Archive for the ‘Ironies’ Category

We men grow up to be ‘men’ from being ‘boys’ first. And as boys, we sometimes do things that are considered unacceptable and, in some cases, blasphemous under typical societal norms. And this rule holds good across cultures with no known exceptions. In some cultures such behavior is considered a one way street to capital punishment or worse, having your you-know-what nipped! Now, I’m sure most of you would’ve guessed what I’ve tacitly been referring to. For the rest, I’m talking of the ‘curiosity to explore and enlighten oneself of the nuances and intricacies of the anatomy and physiology of the opposite/same sex (subject to individual preference), which in effect, results in referring to the widely available material in the mainstream media, particularly the internet, that serve as visual aids on the visible effects of manual stimulation of the reproductive organs and the subsequent act of copulation’. In crude terms – ‘watching porn’! Yes. Pornography is one area that all boys would, at some point, want to and have explored. But being discreet about it is also part of the process of exploration. Now, why all this nonsense, you ask? I’ll tell you why.

Boys will be boys!

Everyone would, no doubt, agree that being caught watching porn is bad. But one can easily get away with it with minimal tact. But being caught with visibly objectionable material stashed up among your books at home is probably the worst, like being caught with one’s hand in the…..err….chakkli-dabba? What excuse can one possibly give?

One night when my parents were out, my brother was busy cleaning his cupboard.  After a while, I noticed he was fixedly reading something. My brother wasn’t the bookish kind to be found reading so attentively (only recently he said he’d discovered the joy of reading, but I digress). I’d never seen him pay so much attention to a book. All I did was ask him what he was reading, hardly expecting to scare the living daylights out of him! He reacted as if I was coming at him with a boulder to smash his face! He looked up with a start, screaming ‘FFUUCCKK’ like a really bad actor from a B-grade horror film. His face flushed like a ripe tomato! Amidst the ruckus, a bunch of pages poured out of his lap. As they settled on the floor, several women in the raw, posing in innumerable lewd positions, lecherously called out of the pages. As I struggled to evoke a coherent response, my brother hastily attended to the screaming pictures as he cursed me for startling him so. I admit, my brother and I aren’t the most saintly of creatures, but I, for one, had never contemplated on bringing such controversial material home. Not because I was concerned about desecrating our blessed home that was synonymous with sanctity, but purely out of fear of being caught, given my mother’s occasional urges to purge our house of the filth it gathers. Therefore, I warned my brother about it and asked him to be wary and all was forgotten for a while.

A week later, upon returning home, I noticed that my mom wasn’t quite acting herself. My usually gentle and welcoming mother seemed to be on the brink of exploding like an overloaded power transformer. I could practically see her fume like one. This was absolutely unlike her. My father screamed from the bedroom inquiring, in objectionable language, if it was me or my brother. I hesitantly answered. He ordered me to call my brother on his cell-phone and ask him to come home immediately. My brother apparently had not answered his phone when called twice earlier. I sensed something had gone awfully wrong and that it involved my brother, but wasn’t quite sure what it was that had set our house ablaze. I picked up the phone and dialed my brother’s number. Two rings later –
“Hello?”, my unsuspecting brother answered.
“Hello, abey!! It’s me, K. Where are you? Mom and dad are about to explode. They want you home right away.”
“Why? What the fuck happened? What’d I do now?”
“You’re asking me? Dude! I have no clue. I just got home 10 min ago and they’ve been acting weird ever since. Things don’t look…..”
I was rudely interrupted by my dad, screaming from the bedroom again, “Ask that *a shower of bram-Telugu expletives* to get home right away!”
“You heard him? Now, you get your ass home right now or I’m not sure if we’re going to survive this night. Dude, please, wherever you are, just make your way home. Ok?”
“Ok! Ok! Fine. I’ll be there in 30 min. Chalo bye!”
“Bye”

I hung up and waited impatiently for someone to speak up. My dad had locked the bedroom and I could hear him in the shower. I tried asking my mom, but she wouldn’t say a thing. All she’d mumble was “Let him come!”, the menacing tone in her answer was just too obvious to ignore. “This is it!” I thought, “The end of my brother’s days!” But I was still unmindful of the gravity of the sin he had committed to merit such potentially lethal threats, nor could I even hazard a guess. As always, I was scheming to shield him from my dad’s wrath, lest things should get violent.

30 min later, my dad inquired in another brief fit of foul bram-Telugu. I placed another call to my brother’s cell and he answered saying he was in the building and that he’d be home in a minute.

A couple of minutes later the door-bell rang. My brother walked into the seething oven, that was our home, turned to me and whispered ‘Dude, seriously. WTF happened? Did someone die?’ As badly as I wanted to say ‘Yes. You!’ I was too concerned for him to quip like that. So I refrained and gestured an ‘I don’t know. Just go to dad’s room’ instead. I saw him walk into the lion’s den.

Silence!

A moment later, my dad screamed out again and asked me to come in too.

*Gulp* Now, WTF did I do? And what the hell is happening around here? What’s with all the lethal suspense?

My dad’s room – I took a deep breath and went in. Next thing I knew, my head was spinning like a top and I almost fainted. On the bed, was an aesthetically starved collage on display. The shock, I tell you! The offensively honest pictures were all generously spread out like we were going to be asked to pick one each so our parents could go ahead and match horoscopes! My father was facing the wall with one palm pressed against it. The situation reminded me of a K-serial-home-emergency, where four generations gather to discuss why the badi bahu cooked bhindi in spite of being asked to cook gobi, and chide her for her insolence. Only difference here was, two generations gathered and no cooking was involved. My father turned to my brother and not-so-innocently asked in whose company he had learned to do all this. My brother thought it best to prolong his bout of silence, than answer a question like that. Meanwhile, my mother, in a momentary lapse of her legendary self-control, grabbed my brother’s hair and slapped him twice. I had to gather myself from the shock to stop her. She turned away and flopped onto the bed and slapped her forehead in utter disappointment.

In the background, my father continued his opera of curses and expletives that ranged from addressing our ancestors, accusing my brother of drug abuse, of visiting a brothel, of resorting to wanton practices and cursing him of contracting various unspeakable diseases!

Where is the beeper when you need one, goddamn it!!

Anyway, my brother’s deathly silence had annoyed my dad, to the point that he grabbed a belt to whip him blue. I had to intervene. My father cursed as he withdrew. My mother in all her innocence, even in a fit of anger, posed some fundamental questions – ‘Why did you get these pictures? What do you do with them?’ Lost for words, I could only manage ‘Amma! Calm down! Calm down!’ while I wanted to say ‘Oh Dear God! You don’t wanna know!’

An hour of my dad’s unimaginable linguistic decadence and my mother’s inquisitive innocence resulting from my brother’s indiscretion in not ensuring the safety of his stash culminated in its summary destruction by subjecting it to flames. This, apart from facing utterly embarrassing questions and a certain degree of violence.

All my brother had to do, to avoid the domestic war scene, was exercise a little more caution. Just a tad bit more! This could have saved everyone the trouble and him, the embarrassment. He could have hidden the ‘seducational’ material in more parentally-inaccessible places such as with a trustworthy older sibling like yours truly. What are older siblings for after all? Amidst such resentment for pornography who else would younger siblings turn to for acceptance? My brother never brought home anything even remotely associated with pornography after that night. Well, if he has, then kudos to him for his vigilance! Should I say, ‘Once bitten, twice shy’ or ‘Better safe than sorry’?

P S: I actually dedicate this post to my brother, whom I miss and love very much!! He and I share many such secrets! Here’s to you kaakaaaaa!!

Images courtesy: My brother’s naughtiness and my shock.

Suggestive title eh? I know! But, if you’re expecting any amount of sensually gratifying content in the ramble ahead, then please be prepared to be brutally thwarted in hope! It contains inordinate amounts of rant and rave more than anything else. The title is just a bait! So, now that you’ve taken the bait, swallow it! Well, in this case ‘Read it’!

With that cautionary beginning, I shall get right down to the nitty-gritty of the two ‘R’s I’ve promised.

For a full week ending last Friday, our little god-forsaken town in the purportedly ‘perpetually bright and sunny’ State of Florida, was physically abused (yes, you read that right!) by the whimsical weather. I stand testimony to the fact that this region of the US is not unfamiliar with Nature’s concepts of ‘rain’ and ‘storm’. It all began Thursday, March 26th. It rained and rained into late Sunday night. Then on Monday morning, the sun showed his face fleetingly. Just as we prepared to do the Mayan sun-dance in his praise, he got mobbed by the dark menacing clouds again. The clouds opened up, and it rained. It rained on and off without a moment of sunshine until the evening of Thursday, April 2nd, when the gods seemed to have lost it completely! The weather went insane! The met. dept. issued warnings through emails and other media, of a tornado and a severe thunderstorm. On the pretext of bad weather, I skipped work and stayed home.

At around 5.30-6 pm, I was rambling away on the phone with my clique. The sky roared and growled warning us mortals of the acute indigestion the clouds were having and then before we knew it, they threw up! The winds lived up to their unpredictability – whirlwinds were everywhere! The usual havoc ensued; fallen trees and power lines, blocked roads, and worst of all – power cuts! I was updating my friends on the goings on when the entire neighborhood blacked out (My first brush with ‘power cuts’ in the US, a long one at that!)! The cops and other service personnel drove around warning us to stay inside, seek refuge in an elevated location.  Our apartment is located in a trough and is vulnerable to flooding. So, my roommates and I decided to head to campus. We made a couple of calls to friends to arrange for a ride. We noticed we weren’t the only ones who had the brightest of ideas! (:|) A few calls later we found ourselves riding to campus amidst howling winds and piercing rains. We went straight to our roomie’s lab which was on the second floor of the CS dept. building.

About an hour later, the showers eased off a bit. The downpour wasn’t as heavy as they had begun, but the winds still blew strong. We were both starving and had to feed ourselves to survive the night. “Subway Zindabad!!’ we decided and stepped out with the one umbrella we had with us. As we walked, the wind came at us with all its love and literally blew us away and ripped our umbrella apart. The only vestiges of the umbrella we held were the staff and the ribs. Great!! Soaking wet, we got to Subway and guess what! They were only accepting cash (Great call Murphy!!)! The dash to the nearest ATM wasn’t as helpful in keeping us any drier, if anything, it even soaked the cash we were carrying. We dumped the battered umbrella as we walked out with our dinner. We entered the lab like two soggy, dripping noodles. We logged on from the computers in the lab and updated all friends on the status quo, all of whom had a hearty laugh at the ironies that played out.

The rest of the night was spent in clinging wet clothes on the decadently comfortable study tables with our bags for pillows! Aaah the bliss of sleeping in wet clothes!

8 am. The sun was out shining ever so brightly. It didn’t even seem that a storm had passed the previous night. My roomie and I got up to head home and as we left the lab we saw something which hit us like a lightning bolt – AN UMBRELLA! A black one, against the wall, in a corner, begging to be used! It had been lying there all night, and we went out with that decrepit two-dollar umbrella which died a horrible death leaving us dripping wet! Talk about stormy ironies! Cussing ensued.

At least we were lucky enough to find our apartment and belongings intact after a night of living like refugees. We didn’t have power until late afternoon though. Aah well, at least a peaceful end to a tempestuous night!