Posts Tagged ‘gibberish’

pretty women

Infrequently, I have to visit what are called beauty salons and appreciate the so much that still remains to be learned These occasional trips make me realize how less of a pretty girl I am, according to the beautician. To start with, she bluntly comments on every possible aspect of my face, and hair, and hands and feet! And I have to agree with all that she says and do the ‘ya I know’ and ‘oh is it?’ sounds every now and then as she rips off each part of me pointing to imperfections therein.


The lady in power: Your hair is too dry. It has no shine at all.
I to myself: Why does it need to shine?
She: which conditioner do you use?
Me: umm umm
She: what shampoo do you use?
A small voice in my head shouts, “What’s the difference?” *
“I have a foundation which will make your acne marks lighter”
“Huh? I have acne marks? Where?”

She goes on chopping and threading while you stare at the posters on the walls, the brown, suave, sleek and chic women giving out the surprised, catlike or orgasmic expressions. And you have to put up with an occasional humph from her as you take your hand out of the apron to brush hair strands off your face.

The other day, a friend and I were window shopping when a cosmetics saleswoman stopped us and urged us to try her surma. This is same as kaajal as she explained to us. Girl with me was skeptical about wearing it as she was wearing her contacts. I gave it a shot. After much of ‘oh, not that deep, wait it burns’ I finally managed to put it on. When we asked the guy accompanying us who by now was gloriously bored to see how it looked, he gave a ‘what’s the difference?’ look. Grrr, so much for the effort!

*This was a couple of years back. Now I know the difference. Conditioners are more expensive.

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I woke up in the morning to realize that it was 11. My obsession with coffee made me run to the coffee vending machine at the other end of the campus (I am officially addicted to coffee. And that’s step one, identifying your addiction. Not bad eh? ;-)). Having bought a cup worth 30 rupess – addictions come costly – I headed back. And just as I was going in the direction of my hostel, it struck me: I didn’t have to go back.

It’s Bastille Day in France. And everywhere else too. But only the French prefer to obsess about it. Actually, I just ‘wiki’ed. A host of other countries also celebrate the Bastille Day. I wonder if such celebrations do enough to remind people of what this day represents, and even if it does, if it enthuses them to follow the ideals that it stands for. This day is a symbol of the uprising of the modern nation, says Wiki. That is so vague and incomplete.

It’s raining cats and dogs here. I wonder how they will conduct the parade. But the French people are good at finding solutions to problems. That’s one thing I really admire about this place. Rather than directing their energies to fretting about problems, they take it in their stride and find ways out. I can not think of instances to support this, but all in all, there is a lot of positivity in the attitude here.

The campus of Ecole Polytechnique is so vibrant. The centuries old strong culture that it has gives it its own character. ‘Binets’ are clubs on campus which come together to share common interests. They paint their logos on buildings and ‘KES’ is a recurring word they have in them. I find it really cute. Here are a few:

I wonder if our Dean at IIT Madras will allow students to paint their hostels this way. I wonder if he will allow a bar on campus, or the screening of a football match in SAC. Someday.

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I climb the stairs, reading the ‘Thought of the Day’ pinned on the high wall. Above the green and yellow tiles. I hear the rising hustle bustle and i am greeted by the ganpati idol and the flower bowl kept in front of it. The place I would rarely visit and not without a reason. These are the many reasons why i never felt like visiting ‘Tiffs’ half a year ago.

1. The guys at the counter have a confused expression on their faces. They act as if we were asking for one plain dosa at a ticket counter on a railway station. Something like “How inappropriate of you to have actually done that!”.

2. When you ask for stuff at the main counter, they send you to another cash counter (the one near the coffee counter) What’s more, you reach the other counter and find no soul there. And when you look back for an explanation, you see that the man at the main counter has disappeared too!

3. You are waiting patiently for your Dosa, checking out Insti’s Who’s Who chatting with You-kno-who, when the guy calls out “your plain dosa ma’am”. When you are half way across, his expression suddenly changes to “Oh! not you..” as he hands out the plate to some one else. And there goes your dosa to another ‘ma’am’ who apparently was also waiting for one. The expression on your face is worth seeing then. The way a kid’s face becomes, when you burst the balloon he was playing with while you let out an evil laugh. Believe me, its worth a laugh. I have seen it many times before, especially when a guy with his wife, is made to return to his place and ‘wait till his turn comes’. Man of the house, returning without food. Total face-loss that is. Hehe.

4. The over enthusiastic guy! That particular over enthu guy! Now please, don’t ask me to appreciate his ‘eagerness to serve his clients’. It’s just creepy, the way he lets out both his hands and says “Yes ma’am, please come here and collect your dosa”. And you go there half suspicious half embarrassed. The way kindergarten kids go to the stage to collect their prizes. Scarred, confused, not so sure. But they want the prize u see! They have to face the spotlight.

5. You have to repeat any order at least three times before the guy gets it. I am not sure whether it’s my accent or his ears or both.

6. The guy at the coffee counter asks you your order when you hand him the pay slip. Earlier on, I thought he was illiterate. But one fine day, this guy saw the slip and went on to pour dark-brown sensuous desirable coffee ( I love coffee. Yes… to that extent. )into the ‘kutti’ steel cup. And the next day, you guessed it right, he again has that face-waiting-to-be-answered-to look, when I hand in the slip. took me long to realize that there are two people to do the job. one can read English, the other can’t.

7. They wait for somewhere between 3-8 seconds to take the slip when you forward it to them. Till then, you have to patiently hold it. Then they will take it, read the contents aloud, and ask you to wait for five minutes.

8. They don’t think it’s necessary to clean the tables after 11 or so rush in the morning, in spite of the fact that the grey marbelled tables are stained with dry dabs of sambar here and there, coffee marks and wrappers all over the place. Ok, now this reason sounded like the one out of the complaint register collecting dust in some remote khopcha of the cashier’s counter.

9. The man with glasses at the main counter, he has an expression like I broke his glasses. ekdum khunnus mein. Don’t know why. Maybe its because he got to know some how, that i crib a lot about tiffs. Maybe he does understand Marathi, coz i gen comment on his snail’s pace work to friends, right in front of him. How else can you spend your time while he figures out whether to return change or ask for it?

10. They bulb a LOT over math! They just can not do the hisab quickly. As a training program, these people should be sent for a day in an Udupi hotel. They will know there, that cashiers are supposed to do calculations faster than anyone else in the world, even the 11 year old child prodigy you saw on television yesterday who was ‘gen’ calculating 1123456*127859 and blurting it out in no time.

*As you must have figured out by now, my fav item on the menu is plain dosa.


I do like certain things about it

1. Face it. The food is better compared to messssss (OMG can’t control the ‘s’es)

2. You don’t have to pick up the plate when you are finished.

3. The old Hindi songs playing in the background, while you sip your coffee lingeringly in the cool of the night ( Alright alright, the sticky sultry roasty humid Chennai weather at night )

4. And of course, running into my first friends in IITM, meta junta who claim that Tif is literally surviving on their donation.

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