Book Review: The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga

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Title: The White Tiger
Author: Aravind Adiga
ISBN: 978-81-7223-847-6
My Rating: 4.5* out 5

I got to know of a friend who was reading this one and once mentioned it as a hilarious one. This one word propelled me to get a copy from library and read it as quicker as possible. No doubt it is a good book by Adiga to get a Booker prize with few itches. The real India is been presented in the best of its words. DARKNESS been used for that state, was a great idea. It is indeed DARK there. The episode when Munna was made to work at Tea stall by the Stork, or when Munna got polished as a Driver has been framed too good. It brings the whole scene live in front of eyes like any bollywood movie. However few things were too descriptive and into abstract. Some which just flew above my hairline, like the electromagnetic waves around us. Yes, like others have mentioned it is unclear why did he throw away the potatoes from the Dosa. The charecters are named so well – the Stork, the Mongoose, Vitiligo Lips, Country Mouse etc. Overall idea of writing a book while narrating the story to Premier Jiabo is fantastic. I would recommend majority of my friends to read this book.

my pnr status :)

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things can be so surprising and technology is used at its max. i liked it after i tried and hence thought to share it with you all as well. i was busy closing myself and my work on a friday evening about 8 pm. a call on my cell phone from a good buddy – glenn pereira. he suddenly speaks about his train bookings in RAC state and he wants to know about the boggie and berth details. i check for his PNR and it says 18th march 2013 as date of journey. i have to inform him about this amazing feature of indian railways. they decide your berth only 2 hours before the train starts journey from source. like the almight decides your gender, 2 hours before you are going to take birth. berth and birth go hand-in-hand.

not diverting from the topic, he speaks about the miserable cell phone network in the place he is right now – vailankanni (somewhere near chennai). i assure him i would take care to check this PNR periodically and confirm him back with details as soon as i see any. so i am still browsing on my blackberry for a website that works in mobile format and shows me the PNR status as quickly as possible. first… second… third… fourth… all are useless webpages with no quick display of PNR status. some pages infact take more than 5 minutes to even load themselves before fetching the status of PNR. scrolling through google results, i thought of taking a pause at this webpage and testing that as well.

CLICK!!! the webpage opens. seems a bit weird, like it is a google product. no issues, i type my PNR on the field and click on SUBMIT to get the results. it prompts me for logging into website. and then says you cannot get updates untill you sign up. assuming it a google product and without thinking much of telemarketing stuff, i make up my mind to sign up. i signed up and immediately next it prompts me for my mobile number. i could sense some telemarketing data collection kind of stuff. though i never mind telemarketing on mobile phones. it is just a matter of recieving an incoming call. i progressed by feeding in my mobile number. click SUBMIT and next it shows me a keyword with code and asks me to text it to a 10 digit mobile number. 10 digts, means no special VAS charges. lets try reaching to the end of the tunnel to experience what it is? i sent the text message.

in few minutes i got an sms back comfirming my registration. next sms, my mobile number is now binded with the PNR that was belonging to glenn. but that is fine. there is the third sms in my inbox. it says PNR xxxxxxx726 has RAC 15 16 17. i go back to home as per routine. the days ends as soon as the supper is over and i am into bed. i wake up into morning and check my inbox. another alert and this time it shows same PNR with a changed status – RAC 12 13 14. now i am waiting to test if it shows the berth number, when the charts are prepared. do try if you also think this tool helps you – http://www.mypnrstatus.com :) :)

avenge…

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so what is it happening around in the society you are living now? we have been listening a lot about corruption and rapes, majority of the time. but this is all on a wider horizon, i believe. zoom in! yes, zoom in more. zoom till you see only your locality visible in the horizon. and then wait till the digital zoom adjusts the pixels itself, to make a clearer picture for you. not binding that you see the same picture as i am seeing it. it may differ.

momma had been to bazaar to get the daily necessities. yes, she was back in an hour with stories. stories that happened in front of her and she was a witness to a situation that happened. she was engaged in picking up the veggies, which were on the wishlist. he had packed all items that momma had selected. while she was opening her purse to pay him, a high-pitch-shout seem to have passed from behind of her. “aali re… gaadi aali…” the poor man, who was selling things to momma in his stained trousers and shirt, picked up everything that he was selling and moves away into a corner. he even mumbles quickly, “udhar aao, paise wahan leta hun.” there were chaos all around, in less than a minute. it seemed like the citizens resided lawlessly. the pandemonium was not at all planned to happen at this hour, else the poor man wouldn’t have put his veggies on sale. the vehicles are halted unwantingly, and are now witnessing the pandemonium.

momma was still there, analyzing the situation. she noticed an inspector in his attire. he is instructing an accomplice with an tablet to capture the daily drama that happens. unanticipated, there is a troop of inspector’s followers, summing up to the pandemonium in progress. they are healthy enough to elevate you from the ground level, and hurl you into their vehicle. this vehicle has no seats for you, but you can see the carcass left of the yesterday’s pandemonium that happened. you can see the vehicle filling up with stuffs now. quicker! quicker than it took time for that poor man to procure it. hurling the stuffs in the vehicle has become the job of inspector’s followers. hurling it in such a way and few things get dropped on the floor.

the poor lady is also a witness to the happening. the poor lady who couldn’t afford to buy anything in the market with few rupee bills she was carrying in her worn-out purse. minutes later, she has a bag full of cucumbers, tomatoes, eggplants, writing pens, pencils, and may be few toys for the kids as well but she hasn’t spent a single rupee bill. while she has recovered from the state of shock she had entered, she realizes her kid was the one who filled up the bag from the free-bies rolling on the road. he was excited sportingly without realizing what he was up to. he just found something that was needy for him, he picked it and stuffed in the bags. some more ladies realized the same after they had recovered from the shock of what was happening around them.

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few other sellers in that spread, are seen beseeching to the inspector for their things. some more are seen making a deal with inspector, by holding a 100 rupee bill to avoid being hurled into vehicle with their stuffs. the inspector is in no mood to address anyone of them. he has his own outburst for the things he was made to listen at the commissioner’s office. things about the sophisticated people complaining for the unorganized bazaar area, about his uselessness in managing the daily flux of vehicles etc. situation has seem to be worsened. inspector has no idea of what his next step should be. he is not equipped with water canons and tear gas shells, like the delhi police who uses it frequently these days. to avoid the situation worsening for themselves, they have decided to move out. a blow of the whistle and his followers have started getting into the vehicle. while the poor sellers are still beseeching for their things to be returned back, the inspector bloodlessly walks into the vehicle’s cabin and sits next to the driver. despite of its inabilities, the vehicle manages to touch 30 kmph in less than 2 seconds. the pandemonium has come to cease and citizens have dissolved back to their accepted routine. momma paid that seller, and had begun to cut the distance back to home.

her story provoked numerous thoughts in me or probably an outrage for myself or for people who lead a life like me? yes, we are educated and organized for everything. we have the most accurate answers for any question. we have spaces designated for everything. we pay the best price of everything we desire to own. we claim to understand everything. now let us go descending to reality. do we really understand anything?  do we really pay the best price for the thing which we desire to have? do we really have the spaces rightly designated for? do we have most accurate answer for any question? are we precisely organized in all aspects? no! we aren’t.

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why do we think that the poor sellers were an encroachment in the bazaar area? did they come there by their choice, or our desire to own that thing has invited them to sell it here? if they shouldn’t be selling their products in the bazaar area, should they be selling it 4 miles away from our residence which is designated spot for them? and then we would start complaining about the autos overcharging to travel in that area. the poor man’s income has been taken away by the inspector and his followers. he is indebted to pay back the money he had borrowed for buying the goods. he is now burdened with thoughts about repaying the amount. he is finding his way out, while sipping the spirit from a glass bottle. he has sipped above the limit and has thrown himself on the pavement. the pavement that happens to be the entrance of our sophisticated superstructure, which is illegal as per the housing department of our municipal corporation. we still complain about it.

the poor man’s son is seething with anger about whatever happened with his pro-creator. he has knocked almost every door for justice and has found no success. he has no advantage to deal with situation and bring back the lustre to his father. but he has a mind to construct an strategy to avenge. avenge the inspector, who ordered his followers. avenge the followers, who took away his father’s goods. but he can never avenge the sophisticated people, who provoked the inspector to take these steps.

le lo na!!! nahi, bhai nahi!!!

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aah yes! i could get into at the castle mill naka. i am comfortably installed in my seat, abaft the coachman who steers the coach swiftly towards the bottomless pit… err.. office-wards. my lifeless eyes are still fixed outside the window of the coach. the mind carrying an expectation, to view and experience something. something that is freshening nuff to get the day going. it was may be a sleepless night, that had passed away. the earbuds were still sowed deep in my ears, but couldn’t yield the fruit that i was expecting. of all the bollywood tracks that were being played but nothing helped. the first right, zen and few more colleagues get in. gaining the pace back, an leftwards turn is next on coachman’s agenda, followed by a brief pause. it is cadbury junction and a bunch of keys… err… key-employees to get into the coach.

the coach attempts to push itself after receiving the gearing instructions from the coachman, but brakes are pulled at next moment. i had to retreat my eyes from the window, to have an update – why did that extra pause happen? as i retreat, my brains corresponds the figure in next seat with anand. anand works in a different division, though we are all dorks from the jungle of information technology. anand has been in the firm since 2008 but soon this stranger transformed into a bus-buddy of mine. not sooner than 2009, probly. our chats were not limited to one patch of land yielding same peanuts and neither did we chat only when in transition to office. we had a handful of subject matter to talk bout and that may continue over firm’s messenger, but only if it left unfinished in the coach. stock markets, indices, african countries, bollywood, hollywood, bombay times, local politicians, those self-made-celebs at our workplace, books, tales of anand’s japan visit, leave calendar etc. were a matter of our discussions.

my eyes gyrated towards the coachman and found an known-by-face dignitary, who was instructing the coachman to pause for a minute or two so that his buddy can get into the coach. “hmm. so we are waiting for someone.”, said me to anand. i went on- “why is it that someone has to be late and make the coach pause for minutes?” anand had a smile as he understands the sarcasm that i copy from him, in my words at times. i still had the ear-buds planted in my ears and didn’t pull them out despite of anand’s presence next to me. my eyes rolled quickly again outside the window to find that thing, to brighten the day. it stuck on something. stuck there for a good while, since the coach was still waiting for that yet-to-come-dignitary. anand might be wondering, what is it that i am concentrating upon. he might have thought i am lost in the music playing, coz that happens recurrently. he took his eyes off me, may be, after observing me for a few seconds.

a quick tap on his right shoulder, coz that was the closest available to me. he emerges from his economic times and looks towards me. i had actually played the role of saviour for his life, before he drowns himself into the financial journal. looking at me, he nods in a question mark on his face. i have that nothing-so-important-but-still-look-at-it kinda look, and point him outside the window. he throws a quick look and smiles mild. i have sealed my lips and answer him a “no. you haven’t seen what i intended to show you” by bobbling my head left to right and right to left, in quick successions. pointing my finger outside the window and turned a slight downwards, i ask him to peep again. this time he has to slightly revoke himself form the seat to look outside or rather out-down-side. he fixes himself back into seat, smiling with twice the mildness as compared to last instance. i reckon, he had seen what i wanted to show him while i returned him a smile back.

while he was swimming back into the financial journal, i heard him say,
“achcha hai.”

“haan. i always prefer EasyCabs. because they have hyundai accent in their fleet.”

“accent ka design and internal spacing bahut badhiya hai.”


“haan. aur pickup bhi achcha hai.”

i have my eyes still fixed on the easycab’s (radiotaxi service) vehicle. my mind still thinking about what i was looking at. did that engrave the thoughts running in my mind, on the thing that i was looking at? probly not, coz the thing that i was looking at, was still the same. anand cooked up in his mind, that i like hyundai accent over any other sedan. though he is aware of the reality, that i would never prefer to own a sedan or any other vehicle. we both had a similar conclusion from our previous conversations, that majority of the youth frustrate themselves by owning a car and then driving it on the crowded roads\lanes of mumbai. the only reason behind this conclusion, is their low tolerance skills. its tough to make a young bud stop honking his horn, if there is a jam on the road. the young bud himself as well as the pauper on the road is aware of the fact, that honking the horn never resolves an messed up traffic jam. they still do it, and draws to a conclusion that they have very low tolerance.

“lena hai kya?”

“nahi re baba.”


“le lo, le lo.”

anand is again insisting me to buy it. i am into a fix. “what is he thinking about?”, i mutter to myself within my mind. a quick look-back at the conversations we had in past, and i realize the sarcasm-in-abstract. we always had a enjoyable-sarcasm-in-the-abstract towards each-other. as they say in hindi, “taang-khinchai-karna” or “pulling the legs” in english. but what is to be done with it now? what makes him to pull my legs in this situation? the situation, where he has still not got what i intended him to peep at, because he didn’t speak anything bout it. the situation where i have no sarcasm-in-the-abstract. or the situation where the coach will be waiting for only 2 minutes, and would leave as soon as that yet-to-come-dignitary boards the coach. he has not got what i want to show him. but what would be on his mind?

aah yeah! maybe he is trying to play that sarcasm-in-abstract about my last week’s brag. a brag in the evening when moving homewards, of punching the trade and finally owning a stake in an edible oil company. he had asked me about the value of the stake and i reply him back, 5000 bucks. “i am not a big investor, but owning stocks of any company, is a stake. it may be as small as 0.0000000000000000000000000000000021% of their capitalisation or networth. i may invest more if this stock goes good on exchanges”. back to the moment. “does anand sarcastically think, i am thinking to buy a stake in easycabs? and that is why i am inspecting the assets of the company via that constant stare at the hyundai accent?” after all, they are the assets for that radiotaxi giant. so i have to reply anand back with an equal sarcasm-in-the-abstract.

“IPO nikalega tabhi lunga. filhaal kuch nahi kharidna hai.”

“kya?”


“yes. easycabs IPO nikalega tabhi usme stake lunga.”


“arreeay!! main stake ki nahi, hyundai accent ki baat kar raha hun!”


“oh okay.woh toh kabhi nahi kharidunga. parking k lafde kum hai kya?”


“kya tum bhi na.!” and a big smile on anand’s face.


“waise mujhe bhi tumhe easycabs and uska hyundai accent nahi dikhana tha.”


“fir?”


“uske andar waali dikhani thi.”


“kyun? kya khaas baat thi?” asks a surpised anand.


“arre! lower half hi dikha jisme uska black trouser tha, stilettos they. stilettos dekh k koi executive designation waali lagti hai.”


“oh okay.”


“but important woh bhi nahi hai ki usne kya pehna hai.”


“fir?”

“important yeh hai ki woh fruits leke aayi hai and cab mein khaa rahi hai.”

“toh usme kya hai?”


“fruits ko woh haathon se khaa rahi hai and news paper bhi padh rahi hai.”

and we both burst out in laughter. that yet-to-come-dignitary had boarded the coach and the journey had resumed, towards the bottomless pit… err… office-wards. while we recover back from our laughter, anand says-

“paper lena nahi bhoolte but ek fork lena bhool jaate hai.”

“sahi hai boss!”

and that quick laughter. anand has drowned himself in that financial journal, again and instantly this time. without swimming for a while. and i am back to my mobile’s playlist to find a better track. a track that suits the mood while being on a 80kmph highway journey. while playing one, i have a look on the highway, through the small dark-glassed-window between me and the coachman. i am looking at the road ahead but apparently prakash gives his appearance. no no. he didn’t jump out of his seat to be standing in front of me. he was still fixed in his seat there, but on the other side of the passage. his appearance was damn faint on the dark-colored-glass, but visible nuff to understand his sign language. maybe he was getting impatient to know the reason behind our laughter.

meter down!!!!

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so what do you do when you are into an auto? but obviously i need to know, when you are travelling alone. if you have a co-passenger, you are sure to exchange few words with him\her. some have a look outside and some have look inside the mobile-phone. some may be on music and others may be on yak-yaking with someone on mobile-phone. with addition of smartphones, people now keep tweeting while on the move in an auto. you have reached the destiny, and it is end of your ride. you have to pay him now. that is when you realize, there is a hole in your pyjama.

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mumbai-kars have a long history of using auto-rickshaws for cutting distances. for my readers outside india, i am adding a pic of an auto-rickshaw #SelfPromotion. there has been a lot of hull-a-boobula around the auto meters overcharging or being speedy enough to burn a hole in your wallet. after a lot of tussle, finally the electronic fare-meters are mandated for any auto-rickshaw. mumbai-kars had a relief from being overcharged, but it was short-lived. the fares were spiked, not hiked. the minimum fares rose to 15 rupees from 12 rupees. for every 0.1 kms travelled, the fare was raised from 0.7 rupee to 1.0 rupee.

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but the question again is, what do you do while travelling alone in the auto? i have no answers coz i never travel alone in auto. yeah! being an mango-man, i prefer to travel in mass transport system or keep my feet on the run. refrain from using an auto, or rather from being cheated royally. a lot of people tag me as KANJOOS- the indian word for a miser. but little do i care about them? no ways. though as they say in the glamour world or in corporate world, COMPROMISE! yes, i do compromise on my idealogies when mum and dad are accompanying me. with a lot of abhorrence, i wave my left hand to an auto to pause. “Station chalogey, Bhaiyya?”. 4 out of 5 will run away without telling a NO. the 5th one would stop for a moment. with nil courteousness, he prefers to shake his head in YES, instead of breaking the tobaco-seal between the lips to speak out a YES. without losing an oppurtunity, i get into it and signal my mom n dad to also join me.

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the auto-rickshaw heads towards my destiny, and my mom’s starts her offering of prayers to the supernatural deities. the prayers are to safeguard us all and the auto-rickshaw from those rash bikers. yes, the same bikers who vrooomin at 60 kmph, when the prescribed limit is 40 kmph. dad is engaged looking out for anything spectacular or any changes outside. comes to me. me? me, a bean-bag-with-life, has my eyes only working and remaining body to be resting generously. i have my eyes fixed on something. my mom looks at me while still offering her prayers, and i look back at her. her lips mur-muring the offerings, silent enough to not to distract me. she realizes what am i upto. coz i have my eyes fixed on the auto-rickshaw’s faremeter. i have my own set of observations and hence prefer to keep away from the auto-rickshaws. the electronic meters are cheating as well sometimes, though lesser than the mechanical fare meters.

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today, i was in conversation with this mirchi laddoo of mine. our conversations are usually on e-mails, while at work. another good thing about our conversations, they cover everything. like a bollywood movie has everything- romance, action, thrill, melodrama, musical, or masala. and i had this below conversation with her. certainly, i have covered a small portion of this conversation.  

me:- :( baat nahi ho paati hai na jyada.. BTW USP ka website dekha?

mirchi laddoo:- Nahin..week end mein dekhungi.. Aapne meri website dekhi?????

me:- Renew ho gayi? Ab dekhta hun!

mirchi laddoo:- Kabka :) Going for another meet :(

me:- Dekha :) am done with lunch!

mirchi laddoo:- :)

me:- BTW when I went to Siddhivinayak this Sunday, I realized, Local Train ka fares are hiked for tickets. :(

mirchi laddoo:- Yes :) Height is they are charging service charges for first class.. My monthly pass has now got a total hike of 105/- :(

me:- Mine pass of Thane to Ghatkopar was 95 :) now it is 115 :(

mirchi laddoo:-  :o , Phir bhi Auto se to cheap hai :) .

me:- Hehehe :) :) anytime!!

mirchi laddoo:- When I joined x-x-x-x in 2006, Fixed Rick Fare from Station to Godrej Soaps Gate was 20/- now it is 35/-

me:- Oh! Back in 2007, when I joined x-x-x-x-x x-x-x-x-x-x, I didn’t knew the auto fare from Pizza Hut (Hiranandani Gardens) to x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x Building.
Today in 2013, I still don’t know the auto fare from Pizza Hut (Hiranandani Gardens) to
x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x Building. :) :) :)

mirchi laddoo:- Vadde log!!!!

me:- oh no. I am still in the list of people who hate to travel in auto. :)

mirchi laddoo:- :)

me:- Electronic meters mein bhi chori hai. And the worst part is, they have introduced advance payment system with electronic meters. You pay first for 0.2 kms journey.

mirchi laddoo:- Matlab?

me:- As per the fare chart.
1.6 Kms > 15 rupees
1.8 kms > 18 rupees
2.0 kms > 20 rupees

An passenger would think, when the faremeter completes 2.0 kms, it should show 20 rupees.
In reality, when the faremeter completes 2.0 kms, it shows 21 rupees.
That 1 rupee is the fare for next hundred meters taken in advance.

So when the auto has completed 2.1 kms, it will show 22 rupees which is for the 2.2th kms!

Samjha?

mirchi laddoo:- :o

me:- Now if you give some more attention to the faremeter, you would notice this another defect.
I would be using an unusual unit for time – “JIFFY”.
Since we frequently use the word “JIFFY”, you already know how long is a JIFFY and how long are JIFFIES.

After completion of 1.4 kms, the meter shows 16 rupees. This means you are charged that rupee for the coming 1.5th kms. The rupee meter will still move forward to 17th rupee, even if the meter shows 1.5 kms. After a few JIFFIES, it would show 1.6 kms completed.

The time lag between the “Addition of rupee for next 0.1th km” and the “Addition of 0.1th km” plays an important role here.
Majority auto meters have a lag as high as 3 -4 JIFFIES. Only some auto meters have it low as 1-2 JIFFIES.

And after they have implemented electronic meters for all autos, I have experienced only one auto whose meter went actually right.
His meter use to show 1.5th Kms first and then the fare went to 16 rupees, almost after a JIFFY!

Dher saara gyaan mila na?
Ab jab bhi autos mein baithogey toh observe karna :) :) :)

(since there was a lambi-khamoshi from this mirchi laddoo, i had to write back.)

me:- Ki hoya? Chakkar aa gaye?

mirchi laddoo:- Meeting! Going for another one now.. aake padhungi :)

me:- Oks oks !

mirchi laddoo:- Wow!! Autos mein travel nahin karne wale ko itna knowledge hai!!! *.*

me:- Means.. akele nahi karta hun… but agar mum n dad ho toh auto hi karna padta hai, ghar se station k liye :)

mirchi laddoo:-  :grin: , Waise website ka feedback mangna padega?

me:- :) :) ;) ;) …………………………………………………………..

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our conversation is still on while i am still drafting the blog. but that shouldn’t be the matter you need to know. :) aah! you are smart nuff to know what i want to convey to you via this blog.  no, no. i am not blowing my own horn of smartness. i know i am oversmart. but all i wanted to tell you is about my observations on electronic auto-faremeters.

next time you also get into an auto-rickshaw in mumbai, keep your own set of observations and share with me if possible.

ladies versus ladies!

i cannot pull back myself from sharing this thing which happened on this sunday, i.e. 30th october 2012. a sudden decision at 11 am to meet at nahur and rush out at pvr cinemas. disha was hankering for heroine since its release, though she has a deep dis-LiKE for her. that has been my second visit to nahur station  . moving out we have auto, with mechanical meter, available. outside nirmal Lifestyle, i paused for a moment to recollect which way we are supposed to be going. yes. that’s my second visit to nirmal Lifestyle. due to its odd location, it has always been last on wish-list, whilst r-mall, mulud remains on top.
hopping over an escalator reminded me of those days, when i made my quick steps in same direction as escalator travelling, thus cutting time to reach on next level in any mall, and the chaos that security guards do when they see me doing it. but it is just adventurous fun to do. and we reach on Level 1, booking counters for pvr cinemas. you might be surprised between the queue at booking counter of pvr and the queue at railway booking counter. both are so synonymous to each other. and a strategy to get tickets, similar to get mumbai Local’s tickets, was applied. me in one queue and disha in another. it’s a game. who gets the tickets first?

i was upset a bit when i saw this. a guy ahead of me was there to book for a 6:30 pm show. a lady comes in rushing with kid asking his favor, to allow her to book a 1:05 Pm barfi show. he allowed her. what agitated me for a moment, if you are waiting for 6:30 pm show; it is not necessary others are also waiting for the same show. we were there since 1:00 pm for a 1:15 pm show. not one, there was something more. this cheeky gal trailing disha in that queue, taps her shoulder and asks for a favor- “me n my mum need to go for a 1:05 pm show.” yeah, disha can guess her intentions well and a spot-answer to her- “even we are going to same show!” so there was nothing much left for the cheeky gal to beg for and there was nothing much left for disha to justify herself.

we had our tickets for heroine and damn did we care about that cheeky gal getting her show on or not. we were at the waiting lounge and that was filled up completely with anxious-bollywood-lovers, flashing their combo meals in their hands, or the tickets. so it was 1:10 when we were in front of our audi-1 for the show. this time i wanted us to enter 1st. i always make a point to not to miss the national anthem as this is the only time when we really sing through. Lucky enough? sometimes you get that word-less national anthem, composed by a. r. rehman and those vikarma kids enacting. makes us think, for a moment, we are lucky to have all of our senses in place unlike them. so while we were searching for P1 and P2, i realize it is most important to get kids on a movie almost every day. if not everyday, it must be every weekend. select a seat that is in r row or higher than that, which would help the kids learn a-r or above, flawlessly while they are stepping up each row towards their seats.

heroine makes her entry after a series of trailers and that emotionally-blackmailing-advertisement of hdFc Life. the story flows and so do our comments on everything visible on the screen and around. it was interval and we were still glued to our seats. we had no desires for that cola or samosas and Pop-corns. yes, but we talk and we plan for the next movie in the interval. break khatam, and movie starts to approach the end. with that last frame of kareena shedding tears of satisfaction, we realize the movie has ended. but i don’t want to get into the crowd. it is again a situation like people off-loading themselves at dadar station. so i continue to be glued in the seat until 99% of the audi is empty.

so we are the last now remaining to move out of the audi. we rise like the sun from our seats, walk down the steps. we are now in front of the screen, close to the exit door. disha comments about we being the last one to move out. i look around, just to show her that we are the second from last. what do i see? i am surprised. i tap her shoulder to show her the same thing… oops… not the thing in fact… the same cheeky girl with her mum…  so while we recover from that surprise, they are in a close proximity to us and the EXit door. and that’s where the ladies do the ladies versus ladies thing, with their eyes.

kaise mujhe tum mil gaye…???


(a click from our ring-ceremony organized on 26th may 2012, with family and close friends.)

so i think, i had done a good job un-dirtying my habitat-since-birth. momma realized, i was damn serious this time. not for the occassion though, but with the un-dirtying my habitat. there were more than one thoughts in my mind about this hilariously-serious-event which has repeated a lot of times. yes, bredren would agree if I say times have changed. reminds me of a small joke, which is pun-intended.

times have changed!
1970- beti ki shaadi karani hai, kaash koi achcha ladka mil jaaye.
2010- bete ki shaadi karani hai, kaash koi achchi ladki mil jaaye.

it all started about somewhere in 2009 or 2010, probly, when i found my parents getting serious about hunting my other-half, from the same world as mine. yeah, the thought was pretty hilarious for me coz the time has changed and how people have become materialistic. sometimes emotions are kept apart when taking decisions for life. i was entertained by this entire process of finding the better half. your parents attend some social events, family get-togethers > meet the old friends, long-lost-relatives > inquiring about what their kids are doing > checking for some prospect goat, to be halal-o-fied, in a roundabout way > exchanging contact numbers > talking over fone the very next day > know the current status of the goat, bit more in detail > plan to exchange horoscopes > approaching the pandit for matching the Horoscopes > with a go-ahead of pandit, its another set of phone calls to schedule the meeting time and place.

these matrimonial meetings is one of those comfortably discomforing situation. the families meet at a decided place > exchange greetings > everyone talks to each other > the gal and the boi, who are supposed to be talking more to know each other, are utterly silent. oh yeah, the eyes do the job of a scroller from an optical mouse. top to bottom, by both – the gal and the boi. finally after much of connect-the-dots game been played, the elders think they now know each others families very well. and there has been snacks and drinks served by now. it seems all of a sudden the elders recollect the agenda of meeting today. they then ask if the gal and boi can talk in, away from all of us? yeah, why not? so the gal and boi finally get some space, to be comfortably seated, some more space to keep a decent distance between them. and they do all the talking. while they have been talking, they have been judging as well each other, to the core. in sometime, they think they don’t have much to talk about. call off the meeting and move back to the noisy-silent-zone, amidst our families. the goodbye greetings are done with, “we will call you later and let you know the gal’s decision.”

the only thing that i liked about the change in this process was, gals and their families preferring visiting the boi’s place first as against the tradition of other way round, may be coz of housing issues in our homeland. i don’t have to travel much. no pains of hunting the address for the gal’s house. no sweat beads, no extra creases on the shirt after the middle-class travel in the mumbai locals or B.E.S.T. buses. but this time, it was only some frustration that has been building in my mind. the frustration was not for always been judged by wrong ones,but for the society, who always questioned me or my parents about me calling in the D-Day of my life. though i was always overjoyed from within, at being rejected for almost 10+ times or rather 15+ times by a gal. the pleasure of been dumped in trash is amazing at times. after you are dumped, you go happy with the thought that your personal space is still unharmed. my mind had finally decided something, after a thought process which lasted for more than 1 year or rather more than 365 sleepless nights- this would be the last gal that i would be looking out. if it works, good.

the resume and horoscopes are sent in to my parents by a close relative (very very close, indeed) > the pandit approves the match > meeting day is decided. the place was, my home for sure. i was rushing back to my home, in my office transportation. hurrying enough to have a shower before they land up > dress up decently in a formals (my preferred). a coffee-colored-trouser and a white shirt with mango-yellow decent stripes is what i get into. the worst part of such meetings is the punctuality. but i was lucky this time. was expecting them by 7 30 pm, they had reached by 7 25 pm. i am impressed. (i had bitter feelings for one of them who had assured of 7 30 pm but walked in by 9 30 pm. she was rejected deep in my mind, but grateful to almighty and the scars on my face- she rejected me much before i do.) all of the matrimonial process went smoothly till the elders reached a step before calling off the meeting. we were asked to do the talking in that silence.

we proceed > we HI HI > we talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk > nothing more left to talk, we finally move out. yeah, the first time ever probly i had spent about 30 minutes with someone whom i was meeting for the first time. the goodbyes happen and as usual i am been showered with questions from my parents about how is she?

the very first thing that comes to my mind, while attempting to answer their questions- what was it we were talking about, that took us about 30 minutes? can’t remember much but i put in my judgement-to-pass-the-question, about she been a nice gal and probly fit for our family. let’s wait if they nod a YES to our union. deep in my heart, i pray for getting rejected once again. the night is again restless, giving a thought- am i getting what i am expecting? can almighty ensure i am rejected again?

8th may 2012
the morning comes over and i am into my office, anticipating a compensation for my year long goals. a not-so-hefty-bonus and a hike in monthly pay. yes, i got something which was printed neatly on a letter head by about 4 pm. but i wasn’t much happy about it. or rather that paper hadn’t got the attention as much required. why?

a routine call from momma at 1 pm > to check if i had my lunch > a question in low voice, asking me about my compensation amount > i mention, i am yet to get that > she has her voice normal now to say, “its a YES from their side.” damn! the prayers to almighty didn’t work. “are you also OKAY with her?” is the question shoved in before i speak anything. this question chokes me completely and i have no idea of what i should be checking to confirm if i am OKAY with her? i ask for some time and i go back to my checklist.

she has no issues with my scars and extra kilos.
she has no issues with my not-so-good habitat.
she has no issues with my job in an MNC and the global volatility linngering around.
she has no issues staying in my family with a mom and dad.
she appreciates me, for being me.

ring back mom.
“need a second meeting before jumping to conclusion, just to reconfirm my checklist. this will help me to decide a OKAY from my side or not.”
“beta, if you call for a second meeting it would be considered a YES from your side.”
“isn’t there a scope of third meeting to conclude?”
“no beta.”
“fine. let me reach home and decide later.”

and the razor-sharp-conversation, this time.
“why are you taking so much time to decide, beta. are you into a relation? we can try to help you, if you have a relation without our knowledge.”
“nothing like that, mom. i never believed in getting into a relation. never had a liking for anyone.” (those hardcore family values that i am been injected with?)
“then? should we say a YES, if you have no relations / affairs?”
“fine. but don’t celebrate before we i nod a YES for her.”

9th may, 2012
after another restless night, i wake up on a new day. i am heading to office again. that casual check-for-lunch call and this time i am not asked for my lunch, instead instructed to reach home by time as they would be visiting today. the second meeting, zooms ahead of me. this time i am not enjoying the thought of how hilarious these meetings are. but amused by the thought, whats so interesting within me that this gal nods a YES? it is a decision for life, which is what i had clarified in the first meeting. i reach home on time and am pushed out again. i am asked to get a red-melon for the welcome drink, that my mom specializes into. drop the red-melon on dining table and head straight for a shower. a white shirt with short sleeves and a black jeans. despite the cold-water-shower, beads of sweat were building up faster than i could wipe them off. 2 of my paternal aunts and uncles, my only sister and jijaji were around me acting curious to know more bout our first interview. “i don’t remember anything” was me saying.

this time, they were late. by almost 60 minutes, probly reaching by 21st hour of day. i didn’t mind that. the usual pleasantries exchanged and this time the boi and the gal were left alone much quicker.

we proceed > HI now becomes HEY > holding our glasses of red-melon drink, we talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk > finally momma and sis interrupts to check whats happening and a casual chat with her as well.

i think we still had a lot more to talk bout but we were stopped, at 45th minute probly, with a question from momma- “are you both fine with each other? its a question of life.” she didn’t require a minute to nod a YES whereas i was second to nod a YES. hold! it wasn’t me to nod a YES. some heavenly energies had taken control of me and they shook my head in a YES.

so we both now have an extra momma, an extra papa and a brother and a sister after we said a YES. tears-of-joy rolling down the cheeks of both mommas. everyone moves to the drawing room, except my momma. she trails the last one moving, carrying 2 plates full of pastries, cakes and gulab jamuns. we were so close to each other but miles apart. everyone congratulating their to-be-bahu and stuffing her mouth with gulab jamuns and cakes. i was still watching her. i suspected if she really enjoyed those sweets? (she later claims she was suffocating as emotions were stuck in her throat as well.) no one ever bothered to check their BETA. with much a happiness of the day, they goodbyed and moved back in i20. back to home, i was again bombarded with a lot of questions from relatives. i was still under the influence of those heavenly boldies. i comforted myself by stuffing my mouth with one piece each of fruity-cake, butterscotch cake, dark chocolate cake and a couple of gulab jamuns. i accepted the fact that i had new direction in my life to travel- Disha V.

later i turn back to my relatives to remind them- “its 23rd hour of day. we can talk about this later.” they too goodbye us to move to their habitats. the last one to leave our place were my didi and jija. i was worried about arranging the house back and dropping in my bed to retire to sleep. in the process, it was the first minute of new day.

10th may, 2012. time- 00:01
there was a call on my cell phone. after receiving the call, i realize on the other side was my new father wishing me a happy birthday. quick enough, the phone was passed to my new mother and then new brother. last to wish me over the phone was, Disha. she found it tough to accept the fact that after accepting her birthday wishes, next i say- “good night. talk to you later.” i had hung up the call.

hanging up this phase of my life here… to write more bout it, later…