The mysterious secrets of sign language

•December 23, 2016 • Leave a Comment

So sometime ago I decided to learn sign language. I leant how to say sorry and how to ask where’s the restroom. Two of the most important phrases and I decided to rest on my laurels. I was quite pleased with myself. Well, achievement unlocked and all. And then I find out today that there’s a gorilla named Koko who invented the Gorilla Sign Language. Give me a break!


Once a Malhotra, always a Malhotra

•November 2, 2016 • Leave a Comment

In 1992, having witnessed the spectacle that was Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar I was convinced that Malhotra was the perfect surname for me. Shakeel Malhotra sounded like a guy who’d breeze through life being very cool, and generally adulated. (Digressing here, but Shekhar Malhotra was the antagonist in the movie, who I was rooting for.)

Anyway, on presenting the proposal of changing my surname to my parents they saw the logic in my demand and offered to help with the legal proceedings. I was duly informed that the legal proceedings can take a while. I was okay with that. Patience bears sweet fruits and all.

It’s only today I realised that it has been 24 years and I’m still not a Malhotra. I think it’s time we talk about our time-consuming legal process. It’s hindering our children from being cool.

Hola! me solo hablo un poco de español

•May 4, 2016 • Leave a Comment

So for a while now my boss’ attempt to vex me regarding my fledgling knowledge of Spanish has been to ask me if I can pick up people in Spanish. I did admit that I didn’t know how to say “I’m single” but I could say that I’m divorced. They mean the same thing, I insisted. And good enough!

Turns out the word for “being single” (soltero) is quite similar to “sunny” (soleado), and that I had it in me all along — for the sentence I formed in today’s test was “Today is very single.

And thus, your move, boss!

In which I support my mother, and we both win

•April 15, 2016 • Leave a Comment

So during the recent magnitude 6.8 earthquake in Guwahati, while the rest of my family trampled each other to get out of the house, my mother spent most of the time looking for the TV remote to switch off the TV. In her words – “Nobody was watching it!”

Later, during the post-earthquake soul-searching when confronted about her actions she defended herself saying that since she got out of the house before the quake ended, her actions do not warrant questioning. (The quake apparently lasted about two minutes.)

As a hallowed, and generally accepted to be wise, member of the Sobhan clan I was asked to arbitrate. At this point my mom found it prudent to mention that she hasn’t sent the pithas (rice cakes) I had asked for. I sided with her saying that as long you escape the Titanic before it sinks, you’re good.

Well, I may not have any honour, but I have pitha. And thus, happy Bihu everyone!

Knowledge at my doorstep. (And I said no!)

•April 4, 2016 • Leave a Comment

Today is an unusually hot evening, and I was tossing and turning on the bed when I heard a tepid knock. Two book sellers awaited me with a Nat Geo books about facts. Asked me if I knew the most spoken language. I replied Mandarin. One of them opens to the page, confirms answer, looks at me straight in the eyes and said – “how do you know?” This could only go downhill from here, I realised.

Anyway, they proceeded to present another book, an illustrated dictionary, pointing out the human brain – as illustrated – weighs1.4 kgs. I wondered if mine could be smaller, I do keep forgetting stuff.

Third up is a book about inventions – “did you know internet came about in 1969?” I didn’t.

And then finally the last one is a Oxford collection of English language references, four of them. I was told that I would need them to communicate.

The point is, by now I had four fat books in my hands and two persistent salesmen who were extolling the virtues of the books. Unsaid was the fact that each of the books was about 5 kgs so I’m effectively holding up 20 kgs, crying silently inside, and promising myself I’m starting weight-training “soon”.

Anyway, on being informed that I can neither carry the books nor would have the inclination to after I workout for a year, the salesmen parted with the words that Pankaj, who lives on the floor below mine (no idea who he is), bought two sets and that Pankaj would “now have more knowledge” than me.

So, now I’m back on my bed, tossing and turning, except that now I fear that Pankaj with more knowledge than me.

Life is hard.


•April 4, 2016 • Leave a Comment

Lesson 1: Some people have no qualms discussing very personal details on the phone while in a cab with strangers. So turns out, Arijit’s mamaji refuses to admit that he got really drunk at the wedding. Arijit has apologised though.

Viru didn’t come for the wedding because he’s getting a divorce. He has fallen in love with someone at work. But the divorce is stalled because he had taken a lot of dowry. A LOT!

BTW, Andamans is a brilliant place for your honeymoon. You’re at a loss if you want to stay in all day (“you know what I mean!”) or you want to go to the beaches.


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