“Mom” and “dad” to each other

April 28, 2010

by Rashmi Talwar

NOTHING transcends geographical borders like the mom, dad, beta, baby syndrome that catches on with a long innings of a couple. I wondered who an elderly woman was addressing as “Abba” a man her own age, in Lahore till he answered “Ammi jaan…waqt par hun”.

It felt just like home merely 60 km away in Amritsar, where dad used to address mom as “Mummy” and mom vice-versa to dad as “Papa”. Now we too were doing that even before our silver wedding anniversary. It is not Lahore and Amritsar’s shared culture to be blamed for turning couples into each other’s mom-dad but a worldwide trend in marriages nearing a sterling silver.

I remember my most beautiful paternal aunt got married to a Merchant Navy guy. Exposed to countries other than “Mera Bharat Mahan” she addressed her husband “darling” and “sweetheart” as grandmother glared and we teenagers giggled. Tickled endlessly by the endearment, from Mills and Boons reading spree, we could not see the “darling” as the TDH (Tall-Dark-Handsome) but the not so familiar “sweet nothing” in Indian domestic circles surely stirred youthful longings.

A number of gifts from foreign lands kept granny mum but when a new daughter-in-law started the “darling” routine, granny mumbled her choicest expletives: “Hindustan vich reh ke, pati nu ‘darling darling’ kardi hai”. Our giggles were never ending . That was in 70s when we heard mothers call their husbands “Oh ji, Ay ji or Suno ji” and approving nods by grandmothers, till it became a hearty joke in films. Actually, schooling had changed all.

Often peer or parental nicknames either spread warmth of familiarity or turn one glacial in later life. My sister when addressed as Nane Shah felt prickly. ‘Petha’, ‘kaddu’, ‘nali cho-cho’, ‘tiddi’, ‘chiku’ ,’drum’, ‘elachi’ and ‘ghori’ were names of our tennis buddies. I felt that more often childhood names re-bonded the shared pranks but most don’t share my enthusiasm. Some even take offence over shortened names as familiarity no more fits them. So when I called my classmate, now a principal, by her short name, she boomed: “Call me Mrs Sandhu”.

However, my ‘darling’ aunt had a unique penchant for name-calling and so musical that none felt berated. A stay at her place was indeed enlightening. Early in the morning she exclaimed “Dhoop aa gayi” for the morning maid and “Raat aa gaya” for the evening servant. A vegetable and fruit vendor outside her house in the morning smiled widely when she asked him “Chor, itne din kio nahi aya?” while her grandchildren danced a merry-go-round with “chor aa gaya..chor aa gaya”. Why she called him “chor” is a long story.

However, some instances can hardly be forgiven. My husband called me by my pet Pomerian’s name: “My Guccu”. “Am I your dog now”, I retorted. “Oh my ‘Beta’, he said teasingly. Another time when I called my friend on mobile and called out “Dain” and somebody asked Seema who is “dain’, she replied: “Rashmi Honi hai…


Hillarious —Important Laws Which Newton Forgot !!!!!!

November 6, 2009

LAW OF QUEUE: If you change queues, the one you have left will start to move faster than the one you are in now.

LAW OF TELEPHONE: When you dial a wrong number, you never get an engaged Tone.

LAW OF MECHANICAL REPAIR: After your hands become coated with grease, your nose will begin to itch.

LAW OF THE WORKSHOP: Any tool, when dropped, will roll to the least accessible corner.

LAW OF THE ALIBI: If you tell the boss you were late for work because you had a flat tire, the next morning you will have a flat tire.

BATH THEOREM: When the body is immersed in water, the telephone rings.

LAW OF ENCOUNTERS: The probability of meeting someone you know increases when you are with someone you don’t want to be seen with.

LAW OF THE RESULT: When you try to prove to someone that a machine won’t work, it will!

LAW OF BIOMECHANICS: The severity of the itch is inversely proportional to the reach.

THEATER RULE: People with the seats at the furthest from the aisle arrive last.

LAW OF COFFEE: As soon as you sit down for a cup of hot coffee, your boss will ask you to do something which will last until the coffee is cold.

Well turned out! by Rashmi Talwar

October 1, 2009

Well turned out!
by Rashmi Talwar

YOU should ‘always be well turned out,” this was the jewel of advice for appropriate appearance that my father gave me. Although the idea stuck and pushed me to take great pains at dressing up right, during my tennis career, it often took a toll on my performance!

In time, the jewel was lost, as I felt that repeating a “winning garment” during a tournament —washing only its armpit section— was the true mantra for winning! Many a winning thus rested solely on superstition. For the times it worked, my resolve only became stronger.

Years later, when I graduated to matrimony, my father’s jewel struck again. I was reprimanded often for not appearing as a newly-wed. A crackpot neighbour added fuel to the fire with his comment: “How has she been kept in the family without any jewellery?” It stung my in-laws! I escaped from the caustic remark as the entire neighbourhood considered him a crackpot.

Miscellaneous excuses. Heat, itching, rash etc helped me to shun customary bangles and my only daily accessory remained a watch, till a younger cousin advised how true dress sense plays many a trick. The shopkeeper is attentive, people flock to you, chat more openly…

I took the baggage of  “well-turned-out” with me yet again when I entered newspaper reporting. Thus, politician’s interviews were forthcoming. Dignitaries prioritised my query, refreshments arrived as I waited. Undoubtedly, it felt superb. Initially I felt like a hypocrite but later drew myself as an “expert”.

In my enthusiasm to share my good fortune from the jewel, I pushed this advice: “Look your best when you go for an interview”, I told a senior journalist on her assignment to the university.

Elated, she shored her tresses of rubber bands and went all loose-haired, smart in the hottest month of June! A few kilometres further, sweating and panting, her struggle for a lone rubber band proved futile. Fanning herself and holding her hair in a mock knot, a clerk seeing her dishevelled, promptly handed her a stapler: “This is all I have”. Surely cursing me, she stapled with the oddity!  Pulling hair over the silver staples, wishing them to be invisible to the interviewee!

At another time, on a reporting assignment in Pakistan, a fellow journalist washed her crinkly hair. In their washed state, I complimented that her hair reminded me of Bollywood actress Kangna Raunaut’s curls. Her thrill to be the actress’s look-alike was only short lived. During the Punjabi “boliyan” session when the Indian jatha jumped into bhangra mode, a cocky devotee sang: “bari barsi khatan gaya si, khat ke liyandi chhoti bhen, , mainu ki pata si oh vichon “niklegi  daain”  and pulled the “Kangna” to dance the “bhangra”.

The cutting look she gave me stays with me.

The article was first published in The Tribune’s Editorial Page no 8 on October 1,2009

URL: http://www.tribuneindia.com/2009/20091001/edit.htm#5

All mails can be posted at Letters@tribuneindia.com— Editor-in-Chief

Punjab, power surplus or power deficit?..CM sings paeans to PM, Sonia blamed for all Punjab’s “ills”

July 20, 2009

 Crucial Jalalabad Elections-2009 for SUKHBIR BADAL

By Rashmi Talwar


The Jalalabad MLA By-Elections where Punjab’s ‘short-fall’ Former Deputy Chief  Minister Sukhbir Badal is testing his skills (alleged goondagardi..) to win over the electorate, after the dismal scenario of power-cuts in the state, during two- years of Akali-BJP rule, would indeed be interesting to watch in more ways than one. Indian hand made fans for Parkash S Badal and Sukhbir Badal for making Punjab Power-Less state

  • Sukhbir Badal ? Power surplus or POWER DEFICIT? 

Sukhbir Badal boasted of making Punjab “Power-Surplus” state.

Loki kende ne —He misspelt it in English he meant — Punjab would soon be a “POWER –DEFICIT”  or Better still “POWER-LESS” state! 

  • Sukhbir Badal ? Shortage of coal to blame? 

After the misspelling blunder, that no doubt, rejoiced the electorate then,  Sukhbir Badal ‘s reality has now come to haunt Punjabis.

So, he squarely blamed the center for   reducing coal allocation to Punjab’s Thermal Plants, for all the power shortage woes and all other ills that Punjab faces. Does he remember to pay bills for the coal purchased?


Loki kende ne :—Hun muh te kala ho hi chuka hai …hor ‘kola’ (coal)  ki karna hai?


  • CM changes strategy, sings paeans to Sikh PM


Sukhbir’s father and Chief Minister Punjab who indulged his “paternal pleasures” and installed his son Sukhbir Badal as Deputy Chief Minister of state, only to see him being pulled down post  6 months of the grand coronation in Amritsar, has this time, changed his tune.

Given the poll debacle of 2009 Member of Parliament elections, suffered by his SAD_BJP combine, he is singing paeans in the praise of first Sikh PM Dr Manmohan Singh. 

Only last year, the CM was ready to “Pull-down” the same Sikh PM, over the nuclear issue, in the vote of confidence motion in Parliament.

He even banished the so-called ‘traitor’ in his cabinet Sukhdev Singh Libra for having voted for the PM .

Libra of course, won the MP seat on the congress ticket  with an added sheen of ‘conscientous sikh’ and stuck his tongue out at the Akalis! 

Being a strategist, the senior Badal knows that the PM factor played massively in MP elections especially in Manmohan Singh’s hometown where a ‘towering’ sitting BJP MP Navjot Singh Sidhu won by a ‘thin’ margin to his opponent Om Parkash Soni of congress.

Thus, this time around Sr Badal  has chosen to attack a less sentimentally-attached-personality-to-Punjabis– Sonia Gandhi –. For all the “ills” faced by Punjab he blamed the Sonia hand and praised the PM to skies with an obvious eye on votes for his son,  in the oncoming polls.


  • Loki kende ne :—-   Vote lene hone te PM , ‘Sikh’ PM ho gaya…….wese kende ne ki PM ne apne hometown vaste, matrie maa (step-Motherly treatment) varga  saluk kita ..Kia change of tune hai ! (the haven of politicians) 

Tailpiece:—– Loki kende ne :—What remains to be seen is by what  vote margin Sukhbir badal wins , if he does?

He is already demoted to fight as MLA from an MP seat holder.

His wife Harsimrat Kaur won by 1 Lakh margin of votes and now holds an MP position. 

“Sari Akali baraat Bathinda le ke Harsimrat nu jataya, hun sare baraati Jalalabad ch dera pange!!!


Indian hand made fans for Parkash S Badal and Sukhbir Badal for making Punjab Power-Less state

Perhaps the first and Only Michael Jackson ! Of Amritsar

July 11, 2009

By Rashmi Talwar

He was cheered, with a seemingly endless applause—Matching his steps- were the thumping- tapping feet of all who watched, as he “MOONWALKED” on stage.  

Michael Jackson in Amritsar

Michael Jackson in Amritsar

A smile lit me, as I dusted old photographs of Arjun,  shaking my head, I recalled him  dressed as the first and perhaps the Only Michael Jackson! Of Amritsar. 

Sometime in the early 90s, this fancy dress competition was held annually on Christmas day—at the local Amritsar club.

As an annual feature, the event had the power to push every parent worth his last buck,  to ‘necessarily’ doll-up their kids for this  fancy dress (Moreso, for fear of tantrums the whole year around, by the left-outs!) Our son Arjun, had a winning streak of over a decade of winning these fancy dress competitions–no less than 11 times! 

 But his MJ act was undoubtedly the best; at least it was my favorite.

News of Michael Jackson’s death on June 25, had all of sudden renewed requests from Arjun—“This time, with added gusto, urging us to send the scans of his fancy-dress pictures, on Email, ASAP.

Perhaps, his friends in the UK University were teasing him, pooh-phooing! his claims and boasts of having once won the prize, dressed as The Star MJ! 

Read the rest of this entry »

Shiney’s namesakes now butt of jokes, sms Jokes on shiney

July 2, 2009

shiney ahujaRajesh Ahuja,



While actor Shiney Ahuja awaits legal eagles to fly to his rescue after the alleged rape case, those that share his name are paying a hefty price. The Shineys of the world have suddenly become the butt of jokes in social circles. The fact that their name is Shiney, they say, now fetches them sniggers in bulk.

Sixteen-year-old school student Shiney Choudhary was bombarded with calls the day the news of the alleged rape case broke out. “People have been making jokes about my name since then. Every time I meet friends, they ask me, ‘Hasn’t your maid resigned yet?’ It’s kind of irritating,” says the class 11th student. DU student Shiney Kashyap, too, sounds agitated as he tells us that the same has been going on since the news came out. He says “Even though I know my friends understand me and are just pulling my leg, it does irritate me a lot at times”.

Read the rest of this entry »

Navjot ne BJP ki vat lagiye …kaha BJP ‘nipunsak’ hai

June 27, 2009

By Rashmi Talwar

 Punjab mein BJP ki MP elections mein karari haar ke baad hoi  ek bethak mein, jahan sansad, vidhayak , councilors aur BJP workers majood they, MP Navjot Singh Sidhu ne sare BJP netaon ki vat lagiye .

Navjot Singh Sidhu on Fire ...Photo courtseyhttp://shawza.wordpress.com

Navjot Singh Sidhu on Fire ...Photo courtseyhttp://shawza.wordpress.com


Kaha BJP “Naponsak” (impotent) ho gayi hai.

Halan ki, akaliyon ke khilaf  BJP netaon aur workeron mein bhari rosh kafi  waqt se panap raha tha, lekin kisi ki himmat nahi hui ki party ki bethak mein yeh gussa  unchi awaz mein nikal sakey.

Taaliyon ki gargarahat mein Sidhu bole—” Kio shehron mein bijli –paani ki kilat, ke khilaf  BJP nahi bolti?

Kio industrial policy nahi baniye gayi ab tak ..Kio iss bare mein BJP ney sarkar se sawaal nahi kia ?”

Jab senior leader Manoranjan Kalia ke saath Akali MLA Makkar ne batt-tamizi ki, toh sare BJP vale ikathey hue … Kio   BJP MLA Anil Joshi par akaliyon ke attack ke baad, Koi nahi bola?

Read the rest of this entry »