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desi emotions

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To my Godrej Almirah, with love

desi emotions, Trumpet Lead

I stepped into the living room packed with mourning men and women. The air was potently infused with sandalwood incense jabbed into oiled coconut halves left burning from various corners. In the middle of the room, lay my grandmother covered in white soft cotton – still and lifeless. People from everywhere came to pay their last respects – they shed a tear, shared a memory, whispered a prayer and chanted a mantra for the soul’s peace.

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As a child, did you ever follow the rules of katti-batti?

desi emotions, Trumpet Lead

Before friendship bands became the ‘coolest’ form of offering your friendship to someone, there was a fad of ‘katti/ batti’ in the early ‘90s. This method was as fast and easy as ABC, and it didn’t require a Friendship Day! If you were mad at someone, you could ‘break’ your friendship with a ‘katti’ (unfriend) instantly; in order to patch up with them, all you had to do was say ‘batti/ buchchi/ abba’ (friend).

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How did we make friends in the ’90s?

desi emotions, Trumpet Lead

Once upon a time, there was a guy named Rahul Khanna (naam toh suna hoga) studying in St. Xavier’s college. One fine day, a girl named Tina Malhotra joined his college, and he immediately went up to her with a ‘friendship band’, extending his hand in friendship. This scene from the movie ‘Kuch Kuch Hota Hai’ popularised Friendship Day all over India and the colourful friendship bands became the rage in the late ‘90s.

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Do you remember getting a hot oil hair massage on a Sunday afternoon?

desi emotions, Trumpet Toot

Comfort I was a bit tense, nervous and excited! The first day of grade 4 began in less than an hour! Outside, the loud pattering of raindrops was frequently interrupted by thunder. I sat on a stool in front of the mirror, staring glum-faced at the reflection of mom combing my hair, getting me ready for school. It was soothing, how she combed the hair. The soft touch of the comb on the scalp as she straightened my hair and pulled it back was comforting. Her soft murmurs of how I should care for my hair more, spend less time…

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He never disappoints me!

desi emotions, Food

The chutney in the house is a job that has been solely assigned to the husbandman. And for the twelve years that we have been married, he hasn’t disappointed us even once. By us, I mean me, my friends and our respective families. Friends at dinner parties, look forward to his chutneys. I might have slogged on the snacks for hours together, but the chutney (and its maker) in the house steals the show.

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Buland Bharat ki Buland Tasveer, Hamara Bajaj

Bharat Darshan, desi emotions, Horn OK Please

If you are the child of the 80s and if you can hum Doordarshan’s signature tune and recall the colours of the montage; if you remember the Ek chidiya song and sing it too (to probably your kids now!); if you can recall the yellow saree of the Maggi mummy and Lalita ji of Surf fame then you most definitely remember the Buland Bharat ki Buland Tasveer. Yes! Hamara Bajaj. Bajaj Chetak, the two-wheeler that was a defining characteristic of our childhood and an imminent part of our teen years. Many of us have fond memories of riding the scooter…

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Langar, the divine meal

desi emotions, Food, Indian Belly, My Dubai

In the age of Happy Meals, Combo Food offers and extra cheese pizzas there’s still one repast that tempts us beyond the fast food goodies. If you’re a Punjabi or have accompanied one to the Guru da ‘langar’ you’d agree that this basic meal brings a soul-satiating experience that outclasses even fine dining. A tradition that’s lasted for centuries, bringing people together one and all, the langar, or community kitchen, is a quintessential element of almost every Gurudwara (venue for Sikh congregational worship).

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Maa ke haath ka khaana!

desi emotions, Indian Belly

Last month I went home for a slightly longish vacation and I came back with four kilos of excess baggage on my already expanding girth. Points to note 1. I did not go crazy eating out on the pretext of “I-am-on-holiday”. In fact, most of my meals were home cooked 2. I didn’t eat the forbidden stuff, the not so good stuff you know (Okay, I am lying I did cheat a bit but hey I was on a holiday).

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All that you need to know to bargain like an Indian

desi emotions, Nostalgia

If you are a true Indian middle-class prodigy, you could bargain everywhere! FROM VEGETABLE VENDORS TO DUTY-FREE AT AIRPORTS – WE BARGAIN EVERYWHERE! From sabjiwala and autowala to the local grocery shops, departmental stores, malls and even the duty-free at airports (been there, done that!). Bargaining with the vegetable vendor would come naturally even if you are clueless about the prices and is an easy learning ground for the beginners. Bargaining at the local stores is one level up because here you need to convince the shopkeeper about how MRP is not the final word and discount on MRP is…

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Do you miss haggling with the vendors?

desi emotions, My Dubai

On a cold winter evening, I snuggled in the blissful comforts of a warm bed with an interesting book for company. But bliss can only be complete with a steaming cup of filter kaapi. The intoxicating aroma of the ground beans clouded my caffeine-deprived mind nudging me to drag myself out of the warm comforts of my bed and pay tribute to the beans. As I pour hot water into the traditional Indian filter and the gentle drip of thick coffee decoction become music to my ears, I remember that the last of what was left of the milk was…

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