Sunday, March 30, 2014

The foolish frog

A greenish-grey old bulky frog tired of being in the sluggish pond and resolving the broods croaky fights, attempted to jump up above the bank into the sunshine that blinded his eyes, where he secretly yearned to be since long.

Told his brood of his intentions, and they croaked ideas. Most skeptical of the world out; some accused him of being a deserter; some doubted his intentions; and others called him foolish.

Confused and heart-broken, he stayed back though he knew they were wrong.

After a few months, he tried again. The same ruckus ensued. This time more of the brood called him foolish.

Loathing himself for giving in, he stayed back though he knew they were wrong.

Determined after a few more months, he made friends with one frog sitting on the bank looking down. Every night he jumped up in the dead of night, met with his new friend and listened to stories about the world outside and returned before his brood woke up. 

The entire day he relived the stories he heard.

A year went by. As more months passed by, his night-time activity left him drained of energy. He got quieter by the day and kept aloof, dreaming and planning about all that he would do when he got out.

The entire brood now called him foolish.

Desperate and wild, in bitter resignation, he declared, this is my last day with you all. I’m gonna live my life the way I desire. That night, the brood didn’t sleep. He was in a dilemma – watching the brood that sat up, some pleading with him not to go, others angry and calling him selfish.

Defeated of confidence and energy he slumped in a corner.

Two nights later, his petrified friend jumped in to the pond looking for him. Unable to hide his relief on seeing the old frog alive, he hugged him and the entire brood pounced on him, blaming the stranger for misleading one among them. Nothing the old frog did could stop the strong brood from tearing the guest apart. And he croaked his last in the sluggish pit.

The entire brood erupted in a dance calling his friend foolish. “What a fool is he! The fool comes in here to get killed! The fool, the biggest fool…”

The old frog sat up and tried defending his friend’s honour – the least he could do. “Stop calling him a fool.”

None paid heed. While they celebrated, he slipped out of the pond, with his friend limp on his back.

The journey up the bank was so strenuous for the energy-strapped oldie that he lay exhausted after the climb under the rising sun, holding the carcass of his friend.

He never woke up.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Walking the talk - his way!

Here's an excerpt from Adi's diary about her husband...

Aditi hates exercising, while her husband is a health freak. One day Agneya Reddy asked her to join him for a leisurely walk. She eagerly did. No sooner they reached the nearby park than he started jogging and forced her to follow suit.

She protested, cribbed, and took at least 10 breaks and at last squatted down.

The rest is in her own words...


The following morning, after he left for work as I sat browsing the net and sipping coffee, I heard the doorbell ring. 

Two deliverymen with a huge parcel were requesting permission to walk in. “Sir asked to instal it in the TV room.”

I called up Agy. His secretary Sharon answered the call. “Mr Agneya Reddy’s phone.”

“Can I speak to him, please.”

“He’s in a meeting. May I take a message.”

“Can you ask him to call me back. It’s urgent. Aditi here.” 

 “O! Hello ma’am. He’s gone for a briefing session, so he left his mobile with me. Hang on a sec, I’ll get him online.”

Within a minute, Agy was online “Yes, Adi.”

“Some guys are here with a …”

“Yeah, that’s for you, my love.” And then I heard him say, “ Informed? Ok. I’m just there.”


“Ah Adi, let them instal it in the TV room. I'll call you in 30 minutes. Love you.”

The deliveryman, I discovered was given detailed instructions. He knew where exactly to install it and what to be moved. He rearranged the entire room so that the treadmill was facing the home theater system.

Half-an-hour later, Agy called. “Treadmill instaled?”

“They are at it.”

“Good. Now my girl will exercise every day.”

“Did I ask you for this.”

“You will never. And getting you to jog outside is a herculean task. So I came up with the best solution.”

“Very smart.”

“Thank you. I know you are not happy. And it’s absolutely fine by me. Beginning today, my smart girl will exercise for an hour. You will have no excuse because you can do it at your convenience, watching your favourite programmes.”

“And if I don’t.” I was pissed off by his persistence.

“No dinner.”

“And it’s absolutely fine by me.” I mocked attempting to get his tone. His laugh, even over the phone can do wonders on me. “Well, my dear, it’s important you exercise. And the least you can do is walk an hour.”

“I’ll do after you come.”

“No. I’m having the spare guest room upstairs transformed into an in-house gym. We’ll replace the balcony wall with glass and that’ll give it a fantastic look, too. So once that’s ready, we can work out together. Until then you will walk an hour every day alone.” He said the last sentence slowly and deliberately.


“What do you want.” I snapped and I heard him chuckle again.

“Be ready by 7pm. We’ll go out for dinner.”


“Love you. Please smile.”

“No. Bye.” 

I was irritated by his audacity. What the heck, whatever he thinks has to be done. No way. At least today, he’s not having his way.

I decided to prepare an elaborate dinner.


By 6pm vegetarian spring rolls; hot and sour soup; sesame chicken strips with sweet & sour dip; mixed fried rice and noodles were ready. As I was setting the table, in walked a beaming Agy. 

“Not ready? Let's go.”

"I’ve cooked an elaborate spread. Freshen up and come fast.”

“As you say.”

A little later, he was standing examining the table. “Wow! this is, indeed, elaborate Adi. I can’t wait. Where do I start?”

“Soup first. Oops, I’ll fetch the sauces,” I said and went into the kitchen as he picked up the soup bowls. But when I returned he was not there.

“Where are you?” 

“Gimme me a minute, dear.” He shouted from the bedroom.

“Adi, come with me,” he said taking me by the wrist after a while.

“Where? The soup will cold, Agy.”

“That can be reheated.” 

Shit! He was leading me to the TV room. 

“First walk for an hour and then dinner.” He said leaving me beside the treadmill and lowering himself into the sofa. “I’ll keep you company.” 

“I walked.”

“You did not.” He said with a don’t-fool-me smirk and shaking his head.

“I did,” I gave him a stern look.

“Well,” he crossed his legs over and folded his hands, and continued, “if you don’t walk, we both are going without dinner tonight. And I don’t want to do that because I’m eager to taste my Adi’s dishes. I’m famished.” 

“Let me play some music for you. What would you like to hear.”

“I have no likes. It’s always your likes and wants, right. Play whatever,” I snapped with a sullen face.

He got up with a what-will-I-do-with-you smile, lifted me onto the treadmill, timed it for 60minutes and kissed me. “Yep, here you go,” and pressed the start button. He returned to the sofa and sat watching me.

An hour later, dabbed in perspiration, I slumped on the sofa. He sat up to wipe my face and I shrugged him off.

I ate in silence, while he was his chirpy best.


Back in the bedroom, the anger in me crept up, seeing him lying on the bed reading a book. “How did you know about my walking.”

“I know it all,” he said flashing his naughty smile. 

It should be her. I walked out quietly and knocked at our maid's door. The moment she opened the door, I snapped, “From when did you start reporting my matters to Agy.” She gave me a perplexed look. “I don’t like this.” I spat and returned to the bedroom. 

“Feeling better after taking it out on that poor woman," he asked as I climbed over. 

How does he know it always! "I'd gone to take my lens," I muttered. 

I saw him smirk and pick up his mobile. He dialled a number and put it on speaker between us. I heard Savitri’s voice on the second ring. “Yes, Sir.”

“Savitri, Adi is feeling bad about her behaviour just now. She wants to apologise…”

“…No sir, no, no. No problem. She’s a small girl, sir. No problem.”

“Thanks Savitri. Good night.”

I was fuming. “What the heck? I’m a small girl, eh. Small girl!”

“Well, you behave like one.” He said calm and composed.

“My foot I’ll apologise. You ask her to spy on me, so cheap.”

Clearly amused by my outburst, “You are such a kid, Adi. How closely have you observed this home, umm”.

He sat back looking at me, enjoying himself, as I was fuming with a mixed bag of emotions.

“Our home is webbed.” With that same soft look, he continued, “Each room has a camera…”

I was all alert. How did I not notice it all this while! 

“…Before you came, I hardly spent time in here. So for security reasons, I had them instaled.”

He paused. Then with a cheeky smile, added, “It came in handy only today, though...”

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

'Diaper man' teaching me how to walk

Now this is just freaking me out. After all these decades, I am told I don’t know to walk. I just can’t take the allegation either standing up or sitting down, worse still lying down! Because it comes from my trainer, who has promised to ease me off my perennial back ache. 

Like a toddler she teaches me how to walk correctly. Now. Now!!! Uh! 

At the Miracle Garden, unaware I wasn't walking right

“Heel first…no. Heel first. Tighten your core…knees straight..stamp…why is this…one more round…come on…”

Her explanation: I don’t distribute my weight equally on both legs, instead I sway my hips way too much stressing my lower vertebrae.

So much for the science of embarrassment! Just when I was learning to swallow my pride, there came another trainer who claims to have my best interests in mind – only because he knows my dad’s ancestral family. Now this is what I say blind affection, because I have no memories of my paternal grandparents.

Voluntarily promising to find me a solution, he just about stopped short of saying I look like a scare crow in a paddy field – ‘A pair of thin limbs supporting an upper half that is heavier in proportion, making you wobble, is one of the reasons for back ache.’

I wanted to grab a burqa and hide inside but I couldn’t jump off the treadmill. So I did the best I could. Looked around, ignoring him, pretending to be lost in thought. But lo! I saw no heads, no bodies, no hands, no monitors or equipment even. Just pairs of muscular sweaty thighs and derriere all around me that zoomed in and out with my steps!

I packed my bag and hurried out saying something like, “Oh! I didn’t realise my daughter will be back home early today.” [My little girl comes to my rescue at all times]

It was only after I saw some vehicles on wheels on the road that my vision regularised. Soon I remembered the rest of his prognosis. “You have broad hips. So it’s more important to have stronger legs…’

Did he actually say that! How I wish I had recorded it. At once I felt feminine. Back home, I locked myself in the bedroom and stood before the mirror. Desperate I even jumped up and walked back and turned around, studying my hips from all possible angles.

An anxious husband began knocking, wanting to know what I’m up to. And I selectively told him only the compliment.

With the casualness of dismissing a fly, the husband replied, “Ah! that guy confused your waist for hip.”

Seeing my man stifle a smile, I seethed in silence or so I thought…

…‘Uh!..judging my steps. He walks as if he’s got diapers between his legs and teaching me! And that woman, how dare she…’

“Who mama?” I was jolted awake by my amused girl beside me. “Who is the diaper man?”

The dad replied: “You don’t know beta. That’s mama’s grandfather’s neighbour’s sister’s son’s nephew’s…”

Dad and daughter enjoyed another evening…at my expense!