Drop the struggle and dance with life!

Apr 24, 2010

A full circle...where cops become buddies.

Ah, the excitement of landing an interview, the frantic preparation on the previous night, the smart turn-out in ironed cothes....and the cops pulling you over?!

Well, that's what happened to me. There I was, just minding my own business, checking the watch, crossing my fingers, reciting the usual answers and driving under the speed limit - only the cops decided to do a 'routine' check of the inspection stickers on the D-day.

And whaddya know? It's expired by 3 days, two of which were weekends. Thus I slipped from fluttering excitement to free-falling fear, in a moment.

They had a trailer with all the knobs and tubes, which could perform the inspection on the spot. I was to drive away with a new inspection sticker and newer violations ticket. Lucky me!

So, I pull-over and hand-over my papers (not the resume). And whaddya know again? My registration is also expired by three days, two of which were weekends too. No Instant Inspection for me.

Hmprf, frantic call to husband with the cryptic: 'They are going to tow the car' results in 'Just nod, shut up, and leave'. A wise advise.

So, I walk back to the cops with my keys and while handing them over, I get attacked by a fit of sentimentality and the tears fall unerringly. As I surreptitiously sniff, one of the cops looks at me and pulls a tissue box from his cruiser.

Armed with the tissues and false bravado, I go "I have been driving for three years now, but never had a parking or speeding ticket. This is the first time you pull me over, and you take away my car? How is that fair?"

My dear husband, from the phone yells, "Shut up, stop talking.. please stop talking now..."

But I go on relentlessly, "I have an interview today, I don't know if I can still perform well"

By now there are four cops around me, listening to me blithering and blabbering. And they take turns saying things like
'Forget we ever stopped you',
'Go do well at the interview, you surely need the job',
'Times are bad, don't let the opportunity go by'. All of them nodding and sympathetically smiling.

All that coxing and no smile from me, so, the last one says "I could take out to dinner tonight, since I was the one who pulled you over".

And my gracious reply? I came up with: "I don't think my husband would agree..."

And they all laugh... I had implied that though I'm interested, my husband will not agree. The joke dawned on me finally, and I crack a tearful smile. The phone is still on, by the way.

They hand over the tickets, call a cab for me, shove me into it cop-style, tell the cabbie not to let me out till I cease crying and bang on the car-roof.

Then, all the four wave at me as I look at them from the back-seat window and wave back. A picturesque Hallmark moment.

As the car rolls forward, my husband says, "Are you sure they were cops?"

I didn't get that job. But almost a year to the date, I have come a full circle and I'm glad to say that I have landed the job at the same office.

Apr 16, 2010

Duck, Duck , Whoosh....

I think my parents forgot to teach me how to run.What with my dad more occupied with smarts and independence; my mom with grace and cooking, they left out sports. I probably shouldn't blame my parents for my disregard of sports. I place it explicitly on my genes. Some have built-in characteristics in their genes- gorgeous hair, creamy skin, slender build etc. I think the sports aspect is also handed down, not learnt.

It's not just the walking and running, it also the other stuff- A friend of mine can throw a basketball anytime and hit the basket unfailingly. My husband can catch anything thrown at him, however haphazardly I might throw it -remote, wallet, ladle...

Me? I duck. I see a Frisbee whizzing at me and my instinct is to duck. I see a ball, duck. Keys? Duck.

You see, it's a game of 'Duck, Duck, Whoosshh' with me, wherein the 'whoosh' is the sound that the thrown object makes, as it flies over my head as I duck.

In that sense, I have excellent instincts- I can zig-zag and hop around in a tennis court for quite a while without actually hitting anything.  I recently played a Wii game where kids kick soccer-balls at you. I was scoring pretty well.

Until my friend explained the rules- I was to hit the balls with my head, whereas I was trying to evade them! But I still managed to score well. Go figure! Poor Aim, my she says. Duck Luck, is what it is.

I went to skiing. Seemed pretty easy when I youtubed some videos prior to the trip.

A-ha! The shoes weigh a ton. The thin plastic planks that you strap on, are pretty difficult to maneuver. And if you think aligning those li'l twig-like-skis in a 'V' will help you stop at will, then double A-ah! So after falling more than two dozen times in thirty minutes, I decided to stop. PS: The cold masks the pain :(

I tired roller blades next. I could barely stand straight. Or stay on my feet, for that matter. But I did try, you see. It's just that I couldn't stop. So I would sail in a straight line and run smack into the surrounding grill to stop myself - much like  Errol the owl flying into the glass panes of the Weasleys' window. This time, I gave up after 10 minutes as there was no cold to mask my pain. Thud = Ouch, instantly.

Cycling piqued my interest next- only to find out that my sense of balance is wanting. I couldn't decide which was shaking more- my hands or my knees. And the cycle never headed where I aimed it.

I think I should stick to racing my husband for the remote control, dashing after my daughter to stop disasters, and chasing  friends with a rolled magazine to teach a lesson. Now these are my kind of sports.

But give me a  book, a shade, and a lemonade, any day.

Apr 6, 2010

The Misadventures of Making a Splash

My husband has been urging me to plan a trip to a water park since the weather is so great. Now, pray tell me, why would I do that? A trip to the water park entails:
  • Walking around in the blistering hot sun; 
  • Ankles hurting due to the sprawling park; 
  • Numerous fights about reading the cartoonish maps;
  • Lugging around bag full of stuff and safe-guarding it;
  • A lot of time spent on cellphone yelling 'Where are you? I'm at the big water squirting fountainy thingy'.
  • Endless lines as everyone has the same bright idea to visit theme parks on weekends with squalling kids; 
  • And my personal non-favorite, dunking myself in chlorine and what-not contaminated water.


Besides, my saga with water parks is not so encouraging for a revisit. Let's take a look at a random sample from one such visit- A ride that looked like a slide from a children's park, except it was about 120ft in height and ended in a swimming pool. Seemed pretty mild.

After the assorted friends from my group convinced me that the pool was barely 4ft and that I could not possibly drown in it, I decided to brave the plunge. They also promised me that most of them would go before me, so that they would be there to save me.

So, there I was, at the top of the slide, having climbed a slippery, wet and twisting array of staircases. I thought back to the last advice I received from a cousin-  A self-proclaimed "expert" on all rides in all parks. He assured me that if I sat to ride the slide, I would literally plummet into the water. The best way, he assured me, was to try it lying down. With my hands behind my head, it would be a easy-breezy ride. He gave me a thumbs-up sign, an encouraging smile and off he went.

Easy-breezy my foot. I barreled feet first like a bullet outta gun. The sky and the scenery whizzed past me at dizzying speed. Knowing that there was no way I would revisit this ride, I resolved to make the most of it and determinately  kept my eyes open.

But at the first sight of the water, my courage deserted me. And I shut my eyes.

Ideal Scenario: A relatively slow and easy ride on the slide while sitting up with legs stretched-out. A gentle landing on the water, wherein there is enough time to pull down your legs and land on you feet pretty gracefully.

My Scenario: A harrowing dash at full-tilt. A hard landing on my back -I think I bounced a couple of times too. There was no time for anything except a prayer and a promise (of revenge). Then I sank like a stone, horizontally.

I'm more of an air person than water. Thus I floundered for a couple of seconds underwater with absolutely no sense of direction. Then I managed to haul my head out of water, came up spluttering and spraying, as mad as a awoken cat and as wet as a bedraggled rat.

And my husband (who has sworn to love, protect, and keep me safe), standing next to "expert", both of them howling with laughter. Grrrr.

Suffice to say, I don't want to go to a theme park.


Apr 5, 2010

Chef for a Day, Cook for Life.

Being sick as a dog has many advantages. I discovered a lovely one recently. My regular patron and devourer of dishes had to don the chef's hat for a meal. He was surprised that simply having a recipe and following it to the letter will not make yummy food. Thus, Cook 1, Chef 0.

Learning something and actually becoming good at it needs hours of time invested and plenty of trials and errors, I told him. To be able to identify  which lentil needs to be soaked for a few minutes or which for hours, which should be eaten after stuff grows on it and which should be thrown out after stuff grows on it, which is Tuvar Dal and which is Channa Dal takes months, if not years of apprenticeship.

Not to mention the cautious sniffing of sambar and rasam powder to i.d. which is what. Once you have experienced a sneezing fit, you'll be proficient enough to i.d. them by look alone.

Here is a 'read-this-before-you-use-my-kitchen' check list:

1. Don't be crummy about using extra utensils. If you don't want to use a chopping board for a single apple, then you might have to suffer a nice, long, unwanted tattoo across your left palm. (Trust me, you would rather do the dishes).

2. Respect Chillies and Onions. See how I have capitalized them? Behave like a surgeon, rinse before and afterward. Or, you would visited by the Revenge of the Chillies and the Curse of the Onions.

3.Never put hot stuff, hard stuff or too much stuff in my blender (affectionately called Mixie). You will end up with food stuff everywhere, including the ceiling. Not to mention the lid landing on the cabinets.

4.Same tea brand, 1% milk, sugar and spices, will end up tasting different, based on who made it. This applies to all the recipes.

5. Get used to 'a fist full', 'a little bit' and 'a sprinkle'. Don't ask me your fist or my fist. Welcome to the world of un-measured cooking. You are not alone, it drives my friends nuts, when they ask me for a recipe.

6.Turn off the pressure cooker as mentioned in the recipe. One extra whistle will lead fluffy rice to become a gooey mess.

7.If you need to stir something constantly, leave it accessible on the front burner. When you have a pressure cooker right in front of you, you shouldn't be reaching behind it to stir. I have scars aplenty.

8.Hand wash Indian Tea Filters. They simply MELT in American dishwashers. Remember the dried-up mess we had to chip away in our old apartment?

9.Please leave it as you found it.

10.You may be Chef for a Day. I'm the Cook for Life. Remember that.

Update: Thanks for all the comments. However, I would appreciate it more if you could post them here rather than tell me.