Tag Archives: humor

Op-Ed article in the Hindu

“Have some more of this,” I urge with a loving smile as I scoop out a bit more of the vendakkai (lady’s finger aka bhindi or okra) curry from the casserole and serve my daughter. She sulks, pouts and gives me a basilisk-like stare but I remain unmoved. This wasn’t the first time we were at cross-purposes over matters relating to food. Read the rest of my article in the Open Page of the Hindu here.

A worried mom wails – DH

There’s never a dull moment at home and when there’s a flight to catch, the drama continues all the way to the airport. When DH published my article today my loved ones alternated between laughing and crying over my plight. Do click here to read the article.

The whole nine yards

This is the umpteenth time I am wearing it in the last month. Is it too loose? Worse yet, is it going to unravel in the midst of the rituals and give the priests a coronary? A million doubts are running in my mind as I step out of the room. “You’ve tied it really well today!” proclaims the voice of experience. My mother-in-law who’s reticent by nature, issues her stamp of approval. For a few minutes I savour the heady feeling as I look down at the nine yards sari draped over me. I feel I’ve gained entry into the Madisar Mami Hall of Fame.

My father-in-law’s sudden demise a few weeks back in Chennai led to a series of unexpected events. Having grown up in a traditional Hindu family that diligently followed the lunar calendar, the slew of funeral rites wasn’t a complete surprise. But for the first time I was house bound with several females ranging from 84 years to 8 years with my husband being the sole male in the house. And when a couple of sharp tongued women like my sisters-in-law, experts of the madisar sari, were thrown into the mix, it became a testing ground of sorts for me.

“Don’t let go of the leg on the sari …” My husband’s aunt muttered under her breath as she tied the nine-yards sari for me for the first time. It appeared to be a complex procedure of gymnastic steps as I followed her instructions. A tuck here and there, legs akimbo, and twirls every now and then. By the third day, I got the hang of it and was ready to face the music even as the women kept up the drill in other activities. “Don’t walk too fast, take small steps!” everyone chorused as I flitted around in my new avatar. Whenever I slipped up, my husband’s sisters were only too happy to pull me up!

My friends were curious to know how I had pulled this off. For someone who barely knew how to tie a six-yards sari with finesse as a young bride, I had come a looong way. Do I dare mention that the internet can be a marvelous resource for those who have no 84 year old aunts helping you go the whole nine yards?

Birthing pains – confessions of a writer

My fingers freeze on the keyboard. The creative juices have completely dried up. Tomorrow is the deadline! I am desperate at this point and look around for inspiration. "1001 Article Ideas" the yellow book in the top shelf of my bookcase catches my eye. As I crack it open, a musty smell attacks my nostrils. For several years now it has been on the shelf, wasting and neglected. My husband had picked it up at a book sale and presented it to me. But it had been relegated to the “read” pile, along with other books that have suffered a similar fate.

As I quickly run through the ideas listed on page 3, the phone rings. It’s my father who begins a long-winded explanation on why he needs the driver. “Cut to the chase, Dad” the words slip out inadvertently. For a moment he’s too befuddled to respond. After all, he’s still not come to the reason of the phone call! I assure him that I would return his call in a few minutes and race back to my desk. The ideas are now jumping at me and I’m raring to go. For the next few minutes the sound of furious typing echoes in the living room. Only the quiet chime of the clock can be heard in the background. As I’m halfway through the piece, a sneaky thought appears . Is the writing a tad dull? Does it need a bit of pizazz? Soon enough, alarm bells start ringing in my head. But no, it’s the doorbell – who could it be now?

My sister-in-law breezes in behind the maid announcing, "I need to see my brother!". There’s a light of battle in her eyes. "Close your ears, I’m going to talk to him!" Easier said than done. I’m out of cotton balls at the moment.

Mentally wishing everyone to perdition, I head back to my cozy little corner. The piece is shaping up well. It’s time for that punchline. One that will make or break the article. I run through several scenarios in my head, laugh out loud even as the spouse looks askance at me. When I write the last word of the article, I expect to hear the roll of drums. Or better still the strains of some soft music. Instead I get the jarring sounds of vessels being dropped in the kitchen sink.