Email Trail

An email conversation I had with one of my colleagues in our neighborhood.

Subject: Awkward Question

Hi Shalini,

I know this is very embarrassing. But I cannot help L For the past one hour I have been composing this email; I’m still hunting for words. I really don’t know how you will take this. However, for professional reasons, I am forced to ask you this. Please try to understand my situation... Hope you will not take this as a work place harassment!

So, here is my question: Which type are you - boy or girl? I am so unfamiliar with Indian names, that I cannot even make a wild guess.

Thanks & Regards,
Yuan Chow

Seeing the subject line, I was both curious and nervous to open the email. But reading it which ends with the sender's name, I was first reminded of menu card in a Chinese restaurant!! I, who think too high of my name, couldn’t believe that in spite of exchanging so many emails with her for more than a year, she couldn't yet make out my 'type'! :P Anyways, I decided to reveal my gender indirectly. Here is what I wrote back.

Subject: RE: Awkward Question

Hello Yuan Chow,
I belong to the category of Aishwarya Rai J


After clicking the send button, I felt she would have thought I am boasting of my looks, comparing myself to Ashu! I seriously regretted trying to be funny!

Subject: RE: Awkward Question

Sorry to ask again Shalini, I didn’t get you when you said A.Rai category! You mean... errr!!! Please make it clear!

That definitely is insulting the women in India… not knowing ‘what’ Aishwarya Rai is! Also, letting thoughts go wild! What would she have meant when she said "errr..."? So this time, I decided to keep it simple and "straight"! 

Subject: RE: Awkward Question

Yuan Chow,
I am a girl and so is Aishwarya Rai. If you are wondering who she is, she is just another girl like me; by mistake I mentioned her in my previous mail.
Have a wonderful day. Bye…


I have written many sarcastic blog posts, making fun of my friends and others having witty names! Never had I thought, I will get it back from somebody across the border, who doesn’t even know me! :P :P



I spoke to two of my childhood friends last month, after really a long time; felt very good! We didn’t discuss appraisals or the project we are into or the latest stocks we bought; but we pulled each others’ legs reminding of the most stupid things we did in school and laughed so much at our madness. We talked about our sexy computer mam who one fine day stopped coming to school and the chemistry teacher who never smiles. And we laughed again!

Last evening I was at a shopping mall, where I met this lady who looked drop-dead gorgeous. She caught everybody’s attention in her lovely red saree draped tightly around her slender waist; her hair was loosely tied and the careless strands falling on her eyes only made her look sexier; colored glass bangles chimed on her arms and her almost backless blouse naughtily revealed the Chinese Dragon tattoo on her shoulder through the noodle strap. I snapped at my colleague when I caught him ogling her. He said, “A thing of beauty is a joy for ever! God is so unfair; loveliness and splendor are generously given only to chosen few” he said tossing down the drooping saliva into his mouth.

Looking at ourselves, we couldn’t help cribbing about how un-glamorous and wretched we were! To get over the dejection, we decided to get caffeinated. As we were gazing at the crowd sipping our coffee, the lady in red walked to us and said, “Hari Om*!”

My colleague not knowing how to react, said “Sorry, you mean Jai Hind?!” and he looked at me.
I said, “Well…Hari Om! Chinmayan**?”

Lady, “Very much! I taught your class for few months; but not sure if you remember me!” 

Oh My God! Our Computer mam, about whom we spoke just a month ago! I couldn’t believe my eyes, really! I remembered how the boys in our class used to associate their dreams with her and her velvet blouses.

So sweet of her to recognize me after these many years and even come to me and say a hello. I am really really touched. But, I failed miserably to repay the compassion!

In spite of having many of questions with me to make the reunion treasured, this is what I asked, “But, you never had the tattoo there before!”

Embarrassed teacher, “Oh… I got that done later! Hmm…okay then, nice meeting you; bye!”

This post is dedicated to my male friends at school. Sorry guys! I couldn’t gather any information about your once-up-on-a-time heart throb!

**Chinmaya Vidyalaya is the school where I studied; affectionately we address anybody associated with the institution as ‘Chinmayan’!
*’Chinmaya way’ of greeting!

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