Tuesday, January 23, 2007

comments unplugged - II (thanks to the gujjus!)

the posting on 'thanks to the gujjus!' generated some interesting comments, including a list which outdid mine! i am posting it here for the benefit of the others who might not have had the fortune to read it earlier. (which basically means they were too lazy or did not know that there is a mechanism here to put up your comments! :-) )


nani said...
Holi - played all year round. their sense of direction & control over force is fantastic. do a survey & we will realise how amazingly low the 'strike rate' is despite the ubiquitousness of the streams of the blood red fluid spurting out of trains, from double-decker buses, from speeding scooters. how many times have our worst fears come true and even a drop of blushing-red juice diverged from the jet to leave a love-bite on your Arrow white? to date, i ve only had my right foot baptised once. not a bad performance at all. so what if a red carpet has never been spread for my entry, the red walls have been sprayed.

Design - those 'mera shirt bhi sexy' patterns. only those allow your eye to unmovingly concentrate only on the backless choli walking alongside & nothing else.

9:40 AM

bindu said...
Gujjus truly have put forth an example of spirit and tolerance
-they have faced worst of situations of flood, earthquake, disease outbrake and many more
-The pioneer Dhirubhai Ambani also not to be forgotten

6:18 PM

Reema said...
I would credit them with the gujjuization of other cuisines - the indian hybrid mexican food, chinese bhel!!!(has to be of gujju origin) idli chilli dry - the shiv sagar menu is full of such delights!!

Also i don't think Mc donalds would have come up with a fairly decent vegetarian spread if it weren't for this breed who are known to eat out so frequently. The literally brought the Big Mac to their knees when they first entered India.

10:50 AM

Anonymous said...
A few things I can enumerate:

The Gujju cult -
1. Anyone (guys, especially...) who is seen playing pool inside a dimly lit UV pool parlour, wearing an oakley's dark goggles, Orange coloured Old Navy sweat-shirt, Sea-blue faded Diesel denims & brown leather belt with a Bull-shaped-buckle, Nike trainers in orange and blue, 'Just FCUK it!' - branded cap in dark blue, a Tissot watch, chewing an original Wrigley's Double Mint is most probably a brand ambassador 'Gujju'

2. Seedhe palle ki saree is a traditional Gujju way of wearing it where the 'palla' is brought forward over the right shoulder (in usual cases, unless one is a lefty) and the 'pallav' / palla can be showcased in the best possible manner

3. Himesh Reshamiya: We all love to hate him but can we ignore him???

4. The MSU of Baroda: My alma mater. Had it not been for this famous institution, we would not have seen legends like Shri Aurobindo Ghosh, our present President APJ Abdul Kalam (who is an alumni of my department - Physics) and International models like Nethra Raghuraman (Dept. of Psychology)

5. Narendra Modi: He's been superb as far as promoting Gujarat and its welfare is concerned

6. The people of Surat: Got plagued, then woke up to make it the cleanest city

7. Dry but not high: For being the only state where you can't get high on alcohol...legally!

8. The-perpetually-irritating-yet-so-easy-to-understand-and-learn-language

9. The sexy & intelligent Nandita Das, the daughter of the famous Oriya painter and an intellectual Gujurati lady

10. Indian movies which thrive on Gujju family, lifestyle, culture and heritage: Kal ho na ho, Dollar Dreams, Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, to name a few. Not to forget our daily soaps on TV

11. Calling even one's spouse as "Bhai" or "Ben"

12. Majority of kirana / departmental shop owners are Gujjus and 72% of Mumbai-ites are Gujjus

13. WHile they are notorious for their sweet food, one must try their kathiawadi cuisine - hot & sweet... it's different and I love it!

I would call this section: "Romancing the Gujju!". Truly they are the EVERYDAY PEOPLE!


11:10 PM

subir said...
intriguing comment "Gujjus truly have put forth an example of spirit and tolerance".

Spirit, yes. I am told that in spite of inhibition, McDowell sells more spirits (no beer please) in Gujarat than other states.

Tolerance!!!! can we have a break?

9:30 AM

Friday, January 19, 2007

life without a maid!

one of the greatest luxuries we, those of us living in metros in india, have are the maids/ ayahs/ domestic help that we are able to hire to help with a wide range of domestic chores.

this army of people (the service providers) are a critical part of the daily lives of all nuclear dink/disk/dimk families. (no, i am not saying rude things about these families. these terms only stand for 'double income no kids', 'double income single kid' and 'double income multiple kids'!)

a good measure of how important these people are in our lives is the extent of trauma/ chaos they manage to inject in our usually-busy lives by their mere absence! life gets thrown completely out of gear the day they decide to play hooky. even our respective work-places don't get as badly affected by our absence. (maybe that tells us something about our respective value in the scheme of things!).

and on those days that we have to make do without the services of these people, we suddenly realise how dependent we have become on this luxury. i am also amazed at the energy levels of these people since they manage to do these chores in at least 3-4 homes each day. i get pooped after washing dishes after one meal!

btw, i am speaking so passionately about this topic because we are currently going through a lean phase without a maid. and i've just finished washing up after dinner!the mood at home these days, especially in the mornings, tends to be grim or 'on the edge'. (i firmly believe that communal prayer can work miracles. and i'm hoping you would pray that we quickly find a replacement maid! my prayers for personal salvation and global peace can wait until then.)

and this is the reason why i never ask my wife the question - 'who is more important to you - the maid or i?'. i am mortified that she will give me an honest reply!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

remembering dates!

even though most of my most critical events/memories/priorities in life revolve around food, this posting is not about the edible kind of 'dates'! nor is it about the encounters/rendezvous with members of the opposite sex. (actually nowadays you never know; it could even be with members of the same sex!).

here i am referring to dates on the calendar which help us mark the passage of time and keep reminding us that time is 'a fleeting' (and that i am getting older)!

i am amazingly bad with dates. and i mean gloriously, amazingly bad! i have yet to come across someone who is as bad as i am!

my wife was convinced that i don't remember most dates because i didn't give these people/events enough importance. and before you get any ideas, its not because i have forgotten her birthday or our anniversary.

i think the problem runs much deeper than that. i think it is similar to the problem my wife has with directions (i will wax eloquent on this in another posting, but that's assuming i get dinner at home tonight ;-) ).

now coming back to my chronic problem, i am just not able to remember dates for specific events. people think i am a very insensitive person when i tell them that i don't remember the birth dates of my parents, my siblings, my closest friends, etc. given this state, they take pity on me (or are too disgusted with me) and don't expect me to remember sundry anniversaries. but i am sure they would look at me more kindly, when i inform them that there were at least 2 occasions, that i remember, when i forgot my own birthday!

this problem is accentuated by the fact that my wife can remember dates (birthdays, anniversaries, etc.) for all her extended family members and her friends. and to top it all, she also remembers these dates for all my family members and some of my friends too!

after almost 10 years of marriage, my wife has slowly begun to believe that i am not faking this problem and has begun to accept this quirk as a in-built defect in me. we have now arrived at a kind of tenuous understanding. i depend on her for all these dates. she doesn't expect me to remember any. (i guess she feels glad that i at least remember our anniversary and birthdays of the immediate family members.)

life is much better now. i don't feel as guilty or horrid as before. i guess the trick is to not only accept these problems and surrender to someone you can trust, but also to convince people that you are not faking it or that you are not being just plain lazy!

but i sometimes wonder if there is anyone else out there who has a similar 'quirk'. do you? i don't mean 'do you wonder?', i mean 'do you have any similar quirk'?

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

my most memorable childhood moment!

what's the most memorable/embarrassing/traumatic experience that you have experienced in your childhood? what makes you cringe/grin even today when you think about this experience?

one such experience, and a funny one at that, that i remember is the time when i decided to single-handedly dismantle my bicycle.

we used to drive our bicycles to school. these were nothing like the fancy bicycles that you see today. they were just plain, functional cycles; but for us they were our hot-rods! and then occasionally (not as often as our folks might have liked us to), we used to get down to some serious cleaning up of our bikes. this meant a couple of hours of washing and polishing and oiling over a weekend.

during one such cleaning session during the summer vacation, i decided to do a more thorough job than usual. i had recently acquired a second-hand set of tools including spanners, screw-drivers, etc. i decided to dismantle my bicycle. i followed a very simple guideline - i unscrewed every possible screw or bolt that i possibly could. i was amazed at the number of parts that go into making a simple bicycle.

after a couple of hours of satisfying labor i had an impressive pile of parts including ball-bearings, screws, nuts (not including the writer), pedals, wheels, spokes, chains, handle, seats, etc. i then meticulously cleaned each and every part which took up a good part of the day.

finally when it came to putting the cycle back i didn't know where to start!

that's when a wave of panic slowly starting engulfing me. try as i might, i couldn't, for the life of me, figure where all these hundreds of parts were supposed to fit. after a couple of hours of trying various permutations and combinations (i trace my dislike of probability theory to this event in my life) i finally accepted defeat.

i then put all the parts into a few large grocery bags, borrowed a friend's bike (of course i couldn't tell him why i needed his cycle) and pedalled away furiously to my favorite cycle-mechanic shop. i handed over the bags and with a rather sheepish face asked him to build me a bicycle. he thought i was pulling a fast one on him, but that impression changed very quickly when he incredulously perused the contents of the bags. he was very amused when i narrated what had happened.

but i was not at all amused when i realised that i had to shell out an amount which was significantly more than what i would have had to pay my mechanic for a 'special' cleaning of the bicycle. but i took comfort in the fact that i was among the only one among my friends who had touched the very heart of a bicycle!


do you have a similar childhood/teenage experience that you would like to share?

Friday, January 05, 2007

thanks to the gujjus!

i'm going to try my best to not be my patently rude self and to try be as nice as possible in this post :-)

have you ever tried to imagine the world without the 'gujjus' in it? (a gujju is the shorter version of gujarati who is a person who hails from the state of gujarat in india) i tried, and i suffered something close to a panic attack! imagine a world without gujju food!

it is said that mallus (malayalees, people from the state of kerala) are spread all around the globe, but i think gujjus beat them hollow. there's a joke which says that if you land on the moon you would most probably find a mallu tea-shop. but what they don't tell you is that it is a gujju who rented out the space to the mallu, lent him the money to set up the shop and also sold him the tea bought from another mallu's tea estate!

here are my top 10 contributions by gujjus to society at large :
1. gandhiji (mahatma gandhi; or 'bapu' of gandhigiri fame, for those of you who might have forgotten!)
2. the ambanis
3. gujju food - undiyo, shrikhand, chhundo, dhokla, thepla, etc. (have you ever met a gujju on a journey without packed food? their food parcel is usually the biggest piece of luggage they would be carrying!)
4. dimple kapadia
5. the stock brokers in mumbai
6. creating a huge demand for vegetarian food in most parts of the country especially at most of the popular tourist places! (i would credit them for the the 'only veggie' pizza hut in mumbai too!)
7. dandiya nights
8. amul (the mallus might protest and say that it was kurien who was instrumental in the amul movement! but do you think he could have managed anything close to this in kerala?)
9. backless cholis.
10. freddie mercury of queen fame(his parents were parsis from gujarat)

do you have any additions to this list? i'm sure the others would like to know.