Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Jai And Veeru Sing Ganesh Vandana

A lot of you have appreciated my previous post on my American Desi guests. Since my creative juices have dried up completely due to too much time spent in the kitchen, I thought I would share with you an incident that involved these guests. I am again being theatrical here and I am again warning readers. People with low tolerance for high drama, may skip the post.

This Is A One Act Play.

Star Cast : Andy (formerly known as Anand in India.)

Lady ( His wife)

D ( Andy's college friend)

Aparna ( D's wife and a 'thinker')

Jai and Veeru (Andy's sons)

Thamma ( D's mother)

A Saturday morning in D and Aparna's house in Mumbai. The guests are replete after a sumptuous breakfast. (Parathas this time.) Everybody is happy and relaxed. Thamma is trying to converse with Jai and Veeru in her broken English.

Thamma : You have many friends?

Jai : Yeah. Some.

Thamma: You play? What?

Jai : Mostly PS2.

Thamma is bewildered and trying to figure out what kind of game that is. Veeru, who has been flipping a book, suddenly seems excited.

Veeru: Hey mom, look at this. I have to do a power point presentation on this guy, remember?

Thamma : ( Appearing extremely pained) Don't call him a cow. He was one of the most elevated souls of India. His name was Swami Vivekananda.

Veeru appears confused and D is suppressing laughter.

Aparna : You have to do a project on Vivekananda for school?

Lady: No, no. They go to a Sunday Shloka Class. He is supposed to do a presentation there. They are learning some prayers and Sanskrit shlokas. They have also learned some bhajans.

Thamma (impressed) : Can you sing a song for us?

Jai and Veeru : Sure.

(They straighten up and start to sing in chorus.)

My friend Ganapati I bow down to thee.

Elephant faced Ganapati I bow down to thee.

Andy and Lady look proud. Thamma is shocked into silence.

Lady : The teacher in their Shloka classes also tell them stories from Panchatantra. The boys also learn about the history of India and her people. I want my boys to know their roots.

Andy : Moreover, with globalisation, who knows where my children would be working . If they ever come back to India, I want them to be comfortable with the culture and people.

Jai and Veeru are mean while continuing with the song;

Large bellied Ganapati I bow down to thee,

With laddoo in my hands, I bow down to thee.

Thamma :(unable to bear the song for much longer) They teach you to sing bhajan in English?

Jai: Yes, because we do not understand the Hindi words. Since the kids all belong to different parts of India, our teacher thought English would be better. She taught us this song and told us the story of Lord Ganesh.

The song continues;

Son of Shiva Parvati I bow down to thee...

Andy : The reason we are here is because we are organising the boys' 'Upanayan' ceremony in Kolkata this time. This is going to be a large affair. All my relatives are coming. Some in fact from as far as Australia and Switzerland. The kids will know their relatives, will get initiated into their heritage and culture. They are extremely excited.

The people in the room are talking about the coming ceremony. Jai and Veeru still singing. And Aparna is thinking....some men, who left their homeland for a foreign country, many, many years ago, in search of a better life, a better education, still are clinging to their roots and heritage. How many Brahmins in urban India have an Upanayan ceremony these days? This archaic and castist practice somehow no longer find many takers and rightfully so. Most of us have stopped eating puris for breakfast, reserving it for special occasions. Most of our kids are growing up without learning Sanskrit shlokas and Panchtantra tales. Our kids rarely do a presentation on Swami Vivekananda. And far, far away in pardesi land, some people are desperately trying to teach their kids about Indian values and culture. May be instead of Aparna's ridicule, they deserve her understanding. After all, this is also about loving one's homeland.

However obscure it may be.

The strains of 'Mouse is your companion I bow down to thee' fades into the background.

The curtain falls.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Dekh Lakh Lakh Pardesi Men

My life has been reduced to a series of events lately.

The scenes unfolding below are the dramatic representation of what is happening currently in my house. I am officially warning every body that this is going to be a long post. Impatient people with no flair for drama can leave immediately.

Starring Role : Aparna, (moi)

D (husband )

Ayushi. ( baffled daughter)

Ishita (foodie daughter)

Anand ( D's friend from IIT)

Lady (Anand's wife)

Jai and Veeru ( aliens who claim to be Anand's sons.)


It's almost evening. Aparna rigorously cleaning bathroom. Enters Ayushi.

Ayushi - Hi mom, how come you are cleaning the bathroom now? It's almost night.

Aparna - Baba's friend and his family are coming tonight. Just making sure every thing is in place.

Ayushi - What's that roll of paper you are keeping? Is it for my craft?

Aparna - No honey, that's a roll of toilet tissues.

Ayushi - What's that for?

Aparna - Uh, that's for, ahem, wiping.

Ayushi - Wiping what?

Aparna (feeling flustered) Baby, I don't have time for all this, just go and get me a bottle of mineral water. It's kept on the table.

Ayushi - ( absorbing, dissecting and analysing information...she takes after her mother)

Well whatever it is for, may be you should replace it with those wet wipes. It will at least smell better. And here's the mineral water. Why are you keeping it on the counter?

Aparna - (exasperated) Because they will need it for rinsing their mouths. Now go and let me finish my work.

Ayushi leaving scene, dissecting and analysing the information that baba's friend needs mineral water to rinse mouth though there is enough water flowing from the tap.


Aparna stocking food in the kitchen. There are some bread, fruits, (imported) eggs, sausages, milk(in cartons), butter, cheese (imported) , juice (imported) and cookies. ( Not biscuits). Enters Ishita.

Ishita - Mom, what's all this for?

Aparna - For baba's friend and his family. They probably will be hungry when they arrive. Just keeping things ready.

Ishita - ( Not wanting to miss any opportunity) Can I have some too? I am awfully hungry. ( She always is...takes after her father.)

Aparna- Not now, may be later. Just clean up your room and make sure everything is neat and tidy.

Ishita - What time are they coming?

Aparna - Midnight. That's the time most international flights land. Please help me clean up the guest room. They will be very tired once they reach.


Almost 2 am. The bell rings. Sleepy eyed Aparna opens the door. A beaming D enters with friend Anand and his family. They have arrived from the Swargalok. ( If there ever is a paradise on earth, it is there, it is there, it is there.)

Aparna - Welcome. I hope you had a pleasant flight.

Lady - We did. Thank you. You have a beautiful home. Jai and Veeru, please say hello to aunty.

Jai and Veeru mumble something, that sounds vaguely like 'hey how you doin'. Aparna can't be sure. She is too busy noticing the wires dangling from various parts of their bodies. A lot of gadgets also seem to be permanently attached to them.

D - ( feeling jubilant, after all he is meeting his friend after a long time). Can I get you something to eat or drink?

Thankfully the guests decline the offer. They are tired after the almost 18 hour journey. Though not before Lady expresses her gratitude once again for hosting them. She also does not forget to praise the decor, the furniture, the curtain and the bed linen. Everything is great (with a rrrolling r) and beautiful (with a rolllling l).


Next day morning. Every body lazing around the dining table. Jai has an i-phone fixed to his palm. Veeru has a contraption called PS 2 attached to him. He is probably busy sending data to outer space though he claims he is playing some game. The contraption makes beep beep sound intermittently.

D and Anand are having heated discussions on various subjects. Lady periodically praises the show pieces scattered around.

Anand - So next year, come and visit us. Back home, I have a beach front property. And recently I have renovated my house and have made a mini auditorium in the house. It has a big screen and some comfy seats. We will watch movies and have fun.

D- What movies do you watch?

Anand - Generally the latest Bollywood blockbusters.

( Aparna, laying the table wonders why she would go there to watch bollywood flicks when she can watch them here on bigger screens.)

Anand - The weather here is miserable man. Back home it is now very pleasant.

Jai- Dad, I have been sneezing. I think it is the pollution here.

Veeru - ( To Ayushi). Where do you play? The garden here is awfully small. Back home we have a tennis court and a pool in our house.

Anand - ( to D) So do you drive? I have to drive almost 30 miles to my office. But back home roads are not like this, the drive is very pleasant.

Aparna - (mentally converting the miles to kms) Why do you have to stay so far from work?

Anand - We wanted to stay in that school district. They go to an excellent school. Back home, the schools are different.

Aparna - Please come every body, the breakfast is ready.

The wonderfully laid out table has different kinds of bread, fruits, juice, scrambled eggs, bacon, and some sausages. Every body almost runs to the table. After a long flight where they were given bird food, they are ravenous. They are almost ready to attack the food but suddenly come to a screeching halt. Nobody moves. Facial expression sombre. Appearing crestfallen.

D- ( jubilant as ever) start every one, I thought you would like to have the typical American breakfast. This is what you have every day back home, right guys?

People are still standing, gaping at the spread and not moving at all. Jai and Veeru are almost ready to cry. Lady tries to look polite. Anand seems shattered.

Aparna, taking a leaf out of Ayushi's book, analyses the situation. The Bharatiya sanskriti, mother's teaching, good manners and some common sense forcefully decide to kick in. Atithi Devo Bhava.

Aparna- (Stepping forward) If you can give me 15 minutes, I will rustle up some luchi aloor dum (puri sabzi) Would you prefer that?

Their smiles could have illuminated the whole house readers. The joy was unbridled. There was a sound of relieved laughter.

Anand, the sons and Lady - ( in unison) That would be grrreat!

Really people, Ain't Nobody Like These Desi Men!


Monday, July 20, 2009

Hey, I Have Struck Gold!

My site is worth $434,176.

Sorry Pablo Neruda, much as I love you, today I can write only the happiest lines.

I am in a happy state of mind, and have been like this ever since Zillionbig delivered this earth shattering piece of news.

Yesterday, he told me that my blog was worth $434,176. Can you believe it? That's almost 2 crores, guys! Hallelujah, I am sitting on a gold mine! Moreover, Shobha De's blog is worth only $ 3000 !! Move over lady, here I come!

The mercenary in me did a little jig. I wanted to know how to get this figure converted into real hard cash and found out that if I ever sell my blog, (fat chance), then the buyer will have to shell out this amount. Considering that blogs can be created by just about anybody and that too for free, who will ever want to buy my blog? ( Thank you Zillionbig for bursting my bubble.) Still, I am worth that much, even if on paper and I am ecstatic. Finally, finally, I am worth some moolah! I can't help but celebrate.

The sentimental in me is no less happy. Writing has been my salvation. It has saved me from going to stuffy corporate dinners my husband is always dragging me to. It has saved me from those kitty parties my friends think I should join. It has saved me from cooking. And it has certainly saved me from teaching physics to my daughter. ( ''Honey, can you come back later? I am in the middle of writing my blog") The world may go and take a hike, I am content sitting in front of my computer, clicking and clacking. But still, for some obscure reason, this feels like validation.

I started blogging only last November. I have not even written 50 posts. Initially I started to jot down personal accounts and then slowly went on to write on issues close to my heart. My posts are generally optimistic in orientation. They reflect my attitude, my belief, my passion. Writing my blog has brought me immense creative satisfaction and has been largely cathartic. Finally, I feel I am more than a daughter, a mother, a wife. I am a person capable of speaking out on a public platform. This is a high that no pot of gold could have ever given me.

So the grateful in me is extremely thankful to my readers. I know without you, I would never have ventured this far. You have encouraged me with your comments and have made me want to write something new every week.Every time I have experienced a writer's block, some comment has triggered a thought. Without my knowing how, that thought has changed into a post. So you see my dear reader, you are my gold mine and I truly feel very, very rich today for having your support.

For those of you who want to know your worth, go to http://www.evaluateanywebsite.com/ But believe me, it can not be worth more than the happiness your writing will bring to you.

Still, here's wishing you some happy mining. May you get your gold.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Later, perhaps

Later perhaps I will touch your cheeks,
And feel how smooth they are;
Later perhaps I'll caress your head,
And gently smoothen your hair.

The little fingers, the curled fists,
Those round gumdrop eyes,
Later perhaps I'll kiss you, love,
And quieten your helpless cries.

But now, love, let me accept,
What grandpa and grandma say,
Accept that it was my fault,
To bring you here this day.

Let me hear that my daughter,
Is useless on this earth,
Lot of pain you will bring to us,
And not a penny you're worth.

Without a son, you know my love;
There's nothing for me but shame,
For who will light the funeral pyre,
And carry our family name?

Later, perhaps, I will my love,
Rock you till you sleep,
Right now, love, just bear with me,
And hold me while I weep.

This poem is dedicated to a woman I know, who cried after giving birth to her third daughter.
This is my second pathetic attempt at poetry. The first one you can read here.
Please feel free to trash them.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

A Forgotten World.

I have very faint memories of my didima. (My maternal grandmother.)

Everything I know about her comes from my mother. She tells me that my grandma was a gentle and delicate creature. She was soft-spoken and frail. She had long, lustrous hair that reached past her waist. She tells me that her husband was devoted to her and all her children loved her with their whole hearts. I personally think that a woman who bore her husband eight children, could not have been frail. A woman who ran her large household with efficiency and precision could not have been so delicate. She must have been strong and capable. She must have possessed a magnetic personality to arouse such love and devotion from her husband and children... but what do I know? I have very faint memories of my grandmother.

My memories of my childhood start from age 4. My father was posted in Muscat. We would come to India for our annual holidays. I would visit my mother's home with her and watch in amazement at her transformation. She would seem vivacious and joyful. She would laugh loudly and talk nonstop with her sisters and brothers. I would sulk, standing in one corner, seeing my grandma going about her tasks silently. She did not seem to notice the presence of a little girl in that room. How could she? She had to run this big house and look after the comforts of the people. I was not her only grandchild. She could not afford to pay me any extra attention.

Things changed over the years. My mother's family, which was a close knit joint family slowly started to break after my grandfather's death. The love and laughter that I saw and internally resented, slowly changed into sorrow. And in the middle of all this, was my grandma, who started crumbling, without anyone noticing.

It started with depression and apathy. Many dismissed it as an after effect of her beloved husband's death. After almost 50 years of togetherness, they were an unit no more. The world, as she knew it, was not the same.No sympathy was offered, no doctor consulted. The sons started discussing who should keep her for how many days. For the first time in her life, she left behind the security of the big house in Kolkata, to move in with her second son in Bombay. A cramped 2 bedroom apartment. The sons felt it would be better if she could spend time with all her three sons for a few months.

This move was perhaps what started it.Without anyone knowing exactly when, her vocabulary started shrinking. She spoke little anyway, so nobody noticed anything initially. Then began the nightly wanderings. When her children realised this was no ordinary depression, medicos were consulted. More than 35 years ago, people were not really so aware. All they knew was this was Alzheimer's, and there was no known cure.

When did the warmth that my grandma always experienced, go? When did the love of all her children desert her?The society norms dictated the sons look after the mother. They came under tremendous physical and psychological pressure. The daughters were mute. It was unthinkable those days to keep one's mother in the house which they shared with their husbands' families. Parents-in-law, brothers-in-law, their families... where was the room for their sick mother? There were altercations and bitterness. Accusations and tears. Brothers vs sisters. Issues over money and care.And in the middle of all this, there she was, my grandma, forgetting bit by bit, a part of her world everyday.

The last few years were painful, not only to her but also to her children. They witnessed the breakage of a personality they had loved so deeply. A lady, who single handedly ran her home with an iron hand, was no longer capable of performing most of her daily activities. A mother who gave birth and raised eight children, now needed assistance for most basic bodily functions. The mother who loved them and healed their pain, now looked at them blankly and failed to recognise them.

Perhaps it would have been better to preserve a room entirely for her. A reminiscence room, where she could go and touch the familiar things. A place she could have felt comforted and soothed. A room with all the memories of her husband and children, Perhaps that would have given her back a part of her lost world. But all she knew was an endless number of caregivers and maids, impatient with her for her urinary incontinence, her disturbing behaviour and for not responding to their calls.

The last memory I have of my grandmother is me standing holding my mother's hand and looking at her with fear. My mother holding the door pane, her body shuddering with silent sobs. My grandmother smiling and asking her,"Who are you, and who is this little girl with you?"

It is sad that this is one of my very few memories of my grandmother....but perhaps what it is sadder is that she did not have any memories of me.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

A Suitable Boy

When I was 23, my mother started dangling photographs of eligible men under my nose.

According to her, I was an old maid and the earlier I settled down, the better.

All my talks on child marriages being a stigma to our society fell on deaf ears. She was hell bent on pushing me out of her house. My father, who was , and still is, the quiet sort, started dropping in on my office just to see if I fancied any of my buddies. My brother started calling regularly reminding me about my dotage and my mother took out an advertisement in the Times Of India.

What an embarrassment. Not only my family, now the entire country knew about my sorry state of affairs. At 23, I was not only unmarried, I did not even have a boyfriend. How pathetic.

My mother found a man who she thought would suit her daughter just fine. An only son of doting parents, a professional doing rather well in life. And most importantly, a man who belonged to the same Bengali community. Holy cow. It was a match made in heaven. I, who always stayed away from such narrow minded way of thinking, rebelled. How could I get married to a Bong? I grew up in Delhi and I loved everything about the Punjabis...even their vulgar display of wealth. Secretly I always entertained the thought of getting hitched to somebody like Shashi Kapoor.

When it came to matters of such mental anguish, I always ran to my cousin and her husband. They were my pillars of strength, my staunchest allies. They would surely rescue me from this predicament. "Give in gracefully" was their advice. Did I just say they were my allies?

After prolonged discussions and temper tantrums, draining conversations and staged walk-outs, I finally gave in. Fine. I would meet this suitable boy. But only this once. And if this did not work out, they would not bother me again. And also, I got to meet him first. I did not want them to coerce me into making a decision. Relieved, my parents gave in.

So, just before the summer set in in Delhi, when the weather was beautiful and romantic, one evening, I went to my cousin's house in East of Kailash to see this paragon of virtue. My father had vetoed my suggestion of meeting him in a coffee shop. As he threatened to disinherit me if I did not have any chaperone with me, I wordlessly gave in. You win some, you lose some. So on the appointed day, dressed in my designer outfits., professionally done up hair, I arrived at my cousin's door-step to meet the man of my mother's dreams.

Well, how do you know, in only a few hours whether this man you were meeting for the first time, would be your soul-mate? How do you select someone for you? Do you see his age? Do you see his qualification and work experience? Do you see whether he was polite to his elders and kind to dogs? Do you see if he has all his teeth and hair? How do you simply judge a man on the basis of one single meeting ?

As I sat, talking to a rather pleasant man of 28, wearing simple jeans and a T-shirt, polite to my cousins and playful with the family dog, a chemical engineer from IIT, working as a manager at Hindustan Levers, with all his hair and teeth intact, my mind went completely blank. What do I do? Do I say yes? But why should I ? I am only 23! Why shouldn't I ? After all I am 23! I was faced with the biggest dilemma of my life. Do I marry him? He had a nice smile. But is that a strong reason for marriage? He was articulate and seemed to like reading. He did seem caring, and there was some connection... But still...

I again turned to my cousins for their views on this. My brother-in-law, who had this ability to take down everything to the lowest common denominator sat down with his wisdom;
IIT grad. Means upper storey loaded.
Age 28. Means not too young to be reckless, not too old to be staid.
Polite and courteous. Means good family values.
Refusal to go to USA for parents as he is the only son. Means loyal to the core.
Staying away from parents in a different city. Means not too clingy and dependent.
Working in India's topmost (at that time) company for the last 7 years. Means stable and responsible and incredibly good work wise.
Just go for him with your eyes closed.

So that's when I took the biggest gamble of my life and plunged into holy matrimony. Since he lived in Bombay and I lived in Delhi, ours was a long distance courtship, wooing each other with cards like " Me here you there, no fair." We had a typical Bengali wedding with all the typical Bengali food. Our cousins told us later they had fun. All I remember was the endless amount of feet touching I had to do and the dramatic way I cried, clinging to my cousins, and the car, mentally singing "Main sasural nahi jaaoongi, doli rakhdo kaharo."

That was July 8, 1992. Yeah, yeah I know. Some of you were in diapers. It has been a long journey. It started almost as a business decision and ended up in love and respect for each other. When someone asks me what made me choose him as my husband I always say it was the smile and the dimple that did me in. But I know actually it was the IIT stamp.

Oh, I am so brand conscious.

Monday, July 6, 2009

An Angel Without Wings

Let's just call him Ajay.

An ordinary Indian name for an ordinary Indian boy.

When he was 5 years old, his dad was posted in a small town in the Arabian Sea coast. Like all ordinary boys, he loved to play on the beach, kick some ball with his dad, and fish.Or at least he pretended to. He could never handle the slimy bait and hated holding the wriggling fish. The mother generally sat a little far away, smiling indulgently at the father and the son. An ordinary family, doing ordinary things together. Can you see them? Walking hand in hand?

They lived in a nice house in a quiet area. Though they lived far away from their family, they had many good friends and they had fun going on picnics and long drives. Ajay was very happy as he was the only child there and everyone spoiled him terribly.

One day, his father brought a nice young man home. He must have been around 23. He had just got a job there but he was yet to find a place to stay. Being a good person, Ajay's dad thought the young man could stay with them till he found a suitable accommodation. Ajay was ecstatic. He was yet to start school. This man, whom he called 'Bhaiya' ( elder brother) was his new play mate. They would play cricket in the lobby, fly a kite on the streets and just chat sometimes. The young man would often bring some books for him and read out those stories to him. Ajay had not yet learned to read. The family of 3 gradually became a family of 4, without anyone realising it. Perhaps you can see them now, walking on the beach, laughing and talking and flying kites.

Then one day, the young man bought a new story book. In the evening, when the mother was cooking, the man started to read to Ajay. The book at first did not make any sense to the little boy. It talked about men and women doing strange things. In the book, which had some pictures, ( Ajay loved stories with pictures) the men and women did not wear clothes. The man became strangely excited reading the story and asked Ajay to climb up onto his lap so that he could see the pictures better. Ajay did not like this story at all, but he kept quiet. Bhaiya was his friend and he did not want to disappoint him. And since bhaiya trusted him to keep this their little secret, for the first time, Ajay did not tell his mother what the story was all about.

Slowly their games changed. Instead of playing football and cricket, bhaiya started playing with his body. He would ask Ajay to sit on his lap and touch him at shameful places. He would often ask Ajay to do the same. The little boy was confused. He did not like these new games anymore but was too scared to say no. He wanted bhaiya's love and approval. And what if his parents came to know? Will they think he wanted to play such games? May be he did... may be he was a bad boy who deserved what bhaiya was doing to him . If his parents came to know his shameful behaviour, surely he would be sent away to a hostel.

He would now panic when the man called him to read out a story. But on those rare occasions, when the young man would play cricket, he would also cautiously but trustingly reach out to hold his hands. And some days, that same man, would smile and coerce him to do things which made him feel dirty. He now started washing his mouth and hands rigorously with soap when he bathed.

Some days, when things became too painful, he would just curl up on his bed and pretend to sleep. There were so many things going on in his mind. He wanted to tell his mom and dad what was happening to him. He wanted them to make him feel better. He wanted to tell them that he was feeling broken, just like that superman figure with a broken limb that he had. But his parents never noticed any thing. He felt enraged and often burt out in tears, but his parents just dismissed his outbursts as a normal temper tantrum of a 6 year old boy. He hated his parents. And he hated the world. He no longer laughed when he walked on the beach. And he no longer wanted to fly any kites. He withdrew to his own isolated world, with his guilt, shame and confusion. His parents, who never dreamed someone could ever damage their little angel, who never thought such predators even existed in their normal, happy world, were blissfuly unaware of their little boy's trauma and sorrow. They never came to know the reason for their precious child's sudden abnormal behaviour.

Ajay exists. He is my friend from college. Although he is no longer prone to violent outbursts and depression, he continues to believe that he played an integral part in this abuse. He blames himself for any physical contact between him and his abuser, although he knows he was only 5. And the man was 23. I always thought, perhaps like a lot of you, sexual abuse happens to only girls. His story changed my belief. Our children, both boys and girls are equally vulnerable to sexual abuse. Everyday, some child below the age of 10 falls prey to such despicable behaviour and does not know who to turn to. Most children know their abusers. They are simply unable to cope with such repeated sexual offence by someone they trusted and end up with long lasting scars.
Please believe your child if he comes up to you and reports such behaviour.Teach him the difference between good touch and bad touch. Tell him his body belongs to only to him and no one else. Nobody has the right to touch or harm him. Never take it for granted that the child will come and tell you anyting. Tell him that you are there to listen about any behaviour of an adult which he finds uncomfortable. Please be alert.
And most important, please do not blame him. It was never his fault.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

I was tagged

I was tagged by ZillionBig to do this one.

I am supposed to list a few things that annoy me. To be honest, I am not overly fond of tags. I fail to understand why some people would spend some of their precious time reading about what turns me on or puts me off. Moreover, a lot of our blogger friends have recently posted on the same topic, so things are getting a bit boring. But since I promised him to do the tag, here are some of my pet peeves. But there's a twist. Instead of doing a tag on things that annoy me, I decided to do one on people who, at times, bug the hell out of me.

1. Those who are never on time. (Read elder daughter.) People who are never on time for anything irritate me. My daughter feels the sun rises when she gets up and school starts when she reaches there. Every morning there are some shouting matches in the house but lessons in punctuality are yet to be learnt. The madder I get, the more unhurried she becomes.

2. People who are good in mathematics. Those (read husband) who have been born with the ability to understand this dreadful subject annoy me senseless. Not just that, they also love to show off their talent even in their sleep. The other day, just before my daughter's exam, I had to nudge my husband awake to solve a rather complicated problem. He mumbled the answer and the process without opening his eyes. It was annoying as hell. As a punishment, I have decided never to talk to him again while he is sleeping. The silent treatment will serve him well.

3. People who think food equals love. (Read mother-in-law.) Those who go to the house of a diabetic with a box of sweets or insist on feeding some fried stuff to heart patients bug me. I have never understood how feeding the wrong kind of food to the people you supposedly care for, express your love. And if you go to some one's house with apples instead of gulabjamun, does that mean you love that person less?

4. People who thrive in clutter (Read mother.) As a child I was always cleaning up after my mother. Fold a Saree here. Pick up the book there. Straighten up the wardrobe. And now as a mother, I am doing the same thing. Some jobs never change. My mother claimed she could not function in an organized household. As if I believed that. She simply knew she had a daughter who cleaned up rather well. Extremely, extremely annoying.

5. Men, rather boys, (read brother) who think dangling smelly socks and sweaty shirts under noses, practising karate chops on unsuspecting bodies and pulling braided hair show heartfelt love for their sisters. The gullible, adoring, hero worshipping sisters, (read me) also have to deal with horrid pranks, merciless teasing and blackmail threats. (If you tell mom I smoked, I will tell her you were making naughty eyes at that boy.) So annoying. Ask me. Had to deal with that till he left home. I am on my knees right now offering thanks for that big mercy.

6. People, ( read me) who lose their temper at the drop of a hat. You are always on tenterhooks around them. You never know when Mt. Etna will decide to erupt. So after a rather fierce eruption, daughters are in tears, husband is in the ice-cream parlour and I am watching an Ekta Kapoor serial. How annoying do you think that is? And don't you even dare laugh at this folks. People who laugh at my anger top my annoyance chart.

And finally, number 7.

Those people (read you) who come to my blog, read it quietly and leave without any comments. I hate it. Honey, I have eyes. and I have FEEDJIT. I am not so bad at math that I can not calculate. The number of people visiting my blog and the number of comments I get do not tally. So Lexington -Kentucky, Patna- Bihar and London- U.K. , stop bugging me further, okay?

Ufff. Now that I have finally got all that load off my chest, I can look forward to some interesting reading. So I am passing on this rather annoying tag virus to my blog buddies

SJ , because she is a superwoman and I would like to know what annoys her. Purnima, because she has a rather whacky sense of humour and she will make this one really interesting. Meira, because I loved the post she did on her Mangalsutra. And lastly to my daughter Ishita because she wanted to do this one. And because she writes rather well. And if you (read those of you I haven't tagged) want to take this up, please feel free. I guess there is always some space in our lives for some more annoyance.