Thursday, June 30, 2011

Faux Pas and Morals: Sushmita

Sushmita, a dear friend and also a role model for me, is my first guest for the Faux Pas and Morals: Guest Series. Could almost visualise the faces of her faux pas "victims"! Read on....

Nagpur summers are real blasters and often it gets to you, particularly if you have a normal streak of insanity in you. I had left my work place; it was around 1 pm. I looked around for an auto rickshaw and not seeing one in the vicinity, decided to walk till the RBI square. By the time I stopped one and settled myself, I was frustrated. Suddenly I realized that my shades were missing; I searched, my bag, tapped my head (I often pull it up when I can’t see through the dark glass). It was not there; just bought it some time back, I groaned. ‘Ruko ruko bhayia…(stop the auto ..pls),’ I screamed and the poor guy almost pulled the brake in the middle of the road. ‘When I got into the auto, was I wearing my dark glasses?’ I asked the man, who was staring at me. “Madam, ap tow abhi bhi chasma pehne huye ho (Madam you are still wearing your glasses),’ he said, with an expression that clearly indicated his suspicion about my sanity. I composed myself with a self-important air, ‘ok, chalo chalo, let’s go.’ He moved himself a little forward, hanging on to the edge of his seat, for the rest of the journey, probably fearing that I may bite.
I was buying some flowers at the florist, one day at Dharampeth square, a busy part of Nagpur. From the corner of my eye, I saw a white car parked at the corner and its occupant looking at me. I turned around, ‘aree that’s Alok,’ I murmured and waved my hand, across the road. Alok too waved his hand. I took the flowers and paid for them; then I crossed over. Alok had rolled down the car window. ‘Hey there, long time no see, what’s up with you?’ as the words pored out, as if there was no tomorrow, I realized that forget Alok, this person did not even resemble him. He was also smiling and nodding, a semi-puzzled expression on his face. I was too nervous to even apologize. I mumbled a quick, ‘see ya soon,’ and just stopped short of running.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Faux Pas and Morals: Guest Series

Scribbling Away To Glory has two new feathers (pages) in its cap. See the band below the title image of the blog.

One announces the launch of the new Faus Pas and Morals: Guest Series.

And the other one...My Own Hall of Shame (collection of my old faux pas posts).

So here’s hoping that there will be no dearth of foot-in-mouth stories.

If you have one to my guest.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Turning Thirty

Thirty doesn’t feel like my age.

My neighbour’s age....maybe.
A good number for a fun party...definitely.
Number of shoes in my wardrobe...yes.
Vacation days back home...surely.
Minutes of exercise per day...the experts say so.
But my, sir.

It seems like a serious age. Almost like you’re not supposed to feel excited about your birthdays anymore. Almost like you cannot wear the T-Shirt that says “There's too much blood in my alcohol system."

It’s the official age where you turn from “two-sugars-in-your-cappuccino” to “skinny-flat-white”. It’s when “holding your drink” should give you more pleasure than getting drunk (!!). It’ s when you cannot use the word “awesome” in any context...even if that is exactly what you want to say. It’s when you are expected to be fussy about your wine glasses...and not drink white in red or red in champagne flutes.

You’re supposed to set up the perfect dinner table for your guests...with table mats, shiny cutlery, coordinated drink glasses...the works (not grab your plates and sit on the floor watching TV). It’s when people start asking you how your investment properties are doing...or about the median price of a house in your suburb. Serious stuff, you see.

It’s when you no longer practise your cough and weak voice before calling in sick....but simply send a text saying “Not feeling too well...will take the day off.”

And of course there are things you cannot do anymore. “Cannot” in, physically/literally “cannot”. Like do “bottoms up” at a friend’s party...leave home without the anti-wrinkle sunscreen...fall asleep as soon as you hit the up the stairs without panting (or for those like me...even run to the toilet).

It’s when parents start taking you seriously and expect you to become parents soon. And of course, you’re expected to have “savings”, not just a “savings account”. Maybe even time to think of your child’s college fund...and not invest your entire pay in retail therapy (no matter that the child isn’t born yet).

It’s like you’re supposed to see the world differently...because the world believes that you must have grown tired fooling around.

So I was expecting great things when I woke up today. I lay awake for a few minutes...for some kind of epiphany. But the only call was one of nature. So I ran to the toilet (and panted).

After a close inspection of my morning face in the mirror, I decided I would walk differently from today. Hold my head higher...and my stomach tighter. The latter wasn’t easy, even in an empty stomach.

“Grace” is what I’d aim for (“maturity” could wait). But my phone rang with the birthday text messages from friends round the world. And my SMS ringtone...that of a cheeky boy whistling at a sexy girl on the street (what we call a “ci-ti”, back home) reminded me that even “grace” could wait.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Of Faux Pas and Morals - Part 4

In case you haven't read part 3, part 2 and part 1...

It came to me like an epiphany...

That the greatest morals...

Are born...

Out of the greatest Faux pas…

We’ve all come across typos. They make us laugh or cry, depending on which side of the typo-lifecycle we are. The typo-lifecycle starts with someone in a hurry (or someone with bad spelling and spell-checker deactivated) and ends with someone with good spelling/sharp eyes/lot of time to kill. Often the “start person” is the same as the “end person”, which is a curse (because ignorance of the typo could be bliss).

Now, dear reader, that you have patiently read my dissertation on the Origin and Lifecycle of Typos, let me tell you what happened yesterday....

Team sends me an email listing the pros and cons of purchasing an expensive software. As team lead, I am supposed to make the decision and send out a purchase order.

However, the benefits of the software did not seem to justify the cost. So, after writing my standard email saying “Nice work...good research etc”, I conclude with “no decision” i.e. buying some more time to “think”.

So I write this:
Let’s think about tit.
A sense of foreboding gripped my lungs as soon as I hit Send. Was it?...Did I just? O damn!

Because it was sent to a team of writers, no one would have missed the typo (though this one time, I wished they were not as good at their work).

In my defence, I told myself “When you actually say those words, it sounds like that anyway”. But since then, I have hardly taken a break at work or even left my desk for a coffee. There was no way I could have faced anybody who had the “I know what you are thinking about, you perv” look on their face. But I can almost hear suppressed laughter doing its rounds in the office. Just hoping that the deadlines won’t let them dwell on the typo (or what it inadvertently asked them to “think about”) for too long.

Moral: Freud may NOT have had a point. But people will bring him to life everytime there is a slip (of the tongue or the keyboard). Silence is your safest bet.