Friday, 1 August 2014

DAISY VILLA


The church bell tolled thrice on a lazy afternoon at Sarzora, surprising the lone crow perched upon the ornate Iron Gate. Ambrose sat outside the cemetery, leaning against the moss covered compound wall unaffected by the crowd in black pouring out of the entrance. He freed the cloth tied around his balding head and wiped off the sweat trickling down his neck, now staring at the woman wearing a large black veiled hat. He was amused by her act of lifting the veil to dab away the tears escaping her droopy eyes, making sure that her fake eyelashes do not come off in the process. Must be the wife of the man whose grave I dug, he thought.

“Have you no shame, staring at women like that? Ambrose, are you deaf?”

Startled by this unexpected interruption, Ambrose looked up at the man wearing a white clergy robe bending down upon him. Why, of course, it was the fat priest of the Church. “A man like me can only afford such entertainments. Why father? You don’t like looking at women? Oh I forgot, you are a proud celibate.” Ambrose replied, squinting to escape the violent sun rays toying with his eyes. The priest wasn’t new to his verbal diarrhea. Calming his rising anger by squeezing the rosary in his palm, he replied “Here is your two hundred rupees. Even a baboon has more decency than you. Now leave!”. Ambrose stood up, intimidated by the composed stance of the priest but hid it soon with a sneer. “I heard that Mr. Dias from the house near the village hospital is on ventilator. He will die, no father? I will be right here waiting.” Ambrose said pointing at the ground “Call no one else but me to dig his hole. Two hundred rupees yeah? ”. The priest could do nothing but shake his head as Ambrose snatched the money from between his fingers and walked away humming an old Goan tune.

Daisy Villa was a hut. A dwarf of a house with just one room and a veranda, the right side of which was transformed into a makeshift kitchen. But for Ambrose, this small dwelling was a villa and he made sure everyone called it so by hanging an old Aluminium plate reading ‘DAISY VILLA’ on the barbed fence. Daisy, his mother, sat near the kerosene stove and was clearly agitated by its uselessness. She jolted as Ambrose dropped a black smelly plastic bag beside her.

“Old woman, I bought some fine prawns. There is a coconut left, yeah? Make my favourite prawns cooked in coconut milk tonight, yeah?”.

Daisy cocked her head as she said “Prawns? You wasted all that money on prawns? What about some kerosene to light this bloody stove! Ambrose, you need a woman to set you straight. You are 41 without a wife.”

Oh, how Ambrose loved to see her eyes blazing. She was all he had and all he would ever need. He cupped her pale face between his palms and blew her a kiss.

“Mr.Dias is dying tonight. I will visit the village hospital tonight to know for sure. This means I will be digging his grave tomorrow. The priest would give me two hundred rupees and I will get your bloody kerosene, yeah? And no! I don’t want a wife. I like this life of you and me.” Ambrose smiles on seeing Daisy soften. “Now I will go and chop some wood so that you can cook these prawns for me. Ok, old woman?”.

Daisy let out a sigh and lowered her head as she said “Ambrose, only you can be so happy on hearing another man’s death. Tomorrow when I die, I want to see this very excitement while you dig up my grave.”

“God doesn’t love you mother. You are here to stay forever” screamed Ambrose as he struck the log with an axe, splitting it into two.

That night after finishing a portion of the coconut prawn curry, Ambrose locked up his old Daisy within the safe confines of his Daisy Villa and made his way towards the Village hospital. The hospital was never a first choice of the rich landlords of Sarzora, who always went to town for treating as much as a common cold. It was either imminent death or an emergency that brought the affluent to the village hospital. Mr.Dias was one such case.  At 85 years of age, with 3 wives and 8 children, Mr.Dias was a piping hot subject among the villagers. For a twig of a man that he was, Ambrose wondered as to how he survived so long. Tonight, the hospital gallery was bustling with people wearing rich clothes and leather shoes. Ambrose caught hold of a yawning security guard and enquired “Is he dead yet?”

“Ambrose will you ever show some compassion?” the young guard replied.

“Oh please Louis. You and I know how this works. I come here and you tell me if someone will die or not. I go home and sleep, only to wake up for digging up another grave. These deaths are important to me.” Ambrose wasn’t new to such a reception from Louis.

Louis looked around and whispered “ Ok. I heard that they will remove him from the machine in half an hour. I think the man will die before midnight.”

“Thank God for another grave!” Ambrose exclaimed, “That daft bugger was anyway past his expiry date.” Poor Louis was left gaping at the retreating silhouette of his grave digger friend.

Morning came and Ambrose slept outside the cemetery compound while Mr Dias was being lowered into a freshly dug hole. The bell tolled thrice, yet again surprising the crow perched on the iron gate. “Hey Ambru! Here, take your two hundred rupees.” Ambrose grinned and raised his right arm, his eyes remaining shut. He opened his eyes on feeling the notes being pressed onto his palm and saw the priest walking away.

 “Any more deaths that need my digging, eh father?”.

The priest stopped, looked up for a few seconds as if waiting for some divine intervention and continued walking.

‘I must buy some kerosene for the stove. No, I will get a shawl for my old Daisy. That would finish off my money. I wonder if anyone would die today. Matilda’s husband had pneumonia, no?’ with a mind chock-full of thoughts, Ambrose made his way towards the nearest cloth shop. It was only by late evening that Ambrose entered his villa, with a cream shawl hidden under his dirty shirt. The lamp wasn’t burning this evening, leaving Ambrose annoyed because this only meant that Daisy had gone to their neighbour Xavier’s house, to watch Television. Ambrose took a deep breath and decided to lie on the veranda waiting for his old woman to come back. God! He was hungry.

Ambrose woke up on hearing Louis call his name. How long did he sleep? “I searched for you everywhere! I came home by 5, but you weren’t here. Daisy is in the village hospital. Xavier found her unconscious near the stove and rushed her to the hospital. Come now!”

The hospital wasn’t packed tonight and there were no rich clothes or leather shoes filling up the gallery. “Is my Daisy ok, Louis?” Ambrose asked, scared to look him in the eye. Silence was his only reply. Louis signalled the village doctor who walked up to them and asked, “Is he the son?”. On receiving a nod, the doctor looked at Ambrose and without a tinge of sentiment declared “Your mother Daisy? Yeah so she died. Heart attack. Sorry for your loss”. He tapped his shoulders gently and walked away.

Everyone watched as Ambrose dug out a hole. The grave digger, digging his mother’s grave. It was a vision, of course. Sure to be a sensational topic for discussion. But Ambrose was oblivious to it all. He kept digging, unaware of the sweat mixing with his tears. “Ambrose, only you can be so happy on hearing another man’s death. Tomorrow when I die, I want to see this very excitement while you dig up my grave.” Her words kept ringing in his ears. He tried to mute down the voices in his head by digging faster. Frustrated, Ambrose wailed as he fell on his knees and lay curled up inside the newly dug grave.

The bell tolled thrice and Daisy slept peacefully. No one stopped Ambrose as he walked out of the cemetery. “Want Two hundred rupees?” the village lunatic mocked, holding out two dried Eucalyptus leafs as Ambrose walked past him. Louis never saw Ambrose again and neither did anyone else. The village wondered till his story decayed. The church found a new grave digger.

Like the wax left behind on the desk, reminding us of a candle that once burnt, all that was left behind was a hut. The dirty aluminium plate hanging on the fence screaming ‘DAISY VILLA’.





P.S- Some stories are simple. Yet you write them because they are stories nonetheless. 
P.P.S- That beautiful house I saw in Varkala, was the inspiration. Also, for those who don't know, Sarzora is a village in South Goa. :)






Friday, 25 July 2014

THE INNOCENCE OF A CHILD...


No I am not a mother. Neither am I Sridevi from English Vinglish walking down the streets of New York, talking in crude Hindi to a total French hotness about how children are anything but innocent. Actually the only experience I hold regarding children is the fact that I was once a child and also the added liability of living with an 8 year cousin who sees me as a fluffy punching bag. So I think I can talk about innocence.

Innocence is said to be a lack of guile or corruption and Lata Mangeshkar while singing ‘Bacche man ke sacche’ promoted this very thought of purity in a child.  What a big dry joke. I don’t remember being innocent as a child. Maybe I was innocent as an infant or a toddler but that is basically because of the lack of any other option. You cannot cook up an evil master plan when you mother is feeding you Cerelac or when your skull is yet to develop fully. But once I was done with kindergarten, I knew exactly what is to be done to make things work my way. I was a child with evil intentions and this is precisely why my heart doesn’t melt easily when it comes to children.

In my continuing space sharing with my 8 yr old cousin, I have noticed how much she knows about her parent’s emotional quotient with regard to her. To escape tuition which was scheduled at 5 pm, she called up her mother at noon from school and told her how painfully she was battling a stomach ache. Her mother who was in another district, thus unable to drive to her rescue, asked her to rest in the sick room and take the mini-van back home after school. On reaching home at 2 pm, she took over the television and complained of chest pain to my grandmother who made her ailing granddaughter some soupy noodles. By 4 pm she had headache and once it was well past 5, she was attempting hula-hoop while watching Chotta Bheem. They say love makes you fall for every silly trick and this is exactly what was happening. How a kid was able to execute a plan so full of flaws and yet get away with it. Remember, she did not even use the lethal weapon, commonly known as the ‘Fake Crying’. She can articulate emotions even better than Nicholas Spark to escape a scolding. The art of deception is mastered by a child.

I remember the last time I went to a supermarket. I was buying some cereal and in came this cute looking child with his mother. While his mother was filling up her shopping cart, the kid ran to me and started punching my leg. I looked down at the 3 feat tall Mike Tyson who gifted me yet another punch. I yelped and caught hold of his closed fist in an attempt to stop him from landing another blow. He looked at me, grinned and then screamed at a note that would put any Opera singer to shame. I don’t remember what happened next, but let’s just say that the entire supermarket now thinks that I am a child abuser.

Where was I? Yes, the innocence of a child. It is funny how we see ignorance as innocence. Children are ignorant. Ignorant of politics, religion, sex, social taboos and such man made factors. Ignorant of stress, competition and practicality. It is precisely this ignorance that is mistaken as innocence. Why else do you have to teach a child not to hit another person, steal, lie or create a ruckus? Innocence is taught, not gifted.

Now don’t tell me that the examples I mentioned were of exceptionally talented evil kids, because they are not. Ok, may be the supermarket boxer was, but that is not the point. The point is to point out one child who doesn't manipulate his/her family.

Actually, if you think about it, parents are innocent.



P.S- I love kids. I really do. Sacchi!


Thursday, 17 July 2014

How To Have The Perfect Matrimonial Profile- FOR MEN....


Are you a 30 year old guy with no luck in the girlfriend department? Are you the father of a son who is an IIT product, earns a few lakhs per month and is eligible for marriage at 26? Are you a 29 year old man who has banged a dozen chicks, is currently dating 3 girls in a single slot but still wants to marry a virgin girl your mother chooses? Or are you an 18 year old boy who is looking for true love in a way that is approved by the Indian society? Whoever you are, matrimonial website is your answer.

Making a profile on a matrimonial website is an art. As someone who has adequate experience in this field, I know what it takes to be noticed. Women have it easy since all they require is a good display picture and a bio that reads “Traditional but with a modern approach”. A little assistance from the family photographer who swiftly clicks a picture of her with a tilted head and hands resting on a fake midget pillar stone, she is ready to conquer the matrimonial website. But for you my dear men, it is not that easy. You need to flash your goodness and awesomeness shamelessly to lure the citizens of the kingdom of muliebrity. You need a profile that makes a woman skip a heartbeat when she receives the Interest request sent by you. You need to be the lion, standing out from a pack of unshaven babies.

A matrimonial profile can be divided into two parts- Personal information and Partner preference.  Personal Information is that worm on the hook which will help you catch a good looking fish. You need to brazenly parade your goodness and masculinity like the birds of paradise. Being a girl who has been enlisted in one of the premium matrimonial sites by her beautiful parents, I do receive a few interest requests every now and then. Some of them indeed caught my interest and I am pasting a few screen shots of their ‘Personal Information’ for your perusal.








Next,  you need to provide details regarding your partner preference. Imagine yourself as a clueless prince in any Disney movie, who is riding his horse aimlessly through forests, searching for his one true love. What would you want your perfect partner to be like? Yet again for your benefit I am pasting a few screenshots of some of the gorgeous proposals that I received. Follow their suit.





It kills me that I couldn’t match up to their partner preference. It kills me that I am not perfect enough. It kills me that my horoscope matches only 50% with theirs. We could have worked it out but the Kundli came in the way. Sigh! May be the next hero will be my Knight in cream lungi.

So my gorgeous men, I hope this helped you. I hope that after reading this you go and register yourself on the matrimonial website that your community believes in. Throw in a few bucks to get your profile highlighted in blue because trust me no one wants to miss a catch like you.

Ok enough of this tomfoolery. In all frankness, being a part of matrimonial websites is crushing down my pride. Self love is diminishing and I am questioning my worth. When you receive such genius proposals, you begin to doubt if you deserve any better. Relatives call it high expectations and the society keeps reminding you how you are a rotting mango at 24. Frankly, I pity my parents. Being part of a society that casts a moral and strict duty on the parents to find a soul mate for their kids is something that I find weird on a personal basis. Being a malayalee is even worse. The moment I hit puberty, my father started investing on gold while my mother kept her Provident Fund untouched for her daughter’s marriage that will happen in a future that isn’t anywhere close.

Dear Mom and Dad, it is not your duty to get me married. It was your duty to raise me and you did it really well. Retire, take your PF and go on a world tour or buy a summer house in Malibu. You truly deserve it. Now, let us talk about the gold that you have collected to gold plate me on my wedding. Well, you can still give it to me. I am not rude to say no to such generosity. Why make marriage a condition prerequisite? Just saying.

P.S- I am not against matrimonial websites. Many found love through it. I am just talking for myself here. :) 

Thursday, 10 July 2014

SUITCASE LOVE....


There are certain bonds that secretly exist. A relationship that surpasses all human understanding. One such bonding is between an Indian man and his suitcase. A suitcase must be an inanimate object, worth a few hundreds, but this lifeless entity is seen as a treasure chest by his Indian owner, only empty.

Like many fellow Indians, we have more suitcases than people in our house. Hard suitcase, trolley suitcase, duffel bags, a smaller hard suitcase and an even smaller one for hand luggage, we have it all. We also have a few airbags, of all available and possible sizes. We keep them neatly covered in old lungis and dupattas, to be unveiled only prior to a scheduled journey. My father is very particular about such stately treatment of the suitcases. We don’t understand, he mocks.

Airline travel is not the preferred means of transport for us. More than the reason that for a family which decides to go on a vacation quite instantly, air charges are a bit off budget, it’s the fact that we cannot carry luggage beyond a certain limit that prevents us from choosing flights over trains. You cannot expect a Malayalee settled in Bhopal to visit his Kerala without a few cartons of Atta and a suitcase filled with 20 kilos of apples. That is just not us. So train it mostly is and this is where you can see my father’s boundless love for his mute suitcases. Even before his family can occupy the vacant seats that he booked on Tatkal, he brings out old newspapers and places them below each lower berth. Once this paper protection has been provided, the suitcases are gently placed on top of them, care taken that not even the handle touches the filthy place that is the Indian railway coach. Once they are all tucked in, every piece of luggage is tied to the next one with the help of metal chains so thick that no thief would ever consider stealing the treasure of petticoat and assorted pickles that is inside.

Our place is still abode to a grey suitcase that is as old as me. Bruised with time and covered in an army print suitcase cover, it sits above one of our wardrobes, watching as new additions are made to the family in the form of new suitcases. A glossy black American Tourister is our newest member . My father's love for suitcases goes so deep that he once bought two bottles of Johnnie Walker from the duty free shop at the Dubai airport only for the medium sized trolley suitcase that they were providing for free with it.  There should be a soap opera on this subject.

So why am I writing about all this? Well, let’s just say that last week, during a short rail journey to a nearby city, I inadvertently started placing newspapers below the seat to place my humble VIP suitcase.

Turns out, suitcase love is a hereditary disease passed on to me. Thank you Dad. Thank you. 





P.S- I missed regular blogging. Also, did you guys participate in the giveaway? It ends this 20th.           CLICK HERE TO PARTICIPATE. 

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

THE RED HANDED GIVEAWAY !


Finally the giveaway!  Hosted by me but starring three amazing women and their unique brands.  Frankly speaking, I am not a big fan of giveaways, mainly because I never win them. Actually I do win, but rarely do I get the prize. Last time I won a giveaway, the sponsors asked me to show them an ID proving the fact that my real name was ‘RED HANDED’. Yes, such people exist.

Anyway, revenge is not the agenda behind this giveaway. The only agenda is trying out something different. Writing about women who strive to be different and giving you an opportunity to own a masterpiece made by them. Not because you cannot afford them, but because it’s a gift.

This giveaway stars three brands by three young women, women who became entrepreneurs in their early twenties.

THE THREE WOMEN & THEIR BRANDS ARE- 

TARINI NIRULA - who has showcased her bags in Wills India Fashion week and has featured in leading magazines like Vogue, Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan and many others. her designs were covered on NDTV Good Times in their popular show ‘I am too sexy for my shoes’. Her exclusive minaudière's are available at ‘Pernia’s Pop Up Shop’ which is curated by India’s leading stylist, Pernia Qureshi from Aisha fame. 

MADHURI MAMGAIN- who is the accessory designer in Anurag Kashyap’s next movie, set to release on  28th of November 2014. She has even designed the accessory wardrobe forAnushka Sharma, Karan Johar, Ranbir Kapoor, Anita Kanwal, Shahnaz Husain and  Feng Shui expert,Gita Kapoor.

SOLE ART by KHUSHBOO REHANI- Just 21 and has a brand of her own. She treats every boring shoe like a canvas and turns it into a brilliant masterpiece. She brings funk to your feet. Just started a sub brand that goes by the name ‘SOLE CRAFTS’. This young lady is brilliant!

WHAT IS UP FOR GRABS ???      






‘Fly High’ printed satchel bag is adorned with pretty sparrows and vibrant colours which makes it perfect for a fun day or an evening out with the girls! It comes with an optional silver chain and is priced at Rs 1500/-









The ‘Golden Pearls’ have a delicate pearl and crystal flower sitting pretty on top and have  ankle straps to make it even better! It is priced at Rs 1999/-












‘FIND YOUR SOLE MATE’ consists of a pair of canvas shoes for the guy and a pair of ballerina shoes for the girl. TWO PAIRS of hand painted BATMAN themed shoes, one for you and one for the one you love. It is priced at Rs 3000/- 













3 winners, 3 humble gifts. 

Now just participate in the giveaway already!! For Indian residents only, but if you have an Indian address where we can possibly ship these goodies, hop in!

Giveaway was supposed to start tomorrow, but I am impatient. :D

DONT BASH ME UP. I DO NOT CHOOSE THE WINNERS. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

****NOTE- How to find the POST/SHARE LINK to put in the widget????
You would notice the time showing below your post on facebook or twitter eg-JUSTNOW / 1minute back. Click on it. Now you know! :D :D  *****


Monday, 30 June 2014

A WOMAN AND HER BRAND- KHUSHBOO REHANI


Few people find their passion early in life. Fewer people embark in the journey of turning their passion into reality. Khushboo Rehani did just that.

A young girl aged 21 with a brand of her own. She forces me to question my accomplishments. While getting a degree specializing in Interior design from Raffles Design Institute, she decided to take a different route and launched her own shoe label in 2013 with the help of a fellow students Kush Shah and Harshita Mundhra. The brand ‘SOLE ART’ was born and has been in the news ever since.


Khushboo believes in putting your thoughts on your feet and this is the motto of her brand. Hand painted shoes catering to men, women and the little ones alike, where every shoe is customized according to the demands of the customer, is what makes SOLE ART so unique. The team is cool enough to even smarten up your old shoes with their brilliant and funky designs at a cost that varies according to the design you choose. The shoes are a statement piece on their own and a definite crowd puller. Intelligently priced with no question of fiddling with the quality, every pair provides comfort along with funk to your feet.

From the simple old Kolhapuri chappals to straight on Boots, SOLE ART believes in transforming every piece into a work of art. Viewing every boring shoe as a blank canvas, Khushboo goes freehand with the colours and the result is always a stunning piece of shoe art. It is then that you realize that the brand deserved the name ‘Sole Art’.


They say that an art reveals the personality of the artist behind it. Every shoe though customized to your needs still divulges much about the designer. The experiments with colour, designs and graphics all speak of the young, vivacious and easy going person who worked on it. Her humbleness makes you fall in love.


The SOLE ART  team recently launched ‘SOLE CRAFTS’ which is an extension of itself and features fun, quirky, handmade products including notebooks, lamps, coasters, wallets, etc. all designed exclusively according to your demands and preferences.

This is one brand that you definitely need to put your feet into!

Now there is something for you! Khushboo has decided to giveaway TWO PAIRS of hand painted BATMAN themed shoes, one for you and one for the one you love. ‘FIND YOUR SOLE MATE’ consists of a pair of canvas shoes for the guy and a pair of ballerina for the girl. It is priced at Rs 3000/-

FACEBOOK PAGE –https://www.facebook.com/SoleArtbyk
Shop at – http://www.soleart.co.in/
You can even shoot a mail at- soleartco@gmail.com

The giveaway shall go live on the 3rd of July. To qualify for the same, you are requested to like her facebook page and leave a comment below. Simple! J


P.S- The three designers who are part of the grand giveaway are Tarini Nirula, Madhuri Mamgain and Khushboo Rehani. The giveaway shall go live on the 3rd of July and products worth Rs 6500/- are up for grabs!! Participate if your are awesome. :D

Friday, 27 June 2014

A WOMAN AND HER BRAND- MADHURI MAMGAIN


Shoes are my all time weakness. It is not that I have a closet like that of Carrie Bradshaw’s in ‘Sex and the city’ with a pair of $525  Manolo Blahnik blue shoes sitting pretty in it, but I do have my own affordable little collection. There is something about women and their perfect pair of shoes, a kind of love one cannot describe. Sometimes a pair of good stilettos is all you need as a confidence booster and for someone standing at 5’2 like me, good shoes are what I run behind!

Madhuri Mamgain understands a woman’s love for shoes. Born into a family that celebrates the beauty that is a fine pair of shoes, she grew up watching her father design for his portfolio season after season and a love story blossomed. It would be proper to say that her Father was her true inspiration.

Right after graduating from Footwear Design and Development Institute, she joined Carlton London in March 2011 as a Creative Designer but soon realized her true calling and quit it in July 2011 to start a label of her own. A brand, that took her name.

Her first collection called ‘Massif , hand painted ballerinas’ were an instant hit and rightfully so due to the delicate and intricate designs that she personally painted on them. Every ballerina had a story to tell and was designed according to the customer’s preference. Her first export order came soon in February 2012 all the way from Japan and her base slowly expanded to include clients worldwide

The latest collection is all about providing luxury to your feet and royalty to your look. Exquisite designs experimented on with Swarovski crystals, lace, intricate thread work and even velvet, the shoes have a regal allure attached to them. The designs are exclusive and every pair screams of the hardwork that went behind its making.


With a dedication like hers, she was rightfully chosen to be the accessory designer in Anurag Kashyap’s next movie, set to release on  28th of November 2014. She has even designed the accessory wardrobe for Anushka Sharma, Karan Johar, Ranbir Kapoor, Anita Kanwal, Shahnaz Husain and  Feng Shui expert, Gita Kapoor.

Her work cannot be confined to the term ‘fashion’ because it supersedes all that. It is what you get when pure art meets high end fashion.

Check out her exclusive collection at- https://www.facebook.com/byMadhuriMamgain

Shop at- POPPARAZI , Mumbai International Airport
              Vivacious in Vogue, Andheri Mumbai

You can personally contact her at- massifbyme@gmail.com

Now there is something for you! Madhuri has decided to giveaway a pair of stunning golden sandals. The ‘Golden Pearls’ have a delicate pearl and crystal flower sitting pretty on top and have  ankle straps to make it even better! It is priced at Rs 1999/-


The giveaway shall go live on the 3rd of July. To qualify for the same, you are requested to like her facebook page and leave a comment below. Simple! J

P.S- The previous post was about the amazing Tarini Nirula. Next up, is one more amazing young woman, whom I absolutely adore!