Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Revolver Rani

I knew a Revolver Rani in real life. My Nani (maternal grandmother). I used to find the revolver hidden under her saris (she always carried a Smith & Wesson, until few months before her death)pretty much useless. My grandparents lived in rural UP (like the wild, wild west times 100) and now that I have grown up, I realize why she carried it always. That's the only way she could live fearlessly and do whatever she wished, when she wished, in her environment. She was shit scared that one of her grandchildren would fire it by mistake, so when she was at home, it remained locked in her room, which was forbidden zone for everyone. Of all my grandparents, I miss my Nani the most. She was the only grandparent of ours, whose pride in her grandchildren pored from every pore and her love smothered us. We did not appreciate it while she was alive, but I truly wish every girl in India had a grandmother like my Nani.

I don't really believe in afterlife, but a small part of me wishes Nani is somewhere flashing pistols, terrorizing bad guys and being a bad ass, and having a whale of a time.
 

Someone Marry My 35 Year Old Brother - Appropriate Ladies Please Apply but Only After Reading This Post

My aunt (Father's Sister) called up my mother, very unaccustomedly few days ago. She told my mother she had a rishta (matrimonial proposal) for my brother. Now, my aunt, despite everything, is from old-school traditional UP. My mother asked her if the girl (a doctor) in question:
  1. Drank
  2. Smoked
  3. Could dance (my brother is a very enthusiastic salsa dancer)
  4. Ate and could cook mutton.
  5. Ate beef, pork, seafood and fish.
  6. Would be comfortable in western wear/ bikinis/ skirts/ frocks.
  7. Was an atheist and never went to temples or her family never ever consulted any religious guru.
If the answer to any of the above was negative, sorry, would not do.

My aunt was somewhat offended. Then, to add insult to injury, my mother told my aunt, "Forget my son, your brother has started annoying me a lot these days, since you are in the matchmaking business apparently, why don't you find me a good match? I think it is time I moved on."

I don't think my aunt will be approaching my mother for any more matrimonial proposals soon.

Jokes apart, if you are a well-educated, independent, single lady in the appropriate age range, and fit the bill, do drop me a mail.
 

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Bullying

Living in Maharashtra teaches people one thing well, probably from Shiv Sainiks - How to bully others when they don't like and agree with what they are saying and beat them with a stick to make it go away.

That's what happened today to me and in disgust, I deleted my Facebook account. I don't like bullies even if they are related to me and no amount of bullying will make it any different.

Sunday, December 06, 2015

Diary of a Socialite-Frootcake Prachi Madam, member of CCFC, Tolly, Bengal Club, Inner Circle, LSG and soon to be member of THE one and only Wine Club

1. Get up at the unearthly hour of 7:30 am to kiss kids goodbye, who are off to school. Ask Ayah if she has made those grilled cheese sandwiches for Karan baba and chicken nuggets for Priah. Life is so hard.
2. Go back to sleep at 7:40 am.
3. Get up at 8:30 am, drink honey-lime water, do potty-shotty, pull on lulu lemons brought in US/ Kaenneda, head to Gym. Need to consult google calendar to see if it is pilates or yoga. Sigh! Time just flies!
4. Return home at 10:30 am, call Aanchal to confirm venue of lunch. Head into the bathroom for a much-needed soak. God! My firang instructor Gavin, is SUCH a task master. Meri toh jaan hi nikal gayi. You know, they say Gavin was a US marine.
5. Drink a restorative green tea. Hamare bagan ki.
6. Finish shampooing and bath at 11:40 am. Can't decide. Should I wear the Anamika Khanna or the Pucci sheath for lunch. Hmmmm.... That annoying Priyam, fresh from her Hawaii break is coming too, so Pucci, it is. Uske saath, ye South Sea Pearls will be on fleek (I'm so clued-in) and my Choos. And of course, my Hermes gold Birkin. Let them top that!
7. Head out to Smoke House Deli at 12:30 pm. Ghar ke bagal me hi to hai. Check hair. Take duckface selfie. Update on IG and FB, as "A casual lunch with mah girlz. Girlpower!!!". Snapchat it to hubby. Get no response. Call him. He says, "For God sakes Prachi, I'm in a meeting." What an insensitive man. Must complain to Mom, and ask her to tell Mummyji. Fat lot of good that will do. Still.
8. Reach Smokehouse, head to our regular table. Wo centre wali, because being the goddesses we are, everyone MUST know we are there. Order the Watermelon-Feta-Arugula salad, sparkling water and the spinach-ricotta ravioli. Check out everyone's outfits. That showoff Priyam is in Victoria Beckham. BUT, it is last season. Snerk. I tell her, "Tu toh maar hi dalegi aaj Priyam Bhabhi. Oof kya lag rahi ho!" Moan about how the kids are taking tennis lessons also, as well as French, Violin & Piano and am pestering Poresh to teach Priah to paint. Poresh, you know, Poresh Maity, the artist. My very dear friend. Avani is late. God, she is glowing. Is she pregnant? Kis ke saath gulchchare uda rahi hai? Must find out. My salad has some black spots. Called the waiter loudly. He's saying it is crushed pepper. Am going to totally call Abhilasha and complain. I mean, standards toh rahe hi nahin.
9. I and Nidhi air-kiss everyone and leave early. We have inner-circle, you know. I'm on the invitations committee. For this quarter's play. Naseer, Ratna and Heeba are doing their third play in Calcutta. All good friends. Bade hi sweet log hain. Naseer bhai ke to kya kehne.
10. By the time I reach home at 5 pm, I am bushed and the kids are home. Say Hi to them. Give instructions to chef to rustle up pasta and an omelette for Priah and ask what Karan will do for dinner. Then, I just crash on the bed for a nap. So tired.
11. Get up at 6:30 pm. Hubby is back. We have our nespressos. My hair-wali is here. Head into my powder room. She does my makeup and hair. We have this dinner at Tolly for Jenny and Martin, the UK Consul-general, very dear friends and lovely human beings above all, who are leaving for Austria. What fun. We will catch up with them in Vienna next year. Anyhow, I'm in the Cavalli and Nirav Modi danglers. Even, hubby notices and compliments. Chalo, 16 years are not in vain. Who says marriages are not made in heaven. I forgive him for today morning.
12. Hubby wants to take the Rolls, but I think thoda zyaada hai. So we decide to take the Audi. You see, I am always right about these things. We head out at 7:50 pm. God! The Traffic. Kya fayda hua flyover banwane ka? Khair... Momota Di is such a sweetie. Kuch keh bhi nahi sakte hain. Anyhow, we reach Tolly, and head to the Antiquity hall. All our set is there. Must say hello to everybody. Have to catch up and exchange the latest, not to mention check out everyone's dos. There's no place like Calcutta, right?
Shall update tomorrow. Badi hi achchi party thi. I have to go talk with Jenny now.

Friday, July 24, 2015

I will happily support your business, but spare me the CSR angle and your charity

These days, I find myself increasingly being asked to attend events. This makes me happy because I like meeting people, doing fun stuff, being entertained, maybe eating an hors d'oeuvres or two and generally being sociable and spending my money in the vague direction of "Art" and "Culture".

However, off late, every event, every business venture seems to have a charity hanging on its coat-tails. This annoys me a lot. Why it annoys me is because, I know most people use it like a scam and to hoodwink their friends, family, social acquaintances, rather shamelessly, guilting them into opening up their purses. This is wrong and unethical on very many levels. If you want people to spend, make your business/ product/ service attractive and competitive, to make people want it and aspire for it. Making people do so, under the guise of "doing good" will probably not make them repeat the action, and sooner or later people will realise that they are being hoodwinked. There is no shame in being a business owner or capitalist. In fact, in my eyes I will rate you higher than, if you tell me you are associated with a NGO/ charity.

I am also amazed, when people I hardly know or have not met and spoken with for ages, suddenly pop in from the blue and ask me to support some charitable venture. Why would I? I am happy being a charmless, friendless asshole rather than a sitting duck. I am happy to support a business or enterprise, because I feel it makes more sense and in a way is being more useful and contributive to society, than a silly little support group to inflate egos of bored housewives.

If you do need funds for charity or any social endeavor, just be upfront about it, rather than making people buy your stupid doodads. I will be serious about your charity, if I know it is just that and not a way to make me buy shit. I do support many groups doing useful work, but the moment they ask me to attend an art and cocktail event, I will bid them a fond farewell! I am happy attending such an event ONLY for art, but I really dislike this idiotic trend of 5-star charity and doing-good. Even a famous activist used up funds for booze and beauty parlors, so before getting sucked in to any such activity, do stop and think!

Monday, July 06, 2015

How to be a Houseguest from hell

1. Insist on visiting, citing concern, when host has met with an accident.
2. After being categorically told that your visit will be very inconvenient, visit anyway.
3. When your host is being rolled into the Operation theatre, call and demand a car be sent to pick you up from the airport. Then specify, which car and which driver.
4. On reaching, visit the hospital at 10 pm, and demand to see the host, who is lying unconscious after being wheeled out of the OT an hour ago.
5. The next day, land up at the hospital at 7 am, before your host is sponged, ready or has breakfast and his medicines.
6. Sit in your host's cabin for the next 14 hours. When his wife asks you to leave during the afternoon, so he can relax, ignore and say you will paste your butt in the cabin itself.
7. Lie on the couch, while your host's wife who has slept only for 3 hours the night before sits on a chair the entire time.
8. Talk loudly, gossip, be a general annoyance all through the 14 hours. Keep playing candycrush loudly, when other people are trying to sleep.
9. Order host's staff and wife every few hours for tea, coffee. Interfere in meal plans. Give your unsolicited opinions.
10. Leave at night, only when asked by the host and then say, you are being insulted.
11. Insist your host speaks on facetime with your obnoxious and rude daughters, nevermind that your host is UNWELL and has just been operated.
12. Order host's staff around the next day, until you leave finally.

And then, after all this, expect royal, entitled treatment all through, for life.

Dear ladies, please note, if any of your male acquaintance gets married, behaving like this will ensure, you will be banned from the couple's life, forever.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

QUICK POINTERS ON HOW TO DECIDE WHAT ART TO BUY AND HOW TO BUY IT: FOR HOMES/ PERSONAL SPACE

1. Look at the painting/ artwork and see if it makes you think or happy.
2. If it makes you happy and you are happy with the price, buy it. Obviously, this should be avoided if you are high or drunk (yes, it happens).
3. If you share your home space with a family, take a general consensus. Art leads to many future disputes, because people are different and opposites attract. So what you like, may not be appreciated by your partner/ kids. Be democratic. Remember, after they kick the bucket/ set up their own homes, you are free to do what you want, until then, maintain peace.
4. If the artwork makes you think, does it give you positive thoughts? There are very many artworks that are provocative or just depressing.
5. If the artwork gives you non-negative thoughts and you think it will not revolt you in the future, buy it.
6. Do not buy Art for investment. It is stupid. The only people who benefit from Art sales are Art dealers and grand-children/ great-grand-children.
7. If you have lots of money to burn, cool. Let's be friends! If you have a limited budget, buy younger artists, keeping the above in mind.
8. If you have a limited budget, do not be embarassed to ask the dealer for a discount. A 10-20% discount is easily achieved from most dealers. Do remember, this is true in ALL countries. I have bought Art from over 15 countries and have achieved this everywhere. However, be respectful of the Dealer and the Artist, while requesting discounts. Niceness goes a long, long way.
9. Always request the Dealer for an Authenticity Certificate. If the Artwork is not new, ask for a trail of ownership.
10. Get invoices and avoid all-cash deals. This I recommend for 3 reasons: Firstly, if the Artwork increases in value, and you want to sell it at a later date, it will be easy to account for this sale. Secondly, you can place a value on what you are leaving, after you. Thirdly, if a dealer is willing to go through a shady deal, maybe the artwork is not the value that is being ascribed to it.
11. Never be afraid to enquire about prices of Art. A lot of good Art is cheaper than jewellery/ eating out and will give you far more pleasure!

Happy collecting!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

2 Dollars And 99 Cents

I had a very interesting conversation with my nephew today. He told me of his friend's mother who was an artist. Since I am always interested in discovering new artists, I looked her up. As I had suspected (and voiced to my nephew), her talent was housewife-mediocre and consisted of rajasthani ladies, flowers, etc. I was at my snarky best, but my nephew was strangely silent.

I asked my nephew whether he agreed with me or not. He said quietly, "Mausi, you do realize (1) she is doing what she likes and monetizing it, however pedestrian it may be and she has found a way; (2) I am also planning to work with music - I don't know how, but I do, and I may come across many snooty people like you, who will look down on me, because I am not good enough. I know how it feels, so I would like to be kind."

This was humbling coming from a fifteen year old, and I have been thinking about it long and hard.

One needs to be kind and people need to make a living, however, being a critic too is important. I would not like people not to make a living, but I think it is also important for people to be good at whatever they do. Mediocrity probably allows people to pull along and perhaps be happy, but excellence gives satisfaction and a feeling of achievement like nothing else.

Being the queen of mediocrity at a number of things I have done to make a living, I know that it pays the bills, sometimes really well, but also creates dissatisfaction and a feeling of general unhappiness. I hope all my nieces and nephews, try to excel at one thing at least. It needn't be their livelihood, but I think it could be the secret of a happy life.

I would love everyone's comments on this!