Monday, October 25, 2010

The Exam Checklist (Minstrel Style!)

image source: exams are slowly approaching and finally you have the jitters wondering what to do..or soon will! No fear! The Minstrel is here to help you with the top 10 things to keep in mind before going in to write that exam! Nah, nah don't thank me, it's my pleasure! ;) Yes, you can courier me those chocolates! no worries!

1. Two cups of espresso in the morning is essential. You don't want to doze off on your paper and drool all over the answer sheet! Seriously! That would smudge the ink and make the answers impossible to read! Wait...come to think of it, ain't such a bad idea eh? ;)
 image source:
2. Check the pens, pencils and blah blah blah. You don't want to crawl on your knees and beg those around you to pass you that stuff!
3. ADMIT CARD! Dude, without that you're freakin' screwed! Even if you forget to take your pen, don't forget this! Freakin' hell would break loose! How else would you remember the 52 digit exam roll no assigned to you???? :P:P:P
4. If you have a window seat or one near the door, carry horse blinders! Even if you look ridiculous, at least you won't be distracted! Coz the best and most hilarious things cross your vision exactly when you have no time to see them!
image source:
5. If you did not sleep well last night, instruct the person sitting behind you to give you a nice kick in your bum or throw an eraser at you (whatever works!) in case you fall asleep over the paper!
6. Carry your watch no matter what! Don't have a watch, take an alarm clock! At least you'll know when to begin scribbling frantically madly! That is when your memory is at its peak and you remember all that you didn't before that. At least you'll be prepared! ( usually 5 minutes before time's up!)
7. Carry water with you. When you don't remember the answers or get confused take a swig. No, it won't help you remember, but at least it'll keep you looking busy unlike that idiot staring at the ceiling looking like he is trying real hard to hold in his pee! :P
8. That hot classmate will not vanish into thin air after the exam is over! Stop staring! Horse blinders will help you here as well! :P
9. Do not listen to crappy songs on the radio in the morning before the exam if you don't want to haunted by Munni badnaam hui as you try to remember what Ophelia's brother's damn name was! :P
10. Last but no the least, STUDY! It really works! ;)
All the best! :D :)

P.S: To those who forget the rule no.10 like me, creativity always works! Make up what you don't know! :P:P:P:P 

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The other one..

So as I had mentioned earlier (go to the previous post and see duh! :P) I had written two entries for this contest called "And then.." on Ruchi's blog. Here's the link to the first half of the story:
Now this is the other ending that i wrote! This one did not win but I love it all the same! :)

Hate to love you

That face that had haunted her all these years…an image from an old worn-out photograph that she had carried around in her heart. All these years, she had been waiting for yet dreading this day. She still didn’t know if she’d ever muster up the courage to say those words to him. Her eyes welled up with tears without any explanation. Dabbing her eyes with a tissue she quickly regained her composure and risked a glance again on pretext of looking for the air-hostess.

Those dark eyes, that square jaw and the kind smile were still the same. Yes, a few wrinkles here and there but there was no mistake-it was him. She had imagined this scene in her teenage years, rehearsed what she would say and what would happen. She had spent hours in front of the mirror in nervous excitement practicing and rephrasing what she would say when she met him. She’d hated every part of her that wanted to love him but couldn’t help it. The Kathak recitals, the piano lessons, the basketball matches-all came back to her.
Her monologue froze midway when he suddenly looked up at her. She felt like a kid caught with his hand in the cookie jar and smiled at him blushing furiously and he gave her a confused smile back.  Was it her imagination or was there a fleeting hint of recognition on his face? But he went back to his Autocar and she leaned back and took a large swig of water and took a deep breath. It was now or never.
She turned again. “Pardon me if I’m wrong but are you Mr. Bryan D’Souza?”
He looked up blinking and removed his headphones and said, “I’m sorry I did not hear you. Could you repeat the question?”
“Mr. Bryan D’Souza?”
“I think you mistook me for someone else. I’m Shrey.”
Sorry! I’m Liz. You looked a lot like an uncle of mine! I’m really sorry!”
“That’s okay. So I look that old eh?” he grinned, “It’s always nice to meet a fellow Indian here. You live in Sydney too?”
“No, I’m on vacation. I moved to Hong Kong two years back, before that I was in Delhi."
“Hmmmmm…How I miss that city! The clean air and the fresh food stifle me in Sydney! I last went to Delhi five years back. A week there was like oxygen! I missed the chaat, the yum kababs and the DTC buses!” he remarked smiling.
And they talked – about the weather, Sydney, India, Indian food, cars, traffic in Delhi, her job, her crummy boss (he used to have one too!), music, movies…it went on and on! They got on like a house on fire! He loved Audi too and shared her opinion that Federer was a pain in the ass for winning all the time! It was like they had been destined to meet. As the flight prepared to land there was a knot in her stomach. The words remained unsaid. She had said everything but what she had actually wanted to. 
Sydney arrived and as he waved and walked out of the airport, she stood there looking at him. The words came out in a whisper, “Hi dad.”

They came too late. Genetic maybe.

I won a prize!!!!! ;):):):)

I got the second runners up prize for a contest!!Yaiyee!!! Yes! Thank you thank you! So I wrote two alternate endings to this particular story. This was the "And Then..." contest was on Ruchi's blog. Here's the link to the first half of the story:

So this is my prize-winning masterpiece entry:

 A Second Shot

The memories were like snapshot bullets that she had been dodging for years and had finally hit her, square in the face- that face of the man who had once meant everything to her. It was overwhelming! She sat there motionless for what seemed like eternity.  The flight was in the air. She went to the washroom and barfed.
Looking into the mirror she saw how far she had come from those days. Then she had been a smiling girl in her early twenties with the glow on her face typical of those in love. The glow was gone and so was the love. The hair was shorter, sassier. The clothes were no longer t-shirts, jeans and sneakers but smart suits and stilettos. The woman was no longer the girl he had known. The only thing that connected the woman and the girl was the pain that he had left behind- the hurt that had become a part of her life and had never left.
This was probably her only chance. She walked back with a calm face; she wasn’t going to let him go this time. A deliberate trip on the Jimmy Choo and she was on him. He stared at her like he was seeing a ghost and then his expression changed. Straightening up her ruffled clothes, she looked at him and acted like she was surprised. “Matt,” was the only word she said. He looked quite taken aback himself. “Lizzie… Wow! It’s been so long. You look…look so different,” he said.
“Yes Matt. It’s been a while. You look almost the same. Nice meeting you after so long.” He did look the same. The neatly ironed shirt and trousers, the cropped spiked hair and the goofy grin were all at odds with each other but blended so perfectly on him. She wasn’t surprised that she had fallen for him. He ran his eyes appreciatively over her and she blushed. She returned to her seat but they kept talking. He was a senior editor now. They talked about old times, their college friends, work… The more they talked the closer they came; she could see that old look in his eyes. He wanted her back.
The flight landed. He invited her over. It was a cozy apartment. As she was about to go to the guest room to crash he pulled her towards him and looked into her eyes. She was uncertain; did she really want to do this? All her courage almost melted. “I missed you so much. I’m glad you’re back,” he said and leaned in for a kiss. She kissed back and soon they were in a passionate embrace. She broke the kiss and said they’d better sleep. He looked at her dazed with desire and confused. She kissed him on the cheek and went to the guest room and locked the door.
He woke up in the morning and found her gone. There was a note on her bed that read:
“I’m sorry. Goodbye.”
It was his handwriting, the note he had left for her on their bed when he went away.
In a coffee house, Liz sipped on her cup of Cappuccino and smiled. The last laugh was finally hers. And the hurt was gone. She was free.

 (P.s.-I'll post my other entry in a separate post so that my post does not stretch endlessly and make your yawn stretch as endlessly!:P :P)

Here's the link to my victory bhaashan if you're interested! ;)

(Pss...guys!Thanks for all the congrats and pats on my back... appreciated! :) But please do leave your comments on the story as well..what you like, what you don't whatever! My story is complaining of being shoved out of the limelight by my victory laugh! Waiting for your feedback!!)

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Lungi Lore..

Still from' Dance Pe Chance'

This is a forward I got in my email and I found it so funny that I had to share it!!! I don't know who wrote it so I cannot acknowledge the genius! But whoever it is, he is AWESOME!!!!!

 Lungi-yites- in praise of the humble lungi

The Legendary Lungi
 Just as the national bird of Kerala is Mosquito, her national dress is  'Lungi'. Pronounced as 'Lu' as in loo and 'ngi ' as in 'mongey', a  lungi can be identified by its floral or window-curtain pattern.  'Mundu' is the white variation of lungi and is worn on special  occasions like hartal or bandh days, weddings and Onam.
 Lungi is simple and 'down to earth' like the mallu wearing it. Lungi  is the beginning and the end of evolution in its category. Wearing  something on the top half of your body is optional when you are  wearing a lungi. Lungi is a strategic dress. It's like a  one-size-fits-all bottoms for Keralites.
 The technique of wearing a lungi/mundu is passed on from generation to  generation through word of mouth like the British Constitution. If you  think it is an easy task wearing it, just try it once! It requires  techniques like breath control and yoga that is a notch higher than  sudarshan kriya of AOL. A lungi/mundu when perfectly worn won't come  off even in a quake of 8 on the richter scale. A lungi is not attached  to the waist using duct tape, staple, rope or velcro. It's a bit of  mallu magic whose formula is a closely guarded secret like the Coca  Cola chemicals.
 A lungi can be worn 'Full Mast' or 'Half Mast' like a national flag. A  'Full Mast' lungi is when you are showing respect to an elderly or the  dead. Wearing it at full mast has lots of disadvantages. A major  disadvantage is when a dog runs after you. When you are wearing a  lungi/mundu at full mast, the advantage is mainly for the female  onlookers who are spared the ordeal of swooning at the sight of hairy
 Wearing a lungi 'Half Mast' is when you wear it exposing yourself like  those C grade movie starlets. A mallu can play cricket, football or  simbly run when the lungi is worn at half mast. A mallu can even climb  a coconut tree wearing lungi in half mast. "It's not good manners,  especially for ladies from decent families, to look up at a mallu  climbing a coconut tree"- Confucius (or is it Abdul Kalam?)
 Most mallus do the traditional dance kudiyattam. Kudi means drinking  alcohol and yattam, spelled as aattam, means random movement of the  male body. Note that 'y' is silent. When you are drinking, you drink,  there is no 'y'. Any alcohol related "festival" can be enjoyed to the  maximum when you are topless with lungi and a towel tied around the  head. "Half mast lungi makes it easy to dance and shake legs" says  Candelaria Amaranto, a Salsa teacher from Spain after watching  'kudiyaattam' .
 The 'Lungi Wearing Mallu Union' [LUWMU, pronounced LOVE MU], an NGO  which works towards the 'upliftment' of the lungi, strongly disapprove  of the GenNext tendency of wearing Bermudas under the lungi. Bermudas  under the lungi is a conspiracy by the CIA. It's a disgrace to see a  person wearing burmuda with corporate logos under his lungi. What they  don't know is how much these corporates are limiting their freedom of  movement and expression.
  A mallu wears lungi round the year, all weather, all season. A mallu  celebrates winter by wearing a colourful lungi with a floral pattern.   Lungi provides good ventilation and brings down the heat between legs.  A mallu is scared of global warming more than anyone else in the  world.
  A lungi/mundu can be worn any time of the day/night. It doubles as  blanket at night. It also doubles up as a swing, swimwear, sleeping  bag, parachute, facemask while entering/exiting toddy shops, shopping  basket and water filter while fishing in ponds and rivers. It also has  recreational uses like in 'Lungi/mundu pulling', a pastime in  households having more than one male member. Lungi pulling   competitions are held outside toddyshops all over Kerala during Onam  and Vishu. When these lungis are decommissioned from service, they  become table cloths. Thus the humble lungi is a cradle to grave  appendage.

P.S.- It is rocket science how to tie a lungi. A cousin with no prior experience of lungi tying tried it once and even with a belt securing the lungi, it was an aiyooo moment in front of hundreds! Be warned! ;)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

An Appeal..

Okay here's another shift in gear... With all due respect to all religions, sects and cults, I humbly request all citizens of Delhi, visitors and whoever gets within a 100 m radius of the Yamuna to kindly keep all their religious sentiments aside and avoid throwing stuff into the Yamuna. It's with great difficulty that it has stopped smelling like a 'ganda naala'! Let's not go back there..

Now back to Minstrel style. Dude! No offence but where is the sense in throwing stuff into the river. I respect all religious sentiments but this part makes no sense! Nothing is an excuse for polluting resources! Even if it is flower offerings, hullo, you throw it in with the newspaper, plastic cover and what not? It's crazy..

The Nawab wanted to click the Yamuna in its glory so we went from the Ashram- Noida highway thing and as we stopped at the middle of the bridge and as the Nawab took aim this couple in their 50's driving a white Maruti 800 threw flowers wrapped in newspapers and something else into the water. It was astonishing how belief can kill common sense! I glared at the Uncleji and gave him the Lily style- YOU'RE DEAD TO ME look! Auntyji got her share of it too. The guard appointed at the bridge then came to us and told us that stopping at the bridge was not allowed and clicking pics especially wasn't. The couple had left by then, but there was this other smart mahashay (Mister in translation) who dumped some other stuff into the river a few metres away from us at the exact time when the guard was talking to us. I gave him a piece of my mind. Firstly, the signboard that read "Stopping not allowed" was nowhere in sight. (It was actually placed at the end of the bridge..Smart thinking that! :P) And I told him that. He stood there doing nothing when people came and dumped stuff but he had a problem with us stopping to click pics. The sign that was closer and more in number was the board that requested people not to dump things into the river but that went unheeded.

Even if the guy was doing his job, I wouldn't have minded had he also told those people off who had been dumping in things. That would have made some sense. Now you have a problem with people clicking pictures of the Yamuna but garbage dumpers are more than welcome! That's way ahead of foolishness! That's pure BS! If that's how it goes, a clean pure Yamuna shall remain a distant dream!

Back to the humble appeal- Please do not let thy belief cloud thine common sense and lead you to commit bullshit acts. Kindly reserve thine flowers for the deities not the river and thy garbage for thy dustbin. Thy refraining from throwing things into the river would be more of a worship for the river and help in keeping her pure and sacred. My apologies for those who felt I insulted their common sense because well, one cannot insult what does not exist. To those who share my opinion, if you see someone spreading garbage in our lovely city, stop them. Every act of restraint will go a long way in bringing the beauty back to this holy river.

P.S.- You have all the right to debate with me, disagree with me, or let me know I'm off my knockers in the comments section but I reserve the right to say what I please! My blog! :P Enough said! 

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Washed Away...

The Yamuna is overflowing. And with have been washed away the foundations of many lives. The water has most of the surroundings all submerged... it's a really sad situation..There were families there whose lives have been washed away by those waters, all their life savings perhaps destroyed. They live in tents now along the Delhi-Noida Highway. At a time when the Delhi government is pouring crores towards the CWG 2010, investing lakhs in volunteer uniforms and putting 5 crores into the Games Anthem, I wish some few lakhs were diverted towards those whose lives have been displaced due to the Yamuna overflowing. In this stormy unpredictable weather, atleast some concrete rehabilitation, albeit temporary could be provided. How far can the canvas tents protect them? What about basic facilities like electricity, toilets and all? 

The children play on the roadside; the highway is a dangerous playground . Who will account for any lives lost? I don't know to what extent the Government has aided in this case but I don't think it is enough. It forms a sad image when juxtaposed with the Games Village which is a stone's throw away. So much frenzy and excitement in preparing for some visitors while our own citizens languish in need of basic amenities... A sorry state of affairs indeed.

Once in a BLUE Moon...

I had never thought that I'd live to see this day.. Cows would fly before this happened! But it did!!! And last heard, cows still have their feet planted firmly on the ground! (Thank God for small mercies!) The Yamuna has WATER! 

(This is not even the river itself! It's just a connecting stream thing!!!! Couldn't click the river itself! Reason given in the post so read on!)

I had heard about it in the news but thought it's all hogwash, they must be talking about some part of Yamuna nowhere within the peripheries of the city of Delhi. All my life I have seen the dirty mucky canal type thing under this huge bridge with a lot of weeds and grass growing and garbage strewn all around...and I saw this with my fingers firmly clutching my nose, jabbing the nostrils shut so I don't inhale even a sq. mm of that stench! But dude! I stood above the Yamuna bridge today and had my hands on the railings (yes both!) clasping tightly because the current and flow of the water made my head reel! And I swear had no railing been there I would have definitely plopped in!!!! And never popped up again! :P And it was not the stench that made my head reel...really!
Miracles do happen...once in a BLUE moon...

P.S- But that water even now shall not get anywhere near me!!! Not now, not ever! It's more toxic than my college canteen's dahi bhalla even now! Or maybe not.....Ummmmmmm.. Uhhhhhh.....Tough one that! :P:P

Friday, September 17, 2010

Come Out And Play?

(Hehe! Yea! Accidents like this do happen sometimes! It made me fall off my chair in disbelief!)


Disclaimer: I have nothing against the Commonwealth games! Please do not kill me supporters, I too look forward to attending the tennis matches and hope to hell that CWG 2010 does not end up as the piece of crap that it is shaping up to be!

Let me tell you a story...

Once upon a time, in a land not so far away there was this Minstrel who was so excited about the Commonwealth Games that was happening in HER CITY! It was the most incredible thing to happen to the city of Delhi after KFC came to Connaught Place (OK, OK perhaps not the same thing! But it still was AWESOME to have that happen! DUDE!). Watching Somdev Devvarman on the field in the flesh tearing apart the opposition would be one of the perks among many! She couldn't wait for October 2010 to come! And then poof! THE END!

Yes, call me a cynic, hit me with Shera stuff toys (actually please do, I can take them home! He is kinda cute!), feed me with more CWG gossip and kill me but whatever! My face looks like a pumpkin right now and I am pissed so there! Go shove it all up from where you shove crap down! (Go figure!)

The CWG 2010 has done so much for our economy and the people that I can't help but stand up in applause for all those who put so much into this thing! The list is so long that I can't point it all out but here are a few of my top ones, straight from the fictional-OC-idiot-spokesperson-I-just-constructed-in-my-mind's mouth:

1) Such incredible use of all that money which would have been wasted on feeding the destitutes and building homes for the  homeless! In fact, the renovation has been so smartly done that you shall not have to worry about excess money for a long time because if smartly done, all the money in the treasury that you earn and give to the Government can be put to good use 2-months later as well, to fix what has been fixed now, because yaiyee! It's going to all fall apart! So cheers!

2) Oh those nasty college students were giving the wardens such a hard time and frankly who cares about them. in fact it's time we give the PG Owners the time to make some cash! Where else would they spend the limited amount of pocket money that they get? Atleast they won't spend it on booze or drugs! Cheers!

3) Those crappy buildings in the city needing a facelift? But we have better ideas! Why spend all that money on fixing a building that can fall to pieces any minute when we can spend that money on the CWG Anthem? Banners are cheaper and more effective! Killing two birds with one stone- The building is hidden and publicity also taken care of! Cheers!

4) The doctors and nurses in our city hospitals have been complaining of being in hard times and not getting any work ever since Swine flu has gone out of vogue! Voila! Not to worry! CWG to the rescue! We give you not one but many better options! Dengue, Conjunctivitis, typhoid, you want it, we got it! Allergies for early birds with a month's stay in the hospital so you don't have to worry about working your ass off at the workplace anymore! See, CWG has the solutions for all your problems!

5) Delhiites (atleast a lot of them!) have always rued the lack of a good beach in Delhi or even a river with enough water! We have the solution, it's easy-peasy! Not to worry! We clog your drains with construction rubble so voila! You have your very own streams and rivers flowing in front of your houses! And you don't even have to pay for it! 

6) Gone were the days when you could complain about getting late because you were stuck in a jam! With new roads, flyovers, there was no excuse for simply waking up late! All your worries are now over! With a lane dedicated to CWG, you can forget all your worries about not having an excuse for not being on time! And finally you can be completely in fashion adapting to the "Indian Standard Time" all thanks to CWG! As an added bonus the city's blueline buses will be taken off the roads where CWG has any mention and half the DTC buses will be on CWG duty! So no tension whatsoever! You're never getting anywhere on time...or maybe never getting anywhere as well! Cheers!

7) The roads in North Campus were so wide and used so less. So we came up with a solution! We cut the road in half and created a cycle/ cycle rickshaw lane! So what if there are big trees in the middle of the lane and cycle rickshaws can't pass through or that cycles are used by less than 0.01% of the area's population! It still is cool and the countries in the West have it and now so do we! And that's hot! Cheers!

So there you have it! CWG has definitely been a boon to our economy and to all of us! So Come Out and Play Everyone! If you are not in the hospital, or stuck in traffic, or stuck in knee-deep water or hunting for a new place to live, or killed by a collapsed building! See you there!!! 

P.S.- The CWG has given me awesome allergies and half my face looks like a swollen watermelon and half-bee stung lips are NOT HOT! So I have every right to say whatever crap I want to! So there!  

Are We Ready?

Thursday, September 9, 2010


Dearest Blog,

How are you doing? Hope this letter finds you in good health. I know I haven't been too kind to you recently and you have been feeling neglected but I am so sorry, I have been forced into this by the monster in my life right now- Masters syllabus (MS). MS has me trapped, has me on a leash all the time, morning to night, heck he even invades my dreams (or nightmares!). It is a dungeon that I am stranded in dear blog. It does not mean I do not care for you, I swear I do. It's only a matter of some more time dearest...and I shall be all yours. Until then, wait for me. I'll try my best too, I'll sneak out and run to you when MS isn't watching (although he'll drag me right back!). It's a matter of some more time..Wait for me..I miss you..

Loads of love,

P.S- You just wait and watch MS. I shall have the last laugh. You'll see... :P:P 

Saturday, August 14, 2010

My Tribute To Colonel Sanders!

With special thanks to Zooks for lending her right hand to this noble cause (becoming the first vegetarian to be in an "I Love KFC" pic perhaps!)!
Here's to a whole lot more of centuries of finger lickin' goodness!

(P.S.- Yes, you're right! I had nothing better to do! :P )

Wading in the city!

It rained cats and dogs today. I had to almost swim back home. The traffic was a bummer, drains overflowing, it was a sight to see. Makes one wonder about the drainage system of the city... God save Delhi's pride if the rain gods decide to flash their teeth during the Commonwealth Games! :P Perhaps if they paid attention to the more essential repairs rather than turn to rubble the footpaths and then batter them up again and again in a vicious cycle... perhaps then the citizens would not have to contemplate buying a boat as standby option in a city where even the sole river does not have water enough for a man to drown!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Page 57

Write page 57 of your 300-page autobiography.

An excerpt from the upcoming bestseller "The Minstrel's Lair" by the Booker Prize winning author who refuses to reveal her true identity- Minstrel Incognito. Arriving at your nearest bookstores very very soon! 
cover photograph: Bigde Nawab
cover design: Minstrel Incognito
Page 57

...and there I sat with the monitor staring at me. The publisher's advance check stared at me and taunted me. When I had signed the dotted line for 300 pages of regular rubbish, I hadn't thought it would be this hard. Giving the world, my readers a peak into my daily life was not an easy task. I revelled in the enigmatic aura that I had built around myself. Opening the door was the toughest part. Well, since my editor will make my life miserable if I don't make any headway into this, let's move on! 

My life as the centre of attention and the apple of everyone's eye had become a habit by now. I enjoyed the attention and loved being pampered. And then one day everything changed. It started the day I had gone shopping with my parents and my mother fainted. I was worried, it's not everyday that 6 year olds see their mother faint in the middle of the road! Bollywood masala had attuned me to fear the worst about everything. Mom had just come back from Libya a few months back and I had been very excited to be with her again. But then this happened. Heading home, I was so nervous and scared I couldn't breathe. And I was so angry with my dad and mom for being so freakin' calm about this and not telling me what's wrong! In complete cinema ishtyle I paced the length of my room as Mom went to the hospital with Dad. They came back grinning from ear to ear and I was frustrated because I didn’t know what was going on.

18th July, 1995- I saw my Dad waiting for me outside the school gate and I instantly knew something was up. We went to the hospital together and I entered the room in which my mother lay. My 3 month-old cousin was sprawled on the bed next to mom’s googoo gaing me and holding out her chubby fingers. I grinned at her and hugged her. With nervous excitement I then walked towards the crib on the other side of mom’s bed. There was a white little bundle of cloth inside. Peering closely I saw that the bundle had a face with a mouth that was open and searching for something and eyes that were tightly shut like a little puppy’s. My Dad looked ecstatic and proudly lifted the bundle and handed it to me. I was all excited- MY SISTER! I held the tiny little baby in my hands and peered into her small cute face. I was so happy! And then the tiny face contorted and the mouth opened wide and a siren rang out! The thing was wailing like I was an axe murderer! I handed her duly back to my ecstatic Dad and I said “ye kya hai? Kitna rota hai! Mujhe nahi chahiye!” (What is this? So much wailing! I don’t want it!) 

And I trod back to my happy little cousin who was still all googoo gaga! Atleast this thing knew how to smile, I liked it better! (Okay I’m literally writing in the moment! No offences to the “things” in question! Both of you rock!) She came and she took all the attention away. All my relatives now fawned over her, I was angry, rather than the apple of everyone’s eye, I felt more like the banana peel. I glared when asked about how excited I was about my sister! I went like blah! 

And then again it all changed one fine day. (These change vale days do seem quite frequent in my life eh?) Mom was busy in the kitchen, Dad was at work. I decided to check out what the hype was all about for myself. “The thing” lay on the mat in the sitting room rattling some silly chan-chan crap! I crept slowly upto her and then peered into her face again. A toothless grin from my then-nemesis left me spellbound. Her little fingers grabbed my thumb and I sat still, proceeding with caution. I didn’t know what to do next and waited for her next move wary of…

*end of page*

Sunday, August 1, 2010

To My Partners In Crime!

I'm a strange person to be friends with! :P I have my eccentricities and my mad moments! Yet there are those few mad freaks who stubbornly stand by me through all that! When I act like a dope, they kick my ass. When I don't call, they call me and don't let me off the hook for hours! :P Some scold me and rant at my habit of going aloof but smile and give a big hug and forget all about it the minute I say "sorry na yaar!". Here's to you!

To my kiddo: I know sisters are not historically supposed to be best friend material but dude you're the best! I know so many sisters who never lose opportunities to bug their siblings and nor do you! But I've seen you cry when I cry, the minute I get pissed, I've seen your face fall! Our secrets have never been exploited by you! And thankfully, you are still a kid and not a pseudo-adult most of your peers have become! Thanks for being better than the best I could have ever wish for! Muah!

To My school gang- The twins, Mary Sheikh and Takia: They say school friends always tend to drift away! But you guys are like stuck to me with superglue! :P Of course our priorities have shifted, we've grown up, most of you are WORKING NOW! (Gawd have we grown up!) But I know you guys will always be there no matter what! You're the only chain that remains to bind me to some of the best days of my life! 12-B was a riot! Remember being punished on the stairs next to the staffroom and how we sat there proudly as a class boasting of our not so ordinary achievement? And dreaming of the days when the Princi would just go away! Complaining about hairbands, pita humare in the assembly, Saxy's lectures, Golgappas's escapades with her hubby, fighting over chowmein! Miss those days!

To My College  Clique: You guys are like the awesomest people I met after I stepped into the big bad world! Dopey, my non-veg partner! My KFC days would have been history without you! Moments are so many that recalling it would require a separate blog! But as ex-work partner, fashion consultant (:P The raybans!), my to-be flat mate and (thank god for small mercies!) non- chaman ka maali, gosh You rock!!! 
Zooks, you're something else man, out of this world! The one and only Fra Nupsy Lippi! If I don't get strangled by your mane, we shall grow old and sit on that front porch (Lily style!) and sip on chocolate milk and bitch about spitters! ;) 
Don, dude, you don't scare me! (Ha!) No matter how hard you glare at me with those eyes of yours! But you're the most adorable little thing ever (emphasizing on LITTLE! Oh oh I'm dead! :P) You're like my Twitter and Facebook updates both rolled into one! What would I do without you! ;P And yes, on that front porch, Dopey, Zooks, Enna Rascala, you and I are gonna sit and do the TB Disco dance! And even then, I'm sure you'll be my news bulletin! hehe! Love you for the madness! ;P
Enna Rascala mind it! Your toilet jokes and mad humor has made me smile even on the worst of days! You're like my substitute granny! Hehe! (That's what you get for calling me kiddo! :P) Thanks for caring so much about me and completing my crazy bunch so perfectly! Of course  I go zzzzzzzzzzz... at your lectures but I love you no less! :P You're a dope and you rock as one!

To The Wizard Of Verse, my Partner in Rhyme: you kept the poet in me alive, until you went away to Mumbai! Our wars of Verse are something that can never be replicated with anyone else! The days we spent walking till eternity with Bhaiya ji and endless talks and discussions about Milton, Bhaiya ji's flowery shirts, waiting for 108, your habit of fidgeting with all the condiments at a restaurant and dumping it into your glass!:P The concerts, making fun of US, your attempts at making me dance (hehe!), Deepi's playing matchmaker and us laughing our heads off over it! Although the first time I met you I thought you were an obnoxious snob, i'm glad I got to know otherwise! Hehe! Thanks for all the fun!

To Bhaiya Ji : You're the brother that I never had and words can never be enough to tell you how much you mean to me! The ways you've been there, I can never forget. It's amazing how you could just instinctively know when I was upset and how you always managed to cheer me up. Moments are so many- the 4- hour waiting for the strike to end even before you were my friend, dropping me home after the DU concerts like the dutiful bro that you've always been, the trips to here and there to satiate our ever growling appetites, the late night antakshari game on the phone to cheer me up (the cheesy songs and all!hehe!), the pep talks, the debates, the Rakhi baandho episode in MH.. so much that have left their mark on the pages of my life! And I know you'll be there always without even being asked, as always! Miss you!

To Bigde Nawab : You're like a miracle to me... the greatest gift that I could have asked for. Thanks for loving me with all my madness. I know I'm not the easiest person to be with, I do test you a lot, but thanks for taking it all with a grin and never complaining! You're everything I ever wanted and all that I ever will! Loads of love to you for being who you are... My Best Friend! :)   

A very Happy friendship Day to all of you.. Okay I admit I got a lil senti and this was an excuse to pour it all out! ;) Loads of love to you guys!

P.s.-  Dear readers of my blog (the tiny and miniscule no who actually take time out to read all the crap I dish out!). You're the bomb! Love you all for everything! Happy friendship Day! :)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Indian Soaps- Unity In Diversity!

The kiddo and I were talking about Indian soaps today and we realised how integral a part they are of our Indian culture! :P No matter what language, which channel, you can always figure out a few basics without understanding a single dialogue! I am more familiar with Hindi and Malayalam serials so I shall illustrate my point citing a few random examples!

The vamp is the easiest to spot! All negative characters are snazzily dressed, modern and trendy apparel, garish make-up, loads of kajal and an eery piece of music playing in the background! You have your negative character right there! In case of a male villain, he'll be wearing smart clothes with one eyebrow raised in defiance of gravity and a leery smile on the face! A never failing signal is the "Dhishding dhishding" music that starts playing when they enter, signaling yet another "Ab Aayega Mazaa!" moment!

 The Leading lady? The easiest to spot! Traditional Indian clothes, glycerin overdose, silent, suffering, looks saintly all the time. In happy times, the sitar starts singing or a happy happy tune plays the minute she enters and when tough times arrive, the wailing tune starts and then you just want to barf!

And yes, she goes de-glam the minute things go wrong! No make-up and fancy clothes! Na-uh! It's just hidden make-up and designer plain clothes henceforth!

The leading man is the eternally brooding, depraved looking pathetic creature! He cries, is bullied and manipulated by the ladies in his life and is usually a sorry character! These heroes can give the leading ladies a run for their money with all the weeping! A prop most of the time, he comes in handy occasionally to beat up the bad guys who harass his lady love or to turn her out of the house and then later cry at her doorstep pleading to her to come back! Sigh!

All confrontations are with the camera going crazy revolving 360 degrees, with a dhindhindhindhin dhindhindhindhin tune going on and cymbals clash when a point is forfeited to either party and when the game is over another dhich!

There is bitching, conspiracy, khaandaan ka naam mitti mein milaya dialogues, a lot of tears, fights, more bitching and plotting, some romane, then more fights, a few deaths, a few leaps in time, some growing olds, some more tears and some happily ever-afters. That is what is so remarkable about India! There is so much Unity even in Diversity! :P Even our soaps concur! 

Sorry about limiting to the basic stuff and the only two Indian languages I know! I would like to thank my mom for all the info regarding the Malayalam serials!!! Crap serials but were of some use! Thanks ma!

P.S.- The Minstrel like a typical hypocrite watches her daily soaps without fail- Uttaran, Na Aana Iss Des Laado being two of them! Bah! Sue me! :P 

P.P.S.- Wheeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Screw the serials!!!!! I'm back!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

Monday, July 26, 2010

Dressing Up Delhi

 Image source:

What's the hype all about? Okay, I know I was supposed to be on hibernation but something came up today that I just could not ignore. It's going to be a shift from my regular way of writing so kindly forgive me dear readers!

The Commonwealth Games have got the whole of Delhi mad. It was irritating even when it began but now it's crossed all limitations. The hypocrisy of those in power emerges like the blazing sun and burns our vision. The city is being dressed up like a bride- new roads, modern bridges, footpaths renovated, new flyovers, better stadiums, new parking lots- the entire city is being scrubbed and shined for the visitors. All this is great stuff I agree but what the heck does the government mean to do by troubling the residents of the city. Why all this renovation work now? Millions being blown everyday for a few outsiders who are going to visit for a matter of two weeks and go? What about those who live here? Do they account for nothing?

Today I found out from Dopey that the students who lived in hostels on-campus were being forced to move to PG accommodations so that the visiting people could stay there. I mean what the hell? It's sheer beastly, that's what it is. What about those outstation students who can't find a place to move into? Nobody gives a damn? 

Footpaths are being renovated for the visitors. Why was this not done earlier? What about those Delhi citizens who walk these roads every day? Don't they matter? For all this renovation roads are dug up all over. It is impossible to walk in Connaught Place now because there's construction work and debris everywhere. Rains make it worse, it becomes slushy and even worse. To cross the outer circle road is no less than a risky challenge, because there are no subways open right now and no traffic police manning the road for most part of the day and vehicles speed down in a constant stream making it impossible to cross. 

Stadiums are being broken down and built again for those sports persons who are going to come in for the Commonwealth Games. What about our own sports persons? Didn't they deserve better stadiums and better training apparatus? Why is everything being spruced up for CWG 2010? Why was this not done before?

New parking lots, flyovers, and all in that part of the city that shall be visited by those coming for the Commonwealth Games. What about the remaining part of the city? Do they not matter? The citizens who live here, pay the exorbitant taxes, walk down these footpaths, use those roads, practise in these stadiums seem to matter not a whit.

My problem is not with the dressing up. My problem is with why now? We pay for it and it is we who suffer. And instead of showing even an ounce of shame, the Delhi Government proudly says " Come out and play". The audacity is surprising really!!! 

Friday, July 16, 2010

The Minstrel In Hibernation

The Minstrel is going on an actual hibernation... Hope to be back soon! Thanks for all the support and love.. Take care.. :) 

P.S.- Don't kill my ranking plz IndiBlogger!!!! 

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Appointment With a Nightmare!

Haircuts are so scary! I mean, it's the easiest way to torture someone like me. By me, I'm referring to those who need to be whacked before they shift their derriere and head to the salon, growl when asked to apply make-up and do not go for a haircut until split ends stare in their faces!

 image source: Good Housekeeping

Okay, I do use makeup I admit (without my kajal and eyeliner I start resembling the Loch Ness monster, no offence Nessie and Marshall!) But I'm not too fond of this stuff. Now going for a haircut is an ordeal really! It's a whole series of tortures going bang-bang-bang right at your temples!

Step 1: Breaking Point
It comes when you look into the mirror and cringe at the vision, filled with new admiration for your bf (since he still loves you despite your looking like that hideous thing staring back at you in the mirror!) That's when it hits! It's time to sacrifice the locks again!

STEP 2: Testing Time
It's when I try and decide what haircut to go for...Googling all the latest dope on haircuts but who am I kidding! That stuff might look good on me had I been Heidi Klum with 10 full-time personal stylists but heck, back to reality! I'm not! No, Garnier ads don't say the truth. And no, your hair won't look like that just because you use Dove! 

STEP 3: Decisions!
Realising all the mighty flaws in my hair, looking longingly at all those gorgeous hairstyles, I settle for the more normal cut! Since, well unlike them, I rarely even comb my hair more than once or twice a day, forget about styling them! :P

STEP 4: Temptation
So I'm all set to go to the salon in the evening, ready to go wash my hair and as I pass the mirror, HALT!!!Wow my hair looks gorgeous! The very day I decide to cut my hair it decides to look its very best! Now if I actually manage to fight the urge to change my mind, I end up at the salon!

PITA, folks, is just plain 'PAIN IN THE ASS' time! When I haplessly try to explain to the stylist exactly what I want. Suggestion- get a picture of the cut you want, makes it easier!

Seeing those luscious locks fall to the ground is sheer torture! My mom was almost in tears when I got my first rebel haircut (i.e. one according to my own wishes! :P) My almost waist-length hair went snip-snip and reached my shoulders that day! Mom's fiery stares almost melted the stylist into a puddle of goo! ;)

 Image source:

STEP 7: Fear!
What if I end up looking like a clown? What if the cut doesn't suit me? These fears race through my mind as the stylist gets ready with the hairdryer for the final blow! (literally! :P)

If you manage to survive all this- there's that ultimate ecstasy of looking into the mirror and going- "Muah! Gorgeous!"

Now that's a high!

P.S.- Just got a haircut! Hence the ranting! :P
P.P.S- Muah! Gorgeous! ;)