Category: Funny

TV time

When my brother and I were little, our parents had set a “TV time” for us. We could only watch TV for one hour every day. My brother and I would usually divide it into two halves. We used to watch half an hour of TV in the afternoon and half an hour before sleeping.

The love of our life- the television!

But those were the times when the advertisements weren’t longer than the show itself. When the two of us finally realized that the lengthy advertisements were costing us a lot of TV time, we came up with a strategy. We used to sit in front of the TV with a stopwatch. When the ads would come, we would stop the time running on the stopwatch, and turn our heads away from the TV, claiming that since we weren’t actually looking at the TV, this shouldn’t count as TV time. It worked very well for a few days. Then our parents realized our tactic and that was the end of our astute (but very effective) scheme.

Although our clever trick didn’t last very long, our efforts to prolong TV time never failed. I no longer have a TV time, but my younger brother does. And he still finds ways and means to violate it.

Some things never change! Be it people, their strange or wonderful habits, or our desperate attempts to trespass our TV time.

Women and Gossip

Women like to gossip. Thats a fact. It seems to be some sort of natural, congenital tendency. Infact, if you dont believe me, mention a thing or two in front of a 5 year old girl and see how she throws away her barbie dolls to come closer to hear what you have to say!

Gossip? Or a game of chinese whisper?

The other day, some of my grandmother’s friends had dropped in. I happened to eavesdrop on a part of their conversation. Believe it or not, they were talking about the manners and etiquettes of someone they all knew. Apparently, this woman blatantly walked passed one of them without even simple eye contact and thus was given the pleasure of being their topic of conversation for a whole hour!

One of my mother’s friend has an incessant habit of talking, irrespective of what she talks about. But for the record, it’s mostly about her family or who badly her in laws behaved the other day or how the kid who lives in her neighbourhood just does the most absurd things. Sometimes mom gets the honour of hearing the family history of a stranger who happens to be her friend’s friend.

Everytime this friend calls or decides to come over, we know that it’s one of those days when we’re going to here this woman speak in hushed tones about something very trivial. Funny thing is, that she tries to lower her voice while talking about something that will reach everyone anyway, thanks to her public service!

One of my friends from school had this acute problem of slandering so that she could attract attention
So much so, she’d even go so far as to create sensational stories about all her classmates and make it such a big deal that ultimately the person being talked about would have to think twice to ensure that what she said was indeed false.

Dont get me wrong. A lot of women purposely try to hold their tongue. Logically, gossip doesnt do any good and these women know that.
And as for the others, hmmm, lets just say that their time would be better spent in the world of advertising and public relations, where they could get paid for doing what they do!!

GYMonomics

With my class 12 exams over, I decided to join the gym in the month of April. Class 12 makes you gain a lot of   extra weight, but that’s okay with me. I consider it a good sign. It means you’ve been studying.
Although this wasn’t my first time at the gym, I noticed a lot of things about the place that I had not noticed before. It seems to have it’s own certain ways.

To start with, being a newbie (or a person who out of laziness hasn’t been to the gym for the past 18 months)  is like being the amateur of the place. You’re the only person who is seen panting and sweating on the treadmill while walking at a speed of 4 km/hr and you’re definitely the person who comes in the last and leaves the soonest.
But as you become a little more regular and start blending in, certain patterns emerge.

There’s always this one egoistic trainer, who will walk around the place doing absolutely nothing productive. He’s like a parole officer.  He will have this proud and dignified look on his face, which by the way means nothing to any of the people there. The other trainers do all the work. One would think he’s coordinating,  but there’s nothing much to coordinate in a gym.

There’s the popular girl, who has been coming to the gym for as long as anyone remembers. She’s the one who knows all the trainers, and all the people. She is also the one who can run on the treadmill at 9 km/hr for 20 minutes.

There are also those people who I like to call the kings and queens. These are the people who do not need to lose weight from any angle. They either come to the gym to build their muscles or tone their body or mantain their already perfect weight. These are the ones who are the royalty of the gym. Not that they are treated any differently, but for them, being at the gym is more of a choice than a compulsion.

If any of you have ever been to a gym, you might have come across the inferiority complex. Whenever you’re on a treadmill, walking at your own sweet pace, you tend to compare yourself to the person next to you. If the person is walking at double the speed (running occasionally) you tend to have an inferiority complex. But if it’s you whose faster you tend to think “HAHA. What a loser”

And how could I forget, there are those amazing, gifted and idolized people who carry their own i pod to the gym. That’s a big thing. Believe me. First of all, it is impossible to even hear yourself think with all the loud music in the gym. It’s hard to even respond to a phone call. To be able to hear the music from your i pod is nothing short of a freakin miracle.
Second of all, I have never been able to keep those damned earphones inside my ears. They keep falling off. After some time, that’s all you’re doing. I have often found myself taking it easy while exercising just so that i can listen to my music.

But the best part is that there is a mutual understanding in the gym. Everyone is trying to lose weight or tone their body. So no matter how messed up you look, the gym is one place you can go to and not worry about your appearance. It is one place where your public image does not count. For all you know you could go in wearing the worst clothes out of your closet and no one would give a damn.

You know winter’s catching on when…

1. You try to fit your entire body into the area in front of the heater, so that it can keep all of it warm.

2. You wear your tennis shoes everywhere you go (they keep your feet toasty warm), including the bath room.

3. You wake up at 11 a.m. and decide to fall back asleep just because it is too cold to get out of bed.

4. The fridge seems useless and you start keeping things inside it in order to keep at normal room temperature.

5. You try to hold the book you are reading in bed with your blanket, because you don’t want your hands out of the blanket.

6. You are unable to move your arms, or any other part of your body, because you are wearing too many layers of clothes.

7.  The Delhi Govt, which almost never does things on time (they still haven’t taken off the Common Wealth Games bus boards) , closes all schools for 20 days even before the 20 days begin.

Benefits of turning 18

Yesterday, I turned 18. I was very  surprised to find how awesome it is. Ofcourse I have only spent 2 days as an adult, but I like to be optimistic.
I have been told more than once that childhood is the best time of your life, which is why I wasnt exactly *happy* to be turning into an adult.
But when I did, and as I slowly discovered all the benefits of being an adult I realised that for now, its all good!!
Here are a few *awesome* things about being 18.

1. You are no more referred to as a “minor”. Gosh I hate that word. Bloody discriminating.

2. You are taken a little more seriously by your parents (and everyone else) who until now, have been treating you as a “minor”. With the legal benefits you are suddenly in possession of, they begin to take you a little more seriously.

Silence! I’ll sue you!

3. You are officially on your own. No one can adopt you or take responsibility of you or claim to be your ‘guardian’.

4. You can become someone’s guardian. Although I really don’t care to adopt or whatever, being a godmother would be cool.

5. You can drive. Although for most people this might have been on the top of the list, I don’t think being 18 is a matter of concern for the Indian police. With the number of cars on the road, you could be a 9 year old in a driver’s seat and get away with it.

6. You can have your own bank account. No more carrying cash or using mommy’s or daddy’s credit or debit card to book movie tickets. You can flash around your own. Agreed that once in a while the cashier may tell you that you do not have enough money in your account and he/she wonders if you’re carrying some cash. But it is still worth it!

7. If you were very docile and gullibe (and stupid) as a child and entered your real date of birth while making online accounts on youtube, gmail, etc, you will no more be bothered by annoying warnings and restrictions saying that you need to be a certain age to have access to such content. You can finally make a google+ account just to see how good or bad it is.

Wanna see my ID?

8. You can go to adult movies without having to fear rejection at the ticket counter. Infact you can flash them your ID even if they didn’t ask for it!

For all the adults out there reading this and thinking “wait till she gets a job”, suck it up! Being a child might have been fun, but being an adult has its own moments.

Why I hate haircuts

Most females get the shock of their lives at the age of 40 when one fine morning their hair brushes produce a grey hair. I, a mere 17 year old, suffer the trauma every 3 months, when I notice the split ends of my hair.
It means it’s time to get a haircut.

I despise haircuts. I hate those quarterly trips to the beauty salon.

That can be surprising for most of you out there, considering that I am a teenage girl, who should ideally wait for those times. But funnily enough I don’t. Here’s why!

* Layers or Steps?
Deciding which hair style to get this time is a pain. Getting the same one you got last time just adds an element of banality to your life. But getting a new one comes with the risk of 3 months of hair trouble.
I usually let the hair cutter do what he wants. But every once in a while it does not turn out very well.

*Ouch!
Getting a hair cut can be awfully painful when your hair cutter is in a hurry to go flirt with the waxing lady. Although I religiously brush my hair a hundred times before leaving the house for a haircut, the dude always finds a knot or two which he yanks so hard that I fear leaving the salon with a bald spot.
And since he’s busy watching the television or talking to the hair cutter next to him, he does not notice the furious expression on my face that wants to pick each and every hair of that streaked head of his.

*No, I DO NOT want to use your shampoo.
There are some hair cutters who are extremely chatty, while they snip and snap the scissor around your head. While I’d prefer the chatty ones to the ignorant ones, they chatty ones can often get pretty annoying.
In the middle of the conversation, just when you are beginning to alter your opinions on haircuts, the hair cutter starts talking about how you should buy the amazing shampoo cum conditioner that the salon has come up with. It makes your hair smooth and silky and shiny. And guess what! NO chemicals!
When the guy is marketing and cutting your hair at the same time, you do not want to offend him too much. Not at the cost of a bad hair cut!

Sometimes I wish my hair would cut itself. No salon, no hair cutter.
But THAT is something I will just have to leave to the future.

Any other complaints against hair cutters people? Let me know, in the comments below 😉

My Miserable Tutors

Every class 12 student in India has tutors for atleast 2 subjects. ( not counting the ones who flunk and the ones who are so smart that they might as well drop out of school instead of wasting their precious time )
As I sat on the sofa of my home’s family room, I had an epiphany. The kinds that make you want to become atheists (well, i already am one, but we’ll save that story for later).
I realised that for the past 4 hours I had been finding excuses to not do any work that involves pleasing my tutors.

And it’s not out of sheer hatred, it’s because I hate to disturb their miserable lives.
My Maths tutor for instance, has a habit of getting mad about the smallest of things. Even when I find new methods of doing things, he digests it once he has grumbled over how his way is better.
Taking my accounts tutor into account (that sounds like something he would say), he reminds me of those old women who sit in the sun washing clothes slandering their neighbours and whoever else may be on their facebook friends list (hypothetically assuming that they know how to operate anything that was invented after the light bulb) . Half of my hour long class goes into listening to his complaints and trivial problems that are apparently problems as astronomical as a black hole that I always think about falling into when I’m pretending to listen.
Don’t get me wrong. Both of them are really smart when it comes to teaching their subjects, but it seems to me like they are constantly trying to find things to be unhappy about.
Well, then I guess not doing the home work that my tutors gave me would be an altruistic act on my part and will just give them something new to wine about.

My Experience as a Dietician

December 2007: 55 kgs
April 2008: 48 kgs. 
May 2008: 46 kgs. 
June 2008: 45 kgs. 
July 2008: 44 kgs

You must have read an endless number of articles about how to loose weight, and you must have seen those eye-catching advertisements in the newspapers of a fitness centre with a picture of woman before and after she lost weight due to their invaluable and unredeemable guidance(which btw, they provide for only Rs 1200 a month!).

Well I didn’t need any of that. Losing weight wasn’t my problem. I was good at dieting. No, I was GREAT at dieting. My biggest achievement was when my dadi, who happens to be among those Indians who can feed anyone who comes our way gave up on me.

I changed 3 school uniforms in 2 months. Stores which earlier I couldn’t go to because I was too fat, I still couldn’t go to because I was too thin.

My problem began when I started giving advice on dieting.
Now when people saw that I lost 10 kgs in 6 months, they came up to ask me how I did it? It felt so good to be the one answering the questions and not asking them.
I felt like a dietician, and I thought to myself. Maybe, I can just become a dietician without having to study about it. I can be the first empirical dietician in the world!
So the customers came pouring in and I got down to work!

My first customers were my parents. The first thing I did was throw out all the chocolates and sweets from our refrigerator. Then I replaced butter with low calorie butter, cheese with slimz cheese, and coke with diet coke. No chips were allowed in the house except special diet ones. I even threw out all the Bourbons and chocolate cookies and replaced them with Tiger and Parle-G instead! We checked their weight every week. I assured them that they would lose weight soon. But their weight started going up instead.


For a few weeks I wondered, how this could be happening. My dieting methods were fool proof, parent proof, adult proof, everything. But the day I smelt a McDonalds burger on my mom, I realized it was I who wasn’t fool proof! My mom and dad had been eating in office. My sources revealed that they had everything from rasgullas to ice creams to pizzas while they were in office and had decided to act all saintly at home. And their excuse,  “We thought we could eat in office. You didn’t say anything about eating there!”
Mom, Dad, really? Isn’t that just like me bunking all my classes at school and saying “What!! You do push me to study when I’m home. But you never said anything about school”
Needless to say, I had disowned my parents as my customers. They had greatly hurt my inner soul, by making me doubt myself and my dieting principles. It was time to move on.

My next customer was my friend. Now my friend was one of those huge people who you use as a pillow on road trips, those people who seem to be exercising and dieting all the time but never seem to lose an ounce, and if they do, you start doubting the weighing machine.  Lets just say that I wouldn’t be surprised if she told me that she was a long lost relative of the Dursley’s. (The Harry Potter fans know what I’m talking about)
I personally got very excited at the idea of instructing this friend of mine. I trusted those dear dieting principles of mine so much that I knew she would lose weight. I was so confident about them that I was convinced that I could turn an elephant into a flamingo.  
So I told her, don’t eat carbohydrate, or fat. That meant no butter, no biscuits and definitely no cheese.
She was a very obedient pupil, unlike my parents I must say. And a very enthusiastic one too, which unfortunately did not let things end as I would have wanted them to.
Not only did she start following my diet, but she also started exercising on top of that. Now if there is one thing you should know about my diet, it is that it involves absolutely NO exercise.
My friend started going to the gym. The gym makes you hungry enough to eat more than shrek if not shrek himself. And if you decide to follow my diet on top of it, you’re a goner.
After 2 weeks of following my diet and her exercise regime, my friend ended up bed ridden, with instructions from the doctor telling her not to get any form of exercise for at least 10 months.
What’s more, the medication she was on made her gain even more weight. So by the time she was out of bed and able to walk and talk, she was even fatter than before.


Now, I was really distressed. First my parents, then my friend. Could there be anything wrong with my dieting ways? NOO! How dare I think of that!

 My fears turned into reality when I myself started feeling weak and faint all the time.
This was when I realized that I was wrong. I realized that my dieting had not done me much good. Apart from reducing the flesh between my skin and bones, it had also reduced my bones to twigs. I was weak and tired and lazy and unhealthy. Sure I had lost weight, but maybe it was something not worth compromising with my health. It took me a while to realize this, and even more time to admit that I had been wrong all along.  But when I did, it came out to be a truly wonderful learning experience. From that day on, any friend who came up to me for dieting advice got a long sermon on the catastrophic effect of dieting.

So remember, the next time that creamy cake appears in front of you while you’re busy running away from it, think of whether you’re doing the right thing before you’re long gone and away! 

Generation Y

“PAYAL LAL, get up! GET UP, NOW! Do you have any idea how much I studied when I was your age? I woke up at 5 a.m. every morning. And look at you. Still sleeping.”


This is the story of every one of my Saturday mornings. Every one of them. On the Saturdays my parents have to work, I hear them in my dreams. My parents, live in another world altogether. They get up at 5 a.m. every morning, even if they have nothing specific to do. I don’t even do that if my facebook account gets hacked.  

Welcome to India-a country where the parents are too Indian and the children are too American
Being part of generation Y, I can tell you based on experience, it is a combination that doesn’t go well at all. It’s like having Punjabi food with South Indian food.
Allow me to tell you why.

Every now and then my mom barges into my room, see me sitting around and says
“Sitting around on your bed, talking on the phone and whiling away time on your laptop. I knew we shouldn’t have given it to you. Stupid useless distractions. I had none at all when I was your age “

Okay, MOM, first of all, a laptop or a cell phone did not even exist when you were my age. There is no way you could have had it. You learnt how to use it about the same time I did.
Secondly, I could be doing something productive. Don’t just walk into my room and assume stuff. I could be discussing the terrible conditions of the Greek economy on my phone and researching about the Middle Eastern uprisings. I’m not. I actually just talking to my friend on the phone and chatting with a few others on facebook. But whatever. Don’t assume stuff.

Not only do they not like the idea of a laptop or cell phone with their child, but also, they donot know how to use it.

It’s understandable considering the circumstances that existed when they were kids. Terrible circumstances! Worse than poverty!

The other day, I was trying to figure out the deal with these middle eastern countries. I was researching on google.
I asked my dad who was sitting besides me, “Papa, was Iran earlier called Persia?”
But before my dad answered, I had already looked up the answer on the web.
When my dad was my age, he would probably not have bothered to make an effort to find an answer to such a question. Not because, it was a stupid question, but because the effort would not have been worth it. He would have to get up, go to the bookshelf, open the bookshelf, find an atlas, open it, look through the index, find the right page number, then browse through all the text and then he’d have his answer. By then Iran would have changed it’s name again! All I had to do was type two words into google.


And it isn’t just the computer which had changed things, it’s the cell phone as well. Commonly known to be a maniac among parents, it’s dearer to us than our own lives. While they take hours to send a two word text, it takes us seconds to do the same. If they were to send the same number of tects that we do in one day, that’s probably all they would do that day. Baby’s today are probably born with their fingers moving that way. Part of evolution you see.

Facebook is another hilarious example of the generation gap. My parents joined facebook much later than I did. And they didn’t seem to like the idea that everyone could see their profile picture and all their friends could see what they wrote on people’s wall. When my mom realized this she said “What? What if Vanita sees what I wrote about her on Renu’s wall? Wont she feel bad?”


They have been accustomed to emailing.  One of my uncles whose on my facebook friends list has a habit of writing comments in the form of letters. I once wrote on his wall “Happy Birthday”. The next day when I logged in I had a bunch of notifications. So I clicked on them and I found that he had commented on that wall post. He had written

“Dear Payal,
Thank you for your wishes.
Hope you are doing well.
Love. 
Mama”

Anyone else would just write thanks. At most a thank you and a smiley.
So it isn’t only the age gap that creates such differences. It’s also the change of trend. What our parents did at our age, we wouldn’t even dream of doing. That would make us a different species altogether. I would call them Boro sapiens.

Gen Y thinks their parents are impractical, overly conservative, boring. On the other hand, the oldies complain all the time, about how the younger generation is lazy and spoilt. We have all been grown up in different environments and different mindsets. In India, the kind of change that occurred over the last 20 years, makes 1 generation gap equal to 5.  The generation gap does not allow us to see eye to eye on much, unless we try to think from their point of view once in a while.

Everyone is the way they are because of a reason. It’s their background or their upbringing that makes them that way. Therefore they have a different point of view. That’s why we are so different from our parents. We have grown up in such diverse environments.

Next time you are talking to people who you don’t see eye to eye with, be it people from the older or younger generation or anyone else, wait for a second before you pick up an argument with them and put yourself in their shoes. Maybe you’ll realize that they are right in their own old ways. 




(also published in the Hindu : http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/open-page/article2442489.ece)

D-Day


One afternoon my mother walked into my room and said “Your aunt is here from America, she wants to meet you, can you come and say hello”
Me? oh NO, I am ok playing SIMS on the computer. 
But that’s not what I say aloud. To my mom I say, “Coming in  5 minutes.”

15 minutes later, “Are you coming? You must come and SAY HELLO”
“Okay Mom! Why this big deal?.”

Grudgingly I get there- say hello and the little kitten that I am, in 15 seconds I give some stares to my aunt, to the wall, to the fan and before my aunt can blink, I am out of there.

Believe it or not, this was the scene at my home every weekend 5 years ago. If it was not my aunt, it was my granny’s sister, or my grandfathers friend. Once I was asked to say hello to our neighbour’s brother who was visiting from Australia. Imagine? 

My parents were fed up. They hated dragging me up to greet guests. It was not only humiliating for them, but after I turned 12, my shyness became an issue of worry. They kept persevering to come up with solutions to my little problem! I hated what they were doing. I was in my comfort zone, happy where I was. I did not really care for any change. But I knew that my parents did. And they would do something about it-very soon.

As expected the D-Day arrived. The dreadful one – and I got the BITTER PILL.

Do you know what is the 2ndbiggest fear most people have? (the 1st being death) Do you know what the biggest punishment my dad gave me was?
When my uncle was once visiting and I refused to come up and say hello, my dad punished me by pushing me into a public speaking club, namely the NEW DELHI GAVELS CLUB.

Corporal punishment was banned. But the 2nd biggest fear. You fear, I fear..PUBLIC SPEAKING! And can you believe it, my own father was the one who pushed me into facing this fear.

I had heard of Toastmasters. My dad went there on Sundays, when he had nothing better to do (although he still claims that he tries his best to go there). It was a place where he went to improve his speaking skills.
One fine day, I was in my happy place (in front of the TV) when my dad walked in and announced “My toastmaster friends just told me that there’s a junior version of toastmaster being opened. It’s called the New Delhi Gavel’s Club. It’s for kids of ages 12-18. And guess what, Payal’s joining it!” 


The fireworks began!! I am actually scared of swimming, but I was willing to jump into a 12 feet deep pool. Maybe get some water in my lungs, NO BIGGIE RIGHT? 
But gavels? Woah!  BIG BIGGIE!
From that day onwards, 90% of my time was spent thinking of ways to get out of this big mess. But my dad was adamant. He would take me there. 

1 week later I was at the first meeting of the NEW DELHI GAVELS CLUB. I had already decided that I would hate it. I wouldn’t open my mouth. I would behave just like I did at the dentists.

There was no way in hell they’re going to make ME speak! I went and sat inside. As people kept coming up and speaking, I thought, what geeks, don’t they have anything better to do!

While these thoughts flew in and out of mind, the others in the room spoke. I was so preoccupied with my thoughts that it took me a while to realize it when I was called upon to speak. There were some chits on the table and I had to pick one at random and speak on the topic that was written inside the chit. As I opened the chit to read my topic, my knees trembled! I was sweating and suddenly, there were double the number of people in the room. Why didn’t the ground just open up and swallow me.  Gosh dad! I hate you! If it wasn’t for you I could have been in my happy place.  
Now, I had a new happy place, the time the meetings would finish!



This cycle continued for a while-my dad would force me to go and I would unhappily and half-heartedly oblige. 

Strangely, after a couple of meetings, I began to feel better about being there.I actually felt confident. My voice no more shook, my knees started to stabilize! I started actively taking part in the meetings. 
I guess the end of the meeting was no more my happy place! The people around me were not geeks any more. And I was in no mood to kill my parents.

Not only had the D-Day lead to me feeling better about my speech, but over the years, being part of the club made me more confident as a person. I became more open about coming out of my comfort zone and doing things that initially sound very scary and undoable. Sometimes you need someone to force the BITTER PILL down your throat!
Now, when my parents insist on me joining a class or a club or a program, I willingly accept. After all, who knows what it might have in store for me?