Sunday, October 23, 2011

My exciting toes

I’ve got exciting toes. So do you. If you keep staring at them, you’ll see great and wonderful things happening there. The middle toe is leaning towards the little one, but the big toe is acting pricey!

What yoink, you say. What next? Stare at my toes? I don’t have the time to do that – you, Jandy, have the time to stare at your toes and blog and stuff, but me ...

And yet, growing up gives us all this fascination with our toes. In a waiting room, we stare at them. While walking, we stare at them. And in an escalator – whoa – we do a PhD in the toe-staring thing. Aha! Got it now, didja?

The toe-staring is a grown-up thing to avoid eye-contact. At any cost!
It would be strange really, if while walking around my neighbourhood, I looked at everyone in the eye – I mean I know everyone – the grocer, the housekeeping staff, the security men, the neighbourhood layabouts, the neighbour’s aunt. But oh no, it’s so much more polite to just pretend that though we see each other 44 times a month, we don’t know each other. We don’t really want to wish each other here. Or start a conversation, phew! That would take forever out of our busy schedules. So what do we do instead? We spend our time looking down at those mesmerizing toes of ours.

Last year, a young Swedish couple moved into our building complex. Cute young guy passed me one morning while I walked Marco, and sent me a cheerful : “G’morning!” I frowned at his effrontery, and stared at my toes and even more intensely - at Marco’s toes. The guy learnt quick. He grew up? The other morning, I passed him, and nodded, ‘Hello!’ He hurried on, refusing to wish me or even look at me. He was absolutely spell-bound by his hurriedly moving toes.
And of course, we teach our kids this toe-staring even before we teach them their geography.
At  lunch with a friend, and her lil daughter...  the next table sported 4 young lasses – with pierced noses and weird chains and plastic flowers in their hair. While we tried hard to look at them just from behind our menus (they were so funky!), lil Ro went right up and did a stare-a-thon at them for 5 full minutes. The young ladies did NOT stare back, oh no. They stared instead at their toes, while we tried to entice Ro back to our table to school her properly.

When Neel was 3 years old, a nice blonde lady got him onto her lap. Neel kept staring at her silver blonde hair, remembering what he was taught in school, then finally pointed to her head, “Old”, he said, while I blushed beetroot and – ya, right, - stared at my god-sent rescue team – my good ole toes!

Friday, October 14, 2011


Photography, when it first made an appearance, was rejected as the Devil’s Work, because a photo clicked of you was supposed to steal your soul.
Times have changed, haven’t they? Photographs are clicked everywhere – roadsides, beaches, workstations – even at ATMs and airports – and right here, while I sit and clack away – my webcam keeps clicking.
And anyway – who’s even got a soul left to steal still?

Makes me think about the way I’ve been posing for pix. Over the years. I see black n whites carefully preserved in moth-eaten frames of me as a toddler, peering under the table at the wedding reception. Who cares about looking at the camera, when the half-eaten cake underneath is way more inviting!
Next, the convent school stage – neatly ironed girls in rows. ‘Knees together!’  All of us outdoing each other in solemn frowns.

Teen pix swing the other way. Way Way – the other way. Wild clothes, wild parties, hairstyles that belong to the Ripley’s Believe it or Not – and enough embarrassments for the rest of my life.

Somewhere, along the line, I learn to smile for the camera. Demure or seemingly delighted – that there was going to be an image of me captured on some server somewhere in the world.  The minute the ‘Look here’ was sounded, my lips would bare, teeth would stretch, head would tilt.
Click would go the camera, flash would go the flash. And here comes my pic. One eye shut. Click again. Head half cut off. Click once more please. Teeth look like jaguar’s. once more. Oops, cleavage showing. Re-click. Red eyes. Click again please.
No one’s got that one perfect pic of themselves. The truth: We all think we look much better than those photographs of ours do.  I know I do. I mean, is one side of my nose really fatter than the other? C’mon, click again. Please. Just once more!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Your turn to talk

Ok – so here’s the truth. Most of it. I stopped blogging because it seemed like a one-way mirror. Only a coupla comments - when Google would inform me there were over a 100 page views. Why does everyone just read but NOT talk back to me, I’d think? In fact, I started blogging to actually start bitching – y’know – share impolite ideas about dysfunctional things.

In real life, here are my conversational peaks:

Ma (reading newspaper): Do you know that not having breakfast causes duodenal ulcers?
Me: I’m not hungry so early in the morning.
Ma: It says here that 56% of people who do not eat breakfast live 3.2 years less than others.

Later, Me to Neel: Finish your food. You’ll get duodenal ulcers.
Niks: I too want them. It’s not fair. Neel gets everything!

Still later (9 pm) – Me to S, who’s surfing channels: I have to tell you something important.
S: No! How can they not be showing EPL?
Me: What’s wrong with you? I’m talking of something important.
S: What’s wrong with our cable operator? Let me call him.
Me: (At a volume rated 7.8 on the Richter scale)NO! Listen to ME! I want to have a conversation.
S (startled): Oh! What about?
Me: er...
S: Well?
Me: Do you know that not eating on time gives you duodenal ulcers?

And that’s why I blog. Hoping to have some more meaningful topics covered out here. And hoping YOU WILL REPLY !


Stuck in a traffic jam. And all of a sudden, the radio began to play Sting’s ‘Fields of Gold’. Heard it after a long time. And then I realised – you know what I haven’t done for a long time? Blogged... So here I am. Thanks to all of you who’ve been patiently logging in – and those who’ve been impatiently sending me rude reminders.

The traffic jam just after Hosmat hospital – nothing moving. I am stuck between a bus on my left, with a man who is chewing paan and spitting it out of his window and narrowly missing my left arm each time. And in front is a leery lout on a bike, who’s been staring at his rear-view mirror. To my right, however, is a bike, where there is ACTION happening...

The girl has been hanging on to the guy, talking into his ear. ‘And she then told him to go get a life and then he told her she had no business to talk of his life when her life... and then she told her to get out of his life... and she told him to stay away from her...’ And suddenly, the guy takes off his helmet, turns around and says, ‘What?’

The girl gets off the bike, eyes blazing, and says, ‘You haven’t heard a word I’ve been saying? You never ever listen to me. It’s off! I’m going.’

And then, to the tune of Sting crooning, the blinking lights turn green, and the traffic begins to move. Rotten timing. The paan-chewer, the rear-view-mirror leerer and me – we’ll never know how the Action ended.