Clumsy Cris strikes again.
Scene: CC is going to interview an artist. Stops in front of a building she thinks is his. Out comes a man
Enthusiastic CC (waves at the man): Hellooo
CC: I am here (all smiles)
Man: Who are you looking for?
CC: Oh you are not Deepak?
CC: Is he inside?
Man: You mean a policeman?
CC: No no no, no no. An artist. Manal shilpi (Sand sculptor)
Man (who is in fact a policeman): Miss this is a minister’s house
CC : Oh, that couldn’t be him then
Man: No Miss, it couldn’t be
So Miss CC goes to a famous person’s house to do a feature about it – the house, not the person. Mister FP is in no mood to chat. Neither is he inclined to encourage CC’s happy questions.
CC: So you like it dark in here hah?
(CC, for some reason thinks this is absolutely funny and decides to guffaw)
FP: Is it dark, you think? Isn’t this how it should be – pleasant and cool with sunlight pouring in?
CC: Err sure (trying to find out where this unfound pleasantness was)… And these paintings on the walls
FP: What about it?
CC: Is it by anyone in the family?
FP looks amused: The one you are pointing to is by Van Gogh.
Ok, so Gogh is not in the family. CC keeps quiet for a long while, hoping that silence might be confused for a bit of late intelligence. But she needs stuff to write that feature, she can’t write about a dark Van Gogh painting in 300 words.
CC (pointing at a shelf): Wow so this is where you keep all your awards
FP grunts: Those are not awards, those are mementos. I don’t exhibit my awards.
CC gives up. She will have to rely on her imagination to carve out stories about this house and its uncooperative owner. But in FP’s face, there is no trace of annoyance. He is happy to have been entertained by a visitor who had no idea how to tell wood apart from glass, let alone Gogh from Namboothiri – but that’s another story which we shall not be talking about.
I thought she’s dead but Miss CC stays alive! She calls a columnist Miss D today to remind her about the column. D returns the call.
D: Hi CC
CC: Hi CC, this is D here.
Day would have been rather mechanical had not kidder boss M decided to kid around. Was busy getting last-minute quotes for a story well past its deadline. A psychologist was next in cue – to get a quote from, that is. Since still new in Kochi, asked boss for a contact. He types a number and calls it his personal psychologist – ‘the one who treats me’. Believes it for of course – a little unstable on the head has to be a pretty common affair among those higher up the ladder. Dials happily.
“Hello, Dr S?”
“No… (probably saw the phone number) who is this?”
“This is from DC newspaper, Kochi (tiny bells start ringing in head. What did the boss say about it being a resident doctor… oh oh)”
“I see, I am M’s wife”
“Ohh…. Ohhh… ohhhhhhhhh! Sorry ma-ma maaam. Hehe (why do all embarrassing talks end with hehe, as if it helps!)”
Still hangs on, feeling dumb.
Tells boss who breaks into laughter and apologizes, before passing on the news to other humor-deprived colleagues. Can’t help it, it was funny. Didn’t mind, for once being the source of a little entertainment on a lazy Sunday in office.
Been a while since I cris-cracked. This time I am going to have a laugh at the expense of a dear friend I call Anthrappan. It is a she by the way. Two of her cracks in the recent days:
Occasion 1: (I will be C, Anthrappan will be A)
C: Hi Anthrappan it’s me.
C: Eda, I am doing a story (news article) and I want Bobby’s quote. Do you have his number?
A: Bobby’s coat?
C: Yea, I need a lawyer’s quote for my story.
A: You want to use his lawyer’s coat?
C: Yea, his quote.
A: You want him to bring his coat all the way from Delhi to Trivandrum???
C: Err I will call him, over phone.
A: Ohhhh…. Quote!
Anthrappan and I did an interview of Malayalam filmmaker Ranjith recently. After this, she stored his phone number in her phone, and accidentally replaced another Ranjith in her phone book. The other one was her colleague. On one occasion, she wanted to contact this colleague to get 10 calendars in the office. And of course, dear Anthrappan dialed the number of you-know-who. (She was also advised to speak sweetly to her colleague so he will agree to pass the calendars)
A (sweetly): Hi Ranjith
A: Are you busy?
R: No tell me
A (wondering about the voice-change): I was wondering if you could give me ten calendars?
A: At least five? For our section.
R: You want me to send you calendars?
A: Yea. You don’t have to bring it yourself. Send it through the peon?
A: Not you. The peon.
A: At least 2?
Okay, I may have exaggerated a bit here and there. But you get the picture. That’s our Anthrappan. And what’s worse, she has been telling people that she did what is usually done by her friend Cris!
Ok its that time again.
Editor: Can you read the last title that you send?
“Asteroid gives earth a cloth shave”
In case you are wondering what the original was replace the ‘th’ of cloth with ‘se’.
Conversation with friend DD
C: That blog post you wrote was really impressive
DD: Which one
C: The one on Shanghumugham ambalam (temple). It was really great… about the injustice of girls not being allowed… and…
DD: Sabarimala temple. Shanghumugham beach
(Sorry but this is kind of a Mallu joke)
J: Velil irna pambine edthu tholi vechu (translation: Take snake and put on shoulder er which means invite trouble)
C: Next time
C: The pump in Veli right? We will clean it next time
I have an amazing lot of work pending. Including an exam tomorrow for which I lived up to my historical academic habits – completely forgetting the fact that an exam calls you to spend sometime for er-whats-that-thing-again? Oh yeah preparation. TidyCity has really kept me busy.
But been away from Cris’sWorld too long. So will narrate a short Cris-crack.
Location: South Park hotel, Trivandrum
Subject: Superb sense of direction
Destination: Press Club
Right route: Get out of South Park, walk left
Cris’s course of action: Got out of South Park, walked right.
Cris’s realization point: “Oh oh I have reached the University College. That is in Palayam. The place I have to go to is Press Club, that is in Statue. Something is wrong here”
So that precious piece of knowledge that ‘where University college was, was Palayam’, had saved Cris from walking to er – well if she knew that she wouldn’t have been there in the first place.
A bonus Cris crack if you have survived this long.
Scene: Cris walks uphill. Sees car with colleague driving it.
Whats wrong with it? Colleague could have given her a lift from office if he was driving to the same place.
Cris’s reaction, when colleague stopped car and smiled: Dushtaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa (translates to hmm, cruel mannnnnnnnnnnnnn)
Colleague reacts by smiling and looking behind him.
Cris follows his eyes to see her General Manager in the backseat.
Her face turned red,
“Oh no oh no Ma’am I didn’t know you were there. Ayoooooo (translates to a Malayalam oh no)”
There are too many of this happening people would think I am making this up. I hope!
This is from yesterday. A teacher in class was talking about the time Emergency was declared in the country. Which, err, due to certain valuable preoccupations I had to miss. So he looks up and asks “But of course none of you were born during the Emergency”
There was a sudden ‘no’ in the class from everyone. And thats when it struck me. I had to respond. So I promptly asked my neighbor “Wasnt the Emergency in 1984?”
She frantically nodded. And then I frantically nodded ending up the only person in class who was there during the Emergency. Our teacher was shocked. “Really you were there?”
I thought, sigh this is happening cause I took the software route instead of coming here straight. Yes I nodded again, like this was an unbeatable feat. So he proceeded “Oh well.”
Coming home, it struck me again. 1984 was when Indira Gandhi expired, the Emergency happened in 1975!! That means I told my teacher I was a 33 year old woman sitting with a bunch of 20 year olds!!! Sheesh sheesh sheesh! It was bad enough I was older than the other kids by 2 or 3 years but this… I am sure I’d be one of the few women on earth who volunteered to give an older age, so enthusiastically!
Well I didnt think this would go on as a series. But its quite early in the morning and I am already in form
From office. Conversation between senior journalist and me. He starts.
“Had you been around Patoor yesterday?”
“Oh me in Patoor? Err I dont know Sir. I have been to East Fort”
“Yeah? Through Patoor?”
“Err I dont know that”
Pause where colleague lets it known that me and directions never got along well.
“Ok I saw you there in an autorickshaw”
Pause for 5 minutes – brilliant brain thinks back
“Oh oh yes yes I have been to Patoor”
Its an old story by now. “Eh?”
“I was there. For my dentist appointment”
Internet connection lost in office. Everyone checks on it. Its fixed within a few minutes the announcement of which I totally missed.
So five minutes later I come up with my brilliant discovery
“Net kitti net kitti” (“we have got Internet, we have got Internet”)
From yesterday. An online friend N came home. No no I was at my charming best and made no mistakes. Unfortunately N remembers one of the first calls he had made
“Hi, Are you busy?”
I assume for some reason that N who had my number stored in his cell would call and ask me if I was ‘Busy’
“No I am Cris”
Cause of course to brilliant Cris’s mind Busy should sound like just another name. My explanation is that I heard it Lissy. But noone would believe me anyway.
We were to have a meeting soon. I had to go out and called my editor to tell that. Ground floor is our company and top floor is a food court.
“Sir meeting ine kuricharyan… njan molil poyi”(“Sir I wanted to know about the meeting. I went upstairs”)
“You went upstairs to know about the meeting happening here?”
I wanted to tell that I have to leave by 4:30
So I raise 4 fingers of one hand and 3 fingers of the other and say 4, and 30.
“How do you show 4:30 again?”
I get a call from a friend.
I answer. “Hi A its me Cris!”
“I understood that”.
The point in case you missed it is – he was calling me, so emm there is a high probability that he knew it.