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June 09, 2004 10:31 IST


It's the ultimate in comfort. In fact, along the remote control, it tops my list of best friends.


The three of us go back a long way.


Me. The beanbag. The remote control.


We saw many a late night movie on television together. And I won't even begin talking about Weekend Paradise when, glued to the beanbag, a bowl of chips on my stomach, I would play kabbadi with the television channels.


As you can imagine, I wasn't too pleased when I'd enter the house after a long day at work to occasionally find Baba or Aai sitting on the beanbag. But I didn't think it advisable to ask them to shift to a sofa and leave the beanbag to me. Besides, they did go to bed much before I did. After which the beanbag was all mine.


And then, I got married. Last month.


My wife fell in love with the beanbag.


I tried everything to get it back.


I've stood between her and the television set, hoping she'd get irritated and decide to sit elsewhere.


I've tried tempting her -- "These new cushions on the sofa are so comfortable, no?" She asked me to chuck her one, eyes never straying from the emotional drama unfolding on the screen.


Finally, last night, I asked her as coldly as possible to get off the beanbag. She asked me to wait until the movie was over.


I miss my beanbag terribly!


Rohan Sonalkar, Mumbai


A hug and a pinch


I was visiting my uncle and his family in Bangalore.


He has a six-year-old daughter who I was meeting for the first time. I was thrilled to see her and gave her a hug.


She pinched me. Hard. It really hurt.


I didn't know what to do, particularly since everyone else was laughing at her prank.


I laughed along, but was determined to pay her back.


The next day found my cousin and me alone at home; the rest of the family had gone out.


It was the perfect opportunity. I pinched her hard. She started crying. I told her it had hurt just as much when she pinched me and everyone else laughed.


Contritely, she replied, "Sorry, Akka, I won't pinch you in front of everyone again." 


Archana Nischal, Bloomington, Illinois

Splinter! Crash! Bang


I was very proud of the fact that, unlike, most of my friends, I did not need the services of a driving school. I had learnt to drive from my dad.


You can imagine how thrilled I was when my best friend's father, who had purchased a new Maruti Omni, asked me to teach his daughter to drive. My parents, though, seemed rather worried as they reluctantly handed me the car keys.


I assumed my role as instructor at 6.30 the next morning and began teaching her the same way my dad taught me.


Everything went smoothly. I asked her to take the wheel. She applied the neutral gear and began the car. Then, I asked her to put the car in the first gear and release the clutch slowly. The car surged ahead and stopped.


Thrilled at this proof of how good a teacher I was, I asked her to use the reverse gear.


She started the car and, to my horror, released the clutch swiftly. The car speedily began to reverse. As she struggled with the steering wheel, I could see the car preparing to hit a wall.


Quickly, I asked her to apply the brake. Just as quickly, she hit the accelerator. Before I could manipulate the hand brake, the car had slammed into a light pole with a sound that saw people rushing to their balconies to see what had happened.


As for my parents, suffice to say my punishment began with my not being allowed to touch the car for a month. My allowance was scrapped. I was…


I have been driving for eight years now. Yet, I can't bring myself to teach someone else. My friend and I still shudder when we think of that incident.


Mansi Upreti, Mumbai



Have you passed?


It was one of those hot summer days with temperatures soaring above 40 degrees. I was enjoying a blissful afternoon nap in an air-conditioned room.


Just that morning, I had gone to the hospital for a blood test. Since I love to nap, and my brother doesn't, I had requested him to collect the result in the afternoon.


He dutifully went to the lab. On reaching home, however, he decided to play a prank.


He had given his postgraduate exams recently but the results were still a month away.


Waking me up, he said, "The results have come."


"Have you passed?" I asked him sleepily only to hear everyone burst into laughter.


You can rest assured this was one incident I was not allowed to forget soon.


Hari Krishnan, Chennai

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