Lessons From The Sahara Desert

December 17, 2008

Following my repeated failed attempts at finding an employer foolish enough to pay me to waste their time – there is a dearth of stupid people with money these days – I have finally succumbed to the clutches of household chores. I have embarked on this seemingly impossible mission, for me, to learn to cook edible food without severely damaging the output and/or severely damaging the human being who would eat the output.

Today was my first lesson, in the hot sweltering kitchen located in the Sahara Desert, as it felt to me. Much to my mother’s and several other people’s surprise, I was the one who initiated this experiment of attempting this feat much beyond my reach. It’s close to noon and my mom finds the groggy me broaching the subject of keeping myself occupied in this terrible bout of unemployment. Sensing a rare opportunity to trap me in this ‘you-need-to-learn-to-cook’ scheme, which was hatched by the whole family the day I was born, she suggested that I finally make fruitful use of this sabbatical by learning something (read: cooking). No way out, and I surrendered.

Little did I know we had to start the process pronto, like, then and there. Abandoning the book I was reading, I rushed to the Sahara Desert answering mom’s holler from the deep inferno. The smoke billowed, it obstructed my view, my lungs convoluted with my deep coughs and yet I marched on and finally found mom. Beaming with pride, mom adopted the role of a gentle nun teacher and proceeded to explain the intricacies of the functions that go into making a dish that is fit to be consumed by a human being.

After half an hour of chopping, cutting, kneading, simmering (food and us), tossing, frying, sprinkling and dropping all the utensils atleast once (by me), two dishes were ready to be served with much flourish. Fried potato and some bhaji I don’t know the name of. I just blindly, yet diligently, followed mom’s gentle instructions, and memorised them too.

How did I find the whole experience? I would have to say, brainless. I was bored with all the cutting, chopping, et al. However, the end result did make my chest puff up with pride, notwithstanding the fact that my involvement was robotic in the whole process. One thing that needs to be improved is that there is no entertainment in the Sahara Desert. The need of the hour for us, liberated womenfolk, is to introduce the concept of TV being installed in the Sahara Desert.

Yes, this is what I learnt from my experiment today. TV in the kitchen is the new need.

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5 Ways To Get Out Of Paying For A Date

December 7, 2008

Since the inception of the civilization as we know it, we, womenfolk, have been endlessly and relentlessly fighting for our rights and demanding equality with men. However, since boys will be boys and men will be… well, jerks, we need to throw this equality mumbo jumbo out the window and face the world with a strong heart and immaculate make up on our faces. We need to teach these guys an important lesson on how to treat women respectfully. We need to bring the pig back in male chauvinist pig. We need to find ways to not pay on that first date. Screw 20th century and the independent woman shit; women have never and will never pay for their food. I have put together a list of infallible tactics that women can use to get out of paying for the first date.

1. This is the oldest trick in the book. All you have to do is, wear the most flattering dress and make sure he takes you to a 5 star restaurant. Once you get there, order the most expensive dish on the menu, it doesn’t matter if you like it or not. Once the whole dinner is done (including deserts), softly whisper in his ear, “I’ll be back from the restroom. Need to touch up my make up for tonight *wink*” and walk away (make sure you take your bag with you). Break out of the bathroom window and go home.

Everyone knows about this trick and 9 out 10 of us even think of this on our first date, and yet, women are continuing to pay for the food they eat! Why?

2. If breaking out of the window and running away seems cowardly to you, you can try is ultra new trick that requires only a certain amount of cunning from you. Before you reach the restaurant all you have to do is, steal the guy’s money. Since you are quite chummy with him and know where he keeps his money, this shouldn’t be much of a hassle. All you need is sleight of hands, that’s it. Once you got his money, you can don the role of independent, liberal woman when the cheque arrives and pay for the both of you. You kill two birds with one stone here. For one, he will respect you for you liberal thinking and second, you would save money.

3. If you are the type who doesn’t believe in “No pain. No gain”, then this one is for you. In this, all you need is above average acting skills. Make sure you go to a restaurant wherein you are able to view the outdoors from the dining area. Once the dinner is done and he seems to be getting ready to make eye contact with the waiter to call for cheque, you need to look out the window/door towards the parking area and yell! “They are towing my car!” Hurriedly take your bag and run out of the restaurant before he realises you guys didn’t bring a car, certainly not yours, because you don’t have one. Once out, keep running for 5 to 10 blocks, hail a cab and go home.

4. However, if your acting skills are as good as Katrina Kaif wonly, then you may not be able to pull the above trick off. We bring you guys, no wait, girls, a whole new trick because Every Woman Deserves Free Food (atleast on that first date). In this, all you need to do know is, how to apply make up. So, now after the eating is done with, get up to go to the restroom (he would take this as one of those mandatory visits girls make after eating every bite). Needless to say, you will take your bag with you and even more needless to say, you would have your whole make up kit in it and plus a change of clothes. Once inside the restroom, change clothes and apply as much make up as your face can take and expertly disguise yourself. Then, with an exuberant confidence walk out the restaurant leaving him to fend for himself.

5. Now this one is for the hardcore adventurous types, who are just dying to eat free food. This is the ultimate trick in the history of all tricks. If you can pull this off, you can do absolutely anything at all. All you have to do here is, show up at the date with no clothes on. Yes, you heard me, naked. If you go to the restaurant naked, there is no way in the world that the guy will even think of asking you to pay for the dinner. Chances are that the restaurant may not even charge you for the food. This way you save his money and yours!

Warning: Tamanna is not responsible for any physical, mental, personal, legal, etc tragedy that may befall anyone as result of carrying out the above mentioned tricks in anyway. Please undertake them at your own risk alone. Thank you!


Zero Tolerance

August 21, 2008

A very recent trip to my family doctor gave way to a stunning revelation that in his words meant, “I have a low level of endurance”.

As true as this might be, I refuse to take this from a human being belonging to the male species. Men, of all the people living on this shrinking planet, know quack

about enduring pain. Men can’t even touch the sheer humongous amount of pain we have to go through in our lifetime with a 100-foot pole.

First of all, my every month is tainted with a couple of days of pure pain in its worst form and if on top of this I have to tolerate an extra bout of it, I am plainly not going to do it. I refuse to ruin my few precious days by holding in the anguish within me without so much as crying aloud and ranting about it. I don’t want anymore pain. Period. This whole scheme of unfair things in this universe doesn’t just end with “those days of the month”, no, we have more pain coming up for the ladies, childbirth.

It’s again us, lesser mortals, who have been picked to actually be a part of “The Miracle of Life”. Let me clarify something here, this lolly of “The Miracle of Life” doesn’t entice me. I do want a kid, but I don’t want to HAVE the kid. I want MY kid to be carried by someone else. That’s it. For once, guys should be able to bear the torture and let us live in much deserved peace.

Screw you guys, I am going home!


The Masquerade

July 17, 2008

Our beloved motherland, more popularly known as India, has been proclaimed as a ‘developing country’ by suspiciously unnamed and seemingly non-existent people during recent times (exact number of years unavailable). As a permanent resident of this ‘developing country’ with no near-future plans of flying away, I am beginning to suspect that this groundbreaking declaration regarding my ‘beloved motherland’ is just a powerful wisp of rumour started by even more powerful politicians.

Now since I am a permanent resident of this ‘beloved country’, as has been already mentioned, it should be utterly evident that I have damning evidence to support my rather controversial opinion regarding our ‘beloved motherland’, and damning evidence I have!

How is it that a ‘developing country’, which is also world’s 2nd fastest growing economy, have outright, in-your-face paradoxical phenomenon occurring everywhere?

How it is that a developed place adorned with malls and multiplexes and with everything else that makes a town modern has to endure a total of 16 hours of power cut every single miserable day?

How is it that a place that can afford to have malls and multiplexes can’t afford to buy or generate enough electricity to keep these modern marvels functional?

How is it that our country, that is renowned for producing world’s finest software engineers doesn’t have one single decent ISP provider for its own people?

How is it that everyone has financial resources spare enough to own a cellphone and then incessantly talk on it so loud that defeats the very purpose of having a cellphone?

How is it that a rich affluent man is impudent enough to build the most expensive home in the country (including a helipad) that overlooks (literally) a humongous slum in the most expensive area of Bombay?

After pondering over these questions, India, to me, seems like a Third World Country masquerading as a ‘Developing Country’.


The Job

July 1, 2008

Finally, after more than 2-month sabbatical, I have managed to find myself a decent paying job. Although it’s amazing to see how I can make myself even minutely useful to someone that they are actually willing to pay me for it, I have managed to also convince myself and others around me that I am capable of writing some print worthy material.

My first day at the job required me to write 3 articles, impromptu. Now, let me confess here that I have never written more than a 100-word article for a job. So considering how amateurish I write, I managed to churn out 3 “pretty good articles” as said by my senior, in half a day there. I was proud of myself; a warm feeling of satisfaction had filled up my insides that lasted until dawn the next day.

Writing has always made me feel better. No matter what rubbish I type down, at the end of this activity I am always left with a light-as-a-feather feel. For now I only wish fervently that these after effects keep continuing at the end of each of my writing session because I don’t know about any other job that I can do now which would leave me as satisfied as this does.

There is nothing better than doing something that makes you feel good and being paid for it.


Kya SSC Board Paanchvi Paas se Tez Hai?

June 21, 2008

On June 20, Friday, HT’s front-page headline went something like this “Easy maths or tough maths?”

A catchy headline that provoked me to further investigate the article and so I perused it with growing discontent after every line. It seems our SSC Board has been idle with nothing significant to do for a while, so now; they have come out with a very “innovative strategy” to reduce the number of students that flunk in this seemingly tough maths subject in their 10th grade.

The “Innovative Strategy”: Come 9th standard and students will be given an option between “easy maths” and “tough maths”.

The Catch: Students stupid enough to take this bait, that is, students who opt for easy maths in their 9th standard would not be allowed to take up Maths at plus-two level (i.e. your 12th standard) and hence can forgo any chance of being engineers or physicists.

Our education ministry has plunged into a new low this time. To keep up the façade, they are now tampering with the syllabus. What brought on this “revolutionary change”? According to the statistics, 30% of students who appear for SSC fail in Maths every year and this is their solution for the problem! It is despicable, to say the least, that the Board in order to maintain the useless percentage of pass-outs is providing the students an easy way out.

Will the student’s 9th standard choices now decide their career? How is a mere 9th standard student going to decide so early on if he will be an engineer or not? How can young pupils take a mammoth decision as this when the career conundrum keeps baffling even many postgraduates too? As it is, our young generation is not the smart one anyways, then why make things harder for these scatterbrains?

If this is a viable solution then why stop here? Staggering numbers of entrants flunk IIT’s entrance exams every year too, let’s make that easier now. Easy IIT or tough IIT? Easy CAT or tough CAT? Easy CET or tough CET? Easy CA or tough CA? And so on and so forth.

Instead of dealing with the problem head-on by either revising the syllabus or making the examination papers a bit easier or changing the techniques of teaching, the Board is scrambling out of problem by providing an easy way out for itself and the students.

The grossly over-rated education system and percentage policy has been taken too far. In an attempt to increase the percentage, a mere number, the Board is compromising the learning of the students and ignoring the bigger picture.

If tomorrow, Manoj, a ninth grader, opts for “easy maths” so that it would help him secure a higher percentage to get into Science after his SSC and he decides he loves Computers later on and wants to be a computer engineer, what then? He would jarringly wake up the fact that he CANNOT take up engineering because he has not been allowed to take up Maths at plus-two level.

I’d rather Manoj didn’t study at all. It would do him a world of good if he just proceeded to learning computers himself and be an engineer instead of wasting his years choosing between “easy maths” and “tough maths”.


Saving English

June 17, 2008

It takes a strong as steel gut and stronger than steel mind to deal with unbridled criticism from someone who has only seen your picture on a tiny window on Gtalk and doesn’t even know your last name.

In my case, where I am not kindly receptive of criticism from anyone, this blow hit me harder than expected. I was seething with fury. I was half off my couch to take the next train to the loudmouth’s office and literally pluck out every one of those hair on her head with my naked fingers. Were it not for the monsoon disrupting trains, there will be a one bald loudmouth girl roaming the streets of Bombay.

Itching has engulfed my fingers since I suppressed this raging desire. It’s getting hard even to type or maybe it’s just me who can’t write or more precisely in the words of another loudmouth “I decry the use of bad language and still use it myself”.

Both loudmouths seem to be of the strong opinion that I, a nobody from a place of which no one has heard of, is raping English language. Soon there will be formulated a new law wherein I would not be allowed to thrive in the proximity of any kind of keyboards, keypads, pen, pencil, paper or anything else that would enable me to conjure up even minutely sensible sentences or even words that would subject the unsuspecting readers to unbearable agony and scar them for life.

In order to forestall such trying calamities I will be soon, in the near future, not allowed to write or publish any of my ghastly penned concoctions. Rejoice!