arrived 10 minutes late at the venue along with her French boyfriend & she was shown the door very rudely by an employee of the organization. 

She went on to write a sarcastic email to the said person mentioning "the great Indian hospitality" by a brand such as theirs in front of her better half among other things.

I went down memory lane as well when I heard her story and went on to narrate in detail a by-chance interview of mine, which happened 8 years ago with a well known newspaper in South India. A blog of mine had been published in the newspaper and I went down to their office to collect my prize money. Upon reaching their office, I was told by a kind uncle who sat at their front office that interviews were being conducted for new reporters. He encouraged me to go give it a shot. I hesitated at first and then figured, why not? So I went inside their office, stumbled upon a college senior of mine who was already working for them and waited alongside 2-3 other candidates.

After waiting for about half an hour, a snooty looking woman walked by in the tiniest black skirt I'd ever seen on a person, long pencil heels & bright red lipstick. (I had already formed a judgement in my head - I lived in Chennai & was fresh out of college, women wearing clothes like these were found only in dingy, badly lit bars in our city). 

I wondered how this "creature" could possibly be the editor of such a reputed newspaper. My answers to all her standard interview questions, were dodgy & full of arrogance. I really did'nt care about being hired after seeing her. "How much will you pay me?", I asked her snobbily. "Rs 20,000 to begin with" she replied. "Too little", I replied overconfidently. 

The same night I got a call back from the newspaper on my landline saying that I had been selected. I said no of course, being the wise-alec, know-it-all that I was back then. 

As I narrated this story to my colleague, she laughed and said "Just imagine if you had taken that offer. You probably would've been an editor today and people like me would've called you endlessly for my clients and I would've bitched about you and called you an up-tight South-Indian journalist" 

Looking back, I don't regret not taking that job offer but I do regret not being able to write-full time. Had I lived in an ideal world (read: fictional world) sans any responsibility, I would've been a hippy singer and a liberated writer. 

My dreams of being a liberated writer are being lived out in a very small way on this blog. Those singer dreams will probably never take off. 

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Friday, March 11, 2016

The Clanging Of A Million Souls

The clanging of a million souls - these words came alive in front of my eyes today as I took the 6.30 local from Elphinstone station. I'm slowly beginning to understand the madness that is the Mumbai locals. The city runs on it, I run on it. But I fail to understand why the ratio of the men's & the women's compartments are so wonky.

The number of catfights that could've been avoided, just by having more number of women's compartments are uncountable. The number of &#%$#@ gaalis my ears have gotten accustomed to, in the past 5 months inside these compartments, could've been avoided.

Coming back to my 6.30 local, it was slower than slow. It stopped between stations & the clanging of those steel rods which all the ladies hung on to so desperately were getting louder by the second. Handkerchiefs were coming out at lightening speed from each handbag to wipe away beads of sweat, lesser snacks were being munched on & no one was in the mood for happy conversations.

The mood was grim, 
The train was abrim, 
The lights were dim, 
The space was trim, 
It was hard to differentiate between each limb,
Brave were those souls who managed to hum a little hymn

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Saturday, March 05, 2016

About the Seafood Wrap at Renaissance, Powai

Food has that hypnotic time capsule effect which takes us back to our childhoods. Be it a family function or an official event, the only thing that keeps me pumped through the whole jingbang is the food.

The husband & I took a stroll down his old college campus yesterday evening which led to a quiet dinner at the Renaissance, Powai. We ended up at their lake view cafe, browsed through their expansive buffet, glanced at our expansive bellies & decided to just order a simple ala carte meal. We settled for their Seafood wrap which promised to be rolled in a wheat paratha with a generous dose of coconut *insert big sounding gourmet words here* - you get the drift.

It arrived as expected in a visually appealing manner with the roll cut in half, accompanied by a green chutney dip & some onions fancily cut & decorated with tomato sauce. A generous helping of prawns, squid & Kariveppila filled my mouth with my very first bite of the wrap. The dark brown gravy took me back to my Ammumma's  house. I pictured her sitting next to me on our enormous wooden table, goading me on to eat more & more. 

Food, that magical thing which transports you back into time & space. 
Food, reliever of all sadness.
Food, the best thing about being alive!