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The “Medicine”

3 Nov

Ok.. back to the family archives for now. A tale thats been related to me by Gopi uncle my father’s older brother. (Gopi Uncle deserves his own tag and posts.. but thats for later)

It was a sometime in the 50’s and my uncle had to take Ajji (grandma) from Mysore to Chennai (then Madras) for some medical treatment. Ajji was very restless and made life “miserable” for him constantly complaining about the train, the noise and how her cough and cold were not allowing her to sleep. She claimed none of the medicines worked (Ajii always believed in strrrrong medicine).

Having endured the hounding all the way to Bangalore, Gopi uncle hits upon an idea… he steps out while the train has stopped and picks up a bottle of brandy from the Spencers store in the station (yes… apparently they used to have these stores all most stations and yes they sold booze).

So once the train starts for Madras, he pours a large “peg” in a steel tumbler, tells my ajji that this was medicine and asks her to “gulp it down”…post “medicine”, ajji is out like a light and does not wake up till the train chugs into Madras.

Later that day, ajji calls out to uncle and says “You know the medicine that you gave me last night was excellent… can you give me some of that today as well?”.

While Gopi uncle is figuring out what to say..she adds “..and it tasted very good as well”

I think he got out of it by saying it was out of stock in Madras.


Cooku for a Weeku

18 Aug

Every other summer my uncles would visit us from the USA with their families. Invariably our house in Bangalore was the first stop and a staging area while they visited Mysore and other places.

Suddenly the house would be teeming with relatives either staying with us or visiting my uncles. Relatives would come out of the woodworks to visit… and hoping for the odd T-Shirt or perfume bottle. Considering that our house in Jayanagar had 2 small bedrooms, I wonder now how we squeezed so many people in.

It was during one of these visits that mom threw her hands up and said she needed a cook for the 3 weeks that the visitors were around. After all cooking for 20 odd demanding people while you have a full time job as an Economics prof was difficult. She had just lost a cook who was with us for 3 odd years (that nightmarish story later).

After some debate it was decided that a cook had to be hired.. this happened to be a guy who had worked in a Udipi restaurant and was in between jobs.

We kids were excited (my cousins from the US could not care less… they were missing their barrgurrs).. but for us it was a great thing to have a “real” cook at home. Moms cooking was too healthy and not exciting enough.

Day 1- He started off well enough… with some great Idlies and Vada… and typical hotal sambar… great rasam for lunch.. and dinner…there were praises all around.. snide remarks about mom’s cooking… why can’t she get some tips from this guy etc etc… amma has a frown on her face.. “What a cook” we chorus.. “can we keep him?”

Day 2 – Same dishes, same food…. still tasty enough…Some gas building up inside the grownups… one of the relatives swear that baking soda has been used.. still the cook gets the benefit of doubt…maybe its mom’s fault she didnt give him variety in the ingredients.. everything was the same.. same dishes, same taste…

Day 3 – Dishes dont change.. rasam tastes the same.. gas build up increases.. mom’s expression changes to a smirk

Day 4 – The Soda has everyone bilious… elders hatch a conspiracy to get rid of the cook… mom is grinning broadly.. she has been happily hands off from the kitchen… dad broaches the subject of firing the cook.. only to be met with a cold stare…uncles start grumbling “We came all the way here to eat hotal food aaaa?”

Day 5 – Murder plots are being hatched. Bathroom is occupied ALL the time. Food is being supplied from a neighbours house because peeepal do not want to taste the same rasam, sambar and soda filled rice again… mom is now laughing….

Day 6 – Cook is asked to go by Mom.. she cant bear to see the family suffering. The cook cannot understand why his popularity has gone from Rock Star to Porn Star in 5 days. He leaves gladly… Mom is resigned to cook for the suffering lot.. neighbours and relatives offer supporting help.

Moms cooking is bestest…. no one complains

We want to Parteeeeey

12 Aug

Bombs go off.. we rant for a day… promise ourselves to be extra vigilant and life goes on.. but no tension.. Bangalore rebounds.

Bad Infrastructure.. grumble grumble grumble… but then life goes on.. what can we do?

Bars close early… WHAT????? WHAT THE HELL???? Lets protest… we need the right to party late into the night… whats the world coming to? Lets go protest…. Goddamn political leaders !!!

My personal opinion… places should be allowed to remain open late… but a Dharna for this??? Come on…. Get real.. Get a Life… Party on…

Priorities… Priorities…
In the meantime, political leaders say NO !!!! They dont want this to interefere with their partying 😉

They Say:

Even dancing in discotheques is heavily restricted, because the government fears that allowing dancing may lead to dance bars springing up.

What goes around…

8 Aug

A few years ago, Mushy baby kicked Nawaz Sharif out… now its Nawaz’s turn to return the compliment. Life has come a full cirle for the main US Ally on Terror.

Some options for Mushy:

1. Motel business in the USA

2. Go to Saudi Arabia, lick his wounds, and then come back and kick Nawaz’s jamoons once again

3. Work as a Cricket Analyst for Ten Sports

4. Become a UN Ambassador for peace for Afghanistan. Maybe he can win the Nobel Peace Prize.

5. Start a restaurant in Mumbai/Delhi. Call it Mushies Eateries. Prices there will be a bomb (pun intended)

6. Write his Memoirs. Call it “How I went from Peach to Impeach” or “Terror Ally to Terror Alley”

Any others?

Altered… but where?

15 Jul

My friend KTN only wears suits when hes overseas on business visits.

Once before a trip to Japan, he goes into a Raymonds showroom and buys a rather expensive suit. Since the trouser waist was too big (and he really liked THIS suit) he asked for the waist to be reduced. He then stops off the next day, picks up the suit and packs it. Doesnt think its necessary to check…

He reaches Japan and realizes that the waist hasnt been changed at all. Grumbling, he tightens his belt so that the trousers stayed up. While he was wondering WHAT the tailor changed, he happened to glance at his reflection in the full length mirror in his room. To his shock, the guy has reduced the length by 2 inches !!! So now KTN has an ankle length trouser…the only other suit he had was his wedding suit, and he has to leave for his meeting in the next 5 minutes.

I think he wore his “tight fitting” wedding suit….

To Raymonds credit, they allowed him to exchange his suit.. in fact they let him have a more expensive suit.

Saar Please See Saar !!

7 Jul

“Saar do you want to see the back of your head”


“Please see saar…”

“I said no !!! I know whats there…” the meantime a mirror is held so that the growing bald patch is exposed…starting at the center and then slowly streaking outwards…

This conversation happens everytime I visit the hairdresser. For some reason he insists I see his handiwork. All I can see is that theres very little left for the bugger to do. I am paying too much. The guy probably fancies himself as an “artiste” for working with so little.

Its just not fair. My brother has a thick crop of hair that can house wild animals if there was a shortage of forests. Ditto for my son.

But me???? Its going.. going… Its just not fair !!!!

I dont mind going bald.. really I dont… it makes you appreciate the rain even more…what ticks me off is how I “inherited” this bald streak…From my maternal uncle… Thats right folks.. the only thing I got from my maaama is this DNA that controls baldness… nothing else 😦

Anyways good news for the world is that I DO NOT INTEND to have a combover which requires one to grow 6 feet hair on one side so that it can then “supply” hair to the rest of the head. Fear not.

I have a neighbour who does a combover and I have seen the effect a strong wind has on him.. the poor guy…

The Old and The New

1 Jul

Couple of pictures that depict new trends while the old order tries to cling on. Heres a new fangled “Vegetable Market”


..while right outside the door, this woman tries to compete…