Friday, October 7, 2016

Odd and even - Yaron ki Baraat

For the first time on Indian television, ZEE TV brings you a fun-filled chat show Vivo Smartphone presents Yaaron Ki Baraat co-powered by and Brooke Bond Red Label that will put celebrity friendships to test through a series of fun challenges and tasks. Tune in to ZEE TV at 8 PM on 8th October.

Friends, our alter egos with behaviour as contrasting as the Sun and the Moon, but gelling and hitting off as a pair to paint our lives red;(maybe not red as it is too jarring, well you choose the colour) while I shift to green owing to my personal affinity to the bountiful nature! Cronies who are the extended family, the cornerstones of our joyful lives, partners in guzzling beer, accomplices in pranks,  companions in concerts and film shows, navigators in times of distress, consorts in love and war, the search engines during doubtful periods , the collaborators in conspiracies, associates in adventure, allies in networking and the iconic reasons for this post!
Let me have the joy and privilege of taking you all, back in time to the effervescent eighties filled with songs, shares, styles and shenanigans in abundance and studies in miserly terms with my bosom buddy Minu!

 The undergraduate class of 1987 in one of the prestigious and trendy colleges of Cochin beckoned all the freshers with animosity, trepidation, excitement – a cocktail of all emotions and we the new comers trudged  happily into the gallery class facing the azure blue  back waters of the Arabian sea.  
Minu was a different kettle of fish altogether, a slim girl with long straight hair that she let loose and on top of her forehead, a mop of wavy hair, always tossing it up gracefully and me, a spring rolled, not so slim , awkward and not so elegant. So absolutely chalk and cheese as far as biological similarities were concerned! Demeanour wise too, I marched to a different tune while she was downright soft spoken and a horse of another colour. 

Lost in an ocean of new faces and stylish stilettos, I occupied a vantage top berth to get a bird’s eye view of the sea and a 360 degree panoramic view of an all girls’ class. Next to me sat my new demure friend flashing a sparkling smile every two minutes while I was itching to break the silent conversation that was happening between the two of us! As the teachers, ranging from savvy to strict to smart to somber and silly marketed themselves and their subjects, my game plan was to talk ourselves out!
She fell hook, line and sinker for me, proving right the maxim ‘opposites poles attract’. A tete a tete that started with the zodiac sign (For Linda Goodman was a crazy obsession those days!) and ended with everything under the sun! The days turned into months and we became steadfast friends and as she was from the science stream, I had the honour of being an uncrowned queen helping her out with accounts and finance.
The three years in the degree college had all the masala of a pot boiler movie; the college was run by Christian missionaries and so ‘discipline’ was their second name and Minu’s family was strict and orthodox and so we took extra happiness in bunking classes (by bribing the gatekeeper) and hoodwinking her parents to watch movies together. Nothing can match the thrill of the adrenaline rush in breaking the convention and rules, to hide from known and familiar faces and brave all odds to accomplish our goals. Friday afternoons were long lunch hours and the favourite icecream joint was a glorious hangout, a great redemption from the service sermons of the chapel  and we had the jubilation of breaking the Shawshank prison!
The umpteen songs of Richard Marx, our romantic music hero still echo in my ears, reminiscent of the past- 

many hours that were happily spent in her palatial bungalow which had a mini theatre. Her mom would serve us all the delicacies while her big brother (lovingly nicknamed as commando) would watch us over like hawks! Despite the strict vigil, we did manage to give him the slip and indulge ourselves in all the forbidden pleasures, but well within the framework of the written and oral constitution.
Both of us would be lost in that exotic dream trip to alluring avant garde locations in an open gypsy, with music blaring and driving at insane speeds to be with nature’s bounty, carefree and crazy, beating all draconian laws and rigid parents. The gypsy of Maruti Suzuki may have become obsolete but the mirage of the mind will never disappear and I have safeguarded it in my memory vault for thirty years !!!
When two celebrities can come together on a fantastic chat show and re-enact the yaaron ki baarat sequence from the super hit film of dostana after 35 years, nothing can stand in the way in reconnecting with a sidekick and I am eagerly waiting for that D day!
We have sung, danced, guffawed, cried, screamed, studied, pranced and dreamt together and these simple joys bonded us for a lifetime  and it is time to break into a song...

Follow @ZeeTV #YaaronKiBaraat

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Brandishing the broom


                Brandishing the broom
Glances at the clock furtive
Waiting for the elusive
The most relevant, conspicuous by absence
Mountain of dishes jostling for space
Mighty upper hand to do the chores
Repeated calls and rush to the doors

And then she arrives in style on a dirty carpet
Wielding a look of hurry and unkempt
Reverberation of dissent at the sink
I plonk on the sofa unable to think
Operas of the utensils reaching a crescendo

The maid adroit and skilled at taekwondo

The next chore, gives me and the floor a sweeping
Brandishing the broom, room to room hopping
Diffusing the tension for the present
While she ready to go to the adjacent
The lady cajoled and clamoured for completion
Dab, swab and mop, her scutwork ends with aggression

Heaving a sigh of relief, a routine to follow each day
Oh..Chambermaid, do not play truant I pray!

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Run up to the reunion-part one

The class of 85, the gilded clique captured in fifth grade!

Ajith, Bindu, Hari, Jayaram, Krishnakumar, Meena…no, this isn’t the roll call from the attendance register that I am so used to these days nor are they prospective Indian baby names but yes they are evergreen names of a family of nomenclature, that belong to the exclusive and elite club of the class of 1985 and can never become obsolete or archaic!
The hot pursuit to track down the elusive bunch began when Mark Zuckerberg gave to the world fB and while still in its nascent stage, a few of us became the guinea pigs for the social networking site to gain popularity and rake in the moolah. The witch hunt became an obsession and in the process, priceless buddies (along with graduation pictures and group photos) were unearthed, though their transformation matched the years that had gone by, the masquerades were given away by the demeanour, which is timeless and classic. Well, time can take away our youth, hair on the head, or it can be chivalrous by adding more wrinkles or deposit more fat instead of money in the bank account but it cannot snatch the exuberance and monkey business that are the hallmarks of this “Gilded Clique”, (for more adventures of this camarilla read the poem at it is just appropriate that I express gratitude to the benefactor for this remarkable appellation that best describes us! Thank you Meena for this sobriquet and the chat room idea!
Barring a few bumping into on some sidekicks, mini reunions and reconnections, nothing spectacular happened on the fB front with many avoiding it like plague and couple of the social butterflies getting disillusioned by the like and dislike syndrome and beating a hasty retreat!
However, the inquest continues with technology making the man hunt easy and not ending up in wild goose chases or barking up the wrong trees! Leaving no stone unturned, all platforms and avenues are being explored, searched and many of the classmates smoked out of their hide outs after all we were the treasure hunters of yester years!
The excitement in the Whatsapp air is palpable along with the flattering fifth grade class photo , with the demonstration of bonhomie, love, affection, humming and buzzing of messages pulling each other’s legs to the point of myriad emojis popping up, typical of  a chat room! It has been thirty long years since we all parted ways from the class room, in search of higher education, job, career, love, partnership, marriage children, the normal, and the bizarre stuff of life…and the prospect of a reunion post three decades is one of ecstasy, (the sheer joy of nostalgia and a trip down memory lane, free of cost) tossed up withcuriosity, (how have all the bucktoothed, ponytailed metamorphosed or ‘transfigured’) trepidation (apprehension and paranoia at conversing face to face with companions and comrades who have eroded away with time, and I realize that chatting on the virtual space with friendly banters is much more easier) and Panic (would I be able to place the face?or will I fumble at the choice of words?)
As we spend the next few months contemplating on the logistics, the makeup, the attire and the hairdo, the distinct sound of glassware clinking, the warmth of the bear hugs and handshakes, unmistakable sound of laughter and banter, is reverberating in my space!