Officiousness, and how I can’t stand it

Can I just say that the one thing that irritates me no end is officiousness?

Erm, of course, the above comment does not mean that this is the only thing that irritates me no end. There are many others, I assure you.

So, I live in a lovely society in the suburbs around Delhi. There’s lots of greenery, place for children to play and cycle, a grocery store, some nice neighbours, and very pretty airy flats with lots of windows and balconies.

So, where’s the problem, you might say. There isn’t one, I say in return. Because it isn’t a problem really, it’s just a bleddy-irritatingly-officious RWA!

They make rules that say children can’t play in the park, and should go to a park outside the society, and across the road. They also make rules that pets can’t be walked (on a leash even) inside the society. The second of which I choose to ignore, and the first of which I would choose to ignore if I had kids, and will when I do.

Now, they do do some nice stuff. Like, get the swimming pool opened and cleaned regularly, make sure there’s no gandagi around, that there are guards at the gate, and a maali who maintains pretty gardens, and enough street lights downstairs, power-backup that comes on really quickly, etc.

But, it’s the officiousness while doing so that really gets my goat. (On an aside, what a strange phrase that is – “gets my goat”. And, here is how it started. You know you really want to look too. I did. 🙂 )

This is the latest thing that’s currently getting my goat, if you know what I mean.

Now, there’s a divider on the road just outside the main gate. This road is a slip road with very little traffic, and considering that this society is at almost one end of the city, and one that is still developing, there are not that many other houses or shops around the place. Now, either you can take the main highway next this slip road, for which you will need to drive about two kilometres further down on the highway, and then take a U-turn, and drive two kilometres back, before turning in to the street that the society is on; or, you can take the back-way, which is through another colony, and is always empty, and which makes you reach the street that the society is on – only, you’re on the wrong side of the road. So, again, you can either drive about a 100-150 metres down that street and take a U-turn to reach the main gate, or you can drive the 100-150 metres on the wrong side of the road, and enter the main gate straight away.

Now, of course, the best thing to do would be to take the U-Turn and come back, but then, it’s just a hundred-and-fifty metres, at the most, on the wrong side of an empty street – and lots of people do just that. Which is wrong, but a personal choice – right?

Wrong. And not just wrong, a grave, grave offence suitable for punishment, according to some.

There have been tonnes of very serious sounding emails on the society’s online group mailing list, where the idea that most seem to love is to instruct the guards at the main gate to disallow entry to residents that want to enter without taking the U-turn. So, if you choose to break (not very serious) traffic rules on the main road, you don’t get to enter your own house!!

After surviving many, many officious-sounding emails that reach my mailbox everyday, and which I am forced to read since I seem to have an almost obsessive compulsive disorder of not being able to see the Bold black unread emails count in my Gmail inbox, I had to reply. And, since I am currently very kicked with my reply, you all get to read it too. What luck, no?

Before you proceed to read, may I mention that I have already received two fan mails from other residents at the time of going to press on this post. Even though, some others might really not get the sarcasm.

* ABC = the real name of the place I live in, to keep stalkers away.

Dear All,

Here’s what I think about the whole taking-U-turn/not-taking-U-turn controversy, and I’m not sure how many people would agree or disagree, but then, they’re my views. 🙂

  1. Nobody, with the exception on traffic cops, has the right to enforce any traffic rules on me.
  2. Everyone who will be, at present or in the future, driving a car into ABC, will have a valid driving licence, and hence, will be an adult.
  3. Being an adult, I don’t think I would take kindly to something that isn’t hurting anyone else, except myself. Like, smoking for instance – doesn’t hurt others, except in a passive way, and they’re welcome to not be around me, and thus, live longer. Being in a no-smoking zone, of course, would be a different thing. Similarly, what I do on the road, or which driving rules I choose to break or follow, are between me and the traffic cops.
  4. Having said the above, this does not, of course, mean that I (or any other reasonably intelligent person) will break every traffic rule in the book. For instance, I wouldn’t take the wrong side of the U-turn on the main XYZ Highway because of the heavy and fast traffic there. I am also aware (as is every other reasonably intelligent person, I’m sure) that taking the U-turn outside ABC is the correct thing to do. However, not doing so does not mean that I would like being told that I cannot enter the place I live in, by the guards at the gate. The reason for not liking this, before anyone jumps to conclusions, is not because it’s a guard telling me, but because I wouldn’t appreciate someone who does not have the right to enforce or allow/disallow my entry into ABC, to take the liberty to be doing so.
  5. And, lastly, although it is an extremely creditable thing to be aware and responsible citizens, and have the civic sense to follow traffic rules, I still think all of us need to get down our high horses a wee bit, and think of ABC less as a mini-country, and more as what it really is – just a place that people live in.

Of course, all of the above are just my views, which may or may not find any followers, and aren’t meant to hurt or antagonise anyone. 🙂

– Aanchal Tyagi


So, anyone else? Anything that irritates you? 🙂



Filed under rants

Films and Me

Arth,_1982_film Bazaar_1982_film_poster Namak_Halaal_1982_film_poster Zamane_Ko_Dikhana_Hai AngoorDVDCover


Arth, Bazaar, Namak Halaal, Zamaane Ko Dhikhana Hai, and Angoor – don’t they all seem to be from quite a long time ago?

They don’t anymore, after you realise that they released in the year that you were born in. Or, they actually (truthfully) do, but you don’t want them to.

But, on the upside, what wonderful movies were made the year I was born!

During my summer hols in school, I’d spend about a month in D’doon with my Naani, and I remember sleeping till noon and feeling too lazy to bathe, and experiencing a sense of kinship with the brothers in Satte Pe Satta. Incidentally, that released the year I was born too.


Oh, and – the one I am proud-est of! Mithun-da’s magnum opus. Yes – I too am a Disco Dancer!



Filed under films

Happy Women’s Day

…to all of you women, and to all the men so they can be thankful for the all the women in their lives.

What would you all do without us, no? And, just so this doesn’t sound sexist, we’d be incomplete without you all too. 🙂

If I’d to be thankful to only one woman, though – that would be my best friend and my Mom. Going by what Nancy Friday and Simone de Beauvoir say, I have only mostly you to thank for me being the woman I am, Ma. 🙂

For all of you who live in the NCR, please do go and get your hands on today’s TOI, and turn to Page 17. And, yes – drumroll please – that is my Mom’s article on the bottom left of the page.

For all those who can’t get the Delhi edition, here it is:

(Click picture to enlarge)

Mom's Article


Filed under family, kickass stuff!

Karthik Calling Karthik, and why I loved it.

So, if one is walking out of a movie hall with one’s husband (and best friend, I might add), and the first and only thing one can think of saying is – “I want to marry Farhan Akhtar!” – does that mean anything?

No, just wondering. Out of curiosity.

So, anyway – I loved Karthik Calling Karthik. And here are the reasons why:

  1. Read Brangan’s fantastically-written review to find out why you’ll love the movie. I swear I’m in love with the man’s writing!
  2. Farhan Akhtar’s acting. It’s partly low-key, wallflower-type – done superbly; partly fun, intelligent, nice guy – done fantastically again; and partly, dark, negative and fantastic!
  3. The story moves along quickly through the first half, and even though I’d sort of guessed how it would resolve itself, parts of the film still spooked me out.
  4. The music – noisy, electronic, disorienting, even jarring sometimes – and fits the film so well.
  5. Even Deepika Padukone – even though I don’t really like her that much normally – she really fits the role here, and plays Shonali quite well.
  6. The opening credits – loved how they set the tone of the film so well.
  7. Farhan Akhtar – and how hot he is!

Next movie on the agenda – Road, Movie. And then maybe Teen Patti.

For now, lots of plans for the weekend. Party at some friends’ place tonight, a Heritage Walk early tomorrow morning, and then it’s Brat’s birthday too tomorrow. 🙂


Filed under films

Faulty Font

Does anyone else have a font that you can’t write in? Can’t. Cannot. Not at all! And it isn’t even a weird, curly, curvy font like Algerian, or Blackadder, or even a Gigi or a Vivaldi. What I hate – and I know that’s a strong word, but I still do, I hate it – is Times New Roman.

There’s something about the serif-ness of it, and the blocky-ness too, that just closes up my mind and refuses to let me write, or think. And it’s amazing how much it succeeds in making me cringe!

So, is it just me, or does everyone have a font that they hate?


Filed under just like that

Is it possible…

…for a sibling to be a part of your heart?

It is, isn’t it? Because that’s the only person who’s shared your childhood with you, in every way. And you’re bound together not just by blood, but by memories of the most everlasting kind.

Maybe it gets stronger if you’re the older sibling, and the not-so-little-anymore brother is the youngest in the family, and the apple of everyone’s eyes.

Our Brat had a horrid, horrid accident on Dusshera night last year, and it was the kind of night none of us ever, ever want to spend again. Even the thought of it sends a shiver down one’s spine. It was also the kind of night that made you believe in the goodness of strangers. And in the benefits of a seatbelt.

He was in bed for two months after the accident, and went back to work towards the end of December.

That one night, and all the other scrapes he’s gotten into (and gotten us into), will probably always make us think the worst, fear the worst. And it isn’t fair. To him, and to us.

So, sorry Brat – for freaking out again last night. Love you. 🙂

Older posts on the Brat: Here, here and here.


Filed under family

Going somewhere, or already there?

I got one of those email forwards this morning, and for a change, it made a lot of sense. Or, at least, it made a lot of sense for me, personally. And I know it will for a lot of people I know. Including you, G.

So, the story is that once a boat docked in a tiny Mexican fishing village. A tourist got off the boat, and complimented the local fishermen on the quality of the fish they caught, and asked them how long it took them to catch all that fish.

“Not very long”, the fishermen answered in unison.

“Why didn’t you stay out longer and catch some more then?”, the tourist asked.

The fishermen explained to him that the fish they caught was enough to meet their needs and those of their families.

Unable to understand, the tourist asked, “But, what do you with the rest of your time?”

“We sleep late, fish a little, play with our children, and take siestas with our wives. In the evenings, we go to the village and meet our friends, have a few drinks, play the guitar and sing a few songs. We have a full life…”

The tourist interrupted them, and said, “I have an MBA from Harvard, and I can help you! You should start by fishing longer every day, and you can sell the extra fish you catch. With the extra revenue, you can buy a bigger boat!”

The fishermen looked at him with confusion writ on their faces. “And after that?”, they asked.

“With the extra money that the larger boat will bring, you can buy a second one, and a third one even, and so on until you have a fleet of trawlers! Instead of selling your fish to a middleman, you can then negotiate directly with the processing plants, and maybe even open your own plant! You can then leave this little village, and move to Mexico City, or Los Angeles, or even New York City! And you can direct your huge new enterprise from right there!”

“How long would that take?”

“Twenty, maybe twenty-five years", replied the tourist.

“And, after that?”

“After that? Well, my friend, now that is where it really gets interesting!”, laughed the tourist. “When your business gets really big, you can start buying and selling stocks and make millions!”

“Millions? Really? And after that?”, asked the fishermen.

“After that, you’ll be able to retire, live in a tiny village near the coast, sleep late, play with your children, catch a few fish, take a siesta with your wife, and spend your evenings drinking and enjoying yourself with your friends.”

“With all due respect, Sir – but that’s exactly what we are doing now! So, what the point in wasting twenty-five years?!”, asked the Mexicans.

The moral of this story? That if you know where you’re going in life, you may already be there!

Isn’t that just such a wonderful thought? I, for one, really need keep that in mind. The recent absence from the blog too was partly, along with some other reasons, because of me running. Constantly. Behind something. And everything. And lots of things.

I’m back, though, now. And hopefully, here to stay. 🙂


Filed under life