Archive for category Funny

Conference Call

It’s been a couple of days since parents landed here.

A jetlagged Appa can be seen walking around the house like a zombie at times, and an over enthusiastic Amma can be found clitter-clattering around the kitchen most of the times. To avoid being disturbed, I lock myself in the study as I work from home and step out only to take little breaks every now and then.

This afternoon, at the stroke of lunch hour, I go down to get some food and promptly come back to the study with a bowl of rice. I turn on some show on Netflix on my phone and mindlessly start to devour what’s in my hands. Within seconds, I hear footsteps outside the door and Appa makes an appearance.

Even before I make eye contact with him, even before I can utter a word, even before I have a chance to pick up my phone and put the show on pause, he profusely apologizes for walking in on me during what he thinks is an official conference call, and walks out feeling utterly guilty for disturbing me.

You know what’s funny? – what he heard and assumed to be a “conference call” was nothing but a steamy / extremely passionate moment between two people in the episode.

“Conference call” it is then; the not-so-poetic but supremely funny metaphor will never fail to elicit laughter bouts in our household for eons.



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Back porch

We have a beautiful porch to the back of our home. It’s not a large area, it’s a tiny space. But sitting there, looking into the backyard filled with tall Pine trees, imparts a deep sense of peace. In fact, it is one of the main reasons behind why I chose to make this house our home instead of any other that we’d seen when we moved years almost three years ago. I still remember the excitement I felt the first time I walked in and discovered this place… it seemed magical.

Right away, I could picture myself hanging around there on a nice summer day, possibly reading a good book as the breeze graced through gently. Or just sitting there gazing into the thick woods as the spring brought back greenery all around. Or having an amusing conversation with K while sipping on a cup of coffee. Or merely taking a nap, letting the lull of the afternoon lure me into a sweet slumber. Or lazing around there while the sun blazes down, listening to the songs of the million birds that seem to be chirping outside. Before I knew it, my mind drew up myriad possibilities of how I would enjoy living here and I leaped into my world of dreams.

After moving in, the first thing that we bought was a Hammock to hang in the back porch. Both of us had pretty much fallen for that idea as soon as it had taken shape months ago. So there was no question, no debating, no waiting. We went, we bought. Then we got back home and set it up, making it one of the most beloved and sought out corners of the home.

We spend quite some time there on warm hours of the year. Weekdays mostly are out of the question, unless we make it a point to get home early and relax before hitting the bed. Otherwise, we pass time there on all those weekends that we are not traveling one place or another, doing all that I’d imagined we’d one day do in that space, and more.

Lying down on the Hammock and letting the gust of wind weave a trance is delightful in its own way. I’ve splurged hours there, in that cozy corner, reading on numerous evenings. Friends have joined us, now and then, to unwind… clicking of beer bottles as everyone settles in, crackling of the milk that boils in the kitchen getting ready for coffee or tea to be prepared, playing music to create a pleasant milieu, echoing of laughter as someone tells a joke… those walls have seen a lot of happiness being shared in various occasions.

Last year, once tickets were reserved and I eagerly awaited everyone’s arrival, I started envisioning the times they might spend in the back porch. I wanted them to bask in the glory of the porch as much as we had done so far. Perhaps they will come to appreciate this little area and use it during the day as and when they pleased. I hoped that it would give me chance to write and add chapters to the memory book that I held so dear. That space, however, went mostly unnoticed during the months of their stay.

Daylight hours were consumed indoors by completing chores or by watching tv or by going for walks on a nearby trail. And evenings and weekends we mostly traveled, leaving little time to none to spend at home. The only stint that they opened the door to the porch for was when it was an especially hot day and they saw an opportunity to use the sunlight to dry clothes. K and I pushed the idea of sitting there and relaxing every now and then, but after a few nods it was instantly forgotten.

So, one evening, as soon as we came home, K declared that we would have that night’s dinner on the porch. While the idea was met with a little resistance, we got each person to agree soon after and preparations were made. Everything was setup on the little table outside and we all gathered around, with plates in hand. It wasn’t easy to fit in so many people in that space, but it wasn’t impossible either. We adjusted, we settled and we started dinner. Conversations went on and on, as they did on most of the nights during supper. All of us were having a good time.

Suddenly, I realized I hadn’t carried the keys out with me. With colossal optimism that someone else remembered to get the keys with them, I looked at my SIL and presented my question without anyone else noticing. All that hope for nothing; it was hanging on a thin rope and the rope gave away. Before she could mouth her answer to me, her eyes, lucidly, conveyed that she doesn’t have it either. Quiet still, as to not panic the elders, we both looked at K, and let him know that we were possibly locked out of the house. While he sat there conjuring brilliant plans to get us in, I walked over to the door, again with big fat hope sitting on thin slab of glass, and tried to open it, expecting it to not resist… who knows, maybe the knob on the inside wasn’t turned to lock position before the door was closed. Alas, that effort was rather otiose.

And now everyone knew.

I tried picking the lock with a hairpin that someone had handy, which didn’t work. In those few minutes, K let me and SIL know that he left the big glass leading to the living room unlocked, and he could get in from there if it came down to that. So, now with the escape plan was now established amongst the three of us, K decided to hold on to it and not let the others know that there was a strategy in motion.

There was not as much dread as I expected, but a few of them, especially the ones who challenged the dinner plan in the first place, were now extra eager to get into the house. Points were thrown around as to what could be done – what about spare keys, wouldn’t any of your friends have one? how about calling the police, would they be able to help? well, we can easily do what police may do if we were to call them – break the glass on the door above the lock and unlock, we will be in, shall we do that? what about getting in through one of the windows, would we be able to pry it open?

We let continue the discussion into despair. How so callous of us, right? Some of them were certain K had a plan in mind and hence he was quiet and not participating in offering suggestions, while the others were sure we were doomed and would spend the night freezing outside. And it went on like this for a sometime, panic was starting to strike hard.

A few of them were so keen on charting a fail proof plan to execute soon that they missed K walking out of the porch into the backyard to enter the house through the unlocked door to the family room. And only when we saw him walk towards the porch door from inside that we all came back to normal and started to calm down.

Each second leading up to the end was well worth it, even though not every last person who had dinner with us on the porch that night may agree. It was super intense, but it was equally entertaining, at least to some of us.




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The curious incident of the cats in the day-time*

This week was extremely relaxing. I worked from home four out of the five days. And the partner did too (which is good for him considering the amount of rest he’s been able to get to heal his broken ankle and fever and upset stomach). We had a storm warning Tuesday through Thursday afternoon, so we chose that as an excuse to stay home. No one wants to risk driving on icy roads, you see. And on Friday – well, what better reason than the fact that it’s Friday to sit back and unwind at home?

Most of the mornings and afternoons were spent working, obviously. I did take some time here and there to indulge in some reading, day dreaming, etc. but that’s no different than what I would’ve done had I actually gone to the office. What was different though was that almost all week long we’ve spent a lot of time comfortably lazing around on the couches, gorging on simple yet delicious food, looking out as it snowed, observing the white carpet on the ground melt slowly, listening to the birds chirp merrily, watching the flock of deer as they grazed and ran away through the backyard, and more. Little joys, that’s what it’s all about, right?

Evenings, now those were a little tricky given the partner’s penchant for the outdoors. Make him sit home for a few hours together and his restlessness becomes evident. So, to relieve him of his ennui we had to make sure we stepped out to get some fresh air. Since the weather and his health weren’t at their best, every evening we only made a quick trip to the grocery store (I know that doesn’t count as doing something outdoorsy, but that was best we could do to get some much needed fresh air). It was to get milk during one trip, to buy cereal during the other. We went out to shop for a kettle last evening. We found a really pretty one, but it held our delight only until we tried to boil some water in it and found it leaking, sigh.

The time after dusk, the time that melts into nights, were spent in front of the TV getting lost in the world of witchcraft and wizardry. The partner finished reading all the Harry Potter books earlier this month. And now we are on the magical journey of watching all the movies in the series. We are done with the first four, and we have four more to go. It’s been a fun ride, to say the least. The partner gets flabbergasted over the huge chunks of missing storyline. He often scrutinizes the movie maker’s choice to let an important part slip, cut out a character, tweak storyline, etc. “But this is not how it happens, really.” “Why is the story moving so fast?” “But they missed pointing this or that out” are some lines that can be heard over and over from the movie’s inception to completion. All Harry Potter fans can relate to this, can’t they? I sure can.

Now, let’s talk about the cats. We have at least three different cats that wander our yard throughout the day. One of the cats we know to be our neighbor’s. We’ve seen him around all this time that we’ve lived here. We named him Tiger** way back when and have been calling him that ever since. We don’t know who the other two cats belong to except that they find a home in our yard every single day.

So, all week this week we’ve observed that these cats come and sit right outside the glass door and peep into the living room. And we have been left wondering what all the cats find so intriguing near the glass door. No, we haven’t figured out yet. All the three make it a point to stop near the door and either scratch the door or squeal at it. They don’t come at the same time, but they definitely do the same action whenever they pop in for a visit. The partner had a brainwave and thought perhaps they were hungry. So we put out a bowl of milk. And two of the cats made sure to avoid the bowl at all costs. One though, the brave heart that he is, took a few sips before slipping away. So, apparently it’s not hunger that brings them there. I checked to see if there are any bugs (dead or alive) inside that they can spot from the outside, but that’s not the case either. The partner’s current theory is that perhaps it’s their own reflection that they find amusing as they sit in front of the door. Maybe; maybe not. He also mentioned, time and again, something about them being cold outside and maybe we should let them in. After vehemently denying his request a couple of times, I have chosen to practice selective hearing so I don’t have to break his heart. I am way too generous, aren’t I? That’s what I thought.

When will this curious incident of the cats in the day-time be explained? Will the mystery ever be solved? I don’t know. It’s been amusing, though.

**Back when we had just moved, we didn’t know about Tiger being our neighbor’s. We’d spotted him a couple of times in the first few days we lived here. One of those days when we went on a short stroll on a neighborhood trail we came across a “Missing Cat” poster. The partner called the phone number to let the woman on the other end know that we’d earlier seen a cat in our backyard that was similar to the one on the poster. The woman was thrilled and she came to our place as soon as she could. To her dismay, though,  it wasn’t her cat. Later we learned from someone else that it was our neighbor’s. How much fun we had laughing endlessly at our ignorant willingness to send Tiger away to a new home.

*Have you read The curious incident of the dog in the night-time? If not, please do. It’s a wonderful book.

Happy weekend, folks.

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Amma Tales

The partner comes home after working out really hard at the gym. Who knows what he did, he reveals to me that there’s incessant pain in both hands/elbows. And with all that soreness he is unable to move his arms as usual. Every time he tries to the ache shoots up. Amma watches his expressions intently all evening long. After a lot of observing, she turns to the sister and wonders, out loud, what has happened to him. My sister wears a puzzled look and tells Amma to ask him if he bench pressed too much.

“Bench what” says Amma.

I turn to the partner and tell him that Amma has a question for him.

“What is it, Ma?” he asks her.

She glances around and inquires, hesitantly,

“Is something wrong with your ankle?”

And all of us take a minute to process her concerned words and then roll on the floor laughing.

Amma is using the tablet to watch some videos. The charge on the device is falling fast. She turns to me and voices her point,

“This is plugged in. I did it in the morning; still, it doesn’t seem like it is charging. In fact, the charge is being drained. It started off few hours ago with more than 40%, now it’s only 25%.”

“Is it really plugged in, Mother? Check the wall socket.”

“It is! I checked and double checked everything.”

I walk over to inspect – I find that the charger is plugged in to the wall and it seems like it is connected to the tablet too. I wiggle the charger out of the wall socket. Did it help? No. I plug it in to a different socket. Did that help? No. I take the tablet in my hand and notice that the other end of the charger is not pushed into the port but between the tablet and its cover. It just looks like it’s plugged in when seen from far, when in reality it’s only jammed in somewhere, which nowhere near the actual port. I show it to Amma and her reaction is priceless.

“I thought I did it right, she says, it’s my eyes you know, getting worse by the day,” she concludes.


The partner, Amma and I settle in the living room once we finish dinner and do some cleaning. After a while, the partner gets up to go to the kitchen. As he walks away, Amma turns to me and whispers her trepidation

“Ask him not to touch the pan on the stove. It’ll still be extremely hot.”

“Mummy, why would he go there and touch the pan on the stove for no reason?” I ask.

“Well, I don’t know. What if he gets overly curious? You never know…better warn him than let him get hurt, right?”

To date, just the thought this incident brings loads of laughter…I fail to understand why she thought, at that moment, that the partner’s curiosity is such that he will walk into the kitchen to put his hand on a hot pan.

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Wordless Wednesday – 43


Pick up line… would you use it?


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We stepped into a café in Old San Juan after walking around the city all morning, which was hot and humid and blistering. We ordered a blended coffee drink and sat there discussing this and that while waiting to be served. The partner then noticed that one of the baristas at that café had a tattoo on her arm. He looked at it intently and let me know that it was the date April 1, 2011 in roman numerals.

What do you think it signifies? he asked

Probably her wedding day or perhaps the day her kid was born. Some major life event like that, I suppose.

But she looks so young, he pointed out.

Which she did. She was a petite woman and appeared, to us, to be in her teens.

Let’s just ask her.

So, when it came time to leave, we went to the billing counter and this barista happened to be there. The partner pointed to her tattoo and asked her what it meant.

It’s April 1, 2011, she said.

Oh yes, that I figured, but what does that signify? he asked.

Since English wasn’t one of her strongest points, she drew a blank. And since Spanish isn’t a language we can speak, there was an awkward silence for a moment until the partner found a way to keep the conversation going.

What is it, that date? Is it your birth date? he asked.

And both the barista and I stared at him for a few seconds before breaking into laughter.  She looked young, yes, but nowhere close to being called a two and half year old.

Oh no, not my birth date, it’s my son’s, she said, still chuckling.

Later the partner had this to say in his defense since I kept giggling every now and then recalling the conversation

I knew it wasn’t her birth date, but at that moment I didn’t know how else to put forth that question to her, what with her poor English and our non-existent Spanish speaking skills.

Of course I realized that. But that doesn’t take the amusement factor away, does it?



Wordless Wednesday – 42




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