How To Make Non-Vegetarian Nimboo Paani

You will need:

  1. Almost empty container of honey
  2. 1 moron who has forgotten that her kitchen has the occasional ant. [For moron bookings, please contact my agent.]
  3. 1 lemon
  4. Ice
  5. Water


1. Leave honey bottle out on the counter, and conveniently forget for several hours.
2. Come back to the kitchen and watch in fascinated horror as about 1 trillion ants march resolutely back and forth from the honey bottle.
3. Squeeze a lemon into a glass, and swirl cold water in honey bottle. Pour water + honey mix into glasses filled with ice.
4. Realise that ants have apparently decided to perpetuate a kamikaze pact, and have committed suicide in the honey. Their corpses were at the base of the bottle, and have now landed in your drink.
5. Add salt to taste. Stir.



Perfection Time Capsule

I slowly want to reincorporate my old blog into this one, a few posts at a time. Here is one I found of a sunny morning in Goa, with my favourite people in the world.

I love my job (not the working culture, the nincompoops I deal with or the lack of process – but the actual JOB) but I do look forward to the occasional day off. I say ‘occasional’ because I rarely get a Sunday completely to myself at home, regardless of good intentions. Today started off on an awesome note, and I really hope the awesomeness continues into the day/week/month/year.

1. Got up late this morning. (8:45 am, in case anyone was wondering)

2. Crawled out of bed and padded my way two flights of stairs, to see mom still cuddled up under the covers with the cocker spaniel, and dad just disappearing into the bathroom. Mom was complaining bitterly that he woke up and therefore she now feels guilty about lolling around. I, of course, felt no such guilt and promptly jumped into my dad’s spot for a quick snooze. Bliss.

3. Cocker spaniel had other plans, and therefore decided that since my face was accessible to her, she must give it a thorough washing. She was unceremoniously shoved away, and dragged into mom’s arms for a cuddle. Happy me, happy mom and happy dog.

4. Dad comes out of the bathroom, and mom gets up grumbling. I ignore all such happenings, and the dog escapes from mom’s clutches to come and snuggle against my face. My face is now full of soft cocker spaniel fur. Love it.

5. Surface about 5 minutes later and hug father, amidst loud complaints that it is HIS room and HIS bed and she is HIS wife, and what right did I have to come in the middle? Smile seraphically at annoying father and amble into the cold to play with gambolling puppies. Heaven.

6. Play with puppies for a few minutes, and then get into long chat with neighbour about said puppies, my newspaper, the Hanuman chalisa and various other issues. Fun.

7. Amble back into the house, only to find father has disappeared to get milk and bread from the shops. Hinder mother’s bed-making by jumping on half-made bed and encouraging cocker spaniel to do so as well. Then proceed to complain loudly as both of us are thrown out of the bedroom and the door is locked behind us.

8. Dance around the kitchen to cheesy Bollywood tunes blaring from the kitchen speakers. Yes, we have speakers in the kitchen. No, I will not explain. Yes, I can be bribed to explain.

9. Get handed some more work by the father. Demand exorbitant payment to do said work. Get backed up by tiny mother. Outnumber father. Girlie power, yay.

A number of my perfect moments feature my parents and my dog. Unsurprising, really.

A Very Good Morning

One of my favourite parts of waking up each morning, back when we were living in Goa, was coming downstairs to be greeted by my dog.

I slept on the topmost floor, whereas her highness snuggled with my parents on the ground floor. Her bowls and basket were there too, so I reckon that had a part to play in her choice. There were times she came up to my room to snuggle with me, but those were few and far between.

Because our floors are tiled, we all wore slippers indoors. Mine are particularly loud, since they are made of hard rubber. They slap noisily against each stair, as I descended them every morning. My mum later told me that once she heard my steps, my dog rushed from wherever she was, and plonked herself at the foot of the stairs, staring upwards.

I used to come straight down to the kitchen, where all the action took place every morning. Of course my parents were always up before me, so they were invariably bustling about. The first thing I saw though was my dog waiting for me.

As I came into view, she used to get impatient. And her way of displaying impatience was to shift from one front paw to another. I don’t think she even realised she did that. It was adorable.

I reached the bottom stair, and madam raised herself off her haunches and put her front paws on my thighs. I used to put my arms around her body, sinking slowly to the floor in a crouch. Her paws used to slide around my waist, so she first sank to her haunches again, and then lifted her paws to my chest. I hugged her, as she licked whatever bits of my face and neck she could reach.

It was the very best part of my morning, and my whole world shrunk to her in that moment. My mum used to get fairly annoyed, because she was usually trying to get my attention, but I was far too absorbed in my dog. Unrepentantly so, I might add.

There are many reasons why those moments were so precious, especially now that my dog is no more, but at the time, she was a pricey git, and I used to crave her attention. Each morning, affection and attention was willingly bestowed upon me, and me, the peasant, gratefully accepted.

Monkey Business

So yesterday, I went out in the morning to run a few errands this morning with mum in tow. We got a spot of lunch at a South Indian cafe at King’s Circle, which is close to where we stay. On coming out, I thought I saw a rather oddly shaped dog on the pavement.

Only. It wasn’t a dog. It was a monkey.

India is known for a proliferation of monkeys and cows, the former in places near forested areas and the latter just everywhere. In spite of seeing monkeys often in the ghats, on the way to Pune, one in Mumbai, in the middle of the city, in a populated area, with loads of foot traffic and vehicular traffic, is an uncommon sight.

My mother darkly muttered about rabies and menace, and we walked away after I snapped a quick picture. However, other people reacted differently.

Did they shout or yell? Nope. Did they call animal control (or whatever India’s equivalent is)? Nope. Did they run away? Nope.

They fed the monkey bananas. A fruit seller tried to give the monkey a coconut too.

It is official. My country is bananas.


I used to think that all dogs hated baths, contrary beings that they are, even though most love swimming. But I have seen enough videos of happy dogs, well-behaved dogs, and the like, to know that my specimen was particularly badly behaved.

She was prone to ear and skin infections, and I ran through a massive gamut of ointments, salves, medicated shampoos, gels, medicines, supplements, unguents, and sprays, before being told of a simple, but extremely effective remedy.

[I’m going to refrain from putting it up here, because it is a home remedy, and it may have worked for my dog, but might not in other circumstances. I cannot be responsible for any being’s medical needs.]

The only problem with this remedy is that I needed to do it once a week. It was also the sort of application that requires washing off with soap. Therefore, the upshot was that I had to bathe the cow every week. And each session took about two hours to do.

Dear lord.

To add insult to injury, the fart always wanted to roll around on the terrace floor just after her bath. To avoid her wrecking two hours of manual labour in as many seconds, I used to dry her with a towel and a hair dryer set on low. During which, the lout had the ineffable cheek to fall asleep. She used to tire herself out by complaining incessantly about being bathed, and of course her royal highness needed her beauty sleep after.

I was usually a train wreck by the end of it all. Which is why I ended up drawing this:

Shwetu cartoonI am definitely no artist, but every time I see this, I want to laugh. She was such a pain, and yet such a darling.

Pulling a Fast One on the Fat One

During our time in Goa, my family and I lived in a three-storey row house. The topmost floor had the master bedroom and the terrace, the middle floor had the living room and a second bedroom, and the ground floor had the kitchen and dining room, and a small third bedroom.

Because my father was incredibly lazy, he chose to stay in the third bedroom. His logic was: no stairs. When my aunt moved in, she took the middle floor bedroom, because it made sense to her. Therefore I got the top bedroom.

Now, my dog loved me, so she occasionally came upstairs to say hi. But more than me, she loved the terrace. My dog pathologically hated closed doors in the house. If a door was closed, she was instantly miserable and wanted to be on the other side of it. Thankfully, the main door was exempt from this ridiculous diktat.

Like all dogs, my dog was obsessed with people coming in. If the doorbell rang, hell broke loose. She had a particularly shrill bark, which grated on everyone’s eardrums. She also insisted on being centre and front when the door opened, generally tripping people coming in or people going out without any compunction. Unlike other dogs, my dog was a badly behaved little lout, with a strong inclination for her own way all the time.

One afternoon, my dad was at work, and mum and I were hanging about in the kitchen. There was no one else in the house, so the top two floors were silent. Basically, there was no reason whatsoever for my dog to go upstairs.

Of course, that’s exactly what she did though.

My mum and I were a little amused to see the fat podge slowly ascending the stairs. One paw at a time, the small rotund body was rolling upwards. My mum called out to her: “Come down! Where do you think you are going?”

My dog stopped, looked disdainfully over her shoulder for a few second, and continued upwards.

Stifling laughter at this flagrant disobedience, which incidentally I would never have dared to pull on my mum, I called her too. I didn’t even merit the disdainful look. She continued upwards.

It became an ego issue. I kept calling, till my mother silenced me. “Wait. I have an idea,” she whispered. “Let the miserable cow get to the top floor.”

I waited. I had no idea what my mum was up to.

We heard her start upon the next set of stairs, and finally reach the top landing. My mother, with all the stealth of a ninja, carefully unlatched the front door, snaked her arm out, and rang the doorbell. And then quickly shut the door again.

The reaction was instantaneous.

My dog pelted down the stairs, barely allowing her paws to touch each step, crying with excitement. Someone was at the door! OMG OMG OMG.

She reached the ground floor, and ran to the door, preparing to bark her silly head off. Only to realise that there were no new smells. I could see the cogs turning in her head, while she tried to figure out how the doorbell rang but the expected outcome of new people and new smells was missing.

She looked back at me expectantly, and I obligingly opened the door for her. She gazed in consternation at the empty porch, as if to will someone to be there. I shut the door in front of her bemused face, and collapsed into a chair to laugh.

My mother was already crying with the effort of not to laugh, and her last thread of self control snapped when I started to laugh. My dog finally cottoned on that she had been played, played masterfully at that. She slunk into her basket, and refused to talk to us for a few hours after.

100% worth it.


One of the things I miss most about my dog is her constant need for cuddles. And because she was a roly-poly little tub, she was an awesome snuggle buddy.

One evening, my parents and I decided to drive down to Miramar chowpatty in Goa, to have shawarmas and kathi rolls. [We were non-vegetarians back then.] We piled into the car, dog in tow. She loved these short outings in our little car.

Because madam was a short cocker spaniel, she needed to sit on me to see out the window. So sit on me, she did. But she soon got fed up, and waddled off to the other side.

We had our kathi rolls and stopped for ice cream on the way back. I was pleasantly drowsy, and had snuggled into a corner of the seat to drift into a semi-slumber. Turns out, little miss fatso also had the same idea.

Only, the car seat wasn’t the most comfortable for the furry brat. Oh no. So she clambered into my lap, one paw at a time, tucked her snout into the crook of my arm, curled her legs into my abdomen, wedged her bottom into my other arm, and went off to sleep.

I looked on in a mix of awe, love, amazement, and happiness, as this little little being found her sanctuary in my arms. If I ever felt blessed in my life, that was the moment.

Anand and ShwetuAnd because I don’t have a picture of that moment, here is one of her using the French Student as a sofa. He loved it too.