Highway to Hell and Back

I always seem to have convenient excuses for not writing. So before I get on to it, let me list the great things that have happened to me over the past month.

1. I got a new phone – the elusive MI3.

An Indian company, Flipkart, bought up limited stock and then created around it some of sort of virtual Black Friday sort of scheme where the phones would only be on sale on Tuesdays, at 2pm and if you didn’t register and didn’t click ‘buy’ at the opportune moment, all the phones would be sold out in 2.5 seconds. A colleague of mine was one of the lucky guys who bought the phone. When we were all out for a team dinner, I jokingly said that the next time the sale was on, he should buy me one. Next thing I know, I’m the proud owner of the fanciest phone that has graced my inner circle. What do I do first? I get on Instagram (something I vowed I would never do!). But now I have a WordPress app as well so I can do small posts when they come to me. Too ambitious?

2.  I got a huge pay hike!

Explains why I could afford that phone in the first place! This also means I have to grow up and deal with the dreaded income tax department.

3. The boy is moving HERE!

He said I should allow him to experience my culture and my city the way I immersed myself in his. Don’t tell him I said this but something about that was so romantic, I couldn’t say no. Every other decision we make after this, we will do together and that is what truly excites me. Apart from the obvious societal annoyances of – “how can you live together pre marriage” and “oh he’s a white boy, let me charge him a billion rupees for something that costs 10”, of course!

Now on to the big news of how I got hit by a drunk driver on my way back from work. I ride a moped and this jackass took a U-turn on a huge road without any indication that he was about to turn. I saw him coming from the corner of my eye and so I swerved to avoid him therefore surviving and un-survivable accident. But my bike was completely totalled.

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I think what annoyed me most about it was that I had to pick myself up. Then the guy walks up to me, steals my keys and threatens to hit me. He didn’t expect that I knew the language and would lash out back at him. He threatened to take me to the cops (pointing in the opposite direction of where the station was). I told him my station was in the other direction and that we should go immediately. He changed the topic and said I was on the phone while riding. He smelt like cheap liquor.

There were a tonne of auto drivers on the road who snatched the keys back from him and told me to drive away as fast as I could. I didn’t want to leave but in that state, I did. The minute I got home, I told my parents and brother (who were at home for once). We wrote down our complaint, drove to the station, filed an FIR. It was the eve of our Independence Day and despite it being busy, the cops were really helpful.

Anyway, long story short they caught the car (the driver is absconding) and they have paid in part to fix my bike. I will spare you photos of my injury but everything is okay now and my bike runs smoothly and looks better than it has ever looked before.

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In other news, the Ganesha (Elephant God) festival has been going on in full swing. Loads of statues lighting up the whole place, happy people dancing – festival season in India is always such a treat. I went to a friends house and while standing on his 5th floor balcony, saw a Ganesha Statue rising in the dark as if to bless his devotees. It was a surreal experience.

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And if you haven’t made plans to visit Bangalore yet, here’s a good reason – it looks SO pretty in the rain!

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Hope you have all been well!

We Might Fall

The Sunrise This Morning in Bangalore
The Sunrise This Morning in Bangalore

Let’s go on an adventure. There are clouds to be jumped on, warm golden rays to be stolen, wings on whose back we can steal a ride.

We could drown in the crow’s feet that your laughter creates. You could twirl me around till we’re so giddy, it makes the world a breathtaking shade of magic. We could walk the journey of some obscure person and throw popped corn at each other while the black mirrors fill up with “must watch” moving pictures. We can tick off lists of movies, of books, of places to eat, sights to see, things that make us feel alive and full of purpose.

We could run around carelessly, tripping as we try to catch the sunshine in your hair and the sparkle in your eyes. We could don ourselves in explorer gear and go hunting for giggles – your giggles – that make me light headed and make me float off the ground.

We could go looking for the moon and have it tell us stories by the fireside. We could even accidentally run into the biggest adventure of them all –

We might fall.

Go Shawty – Itsshoburrday!

It’s kind of strange not having to put up my finger friends on top of this post. I’m meant to be taking a long hiatus from 30 days of posting but it’s such a natural part of my morning, like eating breakfast. I found myself staring at the keyboard for far too long and so I finally gave in.

It is my happy birthday (Indianism) after all!

Something happened with grammie today. She is 90 and has dementia. It’s very hard to get her to share anything about her past. The 3 years that I took care of her taught me her language and a few glimpses of what it must’ve been like for her – married at 16, farmer’s wife, mother of 10. Every time she does share a story that we’ve never heard before, it feels like Christmas.

This morning she was talking about how she went to school till grade 4. In her days, girls attending school was unheard of. There were farms to be tended, mouths to be fed. Sometimes I can see her draw outlines of words in her script on her lap. She’s usually unaware that she is doing that and I love watching her lost in thought.

Her name in school was A.V. Maria. I asked her what the AV stood for. She didn’t budge. I started giving her suggestions “Audio Visual? Active Voice? Anti Virus?”. She laughed and squished me, she had no idea what I was talking about.

And then I remembered her family name, which was the A. What did the V stand for? Vendetta? Turns out V is the word in her language for “Doctor”. Yes, Doctor. Can you imagine having a profession be IN your name? Broseph exploded in a geekgasm – “OMG, You’re the doctor’s granddaughter. Henceforth you shall be called Susan!”

I’m going now to see about the legalities of changing name. I’m thinking of something – exotic. How about, Dragon Slayer? I’m open to suggestions!

Grammie in a Christmas Hat
A. Doctor Maria

10 Lies Parents Tell You

30 Day Writing Challenge

We’ve all been told little white lies growing up. It’s not just a cultural thing, I find. Some of the lies are so universal. And inevitable – you’ll realise this when you start using them yourself. Before we begin though, I HAVE to share this Indian parent meme I found online. Go ahead, laugh!

Indian Parents

1. Change your appearance – Make a silly face and it will get stuck that way. I tried for so long all these “poses” Calvin is so good at and failed miserably. Led me to the conclusion that I must not be doing it right. Damn my lack of play dough consistency face.

Making Faces
2. Every ache has a reason – My mum was our resident doctor. Whenever I was ill, I’d hear her say “Oh, you have a headache in the middle of your forehead? It means you’re dehydrated. Drink water” “Oh, your little finger hurts? It means you aren’t eating enough vegetables”
3. Pet Adventures – I used to idolize my pets because they would always “run away” and go off on adventures. Usually for love. My parents once showed me a newspaper clipping of a cat that looked like ours our cat who had just been married to the love of her life. They had garlands around them. A proper Indian wedding!

Cat Marriage
4. Parents know everything – They are the true all knowing superheroes who not only manage to provide you with everything you need, they also know EVERYTHING. Where we came from, where we’re going, what is our purpose, why Mr. Neighbour was yelling at his wife (he was practicing for a play).
5. Chewing Gum Trees – Mum used to say that if you swallowed gum, it would stay in your system for 7 years. And in that 7 years, if you swallow a seed and god forbid it gets stuck in gum, you could grow a tree. I feel like I have many bonsai’s in me right now. I’m my own environmentalist.

Stomach Trees

6. Beauty Tips – These aren’t what my parents have said. On a list of priorities, appearance was the last thing. But these are lines I have heard other parents use “If you eat meat, you’ll become dark”, “If you eat too much chocolate, your hair will fall out”, “If you drink coffee, you’ll get pimples”. If you want to be fair, with luscious hair and flawless skin, STAY AWAY from meat, chocolate and coffee. Don’t tell me I didn’t warn you.
7. Saving the world – Every time we fussed about food (which was fairly rare in comparison considering aid worker parents) we’d get the standard “Do you know how many people are starving?” Before we were old enough to understand the true lesson, we assumed that if you ate without wasting anything, those starving multitudes would be hungry no more!

Superhero
Totally legit selfie of me saving the world!

8. Yummy in the Tummy – Noodles Worms, Pasta Intestines , Chicken Wings Frog Legs were the TASTIEST meals we’ve ever had in our lives. The more disgusting, the better tasting.
9. Distance – We’re always “almost there” whenever we were on a road trip. They’re make us start singing countdown songs like those green bottles, 12 days of Christmas and local equivalents. Then we’d start counting backwards from 10,000. Then we’d start counting red cars. No matter how long the destination, we would almost always just be 5 minutes away.
10 The Afterlife – Tales of the afterlife always changed based on my favourite story. As far as I’ve figured out, the afterlife is a place on the moon that is paved in gold and buildings are made out of candy. The hills are made out of chocolate and the snowcaps are vanilla icecream. Everything is free and you never have to work a day in your life. You can read all the books you want, watch all the tv you want.

P.S. Santa is a real person and I don’t care what you say.

Every Christmas

30 Day Writing Challenge

 

This is me!

Christmas