The mystery cross-dressing gene

There is not a single shred of doubt in my mind. My family has some mystery kinky gene that causes cross- dressing. 
Shocked? Its actually not that bad .Let me clarify.
Our old family albums are full of cringe-worthy pictures of me dressed as Lord Krishna (in Dhothi and all) and of my brother dressed as a girl. And one would have to squint to recognise the boy hiding behind the lipstick, frock, bhindi, bangles and fountain pony tail. 
My parents wanted a daughter and a son and got one of each ‘variety’ .So why dress up their daughter like a boy and the son like a girl ?
Really beats me.. 
And its just not us, all my cousins have similar gender-confusion pictures in their respective family albums.
The second favorite pass-time in the family is, of course, photographing kids in their..erm.. birthday suits. How horribly embarrassing! As if they need to document the presence of the family jewels and tell the future brides that come into the family “See, all’s well !”;-) 
I hope fervently that the gene decided to miss me and I don’t toture other kids this way. Time will only tell..Sigh!
You have such embarrassing pics of yourself  in your family albums? Do share your horror stories…and make me feel better 🙂

The geyser story..

Been a while I took digs at the chap on the blog.Here I go without further ado…
Me: The geyser’s not working.How did you manage to bathe? 
The chap : Oh, that…I have my ways. 
He smiles enigmatically and I wonder how he could have managed the feat. Though its not freezing sub-zero temperatures, the water that flows out of the pipe at 6:30AM is CCOOOOOOLLLLDDDD! GRRR..
Me: Like what? You skip showering?  
Smiles at me patronizingly, like I am the biggest nit-wit on earth.
 The chap : Oh , I use the microwave. 
Me: What!!??$$$
The Chap : I heat the water in microwave. 
Now , I am mentally shuffling through my collection of microwavable containers which the chap could possibly have used and come up with nothing that is bigger than the size of a medium-sized bowl.
He finally relents and decides to show me the container her uses to heat the water.
The chap: See, this is the “cup” I use for heating the water. 
And he shows me the extra-small mug I use for heating milk, normally. Apparently, he uses 4-5 cups of microwave water and that makes the tap water warm. Of all the other options available to heat water(like a gas stove) trust him to use this one! Why does he use it – because everything else is too much work ! Or maybe milky smelling water makes him feel like Cleopatra.

Needless to say, I fell off my chair laughing.

Husbands are priceless when it comes to household chores, I say.


Of sizes and random tantrums

This post is going to be about weight and size and  pregnancy hormones and all those vain things pregnant women are not supposed to crib about.It also contains mildly inflammatory feminist sentiments,which some men might find disturbing. Well, grab an extra buttery muffin ,you’ll be just fine in a bit.

For someone who has  languished in  an “XS”  size for a substantial period of time, I’ve come a long way. I distinctly remember wanting to do nothing with the “XS” tag back when I was one and was truly ecstatic when I hit the “M” mark. Random aunties who had routinely bombarded me with ” How will you ever get married if you are so skinny?” suddenly started seeing me in a new light. As if the sole purpose of my existence was to  strive to become an “M” for the sake of  getting married to some guy who I barely knew. Its a different thing that the guy could be “XS”  or even an “XXXXS” and still be considered a “catch”. Because a man is a man and therefore above such trivial things.  

Anyway,the years just galloped by and one fine day I woke up being too small for my “M” clothes. Many Meena Kumari-acts followed , but I was refused re-entry back at the golden gates of “M”. I drowned my sorrows in  barrels of long island ice tea, and having seen so much trauma in life so early, I was ready for anything.
“XL biatch , bring it on..” was my war cry. 
Of course , I had no intention of becoming an “XL” in my lifetime. XL” happened to other people , not to me. I had superior “XS” genes, didn’t I ? Now that I fondly (not) reminisce about those days ,I  realize how delusional I’ve been ,because now “XL” is so much a part and parcel of my existence.
*Meena Kumari-act* and stop mosquito coil. Cut to the present.
The other day I was in some random snobby clothing store to pick up some stuff. The  snooty attendant looked at me bitchily for a second trying to ascertain whether I was just plain heavy or pregnant-heavy. I glared back at her and shoved my tummy at her nose ( If you are one of those visual people, please don’t take this statement literally). As if people needed to apologize to her highness for being plain heavy.
A second later, the girl smiled and blurted “How many months ,mam?” 
I mumbled something inaudibly and dilly-dallied when she asked me my size. Finally, having had enough of the “sour-pregnant-pain-in-the-arse-woman”, the woman left me alone to languish in the aisles.
A few minutes later, another young thing appeared and asked, “How many months, mam?”
But this one was was an “XL” herself and I warmed immediately to her. For the next 15 minutes or so , the girl tried to amuse me by pulling out shiny-bright clothes with the sole purpose of bankrupting me.
Nothing seemed interesting and I flipped my phone and stared disinterestedly  like some kitty-party-conducting-society-wife.
 Finally,  I spotted something promising and pointed it to her. 
“But mam, that is an XL.Maybe you should be looking at an XXL, with your… ahem.. si..pregnancy,” she said.
She meant  my “SIZE”.  XXL and me?!

The world stopped spinning for a minute.

She had been showing me XXL stuff all along. And I thought she was my friend. I had even proffered my life history, and offered to spam the chap’s inbox with her brother’s CV , all in a fit of giddy sister-hood bonding .

 No, I wouldn’t give in.
“XL will be fine,” I said firmly.
The girl sighed and pulled out the same thing in XL.
But wait ! It wasn’t the same pattern.
” I want that yellow design with the red piping and orange flowers, not purple flowers,” I whined.  
Which they didn’t have. A few more “patterns” that I liked weren’t available in the right colours too.Then it sunk in that the choices one has  gets appallingly lesser as on progresses up the size radar.It just wasn’t fair. Aren’t large people entitled to their orange flowers? Why should we be pretend to be happy with purple flowers ?

Suddenly, my whole existence seemed pointless.
I  probably looked like I was on the verge of shedding  a couple of tears.
By now the girl was exasperated with my hormone-fueled demands and looked like she would do a Meena Kumari-act herself. She let out a huge sigh of relief when I announced that I was leaving.

Poor thing.

I did feel a little bad later about giving her such a nasty time.If only they had stocked that orange flower kurta, everyone would have been happy.I am sure the girl will never forget the orange flower kurta in her lifetime..At least  I  know I won’t.

Sambhar-ism 101

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I am a Tamilian. Even if I try be something else, at times. Yeah, I know this is not really an intelligent statement by someone whose blog is littered with “aiyoos” and “chee thoos”, but I have never claimed to have inherited more than a couple of brain cells from the grand ancestors , so please humour me a little longer. 
Ok, where were we? Yeah, so having been reared on a staple of rasam and sambhar and curd rice for very many years, I have mildly depressive symptoms if I am kept off rice.  My enthusiastic “Wow.. Paneer and roti?!” can only last for a few days, before I start whining about how I am ready to be admitted into a hospital for having low rice-count in my blood. I’ll start behaving like anniyan-Vikram and exhibit extremely anti-social and aggressive behavior.  
“Please inject some rice into my blood,” I’ll scream at the duty doctors, forcing them and several other patients in the ward to look at me with pity and mutter “Poor thing, last stages of addiction!”
Also , it is my humble opinion that during evolution, I have simbly lost the capacity to digest “fatty-ghee-dripping- non-southie food “ and have to seek solace in a bottle of  Eno even if I eat something mildly un-South-Indian for a single meal. It is a different thing that I’ll happily jog to Grand Sweets and stuff my face with their gazillion-calorie poli. That I can digest. Because it is loaded with all the goodness of ghee and coconut and all the things that polis are made of (which I don’t know because I’ve nevah , nevah had the patience to make it before) .   
Though I claim to be the citizen of the world and what not, I get a panic attack if I don’t hear “chee thoo” or “aiyoo” for more than three days. Yes, I’ve counted and hence the confidence. I am not really a “Raghu thaatha”* person, can at most times manage to say “Rahatha tha” without mildly embarrassing myself .I  can even conduct a decent conversation in Hindi (applause..), but I don’t think I can keep up the charade for more than five minutes. I just will blabber something that will brand me as the South-Indian that I am. At least, references to a Matunga maami or T-Nagar Ranganathan street will pop up once in the conversation, leaving no room for speculation about my origins. Also, during November-December, my feet itch so horribly, that I have to make my presence felt at the music sabhas.  Not to listen to  the extremely “Kanchivaram-ed”, “temple jewellery-ied” , “mallipoo-ed” damsels or the overly-nodding-the-head maamas singing Hamsadvani ragam , but to sample the awesome Sabha-fare. What, you haven’t been in Chennai during December? What a shame!
Let’s talk weather. What, blah? I won’t make inane conversation. God promise. Though I have ample insulation, thanks to the ducting I’ve collected around myself for several decades following “best practices in food ingesting”, I say “Wow.. its winter!” if the temperature drops below thirty degree Celsius. Thanks for asking, but according to me, “It is winter currently in Chennai”. When things reach horrifying proportions (read in December and January, when the temperature often reaches mid-twenties  … SHUDDER!), I will bring out my moth-ball-smelling windcheater, pink sweater that  has a picture of some cartoon character ( a priceless possession that I’ve had  from the age twelve) , gloves (hideous purple colour with twenty holes), woolen socks (complementary grey Lufthansa fare) and monkey cap (brown on one side , depressing grey on the other) from the loft along with several kilos of cockroaches. I will happily wear them 24X7 till someone threatens to complain to the police that I am being a public nuisance by dressing up like a mummy(a stinking mummy at that) and scaring toddlers. My defense will be that one needs an occasion to wear fall-winter clothing, no? All you mommies in Chennai-you have another month to take precautionary measures, educate and warn your lov-hley kids about “The mummy-aunty”.
Yesh, I yam total Tamilian like that. 
So, even though I have many more million Tam quirks, I will stop because..
 a) I think I’ve already made my point with all my rambling. 
 b) You lov-hley peepals must have other work to do – blogs to stalk, meetings to sleep at, spouses to fight with, polis to make and so forth. 
 c) It’s really cool to list reasons as a-b-c (even if you have only one legitimate reason).I miss doing this a-b-c thing because I don’t prepare sub-standard credit reports for a living anymore. And this practice always makes one seem sophisticated and erudite and rational .Of course, one isn’t any of that.
*For people who are not aware of the legend of “Raghu Thatha”, I will currently elucidate. Raghu thatha  is  an extremely popular Tamil movie joke where a guy who is trying to woo a girl admits himself  into the Hindi class that the girl’s father teaches. Despite several scoldings and “ear-twistings”, the boy can never get himself to “Rahatha tha..” and keeps saying “Raghu thatha” (meaning Raghu’s  grandfather).  The girl’s father is exasperated and tears his hair in frustration at the appalling pronunciation of the boy. So, there it is- the legend of Raghu thatha for FREEE… 
** I have to deeply apologize to non-Indian readers who read this blog.You’ll probably  not understand the stuff I write here, because most of the references are extremely Indian. Sorry, I will hopefully write like a citizen of the world soon. 
Ok, then .Tata. Bye-bye. Alvida (Gasp!).


There are just things one doesn’t tell /show their parents, even if one is on the verge of becoming a model for some hair dye company , or worse still for a dental clinic that is advertising their leak-proof dentures.I have some more time until the dentures become a necessity, though, but am still eligible for the hair dye commercial auditions (My tresses are perfect for the before-after ads). After several decades of carefully withholding classified information from my folks and perfecting the art, I am sharing all the know-how(FREE FREE FREE) to  all the lov-hley peepals who read this blog . Yes,I am nice like that vonly. 
Rule no1 :  NEVER ever disclose the price of anything you shop for. Even if you earn  your own manicure-pedicure money. As a thumb rule, always tell them only 1/4 th of the price of the thing. Most parents don’t get the idea of inflation.Actually this rule works extremely well husbands also.  Extra points if you hide/tear the bill in question,because you can then fib to your heart’s content . My dad still thinks that a plate of idly costs 3 bucks. Everytime I tell him it doesn’t, he almost convinces me that the restaurant fellows are capitalist pigs and that I over paid . No, actually most restaurant fellows are capitalist pigs, considering how they sell a fifteen-rupee MRP mineral water for forty bucks. Twenty bucks for letting the water experience the privilege of  sitting in their expensive fridge,huh? 
It is a different issue that when someone told me that their Diwali “new” dress cost 2000 bucks, I almost fainted. “Back in my days…”,I started. Yes…definite signs of aunty-hood. Guilty as charged.
Rule no2: NEVER NEVER ever tell your mother about your haircut, especially if you’ve shed more than 1 inch .
My mother can smell the shortening of my hair  even in her sleep. She’ll then go non-stop how I let my hair go to the dogs by abusing it as much as I can.She’ll shed a few tears and call up my grandma and complain about how “Children these days don’t listen to their mothers” perfectly ignoring the fact that I am an almost a senior citizen myself . Grandma will then ask me pointed questions about whether I use shikakai anymore and curse all the shampoo manufacturers in the world for corrupting her “little” grand-daughter. Oh, please hide the conditioner bottle while you are at it. The main cause of all horrible things happening in the world( like poverty, lack of world peace, global warming etc) is shampoo conditioner. Oh,you didn’t know?
And any salon-related activity necessitating me spending more than ten bucks (eyebrow threading is ok, because that is within the budget) makes my mother hyperventilate. NEVER NEVER NEVER ever mention tattoos, pedicures,manicures,facials,spa treatmenst, belly-piercings etc because they are all EVIL(also causing poverty, lack of world peace, global warming etc). The only time mom really didn’t have an issue with me doing something “unnatural” to my body was for my “getting-hitched” occasion. Too bad I can’t get married every month because I want her to shed tears of happiness when I come home from the salon slightly presentable. Actually, that’s an interesting thought , which if packaged well has immense potential 🙂
Rule no3 : NEVER NEVER NEVER tell your mother (or woman above the age of fifty) that the dal  that you are serving her for lunch when she visits you is three days old.
Always bring out the dal container from the fridge before she comes home and place it on the gas stove (yeah , like you’ve just made it and  let it scream FRESH FRESH FRESH at her from all the new coriander leaves you’ve added just now). Because when you get married , you become a superwoman overnight (just like her) and are expected to  make fresh dal everyday and be of ultimate service to the husband and the man of the house.
Rule no 4: NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER let your mom inspect your clothes cupboard , pantry and contents of the fridge. 
Though I persevere and try to be as organized as possible , I never really am totally in the clear. If the bedroom cupboards are clean, the kitchen cupboards invariably are in a state of disarray that will make most people mildly giddy. And do hide those vodka bottles before she ferrets them out and looks at you like you are some raving alcoholic. It doesn’t matter if you try to mumble something about the husband being the drunkard ,because to most mothers their son-in-laws are incorruptible , perfect and always correct. Yeah, life’s like that only.
Rule no 5: NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER give your parents an indication that you do grown-up things. Like see naughty movies (mainly) where some amount of intimacy between the hero and heroine is warranted. Hand-holding is acceptable, smooching is Aiyoo, Chee thoo.
Because parents are used to seeing only flowers bumping into each other on screen when there is  development of any remotely objectionable form of affection between the pair (thanks to tamil movies- especially starring the pink-lipsticked Ramarajan). Always change the channel or say “Chee thoo.. the movies these days.What rubbish they show!” and you’ll see them visibly relaxing. They’ll also shed a few tears of joy that their child has not been corrupted by the vagaries of life. Please also hide any Silk Smitha/Lady Shakila cds that you have managed to hoard (even if it is for the sake of your overall education/development).

Okay, so hope you’ll use my FREE FREE FREE tips and live happily ever after.

Tata .Bye-bye. Have a nice weekend.

Pregnancy diaries – 1

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Some pearls of wisdom on the second trimester of pregnancy. A typical sleep cycle of someone who once used to be able to sleep at the drop of the hat..

 10:30PM Slightly sleepy, despite the Vishnu Sahasranamam that is blaring (recommended by mom, mom-in-law,neighbour, neighbours’ grandma etc. so that the baby is not half as dysfunctional as you are and learns all the good things before it comes out and gets corrupted, eventually). Personally, you would rather that it listen to Preeti Sagar nursery rhymes because you already have notions of baby being a genius and spouting “Baba black sheep” the day it is born. You shudder because realize that you are going to end up institutionalized, if you continue to be so competitive and thrust all your unfulfilled ambitions on the little thing that is  now merely the size of a banana .
You toss and turn trying to find a position that challenges the laws of gravity. You try different permutations and combinations for fifteen minutes, before hitting the jackpot. You doze off sometime around 11.
12:00AM You wake up feeling weird and woozy. REM cycle rudely interrupted courtesy Pee break: 1. You curse yourself for drinking so much water before going to bed. Aimless surfing – you google Aishwarya’s  pregnancy pics(GOSH!) ; log into FB twice, gmail thrice ,goodreads five times and blog-hop randomly and still feel bored ; make 4 aborted attempts at reading  the simplest book lying around (A few days earlier you had picked up a  Murakami and had stared blankly at the black and white  patterns on the pages for ten minutes, wondering what in the hell he was talking about. Having become wiser, you decide to pick up Nanny Diaries or similar alleged-fluff with pink covers.)
Sleep continues to elude you. You end up giving the neighborhood dogs company- yet again( by now you know more about these dogs than the owners themselves)  and wonder why Caesar is groaning piteously today. Maybe something he ate last night didn’t agree with him ? 
1:30AM Sleep trying to visit again. Plus, by now you are bored with the book and “really” want to make an honest effort to go back to sleep. Finally you manage to find a comfortable position after much tossing and turning. You have managed to reclaim your right on five pillows in the household, so that others don’t have any pillows for themselves. They surrender the pillows to you without a fight because a) they are sleeping and you aren’t  b) you are pregnant and  therefore your needs(read as baby’s needs) always come before theirs.
2:45AM Wake up in the middle of REM again feeling ravenously hungry.WTH? Several apples and slices of breads later, you feel less zombie-like, though you know that this binging is going to hurt you because you have been warned about assorted diabetic relatives in the family and you being a sitting duck for becoming a diabetic yourself. Also lately you have not been able to recognize yourself in the mirror , but are safe in the knowledge that a thinner version of yourself lurks below all those layers of fat.
More tossing and turning . Pee break : 2 and 3 ; Aimless surfing  – Google “How to sleep + pregnancy + pee breaks ”, rough calories of items ingested a few hours back. Groan- 400  ; two aborted attempts to read a book(Nanny diaries, again); one unsuccessful attempt at trying to do the Hindu crossword(you  feel sad that you have managed to crack only “three down” ); one attempt at the Times Sudoku (  you feel happy that here at least you’ve managed to fill a few “dabbas”).You briefly try to get some writing done,only to realize that  words have clotted in your brain .You give up because you don’t want your novel to be  bought and read by only five people (three of whom will hate it, but won’t say anything bad about it because they are family). You get bored. 
4:00AM Sleep again. Ah!..
5:00AM REM again. Pee break 4. “What the F*beep* am I drinking to pee so much?”you wonder. You apologize to the baby profusely that you “swore in your head”. Your mother,mother-in-law,relatives,neighbor, neighbour’s aunty, flower-seller etc have already warned you that the baby can sense all bad things going inside you .. You wonder if the baby knows how good it felt to swear (if only it was in your head).You sigh because you know that soon you can no longer utter such words, whereas everyone around you will be having a gala time saying the aforementioned *beep* word. You get bored.
This time nothing works anyway and you finally end up staring at the patterns on the ceiling. Suddenly it hits you that one patch looks like Australia and you feel this uncontrollable itch to wake someone up and share the news. You know you can’t , so you text  the hubby and hope and pray that the noise wakes him up. After all, you realize that this could be the single biggest discovery since electricity and  more importantly , nobody is entitled to more than three hours of sleep (especially if it is your husband). 
6:00 AM Some semblance of sleep. Scratch,whoosh,scratch,whoosh- Sounds of your mother washing the household entrance for drawing  the kolam. Groan. Sounds of newspaper-wala, milk-man and sundry all out on a secret mission to rouse you. Pee break 5. Ravenous again. You hang around the kitchen hoping the mother will feel pity (you put on your most miserable look, but you really don’t have to try too hard. Because by now you are a zombie and look like one too) .You already know she always does and will move the heaven and earth to make you (read baby ,again) something nutritious, healthy and low-fat. Translated as “Ughhh!”
Belly full again, you give up trying to fall asleep , because the  doc and five different pregnancy books that you peruse on a daily basis warns you not to lay down for at least two hours after a meal. Groan. You make a move (stealthily) on the day’s newspaper before the dad confiscates all printed matter that remotely  says “Hindu” and snap groggily when he asks you “Did you sleep well last night?” just like he asks you every morning.
7:00AM Snore finally for a few hours of shut-eye.
DISCLAIMER : Before any radical mahila-mukthi types spams me with comments of what a pig  I am for writing something bad about pregnancy, let me assert that everything has been written in jest and it does NOT mean that I don’t realize how wonderful pregnancy really is 🙂  Also , I am terribly sleep-deprived, so adjust please.

The story of the chap that loved "vegetarian " noodle..

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Edit : Yipeee!!…

First in the series of Hubby’s travel tales .. 

The chap, being the quintessential Tam-Brahm boy, had a terrible time living for a month in a country where snakes and eels are considered a delicacy. Having been brought up on a staple diet of Thayir sadam and cut mangoes, the prospect of ingesting creatures that normally give people a fright scared the living daylights out of the poor fellow. He was promptly packed away on the “phoren” trip  with packets of savories , assorted powders and pickles ,so as to enable his survival in the land of exotic creatures  for at least a few days, till the Gods decided to stage a miracle and feed him the choicest of south-Indian delicacies .Or so he hoped.

Of course, language is a problem in this lovely country .Nobody understands English and his too-grammatically-correct questions were met with strange stares.Our chap is flummoxed. He doesn’t know what to do. But he knows that he has to eat to survive.

Our chap , is resourceful if not anything. Using the aid of Google translator and assorted hopeless hand-gestures , he somehow manages to convince a waiter to bring him a “vegetarian” noodle.

 “No meat, no egg, no fish, no chicken,”  he tells the waiter.

The waiter nods his head vigorously,like he takes the same order every single day form gazillion guests and the chap feels like he is on cloud no9 , because he is sure that the waiter fellow has understood him. Half an hour later, the chap’s stomach is rumbling and there is still no sign of the blessed “vegetarian” noodle.He is increasingly getting delirious and is hallucinating about thayir saadam.

A little later, he is jolted from his misery with a call from the waiter’s cronies wanting to know..

“What what add in noodle?”

Now, the  chap is preplexed. The waiter had nodded his head , like he understood everything. He had even smiled sweetly like he was the chap’s best buddy.

The chap patiently tries to explain everything again in Eng-nese.The lady on the other side of the tele-phoon enthusaistically tells him ” Ok ,Ok. Noooooo Problemmmmm..No meeeet, no chickeeeeen, no fisssss..ok, ok.” after fifteen minutes of verbal-boxing.

The chap sighs with relief. Finally ,the blasted noodle was going to come.This is when he fervently misses the Missus’s cooking. He realizes how much he’s taken her cooking for granted.

Some more time passes… The chap doesn’t know how long, because by now his small intestines are being gobbled up by the big intestines. He starts seeing more thayir-saadam mirages.

Finally…. there is a knock at the door. The friendly waiter makes an appearance ,smilingly bearing a bowl.

“Noodle.. no meeeeet, no fissssss..,” he says.

Chap is in throes of ecstacy. Finally FOODDD..

“Thank you,” he mumbles and attacks the bowl feverishly even before the waiter has left.

A few bites into it, he loves the food.The veggies are wonderful , full of flavour. Better than what he gets back home.Maybe he shouldn’t have thought about the missus’s food so nostalgically, he wonders. The world had so many yummy things on offer , anyway.

He is also delighted at his google-translator skills and wonders why people say bad things about the people of this country not understanding any English.

Another knock on the door.. Chap’s collegue.

“Arrey..What are you eating,man?” the colleague asks

“Veggie Noodles… Yum! Have a bite ”

The collegue accepts the proffered spoon of  the vegetarian goodness.

“Yeah, it sure is yum. But… sure this is vegetarian? This bit here looks like pork,” the colleague says.

The chap’s face clouds.

Pork! ..”Aiyoo…Ramaaa..Ramaaa…”he mutters to himself.

He looks back at the bowl that is now half-full and feels sick.

“But.. I said no meat, no egg, no chicken, no fish.Why did they add pork? “he asks wide-eyed, clutching his sacred thread to his chest in atonement .

 The colleague smiles enigmatically. 

“You missed out pork and beef , dude,” the colleague says and guffaws.

The chap contemplates the contents of the  bowl.

He pushes the bowl away and decides to eat the murukkus and other savories  that he carried from home for dinner. He is suddenly reminded of his wife’s  under-rated cooking. He also decides to find an Indian restaurant before he cracks up.

More adventures.. COMING SOON!