Problems With ‘Rubaiyat”

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“A book of verses underneath the bough
A flask of wine, a loaf of bread and thou
Beside me singing in the wilderness
And wilderness is paradise now ” ( Omar Khayyam,’Rubaiyat’)

While the above is most romantic and  most lovely, it has caused immense chaos  😀

Read,please.

Only the ‘thou’ is agreed upon by me and the beloved who is currently here with me 😀

Contentious issues:

1. Which book of verses ? I am all for Pablo Neruda’s ‘Twenty Love Poems & A Song Of Despair”. The man asks me whether in this modern age, ‘book of verses’ can be substituted with any Sports channel , which apparently, both, can watch while holding hands? Arrgh.

2. I am very Marie-Antoinette,guys. I would much prefer cake to ‘loaf of bread’! The man roots for  museli bread! With ‘Marmite’ ( UGH), he says hopefully! Arrgh, bloody, arrgh! Did I tell you that he once poured boiling water into a near empty ‘Marmite’ jar and drank the jar clean ? Someone get me smelling salts please!

3. The greatest issue is ‘flask of wine’. The man turns totally aggressive now. “Glenmorangie , Macallan, Laphroaig,Glenkinchie,blah blah blah blah “, the Scott in him roars. ‘Rose sherbet’, I demur. ‘Or maybe a choco malt shake ? The malt is there, non ?’.

4. That gets us to ‘singing’. Please, I hate men singing. Leave that to Robert Plant or Ronnie Dio! The man says ‘Baby, when are you going to sing this ?”. I am livid with his choice. Male Chauvinistic Pig! Jeez, I am a ninja warrior! I can’t sing this, now, can I ?

Thus, love and life go on 🙂

At Home

How the accidental sufi is romancing and being romanced this evening 🙂

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There is laughter and love.I am home.Now come the whispers…bearing bouquets of moonbeams…and sunlight tremblings. (Abherjani).

This song makes sense to me now 🙂

A Haircut

‘Some of my worst mistakes in life were hair cuts’ : Jim Morrison

I knew there was something very doomsday about today. I woke up with a sore throat and mild fever and so did not go to work. Which was fine, actually. I mean, I am pretty gung-ho about having a sore throat and high fever every day if it means I needn’t go to work.But, I had a dream about Shakespeare last night.Seriously,guys. And the man kept telling me ‘Beware, the ides of March’. I did tell him it was February,but the Bard droned on,much like my English professor in college who loved him madly.Ofcourse, the good professor was afflicted with a strange , regional  accent that made him refer to the Bard as  ‘Sexsphere’.

Shakespeare’s dream-time warnings translated today into possibly the worst haircut I have had in my life till date.I  trudged down with my sister to her rather hep and glamorous parlour in South Delhi because she insisted that I needed a ‘makeover’. Now, for some unfathomable reason, her hair stylist always tends to have a fit when he sees me.Possibly, he likes women to be like what Mammy in ‘Gone With The Wind’ chides Scarlett O’ Hara to be : ‘A Lady’. While my Ma’s strict tutelage in childhood did induce a reluctant lady-likeness, a possible mutant gene of a possible pirate forefather induced  a Jack Sparrow-ness too.

Anyway, the hair stylist , encouraged by my sister proceeded to ‘tame’ my hair. I should have been able to read into his trembling excitement and gloating, but I had taken off my glasses and couldn’t gauge the extent of his evil. And I was sipping  a double espresso shot from the nearby Starbucks that filled me with supreme bliss, further disarming me.

When I finally looked at myself, I was skeptical, even though he and the sister were beaming. I posted a picture on Facebook and my friends are saying lovely things too. Maybe, I look nice. But, I don’t feel me 🙂

Deep, philosophical pondering.Can a hair cut change who I am ?

Nopes.

 Because “Life, weddings, relationships, road trips, gardening, making out, haircuts: few of the fun things in life always go as expected” ( Ariel Meadow Stallings, ‘Offbeat Bride:Tafetta-free Alternatives For Independent Brides” )

You just need to hang in there 🙂

And, oh yeah I get by with a little help from ….Led Zeppelin 🙂

The Humble ‘Bhujiya’ Sandwich

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( Photo from the Internet for Illustration only)

This is a very popular Indian snack.Its spicy, deep fried and made out of ‘besan’ ( gram flour) and spices.It originated in a city called  Bikaner, in the state of Rajasthan, in Western India.Its reach is of course not just pan-India, but global, what with we Indians to be found everywhere these days 😀

I have a visceral connection to the ‘bhujiya’. I guess anyone who has stayed and studied in a hostel would have such a connection. This was what that sustained me and my friends, while we were students of Jawaharlal Nehru University ( JNU), New Delhi, through the terrible, mass produced food served in the hostel mess. I stayed in the Ganga Hostel for girls and I think, it’s mess was the worst. Most of the girls’ hostels’ mess were pathetic   I think, because the boys would regularly terrorize the mess warden/manager/cooks/serving staff 😀 While we girls usually stuck to a little polite and non-invasive cajoling that didn’t have the intended results 🙂

The ‘bhujiya’ was liberally doused over the staple rice and ‘dal’ ( a watery lentil soup) because the vegetable curry would taste like what a friend of mine called ‘cat crap’. While the vegetable curry changed everyday, the cat crapiness never went out of it!

The real glory of the ‘bhujiya’ was its tremendous potential in perhaps one of the best sandwiches I have ever had till date.One could make it anytime because it was so simple. The ‘bhujiya’ sandwich was spectacular because it was fashioned out of stolen ( from the hostel mess) or borrowed ( from fellow ‘bhujiya-ites’) or leftover ( a true hosteler always had a friend who would keep breakfast for her/him and which would be normally be eaten at midnight). The essential ingredients of this sandwich were bread, butter, ‘bhujiya’, chopped onion and tomato ketchup.The bread was buttered, sprinkled with ‘bhujiya’ and chopped raw onions and liberally doused with ketchup. If by any chance there was leftover ‘aloo bonda’ ( deep fried mashed spicy potatoes coated with gram flour), a highly popular ,un-healthy, calorie ridden breakfast option,the sandwich turned gourmet, with the ‘aloo bonda’ being squished in between the bread.Hail awesomeness!

Amongst my friend circle, we had two types of the ‘bhujiya’ sandwich. 1) The ‘Kissing’ sandwich, which didn’t have the chopped raw onions. 2) The ‘Non-kissing’ sandwich , which had chopped raw onions. The distinction was based on whether one had a boyfriend and thus was smooching, to not having one and fantasizing about the then Imran Khan 😀 For you see, raw onions have an extremely pungent smell and thus taboo for kissing 😀 Somewhat like Jackie Kennedy’s apparent grudge about Aristotle Onassis smelling of onions or garlic( I forget which)! The ‘bhujiya’ sandwich thus was a barometer of one’s love life 🙂 I always had the ‘Kissing’ sandwich and was teased un-mercifully by the mates 😀 But my preference was more due to the fact that I can’t stand raw onion than an erm prolific love life 😀

Much later, I would spot the ‘bhujiya’ as the preferred companion to booze in parties thrown by friends.Many such parties were/are painful because some drunk usually starts singing which really, really puts me off!The other drunks cry, clap and egg him on to unspeakably, horrendous heights of torture .In such situations, I am very comforted by the ‘bhujiya’, its familiarity and no nonsense look and taste 🙂

Well, time to say ta-ta, guys.Here is a song from a Bollywood movie released while I was in JNU.Stars the legendary Amitabh Bachhan.It was a huge hit & I totally loved its cheesiness 😀

Do you embarrassingly forget names ?

‘Lethonomia’, derived from Latin letho, ‘lie hidden, forget,’ and nomina, ‘name,’ refers to the inability to recall someone’s name.Many people suffer from this syndrome I am told, as well as the inability to remember faces.

I don’t. I never forget names and faces. I never forget anything, actually. Because, the accidental sufi is a Scorpio 😀

But, I have sufferd acutely once for forgetting a human name of a friend’s family but  remembering the family  pooch’s name! I googled for an appropriate term for this,in the desperate hope that someone also could be/is afflicted by this erm..strange disease. I didn’t find any.If anyone reading this blog is, please let me know and please empathize.

Or sympathize actually! Hear the horror story, now.

Sometime back, I was in Mumbai for some work, and bumped into a friend of mine after say 5/6 years. I promptly accepted his invitation for dinner because I remembered his wife to be a fabulous cook.I should have realized that something was terribly amiss  when I couldn’t  remember her name while telling him ” Tell ———, ah ——-,uh-uh,———- your wife to make that absolutely sensational ‘palak paneer’.Oh yeah, don’t forget the ‘rabdi’ too”. He beamed.I beamed.And that was that.

All through the drive to his place, I kept trying to remember his wife’s name.And just couldn’t! I remembered his son’s name. I remembered that they had then, a fantastic maid called ”Lakshmi”, whom I had tried ferociously hard to poach( I had failed). Of course, I remembered their pet dog’s name: a beautiful , chocolate Labrador, called ‘Hershey’.

As their house approached, I broke into a sweat.But the very dominant ‘fond-of-good-food’ gene, egged me on.I thought I would craftily wait for my friend to call out his wife’s name. Thus, mollified and courageous, I entered their house, armed with chocolates and flowers.

I am sure I didn’t behave normally. I felt that I was blabbering a bit incoherently,my eyes were too bright, I hugged the wife a lil too hard, even air kissed ( sic), dropped the flowers, hit  my leg against the centre table and almost displaced a huge laughing Buddha.If the family and their dog were a bit taken aback with my  ummm effusiveness, they didn’t show it.Rather, they went out of their way to  make me feel comfortable. I grabbed on to the dog for dear life and kept intoning ‘Hershey’,’Hershey’, ‘Hershey” ad nauseam…pathetically trying to cover up my sign-language communication with the wife.

I also desperately waited for my friend to call out ,by name, to his wife as she bustled prettily from the kitchen to the living room.But, the bastard either out of sheer, pure love or 14 years of marital bullying ,referred to her as ‘Darling’, ‘Honey’,’Jaan’, ‘meri biwi’! I felt martyred! The laughing Buddha on the center table seemed to be laughing more hard at me! I started feeling delusional and the delicious food  actually started having having a hallucinogenic effect on me, I tells ya guys!

Happy to report that the accidental sufi kinda escaped with no major damage.Just that I kept saying ‘you have such a wonderful wife’ quite a number of times to my friend…which I felt made his wife suspicious about him 😀 Ya know, she must have thought that he could have put me up to it to cover up for a possible extra-marital affair with his secretary 😀 Wives are always suspicious if the husband has a female secretary I have seen 😀

It is only after I received one of those  annoying bulk texts, sent on the umpteenth number of ‘special days’ celebrated by humans as a mark of their miserable existence on earth and which read somewhat like ” Dear Sir/Madam, Our best wishes for National Without Underwear Day! May you shine and lights never dim!May you live long without underwear! Best wishes, Husband’s name & Wife’s name & sometimes Kids’ names”, that I recalled the wife’s name 😀

 Dave Barry says “As you get older; you’ve probably noticed that you tend to forget things. You’ll be talking with somebody at a party, and you’ll know that you know this person, but no matter how hard you try, you can’t remember his or her name. This can be very embarrassing, especially if he or she turns out to be your spouse”. I wonder what he is going to make out of my story 😀

There was this huge  Bollywood hit of Aamir Khan’s sometime back. He suffers from ‘short term memory loss”. My  wicked nephew referred to me as ‘Ghajini’ when I told him this story. Here’s a song from the movie I like, which makes  my guy tell me that I am  disgustingly mushy 😀

Oh I think, girlfriends/wives/partners etc shouldn’t really worry about female secretaries. They are women too and thus terribly smart 😀 Here read : “A female secretary was helping her new boss set up his computer and asked him what word he would like to use as a password to log in with.Wanting to embarrass his new secretary a bit and let her know where they stood, he smugly told her to enter ‘penis.’Without blinking or saying a word, she entered the password.And smirked when computer flashed back :PASSWORD REJECTED. NOT LONG ENOUGH’

That’s all for today, guys 🙂