Wednesday, August 30, 2006

The tortoise

In our final year of college, three friends and I, enthused by the lovely Tanishq ads in the papers, decided to visit a Tanishq showroom and do some window-shopping. Shopping with money was out of the question at that stage of our poor lives, so window-shopping it was. One friend was slightly reluctant to go in and just look at everything and come out, so to make her feel comfortable, we concocted a story of our "colleague" getting married, and we going to buy a diamond pendant for her.

The story worked well, and varieties of pendants were being shown to us, while all we wanted to do was gawk at the gold and diamond necklaces, which were on display in the next room. We painfully enacted our drama, and then pretended we did not like any of them, and then casually set out to look at the other bigger stuff. I walked up to the diamond necklaces and spotted a particularly pretty one.

My curiosity got the better of me, and I pointed at the necklace, and asked the salesgirl casually, and with as much confidence as possible, "How much does that cost?"
The salesgirl looked at me quizzically. "Which one?" she asked.
"That one, third from left, with the number 5-8-0-0-0-0 written underneath it".
She smiled sweetly "That's the price ma'am".
My jaw hit the floor. I saw the salesgirl smiling at me ever so politely, but I saw the glint of amusement in her eyes. And then I wished I were a tortoise....

It was the annual day at school. I saw our Kannada teacher, dragging along a little girl. I went up to her with a couple of my classmates, vowing to spread a little of the butter.
"Oh... howww sweeeet", I gushed. She smiled nice and wide.
"Grand-daughter, ma'am?"
The smile froze. "No, daughter", she said.
The night suddenly became cold. I quickly recovered.
"Ohhhh!" I was suddenly all bubbly and effervescent. "Such a sweeet child! She looks jussssst like you!" And I took the little girl by the hand and played with her for ten minutes, and then delivered her back to her mom, smiling brightly. Yet, she looked daggers at me, and then I wished I were a tortoise.....

My classmate C once challenged me to jump down a flight of stairs. It was lunchtime. I stood on the top step, and eyed the landing. C was standing on the landing, watching me. I could hear steps behind me, and I spread out my hands, motioning for whoever was behind me, to stand still and wait until I jumped. I concentrated on the landing, and then took one look at C before I jumped. She was gesturing to me desperately, but it did not really register. I was already in the air. I landed safely on the landing (see, that's why its called a landing), and looked triumphantly at C, whose eyes were averted.

Suspicious, I looked behind me immediately, and there coming down the steps, with a smile in the corner of his lips, was our Sanskrit teacher, infamous for his quick temper. "Practicing for the Olympics?" he muttered, while he walked past. There was laughter all around and then I wished I were a tortoise.....

..So that I could just withdraw into my shell and pretend I were a rock.


Viky said...

ROTFLing....You Rock, rock.

Amazing narration. At that stage of our poor lives? Or at that POOR stage of our lives?

See, that's why it's called a landing

bellur said...

good write-up. i like your narrative style. remember i had told you long ought to have been a journalist with THE HINDOO! i still think you ought to be with THE HINDOO!

"...was our Sanskrit teacher, infamous for a his quick temper."

before VIKY points to this error, small typo error: delete the 'a'.

Emma said...

Very well written. I am sure at that point of time itself it must have been difficult on you; but looking back I am definite, these are what make up for great memories :)

bru said...

mangana taraha aaDodu yaake, tortoise aagbekittu annodu yaake? adarabadalu jiraffe taraha tale etkonDu oDaDo anthaha kelsa maDbekappa !

illa illa. adara majaane bere, biDu :) i wish you continue to do deeds which make you feel you should have been a tortoise!

Shreyas said...

Lol! Very funny stories...and also the way you want to run away by becoming a tortoise! That's new!

Viky said...

Bellur: Thanks, I was on the floor laughing, so I guess, it went unnoticed.

Shru: You got too many spellcheckers around, so DO doublecheck.

And as bru said, mangana thara aaDu, adre amele adna namige heLodu maribeDa.

Shruthi said...

Viky, Heh heh :)
In fact I was about to fire you from your job - there was another typo "writen" instead of "written".. you missed that.
And now you are trying to check my grammar too? "poor lives" or "poor stage"? That's the last straw! :O Well, I don't know what is poor, so I will leave it at that :)

Bellur, Thank you :) And thanks for being the backup spell-check too ;)

Emma, Thank you :) Oh yeahhh it was damn embarrassing... but I love to narrate it - it draws so many laughs :D

Bru, Grr, grr.. neene yella heLkoTTiddu! :)
Come onnn don't wish that I get into more such embarrassing moments! :)
Or do you also want me to tell you the funny story like Viky does? :(

Shreyas, Heh, heh.. I have always thought that a tortoise is lucky! ;)

mysorean said...


Good one Shruthi! :)

I remember one of my classmates in tenth standard was once walking along with us in a crowd as we were returning from the library. She was holding her friend's hand and walking. As we passed the librarian's desk, the "boy" who was cleaning the desk also turned and started walking. This classmate of mine who had briefly left her friend's hand, to hold the automatically closing door, placed it back on the "boy's" hand and continued pulling him till the end of the corridor. Her friend and the rest of us stopped at the door of the library itself which had closed behind us and were literally ROTFLOL!

This classmate of mine is expecting a baby on September 11th! And we still rip her apart with this incident. Poor girl!

We are one big gang since her husband is also our classmate and close friend. We keep telling him, "Lo yavaga yaara kyi hidkondu odi hogtalo gottilla. Ninge backup options idya?"

Well, well, I know this comment is in no way related to your post. Just another case of "somebody wanting to turn into a tortoise"!

Your post made me really nostalgic. And I made it quite evident I guess!

Shruthi said...

Adi LOL! Noo, in fact the very idea is to make you all come up with such memorable tortoise moments :D
That was a good one - poor girl :)

Viky said...

Shru Heh, heh. As I said, I was on a laughing break...Olympics indeed...What were you trying to become? Anshru Bobby George? :D

The "firing me" thing reminds me when Rachel hires Monica to decide on her behalf, and then finds she can't fire her anymore. Sad, I'm only doing your spellchecks.

And I was not correcting your grammar. I was wondering at the lovely play of words. A stage of our poor lives, and a poor stage of our lives. But then, ahem, I will let that be.

Adi: Lovely tale. I can visualise the whole thing. :D

Shruthi said...

Viky, LOL!! :)
My sincerest apologies, you are henceforth my grammar checker too, whether or not you want to be one ;) Lovely play on words? Oh I see! Thanks! ;)

Veena Shivanna said...

Very good. First when I read the heading I didn't understand head or tail of it. After each instance you were quoting wish I was a tortoise, still I had the question mark. Finally got the answer, asTu hoLililla nange, I was remembering those email forwards which I get which says "Scroll down for answer" & lot of space/blank lines before that funny/witty answer is displayed. Chennagide aricle shruthi very free flowing. Bellur, is it HINDOO or HINDU ? Is there any numerology behind this one like Karishma spells her name as Karishmaa, or kaarishma. Not sure where but I remember an extra "a" somewhere!!

Vani said...


Lovely post. Reminds me of the one time I wished I were a tortoise too..

When I was in my first year of college, I had this irritating habit of checking out all the lady teachers' clothes, make-up and accessories, basically just how they dressed.

Once I was standing in the corridor and indulging in this activity when I noticed one of our teachers wearing a really wierd combination. Immediately I ran inside the class yelling my friend P's name. I was unable to comprehend the looks she was giving me. I ran and stood on the dias in the class to see everyone absolutely quiet. Then I noticed the teacher, of not so insignificant proportions standing there. What she told me was unforgettable.

"How could you miss noticing me inspite of my size? "

I wished I was a tortoise then.

Thanks for bringing back lovely memories of college.

Viky said...

What about lovely pay on misspelled words?

Shruthi said...

Veena, That was the whole point - that you should not understand what I am trying to say ;)
Oh yeah, Bellur, Yello OK, HINDOO yaake? Knowing Bellur, it is not a mistake - he will mean something specific! ;)

Vani, hee hee... that is funny :D :D Poor Vani!

Viky, Palm if I give, hand only he swallows. {Angai koTTre hastane nungtaane) ;)

Viky said...

Yella ok, HINDOO yaake

And, Angai koTT-re, hasta-ne nungtaane is, ahem, "Palm giving-if, hand-itself swallows he.

Shruthi said...

Viky ROFL!! :))))))

Viky said...

Viky is not ROFLing.

Viky, (comma elli maydum?) ROFLing. Allright, this is a tad too much, so I will let it be. ;) :D

Shruthi said...

Viky,,,,,, (Just in case) - yeah that is too much, yet, me ROFL :D

Viky said...

Now Viky is ROFLing. :D

anumita said...

Hilarious!! I love the grand daughter one! You passed her class?

Shruthi said...

Viky, good. Laughing is good for health. :O

Anumita, heh heh, yes I did, and quite well too, if I remember right :D

rk said...

more than the posts, it is fun reading the conversational fighting between VIKY & SHRUTHI! ;)

Shruthi, maybe after a long time you have published 2 posts on a single day.

HINDOO: That is how the loyal readers and those working in THE HINDU pronounce it. Sanjay and so many others have always asked me why I say it HINDOO and not HINDU as in HINDUSTAN TIMES? There was in fact an article on this in the 125th year special issue.

rk said...

and i feel sometimes shruthi deliberately makes typo errors to test and keep VIKY on his toes.

ibbru prachanda putanigalu!

Viky said...

RK: :D prachanDa is the first name of another pet name by which I am called.

Shru: bekitta? sumne jagLa aaDtiya. chick makkLu (pun intended) manga elli andre ninne torisodu... :D

Shruthi said...

RK, I have never, I think, posted two a day.. I just felt that the dilbert strip today suited me perfectly.. so put it up ashte :D
Ok got the HINDOO funda :D Correct!

Oh.. so Viky is becoming the star of this blog, huh? Fume fume!
And prachanDa puTani?? Naanu sari, but Viky?? :D

Viky I am tempted to guess the other half of your petname.. but will refrain :)
Yeah manga andre naanu, "HenDa kuDidiro manga" andre ninna thoristhare.

Viky said...

*Smug look at a fuming Shru* :D

Amele, 'henDa kuDidiro' andre ku-Di-di-ro - the one who doesn't drink. I'm sure you meant ku-Du-di-ro. Gotcha!!! :D

In any case, gaadhe irodu 'ingu-tinda-manga'. :D

Viky said...

And yes, you can keep the puTaNi tag to yourself. Nan size ge nanu puTaNi anta andre, sikkapaTTe doDDa PJ agogatte...:D

Shruthi said...

1) KuDidiro = that which has drunk.
KuDide iro = that which has not drunk
2) HenDa kuDidiro kothi is also a valid gaade.
You seem to have forgotten Kannada after going to Pune :D

Sudhakar said...

Good one Shruthi.. It mad

Around 2 years back, I asked one of my colleague about the no.of kids he had, He said "Four" .. I said ,you don't look like father of four ,he was really frustated . I thought that was an compliment and I didn't understand why he got frustated..

Later ,I came to know that he was not married.

From then, I was very concious in asking these kind of questions , but I repeated the same ,when one of my colleague said he has 12 years of exp..

I decided not to ask this question anymore ..

Shruthi said...

Sudhakar, Oh mann... then why did the first guy say "four"? Was it his idea of a joke? :O

Viky said...

anyaayada viruddha horaDidawanu veera
anyaayada viruddha horaDadawanu heDi

kuDidiro - kuDide iro
kuDudiro - kuDudi iro

Getting my drift? I haven't learnt KannaDa formally, so I may be wrong. But I saw the above line (heDi) as a tagline on a Bhagat Singh poster in my friend's room. I was shocked at first - horaD(_)dawanu heDi anta Bhagat Singh photo mele yaake ide anta...then my friend explained the intricacies of putting the 'i' or 'a' in between the brackets.

I pulled the same logic here.

Shruthi said...

Viky, Oh got it.
But I think, like Inglees, Kannada also has its little rules.
KuDada will not be a valid usage, I think (from my knowledge)
KuDiyada works well, though.
Ok, excused :)

Viky said...

kuDada ellinda bantu iga? Gawrsh!!!

sumne ingu tinda manga andidre idella bartane irlilla...

maDadu maDbiTTu excused bere... ;)

Shruthi said...

Viky, my mistake. This is what happens when you try to multitask :) I don't really know what I really wanted to say, so you win :) :D

Balaji said...

Classic...especially the one about sanskrit teacher

Viky said...


As a gesture of appreciation, I will write you love no...(:P Ayyayo tappagoytu I will NOT write you hate mail, I will NOT call you names, and I will NOT set termites on that tree of yours.

Shruthi said...

Balaji, :D Thank you!

Viky, Teri zabaan ko lagaam de, bacche! [Please don't correct this, I know my Hindi is not too good!]

Viky said...

Sorry !!!

chitra said...

Naanu bikki bikki nagthaa iddeeni... sooooper similie..:D

raj plus said...

Because you have been a good girl, Little Shruthi, I am pleased to grant you the special power to pull your face into your own neck,without having to become a tortoise. Will come in handy during silly moments

- God-

P.S : As my id has already been taken, I had to come in through Raj's blog.

Shruthi said...

Viky, Heh heh... there's no need to apologize ;)

Chitra, hee hee :) btw, bikki bikki aLodu keLidini.. but bikki bikki nagodu? :D :D -- Ok ok got the message!

God, I am honoured that you actually heard this little girl's prayer. Thank you so much! And I must say I envy Raj Plus!

Anonymous said...

Same Old Anon: Oh yes, I think I recall the "Practicing for the Olympics?" incident.....

Shruthi said...

Same old Anon, quite possible. There were a lot of people around! I don't specifically recall you being there, though.. (please, I was so embarrassed...) ;)

Pritika Gupta said...

everyone have its embarassing momments.. but they were not expressed like this b4..

Shruthi said...

Pritika, :))

Sigma said...

Shruthi, your stories are really funny. Had a good laugh. (No, not at you :-))
Such incidents happen to all of us, but you have shown the courage to post them, and that too with such a good narrative. Great work :-)
Was recently directed to your blog, and enjoyed reading few of your posts. You have a great blog here!!

Shruthi said...

Sigma, thank you so much :)

Starry-eyed Shruti said...

ROTFL!!!!! Shruthi!!! How could I miss such hilarious posts.

- -