TEACHERS & THE DEVIL HIMSELF

It is that time of the week when I get my writing skills in place and pen down a thought or two and try to bring in subtle humour…SUNDAY…..a day when waking up late is rather a drill than a norm…..even if I have to let the dog out at 5.30 am …the blighter has no clue that it’s my day off….and me too like all other slumber queens here would love to hug my pillow….and catch in a fantasy on a yacht in the meditearnean…..sipping a cool mojito with some woman crooning in the back ground….and the winds telling me that I am free…..and then the jump happens in shark infested waters…..Neil …….the dog wants to be let in…..saala abhi to bahar gaya tha….he needs to be better trained…..and in monsoons the wet paws and the wet underbelly have all the cushions being dry cleaned every third day…can not blame the doggy dude….we are the ones that are parenting him….Enid loves this though….she has cleaner sheets and gets to buy new floral ones all the time….

So whats my topic for the day, the weather outside is more conducive to waking up in bed under satin sheets with skin…etc etc….I ain’t going into details….cause neither do I have satin sheets and the skin is rather untouched… and the bed isn’t mine…it’s fully occupied…..and it creeks…ha ha!….and no one will get me coffee in bed….that belief that men are a superior race died in this household long back when a Tarot reader told me, Sir…YOU WILL BE SURROUNDED BY BEAUTIFUL WOMEN ALL YOUR LIFE……saala Chu_ _ _…should have been more elaborate …..ha ha….wifey…two daughters…a beautiful mom in law…my loving sis at times….and a young lady cousin joining in….three maids all women in different shapes and sizes…..and over that once upon a time I had two bitches….both labs…..and a bhaiyya I feel is too feminine or maybe his affiliations are suspect ha ha!…..and in this big aggregation I am an OUTSIDER…my opinion hardly counts….I am more the disenthralled banker…providing without charging interest…a LA SBI…(Mallya bhai fame)….so whats my topic…..Ah ha! WHO AM I LIKELY TO MURDER IF EVER GIVEN A CHOICE….let’s go…

MY MATHS TEACHER IN SCHOOL……he would be my first choice in the growing phase of my life….let me just describe him…..ultra dark….curly hair…booming voice…fit as a fiddle…and super intelligent….called all fellow lady teachers, Darling and Sweetheart (and I am sure they smirked) and had an attitude that threatened the principal….many a time we saw the principal changing his patrol route……ask anyone in school whom they were scared of more and without a thought would be said his name…and what a threat he was to our growing up…maths is a subject that leaves you no choice…either you are good at it or you aren’t …..and with this guy…..even guys who couldn’t count started multiplying and dividing…under total stress and fear…..before his class we could almost hear chants in the entire hall….some saying the Namaz….some the Gayatri mantra….and some the Lords prayer…..and his favourites were the last benchers….the tallest guys….in retrospection I guess he targetted them cause they gave him an ego boost that he could reach their cheeks and lay his palms on them in the form of a slap….by the end of his class…we hardly learnt anything much but heard a lot of music…some wailing…some crying…some shrieking….some having palpitations and some choking….even the intelligent were not spared…he had names for everyone….Rocket….Bullet…Chindi Chor….etc etc….and all that we wanted to hear in his class was the gong of the school bell……saala baja yaar….I am sure Sanjay Bhosale who was in-charge in his typical heart warming way of saving us being agonised rung the school bell a couple of times a wee bit early…and I am super positive the principal sitting in his office understood why….(he must be thinking ..ha ha some poor guy getting clobbered). But the surprising part was all of us did well….our maths marks even of the dumbest were never below a 75 out of 100. We had one guy who used to pass in all subjects and performed miserably in maths….but after a communion with this teacher…he passed maths getting a perfect score and flunked in all other subjects…I am not mentioning names here…cause over the years I am not privy to who sees this as humour…the torment and the torture…..I am sure there could have been better ways to teach…..lots of us still wake up even at 47 years of age having nightmares that we flunked maths and the dear teacher is giving our papers in class….for analysis….the way he gave the papers out was amazing….he called your name …good marks and he handed the paper to you and smiled….okay marks he threw the paper at you and said, you better watch out….and trust me that was a threat….and mediocre marks and the paper got flung below the platform on which he sat….so you had to get down on your knees to pick up that paper all the time worried that he would get your ass…..ofcourse he never did play with that……thankfully ha ha…..I meant a kick.

The most crazy part was he had this feeling that he was helping us in making the transition from boys to men…..and interestingly his class also would be filled with uncontrollable laughter….he would target a guy for the day…and go on and on….ya Faisal aaj kaun sa ladki dekha? and Faisal would be …Kya sir!!!! padhai kar raha tha….then he would go…..three girls walking the road ..carrying 15 kgs of weight between themselves….one throws away 2 kgs…how much would they then carry? and Faisal dreaming of three cute girls in skirts…..fantasising…. he following them on his red luna (a little moped)….and then a whack!!!@#…..ha ha…..and one of us prompting the answer…..and another whack….and Faisal going…sir ladkiyon ke naam to batao….even after a whack…..thats what happens in a boys school…

In his methods of making us men…he was told by some school health inspector that…teachers should encourage young growing boys to always wear underwears….lol….and this teacher took it so seriously….that we had to pull our undies up…above the hem of our shorts to show him we wore one…..imagine our state….lol….things being squeezed and crushed at that age….once one of us happened to tell him …sir its small so not coming up…..and he walks up and says open ur zipper and show….and he sees …..and says okay…and walks away and then turns back….this is funny….and checks again….and oooh la la…..what a trick….baniyan ko underwear banaya…this guy hadn’t worn one and he had stretched his banyan so low to make it look like a brief…..this guy throughout his class wore the banyan over his shorts……what a sight….THE BANYAN SUPER MAN….BOYS SCHOOL….

Out of fear none of us actually understood anything he taught in class….and most parents…at that time….in that period of time chose him only as our tuition teacher….what treachery…..but all of us who went to him will singularly grant him the privilege of making us tough….we had chiseled faces with all that slapping…..Rajesh had a black arm due to all the pinching….Faisal learnt to count….Dinesh forgot his maths….and me I scored …..but by the end of his class, we all learnt….and he always ended with an adult joke….that too a corny one…that we laughed till we cycled home…..What was most alluring about him was….he taught many of us for free…..no fees….and if ever we came in early…he always had breakfast for us to share…..

We passed out from school and trust me …we scored in maths…all of us did…..thanks to the DICTATOR…..and if anyone is to ask us who we would miss …..or maybe think of in a social gathering and talk about the most it would be him…..we still do….in our last school gathering….the max talk was about how he beat all of us…..and our parents felt proud of it…..thinking ….gadhon ko kuch sikha to raha hai…..try beating kids today@!#$##….but we all ended up saying……he was a good man…all he wanted to see was us being successful….he took pride in what we had become…whenever anyone would meet him….his happiness showed….I guess he took personal glory….in what he must have presumed…..THE GUY HE TOUGHENED……

SIR ARTHUR JOHN……..an epic of St Pauls…..mentor to a lot of us…..your slaps still ring in our ears…..we love you…yes we do…..but MURDER YOU IF WE GET A CHANCE…….WE WILL…….an article by Col Neil John, SM

Of flights and the fear of flying …

Of flights and the fear of flying …

Sitting at the international terminal 3 in Delhi and waiting for a flight that has been delayed by hours…is an experience by itself, this supposed to be a silent airport etc…and there is some promo event happening and loud music blaring…I am at the airport in search of peace, already destroyed by an air Indian delay and here are some
Musicians playing old tunes that just make me want to close my ears and say no brother no..but then even as I am Writing this they start playing Ajeeb yeh dastan hai yeh…:my mom used to sing it for me every time I wanted to hear her beautiful voice …so all is forgiven …maa ki yaad dila di….it’s indeed fascinating watching people walk by at the airport …some hurrying to catch the flight…some to charge their phone…some to pick up medicine and some lining up to buy food and some just sitting and listening to
Music ….undeterred by the noise and hustle …the dressing is even better …some for fashion …short skirts…long legs…some dresses to entice …some dresses as if going to a wedding…the tight jeans with backsides bursting to be free are like crazily generating heat ….and some in suits all formal, as if to attend a meeting on the flight….air hostesses strutting around looking sexy more than classy and the pilots walking by with their trolley bags … like everyone is watching them and are about to give them a standing ovation , if I was good at caricatures, I would be drawing moods and personalities that would get even the most critical individual in this planet to smile with the realisation that I could be one of those

But what attracts me most are the unwilling flyers ..,the walk …the pace …the dragging of the cabin baggage…the looking constantly at the medical shop ….frequent visits to the wash room …entering the women’s washroom by mistake …anxiety working overtime …trying to make silly conversation with all that might be willing to hear …making effort to be extra nice to the airport staff (kahin yeh flight cancel na kar de)…..and some just closing their eyes as if to tell
Their brains …nahin bhai airport nahin hai ….busstand hai …bus se hi ja raha hoon ….air India hai …ha ha ….

Then the call for boarding ….sigh …jaana hi padega….and then that, I CAN DO IT …I CAN BOARD THIS PLANE …wala walk …with background music playing …we shall overcome …we shall overcome one day ….and the air hostess looks up and says namaste welcome to air India …etc etc …and all that she gets is a smirk …and a mental question ….Jodhpur pahunchega? Teenon pahiyon par? Bina skid kiye? Engine mein aag to nahin lagegi….are there snakes on a plane …koi suspicious bandha to nahin hai …here every one wearing a topi and a payjama is a conniver ….and yaar ye seat …no way …I can’t sit by the window…I can’t see the plane blow up after a bird hit …I can’t be doing this …is this thing even going to fly …pilot ka naam Dev rath Mukhopadhyay hai…bloody with this name that sounds like a bad politician …will he even be able to fly ….what am I doing sitting on this plane …aunty seat exchange Karoge….window se aap scenery Dekho, main beech waali main Baiththa hoon …and aunty clasping a hanuman chalisa saying …nahin bête doctor ne bola hai, beech mein hi baitho ..garmi lagegi aur safar acha hoga…..maa
Ki ankh …aunty hai ya Lalita Pawar…side wala uncle looking up and saying AC ka pani chu raha hai…abey takle uncle …pasina hai …mere se chu raha hai …kahan se yeh mat pucho…and then he looks around and sees Iqbal bhai and Sameera begum folding hands towards Mecca and praying ….hai ram …yeh dua Kai ko kartein…darate mereko…picturan mein dikhate…kuch gadbad hoyenga lagta …is liye dua kartein …Lekin yeh sister cross par hathan rakh ko …Kai ko Jesus Jesus karti…Sab mile hue lagtein…aiyo o Asaram babu bhi isi flight mein….flight hai ya …religious integration ….and the sweaty scared passenger settles down amid chaos and turmoil in his brain …his lungs crying for oxygen and his bowels moving like a turbine …

and the flight attendants start their drill ….IN CASE OF TURBULENCE…the gas mask ….that’s the final straw ….listen buddy in the black coat …ya you …male hostess …I need to get down …but why sir …I can’t fly …but why sir….cause it’s my ticket and I paid and I don’t want to fly …but sir the doors to the plane are closed …sir pl relax…no bloody hell I can’t relax ..I am almost peeing in my pant every time aunty says Jai hanuman and Iqbal says Ameen…it’s the end buddy ….I need to get out …sir pl sit ….but tell me yeh plane mein parachute hai na….but y parachute sir? Abey gadhey plane ko kuch ho Gaya to …kudne ke liye …sir pl sut down, now you are scaring the other passengers and I am crapping my guts out too …I will have to call the captain …sir u realise that u would be put as a suspect …but I didn’t say BOMB …what sir? What did u say? Arrey kuch nahin …I didn’t say bomb …sir u are scaring us …capt Mukhopadhyay…pl there is a passenger who just said bomb …can hear capt Mukhopadhyay sigh on the mike …abey is the passenger Monty sally….dusky Gupta or np Singh? …arey sir it’s np Singh …how did u know …Saale ko fruity pila aur bol flight Bangkok ja rahi hai …apne aap over excitement mein fright Bhul jayega ….sir it worked …the passenger is silent but sir he can’t stop smiling ….and sir the glint in his eye is rather cocky …and the flight takes off in a mix of Jai Shri ram ..Ameen and Jesus Jesus ..hawe mein ud gayi kya …haan jee Samundar par hai …lol and there goes the trigger …plane ud raha…woh bhi samundar par….aunty tairna aata hai? …of course I know how to swim beta …I was the university champion in my hey days …Lekin jab main 30 kilo ki thi abhi 120 hoon …tairne ki zaroorat hi nahin …buoyancy se hi float ho jaungi…..uncle aap? …beta main chal nahin sakta …tairunga kab….Dekho paani mein ship kitne chhote lag rahe hain…aunty aap middle seat se ship dekh rahe ho …yahan main graveyard pahunchne wala hoon kamzor dil ke karan…sir veg or non veg? …non veg … beta tum chicken Khate ho? Mara hua murga? …aunty kya bol rahe ho …beta main Marwari hoon …no non veg …aur aapko bhi nahin khana chahiye …non veg khale se chikangunya hota hai …kya? Uncle laughing away …..aur Matar khane se matargasti nahin hoti?…. cabin crew prepare flight for landing ? ..kya? We about to reach …so soon? …again comes out the hanuman chalisa …the bible and the beads saying Ameen ….bacche ki jaan loge kya…and with the entrails almost reaching the pharynx the plane lands ….bye bye aunty ….bye bye uncle …safar kitna acha raha …..and he walks out like he piloted the plane …confidence personified …. how was the flight? Ah there were two old people sitting beside me …uncle darpok and aunty phateli ….the entire flight I had to keep them busy in conversation lest they die of heart attack for the fear of flying …..(this article doesn’t refer to any true incident, also characters mentioned are fictitious and do not in any way point to my good friend) …..an article by Col Neil John SM

Mhow mornings

Mhow mornings
I woke up rather early today to catch up on pending work, at 5.30 am to be precise, that’s early for me cause I am a late sleeper, not that this silent town has anything major to offer, but life has….. music that’s good for the soul…a book that’s good for the mind….some news to actually realise that nothing is actually important or path breaking anymore…food that hits your belly straight…and forces you to run to the gym every evening….friends that let you make lasting memories and the internet which lets you stay connected, programmed, captivated and most of all informed….I haven’t watched tv for days now…don’t even have the inclination to…initially Netflix got the best of me…but now it is like I am wasting precious time watching movies that almost are predictable and all end the same five ways….happy…sad… confused…incomplete leading to a sequel and trash.
But this morning is special….I let Zach my labrador out and he is like…gawd dad! its 5.00 and I am not even in the mood to pee…he wont budge …infact he sits down and gives me that quizzical look as if to say …all okay dude? you seem to be high on hash….cause you are smiling and pushing me out…not that usual grumpy self….whispering under your breath….saala kiska kuta hai….roz roz have to walk him and let him out and even on Sundays….guy doesn’t have a sense of understanding….but then the freshness of Mhow mornings hits you…..cool breeze….subtle colours of dawn….mist in the air….chirping of birds making a melody that’s almost extinct to my ears….leaves blowing in the winds….and the brightness of the flowers just amplifying gods creation in all its splendour…..the azaan from the mosque and the aarti from the temple ….both playing in soulful harmony…..as if in tune with each others spirits…. spacing the rythm and letting the essence of each sentence be embedded in the calm ness of the morning

As I sit on the chair looking into nothingness…..I can only remember a prayer….and be thankful to the creator for LIFE….for surrounding me with all things beautiful and most of all for leading my path and ensuring that LIFE IS WORTH EVERY MOMENT OF LIVING….

‘When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed
when you are discouraged thinking all is lost
Count your many blessings
Name them one by one and
it will surprise you what the lord hath done….’

As my day goes by and I speculate about the things that I have to do, the moments I need to create and the issues I need to address….I can only smile….and say to myself…thank god for ANOTHER DAY IN PARADISE….LIVE IT…..
………………… Neil John

MY INCEPTION

 

MY INCEPTION

It has been a long time from that day when I wore my first star, when dad and mom stood as proud parents as I got pipped at the portals of the Indian Military Academy, the tears in their eyes as they saw their son ready to build his world and live his dreams could not be hidden. I knew I had requited their dream. My most beautiful aunt Barbara and my uncle Arun watched on, as a skinny lad in olive greens tried to hold his belt together on a waist size which read 28….that is when the odyssey bloomed into a profession that I fell in love with. What was absolutely funny then, was the commissioning and the process….Gentlemen cadets as we were known then were ferociously proud of the branch of the army that they had opted for, some the Armoured Corps, some the Infantry, some the Artillery and some Engineers and other arms….everyone building castles of where and how he is going to conform to the challenge a soldier has to endure. The anouncement was in a large hall, as to who gets what, I saw smiles, sniggers, tears, laughter, immense joy and muffled curses. As for me I sang….A 100 MILES A 100 MILES…I CAN HEAR THE WHISTLE BLOW A 100 MILES….having got my choice, I could only gloat in pride…TANK MAN…THE MEAN MACHINE…THE ARMED CRUSADER….THE BLACK KNIGHT….BLACK BERET

I could see myself surrounded by pretty lasses and BRUTALLY CRUEL machines that smelt of gun powder and tasted of burnt charcoal……and then in a few days, I got a call from the adjutant…there is a man here from your unit and he has come to give you your accouterments. Elated I reached the adjutants office and there was this burly sardar looking at this puny to be officer, he would soon have to call saheb, and in a rusty voice he said ….regiment ne yeh bheja hai…..and he reaches into his bag and pulls out a bottle of Peter Scot. The Adjutant gasps in disbelief, I ask bhaiya baki saman kidhar hai (where is the rest), he says ena hi diya hai…..My heart finds a murmur… no cap, no badge, no shoulder titles, no belt….nothing but a bottle of whiskey…and that too to a bloke who never tasted alcohol in his life. The adjutant bellows at the top of his voice, ‘the whiskey stays here’ you can collect it when u pass out. As I see all the others proudly displaying all that their regiments had sent…canes…and scarfs and pouch belts my heart sinks further…..and then comes a saviour…..Lieutenant Varun Sehgal….to witness the passing out of HS PANNU…and he carries his uniform….he sees my condition….feels sorry….offers what he had carried….and I passed out wearing VARUN SEHGAL….lol…..later when I reached the unit and found out who had messed up, I realise the adjutant had told the NCO, CSD canteen Jana aur Peter Scot aur accoutrement le jana….the sardar understood only the daru part…the rest he presumed was best wishes from the regiment…ha! Ha!

I reached my unit, deployed in a forward area in counter terrorism operations, as soon as I get down from the vehicle a mess waiter meets me with a glass full of some weird concoction that smells like cow piss, and a menacing looking young captain (Bhowmik) says drink up, its’ tradition…and you have to do it in a single swig…..empty stomach…tired…I gulp the poison and he pats me on my back with a large thump and says ‘GOOD CHAP’ and I don’t know what hit me, I am like floating in Egypt…on the Nile…cruising on a ship…Cleopatra looking into my eyes and saying….more grapes darling….and another rap on my back….wake up, we have reached the regiment….youngster chest up, chin up, first impressions are most important…and I am taken straight to the commanding officers office, the handsomest man I had seen in uniform, hair worn long, a posture of generals and a smile that was ….as if to say welcome son….and we have a lot in store for you….Col Arun Surya, he asks me about my antecedents and calls in the adjutant, and shouts HAVE YOU GOT THE YOUNGSTER MEDICALLY EXAMINED…before getting him to me…he seems weak and starved…..the adjutant says….sir will just get it done…and tells me…move it….

What happened then is etched in my memory as a beginning that I can only laugh at in retrospection. I am marched in….in quick time to a MI room which has nothing but a doctors table and a cot with a white bed sheet with a saline bottle hanging loosely…..I am asked to sit cause there is no doctor around and wait. My head already spinning from the drink that they forced down on me….and in comes the most fidgety doctor I had ever seen….prancing madly…talking to himself…shouting at a nursing assistant….dropping the paper weight….holding a huge injection….cursing under his breath…..all the maa and bahen ki galiyan….saying saala patient, ek injection mein hi mar gaya….abhi CO ko kya bataunga…..seedha postmortem ke liye bhej deta hoon….accident dikha dete hain, ya poison ka case bana dete hain….he turns around and asks the assistant….poison milega? jaldi le aa….patient ke andar dal dete hain…. etc etc….and me with bated breath looking at him and saying to myself…shit! this guy is insane….and then he looks at me….stares into my eyes says nothing….for good two minutes….and then shouts abey yeh kaun hai??? saala ek dead body sambhal mein nahin aa rahi….yeh dusra le aaye…..what the F—@#$!…dead body….who??? me????

Then the young Captain hears the commotion and comes in and says….sir he has just joint the regiment and the Commanding Officer wants him medically examined…..he turns around to the Captain and says….who permitted you inside….get out…the Captain says sir!…and he gets up with the syringe in his hand and chases him out saying….tu idhar aa….yeh tere pichwade mein lagata hoon…..bloody hell…..I am like sweating…summers ….and a crazy maniac….he comes in….take off ur clothes and lie down….I am too scared to ask questions….I remove my shirt and lie down on the bed….a cute nurse comes in, looks at me sympathetically…..isn’t’ this nurse too pretty to be a nurse….I am too used to seeing curly haired …oily…coconut oil smelling nurses….this one is like milky white…and fit to be an angel….and he comes in and shouts…PANT NAHIN KHOLA….and he turns to the nurse and he says…..kheech de……WHAT? she rushes out…and he screams take off your clothes…not a piece of cloth on you….and in 2 secs I am stark naked…..and I cannot even mention here the things he made me do……ulta….seedha….iske saath….uske saath…..thoda teda…..thoda chouda…..and then he screams…..I will screw you….what? Freakin hell and I cover my behind…!@#$….and he screams more…I will send you back…you are a msifit….you are an insult to your parents…..a shame to society……a kalank on all men and officers….and I am looking at him…..he takes in the paper work and writes in bold…..NEIL JOHN UNFIT….TO BE RETURNED TO IMA…..OFFICER HAS STD…..(sexually transmitted disease)…..Kya??? and he turns to me and says….when? when? who? who?…..you bloody nincompoop you are a goner……STD is unpardonable…..I look at him get my courage in my throat and meekly tell him…SIR BUT I AM A VIRGIN…..and he is like what 22 and still a virgin…..shame on you….you are a curse on manhood…..arrey ……sir I cannot have STD…..and he shouts…..you used a public toilet recently….and I say, I traveled by train….and he says exactly I knew it….PUBLIC TOILET MEIN HUA HOGA…..WHAT??? I tell him, sir I am a science student and this is the first time I am hearing that you get a sexually transmitted disease by using a public toilet…..

He screams you dare argue with a doctor…someone please take him out or I will inject this guy with poison….and that time the nursing assistant enters saying…..saheb poison mil gaya…maine injection tayar kar liya…..and hands over a syringe to him…..the doctor has a wild and crazy look and he shouts …someone take this chusa hua aam out……and the young Captain comes in and drags me out…..as we walk back to the Commanding Officers office he says…STD cannot believe it…no one can save you now…I am so sorry…don’t unpack….we will have to send you back…….I am almost in tears…..you want to tell your mom you are coming back? and I weakly say yes….and he says call her from the STD booth…..and I dial only to find out the phone is dead…..and he then takes me to collect my bags….and I enter a room….and find it full of ladies and officers smartly dressed in combats…..no one talks to me….the waiter scurries up and gives me another drink and I refuse….the Captain says drink it….or I will announce it that you have STD….I gulp up…I am asked to introduce myself….I cannot talk….my voice is croaky….tears well up and I say I am Lieutenant Neil John…..and the captain says NO you are Mister Neil John….I have had enough and I am about to burst…a lady walks up and says….I am so sorry to hear about your disease…..disease?????WTF????…the commanding officer walks in and looks at me and sees my state……and says I am sorry …………I am not registering anything….I am in a state of shock… Renuka Fernandes, Mrs Malini Muddappa (Malini Santhanam), Mrs Rashmi Bhowmik… three of the most beautiful women who have adorned my life, walk up and say…..don’t worry….everything will be okay….WELCOME TO THE 69TH…..and everyone raises their glasses and say…..WELCOME TO THE PLACE YOU WILL GROW TO CALL YOUR HOME…..

The doctor walks in and I want to kill him…..and everyone just start laughing…..@ Vipul Shinghal……..an actor beyond compare and an officer who stands tall as a gentleman, Capt Bhowmik who just acted calm and composed all the time walks in and smiles and says…DAR GAYA……maa ki aankh…dara nahin….I almost crapped my pants……THE 69TH ……they raised me good….and taught me how to stand tall through it all……
…………………….an article by col Neil John, SM

MY LIFE

 

MY LIFE
As I walk through the years that I have lived this earth and pause to think of the journey, a rush of emotions greet me, the journey hasn’t been easy, trials, tribulations, torment, success, failures and most of all periods of extreme joy and sadness. Recounting the young days of living without the parents due to the constant postings, of periods of wanting to wrap my arms around mom and just loose myself to a world of dreams, of chocolates and cakes and little elves singing me a melody, of chocolate fountains and ice-cream cones and of colour and vibrancy that just kept everything happy. To those days of teens….first crushes….sports and athletics, of studies and brawls, of naughtiness and the drive to excel in all…..and then the college days….prim and proper…good friends….and good times….in love with life….girls yes but they were just to fritter time when you got tired of your friends…and then a relationship that you want to believe will last forever…and it doesn’t go beyond college days…and in hindsight you still say…she was awesome…then the days before you choose a career…the decision making….the advice…the racking of combined brains…and poof you have a career….mine was wild….the days of training where the fear of not making the cut gets the better of you and you restrict your abilities….and then you pass out and you are a hero…fear is no longer part of the text…and you go out to capture the world….the initial stages of growing in your profession, learning and imbibing and running through the rigmarole of a way of life….sometimes monotonous …sometimes exciting…sometimes just plain going nowhere….to marriage and responsibility, where freedom lies a death and you are trapped to an alien thought process….hard to understand the semantics of what to do and what not to do….of what I am able to eat….that you don’t have a choice anymore…it’s all depending on her moods….from initial days of heart shaped chapatis and heart shaped cutlets…to rainbow cakes and beautiful puddings…. to this phase of now….khana hai to khao….nahin to bahad mein jao….where now you have reached that stage in life that it hardly matters whether you need to please or not….for me….I have taken the decision to live my life MY WAY….the average Indian living age can be drawn to 65…I am all of 48….and I want to LIVE….a few years left….so now nothing matters…what people think about me…and what they talk…..I am who I am …..like my good friend Bob calls me THE NEIL JOHN…..I am no longer into impressing…no longer into earning a name…no longer into the number game….nothing matters anymore….positions…appointments….profession….bosses…I will work hard….still be a perfectionist and yet maintain a candour of the lions ….of main theek hoon baaki ka kya matlab….the day the profession has had enough of me…I will bow down in respect to a life he afforded me and leave with my head held high….i quote

“If I ever go looking for my heart’s desire again, I won’t look any further than my own back yard. Because if it isn’t there, I never really lost it to begin with.”
― L. Frank Baum, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

I have a few more years to live, everyone in my family dies early and peacefully, that would be my biggest blessing….and to all those that I have hurt….Go F— yourself….cause if I did then you deserved to be….lol….for those I didn’t…..don’t worry I won’t… cause you deserve to be part of my life….for all those that left along the way….make a place for me in the heavens….but just in case you are in hell…please pray that I go to heaven…have got used to the AC being constantly on here even in good weather…..and as the heaven beckons me…I heard that the good lord looks after you well….and you have a choice of the damsels as well….in that case….I reserve……the one and only…. .(…..)…ah ha….that is another story…..a thought by Neil John, SM (written under the influence of antibiotics and high fever…ha! ha!)

MEMORIES

 

It’s beautiful to wake up early in the morning and just sit outside watching the rising sun…silence engulfing you and defining your vision…bringing you into a beautiful process of regenerating your thoughts and remembering the tales you created as you wandered through life …and as you sit and contemplate whether all that meandering through life actually brought out your true self …you either smile or frown, or just have that moment when you want to pick up that phone and call someone and talk …and end it by saying…I miss those old times …I miss you in my life …I miss the things that you do …and most of all …I want you to know that you had that important role in shaping my life…so thank you …and I am happy today that You know what I feel about you…about us…about what we were and what we have become…and please stay cause I haven’t had enough of you as yet …

When I was a little boy …we used to travel from station to station …dad being in the army …and everywhere we went it was always new schools..new friends…new places and all kinds of weather to get adjusted to and most of all new languages to understand and learn …and in so many disruptions we always found peace in reading…story telling…sharing around the drawing room…there was nothing called media then…no news that was breaking ..no mobiles that pinged…no Tv too…when we actually got our first black and white Tv…that too had a shutter that dad religiously locked with a key..saying the kids can get spoilt…too much TV is not good for the eyes… …lol …and all that used to play was some funny serial and chitrahaar…but then those times were special …dad quizzing us. and a toffee for the winner…not even a 5 star cadbury……mom singing …kahin door jab din dhal jaaye…and we just lost as if in a trance…at someone so beautiful… singing something so beautiful…in between the talk on why the US were fighting in Vietnam and how China and India went to war…How the Russians went into Afghanistan…of Fidel Castro and CHE GUAVERA…..to religious discourses on lord Krishna’s motivation to Arjun as his chariot driver or why Jesus actually sacrificed himself…to how Islam was born…then compulsory reading…spelling competitions within the family…of Indrajal comics and Amar Chitra Kathas…to Archies and later as testosterone filled teens…AXA….

The best was …when family visited…laughter..the feel good factor…food that was unadulterated…uncles talking about their achievements riddled with loud laughter and hugging each other all the time…aunts all in the kitchen…cribbing about the uncles and giggling away…and then saying….whats this why no drinks for us…and then one uncle gets up…and hugs her and says….my glass is your glass….and then they do a jig as in a waltz to any tune that is playing and the mood gets in…and then everyone before you know it is dancing…some trying to sing along…we kids…laughing at aunty pouting her bum instead of her lips and uncle shaking his kamar….which now is a kamara….no cameras then….even the one we had… had a reel and was very expensive to be wasted…and we all only posed for that one solitary picture…and then we swung again….ah ha that simplicity…food was simple and no one actually worried about calories …life was in black and white…the colours were also beautifully embroidered …all through school all I had were two sets of outdoor clothes…some home ones and two specifically for church…just two pairs of shoes …one for school and one for games…one shorts for PT …and we yes …were so content..never ever felt that we needed more…we could be neat…our cupboards cleaner cause they hardly had anything in them…every morning we woke up to music playing…old melodies..happy melodies…Simon and Garfunkel …Neil Diamond…Cliff Richards…and a hug that was so overpowering by dad…and moms sweet voice saying …wake up baby….you will be late…I never heard a negative word or a raised voice…just so much love…we had no time for the frivolous…life was so
much fun…time to play…time to sit on the sidelines and grow by observation and we imbibed the good…learnt about the bad and most of all learnt to make our own decisions and play our own tunes ….

We appreciated little things…the whistle of the pressure cooker….cooking your favourite dish…hunger pangs only increasing…the visits to our grand parents…our uncles coming on leave…they always bought something nice,…and when they left they always gave pocket money…so the first question asked as soon as they arrived was…UNCLE WHEN ARE YOU LEAVING…that pocket money bought us our extras….a new teeshirt…a new shoe…….we had great times for the friends in schools….we loved dancing as a family to ITS A WONDERFUL LIFE….then we grew…things changed…we got busy making a life…dad and mom passed away….my profession found me often staying alone…and the family was separated by distance and time…worlds changed and situations grew grim and sometimes I let the stresses get to me…responsibilities arrived like a storm …and I don’t know what actually happened…now I even in a family which I have built over the past so many years …I feel alone at times and as if I haven’t been up to the mark…have I instilled the right values….have I even reached out in the right way…been available to my girls and heard them when they needed me…yes I have spoilt them …but have I nurtured them into good humans….questions will be answered by life… in time….but today Am I alone???…in this age of modern parenting ….AM I…..going through mid life????…am I just thinking too much????….an article by Col Neil John, SM

A TRIBUTE TO MOM

 

Many a time I used to wake up in the middle of the night…maybe having dreamt something …and walk into moms room and lie down next to her and hug her …and she used to just put her arms around me and cuddle me …and I used to keep looking at her …feeling the warmth …and then she used to open her eyes…and smile …as I held her tight ..I used to ask her …mom how old are you….and then I used to do the mental maths as to how much more time she would have with me…I needed her selfishly…I could never imagine a life without her …the tenderness …the warmth…the feeling of having found god…was all in her beautiful voice…her smile and most of all her ability to love without malice…mom …she was that angel that was sent from above to just make us all realise that there is a god above that cares…I still remember coming home at times disappointed about little things…lesser marks…a rude comment by someone…not being up to the mark on the playing field…and that one hug and her words saying…there’s always another chance and this time the result will be better …would just take away all my pain…

When dad died and mom came to live with me for some time…I had a beautiful home full of warmth that was infectitious…once I bought a new refrigerator and it was hardly two days old…and the lights in the house went off…mom lit a candle and without realising put it on a candle stand on the refrigerator…the candle slipped and the entire synthetic body burnt…mom went in and realised what was happening and tried to douse that fire ….I entered in and saw what she was doing and she had tears…I just pulled her back and hugged her tightly and she cried like a baby…for a burnt fridge? …the hug was long until she controlled her anguish and then I told her …mom u think this fridge means anything to me…I would throw away a million just to see u happy…my mother can’t be crying about something so frivolous…I threw that burnt body out…called for my vehicle and we both went to the market …I bought a new fridge then and there …we didn’t earn much then and these items were costly …but to just make mom feel happy I had to do it…just to show her that the loss was so minor that it didn’t make a dent…we had dinner together and that moment was beautiful …the pride in her eyes…the love was so visible…69 armoured regiment my home in my profession gave her so much respect…that it was incredible…ladies involving her ..officers going out of the way to make her comfortable….everyone just looking after her…and she loved the attention…her favourite was berty….infact the way 69 treated her was so genuinely beautiful that she considered all of the regiment her own….

Mom loved to cook and feed..the more the people at home…the happier she was…she had magic in her hands …everything that she cooked was like mindblowingly tasty …there was always a handi on the stove and enough food to feed a platoon …one day I came home on leave and was resting up and I was told my brothers friends have come…I was rather surprised that they hit the stove right away…no questions asked…just picked up plates …served themselves and got rid of their hunger …mom didn’t budge from the magazine she was reading …and I was like WTF? … and mom looked at me and said bacche hain bahut bhook lagti hai…and the way she said it, I knew she loved feeding them …the comments after that…aunty I wish u were my mom…kya khana hai…aunty pl teach my mom to cook …etc….and mom smiling away like a little baby …she loved the little things in life…dressing up…catching a movie…and her fav outdoor used to be eating a masala dosa in a good restaurant …there was no concept of dinner outside …no way…who would want to …cause the flavours that came out of her kitchen were unmatched …

She was the favourite sister to all her brothers…and she was the eldest in the women …they came home visiting parents and the first stop was always our home…they just loved her …adored her…and I could see why…she had the time to listen …never cribbed ..and showed so much of care that they could just keep talking to her …and I hardly heard her speak …she just listened …and then she cooked for them … like enid says … the only way to impress a John or a Saldanha ( family name ) is by being a good cook and feeding them…mom actually fed …I still remember one of my uncles who was a colonel and living nearby …and very conscious of his son Monty putting on excess weight, sending him out to run … and Monty used to run to my place … mom had breakfast ready for him …he loved it …uncle would never know …mom would never tell …Monty would go back home…find a tap to wet his shirt …or roll in the grass to catch morning dew on his shirt and say it was sweat…uncle used to be impressed and feed him breakfast … daud ke aaya hai …and Monty grew sideways…that’s a crazy story too …. then come noon … and uncle used to be home too …asking mom what’s cooking …and before he could open his mouth a plate would be placed in front of him …and the feeling of seeing her elder brother enjoying his meal, I guess was her most satisfying moment …I would hear Mervin uncle saying… I am tired of eating bhindi and aloo all the time at home…mom loved draping sarees…used to always see her in one…we woke up early and she would already be bathed and in a saree…and she carried it with so much grace…among all her sisters she was the one who was the mild one…

We weren’t rich … but we had enough and more… we didn’t have that kind of money that the others in the family had …but we were always content…we could never boast of something new every season …but we had the best education …we didn’t have extensive ward robes but we were always well dressed … we hardly had enough but everyday we fed 20 more….mom taught us to be happy with little things …and the best teaching was …son when u end ur day …it’s not the material things that matter …but your own happiness …she found her happiness in seeing others happy and content …she was MY MOM … YVONNE JOHN …mother to Thelma John Komal … John Noble and me… and a mother to all those that dined with us… Clifford George…Ronald…Caroline…Gerry..Ajay…Amrita…Anmol…Enid and so many more …MOM I can still hear your words before you left us …MANOJ I DONT WANT TO DIE… it broke me seeing you on that respirator and the doctor saying …son the time is come… I still have tears in my eyes thinking of what I could have changed to have you here with me today … seeing me on the top and watching my girls grow… I miss you mom… it’s ur birthday tomorrow… and I want to be happy …hope the angels in heaven are SERENADING you and the mighty lord has a cake … inscribed … “Neil..noble aur Thelma ki maa” … just that is enough …missing you mom and thank you …as you look at us from the heavens above…always know…we turned out good…infact we turned out blessed…..an ode to my mom ….Col Neil John, SM

And this is what my cousin Praveen Saldanha….Monty had to say after reading the post…..

Neil I was going to mention my experience with aunty but I see I feature in the story prominently. Aunty wasn’t cooking gourmet but her main ingredient was love …dollops of it …and the fact you could have a meal in the John household without being Judged questioned and in total peace and also your famous quote of “Our house is always open to friends, laughter and Sunshine”. The warmth from the house on the hill and the Gorgeous, Kind, Caring woman who lived in it shall always be a special memory…Miss you Aunty….My dad Col. Saldanha used to say we all have houses Yvonne has a home. Hope they are having a wild party in heaven. But poor Aunty Yvonne will never get a break from cooking…Dad must be saying….”Yvonne kitay randhla” ( Konkani for What did you cook). Happy Birthday Aunty.

lazy weekends

It has been a lazy weekend … have almost done nothing … not even been on my phone … got a lot of sleep .. maybe completed some dream
Mysteries that I don’t remember when I wake up … and I don’t know
Why I keep going back to the dream that I didn’t complete college … maybe because somewhere I missed out on things I would love to go back and do … and I really can’t comprehend what …and I end up awake …then of course there are dreams of great professional competence where I get recognised for the work I did…(finally)… then there are times when I am
Para sailing …sky diving … snorkelling and skinny dipping.. by the way all this is happening in Brazil … and then I am a rock star … singing …..baby come back …and …pl don’t go … let’s make babies together …and women swooning …. crying … touch me …take me… and then a man says it and …%#^$£ kaput the dream becomes a horror show ha ha …in some … I rule like the great Ashoka or be brutal like the Chengiz Khan … plunder…loot…etc etc …. then I
Become phantom …the ghost who walks … with lady Diana Palmer … skull ring and a skull cave … man who never dies …Then I become scorpion king…princess woo
Me and I just concentrate on my kingdom … distributing my riches to the needy …or I am riding my horse through ranches … with a gun slung in my holster … killing the bad guys … and impressing the young lasses in the Wild West … playing the Clint Eastwood … for cigars I have phantom cigarettes and then I
Am suddenly Mithun singing I am a disco dancer … or Kasam paida karne wale ki…scary swagger … even scarier when u actually imagine ur self in white shoes …some dreams are bad … where I am
In school and a priest is whacking my behind for having fought with a rich child and bruising him …. and the kids
Mother a voluptuous blond …and the priest excitedly looking at her cleavage and wanting to be a man by whacking me more …pink bottoms … the only time a brown guy turns pink .. I guess…ha ha ….and then all my crushes they all come to me
Pointing fingers … and by now they are in all sizes and shapes some wearing dentures too …gawd how could I have crushed on a older woman …they are like … why didn’t you declare your love … some … thank god you didn’t … I found myself a guy with the wealth of the world in Audi and Benz … diamonds and gold…. so what if he is pot bellied and chews pan Parag … and on every sentence calls her ‘Suno dear …. and this dear … and that dear … and goes abroad on private visits … alone … fav destination being Bangkok ‘ ….so my Sunday went crazily quiet …and I just gave the body a lot of rest … don’t know if it actually needed it … the shapes and contours still have a long way to go to be the ultimate alpha male … and it’s a tryst with weights and cardio … at least something’s take shape … mine the mind more … the mind goes .. no neil why are U running while others are walking and strolling … listening to
Music and in the company of their wives .. and I have to tell my mind … abey …they can cause they don’t fill up like me … even water makes me gain weight in all the wrong places … that’s y I need to run … there can’t be another way .. dieting doesn’t work on me … I love cooking … she loves cooking … my kid loves cooking … my maid is a great cook … so when u have so many great cooks … the moral is bahad mein jaye diet ..: anyway so much for telling my
Mind that u need to
Motivate the body to run … but everyday is an effort and everyday the
Mind makes up a different story … so now I don’t listen to it … I have become mechanical .. I walk up to my Cupboard … pick up my running gear … my shoes and my socks … and I move out of the house whatever be the situation …. honey someone coming for chai … no effect … as it is I am hard of hearing … I keep telling myself … use this to ur benefit … so I have developed a selective hearing capability … I can just hear my wife go chippity chatter … and I hum My way to the gym .. I am in love with the shape of you la ka la … I can imagine her in the background pulling her hair off … that’s what life is all about … hear what U want to hear … the rest is avoidable
Noise .. who needs clutter anyway …. Col Neil John

THE MAIDS OF MHOW

THE MAIDS OF MHOW

Mhow is a quaint, easygoing town on the outskirts of Indore, lush green and laid back and the tranquility almost makes it, as if you are living in a paradise of freshness and peace. Sometimes when you wake up in the morning, you actually feel sedated as if you have smoked the weed all night… it gets to your sensory organs in a mighty big way…and makes slumber a part of your already existing monotony….everything is beautiful here, the parks, the gardens, the market place and the well laid out cantonment… and the best part is the early morning walks…men and women of all ages, shapes and sizes huffing and puffing away …wriggling their top sides and their back sides…can actually write a whole article on interesting backsides…shake…shape…sizes…lol and then Enid would go…stop it…you are turning into the KHUSHWANT….the evenings are prettier…young officers cycling and jogging…to every middle age womans’ delight…and we have so many of them trying to loose weight….have to fit in those dresses they ordered online…seeing a dainty 19 year old model…(gullibility…and army wives….nah!!!!@#$….ha ha…thats deception for you)…..while their hubbies after all that PT and compulsory games in younger days…want to just chill out…and enjoy their cuppa of coffee…watching funny videos….some topless chic forwarded by their anatomy crazy course mate…in a group called wild cocks and frigid hens…and the admin always ends up being..fat…bald…and hungry…but with an attitude of being a blessing to all desperate information seekers…and the evenings won’t be completely described until I mention the newly married lot…hand in hand…white bangles…license for authorised romping…I GUESS….and the just delivered lasses…. Trying to shed the kilos…. And of hubbies who need to pass the mandatory physical tests… blaming all the extra weight on the marriage…the food the wife makes…and delicacies that cannot be wasted.. and in laws and the ghee ki phiphi…they send every month…(ya and you are dumb goonks…who can’t assess the damage you are doing and when to take control of your bulging asses and the waist line….a la…..ASHA PAREKH …at least she shaped them with cushions…). But then you see all kinds of colour…kids frantically cycling and running around…lots of noises…shabbily dressed men riding bikes without helmets…some often intoxicated….loud women chattering away….eating gutka…paan…and dressed in shiny attire as if attending a wedding…all sitting around every corner… living their life….laughing…staring….jabbering….commenting ear to ear…and conniving…..THE MAIDS OF MHOW AND THEIR CLAN….

This is a subject every married officers wife in Mhow will have something to add to….these maids…..they are mysterious…. And dangerous… they are almost a MAFIA….. I will relate to their lives by describing some characters and their ways….all names are fictitious…. But here trust me there’s no exaggeration…

Miss Lalita….the name itself spells cajolery….the mistress of all that is vile….MEMSAHIB….aapke bare men bahut acchi baat sune hai…hum kaam Karna chahte hai apake ghar main… pura khayal rakhenge…..aap pahele wale memsahib se hamre baare mein puchhiye….and then she gives a number…which never gets connected…and the desperate for a maid memsahib falls for the bait…. Theek hai….kitne log ho…main aur mera pati… ek kuta… ek billi…..aur ek tota…. Aur memsahib mera tota bolta hai….hello …how do you do… karta hai….wow animal lover the wifey goes…now my Labrador will be looked after….accha kitna logi? Memsahib har kaam ka 800 rupaiya…aur aap ke servant quarter men rah rahe hain to do kaam free… har party ka 1000 rupaiya extra… nahi har extra kaam ke 600 dungi, aur party par 500 …kya memsahib…. Lekin theek hai kab Aaon? … memsahib excited trying not to show… kal aa ja….theek hai….aaj shift Karen to problem to nahin hai na…. And there comes the hand cart… TV, FRIDGE, MUSIC SYSTEM, GAS STOVE, WASHING MACHINE…HUSBAND… A STRAY DOG…EMANCIPATED CAT…FEATHERLESS PARROT AND A SHADY BROTHER…array bhai kahan se aaya? Memsahib woh aapke kutte ko ghumayega… oh okay…now Neil won’t shout at the girls to take responsibilty of the dog.

DAY 1- all goes well…maid wakes up at 6.30, tiffin for the kids, breakfast for the sahib, comes back at 11, lunch chopping done… for Enid to cook, lays the table, evening comes, makes chai…..memsahib main pakora bana doon…halwa bhi accha banati hoon….no no ….lolita… hamare ghar mean sirf biscuit aur rusk chalta hai….kya mamsahib…Sidhu sahab… to chai ke sath kabhi kabhi burger bhi maangte hain… aur pata hai memsahib… vodka with orange juice tika te hain…what do you mean tikate hain? Shyam ko 4.30 baje? …array nahi memsahib woh uthte 6 baje hain… aur 6.30 ke karib… dekho Lolita hum kisi dusre sahab aur memsahib ke baare mein nahin jaan na chahte…theek hai memsahib…. Dinner plates cleared…good night memsahib.

Day 2- Follow up of day 01, memsahib, bahut acchi lag rahi ho…. Aap our sahib ki Jodi pure maid log bolte ki Rajesh Khanna aur Dimple Kapadia ki Tarah hai… aur memsahib ek baat bolun….kaala tika laga Kar hi Bahar Jana…bahut nazar lagatein hain …. Woh zeenat hai na? Zeenat kaun? … array memsahib …Geeta memsahib ke ghar mean kaam aarti hai….woh kaala jaadu karti hai…who kal aapko dekh Kar badi jal rahi thi…. Array mere ko dekh Kar kyun jalegi…memsahib who aisey hi hai … uske ghar
mein babalog attey hain… kaale kapde pahen kar aur jadu tona karte hain. By now Enid is all flushed up… Lolita tum apna kaam khatam kar ke jao….You know Neil, the maid said this and this….I think I should tell that lady Geeta….Enid you know who that lady is? …..No… I don’t …..then why? Leave it….okay …

Day 3- Maid does not wake up… Enid rings the bell….its 6.30 am …no response… door opens at 7 am…Enid has already made the breakfast…kya ho gaya….Lolita…. Memsahib aaj mera womans day hai…. What??? What the hell is womans day?? Madame wohi wala jo sab women log ko Hota hai….oh ok!.. chal tu rest Kar, Maine breakfast bana diya hai….lunch ka samman kategi?….nahin memsahib hum kitchen main nahi attey… meri saali banayegi…usko bulati hoon…the other maid comes…tight jeans…flairy top…as if going to a disc….red lipstick and gajra….oh god…out of the wild…Enid looks at her and says no…let it be I will manage…she leaves happy and singing…baby doll hoon main…my buddy sneaks up to Enid and says madame …yeh…woh thi ….what??? kaun thi? arrey madame samjho….woh thi…. arrey seedha batao….madame tauba tauba…. paap hai… and I pipe in… abey bata… chal mujhe bata… sir woh …. I understand… I say tu chup rahe… I whisper in Enids ears… and she typically woman… forgets the woman in question and quips…shouts…Shiv idhar aao… tumko kaise pata…. aarey memsahib sab ko pata hai…. no I dont care about sab ko… tum ko kaisey pata…. tum galat kaam karta hai… arrey memsahib… aaj tak aisa paap nahin kiya hai…. no shiv… you are a bad man… and I say Enid… I think he wouldn’t… and she says how do you know… and I say he couldn’t do it to his own wife without putting off the lights… look at his innocent face…I know my men…and Enid says all men are the same…and I go what the f—? jutey paheno aur gym jao…let Enid and Shiv fight this out…I can hear in the back drop Shiv explaining how he came about this intelligence input of that lady’s professional acumen…ha ha…. good to have an excuse to stay out…GYM.

Day 4- 5 -6 -7… Enid manages on her own… a new bai has been hired for jhadu, pocha, and bathroom now we have two….lets wait and watch… the fun begins…

Day 8 – Lolita is back….all work being done….lunch time… and Enid is busy making Chicken curry… Memsahib aap log bahut nonveg khate ho…accha nahin hota hai…dil ki bimaari badti hai…Enid says thank you, aap apna kaam karo…. memsahib isme nimbu dal do na… sahab ko accha lagega…. what? sahab doesnt like lime in his food…lekin memsahib….sahab ko nimbu paani aur shahed pilao roz … Divya memsahib bolti thi, ki is se sahib logon ka performance accha ho jaata hai…..Enid cant believe her ears….she calls me in office and she tells me this frantically….I am supposed to be the cool and composed one…I tell Enid she must be talking about lowering cholestrol…so loosing of weight…and better performance in physical tests…Enid is like Neil c’mon….I know what she meant…and surely next morning I WAKE UP TO NIMBU AND SHAHED (honey)….GAWD…THESE MAIDS….

Day 9-10-11… all normal….Lolita singing and doing her work… Lata busy scrubbing the floor… I get a new buddy as my old one has to go on leave… and he is single…fair…and maid type good looking….(now imagine)… Enid tells me, please tell him no interacting with the maids… and I say both are married yaar…why would they….

Day 12 – Breakfast all normal… Lunch Enid stirring away…Lolita ….Memsahib aapko kuch bataun…. haan bol…. woh Deepa mamsahib hai na ….unka aur unke husband ka accha nahin hai…. bahut jhagda karte hain…aur sahab na mereko pura kaam directly dete the… aapke sahab bahut acche hain baba… dekhte bhi nahin…. jab main pocha lagati thi na… to sahab bolte the…arrey Lalita theek se laga…thoda kamar jhuka ke….Enid is atrocious in her understanding of hindi…and shrugs her shoulders and keeps working… aur pata hai memsahib…jab memsahib maike gayi thi na… sahib bade akele ho gaye the… music laga kar jor jor se gaan gaatey the… aur jis tarike se mereko dekhte te…mujhe bahut sharam aati thi… main akeli…sahab akela….Enid asks her.. par tera pati kahan tha… memsahib woh kaam par jaata tha na…Enid looks at her and says Lolita tu ja yahan se…tera kaam ho gaya….kya memsahib baaki memsahib log kitna haste hain…aap bhaga deti hain…

Day 13- Normal work…Lata comes to Enid…this is the second maid… yeh Lalita Acchi nahin hai… theek se kaam nahin karti….pichle memsahib ne isko ghar se nikala tha…. iske ghar mein check karo raat ko kitne log rahete hain…kam se kam 8…in one room 8 people? impossible… aur memsahib heater bhi chalati hai….khana pakane ke liye…. Night cometh… Enid asks the buddy to check..and he counts 08… bhai…bahen…husband ka bhai… uski biwi… uska baccha…all sitting and watching tv… 56 inch…and ours is 40 inches….Enid tells me…and I say dont say anything now…but warn her in the morning….

Day 14- Enid tells her to kick everyone out…she says they just came to watch TV …nach balliye… and they discuss who is going to win… and she assures Enid no more… then asks Lata ne bataya…. Enid says no…noone complained…we just saw so many… lekin memsahib woh to sab picche se chup chap aatey hain… gawd the maid was convinced that she was discreet…lol

Day 15- Enid is out …house at the mercy of the buddy and Lolita… 12 ‘o’ clock Enid walks in sees Lolita sitting on the katta of the kitchen and our buddy cutting onions…. Enid asks kya ho raha hai….kuch nahin memsahib…main thak gayi thi …aur bhaiya ne madad kar diya….Enid looses it…Phone call…to the office…I want this guy out right now etc etc…. I say okay… 1400 hrs Enid calls again…soft hearted that she is…I think we should talk to him and let him be….he is at least respectful and knows his work…I say ok….

Day 16-17-18 Normal…Enid is busy designing her cake… Memsahib aap kitna accha cake banati ho… aap ke haathon mein jadu hai….and which woman doesn’t like a compliment…so what if its the maid only… enid gushing in happines…memsahib aaplogon par sabki nazar hain… sab bolte hain… ki sahab aur memsahib kitna acche se dress karte hain… aur aapko to kabhi kapde repeat karte nahin dekha… lekin madame sahab ko bhi kaal teeka laga dena… Enid all shocked… kyun??? sab sahab par dore dalten… hero lagte apne sahab ..kaley chashme mein …woh dimpy aur pinky toh sahab ko dekhne ke liye theek 8.30 baje kone mein khade hotein…. what rubbish…. sahab ko pata chala…sahab bahut gussa hoyenge… aisey baatein mat karo….aur pata hai memsahib… shruti memsahib ka affair chal raha hai….Lolita pl shutup… tereko kaisey malum… madame ghar se bahar nikal kar roz phone par baat karti…woh bhi jab sahab sotey hain… arrey apne maa se karti hogi… madame I love you maa ko bolte hain kya… Lolita haan jee.. maa ko hi bolte hain….Lolita nodding her head convinced about the affair… saying memsahib pout kar ke selfie bhi leti…. maa ko bhejne ke liye????

Day 19, 20, 21, 22 normal…Lolita and Lata tiffs…

Day 23-24 Wild…. Enid gone for her classes… me in office….kids in school…. Enid not feeling too well…comes back early… the buddy and the maid Lolita rubbing shoulders in the kitchen …hands almost around each others waist… and all hell breaks loose… I come home hurriedly … and I listen to crazy stories… Haan batao kya kar rahe the… sahab main to sirf Lolita ko madad kar raha tha… madad??? kamar pakad kar… haan sahab… nahin nahin sahab… kaafi garmi thi …aur achanak usko chakkar aane lag gaye… usne mujhe pukaara… toh mai bhag ke gaya …aur dar gaya ki woh chuley ke paas khadi thi….kahin jal na jaye… aur girne se pahele maine usko pakad liya… nahin toh chot lagti sahab…bacha liya maine usko… haan Lolita aapki kya kahani hai… sahab… bhaiya mereko bahut tang karta… jab koi nahin hota… to bolta hai… Lolita tu kitni sundar hai…kis langoor ke saath raheti hai… mere saath chal.. memsahib banaunga… aur kahin kahin se aa kar pakad leta hai… …I look at my buddy he is in shock….Enid is fuming…I TOLD YOU NEIL… I am like… arrey you said..respectful etc etc… but who listens…Lata comes hears the story and another shocker….memsahib jo Lolita ke saath raheta hai woh uska pati…. thodi na hain… puccho usko shaadi kahan hui hai….woh hindu…yeh musalmaan…oh god…. BOLD AND BEAUTIFUL OF THE MAIDS…..and total integration and show of secularism….

LOLITA THROWN OUT… BUDDY BACK TO LINES… LATA VICTORIOUS… ENID COOKING FULL TIME… WE GETTING AWESOME FOOD… EXTRA GYMMING HELPS….

the maids they don’t spare anyone in Mhow….they have stories for all the memsahibs… and the encouragement comes from us…from our memsahibs ..cause we listen to their gossiping and bitching and telling stories and imaginative theories about our ladies and families… that encourages them….AND BELIEVE ME THEY HAVE A STORY ABOUT YOU TOO… ending this article here…cause ENID SAYS WASTING A DAY ON MAIDS… HA HA… happy reading…please comment and share your experience too…. an article by Col Neil John, SM

A GOAN OBSERVATION

Sitting in the lounge at the Goa airport, watching people in a rush …wondering why? …first domestic flight is at 7 am…nothing before that …kyun Bhai? Yeh hurry? Seat in the lounge to help you wait ? Or it’s just part of being INDIAN…and now I am actually feeling amused…GOA!&@₹….does the very name spell …f—- the world …be yourself …dress the way you feel like….who cares who is watching anyways…fashion moguls actually need to sit at the lobby to understand the Indian psyche…and the thirst for freedom … expressed so disdainfully through attire …I have two options now …either I write a thought on freedom of attire and the GOAN HIGH …or I go back to watching people….and sink in the feeling that are we INDIANS ACTUALLY FREE? Or we are just too comfortable living in a pseudo world, where freedom is a notional belief …sold to us by the politicians …anyway let’s wait and see..

Ah! the early morning drowsiness and the sleepless night actually have my brain working a million thoughts a minute …setting the alarm for 3.45am and then I wake up every 30 mins to check if the alarm is actually on and hoping it will ring … stress? No…it’s become a freaking habit …I hate alarms and I hate it when I have to set it for unearthly timings … anyway back to the airport lounge …early morning and what would be most inviting is a cup of hot coffee … and I am standing in the queue now … lol …typing away as I listen to people speak … can see no sandwiches but … thighs … legs…cleavages…and a lot of tattoos… this when I am not even looking … I can hear the aunty ahead say … kya burger burger ki adat padi hai, jo ghar se Khakra aur papad layi thi….aisey hi waapis le ja rahi hoon… agar Dadaji hote na … dus rupaye bhi kharch nahin karne dete… can hear a young child shout … dadi … Dadaji ne burger kabhi dekha hi nahin hoga… vada Pav ke jo shokeen the…. arrey chup…. acha dadi kya logi … double zinger chicken burger with extra cheese … hello??? Dadi ??? You are Marwari … extra cheese ke extra paise lagta hain … arrey beta … kal se ghar mein kuch non veg thoda khane ko milega… dadi … Dadaji upar se dekh rahe hain … fuck Dadaji … dadi likes her chicken burger with mayonnaise …. arrey ritu ke liye kya liya …. the kid goes scurrying to a pretty young thing … and bloody she is hot … what amazes me is the way she reacts … kuch bhi le aa… with a scorn on her face … totally disgusted…legs wrapped sharon stone style….and I can’t control my laugh … shorts … the crazily printed Ones of light saree material and a top that’s showing off her shoulders … and she is wearing white and red bangles in both hands ….newly married …the license for family approved copulation… husband holding her hands as if she will run away … abhi bhagegi…she gorgeous …he like a chai wala… young boy … totally smitten …gazing at her as if she made him see heaven … trying to time and again keep his hands on her legs …feel the thighs…small pleasures…{iske pahele virgin jo tha )…. which she brushes off with a smirk … I can imagine why … first this guy marries hotness herself… then he takes her honeymooning to Goa …. and for company he carries along his family … dadi included … god save him … cause I am 100 percent sure this will be mentioned every time they have a fight …two years from now … teri maa ….ki …aankh

Scene 2 … I see these bunch of well maintained high nosed women in their 30s … even at this ungodly hour perfectly made up… mascara intact …lipstick as if highlighting the pout … and hair in vibrant colours done up to perfection …. pakka mumbai waali hai… time out from husband and kids … far away from probing eyes .. living the Freedom … pub hopping … wild dancing ….. feisty ogling …and being the tease …. every middle aged mans wet dream … lol do they have these ? Never know … me still young …the look in their eyes have signs of regret … waapis ghar… same routine … family … kids … cheating husband … I for once believe that every husband in Mumbai cheats once at least … if he doesn’t he is either a priest or blind… ha ha … anyway these women are so conscious of who is looking at them … and how they react is amazing … some stare back giving you that … if only look … some wave their hair as if to say … off limits … and some as if to say … pass me your number stud …telepathically …the attire is drool worthy …slits on the skirts almost leaving nothing to imagination …shorts that barely conceal the possibilities and shirts that always have the first three buttons open …mumbai …I love this city ….

Scene 3…. the Russians … all like us Indians …always in a hurry and totally confused …at least they pretend to be …terror on their faces as if some Indian is out to con them … I don’t blame them … if you want to experience terror first hand … take a pre paid taxi from Goa airport to ur destination and mid way ask him to halt for two
Mins either to go to the ATM or to pick up some food … the way that guy will react will shock you beyond effects and give you such a dirty feeling … so I don’t blame the foreigners at all …to get back to their ways … it’s a nightmare to travel sitting next to some of them … either they are reeking of too much perfume or they are stinking of sweat and alcohol ….their clothes are relative to the cash they carry … payjamas with the crotch to the knees baggy style is a must have for them… and if it has some Sanskrit shlok or OM printed then it’s a RUSSIAN FASHION STATEMENT … the men are huge and everyone resembles DAniel Craig to me … well built and rustic … the women are in two modules … young .. sexy … curvy … and available … most of them looking for rich Indian men … anything including a Kalu like me with money is better than Siberia …and the other is Middle age who I believe run the Indian business … pole dancers … massage maidens and most of all escorts … its a industry after all

Scene 4 … the all guy group … loud … happy … laughing away … satisfied … and some simply blown … if you know what I mean …. can actually hear them say … kya trip tha Bhai … maza aa gaya … TITOS… MAMBOS… CLUB CABANA… LPK…COHIBA… saala … pura desh GOA hona chahiye …kabab aur shabab… Nasha hi nasha … mobile mein pics with white lasses …(bheek maang ke… miss one picture pl…. Jai Russia … always assisting india)… kya maal thi baap … and there they go starry eyed … tales they will tell back home of imaginary exploits with White Russian women … who danced for them and served them wine from their belly buttons …and show off their temporary tattoos … and there is always one of them who has maa tattooed on his arm … Russian dekh ke maaa ki yaad aa gayi …. lol

Well guys boarded … so will have to end it here … will add some more spice in the edited copy ….. an musing by Col Neil John, SM