New, innovative enterprise!

After many years in the fields of marketing, advertising, PR, home managing and family running, I have finally discovered my true calling!

The one big void in the world industry, the most wanted, the begging-to-be-filled niche, is that of follow-up.

The question is no longer who is going to put up the Diwali lights (or Christmas lights depending on your enlightenment)  – the real question is – who is going to follow up with the person who will put up the Diwali lights?

Online shopping? Who is going to follow up with the email address?

Delayed payments? Who is going to follow up with the cheque waiting for the CEO’s signature?

Party? Who is going to follow up with invitees that need another invitation to RSVP?

Plumbers, electricians, carpenters, gardeners;

Mortgage companies, insurance companies, telephone companies, electricity and water companies, banks, advertising and PR agencies;

Spouses, children, parents, sibling;

WHO IS GOING TO FOLLOW UP?

In the interest of world development, my company – The Fellow Uppers – will now be providing this vital service for a small fee.

Our state of the art technology involves sms, watsapp, bbm, FB messenger, email, phone as well as personal contact for the seriously resisting fellow uppee.

Our clients – the fellow uppor – will be provided regular updates on the status of the project at no extra cost.

Project rate cards are based on the number of follow ups as well as instrument of follow up, with the Super Nagger package covering unlimited follow ups with every possible instrument. This comes highly recommended for effective follow up.

For further discussion please inbox your contact details and rest assured – we will get back to you.

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A picture worth a thousand calories!

I have one of these…only a lot wider!!!!

pic 1pic 2

 

 

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Please tell my husband

The first time I saw B, I couldn’t actually see his face because it was smeared with what appeared to be his birthday cake.

So today is not just the anniversary of his birthday, or the anniversary of my dad’s birthday, but also the anniversary of the first time I saw my husband to be.

And that scene was to replay in my life for a long, long time.

A man sitting there calmly, while a bunch of his colleagues smeared cake on his face, waiting patiently for the excitement to die down, then announcing he had to go for a meeting, before going away to a corner to smoke a cigarette!

No, not the scene of the cake smeared face, the scene of the the man going for a meeting. And smoking a cigarette.

For the longest time ever, the only sure thing in our lives as a couple, was B either going for a meeting or already being in a meeting and the cigarette between his fingers.

And when you have known the man for over 22 years, and wondered every year on the 22nd of July about all the daddy issues you could possibly have because you married a man who shares his birthday with your dad and how your dad was out of town on work for almost ten years of your life and how this man is constantly in meetings for most your marriage then…well, you change your perspective. And your approach.

It does get boring, you know, thinking the same rubbish over and over!

I don’t know whether I was destined to marry this man but in these many years, we went from colleagues to lovers to married to ‘OMG I can’t stand you’ to parents to wonderful friends.

Do I forgive him for all the crap he has dished out over the years? No way buster!

But I am immensely grateful for all we have together and I cannot imagine life any other way.

And since husbands hardly ever listen to their wives, and he’s probably in a meeting, I am requesting all of you to please drop B a text message on +971504539118 wishing him happy birthday and telling him, smoking is really bad for him!

And there’s cake for everyone who does that!

 

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Indian Adventure

Seven flights, two road trips and one train journey later, I’m back from my ‘Indian’ adventure.

Monument of a man’s love for his third, dead wife, the Taj Mahal; Varanasi, the oldest city in the world and Lucknow, the city of ‘Tehzeeb’; is what I saw and flinched when my son described this as his holiday into ‘rural’ India.

Cannot entirely blame little chubs, especially since he contracted gastroenteritis on the third day of the holiday and spent an entire night vomiting before being given a painful injection.

In fact I even feel a little guilty for relishing so many ‘pethas’ from Agra, ‘pedas’ from Mathura, Banarasi paan and ‘Tunday Kebabs’ in Lucknow while the wee one ate burned toast and drank mineral water.

Cheered on by Niks, who would not be deterred by a train that arrived three and a half hours late for a four hour journey, we saw, touched, clicked, ate, shopped everything on our itinerary and then some.

Admiring the patience of the husband who could have been at a music festival in Amsterdam but was instead floating in a boat on the river Ganges with me, I couldn’t help but feel the latent allure of a 3000 years old city built entirely on a river bank. Or remark on the entrepreneurship of the tea stall owner who had painted an advertisement on the aged stone of the ghats, in French.

I wondered at the mosque and the temple in Mathura at Krishna janam bhumi, which shared a wall and had higher security than fort knox; who exactly was a threat here? The Hindus or the Muslims?

I listened with awe as the guide took me through the only philanthropic monument in the world, the Imambara in Lucknow, commissioned by a Nawab in 1785 to create employment for the famine struck people of Lucknow.

And had no answer for chubs when he questioned why it was compulsory for ‘couples’ to be accompanied by a guide at the ‘Bhool Bhulaiya’, a three level maze created in stone for the entertainment of the nawabs.

I wondered aloud, why I did not do this more often, which I should not have, because chubs immediately answered “because I’ll die of vomiting and loose motions!”

However, sitting here while I write this, in a clean, climate controlled airport, out of one of the major cities of India, much like any other clean, climate controlled airport in any other part of the world, the yearning for another Indian adventure has already begun.

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Thigh gap

Yup – that’s the new measure of beauty. Thigh gap. More simply put – the gap between the thighs – or lack thereof – defines whether you are beautiful or not. Personally, I would be more concerned with ‘What were your eyes doing there buster?’ but if thigh gap is what is of prime importance then thigh gap it is!

And its definitely an easier fad to work with than the recently demised butt crack fad.

You know, the one in which people wore their pants way below the waist and hip, thus exposing the crack of the arse and a variety of accessories such as tattoos and thongs.

That one was a difficult one. What would you say to somebody who was being fashionable? “Nice butt crack.” “Yours is definitely better than hers!” Or – “Wow! Those pants really bring out your best feature!”

I think this fad was a rebuttal (no pun, really!) of the exposed belly button fad.

Same concept, front side.

You know, where people (mostly female) wore their pants low enough to expose their belly buttons.

After short sleeves, no sleeves, straps, strings, and tube tops, the upper part of the body just did not leave enough to be fashionable with. So the obsession with pants and where you wore them. An entire generation of humans standing in the mirror and deliberating whether they should drop them lower from the front or the back!

Personally I think it all has to do with space. The space between the thighs, the space between the t-shirt and the pants, the space between the pants and decency and finally the vast, vast space between the ears, which no amount of fad following seems to fill up!

 

 

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Childhood lessons

There was singing, dancing, musical chairs, cake and wafers.

Cousins, aunties, friends and even my NRI dad was there. It could not get any better and yet it did. As was the norm, my 6th birthday party was coming to an end with the mandatory opening of presents. All my friends had their eyes peeled on this big, big present, the package almost as big as me, a surprise from my Papa.

I carefully removed the wrapping and opened the package. It was the biggest doll  that I had ever seen. She had beautiful blue eyes, a shimmering green gown and a dark, black ponytail. And when I stood her in front of me, she almost looked into my eyes. Or that is how it felt anyway. My friends, all 20 of them were dumbstruck. I stared in awe at this most magnificent doll, holding it close to me and immediately it became my child, my best friend, my most trusted companion and my father, who would leave for Dubai soon.

I bathed it, clothed it. I untied and re-tied its ponytail. I played tea party, talked to it about school, took it along in my tricycle to see the world when I went out to play. And in the night when it I slept, right next to it, I knew I was never going to be alone.

Then one day I came home from school and it was gone. Before leaving, as usual, I had swaddled it and left it in a corner of my bed, promising to be back soon. And now it was  gone.

For an excruciating three hours or so, we looked everywhere and asked everyone if they had seen the doll. Frantically searching for it, my mother remembered that one of our neighbors, daughter in tow, had come in earlier. The daughter was my friend, one of the 20 girls at the party.

Some hushed conversations took place between my mother and the neighbor.  We returned home and after another painful wait, my doll was brought back to me. Her gown had been cut into strips, hair pulled out in patches and eyes scratched with a pointed red color pencil. Mutilated and destroyed beyond recognition, my beautiful doll was now returned to me with a sorry.

The neighbor explained to my mother that her daughter, Sakina, had ‘taken’ the doll and had then tried to make her ‘different’ so that nobody would recognize it as my doll, and that they were so sorry.

Something so beautiful had been stolen and destroyed, because Sakina could not have it, and they were sorry.

Numbed after my confrontation with jealousy, I bravely bathed my doll, put some talcum powder on her, swaddled her in my favorite scarf and kept it as my most prized possession even after marriage.

Its beauty had been destroyed, but what it was to me, remained intact.

We remained neighbors, all of us, for many years after. This incident was diplomatically never mentioned again, but years later, when I took to mini skirts and Sakina took to covering herself fully, wearing a ‘rida’ (burqa) at all times, I couldn’t help wonder whether it was because she had discovered decency or it was to cover up her indecency.

Childhood lessons last a long, long time.

 

 

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Who moved my yoga mat?

Good sex and a good workout have a lot in common, besides being interchangeable. It leaves you fulfilled, deeply content, sure that you could never do that again and pretty sure you don’t want to either. Until the next morning. Or evening. When the glow is starting to fade and your thoughts are wandering to when you might next get an unoccupied house. Or treadmill. Depending on your inclination. That’s what my trainer said.

Eventually this wise twenty-four year old found himself a full-time job, so I then had to look for a new method of self-flagellation for eating that chocolate cake last night.

Hot yoga, I thought, was a good idea. By their own admission, it’s hot, dress code – skimpy, offers 27 different positions, half of which are done lying down, how bad could it be?

I got there as early as I could to get a place as far behind in the room as possible. However the instructor felt the energy was spread too thin and moved me into the third row between yellow cycling shorts and zebra print sports bra – who I was forced to notice, preferred her armpits au naturel!

Straight ahead of me, a little Japanese lady, about 4 feet 10 inches turned to ask me “First time?”  and turned away before I could answer.

Hardly would the instructor begin the sentence, “Standing on your toes, turn rig….”  and 4.10 would turn right, raise one leg up, reach one hand out, contort the body as if it was made of rubber and complete the posture. Still deciding whether to breathe in or out, I was sure she had re-built Hiroshima all by herself. While in the trig-aasan.

Next to her, was this very bouncy woman, who thought nothing of reeling loose question after question to the instructor about the ‘correct position’ while the rest of us stayed with both our hands stretched out in front of us, on our toes, knees bent, in a ‘pretend to be sitting on a chair’ posture. Go on, try that. Now hold it while we play “Who wants to be a Millionaire?”

The first two rows were full of these hateful people who neither stumbled, nor grunted, the kind that my Goan friend would call  ‘such bloody, enthu, cutlets man!’

Personally I was content with watching the ones ahead bend backwards until we could hear their bones singing a song to welcome sciatica. I even thought of doing a little ‘High five’ with their feet so high in the air. But the instructor would have none of it. I think the heat made her irritable.

Eventually, bathed in my own sweat and slightly nauseous, I left.

Needless to say, the most difficult posture is the first one – going back there!

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