March 22, 2007

Isle beyond the TIP

"UOMINI and Donne. That’s all the signs on the door said- “Uomini” on one door, “Donne” on the other. A little context... I was traveling with my brother to the Sicilian town of Taormina. Chilled to the bone from a dip in the Ionian sea in October, I needed to use a bathroom. Prontissimo. The bathroom doors, however, didn’t have the universal pictorial label of the figure in the dress with narrow waist and broad hips to guide me. With just Uomini and Donne to work with, it was hard to tell. Don Corleone, many Dons gathering- Donne Corleone and Umbrizzi, I thought. And Uomini sounded female. With such irrefutable logic, and pressure on the bladder increasing, I was about to storm into Uomini, when I remembered Giuseppe Verdi’s La Donna e mobile”, the aria to women’s inconsistency. One fickle Donna, many capricious Donnes? I was stumped. ...."

To read it in all it's glory, go to
Select The Economic Times, Delhi edition.
Use your indiatimes login* and password to login in.
Click on ET Travel and read Isle beyond the TIP

If lazier, go to the html, picture-less version. but you'll regret it..

some reader reactions so far:
"ooh, look at it's an article by Ira Athale on travelling in eastern sicily! mm, i must get myself 3 of those babies"
and also
"hand me my lupari, guiseppe!"

*If you don't have an indiatimes login and password, create one at Then retrace the steps above, leaving out no detail, however unimportant.

March 13, 2007

Redemption song

Sometimes, you treat a loved one very badly. Then you regret it deeply and in a heartfelt manner. Most of the regret is selfish, "How will i get on without you?"
This is especially true when the maltreated object (MO) is your car.

The MO is carefully driven through the gates of the automotive repair shop. If it spluttering and grimy, you carefully avoid meeting the eyes of the any of the makaniks. The car is deposited, emptied of music, bills, funky yellow cushions with a 3-d dog in a skirt on them (they won't believe me till i post a picture of the f. y. pooch cushion) and a hosepipe.

A day later you traipse into the zentrum, free of that hangdog look you had earlier. You may even whistle, though this is foolhardy. They might just decide they don't like your attitude, and hand you one of those Heathrow clear plastic bags with the knob of the gear stick and part of the indicator light thingummy leverbob.

But oh the joy when the car rolls out! If it had teeth, it would smile cheekily and they would glint in the sunlight! (This blobber doesn't have much mechanical aptitude, knowledge or common sense, does she?)

You expansively sign the bill and tut tut in a friendly manner at a grimy spot on the door, but are willing to overlook it this time.

Right then, you could drive into the desert as the sun sets, as they tend to do in car adverts, and it would actually make sense.