25 November

Ogre and Etcetra are in the middle of A Mini-skirt Row. Again. Ogre cannot comprehend Etcetra’s clothes. Truth be told, I find them pretty incomprehensible myself.

Right now for instance, she’s wearing a green skirt that just manages to skim her hips, a yellow spaghetti T-shirt, and a huge sweatshirt that hangs below the skirt. She’s wearing purple calf length ankle warmers under her army green sneakers. To top it all, she has a long green and pink dupatta wound loosely around her shoulders. Her long hair is tied in a pigtail that reaches her waist, her hands are covered with rows of green and black glass bangles, 6 pairs of earrings dangle around her face, and a huge black silver cross dangling on a black thread finishes off her ensemble. Her face is bare of any makeup except dark dabs of black eye shadow.

Ogre and Etcetra are busy scowling at each other, since the last 13 minutes, 48 seconds.

Ogre: “You can’t go to college in that skirt, Etcetra. You do know that, don’t you?”

Etcetra: “I’m not wearing it to college. I’m going to dance class.”

Ogre: “Well, you can’t wear it to dance class, either. Certainly, not to dance class.”

Etcetra: “Who says so?”

Ogre: “I say so.”

Etcetra: “Hmm..mm.”

Etcetra knows very well that her “Hmm..mm” will get Ogre going. Immediately.

Ogre says with suppressed shrillness: “Who are you saying ‘Hmm..mm’ to, young lady? I am your aunt, you know.”

Etcetra mumbles: “Fat chance I could forget that, Ogre.”

Before Ogre can finish sputtering, Etcetra mutters on in an exaggerated drone.

Etcetra: “And you have taken care of me since I was in nappies, and I’m a silly, stubborn thing, and I don’t respect you. Yes, I know all that. Thanks. Please save yourself the trouble.”

Wow, that’s rude. From then on, Ogre’s voice keeps getting shriller, and Etcetra’s colder. I could butt my head in, and say the following:

Appi (That is, me): “Ogre, Etcetra is just riling you. Calm down.”

But doesn’t she know that already?

However, since my mobile has screeched, “Will you stop stuffing your face with home-made strawberry jam on toast, and LEAVE the house, unless you want to be late, YET again”, 10 minutes ago, I do not deign to interfere.

The kitchen smells burnt. The potatoes have given up their kind, little souls in the Cause of The Mini-skirt. I switch off the gas, and leave.

I must teach Etcetra The Mini-skirt Maneuver some day. Which is, step-by-step, as under:

1.    Wear jeans and T-shirt. Leave house.

2.    Head for the closest enclosed space, which could be:

a)    The lift, if no one else is using it.

b)   The public loo around the corner, if it is not being flooded by naked bathers.

c)     The back of a car, if you are agile and swift enough. And not being peered at by curious little boys selling books or flowers, on the street.

3.    Take out the neatly folded mini-skirt from your bag. Don it.

4.    Wriggle out of your jeans. Put them away.

However, knowing Etcetra, she will choose the heads-on battle with Ogre. No skirting issues for her.


10 Comments on “25 November”

  1. […] 25 November at Appi’s blog, Appi, Etcetra and so on. […]

  2. Space Bar says:

    nice! keep trying publishers, though, no?

  3. Banno says:

    Space Bar, can’t think of any more. Who else? Any suggestions welcome. 🙂

    • Banno says:

      I think I did send them a manuscript. But maybe I had the wrong address. There was something different showing up on a Tranquebar book and something else on their website. So, no, I never heard back from them. I’ll try again. Do you have their address?

  4. Space Bar says:

    Will look. I think you may be right. They moved, and I was on their mass mail. Will mail you.

  5. Aniel Saini says:

    Hi Banno,

    Catchy nickname and it rhymes so well. Would like to mail you as am a theater actor and if you might be interested in adapting it on stage for mumbai audience. Though got here from ur blog which i loved equally for the presentation and content.
    Wish you good luck in your pursuit of a publisher.


    • Banno says:

      Thanks Aniel. Well, good luck to you too in theater. Any plays you are working on right now?

      • Aniel says:

        ah…checking blog after quite a long time since were in bangalore/ delhi for a few events as an actor…..upcoming events(English Plays) are in pune in november but again they are of foreign authors…how i miss some original indian playwright(it is on youths going thru various issues while growing up ie moving from carefree fun life in college to hectic office and personal routines) though am trying to get a few adapted in Hindi…keeping fingers crossed. Still looking and fingering around…..


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