Saturday, March 28, 2009

Weighty tale

Further to and with reference to my previous post, I must reiterate that I don't want to share 'stuff' in 'bublic' (thanks, Shyam) although I do express my gratitude to Sundar for encouraging me to, he he.

I did, on one occasion, not manage to avoid sharing this particular info (weighing scale figure) with someone. It was in 1991. My dream then was to become a pilot. We had just moved into a new house in a new neighbourhood and our next door 'mama' was a nosy one. We called him 'M-square(d)' -- i.e., Mottai Mama (Bald Uncle). Sometimes, when he stood on his terrace, we would call him M-to-the-power-of-4 (Mottai Mama on a Mottai Maadi).

Sadly, he knew my dad quite well apparently, and came over for a cuppa one morning. My Dad chose that morning to share with him that I had this aim of becoming a pilot. M-Squared was also pretty know-it-all (empty vessels and all that) and, say-it-all. I froze as I was passing that way, that minute, and looked back.

I should n't have. I was beckoned. I went, but not without reluctance. MM looked me up and down brazenly and said: "Pilot? I also used to fly". (YEAH, RIGHT) "Hmmm. How much do you weigh?". At that 'eng' age, it's difficult to avoid answering direct questions from wolder people. I thought wildly about coming out with a wisecrack or two instead, but decided against it. Like a bandaid, best done swiftly. I told him my weight. (Yeah, am not telling you now either!) To that, he exclaimed: "Oh, you really need to lose weight before they let you become a pilot!" How sweet, thank you, MM. Like I did n't know.

Thing was, he himself was pretty big. Hard to imagine him inside a Cessna 152 aircraft unless doubled over and halved.

However, the truth is, to learn flying, you only need a medical certificate that says you're 'OK' (not FIT, just OK) and more importantly, you need much guts. Which of course, was not a problem, big gut and all. So... problem solved.

Gosh do I have more such tales up my sleeve!

Friday, March 27, 2009

At the gym

I have many gym tales to share and have done so before. Here is one more very tame one.

Having a personal trainer at the gym is...very personal. Really. Among other things, he or she will get to know your vital statistics (and very vital they are!!), and he or she knows your innermost desires and needs and supposedly, chalks out the path to 'there' for you. Right. So you are overweight and not the kind of person who would go around sharing your weight (in kgs) with all and sundry the way some skinny folks do...or the ones who have no weight issues. You know the type: -

"Arre, I think I have lost two kilos ONLY yaa, and I have two more to go. "

"My target is 50 kgs! Now, I weigh 51."
Hee haw.

"My aim is to lose 3 kilos -- they are JUST not goinnnng."

"I have been the same weight for twenty years -- I was 62 when I finished college and I am still 62. Maybe a kilo or two here and there, but I quickly pull it down with my regular walking and I don't take frieds...sweets..."
Stop talking, stop talking NOW.

"I was 60 kgs after my delivery and now, I am 54."

Buzz off little bees, this post is not for you.

So with the personal trainer, it's like you have just shared your deepest, darkest secret with him, and he is still conscious(!!!), he knows your fitness level and is generally quite encouraging if not downright pushy...and therefore, you don't TOTALLY freak out when he says after a few days of workout: "Now, let's check your weight again, shall we?". I did n't freak out but I balked. "I don't want to..." I whined. "If I don't see good news, I will become depressed." In his usual nonchalant personal-trainer way he said "Well, who is asking YOU to look? I want to see, don't worry, there WILL be a difference." OKKAY. Have hope, faith and charity.

So I trudged along with him to a room that had two guys (gym staff) hanging around. 'My guy' goes in and switches on the weighing machine. Stupid digital thing that counts up to the last grams in your body! I looked at the two guys (gym staff) who were standing there and they seemed pretty much rooted to the ground. Now, having had many many bad social experiences at gyms, I tensed, hoping...willing them away. What did they think? That I was Aishwarya Rai who had signed up for weight gain? Sheesh. Now, I never used to be the outspoken, snappy type either, for the idiotic desire to 'be nice'. But this time I was fed up. Exasperated. Even my trainer did n't get it. And this was a small room, mind you, the size of a 4 star hotel bathroom. Quite a crowd in there for the momentous moment! I finally asked those two hangers-around, "Do you REALLY think I want an audience right now?". Thankfully, they took THAT hint and murmured sorrys and dashed out. I got the act over with (not sharing anything more here, heh heh) and when I came out, the two guys apologised again but I was quite happy that they DID leave the room at the crucial moment, so I brushed it all off.

This was not rude on my part if you consider what some of those same gym's trainers have said to me in the past.


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

What's the meaning?

There is many a supposed-Tamil word / slang that is most amusing to hear and which I dare not use mostly because I don't really know their meanings.

The following swear words commonly used on Chennai roads especially by autorickshaw drivers, bus and automobile 'drivers' and cyclists: -
1. Bemani
2. Porampohkku
3. Saavukraki or Saavucracky
4. Somari
There are more on my list of Tamil words the meanings of which I don't know, but this list has been based on a gut feeling (!) that makes them seem safe to ask out in the open.

Going by the sounds only, my personal favourite is somari. Sounds so cute(!!) and crisp although yes, I do realise it is used to call someone a'bad name' like stupid or idiot. Porampohkku is also quite satisying when you swirl it around your mouth rolling the RRRs in true, dramatic Tamil style!Bemani sounds downright funny while Saavukraki I feel has something to do with a person who courts death ...or loves courting death.


Love 'Pannu'!

We Tamils have embraced some English words and phrases with aplomb. Even folks who supposedly speak and understand ONLY Tamil, will be able to understand these. Most of the thanks would go to Kollywood, for making these phrases popular. Examples are..

"Youuuuuuuuuu....SHUT UP!"


"Will you please GET OUT?"

"Bullshit" (pronounced 'Bullsheet')

"Damn It" (Okay, 'it' is almost always 'eet'.)


...And so on. Not the least of these is the phrase "I love you". I think 99% of the films must feature at lease one dialogue which is 'I LOVE YOU'.

Ickily, a Bollywood film even shortened 'I Love You' to ILU.

We in Tamilnadu have translated the phrase "Do you love me?" to "Nee yenna love pannriya?". Now "Love pannriya" actually translates into English as 'Make' or 'Do' love! Curiously, we usually pretend-bashful folks should have been alert to this and scrambled to change it. But, no. "Love Pannu" (Make or do love) is now the accepted phrase associated with being in love, that's most prevalent in Kollywood. This adoption is so overboard and curious that there is even a song which has the reglar refrain that sings out "Love Pannu".

Do check it out at:

So funny.


Saturday, March 14, 2009

Chained to ...what???

Dealing with forwards is not for everyone. I used to detest forwards, thinking that they were very impersonal until I started enjoying some of the funny, clever ones. Very useful stress busters they can be at times.

Forwards or forwarded emails are either sincerely despised by the recepient (cos they feel they deserve better -- like a hello, how are you, I miss you, take care!- sort of mail), or rank low on the recepient's priority(IFF I have free time, I will read them, else, will delete them to clear my inbox), or, of course, rank very very high (Yayyyy!Yay boy yay! Some fun in in my inbox). For the third section of recepients, it's like your postman delivering you mail -- remember those good old days? Was n't it so very exciting to receive letters? It used to be the highlight of my day to receive hand written letters.

Sigh. *Moment of nostalgia*

Okay -- done. (Nothing lasts very long these days, huh?)

Forwards. I have friends who have flatly told me not to send them any. Still others who say nothing at all about them and of course some who actually want to discuss a particularly funny or thought-provoking forward or two.

I also have my moments with forwards. Most times, I am enthusiastic but sometimes, I can ignore them. No way am I averse to them because they can be quite entertaining and somewhat equal to being in touch -- it shows you at least 'flashed' through the sender's mind for a moment indicating they thought of you that day! Many friends send me forwards which I kindly pass on to who I think are delighted readers.(!!)


There are the chain mails. They threaten you with serious consequences if you don't pass them on to others. Even though I know they are stupid and meaningless, they irk. Why try to bother someone that way? Very silly indeed. So, I refuse to entertain them.

Exaggerated examples are:-
If you don't send this to 5 people in the next fifteen minutes, your nose will grow longer...
Me: Great, saves me the trouble of finding a plastic surgeon.

If you don't send this to 6 women in the next 6 minutes, you will grow six horns...
Me: Hmmm. Maybe the six horns will distract others from my many bad-hair days?

If you delete this email, YOU will be deleted from ...LIFE...
Me: Same to you. Good bye.

If you don't send this email to 20 people in the next 10 minutes something BAD will happen to you...
Me: I feel like doing something BAD to you right now!

The thing is, the folks who send me these chain mails are generally pretty sensible ...or so I would have thought until I receive the said forward! Actually, this fact makes me think I am far more sensible than them, heh heh. And to think I thought I was a silly billy!

P.S. Oh and I am also not a fan of those holier-than-thou, goodie goodie email forwards that have flowers and cute animals crawling all over them, advising you on life (no less!AHEM). However, in an indulgent mood, I can pass them along...although I do always select my recepients with care.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

No worries!

What does 'no worries' mean exactly?

Because, I suspect that it meant one thing (apart from one actually having no worries, i.e.!) and then, is used generally and freely these days.

Me: I don't have a pen.
The other: No worries.
(I get it)

Me: Thanks a lot.
The other: No worries.
(I don't get it)

Me: Sorry about that.
The other: No worries.
(I get it)

Me: That was so nice of you!
The other: No worries.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Virtually there

People seem to be living much of their lives virtually these days. Chatting with friends, browsing,'facebooking', orkuting, blog hopping, commenting with passion and even arguing their 'some-parts' off on subjects they feel strongly about, never mind the audience...and so on.

This is the world the world seems to be turning...virtually!

And then, there are the games on your comp that can keep you busy for hours, even days, if you did not have to eat, work and sleep.

I would love to play some of those games myself. But I won't. As it is, I feel I am quite addicted to my comp. Throw in these games and I will be hooked for too many more hours. Game or no game, interesting or not, enjoyable passtime or no, imagine wasting away in front of a machine! No, you don't have to imagine. Just look around or peek into that mirror again! I did and it is a scary thought.

I really worry that this trend is more unhealthy than we give it debit for (!!my poorly earned BCOM degree comes to mind) and is not going to take us to any 'good place'. Soon, people will just be happy to see their virtual pals online for the chat of the day, express themselves through words or smileys or whatever else online and completely miss out on the real folks and things they have access to.

Either that, or people have too much free time when they ought to be ...WORKING???!

I do love the Internet and its possibilities. I can keep in touch on a daily or hourly or even minute-ly basis with people most geographically distanced from me and the cost is like peanuts! It's wonderful. But this good thing can easily become too much of one!

Me, I don't ever want to become a nerd. I am quite the social animal -- you know, that's the animal that is getting closer to extinction all the time. The same animal that does extensive research on other animals facing extinction! Soon, man will be just an animal.

I exaggerate?

This post ends here, so that I can quickly return to my REAL world.;)

Friday, March 06, 2009

Ow, ow, owwww!

Like Hobbes pouncing on Calvin with one flying leap from the top of the stairs.(Arrrrrrrrrgggggggggh!)

Like Jerry chomping on Tom's tail. (Yowwwwwwwwwww!)

Like hitting your elbow on a hard, sharp edge when you least expect to. (ohhhhhhhhhhhhhoh)

That's how it was getting my eyebrows shaped. I was in a constant state of 'OWW'. Not a delicate Ouch, but a real 'OWWWWW'. Sure, many many many a woman gets it done without batting an eyelid. But either such a woman has really thick skin, or she just likes pain!!

Thread, thread, thread, pull, pull, pull, pluck, pluck, pluck.
Pluck is what you need, I tell you, to get your eyebrows done.

Why then?
Social pressures. Oh what a fickle world this is!

I determinedly avoided getting them done for the longest time and even for the 'specialest' of special occasions, but then finally caved in. The face clears up and looks a tad better, you know!

I also started grinning in between all the OWs -- and this is the thought that got me through -- in the sitcom Friends, Joey for some reason had ended up in a beautician's chair to get his eyebrows shaped. The moment she begins, his reaction is one of complete shock at the pain. Finally, he runs away from her with one eyebrow shaped and one eyebrow 'as is'. SO true.

Why oh why does everything that makes you 'better' have to be so difficult? Eyebrow plucking, waxing, exercising (there are days your body just won't move even, leave alone move quickly), staying away from frieds and sweets, waking up early to get that damn worm(!), cutting short a nice juicy chat on the phone to hit the bed early....the list is endless.

Does it all really 'build character' as Calvin's Dad says?

Why not just be a hairy, flabby, lethargic slob? Huh?

Oh wait, I know the answer.

It's ...............................................BECAUSE!

Monday, March 02, 2009

Say cheese!

Posing for photos is quite an art. I know many people who when called to strike a pose, would do just that. Smile cheerily and toothily and respond to 'say cheese' with...just that. "CHEEEESE", they would say. Click. Photo taken and no qualms. All's well that ends well.

Then there are those like me. When confronted with a camera wielding human, I freeze instead of saying cheese. Then I think furiously about whether I look presentable enough to be featured in a snap. And then, I think about whether I want to be looking serious or all smiley. By the time I finish with my thought processes, the 'click' would have happened and I will be left glaring helplessly after the photographer.

At a recent family celebration, there was a professional photographer on the prowl. I forgot about his omnipresence (!) as I went about 'mosskufying' (gorging) on some yummy starters like Cauliflower Manchurian and Baby Corn pepper salt, then had a quick drink and settled into a chair somewhat sated(!). As is natural, a burp then followed. Alas! the burp coincided with the much dreaded 'click' sound. I looked up in dismay only to see the photographer actually looking disapprovingly at me. Like it was my fault he clicked my burp. Yes, apparently, he had captured my just-burped expression. Hmph. Not a pretty picture, I am sure.

Now, I don't burp that much, in fact, I hardly burp. I don't like the sound or the taste of a burp. And now ...this. I told him in no uncertain terms that I would pose for him again but that he would have to delete that unfortunate picture. He looked back at the burpy picture and agreed with me! Ugh. A part of me wanted to see it but I thought I did not want to put a serious dent in my self esteem and so thought the better of it. I posed again and I suppose it came out quite well. (Hiiiya)

I just hope he deleted the burped up snap.

I have always been wary of these 'photographers on the prowl'. Now I know why.