Sunday, February 26, 2006

Ode to the Original Pulippu Muttai

If you still have not figured out what I'm talking about, perhaps you should shift sites now. On second thoughts, perhaps you should stay on to learn about a forgotten nugget of history : the Original Pullipu Muttai (pu-li-ppu mu-taai). Though it is a crime in translation, I guess you could call it an 'orange sweet.'
Oh dear. So lame.
However, if you belong to the exclusive band of people that has felt the roundness of the Original Pulippu Mittai in the mouth, sucked deep it's orangey-sourness on the tongue, rolled it around and stuck it in a cheek, ahhhh... you surely know what you are missing.
In childhood, the pullipu muttai was a top favourite. Because it tasted good, (yeah man!!), but also because of the shocking orange it left on your tongue. Also, I suspect because it cost as little as 5 or 10 paise at one point of time. OR as they used to say then, 5 np! You just had to turn in a not-so shiny 20 ps coin to bring back a child's handful. A child's delight.
It was, by the way, also recommended for those suffering from motion sickness and nausea.
Today, you cannot find the original pullipu muttai anymore. Not even in the small shacks, our potti kadais. Today, in Chennai, ask for a pullipu muttai and the potti shopkeeper, if he is old enough, will sadly nod his head and share in your angst. If he is not, then he is likely to turn his nose up at you. Which is o.k. too.
There is a third obnoxious category of shopkeepers that attempts to sell clones masquerading as pullipu muttais. CLONES, HAH! As if we cannot tell. Sophisticated boiled sweets that come in smart sachets ; that run colour on your tongue, but are not a patch on the original pullipu muttai. Not a patch. Uh-huh.


Tuesday, February 21, 2006


It is now a bright purple -turning black with a small red bee sting-like bump right in the centre.
In the crook of my elbow, where arm meets hand/ upper arm.
Ever been to a clinical lab? And encountered a trainee punk lab assistant with hair longer than his white coat? And watched him while he stuck a needle into your arm and THEN fished for the vein? Eh? The most you could do then was to give him a "you-lowly-worm look", because squirming with needle in arm is bad idea. And when he thinks it is enough to take two ml blood, another punk assistant tells him he will have to take four? So he plunges needle in once more and THEN casts out for the elusive (?!) vein? AND nearly turns a faint when he sees the blood gushing out of that needle exit, leaving YOU to dab at your unnaturally bleeding hand? Been there? EH?
IF you have, then tell me the colour of your bruise.
On the same day that I got my war-wound, I saw three others who flaunted stabs in varying shades of yellow, blue, one particularly evil green. All of them had just encountered one version or the other of the Trainee Punk Lab Assistant. Mine, I pointed out, was the arch criminal, Chief Trainee Lab Assistant Punkster.
And if you haven't, then good for you! And I do hope you never meet that sad sack lab ass.

P.S. In case I've sounded like long hair was the reason for his inefficiency, then let me set the record straight: I have nothing against men with long hair. Truly! :)


Saturday, February 18, 2006

Between the devil and ...

I cannot decide what frustrates me more: A maverick auto or one of those black and yellow contraptions loudly falling apart at every bolt, proceeding (?) at about zero kmph, when you have to keep time.
With the former, you are hanging on for dear life, while with the latter, you are tempted to jump off and walk to where you have to go, simply because in your shaken body, mind and soul, you know you can get there first.


Monday, February 13, 2006

Of life, longing, death and love in test tubes...

Unopened envelopes from the Eurpoean Union for A, sitting in the office mail tray.
Inside, a sedate newsletter probably sits smug, never to be opened, for A has long gone to a cold place, for a better life. It reminds me of the days she was there to open them.

* * *

Huge clumps of snow whiten the lawns of Capitol, Washington DC. Not four months ago, when I stood on green grass setting African Adio's profile against the sheer whiteness, the might of Capitol. I can nearly see myself there, wrapped up against the cold, kicking the snow on the sidewalk as I walk to Kinkos. Writing American Pie - Slice 3.

* * *

Wondering what loss means to a man. Hari, if you need strength, lean on me.

* * *

Life is invitro fertilisation. The best egg with the best sperm fused in a test tube, to produce achiever kids. The doctor shakes the test tube, becomes the creator. Life giver, Goddess, who fills a mother's aching womb. Lovely babies smiling in their sleep. Digitally frozen.


Saturday, February 04, 2006

Running ... nose.

I hab a coldh the size oph a belon in by headh. And going by the wheezy rattle, I should die toborrow.
Therefore, buch as I wouldh like tho, I cannoth run in the Chennai Barathon toborrow (noth counthing by running noth). Desbite by desolve tho dho so lasth yeab. :(