Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Pregnant pause


'That afternoon she got a call from the doctor while at work. "We have a firm diagnosis. You've not contacted anything contagious, nor are you suffering from any reaction.'
'What's it then?' Lucky asked.
'You're pregnant. Congratulations!" ( P.192-193)

You, dear reader, must be as shocked as Lucky was when she found out that she was pregnant! After all , one of the main reasons for her failed marriage was the fact that she was barren (p.112). Her mother-in-law insisted that the marriage be annulled because the Singhs needed an heir that Lucky was unable to provide.

Finding out that you are pregnant always comes as a shock whether you plan for a baby or not. Those who are planning are shocked that their efforts have paid off while those who aren't are shocked that things have turned out differently.

Around ten years ago, I was travelling down South I decided to visit to my friend Gita who lived on a remote tea estate. We were old school friends and I was looking forward to some peace and quiet from my own hectic life in Mumbai. As the car drove up to the rambling bungalow, I could see Gita's kids playing around.

I got out and asked them where their mother was. They pointed to the inside of the house so I climbed up the steps to the verandah.

Then I saw her, my tiny little Gita, pregnant and ready to pop lugging a tiny tote in her hand.

"Gosh Bapsy!" she said clutching on to her huge belly. "Thank God you've come. The pains are just beginning and there's no one to leave the kids with. Please look after them while I just go down to the hospital ."

I was simply aghast! I had no idea that Gita was even remotely pregnant. After all her youngest was all of ten and I was sure she was done with having babies.

Looking at my shock, Gita began to shake. I was getting even more worried and quickly grabbed her before she fell.

"Don't, don't," she said with tears streaming down her face." I must sit down" as she eased herself into a chair.

"Gosh Bapsy," she said, " that was simply fantastic! I will never forget the look on your face," and she whipped out the pillow from under her dress.

For a moment I got another shock. And then I kicked myself ; how could I forget Gita the Class Prankster? I gave her a big hug and began to laugh myself.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Uncle Jal and the Air Gun Incident

'He insisted on taking her to a gun club. There he explained to her how the pistol worked. It was a .40 Smith and Wesson semi-automatic with a four inch barrel. Since Lucky couldn't hold it and chamber a shell at the same time, Mike said she should carry it 'hot', that is with a shell already loaded.' (p189)

Since Lucky's assailant was untraceable and her cottage had been broken into, Mike thought she should protect herself. Hence takes her to a shooting range to learn how to wield a pistol.But how safe is it really to use a pistol in self defence?

My Uncle Jal was extremely proud of his air gun that he got as a sixteen year old from all the money he had collected for his birthday. His mother of course was most upset and told her son that it was sheer folly to have such a dangerous weapon at home.

"Nonsense, Ma," he pooh-poohed her assuring her that it was harmless. Besides, as he reminded her, he was such a poor shot that he never managed to hit a bull's eye even once. Gradually, Jal's passion for guns died out and the gun was brought out on occasion to frighten away the boys who used to used to encroach on his property to knock off the mangoes from his orchard. It soon became a David and Goliath contest with the local lads and their catapults, who loved seeing Jal's red face getting redder as he squinted and took aim, and getting even more florid when he completely missed.

However, one Sunday afternoon, Uncle Jal, totally lost in a post-Dhansak snooze made all the sweeter by the fact that he actually managed to finish the Sunday crossword, was enraged when he saw a group of boys giggling as they took shots at the ripe mangos just outside his window!! This time he got his gun and began firing aimlessly like a crazy coot. The boys ran away as soon as they saw him red-faced and screaming ........all but one who fell down clutching his leg.

The gardener and watchman went running to the young boy who it turned out had been hit by a stray slug! Needless to say, it was the last time my uncle Jal fired his gun for as his mother pointed out : the only time you didn't aim, you actually shot someone - so you'd really better stop!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The C-Food Diet

'No, I'm on a diet.'
'Me too. I'm on a see-food diet.I see food I eat it." (p185)

Steve eagerly grabs the half eaten sandwich on Lucky's plate which she has abandoned because of her diet. All of us women at some time or the other are on some kind of a diet. Particularly after a spot of binge eating like the holidays when good food is hard to resist.

Yesterday evening while walking round the Race Course to pre-empt the calories that we are bound to be piling on, my friend Monica came up with this unique diet : The Chopstick Diet. You can eat all you want, anything you like as many times as you want. But you must do it with ONE chopstick.

Try it. I'm sure it'll work!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Happy Holidays

You know it's Christmas when boys at traffic lights pester you to buy Red felt Santa hats with white pig tails or when all the window displays have cotton wool snow and Santa's reindeer pulling sleigh loads of goodies. With thermacole snow flakes dangling from ceilings and green and red buntings all over the place, radio stations playing Christmas songs, it is hard to miss the fact that Christmas is just two days away.

I love going around town seeing the elaborate Christmas trees and decorations in the shops and hotels in my city. I love going down to the garden to listen to the the Salvation Army's Christmas Carols. I love visiting friends and sharing a glass of wine and Christmas cake or pudding.

Perhaps it is the end of the year which makes Christmas universally appealing or perhaps happiness and joy are just contagious.

Whatever it may be, I'd like to share this joke that I got in the email last week and wish all of you a happy festive season :

FROM: Patty Lewis, Human Resources Director
TO: All Employees
DATE: Nov. 1, 2009
RE: Gala Christmas Party

I'm happy to inform you that the company Christmas Party will take place on December 23rd, starting at noon in the private function room at the Grill House. There will be a cash bar and plenty of drinks! We'll have a small band playing traditional carols... feel free to sing along. And don't be surprised if our CEO shows up dressed as Santa Claus! A Christmas tree will be lit at 1:00 PM. Exchanges of gifts among employees can be done at that time; however, no gift should be over $10.00 to make the giving of gifts easy for everyone's pockets. This gathering is only for employees!
Our CEO will make a special announcement at that time!
Merry Christmas to you and your family,
Company Memo

FROM: Patty Lewis, Human Resources Director
TO: All Employees
DATE: Nov. 2, 2009
RE: Gala Holiday Party

In no way was yesterday's memo intended to exclude our Jewish employees. We recognize that Hanukkah is an important holiday, which often coincides with Christmas, though unfortunately not this year. However, from now on, we're calling it our "Holiday Party." The same policy applies to any other employees who are not Christians and to those still celebrating Reconciliation Day. There will be no Christmas tree and no Christmas carols will be sung. We will have other types of music for your enjoyment.
Happy now?
Happy Holidays to you and your family,
Company Memo

FROM: Patty Lewis, Human Resources Director
TO: All Employees
DATE: Nov 3, 2009
RE: Holiday Party

Regarding the note I received from a member of Alcoholics Anonymous requesting a non-drinking table, you didn't sign your name. I'm happy to accommodate this request, but if I put a sign on a table that reads, "AA Only", you wouldn't be anonymous anymore. How am I supposed to handle this?
And sorry, but forget about the gift exchange, no gifts are allowed since the union members feel that $10.00 is too much money and the executives believe $10.00 is a little chintzy.

Company Memo

FROM: Patty Lewis, Human Resources Director
To: All Employees
DATE: Nov 4, 2009
RE: Generic Holiday Party

What a diverse group we are! I had no idea that December 20th begins the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which forbids eating and drinking during daylight hours. There goes the party! Seriously, we can appreciate how a luncheon at this time of year does not accommodate our Muslim employees' beliefs. Perhaps the Grill House can hold off on serving your meal until the end of the party or else package everything for you to take it home in little foil doggy baggy. Will that work?
Meanwhile, I've arranged for members of Weight Watchers to sit farthest from the dessert buffet, and pregnant women will get the table closest to the restrooms.

Gays are allowed to sit with each other. Lesbians do not have to sit with Gay men, each group will have their own table.
Yes, there will be flower arrangement for the Gay men's table.

To the person asking permission to cross dress, the Grill House asks that no cross-dressing be allowed, apparently because of concerns about confusion in the restrooms. Sorry.

We will have booster seats for short people.

Low-fat food will be available for those on a diet.

I am sorry to report that we cannot control the amount of salt used in the food . The Grill House suggests that people with high blood pressure taste a bite first.

There will be fresh "low sugar" fruits as dessert for diabetics, but the restaurant cannot supply "no sugar" desserts. Sorry!

Did I miss anything?!?!?

Company Memo

FROM: Patty Lewis, Human Resources Director
TO: All F*%^ing Employees
DATE: Nov 5, 2009
RE: The F*%^ing Holiday Party

I've had it with you vegetarian pricks!!! We're going to keep this party at the Grill House whether you like it or not, so you can sit quietly at the table furthest from the "grill of death," as you so quaintly put it, and you'll get your f*%^ing salad bar, including organic tomatoes. But you know, tomatoes have feelings, too.. They scream when you slice them. I've heard them scream. I'm hearing them scream right NOW!
The rest of you f*%^ing wierdos can kiss my *ss. I hope you all have a rotten holiday!

Drive drunk and die,

The B*tch from H*ll!!!

Company Memo
FROM: Joan Bishop, Acting Human Resources Director
DATE: Nov 6, 2009

RE: Patty Lewis and Holiday Party

I'm sure I speak for all of us in wishing Patty Lewis a speedy recovery and I'll continue to forward your cards to her.
In the meantime, management has decided to cancel our Holiday Party and give everyone the afternoon of the 23rd off with full pay.
Happy Holidays!


Sunday, December 20, 2009

Dining with Grandpa

'Four bucks for a cup of f---ing cup of coffee? What the hell? He looked the menu up and down. 'I'll have a glass of water,' he said. Lucky laughed as she ordered two cappuccinos."(P.183)

Steve is not the only one who has been faced with the dilemma of paying an arm and a leg for a cup of coffee.
Meet our Holiday Beverages For most people Starbucks is "Coffee" . There are some die hard fans who actually pick up a cup every single day. When analysed into its bare ingredients, it would seem decadent to pay for just coffee, sugar, milk and some toppings but then, who bothers to go to town when making coffee at home? One cannot deny the joy of having the most extravagant coffees at Starbucks or any other coffee chain that takes coffee to another level.

However, several people ( my own darling indulgent grandfather included) find paying humongous amounts of money for water, cold drinks and simple teas and coffee a bit hard to swallow. I can never forget those occasions when my sister and I would walk into a fancy restaurant every once in a while, dressed in our best, proudly escorted by a beaming Grandpa.

As we settled down at the best table, he would grandly announce to the waiter that we were allowed to order whatever we wanted . Most times we went for our favourite fish and chips with a plain old Coke. While Grandpa sanctioned the food he balked at the price of the cola on the menu. "You can go home and have ten Cokes if you want!" he would bellow , as he proceeded to instruct the waiter to make the freshest fries and get an extra serving of tartar sauce with an ice cold bottle of mineral water !

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Clothes maketh the man

"Steve kept his appointment on Wednesday and Lucky laughed when she saw him. It was the first time she had seen him in anything other than prison wear." (P182)

Steve is out on parole and Lucky finds it hard to associate this tough nosed, tattoo artist in"civilised" attire. While clothes are only the extraneous elements of a man's personality, they are a very important means of assessing him . Just as we wear different garments for different occasions ( beach wear for the beach, black tie for a formal event) the style and manner with which they are worn are telling signs of one's personality: an immaculately turned out person reveals a person who likes the good things in life, who is particular about things.

I would like to share some proverbs on clothes and their imortance in judging a man.
Euer maner and clothyng makyth man.
[a 1400 Prov. Wisdom l. 59 in Archiv (1893) XC. 245]
Ffor clothyng oft maketh man.
[c 1445 Peter Idley's Instructions to his Son (1935) i. 82]
Though manners makes, yet apparell shapes.
[1591 J. Florio Second Fruits 115]
The Hood makes not the Monke, nor the apparrell the man.
[1617 R. Greene Alcida B3]
Clothes gave us individuality, distinctions, social polity. Clothes have made men of us.
[1836 Carlyle Sartor i. v.]
Still, it did happen—and it goes some way to show that clothes make the man, doesn't it?
[1933 J. Hilton Lost Horizon 3]
Gem of the day (credit Mark Twain): Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.
[2001 Washington Post 17 Dec. C12]

Friday, December 11, 2009

Tiger's Travails - Pedestal to Pillory

Poor Tiger. He is really being taken to the cleaners by the Press and one feels really sorry that he has to face a public that is as eager to tie him to the Pillory as they are to raise him on a Pedestal.

I have received several emails making jokes at Tiger's expense :

"Crouching Tiger, hidden hydrant"

What does Tiger Woods have in common with a baby seals?
They both get clubbed by Norwegians.

That’s the first time Tiger Woods has failed to drive 300 yards

Tiger Woods crashed into a fire hydrant and a tree ... he couldn't decide between a wood and an iron.
Perhaps Tiger should have used a driver

I find it's a nightmare driving at 2.05am: sometimes you can't see the Woods for the trees.

Tiger's wife went for him over a birdie.

What was the second worst part of Tiger's car accident?
The police found the driver in the trunk.

What were Tiger Woods and his wife doing out at 2.30 in the morning?
They went clubbing.

What’s the difference between a car and a golf ball?
Tiger can drive a ball 400 yards.

Don't you think he deserves some privacy if not sympathy? Having flown with him just last month, I feel I "know" him more than I did when I had just read about him.

So strangely enough, I actually empathize with him and hope that he is left alone!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Excuse me ?

"I sometimes stay at the office if I have a late meeting, or if the commute is going to be bad. She doesn't ask and she won't suspect." (P.182)

Staying late at the office is the lamest excuse a cheating spouse can give to their partner. Amay had better watch out or he may find his things on the sidewalk like this cheating husband did:


cheating husband picture

It doesn't pay to cheat on your wife. Straying husbands take note, look what happened to this one. Now the world knows he's a rat. Stay faithful, if you know what's good for you.

p.s On the 18th of last month, I was flying into LA to meet with John Burnham of ICM to discuss the possibility of making "Lucky Everyday" into a film. While boarding the aircraft at Dubai, I was surprised to find TIGER WOODS walking ahead of me! Instinctively, I gave him a hesitant smile of recognition and he politely smiled back. We got talking and I was impressed by how charming, unassuming and gentlemanly he was. He even autographed my book. So, when the news broke last week that he was a cheating husband, I was shocked beyond belief that he was the Casanova he confessed to being.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

An Indian in America

With Lucky settled into a new apartment, she begins a new phase of her life. One which surprisingly enough leads her into an adulterous relationship with Amay.

Do you think she is any different from Viki?

While you ponder, I would like to share this joke I received in my mail today.

An Indian migrated to America, and moved into an American neighborhood; His American neighbor went next door to wish him welcome.
He was shocked to see the man from India in his nice backyard chasing ten chickens around like mad.

"Must be an Indian custom," he thought to himself. Deciding he could put off the welcome till a later date, he went home.
The next day, he decided he was going to welcome the Indian man again.

When he looked through his window, he saw the Indian man urinate into a cup and drink it. "Must be an Indian custom," he thought to himself.

Deciding he could put off the welcome till tomorrow, he went on with other stuff.
The third day, he was determined he had to welcome the Indian man. At his gate, he saw the Indian man with his ear pressed against a cow's big fat butt.

Seeing this, he became angry and went up to the Indian man. "I'm sorry sir, I did want to wish you a warm welcome, but I cannot stand your crazy Indian customs!" He yelled in the Indian man's face.

The Indian man looked confused and answered. "Sorry sir, I think you are mistaken.
These are actually American customs. I was told that in order to be a true American, you have to chase chicks, get piss drunk, and listen to bullshit."

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