I'm a Goan woman, working in Mumbai as the founder of a studio called Totem Creative. I try to make the world happier, safer and more meaningful. I believe education, knowledge and awareness, art, writing and creating Social Impact are my means to achieve that end.

Monday, January 31, 2011


Everyone seems to be in such a hurry to scream 'racism' these days.

A customer asked, "In what aisle could I find the Sarson Ka Tel?" (Mustard OIL)
The clerk says "You a Sikh?"
The guy, clearly offended, says, "Yes I am. But let me ask you something.
If I had asked for Italian Olive Oil, would you ask me if I was Italian?
Or if I had asked for German Bratwurst, would you ask me if I was German?
Or if I asked for a kosher hot dog would you ask me if I was Jewish?
Or if I had asked for a Taco, would you ask if I was Mexican?
Or if I asked for some Irish whiskey, would you ask if I was Irish?
The clerk says, "No, I probably wouldn't."
The guy says, "Well then, because I asked for Sarson Ka Tel, why did you say I
am Sikh?"
The clerk replied, "Because you're in a Liquor Store."

Saturday, January 29, 2011

The art of losing things

29th Jan 2011
12:17 am

My heart thudded as I saw it lying there on the tile, alone with an empty coffee cup. Someone had left it there, and the first thught that ran through my mind was that this was my cap. It was my lens cap coz there was nothing besides it. No camera no case no person. Ravi had said I would find it back. He said he was my lucky charm. Bullocks, I had thought.
I grabbed the lenscap and my face muscles pushed into a grin. My cap.

I ran down the staircase, grinning to every face I passed. I removed the phone from my pocket and dialled Ravi's number. It rang thrice. I waited. Ring ring, and then Ravi answered, "hi tell me". "RAVI!!!!!!!!!!!!" I screamed, "I FOUND IT, I FOUND IT!!!! MY LENS CAP!" Now he must've thought, gosh, this chic, she keeps losing and finding things. He's never seen me losing things and not finding them. "Where?" he asked, and I told him my story. "Wow! You see, I told you I'm your lucky charm!" he must have been grinning. I clutched the lenscap to my chest as I walked (or almost ran) to the hostel. My pace was like flight, and I climbed the staircase 5 floors up faster than I nornally did, staring at the cap in my hand. So I guess I'd stolen it back from the person who stole it from me. I wouldn't have to look for that authorised Canon store, and I wouldn't have to pay 300 bucks for a new one after all. What a waste of my worring.

I thought of what I'd just done. I had stolen my cap back from someone else; but what were the odds of this cap belonging to someone else? A voice echoed in my mind, "Did I do the right thing, puppa?".

As I reached the room I noticed the letters embossed on it. Canon, in shiny metallix Silver. My Cap..it was silver matt finish...Under the letters was embossed in Caps Italic and gold, Ultrasonic. I could't remember my lenscap having those letters. My cap was simple, in black and silver matt. This one was almst elite, a mismatch - like it never belonged to me. I frowned, looking down.. Had I literally stolen someone's lenscap?

I tried hard to connect the wifi to my laptop. It wasn't getting detected and I needed to check my facebook album - "First shots with Canon". I found it funny that I had never been SO desperate to get on facebook, but I needed to know if this was my cap.
I found a picture of my lens cap. It was a simple round object with 'Canon' beatifully embossed on it in silver.

I paused and stared at the frame. It was there. This was not my cap. I sighed, and gave myself a half smile. My fingers typed, "Ravi, it's not mine.. I'll give it back."

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Jo App Kaho Ji

Jo Aap Kaho Ji.

Husband: aaj khane mein kya banaogi?
Wife: Jo aap kaho
H: Dal chawal bana lo
W: Abhi kal hi to khaye the
H: to sabji roti bana lo
W: bacche nahi khayenge
H: to chhole puri bana lo
W: mujhe bahut heavy lagta hai
H: eggs bhurji bana lo
W: aaj guruvaar hai
H: paraanthe ?
W: raat ko paraanthe kaun khata hai??
H: Hotel se mangwa lete hain?
W: roz roz hotel ka nahi khana chahiye
H: kadhi chawal?
W: dahi nahi hai
H: idly sambar?
W: usme time lagega. pehle bolna chahiye tha na!!
H: maggi hi bana lo, usme time nahi lagega
W: woh koi meal thodi hai? Pet nahi bharta
H: phir ab kya banaogi?
W: Jo aap kaho

Sunday, January 16, 2011

"Bad Luck" back to back episodes.

“Bad Luck” – screened back to back.

Chapter 1: Losing

It was a fine day, because it was a holiday. M.I.T Institute of Design had a bunch of crazy people who kept screening the best movies of all time, and this very day, they would screen the legendary – Star Wars. An empty pocketed girl named Nikhita limped (as fast as she could) to the projector room where the movie was to be screened. She hadn’t seen it before, and her friends Alok and Ravi had promised it would be worth the watch. The previous day her friend Tanu had lifted her on his back and Bharat Singhal – an elfish friend (in behaviour and appearance) slammed her tow on the hard floor which caused it to swell in pain. So she limped to the room and there they watched the movies.

In the evening Nikhita and her friend Ravi went out for Chai at the local dhaba – kaka’s, but before that, she went to the pharmacy, to buy toe-healing medicines. From her sweatshirt she pulled out 2 notes of 50 and 500. The medicines cost her 45, so she used the 50 Rs. note. A little voice inside her told her to put the note in her jeans instead of the wide-open sweatshirt pocket, but she didn’t listen. When she reached her room at night and changed, her pockets were empty. The 500 Rs. were gone, and a 5 Rupee coin remained. She didn’t believe it. She hoped and hoped she had it somewhere. She turned out her pockets; the note had fallen out.

Chapter 2: Despair

Nikhita panicked. She had a record for losing things. In her past she was tormented for being irresponsible and careless. A series of images flashed her mind, and frustrated, she confessed to her elder sister Raina, about the unfortunate incident. Raina told her to let it go; that it was just a piece of paper, and that it happens to all of us. “It’s gone, Ravi.” she texted. Ravi told her to smile and that they would probably get it back, and Pankti sent a hug. She decided to sleep it off.
The next morning, she wanted to use her wacom to work. So she went to class and opened her locker. The wacom was gone. “Well, maybe it’s in the other class lockers.” She thought, and went to her old class and checked her lockers. The wacom was nowhere to be found. 23 grand. Her work. Her parents. The lost 500 Rs note. More images, more thoughts. She checked the lockers the second, the third time. She called her warden to ask if it was found in her room. She ran to her room and checked the cupboard where she was so sure of not finding it. “You have it, don’t panick”, she told herself. She asked people who she never lent it to. It was gone.

Chapter 3: Chances – the jokes by life

She got back to class. Her day was a disaster. Just like the Star Wars screening, even losing her stuff was back to back. As she searched she prayed and prayed and hoped that she had not lost it. That someone borrowed it, or that it was somewhere safe. She told herself to trust herself. First the note, now a wacom? “I hope noone’s playing a joke” she said, with watery eyes. Alok and Ravi helped her recall her memory. The last time she used it, (they traced back) was when she sat on a different table in class. She ran to the table and opened its unlocked drawer. A black case lay there with a wacom, untouched, unseen in 2 weeks.

She breathed a heavy sigh, and sucked back the tears. Never had she felt so relieved. Clutching the wacom to her chest, she threw a half smile to her friends in gratitude. They went to the projector room and enjoyed Star Wars on the big screen.

Chapter 4: The Magic Trick

The sun had set and the moon lit up the roads which lead home. Call it a day; she thought. It was as horrible as some of her worst. She changed, and emptied her pockets. Out came a 500 Rs. note.

She dropped the note in shock. It was definitely magic. Only the previous night she had turned out her pockets to see nothing but their fabric. The yellow-green note’s face stared back at her. She smiled. She would tell Raina and Ravi about this, but they wouldn’t believe her. “You didn’t check properly”, they would tell her. So she picked up the note, and put it in her savings.

Nikhita looked up at the ceiling as she lay on her bed. A rug covered her warm. It was cold, the fan was off. All that was heard, was a heavy sigh of relief.

Scraps 1

At lohri:
Anonymous: Hey get ur camera!
Me: Eh. It's in the class.
Anonymous: But your class is on this floor!
Me: Yeah but it's locked..
Alok: So jump in through the window!
Me: *bored face*
Alok: You're ridiculous.

In the comp lab:
Ravi P: Hey where's the projector?
Alok: Yeah it's in class.
Ravi: Oh.
Alok: It's locked man.
Me: So jump in through the window!

*Ravi n alok walking out of the lab*
Alok: It's boring.
Ravi: It's boring? you just have to jump in dude.
Me: Mahahahaha!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Passing thoughts on Eating.

14th Jan 2011

We stepped in and then ordered the food. Jahnvi - the local dhaba was going to shut down. As the food came, En gobbled spoons down like Puppa. I looked at him, then looked at the food. En had a peculiar way of eating his food. I was thinking, does this guy know what's going into his mouth? Does he taste it before swallowing?
I could smell the bits of spring onions at shredded chicken in fried rice, the coconut from the chicken malabari, and the butter on the roti which Tanu was eating. Vicky looked miserable eating a bland veg pulao, that had no distinct smell. "What're you looking at?" En asked. "Oh nothing." I replied, realizing it was rude to stare at people eating. I looked around to notice that none of them really looked like they were tasting it. It was funny how my brain travelled through thoughts, changing in milliseconds.

Well. I guess we were just hungry.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Pickup lines.

Man: "Haven't we met before?"
Woman: "Yes, I'm the receptionist at the VD Clinic."

Man: "Haven't I seen you someplace before?
Woman: "Yeah, that's why I don't go there anymore."

Man: "Is this seat empty?"
Woman: "Yes, and this one will be too if you sit down."

Man: "Your place or mine?"
Woman: "Both. You go to yours and I'll go to mine."

Man: "I'd like to call you. What's your number?"
Woman: "It's in the phone book."

Man: "But I don't know your name."
Woman: "That's in the phone book too."

Man: "So what do you do for a living?"
Woman: "I'm a female impersonator."

Man: "Hey, baby, what's your sign?"
Woman: "Do not Enter"

Man: "I know how to please a woman."
Woman: "Then please leave me alone."

Man: "I want to give myself to you."
Woman: "Sorry, I don't accept cheap gifts."

Man: "I can tell that you want me."
Woman: "Ohhhh. You're so right. I want you to leave."

Man: "If I could see you naked, I'd die happy:
Woman: "Yeah, but if I saw you naked, I'd probably die laughing."

Man: "Your body is like a temple."
Woman: "Sorry, there are no services today."

Man: "I'd go through anything for you."
Woman: "Good! Let's start with your bank account."

Man: "I would go to the end of the world for you.
Woman: "Yes, but would you stay there?