Tag Archives: Punjab

The Day I Met Biggie Smalls

29 Jul

Biggie Smalls

What now?

Be forewarned, only the strong of stomach should try reading this post. If you wish to proceed, I will not be responsible if your gag reflex mimics that of french existentialists in their first trimester. (Didn’t get it? Then run away you philistine!) Or stick around actually, I need the readership.
Our story begins on a sun baked April afternoon in Chandigarh. The kind of day when you still can’t believe that this was the same city, that just two months ago it was so cold, you would’ve given your left kidney for central heating and a hot toddy. It was the kind of afternoon where the sun is like a big bully in tight stripey pants standing outside your classroom, just waiting for the lunch bell to ring so that he can drag you by the pigtails across the corridor, while his friends just laugh and jeer.
Ok, quick segue to explain that whole analogy. There were only two CBSE schools in my home town when I was young and impressionable –  Bhagwandas Purohit Vidya Mandir or BVM, which was kind of like a pundit factory/right wing charm school, and Centre Point School, which was run by minor Congress aristocracy. CP was also a charm school of sorts, but the only charm lessons we had there was learning how to charm the Bong mafia that was our faculty and how to assimilate within the Madu brigade, which made up 85% of the student body. (Yes, I like to profile). To add egregious insult to grievous injury, we had to wear stripey blue pants with suspenders for the boys, and stripey blue pinafores for girls, with, wait for it, BOW TIES!! Yes children, bow ties with our house colours. Now its OK if you belong to Red House, or Green House, or even Blue House, but I was in YELLOW house! It was like wearing a little piece of puke around my neck everyday. No wonder bullies liked to pull me across the corridor by my pigtails and make me flash half of 8th B, C and D. Anyway, this is clearly material for another post. (I must tell you how I was slapped by my choir teacher for shutting my ears during practice.)

So back to that April afternoon. I was wandering around Sector 6 in Panchkula looking for the ONE tailor who can stitch a sari blouse and doesn’t just specialize in patiala salwar suits, or like my dear uber-Parsi aunt Marina calls them- Punjabis. (Ooh Dahling, what a lovely Punjabi she had on, with embroidery and everything!) As I looked around for Aradhna Boutique, SCO-1123536, or whatever inscrutable number it was, I heard a soft but distinct whining from one of the ground floor shops. I cupped my hands to the side of my head and pressed my nose against the dirty glass door. Inside I saw three puppies scrambling one on top of the other in what should only have been used as a hamster cage, for one hamster. There was one that looked like a little white rat, which turned out to be a Pomeranian pup, so actually, my first impression was pretty accurate. Another, that looked like a black water balloon, turned out to be an overfed 30-day-old Labrador who could barely open his eyes. And the last one, who was the cause of all the commotion and puppy angst, was a furry little German Sheperd. While the other two sickly pups resigned to their fate, which would probably be at the mercy of some sticky handed fat Punjabi child who would pick them up by their tails and bash their heads against the side of the wall before the day was through, that little furry whelp was pawing and whining away at the indignity of it all.

Biggie Smalls and Chamko

Biggie with the Chamkutrie

Of course my first instinct was to adopt the whole lot, and try and give them to good homes. But the mental picture of the husband throwing me out of the house along with my three puppies (No, I jest, the husband is a kindly soul, at most he would have shrugged his shoulders in dismay and bemusement), plus the particular monetary constraints imposed by the fact that I am not a lottery winner, had me facing a Sophie’s choice of sorts. Which puppy to save? Or that none of them needed saving. They’d all go to good families. Another angry whine had me convinced otherwise. So I walked up to the despicable pet shop owner and had him show me the three puppies. He took each one to a makeshift sink, first picking up the pom and then the lab by their midriffs and shoving their little snouts into what looked like vomit but turned out to be cerelac. Then finally he had the German Sheperd squirming in his hands, dying to get to the bowl of cerelac, like it was the highlight of his otherwise miserable day.
I didn’t want any of those puppies, they were not very pretty and not too appealing, but I couldn’t walk away without doing anything, because then I’d be a total asshole in my view of life. And then the GSD pup did that one thing, that one thing that some people just can’t resist, he looked me straight in the eye. Big brown sad eyes, looking at me like how could you leave me here….
And that was it, I picked up his furry little ass, paid the evil man 6000 bucks from my savings, put him in my car and drove home. Of course he pooped in my car, and then proceeded to lodge his body between the steering wheel and myself. It was kind of a nice feeling, careening around those gol chakkars, feeling his warm little body on my stomach, hoping that he wouldn’t wake up till he got to his new home.

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Jugni Rehndi Sector Char or How NOT to Party in Chandigarh

12 Mar

The Husband and I finally figured out that we’re a far cry from ever being invited to the cool parties in Sectors 9 & 10, where you will find the oh so de rigueur Mercedes (pronounced Marsadee!) or Audi or Beamer parked ass to elbow in every drive way. So we decided to make our own partaaay tracks in the Chandigarh party circuit by becoming frequent patrons of the hottest hot spot, wait for it, S-Lounge.

Haha. And I say haha first of all because S-lounge is actually an offshoot of Swagath South Indian Restaurants of Defence Colony fame. The second reason I say haha is because when you actually get to SL you find it populated with the likes of Bliss Chadha and Bunny Bhullar. Bunny’s real name is of course Gurnimram or Nimpreet or your-guess-is-as-good-as-mine-Deep/Preet/Jeet. Bliss unfortunately, is just Bliss. As are Lovely, Great and Baby.

The third reason I say haha is because both Bunny (who is a chick in this case) and Bliss (who is not a chick in this case) are effing drop dead gorgeous! You look at these people and you feel like you’re lacking a vital chromosome.  The men and women that I have noticed in Chandigarh are by far the most prime specimens of the Indian race that I have ever seen.

The Husband’s explanation for this is that Chandigarh is the locus for all the best looking North Indian strains in Punjab to congregate and proliferate. So, in short, you have the cream of the crop, Mughal Invasion Residual Genetic Legacy Heir-Apparents, generally hanging around doing their thing.

Being a piddly little Parsi from Vidarbha, where most people look like dried up licorice sticks, I thought that the Husband in all his Punjabidom, his Peshawari Potency,  his Rawalpindi Raw Sex Appeal, his Mirpur Khas Machismo,was the cat’s pajamas. Not anymore. The Husband is but a drop in the vast ocean that is 3rd Generation Post Independence Punjabis.

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Alea Jacta Est

17 Feb

There is one signal in Chandigarh which runs for 120 seconds and plays “i’m blue abidiabada” in the background while some nice punjabi lady lilts out traffic rules. In office, if you take off your sweater someone is bound to say “tumne to summer declare kar diya hai”, not a bad idea for meteorologists who anyway don’t have a clue, just keep putting sweaters on and pulling them off, open up an umbrella, wear a banyan, and just stand there.

One the train from Delhi I was hit on by a real life rocket singh, who was nice enough to clear away my tray when he thought i was sleeping and help me with my suitcase which was filled with old pictures of the wadia family. One of the best things about living in Chandigarh is the Kalka Shatabdi to and from Delhi. If you dont actually meet anyone, you always get to overhear interesting stories. Like twin sisters who got married on the same day at the same time, or rocket singh, or a gentleman who used to design cars.

Another fun thing about Chandigarh is driving to places nearby like Amritsar to see the golden temple, and attend PTC Miss Punjabi, judged by Harbhajan Mann and Divya Dutta and treated to the musical samplings of Gippy Grewal  brawling out tracks from his hit album, The Gabru 2.  Yet another fun thing about Chandigarh is going to alliance francais and being taught by feisty little Sardarnis like Mrs. Grewal who can converse equally well in Punjabi or French (and actually uses Punjabi to explain French sometimes), looks like a sparrow but is actually more like a miniature pinscher.

I have to say that i never liked North India very much, being born and brought up in Nagpur, but you can’t hate the Punjab. The Punjab is awesome. Imagine all the anachronisms of the world being stuffed into one tiny little shoebox, and powdered with a lot of manners and money.  Kind of reminds me of my Parsi relatives living in decrepit mansions called The Mount or Daisyville or Sillville. But that’s material for another blog.

Yes I do like the Punjab, the tandoori chicken portions are enough to feed a Maharashtrian family of five, the Sardarjis are very courteous and flirtatious. Not to mention sooooo tall and good looking. One little Marathi Manoos would be lost in the forest of Surds. I mean I used to think that i lucked out marrying a man that’s 6’2 but that apparently is par for the course here in Punjab. The women also, I used to think Delhi had good looking women but you have to see the ones here. True they all look like they came out of a Yash Chopra Mohabattein factory, but still very pretty.

I’ve started to kind of like Delhi too, I think it’s become more interesting and safer for women. Plus a lot of the safety issues are just hoo-haa created by paranoid daddies who dont want their gudiya rani to pop her cherry before marriage. Three words- Hymen Replacement Surgery. Let gudiya get a life and you get one also.

But there is a lot to be said about the Punjab and I will be saying it, if I dont wither out and give up first.

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