Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Pass It On. And Don't Return.

The only time I won any thing substantial was when I was in class V.

I was told to go to the Principal's office one morning. Wearing the pristine white uniform and shaking in my black polished shoes, I was desperately trying to keep my heart beat down. She called me in, handed over an envelope and said,"Congratulations...keep up the good work". The envelope contained Rs 25. I was thrilled. But unfortunately I could not keep up the good work. Unless you count the lascivious glances and few comments like ' o meri chchamak chchallo' as winning, my entire student life was completely non-happening in terms of winning.

I did win my husband in the biggest gamble called 'arranged marriage' though. My best friend felt it was my "pichchle janmon ke punya'' and his " saat janmon ke total paap" that made me hit this jackpot. ( With a friend like this do I really need an enemy?) But hey, a win is a win, right?

Some of you might say that giving birth to 2 precious girls, who are reasonably intelligent and talented, as winning too. But let me tell you friends that I worked damn hard to produce these 2.
And since both of them are still in their formative stages, I am still to figure out whether they are my assets or liabilities. Right now the scale is tilting slightly towards the liability side.

Even after 17 years, I am yet to win my mom-in-law's whole hearted approval. She still remembers and sighs over a letter from another girl's parents. The letter got lost in transit. The Indian postal department had gone on a flash strike and the letter was never delivered. Meanwhile my aggressive and pushy parents pounced upon the hapless boy and the rest is history. Sigh. Such a tragic tale.

So as I was saying, I have a pretty pathetic record when it comes to wins. Therefore I was jolted out of my complacent self when I won not one but two awards recently. The first one was from eye-in-sty-in, who has since then metamorphosed into Spike. My only fault was leaving some inane, silly comments on his posts. He decided to punish me by giving me this award. I am calling it a punishment because like Amir Khan, I had decided not to accept awards, (unless it is from the President of India, a la Amir.) But this smart chap threatened to boycott my blog (like the media) if I did not pick this one up. So here I am Spike, but let it be known that I am doing it under duress. Moreover the award is not even in English. Still, see it prominently and proudly being displayed here. Happy? I still feel your sometimes goofy, sometimes intelligent comments are better than any award that you can ever give me. But thank you very much.

I am passing on this award to the bloggers who I really enjoy reading.

Sakshi, who has an amazing sense of humour and makes even the simple sound extra-ordinary.

SJ, because she is one whacky person and I always wait for her next post. ( Hope this one will bring you out of your self-imposed exile)

Kavi, because his lyrical writing touches my heart every single time.

Sucharita, who is one of my favourite writers in the blogosphere and she is really, really good.

The second award came from Meira, another bindaas writer. Her writing has a carefree, effervescent quality that I like. And I was honoured when she gave this to me.

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This award I thought of passing on to the first four people who comment on my post. After all this is supposed to be an award for those who inspire me and nobody inspires me more than the people who comment on my posts. But then I thought it would be grossly unfair to the four commentators in the middle or the last four commentators. Hence I am giving this award to

Sujata ( you can call it nepotism, but it was she who inspired me to blog in the first place)

Nona, this amazing man is a prolific writer and inspires me to manage my time.

Suman, because he writes on very unusual subjects and it is always a pleasure to read him.

ZB, because he has inspired me to write quite a few posts in the past.

And finally to Jyothi, because a working mom of two fast growing children can truly be inspiring.

Thank you Meira, for this beautiful award.

So please pick up your awards friends and and pass them on to those deserving bloggers who inspire you to write better.

This award giving ceremony reminds me of a game I used to play in my school. I used to sit on the last bench, hit the head of the girl in front really hard and say, "Pass it on and don't return."
One by one the girls would knock the heads of the girls sitting in front till the knock reached the girl sitting in the front row. She would sit quietly, swallowing her anger and I would snicker, sitting at the back.

So now you know why I never won anything substantial in school!


ZB said...

oh, i am first true -true award.

Thanks, and first to comment, thats another award. hope someone doesnt over take me before i post this comment. so hurrying up..and BTW this is my first comment on a blog from my brand new HP pavillion laptop...i am returning the honour to you..hehe..TC..infact you inspire me a if i were to pass, it would definitely to you as well. :)

AnjuGandhi said...

lucky one
two two awards in one day
but you really deserve it
u hava a unique style of writing which is very refreshing
so just enjoy ur awards and let the flow keep coming

wanderlust said...

Not sure whether I'll be lucky enough to get myfirst ever award, but I have to say that I simply love your blog. You have an amazing ability to touch the heart and the funny bones too :-)

SG said...

Nice post. You have won the biggest award many hope to get. A nice happy family.

MiM said...

what a nice acceptance speech/post you made aparna...

when i got a blogaward... I only said gimme, gimme, gimme:-)

anamika said...

You are hilarious lady...
but an ward not even in your own language is really something ..u must have inspire the country president...

NG said...

hahhaha.... saat janam ke paap and pichchle janmon ke punya
m sure ur husband must be really proud of u...u write so well

congrats on the awards :)

NR said...

lolz...your pichchle janam ka punya seems more powerful than his saath janams paap!! :)

Kavi said...

Congratulations on the awards. And thanks for showering such generous comments about my blog !

And i think i will go with what SG says ! That award came long ago !

Kavita Saharia said...

Aparna...congratulations for both the awards...hope you and your husband be together in all the coming janams too.

Nupur said...

Aparna, you wrote so well, as usual :) Think about it-If it would have been someone would have been a simple thank you post for the ones who awarded you ! But the very fact that you got this award states that you are indeed a great writer... So dear, Congratulations to you !

Well, you really made me smile and took me back to my school days by mentioning that "pass it and don't return" Well, I guess school time games are so common within all the school goers in the world !

Nupur said...

And now i'm moving to the bloggers you mentioned... Thanks for guiding me to other good bloggers :)

SJ said...

Aparnaji you always think of me- the annoyance tag and now the award.
Mereko itna rhona aatha
ki main kya karu nehi pata.
aank se aasu beheta,
meri dil more more chahta.


thanks, i know I am the greatest alive.

Nona said...

Thank you for the wonderful award.

"saat janmon ka total paap"!!! You don't need enemies!

It is not worth trying to please your mom-in-law. But still sighing over the delayed mail!!! Wow!!!


Thank you again.

Apanatva said...

Congrats !
you are a fantastic writer .
wish you janam-janam ka sath .

Swatantra said...

congrats.. written very cute!!

Sakshi said...

*thud* *fainted* SJ ishtyle...for two reasons.

1. OMG you really thought my blog worthy enough to pass a phoren award. It feels just like bollywood guys dreaming of the Palme d'Or you see :)

2. Hee at least somewhere my name came before SJ (I am referring to your nominations). Please Gaon walo don't puncture my pride by pointing out that its in alphabetical order ok?

It makes me so happy to know that you always think of us crack pots. I am delighted beyond 3 paras of comments. Thank you.

What can I say about your post it's hilarious as usual with every single sentence you write. Btw baari baari karke both the sister's blogs are entertaining me the AIR way...just love this song aaj din....

eye-in-sty-in said...

Thanks for 1) accepting this award, no matter what u say, u like it! Admit it :P
2) For the mention
3) For introducing me to these wonderful writers!

Smitha said...

Aparna, Congratulations on your awards!

I love the way you write. Incredibly funny! You more than deserve the awards :)

sujata sengupta said...

Yipppppeeee! Call it nepotism or whatever else, if you had'nt passed it on to would really be dead!! Congrats!!! I am lovin it!

SJ said...

Actually I don't want that Mexican/Spanish?italian award Can i have the 2nd one? exchange?

Sucharita Sarkar said...

Thanks a ton. Unlike you, I am an award-junkie, like Shah Rukh Khan, and I display all my awards proudly in my sidebar. And as for the very nice things you have written about me, what else can I say, but, a la SRK, "t-th-th-hanks."

Manjunath said...

"friends that I worked damn hard to produce these 2"


Aparna said...

@ ZB, a brand new laptop? Damn man, I am envious! Thanks for the top honour!

@ Anju, thank you for your beautiful words.

@ Wanderlust, if you keep writing, soon you will win your award. Thanks for your appreciation.

@ SG, thank you, i know I am truly blessed.

@ MiM, I really feel extremely hesitant accepting awards. I think it is beacause of my Amir Khan like egoistic personality!

@ Anamika, what president, if I do not understand the language, I have no hopes of impressing even the customs official of that country!

@ Neha Gandhi,my husband does not even have time to read my blog :(
He is a workaholic.

@ Nazish, the paap and punya kind of cancelled each other so now we have decided to peacefully co-exist.

@ Kavi, every word I wrote about your blog is true. You deserve the award.

@ Kavita, I think my husband has had enough and has decided this once in a life time experience is not worth repeating.

@ Nu, school children all over are the same. Enjoy reading these bloggers. Thank you for your encouraging words.

@ SJ, please do me a favour and hire a speechwriter for your acceptance speech if it is going to be in Hindi. I am sure Sakshi's husband would help. 'Meri dil'? God woman, your hindi is worse than mine. And no exchange offer valid in times of such severe recession.

@ Nona, I know it is not worth trying, but still I try. *Sigh*
You deserve the award.

@ Apnatva, thanks. I think my husband feels that this one life is enough.

@ Swatantra, thanks:)

@ Sakshi, what can I say? It takes a crack pot to know another. This heavy weight phoren award will hopefully push you to write more.And I can't get this song out of my mind for some reason.

@ Eye-in-sty-in, I am not admitting anything, specially to the man who is going through an identity crisis.Kabhi scientist kabhi detective.

@ Smitha, thank you:)

@ Sujata, why do you think I passed it on? My life is precious to me. Moreover you are also capable of revealing some well guarded secrets to my mother-in-law. Knowing your vindictive nature, I decided to play safe.

@ Sucharita, w-wel-ccome. You truly deserve it.

Meira said...

Congratulations :)

aMus said...

your posts always leave me with a smile...with a starting like that i had no clue you were going to lead to teh award ceremony :)


Unknown said...

lady, your hilarity mounts with every post!! and CONGRATULATIONS!!


BK Chowla, said...

You are lucky to have won two successive awards...two in in one day.You deserve these,you write very well.

Neha said...

you truly deserve these awards gal...the reason? well I didnt know you are a mother of two my case, we keep postponing this ya...the thought of extending our family freaks us out royally...

congrats for these. :)

Gayathri said...

Congrats :)..

Nupur said...

Hey I like this song and the idea of playing it when your page is opened :)

SJ said...

OK I have to spill the beans, i didn't write it. I made Javed Akhtar write. Dammit never knew he had grammar issues in Hindi.

Sumandebray said... .. uhhNu…
I am not used to receiving awards… and having only watched the stars accepting such thing I thought of delivering a full-fledged acceptance speech, complete with whom I would dedicate this and to whom I am grateful for this. See I have started clearing my throat (read finger tips)
But you see I choked with emotions and cannot proceed to say anything further. All I can utter is “thank you”…. “Special Thanks to all of you”. If you all were not there, probably these bits of my thoughts would have never made to the bytes of the web.
But honestly you have to excuse me on the passing part of it. As they say “the buck stops here”… ah! Haah!
(Please bear with my sense of humor).

Now once I figure out how to do that, I will display the award on my page. Any tips will be very helpful as this will save me on my time.

Sakshi said...

I contacted Javed Akhtar to clarify on this controversy and he says "SJ didn't pay the full amount which we had agreed upon citing the Umreekan recession as reasons; so I outsourced the speech from an NRI housewife vacationing in Hawayee."

My sources are trying to get to SJ who seems to be locked up in her lab with Zulfi at the moment..stay tuned we will keep you all updated with the controversy!

SJ said...

OK Sakshi just wait till I get home...

sanjay vyas said...

don't know how many times i'll keep on coming just to listen to the song on ur playlist.
ye gaanaa sunvaane ka shukriya.

Aparna said...

@ Suman,these are the steps for you to follow for putting the award on you post:

1.Go to the blog from where you received your award.( In this case, mine)

2. From there select JUST the picture of the award, right click and copy it.

3. On your post, wherever you want to, right click again and paste it.

To incorporate on you sidebar:

1. go to your dashboard and click layout. Add a gadget saying picture.
2. In the option 'from the web' put in this url :

3. Add your title and caption before saving.

Thats it. Hope it will help you. If it doesn't work, let me know.

Aparna said...

@ Manjunath, :)

@ Meira, thank you!

@ Suma, thanks, I am glad you liked the post.

@ Purnima, thanks...where had you disappeared?

@ BK Chawla, thank you.

@ Neha, I like the new profile pic!
About the girls, yes I have 2. Sometimes I wonder how I did it!

@ Gayatri, thanks!

@ Nu, hope you liked the song, it is my current favourite. I keep humming it the whole day!

@ SJ, Javed Akhtar my foot. More like an out of work desi trying to con you. Your comment reminds me of a joke I heard recently:

Tamilian (hesitant): Tamil therima?

UPite( angry) Hindi tera baap!

@ Sakshi, I think the script writer said "utne ka bas itna"

@ Sanjay Vyas, thank you. I am glad you like the song. This is my current favourite.

Renu said...

wow, you have a way with words, came here surfing, and your post was so interesting that started reading and completed it.
You really deserve any award you get it, congrats !!

SJ said...

Aparna I have proof.
Aparna ji, Main Javed Akhtar yaha bas yeh kehane aaya hoon ki bas aap ne tho hadd hi kardi. Shrimathi SJ ji pe yeh aarop laga ke ki woh Kavitha meri nahi hai. Yeh sunke hume bahuth dukh hua. Galathiya tho Pradan mantri se bhi hoti hai aur waise yeh galthi Shrimathi Shabana ji ke wajah se hui hai. Hum yeh kavitha likh rahe the ki jab achanak Shabana ji ne roti belne ke liye hume beethar bulaya. Isi duvidha ke kaaran hum jaldi main mera dil ke badle meri dil likh diya. Kshama Chahatha hoon.

Urmi said...

My heartiest congratulations to you for your award.Keep it up!

nsiyer said...

your every post is an award for yourself and rewarding for us.

Neha said...

hey thanks for the complement about the pic (at least smbdy noticed) :)))

Destiny's child... said...

Had fun reading this piece. Of course, winning a hubby and those two lil girls (who you claim of showing liabilty signs;)) are a big big win!
And yes, congrats for the award. You deserve every bit of it

Balvinder Balli said...

Very interesting read. I liked that 'Chhamak Chhallo' bit and the missing letter of your mother in law's would have been 'bahu'.

Unknown said...

25 bucks in class V is a lot of money Aparna. Thats like 1 million in Vth class conversion. You must be flying that whole day!

About winning your husband I love Indian Postal Service ;)

Your blog is sweet and nice and I think you deserve a nice award. Here is one from my end: TICYA Award from the Tiger :) TICYA stands for? Keep guessing. It ends with Awesome :) just like your post.

ani_aset said...

congrats congrats..dont you think Indian Postal Service deserves something from you this Diwali :P

Sakshi said...

Just in case you are wondering about the new fan you have got from Chakwala, Busoga Province, Uganda - Yup that's mimi. Got damn bore of screaming to the world that I am in Umreeka and the feedjit doesn't allow you to set the location as Mental Assylum, Coconut Land..:(

PS: Javed Ji Aadhaab! Aap ki urdu ne tho hamari Shabba Khair Kardi :(

Deepanjan Ghosh said...

"I worked damn hard to produce these 2" - hehehehehehehe!!!

Naina said...

a totally wow post.. love the entire description in the beginning..

congrats on the awards


Oceana said...

haha ha, about winning husband ..we r on the same boat !!

Anonymous said...

Hey! Thank you. I dedicate this award to my hubby and my kiddos. :)

Your hubby is lucky he got an award like YOU! I am sure he realizes that too!!!

Regarding the mom-in-law...Don't bother. They are a different species altogether.

Miss M said...

Congratulations on all the awards!! :) You deserve them Aparna.

ani_aset said...

There is an award for you on my blog :)

Manish Raj said...

Good one...and Congrats !!

Aparna said...

@ Renu, welcome to my blog. Thank you very much, I am glad you liked the post.

@ SJ. ok, confess, at whom did you point your gun this time? Those words are not yours.(Or Javed akhtar's, he's on a holiday, I called up his residence to confirm your story)

@ Babli thank you.

@ Nsiyer thank you very much.

@ Neha, of course I noticed!

@ Destiny's child, thank you, welcome to my blog.

@ Balvinder Singh, thank you...'chchamak chchallo' was a popular expression to describe a dressed up girl in my college days!

@ Tiger, thank you very much for this prestigious award...but please tell me what it stands for. I am almost dying of curiosity!

@ Ani-aset, thanks, and I am really honoured that you gave me yet another award. Though I really feel like saying oh no not again.

@ Saakshi, You are in Uganda? What are you doing there?

@ Double Dolphin :) I really did!

@ Rane , welcome aboard! Thank you very much.

@ Oc, you also won him in a gamble? :)

@ Jyothi, thanks, I know what you mean about MIL. There's no point in trying anymore I guess!

@ Miss M, thank you very much!

@ Manish Raj thanks:)

SJ said...

Wha..? me..gun. who me? and gun? * goes into cardiac arrest*

Tomz said...

Hi..there..Nice writing and let me call this style of writing is a sort of 'Stream of consciousness'..Anyway I am happy hearing you pass on your award to Sucharita Sarkar (the only one I know through her writings), as her writing got me spellbind and reading a post of her made me to follow her blogs..And yes like that.. i have now become a follower of yours as well..

deeps said...

i think the best and biggest award we can give to our friends is to visit their blogs, share ideas and views ..

and heyy thats a sweet reminisce there...

Anonymous said...

Hahaha! A most brilliant announcement!

Not very nice on the daughters though :-@

nituscorner said...

congrats for your achievements. may there be many more.

Zeba said...

Awwn. Congrats. Funny post. Not been here in a long long time. Been busy with college n stuff. Will scroll throguh your posts now!!

Sandhya said...

Your writing is very good Aparna! The way you started this post...and ended, is superb. Very good.

So your first precious win is your husband. Your children are going to be assets, definitely, Aparna. Don't you worry. They have a good mother like you!

Had some proble with my eye and am a bit later, here!

Congrats for the awards. You deserve it 100%.

Suchismita said...

Hey, congratulations. you are so obviously a winner with so many friends here.and by your own admission a best friend life partner!!

wish you many more victories!!

Aparna said...

@ SJ, stop playing the innocent. Go fool around with zulfie. He is missing you.

@ Tomz, thanks, hope you will be a regular here.

@ deeps, couldn't agree with you more.

@ Unsungpsalm, thanks, as I said, can't say anything about the daughters yet.

@ nituscorner, thanks:)

@ Zeba, thank you.

@ Sandhya, thank you, hope you are better.

@ Suchismita, thank you, I am blessed indeed!

Anonymous said...

Aparna, love your blog and thoroughly enjoyed the comedy in your last two NRI dramas. But on the serious side, I disagree with your stereotyping of NRI’s.

Recently my sister-in-law and brother-in-law visited us for the first time in the US. I was amazed at how westernized they were. They are doctors and belong to an elite group of doctor friends who are rich and have a lot of clout in the society. They ate beef and rationalized that an animal is an animal. They wanted to see nude shows in Las Vegas, that came highly recommended by their friends who had visited before. Our value systems were totally different. They seemed a little baffled at us, as we have lived here for the past 18 years. I had to explain to them, we are still the same people that live in a different place. You change some to adapt to your new surroundings and you retain most of your roots. That is how a lot of us are.

We had another relative again prominent doctors visit us last year. They had a 7 year old that kept referring to MY beach house in India, MY bathtub in India, MY Innova in India, MY 50 Wii games in India etc., that my kids thought was totally hilarious. When asked if he spoke in Tamil, he said only to MY servants. His favorite food was pasta in cream sauce  The feeling of privilege and royalty among the affluent in India, will not even be felt by Pres Obama’s kids in the White House.

Upper middle class and above in India follow western culture more than Indians living in the west. Toilet paper is probably the only thing that Indians in India cannot get used to. Other than that, the privileged Indian kids probably eat more at McDonalds, have more pirated Wii games from Malaysia and Thailand, speak more English and attend more parties in western clothes and are constantly being reminded of the privileges that their parent’s money can buy.

There are people of all kinds everywhere. But we normal people raising children in the U.S genuinely believe that our kids are brought up with a good Indian value system and honesty and humility. Raising our children Indian is the natural way, as that is how we were raised. Why would we do it differently? You underestimate the kids growing up here. Most of them do not have the ABCD crisis and are truly global citizens. You may find them awkward because they don’t know how to communicate to you the Indian way.

Your friend’s boys may marry a white woman, but let me assure you that the kids in India will probably go on dates and have boy friends and girl friends, live in together, get married, get divorced and follow the western trends even more.

Just like how some Indians abroad try to justify why they are better off in pardeshi land, some affluent Indians who stay back in desh try harder to prove why they had no intentions of moving abroad. With the global changes in the last decade, this debate is a moot point. You build your life wherever you choose and leave the world a better place for the younger generations to come.

Aparna said...

Dear Anonymous
I wish you had left your name. I find it awkward to justify my points of view to some one whose name I do not know.
Most Indians whom I have met from USA, have an offensive air of superiority complex. They degrade the air I breathe, the water I drink and the roads I walk on. They ridicule the schooling system and the lazy and corrupt ways of the people living in this country. They talk about the dirt and the crowd and refuse to see the love.
Their sentences start with"in America" every time they open their mouth.
Most of what they say may be true, but these insensitive people do not realise that their hosts feel hurt every time they deride India.
You are right our kids speak in English here, but they also know how to speak in their mother tongue.They do not have to resort to some foreign language when they are speaking to grandparents or to their parents.
Eating or not eating beef is a personal choice, so I will not get into that argument. I would like to believe that my religion (Hinduism) is very liberal and does not forbid anybody from eating what he/she likes.It just gently reminds us that killing all animal is an act of cruelty.
My husband and I made a conscious choice to stay here and to raise a family here. Yes we say that very proudly to all the people we meet, and why not? We have a very comfortable life, we enjoy all the good things in life, we pay taxes to OUR country and know that in a miniscule way, it is helping some people of our country. By looking after the people who work for us, we are in a way, giving back to our country that has been extremely generous to us and to our parents.
I love my country, with all my heart, but that does mean that I will criticise any other country.You will notice in my posts as well as this long comment not once did I say any demeaning thing about America. I wish the desi Americans could extend the same courtesy to me.
Thank you for writing in, all the best to you and your family.I hope you will visit my blog again and leave your candid comments. Regards.

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