I was assembled from parts

This post featured on BlogAdda’s Tangy Tuesday Picks.

When I was a kid, for a long long time I thought that the primary requirement for two people to be married was that they should have the same last name. That was until my mom told me that her maiden last name was Dutta, and that it changed to Sinha after she married my dad. I didn’t say anything, but I secretly liked Dutta better, simply because I found Utpal Dutta a lot better than Shatrughan Sinha. Also, Dutta was a common last name, unlike Sinha. I already kind of disliked “Kokonad” because it was so uncommon.

But this post is not about that.

I was a kid with a wild imagination. When I thought of child birth, I was under the impression that two people have to lie on bed together and poof, a child just happens. I had no idea how close to being correct I was. But then my question always had been – how did the baby know the parents were married? I had wondered so many times how I got there. My dad often mentioned that I was in my mother’s stomach when they went to Darjeeling and other beautiful places with my brother (I held that grudge against him for a long time and also for the fact that he ate for five years more than me). So that negated the theory of poof-a-child-just-happens. So instead, the explanation I gave to myself was that I was assembled from individual parts. I used to think that I was put together by a very able doctor and then put in my mother’s stomach to ‘fuse’. As long as the assembly was perfect with the bones aligned perfectly, the final product is commendable. My dad also kept saying that “I was almost born a girl”. See, this recurring statement of his was the one thing that reaffirmed my faith in creation-through-assembly. I thought that when they were planning on having me, they made a last minute decision in telling the doctor that they wanted a boy, and the doctor added the necessary attachments. And then I was put in my mother’s stomach yada-yada. I was only three but I found the idea of ‘fusing’ quite credible. Anyway, as I was writing this post, I decided I must know why he used to tell me that. I placed a call halfway around the world to ask him what did he exactly mean by that statement. Amidst pure confusion of being asked this question from nowhere, he told me that he was hoping to have a daughter, and got a son instead.

Like any other typical Indian family, my sex education at home as I grew up was absolutely fabulous. Yes, I know most of you will agree with me how our parents carefully and painstakingly avoided the topic of the anatomical wonder that is man (or woman). When we used to watch movies at home and there was an “ahem” scene, we used to leave the living room to drink a glass of water from the kitchen. If Durex or Whisper was showing an ad on TV during the break at prime time news, we looked distracted while our parents slyly changed the channel to see what else is on. Thanks to all the sanitary napkin ads, an acquaintance of mine was under the impression that women had blue blood. And here’s an embarrassing fact about me – when I learned about the menstrual cycle, I called up a female friend to confirm it. We have vowed never to speak of the incident again.

And here’s something I had been thinking about as I was writing this post.

We should all hibernate

I love watching people doze. So many funny things happen when you are dozing. In classes and meetings, when you are sleepy your attention span is less than 8 seconds (think about it, it really is!). And you gradually phase out. You just had an awesome lunch with butter naan, and all your blood is mostly in the stomach. The little blood remaining is in your eyes and oh boy your eyes are bloodshot. You know why dozing people look like they are high? Because dozing people raise their eyeballs and eyebrows, but forget to raise their eyelids. So you basically get to see eye-whites, half open eyelids, and ridiculously raised eyebrows. All dozing people have severely arched eyebrows; look out for it the next time! Anyway, you decide to skillfully rest your head on your hand so that your overall posture looks “interested”. Then about 2 minutes later your head loses all balance and drops like a cabbage on the desk. You regain an awakened state and very slyly put your hand on the left side of your face (or the right side, depending on which side has more people) and pass out in seconds. You think no one has seen you, but you have a bunch of people nudging their neighbors to look at you. With your hand almost clutching your hair to prevent the head from falling, you are a laugh riot. With those raised eyebrows.

Poor you.

Since the dawn of time, man has loved to sleep. In fact we like to sleep even more when we have work to do. Now that winter is here, temperatures in my city have started going below freezing and I can’t help but think, why is it that humankind has never hibernated? It would save us from the trouble of waking up early for an 8:00 AM class at temperatures of -20 C. We should hibernate in winter. It’s so simple. And so advantageous.

Firstly, well, we get to sleep. For hours. We can go to bed in late November, and wake up in early March or something. For the late risers, they can wake up in April. In fact when they go back to work they can say, “Well, I would have come in March, but my alarm clock didn’t ring“, or “Yeah… sorry, I decided to sleep in.”

Secondly, your body ends up using all the stored fat while you are asleep and wakes up when there is no more stored fat. So basically it’s an excellent way to burn fat (who would have thought!).

Thirdly, well, we get to sleep. For hours.

Of course, according to whatever I researched on hibernation, I learned that your body figures out a way to recycle it’s wastes and your kidneys work excellent in maintaining water levels etc. I really think we should all give this a shot. There is one detail I did miss out, you need to put a plug up your butt. Yeah. You really need to. Bears use hair and grass and mud and old fecal matter. We can of course, have Apple build it – the iPlug. We could request features like internet capability and vibrating alarm. Or we could have Microsoft build it, but you would have Home edition, Professional edition and the Ultimate edition. I don’t even want to think what the Ultimate edition would have, but it would cost $399.99.

Amidst all this, I just thought about this thing. How much we would like to sleep as a function of our age. I spent most of my childhood not wanting to sleep, and now I am spending most of my non-childhood wanting to sleep. Life is unfair.


Take that picture again!

Delete that photo

It’s a party. Or an outing. All of you who have digital cameras obviously love your cameras and love taking pictures. Whether it is a single profile shot, or a small group shot, you are often told to delete a pic. These are some of the issues because of which I am told to take a picture again, and delete the previous one. Now analyzed by gender.

Guys’ complaints:
1. I blinked
2. Photo blur
3. Dude, I am not in the frame

Girls’ complaints:
1. My shoes are not visible
2. My shoes are visible
3. My smile is weird
4. My laugh is weird
5. My hair is not proper
6. My eyes are weird
7. My nails are not done
8. My nails are done
9. Uncool dress
10. Unhot dress
11. She looks cooler
12. She looks hotter
13. The left side of my face is weird
14. The right side of my face is weird
15. I don’t like my face from the front
16. I don’t like your face from the front
17. Unknown reason (won’t tell)
18. I blinked

Girls, you look absolutely fabulous. We guys love to have you in our photos, and we admit we generally don’t have an eye for detail(led flaws) – but we earnestly love to see you with that carefree laugh, with the surprised look or that absolutely mesmerizing stray lock of hair. Ladies, you look gorgeous. Always. You brighten up our photos. You bring life to them. 🙂 Guys, back me up on this.

Admit it, you have put on weight

You are at your favorite clothes shop – the one place where you get clothes that speak the language you speak, the one place where you get clothes that personify your attitude, that highlight your personality, the one place where you get clothes that fit the one place where you get clothes that used to fit.

Whoa! 32″ waist pants used to fit! (For all you amazing ladies out there: Size zero used to fit!) How did this happen? When you came to the US, all was well! You were in the best of your health… and now you feel like a water balloon that is being tried to put into a wallet. You are obviously overcome by grief. You are probably undergoing the five stages of grief, also known as the Kübler-Ross model. Here’s how.

1. Denial
The pants don’t exist. The store doesn’t exist. This is all a dream during your secret nap time at work. Or… not. This pair of pants is a factory defect. May it is 30″ and it got a tag of 32″.

2. Anger
What the $#@%! I mean $#$@*$% come on! These pants suck. This store sucks! My #&@#$% life sucks!

3. Bargaining
God… please make these pants fit. I promise I am starting to go to the gym. TODAY. But please don’t make me check out 34″ pants!

4. Depression
Why me, God, why me! What will my friends in India say! All my life I have been taking pride in my no-gym-athletic-build! Why God, why?! Why now?

5. Acceptance
“Er… excuse me, do you have this in 34″ waist?”

Well, the whole thing happens in pretty much 30 seconds, but yes, your mind does go through all of this. Speaking of #3, where you are talking of going to gym, here’s what happens.

Work out motivation chart[Left click to zoom]

And finally, when you do look at your life in retrospect, since you came to the land of burgers and fries – this is the time line of your weight. This is probably what happened. If not all events, some have definitely occurred! Come on, admit it!

Weight Timeline[Left click to zoom]

That’s something I loved about Indian food. No matter how much I eat, I never put on weight! And one more thing was that it was so freaking hot all the time, that I would just sweat it all out! Oh how I miss Indian food!

PS: Check this video out on a Giraffe stuck in a quicksand pit – undergoing the 5 stages of grief. My favorite is the depression stage!
PPS: Just a word of advice on the general idea of weight maintenance – please keep a positive body image. You don’t want this to happen.

How old do you want to be?

It’s funny how you spend all childhood wanting to grow up, and once you grow up, you want to live your childhood all over again. Except may be teen years, when you think you are all grown up and you pretty much hate everything.

Flashforward and flashback

Love spicy food, eh?

This post featured on BlogAdda.com’s Tangy Tuesday Picks! Thank you BlogAdda!

Tangy Tuesday Picks

This post is dedicated to all those people who, in order to impress the gentler sex, will overload their dish with “extra hot” for their order in a restaurant. What follows is extremely funny, if seen with the right eye. Also, don’t rub your eyes after touching spicy food. It’s worse when you are wearing contact lenses. Take it from someone who has done it. No, really. I have.

So the next time you go out with friends out for dinner, and someone in your group has been raving as to how much spicy food he can take, observe him really closely, more so if there are girls in your group. At first, he is going to declare at the table, within audible range of his object of interest how much he loves spicy food. He will then choose the spiciest dish from the menu (the one with two chillies drawn right next to it). He will further make sure that the girl has heard him. He will then tell the waiter that he wants that dish, but he wants it extra-extra-spicy.

The food arrives, and our hero dives into his red colored dish. He takes the first spoonful into his mouth to demonstrate how much he loves it. Thereafter it’s all regret.

He will blink ever so quickly at the sheer shock of TOO MANY CHILLIES. He will first nod his head and smack his lips to say how amazing it is in taste. In his head, he is telling himself that he could have gone for just spicy and not ‘extra extra’ at all. His vision is blurry and tears well up in his eyes. Whilst fighting back the tears, there is a volcano erupting in his mouth and is probably reaching into his ears. Hell hath no fury like a tongue incinerated. He makes a mental note that he is never going to eat that dish ‘extra extra spicy’ again. Ever. Oh and there are these tell-tale signs of his suffering. First, he will talk a lot less until the fire is out. Then, at one point, roughly 33% into his food, he is going to comment that the food is really hot. And is going let out a chuckle abashedly. Third, he is going to eat more rice than normal to douse all that fire on his tongue. And fourth, there is a high chance he is not going to finish his food. Fifth, he may suggest dessert.

Meanwhile, our hero doesn’t realize that all this self inflicted arson is futile because the girl he wants to impress is unimpressed by his gastrointestinal prowess. Trust me guys, IT NEVER WORKS. So don’t even try it. How well you can withstand-the-assault-of-spicy-food-without-getting-mind-numbing-gas is fairly low on the ‘boyfriend eligibility’ list. Women don’t want all that! I will tell you what women want. Meanwhile, our hero’s love interest is actually completely enamored by this other guy in the group and our hero doesn’t know it. Ah, never mind. It opens up a whole new chapter in love.

So you think you love spicy food?
[Click to magnify]

PS: I really think waiters/cooks have a major play in this. They throw in another ‘extra’ in ‘extra extra spicy’ and sit back and watch the fireworks/waterworks.

As I grew up…

… I have wanted to be several people (or have jobs) at different points in my life (in rough chronological order) –

My brother, because he went to school that lasted a full day instead of mine, which was only a half day.
A train engine driver, because I loved traveling by train and I thought it was the best job ever.
A teacher, so I could keep assigning homework and grade assignments with a red pen.
A car manufacturer, because he didn’t have to study and take exams.
My dad, because he knew everything and also had money.
A ship captain, because water fascinated me.
A film hero, because everyone was happy with him at the end of things.
A pet, preferably a dog, because they are amazing animals and everyone loved/feared them.
A person who sets question papers during tests and exams.
A doctor, because I loved the cleanliness and silence in their offices.
A pilot. Who hasn’t wanted to be one?
A bakery owner, because I loved baked cookies.
A grade 6 student, because it was at a different school and I thought was a whole different level of maturity.
A sprint runner, because in those days, I used to run pretty fast.
The president.
A singer, because every likes a singer at a party (I cannot sing to save my life)
An economist, because for some reason, it was hip to know stuff like that when I was 15.
A computer scientist, because I was realizing what a geek I was.
An advertisement designer, because I thought it would be a cool job.
An engineer. I don’t know why.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

Feel free to take this up as a tag. 🙂
Long ago in 2006, I had written this post – Blink – out of boredom. You can take it up as a tag too. It will be better if you read my post after you do the tag – time yourself for 5 minutes, and write a list of whatever object/phenomena comes to your mind. Be crisp. You will be surprised to know what all you can come up with!

PS: I have been away and really busy – and I am yet to catch up with so many wonderfully written blogs (over 100 unread items in my Google Reader). I am grateful to those who have expressed that they have missed activity on my blog! Thank you so much – it feels great to be missed. In other news, an old sports injury has aggravated severely and rendered me almost immobile and somewhat high because of all the pain killers. Also I met my nephew Jishnu over the weekend and loved all of it immensely. He turned three recently, and loves laughing while looking at the camera!

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