Sunday, January 24, 2010


These are the gadgets our household has bought to save its people time and trouble.

The Cell phone : Mine is not charging. I have bought 3 chargers in 3 weeks from. Not charging! I have, with human intelligence found that if laid at an angle of 37 degrees on the bar cabinet, supported by a toy Brontosaurus, held together by a clothes clip and wedged with a tooth-pick, it charges !!! If I replace the toy brontosaurus with a Stegosaurus, it won’t. Or else, I have to stand by the plug point holding the cell phone in place till it charges – while doing nothing else for the 2 hours that this takes. Time-saving device. Hah !

The Microwave : Can do a hundred magnificent things, almost stand on its head. But is used in 99% of Indian households to re-heat ONLY. So, I put the cold milk from the fridge (also tech device – please note) into the microwave to heat quickly. Then Niks scalds his lips and screams. So I put the milk back into the fridge to cool. Final end to this episode : Niks goes to school LATE with burnt lips plus a sneezy nose from milk out of the fridge. Saves trouble. Hmph !!!

The Electric Iron : Our household uses this item as purely educational, since all clothes are sent down to the dhobi. Educational – because Niks is told NOT to TOUCH it, which he chooses to interpret as push Neel onto it, so Neel will touch it instead. And then let’s see what happens.

Laptop : To carry anywhere and have a mobile office. Right now, sits plugged into the mains, since its battery won’t charge. Why is it all items in my house are non-chargeable? But every item in a store that Niks breaks is chargeable? Murphy, c’mon out and let’s talk !

The household also has other inhabitants, some of which are lower-tech-evolved than me. Example : In the middle of a do-or-die presentation, my mom phones me at office to say ‘ The second red light on the washing machine is blinking. Now what to do?’
And there are higher-tech people like my dog, who is the only one who can operate the 5-click guaranteed burglar-proof safety lock on my door.

Learning : They have created a really high-tech appliance which can do children’s homework, fix bulbs, make and pack tiffins, issue warnings, dispense hugs, do crosswords, scrub kids, dress kids, and then drive itself to a full day of work. Guess what it’s called ?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Organizing Blues - and Greens

‘Hey,’ said an old friend I’m meeting after 12 years. ‘Isn’t that the same blue whale t-shirt you had back then?’
‘It’s not, ‘ I reply, ‘then I had a dolphin, now it’s turned into a whale’.
In response to those who think I’m hopelessly fashion-challenged, or disorganized, or lazy :


Here are my piles :

Pile 1 : To throw out - Those clothes I have worn for 10 years : Bye Bye blue whale T shirt. Bye Bye old blue jeans that I fell off a tree in, and then fell off a bike in. (blood stains to prove it). Bye Bye,– sorry, these go right back in.

Pile 2 : To throw out instead – Clothes I have NOT worn for 10 years (smarter !) There should go all my wedding trousseau sarees, but Ma will stage a hunger-strike, so sarees will go into Pile 3.

Pile 3 : Those clothes I have NOT worn for 10 years BUT will wear again : All those tiny tops and size 24 inch waist jeans. Some day I will lose the tummy and the thighs and the – oh forget it, will just give them to some stick-insect teen I meet.

Pile 4 : Shoooooooooes ! I have (opposed to the 3 pairs of footwear that S owns) - currently 27 pairs, out of which I wear my red keds almost every day. Yet, I keep going out and buying another pair of impossibly high heels. (All linked to childhood advice from my Dad – blame him – he said : “Aim High. Stand Tall.”)

Pile 5 : Slinky black dresses and night wear. Night wear now = pajamas. Stick-insect teen – your lucky day !

Pile 6 : Striped T Shirts in all colors. Love these. Buy them every time I sneeze. When I had my 11th, I read that horizontal stripes make you look fatter. Wottodo? Can’t wear my T Shirts at right angles, can I? Too late now. Keep all. Look at the positive - Would fit straight into a jail-break movie/ mental asylum flick (no reader comments accepted on this !)

Pile 7 : Lots of hairbands, caps, socks, (these are called Accessories by fashion mags). They work to color-co-ordinate your look, apparently. Hmmm – like when I’m formally dressed in a black silk sari, nothing like a pair of orange socks with ‘hiya captain’ on them to colorize the co-ordination.

Pile 8 : All other clothes – salwars, trousers, skirts – no more time left to waste, and no more shelves left, so just push them all into the one remaining shelf space, squeezed in between the books, which I have labelled as ‘Unstriped clothes’. (After all, books too qualify as unstriped clothes).

There ! Wardrobe Organized !

Learning (for you this time) : Now all of you who ask why I keep wearing the same red striped T Shirt in all my recent facebook pix, KNOW !

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Perfect Ad

Early in my advertising career, some Ad Big Wig came n gave us a few smart sassy snippets of slurp-up advice, that we, on command, slurped up.

What sells most in ads, said he : Sex, Kids, Dogs

Eager to attain immediate Big Wigdom, I immediately thought up scenarios combining all 3 for my next ad film. But they were all a li’l revolting – in any permutation together – especially since the product to be advertised was a stress-relief tablet.

But I finally crunched all together in a brilliant script - with a cute baby n her sexy mom, playing with a cute puppy.

Ad film Shoot day : The models were shortlisted, the young mom short-skirted, the baby was drool-worthily cute, all dimples and gurgles and giggles. The puppy cuddly.

The day of the shoot, cameras ready, lights set up, the baby wants to grab the camera. The crew, the client, the ad team all try to distract her. She starts to howl. No more giggles, just growls !

She is hungry, said her mom, so she was given Cerelac. She didn’t want it. She tried to chew on the light cable. Everyone got into the act again to stop her. She begins to howl again.

She is sleepy, says her mom. So the baby, the main star of my aborting ad filim goes to sleep. She sleeps all through the morning. We wake her after 4 hours, and she begins to howl. We give her a cable to chew on, and she smiles.

The Director starts shooting, and the baby starts howling.

She wants to go to the toilet, says her mom, so we spend most of the afternoon, changing diapers, and cleaning her up. The baby begins to howl. She has diaper rash, says the mom. She will be ready in a minute. Then the baby goes back to sleep for another 4 hours.

She wakes up at dusk, and the Director begins to howl. He’s lost the light. He can’t shoot. The baby starts to howl because the Director is howling. I have to shoot the rest of the film with another substitute baby without dimples – he is a 2 year old toddler. The stress relief tablet never explains how the curly haired dimpled girl baby turns later into a straight-haired bigger boy. The puppy never makes his film debut at all.

Learning : I never know whether my sexy mom-baby-puppy ad film actually sold the stress-relief tablet to the public. But the entire crew, ad team and client team and everyone else on the sets were popping up the stress-relief tablets. In between howling.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Proven New Year Diet

  1. I will lose weight from the 1st of Jan, 2010.
  2. I will start this resolution on the 2nd of Jan, since the 1st of Jan is the New Year party hangover day and I will need sugar for strength to start my diet.
  3. I will not eat more than 1 sweet thing a week. (coffee and tea do not count.)
  4. Coffee and tea do count! Just checked that every spoon of sugar adds 30 calories. I will drink them unsweetened.
  5. Just tried unsweetened coffee. Will not survive it. I will cut out the 30 calories from my breakfast instead, by not eating half the apple.
  6. I will not eat the left-over Christmas cake. I will instead give it to my neighbours who will return the favour by sending back more home-made sweets, which I will NOT eat.
  7. unless they send their coconut barfi, which I cannot resist, so will eat one a week (allowed by my diet resolution) but coconut gets bad soon, so must finish in one day.
  8. I will cut out snacking in between meals.
  9. I will cut out meals, when I do give in to snacking.
  10. I will chuck out all the snacks in the house. (maybe not these crisps I’m munching on right now, because they are exceptionally good, and they are made of chilli-potato, which is healthy, since chilli is good for the heart).
    ok, I will keep the snacks, but only for emergencies.
  11. Midnight chocolate cravings do not count as emergencies. I will eat carrots instead.
  12. No more chocolate !!!!!!
  13. (unless someone gifts me chocolate, which I can’t refuse, because that would be rude).
  14. Read somewhere that chocolates help in avoiding migraine attacks, which would qualify them as a medical emergency.
  15. Go vegetarian.
  16. I will cook only with olive oil, which makes Mediterranean people live longer.
  17. They also eat lots of fish, so I cannot go vegetarian.
  18. Eggs are high in cholesterol but also high in calcium. ????
  19. Compromise. Eat eggs only in things like cakes, puddings and pancakes.
  20. Do not eat hidden fats. (Does cabbage have hidden fats? Must check, till then, do not eat cabbage).
  21. Also do not eat pumpkins, radish, tendli until the above point is checked out.
  22. Substitute instead with plenty of vitamin supplements.
  23. Vitamin supplements leave a bad after-taste, so have them disguised in a small chocolate pastry (chocolate is a medical emergency, as just proven here).
  24. Do not eat out more than once a week.
  25. ok, eat out, but order sensibly. Drink soup.
  26. Do not drink.
  27. Just read that Alcohol kills the appetite, so drink a lot.
  28. High-fibre diet. Order lots of fried nuts and cashews with drinks.
  29. Drink plenty of water (Beer is only 5% alcohol, and 95% water).
  30. January is full of friends’ birthdays, so should this diet start from Feb?

    Jane’s Proven Immediate-Result Guaranteed Crash Diet Plan (in summary) :

    · Party heavily. Drink a lot.
    · Snacking is allowed, especially chocolates
    · No more cabbage, red spinach, radish and other unhealthy veggies.
    · No veggies at all. Non-veg makes Mediterranean people live longer.
    · Plenty of coffee and tea, with sugar, but cut out fruits to balance the sugar in body
    · No more sweets, unless medical need, or gifted a box, or neighbours send some over, or friend’s birthday party (or other emergencies).