Growing Up

How I grew up on hand-me-downs and friendly gestures

Much before folks in the Internet space discussed ‘share economy’ over drinks, and much before it was cool to use products such as Airbnb, BlaBlaCar, Fon etc. there were ‘hand-me-downs’.

This is the story of how the first version of the ‘share economy’ played out in my life.

Here goes…

I think it all started when I was growing up too fast for the comfort of my parents.

Before I tell you how me growing up troubled my parents, let me tell you how I interpreted my growth.

For long I didn’t realise that I was growing up.

I thought my clothes were getting smaller.

That’s why I kept my red and white shirt (one that I proudly wore when I was four years old) for two years thinking someday it would shrink enough to fit my brown teddy bear (yet another hand-me-down).

Alas, it never did.

Since I was growing up fast, my parents bought clothes for me only on Diwali and on my birthday – on April 26.

They ensured at least one well-fitting pair every six months.

Due to their this strategy, any given day I owned two sets of clothes – one that was a perfect fit and another that I couldn’t go out in.

The hand-me-downs begin

When I was five years old, I came to know that I had older cousins, staying in different parts of Madurai, Tamil Nadu.

Eventually, we started meeting during summer vacations.

And I started getting the hand me downs.

My cousins would pack their old clothes and toys in an airbag (that’s what our parents called their travel bags) and pass them on to me.

My parents wouldn’t let me open the bag in front of my cousins fearing I would immediately get into a war dance and embarrass them.

Needless to say, that night I wouldn’t be able to sleep.

I would stay awake wondering what kind of clothes were inside the bag, what toys were waiting to be picked up, what coloured shoes were available to be worn.

Thanks to my cousins, I used to have a choice while going outside or staying at home and playing with my toys.

With time, I also started sharing my clothes and toys with younger cousins.

Sharing felt good because I knew exactly how I had felt when I used to get the treasure trove.

Uncles start chipping in

When I grew up and became a teenager, I started getting hand-me-downs from my uncles.

Now, my uncles would share their shirts and trousers with me.

Sometimes, it would be part of the yearly ritual and on other occasions, it would be a specific request.

Like the instance when I had to participate in a debating contest at LOSA competition (conducted by Lakshmi Old School Association every year) at Madurai and needed a good trouser to go with my black shirt.

“Saravana mama, I need help.” I approached my uncle.

I had been eyeing his stonewash jean for some time now.

He had recently finished his BSc Forestry from Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore and was looking for a job.

“Tell me, Rajan.”

“Will you be wearing your stonewash jean tomorrow?” I asked.

“Which one are you talking about? And why?”

“The white stonewash with black dots? The one that has ‘Love is sweet poison’ written on both sides of the trouser?”

Mind you it was 1991 and we were talking about a stonewash of a college grad, so ‘Love is sweet poison’ can be excused.

“But why do you need it? I wore it yesterday and it is dirty.”

“I am participating in a debating contest tomorrow and will be on stage. I need a good trouser to go with my black shirt.”

That’s all my uncle needed to hear.

He asked me to come by in the evening and pick it up.

When I went to his house at 7 pm, he was ironing it for me.

I didn’t win the debating contest, but the pride with which I stood on the stage that day was enough – I had already won.

I never returned the stonewash, and he didn’t ask for it either.

I get a hand-me-down moped

When I joined college, I asked my father for a TVS Champ.

Back in the mid-90s, if you were a cool dude in a Tamil Nadu college, you rode a TVS Champ.

If you were filthy rich, you had a Hero Honda Splendor…but lets not jump ahead of us.

Since my parents couldn’t afford a TVS Champ, they resorted to their tried and tested trick.

“Why don’t you try the public bus for the first year and if you score well you get a TVS Champ?”

TVS Champ - the ride of the 1990s
TVS Champ, the most popular ride for a college-going Tamil boy in the early 1990s. Image:

Since I didn’t have an option I agreed.

Next year when my parents still couldn’t afford a TVS Champ for me, I was disappointed.

One of my uncles stepped in.

“I heard you are pretty upset with your parents over a TVS Champ?” He asked.

“Yes, uncle. They promised to get it for me this year. I know that it costs a bit, but they shouldn’t have given me the hope. Right?” It was my teenage angst.

“I am planning to buy a Hero Honda Splendour. Why don’t you use my TVS 50? It may not be what you want, but it still is something,” he said.

If the sun was coming out of the clouds, it surely was very bright.

“Sure uncle. So how much do my parents have to pay?”

“Let us just agree that you will not ask your parents for petrol money.”

He had the patronizing look in his eyes, which I loved.

For don’t we all want Godfathers to spring out and help when we need them?

TVS Motors had launched India’s first two–seater 50cc moped called TVS 50 in 1980.

TVS 50 wasn’t as classy as TVS Champ, but like my uncle said it was something – it felt as if I had arrived.

TVS 50
TVS 50 was more for adults, especially merchants who had to carry heavy load. Yet, this moped was a sweet hand me down, which I rode proudly for many years. Image:

I rode the 15-year-old moped to college often.

Due to lack of petrol money the TVS 50 would be parked most of the time, but it felt awesome to have a moped of my own.

When I almost breached the hand-me-down code

With time, I finished college and started working.

Now, I was earning and still using the same TVS 50.

It is surprising how your wants come down when you have to figure them out yourself.

I had been working only six months when I got a call at my office landline from a cousin of mine who was still in college.

He was point blank: “I have sports day at college tomorrow and my sneakers have given up. Can I borrow yours?”

In a momentary lapse of judgment, I told him: “How about buying new ones. I only have one.”

My cousin didn’t say anything. The phone went dead.

It didn’t take me long to figure out that I had made a mistake.

I had broken the code of hand-me-downs.

If you have joined this club once, you can never refuse.

I knew he wouldn’t be rushing to the showroom to buy new sneakers anytime soon.

Next day at 7.30 am I was at his home.

He was getting ready for college and he was holding an Action shoe which had run its course.

In my hands, I had the relatively new Lotto sneakers my father had helped me buy from the CSD canteen.

As I gave him the sneakers, I said “Here, take it.”

I didn’t display any emotion.

I couldn’t afford to display the ‘big brother’ emotion.

It was part of the hand-me-down code.

At that moment, me giving him the Lotto sneaker meant the whole world to my cousin.

He gave me a big hug and at that moment I knew that I had bought his soul with this small gesture.

After the event, he called to ask when he could visit to give the shoes back.

I knew he needed it more than me, so told him I was traveling and would collect it later.

This give and take went on for some time.

Thanks to the growing economy and excellent job opportunities in different cities the big, almost-joint family drifted apart.

Or is it that only I drifted apart and all others are still in touch?

Perhaps, I would never know.

Unfortunately, today hand-me-downs are looked down upon.

They are only supposed to be for those affected by floods or earthquakes – they aren’t supposed to be for cousins, brothers, and sisters.

They aren’t supposed to be for friends and neighbors. Quite a shame, really.

That’s a lot of happiness, bottled down. So much treasure, undiscovered.

Growing Up

How I became a better student at school

This is the story of how I became a better student. My schools had no role to play in me becoming a better student. It was all my skills, my talent, and my hard work. I promise. Don’t believe me? Read on –

During my initial days in school, my father always compared me to the Prithvi missile, which was designed and developed by Defence Research and Development Organization.

I don’t know what my father’s reasoning was…but I guess it had something to do with the fact that Prithvi missile never hit its intended target. (Update: After many years of trials, it did start hitting the targets. Just like me.)

“You are just like that surface-to-surface missile, Prithvi. Can’t even find Pakistan,” he would say.

It wasn’t always my mistake that my father got called to the school often. Like that time when the teacher asked me that dogs question. She said: “Rajan if I give you two dogs and then give you two more dogs…how many dogs would you have?”

I said: “Five Dogs.”

The teacher asked this question many times and every time my answer was five. I think after the seventh attempt, she lost her cool and called in my father. My father’s answer was ‘Four Dogs’ and even after I reminded him that we already had a dog at home, and the correct answer was ‘Five Dogs’ he only gave me a stare.

I think I was in Kendriya Vidyalaya No 2, Jalandhar, Punjab then – in the 1st standard. The moment we got my first standard results (I passed), he said we would be moving to Kholapur in Maharashtra.

“Papa, why are we moving? Have you been transferred?” I asked him.

“No, I wanted to put you in a stricter school and that’s why we are moving.” He replied without looking up.

Once in Kholapur, I was admitted to Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) School. The first day changed everything – they took me to a hall where they had publicly nailed one student on a giant plus sign.

Just to confirm, I asked the student sitting next to me: “Why do you think that guy has been nailed to a big plus and hung on the wall?”

He replied: “Maybe, he failed maths. Why else, would they nail him on a big plus.”

I thanked God that he hadn’t failed English. Imagine being nailed to an ‘A’ – a nail thro’ the head for sure.

I didn’t want to meet the same fate and ended up becoming the best student the school had ever seen. Now, I could get my progress report signed on the same day it was given to me by my teachers – not because I was getting good marks, but because now my classmates had stopped borrowing it to scare their parents.

By now I had realized that the lesser activities I did in school, the lesser my chances of making mistakes, and thus even lesser my chances of being nailed and hung on the wall. When one makes lesser mistakes, one becomes a better student.

In order to limit the activities, I avoided eye contact with teachers and when they asked me to do anything I would re-confirm if they were talking to me.

I think I was in the fourth standard when I became the favorite student of my English teacher. She had spent the last 15 minutes waiting for one of us to give two examples of the pronoun. I tried hard to avoid eye-contact but after 15 minutes, my turn did come. She asked: “You over there….give me two examples of a pronoun.”

I was quite. I didn’t look up.

She came closer, and said: “Hellow…you…look up and give me two examples of a pronoun.”

I had no choice but to look up. I looked at her, looked behind, and looked on both my sides and then looked back at the teacher and asked: “Who? Me?”

The teacher went ecstatic. Since then I became her favorite student. Unfortunately, we left SDA when I got my fourth standard results.

Growing Up

Story of how I ended up starting

[mnky_ads id=”5202″]
I was reading a news item in The Telegraph yesterday, and apparently, there are at least 300 positions in sex. Oops, that didn`t come out as intended. Let me retry. I was reading a news item in The Telegraph yesterday, and apparently, there are at least 300 positions available in the British sex industry.

How do I know? Because an “adult chat line company” has advertised all over the United Kingdom for these 300+ positions, and it is being discussed in the British Parliament as well.

Anyway, I would like to seize this opportunity and share with you the fact that the porn industry has a major role to play in’s presence. Here is how:

When I was in class seven, in Kendriya Vidhyalaya Ballygunge, Kolkata, a few of my classmates had access to ‘Baywatch`. This was way before Priyanka Chopra got associated with ‘Baywatch’.

Priyanka Chopra Rock in Baywatch
Priyanka Chopra and Rock in Baywatch movie. Image Courtesy: Indian Express

Every day these privileged kids would discuss ‘Baywatch’ and its star Pamela Anderson and the rest of the kids, which included me, would listen in rapt attention. With time, the discussions turned to soft porn, and then hardcore. I had access to these concepts of sex only through the four friends who watched ‘Baywatch’ at home. It was as if I was Dhritarashtra and there were four Sanjays explaining to me what sex was.

Things didn’t change when I was 16 years old. Not having seen porn till I was 16 was a huge cause for concern. I think that`s why I couldn`t be a good student or a good son. Maybe that`s why I used to steal the centre-spreads of magazines as docile as Grih Shobha. And maybe that`s why I wanted to become a cameraman of a porn movie once I grew up. Needless to say, I kept my ambition a secret and whenever elders asked the obnoxious question, I said: “I want to become a doctor when I grow up!”

My life changed in the second year of college – that`s 1996. One rich classmate took me to a cyber cafe and showed me how nirvana could be attained inside a 2-feet-by-2-feet cubicle of a cyber cafe. I might as well have taken up sniffing cocaine…at least I could have taken refuge in a Drug Rehabilitation Center.

Having seen porn up close, by now I had realized that being a camera man in a porn movie wasn`t that good an idea. Now, I wanted to be the hero of the movie. I immediately subscribed for ‘Employment News,` a weekly newspaper that came up with a list of job opportunities available. Three weeks later, I came to know that recruitment for the porn industry happened in the dark alleys and not via ‘Employment News`. I did try hanging around dark alleys and spending time with drug dealers but to no avail.

On my last day in a dark alley, I did meet a porn movie director who was willing to make me the hero of his movie.

Everything was going on well, when he asked, “What is your take on horses?”

“I like horses,” I said.

Even before I had finished my sentence, I knew what he was getting at. I fled the spot like a race horse which wanted to pee and never come back.

Back then, if you visited a porn site, you could only see pictures and that too after wading through a list of directories with blue hyperlinks & avoiding traps that would cheekily ask you for your credit card details. That the internet speeds were pathetic helped collection & cooperation among the connoisseurs of the art called ‘watching porn`. The full image would download in 3-4 minutes and even before it had downloaded half, one would start trying out the right click of the mouse to save it in the appropriate folder. The folders were mostly named – Asian, Latinos, Blacks, Celebs, Straight, Lesbians etc. Those that were creative named their folders Hardly-Can-See, Can-See-Little, Lots-to-See, Anna Kournikova, Bombs-Not-For-Kids etc.

Since accessing & downloading the photos was a costly and time-consuming affair, true connoisseurs of the art opted for co-option. “You give me what you got….and I will give you what I have got.” And the World was one friendly place. I think the rejection of Floppy Disks and quick adoption of CDs (in less than a year) was because of this need to share & store sexy photos for posterity.

As a BA Economics third year student, I saw immense potential in the porn industry – I mean 52% of the World`s population was our potential customers. And the other 48% (women) could continue to lie, but who were we to complain as long as a cash registers continued to ring?

With no prior experience, I didn`t know how I could create a porn industry start up. Does one start with foreplay? Or does one rush right into it? That`s when I had realized that both a relationship and an entrepreneurial venture raise the same set of questions.

I laid out my plan in front of my friends. The idea was to start a porn website for Indians, with Indian content. Once our plan was ready, we shared it with our Micro Economics Professor, who liked the idea and said he was willing to head the Quality Control Department. In fact, the good Samaritan that he was, he offered his time for free.

“But sir, what about ethics? Is starting a porn website OK? Aren`t we screwing up people`s lives?”

That`s when he said something that changed my outlook towards the porn industry forever. He said: “Gentlemen, three things. If it weren`t for porn, our streets would be a lot more dangerous for our women.”

“And the second, Sir?”

“If it weren`t for porn, our men would have never known what to do when they met a lady.”

“And the third, sir?”

“Incidents like the holocaust, world wars, nuclear bombs, Amway, Tupperware dealership etc have screwed more people than the porn industry ever can.”

We were excited by the professor`s encouragement and immediately promised to make him the head of our Quality Control department.

[mnky_ads id=”5203″]

We were working on the execution plan when we came to know that someone else had gone live with an India-specific porn site called It was a mere coincidence that he was the Micro Economics Professor`s ex-student. To make matters worse, the site had already caught on among Indians both in India and abroad. We dropped our plan to start a porn website and for our daily supplies, started depending on

After college, I joined The Indian Express. After being a sports journalist with them for a year and a half, where I almost always dreamt of starting a classy porn newspaper, I quit.

Actually, the trigger for me quitting was a discussion with my father.

“How are the people at the newspaper?”

“OK dad. Not as classy as one would expect, but alright.”

“Always make it a point to stick around classy people. We don`t have class in our family…so we need classy people around us. It rubs on, you know?”

“Sure, dad. I agree.”

“You just agree or you doing something about it?”

“Yes dad. I am doing something about it. I am moving to the porn industry. I have heard people are classier there.”

“How so? Porn industry is all about writing erotic articles and publishing them on paper even the cows would refuse to eat. Right?”

“No dad. It has changed a lot since your times. We no longer read literature. A few years back we had still images but now there are videos too.”

“What? Videos? Where can I see them?”

That day was started with the intention of making it the classiest porn site in the World. And we are slowly getting there. Hold your horses!

Growing Up

World Gin Day – best and funniest quotes on gin and tonic

[mnky_ads id=”5202″]

The second Saturday of June is celebrated the world over as World Gin Day. Why Saturday? So that one has Sunday to recover from the hangover. World Gin Day is all about gin lovers coming together and celebrating with a lot of gin and tonic. If you don’t understand all this getting together to get drunk, just treat it as your excuse to get drunk today. Check out the best and funniest quotes on gin and tonic below.

Funny Gin Quote: Gin is Liquid Sanity

Funny Gin Quote: Let the Evening Begin

Fun Gin Quote: Don't cry over spilt milk

Funny Gin Quote: I heard Gin

Funny Gin Quote: Cup of tea moved to gin

Funny Gin Quote: When life hands you lemons

Funny Gin Quote: To Gin or not to gin
Source: Instagram

More on World Gin day

Funny Gin Quote: Favourite Gin Next One
Source: Pinterest

Funny Gin Quote: Forgive me father for I have ginned
Source: Etsy

[mnky_ads id=”5202″]

Funny Gin Quote: Time and place for gin
Source: Brockmansblog

Funny Gin Quote: Is it gin o' clock yet

Funny Gin Quote: Good friends offer gin
Source: Pinterest

Funny Gin and Tonic Joke: Me talking to the gin
Source: Pinterest

Funny Gin and Tonic Joke: Job for a gin
Source: Brockmansblog

Growing Up

Funny photos of dads and their kids: a tribute to fatherhood

[mnky_ads id=”5202″]

It is easy to father a child but it is not so easy to be a dad. Especially when the mother is not around. Handling pocket-sized dynamites is a task for large teams (or mothers) and not for individuals. This is why it is always fun to look at funny photos of dads and their kids.

The team has selected the funniest images of fathers and their children for you. If you know a father who is as cool, do share this funny fathers complication with them.

Funny photos of dads and their kids

Dads bring up street smart kids. Kids who can get their way in the big, bad world.

Dads have always used brute force to carry their kids. Not the nice curvy hips which the moms have to settle their kids in. This is why dads have always had to figure out innovative ways of carrying their kids.

We think it is alright for a daddy to get confused with identical twins. Here is a creative way to identify one’s twins. The only issue is – the dad will always have to seek the aerial route.

Which dad doesn’t want his son to grow up like him. But with a green mustache? Are we talking of Peter Pan here? No wait…even Peter Pan didn’t have a green mustache.

The cap this kid is wearing is a nice homemade recipe for disaster. But hey, with a cap like that which girl wouldn’t want to chew his head off?

When you are a father, Boney M’s By the Rivers of Babylon takes a whole new meaning.

Now that looks like a father who is in control of the mayhem. That’s four kids in a single bath tub. Well done, dad!–nagUAa/

If it is summer and you still need to go out to battle, this is just the right attire. Keeps you cool in body and in soul. Yet again, a great dad at work.

Who says dads take parenting lightly. Just look at this father. He has come well-prepared. Too prepared. With this kind of preparation, he can handle a battalion of babies.

Now that’s a father who knows his animal kingdom well. Is the kid an octopus? Or is he a squid? Whatever the father’s intentions, the child is definitely excited.

[mnky_ads id=”5203″]

It is kids who get trained like this by their fathers who grow up to become James Camerons and make blockbusters like Avatar etc.

A happy dad ensures a happy kid. Just because a father is taking care of a baby doesn’t mean he shouldn’t take care of himself. Well done, sire!

Fathers would do whatever it takes to make their kids smile. This father goes all the distance – two feet higher to be precise.

Either the dad was too lazy or the mother hadn’t kept the kid’s clothes outside to make the father’s life easier. Whatever be the case here, kids have a tendency to look cuter when they have been dressed up by fathers.

Air conditioning not working and the baby is going cranky in the summer? No worries. This father has the perfect solution for bringing down the temperature a bit.

If you are a mother and have a daughter at home, please advise her. Tell her never to ask her father for hair styling ideas – this is not what tying one’s hair in a bun means!

And we are sure the dog did all of this.

Why should dads stop taking care of their kids when they grow up? We at think taking care of each other should continue, till the last drop is done.

Know a cool father or an equally fantastic mother? Share this page with them!

Growing Up

Story of my first date and why she never answered my call again

Alankar was a journalist with a reputed Indian newspaper – The New Indian Express – and known to hob-nob with the best in showbiz. Now, you may suspect that I tried to get closer to her for her money or contacts but no, mine was pure love. And some lust. She was pretty and this explained my affection for her. That was all. This is the story of my first date and why she never answered my call again.

We had got talking and I was trying to persuade her to a date. With much difficulty, she agreed. The condition was, I was not to touch her, and try any ‘funny tricks’. These were the days before Facebook and Whatsapp, that is, every conversation was in-person. So when she said ‘funny’ tricks, I could see her expression and knew that she was serious.

We met at Spencers Mall at Anna Salai, Chennai. We spent time breaking the ice. Soon we were talking about our relationship. Well, at least I was.

[mnky_ads id=5202]

Sometimes I got the impression she wanted to get over with this whole `Date` thing. But I was not going to give in. After all, she had agreed to this meeting after a persuasion that lasted nine months. You may think that I was patient with her but the truth is I never found another girl.

During our conversation, I told her how hard I worked and how all my colleagues loved me. And how I was likely to be promoted. I think she was pretty excited about this as she kept nodding her head, even as she stared at the people walking in and out of the various shops.

Finally, she asked, “Are we going for dinner?”

To be honest, it was my mistake. It was seven already. Maybe she was used to an early dinner.

We walked up to my Yamaha RX 100 which was parked outside. The happy young man in me gave away five rupees to the parking attendant. By the time I realized the financial folly, it was pretty late.

She started giving me indirect hints that she wanted to sit on my Yamaha but circumstances didn’t favor her. She said, “I don’t want to sit on your bike.”

Being a gentleman, I understood what she was going through. I mean, not all girls like to be spotted with the guy they intend to marry – before the marriage. But as the restaurant was at least 14 kilometers away, an autorickshaw was not a logical solution. I had already paid five rupees to the parking attendant as a tip and could ill-afford Rs 50 for the auto.

With a little bit of convincing, she was on my bike but she sat far behind on the seat. I was a bit disappointed for I was expecting her to hold me by my shoulder. The cool breeze from Marina Beach was hitting my back – the same back which was to feel her warmth. We had ridden less than 100 meters when my disappointment turned to ecstasy for I realized that she was just the right kind of girl I wanted to marry – she was cultural.

After half an hour of riding, we were at the restaurant.

Her first words at the restaurant were, “Eeeks! This place smells of chicken.” That’s when I realized I hadn’t asked her if she was a vegetarian or a non-vegetarian.

We choose a table next to the window so that she could occasionally stick her neck out for breathing. It was time to place our order. The gentlemen that waiters are, the man standing us asked her, “What would madam have for dinner.”

“Vegetable noodles,” pat came the reply. Then she turned towards me and quipped,”I just love noodles.” This got my testosterone flowing. If she loved noodles, I should love noodles too.

I just raised my two fingers and blurted out,”Make it two!” There was a smile of victory on my face as I watched the waiter go back with our order.

The plates arrived and we went for our forks. When I first saw the fork, I knew I had seen it somewhere before. One thought led to another and I finally landed on Lord Shiva. He holds a fork like trident (trishul, in Hindi). “Ah! So this is a fork!” I muttered to myself.

Blame it on my mother, who never cooked noodles or blame it on my father who never taught us to use forks but till now I had neither eaten noodles nor used a fork.

When I looked up from my plate, I noticed that she had already started. I stared at her for a few microseconds, for those elusive hints on how to eat noodles. She was fluent and went about the task at hand with a surgeon like precision. I was stranded. This was the first time in my life, I was having noodles and that too with a fork.

[mnky_ads id=5203]

I tried. I tried again. I innovated. But nothing seemed to work. Girls being slow eaters, I could keep pace with her for a while. But as she warmed up my inability to pick up the noodles with a fork was exposed.

Twenty minutes later, she had cleaned up her plate. Mine was still half full. Being an optimist, that is how I saw it.

I was already feeling the pressure. Here I was sitting before a girl well-versed with the ways of the world – and of course, the use of fork and I was not even able to finish a plate of noodles.

Through the corner of my eye, I noticed, she was looking at me. After what seemed like ages, she said: “Why don’t you try your hand. It might be easy.”

I didn’t say a word. I put aside Shiva’s trident and started eating with my hand. She watched me eat all the way.

After the date was over, we got onto the bike again. The gap still remained. The breeze still hit my back. Only this time it was colder. We didn’t speak much on the way back.

We haven’t spoken since this dinner date – it has been 16 years since. I had called her a few times, but every time her friend picked up the phone and said Alankar had gone out to buy dinner. Once the friend also added, “I think tonight she is planning to have noodles.” This was followed by lots of girls giggling, which I found cute. So she still discusses me!

Growing Up

A south Indian family survives north Indian winter

If you are a South Indian and reading this, chances are you will not understand because you have never seen a winter.

If you are a North Indian, you probably know what winter is all about but don`t know what it feels to be a south Indian…so read on. The Western & Eastern Indians can just sit and watch.

As I was saying, being a south Indian during North Indian winter isn`t easy.

I remember, back in Chennai, nobody would speak of the weather. People calling you wouldn`t ask: “So, how is the weather?” for they would know the answer. It is not to say that we didn`t have four seasons in Chennai – we had a hot season, more hot season, most hot season and then the hottest and humid season.

Here in Gurgaon, we have the summer, winter, autumn and spring. Spring is the season from May onwards till August when the working class springs from one company to the other after a not-so-good appraisal.

Anyway, a week back the Rajans realized that in Gurgaon the temperatures can be as low as 25 degree Celsius! “That`s winter!” my wife Rekha cried. “I never knew it would come in unannounced,” I exclaimed.

[mnky_ads id=”5202″]

We had never seen winter and didn`t know how to cope with it. The same day, I went to the edge of Gurgaon, collected some firewood and brought it home. For the next one week, we burnt firewood in the middle of the drawing room and blackened the marble. Had it not been for the family living below us, whose ceiling fan had melted and started dripping we would have never known about a household appliance called room heater.

Though the house was warm now, the floors still were too cold to walk on so Rekha and I hatched a plan. We were to follow the milkman the next day morning (without his knowledge of course) and see his house. We knew he had cows and buffaloes and goats and thus would have lots of hay.

The next day morning, as soon as he gave us the customary one liter of milk we locked our house and followed him in our car. We had to travel very slow because he was on a cycle. The good ‘spy` that my wife is we managed to avoid detection.

The same night we stole hay (or straw, whatever) from his house and spread it evenly on our apartment floor. I remember my grandpa telling me that way back in the 1930s when south India used to have a winter this is what they used to do.

Now we could walk on the floor without any issue, but had a problem taking bath. How could one take bath when the outside temperature was as low as 25 degree Celsius? Back in Chennai, we used to take bath twice (morning & evening) but here, it was becoming a challenge.

I even tried heating the water in the drawing room (on the 24X7 fire we were maintaining) but hot water baths weren`t good either because after wiping ourselves dry, we would freeze in the cold.

After two failed attempts, we stopped taking bath. We don`t stink yet because it has only been a week. If it gets colder and we can`t think of any alternatives to bathing we plan to stock up Axe Effect`s Winter Cool before its price goes up. In case you didn`t know, demand for deodorants goes up in winter (and one thought sweating was less in winters!).

Pity, we are only one week into the North Indian winter. Pray for this South Indian family so that we emerge victorious at the end of the North Indian winter. If you sympathize with us please send me a mail seeking bank account details.

Note: Anybody knows how to build an Igloo? We need to save ourselves from the cold and the Gurgaon bullets.

[mnky_ads id=”5203″]

Growing Up

Ancient Indian mythology stories nobody wants you to know

Indian mythology stories or Hindu mythology stories – however you call them them are a rich source of spiritualism, entertainment and morals on how to live your life. You must have read these mythological epics as kids, as adults or watched them on television as mega serials. One thing which you could not have escaped is the discussion on weather these stories were true or were just stories.

I say, why bother. How does it matter if these mythological tales were true or not? They are awesome, and we love them.

In fact, lets go a step further and see if we can create our own mythological stories set in modern era. In this article you are going to read four mythology stories re-told in the modern era.

Indian Mythology Story 1: Why Ganesha has an elephant head

Ganesh used to be a happy go lucky teenager when one day Shiva and Parvati asked him to find his own apartment. At first Ganesha refused but when Shiva and Parvati insisted that they wanted to live a retired life and might even go on a around-the-world voyage on a Star Cruise package, he agreed. As a first step, Ganesha picked up his mobile and went thro’ his contacts – just in case you didn’t know Ganesha had always thought he wasn’t as handsome as Lord Shiva, his father. You can say that under the shadow of his over-achieving father he had grown up with a huge inferiority complex. In short, he was suffering from what we know as Abhishek Bachchan syndrome.

Maybe, that’s why he didn’t call up the more handsome of his college mates –Lord Rama & God Kubera. He called up his college-mate Hanuman, the monkey God, and asked him if they could share the room & its rent but Hanuman refused saying he needed some privacy because he was finally – after a few thousand years – getting into a meaningful relationship with a girl. With nowhere to go, Ganesha picked up his Samsonite trolley and got out of his parents house. He left his stake-board back in his parent’s house because he knew that the jungle wouldn’t be a good place to try it.

As he traveled through the jungle looking for a place to stay he met many brokers, but their broker fee was way too high for a jobless Ganesha to afford. He kept traveling through the jungle. That’s when he met Appu the elephant, a budding weight-lifter.

Appu and Ganesha became the best of friends and started to live together. During this time, Appu introduced Ganesha to the local beauty surgeon, who said he could help improve Ganesha’s looks. During the initial discussions the surgeon realized that Ganesha was in awe of Appu’s looks and goaded Ganesha to speak to Appu about being the donor.

Initially Appu refused, but when given the option of being etched in sporting history by becoming the mascot of the first Asian Games, he relented. He agreed on the condition that Ganesha will ensure that the Asian Games Committee approves him as the mascot.

Rest as they say is history. Appu died being a donor. Ganesha got his face lift & his confidence.

Ganesha lived up to his word by forcing Jawahar Lal Nehru to use Appu as the first mascot of the Asian Games which were held in 1982 in New Delhi.

Indian Mythology Story 2: Why Shiva has a snake around his neck

Shiva didn’t always have a snake around his neck. Just before he was married he had been dating a girl called Ganga. But as luck would have it, due to family pressure and due to immense wealth in Parvathi’s family Shiva agreed to tie the knot around Parvathi’s neck. Being the good lady that Ganga was she distanced herself from Shiva the moment she heard of his marriage with Parvathi.

After two years of marriage – once the honeymoon period was over – Shiva and Parvathi started having conflicts. Once in a while Parvathi would also go back to her house to be with her father, the mountain king Himavan. After every fight Shiva would feel lonely. On one such occasion he buzzed Ganga on Facebook and they started talking. Ganga was still unmarried and was working with Pepsico Inc in their mineral water bottle wing called Aquafina. Both Shiva and Ganga started spending a lot of time together on Facebook. The old love was re-kindled but both stayed away from saying it out in the open.

All went well till one day Shiva forgot to log off from his Mac Air and Parvathi saw Shiva’s chat transcripts with Ganga. This threw her in a rage. After an all-night argument Shiva apologized and said: “I will do anything that you say. I am really sorry that this happened.”

At this Parvathi handed Shiva a snake and said: “Well then, always wrap around this snake around your neck. His eyes will provide me a video feed and his ears will provide me an audio feed all the time.”

At first Shiva resisted because this meant the end of his privacy, but even the argument that snakes didn’t have any ears thus audio feed wasn’t possible didn’t cut any ice with Parvathi.

Thus it would be fair to say that the snake around Lord Shiva was the first version of CCTV ever installed.

Indian Mythology Story 3: Why Sherawali is always sitting on a Tiger

Sherawali had always been a confidant lady. And as happens with all confidant ladies, there were no men in her life. In case you didn’t know men want less and less troubles in life so they shy away from confident women. Needless to say, Sherawali didn’t really have a man in her life till she was well into her forties. The first man who came into her life was Narayan (Nardar in Tamil) who was so self obsessed with himself that he would keep chanting his own name “Narayana” “Narayana” wherever he went. Maybe it was this self-obsession that didn’t allow him to see Sherawali’s confidence and dislike it. After two years in the relationship he finally started having trouble with her confidence levels.

To bring down her confidence levels he hatched a plan. Narayan knew a hacker from one of the open source conferences he had attended. He called him up: “Whats up, man?”

“How you doing buddy?” The hacker replied. The hacker was really on a high, he had just hacked into Netflix servers.

“Need help. I am going to challenge my girl friend Sherawali to a game of Pictionaryand you have to hack into the online game’s servers and ensure that I win the game.”

“That’s easy. Just Whatsapp me the username with which you will be playing and your girlfriend’s ID as well.”

The deal was done. And the date for the challenge was fixed.

Not suspecting anything Sherawali picked up her One Plus 3T and logged into the Pictionary app. Narayan also did the same.

Sherawali asked: “So, what does the loser have to do?”

Narayan replied: “Simple. The loser has to apply Super Glue on their behind and sit on a tiger for 24 hours.”

Sherawali accepted the challenge, and thanks to the hacker lost it too.

Since that day, Sherawali has been sitting on the Tiger. The plan was to sit on a Tiger for only 24 hours but nobody has found a solution to Super Glue yet. Till this day, she continues to wait for that innovator.

Indian Mythology Story 4: Why Hanuman is Lord Rama’s most ardent follower

If you know your mythology you would know that as a child Hanuman thought the sun was a bright orange fruit and tried to swallow it. What the mythological stories don’t tell you is that when he tried to swallow the sun, he heard the cries of a girl. Needless to say, since the girl was sitting on the sun, she was hot. The child Hanuman fell for the hot girl immediately. He brought her down and nursed her back to health and like Kamalahassan falling in love with Sri Devi in the Bollywood movie Sadma, Hanuman also fell in love with this girl.

As they grew up, they grew to like each other as friends and never gave the relationship a name. Unfortunately, once the girl was beyond teenage years she started hating the monkey God.

“Who are you? Just a monkey, after all,” she said much to the disappointment of the monkey God.

That’s exactly the time when Lord Rama was passing through the jungle. Hanuman met him and showed him around the jungle. As is the tradition, while leaving Ram gifted his Sony A9 camera to the monkey God. Using this camera, Hanuman snapped a photo of his girl friend (when she wasn’t looking, of course) and pasted it on his chest. Good thing he discussed on which glue to use with Sherawali, else he would have also ended up using the Super Glue.

He then stage-managed the whole ripping of his heart drama and showed her photo within his chest. The girl fell for it hook, line & sinker.

Two days later, on a high of having finally attained his girlfriend he went to Lord Rama and ripped his chest to show Lord Rama’s photo inside.

Lord Rama said: “”Yeah right! Nice try! And he turned towards Laxman and said: “Laxman, why don’t you show Hanuman my latest iPhone 7 with 12 mega pixel wide-angle and telephoto cameras?”

Though Rama didn’t fall for Hanuman’s trick, by being the best servant Lord Rama ever had, Hanuman is trying to repay his debt to Ram.