Celebrating birthday economy class

I know it is a little late but I think you should know how Rekha and I celebrated my birthday this year.

Last year, on Rekha`s birthday we went to Fisherman`s Cove. I wouldn`t have known about this place had it not been for a close friend of mine called Muthu, who took his girlfriend there after mortgaging his house.

Luckily we didn`t have to mortgage our house because we don`t own any. But we did sell a part of Rekha`s dowry and decided to go for a dinner at Fisherman`s Cove. Apparently, Kerala Gold designs fetch a good price in Tamil Nadu.

Anyway, we managed to visit Fisherman`s Cove on Rekha`s birthday, order a mineral water bottle and have it to our fill before leaving the place. Rekha really liked it.

This time around, the Gold prices had come down and we were wondering how we could liquefy some immovable assets (agreed Gold is movable) and visit Fisherman`s Cove again. We explored resigning and claiming the Provident Fund (PF), going in for a Golden Handshake, selling a kidney and many such alternatives.

“Rekha, nothing is working out. Where do we go?”

“Let us go to someplace cheap and economical.”

“Why cheap? We always go to high-brow places when it is your birthday!”

“I know, but this time Gold prices are down…so it is better to stick to Wang`s Kitchen.”

“That`s Chinese and you know I have hated the Chinese ever since they attacked India in 1962.” Being quite a patriotic fellow, I was getting furious.

She smiled at me. This is the smile that meant ‘I know I will win this conversation`. She said: “If we go to a regular Indian joint, we will use our hands to eat and finish it soon. But in Wang`s Kitchen, we will get chop sticks and thus we can sit there for hours eating the rice one by one.”

I didn`t agree with her. I hated eating rice one by one. As a kid I remember doing that …until the day my classmates started calling me ‘Chicken`. Apparently chicken eat their food one grain at a time. My classmates even ridiculed me that the only difference between me and the real chicken was that the real chicken got to hang around with the chicks.

Anyway, getting back to the real issue here…I failed to win the argument and we landed up in Wang`s Kitchen at 8 p.m. on 26th April.

When nobody came to our table till 8.30 p.m., we raised our hand, whistled, shouted, and banged the plates on the table to attract attention. Finally a waiter walked across to our table and said, “Sir, we are having a problem with our gas cylinders.”

“Why what happened?”

“We have run out of gas, and we have got in touch with the gas agency.” He was quick on the draw.

I looked around…many people were chatting up heartily. “How long will it take?”

“Don`t know sir. You know how long these gas agencies take to deliver. But till we get the gas cylinder, we will keep you occupied with a special Chinese salad.”

Rekha and I nodded. In a few minutes we got the salad. It was really Chinese. I was surprised. These guys really live up to their promise.

After waiting till 10.15 p.m. for the gas cylinder to arrive…we decided to beat a retreat. In half an hour`s time, we had finished our Meal for Two offer at the nearby Pizza Hut.

Circumstantial Conspiracy

[This was written two days ago but couldn`t be posted on this Funny Blog because Sify Broadband`s Customer Care couldn`t solve a Cablewala issue]

* * * * * * * * *

It has been five days since we bought Suzuki Swift but I am yet to take it to office. Rekha has already taken it to her office and that is eating me up from within.

As I said earlier, Khivraj Motors conspired and delivered the car only at 5.45 p.m.. on last Thursday. Even if I had immediately rushed to the office, 90 per cent of my colleagues would not have been there. Those who would be there would be the ones that don`t know to say ‘No` – thus not worthy enough for somebody from the Rajan family. In case you haven`t realized it yet, we Rajans specialize in saying ‘No`. You could say that we have it in our genes. As of now I even have my car key in my jeans.

On Friday morning 4.30 a.m. Rekha broached the topic. I was sleeping but she woke me up and asked: “So, who is taking the car to office?”

“I am,” I said. Not yielding ground even when half asleep.

“That`s not fair. I challenge you to a duel. The last man standing…I am sure it will be a woman…can take the car to office.”

My wife seemed pretty confident. For a moment I thought she had gotten up early, made herself some tea to gain mental and physical strength and then woken me up. But her unkempt hair (the first thing she does after getting up is walk up to the mirror) and her oily face were proof that she had gotten up only then.

In the last 18 months of our marriage we hadn`t run into arguments (mostly because I accepted defeat before she raised her voice) and the last duel I remember was before we had gotten married. I remember, she had said she won`t let me ask her father for dowry …and I was insisting that I will not marry her until there was a good amount of dowry delivered. Rekha had won the duel because I had forgotten to wear my glasses and anyway, back then I was a little slow with swords and shields.

This was the second time Rekha had challenged me to a duel. I stared at her. She stared back. I knew she meant business.

“Anything for a car is it?” I asked. She nodded.

Being a husband gets tough when one`s wife stops speaking. When she speaks…all one has got to do is ignore her. That`s not possible when one`s wife resorts to nodding. So I responded to Rekha`s nodding with aggression: “So where is the duel?”

“In the kitchen. This time we are married and we can`t injure each other and get away with it,” Rekha said.


“So, we will have an arm-wrestling match.” She seemed confident.

That was a very good move by Rekha. Perhaps she came to know of my visits to the sword fighting school being run by Shaktiman`s younger brother Swordsman in Nungambakkam, Chennai…and realized that challenging me to sword fight wasn`t a good idea.

We settled down on the kitchen-counter and locked our hands. She stared right into my eyes…and I right into hers. She tried to distract me using methods only girls can master, but I didn`t fall for it. As a last ditch effort she even cried that her hand hurt…but I didn`t listen. I won. It is another thing that she has her right hand in a sling now.

After I won, she became very apologetic. She agreed than men were more powerful. Like the good wife that she sometimes is…she made tea. I tasted odd. I even remember asking her if she had changed the tea from Red Label to Lipton.

I don`t know what happened after I drank the tea. I got up at 3.00 p.m. in the afternoon in the kitchen, lying beside the LPG Cylinder. I had a throbbing headache…as if I had just drank 25ml of Harpic. I looked around and my mobile phone was blinking…it had a message from Rekha. It read: “Sorry. Tried to wake you but you started sleeping after tea. Have taken the car and. Now in office. Will meet at 7 p.m.. Love you – your sweetheart.”

It is my Happy Birthday today

Today is my birthday – apologies…didn`t give you advance notice. But then, you weren`t going to dispatch a gift to my address. Or were you planning to?

Last year Rekha had gifted me a pair of beer mugs. Wonder what it will be this time. Tonight, Rekha and I are going out for dinner (like the 1000s of times we have gone out ever since our marriage 18 months back). Wish me luck. Not for my trip with Rekha but for the year ahead. 😉

Word Play

The Washington Post decided to participate in word play and asked its readers to submit themselves to neologism. For those who don`t know ‘neologism` – it is a practice of providing alternate meanings for existing, common words.

Thanks to a mail from Navneet Potti who was a regular blogger (Here) before he got married and found a cause, we present the winning entries on Ouchmytoe.

The winners are:

1. Coffee (n.), the person upon whom one coughs.

2. Flabbergasted (adj.), appalled over how much weight you have gained.

3. Abdicate (v.), to give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach.

4. Esplanade (v.), to attempt an explanation while drunk.

5. Willy-nilly (adj.), impotent.

6. Negligent (adj.), describes a condition in which you absentmindedly
answer the door in your nightgown.

7. Flatulence (n.) emergency vehicle that picks you up after you are
run over by a steamroller.

8. Balderdash (n.), a rapidly receding hairline.

9. Testicle (n.), a humorous question on an exam.

10. Circumvent (n.), an opening in the front of boxer shorts worn by Jewish men.

We also now have a car!

Wow! Rekha and I are now proud participants of a revolution initiated by Karl Benz way back in 1885. Yes! We are proud owners of a car – Suzuki Swift. At least, I am proud of it. Rekha had wanted a Mercedes Benz S-Class. As you can see her tastes are so much more better that mine. It also shows on whom we chose has partners for life – she gets a dude with a capital ‘D` while I get her!

I wonder if you have noticed yet…but my last visit to my own Blog was on Wednesday evening. The reason for this phase of inactivity is the lack of internet connection in my car. Though I did manage to get out of the car once in the last two days – when I had to remove a bicyclewala stuck on to our car`s front grill. It did feel like removing a piece of food from one`s teeth after a heavy meal.

Both of us were at the showroom by 5 p.m. and while I finished the paperwork, Rekha kept an eye our chauffeur. Oops…almost forgot. We have recruited a chauffeur who will handle the most difficult part of owning a car – driving. Khivraj Agency, Chennai delivered the baby (that`s how we now address the car at home) at 5.45 p.m. on Thursday. As I was saying, we have hired a chauffeur because I am a driving school drop out. This is the biggest advantage of dealing with the Rajans – we are honest people and accept the truth even if it means recruiting a chauffeur for a huge compensation.

After his first day at work, the chauffeur was all praise for us. When we let him go at 2 a.m. he muttered something which when roughly translated into English meant: “What a couple. I have never met a family like yours that has managed to buy a car. Surprising.” Rekha says he also said something about somebody stealing a car and/or winning it in a game show.

On Friday, Rekha took the car to her office. If you had seen me opening the door for her when she got in and the driver opening it for her when she got down at the Cognizant office, you would have thought she didn`t know to open car doors. Apparently, she knows. Didn`t somebody once say ‘when a husband opens the door for his wife, either the car is new or his wife is new`?

When I spoke to the driver at the end of his second day at work, he said: “Sir, what are you guys so happy about? Did you just get pardoned by the President? I have been driving for 20 years and am yet to see a couple that sacrifices a goat at the village temple after buying a car.”

I was least concerned about his accusations….afterall, everything he said was pardonable as long as he called me ‘Sir`. It makes me feel like Bertie Wooster and he my Jeeves (those who read PG Wodehouse will understand better).

  • India vs West Indies – Complete Coverage Check Out
  • Aishwarya Rai is teaming up with Will Smith Read More
  • On Saturday morning we decided to go to Hanif`s house. He has been a friend of mine from my Indian Express days, and if there was anybody who deserved to see my car first…it was him. But he didn`t think so. When I called him and said we would be at his house for lunch and he could also see our car, he thought for a while and said he was in Bangalore and won`t be back for a month.

    Rajah, a senior manager in a pharmaceutical company was also not in town. When I told him about the lunch he said: “Machan, I am in Coimbatore. In my job I get to travel at work only once in three years and this happened to be the day.” I didn`t pursue.

    Even as Rekha called up her friend Sheela, I prayed that our self-imposed invitation gets refused. Thank God, Sheela turned us down…otherwise I would have ended up defending my set of friends.


    Google Romance – beta version

    I am at least 20 days late. Late for what? Read on and you will find out.

    Apparently, Google has started a service called Google Romance. Currently in the beta stage, it is likely to go live after the first round of bug corrections are done.

    According to Google, this service will use cutting-edge personal search algorithms to help you find your soul-mate, and then sponsor your first Contextual Date with said soulmate-to-be in exchange for showing you highly relevant advertising that just might help Cupid’s arrow find its mark.

    Does it really work? Ask Google`s internal beta testers — if you can find them. How often have you met somebody who works for Google?

    After I came to know about this dating service by Google I have become their sworn enemy. Couldn`t they have come up with something like this before September 8, 2004? That was the day I married Rekha!

    OK, don`t get carried away. It was their 2006 April fool prank. Now you know why I said I was at least 20 days late 😉

    Vishu Visit: How it all began

    Rekha and I had left Chennai on 12th evening. Here is a break up of the day`s events. In subsequent posts I will be writing on what transpired once we landed in Kerala.

    [Everything that follows, including the typos, is being reproduced as was written in a moving train on 12th evening]

    Ever since Rekha missed the train to Kannur two days before her (actually our) marriage, we make it a point to reach the station at least an hour before the train leaves. If we had been newly married we wouldn`t have noticed the hunger pangs until it was too late…but fortunately…nature`s calling lead us to the small Mary Brown outlet in the Central station. The last time we had been there, we had read a note saying, “Thanks for coming. Please come again. You are a valued customer.” Being a grateful lot, we Rajans landed there in spite of our bad experience last time.

    After the dinner, I got a chance to be Karnam Malleshwari as I lugged at our luggage. At least Malleshwari has the medal in sight to egg her on. I only had Rekha. Believe me…when you have to impress a girl you can carry the World on your shoulder but once you are married and there is no other pretty girl walking beside your wife…there is no incentive. Anyway, after carrying two bags weighing 25Kgs each (mind you, for a six day trip to a village)…I was sweating profusely. It was a moment of truth. Suddenly the fact was staring at my face – that I was a good sweater.

    This time also I had managed to convince Rekha to travel in the second class. She is getting upset with this practice of mine…but can`t help it. Had it not been for the pretty girl sitting opposite me, I wouldn`t have decided to let Rekha alone travel in 3rd AC next time.

    Rekha doesn`t understand it but I love the 2nd class. So much so, I didn`t know why my father was upset with me when I got 2nd class in college. Though, this time I realized second class is actually one class lesser than the first and not the other way around.

    With a pretty girl sitting opposite, I didn`t want to be seen as Rekha`s husband. Hence, instead of discussing nanotechnology with Rekha, I decided to come up with a business strategy on my own. One strategy that stuck for long was ‘high-jacking the train`. By the way, would it be called high-jacking? When somebody takes control of an aero plane it is known as high-jacking because it happens high up in the air. But in the case of a train…it happens on the tracks…so would it be track-jacking? Or maybe train-jacking? Whatever it is…I am sure the first guy to do this to a car or an aero plane was named Jack. Or maybe, he used a Jack to do it.

    How would I make money on a train jack? Simple. There are 74 seats in each coach (correct me if I am wrong, I never counted) and there are at least twelve 2nd class coaches, three 3rd AC coaches, two 2nd AC coaches and one 1st class coach in an average train. A sure shot inventory of 1500 pairs of footwear. OK fine…1500 minus two pairs. I couldn`t possibly be stealing Rekha`s and mine..can I?

    Rekha tells me that we will reach Kannur at 10.30 a.m., the next day. I don`t believe her. Damn it…I don`t even believe the railway time tables. The good thing about such travel by married couples is that there is no TV, Radio, Newspaper or Mobiles (the Hutch Dog doesn`t actually follow you everywhere, as claimed by the advertisement). To cut the long story short, Rekha and I were forced to talk to each other. We had a very interesting conversation on 18th century Chezkoslovakian poets who believed in capitalism. Rekha believes that there are no Chezkoslovakian poets (nope…Anton Chekhov was neither a poet nor a Chezkoslovakian) or Chezkoslovakian capitalists or Capitalist poets. I tried to argue but she had me Chezk-mated.

    We went to sleep at 9 p.m..

    [Thanks to the shaky train, my hand writing is pretty bad. You will have to bear with it. Apparently, Rekha ordered for a Train Shake while booking the tickets online.]

    This, that and a Vishu trip

    Ajay Shroff (a friend of mine) and Nanette (a friend of his) have thrown into the cauldron called Internet two ticking time-bombs. You don`t want to be the one that didn`t enjoy the blast…so rush for it now: www.suggestamovie.com&www.suggestabook.com

    I am surprised these domain names were available for Ajay. It is quite an interesting concept…go give it a shot. For all you know, this could be your ticket to publishing your own book or taking your own movie 😉

    Meanwhile, both Rekha and I are traveling together to Kerala for the Vishu celebration. Scope for interesting stories? Definitely. There is a remote chance that I might be able to update Ouchmytoe from there. To waste your time now…you could read stories from our previous Vishu trip.
    My Vishu Visit to Kerala: The pre-interval story
    My Vishu visit to Kerala – post interval story
    On why I can’t celebrate holi the way I want!