Sep 26, 2012

Just Married - Please Excuse - Book Review !

What happens when a MBA fresh out of B school falls in love with her senior at work and they decide to tumble into the land of holy matrimony after just three months of courting – mayhem and loads of fun ! This is what Just Married Please excuse is all about!

Written By Yashodhara Lal who blogs at Y on earth Not ! Just Married Please excuse is a roller coaster ride of a young couple into marriage and then parenthood. The main characters are Y – the modern, willful and slightly strong headed girl from Delhi who falls in love with the much older Vijay from small town Jaipur. The book covers their journey right from their first date – where they drive 5 hours one way to “feed the ducks” to marriage and then on to the birth of their first child. It’s not only a tale of two couples from diverse backgrounds falling in love but also of the changing life styles in urban India and how a young marriage survives the changing times and two demanding careers!

There is no riveting storyline here, nothing to keep you on tenterhooks.This book is just a series of anecdotes from the couple's life.A lot of married people are going to read this book and shrug their shoulders and say something like "been here done that!"
However, what saves this book from being mundane and boring is Yashodhara’s extremely witty style of writing. She writes with a lot of honesty and candor and has the ability to find humor everywhere – She may not have found the incidents so funny in real life but she does make us laugh with the way she relates them in her book.

Another interesting thing about the book are the people who in a movie would be called “character Actors”. This includes the parents and the assortment of household help the couple hires. Most of them are quirky and add an interesting edge to the whole storyline. My favorite is Kajal; the maid Y gets from Delhi to look after the baby. Kajal loves the baby to death but gives us many moments of mirth thanks to her bumbling ways and her attitude towards the Jamai Babu (Vijay) of the house!
This is a very good first book by Yashodhara and I look forward to more tales from the Y and V household !

This book review is part of the Harper Collins/Indiblogger Book Review Program 

Sep 7, 2012

The one in which we go under the Knife !

I had some surgery two weeks back. Nothing major, something rather inconsequential but then knowing me, something funny is bound to happen to me even within the four walls of a hospital! 

For starters I am going through this stage of “I am a self-sufficient person and don’t need to rely on anyone” for quite a while (frankly for the last 15 years or so with no signs of abating). So to keep up this facade I decided I didn’t need my parents to accompany me to the hospital. The idea was to drive to the hospital, check myself in and the parents could make their entry once the surgery was over. Obviously all my objections were overruled and I was declared quite mad by the family. 

I was asked not to eat or drink anything before the surgery and that day of all days my bua (who had made a guest appearance from Chandigarh because she did not want to miss the momentous occasion of her niece going under the knife!) decided to make Paneer Paranthas for breakfast. The family sat at the table hogging as I sat there tapping my foot in impatience and trying very hard not to look at those absolutely delicious looking paranthas. In my humble opinion putting paranthas in front of a Punjabi and that too a hard core parantha lover like me when I can’t eat them amounts to no less than  first degree torture. 

Anyhow, breakfast was done with and we were ready to roll, with me driving and my parents criticizing me for driving too fast .I was in a rather irritated frame of mind and I swung into the hospital a bit too fast, almost scattering the guards and attendants standing at the entry. Now this hospital takes its duties on patient care a bit too seriously. It seems you can’t simply waltz inside and have your surgery. As soon as you enter the hospital you are put into a wheelchair even if you don’t need one - and there was no way I was  going to be wheeled inside when I could walk on my two legs.  As the guard opened the door for me, I saw an attendant ready with the wheelchair. Obviously not believing that this crazy woman could be a patient he asked me “Madam patient kahan hai”. “Main hoon patient” I snapped and bounded up the stairs while the attendant ran after me with vain attempts to put me in that wheelchair.

After the forms were filled out, I was settled in my room and then began the long wait for the surgeon. I waited and waited with my stomach growling louder and louder with each passing minute. After 2 hrs I was told that he was stuck in the surgery and would be delayed. By this time my father – never a patient man was marching up and down the room and muttering evil things about surgeons who don’t know the value of time. He at the best of the times is useless in all medical emergencies and was rather unhappy about being stuck in a hospital room with his daughter. The daughter meanwhile had resigned herself to her fate and was busy reading Kiran Desai’s hullabaloo in the guava orchard (a delightful book by the way – a review shall follow) and making valiant efforts not to think of food and water. But after a while even Kiran Desai was unsuccessful in diverting my mind and I had tantalizing images of crispy paranthas with butter, rajma chawal, pasta and chocolate cakes floating in my mind. I had one look at my father ceaselessly walking about and decided it was time he went home. Hell If I didn't have an IV sticking out of one arm and I could hoist myself out of bed in my food deprived state I would have gone home with them!  

Me: "Dad you should go home. You’ll just get tired sitting here. Anyway it’s time for your lunch I don’t think you should miss it." 

Dad: Nonchalantly patting his stomach – "No, No don’t worry I am not hungry at all. I had two Paneer paranthas for breakfast!"

What the *#%^&*!!

Anyway I finally convinced them to return home and they left after extracting a promise from the nurse to let them know as soon as the surgery starts.

Afterwards ..

Off course, the nurse forgot to inform my parents and I snapped out of the anesthetic almost immediately after the surgery – something no one had expected me to do. I woke up alone with a nurse patting my head soothingly and saying something on the lines of don’t worry your folks will be here soon. To which I responded, "No they wont, they never miss their afternoon nap". (Don’t ask me why I said that) Anyhow, the parents arrived soon after, extremely contrite and upset on reaching late. (yes, yes I am going to milk the situation and make them feel guilty for not being there for the next 20 years or so). 

The nurses at this hospital were very efficient except for one nurse who I am convinced was rather scatter brained and hard of hearing.

Dad had left and it was just me and mom in the room. Mom decided to use the loo. As luck would have it the lock was broken and she got stuck inside. I off course could do nothing to help her from my supine position on the bed. Finally I rang for the nurse. Enter this short nurse peering at me owlishly from behind thick spectacles. Although I was out of the anaesthetic I could barely speak at that time – so I croaked something on the lines of bathroom, mom, lock which this lady off course didn't understand. Finally she understood the word bathroom and thought I needed to go. So she goes towards the bathroom, tries to open the door, says Ohh andar to koi hai and walks off! The funniest thing is I could hear my mother’s frantic knockings from my bed but she didn’t hear a thing!! Luckily another nurse came in soon after and rescued my mom. 

The rest of my stay passed uneventfully except that the attendant once again tried very hard to get me into the wheel chair when I was discharged. Although I could barely walk, I refused, almost snarling at the nurse who said I would be more comfortable in a wheel chair. The poor staff was left shaking their heads after me as I hobbled out of the door. :p

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