Monthly Archives: March 2007

Mutter with Megha

In light of the Greatbong‘s unprecedented landslide victory in the Indibloggies, the powers that be felt that winning an award (well actually, two) wasn’t enough of an ego trip. So they decided that one should do an interview with him as well. Perhaps a more serious, ‘getting to know the man behind the blog, his passions, his drive’ type routine. Of course, if seriousness is what one wants, one shouldn’t ask the resident flake of the blogosphere to do the interviewing. But now the deed has been done, and it’s time for the public to pay the heavy price for it. So here you are. Styled after her idol K-Jo and his koffee, and channeling the I-will-get-husky-voiced-for-no-reason-at-all Simi aunty, here’s Mutter with Megha. In conversation with Greatbong.

  • A spotless white set. Megha in spotless white, sitting on a spotless white couch, holding a spotless white coffee cup filled with split-pea-soup, just one spotless white towel short of becoming Miss Chamko.
  • This part of the program sponsored by Surf
  • Good evening! It is lovely to be back. Though the show has a new look (it is finally visible) the flavor of ‘Mutter with Megha’, much like this soup, remains unchanged — monochromatic, bland and with the inevitable queasiness of eating too much plant-protein.

    Great BongSo let me introduce our guest for today — his intellectual humor and ability to quote Neruda has the ladies swooning, but this legend of the industry is a dedicated father and especially loves to take his kids on long trans-Atlantic plane journeys. Belying his macho image, he is gentle and romantic. Oops, sorry. Wrong script. Um, say hello to .. *looks down at paper* .. Greatbong.

  • Greatbong comes in through the spotless white wicker door and sits down as graciously as his suit will allow, while trying to appear all cool and award-winner-like. The spotless white couch behind him glows in the spotlight.
  • This part of the program sponsored by Rin
  • *with a gentle toss of her glowing hair and flowing dupatta, careful not to turn her split-pea-soup into spilt-pea-soup* How does it feel like to be Indiblogger of the year?
  • *looking away SRK style at the ceiling and back at the camera with a shy smile* It feels good, Megha. After all at the end of the day it’s the opinion of the public that matters.
  • *with a completely straight face* Dealing with any performance anxiety, are we?
  • *SRK-style aaahhh* Maybe you should ask my wife! *smirk at the joke made and looking into the camera self-assuredly*
  • This part of the program sponsored by 30 Plus
  • *sighs sadly at the mess on the spotless white couch, where a joke just died* So, tell us. Is there pressure to write better?
  • Yes definitely. You now have something to live up to. You are no longer the underdog. Not everyone is rooting for you any longer. Yes, *pauses for effect* I would be not entirely truthful if I said that there is no pressure. But as Sreesanth said, pressure and pain are my best friends. Especially after I have had a can of …err mutter.
  • *sigh* Okay, time for a serious question ..
  • Yess… you know me Megha… apun life ko zyara light leta hain… *looks to side*
  • Stephen King advises writers to write to, or for, one person. Do you? And if so, who?
  • Oh very simple. I write for myself. I write stuff which I would laugh at if someone else had written it. When I write serious stuff, I write stuff I would like to read but find no one has written it yet.
  • So, do your readers ever determine what you write? Do their likes, dislikes and expectations ever influence what gets written in your posts?
  • *SRK-ian glance at the camera* If you mean do readers influence the topics on which I post, then no — I write exactly what I feel I have to express. If I have nothing to say, I stay quiet. However if you mean whether readers have influenced the way I structure my arguments, then yes. Without being intellectually dishonest, I give a little more thought before writing something than I would have done maybe 2 years ago. That inherently is not a bad thing though. Sometimes when I look at my old posts I go — eeeks I said that!
  • That almost sounds like the GreatBong is trying to be more politically correct of late. But we all know better than to believe that?
  • *brows knitted* No not politically correct. Absolutely not. That is one thing I will never be. In fact ever since I started writing this blog I took a decision that I will say exactly what I want (an opportunity you rarely get in the real world of mice and men) — even if it is not often the most fashionable stance to take. But yes, the ceaseless process of feedback and debate has influenced the way I structure my points.
  • But does this process of debate and feedback ever change your stand on an issue? I guess I’m asking — does it only make you a better debater, or more amenable to seeing another point of view, as well?
  • *calm unemotional voice* Yes it has made me more open to opposing views and I believe that as a person I have become much more tolerant and patient than I was two years ago. I remember the first time on a Ganguly post, someone called me a moron I felt really hurt. Yes I was that immature. Now I can smile it off and even say, ‘Yes that guy really has a point!’ Not that I still do not lose my temper but I am working on it. *mutters inaudibly*
  • *glad that he is taking the name of the show very seriously* Would you describe yourself as a person who doesn’t back down from an argument?
  • A year ago, I would have said “yes” with a thundering boom. I will still say ‘yes’ but I have also learnt to recognize some arguments that have no resolution… Which does not mean I will not debate but I also know when it is fruitless dragging it on. More importantly I have learnt to understand that staying silent after some time in a debate is not a sign of defeat. I had a bit of a problem accepting that before!
  • A more balanced, less-feisty GreatBong. Your fans will not like that, for sure?
  • *pouting* Well we will just let my readers decide about my feisty-ness.
  • Absolutely. At the end of the day, it is the opinion of the public that matters, as someone said a little while ago.
  • Sahee… John janata janardhan.
  • Tararam pam pam pam pam, indeed. Speaking of the public that mutters, um, I mean matters, your comments section has seen several ugly wars. Yet you keep it open and unmoderated. Why?
  • Simple, Megha-ji. Without comments, RTDM becomes like first-day first-show of Mr Prime Minister. My comments and readers add a lot of value to the content here, like doing karva-chauth while doing group dance enhances quality of pati-dev’s life.. *looks to the side*
  • *looks to the side wondering just what is so fascinating there* On a lighter note, lets talk about something you are famous for. Not that precious Indiblogger trophy you are holding and not your animal magnetism either. But humor. Do you think humor gets its due in the Indian blogosphere?
  • I would think so. Otherwise where would yours truly be!
  • So Paresh Rawal can hope to win the Best Actor award one day?
  • Who cares about winning Best Actor, ma’am, when you go home to Swaroop Sampat? Winning, like many other things, depends on your POV.
  • One hopes, for your sake, that Mrs Bong likes being compared to Ms Sampat.
  • I hope, for my sake, she likes the fact that I want to go home to Ms Sampat.
  • Speaking of Mrs Bong and Ms Sampat — with your frequency of writing, and the number of comments you get, where do you find the time for a life outside the blog?
  • Simple. I do not have a life. Of course Mrs Bong is not pleased with that state of affairs but I deal with her like I deal with anonymous commenters: I pretend not to hear. Incidentally I always, before publishing, read out the post to her and religiously listen to her feedback.
  • Okie. Now for the real stuff. An interview with the Greatbong and no Mithun questions? People must be wondering what the hell I’m smoking.
  • Yes we all wondered what those clouds in your blog are for… now we know.
  • *tells herself that he is supposed to be a funny blogger, put humor on the Indian blogging map and what not. Realizes that it is best to pretend to laugh at the funnies he attempts, and produces customary chuckle* So onto Mithun. What’s the worst Mithun movie of all time? And why, of course.
  • The worst Mithun movie of all time is Citizen Kane because it did not have Mithun in it.
  • Now that you are a fancypants-bigshot-blogger, is there going to be an official animal for this blog?
  • No thank you ma’am… the only kind of animals that are kosher at RTDM are already “cut” and in “a meat” form.
  • Heh heh. Now that sounds much more like a Greatbong sound-byte. It is unfortunate that it also marks the end of our interview. It was a pleasure having you on the show, Greatbong! May your blog doodho nahaao pooto phalo. (Translated: Take bath in milk and produce many fruity baby-blogs.)
  • Thank you, Megha. It was fun to be here!
  • And now, before we bid adieu, the customary gift hamper — Grandma’s not-so-secret recipe for split-pea-soup, a packet of Surf, and a photo of the fascinating spotless white wall on the side.

    Alright, that’s all for now folks! Be good and give peas a chance!

Drip drip drip, my blue ship ..

A few days ago the flush tank in one’s upstairs bathroom sprung a leak, as flush tanks are wont to doing. While this in itself wasn’t a terrible thing, the fact that it happened on a well-timed Saturday morning, was. You see, one has come to terms with the sad reality that the powers that be, aka the maintenance folks that are supposed to do nice things like maintain one’s apartment, don’t take kindly to being called on Saturday mornings. One could perhaps call them, but getting them to actually come home on a Saturday is much like applying makeup on a pig — an interesting idea that can be executed in several different ways in theory, but all resulting in the same futile outcome — it doesn’t make a difference.

So one did the next best thing one could think of. One found a bright yellow plastic bowl that generally loiters around the house for no reason at all, and one stuck it under the flush tank. Water go drip-drip, bowl catches water, bowl emptied, bowl go back under tank and so on. Simple algorithm really. All Saturday and Sunday, one dutifully emptied said bowl of water, waiting for Monday morning to arrive.

And arrive it did. I walked into the bathroom, eagerly picking up bowl to empty it one last time, when .. <toink> .. bowl was empty! Ye kya ho raha hai, beta Duryodhan? I asked myself, looking around to see if the water had found a different escape route instead. But nopes. The tank was there, the bowl was there, but no water. The simple story of a bathroom leak had apparently turned into a thrilling case of a missing leak.

Now, kahaani-mein-twist-twist notwithstanding, I could no longer call maintenance. C’mon, it is one thing to have your blog readers snigger at you when you tell them sad tales of flush tanks that mysteriously stop leaking, but it’s a whole different level of gut-wrenching humiliation, when a workman arrives, armed with a gut and a wrench, and looks at you convinced that you are hallucinating. To add salt to your wounds, he will tell you gently, that the water was probably dripping into the tank like it is supposed to, and I, silly girl, just didn’t know the difference. And so, to avoid that moment of distress, anger and inevitable murder rampage, I waited for the dripping to resume.

And I waited and I waited and I waited. But as old bathroom wisdom will tell you — waiting for leak in bathroom does not always make leak happen. Um, well .. yeah. So one tolerated a hideous yellow bowl, sticking out like an eyesore in my bootifool lavender-and-white bathroom, staring at me emptily, mocking me, challenging me to make that call. I think I heard it gleefully cackle once even, but that might have just been the pipes conspiring. (Paranoia? Me? Nevvver.) But I was adamant. Water drip, maintenance come, I point, they fix, I smile smugly. That’s the way it was gonna play.

And along came today morning. After a cursory glance at the still empty bowl while I brushed my teeth, I went downstairs bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, ready to start my day. I sat at my machine, ready to check some pointless mail, when .. <plop>. I looked around, wondering what that was about. Having no idea what makes a plop noise, I continued to work when .. <plop>. Again. So, before the story turned into the case of the unfathomable plop (everyone seems to want starring roles in this story, what to do), I decided to investigate. And what did I discover?

Plop, as it turns out, is the sound water makes when it drips from one’s ceiling and hits a glass table. No, not any ordinary glass table but one on which my precious, my lappytoppy sits. So I had a minor aneurysm. Then a nervous breakdown. And then a panic attack. And finally, after all that, I calmly picked up my laptop and relocated it to a warm, dry couch.

Now water plopping from the ceiling meant only one thing. The bathroom was misbehaving. So after muttering some unprintables about sipping dog-blood and what not, I scampered upstairs to find that the flush tank had exploded (or so it seemed), there was water water everywhere (nor any drop to drink, for all you Coleridge fans), and that the resourceful ants in the bathroom were building an ark to escape. And using my bathroom mats as improvised rafts, no less. I contemplated about what to do while I sang paanii paanii re, khaare paanii re from Maachis, and realized that lyrically pertinent Gulzar songs from Chandrachur Singh movies were not really going to help matters. So I did what any self-respecting bathroom owner would do. I emptied the bowl and picked up a mop.

I mopped to the rhythm of plop-plop-plop,
I wish this leak would stop-stop-stop!
I thought I could make a poem out of this,
But sadly, the idea has to drop.

And naturally, I was hop-hop-hopping mad. It is one thing that it stops leaking on a Monday morning trying to taunt me. But how can it go from Mandakini’s-clothes-in-a-Raj-Kapoor movie to a Mandakini-in-a-Raj- Kapoor-movie, that too without warning? (That’s ‘from nothing to an abundant Ganga‘ for those of you with movie-deprived childhoods. Tsk tsk.) So I called maintenance —

Me: Hello, I am calling to report a flood.
She: Whaa?
Me: This is an emergency. The upstairs bathroom flush tank is leaking. There’s water all over the floor which is now seeping through the floor of the bathroom and dripping down from the ceiling of the living room. Dripping onto my precious, um, I mean my stuff downstairs. So please come urgently. And oh, did I mention this is an emergency?
She: <calmly> Ah? So the bathroom is leaking?
Me: <trying to be calm> Yes.
She: Right now?
Me: (No, in an earlier incarnation of mine. <bhoot hoon main playing in background>)
Me: Yes, now.
She: There is water on the floor?
Me: There was water on the floor until two minutes ago. I just mopped it.
She: Oh.
Me: Yes, I put a bowl under the drip, but it is dripping fast and will overflow anytime.
She: I see. So there is no water on the floor now?
Me: (If you ask me questions for another five minutes, there will be!)
Me: There is some. And the water is seeping downstairs into the living room ceiling.
She: I see.
Me: (You do?)
She: So tell me..
Me: Yes?
She: Is this the downstairs bathroom or the upstairs bathroom?
Me: ($%@&*#?!!)
Me: <channeling Zen Buddhha> Upstairs.
She: Would you consider this an emergency?
Me: (Yes. And when I get my hands around your neck, you will consider it one too, I assure you.)
Me: <seething> If the water is seeping and leaking into the living room ceiling and dripping over the couches and tables, wouldn’t you consider it one?
She: Yes, ma’am, I would.
Me: (Yeah? Ya think? Really now?)

But wait. The story is not yet over. As Sangeeta Bijlani sang to a roomful of villain sideys in Tridevye to pehlaa jaam hai, abhi to shaam hai. So after asking me my apartment number and contact info, she says —

She: Okay, someone will be over.
Me: (Hallelujah!)
Me: <eagerly> But when?
She: Um. Some time today or tomorrow.
Me: Eh? Today or tomorrow? Why the multiple choice answer?
She: Well..
Me: What part of it being an emergency do you not understand?
She: But we are blocked up, ma’am. Two of our maintenance guys are sick.
Me: <in despair> But my flush tank is sick too! Oh woe is me! The water will seep down, the wood will soak, the ceiling will weaken, it’ll all come crashing down on my head and I’ll never be able to see my precious ..
She: <interrupting me> I’ll have someone over today itself, ma’am.
Me: (Aha! Theatrics and seething! THAT is the magic formula!)

As someone I know likes to say, that was then, and this is now. The maintenance man arrived, took off his shoes politely even, the leak was fixed, the ants were drowned, the rafts have been recovered, washed and dried and the bathroom is fully functional and back to its pretty lavender-and-white. And my precious is back on its table. And the story? Well, it’s over. What did you expect? It’s just a leak.

Being status conscious

One has been having a bit of a party with one’s Gtalk status messages. Phull weekday series and wotnot. So one wanted to tell, seeing as sharing joy multiplies it and all that wholesome chocolatey goodness.

Serious early morning creativity at work here, so pliss to not mind.

  • Man ka meet. Monday meetings.
  • Tue cheez badi hai must must. Tuesdays are necessary.
  • Bhed bhaav. The bhalue of a Bhednesday.
  • Kaahe tarasaaye? Why does Thursday come?
  • Phokat ke chaabi ka talaa hua din.

*takes a bow*

*takes an arrow too but puts it back gingerly and tiptoes away*