two foot one mouth

I have no reservations about confessing that I suffer from verbal diarrhea. I tend to talk A LOT especially when the crowd is familiar to me. However, I am not one who just blabbers for the heck of it. As my wife puts it, when I listen to someone, most of the times my mind is framing what I am going to say next. Thanks to that, and my innate nature to not offend anyone, there are not many occasions where I have had my foot in my mouth.

But I am afraid off late I have been losing my 'charm' for twice within a week, I ended up blurting out stuffs which not just put my foot, but my whole leg in my mouth.

We were at a baby shower of one of our close acquaintances. Alone with our close circle of friends there were many others as well, most of them I have met before at one place or the other.

I met this fellow Malayali couple whom I knew from previous get-togethers; but with whom I have not chatted much to details. So, like how all “warming up to a person” conversations would go, amongst many other things, he was inquiring about my undergraduate college and I told him about the college.

“It’s in a town called Kothamangalam”, I told for his benefit since he had told me previously that he grew up and studied outside of Kerala.

Of course I know Kothamangalam, that’s where Sreesanth is from, right?” He asked.

Now for those who do not know who S. Sreesanth is - just google his name. Even better, just search in YouTube and you will find the most entertaining videos available. Thanks to his antics (which I am annoyed with) and the match fixing allegations (which I do not believe), he was quite famous (or notorious) to all who follow cricket in India.

“Yeah, that’s correct…. and I am sorry about that”, I said with a sarcastic grin and a mouth full of food.

I was waiting for laughter or a chuckle from them, but all I got was a weak smile and an awkward silence for couple of seconds.

I noticed the husband and wife exchange glances and I had a bad feeling about it. And as I feared, the guy told embarrassed “Actually, he is a relative of ours”

It was at that exact moment I realized the flavor of my feet in my mouth. Thousands of Keralites in Texas and I find the one person who is related to him – perfect!

“Oops, well, then I am sorry about that” I tried to apologize.

“No no , it’s alright, I have been told worse things about him by many of my other friends”, now he was also trying to apologize to have put me in an awkward situation.

So for the next few minutes we were apologizing to each other.

“He is from his side of family. Don’t worry, actually even I think he is annoying”, the wife tried to pacify me.

“So, how are you both actually related?”, I asked so as to gauge the extent of damage caused and to decide if I should be avoiding for the rest if the day or the rest of the life.

“Well, not direct, my brother is married to his sister in law’s family” he said.

I had a sigh of relief – good; I can continue talking to him “Actually I don’t think he has actually fixed any games. Though I hate his antics on the field, I think he is a hot headed guy to fix a game and keep quiet about it”.
Side note: I truly believe that way too. I strongly think that Sreesanth has been framed in this whole match fixing saga since he is an easy target. Given how much he makes a fool of himself on the field, it wouldn't be hard to make people believe that he would do something this stupid, right?. But my argument is, despite of all his shenanigans, his passion for the game is evident and a person like that would not betray a game he loves.

“I have heard he has always been an annoying fellow”, the wife said.  “But yeah, he always has been dramatic to have done something like this”.

I was a relieved man and I thought it’s better to end this conversation before I goof up anything. So, I apologized again to them and move away get another plate of food.

Given how small the world has become thanks for migration and technology, the odds of meeting people related to people whom you have strong opinion about are quite high. It was a good reminder to study the audience before performing.

 Now the second incident was…..okay I am not going to detail it since it pretty much started off and proceeded the same way. However, this time managed to redeem myself as I cleverly diverted the offended person’s attention by narrating the above incident about confessing my recent proclivity of shooting myself in the foot and thus distracting the whole crowd. Crisis well averted.


the longest pee

As most of you might be aware that US has various time zones and there is a 'ritual' called daylight savings - twice a year we need to reset our clocks - one hour ahead in Spring and one hours back in fall ("Spring Forward and Fall Back"). And this resetting the clock has been standardized to happen at 2 am on Saturdays just so that it will cause minimum inconvenience to the public. So, in March (which is Spring in US), when the clock strikes 2 am, we adjust it to 3 am and likewise in November, when it hits 2 am we change it back to 1 am. So depending on if its Spring or Fall, you get one hour less sleep and one hour extra sleep respectively. And since it’s on a Saturday night, no one really whines or rejoices about the amount of sleep they got.

Also, the smartphones and laptops automatically adjust the time on that specific date thus making the transition smooth by the time you wake up in the morning. Except for the momentary shock of seeing your wall clock show a different time than you cellphone, life would go on normally as if the adjusted time is the normal time.

Early this year, I had gotten into this habit of drinking water before going to bed and have been getting up in the middle of sleep to relieve myself on many days. Though it could be viewed as something which disrupts the sleep, the way I saw it was, I was  getting a chance to wake up and go back to sleep again (the best feeling ever!).

It so happened that the day of the daylight saving as well, I got up in the middle of the sleep to pee. And like a habit, I checked my cellphone to check the time having no orientation about what day it was. It was close to 2 am. I kept my phone down and went to the rest room to do the needful. As I got back, I checked my phone again to catch up on the emails and Whatsapp messages which my friends and family from the other side of the world have been sending which have been chiming throughout the night. It was like a sudden bolt when I noticed the time was 3 am!!. I knew for sure that went to pee it was about 2 am as my estimation of how long more I will get to sleep is based on the time I woke up.

I was completely alert by then and my mind was trying to process what was going on and whether I really had an one hour long urination and if so why don’t I remember that and more importantly, what’s wrong with me. It took only a few seconds for me to figure out what date it was and what had happened, but a scared mind is a fast processing mind which considers many possibilities and scenarios.

In short, I laid awake for the next ½ hr laughing all by myself at the absurdity of the all incident as I had never expected to lose sleep over (pun intended!) the daylight saving. Not only did I lose 1 hr of my sleep, but also the next ½ hour on what could be technically the longest pee of my life.

Disclaimer: It’s an expanded version of a Facebook status I posted a while back. Just goes to show how much of circumlocutory path I often take to explain simple things.


much ado about nothing

There was a time, during my bachelor days (both marital as well as academic) when I was really fond of wrist watches. In fact, I think I have been wearing watches since I had to wear one for my 10th grade examination to keep track of the time during those long 3 hour exams, where the key to answering all the questions was to ration the time allotted to each question.

Thanks to my relatives in US, my father and grandfather, we had quite a few wrist watches at home, which gave me the luxury of wearing a different types and makes of watches. Mind you, it was during the pre-smartphone, pre-internet era where, to know the time, one had to either look up on the wall (not the Facebook kind, but the one with bricks and cement) if you are at home, or ask a fellow being wearing a watch, if you are on the road; or wear one yourself. So, for me, it was a necessity, just like my wallet or footwear.

It was only after coming to US, I was exposed to this high speed internet and almost entirely digital based work culture. Add to that the advent of mobile and smartphone technologies. With my almost-always-infront-of-computer-that-soon-it-will-be-called-addiction to internet & computer and constant companionship with mobile phone, I never had the need for a wrist watch. To know the time all I had to do was look at the right corner of the screen in front of me or reach to my pocket for my cellphone. The wall clocks were vanishing from the households and the wrist watches were coming redundant.

So, as I was saying, within a short span of coming to US, I gave up the habit of wearing wrist watch. Even though I had one with me, I never wore it on a daily basis anymore. I would wear only during interviews or formal meetings. Rest of the time, it would be inside the dresser drawer. And during one of my vacations about 7 years back, I left it back home (My mom still asks me, if I need a new watch from home, despite the fact that I have stopped wearing watches for almost a decade - that is how much the image of me wearing a watch is ingrained in my parents’ mind).

Sorry for the lengthy nostalgic intro about watch. This is just a meandering intro to a trivial thing occurred recently. Please excuse me as I am just warming up to blogging after a long hiatus.

When I got engaged few years back, I was gifted a beautiful watch my by FIL. It was as dial watch with silver color metallic strap. Though I loved it and I wore it during my engagement and for the first few days back in the US, soon it made its way back into the drawer in its original box. It was only recently that I noticed one of my friends wearing a new sporty watch. I just thought about the other watches I have seen him wear before and that’s when that it dawned upon me that even I could wear my watch as an accessory, especially when I have this nice, formal one.

So, one fine day morning, about a month back, I took out my watch and start using it. I was surprised that the watch was still running on time even after 3 years. 

It was only after I started wearing I noticed how much a wrist watch gets noticed as I started getting compliments from my colleagues on how nice my watch was. I decided I would make conscious effort to check time on my wrist and change my habit of reaching for my phone.

I was just getting used to that thing on my wrist and then exactly after 10 days later, the watch died on me! Yes, that watch - which ran like an atomic clock for 3 years, which made me changes my 8 year old habit, which made me all nostalgic about watches and how they were getting obsolete and how much I have gotten detached to it – died on me in mere 10 days!

I know it might be just a matter of changing the battery, but still I felt betrayed by the watches. Like a carefully plotted revenge drama, the wrist watches had its revenge. I had ignored it for almost a decade, and it waited patiently. And when it got a chance, it made me fall in love with it again and then did a hara-kiri on me to make me yearn for a watch and left me with the feeling of an incomplete left wrist.