Much Ado about Nothing 

Mary Kom book is definitely better than the movie… I thought I would like it… but Priyanka Chopra and her weird lips (she has definitely done something there).. just did not cut it… nothing like Farhan Akhtar of Bhag Milkha Bhag… And it includes the dramatisation…. the Milkha Story had me hooked… inspite of that.. Mary Kom… Specially Ms Chopra’s rendition… was disappointing… could stand only quarter of the movie… went back to the book and it was like getting back to reality… phew… her account is I could visualize a better story… her story sans the drama… Anyway… a beautiful, silent Bangalore last week… long lazy holiday… and some me time… some family time… I loved the time and space… Dad loves going to the malls I realised… just like any kids…

His latest favorite is Phoenix Mall… and his favorite activity is to have coffee and watch people pass by… So I know now what to do when he needs to be distracted… And besides the fact that the year is zipping by in a blink… I am looking forward to the next set of holidays… (I love October )

Hope all of you had awesome hols…

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Baruah Chronicles : Deemag ki Batti Jalao… [ Yet another Tale]

So on 2nd of Oct, we were stuck in the evening after our pandal hopping on a one way… there was a way to go up the road but one could only come down … and there seemed to be cops lingering… Now Rocky Barua who drove us through some lanes… suddenly found that he was stuck… so he asks me what to do… No food and weighed down by a sari which I wanted to change as soon as possible for a more comfy attire… I was totally out of ideas… and it was close to midnight… So we could not go back and the only way we could go out was the way where the traffic stood still. Rocky waits… seeing no intelligence from the tired and dead beat ol me and thinks and thinks and thinks… Dad is getting restless… and he suddenly shouts.. “Deemag ki batti jalao” I am like thinking inside… DUH !!! He looks here and there… some old security guards peep out from the posh apts and he waits… for more time… then he turns the Bolero in the direction of the one way which was a climb up and actually starts reversing… Whilst I think that maybe we will go out… he actually keeps on reversing and climbing up that way… I got it…. and I could not help gufawwing…. If a cop catches us, Rocky will simply put it in first gear and pretend he is coming down… and he managed to elude the cop who was a non show… and reversed all the way back up to catch the main road route… all the while, the security guys looking at us as if we were mad… hahahah ( imagine suddenly a car coming and stops and keeps driving in reverse with a decked up family inside… for the whole cross road) Ahem… So Rocky explains he did exactly what the ad said… and you can refer to it here


I was not surprised but I obviously cackled my way home… thinking knowing Bangalore cops, they would have possibly fallen for this trick… Buhahahah

 

Well this is the first thing that came to mind….  from this song… one I love..

So anyway , the post being inspired by one of the uploads in FB by a friend of mine… reminded me creepily of the time when I was just getting married to the “luv-o-me-life” and had to move out of the studio apt and look for rent….

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I think that was one of the most harrowing experiences of my life… meeting so many people with so many conditions.. that the then eternally optimistic me just did not know when to give up..

I remember Rocky was in Mumbai trying to wrap up things so that he could shift here and I had to be the “independent-i-will-do-it” who went house hopping..

I had heard of the non veg and vegetarian thingy and also knew some of the areas which specialized in this… so avoided them…

Yet there were those who I met, who had to grill me, what food I ate, what kind of vegetarian I was, did I eat egg ? No no !! that would not do…  Sometimes, I would just say that I was a vegetarian and got away with it just to cut short the inquisition… but sometimes, they asked pinpointed questions and in my distracted busy mood, I forgot to lie and some shut the door on my face… inspite of having the rent agent with me… and most of the times, I did not like the house or the owners..

Someone asked me … if we partied, so the tenants could not party, could not drink, could not be loud… and on and on the list went…. oh yes… but in non vegetarianism, fish was not allowed because it smelled but meat was allowed…

I was going :O and :O but again the eternal optimist in me did not give up…. what finally bowled me over was this experience…. this killed my optimism…

So the agent had fixed a home in Old Airport Road, a nice house.. and nice owner… I loved the locality… it was sporadically populated.. Bangalore was green at that point of time… So we went ahead and reached as per the appointment with the agent and the owner was very kind.. and let us in, and then started the whole discussion… it was a first floor so no problem.. with vegetarianism, no problem with late nights, etc and so on… and out of curiosity he asked where I was from… even though i was conversing with him in broken Kannada.. ( to connect) he wanted to know my roots… I guess… 🙂

I innocently and quite proudly told him I was from Shillong.. and my ancestral home was in Assam. So effectively you can say I am from Assam…

There was a pause….  and I waited… a long pause… I waited… and had this sinking feeling that he did not like this….

And his rant started…

Landlord : Oh Aiyyoo… you are from Assam… what ma ? You did not tell me that before..

( I was thinking… “you did not ask ??” )

Landlord : looking at the agent, gave him a long firing in Kannada, the gist of which was how dare you bring someone like this to my house…  the agent of course was more perplexed..

ME :  Ahem, Sir may I ask what is the problem.. ?

Landlord : Problemaaa ??… Aiyoooo ( holding his head) … tch tch tch…

ME : Still waiting….  again with the deeper sinking feeling…

Landlord : Still nodding… he finally said… you know people from Assam… they have  guns… they are terrorists… Are you a terrorist… ?

ME : GAWK and double GAWK…. what… !!!!!! !@&#$&

( I was thinking and I still remember this thought. If i was a terrorist, would I come to his house and proclaim that ??  DUH… I mean I know people did not know the Assamese folks and I have been called a cannibal, living in tree houses, and all that stuff which I took quite sportingly since we out there also thought all south indians are madrasis… how silly )

Landlord : ( Before I could answer) … no no… you will keep guns and you will shoot me and my family… so much danger I cannot take… so much risk… Aiyooo paaa paa… Aiyooooo

ME: I got up…. its alright… thank you…

Landlord : Aiyoo no no no…. . and to the agent, he went on blasting him… LOLOLOL I pitied the agent…

I took off in a hurry, telling the agent… I will contact him later… leaving him with the befuddled and scared owner…

And it affirmed my opinion, that I was not the only crazy one out there… LOLOLOL… I could have very good friends… LOLOLOL…

And I did get a very good house on rent… and I moved 2 houses… and all were very good owners… so you do have them good you know… just saying…. you just need to really get lucky to get them…. LOLOLOL

A_Woman_Looking_wrinklesSo being at my favorite place Ankh Creations, I was busy with experimenting with a new design of jewellery.. something simple, something everyday wear and I had a couple of designs in mind to make with my beautiful rose quartz gems that I had got… I had something building in my mind of Lapis Lazuli beads and so on… but the day was passing by fast… Attending to customers and then wanting some time to create…

Well as I was working through my beadaholic visions, there was this beautiful lady who entered the shop seeing the saree at the display window. She asked about the price and then came in wanting to look for more or so I thought…

I showed her the kind of saris that she liked… she kept on wanting to see something or the other and well I knew she would not buy anything… you just know with customers like this.. they just either waste your time, or well… I call them “simply walk ins”.. 🙂

But I kept my thought to myself and went on with working on what she liked… when she stopped me suddenly and asked me softly…  “will my wrinkles go away ?”

Me : DUH … what ???  ( I did not think I heard correctly)  you mean to say Maam, will my wrinkles go away.. ? I mean I love my wrinkles and am quiet happy with it… if I may say so…  ? ( very gently)

Customer : No no… I want my face like you… so will my wrinkles go away.. ?

Me : Ahem…!! I dont see any wrinkles in your face…

Customer ( insistently, pointing to her forehead) : See I have wrinkles here.. ( there were three faint lines, but thats natural.. I guess, and she was beautiful)

Me ( Not wanting to offend her , yet waiting inside myself… zipping through my list of most favorable responses..)  :  Maam, you look beautiful as you are.

Customer : No, I want to know… if my wrinkles will go…

Me : ( with a sigh) …. struggling to figure out where this was going…  and before I could say something to distract her…

Customer : what do you use for your face ??

Me ( Stumped) : Well… ( now I am a minimalist when it comes to make up or using anything for the face besides a facewash and a scrub ) ( i remembered what mom and my aunts used…) I use Ponds daily.. Ponds cream, ponds facewash, ponds blah and ponds blah…

Customer : (with an expression that I got her then ) : Ah ha !!! now you are talking… so ponds will give me the face that you have..

Me : HUH !! ( dear lord, what is it about the face), my face not so great, you are “tumba channagida”

She happily smiles : but my wrinkles…. you know the Doctor said that my face has rashes… so I cannot use anything, I am using medicine..

Me : smiles…. pauses… Uh huh… so Maam, do you like any of the saris that I showed you.. ( trying desperately to close this conversation )

She : So I will go ask my father for money and if he gives me money, I will buy saris from you.

Me : Ok (now sure that there was something wrong with this soul, as this lady looked to be in about late fifties and really well maintained in terms of beauty and age )

She : So what do you put for rashes ? and how will it go..

Me : hmmm… huhhh….

She : you put mehendi in your hair..

Me : No… see my gray hairs… its all natural… ( I was by now, wishing I was somewhere else)

She : So tell me what to put in my face..  my rashes will disturb me..

Me ( last ditch attempt at closing this) : you can put Chandan. Chandan ( sandalwood) is very good for face..

She ( with a wow look in her face which I was beginning to dread) : What is chandan ?

Me : you get in puja shops ( in broken Kannada explaining how to apply)

She : So I will put for a whole day… ??

Me : YES… NO NO NO… not whole day … 1 hour…. NO NO NO… 15 mins… NO ( sheesh this was like bad… I was again remembering my mom who used to religiously put chandan for my acne.. when I was a teen… ( how long was it ??)  AH HA … again in broken kannada, till your skin dries up… and then wash.. .

She. : My doc … told me to take medicines…

Me : ask your doc before you put chandan…

She : ok…. I will put Ponds, DOVE and Chandan..

Me : and ask your doctor before you put anything… ( really hoping that she ignores all that I have said, in fact was praying that she forgets what she talked with me the moment she stepped out )

She : So show me gold chain and gold coin… your husband does not want to sell me gold..

Me ( throwing in my towel) : we are so sorry, we do not sell gold… 🙂 with my best toothy smile…

She : But I will put ponds…

Me : okok Maam, thank you…

All this while Rocky was watching me from outside blithely looking up at the sky not even bothering to help me out… later on telling me that she comes to the shop and asks for gold chain and coin.

And I hurriedly became busy and waved her a pleasant goodbye… praying that she gets help from the right person who will stop her from wandering here and there..

PHEW 🙂 I am thinking, how does one deal with customers like this.. how can we be gentle with them and yet not make them feel different..  Next time I shall be prepared…  this time, with beads on my mind, i was totally flummoxed.. 🙂

 

Continuing the story from the previous post…

I fled as quickly as I could praying hard for Rocky who was just behind me and hoping that he could give some solid spiel and get out of the sticky situation with cops.

I reached our home and waited in the car hoping to hear him come by any moment and time ticked on… and my dread was very slowly growing.

Now this is Rocky’s version

As Rock came up the slope, he saw me surrounded by the cops and did wonder what they were chatting with me for such a long time..

Rocky being his cool self, sidled in and stopped. I bet he was a bit fuzzy himself..

COP  : Hello Sir, please step outside.

Rocky steps out of the car.

COP : Sir, did you have alcohol ?

Rocky : Yes

COP : Sir, please blow into this.

Rocky blows into it.

Rocky : What is the percentage of alcohol you see. ( according to Rocky, the machine also is a farce so he typically in his probing manner converses)

COP : ( DUH ) expression. Percentage ? Sir………. ok Sir, blow for 10 seconds continuously.  ( which Rocky does)  and then after sometime, he says its 86 %

COP : please show me your license..

Rocky shows it without taking it from his wallet.

COP : Give me the license sir.

Rocky : Its stuck to my wallet, cannot get it out, you see the license.  ( NOW, this is a useful tip that a good cop taught us NOT TO EVER take out our license from our wallet and give it to the Cops. So Rocky did that)

COP was now busy with his blackberry getting a receipt out.

Rocky then spied the Bigg Boss who was also there and who Rocky happened to know courtesy our biker friends.. 🙂 The Big Boss was also tired and yawning mildly.. Rocky was relieved to see someone he knew…

Rocky then insisted that he speak to the boss very politely..

The cops did not want him to meet her…and almost crowded him to another side but anyway Rocky went and told the boss that he had been to friends house and was coming back after dinner and yes he had had some alcohol and he was sorry.:)

Big Boss : looks at Rocky seriously and…… says OK LAST CHANCE….

COP : But I have already got the receipt.

Big Boss :  Takes the machine and removes the battery… and looks at him..

COP : Silent.

Rocky flees from the scene… and I am relieved to see him back..

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Again when we go through cases like this, I keep feeling I am grateful to be here…

This is yet another of our Baruah Chronicles Post which I have to write…

And as I am writing this, I am still having the resonance of chuckles that has been with me since the incident…

First and foremost, I love Bangalore…. and the people out here and maybe because of their innate simplicity, life is so much more joyful and precious. So no offense intended here… but an intense form of gratitude and gratefulness also resides inside me for living through some of really lovingly funny incidents…

So I dont know whether I have mentioned in my earlier chronicles post about my different experiences with traffic cops… in Bangalore.. specially the one where I was made to swear “god promise” about not crossing red lights.. and then being let go. That was one of the many incidents which always make me wonder that maybe its only here at night that cops actually let you go on a ” God Promise”:)

Many years fast forward… cops now have advanced a lot, evolved a lot, given the technology and telecom boom… good for them.. they have somewhat better yet not much effective means to catch offenders… 🙂  They can flash a blackberry and give a receipt, take photographs and videos of traffic offenders, respond via sms, its cool….

So well, coming to last night’s story… for which I opened this post…

We had a good day at Ankh, meeting many wonderful customers and wonderful friends who came to patronise our products…

It was a good but tiring day… and our dear friend R invited us to have dinner and maybe a drink or two… at his place which was in Thippasandra… Now we stay maybe 10 minutes away from this place… and well evening with good friends are always a good bet to chill and wind down..

So food was cooked by Rocky and R while us girls tripped on vodka and bengali music… Friends, Music, Food and Vodka… its always been a beautiful de-stressing formula… for ages now…

So after tripping on Rabindra Sangeet, Bhoomi, Anupam, Srikanta and totally grooving to some folk beats as well, we made our way home. Rocks was on the B’s Alto ( with DL registration)  and me on my Whitefeather ( boler0)

I was 2 pegs down and feeling nice and fuzzy yet not too fuzzy to be drunk… 🙂 but fuzzy enough…  Rocks was many pegs down but since he handles his alcohol well, he was also driving up just behind me..

It was 1 AM and as I came up Thippasandra Slope towards BEML gate, I saw a group of people and a barricade..

I came up the slope and my brain registered in slow motion and for a moment I thought there were some rowdies.. I quickly locked my doors and slowed down… ready to rip, if they come and disturb me… ( I had heard of many weird incidents like this)

As I came nearer, I saw cops… and I sighed to myself… this was going to a long moment…

I stopped and mentally jerked myself out of a euphoric state and tried to bring in as much clarity as I could to prepare a decent answer to the onslaught of questions…

So I had COP A leaning on my left window, COP B and COP C coming to the right to talk to me. They looked young.. COP A was older.

COP B and COP A : Hello Madam… where are you coming from… ?  ( in Kannada)

ME : Hello.. I am coming from my friends house in Thippasandra and going home which is just 5 mins from here ( in Kannada)

COP B : Have you had alcohol ? You know taking alcohol is an offense

COP C : Madam please blow into this (supposedly the breath analyzer)

ME : I looked at both of them (with as much as doe eyes as possible. I was imagining myself to me Puss in boots with cute eyes and hoped I had my best smile on ) and said… YES I had alcohol. but only 2 pegs.

COP B : You saw me… ?  you see me there… ??

ME : (  Looking at him as if he was speaking greek and yet trying to form the right answer… what did he mean see him ? I definitely saw him and stopped) Yes I saw you and stopped… 3 of you ( for a moment I thought, is he checking my vision, I was ready to walk the straight line and count to reverse)

COP B : Do you see the traffic there.. pointing towards the road ?

ME : ( Weirder and weirder – This time I was definite he was checking my vision) I told him confidently that it was 1 AM and I see the road clearly and there was just 1 car which just went by and I am very clear I saw him and the road… ( very sweetly and smiling of course, inside trying to figure out where this was leading … what was the trap)

COP B : No no Madam I KNOW you… I see you everyday… in this same car… you know…  I have seen you from the past 10 years.. Everyday you drive this car and come home…. sometimes a gentleman drives it with you….. I have started my work in this BEML circle… when this road was full of potholes..  NOW do you see me ???  I See you EVERYDAY…

ME : ( TOTALLY STUMPED – not knowing whether this was a good thing or a bad thing… him KNOWING And SEEING me for 10 years… how predictable could I get )  AHEM  !!! Ah HA… Now I see you ( me has no CLUE) … yes yes I have seen you… and yes BY THE WAY THE POTHOLES are still there… and you and me are still me,… Yes I am here for more than 15 years now…  ( Smiling and batting my eyes again)

COP C :  He shows the analyzer… and is trying to get COP B’s attention…. but NOW COP B is on a roll

COP B : Everyday madam, I see you… you have to know me… as well :)…. you are not wearing your seat belt… ..

ME : (immediately fixing my belt ) .. yes yes… I know you now… I just came from my friends and just need to go home, its late… ( again giving my sweetest smile) and my husband is also coming behind

COP B COP A COP C : Husband, what car is he driving, is he drinking ???

ME : yes he is drinking and he is coming right behind me in AL……

COP B, COP B: Go go go madam… you go home… tell your husband not to come this side…

ME : ( knowing that it was already too late for Rocks to avoid them) thank you…

To be continued…