Gent Sits On Her Plait!

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“Hoooh!” Gent hooted, mighty amused. Horse grooming wasn’t his favorite travel-time read but now that he’d bought himself the book at the railway station… he had to put himself to read it lest Angel Face think he was being rather flippant.

“Hoooh!” He hooted again, rather loudly looking at the picture of a horse’s tail – a plaited tail. “Horsy plait!” he dug Angel Face in the rib and showed her the plait, then looked around to see who else he could show it to. Unlike Gent, they were all minding their own business. Even Angel Face hardly looked his way. What a boring world thought Gent before he shut his eyes and promptly proceeded to snore.

Only a while had passed or so it seemed before he was being roughed up.

Oh! He’d arrived at … now where was he headed? Never mind. But they’d arrived. Angel Face was already shuffling to the exit, which meant he had to follow suit.

The taxi ride into town and further into the village was uneventful, if you’d discount Gent spotting a grandma with a goatee. He was tempted to hoot again. But a quick glance around the cab told him the atmosphere wasn’t conducive to hoots. "Dude! Tarzan would ditch Jane to swing from that goatee…" he told himself with a disappointed chuckle "... and no one even noticed?". Oh well, this world was a disappointment at times but it all turns out right as a whistle soon enough... he reflected with some glee.

Finally they were at the ancient villa and Gent suddenly remembered he was here for a dear friends wedding. A wedding! How exciting!

The celebration meal was a feast fit for kings served up on quaint plantain leaves.

Gent was hypnotized. Not as, you’d imagine, by the sumptuous spread before him but rather by the gulab jamun. This one was a mother, he decided. He wasn’t sure he should have it. It remained him of … no; he wouldn’t mention it to anyone. But this one was a mother! He decided he wouldn’t touch it and folded the leaf – a polite gesture that he was done and satisfied.

Ouch! Someone had just dug him in the rib. That hurt! But Gent couldn’t say as much because he’d just spotted his jumbo gulab jamun leave his leaf-plate and roll away!

However did that mother manage to roll off his leaf? Gent jumped to action and grabbed the jamun before it did any damage, swiftly confining it within the folded plantain leaf. But not before a bunch of little girls had seen it. The giggling that broke out made Gent blush. He had to get away.

He was only away a while when he was called for. Ah photographs! They wanted to take his picture along with the rest of the merry people. There was his dear friend waving him down besides his brand new wife.

And so Gent placed himself in front of the camera. Did he hear a whimper? No. He won’t be tricked here. He sat back firmly as if to cement his resolve.

There! There goes that whimper again. Out of the corner of his eye, he thought he saw the bride besides him looking his way. Now, why would she do that? And why would someone tug at his backside? The photographer was still fussing about. So Gent hazarded a quick glance towards the bride.

Horrors! Her face was set tight and askew like she was being pulled to one side. And her eyes were welling up with the strain. She was almost gasping. Perhaps she needs some water thought Gent. But who was that tugging at his backside?

He sprang up in annoyance, just as the beautiful bride straightened up and sighed in relief. Gent had been sitting on her elaborate plait all along!
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Samiyo’s Revenge

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Samiyo stood up tottering and burped loudly. He was rather content with the way the day had ended. After all he’d spent a good part of it making porottas at the wayside restaurant where he was the undisputed Porotta Master.

He’d just downed his usual measure of ‘fieriness’ to wipe away his weariness, before heading home to his dear wife, when he heard the familiar whirr. Did he perhaps dispatch a wee bit more than usual? He wasn’t certain. But he was sure that the blurry thingy that whizzed past him was his last bus home.

He grabbed his paper bag of porottas and beef and weaved his way as hurriedly as he could to the bus bay, debating if he should empty his bladders in the mean time. No! He’d rather be smart and grab a seat for himself on the bus first. Then perhaps he could go for the piss, leaving the paper bag on his seat, proclaiming his imminent return. Brilliant! Samiyo beamed. It was such brilliance that had helped him fortify his position as Porotta Master.

Still beaming, he hurriedly boarded the bus, chose an empty seat, placed his paper bag carefully in the center and walked out for a quick ‘leak’.

"Appa... samee!" The sudden exertion had exhausted him or so it seemed because he’d missed the last step and stumbled on to the bay. And now his bladders were bursting.

Still swaying, he tottered into the darkness to relieve himself. Perhaps he should light up a beedi to accompany the piss. Now that was a fine idea, he told himself and presently felt cheerier.

He must have taken a while because when he returned he saw, to his horror, that the bus had already taken off and was rounding the corner at a distance. Damn! He cursed himself. He had to save his paper bag. Somehow.

He jumped into an auto rickshaw and pointed in the general direction of the bus, insisting that the diver follow in hot pursuit.

Five minutes later the bus was in sight. There! It was stopping now. “Faster! Faster” he goaded the driver of the three-wheeler. And yes! He’d just made it. He’d have his paper bag soon. But as he was getting out of the auto rickshaw the bus pulled away. Moreover, he realized it was the wrong bus!

By the time Samiyo tracked it down to the terminus, the bus was long empty. He couldn’t find his paper bag anywhere. The darned driver’s eaten his porottas and beef he decided, grinding his teeth. That was way too much for Samiyo to bear.

Oh yeh? I’ll show you what you get when you steal a man’s porottas and beef,” he swore as he sat in the driver’s seat and switched on the ignition.

The next day a horrified driver reported his bus missing and an hour later the police called to tell him they’d tracked it down a kilometer away, where it had crashed into a tree, with Samiyo still asleep at the wheel, unawares.
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Another Shame-Shame At Lunch

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Gent sighed softly in pleasure. He’d just polished off a most satisfying lunch with his dear wife and friends at the newest eatery in town. Bless the place. He’d give it an eight on ten.

He sighed softly again. But this time Angel Face besides him dug her elbow sternly into his ribs and suggested that perhaps he should slip away to the men’s room for a moment.

Now here was another pleasant indulgence on this pleasant Saturday afternoon. Gent decided that he wouldn’t whistle as he took himself to the men’s, though that’s what he’d have dearly liked to do. He wished people weren’t so stiff and instead enjoyed a beautiful day like this one, celebrated it with a soft whistle if not a boisterous yelp. Never mind. The world was never to one’s taste. He beamed at what he thought was a clever pun.

Oh! And there’s the corridor. He might as well hurry.

* * *

Meanwhile Angel Face decided to follow the advice she’d given her dear husband and made a beeline for the powder room with her friends. One of her flock could contain her water no longer, which should explain the beeline. But there was someone inside… some poor woman who apparently was having a ghastly day.

Did they just hear a muted bang? Poor, poor woman. There! That was surely a bang. But how much longer could they hop from foot to foot before the anguished occupant decided she’s done? Oh! And would the site be fitting for immediate occupation… Here was a fresh dilemma, which they didn’t have enough time to ponder on for just then the door opened and out swaggered...


* * *

Mighty pleased that he’d wrapped up the proceedings neatly, Gent stepped out to face the rest of the ‘lovely day’ only to see his lunch companions right outside the door, staring at him as if he had a baboon on his back.

“These girls must be going prudish. Ugh... it must be the radish…” he told himself mighty pleased with his quick rhyme and smiled broadly as if to ask “haven’t you seen a man come out of the loo before”? He was about to say, “Boo!” to break up the ludicrous post lunch tableau when the girls suddenly broke into hysterical laughter.

“It’s the radish, alright…” concluded Gent. But just then Angel Face caught her breath and pointed the other way to the…

Men’s room!

Oh! Bananas!” So he’d been in the powder room all along. He should have guessed with all those pink tiles and the darned potty with its business end lidded over. To think that he’d kicked the blasted lid open. Kicked twice rather…

Later, he’d leisurely admired himself in the mirror imagining a bevy of beauties around him. Oh! He’d even blushed at the thought and had fervently hopped no one would see him come out of the loo... glowing.

How could he have ever known that in a moment he’d be walking into shame? Darned graphics! Couldn’t they clearly write ‘Ladies’ or ‘Women’ or whatever it is they write on loo doors, instead of pasting vague graphics in pale colors?
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I'm Almost Famous!

Pin It Now! Gosh! It's the one review that I've gotten all the while I've been blogging and I've this compulsive need to brag about it. Look what Bloggy Awards thinks of this blog.

Itchin’ Where I Can’t Go Scratchin’ is a blog that has good stories and writings. Probably what keeps it from becoming a great blog is the low frequency of updating by its author. It’s a blog that strikes us as having good potential to be bookmark-worthy and regularly read. Otherwise, one visit every couple of weeks may be good enough.

Nice of them, ugh? More here.

I must thank the Gent, in fact two Gents who were the inspiration behind most of my Gent stories. But these aren't stories; believe me. These evil people actually lived it, every twist of it.

And here's the fun part. I thought I'd actually protected their identities. But then they're too transparent. At least the more evil of the two is. As a result the spring well of stories dried up. Mind you I'd only dug the surface. Perhaps they'd reconsider once they see this post.

Will ye O' Evil Ones?
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Shame-shame at Lunch

Pin It Now! “Ha! Look… look!” Gent gleamed as he saw a large plate of puffed, fried batter float into the room balanced by a waiter whose face was lost behind the loaded tray he was carrying.

Gent loved a dig at anyone and anything. It just put things right as a whistle. And it made the world an even more beautiful place. Oh yes! But look at that plate dude! Who would eat one of those?

Gent observed that everyone else were equally hypnotised, noticing which the waiter put on a flourish. He swung his hips and put on what he thought were nimble strides, making a spectacle of himself and his platter.

And Gent was enjoying every moment of it. He almost smacked his lips. Lunchtime was such fun. “Now who would order such a gooey outrage?” he wondered as the waiter negotiated round a table and promptly stopped at his.

“Your channa bhatura sir!”

Gent blanched. He’d ordered that! “But pooris are supposed to be… well not monstrous like these. And what was that bucket of gravy doing on the side. Gawd! This is…”

Gent threw a quick eye around. They were all looking at him. Some amused. Some barely stifling a laugh. And some disgusted.

Just then a flash went off before him. Someone had just photographed him! Kill him! He noticed that the eager waiter was hovering in the vicinity trying to come into the frame as his lunch companion focused his camera mobile to shoot him again.


That does it. He wouldn’t wish a channa bhatura on anyone he decided. Even if he were the cook who came up with this embarrassment. And now he had to eat it with a straight face!
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When Oorain Gets You!

Pin It Now! Gent is at the service center to pick up his car. He was bang on time and bubbling with delicious anticipation of the kind usually reserved for special occasions.

Ruddy place, thought Gent, but where were these buggers who were to hand over his shiny new car to him? Oh, there they were!

He saw a tousled head bob up from behind a car. Ugh... Why was he bobbing behind a car? Did that mean the buggers hadn't touched his car? If that was the case, they sure had something coming.

Gent walked gingerly into the service area of the service center, straining to catch snatches of conversation to arm himself for the verbal duel he was sure would ensue.

"Who that?" he heard a guttural voice.

"Man for Hunndei Guesstt..." a faintly feminie voice trailed off in answer.

Obviously Guttural hadn't heard Feminine, for he repeated his question.

"Man for Hunndei Guesstt..." Feminine hissed.

It was all that Gent could do to hold back his smile. Hyundai Getz should have been christened here. Right here, he told himself and pictured a design that was a cross between Attila the Hunn and a
gazebo on wheels. Ha! But he mustn’t laugh. He was almost near them now. Guttural was speaking again.

"You holding light. I oorain first" said Guttural in answer, catching the general picture of the setting. But our visitor didn't quite catch on.

He what first? A puzzled Gent wondered as he saw Guttural head for the back door. Well not that there was a door, or any proper walls to hold up the roof. The only proper wall was a fallen hoarding.

"Why you going there, you going here" Feminine shrilled pointing ahead of himself.

Immediately Guttural changed direction and headed behind the hoarding. Shortly thereafter Gent suspected he heard the sound of falling rain. Or oorain as he quickly realised. Guttural was taking a leak.

He couldn't stand there anymore. He quickly decided that he'd pick up his car a little later and presently nip away to some place where he could laugh out loud.

Guttural can wonder where he'd disappeared to when he gets back from making oorain. Pin It Now!

DVD only saar!

Pin It Now! Gent walks into a store in Bangalore.

"I need a blank DVD" he says at the counter.

The young chappie behind nods his head wisely, apprises Gent for a fraction and then vanishes into the inner recesses of the store.

As Gent looks around the store, wondering how long it would take, he hears a slap on the counter.

"DVD saar!"

Quick gun ugh? However that didn’t look like a DVD to Gent.

"I need a blank DVD" he repeats to the chappie.

"That only saar."

"But this is not a DVD, it's a VCD"

"Same only saar! DVD, VCD same only.

"But this is not a DVD, it's a VCD" insists Gent.

"Saar! Same only saar! DVD, VCD same only. Today we already sale three." He says triumphantly.

And as if strength would add to it, another chappie comes to the rescue and insists that his colleague is right. A DVD and a VCD are one and the same, he says firmly. But not firmly enough or so it seems as the colleagues eye each other, unsure for a moment. One of them suddenly turns round.

"Saar! What difference?"

Gent blinks stupidly.

"The capacity. The difference is the capacity."

Never mind, he told himself and made a quick exit while the chappies were left to figure out what they’d just heard.
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Minding a Hurricane

Pin It Now! Gentlewoman decided to dine outside. She was pregnant, nearing her seventh month and she had relatives visiting with their fidgety brood. Besides she had her own little devil to mind, which was a task in itself, much like minding a... she didn’t know the word. But she knew she wasn’t going to cook for anyone. Oh no, not today. They would eat out. She was pleased by her decision. They would go to…

Residency Towers. It was just the place to go to for the New Year’s Eve. Now, leaning back on her comfortable chair, son on her lap, she surveyed the gathered. Everyone seemed happy to be there, all fourteen of them. She was pleased. They’d met up after a long while. Cousin looked thin; maybe she was on one of her fancy diets, soups and cucumbers and more soup. Oops! Was that soup that just fell on the floor besides her?

Before she could decide, another weeny blob fell on her lips. Umm. That was soup. Her baby was liberally spooning it all about him as he giggled in glee. Her immediate vicinity was getting progressively gooey and the hovering waiter progressively uneasy when she pushed the soup away from her baby, in horror. The waiter quickly cleared it with an inscrutable expression. Thank goodness the baby did not wail. He usually did when anything was taken… Oh!

There he goes! God, all eyes where on their table now. On her and the baby. “Please bring that soup back,” she thought with increasing unease. “Please bring something to him”. She’d ordered a noodle, didn’t she? Where was it? She later remembered someone pushing a plate of long-life noodles in front of her and her son becoming quite immediately like he’d been switched off. Amma! Could she take anymore? Wa… what was that?!

A strand of noodle had just plopped sloppily onto her hair; her baby was destroying the noodle now! How she loved those twiny, soft noodles, rich with steamed vegetables. And she had it on her hair. As she reached out for a tissue to remove the strand, her little one promptly dumped some more noodle on to the back of her palm. Where’s hubby dear who always came to her rescue? She had to shut her eyes for a moment. Maybe that would change things.

“Happy New Year!” She heard someone shout, close by, and immediately a weight came off her lap. Hubby had taken over just in time. Thank you. Thank you so much. She’d quickly go clean up in the ladies room and join the party after. But did she want to? All she was thinking of was a speedy escape. As she stood up, she saw the waiter looking at her with that inscrutable expression again. “Oaf! I hope you have twins!” she thought as she made a beeline for the rest room.
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Can't Wish Him Away!

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The virtuoso who had thrilled audiences in Europe and America with his Karnatic renditions on the saxophone, hummed softly as he settled down in his air-conditioned compartment aboard the Chennai Express bound for Trichy. He had for company a lady accompanist, who Gent later recalled was named after an ancient South Indian principality, the mere ring of which had evoked an instant burst of laughter from him.

The veteran saxophonist was pleased with his present accommodations though he did look suspiciously at anyone who passed his bay. Perhaps it was anxiety about his co-travellers.

Presently a family of three arrived and occupied the seats opposite him. He appraised them quickly and just as quickly sighed in relief. He’d be travelling with a nice family he told himself. “Andava! Dear God! How I am thanking you for all the small ble…” He stopped his silent thanksgiving abruptly.

He’d just caught the innocent looking young man with this nice family, staring at him without blinking an eyelid. There! He’d caught the young man staring again…at his bald pate with the big red vermilion smear, ringed fingers and ringed toes. Why did he get the feeling that this lad was looking him up with wild amusement? And …wait…did he just catch the angel face with this lad, surreptitiously pinching his arm as if to say, “stop staring”?

But before he could decide, his accompanist drew his attention to dinner. The divine aroma of sambar, curds and mango pickle soon filled the air of the small bay as Gent stared on in wide-eyed delight. He’d never seen so many rings on a man. Dude! This one wore them on his filthy toes too! Each one of them! Cool. And look at him slurp his sambar and saadam!

Ashmika now dug her elbow into his ribs. “Stop staring” she mouthed again. Ok, he might as well stop staring…but wow… look at that ring on his pinkie! Man…so many rings, this dude must be from Planet Jupiter. Or maybe he is Planet Jupiter. Ha! Gent bit his lips but not before the virtuoso, who was now wiping his lips and getting ready for bed, caught him doing so.

There! There! The young man was doing it again. Hrump! He had seen many more mischievous people like him, he reflected as he snorted and stretched himself horizontal on the lower berth. In no time he was snoring contentedly. He would have continued so till morning if it had not been for the rude bump on his berth, shortly thereafter. It had taken the saxophonist twenty patient years to conquer the complex wind instrument and this particular manoeuvre at that ungodly hour literally took the wind out of him. And his patience.

Once he’d found his bearings, he looked up dishevelled, and found the lad in pyjamas standing sheepishly next to him. Obviously he’d jumped down from the upper berth and thudded into his lower one. Oh these young men…how irresponsible, jumping about like this at midnight. “You…you” he managed as he heaved himself sidewise on his elbow. “You climb down from steps only…” What!

Sacrilege! The young man wasn’t even giving ear to him and… "Shiva, Shiva!" Wasn’t that his rude co-traveller’s pyjama clad derriere practically in his face now? He had not only woken him rudely but now he was also showing his backside! What was he to do now? Foam? Fume? Be furious? At what? A derriere? The virtuoso resigned perhaps for the first time in his life as Gent disappeared to the bathroom nonchalantly as if nothing had just happened. Poor saxophonist. All that fame and yet…
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Trees Save!

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This one falls in place with all the water fury we've been witnessing lately. If you've noticed, it's been announcements of depression after new depression in Chennai and along the coast for the past two weeks. Two weeks! If I were a mouse I would have said "eeks!". (No, that would be a sewer rat...) But how long can it possibly rain in Chennai.

I must be complaining a bit too much but aren't things real gloomy around here. This ad here is by Lowe Mumbai and it's here courtesy ‘creative criminal’ Arvind.
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What-a Sport!

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This one takes the cherry. Look at that. That’s some place in Chennai. I’m not sure where, can someone spot it for me? But look at the water, look at the road! Like the goon says on one of the Home Alone series “what-a h-o-l-e!” Can you beat that? Bang in the middle of the road too. And there were many like this one all over Chennai.

Me, I fell into one the last time it rained cats and dogs. Remember the holiday most of Chennai had due to what I’d like to call the water fury? Ah! That was the day I was accommodated, feet first; into one of these holes so lovingly dug out by whichever department is responsible for these practical jokes. One moment I was walking on the footpath and the next moment I stepped on to the road – there was a road there the previous day – and fell into knee-deep water. Adventure starts here what?
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What-a Fury!

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I’ve suddenly noticed that the media isn’t exactly reporting the water fury we are seeing the world over. Or maybe I'm myopic. When I’d written about it in Joo's Blah! it was just a thought on what’s happening in North America. And then it happened in Calcutta, Hyderabad and now in Bangalore. Are we missing something here, apart from the obvious? The pictures are courtesy forwarded mail. And that's Bangalore you see there. Pin It Now!

Ah! Smoke without fire!

Pin It Now! Dalmiya! Doesn’t that sound like an expression of surprise and disgust? No? Well, here it is again broken down into its syllables. Dal-mi-yah! How about that? Or perhaps we shouldn’t be discussing this just about now. Let’s get on with the story first.

The decision of the BCCI is out and it pictures Ganguly as the unfortunate victim of a series of miscommunications, which we are given to believe, began the day Chappell took over. Or at least it’s been said in that vein. The decision is confounding nevertheless. I fail to understand on what grounds BCCI cleared Ganguly of all charges levelled against him. Was it on the ground that the man who made them was not of sound judgement? It would then also mean that the board that chose him lacked sound judgment too. I could be wrong here.

But I am confounded again. What exactly was the nature of the miscommunication regarding Ganguly faking injury? As far as we know, Ganguly refused to be treated for an injury that he'd suddenly developed. Was the miscommunication pertaining to the refusal of treatment? Perhaps the coach heard "I don't want treatment" instead of "I want treatment"… And we're told that such 'miscommunication' was repeated in various matches as was evident in Chappell’s confidential e-mail to the BCCI chairman. Whatever... the long and short of it as I understand is that each time Ganguly said ‘Yes’, Chappell heard ‘No’, when captain said 'There', coach heard 'Here' and so on. This Chappell chappie is hard of hearing too, compounding to his lack of judgement. Mother, what have we here!

Now, the BCCI suddenly claims that Ganguly’s injury is real. If it’s real, what is the severity of it? What is the team physio’s version of the injury? How did the BCCI chief come to the conclusion that the injury was real? Did he have an independent professional opinion taken? Or did the physio report back independently, without sharing the report with the coach? If so we have a house of dissention and miscommunication. And I’m still so full of questions like a mother hen is full of eggs.

Chappell and Ganguly stay on, at the end of this opera. And I’m still… never mind, I could be wrong. But imagine, we still have a system where the board chooses the captain and then the captain is left to choose players. In the present scenario it means that Ganguly’s boys (I can’t call them cronies, I have a heart)… these boys… will be given preference over performers than ever before. And what does this Chappell chappie, who lacks judgement and is deaf as well, have stacked against him?

A nemesis of a captain who is now out to prove a point. A bully board member who has a footman of his as chief. And at least one team member that we know of who is against him. Dal-mi-yah! Do you honestly believe that this Chappell chappie would be able to coach the current Team India for the World Cup? And just how fair is it in a game of fair play and sportsmanship to pit a man against such circumstances and then judge him for performance? You might as well ask a bus conductor to be the coach. Shame on you BCCI. Shame on you Gavaskar, Ravi Shastri and Venkataraghavan.

Because you claim all the smoke was without fire. Dal-mi-yah! What gall!
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Bachelors Raise Hands!

Pin It Now! Ashmika fretted. Anita fumed. And their respective rogue husbands relived their bachelor days in shameless nonchalance. Now if you think this is a one off thing, you must be from Planet Daft. It’s been happening ever since these poor damsels fell for the evil enticements of their respective gents and sacrificed themselves at the alter of matrimony.

One of this wicked twosome, is the quintessential ‘sweetheart’ oozing dollops of innocence and charm. All sugar and spice… that you could almost picture a manservant walking in his shadow shooing the flies away. He patronises stores with a higher female staff ratio, ostensibly for economic gain or so one is to believe. But this gent knows which side of his toast is buttered. So what if he makes an occasional innocent pass? So what if Anita fumes? Isn’t he renting DVDs from a respectable store, paying next to nothing (considering that he’s managed a lifetime waiver on Horribly-Late-Fees, a category that didn’t exist in their ledgers ever before)?

“Oh yes!” The other gent would eagerly admit his vigorous support for gent one. Birds of a feather! Now, gent number two is a different salad altogether. My! Talk about salad! Even the dressing (read: the pretext of situations he eases himself into) is all gooey innocence. See a pattern here that you can borrow for your own escapades? Gent two still lives his excruciating post bachelor blues. For instance, he has always introduced his sweet wife as his friend. “Always, without fail” Ashmika will tell you. Blame it on selective amnesia in the presence of the fairer sex. Poor man. How he suffers!

Once gent number two was at this party laced with liberal amounts of braggadocio and the whiskey that accompanies it. He was in his element. At his shining charming, laugh-aloud best. Some time into the wining and dining, someone asked for all bachelors to raise their hands. “That’s me!” said gent number two to himself and quickly raised his hand. Looking around surreptitiously, it was apparent to him that he was the only ‘bachelor’ at the table. “Oh Yeh!” he blushed…

But wait! Ugh! Wasn’t that angelic face opposite him familiar? He remembered driving her to the party. He even remembered seeing her around the house! Ugh! No, he was dreaming. He was being visited by a past life experience. Whiskey sometimes does that to you. But what was all that sniggering and giggling around the table? And why was ‘angel face’ looking daggers at him? No! It can’t be true!

This isn’t fair, he said to himself as realisation slowly dawned. He was in all probability married! He hazarded a quick look at ‘angel face’. “Mummy! That’s her! My wife! I’m married!” Could it be that he was... err... hallucinating? Didn’t whiskey do that to you?
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The Games Gent Plays!

Pin It Now! I heard this from the horse’s mouth. I swear I did. And some horse by God! They don’t make them like that anymore!

Gent and his kid brother are on their way to London and gent is nursing his third large whiskey, lolling in his seat, content as a tomcat. Just the thought of all that awaited him, excited gent. “Ummm” he said to himself fantasising in bliss. The kid brother kept throwing furtive glances at him every now and then wondering what could possibly make someone so shamelessly smug as to hum and haw to himself.

But there wasn’t going to be humming and hawing for long. Gent was unaware that the Gulf Air that had brought him to Muscat, where it had stopped over, was bound for Jeddah and that he had to switch planes. The whiskey had made him all frisky by then! The Arab besides him had just reminded him gleefully that the flight was headed for Jeddah and gent had just thrown the Samaritan a smirk when to his consternation, he heard their names being called out directing gent and his kid brother to board the Gulf Air headed for Heathrow, London.

Shaking himself off the momentary lapse of bearing, gent told himself with bravado “London! Here I come” and promptly walked into disaster! The man at the immigration desk took one look at gent’s photograph and then at him, squinting his eyes in suspicion. Ummm… what he saw didn’t please him. Not at all! There standing before him was this hippy with whiskey breath, wild hair down to his knees and a pair of jeans that had seen better days. Allah! What was that on his t-shirt? Never mind…but there was this homely looking kid besides him. He could be wrong. But then again, the visa stamp was just not right. The kid might be a cover of course, and an unsuspecting accomplice! Congratulating himself, he beckoned the others.

An impromptu conference later, an army totting guns and headed by a hooded lady, if that were a lady, suddenly materialised around the gent and his kid brother and the terminal was shut! Apparently the stamp on the visa had jumped the spelling of Madras. The ‘d’ was smudged which in itself wasn’t reason enough for the guns and goons but the fact that the offending visa was in possession of gent who by all visible cues resembled a goon immigrant, turned the situation grave. The gent raved in Winglish (English spiked with whiskey) to the throaty Arab rants. Rant. Rave. Rave. Rant. And on it went.

They threatened detention and the gent raved more as his kid brother broke out into loud sobs trying in vain to contain the delirium around him. Finally, just when the whiskey was wearing off, the Arabs miraculously let them go. But not before handing over their documents to the cabin crew of the Gulf Air that was to take them to London. All was well again. Gent was back in his seat swinging whiskeys once more while the li’l brother kept throwing furtive glances at his neighbour whom he no longer wished to call ‘brother’. At least not till they landed in one piece at Heathrow.

Some time into the journey there was another stop over and a fumigation. The content but bored gent lolled his head just enough to spot a gun totting security enter the plane. His little brother tensed immediately and gent metaphorically smacked his lips! “Here’s opportunity for idle amusement!”

He turned to his little brother and whispered. “There they come now…goodbye! We won’t see each other again. You’ll be in one jail. I’ll be in another…” As the kid balled, gent lolled in his seat once again, content but bored. He had to keep himself amused till he reached London!
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Revenge Of The Starved!

Pin It Now! Saint Hunger visits the starved like a typhoon wiping out all traces of well-meant, well-begun but essentially weak resolutions. And so it happened today. A meek gent, who had hitherto sworn with a vengeance not to have a morsel of ‘sinful food’, called me at my extension this noon and suggested we go out to lunch, in the meekest of voices that was almost a whisper.

Now I didn’t have a heart to say no. I’ve always given in to meekness, besides, I was starving myself! But honest to God I wished I had brought my lunch along or at least had an early lunch. That would have given me energy enough to protest, in the gent’s own fashion, tooth and nail, albeit with more conviction than he had ever managed. And unlike the gent, I wouldn’t have then given in and agreed to have “one measly dry paratha” or suck on a soup spoon while the others around me fed themselves silly.

Back to the meek voice that also carried a steely undertone implying “You dog! Don’t you even dare…”. You can fill in the blanks with the choicest invectives. Well I didn’t ‘dare’ as the voice implied. So we, five in all, drove to a Chettinadu place that the gent gallantly chose where he graciously ordered Muringakka Soup for me. That’s drumstick soup for the uninitiated – a measly doggy bowl of an abominable concoction with a piece of drumstick, a hint of tomato and tons of pepper. Ranjit had one sip and went into a fit of coughing that had us seriously concerned.

Imagine! That soup, if it can be called that, was meant for me! I mean the whole of it. Providential interruption came in the form of an eager prod from Saint Hunger, around the table. That’s when Ranjit had a fit. Then came the chicken masala, egg masala and parathas, all equally bad. We tucked into it anyway, and a sad burp each later, we left swearing never to follow the gent’s gastronomic suggestions ever again. The last time I saw Ranjit, which was an hour ago, he was seen clutching his stomach. I’m yet to know what happened to Suneesh and Ajay.

So much for the revenge of the starved!
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On The Wings Of A Poppadom!

Pin It Now! Lunch hour is so much fun. And it’s specially so because I can enjoy the sheer agony of dear friend of mine. (Slurp!) The poor dieter is now paying his comeuppance for all the vile plotting he’d indulged in, in the not too distant past.

Back then, he used to drag the rest of us friends and colleagues, fretting and fuming, often sacrificing our lunch boxes, to greasy joints that served the most sinful biriyanis and parattas and burgers with piles of cheese and dollops of mayonnaise even!

In the process our gent gained weight where he shouldn’t, along with the rest of us. The belles were no longer giving him a second look or so one should assume because then he went about dragging his angel of a wife over to a gym where he paid 34,000 to get his flab off!

And did he? We thought he did about a month ago. I even complemented him by calling him Slim Jim. But true to my impulsive self, I’d said things too soon. The Slim Jim persona that our dieter friend had taken on to deceive his poor wife and maybe the gym instructor too was a well-planned farce. He fell ill! No…that’s not it. How do you say it? Words fail me now. It must be the magnitude of the deception. It went like this.

He took himself willingly to a Chinese flea restaurant, ordered himself a spread and promptly came home ill. Here I actually feel for him. The gent was indeed ill. So ill that his concerned brother had to remind him gently that the upper body orifice empties into the washbowl and the lower into the potty! Endless trips over the next two days between the washbowl and the potty left our gent a few kilos less. And one fine day he came to office looking all trim, fit and glowing too!

He ate only carrots for a week. And just when a Hollywood production house that had got wind of a potential replacement for the tired Buggs Bunny, were doing a background search, our dieter was spotted by one of the production house’s spies digging into a juicy double decker burger! And another the next day!

Guilt gnawed at our dieter again and he went into a rehabilitation diet. But again I suspect it’s all a farce because the waistline is pushing the shores! Now I didn’t say that. The gent himself did. So he furiously plays table tennis with a paddle he over paid for. And when he falls for our vile persuasion and accompanies us for lunch he sips soup or nibbles on poppadom!

Hoo! (That was a verbal cartwheel!) Isn’t someone’s waistline phobia blissful lunchtime amusement? That reminds me, it’s about lunchtime. About time I played the Lucifer again! Bless me! But then I’ve been trained by the Devil himself!
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Wrought from Snot!

Pin It Now! He can actually sneeze things off a shelf. Comes in handy if you are a shoplifter. But he's not. He's a graphic designer and a friend of mine with this mighty aquiline nose, I sometimes suspect is an accessory rather than an appendage. The kind you remove before you hit the bed at night, if you get the drift. But don't tell him I said so!

The other day we'd gone out for tea to a chai shop that doubles as a 'juice shop'. As soon as we entered, our friend sneezed ever so politely and out tumbled a little bunch of purple grapes, softly onto the floor! Voila! Makes one wonder. What else is this young man capable of? Can he also sneeze pumpkins off shelves maybe? Or something bigger like my neighbour, off the place forever?

This neighbour, in my 'mansion', has an annoying habit. He plays his FM loud enough for the whole floor each day! And it starts religiously at 7:00 am when 'Soosi Maami' is at her shrill best, matching her maniac fan in loud-mouthing everything on God's earth. The rigours of 'mansion' life. (If you are wondering what a 'mansion' is, let me explain. It's a liberal, roomy nomenclature for a rat hole with room service!)

Yesterday, my roommate was telling me about the rare occasions when... "Snake!" There! Our adorable neighbour had arrived and announced his presence by switching on the FM at full blast. But wait a minute... that was the sound of TV. Typical. He'd politely broken, no, invited himself into another room when its unsuspecting occupants were away, to watch TV - some 'Amman' flick with snakes in it! "Snake!"

My roommate was on instant boil! He flew out of the room. Immediately I heard the volumes reduce. That was quick and almost as good as the petrifying 'VCBM' (Volume Control By Mom) mechanism that I was threatened with as a kid. When my roommate came back, he actually looked defeated. Obviously he hadn't expected the menace to cower down and oblige so fast.

He lit up a cigarette and sat down for a while before he continued with what he wanted to tell me before we were rudely interrupted. "Snakes like that are..." Hiccup! He caught himself..."Wha..." My roomie was clearly baffled. Our neighbour was getting to him. He actually meant to say, "Businesses like that are rare..." As if in mockery of my roomie's slip of tongue, the offending neighbour promptly fiddled with the volume control. The decibels were rising progressively again as he surfed channels now!

Tell me O' Almighty, comfort me that populating thy creation wasn't a 'sneeze', and that on the rarest of times when thou didst actually take time out to sneeze, species like these were accidentally wrought. From thy snot! (I'm sorry I couldn't help that! But now I seem to picture God with this great big aquiline nose, picking booger that he can shape into... na, I didn't say that, so help me God!)
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Lumps in his Pants!

Pin It Now! Yesh thought he dirtied his pants one scary morning! It went like this. Last Thursday, the subject of our story, walks into my room.

“Machaa! Today a weird thing happened. I thought I shat in my pants!”

Oh yes! Some fun at last. Let’s hear it! Apparently our man left home as usual on Thursday morning on his Hero Honda Street. Now, ‘home’ is somewhere beyond Porur where Gent has told me they speak a different tongue and have their own national flag even. So the boy is on his Street, riding happily, when he enters the crossroads at Porur. Omigawd! He wasn’t sure. But… Omigawd!

What was the lumpy thing in the seat of his pants? He did hit the potty in the morning didn’t he? That thought wasn’t comforting enough because he still felt lumpy. Shit! So he shifted carefully in his seat. Lumpy again. He lifted one cheek off the seat. Did something squish? Did he feel wet and pasty? He wasn’t sure. The damn bus in front of him was hogging the road and horns blaring behind.

So he cut left to ride parallel to the bus. He only had to ride with the flow now, which brought him back to his… “Shit…I’ll have to ride back to change”. He had to make sure before he decided to risk being horribly late for office. So he sent a swift probe. He surreptitiously dug his left hand under his seat from between his legs. But he had to pull it out quicker than he expected because he’d been spotted in the sneak act by a bunch of giggling girls and aunties who were getting a ringside view from the bus alongside.

He shot forward in panic. What! Giggling girls already! What might await him in office then? He had to be business-like now, come what may. He shot forward steadily and then it hit him. “Why not?” He screeched to a stop at the next wafer place. Chennai is famous for all these wafer places; they come under every name suffixed with ‘Chips’. This one was Chennai Chips AC (air-conditioned, mind you).

The aisles there were narrow which meant he’d be almost rubbing shoulders with people in there. And the air-conditioned atmosphere would be unforgiving in its judgment. Any telltale signs and he could scoot out and kick his Street back home. Brilliant! He sent up a swift prayer to the Lord and swung open the glass door with a confidence he didn’t have at the moment. The girl at the counter smiled at him. But was that a smile or smirk? He had butterflies in his stomach again.

Thinking quickly on his feet, he turned his derriere ever so slowly towards the girl. A ballerina couldn’t have done better. No. The girl hadn't winced. Whoopee! He wasn’t sporting a wet spot in the seat of his pants. He had to be doubly sure though. He brushed past a couple of people and then stopped to supposedly examine the chips on display while he furtively searched faces for horrified signs of disgust and crumpled noses. No. NO! He hadn’t shat in his pants after all!

Later in the day, people were heard talking about a boy who went pushing his bike a good distance, merrily wagging his rump at everyone, before he got tired and rode off into the morning!
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Fucks Pas in Murugan Idily

Pin It Now! Idily can be idle lunchtime joy if you have it at the right place accompanied by your tablemate’s extreme unease at his faux pas. Ask me, I wolfed down a dosa, tomato rice and another dosa in languid bliss while Gent sweated over his tamarind rice and choked on his channa and potato wafer sides. The reason for his disquiet was Eric. Eric Manikovich, whom he’d directed to lunch at Murugan Idily. Ah! Those idlis! Soft as virgin breasts and smothered in the most delicious sambar! You must try it sometime before you die.

Or before you die laughing, like we did. It started like this. Lucifer’s most ardent disciple is a friend of mine. I sometimes have a sneaking suspicion that master and disciple do switch places. After he successfully lured us to Murugan Idily for lunch a week ago, he repeated his tempt again today. I had just ordered lunch for me and the Soos (remember the Neanderthal I’d mentioned before?) when Gent called in to ask me cancel my lunch order. They’d made coconut rice for me today. And it’s exactly what I hate eating for lunch. Maybe the Lucifer had arranged for that too.

Like he arranged for Eric’s lunch to be given to one of our colleagues’ after he’d persuaded the poor man to part with it, invisibly thrashing and fuming. You don’t say no to the Lucifer! Eric sacrificed his home cooked lunch at the alter of vile persuasion. Little did he know that it was a sad bargain. So the Manikovich left for a quick meeting before the rendezvous at Murugan Idily near Sundari Silks. Here’s the fun bit. There’s another branch of this gastronome’s delight at Usman Road.

As soon as we’d crossed Usman Road, we had a tired call from Eric enquiring where we were. “There in ten minutes” replied the Gent. And we were too only to find that the Manikovich wasn’t anywhere. Where did he call from then, saying he was waiting “there”? Well, we started out waiting “there” too. But then, you can’t wait at a table too long without ordering. Our first orders arrived while Pradeep, another ‘disciple’, albeit, in a different mould, started the rubbing-it-in. Gent was getting progressively uneasy. It reached a point where, when anyone dipped into his pocket, he’d ask if it was Eric calling!

I reached for my hanky and just as I blew my nose from all that laughing, the Lucifer promptly asked me if that was Eric’s call! Right! “Why isn’t the man calling…” went the Lucifer while we were on our last order. Once we paid the bill and were outside, Pradeep pulled a fast one. He picked up the Soos’s phone, which was on vibrator mode (sounds lurid doesn’t it… vibrator mode…) and spoke into it like he was answering Eric. And then as if to confirm something to the Manikovich, he handed the phone over to Gent, who went “I asked you no…hello, HELLO” before he realised the prank.

Murugan Idily. It’s the place to go to if you want to sample cooking of a different kind. The onion oothappams are great too, though they can be a wee bit bigger. The coffee is typical folklore fare. You know, the kind they call filter coffee. No meal is complete without it. Meanwhile, we are back in office and till about now, no bloodshed has been reported. Maybe the Manikovich hasn’t returned. Maybe he’s plotting retaliation over a sour lunch at some godforsaken joint. Even Lucifer can’t tell. I’ll have to enquire if he’s alive once I post this. Some fucks pas that!
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A taste of Sex

Pin It Now! It’s tough being a cross dresser. Hold it there! Now, this is not a confession. It was just the ‘soos effect’ (and I’ll tell you quickly what that is as we unfold). What I really meant was that it’s tough being Olivia, the agony aunt who can handle any of your “problems relating to sex and relationships”. Holy Molly! That’s mighty lofty! And to think that I’ve been doing it for over four months now. To be fair, my colleague has equally shared the burden and she’s done a great job of it. But Karen is a ‘she’, if you get what I mean.

Me, Olivia! I’m sure a lot many people in the know call me ‘the bitch’ behind my back. You must see the kind of questions I, we get to deal with. They range from the supposed rigours of masturbation to the length of the instrument, to ‘double tool whammy, to… I’ll spare you the details. If you’re keen enough you could visit Hey, let me tell you right out. I’ve not bluffed on any of my answers; you’ll know that when you read them. It takes a lot of work. A lot of sweat even to be irrelevant when it’s called for. I suppose even those who sweat better in the dark will appreciate that.

To begin with, it was absolute agony. Every style of writing I came up with, the client service tyrants trampled over gleefully. Na, that was a bit harsh, actually they did a lot to mould the Olivia in me. And then I used to go overboard with some questions where I was reigned in again. I must admit that in some places my answers were pure verbal gymnastics, lots of hot air, lots of beating about the bush. But then how else would you answer questions like “can I fuck a cow”? I suppose this is where the soos effect came into play.

Now, the soos effect is this absolute art of irrelevance or sly relevance, cloaked in artlessness. Complex, I know. It stems from a complex creature too. A Neanderthal who happens to be a good friend of mine, an absolute, delightful, laugh-a-minute catastrophe! You’ll have to meet him sometime and you’ll know what I mean. Hey, sure looks like I am not giving much here, aren’t it? I’ll take care of that right away. Heard of someone tasting sex from a bottle?

Someone I know recently had a serious bout of coughing. So much so that he’d woken up his mom in the middle of the night with his fit. The poor mom was obviously groggy with sleep because she reached out for the first bottle and gave it to her son who promptly gulped down a liberal amount of its contents. It literally burnt down his sore throat. Know why? It was actually some medicine meant for body sores! You know, sores around the privates even?! And the way he related it to me. “Man! It tasted like vagina!” Phew! It comes bottled now, what?!
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The Ugly Duckling of Fitness

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Jus’ this morning, there I was, all smiling and happy. I was preparing for my ‘Mallu’ bath. A Mallu bath, for the uninitiated, is the post-dawn bathroom ceremony of a Malayali. And it’s a ceremony only because it involves rubbing oil ceremonially all over your body before the bath. I don’t believe in the all-over-the-body thing. So I reached out for the bottle of Parachute, poured a liberal quantity into my palm and rubbed in the coconut oil into my scalp alone. I was almost done when it happened.

I broke my neck! Now, I am not in the fittest of physical conditions. Never have been. I’ve always broken myself. In the leg, in the back in the everywhere. When I thought that things were getting out of hand, I did attempt gyming. (I just found out that there’s no such word as gyming! Now I’m a wordsmith…)

The gym was this wow-wow wonderland for me and the equally daft Soos who doesn’t know his elbow from his knee. We used to be up by five each morning and make a beeline for the gym, all eager and ready. The instructor there must have figured out that his fresh recruits would always remain the ugly ducklings of the fitness world because even two months after, he insisted that we notify him on finishing each round so that he could carefully direct us further. This wasn’t going any further, literally. And I gave up.

Then I drew up this agenda where in I’d go jogging on the beach each morning. I happen to live near the Marina. (On the Marina, you mollusc!) Well, I’m a hop away from the beach and a jog there at dawn sounded like a good idea. The horses wouldn’t be around, neither the hawkers. As it turned out, the beach at that time of day was a revelation. There were people of all dimensions there, running, jogging, walking and shuffling. I had company! And here I could even sneer at most of the crowd. It looked like I had it all cut out. So where did I lose out?

The devil himself is asking me to turn back so that he can have a good laugh at my ‘stiff’ expense! My neck is getting worse as we reach teatime. A time I don’t await too eagerly, because I hate the tea they brew up here in office. It’s a lot of powered milk with a hint of decoction and saccharin. Should I stay up longer in office or should I go back and get horizontal? Where was I? Ah! The jog… I must start the jog once again if only to keep off the Top 10 Molluscs list. I won’t be doing the Mallu thing tomorrow. I’ll just have a bath without the rituals. Pin It Now!