Fun and games get funny

I suspect that was the management’s way of taking away the one weekly holiday we get. They called it “team building” and camouflaged it wonderfully. Then they got us excited about it by saying it will include fun and games. Gullible that we were, we got all charged up.

So one Sunday, not very long ago, we put on our shoes and jeans and reached Paintball Adventures in Gurgaon.

We were made to wear protective overalls and face masks (both 2 sizes big for me). Each player was handed a gun loaded with tiny paint balls. Teams were drawn. It was the Red Team v/s the Black Team. The adventure game organizer, a young lady with a loud voice, explained the rules of the game. The game essentially involved 2 opposing teams occupying a designated area designed like a battle field and strategizing and warring to capture a flag kept in the opposite team’s bunker. The competition warmed up. The teams huddled together and strategized. The game wasn’t just a game now. It was all about warring & winning.

Before she let us into the war zone,the lady repeated the safety rules. No shooting at close point. No shooting on/near the face. No shooting from behind.

“Yes, that’s clear. We have all this gear also, but how will we know if someone attacks us with their gun from behind? ”asked a senior in the team.

“The paint ball will burst and there will be a bright orange paint splotch. Your team members will tell you” said the organizer.

An 8 year old had just finished his game and was hanging around us.

He looked at us, 10 educated looking, 30+ adults…. and said solemnly  “You will feel it, Uncle”

Yup, you will. Some things are simply like that- experiential.

The older we  get, the more we intellectualise, sometimes unnecessarily…and embarrassingly.

🙂

The case of the mysterious missed calls

Seven missed calls from an unknown number.

Who could be so desperate to get in touch? 

May be there was an emergency at the workplace. May be the grandmother had taken seriously ill again and  had to be admitted to the hospital in a rush. Someone from the hospital could be trying to get in touch with us. The mother was driving around town by herself . May be she was in some sort of problem. The neighbour might be calling from from their hometown to enquire about her teenage daughters. They had a tendency to get into trouble whenever their parents left them alone at home. May be this time they managed to land themselves in seriously trouble . 30 seconds was all it took for the mind to over flow with scary thoughts.

There was  only one way to find out.

Multiple attempts to call back on the number  bore no fruit. Finally someone got tired of the phone ringing incessantly  and answered it.

 “I have seven missed calls from this number. Who is trying to call me?”

“Madam, thank you for calling back. We were eating lunch.  I am Rahul from ICICI bank. We have a new credit card scheme for select customer like you.”

You should be allowed one murder in your life. What say?

While I am away

I thought I would keep you entertained with this:

How technology changed us

image001

Nope, I dont have access to the internet yet. I am using the uber cool wordpress feature that automatically published your post on the date you specify. 🙂 Those of you who got this on email, please to ignore.

Sahi nahi

I think it was the ad that did it. ‘MTNL hai toh sahi hai’ it said. It lead my unworldly and innocent father to wrongly believe that MTNL was indeed the right choice for us. We had an MTNL phone to begin with but somewhere along the line we collected an internet connection and an IPTV by the same company.  Big mistake. Never put all your eggs in one basket. All thanks to MTNL we now have a fairly complicated situation at home. The IPTV and the internet have what can be described as an avoidance relationship. Simply put the two don’t work well together. Ditto for the internet connection and the telephone line. In my humble opinion, it’s the internet causing the problem. If you have the internet on, don’t switch on the TV because all you will get is odd looking shapes moving in painfully slow motion across the screen backed with a broken sound track. If you want to talk to a friend while another family member browses the internet, forget about it unless you are sure you are equipped with excellent concentration that can tune out that strange background noise the internet connection creates. Life is now a matter of constantly making choices for us.   The TV or the internet? The phone or the internet? And occasionally, a choice between the phone and the TV thrown in as well. Making choices that are acceptable to all family members at all times is stressful.

The unexpected developments of the last few days have done a lot to reduce the stress at home. We aren’t being forced to make choices and just that seems to have made our life so much easier. When only one of the three services you have subscribed to works, there is no question of making a choice, you see. The present scenario is such that only MTNL’s telephone seva works, all others are dead. Reasons unknown. I suspect the maid yanked a cord or two in one of her recent dusting expeditions. I don’t know for sure but right now she is the most likely suspect. With both the parents being out of town and my working full time, I refuse to lodge a complaint with MTNL.I am just going to pray, and pray real hard that whatever when wrong fixes itself. Feel free to join in the prayers. If you have a magic wand, pass that over, will ya? If neither prayers nor magic wands are your thing, then I suggest you simply wait for the crisis to resolve itself. And while you are waiting, I sincerely urge you to see this. Shakira at her very best, guaranteed to get a few laughs outta you. Yes, you got that right laughs. Don’t waste time now, hop over and take a look.

Note: I think you all know this but I think I should mention nevertheless. The person in the video is not a relative, friend or acquaintence of mine. The said person was discovery courtsey a person at office.

Domestic godess? err..almost!

Just because I made a resolution to go slow  on blogging, you guys decided to stop tagging me! No fair!!! I’m generally partial to tags- just so long as they don’t require me to make public things that I would rather keep private. There’s a meme going around that asks bloggers to give evidence of how “great” they are in the domestic sphere. Monika’s done a post on it and so has Abha. And because no one tagged me, I am tagging myself, if that’s even possible, and doing a post.

Let me take you back to the time when one of my cousins was tying the knot. As family we were obviously invited to the wedding and all the ceremonies that preceded the main event. Living quite a distance away for the scene of action, my parents had decided to attend only the wedding. I wasn’t too happy with that. To me, at 16 years of age, the circus that Indian weddings usually are, was very alluring. I wanted to be a part of everything, see everything, participate in everything (except the dancing. That I could and can live without. I prefer not to dance, not for my sake but for the sake of others’ who have to watch me make a complete fool of myself with my two left feet and all.) Seeing my extreme enthusiasm and the situational challenge faced by me, one of my uncles offered to let me stay with his family till the wedding was over. He was in the cousin’s immediate family and that meant he would be attend all the events leading up to the wedding. What more did I want? I happily packed a bag and tagged along with him. Learning from my example another cousin, S, who lived even further away than us, decided on camp along with me at our uncle’s. We dint really need the wedding to get us all excited and charged up. Between the uncle’s family, S and me, we were enough cousins to have celebrations of our own!

One afternoon, while everyone took a nap to rejuvenate themselves for one of the ceremonies – I put myself to good use. My uncle used to have this part time maid who would do odd jobs like ironing clothes in addition to the usual jhaadu-pochha and kapada. Trying to be efficient and helpful, I though of ironing the clothes for the evening myself.  I pulled out my clothes from the heap set aside for the maid to iron and extracted S’s clothes as well. I was going to iron my own clothes so what would another 2-3 clothes matter? I ironed my clothes and kept them in a neat pile and began tackling S’s lehnga. The moment I placed the iron on it, I heard a sizzling sound. Unperturbed the noise, I considered it a minor distraction and continued running the iron along a straight line. Some more sizzling sound was heard, this time accompanies by small plumes of smoke. It was the smoke that sent off alarm bells in my head. Something was wrong.  I lifted the iron and peered at it. There were trails of red, green and gold decorating the stainless steel surface, akin to a smudged spray painting. I moved my gaze to the lehnga then. The off white base that was once embellished with a pretty pattern constitued of tiny polka dots in red, green and gold, now had practically no pattern and the cloth wore a singed look. Oops.  Not too sure of how to undo the mess I had created, I folded the  lehnga and kept it back in the pile of clothes, switched off the iron and took up a corned in the house and pondered about how to break the news to my cousin. S was bound to be furious. More than her being furious, I was worried about what she would wear at night. She couldn’t quite turn up in the jeans and t-shirt at an event where all would be dressed in finest. And what was I tell her parents when I met them?? I was two years older than S, I was supposed to know what I was doing.

When S woke up from her siesta, she began getting things together for the evening. She asked me if the maid had come in the afternoon to iron the cloths. “She dint, I tried ironing your clothes. But I think I burnt your lehnga a little, S. I dint mean to but the iron was too hot for the light material of your dress I think”. Without a word S ran to the ironing board, pulled at her beloved dress, and looked at it with a broken heart. I waited for a barrage of reprimanding words. “It was gifted by dad, you know.” was all she said. That made me feel infinitely worse.  “What will you wear tonight?” I approached the topic I was dreading. “I brought along a spare dress. And mom’s stopping over here before she goes to the venue tonight, so she can bring me something from too.”  Ok so it wasn’t as bad as I had imagined it to be- S would have something to wear, I would only have to deal with two sets of incensed parents- her and mine.

S wore her spare dress that evening, which for the record, I thought was nicer than the lehnga. To my utter surprise my fears of being pulled up by her mom were unfounded. All she told me was I needed to be more careful while ironing. I got a brief lesson on “how to iron clothes” by my mother but not much else.   Here I was expecting to hear a no end of my error, no matter how unintentional, and all I got was nothing!!  What can I say? I have nice family.

PS: Incidentally, have you read the Undomestic Godess by Sophie Kinsella? I recommend it. It makes a good read.:D

My reputation

needs an overhaul. Complete and thorough.

Let me explain why. We have a slight issue with the loo at work. Fewer loos and a large number of women means we have to queue up for our turn pretty often. While we constantly crib about the insufficient number of loos on every occasion we get (and trust me there is no  lack of occasions), we prudently utilise the time spent waiting there by chatting about this, that and the other. From kids, to bosses, to the weather, to the cafeteria menu, we have discussed it all. I met S on one such occasion today morning. She marched in, carrying two pens and a thick book, looking all hurried (and worried) she looked like a woman on a mission. Being the kind soul that I am, I volunteered to let her use the facilities before me.

“I am in no hurry.  I just got out of a meeting” I said.
“Huh? Got out? You mean you escaped and are hiding here?” she said.

 Just what do the people at work think about me!?!