Why Jim & Pam are the best TV couple

13 Aug

Immediately after watching the first two episodes of season one of ‘The Office’, I googled, “Do Jim and Pam from The Office get married?” How silly of me but I just couldn’t stop myself from doing that. From the first episode, I wanted them to be together. Whenever someone utters ‘perfect couple’, a thought bubble of Jim and Pam appears.

Jim and Pam

Jim and Pam

Suppressed love makes great love stories. It’s like grinning, wishing and lots of hoping. Jim and Pam represent every office couple who just can’t stop staring at each other’s desks. Though office romances are bit eerie in real life, but their story makes you believe in them. There is a constant ‘Come on damn it, say it’ going on while watching them. And, let me tell you that I cried tears of joy while watching them say ‘I do’ in season 6.

Awww!

Awww!

They don’t make men like Jim Halpert these days. No, seriously, I mean look at him. Who can be hot and humble at the same time? Girls, he should be our criteria while judging men. Though, you will only be disappointed as the standard of expectations is quite high. Regarding Pam, well she is like a sweet girl next door, but with flaws. She is not ambitious, nor is she confident. The only correct thing she did was not marrying Roy.

They make you smile. Every time you see them, you secretly wish you had a love story like theirs to tell. Look around; there is a Pam and Jim in every office. Well, maybe not that cute. Oh wait, don’t you dare compare them with your annoying colleagues now. Just don’t.

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There is a Peggy in all of us

29 Jul

Don Draper – I give the money, you give me the ideas

Peggy Olson -But you never say thank you

Don Draper -That’s what the money is for

Only during this interaction I felt like throwing a shoe at Don Draper. But, otherwise I watch him under a heavily induced spell of lust. But, I am writing this for Peggy Olson. I remember how awed I was with Peggy when I was first introduced to Mad Men two years back. It was my first job, I was goofy and dowdy like Peggy was in season 1. That’s how I relate to her.

Peggy Olson is a strong woman who breaks rules and often breaks down for breaking them. She is fighting a constant battle against a gender biased society, few extra pounds of weight and recognition. From being a plain Jane secretary to becoming a smart, reliable and successful copy-writer, Peggy gets it all, and she gets it fast. As you watch her through the seasons, there is a significant arc to her character that brings a revolutionary change in the way she was first portrayed in the series. In fact, Peggy is the so-called change that marked the beginning of a new era where women came out of their closet and mocked men and their hypocrisy.

"You'll have to believe me that I'll forget this. I don't want you treating me badly because I remind you of it."

“You’ll have to believe me that I’ll forget this. I don’t want you treating me badly because I remind you of it.”

Like Peggy, we all strive hard for acknowledgement. Be it our boss, boyfriend, or parents, we want them to tell us how awesome we are all the time. We are suckers for sense of belonging, which today is rare like a unicorn. Torn between work and family, Peggy aptly represents us and our everlasting conflicts.

I was flabbergasted by her every move on the show. Watch her breaking down when her ideas get rejected; also watch her again getting excited while pitching for a TVC. Observe how she gets out of a shocking pregnancy and how she walks out on Pete. It requires immense patience to swallow unfair criticism that comes from boss and other male associates. Peggy does that with some sort of élan that elevates her image in your mind.

Also her love-hate relationship with Don Draper makes Mad Men worth watching. Don respects Peggy, but he loathes her need for acknowledgement. She considers Don as her mentor, but at the same time hates him for being mean and rude. The decision of moving out of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce depicts her firm stand against stagnation and marks the beginning of a new journey. She is ambitious, a struggler and an achiever. Very much like us. Therefore, there is a Peggy in all of us.

Spaced out and how!

24 Jun

It’s happening again. Those blank stares at screen, missing stations, and forgetting chores are ambushing the rationality. It happens, I agree.  We take it with a ‘that too shall pass’ attitude and we carry on.  A thump on a back with ‘hello, where are you?’ is enough to get you back on track, but again you find yourself staring obliviously at some corner. There might be many reasons for this. New found love, boobs, mutter paneer. But, in my case, it’s the lack of sleep.

Now let me tell you my schedule. Promise me, you won’t look at me like those filthy rich aunties at a kitty party look at the least rich one. I have to be out of bed by quarter to 5 in the morning. Why? Because, I live on a different planet altogether. I have to travel for an hour and a half to reach the workplace.  Also, work starts at 8. Yes, 8! You ‘OMG-MY-OFFICE-IS-AT-10-SO-EARLY’ townie cry baby, it’s at 8. And, though ideally the work gets over by 5-30-6, I have gym after. So, by the time I get done and jump in a train and reach home I am drained completely. And then, it’s a never ending dinner over ‘neighbour kids are pests’ rants by mother and, ‘boss is a swine’ dad talks. I sleep, until mom kicks me the next morning.

Leonard, wake up. Leonard, wake up. Leonard, wake up. Leonard, wake up. Leonard, wake up. Leonard, wake up. Leonard, wake up. Leonard, wake up.


What has sleep deprivation done to me? Here I go…

I jump in the morning train, bagging the window seat by giving the other ladies the ultimate ‘in your face bitches’ look. Then, I throw my bag in the train rack and I doze off. And, then I get up with ‘OH F**K, SHIT, SCREWED I HAD TO GET DOWN AT BANDRA, WHERE AM I? F**KING MUMBAI CENTRAL?’ This happens atleast thrice in a month. It happened today.

At work. Come on think. Come up with a smashing opening line. *Stares* *staring* *still staring* Aarghhh! I need a walk!

At the market, I buy stuff, pay and forget the bags at one of the thelas. Later, Mom becomes Howard Wolowitz’s mom, ‘WHERE THE F**K  ARE THE BAGS?’ To which, I respond ‘IT’S OK MA, YOU WILL STILL BE THE BEST MA IF YOU DON’T COOK FOR A DAY.’

I text the other person by the same name.

I pick up TV remote, thinking it to be my phone.

I stare at a sleeping kid like a pervert.

I don’t meet friends on Sunday, because…

If sleep were a person, it would definitely be my cruel ex who doesn’t want to sleep with me anymore.   What? Bad one? Well, zzzzzzzz!

Meet Ravan and Eddie, my new friends

20 May

‘Chawl nahi dekhi, toh tune kya Mumbai dekhi?’ was once the question asked by a Koli aunty who was travelling with me in the same train compartment. We were discussing the damage caused due to a fire accident at Bandra east in 2011. Many huts and chawls were turned into ashes.  Now, whenever I pass by a chawl, I remember her and the question.

Ravan and Eddie reminded me of that conversation. Kiran Nagarkar’s book pays ode to Mumbai chawls which are now losing its architectural significance. The book archives the ‘Bombay’ of the 50’s and tells the tale of two contrasting characters with the city as a backdrop. Ravan and Eddie epitomises the spirit of the city, it’s moodiness and taste.

If you haven’t visited a chawl, please do. And then read this book.

If you haven’t visited a chawl, please do. And then read this book.

Ravan Pawar, a hindu and Eddie Countinho, a catholic are Nagarkar’s characters that take you through the journey of the city and its people. Though they are poles apart, their lives are intertwined. Ravan carries the heavy blame of killing Eddie’s father, while Eddie’s way of taking revenge is by being the best boy in Ravan’s RSS contingent. Their naivety gets polluted by intrusion of religion and they fell into a trap of scorn, competition and false hatred.

From water wars to Afghan snow powder,  Nagarkar chronicles the life and things through brief mini-essays.  The book stresses on how privacy in chawl is a non-existent term. ‘Ravan and Eddie’ tickles the sexual quotient of the middle class Bombay in an irreverent and wicked way. One cannot imagine a submissive wife trying to kill a husband during an intercourse.  Also, one cannot imagine the ‘other woman’ and a dutiful wife living under the same roof peacefully.  Nagarkar depicts sex as raw and unapologetic, and therefore it’s beautiful.

‘Ravan and Eddie’ is one of the best books written on the city. If you haven’t visited a chawl, please do. And then read this book. They will be your friends for life, both Ravan and Eddie.

Why I love gymming…

8 Apr

Last Diwali, it occurred to me how gargantuan I had become. All the mamas, bhaiyyas who had come for bhaobij were teasing, calling me ‘Dev maasa’ (a whale) and what not. That compelled me to hit the gym. Not just their comments and teasing, but I realised it when my regular jeans started giving me a tough time. I selected a gym near work so that I can go there regularly after work. New shoes, new tees, track pants, and I was ready for a new routine altogether.

Get, set, go

Get, set, go

I remember the first day, how envious I was when I saw those chiselled bodies surrounding me. Some were doing push-ups, some burning it out on treadmill. They all looked so dedicated. Since it was the first day, the trainer did not push me for a rigorous work out. The first month was painful. I realised how unhealthy I was when I used to start panting after few minutes on the treadmill.  Weight training was easy. But the lower body weight training brought me to tears. Surprisingly, even though so much of effort put in, the weight was the same.

But, there were other remarkable changes. Like, I stopped dozing in the trains. I started strutting on my way to work.  I can now run for 15 minutes straight. It makes me happy. Today, I completed 4 months at the gym and have lost just 4 kgs. Blame my tongue; I absolutely have no control over eating. Gymming is regular, as in I go atleast thrice in a week. I have stopped worrying about the weight now. I am fit and I guess only that matters.

I recently had a nasty breakup which almost sucked all the life out of me. It was horrible, aching and I felt as if I should hibernate for next six months. During this time, running gave me relief. I used to eagerly wait to run on the treadmill. Those thirty minutes of running gave me stability and made me stoic enough to take everything in a positive way. Remember that Forrest Gump scene? Where he starts running? Yes, that I am talking about.

Working out taught me the real meaning of ‘loving yourself’.  How shameful that fitness was never my priority. But, today it is. It is only that hour and a half, which makes me realise that I have a body and it is beautiful.

The only thing I hate about my gym is this guy who stares continuously while I am working out.  How should I tell him to stop staring as I look very clumsy while I am working out? But, it’s okay, he is kinda cute 🙂

In the memory of V.S.K Circulating Library

20 Mar

For three consecutive Sundays the shutter of V.S.K circulating library is down. It was a ritual to go there on a holiday and say hello to librarian Swati, discuss the local gossip, and to take a quick look at new books and weeklies. Last Sunday, I was struck by the meteorite news that the circulating library is shutting down.

It was back in 2005, when I was loitering like an aimless teenager that I discovered this place which turned out to be my second home. I joined the library, the admission fees were mere Rs.200 and Rs. 75 was the monthly charge. I met Swati, the librarian who was a sweet lady. She was always awed by my dedication towards her library. Whenever I saw her with her specs on and quietly reading a Marathi novel, I was filled with envy as well as admiration. Somewhere deep down there I wanted her job. Quietly working, quietly reading.

I remember the joy when I found Stephen King, Agatha Christie and John Updike in that dark place. I used to jump and shout with happiness and Swati used to ‘ssh’ me.  Let me tell you, I have read all the Potter books by paying a meagre 75 bucks per month.  I am ashamed to confess that my first book was a Sidney Sheldon. (Yes, yes, judge me.) But later on, the library kept on surprising me. I used to wake up and end my day with Anita Desai, Orwell and Wodehouse. Though I knew each and every corner of the shelves, a miracle in the form of an interesting book always appeared from nowhere.

Now that I am reminiscing, I won’t be wrong if I declare that I am what I am because of this circulating library. VSK supplied me dreams. How different I was from what I am today. How fruitful were those hours when I got lost with Pula Deshpande and Vapu Kale. Cellphone was on silent mode, there was no problem called as ‘the man’ in life. Things were simple. Nothing was complicated.

I cancelled my library account last year. I guess, it was the biggest mistake that I still regret.  Avoiding books. How can I? I remember Swati looking all sad when I told her that I won’t be continuing. But, I promised her that I would meet her on holidays, which I religiously did. I think it was the library more than her that kept me going there.  It’s now all in the memories. The smell of the pulps, old Archies , Tinkles, the silly Mills & Boons, eroticas is what I will thrive on till I find my next VSK. The question is will I find another VSK? Nah, it’s all in the memories.

Aye, Raju de na…

26 Jan

Now I don’t hate them, nor do I love them. I am writing this, because I can’t ignore them. Hijras, eunuchs, or whatever name you must have given them are more than the claps that annoy you.  I vividly remember how I used to get harassed by one at the Linking Road signal while on my way to college.

At the signal, say its 9 in the morning, 12 in the noon, 9 at night, or 12 at midnight. He/She was always there. Always. With a floral sari and a tikka on forehead, at first it was a nightmare, but then I got accustomed to her/him, and even he/she did. True Mumbai ishtyle. I used to call her ‘Kamla’ as there is a popular radio spot as ‘Kamla Ka Hamla’ on Red FM.

So, let me describe how the college mornings begun…

My usual rickshaw halt at the signal…

Me in the rickshaw, either looking at the passengers in the adjacent rickshaws or thinking about what train I will catch for home or thinking about how to diplomatically tell the person in the group that he or she is the laziest person I have seen on this effing earth. So, moving on. Kamla appears with the usual strut. Kamla is South-Indian. I never understood what he/she said.

Kamla (knowing I won’t place a coin or bother to look at her/him) *Clap* eh, $%$^%^$%^^, clap* eh, @$#$$%$^, clap* clap* clap*

Me (searches bag, looks on the opposite side, then nods)

Kamla (violent claps)

Me (nods)

Kamla (gives a slap on the thigh) Clap* eh, $%$^%^$%^^, clap* eh, @$#$$%$^, clap* clap* clap*, leaves.

Signal opens, I heave a sigh of relief, and the rickshaw takes the different lane. This was a daily affair.

Once I decided to actually give her/him a coin. I gave her/him a 5 rupee coin. No surprise, no reaction.  She /he still slapped me on my thigh and went on to another rickshaw. Well, what was I thinking?

Oh, how I miss Kamla and the Linking signal!

euns

'Aye, raju de na' are indeed scary words...Pic:Mid-Day

Nowadays there is a new Kamla in my life. Her name is Kaajal. Kaajal is a train-friend who gets in at Mira-road in my 9.04 Virar slow train and gets down at Naigaon. Kaajal is someone who I envy for her zeal for dressing. She puts women to shame with her low-cut blouses and georgette saris. Her face is always caked with layers of make-up, eyes are always coloured with multi-coloured eye shadows and her neck display new necklaces that always match her sari. Though every bit of her wardrobe is cheap, but the grace in the cheapness speaks volumes. Watching her clap, laugh and make jokes makes me smile. Kaajal makes everyone smile. God bless her.

Kaajal touches everyones forehead and then demands money. Even if you don’t handover the money she never frowns. She calls me ‘Maidum’, and tells me about the weddings, mundans,name-ceremonies she attends on the regular basis. Once she surprised me by telling me that she earned a pretty big Rs.15,000 at a shaadi. It was a ‘maaldaar’ party. Kaajal clapped hysterically that night. It was kind of scary.

She tells me how Kareena looks bad in a commercial, and how Salman is a ‘chikna’. And, how she wants a ‘chikna’ of her own. She tells me, ‘Maidum, dekho na tumhare media mein koi chikna hoga toh.’ I laugh. Media is actually full of ‘chiknas’, but no one will match her calibre.

Nowadays, I see her less. She says, ‘Dhanda raat ko late hota hai.’ I don’t ask her more.

Whether it is Kamla or Kaajal. They make this city more alive, of that I am sure.

P.S- I wanted to put up a picture of Kaajal. But, she refused. Again, what was I thinking?

Bombil in the local

13 Nov

After battling the stench of arm-pits, there is yet another dampener that you have to struggle with while travelling through Virar local. Yes, right, the fish stink. I am a hardcore non-vegetarian, so why would that be a problem for me, you may ask. I love fish, every part of it. From fins to bones, I have a knack to suck all the flesh out of it. What I can’t stand is the putrid fish that these fisherwomen carry in their baskets while on their way home.

Once in a lifetime it may happen to you if you travel by trains that a humongous fisherwoman will stuff her fish-water leaking basket in your face while alighting from the train. The worst part is that it is futile arguing with them. Fisher folks in Mumbai are a bad-mouthed  breed. You have to be extremely tactful while talking to them. Bargain with them for a low-deal and they will maul you with the harshest ever words. Once while bargaining, the koli aunty taunted me, “Tuzha baap baslai ka ga 100 chi surmai 50 la dyayla?” (Is you father selling king fish priced at 100 for 50?) From there on I claim the prices in a very low voice to save myself.

bombili

'Bombil gheta ka?' Er..no thanks...

This Bombay ducks that you are seeing in the picture are stale ones. It was late at night while I was travelling when these koli aunties boarded the train from Bhayander since the real fish-market is based there due to the Bhayander creek.  They started selling the remaining stale stock in the train, and these retard ladies were actually buying them.  Why on earth will you buy stale fish is something that I will never understand. Also, what is surprising is these peanut-brained ladies buy this muck for the regular price that they would usually pay for the fresh ones. You can’t blame them. Koli aunties always win.

You won’t believe what happened that night after I clicked this picture. I am quite immune to fish odour, but when I got down, I actually puked. Sudden, abrupt and unexplainable puke. And, to add fuel to the fire, that night mom had cooked bombil for dinner. WOW. That’s how my love for bombil is on hold for a month. Will resume chomping them after the stench leaves my mind.

Dexter taught me office etiquettes

4 Nov
Doakes

'Hey motherfucka I want those DNA reports now.'

One of the many things that this abrasive anti-hero has taught me is office etiquettes. Yes, you and I are similar. We both love Dexter. He makes violence delicious. (I may go on anon and anon about him, but I will digress from the actual topic.) So apart from giving me good imagination skills on how to kill people, Dexter Morgan has taught me how to coolly take the boss yellings. Notice, how Dexter reacts to Doakes “Fuck you, I want these DNA reports now.” That’s what I am talking about.

“Never get your dirty laundry to work”, says Dexter when Pascal (the replacement of Maria in season One) rants about her boyfriend at work. How true no?

There is always a bitch like Maria LaGuerta at work who is out there to criticise whatever you do, but in a subtle way. Look at her how subtly she says, “I like this, but you could have done this better.”  Bitch.

Maria

Bitch. A subtle bitch.

Then there is a Batista. Thank god, I have many Batistas around. I hi5 them when I accomplish a task. That colleague of yours with whom you can bitch about is your Batista. Be good to him, he is your company at the bar after a long busy day.

Batista

'Oh what a fucking tiring day. Let's go drinking'

Office clown Masuka has to be taken with a pinch of salt. The flirting, the jokes can make the mood light, but it can also be annoying. You can tackle this one too, with Debra’s staunch “Fuck Off!”

Now that I have analysed these characters for you, I am missing them. Off to catch some episodes. Till then, watch dexter, stay dark.

Travelling Ticketless

28 Oct

Hey, ticket please!

The escapade that happened last week made me write this. I completely forgot to renew my expired railway pass. It got expired long back, and I was travelling ticketless for more than a week. Then on one fatigued morning at Matunga station what do I see? The ticket checker was checking tickets at 8 in the morning! “Oh fuck, fuck, what do I do, what do I do” was the instant expression that took over. Stood still. Turned around. Thank God, the TC hadn’t noticed the panicky me or else he would surely had demanded for the pass. I sat quietly on the bench, hoping that if he wanders to the other side I will sneak out quickly.  Suddenly, the guy called. “Stop panicking. Do one thing, quietly go from the other bridge,” he said. I tip-toed towards the bridge and exited safely. Finally, I was out of danger.

It’s been 7 years since I’ve been travelling from Nallasopara to anywhere ahead Andheri, and still my heart skips a beat when a TC stops me for a check. It’s because I have ended up paying fine many a time. Also, many times I have escaped cajoling the TC by making a puppy face.

Once, I unnecessary had to hand out 250 bucks cos I couldn’t find a ticket in my messy bag. Later, in the train when I re-checked the bag, it was neatly tucked in the wallet. The ladies in the train gossiped about me till their respective stations came, “This stupid girl, she had a ticket”, and so on.

But, I love travelling without a ticket. There is a minute thrill in doing that. Like, I keep on scanning the nook and corner of a station just to make sure that the man in the white uniform isn’t there. Try doing it. No, I mean really. Experience the disturbance of mind that a silly reason like this creates. If you escape, you escape. But if you don’t, errrr…deal with him.