Category Archives: Humor.. or not?

We adapt

You grow up. You are forced to work 9-5. You adapt and learn to co-exist with your peers.

You get married to the woman you love (hopefully, :roll: ). You adapt and learn to co-exist with your wife.

You move to a new country. You adapt and learn to co-exist with your fellow countrymen.

You buy your first house,borrowing from others. You adapt and learn to co-exist with your mortgage.

You change jobs. You adapt to the hectic schedule and co-exist with your new bosses.

You move to a better neighborhood, a very nice house with a big yard. You just cannot adapt and co-exist with pooping,hole digging animals, can you???

Here, let me…..

We moved to one of the nicer, posh localities in the bay area, very close to the woods, where deers, raccoons, skunks co-exist with humans.

Week 1:
On the day we move,we see some poop in the lawn. Assume it to be the negligence of the previous owner who had a cat. Obviously, not the owner, but the cat. 😉 And clean it up. Alas!! the mysterious poop reappears, some mornings, with intervals every now and then.Partner investigates the yard and finds a gaping hole,under the fence that we share with a neighbor. In glee, fills the hole , assuming the neighbor’s two cats to be the culprit.

Score: The mysterios poop 0- Suresh 1

Week2 :

Just when you think that the sun and moon are perfectly aligned , favoring you, there it is again.. The poop. And the plot thickens. The hole gapes at you again. The situation calls for drastic measurements.. 💡 Partner finds some loose stones , cement slabs and slams them on the sand near the fence, waiting for the cat to give a try and thereby slam its head on the stone, all the while dreaming of a Tom & Jerry sequence, where Jerry pushes something very hard, huffing and puffing, only ,here it was Tom, presumably.

Score: Tom 1 : Suresh 1

Week3 :

There it is.. again. Exact same spot. Happens somewhere between 11:00pm and 6:00AM. Looking at the poop size, a loud debate pursues.. Its a cat, no that cannot be..”I think it is a squirrel. The squirrels in this country are as big as a cat.” ” No, mom, squirrels are not nocturnal” . ” Could it be a raccoon, may be???” . ” But the hole is so small, how can a raccoon fit in there?”…” And raccoons can climb over fences, why dig?” A dire, messy situation. Drastic measures. 😈 😈 😈 . Scare tactics. Search, search. The internet god comes to rescue. It is called a scare crow. A motion sensing water sprayer. With sharp cones from one of our trees added as buffer in ..ahem.. the spot. Just when you think Suresh scores, there it is again, I mean the hole, not the poop. I guess we can give 0.5 to each at this point.

Score: The Unknown animal 1.5 : Suresh 1.5

Week 4:

Happy that he need not throw the poop any more, partner decides to spend his time building the fort under the fence. With stone slabs not being enough, a long wooden slab is bought and nailed to make the fence longer , leaving no space to dig, for the still unknown animal. As a dutiful wife, supporting the spouse in this game, I try to get a motion sensing camera from a friend and we fit it near the bedroom door. Rise and shine, run to the backyard, only to find a..!gasp! hole 😳 under the new slab of wood and all that the camera could catch was the sunrise and the motion of some trees.. tut tut…

Score : Mysterious,hole digging nocturnal animal 2.5 : Suresh 1.5

Week 5:

The puzzle continues. WTF??? The only way to find would be to do a matha ka jagran or celebrate shivarathri earlier/later ??? OR go to the neighbour and find out their take in this. The problem with housing in these locations, is that you cannot just holler over the fence without getting introduced first. Instead of a 1 second hello, I walk for 5 minutes to reach their front door as they share our fence in the back, which faces a totally different road. I meet Mr. R and ask him if his cats are the culprits or if it could be a !gasp! raccoon. He answers politely, “Oh! it is not a raccoon, it is a family of four! I saw them over the fence last night, around 11:30PM”. 😯 😯 Cross my heart. A family of four frolicking in my back yard. “But Sir”, I ask, ” Why the hole??” . “That is what they do, lassie. They love to dig.” The hole was not the means to enter our yard, rather it was just peekaboo time for the family.I could almost hear the papa Raccoon admonishing the kids, “Enough of your peekaboo. Lets go , get some food. You kids can play some more while we come back to poop.” 😆

Score: Raccoon Family 3.5 : Suresh 1.5

Week 6:

Partner fills the hole, religiously plugs in the scare crow every night and I refrain from stepping out of the house after 10:00PM. The score still stands the same , while we wait…one day the family will want to upgrade and move, just as we did from our old house.. 🙂
“Hum honge kamyab, hum honge kamyab, hum honge kamyab ek din” ..

And, yes, you adapt and co-exist with raccoons.. 😀

PS: My attempt at using most of the emoticons in one post.. 😆


Posted by on July 21, 2010 in General, Humor.. or not?


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Cinnamon vs Chinnaman

Why worry about pronunciation? What is there in an accent? You may ask. More often than not, it leads to misunderstanding. As it could have happened between S and his mom.

For the novice ,

Cinnamon (Cinnamomum verum, synonym C. zeylanicum) is a small evergreen tree belonging to the family Lauraceae, native to Sri Lanka,[1] or the spice obtained from the tree’s bark. It is often confused with other, similar species and the spices derived from them, such as Cassia and Cinnamomum burmannii, which are also often called cinnamon.

Yes,not only can people confuse between different varieties, they can get confused with calling cinnamon as “chinnaman” loosely translated to “Small Man”.

M: S, vungaluku chinnaman annupuchiruken.
S: Ennadhu, chinnaman..a , appadina?
M: Adhan kanna, podi
S: Chinnaman..ina podiathane irrukanum. Sari, Adhu edhuku ippo?
M: Neenga Saapatuku use pannalamenu dhan. cheapa irruku.
S: Saapatuka????? Oh!! Shoba cake ellam bake pannuvale. Adhuku decorationa irrukumna. Cheap..a kadachidina idhellam anuparadha.
M: Verum decoration illa. Adha cake oda mix panniyum sappidalam.
S: Sappadilama?? Adhena edible Chinnaman..a?? Edhula panniyirukan.
M: Andha podi..a? Eppavum pola, kattaia podi pannidhan.
S: Ayyo Amma!! Kattaila eedhu chinnaman?? Adhoda spelling sollungalen.
M: ‘C’ ‘H’ ‘I’ ‘N’ ‘A’ ‘M’ ‘A’ ‘N’
S: OK. ‘Chinaman’ bommaia.. Sari, ‘Chinaman’ Chinnada irrupandhan. Adhanale, ‘Chinnaman’ solradhu romba too much.
M: Naan correcta dhane sonnen.
S: Appo kudutha rendu Japanese bommai..oda oru chinese bommaium vacchu decorate panna vendiadhu dhan. Romba thanks!!

Now, S thinks he has been enlightened and Mother hangs up the phone ,flabbergasted,wondering what mistake she did.

I got enlightened to follow up my Sudoku solver with this, when M pronounced it as such while browsing in a grocery store.


Posted by on June 10, 2010 in Humor.. or not?


Happy Birthday To Me

Yes, Today is my birthday. Not the original, but the official one.

It all started fairly simple. I was not yet 5 years old , but was ready to be admitted to 1st grade. You would be mistaken if you thought I knew my ABCDs or 123s. I had honed the art of getting on my mother’s nerves and so was ready for school.The humongous task was given to my two elder sisters. One was in 11th grade and the other one in her 6th grade. Off went the two, to a private school in Trichy, where the faces were familiar as the aforementioned duo had studied there previously and decided to register me for 1st grade. Getting admitted into a school was not as tough then as it is now, but there was a golden rule that the student should be at least 5 years old. Birthday being in September, I was barely 4 1/2 and so, the duo decided to go against all moral principles and lie. The task at hand seemed more important than truth. Since the criteria was that one had to be 5 by June, the sisters ran to a corner,discussed in hushed tones , decided to give some leverage and came up with April 1st. Now , knowing they were fooling the school management , assuming it would be too blatant , they changed it to April 2nd. People trusted kids then and no one asked for a birth certificate and just registered “Shoba” , a definite 5 year old .

Two things happened on that day. My birthday became April 2nd and my name changed from “Shobha” to “Shoba”. Being in TN,knowing how names can be translated really bad, I should be thankful that it didn’t change to “Soba” or worst “Sofa”. “Shobha” is a nice name and again, I would have to thank the duo for that too. Being the youngest, parents lost interest in finding a name and the sisters decided that their little sister should be called “Shobha”.

Thank you sisters, for giving me my name and for deciding not to have my birthday on April Fool’s Day. Whew!


Posted by on April 2, 2010 in General, Humor.. or not?


A request…

A sign outside my cubicle , for anyone who wants to invite me out for lunch.

Thank you for inviting me out. Now, before you attempt to find out what cuisine I like , here are a few conditions you need to know about me being a vegetarian.

1. Being vegetarian is natural to me. I don’t have to make extra effort and so, please don’t WOW me.

2. Anything that moves and has to be killed is not vegetarian in my books and that includes sea food.

3. If you want to know if that includes fish and shrimp, please refer to #2 and YES! NO SEA FOOD.

4.Please don’t worry about my protein intake. I can shake it, munch it, take it raw.
Meat is not the only source of protein.

5. I know what your next question is. Yes, it is religious and I have never tasted meat in my life. Ever.

6. Vegetarian includes diary. What you are thinking is called Vegan.

7. Vegetarian does not mean I eat only salads. Indian cooking is full of vegetables cooked in different curries. And, NO! THERE IS NO SINGLE CURRY POWDER. It is a mixture of various spices.

8.No, I don’t eat from a plate which has chicken in it. Even if you remove the chicken.

9.Don’t expect to go to a regular restaurant with no veg options and expect me to eat ceasar’s salad.I don’t want to feed on lettuce leaves and starve.

10.No, I don’t feel offended if you eat meat, just don’t put it in my plate.

Yes, I have already told this to you a ZILLION times,but why, oh why do you have to ask me the same questions every time we talk about food.


Posted by on March 17, 2010 in General, Humor.. or not?


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A foot small

“Why don’t you walk and let me see your stride.”

“Rick, I think her left ankle is a little wobbly. Can you take a look?”

One more cat walk,as you know, cats are very steady on their feet. No more wobbling for me.

“Ya…I think her left foot kinda rolls out. A neutral should be good.”

“Lets try these New Balance.”

“Oh! btw, did I tell you that my left foot is 6.5 and right is 6.0. Can you accommodate that. ”

“No sweat. Lot of people have that. I will start with 6.5″

” Also, my ankles are very thin. My toes are wide and my arch is kinda high. So, if you get me a very wide shoe, it might be loose at the ankles. If we go for size 7, that would be way too loose for my right foot, which is tiny. If you think you can make it tighter by tightening the lace with a butterfly style,my arch is way too high and it hits the nerve on top of my foot.Ouch!”

Phew!! The running store woman had it cut out for her. We finally found a Brooks, size7,wider at the toes and snug at the ankles, with the lace not too tight.

I blame the artifact that I call my foot,on Ponneswari. I was in 5th grade, studying in a school where sports accounted for snake crawling, rucksack hopping, frog croaking, legs tied together running( very funny indeed!) and the ubiquitous lemon and spoon race. If there is one thing in life that I was good at, it was Balancing. You might be able to bend over and twist your arms & legs trying to imitate a one legged crane, but when it came to balancing a lemon on a spoon while running with your eyes crisscrossed and hands spread out like an eagle, I was the girl except for Ponneswari. On that sunny day, one would have expected me to be the runner up but as luck would have it, I had to compete with P in the very first round. You see the dilemma..Though I was better than everyone, I would be eliminated just because the stars aligned to betray me and out of the race in the first round. There I was, right behind her, and left of her, focusing on the lemon and Ponneswari on the right as well. Just when I was about to overtake her, she stared at me superciliously, running fast. The ever persistent persona, I ran and beamed with pride when I thought I won only to note that P had actually stopped at the finish line and I was running way to the front, with a stupid grin on my face.

With my ego and self-respect hurt, from that day on, my whole right side just refused to grow to the right size, a smaller eye , a smaller foot, a smaller arm…. always frightened of Ponneswari.And my dream of winning the Olympics in lemon and spoon race lies shattered.


Posted by on January 11, 2010 in Humor.. or not?


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Parlay inglise( Travelogue -II)

Yes, we were geared for our Italy trip as I stated before.. Armed with our bible, Italian Translation book by Tour Guru Rick Steves, we embarked our plane. I spent a good one hour trying to get the accent right. Its amazing how three words could carry you places. “Bon Jorno” ( pronounced a Bon Jorno) , “Gratziye” and “Par lay Inglise” . I had to learn a few more, “Verdure”( Vegetables) and Vegetariano( You don’t have to be a genius to figure this out).

Most Italians can manage “a little” English, but then why did God bestow us with hands if not for signing? Though the early Neanderthal might have used the “Grrrrrr…Brrrr… whatever” language, there was a time when we had evolved into sign language species. The plan was very clear. “Parlay inglise” -> “a little” -> talk in slow English where as “Parlay inglise”-> Nod of head indicating “NO” -> talk in very slow English with an Italian accent accompanied by sign language. With a black jacket to hide you from the rain and all your hair loose on your face, signing to glory, there are chances one might be mistaken for a Chimp, especially with my height. No sweat! Italians are very friendly people and Chimps have their place too.

On day 1,I wanted some water,”Acqua” , not exactly rocket science, I agree, but one can get flustered with a panic attack just to mention acqua. Walked into a book store and blurted to the cashier, “Bottled water” with my hand sign showing me drinking. The whole room was impregnated with her cold stare and I thought she was signing with her eyes, and nod in affirmative, “yes, yes ! Cold water” , showing me gulping the water down. Not to be insulted, she stared at Partner, who said “acqua????”. “This library. No acqua”, pat came the reply. Wonder how mind works in a foreign nation and makes you barge into a library for water instead of the cafe next door.. Hmmm.. We learn, albeit slowly.

After two days of roaming around the city in trains, buses and taxis, you learn that “Piazza Navona” is pronounced “Piatsa Navona” and “Nazionale” is “Natsionale” . Simple, pronounce all the letters as is except for Z and C.”C” is like “K” and “Ci” is like “Chi” though “Ch” is like “K” and “H” is silent. Easy breezy, one would think. Here is the catch. Knowing this might help one to read and write Italian, but how do you understand? You don’t really need to as long as you can say “Parlay inglise”. Si? No,not so Si. Especially in remote areas. If one wants to drink wine, and the waitress asks “Bianca or Rosa??” , being a Tamilian and having heard SharathKumar singing “Rosapoo, chella rosapoo” , the mind should correlate Rosa with Red. But, signore, the catch is you are in a foreign country and the brain gets clouded with eating zucchini,eggplant and Red pepper every time you ask for Verdure.What does one do? Partner tugs at the lady’s Red shirt almost spilling the soup on me, viola!! Rosa it is.

It is reciprocal. If you think speaking Indianized American English slowly with signs is Italian, they think speaking localized Italian slowly with signs is English. Seeing three lines to enter a museum, trying to figure out if the line that we were standing was the right one, I started my conversation with the lady next to me, “Parlay inglise?” . After some thought, she decided on the negative and pointed to her teenage daughter, asking her to translate.. The sweet girl, bless her, started with “You…” and rambled on in Italian with hand signs. Not to be undermined, my eyes darting between her hands and mouth, I followed with questions “Do you know what is that long line for?” signing a Snake, She says, ” Here, Biglietto ( tickets) ….blah blah”. By then, epiphany, the mother pointed to the guy standing at the door “Anglais…” , who spoke in perfect English and assured us we were in the right place but at the wrong time. Very easy, Si?


Posted by on January 5, 2010 in Humor.. or not?


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Please, don’t unfriend me

It’s facebook official.

This year’s New Oxford American Dictionary’s Word of the Year is ‘unfriend.’

The verb means to “remove someone as a ‘friend’ on a social networking site such as Facebook.”

The definition has both “currency and potential longevity,” according to Christine Lindberg, Senior Lexicographer for Oxford’s US dictionary program

The same dictionary which defined Friend as “one attached to another by affection or esteem” decided to unfriend it.

Just when I had the satisfied look of someone who has enjoyed a full course meal ending with Thayir Sadham , on joining facebook last month, the word mongers come up with this insult. Seriously, is it not enough that all my friends see the tab ” Your friend Shoba does not seem to be well connected. Please suggest some friends” , which is soon to be followed by a tab saying ” Please don’t unfriend Shoba. She has so few friends as it is.” Damn !!

I unfriend Oxford American dictionary. There, my first unfriendliness..

This blogger has also written her perspective of the word.


Posted by on November 18, 2009 in General, Humor.. or not?


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