Sniping Away

I found an old Facebook post about a conversation I had with the ex, regarding having kids. Copying the whole thing here, because it really shouldn’t be tampered with in any way!

During a chat about having kids in the future:

Me: “I really just want girls. Don’t think I could handle sons. Might kill them in the heat of the moment, and regret it later. Not to mention the jail time. Plus, I cannot in good conscience release copies of you into this unsuspecting world.”
Anand: “I don’t mind either, really. Any child of mine will be awesome.”
Me: *snorting sound*
Anand: *ignoring me* “However, when my daughters grow up, I will have to set up a sniper’s nest on the roof?”
Me: “A WHAT?!”
Anand: “A sniper’s nest. To take care of boyfriends.” *smugly* “I am a crack shot with a rifle, you know. Part of our Navy training. Won medals and stuff.”
Me: “Really now? Does the Navy train you for being unceremoniously spanked by your wife for being an unconscionable hypocrite?”
Anand: *very small voice* “No.”

An actual, honest-to-God conversation. Still hilarious, so many years later.

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Kanpur-Famous

I have my doubts about the veracity of this claim, but my friends assure me that I must be famous in Kanpur. Of course, they are idiots of the first water, so I rarely take them seriously. But it is a fun story nevertheless.

All this transpired during a friend’s wedding in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh. A fair few of us were travelling and attending the wedding together, although there were only 2 women in a contingent of 12. I was one of these women.

Just after the baraat [the groom’s entry], we were entering the reception area. Because the actual wedding was at the ass-crack of dawn, the reception unusually took place first. I hear this is common practice with North Indian weddings, but it seems a little upside down to me. At any rate, hair mussed with the humidity and dancing, and panting thanks to uncomfortable heels, we traipsed into the venue.

Of course the bride’s side was set to welcome the groom’s party, and there were multiple photographers capturing all the goings-on. As we entered as a group, there were several pictures of us like that.

Then, the photographer waved to the boys to move aside. They obligingly did so, because they knew the other girl was not my favourite person, and that I would set my teeth at being alone with her in a series of snaps. I did set my teeth, but I went along with it for the sake of politeness, and in the interest of not making a scene.

After the photographer clicked a few pictures of the both of us, he waved us off. Or so I thought. We thanked him, and prepared to step aside, when:

Photographer: “Not you madam, the other madam only.”

In some surprise, I looked at him, and then at the other girl. I shrugged, because I wasn’t bothered by this development and started walking away.

Photographer: “No no no no no no! Madam stay. Other madam, side please.”

To my absolute horror, and to the unending glee of 10 miserable boys who live for fodder like this, the photographer wanted solo photographs of me. I stood in electrified shock, smile frozen in a rictus of growing dismay, as the photographer proceeded to move around me for various angle shots.

Yep.

After a few moments, I collected my scattered wits and firmly put a stop to the photographs. But the damage was done. I turned in some consternation to the guys, and saw them brimming with barely suppressed mirth. Barking a ‘oh shut up all of you’ in their general direction, I limped off to the buffet.

A little later, one of them sidled up to me to tease me. I fixed him with a baleful glare, and accused him of putting the photographer up to that stunt to embarrass me. He chuckled and said: “Dude, this is Kanpur. It costs less to bribe people here.” A response that made me feel miles better, I might add, because at least then I know it was a prank.

Fast forward a month or so later, when the groom was back in office after an extended break. Of the original group, 5 of us had put together a hamper as a wedding gift, and we wanted to know whether he liked the coffee machine we got for him.

There was a little ribbing because turns out he thought it was a mixer-grinder, and was pleasantly surprised to hear it wasn’t. Silly ass. I was laughing at him when he comes out with:

UK: “Oh by the way Karishma, my relatives thought you were a foreigner.”
Me: *blanching, because this was said in the middle of a big group* “What utter rubbish. Stop making shit up UK.”
UK: “Seriously! They asked me whether I had invited people from our ‘foreign ka office’.”
Me *starting to beat a hasty retreat amid gales of laughter*: “Liar liar, pants on fire.”
DG: “Dude! They asked her to dance with them too, during the baraat. None of us were asked to join in!”
Me: “Stop it!”
AG: “And the photographer took SO many pictures of her on her own!”
Me: “Guys..”
RP: “Holy shit, yeah! He asked us all to move aside! Even <other chick>!”
Me: “Wait! DG bribed him to do that!”
DG: “No I didn’t! I swear!”
Me: “Screw all of you. I hate you all.”
UK: “Um. I’ve been through all the photos. There are no pictures of just Karishma.”

Pin drop silence reigned after this bombshell hit, as each of us grappled with the implications. I was the first to run off, sped on faster by the shouts of laughter from the table.

To this day, over 2 years later, I still get teased about being a foreign pin-up girl in some Kanpur photographer’s studio. I’m not kidding: I really hate all of these guys. 😐

Compassionate Jokes

I have something of an unruly tongue at the best of times, but I learned today that I can control it on occasion.

Previously, when I went out with my family, I often uttered a famous TV dialogue which flummoxed my parents, as evidenced by this sorrowful Facebook post I put up years ago:

There is this celebrated TV show in India called CID. One of the characters, a policeman called “Daya”, is repeatedly asked by his superior officer to break down a door. Since my mom’s name is Daya, it amused me no end to tell my tiny mother to kick down doors. I got a lot of mileage [for myself] out of that quip, before I explained it to my parents.

So the other day, Mom and I had trotted off to the salon to get her a haircut, and we were accosted by a beggar lady on leaving the salon premises. Now, I am not an insensitive soul, but I have learned not to yield to their pleas for money. Food is fine, but money is problematic. [Definitely something I should figure out in another post.]

Now, there are many standard whines that beggars use to importune people into giving them money. This one said: “Please show some compassion.” That is a rough translation from: “Daya karo.

I didn’t say anything, although I was sorely tempted. Adult. *ahem*

Poor Joke Central

I’ve undoubtedly been in a funk for a few days, and there have been several contributing factors to that funk. However, the very act of smiling sometimes helps to lift the mood in unexpected ways.

I messaged a few friends to chat, hoping to distract myself from the thoughts rattling around in my mind. I counted on their self-absorbedness to occupy my mind space, and thus flush out my own thoughts. Of all of them, the pal is the one who came through in spades. Because the silly ass keeps cracking the worst jokes imaginable.

[Note: Fort and Khar are areas in Mumbai. I had gone to the Bombay High Court in Fort for some legal work. Of course this explanation was also joke fodder.]

Can’t lie; they made me chuckle a lot.

Thongs and Things

Utterly random post up ahead. You’ve been warned.

This morning, I decided to choose a podcast I had subscribed to in 2015 [really], but of which I hadn’t heard a single episode. Just to put things into perspective, I’m subscribed to about 80 podcasts in total. Several of them, I can’t bring myself to delete a single episode without listening to it. Here are some of them. The list has since expanded. So it should come as no surprise that I have 1200+ unlistened-to episodes.

The easiest way for me to tackle this load is to listen to them when on my morning walk. Yes, music is more traditional but it is truly hard to beat The Now Show on BBC Radio 4, on an otherwise booooooooring walk. The belly laughs are like ab exercises in themselves. 😛 And yes, I’ve managed to knock off several by doing this.

Today, I decided to crank up.. *drumroll* My Dad Wrote a Porno. I am not making this up. It is an absolutely bonkers bit of talk radio which is unexpectedly funny. The first episode was the first chapter with copious amounts of commentary, disgusted, wondering, surprised, witty, and hilarious by three people.

If the podcast itself wasn’t hilarious enough, the whole premise was so bizarre, I found myself laughing even more because of it. [Matunga East had very surprised crows this morning.] The text of the erotic novel is so cringe-worthy that it surprises a laugh out of you every so often.

After I had finished the episode, I was debating whether or not to stay subscribed to this podcast. It was funny, granted, but I still found the text a little too cringey for my taste. Thongs, nakedness, and “labial pinkness” made appearances in the FIRST chapter. Doesn’t bode well.

Anyway. I didn’t reach a conclusion on that point, and I guess I will give the second episode a go before deciding.

But. The whole erotica aspect reminded me of an incident with visible underwear lines. [Don’t ask me why. My mind is a mystery to me too, at the best of times.]

This was way back in 1999, and I was in Scunthorpe in sixth form college. A friend from college, also an international student, and I were walking into town. We happened to be walking a few feet behind a lady. This lady was dressed in a well-fitting grey pencil skirt. Office garb, by the looks of it. I cannot remember anything else about her, and you’ll realise in a moment why I remember the skirt.

We were walking on the pavement, and all of a sudden I hear my friend gasp in shock. I looked at her in some surprise, obviously, and she whispered to me the following words: “That lady! She’s not wearing a panty!”

Of course I stopped dead in my tracks in shock, questions coursing through my mind. WHAT? Which lady? Are you sure you meant ‘panty’? Do you know what that means? HOW do you know? Do you know her? Why would she tell you that she doesn’t wear underwear?!

Turns out she was referring to the lady in front of us, and her reasoning was that a skirt that well-fitted should show panty lines. And if it didn’t? No panty.

I was 16 at the time, and raised in UAE. She was 18, a Sudanese-origin Arab, born and raised in Oman.

We had no idea that thongs were a thing. Or commando, for that matter. *giggle*

Sneak!

My dad was very little like a father, and more like an annoying brother. Or so I am told, because I have no brothers for comparison. There were many times we plotted together, mostly leaving mom out because of her halo. [I told her some of our shenanigans later, and since they were all harmless, she had a good laugh and shook her head.]

But there were times where my dad would have gotten into trouble with her, if she had been with us. Most of those times, I covered for him, because he was chastened enough. [Examples are things like tripping over something because he wasn’t being careful, or eating/drinking something he wasn’t meant to, and the like.]

Except for one time.

Around the time we lost him, the pair of us had trotted off to the market. The market is very familiar, as we go there very often. He wasn’t keeping 100% well, so it was imperative that he wasn’t too far away from me at any point. Plus, he had a new phone, whose ringer was absurdly low for Mumbai. He couldn’t hear it ring, essentially.

I had to stop at a store to pick up a couple of things, but he didn’t want to come in. So we decided to meet in 10 minutes at a nearby eatery for lunch. He would head off there first, since he was tiring and wanted to sit. I headed into the store, and bought the stuff I needed. I then proceeded to head to the eatery. No sign of him.

I was surprised, but not worried yet. I figured he would be in the next eatery, as this one seemed full. Nope. Tried the next, nope. And so on, till I was in the midst of the crowded market, having a complete panic attack.

I tried ringing his phone, but of course he didn’t answer. I went to where we had parked the car, but didn’t see him. I started asking passers-by and shopkeepers whether they had spotted someone of this-and-this description, but no dice. I stood in the middle of the pavement, at my wits’ end, so panicked that even tears had seized in my eyes. I knew calling my mother was the next step, but she would immediately panic and we would have a full-blown crisis on our hands, so I waited.

And then I spotted his salt-and-pepper head bobbing close by. In mingled relief and rage, I ran across roads and people to get to him.

Only to be greeted with the most seraphic smile, and mild surprise: “What happened?” he asks me, with the utmost guilelessness. If ever I came close to strangling my father, it was that moment.

Anyway, I told him off a little, because he never took my annoyance with him seriously anyway. And we proceeded to have lunch, finish our errands, and head home.

When I got home though, I knew I had to tell mom. I asked her to take a seat, and gently told her everything, in front of him. As she proceeded to take in all of what I was saying, the colour drained from her face, and her eyes widened in horror. Only the fact that my father was sitting opposite her, in front of her eyes, stopped her from whipping herself into panic-stricken frenzy.

When I finally finished the tale, my father was fixed with an exceedingly beady-eyed, far from amused look. He grinned at her placatingly, but it didn’t make a dent: “If she had called me before she had found you, you would have gotten the pasting of a lifetime, and I would have walked out of here!”

He had the grace to look at her with a little more shame than I apparently warranted, and said that there was nothing to worry about since he was here now, wasn’t he?

My mother harrumphed, and declined to grace that with a response.

He then turns to me, wrinkles his nose in some disgust, and says: “Sneak! It’s not nice to tell on people, you know!”

That’s when he got a smack from my mother, and I walked out laughing my guts out. Because which father accuses his only child of being a sneak?!

Nothing I Can Do!

Again, need a dear old dad post to wash away the cobwebs. Short one this time.

My mother is quite the character really. She is determined, fearless about her principles, focused on what she needs to do, and impossibly naive in a lot of respects. Before I came along, my father used to point out some of life’s realities to her. Case in point:

He took her to the Taj one evening, and pointed to a group of girls in the lobby. “Look at those girls. They’re escorts,” he said. The almighty sap that is my mother exclaimed, “WHAT?! They’re so well dressed and presentable. How do you know?! No! It can’t be.” After looking at her, with a mixture of what I imagine from later experience to be disgust, pity, and affection, he apparently said, “Never mind. Tumko kuch maalum nahi.” [You don’t know anything.]

That is far less offensive in Hindi than it is in English, and roughly approximates to ‘You’re so naive.’

By the time I came along, he had stopped telling her stuff. Possibly because her reaction is usually loud and explosive, and draws attention when one is trying to be discreet. Her jaw visibly drops and so on. I have written about this before. So when I started “educating” her on things not so politically correct, he was not a fan.

“Don’t teach her all this stuff!” was his almost constant refrain. I gleefully taught her curse words and Internet slang, and watched in side-splitting amusement when these bombs were deployed unexpectedly in public. For instance she once told off a bunch of louts, who were sizing me up, questioning their morals and announcing to the world that they were a bunch of “fucktards”. It was magical.

Invariably though, sometimes these utterances were less than appropriate. In the aftermath of each of those instances, when my mother had cleared a path, I often asked my father where he had managed to find such a specimen to marry.

His response? “I can’t do anything about it now. She’s your mother.”

True that, dad. True THAT.