Moving homes
tameshru
I've moved to http://tameshru.wordpress.com

The End of Reason Sale!! Soulmates at just $9.99!!!
tameshru
I’d comfortably slipped into my 30s and had settled into my peaceful, no-surprise-filled, secure routine, and thought life was all good. As I was browsing through my mail one day, I saw one which read ‘You’re going to find your soulmate this year’. My interest piqued, I decided to open the email. It asked me to pay $9.99 if I wanted to know more. Ten dollars seemed too high a price to pay for a soulmate, so I deleted the email and thought nothing of it. Until two weeks later. I walked into a mall wanting to book a few slots for the kids in a play arena. I must put on record that I had no intention whatsoever of shopping. I’d put my cool shades on, which reduced my peripheral visibility more than blinkers ever possibly could, and marched straight ahead. I suddenly felt an inexplicable tug at my heart, and my face turned to the left out of its own volition. And there sitting pretty on a glass shelf, was the most beautiful sandal I had ever seen. I felt myself moving towards the display window and sensed that a larger force was at play. The next few minutes are blurry. I don’t remember much of what happened. I slipped my feet into the pair and the only thought that came to my mind was, “Damn! That email was right. I have indeed found my solemate!”Can you guess what the price of that shoe was? Rs. 678.57! 9.99 dollars, correct to the paisa!

My confidence in the astrology emails went up greatly after that. Who can blame me after all? The mail had got my future right, down to 2 decimal places. I eagerly awaited the next email. I heard the distant ringing of temple bells at dawn one day and heard a “ting” on my phone that seemed to resonate with the bells. I knew it had arrived. I opened my inbox, and sure enough, there it was, with an intriguing subject – “Is your chemistry strong enough?” I was offered a special discount this time – only $8 to find out if it indeed was. That evening, I promised to cook something special for my daughter. I decided to make some fried rice and cake for her. A few minutes into the cook, my nose detected something wrong. I rushed to the kitchen only to find the rice all mashed up together. I took a new batch of rice, and remembering an experiment from school, added one-eighth of a gram of salt to the rice. Voila! The rice was cooked perfectly. I thought the food needed a bit of acidity and added a bit of ethanoic acid* and was shocked to remember that it had 8 atoms! The cake needed an eighth of a gram of baking soda** to make it rise perfectly. At the end of the evening, the perfectly balanced meal cost me Rs. 543.40, or $8.00 to be 2-decimal-point-eerily-precise.

The third email arrived at my inbox precisely 4 weeks after I’d got the first one. This one said, “Break-up or make-up?” I marveled at how soon my soulmate and I were supposed to have broken up. Even my equally new pair of sandals stood me in better stead. This mail promised a free tarot card reading if I signed up for a year’s subscription at $20. I was driving to a café to meet a friend, with thoughts of these marvelous emails still in my mind, when an auto rickshaw suddenly swerved onto my path. I slammed on my brake as hard as I could and avoided hitting the vehicle. My head hit the steering wheel though, and I was left with a little scar on the forehead. I tried my best to cover it up using my concealer, and went to on to meet my friend. A lady sitting at the next table had cards drawn in front of her, and was teaching, what I presumed was an amateur tarot card reader, tricks of the trade. The brakes and my make-up surely saved face that day. And you know exactly how much my concealer cost, down to the paisa, don’t you?

I just got one that is titled, “Should you stay or go?” I know the answer to that one as I definitely have to go now. That’s a nine point nine nine dollar worth bio-break.

*vinegar, to the chemically uninitiated
** Sodium bicarbonate, to puff up your ego

Recipe for disaster
tameshru
Piece de resistance: Disaster, also known as Bisi Bele Bath

Venue: A clean little kitchen in a quiet little home in a peaceful little locality in Bangalore

Head Chef: My husband, equipped with kitchen armory

Kitchen Armory: The standard stuff his wife has left him with - a cooker, a few steel utensils, a mixer, about half a dozen spoons of various sizes

Ingredients: Equal measures of rice and toor dal, vegetables to suit one’s needs, salt, ghee and bisi bele bath powder

Procedure:

Step 1: Go shopping for a blow torch, a fancy oven, a blast chiller and a container that can house liquid nitrogen

Step 2: Search all over the internet to find a recipe that requires you to use the abovementioned equipment to make bisi bele bath

Step 3: Modify the first recipe you find to include these steps and make it look authentic so your wife is fooled into believing it is the real deal

Step 4: Insist on making the bisi bele bath powder from first principles. I mean, only an amateur home cook would use off-the-shelf powder!

Step 5: Call the wife to ask her exactly how many grams a pinch of salt translates to

Step 6: Realise how useful having the mother-in-law on speed dial is. Get her version of what the pinch converts to. Measure precisely the ‘pinch’ of salt by taking a mathematical average of the two numbers got from the two women

Step 7: Call the wife up once again to ask which one is bigger - the teaspoon or the tablespoon

Step 8: Pay heed to that niggling voice that says her answer is not to be trusted and turn to the one who you trust the most – your mother. Breathe a sigh of relief as her answer coincides with the one given by the wife

Step 9: Set a recurring timer on the phone every 3 minutes to check on the water level of the dal

Step 10: Call one of the three women to numerically quantify the “pinch”, the “handful”, the “fistful”, the “bit” and the “small quantity”

Step 11: Give the vegetables a charred look by using the blowtorch, then place the entire dish inside the fancy oven. Once out of the oven, place it inside the blast freezer to give it a cool twist

Step 12: Groan out loud when you realize that you thought the recipe was for two people and multiplied all the ingredients by two to cook for the family of 4, when it was actually for 8 people

Step 13: Go through your FB friends’ list to find 12 people who are based in your city and invite them over for lunch

Step 13: Apply sick leave for the next 3 days citing culinary exhaustion as the reason

Step 14: Ignore your wife when she says the kitchen is looking like a war-ravaged battlefield and then wonder why she’s giving you the silent treatment

By the way, the first 12 readers of this blog post get one portion (measuring exactly 184g) of bisi bele bath free. Please eat a bite of it if you’re in favour of the Free Culinary Basics for the cooler sex.

 

Uneasy lies the head that wears a father’s hat
tameshru
Our little family of three walked past a hat shop the other day, and were mesmerized by the wonderful collection the shopkeeper had. We bought about half a dozen hats and couldn’t wait to try them on. My daughter picked a mauve one that had ‘Innocent child’ inscribed on it. She told my husband, “Pappa, do you know, I sit next to a boy called Rafael in class. The other day, he asked me, “Do you have Pixie dust on you?” I asked him why he asked me that and he said, “Because you look like an angel to me”

I immediately picked a pink hat that had the words ‘Impressionable woman’ etched on it and thought to myself, Wow, what a line! I want to meet this boy Rafael. My husband, though, picked up a fuming red hat, and asked her in a stern voice, “Who is this boy? Tell me what he looks like. Does he still sit next to you? I think I want to meet your teacher”. My perceptive little daughter realized that her sentence had caused my husband great discomfort and immediately wore a hat that read, ‘smart cookie’ and said to her father, “Oh don’t worry pappa, he told me that because he never knows any of the answers in class, and always asks me to help him out.” I don’t know which was greater – the sense of relief that my husband felt, or the sense of disappointment that I felt.

A week later, we went to our daughter’s school for Rhyme and Rhythm day. As soon as we entered the auditorium, we saw a boy bullying another boy, and my husband said to me, “I bet that is Rafael.” He sat with a hmph when I paid him no heed. When my daughter’s class got up on stage, he gave the entire class a thorough screening, and his eyes finally settled on a big, rather boisterous looking fella. Wearing the same fuming red hat, he said to me, “I know that’s him”. I said, “That’s who, darling?” His hat seemed to grow a shade darker as he responded, “Don’t pretend like you don’t know! Rafael that’s who!” I’d carefully chosen to wear the ‘Proud, yet cool mom’ hat that day, so I asked, “Who is this Rafael?” My husband tipped the now crimson hat over, and told me, “You should pay more attention to what your daughter says, woman! That is the boy who used that angel line on her!” Throwing the hat out of the window, I broke into spontaneous laughter.

My daughter likes pretending she’s a salon attendant. The only customer she has is her father, who lets her style his hair any way she likes, because it always looks the same irrespective of whether she’s run a lawn mower through it or poured a bottle of conditioner on it. A couple of days ago, the stylist told her only customer that she was going to give him a rock star look because it was ossum. Even before his hair could be styled, my husband wore his light red ‘Suspicious dad’ hat on, and asked, rather innocently, “Do any of the boys in your class look like rock stars?” When she responded in the negative, he dropped all subtleties and asked, “Does Rafael look like a rock star?” My daughter ran to me and said, “Amma, I think pappa is very fond of Rafael. He talks about him all the time. I don’t like him, but do you think I should make friends with him because pappa seems to like him so?” I wore my peacock blue ‘I told you so’ hat on and gave my husband the cockiest smile I could possibly wear.

Every villain in every movie now looks like Rafael to my husband. He thinks Sauron, Ramsay Bolton, Voldemort, and his boss should’ve all been called Rafael. During an argument the other day, I knew I had really angered him, because he said, “Another word out of you Rafael, and I swear you will never see that lovely necklace again!” I really wished I had some pixie dust on me just then.

 

One tick, two tick, black tick, blue tick
tameshru

Lives can be linked in mysterious ways, and sometimes the Universe turns to technology to weave interesting stories. Here are four that find meaning, thanks to Whatsapp:

It’s child’s play

One Tick:
My daughter wanted to share some exciting news from school with me one day. She knew the odds of getting her mom to pick up her call was close to zero, but was sure she’d be available on whatsapp, come uncharacteristic November rains or sunshine. She picked up her grandfather’s phone and sent me a few hearts

Two Tick:
My daughter egged on the hearts to travel through the mobile tunnels by pushing her message with her fingers, rather violently. Thanks to her karate classes, the strength of the push was good enough, and the message landed in my inbox

Black Tick:
The fact that I was presenting in a meeting did not stop me from looking at my phone when I heard the familiar “ting”. When I saw the big red hearts, my face broke into a large smile that betrayed our poor performance for the quarter

Blue Tick:
Before I could click on the message however, my daughter ran to her art set, picked up a blue sketch pen, and coloured the ticks on my dad’s phone, blue


The alarm clock called mamma

One Tick:
My aunt, who is perpetually worried about her 15 year old son not studying enough for his board exams, was thrilled when I explained how the ticks worked. She licked her lips in glee, as she realized she’d stumbled upon a new way of keeping tabs on her son

Two Tick:
The teenager realized he didn’t need a watch anymore, as his mother sent him a message every night at 11 pm, every morning at 5 am and every Friday night at 1 am

Black Tick:
At 10.57 pm every night and at 12:57 am every Friday morning, he’d turn his data off, and his mom would be very pleased with his dedication towards his academics

Blue Tick:
At 4.47 am every morning, just before going to bed after partying all night, he’d turn the data on. The mother, pleased beyond reason with her son’s behavior, bought him the latest, large-screen smart phone

75 years of good luck:

One Tick:
My yoga teacher got a message which bore auspicious tidings. The message claimed to bring as many years of good luck as the number of people the recipient forwarded the message to

Two Tick:
She promptly forwarded the message to all groups that she was part of, but didn’t know how many people had actually seen the message. This was crucial – the gods had decried that good luck would be showered on the recipient, if and only if people had actually read the message

Black Tick:
She was quite pleased to have got 45 glorious years of good luck. She saw two ticks on every group that she was part of, which consisted of a total of 90 people – she figured just sending it to them earned her half the years of good luck at least

Blue Tick:
It has been 11 days since she sent the message, and she’s managed to collect 75 years’ of luck in her Whatsapp goodie bag. I should’ve introduced her to my teenage cousin – two blue ticks at 4.47 am from a boy who was preparing for his boards should surely count for 10 years of good luck at least

Life comes full circle

One Tick:
My husband and I were showing my phone-savvy grandpa how to send emails. He typed out a grammatically correct, perfectly-punctuated email and clicked on send

Two Tick:
The email client wondered whether it needed to use some special protocol to send out his email, as it had never seen such an impeccably typed out email in its 44 years of existence

Black Tick:
My grandpa sensed the client’s hesitation, and asked innocently, “Where are the ticks? How will I know when the email reaches my son?”

Blue Tick:
My daughter, who had been waiting for him to ask that very question, ran towards the laptop with the same blue sketch pen, and drew two big blue ticks on the top right hand corner of the email body


Baby soap for the soul
tameshru
Last Friday, my daughter and I sat opposite each other at a Chinese restaurant. I looked at my watch. The time was exactly 19:47. The owner of the restaurant, a friendly lady in her fifties, walked up to us, cracked a few jokes that had my daughter and me in splits, and handed us both fortune cookies. Both of us enjoyed the cookies, came back home and thought nothing of the incident. The next morning, I woke up and ran my fingers through my hair. Imagine my surprise when I found that I could actually run my fingers through the length of my hair without it getting entangled a few hundred times along the way. I realized with a shock that I now had smooth, silky, brown, poker-straight hair! I touched my face and found that all my pimples and blemishes had disappeared, and its place was baby soft skin. I rushed to the mirror and was shocked to see my daughter’s face staring back at me. Just like in the movie Freaky Friday, my daughter and I seemed to have swapped souls. I was soon going to realize how different my daughter’s world was from mine.

Gestures and anger management - I was being driven to school when a car suddenly swerved and came in front of our car. The driver smirked at my “dad” and blocked our path completely. Blood boiling, I wanted to show him the finger. Out popped the little finger on my right hand, and the words “Katti! I am not friends with you any more” popped out of my mouth.

Mastering the “Cut-put” language – My dad* said something funny, which I didn’t quite get, and said, “Just kidding, honey”. I wanted to laugh but instead, said, “If you’re just kidding, I’m just mommying and mommy is just daddying”

Eureka moments – My “mom” was giving me a bath one day, when I spotted the soap sitting in its dish, all diminished in size. Instinctively, I reached up to the cabinet to replace it with a new soap. But I heard myself saying, “Soaps are just the opposite of human beings, aren’t they amma?” When my bewildered “mom” asked me why I said that, I heard myself saying, “Soaps start off being big, but get smaller and smaller with each passing day”

Speed reading – My dad and my “mom”**were reading the Song of Ice and Fire, and I started a competition to see who could finish the books first. I went to the cozy corner of the library, hoping that nobody would disturb me, and was sure that I’d get a few hours of uninterrupted reading and thus race ahead of my dad. I felt a light go off inside my head and picked up “mom’s” bookmark and kept it a few hundred pages after dad’s. She managed to read 375 pages in under 3 seconds. Surely a world record!

Now you better say you like this piece, or else I will show you the finger. Just mummying!

*I was slowly getting used to thinking about him without the quotes

**Don’t think I could ever get rid of the quotes for her
 

The cat's out of the bag
tameshru
One of my male colleagues came to my desk the other day, with a sheepish grin on his face, and hesitatingly asked, “Err, I know this is weird, but would you by any chance have a safety pin with you?” I gave him what I thought was my most empathetic motherly smile, and enthusiastically responded, “Of course. It’s such a handy thing to have. No need to feel shy at all. Let me find it for you”.

For those of you familiar with the Harry Potter series, my bag is exactly like the one Hermione Granger carried along with her when the trio was off on their adventure to find the Horcruxes. For those that are familiar with Indian mythology, I’d like to draw a parallel with Draupadi’s famous inexhaustible vessel, the akshayapatra. For those that are familiar with neither, I welcome you to a tour of my bag, and you’ll know exactly how my colleague felt that day.

Like most women’s bags, my bag has about eight hundred and thirty seven compartments. My colleague remained patient through the first three hundred zips, as I pulled out a book, tissues of various sizes*, a GoT hand of the king brooch, a half-eaten chocolate, about a dozen bubble gum packets and 3 mugs of various colours. His patience finally ran out when I let out a small yelp as I felt something smooth inside one of the pouches – I was sure there was a lovely little rat inside. But turns out, it was just a harmless banana peel with half a banana stuck inside from my snack from three weeks ago. My colleague said, “It’s ok Shruthi, I think I’ll manage without it”. My motherly pride was hurt. How could I not provide for a helpless fellow who’d come to me with such great hope in his heart? I held him firmly by the arm, and told him, “You stay right here young man! I will find that pin for you even if that is the last thing I do” Without thinking about my professional reputation, I emptied the contents of my bag onto the floor. With the little pride that is left in me, I shall refrain from mentioning what tumbled out of my bag. But smuggled inside that large haystack on the floor, was a glistening little pin. I picked it up and did a little pirouette that would’ve put the best ballet dancer to shame. “Tada! I present to you Ms. Molly**”, I said proudly, to my now-ten-feet-away colleague. I’ve neither seen Ms. Molly nor Mr. Keep-Away-From-That-Woman Male Colleague since that day.

Now you’d think that this enchanting chemistry between bags and women sparks off late in a woman’s life. I’m proud to say I seem to have passed on this lovely little trait to my five year old daughter. Every time we go to a restaurant, the first thing she does even before ordering everything she sees the kid in the next table eating, is to pick up all the tissues* from the table, bring the waiter’s attention to how lovely they are, and then yell at the top of her voice so that the kid sitting in the far corner (and needless to add, her mommy, daddy and third cousin twice removed) hears her clearly, “Mommy, please put these tissues in your bag. We don’t have any at home and you need it all the time to blow your nose”.

My husband and I are the only parents that do not blame the school for our daughter’s heavy bag. If you opened her school bag, you’d find a dozen erasers, tissue papers, broken crayons, hair bands, stones of many shapes and sizes, and the other half of the banana from our snack from three weeks ago, which, if I may add, still tastes yummy.

*This precious commodity is one of the many things that moves between bags

**It only felt right that I name her considering how much time we’d spent looking for her that morning
 

The laughing stock app called Tech-savvy Aunt
tameshru
I have this vivid recollection from the not-so-distant past, of when I’d sit with friends or cousins from my generation and share tales of how the older generation struggled with aspects of technology. Each one would recount a tale funnier than the other, which would be met with loud guffaws. While I’d always empathise with those being teased, I’d end up feeling young and up to date with the changes in the tech world. I didn’t realize all my notions of being tech savvy and young would come crashing down faster than the speed at which technology changes.

Fast forward to a few nano years later. The setting is familiar. The discussion, familiar. The outcome? Couldn’t have been more different. So I was sitting with my teammates, happily sipping on my evening cup of tea, when the topic of dating comes up. One of my colleagues mentions how relationships have a shorter shelf life these days because of things like Tinder*. And I spontaneously ask, “What’s that?” My eyes instantly recognized the look on their faces, and the heart immediately knew whose story they’d be guffawing over at the next coffee session.

I made peace with the incident by telling myself that my colleagues were kids, and that I had no reason to be aware of apps like Tinder since I wasn’t part of the target audience. A few days later however, I got the second drubbing. This one was worse, since I didn’t even have the excuse of exposing myself to a “younger” audience. My husband and I were looking at directions on Google Maps in my phone, and it estimated it would take us about two and a half hours to get there. My husband exasperatedly asked me, “Are you sure you want to go to this place? Seems like it is too far away” In my eagerness to go to the hotel that someone had highly recommended, I told him, “Don’t trust maps on my phone. It always takes me much less time to get to a place than it suggests” He said, “Hmm, that’s weird. I can understand if it took longer considering how unpredictable Bangalore traffic is”. Using my cajoling skills, (which is way better than my app awareness and usage skills) I managed to convince him to go to the place. When we got to three quarters of the distance in about 15 minutes, he said, “Hmm, looks like you’re right. We’re going to get there much faster than two hours”. As if on cue, the voice in my phone said, “You seem to be travelling in a vehicle. You’ve chosen a walk route. Would you like to change it?” I instantly recognized the look on his face, and the heart immediately knew whose story he’d be guffawing over at the next coffee session.

I was complaining to my nephew about the poor UI features of my phone**. He told me about a cool new app that added a customized layer over the stock Android OS*** that would make me love the UI. I installed this app pronto. After all, the 10 year old expert had recommended it to me. I was trying to call my mom when a crystal ball dropped down from the heavens to tell me about a cool new discount from one of the e-commerce sites. Another time, I was in a somber meeting when all of a sudden, my phone started playing some embarrassing song I’d got on whatsapp****. I saw a lot of people giving my strange looks when I was at the cafeteria one evening. I realized why only when a friend said, “That’s cool jeans. Your pocket lights up on its own”. The torch on my phone, which was sitting snugly inside my denim pocket, had decided to light up. That night, I decided it was time the cool new customized layer app and I parted ways. I tried uninstalling the app and found to my dismay that I couldn’t. I grudgingly asked my husband to help.” I instantly recognized the look on his face, and the heart immediately knew whose new story he’d be guffawing over at the next coffee session.

My daughter is pointing to my furiously-blinking phone. Ah, that’s my cool new task manager app telling me I need to get into the water, as I’ve finally reached the beach I’ve been walking towards for the last 3 weeks. I wonder if she’d be able to help me uninstall the app. The heart knows whose story she’d be guffawing over at the next Bournvita session.

*I googled it up as I was writing this to make sure I got the name right.  You can find me in the location meant for oldies with poor memory

**I googled it up to figure it was called One Plus One

***Have I redeemed myself a bit at least?

****The one app I definitely know about

 

Corrugated page turner on discount
tameshru
Ever since I’ve started working, I’ve barely managed to keep myself abreast of the happenings around the world. I usually open some news site with the intention of spending at least ten minutes reading up on the headlines from across the globe. Thirty seconds into my reading, I usually remember something pressing that needs my immediate attention, and the poor page remains unread. If the e-asy medium of news meets with such disdain, you can only imagine how its poor paper cousin has fared.

It’d been about two years since I’d picked up a newspaper, and during my last visit to my parents’ home, I decided it was time to renew my relationship with the newspaper. As with all neglected relationships, something didn’t seem right the moment I’d established contact. From years of practice, my hands automatically stretched as wide as they thought they needed to be to fully embrace my old friend. But alas, the paper just slipped through my hands. That’s when I learnt the first lesson of relationships –affection decreases when attention is not paid to it. In this case, the paper had shrunk itself by a few inches.

I looked at the first sheet, hoping to grab the important stuff, as my eyes traversed through the two-inch-shorter length of the paper. I figured I could get my entire month’s grocery supplies 15% cheaper if I went to a particular store. I found stellar deals on orange hair dyes, automatic cabbage choppers, engine oil for Ambassadors and barf bags made of nylon. Lesson number two revealed itself to me –all good things come in smaller packages

Having been enlightened to such a large degree in the very first page, I excitedly turned to page two. Only to realize that only half of the first page had turned, while the bottom half remained firmly intact. Staring at the barf bag deal for 10 seconds wasn’t time enough to digest what an awesome deal it was, apparently. I gave it another 5 seconds, then carefully turned the bottom portion over. The main page two consisted of 4 big stories – one about a sordid murder story involving many permutations and combinations of spouses; another of a terrorist scam that led to another murky murder; a third, of a group of legislators who were placed under house arrest at a swanky resort away from the city for fear of being horse traded; and the last one was of a statistically accurate story about the correlation between age and the amount of money amassed by startup guys. I learnt another precious lesson on this page – that truth was not only stranger, but also way more entertaining than fiction. My heart ached for some mundane, predictable stuff, so I turned the tele on to the channel running my favourite soap.

Every time I turned a page, I’d guess about two things – what the ratio of area of ads to area of news items would be, and more importantly, what shape and proportion of the paper would be cut, blank or serrated. My life had seemed so boring these last two years, and it was only now that I realized how much I’d missed out on because of not reading a certain newspaper.
 

Net Brutality
tameshru
I was preparing for a big meeting at work the other day. I went through my to-do list an hour before the meeting. Charge laptop. Check. Load presentation. Check. Have back up data ready. Check. Book meeting room. Check. I took a deep breath. I told myself I’d done everything I could, and that nothing would go wrong. It is at a moment like that, that my dear friend Murphy usually chooses to make his presence felt. That day however, he delayed his entry by a whole hour.

At the chosen hour, I loaded the presentation and shared my screen with my audience. Ten minutes into my presentation, someone asked me to open a browser and show them how my suggestion would play itself out in the real world. On the home page, occupying more than a quarter of the real-estate, were three scantily clad women, dressed in the latest inner wear. I heard a few gasps, a few “ahems”, a few chuckles, and definitely felt everyone’s eyes popping out of their sockets. “Those are some really pretty models. If your suggestion can transform some of our laptop models to look so pretty, I’m sold on your idea”, someone said cheekily. I immediately realized which item from the list I’d forgotten to tick off – “Clear cookies”. Uncheck.

How I came about browsing that particular lingerie site makes for an interesting story. My husband and I were discussing holiday plans for a long weekend in September. After much debate, we zeroed in on Goa. We browsed a few sites and finally made a reservation at a nice resort. The next time I logged into Facebook, I saw advertisements for sunshades, flip flops, and you guessed it right, for swim wear. Curious to see if I could find something interesting, I clicked on one of the links. It was only on the day of the big presentation that I realized why our mothers tell us never to click strange links.

The web spider, often disguised as a friendly grandma, has proven to be a black widow on many an occasion. I’d once written a scathing review on Bhajrangi Bhaijaan on some site. Within a few hours, I got an email from one of the online petition signing sites asking to sign a petition against the killing of blackbucks! I initially thought it was a coincidence, but was forced to admire the complexity of algorithms run by some of these crawlers when I saw ads for selfie sticks all over my mailbox the very next day.

I repeatedly kept seeing ads for ipads and iphones every time I logged on to the internet. I pride myself on uncovering random connections where there are none, but this one had me flummoxed for quite a while. I realized how that came about a week later, when I saw my daughter typing away furiously on my laptop. She was so pleased with the first five letter word that she had learnt to spell, that she kept typing it out on my browser window a few million times. And what was the word? Why, apple of course!

I have a feeling I’m going to be seeing a lot of ads of kids modeling about in swimwear soon after I post this piece. I’m sure it’ll be followed by a request to sign a petition against using children as models for clothes.

 

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