Please write something funny, Tanadidi!

Tanadidi, Please write something funny. I am aching to hear a funny story from you – the kind you would tell if we happen to meet!”

My cousin (and childhood friend) reads my posts here on Bloggermoms, and yesterday, I received an email from her with the above plea in it. Now, I’ve never had a funny-on-demand request before. But it did remind me that certain relationships embody one’s fullness, one’s multi-facetedness, something quite difficult to reconstruct in an online presence. Even without one’s conscious intent, a brand of sorts can become established, and readers can quickly create a persona in their minds, which cover limited aspects of the complete person. I’m convinced that every past and potential state of the self is at once present in this moment, and what appears to be an evolution is only the maturing or expression of a greater number of these states. My point is: do I still swear like a sailor, construct elaborate schemes of mischief, set off on impulsive adventures, ruthlessly pull people’s legs, imitate mannerisms and accents, and generally act like a clown? Of course I do!

Which kind of story does she want me to tell? Perhaps she’s remembering how we dragged a scrawny, bedraggled kitten home from the rain and hid it in a make-shift “kennel” on the rooftop terrace of their Calcutta apartment building one summer, when I was 6, she 5 and my younger sister 4, to the horror of our mothers? Or how I found a cow’s skull and lit its eyes with small candles for my mother to find on our Hyderabad campus flat’s terrace? Or maybe, how our two familes pushed our old, ailing fiat up a steep hill in Hyderabad city on a Durga Puja night, and then slept in bedsheets fashioned into ghost-like gowns in a small motel? Or the time that I broke the news of the birds-and-the-bees to her (much to my aunt’s dismay), or my characteristically crass potty humor (that still shines bright). Perhaps she’s referring to our plot to respond to a classified matrimonial ad in the Times of India, as “a dark, plump, co-ed educated, outgoing, intelligent and independent girl” (in the late 80s, mind you)! Or maybe she’s thinking back to the time I dressed as an old woman in her 16th-birthday fancy-dress party, and had all her classmates (in their much fancier costumes) convinced that I was her grandmother, holding them hostage with long, boring stories, and blessing them ceremoniously as they touched my feet? Or perhaps she’s remembering how my sister and I fooled our mother into believing that our eldest cousin’s (brand-new) husband was a driver on staff at the Jawaharlal Nehru University (our mom hadn’t met him yet, and we borrowed shamelessly from the infamous Chupke-Chupke scheme). Or how we plotted mailing love-letters from a fictitious lover to our own address, for the express purpose of being intercepted by our hyper-at-the-time mother of teenage daughters! Or maybe the story I tell of rescuing my dad from the Delhi police’s (and our mother’s!) wrath for parking his scooter in a no-parking zone in Connaught Place and getting towed, without a license in hand! Better still, maybe she’s referring to more recent times, when she and her husband visited me in Seattle (in the pre-baby days), and I convinced her that I had tickets for us to go see a strip show at The Lusty Lady, in preparation for which she had to coin an appropriate slogan for them … and she, in her mix of shock, apprehension and curiosity, spent 2 days bracing for the inevitable! Or, the story of me roaming Paris by myself 3 years ago, straying off the beaten path to glitzy sex stores and live shows near the Moulin Rouge!!!

Well, I don’t have a funny story for you quite just this minute, love. Just memories that make me laugh out loud. And plots for us to “happen to meet” … and create new laughs and memories.

Last 5 posts by Shahana Dattagupta


  1. Asha

    LOL. That was funny and loving Tana. Many laughs to you this Diwali.

  2. Tana

    🙂 Thanks, Asha. Best wishes for Diwali to you too!

  3. Khushi

    Thank you Tana didi 🙂 I have a rain check for lusty lady …lol

  4. Tana

    Of course you do, Khushi – keep those quarters ready and warmed. And who else but me is going to teach those boys of yours about the birds and the bees, anyway?

  5. Indrani

    Thanks Tana for the post. Though I was feeling down and out (you know the reason) your post was able to bring a smile on my face.. . and of course I too remember the 16th B’day party of Khushi. And I sure touched your feet too. LOL.

  6. Tana

    Indrani, I’m glad this put a little ray of sunshine in your day. Hope you feel better soon.

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