Monday, October 29, 2007

An elephant in a china shop

Dil mein mere hai dard-e-disco, dard-e-disco, dard-e-disco
o haseena, o neelampari, kar gayi kaisi jaadugari
neend in aankhon se cheen li hai, dil mein bechainiya hai bhari
main bechara hoon awaraa bolo samjahon main yeh ab kis kis ko
dil mein mere hai dard-e-disco, dard-e-disco, dard-e-disco

There....I hope it is out of my system and into yours. Blasted song.

I have no idea which promos are doing the rounds on my favourite channel Zoom (Issko Dekho) these days, thanks to my son who is not supposed to watch TV and tries very, very hard to. However, that does not mean that I am out of the Bollywood scene. I have been religiously listening to all the latesht numbers on Radio Mirchi every single morning and I can bet you a dabba of Cerelac that I can sing any new release pretty much the whole way through.

I need to get a life.

Are you humming the song yet? No, no, no hurry...just checking. I am pretty sure it will be flowing in your bloodstream before the day is out. You're welcome.

And now to the episode to which this post owes its title.

We are the kind of neighbours that you are neither pleased nor pissed to have, for the simple reason that we are hardly ever seen. Pre-Adi, both of us were working round the clock and we were never around to make small talk with anyone. Sure, we would smile at people if we ran into them in the lift...its just that we could never be sure that the people we were smiling at were indeed inhabitants of the same building complex or just some food delivery guys. However, when Adi was born, my mom insisted that we send out sweets to everyone. I am not one to share dessert with anyone at the best of times...but mom was rather adamant. So sweets were sent and lo and behold, from that evening itself, we started getting a steady stream of visitors. Very sweet, we thought (precisely, I am thinking now). Almost everyone asked us if we were new to the building and looked aghast when we told them that we were probably renting out the flat before they did.

Anyway, this period of unnatural social activity soon drew to a close. We continued to smile at people. Now and then, I would find a somewhat familiar face and break out my widest grin. That would only bring out comments like, "Sooooo, small baby at home and enjoying life, eh?" Anyone who goes to the gym knows that it is not for enjoyment that one lifts weights....but I let it pass.

This morning, Kalpana, our cook, came in looking quite excited. She burst into the house and happily informed me, "Didi, panchve maale par koi off ho gaya."

Kalpana needs a life too.

I asked her who had passed away. Jharna Bhabhi's father, she replied and carried on with the task of making inedible aloo-methi.

M was getting ready to go to work. I asked him to go and offer condolences to Jharna Bhabhi and her family.

"I am running late, baby. I will come back and do it in the evening."

Hmmpphh. Here I was, bursting with neighbourly warmth and he wanted to delay it till the evening. I would do it on my own. I am sure that you recall that whenever I use that phrase, it is followed by a disaster of reasonable proportions.

True enough. I went to the fifth floor. Everyone looked familiar. Sort of. Oooh, so that guy is not a driver after all. He is sitting with the rest of the men-folk. to do...

No one came up to me so I boldly walked into the house. In the kitchen, I saw two women. I remembered that both of them had come to my house to see Adi but for the life of me, I could not remember their names. Anyway, I had not come to see them. I was there to see Jharna.

"Hello! Um, where is Jharna."

Looks at me strangely.

"I AM Jharna. I had come to your house to see Aditya. How is Sainath (Mahesh)? Is he travelling a lot? And has your mother gone back to Delhi?"

Woo, off to a bad start.

"Hey, look here. I am sorry for your loss. Was your father ill?"

The other woman (non-Jharna) looks at me and replies -

"It was not her father. It was our father-in-law. And yes, he was 90+ and ailing for some time."

OUR father-in-law....that could only mean...(furious mental calculation)...that

"We are sisters-in-law."

"Oh. Oh! I am sorry. I thought you just lived in the same building."

Looks at me icily.

"I do. I also live on the fifth floor. I had come to see you and Aditya with my daughter. How is he? He must be about six months now."

Holy-moly! I should have just quit at that point and just come home but no!no!no! this was the new neighbourly me, bursting with solidarity.

"I just met your husband outside. Tall,lanky guy with a moustache."

"That is our driver."

At that point, I just gave up and came downstairs to the familiarity of our own, warm apartment, which I shall not leave again, as long as I live.

Are you humming the song yet?


SUR NOTES said...

ouch ouch...just squint crazily next time you see them. they might think you are short sighted and forgive you.

Mona said...

i'll come back and post a comment when i can stop laughing.

artnavy said...

oh poor you
i am so bad with names. . . not faces though

i loved your other recent posts

read your profile... i see we have something in common- figured it out?

nomadz said...

hilarious :)))))
i cud just imagine the whole episode scene by scene...u've written it so well.
its the same for me. I have no clue who all live in our building. i give vague smiles to some ppl who look familiar and comment on the weather....

rayshma said...

haha!! serves u rite for aspiring to be a social creature! ;)don't worry.. they'll forgive u. u have a cute son, r'ber?!
and no, am NOT gonna hum this anymore. we did the music launch press con & stuff... and a week pre & post launch this song, ajab si, SRK & deepika's height STUCK in my head! ALL the friggin time. so, no more!

Parul said...

sur notes - that is an idea. of course, you may have noticed that I wear glasses and I AM, in fact myopic :)

mona - ok, will wait for you to be back.

artnavy - hey, welcome here! No, I don't know what we have in tell!

nomadz - yeah, its a very Mumbai thing.

rayshma - well, it was worth a try!

Ganju said...

i'm happy to report that i have never heard the song you're talking about and as a consequence i am not humming it. i do however have that awful rihana song stuck in my head "umb-er-ella ella ella ella, eh eh eh eh". anyway.

as for your little "episode" - well i really don't know who to feel sorrier for - you, the two sisters in law or young adi who had been subjected to the exchange.

PS: i suddenly have the urge to eat methi paranthas. yummm.

GettingThereNow said...

I KNOW how that feels! Been on the wrong end of that kind of scene once or twice myself.

Poor you!!


GettingThereNow said...

Oh - and I am NOT humming this song. So there!

You see I haven't heard it yet. Now, "Do you want a partner?...." - THAT's another story!

Are YOU humming that song now?

**evil grin**

B o o said...

Please tell me this is nt made up and this actually happened. Because it happened to me as well as freakish as it may sound! We lived on and off in our Blore apartment so everyone knew me (me being so likeable and all!) and I did nt know anyone. I used to give a shy smile to people I passed by on corridors not even knowing if they lived in the same apt or not. Of course things changed after my daughter was born and everyone knew me more but I was still in the same boat. After being away for a year, came back to Congratulate my neighbor who had a baby some 8 months ago and my loud Congrats was met with a sad smile as she had lost her mother the previous day. You can still see a crater the size of me in that apartment floor! :(

Shobana said...

Ha, ha, ha! Just duck back into your house the next time you see them!!

Very funny lady u r Parul.

Anitha(Nikki's mom) said...

ROFL. We(I & DH) are like you guys. i.e. We hardly know any of our neighbors. I am good with names and faces, DH is very bad at that. When he blurts out something stupid, most of the times I will be there to save his face, these days he is afraid to start any conversation with the neighbors without me.
btw, I am a regular reader of your posts, don't comment that often. You write very well, very humorous, I am sure I will get my daily dose of humor when I visit yours.

2B's mommy said...

:-) real life is far more interesting than SRK's dard-e-disco ! Btw, doesn't he look malnourished in that song ?

2B's mommy said...

and thanks for your encouraging words on my last post.

Sahithi's Mom... said...

ROTFL...This post Made my day Parul :):):):)....

Can you pull off what Amol palekar did in Gomaal and Start over again with them :):):):):)..

BTW LOVE the new look of the blog..

Deepa said...

That was sooooo phunny that I HAD to delurk. Ezhactly the kind of thing I would've done a few years ago living in India. Here in the U.S. I'm not sure who lives next door to me, baakiyon to chod hi do!

mnamma said...

haahaaa! I thought I was so bad at remembering names and faces - finally found someone worse than me :)Very funny write-up!

NainaAshley said...

LOL! I can count on your blog for a good laugh.

Squiggles Mom said...

ROTFL - Tell me that's not true. I'm convinced you've made that up! God, that was funny :))). Jeez.. and I thought I was bad with names and faces.
And they all remembered Adi's name! Tch Tch... ah well. At least you know not to bother next time..
still laughing.....
And bloody hell I have started humming it now *throws a cushion at Parul*

nomadz said...

noooo....i live in hyd!! so i guess its the same everywhere these days!
and hey....very cute Adi pic in the previous post :)

and thx for stopping by :)

Mona said...

i'm back.
so i i gotta tell you, we've lived in the same apartment building for almost 3 years now and like you, i had no clue who else lived on the same floor, much less the rest of the building.
my attempts at smiling at and socializing with the other couples in this building have always backfired (they're all snooty, hmph), and i still don't know anyone. we're all the same kind, working couples, crazy schedules - anyhoo, so i finally ran into my next door neighbor in the elevator the other day and hana was with me, and as children are always the reason that polite conversation in the elevator is made (if not the weather)i now know, finally, who my (atleast next door) neightbor is!
also, we (you) gotta keep trying, even if we (you) thoroughly embarass ourselves (yourself) every single time because man is a social creature (because how else will you get fodder for your blogpots! haha)
on a side note, you on facebook?

Poppins said...

*maniacal laughter* How do I leave a comment that's as funny as your post? I can't, so I won't try.. And that blasted song Grrr

Moppet's Mom said...

LMAO! Now the truth, you made that up, didn't you?

Sue said...

I think I'll gasp out Mona's excuse and run away to finish laughing... LOL

You poor fish!

Parul said...

Ganju - hey, the choice is feel sorry for ME!

GTN - you're not really sorry for me, are you? *sob*

**hums - do you want a partner**

boo - ha ha too, you too...ha ha ha!!

shobana - if only it were that simple...

anitha - hey, thanks for delurking! Come back and start leaving comments more often!

2b's mommy - hey, i wanna be malnourished too :(

sahithi's mom - hey, I love too, huh? and thanks - its all thanks to grafx.

deepa - hey, hey, hey - thanks for do I know you offline too?

mnamma - yeah, yeah - that's me - the butt of all jokes!

nainaashley - that's a lovely thing to say!

SM - I wish I had made it up :( Happy that you're singing dard e disco :D

nomadz - thank you for saying nice things about my boy - always feels good!

mona - well, that's a start! yeps, I am on FB.

poppins - :) sing it, baby!!

MM - Waaahhh, I wish I had!

Sue - wokay, but be back!

Noodlehead said...

that is so funny!! rotflmao...have you considered "memoirs of parul"...will be a bestseller :-D

i've been humming that song for the last two runs in my head even when i'm half-asleep in the night feeding bonbon. kill me now or get me a new brain!!!

Just Like That said...

hahahahahaa hahahahahaha OHOHOHAHAHAHAAHA Parul! You're hopeless!I have tears in my eyes now!

Collection Of Stars said...

First time here and this was hilarious :)

Fuzzylogic said...

ROFL!am I glad to find a friend in you Parul. Trust me I know the pain. After failing even to recognize one of my own older photographs and calling my professors with wrong name and even wrong gender or ending up addressing the gay brother of the neighborhood lady as her husband I now always cautiously begin my conversations with a friendly "Hey,you" and if they recognize me I try to pretend I know them and not go ahead and put my big fat foot into my mouth. By the way did you know the condition it seems even has a fancy swanky name called "prosapognosia" now doesn't that sound soo cool!:)

Parul said...

Noodlehead - That IS an idea!

JLT - :) Happy to make you laugh...

COS - hey you, welcome to my blog...hope you will be back?

FL - No, I didn't know that there was a cool name for my condition! Some solace :)

karmickids said...

LOL. Considering I have just moved to a new building where every damn floor seems to have small screen heroes villians and vamps, dont think the hired help will leave me out of the loop.

WhatsInAName said...


This was too much!

Lavs said...

Truly hilarious.