Sunday, June 29, 2008

A stray thought

Last evening we had a few friends over for dinner. Sheela had cooked some excellent prawn curry and stuffed pomfret (or paaplate, as it is known in zoological circles) and the food, for once, upstaged the booze.

We watched the India v/s Bangladesh cricket match. The Indian team was , surprise surprise, whaling the tar out of the Bangladesh team. Inter alia, a chap named Suresh Raina scored a century. Apparently overcome with emotion, he ran to the other guy in the middle, Yuvraj Singh, and jumped into his arms. Yuvraj Singh who, I am sure, is no stranger to such situations, though most of the jumping is doubtless done by members of the fairer sex, handled the situation well and disentangled himself with dignity and without committing himself.

My question is, what would it take for someone like me to want to jump into another man's arms? I can't think of a single thing. Very much doubt even a billion dollars could do it (though I am open to offers). Am I too cold and cynical? Is it normal for men to jump into other men's arms upon scoring centuries against Bangladesh?

Just stray thoughts. By the way, you must have noted that I have wrested control over this page from my dear wife by the deeply strategic method of whining and agreeing to go shopping with her for the next seventy three years without a murmur. Surely a small price to pay for my independence.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Update on the happenings at Chez Shenoy

It's a still life water color
Of a now late afternoon
As the sun shines through the curtain lace
And shadows wash the room
And we're toiling in the kitchen
Cast in our ignorance
About stuff that can be ate
Not in cans but off a plate
Lost in Tarla's recipe books
And how this cheese to grate.

And he reads his Sanjeev kapoor
And I that Jaffrey dame
As he wipes his brow with grated cheese
And roasts his pinkie in the flame

I'm on the floor with laughter
This better than a Mr Bean
Funnier than a clown
A Chaplin, only brown

Lost in tarla's recipe books
And how this cheese to grate

How did you like that? Last weekend we made a risotto, that is, Naren did. I assisted, chopping the vegetables and laying out the ingredients, comprising primarily of butter and cheese. If the risotto is the US, butter and cheese are the African-American and the White Caucasian populations respectively. Onions are the Hispanic community and garlic would be the Asians. The high-in-fibre ingredients would be represented by, let me see, the Inuit population? I kept reminding Naren about his triglycerides number which, unlike the Dow-Jones, is going up-up-up. Don't nag me, he snarled back. Nag? Me? But I did not take issue because he had managed to roast his little finger in the gas flame just then, a circumstance that always brings out the beast in man. Let it blow over, I decided and bided my time. Nag, did you say buster? Let's see! That's all. Let's see!

Anyway, the risotto was eventually done. The rice, like the walls of the kitchen and the hair on my husband's head, was evenly covered with butter, cheese, onions, mushrooms, tomatoes, garlic, pepper and several finely chopped unidentified vegetables. It tasted wonderful. Maybe I'll forgive him for calling me a nag, after all!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Still the missis

Let me assure you wonderful people out there that I love and care for my husband with the intensity of a Juliet. This does not mean that I believe he is a profound thinker. Juliet, to the best of my knowledge, never expected Romeo to come up with the Theory of Relativity or write a seminal work on diffferential calculus. Indeed, she would have freaked out if he HAD done something like that. So I merely raise my eyebrows when he presents an example of his goofiness and let it pass. But today, he made me shake my head slowly from side to side and look heavenward as if in silent prayer. The reason is this joke he made up. I overheard him telling it to the kids. Here it is, in its entirety. Judge for your self.

Once upon a time there lived a boy who had a troublesome poltergeist in his closet. It kept flinging everything around and ripping up things kept in that closet.

The boy was tired of its pranks and tried everything to get rid of it. He even hired a psychic to talk to the ghost and persuade it to go away. The psychic talked and talked, offering all kinds of lures and goodies, but to no avail.

One day, as he was studying for his Hindi exams, he suddenly got a brainwave. He ran to the kitchen and fixed a nice hot steaming cup of coffee, topped with foaming milk, and kept it in the closet.

As he shut the doors, he heard a loud slurping sound which continued for a few minutes and then stopped. He opened the closet doors expectantly and found the cup empty. The coffee was all gone!

He smiled to himself and went back to his studies. He knew that the ghost would bother him no more. Because he had read in his Hindi textbook

Latte ke bhoot baaton se nahin maantein.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Thisis the Missis

Missis! Isn't that what he calls me? Oh, by the way, I'm the long suffering protagonist of this blog. I finally got the password out of the husband and decided to use this blog to set things right.

But first, hi to all of you. I've read most of the comments and you people sound like a sweet bunch of guys. Just the kind of credulous, trusting simple people who would easily swallow the lies that my adorable but economical-with-the-truth husband dishes out.

I am not the Stalin-cum-Mao Tse Tung that he makes me out to be. But the bits about him being a complete buffoon are quite accurate. And it is not just me who feels that way. I'll give you an example.

The other day, Naren took his mom and aunt to the doctors. On their way back, it started pouring. Naren dropped them in the foyer and went to park the car in the parking lot, which is about 50 feet away.

Naren's mom, who is convinced that this 43 year old 76 kg heavy man will catch a cold if more than 10 raindrops fall on his head, begged him to use the umbrella (there is one in the car) on his way from the parking lot to the building. They took the elevator up.

Five minutes later, Naren walked into the house, drenched as usual.

"Naren! Didn't you use the umbrella?", mom asked.

Naren remarked, sarcastically, that he used the umbrella to walk from the car to the building and since it was the car umbrella, walked back to the car, put the umbrella in and walked back.

And you know what? They believed him. Both his mother and his aunt believed that he walked back with the umbrella, then went back to the car, kept the umbrella inside it and then walked back to the building.

I rest my case.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

An incident from my courtship

I've been off the blogosphere for a while now, on the grounds that I have nothing worthwhile to write about. I think up something, write a few lines about it and then, since it sounds stupid, let dare not wait upon I would, like the poor cat i' the adage.

I have been rethinking this policy, however. You see, with the amount of grey matter that I have been blessed, it is well nigh impossible for me say or write anything that is not stupid. And Okie Dokie just threatened to wring my neck if I don't write something instanter. Not that I am unduly worried about that threat, neck-wringing rights vesting currently with Mrs. Shenoy, but it is an important indication about the way the public is thinking. The public is thinking, show us again what an ass you are.

I have several topics on which I can display my ass-ness. The oil crisis, for one. The state of the economy, perhaps. Or what our foriegn policy towards China should be. But I'm going to settle for my favorite topic - Life with the Missus.

Today's anecdote comes from our courtship days. Those of you who have been following the story of my drab little life will recall how I was unceremoniously hauled by the scruff of my neck and flung into the maelstrom of matrimony. Well, there was a brief period where I was sailing at the edge of this whirlpool, in the little sliver of brightness called courtship, right between the dull sunlessness of celibate bachelorhood and the dark, rain-clouded thunderstorm of married life.

I had made the trip to Mysore and was accorded the treatment reserved for royalty. Eat this beta, drink this, beta, are you comfortable, can I get you another quilt. And there were any number of people who wanted to meet me. I thought at the time that they sought my views on world affairs but all that they were doing were getting a good look at the yahoo who would take away their beloved princess. And in those early days, I managed to create the impression that I was a total bone-head, an impression the missus carries to this day and which forms the basis of all our interpersonal transactions. One of the defining moments was this one.

One of her uncles had come down to meet me. He had quite a reputation for pulling people's legs, though I didn't have a clue at the time. He started off innocuously enough, with a general discussion on the state of affairs in the nation. Sheela was there too. And soon, his mother, that is, Sheela's grandmother, walked in. I promptly touched feet. She was a sweet old soul, semi-invalid because of arthritis, but cheerful nonetheless.

"Mother," said Uncle, "Naren is from Bombay."

" Yes I heard. Bombay must be a nice place. I've been there many years ago", said grandma.

" Sheela's just back from Bombay. She went there to visit Naren," added Uncle.

"Did you like Bombay?" asked grandma.

Sheela reminded her that she had visited Bombay quite frequently.

"She knows Bombay better than I do" I addded, graciously.

"She saw the Kutub Minar in Bombay" said Uncle to grandma.

Grandma's brow furrowed in thought. "Kutub minar? That's in Delhi, isn't it?"

"There's one in Bombay too, according to Sheela". Uncle. Sheela is blushing prettily.

"No, no, grandma's right, uncle, the Kutub minar is in Delhi". Me, the fathead.

"Really? I could have sworn Sheela saw one in Bombay."

"Must be some other minaret. The Kutub Minar is definitely in Delhi". I carried on, oblivious. Sheela was the color of beetroot by now.

"Shut up you rascal" giggled grandma, and ambled away to the kitchen. I had still not got it. Uncle, who had suddenly developed a fit of coughing, ran away from the room. It was only when we were married and some act of goofiness reminded this incident to Sheela did she explain the imagery to me. THEN I got what they meant! It was too late of course. The letters B U F F O O N are firmly emblazoned against my name in the book of Sheela's mind and defines all her readings of my actions.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008


Rads tagged me with a tag whose rules are

1. Pick up the nearest book.
2. Open to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the next three sentences.
5. Tag five people, and acknowledge the person who tagged you

Now, I've been off blogging for a while because I couldn't think of anything interesting to say. I mentioned this to a couple of friends conversationally, the other day. Sheela, who was there, remarked that this did not seem to stop me from talking. Ignoring the barb, for we Shenoys do not stoop to vulgar debate, especially when we do not have a suitable reply, I further hardened my resolve to write only if I hve something worthwhile to write about.
Well, I'm about to break that resolution. I have on my table here, at work, for reasons unknown, a book called "The Great Political Theories". I pick it up and turn to page 123. The fifth sentence and the three following it are

"There are, in fact, many ways in which the senate can either benefit or injure those who manage public property, as all these matters are referred to it. What is even more important is that the judges in most civil trials, whether public or private, are appointed from its members, where the action involves large interests. "

I will presently put a sock in it and desist from typing the other two sentences because I don't want to put my audience, a faithful if foolhardy bunch numbering about half a dozen, into a deep coma. That lively bit of prose was about the Roman Senate and was written about the theories of a chap named Polybius (ca.203-120BC, Greek Πολύβιος)who must have been the president of their Comedy Club.
"Yo, Polybius, my man, was haapenin" someone would say. And Polybius would promptly reply that the senate is obliged in the first place to pay attention to the commons in public affairs and cannot carry out inquiries unless the senatus consultum is confirmed by the people. This would crack up all the people and the TV guys would look at him as the just the chap to replace Conan O'brien.

The last part of the tag,
Tag five people, and acknowledge the person who tagged you
I will have to postpone on the grounds that I don't know five people who can read. But I can acknowledge my tagger, Rads, as one of the wittiest and soundest person I know. She might not be able to achieve the heights of Polybius, but she can mangle a QWERTY as well as anyone else. One would be well advised to visit her page.

Apart from this, I have a nice weekend vacation to write about, and a visit to the shopping districts of Mumbai with wife. And of course the IPL cricket final which I saw in the stadium.

See you soon