19

Miss you Bhaiya

Posted by SMM on 09:31
As those of you who drop by regularly now know that I lost my brother in an accident when I was 16. I don't talk about because I find it very difficult to do so. Maybe its easier when I write about it.

It was the 29th of November 1999. It was a normal day. My IInd semester exams were going on - only 2 papers left. Bhaiya (my elder brother by 4 years and 3 months) had promised to take me for a movie after my exams were over. I had a break that day and woke up a little late. In my school days 7 am was late for me. I was a very early riser then - just couldn't stay in bed after about 5 - 5:30 am (very different now), so I used to be his official alarm clock. He had some class that morning and he got late leaving from home because I didn't wake him up on time. We had a quick two minute fight and he left. I settled down to reading the paper and eating breakfast with Baba (father). Ma was getting ready to leave for office. Someone rang the doorbell and gave us my uncle's driving license which he had found on the road. We got a little worried since they had gone on a family vacation to Digha or somewhere. This was before the days of cell phones. We spoke to my grandmom and she said they had reached there safe and sound and we had a good laugh and my dad was contemplating how to take his younger brother's case that he had lost his driving license. Just then the phone rang and we got a call asking if this was Surojit Maulick's house. My mom had picked up and she replied in the affirmative saying she was his mother. Suddenly she screamed and started crying. My dad and I looked at her wondering what happened and she managed to blabber something about some accident and some boy being found on the road with some notebook that had his name and phone number in it. We rushed around frantically wondering what to do and then decided to go to the concerned police station. The rest of the day went in a haze. We worked on autopilot mode for the following months.

Somehow its not yet sunk in that he's gone. 9 whole long years. I still think that we'l have some miraculous Bollywood ending and we'l meet somewhere suddenly singing 'Yaadon ki baarat nikli hai aaj dil ke dwaare'. Actually knowing us we'd probably be singing 'Manu bhai motor gaadi chale rum pum pum'. I used to bug him with that song. I used to bug him a lot. I was the quintessential annoying younger sister. I used to boss around him alot and he was so sweet he's let me do it. We fought alot too but dare the parents say anything to any of us. We used to gang up against them. We had also divided the foods between us. He was very fond on chole and I was very fond of rajma. He loved payesh (kheer/ a rice pudding) and I loved ghono doodh (something like rabri/ a milk based pudding). He taught me to keep my arms close to my body when I was jumping off the diving board and also how to ride a cycle. He sat me on the cycle and pushed me down a slope. Onetime it had poured and poured and the area around our house was flooded and I really wanted to go out in the pouring rain which obviously my mom was not very much in favour of, she finally let me go only when he said he'l take me. He bought me a black and blue batik kurta with his first salary from some summer thing he had done, for the Pujas in 1999. I stopped wearing it ages ago, but I still have it in my cupboard. He took me to see my board results. Being a teenage girl and a good Calcuttan, I had to bargain for everything which used to really bug him.

I remember people telling me to be strong for my parents. I tried. Don't know if I was successful. We stopped talking of him at home cuz it upset all of us. One of us would always end up crying and that would start the rest of us as well. We couldn't bear to have a photo of him anywhere so we banished all his stuff, clothes, posters, shoes, photos, any sign of him inside a cupboard.

When I got to college, I had nothing of his to remind me except some photos and my batik kurta, and I put them at the bottom of my huge green suitcase since I didn't want anyone stumbling on it accidentally. I started keeping a fast on 22nd March (his birthday) and 29th November each year which I would then break with something he liked to eat. Those of you who knew I fasted on those days had the courtesy and staunch friendship not to ask why I kept it, but acknowledge and respect the fact that I kept it. Each year one of my friends would cut his cake a few minutes before midnight on 22nd March so that I could eat it. Its only today that we do talk about him a little.

Today its been 9 long years. I missed him terribly when I wanted him to meet Arjun and give his approval. I felt his absence the most when I got married. I know I shall feel his absence when I have children and at every twist and turn of my life. And you know the worst part, I remember his face vividly, but for the life of me I can't remember his voice.


8
Posted by SMM on 09:51
Just a few words about what's happening in Bombay. It's very disturbing. These are places which I go to when I'm in Bombay. Most of the law firms/ lawyers have their offices in South Bombay. When I heard the new, the first thing I did was to call most of my friends working in Bombay cuz that's where their offices are situated. Most of them were home safe and sounds, except for one who is stuck in office (his office is very close to VT Station). It's crazy.


While watching one of the news channels last night, a constable in front of the camera suddenly doubled up. He had been shot in his stomach. I could hear the cameraman going "Oh F***" and calling for help and helping the constable onto a bench. Some hefty guy came and cradled the constable in his arms and carried him into a taxi to be taken to hospital. All this happened on live television.

I pray that those *&^%$#@ bastards are all killed. I pray that God give the strength to those who have lost their near and dear ones and more courage and strength to all those out there fighting the Deccan Mujahideen.

And for those in foreign countries who are trying to get in touch with their family and friends, get in touch with
Aham.





6

The story of why I got Gloves & a Cap

Posted by SMM on 09:30
Hey folks...well Arjun is back and I report on what all he got me (Anu, no diamonds yet but I live in eternal hope). He got me lovely warm long black velvet gloves, a fur cap has these lapels to cover my ears (I had asked for something warm to cover my head and ears), a box of lady Godiva chocolates and Chanel eye-makeup (I wasn't expecting this last one). Pictures will be up soon.

Now if your wondering why all this warm clothing, its because I feel very very very cold. In Calcutta, people start wearing mufflers and monkey caps the day after Diwali. I'm not that bad, but yes in this city of hot-blooded North Indians (no offense meant people), a cold-blooded (literally meant and not figuratively so don't get any wrong ideas of reporting em the next time there is an unsolved murder in the vicinity) Bengali like me feels very very verrrrrrrrrry cold indeed. Last year being my first winter in Delhi, I used to be completely wrapped up - thermals, clothes, two layers of sweaters, overcoat, shawl, gloves, cap, muffler, socks, boots (Arjun got me boots made for Diwali so that my feet would remain warm during winter). Yes I know i went overboard and you can stop snickering now. I used to get to office all shivering and chattering teeth every morning. My colleagues (hot blooded North Indians) used to have a god laugh every morning when I entered the office and started peeling off my gloves, cap, overcoat and shawl. I'm sure your laughing too at this poor soul who feels so cooooold.

Pune also used to get pretty chilly, but the days were quite comfortable - a sweatshirt would suffice, but come sundown and I would be found safely inside my razai. My friends would bring me out of my hibernating mode by promising parties, cute guys, that red top of their which I wanted to borrow, cute guys (did I mention that already?), brandy/vodka and chocolate :)

This year I'm still on one sweater and a shawl (hey that's allowed). I confess I wore a huge thick overcoat for a few days when I was at my aunt's place cuz I was traveling by auto (and not car) and it used to be pretty chilly at night when I would return home in the OPEN auto.

So that's the whole story of why my husband goes to Germany and brings me back nice warm gloves and caps.






11

Monday - Only 2 Days Away :)

Posted by SMM on 18:51
Yeahhhhhhhh Monday is only 2 days away. Wondering why I'm so excited about a Monday? Arjun gets back home. I want to see what he's got me :P
I'm not so excited about Monday generally (unless it happens to my birthday)



Edited to add: Arjun's flight couldn't take off because of heavy snowfall so he had to take a later flight from Vienna (yes he'l have to travel from Munich to Vienna) so he's reaching later tonight so I'l be able to tell you what I got only tomorrow


11

Wohoooooo

Posted by SMM on 12:21
Heyloooo people...I'm on top of the world today.
My work burden seems to have come down to a manageable limit now.  The past 2-3 weeks have been absolutingly crrrrazyyyyy. I work better when I have a sword dangling over my head. Its tough to handle an urgent transaction which needs exclusive attention and needed to be completed like yesterday, along with our regular work since I have my court appearances and drafting etc to do.

I'm home alone for this week (Arjun's gone to Germany) so hopping off to my aunt's place for good Bong food and pampering. Girls please get married in a city, where if you don't have your parents, then you have some favourite aunt/ uncle who'l be more than happy to indulge you once in a while :)

Counsel driving me nuts - he wants to do the exact opposite of what client has instructed. It's tough to handle their fragile egos. A few days back I was convincing a very well-known counsel as to why we had a good case but he didn't seem to be to convinced with what I was saying. About an hour later, he turned around and started telling me why we have a very good case because of yadda yadda yadda...which was the exact same grounds which I had been telling him an hour back. And all I could do to keep his ego intact was to say 'Yes Sir, absolutely.'

Another well-known counsel had to settle a document but just couldn't seem to find the time to read the bulky set of documents and neither could he spare us enough time for us to brief him completely. So he takes the draft and makes a mess. Imagine a jumbled ball of threads of 5 different colours. To a colour-blind person  they are all the same colour, but you and me can see the the different colours. Now imagine having to untangle that and then sending it back to him and hoping and praying that he not get offended because of the substantial changes made to the draft settled by him.

Anyway I had set out to prove something to my boss, which I have done so he's really pleased with me and that gives me a high. I was unfortunately getting passed over because I always ended up being in the wrong place at the wrong time - blame my being in court most of time and some bit of office politics as well. I don't do office politics generally, but this time I had to and I did it. If its a choice of You or Me, hey I'l always choose Me. No two ways about that.  I also ended up doing alot of the donkey work and then letting other people take the credit for it. No more of that also. I also refuse to sit in office till late every night just because I want to show the boss I work late. I come in at 9 am and try to leave at 7, but while I'm here I work. I don't while away my entire day and then work late completing the work. I don't mind working late when needed to, but I will not work late only because I want the boss to see that I sit in office till 11 pm every night.And I also will not suck upto anyone to get a raise or a promotion. My work speaks for itself.

Okay I'm done now with my raving and ranting. If you are reading this, then thanks :)


13

Road Manners

Posted by SMM on 13:39
 
Mad Momma's latest post  prompted me to voice my own comments on this issue. I lost my brother in 1999 because of rash driving. he was 20 years old then. Not many people know that I am not an only child, that I had an elder brother. I went off to college soon after and decided it was easier to tell people that I was an only child, instead of repeating the same story again and again. It was and still is way too painful, so those of you who know me, please don't bring it up in a conversation without adequate warning.
I strongly, vehemently and totally condemn rash driving. I know that most of us condemn rash driving, yet many of us also tend to jump the red light on an empty road to get home 2 minutes earlier. Many of us don't think twice before  giving the indicator  for taking a left turn  while being on the extreme right. Most of us don't think twice about taking a right turn while the traffic is in full flow in the opposite direction. Jump one red light and you don't get caught, and slowly it becomes a habit. Think about it folks, there is a reason that traffic lights have been installed and there is a reason why the light for you is red while it shows green for the opposite direction. Going on the NH-8 in the evenings is scary because there are so many mad crazy people on it who drive at speeds of 100-120 kmph when they can barely handle their car a a speed of more than 70-80 kmph. Ad the worst thing is that they keep switching lanes as well. There is a reason why I prefer taking the staid MG Road  and not the fast and furious NH - 8.
Drivers who honk unnecessarily on a really busy/ crowded road or on an empty stretch as well put me off. If your honking on a busy road, well Mister, maybe you ought to dump the Honda City and buy yourself Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.
Pedestrians, please remember that you and only you are responsible for your life - not that guy in the red Merc zooming down the road. Either be smart and wait for it to pass and then cross the road or else be stupid enough to venture out to cross the road. Its not easy for a driver to just stop his car suddenly while you decide to drat across when there is a clear green for him. Cross at a zebra crossing - but that still doen't give you the right to dart across streaming traffic and expect them all to slow down because you are crossing the road. And use the pavement wherever possible for god's sake - not the road. And remember before you cross the road -
Look to the left, look to the right, look to the left again and then cross the road.
Two wheelers & autos are the worst of the lot. They consider themselves a step above pedestrians, but they   use the pavements which are meant for pedestrians forcing them to walk on the road ; they consider themselves a step below cars so that's reason enough to hop across dividers, take a U-turn where it is not permitted, jump a red light and  try to squeeze in between two cars where there is no space for even a person to walk.
If I use the road as a pedestrian and you as a car-owner, why don't we respect each other's rights and obligations and co-exist peacefully? Rarely is there a day that we don;t hear of some accident or the other.
I am not even going into road rage or drunk driving or kids driving their rich Daddy's  Hondas in this post. Maybe we ought to start a movement for implementing road manners. There was an article today where kids were givng out red roses to errant motorists and asking them to drive carefully for their sake. 
None of us can avoid using the  road, but its essential to remember that these are public roads not your baap ka sadak (father's property). Today your rash driving  killed my brother, tomorrow another person's rash driving may kill your son or maim him for life. 
Think about it.

28

I Miss my Girlfriends

Posted by SMM on 16:37
Okay so now that I have your attention....when I say girlfriends, I do not mean the lesbian variety (no offense to them, just that I'm married and Arjun gets a little bit jealous when any other person - male/ female - hits on me), I mean the good ol' fashioned type girlfriends with whom one went shopping, bitched, whacked clothes from, filed & painted each other's nails, cried one one another's shoulders when John Abraham dies in Dhoom, caught the 10 am Sunday morning Harry Potter (with free popcorn) at E-Square in our pajamas, decided what to wear for the party/ hot date that night, the one who mopped my forehead all night when I had a fever and held my hair back when I was puking, the ones who dragged me for a tetanus shot when I cut my toe on some rusty metal on the road and then bought me a chocolate so that I wouldn't cry, the ones whom I screamed at and quoted statistics to when caught with cigarettes in their hand, made solemn pacts of undying friendship, and tears when she told that other girl something which she didn't tell me, the one who old me long ghagra - style skirts look awful on me and I should stick to knee length skirts, the ones who fed me when I was penniless and too scared to ask my mom for money till the 1st of the month, playing antakshari with all night, the one whose mom would send laddoos to Pune specially for me all the way from from Delhi, the ones with whom we drowned our sorrows in shots straight from the vodka bottle at 12 in the afternoon and then called up respective exes and raved and ranted at....ya well I guess you get the gist of it and the kind of girlfriends I am talking about.



All my girlfriends are scattered all over now - one in the US, one in Dubai, one in Cochin, one in Pune, one in Calcutta, one in Hyderabad. I have a couple of girlfriends in Delhi, but it's just next to impossible to match schedules in our hectic lifestyles. One day I get caught in work, and the next time she gets caught up in work.



I miss having a gal pal to hang out with, to go check out the new Italian place, to generally call when I am upset or just need to moan and whine or just like that, when I want to go shopping or just grab a coffee with and talk about CENSORED stuff.



Utopia was here, but even we could get to meet hardly once a month and I never got to meet her only before she left. Sorry babe. The funny thing is Utopia and me go back 14 - 15 years, but we weren't really that friendly until we both landed up at Delhi and met through our blogs. Now we both feel that had it not been for our teenage bias of stereotyping everyone, we could have had such lovely memories of 15 years rather than only one year. I miss our impromptu coffees.




I hate having to call a friend and then ask if its a good time to talk before I say anything else. I hate it that I get only Sundays to catch up with Ruks and we end up missing more Sundays than we do manage to catch up. When I call and I whine about my new blue -green tee getting spoilt in the wash because of a red sock, I want her to know exactly which tee I am talking about and not have her ask 'Which one Sup?'. Ruks, do you remember the times we have had Chicken lollipops and you'd say 'Sup, not again' and how much you scolded me when I didn't want to give one paper in my 3rd year cuz I had blanked out completely or how we would give each other our spare cash to keep so that we didn't end up spending it or our hunt for my silver belt that New Year's eve and our love for chocolate.




I miss the crazy jokes we shared and our crazy lingo Alak. I miss going Yo with Doggie. I swear that on your wedding at least, we three are definitely going to go 'Yo'. Remember that day when we started going 'Yo' on the street outside Cosmos and the rest of the gang looked at us as if they didn't know us. Remember that time when we decided to move to separate rooms cuz we never managed to study and spent a whole day crying, and after you shifted out, you ended up coming back all the time to 'our room'.




Doggie, I miss 'permanently borrowing' your notes year after year and then screaming at you to make your notes in a more legible handwriting, and how every year you'd tell me that you want to keep them cuz you plan on doing your Masters. PK (tunn) we defintely have to go 'Yo' when Alak finally gets married. We missed doing it at my wedding and yours.




Pal & Kas, we have spent more years having a long distance friendship now. Funny isn't it, we started off as three girls in blue skirts and similar chashmas (glasses) which we'd always mix up after we returned from the PT (Physical Training) class. After school, we all landed up in three different cities far far away, but that never lessened our friendship. KasSupPal is still KasSupPal. Pal, now both of us are married. I'm really glad that our hubbies get along, makes it so much easier, but ya we really need to send them out of the house once in a while when we'r over at your place to have our girl talk. Kas, both of us love you and we'l always support you, but we'r still going to tell you welll....let's not get into it again.




Rach, babe your the latest addition to my gal pal gang. Welcome. Hope we get to coordinate our schedules more often.Remember that day at Yo China, when we fished out our respective Advocate ID cards and threatened to take them to to Consumer Forum cuz they served us cold food with ants in it. Yup we asked for Chinese, but we'r really not in the mood for soggy ants.




Ayesha, I live vicariously through you. I love to hear all about your latest antics and give you some gyan :P




Tan, well your just married and setting up home, but wish you'd return my calls. Feels like a one-way friendship now. Maybe it's just that I remind you of days which you'd rather forget.


Yup, done with the moaning and whining for now, but I still want a gal pal to go have chaat with and go shopping with for that perfect red dress for New Year's.


20

Can Pimples be a Ground for Divorce?

Posted by SMM on 17:32
I read this article today. A couple got divorced because the husband objected to his wife's acne. That got me thinking.

Can pimples really be a valid ground for a divorce? Then would men's beer/pot bellies, farts and burps also constitute a ground for divorce?

A few more such grounds:

1. That the spouse's dandruff has repulsed and nauseated the Petitioner.

2. That the spouse's snoring has caused immense pain and grief to the Petitioner who as a result of foregoing sleep for the past _ years has now become an insomniac.
3. That the spouse's disgusting habit of scratching his personal areas/ picking his nose in public has caused frequent embarrassment to the Petitioner who has become a laughing stock in society and is now seeking a divorce on such ground.


Anymore such grounds people?




18

Weekend Update

Posted by SMM on 19:49
Just reporting in folks to confirm my presence in the blogworld. It's 7: 45 on a saturday evening and I am still in office. Been in marathon meeting sessions for the past 4 days. Have a deadline of Monday evening to finish the task. I'l be in office on Sunday too. Boo hooo....
Well signing off for now,. You guys have a good weekend.


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