Nocturnal Action


The incessant alarm got the better of my drooping eyelids, and I willed them to open, before half-heartedly leaving the cozy coves of my bed in the middle of the night. As it turns out, somebody’s car alarm had gone off, and would not stop. Evidently, this was not the owner. But how do we decide what to do?

In the safe confines of our home, the course of action was unanimous: Go out and see who it is. I hold the supreme glory of casting doubts over everybody’s aura of confidence by suggesting that the thief may be armed, could even have a gun, since guns are so easy to procure in the country. The story was now different – I watched the cloud of doubt waver and hang thickly over our heads. From brave strides, I watched the strides diminish to stealthy tiptoes, and “see who it is” deteriorated to “sneak a peak“!

The security agency was summoned, and I went to bed, musing about another episode, that had an entire street out in the early morning cold when a thief frequented our home in Chennai.

Belonging to the water-starved population of Chennai, my mother-in-law was extremely sensitive to the sound of gushing water. This unfortunate thief stumbled upon a pot of water, and set off that exact alarm. It was around 5 a.m., and soon the household was abuzz with trepidation.

AHOI! AHOI!“, screamed the menfolk into the darkness of the night, obviously in a bid to frighten the thief away.

The men conducted a meeting downstairs to gauge the movement and whereabouts of this fellow, while I was a silent observer of the goings-on from the balcony above. I observed that the men who proclaimed the loudest, that the best option was to storm into the backyard, were the ones farthest away from the backyard. Furthermore, they showed no signs of budging from their positions of command. The self-proclaimed early riser was busy defending his stance that he was up at usual at 4:30 a.m., and did not hear anything.

After a while, I heard a faint rumble. It grew louder and louder: I was alone upstairs, and had not much choice. I made up my mind on the next course of action, and briskly walked towards the dimly lit kitchen.

My stomach could stand the rumblings no longer, and I treated myself to a couple of hot dosas while the commotion slowly died down.

With the dosas in my tummy, I mused about the unfortunate plight and high stress levels of the career paths of thieves. They also share a queer relationship with society: Society fears them, and they fear Society.

Peas in a Pod

I stopped short in my tracks as I headed into my workspot the other day. There she was – shopping around again in the same stores as I have! And, she has to buy the same colour too! So, there we were looking like 2 peas in a pod, while folks gleefully took note and asked us whether we had been planning this event. You see the same thing had happened twice in the same week!

* What’s the big deal? *

Just this, I have spent a good part of my non-uniform clad childhood days wearing the same clothes as my sister and mark this: the girl next door! So, I react pretty much like a scalded cat when I see people dressed in same clothes. My father belonged to an elite clan of shareholders of a textile mill: so much so that when we walked into the showroom, all salesfolk came to personally attend to us, and served us with coffee and tea! (My theory was that, all salesfolk need to attend to the sole customers in the store, don’t they?!)

The cloth purchased there was fantastic – there are no doubts about that. Some of the clothes have neither faded nor sport a tear after all these years! To top this, they had better rates for wholesale goods i.e. LOTS of cloth. My father – the economist who, would consume 3 cups of tea if they were offered for Rs.10 as opposed to Rs 5 per cup, bought into this scheme, and realms of cloth used to make their way home.

So, it was arranged for the rest of our childhood days that my sister’s salwar kameez, my frock and my neigbour’s frock would all be tailored from the same cloth. In fact, I even remember one instance when a cotton skirt for me, a salwar kameez for my sister and a curtain in our home were from the same cloth. Everytime I wore that skirt, I would pray that guests were not observant enough to match up the curtains and my skirt.

I wonder if my next-door friend remembers the clothes as vividly as I do! For me, I remember every tiny pattern on the clothes – how can one forget if we all looked like peas in a pod?!

The Letter "Esssssssssssssss"

My name is spelt as “Esssssssssssssssssss-a-u-m-y-a

Twas the time when the milk teeth was a vanishing brood, and power cuts were the order of the day. The candles would be lit, and they would bring forth light (not enlightenment as is evident)As you don your mask of innocence, and say the letter “S”, the family would watch on in dark glee as the candles fluttered, before dying out in the wind….”OOOPSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!”

I remember hearing with awe the fact that a powercut in Mumbai made it to National News! This morning, as I beat the morning yawns and legged it to the office – I was told that there had been an unexpected power outage, and we were welcome to go strolling in the park till power was restored – unless of course we had some work that did not require a computer! A generation ago that would have meant work as usual. But for us, it meant childlike glee!

Off we went gallivanting around town, picking flowers and sipping coffee before our world turned dim by the arrival of bright lights. Sadly, there were no candles to say the letter ‘S’ in front of.

Couch Sporting

I’m sure people would call me a spoilt brat when it comes to exposure to sports – way more than a lot of children in India can afford. The School I grew up in had 14 large playgrounds, 7 tennis courts, a huge gymnasium, a swimming pool and even a squash court on the premises. Not that I accomplished much with all this, but I loved Sports, and have spent many an enjoyable evening on the playground.

Considering all of the above, you would consider me a decent “Couch Sporter”(a term I just coined to refer to those who immensely enjoy watching sports), wouldn’t you?!

*Shakes head remorsefully* Tut Tut!

I simply cannot bring myself to watch a game. I attended the Lakers Vs Mavericks Game in a Stadium, and loved the experience! There were lots of people, pop corn, a complimentary clapper to create a ruckus in the name of clapping and a bunch of enthusiastic friends who were explaining the rules of the game to me.
Verdict: I enjoyed the acrobats’ performance in the break-time more than anything else.

My office has been abuzz with the Super Bowl over the past couple of days. Many an American wife have I heard whimper that her hitherto affectionate partner will transform into a partially deaf person with a beer in hand on this particular evening. I banished my past apathy to sport viewing and tried again – I sat with my affectionate partner during the Super Bowl, and watched people ram into each other, while he explained the game to me.
Verdict: I found the advertisements more intriguing.

Cricket, a sport that has wooed countries of people fails to charm me as a watch-worthy Sport. This is one sport that enthralls all sections of people in our Society – yet, I find the game lackadaisical. In fact, many an ignorant year have I spent not knowing the difference between a “Six” and a “Four“. When I did want to know, I held back cringing at others’ perception of my own ignorance! One day, I braced myself for the worst, and asked a classmate of mine. I am sure he reserves better stares for worms before he crushes them under his foot. He tottered, and his speech stammered before he finally enlightened me!

I didn’t even try watching this game, since it spans a whole day!

Oh what better method to ignore the chores at home, turn a deaf ear to all the ramblings, and shove in the bad calories that accompany the good snacks? Well…I will just have to live with the fact that Couch Sporting may be one of those gifts that I am not endowed with!

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